This thing starts off like it's about to give me the epiphany I never knew I so desperately needed. Within the first 2-and-a-half minutes, David Sereda, the director and UFOlogist*, says about Dan Aykroyd, "It's like Einstein was hiding inside of a comic genius." Let's take a moment and allow that to sink in. Dan Aykroyd = Albert Einstein with a wicked sense of humor. So, I guess when Aykroyd mentioned that The Day the Earth Stood Still is directly related to some of the probable motives of extra-terrestrials, that was an example of his joke-telling abilities. He's apparently of the mind that aliens capable of traveling across the universe are interested in the way we treat our planet. Why does he believe that? Oh, there are plenty of reasons why.
OH MY GOD IT'S A...it's a...umm...well...it's unidentified! Aliens!
Professor Aykroyd begins by talking about government involvement in UFO research. He claims governments are studying the problem based on shit like that picture above. One thing this documentary loves to do is take already blurry pictures of...whatever...and zoom in even closer, the result being a giant, pixelated version of something that already looked like crap. They're not doing themselves any favors with that technique, but it's used over and over and over and over and over and over again.
To be fair, not all of the pictures look that awful. Some of them are quite clear, but that brings up a whole new problem. Check out this one:
This one is much clearer, but wait! There's more!
I looked up Billy Meier, the name credited at the bottom of the photo. Oops. Maybe they didn't think I would? Billy Meier is some Swiss dude who claims to have been contacted numerous times by human-like aliens from beyond the star cluster Pleiades. They all gave him their names, of course. Let's see, we have Sfath, Asket, Ptaah, Semjase, Quetzal(coatl?), and Pleija. According to Meier, he would talk to these aliens both face-to-face and through telepathy. There's loads of other crap about Meier, so if you're interested, here you go. The only other things I'll mention about him are that his ex-wife said his pictures look like models he made and trash can lids, and other people have come out saying he used pictures of them (who are supposed to be aliens) without their permission. Yes, this man is a source used in Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs. Einstein obviously has nothing on Aykroyd's careful, researched opinion.
As dubious a source as Billy Meier is, he's not the only batshit, crazy guy to grace the screen. Paul Hellyer, a long-serving Canadian politician, is constantly shown giving a speech about aliens to a receptive audience. In the speech, he says, "UFOs are as real as planes flying over your head." Well, shit. That must be true, because it's coming from the mouth of a former Canadian Minister of Defence. Right? Right? Let me think. Wrong. This is also the guy who said the Bush administration was going to put a military base on the moon to shoot down aliens. Because that's totally rational and practical at this point. Hey, the economy is great right now! To the moon, everyone! I guess Newt Gingrich wasn't as, shall we say, original in his thinking as I thought.
If we're going to talk seriously about conspiracies, I have a suggestion. The film repeatedly defers to John Hutchison, a Canadian (Again? Bonus conspiracy!) inventor who claims to have discovered all sorts of technology, such as levitation, zero point energy, and melding metals together. Let's not forget, though, that he apparently admitted to faking experiments - "levitating" an object by pulling it with a string - due to "pressure," and also the fact he's never been able to reproduce his experiments in front of non-biased observers. Neither has anyone else, for that matter.
Upper left corner. Obvious string pulling the object. Social outcast/brilliant amateur propulsion engineer fail.
I've yet to find the direct quote of him saying he deliberately faked that video, but I mean, c'mon. There's a fucking string right there in the frame. That's all trivial, though. Aside from the Canadian Conspiracy I didn't realize until I started typing, there's the much more serious matter of Hutchison's appearance. Is it merely a coincidence he looks almost exactly like Alice in Chains' drummer, Sean Kinney?
I think NOT!
If there was ever any better evidence of a vast, elitist conspiracy to...umm...to control us all, I haven't seen it. Prove me wrong, you skeptical assholes!
Moving on, if the bizarro factor is still pretty low for you, there's always Aykroyd's anecdote about being on the phone with Britney Spears when he saw a man get out of a black Ford sedan across the street from him. Aykroyd turned away from the man, and when he looked again, both the man and the car had vanished. It hadn't driven away; it was just gone. He claims he was getting too close to the truth with his UFO television show or something.
Skip to around the 2-minute mark for his enlightening story about Britney Spears and the MIB.
I don't want you to think I'm harping on the guy just because he seems a little eccentric. I'm only harping on him because he seems like he's out of his god damn mind. He says things like he doesn't see any government in the next 50 years investing money into alternative propulsion systems (which I agree with to an extent), then he turns around and says that they're probably not telling us about what alien tech they're into. Look, there's either money for that or there isn't, Dan. And I also don't give a shit if - so the claim goes - China spent $20 million on a UFO research center in 2005. How did that turn out, anyways?
Aykroyd also likes to throw out names of people, places, and research projects without any context whatsoever, like I'm supposed to be nodding my head and thinking, "Oh, yea. I totally remember that thing that happened in Nova Scotia to those two ice fishing dudes 20 years ago! Please, don't fill me in on your inane tale of flying saucers and too much beer." Then there's his weird thing about Reagan and the Star Wars missile defense system, which Aykroyd speculates was installed to shoot down alien crafts if need be. He cites a story where Reagan was flying somewhere and a UFO followed them around for a while, and then later, Reagan said something in a speech about imagining we're not the only ones out there. Nice story, Dan. Sorry if I yawned during one of your dramatic pauses (a.k.a. stutters and "uhhs").
One of the most hilarious comments to escape Aykroyd's mouth before his brain caught on was when he said he thinks a "certain amount of fear is justified" in regard to aliens taking the ovum from a woman and the sperm of a man in order to...what, exactly? Make alien-human hybrids?
If alien-human hybrids ever become a reality, I hope they look like this. Dear God, please let them look like this.
Having watched Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs a couple of times now, I have my own working theories. David Sereda is just way too into Aykroyd and his conspiracy-laden speculations, and he just wants to gaze longingly into Aykroyd's eyes as he contemplates extra-dimensional, malevolent beings. There's no other explanation for this documentary existing. Either that, or both Sereda and Aykroyd are actually aliens sent down to Earth to make UFO enthusiasts look like nutjobs, thereby distracting everyone from the fact that aliens are indeed among us, taking our jobs and paying our taxes. I have my favorite, but take your pick.
If there's not a man-crush going on there, then my name is Ptaah.
*UFOlogist is short for "I'm so full of shit but since I just made up this phoney scientific-sounding title I get to call myself one and pretend like it's prestigious"