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:: UFOs on TV ::

I think I'm seeing double here...four UFO shows!

Turns out I was in fact seeing double, but two new UFO shows premiering on the same night--with the same title no less--is certainly an unheard of event. For The History Channel, UFO Hunters' premier was a continuation of that network's successful campaign to combat the stigma of 24/7 Hitler programming. For the Sci Fi Channel, their UFO Hunters was yet another attempt to bring in ratings with something other than wrestling or anime.

With two similar shows competing for your viewership, you're probably wondering which one is worth your time. Read on and find out...

Back in the day, there were two shows that I credit for sparking my interest in the paranormal. "In Search Of..." and "Unsolved Mysteries" provided a virtual smorgasbord of esoteric enlightenment on everything from historic conspiracy theory to cryptozoology and ufology...well before such terms were even invented. For my young, impressionable mind, they were topics that would develop into a personality-defining hobby for me. And while the format and subject matter of these two shows lives on every night in the realm of talk radio, it saddens me that a true successor to either has yet to be formulated for television audiences.

But that's not to say no one has tried.

Almost eight months ago, Coast to Coast AM host George Noory showed us his vision for an all-encompassing paranormal television show with the much maligned pilot of "Into the Unknown." I'm not going to write any more about my opinion of the show than I already have, but to summarize, let me just say that it was an altogether cheesy product that suffered from a severe lack of emotion save for viewer embarrassment. So although a general purpose paranormal television show has yet to capture a deserving audience, a slew of more specialized, reality-type shows and documentaries have managed to deliver entertainment and information in a well polished package.

When I use the term 'polished', I have The History Channel's recent lineup of paranormal mini-docs in mind. I teased in the opening paragraph that The History Channel has gained somewhat of a reputation for perhaps focusing too heavily on World War II; there was a time when 'The Hitler Channel' seemed a more appropriate name. Over the last several months, however, the network has been doing an excellent job mixing up their programming to include more science related shows. This includes programs like the excellently crafted "The Universe" series, but also a bevy of hour-long documentaries focusing on UFOs, Area 51, and 9/11 conspiracy. Featuring many notable figures these areas, the production value and informativeness of these docs are nothing short of top notch.

If only I could say the same thing about both of the new "UFO Hunters."

As I sat watching them, I couldn't help but be reminded of two other shows in the genre--neither of which are complimentary. First off, it was obvious The History Channel's "Hunters" was an attempt to get in on the success of the Sci Fi Channel's "Ghost Hunters" program. For those that have seen Ghost Hunters, you're probably well aware of its 'sound and fury, signifying nothing' approach to wasting everyone's time. Sci Fi's Hunters follows the same mold, but then I was more expecting a simple port and name change with it. In other words, Sci Fi had already set my standards pretty low. Considering the goods they've been dishing out in this field lately, I expected so much more from The History Channel.

The second show I was reminded of when watching these was, quite unfortunately, George Noory's Into the Unknown and its scripted, robot-like presentation. Not so much Sci Fi's version--which came off to me as a much more spontaneous affair--but History's version felt about as 'real' as a sitcom. Obviously scripted, the final product smacked of insincerity that could have been easily avoided were they to have gone with a format the cast and crew would feel more comfortable with. Like Into the Unknown, it had that unmistakable sense of amateurish production coupled with a complete lack of vision.

Maybe I'm being too hard on these shows, but ultimately I feel they were really nothing special. To answer my original question, for now I'm going to say neither is worth your time. Like two hornless bulls trying to fight it out, I think it's best we let this Hunters vs. Hunters duel tire itself out before jumping in and declaring a winner.

:: Dead End ::

Well, that's all for this week. I trust you enjoyed your trip into this shadowy nether-realm known only as the K-Files.

For the latest updates on the world of Khyron, bookmark http://www.khyron.net/. With content updated regularly, you're sure to find your fix for all things entertaining and paranormal. As always, feel free to send any questions/comments/suggestions to KFiles@khyron.net.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next  K-Files, arriving sometime next week. Later.

~Khyron, 2007.


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