03.14.07 :: Final Cut ::
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Keep your eyes peeled for the next K-Files, arriving sometime next
week. Later. ~Khyron, 2007.
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Written, produced, and edited by David Sereda
Runtime 75 minutes
Something strange, it seems, was going on in the Venice and Sonora, California regions in the late spring/early summer months of 2004. Unexpectedly, in this relatively short amount of time, several eyewitnesses have reported seeing several types of UFO craft hovering in both the day and nighttime skies. And, most importantly, they also caught it all on video tape. UFOlogist and documentary filmmaker David Sereda, who would go on to interview Dan Aykroyd in the 2005 'Unplugged' documentary, collected this video evidence and interviewed the parties involved. The end product being a sort of home movie about what can only be explained as a wave of UFO sightings.
Sereda opens Visitors: California UFO Wave on a very personal note. Before getting into the thick of video footage and analysis, he gives a brief introduction about the importance of UFOlogy. Zoomed in close on his face, Sereda reasons that the intelligences behind UFOs--which can pull off such amazing feats as abrupt stops, right-angle turns, and sudden acceleration--are obviously light-years ahead of us in terms of technology. I don't quite see the relevance of this to the subject matter of the rest of the film, but he goes on to link UFOs to the USA's desire for air superiority. If Russia or China were able to get even a fraction of the kind of power demonstrated by UFOs, he argues, they could wipe us out in a day. Frankly, I would have accepted if he just said that UFOs interest him and he wanted to investigate the Venice and Sonora sightings further; but I reckon the national security angle works just as well.
Driving this security point home even further, Sereda next presents a scene of him calling the FAA and reporting that he has video evidence of an unidentified flying object in the sky over Venice, California. Provided by the witness, Patrick Uskert, the tape shows what appears to be a spherical object with some sort of rotation to it hovering effortlessly in the air. In a bit of unintentional comedy, it was entertaining to watch Sereda try to convince the FAA official that he wasn't making it all up. Unfortunately he couldn't play the full audio of their conversation due to accordance with conversation recording laws. But I can only assume that the guy on the other end of the line was less than thrilled to have to deal with Sereda.
From here, Visitors splits up into 2 segments, the Venice sighting and the multiple Sonora sightings.
First, the Venice sighting. For anyone who tries to keep up on the area of UFOlogy, you've probably seen this video clip before. It's not very long, but pretty clearly shows a spherical and obviously metallic object suspended in the sky. It's harder to see, but there also appears to be some sort of spinning motion to either the craft itself or, as Sereda thinks, some kind of field around it.
The video's provider, Patrick Uskert, takes us on a sort of video tour of the street corner where he originally shot the video. There's also some useless (and shaky) camera work during these scenes of Uskert's house and pets. Not quite sure why Sereda decided to keep that stuff in the finished product, but I guess you really can't go wrong with throwing in some footage of a cat and dog into your documentary. But to test the FAA's explanation that what he captured on film was in fact a balloon, Uskert and a friend purchase a couple helium-filled Mylar balloons from a nearby store and let them loose. The first, an appropriately shaped flying saucer balloon, looked nothing like his original UFO footage. Likewise, although somewhat more similar in appearance, a simple spherical balloon they let go moved in a much different manor than the unidentified craft. Also, most tellingly that what he has on film is not a balloon, in all of that test footage, the balloon's shape and even decoration can be clearly made out--with the UFO, however, it has a sort of blurriness to it that I think gives credence to Sereda's theory that it is utilizing some sort phase-shifting technology.
I'm not going to say that I think that's the definite explanation (or even that I understand what means to shift between phases of matter), but I think that you really can't rule anything out at this point.
Now for the second and most focused on segment, the Sonora sightings. Witnessed by Mark Olson, D.M. over several months, recorded on film is a series of UFO encounters that include everything from cylindrical craft to fast moving orbs, and even the very first daylight footage of a triangular UFO.
Truly, the story of Mark Olson is nothing short of fascinating. For some reason, Olson has been able to witness and record an abnormally high amount of UFO activity, all seemingly by accident and while standing on his back porch. As someone who has never even seen a single UFO (or even anything could be remotely described as such), I must say that I'm a bit jealous. But the footage Olson captured is indeed pretty amazing. To explain his great fortune in witnessing all of these UFOs, Sereda and Olson present the idea that perhaps alien visitation and monitoring is not a new thing in Olson's family. He goes on to show that he as well as his mother and brother have mysterious burn scars that perhaps were the result of alien abduction. Olson also states that he gets the feeling that these UFOs were watching him just as closely as he was watching them.
I personally felt that perhaps Olson's religious background and new-age beliefs may have had something to do with it. That maybe there was some kind of spiritualist aspect to his sightings. Although Sereda doesn't echo this directly, he does reveal to Olson a series of photos of Virgin Mary apparitions with possible UFO connections. The two then go on to discuss how perhaps UFOs and their alien inhabitants may have helped shape mankind from the beginning. It was a very interesting discussion for those inclined to believe in such theories.
To bring Visitors to a close, Sereda ends with some comments about what kind of technology these beings could be using to traverse the stars with such ease. Just as with the opening comments about air superiority however, this scene felt similarly out of place. It was good info, to be sure, but as far as conclusions go, it didn't really do anything for me.
With sufficiently professional looking box, disc, and menu art, Visitors definitely has the look and feel of a quality DVD release. But that said, audio and video quality is, at times, undesirable. As is usually the case with UFO documentaries focused on actual video evidence, much of the film's quality is reliant on often unreliable home video footage and amateur camera work. But, unfortunately, the lack of video refinement doesn't stop there. Save for the opening and closing scenes of Sereda talking directly into the camera, the rest of the film is presented with video captured from lesser quality (and often hand-held) cameras. The finished effect is what feels like watching a home movie. I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a bad thing, as it does give it a sort of down to earth, investigative feel, but I will say that the occasionally dizzying motion is less than entertaining.
In fact, I was surprised at just how raw Visitors feels. With the above mentioned unstable camera work, as well as more than a few outright bloopers and outtakes left in or poorly edited, I think this movie could have used a few more passes through the post-production process.
However, I was pleased to no end to see that, included in the special features section of the disc, the standalone video footage of both the Venice and Sonora sightings were available to watch. This is a definite plus and should be included in every documentary of this type. Unfortunately, this is as far as the special features go.
Although it shares a similar up close and personal and indie feel to Sereda's Dan Aykroyd Unplugged doc, Visitors is ultimately a collection of excellent UFO footage nestled between a very unrefined movie. But really, I can't stress enough just how great the UFO video presented in this film is. If for nothing else, to have access to the footage in the special features section is enough reason to pick this one up.
Special Features: 8
Overall (not an average): 7.8
:: Final Cut ::
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.
Check out Khyron.net
Discuss The K-Files @ the USofE HERE