By Brett White
@brettwhite Aug 16, 2021 at 12:30pm 987 Shares
Within less than a second crosses right in front of me.
UFO (2021) Official Trailer
How do you know when a UFO docuseries is legit? Is it the graphics? The narration? The obscurity of the reports and encounters?
Showtime’s UFO docuseries has two things going for it that elevate it far, far above the dime a dozen UFO specials that air on basic cable on Sunday afternoons. It’s a J.J. Abrams production, for one thing. And the other thing? You know it’s legit when an actual political titan like Harry f’ing Reid pops up to talk about unidentified flying objects.
That’s what happens in UFO, and a big chunk of Episode 2 is dedicated to the former Nevada senator and former Senate Majority Leader’s interest in studying paranormal phenomena. I reiterate: this is wild. Usually these specials are populated with ufologists, small press authors, small town abductees, and people who become memes because how could they not become a meme?
inherent racism of Ancient AliensPhoto: History Channel ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps
These specials do not usually include former United States senators, especially ones known for fighting the mob in Nevada and choking a dude for trying to bribe him during an FBI sting. Harry Reid does not mess around—especially when it comes to UFOs!
Reid’s interest in UFOs has been public knowledge for a while, but J.J. Abrams and company got him on camera talking about the government-funded, Pentagon-approved UFO investigation unit that he helped found back in 2007. The agency—Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, or AATIP—was tasked with investigating reports of unidentified flying objects and other paranormal phenomena. After a decade in the shadows, the existence of AATIP was revealed via the NY Times, with Reid’s involvement. Reid’s like a real life Cigarette-Smoking Man, but not camera-shy.
Harry Reid and CSM from X-FilesPhotos: Showtime, Everett Collection
But UFO goes even further, connecting Former Senate Majority Leader Reid with another part of paranormal lore that’s way more wild than flying saucers. If you’ve ever wanted to hear Fmr. Sen. Reid say the words “Skinwalker Ranch,” UFO is the series for you.
If you’ve been paying attention to ufology via streamable content and cable shows over the past two years, then you’ve heard a lot about Skinwalker Ranch. The locale got its own History series, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch. Located in Utah, the ranch has been a hotspot of UFO sightings, supernatural occurrences, and animal mutilations for generations and generations. The ranch is named after a malevolent, shapeshifting witch from Navajo
What Is ‘The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch’? History’s New UFO-Hunting Seri…
The new History series promises an unprecedented look into the notorious UFO hotspot.
Reid sums up Skinwalker Ranch thusly: “A lot of stuff on Skinwalker Ranch is very, very difficult to understand. There have been things reported up there for generations.” And because all UFO mythology seems to be centered around this ranch, of course the ranch played a major role in the launching of AATIP.
As revealed in Episode 2 of UFO, an unnamed government physicist wrote to real estate tycoon and wily true believer Robert Bigelow and asked to visit the ranch. Bigelow gave Reid a call to see if this physicist was legit, and Reid did a little background check. The physicist was cleared to visit the ranch where, within 15 minutes of his arrival, he had An Experience (details withheld). The sitting senator from Nevada then pulled that physicist into a meeting with Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii and Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska in the Capitol and boom, AATIP was born. Reid describes this as “one of the easiest sells I ever had to make” because Sen. Stevens actually saw a UFO back when he was in the Army Air Corps.
And when it came time to hand over $22 million to a guy to run the Pentagon’s covert UFO task force, Reid looked at Bigelow, a self-made Republican billionaire who bought a ranch to study ghosts and witches and aliens, and was like, “…Party.” They found their guy!
All of this is more shocking than anything claimed on (the actually very racist) Ancient Aliens. It’s more shocking because all of this is true, as revealed in the NY Times and then spoken aloud by a retired political figure who very much has a legacy to protect. But what’s great about Harry Reid is that he actually brings a feeling of legitimacy to a field of study that has long been deemed as kooky. As we now know, the government fully admits that a small percentage of these thousands of claims are unexplainable—and y’all know the government loves coming up with “explanations.” Reid’s thumbs-up to studying unidentified aerial phenomena doesn’t seem so weird now, does it?
UFO doc – Harry ReidPhoto: Showtime
As Reid explains, “I am totally in favor of doing all the exploration we can beyond our world. We must remain curious, intellectually. We need to do everything we can to try to figure things out. I know that people, when I got started in this, thought that I was going in an area I shouldn’t have. ‘What the hell is he doing on this?’ But as time has gone on, even my wife, who wondered why I was so involved in unidentified flying objects, said to me a few months ago, ‘You’re not looking so bad now.’”
I guess it’s time for Harry Reid to get his own UFO show on the History channel.