Thursday, September 16, 2010

FACT OR FAKED: The Caretaker; Cutter

SyFy - Original Air Date: 8/19/10

Cases the group doesn't take this week include a UFO supposedly abducting aircraft, which they dismiss as likely CGI, as no planes have been reported mysteriously missing in Southern CA.  "Creepers" lurking about in a deserted hospital see a shadowy figure, but it looks like a planted dummy to me and the FF crew.  Skunk ape, the Florida version of Bigfoot, looks like a guy in a suit.  ("Look, everyone! Patterson film!" says one team leader, aping the onscreen actions.)  They finally settle on Colorado Cattle Mutilations (Cutter, I guess), and a Cemetery Phantom (Caretaker) caught on film in IN.  The "ghost" on the film was not seen by the people at the time, and locals say it was a "ghost train" passing through.

They go to Indiana first and talk to the witnesses, all believers of course, and no one seems at all suspicious that the image was not seen at the cemetery, only when reviewing the film later.  They set up at the site and try some possible explanations: ATV (too solid, too noisy), a dust devil (recreated by fan, but not convincing), and a man running in mist (similar, but...) Science having "failed," they turn to EVP sessions and catch the usual strange sounds: proof of nothing, in my estimation.  So they call this one "paranormal," and never even consider the idea that a camera malfunction or reflection (which seem mostly likely to me) could have caused this image.  One more case unsolved due to lack of effort and/or skepticism.

In Colorado, the team talks to witnesses, procures a dead cow, and does some experiments -- including a doctor cutting with an electric cauterizer and a laser to try to recreate the mutilations.  (Carcass donated later to a wolf sanctuary, so nothing goes to waste.)  Those techniques either don't work or take too long or both, so they leave the carcass out over night to check for predators. And, as they do that, they look for UFOs, too.  No UFOs show up, but they do find a bird feeding on the carcass, so they decide to try to replicate natural bloating.  They put an inflatable bladder inside cowhide and pump it up.  When they do, they discover that, under pressure, the cowhide rips in curving, surgical-looking lines.  Their conclusion: natural causes.  Score one for science!  (Though I have to point out that this conclusion has been reported and supported scientifically before -- including on IS IT REAL? Chupacabras.)  Maybe it's new to their audience, though.  Case closed.

No comments: