Thursday, November 11, 2010

FACT OR FAKED: Sasquatch Sprint - Alien Attacker

SyFy - Original Air Date: 11/11/10

Videos passed on this week include Mothman flying at a car windshield at night (probable animation), and the "Guardian" UFO footage of a "ship" allegedly hovering over a park, but with no witness they decide to put that one off and maybe look into it more.  Which leaves the videos they're investigating: a Sprinting Sasquatch (the famous Memorial Day film of bigfoot running across a field) and the Alien Attacker (famous black triangle ship with dead alien) where the alien supposedly killed a dog before being brained and photographed by a human.  This second looks obviously fake to me, and the body was supposedly later stolen by a mysterious van, but the group decides to look into it anyway.

After talking to the bigfoot witnesses, they try to duplicate the running speed of the "creature" in the film.  This has been attempted successfully before, in Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, but this show -- like all others -- makes no mention of previous successful debunking.  (I guess if they did, they wouldn't have a show.)  Team member Austin runs the course in 9.6 seconds, faster than the creature at 10.6 seconds.  They then attempt it again using a 10 pound bigfoot suit, and after taking a big fall, he completes it again, but in around 12 seconds.  Trying again, and taking off his mask at the end, the result looks similar to "growth" in the original creature footage (which some tried to say was the bigfoot carrying a baby on its shoulders).  Then they do some night investigation with IR cameras and sand traps for prints; they also fly over with an IR camera.  They get a hit on the overhead camera and chase it, but can't catch up.  They also find a print.  Conclusion: The footage could be faked, and probably was.  Same conclusion as other shows.  The print is inconclusive, but too small for bigfoot. Which doesn't mean there is no bigfoot, just not here.

On to the alien, checking out the story of "Doctor" Johnathan Reed in Snowalmie Pass, WA.  He claims this creature seized his dog's jaws and ripped the animal in half.  The dog dropped to the ground and turned to ash, whereupon Reed hit the alien in a head with a stick, fatally wounding it.  Nearby, he saw a triangular-shaped craft - 9 1/2 feet long, 2 1/2 feet thick, and 3 feet wide -- hovering three feet off the ground.  Seeing this, he videoed what he saw and then took the alien body, in black jump suit, back to his house.  I'm unimpressed.  It all looks like amateur theater to me, and I'm pretty sure I could recreate it using a bit of hardware with the help of my kids.  Ben, the former FBI guy, points out that though Reed tells the story well, he's been doing it for over 15 years -- a lot of time to rehearse.  They build a triangle craft (obelisk) out of plywood and paint it black; team member Larry has also brought an alien he built.  His alien looks better than the one in the film.  They suspend the craft using a pole wrapped in greenery, a standard magician/SFX trick.  They then plant the alien and use a shaky-cam technique to duplicate the video.  (I'm convinced.)  Finally, they take the alien inside and use servos to recreate its blinking eyes and "autopsy."  (Though the original eyes look like they might have just been flashing lights to me.)  Jael points out this took some skill to recreate, but Rob notes the financial gain for pulling off such a hoax is great.  They then re-interview Reed, and apply "layered voice analysis" to the interview.  Reed claims a life-threatening conspiracy trying to cover up his evidence; he sticks to his story.  The voice analysis says he's lying.  "Johnathan Reed is not who he says he is, and this did not happen to him," Ben concludes

Reed, it turns out, is also known as con-man John Bradley Rutter, and this case has been debunked previously -- a fact turned up by a quick online search.  But, as I said with the bigfoot case, if they told us that in advance, they wouldn't have a show.  On the other hand, this show the team did debunk two stories held dear by "believer" communities, and, in doing so, and bringing the truth to a wider audience, Fact or Faked has done a public service.  Thanks, guys.  Good job.

No comments: