One reader's rave

"Thanks for the newspaper with your book review. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this terrific piece of writing. It is beautiful, complex, scholarly. Only sorry Mr. Freire cannot read it!" -- Ailene

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

This Movie Is for the Birds

This evening I saw an advance screening for a film, thanks to a text message from some promotional firm. It was called Bird's Eye View and it promoted the most far-fetched theories about crashed saucers and aliens among us, combining documentary-style interviews with a fictional storyline that bore a suspicious resemblance to The X-Files. In this case, the character played by the filmmaker had lost not her sister, but a pet bird to the alien abductors when she was a child, and later had it "replaced" by her father (who turns out to have really been her stepfather) with a bird she suspected was actually the same one. This bird was played by the filmmaker's actual pet bird, which she had brought with her to the screening. It was a big tropical parrot or parakeet or something of the sort.

I got a sense early on of the level of credulity involved when the "MJ-12" were mentioned without any acknowledgment that they had been revealed as a hoax a long time ago. We were also treated to the story that special "analysis" of a document relating to Roswell showed that it contained instructions for disinformation, even though what we saw on the screen showed no such thing. And someone told the camera that he'd found miniature stone "spacecraft" in a cave, complete with tiny "windows," proving that an advanced race had been here millions of years ago — yet what he actually held in his hand was a fairly crude ridged disk with no windows that I could discern.

In short, there was much in this film that was hilarious, but unfortunately in most cases the humor was unintentional. Oh, and it appears to have all been shot on video. You can see a trailer, reviews, etc. at

P.S. Like some others (e.g. Linda Moulton Howe, who I saw give an amazingly credulous presentation at the central library in 2002, shortly before seeing her cited as a serious source in George Hansen's book The Trickster and the Paranormal), the filmmaker links the UFO stuff to concerns about the environment and animal welfare. I have to wonder whether some of the groups thanked in the credits (such as PETA) realized what kookiness their material was being associated with. If I were they, I'd be afraid that such association would undermine the credibility of my message.

After posting the above, I was informed that a parakeet is quite small, totally unlike a parrot. Shows how much I know about birds.

Eric Hamell

How Will You Survive?

That's the question on some billboards I started seeing this week for a movie evidently called simply 2012. Others say, "We were warned."

I believe a frightening prospect does confront us in the very near future. I predict that soon the Earth will be engulfed in an enormous tidal wave of pseudoscience. The only way to escape this tsunami will be to avoid cineplexes at all cost!

I further predict that, in 2013, we will be engulfed in yet another tidal wave -- this one of really, really cheap DVDs of 2012, which will somehow no longer seem as timely.

You have been warned!