Movies like Independence Day, Signs and War of the Worlds certainly contribute to the curiosity on whether there might be more to these imaginary aliens and UFOs. More so with all the so-called documented sightings around the globe. Rock musician-cum-TV personality Shaun Ryder embarks on an extra-terrestrial adventure to bridge the divide between fact and fiction in his show on History Channel, writes Debashine Thangevelo.
TALK of aliens and UFOs might attract pitiful stares. Such is the stigma sometimes. But with so much discussion about it, including ufologists conducting on-going research with famous “alien abductee” and the USA’s Travis Walton talking about his experience, it’s no longer a subject that can be brushed under the rug, so to speak.
Interestingly, UK-based Happy Mondays and Black Grape lead singer Shaun Ryder, who also attracted a fair amount of attention as the runner-up in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, has always been fascinated with extraterrestrial subject matter.
As such, he couldn’t pass up the chance to explore that interest in the History Channel’s four-part series: Caught on Tape, Seeing is Believing, Worship and Abduction and Sightings and Strange Cases.
He adds, “After doing I’m a Celebrity… I got offered a host of different TV shows, mainly reality stuff. I loved I’m a Celebrity but I wasn’t keen to do more of it. I decided that I’d really like to do a documentary and that’s when we hit upon my love of UFOs, aliens and all things like that. So that’s where the idea was born.”
Further explaining what initially sparked his passion, Ryder offers, “Well, this is an interesting one because it came when I was a 15-year-old boy.
“I had just started work as a messenger boy at the post office and I was going to work early one morning to get the bus at 8am to Manchester and it was still dark out. I was walking to the bus stop and I saw this thing zooming about in the sky. It was doing things that weren’t really aerodynamically possible or what the laws of physics allowed – just impossible stuff! The only way to describe it was like something zip-zapping around in the sky.”
In the series, Ryder travels rather extensively from the mountains of Chile to the Atacama Desert to the forests and back gardens of the UK. His inquisitiveness leads to him gauging the expert opinions of Chile’s official government UFO investigation agency, ufologists Antonio Huneeus and Nick Pope, as well as famous abductee Walton.
During the shoot, he shares that he was blown away by Walton’s experience.
“When we were filming, we looked at footage of these things that came out of an invisible craft that looked like starships or Star Wars troopers on pogo sticks. That was great and really had the wow factor. But the big thing that got me was meeting Travis Walton because I’d seen the movie based on Travis’s life. The thing that made the experience for me was meeting Travis, talking to him, hearing his story and hanging around with him.”
Ryder continues, “I believe Travis was abducted, absolutely. But you see other people who have claimed that they’ve been abducted and it looks just like they are coming back from a day walking around the Trafford shopping centre, all jolly! Travis looked like he had post-traumatic stress or had just walked out of a Vietnam battlefield. He looked grey and it really affected him; you could see that from his interviews.”
While Ryder, whose ears bear an uncanny resemblance to those of Spock from Star Trek, hopes to debunk what is an alien subject, let’s hope it doesn’t elicit more questions than explanations.
- Shaun Ryder on UFOs, History Channel (DStv channel 186), Sunday, November 10 at 8.30pm.