Title: UFOs 1973: Aliens, Abductions and Extraordinary Sightings
Genre: Documentary, UFOs, Aliens, Supernatural
Production Company: Reality Entertainment

I’ve never seen a UFO or space alien. Although I’ve had nighttime dreams that have opened me to the possibility that they could exist.

As any good natural scientist will tell you, Earth is said to be 4.5 billion years old. Between 4.5 and 3.5 billion years ago, the first signs of life appear. After that, a staggering variety of specialization and extinction occurs.

Humanity as we know it hits the scene about 200,000 years ago. This is a mere drop in the bucket, considering the entire evolutionary timeline.¹ And it compels one to wonder if humanity is only part of an even greater evolutionary dynamic that hasn’t yet reached its full potential.

Quite possibly we’re just a small link in a much larger chain, a vast evolutionary arc that would produce unimaginably enhanced man-machine hybrids or perhaps an entirely new species.

Are we already witnessing the raw beginnings of this strange, unforeseeable future?

Today, in 2010, some cultural theorists say our technologies are extensions of the person. The automobile isn’t just about transportation, and the internet isn’t just about communicating. Instead, mankind itself is changing, inside and out. And this is no metaphor. Studies indicate that our brains change in response to our use of technology. Moreover, it’s no secret that the widespread use of man-made microchip implants is just around the corner.

So what does this have to do with UFOs 1973? Well, maybe nothing, maybe everything.

I say this because one ET report portrayed in the documentary caught my eye. The case involved a strange humanoid figure standing on a highway with seamless silver skin and no head orifices.

The stuff of idle fantasy or the shape of things to come?

We can’t really know for sure. But according to the producer, Jay Michael, 1973 was flap year for UFO reports. For UFO buffs a “flap” means there’s been an unprecedented number of sightings—that is, lots of real, imagined or faked UFO activity went on record.

The film begins by recounting some of the major news events of 1973, to include Watergate, the end of the Vietnam War, the Concorde’s first flight, and the birth of two important developments in space: Pioneer II and Skylab.

1973 is described as a tumultuous year, which is linked to the sharp increase in UFO reports. There are two main, competing explanations here, which we might call the worldly and the spacey theories. The worldly theory is that people fantasize more about UFOs during high-stress societal periods as a kind of coping mechanism. The spacey theory suggests that ETs visit humanity during high-stress time periods to give subtle assistance.

In addition, the film says UFOs became firmly entrenched in pop culture during the 70s, but also notes the ancient astronaut theory, where ancient religious and mythological representations are often taken as proof of visiting ETs. Remember Chariots of the Gods?

Also mentioned is a 1973 Gallup Poll where 11% of the US population claim to have actually seen a UFO, while 51% report believing in UFOs.

This spike in UFO activity – be it authentic, imagined, faked but certainly commercialized – in 1973 wasn’t just an American event. The film highlights cases from diverse locations like New Zealand, UK, Brazil, Australia, Japan, and Spain.

The latter part of the DVD departs from 1973 to sum up some of the salient UFO events from World War II to the present.

Again, the scope is international. We’re reminded of the mysterious Foo Fighters, Roswell, various reports from the 1950s to 70s, the Rendlesham Forest incident of the 80s, Brazil in the 90s, and even more sightings which have taken place in the new millennium.

Visually, the film makes effective use of live footage, recreations, original photos and CGI.

Bonus material includes Jay Michael revealing his own UFO experiences, which he says both “scared” and “enthralled” him. These words call to mind the celebrated scholar of religion, Rudolf Otto, who said that numinous experience, especially when it’s Holy, is both fearful and compelling.

Granted, encountering a manifestation of God and witnessing a UFO is probably not quite the same thing. But the immediate and long-term human responses might be similar in both scenarios.

Other bonus material includes quite a long conversation contained in the so-called Halt Tape. The Halt Tape is said to be the original dictaphone recording that Lt. Colonel Halt (USAF) made while investigating the 1980 Rendlesham Forest incident with his patrol officer.

Jay Michael also says he purposely lets the viewer decide whether the extant body of UFO reports point to the existence of alien visitors or perhaps something else. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung once said, for instance, that UFOs are mostly projections of a supposed mandala archetype of the Self.

Jung didn’t rule out the possibility of actual ET visitors. But he did feel that the majority of UFO reports issued during the 1950s involved a psychological projection of the “collective unconscious”—Jung’s concept for that part of the psyche which we apparently share.

It may be tempting to go with Jung on this point, but it would also be a bit rash (or maybe fearful) to reject the idea of ETs and UFOs altogether.

Whether ETs /UFOs are kindly galactic guides, breeders, colonizers, cold terminators, or perhaps just good old fashioned folklore, they’re likely here to stay. And UFOs 1973 certainly helps us to decide where we stand when trying to unravel this many-sided enigma.