Ross Coulthart’s 7NEWS Spotlight “Out of this world” (Aug 21, 2022) promised us “conclusive proof”, “testable evidence of alien technology”, and a “renowned scientist” who “confirms it all”.
This is junk TV at its worst, exemplified by quickfire footage without context - unlabeled CGI aliens, CGI craft, flares, balloons, actual UAPs and overdubbed audio, and sound bytes to give the illusion people are claiming things they never claimed. Who’s the disinfo agent here?
Nothing presented here changes my opinion that the apparent movement toward disclosure (by which I mean convincing evidence of aliens and their craft, or physics-defying manmade tech) is an illusion. And the disinformation in this show isn't some huge government conspiracy, either. It's just what happens when you either fail to properly investigate, or investigate and fail to find quality evidence, but you go ahead and make a TV show anyway because your motivation is not to inform the public but to hope they swallow the crap and ask for more.
Much of the first half deals with imminent "disclosure" (which has been redefined by Elizondo and others to mean "people talking about disclosure"). The most frustrating part for me is how Michio Kaku’s words are dishonestly edited in the lead-ups to commercial breaks (as well as the trailer, of course). Further, Coulthart mischaracterizes him as the renowned scientist who “acknowledges the reality of the phenomenon”. In fact, every single sentence from Kaku is explicitly speculative, including his opinion that it's extremely unlikely we have any captured flying saucers (or that ET is visiting at all).
Congressman Tim Burchett is very much a "true believer" in both UFOs and religion. His mind is boggled by the fact that the light from some stars left those stars "before the time of Christ." This is true, of course, but it's a bizarre way to express the fact that some of the light in the night sky started its journey millions of years ago, and with the help of a telescope, billions of years ago.
He has "very clear polaroid images" (Coulthart's description) of a hovering metallic flying saucer but won’t show them on camera. Since he keeps them on his phone and shows them to a foreign national, they’re evidently not classified. Why not release them? Is he scared of Mick West? Coulthart claims elsewhere that Burchett said these are photos from the 60s and 70s taken by a pilot and released as a sort of deathbed confession.
Coulthart takes a boat trip with Ben Does Science By Waving His Arms Around Hansen and his podcast partner Bryce Zabel, both of whom work in the entertainment industry. They’re packing illegal (outside the US) night vision equipment. They're looking for lights in the sky as if that means anything under a commercial flight path near a military testing zone. Nothing happens in this pointless scene. Another of Coulthart's attempts to get evidence is... to write to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Good luck with that one.
Professor Garry Nolan has zero evidence of aliens either, but is certain they're here because he's talked to whistleblowers who are about to come out. Anybody who's anybody in front of a camera these days knows someone who knows something. But who knows, maybe this time - finally! - one of those whistleblowers will drag an actual alien into their press conference and stop wasting everyone's time with empty promises.
The best part of the show by far (from my perspective, not so much serious UFO believers) was Jim Marlin, former music promoter for Willie Nelson. As a child, Jim had a sleep paralysis episode that seems to have shaped his views about aliens (he believes he was abducted that night). Forty years ago, Dennis Hopper’s bodyguard invited him over to see the 10-inch metallic spheres that a passing UFO deposited in his yard in New Mexico. He gave one to Jim, who has taken it with him everywhere he goes. Unlike those “underwhelming” blurry UFO photos we've all seen, Coulthart says this sphere “may” be “solid testable evidence of alien technology”, as promised in the promo. Now, I think Dennis Hopper’s bodyguard spun a yarn but Jane Fonda and other famous people have seen and touched Jim's ball so clearly it's worthy of further investigation.
Jim has seen his ball do some weird stuff, such as lighting up and pushing him across the room (did I mention he admits to using psychedelics back in the day?) but never on camera, dang it. I repeat: ZERO video evidence of the weird stuff in 40 years of owning this ball and taking it everywhere with him. Jim’s ball refuses to perform for Coulthart, but who needs to see activated alien tech when we have so many artsy shots of Jim's ball to admire.
Coulthart wants to do some science on the sphere, and with Nolan in San Francisco on the other end of a Zoom call announces it weighs exactly 50.0 pounds. This was presumably filmed some weeks ago, but it's not until yesterday that Nolan tweets the sphere's weight is a red flag and "until proven otherwise, it is human made." What he says on Coulthart's show, however, when presented with some "rust" shavings from Jim's ball to analyze (because who better to analzye metal than an immunologist?), is that his machine will be able to tell if the substance is alien and that if what Jim says is true about the sphere's origin, "you’ve got basically a UFO scout vehicle sitting in his house in Texas."
Yes, folks, we went from Dennis Hopper's bodyguard's scrap metal to alien scout vehicle in one breath. This is what passes for investigative journalism today.
Coulthart mentions the Betz sphere, which I tweeted about here. (It's most likely the ball from a ball check valve.) Nolan: "I have seen the videos that you’ve seen of this sphere spontaneously rolling around on the floor." The problem is, those videos are recreations made by the History channel for their highly informative and accurate show Ancient Aliens. We have a few photos of the Betz family and their 8" sphere, discovered in 1974, but no footage to my knowledge - despite their claims of it doing amazeballs things too.
To really bring home the point that investigative journalist Ross Coulthart has lost his touch, he says the Betz family "never got an answer as to what their sphere was". Once again I have to wonder if his producer was having a chuckle behind his back, because his words accompany this image of the Betzes overlaid on a newspaper article from 1974 explaining that their magic sphere was from a valve, and extremely manmade.
Back to the science. Coulthart expresses amazement that Jim's ball weighs exactly 50.0 pounds. This of course is ludicrous, unless the aliens make scout ships that are designed to fool humans into thinking they're manmade to exacting (American imperial) standards. Coulthart takes a screwdriver to Jim's precious out-of-this-world artifact, attacking it for rust scrapings that Nolan can waste his time with. He reports the circumference as 32" which gives a diameter of around 10" if we allow for error created by wrapping a metal tape measure around a curved surface. This Australian company manufacturers steel balls for ball check valves - their 10" diameter ball weighs just over 50 pounds - it's not clear whether this is before or after the rubber coating has been added and not being an investigative journalist with a TV show myself I can't be bothered to find out. The coating increases the diameter to 11.81".
Coulthart is ambiguous about whether the ball itself is also in Nolan's hands, but in any case Nolan tells him it will take a month to analyze the scrapings. As of yesterday, Nolan says he hasn't started the analysis and that it will take up to 3 months. I think he probably shouldn't bother, since there is no evidence this thing is anything unusual. Maybe somewhere out there is the alien paperclip that Michio Kaku wants to see before he takes the notion that ET is visiting us seriously, but this ain't that paperclip.
Blistering for clicks
The final segment focuses on Australian UFO researcher Damien Nott, and is a blatant example of how tall tales get presented by the gullible as "evidence" for unlikely happenings. Coulthart, who just told us most UFO photos are blurry and underwhelming, shows us Damien's blurry and underwhelming UFO photos and calls them "quite extraordinary". (Yet again, no video.)
Damien once saw an orb in his yard and shares gruesome photos of the painless blistering burn that appeared a few days later. Not on his face, which was the closest thing exposed to the orb, but on one arm. He fails to show us what that arm looks like today even though he's sitting right there in the studio. He says unnamed people at Harvard are studying him (or his photos, I guess) and that of 100 people similarly affected by this "exotic exposure", one in three has "apparently" died. While this may be apparent to Damien, I'm afraid it's not at all apparent to me since we have no evidence of this study, who it's studying, Damien's involvement, or even medical information on Damien's burns.
Host of the show Michael Usher, who looks very much like he wishes he wasn't there, ends by telling Damien: “Look, we could talk for hours about this but we don’t have hours.” Bye bye.
UPDATE Aug 31, 2022: Via Jason Colavito, emails showing that Kit Green found no deaths or injuries caused by unknown factors, or by close proximity to alien craft (including magic and advanced physics) in the 300 USG personnel he studied.
So, did we get any evidence at all from Coulthart's latest offering that promised us something - anything - "out of this world"? We got people saying they know things, or at least know people who know things. We got photos of a random burn, a UFO photo we weren't allowed to see, a metallurgic analysis that's not been done, and some gross misrepresentations of various claims about ET tourists and magic spheres. We got talking heads conflating the possibility that ET exists with the possibility that ET is visiting us - a very tired old strawman. We got a lot of opinion and speculation, and no evidence whatsoever.
We did get some Pink Floyd at the end, but honestly it wasn't worth waiting for.
I'm blogging about the Three-Dollar Kit.