Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ABC News and the X-Files

I have to tell you that I am really annoyed. Just last night, April 23, I happened to see on ABC News, the story of a meteor (or meteoroid, if you wish to get technical because it was still in the air) that had been seen over Nevada and California. It lit up the sky, roared above the witnesses, and generated any number of calls to emergency numbers whether 9-11, or sheriff and fire departments.

It seemed that almost everyone knew, pretty much was it was.

An astronomer said later it was probably a small asteroid, about the size of a minivan that had exploded above the ground. He said one this size hits the atmosphere about every year. Bits and pieces of it were picked up and I suspect the Meteorite Men (of Science Channel fame) were probably there within hours finding more.

So far, so good.

But ABC just couldn’t resist relating this to UFOs and alien visitation. (True, it was extraterrestrial, but it then wasn’t alien.)

They played the theme from X-Files. They made reference to UFOs. All in good fun.

Except no one, but them, thought of this. The question is, "Why?"

To me, and I’m sure the people who are interested in these things, meaning meteorites, we didn’t need the landscape cluttered with UFOs and the X-Files. I enjoyed seeing the pictures and wondered why there was no video of this event. Surely a security camera somewhere, or someone with a cell phone or I Pad, managed to get a little bit of it.

Anyway, ABC proves, once again, what is wrong with the MSM (Main Stream Media). They just can’t help themselves. They just have to inject a bit of personal opinion into the news... and was it news on Monday night when they reported on it? Everyone I know had already heard the story and seen the pictures.


Kurt Peters said...

Kevin -

New bizarre Roswell report:


cda said...

I assume that a few people did report the said object as a UFO. Maybe only a very few, but because of this the newsreader(s) decided to include the topic as part of the meteor report.

I do not understand the X-files connection any more than you. This seems totally unnecessary and pointless.

Generally, if a spectacular bright light or lights is seen and causes much excitement it will hit the TV news, and an expert in a related field will be brought in. But the UFO topic is so deeply ingrained in the public mind, particularly in the USA, that the commentators can't help referring to it.

That is my take on the matter.

calliebuddy said...

Perhaps they have discovered that deploying the X-Files stock music and invoking UFOs captures more eyeballs. It was not exactly breaking news, so someone had time to think about it.

May I suggest an experiment? Someone get in touch with ABC News and point out how a witnessed meteorite fall like that could bring big money to anyone who collects the pieces. So, to suck in viewers, maybe the next event will feature footage of the Meteorite Men on the prowl, music background of "We're in the Money" and a teaser that the exact GPS coordinates will be revealed if viewers (a.k.a. suckers) will just stay tuned. Maybe we will see a shift in strategy.

Tyler Kokjohn

David Rudiak said...

Kevin, this sort of gratuitous ridiculing behavior by the mainstream media goes way back. I came across an example in the NY Times from 1952 where they mockingly editorialized about what everybody elsewhere was calling a meteor fireball. This may have been prompted by the high UFO activity that was ramping up at the time (the great 1952 UFO wave) plus some reported anomalies in the fireball. But nobody at the time, other the Times, was specifically associating the fireball with a UFO report.

On May 11, 1952 at 1:26 AM, a fireball exploded over Seattle, turning the skies as bright as daylight and shaking buildings. Two Northwest airline pilots described the object as "an intensely bright white light, like a magnesium flare, trailing sparks and traveling from the south to a point due north." The object passed in front, about 1000 feet higher than the plane, which was at 7000 feet. Then it split in two, the two pieces shooting out like roman candles and burning out. "We could hear no noise in the plane and felt no shock. In all our experience we never had seen a meteor look or act like that."

Most observers agreed that the object had been traveling from SW to NE and had exploded between 2000' to 8000'. Astronomers were puzzled by the reported low explosion. Prof. Gerald Kuiper of the Yerkes Observatory said most fireballs explode 10-15 miles up. Robert Coles of the Hayden Planetarium, New York, thought that maybe the object had been much higher than estimated since an explosion at 2000' would be "very rare."

Other oddities were the apparent horizontal trajectory of the object and the absence of any damage or fragments from such a low explosion.

According to Col. T. Allen Bennett, C/O of the A.F. Defense Division, none of the radars in the Pacific Northwest network picked up the object.

What I have here is the initial front page straight reporting from the N.Y. Times and San Francisco Chronicle the next day. Then followed the very strange NY Times debunking editorial the day after that. Why was it written?

The Times savagely ridiculed the idea that the explosion was caused by anything but a meteor, sarcastically suggesting it was a flying saucer from Mars spying on our atomic tests, then blown up by Martian security when the spies decided to escape to Earth. (NY Times 5/13/1952, p. 22)

Like I said, this was always reported by all other newspapers as a meteor fireball exploding. So what got the Times editor so unhinged that the normally staid flagship newspaper of the U.S. put out such a hysterical and stupid editorial? I don't know. If this were the N.Y. Post it would have been more understandable. They trade in sensationalism.

Maybe the Times doth protesteth too much.

Steve Sawyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Sawyer said...

Is this the ABC News segment from the 23rd you were referring to, Kevin?


Michael Naisbitt said...

Similar reporting of a meteor occurred here in the UK back in March, I documented it at:


Luckily though this was the exception rather than the rule…

Don and Margaret said...

Belated comment re "meteoroid, if you wish to get technical because it was still in the air" -- No, sorry, "meteor" when it's in the air. Correct sequence is "meteoroid" while in space, "meteor" when in the air and luminous (whence "meteorolgical"), and "meteorite" when on the ground.
-- Don Mills