it surprise you to know that Unsolved Mysteries is one of the
longest running television series of all time?
From 1987 until his death
in 2003, Robert Stack (probably best known as the original Eliot Ness in
the 1950s TV series, The Untouchables) hosted this show that
explored the paranormal -
one part documentary, one part investigative
report, and another part re-enactment drama. Although the show continues
on and has added murder investigation to its genre coverage, a number of
Unsolved Mysteries segments, which were hosted by Robert Stack, are
now available on DVD, grouped by paranormal genre.
Two box sets ? The UFO Files and Scariest Ghost Stories
are now available with a third box set ? Miracles ? coming in
November. Psychics, Bizarre Murders and Legends will
be available in 2005. Each DVD contains numerous 10-minute segments, each
of which outlining a paranormal event.
The UFO Files ? though Unsolved Mysteries has endured since
1987, the producers were savvy enough to update the show making sure that
UFO segments had an X-Files-esque feel to
them. Robert Stack, clad in a trademark trench coat, introduces each
segment with semi-serious gravity, as if he were revealing a government
secret to Mulder and Sculley.
Each UFO segment plays like a mini-documentary. There are interviews with
the eyewitnesses, analysis from experts in the field, some occasional
footage and a re-enactment drama with low-budget special effects. The
overall effect is quite earnest ? the audience will be intrigued by the
interviews and the sightings with photographic evidence are always
Adding to the feeling of an unbiased documentary, the experts -
sceptics and believers -
explain their positions while witnesses are run
through lie detector tests or are corroborated with the local police chief
or reverend. The end result is that the viewer is left with compelling
evidence, credible witnesses but asked to draw their own conclusions.
Absolutely! The UFO Files works well as a great starting point for
library research as all segments are based on celebrated cases of UFO
sightings or encounters.
If you want a briskly paced video overview of some interesting UFO cases,
The UFO Files is a must-see.
- Harrison Cheung