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TV: P is for...

Project UFO

NOT UFO, mind; instead, a keep-watching-the-skies spookarama that always began with a UFO “visitation” on a hick redneck Southern town. Soon on the scene were the Project UFO guys from the military, who would investigate the scene of the close encounter and find something distinctly man-made like glitter, fairy lights or latex rubber. Then they’d piece together the mystery, and it’d turn out that the local dullards had in fact mistaken a Goodyear air-balloon that tore from its moorings for an interstellar craft. At this point the opening scene would be repeated, but from different angles, showing exactly how stupid we’d all been in the first place to fall for it. F’rinstance, one farmer-faked (to keep locals away, “Scooby Doo”-style) UFO, using crop-dusting chopper and fairy lights, was found out by the two investiblokes as a fake, via convoluted “boys in the lab” dissection of an audio tape made of the sound of the craft, e.g. one part ice-cream van played backwards, one part helicopeter noise, one part doorbell etc. Sometimes the FBI guys couldn’t work it out and they’d show the scene in a mysterious way. Ostensibly based on the US Air Force’s real ‘Project Blue Book’ UFO investigations; only at the end titles did you find out that the USAF wrapped up that department a decade before the show took place. Produced and narrated by JACK “DRAGNET” WEBB.

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