The Science of Chasing UFOs: “Dirty Secrets”

Considering the amount of ground covered in each 1-hour Chasing UFOs episode, it isn’t always possible to present the science of each investigation in a comprehensive way.  So, for those who wish to learn more about the science behind Chasing UFOs, read on!

Screen-grab From Chasing UFOs "Texas is for Sightings"
Chasing UFOs "Dirty Secrets"

Reverse-Engineered Triangles

As lore imparts it, there’s more to the triangular craft observed in the Fresno area than even meets the eye (or camera).  Indeed, specific allegations surrounding these sightings are that the triangles are experimental military air (space?)-craft endowed with conventionally impossible flight capabilities derived from reverse-engineered extraterrestrial technology recovered by the Air Force at Roswell and other places.

So, for those inclined to believe that 1) Earth has been visited by aliens, 2) there has been a government cover-up, and 3) the proof is in the sky, the “triangle craft” UFO tradition presents a case of having your cake and eating it too; these craft are alleged to be both alien and top-secret military in nature.

Well this extraordinary claim involves an interesting assumption that I wanted to examine in greater detail: the premise that we would be capable of interpreting or extracting anything useful at all from technology generated by a truly foreign civilization.  To my knowledge, this assumption had yet to be critically considered by scientists who actually specialize in foreign cultures and technology. So, with this in mind, I sought out an expert in interpreting ancient, foreign, and technological (Cold War) cultures to see what she had to say about our potential ability to reverse-engineer E.T. technology in the first place.


The Chasing UFOs team with industrial archaeologist, Dr. Colleen Beck.
The Chasing UFOs team with industrial archaeologist, Dr. Colleen Beck. (Credit: NGT/Dave West)

Dr. Colleen Beck, Alien Cultures, and Cargo Cults

This brings me to an interview with anthropologist, industrial archaeologist, and friend, Dr. Colleen Beck.  The crux of our discussion was to explore just how likely it was that we, humanity, would be able to glean something useful from truly alien technology – and more specifically, anything of potential technical or military application.

Frankly, her salient points were haunting.

First, she pointed out that there are artifacts left behind by our own species that are highly difficult or perhaps even permanently un-translatable, such as much prehistoric rock art.  Therefore, with such a problem interpreting remnants from foreign human cultures, our ability to elicit meaning from artifacts of a truly alien species with no context is therefore even less likely.

If we are not able to extract specific meaning from alien technology, what about our ability to reverse-engineer strict physics principles or discoveries from alien technology?  Dr. Beck suggested that unless there was a highly unlikely cosmic coincidence between the development level of alien technology and our own (the equivalent of within a hundred-years or less), we may be strictly incapable of reverse-engineering.  Worse, due to a lack of context or understanding (see the first point) we may not even be able to understand why we can’t reverse-engineer something useful.   She used Cargo Cults as a poignant example:

During the Second World War, many isolated island cultures were exposed to Western civilization for the first time when the military used remote islands as staging grounds.  To the native inhabitants, modern clothing and technology was all-but magical, and religions were inspired concerning what was left behind after the war effort concluded.  The native cultures attempted to replicate the clothing and equipment to the best level of their technology (e.g., making mock dirt landing strips, radio headphones out of coconuts, jeeps and airplanes out of wood), in order to summon additional “cargo.”  They do not currently understand why their efforts do and will not work, they are skeptical of conventional explanations (see point one again), and they do not recognize the failings of their technological attempts to replicate the more advanced (i.e., alien) technology.

So, the implication here is that with more than very little developmental difference between our technology and that of a potential visiting extraterrestrial intelligence, which seems likely if hypothesizing practical interstellar travel, our attempts to replicate alien technology may be the equivalent of attempting to make circuit boards out of strips of wood.  It seems possible that we would not even recognize the nature of our technological failings… which I find profoundly disturbing.

In all, this certainly casts doubt on the plausibility that the military has not only successfully reverse-engineered alien spacecraft but also applied alien technology to our own aircraft.



Sunset over the hillslope crash site in Texas.
Sunset over the suspected hill-slope crash site in Fresno. (Credit: Ben McGee)

Crash Location Difficulties, Part One

A struggle we faced while in the field during this episode was that of correctly identifying from a great distance the site of an alleged hillslope crash of a triangular craft, a very non-trivial task.  When we reached the slope and eyewitness testimony did not, to my eyes, appear to match the site landscape, I stressed the reality that orienteering is extremely difficult at a distance without firm landmarks. A tight schedule and approaching night didn’t help, either.

To the point: our sighting location from the witnesses’ house was three to five miles from the hillslope.  The reality, then, is that at a distance of three miles away, being just 10-degrees off in sighting a position (just under the width of a fist at arm’s length) equates to being nearly a half-mile off-target on the mountainside.  At five miles away, the same error equals being nearly a mile off-target on the hillside.  (Note: this is a potential error nearly 132 times the width of the alleged crashed craft!)

James did not necessarily agree with my view that we were off-target and, fighting sunlight, we took our best shot and ended up staying where we were, eventually ruling out that anything apparently unusual had occurred at that location, which became our survey site.  However, after we completed the survey, we brainstormed ways to verify right then and there where we actually were compared to where we wanted to be.  Which led to…


Fieldbook sketch of possible discrepancy between our field position and the eyewitness-sighted location of an alleged crashed triangular craft. (Credit: Ben McGee)

Crash Location Difficulties, Part Two – Flare Test

…A nighttime flare test!

Using high-intensity flares, Ryder and James highlighted the survey site location and paced off a distance approximating the size of the craft described, while I returned to the witnesses’ house to verify their location from afar using an infrared camera.

As I suspected, the test suggested that we were quite a ways to the north and a bit down-slope compared to where I think the witnesses described the alleged crash site.  While not necessarily conclusive, this helped to illustrate not only the harsh reality of navigating by sight in a world now dominated by GPS satellites and navigation software, but it also definitely indicated the possibility of future survey locations farther to the south.


Hydrological Structures
Drainage channel and flood control map highlighting the Big Dry Creek reservoir. (Credit: Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District)

Hydrological Structures

During our interview with Jeffrey Gonzalez of the Sanger Paranormal Society, Jeff suggested that several large, apparent flood control or tunnel projects near the San Joaquin Gorge and river system, such as the Big Dry Creek dam and reservoir, were actually covert in nature.  According to his allegation, they are far more expansive than they “need” to be and are used either to shield or contain experimental aircraft activities relating to restricted airspace to the north and east.

Being that I worked for multiple years as a front line hydrogeologist on large water resources projects, I am quite familiar with what composes usual or unusual hydrological structures.  Frankly, I will admit that many of these sorts of constructions appear over-engineered, and in the case of flood control features, typically sit empty.  This leads many to raise an eyebrow and allege that there is more going on than meets the eye.  However, an important point to make here is that these dams, berms, and levees are designed to manage “century floods,” or storms of such unusual intensity that they only happen once every hundred years or so.  Therefore, it’s actually a very good thing that they’re sitting empty – they stand ready to protect the population in the event of unexpected downbursts and flash floods, etc.

To this end, I suggested as our night investigation concluded that the tunnel Jeff and James described could have been a seal door or bulkhead/plug for an underground hydrology project – Proximity to the river was a big clue.

Indeed, with this in mind, the identification of the feature as a power supply tunnel from the hydroelectric Kerckoff No. 1 Powerhouse was not necessarily a surprise to me.  (Note the electrical hum audible during the time James/Jeff spend in the tunnel.)

But admittedly, the feature did look ominous!


Radiation Tester
Ben McGee poses with a radiation detector in the field. (Credit: NGT/Dave West)

Geiger Counters, Terminology, and Units!

As a science stickler and being that there is so much misinformation out there regarding radiation, I want to make a quick point about radiation equipment and scientific units that was a little befuddled in this, and other, episodes.

During the nighttime “tunnel” scene and in others, the radiation instrument James (and earlier, Ryder) is holder is referred to as a “Geiger Counter” – well, that isn’t technically correct.  While culturally the term is used as a catch-all to mean “radiation detector,” there are in reality multiple types of radiation detectors that do truly different things.  A so-called “Geiger counter” refers to one specific type of instrument – what we call a “count rate” meter – that typically uses a gas-filled Geiger-Mueller (G-M) tube in combination with electronic processing to literally count the number of radiation rays and particles traveling through it.  These meters deliver numbers with units of (unsurprisingly) radiation “counts-per-minute” and are good for detecting contamination, that is, radioactive material where you don’t want it.

This is different than the instrument depicted above which, while similar, has no “wand” as is typically seen with Geiger counters and uses an alternative detection method.  In this case, instead of a G-M tube, this instrument uses a scintillating sodium-iodide crystal and essentially measures the general radiation field as a human body experiences it, detecting only “rays” of radiation as opposed to heavier neutron, alpha or beta particles.  This produces readings in separate units, such as “microrem-per-hour,” and as such, these instruments are typically called “exposure meters” or “exposure ratemeters.”  These are good for getting a feel for the general strength of a radiation field in an area, not necessarily hunting for contamination.

Punchline: I just wanted to drive home that not all radiation meters are Geiger Counters, and depending on the type of detection method your meter uses, can measure fundamentally different things with separate ultimate purposes.

Just How “Bad” Was the Radiation in the Mystery San Joaquin Tunnel?

Now, with the above clarifications in mind, the background radiation numbers James is reading off in the tunnel in this episode are in microR/hr.  Natural background radiation levels on Earth tend to hover from 10-20 microR/hr.  However, to put these numbers in context, light radiation sickness doesn’t begin until a person is exposed to levels upwards of 50,000,000 (that’s fifty-million) microR/hr.

So, while James and Jeff expressed concern at the increased background radiation level of 35 microR/hr, up from about 15, this is merely geologically-intriguing, as natural radioactive material in the surrounding rock is the likely culprit.  A level of 35 microR/hr is still more than a million times less than the radiation intensity that would pose an imminent danger to them.

So, while I did tell James and Jeff that ordinary background radiation levels hovered around 15 microR/hr, their interpreting that to mean that “Ben said anything over 15 would be not good” was something of a misstatement.  They could likely have lived out the rest of their lives in the tunnel and not suffered any detectable health effects due to the increase in radiation!


Fresno-Yosemite Airport in Fresno, CA.
Fresno-Yosemite Airport in Fresno, CA. (Credit: Ben McGee)

Fresno Yosemite Int’l Airport and Lights in the Sky

A reality of television is that sometimes sequences are displayed in a different order than they were shot.  Our nighttime sky-watching excursion at the perimeter of the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport, which is also home to the California Air Nat’l Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing, was such a case.

While the existence of the base was not revealed until later on in the episode, we actually utilized the presence of the military facility during our “stake-out” to collect a library of footage of air traffic in the region, both military and civilian, for the purposes of comparing to witness “sightings” videos.

With this in mind, our survey was a complete success, as we were able to capture footage not only of the International Space Station and Jupiter with the Galilean moons but also of multiple types of government and commercial aircraft from oblique or unusual angles.  In many cases, these appeared to be strange, occasionally silent, triangular-shaped craft much like what were being described in the area.

Final Thoughts

As I am given to repeat, the assumptions underlying extraordinary claims, such as our basic ability to interpret or reverse-engineer alien technology, are worthy of serious scrutiny.  In scientifically seeking the truth to any fantastic allegation, one must resist the temptation (if one can) to jump to conclusions, and one must be dogged and relentless about ruling against conventional explanations first, yet still keep an eye out for what I like to call the “option D.”  It sounds counter-intuitive, but bias goes both ways.  While I do believe that less exotic explanations will likely be found for most if not all unexplained sightings, in the grand scheme preconceptions about extraterrestrial visitation it might actually be too simple and unfairly limit our thoughts on the matter.

I like to remind people of the possibility of true discovery: That relative to any phenomena that persistently appear to be unexplained, the universe could actually be stranger than we have yet imagined.

Semper Exploro!

Ben McGee


Ben McGee is a member of the Chasing UFOs team.  A true skeptic by nature, Ben is Chasing UFOs’ resident scientist. 

Get to know Ben and the rest of the Chasing UFOs team, Fridays at 10P et/pt. And be sure to check back to the blog Friday night for Ben’s post-show wrap-up.


  1. Bob
    Fredericksburg, tx
    June 30, 2012, 11:42 am

    What a waist of time for NG. You surly do not believe in UFO’s. Why would the team search in the dark among the trees looking like they are searching for Big Foot not UFO’s. The complete program is a scam and you know it. Your program should be more sciencetific than this. You are just looking for ratings not real answers.

  2. Buster Brown
    Northern California
    June 30, 2012, 12:56 pm

    I can’t express the disapointment I feel after watching “Chasing UFO’s.” I was hoping that the NG channel would produce something wasn’t over dramatized to the point that it distracts from the evidenc or the facts. I do belive in UFO, but the way it is presented it come under the heading of fanciful deception.

  3. Snake Plissken
    June 30, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Very entertaining. You are looking in the wrong place. I helped build the roads in and out of the levy system you were standing on top of. Did you notice the towers on top of the mountains to the north? I have been up there. They are not regular transmission towers. Get on Copper Ave and go due east. You will come to a gate. We built a road going east behind the levy. We were warned not to “get off the road we were building at any time” the story is that the area has an endangered species of some animal that we might disturb, I never did beleive that story. Anyway you need to go further up Hwy 168 until you get to the Dinky Creek Road. Turn right. Just stay on that road until it ends. There you will find a huge tunnel with a gate in front of it. It See things there.

  4. Marcus Warren
    Houston, Texas
    June 30, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Wow…What a disappointing show. Why do you feel the need to sensationalize events that really don’t require the phony build-up and :Blair Witch” nonsense that were displayed in this so called UFO sightings tell all? Also, lose the “twenty somethings” that detract from the credibility of the subject and the show. With NatGeo involved with this show I would have expected more and certainly an in depth interview process of the witnesses instead of the superficial once over given by the poorly selected “Stars” of the show. Good concept but wrong people that have NO Credibility.

  5. Mike
    June 30, 2012, 4:25 pm

    I would like to know why the UFO Chasers did not chase the UFO Rider captured on video on the first show. If you are going to chase them to get answers then do it. No pussy footing around. Stop showing stupid stuff and let’s get to the bottom of the UFO issue.

  6. […] For those who might like to delve more deeply into (or simply know more about the science behind) the second episode of National Geographic’s TV series “Chasing UFOs,” including industrial archaeology, cargo cults, radioactive tunnels, and orienteering troubles, check it out! […]

  7. Cory
    Dallas TX
    June 30, 2012, 7:11 pm

    What would I tell an alien being if we met face to face:

    I want my check ride….

    And then I would present my log to the FAA for the additional rating of a gravity propulsion craft.

    Commercial Pilot, Aircraft, Land, Instrument, Multi-Engine, Gravity Propulsion Craft

  8. James
    Bremerton, WA
    June 30, 2012, 9:19 pm

    I know that the major airports may not comply but, have you ever offered a reward to air traffic controllers for reporting or texting you the longitude and latitude of radar hits, if you manage to gather any footage.

  9. Daniel Hernandez
    June 30, 2012, 9:51 pm

    My exact thoughts exactly.. NatGeo, you’ve reached a new low.

  10. Robert Karandjeff
    June 30, 2012, 9:58 pm

    Nice, suspeseful music in the background. But, show me the goods. Am I missing something?

  11. zerof150
    bridgwater n.j.
    June 30, 2012, 10:07 pm

    i want to beleve

  12. Disappointed in Idaho
    June 30, 2012, 11:33 pm

    I have never been so disappointed in a Nat Geo show as I was with this series. I thought Nat Geo was all about exploration and discovery…not B rated “quackumentaries”. I certainly hope this is not the type of programming that you plan to go forward with. I rate this program 10 thumbs down.

  13. Lance
    July 1, 2012, 6:59 am

    While Ben McGee may find Dr. Beck’s salient points “haunting”, I’d suggest that her comparative examples and analysis were poor at the very least.
    1.) Rock art, or any art form for that matter, is a cultural phenomenon and extremely subjective. It’s completely open to interpretation (often intentionally) and based on whatever is rattling around in the artist’s mind. Technology is not quite so. It is tangible and can be tested. Metals conduct energy, circuits are laid in patterns, chips store data and all can be experimented on and eventually understood on some level. The ultimate use of a particular artifact may not be completely understood but basic principals and applications can be gleaned from an artifact be it of ancient human or recent extraterrestrial design.
    2.) Cargo cults are examples of two cultures at extreme polar opposites with the lesser advanced attempting to understand the more advanced. Assuming that humans ever find E.T.’s waterpick or his/her ipod and given that alien tech will be more advanced, we humans aren’t at the extreme end of the spectrum of knowledge as the WWII cargo cults were/are. Developed nations understand complex metallurgy, Newtonian physics and have mastered the atom. We wouldn’t be working with coconut shells and palm fronds. While alien tech might be beyond our current level of understanding, the physical laws of the universe and mathematics are (relatively) constant. 1+1 will always equal 2 and given that we would comprehend the principals behind an artifact even though we perhaps wouldn’t realize it’s a toothbrush. However we likely would likely figure out how to turn that toothbrush into a bomb.

    I think Ben and Colleen are selling human ingenuity a little short and for all anyone knows for sure someone in a hidden bunker is eating lunch in a reverse engineered craft laughing it up. Or not. Either way, I don’t find anything in this article haunting or even spooky for that matter.

  14. eagle
    July 1, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Chasing UFO. What has happen to Natgeotv? UFO are not happening. My question is always been why would a highly intelligence aliens be taken cattle cut it up then toss back out. There enough books that the aliens can be down load from our computers telling any aliens all they need to know. Next why so many cattle? Our science can get more information with nano cell than those aliens can get with 10,000 cattle. Stop wasting TV time over hocus-pocus, It’s been said if you tell a lie often and long enough it be come true. That how UFO become true.

  15. Steve
    Melbourne, FL.
    July 1, 2012, 2:51 pm

    As a skeptical scientist do you always go into these investigations with predetermined “answers” to what you may be looking for? Are you a true skeptic which to me means that if presented with unusual evidence, you still will have the capacity to at least consider a possibility of something different?

    It does seem you all have a small, tight schedule, so do you really have enough time to seriously investigate sightings?

    All in all, good first 2 shows. Like the 3 of you together. Could lose some of the potty mouth though. Would bring more professionalism.

  16. b
    July 4, 2012, 4:27 am

    hi again ypur team interviewed me back in janurary at the front gate of th fighter wing in fresno and you also showed me standing guard at the gate in yoour episode….. just to comment i have worked out there for six years and have never seen anything to suggest an underground base. or aliens or ufos. possibly ghosts but thats all….as for your team hopping fences into the airport and trying to film our stuff i assure you we take our jobs very seriously and so does fresno pd who patrol the airport. the reason for such security is obvious at an airport,…and the reason for secrecy on base is due to our mission as the west coast air defense. the show is ok in my opinion however a little too crazy and hyped up but hey its tv. thanks for putting me on tv lol

  17. Art
    Napa, CA
    July 5, 2012, 3:01 am

    Show stinks! It totally ripped off the “Finding Bigfoot” format from Animal Planet and is completely “produced” with fake scenes and dialog. For example, in the “Dirty Secrets” episode, Ryder supposedly is stuck after entering the air base with people in front of her. She ducts back behind something to hide herself when the next shot is from the viewpoint of the people she is trying to avoid showing her ducking back behind the structure. Yep, the cameraman was in between her and the people she was trying to avoid. Oops!

    I was hoping that having National Geographic “stamp” on this show would mean that it was a serious educational show, but it is a farce and a waste of time. I was also hoping is would be something as serious as Ancient Aliens, UFO Files or at least like UFO Hunters. Even Star Trek is more real than this show. Also, why is Chasing UFO’s covering old and already well documented events that every UFO enthusiast has already seen covered by the more serious UFO TV shows? There are plenty of fresh events to cover. It’s like watching a TV news show covering the news from last week. Fire the intern who approved this show!

  18. Keith Kolb
    Western USA
    July 8, 2012, 3:13 pm

    Just found this blog. Has the data that I wish was in the show. Hope Ben keeps on writing for those of us who want to see more analysis of the information and science based elements presented.

  19. Jaye Harding
    Los Angeles CA
    July 9, 2012, 8:30 am

    Questionable broadcast at the very least, there seemed to be what I will call the “usual format” for supposedly a science investigative research team seemingly based upon TV series “Decoded”, “UFO”, etc.: a believer, skeptic, and “show me” individual in the trios.

    During the questioning of the couple who witnessed an object above their home, why did the interviewer ask the husband if he thought the object was, “extraterrestrial”? I found the question very leading in which he correctly seemed reluctant to respond. However, if the question had been, “Did he think the object was a “UFO?”, he would have more than likely would have identified his discovery as being exactly that until correctly identified.

    Most importantly: why didn’t you comment about the incidence of the surveillance station wagon during the hill examination, the fleeing “White Truck” during the scene at Dry Creek Reservoir, and what the team thought about these incidences in this piece?

    Sadly this not at all what I would expect from National Geographic, and was very disappointing to say the least: a blemish to their credibility as far as I’m concerned.

  20. Dave Vanian
    July 10, 2012, 7:12 am

    Ep-2: Rappelling at night… What a bunch of Maroons
    Ep-1 They go out at night to search the Texas skies for ??? They’re in a nice wide-open clearing. Seemingly perfect for watching the heavens, BUT NO, they for some reason, go stomping around through the brush pretending to be re-enacting the Blair Witch movie. CLASSIC!
    What a bunch of idiots!
    This series is so bad, it’s actually entertaining to watch. These guys make the Three Stooges look sharp. lol

  21. onefeather
    western USA
    July 11, 2012, 3:51 pm

    Anything that holywood and t.v. puts on you have to know that it is not the Whole Truth, how can anyone believe what these shows/news say’s. If there was a show with No hype, No drama and just the facts and truth it would not be allowed to be produced on T.V. how sad.

  22. Ross
    July 12, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe National Geographic has sunk to this low level. I don’t know if they care about their brand or memberships but I don’t think this garbage can do much to help the Society out. I for one will consider letting my membership slide. There isn’t enough room on the web for me to list all the things wrong with this show so I will just pick one thing. On the episode where they searched for the secret UFO base in Fresno they were acting like they were being watched, followed, etc. What did they do? Did they confront those following them? No, they hid under trees and behind bushes, and were somehow able to escape the Men In Black. Oh my! What are they affraid of? There are cameras watching them. If they were taken away by the big bac conspiracy we would know about it and it would be proved to exsist. If the conspiracy wass real this show wouldn’t even be on the air. According to this show every white van is following them. Our Men In Black are pretty easy to see aren’t they; not real masters of survveillance huh? That is how so many of these conspiracies are: “There is a vast and clever conspiracy that the world can’t see, but I can. Just listen to me.” From the looks of this show this will be its only season. We can get back to real TV and maybe find someone a little skeptical and the UFO crowed can get back to work on their tinfoil hats.

  23. TheWatcher
    Fresno, CA
    July 13, 2012, 5:50 pm

    I saw the Fresno UFO show. Lets get down to it. Some things are out there to misguide US, to look in another directions. Some websites are out there so agencies can watch and track those of US who have seen what the Government is doing.
    I’ve seen up close a Huge, Silent, Airborne craft above the 180 freeway, right at the Temperence Exit. I was working night shift right at the exit, happened to look up at 3am and saw this just floating there, with a slight cloud around it, on a clear night. No noise and then it took off slowly towards NORAD at the airport. Then a military helicopter flew over 5 mins later.
    And, have had the “White Van” right outside my house.
    It’s Governmental people! So, that the government has something we blame mutilations on, and abductions on.
    As long as we believe something else is “ALWAYS” out there then it’s NOT them doing all the terrible things it does.
    And, the spraying, chem-trails, the Barium (metal in it), is for the magnetic energy and soundless flight, plus it makes it harder to see the gov’t. instilations from satelite. (parden the spelling for fast typing). Some Crop circles done from satelites with computer programs for the intriquit designs, these are all part of government testing of technology they are working on.
    I do believe in alien lifeform, that is where we are getting our technology, but the government is trying to perfect it.
    I have pictures people. And, I’m sure the gov’t is watching this site too. So, I’m sure to keep seeing the “White Vans” still.
    Gov’t has labs too they try and perfect biological viruses to use for whatever they want. Take out a “Group” that they want out.
    Tip: Don’t eat Chicken and don’t drink milk.

  24. Brendan Fitzgerald
    lake Elsinore,California
    July 13, 2012, 6:15 pm

    This is just a show to watch for entertainment and fun its not
    Legitimate to me. I think that they just move around a camera on a plane at night and then here some sort of animal and think its extraterrestrial. The whole show is over-dramatized and just a viewer scam and not a real UFO hunting show would not recommend wasting your time to watch this.

  25. Chris
    July 15, 2012, 9:36 am

    Can only just echo previous comments really. I was excited to find a new UFO hunter show, especially as there hadn’t been one for a couple of years. This left me hoping that recent/less covered sightings would be investigated, however it seems that is not the case.

    It’s obvious why they do everything at night, like metal detecting and abseiling, to try and make a show with nothing to report slightly more dramatic. This would be much more interesting if Ben made some of these points he makes on this blog in the show and there was an actual debate as to what is happening at each individual ufo site.

    The most reidiculus part of the show has to be those head cams – getting rid of these clips would probably give the show another 10 minutes they could fill with something which is worthwhile watching.

    I assume this series is supposed to be run for 20 episodes, however if it continues on this track i will be surprised to see it surpass 10.

    Only 4 episodes have been aired and i would suggest the producer re-edits the remaining shows before the plug gets pulled on this.

  26. Arthur
    NYC, NY
    July 18, 2012, 12:44 am

    What an awful, putrid series.

    The National Geographic Channel is owned (majority stake) by Fox Cable Networks, a subsidiary of New Corp., the Rupert Murdoch organization entangled in the current phone hacking and corruption scandal.

    The company that produces this show, Ping Pong Productions, is co-owned by two partners with backgrounds in “reality TV,” including the Jerry Springer show (…vomit…) and “Finding Bigfoot.”

    So, doe anyone expect, from notorious, multinational media corporations controlled by neo-conservatives, in association with production companies with tawdry backgrounds in “reality TV” shows appealing to the basest of instincts, or the lowest common denominator of demographics, any kind of objective, realistic, or empirically-based programming?

    Get over it — shows like these are all about the money, sensationalism, yellow “journalism,” ratings, and what can only be called “disinfotainment.”

    James Fox, in particular, and Ben McGee, should be ashamed to be associated with the puerile, absurd, and deceptive antics illustrated by this series. But, they’re sticking with it, despite some belated rationalizations that they say indicate they were mislead by the show’s direction and nature by the producers of this program.

    The fact is, they have sold out, and this will not be forgotten. Yeah, they may make a few bucks doing this, but the cost to their public reputations in the long run will be immense.

    “Chasing UFOs” is simply crap, tawdry sensation, lies, and cheap filler for money. All associated with it should be ashamed, but then that would require a conscience and some ethics, which all concerned apparently do not have.

    Shame on National Geographic for foisting this steaming plate of putrid garbage on the public. But then, NatGeo has NEVER producted a program, show, article, or documentary that didn’t attempt to ridicule, dismiss, and deny there’s anything genuine to the actual UFO phenomenon. They just don’t care–it’s all about the almighty dollar, and if that means lying and screwing people over, well, that’s just normal for folks like this.

  27. Barakus
    July 19, 2012, 12:58 am

    This is the worst TV show I have ever seen, granted I don’t watch all that much TV. UFO Hunters was okay, it had problems here and there, or at least I thought that until I saw Chasing UFOs.

    I hope James fix saves what’s left of his reputation among people who care about this subject and leaves the show.

    This has to be a conspiracy…

  28. Stevie
    July 19, 2012, 11:45 pm

    @ Arthur, I agree with your estimation regarding the informational value, credibility, and motives of this production.

    After watching two episodes, there is an abundant amount of evidence that the producers and the crew are willing to manufacture evidence and events to further enhance the sensationalism of the show. Allow me to give one good instance of this:

    In the second episode, when the crew claimed they were being “tracked” by the van at night while scouring the mountain for evidence. If you can, I suggest you take a look at the van purported to be tracking them, and then compare it to the van the crew drives around in. It’s the same car! The same colour! A complete sham, made even worse when their ridiculous face-cams capture their feigned expressions of shock.

    That is not the only incidence of dramatic artifice, but I won’t spoil the fun by pointing them out to you. Further, how can James Fox continue to call himself a UFOlogist after allowing such a farce to go on, while supporting said farce with jaw dropping face-cam expressions? James Fox, he’ll no longer have any credibility after this joke of a series has ended — I hope it was worth the money.

  29. Rob Fox
    Durham, NC
    July 21, 2012, 8:54 pm

    The show is excellent, highly entertaining, and though it may be a little soft on science it has sex appeal. Thank you Ryder for that.

    Now the dynamic trio merely need to catch one of those little space critters and torture it until it gives us a cure for cancer, provides us with an energy source that will last forever and won’t ruin the planet, and replaces our dysfunctional religious beliefs with a space alien version of God over which we won’t feel the need to kill ourselves.

  30. Jessica Loo-Muncill
    September 3, 2012, 4:41 am

    I think the show is generally interesting and entertaining. This episode was quite revealing up until the last segment where Ryder was creeping around the airport. I’m sorry, but FAT isn’t Area 51. There may be UFOs in Fresno, but it seems SILLY to me to creep around the local airport like it’s some top secret facility….scaling the fence, hiding, darting around. I realize this is Hollywood, but really….the episode would have been much better without this last segment.

  31. […] surveys in this and other episodes.  As was also the case during our Fresno FLIR investigation (“Dirty Secrets”), the logic behind such surveys is that impacts or other terrain disturbances often affect the […]

  32. Bongo Kongo
    September 30, 2012, 10:26 pm

    This is just as sad to see as Destination Truth where thy in every episode “almost” get a answer, but never do.

    The acting in this show is also pretty sad to see. Wow.. Talk about making something out of nothing..

    And the airport scene… If a person with lights,cameras and suspicious behaviour would wander the ariport, the terror-alarm would go asap and they would be busted to find out who they are.. But nooooo… And one of the camera-angles when they film the woman almost getting caught by the guard is in the middle of the street ringt in front of the guards.. And they don’t even see him..

    Talk about making bad tv.. These people should never be on tv again.. And they remind me of the sad people with bad acting skills who worked on Brad Meltzer’s Decoded..

  33. reklahcs
    October 5, 2012, 10:01 pm

    Wow. I can’t believe that Nat Geo would make something this terrible. Scientific theory is just thrown out of the window.

  34. Jeff Pluim
    December 8, 2012, 2:44 am

    What BS. Trying to make a big drama out of nothing. If you want to actually understand how UFO’s can travel to Earth, then I will send you my paper explaining the truth about Faster Than Light Travel. I can prove it. Just request my paper at and I’ll email it to anyone. For non believers: E=MC^2(AeR) and E\=MC^2(AeV). So there.

  35. Sergio
    May 5, 2013, 9:42 am

    I was seeing the show, and thought to my self: why the f*** they need to be doing this at night (climbing; rtc). I thought they were changing ghosts, seriously. Hopefully I was not the only one thinking this.

    I think they made this show this way to turn ridiculous the investigation about UFO. Actually, when we have sure that UFO are out there, this programs are not necessary anymore.