Granted, some of the subjects interest me more than others, but that’s usually only because I haven’t heard enough about some of the rarer ones. Once I do, I tend to embrace them as strongly as I do the more mainstream entries; so hats off to longtime pundits and explorers like the late Art Bell, the brilliant scholar Joseph P. Farrell, and the award-winning Linda Moulton Howe for pushing so many disciplines into the light where – at the very least – regular folks are encouraged to talk about them. In fact, a good dialogue is the key to building an enlightened society; so it’s too bad that all of the social media talking heads do more to stifle conversation than they ever do to encourage it.
Thankfully, there’s a new voice that’s come to the fight: director John Yost has delivered a good documentary discussing the phenomenon of alien abduction. Rather than dramatize (or perhaps ‘overdramatize’ is a better choice) the specifics that experiencers have endured, he takes a measured, inspiring, and pragmatic approach to reviewing the lives of several who have found themselves on the receiving end of some alien (or other) attention … and the end result is even occasionally very moving.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last few paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
From the product packaging:
“The governments of the world cannot hide anymore than alien contact is happening. This is a film of what, why, and how it is occurring. Most importantly, it offers an answer to the question: where do we go from here?”
My bottom line: I’ve always believed that it’s wholly inaccurate to suggest that the topic of alien abduction isn’t about what one believes. Rather, one’s belief is extraordinarily central to any legitimate examination of it.
There’s always been a spiritual component to many of the phenomena associated with High Strangeness, and that’s largely owed to the fact that there’s so little proof. (I know, I know: hang with me, naysayers, because I’m not trying to debunk anything.) For example, if you’re of the mindset that human consciousness is the pinnacle of the mountain that is all of existence, then it’s rather easy for you to dismiss such occurrences using that foundation as your starting point. If, however, you’re open to the possibility that there are forces at work in the greater cosmos that defy our current capacity to know all that is knowable, then it isn’t difficult in the slightest to try to put these experiences into some framework that not only makes sense but also is believable.
Sadly, however, we’re a society that’s often predicated on what we can prove, not so much what we believe much less accept. While there’s an undeniable nobility in embracing the spiritual component to these affairs, the average Jack and Jill seem to be vastly more motivated by the sensationalism that’s missing from Yost’s documentary. They need to see those flying saucers themselves. They need to see the physical, the tangible evidence that definitively proves (beyond a reasonable doubt) that not only are we not alone but also we’re nowhere near the same level of technological sophistication. That gap between the ‘have experienced’ and the ‘have not experienced’ will likely always exist; and – as good as this doc might be – I don’t think it’s enough to push the trend in the other direction.
Also – and this is honestly only a personal reaction – I’ve grown tired with the whole Whitley Strieber story. It’s been out there for a few decades now; and – while I can appreciate it as being one of the abduction phenomenon’s defining moments – I just think the wider UFO community does itself little favors by pushing more of the same. Doing so really only emboldens skeptics who say, “Why have there been no other abductions of this significance since that time?” The truth of the matter is that perhaps there have been; the community’s inability to seek out and promote other fare will always hold it back. Again: it’s a small quibble … but it’s my job to raise them as that’s my day job, peeps.
Alien Abduction: Answers (2022) was produced by RYNO Pictures. DVD distribution (for this particular release) is being coordinated by Kino Lorber. As for the technical specifications? Again, I’m not a video expert, but I found the quality of the associated sights and sounds to be very, very good on the disc. As for the special features? Alas … not a single one. Sigh.
The verdict? Recommended, but with a caveat ...
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m a huge supporter of efforts not so much of getting to the bottom of all things paranormal but more so of having an educated dialogue on the subject … but a bit too much of Alien Abduction: Answers felt more like a bloated advertisement for the wide, wide world of Whitley Strieber instead of a constructive conversation about ‘where do we go from here?’ Yeah, yeah, yeah: I get that he’s likely the planet’s resident authority on the phenomenon, and kudos to the man for his continued willingness to speak up. I just didn’t hear enough substantive information beyond the obvious, and that’s a miss. The end result is that this is a good 90 minutes for folks uninitiated into the subject matter but probably not so much for diehards like me. Just being honest.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Kino Lorber and Virgil Films provided me with a complimentary DVD of Alien Abduction: Answers by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.