The US premiere at 10 PM Eastern tonight on the Science Channel of the Discovery Canada series 'Close Encounters' will include a test of a concept designed to engage the target demographic: a live twitter sit-in by UFO expert Chris Rutkowski, centered on #CloseEncounters @ScienceChannel. The series is part of a week-long 'Are We Alone?' event on the Science Channel.
The Close Encounters series is a form of primary education into the UFO Phenomenon aimed primarily at younger demographic, one adept at tweeting and watching simultaneously. Each episode in the series gives a thumbnail sketch of two significant cases with commentary from two investigators for each case interwoven with recreations of the events reported.
Thus there is no time to go into the kind of excruciating detail that can emerge from a significant multi-witness case, such as the Kecksburg incident or the March 13, 1997 series of sightings across the state of Arizona.
However a tweet stream can contain links to more comprehensive information, to be followed up at the interest of the viewer. A spokesman for Science Channel said that the experts can expect hard questions looking for solid evidence, given the focus of the channel on science rather than paranormality.
Erin Ruberry an Interactive Producer for Science Channel, is enthused about the potential of the simu-tweet-cast format. Ruberry says "We’re looking forward to having experts join the conversation with viewers around #CloseEncounters on Twitter. Ufologist Chris Rutkowski will be live tweeting on Tuesday, March 4, so we’re excited to have a robust back-and-forth between him and the audience."
You can view the broadcast on Science Channel tonight at 10 ET, beginning with "Blind Date and Flying House" an episode that illustrates two cases:
BLIND DATE: NOVEMBER 2, 1971 – 16-year-old Ron Johnson is feeding the family sheep when he suddenly sees a mushroom- shaped object appearing in the field. As he moves in to get a closer look, he is blinded by the glowing light emitted from the object. After he regains his vision, Ron races back to his family house to alert his Mother and Father, Erma and Durel. They see the object as it disappears and then discover a glowing ring on the ground.
FLYING HOUSE: JANUARY 5, 2000 – Three police officers from a number of small towns in southern Illinois track an unknown object flying in the sky. As they maintain radio contact with each other, they describe the object being as large as a house, triangular in shape and traveling at treetop level at varying speeds. Dozens of other witnesses come forward and report seeing the same object in the sky that night.
A preview of the Flying House segment can be seen at the Science Channel website.
At 10:30 Eastern, the series premiere continues with "Second Coming and Space Rock", which includes the well known but not well covered Cash-Landrum case and the Stephen Michalak encounter near Falcon Lake, Manitoba.
SECOND COMING: DECEMBER 29, 1980: Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and her grandson Colby are driving home after visiting a bingo hall in Dayton, Texas. On a country road, they encounter a large, diamond-shaped craft shooting fire out of its base. The heat is so intense it melts the vinyl of their vehicle’s dashboard. They report seeing at least a dozen military helicopters in pursuit of the object. All three suffer physical symptoms similar to radiation poisoning and spend a decade pressing the U.S. government for answers.
SPACE ROCK: MAY 20, 1967: Stephen Michalak is an amateur geologist in search of quartz in Falcon Lake, Manitoba. When he arrives at his prospecting site, Michalak encounters a disc- shaped metallic object, which lands yards away from him. He thinks he hears voices inside the craft, so he moves closer, assuming it is a secret military test vehicle. As Michalak touches the craft, it suddenly blasts off, burning his shirt and leaving permanent marks on his chest.
The twitter conversation will center on #CloseEncounters @ScienceChannel .
Facebook users can follow the series at https://www.facebook.com/ScienceChannel .
You can follow the Phoenix UFO Examiner on Twitter @PHXUFOExaminer and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LarryLowe .