The Phenomenon (James Fox, 2020, USA)

James Fox's The Phenomenon is certainly one of the best documentaries of its kind. Relying entirely on archival footage and interviews, the film essentially provides an overview of the history of UFOs (or as they are now known - unidentified aerial phenomena) since the 1940s. The focus is primarily on the US, although the film does also look at several cases internationally, including Australia, Ukraine, the UK, and the famous Ariel School UFO incident in Zimbabwe. For those who have only a minor curiosity in the subject of UFOs, The Phenomenon is a good introduction to the phenomenon. 

The film provides an excellent of the UFO paranoia that truly exploded in the United States in the 1950s. Perhaps not coincidentally, this surprising rise in the number of UFO sightings coincided with the beginning of nuclear testing in the US. The film posits that these alien spacecraft may have been sending probes to assess the situation on Earth, once they discovered that we had nuclear weapons. The film also provides a good overview of "Project Blue Book", the US government's first organized investigation into the UFO phenomenon, as well as its eventual disbandment. 

Moving to the present day, The Phenomenon begins to explore the more recent disclosures from the Pentagon, including video, about UFO phenomena. These are by far the most credible stories, given the video evidence accompanying them. Still, this film is really for believers only. The film unfortunately does not devote any time to refuting UFOs, are providing more plausible and evidence-based explanations for these stories and videos. It would be great to hear both sides of the argument surrounding UFOs. This skeptic is still not convinced. Hopefully, there will one day be a more objective documentary surrounding the UFO phenomenon that takes a look at hard evidence and the facts.


7/10

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