Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Isabel, you are going to feel very silly when this turns out to be make-believe.

According to a report in yesterday’s Daily Torygraph Telegraph the Earth is steadily becoming invisible to aliens. Basically the idea is that as we hurtle ever so quickly towards a complete digital switchover from analogue, less radiation is produced and thus the earth becomes harder to detect externally. Says Dr Frank Clarke, founder of Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, “The actual amount of radiation escaping is about two watts, not much more than you get from a cell phone. If this continues into the future, very soon our world will become undetectable.”

So two things immediately spring to mind. One, aliens or no aliens, isn’t less radiation a good thing? I mean if life has taught me anything it’s that unless you’re a comic book character radiation isn’t really all that good for one’s health (Gee Note: On the other hand if you are a comic book character feel free to go buck wild with radiation. Seriously, not only will it get you the girls, but it will also give you the power to bench press some nerds). Secondly, has anyone told Danny Dyer about this?

Last night BBC 3 aired it’s latest instalment of “I Believe In…”. Basically the concept of this fabulously bizarre programme is getting a Z-list celebrity to admit they believe in things like the chupacabra for example, and then follow them around as they fail miserably at trying to prove it exists. Last weeks premiere was “I Believe In Ghosts” hosted by Joe Swash, an out of work actor with a slightly annoying cockney accent. Sadly the best moment over the entire hour came in the first 30 seconds of the show, where Joe spoke directly to the camera and said “What do I fink ghosts are? I fink they’re dead people’s spirits.” (Gee Note: As opposed to what? People wearing sheets on their heads going “Oooooo”? I mean, c'mon now.).

The beeb followed up this undoubted triumph with “I Believe in UFOs” hosted by Danny Dyer, an out of work actor with a slightly annoying cockney accent (Gee Note: You may have spotted a pattern here). Except Dyer isn’t just any old actor who'll occasionally appears in “B” movies that even Vinnie Jones would feel were beneath him. Nuh uh Jack, Danny boy is also a stand alone television personality in his own right, presenting shows with titles like “Danny Dyer’s Top 20 Violent Psychopaths” and “Danny Dyer’s Britain’s Sexiest Hedgehog”. So you would think that where Swash failed as far as presenting goes, to Danny it should be like riding a log. Or falling off a bike. You know, easy peasy.

So you can imagine my surprise when 30 seconds in to the programme Dyer came out with this little gem.

Now I know there’s some cynics out there that fink that UFO spotters are complete raving lunatics. You know the idea of us being visited by aliens from another planet, you know there’s more chance of me becoming Prime Minister! But is believing in somefink that most other people find ridiculous really that stupid?

Well, when you put it like that… yes. Yes it is stupid. I mean it’s a bit like saying “Some think people who jump off cliffs and flap their arms expecting to fly are crazy. But are they?”. Well of course they are. And believing in UFOs just for the sake of believing in them is also pretty stupid. I mean it’s one thing to interested in the phenomenon and to study it in depth. But it’s another thing to think "intelligent alien life forms must be whizzing around our skies because it would be soooooo cool if they were".

Anyway Danny starts his journey by going to visit the king of kings, Sir Patrick Moore. For overseas readers who may not be familiar with Moore, Sir Patrick is one of the finest human beings ever to have lived. An amateur astronomer primarily, since 1957 he has hosted The Sky At Night for the BBC, making him the world record holder as the longest serving television presenter. Moore is also an accomplished, self taught, Xylophone player and composer, as well as authoring several non-fiction and science fiction books. And he wears a monocle. Really the only way he could be more awesome is if he was made out of chocolate and LSD.

(Gee Note: Here’s a video of Sir Patrick Moore being interviewed by Brian May of Queen fame. How or why this happened I have no idea. But for some reason it did. You know, like Mel Gibson calling a female cop “sugar tits” or agreeing to make "Signs" even after he read the script. Or Tiger Woods finding anyone to have sex with his goofy ass, let alone the 5000 women suggested by the tabloids. Why these things happened no one knows. All three mysteries of the universe my friends. Mysteries of the universe).

So Danny arrives at Moore’s home to find Sir Patrick drinking wine out of a mug while watching a game of cricket (Gee Note: See? I told you this guy was brilliant. Screw the fact that there’s a camera crew coming around. This is Pat’s special time, ya dig. By the way the future ex-Mrs. Davies always shouts at me when I drink wine out of a mug, complaining it stains the ceramic. Which is true, but then A) I’m too lazy to wash up the wine glasses and B) if it’s good enough for Sir Patrick Moore then it’s sure as Betsy good enough for me), and dives headfirst in to his interview.

DYER: Do you believe, erm, there is intelligent life in the universe?

MOORE: Yes. There are a hundred thousand million stars in our galaxy. We can see a thousand million galaxies. So in these galaxies there must be many planets where life could appear.

DYER: See this is the fing. There has to be, mate. It’s a ridiculous idea that there can’t be.

The interview continuous in a similar vain with Sir Patrick talking a lot of sense and Danny agreeing with him in the most ludicrously blokey fashion, until Dyer has to mosey off and meet some crop circle enthusiasts. First he meets a bunch of nutbars eccentrics who are investigating a local crop circle, convinced it was them ET’s wot done it. Then he heads down to a local pub where he meets a group of guys who claim that they are responsible for the geometric shapes in the farmer’s yard.

And it actually highlights an issue with Danny’s style when it comes to investigative journalism. The problem is that he tends to believe the last thing that he’s told. He walks away from the eccentrics believing that aliens are landing their spaceships willy nilly all over Britain’s fields. Then after leaving the bar it appears he’s all turned around on the subject, seemingly persuaded that dudes with large boards attached to their feet are responsible.

It’s a problem that raises it’s head later on in the documentary when Dyer goes to meet Stan Romanek in the good ol’ US of A. Now Stan Romanek is either an outright shyster or the unluckiest sumbitch walking the face of this planet, depending on who you believe. Made famous by an appearance on Larry King Live, Romanek claims to have had over 100 encounters with UFO’s and extra terrestrial beings. One of these is the infamous “Peeping Tom” alien video which shows an apparent other worldly being playing peek-a-boo outside his living room window. It’s the jewel in Stan’s little green crown, and has reportedly made him a pretty penny.

After spending about 5 hours sifting through Romanek’s evidence, most of which involves Stan himself as either the victim of some type of alien pervert or the target of a government conspiracy, Dyer is shown in the street immediately after leaving Romanek’s property.

I cannot believe what I’ve just witnessed wiv my own eyes. Some of the shit he’s just shown me in there is unbelievable. He’s got evidence of aliens poking their head around the facking window ‘aving a pipe at him.

Then a few days later.

This what I struggle with. Stan’s got an agent right, an agent, and he want fifty fousand dollars for the footage.

The latter statement is delivered by an obviously disgruntled Danny looking mean and moody in a leather jacket. Still not one to deny us a happy ending, the show does end on a high note. Quite literally as it happens.

Danny voyages out to Washington to the Sattva Sanctuary, run by James Gilliland. The sanctuary is basically a hove for bonkers hippies who think UFOs come in and out of a door in a mountain. Danny is invited to take part in a meditation session where people stretch, wail, and generally look a wee bit daft. In yet another talking head interview an obviously stoned Danny is left to muse “You go in to yourself, cos you’ve gotta hold your position and all you’ve got is your brain, and your facking thoughts, and for me that’s not necessarily a good fing.”. (Gee Note: Um… yeah I have no idea what he means either). Regardless whatever it was seemed to have worked, as thanks to some hi-tech night vision camera’s Danny finally manages to spot a UFO. Not just one mind you, but five in one night. Remarkable. So remarkable in fact Double D celebrated the sighting by exclaiming “That is a facking UFO”.

So there by the grace of God goes “I Believe In UFOs”. And, amazingly, I enjoyed every second of it. Oh sure Danny Dyer isn’t exactly John Keel or Nick Pope when it comes to level headed, serious discussions about extra terrestrial life. But he did seem genuinely enthusiastic about his cause, as well as having a boyish charm and what seems to be a nice way about him. His accent is still bloody annoying though.

Mind it would only be fitting to leave you with the final words of the man himself.

Where there’s belief, there’s hope. And that’s the one thing that keeps all these guys going. And I hope one day, in my heart of hearts, they’ll be proved right.

You know if there is intelligent life beyond the stars I hope they have a Danny Dyer of their very own. And if not, maybe we could send them ours as a gesture of good faith?

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