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WHATEVER YOUR STANCE on the debate surrounding the existence of aliens, you can’t deny that recent developments have reset the playing field. We wouldn’t say that plenty of believers aren’t fond of a tin foil hat, but until now, those that claim to have been abducted or to have had encounters with extra-terrestrials have been labelled conspiracy theorists at best, and genuinely insane at worst. But new revelations have proven the doomsayers to actually be harbingers of truth.

The existence of aliens has always been a possibility. Although, our world already has enough problems without adding a potential outer-spatial threat into the mix, so perhaps that’s why it’s easier to ignore the evidence rather than embrace it. Now, that evidence is becoming harder and harder to cast aside as just another crackpot’s ramblings, as the US government has all but confirmed what sci-fi films have been telling us for years: We’re not alone.

In July, a former American intelligence officer and two fighter pilots testified in a congressional hearing concerning extra-terrestrial encounters. The whistleblowers made a series of mystifying claims, the foremost of which came from former US Air Force intelligence officer David Grusch, who insisted that the US government knows more about UAP’s (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) than they’re letting on.

Grusch testified that the US government has been running a “multi-decade UAP crash retrieval and reverse-engineering program” and that “non-human biologics” had been recovered from UAP’s. First of all, wow. Secondly, when did we ditch the term UFO? UAP just doesn’t have the same ring to it. And that acronym already belongs to Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party—which opens up a whole other can of worms.

The public’s interest in aliens has translated into a long line of Hollywood films delving into all things extra-terrestrial. From the classic Alien franchise to family favourite E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, audiences sure are fascinated by life beyond planet earth.

Most space films take the form of sci-fi flicks that are presented as far-off fantasies rather than accurate interpretations. In line with recent revelations, Encounters will soon be coming to Netflix, and will take a more facts-based, first-hand approach to otherworldly phenomena.

What do we know about ‘Encounters’?

With the latest developments reigniting debate over alien life, it’s no surprise that Netflix is jumping on the extra-terrestrial bandwagon (maybe mothership would be more appropriate) to add fuel to the fire.

Encounters is a four-part documentary series from Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Television, that will be available on Netflix next month. The series will explore several supposed alien encounters from a first-hand perspective, featuring interviews with scientists and military personnel.

According to Deadline, each episode will have a specific focus, ranging from “strange lights in the sky over small-town Texas and submersible space craft’s haunting a coastal Welsh village, to an alien encounter with schoolchildren in Zimbabwe, and non-human intelligence reportedly interfering with a nuclear power plant in Japan.”

How is Steven Spielberg connected to ‘Encounters’

Steven Spielberg is no stranger to alien exploits. The legendary filmmaker masterminded E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and War of the Worlds, even Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull took an otherworldly turn. His new project is a return to form but while Encounters has been produced by Spielberg’s company, the auteur is not directing the series. That responsibility has fallen Yon Motskin. Spielberg was still involved in production though.

When can you watch ‘Encounters’?

Netflix will launch the four-part Encounters docu-series on September 27. Until then, it might be worthwhile revisiting some extra-terrestrial classics to restoke the fire of alien fascination—although 2001: A Space Odyssey now seems far more fitting than Star Wars.

For real though, are Alien’s actually real?

At the end of the day, we aren’t alien experts, and as a men’s magazine we’re in no position to confirm whether aliens really exist. However, just consider the size of the universe for a second. Now think about how many planets are out there. In an endless sea of floating rocks, it would almost be naïve to obstinately conclude that our rock is the only one that can support life. Then again, we’ve already got enough things to worry about, do we really need to add alien encounters to our list of concerns? Ignorance is bliss after all.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial | Universal Pictures


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