The NBC pander-of-the-month is Confirmation: The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us? (Wednesday, February 17; 8-10 p.m.), based on a book by Whitley Strieber whose title omitted the question-mark. Because Robert Davi (The Profiler) narrates, instead of, say, Tom Brokaw, it must be a production of NBC Entertainment, not NBC News. Still, while looking at grainy footage of weird lights, talking to people who say their eggs were fiddled with and their sperm sucked by big-eyed, fetal-shaped polliwogs, and listening to John Mack conduct a support-group therapy session, we’d do well to recall that Strieber wrote vampire fiction until his best-selling abduction by aliens, just as L. Ron Hubbard never made any serious money until he invented a religion.
Well, as Lily Tomlin put it, what is reality but a collective hunch? My suspicion is that the anomalies we see at night are likely to be Stealth bombers, Blackbird drones, whale-shaped flying Shamus, and red darters and magnesium flares dropped by test pilots to decoy heat-seeking missiles. That our anxious fantasies of abduction and sexual abuse are an amalgam of millennial heebie-jeebies, displaced folklore, fear of freakdom, erotomania, and religious anguish. Not to neglect sleep paralysis, temporal-lobe lesions, overmedication, designer drugs, seasonal affective disorder, bad workplace ergonomics, the unbearable lightness of American being, frequent flying, and the blue meanies. On the other hand, I could be lying to you.