Friday, November 19, 2010

"Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" Reviewed

(Above: FAKED! Debunked with a couple of regular party balloons)

(Shake weight tested and proven FACT!)

It's my favorite time of the week, when I get to talk about last night's episode of FoF and give ya'all a little quiz to be sure you were watching.

The Hawaii Ghost Girl and the Australian Mermaid were the cases they chose. I was a bit surprised by the mermaid one. It smacked of SyFy sensationalism. They have a policy to not pursue a case where they can’t interview the witness and they didn’t talk to the guy who took the film. It seemed like they just wanted to film a sensational case and had to bend their rules to do it. I wanted to hear about this dude who filmed it and maybe a voice analysis or Ben doing his badass FBI interrogation maneuvers. I think the ratings posing came across when they put Jael in a happy purple mermaid suit and had her take a dive. That entire portion of this episode to me felt contrived and reminded me too much of that Gene Simmons show where the family just "happens" upon ridiculous situations and tries to react as if it weren't all planned and posed. I admit, I give this one a double thumbs down. It wasn't a real investigation, it was a sweet trip to Australia. However, thumbs up on the CGI rendition of what a mermaid would look like--suddenly she went from being Barbie to a bald wrestler. Ben, honey, that was just the touch I expected from you. You had to bring it back to "let's rest this whole mermaid nonsense." Bless you, cutie!

Next case, the Hawaii Ghost Girl. Jeez, I hope SyFy doesn't mind footing the bill for sending 3 team members and a crew to Hawaii because they looked at some pictures of an obvious braided camera strap in a bunch of family pic's (rolling my eyes). That the culture around them wants to support this finding that she has a guardian angel makes the whole case corrupt. When people have that much vested in a belief, every story they tell will be colored by that. They said the woman reported having no camera strap, but when they borrowed her camera for the shots, it had a camera strap. I think what they were missing in recreating the picture of the girl lying down was that the strap was falling when the picture was taken. Early in ghost hunting, I tested my camera in rain, fog, cold, dust storms, and with all sorts of finger and camera strap scenarios so I would recognize them. It looked very much like that. They didn't go far enough. PEOPLE CAMERA STRAP PICS ALWAYS HAVE A BRAIDED QUALITY BECAUSE CAMERA STRAPS ARE BRAIDED! I'm thrilled they came to that conclusion and only wish they had pulled up the zillions of "vortex" shots people have online to show a typical camera strap pic. (here, I'll google "camera strap vortex"--picture below)

I have to admit, coming off the best episode ever that was dark and spooky and edgy, (the UFO Fraud/Memorial Day Bigfoot) I was very deflated. I'm not entirely sure the cast has any choice in which cases they pursue because this just felt like either they enticed to go to exotic locations or the powers that be chose them and the powers that be have no clue what audiences or investigators want.

The strong points on this episode? The investigators are getting better at talking to each other instead of at each other. Early on, they seemed to just make comments out loud. Now, they seem to debate back and forth; interacting. Bravo!

The weak points? I'm kind of wondering, why do they try to just rig stuff? Why don't they just go right to CGI and do typical photoshop scenarios and use Flash? The typical online viral video hoaxer is going to use these programs and probably not be building models and shit in their backyard. Just saying, seems that you should fight technology with technology, not woodshop.

Ben, baby, I know I'll have something amazing to say about the next episode because it's my favorite--the moon hoax! I had a Republican, right-wing, flag-waving older brother and for years I was his liberal Democrat sister telling him we never really landed on the moon. I didn't believe that, but I liked to see him turn six shades of purple. Sometimes, he'd visit me and the first thing out of his mouth was, "we were on the moon!" I kept the game up with him for years just drive him nuts. It was hilarious coming up with new ways to prove we didn't land there. After a while, I even started to question it.

I know all you followers are going to rip this episode, but sometimes you have to have a clunker. I even forgave X-Files for the lame-o episodes with the whole Mulder and Scully baby/UFO abduction/government conspiracy mess. I just recall the great cryptid episodes and Mulder mulling over what happened to his sister and I feel all warm and fuzzy. Ben, baby, I promise you I feel all warm and fuzzy when I recall the episode of you cornering that UFO nut job. Now, on to the next episode with much enthusiasm!

Why did they turn down the UFO case with the guy who had been filming weird moving lights in the sky over many nights?

a. It looked like an obvious hoax.
b. There was no point of reference in the filming.
c. It was near an airport.

(above: More FACT guest breasts--thanks buddies!)

*Join us tonight at 7 pm EST and onward for Lonely on a Friday Night. We comment back and forth and hang out, talk about the goofy "Ghost Adventures" episode (they are all goofy) and generally flirt, small talk, philosophize and be the wonderful nerds we are. I also would like to thank everyone this evening for being so supportive through my divorce--special message from me this evening.*


  1. Yeah, these weren't their strongest cases. But hey, Jael was in mermaid suit!!

    I'm looking forward to the moon landing episode...I hope the focus the whole episode on that instead of just half of it.

    Answer to the question was no point of reference in the filming.

  2. It sounds like you have a "much vested" interest in this show. Interestingly enough that doesn't seem to stop you from touting your opinion of each individual episode based on its own merits alone. Well, I didn't catch this episode and from the sounds of it, I'm glad I didn't. If anyone out there still thinks camera straps and dust particles are "otherworldly phenomenon" your ass shouldn't be anywhere near a camera or "investigating" anything for that matter. It always strikes me as odd and frustrating at the types of novice groups out there who try to think for everyone else. Typically they're the last ones anyone should go to for their "expert opinion". I have faith in Ben though. He WAS an agent after all and it almost seems like a godsend to have someone who's actually educated in an investigative field to participate in these escapades.

    As for this up and coming FoF moon-landing episode, Myth Busters (episode 104: NASA Moon Landing) already did an outstanding job debunking the debate that anyone who doubts we were there should watch. Yes, science has backed up its claims with hard evidence, yet again.

    And maybe its just me (and I'm by no means complaining) BUT don't you feel that the repeated posting of pictures of your breasts only objectifies yourself? Just wondering.

  3. F-Everything.....F-You!~ LMAO!!!

  4. The Digital Looking Glass--

    I look forward to it!

  5. Jeff;
    I am totally looking forward to the moon episode just because I want to see how they handle it.

    Appropriate name. Yeah, I did see the Mythbusters which was wonderfully done. This is going to be a problem for this show, as the memorial day bigfoot film was also a repeat of something another show had done, so they need to be careful. So far as the breast shots--that's an ongoing joke with a comment Ben made at the beginning of my reviewing the show. It's become now an ongoing ridiculous fact or faked statement and something long-term folks here are aware of. It's about the ridiculous and absurd, not about objectification, sweets, but thanks for the point. I can be object about Ben's show. I admire the hell out of him personally but he is out there and open to being commented on and I respect that he can take the commentary. This is how the show makes adjustments and gets better and he really likes to know what we're all saying so they can make the changes they needto evolve.

    You are an adorable little pit bull. Love ya, sis. I'm made of stainless steel, so don't ya worry, hon.

  6. I was kind of looking forward to the ghost girl pics part of the episode. I just wanted someone to go get the damn camera, take some pics and get it over with already. Setting up the reflective wall and all that was just over the top.

    I missed the mermaid portion. The Bears were playing, after all.

  7. Pangs;
    No excuses, my friend. A real male should have missed the Bears for the mermaid suit. Okay, okay, I forgive you. You really didn't miss a thing there and I'm sure you saw more action. Yeah, I really think that these guys didn't get to pick the cases this week because I can't imagine they would have thought a mermaid and a camera strap warranted going across the world and spending serious dough. I'd rather see them spend SyFy's cashola on an intense hunt for BF or that Mexican baby alien story.

  8. Hey, the Dolphins have cheerleaders. I didn't slack on my objectification duties.

    Besides, I have FoF on the DVR.

  9. Pangs;
    I expect nothing less from you my armchair smoking pup.

  10. How do we know that they went to Hawaii or Australia ?

    The FoF crew has staged shots before like episode 104 "Red Sky at Night" and episode 108 the "Hovering Humanoid" are the same house.

    I saw shots of Hawaii and Australia, but I don't remember seeing any of the cast at a landmark. Could they have hoaxed the whole thing???

    Was it my imagination or was Jael not happy to be wearing a bikini?


  11. Honestly, Barry, you are one suspicious dude. Yeah, I'd say they kind of had to be in Australia--there was that aquarium and pictures of Sydney. Hawaii, yeah. I'd say it looked to me like Oahu. So far as Jael, honestly she always looks a bit sour and pissed but then it's really really really hard for her to make facial expressions, so I can't really gauge it. I think if you put it into context, she was probably a wee concerned about jumping into the ocean with her legs tied. Isn't that how they supposedly brought down mob bosses? hee hee

  12. "Long term folks"? LOL. You make me laugh. You have no idea who this is, do you?

  13. Yeah, I've known, sweetie. Had any good throat slittings lately?

  14. Should I donate a pic of my man boobs for the next FoF ?

  15. Oh, do tell what gave me away! And the throat slittings? Ah, well, they're about the only thing that keeps me going these days.

  16. And oh, for the love of god, if I have to see man boobs on this site I'm really leaving!

  17. I've known it was you ever since you popped up with that name and expression. Nice pic, sweets. Looks androgenous. Trying to tell me something? I won't ask where you leave the penises, I know.

  18. Barry, I just want to know; are they fact or faked and how can I test that?

  19. Okay, first off: Moon hoax has been THOROUGHLY done by Mythbusters (and others). It's pretty well-trod ground.

    That said, back to this episode. I agree. From the get-go, the mermaid issue seemed like a thinly-veiled excuse to go to Australia and film Jael getting her bikini clad self into a swimsuit (nearly that whole process made it to air while we don't even see anyone else so much as put a scuba mask on). It was all for her. The video itself was weak. It might have been a good mermaid costume, but hoaxing a mermaid isn't that difficult. They didn't need to fly 8,000 miles. They didn't even need different video of fish, etc.. By the undulating manner in which the "mermaid" moved, you could tell it was mammalian. You would think a real mermaid would move in more of a fish-like manner (side-to-side). Just weak.

    The second was weak as well. I called camera strap (along with everyone else simultaneously in the 'groan heard round the world') five seconds in. Why fly to Hawai'i to disprove it? Man, I want their budget. Both were weak and, as usual, some more interesting ones get dismissed.

  20. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmm.... Me thinks something I'll send you an email on!

  21. Cullan;
    Seriously, I heard that Brad Pitt has a succubus--may I go investigate? Wait! Wait! I know, there's a Bigfoot at a ski resort in Aspen. I want to investigate, but could you bring me some martinis while I wait. It helps my concentration. I have to razz them. The reasons certain cases are chosen seem to be pretty whimsical, but I'm seriously hoping for another dark and urban legend feeling episode like that wickedly cool alien debunking one and the Fresno walking sticks one. Even if they are faked or unclear what their sources are, I just want them to go freaky X-Files and not Disney "Ariel" on me. I called this episode "FoF Lite." And, yeah, I seriously wanted some Ben in a swimsuit shots. Damn!

  22. Thanks for daily dose of vitamin D.

  23. Thankfully, with a little weight loss those are "D"s and not "DD"s anymore. Lord, when I get to goal, I might need to prop them up with sticks. That'll be a sight.

  24. Tweet from Ben, "Yes the rumors are true, we have a second season because of all your support! Filming starts soon! Thank u FF Filers!"

    I blame Autumn's Ds for this !!!

  25. Yup, its true GH and FoF were just picked up for another season. I can't imagine the celebrities we must endure for GH, but I'm thrilled about FoF. Yes, I want to keep Ben employed, but he's so damned smart and talented, he could do anything for a living. I'm just thrilled the show will be able to evolve.

  26. I wonder how many more times FoF will use that same house as a location for interviews ???

  27. I think they should use my apartment. I seriously want to hear the witnesses.

  28. Yes, you make some interesting observa....
    Wow, look at those boobies!

  29. Andrew;
    I love that about men. I put up those pics and then I could write "blah, blah, blah, blah" and you'd all nod happily. Men are delightful zombies.

  30. I'm just honored that my boobs made the FACT cut! LMAO!!!

  31. Barry in some tightie whities. That'll be FoF material. No socks allowed, Barry!