Seth Breedlove's Latest Documentary and Why We Should All Be Afraid of Monsters.
In a small lonely town, in a dark lonely wood, a lonely monster withdraws from its strange lonely world and enters the realm of human myth. Seth Breedlove’s latest Small Town Monsters production, The Flatwoods Monster, tells the tale of a strange tall sentinel and the May family which bumped into it one evening in 1952.
Significant research has been done on the Flatwoods monster, a complex collection of both real information and fiction, but Breedlove’s documentary successfully tells the story from the perspective of two of the witnesses who were present, Edward and Fred May, the sons of Kathleen May, who also was present at the event. Bolstering the famous encounter, other stories from the West Virginian community of strange objects in the sky and curious creatures in the woods support the county’s long standing history with anomalous activity.
The documentary’s stellar visuals and animated sequences are an eerie mixture of computer generated graphics and stop motion. The original musical score adds to the general creepy feeling of events which come off as both horrifyingly true and absurd. Whether you believe in monsters or not, you walk away with the hope that they are not real.
Breedlove does not waste his time in this film asking the same old questions which many of his uninspired peers continue to ask. It doesn't matter who or what the monster is, for that question can never really be answered. Instead, he touches upon the only question worth our time. He proposes a world where monsters are real, but more importantly, the monsters themselves evolve with their legends. Can monsters be both objective and subjective simultaneously? Are they what we make of them, yet at the same time, truly haunt quiet deserted areas of a forest where an unsuspecting mother and her sons can bump into them?
This is where the film truly makes its deepest impression. Not rehashing old tales of the things that go bump in the night, but the possible reality that the bumping is simultaneously fact and fiction, true and absurd, and that the arbitrary lines we draw between what is real and what is not are illusions. We do not need to believe in monsters for them to exist, yet in some quiet and lonely place within our minds, a gap inbetween worlds, monsters come out to roam dark highways where automobiles stall and hapless victims throw themselves upon their wives and children in vain attempts to protect them from that which cannot be explained.
The documentary is well worth your time, and I recommend it for anyone with an interest in UFO lore. It cuts through the usual nonsense, and focuses on what truly matters; the people who were forever changed by seeing something the rest of us hopefully never will.
Whatever lurks in the hills around Flatwoods and stalks farmer’s fields scaring children, it is in metamorphosis; ever changing with the times and in communion with our imaginations. Breedlove’s film is not frightening because he suggests that monsters may be real, it is frightening because we make them so.
- MJ Banias
A Review of Seth Breedlove's New Documentary
Seth Breedlove’s The Mothman of Point Pleasant opens with an eerie approach to the doorway of an old abandoned TNT bunker. It is a dark place, a silent place, a solid building constructed by men in a bygone age and destroyed by time and mother nature. The open door beckons the viewer to enter this shadow world, but the courage never musters.
Breedlove’s documentary about the Mothman takes us to that doorway, and like his other three films, dares us to enter knowing full well we never will. The Mothman, and the other mysterious creatures of paranormal folklore, dwell inside that shadowy place, often escaping from it into our world where countless people see and interact with them. However, their world is not our world, and we are reminded of that fact by the haunting voice of Lyle Blackburn, the film’s narrator.
The documentary is spooky and beautiful, with a chilling original soundtrack by Brandon Dalo, that stalks the viewer as they travel down the banks of the Ohio River and into Point Pleasant. Breedlove provides a chronological timeline that follows the sightings that pepper the 1960’s and truly culminate in 1966 and 1967. The collection of interviews provide great insight into the events, and draw the viewer ever deeper into the world of the winged monster. It is intelligent, concise, and does not waste time on tropes. It is authentic and thought provoking.
For fans of the Mothman, this film is essential viewing. It offers a significant amount of original newspaper articles, audio interviews, and wonderfully animated recreations. The documentary provides varying interpretations of the Mothman, and its identity. However, it gives no special treatment to any of the theories; a large bird, a depressed and sad otherworldly being, or an evil demon- the documentary does not seek that answer. Rather, this is a documentary about the people who were affected by the Mothman, their stories and their lives after their sightings, and after the tragedy of the collapse of the Silver Bridge.
Where this documentary truly shines is the encapsulation of all the paranormal and strange events that occurred in and around Point Pleasant during the mid to late 1960’s. Breedlove goes beyond the large bird sightings. He treats the viewer to the various UFO reports, close encounters with the grinning man named Indrid Cold, and other strange happenings that hit the area like a wave. He builds a powerful case that the men, women, and children of Point Pleasant were not only being watched by a pair of glowing red eyes, but by the shadows themselves, ever present, reaching out from their obscure and bizarre world. In the film’s opening, Blackburn refers to this collection of strange events as a “carnival of horrors” and Breedlove expertly crafts that notion into the film.
The documentary does not scare or shock. It does something much worse to the viewer. It unsettles them. It creates a picture of the world that is not quite right, awry, and exposed to a thing we’ve come to call the Mothman, and all the strangeness that it brings.
For fans of anything paranormal, weird or strange, this is a must watch. Click here to check it out.
The above thirteen minute interview with Richard Dolan has been circling the Ufological world. Published by Earth Mystery News on July 6th, Dolan presents his interpretation of the day after Disclosure, its effects, as well as some interesting political rhetoric concerning American foreign policy. One very interesting point in the interview occurs when Mr. Dolan posits that any disclosure would have to be forced out by, or at least, fully controlled by the public. His concern is that the current political powers will package the disclosed information, and feed it to the public however they saw fit.
Dolan refers to a shadowy elite group who desire and work to keep the public in check. The people are controlled by, to quote Adam Smith, the “masters of mankind,” the elite who maintain all for themselves and none for the rest. If there does exist a cabal of controllers, how then can we have “honest disclosure?”
Chris Rutkowski and the team at Ufology Research have provided another excellent report concerning the UFO situation in Canada. For all of you who have never heard of the Canadian UFO Survey, it is a collection of hard data that establishes the numbers of sightings and the details surrounding them. It posits no explanation for the sightings, but is rather a massive number crunch designed to provide an overall view into what people are seeing and how often.
I had the honour to write the "Forward" for the document, and I've re-posted it for you below. I've also included the link so you can access the survey for yourself.
The new Ghostbusters trailer has been out for a few days now and the reviews from the fans have been pretty critical. The "die hards" are wondering if Ghostbusters really needs a reboot.
I loved the Ghostbusters films, and I watched the cartoon as a kid; let's be honest though, to most young people, the Ghostbusters franchise has been pretty irrelevant since the nineties. In fact, most of the kids going to see this movie have no idea of the franchises' long and respectable heritage. So who cares if it's different- it's not like the franchise is going to die. It was dead, for 20 years, and now it's being resurrected by two brilliant comedic actresses and two of Saturday Night Live's best and brightest.
Overall, I'm happy with the trailer and the concept. It's simple, fun and has a powerhouse comedy cast. It's Ghostbusters. Relax. Many voices bashed the recent Star Wars trailers when they first came out; fools are allowed to have their opinions, so let them howl into the night if they want, no one is really listening anyway.
- M. J. Banias
I recently had the pleasure to see filmmaker Jennifer Stein's 2015 documentary Travis: The True Story of Travis Walton. The 90 minute documentary focuses on one of, if not the, biggest UFO abduction cases in history.
In 1975, Travis Walton and his logging crew saw a strange light in a quiet remote forest in Arizona. The men entered the woods to explore the source of this light, and what they saw hovering in the clearing was beyond belief. There was a blinding flash of light and the men scrambled out of the woods back to their truck, but they were one man short; Travis allegedly was struck by a blast which left him crumpled on the forest floor. The men took off into the night, only to return a short time later, knowing they had to muster the courage to find their friend. When they returned to the clearing, Travis was gone. A frenzy ensues; the men are suspected of murdering their friend, they are put through polygraph testing and were even guarded by deputies while the local authorities searched for Travis in the forest. The world paid attention to the story of the missing Travis Walton and his coworkers who are blaming his disappearance on a flying saucer. The mystery only deepens when Travis Walton appears five days later on a lonely stretch of highway, tired, hungry, dehydrated, and with very few memories of what happened to him.
In response to a question from someone, I had found a review I had written many years ago of the first St. Paul UFO Conference in 1998. I was one of the invited speakers for the event.
I originally posted the review to the former UFO Updates, and I posted it recently to the new UFO Updates Facebook page. In case you didn't see it there, here's my review.