In conspiracy theory we deal with a great many arcane and subversive topics from vast government conspiracies to hidden agendas, aliens to cryptids, and about everything in between. Many times these subjects are subversive by nature and are never able to reach a mass population due to the arcane and paranoid nature of the topics. This is a problem which will always be true, and for those of us heavily invested in the research we will always dwell in the dark corners of the populace seek out tantalizing snippets of information, following dead end leads, and speaking with shadowy characters. The shadowy characters though are probably reserved for the more adventitious amongst the theorists but we have all had our run ins. For myself I have had two such run ins.
The first occurred on a sunny Saturday morning while I was still in college. Being generally paranoid my phone number, a land line funny enough, was unlisted. I was asleep, my wife by my side, when the phone rang at precisely 0800. A struggled to awareness and answered the phone. Hello I said very groggily, and a voice on the other end asked if I was Olav Phillips. I responded yes and he asked if I had ever seen a UFO, I responded that I had when I was young (one of several sightings I have had in my life) and he said he was in possession of information about UFOs and asked if I wanted to see another one. Coming into semi consciousness from a deep sleep I responded sure of course I would. He responded that they were testing something very interesting at an Air Force base near where I lived and he could take me to see them because he knew the schedule and a good spot. I replied sure lets do it (I was 20 at the time and a little more carefree shall we say). He said he would call me back, he never did. My wife turned and asked who had called to which I responded some guy called about UFOs and she sat up in bed and got very nervous. How did he get our unlisted number? I have no idea.... For a long time after that, in the pre-digital phone age, I would hear clicking on my phone. I should also add the whole interaction was around 4 minutes, about 1 minute less then is required to trace the call.
It was years later I saw that same scenario played out on the pilot episode of the X-Files. It sent shivers down my spine.
When that phone call took place interest in UFOs was taboo and was generally seen as a source ridicule but that has changed now. But what changed? Well that started a long time ago...and it was aided by television. Shows presenting paranormal themes have had a eye opening effect on the mass populace and led to acceptance. In the 1970's it was Kolchak the Night Stalker, where each week Darren McGavin would investigate supernatural only to be cheated of his proof at the last minute. I have also come across a Barney Miller which discussed the New World Order in very clear terms. Let us also not forget Project UFO where cases out of Project Bluebook were acted out, with some creative license, each week. Project UFO was particularly interesting because it was produced by Jack Webb who was very famous for his portrayal of gritty nonsense policemen and Col. William Coleman who was the Public Information Officer for Bluebook and finally In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy.
All these shows and episodes existed decades before the X-Files or Dark Skies and all of them served to mentally prepare us for general acceptance of UFO's but not the Adamski space brothers, instead they prepared us for a more nefarious Ufology. A Ufology of conspiracy and intrigue.
In more modern times we have had Dark Skies and the X-Files, later we even had Rubicon a interesting AMC show about a cabal manipulating world events for profit. The creator, the son of a CIA field operative.
Now many argue that these shows were part of a larger agenda to prepare us for Disclosure, and in some cases that very well may have been. Shows like Kolchak and Project UFO came about because the producers had an interest in the topic but the X-Files may be part of the Mass Acceptance Agenda. So where does that leave Dark Skies?
Dark Skies was an interesting show based on the Majestic 12 mythos, a hotly contested mythos amongst the Ufology community I might add. Dark Skies sought to connect conspiracy dots with an underlying storyline very reminiscent of the Invaders and was interesting because its mythos was built on something well known within the UFO subculture. For that part it was one of the more important and underrated shows of this collection. I think in a lot of ways it was obscured by the easiness of the X-Files. The X-files seemed to be purpose buitl for mass consumption where Dark Skies was more brooding and tracked the slow deconstruction of the protagonist John Loengard. It should also be pointed out that Bryce Zabel has maintained that the root of the story was given to him by the actual John Loengard who contacted him and his fellow creator and that factor alone makes the show very interesting to watch especially now years later.
I have never been privy to the exact nature of what "John Loengard" told them beyond a letter which they made available but it would seem that the story was a mixture of popular Majestic 12 theories mixed with conspiracy with a undertone of whatever "Loengard" told them and it was interesting but unfortunately cut short just as it was finding its footing as all shows do. The show was eolving and getting better but just like Rubicon it was cancelled just as it started getting really good.
I have to admit I am a fan of the X-Files, especially the Lone Gunman which caters to my inner geek, and the power Chris Carter had in delivering a vast conspiracy each episode but at the same time there was something much more human about Dark Skies. The deconstruction of the Loengard character was at times heart wrenching and made for a very entertaining experience. It also served to present a more tangible and believable plot at times since that plot was rooted in something "real" or at least debated.
Fast forward to the now and the news that the X-Files has been rebooted and will soon again grace our airwaves, timing which is interesting because it also coincides with the reemergence of Art Bell who stared in an episode of Dark Skies. Is that reboot part of the Mass Acceptance Agenda? I was suggest it most likely is and Chris Carter and team will be devising a plot line to take us in a new direction of cigerette smoking men and black oils. But now a question...
In the years after Dark Skies, Bryce Zable has committed himself to a interesting path. He co-authored a book with UFO Historian Richard Dolan on disclosure, books about what if JFK had not died and has more then a few times come on shows like Ground Zero and Coast to Coast to discuss UFO topics. Maybe that's a very good sign. Maybe we need a reboot of Dark Skies? Because at its root Dark Skies is an altogether different show. Many times the X-Files has been accused of being the lead of the Mass Acceptance Agenda, so maybe we should also have a counterpoint which is a show stepped in the actual mythos. Leave behind the some of the more dubious connections and present a show based on the mythos as it actually exists.
Think of it for a moment and just let your mind wander. A show which was was willing to go down into the darker recesses of Ufology and Conspiracy Theory to explore things like The Secret Space Program, Dulce, The Aviary, abductions, milab, crop circles, cattle mutilations, Project Pegasus, John Titor and everything adorning the walls of my library here at the Conspiracy Cabana. A show involving researchers of the day set in the modern time to discuss the coverup and explore it dramatically much in the way Webb and Coleman presented Bluebook. A show based on reality not fantasy.
For years I have told people Dark Skies, and yes I am a fan, was a decade or more ahead of its time. Maybe its time for it to come back and run parallel to the X-Files. Don't get me wrong, I am and X-Files fan but at the same time I think we also need something more rooted in "reality" at least as we understand it through our research. I think that the time for that kind of fiction based on fact has come. The truth is wholesale more dark and foreboding then fiction...
Bryce Zabel is, and has been, working on rebooting Dark Skies and I think we need to support that as people who are truly interested in the subject. If you share my belief then check out his Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/darkskiesufo. Please make sure you like his page! Lets get behind him and support a researcher make a factual dramatic show...and who knows maybe Art Bell will be on again! I really think this is important!