Encounters Series (2023) Review: Awe-inspiring Accounts Of UFO Sightings

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Encounters Series (2023) Review: Awe-inspiring Accounts Of A Seemingly Taboo Topic - The Movie Culture

Encounters is a cosmic detective story that will premiere on Netflix on September 27, 2023. Consisting of four episodes with each being 50 minutes long, it gives us first-hand accounts from people who have been ‘victims’ of a U.F.O. sighting. It challenges the skepticism of the non-believers along with the facts of the believers to provide a thorough analysis.

Are we alone in the universe? Do extra-terrestrial beings probe our planet from time to time? ‘Encounters’ doesn’t give a proper answer to these questions. What it does deliver is an intense sense of unusualness caused by diving deep into investigations about unidentified flying objects. Various perspectives and notions are portrayed in the episodic series.

Encounters Series (2023) Cast

  • Steve Allen – Stephenville Pilot
  • Lee Roy Gaitan – Stephenville resident
  • Robert Powell – Former Director of Research at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) from 2007-2017
  • Tony Cowan, former RAF officer
  • Ricky Sorrells – UFO sighting eyewitness
  • Matthew Roberts – UFO sighting eyewitness from Dublin
  • Frances ‘Emma’ Barwood – Former councilwoman
  • John E. Mack – Psychiatrist from Harvard University
  • Dave Davies – UFO sighting eyewitness, Broad Haven Triangle
  • Dr. Kevin Knuth – Astrophysicist, former NASA Scientist

Encounters Series (2023) Summary

The docuseries begins with a witness stating that he saw hundreds of blinking lights in the evening sky of Dublin. Linking the report with another sighting, the focus then shifts to the account of pilot Steve Allen and Lee Roy Gaitan. The Stephenville residents saw the same lights in the sky, which vanished the moment they blinked. It was deemed to be a giant aircraft with no rudders or wings such that it made no noise and made its escape seamlessly.

Robert Powell began researching the eyewitness claims. Even though he submitted multiple FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, the RAF remained silent on the matter. The US government’s silence became a recurring theme as more and more witnesses made claims that were justified by the series, putting even the naysayers in doubt.

The Stephenville sighting in 2008 is just one episode. Over the course of the series, there are claims of submersible spacecraft landing in a park and off the coast of the Welsh village of Broad Haven, alien intelligence interfering with the operations of a Japanese nuclear power plant, and a U.F.O. sighting by a group of children in Zimbabwe in broad daylight.

Sanity of the reports is put under scrutiny. A few good points are made, such as why sixty children mistake a rock to be a U.F.O., and whether alien-object witnesses should be treated as schizophrenic or mentally deranged even if their accounts are supported by others. 

Encounters Series (2023) Review: To Believe or Not to Believe

‘Encounters’ primarily focuses on the alienation of U.F.O. witnesses from society and even their closest friends. One of the episodes, titled ‘Believers’, tells the story of Emma Barwood. She saw a spaceship in a local park, with big-eyed, black-bodied creatures emerging out of it, when she was little. People refused to believe the story, and friends grew distant from her.

Steve Allen experienced a similar sense of dissociation from society. Given the fact that nobody refused to believe his story other than his wife, he took to the air to see the object that gave him a “great sense of peace.” Leatherwood, a bank chairman, described the hovering object to be a “flying Dorito” while for Gaitan, it was a “reddish orb.”

While the documentary shifts from person to person, multiple accounts are juxtaposed to provide a better meaning. The Broad Haven Triangle phenomenon included a group of boys spotting a cigar-shaped spacecraft. Their descriptions matched Welsh and Celtic folklore – fairies with ill purposes. Subsequently, it was mentioned that the Cold War was raging at that time so it could have been a high-tech drone.

‘Encounters’ sometimes deviates from the actual point

If exploring the topic of alien life wasn’t enough, the docuseries also touches on subjects like religion, products, and even racism. It becomes a bit absurd when Steve deems his experience to be “religious” and hints at the spaceship being the second coming of God while Emma translates her encounter as a warning for the technological progress of mankind. Then there’s a Zimbabwean man, a part of the Ariel School, who thinks people don’t believe in him because of his color.

‘Encounters’ tries to make viewers sympathize or relate with people who are U.F.O witnesses. While it doesn’t do a terrible job, it unnecessarily portrays their notions and beliefs instead of letting viewers make their own assumptions. Thankfully, the series doesn’t delve into the aforementioned statements as it would have massively impacted the believability of the accounts or stirred controversy.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

‘Encounters’ is an upcoming thought-provoking series that will rekindle the lost passion for searching and researching possible extra-terrestrial objects. The best part about it is that each claim is backed by another, while the concept of U.F.O. being drones or mythical creatures is acknowledged.