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Night Terrors 1979

6 Sep

September 6, 2016

I’m into things like ghosts and UFO’s (which is why I’m so hard on George Noory) and I just finished reading The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects from 1956 by Edward J. Ruppelt. He’s one of the original Project Blue Book leaders.

Project Blue Book was one of the Air Force’s attempts to investigate the UFO phenomena. It’s an interesting read, though you won’t learn much other than the Air Force in the 1950’s was as full of red tape as it is now.

But it reminded me that there was a TV show based on this called Project U.F.O. and it scared the heck out of me when I was a kid.

project ufo

From the internet:

Project U.F.O. is an American anthology television series which ran on NBC from 1978 to 1979. Running for two seasons of 13 episodes each, the show was based loosely on the real-life Project Blue Book. The show was created by Jack Webb, who pored through Air Force files looking for episode ideas.

The show features two U.S. Air Force investigators charged with investigating UFO sightings.

In an odd reversal of the Scooby-Doo dynamic, the series eventually settled into a pattern in which the investigators would spend most of the hour uncovering some conventional explanation for a UFO sighting, only for the last five minutes to reveal that UFOs (or some similarly unexplained phenomena) were involved after all.

I went to Youtube and found the specific episode that terrified young me, The Believe It or Not Incident. I saw the thumbnail and like a flash, I suddenly knew that it was the one episode that gripped me back then. It was so clear. This show has not aired in the United States since its original airing so this was the first time I saw it since 1979. I have not thought about this show in literally over 30 years, at least. Not since the last century!

Well, I can’t say it opened up a floodgate of memories, but it did bring back a couple. What scared me so much were scenes of a giant alien ship replaying images of people and events as it hovered over a man in the desert. These were scenes the aliens inside had no earthly way of seeing. (It’s around the 19 minute mark in the video at the end of this post.)

project ufo ship

For years that part stuck in my head, gave me nightmares and kept me up at night. I’d nervously look up into the sky when I was outdoors, and I live in crowded NYC. The other part that spooked me was at the end of the episode, when the house shakes as the giant ship passes overhead.

Nowadays I’m not sure anyone but me would be creeped out by it, and had this not been the stuff of childhood nightmares I, seeing this for the first time now, would be bored. But little 1979 me was spooked badly. For a long time that UFO replay was the cause of that tingle at the back of my neck.

Much like my last post about the audio tapes, I was again brought back to a moment in my childhood when all it took to scare me were cheesy special effects and my imagination.

 

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7 Responses to “Night Terrors 1979”

  1. Matt Cowan September 6, 2016 at 6:38 am #

    I remember there was an old TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE episode that had me jumping into bed to avoid a monster hand from sweeping out from underneath to grab legs and pull me under for awhile as a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bmj2k September 6, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

      That was a really good show. Just the opening scared me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mac of BIOnighT September 6, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    Project UFO! I had almost forgotten about this series 🙂 I used to watch it with my mother (I inherited my passion for Sci-fi from her). I must watch the episode you linked 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • bmj2k September 6, 2016 at 11:19 pm #

      I really had forgotten all about it until that book jogged my memory. Years later, all I remember is the ship with the images in the sky. For a long time I had no idea where the memory came from, then even that faded away.

      Like

      • Mac of BIOnighT September 7, 2016 at 12:00 am #

        I know the feeling – let me paste this from the liner notes to one of my albums: “The German title “Raumschiff Deneb” was suggested by a memory from when I was probably four or five years old. I was playing under the kitchen table, while my mother – who was a sci-fi buff, pretty unusual for a woman at that time – was watching TV and ironing. At one point I heard a strange sound effect and looked up: some kind of starship was taking off from what could have been a lake or something. I only watched that brief scene before going back to my toys, but for some reason those few frames stuck to my memory with incredible intensity. For decades I wondered what that program could be, till a couple of years ago I stumbled into a website about – among other things – an old German TV series called “Raumschiff Orion”: I immediately recognized the mysterious starship that had been in my memory for such a long time”. I now have the whole series on dvd and just love it, but above all, every time I see the ship coming out of the water I stop breathing and my heart misses a beat…

        Like

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