Fact or Faked Paranormal FilesEpisodes

Sinister Spirals/Flying Saucers
Season 2 - Episode 209
Sinister Spirals/Flying Saucers
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This week, Lanisha, Ben and Devin are investigating the well-known case of the Heflin UFO encounter. In the 1960s, a man named Rex Heflin reported taking three pictures of a UFO in 20 seconds, and later, a fourth one of the smoke ring it left behind. In order to test this story, Lanisha sets herself up in a van similar to Heflin's and, using the same camera he used - a Polaroid - attempts to shoot three focused shots of the RC craft that Devin operates.

She's able to do it, but the craft doesn't look quite right. They test other objects, such as a clay pigeon and a hat, but again, the results aren't on point. It's time to consider the notion that these photos could've been a hoax, and so Ben climbs atop a ladder to dangle a hat from a monofilament line while Lanisha takes the photos. Although the results are good, they're dubious that it was a hoax and consider the notion that Heflin could've been mistaken about what he saw.

They launch a blimp that looks like a UFO, and sure enough, they get the photos they wanted. But what about the smoke ring? In order to recreate the fourth photo, they rig explosives to the blimp and blow it up! This was a fun test, but doesn't look like the original photo. Devin thinks it could've had a natural explanation, though, and, using materials that were available in the 1960s, creates a perfect match to Heflin's ring. They've shown that it could've been a hoax, someone could've been hoaxing Heflin, or - it could've been an object from outer space. This case is still very much open.

Bill, Austin and Jael, meanwhile, have been looking into the mystery of what enthusiasts of the paranormal call spiraling rods. These strange objects only appear at night and are thought by some to be interdimensional beings passing through our world. They go to Joplin, Missouri to see if they can recreate the movement of these strange shapes on camera.

Since bats are indigenous to the area, they call in a bat specialist to release a bat in the controlled space they've set up, but it clearly looks like a bat - there's no mistaking it. Next, they hypothesize that people fishing nearby might be using the common technique of loosing slingshot charges above the water, but these objects don't match the trails that are seen in videos.

They next wonder if bugs could be creating these strange apparitions, and so they gather several large, native bugs and release them on cue. They're on to something, here, but since it's still not an exact match, they alter their circumstances somewhat by changing the setting on the camera. By slowing the shutter speed, they also allow more light to enter the lens, thus producing images of longer length and greater luminosity. With this deft move, they've created the perfect conditions to replicate the video they first examined. This case is closed: The interdimensional beings are simply bugs.

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