Like Agents Mulder and Scully of X-Files fame, Demi Lovato is determined to uncover truth about the supernatural in Peacock's new docu-series, Unidentified. The project finds the Grammy-winning artist traveling around California and the American Southwest alongside their sister, Dallas, and skeptical best friend, Matthew, to speak with authorities on UFOs, aliens, spirits, and a whole host of other supernatural phenomena.
Have aliens visited Earth? If so, how long has this been going on? Do they want to harm us? Are they already walking amongst humanity in plain sight? How can mediation be used to reach a higher level of understanding? These are the kinds of hard-hitting questions Demi is not only asking, but putting into practice as well.
"I was like a kid in a candy shop," the singer recently said during a guest appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. "I was so excited to meet these people who had had these firsthand experiences, and wow did they have a lot to say."
With all four episodes of Unidentified now streaming on Peacock, we wanted to unpack four of the most interesting things we learned from Demi's epic paranormal quest.
UFO support groups
Just as there are UFO conventions, there are also UFO support groups. If you have gone through an otherworldly experience and feel the need to share it with other like-minded individuals, then you might want to take part in the Sacramento-based Alien Abduction and Contactee Support Group founded by Clinical Hypnotherapist Laurie McDonald.
"I have been working as a Hypnotherapist for about 25 years now," McDonald states in Unidentified. "Before I even got out of school, I was beginning to get a reputation for working with people who had had strange occurrences. I've done over 1,000 cases. The reason why I run support for experiences is that nobody who experiences that form of trauma should ever be left alone with it."
Welcome to Vulture City
Raccoon City might not exist, but Vulture City is the next best thing. Located smack dab in the middle of the Arizona desert, the now-abandoned settlement was among the most successful gold mining towns in all of the U.S. during the late 19th century. Nowadays, the tourist destination is said to be an epicenter of paranormal activity. ("It is rumored that 18 men were hanged on the property and many more buried in unmarked graves," Unidentified tells the viewer).
"There's many stories or tales that circle around the matter of how this place was actually discovered," says Jay Yates, who looks after Vulture City with his wife, Marie. "One of the most common is that there was a bright light shining in this area. Maybe locals thought it was something possibly supernatural, so a lot of people were kind of fearful to go into this area. That bright light actually turned out to be a giant outcropping of quartz crystal with a giant vein of gold shooting down the center of it ... I think that with having an open mining operation, indigenous people at the time looked at it as if we were desecrating a sacred site, so there was a lot of controversy. I believe that we potentially might have unlocked something inadvertently by the mining process."
Underwater alien bases?
In Episode 3 ("Are They Already Here?"), Demi, Dallas, and Matthew head to Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. Not only is the landmass the setting for the hilarious final act of Adam McKay's Step Brothers, it's also a hotbed of alleged extraterrestrial activity. Per Unidentified, there have been hundreds of reports of UFOs "around Santa Catalina" since 1947 (the same year as the notorious Roswell incident). Most famous among them is the "Tic Tac" vessel that threw the U.S. Navy for a loop all the way back in 2004.
Speaking with ufologist and cryptozoologist Brittany Barbieri, Demi & co. learn about USOs (short for Unidentified Submerged Objects). "It's basically a UFO that can go underwater," Barbieri says. "People in the boats, family tourism — they spot these objects going in and out of the water as well as levitating out of the water next to their vessels and back down. Catalina seems to be the hotbed, the hotspot off of California for USO activities."
There is a mysterious structure lying 2,000 feet below the water that has never been properly explored by humans. It's rumored to be an alien base, which, if true, would help explain all the comings and goings of unexplained objects over the decades. In addition, Catalina natives speak of a strange "Green Door" portal that sometimes appears throughout the island.
Flying saucer: Origins
The term "flying saucer" is deeply entrenched in our cultural lexicon. You say it and people immediately picture a swirling disc in the sky. But do you know the story of how the words "flying" and "saucer" were married together in the first place? Episode 4 ("Countdown to Contact") provides a crash course in UFO history by way of Nick Pope, a former paranormal researcher for the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence. Modern conspiracy theories as we know them began in 1947 with a Light aircraft pilot by the name of Kenneth Arnold.
"He saw nine strange objects moving at supersonic speed," Pope explains. "A reporter said, 'How did these objects move?' And he said, 'It was a strange kind of uneven jerky motion. It's like a saucer would move if you skipped it across the water.' And that's where the phrase 'flying saucer' first came from and flying saucer fever swept the United States and the world."
SYFY and Peacock are properties of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.