Movie Review: "The Fourth Kind" - Do you Believe in Abduction Theories?
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Movie Review: "The Fourth Kind" - Do you Believe in Abduction Theories?

Movie Review: The Fourth Kind - Fact or Fiction?

Not since Speilberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind  has there been such a buzz about an alien contact movie. Unlike Spielberg's movie however, this one carries the dramatic 'based on true events', tag, a description which lead actress Milla Jovovich does her best to emphasize by stepping out of character and speaking directly to camera in the undeniably sinister official trailer for the movie. "This film is a dramatization of events that occurred in October 2000. " she says, "Every scene in this movie is supported by archived footage. Some of what you are about to see is extemely disturbing."

The name of the movie is taken from the classification of alien contact proposed by UFO researcher and astonomer, J. Allen Hynek. The Fourth Kind was not included in his original close encounters scale but it does follow the other three quite logically and proceed the fifth, "...cases of lasting physiological impact, such as serious injury or death". in terms of life-changing severity:

  • The first kind - sighting
  • The second kind- evidence
  • The third kind - contact
  • The fourth kind - abduction
  • The fifth kind - serius injury or death

Do you believe in abduction theories?

Milla Jovovich plays Dr. Abigail Tyler Ph.D, a research psychologist who conducts clinical hypnotherapy sessions on her patients, all of whom are experiencing sleep disorders to one degree or another. The sessions uncover a link between the patients, first seen in the trailer in the description of the white owl, which eventually leads Dr. Tyler to suspect some form of alien abduction.

Interestingly, an internet search for 'Dr. Abigail Tyler' throws up her bio on the Alaska Psychiatry Journal website which gives the following information:

Dr. Abigail Tyler, Ph.D. is a research psychologist currently conducting clinical studies in the area of sleep disorders and Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) in Nome, Alaska, toward developing more effective treatment plans for patients suffering from these related disorders...

In progress since late 1997, Dr. Tyler's studies engaging community members of Nome are reportedly already uncovering striking similarities among her subject's accounts of their sleep disorder experiences. Dr. Tyler's findings promise to exponentially expand the psychological basis of understanding surrounding sleep disorders of all kinds, especially as related to posttraumatic stress disorders and focus on the conscious and hypnosis-enhanced accounts of a sample group of adult males and females in their 30s and 40s.

Though this seems an exciting find only the most gullible of ufologists would not scratch the surface of such evidence. The medical journal website is remarkably thin and appears to have no information on its home page and little meat on its bones other than that which has a direct bearing on Dr. Abigail, regression therapy or sleep disorder research. Surely they have other maladies or disorders which are of interest to the medical sciences in Alsaka?

No Way Back?

The Way Back Machine is the pet name of a handy internet archiving tool which allows you to see what any website or webpage looked like in the past. It needs a website to have been online for at least six months in order to have a record of its online history and, surprise, surprise, neither Dr. Tyler's webpage  not the Alaskan Pychiatry Journal have been around that long on that domain.

That doesn't mean that there never was a Dr. Abigail Tyler of course, only that her bio page on the Alaskan Pychiatry Journal website should be seen more as a prime example of sneaky and manipulative internet marketing than proof of the events depicted in the movie about her alien abduction theories.

There are more missing people in Nome, than any other town in Alaska!

The Fourth Kind is set in Nome, Alaska, whose biggest claim to fame prior to this movie was as the destination of the 1925 diptheria run led by Siberian Husky, Balto, whose statue now stands in Central Park. However, although the rest of the world may have been unaware of it, strange things have been happening in Nome since the mid 1960's, when according to The Village, a rural Alaskan blog, a police chief was held on suspicion of the murder of a young native villager.

In 2005, officals in Nome released a list of 20 unexplained deaths and disappearences. In 2006, after concluding their investigation, the FBI stated that the disappearences and deaths were most likely due to excess alcohol and the bitter Alaskan weather. As most, if not all, the cases investigated by the FBI were of native villagers, one would have thought they were well used to the challenges of the local environment. The native villagers are not satisfied with the results of the FBI investigation and the locals still feel that there was (or is?) a serial killer on the loose.

To them the idea that the unexplained deaths and disappearences in the area were caused by alien abduction is plainly ridiculous. Added to that the fact that the actors and actresses in the movie can in no way be said to be native Nome Villagers and even Nome itself bears little resemblance to the real town. The movie setting is a spooky and unsettling forested valley where cloud and mist clings to the hillside and one can imagine mysterious events taking place. In contract the real Nome is flat as a pancake and there is not a tree in sight.

All in all, if The Fourth Kind is based in fact, it would have to be based very loosely indeed. Although initially, the PR mavens at the film studios did what they set out to do, and stirred up an incredible buzz surrounding the release of the movie, it may in fact turn out to be a hornet's nest that they have on their hands.

In these days of internet access and googling for facts, to state that a movie is 'based on fact', when all evidence is so obviously thin and manufactured, is insulting to the intelligence of the intended audience. The investors can only hope that the movie itself proves to be enough of a gripping good yarn to please the crowds and garner box office success despite the groundswell of disappointment in the studio's duplicity.

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Comments (1)

Great article. Lots of information as well as in depth thinking. There is just too much sensationalism carried over in old world time into real time. There is so much information that does not have the integrity or foundation to offer reasonable explanations. Truth is true, and nothing else matters, so says ACIM. Thanks for sharing.

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