Alien encounters: Series explores New Mexico's 'rich UFO history' - Albuquerque Journal

Alien encounters: Series explores New Mexico’s ‘rich UFO history’

Ben Hansen reviews some evidence of Rob Fullington’s abductions on his computer for the series “UFO Witness.” (Courtesy of Discovery+)

For more than 70 years, the U.S. government has been documenting sightings and cases of unidentified flying objects.

This has always captured Ben Hansen’s imagination.

It’s also why Hansen teamed up with former Project Blue Book investigator Jennie Zeidman on the series “UFO Witness,” available on Discovery+.

“I feel very lucky that I would have this opportunity,” he says. “A lot of these things I would have never done by myself.”

For the series, Hansen made trips to New Mexico – Socorro and Dulce, to be exact.

“New Mexico is a great place, because it’s rich with so much UFO history,” he says.

The seventh episode of the series is dedicated to Dulce – which Hansen didn’t know much about.

Ben Hansen and Dave Rosenfeld agree this area in Utah is “Area 52.” (Courtesy of Discovery+)

“I only knew snippets of its history,” he says. “I really dove into it. We were up there in early spring, and it was muddy. I didn’t make it up as far as I wanted to. I’m going to have to return.”

In the episode, Hansen and his crew investigate the town, which may harbor one of America’s darkest secrets – a rumored underground alien base.

Hansen has to figure out if the rumors are true and uncovers multiple reports of UFO sightings, alien abductions and more.

“People are more willing to talk,” he says. “When these events happened, those who would talk about them were said to be crazy. Decades have passed now, and I think more of them want to talk.”

Hansen was honored to work with Zeidman, who was the last surviving member of the Air Force’s top-secret UFO investigation called Project Blue Book, which looked into sightings from 1952 through 1970.

Ben Hansen points out key items in a diagram Jennie Zeidman drew of the Coyne copter case, in which an Army Reserve helicopter encountered a UFO over Ohio in 1973. (Courtesy of Discovery +)

She broke her silence, speaking publicly for the first time about her decades of research – motivated to share her expertise because she believes we’ve been visited by extraterrestrial vehicles before – and fears Earth is under extraterrestrial surveillance. Zeidman passed away in April, but she’d given the series access to the files from the chief scientific consultant of Project Blue Book, Dr. Allen J. Hynek, to help continue his investigations.

With unprecedented access to more than 10,000 of Dr. Hynek’s case files, Hansen believes the answers to UFOs in America are hidden in the cases of the past.

Also aiding Hansen on his quest is Mark O’Connell – an accomplished UFO investigator, Dr. Hynek biographer and member of J. Allen Hynek’s Center for UFO Studies.

Hansen and his crew had more than 100 hours of footage to work with for the series.

“The TV series has been a great format in getting the information out,” Hansen says. “We’ll be back to New Mexico, because there are more stories to tell. The subject is a hot topic right now.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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