Alien

In which we wonder if there are going to be UFOs on the telly


The cruel hoax TV series Space Cadets is due to finish tonight. The contestants have successfully been made to look like idiots; and sadly, no aliens have been caught on camera.

As nobody went into space, you might not expect aliens to be caught on camera. However, as it happens, a huge number of UFO enthusiasts do believe that aliens have visited the site of the Space Cadets set. Twenty-five years ago this month, in fact. The incident – which has become known as the Rendlesham Forest incident – is often described as a classic UFO sighting, by impeccable witnesses,* even though it’s more likely to have been a sighting of a lighthouse, rather than a UFO. I’m slightly disappointed that, as far as I noticed, a mention of it wasn’t slipped into the programme.** If nothing else, the Rendlesham Forest incident is a wonderful example of how eye-witness reports can change over time, and how rumours can be spread. And, of course, how some people will believe almost anything.

It’s a shame that no aliens – if there were aliens, which is rather unlikely – decided to come back for a 25th-anniversary visit just whilst a film crew was in the area. It’s also a shame that the Space Cadets contestants weren’t a bit more alert – and/or paranoid, of course. Personally, I’m hoping that at least one of them will go a bit mad when everything is revealed at the Live Finale. It really would be can’t-stop-watching TV.

Update: sadly, they didn’t. They all seemed, as you might expect, rather baffled and overcome.

* a group of USAF airmen on two successive nights.

** although, in last night’s show, I was quite pleased to notice a joke about Johnny Vaughan’s time in prison.

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