Stories of Livestock Mutilation Bring Seth Breedlove and Shannon LeGro to Colorado for their latest documentary, “On the Trail of UFOs: Night Visitors”
Documentarians and paranormal researchers Seth Breedlove and Shannon LeGro continue their investigation of strange encounters and unidentified aerial phenomena in their latest film, On the Trail of UFOs: Night Visitors. In their previous documentary, On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky (2021), Breedlove and LeGro took their investigative efforts to West Virginia, where they explored the potential connection between UFO sightings and coal mines. In Night Visitors, they investigate similar UFO sightings and unusual experiences in Colorado — specifically, in the San Luis Valley. This time, Breedlove and LeGro are on the hunt for information about livestock mutilation, a frightening and unexplained phenomenon that some have linked to theories about alien life. Much like Dark Sky, Night Visitors is more of an appetizer than a full meal. The personal interviews that make up the documentary are interesting, but the movie lacks the strong hook and compelling narrative needed to hold our attention. Unlike Dark Sky, however, Night Visitors has a clear framework and a solid structure, making Breedlove and LeGro’s investigations and theories much easier to follow.
Considering the nature of their research, however, it’s no surprise that Breedlove and LeGro’s documentaries are comprised of loosely connected observations rather than concrete theories. Unless you’re taking a deep dive into one specific alien encounter, it’s not easy to create compelling and structured content about UFO sightings and experiences. Alien and UFO researchers must try to connect and explain seemingly unrelated threads of information in order to keep their audience’s attention. Ancient Aliens attempts to overcome this problem by asking dramatic and leading questions that point to alien influence in every crevice of human history. But in Night Visitors, LeGro and Breedlove don’t make any big, bold claims. Rather, they approach their research as an open-ended, continuous and ever-evolving project. As a result, Night Visitors isn’t the most intriguing alien-related documentary you’ll ever see. However, it’s open-ended and genuine, and it doesn’t try to manipulate its viewers.
Without a solid conclusion or concrete theory to provide structure for their film, Breedlove and LeGro format Night Visitors like a chapter in a scientist’s ongoing diary. After the introductory interview and opening credits sequence, the documentary kicks off with shots of LeGro walking around and observing (in a somewhat staged and melodramatic manner) the beautiful Colorado landscape. She explains the purpose of her investigation through voice-over narration, setting the stage for the documentary and giving viewers a few key ideas to focus on. Next, Breedlove and LeGro dive into their interviews, starting with two key witnesses who will pop up again and again throughout the documentary: Katie Griboski, the director of the Colorado Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and Richard Estep, an author and researcher. Griboski and Estep become trusted familiar faces as the documentary continues to introduce other witnesses whose accounts of UFO sightings and cattle mutilation get more and more bizarre. By introducing two interviewees with some amount of credibility (the director of an organization and a published author) first, Breedlove and LeGro successfully ease viewers into the strange field of UFO research. Breedlove and LeGro use clips from these two interviews throughout the documentary, providing structure and creating connections between the various instances of UFO sightings, alien encounters, and livestock mutilation that they investigate.
After interviewing a few residents of the Denver area, Breedlove and LeGro move south into the San Luis Valley, where they investigate a particular ranch that has been the site of several livestock mutilation incidents. This geographic shift helps to add structure to the documentary, directing viewers to focus on one particular set of events. The pixelated visuals and dramatic digital recreations that supplement rancher Tom Miller’s interview get a little tedious as the documentary goes on, but they fulfill their purpose by establishing a creepy and haunting tone. Thankfully, there aren’t as many filler landscape shots in Night Visitors as there are in Dark Sky, and overall, the second On the Trail of UFOs documentary is more mature than its predecessor. While viewers shouldn’t expect any shocking revelations from the documentary, they can expect personal stories and open-ended theories that might inspire some to research the strange phenomenon of livestock mutilation for themselves.
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"Our embodied spectator, possibly perverse in her fantasies and diverse in her experience, possesses agency...finally, she must now be held accountable for it."