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Alien believers: Not just kooks and quacks anymore

The Story

The popularity of UFOs, aliens and the supernatural has pervaded mainstream media. Some of the most popular TV shows and films deal with the paranormal such as The X-Files, PSI Factor and Independence Day. The CRTC has even licensed a brand new 24-hour channel called Space: The Imagination Channel. The bounty of alien-related material is proof of what CBC's Evan Solomon refers to as E.T. chic. It's now in vogue to believe in extraterrestrials. That's because aliens make us feel good, says Solomon. When we imagine them as an evil force, they unite us against a common enemy. And when we imagine them as benevolent, they reaffirm our highest ideals of peace and liberalism.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Oct. 8, 1996
Reporter: Evan Solomon
Duration: 5:13

Did You know?

• One of the most infamous Canadian abductees is Raël, the leader of the Quebec-based Raelian cult that has 55,000 followers worldwide. The former French journalist and race car driver told CBC's Laurier LaPierre that he was first abducted by an alien race called Elohim in 1973. Raël is also a huge advocate of cloning, which the Raelians believe is the key to eternal life. Raël lives in UFOland located outside Montreal.

• Extraterrestrials are often described as having a large head, big slanted eyes, and greyish skin. This image is thought to recur because it is reminiscent of what babies first see out of the womb.


Close Encounters of the Canadian Kind more