Chris Carter’s famous X-Files slogan,“The truth is out there,” was put to the test when a team of pioneering investigators pushed the limits to find the truth behind unexplained UFO sightings, using modern technology for data collection and analysis.
According to the National Geographic Channel (NGC), these real-life “Scullys and Mulders” are not looking for more stories on extraterrestrial activity — they want answers in NGC’s new eight-part series, “Chasing UFOs,” which premiered Friday, June 29.
An investigative team comprised of one believer, one skeptic and one independent thinker, examined a well-documented UFO sighting (Roswell, N.M.), met with an alleged alien abduction survivor in Colorado and tracked glowing orbs near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
A Topcon IS-3 imaging station is used by the team to gather site data for analytic research in three episodes — the June 29 series premiere “Texas is for sightings,” July 13 “UFO landing zone” and July 20 “Abducted in Arizona.” In Texas, the experts witness lights in the skies that leave them with new questions. In the July 13 episode, the three thrill-seekers explore the famed crash site in Roswell where they challenge a possible military cover-up and in the July 20 episode, the team collects video footage of unusual-shaped lights over Arizona.
Scott Langbein, Topcon Positioning Systems director of product marketing, served as on-site technical consultant for the New Mexico shoot, working with the team on the use of the IS-3 imaging station for pinpoint scanning and mapping of the Roswell site.
“Topcon was invited to meet up with the investigative team in Roswell. The IS-3 imaging technology of measurements and photo documentation is powerful, so a little training was required. They picked it up really fast and were able to take the gear with them to their other scenes. It was a lot of fun to see the IS-3 used in a unique way. Who would have thought an IS-3 would be used to investigate UFOs?” Langbein said.
“The three investigators — Ben McGee, Erin Ryder and James Fox — were completely professional in their scientific approach to the project, and quickly picked up how beneficial the IS-3 scanning speed and image collection could be for the investigations,” he said.
Topcon says the IS-3, in addition to taking the industry’s longest scanning range (to 6,500 ft.), provides industry-best accuracy, automatic scanning speed as well as on-board features providing quicker scanning definition, faster image collection and real-time preview of scanned data.
McGee, an experienced geologist, radiation scientist and field explorer, said, “As a field geoscientist, I cannot speak highly enough of Topcon’s survey, scanning and imaging equipment. Holding up under the most demanding field conditions and shrugging off the rigors of off-grid travel, we were able to rely on the IS-3 to help us quickly establish onsite reference grids for scientific data and sample collection, survey key topographic features and digitally preserve the site using 360-degree panoramic imaging — all from a single tripod. With this unit, we were able to accomplish multiple days’ worth of work in a fraction of the time.”