[Review] Not Alone — The Life Above [MidWest WeirdFest]: Could Some UFOs Be Aerial Living Creatures?

For much of recorded history, and especially since the earlier 20th century, people have reported unexplainable phenomena in the skies. From strangely behaving lights to cigar-shaped objects to classic flying discs, many have wondered about the origins of these entities. Are they from alien worlds? Are they military aircraft? Or something else altogether? 

In the documentary short Not Alone — The Life Above, writer/director Scott Deschaine puts forth his theory that many of these sightings can be attributed to atmospheric life. He uses actual NASA footage and audio clips to back up his beliefs, making the short a compelling watch.

Not Alone — The Life Above is credibly presented, and the voices of actual astronauts filming and describing what they see around their spacecrafts makes for dramatic viewing and listening. And this is not a theory that Deschaine has just recently come up with; he has been researching how “Earth’s atmosphere may provide homes for a wide variety of living creatures” (as stated in his director biography) for more than 20 years. 

Starting with John Glenn’s account of firefly-like objects around his spacecraft to Space Shuttle astronauts capturing video of objects that move like ocean life such as jellyfish, Deschaine presents an intriguing case of how such sightings might be evidence of unknown aerial organisms. He narrates in the style of a documentary host reminiscent of school educational films, which makes sense because he runs several companies that include just such works. Karen Carson does a fine job as a voiceover second narrator. 

Not Alone — The Life Above is presented in a thoughtful, reserved manner. It is not given over to sensationalism nor exploitation, which can often be a problem with UFO/UAP documentaries. It’s a fun, thought-provoking documentary highly recommended for anyone interested in ufology, whether casually or studiously. 

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Not Alone — The Life Above screens as part of MidWest WeirdFest, which takes place March 4–6, 2022 at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. For more information, visit http://www.midwestweirdfest.com/.

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.