Documentary Review: Meditating meetings with E.T. — “Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind”


In recent years, the UFO community has relished various military and governmental agencies’ confirmation that they’ve been looking into Unidentified Flying Objects and that they’re taking the subject seriously, even releasing some credible and incredible close encounter footage to demonstrate why they’ve been looking into this.

Dr. Steven Greer, a onetime Lenoir N C emergency room physician turned widely-read and followed UFO expert, figures this is the perfect time to spike the ball in the end zone and double down on his increasingly far-out claims — that he and his followers can meditate and in essence “summon” “trans-dimensional” alien space ships, almost at will.

“Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind” is his victory-lap follow-up to 2017’s “Unacknowledged.” It’s a flurry of wild claims, dubious “experts,” Ad hominem attacks on doubt-sewers, (aka “fascist demagogues” of “the national security and media state”), clip after clip of sci-fi movies mixed in with newsreel footage. And there are cherry-picked inter-title quotes from thinkers, scientists and others — read by narrator Jeremy Piven — as well as on camera endorsements.

More than a few clips from “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast show up, none more authoritative than this one — “Watch ‘Unacknowledged.’ Watch ‘Unacknowledged.’ WATCH ‘Unacknowledged!'”

No less a luminary than Steven Tyler of Aerosmith utters that “last word” on Greer’s bonafides. A regular Algonquin Round Table, that show.

Go ahead and start your hate comment now, because kids — if you can’t see through this bulls–t, you need to update your medicine glasses.

Greer sits on a “Close Encounters” lit sound-stage in a director’s chair, wearing a tie and glasses, as if those hide how brown his eyes get every time he’s constipating a whopper.

He named his organization CESTI, to intentionally confuse it with the real-science/real scientists SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute. Full disclosure, I’ve interviewed Dr. Frank Drake, who ran SETI for years and whose “Dr.” doesn’t come from a medical career he abandoned to seek fame by spouting the fantastical.

Greer is the King of Trumpish “many people tell me,” and “a member of the military” and “a person from the Royal Family… who doesn’t want to be named” assertions.

Greer comes back later to reveal a frank discussion about the military-media-National Security State apparatus trying to prepare the world for “interplanetary war…and Force the Return of Christ,” with the Crown Prince of Liechtenstein.

So, that’s his “royal?” The “in-breeding” jokes write themselves at this point.

Plenty of people appear on camera in his film, “household names” only within the insular online world of UFOlogy. Some have credentials that impress, some most perplexingly do not.

Darn it, where’s Bob Lazar?

Greer goes on and on about “getting the Vatican and the Jesuit Brotherhood” involved in talks about how to prepare the world for accepting “We are not alone,” and fills much of the movie’s two hour running time with name-dropping.

Every political and military figure he’s ever been in the same county with he claims to have “briefed,” including “every president since Clinton.” Some have most pointedly denied ever meeting him.

All the Trump footage here hints that Greer might have “briefed” one president, and that one — the dumbest — might have taken him seriously.

Those digging into Greer’s background note the ways his “how’d you become interested in this” story has changed, becoming more fantastical and self-mythologizing with every new iteration.

His guest experts, who include physicist and “parapsychologist” (a pseudo-science) Dr. Russell Targ, play the same “keep talking, make it sound like facts” games.

“There was an unpublished experiment” one not-shaving-yet enthusiast “expert” declares. OBJECTION. Hearsay! As in, “I don’t need to prove it happened because you can’t prove it didn’t.”


The film is packed with claims about Greer’s version of The Deep State ginning up fear about what’s behind UFOs, the need for millions to meditate and “bypass the National Security State” to reach out to our sisters and brothers beyond the stars.

It’s always funny how closely these hucksters’ claims match up with science fiction cinema and TV. But sampling “Mars Attacks” the “The Twilight Zone’s” “To Serve Man” is entirely too “on the nose.” Greer is showing us his homework.

“Close Encounters” goes out of its way to discredit earlier “tin-foil hat” (one interview subject uses that phrase) fad claims of alien abductions, “faked” by the government, of course.Take THAT Whitley Strieber!

But the film offers ZERO evidence that the after-the-colon half of its title, “Contact Has Begun,” is happening. What’s more, that “fifth” type of “Close Encounter,” that pro-active human contact where humans do the reaching out (another BS invention by Greer) is never supported by anything we can see or verify in the documentary.

For a fun sidebar, Google “Dr Steven Greer” and “Fraud.” Even some of the Faithful find his pricey little meditation seminars eye-opening in ways they did not want to see.

The actual video “sighting” evidence, which is given short shrift (montages, mostly), is fascinating — although too much of it has the audio of tipsy, foul-mouthed rednecks overheard on the tape as they’re filming it. Still, you don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid to to buy into the notion that “the Truth is Out There.”

But when you’ve got Jeremy Piven narrating “Certain scientists have known that ‘The Force’ is real…for a very long time,” you see through the nonsense. Every other sentence out of Piven’s or Greer’s mouth begs for a “Oh give me a BREAK.”

Whatever “proof” finally comes out, it won’t be the book, video, “seminar” and meditation-CD-selling Greer who summons a space ship into hovering over the Rose Bowl. And none of the needy fringe figures in his circle will be adjudicators of that “Truth.”

My money’s on David Duchovny spilling the beans.


MPAA Rating: unrated

Cast: Dr. Steven Greer, Daniel Sheehan, Adam Michael Curry, Joe Martino, Dr. Russell Targ, that dude from Blink 182

Credits: Written and directed by Michael Mazzola. A 1091 release.

Running time: 2:00

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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1 Response to Documentary Review: Meditating meetings with E.T. — “Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind”

  1. Mike Frankenbush says:

    Greers Ego is another thing altogether. He thinks that everything is about him. It’s all “I was” and “My Team” and “I have”. This guy gives no credit to anyone for anything when it’s all the others doing everything and Greer just taking all the money. He is one of the top Con Men to ever walk the earth. Why else would he give up a lucrative medical career to go on speaking engagements in the UFO community unless there was REAL BIG MONEY in it!?! His net worth has gone up MANY millions of dollars in the last few years with these “meditation seminars to summon UFO’s” which I’m sure are workers using remote drones with lights in the vicinity. These little gatherings will set you back $2500-$3500 EACH PERSON! There’s one born every minute and Greer is always on the hunt for the last couple hours worth of these people!

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