Extraterrestrials or aliens have been a fascinating topic since ancient times. Artists from all around the world have been fascinated by such phenomena and that is why aliens have been featured in artistic works of all genres, especially thanks to pulp fiction stories. Today, though, aliens are also a subject of serious scientific discourse and there are numerous documentary series and movies focusing on aliens and in this article, we have decided to compose a list of the 15 best ones for you to enjoy. The titles are going to be ranked in random order.
1. Ancient Aliens
Original Run: March 8, 2009 – present
Number of Episodes: 220
We start our list of the best alien documentaries with Ancient Aliens. The premise of the series is based on and inspired by the pseudoscientific ancient astronaut hypothesis popularized earlier in Chariots of the Gods? by Erich von Däniken, and The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin, which claims that extraterrestrial beings visited Earth in ancient or prehistoric times and introduced civilization, architecture and high technology to early humans.
Many, if not all, of ancient man’s achievements in language, mathematics, science, technology, and stone building, such as the Egyptian pyramids, Pumapunku, and Stonehenge, are attributed to ancient man acting under the influence of aliens. Remnants of such visitations are found in religious texts, ancient myths, and legendary stories, and in the spiritual systems of many of the world’s religions, such as Hinduism, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Gnostic Christianity, and Mormonism.
The hypothesis also claims that ancient visits left etymological traces in many of the world’s languages, such as the root words of “Dagon”, “dragon”, “dog” and “Danann”, or the frequent occurrence of the word “anu” which means friend or visitor. Many of the guests interviewed. Ancient alien theorists or researchers support these claims, either in their own work creating a shared cosmology, or through statements made on camera.
Claims that anatomically modern humans were the result of genetic modification or are somehow biologically descended from ancient aliens, a hypothesis also popularized by von Däniken and Sitchin, are the focus of many episodes.
2. Hangar 1: The UFO Files
Original Run: February 28, 2014 – June 26, 2015
Number of Episodes: 20
Hangar 1: The UFO Files is a documentary series broadcast on the American television network H2 between February 28, 2014 and April 18, 2014, produced by Go Go Luckey Productions1. Season 2 aired on History on April 10, 2015. The MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) provides the UFO reports for each episode, shot at Hangar 12.
3. UFO Files
Original Run: July 5, 2004 – October 5, 2007
Number of Episodes: 46
UFO Files is a television show produced between 2004 and 2007 dealing with alleged UFO sightings. In the program, ufologists and UFO hunters deal with phenomena in space, on earth, or in humans or historical events that could provide information about possible extraterrestrial life. The show was produced in the United States from 2004 to 2007. There were 4 seasons with 46 episodes. KPI Productions took care of the production. The show first aired on July 5, 2004, on the US History Channel.
4. UFO Hunters
Original Run: January 30, 2008 – October 29, 2009
Number of Episodes: 39
UFO Hunters is an American television show produced between 2008 and 2009 dedicated to alleged UFO sightings. She is a spin-off of the show Ghost Hunters. “UFO Hunters” and presenters are Billbirnes, Jeff Tomlinson, and Pat Uskert. In the program, the UFO Hunters team examines various reports of UFO sightings.
To do this, the team tries to find evidence and circumstantial evidence to assess whether the sighting appears authentic. The show was produced in the USA between 2008 and 2009. There were 3 seasons with 39 episodes. Pilgrim Studios is responsible for the production. The show first aired on January 30, 2008, on the US History Channel.
5. Unsealed Alien Files
Original Run: 2011 – 2015
Number of Episodes: 82
Unsealed Alien Files is a US documentary television program that investigates documents relating to alien encounters and UFOs, made accessible to the public since 2011 by the Freedom of Information Act. Each episode examines foreign cases such as mass UFO sightings, alien abductions, and government cover-ups. and alien news from around the world.
6. ΞX+RΛNORMΛL El Origen
Original Run: March 21, 2007 – present
Number of Episodes: 11 seasons
ΞX+RΛNORMΛL is a Mexican television show based on the esoteric, the supernatural, the miraculous, and the paranormal. Samantha Arteaga presents the investigations carried out by Joe Herrera, always guided by specialists in the paranormal Octavio Elizondo (harmonizer and expert in metaphysics), Miriam Verdecía (harmonize), and Luisa Cárdenas (medium and seer), and previous seasons Laura Rivas (paranormal investigator and spiritualist).
These investigations are carried out inside or outside of Mexico, in places where there are ghostly manifestations or some paranormal event or religious events classified as demonic events. The program is the most recognized in Spanish speaking and throughout Latin America, regarding paranormal issues and is considered a true reference in the esoteric environment, it enjoys great acceptance in Mexico, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru and Colombia.
7. In Search of…
Original Run: April 17, 1977 – March 1, 1982 / October 4, 2002 – November 22, 2002 / July 20, 2018 – September 14, 2018
Number of Episodes: 166
It dealt with a variety of topics, including the paranormal (such as UFOs, Bigfoot, and Nessie), missing persons (such as Anna Anderson, Duchess Anastasia, Jack the Ripper, Butch Cassidy, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, and D.B. Cooper), historical events (such as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln), cults (such as Pastor Jim Jones), places (such as the Bermuda Triangle and Easter Island), ships (such as the Mary Celeste and the RMS Titanic), and vanished cities (such as the Roanoke Colony).
Due to the controversy of the topics discussed at the beginning of each program, there was a warning about the theme of the program. The production contained interviews, photomontages, and film recordings presented by Nimoy’s voice. The style was more expository than explanatory, although the background music gave it an air of mystery and suspense.
Nimoy’s popularity with viewers (due to his role as Mr. Spock on the television series Star Trek) endeared him to some circles. Nimoy was fascinated when the subject of Vincent van Gogh was brought up. It had been said that Van Gogh was crazy but Nimoy discovered evidence that he suffered from epilepsy. The series led to six sequels in various books about lost civilizations, aliens, magic, witchcraft, strange phenomena, myths, and monsters.
8. Paranormal Witness
Original Run: September 7, 2011 – November 27, 2013 / August 26, 2015 – October 26, 2016
Number of Episodes: 64
Paranormal Witness is an American documentary program on the Syfy network in which people who claim to have experienced a paranormal phenomenon are interviewed while a dramatized report is broadcast in which several events are told. On September 7, 2011, the first program premiered. After being one of the series most followed by the audience, the producer decided to renew Paranormal Witness for a second season divided into 12 episodes and a third of 20 in August 2012 and June 2013 respectively.
9. Enquête sur le monde invisible
Original Release: September 30, 2002
Running Time: 87 minutes
Living in the middle of a primitive nature still in formation, Icelandic society maintains secret relationships with a community of invisible beings: the elves. Many Icelanders also claim to have seen ghosts, others observe water monsters or communicate with angels and aliens. Based on disturbing confessions, this suspenseful investigation confronts us with a fundamental question: are we alone in the universe?
10. Out of the Blue
Original Run: 2003
Number of Episodes: 95 minutes
Next up on our list of the best alien documentaries of all time is Out of the Blue. Out of the Blue is a 2003 feature-length documentary about the UFO phenomenon which premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel on June 24, 2003. It was produced by American filmmaker James Fox. The film is narrated by Peter Coyote and attempts to show, through interviews with members of the scientific community, eyewitnesses, and senior government and military officials, that some unidentified flying objects may be of extraterrestrial origin and that secrecy and ridicule are used to cover up the UFO issue.
There is a sequel published in 2009 in a special on the History Channel, titled I Know What I Saw, also by James Fox, which expands on the testimonies given in Out of the Blue and documents new alleged sightings in the interim period after its publication
11. The Phenomenon
Original Run: October 6, 2020
Number of Episodes: 100 minutes
The Phenomenon is an American documentary film from 2020 that deals with the UFO phenomenon, and takes a holistic view of over 70 years of UFO research and reports. The producers were James Fox and Marc Barasch, together with the company CE3 film. The distributor was 1091 media and the narrator was, once again, Peter Coyote. The film premiered on October 6, 2020.
12. Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World
Original Run: September 2 – November 25, 1980
Number of Episodes: 13
Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World is a documentary series written and hosted by Arthur C. Clarke. Thirteen episodes were shot. The crystal skull in the opening credits became a trademark, which included, among others, a photo of a ghost and a fork bent with psychokinesis, as well as music composed by Alan Hawkshaw.
It was the first broadcast on British television in September 1980. The series had two sequels: Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers in 1985 and Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious Universe in 1994. Arthur C. Clarke briefly recounted his views on the theme of each episode, filmed in Sri Lanka. Overall, the narrator was Gordon Honeycombe.
Original Run: October 17, 1991 – December 23, 1998 / April 17, 1992 – September 11, 1997
Number of Episodes: 114
Sightings was an American paranormal and news television show that originally aired during the 1990s. The show actually started off as a special titled The UFO Report: Sightings, which aired on October 17, 1991; what followed were several follow-up reports, titled Ghost Report and the Psychic Experience.
Linda Moulton Howe, an Emmy Award-winning TV producer and documentary filmmaker known for her TV specials about science and the environment, was the original concept creator and supervising producer of the original special, which was produced by Paramount for Fox TV. Her experience with such topics comes from the Emmy Award-winning show titled A Strange Harvest (KMGH-TV in May 1980), which talked about the worldwide animal mutilation mystery linked by law enforcement to extraterrestrial biological entities.
Original Run: June 24, 1994 – January 23, 1996
Number of Episodes: 18
Encounters: The Hidden Truth is the title of an hour-long TV series that focused on real-life stories of paranormal experiences. This special format had a host (John Marshall) and a team of reporters that presented a total of three or four stories per episode. The episodes would deal with UFOs, crop circles, exorcism, prophets, psychics, reincarnation, as well as other supernatural phenomena. They were presented in a news/documentary film style. The stories were presented through witness interviews and reenactments of the events mentioned in these interviews. The host and reporters would then discuss their reactions to some of the stories.
Encounters was initially on the Fox network and were used mainly as a summer replacement series and fill-in show for other canceled series. The show first aired Fridays at 8:00 pm during the summer of 1994. The show was then broadcast sporadically without a fixed schedule. In the final 3 editions of the show, Steven Williams (The X-Files) replaced John Marshall as the host. Two of those episodes aired in November 1995 and the final episode aired on January 23, 1996.
15. Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation
Original Run: May 31, 2019 – August 22, 2020
Number of Episodes: 14
Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation was a History Channel TV series that supposedly exposed the US government’s secret programs which focused on the investigations of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
The series starred former military counter-intelligence officer Luis Elizondo, who was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, as well as Christopher Mellon, the former United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Elizondo revealed in the series that he quit out of frustration, because the government was not taking UFOs seriously enough, while he considered them to be a national security threat.
And that’s it! We’ve come to the end of our list of the best alien documentaries of all time. I hope you’ve found something interesting to watch!