If you’ve listened to the show for a while, you’ve heard me mention Hellier, the independently produced documentary series released last year on Youtube to wide acclaim. If you haven’t listened, here’s what I said about it in Encounter 48, back in February of this year (more or less, this is from the script which I sometimes deviate from):
We’ll end on a high note. Hellier is a five part documentary series produced by Greg Newkirk and Dana Newkirk, directed by Karl Pfeiffer, and co-Produced by Connor Randall. It’s the newest of the works I’m discussing, appearing just in January of 2019, and it is something.Since it’s so current, I don’t want to spoil too much, but the work—five hours or so total—is more about high strangeness than UFOs, but the UFO connections are there and—as we’ve seen over the past couple years, the lines between UFOs and spirits and monsters are highly permeable. This is well-produced, creepy, and delves into UFOlgical topics that I never thought I’d see a documentary aimed at a broad paranormal audiences approach—Indrid Cold appears (well, not appears, per se), as does a very strange book that we may cover in the future if I can ever figure it out- Allan Greenfield’s Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts.Mysterious and sinister messages, weirdness in Appalachia— including strange, goblin-like creatures—and more synchronicities and meaningful coincidences than you can shake a stick at. If you enjoyed Saucer Life episodes on Gray Barker and John Keel, you’ll like this. If you’re one of those “you got your ghost hunting in my ufology! Gross!” types, or know someone who is, check out Hellier for a vision of how these fields are more compatible and complementary than we give them credit for.I rate Hellier good. A second installment is planned, apparently, which could certainly move it into the rarified air of crucial—I’m hesitant to do so now, with the story still being told. Check it out.
Season 2 will be upon us soon and I was very graciously provided with a press kit from the good people at Planet Weird. Everything I said above remains true and my opinion of the project as a whole is trending toward the “It’s Crucial” level. The following is from their press release:
Planet Weird’s cinematic documentary series HELLIER returns with ten highly anticipated new episodes poised to change the way paranormal television is experienced. Following a search for strange creatures in Hellier, a team of paranormal investigators are contacted by a mysterious figure with new information about extraterrestrial contact in rural Kentucky. What begins as a fresh lead soon descends into an Appalachian conspiracy involving murder, occult rituals, and an ancient intelligence, forcing the team to question the true nature of the Phenomena.
I’ve watched the first five of the new episodes, and I wanted to provide you with a bit of a spoiler-free précis of my thoughts on them.
It’s a continuation of what we saw in the first run of shows last year, yes, but the tone is a bit different. That first season could never be described as light or breezy, but I think the new episodes drift toward a bit of a darker tone. From the very beginning, I had the impression that things were going to be getting very strange and—and this is a term I’ve seen floating around so I don’t think I’m alone in this—unsettling. The press release features the phrase “an Appalachian conspiracy involving murder” so, yeah. My impressions proved correct—it gets dark and strange in the best possible ways. I had to make an effort to watch during day light hours, but I’m of a tender disposition. Your mileage may vary. I’ll say this: any scene involving a cave doesn’t do my claustrophobia any good.
What I liked about these episodes—and why I’m recommending it to you—is that there are some really solid connections between what they’re talking about and some of the topics and personalities that we’ve covered on the show. One of the people they talked to, in particular, was quite a bit of a surprise to me and I’m not gonna lie, I jumped out of my chair and ran to tell my wife all about it. She was sleeping at the time, so she didn’t really share in my enthusiasm, but i’m sure she will be once she’s fully conscious. You’ll know it when you see it, possibly. The show also continues to showcase some of the aspects of research into these areas that don’t always appear on most of the “paranormal television shows” out there and I particularly sympathize with the struggle to figure out what built landscapes looked like in decades past. There’s a sequence in episode 2 of the new season where I felt a sort of sympathetic headache for the team as they played the “what would this street have looked like 35 years ago” game.
There’s a lot I want to say, but I don’t want to spoil things. I will say this—Greg, Dana, Karl, Connor, and Tyler’s work has pushed me to take some closer looks at aspects of the flying saucer mystery that had always been a bit outside my wheelhouse, and it’s refreshing to be pushed from time to time and I’m eagerly anticipating watching the back half of the season when it drops later this week.
if you haven’t seen the first run of episodes, I really recommend you start there; if you want to dive right into the new season, they do a pretty good job of providing some callbacks that may get you up to speed. Really, though, I urge you to watch season 1 first. Season 2 of Hellier will be released on Amazon Prime this coming Friday (that’s November 29) and two weeks later, it will be freely available on Youtube (that’s December 13). I commend them for releasing the episodes on YouTube, when they could, obviously, just keep the thing confined to Amazon Prime.