Sunday, December 27, 2009

What is the Secret of The X-Files’ Success?

For a TV series based on a concept with a very improbable mass appeal, what then is the secret of the success of The X-Files?

By: Ringo Bones

First released to an unsuspecting American public during the time when the Clinton Administration era economic prosperity finally trickled down to working-class America, it seems that it is very improbable that a TV series like The X-Files managed to gain not only critical acclaim but mass appeal as well. With a concept that – at the time of first release – seems to cater to a very tiny group of “conspiracy nuts” I often wondered; what really is the secret of The X-Files’ runaway success?

Maybe kids during those days had nothing else to latch on to after Kurt Cobain “permanently” quit Nirvana and most of them are not “adventurous” enough to riffle through the bins of independent record stores to discover the punk band Lunachicks - which makes it quite a probable reason the success of The X-Files after deciding that their lives back then are a lot more interesting than Friends or Melrose Place.

Maybe Chris Carter jumped the gun in proving that government conspiracies are a matter of fact. After all, The X-Files was already gaining mass appeal when everyone witnessed the US Government’s “less than truthful” investigation of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing of April 19, 1995 and the “conspiracy laden” TWA Flight 800 crash investigation. Even Sam Cohen – inventor of the Neutron Bomb – concludes that Timothy McVeigh’s truckload of ammonium nitrate won’t do that kind of damage to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Maybe it was Chris Carter’s decision to portray the two FBI agents Fox Mülder and Dana Scully in a non-threatening platonic romance. Which is kind of weird really, when the two characters still haven’t “hopped into the sack yet” well into the TV series’ fourth season. Given that FBI agent Fox Mülder is an unabashed porno enthusiast. Surprisingly, this is the very reason why the women fan-base that I know of fell in love with The X-Files. Who am I to argue?

The Majestic 12 Documents: Wellspring of Chris Carter’s The X-Files?

Believed to be the definitive US Government documents proving the existence of a crashed extraterrestrial vehicle on US soil, is the Majestic 12 Documents the inspiration behind The X-Files?

By: Ringo Bones

Back in 1992, when the US Government finally began to accept that the Cold War is really over. Things that were thought impossible just five years before started to happen with alarming regularity, like the disestablishment of the US Strategic Air Command in June 1992. Not to mention Cold War era top secret operations being published in the New York Times, like the use of modified Boeing B-47 Stratojets as ad hoc reconnaissance aircraft to spy over Soviet airspace before the U-2 spy plane became operational. Given that the old Gray Lady was getting a lot of moolah for this. A then relatively obscure visionary by the name of Chris Carter tried to jump the gun in money making terms by using some of the leaked portions of the Majestic 12 Documents as the wellspring of creating his magnum opus that we now come to know as The X-Files. But what are the Majestic 12 Documents, and more importantly, do they serve as proof for the existence of a crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft supposedly capable of faster-than-light interstellar travel on American soil?

The Majestic 12 Documents are a set of documents purportedly supposed to document the existence of Majestic 12 – the purported code name of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and US Government officials, supposedly formed back in 1947 by an executive order of then US President Harry S Truman. The purpose of the committee was to investigate Unidentified Flying Object(s) / UFO activity in the aftermath of the Roswell, New Mexico incident of July 1947 and the sightings of “flying saucers” on the outskirts of Seattle, Washington on that same year. The Majestic 12 committee is an important part of the UFO conspiracy theory of a still on-going cover up of vital UFO information.

The existence of the Majestic 12 committee is sometimes associated with in some 1980s era UFO conspiracy literature with the more historically verifiable – but also deeply secretive – NSC 5412 / 2 Special Group created by then President Dwight D. Eisenhower back in 1954. The NSC 5412 / 2 Special Group – often referred simply as the special group – was initially a secret, but later became a public, subcommittee of the United States National Security Council responsible for coordinating US Government sanctioned covert operations. It was created as a part of the Planning Coordination Group by then President Eisenhower’s Presidential Directive 5412 / 1 on March 15, 1954. Nelson Rockefeller, the then Special Assistant to the President for Foreign Affairs, initially headed the group. A further directive – called the NSC 5412 / 2 – was issued later on December 28, 1954. Assigning responsibility for co-ordination of covert actions to the representatives of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the President respectively. The group continued to operate at least throughout the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and a similar concept may exist under other names as part of the current US Executive Branch infrastructure.

Given that the vital information needed to finally either prove or disprove the existence of extraterrestrial spacecraft capable of faster-than-light interstellar travel crashing on US soil and being reverse-engineered by top scientist under tenure by the US Department of Defense is still a matter on national security. Information of such a sensitive nature is still not readily available to the general public in order to either prove or debunk the existence of these “UFOs”. Even the data concerning UFOs gathered by Number 10 Downing Street is deemed “too sensitive” that it is still classified Top Secret under the British Government’s Official Secrets Act. Maybe that famed computer hacker bloke named Gary McKinnon can shed light on this. But whatever each of us believes, The X-Files did manage to keep fans satisfied and Chris Carter very wealthy.