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October 26, 2014

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Meet Las Vegan Ben McGee, the skeptic on new show Chasing UFOs

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Dean Bradshaw, National Geographic Channel

Catch McGee this Friday, as Chasing UFOs premieres June 29.

One day you’re playing trombone for Gladys Knight and teaching part-time at CSN, the next you’re starring in a National Geographic TV show about UFO sightings (you in this scenario being geoscientist/freelance trombonist Ben McGee).

When you were pitched Chasing UFOs, did you say yes right away?

Not immediately. If you want a career as a scientist, touching anything with UFO on it has ... implications, let’s say. But I’m a big believer in education outreach. And all the people who have questions about UFOs, they’re right to ask them. So ultimately, I said yes.

Does the show have a particular outlook, pro-UFO or skeptical?

National Geographic wants to promote the scientific look—I’m a skeptic—but they also want other perspectives. So the viewers get slices of all sides of the story.

Details

Chasing UFOs
Premieres June 29, 9 p.m.
National Geographic Channel

Have you come across anything that might have been a UFO?

I will say, in a couple instances, I was convinced that something happened. Was it necessarily aliens? No. But you can’t just wave these claims away. I believe there are questions that need to be explored before you can jump to the conclusion [that aliens haven’t visited Earth].

Sounds like you’re being diplomatic ...

They gave me a nickname on the show: Dream Crusher.

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