Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Netflixs iUnsolved Mysteries/i reboot premieres in July, and at least one episode is about aliens
Screenshot: YouTube

On July 1, Netflix will drop six new episodes of Unsolved Mysteries, which was not a news broadcast but rather a torrent of nightmare fuel hosted by the inimitable Robert Stack. Stack, sadly, has been dead since 2003, but the rest of the team behind the bygone series is returning for the 12-episode revival, which counts Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy among its backers. And the best news? There’s at least one episode about aliens.

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What made Unsolved Mysteries such a singular experience was that its focus went far beyond the true crime bent of its contemporaries, with many episodes focusing on paranormal occurrences and UFOs that were unpacked through reenactments that scarred no shortage of ‘90s kids. That will be the case here as well—one episode, “Berkshire’s UFO,” centers around a 1969 UFO sighting in Berkshire County, MA. Several of the other episodes concern disappearances and odd lapses in time, which, hey, could also be the work of aliens. You never know.

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Out of respect to Stack—and, well, modern docuseries conventions—there will be no host. The original’s title music remains intact, though, as does the show’s desire to involve the audience in the story. “Unsolved Mysteries will now be more interactive than ever,” reads a statement from producers Terry Dunn Meurer and John Cosgrove. “Members can press pause to study a photo or document. They can rewind and revisit case details at any timeoptions that weren’t available to our early followers.”

“When an episode concludes, anyone with relevant information is directed to unsolved.com and, if applicable, a law enforcement agency,” the statement continues. “We’ve staffed up to ensure that leads are quickly passed to the appropriate parties.”

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Watch a trailer for the season below and perhaps you can help solve a mystery.

The series’ first six episodes touch down on July 1. Six more will follow at a later date. See the synopses of the first batch below.

“Mystery on the Rooftop,” directed by Marcus A. Clarke

The body of newlywed Rey Rivera was found in an abandoned conference room at Baltimore’s historic Belvedere Hotel in May 2006, eight days after he mysteriously disappeared. While the Baltimore Police maintained that the 32-year-old committed suicide by jumping from the hotel’s roof, the medical examiner declared Rey’s death “unexplained.” Many, including his devastated wife, Allison, suspect foul play.

“13 Minutes,” directed by Jimmy Goldblum

Patrice Endres, 38, mysteriously vanished from her Cumming, Georgia, hair salon in broad daylight, during a 13-minute timeframe, leaving behind her teenage son, Pistol. Patrice’s disappearance intensified the existing tensions between Pistol and his stepfather as they dealt with the loss and searched for answers.

“House of Terror,” directed by Clay Jeter

In April 2011, French police discovered the wife and four children of Count Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès buried under the back porch of their home in Nantes. Xavier, the family patriarch, was not among the dead and nowhere to be found. Investigators gradually pieced together clues and a timeline that pointed to Xavier as a devious, pre-meditate killer. For instance, they now know that shortly before the crimes occurred, Xavier inherited a gun that was the same model as the murder weapon.

“No Ride Home,” directed by Marcus A. Clarke

Alonzo Brooks, 23, never returned home from a party he attended with friends in the predominantly white town of La Cygne, Kansas. A month later, a search party led by his family locates Alonzo’s body — in an area that law enforcement had already canvassed multiple times. The FBI recently reopened the case and on June 11, announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any responsible parties in Alonzo’s death.

“Berkshire’s UFO,” directed by Marcus A. Clarke

On September 1, 1969, many residents in Berkshire County, Massachusetts were traumatized by a sighting of a UFO. Eyewitnesses — many just children at the time — have spent their lives trying to convince the world that what they saw was real.

“Missing Witness,” directed by Clay Jeter

At age 17, a guilt-ridden Lena Chapin confessed to helping her mother dispose of her murdered stepfather’s body four years prior. In 2012, Lena was issued a subpoena to testify against her mother in court, but the authorities were never able to deliver the summonsbecause Lena had disappeared, leaving behind a young son.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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