Blogpost #2 UFO Hunters – Pat Uskert
Finding the right people for an interview isn’t always easy. But sometimes it’s just a matter of simply switching on your TV. A few weeks ago I was watching a couple of episodes of UFO Hunters on History Channel. The many intriguing aspects such as mystery, profound research and government cover-ups fascinated me. One of the creators and hosts of the show, Pat Uskert, has been kind enough to agree to an interview during which we talked about a wide range of subjects. From exploring new countries and finding your passion, to the influence of media on events that shook the world.
Pat grew up in San Francisco, California after his parents and he moved from Slovakia. Even at a young age he knew a nine-to-five job was not for him. After high school he joined the United States military and specifically requested to be stationed in Europe. “I wanted to get out of my hometown and see the world”, Pat explains. “Because I was stationed near Frankfurt in Germany, I got the chance to travel through many other European countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece and explore different cultures. That sort of started my appetite for adventure.”
In his mid-thirties he got a taste of the office life nonetheless, a desk job at American internet corporation Yahoo. “Those were the most depressing years of my life”, he recalls. “But I got a wake-up call by e-mail from a friend of mine. She was studying Yoga in India at the time, doing something she enjoyed. I thought to myself ‘there’s no point in being miserable’. You have to do the thing you were born to do. Otherwise you’re going to miss your life’s purpose.”
Subsequently Pat quit his office job and started experimenting and working with video cameras, which after a while lead to something he never expected to happen: a career in front of the camera. “I wanted to work behind the scenes as a producer. I didn’t set out to be a presenter, but I was asked to take on that job. At first I didn’t feel particularly comfortable”, he admits. “But you get used to it.”
As is the case with many situations in life, coincidence played a huge role in the creation of the show UFO Hunters. “A few years ago I made a documentary about UFO’s in which I went on a kind of road trip and interviewed people, who witnessed events they thought were bizarre and from another world. People with respectable careers. Astronauts, pilots and police officers among others. The video got on the internet and Bill Birnes of UFO Magazine happened to see it. He contacted me and to my surprise he lived only a few blocks away. Eventually Bill managed to persuade producers to turn the concept of a UFO road trip into a television show.”
UFO Hunters unfortunately stopped after three seasons. A big disappointment for Pat and the rest of the cast and crew, who wanted to do another one or two seasons. “It was a lot of hard work, but fun to do”, he says. “And it opened the doors for other shows about this subject.”
The one thing Pat learned during the show that really surprised him, is the way reality is manipulated by the media, especially in the United States. “I want people to become more aware of that”, he emphasizes. “Because there are many events that are spun and presently differently to the public. That’s why people should research certain news items for themselves and find out the truth.”
Author’s Note: Pat gave me some really interesting material about the subject to research. I’m planning on writing an article about that as well, so keep checking this blog for updates!
One adventure may have ended after three seasons, but there is plenty of undiscovered territory in the world, yet to be explored. Pat chose to go back to his roots and visit his family in Slovakia. “When I arrived there, I noticed how beautiful this country in Central Europe was”, he says. “But when I started looking for travel videos or documentaries about Slovakia, there weren’t any. That’s why I decided to make one myself.”
What comes next in terms of career or projects, he doesn’t know yet. “I’m always trying to find a way to live my life in a rather unconventional way”, he confides. “I hope to find my true passion one of these days. Perhaps it turns out to be making documentaries.”
If the sneak preview of Pat’s travel video about Slovakia is anything to go by, that might just be it! Go to http://www.adventuresinslovakia.com for more information. On YouTube you can also find most of the episodes of UFO Hunters. Check it out!