Episode 83: The Phenomenon – Encore
Hello everyone and welcome back, I am so very excited to share this particular episode with you. In my podcast, and in my Facebook group I have never made any secret of the fact that I have had ET or Star People encounters my entire life. I have shared in this podcast and in others where I have been interviewed, snippets of my experiences here and there. I’ve never been shy about talking about what I have been a part of – along with countless others throughout the world. So UFO’s, encounters, and abductions have always been a passion of mine. It’s been a part of my knowing since I was a child – and part of the reason I started this podcast to begin with. To help share information and knowledge about life that exists outside of this reality, that we are all currently aware of, and knowing about.
So I do keep and eye out on what is and more importantly isn’t put out into all forms of media about this subject, and all associated areas. So when I first heard of the new documentary movie released by the director James Fox, and heard so many good comments about it – I simply had to watch it myself. To see for myself, if it lived up to it’s hype. Well, I have to say – and it’s not often that I do say this about documentaries like this, that this one exceeded my expectations. I was so impressed with it and with the point that James simply presents the facts and lets you, the viewer, make up their own minds – although the evidence is pretty clear to see for those with open eyes and open minds.
So, taking a huge leap of faith, I worked very hard to find contact details for James and sent him an email asking if he would be interested in talking with us all about this movie, and what brought it about. Also whatever else that he might want to share. To be honest, I didn’t expect a response, after all who am I in the grand scheme of things, merely a small podcaster. This episode is the end result of that email. And so, as always the question is, are you willing to walk with me into this part of the shadowlands and see what awaits us there? Then let’s begin.
My guest is fairly well known throughout the world. Especially in UFO circles. English born, but raised in the USA, James began his career as a documentary film maker in his twenties, after travelling the world assisting his father who was a respected journalist. He has already created a number of UFO related movies that he is well known for.
Starting in nineteen-ninety-seven with the documentary ‘UFOs: 50 Years of Denial?’ Followed in two thousand and three with the Documentary movie ‘Out of the Blue’. Then in two thousand and nine with the TV movie documentary ‘I Know What I Saw’, and with a re-released and updated version of it called ‘I Know What I Saw: Directors Cut’ in twenty-fourteen. Finally, this year with the release of his tremendously successful and popular ‘The Phenomenon’. Which since it’s release in October 2020 has remained number one in the top rankings for documentary movies. A testament to the fact that people are wanting to know the truth, wanting to know that we are not alone in the universe and this movie certainly fulfils that need in my opinion.
Before I start this conversation with my wonderful guest James Fox I am going to begin with a quote from Christopher Mellon. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Intelligence in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and later for Security and Information Operations. He formerly served as the Staff Director of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. So this is a man in the know.
“Everything that we know and have learned about mankind and its place in the universe suggests that we are part of the norm. We are not the exception.”
JAMES FOX – THE PHENOMENON
James, thank you so very much for joining us today. Perhaps we could start with you telling us about how you got into into documentary film-making. And specifically how you got into the area of UFO documentaries?
Well, thank you for having me on the show. That would take us back to the early 1990s. Where I had a father who was paralysed from the neck down with multiple sclerosis, and he was a writer. And so I’ve been traveling – oh, he was a fantastic, hilarious, driven, ambitious, intelligent, witty, great, fun guy. We travelled the world together. I was his legs, his chauffeur, his secretary, his nurse. We had a lot of fun. We interviewed Stephen Hawking. We interviewed race car legend Dan Gurney. We travelled to Formula One races down in Mexico City.
I mean, we did some really cool stuff. And my dad, my father was a brilliant writer. I was always amazed at how he could put words together and so good at it got such a skill. And I had picked up probably in the late 80s, very early 90s, certainly the late 80s, early 90s, a video camera from a friend of mine. And I was so amazed at the technology of just the instant you know –
It was tape back then. But the video, the instant playback, it’s like, you know, it was amazing. It was a real novelty back then and what a great tool it was for documenting things. And so I started doing video production, you know, probably my very early 20s and probably I don’t know. I want to say when I was around twenty-three twenty-four, a very good high school friend of mine, one of my best friends, one of my best mates. We we bought a car in Lon – and we flew to Europe from America and we bought a car in London. And we drove this old Fiat one thirty-one. We painted the doors red. Paid 200 pounds for it.
We drove it all the way to Portugal, had just just had a hell of an adventure together. And the car didn’t make it out of Portugal and take a bus back. But it was a good friend of mine, this guy Renee. And he started to tell me back back in the US about UFOs. And one of my best friends, honestly, and I had – he didn’t talk to me about it in high school, but he talked to me about it later in our early twenties. And I thought he’d lost his mind. I really did. He was talking about Roswell in particular. You haven’t heard about Roswell? You know? And I just thought, well, he’s been a good friend and I’m gonna have to write him off, and he’s lost his mind.
And I was telling the story to a mentor of mine. I was apprenticing in a video production house in San Francisco, Ellison Horn production, something like this. And this guy, Richard Van Sickle, was was one of the senior people at the production house. He’s a brilliant guy. I really looked up to him and I just one day told him, oh, you’re not going to believe it. A really good friend of mine was telling me about UFOs and then about how a UFO crashed and aliens were recovered in Roswell back in the forties. I said god, my poor friend, he’s lost his mind. And Richard turned to me and he says, Oh, no, you haven’t heard about that? And I said what do you mean I haven’t heard of it? No, I haven’t heard.
He goes, oh yeah, that fully happened. He said they actually admitted that it happened. And I thought, well, hang on a minute. Like Richard is someone that I look up to and I respect, he’s very intelligent. And he runs his video production company. And I thought, well, Richard thinks it happened, maybe I should take a closer look. And so I did. And I went to a couple of conferences and I befriended some military guys. Basically exchanged, offered an exchange of documenting them and making, you know, making their interviews available to the public. And documenting presentations and things of that nature. And in exchange, they kind of brought me into their world a bit. And then I think when I was twenty-four, maybe twenty-five, I said, hey, I’m going to do a documentary on UFOs.
And I was amazed at how – not unsupportive, my father was, because my father was incredibly supportive of everything I’ve done. He was the guy that would say, son, you know, if you ever want to do whatever it is in life, as long as you’re happy, if you want to be a garbage man or a teacher or, you know, I just as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters in life. And he was that guy. And yet, he was so opposed to me doing a documentary on UFO’s. I mean, he was begging me not to do it. He used things like, you’re going down a one-way street. It’s dead end, there’s nothing to it. It’s a waste of your life. And he even had other members of the family which actually lived in Australia and England and France and Italy and even Singapore, writing letters and telling me to reconsider. And your father was very concerned and this kind of thing. And of course, being a Taurus I thought, well, you know, I’ll prove this guy’s wrong. And I think it was actually just what I needed because I didn’t realize how difficult it was to, you know, to shoot a documentary and edit and write. And that’s a lot of work.
It’s a lot of work.
I mean, it took me four and a half years. But I did it and I sold it to Discovery Channel. And, you know, it was moderately successful. For the time it was beautifully received. I, I eventually got invited to go to Russia because of it. And I sort of got the last laugh, really, you know, and people sort of stood back and thought, well, hang on a second. I wouldn’t say I had the full attention of the family, but they were OK. Wow. And I thought, that’s the last UFO doc I ever do. You know, that was hell, you know, and since then, I’ve learned never to say never. You know, that that’s because I’m on my own. I just finished my fourth and a half film on the topic. So all twenty-seven years later. . .
Oh that’s funny. Why do you – Oh yeah, never say never. That’s absolutely a true saying, because, something always comes up doesn’t it?
Oh my gosh. Yes. You know, that’s the thing. It’s like I got invited to Russia. And, it was funny, actually, because something I don’t really share that often, but I was – and if I’m rambling, just cut me off.
But I think I was selling copies. It was when Art Bell was doing, was in the peak of Art Bell’s show,
Ah, the King.
Yes. And we we got featured a little bit on our bell and we were selling, which would have been VHS tapes, I’m assuming. Don’t think the DVDs were popular back then. I’m get I’m going to say VHS tapes. And I was selling VHS tapes of the film as well. I maintain home videos, home video distribution rights. So I could do that on my own and make extra money from the Discovery Channel sale, which I was doing. And I got a letter back from a gentleman who very kindly said, hey, I bought one of your your tapes and it arrived at my house, broken. His name was Joe Belardi and I, and he said, would you mind terribly sending me another one? And and I said, of course.
I wrote him a letter and I thanked him so much for support. And I said, Here’s your money back for the inconvenience, here’s your postage back. Here’s two tapes, one for you. And please feel free to pass another one on to a friend of yours. Oh, and, and, you know, thank you. And that was it. And about three weeks later, I kid you not! I never met this guy. He sent me a check for twenty thousand dollars. And he said, I like the way you operate. I like what you’re doing, I’m a wealthy man and I – don’t stop. And yeah, then I got invited to Russia and that was – that paid my way to Russia. And then I started shooting generals – and they thought I was Fox from Fox News. So I had all this, like military escorts. I kid you. I’m not kidding you. If you ever watch Out of the Blue you’ll see some in there. And I when I got home from Russia, I said, well, I guess I’m doing another film on the topic. I didn’t mean to, but how could I not? These opportunities are presenting themselves. And and that was the birth of Out Of The Blue.
Wow, that’s amazing. No, there’s a saying that I really, really like and that’s what comes from the heart, touches the heart. And obviously the fact that you went out of your way to send not one, but two in and we found him his money was, you know, that obviously touched him deeply.
Yeah, well, I you know, I treated him just like I would want anyone else. I mean, you know, my girlfriend at the time, it was really funny. I’ll never forget it. She was like, you know, you can’t afford to be giving stuff away. And I said, just stop. You know, just please, just stop. This is how I operate and just, you know, and so when that check arrived, I kind of like looked at her, and I think she realized. But you know, but things like that happen. And there are really great people in the world that have made this this effort possible. And I you know, Jesus I mean, there were times on many occasions where I was so broke, I couldn’t even barely afford to pay attention. And I have to keep keep pushing forward, you know.
Right. I’ve never heard that saying before. Couldn’t afford to pay attention. Ah that’s really funny. Can I go back to your Dad for a second, just a follow on? Why do you feel that he was so not keen, not supportive about you doing UFO videos?
You know, there was a campaign that started in the fifties, back in nineteen-fifty-three.
The Robertson channel of ridicule, right? Yeah, and that was a very effective campaign to discredit and discredit and ridicule the topic. And it was a very effective campaign and very effective. My dad was a mainstream journalist, so he was like, you know, this is nonsense. And he just he never looked into it. I mean, most people that quickly dismiss UFOs, myself included. I mean, I’m guilty of it as well.
It’s embedded in our psyche, you know, and it was an intentional thing that was done. A very effective campaign, and, and it stuck. And so anybody, you know, it’s like knee jerk, you know, UFOs, [snaps fingers] crackpot! [snaps fingers] UFOs. I remember I dated this girl, Rachel, back in college. And I was 18 and she was 19. And she’s, she said to me, oh, my my my previous boyfriend was, was really into UFOs. And I just I was like urghh, well, what you like what? I didn’t ask another question, like, what an idiot! How would you date that guy, you know? But isn’t that funny? I mean, it was I was totally, you know, that programming, or whatever it is affected me too.
Social manipulation at its finest, that’s a classic example. Did you find that you had – When you when you started to make The Phenomenon, did you find that you had resistance from any area getting it night? Like what were the major hurdles that you had to overcome to make it?
It was a nearly eight-year push, and I only recently in the last couple of weeks, have been able to kind of breathe and reflect on the journey and, and and how difficult it was. I shared this with other people. I have PTSD from, from this film. And, yeah, it was really, really intense. I mean, my God, there was there were some very dark, trying times. It’s the best way I can describe it is that – first of all, anything you do that’s worthy of anything, is incredibly difficult. And you have to remind yourself, if it were easy, it would have been done. If it were easy, it would have been done already. And I’m pretty energetic and enthusiastic and, you know, stay, stay positive and nose to the grindstone. I like to enjoy myself and have fun, but I also work very, very hard.
And and this, this project. You say some of the hurdles. I mean, Jesus, where do you begin? I mean, there was it was a hurdle every single day. Some of them seemed insurmountable. There were times when people tried to shut me down, out of maybe just jealousy. I don’t know? I had to go through many different funding – ran out of money a number of times. I became a dad at a time when things weren’t going particularly well with the film, and funds had dried up. And I had to switch partners and find new producers and new, new financial backing and it’s incredibly challenging. And look, these things happen. And especially with an independent production, and you just have to keep pushing. And you just don’t take no for an answer. And you’ve got to – hate to say it, to sell your vision. And you’d think it would be, you know, much easier considering it was my fourth and a half attempt, or project. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on easy street at all. I mean, you know, you can be the flavour of the week and then you’re – Doesn’t matter what you produce in the past.
What the challenges were? Every possible every possible challenge. Just even getting interviews at times, even when there were times when we had money, it was hard because trying to secure interviews. People are quirky, you know, some people – The whole thing was hard, and then you get to the end and you’re exhausted. And you’ve asked, you’ve underestimated the budget and. New things come out and you try to keep the project current. And at some point you have to say, look, this thing is done. Like we’re done here. And usually that happens once you’re out of money, but you can also just be out of juice. Just, you know, you just don’t have any more to push. And, you know, you got that last ten percent is critical, because, we had a version that was about two hours and twenty minutes, maybe? Something like this.
Some people were like, oh, it’s awesome. And I knew inside, no, it’s not awesome. This thing needs to be trimmed. Trimmed right down, and that’s a pretty brutal process. But you got to keep pushing. Those end months are critical to film success and and make sure the, the audio is done properly. All the colour correction is done properly, you know, combing through every bit of narration. And weeding out anything that doesn’t belong, or anything that’s redundant. And it’s hard because you get connected to this stuff. So, yeah, anyway, you just you just got to keep pushing and you can’t let up, you know, even when you’re exhausted and you’re on all fours and you barely walking. That last push is very critical, very critical. The film wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful, successful as it is now. Had we gone out with the with the even the second or third cut. Yeah. So I hope I answered that question?
You did. And that’s – I can understand, because, I actually – well, I was a nurse for most of my work and I had to leave it because of a work related injury. So I retrained as a graphic design and a computer, computer and website designer. And one of the things that they really pushed into us when I was training, and it happened so many times. When you’re creating a project and you really love what you’ve done. But, you look at it and you have to throw the good cuts out. The bits that you think are good out, but actually they don’t need to be there. So, I totally get what you were saying about having to throw bits of your – cut bits off your documentary out. It’s hard.
I, I remember one time in particular what it took to assemble this whole historical segment and when it went – not just to get there, not just to obtain the content, you know? but, but also putting it together and writing a narrative. I mean, it was months, and months and months, and months, and months. We edited it for three and a half years. And it had to go. One of my partners. This guy, Mark Burish, would jokingly say; James, it’s time to kill your darlings, you know? And he had to do it and I had to do it.
And, but there was one time in particular, I’ll never forget it, where I highlighted it in the timeline and I highlighted the whole section. And all I had to do was hit the delete button and it was poof. And I had to close my eyes and almost hold my breath. And just quickly hit the delete button, because, it was it was like a gut punch, you know. But, it was what was best for the film and nobody misses it.
Right. Right. So hard, though, because you put so much of your heart and soul into it. Now….
I went to South America four times and not one second made it in.
Oh, wow. Wow. Yeah, that’s a lot of, a lot of time and a lot of effort.
I went to China. I went to China twice. All across China and maybe 30 seconds or a minute made it in at the end.
Wow. Do you think with those bits that didn’t make it, do you think you might stitch those together some time for maybe a follow on?
Probably, probably, yeah
Sorry. ‘Cause, it feels to me like so much love and energy and time went into it, that it’s such a shame to have wasted, when –
Yeah, well, I’ve got a lot of people telling me, give me advice right now. And I need to sort of step back and think about what’s best for The Phenomenon. And, and, you know, I, I want to make the right decision and – You know, but I love the idea of having, like a YouTube channel, which I used to have actually, and just posting stuff for free on it. The stuff that ended up on the editing room floor. But, that takes lots of management and it could deter – it could take my focus away from critical projects that need to happen right now.
Yeah, yeah, I totally understand that.
I will tell. But I am dedicated to the phenomenon. And, you know, we’re the flavour of the week right now. Which is great. But, you know, you have to capitalize and I don’t mean that financially, but capitalize on on the spotlight. I feel like almost an obligation to keep the momentum going right now because look how how how much progress we’ve made in the last couple of years, right?
Oh, gosh. Yes. One more – one more question on that area of making the movie, before we move on.
Oh please, go ahead.
Which is, did you – were you ever concerned about your personal safety and the safety of your family during the making of a documentary?
There were times when – Often, actually, where I felt that. You know, you just kind of feel like you’re being watched. You know, you just kind of feel it. I felt that a lot, but I also felt secure knowing that I was working with people like Senator Harry Reid, and The New York Times and other, other governors and, and the like. I felt a little more protected, in the sense that it was higher profile. And one of my financial backers had, you know, assured me that that we were we were being looked after – put it that way.
Yeah, but look, I didn’t I didn’t feel like my life was in danger. I never felt like that. But you feel like you’re just you know, you’re poking around in places where, you know.
Yeah, yeah. Exactly where they don’t want the sun to shine.
People don’t want the sun to shine. You’re pulling the curtain back a little bit. You know, some people want it, but there are other people that don’t want it. And I actually got a call funnily enough, which I’ll share with you. I don’t think I’ve told? I don’t think I’ve told anybody? Maybe I have? We got a call from a former CIA guy. And he said, hey, I just want to let you know that your film is making the rounds at the Pentagon and I said, wow! And he said, yes, some are bracing for the impact. I said, what do you mean? He said, well, some people, you know, are happy about it, but some people are not happy about it. Because, it’s going to, you know, inform the public, and they’re going to be, you know, having to answer some questions. That was kind of, that’s kind of neat to know that, you know, that what we’re doing is having is having an impact. And, you know, it’s hard to – it’s harder for the government – when I say the government, I don’t even know who they are at this point. To give these ridiculous explanations of swamp gas, or weather balloon,
Oh gosh yes.
to an informed public?
Yeah, exactly. Correct. Correct. And that’s actually part of the reason why I started my podcast, because, I have been an experiencer in my entire life. So it was – I felt like it was important to let people know that – hey, hang on, we’re not the only life form out there. There are others. And if they’re – Like you know, your government came out just this year and said, well, yes, these flying saucers are real, but we don’t know where they’re from.
Yeah, I think that’s probably true.
Yeah. They’ve been drip feed. They’ve been drip feeding the public for about three years now, steadily. So your, your documentary, ‘The Phenomenon’ is timing. Perfect timing. Perfect timing.
Finally, right? Finally, it only took me twenty-seven years, you know, I mean geeze. And it’s funny, when I finished out of the blue, I, I remember – it’s really funny. I remember my partner, writing partner, editing partner, Boris Zubov. Great guy. I love him to death. And he was in a foetal position – literally crying, because, I was pushing him so hard. He was having an emotional breakdown and we all – it was pretty intense for all of us, but he was in a foetal position and he was just, you know, and his wife looked at me. And she was livid. She’s like, you’re killing my husband. What’s wrong with you? Stop it, stop, stop. And I thought, OK, well, I guess the film’s done, at this point, you know. While at the back of my mind, I was like, the films not done.
But, we sold the film and then three years later, I owned it again. We sold it to NBC Universal – broadcast on the Sci Fi channel. And then when I owned it again three years later, I went back at it and I spent another couple of years on the movie, tightening it up a bit, you know, made it much better. And it’s called the director’s cut. It’s much, much, much better.
But still, it wasn’t there. And then I had another go with with I know what I saw and again, disappointed. Good little film. I sold it for quite a pretty penny at the time, for it, to A&E. It went on History Channel, a two hour special and that did moderately well. Yeah, we had some really high profile public endorsements from like Steven Spielberg and that was great. But still, I wasn’t totally happy. It didn’t. – You know, when you have a concept in your mind of like what it is that you want to accomplish? you know, you think of it. And then you, and then it materializes with all this hard work, the birthing process. And with The Phenomenon, I sat back – and I’ll never forget it, and I said, OK, I think we did it this time, I’m pretty happy. Yeah, isn’t that nice?
Wow. That’s lovely when that comes – As an artist myself, I totally get what you’re saying. Yeah. And it’s not often that you feel like that, that you’re actually satisfied. Because, you look at your work and you go, hmmm well, I should have done this or I shouldn’t have used that colour. Yeah. So I totally, totally understand that. So, let’s talk about your documentary itself and particularly Mellor. How did he get the data?
You’re talking about Christopher Mellon?
Yes, Mellon Oh did I say Mellor? Sorry, Mellon yes.
No, no, no problem. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Intelligence. He – you know? He didn’t reveal exactly how it went about. What he said was and he has to be careful, obviously, because it’s kind of a big deal – is that they found a loophole. OK. Found a loophole and basically walked that evidence right out of the Pentagon and then it ended up on the front page of The New York Times so that, you know, yes. He said it was like a meeting in the parking lot with a briefcase, you know, and in the tapes, something like this. But but but there was a loophole they didn’t like. They didn’t break the law, they bent the rules, right?
Right. Oh, very good. So for those listeners who are wondering what we’re talking about, this gentleman, was the gentleman who released the documentaries – the film footage like the Tic-Tac videos. That’s correct. Isn’t that?
Yeah, that’s that was Christopher Mellon. Yep, yep,
So, that’s how that footage got out into the public and the other ones as well. All three of them was it? From him? The Tic-Tac, the Gimbal
The videos, yeah, they were, but there’s a lot more we know about, a ton more that have not been released. There’s a huge effort to get that stuff. I mean, look, we’re pushing for government transparency, right? And, you know, one of the bombshell moments of the film, is when Senator Harry Reid, who is a household name in America. He was Senate majority leader. Everybody knows Senator Harry Reid and whether people agree with his politics or not, they’re like that. Senator Harry Reid, he’s big time. You know what I mean? Right. And Harry Reid, Senator Reid got Obama to run for president. I mean, that’s like well known. And, you know, Senator Reid said that, that in the movie – I couldn’t believe when he said it, that most of the evidence hasn’t seen the light of day. And that was. That was a moment!
Definitely a bombshell, definitely a bombshell. So does it go along with the covid-19 bill with one-hundred and eighty-day countdown for you? So disclosure that’s doing.
Yeah. That happened today or is it yesterday?
Oh, sorry. I got notified this morning about that story coming up. I don’t know. I’d known about it. I’d heard about it through Christopher Mellon. But, I didn’t quite totally grasp the concept of it, but evidently it’s. You know, it’s like it’s like signed into law, basically, they have this assessment of, of, of these things and make it public. Yeah, well, sorry, we’ll see.
That’s going to be very interesting to keep an eye out on that one.
That is for sure. I think 2021, it’s going to be a very exciting year, in general.
I think it’s going to be a very, very interesting year. So, of all the experiences that you covered in your documentary, what? Ah which of all the experiences that you covered in your documentary do you feel, to you, were the most impressive?
I would have to say. – If I could mention? Could I mention four?
Yes. Please, mention as many as you like.
Yeah, I, I really like – and funny enough, not that many people mention it. I think by the time they get to the end they’d forgotten about this. But, there was a very dramatic encounter with. Air Force Colonel William Coleman,
Yes, that’s right….
and it took place in 1955, in a B25 bomber over Alabama and he was with a couple of engineers from Lockheed and Boeing. And he – and the significance of it is this. He – first of all, it’s an incredibly dramatic, up close encounter duration, nine minutes that started at elevation nine thousand feet, chasing a flying saucer in broad daylight. And it ends up at treetop level, where they literally thought they were going to collide with this disc at tree top level. And he said he had to take evasive action to avoid hitting it. And he said that if he would turn the plane to the right, it was so low that the wings would have hit the trees. So he had to lift up first and then turn. He lost sight of it for a second. And then when they found it again, it was drifting across a field, a recently ploughed field and swirls of dirt on either end of the of the disk were coming up from the field.
“At first I said, it doesn’t have a tail, doesn’t have any wings. Look at the shadow on the ground. The shadow is perfectly round. That’s not an airplane. And I said, I’m over taking it. So I said hang on. So I make a hard turn and there it was, a disc, going across the field with two big swirls.” ~ William Coleman ~
And what makes it significant. – A: it’s a really dramatic encounter. Qualified observers. Then he was later put in charge of a public spokesman for Project Blue Book, which is the Air Force’s investigatory arm of UFO. Well, what’s the first thing he did? He talks about this, is he went to find his own sighting and guess what?
It wasn’t there.
It wasn’t there. The more credible the sighting, the more credible the observer, the witness, the less likely it was to see the light of day create that.
I was going to talk about, bring that up later – about the cross memo and project star.
Oh yes, isn’t that cool? Oh, yeah that was with Jacques Vallee. Anyway, the second one was probably the first, extremely well documented, close encounter of the third kind in US history. Certainly modern history, and that is Socorro, New Mexico, nineteen -sixty-four, with the police officer, Lonnie Zamora. That case is really compelling.
“I saw this big cloud of smoke. So I decided to let go of the car and go up there and investigate. By the time I got there I could see a big white object sitting in the arroyo [stream]. I couldn’t tell what it was at first.” ~ Lonnie Zamora ~
And, you know, I loved hearing from the police officer’s wife for the first time the impact it had on his life. All the government records, the Air Force records from Project Blue Book, all even documented doing diagrams, landing site, and the footprints of the creatures. And it’s just, it’s such a compelling case. Then, you know, the hearing from Al Chop, who was in the radar room the night of the – there were two consecutive flyovers of Washington, D.C., the Capitol building, the White House. And hearing from – and I’d heard about that case for a long time. In fact, I’ve covered it in previous films. But, hearing someone who is actually in the radar room that night, Al Chop testimony.
That archival footage of that interview with – was taken by a guy named Tom Tooley in a project archive. Project Cine Archive of Al Chop – is just listening to him describe the pilot, who’s flying at 600 miles an hour in the pitch black, over the Capitol. And suddenly finding himself surrounded by unknowns. And getting on his radio and radioing down to the tower and basically saying – And look, the people in the tower were listening to his voice, Al Chop included, you know? And seeing on the radar dish, that they’re all around him. And hearing him say, “I’m surrounded. What do I do?” You know, and they all didn’t know what to tell him.
“ Heaps of (inaudible) are closing in on me. What do I do? It was frightening.” ~ Al Chop ~
And in hearing that – something about hearing that first hand testimony of someone who was in the radar room, really brought that case to life for me. A fascinating case. And then, of course. Ruia, Zimbabwe, nineteen-ninety-four, you know, the landing at the school hearing from the children, thanks to Dr. John Mack. The Harvard psychiatrist who interviewed the children in Africa right after it happened.
Sixty-six, they think there were only sixty-six people in the playground. But no, there were one hundred people in the playground. One hundred. And sixty-six of them went on camera. So I went to Africa. I went to the school and I talked to the teachers. And there was there was about one hundred kids in the playground. And it was ten thirty in the morning, in broad daylight. And just the sheer volume of eyewitness testimony – And then, of course, tracking the children down twenty years later, and bringing them in as young adults. And listening to their stories now, after they’ve had time to think about it and articulate. You know, it’s just, it’s a really compelling case. One of the best.
Child 1: “It um, flew past really slowly.”
Child 2: “I saw the bigger one and a spaceship, like four or five of them.”
Child 3: “It was red, green, and yellow.”
Child 4: “There was this big ship, it had these lights. This patterns, and it flew.”
Yeah, that one really – I’ve always followed that one and the Westall one in Aussie. And there’s been a couple of other ones.
Did you know? Did you know about the Westall UFO case? Because I didn’t know.
“It was vertical, horizontal. Move away from us, back towards us. Appear somewhere else.” ~ Witness ~
No, no I didn’t. And I’m absolutely amazed that these, these, both these cases got very little publicity, very little. In fact, they were so not very well known at all. So the fact that you included them to me, they’re probably some of the most credible cases ever. Because, they were seen by mult – and and certainly with the Zimbabwe one. They were actually – It actually landed and there were beings seen.
Yep. Yep, I know, right?
Child: “He had a big head, and big black eyes. And was dressed in a black body suit.
Reporter: “How far away were you when you, when you saw him?”
Child:“Ah, not very far, not very far. About a metre away.
Reporter: “A metre away? That close?”
Child, now adult: “I stand by what I saw. There was no reason for any of us to make that up.”
Crazy. I know. It’s just amazing. And look, even that one little – with Father Gill that took place at Papua, New Guinea in nineteen, nineteen-fifty, was that seven or fifty-eight? But that’s an incredible, that was really fascinating here, Father Gil, I mean, I’d heard about that. It was nineteen fifty-eight. I can’t even pronounce it correctly, but you’re the one that’s going to pronounce it properly.
Papua. Papua, New Guinea
Papua. Papua, New Guinea. Well, thank you.
I probably just mispronounced that as well.
But here – what it was, it took to track down that interview with with Father Gill.
“This solid looking object. And can you imagine what it’s like to look up in the sky and see some figures up there?” ~ Father Gill ~
Oh my gosh! I could ride a documentary. You could do a documentary on every single archival bit of footage that we found.
What it took to uncover!
As I was watching your documentary. I was thinking, oh, my God, he’s going to such effort to track these people down. To find them, to connect them, to get them to actually talk. That really impressed me greatly, because, I recognized how much actual work was involved for you in seeing it. So much!
Insane, absolutely insane. And I try not to read the reviews of, ‘cause, they say don’t, just don’t do it! Because, people are just so – you know? Yeah. And and I see some, you know, probably some quasi-seasoned UFO enthusiasts, you know. Oh, nothing new in this documentary. Same old rehashed, you know, whatever. And I think to myself, what are you talking about? Like, I could tell you that some of the most seasoned historians have gone; where did you find that interview? Where did you find the pipeline? Where did you find those audio bits?
I’m like, thank you for recognizing that, that was a monumental effort. It took years. The nineteen seventy-eight footage at the United Nations, the very man, Lee Speigal who put that event on with Jacques Vallee and Dr. J Allen Hynek. He didn’t even have that footage. He didn’t even think it existed. We found it you know? And then all these other archived interviews. So and I can’t change history if we’re going to cover some of the history, some of the more salient aspects of UFO history. It is what it is. But you have the new testimony and new archival never before seen footage really brings it to life in a way that I haven’t seen it done before.
It really does. And I was actually reading some when I was researching this, I was actually reading some of the bits that people had written and I saw that some had said it’s nothing new. And I’m going, what!?! Did these paper watch this with their eyes closed and I’m quite – I watch these documentaries with a with, with a knowing eye because I know, what I know. You know, from personal experience. So I look at these documentaries and I and I look at what they produce and ongoing. But with yours, it was stuff that hadn’t been out in the public. You know, I think these people, they just some of them, they just look for things to
criticize yeah. Because, that’s what they feel their job is.
But but I do think and if you knew the lengths that I went to uncover, never before seen archival footage, or extremely rare archival footage and what we did, it was a monu – herculean effort. I cannot emphasize that enough. What it took years.
Oh, I absolutely recognize that. And as soon as I was watching your documentary, that was what really hit me, was the fact that the effects you had gone to. Because, I knew what a task was to track these people down. And, to get people to talk. And, you know, that really impressed me as much as anything. So overall, James, how well do you think the public’s received your documentary? Obviously really well, because it’s doing good, but. . .
It’s been it’s been number one on iTunes worldwide for documentaries and just stuck at number one. It just doesn’t move. It’s right. In fact, can look I can look right now and see if it’s still there. It’s it kind of blows my mind, quite honestly. My partner, Rebecca, she’s like, honey, your phone is broken. You need to try it on my phone. It’s just not right. And then I said, yeah, there it is. Right there
There was this awesome, James. And it’s so well-deserved.
It’s just unbelievable. It is day after day, week after week. It doesn’t punch. It has not moved from number one.
That’s because, what comes from the heart, touches the heart. And when you speak a truth, when you tell a truth, people resonate with that on a soul level. And people now, more people than ever, are waking up to the fact that there are many more realities than the one we currently knowing of. But, I would like to talk about Jacques Vallee and the Ford memo. And and when you brought up Project Blue Beam, which was really just a cover project to placate, to placate the masses, which really was nothing. But Project Stock was a well-thought-out, well-funded, highly technical underground project. So can you tell us and my listeners about that price?
Well, yeah, I mean, it just it’s it’s proof positive that paralleling this dog and pony show of Project Blue Book, which was, you know, poorly funded only, I think it only had a staff of maybe three or four at the most, you know, and. Was an incredibly well-funded, underground, super-secret, off the radar of a UFO project. Where they were utilizing sensors and had budgets and scientists and all that. And Doctor Vallee, came across this memo, which was actually classified top or secret in Hynek’s own files. And eventually, through quite a tedious process, had it declassified and made it available to us.
And he’s like, look, you know, there’s a lot of documents out there, but this is bonafied. Like I myself found I myself get too deep, you know, the declassified and it wasn’t redacted and is. You know, L.A. puts a lot of weight on that. I highly doubt it. I mean, it’s a legitimate government document. So that’s what makes it exciting. I mean, does it really surprise me? It doesn’t really surprise me. Does it surprise you? Of course not. Now you’ve got unknown’s penetrating, sensitive airspace whizzing around with impunity. Of course, they’re going to put all hands on deck and try to get to the bottom of it and, and allocate serious, significant resources to figure out what’s going on.
Of course, it’s their job. They have to do that.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I found that really interesting. And that’s, that’s new. That’s never been in the public before.
No, no, no, I mean, it was the first time that I’m aware of, that he ever went – gave an interview about it. And shared it and all the details and yeah. Jacques had a couple of little tricks that he pulled out of his sleeve during production. And I actually considered Jack a dear friend now. I have so much respect for him, so much respect for him. I mean, I just. Yeah, so much respect for that man, I mean, all I can do is just listen and learn really.
Yeah, he he’s a very interesting chap and of course, they used him in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Speilberg, Spielberg used him.
I know, I know it’s crazy. I wonder if Steven Spielberg has seen this movie. He saw my last UFO film, but I don’t know if he’s seen this one. Not I would imagine. I mean, how could he not have? I don’t know.
Well, I would imagine that he probably has. I’m surprised you haven’t heard from him.
No, no I’m surprised too. I need to follow up on that one.
Yes. Yes. So what are your thoughts about the government response today compared to nineteen-fifty-three when they, you know, ridiculed and. – How do you feel about the governments. Handling – well, not only the government, but the press no longer ridicules these subjects when they come up on the television.
I think the climate has changed. Significantly, particularly since the front page of The New York Times featured that previously secret UFO pentagon program ATTIP
Right? Oh, yes. Yes, that’s right.
That’s the Aerospace Identification Program. I think that everything changed on that day. And I knew it at the time, because, I’ve had sceptical family members and friends over the decades – and when that hit, even my neighbour who was a famous editor. He edited Apocalypse Now. And Walter even said, my God, you know, James looks like you were right all these years, you know? And that’s, that’s been, that’s been it’s nice to see it. Like I said, the climate has changed. It’s being taken seriously. It’s been acknowledged as something and I think that twenty twenty-one is going to be an exciting year for all.
It’s going to be a very exciting year. And of course, with the covid situation, people have had time to sit and think about things. They’ve had time to look at the sky and, and see what’s out there, you know? Whereas before they wouldn’t have they had the space to do that because they’re so busy living their lives. People are busy.
Yeah, you know, it might be actually the perfect time. I mean, you know, people are stuck in their homes, everything, everything’s kind of changed, you know? Yeah. I mean, I think I remember I think it was in April, April or May, I can’t remember. But, you know, basically the government said Department of Defence, yes, those videos are legitimate and they’re true unknowns. Basically admitting, you know, for the first time that, you know, these things are real and – And I remember some comments online on social media. People like this happened. This happened in the government just said aliens exist. So there we go, you know.
Exactly. Exactly. And, and what amazes me is that it didn’t make worldwide news you know? There wasn’t a big, you know…
And you know, the best way I can describe that. – I was interviewing a, probably a group of about five or six women that were hospice workers. They described the massive UFO flyover of Phoenix, Arizona, nineteen-ninety-seven, March thirteenth. I don’t like to call it the Phoenix Lights, it’s commonly referred to as the Phoenix Lights because it was more than lights. It was a massive craft. Yeah, multiple craft. But anyway, I’m interviewing these women and they were describing how they’re having tea. It was a late afternoon, early evening, summer. And all of a sudden, this object that looked like a floating city, according to their description. Floated right over the top of them. And it took a couple of minutes, but they could see the craft and they said, look, if we hadn’t looked up, we wouldn’t have even known it was there. That’s how quiet it was. But it floated over the top of us.
And they could see compartments in the metal like, like looked like they described it looking like a city. And it just floated very slowly right over the top of them, very low. And like I said, it took a couple of minutes and they all just sat there with their mouths open, looking up at this thing. And, and then they went – and then it passed over and then they went right back to chatting about what they were chatting about. And I said, well, hold on a second. Didn’t somebody get up and run to grab a camera, or get in your car, chase it or something? They said, no, we didn’t. I said, well, how could you not? They said, I don’t know. But I think that it’s so massive a concept. It’s such a, a – People don’t know how to process it, it’s, it’s beyond, you know, something to wrap your mind around. And so it’s almost like it just didn’t happen. It’s like, you know, look, you can’t process what just happened. Treat it like a non-event. It’s weird. It’s it’s really strange. It’s really strange. And I’ve talked to a number of witnesses that have had it, not all of them, but a lot of them that just they can’t even process it.
Yeah, of course, because it’s so far out of their normal paradigm. And I forget what it’s like for people, because for me, UFOs and star people are just my day to day reality, you know. So I forget what it’s like for the person who doesn’t have those experiences, it’s very overwhelming. And people have to really change their paradigms, and change the way they think about things. And for some people, it’s just too hard. It’s just, too hard
You know, that’s a good case. And I remember talking to a number of of witnesses on the Phoenix Lights case, and there was one car that – I spoke to the drivers that pulled over on Interstate 10, between Tucson and Phoenix. And they said that, in fact, most of the cars on the freeway had pulled over and people gotten out. And were looking at this massive boomerang shaped craft floating very slowly, just down the freeway right over the top of the freeway. On its way, I think it was from Phoenix, Tucson or Tucson, to Phoenix. I’m pretty sure it was Phoenix to Tucson. And, and then they got back in their cars and off they went.
Yeah, kind of crazy. Crazy. They don’t question it.
Well, you know, I mean, what do you do?
I mean, you know, and of course and of course, people are because of how it has been treated. People, ah well, we’re more shy about speaking out than they are now because of the ridicule.
You know, I would love to see a mass sighting like the one of nineteen-ninety-seven over Phoenix, over Arizona, sorry, started the tip of the southern tip of Nevada. And then worked its way across the state of Arizona from north to south, over several hours. And if something like that happened today – and it was witnessed by a lot of people at the time, because of the Hale Bop comet was going on back then. And people were out in the night sky to get a glimpse of the Hale Bop comet
But if it happened today, which it inevitably will, there be a lot of cell phone footage of it? Yes. I mean, so I think that that’s, you know, one thing I’ll point out, it’s interesting, you know, people say, well, if you will, when they just land on the White House lawn, well, we don’t know. Like, look, look at what they do, but you look at what they don’t do. They don’t make themselves overtly known. Neptune, pretty outrageous stuff for sure. But in terms of like, just. You know, all they have to do is row over the Macy’s Day Parade or New York City on New Year’s Eve, and it’s a done deal, right? Yeah. But they don’t do that. Yeah. And you have to ask yourself, why why is it that they reveal themselves just enough but not too much? And one can only speculate, but you look at what they do, but you also look at what they don’t do not answer question.
It does exactly. So where you think you’re going to go from here, James? Are you going to have a break, a well-earned rest?
No. In a word, no, no
I knew you were going to say that.
I thought I was going to, but I, I feel a sense of obligation to – To take advantage of the momentum that’s occurring right now and not let up as much as I’d like to. I think it would be a mistake. So, so I’m going to keep the hammer down right now.
I totally get that. And and you’re right. You really need to take, take advantage of the momentum
You have to right? Yeah, we’re the flavour of the week and next week it’ll be somebody else. That’s great. You know, I’m, I’m really happy that, you know, we, we set the bar for how this topic really needs to be treated, and reported.
Oh my gosh. You certainly have.
Right? And I’m really proud of that. I really am. And it took a village. I mean, I was just one of many people and I say this sincerely, is that this film success is all of our success. Yeah. This is not about me and any one person. This story is about all of us. And we all are entitled to know what’s going on, whether it’s a little frightening or not. And it’s. It’s part of our place in the universe and its part of a much bigger story, and I think we’re all entitled to, to the information. I really do. I look at my son and I think I’d like for him to grow up in a world where this is not being kept secret.
Yeah, I totally understand that. And that’s very well said, James. Very well said. And I absolutely agree with that. People have a right to know it’s our right. And a lot of information has been held back, because, like they used to say, that people panic, that religions will go and that they won’t have the control that they have currently over the humanity as we as we stand.
Don’t you think it would have a unifying effect on humanity?
I would think so.
I do, because I think it forces us to see ourselves for who we really are. I mean, I had the distinct privilege of getting a sit down interview with the sixth man to walk on the moon. Yeah, and I will never forget what he told me. When I want to really absorb a particular story, I always close my eyes because I love the words of the witness to to recreate the story, the imagery in my mind. Right. It’s almost like I’m living, I’m experiencing it through there, through them, like through their eyes. Right. And I get them to give me vivid detail and I close my eyes and recreate these visuals. And it’s amazing. And I listen to Dr Edgar Mitchell, sixth man Apollo fourteen, because I asked him and I said, I know that you get this all the time. And I’m super duper sorry to ask this of you, but, my God, what was it like to land on the moon? So he told me in vivid detail and he said, I’ll never forget this, he said, I stood on the surface of the moon and I watched the earth rise.
And he said, there was this blue marble, this beautiful blue marble suspended in the vacuum of darkness. And he said there were no borders, no country lines. No. And he said, I I have one hand and I blocked out the entire earth with one hand and the palm of my hand and everything we knew – And he realized, you know, you see it, we’re one race, one people, one planet. And I think that this story coming out would would have that unifying effect on all of us, I really believe that!
What a beautiful description he gave. I could just – like you, I could just see it in my mind’s eyes, you know, I guess it’s the thing when you’re a creative, artistic type person, it’s easier to visualize stuff like that. And yeah, that’s really, really touching. And that’s a really nice way to actually, I think end our conversation. James, I’m so grateful for your time today. I’ve really, really enjoyed this conversation. Your video website is www.phenomenonthemovie.com
Yeah. So, so here’s the thing. If your, your audience, your listeners are wanting to help out, they can rate the film. Super duper helpful. It really is incredibly helpful, believe it or not, because it goes on algorithms. And the ratings and other platforms look at it, Oh, this is rating well. So to take the time, if you like it and hey, take your time, you really don’t like it and you can rate it.
But rating the film is incredibly helpful. Take, only takes a minute. You can just give it a star rating. You can say something or you could just give it a star rating. That’s very helpful – Rotten Tomatoes, iTunes, Amazon. The other thing is, if you want to rent it, then just Google and find the least expensive. I think it’s a couple of dollars, but if you want to buy it, there are only two platforms that offer three hours of bonus material for free, no extra cost.
Yeah, I put three hours of bonus material in and then I found out that only iTunes and Vimeo offered the three hours of bonus material. So those are the only two platforms, if you buy it, that you should buy it from. It’s iTunes or Vimeo and you get three hours for the same price of bonus material.
Dang! I missed that. I’ll have to go and get it now.
I tell people that because, you know, people should know if they’re going to spend the money and buy it, that theyn should get the three hours of – great hours too. Like I really, I put some good stuff in there.
Oh, I’m going to have to go back and buy that James, so I can see the extra bits, because the movie itself is amazing! And I cannot stress enough to my listeners, look go and watch it for yourself. James has put his heart and soul into this, and it shows. It’s really an amazing, amazing movie. James, thank you for your time. I’ve truly appreciated this. It’s been really interesting.
We’ll thank you for having me on that. I’ve had a wonderful time myself. Thank you for your support and, and all your enthusiasm. Thank you.
I’d like to thank James for his time today and for the permission to use the sound clips from his documentary ‘The Phenomenon’. I am very grateful for both. I have thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with James and I hope you all have as well. Please share this episode with anyone you feel would listen to it. I am going to close this conversation as I started it. With another quote from Christopher Mellon:
“We need to begin to prepare to accept and understand that we are not alone in the universe. Have not been at all, throughout this time.”
If you enjoyed this episode or this podcast, then please as James said earlier in the episode about rating his movie, please do the same for our podcast. The ratings of of the podcast are looked at by people and if it’s rating well, then they are more likely to want to listen to it. As James says, it really does help immensely. So give it a positive rating and a review. Thank you so much.
Today’s bumper music is called Galactic Battles, by Bonnie Grace. Sort of appropriate don’t you think?
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