Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reported UFO activity rose last year, with major sightings in Texas

Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer
Joshua resident Kerry Snell reported seeing a UFO near this area in Cleburne.

The night was clear, a perfect backdrop for the strange, floating object that lit up the sky.
Two witnesses, jailers at the Johnson County Correctional Facility in Cleburne, described it as triangular in shape with a dark surface and a series of circular lights. They said it hovered above them as they talked in the parking lot.
“The object flew over them very slowly, appearing to be going only about 5 mph,” according to an account released by the California-based Mutual UFO Network, a nonprofit group of UFO sleuths.
That sighting, another in North Texas and one in Central Texas were among the “strongest 10 cases” from 2012 that a MUFON science review board determined “cannot be identified as any known object.”
But the peculiar sightings aren’t just cropping up in our own backyard — the whole Lone Star State is a hotbed of UFO activity.
“Texas is one of the top five states every month for UFOs,” said Roger Marsh, a MUFON spokesman.
He attributed the high volume of sightings to the state’s large population and its many airports and military installations. Most sightings turn out to be readily identifiable, sometimes even a Chinese lantern.
Across the country, MUFON reported a record 7,182 sightings of unidentified flying objects last year — a 27 percent increase over the year before. Texas trailed only California in the number of sightings.
The other two strong Texas cases identified by MUFON occurred in the Milam County town of Milano in Central Texas, and in Van Alstyne, near the Texas-Oklahoma border.
All involved triangular or pentagon-shaped objects with mysterious lights hovering above.
The Johnson County case was reported about 3 a.m. on March 25, about 50 miles southwest of Dallas.
“The primary witness said that as they walked through the parking lot, the lights over them turned on. The object then sped up and was gone north in a second,” the MUFON report said.
The witness, 45-year-old Kerry Snell, said in an interview last week that he was taken aback by what he saw.
“You could plainly and clearly see this thing — a huge triangle with no lights, no sound,” Snell said. “There was no interaction. I didn’t feel frightened. I didn’t feel scared.
“I was just soaking in all the information. I’m just sitting there looking up at it.”
The review board, made up of scientists with degrees in physics, geology, chemistry and electrical engineering, was formed last year to help MUFON take a closer look at the most intriguing UFO sightings and draw attention to them.
Their expertise and earnestness notwithstanding, the board and MUFON still face an uphill battle in getting folks to treat their body of work seriously.
They’re often met with skepticism — and giggles.
And media portrayals often make the UFO buffs, even the ones with impressive credentials, look like crackpots, they say.
“It’s constant,” said Robert Powell, 59, a retired engineering manager from Austin who serves as director of the eight-member scientific body. “The media wants something that’s way out there.
“So they are not interested in dry facts of unexplained objects. They want to interview the guy with the alien on the back porch.”
Two members of the review board are so worried about public perception that they don’t even want their names disclosed, Powell said.
“It could actually hurt their career,” he said.
Countless sightings go unreported, Powell said, because people don’t want to be labeled “crazy,” he said.
Still, the public remains fascinated, and UFO authorities are steadfast in their effort to determine if otherworldly creatures actually exist.
“When TV shows [about UFOs] come on like National Geographic, reporting goes up. People will send in reports from years and years ago,” Powell said.
Although there have been scattered reports of mysterious flying or floating objects for centuries, the UFO phenomenon really took off after World War II.
“If you go back when this started, no one thought you were crazy for reporting something,” Powell said. “That didn’t start until about the ’70s.”
Powell said the federal government, apparently weary of being accused of hiding extraterrestrials in secret locations and of refusing to divulge information to the public, “actually had a program to debunk UFOs through the public and media.”
And many a crackpot played right into their hands. “You have enough people who come up with this crazy, stupid stuff,” Powell said.
Bogus reports, which still crop up periodically and, these days, go viral on the Internet, “make it that much more difficult” for the general public to accept authentic sightings of the unusual.
“The level of hoax is probably down to about 1 percent,” Powell said.
Most UFO sightings turn out to be readily identifiable aircraft, meteors or other celestial objects, sometimes seen at weird angles that rouse suspicion, experts say.
For example, Powell said, a security camera in Florida captured a mysterious light beaming down on a swimming pool.
“That turned out to be a drop of water on a camera lens,” Powell said. “They didn’t fake it. They thought they had something there and it was just moisture on the lens.”
Steve Hudgeons, MUFON’s national director of investigations, said most sightings are explainable. “But there’s a percentage that remain unknown,” he said.
Hudgeons, who lives in Fort Worth, said he believes “most of this stuff that’s flying around here that we call unknown is our own government’s” aircraft.
Snell, the Johnson County jailer, said what he saw in Cleburne last year was unlike any commercial or military aircraft he’s ever seen. And he still has no clue what it was.
“It’s a little frustrating,” he said.
AT A GLANCE: Three major Texas UFO cases
The Mutual UFO Network included three reported sightings in North and Central Texas in its list of the strongest 10 cases that “cannot be identified as any known object.”
Case 36765
When: March 25, 2012
Where: Near the Johnson County Correctional Facility in Cleburne
Sighting: Two officers reported seeing a dark triangular object about 3 a.m. flying 4,000 to 6,000 feet above ground. It had a series of dim circular lights, they said.
Case 41918
When: July 14 and Dec. 20, 2012
Where: Along State Highway 36 near the Milam County town of Milano
Sighting: Two men reported seeing a pentagon-shaped black object with lights about 5:20 a.m. hovering over the highway about 30 feet above their vehicle. Two more witnesses reported seeing a similar object Dec. 20 along the same stretch of road. The main witness said the object was about 100 feet across with five sides and flashing lights on each corner.
Cases 37562, 37585, 37604
When: April 17-19, 2012
Where: Van Alstyne
Sighting: Three different witnesses reported seeing a triangular object with white lights hovering near the Texas-Oklahoma border. In the center was a ruby-colored light, they said.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Argentina: Disappearing UFOs

Argentina: Disappearing  UFOs

Argentina: Disappearing  UFOs

[Another gem from the October 1977 issue of UFO PRESS, courtesy of Alejandro Agostinelli. Mr. Banchs needs no introduction – he is one of Argentina’s leading and most respected researchers, director of the Centro de Estudio de Fenómenos Aéreos Inusuales (CEFAI) and the author of Las Evidencias del Fenómeno OVNI (Buenos Aires, RAE, 1976) among other works. We are pleased to present Mr. Banch’s opinions on the subject – Scott Corrales]

It is well known that the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) is among the most acceptable propositions with regard to the nature of the UFO phenomenon. However, there are those who feel that it barely offers an adequate explanation for certain aspects of the problem, such as the absence or scant detection of the phenomenon in space with astronomic devices, which contrasts with what occurs within our own atmosphere.

This may suggest that the phenomenon – interpreted as spacecraft – would not find it necessary to travel vast distances to reach our world, an absurdity if it is only observe us and study us for years or centuries.

Moreover, in numbers too great to be overlooked, many of these unknown artifacts have vanished suddenly or gradually into the air before the eyes of startled witnesses, in broad daylight, and under excellent conditions of visibility.

But is there a link between disappearances and the foregoing? Dr. J.H. Christenson, a tenured professor at the University of Columbia, mentioned a bold hypothesis that posits the existence of a phantom universe similar to ours, with a very subtle interaction between both universes, in such a way that we cannot see this other world that mingles with our own. It would be possible for UFOs to be denizens of this parallel universe, becoming perceptible in our universe through certain modifications, or being able to penetrate it.

However, the parallel universe hypothesis is rather recent and is only in the early stages of consideration, largely due to the difficulties posed by rigorous scientific verification.

Nobel laureates Lee and Yang discovered that the conservation of parity, one of the basic laws of physics, does not occur in certain K-mesons. In Dr. Christenson’s view, the strange behavior of the K-meson is due to a disturbance by the forces of one or several parallel universes coexisting with one another.

In our world, matter responds to physical constants, such as the speed of light, element charges, electron-volts, etc. Now then, if the constants were different in another universe, the thesis propounded by Jerome Cardan would be acceptable. He believed that “decisive scientific experimentation would consist of a special force field that would modify the universal constants of the matter of any object, causing it to vanish suddenly from our universe.”

I must point out here that the behavior displayed by UFOs shows a violation of certain natural laws. Apparent paradigms of the variation of physical constants, related to sudden disappearances, have led me to ponder on the possibility that we are facing ghostly objects that move in another order of matter.
In the summer of 1969, several people, including student Luis Esteban Martín, traveled by microbus through the locality of Florencio Varela in Buenos Aires. An oval-shaped object appeared before them suddenly, being of considerable size and following a rising trajectory to the north. Within seconds, the object, which emitted an intense bluish light, appeared to explode in the air, but without making the slightest noise.

It is likely that many of the alleged disappearances of UFOs are attributable to meteorites, cloud formations, refractions, etc., but a detailed study shows us that it is not possible to reduce the totality of cases presenting these characteristics to a natural interpretation.

Clérouin, the French captain, stated a theory that appears to be tied to these manifestations which are surely disquieting, but through which we may perhaps get to the core of the UFO phenomenon itself. He believes that these objects are not conveyances, in the strictest sense of the world, but rather vectors that exist in a dimension into which humanity will make future inroads.

As a supporting argument for this theory, Polish professor Valiksi lists a series of anachronisms that are similar to the ones helpfully mentioned in this article.

On 8 September 1958, military men witnessed a UFO in Offutt, Nebraska. It was cigar-shaped and surrounded by a thin black cloud. The portent vanished before inexplicably blending into the horizon.

On Wednesday, 14 February 1968, a device performing in a similar fashion was seen clearly and at length in the skies over Viña del Mar, in Chile, in broad daylight and by many people. The mysterious form, glistening in the sunlight, was suspended at a great height for moments, profiled against a clear sky. It was an elongated, silvery device that moved from north to south, emitting a sort of luminous smoke that spun in small circles. All of a sudden, the cigar-shape, which was perfectly horizontal, began to tilt, following an arc and plummeting toward the ground. As the phenomenon reached a low altitude, it began to turn invisible in the air. Thus, the befuddled witnesses who stopped to gaze upon the phenomenon at six o’clock in the evening were able to clearly make out the UFO as it evaporated from front to back, without leaving a single trace in the sky.

Months later, on 2 November of that year, in a community in Southeastern France, a respected physician witnessed an extraordinary event on a stormy day, from his home located on a hillside.

That night, summoned insistently by his young child due to the apparition of an intermittent light from the exterior, Dr. X saw two identical luminous objects at 3:55 hours. After a series of movements and strange structural modifications, the objects joined one another with a beam of light. They grew larger over the plain, until they turned into a single object, identical to the two previous ones, but of greater size. The UFO started to approach the witness in a straight line while the beam of light headed directly toward his home. The phenomenon’s disappearance was phantasmagoric. The first sound made itself heard at the moment that the UFO presented its red lower section, in a vertical position, giving the impression being incandescent metal or internal illumination: A sort of “bang” while “the object dematerialized,” according to the witness, leaving nothing but a whitish cloud in its wake. It immediately disintegrated and was swept away by the wind.

But let us return to Chile. On 12 February 1969 at 17:00 hours, four miles along the coastline facing Quintero, the crew of the fishing boat “Carol”, witnessed an anomalous object over the sea as a Chilean Air Force (FACh) Grumman jet maneuvered around the UFO before it vanished in an instant.

On the afternoon of 17 April 1970, a district of the Atlantic city of Mar del Plata was taking advantage of the languid autumn sun when “something like a round airplane, but giving off a greenish halo” appeared to the west. The unknown object “showed itself, remained for a few seconds, and suddenly became invisible,” according to witnesses.

Sudden disappearances of this sort occurred again on 2 September 1973 in Gobernador Galvez, Province of Santa Fe. Hugo Boló and his wife were traveling by car along National Highway No. 9 heading toward Pergamino. It was a UFO shaped like two inverted soup bowls, suspended in midair. It was highly luminous, with a smooth, silvery surface. It vanished suddenly.
There are other no less spectacular incidents that ascertain the sudden disappearance of the piloting entities, their artifacts or “sources”, in the words of a European investigator.

On 14 August 1947, Italian painter R.L. Johannis was in the vicinity of the Chearso canyon in Villa Santina, when he noticed the presence of a disk-shaped object, some 10 meters in diameter, around nine o’clock in the morning, as it landed in the vicinity. Johannis immediately noticed two small beings, dressed with dark blue coveralls or jumpsuits. After some maneuvers, the entities re-entered the craft, which rose into the air and remained stationary. The artifact, in a vertical position, tilted and suddenly became smaller and vanished.

On the morning of 1 July 1965, around 5:45 a.m., Maurice Masse was getting ready for work at his lavender plantation in Valensole in the Lower Alps. Suddenly, he heard a whistling sound and glanced at the mountainside, expecting to see a helicopter. Instead, he saw a vehicle shaped like a rugby ball, standing on six legs with a central pivot plunged into the ground. Small entities stood near the object, looking at a lavender plant. Masse moved toward them, but when he came within a distance of 5 meters he was stopped, unable to move. [The entities] returned to their vehicle. With a sharp sound from the main pivot, it took off to drift away in silence. When it reached a distance of 20 meters, it simply disappeared. Traces of its passage, however, were found toward the town of Manosque.

Cases in which UFOs and their entities vanish without explanation, in violation of the laws of physics, are numerous. Unable to go into detail, and in order to present a partial list of these cases to put forth some hypotheses suggested by these events, it is important to seek their final elucidation within the scientific framework, as the phenomenon richly deserves. A statistical study on worldwide sightings made by Dr. Claude Poher in 1973 revealed that the sudden disappearance of the phenomenon takes place in 7% of the sightings.

Other more recent lines of thought lean toward a parapsychological explanation for UFOS, which is rather acceptable in interpreting this peculiar aspect of the phenomenon under discussion. This can be seen in through the ghostly nature of their disappearances, linked to such phenomena as teleplasty and telepathic projection or hallucinations.

The science writer Pierre Devaux believes that it is possible to believe in teleplasty, which explained by the law of ideoplasty, which can be formulated thus: everything that the medium thinks, everything it represents, tends to occur through long-distance actions or materializations, called “targeted dreams”. These fantastic creations, therefore, would be objective projections of what an individual carries within him or herself. Ectoplasm would be the constituent material – a physical extension of the subject, a fluidic, psychic substance. In the opinion of Sudre, it would be possible for this fluid to materialize, charging itself with atmospheric gases, perhaps even organic material. The substance manifests as a luminous fog, moving onto an organized phase, whose dematerialization occurs in the same way.

Nevertheless, the most common ghostly images respond to the so-called telepathic hallucinator. It is “objective” to a certain extent, since it does not take place only within the subject’s spirit, but also in the agent, who has sent it toward a specific target. The phenomenon then inserts itself into our three-dimensional reality.
In the enormous mass of telepathic hallucinations that have been catalogued to date, most have occurred involuntarily, that is to say, though the mechanism of the unconscious. Therefore, unconscious projection of UFOs could arise from the symbolism given to it.

I must make reference here to the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, when he states that situations of collective anguish or a vital need of the soul could generate spontaneous psychic visions created in the dark chasms of the mind. The unconscious would then appeal for resources with which to make its content perceptible and projectable. Arising from this emotion, the “mandala” shape would come about, symbolizing totality, which in Sanskrit means “circle”. This symbol exists in the collective unconscious, being part of the common content, an archetype transmittable not only by tradition and migration, but also by inheritance – a latent form in the general substrate of the mind that transcends all differences in culture and conscience. It is a primitive image accompanied by vivid affective nuances.

In our times – Jung believes – this archetype could assume a solid and even technological shape. The round totality of the mandala, projected by man to his fellows, is identified with a fascinating exterior “something”. Therefore, lenticular formations may turn into space vehicles crewed by idealized figures instead of gods, as was the case in the past.
This would explain the wide diversity of forms described about UFOs and their entities, although almost always maintaining the circular shape for the object and the human appearance for its occupants. This gives rise to the need of exploring the phenomenon’s development over history, stressing its metamorphoses over time. It was Jung himself who anticipated the cyclic theory of mediumship. Could this correspond to the cyclic activity of UFOS?

However, the set of theories cannot dismiss the possible existence of a guiding intelligence for the phenomenon – of unknown nature, material, and in control of that which is beyond human understanding.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

‘The BEAST of Squatch Watch: 92 Years of Bigfoot Sightings in the US and Canada!!!

Every now and then a dataset comes along that just has to be mapped. This is one of those times.
Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Skookum. Yahoo. Whatever you call it, the towering man-like ape is a folklore staple. From stories of Yeti in the Himalayas to Wildmen in the Pacific Northwest, people have been talking about and trying to find the creature for ages. Occasionally, some form of evidence – like Patterson’s famous 1967 film – emerges and either feeds our fascination or gets dismissed as a hoax. In either case, it’s easy to see why believers search for proof and skeptics remain doubtful.
Through archival work and reports submitted directly to their website, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has amassed a database of thousands of sasquatch sightings. Each report is geocoded and timestamped. Occasionally, even photos and videos of the alleged evidence are included.
After crawling the data and converting it to a more convenient format, the data below mapped and graphed all 3,313 sightings that were reported from 1921 to 2013:
Sasquatch Sightings Map
All 3,313 Sasquatch sightings reported to the BFRO.
Bivariate map of sightings and population.
A nation divided: Sasquatch Sightings vs Population Density
Right away you can see that sightings are not evenly distributed. At first glance, it looks a lot like a map of population distribution. After all, you would expect sightings to be the most frequent in areas where there are a lot of people. But a bivariate view of the data (right) shows a very different story. There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population. On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare.

We don’t have a really good explanation for this. These are sasquatch sightings we’re talking about and I’m way out of my area of expertise (do bigfoot experts exist?). But it’s clear that if the legendary biped is real, it’s thriving out west.

The terrain and habitat likely play a major role in the distribution of reports (note: reports, not sasquatch themselves!). Even if bigfoot wasn’t lurking nearby, it might be hard to tell when surrounded by rugged terrain and dense forest. Was that a stick cracking naturally or is a giant primate creeping around? The desire to find, or think you saw, bigfoot might be especially high if you’ve heard tales of giant, ape-like creatures calling the place you’re in home. A combination of environment and legend likely combine to at least put wary outdoorsmen on the lookout. These environmental factors could be explored with a dasymetric map that accounts for the habitat and separates the wilderness from suburbia. Furthermore, the population data are based on the US Census, which is based on where people live. The places we live, and the places we spend the other 50% of our time (at work, traveling, camping, vacationing, etc) are very different. We don’t have data for that, unfortunately.
There’s also inherently some bias in the report data. Being a US-based website, it is dominated by US reports, and the reporting mechanism is not precise: if coordinates are not known (would you really log a GPS reading while staring ‘squatch in the eye?!), the BFRO site only allows reporters to enter the nearest city. This could be many miles away.
Ultimately, I’m not convinced there’s a descendant of Gigantopithecus playing hide and seek in the Pacific Northwest. But if respectable folks like Survivorman Les Stroud and primatologist Jane Goodall believe there’s something more to the myth, I think it’s at least worth putting on the map.

Socorro, NM 1964 UFO Case

In tandem with his 9/19/13 appearance, James Fox shares images and documents related to the 1964 Socorro, NM UFO incident.

1) The following diagrams were drafted by Army Captain Richard T. Holder, Up-Range Commander of White Sands Proving Grounds, along with FBI agent, Arthur Byrnes, Jr., from the Albuquerque office. This is the famous UFO landing incident witnessed by Officer Lonnie Zamora and what these diagrams prove is that despite the military's efforts to play down the fact that Officer Zamora saw two small occupants in white jump suits standing next to the landed UFO, the military knew early on that there was physical evidence to substantiate the contrary but privately kept that to themselves. I personally scanned these documents from the National Archives in July of this year.

Click on image to view larger.

2) Headlines of Socorro New Mexico UFO landing

3) Document discussing a possible, "Top Secret" meeting about Socorro case

4) Landing site photograph from USAF files showing burnt brush from propulsion.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dimensional Doorway in the Vicinity of Aznalcóllar?

A Dimensional Doorway in the Vicinity of Aznalcóllar? aka SPAIN in 1998

A Dimensional Doorway in the Vicinity of Aznalcóllar?

In the early morning hours of 25 April 1998, near the locality of Aznalcollar in Seville, one of the greatest ecological disasters to ever affect our country took place. The toxic waste containment pond owned by the Swedish-Canadian firm Boliden-Apirsa, overwhelmed by its hazardous contents, cracked and sent froth a “toxic wave” that covered the region, halting at the border of the Doñana Natural Park. The damage caused to this wildlife sanctuary was minimal, although all local residents are aware of the lethal effects of the toxic leaching into irrigation wells and riverine water supply into Doñana.

The contents of the containment were, in theory, heavy industrial wastes consisting of mercury, lead, iron and derivatives of iron pyrite washing, although the possibility that it also contained toxic chemical wastes from the Huelva Chemical Industrial Park was also considered. In short, a highly dangerous content.

Around that time, in the area known as the “Magnetic Triangle” and whose vertexes are formed by the localities of Gerena, Aznalcollar and El Garrobo, there had been intense UFO activity (CE-1) in the area. On the very same night that the containment broke, a witness driving along N-433 toward a farm in Aracena was able to see an unidentified flying object flying over the property occupied by the containment well in Aznalcollar. Later that night, the containment broke. On the 30th of the same month (April 1998) four witnesses driving along N-433 toward Higuera de la Sierra were nocturnal witnesses to the mysterious flight of a formation of aircraft of unknown origin toward El Garrobo. The sighting was so precise and detailed that they were even able to make out the “holes” in the portholes.

All of these sightings, of course, were ratified by ufologists of the stature of Ignacio Darnaude and Joaquin Mateos Nogales, who have devoted their lives and available free time to researching the UFO phenomenon.

Consultations were made with the Weather Bureau, the Seville Airport Tower, INTA, etc. in an effort to find a logical and rational explanation to the sightings. These turned up negative. It was concluded at the time that what was seen that night by the witnesses was truly “something” that did not obey traditional, rational explanations. They were simply inexplicable from a scientific perspective and the only other possibility was to explain it as an unidentified flying object or objects.

Over a year has elapsed since the event and the facilities at Boliden-Apirsa have renewed their activities. The uncertainty experienced the workers in these facilities has been allayed and their work lives have resumed, but the renewal of all this mining activity appears to have “triggered” UFO activity in the area once again. Since April of this year (1999) the localities of Gerena, Aznalcollar and El Castillo de las Guardas have been at the receiving end of the customary, frantic activity of unidentified objects.

At sundown on April 18, 1999 (a Sunday), flight attendants Maria Angeles Rubio and Esther Marín were driving toward Seville along the N-431 from the community of Palma del Condado. Upon reaching the town of Sanlucar la Mayor, they were surprised to see the mysterious flight of a vehicle with three powerful lights on each of its corners, its fuselage constituting a triangular structure. The sighting took place over a seemingly long 20 second span and the witnesses were astonished. Parallel to this sighting, ufologist Ignacio Darnaude confirmed another sighting on the same date and with the same characteristics. The protagonists of the event are related to the renowned sensitive Malena Martínez. Joaquin Mateos Nogales, a resident of Gerena, confirmed that sightings had indeed occurred in the vicinity and were ongoing.

On the night of 22 April 1999 (a Thursday), Antonio Garrido, an agent for a well-known brand of soft drinks, was returning to Seville from Huelva along N-433. He was able to see a light following his automobile over the “Magnetic Triangle”. The light became smaller and broke into three new lights that alternated their colors from red to green. The three lights “seemed to want to tell me something” and after switching their colors to bright blue, “that thing, UFO or whatever it was, vanished in the dark in a sort of “Z’ configuration. It was startling.” The witness was so overwhelmed that he had to pull over on the shoulder and take in some fresh air after the sighting.

On 24 April, several people were able to see a mysterious luminous formation heading slowly from the locality of Chipiona toward Sanlucar de Barrameda (practically at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River). The García family happened to be at that location with the purpose of closing a rental deal on a home for the summer months. They remarked: “that cloud had a very odd shape and glowed in a very strange way. I don’t think there was anything natural about it. its shape was just too weird!” This curious sighting took place at 19:30 hours and it lasted so long that the witnesses stopped paying it attention, occasionally checking on it to see if “it was still there.”

On 10 May at 2:30 in the morning, truck drivers and a watchman made a new sighting the Aznalcollar mines. The sighting lasted approximately 30 minutes and its shape was similar to that of a “circular electric heater,” according to Joaquin Mateos Nogales. The object was blue in color and with an approximate diameter of 50 meters.

On 15 May of this year (1999) a new UFO sighting took place near the “Magnetic Triangle”. Maria del Pilar Vargas, driving from Nerva to Seville on N-421 at 21:15 hours, saw a strange light in the sky that approached its vehicle gradually until it came “within 500 to 600 meters distant, flying parallel to my car and at the same speed while it changed colors from white to orange. It followed me and made me feel very nervous. Just when I was about to pull over and entrust myself to fate, “that thing” turned blue and vanished like when a light is turned off.” Furthermore, her vehicle did not operate normally during the event, displaying reduced performance and increasing the stress to the pursued witness. Unquestionably, a strange persecution and experience.

On 20 May, a businessman heading to Seville at 19:00 hours after having gone to El Ronquillo witnessed a quick and mysterious flash in the sky, resembling “the streak left by a lightning bolt in the sky. It was like a ball of light maneuvering wildly.”

On 22 May at 22:35 hours, and from the locality of Gerena (specifically from the location known as Torre Mocha), an unidentified flying object was reported. At first it was believed to be an airliner due to it its straight-line flight path (NW to W) and whitish-red coloring. But the device slowed its speed until it became completely still, “hanging” in the sky before spinning toward the southwest. So strange was the maneuver that it led some to believe it might be a mothership. The sighting lasted some 20 minutes and was witnessed by Joaquín Mateos Nogales, José Mateos Nogales, Antonio Vidal and José Ramírez Mora. Ignacio Darnaude reported a UFO sighting over the Seville Airport (Aeropuerto de San Pablo).

Of course, the fact that we see something in the skies that does not match our mental framework does not mean that the object was a UFO. On many occasions, the phenomena observed can be explained from a physical, astronomical, meteorological or psychological standpoint. Field researchers must concern themselves with covering all of the possible explanations to a sighting before cataloguing it as “unidentified”. This is a hard and complicated task that involves driving many kilometers, interviewing many people, getting in touch with various agencies with a view toward discarding possible logical options (the National Weather Institute, Air Traffic Control, the National Aerospace Technology Institute, the State Police, Observatories, etc.) and taking the witness factor into account. Many times, after all this is done, the work yields little more than two lines in a report, but doing this reflects a commitment to rigor.
The Garcia family’s sighting in Chipiona can be explained from a meteorological perspective. On that day, the Weather Bureau confirmed that large cloud formations were reported throughout the Atlantic littoral of Andalusia due to the aftermath of a storm system over the Straits of Gibraltar. This family’s sighting could have easily been a “noctilucent cloud” (high-altitude cumulus clouds often mistaken for UFOS). The winds make it impossible to determine the direction of the cloud, although in the upper layers of the atmosphere it seems to have an East-West heading, from Chipiona to Sanlucar de Barrameda. Furthermore, solar refraction on the layers that make up these cloud formations endows them with a particular beauty and luminosity.
But what about the other sightings? The Aznalcollar area, according to Seville flight control, has been overflown by units belonging to various television networks. However, on the days of the sightings – 18 April, 22 April, 10 May, 15 May and 22 May – no air traffic was recorded during the respective time periods. The Weather Bureau confirmed good weather and excellent conditions of visibility and temperature (the fact is that the weather was positively summery) at the time, without cloudy formations or any other atmospheric phenomenon worthy of note. The possibility of weather balloons was not recorded at the time. We are awaiting a reply from INTA regarding tests, but these possibilities are remote. Therefore, these sightings that cannot be explained from such a perspective. From the astronomical perspective, it should be noted that the planet Venus is particularly visible to witnesses at these latitudes, but what they saw bore no relation to the planet. Those lights were chasing our witnesses and the planet Venus, of course, lacks such mobility. Aside from this, chases by strange and mysterious lights have become notorious in the region, such as the one that occurred near Aznalcollar when a mysterious luminous sphere chased Mr. Adrian Sanchez for 30 kilometers, all the way to Castillo de las Guardas. A Guardia Civil officer made a report of this after lending assistance to Adrian, who was about to have a heart attack.

What did our witnesses see near the “Magnetic Triangle” on those dates? What were those strange spherical and triangular lights in the skies over Seville? Why were they pursuing our witnesses? What are they trying to tell us?

There is no question that a UFO flap is taking place over Aznalcollar…a year after the breakage of the containment pond at Boliden-Apirsa. One year ago, “THEY” were trying to warn us over the potential danger of the dumping in the area and in the proximity of the beautiful natural landmark that is Doñana. Today they may be warning us about the even more dangerous leakage and the deficiencies of the containment pond, which persist in the waters of the Guadiamar and the Guadalquivir. Today, according to the Environmental Board of Andalusia, Doñana is highly contaminated with arsenic and zinc. The removal of toxic mud has not been useful and dredging the riverbed at its most affected area would be necessary. The area, currently polluted with arsenic, is one of the most hazardous surfaces in Europe due to that type of poison (concentrations of over 40 mg/kg, which is enormous when we consider that the tolerable maximum is only 5%). There is no way to control wild bird movements and it is possible that many of them have been affected by toxic wastes due to the contamination of their food source. Over a year has elapsed since the disaster at Aznalcollar, and “THEY”, from their dimensional doorway in the “Magnetic Triangle”, keep trying to tell us that things still haven’t been put to rights.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Beyond Area 51: 16 Secret UFO Locations I want to TELL YOU ABOUT!

Beyond Area 51

Beyond Area 51

Nevada's Area 51 is the world's best-known secret base. It's been featured in books, movies, and TV mostly because many people suspect the U.S. government hides UFOs inside its vast confines. (Only recently did the U.S. government finally admit Area 51 exists, although they say its purpose was spy plane testing.)

But Area 51 isn't the only such place — there are other mysterious sites that are truly secret and almost unknown, but with connections to UFOs all the same. Some I talk about in this new book, Beyond Area 51; some of these connections border on the ridiculous; others are fascinating and truly baffling. Here are the most mysterious

S4, Nevada

S4, Nevada

S4, said to be located inside a desert mountain 20 miles south of Area 51, is rumored to be an enormous underground facility where the U.S. military builds flying saucers based on reverse-engineering of recovered/crashed UFOs. However, some researchers think S4 is a complete fabrication created by the CIA to fool Russian satellites into photographing nothing but empty desert.

AUTEC, the Caribbean

AUTEC, the Caribbean

AUTEC (officially known as the Atlantic Underwater Testing & Evaluation Center) is what many UFO researchers call the U.S. Navy's version of Area 51. Not only have many UFOs been reported in its vicinity over the years, but hundreds of USOs (Unidentified Submerged Objects) have been seen near this super-secret facility as well. (The Navy denies all this, of course.) Maybe the eeriest thing about AUTEC is that it's located on the Bahamian island of Andros, which puts it smack in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle.

Homestead AFB, Florida

Homestead AFB, Florida

Located south of Miami, Homestead Air Force Base is the site of one of the most intriguing stories in UFO lore. One night in 1974, President Richard Nixon brought his golfing buddy, comedian Jackie Gleason, to a top-secret hangar at Homestead to show him the remains of a crashed flying saucer and the bodies of its crew. Gleason was a well-known UFO enthusiast and later on, when Gleason's estranged wife mentioned the incident to a magazine, Jackie claims he decided to end their marriage. But is the story true?

San Luis Valley, Colorado

San Luis Valley, Colorado

Located in the southwest corner of Colorado, the San Luis Valley is a place with reported incidents involving not only UFOs but paranormal activity. Ghosts, "shadow people," unexplained lights, strange animals, and even flying humans has been rumored as well. Coincidentally, the valley is located close to a number of highly classified military installations.

Wenceslas Mine, Poland

Wenceslas Mine, Poland

Located in southwestern Poland, this facility has long been rumored to be the site of a secret World War II program to build a propulsion unit for Nazi UFOs. True believers say the technology for this mysterious device, known as "The Bell," came from a highly advanced alien civilization that was in cahoots with Hitler and the Third Reich. However, more rational researchers point out that if the Nazis truly had superior technological help from ETs, they probably could have won WWII.

Archuleta Mesa, New Mexico

Archuleta Mesa, New Mexico

Located in Dulce, New Mexico, some claim this mountain is home to 50,000 reptile-like ETs who, with the approval of the U.S. government, perform ghastly experiments on human beings with the ultimate purpose of enslaving mankind to work in plutonium mines on the moon and Mars. Most others dismiss Archuleta Mesa as the weirdest tall-tale in history. As crazy as it sounds, the debate about the mysterious location goes on.

Saddam's Area 51

Saddam's Area 51

When the Invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, U.S. forces paid particular attention to a place called the Little Zab River Valley, bombing it frequently and sending in scores of Special Forces. Located west of Baghdad, the valley was reportedly the site of what many called Saddam's Area 51. Ever since the first Gulf War, reports have come out of Iraq that Saddam's forces had recovered a crashed UFO, brought it to the Little Zab River Valley, reverse-engineered some of its technology, and, from this, created a sort of extraterrestrial WMD.

'Roswell' and Beyond: An Interview with Paul Davids

'Roswell' and Beyond: An Interview with Paul Davids

Silver Screen Saucers
The 'Roswell' writer/producer talks to Robbie Graham about UFOs, Hollywood, Vincent van Gogh, and life after death...
Davids in his office with the star of his 1994 'Roswell' movie.
“My daughter screamed at me: ‘Daddy, get upstairs! I see a flying saucer!’” Even by phone, it’s clear that Paul Davids is almost reliving the event. On February 25, 1987, the author, screenwriter and producer was at home in his office, hard at work on the script for what would become Starry Night – his whimsical fantasy film about Vincent van Gogh. 

“My daughter was in her room on the second floor. My son was home. She was nine. He was six,” Davids recalls. Perhaps understandably, his daughter’s initial flying saucer alert was dismissed out of hand, Davids envisioning a Good Year Blimp sailing blandly over the valley – he was far too busy for blimps. His daughter became hysterical. “She said: ‘Daddy, get up here! I mean it! It’s a flying saucer, I mean it! Get up here right now!’ He did as he was told.

Before that day, Davids had not been a believer in UFOs. “It wasn’t until the moment that I set my eyes on it that I took anything seriously about this at all. But when I saw it, my reaction was ‘Oh, my God.’” Davids and his children stepped out onto the roof together, awestruck. “It was there,” he says, “descending from a high dramatic cloud. It approached us when we were out on the roof. And then it hovered above our two front trees out over the road in front of our house. It was at least the size of the cockpit of a helicopter.”

Disc-shaped? I ask. “Yes. Absolutely classic saucer. Very clear. It was sort of a dull grey, and it had a dome on top meeting like an upside-down plate. No portholes. It did not make a sound.” Davids and his children watched the object for several minutes and felt that whoever was piloting it was staring right back at them: “It seemed to be aware of us by its movements,” he explains. “It took a position in a little space between the leaves of the trees, but there was still eye contact. It seemed deliberate, and it hovered there.” The object came to within 500 feet of their position before it “swooped down” across the valley. “Then, in the blink of an eye it was gone... It just wasn’t there anymore.”

Fate had dealt Davids his hand. “That was how it started,” he says, “that day, at four o’clock, my life changed.” His sighting that afternoon would start a seven-year chain reaction involving long-buried truths and Hollywood legends, and that would eventually play a major role in the popularization of a word that has since captured the imagination of millions: “Roswell.”


Paul Jeffrey Davids grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, watching sci-fi B movies and making amateur sequels with his friends using 8mm movie cameras. “When I was young I never really had any belief that there were extraterrestrial craft visiting Earth,” he tells me, “but I was an avid science-fiction enthusiast and loved movies like Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, War of the Worlds, and The Thing from Another World. But I never read the UFO books when I was younger.”

In 1969, Davids graduated from Princeton University with a major in Psychology and immediately after became one of the first fifteen students chosen to attend the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies in Beverly Hills. He spent two years there alongside future Hollywood luminaries Terrence Malick, David Lynch, Paul Schrader and Matthew Robbins. Later, Davids began working for the famed talent agent Paul Kohner: “I was involved with people like William Wyler, Charles Bronson, and John Huston – right at the twilight of the old Hollywood. I was right in the middle of that,” he reminisces, fondly.

With the 1980s came the Transformers, and Davids worked as a production coordinator and writer on the popular animated TV series that ran from 1984 to 1987. He points out that his name is on more than 75 of the original Transformers cartoons and he is clearly very proud of his role in helping shape the mythology that would give rise to one of the most popular franchises in movie history. His work on Transformers had just wound down by the time of his UFO sighting in 1987 and the time was ripe for a new project – though  he could not have known then just how historic that project would turn out to be. 

“I couldn’t dislodge it from my mind,” says Davids of his saucer sighting. “It became a focus of my attention for the months that followed. By the end of that summer I think I had bought and read a couple hundred UFO books.” Not content with consuming the literature, Davids also sought direct input from those in the know, including Robert Wise, the legendary director of the 1951 flying saucer classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. “He met with me in his office in Beverly Hills,” Davids recalls, “and he wanted to hear all about my sighting. He told me he absolutely did believe that the saucers were real and that some of them were extraterrestrial. He believed it not because he had seen one, but because of all the information that had come to him while he was making The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Wise told Davids that scientists and engineers from Washington had taken him aside during filming and talked to him about UFOs. “What they told him convinced him that the government took this really seriously,” says Davids, “that some of these craft were visitors from space.”

Behind the scenes: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Though he didn’t know it yet, Davids was already on his personal road to Roswell. For further input about his sighting, Wise referred him to his friend Roy Thinnes – the star of the iconic 1960s UFO-themed TV show The Invaders: “Bob Wise told me that Roy had developed a personal interest in really investigating UFOs in the course of playing this role. So the next thing I know I’m talking to Roy Thinnes.” The actor duly prepared a report about Davids’ sighting and sent it to the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies in Chicago where it was received by UFO investigator Donald Schmitt – one of only a small handful of people in the world at that point (including pioneering UFO researcher Stanton Friedman) who were taking an active interest in the long-dormant Roswell case, which involved the alleged crash and retrieval of a craft of unearthly origin in the deserts of New Mexico in early July of 1947. The Air Force had officially explained it away as a “weather balloon,” but the residents of Roswell had for years been whispering a rather more interesting story.

“Don came to visit me on his next trip to Los Angeles,” Davids continues, “and he told me that he and his friend Kevin Randle were going to reinvestigate the Roswell Incident – go down to Roswell and try to get to the bottom of it. And they asked me: ‘are you interested in a movie deal about this?’” It turned out Schmitt and Randle had a seventeen–page treatment for an unwritten book about the Roswell Incident. The book, they said, could be movie gold if only someone would option it. A mere $25 sealed the deal between Schmitt, Randle, and Davids – a deal that provided for payment of “real money” once a network or studio became involved, if ever.

Davids accompanied Schmitt and Randle on a number of their visits to Roswell to interview the town’s old-time residents. “I drove them from witness to witness,” he explains. “I heard from the townspeople; from the former military people, from the people who’d been involved in the radio broadcasts at that time; from people who knew the rancher Mack Brazel [who discovered the wreckage]. Believe me, it’s convincing. It is really, really convincing that a flying saucer from another world did crash in Roswell in 1947 and the people there were coerced into silence.”
William "Mack" Brazel and Don Schmitt at the debris site in Corona, New Mexico. Photograph courtesy of Kevin Randle.

Schmitt and Randle’s groundbreaking book, UFO Crash at Roswell, was published in 1991, by which point Davids had already spent two years pitching his movie adaptation to studios and TV networks. “Everyone said no,” he sighs. I enquire on what grounds the suits were rejecting his pitch. “A lot of them said ‘this Roswell Incident never could have happened or I would have heard of it.’ They also were afraid of getting egg on their face, so to speak. And they were afraid somebody connected with it would say that it was all made up. So they backed away and wouldn’t give us a deal.”

Finally, after around forty rejections, David’s Roswell pitch was picked up by HBO, only to be dropped again after 18 months of script development by Arthur Kopit – one of Davids’ co-writers on the film. As the production moved into its casting stage, the plug was unceremoniously pulled. Davids and his core team were summoned before HBO bosses and told: “Sorry guys, we gotta let you know we’ve decided not to make the movie.”

Davids was dismayed at HBO’s reasoning: “They were going to make another flying saucer movie – a remake of The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, starring Darryl Hannah – instead of Roswell. That was the wisdom of HBO at that time.” But where one door closed, another one opened as the premium cable network Showtime enthusiastically added Roswell to its production slate. “And that was the turning point,” says Davids, “because they really wanted to make it, and they poured resources into it. It was fabulous.”

Davids played a major role in shaping the film’s narrative structure, central to which are themes of time and memory. “I came up with the whole concept about this being a reunion at the military base – it would all be done as a flashback. Jesse Marcel [the original Roswell whistleblower], all these years later, he’s going back and meeting with all the different people he knew then, trying to put together pieces of the puzzle.” A formulaic approach, perhaps, but, in the reliable hands of director Jeremy Kagan (and old friend of Davids’), it served well the complex and controversial source material. For Davids, the purpose of his Roswell movie was not just to entertain, but to educate – to bring the Roswell Incident to wider public attention in a powerful and comprehensible form.

The production process itself was relatively smooth, although not without its share of intrigue. Suspicious happenings were evident even before Showtime accepted the project. “While we were under development at HBO, I began to notice strange goings-on with my phone,” Davids explains. “Weird clicking during conversations about the film; on several occasions obvious sounds of a third party being on the line; and, most notably, a call being abruptly disconnected during a conversation about the evidence for alien bodies.”  

Don Schmitt had told Davids at the outset he believed his line was tapped, and Davids felt that he, too, had become a surveillance target: “The weird phone activity seemed to spread from Don to me and others involved in the film.” More troubling to Davids were the inquisitive strangers: “There were people who ‘popped into my life’ trying to become new close friends as quickly as possible who seemed to be trying to lift sensitive information about the production from me in suspicious ways.” On one occasion, some strange men in a car snapped some “quick stolen photos” of Davids and Schmitt while they were driving together. “These were not paparazzi,” he says, “the circumstances were suspicious yet done in an obvious way as if someone wanted us to know we were being watched.” 

This is juicy stuff, and I’m hungry for more production anecdotes. I note that the lead actor in Roswell, Kyle MacLachlan, had already dealt with the UFO topic in season two of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, which featured a plot strand about Project Blue Book. The film’s other star, Martin Sheen, meanwhile, has always been known for speaking his mind on controversial political issues. Did these men share with Davids their personal perspectives on the Roswell incident and UFOs more generally?

“Neither of them is a good poster child for the UFO cause,” he replies, disappointedly. “Kyle kept his personal opinion separate from the character that he was playing and he didn’t engage the subject. He never came forward and said ‘I believe this is true.’ With all respect to Kyle, you kind of felt he’d been coached not to say something that could turn him into a kook.”

And Martin Sheen? “Wonderful man, great actor, wonderful to work with,” Davids enthuses. “His main interest at that point, as far as I could tell, was Catholicism and the Marian sightings – the apparitions of the Virgin. He spent more time talking to me about that than I could talk to him about UFOs.”

This line of conversation prompts Davids to recall an awkward exchange he once had with legendary sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury, who he describes as “an arch skeptic.” Davids was sat next to Bradbury at a luncheon when Ray Harryhausen got his star on Hollywood Boulevard. Both Rays had agreed to help Davids in the production of his documentary that was to become the 2006 Saturn Award-winning The Sci-Fi Boys, but Bradbury was displeased to learn of Davids’ involvement in another movie: “When he heard that I had made Roswell he started yelling at me! He started attacking me! Saying ‘what are you doing making a piece of fiction like that and trying to pass it off as something that’s true?’ I was so taken aback. I said ‘Mr Bradbury, with all due respect, have you heard what the witnesses really said? Do you know the case?’ He said, ‘I don’t have to now the case – I know it didn’t happen!’ And I said, ‘Mr Bradbury, can I ask why you’re so sure?’ He said, ‘Because I’m Ray Bradbury! They would have told ME! You think this would have happened and they wouldn’t have told ME!? You’re crazy!’” Davids chuckles and sighs: “Pride and ego.”


Today, the Roswell Incident of 1947 is considered by UFO researchers to be the most significant event in the history of the phenomenon, and it makes sense that it has permeated our cultural fabric in the form of movies, TV shows, comic books and video games. But are there any other historical UFO-related events that would lend themselves particularly well to a Hollywood dramatization? Davids certainly thinks so, with one case in particular standing out as a yet-to-be-made movie classic: “I think that the untapped gold would lie in Rendlesham Forrest.” He is, of course, referring to the Bentwaters case, which, although featuring no UFO crash/retrievals, involved multiple military personnel – including a Lieutenant Colonel – witnessing spectacular UFO incursions at a highly sensitive US military base on UK soil over three nights in December, 1980.

Our discussion about unproduced UFO movies reminds Davids of his own project in this subgenre that failed to launch. He had a long-term working relationship with the outspoken Mars anomalies researcher Richard Hoagland: “We wanted to do a film about the face on Mars and we had a deal at RKO to do it, I was going to direct it, it was far along in development.” Unfortunately, the creative director at RKO with whom Davids and Hoagland had been working left the film company unexpectedly. “All of the films he’d been developing were dropped,” says Davids, in a sharp tone of frustration. “So we did not get to make that movie.”

I offer that perhaps this was a lucky escape on his part – Mars being perennially toxic at the Hollywood box-office. “There have been a lot of problems,” Davids acknowledges. “John Carter! I don’t think anyone now is racing to make another Mars movie.” He does, however, hope that cinemagoers might someday see a movie about the famous UFO contactees of the 20th Century, such as George Adamski and George van Tassel, who claimed personal interactions with enlightened space folk bringing messages of peace and brotherhood. “I would have loved to have been the one to make that,” he says, wistfully. “It would be wonderful to have a film about Adamski. It would be a great subject matter and it could be done.”


Our conversation shifts now from the past to the present and to Davids’ latest TV project – a documentary feature for the SyFy channel. “It’s called The Life After Death Project. I think it is the most sophisticated look at the evidence for life after death that has been put together so far in a film.” This is a deeply personal project for Davids, who has always been fascinated by the idea that our life-essence survives beyond corporeal death. “It’s based on a real case involving one of my mentors, the late Forrest J Ackerman, that touched my life very, very deeply,” he tells me. “In the old days they called it spiritualism... getting messages from the dead, and it was all dismissed as hokum. But they threw out the baby with the bathwater. There’s a lot of real data there. There is a real psychic effect. The case is made that there is something in our personality that survives.”

Though very few in the UFO community are aware of it, Davids’ other great passion in life, besides film, is painting and drawing, and he recently launched a new website – pauldavids-artist.com – showcasing his artistic accomplishments. “There’s about 25 years of work on there,” he notes. “A lot of my earlier paintings have been in exhibitions, but my last ten years of work has not yet been seen. Now it can be seen online.”

Davids has been painting for as long as he can remember, but it was not until the late 1990s that he truly threw himself into it. In 1999, he directed Starry Night – the van Gogh film he’d been penning at the time of his life-altering UFO sighting. The iconic Dutch painter lodged himself deep in Davids’ psyche: “He just caught hold of me,” he says “and I just started painting and producing a large body of work.” Starry Night sees Vincent van Gogh – unappreciated in his own time – drink a potato potion he acquired when painting ‘The Potato Eaters,’ which causes him to return to life in modern-day California where he discovers that his paintings are revered as masterworks.

Today, as a filmmaker and artist, Davids shows no sign of slowing down. “I’m still operating with the same pace and energy and excitement as I did when I was 35 or 40,” he declares, with the vim and vigour of a 35 or 40 year old. “Nothing’s changed for me.” His fascination with the UFO enigma is also as strong as ever. Davids’ sighting that fateful day in 1987 opened his eyes to a world hidden from public view, buried beneath sixty years of government denial and ridicule. “When will they ever decide to tell us? What will it take?” he asks, rhetorically. The culture of secrecy still agitates him: “I think the whole cover-up is a disgrace,” he fumes. “I’m opposed to it from top to bottom. So that’s why I made the film.”

The film, it should be noted, was a huge success, both commercially and critically, not only significantly increasing Showtime’s subscriber base, but also garnering a Golden Globe nomination for best television movie. “I think the impact was considerable,” says Davids of Roswell. “It was enormous. Millions of people saw it. Millions.”

I ask if the word ‘Roswell’ would be so culturally resonant today had he not so memorably contextualized it in his 1994 TV movie. “Not as much,” Davids replies, without hesitation, although he acknowledges that the immensely popular TV show The X-Files, which premiered a year before his movie, also played a major role. “But The X-Files wasn’t just about Roswell,” he stresses, “it was all over the place dealing with a lot of different things. Roswell was just a little part of it.” Other entertainment products throughout the 1990s also were contributors to the popularization of the Roswell story, most significant among which, according to Davids, were the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, the Dark Skies TV series, which ran from 1996 to 1997, and the instantly iconic 1997 Will Smith vehicle Men in Black. “By that time, Roswell was a national institution,” Davids observes. “If it’s a myth – which I don’t believe it is for one minute – it is now a national myth massively engrained into the public consciousness, as much as any other story from the history of our country.”

It’s hard to argue with that statement, and it’s harder still to underestimate the seminal role Paul Davids played in that engraining process. Almost twenty years after he produced it, Roswell – a film that very nearly never was – today stands as testament to the fact that the right movie, at the right time, can help redefine popular understanding of historical events long shrouded in the fog of official obfuscation.