UFO Craze of 1947 Inspires Mockrumentary
In June of 1947, a pilot named Kenneth Arnold saw nine bright, saucer-shaped objects flying at high speeds near Mount Rainier in Washington state. This sighting kicked off the UFO craze which is spoofed in "The Top Secret UFO Project," R. J. Thomas' mock-documentary about a filmmaker's search for the truth behind a 1956 UFO incident in Colorado.
PR9.NET July 10, 2006 - Los Angeles, CA, a private pilot from Boise named Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine bright objects flying erratically at tremendous speeds near Mt. Rainier in Washington state. This sighting kicked off a nationwide UFO craze parodied heavily in "The Top Secret UFO Project," R. J. Thomas' mock-documentary about a UFO incident in Colorado in the summer of 1956.
"The Arnold sighting is often credited as the catalyst for UFO interest that lasts to this day," Mr. Thomas said. "Arnold said the objects flew like a saucer you skip across the water, and the term 'flying saucer' was born. In the weeks that followed, there were literally thousands of reported spaceship sightings."
Based on Thomas' 2004 novella of the same name, "The Top Secret UFO Project" chronicles the UFO-related events experienced by Jasper, a tiny Colorado hamlet. According to the film, the town dealt with one unusual event after another in the summer of 1956. After a farmer saw a mysterious oval-shaped object fly over his house, scientists rushed into Jasper to investigate, reporters rushed in looking for stories, and government officials rush in to keep it a secret from the world.
Billed as "the movie the government does not want you to see," "The Top Secret UFO Project" is a parody of the cheesy UFO documentaries of the 70's like "Overlords of the UFO" and TV programs such as "In Search Of."
Mr. Thomas plays a documentary filmmaker who, in 2003, discovered (by accident) some top secret government films pertaining to the Jasper Incident of 1956. This inspired him to make a documentary about Jasper's UFO story, and to discover the truth behind what really happened that mysterious summer in Colorado.
Kenneth Arnold, who died in 1984, went to his grave believing his sightings were authentic. In 1950, he sat down with legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow and told him that he'd seen the saucers on three different occasions, and in 1952 Arnold published a book about his sightings called, "The Coming of the Saucers."
"Many people try to say that Arnold's 1947 sightings were really meteor-fireball fragments or disc-shaped experimental military planes," Mr. Thomas said. "But some believe those explanations were just examples of the way the government covers up UFO sightings. My film does its' best to spoof the government's ways of covering such things up."
"The Top Secret UFO Project" is available on DVD at BooksAndSuchMart.com.
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