Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Of Relatively Incredible Things

Welcome to my newest blog, all about the making and background of a true motion picture whose existence enticed and haunted me since I first viewed it on TV in the early sixties. As a UFO researcher and writer, I experienced the rare pleasure of communicating with and receiving written responses from some of the documentary's main participants. In the months to come, I hope to post numerous visuals such as letters and the movie's diverse promotional material.

Pictured today are two movie-related items. First is page one of the late Tom Towers' very own copy of the script. Tom, who portrayed Al Chop in the key role, confessed when I corresponded with him in the seventies that the cherished storage spot for the script was behind his living room sofa, where it remained for years. Incidentally, his 1954 script encountered numerous changes during the movie's filming and prior to release two years later, and at times is actually unrecognizable when compared with the finished production.

When "U.F.O." hit national theaters in May of 1956, Tom Towers' friends who owned the Krim theater in Detroit put his name in lights on the marquee and sent him the photo shown here, and I can say that he valued this picture and his personal copy of the script more than anything else related to the movie. Getting top billing over George Sanders and crew in "Death of a Scoundrel" certainly was quite an accomplishment, even in a scenario contrived by friends!

I realize all too well that you may never have seen "U.F.O." But maybe you will one day, I hope so. Whether familiar with it or not, my intention is to guide you through its 92 minutes of historical significance -- and the implications of the UFO phenomenon as depicted via that celluloid journey. The fact that producer Clarence Greene's creation also includes two of the best early films of UFOs in existence (the Montana and Utah films), still unexplained after decades, enhances the documentary's feel for an exquisitely real mystery.

I'm also putting up links regarding the movie, and a couple of my old magazine articles about "U.F.O." can be accessed on the Web.

Finally today, the unusual title of this blog entry derives from a statement given by General John Samford following the famous Washington, D. C. UFO tensions of 1952. A portion of Samford's press conference is shown in the movie, and at one point he states that some UFO witnesses are "credible observers of relatively incredible things." The importance of this brief phrase was never lost upon UFO researchers, nor was it ignored when Clarence Greene produced his motion picture. In fact, General Samford's statement endures and enjoys eternal publicity largely because of the movie's influence amongst serious researchers.