Wednesday, August 5, 2009

UFO: The Motion Picture Script (Part 10)

Chop enters Capt. Ruppelt's office at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton. In the movie we see only a rather routine office with desks and filing cabinets, but writer Francis Martin's script had originally envisioned a large room with one entire wall lined with file cabinets secured with combination locks similar to those "used on safes." All open wall space was consumed with maps of the United States and the rest of the world. Among the desks is Ruppelt's, with a "quite large" globe of the world standing beside it. Upon the desk, "edges lined in neat, geometrical precision, are several bound stacks of material relevant to UFOs."

Also native to the script, Chop hands Ruppelt an envelope, Ruppelt extracts an enclosure and scans it before smiling and shaking hands with Chop.

As Chop (Towers) narrates over the scene, I find one script sentence crossed out: "In many cases the speed of these UFOs had been clocked at over two thousand miles an hour." At this point, the movie appears to carry additional narration which, for a change, isn't present on paper.
One obvious error in the movie which I never detected for years occurs as Ruppelt's character begins to fill Chop in on an ultimately explainable UFO report. Ruppelt mentions the incident's date as December first, 1952, but by this time in the movie's progression the action actually takes place several months prior to December.

"U.F.O." eventually shifts to the film of numerous unknown objects taken by Navy chief warrant officer Delbert Newhouse in July, 1952 (another time shift presents itself here). Newhouse, like Nicholas Mariana, plays himself as he recounts the story of multiple UFOs filmed as he and his vacationing family passed through Tremonton, Utah.

The scene shifts back to Chop and Ruppelt, and in the script the actor playing Ruppelt starts to recount the story of Lt. Gorman's UFO encounter. However, as the Gorman case is depicted on screen, further narration intended in the script for Ruppelt instead is given to Chop (Towers). As years passed, speculation centered upon not a UFO, but rather a possible balloon as the source of Gorman's sighting. Whether this is true cannot be confirmed, but, of course, the movie was made long before this theory emerged. In any case, though not mentioned in the movie, the script describes L.D. Jenson as the air traffic controller with whom Gorman communicated during his experience.

Frankly, the sprinkling of names throughout the script, never mentioned in the movie, is of some interest, and we assume names were often left out simply because permission to include them could not be obtained or certain people wished not to have their names used. Based entirely upon my own speculation, I tend to believe such exclusions lend credence to these being real names and not merely script constructs.