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Mr. Alioto replied and was gracious enough to let me publish his response on the website. So here we go, the true story behind the infamous abduction video.
Here is the whole unedited strange story of how my 1989 $6,500 video entitled UFO Abduction became the UPN special, Alien Abduction: Incident In Lake County...
In 1988 I was headed for my 25th birthday and I had not yet made my first feature film -- this 25th year mark is crucial for most filmmakers as it was the age that, Orson Wells, Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg all had made their first films by. Unlike them, I had a budget that equaled the size of craft service for a day on a studio feature film. One night after reading the latest books on the UFO phenomenon (Communion, Missing Time, and the books of Jacques Vale), I came up with the idea of making the most realistic movie on UFO abduction ever made. The best part of the idea was that it could be done for my miniscule budget. I wrote an outline of twenty action beats based on the claimed abduction experience. I hired a group of skilled improve actors, except for myself who played the 16 year old shooting the video, and shot the direct-to-video movie in one night, in one continuous take, on 8mm video. The guy who created the UFO craft and aliens has since gone on to be the production designer for the recent live-action Scooby-Doo films -- Bill Boes.
Here's where things get "strange". The video actually got distributed. However, a few months later the distribution company burned to the ground. I lost my 1 inch master tape and all of my artwork, leaving me with my original tapes and a 3/4 inch copy. I figured, "Oh, well -- time to move on" and forgot about my first attempt at a feature film. Five years later, 1994, I begin getting calls from Unsolved Mysteries, Hard Copy, and a show called Encounters. They all want to know if I knew who had found some mysterious UFO tape that had been passed around the UFO community for the past five years. The tape, without a title or credits, was believed by many people to be real footage of an alien abduction.
When I finally stopped laughing and told them no one had found the tape, that I had made it and own the rights, they told me what my little video had been up to. Apparently, someone -- much more crafty than myself -- had made an edited bootleg copy of my video and injected it into the UFO community, hyping it all the way to the 1993 International UFO Congress Convention where it brought the house down. A Lieutenant Colonel with 40 years military intelligence, who was on the panel at the convention, determined right there that the tape was real! When I tried to ascertain how all this happened no one was able to find "patient zero" -- the person who bootlegged the tape. I was aware that a few sample copies were made in 1989 by the distributor, before the company was burned, and that these copies were sent out to a few mom and pop video stores around the country. That's was it.