I recently discovered an article in 49th Parallel* entitled, A History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television
by Robbie Graham of Bristol University and Matthew Alford from the University of Bath. It is a general overview of Hollywood’s, and especially
Disney’s, involvement with government agencies (CIA) concerning UFOs and the public’s perception of UFOs.
The material regarding Disney and the Alien Encounters documentary and also the history on Ward Kimball, Disney and the USAF was familiar to me; but
there was one portion of the article that really stood out for me and made me scratch my head…
Have you ever heard of Andy Fickman?
He was the director of the Walt Disney film, Race to Witch Mountain
and he claims, in interviews with Robbie Graham, to have had direct
assistance from the CIA in creating many elements of the film.
Fickman said of his CIA advisor:
“All of the on-camera alien language in terms of their spaceship and everything – that was all designed by him in the sense [of what] the
mathematics of communication would be, so you know... there would be a similar mathematical equation that the government probably has if they were to
ever come across an alien race (F210: Huh?). So a lot of the things we ended up using were things he was bringing to me... and the next thing you
know, that’s what I had on screen”.
The advisor also recommended that certain UFO-related content be removed from the script: “there were things we got rid of in the script that he was
just trying to follow logic [on] from a protocol standpoint,” said Fickman, although he would not elaborate on the nature of the changes made.
Then Fickman goes on to claim to have had the red carpet rolled out for he and his crew at Cheyenne Mountain…
Fickman further claims that he was afforded a visit to NORAD’s sensitive Cheyenne Mountain facility in 2008, where – accompanied by his CIA
advisor – his team spent twelve hours taking photographs and talking with on-duty military officers, including the heads of NORAD.
“We wanted our Witch Mountain to resemble what NORAD and Cheyenne Mountain look like inside,” he said, adding: “We took a thousand photos and
then by the time they released us into the wilderness maybe we had three hundred that had been approved for us to somewhat copy [for production design
It is also interesting to me that Andy Fickman grew up in Roswell New Mexico. Hmmmmm. I wonder if he knows Jose Escamilla.
In a separate interview by ‘Michael’ at MoviesOnline.ca Fickman says this about how growing up in Roswell influenced the making of the movie…
“I think if you're born in a place like Roswell, New Mexico... because of its reputation of being a UFO centre and there's such mythology out there,
you just spend your whole life with people always asking you: "Do you believe in UFOs?" Or: "You're an alien!"
So, from the time I was born I've always had an interest in the subject matter and by the time we started doing this movie and sitting down with
Dwayne, Ciaran Hinds and the rest of the cast, one of the things I wanted to do was not so much make it about my opinion, but one that shared as much
information as I had from videos and books”.
I don’t know why this is irritating me so much, ATS. I don’t understand how this could be. Obviously there is collusion occurring here; some way,
somehow. Or has this Fickman guy merely slipped a cog?
The CIA, for its part, claims to have had no involvement in Race to Witch Mountain. In an email to the author, Paula Weiss, Media Spokeswoman at the
CIA Office of Public Affairs, said:
“to the best of our collective knowledge in the media relations office, we did not provide any technical or other support to this production".
Fickman was puzzled by the CIA’s denial. Questioned by the author on whether or not the CIA man could have been retired from the Agency and had been
acting in a private capacity (as is the case with a number of ex-CIA operatives in Hollywood, including Robert Baer, Milton Beardon and Chase
Brandon), the director replied:
“there’s no way we would have had what we had, had he not been an active CIA employee...”Indeed, throughout the NORAD visit, Fickman claims he
relied heavily on the influence wielded by his CIA man: “Nothing happened at NORAD without him flashing his card and making his calls”.
I can’t know for sure if he has or not (slipped a cog).
It looks to me, ATS, like the real subject here is not UFOs but the carefully manicured public perception of UFOs. I tend to believe Fickman. Based on
Disney’s prior involvement with the USAF I would say it is likely that it went down just as Fickman said it did.
Check out this bit from the ‘Michael’ interview…
…”So, when we created the UFO convention we actually went outside the box and invited everyone within the UFO community to come and be there. So,
the convention you see in the film is actually manned and all those booths are real booths from UFO conventions. We put the word out and everyone
showed up, and we got people like Bill Burns, who hosts a show called UFO Hunters on the History Channel and publishes UFO Magazine”.
I am beginning to see that this really is a great big money generating dog and pony show. Of course all of these people are going to come out of the
woodwork for an impromptu ‘convention on demand’. And it looks like certain aspects of our Government have a stake in keeping the show going too.
I would like to take one further quote concerning this from Robbie Graham and his blog...
As a closing thought on Disney’s establishment ties in relation to the UFO question, in January 2011, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
(SAGIA) staged its 5th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) – a major International business convention which this year featured keynote
speeches by the likes of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Intriguingly, this year’s GCF event also featured a special panel discussion entitled:
"Contact: Learning from Outer Space," in which names such as Stanton Friedman, Jacques Vallee, Nick Pope and Professor Michio Kaku addressed the
wide-ranging implications of UFOs and potential extraterrestrial life.
How is this relevant to our topic? Well, it might not be, but the primary sponsor of the GCF event was Boeing – a company highlighted by Disclosure
Project witnesses as being a key player in UFO-related ‘deep black’ programmes and which you’ll also recall is linked at a directors-board-level
to the Walt Disney Company – and a key note speaker at the event was none other than Chairman of Walt Disney International, Andy Bird. UFOs, Disney,
Boeing, even former heads of state – all under one roof, so to speak.
It proves nothing of course, but is nevertheless worthy of mention in that it brings to mind what the famous ex-CIA operative Robert Baer once told me
regarding the Hollywood/Washington relationship: "All these people that run studios – they go to Washington, they hang around with senators, they
hang around with CIA directors, and everybody's on board."
Certainly, Disney has long been "on board" with supporting government and military power structures; as to whether or not this support extends to an
involvement in some indefinable "Hollywood UFO conspiracy" is impossible to say. For now, at least, all we can do is weigh-up what little evidence is
available to us and each draw our own conclusions as to precisely what UFO secrets – if any – might lie behind the Magic Kingdom.
Please read the whole story, if you are so inclined, at:
Robbie Graham's Blog
So what do you think of all of this, ATS? I found this to be one of the stranger stories out there concerning the media, movies and UFOs and it looks
like we haven't checked it out yet.
Finally, just as a side note, I think it is interesting that all of this investigative work and the journal that supports it are coming out of the
*49th Parallel: An Interdisciplinary Journal of North American Studies
A History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television
Vol. 25 (Spring 2011) Graham & Alford
ISSN: 1753-5794 (online)
edit on 4-8-2011 by Frater210 because: Ia!