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The McPherson Tape (aka UFO Abduction 1989)

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posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 11:33 AM
A few days ago I was searching YouTube for interesting UFO videos and I came across an old gem which has not been available on the internet until recently and I thought would make for a great thread. I recall seeing snippets of this film floating around the internet, when I tried to find the full video it was not to be found anywhere online. It was some time around 2009 when I did my search, and there's a few threads such as this one from 2007 where people were trying to track down the full video.

originally posted by: IsaacKoi
The full video of the original version of the McPherson tape is not available online. Only brief clips have been posted on the Internet.

By the way, the later version is not a "reinactment" - it was a remake by the same director (Dean Alioto) with a much larger budget.

Well it looks like the full version of the film is now available, I assume the uploader has permission to share the video since it's been up for over a year now. The description under the video reads "im told this is the original tape, you can make your own mind up". For the record I'm fairly convinced it's not real homemade footage after reading more into it, but there is certainly a great deal of weirdness surrounding this film and that's what I want to spend the rest of this thread looking at.

The footage is an hour and 2 minutes long, after that it just repeats parts of the footage. My impression after watching the full thing is I find it very impressive for several reasons. First, they were a decade ahead of films such as The Blair Witch Project with the shaky homemade found footage trend, seemingly the first ever to do it. Second, it has extremely long unbroken scenes and was filmed in a single night according to the supposed director Dean Alioto, using a bunch of improv actors.

This article from late 2016 goes into quite a bit of detail, showing pictures of the kids who dressed in alien costumes and even the spaceship prop:

Dean recollects the moment of inspiration that guided him to conceive of UFO Abduction, “I had basically nothing in my pocket, but was able to convince a friend of mine to throw in $6,500 to do a film. I was thinking, with that much money there’s not much I can do.

“I was flying back from Los Angeles and I was looking out the window at night and was thinking, ‘what if this is the last time I’m seeing the Earth? What if I’m in a ship and I’m being taken away?’ And then it just kind of crystallized by the time I landed—I should do War of the Worlds with video.

“So I’ll take a home video and make something interesting with it—aliens. And then do Ten Little Indians and see these guys one-by-one get taken. I’ll shoot it real time and hire improv actors. That’s how it came about to do it all in one night.”

Dean Alioto: The McPherson Tape, UFO Abduction, and Alien Abduction

There are a few places in the film where static distorts the picture and I suspect they used that and other tricks to break up the scenes without making it obvious, but it's still very impressive they were able to improvise such long scenes without slipping up and making it feel realistic. It's so well done in fact that several UFO researchers were convinced the clips which have been floating around the internet for the last decade were real, and Dean Alioto falsely claims to be the creator.

The video ends up at the International UFO Congress Convention in Vegas in 1993, where apparently it brought down the house. A lieutenant colonel with forty years of Air Force intelligence experience claimed it was authentic and the best evidence ever and we finally have footage and so on.

As soon as Unsolved Mysteries heard that the video was actually [a fictional movie] they stepped down and so it was between Hard Copy and Encounters—so I went with Encounters as the world’s greatest UFO hoax. I went on that show and that lit a fire in the UFO community. Everyone was reaching out to me trying to get copies of UFO Abduction. The Japanese went nuts over it because of some clips of the film.
Also interviewed on the same episode of Encounters was UFO Researcher and Lieutenant Colonel Donald Ware (Ret), who said, “I have been studying UFOS for forty-two years and I’ve got a pretty good track record. I thought it did not have the appearance of being a scripted production because everyone was talking at the same time and you couldn’t understand half of what they said. The people on camera did express a great deal of emotion. If they were actors they ought to get an Oscar or an Emmy.”

Dean Alioto: The McPherson Tape, UFO Abduction, and Alien Abduction

Conspiracy theorists further claimed that the remake titled Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998), was yet another attempt to cause confusion around the original footage. Conspiracies surrounding the original film were already inflamed due to the scarcity of the film, according to this very short article on Wikipedia the scarcity may be because "the original master and artwork for UFO Abduction were destroyed in a warehouse fire at the distribution company, precluding the film's wide-release on video".
edit on 24/11/2018 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 11:33 AM
In 2012 someone claimed to have the full video and were charging $500 for a copy:

This "home video taped footage" is the ORIGINAL "The McPherson Tape" from 1989 (this is the purportedly real "footage" that 1998's UPN movie, "Alien Abduction: Incident In Lake County", was a remake of). Starting August 2012, this rare, currently out of production, "USA government seized", & nowhere to be found gem, can now be YOURS to own & cherish for the low price of $500.00/USD (I know, $500.00/USD probably sounds expensive to you, but considering the fact that I had to pay DOUBLE that amount to the undisclosed person who sold me my copy recently, I believe a $500.00/USD asking price [or ½ off] is actually a bargain, considering the "NOWHERE to be found" status of this little film.)!

Even during this time conspiracies surrounding the video were still alive and well:

originally posted by: Anonymous404
For some reason I'm inclined to believe Dean Alioto didn't direct the 1989 version of this.

First, I can't find his birth year anywhere online to see how old he would've been when it was released. Not his bio page on his own website, not his myspace page, nowhere. :/

Second, his IMDB profile says he made the Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County version, but says nothing about the 1989 version. While there is info on IMDB about the 1989 version, his name is absent. His website's bio page doesn't even mention the 1989 version, only the remake...the TV movie, as he calls it. His Resume portion of the website doesn't mention it either.

Now, I'm not one to plop 500 dollars down on something I can't be sure of, and I've seen the bits of the 1989 version on youtube, as well as the new one, which was called a "docudrama" most everywhere it's been discussed.

Another interesting thread I came across from 2007 is humorously titled Alien type - and size - butt anatomy, in which the author analyzes the body shape of the aliens and points out they have inhumanly long arms. I thought this was interesting because in the article where they show pictures of the kids wearing alien costumes they don't seem to have any arm extensions, although the large hands would make their arms look a bit longer.

Lastly, this old thread from 2008 talks about a tv show in Japan which claims to have tracked down the little girl from the original McPherson Tape. I believe they were actually called the Van Heese family in the original film, in the remake they were known as the McPherson family. Unfortunately the author posted a link to Google Video, which is no longer in existence since Google now owns YouTube, so the video is now unavailable.

Now the same japanese tv network made a revisit to the infamous case and presented an update on this story. Allegedly the tv crew found one of the original McPherson family's member, the daughter whose birthday were celebrating in the original film. According to the report they located the missing McPherson daughter living in LA and convinced her to be interviewed. She claims the whole incident was real and she managed to escape from the aliens and was living in hiding since then.

It's clear this girl is the same one that appear in the original film, I made the comparison and indeed she is the one celebrating her birthday with that big cake in the video many years before. I could'nt understand all her statements because of the japanese translator over her voice however it is evident she was claiming the event took place and the video is real.

Well that about wraps it up. Like I said, this film is most likely a directed film but there's a lot of great lore behind it and it's still very entertaining and creepy to this day. The fact it withstood the test of time proves either that it was way ahead of it's time or that the footage is more real than some people would have us believe. Either way I would highly suggest giving it a watch if you've not seen it before or you haven't seen the full thing because you could never find it.

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 11:43 AM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Dude cool find! I’m going to watch it right now.
Get back to ya when it’s over.

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 12:53 PM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Something about this one gives me chills...I watched the entire thing a while ago, analyzing everything I could.

All I can say is, its definitely a great piece of "lost footage" history. As for its authenticity, well I'm not an expert but most would say it's fake.

That's not to imply I have entirely made up my mind about it.

Also I guess if it's real, on the plus side they can be killed by our know, in case they want to harvest us for our organs.
edit on 24-11-2018 by threeeyesopen because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 01:05 PM
Loved the sound of the air plane flying overhead when they're out in yard. And the fake gunshot sounds.
edit on 24-11-2018 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 01:05 PM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Reading through that one thread you posted, at the time had I been on ATS I would of bought the tape for 500 bucks. Back then I was spending 500 bucks on worthless crap anyways, at least I could of possibly had a piece of history, although likely not.

These days though, no way I would do it, there are way too many fakes that look convincing.

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 01:17 PM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder


Now I may have some more night terrors. Thanks man.....

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 01:43 PM
That is the big problem with the overall 'conspiracy'/'paranormal'/ETH field is that it is so full of hoaxers, drone fliers, and people lying that there is more noise than fact.

I realize most of ATS is interested in such things as 'mind candy' but still it would be nice if people stopped hoaxing and lying, but given the need for such people to feel special this is never going to happen. We could, however, get better at seeing through these.

For example on the UFO 'field', if people would be more specific and instead of parroting the oft mentioned meme of 'it's arrogant to think we're the only sentient (or worse, vaguely, 'life') in the Universe and think about the specific question.

What is the question? it is, basically, are non-terrestrial visitors coming here to Earth, now, and interacting 'live' (not a hologram or nanobot or something) with live humans directly? And the answer to that is 'nope'.

Why? Well there are a huge number of indicators. One of them is Jacques Vallee's and Robert Sheaffer's idea of 'jealous phenomenon', which means it defies any manner of analysis by a skeptic or researcher. Cameras don't work, nothing shows up when they're there despite people saying they are visited nightly, and they don't land on the Whitehouse lawn, or have a reason to hide.

We don't go to Mars and in addition to being conservative and well-designed we don't 'hide' in case a Martian might see us.

We don't see any evidence of ET on other bodies in the solar system that could be habitable (Moon, Mars, moons of Jupiter or Saturn), and if they were here we'd see them doing 'stuff', like mining asteroids, building stuff on the Moon, following some kind of Prime Directive, because they would be as cautious of our xenobiology as we would be of theirs.

If you just look at the YT site of Kurzgesagt, and watch his video of 'How Far Can We Go' it is quite mind opening. In any assessment we should be limiting our comments to include only the Milky Way and AT MOST the local group which is gravitationally bound and nothing beyond that, because of Space-Time expansion. (the video explains it well).

So the real question is not just adding a bunch of terms to an equation like the Drake equation, including things about great filters and time synch and plate tectonics and magnetosperes, it goes beyond that into small steps which make the possibility of 'sentient life, coming here from within the Local Group, now (time synch)'.

In addition there might be other barriers beyond the Van Allen Belts, such as the Heliosphere which is beyond the orbit of the Oort Cloud.

At any rate, I think there is enough evidence that it is impossible for creatures similar enough to us for us to detect, see, interact with to leave their location and find us that it's safe to say there are 'no aliens' for all practical purposes.

Indeed there might be one sentient civilization per 10 habitable Galaxies (not all of the 100-200 billion galaxies in the Observable Universe are habitable, due to age, radiation and other constraints), but that means is it so sparse that it would be essentially (for all practical purposes) equivalent to "zero" (omitting ourselves, of course). And even if there were more than that (human recognizable non-terrestrials) HRNTs, for short, they need to be in time synch. They can't have died out before we had a window of opportunity to either communicate or meet, for example.

Anyway it is a good idea to view all the reports of 'alien encounters' to be on the level of a mythical story, like elves and fairies and such and not as a potential or even probable reality.


posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 03:56 PM
This film really got me! It was hard to accept that this was not legit because as was stated by the officer... the authenticity of the "acting" even in the most mundane situations was so realistic. How do you get a bunch of random unknown actors to perform that well together? Also there was something about the eyes of the dead aliens that really struck me as well. I know the story.. the original production tapes were lost in a fire yada yada yada.. I know the guy claims to have directed it.. but a part of me still wonders if that was an elaborate cover up. It's just so uncanny. I still struggle with it to be honest... not 100% convinced either way.. although there is evidence lending to it being fake.. a true cover up can be very elaborate. verdict is still out for me.

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 05:06 PM
I was enthralled by this film years ago, as such I already performed diligence on it.

I found actors from the original film, they are still alive, and have done other work in the years since.

This is 100% a directed film. If anyone in the thread cares I'll go back and track down the names again, but I found a few and stopped looking into it, when it was apparent. I want to say Thomas Giovanni was one. I'll check back over it, if there is interest.


Tommy Giavocchini

He was the dad.
edit on 24-11-2018 by Archivalist because: Found it

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 07:06 PM
the year it was released (1989) speak volumes, thats the year when the disinfo campaign angaist ufology reached its apex:
bob lazar, bill cooper, richard doty, dulce base, MJ-12, "guardian" carp,ontario landing footage etc.
its pretty obvious that dean had "outside influence" on making this movie

posted on Nov, 24 2018 @ 08:13 PM
a reply to: Maverick7

Interesting thoughts on the improbability of recognisable non-human ET entities, and the limitations of time, space and sheer coincidence in regard to the Earth being lucky enough to witness them at THIS point in time... but what if such entities have always been with us - and maybe long, long before us - within our atmosphere, incredibly advanced, but no more extraterrestrial than a packet of cornflakes?

It's a curious notion that has intrigued me ever since learning that Kenneth Arnold (granddaddy of modern Ufology) came to similar conclusions towards the end of his life - eg, the nine objects he saw in 1947 were 'living beings' rather than nuts and bolts. It's an entertaining theory, especially if 'inter-dimensional' questions are thrown into the mix.

As for the McPherson tape, I'd probably rate it above 'Blair Witch' if the production team had a sense of pacing and slashed 30 mins from the running time.

posted on Nov, 25 2018 @ 12:34 AM
a reply to: Maverick7

We don't go to Mars and in addition to being conservative and well-designed we don't 'hide' in case a Martian might see us.

We don't see any evidence of ET on other bodies in the solar system that could be habitable (Moon, Mars, moons of Jupiter or Saturn), and if they were here we'd see them doing 'stuff', like mining asteroids, building stuff on the Moon, following some kind of Prime Directive, because they would be as cautious of our xenobiology as we would be of theirs.

If you just look at the YT site of Kurzgesagt, and watch his video of 'How Far Can We Go' it is quite mind opening.

I completely agree, and as I've said multiple times in the past, it makes no sense for aliens to travel hundreds of light years just to spy on. Also it's highly unlikely any other species has even detected our existence in the galaxy, as I explained a few years ago in my thread titled Why searching for alien signals is a waste of time. This is precisely why I'm becoming more and more convinced that UFO's could be humans from the future, using some sort of warp drive to bend space-time in a way allowing them to not only move through space in unconventional ways but also move through time in unconventional ways. This would explain how they found us, why they remain hidden, why they appear humanoid in appearance, and how they could be genetically compatible with us. I created a few threads on that topic recently, see the "Aliens" link in my signature.

posted on Nov, 25 2018 @ 07:03 AM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Cool video. The gun shots were questionable but the aliens looked good.

posted on Nov, 25 2018 @ 10:21 AM
a reply to: penroc3

yep, thats because its fake, and was a failed attempt at a disinfo movie

posted on Nov, 25 2018 @ 02:06 PM
a reply to: humanoidlord

Well yeah....

If it were real it would be snapped up so fast by the powers that be.

They could have used blanks and a little better editing and it would have been very hard to tell it was fake

Still a cool little video

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