Tuesday, March 03, 2020

The Phenomenon: Children, Father To The Man

James Fox's The Phenomenon









The Phenomenon: 
Children, Father To Humanity
A Documentary review 
by Alfred Lehmberg


No boasting. The writer but makes qualification with regard to having "been there" and "done that." A retired attack pilot of 23 contiguous years in Military aviation... an aviator with over 3500 hours in the air... including 1100 hours flown for a Bronze Star in a combat zone. This precludes the need for same, right? 

My subsequent status as a Military Flight Examiner and wreath-wearing Master Army Aviator, Standardardization Instructor Pilot, and Officer Candidate School Acting Commandant further complicates any need for that aforementioned boasting. On top of this, the writer has a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Truly, boasting would be childish and dismissable.


The intrepid Fox...

No... the writer only aspires to outline the foundation necessary to adequately qualify, or otherwise credit, a new film documentary research effort on UFOs by the intrepid filmmaker, James Fox. His film will be recognized perhaps only here for what that research effort may truly be... I offer that Ze Frank might quip in a True Facts, "That's how writers do." 

I add, at the risk of offending, that it is a film initiative decidedly bereft of all allusion or reference to the remotest "woo." No crystals were squeezed in the production of this film, nor was there the slightest insinuation with regard to spiritual elevation or advancement, as important as these things might be. Charismatics are not depended on, thankfully. No cultural mores or philosophical creeds were insulted in the making of this documentary, nor is a certain "twitchy rhetoric" a manipulative tool for agendas seen or unseen. No.

No, indeed. No. Reasonable Science is proffered reasonably... reasonable science and humanity... reasonable science and humanity and... sans all glibness, "we are not alone." 

So, then resolved: a valid and compelling reason to get to the bottom of UFOs? The point, in other words? ...We do it for the kids. You know, we ourselves, and at our most fundamental level.


They saw a UFO and interacted with "occupants"...

As was mentioned, this writer was a career military aviator once, at the top of the game, a master of the craft, but a person well-versed in what is "supposed" to be up there, illusory and otherwise. These, of course, were to be the contrivances of humankind. Contrivances like paper-airplanes or hyper-sonic jet-craft. From self-landing boosters to orbiting reentry cruisers!  Yeah, from blimps to balloons and onward to include soaring birds and fiery falling bolides! 

That... and well... he's seen... "...stuff" ...of his own, eh? Seeing certainly can be believing. The actuality? It is a thief of one's doubt, reader. ...Kids will get that on a cellular level.

So, let's push on the gas, shall we? As we spin up the engines, the reader is advised that they may have some difficulty appreciating the actuality of the following occurrence the way this aviator writer can, but let yourself be swept along on, truly... the wildest of rides... 


Imagine wings flapping...

To start, imagine being in a "Catch 22" era B-25 medium bomber from the last World War. It's a tough and multi-storied craft so loosely strung that the wings actually flapped, birdlike, 12 feet from either side of centerline on their furious and frenetic bombing missions, violently dire experiences flown under heavy fire and putting those wings through arduous combat paces.  ...As kids, and misled? We only played at war.

Now, take that same airplane and put it down close for a tree-slapping nap-of-the-Earth flight mode! Fly at VNE (velocity never to exceed!), over 300 miles an hour, friend... the vibrations teeth-ratting and the pilot hopeful his steel and aluminum steed doesn't fly apart with the strain... but he's not really thinking about that. Not now. No... right "now" made this old writer a kid again.


"What the  hell is that?"

See, "right now," and so close to the Earth in your straining plane that birds and animals on the ground scatter terrorized before you... you chase a UFO!  On a simple ferry mission, it appeared before you inexplicably! You dove down on it, looking like a blackbird harrying a silver raptor, to check it out! 

See, James Fox puts the observer in the pilot's seat of that furiously shuddering cockpit! You see the saucer's circular shadow rushing over the astonished ground before you! You note vortices swirling off the tips of the hurrying otherworldly craft! 

...A burgeoning realization rushes in to rob you of all your aforementioned doubt! Verily, a vast array of things it cannot be, rationally and reasonably rejected, leaves one only with what it... is.

Next thing you know? The strange craft before you is zipping away as if in exasperated evaporation. There before you, one moment! Then, gone, the next!  What the hell...?

This happened. This is just to start. This film just began and already, breathless and gasping, I need oxygen! The kid in me powers on!

My association with writing feelingly about UFOs is decades-long now.  I was on Errol Bruce-Knapp's Strange Days' Indeed late last century. I was with the Bill and Nancy Birnes Team at Future Theater and wrote for their UFO Magazine for a few years as the 21st kicked off. I was burned badly by the Budd Hopkins/Jim Mortellaro Abduction affair even as I was then rewarded heartily by my association with Stanton Friedman and Frank Feschino vis a vis a related Flatwoods Monster Affair, another ufo and kids story, ironically.

I
have written about and otherwise reviewed all manner of production regarding UFOs, including most all the preceding works of our esteemed and always relevant James Fox. Truly, I have been as hugely mystified by this subject as  I have been monstrously betrayed... hugely inspired, reader, if vastly humbled in all these years as the UFO crow flies for our ufological engagement and observation. 

Remains, I've never been made more optimistic in their regard than I am now with Mr. Fox's latest film documentary. I feel imbued with the optimism of a child.

Clearly, this is "THE" UFO documentary introducing the UFO into the 21 Century, at long, long last. See, when one tells the truth to be understood, they can be believed with some confidence. Fox has told an understandable truth; he can be believed with that suggested confidence.
Friedman, Feschino, Hastings, and Dolan

Seriously... I suspect he may even be of that rare most and elusive personage, the "real deal"! Beyond the singularly focused and woke filmmaker, there is not a hint of the self-interested and self-involved "uber-charismatic" so repellant in the narcissist psychopaths otherwise evident in the milieu alluded to, eh? 

Dolan... Feschino... Hastings... the late Mr. Friedman, these, by way of example, have this quality of personage typified by our Mr. Fox... others fall short, but I digress.

...I 
remind the reader that my optimism is child-like, uncomplicated and inspired. It is not Child-ish, credulous and ex-spired. 

See, I was all set to be "underwhelmed"... but was disabused of that notion just a few minutes in. No, I'm still a smoldering pile of hair, teeth, and eyeballs in that film's regard, actually.


Jesse Marcel, Sr. 

See, our Mr. Fox shows that UFO history is dying. Jesse Marcel Sr., by way of example, a principal player at a now-infamous Roswell, New Mexico, is, of course, deceased ...but now, so is his son! Flight Surgeon and Army Colonel Jesse, Jr. has also sloughed his mortal coil! Understand? We fragile humans are born to grow old and die, at last. Largely, our stories die with us. Can our American UFO story have more survivability, please?

Washington DC, circa 1952. Fox informs us that, in the summer of that year, the restricted airspace of Washington, DC was effortlessly and with impunity impinged upon by UFOs so often and so threateningly ... that the military was ultimately ordered and duly charged to shoot those UFOs down... where they, laughably, did not follow instructions to ground themselves for capture and arrest. "Shoot them down" was, of course, the business end of our intention. Tasked? We wanted one and would have actively sought one out.


!

Around this time the aforementioned Jesse Marcel Sr. was perhaps having to deal with the aftermath of one of those "shot-down" Saucers himself, Fox implies! Fox also points out one other astonishing observation concerning Jesse Senior! 

See, let's presume that the two men Junior AND Senior did mistake a crashed UFO... (with its strange debris covering a football field and later requiring a large company of soldiers to clear it all out, one discovers in research) for a rubber balloon tricked out with balsa wood and aluminum foil. Ladies and gentlemen! C'mon!

When do rubber balloons and tin-foil kites of balsa-wood get sent to the top brass at Ft Worth on an exclusive cargo plane for a special inspection, analysis, and evaluation? Why does it have to be scoured bit by precious bit from a hard to get to New Mexico wilderness? Why does Jesse Senior have to surrender the souvenir saucer parts of "rubber, foil, and balsa" he shared with Jesse Junior that night of the fateful crash on his return home? Curious questions, right?


Jesse Sr's expression is so, "...You're not buying this!?"

While we're on the subject of societal short-sheeting, Fox asks why the Government's "premier UFO investigative body," BlueBook, operated with such a minimal staff and in a manner where they had to quibble on car usage and itemize their meager per-diem expenses... exhaustively... have to fight for every f'n dime, reader (BlueBook CO Edward Ruppelt's The Report On UFOs), to investigate the most compelling thing on the planet? The answer?

Project BlueBook was but a bearded front for an "invisible college," a well-funded college, Fox intimates I can gather. This was a college obvious, as it turned out, then and now! Did BlueBook Commanders Friend, Ruppelt, and Quintanilla suspect, or know? 

UFOs have always been of interest, reader, and how could they not be! Sure, keep them below the radar... keep them out of the hands of the hoi polloi, but investigate at all cost! Shoot one down if you can! They could mean EVERYTHING... and do, reader. And do... is this writer's ... and the filmmaker's, it is wagered, "bird's-eye" on the "low-down" for this worrisome caper. 


His community did not deserve him...

Shifting gears, James Fox was able to capture some real poignancy in his exemplary film initiative, too. The late Lonnie Zamora, for just one example of many, was without question, an honorable man, honored and ever aspirant to that honor. Then he saw a UFO... 

He saw a UFO and to a large degree, Fox shows us, his life became a trifled confusion and an unwarranted implosion. An American tragedy, verily and actually

Though, he would get a lot of letters belying the disrespect, scorn, and disbelief he would get officially, even to the point of driving him from his job, a job that he loved: serving the community as its knight and protector, but he stepped down to preclude negative publicity for his community. Real chivalry from a knight in service, is this writer's take. 

These are shown to be poignantly handwritten notes and letters of support, understanding, commiseration, corroboration and external validation... notes and letters seen in fade-in and outs, not from "kooks" and "whackos" but from sincere compatriots, confederates, comrades, and companions on our shared paranormal and esoteric path. Fellow experiencers... and kids! Kids, reader! ...And as we come to find, kids know.


Yesterday: Seminal Scientific Ufologist
Dr. James MacDonald


Today's Scientific Ufologist
Dr. Jacques Vallee

Fox has put together a ufological mosaic of the "old," the "then," and the "now." This gives us not just the expected three dimensions of UFOs but it transcends and goes beyond them in a way this writer wishes he could better articulate to the reader. Exasperated, the writer reports that James Fox has produced for this observer a breathtaking cavalcade of mindbending ufo vignettes and cameos, a kaleidoscope of weird conceptualizations and distorted and contorting world views and revelations! One springs to mind.

Fox is interviewing a wholly enchanting Colonel Robert J. Friend, an early interim BlueBlue Head before BlueBook went corporate and wholly anti-UFO. Apparently, giving them doubt-benefit, Fox says. "Maybe the government didn't know what [the UFO] was, and that explains their reluctance to fully investigate it..." I paraphrase Fox.

Friend, says, with the most delightful, oh-I-suspect-the-altogether-opposite-grin rendering Fox's doubt benefit ludicrously naive.   

"...Or... ...they did know what it was," Friend just beams, reader. Bam and spot on!

All in all, if I was trying to cram a credible impact statement onto a mean expository teaspoon for Fox's documentary? 

"UFOs..." as they are regarded by a non-duplicitous military and media, Fox makes abundantly clear, are "here, real, and happening now." That's an admited fact from officialdom, reader.

That an acceptable excuse for the government's inability to produce ufo evidentiary material has been that "it had been thrown out to make room," is blisteringly illustrated by a past Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's observation that such ridiculous attitudes are, and decidedly "...Bad for our Country." 

Why... but that it's bad for the kids? Our cowardice and duplicity will not encourage their respect. ...And it's no sappy truism that they are a humanity's future.

Fox closes understandably on the subject of our UFOs largely a result of the experiential happenstance for dozens of children, experiencers all and one decades ago, interviewed then, and then reinterviewed, now. The kids got it. The adult, remembers. 

The kids understand and so demonstrate that perhaps they ARE father to the man. We get to the bottom of UFOs for their sakes... not our own. 

Support this film. Hard to do, I know, in an election year raging with a communicable disease and a new fascism, all struggling to be born... but the reader is served for the effort. So says this writer. Read on!


"This landed, and then, these came out."



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