Filmmaker James Fox joined Jimmy Church (Twitter) to discuss his new documentary about the UFO phenomenon (Related Material). His film, The Phenomenon, narrated by actor Peter Coyote, melds together unseen archival footage with interviews from key eyewitnesses, experts, and officials to investigate whether or not we are alone in this universe, and if extraterrestrials are attempting to communicate with us. Fox spoke about the challenge to present the topic in a new light and find material that had never been seen before. With the help of his sister working as a full-time archive researcher, they came up with a treasure trove of new material, and an impressive list of luminaries in the field who helped provide context.
"We had Jacques Vallée in the studio with us and he lived through a lot of that history... and helped us assemble the pieces of the puzzle, historical perspective, in a way that, according to those who have seen it, has never been done," Fox explained. The Phenomenon is Fox's first film that delves into close encounters of the third kind where witnesses claim to see beings associated with UFOs. The film leads up to the incredible 1994 Ruwa, Zimbabwe encounter where dozens of school children reportedly saw and communicated telepathically with aliens. "I simply didn't believe the Ruwa case at all... it took me ten years to kind of come around it," Fox admitted, noting he found the testimony of the children quite moving. Similar cases have been reported in England, France, Australia, and Los Angeles, he added.
During the second half of the program, respected UK paranormal investigator Stephen Mera shared updates on his work researching international UFO incidents. Many people mistakenly think the UFO phenomenon derives from the 1940s and 1950s UFO flaps in the United States but it is a worldwide issue seen throughout history, Mera explained. "The information that we gather from the subjects suggests the phenomenon is a lot older than what we initially expected," he continued, noting it might go back prior to historical documentation. What we really have to ask is how long have humans been around to witness it, Mera added. He pointed out there are a massive amount of cases from around the globe that we do not hear about because of language barriers.
Mera reported on the Rendlesham Forest incident in Suffolk, England, pointing out the location is historically no stranger to UFOs and other weird incidents. "When this actual incident took place in December 1980 it was no surprise to me... it's a very strange location which has been connected to all sorts of different paranormal phenomena, for as far as I'm aware, at least since the 1930s," he said. Mera commented on the Belgian UFO wave of 1989-1990, when triangular-shaped UFOs were reported over Belgium. "The first thing that came to my mind is anything that's triangular is built and designed to fly with aerodynamics in our atmosphere," he said. Other triangular sightings around the world have convinced Mera that some of these craft may not be not our own. He also lamented how the study of ufology has been limited by not including coinciding paranormal activity often reported by witnesses.