Independence Day: Real?

Actor Will Smith plays a fictional fighter pilot confronted by an alien UFO capable of fending off nuclear weapons and disabling large parts of the U.S. arsenal in the 1996 blockbuster film, Independence Day. Wild science fiction? Not according to seven former US Air Force officers who held a press conference in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club to discuss UFO encounters. According to the airmen stationed at different bases throughout the Country, all witnessed UFO’s and some even experienced loss of use of nuclear weapons under their care. One airman described red orbs disabling nuclear weapons for two days.

“Nobody was injured and I don’t consider it an attack but it certainly it was a national security incident and something the Air Force said has never happen in their official policy documents,” said Robert Salas, a former U.S. Air Force Nuclear Launch Officer.

An Air Force program called Project Blue Book investigated UFOs from 1948 to 1969. Project Blue Book concluded that “no UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security.”

Source: Woman’s Day

– Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

59 thoughts on “Independence Day: Real?

  1. Gyges,

    I’ve always considered E.T. to be more science fantasy than science fiction. I’ll have to look into that Nyland book too. I rather enjoyed Signal to Noise.

  2. Buddha,

    Well he did a sequel, “Signal Shattered,” which is as well written as the original. This is what looks like the beginning of a mildly creative Harry Potter series aimed at an older (mid\late teens) crowd. Kids raised in obscurity, finds out that they’re special, yadda yadda. Like I said, fairly entertaining, but not as good as the Signal books.

  3. Gyges:


    Have you spent much time around stoners? They have this annoying habit they have about making EVERYTHING about pot. You’ll be watching “The Ninth Gate” and have to hear “Oh that chick is soooo high,” every time the blond girl with Mismatched socks comes on.

    Don’t be that guy.”

    That was a joke, I figure by now I am getting to be that guy so I was lampooning myself.

  4. ID, meh.

    “Ash: You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
    Lambert: You admire it.
    Ash: I admire its purity.”

    Alien was the best SF first contact ever IMO. The creature looked truly alien and simply did what it did by its nature. It had evolved to take on the basic characteristics of its victims during it’s pupil phase and yet retain its basic predatory nature. No matter what species in which it pupated, it became the alpha predator of that species. The movie quickly veered into horror but the horror was the outgrowth of the aliens capacity for predation.

    As a movie it made first contact scary again and broke the mold of ‘clean’ space and developed the theme of working in space replete with the bureaucracy and class distinctions and tensions of every workplace. It was a complete departure from the model of space 2001 ushered in. They are perfect bookends or epoch markers for the genre. It was the first contact movie I had wanted to see since I started going to SF movies in the late 50’s.

    I love the alien. I admire its purity.🙂

  5. Byron,

    I know. I just like telling people “Don’t be that guy.”


    That jump scene with the cat still gets me after 20 some odd viewings.

  6. Nal,


    Interstellar travel is an engineering challenge, not an impossibility. With 1960s technology, NASA built the Voyager spacecraft, both about 12 light-hours from Earth and still functioning almost half-a-cenury after launch. We have no trouble believing that a century from now, JPL/NASA will be capable of building spacecraft that can function for more than a century — long enough for micro-spacecraft to reach Alpha Centauri with ion drive.

    Looking ahead five hundred years, even without invoking “magic technology” like warp drives or vacuum-energy generators, sending spacecraft operated by artificial intelligence to other stars on missions lasting centuries seems a completely reasonable extrapolation.

    The laws of physics don’t prevent interstellar travel, they just make it something that requires patience. We have no trouble accepting that if there is intelligent life on other worlds, that they can develop similar technology.

    But in the context of Leslie Kean’s book, there’s no need to start talking about aliens. She doesn’t try to explain what UFOs are — there’s not enough information available to do that. Instead, she simply makes a strong case that the U.S. government is not being truthful when it says it does not investigate UFOs because they are not a danger to aviation or national defense. She does this by presenting persuasive evidence from first-hand sources that A) UFOs have endangered aircraft, B) UFOs have interfered with weapons systems, and C) the government does investigate them while saying it doesn’t.

    So far, we haven’t come across any strong and specific counter argument to her conclusions. Some critics try to deride the book by lumping it in with “UFOs are invaders from outer space” books, but since that’s not a conclusion she makes, it’s a false assessment.

  7. Byron,

    “That was a joke, I figure by now I am getting to be that guy so I was lampooning myself.”

    Now that’s good humor. 🙂


    The Alien(s) are indeed quite alien (thanks to H.R. Giger nightmarish design) and you’re right about the first film. It’s only an SF setting, but properly it’s really a “monster in the house” movie. Not that Ridley Scott can’t make “true” SF as proved by the classic Bladerunner. The man is one of my favorite directors. But I like films that genre bend like Alien. Another that comes to mind is the great ghost story posing as a western High Plains Drifter.


    You bring up a good point that the more credible sightings, be they of extraterrestrial in origin or not, UFO’s as a simply unexplained phenomena do merit serious consideration given their reported interactions with both military and civilian aircraft.

    They might be aliens, they might be us from the future, they might be naturally occurring geophysical and/or atmospheric phenomena we simply don’t understand, but whatever they are?

    They sure are interesting.

  8. BIL, I was enamored of Gigers’ art before I knew he was doing Alien. I was delighted and figured it really wouldn’t matter if it was a good movie or not as long as the Giger art was front and center. I was delighted on several levels when I saw it. Gigers’ book on making Alien was a good read too.

    Bladerunner is a truly great film though the commercial release grates ones soul with the voice-over and happy ending. The Directors cut, the movie Scott wanted to make, is outstanding. A masterpiece. The 2007 movie “Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner” is a 3 hour delight about, you guessed it, making Bladerunner.

    The best movies are magnetic, or like black holes they generate their own gravity wells. If they’re on TV or the better-half starts watching the disc and you walk through the room on the way elsewhere, you just have to stop and sit down to watch. You just can’t develop enough thrust to escape the pull.

    The opening bar of “the Godfather” theme has levitated me from the basement as if by magic. The opening few seconds of music of Bladerunner and Alien can do the same or have puled me from other rooms, whenever I hear the slow ‘foop-foop’ of helicopter rotors I listen for the first bar of “The End” by the Doors ’cause Apocalypse Now is starting(!). Same with Lawrence of Arabia and 2001.

    We went to see Apocalypse Now at the theatre and Coppola had not settled on his ending credits when the film was actually released. Apparently he had several ending credit treatments done and sent them out to various cities and then decided which treatment would be the standard end credits. Then he switched out the last reel in a matter of weeks so if you went back to see it a second or 5th time after about two weeks the end credits you saw initially likely weren’t the end credits you saw the second time.

    We in St. Louis were treated to about 14 minutes of end credits rolling over the destruction of Kurtzs’ temple-stronghold by a silent rain of ariel bombardment. It was partially colorized and trippy as the light show in 2001. It was exhausting and amazing. We told all our friends they had to sit through the credits. Then we went back to see it a couple of weeks later and got the blank, black screen w/white type. LOL, My brother-in-law was totally honked-off at us because of that. Coppola should have left it trippy.

    BIL, a one time you and I and others were discussing the nature of the universe and you broached the topic of it being a hologram and recommended a book on that subject. There is more current and fascinating news on that. An experiment meant to discover gravity waves turned up some unexpected results and, as well a device is being constructed, the Holometer, which will perform an experiment to delve into the specific question of ours being a 2D universe. The original gravity-wave result story is on a ‘sub. only’ board but it and the Holometer info are posted by

  9. LK,

    I am in total agreement on Bladerunner. In fact, when I was typing that post I did debate qualifying it as the Director’s Cut. It’s a much more effective film without the voice over and with the more ambiguous ending.

    I’ve read a little about how the holometer experiment, but as always, I’m behind on my reading (a lifelong affliction I suspect rooted that whole “so many books, so little time” axiom). I’m interested in the results as the holographic theory comports in many ways with M-theory (an incomplete model I think likely accurate upon refinement) and its assertion that gravity (or as they call it, super-gravity) acts in a trans-dimensional manner.

  10. What gives the authorities the idea that the public shouldn’t know the truth? Haven’t we learned that power corrupts absolutely and if there isn’t a public to oversee the evidence, then it won’t be handled in a manner that protects us.

    For instance, what is “red orbs disabling nuclear weapons for two days”? Does this mean that whirling lights were disabling nuclear weapons and no one mentioned this in the news? Are you kidding me? Is “Woman’s Day” the most sophisticated journal reporting on these incidents?

  11. Buddha and Lotta,

    I’ve always appreciated how well Scott adapted the book to film. Whenever I hear people complain about the movie not being like the book, I always bring it and Kubrick’s “The Shining” up. I can’t think of two better examples of dropping huge plot points to make the transition between media work.

    Well there’s “The Ninth Gate” Vs “The Club Dumas,” but “The Club Dumas” was just… bad.

  12. Gyges,

    Kubrick had one technical issue working against him on The Shining that wasn’t related directly to format translation from page to screen. One of the scariest scenes in the book is when the topiary animals in the hedge maze come to life and start chasing Danny. I’ve read Kubrick did several tests on effects for this scene, but in the end the special effects of the time just didn’t meet his visual expectations so he cut it.

  13. roflol

    Yeah, Gyges. Lucas is one of the most overrated directors in the world let alone America. He’s an excellent businessman in the entertainment support sector with ILM and Skywalker Studios and an excellent toy seller, but he’s a mediocre film maker. Most people don’t realize that the Star Wars film widely considered to be the best of the series, The Empire Strikes Back, was directer by Irvin Kershner with a screenplay written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan based on story points by Lucas. He’s a good marketer and idea man, but his execution behind the camera isn’t near that of a Steven Speilberg or a Ridley Scott.

  14. Byron “Lottakatz: don’t worry, you really exist.”


    Perhaps like Tinkerbell, because you believe. Thank you.🙂

    Gyges, BIL, The better half and I really wanted to see the topiary animals come to life on screen but you have to give Kubrick points for not doing it if he couldn’t do it well.

Comments are closed.