After eight long years the Mirage Men film is finally finished, and I’m thrilled to say that the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive.
The film has been enthusiastically accepted for the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013 where it will receive its world premiere.
Screenings take place on 13 June and 15 June – both will feature Q&As with the crew and other guests. You can find more information at the Doc/Fest site
You can follow the film’s progress at miragemen.com
This is the first teaser poster for the Mirage Men documentary film, which is now very nearly finished. We hope to have news about festival screenings for 2013 in the next few weeks.
Thanks are due, once again, to Roland Denning and Kypros Kyprianou for their magnificent work on the film. And in case you missed their trailer, it’s here.
Between 1994 and 1997, the brilliant and acerbic Glenn Campbell published The Groom Lake Desert Rat which chronicled the unfolding exposure of what soon became the world’s best known secret non-existent airbase.
The Rat also served as a gossip sheet for tiny Rachel, Nevada, which had suddenly found itself at the centre of a highly strange cyclone, and of the many colourful and unusual characters who were drawn there in search of The Truth.
Campbell also wrote the handy “Area 51″ Viewer’s Guide, which told would-be visitors, including myself, everything they needed to know about driving into the middle of the Nevada desert to see nothing much at all.
Crucially, it also contained an essential, detailed and regularly updated user’s guide to the all-you-can-eat buffets available in Las Vegas, your last chance to pig out before Rachel’s sole eatery, the Little A’Le’Inn.
Now, thanks to its author, you can download the 1995 edition – the same one I took to Rachel in 1995 (and which disappeared in the post when I tried to send it back to the UK) – as a PDF, here.
As preparations get underway for this month’s epic Unknown Fields expedition across the US Southwest, here are a couple of vintage photographs of myself in 1995. The UFO sightings at Yosemite National Park that open Mirage Men occurred a few days after these photographs were taken.
– pointing the way towards Area 51, or at least what I thought was the way…
– confronting the legendary Black (now white) Mailbox on Nevada’s Highway 375
– a fuzzy view out of the car window at the warning signs at the base entrance (I didn’t dare take one outside the vehicle for fear of encountering the advertised “lethal force”).
I plan to upload photographs from the Unknown Fields trip as we travel…
A music video by The Castle, inspired by Mirage Men
[click through to vimeo or it's on youtube if you have a preference]
Here’s the first trailer for the Mirage Men film, created by mine and John Lundberg’s new partners on the project, Roland Denning and Kypros Kyprianou. Huge thanks to both of them for their amazing work.
The music extracts are by Earth (‘Mirage’ from Hex or Printing in the Infernal Method) and Cyclobe (‘You’re not alone, you’re dreaming’ from Luminous Darkness), and are used with permission.
The film is well on its way to completion now, and we’ll have more news, clips and information about preview screenings over the coming months.
This footage, and its lively voice over, is what I believe to be the first appearance of the Men in Black (MIBs) on camera. The MIBs of course are the sinister, omniscient silencers who show up to question UFO witnesses and intimidate them into keeping quiet about their sighting, made famous by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in the big budget film series. [For the record, John Lundberg has just told me that a third MIB film is due this year, so it's possible that this footage is viral advertising for that.]
I didn’t get a chance to talk too much about MIBs in Mirage Men, though they’re one of the more entertaining ephemeral elements of the UFO lore and a great example of a smart prank that went viral. They’re a demonisation of the real military interviewers (themselves, I suspect, occasionally members of the intelligence community disguised as Air Force or Navy employees) who would sometimes show up to ask UFO witnesses about what they had seen, and indeed advise them to keep silent about it, especially if the interviewee was already in the military.
From its origins in Gray Barker’s 1950s flying saucer books like They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers, the MIB lore was developed by his friends and co-authors John Mothman Prophecies Keel and Jim Saucer Smear Moseley, who enjoyed pranking each other as much as they did other UFO enthusiasts. [Note that Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are named 'J' and 'K' in the MIB films, for John Keel].
For those who aren’t familiar with the MIBs origins in Gray Barker’s imagination, here’s a good, personal overview of the story: Gray Barker: My Friend, the Myth-Maker.
Posted in Lore
Tagged men in black