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Ask Robbie Graham: "Silver Screen Saucers"

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
On Thursday, April 7, at Noon Arizona time, we'll be recording a segment with Robbie Graham, author of "Silver Screen Saucers."

According to his bio: "Robbie Graham is a leading authority on the cultural and political interplay between UFOs and Hollywood. He has been interviewed on these subjects for BBC Radio, Coast to Coast AM, Canal+ TV, and Vanity Fair, among others. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including The Guardian, New Statesman, Filmfax, Fortean Times, and the peer-reviewed Journal of North American Studies, 49th Parallel. He holds a First Class Honours Degree in Film, Television, and Radio Studies from Staffordshire University, and a Masters Degree with Distinction in Cinema Studies from the University of Bristol."

You'll also find some of his articles at Mysterious Universe: Robbie Graham | Mysterious Universe

I think of how the 1951 film, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" influenced early flying saucer contact claims. Remember George Adamski's alien wearing a shimmering silvery suit?


Paranormal Maven
1) Do you believe we are being intentionally and manipulatively influenced for some hidden Human created ET Alien agendas that some Human power players and organizations [government and private] of the PTB that are using Hollywood to create and/or influence these Human agendas for directed outcomes? Who all is doing this and why? What are the main agendas?

The following is just informational for those interested in this program. Here is part of an article that Robbie Graham wrote that might give you some ideas for some questions too... This is about the TV series Dark Skies...

Zabel and Friedman pitched their series to networks in the form of a faux ‘Top Secret’ briefing file, modelled on the MJ-12 documents. The thick, ring-bound file, which they referred to as the ‘Dark Skies Bible,’ contained enough rich UFO lore intertwined with official history to comfortably fuel five full series of the prospective show, which had been the original plan. The file was fronted by a one-page letter ‘written by’ the show’s fictional hero, John Loengard, and was addressed to his real-world creators. It read:

Bryce and Brent,

The truth must be told. You have been chosen as instruments to achieve this objective.

The truth, however, must not be represented as truth. Too many people who are needed in the struggle will die.

The cover of fiction must be used to present this truth. Those who fear the light will not want to bring attention to you by allowing your death.

This is the only way.

Do not be afraid.

The fight for humanity demands your courage.

John Loengard.

“Our show was really about blending the UFO phenomenon into documented, accepted world history,” Bryce told me. “Everything I had read in UFO literature ended up in Dark Skies, from Betty and Barney Hill to Majestic-12, you name it. I tried to weave it all in there.”

The inclusion of such intricate UFOlogical detail in Dark Skies apparently attracted the attention of real government UFO spooks, leading to a series of bizarre conversations with individuals claiming to be from US Naval Intelligence who seemed to have been monitoring the development of the TV show. For Zabel and Friedman, their ‘fiction’ had suddenly become all too real and the spooked producers thought it best to have no further contact with their mysterious observers.

Btw, the full article is here with ten other movies and TV programs mentioned too:

Ten Essential Hollywood UFO Conspiracies | Mysterious Universe
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FeralNormal master
Do you think there anything to be made by the two Steven Speilberg movies Close Encounters and E.T. which in the late 70s/early 80s put a benevolent spin on extraterrestrial encounters and his decision in 2005 to remake the more sinister War of the Worlds where humans were being used as fertilizer? Do you think it was culturally/politically motivated ?

As a follow up in regards to the latter movie It took a couple of viewings before I recognized the farming of people as a concept and in that regards it was pretty underplayed, there was no " soylent green is people" moment, do you think this was a strictly artistic decision in that if he was more blantant about it perhaps it would have gotten a more restrictive rating?
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Paranormal Adept
Robbie, how closely controlled is the UFO topic in Hollywood movies and TV by government agencies such as the CIA?


Paranormal Maven
You could posit a continuum along which aliens are depicted in film. At one end would be aliens that are little more than mirrors of humanity in all of our limitations. At the other end would be conceptions of the alien that thwart many or most of our familiar categories and basically defy comprehension. I can think of many films of the familiar-t0-humans category, but very few that make them out to be largely inscrutable. Talkovsky's Stalker might be one of these latter examples in film, but in this film there are no apparent aliens, only extraordinary alien-like forces. (Sci-fi author Robert Silverberg's The Alien Years is the best depiction I've encountered of aliens whose intelligence and motives are beyond human understanding.) Question: Is there any trend in film over the past decades to depict aliens as more unknown than known, more incomprehensible than familiar? If you do see a trend, what explains it?

Thank you Gene and Chris!
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Paranormal Maven
I would ask the obvious questions about the extent that portrayals of UFOs and alien encounters in film and television have contributed to people's experiences and beliefs. Marty Kottmeyer found similarities between Outer Limits and the Hill abduction narrative that emerged from hypnosis. Close Encounters similarly seems to have affected perceptions of what aliens should look like.

At the same time, Hollywood has ran with the UFO narratives - from South Park's abduction episode featuring a Streiber-like story of alien probes to the x-files. Where does the interplay lie?

I would also be interested in how Graham views links between Hollywood and the CIA or other covert propaganda - such as his analysis of the Day the Earth Stood Still - and if that has manipulated perceptions of UFOs (and to what end?)

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The last is on my list of key questions. Consider the UFO contacts involving meetings with tall humans wearing silvery uniforms, in the fashion of Klaatu. Or Howard Menger's alleged UFO paintings.

William Strathmann

Paranormal Adept
1) Mr. Graham, you said in an Exopolitics lecture that you think non-human intelligences are interacting with humanity. Do you think the ETH is the likely explanation? Something else?

2) Has the Hollywood "Hyper Reality" blend of UFO fact and fantasy actually had a significant impact on society? Or is it mostly a modernization of traditional cultural mythology?

3) Outside the US and Hollywood, have other governments influenced their own film industry with regard to UFOs, or the paranormal? For a very rough example to clarify, perhaps MI5 and Quatermass and the Pit?


Paranormal Maven
Southern California has a rich seam of mid-20th century UFO and occult history. To what extent has the Hollywood film industry been influenced by the esoteric geography it finds itself in, and the contactees and magical practitioners that once populated it?


Paranormal Novice
What impact do you feel movies such as "Intruders" or "Communion" had on the abduction phenomenon as a cultural narrative? Have you been able to trace any type of source to which came first, the prototypical abduction scenario ala Whitley Strieber, or the book and subsequent films that followed? (We've clearly had many other movies before these that had these abduction scenarios or ones similar in fashion, but it seemed to explode in the late 80's, no?)