Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sette Returns

The Oscar Elton Sette returned this week.  They are picking up the monk seal crews that have been monitoring the seals on most of the islands up the chain.  They also dropped off a couple of people from Tern Island who'll be flying out next week.  Welcome to Midway Sarah and Dan!  We've still got a lot of people on island with the work crews being here.  There aren't that many details to tell you about this week so I'll just get to the photos.

 The Oscar Elton Sette is pulling back into the pier on Thursday morning.

 This excavator is getting some sand from the beach near the cargo pier to fill in areas where sand was removed for lead paint remediation.

There are few albatross chicks left, but those that are left are usually trying to find some shade. 

The chicks are thirsty so when it rains, they try to catch as much as they can. 

 This is one of the last Bonin petrel fledglings walking by a Laysan albatross chick that wasn't so lucky.

Now the bird population is low enough that the planes can fly in the daytime.  It gets back to Honolulu about 3 p.m. now which is a lot better than 1 a.m.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

‘The Cryptos Conundrum’ review: spies, lies, and veiled threats

Silver Screen Saucers

Guest Review
By Shepherd Johnson

I've read The Cryptos Conundrum, it makes L. Ron Hubbard look like Hemingway; it really is that bad. The book glorifies the CIA. It's very tedious. Chase Brandon goes into a history of the CIA against a backdrop of alien visitation with some New Age theosophy thrown in. He also crams just about every conspiracy theory he can think of into the book: JFK assassination, Loch Ness Monster, the mystery of how the pyramids were built, etc. The book is clearly a public relations effort used to promote the CIA while exploiting the popularity of UFOs and aliens.

This is the first time the CIA has overtly expanded into using literature as a propaganda tool. Note that I said "overtly". Of course the CIA has acknowledged that they have cooperated with some movie productions, but this is the first time for a book. On the first page there is a disclaimer saying that the book was submitted to the CIA's review board so no classified information was leaked to the public. The CIA often does this when former employees write books, but in this instance, this is clearly a ploy to make the book more mysterious. Of course the CIA probably did review the book, but this is what is known as a limited hangout, which is essentially hiding the truth in a wrapper of lies. 

Chase Brandon
Of course there is no classified information leaked in the book, but the CIA and Brandon want people to think that there is a possibility that there could have been. It is interesting that Brandon chose Coast to Coast AM to launch his book promotion. So that says that the target audience is the conspiracy/UFO community. Chase Brandon was the CIA's Hollywood liaison officer. That meant that when a TV/movie production company wanted to shoot a scene in the lobby of CIA HQ they had to go through him and if a production company wanted CIA cooperation in return the CIA expected input into the script, production, etc. I'm willing to bet that this book has already been optioned for a movie, probably before the ink was dry on the last chapter. Chase Brandon is a CIA propagandist; any foray that such a person might take into the public sphere should always be looked at with suspicion.

Note from Silver Screen Saucers Editor Robbie Graham:

Brandon's fictional book -- which he has repeatedly insisted should be read “between the lines” because, he says, it contains a great deal of “truth” -- features a fleeting but intriguing sub-plot about a nosey journalist who begins investigating the activities of the book's protagonist, Chalmers (clearly modelled on Chase Brandon himself). The journalist is intent on blowing the lid off a conspiracy involving Chalmers. In his book, Brandon writes that the journalist “had run across the name of Jonathan Chalmers, a ‘senior government official’ who seemed to be a thread of continuity throughout whatever mysterious activity the federal government and the CIA seemed to be up to.”

Chalmers doesn't take kindly to the journalist's snooping and duly arranges to have him assassinated.

The name of the journalist... "Robert Graham".

Alford (left) and Graham (right)
My colleague Dr Matthew Alford and I are among only a very small handful of writers in the world to have published articles about Brandon since he left the Agency’s Entertainment Liaison Office in 2007. In 2008, we co-authored a major article on CIA involvement in Hollywood for The Guardian newspaper. The feature -- which was published as a cover story for the paper’s “Arts” section and which is now one of the most widely read articles of its kind on the Internet (Google “CIA and Hollywood”) -- discussed Brandon’s ties to the Hollywood screenwriter Gary Devore, who disappeared in suspicious circumstances in 1997. In 2010, we wrote another cover story, this time for Fortean Times magazine and with a much tighter focus on Brandon. That same year, we co-presented our research into Brandon at the University of Westminster at the Fortean Unconvention. We also spoke about him on BBC radio’s Movie Cafe show.

Brandon suggests that people read his book “between the lines”. Well, reading between the lines, it seems a certain former CIA operative is a little peeved at a certain British writer or writers. Anyway, moving on...

In addition to the above book review, Shepherd Johnson has also drawn my attention to a related photo essay he compiled in 2009, the subject of which is the CIA’s Camp Peary, “which figures prominently in Chase Brandon's book,” says Shepherd, “only he calls it “Camp McLeary” and locates it in “Virginia's Tidewater Peninsula area” and near Williamsburg, Va.”

Shepherd notes that “this is the actual location of the CIA's trade-craft school which he [Brandon] reveals in the book. The CIA uses the cover of the Defense Department and the site is officially called "Armed Forces Experimental Training Activity”. It's the site of the “underground Area 51” in the book [The Cryptos Conundrum] where they have taken the dead aliens.” 

I have posted three of Shepherd’s Camp Peary photos below. For the full photo essay, see here.





Shepherd Johnson's articles and photographs have appeared on various websites including, CBS News, Coast to Coast AM, Prison Planet and Cryptome. Print articles include Fate Magazine. Living in Virginia in close proximity to Washington D.C., he has covered many issues involving politics and national security. He is currently researching the various aspects of the U.S. government's involvement with UFOs.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hollywood stars step out of the 'UFO closet'

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers


More and more, it seems, Hollywood stars are coming out of the ‘UFO closet’ to express to the world their interest in, or experiences with, Unidentified Flying Objects. 

“Another celebrity UFO tweet has hit the twittersphere,” reports Alejandro Rojas. “[This] tweet comes from Thomas Jane [Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Killshot] and is regarding an upcoming UFO conference in Las Vegas.”

Jane’s tweet reads:  

Space Geeks! : A conference on Science and #UFOs, check it out: cosmic-exploration.com

Thomas Jane
Rojas notes that he met Jane last summer at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Symposium in Irvine, California, where the movie star “mentioned how he thought there should be a UFO conference with more scientists and academics.”

Jane also sought Rojas’ and colleague Jason McClellan’s opinions “regarding various UFO topics and notable cases.”

Jane’s recent UFO tweet was in reference to an upcoming UFO conferenceorganised by Rojas, which will feature – as Jane had been hoping for – an impressive line-up scientists, academics, journalists, and retired high-ranking military officers.

Jane’s Hollywood’s career brought him face-to-face with otherworldly creatures in 2003 in Dreamcatcher (alien invasion) and 2007 in The Mist (interdimensional monsters). Both movies feature sinister black-ops military shenanigans. Check out the trailers here...





“Tom isn't the only celebrity interested in the topic of UFOs,” adds Rojas. Last year alone, celebs who publicly discussed UFOs and/or extraterrestrial life included Aaron Eckhart, Christie Brinkley, Sammy Hagar, Katy Perry, Sigourney Weaver, Demi Lovato, Billy Ray Cyrus, Victoria Beckham, Tom Delonge, Kiefer Sutherland,  Roberto Orci and Ridley Scott. This year, Rihanna was added to the list.

Related:


Still Busy

We've still got a lot going on here with the lead paint abatement and runway sealing projects going on.  Chris Jordan and crew (aka Jim) wrapped up this session of filming for their Midway movie and left this week. We also have a couple of people here with NOAA looking for invasive marine organisms around the islands. A couple of new Hawaiian monk seal pups were born on Eastern Island, and our albatross chicks are fledging like crazy.  So in other words, the usual stuff is going on around here.  And it's still great to work here.

Jim & Chris are filming the albatross chicks that are trying to fledge in the harbor (yes, I did mess with the colors a bit on this one).

 This is the parade field.  Most of our albatross are gone now.  There are still thousands around, but they are a lot more sparse.

 The young albatross are all lined up on the hill.

 I had to go count ducks on Eastern Island in the rain.  It was pretty nice.

 This albatross chick was trying to fly and plopped down right next to the ducks.

 These Laysan ducklings are just about to start getting real feathers.

 This young duck put its head through a plastic ring, then got its bill stuck.  It would have died if I hadn't caught it and removed the plastic.

We went out on the reef today.  Here's a teardrop butterflyfish.  I don't see them around too often.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Roswell, Chase Brandon, and the law

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers


Billy Cox of the Herald Tribune has a very interesting post on his De Void blog right now. Taking his cue from political activist Stephen Basset, Cox points out that the recent allegation made by former CIA Entertainment Liaison Officer Chase Brandon concerning the ‘Roswell incident’ directly contradicts the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy’s official position that “The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race.”

Since June 23 of this year, Brandon has repeatedly made public statements to the effect that the wreckage recovered near Roswell by US military personnel in July 1947 was, in fact, extraterrestrial in origin and that alien beings were also recovered from the crash site/s.

Chase Brandon
In his latest blog post Cox draws our attention to Bassett’s “investigate-Brandon petition,” which requires 25,000 signatures to elicit a formal response from the Obama Administration. Filed on the White House website on July 10, the petition has, to date, garnered around 350 signatures, “so it doesn’t stand a chance of getting the administration on record again,” writes Cox, who also adds, quite rightly, that even if Brandon’s Roswell story is baloney – indeed, especiallyif it’s baloney – his claims raise serious questions -- questions the CIA and the White House have thus far shown no interest in addressing:

“Why did the CIA enlist such a loose cannon to protect its image in Hollywood? When is it OK for a high-ranking intelligence official to make up stories involving national security? Disinformation is obviously an age-old tactic to protect state secrets. Is it in play this time?”

Brandon – a 35 year Agency veteran – is sticking to his Roswell story, despite the Agency having already brushed aside his unequivocal claims. “Were this a more conventional security issue,” notes Cox, “Brandon would likely be telling his story under oath by now. And nobody would be waiting for 25,000 names to make it happen.”

In short, Cox is calling for the government to subpoena the Roswell ‘whistle-blower’.

Friday, July 20, 2012

'Last Days On Mars': first picture

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Liev Schreiber in Last Days on Mars (2013)

The shoot for Ruairi Robinson’s Last Days On Mars wrapped last week at Elstree Studios in England. Here’s the official blurb for the British-produced sci-fi:

"As their last day on Mars draws to a close, the astronaut crew is on the verge of a major breakthrough – collected rock specimens reveal microscopic evidence of life. Meanwhile, communication is underway with AURORA, the approaching spacecraft that will relieve the crew of their operations. In their last hours on the planet, two astronauts go back to SITE 9, a cavernous valley on the surface of Mars, to collect further evidence of their discovery. But a routine excavation turns deadly when one of them falls to his death and his body taken host and re-animated by the very life form they sought to discover."


Last Days On Mars stars Elias Koteas, Romola Garai, Johnny Harris and Liev Schreiber (pictured). All those involved will no doubt be hoping that, being British, the movie will be unaffected by Hollywood’s dreaded Martian curse! We’ll find out when it opens in 2013.

'Thor 2' villains revealed?

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers
 
Malekith the Accursed

It seems we now know who’ll be feeling the thud of Thor’s hammer in Marvel’s upcoming sequel. In an interview with I Review Too, stuntman James Grogan spilled a few choice beans about his experience of working on Thor: The Dark World...

“I had a load of stunt guys in and the director came in and he said
Look, we want you all to be elves, and I was like What the hell is an elf anyway? and he said I want you all to walk around like these supernatural animals, honestly it was the most ridiculous thing ever but you just have to not be self aware and get on with it.

The Marvel Universe features both good and bad elves, but it seems a fair guess that Thor: The Dark World will be more interested in the latter variety. There has also been speculation that Mads Mikkelsen will play the Dark Elf leader Malekith the Accursed, who is gifted with the powers of teleportation, energy projection and shape-shifting.

The Dark Elves of the Marvel Universe are native to Svartalfheim– the seventh world of Asgard. It exists on an extradimensional plane that consists of major land masses which can be reached via nexus portals.

Thor: The Dark World is currently in pre-production. The script has been penned by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan). Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) is on directing duties. The movie is slated for release on November 2013.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Silver Screen Sci-Fi Synchronicities!

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers


Discerning blogger Mike Clelland has drawn my attention to a fascinating ‘flow-of-consciousness’ article he wrote last year for his very excellent Hidden Experience blog. If you’ve not yet read it, you’re missing out.

Here’s a short intro to Mike’s mind-bending article written specially for Silver Screen Saucers by the man himself...

“This blog post had a life of its own. I started by simply comparing and contrasting 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY with PLANET OF THE APES, two movies I’ve always loved. It seemed like this would make for a tidy little essay. I mean, both movies are from 1968 and have astronauts and cool ape make-up, right? Well, as soon as I started writing, the floor dropped out from under me. I was suddenly seeing a flood of really strange synchronistic connections and it felt like the essay was writing itself. I am not exaggerating, it was as if some outside force was feeding me clue after clue.

What emerged was something entirely different to what I expected. I was struck by how this is very much a modern composition and how it needed to be on the web because of an almost frenetic use of imagery and hyperlinks.

After I posted it on my blog, I immediately experienced a weird set of synchronicities all intertwined with this essay. That confirmed that I had tapped into an elusive something. What that something might be, I have no idea...”

And with that, read on!

'Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens' about "genocide and indigenous revolt"

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Image credit: Wired.com

Comic book writer Grant Morrison has revealed yet more details about his upcoming multi-platform collaboration with Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld, Dominion: Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens. Speaking to Wired recently, Morrison dismissed the notion that his comic/movie project is lacking in the brain cell department, describing it as “a philosophical treatise on manifest destiny, genocide and indigenous revolt.” Morrison said that “instead of another popcorny blockbuster thrown onto Hollywood's disposable entertainment pile,” Dinos Vs. Aliens is “a pointed critique of overreaching civilization at the edge of oblivion.”

Of the dinosaurs themselves, Morrison tells Wired:

“The dinosaurs don't speak and what they do tells us who they are. Every dinosaur scene had to be constructed like a silent movie to ensure that "characters" of the various dinosaur heroes would come through clearly. So although the dinosaurs don't talk, they're fairly expressive physically and it was obvious that audiences would immediately root for the reptiles as the underdogs. We were trying to avoid the trap of "good" dinosaurs versus "evil" alien monsters, and we wanted to be able to shift the allegiance of the audience from one side to another as the story progressed. Which made it important to flesh out our aliens' motivations and personalities, too.”

The aliens will also be relatable, says Morrison:

“As we know from watching animated movies like Wall-E, it's possible to create relatable characters who look barely human at all. So we decided to provide contrast to the buglike appearance of our aliens by making them very human in the way they talk and interact with one another. They're not just rapacious monsters from another world, as they might have been in a less ambitious movie. These aliens are conflicted, brave, frightened, hopeful and poised on the edge of extinction themselves. Establishing a new home on Earth is their last chance for survival." 

Image credit: Wired.com

Read the rest of the interview here. Dominion: Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens will premiere as a web-based motion comic on July 23 of this year, while the feature film itself – the first in a proposed trilogy directed by Barry Sonnenfeld – is unlikely to hit cinemas until the end of next year at the earliest.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

'After Earth' viral taps UFO mythology

Silver Screen Saucers


In After Earth, one thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (played by Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (played by Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance...


After Earth hits cinemas June 2013.

More work!

We've got a lot going on here on the refuge right now.  Now that the birds are disappearing, we can get some major projects started.  A crew came to seal some cracks on the runway.  That will last another month or so.  Another group of lead paint remediation workers also came to do major cleanup around a lot of our buildings.  

I mentioned Chris Jordan's film project needing help with funding the last couple of weeks.  It looks like his goal of $100,000 has been reached.  He and Jim will be here for a few more days getting more amazing shots.

 Many of the Black-footed albatross have fledged and probably about 1/4 of the Laysan albatross have fledged.   This one is wasn't ready for the water just yet.

 The albatross chicks congregate on the boat ramp since a lot of them fall off of the seawall and into the harbor.  The boat ramp is one of only 2 places they can walk back out.  A few of these have died already, but some will make it.

 The NOAA research vessel Hi'ialakai pulled in on Saturday.  They're here for a couple of days doing maritime archeology and shark research, as well as a few other projects.

Chris and Jim are trying to film some Sooty terns on Eastern Island.

 One of the terns landed on Jim's hat so he's recording the calls.

 While we were on Eastern Island, the volunteers picked up tiny plastic marine debris from the beach.  We're down to 2 volunteers now.  Jennifer has gone, but we still have Liz and Ryan out here to help out.

 This Masked booby chick looks much bigger than the parent.

 Jim is setting up his camera to get some star photos.

 I took a picture of Scorpio and Saggitarius with my cheaper lens on my Canon 7D.  Jim loaned me a more expensive lens, and I got the picture below.  The magnification is just slightly higher, but it lets in a lot more light.  I was amazed at the difference.  Maybe I have to buy another lens?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chase Brandon & Roswell: the story continues

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Exclusive artwork courtesy of David Sankey

On July 6 of this year, Silver Screen Saucers published the world’s first in-depth article examining statements made June 23 on Coast to Coast AM by former CIA operative Chase Brandon concerning the Roswell incident of 1947. The story was picked up by the mainstream media two days later and has since become a major talking point within and beyond the UFO community. You can read our original article here. Brandon’s statements and the media’s response to them are also summarised in the opening 15 minutes of this recent Mysterious Universe podcast and in the latest episode of Open MindsSpacing Out...




On July 8, I was interviewed as a guest on The Conspiracy Show with Richard Syrett, along with Grant Cameron and Victor Viggiani. We discussed Brandon’s Roswell statements for around an hour and we each had chance to clarify our individual positions on why this former CIA man said what he said in the way that he said it. The interview begins at 55:07 here (NOTE: my grainy audio is cleaned up after the first commercial break).

On July 11, Silver Screen Saucers published an official statement by the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs denying Brandon’s Roswell claims. The CIA was responding to a written enquiry submitted by this author and co-signed by Dr Matthew Alford, Grant Cameron, and Victor Viggiani. Read the CIA’s response here.

The following night, on July 12, Chase Brandon again appeared on Coast to Coast AM, this time being interviewed by George Noory (his original host was John B. Wells). This new interview is every bit as fascinating (and frustrating) as the first. Grant Cameron of PresidentialUFO.com has begun the task of transcribing the most salient points made by Brandon in this new interview and has already published a brief summary on his website.

You can listen to the new Chase Brandon interview in full right here (begins at 38:20)...




Of particular note in this interview, host George Noory asks Brandon if the CIA has ever used Hollywood – and specifically filmmaker Steven Spielberg – as a conduit for delivering to the public factual UFO information disguised as fiction. In this short audio clip (simply click ‘download the file’ to stream the audio) courtesy of Giuliano Marinkovic, Brandon’s uncharacteristically long pause before he essentially dodges the question speaks volumes.

On his website, Grant Cameron notes: “If Brandon is the new CIA Falcon every word he says should be studied very carefully.” I agree. And if you’re unfamiliar with the story of the Falcon, you can put that to rights over at PresidentialUFO.com.

For ongoing developments on the Chase Brandon-Roswell story and further analysis of his statements, watch this space.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Marvel's 'Item 47' justifies official suppression of alien technology

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers


A short Avengersspin-off film will be screened this Friday at the San Diego Comic-Con. Titled Item 47, the short will also appear on the Blu-ray/DVD for The Avengers when it is released on September 25 of this year.

The premise for Item 47(July, 1947, anyone?) reads as follows:

“Lizzy Caplan and Jesse Bradford star as a down-on-their-luck couple who find one of the discarded alien guns from the finale to The Avengers and proceed to make some incredibly bad decisions.

Two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (Maximiliano Hernandez, returning from Thor and The Avengers, and Lost
s Man in Black Titus Welliver, making his Marvel debut) are given the job of cleaning up the mess and stopping this modern Bonnie and Clyde (not coincidentally named Benny and Claire).

Yes, thank goodness the heroic Men in Black of S.H.I.E.L.D. are on call to snatch the matches from the babies’ hands. God forbid extraterrestrial technologies should ever be made available for utilization by the public. Please, officialdom, keep this stuff locked safely in your vault where it belongs!

'Skies' to fall a third time

Silver Screen Saucers


TNT announced yesterday it has ordered a third season of Steven Spielberg’s alien invasion drama, Falling Skies.

TNT says its second series of Falling Skiesis currently averaging 5.9 million viewers and that “the series ranks as basic cable’s #1 summer drama with adults 18-49.” TNT has ordered 10 episodes for Falling Skies’ third season, which is slated to air in 2013.

This from the TNT press release:

“Falling Skies, which currently airs on TNT Sundays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), chronicles the devastating aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the months since the initial invasion, the few remaining survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force, whose nature and purpose remains a mystery.

In its debut season last summer, TNT’s Falling Skies topped the charts as basic cable’s #1 new series of 2011. This year, the show is off to a strong start, averaging 5.9 million viewers in Live + 7. It has also scored 2.7 million adults 18-49 (L+7) and ranks as basic cable’s #1 drama for the summer-to-date in that key demo. The show has brought in 3.1 million adults 25-54, ranking it behind TNT’s Dallas as basic cable’s #2 summer drama. On the international front, Falling Skies premiered in more than 115 global markets last year, achieving hit status in the United Kingdom, Australia and Latin America, among others. Last year’s launch of Falling Skies also ranked as the biggest series premiere ever for TNT networks in Spain, Germany and Austria.”