Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Dark Skies' Vs. 'Dark Skies'

From the Creators of the Original “Dark Skies” (NBC, Sony)

Written by Bryce Zabel & Brent V. Friedman
November 29, 2012

Friends and supporters have been contacting us, many with congratulations on how our “Dark Skies” has been made into a new film, starring Keri Russell, to be released by Dimension Films next February. While it sounds like a dream, we tell them, it’s actually a nightmare.

To set the record straight, we’re Bryce Zabel and Brent Friedman, the two writer/producers who created the NBC series called “Dark Skies.” It was produced by Columbia TV (now Sony) and aired in 1996 and 1997. We wrote the pilot, multiple episodes and produced all twenty hours that were aired in primetime on Saturday nights. 

Our original “Dark Skies” introduced viewers to an alien invasion that featured a continuing focus on the mysterious and terrifying abduction phenomenon. So our well-intentioned friends can be forgiven if they hear about the Dimension Films version that focuses on an alien abduction and assume we had something to do with it. While that is decidedly not the case, our definitive version may have inspired it. 

Our “Dark Skies” had been in the news even before Dimension decided to use our title for their film. Our series was given a world-wide release on DVD in 2011 from both Shout Factory (US) and Medium Rare Entertainment (UK). In dozens of reviews, the work received critical praise as a classic that has stood the test of time in the sci-fi and UFO media. It also spawned new interest in the reboot of our series, something that we were talking to Sony TV about when the news from Dimension Films broke.

Our "Dark Skies" has established itself in the minds of a significant number of science fiction fans as a gripping piece of conspiracy drama set in the world of UFOs and abductions. It anchored NBC's Saturday night "Thrillogy" concept in the 1996 season premiere and starred Eric Close ("Nashville") and the late film character actor J.T. Walsh (“Sling Blade”). Its main title design won the Emmy award and its pilot screenplay received a Writers Guild nomination. The Syfy Channel aired the entire series multiple times. Since 2010 there's been a Facebook page where thousands of fans from many different countries push Sony for a TV revival.

And yet here we are. A film in the same genre as our work is being promoted right now using the same exact title as our work. Most Hollywood businesses legitimately consider creative and artistic interests and rights in these cases. This one seems to have slipped through the cracks of acceptability.

Supporters of the creative rights of writers should ask Dimension Films to let their film stand on its own merits and call it by a different title. "Dark Skies" is taken.

Join the Dark Skies Resistance @ Facebook

See the Dark Skies Playlist @ YouTube

Read more about Dark Skies @

Get the original, classic and definitive Dark Skies Series @ Amazon

Dark Skies @ IMDB

WGA (Writers Guild of America) Credit, 1996
“Dark Skies” | Created by Bryce Zabel & Brent V. Friedman

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving (Late)

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  We had a good one out here with the usual turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.  We rarely all sit down to eat together, and it's nice once in a while.  It's another one of those weeks that I don't have a lot to talk about since I've mostly been doing office work or looking for sick ducks around the seeps.  

 Here's the community table at the Clipper House.

 We had a nice variety of fresh fruit.  I think it came up on the plane since we don't grow any of these.

This part of a racecar has been sitting around for years, so someone finally decided to make it into a wall decoration. 

 This is about as crowded as it gets with albatross.  They have started laying eggs, and the pairs are rarely together once the egg is laid.  There will still be a lot of young unpaired birds around all the time.

This is a brand new egg.  The female will probably go out to forage very soon, since she used up a lot of energy making the egg.  For the moment, both parents inspect the egg.

Monday, November 19, 2012


The albatrosses are almost all back now and the Black-footed albatrosses have started laying eggs.  We still haven't seen the female Short-tailed albatross on Eastern Island yet.  It's been fairly quiet on island since the Hawaiian group left, but there are a couple of things I have for show and tell. 

We had a nice Veterans Day Ceremony at the Navy Memorial on Monday.  The Thai guys do a a great job making the wreaths from the local flowers.

Back in June and July a couple of film makers stopped by to shoot an episode of "Wild Hawaii" for the Animal Planet Network.  I found out on Tuesday that it was airing on Tuesday, so I didn't get a chance to tell you about it.  Sorry about that.  I hope some of you chanced upon it. If not, maybe you can check the online schedule to see when it will rerun? 

We had another beautiful sunrise on Friday.

 The birds are filling up the parade field and stomping down all of the tall grass.

Three more birds are coming to join the rest.

 The grapefruit in the orchard are almost ready to pick.  The oranges are a bit further along. 

A small fishing boat washed up on Eastern a couple of weeks ago.  It looks like it might be tsunami debris from Japan.  We're checking into it and I'll let you know what we find out about it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

UFOs in advertising: Peter Robbins lecture

Silver Screen Saucers

Peter Robbins on the advertising industry's treatment of UFOs and extraterrestrials...

CIA and drugs: a comprehensive historical overview of the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement in the global narcotics trade

By Robbie Graham
Ever wondered how the CIA and other alphabet soup agencies acquire the trillions of dollars required to sustain the blackest of their black projects – including UFO-related programs?

“Drugs!” the well-informed among you might cry. Yes, indeed, the global narcotics trade has long played a major role in sustaining the US government’s immense shadow infrastructure. But understanding the historical intricacies of how and why the CIA embedded itself in the drugs trade is not easy. Usually, to comprehend the CIA-narcotics-industry symbiosis, a researcher would be required to trawl through dozens of rare books and academic journal articles. It would take a very long time.
Indeed, it did take a very long time for my brother, Jamie Graham, who, in 2007, wrote his Politics Masters thesis on this very subject. Despite its unconventional and deeply controversial subject matter (a subject that most university professors simply refuse to acknowledge), Jamie’s thesis was nevertheless awarded a Distinction grade – such was the strength of the case it made for the Central Intelligence Agency’s historical involvement in the global narcotics trade.

The contents page alone (below) will give you an idea of the sheer scope of this research project. It is surely one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind to have been produced in recent years. It is now available in-full online. READ IT HERE.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

CIA linked to death of Hollywood screenwriter in explosive new documentary

Silver Screen Saucers

Dr Matthew Alford in The Writer with No Hands (2013).

A powerful new documentary feature examining the mysterious death of a Hollywood screenwriter is headed our way.

The scribe of ‘80s and ‘90s action fare such as The Dogs of War, Raw Deal, and Time Cop, Gary Devore disappeared in extremely suspicious circumstances in the summer of 1997. His body was found a year later in the California Aqueduct. His hands were nowhere to be seen.

The Writer with No Hands follows Reel Power author Dr Matthew Alford on his obsessive quest to find the truth about Devore’s death, delving deep into a world of spies, lies and double-lives.

Directed by William Westaway, The Writer with No Hands stars Matthew Alford, Claudia Christian, Wendy Oates-Devore, John Irvin, Haskell Wexler, Robbie Graham, Brain Neve, Frank Thorwald and Dennis O’Keefe.

Currently seeking a distributor (a number of major companies have expressed a serious interest), the film is prepped for release in 2013. Quite how soon in 2013 depends on how much popular support it receives. If you’d like to see this incendiary film in theatres or on TV in the near future, show your support by liking The Writer with No Hands on Facebook and by sharing the trailer through social networking as well as on your websites and blogs. More material will follow, but the viral campaign begins here.

Matthew Alford with Gary Devore's former publicist - and ex-CIA asset - Michael Sands, who died in April 2012.

Robbie Graham cautions his colleague Matthew Alford not to disregard warnings he received about pursuing the Devore case. Alford was told by a DoD contractor: "These people can ruin your life."

Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler in The Writer with No Hands. Wexler's credits include classics such as American Graffiti (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and Days of Heaven (1978).

The director of The Writer with No Hands William Westaway expressing his concerns about Matthew Alford's obsession with the Devore case.
Gary Devore's widow, Wendy Oates-Devore, is convinced her husband was the victim of a conspiracy.

'The Host': new trailer and poster for body-snatching alien movie

Silver Screen Saucers

Open Road Films has released the new trailer and poster for Andrew Niccol's The Host, the big screen adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel starring Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Diane Kruger, William Hurt and Frances Fisher.

Here’s the official blurb:

The Host is a riveting story about the survival of love and the human spirit in a time of war. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact. Most of humanity has succumbed.”

The Hosthits cinemas March 29, 2013.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Alien life on Jupiter’s moon in new movie (trailer)

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers
First trailer for ‘The Europa Report’

The viral marketing campaign for upcoming sci-fi movie The Europa Report – in which astronauts seek out life on Jupiter’s frigid moon of Europa – has been underway almost a year now. See, for example, the website for faux aerospace corporation Europa Ventures, where you’ll find a ‘live’ video feed showing astronauts onboard the spacecraft Europa 1. The site’s intro text reads:

“For decades, scientists have theorized the existence of liquid water oceans on Jupiter's moon, Europa. We've recently discovered new, captivating evidence that these sub-surface oceans do exist and could support life.

We've sent six astronauts from space programs throughout the world on a three year journey to Europa to explore its oceans and confirm these findings.

We're proud to be at the forefront of the effort to prove the existence of extra-terrestrial life within our solar system, within our lifetimes.”

Now, the first teaser trailer has landed over at, giving us the first look at the spaceship Europa and a taste of the score by composer Bear McCready (The Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica)... 

Directed by Sebastian Codero (Cronicas) The Europa Report stars Sharlto Copley (District 9), Michael Nyqvist (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), Daniel Wu, Anamaria Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days), Christian Camargo and Karolina Wydra.

Here’s the official synopsis:

“A group of astronauts, handpicked from around the world, make the arduous journey to Jupiter's frigid, glacial moon Europa in search of extraterrestrial life. The only thing more intimidating and unpredictable than the trip itself is what the team will encounter upon arrival...”

The Europa Reportis scheduled for release in 2013.

Thank You Veterans

Thanks to all veterans who've served at Midway, those I served with during my 6 years in the Navy, and those who've served anywhere in the world.  We'll be having a small ceremony tomorrow at the Navy Memorial.

This is one of the few photos I have from my time on the USS-Honolulu (SSN-718).  I'm down in the engineroom of the sub out in front of this battle group.  I remember the crew up in the control room were worried that if the engines stopped, we'd be in trouble.  We were moving pretty fast in this photo, and the carrier was closer than it looks.  I enjoy my view a little better nowadays than I did in back then.

More of the albatross have been appearing every day.  We haven't seen any nests yet, but it won't be long now.  The weather is cooling down, but we've still been having perfect days.  Not hot, but sunny with a bit of a breeze. 

This is our Navy Memorial on Veteran's Day, 2007.  The big gooney bird is no longer there.  It had been getting eaten by termites and damaged by weather, so after years of patching, we finally sent it off to Honolulu to get a copy made.  We just have to wait until we can get money for it from donors. 

 A group from NOAA and the State of Hawaii came out to learn more about Midway.  One stop was the monument to Henderson Field on Eastern Island.  We lost our visitor program, but we'll still sometimes get visits from our monument management partners.

 The group got to see what a great job the verbesina removal crew is doing over there.  This area had been covered with verbesina a few months ago.  The crew had to clean some trails so they'll be able to move around the island when the albatross start nesting everywhere.  Don't worry, they still have plenty of nesting space even with the cleared trails.

 The group also helped plant native bunch grass and 'aki'aki grass.

 This young Short-tailed albatross visited us last year.  It's come back again seeing if there's any other Short-tails to meet.  We haven't seen it interacting with our 3 usual resident birds.
A Black-footed albatross with verbesina in the background.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ben Affleck: "Hollywood is full of CIA agents"

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Discussing his new film Argo this week, Ben Affleck has stated that Hollywood is likely teeming with CIA operatives. In a video interview with the actor, The Guardian's Catherine Shoard asks: "Are there many actors in Hollywood who also moonlight as agents do you think?" At this point, Affleck sits forward in his chair and laughs uncomfortably. He replies: "I think there are probably quite a few, yes. I think probably Hollywood is full of CIA agents and we just don't know it. And I wouldn't be surprised at all to discover that this was extremely common."

Shoard then asks: "Are you CIA?" To which Affleck responds, with a strained smile: "I am yes."

Obligatory laughter then follows from Shoard as Affleck adds: "And now you've blown my cover, so there goes my career, so I hope the directing thing better work out."

Argo is the true story of a CIA mission to rescue six Americans holed up in the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the hostage crisis of 1979. Affleck, who directs and stars in the film, is no stranger to working with the CIA. In 2002, he starred in the big screen version of Tom Clancy’s TheSum of All Fears, whichdepicted the Agency as tracking down terrorists who detonate a nuclear weapon on US soil. For this movie, CIA director George Tenet gave Affleck a personal tour of the Agency’s Langley HQ. The actor also consulted with CIA analysts and worked closely with the Agency’s former Entertainment Liaison Chase Brandon, who served as the movie’s on-set advisor.

Affleck’s wife, Jennifer Garner, enjoyed an even cosier relationship with CIA as the star of the Agency-supported TV series Alias (2001 – 2006). Garner even starred unpaid in a CIA recruitment video in 2004.

Incidentally, Catherine Shoard, who conducted the interview with Affleck, was the Commissioning Editor of an article I co-authored in 2009 for The Guardian’s Film Blog examining DoD involvement in Hollywood’s UFO movies. The Guardian also published a major feature article by myself and Dr Matthew Alford in 2008 looking at CIA infiltration of Hollywood.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive article yet published on CIA involvement in Hollywood, I highly recommend Matthew Alford’s new article co-authored with Professor Tricia Jenkins, which appears in the June 2012 issue of Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies. Read it HERE.


Ben Affleck, Rwanda, and Corporate Sustained Catastrophe

Monday, November 5, 2012

Albatross are coming back

A lot of albatross are showing up now that the wind has shifted from the south to north.  I think it was tougher for them to fly back here against the wind.  We've seen 2 Short-tailed albatrosses so far, the one that sits by the runway, and the male of the pair on Eastern Island.  More Black-footed and Laysan albatross are showing up every day.  

We had a small Halloween party last week at Capt. Brooks' Tavern.  Nothing to crazy, since it was a Wednesday night, and our island population is pretty low right now.  A few people dressed up, but I didn't take many pics. 
The Short-tailed albatross sits with 3 decoys, and a few Black-footed albatross.  The real bird is the one on the right.
 One of the early Laysan albatrosses gets a good spot before the crowd gets in.

Here's a White tern and one of the old abandoned barracks buildings.  Speaking of White terns, we're still feeding about 10 of the chicks that we rescued from the lead paint project.

 A big net washed up on the shore of Eastern Island. 

A Brown booby was sitting on the beach near the net.
A Black-footed albatross flies by.  I just noticed I put up a lot of bird photos this week.  Next week I'll try to mix it up a bit more.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Aliens escape from Area 51 in new UFO movie

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

How genuinely refreshing to see Hollywood filmmakers sticking their necks out on a UFO movie in which the US military is depicted as the hostile force rather than the alien visitors.

The new trailer for Escape from Planet Earth would seem to indicate that Hollywood still has some faith in the non-hostility of potential extraterrestrial intelligences despite Tinseltown’s long and successful history of aggressively demonizing life beyond Earth (UFO buffs will note the references to modern human technology being seeded -- or in this case literally produced -- by ETs... Philip Corso, anyone?).

Here’s the official blurb for the movie:

“The 3D animated family comedy Escape from Planet Earth catapults film goers to planet Baab, where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendon Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary, head of mission control at BASA. When BASA's no-nonsense chief Lena (Jessica Alba) informs the brothers of an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary's warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission. But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker (James Gandolfini), it's up to scrawny, risk-adverse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira (Sarah Jesscia Parker) and their adventure hungry son Kip.”

Okay, so the trailer makes it clear that we shouldn’t be expecting cinematic greatness, but the concept of aliens in peril at the hands of paranoid human officials puts Escape from Planet Earth in the company of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Super 8, and only a handful of other films of this ilk to have been produced in the history of the UFO subgenre. More like this, please, Hollywood. You can do it if you try.

Escape from Planet Earth is due for release Feb. 14, 2013.