Directed by filmmakers James Fox, Tim Coleman and Boris Zubov and narrated by Peter Coyote, Out of the Blue is widely considered one of the best documentary films on UFOs–and its successor, I Know What I Saw, is considered the other. Taking a decidedly scientific—versus science fiction—approach, the film begins with calculations by respected physicists of the number of intelligent civilizations probable in the cosmos, forcing the realization that the likelihood of extraterrestrials is one hundred percent. The film then presents credible cases—such as the March 14, 1997 Phoenix Lights incident, in which hundreds, if not thousands, of Phoenix residents saw a massive, lighted shape in the sky, “larger than Camelback Mountain”–and contrasts them with the completely unsatisfactory–indeed, unbelievable–government response.
The filmmakers’ line-up of interview subjects include astronauts Dr. Edgar Mitchell and Col. Gordon Cooper, Russian General Leonid Aleviev, President Jimmy Carter, cosmonaut and Major General Pavel Popovich, UK Admiral Lord Hill Norton, retired Air Force officer Robert Salas, and many others. The film explores 50 years of official contradictions and denials, proposes reasons for secrecy, and discusses current efforts for disclosure of a phenomenon that has officially been deemed unworthy of serious investigation.
As TV Guide wrote, “The weirdest thing about the documentary Out of the Blue, is how weird it isn’t.” An Associated Press reviewer summarized, the film “…methodically lays out an argument that something is out there.”
I Know What I Saw is a 2009 documentary by the same trio of filmmakers (Fox, Coleman, and Zubov), with a very similar approach: interview credible witnesses to UFOs and contrast their experiences with the official response from governments. For this film, director Fox assembled the most respected UFO witnesses from around the world to testify at The National Press Club in Washington D.C. The roster included Air Force generals, astronauts, military and commercial pilots, government and FAA officials from seven countries. All tell stories that, as former Arizona Governor Fife Symington expressed, “will challenge your reality.”
Taken together, their accounts reveal a behind-the-scenes U.S. operation whose policy is to confiscate substantiating evidence from close encounters to the extent that even presidents have failed to get straight answers.
Like Out of the Blue, I Know What I Saw is deemed one of the best explorations of the legitimacy of UFO phenomena extant; this film even Steven Spielberg reportedly described as “compelling.”