Friday, September 26, 2008


Tracy and UFOs

I called Tracy Torme the other day. He's a Hollywood screenwriter, director and producer who has a strong UFO connection. I called him because I had found a copy of Sliders, Seasons 1 and 2, a SF series from the mid-1990s, and had been watching it with my kids. They think it's great! Torme wrote the pilot and several other episodes of the series, and it made me think of him.

Torme (yes, he's the son of Mel Torme, the "Velvet Fog") has penned or been involved in many SF shows, including Star Trek TNG and some of our favourite series of all time, Odyssey 5 and Carnivale. He's also done some feature films, including I Am Legend, and Fire in the Sky, the film version of the Travis Walton UFO abduction, starring James Garner.

The latter film was the catalyst for our acquaintance. When the film came out in 1993, I was given some passes to the local premiere because the marketing included UFO groups. The UFOROM gang who attended unanimously panned it. I wrote a less-than-glowing review and posted it to the net (yes, the Internet existed back then). Shortly thereafter, I received a call from a ufology colleague who told me that "some guy from Hollywood" wanted to talk with me. Eventually, Tracy tracked me down. He was concerned.

My objection to the film revolved around the deviation from the book and from Walton's testimony. Tracy and I talked about this at length. I had always thought the film portrayed the process of UFO case investigation well, and the impact that UFO experiences have on the lives of witnesses and investigators. I just didn't like the "brown goo" later in the movie.

Anyway, Tracy and I came to an understanding and finished our conversation on an amicable note. He and I have been corresponding ever since. I consider him a good friend and someone who has a really good appreciation for what's happening in ufology. He knows details of many cases and spoken with many major witnesses and principal players in the field.

I had heard some news that he was working on a new film version of the Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction. He confirmed that he and his people are in negotiations and are looking at a feature film based on the events depicted in John Fuller's Interrupted Journey. He already even had some major stars in mind for the leads.

In talking with him, I learned that he got his start in Canada. I should have guessed. His credits include Saturday Night Live, so is it any wonder that he began with - would you believe ... SCTV?

Neat guy. Like his work.
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