Article 34704 of sci.skeptic:
From: email@example.com (Chris Rutkowski)
Subject: MIS-Fire in the Sky
Summary: comments on Walton abduction movie
Keywords: movie, abduction, Walton, UFO
Organization: University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1993 18:06:49 GMT
I saw FIRE IN THE SKY at a preview last night. There was mixed
reaction from the audience.
First of all, the movie does not resemble Walton's book in the least.
I thought his ghostwritten version of what he claimed was bizarre
enough withough Tracy Torme's "artistic licence". If you like movies
with lots of gore, shock effects and gallons of brown goo, this is the
one for you. Walton's original claim of a sterile, antiseptic alien
spaceship and operating room has given way to an interior that attempts
to outdo the ALIEN series of flicks. Membraneous pods, ET-like aliens
and slimy honeycombs populate the ship's interior.
Good news for horror buffs: the audience liked that stuff.
What was odd was the complete contrast with the rest of the movie, in
which crusty James Garner grilled the other work crew about their
apparent murder of Walton. Garner's character, the sheriff, didn't
believe a word of the abduction story, and kept trying to trip them up
through his investigation. That part of the movie, including the
social and public effects of an alleged UFO on a community, was
actually very good.
In essence, it's not necessary to debunk the movie because it bears no
resemblance to even the original story. I'm amazed that MUFON devoted
half of its most recent issue to a preview of the movie, including a
new article by Walton. In the movie, APRO investigators, with the
group name changed to AFAR, are portrayed as complete geeks with
absolutely no scientific credibility. Why a UFO organization would
want to be associated with such a portrayal is beyond me.
Walton is said to be rewriting his book, THE WALTON EXPERIENCE, to be
released with the movie title. A much more interesting book about the
case is Bill Barry's ULTIMATE ENCOUNTER (Pocket Books, 1978), which
gives more background and includes skeptics' comments. I doubt if that
book will become available again.
In summary, FIRE IN THE SKY is a misfire. Although the investigation
process is fairly well detailed and the dynamics of the characters is
acceptably portrayed, the movie skews badly after Walton is found,
degenerating into a slimy horror flick with no resemblance to the
original account, however truthful it was in the first place.
Skeptics don't really need to bother with the movie. It should be
Chris Rutkowski - firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, Canada