UFO Tales!
Saucer Sightings
Around the Planet!
UFO Tales! The Summer Saucer Stories

Resident eXoNews UFOlogist, Professor
Huntley Haverstock (eXoNews)

It's time for still another eXoNews romp through UFO stories and it looks like the little green men were very busy this summer after brief appearances in Mexico and Iran earlier this year.

The latest batch of NUFORC reports were truly inspirational so we contacted our resident UFOlogist, Professor Huntley Haverstock and asked him to whip up some lurid digital illustrations.

You'll see the results below, along with some recent wire stories.

Enjoy and remember: the Truth is REALLY out there, baby! Ed.

For constant UFO fun, or if you have a sighting of your own to report, try The National UFO Reporting Center - http://www.nuforc.org

Another site that recently caught our interest is HBCC UFO Research (not sure what that HBCC acronym stands for, but they are in Canada) - http://www.hbccufo.com

eXoNews Pix of the Week Dept.
Democratic Abduction?

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, waves beneath a white disk shape object in the sky as he departs LaGuardia Airport, New York, for campaign stops in Florida, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004. The candidate disappeared into a large metallic craft only seconds after this photo was taken. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NUFORC Reports - September 2004 Sightings!

[We usually clean these reports up - repair misspellings and grammatical errors - but this time we decided to leave some of them alone. These are, after all, just plain folk who have spotted aliens driving along the highway or in their backyards. Who are we to mess with their words? Ed.]

White Disk from Highway 

(9/8/2004) Location: Euless, TX - I was driving eastbound on highway 183. When my attention was drawn to a white disk shape object in the sky. I believed it to be about 2 to 3000 feet in the air. Object was south of the freeway.

I pointed object out to my wife. As i was watching the object for 23 seconds it appeared smaller very fast till i couldn't see it anymore.

I had visual contact with object for about 25 seconds.

I could only conclude that object left in a big hurry for it to vanish so quickly. I could see jets heading in to land at Dallas Fort Worth International also during this event. The jets were heading south to north.

I know this was not a small airplane for I have seen small planes many times and I know I would of been able to distinguish wings and such but this object had nothing of the sort.

Oval Metallic Object to Orange Ball in Hawaii

(9/8/2004) Location: Waikele, HI - I have tried to contact someone from your office at ((telephone number deleted, which is not the number for our Center)) but to no avail........me and my children have observed something very strange ........but i am not quite sure who to report it to.........so i guess this is as good a place as any.......

I live in Waikele and last month we seen something very strange and a little hard to explain .........a large oval metallic object in the sky and when observed with binoculars very very unexplainable...........accompanied by other shooting objects............two of them coming to a complete stop and changing from a small object to a large orange ball and then completely disappearing.........

I know this all seems very weird and probably a little hard to believe..........but i was wondering if there is someone that i could talk to about this..........because the object and other shooting objects again appeared today at around 12:00 noon on 9/9/04..........

And was again observed by binoculars but at a much higher distance in the sky...........i tried to capture this today by video but it seemed to be to high in the sky to register on the video recorder........my cell number is ((telephone number deleted))..........

If someone would give me a call i would be glad to talk to them..........and I will be looking again tomorrow video in hand hopefully to provide proof of what i am saying.............

Thank you

((NUFORC Note: Witness elects to remain totally anonymous. PD))

Large Triangular Craft

(9/7/2004) Location: Fort Smith, AR - I was standing on the porch of our home, we live at the top of a hill in the city, the event was just a few moments after dark.. the sky was very clear this night. I heard a low humming sound very soft at first then it was a low rumbling sound and as I looked in the direction and this huge ship or craft was approached right straight across my view to the right on us.

This thing was very slow and it was very low as well about 4 hundred feet or a little more as far as I could tell by my estimation.

This ship or vessel was shaped in a triangle and it's lights were glowing from underneath it an those lights seemed to alternated in a pattern as it passed over me.

I grabbed my flashlight an shinned it up at the thing as I watched it going slowly over our area of town, someone else had to see this thing I would suppose but it was so quiet man.. it seems to take forever to go over the area..

I was just in shock to see it I guess.. under the circumstances.. guess I was kinda stunned just to see this ship.. so low. I called loudly to my mom in the next room after a few moments and when this thing came over us you could only hear the light rumbling or hum or something, you know not like normal engine propulsion.

All I know is it was very big and slow. I then grabbed my flashlight and ran off the porch to the street corner to get a better look as it left our area then after it reached the edge of town or my view the thing just to off out of my range of night site. This ship or whatever this was.. like I said was two or three minutes seemed like I had view or watched the vessel, it seemed like forever to me at the time.

What was so shocking about the thing was it was not a loud hum or just very little noise. my mom heard it too and we have also seen various other sightings as well in our area in the last few months, but this thing was huge.. my God what or who was flying this ship and where are they from.. is it the military or what? is, well you want my opinion? it is not the government in my view, but I don't know what this ship was, all I know it was the strangest thing I ever saw in my life...

I just know this: if I had not been wondering what the low hum was or had not looked up at just the moment I did, I would have never seen the thing at all I believe.

Tear-drop Shape Over Lake from Boat

(9/6/2004) Location: Dale Hollow Lake, TN - The object was spotted first by the other witness on our boat in Dale Hollow Lake. It appeared to be very high in the atmosphere and moved across the visible horizon in less than 30seconds, possibly less than 15seconds.

The object itself was not visible. It looked a little like a meteor entering the atmosphere. The "contrail" was a elongated tear-drop shape.

Yellow/white in color and less than 1/2" long if the length was measured at arm's length.

The "contrail" pulsed on and off in a very periodic fashion. Three pulses with a pause and then three more pulses. It completed about 4/5 cycles of 3 pulses in the time it took to disappear over the horizon.

The direction of travel was South to North.

Note: we saw a shooting star and several satellites over 2 nights of star gazing. This object did not resemble any of these sightings. 

The sky was very clear and aircraft often crossed at high altitude directly overhead on a West to East heading and this object also did not resemble a civilian aircraft in speed (UFO was far too fast), altitude (UFO was higher), or appearance. 

Glowing Orb After Jet

(9/6/2004) Location: Glendale, AZ - I wasn't going to fill out a report at all but I have had 2 sightings of 2 different objects in 3 days!

I was outside working at about 1:30 pm and I looked up to watch a commercial jet liner passing overhead when I spotted a glowing "orb" (sphere?) behind and above the jet.

The object was glowing quite brightly.

It was hard to judge altitude on it. the object was traveling north/northeast and it was moving at least 10 times faster than the commercial airliner which was headed due north.

I heard no sound from the object but the jet that was flying over probably would have drown out any sound from it anyway.

The object left no contrail and I saw no other lights on it except for the glow from the object itself.

It flew a straight and level course until I lost sight of it.

Three Silver Oval Craft

(9/4/2004) Location: Kitchener (Canada), ON - We were driving along a busy road and I spotted a silver oval craft.

We pulled over and watched it disappear, then we saw the second one to the right of the car going the same way as the first.

Then when the second craft disappeared we saw a third coming from the right side of the car again just above us (but a little forward as we could see them through the windshield) and it also went in the same direction as the previous two, then disappeared as well…

((NUFORC Note: We spoke with this witness, and we found her to be seemingly quite objective in her description of the event. We suspect she and the other parties are reliable witnesses. PD))

Black Object Hovering Above Austin, Copter Nearby

(9/4/2004) Location: Austin, TX - My boyfriend and i were at auditorium shores (town lake) in central Austin, and for about 45 minutes watched a VERY small black object, hovering motionless in the sky (in front of some clouds)....

It was north of town lake & appeared to directly above north central Austin. He says that he saw it dart to the side and back again, then down and up again, at an UNUSUALLY quick speed... (I was looking away and did not see this)...

There was a helicopter that flew up to it and then left and came back, it seemed like the copter was trying to figure out what it was. could not tell if it was a news or military copter (too far away).

It did not appear to be a hot-air balloon (b/c the balloon would have been easy to discern even from far away, it was kind of a speck that did not appear to be bigger than the copter, and it was odd b/c it was just hovering there.

After the copter left, it became engulfed behind the clouds. we did not speak to anyone else about it, but no one else seemed to notice (they were all jogging along the lake or observing a rainbow nearby).

The weather was clear- blue skies, lots of clouds.

So, we were wondering... what this was, and if anyone else in Austin saw it?

Bright Red, Plasma-type Object

(9/4/2004) Location: Watsonville, CA - Watsonville, CA - I went out side to smoke a cigarette and have my coffee at about 6 am. It was beginning to get light out side, but the sun hadn't appeared yet. I was looking at the mountains to the south east ( about 15 miles from my back yard ), and noticed a red burning object in the sky.

It looked like the tail end of a missile, the way it was burning. All I could see was the bright red tail (magenta color).

I thought that a missile or rocket was being launched from the hills, but the weird part was that it didn't go any where. It stayed in one general area for about 30 minutes, slowly moving around.

It then started to slowly move east, toward Gilroy, Ca. It disappeared over the hills for about 3 minutes , then reappeared again, this time moving south.

It didn't look like any plane or helicopter I've ever seen.

When the sun came up over the mountains its red-plasma-like color started to slowly turn translucent/white. I assume that it was a lot larger than a jet, it also looked like some parts were transparent.

I don't know what I saw, but I'm sure plenty of other people in this area saw it too this morning.

Car Buzzed

(9/3/2004) Location: Akureyri (Iceland) - The car was traveling on a country road in Northern Iceland. A light was at first observed relatively high above the car. The driver thought it was a satellite moving but suddenly it approached the car extremely fast and took position beside and above the car, perhaps 1-2 meters away.

The object was the size of a small car and very bright and totally illuminated the car on the inside. The driver stepped on it and the object followed up to a speed of approx. 100 mph. 

When the car approached a few houses close to the road with street lighting, the object gained altitude - perhaps to 50-150 meters. About two kilometers later, the object suddenly turned left and crossed a fjord ca 4 kilometers wide, and took position above the drivers house.

The driver arrived about 20 minutes later and the object was still above the house. Driver and passenger went inside and brushed their teeth, intending to go to sleep.

As the object was still outside, the driver then went out and took some pictures with a digital camera. [Picture shown here is not one of them - it's an eXoNews fake for illustrative purposes only - nor were they published on the NUFORC site. Ed.]

The object was bright and multicolored.

The photos are not particularly clear, probably because the shutter on the camera closed because of the bright light. However, some lights in a triangular shape can be made out on one of them.

The driver in question is my wife's cousin and the passenger his girlfriend. Contact me if you are interested in contacting him or getting more info.

White Plane-like Object with Two Gold Orbs

(9/1/2004) Location: Pie Town, NM - I was sitting out on my porch when I heard the noise of a large airplane-like a military jet, but sounding slower and lower.

It was so loud even the dog, who was hunting chipmunks under the railroad ties, looked up. I stepped out from the porch and looked north toward the sound.

I saw, at a fairly low altitude, a long white shape-it could have been a plane with short wings.

Just above it, picked out by glints from the sun, were two shiny, gold colored orbs.

I wondered if somehow I might have seen a distortion of helicopter rotors, but they seemed to be orbs.

The combination was soon lost to sight in the blue of the sky.

It was not traveling very swiftly, but I guess the white made it easier to disappear in the sky. It was invisible to the eye long before the noise dissipated.

German Broadcaster Goes Klingon


BERLIN September 13, 2004 (Reuters) - German broadcaster Deutsche Welle has added Klingon, spoken by the bumpy-headed aliens of the "Star Trek" television series, to the 30 languages used on its Web site, the network says.

"The dialogue of cultures does not end at the edge of our solar system," Deutsche Welle director Erik Bettermann said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Deutsche Welle is a government-funded radio and television network that broadcasts mainly for German expatriates and Germany enthusiasts. 

Klingon was invented for use in "Star Trek" and has found fans worldwide. The Deutsche Welle site aims to make brushing up on Klingon "qay'be'" or "no problem".

The pages at http://klingon.dw-world.de/english/index.php were added to celebrate the site's 10th anniversary.

Second Annual UFO Crash Retrieval Conference November 12-14 in Las Vegas

(9/2/2004) 22:36 Location: Gimli (Canada), MB (NUFORC) -
"3 Green Fire balls very bright, slowly moving down towards
lake Winnipeg and. The closest one was the biggest and they
descended in size. They were all in a row. Looks like they would
have crashed in to the lake." (Photo: eXoNews)

BROOMFIELD CO September 17, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) - Experts say there is compelling evidence to support claims that several UFOs have crashed to earth and been retrieved, along with the bodies of their extraterrestrial crews in total secrecy by the United States, Russia, Canada and the United Kingdom. 

Eleven top investigators will present their latest findings at the Second Annual UFO Crash Retrieval Conference this November. 

New Mexico Congressman Steven Schiff accused the Pentagon of giving him "the run-around" in 1994 when he tried to locate missing government documents pertaining to the Roswell UFO crash. 

In 2004, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson called for a definitive investigation of the Roswell incident, saying, "the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained -- not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government." 

Other alleged UFO crashes are similarly shrouded in mystery, despite a wealth of civilian and military evidence: Pennsylvania's 1965 Kecksburg crash as aired on the Science Fiction Channel, and Canada's Shag Harbor incident of 1967, to name just two. 

Why, after decades of inquiry, do such events still resist explanation? Why the persistent lack of official acknowledgment and discussion, let alone rigorous investigation? 

In fact, a great deal is now known about these mysterious incidents. Serious, thoughtful, authors and investigators will present their latest research findings at the Sunset Station Hotel and Casino in Henderson, Nevada, November 12-14. 

This year's conference speakers include investigative journalists Jim Marrs and Linda Moulton Howe, Washington lobbyist Stephen Bassett, British UFO expert Nick Redfern, presidential historian Grant Cameron, Russian UFO insider Dr. David Pace, Canadian researcher Don Ledger, filmmaker Paul Davids, author Peter Robbins and forensic document experts Ryan Wood and Dr. Robert Wood. 

Conference attendees can anticipate the latest hard data on numerous crashed UFOs, off-world artifacts held in secret government facilities, the strange truth behind the Roswell controversy, presidential knowledge of UFO retrievals, UFO secrets of the former Soviet Union and much more. The Conference will also present for the first time ever a catalog of every credible UFO crash known to civilian investigators -- some 50 incidents in all, from a dozen nations. 

Speaker abstracts: http://www.ufoconference.com/topics_speakers.php

Speaker biographies: http://www.ufoconference.com/speaker_bios.php

Registration: http://www.ufoconference.com/ufo_conference_registration.php

ICAR - http://www.icar1.homestead.com

Jim Mars Official - http://www.jimmarrs.com

Shatner Holds Auditions for "Invasion Iowa"

William Shatner accepting his well-
deserved 2004 Emmy Award for a
guest role on The Practice.

RIVERSIDE IOWA September 22, 2004 (AP) - Capt. James T. Kirk came home to Riverside this week. William Shatner, who played the commander of the starship USS Enterprise in the '60s "Star Trek" series, arrived in Riverside Tuesday to hold auditions for four small parts in a low-budget, sci-fi movie he wrote with "Star Trek" co-star Leonard Nimoy.

The working title of the movie is "Invasion Iowa." Shatner called the film "his baby," and said he's dreamed of putting the story on the big screen for 30 years.

The 73-year-old actor and more than 100 crew members will be in Riverside for several days to film scenes for the movie.

Although Kirk's hometown was never mentioned in the TV series, Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator and executive producer, wrote in "The Making of Star Trek" that Kirk was "born in a small town in the state of Iowa."

The Riverside City Council picked up on the idea in March 1985, declaring a site behind what used to be the town's barbershop the "future birthplace" of Kirk.

Shatner is a native of Canada.

William Shatner Official - http://www.williamshatner.com

Canadian UFO Conference

We really love this picture, which is
why we always include it in our
eXoNews UFO reports. If anyone
knows where it came from, please
email us! Ed.

HALIFAX September 19, 2004 (Broadcast news) - UFO sightings are on the rise in Canada, and a group gathered in Halifax is hoping to figure out why.

The Canadian Mutual UFO network held its first national symposium on flying saucers yesterday.

But turnout was low at just 25 people for lectures on alien encounters and space travel in what organizers hoped to make a yearly event. 

Speaker and ufologist Stanton Friedman says interest in UFOs is actually quite high in Atlantic Canada it's just that most people are afraid to admit they're a believer.

He says about one in 10 people who come to his lectures all over North America say they've had an encounter with extra terrestrials. 

Annet Tol of Cornwall, P.E.I. is one of those people. 

She says she came to the Halifax seminars to find out if what she saw on a transatlantic flight five years ago was actually a UFO. 

Canadian UFO sightings were up 40 per cent last year, with 31 sightings in Atlantic Canada.

10 Best Places to Spot Aliens in the UK
LONDON September 3, 2004 (ANI) - If you are a big fan of Steven Speilberg's E.T. you are surely going to like this. According to The Sun, researchers led by UFOlogist Nick Pope, a former Defence ministry chief, have already compiled a list of sites in Britain most visited by extra-terrestrials. 

"Our hotspots exhibit up to 20 times as many sightings as anywhere else. It is difficult to arrive at a precise number but it is certainly possible to gauge the intensity of current UFO activity," he was quoted as saying. 

The top 10 hotspots to look out for aliens: 

Bonnybridge - A town near Falkirk that is considered to be world's UFO capital with more than 100 sightings till date. Flying saucers and hovering cigars are the two most common sights.

Perhaps it was the hat? (Reuters)

Cley Hill - It is famous for crop circles and many people believe the patterns are caused by spaceships. 

Great Orme - A remote beauty spot on the north coast of Wales, this place has been the subject of intense extra-terrestrial activity since 1997.

Bedhampton - Musician Abby Parker videoed a UFO over this suburb of Havant, Hampshire, in May 2002.

Walthamstow - UFO's have been spotted in this suburb of East London. 

Bonsall - A village, near Matlock, Derbys witnessed UFO activity when housewife Sharon Rowlands shot a video showing a pulsating disc that changed colours and hovered for several minutes before it then flipped over and zoomed away. 

Buckingham Palace - A horrible creature was photographed outside the Queen's London residence in August last year.

Rendlesham - A group of American airmen were confronted by an alien spaceship in Rendlesham Forest on two nights in December 1980.

Bexleyheath - Children reported seeing an alien spaceship in 1955, making the Kent suburb one of the earliest UFO sites in the world.

New Bexley UFO Sighting!

Dorothy Godfrey knows what
she saw (LL)

Bexley UK September 19, 2004 (Local London) - A pensioner's early morning trip to the bathroom turned into a close encounter of the third kind when she spotted three UFOs hovering outside her bungalow.

Dorothy Godfrey, 72, of North Road, Belvedere, was returning to bed at around 5am on Monday when she looked out a back window to check on the weather.

The grandmother had to call her husband to witness the amazing sight.

She said: "There were three lights in the sky, they looked like light bulbs but they were quite a long way away.

"After a few seconds one zipped off toward Woolwich and another zipped to the Thames. The third one stayed for a while longer before zooming off in the direction of the river. I called my husband because I knew if he didn't see them he would think I was dreaming."

She added: "I'm not senile, I know what I saw. Before this morning I never really believed in little green men, but there is obviously something up there. My daughter believes everything about Martians. She's very much into these things and she said I should report it."

The sighting comes just four miles from Bexley's most famous UFO incident.

In 1955 a UFO was spotted in King Harold's Way, Bexleyheath, by more than 30 people. The craft, which hovered above the ground and had eight suckers' on it, flew off over Bedonwell Primary School when people tried to touch it.

Trehafod UFO Encounter

Alison Moore filmed the object which was
flying above her home (BBC)

Trehafod South Wales UK August 6, 2004 (BBC) - When Alison Moore looked into the night sky she wondered if it was a bird, a plane, or even a space ship hovering above her home. The 26-year-old was amazed when she saw what appeared to be a bright disc floating above her house in Trehafod in the south Wales valleys. 

She grabbed her video camera and began filming the "alien ship" in the sky. 

But astronomers say the mystery object was probably Venus in the night sky. 

The object caught Ms Moore's attention after she got up during the night to see to one of her two daughters. 

"I thought it was a shooting star at first because it was so bright," she said.

"But when it didn't disappear, I thought it might have been a satellite so I grabbed my video camera for a closer look because I didn't have binoculars and I knew I could zoom in with the camera. It was pretty amazing but I couldn't really see how good it was until the next day when I replayed the tapes. I could not believe my eyes when I looked at them again. It was really strange - the object kept zipping across the screen and the color changes were absolutely amazing. 

"I've never believed in things like flying saucers before but after seeing this I've changed my mind." 

Alison was so convinced that she had filmed a UFO that she showed the tapes to her uncle, Alfie Passey. 

"I have always thought that these reports of a flying saucer were bull," he said. "I thought that these things that people had seen was most likely to be a satellite. 

"But after seeing the tapes of what Alison had seen, I am absolutely convinced that it was a flying saucer." 

Weather balloon?

The family were 'astonished' when they
saw the footage (BBC)

South Wales Police have said they received no reports of a flying saucer in the south Wales valleys during the early hours of 4 August. 

Dr Mike Reddy from the University of Glamorgan, which runs several astronomy course, said there could be several explanations for the sighting, but said that the planet Venus was probably the most likely reason. 

"On the night in question, Venus could be seen quite clearly in the east o the sky during the early hours," he said. 

"And it is likely that there would have been a lot of weird colours especially near dawn because of the sun. 

"But there are other possible reasons for it - it could have been a weather balloon or a satellite. 

"I think the chances of it being a visiting alien are pretty slim though," he added.

[Hey, what does he know? Eh, mates? Ed.]

Genre News: Hitchhiker's Guide, Joss Whedon, War of the Worlds, Ghost In The Shell, Emmys Suck & More!

Guide author Douglas Adams immortality
is guaranteed

All New Hitchhiker's Guide on BBC Radio!
By Neil Smith 
BBC News Online

London September 21, 2004 (BBC) - A third series of sci-fi comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy begins on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, 26 years after the original show was first broadcast. All the surviving cast members reprise their roles in the six-part adaptation of Douglas Adams' third Hitchhiker book, entitled Life, the Universe and Everything. 

So Long and Thanks For All the Fish, the fourth installment, and the fifth novel Mostly Harmless will be dramatized in a second, eight-part series, to be broadcast in May 2005.

The Babel Fish allowed Guide travelers to
translate alien speech when placed in the ear.
(Rod Lord / BBC)

For Adams' legion of fans, however, it is the late author's own contribution that will be most eagerly awaited. The writer recorded the part of Agrajag in his home studio, 18 months before his death in May 2001. Ironically, the character is an immortal creature that keeps getting reincarnated in different guises. 

"Douglas' immortality is guaranteed by his work; this is merely a fictional reflection of that," says executive producer Bruce Hyman.

McGivern and Jones return as Ford Prefect
and Arthur Dent (BBC)

Nonetheless, he considers it "quite an achievement" to have Adams' voice sit alongside those of original cast members Simon Jones and Stephen Moore. 

Jones, who plays befuddled hero Arthur Dent, and Moore, the voice of Marvin the Paranoid Android, are joined by Mark Wing-Davey (Zaphod Beeblebrox), Susan Sheridan (Trillian) and Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect). 

"It was extremely hard to get them together again because they all have such busy careers," says Hyman. "But they all wanted to do it, and they've been fantastically cooperative." 

With the death of Peter Jones in 2000, the voice of the book is now supplied by his friend, William Franklyn. 

Star turns

"The day of the first read-through was like a school reunion," Hyman continues. "The actors hadn't worked together for 25 years, so it was rather emotional."

Wing-Davey, who reprises Zaphod Beeblebrox,
also played Zaphod in the 1981 BBC TV series (BBC)

Hyman is also proud he has been able to attract additional cast members of the caliber of Joanna Lumley, Richard Griffiths, Leslie Phillips and Jonathan Pryce. 

"Such is the affection people have for the series they wanted to be a part of it," he explains. The new series picks up where the second left off, with Arthur stranded on prehistoric earth. 

"He's arrived there by accident on a time-traveling sofa and he's about to go mad," explains Hyman.
"The adventure starts from there." 

Adams' background in radio - the first two books were originally written for the medium before being turned into novels - made adapting the later stories a relatively easy task. 

"Douglas understood radio," says Hyman. "I think he heard as much as he saw what he was writing. Plus we had all of his notes. We've been as faithful as it's possible to be to his copious instructions." 

Technical advances

For all that, the executive producer admits feeling some trepidation in attempting to emulate a series that is now regarded as a radio landmark.

The Deep Thought computer '...got as far as
deducing the existence of rice pudding and
income tax.' (BBC)

"Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!" he replies when asked if he was daunted by the series' enduring legacy. "I am absolutely in awe of how they managed to do it. I don't know how they did what they did without the technology we've had at our disposal."

Advances in digital recording have enabled his team to bring even more of Adams' universe to life.

"We've done things in this series which simply weren't technically possible back then," he says. And Hyman states categorically that there is no competition between the radio series and the upcoming film version starring Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman. 

"The film is of book one, so it doesn't clash with us at all. I'm just sad Douglas isn't around to see it, because he put so much energy and enthusiasm into the project."

Hyman has had discussions with Disney and the new film's executive producer Robbie Stamp and describes them as "really great". 

"Our interests are the same," he says. "We all love the books and want them to reach as wide a public as possible." 

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Life, the Universe and Everything can be heard each Tuesday at 1830 BST on BBC Radio 4.

Official BBC Hitchhiker's Guide - http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/index.shtml

Pearce Studios website - http://www.rodlord.com

Whedon Universe News and Rumors
By FLAtRich

Point Pleasant's Marti Noxon

Sunnydale September 21, 2004 (eXoNews) - Just a few things to keep the faith alive, so to speak. As you read last week, Fox is probably shelving Tru Calling (starring the former Faith), which was due for a second season premiere on November 4th. The Fox websites were still not updated to reflect this as of this writing.

Variety says that Fox has indeed ordered twelve episodes of the Marti Noxon series Point Pleasant. Marti was a story editor turned writer and co-producer of Buffy and a consultant on Angel. Among other contributions to the Buffyverse, Miss Noxon invented the leather lesbian alternate universe Willow. Point Pleasant was described previously as The Omen meets Peyton Place and is set in a little seaside town in New Jersey.

Joss Whedon at this year's Saturn Awards

Moviehole.net claims to know that Joss Whedon will direct the third X-Men feature. The rumor site says casting is in progress. "Halle Berry's number is still up in the air but the rest of the cast are apparently all set to go - Hugh Jackman's wrapping up his theatre stint as we speak - including Famke Janssen, whose part is apparently going to be a lot beefier this time around."

Joss, of course, also authors X-Men comics nowadays.

All seven seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer will appear in a custom leather boxed set in the UK soon, according to the BBC. It will cost fans about 200 pounds, which is reasonable, and will have lots of extra goodies of course.

And Charisma Carpenter will appear with the Charmed Ones on Charmed, Sunday September 26th. Hmmm, I always thought there should have been an Angel / Charmed crossover, as both shows are set in San Francisco.

[Of course there is just such a crossover in Dark Boswell. Plug, plug, plug. Ed.]

Dark Boswell Crossover Fan Fiction - http://richlabonte.net/darkboswell

Uncle Walt Disney

Roy Disney (left) and his Uncle Walt

ALBUQUERQUE September 19, 2004 (AP) - As a schoolboy home sick with chicken pox, Roy Disney had the best storyteller any kid could imagine: Uncle Walt.

Disney — in New Mexico over the weekend for the opening of a new theater complex at the National Hispanic Cultural Center — said he remembers his uncle sitting at the end of his bed, telling him the story of Pinocchio. 

"He was a fabulous storyteller," Disney said. 

As the son of Walt Disney Co.'s co-founder, Roy O. Disney, Disney grew up steeped in the Disney culture. The 74-year-old — who describes himself as two years younger than Mickey Mouse — recalls seeing the Disney verison of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" come to life on artists' drawing boards outside his father's office. 

Disney served more than 50 years as a writer, director, producer and vice president at the family's company. He declined to talk about his efforts to have Disney Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner leave the company. Eisner has said he will retire in 2006. 

Disney donated $1.5 million and the Disney Co. donated another $500,000 to what is now the Roy E. Disney Center for the Performing Arts. 

The $22.8 million complex includes a museum and three theaters: a 691-seat world-class stage, a 288-seat film theater and a smaller space for lectures, films and readings.

Spielberg Goes to War in New Jersey

Martians invade Grover's Mill in 1953 (Paramount)

Bayonne NJ September 20, 2004 (Sci Fi Wire) - Steven Spielberg will shoot his upcoming film version of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds in New Jersey, the Jersey Journal newspaper reported. The movie, which stars Tom Cruise, has begun preproduction, and city lawyers are in the process of negotiating terms for use of various public properties in and around Bayonne, N.J., the newspaper reported.

Shooting may start next month and could wrap by December, one city official told the paper. It is slated for a summer release.

Spielberg reportedly scouted several homes in a Bayonne neighborhood as possible locations. Several city officials also told the newspaper that filmmakers said that Spielberg and company want to build a structure, probably a gas station or auto body shop, on a Little League field and then blow it up.

Spielberg's War of the Worlds will update Wells' story, which was previously adapted by Orson Welles in a well-known 1930s radio drama that was set in Grover's Mill, N.J.

TV Spy
By Dave McNary

Hollywood September 20, 2004 (Variety) - A former entertainment industry executive has pleaded no contest to wiretapping his ex-employer, FX, while he was working for two other TV production companies. 

Randolph Steve Webster, 38, entered the plea Monday before Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Dennis E. Mulcahy, who set sentencing for Nov. 18. Webster, who's free on $10,000 bail, could receive a sentence ranging from probation up to a maximum of three years in state prison. 

The Los Angeles D.A.'s office said Webster started wiretapping FX conference calls after the company terminated him in July 2001 and wiretapped or attempted to wiretap 260 weekly staff meetings of FX executives. During that time, Webster first worked as a Sony Pictures VP and then a VP for Universal Television Group; he's no longer employed by either company. 

The D.A.'s office launched an investigation in October and a search warrant was served on Webster's home and office in February. He was charged with a felony count in July.

Ghost In The Shell 2

The further adventures of Section 9 operatives in
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Go Fish)

Hollywood September 17, 2004 (Sci Fi Wire) - Mamoru Oshii, the writer and director of the upcoming anime sequel film Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, told SCI FI Wire that the advent of computer technology actually made the sequel to the 1995 animated film more challenging to create.

"There wasn't a single thing that has been easier as a result of a technological advancement," Oshii said in an interview. All of the animation techniques that have arisen have added to the amount of work. Animators have this tendency of always doing the best they can, and with digital technology, they could keep repeating the level of effort."

Oshii said that computer technology in particular made his work significantly more difficult to keep track of.

"The animators had done a scene 10 times more [carefully] than they did with the last movie, and it translated into me having to check 10 times more carefully," Oshii said.

"When I made the first movie, it took overnight to render one scene. But now they have a lot more materials to render. Each person had two or three computers working at the same time, and that also added to the amount of the work. Digitalization didn't actually lessen the amount of work."

Oshii said that the finished film features many computer-generated images, but that all of them began as hand-drawn images.

The latest sequel to the 1995 classic opened in the US
on September 17th (Go Fish)

"Whatever is the process of putting one picture over another, any combination is possible now, so the source material itself has increased tenfold," Oshii said. "Most of the [textures] were done at the source—hand drawn—because if I had used all of the textures that came with the software, then the film would have looked the same as other films. That's my credo: that textures should be done at the source by hand."

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence opened in theaters September 17th.

[Great website! Screensavers, etc. Ed.]

Ghost in the Shell 2 Official - http://www.gofishpictures.com/GITS2/main.html

Rhino Films Mother Jones, Robert Williams and Darby Crash 
By Dana Harris

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones

Los Angeles September 20, 2004 (Variety) - Rhino Films has teamed with Mother Jones magazine and Alligator Planet to create Rhino Animated Features, which is designed to produce a series of "agit-docs" for theatrical release. 

The first film will be "Mother Sees Red," which will examine America's current culture wars. 

Mother Jones will contribute editorial direction for the projects. Rhino Films head Stephen Nemeth brought the idea to Alligator Planet, where Tim Boxell will spearhead the effort. 

The real Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, a key figure in the labor movement, is the icon of and inspiration for the 28-year-old magazine. An animated, Jones-inspired character will host the films. 

San Francisco-based Alligator Planet is a partnership between "Toy Story" producer Ralph Guggenheim, former TriStar exec Alan Buder and writer-directors Eli Noyes and Boxell that focuses on animated feature and television projects. 

The late Darby Crash of The Germs

"We see this as a great way to stir things up and increase our impact, taking our stories and our brand to new audiences reached by film and television," said Mother Jones publisher Jay Harris. 

Mother Jones is producing a short film on conservative and Economic Strategy Institute president Clyde Prestowitz, whose book "Rogue Nation" criticizes U.S. unilateralism. Stuart Sender and Julie Bergman Sender direct that film. 

At Rhino, Nemeth is producing documentaries about cartoonist Robert Williams; the privatization of the world's water supply; the gay, lesbian and transgender hip-hop community; and the history of Latinos in Major League Baseball. He's also producing the feature "What We Do Is Secret," a biopic about punk icon Darby Crash and his band, the Germs.

Rhino  - http://www.rhino.com

Host Garry Shandling and ex-sidekick Jeffrey
Tambor at the 2004 Emmy Awards Show.
(Michael Caulfield / Wire Image)

Emmys Suck: The 56th Annual Emmy Awards
By FLAtRich

Hollywood September 19, 2004 (eXoNews) - In the opening bit, before host Garry Shandling was shown preparing to have plastic surgery and then graphically bloodied and bandaged post-op, the announcer said that the Emmy Awards were "the ultimate reality show."

I once signed up for HBO because I caught an episode of The Larry Sanders Show in a free HBO preview. Garry Shandling, the comedian I now think of as the Jack Benny of his time, starred as Larry Sanders, a neurotic nighttime talk show host.

Eight years later, when Garry's show went off, I cancelled HBO and went back to the broadcast networks, basic cable shows and the movies.

On a good night, HBO garners maybe 13,000,000 viewers. That's out of about 105.5 million television households in the USA. A lot of dues paying members of the Academy of Television Arts & Science must watch HBO, because HBO racked up a hundred twenty four Emmy nominations this year and won quite a few awards.

I'm not sure which awards. I'm one of those 90,000,000 viewers without HBO so I didn't pay much attention when HBO shows won.

I didn't really pay much attention when anyone won. Except for an HBO show called Angels In America, which I didn't see because I don't have HBO, the winners' faces and names were pretty much the same as last year. The highest-rated shows usually get the big awards for themselves and their actors, so there were no nominations for Angel or most of the other shows or actors I liked in 2004. (Joan of Arcadia and Monk did get "real" nominations. Star Trek Enterprise got two technical awards.)

Same faces and names - Kelsey
Grammer shown here winning
for Fraser in 1998 - he won the
same award again this year.

Incidentally, the top-rated television program of all time is still the M*A*S*H finale on CBS, February 28, 1983. It brought in 50,150,000 viewers.

When Tom Selleck announced clips showing TV Academy members who died in 2004, veteran character actor Eugene Roche, who passed in July, was not included. Ironic as Roche was well known to Magnum PI fans as Tom's unwanted pal, private eye Luther H. Gillis. More ironic as Selleck was seated just in front of Angela Lansbury while in the audience. Eugene Roche guested at least four times on Murder, She Wrote. You'd think maybe Tom might have noticed the omission and mentioned it from the podium.

It's a cold business, television.

Admittedly, after Garry Shandling's opening monologue, where Garry said of the opening plastic surgery bit "I'm glad that worked" (it didn't, Garry), I drifted away from the Emmys. At 9 PM, I flipped to PBS to catch a depressing BBC mystery about heroin, cancer drugs and murder.

Anything sucks better than the "ultimate reality show."

[This year's Emmy broadcast drew one of the lowest US ratings in recent times, with just 14 million people tuning in. Maybe those same 90,000,000 people who don't watch HBO didn't care any more than I did. As Variety put it: "You honor HBO shows, you get HBO ratings." The Emmys had their chance to recognize broadcast milestones like Joss Whedon's Angel, but they chose pay cable instead. Never forget, genre fans! Ed.]

The Emmys Official - http://www.emmys.org

Explaining Nielsen Ratings - http://www.nielsenmedia.com/whatratingsmean/index.html

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