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Fire In The Sky


Hitting theatres just before the 1993 TV premiere of The X-Files, Fire in the Sky terrified audiences with this big-budget feature film, based on a true account of alien abduction in the White Mountains of Northeastern Arizona. On November 5, 1975, in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, blue-collar logger Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney, Eight Men Out) disappeared without a trace. Five friends and co-workers, including so-called “pillar of the community,” Mike Rogers (Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgement Day), re-counted a harrowing tale of a flying saucer encounter…but the local authorities immediately suspected a more earthbound solution: foul play. But then Walton miraculously returned — battered and bruised, more or less intact — to the small town of Snowflake five days later, and gave the world one of the most notorious “alien abduction” cases ever reported. The media, UFOlogists and sight-seekers descended on the town, creating a circus atmosphere. Some investigators believed Walton’s incredible tale of flying saucers, alien abduction, Greys, and probing medical tests (depicted via some of the most unsettling sequences in the history of alien cinema), especially since it’s one of the few UFO-related stories to feature multiple eyewitnesses (and furthermore, eyewitnesses who have passed lie detector tests on more than one occasion). Other investigators viewed the bizarre incident as a brilliantly and elaborately orchestrated hoax, with skeptics pointing to Walton’s apparent involvement in a check fraud scam some years earlier, and the fact that the alien abduction drama, The UFO Incident, had aired on television shortly before his disappearance. Is that where Travis got the idea to stage his own disappearance? Was this all just a scheme to hit the big time and cash in on the story-hungry national tabloids, or had Walton actually had a close encounter? Also starring James Garner (The Rockford Files), Peter Berg (The Last Seduction) and Henry Thomas (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial). (Dir. by Robert Lieberman, 1993, USA, 109 mins., Rated PG-13)

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