The Race to Witch Mountain: CIA & UFOs ?

I came across this PDF document on the 49th Parallel website which is entitled; A History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television by Robbie Graham of Bristol University and Matthew Alford from the University of Bath. It’s an interesting article about Disney’s involvement with the CIA about the publics perception of UFOs.

Have you heard of Andy Fickman?

He was the director of the Walt Disney film: Race to Witch Mountain. In a interview with Robbie Graham he claims that he had ‘direct assistace’ from the CIA in creating this film..

“All of the on-camera alien language in terms of their spaceship and everything – that was all designed by him in the sense [of what] the mathematics of communication would be, so you know… there would be a similar mathematical equation that the government probably has if they were to ever come across an alien race (F210: Huh?). So a lot of the things we ended up using were things he was bringing to me… and the next thing you know, that’s what I had on screen”.

“The advisor also recommended that certain UFO-related content be removed from the script: “there were things we got rid of in the script that he was just trying to follow logic [on] from a protocol standpoint,” said Fickman, although he would not elaborate on the nature of the changes made”.

It gets weirder: Fickman also claims that he had a red carpet rolled out for him and his crew at Cheyenne Mountain.

“Fickman further claims that he was afforded a visit to NORAD’s sensitive Cheyenne Mountain facility in 2008, where – accompanied by his CIA advisor – his team spent twelve hours taking photographs and talking with on-duty military officers, including the heads of NORAD”.

“We wanted our Witch Mountain to resemble what NORAD and Cheyenne Mountain look like inside,” he said, adding: “We took a thousand photos and then by the time they released us into the wilderness maybe we had three hundred that had been approved for us to somewhat copy [for production design purposes]”.

And in another interview by Fickman talks about growing up in Roswell, New Mexico which influenced the making of this film.

“I think if you’re born in a place like Roswell, New Mexico… because of its reputation of being a UFO center and there’s such mythology out there, you just spend your whole life with people always asking you: “Do you believe in UFOs?” Or: “You’re an alien!”

“So, from the time I was born I’ve always had an interest in the subject matter and by the time we started doing this movie and sitting down with Dwayne, Ciaran Hinds and the rest of the cast, one of the things I wanted to do was not so much make it about my opinion, but one that shared as much information as I had from videos and books”.

“When we created the UFO convention we actually went outside the box and invited everyone within the UFO community to come and be there. So, the convention you see in the film is actually manned and all those booths are real booths from UFO conventions. We put the word out and everyone showed up, and we got people like Bill Burns, who hosts a show called UFO Hunters on the History Channel and publishes UFO Magazine”.

Here is another quote which tries to discredit the CIA connection with the making of this film..

The CIA, for its part, claims to have had no involvement in Race to Witch Mountain. In an email to the author, Paula Weiss, Media Spokeswoman at the CIA Office of Public Affairs, said:

“To the best of our collective knowledge in the media relations office, we did not provide any technical or other support to this production”.

Fickman was puzzled by the CIA’s denial. Questioned by the author on whether or not the CIA man could have been retired from the Agency and had been acting in a private capacity (as is the case with a number of ex-CIA operatives in Hollywood, including Robert Baer, Milton Beardon and Chase Brandon), the director replied:

“There’s no way we would have had what we had, had he not been an active CIA employee…” Indeed, throughout the NORAD visit, Fickman claims he relied heavily on the influence wielded by his CIA man: “Nothing happened at NORAD without him flashing his card and making his calls”.

As a closing thought on Disney’s establishment ties in relation to the UFO question, in January 2011, the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) staged its 5th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) – a major International business convention which this year featured keynote speeches by the likes of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Intriguingly, this year’s GCF event also featured a special panel discussion entitled: “Contact: Learning from Outer Space,” in which names such as Stanton Friedman, Jacques Vallee, Nick Pope and Professor Michio Kaku addressed the wide-ranging implications of UFOs and potential extraterrestrial life.

How is this relevant to our topic? Well, it might not be, but the primary sponsor of the GCF event was Boeing – a company highlighted by Disclosure Project witnesses as being a key player in UFO-related ‘deep black’ programmes and which you’ll also recall is linked at a directors-board-level to the Walt Disney Company – and a key note speaker at the event was none other than Chairman of Walt Disney International, Andy Bird. UFOs, Disney, Boeing, even former heads of state – all under one roof, so to speak.

It proves nothing of course, but is nevertheless worthy of mention in that it brings to mind what the famous ex-CIA operative Robert Baer once told me regarding the Hollywood/Washington relationship: “All these people that run studios – they go to Washington, they hang around with senators, they hang around with CIA directors, and everybody’s on board.”

Certainly, Disney has long been “on board” with supporting government and military power structures; as to whether or not this support extends to an involvement in some indefinable “Hollywood UFO conspiracy” is impossible to say. For now, at least, all we can do is weigh-up what little evidence is available to us and each draw our own conclusions as to precisely what UFO secrets – if any – might lie behind the Magic Kingdom.

Graham and Alford