Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Aliens ...

Today's photo is a frame from from one of the more notorious bits of twentieth-century Montana film ... at least in the eyes of some people.

It's part of a few seconds of 16mm motion-picture film shot on August 15, 1950 by a man named Nicolas Mariana, who at the time was general manager of the Great Falls "Selectrics," a minor-league baseball franchise. Out at the ball field that morning, Mariana looked up into the sky and saw ... flying saucers! Two of them, supposedly, flying around like crazy.

He was able to shoot about 20 seconds of film, which he eventually sent off to the Air Force along with a report. The government decided that the footage just showed reflected light from a couple of planes from the local Air Force Base, and eventually they returned the film -- but by then, several of the most detailed frames were supposedly missing. This, of course, became prime fodder for conspiracy theorists, and among the UFO faithful the controversy continues to this day. (And there have been a number of other UFO sightings in Great Falls in the years since ... the place isn't quite Roswell, but it's close!)

Here's one of the exposures from the film. The metal thing at the bottom of the image is ventilation equipment atop a nearby roof, and the two bright white dots are -- well, who knows?

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