In June of 1982 I was fishing in a secluded mountaintop lake with my friend Willie Nelson. No, he wasn’t the country singer. He was a State College, Pennsylvania DJ. He is a giant kind of fella who stands about 11 feet tall in his socks. It was a Sunday night, June 20th, the night before my birthday, and we decided to spend an all-nighter at the lake fishing. The place was in the middle of a wooded area, and there was nothing around for miles. Just before midnight and my birthday, we both saw something I’m sure we will never forget. I’ve since lost track of Willie. Last I heard he was living on a boat in L.A. So if you’re out there, buddy, drop me a line. What we saw was a series of bright lights in the sky. They were flying extraordinarily close to the ground and moving quite slowly across the sky. What impressed both of us most of all was that they never made a sound. At first we suspected they were individual objects. I remember thinking they might be missiles of some kind. But as they flew overhead, the space between them blocked out the stars. It was a solid object. We went immediately back to the radio station and phoned the FAA, local airport, and whomever else we could think of. It was a hell of a thing. I still don’t know what we saw that night, but it still appears vividly to me if I close my eyes. I wrote down the experience as a song for my Invented Memories album, which I will include at the end of the review should you be interested in hearing it.
We’re not alone. I don’t mean in an extraterrestrial sense. I mean as witnesses to an unidentified flying objects. There have been millions of such reports over the decades. Often these sightings are dismissed as coming from crackpots or just someone desperate for attention. The government has waged a long campaign to discount these sightings as either unreliable or something more explainable like weather balloons or flares. But there have been some very credible witnesses over the years, people you would be hard-pressed to lump into any of the categories I’ve named. We’re talking trained observers with sterling reputations. Together many of us reject these government claims of what we might have witnessed. To those claims we join in unanimously: I Know What I Saw.
That’s the approach this UFO documentary from The History Channel takes. There have been hundreds of UFO documentaries over the years. The first time I saw anything like what I witnessed was in an HBO Undercover episode some time after my sighting. I’ve since learned that it is the most common description, particularly among what we might describe as credible witnesses. This general description of sighting is where the film focuses. The show delves into the history of UFO hysteria and goes back to 1950 with some of the reports covered here. We meet the actual people and see some of the amateur footage. Of course, none of it is conclusive evidence, but taken as a whole the story is a compelling one.
I know what you’re thinking. Why should I waste my time with yet another UFO film? This is the most comprehensive one I’ve seen yet. The film focuses on those “credible” witnesses which include a president, governor, astronaut, and countless military officers and airline pilots. This is not Bubba waving around a paper plate on a stick. Much of the report comes from a recent gathering of these higher-level witnesses for a conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Whatever your beliefs, this film will challenge them. It may not turn you around, but I dare you to watch it and not have questions. James Fox is the director and the guy out there compiling the information. He’s not exactly the most believable guy himself, that much I’ll admit. But he doesn’t put any of the focus on himself, which adds to the show’s credibility.
I Know What I Saw is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. This is a documentary, and some of the footage is terrible. What I don’t understand is why modern news clips look so dang bad here. If you watch this thing, you won’t be doing it for the image quality.It is non-anomorphic.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 is straight dialog.
Deleted Footage: There are 5 scenes with no play-all option.
I know that for many of you, my admission to what I saw might tend to reduce my credibility here. Bear in mind I never claimed to have seen a flying saucer. I don’t really believe that what I saw was extraterrestrial at all. I think it more likely I saw some kind of secret military aircraft. That is far easier to believe for me. This show doesn’t go the alien- abduction or the gray-alien-beings route. There’s no Roswell talk here. You’re not pushed into believing what these things might be, only that they could very well exist. I do believe there is intelligent life elsewhere. I don’t believe they are flying around Earth in their little saucers. The film merely calls for our government to just finally release undacted the full record. I simply do not believe that any military secret from 1950 could still threaten national security. If we’re still vulnerable to that old a technology, then someone has some ‘splainin’ to do. The message is merely, “How about we work together and find out what this is?”
To hear my song, Is Everything All Right (Faster Than The Speed Of Light) Bang It Here: UFO Song