Disney, UFOs, and Disclosure
it strange that Allan Sandler, my partner and I
met with that guy at Disney. We had a conversation
with him, but again what he told us about his
experience it seemed like he didn’t really know
very much. So, I don’t know. I don’t know what
to say.” Documentary film producer and writer
Robert Emenegger, who was approached by the
Pentagon to produce an officially sanctioned UFO
documentary during the first Nixon administration.
Kimball, one of the original Disney animators, referred to by Walt Disney as one
of the trusted "Nine Old Men," (supreme
court of animation) died in Arcadia California on
July 8. He was 88.
Kimball was famous for
his animated creation of the characters Jiminy
Cricket, The Cheshire Cat, The March Hare,
The Mad Hatter,
and for redesigning Mickey Mouse in 1938. He
joined the Disney Studios in 1934, and rose up in
the ranks to become a directing animator on such
classics as "Snow White and the Seven
"Fantasia" and "Peter Pan." He
directed Disney Oscar-winning shorts "Toot,
Whistle, Plunk and Boom" in 1953 and
"It's Tough To Be a Bird" in 1969.
A young Kimball in Disney's Studio
Unknown to many Disney
watchers, Kimball was also student of UFOs and
outer space. He had a large collection of UFO
books and magazines, according to Navy physicist
Bruce Maccabee who met with him in 1980. Maccabee
had been to Kimball’s house to recruit him as
one of the 10 original board members for the Fund
for UFO Research. Kimball accepted the position,
although he really didn’t become an active
member of the board.
In the mid-fifties
Kimball worked with a soon to be famous scientific
advisor by the name of Wernher
to write and direct three key outer
space documentaries for the "Disneyland"
television series. The three documentaries were,
"Man in Space," "Man and the
Moon," and "Mars and Beyond."
Kimball referred to them as, “the creative
highpoint of my career.” According to Disney
spokesman Howard E. Green, the three outer space
documentaries are “often credited with
popularizing the concept of the government's space
program during the 1950s.’
was Kimball, who at the July 1979 MUFON UFO
symposium in California, told of his interest in
the subject of UFOs. Then to a stunned audience he
related the story of how the American government
had approached Walt Disney himself, prior to
Sputnik, to make a UFO documentary to help
acclimatize the American population to the reality
stated in the speech that around 1955 or 1956 the
USAF contacted Walt Disney. They asked him to
cooperate on a documentary about UFOs. As a part
of the deal, the USAF offered to supply actual UFO
footage, which Disney would be allowed to use in
to Kimball’s account, Disney went along with the
USAF plan, which was not that unusual. The use of Walt Disney cartoons, after all
had been suggested by the 1953 CIA Robertson UFO
panel as part of a public-education program
involving the mass media to "strip the UFO
phenomenon of its special status and eliminate the
aura of mystery it has acquired."
1) Heinz Haber, Von Braun, and Willy Ley look at one of the props from "Man in Space." 2) Von Braun in "Man in Space" points to the final stage in his proposed rocket.
The discussions between the CIA people and
Disney may actually have taken place, because in
August 1955, Frederick C. Durant III, who was a
member of the Robertson CIA panel, showed Walt
Kimball's documentary "Man in Space"
during the Sixth Congress of the International
Astronomical Federation in Copenhagen.
to the request for a UFO documentary by the
defense department, Disney had shown a capacity to
cooperate with the government. His studio produced
80 armed forces shorts during WW II. Films such as
“Alice in Wonderland” (1951) and “Peter Pan”
(1953) were put on hold while the Disney staff
produced the numerous animated films, plus 1,200
insignia designs for military units. In one year,
during the war, Disney turned out over four
hundred thousand feet of government films.
films ranged from one on venereal disease to one
of the most popular which was the film “Victory
through Air Power.” It is the film which British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Roosevelt
watched together just prior to the invasion of
Europe. Roosevelt was “excited by the way Disney’s
aircraft masterfully wiped ships off the seas,”
so it was “run again the next day, and FDR
invited the Joint Staff to have a look at it.”
had represented the United States government on a
good-will tour of Chile, Argentina, Columbia,
Brazil and Bolivia. He had allowed the United
States Army to station a 700-man anti-aircraft
unit at his Los Angeles studio early in the war.
was also, according to a December 16, 1954 FBI
document, made a SAC Contact for the FBI, which
elevated him from his former position as an
informant for the agency. Now he was able to
gather information from other FBI informants. The
confidential internal FBI memo read,
of Mr. Disney’s position as the foremost
producer of cartoon files in the motion picture
industry, and his prominence and wide
acquaintanceship in film production matters, it is
believed that he can be of valuable assistance to
this office . . . “
Walt Disney had finished his meetings with the
USAF, he began to work on the requested UFO
documentary for the public. He asked his animators
to think up what an alien would look like.
Meanwhile, he waited for the Air Force to deliver
on the promised film.
some period of time the Air Force re-contacted
Disney and told him the film offer had to be
withdrawn. There would be no UFO footage as
promised. Kimball told researcher Stanton Friedman
that once he found out there would be no delivery
of UFO film, he personally spoke with an Air Force
Colonel who told him, “there indeed was plenty
of UFO footage, but that neither Ward, nor anyone
else, was going to get access to it.”
a temporary halt to Disney’s UFO documentary
project. As one account by Bruce Maccabee
documentary was never shown in public, but Kimball
did show the 15-20 minute piece at the 1979 UFO
Symposium. The documentary, however, did not
contain any of the dramatic UFO footage everyone
had been anticipating.
important to note about this Kimball story,
relating the attempt by the United States
government to “spill the beans,” is that it
was not the only time such an incident had
occurred. People associated with the United States
government have been approaching people inside the
UFO community with similar UFO film offers for
decades. A close look at these “approaches”
shows some sort of strange and desperate attempt
to get out a message to the American population.
exactly the same time as Kimball was producing his
space documentaries, and Disney was fielding
offers from the USAF to do a UFO documentary, the
USAF was busy doing what they could do to manage
another UFO documentary being produced by Clarence
Greene and Russell Rouse.
documentary titled “UFO” was eventually
released in May 1956. It was a film that Air Force
officials thought might bring a storm of
controversy, new sightings, and flying saucer
hysteria. As pointed out by author David Jacobs in
his book UFO Controversy in America, the
Air Force set up a contingency plan to counteract
the feared fallout from the documentary. The new
Project Blue Book Director and “zealous UFO
debunker,” Captain George T. Gregory, took the
necessary steps to deal with the UFO documentary.
importantly, the Air Force had not only prepared
for the fallout from the film, they had actively
participated in the development of the
documentary. Three key former Blue Book members Albert
M. Chop, Major Dewey J. Fournet, Captain Edward
Ruppelt provided technical assistance to Greene
and Rouse. The
three Air Force men had many meeting with the
producers. Greene told researcher Robert Barrow:
we went into a lengthy and exhaustive study of
reports, various documents and affidavits of UFO
sightings and reports from radar experts which,
with some heretofore top secret motion pictures,
in color, of flying saucers, form the basis of the
importantly Greene and Rouse obtained two key UFO
films that had just been declassified for “UFO.”
The two films, both showing daytime UFOs in flight
were, the Great Falls (Montana film which showed
two objects) and the Tremonton (Utah film which
showed 12 objects). The films had been analyzed
and presented to the CIA Robertson UFO Panel in
January 1953 as the best photographic evidence
held by the USAF related to UFOs. Following their
appearance at the Robertson panel the Air Force
chose to keep the two films classified.
Utah film was actually declassified quietly by
ATIC just before “UFO” was finished. Were the
two films declassified for the UFO documentary?
Were these all or part of the UFO footage that had
been shown to Walt Disney? The timing was ideal,
and at least Ruppelt and Fournet were involved in
the analysis of at least the Utah film.
An even more direct
and dramatic encounter between the Air Force and a
team of documentary producers occurred in 1972-73.
It was then that former USAF Project Blue Book
William Coleman, and
former ATIC Commander Colonel George Weinbrenner,
made an offer at the Pentagon of “800 feet of
film . . .as well as several thousand feet of
additional material” related to UFOs. The offer
was made to documentary film producers Robert
Emenegger and Allan Sandler. The two men were told
that they would be allowed to use the UFO footage
in a special film project they had been asked to
Other than the fact
that neither man had to sign in at the Pentagon,
the whole documentary negotiation was handled like
an ordinary film deal, according to Emenegger.
There were no mysterious figures and calls in the
middle of the night as had happened with
researchers like Bill Moore. The talks to go over
the details of the documentary were held in places
William Coleman’s Pentagon
office. Emenegger described some of the
incredible events that occurred, as the officially
sanctioned Defense Department film was being
main film promised to the two men was dramatic
footage of an encounter between the occupants of a
landed UFO and officials at Holloman Air Force
Base. It impressed Emenegger who described what he
saw in 1988, “What I saw and heard was enough to
convince me that the phenomenon of UFOs is real
– very real.”
project was described to the two producers as a
documentary on a secret government project. When
the two men discovered that the topic of the
secret project would be UFOs, they were surprised
because “they had assumed that the matter had
been resolved with the closure of Project Blue
Book in 1969.”
documentary was to be sponsored by the Department
of Defense in a claimed attempt to do a public
relations turnaround, which they claimed was
needed because of the Vietnam War. At least that
is the story Emenegger and Sandler were told by
Colonel Bill Coleman.
A number of different subjects were
proposed for the defense documentaries (such as
3-D holography and laser development), but no
other subject other than UFOs, was ever brought
two documentary producers were told that the
government was now ready to release all the facts
about the alien presence on earth. They were shown
and told about evidence that they could use for
their tell-all documentary.
This evidence included:
qPhotographs and films of UFOs.
q800 feet of film showing a landed encounter between three aliens and Holloman Air Base officials during a landing that had reportedly occurred there in May 1971. ( The Holloman footage was first brought up with Emenegger and Sandler by Paul Chartle and Col. Lane from AFOSI) Several thousand feet of additional material was also promised.
qPhotos of UFOs taken by astronauts, which NASA had formally denied the existence of.
the documentary neared completion, the two
producers waited for the promised dramatic alien
landing footage taken at Holloman AFB. Colonel
Bill Coleman, however, withdrew the film offer.
According to what Emenegger told researcher Tim
Good, Coleman had declared, “The timing was
politically inappropriate, due to the Watergate
The Emenegger/Sandler documentary, “UFOS, Past, Present, and Future” was released by Sandler Films in 1974. Lacking the actual UFO footage the documentary was forced to use standard animation, background film taken at Holloman, and “elaborate drawing of the so-called aliens.”
At least that
is what the producers thought when they first ran
the film. Later, indications arose that indicated
12 seconds of the actual Holloman landing might
have been slipped in (for unknown reasons) as part
of the “training film” material the defense
department provided for the documentary.
interesting footnote to the Disney story,
Emenegger reported that he and Sandler had also
talked with the Disney people during the time
period they were working on their UFO documentary.
The people who they spoke to at the Disney studios
“seemed to be involved and interested, but did
not have any particularly startling data.”
1983, the United States government made yet
another offer of dramatic UFO film for a UFO
documentary. This new offer was made to
documentary film producer Linda Moulton Howe and
HBO. They were approached and offered the same
Holloman landing film, along with a film of the
live alien that supposedly had lived in a Los
Alamos safe house from 1949-1952.
While preparing to make a UFO documentary for HBO, Howe was brought onto the Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. There, Richard Doty, a special agent stationed at Kirkland, made her a new film offer. Doty told Howe that "higher-ups" were willing to release special confirming UFO footage for her documentary. Howe described the film offer made to her,
UFO discs and extraterrestrial bodies in historic footage to be included in the HBO documentary supported with official government confirmation."
As with Kimball
and the Emenegger/Sandler team, the promised film
was never released to Howe. Despite Doty’s claim
that the government had authorized the release of
film showing crashed saucers and alien bodies for
use in the HBO documentary, it never materialized.
Doty and others at the base told Howe that this
was due to “political delays.”
When the alleged historical film footage
didn’t materialized, HBO canceled the
documentary, and Howe was forced to move on to
In 1985, yet
another offer of historic UFO footage was made
once again to Robert Emenegger. Colonel William
Coleman, now retired from the Air Force Public
Relations Office and living in Florida, indicated
the time was again right. The government might
again be willing to release key confirming footage
confirming the extraterrestrial presence on earth.
Suggestions were even made that Senator Barry
Goldwater, and former President Jimmy Carter “would
help” obtain the release of the promised film.
One of the conditions tied to the release, however, was that prominent UFO researchers Jacques Vallee and J. Allen Hynek had to get involved in the film project. The reason for this was that a key to getting the government to release the information hinged on the film being "professional enough and interesting enough to reopen the whole subject before the American people."
By the time Hynek had been contacted by Col. Coleman in 1985 to get involved in the newest UFO film disclosure, Hynek was already familiar with the Holloman and other UFO films that would be offered to Vallee and himself.
That is because Brian and Tina Choate, who were in large part responsible for bringing Hynek to Arizona, had already seen the UFO footage – including the 1971 Holloman Air Force Base alien landing footage.
They were shown UFO footage and photos at Norton Air Force Base’s Defense Audiovisual Agency (DAVA) in the early 1980s by a General Glenn E. Miller, who asked them if they would like to check out a copy of the Holloman footage. They were expected to then pass on the word of what they had seen to Dr. J. Allan Hynek. "Miller wanted to get the word out."
General Millar, a man with two doctorate degrees, worked at DAVA along with his boss Robert Scott - the DAVA Director. Surprisingly, both men were according to Jacques Vallee, "outright contactees." Because the Choates were "steeped heavily in contactee lore," it is believed Millar allowed them to see the Holloman film even though they were not prominent in the UFO community.
In 1985, Emenegger had seen enough to lead him to believe that dramatic UFO information and film footage was once again about to be released. That is because he too was dealing with Bob Scott and General Miller at Norton. He spoke of this new contact to get him to do another UFO documentary.
Vallee, on the
other hand, was “negative and skeptical” about
the offer of the UFO footage being promised by the
two men. He felt that if the government wanted to
release the information they could simply go to
someone like the national Academy of Sciences and
announce the discovery of the alien presence.
Both Vallee and Hynek felt the Air Force was again playing games and were trying to use them to deliberately mislead the public. Between themselves, they concluded that they could not support Emenegger’s plan to pursue a documentary, but "if there was any chance of uncovering genuine evidence" they would pursue it "behind the scenes." Hynek and Vallee did follow-up on some interviews at Norton Air Force Base, where two "contactee" Generals assured them they could produce the UFO footage. The two researchers, however, weren’t buying, and the UFO film offer was finally withdrawn.
In the late eighties, the government was again
busy making disclosure promises. This time the
offers included the offer of an interview with the
"keeper" of the live alien that had been
held at Los Alamos, or access to a 16mm film that
had been taken of the alien while he was still
living. The man who had been the
"keeper" had been a Captain in the early
fifties when he lived with the captured alien. He
was by one account now a Colonel, near death and
prepared to talk. Those presented with the
interview offer were documentary film producer
Linda Howe, and author Bill Moore. In 1989 Howe described the “live
alien” offer made to her:
I was to have talked to the Colonel, The, I now believe dead, Colonel who was then a Captain in 49’, and who retrieved the live alien from the crash at Roswell – the second Roswell crash, and took him to Los Alamos. This Colonel was to have stayed with the live extraterrestrial on a pretty-much 24-hour basis until the alien died on June 18, 1952 of unknown causes according to the briefing paper, and according to what the Flacon/Doty said on the two-hour live special. (UFO Cover-up…Live) . . . I was supposed to go and film with the Colonel.
Emenegger was not offered a film interview with the alien. Through Paul Chartle he was offered an actual chance to go to New Mexico and see the alien (EBE-3) that was now a guest of the government. Prominent author Whitley Strieber was made the offer of publicizing a 16mm film that had been taken of the alien, along with other bizarre tales. Whitley described his government encounter this way,
In most of the cases involving the live alien footage and the interview with the "keeper," there was one delay after another. Finally like the offer of UFO films made to other researchers in the seventies and early eighties, the offer was eventually withdrawn.
The final twist in this bizarre disclosure saga brings us back to the Disney animator Ward Kimball. A prominent British photographer by the name of Don Maloney reported in 1995, that in 1972 he had been in the United States and was having dinner with the head of the Disney Studios, and four of the nine original Disney animators. Ward Kimball was one of the four at the table.
While this dinner was going on, Maloney reported that he was introduced to another man, identified in one account as a "well-known Disney employee." The man offered to show Maloney some unusual film footage at his house. When Maloney saw it he described it as "old footage of UFOs," and "two beings that he was told were aliens."
UFO investigator Georgina Bruni interviewed Mike Maloney about his early 1970s encounter at Disney. She described what Maloney told her about the aliens he had been shown on the film:
Was the "well-know" employee Kimball, or was there a second "well-known" Disney employee who was also a UFO buff? Was the Kimball Disney story told by Kimball in 1979, just a cover for a film that the Disney people had actually gotten from the government? Maloney has not yet released the name of the man who showed him the film. If it was Kimball who showed the alien film in his house, then the government now knows where that missing UFO film went.
If it wasn’t Kimball who showed Maloney the conclusive E.T. footage, then Ward Kimball, like many UFO researchers before him, had spent many decades of his life gathering strong evidence of the E.T. presence, and died before he could hear the government confirmed his suspicions.
If that is the case – then welcome to the club Ward.
P.S. When the first draft of this article was made public, despite the story that he is very sick, e-mail was receiving from Phil Klass who asked this author if he had "verified" statements attributed to Coleman, Doty, and Emenegger.
A return e-mail was sent asking Klass to "verify" contacts and conversations he had with people like Coleman, Col. David Shea, and others. At that point I would describe what had been done to "verify" statements.
Nothing has been heard from Klass since.