Prometheus: Just like "Fire in the Sky"

leading from
Prometheus: The Question of The Space Jockey As A Suit 

Head of an extra-terrestrials space suit that resembles a stereotypical 'Grey' from 
Fire In The Sky. Click here to see more shots

a) Fire In The Sky (1993)
In 1993 the movie Fire In the Sky was released, the script written by Tracy Tormé who tried to depict as near as possible the events surrounding the Travis Walton alien abduction UFO case and this movie brought up the same idea about what we perceive to be extra terrestrials, that they're suits with something inside them. The space suits in Fire In The Sky might well be considered a nod to the film Communion and also a development of the idea shown where something else was shown hiding within.

b) Changes to the script
One day while in preproduction for Fire in the Sky,  Tormé received a phone call in his office at Paramount Studios, it was a studio executive who just happened to have seen the second airing of Intruders on TV the night before which Tracy Tormé had also scripted, and was saying "Oh my god, the same kind of aliens that are in Fire In The Sky.Oh my god, they've been shown before, they've been on this movie Intruders and we're sunk, we can't do the movie "

The executive was unbelievably put-off and worried because he’d seen little gray men with big eyes standing over a table doing experiments on someone, therefore it’d ‘been done before,’ therefore he had no interest in doing the Walton movie and was going to kill the project if I didn’t come up with something else. This sort of thing had also been seen in such things as Communion, the Betty and Barney Hill abduction case, on Nikon commercials and beer commercials. The studios were going to need the alien sequence changed for their 20 million dollars or they would pull the plug on the production. They were serious and firm about the matter.

Tormé was shell-shocked and so found himself and the director having to convince Paramount a second time to make the movie.  He had no other option but to go back to square one and re-write the abduction sequence, but perhaps it was an interesting idea. Tormé got together with the director and Travis Walton and devised a sequence that would be seen in the movie at least attempting to maintain the essence of the encounter by mirroring the real occurrence, although it seems that Travis himself was not involved in the discussions about the alterations to the scenario, and when he came to see the alteration to the alien scene, it came as quite a shock to him

One idea was that when Travis said he had had trouble breathing when he came to in the strange spacecraft environment, and so in the film, he would have a mask over his face. Tormé would understand from very early on that the fictionality of the scene would upset the UFOlogist community.  Tracy Tormé came up with a visceral interpretation of Walton's abduction that in a clever way became an idea about a perception regarding these alien beings, that what we saw as typical greys were space suits and maybe there was something else inside them and here there were some strange almost humanoid aliens as if born out of the need to find the zipper entities on these little Greys and pull it down and see what's really underneath because there's a sense that there's something artificial about a lot of them

c) Flight suits in the ship
Empty Space Jockey like suits of the engineers curiously found standing either side of a tunnel leading towards the space jockey chamber in the Juggernaut. Oddly in the film, these Engineers are seen to be running around in these suits, they're labeled as flight suits, but they're not used for flying, and the space jockey suit that the pilot used to fly the ship is a part of the chair. Perhaps they're just used as environment suits in this case, protecting them from being infected.

d) Fire in the sky suits
Below, Images from the movie Fire In The Sky (1993), directed by Robert Lieberman which is based on the Travis Walton alien abduction case, here the character Travis Walton wakes up in a space craft and curiously encounters space suits of extra terrestrials floating around inside a zero gravity environment, presumably the inside of a space craft. It suggests that all the witness reports of what are known to be "Greys" may not be all that they seem, maybe they are suits and something else is inside them and what are revealed to be the actual alien creatures themselves shows something roughly humanoid but significantly different. And this scene brings me to make the connection between "Fire In The Sky" and "Prometheus"




The puppets used for the extra-terrestrials that would have worn the suits in Fire in the Sky

  1. Tracy Tormé: I've heard many abductees say if they could just find the zipper on these little grey guys and pull it down, they could see what's really underneath because there is a sense amongst a lot of them there is something very artificial about them... (Coast To Coast Am, April 9th, 2008)
  2. The original script was, I would say, close to one-hundred-percent accurate to Travis’ memory of the events,” Tormé told me:
    I literally used his memory of waking up on the table and then everything that happened to him up to the point that he’s put back on the highway. I followed his story to the tee. I felt an obligation to these guys to tell the story in the truest way that I could. And I thoroughly believed him by this point, too. I had come to the conclusion that the case was real, and that he was not a liar, that’s for sure. So I originally wrote exactly what he said.
    One day, Tormé received a phone call in his office at Paramount Studios: “It was a panicked Paramount executive who just happened to have seen Intruders on TV the night before. He was unbelievably put-off and worried because he’d seen little gray men with big eyes standing over a table doing experiments on someone, therefore it’d ‘been done before,’ therefore he had no interest in doing the Walton movie and was going to kill the project if I didn’t come up with something else. Tormé was shell-shocked. “They were serious,” he stressed, “they were firm on it. They were going to shut the project down and not make it. We were going to have to start back at square one.” Tormé had no other option but to re-write the abduction sequence: “I got together with the director and with Travis and we devised the fictional sequence that is seen in the movie.” Tormé did at least attempt to maintain the essence of the encounter:
    I insisted that if we’re going to fictionalize this, let’s at least mirror his real occurrence. So one example would be, when Travis said he’d had trouble breathing when he came to in the strange environment, we put a scene in where they put a mask over his face. That’s an example of the type of thing we tried to do. Yes, we were creating something wholly fictional, but we were going to try to maintain somewhat the feel and integrity of the terrifying experience that he had. So we tried our best to write a scary, disturbing sequence. But it was entirely fictional. I knew very early on that a lot of UFO people were going to be very upset about this.(
  3. Tracy Tormé: I had just done a miniseries called Intruders on CBS and they re-ran Intruders one night on TV, it was actually the second airing of it and a Paramount executive happened to see it and suddenly went sort of ballistic and said Oh my god, the same kind of aliens that are in Fire In The Sky, 'cause I was at that point in pre-production on Fire In The Sky, he said "Oh my god, they've been shown before, they've been on this movie Intruders and we're sunk, we can't do the movie. "So we actually had to convince Paramount for a second time to make the movie. They were ready to pull the plug on the movie. Believe it or not, thanks to Intruders of all of the ironies and they came to us and basically said, we're one inch away from shutting down the production unless you completely change the alien sequence in the movie. So director, and myself and Travis all got together and tried to come up with an alternate version of what really happened that didn't... didn't stray too far away from the truth but also was not really happened. My original script for Fire In The Sky, the alien sequence was identical to what Travis reported, I mean I literally followed it like a map.
    Travis Walton: I was not involved in the alternative discussions about how to change it but that came as a bit of a shock to me

    Tracy Tormé: No, so... so we..we all had to alternately come up with an alternate version of the movie, which was not my first choice, not what I would have done if I had my druthers, but it truthfully was the only way in keeping the film alive, we were very close to having the plug pulled on us, because when the Paramount executives had seen that sequence in Intruders, he saw little grey guys with big eyes and people lying on tables and stuff like that and it was like eye opening to him, and he had never known that that type of thing was pretty well known. So it was unfortunate I wasn't... if we could do it all over again and I had my way, I would have followed the real story a lot closer, because I think the real story is... is more interesting in many ways, but it was really our only way to resurrect the film.
    Dr J: Isn't it sad that the... an executive's decision like that could really alter the course of you showing what history... essentially history and more so I think that if that same executive had been well versed in this topic, he would have seen The Intruders, the clip that portion that got him scared, I've seen the crossover with Fire In The Sky and realised that that's just the way the people are seeing these things and trans... and describing them, it's not necessarily unique to that situation because as you both have seen since the release of the film, Travis, since you've experienced this, that this transcends everybody on every country... in every country and of every creed, race, social status, it doesn't make a difference. (Travis Walton & Fire in the Sky producer Tracy Torme on Dr J Radio LIVE - YouTube)
  4. Don Ecker: We have Dan on from Victorville, good evening Dan?

    Dan from Victorville: Well, how you doing Don Ecker

    Don Ecker: Just fine, we have Tracy Tormé here on the line, did you have a question for our guest

    Dan from Victorville: Well you know, I've got a couple of questions and a couple of comments. Er, first off, let me throw all the good kudos out that I can all the way around , Don, great show, great magazine, Tracy Tormé, intruders was an excellent portrayal of the abduction phenomena

    Tracy Tormé:  Thankyou

    Dan from Victorville: Now we get to the negative side of the force

    Tracy Tormé: Okay

    Dan from Victorville: I did have the erm, the pleasure of er seeing a screening of Fire In The Sky, I also read the articles in the MUFON journal this month including the letter in the erm MUFON forum from you

    Tracy Tormé: Right

    Dan from Victorville: And it seems you felt the need to explain some of the fictionalisation that took place in Fire In The Sky

    Tracy Tormé: That's right

    Dan from Victorville: I've got to tell you that i was a little disappointed when i saw the piece, er I did

    Don Ecker: What was your dissapointment, Dan?

    Dan from Victorville: Well, i didn't see a resemblance to the er Travis Walton case in any way other than in the fact that the man was gone for five days and that there was a red glow in the sky

    Tracy Tormé: Hmm, so the scenes with the truck and the scenes with the law enforcement at the town and all of that stuff came from "ho-kwan?/old cloth"

    Dan from Victorville: well, why did you find the need to fictionalise the gentleman that were with Mr Walton

    Tracy Tormé: Well, first I I'd appreciate it if you'd answer that question

    Dan from Victorville: What was that?

    Tracy Tormé: You were saying the scenes in the truck, the scenes about the incident, the scenes about the law enforcement investigation, the interpersonal relationship between Travis and the other people, er, the romance he was involved in and the way the town reacted to him, you're saying that none of that resembled anything that was the real story

    Dan from Victorville: Let me be kind in that sense. Yes, I would say that I have no argument with that because that isn't the part of the Travis Walton case that really interests me

    Tracy Tormé: Okay, let me answer that, that is the part that interests me, 

    Dan from Victorville: Aha

    Tracy Tormé: So that's, that to me is what the film is entirely about, to me the fact that the film has been marketed as a UFO film is being done, you know by Paramount, and I understand the reasons for that. The heart of this film is about all the things that I've just named which are very very close to the truth

    Don Ecker: What you're saying Tracy, that you you see this more as a story about interpersonal relationships`/

    Tracy Tormé: Absolutely, and I'll say something else that I quickly would like to comment on, I had the feeling that this might come up. We did do some screenings for the foreign press and people from CNN, MTV,  BBC, VH1, New York Times, Times Warner, all of these people. There were a number of UFOlogists or a small amount of people from MUFON LA, there was as well. What's happened since then to me is kind of fascinating, because, all the people from the Non-UFO world were coming up and congratulating us and saying they had never seen a film like this

    Dan from Victorville: Yes

    Tracy Tormé: They were saying that for the first time they would take the subject of UFOs seriously because they've never believed in it before but after seeing this film and the way the evidence is presented and speaking to Travis Walton, they now will look into it, they now will take it seriously, they will not laugh the next time a case like this comes out. So you had all these reactions uniformly on one side and then on the other side there were a small group of people who have already got on the rumour mill around the country, because I've been hearing this stuff around Canada and from Florida among other places were outraged that we didn't do a documentary

    Dan from Victorville: Well, I'm not, I'm not that outraged

    Tracy Tormé: I'm not putting you in that catagory, I apologise but I'm just saying, that's what I'm hearing from the people in the UFO is why is there any fiction

    Don Ecker: Okay Tracy , now, let me ask you a question here. Um,Tracy, one of the questions I do have, now I have not yet seen the film and hopefully if everything goes according to plan, I'll be seeing it Thursday. Ah, but one of the questions I do have because several people did call us at the office at UFO and asked us, why were the uh, the alleged entities that picked up Walton, the alien entities fictionalised. Now as we both know and I'm very familiar with with Travis' case, one of the really strange things about this case were that the, er, at least some of the people on board this alleged craft were in fact very humanoid, very human looking, ah, and I, I found that absolutely fascinating, and you know, it can't hurt that it's it was a true part of the case, at least told by Walton, but yet this was, this was changed

    Tracy Tormé: Here's the answer to that, it's really a pretty simple answer, all of that stuff was in all of my scripts and when we sold the script, the case happened exactly like Travis said it was, it was two kinds of humanoids, and running down the hallway, the star room, and everything that everyone was familiar with was in the film. Intruders ran while we were in pre-production, the people at Paramount said "wait a minute. This twenty million checque we're giving you, we now have done some investigating, we discovered now what Travis saw in 1975 may have been then and may be interesting to a hand full of UFOlogists now, but on a larger scale, we've been seeing this now in Communion, in Intruders, in Betty and Barney Hill, on Nikon commercials, on beer commercials, they said 'we don't want to do it again, we don't want to see a guy lying on a table waking up with little guys or big guys standing over him, etc, etc

    Dan from Victorville: I certainly understand their fears when it comes to the artistic approach of it

    Tracy Tormé: But let me say one thing further. We worked with Travis and with ILM to very carefully come up with a sequence that was a nightmare ,basically the idea of the scene was let's create a nightmare that's different than Travis' nightmare but that equates Travis' nightmare and let's take things from other abduction cases and do it. Now, I think you would admit that, that scene is very powerful, so powerful that some people can't watch it, I understand that, but Travis Walton said that it completely, completely equivocates what happened to him, in emotions, in impact, and in the feeling that he got watching the scene, he said he felt like he was living what happened to him even though the details were different.

    Dan from Victorville:  I'll tell you what my fears are and this is from the point of view of a, uh, serious researcher, rather than some of the lunatic fringe that we know, inhabits this field

    Tracy Tormé: Mmhmm

    Dan from Victorville:  When you're dealing with abduction cases, and you're dealing with hypnotherapy, you can get to a a factor that is called confabulation, and as nightmarish as that scene is, of course my only concerns are for people in the UFO field. I realise that your concerns are much broader than that, by mine are for the people in the UFO field. The degree of confabulation that may come up after Fire In The Sky is released will possibly be phenomenal, and these are the fringe elements that have been in abduction that a... a..., do I need to explain confabulation?

    Tracy Tormé: Not

    Dan from Victorville:  You I don't think so, but Don, to your audience, it's up to you. Ah, they may come up with stories that are vastly different than the similar stories we've been studying for years, the similarity itself is what makes it so interesting. Another factor, to be very honest with you is the portrayal of the UFO researchers. I have never seen researchers with less empathy than the ones you have portrayed

    Tracy Tormé: Then you didn't meet William Spalding when he was up there investigating the case

    Dan from Victorville:  A real jerk, uh?

    Tracy Tormé: And those UFO investigators you're mentioning are on the screen for what, about two minutes of time

    Dan from Victorville:  Oh, I understand

    Tracy Tormé: So here here's my point because, because this does kind of irk me and I'm not saying this to you directly because you sound very, like a very nice guy and a very credible guy but already in a day or two since the screening, people have gotten onto computer networks and on the phone and stuff and said things similar to what you said when you first came on line which was that there was nothing in this movie that resembled the truth except for the red glow or whatever and I quickly said to you now wait a minute, ninety percent of this movie is extremely close to the truth and that's the part that this movie is all about, then you basically agreed to that

    Dan from Victorville:  Absolutely

    Tracy Tormé: Okay, so then what this comes down to is if people are going to see this movie for an eight minute special effects sequence, and a two minute U... UFOlogical sequence which they feel will fit into their reality or what they think should be promoted on the screen, then I would say, don't go and see the movie, because that's not what this movie is about, and I can not make a movie that concerns myself with whether UFOlogists will be pleased with what they're seeing. I have to make a dramatic film and at the same time, I have to be truthful to Travis and the people that this really happened to and the after-test of this is, non... people are not interested in UFOs are now interested in UFOs, that's A , and B, Travis and the people involved are thrilled with the film and the film is very accurate

    Dan from Victorville:  I certainly understand your position. Like I said, my only fears of course is that those people that have never been interested in UFOlogy, that they they see, as quickly as it goes by, they see researchers as idiots

    Tracy Tormé: Mmhmm

    Dan from Victorville:  And we know that there's idiots everywhere, course there are

    Don Eckers: Guys guys, I've got to cut you both off, let me put you on hold, uh, I've got to take a quick break and when we come back you can continue, I have some other people holding Dan, and so we have to wind this up and for you folks that are out there trying to get through, I have a couple of open lines now,  if you're in the 818213 or 310 area codes you... and we are back to our guest. Go ahead guys, we have to wrap this up because we have some other calls

    Dan from Victorville:  Oh in that case, let me, let me say once again that, I do applaud you Mr Tormé for the work you did on Intruders, I think that the similarities that were shown on that piece and I do noticed that it's in videostore release now

    Tracy Tormé: That's true

    Dan from Victorville:  And that it is excellent

    Tracy Tormé: But Dan if you took away the UFO sequence, do you think we have a good movie

    Dan from Victorville: If its... on which? Fire In The Sky? I think the UFO sequence is is excellent if it were more akin to what we researched

    Tracy Tormé: I'm saying, if that sequence were out of the movie, do you think the rest of the movie works

    Dan from Victorville: It's a good movie. 

    Tracy Tormé:  Thankyou I thought you felt that way. I appreciate that

    Don Eckers: Okay Dan, thankyou for calling

    Dan from Victorville: Take care yourself, okay (

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