Monday, 10 September 2012

Douglas Trumbull's response concerning UFOTOG

Dear All,

I've been away...

My apologies for not posting for some time. There's no excuse for this other than my having visited family and friends during the Summer and being involved in other personal pursuits.

Douglas Trumbull's response re: UFOTOG!

I can now report however, further to my earlier posts
Still no news on UFOTOG and An open email to Douglas Trumbull about UFOTOG that - after a gentle reminder - Mr Trumbull has very kindly sent a comprehensive response to me concerning his project.

For any doubters out there I have attached the full response as a JPEG (in addition to the full text) below.

As you can see I had subsequently asked Mr Trumbull if there was any part of his response he would prefer me to exclude - but have not heard back from him so far. So Mr Trumbull - if you are reading this - I hope you will forgive me if I publish your email to me in full, as I felt I could not wait longer to share its contents with readers of this blog. In any case, I judged that there was nothing sensitive in its content that warranted exclusion or (more importantly) that Mr Trumbull would object to my   

Note that the UFOTOG project is effectively shelved until such time as sufficient funding can be found for it. I'm sure this news will come as a disappointment to all. BUT - if anyone out there thinks they may be able to significantly financially support Mr Trumbull's project then I'm sure he'd like to hear from you!

Here is the screen capture of the email as a JPEG...

...and the full text of our latest exchange:-


[Sent to me by - 5 September 2012 20:16 U.S. local time]

"Hi Jonathan,

I apologize, but UFOTOG is not a priority project with me right now.

To answer some of your questions:

I have invested heavily in the UFOTOG project for many years, yet have not been able to find financing to actually hit the road and do the real research. Therefore no real research has been attempted, which could require very expensive equipment and sensors, as well as a dedicated crew to work in the field for months or years. I created the UFOTOG demo film for the purpose of raising significant money to make an intensive long term study, hopefully resulting in a feature length IMAX type documentary of the REAL THING.

Whatever that is, I do not know, but what I do know is that even if we got amazing and scientifically valid, peer reviewable, data and imagery, who do you reveal it to? The police? The military? A government agency? Don't think so. But I would want people like Stephen Hawking or Michio Kaku to comment on what we find.

Nevertheless, recent interest has been shown by some "reality television" producers, but they have a significant financial inability to pay for the expensive equipment needed. They only budget for the production, not the science. So I am not confident that anything will happen. Shows like UFO HUNTERS is what they want and expect, and that is of no interest to me.

There has been no data collected, thus no secret data or images to release.

I am very passionate about the project, and may feature elements of UFOTOG in some upcoming sci-fi film projects, and maybe that will spark some interest in moving the project forward with the funding required. Real science is expensive, but there may be money for fiction. Go figure.

I will not give up on this.

All the best,



[Sent by me to - 6 September 2012 01:00 London time]

"Dear Doug,

Thank you so much for your swift and comprehensive response to my last email. Thanks too for the clarification concerning UFOTOG which I appreciate will now be shelved for the time being.

If you are happy for me to do so I would like to publish your response in my blog. If there are any parts of this email exchange you would prefer me to remove I am more than happy to do that (so long as it's not the whole exchange!).

I can empathise and understand only too well the difficulties in securing funding for research - especially where it may be the subject of controversy. For example, in my last (UK) Government role I worked in higher education policy and am wholly familiar with the challenges now faced by established universities seeking research grants in the face of dwindling Govt support.

If there is any small part I can play to assist let me know. I am attending the annual BUFORA conference in a couple of weeks and - if you like - I can spread the word about UFOTOG there - although I strongly suspect that a) most of the delegates will already know about your project and b) you'll have much better contacts than I have!

It's remotely possible that one or more of my readers - all of whom will be sympathetic to your cause - may have useful contacts or information to further assist.

I agree that in the (what currently sounds unlikely) event that sufficient funding were to be found and peer-reviewable data was gathered, respected figures in the scientific community such as Stephen Hawking or Michio Kaku would be best placed to comment on it and lend credibility to any findings of note.

Even then getting such data peer-reviewed would be a significant challenge - especially in terms of engaging a group of eminent scientists or aviation experts - whom one would want not to be strongly biased either way on the subject of UFOs or UAP.

You mention UFO Hunters. I've watched one or two online trailers and was very quickly turned off. Sensationalist programmes like this can't even get the basics right and pander to the lowest common denominator. And I don't see any change in such programming coming any time soon.

It would be a great shame if all the effort on your part to date came to naught.

But you should know that there is an increasing number of people out there who - like me - are sick and tired of all the amateur and largely faked online footage and yearn for a true professional to show us what on earth (or off-earth perhaps?) is going on in our skies.

I know if I had several million pounds/dollars in my account I'd be investing in UFOTOG but alas...

In the meantime, I wish you all the best with your other projects and hope that a ridiculously wealthy and sympathetic benefactor comes knocking on your door soon.

All the best to you too,



  1. With the extra attention to this project coming from the History Channel's recent documentary "UFOs on the record" and a nicely produced video, I think that Mr. Trumbull's UFOTOG project would probably get a whole lot of funding on (at least tens of thousands, and maybe millions?)

    Perhaps you could suggest that to him?

    1. With the extra attention to this project coming from this recent History Channel's documentary "UFOs on the record" and a nicely produced video, I think that the UFOTOG project would probably get a whole lot of funding on (at least tens thousands and maybe millions?)

      Perhaps someone should suggest that to Mr. Trumbull?

    2. If only there more people like Doug. As a science journalist I have spoken off the record (as it were) to a number of scientists who are intrigued and captivated by the possibility of alien intervention into earths airspaces and even affairs, but will not say so at any price! Please look at 'The Third Explanation' on Amazon Kindle: and if you are a scientist make a point of it.
      There has to a billionare who cares. Get in touch with Doug Trumbull pronto.

    3. Dear hsilgne - I totally agree re: Doug and thanks for your very interesting comment. I'll look into picking up an e-copy of 'The Third Explanation'. If you haven't already seen it you may want to look at my more recent post about the latest developments re: UFOTOG -

  2. I totally agree - crowd funding is the way to go. There are many such sites:

  3. Mr trumbull states "UFOTOG is not a priority project with me right now"
    but how can this type of project not be a priority!
    Dr steven greer and steve bassett have already outlined how making contact with E.T beings could help solve all the serious global problems we have which are only getting worse. i think people like Mr trumbull have to decide what is more important in life and for the planet, making money or trying to find E.T.visitors who may help us change the world for the better.

  4. Finally some honest dialogue about the inability to secure proper financial backing regarding this most important subject matter, but hopefully sooner than later this hurdle will be overcome by some people with substantial means to do so!

  5. We should bring this to Kickstarter, and see what happens. I bet there are a lot of people out there who'd like to see this get off the ground.

    I'd be particularly interested in looking in both the visible and IR bands.

  6. Kickstarter or any other croudfunding platform would be indeed a good starting point.

  7. Just sent Mr. Trumbull this email.

    Mr. Trumbull,

    I recently saw your UFOTOG project and must congratulated you on what you've done and are trying to do. It's brilliant and well needed.
    As with UFOTOG and most projects, funding seems to be the biggest challenge but I might have a solution. Rather than chase a few large funding sources, have you heard of crowdfunding? I believe your project would be perfect for it. Costs nothing and the amount of money that can potentially be raised is unlimited. As you can see from the link below, this company needed $100k for their project and was able raised over $10 million dollars within 30 days.

    Please consider doing this rather than shelving the idea. It would be a huge loss to all of us.

    Bryan Mendes

  8. He needs another point, somebody who makes UFO coming.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Dear All,

    Glad to see this continues to attract such wide interest. I may be dropping Mr Trumbull another line in future to add support to the idea of him looking at crowd-funding for UFOTOG, as well as suggesting that major film directors (and friends of his like Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg supply some - necessarily clandestine - backing). It's entirely possible that Mr Trumbull has already explored these avenues with little or no success of course. Cheers, Jonathan

  11. It is curious that Mr. Turnbull seems to have dropped this project because of funding issues. I am not so sure that this is the real reason. Hollywood is full of money and people interested in this subject or subjects similar. It is a possibility that he was told to drop the project for other reasons by others outside the community.

  12. Some update about project in this 2014.12.08 interview, starting from 56:07 min.:

    Doug Trumbull, Special Effects Guru and UFO Hunter