Ufological pundit and documentary filmmaker Paul Kimball invades binnallofamerica.com for a special esoteric radio event, "Kimball of Canada : Audio, Behind the Best Evidence", a discussion of Paul's "Best Evidence : Top Ten UFO Sightings", which will be premiere that night on Canada's Space : The Imagination Station. In this stand-alone audio program, Kimball and I sit down for an in-depth, two hour conversation covering the "Best Evidence" special, both what's on the screen and what went on behind the scenes.
Full Preview :: We kick things off by first having Paul reveal, for the first time ever on radio, the actual order of the "Top Ten UFO Sightings". We talk about how Paul feels after revealing the exact order of the cases, after months of keeping the Top Ten a secret. Paul gives us the inside scoop on the change of the title of the film from "Top Ten UFO Cases" to "Top Ten UFO Sightings".
We go back to the beginning, to find out how "Best Evidence" came about in the first place. We find out what made Paul want to do a "Top Ten" style of film and what is the goal of the documentary. Paul and I discuss one of the strong suits of the documentary : that it is made by someone with intimate knowledge of Ufology and isn't an outsider to the field.
Paul explains the intricate process by which the Top Ten were determined. He also reveals which case narrowly made it into the Top Ten and what the goal was, as far as including this specific case in the film. He tells us which UFO expert gets the final word in the film and what overarching message Paul was trying to convey by giving this expert "the final word". He also explains how this message can also be seen (or heard) via the narrations of Kris Lee McBride.
From there, we discuss what constitutes a "best case", what elements are needed to take a UFO case from "good" to "best". Paul goes in-depth on the #1 case and covers the various pieces of evidence that contributed to making it the Best Case of them all. He also bemoans the fact that the #1 case was the far and away winner of the "Best Case" title, yet is still fairly unknown outside of hardcore UFO researchers. We touch on one case that didn't rank as high in the Top Ten as binnall expected and Paul explains how that case may have suffered from similar cases "splitting the vote" and an over-emphasis of one key witness to the case.
We take a thorough look at two unique cases in the Top Ten, one where the sighting took place not on Earth, but in space and a case which occurred nearly 500 years ago. We'll also cover the #2 case, which stands out for its surprising international flavor, but also seems to fall through the cracks when discussing more "popular" UFO cases, which turns into a discussion on the insular nature of US Ufology. This segues into a look at the chronological trends associated with the Top Ten cases, why it appears like the "best cases" peaked between the 50's and 70's, and how that is actually kind of an illusion, but also has merit. Out of that discussion, Paul reveals which major UFO case from the 1990's didn't receive many votes at all and which fairly obscure case from almost the same year did make the Top Ten.
Paul explains how he tackled the challenge of covering all the cases within the confines of a 47 running time for the film. After that, we talk about Paul's trip to Rendelsham for filming segments for the special, including the strong impression the forest left on him and his "Linda Moulton Howe moment". Kimball strays wildly off topic and shares his ideal Rendelsham adventure.
Looking at the film from behind the scenes, we ask Paul how he tackled the issue of using stock footage, something he crapped on back in our interview from September. From there, we talk about the animations in the film and how Paul went about getting those made for the film. We find out how Paul dealt with the problem that plagues UFO documentaries here in the US, that being "giving skeptics equal time". This segues into a discussion of SETI and Seth Shostak, who have become the de facto debunkers of the modern era.
Next we look at some of the cases that didn't make the Top Ten, including one interesting trend that seems to go against what one would think would make a good UFO case. We discuss that trend and what might be the true causes behind it. This leads to a discussion on Roswell, where it placed in the big picture of the polling and why it isn't a Top Ten case.
We'll find out what surprised Kimball the most about the Top Ten cases, both that made the cut and those that didn't. He also shares with us some insights from the poll he held @ his blog and what the differences were between those picks (voted on by readers) and the picks of Ufologists. Is there an 11 to 20 "Best Cases" and how deep does the pool of good cases go. Kimball's response to a question results in an ultrarare double "wow" from binnall.
Heading towards the end, we find out what other lucky country will be seeing "Best Evidence" sometime soon, what other countries it may be coming to in the future, and what country is the hardest to get to pick up the special. Paul also gives us his best guess as to when the DVD of the film will be available. We speculate on whether or not Paul will experience a form of post-partum depression, now that the film is finished and delivered.
Wrapping it all up, Paul puts over the folks who helped him make the film and he tells us what's next for him, film-wise and, looking far down the road, a potential project that just may involve binnall.
Paul Kimball Bio
After winning multiple scholarships and awards - including the University Medal in History at both Acadia University and the University of Dundee, and the CLB Award at Dalhousie Law School - Paul graduated from Acadia in 1989 with an Honours Degree in History and Political Science, and in 1992 from Dalhousie with an LL.B.
After working for the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation and Salter Street Films, and as a consultant on film and television to the governments of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, Paul founded Redstar Films Limited in 1999. His work as a producer and director since includes documentaries for networks including CBC, Vision, Bravo, SCN and Space: The Imagination Station, as well as the television series The Classical Now. Paul is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society and the Society of Composers Authors and Publishers. He served as President of the Nova Scotia Film and Television Producers Association from 2002 to 2004, and is currently a member of the Film Advisory Committee for the Province of Nova Scotia.
His website is The Other Side of Truth