The Phoenix Incident (REVIEW)

The Phoenix Incident

A science fiction / drama-documentary film about the 1997 case of four missing men that might be linked to UFO sightings on the same night in the same area.

On March 13th, 1997 four men disappeared near Phoenix, Arizona, the same night that strange, unidentified and unexplained lights were seen hovering around the area. The newly released 'The Phoenix Incident' tries to explain the connection.

Mitch Adams, Glenn Lauder, Ryan Stone, and Jacob Reynolds had been drinking and off-roading in the Estrella Mountains just outside Phoenix, Arizona on that night. They were young and carefree and doing what men their age do, hanging out and having a good time. But unbeknownst to them a phenomenon would take place that night - the largest UFO sightings ever in the Western Hemisphere. Known as The Phoenix Lights, lights of varying sizes were reported by thousands of people in Arizona on that same evening. Witnesses claimed to have seen huge V-shaped objects in the sky, moving at rapid speed, and at times appearing and disappearing. The U.S. Air Force claimed that the lights were flares dropped by one of their aircraft during training exercises. But what about the four missing men and the coincidence of them disappearing on the same night? This is the question that 'The Phoenix Incident' tries to answer.

Walton Samuel Gayson, a 38-year old man who was living in a compound in the Estrella mountains, confessed that he encountered the men in his compound on that night. Gayson (played by Michael Adamthwaite in reenactments in the film), who was a Vietnam veteran who served 3 tours of duty, claimed that the men were abducted by aliens. Bone fragments discovered the next day by a local hiker led police to Gayson, who was taken into police custody. However, soon after he was taken into federal custody. But did Gayson really kill the men? 'The Phoenix Incident' leads us to believe that the men were indeed killed by aliens, that Gayson was a strong alien believer, and that the U.S. Government were involved in a cover up after they had shot down a spaceship. Actual footage in the beginning of the film shows that since 1997 U.S. soldiers have begun fighting a covert war against forces of Unknown Origin, and that military sources believe these invasions, 57 incidents in total, is in retaliation for The Phoenix Incident. In 2011, a U.S. Air Force official came forward with a classified account of the March 13, 1997 attacks, basically saying that the four men were killed by aliens and that the U.S. Government is involved in a cover up. 'The Phoenix Incident uses whistleblower testimony, recovered military footage, and eyewitness accounts to explore the U.S. military's alleged engagement of aliens that night.

It's hard to believe what is actual fact and what is actual fiction in this film, because at the end of it we are told that 'many characters are composites or inventions,' and that 'a number of incidents depicted in the film are fictional.' What might be fictional in this film is that one of the four men happened to have carried around with him a video camera which records their whole evening. This ploy does work to great effect, but one has to take a step back and realize that the scenes using the video camera are purely re-enactments. Some actual footage in the movie does take it to a documentary level, and the actors who portray the missing men are all very good, but it's a film to take with a grain of salt. Unfortunately for the families of the missing men, there was not enough physical evidence for the remains found in the desert to be conclusive. So the four men are still classified as missing, and there are no answers as to what might've happened to them on that night.

Signature Entertainment presents The Phoenix Incident on Digital Download August 31st and on DVD 7th September, 2015

The film is also available to order on Amazon: