UFO documentaries, besides being informative and entertaining, also serve to preserve UFO history for future researchers. However, one documentary, “UFOs: It Has Begun.” has itself become a part of UFO history. One of its producers has claimed that the U.S. Department of Defense offered him and his partner the use of some film footage taken by the Air Force at Holloman Air Force Base. According to him, it showed a UFO landing and a meeting between its occupants and Air Force officials, and it was going to be the finale of the documentary until the DoD withdrew the offer at the last minute.
The movie was originally released in 1974 as “UFOs: Past Present and Future.” It was written primarily by Robert Emenegger, who also produced it along with Allan Sandler. It has Rod Serling as its main narrator, and there are appearances by Burgess Meredith, Jose Ferrer, Jaques Vallée. and J. Allen Hynek. In 1976 and 1979 it was re-released under its new title.
The story of the film’s beginning is as follows: Emenegger and Sandler had originally set out to produce a series of films about advanced military technology but were diverted by an intriguing piece of information offered by their military contact, Paul Shartle, with whom they were working at Norton Air Force Base. Shartle, Security Manager and Chief of Requirements for the Audio-Visual Program at the base, said he had seen a film of an alien craft landing at Holloman AFB three years previous. As discussions about possible projects continued, the idea that one of them be about UFOs came up and was encouraged by military officials who offered the producers the use of the footage. Emenegger and Sandler decided to go ahead with a UFO documentary, and the film was made.