'John Was Trying to Contact Aliens': Why did John Shepherd spend 30 years trying to make extraterrestrial link? 7 of 23 people found this review helpful. I don’t want to spoil it, because there’s an excellent reveal about two-thirds of the way into the film that made me gasp alone in my room. He decided the best way to do this was through broadcasting music into outer space: German electronica, Afrobeat, funk, disco. Definitely a maverick. Decent short film. John Was Trying to Contact Aliens is a 2020 documentary film directed by Matthew Killip and starring John Shepherd. You don’t have much company in this.” As opposed to your run-of-the-mill conspiracy theorist, John appears to be self-actualized: happy he had the chance to do something great, even if others might consider it a failure. John Was Trying to Contact Aliens is Netflix’s most gripping documentary that premieres on August 20. Steve Kornacki, our port in the electoral storm. I Don’t Mind Washing My Hands With This Soap 15 Times a Day. After giving up the search he makes a different connection here on Earth. Using a giant transmitter in the front garden, he began beaming music into space for several hours a day, from the likes of Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane alongside German experimentalists such as Can, Cluster and Harmonia. Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist. “I think if you have a troubled early life it does make for a more explorative journey,” he tells me matter-of-factly. “Things were rough in the early years,” he tells Killip, “My grandma felt sorry for me and took me with her.” At 12, Shepherd realised he was gay, which, he says in his inimitably understated way, proved “rather difficult” in rural Michigan in the early 1960s. “It was round about the time that a show called The Outer Limits was on television,” he recalls. John Shepherd spent 30 years trying to contact extraterrestrials by broadcasting music millions of miles into space. That would be a pretty good description.”, John Was Trying to Contact Aliens is on Netflix, Available for everyone, funded by readers. In 1972, from the living room of his grandparent’s house, he began chasing his dream by broadcasting a series of electronic tone pulses “towards the stars”. A teenager pours over the obsessive notes he documented during his childhood. (I think they are.). Looking for some great streaming picks? “While my body was in the local community,” he tells Killip, “my mind was in space and in other realms, travelling the cosmos.” Flickering home-movie footage from that time reveals a futuristic interior filled with screens, consoles and arrays of beeping lights: the Starship Enterprise transposed to small-town Michigan. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. “I remember being fascinated by the idea of somehow building my own scientific instruments to explore the mysterious phenomenon that is extraterrestrial life.”. [5] It was released on August 20, 2020 on Netflix. They live, he says, “a quiet life on a lakefront house between two small towns”. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Though he had little money, he trawled military surplus sales and a wholesale electrical warehouse in nearby Traverse City, collecting the materials he needed. “These are just the remnants,” he says, “the leftover pieces of thought.”, “I miss it,” he tells me, “I really do, but I saved it all. In the new Netflix short documentary John Was Trying to Contact Aliens, Shepherd … “Often, people passing by at night in their cars would see a bank of lights blinking in the living room and they’d pull over to stop and stare,” he says. Directed by Matthew Killip. Pushed to his breaking point, a master welder in a small town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains quietly fortifies a bulldozer with 30 tons of concrete and steel and seeks to destroy those he believes have wronged him. A guide to which states are still counting their ballots and when we can expect them to finish. Clips captured in November 2004 and January 2015 proved that something was out there—something, certainly enough to freak out unsuspecting Navy pilots who weren’t anticipating what appear to me to be strange aerial phenomena in their flight path. Whether you want something pretty and delicate or sporty and cool. So began an extraordinary 30-year journey he called Project STRAT (Special Telemetry Research and Tracking). [4], John Was Trying to Contact Aliens premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. [6], "Netflix to Premiere Three New Documentary Shorts This Summer", "John Was Trying to Contact Aliens | Netflix Official Site", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Was_Trying_to_Contact_Aliens&oldid=980585330, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 September 2020, at 09:27. The fascinating post-war culture of Kosovo serves as backdrop. As in, actual proof of alien aircraft. What drove him to beam messages and music, from Can to Coltrane, into space? In 1989, he was even granted his 15 minutes of nationwide fame with an appearance on The Joan Rivers Show. In Killip’s tenderly observed portrait, Shepherd emerges as a sensitive soul, aware of his otherness and yet at one with it. His pursuit was his passion, and he found someone who appreciated his ardor. Four-part docuseries on the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster, unpacking an indelible moment for a generation of Americans. It’s like a collection of beautiful objects. A daughter helps her father prepare for the end of his life. On YouTube, you can see him, squeezed between two other ufologists, an intense young man with long hair and a beard, explaining his mission to his somewhat sceptical host, who points out that, after 16 years, the ETs have still not returned his calls. The Best Baby-Shower Gifts, According to Experts. In 1972, inspired by his love for sci-fi and past UFO sighting, Shepherd began to put his interest into designing and building of large scale pieces of electronic equipment so he could find aliens Discover the special bond -- and uncommon competitive spirit -- shared by the world's Rubik's Cube-solving record breakers in this documentary. At the risk of oversimplification, he finds another way to fill his life: “Contact has been made,” John utters the final phrase of the short, signifying that he may have never been looking for aliens at all, but for connection. Shot, edited and directed by Matthew Killip, son of the revered British documentary photographer, Chris Killip, it distils Shepherd’s 30-year quest into just 16 magical minutes.