Blog Archives

AWARD: ‘The Maury Island Incident’ takes home Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Short at Gig Harbor Film Festival!


Congrats to everyone who worked on “The Maury Island Incident”!

On Sunday, Oct. 19 we took home the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2014 Gig Harbor Film Festival.


Why an FBI Special Agent’s Aug. 19, 1947 Memo to J. Edgar Hoover is so important to ‘The Maury Island Incident’


Today (Aug. 19, 2014), is the 67th anniversary of FBI Special Agent Jack B. Wilcox’s 14-page memorandum to J. Edgar Hoover on the subject of “FLYING DISCS SIGHTED BY FRED CRISMAN and HAROLD A. DAHL, TACOMA, WASHINGTON,” as well as the release of film distributor IndieFlix’s “first original series: The Maury Island Incident”! The link between the 1947 Wilcox memo to Hoover, and the film’s release on this date, is wholly intentional. As filmmakers, we’re happy to share how inspired we were by the detail and thoroughness of this heavily-redacted memo; its candor, and upon multiple readings, its absolute accuracy in reporting the truth of what really happened off Maury Island in 1947. This overlooked, declassified document truly informed the spine of our film and series.

If you loved The X-Files; if you miss The Twilight Zone’s mix of strange tales and human frailties; if you are simply enthralled about periods of history where the entire country – or planet, even – falls under the spell of a powerful mythology and pop culture brew, then the story of what allegedly happened at Maury Island, and the indisputably twisted and true story of what happened after Maury Island, is for you.

Each week during the next month, we’ll release other once-classified documents obtained from the FBI that track their two week investigation that begins with the tragic August 1, 1947, crash of a B-25 bomber in the forests north of Kelso, Washington, and concludes with a series of clear statements that undermine the only thing you think you know about Harold Dahl’s June 21, 1947, “flying discs” sighting at Maury Island:

That the sighting itself was a “confessed hoax.”

Indeed, our investigation leads to some startling conclusions:

  1. The supposed “confessions” were the real hoax
  2. The FBI knew the confessions were invented, and 
  3. That Harold Dahl had made a choice to invent the hoax story even though he knew he’d become “the biggest liar that ever lived” because he feared ongoing public ridicule about his sighting, family pressure, and threats from – you guessed it – the FBI and modern UFO history’s first alleged “Man In Black.”

And if this is true, and you’ve always dismissed Maury Island as a confessed hoax, then everything you think you know about the Maury Island Incident is wrong!

Sixty-seven years ago today, Special Agent Wilcox wrote the memo that explained it all – download a PDF of it by clicking here.

We hope you come back during the next month to track the investigation with us. And please, enjoy the IndieFlix series by clicking here.

– Steve Edmiston

– Scott Schaefer

Our LA Premiere will be Saturday, Sept. 6 at the Burbank Film Festival!


Our LA County Premiere will be on Saturday night, Sept. 6, as part of the Burbank Film Festivals’ “Night of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror,” starting at 7 p.m. at the AMC Burbank Town Center 6 Theaters (770 N. 1st Street).

Tickets are $15 each, and include the Screening & After-Party (Appetizers & Hosted Bar Sponsored by Forty Degrees Vodka) at the IATSE 80 Soundstage (2520 W. Olive Ave. at Buena Vista St.).

To purchase tickets, click here:

For more info on the Burbank International Film Festival:

‘The Maury Island Incident’ to be IndieFlix’ ‘first original series’

The Maury Island Incident” – a short film that was shot locally in the Burien area last summer (and which plays tonight at a fundraiser at the Tin Theater) – has been turned into a 6-part original series and will premiere on Seattle-based IndieFlix, an independent film streaming service on Aug. 19, 2014.

Based on declassified FBI documents, the film tells the incredible, tragic, and forgotten story of Harold Dahl, who on June 21, 1947, alleged a UFO sighting over Puget Sound, Washington. This sparked ‘the summer of the saucers,’ the modern era of UFO obsession, the first appearance of a ‘Man in Black’ as well as a governmental battle over UFO sighting jurisdiction reaching directly to FBI Executive Director J. Edgar Hoover.

The Aug. 19 date coincides with an FBI document sent to Executive Director J. Edgar Hoover, explaining how Dahl’s original claim that the sighting was a hoax was only said to avoid any further damage to his family. This historic document will also be released on Aug. 19 by filmmakers as a downloadable PDF on the official website

“IndieFlix viewers will not only learn new information about a lost, historic UFO case, they’ll also find out just how interested J. Edgar Hoover was with these ‘flying disc’ occurrences,” Producer/Director Scott Schaefer said. “And we will also be releasing some fascinating declassified FBI documents that show his personal interest in UFOs, specifically The Maury Island Incident.”

Initially shot as a short in the south Puget Sound area, with local talent and crew, The Maury Island Incident has been a labor of love for Producer/Writer Edmiston and Producer/Director Schaefer, and Washington FilmWorks, which gave out an Innovation Lab Award to this production. The Lab is a groundbreaking new program offering funding assistance to Washington filmmakers and filmmakers using emerging technologies. In its comments, the jury said this of the film:

“Equal parts mystery and documentary, The Maury Island Incident exposes a fascinating hidden history: the first recorded UFO incidents in the US didn’t occur in Roswell, but in Washington. This captivating project brings a spooky Seattle area legend to light and sets the stage for ongoing storytelling on the subject.”

Thanks to the help and support of Washington Filmworks’ Innovation Lab, Edmiston and Schaefer got the opportunity to turn their content into a series.

“We simply did not foresee the heightened tension that could be created with re-shaping our content into a serialized structure, and the Innovation Lab pushed us to that discovery,” Edmiston said. “From that moment, we began seeking an ideal partnership for development and distribution of the serial content and of course, IndieFlix was at the top of our wish list.”

Founded by filmmakers in 2005, IndieFlix is a membership-based streaming service that has become one of the most meaningful global online platforms in the industry. IndieFlix gives film lovers access to thousands of high quality independent shorts, features, documentaries and series from around the world via Roku, Xbox and all Internet connected devices including smartphones and tablets. IndieFlix’s mission is to champion filmmakers, launch careers, rethink traditional approaches to distribution, and celebrate the artistry and impact of independent film. IndieFlix’s unique royalty payment system pays filmmakers for every minute watched.

Edmiston adds: “We are excited to collaborate with IndieFlix, a company with an incredible track record of innovation. Of course, we love the fact that IndieFlix puts filmmakers first in almost every way imaginable. But even more, we have been impressed by the level of creativity and enthusiasm shown by the IndieFlix team as part of planning The Maury Island Incident series launch.”

Launching The Maury Island Incident as their first Original Series adds IndieFlix to the mix of online channels offering original content.

“We are so thrilled to have The Maury Island Incident as our first Original Series.” says CEO and co-founder, Scilla Andreen. “The show is so reminiscent of The X-Files and will be such a great new offering for our customers.”

If you’ve not yet seen this film – TONIGHT, FRIDAY, AUG. 1 – is your next chance as it will be playing at the Tin Theater (923 SW 152nd Street) in Olde Burien, with tickets still available for the 11 p.m. showing – buy them online here.

Here’s the trailer:


Scilla Andreen CEO / Co-Founder Indieflix:
Scilla Andreen is an award-winning filmmaker, Emmy-nominated costume designer, disruptor and pioneer in the independent film space. Leading the charge to empower content creators, IndieFlix has become one of the most meaningful global online streaming platforms in the industry thanks to their latest innovation: the RPM model (Royalty Pool Minutes) which jettisons antiquated and complicated payment systems in favor of refreshing and transparent simplicity: for every minute watched, a filmmaker gets paid.

Steve Edmiston Producer / Writer The Maury Island Incident:
Steve Edmiston works as an independent feature film screenwriter and producer. He is also an attorney with 25 years of experience practicing business, litigation, intellectual property, and entertainment law. Edmiston is a frequent teacher, advisor, and speaker on film and film industry issues. His most recent feature premiered on Lifetime. His films have screened at a variety of film festivals including: Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Seattle International Film Festival, Big Island Film Festival, Ashland and Port Townsend. Edmiston wrote and directed the award-winning short The Day My Parents Became Cool, which was shot entirely in the south Puget Sound area.

Scott Schaefer Director / Producer The Maury Island Incident:
Scott Schaefer is a three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (Bill Nye The Science Guy, PBS/Disney) with over 27 years’ experience in media, including over 20 as a Director and Producer, six of which were spent in the trenches of Hollywood.

His directing credits includes for the TV shows Penn & Teller:Bullsh*t! (Showtime) where he was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directing in a Reality Show (2005), Sightings (a UFO show for Paramount Pictures), The Arsenio Hall Show (Paramount), Totally Hidden Video (Fox), The Late Show (Fox), Fox On-Air Promotions, Almost Live! (KING-TV, where he won 6 Local Emmy Awards) and many others in-between.

Schaefer currently runs a network of six local blogs for an area south of Seattle called South King Media, which includes the award-winning B-Town Blog.

John White Executive Producer The Maury Island Incident:
The Maury Island Incident is John’s first motion picture project, and followed his extraordinarily successful career as an entrepreneur. In 1990, John invented his own pile driving machine in his garage, then founded American Piledriving Equipment (APE), the largest pile driving equipment company in the world. John’s machines operated exclusively on vegetable oil to prevent damage to water and soil. His other ventures include Crazy Horse Motorcycles LLC, which manufactures the 45 degree V-Twin engine featured on the TV show American Choppers. His unique engine is the powerplant featured in Microsoft’s Gears of War Trike built by Paul Jr. and featured in the video game.

REVIEW: ‘The Maury Island Incident’ a ‘strange, weirdly resonant movie that blurs truth’

Blogging by Cinema Light has reviewed our film, and here’s an excerpt courtesy James S. Wilson:

Schaefer has a very sure hand when it comes to directing these scenes making them slicing-taught and doing precious little camera movement, drawing you in (he gets immense help from shooter Mike Boydstun, who does some black-magic tricks of back-lighting and in the saucer scenes makes the scenes jitter and pop in panic and confusion). He makes a simple slow pull-in to as innocuous a thing as a ringing telephone ominous.

It’s a strange, weirdly resonant movie that blurs truth, and, while it doesn’t make me believe in “flying saucers” (even that term is wrong, given Arnold’s original description of what he saw, but has stuck in the public conscious and unconcious), but it does make me believe in good film-making from whatever cosmic plane it comes from.

Read the full review here.

Benefit screening for Discover Burien will be Friday, Aug. 1

A benefit screening of the locally-produced UFO film “The Maury Island Incident” for Discover Burien will take place on Friday night, Aug. 1 at the Tin Theater, starting at 7 p.m.

“The Maury Island Incident” is a 30-minute film that tells the forgotten, tragic story – taken directly from declassified FBI documents – of Harold Dahl’s June 21, 1947 UFO sighting near Maury Island, and the first reported ‘Man In Black’ encounter that happened to him the very next day.

Each screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Filmmakers.

The film – which was shot in Burien (at the Tin Room!), Des Moines, Tukwila and off the shores of Maury Island during the summer of 2013 – had its world premiere at the Big Island Film Festival in May, and its North American premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival. It was awarded the competitive Washington FilmWorks Innovation Lab funding during production.

It has also been accepted to both the Port Townsend and Burbank Film Festivals, where it will screen in September.

Directed/Produced by Scott Schaefer from a script by Writer/Producer Steve Edmiston, it features Seattle-area actors Tony Doupé, Allen Fitzpatrick, John Patrick Lowrie, David S. Hogan and many others. It was Executive Produced by John White, and Produced by Scott and Laura Beth Peterson and Danny House.

Here’s a brief review from noted paranormal/UFO radio host Clyde Lewis:

“The tension in this film is so thick you can cut it with a knife. The Maury Island Incident captures a moment in time long forgotten by most UFO researchers. It also reopens those Cold War feelings that are nothing but a forgotten memory in the post 9/11 era. Bravo!”

Tickets are $10 each – and are available for online purchase by credit/debit card here – and proceeds will benefit local business non-profit organization Discover Burien.

Screenings will be held hourly, starting at 7 p.m. (then again at 8, 9, 10 & 11 p.m.), followed by a Q&A session with filmmakers.

Collectible t-shirts and posters for the film will also be on sale in the lobby.

The Tin Theater is located at 923 SW 152nd Street.

More info on the film available here:


Here’s the most recent trailer:

“The Maury Island Incident” trailer for Aug. 1 Discover Burien fundraiser from The Maury Island Incident on Vimeo.

‘The Maury Island Incident’ accepted into Port Townsend Film Festival!

OfficialSelect 2014

“The Maury Island Incident” has been accepted into the Port Townsend Film Festival, to be held Sept. 19-21!

We are very excited, and look forward to participating in this wonderful film fest.

Here’s more info from the fest website:

In 1999, four film buff friends – who met annually at the Telluride Film Festival –decided they could create a festival closer to home, right in the heart of the National Historic District on Port Townsend, Washington’s waterfront.

Rocky Friedman, Linda Yakush, Jim Ewing, and Jim Westall hatched their idea for a hometown film festival with one caveat: It should have something for everyone. Peter Simpson, writer, poet and film lover joined them, and in year five, became our first Executive Director. Together they attracted 200 volunteers to this great notion.

outdoorWith the motto “A film lover’s block party celebrating great films and filmmakers,” the first Port Townsend Film Festival launched on September 22, 2000. We closed off Taylor Street and brought in hay bale seating for an evening of free outdoor movies, opened three indoor movie venues, and screened 24 documentary, feature, and short films over three days and nights.

We now screen more than 80 films in seven venues! It’s completely walkable, includes a big outdoor dinner for passholders, Q&A and panel discussions with filmmakers, and great parties. We still invite everyone to fill Taylor Street, on three evenings, for the outdoor movie (free of charge) and offer free films day and night in the Peter Simpson Theatre.

Our Festival attracts film historians, critics, famous screenwriters, producers, directors and industry specialists. Each year we select a Special Guest, among them Elliott Gould, Tony Curtis, Dyan Cannon, Debra Winger, Karen Allen and Bruce Dern as he prepared for his role in the Academy Award-winning film, “Nebraska.”

Festival revenues allow us to hold special events and take filmmakers to the schools throughout the year, and to offer a fellowship providing local housing (and time) for filmmakers to complete their work.

Our more than 300 volunteers donate their time, money, materials (everything from hammers and nails to floral bouquets), housing and frequent flier miles to keep our guests, filmmakers and their films coming, keeping the dream going.

The Festival has weathered several economic storms during its 15 years, always finding a way for the community and its guests to watch movies together, to talk about movies together, to love movies together. We gave up our original one-room office, in the entryway of the historic Baker Block Building, and moved into a spacious suite on the top floor. You can see our wonderful PTFF neon sign from one end of Water Street to the other.

In this seaport arts community of festivals and celebrations, the people of Port Townsend love their Film Festival. Every year, the word of just how special it is travels just a little further. Every year the waves of creative, diverse moviemakers and moviegoers converge. And so the film lover’s block party goes on!

AUDIO: Filmmakers interviewed on ‘Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis’ radio show

While they were at the McMenamin’s UFO Festival on May 15, 2014, Director/Producer Scott Schaefer and Writer/Producer Steve Edmiston were guests on “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” recorded live at the Hotel Oregon in McMinnville – here’s the show in its entirety, including a preceding segment with Charlette Levevre and Philip Lipson about “The Maury Island Incident” (our secction starts around 1:20:00):

Writer & Director to speak at McMenamins UFO Festival May 16

Writer/Producer Steve Edmiston and Director/Producer Scott Schaefer will speak at the McMenamin’s UFO Festival at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 16 in McMinnville, Oregon.

They will give a full presentation on “The Maury Island Incident” story, then show Webisodes from the film.

For more information, visit

FESTIVAL NEWS: Our North American Premiere will be in Seattle; World Premiere in Hawaii


The Seattle International Film Festival (“SIFF”) will host the North American premiere for locally-produced film “The Maury Island Incident” on Sunday, May 25, and the film will screen as an opening night selection when it world premieres at the Big Island Film Festival (“BIFF”) in Kona, Hawaii, on Thursday, May 22.

“The Maury Island Incident” is a 30-minute short film that tells the forgotten, tragic story – taken directly from declassified FBI documents – of Harold Dahl’s June 21, 1947 UFO sighting near Maury Island, and the first reported ‘Man In Black’ encounter that happened to him the next day.

The film – which was shot in Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila and off the shores of Maury Island during the summer of 2013 – was awarded the competitive Washington FilmWorks Innovation Lab funding during production.

The Seattle International Film Festival is recognized as one of the top film festivals in North America, and is the largest, most highly attended film festival in the United States.

“We are absolutely delighted to be invited to premiere at SIFF,” said Director and Producer Scott Schaefer. “The film has garnered a lot of attention, and we’ve been humbled by the growing community of fans – a great mix of historians, sci-fi fans, civic organizations, UFO and conspiracy buffs, tourism advocates, and folks simply excited about the local connections to the story – that have been waiting to see the film. Where better to share the story and all the secrets, than right here where it all happened 67 years ago.”

Moviemaker Magazine has dubbed the Big Island Film Festival one of “20 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” and “25 Coolest Film Festivals”.

“We’re humbled to be selected for the Opening Night Gala at BIFF,” said Screenwriter and Producer Steve Edmiston. “We’ll screen outside under the stars, which seems incredibly appropriate for a story about an infamous UFO sighting.”

The film explores the origins of the iconic Men In Black with a conspiratorial mythology set during the “summer of the saucers” in 1947, leading directly to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Shot locally and featuring Seattle-area actors Tony Doupé, Allen Fitzpatrick, John Patrick Lowrie, and David S. Hogan, the film was also produced by John White (Executive Producer), Scott and Laura Beth Peterson, and Danny House.


Seattle International Film Festival:
Part of “Seattle Supersonic Shorts”
Sunday, May 25, 11 a.m. (PDT)
SIFF Uptown Theater
511 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

Big Island Film Festival Screening details:
Part of Grand Opening Night
Thursday, May 22, 7:30 p.m. (HAST)
The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage
68-1330 Mauna Lani Drive
Waimea, HI 96743


The Maury Island Incident Trailer #1 from The Maury Island Incident on Vimeo.