Bryant Dillon, Fanboy Comics President: Why don’t we start at the beginning - what experiences and training have lead to your expertise regarding extraterrestrials and paranormal phenomena?
Vince Rotonda: I have always been a conspiracy theorist and a big fan of unexplained phenomena. As kids, we are all told lies and half-truths in the classroom, and we believe them to be gospel until we grow up and find out that much of our history has been "altered." There is a great book called Lies My Teacher Told Me; I remember reading it and thinking, "Wow, if they lied to me about all of this, what else isn't true?"
That has led to a lifetime of research and an obsession with researching the "hidden history" of life on Earth. From In Search Of and Unsolved Mysteries to UFO Hunters and Ancient Aliens, I have pretty much seen them all!
BD: When it comes to the idea of Earth being visited by extraterrestrials, there are many skeptics out there. What makes you a believer?
VR: When I started my research for the show, I would have described myself as open minded but not a true believer; however, after studying hundreds of case files, I have to say that there are many instances in which the story of a UFO sighting or alien abduction makes more sense than the rational explanation put forward by the skeptics. When you look at some of these people, it is obvious that they aren't lying or trying to pull off some big hoax. Then, you look at the "official explanation," and you realize that they have more invested in covering up the truth. Now, I would say, "Where there's smoke, there is fire."
BD: You are currently working on two new shows airing this fall: Unsealed: The Alien Files and Unsealed: The Conspiracy Files. What lead to the creation of these shows, and how do they work together to bring light to the existence of extraterrestrials and the knowledge the US government may have of such visitations?
VR: The two shows are really companion pieces. They were born out of the public's desire to find out the truth – the truth someone doesn't want you to know. There has also been a tremendous amount of crossover between the shows. Many names pop up over and over again, and connections between events like Roswell and the JFK assassination are quite common. If you stop and think about it, the government's cover-up of the existence of extraterrestrials is the biggest conspiracy of them all.
BD: What can you tell us about “The Vault” and how the FBI was involved with its establishment?
VR: President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act in 1966, giving all Americans theoretical access to all government documents; however, the process of actually finding the document you wanted was difficult. They were slow responding to requests and many important documents were deemed classified for national security reasons. It was all part of the federal government's "culture of secrecy." But, when the internet came along, it created the perfect forum for people to share documents. Suddenly, the government didn't have a monopoly anymore. Eventually, in April, 2011, the FBI relented and launched http://vault.fbi.gov/, an online repository for many declassified documents. There is still plenty missing from the files – lots of redacted sections and tons of lines are crossed out – but in there somewhere, if you connect the dots, is the answer you're looking for.
BD: Can you tell us a little about the creative teams behind Unsealed: The Alien Files and Unsealed: The Conspiracy Files and their process in producing the shows?
VR: We have an all-star team of producers and researchers. People who are really passionate about what they do. Every day you come to work and folks are crowded around a laptop watching a crazy video and checking out some shocking new document. It's a lot of fun!
We started with an initial list of topics we were interested in. Some stayed up on the board; others fell off for various reasons. But, the further you get down the rabbit hole on some of these stories, the more it morphs into something very different. We try to give our producers and researchers the freedom to explore the stories in new directions and not just be married to what you may have seen before.
BD: What has been the most challenging aspect of working on the shows? Were there any major hurdles that you had to overcome?
VR: One of the biggest hurdles is figuring out what you can say and what you can't. We live in a litigious society, and when you take on giant corporations, well-connected billionaires, and popular celebrities, you have to be careful. We present fact as fact and conjecture as conjecture, but some people don't like the association. We definitely keep our lawyer busy.
BD: I realize you cannot give too much away, but are there any details regarding the big reveals or focuses that will appear on Unsealed: The Alien Files or Unsealed: The Conspiracy Files?
VR: I think one element of the show people are going to be shocked by will be the documents. I expected to find correspondences regarding JFK, Marilyn Monroe, and Area 51— and there are plenty of those. But, you'd be surprised what else we've found documents on – everything from Bigfoot and zombies to alien treaties and recovered space craft!
BD: What are your feelings regarding the recent Curiosity Rover landing on Mars? Do you believe that we may find proof of extraterrestrial life on the red planet?
VR: We've got a Mars episode coming up later in the season, so we've all been following Curiosity. It's an amazing achievement, but we aren't holding our breath waiting for it to beam down pictures of little green men. If this show has taught me anything, it's that those photos disappear, get photo shopped, or never make it to the light of day. If there is something on Mars, I doubt our government's going to show it to us. At least not yet.
BD: What would you say to someone who has never had an interest in these subjects in order to convince them to check out Unsealed: The Alien Files or Unsealed: The Conspiracy Files?
VR: I'd say that going through life with blinders on is kinda like being in the movie The Matrix. You are believing what they want you to believe. You can take the "blue pill" and buy in to the culture of consumerism and celebrity, or you can take the "red pill" and open your eyes to what's really going on. Go on online, search the vault, jump into a chat room, watch our show . . . The truth is out there, but you need to look for it. And, you need to recognize it when you see it.
BD: This is a Fanboy Comics interview, so we have to ask some ‘Fanboy’ questions: First, we happen to be big fans of shows and movies like The X-Files, Independence Day, and Contact. Are you a fan of any “alien-related” entertainment, and do you think that these types of entertainment help or hurt the cause of paranormal researchers like yourself?
VR: It has been said that before full disclosure can happen that mankind needs to be prepared culturally, spiritually, and militarily. I think that movies and TV shows about aliens, UFOs, and unexplained phenomenon play an important role in bringing society to the edge of accepting that we are not alone. In a recent poll, more British citizens claimed to believe in aliens and ghosts than in God. That's a huge step. As far as specific shows I like – I have seen Independence Day about 50 times now, and I still get chills every time Jeff Goldblum shows the President how to give the alien ship "a cold." Anything with aliens, space ships, or time travel is big in my house. And, my daughter is obsessed with Doctor Who.
BD: The Alien vs. The Predator -- Who comes out on top?
VR: The Alien. While the Predator has serious skills and a ton of great gadgets, the Alien wins on sheer ferocity alone.
BD: If you could meet one fictional alien in real life, who or what would it be and why? (Thanks for bearing with us while we geek out with you!)
VR: Hmmm, that's a tough one. I'd have to say the Tom Baker incarnation on Doctor Who or Roger from American Dad. I'm sure I will think of a better one in the car later, but those are my two for now.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell our readers who want to learn more about Unsealed: The Alien Files or Unsealed: The Conspiracy Files?
VR: Check out the website http://www.unsealedfiles.com. Get involved. Seek the truth. Don't just accept the "official explanation." Decide for yourself what is real. And, have fun!
To learn more about the Unsealed TV shows, please visit the series' official website and tune in on September 22nd.