John Was Trying to Contact Aliens Review

One man attempts to contact aliens from his bedroom. A new Netflix short film tells his story. Is it worth your time?

As a child, in rural Michigan, John Sheppard decided to try and contact aliens. This short documentary from Matthew Killip tells the story of a man who continued sending music out into space, building more and more advanced equipment to keep sending his message to anyone listening out there. He started broadcasting music into space from his bedroom, and as this crusade got bigger and bigger, he moved out of his bedroom and took over his grandparent’s living room. And then the rest of the house. And then built an extension to store the 60,000 watt generators.

Sheppard’s life and works may have been documented in various local news reports through the years, as well as on various national TV shows, but what Killip manages to do though is give us a glimpse of the man behind the technology, a lonely and different child who found solace in broadcasting. Sheppard is part local radio DJ and part tech genius, a seriously talented engineer who also has a love of jazz, reggae, and world music.

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens is only 16 minutes long and definitely worth a watch on Netflix. Hopefully we get to revisit John Shepard sometime in the future with a longer documentary, if only to delve deeper into the level of genius needed to keep building the equipment shown over the course of his life. But if we don’t he seems to be a man who found happiness, not out in outer space, but here on Earth.

And that’s all any of us are looking for.

If you want more info on John Shepard, his Project STRAT website is still here: https://www.projectstrat.com.

Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.

that's all folks

Like what you’ve read? Well I also talk nonsense on about film on the sport on The Sporty Ushers podcast, as well as film and TV on The Snooty Usher Podcast! You can find both THE SNOOTY USHERS and THE SPORTY USHERS on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and just about anywhere you can get podcasts!

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