I Want To Believe

Behind the camera: X-Files production team
Where:
Photo Summary: UFO above some trees
Picture Taken:
Feeding off a popular cultural belief in the paranormal, extraterrestrial life and government cover-ups the TV show The X-Files exploded onto the television scene when it aired in 1993. Chris Carter the series creator said he was inspired to create the show after reading a survey suggesting that 3.7 million Americans believe they had been abducted. The shows main characters Skully and Mulder became superstars and the show developed one of the largest cult following in TV history (Only being beaten by the Star Trek franchise). The show’s slogans (“The Truth Is Out There,” “Trust No One,” “Deny Everything,” “I Want to Believe”) became pop culture catchphrases. The “I Want to Believe” slogan came from a poster that hung on Mulder’s wall making the poster a Famous Picture as it came to represent believers of extraterrestrial life.

The FIGU Community picture that some claim the original picture was based on.

Birth of the Poster

The X-Files production team has been silent on the origins of the “original” poster. However, a group calling themselves the FIGU Community have claimed that the picture is based on an actual UFO taken by their UFO researchers. As proof, they offer some photos supposedly from a series that some claim the original was taken from (Larger Pictures are found on the bottom right of the site). They offer the pictures in (BMP) form so that users can download make the picture their background image.

In the actual X-Files plot, the poster is destroyed by a fire in Mulder’s office in the last episode of Season 5.

Screenshot from season 1 showing the original poster.

In the middle of Season 6 in episode “Alpha”, Mulder meets a kindred spirit: Karin Berquist, a dog whisperer who has the same poster. She dies as a result of their investigation, but after his return back to Washington, Mulder receives a package, a poster tube, of her poster. In 2008 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History received a collection of objects including one of the set’s I want to believe posters for their exhibit.

X-Files

Created by Chris Carter the show first aired on FOX on September 10, 1993, and ended after a nine-year run on May 19, 2002.

To allow for easier merchandising the poster in Mulder’s basement office was changed to this UFO shot.

The X-Files was one of the network’s first major hits. In the series, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson play two FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who are tasked with investigating the so-called “X-Files.” These cases, marginalized by the FBI, often involve paranormal phenomena. Mulder plays the role of the “believer,” having faith in the existence of aliens and the paranormal, while Scully plays the skeptic, initially assigned by her departmental superiors to debunk Mulder’s unconventional work and contain its profound implications. As the show progressed both Mulder and Scully became embroiled in the same larger conflicts (termed “the mythology” or “mytharc” by the show’s creators) and developed a close and ambiguous friendship — which some fans, known as “shippers,” saw as more than platonic. The X-Files also featured many “monster of the week” episodes ranging in tone from horror to comedy, in which Mulder and Scully investigated unique, stand-alone cases that did not usually have long-term implications.

The show’s popularity peaked in the mid-to-late ’90s, even inspiring a hit movie in 1998. But in the last two seasons, Anderson became the star as Duchovny appeared rarely, and new central characters were introduced: FBI Agents John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish). At the time of its final episode, The X-Files was the longest running sci-fi show in American television history, a title since lost to Stargate SG-1.

Is the poster real?

The replacement poster shown in a screenshot taken from season 7

This version of the poster is the poster that was shown in the first season of the show hanging on the wall of Mulder’s basement FBI X-Files office. The poster was an original image created by the X-files production team and couldn’t be mass produced. To rectify this problem the X-Files merchandising team changed the poster by adding the “I want to believe” text to an existing UFO image. Other companies were quick to cash in on the confusion created their own versions so that now several “I want to believe” posters exist.

Click below pictures for more information


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Star Wars Kid

Behind the camera: Ghyslain Raza
Where: Le Seminaire St-Joseph de in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada
Photo Summary: Ghyslain Raza fighting like a Sith Warrior
Picture Taken: November 8, 2002

In November of 2002, Ghyslain Raza a student that went to le Seminaire St-Joseph de Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada decided to take advantage of his school’s recording studio. Imitating the Darth Maul character from Star Wars he jumped, danced and twirled around the studio using a tennis ball retriever in place of Darth Maul’s double-edged lightsaber. Chubby Ghyslain and his less than graceful moves were recorded and apparently forgotten for months. Then in April 2003, students at Ghyslain’s school (Michaël Caron, Jérôme Laflamme and Jean-Michel Rheault) found the recording and quickly began sharing it with their friends with the file name, ‘Jackass_starwars_funny.wmv’. It ended up on the p2p program Kazaa and weblogs started to host the video. Not long after, millions around the world were downloading and watching the video online. In Nov 2006 the Viral marketing company, The Viral Factory, collated page impression figures from websites such as YouTube and Google Videos. They determined that this video as of Nov 2006 had been viewed 900 million times the highest total at that time.

Students put the video online



httpv://youtu.be/Y8ZygrcBFdg

In the Court transcripts from a lawsuit the Raza family filed, it revealed Jérôme Laflamme had discovered the tape when we took the equipment to film a varsity football game. Laflamme showed the tape to Jean-Michel Rheault who then copied it. “All I did was take the cassette, digitize it on the studio computer to pull a joke on Ghyslain. After that, I had nothing to do with it,” Rheault would later say. The third defendant who claims not to know the other two somehow came across a copy of the video and created a website to post the video online. All three in the run-up to the lawsuit denied that they were responsible with Rheault claiming, “It’s no fun what happened here, but that’s the problem with the Internet. Things travel fast.”

httpv://youtu.be/mNbLCA4WHCk

The video first appeared on the Internet on the evening of April 14, 2003, but quickly spread the globe. The video was so popular and so widely circulated that sites hosting the video where recording millions of downloads. One website solely dedicated to the Star Wars Kid video recorded 76 million hits by October 2004. The video itself might have died away but soon people were adding effects and editing the video to make new versions. Some special effects people like Bryan Dube, an employee from Raven Software added Star War’s effects, music and opening sequences. Several versions were made with various themes but the most well-liked involved Star War effects, although a matrix version was heavily downloaded. The Star Wars Kid fame soon split over into merchandising and T-shirts, mugs and other paraphernalia that are still are available online.
While the video travelled through the Internet with people laughing at Raza, many others identified with him as they remembered their own awkward high school years. As the clip’s popularity increased, web bloggers, waxy.org and jish.nu, were able to track down Ghyslain. Jish Mukerji from jish.nu was able to get this short interview in 2003 (translated from French):

Interview

[bigquote quote=”What I saw was mean. It was violent. People were telling me to commit suicide” author=”Ghyslain Raza in a 2013 Macleans interview”]

Jish: Ghyslain?
Yes.
My name’s Jish and I am calling you from San Francisco, California and I’d like to interview you. Do you speak English too?
Only a little bit.
Well, I’ll try to speak in French, but I’ll apologize in advance since my French isn’t perfect.
Oh, that’s ok.
The interview is concerning your martial arts video.
Mm hmm.
Did you know that over 500,000 people have viewed your video?
Yes, I know.
When you made the video, did you think this many people would be viewing it?
No, I really never anticipated that.
How did the video end up on the web?
Actually, it was a mistake. The cassette was left in the studio and someone put it on the Internet.
Then, I guess it wasn’t a friend who did this, more of an enemy?
More or less. It was someone I knew.
I only have a few more questions… There was something yellow on the floor in your video, what was that?
It was probably something left behind in the studio from a previous session. I really don’t remember what it was.
Some people have taken your video and have added some Star Wars special effects, have you seen these?
Yes, I have seen some.
What’s your opinion of these videos?
From what I saw, they look very well-made. It’s surprising to see what people have done with a video that wasn’t meant to be seen. It’s interesting.
Do you have a website?
Personally, no.
What are your favorite sites?
I’m really into computers/computing, so my favourite sites are the ones from the different companies involved… Nothing that I visit regularly.
Do you also read weblogs?
No.
We know that you have a laptop, cell phone, Palm and other gadgets like that. Do you have any other favorite gadgets that you would like to buy, perhaps something like an iPod?
For the moment, I don’t have plans to buy any gadgets, but sometime soon I’d like to get an iPod.
Do you use a Mac or a PC?
At home, I use a PC, but I really like the world of Macintosh. It’s what I use at school.
If you bought an iPod, would you get the PC or Mac version?
Probably, I’d get the PC version.
Well, thank you very much and good night.
Good night.

They also started an online campaign to raise money to get him an iPod. Thousands donated money and eventually, a 30GB iPod was in the mail to the Raza household along with $3600 in gift certificates for the Canadian electronic superstore, Future Shop. While Ghyslain said it was nice that something did come out of his experience he would have preferred that millions had not seen the video, which he had meant to be private. “People were laughing at me, … it was not funny at all.”
[midgoogle]

Psyc Hospital stay

In fact, Ghyslain was tormented at school and became so despondent over the whole episode that he dropped out and got a private tutor even spending some time at the Pavillon Arc-en-ciel child psychiatry ward at the Trois-Rivières Regional Hospital Centre. He would later recall how other students would jump onto tables and make fun of him. “There was about 100 people in those halls. It was total chaos . . . Any opportunity was good enough to shout ‘Star Wars!’ ”

Lawsuit

We are deeply saddened by the current situation …
-Lucasfilm

The Raza family filed a lawsuit against four students who had encoded and spread the video (Charges were dropped against François Labarre because of lack of evidence). The lawsuit was finally scheduled to go to courts in April 2006 with the Raza family seeking $351,000 in damages. In 2006, days before the case was due to go in front of the judge, an out of court settlement was reached for an undisclosed amount, although some online sites quote the $US250,000 figure.

Star Wars Part

The negative effects of the video’s popularity is cited as one of the reasons George Lucas, the Star Wars creator resisted a huge online petition to give Raza a bit part in the third and final installment of Star Wars. An online petition to do just that collected almost 150,000 signatures, which attracted the attention of mainstream media. In a BBC interview, Lucasfilm was quoted as saying “Obviously there has been a tremendous show of support for Ghyslain with tens of thousands of fans rallying around him … However, we are deeply saddened by the current situation and any difficulties this unwanted publicity might be causing him and his family.” Needless to say, he didn’t get the part.

Latter life

Ghyslain later went to McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and in 2010 became the president of the Patrimoine Trois-Rivières, a society devoted to the conservation of the cultural heritage of his hometown of Trois-Rivières. In 2013 he released an interview with a Canadian magazine talking about his ordeal. Inspired to break his silence after a spate of online bullying Ghyslain says, “You’ll survive. You’ll get through it,” he said. “And you’re not alone. You are surrounded by people who love you.”

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Face to Face the Oka Crisis

Behind the camera: Shaney Komulainen
Where: First Nation blockade near the Club de golf d’Oka
Photo Summary: Patrick Cloutier face to face with Brad ‘Freddy Krueger’ Larocque
Picture Taken: September 1, 1990

After the Mohawk First Nations had fought off the local Quebec police force (which created another iconic image) the Oka Crisis developed into a standoff. The Canadian government sent in the Royal 22e Régiment or Van Doos to create a barb wire perimeter around the Mohawks in order to contain the situation. Entrances at this blockade were often tense as shown when a young Shaney Komulainen captured this iconic moment between baby faced Van Doo member Patrick Cloutier face to face with Brad “Freddy Krueger” Larocque.

Oka Crisis

Over three hundred years ago the New France government granted land to the Catholic Sulpician seminary in 1717. Part of the land, a Mohawk burial ground was reserved for the local Mohawk First Nation. The seminary held the land in trust for the Mohawks but would over the years take full ownership. A military confrontation in 1869 between Mohawks and missionaries over the land had to be put down by local militia. The land remained in dispute even when it was sold by the seminary to private concerns. In 1961, the city had obtained ownership of the land and built a private nine-hole golf course, the Club de golf d’Oka, on a portion of the land. When they wanted to expand the golf course the Mohawks erected barricades to stop construction. A court order ruled on the side of the city and ordered the blockade to be removed. The Mohawk’s refused and on July 11, 1990, a police fast action response team tried to drive off Mohawk activists using tear gas canisters and flash-bang grenades. In the confusion, someone opened fire and a 15-minute bullet exchange ensued forcing the police to fall back, abandoning six police cruisers and a bulldozer. During the firefight, 31-year-old SQ Corporal Marcel Lemay was shot in the face and died a short while later.

Taking the picture

Shaney Komulainen didn’t get into the Mohawk enclosure before it was closed off by the military. Arriving late she had to sneak into the encampment through military lines recounting:

I snuck through backyards and past police cars with my camera tucked under my jacket, looking like one of the locals. [Her eyes were drawn to the baby face of private Cloutier ] He just looked so young under that strong helmet and gear, … In the end, it summed up the whole crisis, because there was still this tense standoff, even ‘till the end.

The siege ended on September 26 and as the people in the Mohawk enclosure left their camp Komulainen was arrested, handcuffed, strip-searched and held by the Quebec police for five hours. The next January Komulainen was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left her with a broken arm and two broken legs. While she was recovering in the hospital she learned that the police were laying charges against her including, “possession of a weapon or an imitation of a weapon, threatening and interfering with the work of a peace agent, and participating in a riot,” later in the year she was found “Not Guilty”. To make matters worse her car accident prevented her from working and she returned to school studying journalism and social work. Years later she had recovered enough to return to photography.

The men

After the image was taken private Patrick Cloutier became famous across Canada and around the world. He rose through the ranks to become Master Corporal but in 1993 was demoted after admitting to cocaine use. After a drinking and driving incident, he was kicked out of the military and as a civilian seeking to cash in on his fame he started in the 1995 pornographic, Oka spoof, Quebec Sexy Girls. For a while, he lived in Florida before moving back to Quebec and lives in the village of Saint-Maxime-du-Mont-Louis.

The masked man is often confronting Cloutier is often misquoted as being legendary and camera-friendly Mohawk warrior Ronald Cross aka Lasagna but was Brad “Freddy Krueger” Larocque a student of Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. From the Ojibway First Nation, he had joined the Mohawks in solidarity. After the siege ended he moved back to Saskatchewan.

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Mohawk Warrior

Behind the camera: Tom Hanson
Where: First Nation blockade near the Club de golf d’Oka
Photo Summary: Richard Nicholas standing on top of an overturned Sûreté du Québec police vehicle that had been turned into a barricade
Picture Taken: July 11, 1990

In 1990 the Oka golf course wanted to expand their course onto land that the local Mohawk community of Kanesatake viewed as their historical, sacred burial ground. The Mohawks in an effort to stop development set up roadblocks. The major ordered the blockades down and in the ensuing violent confrontation one police officer, 31-year-old SQ Corporal Marcel Lemay, was killed and the blockades still left standing. One of the First Nation activists, Richard Nicholas, climbed on top the newest addition to the Mohawk blockades, overturned police vehicles seized after the government forces had retreated. Below the blockade were two photographers, John Kenney of the Montreal Gazette and Tom Hanson. Hanson snapped this shot while Kenney shot a similar cropped version.

Oka Crisis

Over three hundred years ago the New France government granted land to Catholic Sulpician seminary in 1717. Part of the land, a Mohawk burial ground was reserved for the local Mohawk First Nation. The seminary held the land in trust for the Mohawks but would over the years take full ownership. A military confrontation in 1869 between Mohawks and missionaries over the land had to be put down by local militia. The land remained in dispute even when it was sold by the seminary to private concerns. In 1961, the city had obtained ownership of the land and built a private nine-hole golf course, the Club de golf d’Oka, on a portion of the land. When they wanted to expand the golf course the Mohawks erected barricades to stop construction. A court order ruled on the side of the city and ordered the blockade to be removed. The Mohawk’s refused and on July 11, 1990, a police fast action response team tried to drive off Mohawk activists using tear gas canisters and flash-bang grenades. In the confusion, someone opened fire and a 15-minute bullet exchange ensued forcing the police to fall back, abandoning six police cruisers and a bulldozer. During the firefight, 31-year-old SQ Corporal Marcel Lemay was shot in the face and died a short while later.

Taking the picture

John Kinney one of two photographers close to the blockade, the other being Hanson, remembers what happened on that day:

We were the only two people there, It was the morning of the first day of the crisis. The Mohawks had set up their blockade with the SQ vehicles they’d taken over, and this guy hopped up there on top and looked down the hill and made his defiant gesture.
It was a quick thing. Neither of us spoke to him. Through the whole summer, I always wondered who he was, but I could never identify him … He wasn’t even focused on us; most of the media were way down at the bottom of the hill and that’s where he was looking, not at us at all.

Stand off


Mohawk by John Kenney

Similar angle by John Kenney


With the police overmatched the military was called in and for the next few months, the two forces were locked in a standoff. The media attention among the Mohawks created some First Nation celebrities including a Mohawk warrior known as, Lasagna. The Oka Crisis lasted seventy-eight days before the warriors threw their guns in the fire, ceremonially burned tobacco and then walked out of the pines and tried to break out of the blockade. The federal government spent $5.3 million to purchase the section of the pines where the golf course expansion was to take place, to prevent any further development. Some of the lands were handed over to the Mohawks but the Kanesatake tribal government is still negotiating with the federal government for a larger Treaty to be signed to resolve all outstanding issues. Kanesatake First Nation leaders claim that the federal government walked away from the treaty table in 2006.
[midgoogle]

Joined again in death

In a strange twist of fate, the photographer and the Mohawk Warrior were brought together one more time in death. While playing hockey Tom Hanson collapsed and died of a heart attack on March 10, 2009. Later in the day Richard Nicholas, the man Hanson photographed, died in a three-vehicle accident near Oka on the same Highway 344 where his picture was taken. They were both 41-years-old.

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Wait for me, Daddy

Behind the camera: Claude P. Dettloff
Where: Eighth Street and Columbia Avenue intersection, New Westminster, Canada
Photo Summary: The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles) marching down the street when Warren “Whitey” Bernard runs out to his father, Pte. Jack Bernard.
Picture Taken: October 1, 1940

Canada had been at war for over a year and still, the men of The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles) waited to be called up for service. Finally, in 1940 the order came down and the men marched through New West Minister to a waiting train to take them overseas. As the men marched, one little boy, seeing his father ran out onto the street and was quickly chased by his mother. Photographer Claude P. Dettloff was all ready to take a picture of the hundreds of BC boys going off to war when Warren “Whitey” Bernard ran into his picture. With a click Dettloff took one of the defining Canadian pictures of World War II.

Background


The Oct. 2, 1940, front page of The Province featured Claude P. Dettloff's famous Wait for Me, Daddy photo.

The Oct. 2, 1940, front page of The Province featured Claude P. Dettloff’s famous Wait for Me, Daddy photo.


The Bernard family was at that time living in Vancouver near Queen Elizabeth Park. Five-year-old Warren “Whitey” Bernard was in Grade 1 at nearby General Wolfe Elementary (His mother had lied about his age to get him in). Whitey’s Dad was enlisted in the British Columbia Regiment and was stationed in the city on various sentry points throughout the city. Since the declaration of war in 1939, the men of the BC regiment had been doing various guard duty assignments which were boring and monotonous. One of the most exciting events occurred when a bored sentry at the Jerrico Air Base fired his weapon into the ground and then informed his superiors that he was shot at. Worried about German saboteurs guard duty was doubled, especially after an expert from Ottawa was sent in to investigate; after careful study he declared it to be 9mm German slug. The base would have remained on high alert if a suspicious Lt Neil Pattullo hadn’t coaxed out the “true” story out of the sentry.
Finally after months of waiting the regiment received word that it was to be moving to a secret destination “Overseas.” As the troops marched to a waiting train to take them to their next destination photographer Claude P. Dettloff snapped the photo standing at the Columbia St crossing as the men marched down Eighth Street in New Westminster, Canada.

Whitey Fame



Whitey doesn’t remember running on to the street or getting his picture taken but he does remember the next day when after the picture was published in the Province Newspaper he became the most famous kid in Vancouver. As other newspapers picked up the photo he soon became the most famous child in Canada. The small Whitey was even enlisted to sell war bonds. In an interview years later he remembered that the war bond drives were quite fun.

Colourized version of the photo by Doug of @colour_history

They were six weeks long, and so I had to be excused from school. They had entertainers and put on shows. I remember meeting Edgar Bergen and ‘talking’ to his dummies, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, and there were local entertainers, too: Barney Potts, Thora Anders, Pat Morgan, and I’d come out at the end in front of a big blowup of the picture with a fellow dressed up as my dad. I’d stand there in my dressy blue blazer and short grey pants, they put me in short pants, and give a little speech, and I’d end by asking everyone to buy war bonds to help Bring My Daddy Home. That got everyone all misty-eyed and they’d rush up to buy bonds.

His future wife, Ruby, fondly recalls that she had actually known her husband for years. Whitey’s photo “was hung in every school in B.C. during the war,” she said. “I saw him years and years before we actually met.”
[midgoogle]

Overseas


The reunion after the war

The reunion after the war


As for his Dad, Pte. Jack Bernard, the secret “overseas” location turned out to be the Camp Nanaimo base only a few hours away on Vancouver Island. The regiment spent time on the coast defending against German and then Japanese attack. It wasn’t until August 1942 that the bulk of the Regiment sailed for England. They didn’t see action until July 23, 1944, when they landed at the established D-Day beachhead and participated in Operation Totalize, one of the first attempts to close the Falaise Gap. After the Allies had crushed the German Army groups based in France they with the rest of Allies harassed the retreating Germans all the way to Holland. There the regiment took part in a number of operations in Holland and in Northern Germany. The last battle they took part in was on April 17, 1945, when they crossed the Kusten Canal. A month later Victory in Europe Day (VE-Day) was declared on May 5, 1945. Throughout the war the Regiment had 122 Officers and men killed and 213 wounded.

After the War


Whitey Bernard pointing himself out

Whitey Bernard pointing himself out


Whitey’s dad survived the European theatre and came home in October 1945. One causality of the war was Whitey’s parents’ marriage; as Jack and Bernice Bernard eventually divorced. Whitey grew up and moved to Tofino and met and married his wife Ruby in 1964. He ran a small marina that sold hardware and gas before getting involved in local politics. He was elected an alderman then was major for several years before becoming a Councillor. He’s now retired but his son, Steven Bernard, still runs the family marina.

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