Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Fred Sharpe

Board member and research biologist, Alaska Whale Foundation

Close Encounters of the Third Kind— Close encounters of the SnotBot® kind

The haunting songs and social chatter of humpback whales suggest that an un-deciphered intelligence echoes through our oceans. Dr. Fred Sharp describes how he has worked with the Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute to bring the methods of interstellar inquiry to bear on the phonations of these ocean-dwelling societies. He also explains SnotBot® drone technologies that collect whale exhalations to learn more about their migratory patterns and the overall health and well-being of these amazing creatures. 

Film Synopsis

After an encounter with UFOs, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is an electrical lineman who, while sent out on emergency repairs, witnesses an unidentified flying object. Neary's wife (Teri Garr) and children are at first skeptical, then concerned, and eventually fearful, as Roy refuses to accept a "logical" explanation for what he saw and is prepared to give up his job, his home, and his family to pursue the "truth" about UFOs. Neary's obsession eventually puts him in contact with others who've had close encounters with alien spacecraft, including Jillian (Melinda Dillon), a single mother whose son disappeared during her UFO experience, and Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut), a French researcher who believes he can use a musical language to communicate with the alien visitors. Lacombe's theory is put to the test when a band of government researchers and underground UFO enthusiasts (including Neary) join for an exchange with alien visitors near Devil's Tower, Wyoming.

About the Speaker

Dr. Fred Sharpe is the principle investigator and a board member for the Alaska Whale Foundation (AWF) in Sitka and holds a PhD in Behavioral Ecology from Simon Fraser University. Fred’s work with bubble-netting humpbacks has been a centerpiece of AWF’s research program since the organization’s inception n 1996. Tenacious in his research, Fred has spent more time in the field observing social behaviors of humpbacks than most could fathom. Fred served as the primary scientific advisor for the IMAX film "Humpback Whales" and has also worked with the SETI Institute and National Geographic Society's Crittercam team. Fred is also the author of Birding in the San Juan Islands and Wild Plants of the San Juan Islands.