The Concept The Pitch
The Australian Outback is barren, inhospitable and largely deserted. What better place for an alien landing?

Fellow writer and former denizen of Coober Pedy Eddie Crismani provided creative input for some of the core materials (no pun intended) such as the possible locations and commercial driving force (iron ore) that would place people in such isolation.

A New Scientist article by Douglas Fox describing a paper on the possible origins of the "min-min" and the "Fata Morgana" (John Pettigrew, Clinical and Experimental Optometry, Vol 86, p109 (2003)) added further fuel to the backstory.

The AirScooter, an intriguing invention (one of many) of Woody Norris, is real and can be seen taking to the air online (you can even buy a working model if you have the necessary folding stuff), as is the UAV based on the same technology.

The rest is down to pure imagination...

In the desolate Outback of South-Western Australia where the sun beats down mercilessly onto a barren, other-worldly landscape, a small iron ore mining community struggles to survive. An American geologist and his family, hired by the parent company to try and locate new sources of ore to attempt to keep operations going, do their best to integrate into the community but find that isolation, as so often happens, breeds suspicion and distrust of strangers.

One of the few young people in the township extends the hand of friendship to the family, however, and she discovers a soul mate in the form of the geologist's son. She also discovers his passion for alien abduction and conspiracy theories, and in the process of attempting to debunk his wild and impossible beliefs slowly comes to the realization that he might in fact be right after all.

The turning point arises when the two see a min-min, a night time light phenomenon sometimes observed in the Australian outback, and attempt to locate it using the geologist's AirScooter. Running out of fuel and making an emergency landing miles from anywhere, the two youngsters set off a search and rescue episode that leads to their eventual recovery, at the same time that an apparent Fata Morgana is observed by the entire rescue crew.

Except that this particular mirage doesn't show a range of hills from beyond the horizon. It shows a huge craft settled in an ancient caldera inside a nearby mountain range. And that's where the adventure really begins...

Possible candidates:

Russell Crowe as the geologist (who flies an AirScooter ( to help him in his field work, and uses a similar UAV to extend his reach - carrying a p-wave radar system to scan up to thirty inches below the surface of the earth, looking for evidence of ancient geological structures).

Possible locations:

Flinders Range; Coober Pedy; other sites in Western and South Western Australia, especially around the Flinders Range.

The pitch/premise is on WriteSafe and here.

Last updated: December 29, 2003

Peter Brooks

© PC Consulting 1999-2004