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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Writing Opportunities and Call for Scripts  ›  Washington, it's a long way from Wigan !!!
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  Author    Washington, it's a long way from Wigan !!!  (currently 371 views)
Canada Bob
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 5:41am Report to Moderator
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I was just an Engineer doing my job the main element of which was to make sure that aircraft were "fit to fly" but when they weren't I refused to sign off on F18's, Blackhawk's, Grumman Tank Busters and civilian aircraft.

That started a 5 year battle during which, I was fired, sued for $6 Million for disparaging the company and it's products, only to see thirteen F18's crash killing 8 Canadian pilots, ten Blackhawk helicopters crashed in the US, killing 52 people, as a result of which Blackhawks were grounded 3 times worldwide.

I was flown to Washington by the Defense Inspector Generals Office (the military division of the FBI), they reported to Casper Weinberger, he appointed a Senate Sub Committee chaired by Barry Goldwater, with the inclusion of Carl Levin, Sam Nunn, Teddy Kennedy, Neil Armstrong et-al investigating why aircraft were "falling out of the sky", it felt like I was a long way from Wigan.

Much of what happened is outlined in the link below, but what's there is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

https://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/dissent/documents/Norburn.html

All in all I think it's a story that should be told, so I'm hoping that someone in here might be able to point me in the right direction, I'm sure that it could make a good movie, the dust never really settled on the back stories.

Thanks for your time reading the above, it's appreciated.

Canada Bob.
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Angry Bear
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 8:06am Report to Moderator
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Wow! I'm sure that could make a great movie.

As far as what you want to do with this information is up to you. You could either hire someone to write it for you, learn how to write scripts yourself or co-write with an experienced writer who finds this interesting and is willing to put in the time.

Good luck with this.  


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jayrex
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 8:37am Report to Moderator
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It does sound fascinating!


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Canada Bob
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 9:12am Report to Moderator
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Thanks Angry Bear & Jayrex for your interest, it certainly was a memorable time, not always for the most pleasant of reasons, it was a very difficult time.

Although I was doing the right thing, doing what I did ended my engineering career, but if it comes down to protecting your livelihood vs protecting the lives of the innocent end users {Military & Civilian} of this companies products I didn't have a choice, I was paid to qualify aircraft parts, that was my job, you can't turn a blind eye to what could cost people's lives, so I had to walk that path.

I never expected to be rubbing shoulders with the folks I met in Washington, it was surreal, but no more than the end run on these events. After audits done by the Canadian Government and by major Prime Contractors in the US contracts were brought to an end, the company shares went from $33 to pennies pretty well overnight, the firm went bust.

The shareholders lost out big time but some of the Directors managed to survive (and thrive} to this day. As for me, well it brought my career to an end, but "work" was "put my way" I finished up with contracts to sell truck loads of brand named perfumes, 15 to 18 TONS a month, worth Millions of $'s per year, nice to have "friends in high places" hey...

As for writing this saga up, well, half the battle against avoiding failure is knowing your limitations, I wouldn't do well in a field that I don't know / or have any connections in, but if the right person picked up the baton and ran with this, AND "the rest of the story" I think it would have the potential to be a best seller, put it this way, I've seen much worse in print and put out by Hollywood...

Thanks for your feedback guys, it's valued and appreciated...

Canada (or should that be Wigan) Bob.
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Angry Bear
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 10:06am Report to Moderator
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You could hire a writer unless you can find one that's willing to do it for free. Plenty of good starving writers out there that would do it for not much money. My advice though would be to thoroughly vet the writer you decide to go with. It takes many years to become a good screenwriter. It's a LOT more to it than what it first appear. Make sure the writer has had some success in some of the bigger competitions or have had some films already produced. It's almost impossible to sell a screenplay as it is with perhaps 100,000 writers world wide trying to break in to Hollywood. I think you'd be shooting yourself in the foot, by going with a newer writer especially since this story seems to be very important to you.

I wish you the best of luck with this! It's definitely very fascinating and true stories are hot too.


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eldave1
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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Sounds a bit like The Insider. Good bones for a story for sure.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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ajr
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Canada Bob,

My suggestion would be to contact book publishers and look to sell your life rights, while retaining some creative control over the (hopefully) eventual film.

A book gives you the opportunity to delve more deeply into your narrative, and not be restricted by what appears on camera. Then the publisher can sell the film rights.

Good luck,

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Canada Bob
Posted: July 22nd, 2018, 6:46pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks guys for your interest and suggestions, it's appreciated, I really do feel that it's a story that should be told, maybe better in book form than a movie, there's as much to the back story as there is to the events mentioned in the newspaper article.

It wasn't just the folks flying "compromised" aircraft that lost their lives, although after investigations it was never the aircraft at fault, it was always "Pilot Error"" but it came closer to home for me.

As these events were unfolding for us {my wife, my son and myself} in Ontario I hadn't mentioned what was going on to my mother, she was living alone / widowed back in England. The company did everything they could to put pressure on me, it wasn't just the threats against my life, or being sued, they tried to dig dirt on me by "investigating" who I was, I was even asked "are you a Communist" by the RCMP, I told them I couldn't even spell Communist, let alone be one...

it wasn't just the company that found itself on the wrong foot, it was the Canadian Government too as they were legally responsible for the delinquency of a Canadian Aerospace company supplying aircraft parts to US companies including Boeing, McDonnelL Douglas, Sikorsky, Grumman, Gould Electronics, GE et-al.

The situation was even brought up in the Canadian Parliament on more than one occasion, I was becoming persona non grata, to the point that my background / history in the UK was investigated to see if I had a criminal record, I didn't, but if I had then I would have been deported from Canada, and that would have been that...

None the less, I paid dearly for speaking out, I didn't want to worry my mother, but someone thought that it might help their cause if they told her what was going on. She was sent a letter saying what I'd done, telling her how I'd been sued for $6 Million and that it was likely that I'd finish up in jail for what I'd said and done, that's IF I managed to dodge any bullets that came my way.

My mother got the letter on a Friday evening and was so shocked about what was going on, of which she knew nothing, maybe that made it worse, but on reading the accusations and threats against me she had a stroke, fell in front of the gas fire, her clothes caught fire and she was badly burned. She lay there for 18 hours being found the next day by a neighbour who noticed that her curtains hadn't been drawn, the Police broke in and she was rushed to hospital but died a couple of days later.

My family paid a high price for what I did, I sometimes wonder if I should just have walked away, but I couldn't my job obliged me to protect the innocent end users of the aircraft that we were building.

If the above wasn't bad enough, my son {age 12 then} was beaten up at school, his arm broken by kids who's parents worked at Fleet, they felt I was a threat to their jobs, add to that, I was blackballed, no one would employ me, I was new in Canada, I couldn't get unemployment benefits, I was reduced to shovelling snow off peoples drives in -25C Winters and picking peaches in Summer to put food on the table, but the few $'s a day I could earn was never enough to feed us.

When I came home after 10 to 12 hour days of trying to make $20 to $30 for food my wife would tell she'd had her supper with my son, but it turned out that she wasn't eating and by April 86 she was taken ill and found to be suffering from scurvy !!! How do you think I felt about that, I couldn't feed or protect my family, that's when I considered committing suicide because I felt I'd brought all this onto my family...

If it wasn't for the fellowship and support of members of the Church we attended {when they found out we were starving the started to bring us food parcels}, but if it wasn't for them I would probably have put the car into gear and driven into the 70 ft deep Welland Canal, I was close to doing that...

The back story is almost as complex as what went on at Fleet, things were BAD there too, one of the other guys working on Inspection finished up putting his hunting rifle under his chin and he blew his brains out, I was the ONLY person from the company to attend his funeral, it was a really bad time for a lot of folks.

I was brought up to believe that "Crime doesn't pay" and that "You can't get away with Murder" but it seems to me that's exactly what happened, and no one seemed to give a damn...

Bob.
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ajr
Posted: July 23rd, 2018, 6:43am Report to Moderator
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Hey Canada Bob,

You definitely do not need a screenwriter at this point. This is a book. Just start writing it. Seems as if you are competent enough to get this down on the page in a cohesive form, and then the publishing house agent will work with you to shape and craft it.

When you're done I can introduce you to someone who reps novel writers in the books to movies arena. PM me and I'll send you my contact info.

Good luck, I can't wait to see it.

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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ajr
Posted: July 23rd, 2018, 6:44am Report to Moderator
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Or, as I mentioned, you can sell your life rights, and then the publisher will assign a writer.

AJR


Click HERE to read JOHN LENNON'S HEAVEN https://preview.tinyurl.com/John-Lennon-s-Heaven-110-pgs/
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Canada Bob
Posted: July 24th, 2018, 1:10pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks  AJR & Eldave for the feedback, I guess selling {or even giving away} my life story would be an option, but I wouldn't know which publishers might be interested, or where to start, UK or US, Canada or Europe ?

Is there a forum or a clearing house type of thing where I could bring the saga to their attention ?

Bob.
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Forgive
Posted: July 27th, 2018, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Bob, have you got any evidence to show this happened?
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Canada Bob
Posted: July 28th, 2018, 9:13am Report to Moderator
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There was a lot of things that went on during that 5 year battle with Fleet, much of which was reported in the media, if memory serves me well there were over 40 stories put out by the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, the Hamilton Spectator {they broke the story}, the Montreal Gazette, it even made the New York Times,these events/articles will still no doubt be in their archives. Then there was also Fiona Fallon a researcher for W5 I think it was at the time, she dug deep into the events, particularly the loss of eight F18 pilots.

Add to that there would be record in Hansard {if it's called that in Canada}, the book that logs all questions and answers in the House of Parliament in Canada, add to that MP's {of the time} like Iain Angus the MP for Thunder Bay at the time {who I believe is still around} would probably still have records {or at least recall} of what went on.

Others like Gerve Fretz {sp?} ex Mayor of Fort Erie and MP for Welland at the time, would know everything that went on, Gerve {being sat in the lap of Brian Mulroney during these events} did his best to talk me out of my actions.

As for the death of my mother, not to mention my wife's father {again from a stress induced stroke}, then my wife's mother, {all relatively young and in good health before these events starts to unfold}, we lost all three of them within 2 years, what's the chance of that. Just as tragic was the death of Lloyd Leger {shot himself},so it wasn't just folks in F18's of Blackhawk helicopters that lost their lives, there was what you might call collateral damage to folks on the fringe of these events, obviously all of these events and the dates are logged in public records.

So, yes, I guess that everything that I have mentioned is recorded somewhere, most of it is in the public domain, some of it though {records held by the RCMP and probably CSIS} may never come to light.

As for the back story, {on both sides, what happened to the company, the Directors, and to me}, well that would fill a book too, no problem. The company went to the wall almost over night, their shares went from around $33 to 25c and that was the end of Fleet Industries. As for George Dragone, the CEO and his cronies, well, they morphed themselves into what I believe is Canada's biggest {non Bank} mortgage company, and THAT's a story in itself.

As for me, well, how did a Senior Aerospace Engineer become the third biggest purchaser of Unilever products in the whole of Canada, buying up to and sometimes over $1 Million worth of CK perfumes per month !!!

Add ANOTHER  angle in on this saga, that the US Government went after the US Prime Contractors who were Legally responsible for the delinquency of their sub contractor Fleet Industries, and sued them for $140 Million, to which under US Whistlebower Law I was entitled to around $20 MILLION, now there's a story, as to how all this got "settled" and how I didn't even get a penny, even though I'd been promised 10 to 15% by the Defense Inspector General's Office.

Ah well, it was never about the money, it was about "doing my job" saving lives rather than pocketing $'s. IF $'s had been my motivation I'm SURE that "if I'd seen things the way that Fleet saw them, my career would have been secure".

So, I guess as to evidence, there's a mountain of it, but it's here, there and everywhere, but folks like Fionna Fallon would be a good place to start, she will still be around...

As for "would it make a good movie" probably not, unless you could strap folks in for 10 to 12 hours, but book readers usually have a better attention span, I'm sure they'd d be able to join the dots...

Thanks for your interest, it's appreciated...

Bob.
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Forgive
Posted: July 29th, 2018, 4:23pm Report to Moderator
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1. Show some links, or evidence that it happened.

2. Decide what story you want to tell; there's a lot, and you're going to have to whittle it down.

If I doubt you, others will.
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Forgive
Posted: July 29th, 2018, 4:56pm Report to Moderator
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Let The Sky Fall

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Yeah Bob, I'm going to need some proper links here - anyone from the uk will tell you The Spectator is not the most interesting mag around, and trawling through their archives ain't the best of fun - I got nothing for the dates you give here, some give me a little to work on, okay?
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