Deep in the woods of rural Michigan, John Shepherd spent years attempting to contact extraterrestrial life. In the new Netflix short documentary John Was Trying to Contact Aliens, Shepherd shows filmmakers the array of inventions he used in order to beam sound into outer space.
Avant-garde style music was the medium by which Shepherd sought to communicate with alien life. John frequently broadcasted sounds from legendary electronic groups Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream in an attempt to make a connection. Any sounds deemed "non-commercial," including jazz and reggae music, were fair game in his eyes.
Eventually, Shepherd's determination escalated into building an addition onto his grandparents' house where he lived, creating an entire new wing of the home, which he called S.T.R.A.T. While his S.T.R.A.T. project is now defunct, the lifelong stargazer hasn't lost passion for trying to connect with extraterrestrial life and he will always be fascinated by the possibility of contact. "I never gave up trying to make contact. And the excitement, for me, was always there," Shepherd said. "The anticipation that something might happen."
John Was Trying to Contact Aliens is directed by Matthew Killip.