Standing in Kaplan Hall of SUNY Orange, Michael Corriere greets you with a smile. Corriere is one of the many security guards that roam the halls of SUNY Orange. But he is not your average security guard: he is a screenwriter, a film director, a playwright, a man with a case in front of the United Nations, and a survivor of cancer.
Despite an eclectic resume, Corriere didn’t come from a family focused on the arts. Growing up in the Bronx, his family never stayed in one place for more than two years. His father was the family’s sole breadwinner. After serving in the military, his father became a bank guard.
After spending time as a New York City police officer, Corriere moved to upstate New York with his former wife and daughter in 1972. Corriere now lives in Montgomery and has been working at Newburgh’s SUNY Orange campus for the past 15 years.
In the early 2000s Corriere wrote his first play, “Hanger number one.” The play evolved into “For England...For Love.” The play sets a love story to the background of the Cold War. It features spies, political conflict, romance and more.
In 2014, The play went into rehearsals at the Rivoli Theatre in South Fallsburg. Production was canceled after Corriere was diagnosed with cancer.
“After tests they told me I had cancer,” said Corriere. “So, I had to cancel everything. I was so weak at the time. I had to start my chemotherapy and radiation treatments.” Corriere is now five years in remission. Despite the pause, Corriere kept pushing for the play’s success.
In October 2016, “For England...For Love” was submitted to the Russian Theatre Union for inclusion in their catalogue. The play is currently under consideration for production in Moscow. In May of 2018, Corriere’s article, “The Russian Theatre: Should American Playwrights Interact,” was published in Scene4: International Magazine of Arts and Culture.
One of the background conflicts featured in “For England...For Love” is the topic of Corriere’s film, “ALIEN CONNECTION...THE FINAL PROOF...THE FINAL X-FILE.”
Reading the title, an outsider may be skeptical over the film’s topic. But, the film actually goes deep into a multifaceted case dating back to the Cold War.
On the morning of August 1, 1947, Army Air Force Capt. William Davidson and Army Air Force Lt. Frank Brown took off in a B-25 plane from Hamilton Field, California on route to McCord Air Field in Washington State. The plane never made it.
According to Corriere, the two were on a mission to retrieve seven metal fragments believed to be extraterrestrial. Their plane crashed after reaching an altitude of 10,000 feet. Corriere says that the military’s reason for the crash was a left engine catching fire. The plane crashed outside of Kelso in Washington State.
Corriere believes the two were victims of sabotage. “The problem with the military’s explanation of why their B-25 crashed is that both their engines had just been replaced,” said Corriere. In addition, the cargo disappeared. He explores the incident and the other possible reasons for the plane crash in his film.
The film explores the possible involvement of followers of President Harry S. Truman, and the Soviet Union. “The question remains,” said Corriere. “Was Capt. Davidson and [Lt.] Brown’s B-25 sabotaged or even shot down?”
“ALIEN CONNECTION...THE FINAL PROOF...THE FINAL X-FILE” is a self-produced and directed film by Corriere. According to Corriere, the topic of the film was so interesting that his cast was willing to participate free of payment.
Corriere found the cast for his film after posting a Craigslist ad. After auditions, he cast actors from New York and New Jersey. The film was shot in segments around Orange County. “We just did it,” said Corriere. “We didn’t have too much rehearsal because we had actors who were doing other projects.”
Corriere’s film had various screenings around the Hudson Valley. One of the screenings was at the Downing Film Center. Production was initially completed around 2010. Corriere re-edited it to be shorter for submission to more film festivals.
His interest in the incident goes beyond film production. In August of 2019, he submitted a complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He is requesting a hearing on possible Soviet ties to the incident.. He recently wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking for support.
Corriere first came across the case while doing independent research. After getting a copy of the major accident report, he found discrepancies in the report. It “leads you to believe there was a cover up here,” said Corriere.
“ALIEN CONNECTION...THE FINAL PROOF...THE FINAL X-FILE” is scheduled to be shown at the New Filmmakers film festival at the Anthropology Film Archives Deren Theatre at 6 p.m. on May 13, 2020. His film is also being considered for screening at the Moscow International Film Festival.
Corriere is also in talks with Newburgh’s Ritz Theatre to do readings of “For England... For Love” in April. Corriere hopes to get the play back in production.