Eye In The Sky

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Eye In The Sky[1]
Somewhere Out There
Original Broadcast Date
January 7, 1996
Jack Kornfield, Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, Narrative Monologue, 54 / 57 minutes
Preceded by: Iceland (Part 2) (Remix)
Followed by: Three Shingles

That sigalert continues out in Chino Hills on the Corona expressway.

Eye In The Sky is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Somewhere Out There. It was originally broadcast on January 7, 1996. A longer version was broadcast as part of the series The Other Side.[1]


0:00: 'Tortoise' - Higher Intelligence Agency

1:10: Joe reports the traffic problems in LA's freeways from the traffic helicopter: biohazard spill, explosion, overpass collapse, overturned school bus on fire, airplane crashed, striking hospital workers, looters, mad shooter... (lots of buses overturned)[2]

11:40: A surface-to-air missile hits Joe's helicopter. He thinks he's going to die in the crash. He tells us, 'I have a message that I've been saving for the last moment of my life a piece of wisdom that was passed on to me by a very, very wise and holy man...' Instead of telling us the message he gives a long preface. We hear the sound of a crash.

15:50: 'Eyes On You (4 Hero Dollis Hill Blues Remix)' - Santessa[3]

16:00: Joe describes checking into a motel.

17:00: When he enters his room he hears a neighbor talking to someone on the phone. He's rude to the callee.

18:20: Joe lists all the things he has to get done when he gets home, 'I have to clean out the storage bin next to the garage, dust the Coulomb vanes in the power conversion unit. I have to reschedule my rumba lessons in order to re-point the surface of my company's cloud chamber with Teflon because it is both economically and tragicomically graded...'

The next two sections were added to the later version:

20:20: 'True prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and your heart has turned to stone.' Jack Kornfield expatiates on learning when things seem impossible.[3]

22:50: Kornfield tells of driving into the city, his daughter Caroline paying the bridge toll for the car behind them, as an example of making life beautiful in small ways.[3]

24:40: 'Ai Du' - Ry Cooder and Ali Farka Toure

25:10: Joe lands his helicopter safely, at least for him - a convent burned down with a few fatalities. He wonders if we've reached the end times.

29:30: 'I must maintain my sense of humor, my sense of irony, my sense of the absurd...' He says there's always something good to balance something bad.

34:40: Joe's back to giving the freeway traffic report, sees a carjacking in high-speed pursuit. The hijacker is firing at the police and others. Joe calls it a welcome break for the international audience. Some encourage the hijacker. He has a book deal, is negotiating TV rights, endorsement deals. Joe says it shows how people can succeed in America. When he runs out of gas, Johnny Cochran is there to defend him; CNN covers it live, lets the hijacker speak.

39:50: Joe describes a luxurious yacht. An explosion sinks it. The evacuation is disorganized.

43:00: Joe reflects on the turn of events of the yacht's passengers, that disasters make everything that seemed important before meaningless.

47:40: 'We seem to be going round and round the same particular set of phrases aren't you getting bored?' Joe asks his interlocutor to see him in person, talk it out.

50:10: Joe's giving the freeway traffic report again. The freeways are empty, perfect for a trip. The fire that consumed half the city has subsided. There's a cyanide spill on the Pasadena Freeway. Everyone is relaxing: 'People seem to have reclined wherever the mood is overtaking them. They're lying on their backs crowded around fountains, in the parks, just relaxing on sidewalks, stretched out at the entrances to buildings.'

52:10: Joe describes an epic traffic jam that covers the whole of Los Angeles county into the neighboring counties.[4]

54:50: 'Tortoise' - Higher Intelligence Agency

Legacy Synopsis

Joe is a helicopter traffic man reporting on bizarre disaster scenes in Los Angeles. Checking into a hotel and overhearing phone conversations. A list of chores that spirals into pseudo-technical nonsense. Kornfield: life force, paying the toll for the car behind you. Joe survives a helicopter crash and has only one eye. Preparing for the end of the world. Joe reports on a police chase. Watching a ship sink. Empty roads after a chemical spill. A traffic report that degenerates into an endless stream of Los Angeles streets.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits (read by Joe) state: "Edited and mixed by Theo Mondle, with music production by Bob Carlson. Created in collaboration with David Rapkin. Special thanks to Jennifer Ferro."

The later (The Other Side) broadcast version credits state: "Created in collaboration with David Rapkin. With Joe Frank and Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. Mixed by JC Swiatek. Production assistance: Esmé Gregson."


  • The version of this program currently available on Joefrank.com is the later The Other Side version, despite being labeled Somewhere Out There.
  • The original version has an additional ~1m20s of outro music with credits.


Can the half of the phone conversation at 47:40 be the other half of the phone conversation at 17:00?Arthur Peabody (talk) 04:04, 5 September 2023 (PDT)


  1. Bill Milosz of the email list writes that the original version has no Jack Kornfield.
  2. Most of the street geography is accurate, but one helicopter couldn't have covered as much area as Joe does on one trip. Joe says an RV fell into Crystal Lake on the Golden State near Glendale Crystal Lake is near the 39 north of Glendora. The 210 doesn't go through Vernon. Slauson doesn't run between the San Bernardino and Pomona Freeways.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Added in 2000
  4. The geography in this segment starts off completely wrong. I haven't parsed the whole thing. Don't use it for directions when you visit.
  5. Joe added music to several of his shows when they were rebroadcast or digitized. The updated versions are usually available at Joefrank.com