A GRADUAL CONDITIONING PLAN would seem necessary if the UFO Cabal wishes to avoid the worst possibilities of everyone totally freaking out as so many did during the celebrated Orson Welles War of the Worlds (1938) broadcast which terrorized large sections of the East Coast the day before Halloween, though that probably had more to do with pre-war fear of the Nazis than fears of things celestial. Perhaps, as some have speculated, the history of science fiction in cinema reveals the Cabals changing attitudes. Certainly the course of sci-fi flicks through the latter part of the twentieth century follows the rumored developments of our relations with extraterrestrial species surprisingly well.
This program of slow, indirect indoctrination is said to have begun with the classic science fiction film, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) which first revealed the godlike Nordics and their worries about our nuclear playthings.
That there could actually be some sort of real basis for the movie might have been indicated by a peculiar statement the producer of The Day the Earth Stood Still in a “making of” documentary included on the recent DVD release. There, producer Julian Blaustein, interupts his own story of how Spencer Tracy (!) wanted to play the part of the Christ-like alien, Klaatu, a/k/a "Mr. Carpenter". Blaustein says:
"We already had the design of the spaceship, based on [sighs audibly] known facts about space travel, which were limiting facts, but you know, like flying saucers and the physics of levitation in space, getting it off the ground. So that's where we got the design."
"The physics of levitation in space?" This sounds strangely like the film-makers were almost more interested in how saucers flew than their appearance. Perhaps the movie's Einstein-like character of Dr. Barnhardt had the right equations after all, or could there have been someone leaking something somewhere in Hollywood?
The Day the Earth Stood Still, coming at the height of the Korean War, was unashamed in suggesting a super-national authority, a UN on steroids with control of military resources to which all nations must surrender sovereignity, a New World Order to guarantee the peace of the planet.Yet even this anti-war movie played on popular fears of the Red Menace. On some versions of the poster, for instance, the wrinkled hand shown grasping the world across the North Pole is colored a distinct scarlet.
But as the Cold War got frostier, despair over the growing potential of atomic doom deepened. Yet according to the evolving myth, however, the sea-change in sci-fi movies was not due to the threat of Commie invasion, but the appearance of another alien race.
After the Nordics' supposed rivals, the Greys, supposedly contacted Eisenhower later on in that decade, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) was released. Along with memorable scenes of saucers crashing into Washington landmarks, this remarkably paranoid but overlooked film includes abductions, a landing at a desert launch facility suspiciously like the Holloman encounter mentioned below, mind control, the development of anti-saucer raygun technology, even night vision, and oh yes, a briefly-seen alien which is extremely Grey-like.
In one version, though the invaders are ultimately defeated and the hero-scientist and his beloved secretary finally get to take their honeymoon, the movie jarringly ends with the bold banner, WATCH THE SKIES! as if a celestial Pearl Harbor could happen at any moment.
Of all the directors and producers in Hollywood, few have been involved in as many projects involving aliens as Steven Spielberg. His visions have done more to define the images of extraterrrestrials in popular culture than virtually anyone. Beyond the well-known "classics" Close Encounters and ET, Spielberg was also the producer for the Men in Black movies, the mini-series Taken (2002), about multi-generational abductions, *batteries not included (1987), about benign mechanical aliens, and the recent remake of War of the Worlds (2005).
His career illustrates a clear arc from hopefulness to horror, which, if the rumors of his inside knowledge are true, might not be a good sign. Especially as it also includes debunking the largest mass sighting of a UFO in modern times.
Sometime after the supposed treaty with the Greys came the childlike optimism of Steven Spielbergs Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) with its depiction of a secret first contact with kindly Greys both small and large. (Interestingly, paranoids should note that the little boy central to the plot is identified by covert agents BEFORE his abduction.)
Not only is the Cabal's coverup and collusion with private industry illustrated, but hints are given as to the nature of the Cabal. Their logo, for instance, is a device very reminiscent of the Illuminati "eye in the triangle" bearing a starburst and the word "MAYFLOWER". A play on "Majestic" perhaps, or just a reference to the heavenly pilgrimage of Roy Neary? In any case, it is the only logo at the "Dark Side of the Moon" landing spot no American, or for that matter, UN flags in evidence, just a solitary white banner sporting a black triangle...
Disney references, of which Spielberg is famously fond, in this film come from Pinnochio. The haunting alien musical phrase seems to have been derived from the first notes of the song, "When You Wish Upon A Star", which seems appropriate enough. However, since the fairy tale is one where a wooden puppet is transformed by a preternatural power connected with a star (the Blue Fairy) into a real boy, what is Spielberg trying to tell us? That the species will only be fully human when we finally confront the alien reality?
This movie has a number of curious clues, such as programming cues into abductees and the Cabal's use of biological weapons as cover, as well as very accurate depictions of the effects of brushes with alien spacecraft, including electical anomalies and radiation burns. This is not too surprising as the late Dr. Allen J. Hynek not only advised the director, but has a cameo appearance during the climactic encounter sequence.
Perhaps this was based on the same rumored landing at Holloman Air Force Base as the one in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Theres an apocryphal story that President Reagan commented to Spielberg during a White House screening of Close Encounters that only a few people in the room knew how true the movie actually was.
In Spielbergs later ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), humans are the bad guys menacing the peaceful space creature. This, however, marks the end of a very optimistic period when many ufologists believed that the long-awatied revelation was nigh.
Yet, in between these two films, something had already changed. Spielberg went directly from the success of Jaws and Close Encounters to his first by comparison flop, a comedy so expensive it took two studious to produce. The movie, 1941, was about post-Pearl Harbor hysteria, made in 1979. In a 1995 featurette, "The Making of 1941" included on the DVD, Spielberg says that he agreed to make the movie while he was working on Close Encounters. He, Bob Gale, and Robert Zemeckis, the writers, recounted how they reworked the screenplay during the production of CE3K in an office in the very hanger where Spielberg was filming the mothership scenes. 1941, as the writers acknowledge, was based in a large part upon the "Battle of Los Angeles". This was an incident that occurred on February 25, 1942, when lights over Los Angeles were thought to be a number of incoming Japanese bombers. There was a blackout and a lot of antiaircraft fire was expended, but no Japanese planes were shot down.
The Army defended the action, though soon it was attributedto "jittery nerves" when no wreckage was forthcoming. In 1974, a memo was revealed that Chief of Staff General Marshall wrote to President Roosevelt, saying it was real and that as many as 15 aircraft might have been involved.
Curiously, neither Spielberg nor the writers make ANY mention of UFOs whatsoever in their discussion of the "air raid". Not even a single joke. Yet they were working on the script while literally surrounded by "Close Encounters"! How could it be that they didn't make a connection?
It does seem peculiar that Spielberg would appear to be blithely clueless about the link between the two films all the while.
By the way, the Disney reference in 1941 is to Dumbo, the cartoon about a flying elephant. Though the movie was indeed released around the time of Pearl Harbor, could this be a reference to things seen in the air that should not be there? In any case, the Battle of Los Angeles has been blamed on "lost weather balloons". Why not? It worked so well for Roswell...
So Steven Spielberg went directly from filming what is arguably the greatest UFO movie of all time directly to debunking the greatest sighting and nobody even noticed.
1941, however, was immediately followed by another blockbuster: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). He resisted all temptation to put aliens in the two following sequels. However, aliens in everything but name appear prominently in the latest installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Along with a mention of Indy's role at Roswell, the plot involves psychic powers. Cate Blanchett, playing the Natasha Fatale-type villainess, reveals not only her own powers, but Stalin's plan to conquer the world with them. In any case, the crystallized skeletons themselves revealed at the end are nothing if not alien. And there is a brief glimpse of something that looks like Bob Lazar's infamous "Sports Model" UFO. So the description of them as "interdimensional beings" is going to fool nobody.
However, in the "making of" featurette included in the DVD, Speilberg claims he did not want aliens in the picture at all! Supposedly, it was George Lucas that insisted on them — the original title was to be "Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men"!
However, Speilberg apparently has not lost all interest in aliens, as he is said to be involved in a new TV series. More details will be provided as they appear.
A few years later, Spielberg then went on to film ET: The Extra-Terrestrial with its grim vision of a ruthless, frightened humanity hunting down the gentle alien. Since then, his vision and that of movies in general has only grown darker. In the mini-series "Taken", the Christ-role, like that of man-child Roy Neary, is fulfilled by a little girl, taken away by the aliens at the end because of the misunderstanding of humanity, much like Klaatu was. Yet even this was hopeful, compared to what was to follow.
The Men in Black comedies (1997 and 2002) which Spielberg produced showed the Earth as a galactic port of call and refuge, a fact which must be concealed from human society to preserve our comfy illusions. Whereas the first film was disturbingly bleak with its tacit premise that no mortal could long withstand the stress of knowing our cosmic insignificance, the second was slightly more optimistic about our abilities to handle it all.
In any event, the real MiBs must have gotten quite a chuckle out of them, for with these films, those sinister figures of UFO-lore have been transformed from evil agents of repression into the enlightened guardians of Humanity. Trying to improve their image before they finally have to go public, perhaps?
Finally, in 2005, Spielberg recast H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Here, though, the human-devouring aliens do not come from the sky, but from under the Earth. But other than that, it is as if the optimism of the late 70s never happened.
What followed in the movies was more invasions by ruthless monsters, with the Alien series and above all, Independence Day (1996). In this blockbuster, ET arrives with extermination in mind, and proceeds to methodically incinerate cities. Turns out that the aliens, once again with Grey-like faces, did indeed crash at Roswell, with the wreckage and bodies stowed at Area 51, unbeknownst to all but the CIA. Finally, through a good old computer virus (thus updating The War of the Worlds) and American gumption, humanity prevails. The movie is set during the 4th of July weekend, which coincidentally is also the timeframe of the Roswell crash. Judging by the Presidents speech just before the final battle about how it will be the Independence Day of our entire species, Roswell might just be the real reason for the title.
This film would thus correspond to the fallout from the failure of our alliance with the Greys, when their evil deceptions were at last revealed. In UFO lore, there was a gun-battle between military guards and the Greys in their deep underground base near Dulce, New Mexico, where many human scientists were killed. At the same time, supposedly, it was discovered that the aliens were lying about the numbers of people they were abducting and the purpose. As a result, the whole plan was thrown into disarray. There was a serious split in the Cabal, it is said, with different factions (like the "Roosters" and "Owls" of the Millennium TV series mentioned below?) struggling over disclosure and strategy. Maybe nobody's running the show anymore. It could well be that the Cabal's leadership is paralyzed, and the entire operation is stumbling along on autopilot.
Television would also necessarily be part of this grand plan, of course. And as a popular medium which is broadcast into space, it could not only help reprogram our culture but deliver human propaganda straight to the starry powers themselves.
Thus we have the enduringly popular and recently rebooted Star Trek franchise, set in a galaxy filled with beings differing from us mainly in their cranial protruberances and interior design sense. Some, like the Talosian from the original pilot shown here, have a somewhat Grey-like appearances and telepathic powers, while the starship Enterprise and most other interstellar craft are basically flying saucers with external engines strapped on.
In this universe, Humans are depicted as generally decent, upstanding, responsible citizens of the Galaxy, able to defend ourselves but out there to learn and trade peacefully. The take-home message for ET here is that Humanity equipped with starships and deathrays would not pose a danger to them, thus hopefully answering the concerns voiced by Klaatu way back in The Day the Earth Stood Still.
The other possibility, that aliens have wicked designs upon us and our world, has also been probed. In such programs as The Invaders in the 60s and V in the 80s, (soon to be remade) where, in human guise, either like Commie infiltrators in the first or like Nazi occupiers in the latter, the evil aliens insinuate themselves into human society. Note that in V, the baddies turned out to be those nasty, snake-like Reptoids, believed by some to be the Greys true masters.
In the 90s, The X-Files took up the paranoid position, boldly proclaiming that The Truth Is Out There, through nine seasons and two feature films (1998). This series developed an extensive (if often confusing) storyline about the cover-up engineered by devious, sleazy, chain-smoking MiBs conspiring to sell us out to alien shapeshifters to save themselves from a genetic invasion.
In the climactic scene of the very last episode, since once-FBI spook Fox Mulder wont explain it all to his partner/lover Dana Scully, his long-time nemesis, the evil MiB Cigarette-Smoking Man obligingly does. The Truth That Is Out There is simply this: the final ET invasion will take place December 22, 2012, the very day the Mayan calendar ends, and nothing on Earth can stop it. (Not that it seems to matter, because in the series, alien super-soldier hybrids already seem to be running the Shadow Government...)
A rather sad and sobering conclusion to such a provocative and entertaining series. One can only wonder why creator Chris Carter chose that resolution. (Another series of his, Millennium, may also have sought to deal with certain uncomfortable truths and being eviscerated for its trouble, ended in much the same way, but thats another tale... as is the eerie prefiguring of 9/11 in the pilot for yet another series of his, The Lone Gunmen.)
Was it merely convenient closure, or something more? Not that long, folks, before we know for sure...
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