Hollywood’s optimistic view of ET contact was continued into the 1970s and early ‘80s with Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1977, followed by ET, The Extraterrestrial in 1982. As reported by author Bruce Rux, Jenny Randles [a British UFO researcher] was told by a high-ranking individual in the House of Lords that Hollywood films, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind were part of an educational program, “financed by the right money being placed in the correct hands at the appropriate time.”1
Rux went on to say that “Jimmy Carter, who included a promise of full disclosure of UFO information in his election campaign, spent twenty million dollars on ‘research’ of the topic that almost certainly went into the dissemination program, as is evidenced by the number of excellent movies on the subject that came out during his term as president.”
Was this shift in Hollywood’s attitude toward space aliens, from the rubber-suited space monsters of the 50’s and early 60’s to the more realistic offerings of the late 60’s through the early 80’s, a reflection of a change in thinking among those in charge of the UFO cover-up? It does correspond with the change in administrations, from the Eisenhower/Nixon years to Kennedy/Johnson. (It seems that Nixon, Ford and Carter continued the trend.) Keep in mind that movies take a long time to make. From the first draft of the script to the first pubic viewing of a high budget, full length motion picture can typically take four years or more. (Sequels are often made in two years, but that’s to best take advantage of the public’s memory of the original and they often suffer as a result of the haste in which they’re made.).
During the Clinton administration, however, Hollywood’s opinion of ETs changed again, with the movies Independence Day (1996) and Mars Attacks (also 1996). During the Bush administration, we saw continued negative spin on the subject of Alien contact with the remake of the 1950s sci-fi invasion classic War of the Worlds in 2006. In each of these movies, all that the aliens want to do is to kill us.
The first major media offering about Alien Abduction was not seen in movie theaters, but instead on TV screens in millions of homes across America, with the Sci-Fi Channel’s broadcast in 2002 of Steven Spielberg’s Taken. At a staggering cost of 45 million dollars, the 14 hour long mini-series was gripping television for most Americans who tuned in, but real Abductee/Experiencers didn’t see much that was familiar to them reflected in the script. Almost everything depicted in the series was made up out of whole cloth. (I wrote a review of Taken years ago and might dust it off and post it here sometime soon.)
Interestingly enough, Mr. Spielberg seemed to have had little, if anything to do with the production. Aside from his name on the title, there is hardly anything at all to connect him with the project. He didn’t write it, didn’t direct it and didn’t produce it. It appears that he didn’t even visit the set!2 He certainly didn’t need the money, so why did he allow his name to be associated with a project with which he had no creative connection?
Even the remake of War of the Worlds was a less than stellar offering from the world’s foremost moviemaker. Although he did direct this one, his heart obviously wasn’t in it. The finished product was a polished, technically well made movie but, aside from being a more faithful rendering of the book than the original movie, it was utterly without creative merit, and this from the most creative mind in Hollywood. The motivations of the characters just weren’t believable. When the streets of the city begin erupting giant alien eggs, with concrete flying everywhere, the Tom Cruise character with his little daughter in hand tries to get closer to get a better look, instead of backing off from an obviously dangerous situation. But the worst is the ending. Early on his son is apparently killed when he ventures to close to the Aliens, but at the end of the movie, we’re supposed be overjoyed see that he somehow miraculously survived to make it all the way to grandma’s house. (What a cop out!)
The question has to be why. Why did Spielberg allow his name to be used to promote Taken, when he apparently had nothing to do with the project, and why did he even bother to remake War of the Worlds, a Science Fiction classic, if he didn’t work to make it believable?
I suspect the answer is this. Any up-and-coming movie director is eventually approached by the intelligence community with a Faustian proposal. The rising young star is wined, dined, flattered and given inside information about the “real” Alien presence on Earth. He is then asked to help prepare the public by agreeing to make a movie on the subject. For a young Steven Spielberg flush with the success of Jaws, to be asked to make Close Encounters of the Third Kind by the government as a prelude to official disclosure must have seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime.
His Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T., the Extraterrestrial were enthusiastic offerings. But when the “spin” from Majestic turned, and Hollywood’s job was to make space Aliens objects of fear, Spielberg’s heart wasn’t in it. His pact with the intelligence community was something he couldn’t walk away from, however, so he fought back passively by having nothing personally to do with the production of Taken (other than give up his name), and by doing a lackluster job with War of the Worlds.
I believe that another possible example of this kind of collaboration between Majestic and young filmmakers could be that of M. Night Shyamaian, who made Hollywood sit up and take notice, first with The Sixth Sense and then Unbreakable. Then, for his third major film project, he made Signs, a film starring Mel Gibson about crop circles and (sigh) malevolent invading Space Aliens. A clue as to unseen influences in the making of that movie might be the design of the circle that was depicted. It’s just too simplistic. Real crop circles are very complicated pictographs that can’t be duplicated in the middle of the night by drunken frat boys using wooden planks, which is the explanation being offered in the disinformation media. With the state of Hollywood’s special effects, it would have been easy to show a complex design, but a realistic depiction of crop circles would not have served Majestic’s interests.
So will it be “Space Brothers” or “Space Invaders?” It’s the invasion scenario that seems to be playing out in movie theaters at present. We’ll have to wait and see what the Obama administration will help produce in the way of Science Fiction offerings for TV and the movies. __________________________________________________________________________
1 Hollywood Vs. the Aliens: The Motion Picture Industry’s participation in UFO Disinformation, by Bruce Rux; Frog, Ltd., Berkeley, CA; © 1997 by author; p.168.
2 The disk of bonus features in the DVD collection of Taken offers many behind the scenes video clips, but none showing Spielberg on the set. One would think that if there had been any such footage available to the editor, he would have certainly used it. There is an interview with Spielberg sitting in front of a star field that is included, but he only talks about his views on space travel, aliens and the like, and never even mentions his mini-series, “Taken.”