Independence Day: Real?

Actor Will Smith plays a fictional fighter pilot confronted by an alien UFO capable of fending off nuclear weapons and disabling large parts of the U.S. arsenal in the 1996 blockbuster film, Independence Day. Wild science fiction? Not according to seven former US Air Force officers who held a press conference in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club to discuss UFO encounters. According to the airmen stationed at different bases throughout the Country, all witnessed UFO’s and some even experienced loss of use of nuclear weapons under their care. One airman described red orbs disabling nuclear weapons for two days.

“Nobody was injured and I don’t consider it an attack but it certainly it was a national security incident and something the Air Force said has never happen in their official policy documents,” said Robert Salas, a former U.S. Air Force Nuclear Launch Officer.

An Air Force program called Project Blue Book investigated UFOs from 1948 to 1969. Project Blue Book concluded that “no UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security.”

Source: Woman’s Day

– Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

59 thoughts on “Independence Day: Real?

  1. They say Einstein was an extraterrestrial foundling. Maybe “they” were right.

    The ET’s dropped us off around 50,000 years ago to see how long we would take to develop a sophisticated civilization. We are just one big petri dish for ET.

    The fossil record doesn’t show modern man before about 50,000 BC, now you know why.

  2. Byron,

    Brain Salad Surgery?

    “It is hoped that the newly identified gyral and sulcal features reported below for Einstein’s cerebral cortex will be of interest to future scholars. Despite the fact that a large portion of Einstein’s cerebral cortex was superficially unremarkable, regions in and near his primary somatosensory and motor cortices were highly unusual, and it is tentatively suggested that these may have contributed to the neuroanatomical substrates for some of his remarkable abilities.”

    From New Information about Albert Einstein’s Brain by Dean Falk, Department of Anthropology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

  3. About 10 years ago I happened to be on an American Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. About a dozen AA pilots were passengers on that flight, and two of them were seated near me. So I decided to take that opportunity to introduce myself, and ask if either of them had ever had a strange encounter while flying. For the next 90 minutes, I sat like a kid at a tennis match, my head bobbing from one to the other, as they compared notes on two different encounters they’d had as flight captains.

    The most fascinating was the story of a “large, softly glowing ball of light” which, according to the older pilot, had played tag with his airliner for hours on a flight from Chicago to San Francisco, in the mid-1980’s. He recounted in detail how it had simply pulled up near the plane over Nebraska, and flew off to their left for some time. He stated because everyone on the plane was an AA employee, he advised them all to sit tight, as he was about to try something. Then, he said, he banked the airliner toward the light, which immediately “leaped over the top of us, and settled very close, just off to the right of the wing.”

    The pilot said his aircraft and the UFO “played a weird game of cat & mouse” for well over an hour, before it simply shot off and disappeared, as they began their descent toward the Bay Area. Upon landing at SFO, the entire group of about 38 AA employees talked about what they had experienced, and whether they ought to file a formal UFO report. All the pilots on the plane were against the idea, because they knew the subsequent protocol would involve a psychiatric consult, and that could spell doom for a career. All the non pilots – desk people, supervisors, mechanics & flight attendants – wanted to file an official report. They had all watched the events through the windows, shifting back & forth across the aisle each time the light would “jump playfully” over the plane.

    According to the pilots, they never did file a report.

    The other pilot had been a neighbor of one of the Apollo astronauts, and he said the entire subject of intelligently-controlled UFOs was common knowledge at NASA.

    Just thought I’d pass along what I’ve always thought was a very interesting story.

  4. rafflaw:

    “The aliens have stepped off of their spacecraft and have landed on Earth. We now refer to them as Teabaggers!”


    It’s a Pogo moment!

  5. All this talk of thangs a’comin’ outta the sky has me fearin’ the hauntin’ alien words:

    “dinga bop bappa boopa lappa loom bam boom!”

  6. I’ve just finished reading the new book *UFOs* by Leslie Kean, and I highly recommend it. She does what I’ve wanted someone to do for decades: she eliminates the large majority of reports that can be explained and looks into the ones that remain unidentified. Plus, she eliminates reports by people who are not trained observers and focuses on reports from military sources, commercial and private pilots, police officers, air traffic controllers, etc. It’s all meticulously documented and footnoted.

    Also, she discusses a couple of things I’ve found interesting over the years – the virtual taboo on taking UFOs seriously in this country and the way people equate the term “UFO” with “alien spaceship.”


  7. mespo,

    So now you’re reading Woman’s Day magazine? Very interesting.

    I guess you, David, and I will look anywhere and everywhere for an interesting story this week. Maybe I’ll check out GQ.

  8. Kate –

    It truly grates on me, too, every time I hear a $100,000 news anchor use the very appropriate term “UFO” for alien spacecraft.

    I would encourage anyone who is honestly interested in this subject to take a peek at this. Here’s a guy with nothing to prove and has a phenomenal resume:

    I don’t know if the story he tells is the same as the one the airline pilot told me, but it sounds very similar.

    Either way, not every UFO witness is a half-blitzed lumberjack with a six pack.

  9. Kate M.

    Your description of Leslie Kean’s approach to the study UFOs is very similar to that of J Allen Hynek, former professor of Astronomy at Northwestern University in Illinois and is in my opinion the best author to start with for any interested in the UFO phenomenon.

    One of J Allen Hynek’s books which I bought at a railway book stall and read on the train many years ago, I forget its title, was what convinced me that UFO phenomena have some base in reality. Hynek’s interest in the subject started when he was hired by the US Air Force’s Project Blue Book as one of its resident debunkers of UFO reports, and he is famous for coining the term “swamp gas” to dismiss some reports.

    Over time Hynek examined the accumulated files of project Blue Book and he came to the conclusion that 95% of reports were easily dismissible as misperceptions of aircraft, satellites, planets near the horizon, meteors or weather phenomena, but there remained 5% that could not so be dismissed if the words of the reporters actually described what they saw. He concentrated on a subset of these reports where what was obviously the one object was reported by multiple unrelelated observers and the observers were ones of credibility such as pilots, military and airline, police, members of the military and so on. He also bent over backwards not to make assumptions that were unprovable. Hynek never claimed to study UFOs, only reports thereof since Roswell aside there is in the public domain absolutly no evidence of an actual UFO. Hynek for example does not assume that UFO sightings are evidence of extraterrestrial space craft. The other author that I will recommend is Jacques Valle.

    Before I read books by Hynek and others I was under the impression hat those who took UFOs seriously were kooks, but since then I have read the works of many different authors and none of them strike me as kooks many of them are ex-airforce officers. Even some such as Adamski who come across as obvious lunatics may not be such. According to Jacques Valle the phenomenon is real and even those who claim to talk to tall flying saucer men with long fair hair and blue eyes who come from Venus are not lying just falling for hoaxes perpetrated by tall men with blue eyes and long fair hair who happen to possess a working unconventional flying machine of disc-like shape and unknown working principles. Valle eventually comes to the conclusion that UFO reports are the result of a show deliberately put on for us by some intelligence, not necessarily extraterrestrial and as such are no more evidence than were the inflatable dummy tanks with which the British fooled Hitler into thinking the D-day invasion was to take place other than where it actually occurred.

  10. Independence Day, one of the worst movies ever made its only redeeming feature is its accurate depiction of human nature, not in the humans but in the aliens.

    Another such piece of awful sci-fi crap is the TV series “V”. Although its depiction of human nature among the evil aliens is accurate, its depiction of human nature among humans is absurd. Instead of forming tea parties to pass laws to imprison the aliens before sending them back where they came from the humans in V are all for friendship with the invaders, how unlike real humans, how unlike real Americans.

  11. Carlyle –

    Nobody as well-read in this subject as you apparently are, should be making the following errors:

    “There is in the public domain absolutely no evidence of an actual UFO.”

    1. “Public domain” is a pretty loose term, considering former NASA astronauts & Presidents are, by definition, public folks. So is MUFON, for that matter, and they’ve got ten tons of “evidence:

    2. An ‘actual UFO’ is by definition anything flying in the sky that can’t readily be identified. You really shouldn’t – for matters of accuracy – continue to interchange UFOs with sports cares from Mars. Big difference.

    Here’s a cool vignette:

    I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where my elderly uncle Otis was what they used to call a ‘night watchman’ at Wright-Patterson airbase, home of Project Blue Book way back when. One of his jobs was to unlock the doors to all the offices one at a time, so the janitors could gather up the shredded files and tote them out to the incinerator every night. I once asked uncle Otis if he ever saw anything strange around the Blue Book office. He thought about it and then said, “No, not really. It was a pretty tiny little two-room nook and looked very ordinary.”

    I was very disappointed. But then he said, “But they sure generated more shredded paper than anybody else did.”

  12. PatricParamedic,

    In science fiction, aliens are very often used discuss some aspect of human behavior. Truly alien aliens in the genre are the exception, not the norm. Which is to be expected considering most science fiction writers are human. For an example in contrast, compare any Star Trek alien (with possibly the exceptions of the Tholians or the Horta) to Lem’s living planet in Solaris or Clarke’s Monolith builders from 2001: A Space Odyssey. When contrasted with the inscrutable motives of Solaris or the Monoliths, the motives and actions of most ST species are clearly rooted in human behavior: Klingons = aggression, Ferengi = greed, Romulans = paranoia, etc.

    As far as Independence Day goes, CM is correct. The description of the aliens motives given by Bill Pullman could be applied to humans many times over our history: we move in, destroy the natives and steal the resources before moving on, all the while leaving massive destruction in our wake. There’s nothing more human than that.

    As a film, ID is nothing but special effects eye-candy. Without the effects and on the merits of literary examination as science fiction, it’s total crap. Easily one of the dumbest SF movies ever, it’s also jingoistic and arrogant. The bottom line about REAL aliens is this: if they have the technology to get here, they have the technology to wipe us out in an instant. At our current level of technology, we’d be helpless. So how does Roland Emmerich address this issue? By applying a large slobbering dose of deus ex machina. Literally. We beat the aliens with a computer virus written by Jeff Goldblum? Seriously? That is so lame from an artistic and scientific standpoint that as a writer it makes me want to barf.

  13. Patric.

    You really shouldn’t – for matters of accuracy – continue to interchange UFOs with sports cares from Mars.

    I don’t assume that a report of a UFO is a report of a sports car from Mars, it may be a report of something that some intelligence is trying to pass off as a sports car from Mars, but we should not make any assumptions about where that intelligence originates. The things people see may not be real objects, any more that the things projected on a movie screen are real objects, the intelligence responsible may be as terrestrial as we are or they may be from another universe than ours.

    What I mean when I say that there is in the public domain absolutly no evidence of an actual UFO I mean no physical evidence. Even photographs if not fake are only evidence of light falling photographic film, they are not evidence that the thing photographed was not some kind of projected image rather than a physical object. There is no one who admits to having captured a mysterious apparent flying object. There are plenty of people who accuse others of having done so, the most accused entity being the US air force.

    J Allen Hynek was careful to say that he studied UFO reports, not UFOs. Other credible authors on UFO phenomena do not go as far as Hynek went to explicitly state this but I suspect that most of them would if pressed agree with his attitude. The thing is that reports can be classified into a small finite set of classes. Hyneks classification scheme was as follows:-

    1/ Nocturnal lights;
    2/ Daylike Disks;
    3/ Close encounters of the first kind, that is the UFO appears sufficiently close that details can be seen;
    4/ Close encounters of the second kind where the UFO interacts with the environment and leaves physical evidence;
    5/ Close encounters of the third kind, ie occupants.

    There is little variety in the observations of nocturnal lights, it is easy to assume that one sighting is of the same phenomena as any other. The characteristics of nocturnal lights are:-

    1/ No visible body, just a bright light or cluster of lights;
    2/ Noiseless, no sound of engines or sonic booms;
    3/ Apparent high speed assuming that the distance from the observers is as it seems large;
    4/ Apparent absence of inertia. Real aircraft when changing direction are constrained to fly circular paths, nocturnal lights can stop dead or fly the outline of a triangle at constant speed;
    5/ Falling leaf behaviour is sometimes observed;
    6/ Splitting combining behaviour is sometimes observed. Sometimes a light splits into multiple lights which rush off in different directions and sometimes multiple lights appear to converge and combine into one.

    Daylight disks are in many cases similar to nocturnal lights with the exception that the observation occurs in daylight and there appears to be a visible body, usually circular but other shapes including cigar shaped and triangular have been seen. Behaviour is similar except that I do not remember reading of any case of daylight discs splitting or combining. Falling leaf behaviour has been observed which makes sense if a circular physical object is allowed to fall with power switched off. There also have been observations at twilight of objects that appear both physical and self illuminated, perhaps the transition between nocturnal light and daylight disc.

    I regret that I have never myself seen anything that is not easily explained by ordinary phenomena, but one person with whom I used to work and believe to be credible described an experience that matches the description of nocturnal lights.

    The first UFO book I bought was one of J Allen Hynek’s and that was sometime in the late sixties. Since then I have bought more and found very few that were obviously written by credulous lunatics. Hynek and Valle are the two authors at the top of my recommendation list. Valle has moved to thinking that the UFO phenomena is not susceptible to scientific study because it is under the control of an intelligence, and anything observed is seen because that intelligence intended it to be seen, he now sees the phenomena as being able to be studied only with the techniques of intelligence professionals. Valle speculates that this intelligence is trying to introduce certain ideas into human minds. He also no longer asserts that contactees who claim to have met blue eyed fair haired nordic men from Venus are hoaxing, he thinks that the nordic men are real but lying when they say that they are from Venus.

  14. Buddah.

    I suspect that we could only understand other intelligences to the extent that their thinking resembles ours.

    It is probably beyond the ability of any human science fiction writer to describe a really alien alien. CJ Cherryh comes closest in my view with her Faded Sun and Foreigner series.

    The bottom line about REAL aliens is this: if they have the technology to get here, they have the technology to wipe us out in an instant.

    Exactly, and if I ever meet one I will advise him that they should be ready to wipe us out before we reach technological parity as if they don’t we will do to them what we have done to every human race we have conquered except for the bit about raping their women and producing an undercaste with a tiny proportion of alien DNA.

  15. Patric.

    In my view belief in the reality of the phenomenon of people seeing UFOs makes more sense than belief in the real existence of Napoleon Bonaparte or any historical character from centuries ago.

  16. Byron.

    I dispute that intelligence exists on planet Earth except for a few exceptions such as Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman.

  17. PatricParamedic

    I have also talked to several pilots, both military and civilian, and they without exception, related that they have decided that they would not report a sighting because of the repercussions from such a report. Some had seen “something” and agreed with the pilot/co-pilot not to report it.

    I have relatives, a middle-aged couple at the time, that stood and watched a UFO manuver for about 30 minutes (daytime) in northern Michigan. These are two of the most unlikely persons one could imagine to make up a story. Also my mother’s friend’s twenty-year-old son swore he was followed home by one through the dark countryside for about 20 miles. His mom told mine he was terrified when he got home.

    As I was driving across country about 50 years ago, I got the idea of asking people, waitresses, gas station attendants, etc. if they had ever heard of UFOs locally. Almost everyone had a story of someone they knew (never themselves) that had seen something. Try it sometime.

  18. Carlyle Moulton

    Many years ago I devoured every book I could find on UFOs and a lot of Science Fiction. I agree that Dr. Hynek’s and Jacque Valle’s books were the most informative, Valee’s especially.

    The thought that UFOs might be an illusion makes me wonder if a way to produce what we call holograms but on a large scale could be a possibility.

    Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately if they’re really REALLY hostile) I’ve never seen one either, though I think I’d like to.

  19. The probability that these UFOs are some kind of alien spacecraft is almost zero. Aliens must abide by the same speed limit that we do, and the distances are prohibitive.

  20. Budha said:

    …”We beat the aliens with a computer virus written by Jeff Goldblum? Seriously?… ”

    Why not? After all he is a world-renowned chaotician, and invented matter-transport technology. He also knows how to triangulate the position his wife’s phone using a single receiver, plus he recycles.

    Also, don’t forget that he did have access to the alien ship and its computer system for quite a while down there in the bowels of area 51, and his being fall-down drunk probably helped him figure out the alien code. Plus, he had access to both a PC AND Mac laptops – think of the synergy involved there.

    I am not enslaved to the idea that my sci-fi du jure has to have valid scientific verisimilitude. It’s entertainment. I love ID – the special effects are still spectacular, there are real characters with real character development, the aliens are ugly, smelly and chilling-scary; there is something resembling a believable plot, and the acting is way better than it needs to be. This already puts the flick in the upper echelon of sci-fi.

    Plus, Judd Hirsch is adorable as the Jewish father, and the movie has Mary McDonnell in it, btw. Did I mention the film has Mary McDonnell in it?

  21. Reporter: Uh, question for the barbecue chef: Don’t you think there is an inherent danger in sending under-qualified civilians into space?

    Homer: I’ll field this one. The only danger is if they send us to that terrible Planet of the Apes. [thinks for a moment] Wait a minute, Statue of Liberty – that was our planet! You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!

  22. This line disturbed me: “According to the airmen stationed at different bases throughout the Country, all witnessed UFO’s and some even experienced loss of use of nuclear weapons under their care.”

    WTF? Does this mean they tried to fire them off?! “Oops, it didn’t work!”

  23. I’ve always respected former news anchor Peter Jennings. His body of reporting work was as impressive over the years as just about anybody on the planet.

    In the last year of his life, when he knew he was dying, he made the decision to focus on stories that he personally was interested in, but that had never quite made it onto prime time, according to his surviving family members. Here’s one of the best prime time, non-biased reports I’ve ever seen:

    You all be safe out there.

  24. Gingerbaker,

    I’m not psychotic about the science in my science fiction, but it has to rise to a level above what was shown in ID. It was good eye candy though and I do give it credit for that. I have no issue with the either the acting or the cinematography.

    But the storytelling? Yeah, I’ve got an issue with that. The story is junk. I’ll excuse a little bad science in my science fiction as the genre is inherently speculative, but I can’t forgive the bad science AND bad storytelling. That’s like saying “I’d really like an Almond Joy with no coconut and no nuts. Leave off the chocolate while you’re at it.” It can’t be good science fiction (note I did not use the word “enjoyable” – there can be a visceral thrill from mindless entertainment) without some good science or some good fiction but one of the two has to be solid. This film has neither IMO.

  25. Buddha,

    All of Lem’s aliens that I can think of are completely foreign (I’m excluding “The Cyberiad” and “Mortal Engines,” because those aren’t Sci-fi they’re fairy tales about robots). One of Lem’s biggest complaints about American Science fiction was that the aliens are just humans from another planet.

    I wonder if you’ve read Scott Sigler’s alien invasion books? Not exactly hardcore sci-fi but they do give a plausible scenario.

    For what it’s worth, I remember the whole computer virus thing was explained in a deleted scene: Modern computers were reverse engineered from the downed spacecraft in Area 51.

    Oh and incidentally, Eric Nylund has a newer book out, “Mortal Coils.” Not his best work (but at least it’s not based on a video game), but it’s a fairly entertaining read. I think it was aimed at Teenagers.

  26. Rafflaw:

    “The aliens have stepped off of their spacecraft and have landed on Earth. We now refer to them as Teabaggers!”

    Not to point out the obvious, but any group of individuals that can travel millions of light years through space is a highly advanced species/race and is certainly capable of many things.

    I would also point out that ET, if he exists, is a free market capitalist. No other way to have the money or knowledge for space travel.

  27. Byron,

    “I would also point out that ET, if he exists, is a free market capitalist. No other way to have the money or knowledge for space travel.”

    Engaging in a little wishful thinking?

    They’re aliens, B. They may not even have the concept of a medium of exchange let alone market driven economics.

  28. Byron,

    Have you spent much time around stoners? They have this annoying habit they have about making EVERYTHING about pot. You’ll be watching “The Ninth Gate” and have to hear “Oh that chick is soooo high,” every time the blond girl with Mismatched socks comes on.

    Don’t be that guy.

  29. Carlyle Moulton,

    I’m currently reading “Hunter of Worlds,” and just finished “Brothers of Earth.”

    Brothers was sort of a let down since I had recently read LeGuin’s “Left Hand of Darkness.” I tend to go through thematic phases, in this case alien cultures.

    I just finished a Post Nuclear war jag: both Leibowitz novels, “Ape and Essence” (an underrated little gem from Huxley), The original Shannara series (some junk food fantasy).

  30. Gyges,

    I’ve always considered E.T. to be more science fantasy than science fiction. I’ll have to look into that Nyland book too. I rather enjoyed Signal to Noise.

  31. Buddha,

    Well he did a sequel, “Signal Shattered,” which is as well written as the original. This is what looks like the beginning of a mildly creative Harry Potter series aimed at an older (mid\late teens) crowd. Kids raised in obscurity, finds out that they’re special, yadda yadda. Like I said, fairly entertaining, but not as good as the Signal books.

  32. Gyges:


    Have you spent much time around stoners? They have this annoying habit they have about making EVERYTHING about pot. You’ll be watching “The Ninth Gate” and have to hear “Oh that chick is soooo high,” every time the blond girl with Mismatched socks comes on.

    Don’t be that guy.”

    That was a joke, I figure by now I am getting to be that guy so I was lampooning myself.

  33. ID, meh.

    “Ash: You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
    Lambert: You admire it.
    Ash: I admire its purity.”

    Alien was the best SF first contact ever IMO. The creature looked truly alien and simply did what it did by its nature. It had evolved to take on the basic characteristics of its victims during it’s pupil phase and yet retain its basic predatory nature. No matter what species in which it pupated, it became the alpha predator of that species. The movie quickly veered into horror but the horror was the outgrowth of the aliens capacity for predation.

    As a movie it made first contact scary again and broke the mold of ‘clean’ space and developed the theme of working in space replete with the bureaucracy and class distinctions and tensions of every workplace. It was a complete departure from the model of space 2001 ushered in. They are perfect bookends or epoch markers for the genre. It was the first contact movie I had wanted to see since I started going to SF movies in the late 50’s.

    I love the alien. I admire its purity. :-)

  34. Byron,

    I know. I just like telling people “Don’t be that guy.”


    That jump scene with the cat still gets me after 20 some odd viewings.

  35. Nal,


    Interstellar travel is an engineering challenge, not an impossibility. With 1960s technology, NASA built the Voyager spacecraft, both about 12 light-hours from Earth and still functioning almost half-a-cenury after launch. We have no trouble believing that a century from now, JPL/NASA will be capable of building spacecraft that can function for more than a century — long enough for micro-spacecraft to reach Alpha Centauri with ion drive.

    Looking ahead five hundred years, even without invoking “magic technology” like warp drives or vacuum-energy generators, sending spacecraft operated by artificial intelligence to other stars on missions lasting centuries seems a completely reasonable extrapolation.

    The laws of physics don’t prevent interstellar travel, they just make it something that requires patience. We have no trouble accepting that if there is intelligent life on other worlds, that they can develop similar technology.

    But in the context of Leslie Kean’s book, there’s no need to start talking about aliens. She doesn’t try to explain what UFOs are — there’s not enough information available to do that. Instead, she simply makes a strong case that the U.S. government is not being truthful when it says it does not investigate UFOs because they are not a danger to aviation or national defense. She does this by presenting persuasive evidence from first-hand sources that A) UFOs have endangered aircraft, B) UFOs have interfered with weapons systems, and C) the government does investigate them while saying it doesn’t.

    So far, we haven’t come across any strong and specific counter argument to her conclusions. Some critics try to deride the book by lumping it in with “UFOs are invaders from outer space” books, but since that’s not a conclusion she makes, it’s a false assessment.

  36. Byron,

    “That was a joke, I figure by now I am getting to be that guy so I was lampooning myself.”

    Now that’s good humor. :)


    The Alien(s) are indeed quite alien (thanks to H.R. Giger nightmarish design) and you’re right about the first film. It’s only an SF setting, but properly it’s really a “monster in the house” movie. Not that Ridley Scott can’t make “true” SF as proved by the classic Bladerunner. The man is one of my favorite directors. But I like films that genre bend like Alien. Another that comes to mind is the great ghost story posing as a western High Plains Drifter.


    You bring up a good point that the more credible sightings, be they of extraterrestrial in origin or not, UFO’s as a simply unexplained phenomena do merit serious consideration given their reported interactions with both military and civilian aircraft.

    They might be aliens, they might be us from the future, they might be naturally occurring geophysical and/or atmospheric phenomena we simply don’t understand, but whatever they are?

    They sure are interesting.

  37. BIL, I was enamored of Gigers’ art before I knew he was doing Alien. I was delighted and figured it really wouldn’t matter if it was a good movie or not as long as the Giger art was front and center. I was delighted on several levels when I saw it. Gigers’ book on making Alien was a good read too.

    Bladerunner is a truly great film though the commercial release grates ones soul with the voice-over and happy ending. The Directors cut, the movie Scott wanted to make, is outstanding. A masterpiece. The 2007 movie “Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner” is a 3 hour delight about, you guessed it, making Bladerunner.

    The best movies are magnetic, or like black holes they generate their own gravity wells. If they’re on TV or the better-half starts watching the disc and you walk through the room on the way elsewhere, you just have to stop and sit down to watch. You just can’t develop enough thrust to escape the pull.

    The opening bar of “the Godfather” theme has levitated me from the basement as if by magic. The opening few seconds of music of Bladerunner and Alien can do the same or have puled me from other rooms, whenever I hear the slow ‘foop-foop’ of helicopter rotors I listen for the first bar of “The End” by the Doors ’cause Apocalypse Now is starting(!). Same with Lawrence of Arabia and 2001.

    We went to see Apocalypse Now at the theatre and Coppola had not settled on his ending credits when the film was actually released. Apparently he had several ending credit treatments done and sent them out to various cities and then decided which treatment would be the standard end credits. Then he switched out the last reel in a matter of weeks so if you went back to see it a second or 5th time after about two weeks the end credits you saw initially likely weren’t the end credits you saw the second time.

    We in St. Louis were treated to about 14 minutes of end credits rolling over the destruction of Kurtzs’ temple-stronghold by a silent rain of ariel bombardment. It was partially colorized and trippy as the light show in 2001. It was exhausting and amazing. We told all our friends they had to sit through the credits. Then we went back to see it a couple of weeks later and got the blank, black screen w/white type. LOL, My brother-in-law was totally honked-off at us because of that. Coppola should have left it trippy.

    BIL, a one time you and I and others were discussing the nature of the universe and you broached the topic of it being a hologram and recommended a book on that subject. There is more current and fascinating news on that. An experiment meant to discover gravity waves turned up some unexpected results and, as well a device is being constructed, the Holometer, which will perform an experiment to delve into the specific question of ours being a 2D universe. The original gravity-wave result story is on a ‘sub. only’ board but it and the Holometer info are posted by

  38. LK,

    I am in total agreement on Bladerunner. In fact, when I was typing that post I did debate qualifying it as the Director’s Cut. It’s a much more effective film without the voice over and with the more ambiguous ending.

    I’ve read a little about how the holometer experiment, but as always, I’m behind on my reading (a lifelong affliction I suspect rooted that whole “so many books, so little time” axiom). I’m interested in the results as the holographic theory comports in many ways with M-theory (an incomplete model I think likely accurate upon refinement) and its assertion that gravity (or as they call it, super-gravity) acts in a trans-dimensional manner.

  39. What gives the authorities the idea that the public shouldn’t know the truth? Haven’t we learned that power corrupts absolutely and if there isn’t a public to oversee the evidence, then it won’t be handled in a manner that protects us.

    For instance, what is “red orbs disabling nuclear weapons for two days”? Does this mean that whirling lights were disabling nuclear weapons and no one mentioned this in the news? Are you kidding me? Is “Woman’s Day” the most sophisticated journal reporting on these incidents?

  40. Buddha and Lotta,

    I’ve always appreciated how well Scott adapted the book to film. Whenever I hear people complain about the movie not being like the book, I always bring it and Kubrick’s “The Shining” up. I can’t think of two better examples of dropping huge plot points to make the transition between media work.

    Well there’s “The Ninth Gate” Vs “The Club Dumas,” but “The Club Dumas” was just… bad.

  41. Gyges,

    Kubrick had one technical issue working against him on The Shining that wasn’t related directly to format translation from page to screen. One of the scariest scenes in the book is when the topiary animals in the hedge maze come to life and start chasing Danny. I’ve read Kubrick did several tests on effects for this scene, but in the end the special effects of the time just didn’t meet his visual expectations so he cut it.

  42. roflol

    Yeah, Gyges. Lucas is one of the most overrated directors in the world let alone America. He’s an excellent businessman in the entertainment support sector with ILM and Skywalker Studios and an excellent toy seller, but he’s a mediocre film maker. Most people don’t realize that the Star Wars film widely considered to be the best of the series, The Empire Strikes Back, was directer by Irvin Kershner with a screenplay written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan based on story points by Lucas. He’s a good marketer and idea man, but his execution behind the camera isn’t near that of a Steven Speilberg or a Ridley Scott.

  43. Byron “Lottakatz: don’t worry, you really exist.”


    Perhaps like Tinkerbell, because you believe. Thank you. :-)

    Gyges, BIL, The better half and I really wanted to see the topiary animals come to life on screen but you have to give Kubrick points for not doing it if he couldn’t do it well.

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