1 Comment | Add
Rate & Share:
When Science Fiction May Not be Just Science Fiction
By Nick Redfern
September 04, 2012
Just the stuff of on-screen entertainment?
© Criterion Collection
Think the exploits of Mulder and Scully were just the stuff of on-screen entertainment? That the Men in Black were dreamed up by Hollywood? Or, that E.T. was just a less-than-cute, very annoying special-effect? Maybe it’s time to think again. Nick Redfern reveals the startling, conspiratorial truths behind Tinsel-Town’s out of this world fiction…
1. Men in Black: They may have first caught the public’s attention and imagination back in 1997, thanks to Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but, their non-fiction counterparts have been skulking around for far longer. Indeed, both the MIB movies and the original comic-book series were inspired by countless reports from people who claimed menacing visits from real dark-suited men after seeing a UFO. And did you ever wonder why the characters of Smith and Jones are referred to as J and K? One of those that spent years famously investigating, and writing about, the real MIB was the author of The Mothman Prophecies, John Keel: J and K.
2. Independence Day: An entertaining, over-the-top piece of macho-driven, “let’s kick E.T.’s ass” proportions, Independence Day introduced cinema-goers to a government cover-up of an otherworld nature. And that’s where the problems started. Given that the movie portrayed the U.S. military in a very favorable light, the Pentagon was more than willing to lend its support to Independence Day. For a while. The many references to Roswell and Area 51 in the script, however, caused problems that reached the very heart of government. The Army demanded any and all references to Area 51 be removed. And the Marines’ Public Affairs Office flatly stated that no official support could be given to a movie that perpetuated the Roswell “myth.” The team behind Independence Day refused to back down from its storyline. The result: the military backed away from giving its support.
3. The X-Files: Fight the Future: The central theme of the 1998 movie that saw Mulder and Scully reach the big-screen for the first time was that of a deadly “alien virus” threatening all of humankind. Great entertainment, right? Not in the real world. For decades, deep concerns have existed within NASA about the possible outbreak of an extraterrestrial biological agent on our planet – possibly one against which we would have no immunity. Back in 1967, the United States, Britain and Russia all signed an agreement covering “outer-space activities,” part of which focused on concerns regarding “harmful contamination” and “adverse changes” to “the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter.” When the zombie virus finally erupts for real, maybe we’ll have aliens to blame.
4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Without doubt, the most memorable moments of Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed 1977 movie were the final ones, where a huge UFO and its alien crew put in an appearance at Devils Tower, Wyoming. But was that scene merely one born out of imagination? Some say no. And, intriguingly, more than a few of them are military insiders and whistleblowers. In the 1980s, a number of Deep Throat-type sources in the U.S. Government claimed those final minutes were actually based upon a real-life close encounter of a near-identical nature at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico in 1964. And, interestingly, Steven Spielberg pops up in another saga of UFO conspiracies…
5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Most of us have seen it, some may have loved it, and others probably concluded it was mildly entertaining, but way too sentimental. It was the 1980s blockbuster, E.T. And, maybe, there was a hidden truth behind the famous flick. Back in 1982, when the movie was released, it received a special viewing at none other than the White House. It was also a movie that reportedly led then-President Ronald Reagan to quietly confide in Steven Spielberg that there were certain people in the White House who secretly knew that UFOs and alien life were a reality. That Reagan claimed a UFO sighting of his own and, during his presidency, mused publicly on the possibility of an alien invasion of our planet, only makes matters more intriguing.
6. Roswell: Back in 1994, Kyle MacLachlan and Martin Sheen starred in a full-length fiction movie titled Roswell. It was, of course, based upon the alleged crash of a UFO at Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947. So the story goes, on remote ranchland outside of town, a large field of debris, a number of mangled alien corpses, and a damaged spacecraft from another world were found. The result: all the evidence was quickly removed by a panicked military for destinations unknown. True? Well, that the Air Force has now changed its stance on what happened at Roswell no less than four times, has quite understandably led many UFO researchers, and even elements of the media, to suspect there is deep conspiracy and cover-up at work. The Air Force’s current position: the bodies were crash-test dummies and the debris was from a secret balloon-based program to monitor for Soviet atomic-bomb detonations. Hmmm….
7. Star Trek: Whether you’re a fan of Star Trek or not, everyone knows those immortal words: “Beam me up, Scotty!” We’re talking teleportation. It worked very well for Kirk, Spock and co. Not so good, at all, for Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, however. But, how many people know the U.S. Air Force commissioned a study into this very issue just a few years ago? In August 2004, the USAF declassified a document titled The Teleportation Physics Study. It was the work of a Las Vegas-based outfit called Warp Drive Metrics, with who the Air Force Research Laboratory had quietly contracted to explore the strange realm of teleportation. Within the pages of the report it was noted: “This study was tasked with the purpose of collecting information describing the teleportation of material objects, providing a description of teleportation as it occurs in physics, its theoretical and experimental status, and a projection of potential applications” If Star Trek-style teleportation does become a reality, just make sure there are no little winged things flying around when you’re ready to get your atoms scrambled…
8. The Philadelphia Experiment: Can you imagine what it would be like to be invisible for a day? Or, a week, or a month, or whenever the mood took you? Well, invisibility has played a role in countless science-fiction movies: Hollow Man; The Invisible Man; and Memoirs of an Invisible Man. They all, of course, took their inspiration from H.G. Wells’ 1897 story, The Invisible Man. Maybe the U.S. Navy was inspired by the Wells story, too. In 1984, a movie called The Philadelphia Experiment hit theaters across the world. It told of secret, WWII experiments to render a naval ship invisible to the enemy. But, legend says, and conspiracy-theorists claim, the movie was born out of a very real, and top secret, 1943 experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Yard to achieve invisibility – one which went catastrophically wrong and left the crew-members either dead or insane. The U.S. Navy – fully aware of the claims – has spent years trying to deny the reality of the story. But, just like Roswell, it never goes away. And still on the subject of H.G. Wells…
9. The Island of Dr. Moreau: H.G. Wells’ classic novel – which tells the sorry saga of the deranged doctor of the book’s title and his crazed attempts to cross-breed animals and humans - has received the big-screen treatment on several occasions, and most recently in the 1996 version which starred Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. But, there has been at least one real-world equivalent of Dr. Moreau. He was a brilliant but deranged Russian scientist named Ilya Ivanov who, in the 1920s, embarked on a strange and secret program to create creatures that were half-human and half-ape. Thankfully, the nutty project completely failed. That it did go ahead, however, is certain: just a few years ago, Russian workmen constructing a kids’ play area in the Georgian Black Sea town of Suchumi stumbled on a number of ape-skeletons in the ruins of an old underground laboratory. It amounted to pretty much all that was left of Ivanov’s mad and monstrous mission.
10. The Day the Earth Stood Still: In the now-classic movie starring Michael Rennie (that’s the 1951 original, not the awful remake of 2008 with Keanu Reeves), a human-looking alien named Klaatu arrives on Earth with his giant robot, Gort, and gives the people of our planet one of those Mafia-like offers you can’t refuse: do what we say or get whacked. That’s right: E.T. is tired of our warlike ways, and unless we get our house in order, it’s goodbye Earth, courtesy of Klaatu and his buddies from the stars. Some say there’s more than a hint of truth to the movie. Linda Howe is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has gone on record as stating she was told by government sources that The Day the Earth Stood Still represented nothing less than a test of public reaction to the idea of aliens being amongst us. Secret CIA manipulation of Hollywood? Yep!