Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let's Go To The Tape

I was watching a bit of Close Encounter Of The Third Kind on TV. I've never been too fond of the movie. What didn't help was that I saw it while still in love with Star Wars, and it just didn't compare.

Anyway, there's a minor scene where the government is covering up (isn't that what the government always does in movies since Watergate?) its contact with aliens. An official is saying how all these stories of outer space contact are hooey, and how no one's ever actually got film of any spaceship. Some smart guy responds he's worked in the media for years and no one's ever gotten any film of a car crash, but they happen all the time.

I'd like to think when I first heard that, I thought "what a stupid argument." I can't remember. (I'll leave it to you, constant reader, to note the logical flaws.) But hearing it today, it really sounds bad. Since the film was released, video cameras have become common, and people tape everything. And guess what--we've got tons and tons of car crashes. Still no alien vessels landing and interacting with people. So how do you explain that, Mr. Spielberg?


Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Back then, car crashes were rarely (never??) filmed because they occupied a very short time period and there was no advance notice of them.

If aliens visit Earth in sudden bursts, and if all their activities -- whether they be abductions, sunburns, whatever -- always possess the traits of being unannounced and sudden and very brief -- then it wouldn't be surprising that they aren't filmed.

But it's that very premise that seems utterly absurd to me. If we took the trouble to fly several light-years to a new star, would we kidnap a few people, probe them, and vanish?

Of course, the additional claim, key to most alien conspiracy theories, is that the aliens have overt discussions with a clandestine organization in our government. Even if one believes that such groups exist -- capable of keeping a major secret for half a century -- how were the aliens able to contact this secret group? If I visited an alien planet I would have great trouble locating their secret societies, since they are (by definition) invisible and almost impossible to locate even to intrepid members of their own species.

6:02 AM, May 19, 2009  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

But don't you love the Men in Black films? I like the conceit that aliens are all around us, but people don't want to see them, so it is pretty easy to keep the stories out o fthe MSM. Of course, the flashy thing helps too.

"Elvis is not dead, he just went home!"

8:15 AM, May 19, 2009  
Blogger New England Guy said...

Alien stories and rogue secret government agencies seemed to based in a combination of boredom (life would be more interesting if these things happened) and feelings of powerlessness (life would be better if all these unknown forces I can't control were keeping me from the better life). Close Encounters played into both.

2:11 PM, May 19, 2009  

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