UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, June 07, 2016


I watched Wargames on Encore last night [6/6/16] and realized that the movie created for me personal memes that reside in my psyche and show up at this blog, almost everyday.

I adopted, it seems, Falken's view of civilization and humanity and desire for their extinction (although ameliorated by the end of the movie, but still extant in me).

And Josua, the AI computer, created my interest in machine intelligence, a current obsession, as you know.

The movie, along with The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Thing From Another World (and Melville's Moby Dick), shaped my being more than I thought.

What movie, book or other entertainment, affected you, likewise?

I'm interested in knowing.



  • TTFAW and TDTESS were released just after I was born, and I watched them incessantly on TV while growing up -- during the post-war golden "flap" era. They so tapped into the milieu I grew up in that they jump-started my interest in all things space- and aviation-related, and remain my favorite of all films. The themes of camaraderie, benevolence, and paranoia left quite an impact.

    As for the nuts and bolts: I believe both stories are every bit as good if not superior to anything from the Star Trek and Star Wars canons. And for pure dramatic story-telling, nothing tops these scenes: the air force crew and scientists slowly form a ring around the object in the ice, the music building to a marvelous and spooky crescendo; and Klaatu telling Professor Barnhardt that his equation "worked well enough to get me from one planet to another."

    How could anyone NOT love this stuff?

    By Blogger Ron, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • Hello,

    For the best of my memories, the film which influenced me the first (before to become a skeptic years after concerning paranormal or crank affirmations) was "Altered States" (1980) with William Hurt and realized by Ken Russell. I was 11/13 years old ^^

    Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbYT3UclhNY

    "The thing from another world" influenced me too or BTW, but I was older when first visioning it in the Old Europe.

    Best regards,


    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • I would bet, Gilles, that our academic buddy, Bryan Sentes, is an "Altered States" fan also.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • This may sound ridiculous, and it is to certain point, but "Plan 9 from Outer Space" was one of the first films (I say the term film with tongue in cheek) to explore the zombie apocalypse meme. God what an awful movie, but I'm compelled to view it over and over similar to slowing down coming upon a car wreck. The director, Ed Woods, had a bare knuckles budget for the film, or simply was a cheap bastard.

    The above would set the stage for George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" which explored societal reactions from an event triggered from outer space (meteorite). Sociologist have dissected this film in context of gender and racial interactions as well as looking at the structural hierarchy that is inherently depicted (subliminally) in the film.

    Not a movie, but the Twilight Zone anthologies, had a profound impact on my way of thinking. Of course, most of the depicted themes were actually used to do an end around the network censors as Rod Serling explored racial themes via space aliens and futuristic totalitarian government policies. A true genius IMHO, lost at the young age of 50.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • Plan 9, From Outer Space? You kill me, Tim....


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • It seems old films influenced so-called medium too in order to fool you and us: "I" have demystified one "today", very famous in the 80's or later... It was "Planet of the Apes" which inspirated him to fool you!

    Not ufo related as in French, sorry.

    UFO related however: it is by luck and fortune we demystified and explained its famous TCI proof...


    sorry for the of-topic.


    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • Not off topic, Gilles...

    If it was "important" or especially interesting to you.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • > the zombie apocalypse meme

    Invisible Invaders (1959) preceded Plan 9 by two months, and was nearly as bad (I watched it a couple weeks ago).

    Invisible aliens, concerned about our atomic weapons, decide to invade Earth pre-emptively. The aliens manifest by killing people then entering and controlling the dead bodies. The alien zombies have the appearance and gate of the classic movie zombie.



    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • Okay you guys....

    I was hoping to get entertainment (serious or otherwise) that helped make you what you are, not goofy films or books that titillate your funny bone(s).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, June 07, 2016  

  • For better or worse here's my list...

    The 1954 version of "War of the Worlds" [scared the !@#$ out of me],

    The paperback of "Simulacron-3" [the first "reality is a simulation" novel I ever read... it made me "fall off the floor" when I realized what the author was getting at]

    The "juvenile" novels [what now would be called Young Adult] of Robert Heinlein [Space Cadet, Rocketship Galileo, Between Planets, Farmer in The Sky, Starman Jones, Podkayne of Mars, etc]. These inspired me to seek out working in aerospace.

    "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Glory Road", "Starship Troopers", "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" also by Heinlein. Fictional essays on "practical politics". You might not agree with him on his politics but he did offer ideas to think about. Paul Verhoeven's movie of "Starship Troopers" has nothing at all to do with the book [even a liberal such as myself do not consider the movie as a "take down" of Heinlein's ideas]. The movies were a big "fail" both as an actual answer to Heilein's idea and they also "gutted" the idea of the "mobile infantry" [everyone works, everyone fights].

    "Dune" by Frank Herbert. Ecology. Politics. "Oil Politics", Fanatical Religion. Hubris, Tragedy, A Messiah. A Greek Tragedy on a galactic scale. Herbert mixed them all very well.

    Almost anything and everything written by Roger Zelazny [The Amber novels combine fantasy with SF to give a "unique" explanation for why some myths are what they are]. His prose is hard to beat.

    The "Budayeen" Trilogy by George Alec Effinger. The first of which was entitled "When Gravity Fails".Followed by "A Fire in the Sun" and "The Exile Kiss". Cyberpunk detective stories set in a future middle east.

    The first trilogy Cyberpunk novels of William Gibson from the 1980s [Neuromancer, Count Zero, Monalisa Overdrive].

    "Hardwired" by Walter John Williams [more cyberpunk... in a world controlled by corporations in orbit with the help of AIs]

    Neal Stephenson's "Snowcrash" [Cyberpunk satire with a message].

    For entertainment, almost any novel by Stephen Brust. He writes mostly fantasy but he's a most entertaining writer that can succeed writing wittily in the style of Alexandre Dumas Sr. [even if he would be considered way to the left of Bernie Sanders]

    Joseph Campbell's "The Hero With A Thousand Faces". If there is a thing that is hard wired into the human psyche it is the basic plot revealed by Campbell in this book.

    You'll notice my list is very light on movies... that's because it is rare that a movie can actually convey a complex idea completely [War of the Worlds has at its root the "terror" of an "unstoppable" alien invasion-- and terror is a very simple emotion]

    The rest of the list [with one exception] is filled with SF by "forward looking" writers who also have the ability to write excellent prose.

    BTW in 1981 I worked for the company that leased to the USAF the Control Data Corp. Cyber-70 supercomputers which were used exclusively for doing Nuke War game simulations. When the USAF said they didn't own any computers like those in "War Games" it was true... they leased them from a contractor. That particular company was a sort of "catch all" company. They also made the hard coaxial cable assemblies which were used in ICBM MIRV warheads.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

  • Bergman's films, particularly "Winter Light" (our current film production company is named after it), most anything by Welles, Tarkovsky (particularly The Mirror, which is simply amazing), and John Ford... Francois Truffaut and the rest of the New Wave (The 400 Blows is one of the best films ever made)... the great noirs (and the not-so-great ones as well)... and westerns, from the classics right up to the modern era (High Noon still being my favourite). I have a fondness for the work of Sturges and Preminger as well, and of course Cassavetes.

    Oh yeah - a little film called Star Wars as well.

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

  • It's not a movie, but I would say the TV show, The Invaders, with Roy Thinnes, which I first watched as a kid in the 1970s.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

  • Ah yes, The Invaders. It stoked my flying saucer obsession.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

  • Ah yes, The Invaders. It stoked my flying saucer obsession.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

  • You can learn a lot about someone from the movies and books that made a deep and long-lasting impression. Movies: An American in Paris (1951) with the most wonderful dance ballet ever filmed; Books: The Fountainhead, for its sense of individualism; Entertainment (and UFOs): The Armstrong Circe Theater episode of Jan. 22, 1958, where Donald Keyhoe broke away from the approved script and said,"And now I'm going to reveal something that has never been disclosed before..." His microphone suddenly went dead; the audio had been terminated by CBS and the Air Force under a prior agreement. I saw it live and it changed my world view on UFOs and just about everything else involving the government.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

  • That CBS moment, Dominick, rarely seen in UFO programming today, is an eye-opener.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

  • Thought I might mention Stephen King's 2011 publication of "11.22.63" which he originally worked on in the mid 1970s. The basic premise is that time abhors any attempts to alter the past. The past is static and unmovable/unchangeable and that certain forces come in to play to combat any changes. Probably his finest work (my personal take). I use the theme with some of my patients for due consideration after being discharged.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Wednesday, June 08, 2016  

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