Thirty Years Of Alien
Invasions - In The Movies
By Jim Hickman <>

This report is on Aliens in the movies, 1947 to 1977. Once again, this is not going to include everyone's favorite, this is just a sample of what I have available to me from my research.
I wanted to start out with my personal favorite movie of all time, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, this movie was made back in 1956 and has a cold war feel to it. The cast includes Hugh Marlowe, and Joan Taylor, and was directed by Fred F. Sears.
When you watch this movie, (I know many of you will rush out and buy it!), notice in the opening credits to the movie, a Major Donald Keyhoe is credited as the writer, yes; this is the same Don Keyhoe, of NICAP fame. He was a major contributor to this film. The opening to the movie plays just like a documentary.
In this movie, the central character, a scientist who has been sending unmanned rockets up in space played by Hugh Marlowe, has to convince the government bureaucracy to do something about the UFOs.
The rocket scientist and his secretary/girlfriend are on the way to a secret military project in the New Mexico desert, called strangely enough "Project Skyhook", not to be confused with the real U.S. Navy's Project Skyhook at the White Sands Proving Ground, a "weather balloon" project, which has been used as a excuse/cover story by some in the government for the Roswell incident since 1994.
Strangely, we also now are told that according to declassified files that the UFO, which Capt. Mantell had chased in his P-51, was a secret Naval project using a 'Skyhook' balloon - now back to the movie -
This scientist is driving down a deserted stretch of highway (funny how they are always deserted) and he is "buzzed" by a flying saucer, which leaves a strange indecipherable message on his tape recorder. He continues on to the project headquarters and starts the countdown for the launch of a satellite. Next, they cut to the airfield's control tower, where a controller is picking up a UFO on his radar.
He calls his boss to report it, and is chewed out for making a crazy report. About that time the main gate's guard calls in that he sees a UFO, directly overhead, and he isn't kidding. I should mention that Ray Harryhausen did the special effects in this movie; it has the best saucers ever made for the movies, in my opinion.
The saucer then flies over the top-secret rocket base, and lands much to the amazement of all the top brass there. Of course they call out all the big guns, as these aliens have got to be hostile, aren't they all? So, the military gets into a confrontation with the occupants of the UFO, and they loose, big time. Their advanced weapons wipe out the rocket and the entire base. The only survivors are the scientist and his secretary who were underground in a bunker during the battle. The aliens even capture an Air Force general, who by chance is the father of the scientist's secretary/fiancÈe.
Next, they discover how to hear the message contained in the scientist's tape recorder, it's a message that we should stop our nuclear testing and don't even think of taking that technology into space. The scientist and his girlfriend are finally rescued from the bunker, and are taken to Washington D.C. where they meet with a group of officials who appear to be similar to a "MJ-12" group. The scientist is placed in charge of the earth's defenses against the invading saucers.
The aliens are ruthless in their desire to take over the Earth and cold bloodedly toss out of a flying saucer Marlowe's father-in-law (an Air Force General!), and a policeman they have been using as living databases.
The scientist saves the day by developing a weapon that disrupts their UFO's anti-gravity propulsion units and causes them to crash. At this point I suggest you read Don Keyhoe's article on anti-gravity called ìKeyhoe- Article On Antigravity Researchî
Major Keyhoe, from the outset has insisted that flying saucers are real and interplanetary, and many authorities have come to agree with him. He claims that control over gravity itself is the only explanation for the astounding maneuvers which saucers are said to make. Some physicists dismiss this theory as fundamentally erroneous. But, there are others who find Major Keyhoe's latest chapter in "The Great Flying Saucer Story" important and plausible.
What goes up (and around) does not necessarily have to come down. Major Keyhoe maintains 'Not known fields of force' allow saucers to behave peculiarly: To hover motionlessly, turn on a dime, and accelerate at fantastic speeds. And only a crash 'G' program on our part can counteract it.
I wonder if they got the idea from his article? Well, anyway, they setup these neat trucks with what looks like a radar antenna on the back and the earth's attack is on.
One of the most memorable scenes in the final battle sequence is where the flying saucer's (created by Ray Harryhausen) crashes into the U.S. capitol building, another crashes into the Washington monument, and the invasion is sent back to where they came from, and in the end, we win and the boy gets the girl and all is well with the world- or so they think -
Next, the movie, Invaders from Mars, from 1953 Starring Helena Carter and Arthur Franz the Director was William Cameron Menzies. It is considered by many to be the definitive "Cold War" science-fiction film. Liberally laced with the paranoia of that era, it is not only an exceptional film, but a reflection of the sentiment of the 1950's as well.
This one is also about many modern UFO subjects, like secretive alien invasions, alien abductions, alien implants, underground bases, UFO's and the military, man, this movie has it all. It's told from a boy's perspective a typical American twelve-year-old whose hobby is astronomy, awakens one night to see what appears to be a spaceship magically disappearing underground in a field near his house.
The boy's father, engaged in secret atomic missile work at a nearby plant, goes to investigate. When he returns, some strange, chilling change overtakes him, and a small scar is apparent on the back of his neck. It is not long before David's mother, too, comes under this contaminating influence. Young David then sees a neighbor's little girl being swallowed up by the earth near the place where the spaceship landed. She later turns up safe, but cold and sinister - and with the same scar.
No one believes the boy's fantastic story. Increasing terror strikes him with his fear and concern for his parents. Finally, Dr. Pat Blake an attractive young physician with the city health department takes him to a mutual friend, Dr. Stuart Kelston, an astronomer, Kelston soon finds evidence to support the lad's discovery: through the observatory's telescope they see the commanding general in charge of security being swallowed up by the earth. They instantly alert the Army.
As demolition squads begin to blast down under the earth, Pat and young David are pulled underground. Weird humanoid creatures, eight feet tall, force them through luminous passages to the underground spaceship, where a Martian in a glass ball directs his synthetically created giants.
At first the terrifying invaders, immune to bullets and armed with devastating weapons, appear invincible. But at the last minute, David manages to get control of one of the ray-guns himself, and with it blasts the way to freedom seconds before a demolition charge blows up the spaceship.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, from 1956 starred Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. Director, Don Siegel. Need I say more? It's about the story of a Idyllic small-town America that becomes the site of terror when a strange, alien form of plant life sprouts pods that destroy the human personality while taking over the body. And only one man can stop them... if they don't stop him first. Yes, something's wrong in the town of Santa Mira, California.
At first, Dr. Miles Bennell is unconcerned when the townsfolk accuse their loved ones of acting like emotionless imposters. But soon the evidence is overwhelming--Santa Mira has been invaded by alien "pods" that are capable of replicating humans and taking possession of their identities.
It's up to McCarthy to spread the word of warning, battling the alien invasion at the risk of his own life. Considered one of the best science fiction films of the 1950s and '60s, this classic paranoid thriller was widely interpreted as a criticism of the McCarthy era, which was characterized by anticommunist witch-hunts and fear of the dreaded blacklist.
Some hailed it as an attack on the oppressive power of government as Big Brother. However viewers interpret it, this original 1956 version of Invaders of the Body Snatchers (based on Jack Finney's serialized novel The Body Snatchers) remains a milestone movie in its genre.
It Came from Outer Space, from 1953 Starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Director Jack Arnold and based on a Ray Bradbury story This one's about an alien ship that crashes in the Arizona desert; its passengers assume the identities of nearby townspeople so they can effect repairs unnoticed -- they think -- this movie is a must see! Gilligan's Island's Russell Johnson plays a phone repairman who gets ìassumedî by the aliens.
Note: see my report titled ìAlien Breakdownî on this UFO repair phenomenon.
The Day the Earth Stood Still, from 1951 is a considered by many as a UFO classic, starring: Michael Rennie, and Patricia Neal. Director was Robert Wise. It's about an alien who comes to Earth to deliver an anti-nuclear warning.
Over the skies of Washington, a silvery domed spaceship appears. The ship lands in the heart of the nation's capital, and the earth's population is panicked. The lone alien emissary with his robot aid demands that the earth's leaders unite for one day to hear his message of peace.
Of course the U.S. military's response? Shoot 'em. (Read my report titled: 'We shoot aliens don't we?')
The alien ends up in a military hospital, where he quickly escapes to a local boardinghouse where amidst the media hysteria, (and strangely, Mayberry's Aunt Bee!) he learns about the human propensity to distrust and lash out.
The alien confides in a widow and together they convince the world that peace is imperative. He quickly learns that most humans--but not all share his peaceful views. And remember my motto (from the movie): Klaatu barada nikto!
This Island Earth is from 1955 and starred Jeff Morrow and Faith Domergue. Director was Joseph M. Newman. In this UFO classic two human scientists are kidnapped and recruited by aliens to help them fend off a race of evil mutants attempting to overrun their planet.
First a scientist gets a mysterious catalog in the mail, it's made of metal you can't destroy or bend, or burn, (sounds like Roswell crash debris to me!) he orders a part from the company and next receives a big box full of parts for a device called a interociter. Next he builds the device and gets a really long-distance call, from an alien -- (ET phone home!)
Next thing you know a mysterious, pilot-less C-47 cargo plane carries scientist Rex Reason to a colony of America's best and brightest minds. They've been kidnapped by a dying alien race, the Metalunians, to repair their defense shield before their enemies destroy their world completely, toiling under their spying eyes and futuristic security cameras, two-way TVs that dominate every room. Just like today!
The humans are eventually transported across the galaxy to the battle-scarred world of Metaluna, under the threatening watch of a monstrous bug-eyed monster with a giant brain for a head and massive claws for hands.
This is one of the most ambitious science fiction films of the 1950s. And as a note: Gilligan's Island's Russell Johnson makes his first professorial appearance as a scientist.
In 'It! The Terror from Beyond Space', from 1958 Starring Marshall Thompson and Shawn Smith, Director: Edward L. Cahn. This is a nifty 50's sci-fi about a spaceship returning from Mars containing alien stowaway. This movie was the inspiration for the 1980's movie 'Alien' and it's sequels.
In the story, the second spaceship to Mars heads for Earth with the sole survivor of the first expedition, accused of murdering his crewmates--but the real killer is a Martian monster, which has crept aboard the returning ship.
That's all for this report, I have popcorn to pop, and movies to watch, my next movie in the old vcr is called ìRadar men from the Moonî, starring George Wallace and Clayton Moore, ìThe Lone Rangerî hmm.
In Radar men from the Moon, Strategic targets on Earth are being destroyed by an unknown weapon. Government security head Henderson suspects it's an "atomic ray" originating from the moon!
He assigns Commando Cody, scientist and man of action with a secret flying suit, to investigate. Soon, Cody is battling Earth thugs in the pay of Krog the moon man and making trips in his experimental rocket to the moon itself, in a perilous and all but single-handed effort to thwart the planned invasion of Earth.
Next time, UFO movies from the 1960's and 70's, including "Close Encounters"...
Jim Hickman
Director-Aerial Phenomena Research Group Associate-J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies
"Klaatu Barada Nictu"


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