General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

In the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, how did the government know to build the landing complex at Devils Tower?

Asked by elbanditoroso (22398points) January 7th, 2014

If there hadn’t been contact previously, how did the government know the following:

1) the five tone musical passage (and that it was a means if communication)

2) the hand movements and that they would be non-threatening

3) to build the landing area near Devils Tower?

Or is the assumption that there were earlier (first and second kind) communications, years previously, that would have negotiated/instructed the government on where to build?

After all, UFO landing sites take a while to build.

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12 Answers

mowens's avatar

Maybe it was a top secret facility that was already there?

I forget most of that movie, I will re-watch it ASAP

Pachy's avatar

It’s called movie scripting.

ragingloli's avatar

Those were all baseless assumptions that the government made, and the aliens were like “oh look how cute”.
They were lucky that these were not the Mars Attacks aliens.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ragingloli – they weren’t baseless, clearly, because the alien craft did land there,

Mars Attacks – now that’s a great movie with a fine cast. Great secret weapon, too.

glacial's avatar

This scene revealed that there had been communication for years that regular people (like the ones whose eyes we were seeing this story through) were unaware of. It’s meant to be an “Aha!” moment.

ragingloli's avatar

Nah, the aliens just saw the installation that they built and that the apes were waiting there and they just though “ok, let us land there, whatever”

josie's avatar

The aliens built the site years before, and waited for somebody to find it.

When nobody found it, the aliens got tired of waiting so they started leaving clues.

filmfann's avatar

As I recall, the Government received a communication that had numbers. The translator (played by Bob Balaban) correctly identified the numbers as a longitude and latitude, giving them the location of Devil’s Tower.

It’s been years since seeing this movie, and it still amazes me that Bob Balaban was that guy. He became better known years later for the multitude of little roles he did. I remember him mostly as Phoebe’s father on Friends, mostly.

gorillapaws's avatar

The NSA used hidden cameras and saw the mashed potato formation. It was simple logical deduction from there.

mrentropy's avatar

I’ll go with @glacial on this. There were others besides Roy that were making the trek. Some were probably picked up by the government and they figured it out from there.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@mrentropy and @glacial – now I’ll have to watch it again and see if I can pick up on the foreshadowing. Thanks

MadMadMax's avatar

Everybody who had had contact with the aliens in some way started drawing, sculpting, communicating the image that was unique to the location.

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