High Strangeness: UFO Propaganda!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

UFO Propaganda!

I came across an interesting parallel today concerning the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

Many of my readers will remember the uproar around Annie Jacobsen's 2011 book Area 51, in which she quoted an unnamed source who claimed that the alleged Roswell "saucer crash" and resulting recovery of saucer wreckage and of teeny alien corpses was all a Nazi/Soviet propaganda project pulled off by an unholy partnership between Joseph Stalin and Nazi "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele. According to Jacobsen's story, Mengele made some deformed children look like "aliens," and they were placed in a flying saucer supplied by Stalin and sent to New Mexico in order to scare us Americans to death.

From what I've heard, History Channel's Project Blue Book series used that very same Jacobsen/Mengele/Stalin explanation for Roswell in its 2-part season opener, a very strange creative choice that seems to have alienated a lot of fans. "Alienated," get it?

Here's where the parallel comes in. As part of my quarantine distraction, I re-watched one of my favorite science fiction movies, the 1967 British flick Quatermass and the Pit, released in the US as Five Million Years to Earth. It's a brilliant movie, in my opinion, brimming with fascinating imagery and ideas (even if the film's moderate budget made it hard to fully bring them to life).

The story involves the discovery of a Martian spaceship buried under London, and the subsequent discovery of several perfectly preserved insect-like Martians inside the ship. Or are they Martians? The scientist protagonist of the film, Professor Quatermass, believes they are, but the military man supervising the excavation, Colonel Breen, insists that the strange object with its insectoid occupants is -- get this -- "a propaganda scare" developed by the Nazis in the waning days of World War II. "They sent over an experimental V-weapon in order to produce exactly the effect it has produced," Breen explains rather smugly, "though a little late for their purposes."

Of course Breen's propaganda theory wins out, and when the media are invited into the pit to see the "harmless" object, Quatermass' worst fears are realized. The spaceship comes to life, and London is plunged into chaos and horror.

What does it all mean? Probably nothing, but it sure is interesting to see that Jacobsen's bizarre, laughable Roswell explanation -- which, it must be acknowledged, sold a lot of books, and may have just torpedoed a contemporary TV series -- may have arisen in some odd way from a 53 year-old British science fiction film.


High Storrs Film Department said...

Also, notice how the autopsy sequence mirrors the 90s Roswell footage, even down to removing the eye lens thing.

Mark UFO'Connell said...

Wow, I hadn't caught that!