During the making of Independence Day, officials at Area 51 asked producers ‘not to mention them’ in the film.
The 1996 blockbuster is one of the most famous sci-fi movies ever, if only for Bill Pullman’s speech, Will Smith saying ‘Welcome to Earth’, or the White House being blown to smithereens.
Over the course of the story, one of the aliens is transported to the notorious US Air Force base, perhaps the biggest area of extraterrestrial and UFO speculation on the planet. However, it wasn’t particularly keen on its inclusion in the film.
To mark UFO Week on BLAZE, we spoke to Philip Mantle, director of investigations for the British UFO Research Association. While it’s a common theory to suggest there’s aliens in Area 51, perhaps recovered from the crash site at Roswell in 1947, Mantle isn’t so sure.
With regards to the alleged contents of the base, he said, ‘We know that Area 51 is experimental aircraft of a wide variety. It’s what it was built and designed for, it’s in the exact right place for it. I don’t think there’s anything to do with extraterrestrials there… I don’t think there’s anything we should be worried about.’
He continued, ‘This is really funny: when they made the movie Independence Day, of course they all evacuate to Area 51, and they have a captured flying saucer in it. The production company, in preparation for that, asked if Area 51 would cooperate.’ In response, the producers were told, ‘Only if you don’t mention us.’
Mantle explained, ‘Then, officially, it did not exist. The only good photo we had of it was from a Soviet spy satellite.’
Of course, the world is far more aware of Area 51 – there’s even a found-footage horror movie with the same name – but we’re not much closer to learning its secrets. They say the truth is out there, after all.
UFO Week returns to Blaze tonight with dedicated content starting from 8pm until 2am every single evening. Blaze is available on Freeview channel 63, Freesat 162, Sky 164, Virgin Media 216, My5 and on demand.
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