The flight didn’t last long. As the 1950s drew to a close, the saucer craze waned in both reported sightings and screen appearances. “When it comes to flying saucer movies, horror films do better than serious ones,” says Mark Jankovic, author of Rational Fear: American Horror in the 1950s. “And you can make horror movies very cheaply. What happened is sci-fi horror entered the cheap, low-budget market. The studio also recognized that the real blockbuster sci-fi of the 1950s wasn’t an alien invasion movie, it was Disney’s 20000 Undersea Alliance, and then you get era sci-fi movies like the Time Machine, Curse of Frankenstein and The Lost World. [starring Klaatu himself, Michael Rennie]. The Victorian setting of gothic horror movies made them look respectable, while flying saucers went downmarket with the 1950s. “
Meanwhile, in the real world, 1961 was the year Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth, and President John F. Kennedy announced his goal of “landing a man on the moon and returning it safely to Earth.” Actual space travel is so shocking, flying saucers seem odd by comparison. Finally, in 1969, the U.S. Air Force’s “Project Blue Book” investigation into UFO sightings culminated in the publication of UFO Science. Its abhorrent conclusion: “The research on UFOs over the past 21 years has not increased scientific knowledge”.
Of course, people kept reporting UFO sightings in the 1960s and beyond. In May, the U.S. Congress held a public hearing on what is now called UAP (Unexplained Aerial Phenomena), although Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray stressed that the military had not found “any non-Earth phenomenon. The Origin of Things”. You could argue that in popular culture, flying saucers never really went away either.Oversized flying saucer you can put your mothership in independence Day and District 9; turn it over and you’ll see looming boulders arrive. exist star warsthe Millennium Falcon is a flying saucer with some extra prongs in front; and in Star Trek, the USS Enterprise is a flying saucer with the body and legs glued to the back. But seeing old-fashioned, unadorned flying saucers in the sky or on screen is now rare. “Like any fashion,” Womack said, “the phenomenon in its original form was just going with the flow.”
Today, flying saucers are quintessentially 1950s American, juxtaposed with the checkerboard floor of a roadside diner and the rear wing of a gas-guzzling convertible. When they’re used in modern sci-fi blockbusters like Black Man and Tim Burton’s Raid on Mars! , it’s because of this retro quality. Maybe that’s how Jordan Peele would use them too, because he’s sensitive to injustices in American history. Once, the flying saucer seemed to have flown down from a dire future; now it is a relic of a comforting past.
Nope opens in the US on July 22 and the UK on August 12.
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