The preliminary script for one of the highest-grossing films of all time was originally based on the reported alien encounter of a Kelly farm family in 1955.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, film director Steven Spielberg said his 1982 movie “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” was initially penned as a horror film titled “Night Skies” and influenced by the Kelly Green Men account.
“It’s a story that’s well known in UFOlogy and we based the script on that story,” Spielberg said in the interview.
Instead, the script was largely reworked by screenwriter Melissa Mathison, turning it into a family film. However, elements from the original script were used partly in “E.T.” and “Poltergeist”, directed by Tobe Hooper, but heavily produced by Spielberg. Spielberg came across the Kelly story while conducting research for “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977) with UFOlogist J. Allen Hynek.
Frank Brown, president of the Kelly Community Organization, said it has been a well known fact around Kelly that Spielberg based the movie on the local event.
“It’s a part of our culture, these movies are,” Brown said. “I think it’s a fascinating story.”
“E.T.” went on to gross nearly $793 million at the box office. It held the highest-grossing film Brown also founded the first Little Green Men Days Festival that took place in August. Work is currently underway for the 2012 LGMD festival. Because of Spielberg’s interest in the Kelly incident, festival organizers are attempting to email the director’s secretary in an effort to get him involved in the festival.
“I know he’s a busy fellow, but we’ve reached out to him and we are in communication with him,” Brown said.
The alleged incident took place on Aug. 21, 1955. According to an archived New Era article from Aug. 22, 1955, a rural family of five adults and several children entered the Hopkinsville police station around 11 p.m. on that day in a “highly excited” state and asked for help in a fight with 12-15 aliens that had landed a spaceship on their farm. They told police that a flying saucer approached their Old Madisonville Road house around 7 p.m. and landed in a nearby field. Shortly after, “little men” with large heads, huge eyes, extended arms and disproportional hands approached the house. They appeared to be wearing metal plates, according to the article.
One of those present grabbed a shotgun and another a pistol. A shotgun was fired at the face of one of the aliens that was pressed against the farmhouse window, the family told police. As the family exited the house, one of the men said his hair was grabbed from above by one of the intruders. One of the aliens was shot and fell from a nearby tree, but the family said it didn’t seem hurt as it ran away. The family then piled into a vehicle and drove into Hopkinsville. Four boxes of pistol ammunition were apparently fired at the aliens.
When police arrived, they couldn’t find any trace of the alien’s presence. The family never said the invaders were green; that was later added and became part of the story.
Joann Smithey, vice president of the KCO, said she heard about Spielberg’s connection to Kelly when she first moved to the area in 2002. She said Spielberg adds credibility to the incident and that now, with the passage of time, it can be considered an “historic event” and “not so much a bad happening.” Further, Smithey hopes that Spielberg’s interview will result in a larger turnout for next year’s LGMD festival.
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