History Film / CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind

14th Sep '16 6:56:49 PM TheRoguePenguin
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* AdultFear: Jillian lives in an isolated farmhouse with her only child, who she ends up trying and ultimately failing to protect from the aliens who want him for unknown reasons. Anyone who has had a child kidnapped or gone missing can immediately relate to her devastation from the event.

to:

* AdultFear: AdultFear:
**
Jillian lives in an isolated farmhouse with her only child, who she ends up trying and ultimately failing to protect from the aliens who want him for unknown reasons. Anyone who has had a child kidnapped or gone missing can immediately relate to her devastation from the event.



* AntiVillain: Ronnie Neary is pretty bitchy and close-minded, but her only real goal is to do what's best for her family.
** Also, the government investigators seem sinister and dangerous [[spoiler:but they're trying to make First Contact without making things more complicated.]]
* AppealToForce: The aliens abduct men, women and children in the 1940s then return them, unaged, 30--40 years later. This isn't exactly nice, but with that display of the mothership at the end no one really wants to pick a fight on the issue of earth's rights and jurisdiction in the matter.

to:

* AntiVillain: AntiVillain:
**
Ronnie Neary is pretty bitchy and close-minded, but her only real goal is to do what's best for her family.
** Also, the government investigators seem sinister and dangerous [[spoiler:but they're trying to make First Contact without making things more complicated.]]
complicated]].
* AppealToForce: The aliens abduct men, women and children in the 1940s then return them, unaged, 30--40 years later. This isn't exactly nice, but with that display of the mothership at the end no one really wants to pick a fight on the issue of earth's Earth's rights and jurisdiction in the matter.



* TheBermudaTriangle: There's a brief shot in the Special Edition of a ship is in the middle of the Gobi desert. It's supposed to be [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Cotopaxi the SS Cotopaxi]], one of the BermudaTriangle disappearances. The film opens with the discovery of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_19 Flight 19]], a Navy aviation training exercise that disappeared out of Ft. Lauderdale.

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* TheBermudaTriangle: There's a brief shot in the Special Edition of a ship is in the middle of the Gobi desert. It's supposed to be [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Cotopaxi the SS Cotopaxi]], one of the BermudaTriangle disappearances. The film opens with the discovery of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_19 Flight 19]], a Navy aviation training exercise that disappeared out of Ft. Lauderdale.



* {{Brainwashed}}: Neary et al. want to [[AlienAbduction leave everyone and everything they've ever known]], possibly never to return. See HypnoRay and ValuesDissonance.
** Averted with two of them:
*** Jillian is under the same effect, but is satisfied with just getting her son back and decides not to leave.
*** Roy's life was pretty much a mess even ''before'' the encounters.

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* {{Brainwashed}}: The aliens use a HypnoRay on Neary et al. want and the others to lead them to the ship and then decide to go with the aliens, [[AlienAbduction leave leaving everyone and everything they've ever known]], possibly never to return. See HypnoRay and ValuesDissonance.
** Averted with two of them:
***
However, the compulsion isn't irresistible, as Jillian is under the same effect, but is satisfied with just getting her son back and decides not to leave.
*** Roy's life was pretty much a mess even ''before'' the encounters.
leave.



* CaliforniaDoubling: Mobile, Alabama stands in for Muncie, Indiana. Additionally, nearby Bay Minette, Alabama stands in for Moorcroft, Wyoming. Some scenes were filmed at the real Devils Tower, though the climax was, of course, filmed on a sound stage... an aircraft hangar in Mobile, Alabama. The Ohio state line was filmed on the approach to the Vincent Thomas Bridge, in Long Beach California.

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* CaliforniaDoubling: Mobile, Alabama Alabama, stands in for Muncie, Indiana. Additionally, nearby Bay Minette, Alabama Alabama, stands in for Moorcroft, Wyoming. Some scenes were filmed at the real Devils Devil's Tower, though the climax was, of course, filmed on a sound stage... an aircraft hangar in Mobile, Alabama. The Ohio state line was filmed on the approach to the Vincent Thomas Bridge, in Long Beach California.



* DisappearedDad: Bye, Roy.

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* DisappearedDad: DisappearedDad:
**
Bye, Roy.



* DramaticAlienVTOL: In fact Spielberg did a lot of help make this trope. The climax has the ship come in first, just as the bright lights at first with the shadow of the FlyingSaucer shape eventually becoming clearer as the five notes we've heard through the movie comes through the score. It lands and then the ramp opens and again a crack of light and then the shadows of the aliens themselves, stamping the image of the Greys, in their first appearance on film, in our heads.

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* DramaticAlienVTOL: In fact fact, Spielberg did a lot of help make this trope. The climax has the ship come in first, just as the bright lights at first with the shadow of the FlyingSaucer shape eventually becoming clearer as the five notes we've heard through the movie comes through the score. It lands and then the ramp opens and again a crack of light and then the shadows of the aliens themselves, stamping the image of the Greys, in their first appearance on film, in our heads.



* EnemyRisingBehind: A lighter example, when the "truck" following Roy as he fumbles with his map early in the movie reveals itself to be a UFO by sailing upwards.

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* EnemyRisingBehind: EnemyRisingBehind:
**
A lighter example, when the "truck" following Roy as he fumbles with his map early in the movie reveals itself to be a UFO by sailing upwards.



* FirstContact: Not the first movie to detail the first meeting between Humans and Aliens, but the one to [[TropeCodifier codify it]].

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* FirstContact: Not the first movie to detail the first meeting between Humans humans and Aliens, aliens, but the one to [[TropeCodifier codify it]].



* FlyingSaucer: And beautiful ones at that; they look like ornaments covered in lights. And wait until you see the mother ship. Imagine a ship the size of a town decked out with neon Christmas lights.
** Originally the mothership was supposed to be hugely impressive but a bit menacing. In fact, Trumbull was about to get all Freudian and have the underside of the ship [[FreudWasRight resemble a giant breast]]. Then Spielberg, filming in India, drove six nights in a row past a gigantic oil refinery that was all lit up in a million colors, full of interesting antennae, walkways and pipes, and the "city of light" was born. Bless you, [[http://www.bharatpetroleum.com/EnergisingEnvironment/MumbaiRefinery.aspx?id=3 Bharat Petroleum]]. Thank you.

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* FlyingSaucer: FlyingSaucer:
**
And beautiful ones at that; they look like ornaments covered in lights. And wait until you see the mother ship. Imagine a ship the size of a town decked out with neon Christmas lights.
** Originally the mothership was supposed to be hugely impressive but a bit menacing. In fact, Trumbull was about to get all Freudian and have the underside of the ship [[FreudWasRight resemble a giant breast]]. Then Spielberg, filming in India, drove six nights in a row past a gigantic oil refinery that was all lit up in a million colors, full of interesting antennae, walkways and pipes, and the "city of light" was born. Bless you, [[http://www.bharatpetroleum.com/EnergisingEnvironment/MumbaiRefinery.aspx?id=3 Bharat Petroleum]]. Thank you.



* GasLeakCoverup: The [[GovernmentConspiracy government claiming]] a rail accident occurred with a train carrying nerve gas as a way to evacuate everyone from the area around Devil's Tower, Wyoming, where the Aliens are soon due to show up.

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* GasLeakCoverup: The [[GovernmentConspiracy government claiming]] a rail accident occurred with a train carrying nerve gas as a way to evacuate everyone from the area around Devil's Tower, Wyoming, where the Aliens aliens are soon due to show up.



* TheGreys: The extraterrestrials were physically modeled after real-life accounts of alien abductions. This is one of the first times they were actually used in cinema, the first been in 1956's ''Film/EarthVsTheFlyingSaucers''.
** Also an UnbuiltTrope, as Spielberg deliberately gave the Grays different heights, intending to show that their species had the same kind of diversity as ours. Most abduction accounts and subsequent fiction describe the Grays as all identical.
** The initial tall alien was a marionette. It was impossible to completely film it without the strings showing except in the shots visible in the movie, which is why you only see it the once. The other aliens at the end were played all played by young girls, Spielberg felt that "girls move more gracefully than boys."

to:

* TheGreys: The extraterrestrials were physically modeled after real-life accounts of alien abductions. This is one of the first times they were actually used in cinema, the first been in 1956's ''Film/EarthVsTheFlyingSaucers''.
**
''Film/EarthVsTheFlyingSaucers''. Also an UnbuiltTrope, as Spielberg deliberately gave the Grays different heights, intending to show that their species had the same kind of diversity as ours. Most abduction accounts and subsequent fiction describe the Grays as all identical.
**
identical. The initial tall alien was a marionette. It was impossible to completely film it without the strings showing except in the shots visible in the movie, which is why you only see it the once. The other aliens at the end were played all played by young girls, Spielberg felt that "girls move more gracefully than boys."



* HollywoodGeography: Muncie, Indiana is over thirty minutes from the Ohio border. The longitude and latitude provided by the aliens actually refer to a spot which is a good 200 miles away from Devil's Tower.

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* HollywoodGeography: HollywoodGeography:
**
Muncie, Indiana Indiana, is over thirty minutes from the Ohio border. The longitude and latitude provided by the aliens actually refer to a spot which is a good 200 miles away from Devil's Tower.



* InnocentAliens?: Sure! Except for the {{A|lienAbduction}}bducting and the {{Hypno Ray}}ing and all that.

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* InnocentAliens?: Sure! Except for InnocentAliens: Their methods may be a bit questionable, but the {{A|lienAbduction}}bducting and the {{Hypno Ray}}ing and all that.aliens are never depicted as malevolent.



* LensFlare: All of the [=UFOs=] produce lots of lens flare - culminating of course in the giant mothership.
* {{Mad Artist}}s: Neary and his fellow volunteer/victims, each compelled to fill a RoomFullOfCrazy with artwork before they figure out Devil's Tower is a real place ... that now they have to go to.

to:

* LensFlare: All of the [=UFOs=] produce lots of lens flare - flare, culminating of course in the giant mothership.
* {{Mad Artist}}s: MadArtist: Neary and his fellow volunteer/victims, each compelled to fill a RoomFullOfCrazy with artwork before they figure out Devil's Tower is a real place ... that now they have to go to.



* TheMothership: All the little and economy-sized spacecraft flying around Muncie, IN and Devil's Tower, WY are eventually followed up by a great whacking big UFO, which disgorges the missing persons and takes up Roy and the other astronauts.
* TheMountainsOfIllinois: Or northern Indiana.
** Southern Indiana is hilly and even has a few mountains (the Little Smokies), as it shades into the foothills of the Cumberland. Indiana would have been fine if Spielberg had chosen a town like Bean Blossom instead of Muncie.
* NewscasterCameo: Creator/{{ABC}}'s Howard K. Smith introduces the report on the evacuations near Devil's Tower due to the "gas spill".
** It was originally supposed to be Creator/{{CBS}}'s Creator/WalterCronkite, hence the spot reporter's line, "Order your steak well-done, Walter".

to:

* TheMothership: All the little and economy-sized spacecraft flying around Muncie, IN IN, and Devil's Tower, WY WY, are eventually followed up by a great whacking big UFO, which disgorges the missing persons and takes up Roy and the other astronauts.
* TheMountainsOfIllinois: Or northern Indiana. \n** Southern Indiana is hilly and even has a few mountains (the Little Smokies), as it shades into the foothills of the Cumberland. Indiana would have been fine if Spielberg had chosen a town like Bean Blossom instead of Muncie.
Muncie.
* NewscasterCameo: Creator/{{ABC}}'s Howard K. Smith introduces the report on the evacuations near Devil's Tower due to the "gas spill".
**
spill". It was originally supposed to be Creator/{{CBS}}'s Creator/WalterCronkite, hence the spot reporter's line, "Order your steak well-done, Walter".Walter".
* NoAntagonist: When it comes down to it in the end, there are no villains in this film. This is what made the movie such a refreshing take on alien contact in its time. The aliens are strange and mysterious and do some ethically questionable things, but they aren't overtly hostile and give everything and everyone back. The government creates a huge lie to clear Devil's Tower for the aliens to drop by, but you really can't blame them -- they're meeting a possibly dangerous, obviously superior alien race. They would want the area clear for privacy and to have an army ready in the background just in case the aliens (or gun-toting human civilians) came out shooting. On a smaller scale, Ronnie Neary is a bit of a bitch, but you really can't blame her for being freaked out by Roy's crazy behavior and wanting to protect her kids. She does, however, put a little too much stake in the what-will-the-neighbors-think concern.



* NotDrawnToScale: The size of the mother ship is incompatible in different shots. When it arrives it's behind the mountain and a lot bigger than the mountain. When it's in front of the mountain it's no longer bigger than the mountain but smaller or at best about the same.

to:

* NotDrawnToScale: The size of the mother ship is incompatible in different shots. When it arrives arrives, it's behind the mountain and a lot bigger than the mountain. When it's in front of the mountain it's no longer bigger than the mountain but smaller or at best about the same.



* PinballProtagonist: Roy is not a hero, merely the protagonist. He gets swept into constructing Devils Tower models like several other people for reasons he does not understand. Then he realizes he's supposed to go to Devils Tower and does, again only because he's compelled to. In the end he makes it past the army who are only trying to make sure FirstContact goes smoothly, and gets to go on the alien spaceship, making him the "winner". Compare his fellow trying-to-reach-the-aliens person Jillian, who is at least trying to find her lost son.

to:

* PinballProtagonist: Roy is not a hero, merely the protagonist. He gets swept into constructing Devils Devil's Tower models like several other people for reasons he does not understand. Then he realizes he's supposed to go to Devils Devil's Tower and does, again only because he's compelled to. In the end he makes it past the army who are only trying to make sure FirstContact goes smoothly, and gets to go on the alien spaceship, making him the "winner". Compare his fellow trying-to-reach-the-aliens person Jillian, who is at least trying to find her lost son.



* ProductPlacement: This film had a prominent Budweiser commercial, as well as the scientists' vans camouflaged with brand names. Spielberg has been criticized for overusing product placement in his pictures.

to:

* ProductPlacement: ProductPlacement:
**
This film had a prominent Budweiser commercial, as well as the scientists' vans camouflaged with brand names. Spielberg has been criticized for overusing product placement in his pictures.



* RuleOfCool: The reason why the Mothership rises ''upward'' from behind the mountain in the finale, even though [[FridgeLogic that would mean it had previously dug a hole into the Earth]]. Spielberg said in an interview that it didn't make any sense, but it was the image he wanted to convey.
** Or it's just making its final approach from that direction, having already entered the atmosphere and dropped down to low altitude further out.

to:

* RuleOfCool: The reason why the Mothership rises ''upward'' from behind the mountain in the finale, even though [[FridgeLogic that would mean it had previously dug a hole into the Earth]]. Spielberg said in an interview that it didn't make any sense, but it was the image he wanted to convey.
**
convey. Or it's just making its final approach from that direction, having already entered the atmosphere and dropped down to low altitude further out.



* ShoutOut: The mothership has an [[Franchise/StarWars R2D2]] attached to its underside.

to:

* ShoutOut: ShoutOut:
**
The mothership has an [[Franchise/StarWars R2D2]] attached to its underside.



* StarfishLanguage: Near the end of the movie, the aliens communicate/signal with a series of tones that happens to be the same notes as the main RecurringRiff of the soundtrack.
** The iconic leitmotif of five tones -- 4d3, 4e3, 4c3, 4c2, 4g2; or D, E, C, lower octave C, G -- sounds a lot like "hello".

to:

* StarfishLanguage: Near the end of the movie, the aliens communicate/signal with a series of tones that happens to be the same notes as the main RecurringRiff of the soundtrack.
**
soundtrack. The iconic leitmotif of five tones -- 4d3, 4e3, 4c3, 4c2, 4g2; or D, E, C, lower octave C, G -- sounds a lot like "hello".



* SurpriseVehicle: The "searchlight-bearing helicopter at night mistaken for a UFO" scene that would be copied by later TV shows. In fairness the helicopters first appear from over the horizon, so it's plausible the distinctive sound of their rotor blades might not be heard at that distance.

to:

* SurpriseVehicle: SurpriseVehicle:
**
The "searchlight-bearing helicopter at night mistaken for a UFO" scene that would be copied by later TV shows. In fairness the helicopters first appear from over the horizon, so it's plausible the distinctive sound of their rotor blades might not be heard at that distance.



-->'''Laughlin''': Who flies crates like these anymore?
-->'''Project Leader''': ''No one does''. These planes were reported missing in 1945.
-->'''Laughlin''': (stunned) But it looks brand new. Where's the pilot? I don't understand. ''[[NothingIsScarier Where's the crew?]]'' Hey! How the hell did it get here?

to:

-->'''Laughlin''': Who flies crates like these anymore?
-->'''Project
anymore?\\
'''Project
Leader''': ''No one does''. These planes were reported missing in 1945.
-->'''Laughlin''':
1945.\\
'''Laughlin''':
(stunned) But it looks brand new. Where's the pilot? I don't understand. ''[[NothingIsScarier Where's the crew?]]'' Hey! How the hell did it get here?



-->'''Scientist 1:''' They haven't aged a day. Einstein was right.
-->'''Scientist 2:''' [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Einstein was probably one of them.]]

to:

-->'''Scientist 1:''' They haven't aged a day. Einstein was right.
-->'''Scientist
right.\\
'''Scientist
2:''' [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Einstein was probably one of them.]]



* VillainyFreeVillain: When it comes down to it in the end, there are no villains in this film. This is what made the movie such a refreshing take on alien contact in its time.
** The aliens are strange and mysterious and do some ethically questionable things, but they aren't overtly hostile and give everything and everyone back.
** The government creates a huge lie to clear Devil's Tower for the aliens to drop by, but you really can't blame them - meeting a possibly dangerous, obviously superior alien race. They would want the area clear for privacy and to have an army ready in the background just in case the aliens (or gun-toting human civilians) came out shooting.
** On a smaller scale, Ronnie Neary is a bit of a bitch, but you really can't blame her for being freaked out by Roy's crazy behavior and wanting to protect her kids. She does, however, put a little too much stake in the what-will-the-neighbors-think concern.
5th Sep '16 11:15:48 AM Temmere
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Added DiffLines:

* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Jillian tells Roy that when she reported Barry's abduction, one of the things she was asked was if there had been any strangers in the neighborhood recently. Even with all the fear and stress they'd been under, the two of them can't help but chuckle at that.
27th Jun '16 3:55:51 PM LogicallyInsane
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** After Roy's initial encounter with the UFO near the railroad, once he hears the news on the dispatcher he storms off, [[spoiler: his truck being followed by a huge shadow that more than resembles the mothership which appears during the movie's climax]].

to:

** After Roy's initial encounter with the UFO near the railroad, once he hears the news on the dispatcher radio he storms off, [[spoiler: his truck being followed by a huge shadow that more than resembles the mothership which appears during the movie's climax]].
27th Jun '16 3:54:51 PM LogicallyInsane
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** After Roy's initial encounter with the UFO near the railroad, after hearing the news on the dispatcher he storms off, [[spoiler: his truck being followed by a huge shadow that more than resembles the mothership which appears during the movie's climax]].

to:

** After Roy's initial encounter with the UFO near the railroad, after hearing once he hears the news on the dispatcher he storms off, [[spoiler: his truck being followed by a huge shadow that more than resembles the mothership which appears during the movie's climax]].
27th Jun '16 3:54:12 PM LogicallyInsane
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Added DiffLines:

**After Roy's initial encounter with the UFO near the railroad, after hearing the news on the dispatcher he storms off, [[spoiler: his truck being followed by a huge shadow that more than resembles the mothership which appears during the movie's climax]].
23rd Jun '16 4:54:18 PM stuffedninja
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* ForcedPerspective: The shot of a ship sitting in the middle of the desert provides the photo illustration on the page. It wasn't really that big!

to:

* ForcedPerspective: The shot of a ship sitting in the middle of the desert provides the photo illustration on the page.desert. It wasn't really that big!
16th Jun '16 1:50:47 PM StFan
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* DriverFacesPassenger: A case of IdiotBall. Neary is holding up a map up in front of him while driving, causing his car to drift out of his lane and almost crash into oncoming traffic.



* HollywoodDriving: A case of IdiotBall. Neary is holding up a map up in front of him while driving, causing his car to drift out of his lane and almost crash into oncoming traffic.
3rd May '16 5:35:51 PM ooh
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Added DiffLines:

** The 1980 Special Edition featured an extended version of the flyby scene where one of the [=UFOs=] stops briefly to read a [=McDonald's=] billboard before disappearing into the night. This vignette appears only in that version.
23rd Mar '16 5:53:24 PM Mdumas43073
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This is a film directed by Creator/StevenSpielberg. The original version was released in 1977; a "Special Edition" ReCut was released in 1980 after Spielberg had proven he was a serious director. (There had been ExecutiveMeddling with the cut of the original, though entirely justified as the studio was going bankrupt and production had to be hastened.) Spielberg re-edited the film yet again for a "Collector's Edition" in 1998. All three cuts were included in the film's Blu-ray release in 2007, along with a new interview with Spielberg explaining the editing.

to:

This is a classic sci-fi film was directed by Creator/StevenSpielberg. The original version was released in 1977; a "Special Edition" ReCut was released in 1980 after Spielberg had proven he was a serious director. (There had been ExecutiveMeddling with the cut of the original, though entirely justified as the studio was going bankrupt and production had to be hastened.) Spielberg re-edited the film yet again for a "Collector's Edition" in 1998. All three cuts were included in the film's Blu-ray release in 2007, along with a new interview with Spielberg explaining the editing.
29th Feb '16 9:08:43 AM gallium
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%%* DreamSequence



* KarmaHoudini: The aliens, who have spent at least 32 years (since the disappearance of Flight 19) kidnapping humans. Sure they [[spoiler:brought them back]], but why did they abduct them in the first place if they're supposedly friendly?



* LicensedPinballTable: Oddly enough, such a thing exists, released by Creator/{{Gottlieb}} in 1978.



* TheMothership

to:

* TheMothershipTheMothership: All the little and economy-sized spacecraft flying around Muncie, IN and Devil's Tower, WY are eventually followed up by a great whacking big UFO, which disgorges the missing persons and takes up Roy and the other astronauts.



** The government creates a huge lie to clear Devil's Tower for the aliens to drop by, but you really can't blame them - meeting a possibly dangerous, obviously superior alien race. They would want the area clear for privacy and to have an army ready in the background just in case the aliens came out shooting.
*** Or in case humans did. If one paranoid survivalist with a rifle started taking shots at the alien craft, they could start an interstellar war. It's very reasonable to want to make initial contract under controlled conditions.

to:

** The government creates a huge lie to clear Devil's Tower for the aliens to drop by, but you really can't blame them - meeting a possibly dangerous, obviously superior alien race. They would want the area clear for privacy and to have an army ready in the background just in case the aliens (or gun-toting human civilians) came out shooting.
*** Or in case humans did. If one paranoid survivalist with a rifle started taking shots at the alien craft, they could start an interstellar war. It's very reasonable to want to make initial contract under controlled conditions.
shooting.
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