Close Encounters

X-Files will return for a 6 part mini-series in January. Hard to argue that we live in a golden age of television, and I'm sure this revival will be nothing short of amazing!

But the news got me thinking about, well, UFOs.

I grew up in the late eighties, early nineties, in what felt like the peak of the UFO craze. I know the phenomena started decades earlier, but there was something timely about alien visitors in those days. It was part of the zeitgeist. Back then it wasn't ridiculous to believe in extraterrestrials!

I was ten years old when a “huge” crop circle appeared just outside my home town, in the summer of '92. My Dad took me and my sister to see it the day after the news broke, and by then there was already a steady stream of people lining up to see it. There was no security, no barricades, nothing. I remember my Dad just parking our Trabant at the side of the road and us walking through the field, right into the circle. It was magical.

A week or so later my cousin and I snuck out in the middle of the night (which was, looking back, probably barely past 10 PM) and we made the few mile long journey to the site. We packed sandwiches and had a flashlight. We spent the night there, watching the sky, waiting for something to happen. And we weren't the only ones: there were a dozen or so fellow believers out that night. Again, I was ten, and it was one of the best times of my life. Felt like we were in a Spielberg movie.

(Just on a side note, a few months later the makers of the crop circle came public with their hoax. Surprisingly, it didn't break my heart, I was quite happy to actually know what happened.)

There was also a Hungarian television show called “Nulladik Tipusu Talalkozasok”, which roughly translates to “Close Encounters of the Null Kind”, although I think it ran a few years before the crop circle was made.

I don't actually remember a whole lot about it, just that they did reviews of science fiction books and aired cheaply dubbed American documentaries about UFOs, Area 51 and such. But the important thing was the VERY effective title sequence. It was solely made up of clips from Hollywood movies, namely Invaders from Mars, Altered States and The Fly. I'm pretty sure the sound was lifted straight from Invaders from Mars. Regardless, this opening title sequence was terrifying! I was maybe 8 when I first saw it and it definitely scared the shit out of me! 

By the time X-Files aired in Hungary I was old enough not to believe in any of that stuff. I didn't watch the show, but only because my impression was that it was about the love story between Mulder and Scully. I don't know where I got this from, but I thought it was just a chick-flick dressed up as a sci-fi show.

I finally caught up on it a few years ago. I loved everything about it. The premise, the look, but most importantly that early-nineties feel! I know it's just nostalgia, but damn, those were some awesome times!