Friday, November 28, 2014

Alien, Marjorie Fish and Zeta II Reticuli

Here’s an interesting thing. I was watching Alien and in the beginning, after they have been awakened by the computer, they assume they have arrived back home, more or less. Veronica Cartwright, as Lambert, is sitting in front of a computer screen that was probably high tech in the late 1970s but is no longer, and says, “That’s not our system.”

They attempt to contact Antarctica control (which, given this situation, is probably hours away by radio, given the speed of light) and receives no answer. Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, then says, “That’s not our system.”

Lambert says, “I know that.”

But, and this is the part relevant to us here, she says, “It’s Zeta II Reticuli.”

Of all the systems out there, why pick this one. And, which came first, Marjorie Fish’s discovery about the Betty Hill Star Map, or Alien.

That question is simple to answer. Marjorie Fish. The information was published in 1976 or about three years before Alien was released. Rather than the movie contaminating the search for the stars in Betty Hill’s map, it seems that Fish’s work came first.

And I would venture to say that someone with the production company at some level knew this. They needed the name of a star system and this one was available and easy to pronounce. It was just another one of those little inside jokes that are spread through most movies.

It also shows how deep some of the information about UFOs can penetrate into pop culture. I suspect that most people would pick up on the reference, but some of us did. The fact that it was used at all is the interesting part of this, but proves nothing about the really of Fish’s interpretation of the Star Map…

Oh, and I think it warns us not to go near that star system. Zeta I Reticuli might be safe but certainly not Zeta II.


Terry the Censor said...

Travelling at 75% the speed of light, the science team that inspected the Hills would have got back home just a few months ago (assuming they went straight back). Let us hope they do not get too shaken up at how their kind has been portrayed by Hollywood.

Anthony Mugan said...

One of the interesting things about CE4 events generally is the statistically significant correlation between their time and location and the occurrence of more general UFO reports This came out as significant at the 1% level in a sample of Canadian data that I analysed a few years back in a paper in the Journal of Frontier Studies. More recently I looked at a sample of US data and found the correlation was significant there also ( unpublished). The effect size was similar but a larger sample meant the p value was now around p= 0.001. This was very surprising but might also be considered consistent with the ideas around tectonic strain lights and EM effects on the brain proposed by Persinger and others.
In terms of the specifics of the Fish map, more recent data such as that from Hipparcos significantly alters the positions of many of the stars involved in the original anslysis. Interestingly other stars move into the relevant locations in current data and at first sight look to give a closer correlation than the original analysis. I'm not ready to formally publish any result of this...there are some questions remaining as to the most appropriate choice of candidate star where there are marked differences between different sources and the whole thing would be better done by a professional astronomer than by me, but I would encourage anyone with relevant expertise to have a go as I suspect the result would be interesting.
Not sure we have a very convincing overall theory around what is actually going on in these cases. The general ideas sound rather implausible now with the potential of synthetic biology ever more apparent, but it is an area that deserves further study.

albert said...


Just stay away from any planet that's broadcasting a 'beacon', and you'll be OK.....also be careful with planets that have lots of primitive nuclear technology - power plants, missiles, and the like.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I gotta go...