Six popular sci-fi movies about aliens that many believe could actually be true

We’ve all heard the saying ‘the truth is stranger than fiction’, but when American author Mark Twain came up with the line in his 1894 novel Pudd'nhead Wilson, science fiction might not be exactly what he had in mind.

Despite often being scientifically inaccurate, sci-fi movies have brought us some great scenes over the decades, providing some excellent food for thought for our imaginations. They have delivered a form of escapism that has taken us to other planets and galaxies, and introduced us to the most peculiar of creatures.

In some cases, they have opened the doors of our curiosity so much that they have led to us developing a range of new hypotheses aboutextra-terrestrial life .

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Here’s a look at some popular science-fiction movies that have helped shape our beliefs about aliens so much that many believe they could be closer to reality than we might expect.

When the first Men in Black movie hit cinema screens in 1997, many conspiracy theorists began to speculate that there are actually secretive government divisions that have been set up to combat intergalactic terrorism.

While there have long been suggestions that world governments and aliens have made contact in the past and that this information remains classified, Men in Black created an impression of a much more intricate relationship between humans and extra-terrestrials.

The movie showed humans as being one of several different unknown creatures populating our universe with whom we share interesting and complex diplomatic relations, with Earth serving as a politically neutral zone for alien refugees.

Ever since Harold Dahl reported being visited by a man in a dark suit warning him not to talk about his alleged UFO sighting on Maury Island, Washington in 1947, there have been many reported incidents of agents dressed in black visiting people’s doorsteps after an alien encounter.

The origin of life on Earth has long perplexed us. One suggestion has been that we arrived on this planet from outer space, and that humans are the product of alien engineering.

That’s exactly the angle taken in the 2012 movie blockbuster Prometheus. In the movie, a group of astronaut archaeologists in the late 21st century go on a deep space exploration to research evidence of ancient cultures on other planets.

A star map takes them on a journey to find the ‘Engineers’ but arrive at a largely deserted landscape scattered with ruins, leading them to believe they have gone extinct. Speaking to Yahoo! Movies, the film’s director Ridley Scott said the movie “walks around the truth of what there may be out there.

"The catholic church, NASA and various scientists say that without question there is biology out there in this galaxy… This stuff is all fundamentally based on feasibility."

Another popular theory upheld by many is that aliens aren’t just somewhere out there in space, but they are actually already on planet Earth biding their time as they plot their invasion.

This is what is purported in the 2005 movie, The War of the Worlds, based on the 1897 novel by English author H. G. Wells. Based in New York, the film starts off by following the life of divorced longshoreman Ray Ferrier, an ordinary crane operator in Brooklyn.

Little does Ray know, however, that he is about to encounter a tripod-like alien war machine that has been buried underground for thousands of years and witness it destroy his hometown using powerful energy weapons.

The novel upon which the movie was based is said to have inspired former US president Ronald Reagan’s famous speech in the UN General Assembly in September 1987 when he said: “I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us?”

One can argue that no movie has quite sparked our imaginations like The Matrix. The first of the series of movies, released in 1999, led many people to question whether we all just live in some kind of simulation.

The movie plot is as follows – In the early 21st century, humans and intelligent machines go to war with each other. In an attempt to defeat the machines, humans moved to block their access to solar energy, but the strategy backfires.

When the machines can no longer get their solar kicks, they resort to capturing humans and harvesting for their bioelectricity, turning them into human batteries. In order to keep the humans subdued, the machines enter the humans into a simulated world based on real life as it was in 1999.

Many scientists and philosophers have since suggested that it is completely feasible for humans to be living in one supercomputer-generated illusion. Even Elon Musk has uttered his belief that "the odds that we're in base reality is one in billions."

Ancient history is awash with mysteries that suggest that humans and aliens have been exchanging knowledge, tools and cultures for thousands of years.

The pyramids of Ancient Egypt and how they were constructed to align with the stars is one of those mysteries, hence the Ancient Egyptian theme in the 1994 sci-fi film Stargate.

The film explores the idea of other alien worlds populated by humans being connected through some kind of wormhole, and mythical ancient gods actually being aliens who visited Earth in the past to enslave the human race.

But many believe that stargates are actually real, with several of them dotted around different locations on Earth, including in Sri Lanka, Peru, Lake Michigan and Arizona. History Channel documentary series Ancient Aliens has also suggested a link between ancient mythology and UFOs.

Prometheus argues the aliens created us, The Matrix argues we created the aliens. Director Christopher Nolan’s 2014 epic Interstellar, however, suggests we are the aliens.

The film sends a team of scientists into space in search of an alternative planet as Earth becomes increasingly inhospitable for human life. As they travel through the universe, they come across worlds with extremely strong gravitational pulls which make time move a lot slower.

By playing around with our concept of past, present and future and makes us view time as being something that is nonlinear. Ultimately, what we’re left with is the idea that the aliens of today are actually the humans of tomorrow who were the humans of yesterday.

While trying to figure out how that works can be mentally exhausting, the idea the movie portrays fits in with Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, which argues the case for what physicists call ‘gravitational time dilation’, where time moves faster the further away you are from the Earth’s surface.

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