Top L.A. Legends # 21: The Origin of E.T. and UFOs in Topanga

et.jpgDeep in the Tunisian desert, a Kentucky farm story from 1955 inspired what would become the phenomenal box office hit E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

The film started out as Night Skies, and was inspired by a “true story”.

The evening is August 21, 1955. You’re visiting a rural Kentucky family for dinner. You go outside to get a drink of water from the well as the house doesn’t have running water. You see a strange object land nearby. You tell your friends what you just saw and they ridicule you. The subject is dismissed, until the dog starts making a racket. You grab your shotgun to see what is causing the disturbance. And what you see sticks in your mind until the end of your life.

At a short distance from the front door, both men were stopped dead in their tracks by the sight of a glowing hovering light, which came towards them and allowed them to see that it was in fact a 3 and a half feet tall creature, advancing towards them with hands up, as if to surrender.

Standing at the front of the house, the men were terrified by a clawed hand reaching down from the roof in an attempt to touch them. Again, they shot, but the being simply floated to the ground, and scurried into the cover of the woods. The two men sought the protection of the house again, only to find themselves under siege from these little men. For a time, the entities seemed to tease the family, appearing from one window to another. Taking pot shots through the windows and walls, their weapons seemed totally ineffective against the creatures. [Read More]

Truth or Fiction? Regardless, inspiration.

Wanna find an ET closer to home? Just head on up to Topanga. It’s a well known location for UFO sightings (at least back in 1992). You can even read the book.

Then again, I can usually find an alien or two in front of the Chinese Theater. But don’t try to take their picture, without a little compensation.

2 thoughts on “Top L.A. Legends # 21: The Origin of E.T. and UFOs in Topanga”

  1. The scene in the film of the kids riding their bikes and then flying into the air was filmed in the northern part of the Valley in what’s now Porter Ranch. There is even a park in the community fondly referred to as “ET Park” based on the filming.

  2. stories like this, concepts like noir and arcadia vs. utopia, homegrown scenes like the skat & surf and the resulting somewhat cheesy movies like Lords of Dogtown are the reasons i love, love, love LA!

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