27 January 2013

Prometheus did go to Zeta Reticuli, after all

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

In Ridley Scott’s classic 1979 movie Alien, after the crew of the Nostromo has awakened from their hyper-sleep, the ship’s navigator, Lambert (veronica Cartwright), states that they are “just short of Zeta II Reticuli.”

It’s a UFOlogical reference so fleeting that few in the UFO community seem to have noticed it – or, if they have, it’s rarely been discussed.

Zeta Reticuli, as any self-respecting UFO buff knows, is a binary star system in the constellation of Reticulum located approximately 39 light-years from Earth. The UFO buff knows this because Zeta Reticuli is also thought by many to be the home system of the so-called “Grey” aliens – an idea that has its roots in the 1961 Hill abduction incident in which Betty and Barney Hill were allegedly taken aboard an extraterrestrial spacecraft in rural New Hampshire and subjected to medical tests. It was the first UFO abduction account to gain widespread media attention.

When the Hills underwent regression hypnosis a couple of years after their abduction experience, Betty recalled being shown a star map by the ETs, which she later sketched from memory at the urging of her psychiatrist. That star map was later interpreted by amateur astronomer Marjorie Fish as a depiction of the Zeta Reticuli star system and quickly entered UFO lore. Zeta Reticuli would also be cited in later years as being home to the Greys in connection with Project Serpo and by Area 51 “whistleblower,” Bob Lazar.
Above: The Betty Hill star map
Last year, during the marketing campaign for his Alien prequel Prometheus, Ridley Scott made explicit reference to Zeta(2) Reticuli. In a promotional featurette, the director said: “The planet where they [the crew of the Prometheus] go is called Zeta(2) Reticuli, and what they find there is an establishment that is not what they expected it to be.” Scott added, “This story kind of walks around the truth of what there may be out there... It presents some big questions.”

The implication of Scott’s statement was that the UFOlogical significance of Zeta(2) Reticuli would receive greater emphasis in the Prometheus narrative (the film’s plot is, after all, heavily indebted to Ancient Astronaut theory).

However, when Prometheus finally hit cinemas, it contained no spoken reference whatsoever to Zeta(2) Reticuli. This was something of a head-scratcher (as, indeed, was the entire movie). Why bother drawing attention to the name of your characters’ destination during the promotion of your movie, only to include no obvious reference to it in the movie itself?

We may never know the answer to this question (I doubt even Ridley Scott knows), but take a look at the composite image below, which shows the Betty Hill star map overlaid against a still from Prometheus in which the aliens’ star system is depicted in ancient cave art...

The above image proves two things:

1.   That Prometheus did go to Zeta(2) Reticuli after all and drew its influence in this regard directly from imagery associated with the Hill abduction case.

2.   That I have entirely too much time on my hands today.


  1. Many hands make a movie and absolute control probably even escapes Ridley.

  2. actually i think Ridley only did this because they gave him quite a bit of control on this venture.

  3. The mention of an actual destination in the film would lend credence to the notion that this was an actual serious attempt to make a good movie. If only... What happened to you Ridley Scott??? Say it aint so!

    Nice post thanks RG

  4. Not to cast blame but I cast blame on Ridley's penchant for second and third guessing EVERY creative decision, and any writer or artist can tell you there are serious risks with that kind of behavior--overpainted canvas and over-written text where all the original freshness and vision is squashed. My friend Sean Kelly told me this joke on the subject:

    Q -How many screenwriters does it take to a screw in a light bulb?
    A - Does it HAVE to be a light bulb?

    The appearance of these god aliens as big bald giant relatives of Hellraiser's Pinhead with odd aqualine noses was a huge mistake after all the imagining and pondering over the original space jockey in ALIEN 1.