For the last half century, Steven Spielberg has graced the big screen — and occasionally the small screen — with fantastical visions of the outlandish. Some what does the guy who made Close Encounters of the Third Kind think of an occurrence similar to that movie, namely the recent spate of UFOs? As it happens, he has an appropriately out-there theory on that subject.
During a recent career-spanning interview with Stephen Colbert, the Oscar-winning filmmaker as asked his thoughts on those unidentified flying objects, including the mysterious balloon from China. He got a little conspiratorial.
“I’ve never seen a UFO,” Spielberg admitted. “I wish I had! I’ve never seen anything I can’t explain. But I believe certain people who have seen things that they can’t explain. I think what has been coming up recently is fascinating, absolutely fascinating. And I think the secrecy that is shrouding all of these sightings and the lack of transparency… I think there is something going on that just needs extraordinary due diligence.”
He added, “I don’t believe we’re alone in the universe. I think it’s mathematically impossible that we are the only intelligent species in the cosmos. I think that’s totally impossible. At the same time, it also seems impossible that someone would visit us from 400 million lightyears from here — except in the movies, of course — unless it figures out some way of jumping the shark, so to speak, and getting here through wormholes.”
Spielberg then floated a theory on what they could be. “The most optimistic thing I feel about these things we see in the skies, that the Army and Navy and Air Force are recording on their gun cameras, is that what if they’re not from an advanced civilization 300 million lightyears from here?,” he theorized. “What if it’s us, 500,000 years in the future, that is coming back to document the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st century because they’re anthropologists? And they know something we don’t quite know yet that has occurred, and they’re trying to track the last hundred years of our history.”
Of course, that theory hinges on the idea that humanity to still be kicking around in 500,000 years, which Colbert joked may be outlandish. “Yes, we survive,” Spielberg said. “Or at least a certain percentage of us survives that allows future generations to flourish.”
Spielberg’s theory — which is a lot more soothing than the one cooked up by Tucker Carlson — sounds a bit like the last half hour of his 2001 sci-fi film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which [SPOILER] finds humanity slowly wiped out by the effects of climate change. Their robot creations, however, seem to have evolved and use the boy droid played by Haley Joel Osment to learn about humanity before their behavior eradicated them from the planet.
You can watch the full interview in the video below.