Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Robinson Film Center Shreveport, LA


Dr. Lee Sawyer

Charles and Newllyn Spruell Endowed Professor of Physics, Louisiana Tech University; Academic Director for Chemistry, Physics, and Nanosystems Engineering, Louisiana Tech University

Close Encounters of the Third Kind— Is There Anyone Out There?: Humankind’s Quest to Discover Extraterrestrials

Questions include: How close are we to discovering alien life forms? Where are we looking? What do scientists believe they will be like? Part of the 2017 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Robinson Film Center Shreveport, LA

Film Synopsis

After an encounter with UFOs, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is an electrical lineman who, while sent out on emergency repairs, witnesses an unidentified flying object. Neary's wife (Teri Garr) and children are at first skeptical, then concerned, and eventually fearful, as Roy refuses to accept a "logical" explanation for what he saw and is prepared to give up his job, his home, and his family to pursue the "truth" about UFOs. Neary's obsession eventually puts him in contact with others who've had close encounters with alien spacecraft, including Jillian (Melinda Dillon), a single mother whose son disappeared during her UFO experience, and Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut), a French researcher who believes he can use a musical language to communicate with the alien visitors. Lacombe's theory is put to the test when a band of government researchers and underground UFO enthusiasts (including Neary) join for an exchange with alien visitors near Devil's Tower, Wyoming.

About the Speaker

Dr. Lee Sawyer is the Charles and Newllyn Spruell Endowed Professor of Physics and academic director of chemistry, physics, and nanosystems engineering at Louisiana Tech University. He received his BS in physics from Northeast Louisiana University in 1985, and his PhD from Florida State University in 1991.