There is no deadly epidemic. That's a cover up to keep everyone away from the place where the aliens will arrive and communicate. The aliens communicate with humans at Devil's Tower (the reason why Richard Dreyfuss made that big dirt "mountain", his fascination with that shape, etc.). The little kid is reunited with his mom. Richard Dreyfuss boards an alien ship and leaves with them.
Factual error: The aliens broadcast a series of pulses which are decoded by the scientists to be a longitude and latitude. In degrees:minutes:seconds, the longitude is 104:44:30 and the latitude is 40:36:10. These numbers are what the computer display shows and are what the scientists say (except for one slip-up in the hallway early in the scene where 104:40:30 is said). The scientists grab a globe and declare these coordinates are in Wyoming. Everybody and his brother (and the aliens) then proceed to show up at Devils Tower, Wyoming. However, Devils Tower is at around longitude 104 deg 44 min and latitude *44* deg 36min, not the *40* deg 36 min pulsed out by the aliens. If everyone had gone to 40 deg 36 min, they would have ended up in Colorado, more than a couple hundred miles south of Devils Tower, Wyoming. (00:46:23)
Question: Why wasn't this movie titled 'Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind'? It involved abduction of humans by aliens.
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