Corrected entry: Easy way to tell how long the trip was - she bangs her head and it starts bleeding on the trip - if it only lasted seconds then it would still be bleeding, but if it lasted hours then it would have healed...

Correction: She bangs her head after the trip when the device falls into the net.

Corrected entry: During Jodi Foster's "trip" she releases herself from her chair which eventually breaks and smashes in the sphere. This couldn't have happened during the tenths of a second of the sphere's fall without her being seriously injured, so that might be a good proof that the trip really happened.

Correction: Well, the U.S. Government knows the trip really happened, they covered it up, so it's unlikely they will let the public know that the chair broke off, it would make people ask questions.

troy fox

Corrected entry: Ellie tells Palmer, "There are 400 billion stars out there, just in our galaxy alone. If only one out of a million of those had planets, alright, and if just one in a million of those had life, and if just out of a million of those had intelligent life, there would be literally millions of civilizations out there." Such a brilliant MIT grad, should be more convincing using mathematical arguments: 4.00E+11 x 1/1.00E+6 x 1/1.00E+6 x 1/1.00E+6 = 4.00E-7 (that's 0.0000004 planets in our galaxy with life!) Not a very persuasive argument for vast quantities of life in the universe. (00:17:15 - 00:17:45)

Correction: Yeah, well, with the current estimate being that there are over a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe, many of which are deemed to be considerably larger than our own, I think you'll find that Ellie's statement is, in fact, perfectly correct.


Nope. There would need to be 2.5 Trillion galaxies, considerably more than "over a hundred billion" for Ellie's math to be correct.

Actually 2.5 Trillion bears out 1,000,000 planets with life. So... technically, there would need to be 5 Trillion to bear out 2,000,000 planets with life, thus meeting the requirements for use of the word millions, with an "s" as in plural of.

You're working on the idea of galaxies rather than stars. if each galaxy held 400 billion stars than the original corrections claim is easily in the right.

There are galaxies that are far bigger than Milky Way, even hosting a trillion or more stars.

But she's not talking about other galaxies. She is talking about planets and stars in our galaxy. The entry is correct, she's talking about an extremely low percentage.


Factual error: The geography around the VLA in New Mexico is actually relatively flat - in fact one of the reasons why the array complex is there is because the land is flat. The canyon in the film was actually Canyon de Chelly, in Arizona, more than 170 miles (270 km) away. But in the film, when Ellie goes to the canyon, the radio antennas seem to be right there, insinuating that the canyon is part of the VLA's magical desert scenery.


More mistakes in Contact

Ellie Arroway: I work for a project called seti.
Palmer Joss: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence? Wow, that's out there.

More quotes from Contact
More trivia for Contact

Question: In the few seconds (Earth time) it took for the pod to fall through the time travel device, it would have been impossible for Ellie to have become detached from the safety seat. It would have been even less possible for the seat to have become dislodged from the pod, AND for the seat to smash against the side of the pod with sufficient force crush it. I understand there was a cover-up (e.g., the 18 hours of static on her recording device), but Ellie, herself, would have remembered the dislodged, smashed seat. Why did she never bring it up in defense of her version of the facts? Was there a reason someone knows of, or is this just a plot hole?

Michael Albert

Chosen answer: Ellie defended her version of the facts with everything she had to work with, but the simple fact was that the government cover-up was just too strong for her to overcome. The points you raise are perfectly reasonable, but the version of events released by the powers-that-be denies everything that happened and, without any other proof, Ellie has only her word to convince people with. For some, that's enough, as we see in the film, even if a majority choose to believe the "official" version.


More questions & answers from Contact

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