The children were taken by aliens when they left on the plane to go to camp-- and the characters talk about the aliens conducting tests, but it was not the children who were the subject of these tests. Telly was one of the subjects of an elaborate experiment conducted by an alien who wanted to study just how strong of a relationship a parent has with a child and whether a parent could ever forget the existence of his/her tie. Telly was the only parent who never forgot her son. The alien finally reveals the scheme to her and then tries to take her last memory of her son away from her-- but fails and his experiment is forcibly ended by (we can only assume) the alien bosses who literally "pull" him from the project. Telly returns to her neighbourhood and finds her son and everything is as it was before her son disappeared.
Continuity mistake: When the alien screams in the warehouse and the glass breaks, immediately after it shows a closeup of his face and the glass is still intact.
Telly Paretta: At first I thought it had something to do with the plane crash. Remember when that TWA plane crashed over Long Island? Everybody thought it was a missile, friendly fire, or some type of government cover-up.
Ash Correll: Yeah, I remember that.
Telly Paretta: But then I thought, you know, 'How could the government erase our memories?' Its just not possible. So.
Ash Correll: What?
Telly Paretta: So you don't think I'm out of my mind?
Ash Correll: I don't anymore.
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