Independence Day

Factual error: When the alien ship arrives in Washington DC, its shadow goes over the Lincoln Memorial from the bottom of the Lincoln statue to the top. Since the saucer is heading over the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial faces the Mall, the shadow should have gone from the top to the bottom. (00:21:40)

Dom
2

Factual error: When they show the Israeli Air Force with the Arabs, they show Israeli F/A-18s. The problem is that the Israelis do not own or operate any US Navy equipment - only equipment such as F-16s. (01:41:45)

Factual error: When we see the British pilots (with Iraqi pilots) responding to the news of a planned counter-offensive, the British pilot is stood in front of an F-16 with British markings on. This aircraft has never been in service with the RAF or purchased by the British government.

Mark Foster
1

Factual error: Aliens are using TV satellites for their secret attack signal, making the TV picture quality poor. David shows the president how they do it by bypassing the curvature of the earth. However TV satellites don't work that way. They are "hanging" pretty much above their broadcasting area totally reflecting and spreading the signal back straight downward to earth. Turning the parabolic mirrors of the satellites to a different elevation would result in no TV signal on earth, not just a degraded one.

Goekhan
1
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Satellites do both. They both send the signals back down to earth but they also send signals to each other in order for the signal to cross the globe. And in those signals the aliens have hidden their own signal, and that distorts all satellite signals, causing TV's to receive a distorted signal.

lionhead
2

Very few satellites directly talk to other satellites. Geosynchronous communication satellites don't. The antennas used for transmitting the TV signal are directional, but while directional antennas send most of their energy in one (or a few) direction, they still leak at least some energy to all directions, so it could still theoretically be used as described. The real mistake though is the aliens have advanced technology, so could easily have deployed a couple satellites of their own to perform this function, so why the need to use ones from Earth? Worst case just send a couple small ships up to act as relays.

2

It probably saves them time to use the satellites already in orbit. They are on a tight schedule and don't want to waste time and resources deploying their own satellites. Plus it's a small possibility for them that humans can take out their satellites, so hiding it in their own seems perfect.

lionhead

Factual error: Area 51 is located in southern Nevada (the movie acknowledges this), but the security gate that Steve Hiller enters through is shown to be in the Bonneville Salt Flats, which are located hundreds of miles away in northwestern Utah.

Phaneron Premium member
Independence Day mistake picture

Continuity mistake: David calls Connie at the White House and she walks toward the divided pane windows, then pulls the curtain to the side. In the exterior shots facing her the pane's white grille is between her hand and face, but in the next interior shot looking out, there is only clear glass, though we should see the grille just as we see both sides of the curtain with her hand holding the right side. (00:38:25)

Super Grover Premium member
More mistakes in Independence Day

Captain Steven Hiller: Y'know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo...you got me out here draggin' your heavy ass through the burnin' desert with your dreadlocks stickin' out the back of my parachute. You've gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad...and what the hell is that smell?!

More quotes from Independence Day

Trivia: In Area 51 there is a large screen displaying the results of the nuclear strikes against the alien ships. Look under the screen and there is some text in green. Pause it to read the following: "The purpose of these green lines is to lead you to believe that these words mean something", and "And can I see with eye serene the very pulse of the machine Wordsworth".

More trivia for Independence Day

Question: In the scene where the pilots are receiving their initial briefing, the officer in charge is a Lt Colonel, but in a later scene where the alien ship is approaching area 51, he is a captain. Is this the same officer or is this a mistake?

More questions & answers from Independence Day

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.