Easter Eggs of the Third Kind

In the Udvar-Hazy extension of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, sits the model UFO that was used in filming “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

close encounters mothership

This is what it looked like in the film.

Close Encounters Model

And here is the model. This is one of my pictures – an official shot can be seen at the Smithsonian’s website.

The model was made by Columbia Pictures Corp. in 1977 from wood, plastic and metal; its dimensions are 63″ x 38″ and it weighs 400 lbs. It is a beauty to behold in its own right, but it gets even more fun when you start to pay closer attention.

The builders had a lot of fun putting this thing together; looking closely at the model, one can find tiny hidden smaller models which are not seen when the Mother Ship appears in the film. These models were added by the construction crew as internal “jokes.” They include a Volkswagen bus, a submarine, a tie fighter, the R2-D2 android, a U.S. mailbox, an aircraft, and a small cemetery plot.

I wasn’t able to get shots of all of the Easter eggs, but here are the ones I could get clean pictures of:

Close Encounters Model 2


Close Encounters Model 3


Close Encounters Model 4


Close Encounters Model 5

Tie Fighter


VW Bus sandwiched in the gap. (This picture by Vincegamer over at the Cool Mini or Not forum)

Only R2-D2 was visible in the film itself:


Little things like this make a film even more fun than it already is.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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