Silver Screen Saucers has reported that according to the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, one of the world’s most beloved family films — E.T. The Extraterrestrial — was very nearly a nightmarish horror film based on an actual alien encounter.

Entertainment Weekly recently published an interview with Spielberg wherein he claimed that the original script for his 1982 classic “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” was actually supposed to be a horror film based on the infamous of assault on a Kentucky farmhouse and its occupants in 1955, by visitors from OUT OF THIS WORLD known as the HOPKINSVILLE GOBLINS. According to Spielberg:

“It was going to be called Night Skies, based on a piece of UFO mythology… where a farm family reported little spindly grey aliens attacking their farm, even riding cows in the farmyard. This farm family basically huddled together for survival… It’s a story that’s well-known in the world of ufology, and we based our script on that story.”

The Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter is regarded as one of the most significant and bizarre UFO cases on record. It is also one of the best-documented.

Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly that he even went so far as to hire legendary effects designer Rick Baker — of “An American Werewolf in London” fame — to bring the impish Hopkinsville Kentucky aliens to life on the big screen, adding that E.T. only transformed into a family film when Harrison Ford’s then-girlfriend Melissa Mathison came onboard to rewrite the screenplay, transforming it into more family friendly fare:

“Melissa didn’t want to write it. I needed Harrison and all of us to talk her into it.”

As much as my 9 year-old self loved E.T., I can only imagine what kind of brilliant alien fright fest Spielberg might have brought to the screen when he was at the height of the fantasy phase of his brilliant career, especially with FX whiz Rick Baker on tap… sigh.