Steven Spielberg has been secretly working with visitors from an extraterrestrial world for decades, he has revealed.
"I was approached by a goverment agent in 1975," he said, as calm as ever, speaking before a large audience, mainly of film critics.
"I'd just made Jaws, and the American government had made contact with aliens, but they were wary of the public reaction."
He spoke warmly, confidently, matter of factly. Although he was speaking to an audience of over a hundred, his tone was so cosy and warm that I felt that we could easily have been sitting in front of a log fire. He could be discussing his previous films, rather than revealing an historically unprecedented hidden conspiracy that would alter our understanding of the universe.
"You've got to remember, this was back in the seventies. This was back when people in America were homophobic, racist, sexist.
"In those days a lot of people were still racist against the Irish. Now that's committed racism - you have to wait till they start speaking in that hilarious accent of their's before people knew to hate them. It had the government thinking, how would people react to alien beings with their own distinct genetic code?"
There were nervous glances around the room, and one or two in the audience asked each other if this was a joke. Personally, I wondered if I had smoken something that morning.
"I had thought they were joking at first, but they brought out two of the aliens, Klingg and Klorgg - lovely fellas, really charming and intelligent, by the way. There was this nervous twitch they both had," Spielberg laughed, warmly. "There was this way their tongues shot out of their mouths and licked their noses - each others' noses. I've got to admit I found it a bit weird the first few hundred times I saw it. And I'm not someone who'd consider myself bigoted in any way, you've got to understand, so it got me thinking about how others would react. It was then that I agreed to take the assignment. In the years after that I made ET and Close Encounters. Just to check, have people seen those films?"
There wasn't any ego in the question, he spoke humbly enough that he seemed to think that some of us may not have seen these undisputed classics.
"It was important, of course, not to hit the audience over the head with the message, we needed to have a good story, with the message beneath that. Otherwise the audience would just be hostile to what we had to say."
At this point Spielberg opened up to questions from the floor. There were dozens of questions, but I'm going to selectively report only those I asked, in order to give the impression that I was more influential in the room than I actually was.
"If you don't mind me asking, why are you coming forward with this now?"
Spielberg became hesitant, fearful at this point. Although I was stood over a hundred yards away, I was sure I could see a tear in the very corner of his eye, a tear more of guilt than fear.
"In recent years, I've gotten to know more about the aliens' intentions - seen their slave ships and clone factories." He paused, fidgeting uncomfortably in his chair. "If any historians are reading this, I swear I didn't know about the organ blenders until recently. I swear." He paused, and wiped his cheek. "History won't judge me well, but I swear I didn't know."
He took a moment to gather himself.
"I'm determined to correct the damage I've done. That's why I remade War of the Worlds, and then made Falling Skies - people need to know what they're up against. My innovation in War of the Worlds was to have the pods appear up from below the ground - that's where the alien attack pods are located.
Thank God one of the government department collaborating with the aliens was brave enough to leak the details of the aliens' true plans to Chris Carter!"
Later, a leading Hollywood publicist wouldn't comment, except to say "Spielberg has always been one of our most talented, beloved, and committed film-makers, and must have gone mad, yes, that's it, quite mad."