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In the Mexico desert, planes from Flight « 19 » disappeared in 1945 come back from the past as enchantment. In the Mongolian desert of Gobi, a huge maritime freighter is found failed nobody knows how. In the north of India, residents sing in unison a curious melody the sky inculcated them. Professor Lacombe and his team inquire on these numerous and inexplicable phenomenaes.
Muncie, Indiana, while the city comes suddenly to be deprived of all energy, Roy Neary, an employee of the cable company, is the witness of a vision for the most incredible. His car, briefly overflown by a UFO shining with thousands of lights, he throws frantically in the search of other seen ships. En route, he meets Jillian Guiler, the mother of a littel boy: Barry. With others strollers, they are the witnesses of a fairy ballet of multicolored lights and spaceships that overfly just above their heads.
The following day, unconsciously, Roy feels the need to express the vision that reside in his spirit. Without knowing what tries to create, he uses all material sort to attempt to give a form to his thinks. It goes similarly for Jillian who will attempt to reproduce the same images on sketches.
Meanwhile, Lacombe and his colleague David Laughlin, discover that behind the five notes composing the melody heard in the whole world, hide terrestrial coordinates, those of « The Tour of the Devil », a mountain situated in the Wyoming with a particular shape.
Roy Neary, a privileged witness
A alien inteligence has come to give a rendez-vous to humanity.
While little Barry is dramatically removed by aliens under the eyes of his mother, the government attempts to discredit the numerous witnesses of these extraordinary encounters. The official are well decided that the event is not to be released to the public. Pretexting the accidental presence of a lethal gas in the Wyoming, soldiers evacuate the region of all its residents. When he sees this information on télévision, Roy, on the way to paranoia, discovers that his ultimate and intruding sculpture is the perfect copy of « The Tour of the Devil ». Without knowing what he'll find there, he decides to go there immediately.
The Tour of the Devil rendez-vous
Crossing population on the exodus path, Roy is going perchance to find Jillian who equally came to understand the senses of their common visions. The woman, who still hopes to find her son, and him, ally to thwart the control points and barrages forbiding all access to the mysterious mountain. Despite the numerous corpses of animals that strew the ground, obliging them by
precaution to wear a gas mask, they penetrate deeper in the forbidden territory before to be apprehended by a military patrol…
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
Roy is questionned by Lacombe who seeks to know if his persistence to go to the other side of the mountain is unconsciously dictated by an invitation of being from another world. Persuaded all this is a huge plot, the couple escape to their watchmen. Helicopters pursuying them won't succeed in catching them and they'll be able to assist to the most prominent event in the history of humanity.
Majestically choregraphied, tens of space engines with multicolored fires dance in the sky, responding to the five musical notes dispensed by the scientists. After a moment of lull, when all seems to have ended, a engine three times larger than the mountain appears. The alien mother ship is facing the appointment area, specially fitted with all kind of electronic equipment destined to record the historical moment. After a rich musical exchange between the two parts, making a protocol of it, the mothership half-opens and disembarks people who disapeared many years ago, such as the aviators of the 19th flotilla who seem not to have aged, and the little Barry Jillian finds back with joy.
A fascinating spectacle
After a solemn instant in which humans and aliens exchange physical contacts, the ship runs out, taking with her a team of voluntary astronauts and a civilian, Roy Neary, the electrician who was a major actor in this encounter of the third kind.