Where did the Man Who Fell to Earth Land When he Fell?

White Sands National Monument, CONS225

White Sands National Monument, CONS225
The passing of Davie Bowie inspired me to research the filming location of his film The Man Who Fell to Earth. David Bowie was thought of by many as an otherworldly being and it’s fitting that he plays an alien in the movie that was filmed in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. I  recently saw the movie in a theater and was delighted by the beautiful imagery in this strange film.

White Sands Postcard

White Sands Postcard
The Western History and Genealogy Department (WH and G) houses the National Parks Conservation Association Records, which includes a folder of photographs and brochures about White Sands National Monument. In 1933, during the last days of President Herbert Hoover’s administration, Hoover declared White Sands a national monument under the Antiquities Act of 1906, not long after prehistoric tracks were first discovered in the monument in 1932. In addition to being a tourist attraction long before being declared a national monument, the area has also been home to military and scientific testing. White Sands is only 60 miles from the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was tested in 1945. In 1945, the military had also begun to test missiles at White Sands and ask for the first park closures, a practice that continues today.

11/11/06 – P. 5D; [no title]

[no title]
In 1950, the first major motion picture was filmed at White Sands, King Solomon’s Mines, starring Debra Kerr and Stewart Granger, which was set in diamond mines in Africa. Several other feature films were filmed at White Sands, but I think The Man Who Fell to Earth is one of the most notable for really emphasizing the beautiful scenery available at the park. In addition to the feature films made at White Sands, there were also several documentaries, commercials and music videos filmed there. An especially memorable video from my childhood was Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry.” Check out the National Parks’ Service’s White Sands website for a list of works filmed in the park. 
The Denver Public Library doesn’t currently own a copy of the movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, but it can be requested from other libraries. We do have a copy of the book by Walter Tevis.
Find out more about White Sands in the National Parks Conservation Association Records or by reading one of many books the library has about the park. 

Research NewsDavid BowieWhite Sands National MonumentNew MexicoConservation