In the first movie, the Nostromo is awakened from a considerable distance by the distress beacon left by the spacecraft. They investigate the craft, things go bad, simple stuff.

The thing is, I don't recall the crew shutting down the transmission, or even knowing how to. Which is important, because if the craft was still broadcasting there's no way the planet could have been settled without knowing about the signal.

My question is, is there some deleted scene or something explaining this?


It was made non-functional by volcanic activity

As James Cameron said in Starlog #125

As some readers may know, scenes were filmed but cut from the final release version of the film which depicted the discovery of the derelict by a mom-and-pop geological survey (i.e.: prospecting) team. As scripted, they were given the general coordinates of its position by the manager of the colony, on orders from Carter Burke. It is not directly stated, but presumed, that Burke could only have gotten that information from Ripley or from the black-box flight recorder aboard the shuttle Narcissus, which accessed the Nostromo's on-board computer. When the Jorden family, including young Newt, reach the coordinates, they discover the derelict ship. Since we and the Nostromo crew last saw it, it has been damaged by volcanic activity, a lava flow having crushed it against a rock outcropping and ripped open its hull. Aside from considerations of visual interest, this serves as a justification for the acoustic beacon being non-operational.

However, in the original script, a crew member may have turned it off

In this script:

On the mechanism, a small bar moves steadily back and forth. Sliding noiselessly in the grooves. Still functioning. Lambert looks down at her direction finder. Automatic recording. Dallas snaps it off.

So Dallas may have turned off the beacon.


Not sure if it’s canon or not, but in the video game Alien: Isolation this is addressed. The plot revolves around Ripley’s daughter, who has spent her life trying to find out what happened to her mother. She winds up at a space station looking for the Nostromo’s flight recorder when she comes across the guy who found it. They too were drawn to LV-426 by the beacon and made the mistake of checking out the eggs a bit too closely. But one of them turned it off while they were there. Again, probably not canon but I liked the idea of it.

  • Can you provide a screenshot or video clip of this happening?
    – Valorum
    Mar 8 '18 at 20:23

I haven't seen it in years, but I remember very distinctly the Heavy Metal comic adaptation having a panel where a character flips a switch on the space jockey's panel to shut off the beacon.


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