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In the film Super 8 there is a scene where the kids are filming in front of a house being searched by the army. The boy's father (the Sheriff) shows up and puts the boy in the back of his police car. The Sheriff then walks up to the army (captain?) who is in charge and asks about why his trucks are sweeping the town, then the army guy says they will be out of the way shortly, and the Sheriff responses with "You wouldn't mind me contacting D.C. and talk to some friends about Walking Distance".

The scene ends not explaining anything more.

What is the Sheriff referring to? and what did I miss before this that referenced this term?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

He had overheard the phrase earlier when listening in on the military radio frequency. From the IMDb Super 8 Synopsis:

Jackson soon grows concerned when the Military begins to roll into Lillian. Still not receiving answers as to their presence in the town, he receives word from one of the townspeople about a radio frequency that seems to be picking up Military transmissions. Jackson has the other officers tune their radios into the frequency, and soon hears word of something codenamed "Operation: Walking Distance."

Another interesting note about the phrase "Walking Distance" is that it was chosen by Super 8 director J.J. Abrams because it's the name of his favorite episode of The Twilight Zone. See The "Walking Distance" of Super 8.

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