In Midnight Special, NSA officer Paul Sevier is investigating various coordinates and locations taken from scripture from "The Ranch" cult. This scripture is derived from the messages that the special boy Alton has provided in the past; interpretations of information that Alton's mind has inadvertently received from various spy satellites.

While Sevier is looking at the coordinates on a whiteboard, he suddenly determines that he can use them to identify the true coordinates for where Alton and his parents are headed.

How does Sevier determine this? Did I miss something, or are we to simply infer that he somehow decodes it, as this is purportedly one of Paul's skills? Or, is something else (a higher power, such as Alton himself) involved, deliberately guiding Sevier, possibly predicting their later encounter (considering that Alton knows his name)?

1 Answer 1


Great movie... one of my favorites for 2016. He's already a smart guy which is evident by his position in the NSA. So he's already well familiar with codes and patterns. He took all of Calvin's "sermons" that were Alton's speaking in tongues and realized they were coordinates with date/times. And he realized that some of them lined up with past incidents such as the trooper getting shot and where the gas station explosion happened. Others are government secrets that no one should have known about, but were unimportant for his task at hand. So filtering those out, he was able to determine the next place/time to go to from the remaining data. So basically, he saw the patterns, and was able to deduce the answer from the data.

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