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Hey, I thought you should know... Someone must've hit a button during the fight just now. If I understood the display correctly, I think we sort of launched a homing beacon of some kind down to the surface. Landed just outside DC. I wouldn't mention it, except that I think... Like I said, I'm not sure... I think it's a way to get back to earth.”— Elliott Tercorien
The alien crash site is an unmarked location in the base game (however, it becomes marked as Alien Homing Beacon with the Mothership Zeta add-on after the abduction) that contains the remains of an alien recon craft (Theta), which crashed through a house and came to rest in a cliff side. Next to the craft is a dead alien that cannot be interacted with or looted.
It is noteworthy both for its uniqueness and for the similarly unique loot found in the vicinity. It is also the source of one of the Capital Wasteland's radio signals, known as the Recon craft Theta signal.
Roughly twenty meters behind the house lies the wrecked recon craft. It is badly damaged and leaking an unspecified radioactive liquid (giving about 4 rad/sec). The only point of interest is at the front of the ship, the side opposite the ruined house. If the player is at the MDPL-13 power station south of the crash site, it can be found by following the power cables north until you come across the alien distress beacon. The signal is called the "Recon Craft Theta Signal" on the player's Pip-Boy 3000. The player can follow this to the site as it gets louder and clearer as one gets closer, and they will start to become irradiated. At the front of the ship, the cockpit dome is shattered. The pilot's body lies outside against a pile of rocks with the powerful alien blaster in his hand. About 120 alien power cells are scattered around. The trail from the house to the ship is full of debris from the crash, most of which cannot be picked up or moved.
After completion of the Mothership Zeta add-on, an alien homing beacon takes the place of the crashed craft, allowing the player to teleport to Mothership Zeta and back at will. It will also have a map marker for easy fast travel.
- With the addition of the Mothership Zeta add-on, the player is transported before the alien blaster can be retrieved. After completion of the add-on, the alien blaster and ammunition will still be on the surface even though the ship is back on the Mothership. If the alien blaster and alien power cells are not visible, they can be accessed via the tcl console command on PC or by using Dogmeat to obtain the blaster and power cells.
- The pilot has some properties when picked up, as the game treats his body as an object, not as a non-player character corpse. First, he is weightless when picked up, and will sometimes even hover perfectly horizontally when picked up. Also, the pilot rotates and flips in a circular pattern when picked up by the head, exactly like the Chinese stealth armor when picked up by the helmet. Also, if one picks up the dead alien and drags him around, his head disappears.
- If you do not have the Mothership Zeta add-on installed, then the Recon Craft Theta distress signal will not be picked up by your Pip-Boy unless you are close to the crash site. If Mothership Zeta is installed, however, your Pip-Boy can pick up the signal anywhere in the Capital Wasteland and as far away as The Pitt.
- Upon completing Mothership Zeta, the "Recon Craft Theta" signal disappears. This is because the mothership Zeta recovered the ship transmitting it. The recon craft can be seen as it is lifted into the Hangar bay.
- If you use console commands to get under the ship there will be a radio. If you engage conversation with the radio it will just say "Hello there".
- If the alien is moved from the vicinity of the crash site it will respawn back there in 3 game days.
- After completing Mothership Zeta the Recon Craft turns to a location called Alien Homing Beacon so you can go back and from Mothership Zeta to get weapons, ammo, food, etc.
- If you encounter human enemies near the crash site, one of them may pick up the Alien Blaster. You can get the blaster by looting its corpse.
- There is a terminal in the Citadel that refers to the crash.
- If the player has Dogmeat, they must be away from the ship, but make sure to have a good view of it. Dogmeat can be sent to find weapons and ammo that are inside the alien ship.
The alien crash site appears only in Fallout 3.