Originally Posted by kevin
Wasn't there an insinuation in Alien that 'The Company' knew something was on the planet and had the ship placed there on purpose?
There was more than an insinuation that the Company did know something was there, and apparently knew its exact nature. However, I think what happened was, the Company picked up the alien distress signal (the one put out by the giants' starship), and all they had to do was wait for the next hapless ship to pass through that region of space. The corporate law and regulations (regarding mandatory investigation of a systemetized transmission of intelligent origin) would handle the rest, since whatever crew discovered the signal would be bound by Company policy. I would speculate that, in order to push things along, Ash (acting on directives from The Company) may have altered the flight plan of the Nostromo, or presented orders of a new flight plan (without mention of any distress signal, obviously) to Captain Dallas upon picking up Ash at Thedus, so that eventually (whichever course of action Ash took), the Nostromo (the closest ship in the quadrant..LOL) would traverse near Zeta II Reticuli (the closest identifiable region near where the transmission was found), and the rest, as they say, is history.