So, I just had a crazy thought.
In Carpenter's The Thing, we see their ship crash at the very beginning.
But, the Thing is a parasite. It can't possibly have invented - let alone utilize - space travel.
Therefore, it's reasonable to think that the Thing infected another extraterrestrial life form; one that owned and operated the ship seen crashing into the Antarctic.
Maybe I'm slow in realizing this, but I figured I'd throw it out there and see what you think.
Also, keep in mind I haven't yet seen The Thing (2011), which may or may not explain everything I've just written about!