Showing posts with label Disclosure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disclosure. Show all posts

20 March 2013

Disney and NASA to explore “Goldilocks” planet in new 3D IMAX film

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

 
IMAX Corporation and Walt Disney Studios today announced an agreement to produce and distribute a new epic 3D documentary from veteran IMAX director Toni Myers.

IMAX and Disney previously have worked together on the distribution of a number of high-profile films, including Fantasia 2000 and the recent Oz The Great and Powerful, although this marks the first collaboration between the two companies in a production capacity.

Produced in cooperation with NASA, the upcoming space-themed documentary, which is still untitled, will use IMAX's extremely high-resolution photography and videography to offer "breathtaking, illuminating views of our home planet from space, exploring the astonishing changes that have occurred on Earth in just the past several decades."

The film will also explore "mankind's future on and off the planet... while also travelling light-years to other star systems to ponder the possibilities of 'Goldilocks,' an Earth-like planet." The film is expected to be released in 2015.

Ward Kimball's artwork for
Mars and Beyond (1957)
This will not be the first time Disney has teamed with space scientists to produce a documentary about life beyond Earth. In the mid-1950s the House of Mouse worked closely with famed rocket scientist and aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun on a series of ambitious documentaries about space travel and life in the universe as part of the Disneyland TV series (1954–1958).
 
The documentaries -- Man in Space (1955), Man and the Moon (1955), and Mars and Beyond (1957) -- were directed by the legendary Disney animator Ward Kimball, who, in his later life, claimed to have been involved in the production of a Disney documentary in the mid-1950s that was backed by the US Air Force and which was intended to acclimate the public to the reality of the UFO phenomenon and alien visitation.  

Disappointingly, the Air Force eventually decided to pull the plug on the documentary, which, according to Kimball, was set to feature real UFO footage provided by the military.
 
NASA also has a history of assisting filmmakers on alien-themed productions. In 1982, NASA helped Steven Spielberg with his classic alien contact movie E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, offering the filmmaker advice on how scientists would likely respond in the event of a real alien contact scenario. This collaboration shaped sections of the movie, including the scene when NASA personnel enter a sealed-off suburban home in search of E.T.
 
Producer Kathleen Kennedy also asked NASA what sort of planet E.T. might call home. The space agency came up with a “little green planet” populated by “little mushroom farmers.” E.T.’s biology reflected this scenario, said Kennedy – the friendly space creature being “closer to a plant than a biological human being.”

Curiously, NASA also lent its cooperation to the Disney movie Mission to Mars (2000), in which astronauts discover the remnants of an ancient civilisation on the red planet and make contact with one of its alien survivors – although NASA was keen to point out during the end credits that its cooperation and assistance “[did] not reflect an endorsement of the contents of the film.”
 
 
 

6 February 2013

The CIA, the Movie Mogul, and 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers
First contact: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Evidence mounts that iconic 1951 movie was CIA UFO acclimation project 
__________________________
 
  • Darryl Zanuck – the movie mogul who oversaw the film’s production – was a CIA asset.
  • Zanuck was considered a “friend” of the US government who could be “relied upon” to subtly “insert ideas” into his productions.
  • Zanuck helped shape the script for The Day the Earth Stood Still and wanted audiences to “completely accept” that open ET contact could happen “in the not too distant future.”
 

4 February 2013

ET Disclosure Event - Live Webstream February 7, 2013 - 7:00pm EST

PRG Press Release

ET Disclosure Event - Live Webstream

February 7, 2013 - 7:00pm EST

T O R O N T O


The Honourable Paul T. Hellyer, Former Canadian Minister of Defense will deliver the keynote address at a Toronto ET Disclosure media event on Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at 7 pm EST. This event is sponsored by a consortium of Toronto based UFO/ET disclosure advocates under the direction of Mr. Chris Russak. The aim of this special international media event is to preview and promote the upcoming Citizen Hearing on Disclosure due to take place in April 29-May 3, 2013 in Washington DC produced by Paradigm Research Group (PRG). 

This premier Toronto ET Disclosure event will be an advanced preview for the press and citizens of North America of what many are describing as powerful yet disquieting testimony by over 30 witnesses that will be assembled by Paradigm Research Group concerning the extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race. This testimony will be given at the prestigious Washington, DC National Press Club from April 29 to May 3.


·    The Toronto ET Disclosure event will be broadcast live over the Internet for a small fee, with proceeds going to assist PRG in producing the April Citizen Hearing.

·    Those who register for the event stream can post questions for the guests on the Facebook site or email them: toetdisclosure2013@gmail.com

·    We intend to answer as many of them as possible on the evening of the event.

·    The webstream event registration can be accessed via a link found on the event Facebook page.

·    Toronto ET Disclosure Event Facebook Web site at: http://www.facebook.com/ETDisclosureEvent

·    Please pre-register for the event as to avoid any delay on February 7th when the stream goes live.

Here is a direct link to the Toronto ET Disclosure Live Webstream Viewer and registration page: Toronto ET Disclosure Stream Page

Event Presentations:

Following Mr. Hellyer's keynote address, individual presentations will be given by PRG Executive Director Stephen Bassett and renowned Canadian UFO research analyst, Grant Cameron. Mr. Bassett's and Mr. Cameron's presentations will be delivered over Skype – from the US and Winnipeg respectively.

Each presentation will focus on the political implications and social impact of the disclosure of extraterrestrial related phenomena and the facts surrounding the associated 65 year UFO/ET cover-up of an extraterrestrial presence by the United States and Canadian governments and other G20 countries. These presentations will be followed by a question and answer period.

Mr. Bassett will also preview and discuss some of the testimony that will be given by over 30 witnesses at the Citizens' Hearing at the Washington DC National Press Club in April. Mr. Cameron will focus on his findings concerning documented involvement by US Presidents in the UFO/ET matter. Mr. Cameron will also provide the press with documentation surrounding Canada's efforts to seek information from American authorities about their top secret classification of the entire UFO subject.

The Toronto ET Disclosure Event Details:

Event name
: Citizen Hearing on Disclosure
Date: Thursday Feb 7, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Location: Conspiracy Culture Book Store
1696 Queen Street West
Toronto, M6R 1B3

FACEBOOK REGISTRATION:


Direct Webstream Link:

http://viewer.dacast.com/broadcaster/16393/c/18607

Contact Details
Chris Russak Event Co-ordinator -
chrisrussak@gmail.com 647.992.9940
Victor Viggiani Media Liaison -
zland@sympatico.ca 905-278-1238

Other Important Web sites:

Toronto Group Facebook Web site to register online to view and hear the Toronto event:
http://www.facebook.com/ETDisclosureEvent
Conspiracy Culture Book Store - Patrick Whyte - Owner and venue host:
http://www.conspiracyculture.com/
Third Eye Talks - Chris Russak:
http://www.meetup.com/ThirdEyeTalks/
Grant Cameron - Event Guest:
The Presidents UFO Website
Stephen Bassett - Event Guest:
Paradigm Research Group Portal
Victor Viggiani - Event Moderator:
Zland Communications
Hon. Paul Hellyer:
Paul's Main Website

 

3 February 2013

'Hangar 18', the CIA, and the Mormon Church

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers


Embedded below is a detailed write-up of my ongoing research into the historical corporate, political and religious connections of the film studio Sunn Classic Pictures -- the early output of which reflected a strong interest in Biblical figures and the idea of extraterrestrial visitation.

In the context of UFOs, the studio is perhaps best known for its 1980 conspiracy movie, Hangar 18...

This article was originally published at Earthfiles.com
 


Related:

Hangar 18 and Predictive Weirdness (by Mike Clelland)

A History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television

28 January 2013

'Hangar 18': The most significant UFO conspiracy movie of all time?

Silver Screen Saucers

 
Tune into Coast to Coast AM January 31 when Robbie Graham will be chatting with Linda Moulton Howe about one of the most significant UFO conspiracy movies of all time, Hangar 18 (1980), in the context of the CIA, the Knights of Malta, and the Mormon Church.

Linda Moulton Howe’s reporting begins at 11pm PST. Robbie Graham will discuss Hangar 18 from Midnight – 1am PST.

18 October 2012

Disclosure through Disney in 2013?

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

Disney's aborted 1950s UFO acclimation movie headed for the big screen?

Earlier this year, Silver Screen Saucers asked: “Could it be that Disney is producing a dramatization of the flying saucer fever that swept America in 1952?” That question was prompted by the enigmatic title 1952 – a “top secret” Disney production quietly announced by the House of Mouse back in June of 2011. We were told that a script was being penned by Damon Lindelof (Prometheus, Cowboys and Aliens), and nothing more. We subsequently learned that Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) had signed on to co-write and direct.

But yesterday (Oct. 17) saw some intriguing (and confusing) developments when Vulture reported the following:

  • Despite its title, 1952 is largely set in the present day.

  • Its plot will focus on aliens visiting Earth for the first time.

  • The film will also reportedly follow a man in his late 40s through this alien ordeal.

  • Lindelof and Bird are aiming to re-create the magic of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
 
    1952 co-writer Damon Lindelof
     
Vulture also reported on the movie’s mysterious back-story, which goes like this: last spring, Disney’s head of production, Sean Bailey, arranged for screenwriter Lindelof to be given access to “one of the studio’s odder curiosities: a banker’s box of files and documents that had been left moldering in Walt Disney’s personal development lab, WED Enterprises, which later became the studio’s vaunted Imagineering department.”

According to Vulture’s “spies”, the box was originally labelled with the title of Disney’s 1965 comedy That Darn Cat!, which had been crossed out and in its place was written “1952.” Apparently, inside the box was a “collection of documents and primary source materials that, when looked at all together, indicated that someone had been working on a project (movie? Theme park ride?) about alien contact." 

The identity of this “someone” from Disney’s bygone era working on a project about alien contact has not been specified. As it turns out, though, we may already know... the name “Ward Kimball” springs to mind.

While at a MUFON symposium in 1979, Oscar-winning Disney animator and Imagineer Ward Kimball (the man behind Jiminy Cricket, The Mad Hatter and Pinocchio) claimed that the United States Air Force (USAF) had approached Walt Disney himself during the 1950s to request his cooperation on a documentary about UFOs that would help acclimate the American public to the reality of extraterrestrials. According to Kimball, in exchange for Disney’s cooperation, the USAF offered to furnish the production with genuine UFO footage. Kimball claimed that Disney accepted the deal and – ever faithful to Uncle Sam – began work immediately on the USAF project. It wasn’t long, however, before the USAF reneged on its offer of UFO footage. When Kimball challenged the USAF Colonel overseeing the project he was told that "there was indeed plenty of UFO footage, but that neither Kimball, nor anyone else was going to get access to it." The project was then abandoned and eventually forgotten by all but the few who had worked on it.
 
Walt Disney's most trusted animators - his "nine old men" - included Ward Kimball
(pictured far left, front).
 

So, could Disney’s mysterious 1952 be a 21 Century revival of its aborted 1950s UFO acclimation project? Based on the information thus far presented, there would certainly appear to be a connection... but hold on there, because here’s where it gets confusing...

Within hours of publishing his inside scoop on 1952, Vulture’s Claude Brodesser-Akner posted the following correction to his report: 

“Apparently I misunderstood my source for this story, who contacted me after it was posted to clarify that while it is true that 1952 is very much in the spirit of Close Encounters (and centers around a Roy Neary-like protagonist), it is not in fact about an alien encounter. My apologies for the erroneous plot description.”

Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) making first contact in
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
 
 
Hmmm. So when the unnamed source told Vulture: “It will be set largely in the present day and it is about aliens making contact here on Earth,” and that the aborted Disney project that inspired it was “about alien contact,” apparently this was just a miscommunication. And yet it is just like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Hmmm. Could it be that Vulture’s source (almost certainly an official viral ‘leaker’ for Disney) spilled one too many beans in his revelation of the movie’s alien aspect, has been reprimanded by the studio and has subsequently issued a rather implausible “correction”?

It’s hard to say for sure, but given the past UFO-themed credits of screenwriter Damon Lindelof, and in light of Disney’s longstanding fascination with the UFO enigma – not to mention the strong UFO-related connotations of the 1952 title – my money is still firmly on this movie being about aliens.

In terms of the movie’s marketing, Vulture also reported the following: 

“The collaborators are planning an elaborate, very J.J. Abrams–like advanced marketing campaign that will start before filming even begins. The idea is to stage a treasure hunt for intrigued moviegoers that will gradually reveal clues about and build intrigue for the film right up until its release, and which may or may not be related to the contents of the box.”

Perhaps, then, the “box” is just a viral marketing device vaguely inspired by Kimball’s story? Or perhaps it is, as the source originally stated, a real box with real photos and documentation that have directly inspired a new and highly secretive Disney project? Perhaps the box is a remnant of the aborted Disney UFO documentary?

Indulging the latter assumption for a moment – that this new movie will feature real photos and/or footage of UFOs and perhaps even their occupants – what would be the point? If presented in a fictional context (as apparently it would be), said material would immediately be fictionalized by way of its presentation in a “science-fiction” movie. Also, in today’s world of photorealistic CGI and Performance Capture technologies, debates surrounding “real” and “faked” footage would be very difficult to resolve. We could be looking at genuine alien landing footage from any time during the modern UFO era and automatically assume it to be CGI. 

So again I’ll say, “hmmm.” Intriguing stuff, for sure, but until Disney hits us with more info on 1952, I’ll quit with the speculation. Watch this space...
 
1952 is scheduled for release in 2013.

12 September 2012

UFO Disclosure: Why Hollywood Matters

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers
 
 
Unidentified Flying Objects, although factual, are also inevitably the stuff of great science-fiction, and so it is unsurprising that they have always sold well at the box-office. But the new millennium has seen a white-hot explosion in the popularity of the UFO sub-genre with the theatrical release of at least 40 alien visitation-themed titles since the year 2000, including such box-office hits as Signs (2002), War of the Worlds (2005), the Transformers franchise (2007-2011), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), The Fourth Kind (2009), Battle: Los Angeles (2011), Cowboys and Aliens (2011), Super 8 (2011) and Prometheus (2012), to name but a few. With recent and forthcoming UFO/alien themed TV series added o the mix – including Taken (2002) V (2009-), The Event, Falling Skies, and Area 51 – audiences now stand little chance against what amounts to a full-scale alien invasion of our popular culture. So what, you might shrug. Why should we care about UFO movies? After all, they’re just entertainment, are they not? 

UFO Disclosure

Given the actuality of the UFO phenomenon and the distinct possibility that some UFOs are extraterrestrial vehicles, many in the UFO research community suggest that an earthshaking ‘Disclosure’ of UFO/ET reality is inevitable at some point in our future. Precisely when and under what circumstances this Disclosure might occur is uncertain, though a number of what seem like perfectly logical scenarios have been proffered by researchers. In their book A.D. After Disclosure, for example, Richard Dolan and Bryce Zabel write: 

“The event that forces Disclosure need not be something as dramatic as an Independence Day scenario, in which gigantic motherships settle over the world’s major cities, a precursor to global attack. The most powerful trigger for Disclosure will be a widespread sighting of a craft that is clearly not one of ours.”1

And this, Dolan and Zabel note, is where our modern obsession with photographic technology comes in to play:

“In an age when portable digital recording devices proliferate to a degree never imagined in human history, it is inevitable that some group of people will capture still images and video of an event that can no longer be denied, and that they will do so in front of reliable and trusted witnesses to the event. Even though such events have happened before, we are talking about something on a much larger scale. This will finally lead to legitimate news coverage, uncomfortable questions, and the first tentative steps towards answers.”2 

 
Alternatively, suggest Dolan and Zabel, Disclosure might be triggered by “the sudden appearance of physical evidence,” such as a long-hidden piece of recovered saucer debris, “maybe something discovered in the attic of a Roswell witness.” A deathbed confession by an ex-President or military leader is also a possibility, as is a unilateral Disclosure from a foreign government seeking recognition on the world stage, “like China or Brazil.”3

Such unilateral action seems increasingly plausible as more and more governments (especially in South America) are beginning to talk openly about their UFO investigation practices, releasing hard data for public scrutiny, including video and audio recordings by military personnel (and, significantly, these developments will not have gone unnoticed by the US government).

Some readers might think it highly unlikely that UFO Disclosure will occur in their lifetime. After all, if the lid has been kept on this thing for over sixty years (but for the occasional leak here and there), why on Earth should it come off now? Dolan and Zabel acknowledge that there is a paradox regarding UFO Disclosure, calling it impossible and inevitable:

“Impossible, because the powers-that-be have no incentive for releasing this information in its entirety, so dramatic its transformative power would be, so threatening to established interests. Yet, disclosure of the UFO reality is inevitable. Something this large cannot be held back forever. It is easier to stop a tsunami from reaching the shore.”4

This is simple and true. Sixty years from now, with all that has transpired in this subject and all that continues to unfold daily, will we really still be debating the reality of UFOs and asking “are we alone”? It seems highly unlikely. Disclosure is coming, for better or for worse, sooner rather than later.

Why Hollywood Matters

In the immediate aftermath of a Disclosure event – before the full facts are known, or made public – would we, the masses, be able to divorce Hollywood’s historical UFO representations from the UFO reality with which we are presented (whatever that reality may turn out to be)? Doubtful. No, it would be several years down the line – once the Disclosure dust had begun to settle – before academics set about the arduous task of deconstructing the socio-cinematic process through which UFOlogical fact and fantasy had merged in our popular culture. In the meantime, a whirlwind of iconic imagery and generic concepts from blockbuster UFO movies would swirl about in the popular consciousness, subtly informing our perceptions and expectations of the ETs, leaving a sprawling trail of confusion in its wake.

 
One of the first things people will want to know After Disclosure (A.D.) is why the ETs are here: to issue us with a warning and an ultimatum, like in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)? To raise our cosmic awareness and welcome us into their enlightened galactic community, like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1997)? Or to annihilate us and strip-mine the Earth for its resources, like in Independence Day (1996)? We’d also wonder about the physical appearance these beings: might they be seven-foot-tall, towering dreadlocked hunters, like the Predator (1986)? Perhaps they’re diminutive pug-faced gardeners, like E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)? Or maybe they’re sentient robots akin to the Transformers (2007 – 2011), capable of disguising themselves as earthly technology? They could even be little green men, like in Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), Aliens in the Attic (2009), Planet 51 (2009), the Toy Story movies (1995-2010), and the countless other films and TV shows that have perpetuated this meme over the decades. “Oh, God!” we might think to ourselves, “Let’s hope they’re not the insectoid child-snatchers of Spielberg’s Falling Skies!

 
The point I am making here is that, following Disclosure, in the short term, at least, UFO-themed movies and TV shows may very well have a bearing on how we interpret and react to the complex events that unfold around us. Is this good, or bad? Well, that depends on whether or not Hollywood’s historical depictions of UFO occupants bear any relation to the true nature and intent of the ETs themselves. A cursory glance through Hollywood’s back-catalogue of UFO movies demonstrates that silver screen aliens are not the friendliest of folk: most of them want only to enslave, eat, or otherwise eradicate humanity. Typically, these aliens are malevolent and physically monstrous creatures whose level of technological advancement far exceeds their moral, ethical and spiritual development.

As human beings, we are imbued with a natural fear of the unknown. Obviously, Hollywood’s hoards of fearsome aliens will do nothing to calm our post-disclosure nerves. But, of course, not all silver screen aliens are intergalactic boogiemen. Some of them do come in peace, bringing with them hope and inspiration for humanity. Here, movies such as Close Encounters, E.T., Starman, Cocoon and The Abyss spring to mind, and perhaps the types of aliens depicted therein have real-life counterparts. Perhaps some of these benevolent beings are, in fact, UFO occupants? If most – or even some – UFO occupants are friendly and enlightened, will Hollywood’s innumerable fear-based UFO movies make it harder for us to trust and embrace such beings? Indeed, would such movies make the beings themselves more reluctant to openly interact with us? After all, no one likes to be demonized – especially not through the all-pervasive medium of cinema.


 
The Ever Convenient ‘Other’

In its silent era Hollywood famously demonized African Americans in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915), which presented black men as unintelligent, sexually aggressive primitives and the Ku Klux Klan as a noble and heroic force. Throughout the first half of the 20th Century and beyond, ethnic minorities – particularly African Americans – continued to be the subject of negative silver screen portrayals. But when the overt subjugation of African Americans became widely socially questionable during and after the civil rights movement that peaked in the late-1960s, and as America slowly began to acknowledge its colonial, genocidal history, Hollywood was forced to consider more appropriate ethnicities for its obligatory ‘Other.’ Arabs had long made for convenient silver screen villains, but the Munich massacre of 1972 – in which members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and subsequently killed by the Palestinian Black September Organisation – effectively branded all Arabs a threat to US national security and gave Hollywood the greenlight to produce innumerable ‘Arabs-as-terrorists’ movies in the decades to follow (see, for example, Black Sunday (1977), The Delta Force (1986), Navy Seals (1990), True Lies (1994), Executive Decision (1996), Rules of Engagement (2000), etc). However, following the Earth-shaking events of September 11, 2001, Hollywood became acutely self-conscious of its one-dimensional depictions of Islam and, not wanting to contribute to a potential war of civilizations, industry leaders sought – with only limited success – to encourage more balanced portrayals of Arabs and the Muslim world in both big and small screen products.5


In addition to Islam, Communism has also long provided Hollywood with a convenient ‘alien’ ideology against which to pit silver screen heroes like John Wayne (in Big Jim McLain (1952)), Patrick Swayze (in Red Dawn (1984)), and Sylvester Stallone (in Rocky IV (1985)), etc. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, however, which signalled a formal end to the Cold War, Hollywood has struggled to find its new ‘enemy nation’, its new bad guy – a guy whom it can vilify and demonise without fear of political or religious consequences and whose role as ‘malevolent subversive/invader’ can never be questioned. No matter; in the absence of suitable human villains, filmmakers throughout history have always had the luxury of falling back on the ET menace – from The Thing from Another World (1951) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) to The Fourth Kind (2009) and Battleship (2012). Trusty aliens and their dastardly ways. And this is perfectly fine, of course, because, officially, aliens don’t exist. But when the truth finally outs, Hollywood may face fresh accusations of racism and xenophobia. Will the industry attempt to redress its sixty-plus years of alien-bashing After Disclosure, or will its demonization of our cosmic visitors go into overdrive?
 
 
Copyright © 2012, Robbie Graham



1. Richard M. Dolan and Bryce Zabel, A.D. After Disclosure: The People’s Guide to Life after Contact (New York: Keyhole, 2010), 16.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid, 98.
5. See: Jack Shaheen, Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs After 9/11 (Northampton, MA: Interink, 2008).

15 August 2012

UFO Secrecy, Deep Politics, and the Batman


GUEST BLOGGER EXCLUSIVE

By Jack Witek

Image credit: Collider.com

It was the worst of times and the best of times for the opening of the final film in the magisterial Dark Knight trilogy, a film inspired by A Tale of Two Cities. What had inspired James Holmes to murder? Culture Wars commentary points the finger at the films themselves and the nihilistic ‘culture of death’ as Alex Jones calls it, or it blames the 2nd Amendment. Was Holmes a patsy set up or only partly involved, as the alternative research community is arguing? Is the fact that he seems drugged out of his mind in court proceedings an indicator of anything? Or that he was once a star neuroscience student at a university complex once owned by the Army, and a hundred other oddities springing up like mushrooms?

At the beginning of Chapter Three in A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens observes:

‘A Wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?’

Commenting for heraldonline James Carroll writes:

‘Apocalyptic fantasies have been a staple of creative expression at least since the Book of Revelation, which, in the West, defines much of the language of the genre: salvation through destruction, cities under attack, angels versus devils, the end of history, and so on. ”The Dark Knight Rises,” with a plot hanging on the detonation of a nuclear bomb, efficiently follows the ancient form, with a 21st Century resonance. We bring our real-life anxieties into darkened theaters, so why shouldn't movies pluck dissonant chords tied, consciously or not, to nuclear dread or 9/11? Perhaps bringing such doomsday anxieties into movie houses is a way of not unleashing them on the world.’

Carroll goes on to conclude:

‘It seems clear that, across the globe today, barriers to inhuman behavior that was once unthinkable have been weakened. Mass shootings are a sign of this — children expressly targeted in Norway last year. So is the plague of suicide bombing that has befallen the Middle East, the self turned into an indiscriminate weapon. Innocents not seduced but destroyed. Blurred distinctions between fantasy and reality, between watching and doing, between war and detached manipulation of technology: These are marks of a precious psychological barrier being lowered. A dark night falling.’

I will be addressing this awful, insulting and borish criticism in more depth at the end of this article, but before I get even further ahead of myself, a word about UFOs and classified energy and propulsion technologies, as after all is this not the cult website Silver Screen Saucers I am very happy to be guest blogging for? To wit, Bruce Wayne, Wayne Enterprises and the Batman embody much of the contradictions, power dynamics and symbolism inherent in the image of the UFO cover-up that we in ufology have formed over the decades. In A.D. After Disclosure, Richard Dolan and Bryce Zabel push the edges in making a map of the world with conspiracy drawn in and Disclosure played out, and in blogging on the official website in an article titled Breakaway Civilisation, Richard notes:

The Dynamic Duo: Zabel and Dolan.
‘With a secret fleet of vehicles utilizing field propulsion and able to explore beyond Earth’s orbit, it is easy to see how the cadre of people involved in such a program would develop new vistas of experience and imagination.

Such a group would continue to be funded secretly and covertly by a combination of public and private funds. In effect, it would constitute an invisible empire, with technology superior to the rest of the world, able to explore areas of our world unavailable to the rest of us. It would probably have a significant built infrastructure, possibly underground and “off the grid” in important ways. It might even have interactions or encounters with non-human intelligences behind the UFO phenomenon. Most certainly it would be concerned somehow with managing the problem of “others” here on Planet Earth. All of the above would indicate that the group members would have deeper scientific and cosmological insights.

Yes, this might qualify them as a separate, “breakaway,” civilization. 

Such a group would have great independence from the established system of power and control, although I would doubt its members would live in a completely separate environment all the time, like some Alternative 3 scenario. Most likely they would need to work in “our” world, if for no other reason than that Earth is where the action is. They would probably move back and forth between the realities of their deeply classified world and the official reality that the rest of us inhabit. Undoubtedly not an easy life.’ 

Not for Bruce Wayne, not for them, one can hypothetically imagine. As an ironic wink, in The Dark Knight the police have a photo of Batman tacked to their ‘Most Wanted’ board, next to a still from the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film, and I’m sure John Keel, author of the Mothman Prophecies would have got a kick out of Batman and his glowing red eyes swooping over the hallucinogen induced terrors in Gotham in the first film. But Christopher Nolan, his co-writer brother, and his producer wife, set out to strip the pomp and cartoon from the franchise, like the effects of the Scarecrow’s psychotropic weaponized hallucinogen from Batman Begins, as with ayahuasca which the blue flower compound is reminiscent of, they purged the franchise, reflecting back some of society’s basest elements, most terrible shadows and most transcendent hopes and fear.

In A.D. After Disclosure, Richard and Bryce postulate that what began with the likes of a Majestic 12 within the military as it was then, has since become a private esoteric and corporate affair, the conspiracy of silence, which translates to the League of Shadows and, of course, Batman himself. The interface of old and new money, basically. Directly analogous to the question of classified ‘free energy’ technology and the implications for Disclosure and the UFO, the plot of the third film revolves around the clean energy fusion reactor that Wayne developed and Bane turned into a bomb, the bomb module itself being evidently directly designed to conform to the dimensions of the Trinity test site nuclear device, known as the Gadget. Richard and Bryce argue in After Disclosure that one of the main factors in the policy of UFO cover-up is the possibility of reverse-engineering recovered craft and working out the energy systems that drive them. This presumes of course there are any nuts and bolts systems driving these or that it was an alien disc that crashed in Roswell or anywhere else, and not something entirely different, even if it was ‘nuts and bolts’ as Joseph P. Farrell will attest. Of course it needn’t even be that they directly reconfigured alien technology, they could simply have been inspired by it to figure it out for themselves. Nick Pope has said as much himself, while also flatly denying the possibility of recovered craft. In an article by Lee Spiegel on the Calvine UFO photo that the MoD had secreted away: ‘Naturally, we wanted the propulsion system,’ he added. ‘And if we couldn't get it, we wanted to at least try and understand the principles on which it might work because that might play into research and development.’ Christian Lambright makes an interesting case for the US military being inspired by alien technology in his book X Descending, which also chronicles the psychological operation known now as the Bennewtiz Affair. Were they hiding Bat crafts of their own at the Manzano weapons storage facility? Richard and Bryce argue that the fear of the weaponization of such ‘free energy’ technology, or the fear of starting a new arms race after you yourself have weaponized it and losing your monopoly of power, could well be the crux of the secrecy.

Ufology began pragmatically, more or less. The pool had yet to be unalterably muddied by the contactees, by channels, by abduction, crop circles and mutes, by the Bennewitz Affair or Exopolitics. This early groundedness was not least of all owed to the fact that the first ufologists were from military and intelligence backgrounds themselves, even chairpersons of whole civilian UFO groups. One of the earliest and to this day staunchest rational advocates of the subject, Jacques Vallee, pointed out in Messengers of Deception, as his military intelligence source ‘Major Murphy’ warned him, that in some cases this was no doubt not accidental. Like any good scientist, with some prodding, Vallee collated his suspicions and paid attention to the uncomfortable details swept aside in the rush to the utopic Disclosure and alien contact. He has never swayed from his stance that the UFO is a physical object manifesting intense energy of a physics known or unknown. Where he departed at the end of the ‘60s from almost everyone else was that he could never take it for granted that in every case or even in most cases they were literal physical aliens from an exoplanet. As Arthur Koestler said to him, hearing the accounts of experiencers left him with the same feeling one has after a bad seedy joke.

Has the UFO been used as a cover for groups on earth, military intelligence operations, perhaps? Mind control experiments? This is again reminiscent of the blue flower compound from Nolan’s Batman films that is used by the League of Shadows. Peter Robbins notes that somewhere, there is a factory that makes the legless block tables that are always encountered in regression accounts despite leading questions, such as ‘describe how many legs the table has’. Well, perhaps. But that in and of itself doesn’t account for the pathological, the goofy, the downright absurd that is a lot of the abduction and contact accounts. In Batman Begins, Ra's al Ghul counsels Bruce that: ‘If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely.’ Which is? asks Bruce. ‘A legend, Mr. Wayne’. And on his private jet, a conversation with Alfred: ‘People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne, as a man I'm flesh and blood I can be ignored I can be destroyed but as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.’ What symbol? asks Alfred. ‘Something elemental, something terrifying.’ Bane, in The Dark Knight Rises: ‘Theatricality and deception, powerful agents for the uninitiated. But we are initiated, aren't we Bruce?’

And that word on violence and meme propagation, on the invidious accusations from Alex Jones that these films are psychological conditioning. Alex Jones, a man who I nonetheless respect greatly, has said on his radio show review that he walked out halfway through the film in disgust at its acclimatising police state propaganda. Apparently the film is nothing more than a giant corporate mind job to vilify protesters, Occupiers, as terrorists and violent anarchists, that it lionises the police and the militarised corporate security state in Wayne Enterprises. Well, in brief, it appears evident Jones was not watching the same film I was. I mean, of the police in the film, the ones on the bridge are depicted essentially as fascists who were ‘just following orders’, the Commissioner is disgraced as a liar, before atoning nearly with his life, a young rookie tries to shoot Batman, and the other senior cop who refers to Blake as an irresponsible ‘hothead’ and thus ensures Bane’s surprise siege, is himself a careerist dolt who abuses his bloated force for celebrity. And Jones says this film lionises the police?

Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman) in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

It bespeaks the tunnel vision that befalls great martyrs to causes, like Jones, the very kind of martyr that is encountered in the trilogy on a grand scale. It seems to deny the role of the artist, which is primarily to make art. Yes, it is a giant Hollywood funded production with extensive corporate sponsorship, but does that invalidate Christopher Nolan’s vision and the work of his family and the creative geniuses he surrounds himself with? Corporations don’t care often about the message, as long as they can make money off of it, co-opting it in the process. But Nolan, I feel, is beyond that. Apparently Nolan and co are all paid agents, or unwitting dupes, but what is this based on? The story arc of this final film is perfectly continuous with what was began in 2005, so do we then surmise that they foresaw Occupy and paid off Nolan years in advance? This is pathetic and absurd. And after all, does Max Keiser not fill auditoriums and TV studios to the full with people who cheer his message of ‘Let’s hang some bankers’? I’m not comparing the two, but Iran has just announced it will hang four defendants on charges of two billion dollar banking fraud, perhaps as scapegoats for internal corruption. Selina warns that: ‘There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.’ Also, the argument that these films glory in violence is rather weak, and reflects more on the mindset of the antagonists in the Culture Wars than it does on these films, where all of the worst violence isn’t even shown in-frame. Compare to Inglorious Basterds, or the Saw films. The true violence explored in these films is psychological, spiritual. It is all about the dark night of the soul. The comic book inspiration for these films also lies heavily with Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum and Alan Moore’s Killing Joke. I remember that David Fincher’s Fight Club gained the same criticism from media commentators, that it encouraged anarchist violence, which always completely ignored the fact that the films, like the Dark Knight trilogy, are a meditation on violence, on movements, on secret societies, of how they become the mirror of that which they are fighting. Interestingly enough, one of the prisoners in Gotham’s Blackgate is seen reading Mein Kampf, with a big fat swastika on the red cover. In Jon Ronson's Them: Adventures With Extremists, the book that chronicles his infiltration with Jones into Bohemian Grove, of his own separate adventures with the Bilderberg group, and other organisations and ideological movements, he comes to the conclusion that while these secret societies do exist, people like Jones – and here he does indeed unfairly and unsparingly and untruthfully lump Jones in with the KKK and other groups – however righteous they may be, are only the extreme mirror of the same groups. I always felt this was an interesting if very overstated insight, but in some ways I think it is indeed applicable, not that you won’t have already heard this same criticism of course. But I am not here to bash Jones, simply to criticise some of his statements. After all, like the ‘gang of psychopaths’ that Wayne refers to the League of Shadows as being, as Ronson found out in his later adventure with The Psychopath Test: ‘This - Bob was saying - was the straightforward solution to the greatest mystery of all: Why is the world so unfair? Why all that savage economic injustice, those brutal wars, the everyday corporate cruelty? The answer: psychopaths. That part of the brain that doesn't function right. You're standing on an escalator and you watch the people going past on the opposite escalator. If you could climb inside their brains, you would see we aren't all the same. We aren't all good people just trying to do good. Some of us are psychopaths. And psychopaths are to blame for this brutal, misshapen society. They're the jagged rocks thrown into the still pond.’

Chalk it up to passion: director Christopher Nolan during the the filming of the critically acclaimed The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

Jonathan Nolan said: 'A Tale of Two Cities' was, to me, one of the most harrowing portraits of a relatable, recognizable civilization that completely folded to pieces with the terrors in Paris in France in that period. It's hard to imagine that things can go that badly wrong.’ In The Dark Knight Rises, you have the orphan child drawing with white chalk Batman wings onto walls, which later John Blake adopts, as it were, and this symbolises the dual nature of the beast, in contrast to Bruce Wayne’s blacked out lone wolf, er, bat. Gotham’s version of the Canadian student movement’s Red Square, or Anonymous’ V mask. What Steve Bassett calls the ‘Truth Embargo’ has been ongoing for generations now, and trust in the state has not only been abused, it has been used as a weapon, if Jacques Vallee and Dr. Joseph P. Farrell are right. People are looking elsewhere for their truth now, even to irrationality and cults, fleeing ‘from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.’ But certainly to the mythic.

Now, some people want to be swept away by the UFO, but do they appreciate the shadow it casts into the past, into our future, of the masks and the marks, and what they are really asking for? ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.’


Jack Witek is the 'James Bond of Ufology', or so Richard Dolan insists, but you can take it up with him. Jack is a full time dilettante in aforesaid, and generally a reasonable chap. He Needs to Know, and feels you do to. He lives by the sea in Plymouth, England, with his insufferable alien-hybrid cat, Adramelech, or Adra for short. 'Adra, PUT that Man in Black down, NOW!' et cetera. You can catch him in one of the city’s many fine drinking establishments sipping herbal tea and nibbling quinoa crackers with his head buried in the latest UFO book, trying to look inconspicuous yet mysterious and strangely attractive.

See more of Jack's work at his blog site, Unidentified Flying Media.