Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Real CIA Debunking Plot from the 1950s?

This really is a follow-up to the last post.  Since Robert Hastings has been alluding to National Geographic possibly being in the tank for the CIA, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to look at one particular cinematic marvel from the late 1950s.

"Plan Nine from Outer Space" has been dubbed the worst movie ever made.  To say that it was shot on a low budget gives one the impression that it had a budget to begin with.  I remember seeing this movie on television back in the early 1960s (I was, and still am, a big fan of old time horror flicks).

For all of its numerous faults and idiotic premises, Plan Nine from Outer Space tells the UFO story as seen from the perspective of the general public back in the mid-50s.  The parallels that can be drawn from the plot are uncanny.  Who ever would have thought Ed Wood being the Nostradamus type? 

Jeff Trent is watching the cemetery with his wife, Paula, and tells her about his flying saucer encounter, stating that the Army has sworn him to secrecy. He suspects the events at the cemetery are related to his encounter with the UFO. A powerful wind knocks everyone to the ground, and a spaceship lands nearby.In the weeks that follow, newspaper headlines report other flying saucer sightings. The military, under the command of Col. Thomas Edwards, Chief of Saucer Operations, attacks the alien spaceships, which flee Earth. Edwards reveals that the government has been covering up the flying saucers, and wonders if the aliens are connected to other disasters on Earth.

The aliens return to Space Station 7 for regeneration. Their commander, Eros, informs their ruler that he has attempted, unsuccessfully, to contact the governments of Earth. He says that to force the people of Earth to acknowledge his people's existence, he is implementing Plan 9, which involves resurrecting the recently dead by stimulating their pituitary and pineal glands. The three alien ships return to Earth. (Wikipedia)

This cinematic pig with lipstick has it all for the UFO crowd: flying saucers, government cover-up, disclosure, and zombies thrown into the mix.  Oh, least I forget, the aliens were here to save the universe from the evil earthlings with their weapons of mass destruction.  If there ever was a real CIA plan to infiltrate Hollywood to debunk UFOs and with very little tax payer expense, Plan Nine from Outer Space had to be it.

BTW, Rene Descartes had to be smiling from his grave knowing that aliens were resurrecting the dead by stimulating the pituitary and pineal glands...dualism alive and well in the Alpha Quadrant.

This movie can be viewed on-line at IMDb.

Update, 8/23/12:  I watched the full movie last night via  Wow, Ed Wood saved a bundle on the props!   This is actually two movies merged into one.  Bela Lugosi had long died prior to the release of the film, Lugosi's film clips were from another Ed Wood project which he merged into the current film (see Wiki's article).  Does Vampira even have a waist line?...freaky.

Odd clip from the film:  Jeff Trent, the pilot, spots a "flying saucer" near his aircraft, but he tells his wife that it was "cigar" shaped.  True to life inconsistant eye witness statements, but was this really the result of a poor script?

When you get the chance, read up on the Great Criswell, he was a long time radio personality in Hollywood.


  1. Rifftrax (former MST3K riffers) does a bang-up job on Plan 9.

  2. Terry, a bang up job indeed! However, I'm old school, Plan 9 should be interpreted like an old master's painting (well, a totally bad painting) to get the total gist of meaning or conveyance of the painter's context or intent.

    Ed Wood simply was a melodramatic freak, yet he does give us a glimpse in the 1950s UFO crowd's mind set.

    1. Extrapolating from Ed Wood's mind to the rest of America might not be the most sound method. That's like studying Lucky Charms to learn about wheat hybrids.

      Wood may simply have been copying from Hollywood and perhaps some UFO literature.

  3. I dunno ... I've met some pretty charming wheat hybrids in my day.

    To add a bit to Tim's Plan 9 summary: Bela Lugosi was long dead by the time Wood decided to merge the 30 secs. or so of film that he had of Lugosi walking around in his Dracula cape with his Plan 9 screenplay. He considered himself pretty fortunate, therefore, that during a checkup with his dentist, he noticed that the man's eyes were remarkably similar to Lugosi's eyes, and offered him a body-double role on the spot.

    Unfortunately, Wood's dentist was nearly a foot taller than Lugosi, and every other aspect of his features were also notably different (such as everything about his face outside of the eyes, his body structure, the way he carried himself, etc., etc.). As a result, in all of the scenes featuring the dentist as body-double for Lugosi, the dentist is all hunched over to appear shorter beneath a large Dracula cape, which he holds in front of his face so that only his eyes are shown. It's such a wonderful example of working with what you've got and failing miserably!

    For me, the best characterization of Wood is found in his optimistic perseverance in the midst of such irreconcilable failure. I honestly hate to make the comparison, because there's a great deal about Wood's personality and individualism that I genuinely admire, but this aspect of Wood's lifetime of work is very similar to Robert Hastings'. Of course, Wood was a much more likable human being, and people were generally sorry to see him fail so often.

  4. In any case, while lacking any features or elements worthy of such renown, Plan 9 is nonetheless a brilliant movie, because it encapsulates so well -- in my opinion -- the whole UFO-nukes debate currently being waged for an audience that is praying some small, lingering purpose for Ufology in general will eventually survive it. With so much credibility being wagered on the results of a debate that is so provably one-sided, it isn't completely outside the realms of probability that the UFO argument espoused by proponents might well be dismissed entirely by a public thoroughly disgusted with the dishonesty and worthless hype thus far evinced by those attempting to draw attention to UFO-nuke claims. In one way or another nearly every major UFO proponent organization has adopted the nuclear hypothesis as a means to add an element of dire necessity to the issue of full disclosure. The fact that those leading the charge -- men like Hastings, Salas, Greer, et al -- have made such claims so very publically with so little actual evidence that hasn't been so recognizably manufactured from nothing is not exactly having the effect they must have originally expected. The blatant dishonesty and ill-ventured attacks on their critics alone have had an opposite effect -- one that they seem completely impotent to counter in any way. The approval evinced by your own work, Tim, is evidence of this same phenomenon in motion.

    When looked at from outside of the "belief" factor the UFO proponents generally appeal to, the whole thing seems to just reek with the same laconic tincture of vaudeville noted in the performances of "The Three Stooges", the comic-strip redemption of "Henry", "Nancy", and "The Family Circus", and, of course, the wonderfully amateur films of Ed Wood, Jr. Although it's hard to believe that the conscious manipulation of witnesses, claims, associated data, and the poor and incomplete analyses of relevant details might ever be adjudged with a similar level of sympathy as the performance pieces dutifully noted above, it's nonetheless possible, I imagine, that the general opinion of Americans (and to an extent the citizens of other nations as well) in regard to the whole UFO-nukes proposal and its most public proponents might well come to resemble the same sort of opinion we have reserved for other purveyors of careless buffoonery, albeit those neglecting to make clear the immoral and aggressively irrational sentiments adopted by the UFO-nukes crowd.

    It's equally possible that they have already colored themselves and their claims with sufficient tedium and corruptive intolerance to provoke an immediate response more closely akin to that reserved for the great comedic influence, Fatty Arbuckle, whose well documented fall from grace was a direct effect of his senseless and willful insincerity upon attempting to counter charges of blatant immorality and criminal conduct. People just don't much like it when their beliefs are used to justify the reckless and unethical behavior of others, whether they hold similar beliefs or not.

  5. James, thanks much for the comment. You hit the nail square on the head with "Plan 9" as I had mentioned in the post the "uncanny" nature of the film's elements that encompass today's UFO culture. This is probably lost on any other viewer of the movie.

    As bad as the movie is, by today's standards, I couldn't help but grin as Eros proposed to wipe out the earth's population as a "utilitarian" gesture to the "universe". Shades of Stephen Hawkin"s warning about making contact with any "alien" culture.

    Great comparison on your part concerning the nuke/UFO element of the film.

    I have another movie from the mid 1960s that I post later. This has a slightly different take on society's then psychological views.

    BTW, as I watched "Plan 9" in it's entirety, I was glued to it and not wanting to stop the movie. It was liken to watching a cinematic train wreck in the making and I just had to be there for it's climax...for better or worse.

    My wife thought I had total gone on the deep in when she saw me watching it on my note book!