Friday, January 9, 2015

The Disappearance of Flight 412 - UFO Shadow Ops

The Disappearance of Flight 412
D: Jud Taylor
W: George Simpson & Neal R. Burger

S: Glenn Ford, Bradford Dillman & David Soul
Not Rated - Approx 72 Min.
Cine Films/Cinemobile Productions

 - If One Tenth Of 1% Of UFO Sightings Are Real, Flight 412 Found It...

Alternate Titles:
Az eltűnt járat rejtélye - (Mystery of the Missing Flight) Hungary

"You want me to keep quiet?  Then give me an order.  I WANT AN ORDER!"
                                                                         - Capt. Roy Bishop

Aliens.  UFO's.  If you've read Midnight Cinephile for any length of time you know that I have a love/hate relationship with them.  Actually it's more of a fascination/terror kind of thing.  On one hand the thought that we could be alone in the universe is a deeply depressing thought.  What a waste of space....literally.  In an ever expanding universe that is, quite frankly, bigger than any of us realize, it's a deeply troubling thought that there is no one else out there.  From what we can see in our little drop of water in the ocean of space, it's a beautiful place full of wonder and beauty.  What good is all that wonder and beauty if there is no one there to appreciate it.

Everyone drinks coffee while they're watching radar!  

See those three blips in the upper left?  Thems UFO'S!

On the flip side of the coin is the utterly terrifying notion that we are NOT alone.  That there are other planets out there with life completely unlike our own.  That really boils down to the basics, doesn't it?  We fear the unknown.  We fear what we cannot and do not understand.  Are they friendly?  Are they hostile?  I guess we'll never know that until we get full disclosure on the subject.

That brings me to another aspect of the whole alien/UFO enigma:  Goverment Cover-Ups.  Area 51.  Roswell.  MiB,  The Battle of Los Angeles in 1942.  Eisenhower's 1954 Extraterrestrial Meeting.  There are so many more incidents that are now infamous, yet we still do not know the truth about them.  Is the government concealing and covering up the truth about aliens?  Why?  Is it to protect us or are there more sinister motivations at play?

"I can't believe what I'm hearing!"

This is a typical scene.  Lots of phone calls and people standing around.
I could go on all day long about aliens, UFO's, government conspiracies and the such, but you didn't come here for that.  You came here to hear about a little made for TV flick called The Disappearance of Flight 412.

The film starts us off with a photograph of a UFO.  The narrator informs us that people have been viewing and photographing UFO's for years.  Thousands of people all testifying to seeing these bizarre craft in our skies.  Some turn out to be hoaxes....but if even one out of all the thousands of reports turns out to be real.....that is still one very real UFO.

"So, the jet's just disappeared, eh?  I saw David Copperfield do that trick before..."

This is Trottman.  He's a dick.

The film takes an almost documentary style approach.  We are introduced to Colonel Pete Moore who is heading up the Whitney Radar Test Group.  They've been experiencing some technical difficulties lately and so he sends a crew of four men, led by Captain Roy Bishop out on a test flight mission.  Flight 412 detects three anomalous blips on their radar and two fighter jets are scrambled to intercept.  The jets vanish right before the crew's eyes. So technically, it's really not the vanishing of Flight 412....but that's neither here nor there.

After the jets vanish, Flight 412 is ordered to land by a top secret military controlled organization who are basically a shadow op that is trying to keep a lid on UFO activity.  The crew lands and they are split into twos and  detained in separate rooms.  Digger Control is housed in a dilapidated complex, which struck me as pretty strange.  Sure, it looks nondescript from the outside and you certainly wouldn't guess that there's a shadow op going on there....but this place is literally falling apart at the seems.  It looks like it's been abandoned for 30 years before they moved in.  Very odd.

Colonel Moore is being kept out of the loop on the status of his men and so along with Major Dunning, he seeks out the operation and goes to get his men back.  We learn that Digger Control is run by a Lt. Col. Trottman.  Apparently no one except the grunts wear any kind of uniforms on this base...they're all decked out in 70's-tastic plaid and sunglasses.  At night.  Inside a broken down building.  Bunch of weirdos.

Colonel Moore and Major Dunning to the rescue!

After sitting around Digger Control for 18 hours, it's time to head home.

Anywhoo, as the Colonel and Major are kept waiting, Trottman and his team continue their "debriefing" of the crew of Flight 412.  Essentially breaking them down little by little, making them question their own integrity and such.  You know....typical shadow op stuff.  Jerks.  At one point Captain Bishop tries to make a break for the aircraft to radio the Colonel but gets caught and sent back to his room.  Close but no cigar, buddy.

What's especially interesting about the film is the fact that other than the photograph of the UFO shown at the beginning of the film (which is just a random photo and not one of the craft that Flight 412 encountered) we never see and extraterrestrial aircraft.  All we see are three blips on the radar screen, but you know....that's enough.  They still manage to soak tension out of the whole sequence.  After the jet fighters vanish and Flight 412 lands, it becomes more of a shadow op thriller.

Not one single solitary drop of blood.

Negative, good buddy.

Nuh-uh.  Unless you wanna count the radar blips, which represent UFO's which may or may not be piloted by beings from another planet.

This is not, I repeat NOT and action flick.  While it's not explicitly based off of any particular real life incident, you can find similar happens all over the place if you do a little research into UFO's.  There have been many accounts of airplane pilots reporting strange objects in the sky.  Personally, I found the whole film to be fascinating.  If you're serious about UFO films then you may very well enjoy it as well.  This is more of a rainy afternoon movie than a late night romp.

Flight 412 encounters something unexplained.

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