The Most Prophetic Sci-Fi Movie Ever? By Douglas Herman
Contemporary Hollywood moviemakers, armed with an arsenal of special effects, do science fiction beautifully or badly in an overpowering way. Not much subtlety do we see; neither time for artistic nuances nor pause for philosophical discourse in most sci-fi movies made today.
Perhaps the recent TV series "V," not to be confused with the recent movie of the same name will prove different. In this opulent TV series, gigantic spaceships appear over two dozen major cities of the world. Anna, the beautiful and predictably English-speaking leader of these space "visitors," (V=Visitor), claims they've all come in peace and most earthlings smile and await an advanced form of space welfare. But a small number of wacky humans doubt the sincerity of these seemingly benevolent visitors. One particular FBI agent Erica Evans (picture Colleen Rowley) discovers that the aliens have spent decades infiltrating human governments, businesses, and religious institutions and are now in the final stages of their plan to take over the world.
Gee, a conspiracy-based TV show, revealing the infiltration of government, businesses and religious institutions? Sounds like the scenarios of those nutty 'Truthers' has somehow infected contemporary television.
The plot of "V" seems prophetic; the meek and mindless often accede to the cunning and cruel without asking too many questions. Especially if the cunning and cruel can gain control of the means of propaganda and misinformation. Most humans are followers at heart and what better leaders to follow than the powerful, be they earthly elites or extraterrestrials?
Sci-Fi or Schadenfreude?
I sat through 2012 recently. Not bad for a popcorn matinee movie with toppling buildings, crashes and enormously implausible plot twists only a twelve-year old would accept.
The premise of an earth-shaking upheaval occurring around December 20, 2012, allegedly attributed to the Mayans, a scenario much discussed for years on the internet but little discussed by the mainstream media, becomes a predictable yet implausible disaster flick here. Read no further if you still intend to see the movie as I discuss key plot points.
In the movie 2012, dedicated scientists have discovered the earth core is overheating at a rapid rate. Tectonic plates start to shift, which allows the special effects department to destroy my former home town, Santa Monica. We see the Santa Monica pier complete with the Ferris wheel drift into the sea, followed by the rest of LA. Las Vegas soon follows. But before the rest of America topples before our eyes, into a miasma of Schadenfreude enjoyed by European and Asian viewers, US President Danny Glover-another wise old black leader (WOBL)-decides to remain in DC with the common folk and await the tidal wave borrowed from Deep Impact and Poseidon.
Some folks manage to get away in 2012. It wouldn't be a popcorn sci-fi movie without survivors. The hero and his family fly off in a plane, escaping Santa Monica and then Las Vegas airport before the runways crumble like cookies in milk. Where do they fly to, you wonder, surrounded by so much disaster on the ground? Why they cross the ocean to friendly, former Red China, a country hosting US President Obama as the movie premiered in America.
Giant steel arks secretly built by the benevolent Chinese in the Himalayas for the salvation of mostly white, upscale folks-I'm not making this stuff up-save humanity for another day. All the extraneous characters of the movie, including Woody Harrelson as a nutty Alex Jones-style doomsayer, have been predictably killed off by the movie's end. Lastly we're told that the South Pole is now in Wisconsin. So the 'frozen tundra' of Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, does in fact become reality according to the movie. No word whether the NFL survived.
Science Fiction as Prophecy
The Most Prophetic Sci-Fi movie ever was recently remade into a splashy, big budget, special-effects laden remake, starring Keanu Reeves. Maybe you've seen the original movie, filmed in black and white. The Day The Earth Stood Still, starring Sir Michael Rennie, cost about a million bucks in 1951 and featured few special effects. I guess they had to rely on actors in those prehistoric days.
Michael Rennie portrays an alien visitor named Klaatu who lands a small spaceship on the Washington DC Ellipse. Surrounded by troops, he is shot and wounded. Later he escapes Walter Reed Hospital and wanders incognito around the city, even renting a room at a cozy rooming house for middle-aged folks. This plot point gives our protagonist, Klaatu, a chance to mingle with the local folks and absorb their thoughts and fears. Curiously, we see the palpable fear, of Terrorism almost, induced by this unknown visitor who remains loose in the city.
Later, back at the spaceship, Klaatu warns world leaders of the ramifications of the spread of atomic weaponry into space. What? This is 1951. Aside from the incineration of two Japanese cities by the dictates of Truman and his posse, and a few atomic tests in the deserts of New Mexico (probably observed by those Roswell ETs), the Cold War was in its infancy and the so-called Space Race non existent.
Klaatu says: "But if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burnt out cinder. Your choice is simple. Join us and live in peace or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you."
Rather dire, especially for moviegoers of the Fifties not used to such bleak warnings from Hollywood. This warning predates Eisenhower's warning of the rise of the military-industrial society by about ten years. Not surprisingly, both warnings have been wholly ignored, while the military-industrial empire expands worldwide, at great speed and greater expense to Americans.
Few Americans realize that about one year AFTER fictional space traveler Klaatu arrived over Washington DC, a flotilla of very real UFOs hovered over that same US Capitol in 1952. Often referred to as the Washington DC UFO Incident, the unidentified objects stuck around and were witnessed by many military personnel who were promptly told to shut up.
How did the moviemakers know beforehand this monumental event would occur a year later? Were they prophetic or extremely lucky? Perhaps the aliens received an early form of NetFlicks and decided the time was ripe for a visitation.
Much reported in mainstream newspapers of that day, complete with bold, front page headlines (unlike any similar events today), the numerous alien visitations to Washington DC occurred throughout July, 1952. An objective observer might wonder whether these aliens knew exactly what was about to happen over the next half century. Perhaps they eavesdropped, as all super intelligence agencies do today, and drew their own conclusions.
Perhaps they had foreknowledge, even then, of the rise of the US security state, of the Central Intelligence Agency (founded in 1947) and the National Security Agency, (founded in November 1952). Wouldn't a super-intelligent species be extremely curious about the development of a warlike planet? One can only speculate WHY extraterrestrials would find us worth watching.
Some UFO researchers claim Eisenhower actually met with aliens at an air base in the American Southwest during his tenure in office. Perhaps his farewell speech conveyed a certain irony missed by most humans but intended for those extraterrestrials. He had fulfilled his part of the agreement in 1960.
Lately, reports of UFO sightings from around the globe seem to multiply as the years go by. Sightings are rarely reported in the mainstream press but are regularly discussed on the internet. Would the national security state of the most powerful country in the world really warn the corporate media never to discuss such topics of space visitors, except with thinly disguised ridicule? Probably, but then again that would be a dreaded conspiracy theory, wouldn't it? Like those conspiracy theories that theorize modern governments and institutions might be infiltrated by people intent on nefarious power grabs or greedy self-serving agendas.
Never happen, would it?
Postscript: The USAF was officially founded September 1947, two months after the Roswell, New Mexico incident. Since that time the USAF has been the repository of all things alien which, officially don't exist.
USAF veteran and sometime observer of the night sky, Douglas Herman writes for Rense regularly.
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