Thursday, July 09, 2009

Must-See TV: Hangar 18 (MASSIVE UPDATE 7/9)

I'm catching up with work after my sick day so I thought I'd pass this old UFO classic that Bruce Rux chats with Tim Binnall about onto you all. From Wikipedia:
Hangar 18 involves a U.F.O. coverup following an incident aboard the space shuttle, whereas an unidentified object is hit by the satellite which the orbiter was tasked with launching into a higher orbit. The space collision kills a fellow astronaut who was in the bay at that time, however, the entire incident is witnessed by astronauts Price and Bancroff.

Upon returning to Earth, both men slowly investigate what they know happened in space — and which the government authorities try their best to hide. The damaged spacecraft however, has been recovered after it is observed making a controlled landing in the Arizona desert...

On board the craft, the technician team makes three discoveries. The first is an unknown woman who awakens in the back of an ambulance screaming (leading moviegoers to believe she may have been an abductee)...
Here's an interesting factoid for you X-Files and Transformers fans...
...symbols found on certain control panels are the same as symbols which reside here on Earth, albeit in ancient places.
Now, here's a fascinating bit of trivia for those of you sensing the story behind the story in some of my recent posts:
Hangar 18 was one of the very few American films to be shown in the Soviet Union, premiering on the 1st TV channel on the New Year night of 1982. Because of general unavailability of films with elements of science fiction and action genre, it achieved enormous popularity among Soviet youth.

Metalheads like Megadeth and Yngwie dug Hangar 18, too
UPDATE: I can't get that last factoid out of my head. Remember, 1982 was when the Cold War began to heat up again and the Soviet government was very much in the control of KGB hardliners like Yuri Andropov, who became Premier that year. I can understand their banning jingoistic American action films, but why exactly Hangar 18 passed muster is a mystery to me.

We've all heard the theories that the UFO business was just a Cold War psyop, meant to create hysteria back and forth across the Iron Curtain or that they were just experimental aircraft invented by the Nazis (the debunkers neglected to tell the cavemen that, though). I've even heard theories that Roswell was cooked up to fool the Soviets into thinking the US got its hands on alien technology.

If any of this was true, then why would the one US action movie the Soviets aired on state TV disseminate that exact same US/ET meme into the minds of impressionable young people? Surely, it would have also inspired UFO hysteria there too, causing security problems in the Soviet police state at a very dangerous time in world history.

But guess what? It wasn't just the Politburo that approved of Hangar 18, it also seems to have received the blessing of NAZCA NASA. The space agency allowed their name, logo and a model of the Space Shuttle to be used in the film. Remember they didn't extend the same courtesy to Stanley Kubrick for 2001: A Space Odyssey or for several other films, such as Red Planet.

It turns out NASA is quite picky as to which films they choose to become involved with. From a December 2008 article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, written by John Mangels:
Sometimes the question of whether a scientific enterprise should cooperate with Hollywood comes up. NASA gets lots of requests - most often from documentary filmmakers - and tries to be as helpful as possible, said Bert Ulrich of the space agency's public affairs division.

NASA was happy to cooperate with Clint Eastwood's "Space Cowboys," which depicted three elderly astronauts returning to duty, and went along with the fanciful "Armageddon," where Bruce Willis and two teams of space shuttle astronauts save Earth from an asteroid.

NASA is protective of its famous round red-white-and-blue "meatball" logo, and only allows it to be used in movies whose plots are "feasible fiction," Ulrich said. "If somebody's doing a movie about aliens coming to Earth and attacking the agency, if it's 'out there,' we don't participate," Ulrich said.

That policy must have been devised after the filming of Hangar 18. But there was one particular would-be blockbuster which saw NASA and Hollywood reach an unprecedented level of coziness...
An action adventure due out in March 2000, "Mission to Mars" enjoys a closer partnership with the agency than any film in history, thanks to a new pact the agency has made with Hollywood. The "Space Act Agreement" allows filmmakers to consult astronauts, design experts and scientists – and even use NASA launch facilities – depending on the individual contract.

Jacobson went to NASA four years ago, even before Disney approved the film. Soon after that first meeting, he and the scriptwriters went to NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston to meet with Mars experts.
The producer consulted famed astronauts Story Musgrave and Joe Allen, who worked with the actors to show them how an astronaut works in space. Kathleen Clark, NASA’s senior scientist for the International Space Station, helped the production team decide how the ISS might develop over time.
"We took the design of the International Space Station and then we added to it our own design," Jacobson said.-

Now, bear in mind that Mission to Mars makes Erich Von Daniken look like a biblical inerrantist in comparison. Very strange film for NASA to have worked so intimately on. But then again, similar in some ways to Hangar 18, isn't it?

New logo of Sunn Classic, unrelated to original company, but still...

Oh, by the way- being made by an independent studio (Sunn Classics, owned by Wilkinson Sword, based in Utah, of all places), this film may not have the best production values, but its script - particularly its methodical depiction of a ruthless political cover-up - is pretty sound. However, UFOs and AAT were a tough sell in the increasingly conservative America of 1980, which saw the religious right on the march, conducting not only book-burnings in the Bible Belt, but record, tape, VHS and Betamax burnings as well.

But the film certainly found an appreciative cult audience- and hit it big in Mother Russia. It just did poorly with those groups singled out by the Brookings UFO report in 1958....

But wait- it gets even stranger. There's a "Hangar 18" on the site of the Flight of Fear roller-coaster, which is located in two different amusement parks, King's Island in Ohio and King's Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, home of the recent UFO-slash-smoke ring brouhaha.

Now that's what I call Synchronicity!


  1. this is blatant, Warehouse 13, a new sci-fy show starting yesterday 07072009,
    can't wait to see it

    there's also district 9 which falls not too far from your alien are our friend theory

  2. As I posted in the Transformers:Fallen article that one of the Primes was located in my hometown in West Texas, parts of Hanger 18 were filmed here as well!

  3. I hate to be Captain Obvious, but is there some reason you're not discussing the whole Michael Jackson spectacle? I know it's been done ad infinitum ad nauseum, but i was curious what you would see in it...

  4. Exactly because it has been driven into the ground. I've been keeping an eye on it but it seems like just another media distraction to me. I think most of the synchrobloggers would agree with me.

  5. Hi Chris,

    I was sort of wondering the same as Anonymous about why there wasn't much here about the Michael Jackson thing.

    But I really, really appreciate your answer...

    Especially since this last night on Fox's "mouthpiece" Bill O'Reilly's "The Factor". O'Reilly hated all the media coverage of MJ as well because, well, it took away from Sarah Palin and Obama's "whole family" in Moscow.

    And there was another reason he gloated anxiously to tell: O'Reilly basically asked that can't "ignorant" African American's recognize that all the attention on MJ was just another plot against them by the "Elite" PTB, or in O'Reilly language, the dems, to distract them? He added, after all, Motown did more for equality in music than MJ ever accomplished...According to O'Reilly, white people already liked black music, they didn't need Jackson!

    I kid you not that this was what he stated to none other than humanity-hater Glenn Beck. So you're absolutely right when you state that the entire Jackson drama was a media distraction. And Bill O'Reilly of all people in the media distraction game agrees with you!

    Thanks for your great posts, Chris! At first, I thought you were going to discuss new Warehouse 13 series. Friends of mine seem excited about it.

  6. Soapie, I think the real reason I didn't focus on MJ is that I know the smell of a circus, which usually rolls into town when the fish are rotting, if you know what I mean. I have been monitoring the situation but I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, like with the Pope's new world order roadmap yesterday. And as I've said I've felt like a puppet on a string with some of the Obama clownshows and all, chasing after little crumbs left for us busybody smart alecks by the boys upstairs.

    Ultimately though this blog is on the scent of a Ur-theme, and while there was all sorts of weirdness with MJ, what's being put out there is not what I've been looking at.

    So I tell you guys what- I will tackle the MJ thing once all the media madness dies down. I guess I'm kind of like the Vatican in that way- I take the long view.

    And I will dig into these awesome comments the past few days once I get some of this work off of my plate. I have a couple updates for this post and a little snack of a post for tomorrow as well.

  7. crap, beat me to it. district 9. i just saw the trailer a little before going on here. holy crap.


    anywho heres the trailer.

  9. I'm working on a D9 post for the Satellite...

  10. Yeah most people let that Vatican news yesterday go unnoticed. even all my myspace "friends" "in the know" didn't post shit about it. I did and I don't post much but felt it needed to be put out there and none of them reposted it. I saw that shit right there on yahoo's home page.

  11. Thanks as always for the heads up Christopher! I also get so much from reading the comments here.I think I might have missed a Solar Seminar article -will check-best to you as always!!

  12. Like the added shit. Wow, your really kicking ass on this one man, thumbs up!

  13. Wow, Chris! Your update is the really good stuff that I like about your work here!

    The Mission To Mars movie has been tackled elsewhere nicely but not so brilliantly as here.

    I hate to take it down a notch and am always reminded of your admonition that there are no answers, just more questions here; but I was a youngster hooked on "I Dream Of Jeannie" and have recently caught some episodes on DVD. What was with all the NASA support on that "fluff" piece?

    I mean the stock footage seemed real and the logos and jets as well. Not to mention, the constant "mention" of NASA this or that or technology in the dialog. I laughed heartily when Tony (the astronaut) went back in time to ancient Babylon (Persia) with Jeanie in the second episode of the first season (black and white no less). Talk about the original NASA sponsored Ancient Astronaut Theology!

    In a new light, the episodes aren't as "fluffy" as one might think. I especially liked the Blue djinn and Tony telling Jeannie that NASA had a new kind of magic called technology! Sorry to go off topic to that sitcom but this was just some thoughts I had since revisiting the "Jeannie" episodes.

    Thanks for your great thoughts, Chris!


  14. My Mom and Dad used to mention Hangar 18 whenever I'd babble about UFOs or the X Files when I was a kid. I had no idea what they were talking about until I read today's post.

    I've also been on that Hangar 18 ride at King's Island, but I never made the connection. Interesting.

    Oh, and by the way, I could of swore I saw a Templar cross on display with a a lot of other religious symbols at Michael's memorial. Did you see it? Not quite the circus you'd expect.

  15. warehouse 13 - two agents assigned to where the government houses supernatural objects. They are asked to retrieve missing objects and investigate reports of new ones.

    With a male rule bender and a by the book female, echoing the alien revelation/polytheism? and the lunar monotheism.

    Straight outta wikipedia googled and wikipedia'd

  16. Cheers for the kind words, guys- but whatever you do- WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!!!
    You can download it off of the Google Video link. Watch it a couple times if you have to!!!

    Soapie- IDOJ- yeah. All sorts of fascinating symbolism there. I'm guessing that it was seen as pretty innocuous by NASA. But didn't Major Nelson and the rest work for the Air Force? I'll have to check...

    Speaking of which I cut off my "hippie hair" for the summer and am back to the Major Nelson look...

  17. Chris, this is really wild! I can't believe we're discussing my beloved IDOJ!

    But you and I both have to double check on this: Wasn't NASA and the Apollo missions all military endeavors back in the day?

    Remember Major Nelson always described himself as USAF on "detached" service to NASA! And he was forever testing jets and engines for the moon missions in the storyline.

    Was your guy Grissom military? I distinctly remember that all astronauts were culled from the armed services at one point. Now, anyone can join the astronaut program? Alas, also an ill-fated school teacher.

    I was a Chemistry/Biochemistry major and had loads of friends in physics classes all yapping about the new aeronautical engineering major that would allow them to become astronauts.

    I think that there are more civilian Ph.D.'s in Physics, Astronomy and Engineering in the astronaut programs at NASA than military folk.

    Remember the scene in "Independence Day" when military aviator Will Smith was pensive about opening the envelope from NASA that would tell him if he made it into the astronaut program?

    It would be really interesting to research "exactly" when NASA decided it wasn't necessary to have a military background to become one of the shuttle astronauts. Maybe they had to be military just for the Apollo missions. Odd stuff there!

    Thanks, Chris!

  18. Today I was reading Aleister Crowley's "The Lost Continent," where he gives his own description of Atlantis. Some of it's pretty "out there" but some of it is incredibly intriguing.

    He writes:
    " was the secret
    Lemurian tradition that they themselves represented the survivals of a yet earlier race who lived on ice, and they of yet another who lived in fire, and they again of earlier colonists from Mars."

    I'm not saying I completely trust everything Crowley wrote, but it is interesting that he wrote this long before any "ruins" were discovered on Mars.

  19. Hi Chris
    I've had this idea knocking around in my head for a while that goes like this:
    People in the know understand that the truth can never be suppressed. It's like steam building up in a pot - it must be systematically released, lest the whole thing be blown wide open. That said, it makes sense then that 'fictional media' be used to disclose such truths. With everything revealed under the guise of fantasy and good old fashioned entertainment the truth gets released, without building up in the secret holders' faces.
    This could help explain NASA's willingness to be involved in some projects. Such projects would be very close to the mark as to what is really going on in the world.

    I remember hearing somewhere along the way that 'Shakespeare' wrote of real scandals and hence disclosed actual events. It's all about maintaining the balance.


  20. That should have said 'without blowing up in the secret holders' faces.'


  21. Awesome info, you guys- I think you are all very tuned into where this comes from, how it works and where it's going. And then you see how all of this media we're swimming in isn't always entertainment- there's also a lot of conditioning afoot, which I hope to talk about on Saturday.

    Seriously- I am in your debt for the always information-dense feedback you guys upload here....

  22. I am not the biggest fan of Chomsky anymore after all the shit his dismisses (i.e. JFK,911,etc) but I remember when I read his book 'media control', I was like ahhhh. Plus it sounds like you are hitting at the 4th branch of the government as far as it goes with the NASA stuff.

    PS i stayed up last night watching 'Return of the Nephilim' and the first part was great. i really enjoyed when he was talking about disinformation and misinformation. Also he got into how these projects have fronts to sell the contracts and so on. It was great but then this guy started reading the Bible and was going so far of into lala land, I was like I got to turn this shit off. The first part is recommended but most of the end is religious trash IMO.

    It's like Texe Marrs, he gets religious but he just adds a dash here and there and this guy was laying the shit on heavy, lol.

    Anyways if you want to check out the first part. Here is a youtube link. The best part IMO was were he was explaining about how the government started to compartmentalize after Roswell.