Malaysian Disappearance

The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 continues to attract headlines today, with the latest news being a third reported radar contact — this one with Malay military, which placed the plane over the sovereign territory of Thailand, 4 hours later than the point of contact was lost.

The mystery has captured imaginations locally and abroad–some just clinging to hope that the heartbreak of knowing the end can be forestalled. Just this morning, I was confronted by a Southeast Asian woman who attempted to explain something in her native language while gesturing pointedly at what looked like a Thai Airways calendar.

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Meanwhile, we have our own vintage mid-air enigma film available on FilmOn’s free  VOD service LINK , The Disappearance of Flight 412 (1974). Made in the mid-70‘s at the height of the Chariots of the Gods/Bermuda Triangle/UFO crazes, the film stars Glenn Ford, the Blackboard Jungle, Big Heat and 3:10 To Yuma veteran who would soon enter his indian summer of big-screen acting with Midway (1976) and as Christopher Reeves’ ‘Pa Kent’ in Superman (1978).

Here he plays Colonel Pete Moore, a radar test group commander who becomes embroiled in a multi-layered secret investigation when one of his aircraft detects some unexplained blips and triggers a disturbing chain of events leading to their internment by a shadow organization called ‘Digger Control.’

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Any reference to the San Francisco-based activist actor group The Diggers could be more than coincidental — because the bulk to the film consists of intense, counter-interrogatory ensemble acting battles, with the likes of David Soul (in between Magnum Force and Starsky Hutch stardom), Edward Winter (Col. Flagg from M*A*S*H*), Guy Stockwell (older brother of Dean), Greg Mullavey (Tom Hartman of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) and Jonathan Lippe (later known as Jonathan Goldman, Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man In The World) squaring off in a hidden Area-5-type Mojave base.

The rest of a solid supporting cast includes the always good Bradford Dillman as Moore’s second-in-command conscience, and Morton Stevens of Hawaii 5-O theme fame provides a consistently tense score. Enjoy this precursor to Project UFO (1978), X-Files (1993-2002), Lost (2004-2010) and whatever next unexplained Hollywood project may soon be coming along…

Watch The Disappearance of Flight 412 free now via FilmOn:

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Keep up with the latest news from Asia — straight from the mouths of its most famous figures — with Talk Asia, on FilmOn:

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