Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and a Little Abduction on the Side

 1947 must have been an interesting year, though I hadn't yet arrived on the birth scene to know anything, but just imagine -- something (something, something, something. . .) landed, crashed or bounced on ranch land, causing a stir in Roswell, New Mexico.  In addition, reports of strange flying discs and other airborne objects were being reported through official government channels, often by pilots, thus racking up a wealth of documents, most of which wouldn't see public release until many years later, redactions included.

The same year, Twentieth Century Fox released an enchanting film entitled,  The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,  starring Rex Harrison, Gene Tierney, George Sanders and a very young Natalie Wood (forget the TV series of a later day, populated by different actors, remarkable only for being a TV series. . .).   TGAMM  has long been one of my favorite motion pictures of all time, enhanced by a  beautiful and haunting musical score by master composer Bernard Herrmann.

In basic terms, the story concerns the ghost of dead sea captain Daniel Gregg (Harrison) and a very much alive purchaser, widow Lucy Muir (Tierney) of his former seaside home, Gull Cottage.  After a few minor ghostly episodes in a house the captain has no intention of sacrificing to a new owner, Gregg and Muir develop a sometimes stormy but ultimately loving relationship, and of course the "happy ending" arrives when Mrs. Muir grows old, dies and walks off into an eternal mist with the captain.

Why do I bring this up?  Only because this early film, innocently appearing in 1947, the "year of the UFO,"  mirrored coincidentally a scripted relationship with alleged UFO/alien abductions which would become routinely reported later on in the sixties and seventies.


Okay, this is minor stuff, but if I don't plant myself on terra firma now and then, I'll have to write about Hillary Clinton's comments about aliens, and I really don't want to lower myself to  those  standards (and may I reiterate -- if you plan to vote a chronic liar and demon of Benghazi into the presidency simply because you "hope" or "expect" that she'll perform some nebulous disclosure about UFOs, totally ignoring her poised ability to build upon Obama's fetid legacy many times over as a presidential bonus for four or eight years -- you're fooling yourself and trading freedom for more tyranny).

This fictional movie about ghosts reflected a few similarities to the UFO abduction phenomenon during a time long before UFO abductions were even acknowledged.  For instance, in a scene where Mrs. Muir sleeps in her bed, having become infatuated by the attention of a man (George Sanders) whom she thinks will marry her, Capt. Gregg appears over her sleeping figure, commanding her subconscious mind to forget him, to forget that he ever existed except as merely a dream.  This somewhat Shakespearean approach would later be classic for alleged UFO abductees who, through hypnosis or the passage of time itself, would tell investigators that they were told by an entity in control to forget about their experiences.  And yes, though I cringe to insert this -- those who believe "sleep paralysis" has a role in the perceived UFO abduction experience would view both Lucy and abductees as nothing but victims of sleep paralysis.

Earlier, Lucy had written a best-selling book about the life of a sea captain, dictated to her by Capt. Gregg's ghost.  How many books have been written by contactees  and abductees who profess special knowledge gleaned from entities with whom they claim experiences?

Clocks and bells also play a role in the film, denoting time changes and perhaps "missing time" in "Lucia's" (Lucy's) relationship with Capt. Gregg.

However, of most interest to me in noting similarities to abductions and this ghostly tale is an encounter between Lucy and her daughter Anna, who has grown from a small child to a young adult woman preparing to marry.  Anna, having just arrived for a visit with her mother at Gull Cottage with boyfriend in tow, apparently reveals to her mother in the kitchen for the first time ever that she, too, had seen Capt. Gregg as a child.  Lucy, having by now (per Gregg's instructions) remembered Gregg as only a dream, is surprised by the revelation, and after the two disagree on actually witnessing the manifestations years ago, they seem to let the matter drop, though still uncomfortable about reality vs. a dream and childhood imaginations.

Fiction often gives us a view of the future, though I realize harping upon a ghostly dramatic love story and its parallels with some alleged UFO abductions may be tenuous at best.  But it's so true that we can usually find recurrent themes among a wealth of subjects throughout history. Whether involving one's alleged "interrupted journey" on a lonely road in the dark of night, or the sound of waves from a stormy sea, crashing against a rocky shore during a particular fictional midnight, primal emotions and fears arise to have their own say within the dense, blackened fog of it all.