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Train in vain (blast from the past)

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OKLAHOMA CITY – It was with great, synchromystic interest that I read a new post over at the Just Watching the Wheels Go Round sync blog today and the post “Back to the Future: The Massive Speaker is Meant to be the Bomb that was Dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15.”

The blogger writes that the opening sequence in the 1985 film Back to the Future, a sync-tastic film which we have analyzed here before, where Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) plugs in his guitar into a huge amplifier in Doc Brown’s house and is blown across the room after he plays a chord on his yellow Hondo electric guitar.

“That reminds me Marty, there’s a slight possibility of overload,” Doc later tells him as he talks to him on the phone, urging him to be at Twin Pines Mall at 1:15 a.m. Of course Twin Pines Mall is changed to Lone Pine Mall after Marty runs over the pine tree in 1955. And the Twin Towers become a lone tower in the years after 9/11, becoming the rebuilt "Freedom Tower."

JWtWGR blogs the following: “The opening scene is an analogy of the Hiroshima bomb blast, with the big speaker representing the bomb blasting Marty away just after 8:15As an example of this, he shows a photo of a pocket watch found at Ground Zero at Hiroshima having stopped at approximately 8:17 a.m. after Little Boy was dropped on the Japanese city on 6 August 1945.

In the 1980 song “Enola Gay” by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), singer Andy McCluskey sings: “It’s 8:15, and that’s the time that it’s always been.”

And recall that when Marty walks into Doc’s house, it has been abandoned for days, as evidenced by glops of dog food in a bowl for “Einstein” (via automatic dog food machine) and clocks everywhere. A stolen plutonium case is under a bed. And a “broken clock” is stopped, near the bed showing 8:17 a.m. – just like the famous pocket watch found at Hiroshima.

What is particularly chilling in the sync blogger’s analysis is that in this opening sequence of Back to the Future, Marty gets a call from Doc Brown after this “blast” and is reminded that all of his clocks are 25 minutes slow, meaning that the time he arrived and plugged in the guitar (wearing protective sun shades, like those at the atomic-bomb test sites did) – and experiencing the blast – would coincide with the “8:15” time in Hiroshima. (Check out our BTTF post "Force of evil").

Much has been written and featured in videos, like those of Joe Alexander, about the foreshadowing of the 9/11 attacks in scenes in the Back to the Future trilogy. I too have noted it and recently noted the allusions to 9/11 in Peter Weir’s 1986 film The Mosquito Coast, which features Harrison Ford’s crazed inventor Allie Fox (not too dissimilar from Christopher Lloyd’s Dr. Emmet Brown – or “quick BROWN FOX”) building an alchemical device which he calls “FAT BOY,” a combination of “Fat Man” (dropped on Nagasaki on 9 Aug 1945) and the aforementioned “Little Boy.”

Regarding the phrase “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog,” this is an English-language pangram that contains all the letters of the alphabet and was used to test typewriters and computer keyboards. It is all encompassing and seems interesting in the that “BROWN” and “FOX” were the surnames of the inventors/scientists in Back to the Future and The Mosquito Coast. This phrase first appeared in 1885 in the Michigan School Moderator.

And Harrison Ford, reprising his Indy character in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), survives an atomic-bomb test in Nevada by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator.

“Little Boy,” I learned, was a nickname given to Wilmer by Humphrey Bogart’s character in the John Huston-directed film noir The Maltese Falcon (Bogart was 42 when it was filmed), played by well-known character actor Elisha Cook, Jr. Wilmer was in an (assumed) gay relationship with an older man. “Fat Man” was named after Sydney Greenstreet’s character in that same film. The code names for the bombs used in Japan were chosen by a Manhattan Project physicist named Robert Serber.

But it was Elisha Cook, Jr. that caught my attention – “Little Boy.” I devoted a large portion of a Dust Devil Dreams post last August to Cook and his role as “little man” Harry Jones, or “Jonesy,” in another Humphrey Bogart-led film noir classic – The Big Sleep.

I wrote: “Bogart’s detective character Philip Marlowe is tailed by the small-time crook (Jonesy) who is trying to blackmail him … Poor, doomed Jonesy is later poisoned and killed by a hitman named Canino. Marlow actually takes a liking to Jonesy because he has a code of honor, in his own small way. Marlowe respects that.”

That “Jones” name (like the aforementioned Indiana Jones) comes up again in the supernatural, dream-like HBO series Carnivale. Like Twin Peaks, this fantastic show was canceled before some serious questions could be answered. And in my “Jonesy” piece I talk about the carny worker Jonesy (played by Tim DeKay) who appeared in my dream (noted in my Carnivale-linked, atomic-bomb sync piece "A false sun") at that time as a man leading “a group of misfits (who are) trying to put their lives together after some sort of unnamed disaster.” 

Jonesy was also linking with The Monkees singer Davy Jones, whose "mannequin" (recall the mannequins used in fake houses during atomic-bomb tests, as noted in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) is torn apart by screaming girls at a concert in Salt Lake City, Utah in May 1968 in the brilliant film HeadIt is interesting in light of the idea that some have theorized that "Jumbo" at the Trinity site in New Mexico contained a Crowley-inspired "mannikin" (via Jack Parsons and the "magic bottle") and that the ancient alchemical dream of creating a "real homunculus," via the nuclear detonation at the 33rd degree latitude Trinity site, occured within Jumbo. And speaking of Parsons, JPL-centric series The Big Bang Theory argue over time travel details in Back to the Future. And in another video, where we go down the "Roswell rabbit hole," nuclear tests lead to alien contact.

And speaking of Head and Salt Lake City, note that on the nose of the B-29 bomber that dropped "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Bockscar, shows a "flying box car" charting a path from Salt Lake (Wendover Army Air Field, Utah) to Nagasaki, against the yellow sun and with a "mushroom cloud." 

Jack Nicholson who helped create Head said it was the best rock picture ever made because it was the antithesis of a rock film. It was a way to deconstruct the manufactured rock band while addressing issues of the day, like the Vietnam War. It also features two Hollywood figures in brief scenes - (then-California Gov.) Ronald Reagan and a bit of gossip about actress Barbara Stanwyck and her son. 

Going back to the JWtWGR blog, another post a few days ago – “9/11, Synchromysticism and Back to the Future, 1 2&3 (pt.2)” - the blogger notes a 1954 Western film that Marty acknowledges in the 1885-set BTTF 3 called Cattle Queen of Montana starring (future governor and president) Ronald Reagan and Barbara Stanwyck playing an independent woman named “Sierra Nevada Jones.” Interestingly, Reagan’s character “Farrell” isn’t who he claims he is, but turns out to be an agent for the U.S. Cavalry investigating cattle rustling and killing. Curious, in light of future events during Reagan's presidency, particularly with Iran-Contra.

Later, the blogger notes “D. Jones Manure Hauling” sign in the third film and how it coincided with the 1886 introduction of the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which became the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Next month will mark 25 since Back to the Future 3 hit the theatres over Memorial Day weekend 1990. And it's amazing, after a quarter of a century, that we are still examining those films and the messages (hidden or overt) within.

In the meantime, "Hello 2015!"

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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