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Holy disappearing act!

Greenway Productions
Batman is doing some heavy reading in the episode "The Enchanting Dr. Cassandra," from 1968.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Regardless of how you feel about the exceedingly controversial case of Swiss citizen Eduard “Billy” Meier and his alleged encounters with flying saucers and beings called the Plejaren, who exist in a dimension “a fraction of a second shifted from our own dimension,” it makes for a fascinating story.

In fact, just last May, I wrote a Dust Devil Dreams post titled “Will Semjase return,” referencing the “Nordic”-like blonde alien, who is Plejaren (or Pleiadian, depending on when you came upon this story.

“We’re being told that we are leaving an age, an age of beliefs and we’re entering an age of knowledge,” says Billy Meier representative Michael Horn in the 2007 documentary on the noted “contactee” called The Silent Revolution of Truth.

Continuing, Horn says: “It’s a difficult transition, this move into the future. It’s going to be uncomfortable because we’ve relied so much on belief and not enough on knowledge.”

Horn concludes, saying: “We are in a time of fake leadership. The woman will come into true feminine power and not the imitation of male power. So peace will come. It’s about us and our future survival.”

A Plejaren "beam ship" photographed by Billy Meier in 1975. (PRWeb)

Now, I don’t know if Billy Meier’s experiences are the real deal. As Horn himself said, if he was convinced it was a hoax, is “how did he do it?”

Indeed. And if this "NASA engineer" is right, Meier's experiences are real. 

And so, continuing on our theme of UFOs and contact, I was struck by the synchronicity of coming upon two episodes of the original Batman series (my family has been really digging the old show, as have I) which had elements of magic – one involving deception and involving a flying saucer, and the other, involving a hapless female alchemist who is able to take a pill and not be seen as she and her partner in crime steal money and jewels – all while emphasizing the numeral 6.

The first episode of note that caught my attention was “The Joker’s Flying Saucer,” which aired on Leap Year Day – Feb. 29, 1968 (49 years ago!) – and focused on The Joker (Cesar Romero) and his “little green henchmen” hatching a scheme where they would dominate the world by pretending to be conquesting aliens from outer space.

The Joker's flying saucer, viewed from a distance. (Greenway Productions)

This was the third to last episode to air that volatile year. And yet the surrealistic quality of the episode, where the hipster lingo and shockingly simple sets took on a quality that mirrored another show that was embracing surrealism on prime time television – The Monkees – a "far out"show that featured a flying saucer theme in its final episode, “Mijacogeo (The Frodis Caper).”

Commissioner Gordon is not convinced that flying saucers are real. But with rumors running about involving “men from Mars” around Gotham City, well, the Dynamic Duo and Batgirl were on the case, even if Batgirl and Alfred are kidnapped and taken aboard Joker’s flying saucer.

Keeping on that paranormal theme, even more so, is an episode ("The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra" on March 7, 1968) involving an alchemist and her husband. Or, as the narrator says as the Alchemical Bank & Trust is robbed: “Who is this? Dr. Cassandra. World-famous alchemist, occult-science practitioner and all-around evil-doing swinger.”

Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft (Ida Lupino) and her sidekick “Cabala” (Howard Duff) are really groovy, baby, and are hip to the scene over the course of the half-hour episode, where "black magical events are brewing."

Alchemical Bank & Trust???? (Greenway Productions)

“Miss Gordon, do you have any volumes at the Gotham City Public Library on the occult sciences?” asks Batman of Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, local librarian (and secretly Batgirl) Barbara Gordon.

“Any number of them, Batman,” she replies.

“Perhaps we should take a look at them, Robin. Such a tome might open this door to the unknown,” says Batman, with a sly grin.

Doors to the unknown, Commissioner Gordon? We're on it! (Greenway Productions)

The doors opening in this odd episode are those keeping 6 archvillains behind bars at Gotham Prison (or "Gotham City Bastille," as Dr. Cassandra calls it), including Penguin, The Joker, Egghead, Catwoman and others. And then there is the strange pill that causes the villains to appear "invisible" as they rob the aforementioned Alchemical Bank of $600,000.

The third "6" is when Chief O'Hara notes that Dr. Cassandra and Cabala strike "6 times in 3 hours" at various banks.

"Perhaps we've all been intentionally baffled," Batman tells Robin. "The way a magician operates. Now you see it, now you don't."

Adds the Boy Wonder: "Holy disappearing act!"

Batman is on the occult path of Dr. Cassandra and Cabala - via the Gotham City Public Library. (Greenway Productions)

And then there is the part of the caper in this Batman episode, where Dr. Cassandra and Cabala try to steal the “Mope Diamond” from Spiffany’s jewelry store, as overseen by G. David Schine (rhymes with “Shine” – more on that in a subsequent Dust Devil Dreams post, friends).

And while the dastardly duo gets the diamond, threatening Schine with a special ray gun that turns people into flattened, two-dimensional figures, Dr. Cassandra's ancestral line of alchemists has been met largely with failure, as she explains to Cabala.

Dr. Casssandra and Cabala are unsuccessful alchemical villains on Batman. (Greenway Productions)

Dr. Cassandra and Cabala have lots of loot at this point, but Cabala wants to end the caper, saying "Money isn't everything."

Dr. Cassandra replies: "Cabala , money is what makes my whole occult world go 'round."

At the end of the episode, as Dr. Cassandra and Cabala fail in the thievery-via-black-arts scheme, Batman says: “Alchemy is a highly specialized chemical science, Dr. Cassandra. Sometimes even experts go wrong.”

These occult-themed episodes of Batman are only the beginning of some pop culture-inspired Dust Devil Dreams to come. We will be looking at the popular film Arrival, Lilo & Stitch, Moana, Despicable Me and more. And then there are the increasingly strange dreams I've been having, which has led to late-night scribblings that I will be sharing here soon. 

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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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