ZaiusBy David Warner Mathisen

The original 1968 film Planet of the Apes received an honorary Academy Award for the amazing makeup used to create the expressive ape characters (the human actors shine through in a way that is truly wonderful to behold, while at the same time looking spellbindingly simian), as well as nominations for Best Costume Design (the costumes create a blend of dignity and cool for the cynical orangutans, a blend of utility and academia in the earnest chimpanzees, and a feeling of raw menace in the militaristic gorillas) and Best Original Score (for a remarkably unsettling musical soundtrack that sets your teeth on edge from the outset and keeps them there for the remainder of the film).

But as outstanding as all those achievements truly were, and as essential a role as that artistry played in creating the disturbingly immersive world of the screenplay, to praise the 1968 Planet of the Apes merely for its groundbreaking effects, makeup, and music misses what I believe to be the film’s towering achievement in the epistemological realm.

above: 1968 film trailer for Planet of the Apes (link).

To be fair, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does not actually have an Oscar category for “Best Epistemological Film,” although they do not have an Oscar for “Best Makeup” either, and that didn’t stop them from awarding an honorary award for John Chambers (1922 – 2001) for his makeup effects in the film (he was also the makeup legend responsible for Mr. Spock’s signature ears). The film deserves to be recognized in the “search for truth” department, because in addition to all its other memorable and ground-breaking aspects, its real theme centers around the question: “Do we have the courage to face the truth?”

The movie gets right into that theme with the important lead-in sequences, after the ship has crashed and the three survivors are making their way through the barren and inhospitable terrain of the Forbidden Zone. Right away, protagonist George Taylor (whom we have already seen from his opening monologue to be both cynical and philosophical) launches into a series of verbal jabs at officer Landon, establishing the theme of “letting go of illusions that prevent us from seeing the truth” (sequence begins at 0:13:17):

Taylor: We’ve got food and water enough for three days.

Dodge: How long is a day?

Taylor: That’s a good question. Landon . . . Hey, Landon! Join the expedition.

Landon: Sorry, I was thinkin’ about Stuart.  What do you suppose happened?

Taylor: Air leak: she died in her sleep.

Landon: You don’t seem very cut-up about it.

Taylor: It’s a little late for a wake: she’s been dead nearly a year.

Landon: That means we’ve been away from Earth for eighteen months.

Taylor: Our time. You’ve gone grey.  Apart from that you look pretty chipper for a man who’s two thousand thirty-one years old. I read the clocks: they bear out Haslan’s hypothesis. We’ve been away from Earth for two thousand years, give or take a decade.  Still can’t accept it? Time’s wiped out everything you ever knew: it’s all dust.

Landon: Prove it! If we can’t get back, it’s still just a theory.

Taylor: It’s a fact, Landon. Buy it: you’ll sleep better.

This exchange establishes Taylor as a devotee of the unvarnished truth and an enemy of cherished illusions, although he will soon face challenges which will reveal his own difficulty in getting past some of his own assumptions.

In case the above exchange does not signal to us that this film will be pushing boundaries in areas that go far beyond makeup and costume, the next character dialogue (which follows several minutes of trudging across the eerie and forboding landscape) continues where that one left off, and amplifies it. The three travelers collapse in the shelter of a large boulder after escaping an avalanche of rolling rocks, and check their supplies (sequence begins at 0:17:54):

Taylor: Everybody all right? Water check.

Dodge: Eight ounces.

Dodge: It doesn’t add up: thunder and lightning and no rain. Cloud cover at night. That strange luminosity.

Landon: If we could just get a fix.

Taylor: What would that tell you? I’ve told you where you are and when you are.

Landon: All right-all right.

Taylor: You’re three hundred light years from your precious planet. Your loved ones are dead and forgotten for twenty centuries – twenty centuries! Even if you could get back, they’d think you were something that fell out of a tree.

Dodge: Aww, Taylor, quit ridin’ him.

Taylor: There’s just one reality left: we are here and it is now. You get hold of that and hang onto it, or you might as well be dead.

Landon: I’m prepared to die.

Taylor: He’s prepared to die! Doesn’t that make you misty! Chalk up another victory for the human spirit!

These two exchanges are vital to setting up the biting social commentary that the film will later deliver through the portrayal of a society of apes that is every bit as intolerant and as unwilling to give its citizens access to the truth as . . . well, societies that might be found on other planets in the galaxy where orangutans are not yet in charge.

Primarily, the film achieves this critique through the words and actions of the exalted, orange-clad, perfectly-coiffed and terribly human orangutans, including Dr. Maximus (Commissioner for Animal Affairs), Dr. Honorious (Deputy Minister of Justice), an orangutan identified primarily as “Mr. President” (President of the National Academy), and most importantly the memorable Dr. Zaius, Minister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith. There are plenty of humorous “human-ape inversion” lines and gags delivered by the chimpanzees and the gorillas, but it is the casual, self-assured, ruthless and utterly cynical orangutans who are the most chilling — and the most human. They are completely confident in their ability to use smooth argument, condescending ridicule, and the well-placed reference to the scrolls of scripture to triumph over any challenge to their unquestioned authority, and they demonstrate a relish in doing so which is absolutely believable to the viewer — as if they truly had been doing it their entire lives.

We learn that Dr. Zaius, at least, knows that the dogma in his scrolls cannot stand up to the evidence: that he is aware that humans once ruled the world and even possessed technologies that far surpassed anything the apes have achieved. But he has little fear that his system of mind control will ever be overturned: he ruthlessly wields the power of the military establishment — and even more frighteningly, the power of the medical establishment — to keep any inconvenient evidence from spreading doubt among the intellectual class of the chimpanzees.

The climactic scene in the cave by the sea shows that, although he says he will happily admit he is wrong if evidence can be found to support a different view of history, Dr. Zaius possesses skills at sophistry that are capable of defusing almost any evidence that can be presented to him — but that he is not above dynamiting the evidence if any is found that cannot be explained away even by such a talented and charming sophist as himself.  Here are two exchanges that dramatically bring out the battle between those with access to paradigm-shifting evidence, and those who are willing to protect that paradigm (whose motto might be, “You can’t handle the truth!”)(sequence begins at 1:32:30):

Cornelius: We never meant to be treasonous, sir. But up there, in the face of that cliff, there is a vast cave . . . .  and in that cave a fabulous treasure of fossils and artifacts.

Dr. Zaius: I’ve seen some of your fossils and artifacts: they’re worthless.

Taylor: There’s your minister of science! Honor-bound to expand the frontiers of knowledge –

Cornelius: Taylor, please!

Taylor: Except that he’s also chief defender of the faith!

Dr. Zaius: There is no contradiction between faith and science – true science.

Taylor: Are you willing to put that statement to the test?

Cornelius: Taylor, I would much rather that –

Taylor: Take it easy – you saved me from this fanatic: maybe I can return the favor.

Dr. Zaius: What is your proposal?

Taylor: When were those sacred scrolls of yours written?

Dr. Zaius: Twelve hundred years ago.

Taylor: All right – now if they can prove those scrolls don’t tell the whole truth of your history: if they can find some real evidence of another culture from some remote past, will you let them off?

Dr. Zaius: Of course!

Taylor: Let’s go up to the cave.

And, inside the cave, here is part of the critical dialogue in which the evidence that overturns the false timeline of history that the orangutans have been pushing on society is revealed, and Dr. Zaius deftly turns it aside. Cornelius describes evidence at a layer he believes to be about 1300 years old, showing “barbarous” apes and “carniverous gorillas,” and then he goes still deeper, to find evidence of more advanced societies (sequence beginning at 1:35:05):

Cornelius: But the artifacts lying here were found at this level – and date back seven hundred years earlier. That’s the paradox! For the more ancient culture, is the more advanced! Now admittedly, many of these objects are unidentified, but clearly they were fashioned by beings with a knowledge of metallurgy! Indeed, the fact that many of these tools are unknown to us suggests a culture which in certain ways equals our own! Some of the evidence is uncontestable.

Dr. Zaius: Don’t speak to me in absolutes! The evidence is contestable.

Cornelius: I apologize, sir.

Dr. Zaius: To begin with, your methods of dating the past are crude, to say the least. There are geologists on my staff who would laugh at your speculation.

This little exchange is very enlightening, and ironic! Because, while in the fictional allegory of the Planet of the Apes, they are talking about evidence that comes from about the time of Taylor’s launch (recall in the very first conversation cited above that the astronauts have been away for two thousand years, give or take a decade), and hence are talking about a human civilization as the “more ancient more advanced culture,” abundant evidence exists to assert the very same thing about evidence that we ourselves (meaning human beings on this planet) have found from the time before the earliest recorded civilizations!

In many ways, the more ancient the artifacts, the more advanced it is — think for example of the evidence which shows that sites as ancient as Stonehenge and Giza appear to have been placed on our globe by builders who knew the precise size and shape of our spherical earth, and who what is more had the ability to place monuments around the planet along geometric great-circle lines and separated by numbers of degrees of latitude that are significant precessional numbers (showing that their locations were no accident, and that very ancient planners could measure longitudinal location better than anyone from any known civilization until the time of Captain Cook).

And yet such evidence is scoffed at and smoothly explained away by the human counterparts of Dr. Zaius and the other members of the Simian Academy. Evidence which is too difficult to explain away has often been destroyed after immediately being proclaimed to be the product of simple hoaxers. Some of this evidence, and the likely reasons why it is so rapidly dismissed, is discussed in The Undying Stars; other examples can be found in previous blog posts such as those found here.

One of the undeniable themes of the 1968 Planet of the Apes, of course, is its opposition to the literal interpretation of scripture. This aspect is quite clear in the tribunal scene in which radical theories that apes might have evolved from more primitive creatures such as humans are mocked, and ape-scriptures are cited which are tellingly similar to Biblical teachings.

We could even argue that this aspect of the film is established much earlier, in the opening dialogues cited at the outset of our investigation, in which Taylor derisively jabs at Landon with the fact that they are now two thousand years past the world that Landon wants to hold on to (give or take a decade). That these two thousand years (give or take a decade) could also be seen as referring to the now-vanished “Bible times” and that this time span was chosen for that very purpose is evident from other clearly Biblical references in the same dialogue: the voyagers are informed they have enough food and water for three days, and there is a pointed reference to “thunder and lightning and no rain,” which clearly describes the weird weather experienced in the Forbidden Zone but which would also recall scriptural verses such as Proverbs 25:14 and Jude 12.

The film is thus obviously attacking literal interpretations of ancient scriptures, if not every aspect of the scriptures themselves, as obstacles to the goal of knowing the truth which forms the film’s overarching theme. And certainly the way they are portrayed as a tool for control, oppression, and the excusing of violence in the ape society makes this a valid criticism, for they have been used in just such a way for at least seventeen hundred years in human society, and continue to be so used to this day, as the film makers no doubt intended to say in their movie.

It is even possible that the film intends to point out some connection between those who accept illusions instead of facing the truth and those who ultimately destroyed human civilization — a destruction that has been evident throughout the film but which Taylor somehow keeps himself from seeing until the very end of the film in the dramatic scene at the beach by the ruined Statue of Liberty (as if apes speaking English and writing in Latin characters should not have clued him in to the fact that he wasn’t really on a planet three hundred light years from home all this time).

It is a poignant symbol.

The 1968 Planet of the Apes is a true piece of classic literature, and a masterful exploration of the pursuit of truth and knowing — and the obstacles and illusions that impede that pursuit of truth and of knowing. It speaks as loudly to us today as it did to the first audiences who saw it in the theater, forty-six years ago and living in a very different world than the one in which we find ourselves, but a world as in need of those who are willing to pursue the truth as the world of 1968 — or of 3978.

David Warner Mathisen is the author of The Undying Stars: The Truth That Unites the World’s Ancient Wisdom and the Conspiracy to Keep It From You (2014) and The Mathisen Corollary: Connecting the Global Flood with the Mystery of Mankind’s Ancient Past (2011). He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and resides in California. Additional writings and information are accessible at The Mathisen Corollary.

Leave a Reply

49 thought on “Paging Dr. Zaius”
  1. Wonderful piece. Thanks for publishing it here. I’m glad I am now aware of your work.

    In the link about the numbers you reference Walt Brown’s In the Beginning book, favorably. You also appreciate Hancock and Bauval’s excellent research into the truth about the ancient past.

    These are interesting researchers because they go where the evidence leads, drawing conclusions that defy conventional wisdom, and threaten institutional rigidity. Walt Brown can rarely get even other Creation Scientists to examine his conclusions! Talk about going it alone in the search for truth!

    Likewise the work of Hancock, Bauval and John Anthony West: academic Egyptology simply scoffs, if it ever even glances their way. Chris Dunn has applied the most rigorous methods to measure and examine in tiny detail the Great Pyramid, and in his follow-up book the Temples farther up the Nile, and his conclusions can’t be contradicted: those things were built with technology far more advanced than our own, and for purposes dramatically at odds with what the so called experts believe. So, naturally, the experts ignore him.

    I remember all the things you point out about the movie, and am delighted to have you put it all in perspective, reminding us of a real gem. It sure fits in perfectly at MHB.

    1. Thanks Patrick for your comments! I agree with your characterizations of those researchers and believe that all of them have important things to say.

      I would even go so far as to argue that in order to implement any widescale illusion or manipulation, whether it be around a single event or around a larger-scale/longer-term “narrative” or “reality” (such as so-called “Manifest Destiny” in the 19th century), it is essential to be able to control the historical narrative and to be able to distort history in order to allow you to control the narrative and impose the “reality” that you want to impose (or, put another way, on which you want to achieve “buy-in” from a large percentage of the populace).

      The actions of the Smithsonian Institution over the decades appears to exhibit just such an agenda (have a look on my blog for articles about John Wesley Powell, for instance — you can use the search window in the upper-left corner of the blog to search it internally).

      Appreciate your positive feedback — DWM

      1. A kindred soul indeed. I am delighted to have met you here. James Tracy is a great conduit connecting minds.

        I don’t imagine you have been reading my comments here over the last couple years, but in some periods I have focused on “Manifest Destiny,” without using the words. I’d like an America that had organically emerged, and today was many very different countries, many of them Indians. That this seems unimaginable, or unpatriotic…well, more’s the pity.

        Blessings to you, and James–for bringing you into this community!

    2. Patrick and David, I agree. There is much to be gained by taking a fresh, unbiased view of available evidence. It is obvious that much of what we were taught is simply wrong.

      When one examines the workings of universities and the grant system in general, those with “unusual” theories are doomed from the start. To acquire the credentials for admittance one has to at least officially subscribe to the prevailing myth. If later one deviates, their career is over.

      In a very real sense, the system discourages research. Any findings that contradict the established conclusions are summarily dismissed. Most “proofs” are anecdotal at best, no matter how repeatable. If research relies on peer review no progress will be made. The problem is that those who jealously guard those official conclusions futures depend upon sustaining them. The last thing they want is a “break through”.

      1. Thanks lophatt —

        I think this is why the classic crime mystery (whether Sherlock Holmes or Scooby Doo) almost always follows a pattern in which the “outsider” (who does not have “tenure” within “the system” in the same way that the “conventional authorities” do, as well as the natural “connections” and alliances that people naturally form when working within the same orbit or within the same local institution or community over the years) is the one who notices the anomalous evidence and is not afraid to pursue it far enough to come up with the truth (or at least to come up with a big giant submarine sandwich from the refrigerator in the old castle).

        However, in addition to all of that (which you have also articulated), I have now reached a further conclusion which I resisted in the beginning, which is the possibility that there is deliberate and coordinated suppression of certain theories, particularly those which threaten to get too close to truths that would expose the corrupt origins of institutions and powers which require the “veil of legitimacy” in order to continue to operate under the aegis of the “support of the populace.”

        The veil of legitimacy is crucial, because rule by raw force or violence is extremely difficult and usually cannot last long (plenty of movies articulate the truth that human beings simply refuse to be kept in a cage, when they KNOW that they are in the cage).

        — but it’s an entirely different thing when the prison is invisible: hence the importance of mind control.

        Look at the evidence and see if you do not conclude that there may be more at work than can be explained by the mere “human nature” argument (the “venal” temptations argument, etc). The thesis put forth in part III of my latest book would provide a motive and a mechanism for such a conclusion.

        Kia ora,


      2. It’s not just the guards of the official conclusions, as lophatt put it, protecting their futures (although in many cased that’s all it is; no one wants a lifetime of bad work–that everyone thinks is excellent–to be revealed for the waste of time it really was). As David says, the suppression of the truth is in many cases extremely active, and very purposeful. For instance, as white people spread across North America the hapless peasantry systematically stumbled upon proofs of an advanced civilization here, usually accompanied by skeletons of giants (8-15 feet tall). The local newspapers still exist that reported these discoveries when they happened. Hapless fools, they inevitably thought that the Smithsonian Institution is an honest, scientific, endeavor, and always dutifully handed over these amazing clues about the past, whereupon it all found its way to that cavernous warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

        Similarly, early explorers discovered extensive Egyptian habitations in caves within the walls of the Grand Canyon; those places are now strictly off limits, and the official stance is that anyone who wants to go there must be nuts. (They never explain why no one is allowed to go there, though).

        Then there is the despicable Zahi Hawass, long time Egyptian antiquities commissar. Chris Dunn, Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock and all the other curious, non-academic, researchers always had to bow and scrape before that pathetic little man if they were to have access to artifacts like the Great Pyramid. Thus, if anyone knows that these men’s conclusions are the truth, and the lofty hacks at Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago are nothing but arrogant fools, it is he; he’s granted them access to the Pyramid (and all the other sites along the Nile) every step of the way, and knows all their discoveries intimately. Yet he always sided with the ostriches at Chicago, pretending that academic Egyptology represents an accurate understanding of the past.

        There is a reason for this.

        All over the world there are physical objects that prove that an advanced civilization, far more advanced than ours, existed more than 5,000 years ago. Yet it is vitally important that everyone believe that we were all ignorant morons in undeveloped nature back then, and have gradually worked our way up to the wonderful state we find ourselves in.

        As David so rightly says, if you don’t know you are in a cage, you won’t think about escaping it. Essentially everything we supposedly know about the past is a lie. I have not written much about this ancient history here, but I HAVE written a lot about how all of American history is savagely misrepresented, with the object of systematically shaping the New World Order, and 1984. Francis Bacon told the story when he wrote his book about the future of America, The New Atlantis, before Englishmen even started to colonize this place. Of course, they had to cope with the pesky element of people who thought America should be an experiment in freedom, but that’s always been easily dealt with.

        Anyway, thanks again, David for the excellent conversation.

      3. Thanks for the response. I would not (and have not) meant that “human nature” is “all” there is to it. I would say, that in most cases, that’s all that’s needed. As you so adroitly said, people don’t like to be in cages (when they know about it). That is exactly so.

        I suppose I wasn’t thinking in terms of “political” history. I was thinking of anthropology and the official explanations for how we got here, etc.. Things like the nature of oil, or the origins of “races”.

        While some of these are subject to change based on new understandings of the workings of things, most are not all that threatening to the status quo, other than directly to those who profit from it.

        I also agree that there is doubtless a “good ole boy” aspect to this as well. Among the “Kool Kidz” it is more permissible to stray, provided you chuckle at the appropriate parts. Orthodoxy is definitely a condition of membership.

        There are some great and courageous researchers in many fields who contribute to our understanding. I am also aware that caution is necessary when exploring new ways to analyze data. Leaping to conclusions is dangerous and often premature.

        What does emerge, at least to me, is the certain knowledge that we don’t know as much as we would like others to think we do. My point is that it would be more honest, and quite respectable to just say so. It takes a lot more effort to “unlearn” something taught in one’s youth than it does to become excited by being able to add to the pool of knowledge that someone introduces to a young mind as an “opinion”.

        Ego is not a substitute for knowledge. In fact it is an obstacle.

  2. Planet of the Apes is a prime example of how intrinsic race and ethnicity are to deconstructing the mechanics of oligarchies and tyrannical governments. It is no coincidence that the 1960’s and perhaps early 70’s were rife with ‘conspiracy theorizing,’ while the comparatively racially calmer late 70’s through till the post 9/11 era featured very little of it. When I attended college in the early 90’s, one friend in my various circles would talk about ‘conspiracy theorizing’ types of people and even among his main circle of ‘bohemian’ friends this interest of his was considered kooky and extremist eccentric.

    But in the highly racially-charged post 9/11 era ‘conspiracy theorizing’ is only considered extremist when people apply it everywhere, which is a way of saying that most of the people commenting on here would be considered ‘mentally off’ precisely because they see ‘conspiracies’ or hoaxes as ubiquitous.

    Most human beings do not live where it seems some regular posters on here do, which is not a dig or judgment; it’s just an observation. On the contrary, most people access ‘conspiracies’ or hoaxes through their sense of how it impacts their lives very directly. The majority doesn’t relate to abstractions the way they do to immediate personal experience, which involves, every time someone applies for a place in a college, or job, or loan, etc.,a struggle between blacks and whites and hispanics and asians, the poor, middle class and rich, etc. The fact that the government and powers that be (like the media) are deceiving the average citizen only matters to that average citizen when he can recognize how those deceptions negatively affect his life. The collapse of what had been the primarily white middle class has been attended by a spike in interest and limited acceptance of ‘conspiracies.’

    I think it’s LOL funny that James posts this exploration of an iconic racially symbolic and coded text the day after certain ‘authentic’ posters accused me of being ‘inauthentic’ because I contextualize most of the hoaxes in racial/ethnic terms…



  3. In reply to Sue’s comment,
    The movie is not about race: it is about knowing, and the obstacles (internal and external) to knowing. If you want to make it about race, that says more about you than it does about the movie.

    The discussion of the movie is not about race: it is about knowing, and the obstacles (internal and external) to knowing. If you are saying that “conspiracy theories” (so-called) are primarily about race, and if you are implying that those who see the world primarily in racial or racist terms are more “prone” to “indulging” in “conspiracy theories,” then I would suggest that you are probably intentionally dragging a large and distracting red herring across the trail, to try to lead the conversation in a different direction. I personally will not be following that red herring down to wherever you are trying to take the discussion. The essay has nothing to do with race.

    It does have to do with mind control, and the creating of “reality.” Your post is painting a picture of reality which assumes that the artificial construct of race is so dominant that we cannot see beyond it, that it must necessarily color all of our thinking (even when we don’t know that it is doing so), and that we just “cannot escape” those barriers because they are so strong. I would argue that this reality is a false reality, a theater, or better yet a mental prison that some people would like to trap lots of other people in. My discussion of the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes DOES discuss the creating of false realities (the movie brilliantly exposes the creating of false realities by the orangutans, who do not represent a “race” so much as they represent a class of people who are in the “reality creation” business). The movie displays and exposes the tools used by those who see themselves as being part of the “reality creation” class. It is possible to step outside of false realities (see a different movie, The Truman Show, for more on that subject).

    Don’t reduce it to race — it’s about a whole lot more. If you are using race as a red herring, then maybe you are in the “false-reality creation” business yourself, or else (perhaps) you are enabling those who are.

    1. Besides that you seem to profoundly distort (I’m assuming unintentionally) my words and their meaning, I can only say that ‘race’ to me is a combination of ethnicity and class and is therefore the social construct that emerges from that. ‘Race’ in my view is a sociopoltical idea and it’s pragmatic iterations more than any sheer biological expression. I don’t know how you think I somehow ‘reduce it to race’ (and I’m not wholly sure what ‘it’ is) and can only point out that ‘race’ and ‘class’ and ‘reality creation’ are inseparable in my view in what seem to be most class systems – and certainly in ours. They are absolutely indivisible and that is on full display in the ironic satire of the Planet of the Apes, in my humble opinion, although I am more deeply acquainted with the TV series than the feature film. I am also a former filmmaker, so, perhaps I just come from a milieu in which these dimensions are automatically treated as intrinsically inseparable.

      I put no words or interpretations in others’ mouths. I find it curious that many on here feel compelled to put theirs in mine. I daresay that might reflect more on the awe of ‘race’ in the minds of those who seem so challenged by it than it does on my personal awareness of it. Your assertion that “you are implying that those who see the world primarily in racial or racist terms are more “prone” to “indulging” in “conspiracy theories,” is the opposite of what *I* was saying.

      Not everyone is an academic, or a conspiracy junkie by hobby or profession, or a ‘reality creationist,’ whatever the heck that is. Most people are just workaday citizens trying to make a decent life for themselves, believe it or not. In that they encounter ‘race’ and from there *more* people then broach ‘conspiracy theories’ as opposed to contemplating them as some end unto themselves. If anything, I think most people repress or castrate thoughts that would lead to ‘conspiracy theorizing’ and that most folks only entertain the ‘theories’ when forced to by dint of sociopolitical pressures that become pivotally challenging to middle class survival.

      That’s just my experience as a middle aged person who’s traveled in many circles and social strata all my life.

      1. Sue, I apologize if I misinterpreted your original comment. You are certainly raising some relevant points in your clarification. As I had not addressed “race” in my original essay at all, I felt that bringing it up as one of the very first replies to what I had written could have been an intentional red herring or misdirection, especially because race is very frequently employed as an (often successful) attempt to shut down or marginalize investigation and analysis into some of the areas that I focus on the most, such as the evidence of ancient and pre-Columbian contact across the oceans between cultures that conventional history is adamant in maintaining had no contact, as well as questions about who the Egyptians actually were and where the people who used the scriptures of the Old Testament may have come from. If I was too defensive and missed your point, I’m sorry and I’m glad you have clarified. David

      2. I found the article Sue linked to very interesting. Here’s another article that agrees with her:

        This paragraph adds another element:

        “In the first Planet of the Apes, Charlton Heston, the ultimate white man, is thrown into a world where monkeys are the Man and he is reduced to the status of an angry black radical. In Rod Serling’s screenplay, gorillas are the Irish cops, orangutans the conservative WASP ruling class, and chimpanzees the liberal Jewish intellectuals who are Heston’s only hope.”

        Sue’s bringing up the fact that American race politics was evidently obvious to filmgoers at the time the movie came out, a theme that is pristinely absent from David’s article, reminds me of two other movies.

        I tend to detect patterns in places others have not, but generally, people who hear me out tend to find my argument persuasive (my recent book about Matthew chapter 5 is a good example of this). Now, no one can say that the patterns I detect in the Bible were not put there intentionally, because we can’t get an on-tape interview with the Big Guy who inspired it. But filmmakers tend to like going on-record about their intended message.

        To me, and to everyone I have shown it to, the movie Groundhog Day is about spiritual growth as a Christian. The director, who sadly died recently, had no such intention: he thought his film was about spiritual enlightenment, on the Oriental model. But look at it: a worthless sinner wakes up one day to discover that he is immortal; he uses this knowledge to satisfy every carnal desire, but after enough of that he realizes he’s never going to be satisfied by earthly pleasures. He becomes very depressed about this, and tries every conceivable way to kill himself: but it can’t be done.

        Gradually, he starts to use his time to improve himself; wheat else is there to do? So he learns to play piano, he learns French, he studies literature. Granted, he only wants to do some of this at first to better trick a girl into sleeping with him, but with time, this project does indeed change him into a good person, as he realizes that helping others really does satisfy his desire to be happy. By the end, his repeated day is busy indeed, as he’s got a list of good works that have to be accomplished on a very tight schedule.

        The girl, who could not be tricked into bed, after endless attempts, finally surrenders to him (he does not despoil her, though, having accomplished genuine goodness). The morning comes, and it’s finally the next day (how many years does it take to master all the stuff he did in the movie?); he asks the girl why she’s there? She says: I BOUGHT you. Indeed, she paid for him at a bachelor auction the night before. She paid with every cent she had.

        Similarly, the Matrix. Those boys (well, nowadays its a boy and a former boy) thought they were talking about German existentialism–they even got the actors reading that tripe. Well, the thing is thick with Christian allegory, from start to finish.

        So what David has discovered is a pattern in this particular movie that is absolutely true, even if the guy who wrote the book, and the people who made the movie, had no idea.

      3. The idea is not unique. Ever read ‘Animal Farm”? Just as plays used to use characters to represent royalty and complain in ways that were not permissible in a straightforward narrative, use of metaphors is quite common.

        Indeed, for some, imprinting their own bogey men on the characters and their meaning is also common. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. It merely depends upon whether one is attempting to determine the author’s intent, or what it means for them.

        There are indeed personality types. There are stereotypes. There are joiners, leaders and independents. Like it or not it is part of the basic human condition (to include “apes”).

        Given what we know about this, the old argument about “good vs evil” is instructive. It isn’t so much the basic nature of people, it is what use it is put to. There are many who have no respect for free will. Of course there are many who have no understanding of what that means. In order to exercise it one has to be aware of it.

        There are “controllers” and the “controlled”. Those who refuse to be controlled are “dangerous”. As much as I would love to see a world where individuals embraced the concept of free will and made informed decisions for themselves that led to a better world, I’m not holding my breath. Most, it seems, would rather obviate that responsibility to someone else. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of those who jump at the chance to assume that role.

        So among monkeys and men, manipulation reigns supreme. Control the conversation and you control the situation. If help is needed, call a gorilla.

      4. Well thanks for that. The timing was purely coincidental to recent flaming over this issue of how accurate or ‘mentally off’ it is to interpret the machinations of our ‘governmedia’ via hoaxes, psy ops, false flags, etc. through race. lophatt’s distinction below between viewers (of movies or media hoaxes) imprinting their own bogeymen on them and the author’s/artist’s intent is a good but not always feasible one. Sterling seems to avoid admitting to his use of race as a grounding metaphor, but most of his audience clearly understood Planet as at the least a racial exploration, sometimes apparently to the ignorance of Sterling’s and the novelist’s other metaphors. I’ve noticed that refusal to confirm their intentions regarding even undeniably obvious symbolism and metaphor is not uncommon in artists/filmmakers.

        Deliverance was another famous movie released in that era (1972). Some of it’s metaphors weren’t as obvious but I thought I’d link to a review that describes them and the era’s filmmaking mood succinctly in these passages:

        “The increasingly claustrophobic, downbeat film, shot in linear sequence along forty miles of a treacherous river, has been looked upon as a philosophical or mythical allegory of man’s psychological and grueling physical journey against adversity. It came during the 70s decade when many other conspiracy or corruption-related films were made with misgivings, paranoia or questioning of various societal institutions or subject areas, such as the media…

        The river is the potent personification of the complex, natural forces that propel men further and further along their paths. It tests their personal values, exhibiting the conflict between country and city, and accentuates what has been hidden or unrealized in civilized society. The adventurers vainly seek to be ‘delivered’ from the evil in their own hearts, and as in typical horror films, confront other-worldly forces in the deep woods. The flooding of the region after the completion of a dam construction project alludes to the purification and cleansing of the sins of the world by the Great Flood. The film was also interpreted as an allegory of the US’ involvement in the Vietnam War – as the men (the US military) intruded into a foreign world (Southeast Asia), and found it was raped or confronted by wild forces it couldn’t understand or control.”

        I don’t think it’s fully possible to separate the metaphors, levels of symbolism and meaning portrayed in many of these cultural texts, here movies, just as I maintain that it’s impossible or fetishistic to do so when analyzing the hoaxes we’re viewing. Some posters consider their deracinated ‘truth’ of these events as the ‘right’ or ‘transcendent’ one but the audience, by and large, and the producers conceive them in very proletariat identitarian terms.

      5. Sue, I tend to agree with you. In fact, I think you’re both right. I would go a step further and say that the reactions evident whenever someone mentions “race” here are illustrative. Perhaps the “obstacles” to knowing are working.

        The modern concept of “race” is genetics. That was not the common understanding until approximately the middle of the Twentieth Century. I have many old history and anthropology texts that are quite good that use “race” in a totally different way.

        The visceral reaction whenever one mentions it is indicative of the effectiveness of the psychological conditioning we’ve all been through. If we don’t learn to shake that off we will indeed have a major “obstacle” to our “knowing”.

        The common belief is supposed to run: “there are no differences between races. They are all genetic in nature and, therefore, they are totally cosmetic”. The older understanding COULD have been genetic, but more normally concerned who a group was IDENTIFIED with. For example, when discussing Greek tribes the Spartans were considered “a race”, so were the Athenians.

        The simple truth is that genetics may play a role in certain races behaviors. So does social conditioning. To deny that any differences exist is clearly not true. I just report what I see, not what some would like to believe.

        It is also true that using “race” as a reason for control is potentially damaging. It is ironic that it is acceptable to pigeonhole people into “personality types” if a psychological test is used, it is not if stereotypical behaviors are clearly observable and possibly problematic. So on one hand, if a personality trait is disruptive socially, there are “medical professionals” at the ready to “help” overcome those proclivities. Looked at “non-medically”, there are no proclivities, even if you see them.

        I think that gets to the point of the movie as well. Orangutans are not chimps. Gorillas are not chimps either. If the expectation is that, if they were all treated equally they would be indistinguishable (behavior wise), I’m not so sure. The negative behaviors of one or another could be “improved”, however. The first step would be recognizing those, not ignoring them.

  4. Interesting article. i have not seen the movie, but will do so in the future. The mention of ancient knowledge being dismissed / destroyed / misinterpreted is quite timely.

    And in expected fashion, the skills of reading and writing in cursive are being phased out of U.S. public schools. The goal, it seems, is to misdirect and destroy, again and again, what is important.

    The ancients held more intuitive knowledge than we can ever recover.

    1. Thanks Heather — appreciate the feedback and interesting that you use the term “intuitive” (I think if you search for the term “intuition” on my blog you will find some interesting posts I’ve written about it in the past, although I will also say that readers should know that my own positions on some subjects have changed through the years in areas where I have discovered new evidence or reached new conclusions, a subject I discuss a bit in my most-recent Red Ice interview, also available on the blog).

      If you do get the opportunity to see the 1968 Planet of the Apes, I hope you will enjoy it and that reading my article first didn’t spoil anything for you! I think you will also find that the lead character is probably happy that he at least learned about the skills of writing, although I don’t know that he showed any knowledge of writing in cursive! (He was using a long stick to write in the sand, so that may explain that aspect of the film).

      I did want to ask you what you mean when you say the mention of knowledge being dismissed or destroyed “is quite timely” — did you have something specific in mind? I’m glad you think it is timely and I’m sure I would agree, but wasn’t sure if you are referring to something specific which you think everyone will also think of when you mention that, or if you are just saying that “generally speaking.”

      Best, DM

      1. By intuitive knowledge, I meant just that. The ability to quickly, seamlessly assess a situation correctly, from understanding weather, animal behavior, if someone is lying to you, if a situation is positive/negative, even our fight/flight reflex. This also includes basic understanding of how to stay healthy (FDA says it is safe, must be so), trusting government officials, giving children over to public schools. The base, survival, primal instincts are very low in the present population.

        We have been conditioned against understanding nature, relying on “facts” instead of instincts. I heard an older interview with Lloyd Pye where he said “science is the new religion” because as long as a scientist said it is a fact, people believe, proof or no proof, truth or no truth, manipulated statistics or not.

        As far as my “timely” comment, it may be more perception. I was thinking of Michael Tellinger’s recent run for office in South Africa.

  5. Awesome article, it’s refreshing to see how you compared the orthodox (official) version of real world history with its treatment in the PotA.

    The findings at Gobekli Tepe’s in Turkey, much like that cliff-side dig site of the fictional future Earth, have pretty much blown the official establishment timeline and progression of human civilization wide open.

    1. Thanks REH,

      Great analogy with Gobekli Tepe.

      I like to say that, as impressive as any single data point is, naysayers can usually dismiss a single data point — and, it actually is not a bad idea to be skeptical of one outlying data point, as impressive as it might be. However, when there are dozens or hundreds of data points which seem to contradict one’s paradigm, it might make sense to begin to question the paradigm.

      As impressive as any one single site is (and I would argue that there are many sites around the world that on their own can potentially completely shred the conventional paradigm, including Gobekli Tepe due to its great age in addition to its workmanship, but also sites such as Puma Punku, Nan Madol, and so many others), ingenious stories can be invented to try and “explain away” even the most inexplicable single site. Taken all together, and coupled with all the other archaeological evidence (see the list here for example: the conventional paradigm becomes more and more untenable.

      There is also, as I labor to show in my latest book, a host of evidence within ancient scriptures and myths themselves which undermines the conventional paradigm and adds to the evidence above. In fact, although it takes some discussion to demonstrate this, there is evidence that the world’s most ancient scriptures from around the globe anticipate quantum physics and the holographic universe theory, among other “twentieth century” discoveries (or re-discoveries).

      But, the bigger question is how all of this relates to mind control and the creation of false “realities” for political purposes (purposes of power, domination, etc). Even if one does not accept all of the foregoing arguments about ancient history, the issues raised by Dr. Zaius and the rest of the metaphor presented in the 1968 Planet of the Apes are very useful to contemplate.


      1. David, that was thought provoking. I’m not so sure at this point that various mythologies and explanations for a culture’s existence are necessarily a form of “mind control”. I DO believe that mind control is being currently used in “creating false realities”. As you say, those are political/control issues.

        We have an academically defined construct of civilization and how things came to be. Discoveries such as Gobekli Tepe shake those assumptions. It is entirely probable that those assumptions are incorrect.

        As someone during the Sparky Bush administration (I think it was Karl Rove (ugh!)), said; “while you’re exploring that reality we’ll create another. When you come to a conclusion about that reality we’ll have yet another”, this is a different phenomenon than misguided history.

        In fact, Poppy Bush was fond of discussing the “end of history” as a major accomplishment. This is what he meant. People will rely on “the authorities” to determine where they came from and where they’re going.

        To me the anecdotal evidence suggests that we’ve been here a lot longer than the official explanation would permit. I really don’t see much threatening in that knowledge other than it suggests that we could disappear with little trace.

        In my opinion it is always best to start with observable evidence. If something exists, and your cosmology tells you it shouldn’t, well…..there it is. In more recent history there is little doubt that we had to “relearn” many things that were common knowledge after the library at Alexandria burnt. If a knowledge base disappears, it may as well not have existed in the first place.

        The basements of museums the world over are full of objects that simply don’t fit the established theories. So, while it might be “shattering” for some, adjusting the prevailing theories would be more valuable.

    1. Wow, great reply, I’m honored!

      Of course, I agree absolutely but would also like to point out that Gobekli Tepe is unique in that the carbon dating is unadulterated in comparison to other sites like Stone Henge, Nan Madol, Malta, etc.

      This is solely because the whole Gobekli Tepe site was intentionally buried approximately 10,000 years ago and no subsequent human habitation has interfered with it. Thus the discovery is quite explosive because of the hard dating along with the sound archaeological field work of Klaus Schmidt’s team.

      1. Great point — that is an extremely important aspect of Gobekli Tepe for sure. And the staggering amount of earth-moving that was required to carefully bury the entire area in that painstaking fashion. How did those “primitive hunter-gatherers” manage all that labor and still manage to feed themselves? Most would readily agree that hunter-gatherers have to move camp quite frequently in order to find new forage areas.

  6. Great piece, was bored with the movie as a child but will have to view it again with open eyes.

    With regards to Heather’s comment on the timeliness, common core education comes to my mind. Have seen examples of simple math calculations turned into a convoluted, non-sensible, algorithms that make parents of grade school children heads spin in trying to help them with homework. Suppose if you never learn how to add or subtract, you will never know how poor you really are.

    Reminds me of the Al Gore propaganda to children – your parents are stupid!

    The other most troubling brainwashing in my opinion, is the chemical poisoning of our skies, they are actually photo-shopping old movies and Walt Disney productions to make us believe chemtrails have always existed. Lost track of how many new cloud names have been invented in the last year or so to explain all the new phenomenon’s we now see in the sky.

    All the while they are creating massive droughts out west, suspect the land is already sold, only the occupants haven’t been notified of their pending evictions.

    1. Thanks PS,

      I think those are all excellent examples. I’d also be interested to see if heather was referring to any more literal examples of the destruction of historical evidence.

      I have some discussions of chemtrails on my blog. There’s a link to one of them in the “welcome” page that I set up for those coming to that blog for the first time (or for anyone else, of course):



  7. Very thoughtful article, thank you! Dr. Zaius is indeed a fascinating character. More fascinating still is the macroscopic fanaticism he symbolizes and leads.

    I would like to point to the scene–sorry I don’t remember at all the context–where Dr. Zaius wins an argument hands-down over Taylor, simply by extracting from the Apes’ Scriptures an inherently evil aspect of human rule, which the apes cannot know directly but that Taylor has personally experienced. This gives a clue, which is repeated a few times, that benevolent imposed fanaticism can theoretically exist and may be defended by non-stupid arguments: “should the rulers let the people know the truth, then the people, not the rulers, would do counterproductive things and eventually be worse off.”

    On another topic and to broaden the metaphor, modern humanity is filled with Dr. Zaiuses on steroids. Behold:
    * Objective evidence suggests that Building 7’s destruction started suddenly and at its base, like a controlled demolition, yet not a single engineering institution, anywhere in the world, has critically reviewed the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final official determination that it was due to an office fire.
    * Objective evidence suggests that Building 7’s destruction made its facades undergo no rupture, minimal deformation, and minimal tilt, like a controlled demolition, yet not a single engineering institution, anywhere in the world, has critically reviewed the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final official determination that it was due to an office fire.
    * Objective evidence suggests that Building 7’s destruction propagated from the inside to the facades, like a controlled demolition, yet not a single engineering institution, anywhere in the world, has critically reviewed the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final official determination that it was due to an office fire.
    * Objective evidence suggests that Building 7’s destruction yielded a sudden free fall acceleration for about 2 seconds, followed by a lower and still downward acceleration, like a controlled demolition, yet not a single engineering institution, anywhere in the world, has critically reviewed the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final official determination that it was due to an office fire.
    * Objective evidence suggests that Building 7’s destruction mostly cut its support columns in thousands of truck-ready linear segments, like a controlled demolition, yet not a single engineering institution, anywhere in the world, has critically reviewed the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final official determination that it was due to an office fire.
    * Objective evidence suggests that Building 7’s destruction inflicted minimal damage to neighboring buildings, like a controlled demolition, yet not a single engineering institution, anywhere in the world, has critically reviewed the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final official determination that it was due to an office fire.
    * Objective evidence suggests that Building 7’s destruction exhibited a large number of explosions, starting in the basement and before the start of the building’s motion, pulverizing its concrete into opaque clouds that expanded rapidly and horizontally in all directions until they took several times the building’s volume, like a controlled demolition, yet not a single engineering institution, anywhere in the world, has critically reviewed the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s final official determination that it was due to an office fire.

    Dr. Zaius is alive and well. Deans of civil engineering faculties and presidents of professional civil engineering organizations, all over the world, are competing for the title. They are so highly qualified that it is impossible to nominate a winner. Maybe thousands of experts will have to share the title.

    Thinking again, I may have offended Dr. Zaius. It is unfair to assume that he would accept to defend a myth as obviously ridiculous as Building 7’s fairy tale. Besides, as I wrote above, the film provides evidence that his propagation of false information and his treachery is driven by his non-stupid notion of the welfare of the apes and their planet, This also differentiates him from Building 7’s censors, who understand full well that their hypocrisy is detrimental to the common good.

    By Building 7’s standards, Dr. Zaius is less a holy inquisitor than an angel. Oh well…


    1. Thank you Daniel,

      truly the number of “data points” would seem to be difficult to dismiss — perhaps there is a sliding scale (or sliding “response protocol”) for inconvenient evidence: a) scoff at and dismiss; b) if a. deemed impossible, ignore with deafening silence; and C) if b. becomes untenable, destroy the evidence (see Dr. Zaius at the cave).

      Your comments in the final (actually next-to-final) paragraph are really excellent and get at what makes Dr. Zaius such an intriguing character in the film — i.e. “the film provides evidence that his propagation of false information and his treachery is driven by his non-stupid notion of the welfare of the apes and their planet.” It is quite poignant when he admits that the apes have always feared the humans and that there is a reason that their scriptures tell the apes to “shun man”: humanity is violent and wanton in killing the animals and each other (and, as it turns out in the film, the planet itself, or very close to it).



    2. With regard to actions in the here and now rather than those in the movie, the question then becomes “What does each individual do when they start to wake up to such things?”

      This was the topic of the out-of-the-park home-run talk that Jon Rappoport delivered at the Secret Space Program conference in California at the end of June. I blog about it here:

      So number one is “learn how to create reality and start practicing it”

      Number two, I would argue, is “make a touchstone of natural law (I would call it ‘natural universal law’) and share that view with others” — Lysander Spooner in the 19th century addressed criminal behavior by the state (specifically, slavery and the fugitive slave laws) and the individual’s responsibility when faced with same:


  8. It was a real golden Oscar; he took me in his house and showed it to me.

    I had just got into LA and was driving a cab for a few weeks before other commitments. He got in my cab, if it was the same guy, and we got to talking about movie makeup, which is a well known specialty in Hollywood, He was very proud of his Oscar; it didn’t look any different than the others.

  9. Although the original Planet of the Apes is only a year younger than me, I have always been captivated by this film. First, as a child I was gripped by its sci-fi perfection, later as an adult, by its allegorical awesomeness. I have probably seen it 20 times, and could never pass it up when surfing channels back when I watched TV. As a child of the cold war, I was, and still am a little obsessed with the post-apocalyptic genre. What or who would spring up afterward? Would it be any better? Would anything remain of our civilization, and how would it be explained?

    Todays films always fall short, and it is not by accident. Thanks to David Mathison for this excellent treatment, on a great, and important film that shows me clearly, the world of only forty-six years ago, for all its flaws, was a better place than this. I makes me wonder what he thinks of the bomb cult in the second Planet of the apes movie.

      1. Thanks Patrick. I was never aware of Steyn until you brought him up here a few times. I have watched some youtube’s of him being interviewed and on panels. The guy is quickly becoming one of my heroes, and he can be downright humorous.

        As for his article(sorry to go off subject too much), It is my assumption that the state is not so worried about child welfare, as they are worried about children being alone. Being alone, is when you daydream, learn to think. Children without constant supervision and entertainment are future troublemakers for the state. Also note the states fear of children working. Now I’m not for sending them off to the mines, but a little mindless labor is good for the soul, and is also a good time for a person to collect their thoughts, think, and mature. They are even restricting farmers from letting kids work on the farm these days. Hell, making a kid watch Planet of the Apes would probably be considered abuse these days, as it might be too mentally strenuous.

      2. Patrick,
        Have you any suggestions for reading up on technologically advanced prehistoric civilizations? I am glad to hear you are interested in it. I was beginning to delve into it about a year ago when the old internal conflicts of what has been discovered, and what we have been told reared up, and I kind of backed off. Every time I get into the subject, I like what I hear until it gets hijacked by some new age garbage. I was looking for another perspective, if you catch my drift.

      3. Rich, the place I’d start would be Chris Dunn’s The Giza Power Plant, which is a scientific analysis of the Great pyramid, and then his follow-up book Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt which is a scientific analysis of many of the things farther up the Nile (if you go to Amazon you can read the review I wrote for him–it’s #2).

        Many of the great researchers I reference in earlier comments have mystical, religious, interpretations of the evidence that can amount to informed speculation. It’s helpful, but requires sifting. Not so with Dunn.

        Dunn is a materials engineer, whose career involved working for a firm that reproduces objects for a fee. So when he observes a statue, or a temple, or the pyramid, he looks very closely, asking how they did it, and how he could reproduce it. This involves VERY close measurements. Getting that close also reveals flaws, and in the case of Egypt these flaws prove that they used power tools.

        The first time he was inside the building he instinctively knew that it was a huge machine. Then he studied every detail to figure out what it was built to do, and ultimately discovered that the Great Pyramid was an electrical power generating machine. It was also a water pump (the pump function was the first stage in the electricity creation). Others have long known that the pyramid was a pump (just search that phrase and you can watch youtube videos where people have replicated it successfully). They have had to speculate as to what the movement of water was FOR. Dunn found the answer.

        1. Thanks, I will check it out. I saw something saying it is becoming acceptable to believe the erosion on the sphinx was caused by water 10,000 or more years ago. I remember watching a documentary recently where they scoffed at the geologist who theorized this. Also, have you read Secret Destiny of America-Manly P. Hall. I hear its good, but I could never understand what the heck this guy is talking about. Any opinion? I have heard many excerpts from it listening to William Coopers “Mystery Babylon” series, but like I said, it sounded like he was channeling Albert Pike-LOL!

      4. One of my favorites is the old Egyptian archeologist who shows that they built these structures as “hospitals” to take advantage of vibrations. He shows perfectly formed stone “wheels” that turn as if they were on modern ball bearings. Amazing!

        He says that he was educated at Oxford. He said that all the locals knew that the pyramids were not “tombs” and remnants from these early times were lying everywhere. They had explanations for all of them but none of the academics want to hear them.

        He said that Pharaoh was the living representative of the Sun. His “job” was to yearly trace the same path in order to maintain that relationship. The various sites were there for him to perform the necessary rituals. It made perfect sense to me.

  10. At the risk of sounding pedantic, I think the films are a warning to us that we can be so easily be replaced.

    And as our society continues to deteriorate, there are forces out there that are watching us with patient anticipation.

    1. Interesting you say that. Mathison, in a recent blog, mentions NASA announcing that we will have alien contact very soon. Or at least contact with something they want us to believe are aliens.

  11. Netflix is easily one of the best features of the post-Western world. The day I read David’s article I put the movie near the top of my queue (I have other priorities, so it wasn’t number 1), and voila! The movie lands in my mailbox a few days later. I just now watched it, for perhaps the fifth time in my life.

    Outside of the fact that Chuck Heston is nearly naked for the whole picture, it was a joy to watch again, with this article’s interpretation in mind. (The humans are “animals,” so the constant near-nudity is an effective stylistic choice, I acknowledge–but it always feels a bit weird; the fact that it persists all the way to the end is in the movie’s favor, though, because by it Heston’s alienness in that world never is allowed to be forgotten by the viewer.)

    Certainly, David is absolutely correct in his interpretation of this movie, and I am deeply grateful for his insight in this regard, and James’ bringing it to our attention. It is indeed about our modern day refusal to face the truth about our ancient past. It’s exactly right. Those insane Moslems taking over northern Iraq who blew up Jonah’s tomb, just now, were brought to mind when the proof-text cave is blown up at the end. Certainly that event is a wee small reflection of the larger picture, but the fact that there is something in the human spirit that wants to obliterate a past that contradicts what the state wants the future to believe about the past…

    I’ve veered into 1984 again, haven’t I?

    Anyway, moving on, at first, I found Sue’s comments about how this movie has something to do with race absurd and ridiculous, and completely agreed with David’s harsh reply to her quick comment. Upon reading the link she provided, though, her argument did seem reasonable to me–and I even added another, which persuasively argues that the film makers were consciously intending to talk about race relations in America at that time the film was made–and that filmgoers in 60s America saw that theme instinctively.

    Well, not any more. Watching it today, the racial element, in my opinion, is preposterous. I can’t see a sliver of it. All I can see is David’s perspective.

    Certainly, I was a little kid when the movie came out, so I did not see it then. And since I had no idea of racial politics when I was a child, anyway, even if I had seen it then, the zeitgeist would not have been mine–so whatever Sammie Davis had to say about it, I would have had no idea what he was talking about. I wonder how long any objective observer could have been expected to catch that drift, as the years went by? The 60s faded very fast.

    Well, decades have come and gone and whatever our world once was that made the thing look like a racial allegory has long since passed away. Try as I might, I could detect nothing of race in the picture.

    But David’s interpretation shone through loud and clear.

    This, I think, is an important point to make, and central to the thinking David is doing here. Art has its own independent existence, and the artist cannot be tied to it. It is a form of truth that the creator of it cannot fully understand. That’s why it endures. Some talented hack can tell a racial allegory, in other words, which seems true in the moment, but is really something far deeper, and enduring, even when the trivial silliness originally intended has washed away with the afternoon’s rain, revealing a gem.

    1. Are you implying the film has taken on a life of its own over the decades, and the message it sends today was not fully the intent of the filmmaker? I could buy that. After all, Dr. Zaius was Chief defender of the faith, the film could have originally been a jab at religion.

      I could also see the whole film as a set up for the final statue of Liberty scene, what with the threat of nuclear war hanging over everyone’s head at the time. A simple warning. I wonder if that scene was in the original book. The nuke theme was heavy in the second movie.

      Another scene that I find interesting was when Nova wiped away Taylor’s message to the chimps in the sand. As if she new it had meaning, and may get him in trouble. Maybe the filmmakers were warning us about the dumbing down of the human race. Who knows? Definitely a film that gets the gears turning, that’s why it will always be way up on my favorite list.

Leave a Reply