Mind Games

I am going to list a few Tom Hanks movies.  Apollo 13.  Castaway.  Sully.  Captain Phillips.   Saving Private Ryan.  Forest Gump.  Toy Story.

Now which are based on true stories?  Besides toy stories, it might not be clear.

The surface answer is this.  Sully and Captain Phillips are hollywood versions of the real events.  Tom went both to Captain Sully who was the pilot of the Miracle on the Hudson, as well as Captain Phillips who was held hostage by Somali pirates and basically said to them prior to filming the same thing, “I am going to say things you didn’t say, and do things you didn’t do, but other than that, I want your help to make this as real as possible.”    Castaway was fiction.  Saving Private Ryan was loosely based on a true person, Forest Gump contained a fictitious character who taught about a box of chocolates and was cleverly edited in real historical events, Toy Story is a cartoon, and that leaves only Apollo 13 as up for debate.  We will look at Apollo 13 in a bit.

If you were told Castaway was based on a true story and Captain Phillips wasn’t, you really would have a hard time telling the difference.   If you weren’t familiar with Captain Phillips and just watched the movie without seeing the credits, you could google the movie and read what your search said.  You could try and travel to the area in Somalia and see if you could find some survivors and find out if they did indeed get killed by NAVY seals.  You could find the crew members of the Maersk cargo ship and interview them or you could find Mr. Phillips or Mrs. Phillips.

Bottom line, the only way you could know for sure is if you were the one being hijacked.   Or if you were Mr. Phillips.

If you googled “was Castaway based on a true story?” and some jokester had a site up saying it was and giving pictures of a bearded guy and presented some artifacts such as a Fed-Ex name badge of Tom Hank’s character you would believe it was real.  If the movie began with “this is based on real events” you would let your guard down and embrace the story.

What I am trying to show you is that what we think determines reality can be greatly manipulated.

Now let’s switch gears.  I took my kids to see Pete’s Dragon over the weekend. It was a live action Disney movie with a CGI dragon and human actors.   The dragon did not exist except on film, yet here I was emotionally rooting for Elliott the dragon.   Sad when it was abused or in danger, happy when it escaped the clutches of those hunting him.    Broken in the beginning when a young boy lost his parents in a car wreck and he was left alone in the world.  Able to identify with the characters.  That is the magic of Hollywood.

It “felt” real, it even looked real.   But why did I know it wasn’t real?  Mostly because I had that expectation from a Disney film.

But what if I was shown this movie as a child and told dragons were green and lived in the north and here is one caught in captivity?  And I was shown pictures of these realistic CGI dragons and shown them over and over for years?  I would have a huge desire to see something so exciting, and I would have been emotionally stirred, and I would be rooting that they would be real.   And let’s say they dig up some bones and have a skeleton and say this is Elliott.   And say everyone in school believed in dragons, and certain scientists taught classes about what they ate and did and how they smelled.

And some punk comes up to you and says, “dragons are not real!”   You would think that this kid was of the lunatic fringe.  You SAW a dragon for yourself.  Seeing is believing.

Actually, that is wrong.  Faith is seeing.  Faith is believing.   This is going to get a bit bumpy.  But bottom line, I believe in dragons, but not in Pete’s Dragon.  The bible talks about dragons and uses the word dragon.  And the bible describes a creature in the ancient book of Job called Behemoth which has the tail of a ceder and is the biggest creature God made.  It fits perfectly that of a brachiosaurus.  The word dinosaur wasn’t invented until 1842 by Sir Richard Owen, yet all over the world you have dragon legends, dragons on paintings in caved, or on stones in South America.   There is great evidence that dragons really existed, and they were created on Day 6 before man was made, lived in the garden with Adam and Eve, and that Noah brought baby dragons/dinos on the ark.  After the flood, the world was very different.  Vegetation was depleted, and there was less oxygen.  Brachiosaurus had the nostrils the same size as a horse.  It would have not thrived in the post-flood world.  The dinos grew smaller and were slower.  They were more easily caught or hunted.  They slowly died off, though there are reports in the Congo, etc of giant lizards still alive.

But this isn’t about dinosaurs.  This isn’t about the loch ness monster.  This isn’t about Bigfoot.

It is about why we should doubt what we are taught.  We need to question things.  Besides the dinosaur.

I started talking about Pete’s Dragon to lead into this.  Before the movie, was the preview for the Star Wars movie coming out in a few weeks, Rouge 1.  The full screen was covered in stars and it was impressive.  Now question — what came first, the movie or the shot in space? Was this shot in space made in Hollywood or was it a shot of the night sky?  And how would we know the difference?

In other words, the shot of space that looks real and is in the Star Wars movie — is it real?  Or did Hollywood create a vision of space and we really are fascinated about it and these images are what we see both in our minds and from NASA when we think of outer space?

And how can we tell when/if we are looking at real space and when we are looking at Hollywood special effects?

What I mean is this — the Star Wars movies have a budget of $200 million.  NASA’s budget is in the billions.  Why do we think the earth is a spinning globe?  NASA says it is and shows us a round photo of earth.  We have played with a spinning globe from way back as far as we can remember.  We see the spinning world when we see Jurassic World, and anything from the Universal Studios.  Here I am again talking about dinos.

NASA “owns” every space agency on earth.   You don’t get to choose between NASA or American Airlines to visit “outer space”.  They give you pics of planets, stats on the astronomical numbers regarding the speed the earth spins and travels though the universe, and are getting folks excited about an upcoming voyage to Mars.

But is it real?

The great bible theologians, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, sang, “Space is the final frontier but it was filmed in a Hollywood basement.”

Many claim –and I agree with them –that we have never been to “space.”  We have been a few miles up but we have not traveled to the moon.  And we aren’t going to Mars.

And they are finding that planets aren’t these solid spheres that we can land on and explore.  And make movies about.

So Apollo 13 is a true story because they told  you, but Gravity is a work of fiction.  What if both were fiction?  Ever heard of the movie, Capricorn One?  It starred the famous Buffalo Bills all-time murder leader, OJ Simpson.  And was about a fake moon landing.

There is a good youtube video called A Funny Thing happened on the way to the moon.

Houston, we have a problem.   See about 1,000 miles up is a high radiation belt called the Van Allen Belt.  I do not think that is the firmament the bible talks about.  But no one has traveled above that, and the moon it seems is above that.  And then the firmament – a literal impenetrable dome above the earth.  Google operation Paperclip and Operation Fishbowl if you want to go down some interesting rabbit holes.  And above the firmament is water and above the water is God’s heaven.

Someone is lying.

And it is not God.

NASA has lied over and over.  One thing with natural lighting — shadows all do in one direction.  The moon shots have different shadow angles.  Professional photographers can prove these were staged with artificial light.   The whole thing is fishy — they went to the moon, which Richard Nixon said was on par with the week of creation as far as crowning achievements of the world go, and yet they barely had any photos?  They couldn’t film 360 degrees around?  IE, in the TV studio, you don’t see the “4th room”.   Hollywood barely touched the moon landings besides the interesting one, Capricorn 1 about faking the moon landings?

In “space” the American flag flaps in the wind?

And while we can’t get a cell phone bar out in the woods, in 1969, astronauts were able to call Nixon from the moon.

Things don’t add up.  And it is not just me.

Outer space may be nothing more than a figment of our imagination.   To infinity, and, wait, we can’t go beyond the firmament.

I thought it would be perfect to end with Toy Story.

And Hollywood is a perfect compliment to those actor-nots lost in space.


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