Trans-Coast Airways Flight 60 is preparing to leave from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.  Among the passengers are Doctor Carl Morris (Dayton Lummis), Marcia Paxton (Paula Raymond) and Tom Endicott (Craig Hill).  Dr. Morris is called the father of the Beta Thermo Nuclear Warhead, also called the “Beta Bomb”.  A bomb that is so powerful that it will destroy everything around it.  He believes it would be powerful enough to destroy an entire country.  Marcia Paxton is a mathematician who did the calculations for Dr. Morris’ bomb.  Tom Endicott is a rocket designer and an expert in rocket propulsion that is working on creating a single stage rocket with twice the previous thrust and with a pinpoint guidance system.    All three are on the flight because they received a letter from the pentagon instructing them to be in Washington for a classified, emergency meeting.

During the flight the pilot, Hank Norton (John Bryant), co-pilot, Jack Peters (Brad Trumbull), and flight engineer, Ray Houser (Jerry James), notice that the plane is gaining altitude.  When the try to correct it, the plane does not respond.  The plane continues to climb.  They radio air traffic control.  On the ground, authorities have no explanation for what is happening to the plane.  Eventually, the plane rises high enough that the engines stop and communication with the ground is lost.  The plane disappears from radar and is considered lost.  ATC manager, George Manson (Francis De Sales), believes the plane must have crashed but no wreckage can be found.  The plan just disappeared.

On the plane the altimeter continues to rise.  When it reaches ten miles high the crew and passengers begin to pass out from lack of oxygen.  When Tom regains consciousness, he wakes up Marcia.  They notice that the plane is no longer moving.  Everyone appears to be in a state of suspended animation.  In the lounge they find Dr. Morris.  The three scientists realize that their watches have stopped, and their hearts are no longer beating. 

From the fog outside the plane, they are approached by a man who calls himself the Examiner (Gregory Morton).  The examiner tells them that they are in a moment where time is suspended.  Where the future and the present can meet.  He tells them that they are to be put on trial and are being judged by a jury of the future.  Their crime is creating a bomb that could destroy the world and would result in the people from the future never being born.            

“The Flight that Disappeared” was released in 1961 and was directed by Reginald Le Borg.  It is an independent cold war science fiction thriller.  This low budget thriller was produced by a little-known company called Harvard Film Corporation.  As far as I know there has never been a VHS or DVD release of the film.

The movie starts as a regular low budget propaganda type affair that takes a right turn into the Twilight Zone.  With an interesting little twist at the end, it proves to be a rather delightful little film.  It was better than I thought it would be and ended up being an entertaining slice of early sixties political fantasy.