The Twilight Zone

Season 3 Episode 2

The Arrival

Aired Unknown Sep 22, 1961 on CBS

Episode Recap

FAA Inspector Grant Sheckly arrives at a hanger where a DC-3 has been roped off and kept under guard. The DC-3, Flight 107, landed at the airport earlier but nobody was inside. Sheckly meets with the airport staff for a preliminary hearing and insists that he's never failed to solve a case before in 22 years. He talks to the attendants who relate what happened. They call in the dispatcher from Buffalo where the plane departed, who confirms the pilot and co-pilot filed a flight plan and he saw them leave. The names sound familiar to Steckly but he can't place them. He meets with the PR officer, Paul Malloy, who insists that a flight crew and 13 passengers can't disappear in mid-flight.

They go over the plane and one of the attendants, Robbins, notes that the entire thing is... spooky. The press are demanding answers and the head of the airport, Bengston, admits that he hasn't checked the passenger list. Steckly notes that none of the passengers' relatives haven't made inquiries yet, and thinks the names sound familiar. He talks Robbins, who mentioned blue seats earlier. Steckly notes that when he first looked in the plane, the seats were brown. Bengston remembers that the seats were red. Steckly checks the registration number on the tail and has the others read them off. Each person sees different numbers.

Steckly has a theory, but he notes it's dangerous to test. He suggests that they're all suffering from mass hypnotic suggestion and are all seeing the plane differently based on their preconceived notions. To test his theory, he has Robbins start the engines and wheel the plane out of the hanger. Steckly approaches the spinning prop and sticks his hand into it... and the plane disappears. Steckly smiles in satisfaction, and then watches as the airport staff disappear before his eyes.

Panicking, Steckly runs to Bengston's office, but Bengston and Malloy have no memory of him and only know him by name. Steckly sees a newspaper headline confirming that a movie starlet arrived on the DC-3 that morning. Bengston has no memory of a missing Flight 107 that day but remembers that Flight 107 disappeared... 17 years ago. Flight 107 was lost at sea and Steckly was never able to close the case. Steckly begins to break down, insisting that he's never failed to solve a case or find a cause. He stumbles across the airfield, calling out for answers that will never come.