Over the last day or so, the strange disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has evolved from a tragic mystery into something profoundly odd if not creepy. It’s been four days now (the Boeing 777 aircraft took off from Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, heading for Beijing) and nobody has clue #1 what happened except that it disappeared about an hour into the flight. 227 passengers, 12 crew members…engulfed. No clues, no explanations, no bombs, no oil slick…nothing. It seems particularly eerie if you’ve meditated upon two landmark films about inexplicable vanishings — Michelangelo Antonioni‘s L’Avventura (in which a jaded Italian rich girl morphs into thin air on a rocky island off Sicily) and Peter Weir‘s Picnic at Hanging Rock (in which three or four Australian schoolgirls are swallowed by the void during daylight). The essence of the unease that some people are feeling right now, I think, is a hazy notion that there might be some kind of strange dimensional trapdoor or cosmic manhole opening that very randomly erases people and things. Each year and in every corner of the globe there are many, many, many instances of completely unexplained disappearances (I’ve lost hundreds of socks that were seemingly vacuumed up by some kind of space-time continuum wormhole), but never has a massive, electronically connected superjet flown into the void like Rod Serling‘s The Odyssey of Flight 33. Eventually, one presumes, the facts will come out but right now it feels…oddly troubling?