You can not open a version 9 project in version 14. The program is very different and is not backwards compatible. Also, as you've seen, attempting to open a version 9 project in a later version of the program will corrupt the project file and make it usable.
You can try to open one of the version 9 auto-saves -- in VERSION 9, of course! But don't try to do it with version 14.
Start new projects in version 11. Finish older projects in the version they were started in.
I was able to get a backup version that was close to finished. Thankfully!
However, it seems I cannot have both PE 9 and PE 14 on the same computer. Perhaps it will work if I specify which program to open things in, but trying to open PE 9 files when PE 14 was installed only showed up as corrupt. I uninstalled PE 14 and can now open my files in PE 9 again, if they hadn't been opened in PE 14.
I did not have any problem opening PE 9 files in PE 14, except that not all of the effects showed up, so it doesn't work for "reviving" my old files unless I want to put them together almost from scratch.
Not making me an Adobe fan!
There is absolutely no reason you can't have Premiere Elements 9 and 14 on your computer at the same time. For reference sake, I've had versions 7 through 14 all on my computer at the same time.
They are completely separate programs and they do not interfere with each other. (Though I don't know if you can have two versions open at the same time.)
When a company releases a software version it should pretty much be bug free, not with PRE 14. I just bought it this past week thinking it was better than 8. To my surprise it gets to 25% when rendering and crashes everytime. I shouldn't have to have a degree in computer engineering to troubleshoot and re-engineer a product that is supposed run flawlessly out of the box. Granted it was only $80.00 but still that could have gone toward a program that worked properly. Trying to get answers is like pulling teeth, unless you spend hundreds of dollars you can't even find a phone number for tech support. You are not the only person having issues with crashes, I think Adobe released an inferior product, at least in Elements 8 I had a ton of effects, transitions and title templates, 14 has squat. I am totally frustrated with 14 and probably will never buy another Adobe product. I don't know if this helped or if it will even post once the censors read it.
I've been using version 14 for a year now and I've never had so much as a hiccup -- so maybe the problem is with your machine. I've also edited on it a wide variety of video formats, from standard def to high-def, miniDV to AVCHD to GoPro to generic action cam -- all of it without the slightest problem. And that's on two different Windows computers and one Mac.
Regardless, if you contact Adobe or whoever you bought the software from, I'm sure they will arrange a refund.