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Try this: If they’re zombies, then they’re already dead, yet you have to kill them again, in a certain set of ways, or they keep after you. This postulates a viral form of “life” or “lifeforce” on a lower level and perhaps distinct from the one animating them while they were originally alive in a non-zombie way.
In NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, Romero used the tap-dance excuse of a meteor, with the implication of some strange radiation. Okay, then it’s the rads, or the space virus, or infection brought to Earth that animates the corpses, and turns people into shambling, implacable things of hunger.
So it’s the infection, not really the dead bodies, being fought. Zombies are more ANDROMEDA STRAIN than supernatural, thus are science fiction, not horror, albeit usually handled with horror style.
Zombies today are NOT the traditional zombie from Haiti’s cane fields. Those were living people dosed with chemicals to induce a death-like state from which they could be revived. Once revived they lacked any will and were desensitized to physical pain, thus perfect for working long cruel hours as slaves.
Zombies were slaves, originally. Same as the Replicants in BLADE RUNNER, Ridley Scott’s version of PKD’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, a novel much more pointedly satirizing consumerism and where that will lead. Scott made it into a paen to slave revolts, paralleling GLADIATOR and SPARTACUS.
Zombies have changed. Not only from slaves to a plague but from shamblers to runners. In 28 DAYS LATER, Alex Garland gave us fast, feral zombies. Again it was a plague, but the resultant threat was like a zoo’s worst predators unleashed en masse.
Zombies seem to be the threat-du-jour, able to change as society’s anxieties shift. Right now Zombies are Trumpers are Zombies, all are GOP right wing conservative greed, fear, hate cutltsts, and we are besieged by bigotry. Zombies are memes.
Zombies R Us.
/ Art Wester
As to glimpses from windows, when I was 4 and 5, I used to watch what I called The Faeries outside, through my bedroom window, late at night. They’d play and work in our yard then, and often noticed me and tried to get me to come out to “play” with them. Once one came over to press its forehead to the window right in front of me and, as I was doing the same, being unafraid, my mother walked in, saw it, and screamed blue murder. Never mentioned it later, though.
Another time my younger sister and I were playing in that same back yard on an overcast autumnal day when we heard a “hello” from the fringe of woods at the bottom of our orchard. Yes, it was an orchard house. Anyhow, we yelled back and pretty soon this voice was claiming to be a dolphin who wanted to play with us. We kept glimpsing grey skin and big eyes, so we thought it was a dolphin. I was even aware enough to ask if it needed water and it immediately said yes, that’s why it wanted to take us to its pool to have fun, claiming it was warm water, very nice. My younger sister was all for this, but I got wary and backed off, dragging her with me. We went inside and told my mother, who bolted the door and had us play inside the rest of that month.
My youngest son, 26 now, reported seeing what he said was a small elf in our back yard here, leaning up against the base of our oak. I asked if he was sure it wasn’t a squirrel, and he assured me it was not, and, given what I’d experienced, I believed him.
My father, while driving a semi, one morning saw what he said was clearly an elf, complete with green suit of leaves and pointy hat, gamboling along the line of trees as he drove through early morning mist. He said he slowed down and got a good look, then figured maybe he was going crazy. The frolicking elf looked at him, he said, and smiled, then just scampered amazingly fast into the woods and was gone. Very strange. My father, understand, was a pragmatic realist, and when he told me about this he was shy and asked after the story, “So, do you think I’m crazy, or what?” He was genuinely worried. I assured him what he’d seen was actually kinda common.
My childhood and my father’s experience are from W. PA, while my son’s sighting was here in NE. We also saw trolls and gnomes in the Black Forest in Germany on a hike. Scared my wife.
The Phantom Killer:
Unlocking the Mystery of the Texarkana Serial Murders:
The Story of a Town in Terror
by James Presley
Pegasus Crime, 2014, HC 1st Edition
Notes, Bibliography, 8pp bw photo insert
A Review by Gene Stewart
James Presley, Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian, grew up with a personal link to the events covered in this book; his uncle was sheriff in the county where most of the murders took place. He also got to know the investigators, reporters, and many principal witnesses in the case while a teenager, when he was police reporter for the Texarkana Gazette. His Ph.D in history taught him perspective, and it shows throughout this detailed, careful, and well-presented account.
It is of note that a set of slasher-style horror movies have been made using these murders as an excuse. Virtually nothing in the films holds true to life. As Presley makes clear, details blur, memory is replaced by confabulation, and eventually history becomes as much myth as memory. He seeks to set the record straight and to nail down the facts, down to weather on key days, the exact whereabouts of witnesses, and the relative merits of conflicting theories of the crimes.
In the movie, a young girl is tied to a tree and stabbed by a knife affixed to her trombone slide. In real life, she was a talented high school girl who played saxophone in a professional band. Her saxophone was missing when her body was found, and later proved to be an important clue to revealing the murderer, who was, in real life, never tried for the murders due to layers of legal and other considerations arising from jurisdiction and practical concerns.
Texarkana perches on the border between Texas and Arkansas. It has the only courthouse in the country to straddle state borders. Distinct police departments mostly cooperated, but inevitably legal tangles developed.
In this book we hear of depraved relationships, the outright murder of innocents, and the creepy stalking of victims. It is no wonder horror movies grew from such material. Aside from the young musician who never made it home from a gig, we see a farmer shot through a window as he read his evening newspaper. His wife, as she went for the phone, their house being one of the few in the area to have a hook-up at that time, 1949, was shot in her face but not only survived, she got back up and ran out of the house, bleeding profusely. Even more horribly, she ran first to an empty house, then a mile or more farther to family.
Couples parked on a lovers lane were victims, too, the men forced to remove their pants, the women taken into woods to be raped and killed. One teenaged boy, having been shot, managed to crawl a few dozen yards before the killer came back from raping and murdering his girlfriend. The killer killed him as he crawled.
The psychopath doing this had a penchant for stealing cars, too. He’d steal them causally and drive them for hundreds of miles between towns. While one might not characterize him as a spree killer, he was certainly living a life of psychotic abandon, doing what he wanted when, usually with violence. When he needed money he robbed or mugged people. He’d park his girlfriend, who became his wife so she could not testify against him, in movie theaters as he went hunting for victims.
She was with him for some of the kills, too, and many wonder if she did not perhaps participate.
It is a sordid story but Presley’s context, depth, and sobriety throughout keep the book from tabloid excess. His explanations of how the lawmen thought and the lengths to which they went to solve the case are remarkable and inspiring. He knows the facts and presents them in a steady pace that leads the reader through what would otherwise be a murky tale indeed.
Recommended for anyone who likes history, true crime, and police procedurals. Truly a gem of a book of its kind.
/// /// ///
The 37th Parallel
by Ben Menrich
Atria Books, 2016, HC, 1st Edition
260pp, index, bw photos throughout
ISBN: 978-1-5011-3552-1, $26 USD
A Review by Gene Stewart
First some bona fides: Ben Mezrich graduated Harvard summa cum laude and has published 18 books, among them The Accidental Billionaires, which became the movie THE SOCIAL NETWORK, and Bringing Down the House, which became the movie 21.
His usual method is to focus on remarkable people and follow their arc of success, beginning when they were not prominent in their field. This is his approach here, too, although success is swapped out for expertise here. In readable narrative journalism, he presents the story of microchip engineer and sheriff’s deputy Chuck Zukowski.
Zukowski grew up in Las Vegas during the atom bomb tests, back when we were blatantly lied to about how safe radiation is, back before the Las Vegas Strip was much of anything, back when seeing the unannounced mushroom clouds rising after the ground shook was as strong a tourist draw as casino gambling. The explosions had everyone watching the skies but locals, like Chuck, knew there was another sky show going on after hours, when illuminated shapes floated and flitted over bomb test sights in the desert night. This fascinated the teenaged Zukowski, who took his curiosity about what was really going on with those UFOs into his adulthood.
He became a microchip engineer, pursuing his interest in UFOs by investigating sightings and talking to witnesses on his off-time. He became a volunteer sheriff’s deputy in order to get himself out in the field more often, although he was careful never to mix his official duties, or identity as a deputy, with is UFO investigations.
Then one day a rancher called, frightened out of her wits, and he investigated his first, and one of the earliest, animal mutilation cases, in that case a horse. He knew at once the dismissive stance maintained by law enforcement and veterinary science did not begin to address the unusual aspects. Over the years Chuch Zukowski became the go-to guy to such matters and he developed an expertise exceeded by no one. He began taking proper samples in as timely a way as possible to real labs for real work-ups. He began amassing files and compiling a sighting map, from which, eventually, his insight came, and along with it the title for Mezrich’s book about all this.
Compelling cases are recounted, Chuck Zukowski’s story is told, and a puzzle is gradually put together as one reads this excellent book. It is clear, concise, and always to the point, with excellent explanations to keep the reader effortlessly oriented and grounded. This is not a wild-eyed fringe topic book, it is a focused account of one man’s experience investigating such matters and a revealing glimpse of what he has found.
Turns out most mutilations occur along the 37th parallel in tight clusters. It is the center line of a highway between the 36th and 38th parallels of latitude along which mysterious lights, devastating attacks, and appalling remains are found, at times so frequently as to bankrupt ranchers. The predation has been going on for decades and receives only scorn and derision from officials who might help look into the actual causes.
Each explanation proffered, from satanic cults to military data-gathering in the radiation drift zones of bomb tests, fails when all the details are factored. No one explanation suffices, and nothing sensible seems to stick.
Into this maddening outburst of silent violence from unseen forces comes a map with stick-pins in it, marking incidents. It reveals a long-term pattern. It offers an insight of sorts, one no one can yet interpret clearly; the 37th line of latitude is where one finds most of these incidents, globally. Why? How?
Interestingly, there are more military bases along the 37th parallel in the US than anywhere else. It passes through the horizontal middle of the USA. Are these facts related? Did one prompt the other?
Every chapter is rooted in the narrative of personal experience. This makes it read almost like fiction at times, yet it is all well-researched and rooted firmly in accredited fact. Strongly recommended for those new to such topics, and for those who have been following such weirdness for ages.
/// /// ///
NAZI PRINCE & RUDOLF HESS TWICE
Edward’s abdication, allegedly to marry Wallis Simpson, his American lover, was a cover. Seems he was forced out due to his Nazi sympathies.
Some claim Edward was reporting his inspections of French defenses not only to the Brits but to Hitler, too. The utterly perfect attack Hitler orchestrated was the only way Germany could prevail, according to all subsequent historians, even those using computer simulations. This perfection could be achieved only by inside information, the only source of which was Edward, who had Nazi sympathies and no love for France.
In 1940, Churchill became PM and at once changed Edward’s post to Governor of the Bahamas, essentially exiling him out of being able to do further harm. Once a King, the traitor Prince never regained a position of status again, although he was also never prosecuted for outright treason.
Wallis Simpson so hated being relegated to, and kept at the Bahamas that she referred to it as Elba, Napoleon’s isle of exile.
Edward’s brother Prince George, Duke of Kent, was also a blatant Nazi sympathizer, so much so that MI-5 put surveillance on him. He died in a notorious plane crash on a flight aimed on paper at Iceland for war propaganda meets-and-greets, but actually to Sweden, where he would have tried to negotiate the notorious Separate Peace with Nazi Germany and the British Royals. He few with a valise stuffed with Krøner.
In his MI-5 counter-intelligence dossier were frequent, regular contacts with Rudolf Hess.
In 1941, Hess parachuted into Scotland onto the Duke of Hamilton’s estate to negotiate the Separate Peace, probably with Prince George. Arrested at once, Hess was then doubled, to be used in a daring deception. According to no less than Fraser Smith, ’S’, head of MI-6 — original of the James Bond 007’s ‘M’ when Ian Fleming used Menzies in place of Smith — he was personally told to make an exact, perfect copy of Hess’s uniform, recovered in Scotland when Hess was arrested. Although Smith was never told why, he surmised the obvious; a double was to be employed in an espionage gambit, something not uncommon in those days, and perhaps even today.
Three miles from the crash site where Prince George was to die sat a safe house at Loch Moor, where Hess was kept. Many saw him. He lived there openly and was known and recognized by the staff and various locals. One foggy night Prince George showed up and took Hess to a nearby field. They boarded a heavily-burdened British Sunderland, which lumbered into the air form Loch Moor, only to crash almost at once. Only a tail-gunner survived.
Official flight records show a manifest of 15 aboard but 16 were found. Hess was the sixteenth passenger.
To this day, seven decades later, the official records remain sealed. Was it the body double who stood trial at Nuremberg, or did the double die in the crash? Certainly the other high-ranking Nazis at Nuremberg who knew Hess did not evoke surprise or deny it was Hess among them. Could a double pull that off? Were they such narcissists that they simply didn’t notice?
Years later, after Albert Speer had been released and Rudolf Hess was the sole prisoner in Spandau Prison, a Scottish doctor was brought in to examine him. He found a healthy old man. What he did not find were large scars the real Hess had received when wounded in the war. Other small details were off, too. The doctor went away convinced the man in Spandau was not Hess, and wrote a book about it, which was scoffed into oblivion.
Meanwhile, as had been the practiced instituted all along, Hess was permitted to write but at the end of each week his cell and person were searched, all existing writing was collected, and the writing was then burned unread. Nothing would ever survive or get out, was the imposed sentence.
Prisoner Number Seven was murdered by an American ‘guard’ by being strangled, and soon after Spandau was demolished.
On Prisoner Number Seven’s tombstone, who ever he was, is a simple epigram: IT WAS WORTH IT.
But what was worth such a vicious sacrifice?
The House of Windsor is a dark set of vile criminals hiding layers of egregious crimes, it seems. Of such dark suspicions it must be said that we can’t prove them in a court of law, but whose courts are they anyway? Certainly not the people’s. We must think for ourselves.
UFO ATTACK & SUPPRESSION OF FACTS
Dechmont Woods, near Livingstone in Scotland, 1979: Robert Taylor, a woodsman, was hurt by two spiked spheres that emerged, he said, from a hovering UFO. They rolled at him at high speed, struck him in the legs, and knocked him down and out. He came to later, bleeding, pants torn.
Police photographs of the site show indicative ground marks supporting his story. His torn trousers still exist. This is the only known case in the UK of police investigating a case of a UFO injuring someone.
When the UK dumped its UFO files into public domain, Robert Taylor’s case was not among them. A lost file? Quite a coincidence if they lost such a unique case, rather than any of a blizzard of more average cases. Did someone pluck it from the flood, preserve or destroy it? It is obvious the public is being lied to but not obvious why.
From redacted files released reluctantly under FOIA requests to ‘missing’ files to outrageous prices demanded to search for specific files to intimidation by threats of prosecution or violence to visits by robotic, scary MIB, the surly attitude about showing the public what is in military and government files regarding UFOs is puzzling. If there’s nothing to it, as we are constantly assured by know-everything scoffers and debunkers willing to lie and cheat, then why the hinky responses?
Intimidating witnesses out of talking about what they saw, when they don’t know what they saw, and have no context for it, makes little sense. It could be that this bullying is part of a disinformation campaign, but if so the program has lasted longer than most known military or government projects.
Calvine, north of Pitlochry, Scotland, was the sight of an astounding dual witness event that included a spectacular photograph of a large UFO. Several pictures, in fact, but oh that one, so clear and so precise, a lucky shot by a skilled photographer used to shooting pictures of nature in motion, in flux.
Excited, they took the negative to the Daily Record. The hikers described a diamond-shaped craft looking huge, that hovered at first, then moved slowly, then took off at jet speeds, vanishing behind nearby hills.
Nervous about possibly being hoaxed, the newspaper sent the material on to be checked.
MoD’s DIS, akin to America’s NRO, checked the photographic negative, declaring the large diamond shape in the foreground with a military-style jet, smaller due to distance, in the background, to be legitimate, not faked or doctored. “It’s not American or Russian and that leaves only…” And the officer reporting pointed up.
The photograph was at first celebrated in the MoD’s UFO group. Nick Pope even had up a poster of it in his small office until one day an officer came in, tore down the poster, took all copies of the picture, and walked out. All negatives were seized, all reports and analysis recovered. All of it was deep sixed.
Even the Daily Record newspaper, where the hikers had taken their pictures initially — it was the newspaper who’d had DIS check them for authenticity before publishing — now denied having seen such images. They were cooperating with a cover-up initiated from above.
What might have been the best image of a UFO ever was expunged.
The inclusion of the military jet in the UFO’s background hinted to some that perhaps what those hikers had seen and photographed had been an early stealth surveillance platform, perhaps a semi-rigid or inflatable. It had been rumored for years that such craft exist, able to move at jet speeds, then to hover when necessary to gather surveillance data by extending and inflating segments full of lighter-than-air gas, likely helium.
If that is what they saw and documented, then those hikers were in danger of spilling highly-classified beans and were lucky not to have vanished along with their photographs.
Then again, maybe what they saw was actually confirmation of the ETH. We may never know.
JONBENéT & OTHER IMPONDERABLES
It begins to seem the JonBenét Ramsey case remains unsolved to cover either full-on incompetence on the investigators’ parts or perhaps a high-end VIP pedophile ring operating in Boulder, CO at that time.
Remember that John Gosch, kidnaped from Iowa, was reportedly sold to a rich pedophile, a retired Colonel, who lived in Colorado. Was this Colonel in Boulder? Was it one of his confederates? The Gosch case led reporters to the Boys Town link in Omaha Nebraska, where a criminal named only Emilio was, it was said, trafficking in kidnapped children, mostly boys, in a high-end VIP pedophile ring that was nationwide and reached high up into the nation’s rich and influential citizenry.
As with the Jeff Gannon case, another kidnap leading to human trafficking, sex slavery, and eventually into both Bush White Houses. For a single day only the Washington Post featured a shocking front page detailing a pedophile ring that was linked directly into the White House, but next day it was as if the story had never happened, and all attempts to report it since have been repressed. Jeff Gannon not only visited George H. W. Bush’s White House as a kid, repeatedly, but later showed up pretending to be a reporter at George W. Bush’s White House.
Gannon was noticed when other reporters saw in the White House guest log that he’d sign in but not sign out. He was spending nights inside the People’s Mansion. Digging into his credentials, they found links to a porn site Gannon maintained, featuring himself as a gay porn model. Digging deeper indicated he was actually a child who’d vanished back in Daddy Bush’s time frame. All this was briefly reported, then repressed.
Remember W’s penchant for patting and rubbing and kissing bald men’s heads? Gannon’s head was shaven. His specialty was USMC male-on-male porn.
These crimes, along with the Black Dahlia, the Cleveland Torso Murders, Jack the Ripper, and so many others remain unsolved because no one in power wants them solved.
Consider Jack the Ripper, who killed at least five women with increasingly horrific violence in 1888 in the Whitechapel area of East London, England. Many claim the Royals quashed it, or other VIPs. They cite the possibility that the then newly-created police department knew the Ripper was one of their own. To admit that would sink them. The weakness of this argument is that no patsy was lynched to close the case quickly. This hints that they could not control the killer.
On the other hand, the investigation, conducted by tremendous pressure to solve by both the top brass and royals as well as the terrified populace, which threatened to riot, and did so in small scale at various places, was cut short without announcing a culprit being caught. Puzzling action, that.
A plethora of suspects keeps a cottage industry going to this day. Speculating on the ‘correct’ solution to this or that unsolved crime is one of the oldest ploys of publishers to keep their pots boiling. Penny dreadfuls pay more than pennies.
Look at the OJ Simpson case. Technically, no one was ever convicted of the murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, so seething families sued in civil court to recoup trial costs and to prevent Simpson from benefitting in any way from the crimes. In civil court, with lower standards to meet, they won handily, although Simpson successfully hid his money and has never paid the family of Ron Goldman.
Even though OJ is in prison today for attempted armed robbery and theft, assault with a deadly weapon, and so on, in the Las Vegas hotel when he and thug friends tried to steal back property he’d lost via the courts, it’s not the same as a murder conviction. Morally, the surviving family members were cheated of justice by prosecutorial incompetence, a judge, Lance Ito, who let things become a circus and played up to it, and by a jury steeply biased against the LAPD, with whom citizens have had a hate-hate relationship since DRAGNET’s slap-happy propaganda.
Currently a leading DNA scientist, referring to the JonBenét Ramsey case, stated that DNA evidence does not itself suffice to rule out anyone, particularly since the advent of Touch DNA Analysis, which can identify infinitesimal traces on objects. Trouble is, without comparison samples, one cannot identify a given DNA sample, either, although apparently sex can be determined, and other metabolic details.
A junkyard owner and mechanic, Michael Helgoth, along with his partner, are thought by some to be JonBenét Ramsey’s killers. Helgoth in particular had stated before the murder that he and his partner would receive about $120,000 soon. Remember that the amount on the rambling three-page ransom note, mostly taken from movies and TV shows, mentions $118,000, the amount the victim’s father, John Ramsey, had received as a Yule bonus that year. Further, Helgoth was a known sadistic psychopath who twisted the heads off kittens and puppies for fun. He was heard often saying he wanted to crack a human skull to see what it felt like. JonBenét’s skull was cracked by a vicious blow, rendering her instantly unconscious, but only after she’d struggled, and marked herself in doing so with her fingernails, to loosen the ligature from her neck, which strangled her. This was textbook sexual sadist torture.
Helgoth fits the bill.
Trouble is, the Boulder Police insist it was John & Patsy Ramsey, her parents, and the DA, who won’t charge prominent citizens, ignored a Grand Jury finding saying to charge them. Mess of a case, with the intruder theory excluded by the Boulder Police, and the physical evidence shouting it had to have been an intruder.
Stalemate, stasis, and the fruits of stubborn political posturing are the results.
Due to salacious photographs and videos from so-called child beauty pageants, a sick demimonde sure to draw the rapt attention of pedophiles, a stench of exploitation drenches the Ramsey case. One side insists JonBenét’s six-year-old vagina shows definite signs of routine sexual abuse, while her own pediatrician and a host of other doctors scoff, pointing out how common diaper rash is, especially in anxious children like her who wet their bed well past an age when they should have ceased. Remember, with a stage mother living out surrogate success through her six-year-old daughter, JonBenét had been pressured to seem adult, to behave in ways that disgust most who see them. The lead detective, the first time he saw pictures of the victim in pageant mode, thought a mistake had been made. He thought the girl in the pictures had to be at least 14 going on 21.
A cold-case re-examination of the case from the ground up has been conducted by at least two groups of retired experts. Dr. Laura Richards, New Scotland Yard forensic scientist, led an illustrious team that included Dr. Henry Lee, (no Light Horse jokes), which eliminated the intruder theory by reinterpreting the DNA analysis. This is because they got DNA from new, untouched underwear straight out of the packaging; perhaps a factory worker in Hong Kong coughed or someone’s hand brushed against it, or they were hand-folded or packaged. That suffices.
They concluded that the two samples, one found on JonBenét’s underwear, the other on her jumper, did not necessarily indicate an intruder.
Directly contradicting that, the other group, from another ground-up re-examination, asserted that, due to both samples matching, it was astronomical odds against them being from random sources. Had to be an intruder, and almost certainly the killer, they stated.
Can Helgoth’s DNA be tested to see if it matches these two matching samples? So far, nothing. Boulder Police won’t do it, and he won’t cooperate whatsoever with outside investigators.
The female Boulder Police detective who’d been left in charge of the crime scene alone, after the Ramseys had filled the house with random ‘friends’ who milled around and even cleaned things up — destroyed possible evidence — stated flatly that the DA, Alex Hunter, had no interest in solving a case against a rich Boulder citizen and would lie or fake a case to avoid it.
How’s that for blunt?
By the way, Dr. Laura Richardson of New Scotland Yard intends to re-examine the Amanda Knox case for a TV documentary, too. That should become acrimonious fast. They even got Knox on an ad saying, “Either I’m a psychopath and I killed, or I’m you.” Good promo. That crazy Italian judge obsessed with Amanda Knox will go nuts again.
Back to the Ramsey case: The lead male detective quit, leaving a condemnatory letter of resignation blaming the DA’s obstinance, saying the DA fought the PD every inch of the way. Was DA Alex Hunter a social climber? Protecting someone? Himself? Did he know at least a little where the can of worms would go once opened?
Was he part of the Rich People Dirty Fun Club that might still exist? Was there an upper crust Hellfire Club going on involving the Ramseys?
Many point at the children’s beauty pageant scene as evidence the Ramseys might have been into kink of some darker kind.
Alex Hunter was the questionable DA throughout who kept talking politics. He kept bringing up the need to fog things despite a grand jury voting to indict the parents. It’s the equivalent of Big Tobacco bribing Congress to keep saying, “It needs more study,” rather than admit smoking’s dangers. Hunter alone declined to prosecute once the grand jury handed him its verdict, and in Colorado, members of a grand jury are sworn to secrecy in perpetuity unless a judge specifically demands they speak about their deliberations. So he knew he was covered on that angle, and his statement to the media made it seem as if no one could come to a decision. Hunter hid behind the law to thwart its processes. Downright Nixonian in some ways.
Recently, when a British investigative journalist cold-called Hunter to ask for an interview, the initial response was that Hunter hung up on him. An immediate call-back brought dissembling, with a mumbled refusal to speak of it ‘unless ordered to by a judge’. As if he were being a stickler for the letter of the law, rather than hiding behind it from reluctance to explain his actions.
It gets worse. When Lou Smit, a Homicide Detective from Colorado Springs, was brought in to assist the investigation, he immediately went to the intruder theory and, worse for the Boulder viewpoint, proved it was quite feasible by lifting the grate and slipping through the basement window, something the Boulder cops had said could not be done by a grown man. Smit was slender but well over six feet tall.
Eventually, Smit, saying the case was ‘poisoned from above’, left the investigation but, for the rest of his life, continuing to work it unofficially. Without investigative powers, he was still able to come up with 50 suspects, many of whom had never been interviewed, let alone cleared.
Among these was Helgoth.
When he left, Michael Kane, Special Prosecutor assigned to take the case to the grand jury, filed an injunction — under DA Alex Hunter’s name, interestingly — to seize and destroy all of Smit’s files and evidence.
This was so unprecedented Smit went to his own DA, Bob Russell, in Colorado Springs, who was appalled. Grand juries are supposed to be presented with all the evidence gathered so it can come up with a fair and well-informed finding. Smit’s evidence strongly contradicted DA Hunter’s favored theory that the Ramseys had killed their daughter, but to seek to suppress evidence at the very least bordered on malfeasance or a crime. It was prosecutorial misconduct, Russell declared.
An alliance of Colorado Springs judges and lawyers legally forced Smit’s evidence to be included but it was severely limited and downplayed, with 90% or more of the case presented favoring the Ramsey theory.
Boulder Police officials and the DA’s office, Alex Hunter’s office, insisted it was the Ramseys and refused to consider anything else. This means evidence was at least of secondary importance to their thinking. They saw dissent as treachery.
This is common, academic criminologists tell us. Pressure from above channels investigations. Confirmation bias and other logical fallacies kick in and are quickly made the only acceptable views.
For the most part, the media adopted DA Hunter’s narrative and the public loved it. It froze that way by dint of repetition.
More evidence everything about America is broken now. Murka rules. Nothing but murk.
The unknown male DNA sample is now registered in CODIS and could one day in theory kick up a name if that same person turns up in the system in another case of rape or murder.
State-of-the-art DNA analysis of this code indicates a Hispanic donor. In Colorado that’s not rare, of course, but it could be used to eliminate suspects. Some very few of us continue to refine what facts to be extracted from minute samples of evidence, so hope remains. How it taunts.
If the Boulder Police could be arsed to clear Smit’s list, they might actually solve the case. Instead, they continue to insist it was the parents, and that’s a hollow claim.
That narrative won’t go away, though.
So, in the CBS documentary, Richards’s team concluded that Burke, the son — who apparently had something of a history of violent temper and of resenting the attention his sister got, including once hitting her in the head with a golf club — had struck JonBenét in fury when she snatched a piece of pineapple from his bowl. He cracked her skull.
Patsy, a witness, panicked and called John downstairs to the kitchen, where he took charge, sending Burke to bed with instructions that he’d seen nothing, knew nothing, due to being asleep. He then carried his little girl down into the basement and staged the scene to make it look as if she’d been brutally attacked, making a garrote and using it on her bleeding, struggling body.
No doubt you’re balking now. So did the other set of investigators. With a family that exhibited no signs whatsoever of such brutality, this is starkly out-of-character and unlikely.
Back to the intruder theory.
It should also be said that autopsy photographs were shown in one TV documentary. Clearly visible were the half-moon marks her fingernails made as she tried to loosen the garrote. This preceded the skull-cracking blow to the head; she was tortured. The kind of person who does this is known, and neither the father nor the brother was this kind, and certainly not her flighty, somewhat helpless mother.
Lou Smit had been chosen from 20 candidates as the best homicide detective to put on the case, given his 90% rate of success in 200 cases, and his experience in investigation. He was careful and thorough, empirical and logical. Emotion did not sway him.
Smit’s analysis was persuasive. Trouble was, it contradicted both the DA’s preferred interpretation and the grand jury’s findings. That got him hated by the DA and segments of the Boulder Police. Others concurred with his analysis but could do nothing. A few have spoken out in the years since saying they supported Smit’s view.
So, dueling interpretations of the same science; how can that be? Sad truth is, Science is broken too these days, along with politics, food, the environment… all gutted by capitalism, by money, by bribery, by vested interests and greed. You can now buy not only stuff but justice and even what ever allegedly validated and scientific view or result you want.
By the way, Stuart Hamilton, leading British Police Forensic Examiner, says those marks found on JonBenét’s skin are certainly from a stun gun, not from the pins of a toy train track, which seem to fit the spacing but do not account for the burn marks from ‘wandering sparks’ when a stun gun’s diode does not make firm contact with the skin. There goes the Burke interpretation.
JonBenét’s pediatrician, who treated her for vaginitis, said there was no sign whatsoever of prior sexual activity or abuse. Such an inflammation as he saw is common, and she was known to have wet the bed at regular intervals, prompting a low-grade irritation.
Her body contradicts the pedophilia theories.
I found it strange that the investigators in several of the documentaries I watched for this admittedly-amateurish and random article were British. Do Yanks not bother with investigative journalism or documentaries anymore? Given the repression stateside, it wouldn’t surprise me if they simply can’t anymore.
JonBenét Ramsay died in 1996 a day after Christmas. She was six years old. What ever else this was, it was tragic.
John Ramsey lost his high tech company and fortune. He works at a small air cargo company now, having once been a USAF pilot.
Patsy Ramsey beat cancer once but succumbed to it in 2006.
Notes on Sources*
*cited, sifted, and synthesized: THE KILLING OF JONBENéT: THE TRUTH UNCOVERED, ID Channel documentary; Dr. Laura Richards’s Re-Investigation of the JonBenét Ramsey Murder Case; THE CASE OF JONBENéT, a CBS documentary, which has sparked a lawsuit from lawyers representing their own interests in the name of Burke Ramsey, whom the documentary blamed for the death; various other documentaries, online and on TV, cable and network both, and many articles and books.
Anxiety is fuel, a great motivator.
The advantages of disadvantage are many but death is always a pressure.
Tax Players and Sax Payers
SHIVA LINGAMS & OTHER NAUGHTY THINGS
Dated to about 2000 BCE, Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion scam. Or: The oldest surviving account of EBEs. Depends how you see it. The Hindus consider their holy writings ‘history’,not myth. Their ‘gods’ are ‘sky people’. No divinity is needed.
The stories sure read like accounts of witnessed ET visitation. Shiva, for example, was the boss. He ruled them, deciding what to nurture, or destroy.
For destroying mode, Shiva’s third eye opened to emit a laser-like beam that blasted anything it lit upon. Risky stuff.
One day, in a Trump moment, Brahma argued with Shiva over which was greater. Shiva won in the unblinking of an eye, as it were.
Also in the old accounts are great descriptions not only of laser or particle beams but of nuclear blasts. When exactly any of this took place, if any really did, is not known because although Hindu texts date to 2000 BCE, they are said to be much older, rooted in oral tradition.
Shiva may have preceded current man. He may have used the Great Flood to destroy the inferior creatures to make way for us. ‘Experimental’ may be our label. Maybe Shiva is the answer to Charles Fort’s assertion: “We’re property.”
All across India, Tibet, and parts of China one finds what are called Lingam Stones or Shiva Lingam. They represent Shiva’s generative powers. Water is poured over the central phallic pillar, which runs down into a bulbous U-shaped trough to be channeled out at one end.
The upright stone is the lingam, which means pillar, a euphemism for an erect penis, while the bowl is a yoni, or vulva, vagina, and womb. Lingam is cock, yoni is cunt. This symbolism crosses cultural lines all around the world, from the Irish Gaelic spirals and mounds, into which sunlight pierces but once a year, to the symbols of America’s First Nation tribes, one of which is actually called the Yuni.
Another interpretation of the lingam stones is that they symbolize a nuclear power plant, complete with a reactor core and cooling tower. No one said the Ancient Alien theories could not be wild.
However, many archaeological sites around the world remain inexplicable.
There is a Kailasa Temple in India, 1000+ years old, and it’s carved elaborately out of solid rock. It’s not the only one, there is Petra and the Temple of the Rock in Ethiopia and so on, but it’s the one we shall look at briefly. Over 400,000 tons of rock had to be removed. Accounts claim that it was build in 18 years, not necessarily unbelievable considering the Great Pyramid of Cheops at Giza only took 20 years.
Trouble is, that would require 5000 tons of rock being removed every 24 hours. It’s impossible even today. Estimates of how long it would take us to carve it using ancient tools are about a century, if we could do it at all.
Then there is supposedly a vast underground city beneath this Kailasa Temple. Yikes. We’d love to see that city but politics and idiocy keep the few gates locked and guarded.
In 1876 Emma Hardinge Britten published Ghost Land, or, Researches Into the Mysteries of Occultism, An Illustrated Series of Autobiographical Sketches in Two Parts. Great title, eh? She wrote of tunnels and a city beneath the Augaura Caves, where the Kailasa Temple stands. She asserted that a cabal of mystics lived there when she visited.
Juicy stuff; perhaps a Western witness, or maybe the confabulations of a Blavatsky wanna-be.
Except it seems it was all true, to scholars today. The witness Britten cites she named Ellora, who saw illuminated, elaborately-carved cavern rooms. He witnessed a flickering image of a man projected large on a flat stone. He saw a majestic man who spoke from a hovering stone throne held aloft by light. Yikes again.
Underground cities are common around the world, leading some archaeologists to postulate there was a compelling reason to duck & cover — certainly not a flood, which would have flooded down into them, but perhaps terrible storms, terrible heat, strange atmospheric disturbances such as meteorite showers, or just plain wars. Physical evidence is as scarce as a written record.
Then there is Sage Agastya, who wrote, in his work Agastya Samhita, how to harness electricity — 4000 years ago. He is considered in Hinduism the first sidha, which is the equivalent of a saint in western traditions. An enlightened person who has not become a bodhisattva, which is a person who, freed from the Karmic wheel, chooses to stay on Earth to help all sentient beings achieve enlightenment. The Sidha are the sages, the mages, the perfected or accomplished ones. Masters of creation, they are able to change scales, (become huge or tiny), levitate, teleport, and so forth.
Superheroes, in other words.
The Secret Cultural History is what Sage Agastya wrote down. He claimed he was trained by sky people, (ETI?), or sometimes by Shiva. In his text he described how to make a dry cell battery. Why would they need one 4000 years ago? Perhaps to create special effects to dazzle the rubes, thus gaining priests power.
He described many other devices too but his battery design was built and tested today and found to produce enough power to life 200 pounds, if fed into properly-geared machines. It could be used to electroplate, as well. Many ancient objects long considered solid gold have recently been found to be merely electroplated. Remember the Baghdad battery, which was either destroyed or stolen during the Cheney Junta’s fake war to steal Iraq’s oil. It was able to electroplate, as tests proved, although its design was much smaller and less powerful than Sage Agastya’s.
Aside from Kailasa Temple, there is Munt Kailash in Western Tibet, a 22,000 foot peak that stands out from surrounding mountains. From one aspect it is conical, from the opposite side it looks pyramidal, and it is said to be Shiva’s home. It is sacred to the four major religions centered or focused there: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Taoism. Billions of people revere this place.
A Russian archaeologist, Dr. Ernst Muldashev, spent a month investigating Mt. Coolish in 1999 with a crew of scientists. He says the peak is actually a man-made pyramid. He wrote Where Do We Come From? so he may be in with the ETH crowd. From the one side it certainly looks like a constructed pyramid, and he claims to have climbed up and found out.
China of course forbids climbing it. Fascism is idiocy, thuggery, and bullying, never open to facts or to finding them. Fact threatens both to prompt thought among their captive populations of slaves and makes their tower of lies for control wobbly, so fascists hate fact.
Hello GOP, America’s taliban. Teabaggers, Trumpers, delusionists all.
Pilgrims climb toward the peak annually. Many claim to age faster while there. They cite a ‘weird energy’. Always with the weird energy yap. Some wonder if it’s radioactive but one Geiger counter would answer that question, so I doubt it. Further, radiation doesn’t make you age faster, it fucking kills you. Unless you’re Spider Man or the Fantastic Four, of course.
Mt. Meru, the Stairway to Heaven, sacred mountain mentioned in Buddhism, is thought to be Mt. Coolish, as supposedly confirmed by diagrams found hidden in caverns 600 miles north of the mountain. The diagram was found amidst stashed Buddhist texts, hidden from what ever Chinese pogrom was going on at the time.
The diagram does resemble Mr. Kailash but also resembles, many say, the stacks of a modern particle accelerator.
With all the loose talk of ancient nuclear power and war, found in the oldest texts in Sanskrit, the Mahabharata and Baghavad-Gita, it may be natural that some wonder if Mt. Kailash might be hollow and, further, house dangerous nuclear machines, weapons, or waste.
A modern study of ways to keep people away from buried nuclear waste sites over long periods, when language, culture, and history inevitably boils off and changes, came up with the single best way to ensure long-term delivery of a warning: Make it superstitiously taboo using religion. Perhaps Mt. Kailash is such a place and the aura around it such a ploy, to keep us safe in our ignorance.
In 1927 Nicholas Roerich, famous philosopher, psychologist, and another Russian, saw a UFO in the Himalayas at or near Mt. Kailash. Shades of the UFO sightings around Mt. Shasta in California, and at other sacred mountain sites, such as on Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. Such glimpses are common, but uncommon is the witness being a Nobel Prize nominee, as Roerich was. He was a serious person taken seriously by society, hard to dismiss.
Were UFOs, or craft, or lights seen entering, exiting, and zooming around Mt. Kailash what prompted talk of Shiva, with his Third Eye death ray and abilities to rival Super Duper Man? Shiva, it is speculated, may on the linguistic and mythological levels, represent pure energy, some scholars assert. Hence J. Robert Oppenheimer, upon witnessing the Trinity Test, first explosion of an atomic weapon (in modern times?), muttering the Shiva quotation from the Baghavad-Gita, “For lo, I have become death, the shatterer of worlds.”
That is Shiva’s title, you see. The Shatterer of Worlds.
MEGALITHS IN MICRONESIA
Gunung Panang in Western Java has thousands of fallen basalt stones that had once been a megalithic structure. It is the remains of the oldest known step pyramid. It is 20,000 years old or more.
Java was not an island when it was built. It was at the southern tip of Sundaland, as we call it, a place that sank as the oceans rose after the last ice age, which ended about 12,000 years ago. Ice age melt flooded many such places. It created the Indonesian Islands and much evidence hints that advanced cultures sank, lost to our current history.
Once again we find megaliths from pre Ice Age times hinting at a global trade, if not a global civilization. Gobekli Tepi in Turkey is perhaps as old as Gunung Panang, despite the distance, and is much better preserved, because it was buried on purpose. Why anyone built an elaborately-carved, beautiful city, then buried it immediately, is unknown, but it happened.
Was it an attempt to preserve testimony of a global culture that was even then dying?
Gobekli Tepi features columns carved with anatomically-correct animals from all over the world, many long extinct. This is both inexplicable but undeniable.
In Uriel’s Machine by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas it is postulated that megalithic stone circles such as Stonehenge, which are found all around the world, served as encoded knowledge to preserve basics of culture so the survivors of a known, coming extinction event could reconstruct the civilization, beginning with agriculture, reading the skies and stars, and predicting, thus controlling, seasons for growing and storing.
Might Gobekli Tepi have been intended as a kind of library of specifics for us, once we discovered it anew? It is akin to placing the monolith on the Moon, so it would respond to us and signal the ETI only once we reached the Moon to disturb it, (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, released 2 April 1968). Only a small fraction of Gobekli Tepi, discovered by a farmer digging in his field, has been excavated. What wonders will it reveal? What terrors?
To date, 130+ pyramids have been found in Egypt. It is estimated that’s only about a third of what’s there. Satellite imaging helps locate good places to look for more.
South of Giza in the Saqqara area, is a pyramid rain revealed to a sat cam. The water sank into the sand around it, leaving the central pyramid showing lighter to satellite scans. The team that found this one has found 17 other indicative sites to investigate, but politics and cultural bigotry in Egypt, as in China and so many other places, prevents any digging or other on-site probing.
Hugh Newman wrote Earth Grids to explain his reasoning why so many pyramids crop up worldwide. It’s a power grid theory, akin to ley lines from the 1970s, postulated lines, or grids, of that ‘weird energy’ again. It’s all tantalizingly just beyond empiricism’s grasp but sells cottage industry rhetorical question-based books and TV documentaries.
Even this rambling essay, or assay perhaps, of such a diverse set of subjects falls under their Rhetorical Speculative Questions rubric. It’s as if no one expects answers or wants them because they’re enjoying the questions and wild speculations too much. It’s a form of science fiction, folks. Nothing more or less.
KING STEPHEN AND THE FORTY THIEVES
One day closer to death, as the ever-cheerful Roger Waters wrote. He’s under-rated. Many are. Even the praised.
Stephen King for example: detested by academics for decades because his work was popular. They categorically think popular means crass, degraded, and of LCD quality. Fat part of the Bell curve, nothing special, mediocrity to be passed over in favor of some devious outlier for whose work a prepared audience of very few waits in fidgety impatience. Ahem.
If it’s popular it can’t be good, is the refrain. Even a superficial examination of both what’s popular in fiction and what’s considered good fiction by academics and self-styled award givers shows this to be a ridiculous assertion.
Lately King has fared better. Old guard bitter academics croak and younger snobs take their places. Some of these actually read King’s work and realize it’s got merit in spades and clubs. They’re awakened to his excellences even unto granting him a National Book Award for lifetime achievement, much to Prof. Harold Bloom’s dyspepsia. The New Yorker, of all things, accepted first a baseball piece from King, then some of his short fiction. Stephen King in the NYer?
Yet still the bulk of what’s good in his work is missed because most academics are not fans who genuinely enjoy reading, they’re martinets who wish to be arbiters of taste, they’re prigs who wish to impose standards, and they’re fakes hoping to gain tenure before anyone notices how empty they are.
Harold Bloom clings to hate. He’s 86 and unlikely to change for the better in any way. He refuses to see King’s work as anything but pulp shit. He’s said as much, and groused openly, even dissented in an open letter, when King got the National Book Award. Declared the death of literature and so forth. As THE SIMPSONS once put it, Old Man Yells At Cloud.
Yet John D. MacDonald, writer of mystery thrillers called pulp but of genuine merit, spotted the literary excellence of Stephen King’s work early on. He wrote of a brief scene in ‘Salem’s Lot that King had a traveling salesman slouch into a diner and place his worn valise at his feat ‘like a faithful old dog’. He cited that image, praising it as a sign of a real writer. “I find that neat,” he wrote, meaning it was concise, it was exactly enough, and it was not showy.
Harold Bloom of course dismisses MacDonald as a pulp hack, too, while Dean Koontz, another writer brushed aside by the Bloomers, was a desperate admirer of John D.’s work and would have killed to get such notice from that particular master of contemporary crime and action novels.
Many reading this will have little to no idea who John D. MacDonald was, or what his work remains. Go find and read his books. Seriously.
“Death” – the last word in style.
“Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.” It’s a Spanish proverb. They advocate being a psychopath, in short. The French would opt for a crime of passion, I’m sure.
All the people mentioned will die, sure. Best revenge for a writer is to have the work live on, to be read and enjoyed, talked about, analyzed, and copied. Influence and relevance stem from serious thematic content. Focus on human issues and humans will always find it compelling.
Write down what the people in your head say and do, and a little of what it means if you can figure it out. That is all it takes.
That and remaining true to yourself.
Some Random Creepy Autobiographical Stuff:
Small taters but true: I was in the kitchen preparing the post-pills snack I’m supposed to have. The floor was clear. I know this because I’d dropped a fork. Went into the living room to eat, realized I’d forgotten my water. Went back into the kitchen. In the middle of the floor lay a guitar pick. It was a thick, the kind you’d play bass with. No one had been in the kitchen in that moment I’d stepped out, and I did not recognize the brand of pick. Oddly, I’d found a green one, same brand, a thin, for strumming, on the floor of my office and had thought nothing of it. It did not match my own picks, but I had given it no thought at the time, being busy. Now I compared: Same brand. Not mine.
Are apports a new advertising gimmick?
My maternal grandmother knew I love books and gave me a very old Bible she’d found at an Amish jumble sale. Very early 1800s imprint, heavy, partly falling from its binding. I put it on a shelf at right angles to a window. From the moment I got it onward I’d hear a sustained shrieking sound, screaming, as if in my head. It would wake me at night and the first thing I’d see when I woke in the night was moonlight illuminating that particular book. That and the noise it made, in my head, caused me to give it back a week or so later. Hated it, couldn’t stand it. She smiled and said, “That’s what I felt, too,” and she got rid of it somehow.
We were teenagers determined to explore an abandoned farmhouse, sure we’d find ghosts. We went in about an hour before dusk. It was mostly just delapidated. Mold and falling through rotting floor-boards were the main threats. We found evidence of squatters, even a place where the idiots had built a small campfire on the floor of an upstairs bedroom .
Nothing was bad until we went back to the ground floor. We were standing in the kitchen when a wild, rapid knocking came on the cellar door. We all froze, shocked, until my friend Dan strode forward, threw open the door, and charged down the cellar stairs.
Turned out to have been a bird. The puzzle of a bird trapped in a basement was solved when we all went down and found one of the walls had crumbled, showing open sky. It was a large enough gap for us to climb out of, had there been need.
Back in the kitchen, we rallied and were about to dare each other to stay the night when a voice said, “Leave.” We looked around in the fading light, wondering which of us had said it. We all looked freaked out. Then it came again. “Leave. Now.”
We heard it in our midst, clear and low, like an adult male trying to keep his temper.
Naturally, we bravely ran like scattered chickens. As I bounded off the back porch and angled for the woods, I noticed the headlights of a truck bouncing along coming across the fields toward us. It was the owner, and had we lingered even a few more minutes we’d have been caught. Trespassing would have been the charge, or possibly vandalism if they chose to blame us for some of the damage we’d found already there.
Later some figured the voice was imagined, others said it was possibly a squatter we hadn’t noticed, hiding somewhere, wanting us gone. The voice, though, had seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere, and felt as if it were right next to all of us.
Ghost? Ghost story? Either way, it was a creepy old farmhouse.
/ Art Wester
I’ve been dead. Flatlined. Was talking to a med tech at the time. Doctors had slammed too much morphine into me in ICU. They dived over my legs to reach the machine, and I broke a cold sweat. The monitors all flatlined and howled for about a minute, until they got things back. I kept talking to the med tech. Afterwards, they asked me if I’d felt anything. Just the cold sweat. Never blacked out. Unless I did and don’t know it. They claimed not.
Oh what a tangled plate we serve
When the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Makes us swerve.
The fault lies not in ourselves, but in our pasta.
/ Frater Puttanesca
Genuine writers cannot tolerate bad writing. As Tom Waits said, “The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.”
/ Art Wester
Not in specifics, but in the patterns, and rhythms, and clusters, cattle mutilation parallels the Missing 411 cases of mysterious disappearances in National Forests and wilderness areas.
Coincidence and three-quarters if they’re not connected in some way, if not directly.
Yes, I’m aware where this line of thinking may lead. Once again, the ETH, which may be Earthly but transdimensional or something.
Yeah, frustrating to be led so consistently away from the empirical, which strikes one as disinformation, until you see how many such events happen, how wide-spread, and how they are rooted in history. Unlikely to be a single human agency or group of mercenaries or troops. Too seamless; never a mistake? Over decades? Thousands of instances?
Anyhow, just struck me that mutes and vanishings may be linked, how or why or in what way is anyone’s guess. Empirical evidence would be greatly welcome.
So we are now limited to writing only what we know, not what we can find out. All hail the death of creativity, smothered by the terrorism of political correctness and cultural bigotry.
Burn your copies of Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, and all other works that do not reflect ONLY the writer’s EXACT experience.
No exploring of other or else allowed.
Science fiction, fantasy, and horror are now declared impossible.
OR: Stand against fascism in all its guises, write what you want, and do not ignore, ATTACK the martinets who’d shut down your voice for not conforming to bowdlerized, hidebound, constrained views defined by the politics of exclusion and squinty, narrow paths we are expected, by them, to stick to, on penalty of being ostracized.
Sep 13, 2016 4:17pm
Once, same house where my Ouija planchette levitated, upstairs this time, our little dog Taffy, a Chihuahua/terrier mix, erupted in angry barking, almost frenzied. My sisters screamed.
I ran upstairs along with my Dad and Mom to see what was going on. We found them in their shared bedroom cowering as our little dog barked furiously in the doorway.
The dog ignored us as we entered the room, continuing to bark at something. Its gaze was fixed across the hall into the bathroom, which had a light on. Nothing was in there, as we could all plainly see.
Dog disagreed. It kept barking upward, sort of at the light, or as if a tall person were standing there. My father bravely told me to go check it out. told him to do it, then shrugged, not really being afraid. In the back of our minds we were thinking maybe a bat had gotten in, or a mouse or even racoon.
As it turned out, there was nothing there. The dog whimpered and snarled as I entered the room, and kept barking when I had finished my inspection. Then, as if a switch had been flipped, it stopped barking and acted normal.
We asked my sister why they were screaming and what had scared them and started the dog barking. They both claimed to have seen a shadow move in the bathroom, which alerted the dog and scared them. That was it.
Ghost? If it was a moth, say, no one ever saw or found it. No bad, no mouse. Nothing in that small room, and I checked even in the cabinets. Just nothing. Except what the dog saw.
Deplorable, adj – disgraceful, shameful, dishonorable, unworthy, inexcusable, unpardonable, unforgivable; Trumpers, the GOP.
Want creepy? Happened in the 1980s:
Met a guy once, while waiting to get my tires changed. He was waiting too, slender, half-hispanic fellow. We began talking. He said he was an interrogator. I said, Cool. I knew such were on that base. I busied myself filling and lighting the pipe I smoked then. He said, “Want to see something?” Pulled out a pipe tobacco pouch, the zippered kind. Opened it, and held it open toward me.
Human finger in it. Real.
Said it was a “souvenir” he took from his last session, which he claimed happened “south of the border”.
Pre-GITMO, by the way.
Bullshitting me? No.
I was there. He was not bullshitting. He scared the fuck out of me. I remained outwardly calm, but he was the real deal.
Remember, too, I’ve studied the deniable realm for years, and all he said jibed with what I knew from many other sources.
Also, hate to tell you, it’s fairly common for combat types to keep body parts as souvenirs. Everything from fingers and ears to vaginas and penises.
Oh, and when you see a detached finger, and smell it, you know. He told me he was curing it in tobacco.
Adding to his collection.
/ Art Wester
Friend and I, high school age, were using a Ouija board when the planchette slid off one side of the board, which was between us on a small table. The planchette did not fall, though. It stayed in the air, and we snatched back our fingers in surprise. It hung in mid-air for several seconds, no wobble or anything, then flew off under a larger table. My friend refused to continue.
I was born in Altoona and raised in Munster and Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, in the Laurel Highlands, and I once, with a friend, found what would later come to be known as a grassman nest, a domed structure big enough for us to stand up in, with fresh timothy bedding and a horrible stench on Cresson mountain.
My friend and I felt watched and saw shadows and it was dusk, so we split, rather fast. We did investigate slightly, the horrible smell was off-putting and definitely not a hunter or what not.
We were little kids at the time and my friend’s father forbade us to go back up that far, and since we’d been spooked, we complied. We’d found evident sleeping spots where ferns were pressed down and so on, closer to his house, (base of the mountain), but had not made the connection. We regularly played in those woods.
/// /// ///
We have spoken about haunted houses for as long as we’ve had houses. This causes me to wonder if there were haunted caves, tepees, or Viking long houses. In other words, were all human dwellings haunted? Has it to do with place, structure, or people?
I know for a fact there are stories of haunted woods, haunted wells, and haunted lakes. There are the Superstition Mountains and various other places named after hell or Satan or the devil; Hells Canyon, Devils Tower, and so on. There were the Badlands, and other places, such as the crater Lake area, avoided by the natives despite its beauty and bounty. Most have heard about Skinwalker Ranch and of the strange goings-on in the Bridgewater triangle, and other places.
Abandoned houses have always had spooky reputations. The same aesthetic has extended to abandoned asylums, hospitals, and other institutional buildings. Certainly they are creepy to explore, as they decay in grandiose neglect. Dark occurrences known to explorers tend to darken expectations, too. A history of violence, unexpected and painful death, murder, suicide, desperation of any kind supposedly leaves an imprint. Knowing about it certainly imprints the perceptions of those who prowl such places.
Is it that we find what we seek?
Is being haunted simply human?
Certainly hauntings have attached to structures, to places, dwellings in particular but also connect to landscapes. Hunting grounds are notorious; consider the Wild Hunt, and the many tales of hunters being lost, as in Rip van Winkle, as in various Celtic tales. Many of those taken are lost for days, months, or years, sometimes to return dazed, shocked, and with blurry memories, sometimes never to be seen again.
Such haunted landscapes seem to host more manifestations than other places. The Ancient Greeks spoke of genius loci, or spirit of place. Would these places be avoided by other animals? Are the hauntings something apart and distinct from humanity? Or is it perhaps that human presence is a catalyst?
These are the kinds of considerations we need to explore both in our thoughts, and in our research, be it in the literature, in structures, or in the wild.
/ Klaus Eller
Disappearance At Devil’s Rock
by Paul Tremblay
Wm. Morrow, ©2016
hc, 1st edition, 327pp
A Review by Gene Stewart
Disappearance At Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay is a delineation of the details of a missing child from the mother’s and sister’s point of view, with a visit from a concerned, supportive grandmother. Friends directly involved with the disappearance are also included in the scope of this probing, compassionate novel.
Rooted in reality and character-driven, scenes of desperation, despair, and determination combine to depict a haunting from very real ghosts. Tommy, who is missing, was a talented artist. HIs sister, Kate, admires him in typical little sister fashion, and in other ways. His friends Luis and Josh are not quite the three musketeers Tommy’s mother calls them but are good kids, the kind we’d want our children to befriend.
Right? Perhaps they’re not quite that, or more, with something else included, something shadowy, secretive, or is it just reluctance?
Even Devil’s Rock, called Split Rock by locals, is revealed as something else as we learn more about each person caught in this appalling dilemma, this torture of suspense and of not knowing much for sure. The rock around which the story swirls is itself unsound, riven, and risky. We follow events internal and external as we gradually see an unraveling of investigations and inquiries, a decay of hope, a blossoming of love. Trusts are tested, broken, reforged. Loyalties are strained.
Despite such a grim situation, Tremblay does not wander into the maudlin, nor resort to cheap theatrics. It is a compelling story told with patience and sensitivity, an eye toward detail, and engaging interactions among vividly real people. Despite the care with which all is observed, it is presented concisely, never bogging down, always light on its feet, alert, and a few steps ahead of the reader. Masterful is the word a writer would use to describe this work.
Haunting becomes a multi-tiered term in this book. Ghosts, shadow figures, and childhood experiences all factor into the intricate, delicate tracings of this tale. Legends both urban and illusory meet myth to dance a jig of tabloid rumor with internet trolls. Media clashes with private thoughts, fears, dreads. One reads fervently, eager to find out what is going on, afraid to find out what is going on, and wondering if what is going on is really what matters, in the heart of all-nighters and sobbing revelations.
Tremblay’s writing is restrained, balanced, and controlled throughout; masterful, as stated. There is not a single false step, not a single false note, not a single falsity of tone, narrative, or expression in this eerie, galvanizing story. Rarely have kids been captured so intact on the page. Rarely do readers get the chance to enter places full of people just like the ones they know, yet entirely fresh to their experience of reality.
Keep an eye out for a faint echo from The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, too, in a fictional book mentioned in passing. Nice wink.
“Elizabeth is not dreaming.” That is the first sentence and acts as the novel’s motto. It is her touchstone, hope, and, yes, dream, one that sustains life as her precious son continues mysteriously disappeared, as time passes, as a resolution inches toward them all in shapes on night lawns, in thumps and thuds, in torn-out diary pages left by hands unseen.
A note on the production value of this edition: The facsimile diary pages are presented wonderfully rendered as wrinkled teenager spoor and this touch adds to the depth of involvement in the story. Bravo to Morrow for going that extra mile; it is genuinely an enhancement.
Paul Tremblay’s prior novel, A Head Full of Ghosts, was so excellent it had me wondering if he, or anyone, could do better. He’s answered, in Disappearance At Devil’s Rock, with a confident Yes.
Strongly recommended, and a contender for this year’s Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel.
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My friend Dan and I were talking one summer evening in my living room at 600 W. Lloyd St. in Ebensburg, PA. We were sitting in the living room but around 11 my mother came partly down the stairs and asked if we could take it outside, as my father couldn’t sleep.
We moved to the front porch, where we conversed for awhile. At one point Dan moved off the porch onto the sidewalk in front and I dashed inside to grab my glass of iced tea. It was about 11:45, as I noted on the kitchen clock.
Back outside, Dan said, “I didn’t think it was time for a full moon yet,” and pointed up and to his left. I stepped off the porch to look, setting my tea on the porch floorboards. Sure enough, big bright full moon had risen over the roof of the house across Beech Street alley.
We gazed up, saying nothing for a bit, then I said, “That isn’t East.”
It was North West, in point of fact. The house faced north. As we tried to figure it out, I looked Eastward and there was the sliver of moon we expected. “Then what’s that?” we asked, looking up where the bright, round light had been.
It was gone.
I picked up my tea then and took a sip and spat. All the ice had melted and the tea was now lukewarm and watery. “What time you got?” He had a watch, I did not.
We gaped, and I went inside to check; the kitchen clock matched. It was now 03:33. Something like 3.5 to 4 hours had passed.
We did not feel any different, but could not account for more than a couple minutes of puzzlement and discussion. My mother later thanked us for being so quiet once we’d gone outside.
Our missing time included no probes or Greys that we know of, but it has puzzled us both to this day.