Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back to the Wilderness

Well, there ain't no goin' back when your foot of pride come down
Ain't no goin' back - Bob Dylan

The latest on Michael Ruppert is that he's left Venezuela after four months which saw "sudden drops in blood pressure, blood sugar crashes, dizziness, weakness, paresthesis of lips and fingers, small kidney stones, heavy calcification of the urinary tract and prostate, cloudy urine and chronic fatigue." (Too much information? That's to forget the "seizure-like violent tremors.") He has relocated to the Toronto area, where he is "receiving medical care and rest thanks to dedicated Peak Oil activists," and declares he is "through forever with investigative journalism and public lecturing."

See, now I feel bad about that "too much information" quip. It was snarky, and I seek to be snarky only in a professional capacity, and Ruppert's made himself a too-easy target. But there's also real tragedy here, beyond the tragicomedy of his character flaws, because what he created, and what has collapsed about him, was a significant primer for deep politics at the turn of the century.

From the Wilderness was my first 9/11 looking glass. The writings of Ruppert and associates such as Peter Dale Scott and Daniel Hopsicker before they fell out (there seemed to be much falling out around Ruppert) helped contextualize the terror for me within the ongoing criminal enterprise of the National Security State, in which the Bush regime was not an aberration but its apotheosis.

But that was then. These days in the 9/11 Truth demimonde, early and clear-eyed researchers like Scott, Paul Thompson and Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed are rarely heard over the likes of Morgan Reynolds and the thermate/"mini-nukes" debate, and rather than contributions such as the discovery of 9/11's concurrent war games we have "scholars for 9/11 Truth" tearing one another new impact holes over speculation on space-based beam weaponry. If you think that indicates progress, and that we're closer to 9/11 justice than we were three years ago, I don't know what more to tell you.

So what happened to Ruppert and From the Wilderness, besides his own imperfect self? That Peak Oil idée fixe of his, for one. While I'm not of the It's all a Hoax! school, I do believe the issue is subject to grave manipulation, and may even have been solved, though not for us nor our children's benefit. There is also a peculiar fascist tug to some Peak Oilers propositions, which Ruppert either hasn't noticed or hasn't been overly concerned by.

Many have questioned Ruppert's motives, but I think that largely comes by providing a subscriber-based service. Investigative journalism, and keeping your client-base happy and thinking they're getting their money's worth, may not be concomitant after all. Such lines of inquiry are perhaps best pursued open source.

It was Ruppert's bizarre eulogy for Gary Webb, in which he patted his own back with Webb's dead hand by boasting "there would be no FTW with its 21,000 subscribers in 40 countries" without him, and said "God took the gun from my mouth and placed it to Gary’s head," that made me think this man was on the clock. Seeing a braggart and a bully brought low by his own demons is one thing, but seeing the ruin of an investigative community that broke stories which could have broken governments is something else.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Floating in a Most Peculiar Way

Did I fall or was I pushed?
And where's the blood? - Harrowdown Hill

I've been thinking about Alexander Litvinenko's alleged last words: "The bastards got me, but they won't get everybody." Not that the bastards won't try. In a year in which the Texas Academy of Science gave a standing ovation to its most distinguished member for a paper advocating the eradication of 90% of the Earth's population by airborne Ebola, only the unguardedly naive would think some bastards with the means wouldn't dream of getting everybody, or near enough everybody.

But before we make his last words our first, we should consider who he meant by them. Litvinenko's bastards were Russian, specifically Putin loyalists, though his employers in exile have also been called bastards and worse. Notably Boris Berezovsky, formerly lawless oligarch and latterly investor in Neil Bush's scholastic software firm "Ignite" (to which was funneled Barbara Bush's donation to the "Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.") It's reported that weeks before his death, Litvinenko delivered a dossier on the Kremlin's takeover of oil giant Yukos to its former second-in-command, Leonid Nevzlin, who had found asylum in Israel. And that reminds me of another suspicious death on British soil: the 2004 helicopter crash of wealthy lawyer Stephen Curtis, managing director of Yukos after the jailing of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. To avoid Russian prosecution, and after weeks of anonymous death threats, Curtis approached Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service "days before his death, offering information in return for protection." Two weeks prior to the crash, Curtis told his uncle that if "anything happened" to him, it would not be an accident.

Even as spectators, we want to choose sides. We want to know who are the good guys. For the past six years at least, that's often meant finding out which side the Bush family was on and then cheering on the other. But playing a single side would mean risking loss and so, by delivering his own son to crucifixion by James Baker, George HW Bush has won again. There have been other strange and uncomfortable and pathetic scenes, such as George Soros and Warren Buffet welcomed as white-knight plutocrats, and the uncritical embrace of a parade of self-described former Republicans, Bush insiders and CIA officials saying the darnedest things about 9/11.

I think of a passage in Litvinenko's Blowing Up Russia recounting the night in Ryazan when sacks of explosive hexogene rigged with a timing device were discovered in the basement of an apartment complex. The building was evacuated, except for an elderly woman who couldn't be moved and her daughter who refused to leave her. They remained within the emergency cordon, expecting their apartment to collapse upon them.

In the daughter's words:

I suddenly had this realization that my mother and I were probably the only two people in a house with a bomb in it. I felt quite unbearably afraid. But then suddenly there was ring at the door. Standing on the doorstep were two senior militia officers. They asked me sternly: "Have you decided you want to be buried alive, then, woman?" I was so scared my legs were giving way under me, but I stood my ground; I wouldn't go without my mother. And then they suddenly took pity on me: "All right then, stay here, your house has already been made safe." It turned out they'd removed the detonators from the charge even before they inspected the flats.

We stand our ground, we don't move, they can't kill us all. If there's an us, there can be many different thems, but whoever the bastards may be they don't always win. In Ryazan, a vigilant neighbour just happened to witness the planting of explosives and called local authorities. If he hadn't, the building would have been demolished like the apartments before it, full of sleeping casualties. If a Ryazan telephone operator hadn't recorded a suspicious call to Moscow the terrorists might have escaped and their FSB connections remained undisclosed. But because two of us acted, Russian security was obliged to peddle the egregious lie of an "exercise" after days of calling it a foiled terrorist plot.

The neo-fascist right tried to rig Italy's recent election and failed, and P2 cryptocrat Berlusconi can pass out during a speech just as surely as George HW Bush can vomit in the lap of his Japanese host.

September 11th, while a covert success story, saw many little blunders that contribute to making its cover story fly apart on examination. Think of the confusion of tongues amongst the alphabet agencies, with some elements acting in good faith and others, not. For instance, it was FBI agents who confirmed to Indian intelligence that Pakistan's General Mahmoud Ahmad had ordered ISI/al Qaeda double agent Omar Saeed Sheikh to wire funds to Mohamed Atta in Florida. How do you imagine they felt when Ahmad was allowed to retire, unquestioned, and the 9/11 commission declared the terrorist money trail of no consequence? Possibly like the DEA agents who see their high-profile collars quietly released on account of pressure by the State Department and the CIA.

But unless we do something with the information we've processed, and make something of our knowledge, then their defeats revert to their strengths. Thinking of Ryazan, of 9/11, of Brabant and David Kelly we revolt but in only the transitive sense, by being disgusted to the point of nausea. But sickness is debilitating, and dwelling on it is no substitute for a cure.

Bobby star William H Macy told The Globe and Mail last week that when he heard Robert Kennedy had been shot "I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.... We had thought we could change everything. We could end the war. We could bring down a president. The people had power. I remember after Bobby was assassinated, it felt hopeless." The bastards got him, and everybody else in the bargain, because their hope was invested in one man. Perhaps hope, if it means to be effectual, needs to be divested.

The bastards are not omnipotent, but they are omnivorous, which only appears to be a God-like quality in a world such as this.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bobby and Alexander

Some things are too hot to touch
The human mind can only stand so much - Bob Dylan

It's another November 22, and there are a couple of current stories that make it feel like it's always November 22.

Earlier this week, BBC's Newsnight reported the findings of Shane O'Sullivan's study of photographs and videotape from LA's Ambassador Hotel the evening of Robert Kennedy's assassination. (Watch it here.) He discovered the unaccounted for presence of three senior veterens of CIA covert ops: Gordon Campbell, George Joannides and the notorious David Sanchez Morales. All three had served at the agency's massive anti-Castro (and later, anti-Kennedy) Miami station, JM/Wave. (Campbell as deputy directory, Joannides as head of psychological operations, and Morales as operations chief.)

This was no security detail. In 1968 presidential candidates were responsible for their own safety, the agency had no official domestic jurisdiction, and it hated the Kennedys and dreaded what Bobby might do - these three in particular. In 1973 Morales launched into a drunken tirade with friends that ended, "I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard." O'Sullivan asks Wayne Smith, a former State Department official who knew Morales well and corroborated his identity, whether Morales might have been covertly protecting Kennedy. Smith laughs, saying he was the "last person" for the job, and remembers Morales ranting at a Buenos Aires cocktail party in 1975 that Kennedy "got what was coming to him."

Morales, incidentally, died suddenly several weeks before he was scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, a couple of years after his mobbed-up confederate John Rosselli failed to appear because he was otherwise hacked to pieces and floating in a steel drum off the coast of Miami. Cause of death was a "supposed heart attack," so described to Gaeton Fonzi in The Last Investigation by Morales' close friend Ruben Carbajal. The evening of his death in retirement in Arizona, Morales had told him "I don't know what's wrong with me. Ever since I left Washington I haven't been feeling very comfortable." He'd become somewhat disillusioned with his former paymasters, and had described them to Carbajal as "the most ruthless motherfuckers there is, and if they want to get somebody, they will. They will do their own people up." His wife refused an autopsy. "I think the government took good care of her," said Carbajal.

And then there's the likely radiological poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, former KGB/FSB counter-terrorist officer and author of Blowing Up Russia, an important account of 1999's false flag apartment bombing campaign that anchored authority for the as-yet unelected Vladimir Putin. A statement from the FSB implies that Litvinenko is not important enough to bother killing, adding "The man got sick. I would like to wish him early recovery."

Though I wonder whether something Litvinenko wrote a few months ago, after Putin impulsively kissed a boy on his belly, might have raised his Kremlin profile as a "person of interest."

From last July 5 (and thanks to a reader for the link, which is found now only in cache):

The Kremlin Pedophile

By Alexander Litvinenko

A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin walked from the Big Kremlin Palace to his Residence. At one of the Kremlin squares, the president stopped to chat with the tourists. Among them was a boy aged 4 or 5.

'What is your name?' Putin asked.

'Nikita,' the boy replied.

Putin kneed, lifted the boy's T-shirt and kissed his stomach.

The world public is shocked. Nobody can understand why the Russian president did such a strange thing as kissing the stomach of an unfamiliar small boy.

The explanation may be found if we look carefully at the so-called "blank spots" in Putin's biography.

After graduating from the Andropov Institute, which prepares officers for the KGB intelligence service, Putin was not accepted into the foreign intelligence. Instead, he was sent to a junior position in KGB Leningrad Directorate. This was a very unusual twist for a career of an Andropov Institute's graduate with fluent German. Why did that happen with Putin?

Because, shortly before his graduation, his bosses learned that Putin was a pedophile. So say some people who knew Putin as a student at the Institute.

The Institute officials feared to report this to their own superiors, which would cause an unpleasant investigation. They decided it was easier just to avoid sending Putin abroad under some pretext. Such a solution is not unusual for the secret services.

Many years later, when Putin became the FSB director and was preparing for presidency, he began to seek and destroy any compromising materials collected against him by the secret services over earlier years. It was not difficult, provided he himself was the FSB director. Among other things, Putin found videotapes in the FSB Internal Security Directorate, which showed him having sex with some underage boys.

Interestingly, the video was recorded in the same conspiratorial flat in Polyanka Street in Moscow where Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Skuratov was secretly video-taped with two prostitutes. Later, in the famous scandal, Putin (on Roman Abramovich's instructions) blackmailed Skuratov with these tapes and tried to persuade the Prosecutor-General to resign. In that conversation, Putin mentioned to Skuratov that he himself was also secretly video-taped making sex at the same bed. (But of course, he did not tell it was pedophilia rather than normal sex.) Later, Skuratov wrote about this in his book Variant Drakona.

It's Dallas, November 22. It's Los Angeles, June 5. It's London, it's Moscow, it's Memphis. It's everywhere and it's always: a Groundhog Day of High Criminal's running the clock while too few of us ineffectually shout "Foul!" And today, which is no different than yesterday, the CIA are the coolly-efficient good guys who may yet save America from the hysteria and excess of the Bush years, while the FSB help restore Russian "order and security."

It's a level playing field, but we're not the ones playing. Should we maybe try another game?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"When twilight dims the sky above"

Where it intersects the space at hand, this shaman with the hoops stands
Aligned like living magnetic needle between deep past and looming future - Bruce Cockburn

Since I began to regard "High Weirdness" and associated UFO phenomenon with new eyes - which means ever since I discovered Jacques Vallee, and digested the first volume of Richard Dolan's UFOs and the National Security State - I've wondered about Brazil.

Around the world, numinous moments of contact with an "alien Other" may provoke inspiration or dread, but almost never do they occasion the injury or death of the contactee. Bizarre entities may threaten, but there's also often an unaccountable futility to their threat. The Hopkinsville siege, for instance, which followed upon a UFO sighting, where clawed, bug-eyed creatures seemingly impervious to gunfire spent a night repeatedly approaching a farmhouse and terrifying the family within, yet were unable or unwilling to broach the feeble doors or windows. Donald Schrum's similar experience nine years later in California, though hounded by very different entities after witnessing an apparent UFO land nearby while on a hunting trip. Schrum spent a night in a tree fending off three strange, awkward figures by tearing off strips of his clothing, setting them on fire and throwing the smoking remnants down upon them. The "men in black," "phantom clowns" and "phantom social workers" which make great demonstrations of intimidation and menace while also showing an inability to make good on it. When injury does occur to a contactee, as it did to Betty Cash of the Cash-Landrum encounter, the injuries are usually incidental and not with intent.

Brazil is different. In Brazil, UFOs maim and kill with purpose and intelligence. Do you remember the "chupas," refrigerator-sized barrels or boxes skimming roofs and treetops, shooting concentrated beams of radiation at hunters and villagers? Vallee has traveled to the region and interviewed survivors and witnesses. One doctor he spoke to had seen no fewer than 35 patients, all telling the same story of being struck by beams of intense white light and exhibiting similar burns and symptoms of dizziness, headaches, numbness and anemia. Vallee writes in Confrontations that:

Nobody has ever ridiculed these people. Their intelligence has never been insulted by the pundits of the New York Times or the arbiters of rationalism of Le Monde. They speak in simple, direct ways about what they saw. The admit to being scared, and when they speak about illness and death it is in the same calm, even voice with which one speaks about the reality of all the mysteries around us.

In the same book Vallee tabulates claims of UFO-related deaths, and excluding those that can be deemed accidental, every individual fatality is Brazilian.

Former skeptic turned Ufologist Bob Pratt, who died a year ago today, spent the last 25 years of his life investigating the subject. His investigations often led him to Brazil. (Some of Pratt's original research may be read here). Brent Raynes records part of a conversation with Pratt in his book Visitors from Hidden Realms:

What intrigues me more than anything else is that some UFOs in Brazil have been very aggressive, perhaps even hostile. They have terrorized many people, they have injured more than just a few, and they have left others dying.

Nearly every case in my book UFO Danger Zone shows the harrowing effect an encounter can have in Brazil. They include injuries, deaths, levitations, attempted levitations, and people being zapped by beams of light from UFOs. And there is nearly always terror.... Sometimes people weren't safe even in their own homes because beams of light from UFOs would pierce tile roofs as if they didn't exist, and burn someone inside.

In 1981 Pratt saw the wounds of Claudiomira Rodrigues, who told him that three yers before she was awakened by a beam of light shining through her window. Raynes notes that "Outside she could see, from the chest up, what looked like a man in a diving suit, but his eyes seemed unusually small. She said he had an instrument that resembled a pistol. Aiming it in her direction it shot a beam three separate times.... [leaving] three small pinpoint scars in a triangular pattern on the upper right side of her chest."

So what are we witnessing here? Is the discrepancy between the manifestations of UFO phenomenon in Brazil and elsewhere a socio-cultural artifact, or could something else account for it? Answering that question may go some way towards answering the more fundamental questions about the nature of the phenomenon.

And here's something that may inform our inquiry:

What is the South Atlantic Anomaly?

The Earth is surrounded by a pair of concentric donut-shaped clouds called the Van Allen radiation belts which, like magnetic bottle, store and trap charged particles from the solar wind. They are aligned with the magnetic axis of the Earth, which is tilted by 11 degrees from the rotation axis of the Earth, and are not symmetrically placed with respect to the Earth's surface. Although the inner surface is 1200 - 1300 kilometers from the Earth's surface on one side of the Earth, on the other they dip down to 200 - 800 kilometers. Above South America, about 200 - 300 kilometers off the coast of Brazil, and extending over much of South America, the nearby portion of the Van Allen Belt forms what is called the South Atlantic Anomaly. Satellites and other spacecraft passing through this region of space actually enter the Van Allen radiation belt and are bombarded by protons exceeding energies of 10 million electron volts at a rate of 3000 'hits' per square centimeter per second. This can produce 'glitches' in astronomical data, problems with the operation of on-board electronic systems, and premature aging of computer, detector and other spacecraft components.

More here on the effects of the Anomaly:

Random glitches affect humans as well. Since the days of Apollo 11, astronauts in space have reported seeing random flashes of light—with their eyes closed. These flashes are believed to be caused by energetic particles striking sensitive areas of the retina. In a recent experiment, astronauts aboard the Mir wore detector helmets to help researchers correlate the number of reported flashes with the measured particle flux. If the flashes increased when Mir entered the South Atlantic Anomaly, then protons would be revealed as the likely cause; if not, then heavy ions (which appear in equal amounts inside and outside the proton belt) would be indicated. The frequency of the flashes increased in the Anomaly, but only slightly, suggesting that protons alone are not responsible, but neither are heavy ions.

So it seems that the South Atlantic Anomaly may well have a few more surprises in store.

Credible UFO reports frequently mention the demonstration of highly electro-magnetic properties. ("The radar displays went completely blank and the gyro was spinning very rapidly, as if a strong magnetic force was present," Raynes quotes retired Admiral Jorge Martinez, former Chilean Chief of Naval Operations, regarding one instance in which he'd witnessed a UFO emerge from the ocean.) Could Brazil's anomalous UFO encounters be accounted for by the coincident anomaly in the Earth's geomagnetic field? Could the unique hostility they exhibit in the country be attributed to the relative concentration of radiation over the region? In which case, elsewhere, their aggression might somehow be held in check by more efficient geo-magnetism.

UFOs, we've noted previously, are also very common images to Amazonian ayahuasca ceremonies. Perhaps unsurprising, because we, as well, are electromagnetic; even biophotonic. So perhaps when we approach an answer to the UFO phenomenon, we'll approach an answer to that of our own.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

That Body Snatchers Moment

Accentuate the positive, destroy all the negatives,
Before the black mass media get a hold of them
- T Bone Burnett

There are many moments, but the one I mean is nearly the last. Kevin McCarthy's already run into the traffic, crying "Look! You fools, you're in danger!" He's at the police station, exhausted and distraught, telling his story to naturally incredulous officers who believe they're babysitting a maniac. Then a message arrives that an overturned truck from Santa Mira has spilled strange, giant pods over the road. In a flash the cops realize that they've been hearing the truth - the crazy truth - and begin the ball rolling to save the world.

I love that. I love the look on McCarthy's anguished face. It's not, it's over. It's at last it can begin. The disheveled kook is suddenly the most credible person in the room.

We've had more than a few of those moments this century, when a story breaks and bridges the disconnect between the world as we know it and the world as most presume it. A privileged gay hooker in the White House, for instance. British Special Forces in Basra, dressed as Arabs, shooting up a police station. A naturalized American waging a false-flag bombing campaign in the Philippines, escorted to US sanctury by federal authorities. The death of David Kelly. Sibel Edmonds' gag order, and the WTF? conditions upon George Bush's testimony before the 9/11 commission. Usually the news is quickly changed, ignored or papered-over. Sometimes, as with Michael Meiring, it's met with blanket silence by American media, and the silence itself becomes a kind of confirmation.

Daniel Hopsicker may be having one of those moments.

As anyone who's followed his investigation of Florida's 9/11 crime scene will know, he's researched Mohamed Atta's connections to a protected international network of drugs, guns and money-laundering. Atta's "brothers" were German cocaine playboys mixed up with Russian mafia, not Saudi fundamentalists. One German of whom Hopsicker has written is Wolfgang Bohringer.

From his Welcome to Terrorland:

Wolfgang was instrumental in bringing another of Atta's German associates to Florida, a pilot named "Stephan," who has done jail time in Germany, was on parole when he came to the US, and thus not supposed to be flying. But "being connected means never having to say you're sorry," and while regular German flight students struggle to obtain the necessary visas, Wolfgang and Stephan had inside connections which smoothed their progress.

Last night I received this is the mail from Hopsicker:

BREAKING NEWS: FBI Terror Alert in South Pacific for Wolfgang Bohringer; German pilot was first identified as "close associate" of Mohamed Atta in The MadCowMorningNews

Wolfgang Bohringer, a German pilot identified more than two years ago as one of Mohamed Atta's closest associates in Florida in the MadCowMorningNews and "Welcome to TERRORLAND," is the subject of an FBI terror alert in the South Pacific.

A spate of recent news stories in the MadCowMorningNews has drawn attention to Bohringer's suspicious activities on tiny Fanning Island in the South Pacific, where he had announced an intention to establish a flight school that only trained pilots to fly DC3's... on an island with no electricity and barely a hundred inhabitants more than a thousand miles from a city of any size.

The unwanted scrutiny apparently caused Bohringer to flee aboard his yacht.
Tonight the Associated Press is reporting that U.S. authorities have "uncovered a plot to set up a flight training school in Kiribati and suspect the man behind it may have had links to September 11 mastermind Mohamed Atta."

Even though no one is crediting us for first reporting and identifying Mohamed Atta's German associates in Florida, it is still very satisfying to have finally broken a story from the enormous 'pile' of suppressed news from the terrorist's base of operations in Venice FL which we have been alone in reporting for almost four years.

Headlines at this hour include:

"FBI raises terror alarm about South Pacific flying school"—International Herald Tribune;

"Man with Sept 11 links set up flight school" — The Australian.

"Terror suspect linked to Kiribati flight-school plot says FBI"—New Zealand Herald

Let's see where the Bohringer story goes. And let's credit Hopsicker with being several years ahead of it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Unconscious Kingdom (Part Two)

Nobody knows what's coming down,
but it's coming down - T Bone Burnett

Getting back, in a roundabout way, to this and the walls of our cave, I've been thinking of eyelash mites. Familiar with them? They're familiar with us. They're burrowed head-down in our pores, gripping our follicles with their tiny claws, binging on oil and dead skin cells. Untold generations have known nothing but our noses, brows and eyelashes where they're as good as top of the food chain. But even when we know they're there, we don't have cause to think much about it.

They're familiar with us - they live on us, in every sense - but they don't know us. How could they? Even if they were raised to self-awareness and could comprehend their immediate circumstance and of what their world consisted, they would still lack our imperfect frame of reference. They wouldn't know what we know, let alone what we don't know. And how much don't we know?

I've always found it difficult to conceive that a third of the static on a television set tuned to an unallocated channel is cosmic radiation. I mean, it's in my home. How can something so familiar do something so incredible? I know TVs, radios and other electronic devices pick up "stray electromagnetic waves," but it doesn't seem right somehow that the same instrument on which I can watch another Seinfeld rerun also presents the decaying of photons from our universe's roiling moment of creation.

Remember the Scole Experiment? Grant and Jane Solomon's book includes testimony from Scole witnessDr Ernst Senkowsky, who writes:

Throughout history, "mediums" in "trance" states have expressed "transinformation" and performed "transcommunication" through speech or automatic writing. Since the 1950s, all types of electronic apparatus (audio-tapes, video tapes, radios, telephones, TVs, computers) have been used in this field. Each piece of apparatus constitutes the final link in a hypothetical translation chain. They delivered messages from no-where into now-here and allowed dialogues with otherwise hidden "virtual transpartners" or "communicators."

Anyone slightly curious about the Scole material will likely already be familiar with EVP, "Electronic Voice Phenomenon, " and have heard some of the recorded samples here. Some see, in the video experiments, little people akin to Terrence McKenna's "self-transforming machine elves" of DMT.

From last year's post about Scole:

The video experiments began in May 1997, and were dubbed "Project Alice" because they involved an arrangement of mirrors before a camera "to capture moving images sent from the spirit world," write the Solomon's. (Mirrors have long been used as an aid to receiving visions from other realms. John Dee's obsidian mirror, used by his scryer Edward Kelly in his Enochian work, is on display in the British Museum.)

For most of the experiments, the camera sat on its tripod in the dark positioned before two mirrors. At the end of the sessions the team often saw that the camera had repeatedly and impossibly zoomed in and out on its own accord, and the tapes contained weird scenes, smiling faces, vibrant colours and hints of body parts moving across the screen in a red light. One tape showed a pink and gold line running horizontally down the screen, which pivoted to reveal it was a square shape on edge. As it rotated, it was seen to contain an image. According to the Scole team, "this was a very clear view of an animated inter-dimensional friend, whose features, to say the least, were not exactly as our own." They called their new friend "Blue." His screen capture is the classic "grey alien" on the top left of this post. The pyramids on the right are from another spirit transmission, presumably some etheric vista.

The Scole group's Robin Foy tells the Solomons that "some of the researchers within the transcommunication network say they are regularly receiving messages from the spirit world via their telephones, computers and fax machines," and speculates about the possibility of an "interdimensional Internet": "computers are based on semi-conductors and the spirit scientists [at Scole, experiments were made on "both sides" to facilitate communication] often told us that these semi-conductors, like germanium and silicon, have important properties that allow the bridges between dimensions to be crossed."

Our cave walls are now flat screens, and perhaps not everything that appears on them can be accounted for by our own hands and imagination. That is not to assume they are also portals for "departed spirits," which is the claim of the disincarnate intelligences (if that is what they are). Perhaps something else is going on.

UFOs are also an electromagnetic phenomenon, though of a much higher order of strangeness than our television sets. But what should we make of the congruities between the wiring of our socieities and the explosive flaps of "flying saucers" and "alien" sightings? Compounding the mystery Dr Kenneth Ring, in The Omega Project, has tabulated an inclination towards "Electrical Sensitivity Syndrome" in subjects who have had either a UFO encounter or a Near-Death Experience. Nearly half of the former and a quarter of the latter agreed with the statement, "I found that electric or electronic devices more often malfunctioned in my presence than I remember being the case before." (Only a fraction of control groups agreed.) A 53-year old radio station manager named Hazel Underwood told Ring that "after the [UFO] 'incident' I was able to literally 'cut off' a 1,000 watt radio transmitter." A 43-year old administrator with a history of abduction experiences said "I am extremely sensitive to high frequencies.... I have continual problems with cars and the electrical systems (like trunk releases automatically popping open, radios full of static...electronic anomalies within the home."

A 36-year old woman, a survivor of a Near Death Experience, wrote:

Dr Ring, I have a difficult time as many computers malfunction and lights will blow out when I walk under them. This has happened for years, and I tried to ignore that this was happening. I simply cannot wear a watch for long before it breaks down. I went to...a department store and walked in front of their brand new computer and it quit working. When I held up a flourescent light bulb in my hands the entire bulb lit up, like it was turned on. It seemed like there was a lot of static electricity.

Alleged entities advising the use of electronic devices as gateways; the electromagnetic effects of close encounters; Electrical Sensitivity Syndrome in both UFO contactees and Near Death survivors: what frame of reference do we have to account for all this, and can it be possible to find one that does from our mundane perspective?

Which reminds me of eyelash mites, and this perspectival shift:

Bed mites have one mission and one mission only, they are intent on eating you alive every single night that you crawl into bed to go to sleep. And their plan is foiled every single morning when your alarm wakes you up because God, in his infinite wisdom, cursed them with mouths too small to feasilbly consume all of you in an eight-hour period.

But don't believe for a second that they aren't trying. Because they are.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Getting Wired

How'm I supposed to get any ridin' done? - Bob Dylan

Lately I've been feeling more like an administrator and web designer than a blogger, and the damn thing is I'm not very good at either of them. Maybe I'm overstretched. No - I am overstretched, and not doing as much of what I really care to do here. But this will pass - I'm heading towards the light, not the light - and the effort, I believe, will be worth it.

Here's the gateway page to RI's new domain. Be unsparing in your comments: it's subject to redesign by people who know what they're doing, but at least it's finally live. The forum is much improved, and has grown a lot in the last week by an influx of new members. And I'm genuinely excited about some new RI features I hope to roll out in coming weeks that should prove great enhancements to your experience of the site.

A new post is in the works. While I wrap my head around that, please consider this an open thread.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ceremonies of the Horsemen

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows. - The Partisan

What kind of world would greet Robert Gates' appointment as Secretary of Defense as a happy news item? Regrettably, this one. That's the true Bush legacy: diminished expectation, and delight and surprise at achieving debased, small victories that have to be handed to us.

I don't mean that we shouldn't take the good with the bad when we find it. But the good we can find is not as satisfying, enduring or as just as the good we should be able to make for ourselves. So yes, we'll accept the gift of Donald's Rumsfeld's overdue resignation, yet Rumsfeld instead deserves to receive the revolt of our conscience and the judgement of the dead. American and international law ought to deliver humanity's verdict, and that they won't or they can't is why we're expected to dance in the streets when heads are made to roll for our pleasure.

But this is a hydra-headed beast, and none of its heads are irreplaceable. With familiarity it may seem otherwise, which strengthens the illusion of revolution at every changing of the guards. But a palace guards' change is a ceremonial event, which once meant more than nothing, and now means less. Now, it's for the tourists.

For five years there have been worries that the Bush crowd would do more than merely steal elections; they would do away with them altogether. But this is to misunderestimate the nature of late American fascism, which still needs the sustaining fantasies of liberty and representative democracy. Gains by the gentler, junior partners of the Washington Consensus serve this end, and present the impression of change while changing nothing. (I anticipate more tragicomic found-humour in the spectacle of "yellow-dog" Democrats justifying a now uncloseted bipartisan agenda.)

The neocons have served their purpose, and probably outlived their usefulness, which is why men like Perle and Ledeen are doing a shameless volte-face on Iraq. They have been a shock to the system of America, and to Americans who hadn't realize what kind of system America had. It's been a five-year plan of radicalism, and perhaps now comes two years of something like stability. But not a rollback. Most Democrats don't have the interest in or the stomach for the fight, and many of them voted with the Republicans for tyrannical and bloody-minded measures that are not going anywhere, except burrowing deeper into the American routine.

By the way, don't miss this Associated Press story, "Startling findings in probe of Tillman's death". ("One investigator told the Tillmans that it hadn't been ruled out that Tillman was shot by an American sniper or deliberately murdered by his own men.")

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

New Forum Open

I know there's a lot of catching up to do, but here's my excuse. I think it will be a much improved home to our forums.

If you're new to the RI board, please consider registering and joining the conversation. If you'd registered at the old ezboard site, please follow these instructions.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Theory of a Dead Man

Got to be an important person to be in here, honey,
Got to have done some evil deed. - Bob Dylan

An even more discouraging spectacle than George Bush's long-expected bullhorning the death sentence of Saddam Hussein is that of America's putative opposition party making a bandwagon of his tumbrel. Howard Dean hailed it as a "great verdict," adding that Hussein "is a war criminal and he's getting what he deserves." Whether that's Dean's own mind or the oversoul of the Democratic National Committee talking, it's sad to see the loss to America of a leader who could voice courageous uncertainty by saying, two weeks before Bush's "Mission Accomplished," that "We've gotten rid of [Saddam], and I suppose that's a good thing." Where'd that guy go?

And now, over Karl Rove's final 72 hours, comes word that the Republicans are "surging," just in time and against all reason. Now, it could be that late national polls showing the GOP drawing to a near-dead heat with Democrats within the margin of error actually reflect national opinion. The state of American opinion and the machinaries of its management are such that it's not inconceivable. Citizens are cheated not only on election day, but on every day of their lives by a military-entertainment complex that many have become strangers to their own best interests. One of the finest moments of Borat, and one of the reasons why Borat matters, is his address to the rodeo crowd before he butchers the national anthem. "We support your War of Terror," he declares, to thunderous applause, and elicits more with appeals to support the troops and "kill every single terrorist." And when he shouts "May George W Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child of Iraq" no change registers in their response, except for a few more delighted war whoops. (A poor quality clip, seemingly shot in a theatre over the weekend, can be viewed here.) It's only at his "desecration" of the Star Spangled Banner, in which he extolls Kazakhstan's potassium industry as the finest in Central Asia, that the spell breaks, and the audience realizes it's been had.

Saddam, like a pawn brought to self-awareness, regards the timing of his death sentence to be a political expedience to Washington, just as was his capture, overthrow, support and installation. American voters do not even have a piece on the board, though they've been taught all their lives they're the kings. What happens on Tuesday night is not as important to the United States as what happens on Wednesday morning. That it's likely to be nothing is the world's problem.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Moving Day

I'd been putting it off, because I'm just that much a Luddite, but I'm finally beginning to migrate and consolidate RI to our new, stable and versatile home. I'm beginning with the board, which may look a little different this morning because I stopped paying ezboard for the use of it. It's moving over here. I don't know how long it will take, because I don't know yet how incompetent I am at this sort of thing. But we'll find out.

Sorry for more disruption, but it's necessary to, as they say, serve you better.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who Ya Gonna Call?

You're just gonna make people jump and roar
Whatcha wanna go and do that for? - Bob Dylan

American politics isn't just theatre; it's dinner theatre, on par with a Medieval Times franchise. It can put on a decent show: the way the white and black knights joust you'd think they meant it, and that the guy who falls off his horse really gets hurt and the champion wins something of meaning. Voters are "treated like royalty" - every man a king! - but their crowns are made of tissue paper. And while the menu is all you can eat, all you can order is bullshit.

Since even those who say it's real can't seem to do anything about it, we may as well enjoy it for what it is, even if the pleasure is perverse. (And I admit to have found some, reading the futile screeds of flummoxed Democrats forever moving their lines in the sand. If they steal the next one - that's it!) And it's hard not to dispassionately appreciate the Herculean effort required to sustain such cynicism.

For instance, John Kerry's accustomed clutch performance. While uselessly stumping in California for designated sap Phil Angelides, Kerry horks a virtual gob in the eye of America's volunteer army, as if to scream "Over here!" to the Republicans' sputtering Noise Machine. It's enough to make even the relentlessly conventional Wonkette suggest, if only for rhetoric's sake, that "it’s like the White House is paying Kerry to be out in public screwing things up."

Kerry says he's earned another chance to run for President. Doing his bit to scuttle the Democrat's "Big Mo" in the final week so the right's talking heads can talk up a comeback scenario enabled by voting machines playing the margins could be his way of proving again his value. And since this is theatre, the significance of the outcome lies chiefly in the personal fortune of the players. Do well with your part, and you may get a juicier role.

Like I wrote a couple of years ago, watching an earlier Kerry flame-out, "Skull and Bones remains to some a silly issue, but an issue it will remain so long as the question 'Do you know General Russell?' can send an old boy into a trance faster than 'Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?'"

We can't say that Kerry took the call. We can only judge his actions, which appear to be those of a man who knows his part well.

All of which reminds me: The Brotherhood of the Bell has been kindly uploaded to Youtube. You may want to see it before Google disappears it.