Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Are You Being Served?

These hard times come down like an avalanche
And I'm lost and detached
Along with all those who never had a chance - T Bone Burnett

And it's just like that.

I've been having a hard time lately, and it's largely because of the times. I don't think I've ever regarded this world, or even any other, with less hope than I do now, and frankly it's costing me. Though bearing the cost feels like an indulgence, because it seems so superfluous to the everyday business of just getting on with things.

Know what I mean? Life goes on regardless of what states we worry ourselves into, and all our effort to understand the forces at play does nothing to keep them in check. However much we know - and who can know how much that is? - knowledge does not change our condition, but adapts us to its accommodation. Charles Fort said "I think we are property." If so, what becomes of property when it knows it's property? More pointedly, would it be better if it never knew?

Hiroshima, 1945, August 6th, 16 minutes past 8 AM
Question: Who really gave that order?
Answer: Control. The ugly American. The instrument of Control

An odd story appeared a few weeks and made the usual, credulous rounds: "Scientists find Extraterrestrial genes in Human DNA." As I posted on the RI forum there is nothing to corroborate the story, nor even that there is a "Sam Chang" associated with the Genome Project. And while DNA programming makes an intriguing hypothesis, and it's something that we've entertained here, that a scientist might say that the program's off-world genesis is "now a verified fact" is simply silly.

Greg Bishop picked up on the article for the blog he shares with Nick Redfern, UFOMystic.com, and while he too dismissed the particulars of the story, he regards the premise of intelligent encryption a credible proposition for consideration.

Most significantly, Bishop was reminded of the claims of a mystical Swedish artist from the turn of the 20th Century named Hilma Af Klint, who "convened a circle of women who claimed to receive messages from 'ascended masters'":

They gathered once a week for seances and readings from Af Klint, who later ventured off on her own and produced a series of incredible paintings from 1906 to about 1916 based on the messages she claimed to have received. Just before her death in 1946, she requested that the works not be exhibited publicly until at least 20 years after her death. One of the received messages said "Protect your drawings. They are pictures of drenching waves of ether that await you one day when your ears and eyes can apprehend a higher summons."

One work in particular resonates with this alien DNA argument. Entitled "What A Human Being Is," it depicts a twisted double strand that looks remarkably like a DNA molecule. This was almost 50 years before Francis Crick and James Watson won the Nobel prize for the discovery. Aliens talking? Remote Viewing? These sorts of "coincidences" are just the sort of thing that orthodox Ufologists routinely ignore, to their peril.

"What a Human Being Is" - ca. 1910

As well, on the RI forum thread, "Attack Ships on Fire" smartly noted that along with the DNA-like double helix, "there appears to be a prism effect happening near the base....another odd connection/premonition about DNA being able to emit photons of light."

Of course, even when we admit the possibility that the painting suggests some manner of information transference beyond Af Klint's ability to hoax or even to recognize - as we may do with the shamanistic art of ayahuasca's writhing vines and snakes, and shimmering UFOs - we have just the schematic, only slightly more impressionistic than that inscribed on Voyagers' golden discs. The answer from Klint's "ascended master" is no answer. The answer is that we should ask different questions.

Question: If Control's control is absolute, why does Control need to control?
Answer: Control needs time.
Question: Is Control controlled by its need to control?
Answer: Yes

We've seen how aspects of the new physics can curiously resemble the old metaphysics. For instance, in the holographic model of the universe, in which consciousness precedes matter and is the ordering principal of the wave pattern out of which the observed universe arises. In this construct, time can be construed as the record of matter's separation, and recapitulation, to universal consciousness.

Amit Goswami puts it this way in The Self-Aware Universe:

The brain/mind is a dual quantum system/measuring apparatus. As such, it is unique: It is the place where the self-reference of the entire universe happens. The universe is self-aware through us. In us the universe cuts itself into two - into subject and object. Upon observation by the brain-mind, consciousness collapses the wave function...by acting self-referentially, not dualistically.

In altered states, the shaman and the mystic shed his or her "skin-encapsulated ego," as Stanislav Grof calls it, in a transpersonal experience of undifferentiated unity. "In the extremes," Grof notes in Ervin Laszlo's Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos, "it is even possible to experience an extension of consciousness, which is so enormous that it seems to encompass all of humanity, the entire human species.... in rare instances, it is possible to experience consciousness of the entire biosphere, of our planet, or the entire material universe."

But in the normal course of our lives, the human ego serves as a temporary "fiction suit" through which consciousness experiences the world. Consciousness tries us on for size. And consciousness, so conceived, has an insatiable thirst for experience. Which means we get played.

If so, we are not being taken for a ride. We are the ride. And it's a thrill ride.

Question: Why does Control need humans, as you call them?
Answer: Wait, wait. Time, a landing field. Death needs time like a junkie needs junk.
Question: And what does Death need time for?
Answer: The answer is so simple. Death needs time for what it kills to grow in for Ah Pook's sake. Death needs time for what it kills to grow in for Ah Pook's sweet sake, you stupid, vulgar, greedy, American death sucker.

If consciousness hungers for experience - a dinner and a show - then we're on both the menu and the playbill. And what are we serving up to sate the universal appetite? It's not exactly family entertainment. Just as in our ego's own recursive fictions, it's the villains who have run of the stage. So what kind of universe is coming to self-awareness, if its experience is shaped, beyond the ego-bound categories of good and evil, as much by our monsters as by our saints? Ain't nobody here but us chickens.

How many maniacs have claimed "God made me do it"? How many states have adopted the same defense? And how many "gods" have spoken, if only by a whisper in a solitary ear, and been nourished by the experience of ghastly worship?

America is rapture ready. The signs and wonders are not only appearing in its skies (in Chicago, the disc above O'Hare; in Charlotte, "911 callers report lights in sky"; in Hawaii, "UFOs seen over south shore sky"), but also in its WalMart aisles:

An unaccompanied little girl around four years old appeared [late Saturday night] on the aisle and was just staring at [employee "Chelsea" and two friends] smiling. They all just looked back and in the awkward silence finally said hello, wondering where her parents were and why such a little girl was alone. She looked at them and replied "Did you have a good Christmas?". Chelsea and her friends smiled and kindly replied "yes we did, did you have a good Christmas?" No answer, few seconds of silence, and she asked the same question again, "did you have a good Christmas?", again they answered yes and with no answer to their question, she asked again, "did you have a good Christmas?". They thought wow, this is getting kind of weird but again answered just yes hoping she would go on and find her parents. The little girl just stood there staring at them with still no expression on her face and this time said, "hope you had a good Christmas because it was our last here on earth, we won't have another on because God told me Jesus is coming back before then." The girls looked at each other in amazement and tears started filling their eyes and they looked back for the girl and she was gone. All three girls were left there in the toy isle crying because as Chelsea said deep down inside we felt it was true. Was she an angel I don't know, but as they say out of the mouths of babes. Let the Holy Spirit guide your heart with this, but to me it is just another confirmation to me that Jesus is at the doorstep just waiting for God to hand him the key to get in.

In Iran, state radio has announced the imminent return of the Mahdi, who will appear suddenly with Jesus at his side, working great miracles and apocalyptic wrath. "According to reports, [President] Ahmadinejad understands that mayhem and global chaos will precede this coming." Even in profane Hollywood, Tom Cruise has allegedly been tapped by Scientology's David Miscavige as the church's pop Messiah. Miscavige is said to believe that "in the future... Cruise will be worshiped like Jesus for his work to raise awareness of the religion."

Strange days, that appear to many to be intimations of the Last Days, because they seem to promise, for the first time in Our Time, a limitless potential for ruin. To consciousness, until the End of Experience, that's entertainment.

In 1969, the United States Government Printing Office issued a 400-page volume study by the Library of Congress commissioned by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research entitled UFOs and Related Subjects: An Annotated Bibliography.

In her preface, the reports senior bibliographer Lynn Catoe wrote the following:

A large part of the available UFO literature is closely linked with mysticism and the metaphysical. It deals with subjects like mental telepathy, automatic writing, and invisible entities, as well as phenomena like poltergeist manifestations and "possession."...

Many of the UFO reports now being published in the popular press recount alleged incidents that are strikingly similar to demonic possession and psychic phenomenon which have long been known to theologians and parapsychologists.

The religious, occult and psi characteristics of UFO phenomenon are often edited out of accounts by "nuts and bolts" proponents of the ET hypothesis, and naturally unknown by those who regard the whole business with suspicion. But perhaps now, since the United States is undergoing a new "flap" (globally, the phenomena never went away), more consideration may be paid to the mystery of the manifestations, and their connections to ego and consciousness. Even when they're of this world.

A few weeks ago, Retired Colonel Brian Fields, a 32-year veteran of the US Air Force, claims he witnessed and photographed a display of hovering lights in the sky over western Arkansas two weeks ago that were "not anything I ever had any experience with.... They were some kind of energy or something." Since then, the US Air Force has explained them to be flares from an A-10 training mission. But before then, photographs of Fields' lights were analyzed by "digital-production expert" Mark Kirby, president and CEO of EIC Research. "I was kind of surprised," Kirby said. From a black-and-white analysis of an image of yellow light, he saw what "looks like a clean silhouette of someone sitting behind a console or flight control." Analysis of the orange light was "a bit scary.... You could literally see two eyes and a mouth," Kirby said. "It looked like someone looking at you."

A religious newswire picked up the story, calling the alleged occupant of the craft a "possible angelic creature." The author of the wire item also claims to have seen a similar light in the sky the same night, though in Louisiana. Meanwhile in Texas, a national sales manager for Clear Channel Radio says that in late December he "observed a bright, white round light looking exactly like Col. Fields' pictures."

Fields himself described his sighting in stark religious terms:

I believe it's prophetic, something do with what's happening in the Middle East today. If this is some kind of event with visitation, it's entirely possible. When the anti-Christ comes into power, it's not going to be something we expect. The deception that is going to be attached to it is going to be so powerful, you're gonna have to go against your reason to reject it.

Be awake, be mindful you can be deceived. There are things that can shake our world.

Even when we deceive ourselves, the world can still shake.

Our planet is "very rapidly heading back toward the greenhouse world of the dinosaurs." After that, it's straight on to Venus. The Iran pre-game show is almost wrapped, and "a certain degree of fatalism" pervades the capitals of the world, Washington included. Another carrier group has been dispatched to the Persian Gulf to tell Tehran to "back off," according to a straight-faced US official, though with diplomacy rejected out-of-hand, and the White House again in Cheney's thrall, the "last resort" of warcraft is once again the first and only choice. Ahmadinejad could tap dance Yankee Doodle on the grave of Khomeini and it wouldn't stop this falling hammer in mid-swing.

Contactees, from the beginning, have been sharing the warnings of the saucers' bizarre occupants (who often say of themselves, "we are one") that the world is heading to nuclear and environmental ruin - the end of experience - and that this somehow impacted gravely upon their own existence, and even existence itself. I don't see a way around the nonsense of this, if we regard the occupants as interstellar travelers and off-Earth residents. There is enough space for all, that our world's calamity would not doom their own. But what if they themselves are fiction suits: a dramatic eruption into our ego's reality by deep consciousness - the "universal mind" - to grip our attention, and to keep us from shuttering this production?

I don't know. It sounds crazy, but then so does everything else these days. I just know it's a shame what signs and wonders usually portend, because we're seeing quite a few of them. And I've seen enough to know I've seen enough, already.

Ah Pook, the Destroyer, is here

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Open Thread

I really do, when I've gone so long without updating, and it seems like I had just laid down to "rest my eyes" when suddenly it's a whole new damn day.

I'm struggling with a long post, which has to be juggled with family, work, forum administration, site development, the new book and the need for some sleep to pull myself back together. Apologies, and thanks for your patience.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Patterns of Force

There's a black Mercedes rollin' through the combat zone - Bob Dylan

This isn't the post I'd hoped for today, but a bunch of loose threads still haven't quite knotted together for me. So I guess I'll have to live with that a little longer.

Until I sort it out, here's a bit of something else to chew on.

I've been dipping into Charles Higham's out-of-print American Swastika ("The Shocking Story of Nazi Collaborators in Our Midst from 1933 to the Present Day"), and the chapter on the negotiations mid-war between future CIA Director Allen Dulles and the SS just jumped up and said Yup, you got me.

Higham writes:

SS officers came from the right-wing elite, those with money and commercial interests that lay outside the German border. Thus, the fact that it was the SD [the SS intelligence service of the SS]which specialized in every kind of subversion, intrigue, and ruination appealed directly to Allied connections more than any other service. Its leaders belonged to the community of world money; their allegiance was not to the upstart, working-class Hitler, but to the memory of SS leader Heinrich Himmler's idol, King Henry I of Saxony, and to the Stein bank of Cologne, which financed Himmler's inner circle under the aegis of the international banker Kurt von Schroeder.

In 1942 Dulles became the OSS station chief in Switzerland, while continuing to serve as director and legal advisor to the New York branch of the same Schroeder bank. Early the following year, acting without the authority of Franklin Roosevelt (though he made false assertion to the contrary), Dulles opened a channel of appeasement with SS nobility, mostly Prussian elite, acting without the knowledge of Adolph Hitler. Dulles met three times with Prince Max von Hohenlohe, whom he knew from Vienna in 1916 and New York in the '20s. Higham examined the original SS records of the meetings and had no doubt to their authenticity, despite post-war attempts to discredit them because their translation had first appeared in the communist journal New Times.

Dulles opened the first meeting cordially, saying he was "sick and tired of listening to stories of ruined politicians, emigrants, and prejudiced Jews." He said that Germany needed to remain in existence to "maintain order," that the question of Czech sovereignty was inconsequential, and that most important was the establishment of a bulwark in the East against Bolshevism.

Dulles pressed ahead. He said that it would be unbearable for any decent European to think that the Jews might return someday, and that there must be no toleration of a return of the Jewish power positions. He reiterated his desire for a greater European political federation - and foresaw the federal Germany that in fact took place. He said that Hitler would not be accepted as the leader of a restored Germany. He made the curious assertion that the Americans were only continuing the war to get ride of the Jews and that there were people in America who were intending to send the Jews to Africa. This was Hitler's dream of course: that the Jews would go to Madagascar and stay there. Dulles seems to have confused the clubland view of blacks and Jews.

Dulles now proceeded to supply Hohenlohe with dollops of secret intelligence, announcing that the US Army would not land in Spain but, after conquering Tunisia, would advance from Africa toward the Ploesti oil fields to cut off the German oil supplies. He said that it was likely the Allies would land in Sicily to cut off Rommel and control Italy from there, and thus secure the advance in the Balkans.

Having given virtually the entire battle plan for Europe, top secret at the time, to one of Germany's agents, Allen Dulles proceeded to the almost unneccessary rider that he had very good relations with the Vatican. He said American Catholics had a decisive voice in such matters.

The negotiations faltered in the Spring of '43 because the White House lacked Dulles's empathy towards aristocratic Nazis and his bond to supra-national capital saddled with the boorish and doomed Hitler (associations which appear to have led Dulles to commit untroubled acts of treason). But a few years later another of Dulles's plans, Project Paperclip, found far greater success, so that even as Germany underwent "denazification" the Nazi occult sciences were Americanized.

Let's remember the worlds that the word Nazi can hold. The street-brawling thugs are always dispensable; even Hitler, who came up from the streets, dispensed with them. And to the SS conniving behind his back, Hitler could be done away with, too. It's such quiet and refined elite, whose members belong to the community of international money, that can smash more than our windows. Those are the Nazis to whom Allen Dulles delivered the keys to America. They were not the alien other, like European Jewry or the Communists. They were blutsbrüder.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We Are Family

They say prayer has the power to heal
So pray for me, mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I'm a-tryin' to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh mother, things ain't going well - Bob Dylan

The Manson Mythos, sad to say, seems endlessly relevant.

In The Shadow Over Santa Susana, author Adam Gorightly quotes Preston Guillory, a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff at the time of the Tate-LaBianca slayings, in conversation with Paul Krassner. Guillory shares this revelation:

A few weeks prior to the Spahn Ranch raid, we were told that we weren't to arrest Manson or any of his followers. We had a sheaf of memos on Manson - that they had automatic weapons at the ranch, that citizens had complained about hearing machine guns at night, that firemen from the local fire station had been accosted by armed members of Manson's band and told to get out of the area. Deputies started asking, "Why aren't we gonna make the raid sooner?" I mean, Manson's a parole violator, we know there's narcotics and booze. He's living at the ranch with bunch of minor girls in complete violation of his parole. Deputies at the station quite frankly became very annoyed that no action was being taken about Manson....

Now here's the kicker. Before the Tate killings he had been arrested at Malibu twice for statutory rape. Never got [imprisoned for parole violation]. Manson liked to ball young girls, so he just did his thing and he was released, and they didn't put any parole on him. But somebody very high up was controlling everything that was going on and was seeing to it that we didn't bust Manson.

Manson was left alone, Guillory told Krassner, because "something big was coming down." Krasnner asked "Why were you given such an order?" to which Guillory replied "I don't know. We didn't question our superiors." Krassner pressed: "Did you at least speculate as to the reason?" Yes, Guillory conceded: "Oh, we just figured they were gonna kill Black Panthers."

We were getting intelligence briefings that Manson was anti-black and he had supposedly killed a Black Panther. Manson was a very ready tool, apparently, because he did have some racial hatred and he wanted to vent it. But they hadn't anticipated him attacking someone other than the Panthers.

There's a lot of that these days, though much less speculative than Guillory's thoughts and several orders of degree more complicit. "No one could have imagined them taking a plane" and crashing it into the World Trade Center. No one could have foreseen the severity of Katrina. "No one anticipated the level of violence" in Iraq. But it's irrelevant here whether the celebrity Scientologist went off script or stayed on mission. The point is that Manson and his followers were untouched before the killings because authorities anticipated mayhem, not because they didn't, and for whatever reason they wanted to see some blood shed. In this respect, and almost certainly without suspecting it, the family became an undeputized branch of the LA County Sheriff's Department.

Early in his you ain't seen nothin' yet speech of last week, George Bush sited the bombing of Samarra's Golden Mosque as the principal trigger event for Iraq's sectarian violence: "Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis. They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam — the Golden Mosque of Samarra — in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq's Shia population to retaliate. Their strategy worked." Yet even though they never made America's front page, there were always compelling reasons to suspect a different calculus, and other hands on the trigger. For instance, Kurt Nimmo noted that "at least two witnesses saw 'unusual activities by the Iraqi National Guard in the area around the mosque.' Two mosque guards reported four men in ING uniforms had blindfolded them and planted explosives. A second witness, Muhammad al-Samarrai, the owner of an internet cafe in the area, was told to stay in his store and not leave the area. From 11 pm until 6:30 am, ten minutes before two bombs were detonated, the area surrounding the mosque was patrolled by 'joint forces of Iraqi ING and Americans,' according to al-Samarrai."

In April 2004 Michael Karem, then special adviser to Paul Bremer, voiced concern over the exceptional corruption and thuggish sectarianism of Bayan Jabr, the Shia Minister for Housing and Construction in Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority pajama parliament. A few days after composing a memo detailing his concern, Karem and senior aide Robert Clay were called to a meeting with the CPA's deputy administrator, Vice Admiral Scott Redd. "We were thrilled at the end of the meeting," said Karem. "Everybody was shaking their head about the corruption. They said that they were going to get rid of the minister."

But something else happened, because some else - somebody very high up, to borrow Guillory's words - had other plans:

Days later, he and Clay were asked to return to Redd's office. They walked in expecting to hear that Jabr had been fired. Instead they were told that their services with the CPA were as of that moment terminated; the minister would stay on. “We were told that we had lost effectiveness because we couldn't work with the minister,” Karem recalled. “We were in shock.”

Jabr was promoted to Minister of the Interior and, according to Harper's Ken Silverstein, his appointment "corresponds almost precisely" to the rise of Iraq's death squads. (A coincidence doubled-up soon after by the arrival of the Death Squad's own Goodwill Ambassador, John Negroponte, as the next Green Zone bully boy.)

Of course the Golden Mosque and Bayan Jabr are already old stories by the measures of Iraq's dissolution and our own time's seeming acceleration, but almost daily new filigrees of outrage are added to them. In Baghdad's latest "pacification" campaign, government-backed militias are withholding food and preventing the evacuation of wounded, while US troops make no effort to intervene. "This military siege is killing us," said Sunni Abu Sady. "The Americans are doing nothing, as if they are backing the militias."

It was evident even before the invasion that the war's intention included making a failed state of Iraq. That that's not yet conventional wisdom shows just how much too many still want to believe bad policy is made in good faith. As Keith Gottschalk gingerly asked Canada's mainstream left last week:

...isn't it even barely possible, although it seems mad, that everything that has happened in Iraq, this “progressive destructive chaos,” has been the plan from the get-go and that civil war was not only expected but hoped for? If you must rule a people or a nation for the benefit of their natural resources and geopolitical value, would it not be a possible tactic to allow them to destroy themselves first without committing too many of your own people to the effort?

Was Bush's speech, as Xymphora speculated, code to enact a Sunni genocide? Will the atrocity about to fall upon Iran become a Shia holocaust? I think the vision from the White House is grander than either proposition. There's a Mansonic logic at play here, and it's been playing since Bush's first stolen election.

Despite multiple offenses and parole violations, Spahn Ranch wasn't raided before Tate-LaBianca because the police were expressly told they should not arrest Manson or his followers. Despite the grievous injuries they've inflicted upon the nation and the constitution, George Bush and Dick Cheney will not be impeached because Democrats have elected, for some reason, to take impeachment "off the table." Like an unmolested Manson sending his family on "creepy crawly" burglaries of canyon homes Bush will not be stopped by the law, because behind the law are the gods of Helter Skelter who are not yet finished with him. As Guillory said of Manson, so Bush is "a very ready tool" who currently enjoys the unprecedented and seemingly unaccountable permission to do the unthinkable. And because he can, something big is coming down.

Only after his chaotic work is done and the last doorpost daubed in gore may he be brought low. Not to justice, because American presidents never are, but perhaps to a singular injustice that has sometimes made their acquaintance. Until then, he may as well tell us as another Texan reportedly did, "I am the devil, and I am here to do the devil's business."

Friday, January 12, 2007

"Rise Up, and Let the Storm Break Loose"

In a world called catastrophe
my native tongue is blasphemy
- Matthew Good

Under the weather here, and under deadline, with no time to write. But that's alright, because I think we're just about beyond words.

The wider war that was always coming has almost come, despite the naive wishes of old school Americans of good sense who thought they were choosing another course for their nation last November. Bush's Wednesday speech - and most significantly, his reportedly bone-chilling pre-speech briefing to a late-waking press - is the closer on a deal gone down six years ago. By now, we should be well past He wouldn't - would he?

His speech reminded me of Goebbels' address to Germany on February 18, 1943. Stalingrad had fallen and an army lost and suddenly, after more than three years of unrivaled conquest, Germans were staring, dumbly, at catastrophic defeat. Goebbels' speech, like Bush's, met calamity and tragedy with a call for more of the same.

"Now is not the time to ask how it all happened," he said. But who? "We know our historic responsibility - Western civilization is in danger.... As countless letters from the homeland and the front have shown, by the way, the entire people agrees. Everyone knows that if we lose, all will be destroyed." Defeat is not an option.

Defeat, when it comes, is never optional. Though often it's spectacular.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Under the Red Sky

Let the bird sing, let the bird fly.
One day the man in the moon went home
and the river went dry. - Bob Dylan

Sometimes, like these times, the world appears strange even in newspapers.

Thousands of birds fall dead from the sky in Australia and dozens litter the streets of Austin Texas; New York City is bathed again in a mysterious stench, and again authorities assure residents it's harmless, though they don't know what it is and are no longer even trying to find out; multiple reports of fireballs, rock falls, strange lights and UFOs (one in Iran today, and a dramatic flap two years ago, a report of which the BBC illustrates with a photograph of Venus) compound the sense that's no longer nonsense: that the sky really is falling. (The O'Hare UFO story became the Chicago Tribune's most read article online, ever.) Weather patterns are breaking down and reconstituting in alarming ways, winning deathbed conversions from climate change skeptics. And perhaps most incredible of all - or it would be, if it represented something like a departure from script - the White House is about to escalate the war in Iraq and likely thereafter engage Iran, inviting a Stalingrad scenario upon US forces in the Middle East.

War-making may seem too familiar and explicable to be rightly considered alongside the bizarre phenomena that are usually relegated to "news of the weird" irrelevance because they don't fit rational narratives. But there has often appeared to be a symbiosis of war and the weird, as though one helps to manifest or memorialize the other in this world, and perhaps somewhere else.

In folklore around the world, ghost stories are largely the domain of dead soldiers. Hawaii's Night Marchers, the huaka‘i po, are said to be the torch-bearing spirits of slain warriors. Legends of Ireland's fairy folk tell of them waging war in the skies. Foo fighters were drawn to military aircraft. And ancient battlefields and their graveyards are among the most fraught locations on Earth for paranormal activity.

"Wherever there has been great suffering, people are always seeing strange things," says Edward Tinney, former historian and chief ranger at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. Chickamauga, like many Civil War battlefields, has seemingly been imprinted with the shadows of lives lost. Phantom cannons and drums are heard, and holographic representations of dead soldiers - "ghosts," commonly called - have been witnessed performing endless loops of routine. Most curious, Chickamauga is reportedly also home to a skinwalker-like shapeshifter known as "Old Green Eyes." Tinney describes an encounter one early morning in 1976 with a figure "wearing a long black duster, with shaggy, stringy, black, waist-length hair":

From the man's body language, Tinney feared he was about to be attacked, so he crossed to the other side of the road, he said. When the man became parallel with Tinney he turned and smiled a devilish grin, and his dark eyes glistened. Tinney said he turned to face the man and began to back-pedal, as his companion did as well. At that moment, a car came down a straightaway in the road, and when its headlights hit the apparition it vanished, he said.

On another battlefield, in the summer of 1969, three GIs were on guard duty near Da Nang in South Vietnam. Two years later one of them, Earl Morrison, told investigator Don Worley what they had seen:

And all of a sudden, I don’t know why we all three looked out there in the sky and we saw this figure coming toward us. It had a kind of glow and we couldn’t make out for sure what it was at first. It started coming toward us real slowly. And all of a sudden we saw what looked like wings, like a bat only it was gigantic compared to what a regular bat would be. After it got close enough so we could see what it was it looked like a woman. A naked woman. The color, ­she was black.

Worley: Her skin was black?

Witness: Right, her body was black, her skin was black, the wings were black, everything was black. But it glowed. It glowed in the night, ­kind of a greenish cast to it.

Worley: You mean she glowed or there was a glow around her?

Witness: There was a glow on her and around her. Everything glowed. Looked like she glowed and threw off a radiance. And we saw her arms toward the wings. They looked like a regular molded arm with the hand and fingers and everything, but they had skin from the wings going over. And when she flapped her wings it didn’t make any noise there at first. It looked like her arms didn’t have any bones in them or anything because they were limber just like a bat. She started going over us and we still didn’t hear anything. She was right straight up and when she got over top of our heads she was maybe 6 or 7 feet up.

Worley: What did you guys do, ­just stand there?

Witness: We couldn’t do anything - ­we didn’t know what to do. We just froze. We just watched what was going over cause we couldn’t believe our eyes.

Worley: Nobody went into panic, dove for the bunker?

Witness: No, we just looked because­

Worley: Nobody fired at her?

Witness: No, it’s amazing what you would do under certain circumstances. And we just looked at it. We couldn’t believe it because we had never seen anything like this before in our lives....

Let's note here how often bizarre phenomena is ascribed to "outer space," when often it's simply because the events seem so out there. When we speak of anomalous sightings in the sky, we're referring to aerial objects, not objects beyond our own atmosphere. And with respect to war-making's interface with the weird, let's recall that Mothman's "nest" was an abandoned World War II munitions plant.

All of this is to suggest that war and conflict create fissures through which things can slip, the nature of which remain unknown to us, other than to say they don't appear to belong to this world. On the other hand, if we're talking about energies that desire egress into our world - or perhaps rather, our consciousness - then perhaps they don't simply wait for cracks to appear; they help to create them, and enter into co-dependence with the human actors who can create the disruptive conditions conducive to their manifestation.

According to West Salem's Coulee News, a 53-year old Native American and his 25-year old son were driving on Briggs Road the evening of September 26 when a figure the size of a man with a 10 to 12-foot leathery wing span flew at their windshield and up into the sky. "The creature had pronounced ribs, human-like legs with claws for toes and arm-like appendages tipped with claws. The creature’s eyes glowed yellow, and the face had a snarling expression, with rows of sharp teeth." To the older witness, "the creature seemed hungry. It also seemed angry to have been seen and gave an unearthly howl as it flew out of sight."

Both witnesses are said to have become violently ill after the sighting, and the father remained ill for a week afterwards. The son was so shaken by the encounter he won't speak of it, and the father will only because he wants people "to know what is out there," though "he believes the more he talks about it, the more power it gives the creature." I find this an intriguing construction. Not because, conversely, our ignorance might empower us, but for the man's intuition that this was not a flesh and blood creature, but an entity of thought-form.

Just a few years ago, much of the weird in the Western world appeared to be drying up and blowing away on the wind of mockery. That it's returned, along with war, may be more than the coincidence of psychology.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Yesterday's Papers

Yesterday's papers are such bad news - Jagger & Richards

Just some loose ends before the weekend.

A few days ago I received an email from Pamela Perskin, a victim's advocate and co-author of Cult and Ritual Abuse: Its History, Anthropology, and Recent Discovery in Contemporary America. She's asked me to pass on a link to "an online research vehicle designed to measure experiences of ritual abuse internationally."

For survivors who might be interested in the project, here is a link to the "Extreme Abuse Survey," which will be active for the next three months.

Perskin added:

The results will be available at no charge to anyone interested in the empirical data for further research. We will also be publishing the initial findings in our forthcoming book, Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations. This is a compilation of original chapters by an array of international experts in the field including Carl Raschke, Valerie Sinason, ESue Blume, Jeanne Sarson and Linda McDonald, Sandra Buck, Ulla Froehling, Thorsten Becker, Fran Yoeli, Carol Mallard, Sarah Nelson, Alison Miller, Tom Ball, Lorna Brown, Randy Noblitt and myself, among others and reflects the experiences of clinicians, law enforcement officers, attorneys, journalists, clergy, and survivors in the US, Canada, Germany, Israel, South Africa, and Australia. We are hoping for as wide a dissemination of the survey as possible in order to collect data that are reflective of the universality of this experience that we hypothesize.

I recommended Sara Scott's The Politics and Experience of Ritual Abuse in Tuesday's post. An earlier, academic paper of Scott's, "Here Be Dragons: Researching the Unbelievable, Hearing the Unthinkable" can be read online here, in which she describes the "collision between the lived experience of the researcher [and] that of her informants" with "the 'discourse of disbelief' surrounding the subject of ritual abuse." I know some of you have been reading her for a while but she's a late discovery for me, and I'm finding her feminist scholarship a fine polish remover for the evangelical and far-right gloss that too often accrues to the subject. Significantly, Scott notes that "the survivors in my sample had been abused in all white contexts in the UK and USA, and often described their abusers as extremely Right-wing and racist. I have chosen the term 'ritual abuse' in part because it leaves open the possibility of connecting experiences across race and culture, whereas a focus on Satanism or Satanists reduces the possible phenomena for analysis to a specific cultural context."

Thanks to Joseph Cannon for continuing to beat the drum on behalf of Daniel Hopsicker, 9/11's most substantial and excoriated researcher. He links to Hopsicker's video presentation on Mohamed Atta's "strange and spooky associate" Wolfgang Bohringer, which corroborates evidence provided by Atta's girlfriend Amanda Keller before Keller herself was spooked into retracting her story. "At the time of Hopsicker's interview with Keller," writes Cannon, "he did not know about Wolfgang Bohringer, whom Amanda knew only by the first name. She pronounced that name in a correctly Germanic fashion - "VOLF-gahng" - imitating the way she heard it."

Report of a dramatic UFO sighting this week over Istanbul has me again turning to Jacques Vallee, and this passage from Messengers of Deception:

Manifestations are not spacecraft in the ordinary 'nuts and bolts' sense. The UFOs are physical manifestations that cannot be understood apart from their psychic and symbolic reality. What we see in effect here is not an alien invasion. It is a control system which acts on humans and uses humans. However, we still need to discover the source of the manifestation.

My conjecture remains that covert human agencies have discovered the power of the control system and both mimic it and attempt its exploitation through techno-occultic means, but that the system transcends human provenance and is resistant to regulation. So once again, we're not talking ETs here, but something both stranger and more familiar.

Finally, those interested in issues of consciousness, particularly the entanglement of minds and reincarnation, and also those who think it's all woo-woo nonsense and distraction, ought to take an hour and watch the recent documentary The Boy Who Lived Before (discussed here). If we're more than fragile bags of meat and water, what changes about our world?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Demon Was an Idea (Part Two)

Scratch mark traced across the surface of your mind
This hour, now upon us: the hour, now arrived
- "Unmarked Helicopters"

In 1952 Mrs Margarita Ruiz de Lihory y Resino, who bore the titles of the Marquise of Villasante and the Baroness of Alcatrali, opened her sprawling and ancient estate in the Spanish city of Albacete to two young men described by witnesses as "Scandinavian looking" who presented themselves as "Danish doctors." They stayed for two years, conducting "psycho-physiological experiments with animals," according to several letters received by CIA agents stationed in Madrid prior to 1965. The letters also alleged the doctors weren't Danes at all, but rather Nordic alien "space brothers" from the planet "UMMO."

In the summer of 1953 the Baroness's daughter Margot Shelly fell sick, and the friend with whom she was staying contacted the Marquise, who had Margot examined by her mysterious doctors. One called her illness benign, and the other likely fatal. The latter diagnosis proved accurate, and she died in her mother's house on January 19, 1954. Before Margot was buried her corpse was surgically mutilated. One of her hands, both eyes and her tongue were gone.

The following week one of the Marquise's sons filed a complaint against her, alleging indignities had been performed on his sister's body. Police were dispatched to search the house and Margot's missing parts were found. (No trace, it would seem, of the "Danish doctors.") Her body was exhumed and a criminal suit was launched.

Jacques Vallee writes in Revelations:

The Marquise had many pet animals on her properties. Many of her dogs died in mysterious ways. Some were found with the stomach open; others were mummified. In the yard of her property on Calle Mayor was a dog and cat cemetery, and a witness observed various animal heads that were kept in silver containers in one of the rooms. It is said that she bought many dogs in Albacete, and that dissections took place in her house. She denied participating, saying only that these operations were conducted by a veterinarian. The only veterinarian known to have treated her pets is Jaime Aguedo Trigueros, who said other people had conducted autopsies of the animals.

Vallee goes on to quote Andres Gomes, butler to the Marquise for ten years, from an interview published by the newspaper Levante on February 7, 1954. The estate held an underground chamber called Cuarto del Moro: the Moor's Quarters. It was "a horrible place, where one could only go down through a metal trapdoor that could only take two people." The trapdoor was located in the floor of the Marquise's bathroom, and Gomes believed the mansion held other underground passages. "She would spend many hours there. I don't know what she did there exactly, but she came up as pale as a corpse."

Jim Keith notes in Casebook on the Men in Black that "the Marquise was apparently exonerated of criminality, because there is no record of her being punished for the mutilation of her daughter. Likewise no extraterrestrial connection was ever proven, although the plot thickened when a man believed to be CIA turned up in Madrid, offering a sizable reward for information helping him to locate the Ummites."

"UMMO" is certainly a hoax, likely originated in a tricksterish fashion by parapsychologist Jose Luis Jordan Peña as a "scientific experiment aiming at gauging the level of gullibility among Spanish researchers." But as even Peña admitted, the experiment got away from him, though some researchers contend it was taken way, by one or more intelligence agency conducting a different order of experiment.

In Canuelas, Argentina, from behind a six-foot high wire fence, Carlos Jerez opened the so-called "International Medical Research Facility" in 1973 which bore a plaque with a symbol that resembled two inverted parentheses joined by a cross: the UMMO symbol. The center claimed to pursue alternative cancer research and made extravagant claims of success using gamma radiation treatment, drawing many terminally ill patients with hopes of a cure Jerez said was extraterrestrial in origin. (Evocative of the "Danish doctors" and their "psycho-physiological experiments" on the terminally ill Margot Shelly.) Vallee notes that before Argentine authorities shut down Jerez's facility and he vanished without a trace, Jerez wrote in a letter that "in secret I have created in the world an intelligence service."

And as the Soviet Union stumbled towards dissolution in the Fall of 1989, a series of remarkable UFO events occurred in the city of Voronezh, generating rare mainstream press around the world, including a front page story in the New York Times. Witnesses to the main episode were children, and their sketches of the craft included a symbol on its side. Again, it was the UMMO symbol.

Whatever the nature of the UMMO hoax and its viral propagation, it appropriated to its legend something genuinely mysterious: the obscure and macabre story of Albacete's mutilations. And the mystery, evidently, continues:

From a posting by Loren Coleman Sept 12, 2003:

Albacete-based parapsychologist and ufologist Jose de Zor, one of the main experts in the UMMO case, has been detained by the police and charged with the murder of a young pilot, Manuel Esposito.

It is worth noting that de Zor has focused exclusively on the ties between the UMMO case and the "amputated hand" of Albacete.

Manuel Esposito's corpse was found decapitated on June 24. An investigation was started in which the term "ritual crime" was kept in mind by police investigators at all times.

All clues lead to the small town of Albacete, specifically its gay community.... Jose de Zor achieved a certain measure of popularity last year after performing certain hypnotic regressions on Spanish television last year.

Another report adds:

The date of Esposito's death, June 24, and the method of murder - decapitation - have fueled speculation that the culprits might be linked to Freemasonry. Or they might be enemies of Freemasonry trying to "frame" the Spanish lodges.

June 24 is known as St. John's Day, commemorating John the Baptist. This desert prophet and cousin of Jesus Christ was killed in 28 A.D., beheaded by the troops of King Herod at the request of the princess Salome. The date reportedly has much significance in Masonic and occult lore.

As researcher Eugenia Macer-Story pointed out, "Yes, there is a dangerous ritual sorcery cult 'out there,' as I have often attempted to convey to U.S. researchers mired in atheist, humanist programming."

(I haven't found a follow-up to the de Zor story, though perhaps one exists in Spanish.)

It's hard to say and certainly wrong to presume what is going on here. My conjecture is that science was not being conducted in the Marquise's Cuarto del Moro, but ritual, and that even when her own daughter was the subject she was protected by virtue of her rank in fascist Spain. The "Scandinavian-looking" doctors could easily have been German, who in 1952 found it less problematic to pass themselves off as Danes. And most speculatively, perhaps de Zor, whose research "focused exclusively" upon the mutilations in his hometown, was framed on a date of occult significance by the "ritual sorcery cult" to which the Marquise herself had belonged. And so the story's adoption by the possibly intel-exploited legend of "UMMO," either by accident or design, served as an absurd distraction from the subterranean lives of fascist nobility as well as a discrediting hoax of genuine paranormal phenomena.

But it's difficult to know, and it's difficult to not know.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Demon Was an Idea (Part One)

The demon was an idea; the demon is awake - "Unmarked Helicopters"

In The Politics and Experience of Ritual Abuse (highly recommended, by the way, for those who find the field overrepresented by religious agendas and credulous conspiratainments), British sociologist Sara Scott describes her book as "stories speaking to arguments." Any account that contravenes deep assumptions about the world will have a hard time getting a respectful hearing from someone who can argue that it couldn't possibly be. To such people, even if the impossible were to happen before their eyes, it wouldn't happen behind their eyes - their experience would likely be either mediated by denial or suspended by their presumption of nonsense.

Scott writes that according "truth status" to difficult stories involves "ideas of rigour and clarity and a willingness to be hospitable to facts that could be more comfortably ignored." Assumptions and the arguments that support them are typically closed loops which very comfortably ignore facts - or "anomalies," or "swamp gas" - that fall without them. Scott herself for years adopted the dominant "moral panic" position, until her arguments were overpowered by the verisimilitude of survivors' accounts:

I first remember reading the term "ritual abuse" in newspaper reports...in 1989. Allegations of children being taken to "witch parties" and being given "funny drinks" seemed faintly ridiculous. I was annoyed and faintly dismissive - I "knew" what sexual abuse was, who did it and why; I "knew" it had precious little to do with "devil worship"....

I still have those "black magic" moments when I cringe...and have to remind myself that abuse is no less awful because it has such tacky trappings. Indeed, the idea of surrounding child rape with tawdry occultism may be an additional indignity with which survivors must contend.... When I look back towards the early 1990s, it is almost impossible to grasp how much my life was disrupted by coming to know about ritual abuse, or to really remember the fear, anxiety and confusion that enveloped my world.

It's not so long ago for me, so I can still remember how unwelcome this material was, and how unaccommodating my worldview. Because if this were true, it was going to overthrow everything. And a measure of its truthfulness, unlike that of lifeless argument, is its lifelikeness. Scott writes that "what counts as evidence, validity and representativeness in assessing life narratives has to be conceived in terms of the adequacy and authenticity of descriptions." This is, I believe, what Corydon Hammond meant to express in his suppressed address at a 1992 conference sponsored by The Psychiatric Institute of Washington when he said, "when you have people in different states, including therapists inquiring and asking, 'What is Theta,' and patients say to them, 'Psychic killers,' it tends to make one a believer that certain things are very systematic and very widespread."

Survivor "Kate" told Scott how, when she was 10, she was prostituted in army barracks. ("My father was still in the military at that time. Most of my clients were army, army men, and I actually had regulars at that age.") Survivor "Sophie" spoke of trips to Belgium to participate in different levels of pornographic production. ("...a higher class definitely.... It's just completely different stuff and all the equipment that they've got is much posher as well.") Sophie also described the bifurcation of belief states between the outer appearance of Christian form and the inner world of deep-black occultism:

It's a joke. 'Cos on the woods it's like Dagon and Satan and Baal and Malach [sic] and all this business, and then you've got God is wonderful, God is brilliant! It's like, what is going on? It makes you... I mean that's another reason you block it off, you soon realize it's two lives that actually lead and they are both completely separate to one another.

Speaking life stories to argument is the what the witnesses of the O'Hare Airport UFO now find themselves doing. Sometimes that means talking to oneself. One United employee appeared "emotionally shaken" by the sighting and "experienced some religious issues" over it, reported a co-worker. A day after the November 7 sighting, nearly two months before the story broke nationally, an eyewitness posted on Democratic Underground that "a few of our employees were upset about this sighting, but were not afraid. They just had trouble accepting what they just saw and exactly what it means."

An O'Hare employee provided this description of the event to the National UFO Reporting Center:

I am a taxi mechanic. I have the job responsibility of moving aircraft under there own power from gate to gate or the hangar complex for maintenance. We also accomplish the engine run-up testing needed. So I hope that does something for establishing a little of credibility for my report. I am still in absolute wonder and amazement at what I saw that afternoon.

Around 1630 a pilot made a comment on the radio about a circle or disc shaped object hovering over gate C-17 at the C concourse in Chicago. At first we laughed to each other and then the same pilot said again on the radio that is was about 700feet agl (above ground level). The day was overcast with the ceiling being reported at 1600 feet if I remember correctly. I was taxing a Boeing 777 from the Intl Terminal to the Company Hanger on the North side of the Airport. As we passed the C Terminal on the Alpha taxiway we observed a dark gray hazy round object hovering over O'Hare Intl Airport. Is was definitely over the C Terminal. It was holding very steady and appeared to be trying to stay close to the cloud cover. The radio irrupted with chatter about the object and the ATC controller that was handling ground traffic made a few smart comments about the alleged UFO siting above the C terminal.

We had to continue moving the aircraft to the hangar. After parking I noticed the craft of no longer there but there was an almost perfect circle in the cloud layer were the craft had been. The hole disappeared a few minutes later.

For the rest of the night there were jokes made on the radio about the sighting.

According truth status to an extraordinary account is sometimes difficult for those with their own extraordinary life experience, whose interpretations of the world are, naturally enough, contextualized by their own stories. So survivors of ritual abuse and their caregivers may presume UFOs and "High Weirdness" to have no validity beyond the subset of their screen memories, and UFOlogists may be blind to the occultic aspect of both their subject and of earthly power because they're fixed upon the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the O'Hare story is that it is a story at all. Encounters of unaccountable things generally go unreported, because they fall outside of our empirical categories. Richard Dolan remembers the sighting of an acquaintance and a companion outside Syracuse on a sunny day in 1980. ("Silent, hovering over trees, as large as a football field.") In the sky as well were a light commercial aircraft and a TV station's traffic helicopter that had to have seen it. After two fighter jets buzzed it, it took off "like a bullet" without a sound.

"The kicker of the story is this", writes Dolan:

He was sure that this would be on the TV news that night, and stayed up till 11 pm, specifically to hear the much anticipated report about a massive UFO seen just outside Syracuse. But not only was there no story on any UFO, but it seemed to him as though the talking heads...went out of their way to downplay anything odd at all. The news announcer actually said, "another boring day in Syracuse."

When I was very young, one night my mother got out of bed to use the bathroom and was compelled to glance out the window. She saw something she was never able to explain, but she remained steadfast that what she had seen was something that shouldn't exist. It was a centaur-like creature, with the body of a horse and the head of a man, and it was staring up into the bathroom window. She called excitedly to my father to come and see, but he was too tired to get up, and too inclined to believe there was nothing worth looking at. She watched until it turned away and clomped out of sight.

Another boring day.