Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In The News...

April 1976: Sam Leach, described as a "mysterious California inventor" convinced two companies based in California that he had the answer to the energy crisis. He claimed to have invented a suitcase-sized contraption that could produce combustible hydrogen from tap water "without any continuous outside energy source." Once it became known that these companies had bought application rights for vehicles and homes for a million dollars (maybe more), stock prices soared, according to Newsweek, which also added that the invention could solve society's need for a clean energy supply for homes, transportation and industry. Sam Leach said that when a current is passed through the water to split it into oxygen and hydrogen; the oxygen is absorbed by an undisclosed metal, leaving hydrogen. Every high school chemistry student knows about electrolysis, but Leach's claim that once started, the process continued to run on its own was greeted with much skepticism. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) got involved and stopped stock trading for the two companies pending an investigation of stock manipulation and what it called "other violations." Nothing more was ever said about Mr. Leach's mysterious invention. Did he really have something there, and Big Oil along with other vested interests shut it down? Or was Mr. Leach just another fraud? Fortean Times 16:15

April 1986: This month was already an extremely busy one at news desks around the world including the Fortean Times magazine when a real "meltdown" happened. The magazine, which ran an intermittent series called "Diary of a Mad Planet" was running out of superlatives to describe disasters (especially weather related) for the years 1985-1986. The staff were trying to think of ever new synonyms for hottest, wettest, longest, driest etcetera as disaster was piled onto catastrophe making thousands homeless almost every day. Some of the largest scale tragedies were caused by "reversals"-regions that had been parched by drought would suddenly be devastated by flooding. This period in time brought a prolonged winter with record cold from China to Bangladesh and many terrible hailstorms. The record for the largest hailstone had been broken several times when finally one fell on China that "took the cake." This hailstone weighed in at a massive 60kg (132lb) and fell in Guangdong. The day before reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant melted down (26 April 1986), the Augustine volcano in Alaska began erupting. Two weeks prior to that the Pavlov volcano in the same region and Mt. St. Helens in Washington state woke up also. All of this was happening as Halley's Comet passed its closest point to Earth (perehelion) and then left for another 76 years. Fortean Times collected many omens and stories about Europe's high anxiety; including radioactive clouds and of governments putting iodine in milk distribution. The most interesting of these were the association of Chernobyl-the Russian name for the bitter herb "wormwood" that had once grown in the region and "the star called Wormwood" mentioned in Revelations: 8:10-11 as a poisoning of the waters unleashed by the Apocalyptic "Third Angel." Chernobog, in Ukrainian tradition, was a chthonian Lord of Death, described as "a black sun beneath the earth." FT 47:26-33

December 1986: Two men-Mario Furlan and Dr. Wolfgang Abel-who were accused of the horrific series of 'Ludwig' murders between 1977 and 1984-began their trial in Verona, Italy this month. They had chosen their signature after a 19th century German playright, Otto Ludwig, who preached that sinners should be killed with clubs. Their 15 victims included prostitutes, clients of a porn cinema, drug addicts and several priests-who were all selected for "degeneracy," and their deaths were like something out of one of those awful early 1980s slasher films. A gypsy was burned alive in his caravan and one priest had a spike with a crucifix for a handle driven into his skull. Most of the other victims were burned alive or bludgeoned to death with hammers or axes. The men were finally arrested in March 1984 trying to set fire to a crowded disco in Mantua, Italy. The men were wearing clown outfits when they were caught. FT 39:28, 48:31

April 1996: 39 year old Pat Dolan wasn't kidding when he said he was the luckiest man alive. The Yorkshireman was speaking from Wakefield's Pindersfield Hospital and was recovering from a paragliding accident over Italy's Dolomite mountains where he fell over a mile (1.6km) and had hit the ground at an estimated 100mph (160km/h). Three of his vertebra were crushed and his right leg and heel fractured. He had managed to land and fall over into a 'recovery' position before he blacked out and was rescued.FT 89:16

'Ludwig' murders link


Autumnforest said...

1976, huh? That's about the time when the US would probably put a stop on such technology with the car companies chiming in. I would hope someone would pull that out the scrap heap and look at it again. P.S. we must have the same taste in men, that cowboy looking dude--yummers.

Devin said...

I agree about that aspect Autumnforest -the horrible thing about all of this horror in the middle east is that it was, is and always has been totally unnecessary (whether Mr Leach had something or not) -that man is the yummy Danny Nunez -I first say him at stevo's Hot Men Appreciation Society and have been a fan ever since-best to you as always!!