Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In The News...

November 1975: On 5 November one of the most controversial cases of abduction by UFO occurred. It happened in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, in northeastern Arizona. Travis Walton, who was one of seven forestry workers saw an unusually bright light in the night sky above the trees, as the men were going home. Travis got out of the truck to approach it and was struck by a beam of light. When his colleagues searched and couldn't find him, it was assumed that Walton had been taken up into a UFO. This was the first case of an "alien abduction" in which the search for the "abductee" was conducted with the story producing not only U.S. but international interest. Five days later, Travis Walton appeared. He was dazed and had a terrifying tale of his ordeal at the hands of bizarre "gray" type alien "doctors." His family and friends conspired to sell the story to the National Enquirer (one of whose writers later said that most of the story was made up under the influence of hypnosis and booze) a few days before Walton was allowed to speak to anyone else.

Walton would later write a book about his ordeal. Fire in the Sky, a movie about his experience was made using his account in the book. Most ufologists these days don't believe Walton's tale, as it began to fall apart as soon as it was investigated. However, the story was enormously influential in molding the publics conception of UFO, their occupants and the alien abuction process. FT13:5. Walton case link HERE

November 1976: Roger Sandall, one of the founders of the periodical Magonia sent Fortean Times magazine a story of extreme strangeness this month. This story could have been a clever hoax, but did appear in the Guardian at the close of the month. The story-truth or fiction-has some fascinating elements in it either way. In an anonymous letter, a 'Wiltshire schoolteacher' spoke of a"peculiar incident" when he taught in an East Anglian village school. One December day, "a lad brought me a small plastic toy pistol he had found near the school" and thinking little of it, the teacher put it away in the expectation it would be claimed later. During a "hectic" afternoon, the teacher became exasperated at the ceaseless talking from a girl and, on impulse, pointed the toy at her "saying, mentally, 'Gotya!' To my astonishment she immediately vanished." The stunned and amazed teacher continued with the class until the kids went home ("OZ Factor?"), then sat in the classroom unsettled by the event. He became aware of a man, "wearing a boiler suit," standing close to him. He thought the man was a parent until, silently, the man held out his hand, in which held yet another toy pistol!

"Wordlessly, I passed the first one over to him." The odd man checked it, flicked a ratchet and pointed it to a corner of the room. "To my utter amazement [the girl] reappeared," still talking as she realized school was over and she could go home. The stranger left too, leaving the teacher more puzzled than before. This story contains the classic element of 'misuse of a fairy gift.' Once it is taken into account that the school caretaker claimed to have seen "strange orange lights" on the playing field the previous evening there is yet another merging between ufology and its "metalogical" visitors. FT21:30f

June 1984: A letter to the Times proclaimed some religious phenomena had happened in Poland during the period of the famous strikes by the Solidarity Union in Gdansk. a wooden cross close by in Lublin, was said to have wept salty tears and the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in a manner that a person could physically touch. In a fascinating twist Fortean Times magazine had mocked up a cover for their issue #36 of a Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) apparition outside the Gdansk shipyard gates over two years earlier, but they never used it.FT43:8-9

November 1986: A beautiful location in Rostrevor, Ireland, known to locals as Fairy Glen, came under attack by Armagh county housing planners. Just a year before, a 'fairy tree' at Ballybott in Newry, was put under a smilar situation by county planners who wanted it moved to make way for a new housing estate. At Rostrevor, however, no such fairy tree or stone was concerned, instead the angry locals claimed that the land belonged to a colony of 'little people' they called "the Brooneys" who lived there. FT48:15

May 1994: This month a postman, Tony Ingle, 51, and his wife, Susan were staying in their camper at Laneside, England on the Derbyshire Moors. On the sunny afternoon of 5 May, Mr. Ingle was out walking along nearby Aston Lane with his retriever, Ben. Sometime between 4:40 and 5 p.m. he saw a huge World War II airplane, only 40 to 60 feet above the moors and banking to the left, obviously in some sort of trouble. "I was so convinced it was going to crash," he said, "I raced 100 yards up the lane to a gateway and the plane went out of sight. I expected to see the wreckage, but there was nothing, just an eerie silence and the sheep grazing. Then I realized as I calmed down a bit that although I had seen the propellers turning, the plane had been absolutely silent."

Tony remembered the plane in such detail that he was able to identify it later as a WWII era Dakota. Research at the Sheffield Journal showed that Mr. Ingle's sighting was only 50 yards from where a USAF Dakota crashed in heavy mist in July 1945, killing all seven crewmen. In the last week of June, a plaque commemorating the dead Americans and the six-man crew of a Royal Canadian Air Force Lancaster which crashed near the same spot a few weeks earlier, on 18 May 1945, killing all six crew, was unveiled 1,800 feet upon Bleaklow moor. Mr. Ingle's sighting wasn't the first. Over the last 30 years, several people claim to have seen ghostly aircraft in the area. "I don't believe in ghosts. I am just not that type. I can't explain what I saw and I find it very disturbing. Since it happened, the dog will not go up that lane," said Mr. Ingle. Sheffield Journal 1 June 1995; Strange Days #1 (a collection of stories from Fortean Times magazine) pg 103.

October 1994: A couple of reports from the L.A. Weekly talk of odd happenings at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace since the 37th president was entombed there on 26 April 1994. These happenings include a night watchman who claimed to see a luminous green mist over the president's grave. He also claims to have seen a man enter the house where the former president was born. When he went to arrest the culprit, no one was there and the door was locked. He has also heard tapping sounds emanating from the Watergate display room. On several occasions, the audiotape machines that play the Watergate tapes have malfunctioned. Could the restless spirit of the old crook be trapped here on the Earth plane? L.A. Weekly, Sept 30, 1994, October 6, 1994; Strange Days #1, page 103. A new link HERE about happenings regarding Nixon's library.

November 1995: Puerto Rico's famous and infamous 'goat-sucker'-El Chupacabras had been in its local media since March 1995. The mayor of Canovanas, Jose Soto, claimed farms on the outskirts of town had been attacked at least 35 times in eight months. The international news media carried the story in November with the iconic drawing of the bizarre cryptid (or nightmare!), bu the island's best known ufologist, Jorge Martin. This created the archetypal Chupacabras image of a snarling, vampire-fanged mix of a crazy wolf and rabid "manimal" with strong kangaroo-like legs and spiny bristles down its back. FT85:9

March 2004: The former chairman of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London was found garroted in his bed, surrounded by cuddly toys and a bottle of gin, at his palatial, locked apartment in Kensington, West London, on 27 March. Richard Laceleyn Green, 50, who co-edited a book about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the fictional detective Holmes, was found with a shoelace tightened around his neck with a spoon. Pathologist Sir Colin Berry said this form of death was so unusual that he had only come across it once before in 30 years. Nicholas Rathbone Utechin, a relative of cinema's Sherlock Holmes portrayer Basil Rathbone and a friend of Richard Green, said his death had revived rumors of "the curse of Conan Doyle," that several people associated with the late author had suffered death, nervous breakdowns and other assorted unpleasantness in their lives.

In the days before his death, Green had become paranoid. He told friends that his house was bugged, he was being followed and a mysterious American was out to impugn his reputation. He was also upset about the imminent sale of a collection of Conan Doyle's papers, which he thought should go to the British Library. On 23 April 2004, coroner Paul Knapman recorded an open verdict. He said there was insufficient evidence to rule whether it was a suicide, murder, or a deviant sexual act taken too far. The Conan Doyle auction made almost one million pounds on 19 May 2004 (about the equivalent of 1.4 to 1.6 million US dollars I think).Guardian, Daily Telegraph, 24, April; 20 May 2004. FT186: 31.

August 2005: In this month, the late dictator of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, commonly known as "Turkmenbashi," banned miming. "One can see on television talentless old singers lip synching their old songs," he said at a cabinet meeting aired on state television. But wait-that's not all! In a move to "protect" Turkmen culture from "negative influnces," he then banned lip synching and recorded music at public events, weddings, private parties and in restaurants. A few days earlier, he banned female news presenters from wearing make-up and dyeing their hair. Turkmenbashi took three months pay away from his education minister, blaming him for falling standards in schools. This was hardly unexpected, because in June 2004 Turkmenbashi fired all the teachers who had qualified abroad, including Russia (Turkmenistan was a former Soviet republic), and this pretty much wiped out the profession. On 24 August 2005, a copy of the Rukhnama (Book of the Soul), Turkmenbashi's unreadable book, which all Turkmen are obliged to study, was sent into orbit in a container launched from a Russian facility in Kazakhstan. Daily Telegraph, 25 August 2005; Brisbane Sunday Mail, 28 August 2005; FT203: 11. Read more about Turkmenbashi HERE ;-)

June 2006: Teacher Sue Messenger, had schoolchildren hunting for clues at a mock crime scene she staged during a class outing in Florida. Unfortunately, her students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, stumbled across the body of an actual corpse. David Bodie, a 45 year old homeless man had died in a corner of the Fort Lauderdale park she had chosen for the summer school excercise in criminology. Initially, her 29 students thought the body was a really good fake. Guardian, 7 June 2006; FT216:22

I hope someone enjoys this. I will now try to see if my links work-which they often don't and hopefully correct those, and any other mistakes. Best to anyone stopping by! A note on the images. The first image is a poster for "Fire in the Sky" the 1993 movie about the Travis Walton case. The second image is our own "Tricky Dick" in all of his former glory, and the last image is of "Turkmenbashi" in all of his former glory. Some have said "Turkmenbashi" resembles the singer Wayne Newton. I will leave it up to the reader to decide whether they agree;-) Edit-of course one of my links doesn't work and I can't get it to. Not gonna mess with it anymore this am -(it is the Nixon Link) do a Yahoo search typing in "Richard Nixon Haunting" and it will be the third link down-a 2009 LA Times article "The Past Haunts the Richard Nixon Library." Sorry for the technical difficulties!


Above the Norm said...

Again, great stories from our past. I remember the Travis Walton story very well because it happened in AZ.
Hope all is well. I don't have any idea on how to fix your template but I'm sure someone out there will.

Alex Robinson said...

Hiys Devin
Curiously interseting snippetts - esp the one about the Curse of Conan Doyle - another hanging type death notched up to sexual deviancy!! It certainly has become very popular - wonder what Mr Holmes would have made of that?

I hope you are keeping very well my friend & that you manage to get your kinks straightened out - have sent you an email that I hope might help.
Best of everything to you Devin xx

Devin said...

Julie and Alex thanks so very much for stopping by!! and Alex thanks for the help -am going to try it in just a sec!!xx
I liked the Walton story for its local angle also Julie-whether true or not !
I will get by both your blogs today if you have updated-all the best to both of you my friends!!

X. Dell said...

(1) The Walton case is interesting because it occurred during daylight, had five corroborating witnesses who all submitted to polygraph tests (at the time, police suspected Travis' fellow lumberjacks of murdering him, and coming up with a bizarre UFO story), physical evidence at the scene (radiation) and physical evidence on Walton (lack of keytones). I don't subscribe to the alien abduction hypothesis, but this one is the toughest one to explain by mundane means.

(2) The disappearing girl looks like a hoax to me. I couldn't find anything else about this. You wouldn't happen to know any names, or where I could find out more about it, would ya?

BTW, if you Google "Wilsthire disappearance" you'll get a ton of responses. Seems like a lot of young females have been missing there lately. This sounds like the type of story that comes about in such instances, where an otherworldly is considerably more palatable than the harsh probabilities.

(3) Looks like we still have the ghost of Nixon to kick around after all.

(4) Without knowing anything else about Green, my first guess would be schizoaffective disorder, a combination of bipolarism and schizophrenia.

(5) If you ever listen to "Wait, Wait!! Don't Tell Me" on NPR, you'll find them ragging on Turkmenbashi quite a bit. And let's face it. The man is unintentionally hysterical. No wonder he's afraid of mimes.

(6) A fake investigation by the immature leads to the discovery of a real body: isn't that how police do it?

Devin said...

The Walton case has stirred a lot of controversy Xdell-ps sorry i missed this comment from the other morning- it is a very rare occasion i get 14 comments at one time and i accidentally skipped over this!- I do remember about the guys passing the polygraph tests -and that they seemed genuinely terrified to one of the officers-perhaps this case would bear looking into more closely? with the "in the news" series i take mostly info from back issues of the Fortean Times or-as in the case of the Wiltshire story -which i also think is a hoax -but a damn good story haha-from news sources that report things to them. I will google wiltshire disappearances myself tonight-i hope there isn't another Peter Sutcliffe at work!

Haha -the ghost of Nixon being a "green mist" seemed appropriate -i was also going to try to look into this further as that report goes way back and is from one man-but yes now we can "kick around his ghost" haha-and he thought the kicking around stuff was over:-)

Turkmenbashi is (or was i should say) hilarious without knowing it -you couldn't have put it better "no wonder he was afraid of mimes" haha -one has to wonder what goes on in the minds of some of our more "funny" without meaning to be world leaders -I didn't know about the NPR series-I really must listen to them more -maybe we can kick around his ghost too!

definitely agree about #6 -all the best to you my friend and again sorry i missed this one and thanks again for your wonderful comments!!