Sunday, January 29, 2006

"No man sees my face and lives"

I and I
One says to the other, no man sees my face and lives.
- Bob Dylan

Antonin Artaud traveled to Mexico in 1936 in order to become Europe's first "shamanic tourist" among the Tarahumara Indians. "Peyote, I knew, was not made for whites," the surrealist wrote in The Peyote Dance. "And a White, for these Red Men, is one whom the spirits have abandoned."

The Tarahumara tried to fob off on Artaud "old men who would suddenly get the bends and jiggle their amulets in a queer way," but he held out for the genuine shamans. Finally he was permitted to join an all-night peyote ceremony, and partook of the "dangerous dissociations it seems Peyote provokes, and which I had for 20 years sought by other means":

The things that emerged from my spleen or my liver were shaped like the letters of a very ancient and mysterious alphabet chewed by an enormous mouth, but terrifying, obscure, proud, illegible, jealous of its invisibility.... Peyote leads the self back to its true sources.

To which Daniel Pinchbeck comments in Breaking Open the Head: "as powerful as they were these revelations could not cure his inner divisions":

They could not heal him. Artaud spent the last twelve years of his life in mental institutions, treated by electroshock, writing paranoid letters and increasingly incoherent rants, and revising the text of his revelations among the Tarahumara.

Naturally. The inner divisions were heightened. Artaud wasn't seeking wholeness and reintegration; he was seeking transcendence. Dissociation appears to be a chief characteristic of such a venture, and of intentional boundry crossings. (I say intentional because we need to account for the many witnesses and victims to boundary crossings of which they wanted no part.)

A book by Bruce Moen entitled Voyages into the Unknown records his training in astral projection at the Monroe Institute. A Wednesday night during one of Moen's residencies Robert Monroe led a discussion on what he called the "I/There." Monroe taught that the self as we know it is merely the fragment of the "Total Self" which is currently living a physical life. The total self is a cluster of many beings who each live many lifetimes. So, to astral travellers, many of their "guides" must actually be astral aspects of their total self.

This packet of information overwhelmed Moen:

I ran out into the cool evening air and headed for an open grassy field. Something inside me was being overwhelmed. The old me was dissolving into thin air and a new unfamiliar me was taking its place. I pulled off my shirt and began rolling around in the grass, trying to get a grip on myself. I wasn't sure why I felt the need to do so, but rolling on the ground seemed quite reasonable at the time. The feeling of agitation and internal chaos flying around inside me were overpowering. It felt like rushing waves of some new reality crashing into sea walls of long held beliefs. Some parts of the walls were being pulverized into little bits and washed out to sea.

While rolling shirtless on the grass Moen was ignored by others strolling along the grounds, perhaps because they'd seen it all before. In 1984 an INSCOM lieutenant named Doug Pemberton enrolled in the same Gateway course Moen was attending. According to Schnabel's Remote Viewers, after three days and 15-minutes into another hemi-sync session, Pemberton was found wandering naked and babbling incoherently, and taken to a Walter Reed psychiatric ward.

After Moen pulled himself together he returned to his Monroe Center "CHEC" unit (Controlled Holistic Environmental Chamber) for that evening's tape session: "I stood for a moment at the opening to the CHEC unit, feeling how much it seemed like a Gateway into another dimension. Something in me was struggling to hang on to its old identity.... That part of me was trying to prevent my passing through that Gateway and entering whatever dimension of the beyond awaited."

Reading this and Monroe's theory of a fragmentary self, I'm reminded of "body Thetans" from the higher teachings of Scientology, and of the over-representation of high Scientologists among the military's remote viewers. (For instance, the NSA's Major Hal Puthoff was an "Operating Thetan, Level III," Pat Price OT IV, and Ingo Swann OT VII.) And after reading Moen's book, this is familar, too: "Tom Cruise became psychotic during a secret Scientology initiation in which one is told that rather than being one person, one is composed of thousands of aliens from all over the universe fighting for control of your body. After completing this initiation, known as OT III, Tom appeared sickly with black circles under his eyes and pasty skin."

L Ron Hubbard leads us back to Aleister Crowley. In Crowleyan occult science, ego death is called the "crossing of the abyss," and entails for the magician a wrestling with the "great demon" Choronzon, the dweller of the abyss, found in the 10th Aethyr of John Dee's Enochian system. (An excerpt from Alex Owen's The Place of Enchantment recounts Crowley's 1909 crossing with the aid of companion Victor Neuburg: "Both men now felt that they understood the nature of the Abyss. It represented Dispersion: a terrifying chaos in which there was no center and no controlling consciousness.")

I believe all this talk - and against a deep, black backdrop of military study and sponsorship - of a fragmentary cluster of selves, "body thetans" and ego death, has considerable resonance for the study of ritual abuse and mind control, which is also concerned with the deliberate destruction of ego integration, though naturally not by choice. In the ritual context of ego death and its regard as a prerequisite for transcendence, the creation of programmable alters may be regarded as a high sacrament.

Moen begins Voyages into the Unknown curiously with pages of detail concerning a bizarre early childhood "daydream." In it, he enters a bedroom, and a woman on the bed raises the covers and beckons him to join her. Moen writes, "as a five- or six-year old boy, I never understood what we did in that bed. I only felt the frolicking atmosphere, pleasure, and a lot of bouncing and moving." Then he feels terror at the image of a menacing figure in the doorway. ("I knew in that instant if he got his hands on me I would be dead or worse.")

Later in life I began to wonder, so where had this daydream come from? How could I as a young boy have any knowledge of brass rail beds, sex, or another man's jealousy that was strong enough that he wanted to kill me? And the feelings that accompanied the experience - where had they come from? The pleasure, joy and frolic I'd felt with the woman. The throat-gripping terror I'd felt with the knowledge I'd be killed or worse if the man in the doorway caught me. Where did those feelings come from?

By my early twenties, it was clear to me that I had no reasonable, logical explanation for how a five- or six-year old boy could have such a daydream.... After many years I came to accept the only possible answer, reincarnation.

Even though I'd known, when I first picked up Moen's book, that he would be going there, to me this "only possible answer" immediately cast doubt upon his self-knowledge, even though he now believes, following Monroe, that the self is illusion. Because if it ever occured to him that the peculiar "daydream" could be memories from this life - suppressed images of traumatic childhood abuse - he doesn't say.

By the way, here's an oddly-worded wire story about a security breach inside an Arkansas chemical weapons plant. "There's no doubt in my mind that the officer saw something, but it wasn't human," Col. Brian S. Lindamood said. "At this time I have no idea what it could be." RI board discussion here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Full Spectral Dominance (Part Two)

In dreams I walk with you
In dreams I talk to you - Roy Orbison

Dr Albert Hoffman, the "father of LSD," but perhaps better described as its midwife, turned 100 a few days ago. Like so many other things we trip over this fraught century, lysergic acid diethylamide first appeared in Nazi-dominated Europe, and first through dreams and intuition.

Hoffman was looking for compounds that induced muscle contraction. After synthesizing LSD and testing it on animals to no useful effect Hoffman's research moved on. But strangely, he began to dream repeatedly about its molecular structure, and was gripped by a "peculiar presentiment" that compelled him, five years later, to resynthesize the compound and ingest it intentionally.

"In the annals of science," Daniel Pinchbeck writes in Breaking Open the Head, "it is notable that many scientific insights first appear in dreams and visions":

The German chemist Friedrich Kekule, for instance, dreamt of a snake with its tail in its mouth, and understood that the molecular structure of benzene was a closed carbon ring. The French mathematician Jules-Henri Poincaré, during a sleepless night, saw mathematical symbols colliding until they coalesced into equations. These intuitive levels of insight, whether scientific or artistic, function like the prophetic dreams of shamans.... Hoffman's discovery of LSD was that kind of insight - a flash from a deeper order of the self or, perhaps, from outside the self entirely.

How did the Amazonian shamans come to discover their complex psychoactive compound of ayahuasca? They say the plants taught them in dreams. And intuition seemed to lead the synthesis of DMT in 1931, nearly 20 years before it was discovered to be a naturally occuring alkaloid in plants. (It wasn't until 1972 that it was found to be an endogenous compound, produced by the human brain.)

Pinchbeck records his ceremonial ingestion of ayahuasca:

The hallucinations started to deepen into a realm that I could not recognize, that I lack language to describe. I found myself wandering across a shimmering space with beings that never stopped changing - porcupine-quilled, tusked, multitongued, amoebic, but even those words are only approximations of entities that could be compared to the darker imaginings of HP Lovecraft. The shaman and the elders seemed to be inhabiting this space with me. Glowing in the light cast by the fire, their features seemed animated by an almost nonhuman intensity. They sang, their words unintelligible, to these creatures, interacting with them, in mystical communion. It seemed that this was the goal of the ayahuasca ceremony, the arrival point. These were "the heavenly people."

The scene is similar to that described by Robert Monroe in Journeys Out of the Body of a hellish layer close to our mundane reality through which he would pass while projecting his astral self, which felt like bait above "a gray-black hungry ocean where the slightest motion attracts nibbling and tormenting beings." He writes that "it is easy to conclude that a momentary penetration of this nearby layer would bring 'demons' and 'devils' to mind as the chief inhabitants." It also recalls the hallucinatory witness to shapeshifting in some accounts of mind control survivors.

DMT frequently induces similar visions of interstellar voids, hungry insectoid intelligences and abduction scenarios indistinguishable from those of UFO encounters, including alien intercourse. Here "Rex" describes his controlled injection in Dr Rick Strassman's DMT: The Spirit Molecule:

When I was first going under there were these insect creatures all around me. They were clearly trying to break through. I was fighting letting go of who I am or was.... They were interested in emotion. As I was holding on to my last thought, that God equals love, they said, "Even here? Even here?" I said, "Yes, of course." They were still there but I was making love to them at the same time. They feasted as they made love to me.... The thought came to me with certainty that they were manipulating my DNA, changing its structure.

Strassman ended his clinical studies of the drug in part because he gave serious weight to the warning of a "highly intuitive" friend who told him she saw "evil spirits hovering around you. They want to come through this plane, using you and the drugs."

If there are many dimensions beyond, or behind, those we normally inhabit, it would seem by the congruity of experience that there are a variety of means to their unlocking. Yet all of them - occult workings, remote viewing, astral projection, UFO abductions and shamanic chemistry - share the trait of inducing altered states of consciousness. And something else they share is the abiding, deep attention of military intelligence.

At this point, someone's likely to mention the "holographic universe" and its alleged implication that "nothing is real." Perhaps instead it means that everything is real, including the "imaginal realm" described by French Islamic scholar Henry Corbin in his 1972 work, Mundis Imaginalis:

Upon returning [from a mystical vision] the beholders of this world are perfectly aware of having been "elsewhere": they are not mere schizophrenics. This world is hidden behind the very act of sense perception and has to be sought underneath its apparent objective certainty. For this reason we definitely cannot qualify it as being imaginary in the current sense of the word, ie, unreal or nonexistent. [It] is ontologically as real as the world of the senses and that of the intellect [perceived by] the "psychospiritual senses."

Psychologist Kenneth Ring talks of "the shamanizing of modern humanity" in his book The Omega Project, which studies the commonality of Near-Death Experience and UFO encounters. Ring writes that "we could be in the beginning stages of a major shift in levels of consciousness that will eventually lead to humanity's being able to live in two worlds at once - the physical and the imaginal." He believes that NDEs and UFOs, like the mystical and visionary states found in shamanic ritual, may be adventing at this time as an evolutionary aid towards the development of "latent capacities for imaginal perception."

I'm not sure I agree with Ring's rosy conclusions drawn from the evident thinning of the veil. I wonder instead whether a nexus of powerful parties on both sides of the portal with investments in control are conspiring to exploit gateways, the result of which may mean a near blunt-force stunting of the development of human consciousness.

I know this is highly speculative, but it's one of those crazy thoughts I have when I look up and see grids in the sky where there were none before, and marvel at the calculation behind our conspicuous dumbing down. What is it about us that is being suppressed, and who most profits by it?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sex, Drugs and Three-Card Monte

Let the wind blow low, let the wind blow high,
One day the little boy and the little girl
Were both baked in a pie.
- Bob Dylan

Former DEA special agent Michael Levine likens the "War on Drugs" to the con game three-card monte: the grifter lays down three cards on a table, shows you that one is the Queen of Spades, then turns them over and quickly shuffles. He asks if you can pick the Queen, and you saw some guy before you win easily, so you reach for your wallet. Guess what? You lose. And you know that guy who won? He's part of the scam.

In the early seventies Levine was assigned to the Hard Narcotics Smuggling Squad, which investigated all heroin and cocaine smuggling through the port of New York City. In Kristina Borjesson's Into the Buzzsaw he writes that "we could not avoid witnessing the CIA protecting major drug dealers":

In fact, throughout the Vietnam War, while we documented massive amounts of heroin flooding into the US from the Golden Triangle...not a single important source in Southeast Asia was ever indicted by US law enforcement. This was no accident. Case after case...was killed by CIA and State Department intervention and there wasn't a damn thing we could do about it.

The DEA, of course, is allowed some victories in order to support the bogus strategy that supports the bogus war. The media - the shilling co-conspirator in the game of Drug-War Monte - dutifully reports the massive busts and seizures. Though they had better be the right bust. When Florida's 9/11 flight school bagman, the Jeb Bush-backed Wally Hilliard, happened to be caught with 43 pounds of heroin onboard his private plane (the largest seizure in the history of Florida, and that state's had some history) it was all a simple misunderstanding, corrected with one phone call.

Levine continues:

Media's shill duties, as I experienced them firsthand, were twofold: first, to keep quiet about the gush of drugs that were allowed to flow unimpeded into the US; second, to divert the public's attention by shilling them into believing the drug war was legitimate by falsely presenting the few trickles we were permitted to indict as though they were major "victories" when in fact we were doing nothing more than getting rid of the inefficient competitors of CIA assets.

I thought of this tonight after reading the story "Russian and US special services arrest international child traffickers":

Russian and US special services have conducted a special operation in Moscow to arrest members of an international criminal group that was dealing with the trafficking of children. The operation was completed successfully. "The group was conducting illegal activities for several years under the guise of various public services," Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia, Sergei Fridinsky said Tuesday.

According to the official, several Russian and American citizens set up a firm which they named as Yunona. The company was registered in California. The firm was collecting confidential information about children in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Guatemala and several other countries. The criminals were selling the collected information to adoption agencies. "It has been proved as a result of investigation that the organization was involved in the adoption of Aleksei Geiko who subsequently died in the USA in 2005," Sergei Fridinsky told reporters.

The illegal company had a network of agents in various countries of the world. The agents were digging for information in children's homes and other social institutions with the help of bribes. The services of the child-trafficking agency cost from $10,000 to $20,000 for each client.

Drugs and children are commodities that trade on the same grey markets, and by the same day traders. For instance, Plan Colombia has been largely outsourced to DynCorp, but the Texas firm charged with eradicating narcotics at source has been implicated in both its trafficking and in Bosnian child prostitution.

"The White House is crippling a Senate inquiry into the government's sluggish response" to Katrina, as it's revealed that the Bush administration receieved detailed early warning of the hurricane's impact. And the hundreds of children still missing from Katrina - what's become of them?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"God Bless Canada"

Used to have a country but they sold it down the river
Like a repossessed farm auctioned off to the highest bidder
- Bruce Cockburn

I'm still finding my post-election legs here. (That was a long night, and a tall bottle.) So forgive a little more indulgent Canadiana, and consider this a place-holder until I can get it together for a proper post.

Now, about what the hell is going on up here.

The Conservatives have formed a "safe" government on a short leash, that in the long term may prove the most disastrous outcome. Their weak minority will force them, if they're smart (and they are, now) to moderate their agenda; actually bringing it more into line with the centrist cooings Stephen Harper was making during the campaign. Breathing space for everyone, but it just means we're in a pot that's being brought to a boil. Some won't notice until they smell the garlic butter.

Canadian minority governments typically survive about 18 months. This provides a perfect window for our increasingly aggressive corporatist media to burnish Harper's image, and for voters to feel the slight benefit of tax cuts without yet feeling the pain of cuts to social services. (And of course this is how Canadian social services will be gutted. The Conservatives must say the right thing - that they will defend public healthcare, employment insurance and the rest - all the while doing the wrong thing by emptying the Treasury. Then, well, their hands will be tied: just the way they like it.)

The Conservatives will need to broker deals with one of the three parties to their left, but that may not be as difficult as it appears. Though the Bloc Quebecois has a progressive platform it has also strong nativist elements to which Harper's vision of a devolved federal state will easily appeal. (A note about the Green Party, which won no seats but took 4% of the vote. Our Greens have become a stalking horse of the Right, led by a former Conservative and his team, which exists now only to siphon naive votes away from Left candidates in close races.)

Something else to expect during the minority tenure is Harper's drawing a target on Canada's back and then claiming it is only the Conservatives who are "strong on security." This could be precipitated by a world event (say, the forthcoming and potentially unconventional attack on Iran), Harper's hellbent march into the endless "war on terror," followed closely by a Bali bombing-like, this time it's personal attack on a soft Canadian target. If it sounds like something out of John Howard's playbook, it is. Howard's national campaign director, Brian Loughnane, is also advising the Canadian Conservatives.

(Incidentally the Liberals, like Liberals do, tried to have it both ways in power by making a rhetorical flourish of sitting out Iraq while quietly bloodying Canada's hands in Haiti by participating in the criminal abduction of Aristide and the crushing of Lavalas.)

It's interesting to note that, the weekend before the election, 60 Minutes gushed over the environmental catastrophe - and economic fallacy - of Alberta's oil sands: "the reserves are so vast in the province of Alberta that they will help solve America’s energy needs for the next century.... Within a few years, the oil sands are likely to become more important to the United States than all the oil that comes to us from Saudi Arabia."

How propitious, then, that a right-wing Albertan who closes his speeches with the strangely uncanadian "God Bless Canada" has just been elected Prime Minister.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Let's Pretend Politics

I know a lot about alienated man
But we've all heard as much about that as we can stand
It's just what happens when you let the time span catch you napping
- Bruce Cockburn

When I haven't posted for a few days it's because there's too much to say, rather than not enough. There's always too much. That's the problem.

This week, it's not that I've been overworked, so much as overwrought. Principally, parochially, on account of next Monday's Canadian election.

Last night in an interview on CBC, Stephen Harper said he couldn't promise that a Conservative government wouldn't take Canada into deficit because "we might have a war." Does that sound familiar to American ears? Meanwhile, the Liberals' star candidate and putative leadership hopeful, Harvard's Michael Ignatieff, is an apologist for torture and the Iraq War.

I know it's only politics. And thanks to the education I've given myself since first watching Florida flip to the Bush column, I know that can mean only so much and no more. But I'm not one of those who can say they're all the same. And even if they were, I don't think I could say it.

I expect in politics, virtually everywhere, it takes something like a dissociative act of will to Keep Hope Alive. Especially in the clapped-out, qlipphotic shells of the old democracies. Elections become Logan's Run-like lotteries that never pay off, but that keep the citizenry mollified because there's always next time. (And no matter the tyranny that descends upon America, there will always be a next time. So long as the ceremony of the vote is observed, enough people will mistake it for representative rule.)

Canada has more than two parties, or two wings of one party, and so perhaps both more cause to hope and to have them dashed. Mine are dashed regularly by the usually falling fortunes of the socialist/social democratic NDP. Though I expect, should I and my country live so long that I see it govern Canada in its own right, my hopes would be thoroughly and unalterably crushed. Until next time.

Still, it's disproportionately thanks to the NDP that we have the Canada we recognize, even if increasingly it's being perverted into just another national fable to keep our heads held high, so we can't see what's racing towards us.

But not all fables need be disempowering. Especially not if we can write the ending. Here's a cartoon of my favourite political fable, "Mouseland", told by the first leader of the NDP, Tommy Douglas, and introduced by his grandson, Kiefer Sutherland.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?"

A great question and a good story. But it can't be the end of the story, because politics is neither the end nor the beginning.

A Village Voice headline reads "Bush is overtaken by events — and overwhelmed." Seriously, I doubt he's been paying enough attention to be. And why should he? He's assured of his eight years, and his minders' lines are well-memorized. His head must still hit his pilly at 10pm. It's projection to think such people above events lose sleep over them. Meanwhile, there's much that keeps me up until four in the morning.

I was reading Kenneth Grant's Outer Gateways tonight, and a passage reminded me of this topic, to which I mean to return. He writes that "the buzzing or humming of insects has often been referred to the presence of the Outer Ones and their vehicles":

It is not difficult to see in this symbolism an adumbration of that future aeon characterized by the beetle, the drone of whose wings is already disturbing the dreams of sensitives and artists the world over. It is therefore incumbent upon those who are initiated into the techniques of dream control to utilize the relevant formualae in an attempt to investigate more closely the entities that are feeding on terrestrial energies and consolidating their power prior, perhaps, to a massive invasion of this planet.

Grant adds that it was the work of his New Isis Lodge to "prepare the ground and to establish points of magical contact within the OTO.... The purpose was, and is, to establish terrestrial outposts for these alien creatures."

I've always had a thing for the quixotic romance of hopeless causes. But the romance lasted only so long as I felt assured that other things were not hopeless. That even though it was dark out there, I could count on a floor to the universe. And more and more causes keep falling through the floor I thought was there.

Tommy Douglas liked to say "Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world." I believe, Tommy. Help me my unbelief.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Solitary monsters

Lenny Bruce is dead but he didn't commit any crime
He just had the insight to rip off the lid before its time. - Bob Dylan

I'm too busy too often these days, and my head's getting turned by mere politics in the last week of what looks to be a catastrophic election. So apologies for the posting lag, and the brevity of this one. I mean to have more soon.

If you've followed the case you likely know that Richard Hamlin was convicted and now faces a life sentence. An injustice? I won't pretend that I know enough to play armchair jurist to answer that conclusively. What I know is that Hamlin didn't do himself any favours by his defence, even if it was the truth. Alleging ritual abuse and mind control isn't exactly a winning formula in the courts these days. Not when, to most Americans, both claims have been "debunked" and swept from the realm of what's possible by powerful forces in the dominant culture. Presumably, that's why the evidence of Satanic cult activity in Ponchatoula's Hosanna Church were dropped by the DA. He would rather rest his case upon the testimony of child victims than introduce hard evidence that the abusers were acting with cultic intent, including "videotapes and nine bin liners full of masks and robes for use in the ceremonies." As I wrote last June, "What remains are still inconceivable crimes, yet now without motive." As a successful attorney Hamlin must have known going in what his accusations would sound like to a jury composed of citizens whose nation conditions the conviction that such things don't happen. And that contributes to my suspicion of his innocence.

But now that's that, and for most people who note it the Hamlin case will register as yet another example of a bizarre and discredited theory. No; despite Susan's confession to police, her reported absence of claimed injuries, her child telling his teacher that he wished mommy would stop licking him, and her plant pathologist father's unexplained presence in Indio during the Wackenhut/Cabazon years (why wasn't he called to the stand?) this one's all wrapped up.

Just like the Jeffrey MacDonald case. Except that's not, either. MacDonald has just won the right to pursue a fourth appeal of the murder conviction of his wife and two children in 1970. (And it's some kind of coincidence, though I don't know what kind, that Ted Gunderson has figured in both.)

Like Hamlin's, MacDonald's story is virtually unbelievable if all you know is that story. If you know something about Fort Bragg and, most important, the protected drug trade out of Vietnam, you're more likely to shrug and say "Yeah, I can see that."

MacDonald was an Army drug counselor at the base, which was on the receiving end of a military drug cult that set up shop in Indochina known as the "Black Masonic Club," led by "Sergeant Smack," Leslie "Ike" Atkinson (eventually arrested by the DEA and given a 40-year sentence). They used the remains of GIs as mules, stitching bags of heroin into their body cavities. The local dealers loathed MacDonald, who was pressuring those in his treatment program to name suppliers.

After the MacDonald family murders, an informant named Helena Stoeckley contacted narcotics detective Everette Beasley to say she had been in the house at the time of the killings, and provided details of the military drug operation.

Alex Constantine writes in Psychic Dictatorship in the USA:

The recipients of the heroin, she said, had contacts in Vietnam who placed it in the bodies of war casualties. The bodies were re-stitched and shipped to Johnson Air Base and other installations around the country. When the bodies arrived in the US they were met by a military contact and the heroin was removed. The bodies were then sent on to their final destinations.

"The persons who met the bodies at the respective air bases knew which bodies to check, based on a predetermined code," Beasley says. "Helena told me that the people who handled the assignments in Vietnam, and those who met the planes in the United States, were military personnel."

She also told him that the couriers made their pick-ups at Fort Bragg. Distribution was handled by enlisted me, civilians, police officers. "Local attorneys and Army officers as high as generals were part of the operation. She stated that she would name and identify the people if given immunity by the US government."

She wasn't, and so would have faced conviction herself for participation in the crime by being in the company of the murderers. Though Stoeckley had previously supplied information that had secured over 200 arrests in the Fort Bragg area, in this case the authorities simply didn't want to know her. She died a couple of years later, quite rapidly, of liver failure, after compaining to friends she was being followed by "two men in suits." (In Potter and Bost's Fatal Justice, the rebuttal to Joe McGinniss's duplicitous Fatal Vision, writes that her former neighbours confirmed noting well-dressed strangers often parked outside her apartment.)

The MacDonald apartment was kept sealed by the US Army and the Justice Department from 1970 until 1981. "Fort Bragg fought to regain custody of the quarters beginning in February of 1981, but the Justice Department kept rigid control of them for three years following, citing that the apartment where the murders occurred and its contents might be needed as evidence to offset anticipated defense appeals." All this time, MacDonald's council was denied access, which naturally was sought in order to compile evidence that could support the case that his family had been slaughtered by intruders.


on the night of June 7-8, 1984, everything in the apartment was completely burned and then buried at the Fort Bragg trash dump. This included all furnishings, the ceilings, walls, doors, window sills, ledges, hardwood floors...leaving nothing but a skeleton of joists and sub flooring. The destruction also included items that, by regulation, were required to be placed for public auction by the Army - things like furniture, light fixtures, appliances, sinks, etc. Most importantly, the burning and burying of the entire contents of the apartment destroyed everything that might have been touched or left behind by murderers.


As a cover for this deliberate crime, the government claimed in its paperwork that MacDonald had "abandoned" his property, when in truth, he was not allowed access to reclaim his property. The secret destruction actually occurred while MacDonald's attorneys were still trying to wrest court permission to examine the quarters. No one informed them that both the quarters and its contents no longer existed.

There is much more to the MacDonald case, but the impressions left by McGinniss's Fatal Vision - since proven to be a work of slander - persist. Fables work better when the monster is just one man who didn't get away with it, rather than many powerful men who always do.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Full Spectral Dominance (Part One)

You could go down to the canyon
piss away this incarnation

but just remember that you pay for what you get - Bruce Cockburn

As I said in an earlier post, I'm finding the correspondences between boundary experiences a fascinating and instructive study. And an aspect which almost always appears present, whichever boundary is breached, is the electrical. Perhaps not surprisingly so, since the electric is also a irreducible aspect of physical life. It's not only out there, but it's in us. (In other words I suppose, wherever you go, there you are.) Our brains are not just grey matter; they also carry a frequency. And it seems, or so we're told, when we tune it just so, we can pick up other stations of reality's broad band.

It's what Bob Monroe was talking about, as he detailed his 40-year astral travelogue. Monroe developed a technique he called "hemi-sync" for inducing altered states of consciousness by entraining the brain towards certain frequencies. In the early '80s, INSCOM officers and the military's remote viewers were visiting Virginia's Monroe Institute every few weeks for it's five-day "Gateway Lifeline" program to hone their paranormal skills, though for their sake it was given the less squishy title of "Rapid Advancement Personal Training." (Monroe's military-intelligence connections might have been a birthright: it is said that his father was James Monroe, Executive Director of the CIA's mind control cut-out the Human Ecology Society.)

Monroe's first book, Journeys Out of the Body, includes a number of diary entries from the late '50s and early '60s which recount his early experiences with astral projection before hitting upon hemi-sync. For instance:

11/5/58 Afternoon

The vibrations came quickly and easily, and were not at all uncomfortable. When they were strong, I tried tolift out of the physical with no result. Whatever thought or combination I tried, I remained confined right where I was. I then remembered the rotating trick, which operates just as if you are turning over in bed. I started to turn, and recognized that my physical was not "turning" with me. I moved slowly, and after a moment I was "face down," or in direct opposition to the placement of my physical body. The moment I reached this 180 degree position, there was a hole. That's the only way to describe it. To my senses, it semed to be a hole in a wall which was about two feet thick and streched endlessly in all directions.... I felt that if my vision were good enough I could probably see nearby stars and planets.

Monroe spends weeks cautiously exploring the hole. He reaches in a hand, and is astonished when a hand took his and shook it. He hears his name called, and voices exclaiming "Come here quick! Look!" On one occasion he puts his hand through and feels something sharp dig into his palm, "like a hook, and dug in more deeply when I tried to withdraw it." On another, his hand feels as though it's been thrust into "electrically charged hot water."

Finally, "gathering courage, I pulled myself through in a sweeping rush, just as a swimmer might pull himself through a hole under water."What followed were a series of experiments "that were remarkable in their consistency of data, and defied any historical explanation." (Also, we ought to say, defying corroboration.) Monroe found, on repeated visits, a "physical-matter world almost identical to our own," though with weird details askew. (There were no electrical devices, and even the smallest car had a "single bench seat that will hold five to six people abreast.") He could travel in this realm he called "Locale III" largely undetected, ghost-like. What's more, he found he could "possess" the body of an inhabitant, and directly experience life in Locale III.

(I know the fallacy of interpreting the next thing I read by the last thing I've read. Still, I can't let it pass how much Monroe's description of pulling himself through the hole reminds me of the account from Skinwalker Ranch of the "tunnel" alleged to have appeared before the pair of NIDS researchers, and the black humanoid which was seen to hoist itself out and walk away.)

During an early passage of discovery in the realm, Monroe noticed something suddenly fly past him. "I turned just in time to see it heading for the wall and the hole. I was afraid for some reason that this was something that would go through and try to enter my body." Maybe so. In the early '80s, an alleged spirit named Miranon, picked up somewhere outside our space-time, "seemed actually to possess Bob Monroe one day... speaking through him like a spirit through a medium," writes Jim Schnabel. "Miranon still possessed Bob fairly often" when military personnel were frequent visitors to the Institute. Monroe was so taken by the Seth-like pronouncements of his astral friend that he named a pond on the property "Lake Miranon."

Monroe died in 1995, and Skip Atwater became the Institute's Director of Research. From 1978 to 1988, Atwater served as the Operations and Training Officer for the US Army Intelligence remote viewing program.

Journeys Out of the Body also records visionary alleged "precog" side-effects Monroe experienced during his early astral experiments. They are usually dreadful with strange menace and futility:

I am standing alone outside my house.... I see a group of aircraft emerge from the cloud cover, just above it. They approach, and I note that they are not typical aircraft or rockets.... They are not like any airplanes I have seen before. No wings are visible, and each machine is gigantic.... Each is shaped like the head of an arrow, V-shaped....

Gasoline is unavailable, electric power has been shut off. there is a great sense of fatality among everyone. It doesn't seem to be the product of atomic war, and there is no concern as to radioactive fallout. There is principally a feeling of doom and the breakup of civilization as we know it due to something momentous having taken place, a factor beyond human control.

Monroe adds, "I hope some of them are hallucinations."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stand on guard, run like hell

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the badies shake hands with the fellows
And it's open for business like a cheap bordello
And they call it democracy - Bruce Cockburn

I haven't written much here about Canada (once, I think). There are several good reasons for that, and perhaps some bad ones, too.

Since I write about Canada elsewhere, for a Canadian audience, I suppose I think that's enough. Also, I have that annoying, self-effacing tick: who really wants to hear about us? But maybe the chief cause has been my lingering naivité that Canada is a place where politics still trumps deep politics. It's a presumption that doesn't bear scrutiny. After all, this is the home of Bush family interest Barrick Gold and of the Bronfmans, a family with a pedigree in organized crime that also has links to "the Nine." Montreal figures in the background of both John Kennedy's murder (it was the home of Louis Bloomfield, Chairman of Clay Shaw's Permindex) and Martin Luther King's (James Earl Ray met Raul in the city in 1967). And there's always more, when you look for it.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, a former protege of Maurice Strong, has a family concern called Canada Steamship Lines, "the world's largest fleet of self-unloading bulkers," that controls assets worth $700 million. He transferred control to his sons in 2003 when running for the Liberal leadership. Until then, the company had been in a blind trust during his years in government. Martin acknowledged when seeking the top job that $137,000 in federal funds had been received by his company while he served as Finance Minister. That was a slight miscalculation. The actual amount of grants and loans CSL received was $161 million.

And then there was the story that broke July 1, 2004: "Nova Scotia Police Seize Cocaine on CSL Ship." And again, it wasn't a piddling amount. Two duffel bags found behind a ballast grate on the bottom of the hull were found to contain 83 kilograms, worth $12 to $14 million. The ship was named the Sheila Ann, after the Prime Minister's wife.

CSL spokeswoman Martine Malka pulled the family’s nuts out of the bilge water. "This cannot be done through the ship," she said. "The only way this could have been done is by divers underwater." In other words, Gosh, officer, how'd that get there?

Susan Horne, president of the Customs Excise Union in Nova Scotia, agreed, and explained with some fuzziness that the drugs were almost certainly destined for Canada, as their placement would have interfered with the crew unloading coal in Sydney, and would surely have been noticed.

There are a few things that just don’t sit right about that.

For instance, what kind of argument contends that the hypothetical placement of the drugs in Sydney would have interfered with the crew, and yet the placement of the drugs in Venezuela supposedly proceeded without notice? A pretty damn circular one, I’d say. Also, how could the duffel bags have been retrieved without drawing attention of the crew, if their placement "would surely have been noticed"?

The quick presumption of innocence for the crew is bizarre, since it was only the earlier summer that RCMP canine units sniffed out sailors’ "personal use" narcotics on five CSL ships. A single crew member was found in possession of drugs valued at $250,000.

The Sheila Ann had arrived loaded from Venezuela. Leaving Sydney Nova Scotia, its next port of call was destined to be Miami. Empty. And after the fluke seizure, especially empty.

Perhaps most suspicious is the amount involved. Eighty-three kilograms is an exceptionally large amount to risk on an unwitting mule. For instance, the same week as the Sheila Ann seizure, no more than 369 grams of hashish and 706 grams of cocaine were discovered hidden in the wing of a Boeing 767 that had arrived at the Vancouver International Airport from Australia.

This suggests a couple of things: either this method had been tried and trusted over a long period of time, or the mule was not so unwitting. Either way, it certainly wasn’t the one-off authorities pretended it to be. And that the story broke not long after the Vancouver headlines of RCMP drug raids on provincial Liberals with strong Martin ties – well, this is Canada we're talking about, so let's not get carried away. Like last November's story, that a drug-related contract to hit Martin for $300,000 was shopped around the Toronto underworld - that just can't be right.

But that was then, and this is mid-January, and in two weeks Canadians will be electing a new government. And chances are high it will be led by Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party, whose braintrust brims with Straussians and Bohemian Grovers.

To get an idea what that would mean, last month The Washington Times ran a piece entitled "Gift from Canada?" It begins:

Why does President Bush hope Christmas comes a little late this year? Because on Jan. 23, Canada may elect the most pro-American leader in the Western world. Free-market economist Stephen Harper, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, is pro-free trade, pro-Iraq war, anti-Kyoto, and socially conservative. Move over Tony Blair: If elected, Mr. Harper will quickly become Mr. Bush's new best friend internationally and the poster boy for his ideal foreign leader.

Harper and his crowd are not the brand of conservatives Canadians have seen in office before. That party, the stubbornly oxymoronic Progressive Conservatives, was destroyed by the Bush family lapdog misrule of Brian Mulroney, and eventually absorbed by the far-right fringe of social- and neo-cons who needed a presentable vehicle to carry them to power. Now, to the casual voter, they're just "Tories," like those before whom they remember as governing not so differently than the Liberals. I think, even if they don't pay particular attention, they'll be surprised by what they get.

We're living at a time when all the pieces are coming into play, and that includes the other North America. If the next move is a Harper victory, I think we can expect a certain destabilization that will be welcomed by some in Washington who will be ready to exploit it. Because there will likely be an election in Quebec next year that will almost certainly elect a separtist government bent upon holding a new referendum on sovereignty. These Conservatives, led by alienated Westerners, have no love or understanding of Quebec, and many of them hope for its departure from Canada as it's predominently left values are regarded as impediments to untrammelled rule by the far right. Harper is already cutting deals with the sovereigntist Bloc Quebecois, whose leader has pledged not to bring down a minority government for three years.

That could be enough time to see the end of Canada, both conceptually and factually. There would then be nothing for us but Fortress North America. So US residents seeking shelter from the storm will need to look further. And may have some company.

The future, she doesn't look so good.

By the way, here is a provocative story for those who suspect weather manipulation during last year's hurricane season in the Gulf: "Hurricanes of 2005 were filled with mysterious lightning":

The boom of thunder and crackle of lightning generally mean one thing: a storm is coming. Curiously, though, the biggest storms of all, hurricanes, are notoriously lacking in lightning. Hurricanes blow, they rain, they flood, but seldom do they crackle.

Surprise: During the record-setting hurricane season of 2005 three of the most powerful storms - Rita, Katrina, and Emily - did have lightning, lots of it. And researchers would like to know why.


Indeed, the electric fields above Emily were among the strongest ever measured by the aircraft’s sensors over any storm. "We observed steady fields in excess of 8 kilovolts per meter," says Blakeslee. "That is huge - comparable to the strongest fields we would expect to find over a large land-based 'mesoscale' thunderstorm."

Gee. Fancy that.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Space cadets

Call it intuition, call it a creeping suspicion - Nick Cave

A bit of an update of this post from last March, thanks to this thread on the RI discussion board.

An article last week in The Scotsman claimed an "extrordinary 'hyperspace' engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government." The theory is to create an intense magnetic field that would provide gravitational thrust:

Also, if a large enough magnetic field was created, the craft would slip into a different dimension, where the speed of light is faster, allowing incredible speeds to be reached. Switching off the magnetic field would result in the engine reappearing in our current dimension.

The US air force has expressed an interest in the idea and scientists working for the American Department of Energy - which has a device known as the Z Machine that could generate the kind of magnetic fields required to drive the engine - say they may carry out a test if the theory withstands further scrutiny.

Professor Jochem Hauser, one of the scientists who put forward the idea, told The Scotsman that if everything went well a working engine could be tested in about five years.

Such an article can't help but make me think of Nick Cook's The Hunt for Zero Point. Cook's odyssey began at Jane's Aviation Weekly, when someone anonymously dropped a 1956 clipping on his desk with the headline "The G-Engines Are Coming." In many respects, the 50-year old article was not unlike that in last week's Scotsman: "in the United States and Canada, research centers, scientists, designers and engineers are perfecting a way to control gravity - a force infinitely more powerful than the mighty atom. The result of their labors will be antigravity engines working without fuel - weightless airliners and space ships able to travel at 170,000 miles per second."

The article from '56 states the research is supported by the Glenn L Martin Aircraft Company, Bell Aircraft, Lear and several other US firms. It quotes Lawrence Bell as saying they are "already working" on cancelling out gravity. The head of Advanced Programs and VP in charge of the "G-Project" at Martin Aircraft, George S Trimble, adds that manufacturing a gravitational field drive "could be done in about the time it took to build the first atom bomb."

Cook almost tossed it in the waste basket, because almost as soon as such reports appeared in the mid-sixties it seemed as though they'd never existed. The research either never happened, was discontinued, or went deep black.

Cook, picking up the thread of a possibly deeply-guarded military-industrial secret, began by tracking down Trimble. He asked his media contact friend at Lockheed Martin, Daniella Abelman, to see if Trimble was still alive, and ask him if he'd be interested in an interview. Cook didn't tell Abelman why he wanted to talk. She called back soon after, and said that Trimble was alive and retired in Arizona. "Sounds hard as nails, but an amazing guy. He's kinda mystified why you want to talk to him after all this time, but seems okay with it. Like you said, it's historical, right?"

"Right," Cook said.

Abelman called back a few days later. "Separated by an ocean and five time zones," Cook writes, "I heard the catch in her breathing."

"It's Trimble," she said. "The guy just got off the phone to me. Remember how he was fine to do the interview? Well, something's happened. I don't know who this old man is or what he once was, but he told me in no uncertain terms to get off his case. He doesn't want to speak to me and he doesn't want to speak to you, not now, not ever. I don't mind telling you that he sounded scared and I don't like to hear old men scared. It makes me scared. I don't know what you were really working on when you came to me with this, Nick, but let me give you some advice. Stick to what you know about; stick to the damned present. It's better that way for all of us."

The familiar name of Hal Puthoff, formerly of Naval Intelligence and the NSA and then director of Stanford Research Institute's Remote Viewing program on behalf of the CIA and DIA, turns up midway through The Hunt for Zero Point. Puthoff has been doing theoretical work for NASA on the zero-point energy field since the early 1970s. (Before meeting, Cook had doubts he was acting wisely. "Did I really want to declare my interest in antigravity to a man who had clear connections to the intelligence community?") Cook probed him gingerly: Did Puthoff know of forms of aerospace travel, perhaps in the "black" world, whose principals contravened the laws of physics or our understanding of aerodynamics?

He sucked the top of his pen, giving the question a lot of thought before responding. "I've certainly talked to people who claim that something is going on," he said, pausing to add: "I would say the evidence is pretty solid."

When asked to choose which of five avenues proposed by NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program stood the greatest chance of success, Puthoff selected without hesitation the perturbation of space-time through antigravity.

Cook left the interview with the impression that Puthoff meant to indirectly communicate that tangible results had already been achieved. There is much more direct evidence in The Hunt for Zero Point to support such an assumption. And as Cook suggests, "if antigravity had been discovered in the white world, then someone, somewhere had to be perfecting it - maybe even building real hardware - in the black."

Was there an antigravity Manhattan Project about which now the general public is finally being fed the theory? I think it would be more astonishing if there wasn't. For one thing, there have been too many reliable sightings of discoid craft being piloted or repaired by seemingly ordinary men in military uniforms and even baseball caps. (Though as I've made clear in other posts, I don't believe the relatively prosaic explanation of nuts and bolts black budget craft can account for the genuine UFO phenomenon. If humans can already build craft capable of slipping into other dimensions, then the veil is exceedingly thin, and presumably may be crossed in the opposite direction.) And for another, it makes an awful sense. I suggested last March that our "Immortals" have been preparing - covertly, and for a long time - for a post-carbon world. One that may not include most of Earth's population.

If the G-Engines are coming, they've probably already arrived. And they're not meant for the likes of us.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Ballad of Finis Shelnutt

They don't believe in mercy
Judgment on them is something that you'll never see - Bob Dylan

There are so many bad guys, it's good when they have easy names to remember.

Finis Shelnutt, for instance. Daniel Hopsicker is due much credit for first lifting this peculiar corner of American gothic and noting what crawled out. (Also, thanks to this thread on the RI discussion board for adding to the story.)

Shelnutt came to Hopsicker's attention when he popped up last weekend in a Katrina feature on Chris Matthew's Hardball year-end review. Coincidentally - hey, it happens - Shelnutt was also a principal source of the rumours of looters shooting police.

From the FoxNews transcript of the September 2 O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: And on the phone from the French Quarter, 53-year-old businessman Finis Shelnutt, who's surrounded by looters....

You're on St. Louis Street. That's high ground in the French Quarter. No water in the street. But what's the looter factor there? How many of them are there and what are they doing?

SHELNUTT: Bill, it started off I guess the night after the hurricane the looting started. And the police were chasing looters a block away from me. And a couple of looters stopped and shot a policeman in the head - in the forehead and killed him.

Shelnutt continues, describing how he was trapped by the "human volcano" of looters, until a sympathetic O'Reilly says "we're going to get you help." Hopsicker found Shelnutt to be the source for at least two reports on FoxNews which spread the poisoning meme that looters were menacing citizens in zombie-like packs and shooting police.

Shelnutt seemed to turn up a lot post-Katrina. Here he is mixing a pot of jambalaya on the street September 25 in front of his Alex Patout's Louisian Restaurant. And five days earlier - not even three weeks after his Fox interview - there's this from Der Spiegel:

New Orleans - Finis Shellnut is wealthy and he isn't hiding it, even in the difficult times following the Katrina disaster. The 53-year-old real estate magnate sits in front of one of his buildings in the French Quarter, enjoying a chilled bottle of French champagne.

The man is a walking glitz machine, from the diamonds on his Rolex to his gold-framed glasses to the silver cross dangling on his chest under his half-open shirt. Shellnut is doing well these days, extremely well. He senses a lot of post-Katrina business coming his way. "Our party's about to get going again," he says. He sits next to a flyer depicting his face and advertising his phone number. "The storm destroyed a great deal," he says, adding, with a smile, "and there's plenty of space to build houses and sell them for a lot of money."

Shellnut wasn't particularly hard-hit by the storm and the flooding in New Orleans. "My real estate is in the city's better neighborhoods," he says, clearly pleased with himself, "a tree fell down here and there, but otherwise everything's just fine."


Despite all the chaos and destruction, the storm and the floods came with a silver lining for people like Shellnut. "Most importantly, the hurricane drove poor people and criminals out of the city," he says, "and we hope they don't come back."

Shellnut has even conjured up ancient Gallic legend to support his theory of Katrina's supposedly sanitizing effects. He says that the name "Katrina" once symbolized a kind of cleansing process that only leaves behind the purest elements of a society.

But that's not where we leave Finis Shelnutt. Hopsicker also recognized the name from Iran Contra drug smuggling and the Clinton's Arkansas Mafia. "His real claim on notoriety," writes Hopsicker, "came when he was identified as the man who picked up the duffel bags filled with cash dropped by CIA Drug Pilot Barry Seal at the Triple S Ranch near Hot Springs, Arkansas. An estimated $9 million per week fell out of the sky."

Terry Reed's Compromised, which details the bonds of crime and deep politics between the Bush family, the CIA and the Clintons, has much to say about Shelnutt. In the 1980s he was the son-in-law of Seth Ward, owner of the Triple S Ranch, which made him the brother-in-law of future number three man in the Justice Department Webster Hubbell. The connections didn't end there. Shelnutt was also employed by Clinton's close associate Dan Lasater, whose company was in direct receipt of drug "tithes" from Seal.

A particular passage in Compromised describes a conversation between Reed and Seal, in which Reed suggests Ward was threatening to blackmail the agency for what he knew of the drug operation. Seal was surprised; he'd thought the Triple S Ranch was Lasater's, and had no idea Shelnutt also worked as Ward's "go-fer," in Reed's words. Seal's reported as saying, "I know this guy, Finis. He works for Dan as a bond salesman. Now ain't that interestin'." When a man like Barry Seal can be taken aback by someone's deep political pedigree, that's very interesting. And he soon had hopes of exploiting it. Later in the book Seal tells Reed, "when ya told me that Finis Shelnutt was the guy at the ranch [where the "green flights" dropped their money in Arkansas] dollar signs started dancin' in my head. I saw an immediate way to get some white stuff up some noses around Bill Clinton real fast."

But that isn't where we leave Shelnutt, either. Because in 1990 Finis married Clinton's former mistress Gennifer Flowers. They lived for a while in Denver, where Shelnutt was described as a "stockbroker," before turning to restaurants and real estate in New Orleans. (Here's the website for "Gennifer Flowers Kelsto Club," situated "in the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter.")

So where do we leave Finis Shelnutt? The Iran Contra go-fer, the former brother-in-law of Webster Hubbell and bagman for Dan Lasater who was so well-connected even Barry Seal was impressed, turns up on FoxNews lying about looters shooting policemen in New Orleans, and days later appeals to mythology in Der Spiegel regarding how the city had been "cleansed" of its underclass. And where do people like Finis Shelnutt leave us?

I was going to say that if America didn't exist, someone would have to invent it. But you know what? Maybe that's precisely what happened.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bad medicine (Part Two)

They say "Everything's all right"
They say "Better days are near"
They tell us "These are the good times"
They don't live around here - Warren Zevon

Back to Skinwalker Ranch. And let's jump right into it.

Perhaps the strangest and most provocative aspect to the story is that of the "orange structure" which often appeared low in the ranch's western sky and was allegedly viewed by all members of the Gorman family on dozens of occasions. (The family name is actually Sherman, but they're pseudonymously identified in Colm Kelleher and George Knapp's Hunt for the Skinwalker). It was nearly perfectly round, though it appeared flattened rather than spherical. (It's appearance changed according to the angle at which it was viewed. On one occasion of its appearance Tom Gorman, the father, was driving off of the property, and approached it from the side. As he did, it seemed to thin until it was undetectable, as if it were two-dimensional. Though even that doesn't do justice to the strangeness, since it could not be seen from the opposite direction.)

When he observed it through binoculars long after the sun had set, Tom claimed he could see, in the middle of the orange mass, "another sky." A blue sky, while the ranch's sky was black. Kelleher and Knapp write that "Tom felt like it could have been a tear or a rent in the sky about a mile away, and through the rent he could see a different world or perhaps a different time.... For Gorman, this was a rare glimpse into what might actually be happening on his property."

On two nights particular while Tom observed the orange structure its "other sky" was not visible; its centre instead had the appearance of multiple layers of an onion that receded from him. As he watched, he saw a "fast-moving black object that was silhouetted perfectly against the bright orange background." It was moving rapidly through the centre of the structure and soon exited, silently, into the Utah night sky, where Gorman soon lost sight of it.

This almost beggars credulity, and so it should. But such extraordinary sights are not unknown in the American west. A family of ranchers named Bradshaw had a two-year brush with high weirdness near Sedona, Arizona in the early 90s, including encounters with glowing orbs, poltergiests, cattle mutilations and strange humanoids. They also claimed to witness a similar "structure" in the sky that appeared to serve as a gateway between different realities. (The Bradshaw's story is told in a book entitled Merging Dimensions: The Opening Portals of Sedona.)

A similar uncanny event was reported to have occured the night of August 25, 1997, after the ranch had purchased by Robert Bigelow. A pair of researchers withBigelow's National Institute for Discovery Science, identified as "Jim" and "Mike" in Hunt for the Skinwalker, were sitting silently on the edge of a bluff in the middle of the night, monitoring a pasture. At one point Jim climbed down into the field to meditate, as he had found that meditation sometimes "activated the phenomenon." A couple of hours later atop the bluff, at about 2:30 a.m., Jim's eye caught a faint, yellow light on a track through the field, about 150 feet bellow. As he watched it brighten, he gestured to Mike. They both watched, and it grew bigger as well as brigher. Jim took out his camera and Mike his night-vision binoculars. The light appeared positioned above the ground, rather than situated upon it. Mike whispered, "It's a tunnel. Not just a light."

And then: "Jesus Christ - something's in the tunnel! Oh, my God. There is a black creature climbing out. I see his head. It has no face. It's on the ground. Oh my God, it walked away." Mike reported it to be huge - maybe six feet tall and 400 pounds. Shortly thereafter, the yellow circle dimmed, shrunk and vanished.

After 15 minutes and no further sighting, the pair climbed down to the track. At the spot where the "tunnel" had appeared, there remained only the strong, pungent smell of sulfur. Jim's film showed the smudge of yellow light, but nothing more.

On four different occasions NIDS asked a number of well-respected remote viewers, most of whom had been employed by "Project Stargate," to independently engage in blind targetting of the ranch. That is, they were given no information about what they were to be looking at, or expectations about what they might find. They were given a random coordinate and asked to describe events associated with it. One, identified only in Hunt for the Skinwalker as "one of the most uncannily accurate remote viewers alive today" (a frequent description of Joseph McMoneagle), produced a "near exact" sketch of the ranch, identifying features, as well as a spot in the southwest corner of the property which he said harboured a "disturbing" energy. In a later test, another viewer was asked to provide impressions of a daytime calf mutilation. According to Kelleher and Knapp, he sensed that a robotic drone had carried it out, and that it might have been of "interdimensional origin." He also added that the drone "had some connection" to the US military. Other viewers also suggested some inexplicable military involvement with a foreign and frightening Other. They had impressions of uniformed men in dark sunglasses and naval tatoos, and inhuman entities speaking an unknown language.

Consistently and independently, the remote viewers expressed feelings of "dread, nervousness, darkness and death" associated with their blind targetting of the property.

Pointedly, the phenomenon became more fleeting after NIDS began its investigation. There were observations of paranormal events - orbs, cattle mutilations, weird entities - but they did not have the frequency noted by the Gormans, and over the years of investigation the weirdness essentially dried up. Kelleher and Knapp make an interesting observation, one I've made here previously about the nature of similar encounters with the weird:

Was there something now missing from the engagement? Perhaps it was the level of emotion that the Gorman family had provided in spades but was missing from the scientific team. The stress level in the family was unbelievably high. It was palpable. The Gormans did not interact with the phenomenon because they wanted to; they simply had no choice. In contrast, the NIDS scientific personnel were there by choice. They carried with them an attitude of cool detachment. There was almost an aggressiveness in the pursuit of the phenomenon that may have psychologically turned the tables, assuming of course that a consciousness was involved.

It seems nearly a maxim that weirdness of this high order seeks out those who don't expect it and are therefore less prepared to cope with it. Again, it's the "garmonbozia" principle: fear is a favourite delicacy at the feast of intense human emotions.

And what can we make of the suggestion of military involvement. The Gorman family and area residents noted strange mechanical noises and hums from beneath the ground. The same has been said of Dulce and other sites, supporting for some the claims of a vast network of underground military-alien bases. (I've written previously why I consider that to be disinformation.) Yet the indigenous peoples of the region tell of having heard the same noises underfoot for generations, since before there was a United States. So what is it? If there's something down there, it's been there a long time.

There does appear to be a thread in need of untangling which connects the US military, high weirdness and Native American tradition and land, particularly sacred sites. The San Luis Valley of Colorado for instance, where Maurice Strong and his then wife built their "Valley Of the Refuge Of World Truths," is a holy place for many indigenous nations, including the Navajo. There's Indio's Cabazon Indian Reservation, notorious for Casolaro's Octopus and now also the trial of Richard Hamlin. (Hamlin's father-in-law Sidney Siemer, whom he accuses of ritually abusing his wife Susan, "freely admits" having worked there in the 1980s during the time of Wackenhut and PROMIS. Before she recanted her testimony, Susan claimed to remember her father subjecting her to mind control torture in an Indio warehouse.)

Dread, nervousness, darkness and death. That's some pretty heady stuff to tap into. The skinwalker ranch makes a fine spooky story, but if it and stories like it describe genuine phenomena then we should be more than spooked. We should be alert as well. Because maybe it also informs our estimate of the situation. Maybe it can help us understand who is trying to tap into what, and why.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Estimate of the Situation

She said, "Welcome to the land of the living dead."
You could tell she was so broken-hearted.

She said, "Even the swap meets around here are getting pretty corrupt." - Bob Dylan

I meant to begin by writing that post-war America has seen some weird years, but how strange that phrase seems. Has there ever, really, been a post-war America? As long as I've been paying attention it's either been fighting one or several, or preparing for the next. And sometimes, like this time, doing it all simultaneously. But you know what I mean.

Think of 1947, the year of Aleister Crowley's death. The Paperclip Nazis were content to be working again. The father of American rocket science and the founder of Scientology were making magick in the Mojave desert in order to trigger apocalypse. Meanwhile, the modern UFO phenomenon exploded in the Western skies with the Kenneth Arnold sighting, Roswell (largely misinformation, but still significant for being misinformation), Maury Island and Tacoma, the latter two involving alleged retrieval of "saucer debris" by Fred Crisman and Guy Bannister respectively. Bannister of course is better known for his New Orleans' stewardship of Lee Harvey Oswald, while Crisman was one of the first persons called by Clay Shaw after hearing the news that he was a target of Jim Garrison's investigation, and was himself subpoenaed. (Crisman's "slag" from the Maury Island UFO was destroyed in a suspicious military plane crash that also killed two air force investigators. A Tacoma Times headline read "Sabotage Hinted in Crash of Army Bomber at Kelso.") Crisman was a parapolitical everyman, with curious links to UFO culture, spooks, the Mafia, the radical right and the Kennedy assassination cabal. The Michael Riconosciuto of his day, you could say, and the connections don't stop there: Riconosciuto's father Marshall was allegedly an ardent Nazi supporter and a Tacoma business associate of Crisman's, and Michael claims to have heard a lot of stories from Fred.

The National Security Act was signed into law July 26, 1947, creating the CIA, the NSA, the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Less than two years later the first Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, took a great fall from the 16th floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital. "There is something I would like to talk to you about," Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington told him following the March 28 ceremony in which Forrestal formally stepped down. They shared a private ride back to the Pentagon. As Richard Dolan writes in UFOs and the National Security State, "what Symington said is not known, but Forrestal emerged from the ride deeply upset, even traumatized, upon arrival at his office.... When someone entered Forrestal's office several hours later, the former Secretary of Defense did not notice. Instead, he sat rigidly at his desk, staring at the bare wall, incoherent, repeating the sentence, 'you are a loyal fellow,' for several hours."

The end of 1947 saw the air force establish Project Sign. Its purpose was to "collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute to interested government agencies and contractors all information concerning sightings and phenomena in the atmosphere which can be construed to be of concern to the national security." The following year, members of Project Sign issued an "Estimate of the Situation" which has never been made public and reputedly "all but a few" copies were destroyed. Officially, the report never existed, though Air Force Major Dewey Fournet swore an affidavit in the late 1950s that he had read it and Captain Edward Ruppelt of the later Project Blue Book claimed to have seen an original copy. The estimate, according to Dolan, was that "aliens were making a full-scale observation of the Earth, but that attack did not seem imminent."It was rejected by Air Force Chief of Staff General Hoyt Vandenberg who, according to Ruppelt, said "it would cause a stampede." Shortly thereafter, policy changes at the air force removed UFOs as a subject which would be entertained seriously in public.

Nazis, black magick, UFOs, mysterious deaths and "national security." It could be any year in modern America, but 1947 appears a Rubicon of weirdness. There were strange and inhuman things in the skies, but there was also a very human manipulation of data and perception afoot, conducted by Nazi sympathizers networking with the like-minded in military intelligence. Considering the eruption of something else into our reality, and its quick cover-up and exploitation, it's almost as though they found each other.

Lately, every year has been a weird one, but just think of 2005. The bald prostitute in the press room who, even though he's likely not Johnny Gosch, reminded enough people of protected paedophile rings and their proximity to power that Gosch's name was again in the news. The London bombings, seemingly synchronized again with simulations. The possible manipulation of Katrina, the deliberate murder of New Orleans and the abduction of its children. The British Special Forces in Arab garb, opening fire on a Basra police station, and their subsequent break-out by British tanks. Ponchatoula, the murder of Pamela Vitale, the case of Richard Hamlin and more demonstrated that Satanic Ritual Abuse is not a debunked artifact of the '80s, however much the paedophile advocates of the False Memory Foundation would have you think.

These are all things that really happened; they left a kind of footprint in the real world. But for the most part their traces go unexamined, and the connections and linkages they suggest are unpursued. It can be in their faces, and most people still can't see it, and it's not entirely because they'd rather not.

Do you know why, and do you know what this is they can't see? It's the dark matter. It's the universe most people are blind to, but which explains the universe they inhabit. It's the black thread that holds the visible light like dew on a web. That's parapolitics. That's para-everything. It's the night vision goggles through which the rationalists and the self-identifying skeptics never peer. To them, the darkness is contentless void. But it isn't. And any meaningful estimate of the situation, 2006, needs to account for it.