Friday, June 24, 2011
Decades ago, when I was stationed at Sheppard AFB in Texas, a local radio station reported early one morning that on the previous evening law enforcement officials had phoned the base to inquire about multiple UFO reports called in by area residents. A base spokesman, according to the news reporter, tersely dismissed law enforcement inquiries: "Your job is to catch criminals," advised the gruff USAF representative, "ours is to watch the skies."
A few months ago, I parroted the claims of major news reports that on October 23, 2010 F. E. Warren AFB in Wyoming experienced a temporary ability to manage its nuclear missiles due to either a power failure or computer glitch.
According to UFO/nukes researcher Robert Hastings, however, UFO activity, as has seemingly been the case in so many other nuclear missile base instances, may have been involved. Over at Frank Warren's THE UFO CHRONICLES (see link), and at Hastings' Web site, the evidence is presented at length, and I urge readers to attend these Internet locations regularly.
Creeping into these latest accounts of UFOs possibly affecting nuclear missile sites is something even more disturbing: Reportedly, there remains a concerted Air Force/military/government effort to further crack down on military personnel and contractors who blab to either the press or to public agencies and individuals regarding UFO incidents they know about personally or through hearsay. Of course, we wish names were publicly available regarding the currently alleged UFO activity, but The U.S. Dept. of Threats and Warnings has always been rather successful at accomplishing its work, so no surprises crop up there.
But -- such a puzzlement. We all know UFOs represent no threat to national security. We know this because the national security folks have assured us of this Law of Nature's firm properties since at least the 1950s. Oh, and also remember that UFOs don't exist, they're just misrepresentations of natural objects.
So, obviously, those people at Warren AFB, Malmstrom AFB and the others must be seeing and experiencing visions of their own imaginations and interpretations. In fact, their observations and manifestations, as reported by Hastings and Robert Salas and others -- if we subscribe to the experts' Law of Nature regarding UFOs -- qualify them as seriously mentally ill, and since many of these observers have their hands firmly upon nuclear weaponry, they qualify as DANGEROUSLY deluded.
Which is it? Are these people crazy and under orders to suppress their experiences because they're seeing nothing, or have they observed things so incredible and beyond our intellectual grasp that the truth must be silenced and withheld from a press and public somehow undeserving to know the salient details?
Members of Congress, no matter their party affiliation, should be all over this outrage with the urgency of a potential nuclear incident. The implications hover far above merely troubling.
The U.S. government must either bring in a brigade of psychologists to bring these folks with their hands on our nukes back to reality, OR -- here's a novel thought -- tell us the truth.
Monday, June 13, 2011
So I'm just sitting here, tapping my fingers on the desk, with little to suggest for the ol' blog today. Now that we know Roswell was actually invaded by earth-manufactured craft manned by deformed children dispatched from a foreign country, there's little to write. And then we've got Spielberg and Hollywood launching a bunch of UFO/alien-related TV shows and movies, once again proving that people crave UFO fiction far more than UFO documentation. But the week's news wasn't a total loss -- nicap.org has re-released its monumental 1964 report to Congress, "The UFO Evidence," in .pdf format, and it's still free and now portable enough to send along in e-mails to everybody in the world. Getting sleepy. . .no, have to stay awake. . .surely, there's something to write about. . .zzzzzz. . .wake up!. . .last time I fell asleep at the computer I. . . dreamt that the. . . "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" people. . . tore my house down and gave me a fruitcake. . .drat!. . .I'm drifting off. . .can't stop it. . .if only. . .if only I. . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . .
Gladys and Penelope had been friends and neighbors for years, and now, in their seventies, they sat comfortably in Penelope's living room, sipping organic herbal oxycodone tea on this pleasant summer morning. "What have you been up to?" asked Gladys of her long-time friend.
"Well, " Penelope began, obviously proud of her accomplishment, "this morning I was sex-ting Congressman Weiner again -- but he's a busy man, so I'm not expecting another photo until he catches up."
"And I heard his wife's pregnant, you know," replied Gladys, suddenly casting an uneasy glance toward the cage in the corner, a small, yet roomy structure inhabited by Penelope's animal companion of many years, a large chimpanzee named Crazy Ga-Ga. Crazy was staring at Gladys, making weird, low-pitched growling sounds. Penelope instantly sensed Gladys' concern.
"Oh Gladys, are you fretting over Crazy Ga-Ga again?"
Diverting her worried gaze to Penelope, Gladys warned, "Penelope, you've been a good friend, but I swear, someday that monkey's going to cause a lot of trouble for you!"
"Oh, nonsense. And don't call him a monkey. You'll hurt his feelings. He's a chimpanzee, he helps around the house and. . ." Penelope's eyes quickly glanced away from Gladys, expressively harboring an overwhelming aura of guilt, or at least a sense of some nameless guilty pleasure.
"Oh my God!" shrieked Gladys. "You've been sleeping with it! Haven't you!? Penelope! Don't deny it! "
"Well," Penelope responded with just a touch of embarrassment, "Crazy Ga-Ga does satisfy some of my personal needs."
"I knew it! All these years, I just knew it!" shouted Gladys, standing as she prepared to leave. "I should have known something was going on when your husband mysteriously disappeared the very week you brought this creature into the house!"
"Crazy Ga-Ga and I developed a very close relationship, that's all there was to it!" Penelope insisted, also on her feet now, retrieving empty cups and saucers and heading for the kitchen in something of a huff..
Alone in the room with the chimp, Gladys shook her fist at the caged beast. "You monster!" she screamed, "what horrors, what terrible things have you brought into this house?!" She approached the cage with confidence and rage, yelling threats and expletives with every angry step -- failing to realize the cage wasn't locked on this sunny morning, when Crazy Ga-Ga had the run of the house, at his discretion. "I don't care anymore! I'm calling the police! And animal control! And a veterinarian who'll give you the needle. For all I care, they can make a rug out of you, and furthermore. . ."
All of this excitement and screaming took its toll on Crazy Ga-Ga, who had never experienced such treatment since the night Penelope's husband inexplicably disappeared, um, with his help, and he felt something inside, in his heart, pushing his animal instincts to do what they must.
". . .and forget a lucky rabbit's foot! When I finish with you, I'll wear one of your feet on a key ring! You hideous creature, I'll see to it that. . ."
Gladys continued her rant, oblivious to the cage door swinging slowly, ever so slowly, open. ". . .and I'll make sure this house never reeks with your filthy body odor again, you. . .you. . .?"
Suddenly, Crazy Ga-Ga and Gladys stood eye-to-eye, no longer separated by the safety of metal bars. Effortlessly, Crazy Ga-Ga grabbed Gladys by the neck and shook her like a rag doll. "Arghhhh! Let go! Help! Penelope! Help!" the overpowered woman screamed. But Crazy Ga-Ga had the upper hand and chomped down on her neck until blood spurts replaced words. Then he turned his frenzied attention to her face, which he began biting, ripping off chunks of flesh and muscle like a giant termite on speed.
"Crazy Ga-Ga!" shouted Penelope, horrified at the sight before her as she came running from the kitchen. "Stop! Baby -- stop! Where are your manners?! Stop biting right this instant or I'll take away your bathroom privileges!"
But the frantic woman's pleas were of no use, as Crazy Ga-Ga really got into his work.
Reluctantly, Penelope threw open the living room door and ran into the streets. "Help! Police! Help! I have a. . .a situation! Domestic abuse! Call the police!"
Within minutes, a swat team arrived, its members rushing into the troubled house. And within seconds, the entire team came running back out, chased by a highly upset chimpanzee. Quickly, they dropped to their knees, aimed their weapons and blew multiple holes of assured death into the out-of-control Crazy Ga-Ga. After a couple of minutes, there could be no doubt. Crazy Ga-Ga was dead.
Inside Penelope's house, the scene mimicked a horror movie. Splashes of blood decorated the living room walls, floor and even the ceiling. Gladys, beaten and bitten to a bloody pulp, sported a ghastly appearance, her face having been violently torn away and eaten during Crazy Ga-Ga's furious rampage. By the time paramedics arrived, loading her mangled body into the ambulance, Gladys was in shock, but even with a bloody, ripped larynx the whispered words overheard by a police officer were clear: "She slept with her monkey. . .she slept with her monkey. . ."
Three months later, following a lengthy and exhausting jury trial, Penelope was found guilty of sending naked photos of herself to Congressman Weiner, thus sullying the esteemed reputation of a public servant, and secondarily she was convicted of sleeping with a monkey. Charged also with depraved indifference in the mutilation of her friend Gladys, charges were dropped because the victim's testimony was prejudicial to the case, and alleged perpetrator Crazy Ga-Ga was dead and unable to provide any words or actions in his own defense. Still, Penelope would be lucky ever to see the light of day again, considering the years she was likely to spend at a newly-dedicated maximum security prison named, strangely enough, The Congressman Anthony Weiner Correctional Facility for Women Gone Wild.
Gladys, on the other hand, had survived, but now endured the crushing pain and patience required during extensive rehabilitation and surgery. But, on the bright side, modern times dictated that Gladys could have a face transplant to restore something of a normal appearance. From her very first week in the hospital's intensive care unit a specialist, Dr. Voodooman from Zulu, had taken on her case with enthusiasm.
Dr. Voodooman and his team of experimental surgeons from Zulu were anxious to provide Gladys with a new look, and they toiled day and night as they bandaged and unbandaged the mutilated anatomy formerly recognizable as a face.
Six months later, the occasion Gladys had prayed for every day and night since regaining consciousness and meeting the consistently upbeat Dr. Voodooman arrived -- the unmasking of her new face, concealed by dressings and bandages until this dramatic moment.
National media representatives crowded into the small hospital room as Dr. Voodooman began unwrapping Gladys' new countenance, perched breathlessly as they watched history in the making. Even Gladys' husband who, truth be told, spent more hours burying his attention in televised sports events than his wife's care, attended the affair.
Long swaths of bandage dropped to the floor until, finally, only an all-encompassing facial mask was visible. "Ladies and gentleman of the press," announced Dr. Voodooman slowly and deliberately, with a voice almost zombie-like in its flow, "we present to you a successful facial transplant to demonstrate, once and for all, that medical science of the future is here now, and our work can only become greater."
Skillfully, Dr. Voodooman peeled away the last barrier hiding the new face of Gladys. The media members gasped and then screamed in horror. Gladys, puzzled and confused, looked around the room and then to Dr. Voodooman. "What is it? Dr. Voodooman? What's wrong?!"
As every member of the press except a photographer from The National Enquirer scurried from the room, Dr. Voodooman merely smiled and handed a mirror to Gladys, as her husband stiffened and fell into a chair, speechless. "I'll check back with you later," reassured Dr. Voodooman, fleeing the room.
Gladys steadied the mirror and positioned it to have a gander at her new mug, then screamed loud enough to disturb the bedbugs inhabiting every bed on the hospital ward. Her husband leaped out of his chair and mumbled, "I just remembered, there's a hockey game on TV, gotta go. . ." as he quickly exited.
"Lady," asked the Enquirer photographer, "how about some pictures now?" Instead, Gladys, still frantic and crying, pitched her mirror toward the remaining figure, as he snapped a picture and departed the room.
But there remained another mirror, on the wall directly facing the foot of Gladys' bed, and that one couldn't be thrown out of the way. No, Gladys, even in her panic and shock, couldn't avoid gazing upon her new face -- the face of the only donor available after her tragedy months before -- the face collected carefully by the scalpel of the enigmatic Dr. Voodooman, when nobody asked questions regarding its origin or appearance after he secured it in a refrigerated container placed solely in his care. A familiar face instantly recognized by Gladys, who would forever be committed to a mental institution, long after Dr. Voodooman escaped from the country and her husband became even more infatuated with TV sports.
Yes, it was the face of Crazy Ga-Ga., forever joined with Gladys, and even though Gladys herself would never smile willingly again, Crazy Ga-Ga's long dead, but remarkably rejuvenated lips now took on an evil, mocking grin, impervious to and sardonically appreciative for the utter spasms of horror squirming endlessly, deep within Gladys' throttled brain. . .
. . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Uh? Whew. . .I guess, was, I think that was a dream? More like a nightmare. Jeez, this computer makes me doze funny. Enough of this for today. . .
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Popular recording artist Andrew Gold died this week. Ten years ago I discovered that he was the son of award-winning composer Ernest Gold, who scored the music for the 1956 United Artists documentary motion picture, "U.F.O." In 2001 Andrew responded to my questions with a very candid e-mail, and you can read all about this in my movie blog on the following page:
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
It's not that American radio, in general, is a bad broadcast medium now. It's just not as much fun as it once was. Everything is so corporate and regimented, with little room or, frankly, tolerance for spontaneity. Each minute is planned out by the book, every song played is slotted for a specific time, and pretty much every caller to a talk show on any level is screened, lest they interfere with the "flow" of a particular show. In many cases, radio stations which offer a menu of new or even old music must pay recording labels and faceless middle men immense sums of money, and in today's economy finding sufficient sponsorship to pay for it all can be a nightmare, so sometimes even sponsors of questionable repute are welcomed into the fold. It's all so damned complicated now. Unfortunate corporate decisions, lawsuits, government interference, fast-track options, sellouts and buyouts have all left their mark on an industry either too wounded or drugged out on an airwave high to notice its own arterial blood spurts. The intimacy between broadcaster and listener has suffered tremendously. That's progress, some might say. Oh yes, there's money in radio, sometimes big money, but what one gains in comparison with what one loses can be important. A plethora of faithful listeners doesn't always equal success.
Sometime in the 1960s I purchased the premiere issue of an old copy of Radio Digest. Dated February, 1939, the publisher intended to showcase transcripts or adapt sections from broadcasts of important radio programs of the era. I think I purchased it via mail order because it featured a piece about Mercury Theater's famous "War of the Worlds" presentation of October 30, 1938. (Not to be confused with broadcaster Glenn Beck's company, also called Mercury, which I believe was named to pay homage to Orson Welles' organization -- but, by the way, isn't that sort of like Disney trying to copyright the term, "Seal Team 6?" Maybe some things perfectly named should simply be left alone and admired from afar, the fragrant historical bloom of their existence left intact.)
In fact, Radio Digest included the entire transcript of H.G. Wells' drama as performed by Orson Welles and his fellow Mercury Theater players. Yes, this was long ago -- even the cartoon shown here jokes about the Nazis, whose intentions and ability to inflict colossal international horrors were on the verge of making the world sit up and finally take notice.
The Mercury Theater actors, we are told, perched before their "live" radio microphones, wrapped in anxiety because they felt Wells' book was "old-fashioned," and the listeners' likely boredom with the old "men from Mars" theme would cripple audience numbers.
However, they failed to realize that members of the public who tuned in faithfully to hear (ventriloquist) Edgar Bergen and (his wooden associate) Charlie McCarthy on another network would tune in to the Mercury Theater broadcast long after preliminary warnings about "War of the Worlds" being a fictional broadcast. Nor, it seems, did the Mercury Theater players realize the frighteningly realistic depths to which they would carry their dramatization. Remember, this was a time long before television, when radio and newspapers were the ruling media. Ethereal voice transmissions reaching family radios provided entertainment and time-passing trivialities, as well as important news.
The rest is well-recognized history, of course, and even today UFO researchers accept that the panic ensuing due to that broadcast weighed heavily upon future U.S. government attempts to curb public interest in real UFO incidents.
What sort of panic erupted during radio's finest scary moment in 1938? According to Radio Digest, drawing upon reports originally printed in a publication entitled Radio Guide Weekly, the instances abounded:
Police officer John Morrison, in charge of the switchboard at the Bronx Police Headquarters watched as "all the lines became busy at the same time." The first caller he took shouted, "They're bombing New Jersey!" The excited caller explained that he heard it on the radio, and upon going to his roof "could see smoke from the bombs, drifting toward New York."
"I can see the fire from here!" insisted a Boston woman speaking with a newspaper reporter. "I'm getting out of here!" she exclaimed. "Everybody in the neighborhood is getting out of here!"
From San Francisco, a caller asked, "My God, where can I volunteer my services? We've got to stop this awful thing!" In a cruel twist of fate, the city power plant at Concrete, WA "failed at the height of the broadcast," plunging already terrified residents into darkness and a firm conviction that Martians had landed. Many fled into surrounding hills and would not return to their homes until searchers went looking for them.
Evidencing something a bit more extreme, a Pittsburgh man arrived home amidst the broadcast to find his wife clutching a bottle of poison, screaming, "I'd rather die this way than like that!" Interrupting what could have been the golden news story of which tabloids of the yet-unborn fifties would drool over, the husband grabbed the poison and succeeded in calming his frantic wife.
Reminiscent of a John Waters film, an hysterical woman in Indianapolis rushed into a church during evening services and threw the entire congregation into panic mode and flight when she screamed, "New York is destroyed! It's the end of the world! You might as well go home to die! I just heard it on the radio!"
In New Jersey, a man reportedly phoned New York's Dixie Bus Terminal, warning them to "keep your buses out of the war zone." Offering no additional information, he simply announced, "The world is coming to an end, and I have a lot to do."
Finally, from East Orange, New Jersey, Radio Digest tells of a man searching desperately for gas masks, but only finds two ammonia masks, inadequate for modern warfare. Feeling unable to protect his wife, three children, mother-in-law and himself in any other way, he loaded his shotgun. "If we could not escape the gas I was going to use the gun to kill my children," he explained. "And when I found out it was only a play I wanted to kill the man responsible." (Contemporary societal note: Proper marital etiquette suggests that any similar situation occurring today might result in the man shooting his mother-in-law "by accident," using a fear-of-aliens defense in court. Successfully.)
More than 70 years after the Mercury Theater incident, radio broadcasts continue to bring horror stories to anxious listeners. Unfortunately, most of the worst stories aren't fictional -- and yes, as we said, the fun is gone, traded away for the complexities and uncertainties resolutely ensconced in a world tethered by hopelessly scrambled brains.