Thursday, September 29, 2011

Charles Hickson And The Nutzoid

Charles Hickson passed away on September 9th; he was 80 years old. If you're not familiar with the name, way back in 1973 (October 11, 1973 to be eXact) he claimed to be abducted by weird robotic aliens.

The story was that Hickson and a friend from work (Calvin Parker) were fishing from a pier near Pascagoula Mississippi when an UFO suddenly appeared and strange floating creatures exited from the craft. Each one was roughly humanoid in shape but with wrinkled elephantine skin, pointy nose and ears, and clawed-hands. The strange beings grabbed the two men and levitated them inside the alien vessel for examination. Then the aliens floated the two men back to the pier, releasing them, and then the otherwordly visitors left as quickly as they had arrived.

In a state of shock the men went to the local sheriff's office and told their incredible story. The word got out and soon Hickson and his friend were the focus of media attention.

I remember seeing Charles Hickson on TV some time later after his abduction. Dick Cavett had a late night talk show on ABC and one program was devoted to the topic of UFOs. (One source says the program was broadcast in November 1973, another states January 1974). My memory is a somewhat fuzzy but if I recall correctly Hickson was interviewed separately by Cavett.

There was a flap going on in 1973. Other guests included Colonel Lawrence Coyne who also told his own amazing story, an incident that occurred over Mansfield Ohio on October 18, 1973. Coyne and three other men in the Army Reserves were flying in a helicopter when an UFO appeared. Using a green beam the UFO dragged the helicopter around for a while and then released it.

All the guests sounded rational except for one. Of course a nutzoid has to show up and push his personal crazy beliefs. The nutzoid stated that UFO stories couldn't be believed, that you needed a thousand people to witness such events for them to be real. Gee, really. So if only 999 people see something, then it never happened? And on the flip side, what about mass hysteria?

Like I said, my memory is a bit fuzzy and I've been searching for a copy of that Cavett UFO program to make sure I have my details straight. But I do remember thinking that Hickson sounded more rational than the nutzoid. Astronaut James McDivitt, who had seen an unknown object while in space, was also involved in the discussion. He told the nutzoid he was being too scientific.

And who was the nutzoid?

Carl Sagan.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Men And The Monsters They (Allegedly) Made

Man, the Freemasons can't catch a break.

Almost every conspiracy theory smears the Masons with some sort of shadowy evil. In the book, Man-Made Monsters by Dr. Bob Curran (2011), that apparently harmless fraternal order is tied in with the artifical creation of life.

What kind of life? Take a look at the book's sub-title: A Field Guide to Golems, Patchwork Soldiers, Homunculi, and Other Created Creatures. So we're not talking about cute little beings like Smurfs or Teletubbies.

The author doesn't buy in to all the negative stories told about the Freemasons, especially the one that says the Masons inherited the secret of artificial life from the Knights Templar. Dr. Curran only describes the tales, questionable records and urban legends he encountered when researching his work. The book is categorized as Paranormal/Mythology which the emphasis on the mythology part.

Back in year 1119 the Templars were founded in the Holy Land just after the First Crusade. Apparently this military monastic order uncovered buried artifacts and documents from the Temple of Solomon, objects with mystical power such as scrolls written by Melchezidek, the legendary priest king of Salem. It was whispered the Templars used this power to create homunculi that they worshipped.

The reason for such stories is that some wanted the Templars destroyed. The Order was involved in early banking and amassed a great fortune. Besides religious enemies, such as rival orders, the Templars also had secular enemies, monarchs greatly in debt to them.

When a new pope came to power, there was an opportunity to portray the Templars as secret practitioners of witchcraft and other satanic acts. The order was accused of creating homunculi to act as spies, thieves and assassins. Under torture some Templars confessed to evil but improbable acts.

So what happened to the creatures created by the Templars?

Conspiracy theories surround Berenger Sauniere, the priest of Rennes-le-Chateua in Southern France who officially served from 1885 to 1909. Somehow this priest had access to all sorts of money, building many projects around the village. What was the source of his wealth?

Dr. Curran relates the tale that Sauniere found a Templar homunculus within his church and he sold it to the Vatican for a tidy sum. The creature is hidden somewhere in the Vatican.

And the Templars' mystical knowledge? 400 years after the downfall of the Templars the Freemasons rose to power, learning the secrets of Solomon's Temple, or so says the legend. The Masons kept the secrets in various lodges throughout the world. Dr. Curran observes:

"Hints and directions leading to such secrets were to be found not in hidden texts, but in the geometry and symmetry of Masonic building and ornamentation, and throughout the years here have been attempts by non-Masons to decode these and to discover what these supposed 'secrets' might be."

As far as I know no non-Mason has cracked the code.

But the Freemasons aren't the only secret society that is tied in with conspiracy and man-made monsters. Dr. Curran mentions rumors about Rosicrucianism, that some modern-day followers are secretly working for the government in stem-cell and cloning projects.

I don't think the government needs Rosicrucians on the payroll to create monsters. It does a fine job on its own.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Adventure With The Computer Printer From Hell


That should be easy. Just call up your address list on the computer and then have the laser printer do the rest.

I follow the directions in the user's manual, opening the front feed panel and adjusting the guides to the width of an envelope. I also made sure to open the back panel where the envelope will pop out, addressed.

OK, the envelope goes through but it comes out crinkled. Check the manual. Gee, I forgot to release the two green tabs in the back panel opening, dropping down a long piece of plastic into a new position that supposedly will stop the wrinkling. So I release the green tabs, one on each side.

No go. The error button comes on. Printer won't print. Hit the magic green Go button seven times. No go. Invoke the eldritch name of Cthulhu seven times. No go. Tap the ruby slippers together seven times? Forget it. I flip the plastic piece inside the rear opening back into place and the error light goes off.

Check the manual in case there another way to keep envelopes crinkle-free. It mentions that I should go to a office supply store and spend money on either special envelopes or labels compatible with the printer. I bet those options are SO inexpensive.

In the end I found a quicker, cheaper and more efficient way to address envelopes. (No green tabs have to be released for this method.)

Get the address list and write out the addresses with a pen.

Texe Marrs: Space Cowboy Calls Out The Illuminati

Is Satan Jewish?

That's the impression I get after listening to a recent shortwave radio broadcast by Texe Marrs, the host of Power of Prophecy. I remember Texe (that's his name; Google it) from years ago when I started my zine, back when I covered the SW conspiracy beat. But after a while Texe and the others on WWCR started to repeat themselves.

I happened to come across the Power of Prophecy program when Texe announced that this was the most important broadcast he has ever made. He mentioned the Illuminati.

OK, it was a quiet Sunday night, nothing on the boob tube to watch, so I decided to spend an hour with Texe so see if he had another new angle on the Mega-Conspiracy. And since it was September 11th -- well, I don't have to explain that to you, unless you've been in a coma under a rock for the last ten years.

From his HQ in Austin, Texas, Texe sends out his warnings through his Power of Prophecy Ministries about the Illuminati, baiting them. I'm surprised that they haven't taken him out like Lee Harvey Oswald or Howard Beale but Texe does have God on his side.

From the biography at his Website, it mentions that Texe is a retired USAF career officer who commanded communications-electronics and engineering units. He has also taught various subjects including international affairs, political science, and aerospace studies at three different universities.

Texe has what I call a space cowboy style. He's way out there man, shooting away at the bad guys. If you in tune late, you would think he was talking about some fictional parallel Earth in another part of the galaxy, but after a while you realize he's actually talking about this world. Why watch a TV show like Star Trek or Fringe when the real world (albeit Texe's real world) is full of incredible happenings?

Take the symbolism of the twin towers at the World Trade Center. Based upon his biblical research Texe said they represented the two central pillars that Samson pushed apart, causing the temple to collapse. Of course, the fall of the towers was caused by explosives planted inside each structure. Yup, Texe is one of those 9/11 Truthers but one into the Samson story. (He never did completely tie in the story with the inside job that made the towers collapse; he only provided a hair's-breadth connection.)

Maybe my memory is failing as I grow older but I don't remember listening to Texe years ago with the concept of the "elite Jewish conspiracy" bandied about so much. But this program did have that focus. Texe warned that the super wealthy Jews were behind the Mega-Conspiracy, the Illuminati. And who's behind that? Satan, of course.

The Satanic/Illuminoid/Jewish conspiracy plans to eliminate all religions until only one remains. Guess which one? Your guess is Church of the Sub-Genius? Hey, pal, you don't listen to WWCR that much.


Power of Prophecy hosted by Texe Marrs. Broadcast on WWCR radio, 4.840 MHz, 9/11/11, 10 PM Eastern Time (0200 UTC, 9/12/11).

About Texe Marrs

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Zine Zap: Grunted Warning

"No jail for ham attack"

"Banana fear put straight"

"Penis taken in evidence"

Actual headlines from actual articles collected by zine editor Stuart Stratu in Down, Under AKA Australia. Grunted Warning is a gritty digest-sized pub (8 1/2 by 11 inch pages folded lengthways and stapled into a booklet) with a quirky quickly-pasted lay out, photos and news clippings chopped and then thrown together. The rough design adds to the rough quality of the subject matter. For example, "With S&M a scar is born," an article about two Czech porn producers who put a few actors in the hospital with their sado-masochistic production. (Ouch.)

But don't get the impression that GW is all about sexual perversion and scandal. Check out "Giant rats kill babies" and "Rats ground Qantas flight." Or the clipping about the Russian scientist who thinks ET contact will occur in a couple of decades. (Based on what? Strong Russian vodka?)

You can contact Stuart at PO Box 35, Marrickville NSW, 2204, Australia for a copy of Grunted Warning. He accepts a $1.00, stamps (AUS -- that's Australia, not Austria), trade, friendly letter or unusual clippings.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Budd Hopkins: An Era Ends?

My only regret at this point in my life are that there is not a larger pool of qualified people willing to continue this challenging work, despite the many lives that have been helped along the way, and despite the massive amount of intriguing data that have already been accumulated. -- Budd Hopkins, New York February, 2011

[Photo of Budd Hopkins: ]

Does the death of Budd Hopkins signal a turning point in alien abduction research?

Without any formal degree in counseling -- he was first known as an artist -- Hopkins helped people who thought they have been abducted by aliens. He always faced criticism for his abduction research. One critic was his ex-wife Carol Rainey who wrote a revealing article in Paratopia magazine (January 2011). In "The Priests of High Strangeness" she portrayed her ex-husband as someone both gullible and also willing to overlook certain facts to make his case.

In turn Hopkins wrote a rebuttal to Rainey's article entitled "Deconstructing the Debunkers: A Response." The above quote is the last line in his essay.

Of course those who still believe in Budd's work regard Rainey's essay as distortions and disinfo while most skeptics are happy to see what they regard as his dubious methods being challenged by someone who was an insider.

Whatever the truth is with the she said/he said controversy, some damage has been done to Hopkins' image. Another abduction researcher, David Jacobs, a friend of Hopkins, has been dealing with criticism from one of his subjects who calls herself "Emma Woods." With the death of John Mack back in 2004, it seems that the alien abduction field has taken some severe hits.

In her "High Priests" essay Rainey states the biggest problem with the field is that the same story keeps repeating itself. Nothing new has happened. People are abducted, probed, extracted, and then returned home.

It's like reviewing typical UFO reports. After a while they all blend in together. I know when reading a series of cases my eyes get blurry, my mind wanders. Nothing new has happened. No solid evidence. The source behind the mystery never reveals itself.

But despite the repetition and inconclusiveness with UFOs, the topic is still argued and debated. There are still followers and believers. And with alien abduction research, even though it lost a leading light like Hopkins, it will probably keep rolling along like astrology, ESP and all sorts of other New Age ideas, right or wrong.


"Deconstructing the Debunkers: A Response" by Budd Hopkins

"The Priest of High Strangeness" by Carol Rainey

Secret Of The Green Go Button

They love to screw you for money.

Especially with computer printers.

I gave up wasting time with inkjet printers. I don't print that much that often which means the cartridge openings dry out and plug up. To clean them to have to use more ink (meaning more money). And sometimes no matter what you do, a cartridge stays plugged.

The color inkjet cartridges are usually the ones that dry out. Print out a color photo and find it ruined with a purple overtone; the yellow ain't working. I gave up on the whole rip off when I couldn't get a cartridge to work, one half-full of overpriced ink. I decided that I would save money by printing my color images at a digital photo kiosk found at department or drug stores.

For black and white printing I decided to go with a laser printer which is nothing more than a photocopier hooked up to a computer. I bought a low-price home unit made by the Brother Corporation. The cost per page was supposed to be much less than an inkjet. The salesman told me that if the toner cartridge seemed to be empty, you could get more pages by taking it out, shaking it to loosen up the powder, and then re-installing it. I already knew that trick from selling photocopiers back years ago when I was an office equipment salesman.

So when the light came on the other day -- TONER EMPTY -- I did the shake-and-reinstall trick. Nothing. The printer wouldn't print.

I was pissed off because I knew I hadn't printed that many pages. The toner still had life in it. Print quality was still OK before the unit stopped.

After a few nugatory results with shaking-and-reinstallation, I checked the user's manual, finding the section about extending the cartridge's life. Under Troubleshooting: Improving the print quality, details on how to shake and re-install but no mention of the Go button.

I went online and did a Google search. I came across complaints from customers that the toner cartridges didn't last as long as advertised. Eventually I found the secret to making the unit work longer thanks to an user's comment: Press the green "Go" button after re-installing. Make sure to press it seven times.

Presto. The printer now works.

So why does the Go button have to be pressed seven times? Why not two or three? Maybe an engineer at the Brother Corporation was into numerology.

Regarding the user's manual, maybe someone forgot to add the detail about the Go button under Troubleshooting. Plain incompetence.

Or maybe the option for completely using up the toner was made arcane to increase profit margins. Whatever reason, customers are unhappy because they have to replace the cartridges too soon. What is needed is a smart competitor won't play such games and win customers over to its product.

In the meantime...

Fuck you, Brother.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Notes Of A Distraught Woman

[Blue woman image based upon photo by Peter Delory. From the cover of Living With Your Husband's Secret Wars by Marsha Means.]

I'm a single male atheist. So why did I pick up a self-help book intended for Christian wives with marital problems?

The notes.

I found the book in a cardboard box on the sidewalk, buried in a jumble of other titles. The FREE BOX sometimes offers intriguing works that the used book store tosses out, not seeing any value.

Apparently the woman who purchased the self-help book didn't want it either, even though she marked it up with her handwritten notes, personal reactions to points raised by the author. It was an opportunity to glimpse into the mind of a devout Christian seeking answers through her faith.

From what I gathered the note-writer was upset that her husband was cheating on her -- mentally, not physically. He enjoyed pornography.

Yes, even thinking about sin is a sin. That's what they told me when I was brought up as a Catholic. It didn't surprise me to see that claim years later after I had "lapsed" from the church. I worked nights as a part-time janitor at a Catholic high school. In one room there was a poster with a list of points and warnings, telling the young students how to look and act. A key point: As soon as an impure thought enters your mind, put it out of your mind -- as soon as you think it. Or you'll have committed sin.

(The poster also said male students had to be clean-shaven, hair cut short. The nun principal didn't like me because I had a beard. I worked for a contract cleaner, not the school per se, so there was nothing she could do even though she believed that only Jesus and the saints were entitled to facial hair.)

I didn't agree with the premise that thought = sin but it was obvious the note-writer was hurt that her husband enjoyed porn and the fantasies that went with it.

She had listed on the inside back cover terms she equated with pornography. Besides "sexual sin," she considered porn as "adultery/infidelity," "extramarital sexual activity," "breach of vows," "sex addiction," "self-destructive behavior," and "sickness of the soul."

The note-writer also underlined and checkmarked many passages in the text. In one section an upset wife tells her story, relating how her attitude, anger, didn't change towards her unfaithful husband; it was sinful. The note-writer observed in the margin: "My unmoving attitude is sin!" Once again, bad thoughts are sin.

But the note-writer didn't always agree with the points raised in the book. One expert stated that forgiving a sinner too quickly can make the other person an enabler, continuing a cycle of forgiveness followed by more betrayal. Observed the note-writer: "Not always -- forgiveness is what gave me the courage and determination to change."

In another section the author states that the wayward husband has to show responsibility, remorse, and spiritual growth as part of the reunion process. But the note-writer remarked: "I see none of these. I see denial, lies, deception and an empty heart." On another page she wrote: "I still feel that there are secrets, not exposed to the light." Elsewhere I came across the word ANGER, emphasized with a circle, almost carved into the margin with her pen.

At one point the note-writer has a list of things she wants to say to her husband -- what she appreciates about him, what she needs from him, and finally, a request to pray together.

Towards the end of the book her notes suddenly stop. Like a used textbook that a college student dutifully marks up and highlights until he reaches the point where he is distracted by campus life or decides the course is bullshit.

In a number of places the letters PRSG are written in the margins, referring to peer recovery support group. Maybe through such a group the note-writer found some answers and that's why she no longer needed the book, no longer compelled to pen her thoughts in the margins.