Sunday, April 18, 2010

Semi-Dead Shortwave

Propagation usually sucks when I try to tune in the Saturday night gathering of the Liberty Net. Now I listen via a streaming website run by one of the Lib Netters. On some nights conditions are so bad that even the amateur radio operators participating in the net have problems hearing each other, despite their pro equipment.

But even if propagation conditions were good, shortwave radio overall is dying out. International broadcasters like the BBC in England, DW in Germany and Radio Netherlands have stopped transmitting their programs to the US. One excuse for cutting back is that people can listen on their home computers via streaming.

I still enjoy listening to a radio but the stations that have remained on the air, Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand International, are being affected by the lousy listening conditions. So once again I turn to streaming audio on my computer. I want to hear what other countries are saying.

They say the sunspot cycle is on the upswing, meaning improved SW reception conditions. But for the most part the only stations that come in that well are domestic US ones like WWCR which broadcast Xtian and superpatriot - conspiracy programs. Even then I've had problems with those broadcasters.

Gee, maybe HAARP up there in Alaska is trying to cut off all outside contact and is also selectively squelching some local stations.

Six Degrees Of The Liberty Net

I did some more Googling and found a site that archives audio files of the Liberty Net gatherings. As I mentioned before, the Lib Net is a group of ham radio operators who discuss current events but with a superpatriot focus. At times some racism shows through.

So it didn't surprise me that the site archiving the Saturday night gatherings,, was under the auspices of Kevin Alfred Strom, a man described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "a bookish yet dogmatic neo-Nazi whose predilection for child pornography ultimately ruined his efforts to claim his former master's legacy." That former master was the late William Pierce, founder of the neo-Nazi organization the National Alliance.

As for Strom's problems with child porn, he maintains his innocence, saying he was set up. His wife, Elisha Strom, says she found child porn on his computer and that's why she turned him in to the authorities.

Kevin Strom faced two separate trials. He prevailed with the first one held in 2007, found innocent of trying to entice a minor into performing sex acts. But with the second trial in January 2008, Strom struck a deal, pleading guilty to possession of child pornography so that multiple counts of receiving child porn were dismissed. During his sentencing Strom contended that he didn't intentionally download child porn, it came from an online forum he had visited. He wrapped up his prison stretch in September 2008 but still faced 15 years of supervised release.

At his website Strom under his Marginalia section thanks the European Union Times for its support during his "travails." I never heard of the European Union Times so I did some more searching and found the editorial comment that defended Strom. Placed at the end of an article about Strom pleading guilty to child porn, the editor stated:

"Kevin is innocent and he is a victim of the ZOG Empire! He only pleads guilty so he won’t get the maximum sentence!

"He dedicated all his life fighting against: pornography, child pornography, rape, murder, race mixing, suppression, homosexuality, etc! How could they even accuse him with such nonsense?? It’s well known that they placed some pictures with naked children in his computer…"

ZOG refers to the Zionist Occupation Government, a key component of many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Is it me or do I sense a pattern here?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Matthew Graeber: A Sketch

It started with an UFO sighting when he was around twelve years old.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. August 1953. A hot muggy night. Unable to sleep, young Matthew Graeber sat on the edge of his bed, his elbows on the window sill, chin tucked on his hands. Despite the darkness the view outside his window was well-lit by the ambient illumination of street lights.

A mysterious globe appeared in the sky, glowing with a radiance suggestive of a full moon. As it turned it took on the appearance of a disc-shaped object. Whatever it was, it quickly disappeared into the distance like a TV set being shut off, the image fading into a tiny white dot before being swallowed by the blackness.

He mentioned the brief sighting (about six seconds duration) to his mother, asking her if they should report it to the Air Force. She replied maybe next time if he saw it again.

The event piqued his interest. Matt read everything he could on the subject of "flying saucers," as they were called in the early days of ufology.

Years passed and he ended up investigating reports for other witnesses as part of the Philadelphia-based UFO Report and Information Center (UFORIC) from 1972 - 1980. The six member civilian organization was responsible for covering the Tri-State area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, conducting field investigations and interviews with witnesses.

One aspect of UFORIC's investigations was to see if there was any connections between witnesses and their biorhythmic cycles.

This focus on witnesses as well as the sightings is reflected in Matt's psychological approach to UFO cases. While not ruling out that some UFO sightings could involve ET craft or some sort of paranormal activity, Matt considers the mindset of the observer as an important factor.

He believes that two types of psychological situations might be involved in a sighting: Dynamic Display (DD) and Dual Process of Perception (DPP).

This is how Matt defines each category (e-mail dated 4/1/10):

"Dynamic Display involves an interruption of (waking state) consciousness by some sort of  visually perceived external stimuli, and adverse latent psychical contents are reduced in intensity because of a function of excessive libido transference ( i.e.,  a D. D.).
"Dual Process of Perception (DPP) involves and over-laying if internally generated (dream state imagery) upon the external environment. The mixture of inner and outer world elements are perceived (in the waking state) as one." 

An example of Dynamic Display would be the observer seeing symbolism in objects he perceives as UFOs. In one case Matt investigated a man observed four UFOs in the daytime sky, three on his left and one to his right. In terms of D.D. the grouping of three could represent the man's family, his estranged wife and two children, while the fourth one could symbolize the relationship with his new girlfriend.

As for Dual Process of Perception, Matt examined a report of a mini-saucer encounter and evaluated it in terms of D.P.P. The witness was in bed, half-awake, eyes open. The man perceived the room around him while dreaming that a small UFO had flown through an open window.

Matt's psychological take was influenced by reading Freud and also the book "Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies" by C. G. Jung (1959).

Since UFO investigations don't pay that well -- if at all -- Matt had his "day job" of being a commercial artist. Due to his failing eyesight he has retired from both his commercial art pursuits and UFO investigations. He writes occasional articles for the online newsletter, SUNlite.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

XR #71

It's up at -- the latest edition of my zine, The Ray X X-Rayer (PDF file). XR #71 features posts from this blog in a convenient-to-print format. There is some new material in the intro, a couple of items I haven't written about here. So before they get too old -- and before I forget -- here are those items...

Hot Gas, Northern Lights & UFOS

Ever see the Northern Lights? When the sun is active it throws off a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) that hits the earth's magnetic field and -- Voila! -- the aurora is produced. (Good thing I proofread this stuff. I had written "Viola!")

Over at her blog, The Orange Orb, Regan Lee discussed the sighting of a triangular UFO one night in West Linn, Oregon. The observer contacted local media but was unable to speak to any live people except one at a TV station. The station employee replied "that's kind of funny that you'd report that today because it's the Spring Equinox and you could have seen a reflection from the Northern Lights."

As I mentioned in my comment at Regan's blog, the sun has been quiet until recently, not many sunspots. I wondered if the Northern Lights were active that night. If they were, from what I've seen of them south of the Canadian border, they're usually not that bright to reflect off anything. Maybe the TV station employee meant to say the aurora was "reflecting" off the earth's atmosphere. Either way, the witness saw a solid object. While I didn't know if he actually saw an alien craft, the aurora explanation didn't wash.

As for the Spring Equinox and Northern Lights connection -- that makes as much sense as saying "It's Easter and what you saw is a meteor." Just like meteor showers and holidays, the aurora isn't dependent on the Spring Equinox.

Another comparison: The first day of spring doesn't mean sunny skies and warm temps immediately start. I've seen it snow around here in May.

If you're going to give explanations, try to at least make them based in real science, not in half-science.

In a follow up post Regan compares the Northern Lights explanation to the old swamp gas disinfo. Me, the aurora explanation is like a CME -- a lot of hot gas.

Liberty Net Online

As I just mentioned in the prior item, the sun has been really quiet until recently. Not only does it result in the lack of Northern Lights, it also means usually lousy shortwave reception. When the sun isn't sleeping, sunspots are frequent and SW conditions are improved.

For years I've followed a gathering of superpatriot ham radio operators in the 75 meter band, LSB (lower sideband mode). They usually meet on Saturday nights, kicking off at around 10 PM EST. The last couple of weeks I've barely picked them up on 3.953 MHz.

So I Googled and found an audio stream for the Lib Net at . It sure beats listening to faint voices and static.

Be advised that a few of the Lib Netters express bigoted / racially insensitive views. I don't agree with most of their views; I track them to hear what's getting the superpatriot community so riled up lately. (Health care, anyone?)