Wednesday, December 21, 2011

P.S. Hopkinsville

P.S. Hopkinsville

After finishing my earlier posting (see here), about Hopkinsville and Budd Hopkins having temporal links for August 21st, a postscript presented itself about other people links and "coincidences," regarding that situation.

"Hopkinsville hobgoblin" attacks a member of the Sutton family, 1955.

Budd Hopkins during his early lectures, as in this one from 1967, began to develop the concept of "missing time" and "alien abductions" due to the "intruders."

"Hopkinsville," as the tagging label grew to be known, is all about the Kelly-Hopkinsville "hobgoblins," reported in 1955.

Two of the most mentioned investigators linked to that incident are (1) J. Allen Hynek (May 1, 1910 - April 27, 1986), ufologist who developed the close encounter scale and consulted on the making of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (released on November 16, 1977), and (2) Isabel Davis, ufologist who authored Close Encounters of Kelly and Others of 1955 (1978).

Davis was from New York City, and investigated the Kelly-Hopkinsville event a year after it happened. Hynek, living in the Chicago area, examined the details of the case by talking to Davis and one other investigator.  Who was that person and how did Hynek and Davis learn the most about the Kelly incident? They received their most credible firsthand data from an individual they would call a friend years later: Andrew "Bud" Ledwith, an announcer-engineer at a Hopkinsville radio station.

Yes, another Bud.

Bud Ledwith was there first. On August 22, 1955, it was Andrew "Bud" Ledwith of WHOP radio who interviewed the seven adult witnesses in two different groups. He judged their accounts as consistent, especially in their descriptions of the strange glowing beings. It is Bud Ledwith's drawings that are most often reworked and used when talking about the Kelly creatures.

Bud Ledwith's sketches were made under the instructions of the eyewitnesses.

Now here is the strange part. Years later, in 1977, I met Bud Ledwith, face-to-face. He was working as the host of a small Boston-area radio station talk show. He invited me to come into his studio so he could interview me about the April 21-22, 1977, sightings of the Dover Demon. Only after I was there, after we began to talk, did I discover that he was the same Bud Ledwith who was in Hopkinsville in 1955.

What a strange coincidence, I thought. The Dover Demon was so very bizarre in description, I had already researched seemingly similar isolated historical cases of small creatures. Naturally, I had compared the Dover Demon with the Kelly hobgoblins. And then I find I stumble into the primary investigator in that case? It all seemed rather unbelievable.

Walt Webb, then the Assistant Director of the Hayden Planetarium at Boston's Science Museum, would write, in his special report, about this overlap that all of us were discussing back then: "Loren was the first to note some resemblance between the Dover entity and the famous Kelly, Kentucky, 'little men' incident of 1955," (see page 55, in Mysterious America).

So, there I found myself, sitting with Bud Ledwith, 22 years after he interviewed the Kentucky creature witnesses.  I was talking about the bright orange Dover Demon, and then we discussed the silvery Kelly creatures. It all seemed a little weird at the time, and still does today.

To think now of the links between Budd Hopkins/Hopkinsville, and Bud Ledwith/Hopkinsville, in the context of Bud, me, the Dover Demon, and Budd, is beyond strange.

I met Bud Ledwith in April 1977, because of the Dover Demon, and met Budd Hopkins for the first time at the Mass UFO Show/Mass Monster Mash in 2008. I had spoken at the previous Mass Monster Mash, presenting a 30th Year Anniversary Dover Demon PowerPoint presentation in 2007.

Digging a bit, the links from Isabel Davis, through Bud Ledwith and Hopkinsville, to Budd Hopkins are rather direct, historically. It all has ties to the old CSI.

The Civilian Saucer Intelligence (CSI) was an independent unidentified flying object research group founded in New York City in 1954. It was initially called Civilian Saucer Intelligence New York, but the "New York" was quickly dropped from their name.

Jerome Clark writes, "Though its membership was small, what the organization lacked in quantity it made up in quality of its personnel," (
Clark, Jerome, The UFO Encyclopedia: 2nd Edition; Volume 1, A-K; Omnigraphics, Inc, 1998, page 188). CSI's core personnel were Ted Bloecher, Isabel Davis, and Alexander Mebane.

Though the group never formally disbanded, CSI was defunct by 1959. However, Davis and Bloecher were active in UFO research into the 1980s, Davis as a NICAP associate. Notably, Bloecher investigated an early 1970s UFO sighting made by young New York City painter, Budd Hopkins; in later years, Hopkins would become a key figure in the alien abduction scene.

I truly am not sure what any of it means, but it is worth a little Fortean pondering.

Kelly-Hopkinsville hobgoblin (1955)

Dover Demon (April 1977)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (November 1977)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Gremlins (1984); Gremlins 2 (1990)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hopkinsville + Budd Hopkins / August 21st

Peter Park sends along the following:
One curious twilight-language coincidence I myself have long noticed but which I've never to my recollection seen in accounts of the 1955 Sutton farmhouse alien siege is the fact that Hopkinsville, KY, was the birthplace and home town of famous psychic and "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce. I've long been a little surprised that Christian fundamentalists who see anything "occult," "New Age," or "psychic" as "of the Devil" haven't picked up on the Sutton case, with its decidedly demonic-looking "goblins," as just some of Edgar Cayce's buddies paying a rerturn visit to his home town!

Several twilight insights can be said about this.

First off, in January 2008, Mac Tonnies (pictured above) looked at the Hopkinsville + hobgoblin 1955 invasion + Edgar Cayce "name game" link, here

(Mac Tonnies was found dead on October 22, 2009, the same day that American comedian and television personality Soupy Sales died. October 22, 362 is remembered for a mysterious fire that destroyed the Temple of Apollo at Daphne outside Antioch.)

One of the 1955 creatures attacks. Illustration from Mysterious America.

The time period of the Kentucky sightings occurred between 8:00 p.m. and 4:45 a.m Central Time. This "attack" occurred on, please note this date, August 21, 1955, through the morning of August 22nd. Tonnies also mentioned Budd Hopkins in conjunction with the Hopkinsville event.  The name game is a natural with Hopkinsville and Budd's last name.

Tonnies wrote at his blog: "Skeptics will point out that 'Hopkins' is hardly an unusual name. But there are enough cases of synchronicity within UFO research alone to justify a closer, more rigorous analysis. Perhaps Fortean events unfold in a barely glimpsed 'Matrix,' their manifestations only partially perceptible to baseline human consciousness."

In my book Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures, I dealt with the 1955 events, the name game (like Lafayette“the little fairy” or “the little enchantment”), the devil meaning behind "hob" and "hobgoblins," and my further interest in links to dates. 

William Mott, rephrasing and extending my notes, shared the following at Mac's blog, 
"Hob" is an ancient appellation for a demon, goblin, or devil. The stretch to "Hobkin" or "Hopkin," i.e., "goblinkind" or "devilkind," is another connection in all this. Hobyahs, hobgoblins, etc. bear this out.

We have here a Fortean case of names and dates colliding across time and space.

Budd Hopkins died on, get this, August 21, 2011, at 1:35 p.m. ET.

What gives with August 21st? Hopkinsville hobgoblins in 1955 and Budd Hopkins' death in 2011.

Dipping into the events of August 21st, I find these quick examples:  In 1945, on August 21st, physicist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, near the 33 degree north latitude. In 1968, Soviet Union-dominated Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia. In 1971, Black Panther George Jackson was killed (some say "assassinated") in a shootout with police at the Marin County Courthouse, the last commissioned building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1983, Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. is assassinated at the Manila International Airport. 

For more on Tonnies's ideas, see his book, The Cryptoterrestrials: A Meditation on Indigenous Humanoids and Aliens Among Us (NY: Anomalist Books, 2010), which was published soon after his death.

I have to point out that the "Hopkinsville invasion" actually took place in Kelly, Kentucky, located 8 miles north of Hopkinsville, and Cayce was born 10 miles away, in Beverly, south of Hopkinsville, straight down Lafayette Road.  

Nevertheless, Cayce is most often said to have been born in "Hopkinsville," and the "little silver hobgoblins" were remembered as having attacked in "Hopkinsville," because of the 1955 newspaper and Air Force accounts associating that town with those events.

Meanwhile, Happy Winter Solstice everyone. In Hopkinsville, Kentucky, this year, that's December 21st. In 2011, the December solstice takes place on Wednesday, December 21 at 11:30 p.m. CST (Thursday, December 22 at 5:30 UTC).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Korea's 9/11 Twin Towers: What Were They Thinking?

Will these two buildings appear in Seoul, South Korea in 2016? What were the people that put together these plans thinking? A mere coincidence? The twilight language working overtime in a Dutch firm? What's going on here?

South Korean developers may be backing down from plans to erect two luxury apartment buildings that some say resemble the World Trade Center buildings exploding as they were hit by planes on 9/11.

The building design had been pitched by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV for erection in Seoul, South Korea.

But according to new reports, the design is on hold now.

After the uproar online and beyond, telling of the controversy about the design of the buildings, MVRDV issued apologies on its website and Facebook page. The Facebook entry reads as follows:

A real media storm has started and we receive threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse.

MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11, it was not our intention.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Florence Attack by Author of The Key of Chaos

Leige, Belgium, was shaken by a seemingly random lone individual's attack on the city. Something similar happened in Florence, Italy, on the same day.

Photos from Leige (above) and Florence (below) looked eerily similar on 13 December 2011 (13.12.11). 
The killer in Italy was a right-wing author who published a newsletter for fans of J. R. R. Tolkien.

An Italian far-right author shot dead two Senegalese vendors and wounded three in Florence on Tuesday (13 Dec. 2011) before killing himself in a daylight shooting spree that prompted outpourings of grief in the historic city.
Witnesses said they saw the gunman calmly getting out of a car at a street market on Piazza Dalmazia, north of the city centre, and firing off three shots that instantly killed two vendors and seriously wounded a third.
The white assailant was identified by authorities as 50-year-old Gianluca Casseri. 

The International Business Times ran this profile of Casseri:
Expert of right-wing European culture and passionate about fantasy and conspiracy books, the middle-aged man published many articles on the Germanic folklore, before founding literary magazine La Soglia or The Threshold in 2001. Issues included monographic volumes about Conan, Dracula, Tolkien, Lovecraft and other fantasy authors.
His favourite authors were Ezra Pound, Friedrich Nietzsche and Julius Evola. In 2010 he wrote along with Enrico Rulli Le chiavi del caos or The Key of Chaos, described as "a kind of alchemical play in the magic Prague of Emperor Rudolf II".
Initial reports suggest that he belonged to Casa Pound movement.
Named after the American Fascist poet Ezra Pound, Casa Pound is a neo-fascist movement born in Rome in 2003, when it squatted a state-owned building in the central neighbourhood of Esquilino. It soon developed as a national organisation and then proceeded to branch out into numerous cities in the country.

After Casseri's initial attack, he moved on to the San Lorenzo market in the centre -- a popular destination for the thousands of tourists who visit Florence every day -- where he wounded two more vendors.
Casseri then turned the gun -- a Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver according to news reports -- on himself after he was surrounded by police.
Around 200 Senegalese marched through the city in an angry protest after the shootings, shouting "Shame!" and "Racists!"
Hundreds of immigrants were later seen praying on their knees in tears in front of Florence's famous cathedral.
"The heart of Florence is crying today," Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi said in a Twitter message, declaring the city would hold a day of mourning Wednesday and would pay to repatriate the bodies to Senegal.
"I think the pain for the lives that have been cut short is not only for the Senegalese community but for all the citizens of our city," Renzi said.
International Cooperation and Integration Minister Andrea Riccardi and a Senegalese imam will attend a ceremony at Florence city hall on Wednesday.
"The Senegalese are good people, people who never get into trouble, who work every day," one Senegalese man told news channel SkyTG24.
Another man said: "These lads who were killed were only earning money for their wives, their fathers, their children."
Roccangelo Tritto, a spokesman for local Carabinieri police, told AFP that the man wounded at Piazza Dalmazia would live but remain paralysed for life.
The other two men were also in a serious condition -- one with a wound to the abdomen and another shot in the chest.
Casseri was the author of fantasy novels including "The Key of Chaos" about a wizard, a mathematician and an alchemist, which enjoyed some popularity.
He also wrote an academic paper about Dracula folklore and was the editor of a niche magazine about fantasy and horror fiction and comics.
Casseri lived on his own in the Tuscan countryside near Pistoia.
He was also a member of Casa Pound, a right-wing community group that is seen as more intellectual than other far-right organisations.
"He was a bit strange, a bit of a loner but he didn't seem crazy. He was living in his own world," said Fabio Barsanti, a regional coordinator for Casa Pound.
"He didn't seem capable of doing something like this," he said, adding: "We are against any type of violence. We consider the Senegalese humans like us."
Barsanti said Casseri was known locally mostly as a World War I buff.
While Casa Pound distanced itself from Casseri's actions, left-wingers were quick to pin the blame on a climate of racism in the country.
Walter Veltroni, a lawmaker from the centre-left Democratic Party, said the shootings were "a terrorist attack by a right-wing extremist."
"What happened in Florence is the product of a climate of intolerance against foreigners that has grown over the years," he said.
Nichi Vendola, leader of the Left, Ecology and Liberty party, condemned what he said was "a racist and fascist Italy that sows hatred."
At the scene of the first shooting in Piazza Dalmazia, eyewitnesses quoted by Italian media said they were in shock and a newspaper seller said the gunman told him: "Get out of the way or I'll bump you off next."
"I heard the shots but I thought they were fireworks. Then I turned around and I saw three men on the ground in a pool of blood," one vendor said.
Another man said: "There are often Senegalese guys here who sell the usual stuff, they don't bother anyone and no one was expecting this."
African vendors can be seen on the streets of Italy's main cities selling sculptures, trinkets and fake designer handbags. They are often selling their wares illegally but are popular with tourists and local residents.
Last summer in Norway, a Norwegian man apparently motivated by a hatred of immigrants went on a bomb and shooting spree that killed 77 people.

Leige Attack: 4 Dead, 123 Hurt

Number of people injured in Liege, a city situated in the Meuse River valley, due to today's attack, now stands at 123 - AP

Belgian prosecutor says death toll in Liege attack is now 4, including 2 teenagers - AP

A gunman has opened fire in the centre of the Belgian city of Liege, killing at least four people and wounding 123.

The man also threw grenades into a crowded square from a rooftop before killing himself, reports say.

He was named as Nordine Amrani, aged 33. He was known to police for firearms offences. Officials said the attacker acted alone, ruling out terrorism.

Medical sources later said two other injured, including a baby girl, had died. This has not been confirmed.

The central square in front of the Palais de Justice remains cordoned off this evening.

The Christmas market is dark and empty, but it was very different this lunchtime. Scores were enjoying a festive shopping experience when the man now named as Nordine Amrani began shooting and throwing explosives. People began running, screaming, children amongst them.

While the 33-year-old attacker was known to the police, having previously faced drug and weapons charges, officers say they currently don't know why he carried out this terrible act.

Amrani was jailed for 58 months in September 2008 for possessing firearms and drugs, media reports said.

Officials did not confirm this, but said they were aware he had spent some time in prison.

Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo, visiting the scene, described the attack as "horrible".

"There are no words to describe this tragedy," he said.

"We think first and foremost of the innocent victims, their family and friends. We also think of all the people working at the scene and more generally of the people of Liege.

"The whole country shares the pain of the families affected. We share the shock of the population."

Belgium's King Albert and Queen Paola also came to pay their respects.

Amrani had been asked to come for an interview at a police station in connection with charges against him.

A resident of Liege, he left home with a rifle, a pistol and three grenades in a bag, prosecutors said.

Greg Ienco, a journalist at local newspaper La Meuse-Liege, described the scene of the attack.

"We saw four explosions. I was in a building 200m from Saint-Lambert Square," he said.

"It was quite incredible. We saw one man on the roof who tried to kill people. This man killed himself with a grenade."

Two of the people confirmed dead were boys aged 15 and 17, the third a 75-year-old woman.

TV images showed blood splattered across the cobblestones of the square.

Several people are reported to be in a serious condition.

Medical staff at a field hospital at the scene treated 52 of the injured. Some others made their own way to other hospitals.

Roads into the centre of Liege were sealed off but vehicles are now coming back into the city.

Explosives experts were called in to search the area for unexploded grenades. People were initially told to stay in buildings but are now returning to the streets.

Place Saint-Lambert is a busy intersection, served by hundreds of buses daily. It hosts an annual Christmas market which attracts some 1.5 million visitors a year.

"Le Quinze Août" celebration takes place annually on August 15 in Outremeuse and celebrates the Virgin Mary. It is one of the biggest folkloric displays in the city, with a religious procession, a flea market, dances, concerts, and a series of popular games. Nowadays these celebrations start a few days earlier and last until the 16th. Some citizens open their doors to party goers, and serve "peket", the traditional local alcohol. This tradition is linked to the important folkloric character Tchantchès (Walloon for François), a hard-headed but resourceful Walloon boy who lived during Charlemagne's times. Tchantchès is remembered with a statue, a museum, and a number of puppets found all over the city.
Liège hosts one of the oldest and biggest Christmas Markets in Belgium.
The Saint Nicholas festival around the 6 December is organized by and for the students of the University; for 24 hours, the students (wearing very dirty lab-coats) are allowed to beg for money for drinking.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ritual America

The end of the year is a good time to look ahead to forthcoming books.  Three new 2012 books noted here have "forewords" by me.

For this blog specifically, I would like to mention a fourth book. This one is due on Valentine's Day 2012, and is a "twilight language" offering with a "foreword" in line with much of what you have read on these pages.

That new book is entitled Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on American Society: A Visual Guide by Adam Parfrey and Craig Heimbichner (Feral House, 2012).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

VA Tech's Garuda Again?

This was the week of a powerful lunar eclipse on December 10, 2011 (beginning at 6:06 am PST) followed by the deadly Mexico City to Acapulco 6.5-6.7 earthquake, which struck almost exactly twelve hours after the eclipse. Added to those events, the previous week's wave of WV, CA, MA, FL and other multiple shootings, plus the NH mall attack, and one has a general uneasy sense that it was, indeed, a weird and stressful time. 

Now in the midst of all of this, the links to Garuda and VA Tech present themselves again into our consciousness. Let's take a quick connect-the-dots detour around this landscape.

An Indonesian student activist died late Saturday (December 10, 2011) after setting himself ablaze in a political protest, according to news sources"Police say an Indonesian student activist has died after setting himself on fire in front of the presidential palace. Sondang Hutagalung, 22, set himself ablaze across from the palace in downtown Jakarta….The activist was last seen joining a Sept. 7 protest demanding justice for Munir Thalib, a prominent activist who died in 2004 of arsenic poisoning during a flight with national carrier Garuda."

National carrier Garuda?

How was Munir Thalib assassinated?

"Munir was poisoned with arsenic on a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004. He was travelling on state-owned airline Garuda Indonesia. It was concluded from Munir's autopsy and eye witnesses during the trial, that he had died two hours before arrival in Schiphol, Amsterdam. He took the arsenic during his flight transit in Singapore, or sometime near that time." Source.

Garuda Indonesia? 

"PT Garuda Indonesia..., publicly known as Garuda Indonesia, is the flag carrier of Indonesia. It is named after the mystical giant bird Garuda of Hinduism and Buddhist mythology." Source.


"The Garuda (Sanskrit/Javanese/Balinese/Indonesian: गरुड garuḍa, 'eagle'; Pāli garuḷa; Tamil: கருடன் karutan; Thai/Lao: ครุฑ khrut; Malay: geroda; Mongolian: гарьд garid) is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology." Source.

I have previously discussed the overlap between this airline, a tragic crash (on March 7, 2007), Garuda, and Mothman here

Following the Garuda Airlines crash, less than a month later, the April 16, 2007 massacre at VA Tech, which left 33 dead, occurred. As the events of that day unfolded, I was struck to learn that in local lore at VA Tech, the school's mascot, the Hokie Bird is referred to as "Blacksburg's own Garuda." I wrote of my thoughts about that strange coincidence in "VA Tech's Garuda."

VA Tech seemed to be a pivotal touchstone to notice when the world seemed to have gone a little haywire. It will be recalled that on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, police reported a woman was beheaded on the Virginia Tech campus, when she was decapitated while calmly eating. Xin Yang, 22, was killed only a couple weeks after arriving at the campus from Beijing on January 8 to begin studying accounting, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.

Now again, the VA Tech's Garuda has appeared, above, in news articles about a new tragedy. On December 8, 2011 (the anniversary date of John Lennon's assassination), "Ross Truett Ashley, a 22-year-old part-time business student at Radford University, about 10 miles from the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg" went to VA Tech, "walked up to officer Deriek W. Crouse (39) after noon and shot him to death as the patrolman sat in his unmarked cruiser during a traffic stop. Ashley was not involved in the stop and did not know the driver, who is cooperating with police, they said. Authorities said Ashley then took off for the campus greenhouses, ditching his pullover, wool cap and backpack as police quickly sent out a campus-wide alert that a gunman was on the loose. Officials said the alert system put in place after the nation's worst mass slaying in recent memory worked well, but it nevertheless rattled a community still coping with the day a student gunman killed 32 people and then himself. A deputy sheriff on patrol noticed a man acting suspiciously in a parking lot about a half-mile from the shooting. The deputy drove up and down the rows of the sprawling Cage parking lot and lost sight of the man for a moment, then found Ashley shot to death on the pavement, a handgun nearby." Sources 1 & 2.

I must remind my readers, John A. Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies was initially to be entitled The Year of the Garuda. Keel preserved some notion of what he was feeling with his subtitle, An Investigation into the Mysterious American Visits of the Infamous Feathery Garuda.

The disaster that ends Keel's book is the collapse of the Silver Bridge, which spanned the Ohio River, between Kanauga, Ohio, and Point Pleasant, West Virginia. That event took 46 lives, occurring 45 years ago, on December 15, 1966.