Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lo! Paul Ryan: Janesville, Gators, White Buffaloes, and Philadelphia Experiment

Who could have imagined that so many strange Fortean topics could be linked to one place? Of course, Janesville has always been a focal point of Fortean interest because of a unique old report from 120 years ago.

Chicago Citizen, Feb. 27, 1892 -- 
an alligator, 5 feet long, found frozen to death, 
on a bank of the Rock River, near Janesville, Wisconsin. 
~ Charles Fort, Lo!, 1931.

Janesville, Wisconsin native Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a sometime Ayn Rand follower and Tea Party favorite, has been named as Republican Mitt Romney's running mate in the presidential race. And yes, Paul Ryan did drive the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile for a summer job.
The V.P. announcement was made with the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk*, Virginia, in the background.

USS Wisconsin (BB-64), "Wisky" or "WisKy", is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and launched on December 7, 1943 (the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid), sponsored by the wife of Governor of Wisconsin, Walter Goodland.

This happened in the same time period as The Philadelphia Experiment. "The Philadelphia Experiment" is the name of a naval military experiment alleged to have been carried out at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA sometime around October 28, 1943. It is alleged that the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Eldridge was to be rendered invisible (or "cloaked") to enemy devices. The experiment is also referred to as Project Rainbow. Even if the story of "The Philadelphia Experiment" is a cover story, misinformation, or a hoax, it serves as a powerful popular cultural artifact known to many political theorists in contemporary literature.

Ryan, as mentioned, was born and raised in the Wisconsin town of Janesville, the youngest child of Elizabeth A. "Betty" (née Hutter) and Paul Murray Ryan, a lawyer.

Janesville was founded in 1835 on the east bank of the Rock River. Named for an early settler, Henry Janes, early development depended on water power from the river and an early territorial road that included the first bridge across the Rock River.
A tree that once stood in downtown Courthouse Park was the site of a lynch mob that hanged a convicted murderer in 1859. In 1992, television journalist Geraldo Rivera was arrested for battery after an altercation during his coverage of a Ku Klux Klan rally in Janesville. 

The Janesville location of a related cross burning in 1992 is now "Peace Park" with a playground and a peace pole, said to be the world's tallest at 52 feet.

In 1994, a white buffalo dubbed Miracle was born at the Heider family farm just outside Janesville. Miracle lived until 2004. She was frequently visited by Native American  ceremonial groups because of sacred symbolism of white buffaloes in many Native American religions. 

Another unrelated white buffalo, named Miracle's Second Chance, was born at the same farm in 2006, but died in a lightning strike later that year, not exactly a good omen.

Besides the bizarre frozen alligator report from 1892 from Janesville mentioned in Lo!, recent years have noted other "out-of-place" gators in the area. 
The Janesville Gazette of Janesville, Wisconsin, for example, reported on October 1, 2007, from southern Wisconsin, that duck hunter... 
Ed Long thought he was shooting at a snapping turtle, but he got a surprise when he pulled his trophy from the Milwaukee River:
It was a 4-foot-long alligator.
When the reptile submerged again, Long fired and stunned it. He called to his cousin, who prodded the 25-pound animal with a stick and then ran when it moved.
"We both thought nobody is going to believe us," Long said. "We made a decision to bring it back dead or alive, and more likely dead."
The animal appeared to have died from a shot to the head. The cousins dragged it to a field and then went to their uncle's home for help bringing it in.
"I'm still just absolutely 100 percent shocked," said Long's uncle, Herb Sagan. "You've got a better chance of shooting a 30-point buck in Wisconsin than a gator."
"I've been a warden for 33 years, and I've never heard of anything like it," Warden Bill Mitchell said.
Long has started calling taxidermy shops about preserving the alligator.
"I'd like to have it mounted," he said. "Or at least get a belt or wallet out of it."
Long, 31, of Greenfield, had been in the river Saturday (September 29, 2007) looking for ducks.
"At first, I thought it was a turtle tail," he said. "The it turned and came back at me. I seen the eyes come out of the water, but my brain didn't click. This is Wisconsin. There's not supposed to be gators in Wisconsin."
In October 2005, police in the village of Theresa shot a 2- to 3-foot alligator that was sunning itself on a bank along the Rock River.

In December 2011, a 1.5 ft alligator was recovered from the Rock River just across the Illinois border from Rock County, in Winnebago County.

In the coming weeks, we shall revisit this topic, if it seems important.

"Look with horror in your mirror at the eyes without curiosity; 
at the lips which never question."
~ Tiffany Thayer, in his Introduction to Charles Fort's Lo!

Sources as attributed above in embedded links, as well as mixes and various tidbits from Wikipedia.

Personal footnote: *Norfolk, Virginia. This happens to be my birthplace.


Anonymous said...

Paul Ryan, another cryptid case solved. Up until now, Russ Feingold was the greatest discovery of Janesville, WI.

Red Pill Junkie said...

You mentioned Ryan is a (sometimes) follower of Ayn Rand.

Well, turns out one of the greatest video-games of recent times, Bioshock, is loosely based on Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged. The game is set in a dystopian underwater city called Rapture, built by an eccentric millionaire named Andrew Ryan:

Greg Tramel said...

just a hop skip and a jump from Oak Creek WI, well in TX terms of distance

Anonymous said...

I was born there too! Wild.-- E

Liberty Bell said...

I think that the "curiosity" quotation is actually due to Tiffany Thayer, from her introduction to an edition of Charles Fort's "Lo!" rather than to Fort himself.

Ann said...

As Mitt Romney unveiled his vice presidential pick this morning in Norfolk, Va., he accidentally promoted him, saying: "Join me in welcoming the next President of the United States, Paul Ryan."

A Romney-Ryan election sounds like it could be just chock full of sychromysticisms! I hope they win just for the synchromysticism part of it. Taking bets they will win.

Ann said...

Mitt Romney announced Rep. Paul Ryan as his candidate for vice president Saturday, but not before describing him as "the next president." The faux pas was eerily similar to one made by Barack Obama four years ago.

Now what are the chances of *that* happening? The Big Game is afoot.

Ann said...

I wonder at the timing of Romney's announcement of Paul Ryan.

In rituals there is the opening and closing of the ritual or of the circle. Tomorrow, Sunday, 8/12, is, I think, the closing ceremony of the Olympics ritual. The announcement of vice-presidential running mate falls within the 'ritual', sealing it.

To be perfectly honest, I no longer care about what any mainstream pundits are saying about Paul Ryan. It's just so much static, so much chatter. I'd rather get my news from the synchromystics.

alanborky said...

Hmm I wonder if I'm related to him?

I've got two Irish brothers and a sister born with the Ryan surname and their father and a fair few of their kids have a similar look especially round the eyes.

Republicans'll note of course Ryan and [Ronald] Reagan both mean king.

But I'm struck by his 'former' fondness for Ayn Rand.

I'm wondering if she was try'n'o tell us something because anagramised you get Ryan Nad and presumably a kick in the nads means the same in the US as in the UK.