Sunday, November 15, 2015


While I was in SW Pennsylvania last weekend giving a talk at a conference, I met several people who were from Fayette County, Pennsylvania. One of the most entertaining was a man named Fred, who use to be a policeman for the town of Fayette City in that county.

Fred became the point man to whom all the other law enforcement officers would send reports of UFOs, Bigfoot, and other strange phenomena. He also told me that police and folks called the area Fayettenam, as a way to describe how crazy things got there. 

Of course, due to my interest and what I've written in the past about the "Fayette Factor" - which relates to the surprisingly high incidence of inexpliable events linked to places named after one of the USA's Founding Fathers, the Marquis de Lafayette - I was intrigued by this business of Fayettenam

I asked myself, how widespread is the use of Fayettenam?

I was to discover it was shared by many Fayettes, Lafayettes, and Lafayettevilles, around the country.

 ~Urban Dictionary

According to Fred, Fayette County, Pennsylvania's neighboring state's Fayette County and Fayetteville, in West Virginia, must be added to the list. Folks thereabout call the area Fayettenam too.

But the Fayettenam that dominates the Internet, is the city of Fayetteville in North Carolina, which overlaps with a famed military base. See, for instance, this from 2012:
"Sequestration ground zero: 'Fayette-nam,'" in Politico.

As one ex-military individual observed:
When I lived at Ft. Bragg in the late 1970s, Fayettenam referred to the fact that there was a lot of violence being purpetrated by the military that was living on base. Lots of fights, shootings, etc., between the military and the locals. It also referred to a very high crime rate at that time, particularly crime against the military by the residents. It was literally a "battle zone." Source.

But Pennsylvania's Fayettenam is represented, as well. A few years ago, a website, "Dispatches from Fayettenam," carried bizarre stories of crimes from Fayette County, Pennsylvania. They were ones like this:

Connellsville robber who blamed talking cat sentenced to prison
Friday, August 16, 2013
A Fayette County man who allegedly told police a talking cat convinced him to steal a car, rob a bank and ram a police car was sentenced to up to five years in prison and ordered to undergo a mental health assessment.
Judge John F. Wagner Jr. imposed the 2 ½- to 5-year sentence on James Anthony Shroyer, 51, of Connellsville as part of a plea bargain in which Shroyer entered guilty pleas to charges that included aggravated assault, robbery and receiving stolen property.
Shroyer on Thursday asked the judge to order the mental health assessment because he is “seeing things and hearing voices.” At the time of his arrest in March, Shroyer told troopers he embarked on the mini crime spree at the urging of a talking cat, according to a criminal complaint.
Police said Shroyer stole a Chevy Cavalier in Connellsville March 28 and drove it to the First National Bank on Indian Head Road in Springfield Township. He covered his face, entered the bank, pointed a concealed item at a teller and demanded cash.
During an interview with troopers at the Uniontown barracks, Shroyer told them a “cat told him to take the car and get the money with the plastic gun.” According to a criminal complaint, Shroyer told the officers he took the Cavalier when the same cat “jumped up on the car and told him to steal it.”
Shroyer told the troopers he rammed the patrol car, according to the complaint, because the “cat was telling him to hit the cops.”
Meanwhile, in Fayette, Alabama, this just occurred:
A Fayette teenager was killed Saturday evening [November 14, 2015] when her car left the roadway and hit a ditch.
Samantha Lauren Watkins, 19, wasn't wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Alabama state troopers. Watkins was driving a 2003 Honda Accord.
The crash occurred at around 6:13 p.m. on Alabama 102 near the 14 mile marker, 16 miles east of Fayette. Source.
Besides, Fayette, this one event also involved the recent power name Samantha (see here) and the old standard Watkins (see here). Then there's the fact the story contained the "Lauren" name too. (Lauren meaning may be "Laurel tree," "sweet of honor" or "victory of wisdom". It can also be derived from "laurel" in Latin meaning "seer of second sight" or gift of prophecy as well as immortality, and superior intelligence. Of course, it is the female version of Loren.)

So, as you travel around the country, at least, watch your back when in a Fayettenam!

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