Sunday, December 28, 2008

Top Ten Evil Clown Stories of 2008

During the last year, coulrophobic reality was in evidence through events that actually did occur. Here are my top choices for the most sinister of synchromystic clown news items of 2008.

ledger joker long

(1.) The Joker Is Dead.


There is no bigger symbolic story for the year than the death of Heath Ledger on January 22, 2008. The actor would appear in The Dark Knight, which opened 07.18.08, in the most significant and iconic evil clown role of the year, The Joker.

(2.) Jokawild Is Decapitated.

On July 30, 2008, Tim McLean, who called himself Jokawild, was beheaded on a Greyhound bus in Alberta, allegedly by Vince Weiguang Li, 40.

The MySpace head shot of the victim McLean is below. This is where he told about how he called himself "Jokawild," had three tattoos, owned an iguana and loved loud music and motorcycles.


Todd Campbell writing of McLean at Through the Looking Glass revealed the victim was a big fan of Insane Clown Posse. Most fans of Insane Clown Posse call themselves "Juggalos."

[One repeating theme this year is the increasing presence of the Juggalo (male or female) and/or Juggalette (more commonly used for a female) in these incidents. These individuals are members of the fanbase of the Detroit hip hop group Insane Clown Posse and related recording artists at Psychopathic Records.]



(3.) Slipknot Clown Killer Strikes.

On September 1, 2008, in Johannesburg, Morné Harmse, an 18-year-old pupil in his final year of high school in South Africa allegedly killed a fellow student with a sword and then hacked up three others. Harmse wore a clown mask and carried other masks inspired by the group Slipknot. The killer also spoke in a voice to mimic the Joker in The Dark Knight.

slipknot masks

(Not specifically clown-related, but it is worthy of noting that this school event was proceeded by the Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2008, shooting on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, United States, which left five plus the shooter dead, and wounded eighteen. Steve Kazmierczak came to NIU with his gun in his guitar case, yet another scenario seen in cinema, such as Desparado. Kazmierczak, the dark knight dressed all in black, felt, it appears, he was in a movie. Kazmierczak had on his right arm a tattoo depicting the masked, clown-like character, the Jigsaw Killer, from the horror movie, Saw.)

SAW tattoo

(4.) Juggalos Attempt A Kidnapping.

On September 9, 2008 in West Valley City, Utah, two men with clown painted faces, identified as Juggalos, were arrested in an attempted kidnapping of a young boy.


(5.) Phantom Clowns Return.

During mid-October 2008, new sightings of "phantom clowns" in Chicago occurred near Wicker Park, which has a symbolic name linked to New York City's Son of Sam killings of 1976-1977. In the new Illinois incidents, the scary man was seen wearing clown make-up (in one report, with a teardrop on whiteface) and a wig. Allegedly, he used balloons to attempt to lure children into his vehicle (i.e. a white or brown van with the windows broken out) on the South Side. Police issued an alert about a week after a man with a similar description was spotted on the West Side, also trying to snatch kids.

scary clown

(6.) Juggalos Throw Man Off Bridge.

In Washington state, Joshua Smith was hit on the head with beer bottles, stabbed and thrown off of a bridge. Smith, a Juggalo, was attacked for breaking "gang rules." Smith was attacked by two other Juggalos and a skinhead, who were arrested after the incident. Trench Reynolds on said on November 8, 2008, "Talk all you want about family and carnival but I can’t think of any other music fans that enforce ‘gang rules.’"

(7.) Juggalos Almost Decapitate Teen.

Two 21-year-old men were arrested late in November 2008, by Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies after investigators said they attacked a 17-year-old Kearns youth with a medieval mace. The key to catching the men was their apparent affiliation with Juggalos, as some jewelry they dropped matched a symbol found on the bumper of their car.


During the altercation with the victim, one man stabbed the teen with a knife and the other man struck him with a medieval battle ax type of weapon in the back of his neck, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak. Doctors needed about 300 stitches to close the wound, he said.

"The detective investigating the case said the ax could have very well have decapitated him," Jaroscak said. The weapon used has also been described as a four-sided "warrior's ax," according to the sheriff's office.

(8.) Juggalos Kill on Olive Branch Lane?

Adolescent Matthew Silliman’s (= “silly + man”) allegedly was killed by his four teen friends in a trailer hangout on Olive Branch Lane, rural New Hill, about 10 miles from Apex, near Raleigh, North Carolina. Silliman disappeared two days before Thanksgiving, and may have been killed a few days later, after being held as a captive. Search warrants noted that before someone used a hammer to beat Silliman, the suspects read him his fate in tarot cards.


The four suspects are (1) Drew Logan (= “megalithic rocking stone”) Shaw, 16, who describes himself as a Juggalo (Insane Clown Posse devotee); (2) Aadil Khan, 17, whose My Space page includes Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf among his favorite books; (3) Ryan Patrick Hare ("going down the rabbit hole"?), 18; and (4) Allegra Dahlquist, 17, a reportedly suicidal woman whose is a expert equestrian from the exclusive neighborhood near the Prestonwood Country Club.

(9.) Clown City Shooting Kills A Baby.

Miami detectives arrested two teenagers on December 18, 2008, for killing a police dispatcher’s baby, in an apparent gang-related shooting. A masked gunman ran up to a group of men playing dominoes on the porch of their home, and began firing, hitting ten-month-old Derrick Days II who was sitting on his father's lap when he was killed. Pierre Roche, the apparent primary target, an alleged member of a rival gang named Clown City, was also fatally shot.

(10.) Juggalos Fear Spreads

Juggalo Hatchman

Members of the Juggalos are often seen wearing shirts bearing the Insane Clown Posse's "hatchet man" logo.

Police Detective Calvin Walker was quoted in the Las Vegas Sun of December 23, 2008, as saying, "Not every child wearing those shirts is a gang member. They will tell you 'Mom, I just listen to Insane Clown Posse.' But unfortunately, the Juggalos are a documented gang."

Police estimate there are between 3,000 and 4,000 Juggalos in Utah, and 15 percent of them are associated with criminal activity.

Juggalo vandal activity, likewise, is high in Washington State. For example, late in 2008, in Lynden, Washington, two self-described Juggalo boys, 13 and 14, were convicted of starting the fire (June 9, 2008) that completely destroyed Lynden's historic landmark block-long Delft Square Building. W. H. "Billy" Waples opened his general store there in 1897. [This is not to be confused with the Nieuwe Kerk (English: New Church), a landmark church building in Delft, the Netherlands, located on Delft Market Square. In 1584, William the Silent was entombed in a mausoleum there.]

Special Footnote:

bad santa

Not to be overlooked, in the ultimate evil twisted clown-like ending to the year of 2008, a costumed man, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, plotting revenge against his ex-wife, dressed up in a Santa Claus suit, went to his former in-laws' Christmas Eve party and slaughtered nine people. He then burned their house down before killing himself hours later. The Killer Santa killings took place on East Knollcrest Drive, Covina, California. Multiple episodes of the hit television series "Knight Rider" were filmed in Covina, and the city has the largest and busiest movie multiplex in the USA, the AMC 30. The television series "Roswell" was filmed in Covina, at various spots that served as locations for the fictional version of the town of Roswell, New Mexico, the 33° north latitude site of the alleged crash of a UFO and reported finding of alien bodies in 1947.

Top Ten Evil Clown Stories of 2008
© Loren Coleman, 2008


For more on "Phantom Clowns," see Mysterious America (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2006). For more on symbolic criminal behavior, see The Copycat Effect (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2004).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Kills At Least 9 + Self In LA

December 27th update: Police recovered a second vehicle believed to have been rented by Pardo in recent weeks from a Pasadena company.

A sheriff's bomb squad robot examined the RAV4 and did not find any explosives, officials said. Investigators did find a canister of gasoline, water bottles, wrapped Christmas presents, two computers and a map of Mexico, police said.

A Dodge Caliber Pardo used to flee the scene Christmas Eve was found abandoned near his brother's home in Sylmar, boobytrapped with explosives and ammunition.

Buchanan said Pardo's body was found at his brother's home with $17,000 in cash and a plane ticket to Moline, Ill., with a stop in St. Paul.

From there, Pardo had planned to get picked up at the airport by a friend in Iowa, Buchanan said.

The friend knew nothing of Pardo's plans, he added.

December 26th, pm update: A ninth body had been found in the rubble, according to CNN.

Update: Stinging from an acrimonious divorce, a man plotting revenge against his ex-wife dressed up like Santa, went to his former in-laws' Christmas Eve party and slaughtered at least eight people before killing himself hours later.

Bruce Pardo's ex-wife and her parents were believed to be among the dead. Investigators planned to return to the scene Friday and sift through the ashes of the home, which Pardo set ablaze using a bizarre homemade device that sprayed flammable liquid.

Pardo chose to exact his revenge at the annual Christmas party his former in-laws held at their two-story home on a cul-de-sac in a quiet Covina neighborhood 25 miles east of Los Angeles.

[Covina has a connection to Roswell, of all things, writes author Robert Schneck. The television series Roswell was filmed in various location in Covina including the downtown area on North Citrus Avenue. City Hall, Charter Oak High School and several other businesses and residences served as locations for the fictional version of the town of Roswell, New Mexico (the site of the alleged crash of a UFO and finding of alien bodies in 1947).]

The massacre began when an 8-year-old girl answered Pardo's knock at the door. Pardo, carrying what appeared to be a large present, pulled out a handgun and shot her in the face, then began shooting indiscriminately as about 25 partygoers tried to flee, police said at a news conference.

A 16-year-old girl was shot in the back, and a 20-year-old woman broke her ankle when she escaped by jumping from a second-story window. Those two, and the 8-year-old, remained hospitalized Christmas Day. All were expected to recover.

The gift-wrapped box Pardo was carrying actually contained a pressurized homemade device he used to spray a liquid that quickly sent the house up in flames. Police said Pardo had recently worked is the aerospace industry.


Earlier Update:

Police say six bodies have been found in the ashes of a Christmas Eve party shooting at a house in a Los Angeles suburb that the alleged gunman subsequently set ablaze.

Police Chief Kim Raney says three people believed to have been at the party in the city of Covina remain missing.

The only suspect in the incident, 45-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, killed himself at his brother's house earlier Thursday.

The missing people include the couple who own the home and Pardo's ex-wife.

Police say the gunman wore a Santa Claus outfit during the shooting. Raney says he used a homemade incendiary devise to start the blaze after opening fire.


Original Information:

At least three people were found dead after a man dressed as Santa Claus started shooting at a Christmas Eve party in suburban Los Angeles. The suspect, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, later took his own life, police said Thursday, December 25th, CNN & AP reports.

It was hours later when police found the body of Pardo, at the home of his brother early Thursday in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles. Police said he died by suicide, but would not say how.

"He was going through some type of marital problems, and we believe that this residence is a relative's residence," Lt. Pat Buchanan said.

Police initally said three people were dead in the shootings and fire late Wednesday. Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said Thursday that investigators sifting through the ashes of the house found more bodies, but would not say how many.

The bodies were too badly burned to immediately determine whether they died in the shootings or the fire, Winter said. "We have multiple bodies inside," Winter said. "They're extremely charred and burned."

The gunman arrived at the party in Covina late Wednesday and immediately opened fire with a handgun, Buchanan said. Witnesses told police that the man took off the Santa suit and left the scene of the burning house in street clothes.

Winter said the search through the destroyed home would take at least until the end of the day.

An 8-year-old girl and a woman in her 20s were hospitalized with gunshot wounds that authorities do not consider life-threatening.

Crews took a third person to a hospital with an injury that wasn't life-threatening and wasn't caused by gunfire, said police in Covina, a city about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The shooting started around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

When police arrived at the two-story house, they discovered a fire that caused "significant damage." Authorities found three people dead inside but said they do not know how the three died. Their identities had not been released Thursday morning.

"There was some source of ignition that caused the fire," Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan said at a news conference Thursday morning. "We've not been able to identify it yet."

Jan Gregory, a neighbor, said about 25 people were at the party when the gunshots rang out and people started running by the house.

She said she saw a teenage boy run from the house screaming, "They shot my family."

Buchanan says three other people were injured. A woman in her 20s and an 8-year-old girl had gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, and a third person had a broken ankle.

Police received several 911 calls with reports of shots fired at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, and were still hearing gunshots after they arrived and found the house in flames, Buchanan said.

At first, firefighters were held back by police because shots were still being fired, though it may have been ammunition burning in the blaze, fire Captain Mike Brown said.

Firefighters had extinguished the blaze by about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, fire Captain Mike Brown said.

The two-story home on a cul-de-sac was destroyed in Covina, a quiet suburb 25 miles east of Los Angeles.

"This neighborhood is really quiet," said Jeffrey Barrientos, who lives half a block from the house that burned. Barrientos said the neighborhood's residents were mostly retirees and elderly people.

Lt. Pat Buchanan said Pardo was "going through some type of marital problems."

Police believe the residence where the shootings occurred belongs to one of Pardo's relatives, Buchanan said.

According to police, the gunman arrived at the party wearing a Santa Claus outfit but changed into regular street clothes before leaving.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Target: Orleans

Nine shooting incidents have occurred in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom in the last month. While the authorities remain in the dark as to the pattern behind the spree, is there an obvious link that connects the dots?

The shootings began on November 21st. They have included three Christian evangelical churches, specifically, the Grace Brethren Church of Coventry/Irasburg, the Assembly of God Church and Cornerstone Evangelical Church, both in Derby.

"It's disturbing, but we're not fearful," said the Rev. Scott Libby, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church, which was hit with 11 rounds.

The spree also targeted three homes, a vehicle, and then, on December 20th, the Vermont State Police barracks in Derby (hitting a display case). Most recently, a shooting occurred on December 22nd, at the Newport Country Club.

Seven of the shootings have occurred in Derby, with one each in Coventry and Newport. There have been no injuries, but lots of rattled nerves now exist in rural northern Vermont. The suspect or suspects remain at large.

Overtly, all the shootings seem to be aimed at symbolic auctoritas targets.

The Associated Press ran a national story on the Vermont shootings on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 2:25 PM EST.

All of the incidents have occurred in Orleans County, Vermont. It was in part of Orleans County where Gerald Bull infamously tested his giant guns.

In 1967, researcher and scientist (the so-called "supergun inventor") Gerald Bull constructed a laboratory for his Space Research Corporation (SRC) in Highwater, just north of Orleans County, Vermont's Canadian border. The property overlapped into the county in North Troy. His intent was to fire research packages into orbit using heavy artillery.

SRC was a corporation founded by Gerald Bull, after the budget for his research at Project HARP (for High Altitude Research Program, not to be confused with HAARP) for the United States and Canadian federal governments was cut in 1967, in order to commercialize the technology of long-range artillery. Project HARP's assets were then given to the newly formed SRC, the main facility of which straddled the U.S.-Canadian border between Highwater, Quebec, and North Troy, Vermont.

SRC's positive history was tied to selling ammo to Israel in 1973 for use in American-supplied artillery pieces. Bull was rewarded for the success of this program by a Congressional bill, sponsored by Senator Barry Goldwater, making him retroactively eligible for a decade of American citizenship and high-level American nuclear security clearance. With the change of administration in 1977, the US's policies on arms sales changed dramatically, and Bull ended up serving six months in a US jail in 1980. When he got out, he moved to Belgium.

Gerald Bull

Shown above is Dr. Gerald V. Bull. Image: M. Wade, Encyclopdia Astronautix, and Berliner-Ultrasonics. As Berliner notes, clearly with one of the 16" guns and, equally clearly, NOT in the Barbados!

Gerald Bull designed the Project Babylon "supergun" for the Iraqi government. Bull was assassinated, when shot five times in the back of the neck, by a gunman as Bull opened the door to his home in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22, 1990. Bull had been working on Scud missiles for the Iraqis.

Three theories as to the source of the assassin are most often mentioned: 1) Israeli Mossad; 2) Iranian Intelligence VEVAK; or 3) Iraqi agents of the Mukhabarat, under orders of the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, because Bull was no longer useful.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Synchromysticism's Godfather

Adam Gorightly's newest book documents the remarkable phantasmagoria that was the person named James Shelby Downard, an American theorist and pamphleteer who shared his thoughts about conspiracies, coincidences, synchronicity, and symbolism.

James Shelby Downard's Mystical War was released by Virtual Bookworm Publishing, in November 2008. The subject of the book, Downard, lived from March 13, 1913 to March 16, 1998, unless, of course, his death was a disappearing act and he's still alive somewhere, writing under an assumed name. (I'm joking, right?)

Downard appeared on the scene when many of my contemporaries and I were just beginning to have lexilinked thoughts and overlapping insights into coincidences. His influence, as Gorightly notes, today has spread far beyond this strange man's life and death.

I easily understand the reach of Downard's impact within my own life from this twilight realm. In the 1960s and 1970s, first in correspondence, and then later in Fortean Times columns, I wrote about the connections I found between names and weirdnesses. Some of those writings appeared (see Devil Names and Fortean Places) in my 1983 book, Mysterious America, along with another chapter, entitled "Name Game."

In the beginning, I pointed to names such as Devil, Diablo, Manitou, and Hockomock for locations, and people names like Hobbs and Wetzel to watch. These were early explorations on the edges of what today is a vast journey in onomatology (the study of names) and toponomy (the study of places).

In the 1960s, John A. Keel carried on a lively correspondence with me and others, in which he examined the frequent appearance of certain proper names, like Reeves/Reaves, McDaniel, Hill, Allen, Maddox, and Heflin, as eyewitnesses of anomalistic incidents.

Soon, I was corresponding with Bill Grimstad and Michael Anthony Hoffman II (both known for their alleged Holocaust denier views, btw), who were close associates of Downard. Many people feel they got letters from Downard, but mostly, it was Hoffman and Grimstad who were assisting in getting Downard's thoughts and words to the rest of us.

Exchanging ideas with Grimstad, about locations linked to Fayette and LaGrange, and names like Bell, Mason/Macon, Pike, Warren, and Lafayette, all went hand in hand with being a Fortean in the 1960s-1970s, especially if an interest in assassinations and strange suicides fit into the mindset.

Hoffman, who authored the modern notion of the twilight language (versus the ancient Buddhist understanding of the phrase) and Grimstad, who was the source of the Fayette factor, were interesting and stimulating correspondents who nicely intellectualized many of Downard's ideas. Hidden meanings were there for the finding, and Hoffman, Grimstad, and Downard were the miners.

James Shelby Downard, who wrote short tracts, which later were published in various anthologies from Adam Parfray at Feral House, examined his own perceived decodings behind historical events in the 20th century, on a parallel track to what was happening with Forteans, anomalists, and demonologists. Downard's approach was mostly cryptopolitical, and some of us drifted over into his world, as often happens in attempting to get a holistic view of history and current events.

How does a biographer working with a secretive subject capture the life of the hidden one? That was Gorightly's task.

As you begin to read this new book about Downard, you might think that you have opened a cryptocomedic LSD trip about a conspiracy-oriented Forrest Gump-like character, who amazingly finds himself in all the wrong places at the wrong times.

Gorightly escorts the reader abroad a rollercoaster ride in which Downard is a Freemason scapegoat being ritualistically abused, watching the KKK hang a person at a crossroads, seeing Alexander Graham Bell receiving homoerotic sex magik fellatio, visiting J. Edgar Hoover's office, and getting a phone call from FDR.

The opening sections of the book are so breathlessly delivered that by the time I arrived at the chapter noting that Downard was at the "first ever meeting of the Baker Street Irregulars on July 5, 1934" in a New York City eating establishment, I hardly was startled by the statement.

All of this made me flashback to what Gorightly observed in his second paragraph of the book: "Some cynics have gone so far to suggest that Downard never actually existed, the group creation of Michael Hoffman, William Grimstad and Adam Parfrey."


The publisher's tagline for James Shelby Downard’s Mystical War, tells us that author Adam Gorightly "chronicles the famed conspiracy researcher’s life long battles against Masonic Sorcery as an investigator and exposer of the Science of Symbolism, Onomatology and Mystical Toponomy."

Well, yes, but what is real and what are Downard's fantasies? We clearly can't tell from Gorightly's text, because, of course, who knows?

The book is an odd mix, at points, of biographical tales about Downard's unbelievable life, his intellectual perceptions in symbol decoding, and details of specific historical milestones along the twilight highway.

When you realize that James Shelby Downard's first published work was only released in 1979, via the short work, The Masonic Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, you do come to grips with the fact his overall output was limited, but powerful.

Downard's refined and well-edited King-Kill 33° had everything to do with the skills of Michael Hoffman channeling Downard. Combined with Grimstad's Sirius Rising reel-to-reel tapes of conversations with Downard, the two works had a ripple effect. “King-Kill/33: Masonic Symbolism in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy” eventually was published by Adam Parfrey in the first edition of the book Apocalypse Culture. The essay theorizes the Freemasons were responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Grimstad, writing even before it was published, was able to walk a wonderfully skeptical open-minded fence, as he passed along the following summary of Downard's JFK insights in Weird America in 1978:

Would you believe John F. Kennedy as a ceremonial king-who-must-die? I'm afraid there is a certain body of opinion, undoubtedly the farthest-out brain wave of assassinology yet, that maintains the killing was pulled off, not by the Russians, the Cubans, the CIA, or the Mafia, but by alchemists.

As I understand the hypothesis, President Kennedy was for some reason chosen as The King (remember "Camelot," "Macbird" and all that?) after the fashion of James G. Frazer and Mary Renault whose "The King Must Die" he had been given to read before his death. This killing of the king in Dallas was related somehow to the touching off of the world's first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site in New Mexico 18 years earlier. Apparently the Bomb was the "destruction of primordial matter" stage of the grand alchemical working, but these conspiracy buffs aren't much more specific on details than were the early alchemists in their recipes. Anyway, Kennedy represented the next stage of the process - the "Death of the White King" - when he was immolated on a trinity site of his own. For, aren't Dealey Plaza and the ill-famed Triple Underpass on the bank of the old Trinity River?

William Grimstad

Popular cultural outlets, such as Robert Anton Wilson's works (e.g. Cosmic Trigger), the music of Marilyn Manson, and the various books and movies about the numbers 23 and 33, have Downard living onward into the morrow. My own books, including The Copycat Effect, show Downard influences.

Everyone has the sense they "discovered" the significance of certain names or dates, or even factoids like Dealey Plaza being the first Masonic temple in Texas, but remarkably, most of these revelations track back to Downard.

Adam Gorightly, who authored the underground classic, The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture (with its foreword by Robert Anton Wilson), is a good person to be at the wheel for this biography of Downard. Oh, I wish it would have been twice as long, but I understand how difficult it is to write biographies of people that do not wish to be known.

Gorightly's book does an excellent job, nevertheless, in opening the door to a comprehensive world of symbol decodifications that may be new to many people. Today, there is much 21st century intrigue involving Downard's legacy, in new areas such as synchromysticism.

Several writers and commentators, including Todd Campbell, Robert Schneck, Theo Paijmans, SMiles, Michael Janitch, Mike Gos, Goro Adachi, Greg Bishop, Ben Fairhall, Henrik Palmgren, Richard Hendricks, Craig Heimbichner, Christopher Knowles, Fredrik Palmgren, Anthony Sutton, Kenn Thomas, the late Jim Keith, the late Ron Bond, and Jake Kotze inhabit the netherworld of conspiracies and synchromysticism, with the later being "an emerging field of study and subculture existing on the fringe of areas already considered fringe – primarily mysticism and Jungian psychology."

The word "synchromysticism" was first coined by Jake Kotze in August 2006, on his website-at-the-time, Brave New World Order. Kotze defined the concept as: "The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

Downard's modern influence on Forteana, assassination studies, occult symbolism decoding, twilight language research and synchromysticism is so deep that he must be acknowledged as the Godfather to many of the points of view that inhabit those arenas.

I'm not sure if I take even half of what Downard wrote about as reality, but to get caught up in that intellectual side trick in critical thinking misses the point. In realizing the reality behind the twilight language, the metaphor is the method and the Downard as revealed by Gorightly is the message.

Greg Bishop, Farah Yurdozu, Nick Redfern, and Adam Gorightly somewhere near Roswell, on 07/09/07. Photo by Sigrid Hudson.

Glossary ~ James Shelby Downard examined the world through a variety of methodologies, including the following:

Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. The word is Greek: ὀνοματολογία (from ὄνομα (ónoma) "name").

Toponymy or toponomastics, the study of place names, is one of the principal branches of onomastics.

Anthroponomastics (or Anthroponymy), a branch of onomastics, is the study of anthroponyms (anthropos, 'man', + onuma, 'name'), the names of human beings.

Etymology is the study of the history of words — when they entered a language, from what source, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. In languages with a long detailed history, etymology makes use of philology, the study of how words change from culture to culture over time. The word "etymology" itself comes from the Ancient Athens ἐτυμολογία (etumologia) < ἔτυμον (etumon), “‘true sense’” + -λογία (-logia), “‘study of’”, from λόγος (logos), "speech, oration, discourse, word."


If you have questions about the identity of Bill Grimstad: 

 See The Dirty Little Secrets of Twilight Forteans.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toole, Jonestown and Bundy?

What does Ottis Toole have to do with Jonestown, Ted Bundy, and Satanists? Or with the name "wood" and the Tescumseh Curse? A little or a lot? Who knows?

A press conference was held in Hollywood, Florida, on Tuesday, December 16, 2008, to close the Adam Walsh case. As you will recall, the six year old Adam was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida, on July 27, 1981. Adam's mother, Revé, had left him playing in a video game section of the store with older boys. When she returned, he was gone. Adam's severed head was found in a Vero Beach, Florida, canal on August 10, 1981.

At the news conference today, the murder was blamed on serial killer Ottis Elwood Toole (March 5, 1947 – September 15, 1996). Toole had confessed and withdrawn his confession to the Walsh twice each, and did the same kinds of confessing and recanting with other killings throughout his life.

For more on the initial Adam Walsh "Case Closed" report, see here. For more on the questions being raised, days later, see here.

Ottis Elwood Toole has a bizarre history, including these quick tidbits from Wikipedia and other sources:

1) His father's name was Elwood Toole;
2) Ottis Toole claimed his mother was a religious fanatic who often abused him and dressed him in girl's clothing;
3) Toole's maternal grandmother was a satanist who exposed him to various satanic practices and rituals in his youth and gave him the nickname "Devil's Child";
4) In 1976, Toole met serial killer Henry Lee Lucas* (August 23, 1936 – March 13, 2001) while working at a soup kitchen in Jacksonville and they reportedly became lovers; [*Lucas also had been dressed as a girl as a child, Lucas at one time lived in Tecumseh, Michigan, Lucas claimed to have delivered poison to cult leader Jim Jones in Jonestown prior to the notorious mass murder/suicide of Jones's group, & Lucas's sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1998 by then-Governor George W. Bush. Lucas's was the only death penalty case among the 153 that came across Bush's desk in his tenure as Texas Governor in which he intervened and commuted the death sentence.]
5) Toole and Lucas claimed to have committed hundreds of murders, sometimes at the behest of a secret cult called "The Hand of Death Cult";
6) Toole briefly shared a cell with serial killer Theodore Robert Bundy (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) in Florida's Raiford Prison, according to Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me.

Various "experts" feel that most, if not all, of what Toole and Lucas told authorities were fantasies of two mentally ill men. Some, in the law enforcement community, feel what they were saying were partial or full truths. As is obvious from what occurred today at the news conference, Toole is a strong suspect as a killer in various murders.

I find the timing of this news quite bizarre, considering what we have been hearing lately about the Tecumseh curse, the names Reeves (Revé), Wood, and all.

Oh, yes, and there's one more twist to the story. Some eyewitnesses identified Toole as the weird man they saw at the mall the day Adam disappeared. Years later, others said they recognized the kidnapper the second he first appeared on TV - infamous Wisconsin serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who lived in South Florida in 1981. Some in the community still believe the case is stronger against Dahmer, who was killed in prison 14 years ago.

Make of it what you will.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Harvey Milk's Kool Aid

Gus Van Sant's Milk does not deal overtly with the fact that Harvey Milk's assassination occurred only days after Jonestown. In the Sean Penn starring film, it is mentioned that there was Kool-Aid at Milk's funeral, but that's about the only reference.

Recently, I posted extensively here about the links between Jonestown, Milk, and Moscone.

The massacre at Jonestown was the precursor to the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone, which took place nine days after the Jonestown events, on November 27, 1978.

Milk certainly realized what was in the wind, as I note in The Copycat Effect and prepared for the link: "[Harvey] Milk’s less-than-a-month-old will requested that his body be cremated, and by his direction, the ashes were enshrined with a mixture of bubble bath (to denote his gay lifestyle) and Kool Aid (to signify the People’s Temple victims)."

To read this passage in context, see here.

© Loren Coleman 2004 ~ from The Copycat Effect (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2004).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Curses! It Is Almost December 12th!

Something is in the wind for December 12-19, but how does one prepare when you know a disaster might be coming? It seems forty years ago, when the Mothman curse supposedly began, it was treated with mostly disbelief. Please note that. Or, perhaps more correctly, it was viewed with total absence of knowledge that something might be amiss.


Today, I guess, there are limited exercises in writing about curses, more attempts at writing about them and some warning of others.

Take Mothman and the horrors associated with that phenomenon. Of course, the "Curse of Chief Cornstalk" has been linked with the disasters of Point Pleasant, West Virginia: Mothman sightings, cattle mutilations, kidnapping attempts, the collapse of the Silver Bridge, and the dynamite explosion at the Mason County jail. I am not saying there is a connection. I am merely pointing out that people have tied all these together, demonologically, sometimes. No judgments, merely an observation.

Think about it. It was a newswoman who was the source for John A. Keel of the tale of her nightmares of floating Christmas presents in the Ohio River. Did she ever write about those dreamworld appearances, before the event? Not to the best of our knowledge. But Keel made much of them, after the fact, in his books and the nightmares show up cinematically in the Richard Gere movie.

What of other curses, the ones today, that need to be discussed, before things happen?

Another Native American curse is out there, in a related vein, which may have foreshadowed tragedies as its underlying theme. Yes, the Curse of Tecumseh. This specific curse has now been mentioned especially for a period linked to a temporal window beginning on 12.12.08.

Earlier, last Friday, December 5th, I wrote elsewhere about "December Omens."

A research associate Philip Levine has now shared word that author/astrologer Gary Cohen has recently written about "The Curse of Tecumseh."

As most astrologers know, every 20 years from 1840 the U.S. President elected during that year has died in office. At least that was the case until Ronald Reagan, who was shot but, although nearly died, managed to survive. Some think the curse ended with him, while others, myself included, think not.

It is my belief that George Bush is in great danger of not living out his term of office. Let me say right away that based on astrology I think there are three main possibilities indicated: assassination, accident, or a serious heart problem.

During the course of Bush's term of office, I and others felt that the President had faced danger. He has survived many stressful times, although his prestige has steadily waned. The techniques that I use are to be considered as indications when a given set of energies have the strength, when taken together, to be a warning for all those who realize the value of astrology.

Around the Full Moon this December 12, 2008, there are indications in Bush's chart, the USA chart, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chart, and the ACG lunation chart that all point to some major, tragic event in this country.

Cohen gives his reasons, quite technically, in private correspondence, which I will not share here. Let it be noted, certainly, his calculations overlap with what others are "seeing."

As rains, freezing rains, sleet and snow hit the East Coast of America, it will be intriguing if we discover there also have been some recent Mothman/Thunderbird sightings too.

Please, everyone be careful. This is significant data that indicates bridge jumpers, suicides, hostage situations, domestic violence, mall shootings, and workplace violence do increase during these times of spring tides, full moons, and the close approach of the moon to the earth. Tidal forces are strong during the next week. Humans are animals, and all animals are influenced by the tides.

Sadly, humans are left with the question, something horrific may occur for the period around and after this Friday's full moom, but how does one prepare when you know a disaster might be coming? Do blogging banshees and cursing curses really warn people or create crises? Of course, at least, I've taken the chance to mention all of this before the date versus recording this after the fact, as you will find, mostly, has happened in some of the so-called paranormal lore.

Friday, December 05, 2008

December Omens

As we ride a bumpy road into the last month of 2008, precursors all around seem to be pointing to troubling times immediately ahead. Twilight language read with care sometimes can give an indication of what may be in our futures. Sometimes chasing the dragon can be a fool's game. But there is no reason to ignore its fiery breath if you wish to not be burned.

On the evening of December 1, 2008, a 39-year-old man called a friend at 2:30 pm local time (twilight number = 23) and left a voice mail message, saying goodbye. It took the friend about 20 minutes to get through to the original caller, at which point, the suicidal man said he was "at the cathedral and I'm going to kill myself."

Moments later, running to the Guildford Catherdral in Surrey, UK, the friend found that the police had shot dead his suicidal friend. It appears clear that the victim had died by "suicide by cop." A fake gun was being carried, and the situation forced the police into shooting the man dead.

Several intriguing twilight details must be considered in this incident. The site is the Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit, Guildford, the Anglican cathedral at Guildford, Surrey, England. It stands in a commanding spot on Stag Hill, so named because the Kings of England used to hunt here.

The Guildford Cathedral was used in the filming of the classic Satanic/demonic movie The Omen as the setting for several scenes.

The 1976 film about the childhood of Damien Thorn (as in a "crown of thorns"?) was directed by Richard Donner. It followed a cycle of "demonic child" movies, including Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, and was itself followed by sequels and a number of copycat films such as the Italian-made Kirk Douglas movie Holocaust 2000. A remake of The Omen premiered on June 6, 2006, with a release date chosen to reinforce the "666" (6/6/06) motif.

As Ben Fairhall has noted over at The Daily Behemoth, regarding the use of the site for the movie The Omen: "When a young boy sees the spire and the building comes into view he is thrown into a rage. He foams and the mouth and tries to bite his mother."

While the Guildford Cathedral is used throughout the film, there is one pivotal scene at the end that somewhat bizarrely foreshadowed what happened on December 1st.

On a mission to end the life of the demonic 666-birthmarked Damien, his father, Robert Thorn takes the child to the cathedral. He lays Damien on the altar for a ritualized killing. Robert reaches for the daggers he must use and pulls the first one out. But just as he is about to stab Damien, the police arrive and order him to stop. When Robert does not comply and tries to stab Damien, he is shot dead by the police.

The police on Sunday, December 1st, asked David Sycamore, 39, to drop the gun they saw he had. He refused and was hit twice by gunfire, once in the right arm and once in the chest. The second bullet killed him. It was learned soon after that Sycamore's gun was non-lethal, one of the pellet guns the man had collected.

That this man who died in The Omen's churchyard was a Sycamore is noteworthy.

Since ancient times, the significance of the sycamore tree and its spiritual/predictive nature has been acknowledged. The use of the names "sycamore" and "sycomore" in the Old and New World is linked to the "specialness" of these trees.

The sycamore (or sycomore) of the Bible is a species of fig, Ficus sycomorus, also called the sycamore fig or fig-mulberry, native to the Middle East and eastern Africa. This tree was used in Ancient Egypt for medicine and mentioned in Egyptian mythology.

The Egyptian goddess Hathor was known as the Lady of the Sycamore. Many artifacts made from sycamore are known from the New Kingdom period.

The Bible says that when Joseph and Mary made their flight into Egypt they rested under a sycamore tree. The sycamore is mentioned in the Bible several times, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament (e.g. Amos 7:14, Jeremiah 24:2, Luke 19:4).

A tree in El Matareya near Cairo called the Virgin Mary Tree is said to be a resting spot of Mary, Jesus and Joseph and is a pilgrimage spot for Christians. The tree died in the 17th century and a new sapling in 1672 was planted. That died in 1906, and a new one was planted, which is what is present today. The tree is enclosed in a compound and the government charges admission fees to it. Both Coptic Christians and Muslims visit the site for healing by the Virgin (a practice that is unorthodox in Islam).

The sycamore of Britain and Ireland is a European maple tree, Acer pseudoplatanus, also called sycamore maple, great maple, or, inaccurately and leading to confusion, the plane tree in Scotland.

A sycamore tree is said to be the oldest tree in Cyprus, planted in the 13th century, making it more than 700 years old.

In the November 21, 1922 issue of The New York Times an article was published entitled "Raven of Ill Omen Reappears in Paris; Superstitious See Danger for Millerand in Return of the 150-Year-Old Bird. Heralded Many Disasters ~ Marie Antoinette, Marie Louise, Carnot and Faure Saw It Before They Fell."

The news item told of how the appearance of a certain famous raven in the gardens of the Élysée Palace (Palais de l'Élysée) - a bird of ill omen which for a hundred and fifty years has heralded various kinds catastrophes to the chief of State each time - had been seen again in 1922. Where had the bird specifically appeared? It had perched in a special sycamore tree in the President's ground. (Today, nearby Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world, and is lined with sycamore trees.)

American sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) have touched United States history, as well.

Besty Ross' sycamore tree is famed.

In November 2007, in California, eyewitnesses said they could see the image of the Virgin Mary, in a sycamore tree that had been burned by recent wildfires, on the side of the Sierra Highway in Los Angeles County. The tree was a victim of the Buckweed Fire. Its trunk was then saved by county road crews.

Considering these times of dire predictions related to the Stock Market, perhaps it is worthy of mentioning that the terms under which the New York Stock Exchange was formed is called the Buttonwood Agreement, because it was signed under a Buttonwood tree (an early name for a sycamore tree in the USA).

Has a "Sycamore" shown up on the radar via the media, on December 2, to send out a twilight telegraph?

As I was reviewing all this on December 2nd, I received an email from a friend and colleague.

Former psychosynthesis psychotherapist and founder of Sirius Astrological Services, the insightful and creative Philip Levine wrote me that he sees "that this month of December 2008 is anything but quiet. It would appear the gods and goddesses are in conflict this month and that we can expect a higher degree [than normal] of hostility, conflict, struggle, and tension."

Levine points to the details of his prediction on his site, here.

One of the items he pinpoints for this "tough month" is the Full Moon on December 12th, 2008, at 11:38 AM EST/ 8:38 AM PST. For anyone that has been watching the sky, you have visibly seen what is occurring.

The Full Moon intensifies the Saturn-Uranus opposition as the Sun and Mars square Saturn and Uranus for a Mutable Grand Cross.

Other sites are talking about what is upcoming, as well. In 2008, the moon's closest perigee occurs on December 12 and coincides with a powerful Full Moon. At 9:48 p.m. Universal Time on December 12, 2008, the moon will be closer to Earth than it’s been in the last 15 years. It is the nearest and largest full moon since March 1993.

It signals "red-alert” dates, which cluster around very high tides (perigean-spring tides) that peak 1–2 days after this Full Moon when the Moon is in its perigee. When a Full Moon coincides with perigee, the Sun, Earth and Moon make a line in space, and the tidal forces are intensified.

During such events, it has been shown that this is a scientifically verified time of coastal flooding, strong storms (like a Nor'eastern in New England USA), and earthquakes any place around the globe.

It might be time to prepare for something big that is going to happen, in terms of human behavior or geodynamically. Clearly, tidal influences do have an impact on humans, so do not neglect this warning of "tough times" coming between December 12-19, in merely a few days.

Full moon: December 12, 2008 at 16:37 Universal Time

Moon at perigee (356,566 kilometers): December 12, 2008 at 21:48 Universal Time

Extreme Perigees: The last time the moon was less than 356,400 kilometers distant was on January 15, 1930 (356,397 kilometers) and the next time will be on January 1, 2257 (356,371 kilometers), p. 39, More Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, by Jean Meeus.