Monday, October 25, 2010

Devil Sighting Causes 11 To Jump From Paris Window

A baby died when a family of 12 leapt from their second floor balcony in Paris claiming they were fleeing the devil. Eight more were injured, some seriously, in the tragedy when they jumped 20ft into a car park in Paris suburb of La Verriere.
The baffling incident occurred when a wife woke to see her husband moving about naked in the room, police said.
She began screaming 'it's the devil! it's the devil!', and the man ran into the other room where 11 others adults and children were watching television. One woman grabbed a knife and stabbed the man before others pushed him out through the front door.
When the man forced his way back in, they all began screamed in terror and leapt from the balcony screaming 'Jesus! Jesus!'
The naked man also leapt from the balcony, detectives said.
A four-month old baby died in his mother's arms, while a two-year-old was critically injured in yesterday’s incident.
Police said they had found no evidence of hallucinogenic drugs or unusual religious rituals.
Versailles assistant prosecutor Odile Faivre added: “A wife in the next room saw her husband moving around naked and began screaming that he was the devil.
“In the confusion following this apparent case of mistaken identity, the naked man's sister-in-law stabbed him in the hand and he was ejected through the front door of the flat.
“When he attempted to get back in, panic erupted and the other occupants of the flat fled by jumping out of the window.
“A number of points surrounding this incident remain to be cleared up,” Mr Faivre said

Thanks to Chris. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bell Clown

The name "Bell" is one that often is found in twilight language material. Add in a clown, and this is worthy of our attention. 

There is news today from Bell, California.

An activist who often criticizes government officials while wearing a clown suit could get life in prison for allegedly threatening the Bell city clerk, reports KABC and the Los Angeles Times

Edwin Thomas Snell is accused of making threats at a recent Bell City Council meeting. Because he has two previous felony convictions, a judge could give the so-called "Clown-suit Activist" life in prison under California's "three-strikes" law.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said a Bell City Council member, whom he did not name, said Snell made threats directed at a staff member during a recent council meeting.
Prosecutors said the threat was directed at Bell city clerk Rebecca Valdez.
A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Snell would be arraigned on the criminal threats charge this week in Superior Court in Downey. The case against Snell, who has two previous felony convictions, was filed as a third-strike case that could potentially bring life in prison.
But Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for D.A. Steve Cooley, said on October 20th that under the district attorney's policy, which sets a high bar for any case that could bring a life sentence, the case will probably be handled as though this were Snell's second strike. She said the charge grew out of a threat related to a public records act request.
Snell, known as the "Clown-suit Activist" because he wears the costume to government meetings across the state, often disparages public officials during public comment periods.
But authorities said they there was little humor in his alleged run-in in Bell, which has been rocked by scandals over high salaries and alleged corruption.
"Clown suit or no clown suit, some things aren't funny," Whitmore said.

Snell is well-known for his governmental harassment appearances in California. For example, Edwin Thomas Snell, 63, of Apple Valley, is shown at top in 2009, in clown regalia, with a Bill Postmus mask, complete with crack pipe, prior to addressing the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in San Bernardino. He was photographed during the Board's special meeting on January 21, 2009, to discuss options for removing Bill Postmus from the Assessor's Office. (Gabriel Luis Acosta / The Sun Staff Photographer)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Giant Butterfly-Mothman Link?

Frank Frazetta's Mothman.  

Yes, I am going to be so bold as to predict that an earthquake, large enough for people to feel, is going to hit Los Angeles very soon. You decide what "very soon" means. This weekend, this coming month, in the next, well, thirteen months? Everything is relative, but something big seems to be in the future of the area. 

“The Curse Continues” © Charles Berlin, drawn exclusively for Loren Coleman.  

All the indicators are there: Mothman-like sightings, UFO encounters, swarms of Gulf of California quakes, animal attacks (such as the mountain goat killing of the hiker), pet disappearances, and moody people (like a mother stabbing twins). I would not doubt that car chases are on the increase too.  

We certainly know from research that changes in animal behavior and the appearance of earthquake lights are predictors of earthquakes. Could there be more bizarre precusors? You name it and SoCal seems to be generating lots of strange indications of the big one shaking soon. Does Mother Earth foreshadow her events so overtly and covertly? Perhaps.  

Let's look of some of the hints.  

Grant Lawrence has reported in recent days of the sighting of what naturally sounds like a Mothman to me. In his blog entitled "'The Giant Butterfly' Returns to Los Angeles: Witness Describes Amazing UFO Experience," Lawrence notes that a Los Angeles County resident "had an amazing sighting of a giant creature that flew over his home," which was described as "having an appearance of a 'giant butterfly.'"  

The eyewitness, Tim, experienced this incident in Montrose, California, Los Angeles County, just north of the Glendale/Burbank area, between 2:30 and 3:00 pm on October 15, 2010, which was a partly cloudy-partly sunny day. Looking in his backyard, Tim noticed above the tree line, coming from his right, a sizable object that was moving at a steady, moderate pace. It was not soaring fast, but just passing from right to left in the sky. Tim told Lawrence:
It didn't take long to realize that this object was something quite unique. It is hard to deduce the distance that this object had been out in the sky but it was too large to have been a regular bird and did not look like an airplane or anything mechanical. The reason why it was so odd is that although seeing this from my angle looking up at it, I could not make out any real definition but I did see what looked like wings above this mass that flapped like the wings of a butterfly.

It looked like what a gigantic butterfly would appear to be at a great distance in the sky. It was not streamlined or had wings open like a bird soaring. This is what really knocked me over. As it kept passing over I looked at this object that I then considered to be some kind of very large 'bird' because of the 'wings' that I saw flapping but in the motion that a butterfly would flap its wings. So in my mind my first thought was a huge 'bird' because of the many sightings of enormous 'birds' and the thought of a gigantic butterfly was to me, outlandish.

Lastly, I do remember some 'color' in this mass and to the best of my memory, shades of red-orange, possibly reddish-yellow but I did see a hint of color in it. It passed and it was gone. It flew like it was in no rush at all. I went around the building to see if I could see more of it but couldn't. I could not see any real definition like a head or tail but the 'butterfly' type wings and motion were standout in my memory.
Grant Lawrence remarkably makes the connection between this new LA-area sighting and a rather dramatic account that is part of February 24-25, 1942's infamous "Battle of Los Angeles." 

Los Angeles Times, February 26, 1942.  

As Lawrence points out, one of the objects reported in the early morning hours of February 25, 1942, looked like a "giant butterfly," a slow moving object, bigger than a Zeppelin that traveled from Santa Monica to Long Beach.  

A total blackout of LA occurred during the 1942 scare. At 3:16 a.m. the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing 12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells into the air at "reported" aircraft; over 1,400 shells would eventually be fired. Three people on the ground were killed by the shells and three people died from heart attacks due to all of the excitement and stress of the "air raid."  

The Reno Evening Gazette, dated February 26, 1942, noted the following: "Still others who watched the spectacle, if it can be called that, sighted no planes in the glare of the army's searchlights. A number, however, reported seeing 'something that looked like a giant butterfly.'"  

Months later, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit southern California on October 21, 1942 at 9:30 am, PWT. The Fish Creek Mountains earthquake occurred on the southern section of the Coyote Creek fault, the southernmost section of the San Jacinto fault zone, in a fairly remote area of southern California. Thus, it caused relatively little damage for its size. However, it was felt over a large area of southern California, as well as parts of Baja California and Arizona. The quake caused rockslides in Carrizo Gorge, blocking Highway 80 and the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad. It caused minor damage in Brawley, El Centro, Westmoreland, and even San Diego, where at least 40 aftershocks were reported felt in the following eight days. Hardest hit was Jacumba Hot Springs, fairly close to the epicenter.  

During late October 2010, what the Los Angeles area has been experiencing are low-level earthquakes. A couple weeks ago, Santa Monica had one, and in recent days, a swarm of quakes has centered in the Gulf of California. Furthermore, predictions of the "Big One" are being pushed up, according to the local media there. 


Illustration by Thom Marsh. 

Is one person's Mothman another person's Giant Butterfly? Is all the activity a clue to big news around the corner? Can "Giant Butterfly" sightings serve as banshee incidents, as has been assumed with the Mothman encounter history? Perhaps only time will tell.  

Thanks to Wil, Chris, and Patrick for info shared.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Geometric Shootings

Ponder this. An individual or individuals took aim at objects related to two geometric shapes ~ a triangle and a pentagon, on Sunday and Tuesday of this week.

Shots were fired at the Pentagon early Tuesday (October 19, 2010), striking a window of the building.  Pentagon police spokesman Chris Layman said it's not known who fired the shots. Pentagon police officers heard at least five shots around 4:50 a.m., Layman added.

According to another Pentagon Force Protection Agency spokesman, Terry Sutherland, two bullets hit the Pentagon on the south side of the building -- one striking a window and the other hitting the building itself. This is an unoccupied part of the building that is being renovated. Sutherland said a fragment of one of the bullets is lodged in the window. The windows, which are bullet-proof, did not shatter.

There was a partial lockdown of the Pentagon's south parking lot and south entrance for about an hour after the shooting, and authorities briefly shut down a portion of Interstate 395 going out of the capital -- which runs along the south side of the Pentagon -- to conduct a search in the investigation.

Major Chris Perrine, a public affairs officer for Defense Press Operations, said other temporary road closures may be necessary as police conduct their investigation.

Tuesday's shooting follows a similar incident Sunday, October 17, 2010, at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, near the entrance of Marine Corps Base Quantico. A police statement Monday said "an unknown shooter or shooters fired shots at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, causing minor damage to the building's windowed roof and a steel wall at the base of the structure.

"The museum was unoccupied at the time of the incident, and no one was injured," the statement said.

Military police and the Prince William County Police Department are investigating that incident.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Honeybee Killer

Law enforcement personnel are searching for an unkempt gunman who asked about honeybees before shooting three men, one of them fatally, in rural areas of Illinois and Indiana. This is being reported by the Associated Press and other news sources on October 7, 2010.

The (according to the media) random shootings began around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at a worksite in Illinois and ended about an hour later across the state line on an Indiana farm.

The gunman fatally shot 45-year-old Rolando Alonso and wounded 19-year-old Joshua Garza near Beecher (Will County), Illinois. The men were working at a fire-damaged home. A third worker escaped into a cornfield.

Beecher is situated in the center of Washington Township; Beecher was originally named Washington Center. The town of Beecher was named after Henry Ward Beecher (June 24, 1813 – March 8, 1887). Henry was the seventh of 13 siblings, some of whom were famous in their own right: Harriet Beecher Stowe who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin; noted educator Catharine Beecher; activists Charles Beecher and Isabella Beecher Hooker. In addition Henry was the uncle of Edgar Beecher Bronson. Henry was famous as an advocate of Women's suffrage, temperance and Darwin's theory of evolution, as well as a foe of slavery and bigotry of all kinds (religious, racial and social).

Police believe the same man showed up 15 miles southeast, in Indiana, after the Illinois incident and shot a 64-year-old farmer. The honeybee shooter wounded farmer Keith Dahl near Lowell (Lake County), Indiana. The suspect, described as heavyset, unkempt and mentally unbalanced, is thought to be driving a 1990s Chevrolet pickup with a loud muffler.

Will County Sheriff's Department spokesman Pat Barry said the man tried to talk to all three victims about bees.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Jack The Ripper: September 29, 1888

There floats a phantom on the slum's foul air,
Shaping, to eyes which have the gift of seeing,
Into the Spectre of that loathly lair.
Face it--for vain is fleeing!
Red-handed, ruthless, furtive, unerect,
'Tis murderous Crime--the Nemesis of Neglect!

Jack the Ripper cartoon was published September 29, 1888 in Punch, or The London Charivai, John Tenniel.

The attempted self-immolation by David Parker, 24, at Longfellow Square, Portland, Maine, a block from the Lafayette Hotel, occurred on September 29, 2010. As I have pointed out in recent postings here, the statue dedicated to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was unveiled on September 29, 1888.

This date is also linked to the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The same day that Punch published a caricature of Jack the Ripper, the Ripper decided to strike again. The illustrator of that cartoon would be none other than Sir John Tenniel (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914), who is remembered today for his illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

While recorded to have been found dead on September 30th, 1888, the two victims, Stride and Eddowes, would have been killed on the evening of September 29, 1988. Elizabeth Stride was found with her throat cut in Berner Street, St George’s, London, the next morning, on September 30th, as was Mrs May (sic) Eddowes, who had been murdered and mutilated in Mitre Square, Aldgate, London. The Freemasonry symbolism of these 1888 serial killings, emphasized especially by the location of Mitre Square, have been discussed at length in the Ripper literature.

Talk about going through the looking glass.

Tragedy in Longfellow Square

Longfellow Square on February 26, 1981.

Boston Daily Globe headlines of September 29, 1888 events at Longfellow Square.

The Portland Daily Sun has followed up with an intriguing editorial look at recent events...based upon research you first saw here....

Tragedy in Longfellow Square spurs questions, eerie links by Curtis Robinson, Editor of the Portland Daily Sun.

Even in a somewhat experience-hardened newsroom, Wednesday's news that somebody had set themselves on fire at Longfellow Square was a shock.

The man, who was identified yesterday as David Parker, 24, of Portland, reportedly soaked himself with gasoline in his nearby apartment, walked over to the Longfellow statue and ignited the fuel. He has reportedly been transferred to a Boston burn center.

But the ripple effect from the event continues, with police urging witnesses to seek help if they need it. One local property manager noted that witnessing the man ablaze "is going to stay with me for awhile."

In the midst of the community conversation, some odd facts were emerging. They have, frankly, nothing to do with the event except of course ... well, judge for yourself.

Now, regular readers know that Loren Coleman is no stranger to our pages or out-of-ordinary. He's been in this and other papers and newscasts as owner of the International Cryptozoology Museum on Congress Street — near Longfellow Square.

But Coleman is also a suicide prevention researcher and author, and his most recent book includes a section about "suicide self-immolation." The book, "The Copycat Effect," was published in 2004 by Simon and Schuster.

He noted a couple of oddities:

(1) The statue of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Longfellow Square, Coleman noted, was unveiled on the same date as the event (Sept. 29, 1888) as confirmed by a bibliography entry of the Maine Historical Society (" Exercises at the unveiling of the statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Portland, Maine, Sept 29, 1888.").

That means Wednesday was the 122nd anniversary of the statue's unveiling.

(2) Longfellow's second wife, Frances Appleton, died in 1861 after sustaining burns from her dress catching fire.
Random enough by any measure, but in the wake of a freak-out, it's also stuff that takes on eerie near-meaning.

Perhaps more to the point is the subtitle to the Coleman book: "How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines."

Coleman makes the oft-noted point that people seem to imitate what they've seen. He also takes some aim at media for the "if it bleeds, it leads."

Certainly there is ample evidence that suicide can bring suicide, and some of the better research is collected in the famous best-seller by Malcolm Gladwell, "The Tipping Point." So should we be concerned that the presumed suicide attempt at Longfellow Square, being so dramatic, might trigger copy-cat attempts?

By extension, does that mean we should not report on such things?

It's not acceptable in today's media environment, and casual media observers might doubt the industry's ability to make such efforts. If you're among those who think that sensationalism will always win, then two examples quickly prove you wrong.

Professional news organizations almost never disclose the name of a sexual assault victim, and we routinely do not publish the names of minors charged with crimes. So universal is this tradition that many people assume there are laws requiring the omissions — there are not.

News folks are not in the same league as police officers and other first responders when it comes to handling such things. Myself, I was once a coroner's photographer (well, a backup for when the real photographer was not available), and that was gory duty. But still, the despair one associates with setting yourself on fire is unsettling.

Hopefully, this is not going to create copycat activity. And hey, maybe even this column is "wrong."

So, what do you think? And if you e-mail an answer, please indicate if you want it published.

And, yes, there is irony in that request.

Curtis Robinson is editor of The Portland Daily Sun. Contact him at