Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baseball Suicide: Pitcher Mike Flanagan

A Major League Baseball champion and award-winning former Baltimore Orioles great was found dead Wednesday, August 24, 2011, apparently from suicide.

Former Orioles pitcher and general manager Mike Flanagan was found dead on his northern Baltimore County property, WBAL-TV 11 Sports Director Gerry Sandusky confirmed through multiple sources close to Flanagan. He was 59.

Flanagan's body was found outside his house in the 15000 block of York Road in Monkton shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Sheldon Dutes reported from the scene that police had blocked the driveway to the property.

Police did not immediately identify the cause of death, but sources confirmed that Flanagan took his own life "despondent over what he considered a false perception from a community he loved of his role in the team's prolonged failure," Sandusky said.

The soft-spoken and well-liked left-hander grew over the years into a fixture in the Orioles organization. From 2002-08 Flanagan shared or held the top baseball executive position in the organization. During that time Flanagan, according to those closest to him, struggled with not being able to the job the way he wanted to do it, Sandusky said.

A relative confirmed that Flanagan has wrestled for some time now with the perception of fans and colleagues alike of his role in the team's failures. Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos issued the following statement at about 10:45 p.m.: "It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening. In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field. His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club, I extend my condolences to his wife, Alex; and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall."

Baltimore County police and fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost told WBAL-TV 11 News that police officers discovered a man's body alongside a trail in Monkton late Wednesday afternoon. Armacost did not identify the man.

Police were called to the area for "a person with a suspicious condition." When officers arrived at the scene, they found the man's body along a trail on the property, Armacost said. Police declined to speak about the manner of death until the investigation is complete.

Read more here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DC Obelisk Tilting?

Is the Washington Monument tilting due to the earthquake?
A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered around Richmond, Virginia was felt as far as New York City and New England on August 23, 2011.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly reported at 2:30 pm their bureau received information from a producer saying that a Captiol Hill Police officer was saying the Washington Monument may actually be tilting as a result of the earthquake.
Seismologist John Rundle joined Kelly on her show and confirmed that the Washington Monument could very well be tilting as a result of the earthquake and the structure should be checked out.
Two nuclear reactors have reportedly been taken off line near the epicenter of the earthquake.
According to the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing.The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep.
Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
It was centered near Louisa, Va., which is northwest of Richmond and south of Washington.
Obama and many of the nation's leaders were out of town on August vacation when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT. The shaking was felt on the Martha's Vineyard golf course as Obama was just starting a round.
The East Coast gets earthquakes, but usually smaller ones and is less prepared than California or Alaska for shaking.At Reagan National Airport outside Washington, ceiling tiles fell during a few seconds of shaking.
Authorities announced it was an earthquake and all flights were put on hold.
At the Pentagon in northern Virginia, a low rumbling built and built to the point that the building was shaking. People ran into the corridors of the government's biggest building and as the shaking continued there were shouts of "Evacuate! Evacuate!"

*UPDATE 1The Hill is reporting that the Park Service is stating there is no serious damage to any of D.C.'s national monuments:
U.S. Park Police in Washington made an initial survey of the city's monuments after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake and found no serious damage.
According to The Washington Post, the Park Police checked the monuments by helicopter shortly after the earthquake on Tuesday.

*UPDATE 2: (via Real Clear Politics): CNN is reporting that "some stones are loose" at the Washington Monument. 

*Update 3: (Via NBC News Washington): National Park Service: Washington Monument is not tilting
The NPS said it is evaluating the structures to ensure that they are structurally sound and safe for all visitors.
Agency spokesman Jeffrey Olson told the AP that there was "absolutely no damage" to the Washington Monument, contrary to media reports elsewhere that it was leaning.
"Absolutely incorrect," U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said of media reports that the Washington Monument was leaning.  "It stands tall and proud."
However, the Washington Monument, because of its structural complexities, will remain closed until further notice, according to the NPS. 

Source: Washington Times, Kelly Picket

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tibetan Monk Immolation

Tibetan monk sets himself on fire in China

A Tibetan monk has set himself alight in China's Sichuan province, amid claims of a crackdown on monasteries in the region.
Western-based activists said the monk, who they named as Tsewang Norbu, had died from his injuries.
A similar action sparked weeks of confrontation earlier this year in another town in Sichuan.
Unrest is fuelled by a widespread belief that the government wants to suppress Tibetan culture.
The argument has been going on for decades, with many Tibetans accusing the government of forcing monks to attend re-education camps, encouraging the migration of Han Chinese to Tibetan areas, and crushing any sign of dissent.
But the authorities say they have brought relative wealth and prosperity to a region that was a rural backwater.
The UK-based Free Tibet movement said the 29-year-old monk had doused himself with petrol and set himself alight at the Nyitso Monastery in Dawu town.
The group said he had been calling out "we Tibetan people want freedom", "long live the Dalai Lama" and "let the Dalai Lama Return to Tibet".
Most Tibetan monks are loyal to the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader who has lived in exile in India for decades.
The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted local government officials confirming that a monk had set himself alight, but gave no details of his condition.
In March, a monk set light to himself in Aba, about 100 miles (150km) from the latest incident.
Local people accused the authorities of locking down that monastery and carting off monks to be re-educated.
The UN later said up to 300 monks may have been illegally detained.

China has denied the accusations.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Freetown Mystery: Missing Woman and Missing Rescuers

Click on the map to enlarge.
An area of unusual activity within the Bridgewater Triangle is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. The forest land that formed the town of Freetown was purchased from the Wampanoag Tribe in 1659, and many Native Americans have claimed that the odd and evil events which transpired over the preceding 350 years are the result of a tribal curse. For decades the Freetown State Forest has reportedly been the site of various cult activity including animal sacrifice, ritualistic murders committed by admitted Satanists, as well as a number of gangland murders and a high number of suicides.

Tonight, August 8, 2011, there are reports coming out of the SE Massachusetts area that a woman is missing in the Freetown State Forest.

The woman was finally found, but not before a few people searching for her also got lost and had to be rescued. Media accounts on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, had this summary:

State police say two Fall River police officers and an environmental police officer who went into the 5,400-acre Freetown State Forest to find a lost woman had to be rescued themselves after they lost their direction.
The officers had found the woman, said to be in her mid-20s, by about 11:45 p.m. Monday and intended to guide her out of the woods. But they lost their way and all four needed help getting out.
A state police helicopter which had been involved in the initial search returned, along with state police and a K-9 unit. The officers and the woman were located at about 12:10 a.m. Tuesday.
The forest is located in the southeastern Massachusetts communities of Freetown and Fall River.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

VA Tech Gunman? Updated

Here are the bulletins coming out of Virginia Tech this morning, August 4, 2011, according to CNN:

[Original post, 10:18 a.m.] Virginia Tech, the site of a 2007 massacre, has issued an alert saying someone is possibly carrying a weapon on campus.
Regular classes aren't in session at the moment, but there is summer school. The university in Blacksburg, Virginia, is asking people on campus to stay inside and secure doors. The person was spotted near Dietrick Dining Hall.
In April 2007, Cho Seung-Hui, 23, shot dead 32 people on campus before killing himself.

[Update 10:31 a.m.] Virginia Tech is in lockdown as authorities look for a man three youths said may have had a weapon, possibly a handgun.
The white male was described as having light brown hair and being 6 feet tall and was walking in the direction of a volleyball court. The man was wearing a blue and white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals. He had no glasses or facial hair, according to the report.
[Update 11:09 a.m.] No one is in custody and the campus safety alert remains in effect, Virginia Tech's campus police chief says.

[Update 11:16 a.m.] Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum warned students and others to continue to stay indoors as they search for a person who may be carrying a weapon on campus. 
Several people have been questioned but police have not apprehended anyone, Flinchum said.

The suspect was described as 6 feet tall with brown hair, wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt, gray shorts and brown sandals.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


The Dakota is located at 72nd Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and was completed in 1882. This building was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh and stands 110 feet tall with 10 floors.

The Dakota is infamous for two major events in its history, the filming of the movie Rosemary's Baby, and the assassination of John Lennon.

Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, produced by William Castle, and based on the bestselling 1967 novel by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Maurice Evans, Sidney Blackmer, and Charles Grodin.

(See more about Castle's twilight language links to Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis-Brown House, here.)

Farrow plays a pregnant woman who fears that her husband may have made a pact with their eccentric neighbours, believing he may have promised them the child to be used as a human sacrifice in their occultic rituals in exchange for success in his acting career.

"As the credits roll, the film [Rosemary's Baby] begins with a panoramic aerial view of north-east New York, taken from the roof of The Majestic apartment building across the street from the Dakota.... We finally come to settle on a very low angle view of the beautiful Dakota at 72nd St & Central Park West (called The Bramford in the film)," writes Scout in Scouting New York.

The film's fictional Bramford is portrayed as a Gothic, 19th century New York City apartment building with a history of unsavory tenants and mysterious events.
The actual Dakota houses and has housed many famous entertainers throughout the years. One entertainer, famous musician and peace activist, John Lennon was shot four times in the entrance hallway to the Dakota and died on that very spot on December 8, 1980.

This pewter replica stands 3 inches tall and is finished with a brown stain. This replica building is available from InFocus Tech, here.

The replica of the Dakota. As with the Ennis House replica, if you end up ordering the Dakota, do mention "Loren Coleman" in the comments section. Thank you.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Own The Texas School Book Depository Building

The Texas School Book Depository Building was rebuilt in 1902 on the foundation of the Rock Island Plow Company's warehouse. The original five-story building was destroyed by fire in 1901. Located in Dealey Plaza in Dallas (the site of the first Masonic Lodge in Texas), the TSBD was the one time employer of Lee Harvey Oswald, who was the lone person charged with the killing of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. 

The original Hertz/Chevrolets sign at the moment of the JFK assassination (12:30 pm), above, was replaced by a Hertz/Fords sign, below, years later.

A replica building of this site has been made by InFocus Tech.  For assassination researchers, it is well worth owning. This model is 3-1/4" tall and is finished in antique pewter. It can be obtained in a brick red finish with gold highlights, also. The original signage and time at the moment of the assassination have been preserved on the top of the TSBD.

I highly recommend it be acquired by serious investigators. Click here

(No financial benefit has been received by me from InFocus Tech for my favorable mention of this item. I merely was struck by its detail and wanted to share its discovery with my fellow researchers/collectors of such material.)

Credit: Sketchup