Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Boston Marathon Bombing-Linked Deaths

During a training mission in Virginia, two individuals involved in the Boston bombing manhunt were killed after falling from a helicopter into the water on Friday, May 17, 2013.

Christopher Lorek, 41, and Stephen Shaw, 40

Lorek and Shaw both belonged to an experienced hostage rescue team that was involved in the arrest of Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, according to official reports.

Shaw's and Lorek's deaths occurred before Ibragim Todashev was fatally shot on May 21, 2013, by a FBI agent in Orlando, Florida. Ibragim Todashev confessed to his direct role in slashing the throats of three people in the killings in Waltham, Massachusetts, and he also said that Tamalan Tsarnaev was involved in the deaths. The date of that triple murder: 9/11/2011. (His family claims he was innocent.)

Connecting the dots via online sleuthing continues. Source.

But horrible mistakes by some need to be acknowledged.

On April 22, 2012, the body of Sunil Tripathi - the missing Brown University student who was wrongly identified as a suspect in the Boston bombing - was recovered from the Providence river, which runs through the city of Providence, close to India Point Park. Tripathi, shown wearing a Che Guevara, was wrongly accused of being one of the Tsarnaev brothers on many websites. I'm proud to say, this blog did not engage in that round of blaming the wrong people and profiling. And I saw no need to publish that phase of the post-Boston Bombing manhunt, which went down the wrong paths.

We don't think, btw, this is the last we are going to hear of Boston Marathon Bombing-linked deaths. This seems a deep well, with more to be revealed, from Boston to Washington D.C. to Moscow to Grozny.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Overpass Collapses in Missouri

In Rockview, Missouri, seven people were injured after a massive train collision in Scott County took down an overpass. This continues the theme of bridgeway collapses and related news for the week.
Officials say around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2013, there was a train crash near County Road 210 and Highway M in the Rockview community. The Highway M overpass collapsed on impact. Highway M is closed in all directions from Scott City to Chaffee.
Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says a Union Pacific train t-boned a Burlington Northern train that had just made it through an intersection.
The collision caused one of the trains to derail and hit a pillar under the overpass causing it to collapse. At least a dozen train cars derailed.
Walter says two vehicles were on the overpass when it collapsed. Three people in one vehicle and two people in another vehicle were taken to a nearby hospital.
Two people from one of the trains were also rescued and taken to a local hospital. Source.

Friday, May 24, 2013

London Bridge Incident: The Fortean View

A "major incident" has been reported at London Bridge with reports suggesting that a man was wielding an axe in the train station. (This follows closely in time, but not space, the bridge incident yesterday in Washington State.)

IBTimes UK reporter Ewan Palmer, who was at the scene, said armed police and ambulance teams were at the scene, and that no one was being let in or out of the station.

He said an officer described it as a "major incident" but could not specify what had happened.

But Twitter feeds give more details:

"London Bridge station evacuated amid reports of man with axe, meanwhile M6 shut junc 2-4 bcs of suspicious vehicle. Jittery times."

"A guy with an axe was on my train"

The fact this may be a copycat fiction seems real. No "axe man" was found. No arrests were made. And it seems to be a false alarm at best, and a hoax at worst.

Drawing at top, London Bridge, 1616, Claes Van Visscher.

Bob Rickard, the editor of Fortean Times, sends along this:
Ohhh Loren ... you have opened another bag of tricks with this one!
London Bridge is also a pretty ancient children's game-song.
The Wikipedia for London Bridge has much interesting info ... but I think your eyes will be drawn to the theory (lower down the page) put forward by the folklorist Alice Gomme and "perpetuated by the usually sceptical Iona and Peter Opie" that the words referred to "child sacrifice," in particular, live burial in the foundations.
Note also that one of the proposed identities of the Fair Lady immortalised in the song rhyme is "A member of the Leigh family of Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, who have a family tradition that a human sacrifice lies under the building."
Note too, that the song and game's actions and verses are believed by some to be related to another children's rhyme-game called Oranges and Lemons and what should we find but a gruesome last verse...
"Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.
Chop chop chop chop
The last man's dead!"
As far as I know, Woolwich, while south of the Thames, has never been regarded as part of Cockney land (as celebrated by the song). But then, in multicultural London we are all Cockneys now!
* muffled laughter echoes along Thames bank *
~ bR            =====================

London is jumpy due to a violent attack that took place earlier this week.

Two suspected killers, British men of Nigerian descent, aged 22 and 28, are under guard in hospitals after being shot and arrested by police following the murder of 25-year-old Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in broad daylight.

One of the assailants, filmed justifying the killing as he stood near the body holding a knife and meat cleaver in bloodied hands, was named by acquaintances as 28-year-old Londoner Michael Adebolajo, a British-born convert to Islam.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Skagit River Bridge Collapses

The Curse Continues ©Charles Berlin 2007 = Yes, that's Loren Coleman in the vehicle.

Memories of the collapse of bridges of bygone days - the Silver Bridge (at Rt. 35) at Point Pleasant, WVA and the I-35 W Bridge in Minneapolis - come to mind when a new bridge falls. Popular culture has associated Mothman sightings with such collapses. The falling of tonight's bridge on I-5 out West is not linked to any reports of winged creatures being seen in the area.

 The I-35W Bridge collapse, 2007.
The Rt. 35 Silver Bridge collapse, 1967.

Historically, Washington State had some rather significant weird flying men sighting in 1948. In that year, there were two unusual sightings in Washington State (hundreds of miles south of Mt. Vernon, please note). 

On January 6, 1948, on a farm just outside the small town of Chehalis, 61-year-old Bernice Zaikowski saw a man flying with some sort of wings strapped to his back. Only a few months after Zaikowski’s sighting, on April 9, 1948, three flying men were seen above Longview, Washington state. Viola Johnson, a laundry worker, and the eyewitnesses told reporters she had seen what looked like “three men in flying suits flying through the air. They wore dark drab flying suits...circling the city."

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River at Mount Vernon, Washington State did collapse Thursday evening, May 23, 2013, dumping vehicles and people into the water shortly after 7 p.m.

One individual was pulled from the water, one was seen on the top of a car, and an unknown number of people were missing in the water.

State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis said it was not clear how many were in the water or the extent the injuries. Photos showed one man sitting on the top of his red car waiting to be rescued.

Rita Miller, who works at the Riverbend RV Park, said a Navy rescue team was on the site with a helicopter with dozens of first responders. A crowd of about 1,000 people gathered at the bridge. A hovercraft was near the fifth bridge span to the north and was fighting the strong Skagit River current on the west side of the bridge during the rescue effort.

It was not clear what caused the collapse.

The four-lane north and southbound bridge, built in 1955, was used by 70,000 vehicles daily, according to 2010 statistics.

Skagit is named after the Salishan tribal group that use to live in the area. Skagit tribal elders today define the name Skagit as “a place of refuge” or “a place to hide ourselves.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

FBI Killing Of Tsarnaev Associate Will Fan Conspiracy Theories

UPDATE: Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in a 2011 triple homicide outside Boston along with a Chechen killed Wednesday during a confrontation with the FBI and Massachusetts State Police in Orlando, Florida, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.

Ibragim Todashev not only confessed to his direct role in slashing the throats of three people in the killings in Waltham, Massachusetts, he also fingered Tsarnaev in the deaths, the official says.

Breaking news regarding the death of Ibragim Todashev is disturbing.

I realize we live in conspiracy-driven times, but I would think if the FBI and other federal agencies wanted to avoid stimulating more spin, they would attempt to build in safeguards against things like this happening.

A man fatally shot last night, May 21, 2013, by the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Orlando, Florida, was being interviewed for a possible connection to the Boston Marathon bombings, a U.S. law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the case told CNN and other media outlets.

The FBI has confirmed that the man killed is Ibragim Todashev who lived at 6022 Peregrine Avenue.

The shooting happened overnight in the Windhover apartment complex off Peregrine Avenue near Kirkman and Vineland roads.

Ibragim Todashev knew both of the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, the official said.

The FBI agent shot Todashev in self-defense in an incident at Todashev's house.

Agents were led to Todashev, who had once lived in Boston, "through investigative leads," the official said. Todashev was from the Chechnya region, as were the Tsarnaev brothers.

Friends of Ibragim Todashev, 26, (shown at top) who was shot and killed by an FBI agent in Orlando, say he is from Chechnya and knew Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. (Photo credit: Orange County Jail)

Khusen Taramov, a friend of Ibrahim Todashev's, says the day that federal agents identified the Tsarnaev brothers as the Boston bombing suspects, FBI agents came to their apartment complex and started questioning a few people of Chechnyan descent. Photo.

Ibragim Todashev was a fighter, as had been Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Here is a video of Todashev.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Mystery Meridian's Tornado Deaths

In Weird America (New York: EP Dutton, 1978), Jim Brandon introduces the concept of The Mystery Meridian. Brandon identifies a series of curiosities and oddities that are "overwhelmingly concentrated along a north-south axis between the ninety-seventh and ninety-eighth meridians of longitude, give or take a few miles on either side."

Brandon especially documents the weirdness along this Mystery Meridian in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. But he also states that strange sites are to be found as the "line extends as far north as the Dakotas."
The Mystery Meridian is centered along Interstate 35, for half its length, in the South.

In Kansas, the Mystery Meridian was especially active late in 1973 and early in 1974, with a rash of cattle mutilations, especially in Ottawa County, the home of the Rock City's 200 strange unexplained spheres. That county is also the location of Delphos, where in 1879 ice fell from the sky, then on July 16, 1976 a phantom panther was sighted, and later during that same July 1974 for the flap of the Delphos "Wolfgirl." In 1897, there were the Kansas visitations of the mystery airships near Belleville (see also Bell name game), along this bizarre meridian. 

In Texas, the Mystery Meridian splits and involves Dallas - and all the phenomena that is linked to that location. But perhaps one of the best names for a site along the Mystery Meridian is at Meridian, Texas. On April 13, 1976, there was an inexplicable fall of dead white pelicans from the sky at Meridian.

In Oklahoma we discover, up and down the Mystery Meridian, a virtual explosion of weirdness clusters. Allow me to summarize:
*Crescent - Kerr-McGee Corporation is one of the few plutonium packing facilities in the country - and it was here that the infamous killing of Karen Silkwood occurred in November 1974; Government agents investigated whether "stolen" plutonium from the Crescent plant ended up with Texas devil worshipers who were mutilating cattle.
*El Reno - In May 1971, an unknown anthropoid was reported to be stealing chickens and left an apelike print on a coop; it was called the "Abominable Chicken Man of El Reno," and I was involved with investigating and discussing it with the Oklahoma City Zoo director.
*Enid - Three people who "by coincidence" were allegedly linked to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln all ended up in Enid: (1) David E. George, who claimed he was really John Wilkes Booth, died by poisoning at the Enid hotel here on January 13, 1903; (2) Boston Corbett, who reportedly was the army sergeant who rushed the Maryland barn and said he killed the original John Wilkes Booth, lived in Enid; and (3) also a resident here was said to be the former property manager who opened the window for Booth, allowing him to escape from Ford's Theater, after shooting Lincoln.
*Oklahoma City - The OKC bombing and other incidents start a long list for Oklahoma City. Weirder are the reports of an 1897 Airship seen here, a July 7, 1947 "flying saucer" sighting, and a November 1901 crocodilian (4.5 ft long) found in the Canadian River, in nearby Norman.

Today, death and destruction visited the Mystery Meridian in Oklahoma, in the form of tornadoes.

The most damage seems to have focussed on Moore, Oklahoma, where the 1999 tornado also hit.

The path of the May 3, 1999 tornado.

On Monday, May 20, 2013, more than 51 people were killed by the massive tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area, the office of the state's chief medical examiner said. Several children were killed. At least 20 children are among the 51 people killed after a tornado slammed Oklahoma. Of those killed, seven have been confirmed as children from the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, police said. At least 145 people were hospitalized in the area, said hospital officials.

The tornado leveled buildings, while cutting a wide path of destruction the scale of which is just starting to become clear. Rescue workers were digging through the rubble of an elementary school looking for trapped students

President Barack Obama told Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin the federal government "stands ready to provide all available assistance," a White House statement said.

The Monday storm came in the wake of destruction that hit the area on Sunday night.

Andrew Griffin at Red Dirt Report earlier today wrote, "Driving around the area near Dale, Bethel Acres and then back towards Lake Thunderbird and on into Norman, we criss-crossed the areas where the Sunday tornado had passed through. Twisted bits of metal, downed power poles and homes that were badly damaged by the destructive force of the tornado were clearly visible in these areas of Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Cleveland counties.

"As we write this story, a new, powerful tornado formed west of Newcastle and went east-northeast, right through Moore and parts of the southside of Oklahoma City. The devastation is massive. People are injured, possibly dead. This is as bad – or at least more widespread in terms of damage – as the notorious May 3, 1999 tornado that hit Moore."

Read more, at the Red Dirt Report. And check there for further updates.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

On the Damascus Road

Why do a few multiple news items appear to play name game tricks of their own?

On Saturday, May 18, 2013, a powerful car explosion hit the Ruken al-Deen neighborhood in Damascus, killing at least three people in the latest blast to strike the Syrian capital (population 1.7 million). The SANA news agency reported that an explosive device was planted under a car parked on Rukneddin highway near Ibn al-Nafis Hospital in Damascus, Syria. The initial death toll was put at three, and the number of injured at five.

Also on Saturday, May 18th, around 2:10 p.m. during the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival in Damascus, Viriginia, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail,  was interrupted by tragedy. 

Read more here:
An elderly driver in a 1997 Cadillac plowed into the parade, injuring at least 60 people, sending a dozen to the hospital.

"In 27 years of this, we've never had anything of this magnitude, and is it our job to make sure it doesn't happen again," Damacus Mayor Jack McCrady said.

Damascus is a small town of less than 1000 people in Washington County, Virginia, United States. Damascus is the home of the annual Trail Days festival (with reportedly 20,000 people visiting). The community is known as Trail Town USA due to the convergence of four scenic trails in the town, including the Appalachian Trail, U.S. Bicycle Route 76, The Iron Mountain Trail, and the Virginia Creeper Trail.

The word Damascus means "a well-watered place."

Conversion of Saint Paul, 1542 by Michelangelo Buonarroti
At top, The Conversion of St. Paul, 1767 by Nicolas-Bernard Lepicie

In the West, Damascus is most frequently associated with the conversion incident mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible. Saint Paul was on the road to Damascus (present day Syria) when he received a vision of Jesus, and as a result accepted The Christ as the Messiah. (Some Fortean theories for what really happened have been developed in recent years.)

Ten years ago, it is intriguingly how Palestine popped up in the context of the first Israeli astronaut being killed.

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107 disintegrated during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard. 

One who died was Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut. His first name, Ilan, means "tree" in Hebrew. Ilan changed his last name from Wolferman when he joined the Israeli Air Force. On June 7, 1981, he was the youngest pilot taking part in Operation Opera, Israel's strike against Iraq's unfinished Osiraq nuclear reactor, 10 miles southeast of Baghdad.

A location often mentioned ten years ago for where the parts of the Columbia fell was Palestine, Texas. The irony of that location was not lost on many at the time, considering the fact the Columbia carried an Israeli aboard. 

Even this remarkable "coincidence" is apparent in this Wikipedia mention:
Palestine entered the news in February 2003, as one of the East Texas towns that received much of the debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, where seven astronauts were killed, including the first Israeli astronaut. Palestine is also home to the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (renamed after the shuttle crash), which has flown 1700 high-altitude balloons for universities and research agencies. Source.

An FBI agent and a Texas Department of Public Safety officer looked over a 4-foot by 6-foot piece of the Space Shuttle Columbia that was found in the median along State Highway 155 north of Palestine, Texas on Sunday, February 2, 2003.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Synchrocinema Galore: Dallas in Wonderland

The 50th anniversary of the JFK hit is fast approaching. November 22, 1963, is a day burned into the memory of anyone who was conscious back then. It will be recalled for most of November, I predict. Expect the television specials, new books, and release of films.

The movie that's getting most of the mainstream buzz is Tom Hanks' production of Parkland, which has a cast including Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver, and Billy Bob Thornton.

It may get all the mass media notice, but there's a gem of a movie coming out of this wave that is worthy of your attention.

Dallas in Wonderland is the one that I want to see. 13th Sign Pictures will produce and finance the synchromystic movie, which will include a cameo appearance, perhaps, by the character James Shelby Downard (see "Synchromysticism's Godfather.")

There is a good deal of mystery surrounding some of the actors who will be appearing in Dallas in Wonderland. Stay tuned.

Back in January, here are the good things that Variety said about Dallas in Wonderland:
Maybe it’s because the 50th anniversary of that event is fast approaching, but now there’s another film based around the assassination on its way from Queens of Country writer-director Ryan Page.
Page will write (alongside Adam Parfrey) and direct a conspiracy thriller going by the name of Dallas In Wonderland, which will center around a documentary filmmaker and his producer who are hired by a TV network to do a puff piece for their planned motorcade reenactment that will take place during a televised memorial ceremony. Finding themselves “wrapped up in the network’s plot” to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, the pair close in on the central narrative surrounding JFK’s assassination, leading to the climax of the event playing out once more on the nation’s television screens.
Page believes that he and Parfrey have come up with “an altogether new kind of thriller, featuring the very latest research done in the JFK assassination case.”
 Adam Parfrey (also the coauthor of Ritual America)

“Adam Parfrey and I [have] crafted what feels to us like an altogether new kind of thriller, featuring the very latest research done in the JFK assassination case,” said Page, who will produce with Alastra and Mundo. “This story has not fully been told. It continues to evolve and is rife with the most interesting storylines and fascinating real-life personalities I worked with Joe and Tommy on previous films and when it came time to select our production partner for Dallas in Wonderland, there was never even a debate.” ~ Ryan Page

In the realm of unfortunate title timing, on May 1, 2013, the online publisher eXtasy released a new gay love novel entitled Dallas in Wonderland by Julie Lynn Hayes.

It apparently (?) is part two of 2012's earlier Hayes book of the same name.

Like I say often, each to their own, as they pursue their dreams and passions.
But in the case of the two current Dallas in Wonderland choices, I'm looking forward to critiquing the film Dallas in Wonderland for the 50th anniversary of the assassination.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Red Dawns in a Dark Summer?

Bruce Willis brought us a bloody Valentine's Day gift on February 14, 2013.

Did that open a hint of a spring and a summer of red dawns and dark movies?

Are we now Into Darkness?

What selections have opened and remain on the horizon in USA?

What others would you suggest?

Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013)

Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17, 2013)

The Lone Ranger (July 3, 2013)

Man of Steel, producer Christopher Nolan's dark film (June 14, 2013)

Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dutch Clown Stabs Russian Boy On Crete: UPDATED

On the island of Crete in Hersonissos, a violent fierce attack by a Dutch hotel clown was made against a Russian family's child.

As you may recall, earlier in 2013, three Dutch clowns beat a boy at the Dutch city of Volendam's clown festivities (which involves over 200 clowns) in January.

In Crete, according to the forensic findings the child, aged 11 years, was stabbed 20 times in the chest, back and left arm. No sexual abuse was found.

Police authorities have arrested a 20-year-old Dutch hotel employee, who allegedly has confessed that he is the perpetrator of the attack on the minor. He was the hotel's clown.

Here are some of the photographs of the suspect from European newspapers. On his back is a tattoo with the words, "Vatos Locos."

Vatos Locos (in English, Crazy Dudes) is a widely used name for a street gang. Gangs using this name are active in several American states. The film Blood in, Blood out (1993) about the life of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca in 1972, was based on the experiences of gang members of Vatos Locos. The video game Call of Juarez: The Cartel features a fictional Vatos Locos gang.

The 11 year-old lost his cellphone and laptop, went searching for them, and then was lost. His parents, who had been looking for their child, did not find him until 3:00 AM in the hotel parking garage.

After a lengthy police interrogation, the young Dutch hotel clown reportedly confessed he stabbed the kid and directed the police to where the knife could be found.

The child is of Russian origin and is with his family in Crete for a holiday. 

Hersonissos (Greek: Χερσόνησος, pronounced [xerˈsonisos] - Chersónisos), also transliterated as Chersonisos and Hersónisos, is a town and a municipality in the north of Crete, bordering the Mediterranean/Aegean Sea. The vicinity of Hersonissos is noted for its prehistoric archaeological finds. On the coast approximately one kilometer to the east of Hersonissos was an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Britomartis.

Britomartis (Βριτόμαρτις) was the Minoan goddess of mountains and hunting. She is among the Minoan goddess figures that passed through the Mycenaeans' culture into classical Greek mythology, with transformations that are unclear in both transferrals. For the Greeks Britomartis (Cretan dialect for "sweet maiden", "sweet virgin") or Diktynna (derived by Hellenistic writers as from diktya, "hunting nets") was a mountain nymph (an oread) whom Greeks recognized also in Artemis and in Aphaea, the "invisible" patroness of Aegina.
Britomartis ("sweet maid") is an epithet that does not reveal the goddess's name, nor her character, for it has the ring of an apotropaic euphemism. The goddess addressed as "Britomartis" was worshipped in Crete as an aspect of Potnia, the "Mistress." The oldest aspect of the Cretan goddess was as Mother of Mountains, who appears on Minoan seals with the demonic features of a Gorgon, accompanied by the double-axes of power and gripping divine snakes. Her terror-inspiring aspect was softened by calling her Britomartis, the "good virgin," a euphemism to allay her dangerous aspect.
Britomart figures in Edmund Spenser's knightly epic The Faerie Queene, where she is an allegorical figure of the virgin Knight of Chastity, representing English virtue—in particular, English military power—through a folk etymology that associated Brit-, as in Briton, with Martis, here thought of as "of Mars," the Roman war god. In Spenser's allegory, Britomart connotes the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I of England.
In his retelling of the King Arthur legends, Arthur Rex, author Thomas Berger suggests that Queen Guinevere may have become a powerful female knight known as Britomart after the death of the King.

BTW, media sources are also reporting the attack occurred in the "seaside town of Anissaras" and "in Iraklio, Crete." 

"Anissaras" is a hilly area in east Crete just outside of Hersonissos. "Iraklio" is another spelling for Heraklion, or Heraclion, where the famed ruins of Knossos were excavated and restored by Arthur Evans. English usage formerly preferred the classicizing transliterations "Heraklion" or "Heraclion," but the form "Iraklion" is becoming more common.

(Thanks to Thanassis V. for the news account information on this breaking story.)