Friday, October 30, 2015

Shelby Name Game

Shelby is one of those hidden name games, not often discussed, but always in the background.

There's been another shooting of police officers, and the gunman was identified as 18-year-old Allen Swader of Shelbyville, who was shot and killed, in Hohenwald, Tennessee, on October 29, 2015, Thursday night.

Hohenwald Police Chief Sam Livingston said four officers responded to an aggravated burglary call at a home around 7 p.m. The homeowner had been stabbed but was able to call 911.

While responding to the call, the officers confronted the suspect on the 200 block of North Park Street.

The suspect opened fire. When the officers returned fire, two of them were hit.

One officer was hit in the chest but was wearing body armor. He was treated at the scene.

A second officer was hit in the arm and had to be flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His condition is unknown at this time.

Allen Swader was from Shelbyville, as noted. The South German name goes back to Schrader, which means "marshy place."

Hohenwald is a city in and the county seat of Lewis County, Tennessee. The population was 3,754 at the 2000 census. The name Hohenwald is a German word that means "high forest."

Shelby Name Game

In The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit, Jim Brandon writes, regarding the overall "name game":

I'm not talking here of such spooky tongue-twisters as H.P. Lovecraft's Yog-Sothoth or Arthur Machen's Ishakshar, but of quite ordinary names like Bell, Beall and variants, Crowley, Francis, Grafton, Grubb, Magee/McGee, Mason, McKinney, Montpelier, Parsons, Pike, Shelby, Vernon, Watson/Watt, Williams/Williamson. I have others on file, but these are the ones which I have accumulated the most instances.You will see buried in that list, "Shelby."

As I mentioned over the summer, the Shelby name game appears to be "hot."

Shelby, North Carolina

The alleged Charleston, South Carolina killer of nine on June 17, 2015, at the Mother Emanuel Church, Dylann Storm Roof was apprehended on June 18, 2015, after a motorist spotted his black Hyundai Elantra, which displayed a "Confederate States of America" license plate on the front bumper, while driving near Shelby, North Carolina. See more, here.

It was noted at the time of the Charleston killer suspect's capture the irony in the location of his apprehension with the name of James Shelby Downard, Synchromysticism's Godfather.

Shelby County, Tennessee

Shelby County, Tennessee was the site of a police officer being killed on Saturday, August 1, 2015.
Then on Monday, August 3, 2015, authorities arrested a convicted bank robber suspected of the killing of the Memphis, Tennessee, police officer Sean Bolton during a weekend traffic stop, the Shelby County sheriff said.
Tremaine Wilbourn, 29, had been wanted for first-degree murder since Bolton was shot dead Saturday after Bolton apparently interrupted a drug deal.
Police director Toney Armstrong said Sunday that a passenger shot the 33-year-old Bolton several times after "some type of physical altercation."
Wilbourn had been free on supervised release by the U.S. Western District Court for a 122-month sentence for bank robbery, Armstrong said.

Camp Shelby, Mississippi

The Mississippi National Guard says soldiers reported shots fired during a training exercise at Camp Shelby, but no service members were hurt.
The Guard said in a news release Tuesday, August 4, 2015, that the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center is secure and all personnel accounted for. The news release says the shots were fired from a road near Camp Shelby, but not on the military post’s property. Officials say they’re searching for two white males traveling in a two-door, red Ford Ranger. The words “Broken Arrow” are on the front of that vehicle. The shooting happened just before noon Tuesday on Paret Tower Road near Camp Shelby.


The name "Shelby" means "willow grove," "a place where willows grow," and "willow farm."

Locations in North America named "Shelby," are most frequently named after Isaac Shelby(December 11, 1750 – July 18, 1826), who was the first and fifth Governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky and a state legislator of Virginia and North Carolina. He was also a soldier in Lord Dunmore's War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812.

The links and syncs in Shelby's life to names frequently encountered nowadays are phenomenal.

Let me point to a few examples.

Shelby's military service began when he served as second-in-command to his father at the Battle of Point Pleasant (October 10, 1774), the only major battle of Lord Dunmore's War, and what is regarded by most historians as the actual first battle of the Revolutionary War. The site of the battle was Point Pleasant, Mason County, West Virginia, and involved the defeat of Chief Cornstalk. The area is known for the modern Mothman reports, and the location of the alleged "Curse of Cornstalk," which is tied to disasters and the Mothman trouble in the area.

At the Battle of Point Pleasant, among those killed was Pucksinwah, the father of Tecumseh. Colonel John Field, an ancestor of United States Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, was killed in the battle. The monument to the battle in Point Pleasant is a Masonic obelisk.

Shelby was surveying lands in Kentucky in 1780 when he heard of the colonists' defeat at Charleston. On the morning of July 31, 1780, he surrounded the British stronghold at Thickety Fort on the Pacolet River with 600 men. The British commander lost his nerve and capitulated; without firing a shot, Shelby's men captured 94 prisoners.

Following the surrender of Thickety Fort, Shelby joined a band of partisans under Lieutenant Elijah Clarke. This unit was pursued by British Major Patrick Ferguson. On the morning of August 8, 1780, some of Shelby's men were gathering peaches from an orchard when they were surprised by some of Ferguson's men on a reconnaissance mission. Shelby's men quickly readied their arms and drove back the British patrol. Soon, however, the British were reinforced and the colonists fell back. The pattern continued, with one side being reinforced and gaining an advantage, followed by the other. Shelby's men were winning the battle when Ferguson's main force of 1,000 men arrived. Outmanned, they retreated to a nearby hill where British musket fire could not reach them. Now safe, they taunted the British, and Ferguson's force withdrew from the area. Thus ended the Battle of Cedar Springs.

Shelby's further involvement with Charleston and Ferguson is documented here, and the name game seems beyond coincidential.

Isaac Shelby, as Kentucky's Governor, began the tradition of Kentucky Colonels in 1813, which evolved into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels born in May of 1931, and organization with ties and overlaps with Freemasonry.

In 1820, Shelby was stricken with paralysis in his right arm and leg. He died of a stroke on July 18, 1826, at his home in Lincoln (another power name) County. He was buried on the grounds of his estate, Traveller's Rest. The state erected a monument over his grave in 1827.

Places named for Isaac Shelby

Nine states have a county named after Shelby, as do numerous cities and military installations.
* Shelby County, Alabama
* Shelby County, Illinois
* Shelby County, Indiana
* Shelby County, Iowa
* Shelby County, Kentucky
* Shelby County, Missouri
* Shelby County, Ohio
* Shelby County, Tennessee
* Shelby County, Texas

Military installations
* Camp Shelby, Mississippi
* Fort Shelby, Michigan
* Fort Shelby, Wisconsin

Cities and towns
* Shelby, Oceana County, Michigan
* Shelby, New York
* Shelby, North Carolina
* Shelby, Ohio
* Shelby Township, Michigan
* Shelbyville, Illinois
* Shelbyville, Indiana
* Shelbyville, Kentucky
* Shelbyville, Missouri
* Shelbyville, Tennessee

* Shelbyville, Texas

Shelby, North Carolina's Knobby of Carpenter Knob 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Indianapolis Mall Shooting

On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, multiple individuals, at least three, were hurt during a shooting at the Washington Square Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana. The shooting occurred inside the mall at a common area near Target (appropriately enough), around 6:30 p.m. local time.

Deputy Chief of Operations Brian Mahone told the Associated Press the shooting wasn't random, and the gunman and main victim apparently knew each other.

Two people shot were perhaps innocent bystanders hit when the gunman opened fire.

The suspect is not yet in custody.

Neither the victim names nor the gunman's moniker was shared via the media accounts.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Trollhättan Attack: Man in Darth Vader-Type Mask Kills Two

A masked man (in his 20s) with a sword has attacked the Kronan school cafe in Trollhättan, Sweden. One teacher and one young male student are dead. Several students are injured, with at least two originally taken to the hospital. Health officials initially said the two seriously injured students were 11 and 15 years old, but apparently one of those two has died.  

The suspect, who is 21 and from Trollhättan, was shot and received medical attention. He later died at the hospital.

The media is reporting the attacker wore a Star Wars mask. USA Today noted: "the perpetrator was wearing a Darth Vader-like mask from Star Wars and that students initially thought it was a Halloween joke. The attacker even posed for pictures with two students before going on a rampage."

At some point during the rampage, he posed for a picture taken by a female pupil who thought the incident was a Halloween stunt, according to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

The attacker was holding his weapon, which was covered in blood, but the pupil did not realize the blood was real, she said.

The weapon used was a katana. Historically, katana were one of the traditionally made Japanese swords (日本刀) that were used by the Samurai of feudal Japan.
Local police have confirmed that they are investigating reports that the suspect held far right beliefs.

Marty McFly: Silence, Earthling. My name is Darth Vader. I am an extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan! ~ Back to the Future (1985), in which the time travel date of significance is October 21, 2015.

School attacks are rare in Sweden. This is the first since a shooting at a school in Kungalv near Gothenburg in 1961, which killed one person and injured six others.

"Columbine Goes International: After Littleton, the copycat effect involving school shootings went global." ~ The Copycat Effect, 2004.

Photo credit: EPA.

Kronan is Swedish for "king's crown," and the school uses a stylized crown as their symbol.

The name Trollhättan is translated as "troll's bonnet." The latter part "hätta" could also mean mountain top.

Trolls are generally associated, during our modern era, with Internet mischief makers and small beings. But traditionally, in Scandinava, trolls are ogres who are said to be man-sized to gigantic.

"Some traditions of 'wild men' tell of man-like beings that exceeded human beings in height, but at their greatest heights were not more than around 7 feet tall. We would identify them as Trolls and possible descendants of Neandertals. Descendants of both those distinctive and hairy near-men are known to have survived into recent times." ~ True Giants (Anomalist Books, 2010).

Monday, October 19, 2015

RFK Assassination Site: Ambassador Hotel

The Ambassador Hotel stood at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, between Catalina Street and Mariposa Avenue, Los Angeles, from 1921 until it was demolished in 2005. The famed Cocoanut Grove Nightclub was the place to rub elbows with the biggest names in Hollywood for more than four decades. After the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968 and the decline of the neighborhood, the Ambassador's fate was sealed. Even the valiant efforts of the Los Angeles Conservancy and Art Deco Society could not save the once treasured gem.

Now, thanks to InFocusTech, you can have a replica (shown above and below) of this important historical building.

This lost icon of LA is available from InFocusTech here.

The architect was Myron Hunt, shown on the right, above. Hunt is mentioned in the writings of Frank Lloyd Wright and other Chicago architects of the era as an early member of the group which came to be known as the Prairie School, but in 1903 he moved to Los Angeles. He was involved in designing the Rose Bowl and the Mount Wilson Observatory, as well as other southern California projects. Hunt fashioned the Ambassador Hotel in an eclectic Mediterranean Revival style with Art Deco elements and signage.

The date the Ambassador Hotel was completed, 1921; the date it was demolished, 2005. The InFocusTech replica's dimensions are 3-7/8" x 4-3/4" x 1-9/16". Order here.

InFocusTech's replicas are of the highest quality and sought after collectibles.

During the 1920s, the Ambassador Hotel's nightclub Cocoanut (it is not spelled "Coconut") Grove was frequented by celebrities like Louis B. Mayer, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Howard Hughes, Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Anna May Wong, Norma Talmadge and others. According to Photoplay, Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard were frequent competitors in the Charleston contests held on Friday nights; Lombard was discovered at the Grove.

During the 1930s the Cocoanut Grove was frequented by celebrities of cinema such as Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg, Errol Flynn, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Lana Turner, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, Gary Cooper, Loretta Young, and countless others. On February 29, 1940, the 1939 Academy Awards Ceremony was held in the Cocoanut Grove, with Bob Hope hosting. (Many movie scenes were filmed at the Ambassador Hotel. See here.)

In the pantry area of the Ambassador Hotel's main kitchen, soon after midnight on June 5, 1968, and after a brief victory speech in the Embassy Room ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel, the winner of the California Democratic presidential primary election, Senator Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), was shot along with five other people. The date was significant, for it was the first anniversary of the first day of the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors that began on June 5, 1967. RFK was shot on the first anniversary of this war, and died on June 6, 1968.

Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Bishara Sirhan - who was not a "Palestinian immigrant," but a Jordanian Christian Arab - was arrested at the scene and later convicted of the murder. Kennedy died one day later from his injuries, while the other victims survived their wounds. During the demolition of the Ambassador Hotel, in late 2005 and early 2006, portions of the area where the 1968 shooting occurred were eliminated from the site. The portion of Wilshire Boulevard in front of the hotel has been signed the "Robert F. Kennedy Parkway."

(Disclaimer: This is a review of this replica not linked to any fiscal reimbursement. - Loren)

Phantom Clowns of 2015, Copycats of 1981?

I coined the phrase "Phantom Clowns."

Why? I invented the name to describe some strange and bizarre sightings I investigated over three decades ago.

In Mysterious America, I detail the United States of America's wave of shadowy 1981 sightings of clowns in vans who appeared to have tried to kidnap children, from Boston to Kansas City.

The encounters began in May of 1981, in Boston, Brookline, and other Massachusetts communities. By the end of the month, the local newspapers in Kansas City were publishing warnings about "Killer Clowns," said to be after children at bus stops there. (See my review and roundup of Phantom Clowns, via the list at the bottom.)

Now the Phantom Clowns are stalking St. John's Road in Kent.

The Daily Mirror appears to be one of the first media outlets to have reported comprehensively on the latest Phantom Clown outburst, this time in England. With this week's headlines, "Clowns in vans chasing terrified children spark warning 'go straight home after school today and not to loiter,'" the whole world took notice.

"Police are investigating after numerous reports of kids being approached by people wearing clown masks driving a van earlier this week," the Mirror said.

Photo credit: Geograph.

Kent Police in the UK have issued the caution after a number of "suspicious incidents" in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, in Kent. Earlier, they were thought to be targeting pupils at Hillview School for Girls (shown above), in Tonbridge, Kent. Reports of people wearing clown masks being spotted in a van on St John's Road in Tunbridge Wells took place on Tuesday, October 13, and Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

Needless to say, St. John's Road is a roadway with a power name.

Head teacher Elaine Buchanan said some of her students had been approached on separate occasions. In a letter sent to the students' homes, she wrote:
Dear parents, It has been brought to our attention that some of our students have been approached in the vicinity on separate occasions (one outside Sainsbury's and another outside Olive's) by two people wearing black outfits with white clown masks. We have reported this to the police with whom we are actively working.

A law enforcement spokesman said:
The incidents started two weeks ago after several reports in Tonbridge. On October 5 in Hectorage Road, pupils reported they were scared by people in clown masks.
On October 7 and 8 there were also reports of a woman in the High Street wearing a clown mask.
The following week in Tunbridge Wells, on October 13 and 14 there are reports of people wearing clown masks in a van on St John's Road.
At the moment it doesn't appear anything sinister has been linked to these reports but we are continuing to investigate and trying to establish if any offences have been committed.
We are looking into it and putting out extra patrols to make sure people feel safe.

Chief Inspector Dave Pate of Kent Police remarked:
We are still working to establish whether any offences have been committed. However, I want to assure parents that we take the safety of all children very seriously and have extra officers on patrol around schools. I would also ask parents to make sure they remind children how to keep safe.
If any child is approached or has any concerns about people behaving suspiciously they should report it immediately to their parents or schoolteachers who can then report it to police.

The motif of clowns in vans, indeed, Phantom Clowns that are never caught, began in earnest, in 1981. And they are still with us.

Keep all the children safe this Halloween.


Please note, there is a clown subtext to the recent ZombiCon shooting.

News sources are reporting that Expavious Tyrell "Taylor donned a clown mask, stood on the margins of the festival's revelry and barely had an hour to enjoy it before the attack, said his girlfriend, who attended Zombicon with him." And that he wore a "creepy clown mask."

Tim Curry as Pennywise in IT (1990).

Footnote: To undermine any incorrect misunderstandings regarding the rumored origins of the Phantom Clown stories, they cannot be referenced as being "caused" by Stephen King, as is often written.

Stephen King's IT terrorized children (as a novel in 1986 and a TV movie in 1990), after I published my notes on the discovery of the "Phantom Clown" wave of 1981 (first in magazine articles and later in my 1983 first edition of Mysterious America).

There are persistent rumors that IT is going to be remade, and shooting begins during the summer of 2016.

See also the brilliant 2007 critique of Ben Radford's debunking Phantom Clown article, which was published in Fortean Times, here.

See also the "Phantom Clowns" chapter of Mysterious America.

Also, search this blog for other postings on the Joker, Joker Copycats, Hobos, Jesters, and other masked mysterious beings.

The above resulted in this contribution of one reader:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

ZombiCon Shooting: One Dead

One person died and four others were hurt after shooting broke out at a zombie-themed event in Ft. Myers, Florida Saturday, October 17, 2015. When the shooting began, "everyone" began running, those who were there reported.
The shooting happened at about 11:44 p.m. in downtown Fort Myers at a "ZombiCon" event, Fort Myers police said.
Five people in all were shot, and a male died at the scene. The four surviving victims were described as having non-life threatening injuries. A suspect is still at large.
The organizers of the event, billed as "the largest gathering of zombies and those who love them in the state of Florida" said they were "deeply saddened" by the violence.
ZombiCon is a charity event where participants dress up as zombies. It wasn't clear if the shooting involved participants of the event, but organizers said it occurred "within the footprint" of ZombiCon.
"I heard four gun shots and saw the crowd 10 feet in front of me part, and everyone turn and start running," Desere Lee, a student at Florida Gulf State University who was at the event, told NBC News.
Five victims were injured, and another individual died.
The person killed was identified as Expavious Tyrell Taylor (he used "Tyrell"), 20. He was living with an aunt and a grandmother in Okeechobee. His father died of epilepsy when he was in middle school, and his mother died died of meningitis when he was a junior just before he transferred to Clewiston High School the spring of 2014. He played at Clewiston for a year as a 6-foot-4, 240-pound offensive tackle and defensive tackle on and off as a starter. Taylor was listed on the roster at ASA College (Miami), a junior college in Miami.

News sources are reporting that Expavious Tyrell "Taylor donned a clown mask, stood on the margins of the festival's revelry and barely had an hour to enjoy it before the attack, said his girlfriend, who attended Zombicon with him." And that he wore a "creepy clown mask."

From Facebook, Taylor's number with the Tigers appears to have been #66.

I have been unable to translate the original meaning of "Expavious," although it does harken back to a name of a Roman Emperor.

Cory Panshin notes:
I don't find anything about Roman emperors -- but it seems to be related to the Latin expaveo, meaning "I am afraid" or expavi, "I began to fear." The latter has some odd associations.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hammer Attack: Bridge Name Game Again

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, before 8:30 a.m., a man with a hammer attacked at least 10 individuals in the offices of the Bridge River Indian Band, near Lillooet, British Columbia. One man is reported dead and as many as 10 people are hurt, some with life-threatening injuries.

When the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrived they found the suspect already restrained.

"RCMP members arrested the male but were unable to transport him as he became unconscious and unresponsive," the release said.

The officers started CPR, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Coroner Barb McLintock confirmed one man had died in the incident but couldn't provide further details. The B.C. Coroners Service was sending a team to investigate, she added.

An emergency worker who didn't want to be named said the man apparently attacked one person with the hammer, and when others in the office went to help they were also beaten.

Because the man died while in police custody, the Independent Investigations Office has stepped in to the case to investigate.

Bridge River is a tiny aboriginal town located about nine kilometres northwest of Lillooet, in B.C.'s Interior.

The Bridge River Indian Band offices where the attack occurred.

The Bridge River Indian Band also known as the Nxwísten First Nation, the Xwisten First Nation, and the Bridge River Band, is a First Nations government located in the Central Interior-Fraser Canyon region of the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is a member of the Lillooet Tribal Council (also known as the St'at'imc Nation), which is the largest grouping of band governments of the St'at'imc people (a/k/a the Lillooet people).

The Bridge River Indian Band's offices are located on BC Highway 40 in the lower Bridge River valley, a few miles outside of Lillooet, British Columbia, which is about 150 miles northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia, on the northern end of the town of Lillooet. Its residential areas are scattered through its reserve, one of the largest in British Columbia, with a newer residential subdivision adjacent to Highway 40 near the band offices, about 15 kilometres from Lillooet. It is one of the three main band communities of "metropolitan Lillooet", the others being the Cayoose Creek Indian Band (Sekwelwas First Nation) and the T'it'kt First Nation Lillooet Band), all of which border on the District of Lillooet.

More hammer-relaated mayhem in Quebec complete with river-related place name:
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

--Johnny Walsh 


Some other "Bridges" to consider...

Hockomock Name Game (Native/First Nations links here too)

Friday, October 09, 2015

Two In One Day

Consider this. Copycats are so routine, nowadays, that the media, the public, and law enforcement agencies take it for granted that after a major violent event, more will follow. Following the community college shooting in Roseburg, Oregon on October 1, 2015 (, it seemed only a matter of time before more college or university shootings would occur. Despite calmer heads have now largely debunked the almost folkloric "Christians were targeted" part of the story (see here, the ripples from that event continue having an impact.

The fatal part of the Copycat Effect happened on Friday, October 9, 2015. But this time, two shootings were discussed as if they were the same kind as the Oregon one. On closer examination, they really do not seem to be. First off, in each case, one fatality each (needless to say awful) but it was not ten. In both cases, there are hints that the shootings were specifically targeted.

As the New York Times observed, "Unlike the attack in Oregon and other mass shootings at colleges and schools in recent years, the two on Friday were not so-called active-shooter episodes, but instead appeared to stem from ordinary disputes and altercations that quickly turned violent."

First up was the 1:20 a.m. PDT Friday incident at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. 

One person was killed and three injured.

The shooting occurred in a parking lot outside Mountainview Hall dormitory at the northeast side of the Flagstaff campus.

Colin Brough (above) was allegedly killed by Steven Jones (below).

A freshman, Steven Jones, 18, pulled a gun and shot four male students, killing one. The slain student has been identified as Colin Brough, according to the university’s website.  The injured are Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring. The victims were shot multiple times. The victims were all members of the Delta Chi fraternity, the organization said Friday. The suspected gunman was not, the fraternity told CNN.

Later in the day, tragedy hit Texas, outside an apartment complex on the campus of Texas Southern University, police confirm. The site was the Courtyard Apartments on Blodgett at Canfield, and the time around 11:30 a.m. Friday. After the shooting, the three suspects ran inside the building, up to the fourth floor.

Two suspects are in custody, according to HPD. A third suspect remains at large. HPD has not yet released a description.

One shooting victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where the person later died. The other person was hit in the upper torso and in the back. They are listed in stable condition at the hospital, media reported.

Meanwhile, the number could have been higher. "Also in the news today, two eerily similar stories about planned school shootings which were thwarted by police or friends of the aspiring mass murderer. One involves a high school in Great Falls, MontanaAnother report out of Denver, Colorado also involved a single male gunman on a high school campus," noted Boing Boing.

In Montana, The court document said Brock Doty, 17, texted friends he was going to carry out a school shooting. He then next sent a picture of a rifle leaning against the wall and under the picture, it said: "I hide my gun from my family." Great Falls Police detective and school resource officer Cory Reeves testified that he arrested Doty after receiving information of the text conversation. Four rifles were found in his room.

Shootings like these do happened frequently, but the media feels in the contagion factor linked to such incident. 

Were they gang-related? Group violence?

In general, even with the slight facts we do have, these do not seem to be random acts committed on student bodies without regard to the targeted individuals.

Jim Brandon's highlighting of the name "Nicholas" certainly jumps out in the Arizona scenario. 

Likewise, in going over recent violence on the Flagstaff campus, the New York Times noted another "Nicholas/Nichols" name game, for "in late August [2015], two people were shot after a man fired into a crowd near where the shooting on Friday took place. In that case, a university officer responding to a disturbance in the student-housing parking lot saw the man fire and told him to drop the gun, but the man turned toward the officer, the authorities said. The officer fired but missed, and the suspect, identified by the police as Darrius T. Nichols, 20, surrendered. Mr. Nichols was charged with murder after one of the two victims, LaKeytrick Quinn, 24, died. The second victim, a woman, was treated and released." Source:

Brough is an "interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational name from any of the various places so called, of which there are several in Yorkshire, and Derbyshire, as well as elsewhere, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "burh" meaning "fortress". In most cases these are the sites of Roman fortifications. The name is widely distributed, but mainly found in Staffordshire, where the pronunciation is usually "braf". The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include one William de Brugh (1275) in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Broghe, Broughe, Brouf, Bruff, and Broffe." Source:

One wonders what names will pop up in the Texas case?

Monday, October 05, 2015

33s: The Rebirth of Pan

These are the times of 33s, and the rebirth of Pan.

On August 1, 2015, the so-called Chorro Fire started just after 1:00 p.m. in the area of California Highway 33 and the Chorro Grande Trail, the fire department said. Highway 33 was closed at Lockwood Valley Road on the north end of the fire and at the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center on the south end. More than 300 firefighters (was it 333?) and 11 air tankers were brought in to extinguish the fire.

A cargo ship missing since Thursday, October 1, 2015, with 33 crewmen aboard was lost at sea and believed to have sunk in the swirl and stranglehold of Hurricane Joaquin. This almost appears to be a plot for another Bermuda Triangle story. Now debris has started to be found.

The ship is named El Faro. The common translation for this name from the Spanish to English would be "the lighthouse." But there are many alternatives: anchor - beacon headlamp - headlight - light -lighthouse - torch - torchbearer - lodestar - polestar - headlight housing - and - lightship.

Jim Brandon also reminds me, "Meanwhile, back on land, Charleston, SC, is battered by the 'thousand-year storm,' striking this historic – and uber Masonic – spot on 33 degrees latitude. Recall that Fort also took note of many fateful events hitting the area."

Brandon, probably unknown to him, has inspired many people, including a group of Fortean investigators who are making videos, and using his two books as bibles.

In "Top Ten American Bridgewater Triangles," I introduced you to the gentlemen (Bill, Ryan, Kyle, Marc) of Mandate33, who filmed a short indie documentary on "The Ossipee Triangle, New Hampshire." It is #10 on that randomly numbered list.

Mandate33 has since started a journey of discovery, and they are in the midst of filming interviews across the country. They began with me, in Portland, Maine, before they ventured to California, and may, in part, end with me. But who knows? That's what being on a quest is all about. They are using the working raw title, Weird War: Exploring America's Left Coast.

Mandate33 also stopped by and interviewed my Fortean friends, Adam Gorightly and Greg Bishop. Will Chris Tian, Patrick Huyghe, Adam Parfrey, Matthew Bell, Jim Brandon, and various synchromystics be hunted down too?

It seems as the times of the rebirth of Pan are upon us. Even the movie Pan is to be released in the USA, on October 9, 2015. 9 = 3 x 3.

Jim Brandon, of course, is the author of 1978's Weird America and 1983's The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit. (The Rebirth of Pan is not in print, and yet illegal reprints selling for $175 are shown on Do not give into temptation and undermine Brandon's copyright.)

The Mandate33 filmmakers took their name from Brandon's work. His legacy lives on and grows.

Jim Brandon penned his thoughts in his 1983 book, The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit that, indeed, there are "certain numbers entangled with certain phenomena," just as he talked of power names.

Of course, Brandon's special moniker "candidate is the name Fayette and its variants Lafayette and Fayetteville." The Fayette Factor is probably one of the strangest mysteries in American Forteana, first discovered by the author, back in 1977, and written about in "Fateful Fayette," Fortean Times, No. 25, Spring 1978.

Namely, the "Fayette Factor" has been the finding of a surprisingly high incidence of Fortean (inexpliable) events linked to places named after one of the USA's Founding Fathers--the Marquis de Lafayette.

Since Grimstad's discovery, several items on this lexilink between Fayette (as well as its related forms - Lafayette, La Fayette, Fayetteville, Lafayetteville) and high strangeness have been published. In his book, Weird America (New York: EP Dutton, 1978), Grimstad mentions several Fayette hot spots but did not dwell on them. In exchanges with Bill, a small group of Forteans discussed the Fayette Factor privately throughout the late 1970s. It was not until Brandon's (now extremely rare) The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit (Firebird Press, 1983) and Mysterious America (Boston: Faber and Faber, 1983) that more in-depth analyses of the Fayette "coincidences" seriously occurred. These examinations were followed by updates and other comments in Mysterious America (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2006), and Mothman and Other Curious Encounters (NY: Paraview, 2002). Furthermore, the appearance of widely available material on the Fayette Factor started routinely being posted online during the 1990s-2010s.

Popular cultural outlets, such as Robert Anton Wilson's works (e.g. Cosmic Trigger), the music of Marilyn Manson (e.g. King Kill 33), and the various books and movies about the numbers 23 and 33, have Downard's insights influencing a broader audience. My own books, including The Copycat Effect, show the readers various purple shades of Downard.

Developing from this, then, is that severals writers have the sense they "discovered" the significance of certain names or dates or numbers, which relate to such factoids as Dealey Plaza being near the 33° north latitude and it being the first Masonic temple in Texas. Remarkably, most of the hints to these revelations track directly back to Downard.

Downard showed clearly the linkages between the mystical landscape and the 33° latitude. Intriguingly, the longterm knowledge of the 33° parallel and of 33 as a harmonic digit is on the rise. While more people may follow the 23 "coincidences," in the numbers arena there is a decidedly new increase in those would are intrigued by "33."

The top new numerical candidate, coming into its own, has to be 33.

Thirty-three turns up in some remarkable places.

The unnatural nature of the 33° alignments is well-discussed in the synchromystic world.

All kinds of associations have been made with the 33rd Parallel: pyramids, death rows, ufo crash sites, Trinity Atomic Bomb test site, the starting site of the Scottish Rite in America, the first shots of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, and various assassination-assassination attempt locations (from Jesus to JFK & RFK, from Captain William Morgan to Gabrielle Giffords). Some of the linkages do have a basis in fact.

Take for instance, the name "Hobbs," which is a "devil's name," a word based on a demonic origin. Hobbs had been the location of UFO sightings in the 1950s and 1960s. Hobbs, New Mexico, near the 33 degree latitude, has experienced a never-ending stream of UFO encounters since Bill Watson's April 1955 sighting became known in ufology as the "Hobbs Incident." This Southwest corner of New Mexico is a hotbed of so-called flying saucer activity with the most famous event being the "Roswell Incident."

Allegedly, as is well-known today, a UFO crashed in nearby Roswell, New Mexico, on July 8, 1947, and the US Air Force recovered small bodies from the craft, according to numerous ufological researchers. The entire use of the term "little green men" appears to have been added to American slang by way of the incidents taking place in the Hobbs-Roswell area in 1947.

Trinity Site Obelisk - National Historical Landmark

Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear device. This test was conducted by the United States Army on July 16, 1945, in the Jornada del Muerto ("single day's journey of the dead man") desert about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico (site of Lonnie Zamora CEIII 1964 incident - pictured) at the White Sands Proving Ground; Trinity took place on the 33rd Parallel. Considering the background to the name "Hobbs," such events are not too shocking.

Even, in the past, I've mentioned how Tom Cruise and Scientology appear to have realized the synchromystical magic of the number 33 and the 33° latitude? The twilight language was at play for it was the jersey number of Tom Cruise's character in the 1983 film All The Right Moves.

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."

Who are we to deny the fact these things come to us in all kinds of different ways? And sometimes through the landscape of 33s: tweets (via @mediamonarchy) #ThirtyThree / #33 occurrences routinely.
The number of deities in the Vedic Religion is 33.The highest degree in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
The divine name Elohim appears 33 times in the story of creation in the opening chapters of Genesis.
Lag Ba'omer is a minor Jewish holiday which falls on the 33rd day of the Omer
Jesus's age when he was crucified in 33 A.D.
According to Al-Ghazali the dwellers of Heaven will exist eternally in a state of being age 33.
Jesus performed 33 recorded miracles.
Islamic prayer beads are generally arranged in sets of 33, corresponding to the widespread use of this number in dhikr rituals. Such beads may number thirty-three in total or three distinct sets of thirty-three for a total of ninety-nine, corresponding to the names of God.
Thirty-three is not only a numerical representation of “the Star of David,” but also the numerical equivalent of AMEN: 1+13+5+14=33.
Pope John Paul I, the 33-day pope. One of the shortest reigns in papal history, and it resulted in the most recent 3-pope year.
A religious image of the Virgin Mary from the 18th century is known in Uruguay as "Virgen de los Treinta y Tres" (Virgin of the Thirty-Three); it was consecrated by Pope John Paul II in his visit to Uruguay in 1988.
There are several churches dedicated to this Marian devotion, being the most important the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Thirty-Three in Florida, Uruguay.
One of the symbols of Ku Klux Klan. (K is the 11th letter of the alphabet, 3 times 11 is 33, KKK).
Thirty-three is the atomic number of arsenic.
Thirty-three is, according to the Newton scale, the temperature at which water boils.
A normal human spine has 33 vertebrae when the bones that form the coccyx are counted individually.
A significant number in modern numerology, one of the master numbers along with 11 and 22.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Martian, Interstellar, Alien, Blade Runner and Lawrence of Arabia

The imagery of Alien (1979) merges with the new The Martian (2015). Both were directed by Ridley Scott.
Ridley Scott also directed Blade Runner (1982).
Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner (1982)
The Martian (2015)
Ridley Scott films: The Martian (2015), Gladiator (2000), and Blade Runner (1982).
Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, in Alien (1979)
Jessica Chastain as Melissa Lewis, in The Martian (2015)

In the 2005 documentary short, Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3 (directed by Mark Cowen), Matt Damon was the voice of Al Shepard and Matthew McConaughey was the voice of Al Bean.
The Martian (2015) has been compared to Interstellar (2014), which was directed by Christopher Nolan. Interstellar starred Matthew McConaughey (as Cooper, shown above on the right), as well as Matt Damon (on the left above) and Jessica Chastain (below right), who both were in The Martian (2015). Reviews are actually talking of The Martian as the Anti-Interstellar.
Jessica Chastain was Murph in Interstellar (2014) and was Melissa Lewis in The Martian (2015)
Three space films in three years: Matt Damon appeared in (L to R): Elysium (as Max), Interstellar (as Mann) and The Martian (as Mark Watney). Credit: Elysium: Columbia TriStar; Interstellar: Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers; The Martian: ™ and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Issued for promotional use.

One of the characters of The Martian is the landscape.

Filming of The Martian took place at Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon, in Jordan, which served the backdrop, as Mars. Wadi Rum has been used as a backdrop for other films set on Mars, including Mission to Mars (2000), Red Planet (2000), and The Last Days on Mars (2013). Ridley Scott employed Wadi Rum for shooting the scenes of the Alien Planet for Prometheus.
Wadi Rum was also the site for the following films: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Passion in the Desert (1998), and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009).

Wadi Rum, Jordan, near the border with Saudi Arabia, appears unchanged from the blood red scenes described in T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It is the same landscape which David Lean used as the backdrop for the Englishman's first encounter with Alec Guinness' Prince Faisal -- in what is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. It makes a perfect setting for a cinematic Mars.

 Peter O'Toole played Lawrence of Arabia.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

This song is used in The Martian.