Sunday, July 31, 2016

50 Years Ago: Charles Whitman Climbed The Texas Tower

No multiple sniping incidents impacted the United States like the one committed by Charles Whitman, who was born [June 24] in Lake Worth, Florida in 1941. Early on the morning of August 1, 1966, Whitman killed his mother in her apartment and his wife at their home. At about 11:30 A.M., Whitman then climbed up to reach the University of Texas Tower (elevation of 231 feet), bringing along six guns, a shotgun, ammunition, a footlocker, knives, food, and water. On his way up, he clubbed the receptionist (who died later) on the 28th floor, and he killed two persons and wounded two others who were coming up the stairs from the twenty-seventh floor. From the observation deck of the tower, Whitman then opened fire on persons crossing the UT campus and on side streets, further killing 10 people and wounding 31 more (one of whom died a week later). For 96 minutes, he held the campus hostage. Finally, at 1:24 P.M., after several attempts, police and a deputized private citizen Allan Crum reached the observation deck, where police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shot and killed Whitman. Altogether, seventeen persons were killed, including Whitman, and thirty-one were wounded in what is still regarded as one of the worst sniper events in modern American history.*

Little known today is that this event encouraged police departments across the USA to develop what came to be Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, as Gary M. Lavergne points out in his excellent reference work on this subject, A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders. The tower itself became a site of tragedy remembered and deaths produced. A series of suicides from the Tower, along with the horror of Whitman’s act, convinced the University of Texas Board of Regents to close the observation deck of the Tower in 1975. Not until 1998 was a vote taken to reopen the Tower, but only after the introduction of metal detectors, and the building of protective fencing around the deck to discourage suicidal jumpers. With those changes in place, Whitman’s sniper nest was reopened to the public in 1999.
The cultural influence of the Whitman event lives on in our culture to such an extent that it colors how we look at any sniper event….From songs to movies, there are hints of Charles Whitman all around us. Singer Harry Chapin wrote a long 1970s folktune Sniper, and Texan Kinky Friedman's facetious The Ballad of Charles Whitman carried on the tradition. Kurt Russell starred in The Deadly Tower (1975), later renamed Sniper, which was set at the Louisiana State Capitol because Texas officials would not allow its use by the filmmakers. References to Whitman continue in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, Rick Linklater’s Slacker, and even in Ron Howard’s Parenthood. Whitman is even credited with having an impact on the works of writer Stephen King and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, as both have admitted. As the D.C. sniper horror unfolded, one lone sniper, Charles Whitman was brought up, over and over again, from such diverse publications as the Workers World to the Right Wing News, from New Age tracts to less than mainstream Internet sites, demonstrating the widespread nature of this person’s story was having on the D.C. snipers tale. ~ The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow’s Headlines by Loren Coleman (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2004).

* The number was raised to 17, officially, years later. David Gunby, 58, was shot in the lower back. He died of his wounds in 2001; the coroner ruled his death a homicide.

 Charles Whitman as a Marine.

Austin Shootings: Ponder and Pause in the Midst of a Media Frenzy

Saturday, July 30, 2016's wreck of a hot-air balloon was only miles from Austin, Texas. Lockhart is about 30 miles south of Austin.

Overnight, in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 31, 2016, reports out of Austin, Texas, tell of an "active shooter," and accounts of "separate shootings within the same area."

A moment to pause....

As I had to note a few years ago, gang shootings, domestic violence shootings, and friend-on-friend or gender-related-passion shootings take place all the time in America. But during news cycles of increased media attention to mass shootings, shooting sprees, terrorism attacks, and "rampages," every dispute that ends in gunfire will initially be reported as if it is an extraordinary and similar situation.

I'm not sure what's up with this Austin shooting, but I'm wondering if it is just another one of these types of shootings that is being overblown by the media. This is not to diminish the deaths of anyone involved in any such incident, but we have to start being able to discriminate between shootings, even if the media does not.

Calling something a "mass shooter situation" does not make it like all the rest.

The Austin, Texas police have said that one person (a female) was killed and four were injured following an "active shooter incident" in Austin.

The Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted there were "multiple" individuals with gunshot wounds.

Units were responding to the area of 208 East 6th Street.  This is the address of the Friends bar.

This section of town is a busy area, very youth-oriented and tourist-oriented. To get some idea of where this spot is, two blocks away, the Museum of the Weird is located at 412 East 6th Street, which is next to the Jackalope and the Chupacabra Cantina. A block in between is the Alamo Drafthouse. The Friends bar is in back behind Voodoo Doughnuts.

Residents are being told to stay away from the downtown area.

The location of the shooter or shooters is unknown.

Be careful. Be safe.

Thanks to Mike Playfair for the alert.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Smiley Face Balloon Crash Kills 16

A hot air balloon believed to be carrying 16 people caught fire in the air and crashed in central Texas on Saturday (July 30, 2016) morning, killing everybody on board, federal and local authorities said.
The balloon may have struck power lines when it went down around 7:30 a.m. in pastureland near Lockhart, about 30 miles south of Austin, in an area often used for balloon landings, a county judge and public safety source told CNN.
"First I heard a whoosh," Margaret Wylie, who lives near the crash site, told CNN affiliate TWC. "And then a big ball of fire (went) up. I'd say it got as high up as those lower electric lines."
If investigators confirm 16 people died, the crash will be the most fatal hot air balloon accident in United States history.
The hot air balloon rests on the ground near Lockhart, Texas.
Federal Aviation Authority officials said the balloon carrying 16 people caught fire before crashing, but provided few other details. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said nobody on board survived.
Caldwell County Judge Ken Schawe said it looks like the balloon collided with a power line before catching fire and crashing to the ground.
A source with the Texas Department of Public Safety earlier told CNN's Polo Sandoval that investigators believe the hot air balloon struck power lines and caught fire. This is the preliminary working theory, the source said.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii there is a volcano with a smiley face (here).

Syncinematic analysis of smiley faces (here).

Smiley face from Watchman (here).

The Four Humors (here).

Thanks above from Steve L.

The owner of Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides and chief pilot of the balloon that went down Saturday, July 30 with the loss of his own and 15 passengers’ lives was Skip Nichols. ~ Jim Brandon, author of The Rebirth of Pan, and "NickName" awareness.

Mailbox Bomber Was Making Smiley Face
Published May 09, 2002

RENO, Nev. – The 21-year-old college art student accused of putting pipe bombs in mailboxes in five states told authorities he was trying to make a "smiley face" pattern on the map, a sheriff said Thursday.

The first 16 bombs were arranged in two circles, one in Illinois and Iowa and the other in Nebraska. On a map, the circles could resemble the eyes of the popular 1970s happiness symbol. The final two bombs, found in Colorado and Texas, form an arc that could be the beginning of a smile.

"There was a comment made to one of my officers about his hope to make a smiley face when he was all finished," Pershing County Sheriff Ron Skinner said.

Skinner said Luke Helder made the comments to an undercover county officer shortly after his arrest outside Reno on Tuesday.

"His demeanor was very jovial. He didn't seem to be taking anything seriously at the time," the sheriff said.

An FBI official would not comment on the sheriff's report.

Meanwhile, Helder's parents, Cameron and Pamela Helder, met with their son at the county jail in Reno for a half-hour. They were separated by glass and spoke by telephone.

"We are here to see our son in his hour of need," Cameron Helder told reporters afterward. "We told him we love him. I feel a lot better after speaking to him."

Helder faces federal charges in Illinois, Nebraska and Iowa, where he will be taken Friday for an initial court appearance. U.S. Magistrate Robert McQuaid Jr. denied a request Wednesday to release Helder to the custody of his parents.

"It's apparent to me that he suffers from some apparent mental health problems," McQuaid said.

If convicted, Helder could be sent to prison for life. Cameron Helder said he expects the legal proceedings to be a long process.

"It's already been very hard on us," he said. "Our heart goes out to the families of the victims."

The FBI said Helder placed 18 pipe bombs in mailboxes in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas, along with anti-government notes. Six of the bombs exploded last Friday, injuring four letter carriers and two residents.

The eight bombs in Iowa and Illinois were found in rural locations that form an uneven ring about 70 miles in diameter. The Nebraska bomb sites — about 350 miles away — form a ring about 90 miles across.

The other bombs were found hundreds of miles away — one in Salida, Colo., the other in Amarillo, Texas.

The FBI issued an alert for Helder after his father called police Monday night about letters from his son that included references to death, anti-government comments and the phrase "Mailboxes are exploding." The same phrase was in the notes found with the bombs.

Authorities said Luke Helder has confessed to making 24 pipe bombs out of smokeless gunpowder, BBs or nails, paper clips and Christmas tree bulbs. The final 10 bombs found in mailboxes and the six found in his car had different detonation mechanisms and were not rigged to explode but were still dangerous, authorities said.

"Same pipe bombs, but he did not hook the battery to them," said Terry Hulse, the FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas. "The difference is when people opened the mailbox, they found them laying there."

Helder's parents arrived at Reno-Tahoe International Airport early Thursday from their home in Pine Island, Minn.

Cameron Helder said he wanted to thank the FBI and the sheriff's department for making the visit possible "so we have a better understanding of what is going through his mind and what is happening."

Helder wore a broad smile each time he was transported to and from jail and court. Washoe County Sheriff Dennis Balaam said Helder did not seem upset that his father had turned him in.

"I think he understands. I don't think there are any ill feelings there at all," the sheriff said. "It was an emotional goodbye. It's a difficult time for all."

The sheriff added: "I think as each moment goes by the consequences are starting to set in with him."

Balaam also said Helder, a junior art and industrial design major at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, was headed for California when he was arrested. Balaam said he did not know why.

Elsewhere Thursday, authorities in Sioux City, Iowa, blew up a pipe with no explosives found by three young boys and three small bombs made with drain cleaner exploded in mailboxes north of Spokane, Wash. There were no injuries in either case.

Indiana State Police also said that at least two juveniles are suspected of planting two pipe bombs in roadside mailboxes earlier this week. One of the bombs exploded, but there were no injuries.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Germany Discovers The Copycat Effect

The German publication Deutsche Welleon July 26, 2016, after a series of shootings and rampages (Amokläufe) in their country, published "Mass Killers Inspire 'Copycat' Attackers."

In the wake of all the carnage, the violence could not be ignored. The article began,
There is growing evidence that an act of mass murder will inspire others to commit similar crimes. Media reports on carnages like the ones in Munich or Japan, play a crucial role in spawning "copycat" killers.
On July 22, Ali David S. struck the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, exactly five years after right-wing extremist Andres Breivik killed 77 people in Norway. There is a possibility that the Norwegian was a role model for the Munich killer.
To me, of course, what is remarkable is that during this summer of 2014, a dozen years about it was released, the media is discovering my book.

Deutsche Welle noted,
News organizations need to pay attention to the choice of words while reporting on such incidents, says Loren Coleman, author of the book The Copycat Effect: How The Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines
According to Coleman, one should not, for example, report on "successful" gun attacks or "failed" suicides. Stereotypes such as "the boy next door" or "loner" should also be avoided, he adds.

There is no German language edition of The Copycat Effect, but it can be obtained in English in Germany.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

ISIS Is Terrible At Geography

It is being widely reported on July 26, 2016 that ISIS has warned that their next attacks will be on London and Washington, D.C.

Only problem is that ISIS does not seem to know where Washington, D.C. is and what structures exist there.

As the media is noting,
One picture chillingly shows New York’s Statue of Liberty engulfed in flames but with the caption “Washington soon” - referring to the US capital 225 miles away.

Normandy: 3 Dead in Church Hostage Incident

A hostage, said to be the priest, was killed by attackers, who stormed a church in the town of Saint Etienne du Rouvray at around 9am this morning local time. The location is in Normandy, France.
The coat-of-arms for Saint Etienne du Rouvray, above, shows two leopards.
Unconfirmed reports said the victim had his throat slit by the armed men, who were shot dead by police officers as they emerged from the church.
Between four and six people were held by the attackers, including the pastor, two nuns and several worshippers.
Initially, it was reported the priest was cut, but later local media discuss this as a beheading.
The priest was Jacques Hamel. Hamel means hameau/hamlet.
Hamel-in ?! ~ JP
Meantime, a shooting has occurred in a Berlin hospital, with one doctor killed and the assailant dying by suicide.

Jihad means "holy war." It appears this is what war looks like in the 21st century.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Vanishing Santa Claus of Munich's Shooting

Munich's Amoklauf has been a minefield of hidden discoveries.

For instance, it has been brought to my attention that initial reports of a Santa Claus being seen near the attack are disappearing from media reports. 

This is the archived passage:
Two witnesses told n-tv television that they saw a man dressed as Santa Claus walking away from the scene of the shooting with a crowd of people. One said the man had blonde hair, was not carrying a weapon but had a suitcase.

The account is still visible at the Blue Lives Matter News, the Arab America News, and the Otago Daily News.

While searching on Google shows that this same phrase existed in previous online copies of articles on the Munich attack, they have been deleted from later editions. See here, here, and here, for three examples. 

Was there a "Christmas in July" event happening at this mall that the media wishes to hide?

In line with the twilight language, it probably is of no surprise to readers here that Santa Claus - Saint Nicholas - should make an appearance in the Munich rampage. 

The contemporary thoughts of Jim Brandon, author of Weird America (1978) and The Rebirth of Pan (1983), are turning out to be worthy of our attention, in the strangest places. (For more on the Nicholas name game, see here.)

Besides the materials on school shootings found in the gunman's room, and his obvious choice of the 5th anniversary of the Norway: 7.22.11 Breivik Attacks, even the location may have been picked on purpose.

The Olympia Park Mall was built near where the previous entitled "Munich Massacre" occurred. The Munich massacre was an attack during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, at which eleven Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage and eventually killed, along with a German police officer, by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.

Sagamihara Knife Attack Leaves 19 Dead

Japanese news agencies are reporting that 19 people are dead and 20 injured following a knife attack in Sagamihara, Kanazawa Prefecture, outside Tokyo.

A knife-wielding man attacked a residential care facility for the disabled at 2:30 am local time (July 26, 2016).  A former staff member escaped, then returned, and turned himself into police.

Reports indicate that over 45 people have been injured.

Mass violence such as this is rare in Japan, and an incident like this has not occurred for decades.

An ancient city, Sagamihara was home to the Yokoyama clan, one of the seven warrior clans of the Musashi region during the early Kamakura period. The city has a population of over 700,000 people.

Thanks for the alert from Mike Playfair.

Mehr Amokläufe: More Rampages

Germany again! What is the central problem? One event appears to be triggering others - it is the copycat effect on steroids.

Over the weekend, there have been Mehr Amokläufe (more rampages) in Deutschland.

Europe was rocked on 14 July 2016, Bastille Day, on the "Promenade des Anglais: 84 Dead in Nice," France. The location, Promenade des Anglais means "Avenue of the English."

Then the series of German Amokläufe (plural of Amokläuf, rampages) began.

18 July 2016: A 17-year-old Afghan refugee [Riaz Khan Ahmadzai (also known as Muhammad Riyad)] injured four people seriously, two critically, with a knife and hatchet on a train near Würzburg in Germany. See "Amoklauf Würzburg Axe Attack."

22 July 2016: On the the 5th anniversary of the Norway: 7.22.11 Breivik Attacks, a mass shooting took place at the Olympia Mall's McDonald's in Munich, Germany. Ten were killed (including the gunman) and 35 injured. Ali David Sonboly (Persian: علی داوید سنبلی‎‎; called David S. by the police) was identified as the assailant. He was an 18-year-old Iranian-German with dual nationality. Police in Munich said the gunman had Amok Im Kopf a German translation of a book on mass school shootings, along with materials related to the 2009 Winnenden school shooting in Germany and the bomb-and-gun attacks in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people. See also "Amoklauf Munich Olympia Mall: Nine Dead."

24 July 2016: A Syrian asylum seeker armed with a knife attacked pedestrians in Reutlingen, Germany, killing a pregnant woman and wounding two other people.

24 July 2016: Twelve people were injured, three seriously, in a suicide bombing outside a wine bar. At 22:12 CEST (20:12 UTC), a bomb exploded outside Eugene's Wine Bar (German: Eugens Weinstube) in Ansbach, Germany. The bomber, the only fatality, was a 27-year-old Syrian man who had been denied asylum. The actual target of the bombing may have been the Ansbach Open music festival with around 2,500 people in attendance. The explosion occurred near the entrance to the festival. The suicide bomber, known to police after trying to die by suicide twice prior to the bombing, carried a backpack filled with screws, nails, and miscellaneous metal parts used in wood manufacturing and was denied entry into the music festival due to the lack of a ticket shortly before the blast. German authorities have found a video showing the bomber pledging allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on his phone. Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian interior minister, said "it is unquestionable that it is a terror attack with corresponding Islamist convictions of the perpetrator."

Thus, from the 18th through the 24th, there have been four Amoklauf events in Germany. More is expected.

Enki King observes:

Batman: The Killing Joke will be shown in theaters across the country [only] on July 25 [and July 26, 2016]. It is based on a graphic novel by occultist Alan Moore.
As we enter the week and a half period bookmarked by the appearance of Joker films in cinemas, it is worth recalling that the Joker's appearance was based on German actor Conrad Veidt's portrayal of Gwynplaine in the expressionist film The Man Who Laughs.

The end date, August 5, 2016, is capped by the first appearance of the Suicide Squad and its new Joker.

In the early morning hours of July 25, 2016, there was a shooting at the closing hour of a nightclub in Florida, giving people flashbacks to the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting of June 12, 2016.

25 July 2016: A shooting occurred inside the Club Blu Bar and Grill nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida. Preliminary reports indicate at least two individuals, both teenagers, are dead with 20 injured. The deceased have been identified as 14-year-old Sean Archilles and 18-year-old Stefan Strawder. Two suspects and a person of interest have been detained in connection with the shooting. The venue was reportedly hosting an all ages event for teenagers and ID was not required. The shooters apparently involved not teenagers, but those who were there to pick up the adolescents at closing.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ufologists' Deaths: Early 2016 Edition

Mike Clelland is one of those writers who has deeper insights than most about the overlaps between UFO incidence, contemporary violence, human innocence, and relative coincidence. He has talked, for example, about the intellectual significance of such incidents after the Aurora shootings (see here).

In The Sync Book 2, Clelland ends his essay, "Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee,” with these thoughts (p. 344):
There is some unknowable facet of reality that creates synchronicity, and it has forced me to pay attention. I am impelled to follow this magic compass. I am being given clues and they are telling me to step off the well-worn path and step into the deepest part of the forest.
In 2015, his book The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee (with a foreword by Richard Dolan) was published. It expands the discussion begun in The Sync Book 2, and like that book, is also worthy of your time.

In general, I find books like Clelland's are the ones that folks might wish to ponder in these times of mass shootings and hysterically reported new waves of "ufo silencers.”  The subjects seem disconnected, but I propose they are not. I am not sure there is a statistically significant surge in ufologists’ deaths, but there certainly is a new media interest in these people dying. There have been ufologists' death clusters in the past, as well, although the general public rarely remembers such moments.

So, allow me to pause in the midst of a horrible warm season of Amoklauf, and give some factual balance to the renewed tabloid sensationalistic approach to a couple recent ufo death notices. This current alleged "murder spree" of ufologists included one that probably was suicidal and another sudden death among those intrigued by ufo mysteries.

Following is my list of notable passings for the past six months. 

Is there a major increase? Probably not. Is the old black magic of synchronicity at work here? Probably yes. Is there more to learn? Definitely yes.

As Clelland and I separately are heard to remark, "Are you paying attention?"

January - July 2016 - UFO-linked Deaths

July 16, 2016 - Max Spiers, 36

July 7, 2016 - Gaurav Tiwari, 32

June 19, 2016 - Anton Yelchin, 27

May 21, 2016 - Nick Menza, 51

Friday, July 22, 2016

Amoklauf Munich Olympia Mall: Nine Dead

Okay, this is getting weird, considering what I have just previously written about borrowing the Malay-German word Amoklauf. A copy of the above book Amok Im Kopf was found in the Munich shooter's room.  German police say he studied school and other mass shootings, and hacked into a woman's account on Facebook to lure children to the McDonald's for free meal items.

It's become quite apparent: He picked the date because it was the 5th anniversary of Breivik.

Someone on Twitter claimed the Munich shooter used a photo of Breivik as his WhatsApp profile pic.

"Obvious link" between Munich gunman and Norway's mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, German police say, the day after.

He appears to have been born in Germany, of Iranian descent, but was extremely xenophobic, anti-immigrants, during the shouted statements he made to his victims and eyewitnesses.

Amoklauf in Munich. At a McDonalds. A mall. Another day, another rampage - a shooting rampage - hit Germany on Friday, July 22, 2016.

Today is the 5th anniversary of the Norway: 7.22.11 Breivik Attacks. The attack was revealed to have a strong rightwing foundation. The Breivik events assisted me in predicting the Aurora shootings.

Now this German attack in Munich, a location heavy with terrorism history tied to the Olympics, as the August 5th date for the 2016 Summer Olympics nears.

Well, Loren, no sooner do you invite the word Amoklauf into our language than another Amoklauf happens --- and in Germany, specifically in the city of Munich where I was stationed in the US Army exactly 42 years ago. ~ Tom Mellet.

The shooter targeted children came the early reports said. Children at a McDonalds, next to the Olympia shopping mall. Reports of multiple shooters - up to three - probably were wrong, as they have been lately.

At least nine people were killed when gunfire erupted at a shopping center in Munich, Germany, in what police officials said "looks like a terror attack."

Munich police have verified that one of the ten dead bodies was the shooter.

The shooter has now been identified as an 18-year-old Iranian, who has been living in Munich for more than two years.

Police said no one was in custody, and the city was under a virtual lockdown, with residents being urged to stay home, restaurants and other business closing and public transit shutting down.

The shooting broke out at a McDonald's across from the Olympia shopping mall at about 5:50 p.m. local time, police spokeswoman Claudia Küntzel said. Shots also were fired inside the mall, witnesses said.

On Facebook, police said gunfire was reported in several locations and that witnesses said they saw three people with firearms. These reports appear to have mistaken.

A witness identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the McDonald's. "That's where he loaded his weapon," she said. "I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom... And he's still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can't run."

[Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, "Allahu Akbar," or God is great. "I know this because I'm Muslim. I hear this and I only cry." - Some are disputing this claim.]

This McDonald's shooting was only days after another infamous McDonald's rampage. It also was laid to a motivation rooted in xenophobia, as appears the Munich one.

The San Ysidro McDonald's massacre was a mass shooting that occurred in and around a McDonald's restaurant in the San Diego neighborhood of San Ysidro on July 18, 1984. The perpetrator, 41-year-old James Huberty, shot and killed 21 people and injured 19 others before being fatally shot by a SWAT team sniper.

It will be noted that the first victim killed in this 1984 massacre was named "Caine" and another fatality had the first name "Aurora."
The shooting ranked as the deadliest mass shooting committed in the United States until the 1991 Luby's shooting. It is the second deadliest shooting rampage in which the perpetrator was killed by police as opposed to dying by suicide, behind only the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.
Some insights from others about the Munich shooting:

Olym(Pi)a on Pi day. 22/7. ~ Rory Sonya
Just as the Micah X. Johnson Amoklauf in Dallas took place just 1/4 mile East of Dealey Plaza, so did the latest Amoklauf in the Olympia shopping mall in Munich take place 3/4 mile West of the Olympic Village Building 31 where the Palestinian terrorist group called Black September took the Israeli Wrestling team hostage at the Munich Olympics on September 5, 1972. Just 4 months later, on January 7, 1973, Mark Essex took to the Howard Johnson's rooftop in New Orleans to carry out his Amoklauf mission. ~ Tom Mellet.


Let us also recall, beside the recent German train attack and the German cinema attack, there was a train station incident in May.

On May 10, 2016, there was a 5 a.m. attack at the Grafing train station, near Munich, Germany. One person was killed, three injured, as the man with a knife was quickly arrested. He yelled "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for "God is great."

The Grafing Bahnhof suspect was taken into custody with bare feet, and his shoes could not be found.

(Thanks to Enki King for updates.)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Amoklauf Würzburg Axe Attack

More than 20 people have been injured and some have died after a man began attacking train (on the red one pictured above) passengers with an axe in Germany.

The attack happened on the train line between Wurzburg and Heidingsfeld. The site is between Frankfurt and Nuremberg.

The attack took place as the train was traveling between stations. The train made an emergency stop short of the station at Wurzburg-Heidingsfeld and the assailant jumped out of the train.

Police hunted the man down with ground searchers and a helicopter.

The assailant, armed with a knife and an ax, was identified as a 17-year-old Afghan man living in Ochsenfurt, Bavaria, according to Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.

The ax-wielding man has been shot dead by police, according to Lt. Fabian Hench, regional police spokesman.

Four passengers who were attacked are in serious condition, with the total number of wounded unclear, although over 20 injured is reported by police and others. The attacker's motive is not yet known, Hench said.

The attacker remains unidentified, for now.


Shall we employ a new word in America for rampages?

Mass shootings and frenzied attacks have become all too routine in the USA. It's time for a new term. Let's use the German Amoklauf, which combines the Malay word "amok" (rampage) and "lauf" (run), as in "running amok."

I posted on Twitter about this:


The early 600s AD name Uburzis that was used at the same time as Würzburg is presumably of Celtic origin. Based on a folk etymological connection to the German word Würze "herb, spice," the name was Latinized as Herbipolis in the medieval period

The Würzburg witch trials, which occurred between 1626 and 1631, are one of the largest peace-time mass trials. In Würzburg, under Bishop Philip Adolf an estimated number between 600 and 900 alleged witches were burned.

On 3 April 1945, Würzburg was occupied by the U.S. 12th Armored Division and U.S. 42nd Infantry Division in a series of frontal assaults masked by smokescreens. The battle continued until the final Wehrmacht resistance was defeated on 5 April 1945.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Another Thin Blue Line Attack Copycat: 3 Police Officers Killed, 7+ Shot, Gunman Dead

The Thin Blue Line is a colloquial term for police forces, the barrier between crime and uncivil acts and civilization. Two movies have used this title.  The Thin Blue Line is a 1965 documentary film by William Friedkin about the police and the problems they encounter. The Thin Blue Line is a 1988 documentary film by Errol Morris concerning the murder of a police officer.

Artist Frank Hayden's "Red Stick" in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

As correspondent Tom Mellet points out, the Thin Blue Line is now marked by the Red Pole, which in French is le baton rouge.
French explorer Sieur d'Iberville led an exploration party up the Mississippi River in 1699. The explorers saw a red pole marking the boundary between the Houma and Bayogoula tribal hunting grounds. The French name le bâton rouge ("the red pole") is the translation of a native term rendered as Istrouma, possibly a corruption of the Choctaw iti humma "red pole"
André-Joseph Pénicaut, a carpenter traveling with d'Iberville, published the first full-length account of the expedition in 1723. According to Pénicaut,
"From there [Manchacq] we went five leagues higher and found very high banks called écorts in that region, and in savage called Istrouma which means red stick [bâton rouge], as at this place there is a post painted red that the savages have sunk there to mark the land line between the two nations, namely: the land of the Bayagoulas which they were leaving and the land of another nation—thirty leagues upstream from the baton rouge—named the Oumas."
See also Red Sticks for the ceremonial use of red sticks among the Muscogee.
The location of the red pole was presumably at Scott's Bluff, on what is now the campus of Southern University. It was reportedly a 30-foot-high (9.1 m) painted pole adorned with fish bones.

During 2016, after the attack in Dallas that left 5 law enforcement officers dead, in a contextual history often forgotten, and with copycats since then, the Thin Blue Line is under assault again.

At least seven officers were injured and at least three of them are feared dead in a shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday, 7.17.2016. (The number of those killed was updated to "4" by a state legislature representative on MSNBC. He also said there were "multiple shooters," so his information is unverified. Police, during a news conference, also mentioned they may be looking for multiple shooters - in black, with long guns, with masks, faces hidden, maybe in military garb.)

Police received a call of "suspicious person walking down Airline Highway with an assault rifle," the source said. The suspect appeared to be wearing black with assault rifle.

When police arrived, the man opened fire.
The remaining officers are hospitalized in critical condition.
Kip Holden, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish, said authorities were still trying to get a handle on the situation, but added, "The count is three officers dead possibly."
The victims may include police officers and sheriff's deputies.
"There is still an active scene. They are investigating," he said. "Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything."
The shooter is believed to be down as well, Holden said.
"Everything is moving fast and I have not been able to verify everything," he said.

Since the shooting death of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police earlier this month, the department has worried about credible threats against officers, on street protests, and actual plots to shot local police.


The gunman

The suspect was shot dead.

Screengrab from a video of a Gavin Eugene Long using the pseudonym of Cosmo Setepenra. (YouTube)

Long went to Dallas after the attack on police officers on July 7, 2016, according to a video he posted to Youtube. He tweeted a photo of Micah X. Johnson, the Dallas gunman. Long wrote that he dropped out of college, sold his two cars and gave away his material possessions to journey to Africa, his “ancestral homeland,” after a “spirutual revelation.” While there he wrote three books, he said on the website. Source.
Law enforcement agencies have identified the man as Gavin Eugene Long, who has been tied to the Sovereign Citizens Movement. Due to the early history of the Sovereign Citizens anti-government, allegedly white supremacy philosophy, initial confused caused some mainstream media reporters to identify Long as a white gunman.

Now, however, Long, is being described as a black male from Kansas City, Missouri, who was killed at the scene of the shooting, CBS News reports. He turned 29 on Sunday, July 17, 2016, as the day of these shootings was his birthday.

Gavin Long was a former University of Alabama student who was divorced from his wife in 2011. Public records show he has lived in Kansas City and Grandview, Missouri, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the university is located. He was a former Marine.


The Victims

Montrell Jackson was one of the three officers killed. (Facebook)

Jackson's new son was born only two months ago.

The second victim has been identified as Matthew Gerald, 41, who was married with two children. He had been working on his own for 12 days.


The Location

"Where do you want this killin' done. God says, down on highway 61." ~ Bob Dylan

Airline Highway is a divided highway in the U.S. state of Louisiana, built in stages between 1925 and 1953 to bypass the older Jefferson Highway. It runs 115.6 miles (186.0 km), carrying U.S. Highway 61 from New Orleans northwest to Baton Rouge and U.S. Highway 190 from Baton Rouge west over the Mississippi River on the Huey P. Long Bridge. US 190 continues west towards Opelousas on an extension built at roughly the same time.

The highway was named "Airline" because it runs relatively straight on a new alignment, rather than alongside the winding Mississippi River. (Compare with the similar term air-line railroad.) The name later became even more fitting, as both Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport were built along the highway. Airline Highway also runs close to the site of the old Baton Rouge airfield (near the intersection of Airline and Florida Boulevard, now a park and government office complex), which brings it within blocks of the similarly named Airport Avenue and Airway Drive.

The highway's origin is famously identified with Governor Huey P. Long, who advocated for a modern highway system in Louisiana. Long was assassinated on September 10, 1935.