Monday, July 30, 2018

Bigfoot Steps Into Virginia's 5th District Race

Republican Denver Riggleman, a former Air Force intelligence officer and owner of the Silverback Distillery outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, who ran a short-lived campaign for governor last year, finds himself mired in a Congressional campaign with Democrat Leslie Cockburn, a well-known documentary filmmaker (Guns, Drugs, and the CIA; From the Killing Fields) and investigative journalist.

Riggleman named his liquor distillery after gorillas. In 2016, he wrote, “As you know, we are called ‘Silverback Distillery’ and we are proud to support any function that benefits the Virunga National Forest [located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] and those awe inspiring gorillas.”

The two candidates are running to win the massive, triangle-shaped 5th Congressional District, which is bigger in area than New Jersey, and runs from Fauquier County in the north down to the Shenandoah Valley, through Appomattox and across Southside Virginia.

Over the last weekend of July 2018, their major conflict hit social media with one point being Riggleman's interest in Bigfoot. Cockburn (pronounced /ˈkoʊbɜrn/ KOH-burn; not cock-burn, btw), pointed out via Twitter that Riggleman was engaged in "Bigfoot erotica," through some of his writings.

It appears to have begun with Cockburn claiming Riggleman supported white supremacists and of enjoying Bigfoot porn:

With headlines like "Bigfoot Porn Has Become a Major Controversy in U.S. House Race. Seriously." (HuffPost) to "Thanks to Olivia Wilde's Mom, I've Had to Explain Bigfoot Porn Today and I'm Not Pleased" (Elle), it has been quite a 48 hours.

But what is the reality behind the media hysteria and campaign rhetoric? 

Politics aside (you have to judge the business about how each side claims that white supremacists use their material), how does the Bigfoot subject fit into this campaign?

Denver Riggleman's Bigfoot Interests 

One image shows Riggleman’s face superimposed on a drawing of Bigfoot, which also has its penis censored.

Riggleman explained that his "buddies" (Air Force intelligence friends? Facebook friends? Who?) "thought this pic was fitting for my birthday next week, and to celebrate my new book release in about a month or 2… Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him.’”

Until all this media attention descended, Riggleman's interest in Bigfoot had him talking online about Bigfoot, and promoting an already self-published non-sexual Sasquatch book entitled Bigfoot Exterminators Inc.: The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006.

In essence, Riggleman clearly appears to be a fan of Bigfoot, not Bigfoot porn.

I'm not supporting Riggleman politically, but Bigfoot's behavior patterns have been an interest of mine for a long time. Any intrigue with Bigfoot, a weird sense of humor, and questions of the sexual activities of these unknown apes often go hand in hand. No pun intended.

In the July 27, 2018 article, which ran two days before Cockburn’s tweets, Cook Political Report noted that Riggleman’s Instagram account “was once peppered with images of what can only be described as Bigfoot-themed erotic art” and added that one friend chocked it all up to his “offbeat sense of humor.” Source.

The ignoring of Bigfoot's mating activities by serious researchers have been criticized by me.

This resulted in my writing "Chapter 13: Sex and the Single Sasquatch" in my Simon and Schuster book, Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America.

Riggleman's curiosity about Bigfoot has been morphed by others into "Bigfoot porn," perhaps too quickly and inappropriately. 

It has happened to me. Memes have been created about what I've had to scientifically say about the biology of Sasquatch, and it got outrageous.

This is a road down which many have ventured, never to return with their credibility.

Leslie Cockburn's Links

From the other side, the Republicans are now attacking Cockburn's ties to the progressives in her family, as well as her and their past writings on Israel's relationship with America. Cockburn herself has been criticized by Virginia Republicans for her earlier writing. Her 1991 book about U.S.-Israeli relations has been slammed by the GOP as anti-Semitic.

Leslie Cockburn married Andrew Cockburn, a member of a family with a strong Irish legacy of writers, and, indeed, she is an investigative journalism of some note. The Cockburns are related to Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet, who ordered the Burning of Washington in 1814. The Cockburns reside in Rappahannock County, Virginia.

Leslie Cockburn has two brothers-in-law, Alexander Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, also journalists, and two half-sisters-in-law. One sister-in-law, Sarah, was best known as the mystery writer Sarah Caudwell. The other sister-in-law, Claudia, was a disability activist and married Michael Flanders, half of the well-known performance double-act Flanders and Swann; the two children of this marriage are the journalists Laura Flanders and Stephanie Flanders, her half-nieces.

Her husband Andrew's most famous brother, Alexander Claud Cockburn (June 6, 1941 – July 21, 2012) was an Irish-American progressive political journalist and leftist writer, who edited the political newsletter CounterPunch. Cockburn also wrote the "Beat the Devil" column (1984–2012) for The Nation.
Cockburn’s campaign biography says she was a journalist for decades. “Leslie’s distinguished career in journalism spanned thirty-five years. A producer for CBS News 60 Minutes, a correspondent for PBS Frontline, a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton, a writer and author, Leslie has won two Emmys, two George Polk Awards, two Columbia Dupont journalism awards, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award,” the bio reads. Her husband, Andrew, is the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine. According to the bio, the actress Olivia Wilde is one of their three children. Source.

One of Leslie Cockburn's books, written with her husband, Andrew Myles Cockburn (born January 7, 1947), is being discussed during the 2018 campaign. It is Dangerous Liaison ~ The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship: Money, Mossad, and the Inside Story of the U.S. - Israeli Covert Relationship. See the PBS interview here.

Criticism of the book goes from it being anti-Semitic (although it is clear critic Alan Dershowitz has a long history of anti-Cockburnism) to anger directed at Leslie Cockburn because, no fault of her own, David Duke's and David Black's white supremacy Stormfront site likes her book. 

Some of Leslie Cockburn's books include:

Leslie Cockburn and Andrew Cockburn are the parents of Olivia Wilde.
Olivia Wilde in Cowboys & Aliens 

Wilde in HBO television's Vinyl

Olivia Wilde (born Olivia Jane Cockburn; March 10, 1984) is an Irish-American actress, model, producer, director and activist. She is known for her role as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley on the medical-drama television series House (2007–2012), and her roles in the films Alpha Dog (2007), Tron: Legacy (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Butter (2011), Drinking Buddies (2013), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Her (2013), The Lazarus Effect (2015), Love the Coopers (2015), and Meadowland (2015). Source: Wikipedia.

Riggleman Further Denies Erotica Claims

By early Tuesday, July 31, 2008, word was spreading that Denver Riggleman had firmly denied Cockburn's claims. 

In an interview on Monday, Mr Riggleman described the image from his social media account as "a 14-year practical joke between me and my military buddies".
He told the Conservative Review that the image was a prank from friends who were joking about a book he is currently writing: The Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him.
The book, he says, will be "a sort of joke anthropological study on Bigfoot believers"....Riggleman says he has found his rival's attacks "hilarious". "I didn't know there was Bigfoot erotica, even with all my Bigfoot studies," he said. "I thought this was such a joke that nobody would ever be dumb enough to think that this was real, but I guess her campaign did." He warned tongue-in-cheek that Ms Cockburn could alienate the "pro-Bigfoot" vote. Source.
“I do not believe that Bigfoot is real,” he also told local daily newspaper the Richmond Times-Dispatch, joking he didn’t “want to alienate any Bigfoot voters” with his admission.

Riggleman also was quoted by the New York Times as saying, "I have a sense of humor. I'm not going to apologize for personality."

The July 30, 2018 article in the New York Times was entitled "'Bigfoot Erotica' Becomes an Issue in Virginia Congressional Campaign." It said, in part:
In an interview, he said he did not believe in Bigfoot but had been interested in the topic since he was a child. When he was 10, he said, his grandfather abruptly ended a walk they were on because he “saw something mighty peculiar that was hairy and large” in the woods. (Mr. Riggleman does not claim to have seen anything himself.)
That childhood interest led to his participation in an ESPN article more than a decade ago that described his participation in a Bigfoot hunt in West Virginia.
He has participated in the writing of a book on the subject, Bigfoot Exterminators, Inc.: The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006. It was authored with the ESPN writer Don Barone and described another Bigfoot hunt in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Source.
Denver Riggleman (who is identified as an "ex-intel officer from the National Security Agency") appears to have been conducting active field investigations for a long time. As the ESPN article mentions, this included his being on a BFRO paid expedition.

Riggleman noted to the ESPN writer that two decades after the Bigfoot sighting, "his grandfather still doesn't say what it was, only that it was big, brown and 'looked mighty unnatural.'" 

As I mentioned above, the Bigfoot claims have escalated the Republicans who, as the BBC News observed, "have in turn been targeting Ms Cockburn, depicting a 1991 book the former investigative reporter wrote criticising the US-Israel alliance as anti-Semitic, which she denies."

Post-Trump, Post-Reality World

Speaking of life in a post-2016 world, through the metaphor of The X-Files, Christopher Knowles reminds us that we may be living in a post-Conspiracy Culture reality. Did the rise of a reality television star to the presidency signaled the collapse of conspiracy culture?

Is it surprising that the facts behind a political campaign are muddled in the fiction of tweets, Bigfoot, and claims that have no truth, on either side?
So the romantic quest of a Mulder and Scully, firm in the belief that the "Truth"-capital T will set you free, doesn't even register in this day and age. If any Truth happens to darken your day, your Twitter and/or Facebook feed will chase those blues away. No one even cares about objective Truth anymore. Doing so is almost certainly a fireable offense these days anyway. So check with your HR dept. Christopher Knowles in The Secret Sun, July 31, 2018.
As Knowles says in his essay, "But with Trump's election, the Establishment no longer has any patience at all for conspiracy culture, other than its own."

So be it. Bigfoot, not the zoological Sasquatch but the psychological Hairy Beast, enters politics in 2018.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Trump Star Smashed

The 45th President, former reality television actor Donald Trump, had his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame destroyed by a man with a pickax early July 25, 2018, Wednesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others. The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. It is a popular tourist destination, with a reported 10 million visitors in 2003.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce credits E.M. Stuart, its volunteer president in 1953, with the original idea for creating a Walk of Fame.
Hollywood division officers responded to a call at 3:33 a.m. (6:33 a.m. ET) to the tourist area. The LAPD said a man is in custody and is being questioned. Police said a man turned himself in at the Beverly Hills Police Department Wednesday morning.
Patricia Cox, a witness, told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS that she saw a man "going to town" on the ground "like it was his business just to be tearing up the ground," she said. "I thought it was work going on over here."
Video from KCAL/KCBS shows tourists taking photos of the defaced star in front of the Hollywood & Highland center, a major tourist spot in Hollywood.
CNN has reached out to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for comment.
Trump's star has repeatedly been the target of vandalism and protests since the reality TV star's turn to politics. In April 2016, a Superman impersonator on Hollywood Boulevard said he had seen visitors make obscene gestures next to the star, deface it with paint, and allow a dog to relieve itself on the landmark.

"People often stomp with anger on the star, others kick their heels over the star, and some spit. The last time, someone put a sticker over the star," Francisco Javier, another street performer who was dressed like Superman, said at the time.
A street artist constructed a tiny wall around Trump's star in July 2016, and in October of that year, the LAPD arrested a man who they said vandalized the star with a sledgehammer and a pickax. Source.

President Donald Trump's star—received as host of The Apprentice television series—was repeatedly defaced during the 2016 presidential campaign. In late October, near the end of the race, a man named Jamie Otis (who claimed to be an heir to the Otis Elevator fortune) used a sledge hammer and a pickaxe to destroy all of the star's brass inlays. He readily admitted to the vandalism, which he described as "civil disobedience" and "freedom of expression", and told reporters that he originally planned to remove the entire star and auction it to raise money for the women who accused Trump of sexually assaulting them. Otis was arrested three weeks after the incident, charged with one count of felony vandalism, and sentenced to three years' probation plus $3400 in restitution payments. The star itself was repaired, and has since been the site of pro-Trump demonstrations.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Trader Joe's: The Silver Lake Incident

Are we seeing a potential move in violence from Waffle House to Trader Joe's?

The Trader Joe's hostage incident occurred in Los Angeles on July 21, 2018, when a suspect, fleeing the police, crashed and ran at 3:30 P.M local time. Fears of a hostage situation arose. Police were involved by 4:00 P.M, and there were reports that the gunman opened fire. A woman was killed during the standoff, as the 28-year-old suspect was arrested.

The incident occurred at the Silver Lake Trader Joe's.

Initial reports of the Trader Joe's hostage situation said:
"Officers began pursuing the suspect in Hollywood, and they arrived at the supermarket on Hyperion Avenue about 3.30pm."
In mythology, Hyperion is one of the 12 Titan children of Gaia and Uranus. He is also the father of Helios (The Sun). Here again we see the sync of 12 + 1 (The Sun/Son) = 13. ~ Sibyl Hunter
One female hostage was shot and killed. The suspect's 76-year-old grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Madison, was shot 7 times and was reported to be in critical condition; and another female hostage, the perpetrator's girlfriend, was shot but merely grazed by the bullet.

Trader Joe's store employee Melyda Corado was killed. Two days after the shooting, it remained unclear whether she was inside or outside the store when she was shot, and unclear whether she was shot by a police bullet or by the gunman police where exchanging fire with.

Corado means "ruddy or reddish" in Portuguese. On another thread someone said the words "silver" and "lake" both relate to the Moon. So this could be a foreshadowing of the Blood Moon lunar eclipse coming on Friday 7/27 (which some believe portends the end of the world). Astrologers say the Mars influence surrounding this eclipse can cause reckless actions, aggression and emotional problems. ~ Sibyl Hunter  

“And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord comes.” - Acts 2:19-20
On July 21, 1969, at 02:56 UTC, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon. After his televised steps, Armstrong performed a strange ritual of an entirely different sort, of a dark and ominous character, took place at Tranquillity Base on the moon. It was not beamed to the earth via television. Astronaut Neil Armstrong carefully took out a Masonic apron, as did Buzz Aldrin, and held it up for the cameras. Did Armstrong do this for his father? See  here.

Back to Silver Lake and the Trader Joe's...

The violent episode appears to have begun on the evening of Friday, July 20, when Atkin's cousin spotted Atkins sleeping in his grandmother's home on 32nd Street near Long Beach Avenue with a gun under his pillow. According to Atkins' cousin, Charlene Egland, Atkins, who had lived with his grandmother since he was a young child, had been quarreling with his grandmother over his live-in girlfriend; the grandmother did not want her living in the home. Atkins shot his grandmother and his girlfriend at about 1:30 pm on July 21, a Saturday, then forced his girlfriend, who was bleeding from the gunshot wound, into his grandmother's car and drove off. Police traced his car to the Hollywood area and gave chase. Suspect crashed his grandmother's Toyota into a power pole in Silver Lake in front of the Trader Joe's supermarket on Hyperion Avenue at 3:30 p.m. Atkins emerged from the vehicle holding a handgun, and firing at the police. According to witnesses at the scene, Atkins fired at police officers at least twice. Corado, the manager of the Trader Joe's store was shot. There were between 40 and 50 people inside the grocery store.

Atkins was holding his handgun as he ran into the store, police where firing at him, and it is not clear whether the store manager, Corado, was shot by Atkins or by police firing at Atkins as he ran into the store during the shootout.

During the hostage crisis, police officers in riot gear standing outside the store used mirrors to watch as hostage negotiators persuaded Atkins to release the hostages and surrender. At about 6:30 p.m., he agreed to handcuff himself, and was led form the building accompanied by four hostages to insure that he would not be shot. He was then taken into custody.

The suspect was described as an African-American male. He had lived with his grandmother since he was 7 years old. According to his cousin, Atkins had recently lost his job and two cars, according to his cousin, who lives next door, Atkins had previously slashed the tires on his grandmother's car and borked windows in hie house. The cousin described him as having a history of mental health problems, and as a quiet man who had been despondent about his future. She quoted him as having said, "The next thing I do, I'm going to die doing it or I'm going to jail."

He opened fire on the police, but no officers were reported injured. The gunman was identified as 28-year-old Gene Evin Atkins who was arrested, charged with murder, and is being held on $2 million bail.

Greektown and BART Violence Results in Multiple Casualties

On Sunday night, July 22, 2018, a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were killed and 13 others were injured when a man armed with a handgun fired into restaurants and at patios in the Toronto’s popular Greektown neighborhood, authorities said.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders would not release the name of the two people killed, but said the girl is from the Greater Toronto Area, and the woman is from Toronto. An additional 13 men and women were injured.

The suspect, a 29-year-old man from Toronto, is also dead and the Special Investigations Unit is investigating an exchange of gunfire between police and the shooter. Monica Hudon, a spokesperson for the police watchdog, said Monday that the SIU will not release the suspected gunman’s name until they confirm his identity.

Police said the gunman moved down Danforth Avenue, starting near Logan Avenue, spraying bullets along the way. Danforth Avenue will be closed between Pape and Broadview Avenues until further notice.

The shooter, dressed in black, can be seen in these screen captures from CTV footage.

Greektown is a popular area for weekend activities.

Greektown – also known as Greektown on the Danforth, or more simply, The Danforth is within the city of Toronto. Named after Asa Danforth, an American contractor who designed Queen Street and Kingston Road — other streets in the city — the area is known for its architecture dating back to as early as 1910, and for its number of Greek restaurants and stores.

Prior to World War II, Toronto's nascent Greek population of approximately 3,000 was concentrated in the area bounded by Yonge Street, Carlton Street, Church Street and what is now Dundas Street East. It was this area that was the focus of the 1918 Toronto anti-Greek riot.

In the 1950s, the Danforth saw an influx of Italian immigrants followed by Greek immigrants in the 1960s - many of whom were fleeing political and economic unrest which culminated in the seizure of power by the Greek military junta of 1967–74. In the 1970s and 1980s the Danforth was regarded as the largest Greektown in North America.

Some parts of Greektown are still dominated by Canadians of Greek descent (Greek-Canadians). Most immigrated from Greece to Canada. According to the 2006 Census, Greeks constitute the most populous ethnic group in Ward 29 ("Toronto-Danforth"), where the Greektown is located, at 13% of the total population (5,755 of 27,415 inhabitants).

Also in Toronto on the same day...

A sign advertising holocaust education was spray painted with the word ACHTUNG outside the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Center in North York (Toronto, Canada) on Sunday, July 22, 2018, before the Greektown attack.

The Jewish community is expressing outrage after a sign featuring a Holocaust survivor was vandalized over the weekend.

The United Jewish Appeal Federation of Toronto (UJA) said in a tweet Sunday that a sign advertising holocaust education was spray painted with the word “Achtung” outside of the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Center in North York.

“Achtung,” a German word, translates to “attention,” and was often used in Jewish concentration camps — sometimes as a wake-up call — during the Nazi era.

This July 22, 2018 incident was viewed as a hate crime in Canada.


Earlier in 2018...Twilight Language detailed a ramming event on Yonge Street. See here.

The Toronto van attack was a vehicle-ramming attack that occurred on April 23, 2018, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A man, alleged to be Alek Minassian, drove a rented van and sped through the North York City Center business district, deliberately targeting pedestrians, killing 10 and injuring 16, some critically. The attack started at the intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, and proceeded south along the sidewalks of Yonge Street to near Sheppard Avenue. The 25-year-old Minassian was arrested uninjured just south of the crime scene, after attempting to provoke a police officer to kill him. The arrest was made at 1:32 p.m., seven minutes after the first 9-1-1 call reporting the incident was made. The incident is the deadliest vehicle-ramming attack in Canadian history.

In 2017, a ramming incident happened in Alberta. The Edmonton attack was a stabbing and vehicle-ramming attack that occurred in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on September 30, 2017. Edmonton police constable Mike Chernyk was allegedly hit and stabbed by 30-year-old Abdulahi Sharif, who then struck four pedestrians with a rental truck during a police chase. All four injured survived and were hospitalized. The incident is currently being investigated as a terrorist attack, with police confirming the presence of an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant flag in the van that rammed the police officer. The main suspect, 30-year-old Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, is a Somali national and refugee.

On Wednesday, April 9, 2014, Toronto police responded to multiple 911 calls from an office building on Yonge Street near York Mills Ave. See more here.

In the 1970s, there appeared to be a serial killer who haunted the gay bars on Yonge Street. See here


Photo of Nia Wilson published by the media.

In San Francisco, the hunt for a man suspected of fatally stabbing Nia Wilson an 18-year-old woman throat and injuring her sister July 22, 2018, Sunday evening stretched into Monday afternoon, with police scouring the area near Oakland’s MacArthur BART station and reviewing surveillance videos of the station and train car.

BART officials on Monday confirmed a “be on the lookout” alert for 27-year-old John Cowell. The suspect in the fatal stabbing is 5-foot-8 and weighs 190 pounds, and he has short, dark hair as well as a closely cropped beard and mustache, officials said. He is considered dangerous and BART has asked anyone who comes into contact with him to call 911.

Nicole Mikels’ train had just rolled into the MacArthur station Sunday evening when the quiet commute was interrupted by what she called “horrifying screams.” The sounds came from the direction of two young women Mikels had noticed when she boarded the train a few minutes earlier at the Rockridge station. One sister was “screaming for help,” Mikels said. “Her sister was bleeding profusely by the neck — her entire torso was covered in blood.”

“She said everything happened so fast,” Mikels said. “[That] it was a white male that had slit her sister’s throat.”

Despite the life-saving attempts, a short time later 18-year-old Nia Wilson was pronounced dead.

The seemingly random attack launched an overnight manhunt that continued early Monday morning, as police searched for a 5-foot-9 heavyset male in his 20s or 30s with short spiky hair.

Authorities on Sunday evening described the event as a double stabbing. Officials had no immediate update on the condition of Wilson’s sister Monday morning.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Duck Boat Deaths Hit Colemans Hard

The Ride the Ducks Branson boat (above) was in distress during a storm on Table Rock Lake on July 19, 2018.

During a major thunderstorm on Table Rock Lake, Branston, Missouri, a duck tour boat owned by Ripley Entertainment, carrying 31 people overturned. Seventeen people died from drowning and related injuries.

Nine members of the Indianapolis, Indiana family, the Colemans, died. Two survived. Tia Coleman, told FOX59 that she and her nephew were the only two from her family who survived. She said she lost all of her children, her husband, her mother-in-law, her father-in-law, an uncle, her sister-in-law, and a nephew. 

Some of those who died were children, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told reporters in a briefing. Authorities warned that the scale of the tragedy would be large. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said one of his deputies was on board at the time and had helped to rescue some of the passengers.

The boat had 31 people aboard — 29 passengers and two crew members — when it sank into the waters of Table Rock Lake amid intense winds and thunderstorms, Rader said. Seven people were taken to the hospital, one of them with serious injuries.

The first 911 call about a duck boat sinking came in just after 7 p.m. Thursday, officials said, drawing dive teams to the water to search for victims. Among the boat’s passengers was a sheriff’s deputy, who immediately assisted in the rescue effort, according to Rader.

The duck boat that sank was one of two still operating during the storm, Rader said. The boats were returning to shore when the incident happened, he said. Some of those on the capsized boat were able to swim to shore.

The vehicles used for sightseeing tours, such as the duck boat that sank in Branson, Missouri, are based on a design used during World War II to transport personnel and supplies over land and water - known as the DUKW.

The DUKW, a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck, was first made in the US (21,000 by count) in the mid-1940s to deliver people and materials ashore where no port facilities existed.

Branson: Fun and Entertainment Destination

Branson is an Ozark town in southwest Missouri known as a family vacation destination. Its 76 Country Boulevard is famously lined with theaters, which once hosted mostly country music performers but today present diverse entertainment. Also along the strip are the Marvel Cave, the Wild West-style Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction and Silver Dollar City, an 1800s-themed amusement park with live music.

The newsmagazine 60 Minutes aired an episode about Branson on December 8, 1991, and called it the "live music capital of the entire universe."

Beside many music-themed theaters, Branson, Missouri, has become a Midwestern Mecca of nostalgia-based entertainment.

For example, there is...

Bigfoot Fun Park Highway 76 offers fun for the whole family with our Bigfoot Action Tower™, Bigfoot Discovery Expedition™, Bigfoot Adventure Golf™, Yeti Play Zone & Monkey Jump™, Bigfoot's Arcade™ and Bigfoot's 8Di Action Cinemas™.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Branson Highway 76 has more than 400 exhibits of the odd and unique, featured throughout seven themed galleries.

The World's Largest Toy Museum Complex Highway 76 contains an all in one complex: World’s Largest Toy Museum, Harold Bell Wright Museum, National BB Gun Museum, Stearnsy Bear Museum, World of Checkers Museum and the Paul Harvey Jr. Museum.

Hollywood Wax Museum Highway 76 Branson is similar to same-themed attractions found in California, Florida, and at Niagara Falls.

Other Duck Boat Fatality Incidents

Hot Springs, Arkansas: In 1999, military surplus DUKW vehicle sunk while on tour on Lake Hamilton. Thirteen of the 20 people on board, including three young children, lost their lives. Passengers were not wearing life preservers. The boat took on water rapidly and submerged within a few minutes.

Ontario, Canada: On July 23, 2002, custom-build vehicle called the Lady Duck sunk in the Ottowa River while on a tour. Four passengers were trapped under the Lady Duck’s canopy and drowned; six passengers, the tour guide, and the driver escaped.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: On July 7, 2010, an amphibious bus was disabled in the water by an engine fire. A tugboat operator was distracted by his cell phone while pushing a barge; the barge struck the disabled duck boat, killing two passengers, a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, both part of a tour group from Hungary, were killed. Thirty-three other passengers and two crew members survived.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: On May 8, 2015, a duck boat struck and killed a 68-year-old woman who was crossing the street in Chinatown. Witnesses said that the woman was distracted by an iPad while crossing the street, but safety advocates pointed out that the bow of the boat created a blind spot that made it difficult for the driver to see a pedestrian directly in front of the vehicle.

Seattle, Washington: On September 24, 2015, five people were killed, eight were critically injured, and eight were seriously injured after a Ride the Ducks vehicle veered out of its lane on the narrow Aurora bridge and struck a bus carrying international college students on a tour of the city. An investigation found that the front axle of the boat had sheared off, and that the company operating the boats had over 400 safety violations in addition to requiring its drivers to simultaneously entertain passengers and operate the unwieldy vehicles on city streets.

Boston, Massachusetts: On April 29, 2016, a woman died when her moped was hit by a Duck Boat making a turn onto Beacon Street. She went under the vehicle and ended up beneath it. Her boyfriend, who was riding on the same moped, was injured but survived the crash.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Annabelle Neilson Dies on Rothschild Birthday

Annabelle Neilson (former Rothschild), 49, died on Thursday, July 12, 2018.

The cause was declared (by the family) to be a "cerebrovascular accident." Some reports say that Annabelle Neilson, nicknamed Tinklebelle by Alexander McQueen, had hung herself by a scarf from a doorknob. She was said to be the Muse of McQueen, who died by suicide in 2010. McQueen was born on March 17, 1969, and died on February 11, 2010.

Nielson had divorced Nathan Philip Rothschild, who is the sole heir of Jacob the 4th Baron Rothschild. They were married from 1994 to 1997. She was given a large fiscal settlement to not use the Rothschild name.

Nat Rothschild was born on July 12, 1971. Neilson died on his birthday, please note, July 12.

Rothschild had also dated L'Wren Scott, who died by suicide.

Kate Spade used the same method to kill herself - from a scarf from a door knob - as had been used by L'Wren Scott, 49, on St. Patrick's Day in 2014. The date, March 17th, was McQueen's birthday.

See also here.

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, died by hanging from a doorknob, on July 20, 2017, on the birthday of Chris Cornell.

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave died by hanging from a doorknob, on May 18, 2017, the same date that Joy Division's Ian Curtis died by hanging himself on May 18, 1980.

Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain died by suicide on April 5, 1994. Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley on April 5, 2002. 

Chris Cornell recalled in 2008 that he was sitting in the living room of Kelly Curtis (Pearl Jam's manager) following the death of Mother Love Bone singer Andy Wood in 1990. Cornell was a roommate of Wood's. Temple of the Dog was Cornell's tribute band dedicated to Wood. 

At Wood's funeral reception, about 30 people were sitting around crying when Staley came in crying "so deeply that he looked truly frightened and lost."

One death, one suicide appears linked to the next. It is an ongoing cycle.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Cherryfield's Goatman and Other Satyrs in Flannel

Not many Mainers have heard about there being a Goatman Downeast. Most of the stories I have heard have been from the County. But, nevertheless, there's a rumor coming out of the Midcoast.

A goat man...was seen in Cherryfield, Maine.... 
The story goes something like this. Back in the 1950s a Cherryfield man was driving his truck through the woods outside town. He was a local and had spent most of his time hunting, fishing, and logging in the forests of Maine....
He had filled up his gas tank before he left home that day, so he was very surprised when his truck came to a gradual stop on a lonely road. His gas gauge read empty.
He got out and checked the tank. It indeed was empty. He checked the bottom of the truck but couldn't see a leak, and he didn't see any sign of gas dripping on the road. He was annoyed and puzzled, but when he got out from beneath those truck those emotions turned to surprise - and maybe a little terror.
Standing in the middle of the road was a man who was half-human and half-goat. His lower body and legs were naked, hairy and shaped like a goat's, while his torso was human-shaped and covered in a flannel shirt. Goat horns grew out of his head and his ears were pointed like an animal's. Other than the flannel shirt, the goatman looked like a mythological satyr or the Greek god Pan.
The half-naked goatman smiled at the Cherryfield man, and then slowly sauntered into the woods. The man got back into his truck and locked the door. He tried to start the truck, hoping desperately that he could drive home just on fumes, and to his surprise the engine started. His gas gauge now read full. He drove home without incident and never saw the goatman again. ~ Peter Muise

Muise also mentions that "Goatmen have been seen in other parts of the nation, including Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas. Apparently a Goatman has also been seen in Williamstown, MA but I don't have any more information on those sightings."

Frequently, Goatmen are noted for these locations:

Goatman of Maryland 
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland
Fletchertown Road, Maryland

Texas Goatman
Lake Worth Monster, Texas

Goatman's Bridge
Old Alton Bridge, near Denton and Copper Canyon, Texas.

Art by Kim Parkhurst

Pope Lick Monster
Pope Lick Bridge, Kentucky
Death did await on the Pope Lick Creek Trestle. See here and here.

Books about Goatmen tales are as rare as the folklore.

More localized stories are to be found of the....

Nebraska Goatman
Lincoln, Nebraska

Louisiana Goatman
Plain Dealing, Louisiana 

Aliso Canyton, California

Hogsback Road, Holy Hill, Wisconsin

These Goatmen are often reported to be wearing flannel or plaid shirts. I wrote about Bigfoot wearing flannel shirts decades ago:
In the 1960s and 1970s, reports from the American West would occasionally surface of hairy bipedal Bigfoot being seen with tattered plaid shirts and ragged shorts on their bodies. In some research, there were intriguing attempts to relate these to files of paranormal encounters with sightings of upright entities said to be wearing “checkered shirts.” (Within parapsychology, there is a subfield of study regarding “checkered shirted ghosts.”)

Peter Muise picked up on a similar point when he noted:
Again, like the Goatman, these shirt-wearing Bigfoot are naked from the waist down, but why are they even wearing shirts at all? A Bigfoot is hairy all over. There's something unnerving about the idea of a large male monster roaming around the woods just wearing a shirt. Or maybe it's appealing, depending on what you're into. The shirts Bigfoot wear are usually described as plaid or flannel, which in the US are symbolic of rural masculinity. Bigfoot and the Goatman aren't wearing Brooks Brothers Oxfords because they inhabit the wild side of the world. Interestingly, the red-headed hitchhiker of Route 44 also wears a plaid shirt.

Can you imagine Ken and his friend giving up their shirts to a Goatman's wardrobe?

Other sources:
"Goatmen and Satyrs," Cryptomundo, October 11, 2009.

"The Satyrs in Our Midst," Wonders, Volume 9, No. 3, September 2005.