Saturday, January 06, 2024

Conspiracy and Twilight Language Deaths of 2023

Conspiracy and Twilight Language Deaths of 2023

by Loren Coleman

The "hail and farewell" obituaries at the end of a year are often a confusing mixture of multiple themes. For the twelve months of 2023, I gather here a few of the noteworthy passings of assassination authors, conspiracy journalists, cryptokubrology dots, and twilight language-linked folks we lost in 2023. From the latest, to the earliest...


December 23

Hugh Aynesworth, 92. Obituary. He is shown above with Marina Oswald, in 1964. Aynesworth and others would later say they had an affair.

Hugh Grant Aynesworth, born August 2, 1931 in Clarksburg, West Virginia (as was UFO writer Gary Barker), died December 23, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. Aynesworth was an American journalist, investigative reporter, author, and teacher.

In a 1976 Texas Monthly article, William Broyles, Jr. claimed Aynesworth as "one of the most respected authorities on the assassination of John F. Kennedy".

Certainly, Aynesworth was one of the luckiest reporters or experienced an incredibly high number of coincidences in his life in journalism. He said he  

~ witnessed the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dealey Plaza

~ the capture and arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald at the Texas Theatre,  

~ the shooting of Oswald by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters,

 had "broken almost every major assassination story", and

worked openly with Clay Shaw's attorneys to defend Shaw against Jim Garrison.

He painted himself as a conservative, a skeptic, and an assassination conspiracist.

Also Aynesworth...

~ with Stephen Michaud, a former Business Week reporter, wrote two books on serial killer Ted Bundy,

~ with Jim Henderson, also of the Dallas Times Herald, did investigative reporting of self-proclaimed mass murderer Henry Lee Lucas, and

covered the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, referring to it as "[t]he Branch Davidian massacre".

Aynesworth was seen to have been his own greatest promoter. Aynesworth was reported to have "interviewed John F. Kennedy in the shower [and] Lyndon B. Johnson in bed". According to one report: "He also tracked down the person who stole "most of" eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes' money, chased James Earl Ray all over the South and into Canada after he shot the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr." According to Aynesworth, he was asked to serve as a pallbearer for Jack Ruby and played basketball with Fidel Castro. He said that he was playing outside of Havana: "And all of a sudden, this Jeep drives up and a bearded gentleman gets out and puts on his tennis shoes and joins us. I'd been having trouble getting an interview, and after that, it came a little easier. I told him that I would let him win."

Aynesworth co-authored seven books with Stephen G. Michaud. His 2003 book JFK: Breaking the News is "a companion piece to a documentary on the 40th anniversary of the event."

December 21

Ian Punnett, 63
Ian Punnett was a regular host of Coast to Coast AM beginning in 1998, infrequently interviewing conspiracy writers and related individuals. He died shortly after a brief illness.

December 8

Ryan O'Neal, 82. Obituary

Born April 20, 1941, actor Ryan O'Neal starred in Barry Lyndon, Love Story, and Paper Moon, among other films, before dying on December 8, 2023.

#Cryptokubrology reflective screen history: Stanley Kubrick modeled Tom Cruise's mask in Eyes Wide Shut on Ryan O'Neal's face in Barry Lyndon (shown above).

September 22

Kenn Thomas, 65. Obituary.

St. Louis area resident and author Kenn Thomas was a former university librarian, archivist, and the editor/publisher of Steamshovel Press, a parapoliticial conspiracy theory magazine. He was an author of a great collection of conspiracy articles and books.

Kenn died in his sleep on a Friday night. Kenn resisted going into a nursing home, despite ongoing chronic health issues, because it would have meant living without his dog, books, records, and comic books, which to him was not living at all.

Kenn showed author Loren Coleman the "name game" location, the Beall House, in Missouri, on one visit.

August 20


David Perkins, 77. Obituary.

David Perkins was a field researcher and writer investigating “cattle muteology,” the mysterious mutilations occurring throughout the Midwest USA.

Long before podcasts, there was Altered Steaks: A Colloquium on the Cattle Mutilation Question (1982), by David Perkins (a/k/a "Izzy Zane"), Lewis Macadams, and Tom Clark.

February 19

Richard Jay Belzar, 78. Obituary.

Richard Belzar, well-known for his role on Law and Order: SVU, was a comic and conspiracy author. His book UFOs, JFK & Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe, was one of his more popular.

January 9


Melinda Dillon, 83. Obituary.

Melinda appeared in the midst of films that had a central theme of interest to many of us: MagnoliaHarry and the Hendersons, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Dillon also is famously in A Christmas Story. This movie contains a scene of the parade in front of the Cleveland-based department store Higbee's featuring characters from MGM's version of The Wizard of Oz, which was released in 1939. As this clip shows, it is extremely filled with twilight language. #Cryptokubrology