Top of the World, Ma!

Madame Blavatsky

DATELINE: Mahatmas & Other Spirits

For the 16thseason of Ancient Aliens we are going sky-high in Tibet, the ceiling of the planet where you are closer to the unknown fly-bys that have christened the population.

The location of a Shangri-La city high up on the roof of the world brings together many legends: physical and non-physical beings who lived for hundreds of years and live with little oxygen.

Of course, this series always goes for the jugular of most outrage: such as the Yeti Snowmen are magical extra-terrestrials. And those who live in that spot where Mount Everest reaches over five miles high are somehow more enlightened than the rest of us. This place is an airport of UFOs from all parts of the universe.

The series offered an insight into Madame Blavatsky, the theosophist who had befriended Mahatma Gandhi. She believed she was in contact with a spiritual creature that she called a Mahatma, or ancient alien being from another dimension.

Her circle included young artist Nicholas Roerich who worked with the Diaghilev ballet around 1910 in Paris. He worked on designs for Nijinsky ballets. He later moved to New York and conducted research in India and Tibet.

The Nazi research connection to Tibet in the 1930s included finding an old iron statue with a swastika on the figure depicted, a Mahatma. In the 21st century, tests on the figure indicated he was sculpted out of a meteorite that likely landed in Tibet.

Experts on the episode revealed a new word, Ultra-terrestrial to describe these travelers of the universe who use Yeti as the guardians to protect their secret base beneath the Himalayan Mountains

 Nicholas Roerich

Simultaneous Plots to Kill JFK

Dealey Plaza, Grassy Knoll

DATELINE: Anniversary 57 Years  Nov. 22, 1963

 Having put together a book and collection of movie, documentary, and docudrama reviews of an odd bunch of film, we have come up with an unusual theory about the JFK killing in Dallas in 1963.

Kennedy & Oswald According to Movies and TV  takes the usual suspects—the mob, the CIA, Hoover, LBJ, Oswald, Edgar Hoover, the Cubans, Castro, and even UFOs—and puts them all together to see how it holds. You have some theorists who even place Marilyn Monroe in the dead center of the conspiracies.

In fact, JFK had more enemies coming at him from so many different directions that it is likely that he was the victim of several plots and plotters all converging in Dallas on that fateful date of November 22.

Working independently and discretely, these killers may have found the time and place to their liking, which made JFK the unluckiest man in America. Without knowing of other plots and plotters, one group would target the President successfully. If they failed, they had the likelihood (knowingly or not) of having someone else do the dirty work.

Conspiracy theorists are all correct: their particular conspiracy idea was merely one of several, all occurring at the same time.

If one of the rival conspiracies, whether it was Oswald, Giancana’s men, or Angleton’s agents, would have a built-in fall guy and cover to escape.

Dealey Plaza offered multiple sniper nests and chances to shoot the POTUS, and they did not need to be in coordination with the others. So, quite by accident, JFK was doomed by multiple enemies all gathered in one location.

No one is innocent, as they all had the plan to kill a president. Afterward, Oswald may have wondered who knew what he was up to—especially if he did not accomplish the murder. He surely knew he was now a fall guy.  

This would explain why some minor Mafia hood like James Files could confess years later that he fired the fatal bullet—and know he was living in prison for some other crime.

If the CIA or FBI had set multiple plotters up and let them work in a state of ignorance, they had a solution and could turn away from guilt and point a finger at one of their set-ups.

Dr. William Russo’s new collection of reviews of JFK/Oswald films concludes that multiple plots against Kennedy unfolded simultaneously. Kennedy & Oswald According to Movies and TV is available on Amazon.

 

Death in Venice Part 2

Death in Venice and Washington?

DATELINE: Drips for Drips

Not since Death in Venice when Dirk Bogarde’s bad dye job melted during a pandemic have we seen such a just dessert.

Yes, that’s Rudi Giuliani playing the role of a lifetime: the man who catches the coronavirus while chasing young electoral college voters! In the famous Visconti movie, Von Aschenbach loses his youth to bad makeup under the unrelenting conditions of Venice at its worst.

Now, Rudi loses his cool to bad mascara dripping off his sideburns under the unrelenting conditions of Trump at its worst.

We did not realize that Rudi had been cast in a remake of the great classic tale of unremitting moral decay in the face of losing an election.

Trump has simply drained his hair of all color, and Rudi has not taken the cues properly. His master will not be pleased to turn his press conferences into streaming jokes with streaming bad dye dripping.

The other case of drips came when the Wicked Witch of the West stole Toto and was pressed by the Electoral College to return the mutt to a Kansas voting booth. 

All bad taste aside, when you’re paid $20,000 a day to represent the POTUS, you likely don’t have a potus to put hair dye in.

 

Beyond Oak Island, Beyond Belief

Jean-Boy

DATELINE:  More Oak Island Spin-offs

 Well, here’s another Oak Island series with the Lagina Brothers. If there is one thing you can count on, they do not share the limelight or the revenue. Anyone could have hosted this new series, but no.

Beyond Oak Island, a Lagina production could have become more than a commercial for their hit series, the Curse of Oak Island.

No, the Lagina brothers are interested in making another series that is merely a commercial and advertising for their brand.

So, as useless as it is, each show will start with the Laginas in their “War Room,” setting up some other international search for treasure.

Another callow hotshot pays homage to the Lagina team and explains he is after one billion dollars in gold from the lost Jean Lafitte treasure. It makes Oak Island look like a pittance, though the Oak Island case has far more interesting historical implications, whether you are talking Knights Templar, or Ark of the Covenant, or Shakespeare’s manuscripts.

This new series will have a strong overdose of Lagina-itus. But, our mission is to stick with it so you don’t have to. When Lagina water boy Matty Blake shows up, late to the party, we know what we’re up against.

The story of Jean Lafitte is compelling, and he was a faithful ally of the United States during the War of 1812. Rather than run afoul of America, he moved his pirate operation to Galveston and disappeared from history with a cool billion in booty. Pirates are also celebrated here as multi-cultural, politically correct people. Hunh?

The show actually improves when it moves into history of pirates and away from the Laginas. Voice-over Robert Clotworthy is perfect here. Alas, one segment does not a series make. If you think they find silver ingots at the end of the hour, you are the audience they play to.

Repeated Discoveries on Oak Island S8

Where’s Waldo?

 DATELINE:  MIA

 With the second episode of season 8, it is clear that regular and original treasure hunter Dave Blankenship has been either evicted, fired, or otherwise removed from the series. He was a figure head “producer,” for years, meaning his father owned a better part of the Island for years. It now rings hollow when members of the team refer to a re-assembly of the “fellowship.”

At least one jolly good fellow has been eliminated. You could say that Dave Blankenship’s comic relief had run its course, finally and unfunnily.

We have seen this pattern in other History shows, and Dave has been on borrowed time since the death of his father—and he has added little to the show development for many years.

In the meantime, we have two couples in quarantine: Rick and nephew Peter in one house, and Alex and father Marty in another, receiving video call updates from the workers in the field. The real treasure hunters did find a surveyor’s mark in a flat stone, one of many found in 200 years, but the first by this team.

The most curious discovery is to see inside Rick Lagina’s Oak Island home, which he shares with his puppy nephew.

However, the series continues to read like a repeat of itself. Once again, we have some small discoveries that echo past findings. Gary Drayton, as usual, is the main explorer with a touch of near-non-ferrous. He locates another broken pickaxe.

There is also a button and piece of leather. Laird Niven disagrees that it is book-binding and immediately says, “shoe leather.”

Yet, the big news of the night is Gary’s withholding of a rare coin until the Laginas can show up after quarantine. They agree it needs more expertise analysis, but Gary’s sense is always prescient. He claims it is quite old, well before the hunting for treasure and perhaps one of the original diggers.

In all gatherings, the absence of a Blankenship is notable, and even the newly discovered map in an archive is credited to Dan Blankenship’s work in the 1980s in passing.

Classic Game Show

Your New York Panelists

DATELINE: Whose Line?

If you want to see what high-powered cerebral entertainment appeared on Sunday nights in 1955 on your television, you can look up What’s My Line?  It is in glorious black and white, which is a shame, but technically that was its limit.

The show’s title has lived on longer than the show, as a punchline and as part of cultural heritage. We tuned in to a random episode from the first season to see what this upper-crust New York game show was all about. It was not for kids even back then.

We were not surprised in many ways. The panel is decked out in dress clothes, obviously out on the town in Manhattan earlier for dinner. They are also not your usual young, demographic and telegenic pretty airheads.

You have a fairly high-powered group: Bennett Cerf, a publisher, and Dorothy Kilgallen, a Broadway muckraking journalist. The other woman on the panel was Arlene Francis, whose career as a singer was long gone. They were joined by satirical Fred Allen. The show’s host was another journalist, John Daly.

The money given to guests is downright insulting. If the panel tries to guess the occupation, each “no” answer wins $5. Maybe it was worth more back then.

This is middle-aged fun for late on the weekend on your TV back then. The so-called lines of the guests are odd, always, and the highlight is a special celebrity guest who must use a fake voice as the panel wears masks.

This is not a dumb group, and they know how to frame a question and narrow done the selection of jobs. We cringe at what a modern version of this might be like! Back then, audiences were literate, older, more inclined to modest humor and good-natured ribbing. It’s a long-gone America.

It’s worth looking at if you’re a senior citizen wanting to have a nostalgic moment. Otherwise, you will be horrified and bored.

 

 

Hair Today: Marilyn Monroe and Trump

 DATELINE: A Shock of Color

Color them platinum. Marilyn Monroe and Donald Trump share the sudden whiteness of hair in shocking pix after and before a life crisis.

 A week after Trump lost but refused to concede the presidency, his hair turned whiter than Caspar the Friendly Ghost. The week before her death, movie icon Marilyn’s hair was a whiter shade of pale than ever before. 

You might suggest that the pressures of life took a toll of both these leaders of a failing popular business endeavor. Marilyn had just been fired off her movie, “Somethings Gotta Give,” and Trump had just been fired from his daily soap opera, “Trumpworld” by another oldster named Biden.

Marilyn tried to call the President of the United States shortly before her death. And, Donald Trump refused to call the President-Elect of the United States as he sulked in his TV pajamas.

When it came to their ultimate and penultimate hair color, only their hairdressers knew for sure. Both Marilyn and Trump were blondes gone bad. White may be the hair color of stress, old age, and kicking the can down the road, but they both wanted to exude youth and vitality.

Alas, Marilyn did not live to make another movie, and Trump may not be out of jail when it comes to the next presidential election.

It all goes to prove those who live by show business, for show business, and in show business, shall not perish from the Earth in a normal fashion. 

Blonde hair today, gone white tomorrow.

D.B. Cooper 50 Years Ago?

FBI Handiwork

DATELINE: Another Investigation

When History Channel boosts a new series, hosted not by the ponderous tones of Robert Clotworthy, but by the ponderous tones of Laurence Fishburne, you know they have bet the reward money on a hit.

History’s’ Greatest Mysteries is ambitious, if nothing else, offering to solve the grand case of the only successful and unsolved hijacking in American aviation. Someone using the fake name D.B. Cooper took the country for a ride.

We were left, however, thinking, this is not the first show on History to claim resolution and more. Back a few years ago when we can barely remember, another series on History called Decoded did the same thing. So now History is plagiarizing from itself.

Eric Ulis is the main investigator whose man credential seems to be his obsession and telegenic detective skills. He must use various experts to gain permission to look at lands the FBI never searched.

Air controller and pilot from 1971 admit that the jump occurred far west of where police searched. Within protected lands, Ulis thinks evidence may still be there, like parachutes. A flood in 1996 may have swept much away, and buried money found in 1979 by a boy was not far from this search area..

Conditions are wet and cold—and a man in a suit and loafers jumping here in thick brush would not have an easy time. The case points to a coy octogenarian who seems to revel in the infamy of being a suspect. It is dubious at best.

The most interesting finding in an inconclusive episode is the titanium elements on Cooper’s clip-on tie. That stuff was found in few places in 1971—but prominently at the Boeing company where jet engines were made.

 

Isn’t Your Number Divine?

William Sidis-zen

DATELINE:  Baker’s Dozen

Can it really be the sixteenth season of Ancient Aliens?  With the first episode of the new series, we half-expected the Divine Number to be more than twelve. We have come to expect too much too soon.

Yes, they take on the theoretical work of William Sidis, genius from Cambridge and Harvard in 1914, who used a 12-number cycle for his physics. He saw that there were twelve dimensions in the universe, not three.

Even more impressive, there are apparently twelve vortexes around the world, not merely the Bermuda Triangle.

We knew about the 12 apostles and 12 tribes of Israel, but we did not know there were 12 chakras. Call us a day late and a dollar short of twelve hours on the clock.

Whether you go by the shopping dictum of the twelve days of Christmas, or the Twelvth of Never, you may be outnumbered. Move over, Johnny Mathis, it’s not going to happen.

Being contrarian, we waited for the inevitable discussion of a dozen eggs and a dozen donuts. We knew that a baker’s dozen is 13, but not in the world of Ancient Aliens.It is 12 plus one.

You can eliminate all those clunky ten-counts that lead to too many decimals. When he was arrested at a peace rally in 1919, Sidis was sentenced to 12 plus 6 months in a Massachusetts jail, mostly for being flippant with the judge. The jury is still 12 peers who are out for deliberations, but there is only one judge.

Modern science now suggests that the universe is twelve-sided as cosmic significance. It doesn’t take long for Ancient Aliensto note that the United States’ UFO secret body is called Majestic-12, notables secretly in contact with space civilizations. The show hints that Harry Truman deliberately chose 12 members (we theorize because he had a dozen donuts for breakfast).

From DNA to musical notes, we are suffused with twelve ding dongs of knowledge. The series claims that the Mayan calendar predicted FRB (fast radio bursts) and the 12thparticle of physics all in 2012. You had better be able to understand the Book of Revelations to figure out this dipsy-doodle episode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New American Voting System

Trump Voter

DATELINE: Up is Down

If Trump and his psychopaths are humored, we must go back over the past fifty years and declare the loser of every presidential election to be the true winner.

Yes, Jimmy Carter beat that deadbeat Ronald Reagan and the election was stolen.

Barry Goldwater should have been inaugurated, not LBJ, but the election was rigged.

Mike Dukakis was the rightful loser and should have been installed in the Oval office.

Without a doubt, the correct way to hold elections is to let the worst man (or lately woman) be celebrated as the loser with the most votes ever achieved for losing.

Winning is not all it cracks up to be:  it simply means you are a cheater and a fraud. Damn the voting machines and the voters who cast ballots. If your candidate is the pits, he should be the incumbent.

Trump has smashed another tradition:  losers are better than winners, and anyone who voted for the other guy was a dummy. If you can’t have your way at the ballot box, have Nazi-leaning politicians negate the vote and make their own selection.

If you think this is crazy, you don’t know your history. Most democracies have fallen for less, and all dictators have risen by the din of the dolt supporters.

America has reached its nadir, and the loser is at the bottom of the barrel must be declared riot leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting Hitler the Final Chapters

Oswald Keeper & Nazi Agent

DATELINE: Fourth Reich & Other Conspiracies

After giving up on the Bob Baer series several years ago, it’s suddenly back on History for the “Final Chapter.”

And it takes a big bomb to restart a big bomb. According to Bob Baer’s new research, the Nazis planned to send a bomb on a V-3 rocket to Manhattan as early as 1945.

The show now theorizes Hitler was building an atom bomb to drop on Manhattan to win the war.

 Yikes.  Okay, you have caught your audience with their pants down and their defenses even further down. Bob Baer has gone low budget: he shows clips from three to five years ago of his excellent researchers. But, now, he sits alone in his home office, on tele-conference with an occasional writer.

He really needs no one else when he has a dump of documents from the CIA that he can go through by himself. He lets us know there were 46 rogue U-boats that were shuffling around the world for months after the war was over.

 He seems oblivious that his theory (based on reports from the CIA trash bag_ that Hitler would drop an A-bomb on Manhattan conflicts with the full Madison Square Garden of Nazi American sympathizers. He needs his enablers.

Reports now surface of 20,000 Nazi accounts at Swiss banks (revealed in 2020!) and that the Nazis may have exploded a primitive nuclear bomb in early 1945 under test conditions.

He also begins to lay the groundwork that a Fourth Reich was started in the United States and South America, starting with a nuclear physicist from Germany who hoodwinked J. Edgar Hoover.

If Bob Baer has a breakthrough here, it is that he is able to tie together his Hitler series and his Oswald series. It seems that one Fourth Reich agent in America was George de Mohrenshildt who was Oswald’s caretaker. Yes, it would seem the Fourth Reich hoped the Kennedy assassination would open the door for the U.S. to become Nazi.

 Since today we have a bunch of crypto-Nazis parading under the MAGA caps, the Fourth Reich seems well ready to take over. Baer’s new series may be leading us in that direction.

 

 

Oak Island Returns for S 8

Boys in Quarantine

DATELINE: Two Young Stars Out for Covid-19

 History Channel gave the new season 8  start of Curse of Oak Island one of their 2-hour special starts. That may be due to the fact that the principals were all trapped back in the USA, unable to reach Oak Island and the return of the hunt.

Yes, Covid-19 may have put a damper on the Lagina brothers and their participation in their own show. It became the “Remote Control” episode. Interestingly enough, none of the major stars (Marty, Alex, Rick, Jack Begley, or Craig Tester) could find their way out of Michigan. 

 Yet, the rest of the team assembled, most of them already on the Island and ready to work.  What does that tell us? Oh, yes, Gary Drayton too was not on the island, probably back home in Florida. But thanks to Zoom, the gang was all there for a teleconference.

Tom Nolan, who lives on the Island, admitted that cases were still somewhat rampant in Nova Scotia. And Blankenship was nowhere to be seen, after years of offering little to the show.

 A new face cropped up: archaeologist Dave MacInnes, 4G grandson of the young man who found the original Money Pit in 1798. Nice choice.

Inexplicable actions continued this season to start: nothing much changes on the show. The diver Mike Huntley suddenly is replaced by a big rig team to go looking for shiny gold objects in the C-1 tunnel where for years cameras spotted golden flashes.

 However, the new group featured butterflingers. The diver dropped the gold coin he dug out of the wall and it fell into the dark dregs. No one swore, or said any discouraging word. But, please.  That dive team did not return.

And their diver did not locate any of the gold seen on camera. It seemed almost inexcusable to drop the gold piece.

 

Finally, the Laginas were given permission to go to Canada under the proviso of a two-week quarantine.  Again, they were unnecessary for any success.

Eulogy for Tommy Heinsohn

Soul of a Team

Tommy Heinsohn is gone. For the past few years, he had been less likely to broadcast games, giving up road trips entirely. But he still went to the studio into his eighties to provide insights no one else could know.

He has gone off now with Red and the Leprechaun to a better place.

And what he had to give may be matchless: he knew them all in basketball. He played with them all, coached them all, advised them all. He was one of the original Celtics—and his fiery attitude made him like someone from Mount Olympus on a holiday among mortals. From the 1950s to the 21stcentury, he made an impact on the Boston Celtics.

We do recall the crew-cut blond who had a passion for play that struck us many decades ago. We watched him every chance.. How thrilling it was that he never went away from Boston. He stayed as coach, holding such old-fashioned loyalty. And when the team moved away from his bombast and ref-bashing, he would not take another coaching job anywhere else. He was a Celtic.

He gave counsel to all—from Rondo to Couz. When irked with Bob Cousy, he called him “Robert.” When Dave Cowens in retirement and in an interview complained he never got a Tommy point, Heinsohn rolled his eyes, “Okay, okay, you have a Tommy Point.”

He was immutable and beyond the adjectives of media where they change voices like some people change T-shirt slogans. Tommy Heinsohn was indelible.

It’s not to forget that he was a cultured man who had a skill for painting, perhaps as a form of therapy or relaxation. But like basketball, he mastered whatever he put his talents to doing. How we would like to have one of those prized watercolors.

How we will miss his insights and his colorful expression. He knew what to say and how to say it. And, now that is gone from us. Oh, let’s not be selfish: he shared all those gifts with us for a long time. We should not be greedy. He deserves his time in immortality, high above the parquet for real.

Adieu, Mr. Celtic.

Trump’s Stooges

Killers for Trump

 

DATELINE;  Waiting for Marching Orders

Dangerous followers of Trump are around every corner, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons. They parade in the streets and they congregate at places where votes are tabulated. Their intimidation is not a bluff.

Yes, the election is over and the evil caste of Trump racists and Nazis is upon us.

We should remind you of the past killers who have supported Trump. There is no joke here, only terror.

Over the past few years, you had Den Hollander, Nickolas Cruz, and Anthony Comelo. They are now either dead or in prison, but others await to take their place.

In case you forgot, here is a thumbnail sketch of each of these works of horror.

Anthony Comelo was another MAGA hat wearer. He considered any in America who were not born here as “invaders.”

The self-named Annihilator Nickolas Cruz put a MAGA hat on the urn of his dead mother as she was sent to her crypt; she was one who hated Trump. Her murderer son had the last word to belittle and defame his own mother. Now, there’s a real Trump lover.

Trump supporters are the salt of the earth and are genuine American citizens. Because the 19-year-old couldn’t buy a gun in Florida he went for an assault rifle. It’s much easier to shoot, buy, and use. He was partial to merchandise with American logos. Hence, he posted a photo wearing a bandana over his face with stripes on it.

Cesar Sayoc crying out his eyes that he wanted to blow up people for Trump. He regretted being caught.

Whether they are shooting at you from a high rise in Las Vegas, or in a nightclub in Florida, or a mosque in Christchurch, you can count on the fact that your killer and murderer will likely count himself among those who find Donald Trump the man of the hour.

Trump supporters are urging people to buy more AR 15s in case they are banned. They are preparing to go to the White House for a shootout if impeachment dares to rear its head.

They will start shooting media stars. How many lists of famed CNN TV personalities have found their names scrawled in the demented scribbles of killers and potential mass murderers? We are now at the point of having lost count

Den Hollander was another killer (full name: Roy Den Hollander) was a Trump supporter. The man who tried to kill an appointed Obama judge Esther Salas, but only managed to kill her teenage son and shoot her husband, was a Trump fanatic.

One after another, these believers in Trumpism (actually a synonym for racism) are dangerous, vile, and ready to engage in violence for the man who encouraged their mad obsessions.

 

 

 

 

 

Escape from Devil’s Island

co-star/co-author Jan Merlin

 

DATELINE: 1973 Blaxploitation Movie

 Jim Brown’s prison movie about the 1917 French island prison came before the prestige movie with McQueen, titled Papillion. They had overlapped during filming, but the speed of Roger Corman could not be matched. He was not interested in “art.” He wanted a product that might titillate audiences

I Escaped from Devil’s Island  had all those ingredients.

The film began on a high note: Jim Brown is dragged from his cell in the tropical prison to a makeshift guillotine. He is about to be beheaded before the credits even roll. No flashback was required because the sado-masochistic guards had set this up, knowing a general amnesty for all French prisoners had arrived and no one would be executed. It was cruel kindness.

Of course, this Roger Corman quickie was called a blaxploitation film, geared toward making black audiences approve of a black hero. It’s hard to realize Brown was really doing trail-blazing work, and perhaps the other shocking part of the movie was the open homosexual relationships in the movie. The gay characters are in eye-makeup and are called “fancy boys,” who have boyfriends like James Luisi and Chris George. Rick Ely played the pretty boy who has his nipples tortured in one scene.

Jan Merlin, in eyeglasses, played the leader of the political prisoners—and a communist, which was a true work of performance since Jan was a Republican. For him it was another character unlike his cultured, soft-spoken self,  playing at abrasive, uncouth villains. We must confess to be transparent that Jan co-authored many books with Ossurworld.

The “F” word is used surprisingly often for the first time in movies here, often just to discuss homosexual relations. And nearly every male to male encounter is fraught with both sexual and sadistic overtones.

Once the escape plan takes hold, the movie seems to peter out. Yet, films like this paved the way for leading men of the future like Denzel Washington.

The film deteriorates toward the end with a chaotic fireworks display in a city to help the escapees flee authority.

The best performance in this movie was given by Acapulco, the Mexican resort town, playing Devil’s Island.