Oak Island Redux (again) 7th Season

DATELINE: Petering Out Pathetically

X marks the spot, as usual. Gary calls it the biggest “smash and grab” in history. It is Gary Drayton who once again makes the biggest discovery of the show: a bobby trap nail.

They are looking for the money and finding mostly old wood, but is it the cover for the treasure? When Gary finds a large needle in a claystack, he jokes about it. However, expert Carmen Legge makes a shocking comment upon observing it.

Legge thinks it was a booby trap item. It was a form of a punji stick: an object that could have, hundreds years ago, been covered with a poisonous substance. The big three go to visit Legge: it is Gary, Marty, and Alex.

Legge noted these were sail repair needles or spikes, called a marlinspike. It is more indication that a ship was wrecked in the “swamp.” He finds the needle was part of a booby trap that could be from a time as early as 1500—and it was part of a planking that was meant to do damage to human flesh.

Other spoils are cleaned out of the wash table. They continue to find leather of book cover thickness. Yet, they also find a hinge. Of course, the optimists want to say it is part of a treasure chest.

Of course, again, the deeper they go, the less they find. So, they did not find the Money Pit. How many disappointments and dead ends can there be in a treasure hunt.

The biggest news of the night is now a contest, the Oak Island Sweepstakes, to win some kind of memento from the Lagina Brothers. Oh, my, talk about following in the steps of P.T. Barnum. Oi vey, it’s the viewers who are cursed.

 

 

 

Words from the Village Idiot

DATELINE: The World as You No Longer Know It!

It takes a coronavirus to see behind the masks. The world is now filled with covidiots.

The world has changed totally when the people you know change abruptly and completely.

Oh, that COVID-19, what a card to play! It seems perhaps that any crisis or panic of this magnitude would make the true character of people to emerge. Make no mistake. It has done so.

Of course, this is not just any crisis. It is a monumental game-changer, something not known since the Pied Piper went toot-toot-tooting along.

We have known people for decades—or thought we knew them. However, the frightful situation now facing so many states of being has made alterations to the basic attitudes of those we used to socialize with near and distantly. Six feet is not distant, nor deep enough.

Some friends have become skittish and unbearable to bear. Others have become insensitive louts who think they can lick any disease and care not one whit who dies, even themselves.

As the body bag toll rises, those who want to spread the word of God, fail to realize they are spreading the virus in God’s name.

The Pearl Harbor of our time, as one wag called it, will be dwarfed by Mother Nature not liking to be compared to man-made war, pestilence, and grief.

Some friends want to listen to New Age music, as if the age of Aquarius might be better than the age of Black Death.

Binge-watching junk like Exotic Joe and his tigers seems to be the escape du jour.Others are actually more dedicated to saving animals, as if that goodness might be less of an obsession and more of a humanitarian effort. All is vanity.

Who will feed those horses when the equestrian handlers are hospitalized or dead? Those will likely become the four horses of the apocalypse.

Oldsters are venturing out, without masks, several times a day as if to challenge the Death Wish syndrome, as if to prove they’ve lived their allotted time on Earth. Heaven help them.

If you are not sickened by the viral spread, you will be sickened by the political genocide advocated by some. Kill your enemies, or even your supporters, to prove a point.

The world is too much with us—for now.

Coronavirus or COVID-19: Return of Black Death?

DATELINE: Past is Prologue

 Resurrected London Victims!

To try to gain a perspective on the historical viral earthquakes in society, we went back to a 2014 British documentary called Return of the Black Death.

It gave us a non-comforting and chilling perspective on what is happening today. The archaeologists and virologists involved in this little one-hour film made it clear that the Black Death was no fluke: we can have another plague at any time. Viral decimation is more than ever a possibility, owing to our worldly incompetence.

And, in case you were unaware, the exact DNA of the original plague of 1349 is doing quite well in Africa right now. It’s in the rats and their fleas.

When excavating in London for a new subway five years ago, they encountered an old cemetery from the days of the Black Death. It was uncovered and a dozen or more bodies were disinterred to give some answers about what happened. Believe it or not, they really don’t know because records and medical info was not exactly scientific in those days.

The news is that 60% of Londoners died within 9 months. The Black Death came swiftly from Europe in November and stayed until summer. Since people were already ravaged from bad famines and poor nutrition, they were sitting ducks for the plague.

Burials were key: through funerary rites and procedures, the survivors took comfort. Bodies were laid out, stacked like lasagna (their metaphor in the doc), but the care for the dead buoyed spirits of the living.

These viral horrors can do devastation for the unprepared: but isolation helped in 1349—and it may today, but this could be far worse, owing to jet travel, viral passengers on everything and everyone. It could end up being an annual horror story.

Will 60% of us die? With inept leaders and shoddy politics at the cutting edge, we may be looking at a Black Plague that is more genocidal than anything Hitler devised.

Ring-a-Ding on Oak Island

DATELINE: Empty Shaft

Rick Lagina compares their efforts to Winston Churchill’s “blood, sweat and tears,” as we draw to a close. Brit Gary Drayton is more akin to another ring-a-ding moment, as we find the season running out in Nova Scotia, and nary an Ark of the Covenant to be seen.

With the winter coming inevitably, they have now the biggest shaft ever.

The two who have found so much over the past few years, Gary Drayton and Rick Lagina come together for one last search of the swamp. These two are quite lucky in tandem: and there appears to be one last bit of luck in those metal detectors.

They find an elaborate ring, highly embossed, but without jewels. It has a flower or sunburst with some silver. One expert places it at pre-1730. They bring in a gemologist named Lewton-Brain. He finds two repairs to enlarge it. It is Spanish and likely belonged to a woman.

They also find part of a metal shield that was buried over 100 feet in 1936. Below this is likely original shaft.

Also coming out is large bit of human bone—and barrel casings! Something is so close that you know you will have to survive the coronavirus to see what occurs next season.

The bone is large and likely human. Why is a large human bone buried over 115 feet below the surface?

They even find a keg part. Yet, they hit bedrock and nothing. Yet again. They suspect it “shifted” through earth tremors or whatever. They once again are more ready to step back to think. They need to go back to Dan Blankenship’s office in his house (left to his daughter, now resident).

Next season looks like another fresh start to find Money Pit (if it isn’t simply a legend).

There is more talk now of history, not of treasure. These set-backs are bringing us to despair.

Shopping for Food in the New Age

DATELINE: Shopping as the Microbe Hunter!

 Deadly bug lurking in supermarket!

After weeks of being hunkered down with food deliveries from hapless UPS and Fed-ex drivers, we decided to brave the new world and go to the local supermarket chain during Senior Hour.

Yes, for three days a week, they have set aside one hour in the pre-dawn darkness for the old vampires to go out and do their shopping. Apparently, the belief among CDC fanatics is that people under 60 won’t be up yet.

No one checked ID cards on the way in—and we suspected a few of the spry ones were under 60.

Marketers are apparently correct. We went out in the dark, and were shocked to see the parking lot full. Not auspicious for recluses who want to avoid people. However, we were delighted to find that shelves were stocked with our favorite junk foods and comfort snacks. We passed on those, and they tend to take years off at one end of the scale.

We grabbed a couple of disinfectant wipes to use to open freezer doors to find the necessities to keep us away from this place for two or three weeks. Welcome to a new cultural phenomenon.

As we traversed the aisles, only one person wore a mask, and nary an oldster blinked. He wasn’t there to rob the joint, only looking for bargains.

We must say that we have not seen so many seniors gathered in one spot since they discontinued Bingo Night at the nursing home.

We wondered how many of these old folks were as terrified as we: worried that some unknown microbe was ready to leap into our nostril and kill us within days. Thanks, corona corona believers who say that it’s the fake flu. Oh, they tell me Trump’s ratings are improving—because lies are always sweeter than the truth, and old bears are never stung until election day.

Oak Island: Time Running Out

DATELINE: Reckless 7th Season?

 Mercury Dunk?

Dr. Ian Spooner shows up to assess another breakthrough in the swamp. Can it be some kind of megalithic creation that is manmade? Bigger is more desperate on Curse of Oak Island as we wrap up another season of empty-handed potential.

Big trouble is coming because the coffer dam must be removed within weeks, with the permit running out after one year. Not only must the dam be removed, but the area must be made to look as it was. Why can there be no extension of the permit? There is no explanation. Did they even try?

Finding a potential tunnel to the Money Pit means that Rick Lagina will go down on a bucket into the hole. If this seems a bit extreme and likely to be dangerous, we must recall that this is a cliff-hanger series with death-defying (or something akin to it).

Another lead artifact now has a strong mercury component, which suggests that Francis Bacon may have done some experiments on the manuscripts of Shakespeare. The lead also can be traced to the Middle East. More inconclusive but tantalizing hints. We are hooked again and reeled in.

Another curious discovery occurs at the home of original finder Daniel McGinnis whose root cellar was a secret tunnel, leading to something hidden. Because permits will not allow them to dig deeper, whatever treasure buried under the house cannot be excavated for a year in all likelihood.

If you want frustrations, they are everywhere this week. They have found more 1760s tunnels and shafts. Rick Lagina plans to go down in the bucket. They have to insist he come out before it caved in on him (which likely is his preference). Of course, Marty Lagina must put on a harness and goes down.

So they put a camera on the long-range excavator. Even that is inconclusive: we feel like we are no closer to knowing anything.

With time running out for this season, it becomes clear that a new sequel series is in the ready with the Lagina boys: it’s called, naturally, Beyond Oak Island.

Thee’s a sucker born on Oak Island every minute.

 

 

 

Time Travel Under the Ancient Alien Dome

DATELINE:  Mojave Haven

 Van Tassel Castle

Not too often Ancient Aliens devotes a show to an important person in the UFO business, like Nikola Tesla, Leonardo, or Werner von Braun. This week they have selected the ever-forgotten George Van Tassel on the 8thepisode of season 15.

Van Tassel invented something out in the Mojave Desert forty years ago called the Integratron, a machine that ancient aliens helped him build for time travel, spirit communication, and portals to other dimensions.

Immortality is not what it used to be: Van Tassel was about to announce his invention’s possibilities when he abruptly died at age 67 of an unexpected heart attack. Almost immediately, your favorite federal government gutted the building where immortality lurked.

Van Tassel’s white dome house out in the desert had its guts removed: all those particle trackers and collider stuff were carted off.

As for Van Tassel, his death seemed to be regarded at biting irony for a man who wanted immortality and his premature death was dismissed as fate, rather than cold-blooded murder.

Van Tassel was considered a genius—and among his benefactors was Howard Hughes. And, if he is to be believed, a series of extra-terrestrials who came to him in the desert.

Not surprisingly, he held major outings each year in the 1950s that attracted bigger and bigger crowds, allowing Ancient Aliensto compare him to Moses– of UFOs.

He built his Integratron on Ley Lines, on a latitude with the Great Pyramid, which he also believed served a similar purpose ten or twenty-thousands of years ago. Most intriguing is the resemblance between this building and a depiction of Solomon’s Temple by Raphael, which housed the Ark of the Covenant.

 

 

 

 

Trump Turns into Typhoid Mary

DATELINE: NBA Comes in Second! 

If you need a little coronavirus history lesson, we are here to oblige.

Typhoid Mary was a 19thcentury Irish woman who was Patient Zero of her day. She went around the world, dispensing typhoid to anyone within her earshot. She herself never contracted the disease.

She was put into quarantine and only went to the supermarket to pick up hand sanitzer.

In that way she was like Johnny Appleseed, going around the countryside, planting infection.

Nowadays, the closest thing we have to Typhoid Mary is Donald Trump. Corona Trump seems to avoid having a test to prove his diseased body, but manages to meet with other world leaders. If you believe he has been tested and is negative, you probably are a U.S. Senator.

We think it’s time he went to North Korea again.

As for the NBA, no one likes to kick a basketball when it is out of bounds, but we will kick the can down the road.

Another NBA player has tested positive. He was guarding Rudy Gobert last week. It takes more than three days to develop coronavirus, and a player on the Detroit Pistons was in Gobert’s shirt last week, as they say of good defense.. Oh, well, do your job.

No one is mentioning that two kids from Rhode Island met Rudy Gobert at TD Garden in Boston, received an autographed ball, and a case of coronavirus. It took almost ten days to develop.

Nothing like spreading goodwill, NBA.

So, we are back to Typhoid Donald: he only had dinner and shook hands with people this week while being an incubator. We expect to see world leaders fall flat on their test kits within the next week. He and his crony, the Brazilian president, love to say “Fake Flu,” before you can say, “corona.”

We think Trump would be a better candidate for swine flu.

As for Trump, he just keeps sailing on, spreading cheer and coronavirus wherever he goes.

 

 

Water, Water Everywhere on Oak Island

DATELINE:  Still Waters Not Found

We have arrived at the 16thweek of the 7thseason. It’s clear they will find nothing this season.

But the coconut hair indicates that they are near the booby trap of flood tunnel. Out of the muck, Gary Drayton starts to find a couple of spikes from the 1700s. These were original people who were digging to bury something.

Also, seismic explosions from earlier this season and used to produce sound waves have created a map of voids under the surface of 300 feet. However, they find a linear tunnel about sixty feet near the Money Pit from the Cove.

Their excavation with a huge new machine obviously finds a flood tunnel. Of course, the cavalier digging means a cave-in, having unstabilized the area. It’s almost like they sabotage their own hunt to extend the season till next year.

So, they move to the eye of the swamp where they believe the Templars may have hidden something.

But Gary wants to go to the spots where Hurricane Dorian stripped away the ground cover. His hunch proves right yet again. So, once again, Rick and Gary find some piece of lead that may have etchings on it.

But the swamp has large deposits of blue clay, an water sealant that is there to protect and make watertight something underneath.

The highpoint of the show is Dr. Christa Brosseau’s return to analyze the spikes Gary found. Alex brings them to her for an elemental analysis. She delivers the good news that the iron has phosphorus, meaning it is 18thcentury. She thinks they were from Britain or Northern Europe.

We are delighted that Drs. Spooner and Broseeau are now the voice of academic insight on Oak Island.

Pleiades Ancestors on Ancient Aliens

DATELINE: Your Distant Cousin

Those seven “stars” have been providing inspiration to humans for thousands of years. Now Ancient Aliens is making the case that the famous seven stars of the Pleiades, over 400 light years away, were the original settlers of Earth.

The theory quickly cites all the ancient cultures—from Hawaiians to Southeast Asians, from South America to all parts of the Orient, all sharing a creation story that centers around either ‘seven sisters’ or ‘seven wise men.’

They came to Earth and settled a kind of Pacific Ocean version of Atlantis, which later “sank”. Pilgrims in Tibet still honor these ancestors by climbing the mountains.

Perhaps the most intriguing detail of this episode centers on the Sherpa, those legendary mountain guides (usually connected with the Yeti—your snowman version of Bigfoot). It seems the Sherpa have an extra gene that helps them with oxygen in high places.

Most of us would become sick at high altitudes, but science has now found DNA evidence that the Sherpa have a gene inherited from a long-ago, extinct human species that gives them this extra, almost superhuman ability.

Of course, Giorgia wants to insist that these Pacific islanders were actually living on a large spaceship that took off, did not sink into the ocean.

The building of monuments like pyamids that parallel the Pleiades star cluster are results of worship misdirected. Though you may see seven stars with the naked eye, the systems out there number in the housands. Science now has discovered that many of those stars do indeed have planets.

It appears that the blue skinned Nordic Pleidians did genetic engineering on primitive people to make the human race what it is. Their enemies are the Reptilians. And, according to Ancient Aliens, a big showdown is in the works.

Yes, they are coming back for Armageddon, or something akin in spatial terms. Oh, boy.

 

 

 

 

Patient 17 of Dr. Roger Leir

DATELINE:  Implants from Outer Space?

Patient 17 at grave of Dr. Roger Leir

This little documentary is the last appearance of Dr. Roger Leir. For ufologists, he was a liegit scientist who did the most important work of all.  As a surgeon, he removed weird and inexplicable implants from people who claimed to be abducted by space aliens.

Dr. Leir had appeared on Ancient Aliens among other shows and documentaries.

Dr. Leir saw his mission to find physical evidence to either prove or disprove the idea that there have been visitors who are kidnapping people and putting tracking devices on them.

There is no other explanation for strange alloys of metal and other isotopic elements that make up these tiny bits that are located in necks, arms, legs, stomachs, or backs.

They cause some discomfort and people notice them after an encounter.

Patient 17 said it best: his real name is never used. He said these creatures are space gangsters who break into your home, threaten you, paralyze you, and then do cruel experiments, usually ending with an implanted device that apparently monitors the victim.

Patient 17 calls these space creatures cowards and immoral, likening them to bullies. The victim here had been visited several times. Patient 17 is a plain-speaking, tall man with a sharp mind and attitude. He is grateful that Dr. Leir removed the object, in his last bit of surgery.

Indeed, Dr. Leir died during the filming of this documentary—and director Jeremy Corbell and one of Leir’s assistants are deeply affected by his work and death.

The object removed contained dozens of elements, some not even found in this galaxy. Many other elements are toxic, and no human put this tiny bit of metal together.

Another expert believes it is tied to a larger internet belonging to space aliens. If only it could be cracked….This film tries to stay on the scientific level and provide real evidence. Yet, real scientists are too unsettled to make definitive conclusions.

This is one fascinating documentary—and we feel tons of sympathy for Patient 17 who is disbelieved and traumatized, like most victims.

 

 

 

Serge Lifar: A Life with Ego & Dance

 DATELINE: Collaborator

 Lifar with Diaghilev & Stravinsky.

The French documentary is entitled A Revolution in Dance, and that is applied to Serge Lifar, a danseur and ballet maître who went from the era of Diaghilev to the dawn of Nureyev.

With covert and sly methods, the teenage Lifar managed to put himself before the grand Maestro—and caught the eye of the aging powerbroker. It led to an education, seven years of stardom in the Ballets Russes, and a future however Lifar chose to go.

After Diaghilev’s death in Venice, Lifar went to the Paris Opera House and made himself a home for thirty years. Literally, a home. He was there day and night, choreographing and plotting.

His outrageous demeanor became the stuff of social life and gossip columns. It was only incidental that he made ballets—and innovative ones too, Icare, based on the Greek legend of Icarus.

For a dozen years, he was the staple of the Opera House and transformed the focus of the Paris scene on dance. Then, the roof fell in: sort of.

When the Nazis captured Paris in 1940, Lifar was a stateless person—and played ball with Joseph Goebbels. He even met Hitler, at least twice we know of, and he allegedly refused to go to Berlin to start a corps de ballet there. We suspect Lifar would never deny Hitler directly. It led to charges later that he was a Nazi collaborator. He was even seen parading around in a Nazi uniform and the theatre for his performances were Aryan Nazi officers who loved his shows.

After the war, a tribunal banned him from dancing in France—but he wheedled his way out of that guilty verdict and was back on stage by 1947. You could say he overstayed his welcome, remaining a principal danseur until his mid-50s when his bones creaked over the stage.

When he finally retired, he was still a tabloid sensation, a good headline and an outrageous media person until he was 81 and the new era had fairly forgotten this legend.

Invaders from Skinwalker Ranch

DATELINE: Blue on Blue 

Skeptical Star as Dr. Hyneck

 If Project Blue Book knows what it needs to do to be renewed, it is playing a cagey game as we wound down for the season 2.

The latest episode seems to be a throwback to the old chestnut classic movie Invaders from Mars wherein a young boy is terrified by space aliens living under his rustic home. His parents are soon part of the delusional dream. You may recall the old William Cameron Menzies classic movie.

Then, we discover that the Utah setting for the family homestead is related to a new series that will replace Project Blue Bookat the end of the month!

If you watch the History Channel previews, you already know that the timeslot will be taken over, not by zombies, but by a close second:  The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch, produced by the same folks who give you The Curse of Oak Island.

And a mysterious millionaire has purchased the property and is now opening it up for Dr. Travis Taylor. Gee, how do we figure out Marty Lagina is in the picture? Perhaps when he son Alex is part of the new show’s cast.

Yes, Dr. Hyneck and Captain Quinn are learning that the paranormal ranch is where Navajo saw shapeshifter and spirits. Nice segue, if not too obvious.

Yes, the dream sequence is caused by some neural gas being pumped in as part of an Air Force experiment. Well, at least they were not feeding the kid LSD, like the CIA.

On top of that, our two comic generals have discovered Captain Quinn’s Soviet agent girlfriend and they are immediately suspicious whereas Mike Malarkey’s pipsqueak officer is in the dark.

Charlie Chan from 1936

DATELINE: A Cursed Movie?

 Unlikely Swedish Hawaiian

We really don’t see the hubbub over an actor playing ethnic or racial roles if there is dignity and nothing racist in the situation. Apart from taking a key role in the payroll department away from an actor of Chinese Hawaiian extraction, there seems only minimal harm.

In Charlie Chan’s Secret, you have the peak of a respectful Chan movie. He has no comic sidekick son and characters call him “Mr. Chan” out of respect. Fifty years later a black actor playing a detective insisted they “call me Mr. Tibbs.”

Swedish actor Warner Oland is about as far as you can go from being Chinese American. And, that so-called accent is actually a cadence without using certain words. It doesn’t seem offensive, but we are laid back on this movie, turning us into an offensive apologist unfortunately.

You would never make this movie today, but that’s the point. It was made over 80 years ago. And, it has a certain charm in its sociological innocence. Within a few years, the role became a racially offensive joke, which may show the cycles of racism.

Charlie Chan’s Secretfeatures sunken luxury liners, missing persons, a center for psychic research, fake mediums, and assorted red herrings among the rich in San Francisco.

The usual suspects all have reason to kill the heir to the fortune of the Colby family: lawyer, psychic researcher, greedy cousin, all benefit from his death. Comic relief is provided by an overly nervous butler (marvelous Herbert Mundin who died young in a car crash a few years later).

Yet, there were other curses on the movie. Within a few years, the prime suspect actor Arthur Edmund Carewe died by suicide shortly after the movie’s release when he learned of health problems.

And, of course, Warner Oland went on vacation to Sweden and died there of bronchial pneumonia. Several other actors found their careers at dead ends after this picture. It really was the Curse of Charlie’s Secret.

Unreal Men in Black

DATELINE: Ancient Aliens Goes Black 

We did not expect a hard-hitting look at the legendary Men in Black,subject of a couple of ridiculous comedy movies with Will Smith among others.

Ancient Alienstackles the topic to give us a history of the encounters—and how they grew from one black-suited man of some unknown government agency—to a plethora of sunglassed, fedora-hatted scary figures who seem to be on the side of space men.

The usual raft of Ancient Alienexperts show up to comment on this topic. From Nick Pope to Mike Bara (who goes on assignment to Maury Island where the first man in black showed up in the 1940s).

You will also meet Paul Hynek, son of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, now listed as a consultant on Project BlueBook tv series. AA also uses clips from that other History Channel show.

What is intriguing is that these imposing and intimidating figures seem to go after the nobodies who see UFOs. They never pay a visit to the journalists, investigators, or leaders of the UFO movement. Not one host/narrator of Ancient Alienshas met a man in black, apparently not even one pretending to be in a fedora. The episode calls these mystery figures “The Real Men in Black.”

What respectable villain would appear in anything other than black, unless he likes to pretend to be a gray.

Are they official government agents? It’s not confirmed in early FBI documents. They did not work for J.Edgar.

A piece of the crashed ship (not another one) was destroyed in a plane crash with investigators who were killed. Twenty years later a piece was located on site in Maury Lake, but has never been tested (inexplicably).

Of course, this leads to conclusions that the Men in Black are either extra-terrestrials or working with top secret human agents. They now use black helicopters and may be using technology to wipe memories from the public consciousness.

Who can recall what happened back then?