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.

Skinhead or Skinwalker Ranch Dressing

DATELINE:  More Lulus from History

 Desolate, but more?

Just call this one, “Spookyworld.”

The Secret of Skinwalker Ranchis supposed to be the gold standard of paranormal, or at least the vortex to another dimension. And, even if you never heard of it, it’s about to be the next big paranormal, supernatural, UFO twister.

Perennial mystery astrophysicist, Dr. Travis Taylor is brought on board by the usual cadre of tough guy male platoon. Arrogant billionaire Brandon Fugal (are there any other kind?) has spared little expense and travels in fast sporty car to a supersonic helicopter where his brother is the chauffeur. You may become a little unsettled when the pilot needs to say a prayer because he fears for his safety.

On ground, Skinwalker Ranch (named after the 200-year old legendary shapeshifter whose skin changes), the desolate location has been spared no expense with cameras, security, automatic rifle toting guards, barbed wire, state-of-the-art command centers, and so forth.

Considerable resources have been dropped onto the Utah property—and there must be some reason to throw such money around that usually the purview of black budget Pentagon types.

History Channel has done so many specials on this lately, we feel like it is a rerun.

The oldest, abandoned homesteads are known for the most peculiar, paranormal, UFO-centered phenomena. Travis Taylor is ready to dive in, though we are never sure why he is invited, except to be a TV host. His scientific methods could be handled by several people already on site.

When Taylor discovers that there are dangerous levels of microwaves floating about, he proposes doing a few experiments to map out the conditions and uncover the cause. One of the hard-nosed, non-scientific types, states there can be no digging on the ranch. It causes unspoken dangers.

Taylor seems miffed rightfully that stuff has not been revealed to him—and only with permission of billionaire Brandon Fugal can he be told why they cannot dig anywhere. This mystery sets the table for future episodes.

One of the ranch managers ignored this advice and had some nearly lethal skull damage that doctors could not explain. Travis does learn that radioactivity from nuclear testing in the 1950s might be a contributing factor.

It seems a big deal to digest when research methods are circumvented.

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.

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.

 

 

 

TB12 Knocks Coronavirus Off the Scorecard

DATELINE: Deflated at Last

Tom Brady is taking his football and heading south.

You can blame the Patriots for not wanting to invest in a man who claims he has found the Fountain of Youth. We recall from history that another gentleman of the old school went to Florida on his quest: Ponce de Leon also thought the elixir of eternal and immortal life awaited him in the bays of Florida.

Bill Belichick now will show he is the genius by winning another Super Bowl without Brady. Heaven help him if his team tanks.

As for Brady, he is trading Paul Revere for Jean LaFitte. He is a trader of the first order, heading for the world of Disney and smart dolphins like Flipper.

If you wonder if he will be motivated, you never followed Deflategate, which sent him reeling into a new stratosphere.

Some never believed Belichick would let it go this far, but that parallel universe: In Bill We Trust, now is on confederate tender.

The all-seeing eye of money is looking back at the Patriot Place and finding that TB12 is a franchise that will sell more jerseys with a new logo.

As for Brady in New England, it was NEVER his home, and if you think he won for Boston, you are deluded. He happened to win while in the Greater Boston area. He would have been just as elated to win in Tampa Bay over the past 20 years.

He never spoke a bad word about Aaron Hernandez, and we figure he will give Belichick the same courtesy.

Now, the curiosity factor will follow him, eyes moving across the gridiron looking for a train wreck.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

No Coronavirus Test, What me Worry?

DATELINE: Walking Along the Dead Line 

The President of the United States is the New Alfred E. Neumann.

Donald Trump is prepared to kill himself with coronavirus—and infect you too.

We know that self-destructive behavior is the mark of people who think they are immortal demigods. So, it does not surprise us when Donald Trump deliberately fills his Air Force One and his winter home in Florida with people who have shaken hands with a man who died of coronavirus.

Madness is a relative condition, and flu symptoms are not usually associated with losing your mind. However, opening the barn door to let the microbes enter may be a first for a world leader who thinks he is part Ghengis Khan and part-Superman.

Without a flu shot and without a coronavirus test, Trump is able to leap over CDC doctors in a single bound.

Whether he starts to cough and then re-enacts the role of Von Aschenbach in Death in Venice may be the third act of his election campaign.

Ted Cruz has yet to respond to calls to infect his president, but others have taken off their gas masks and gone into the lion’s den. Next, they will stick their heads into the lion’s mouth, bad breath and all, to defy the medical advice of science.

Self-quarantine is for those who have humanity at heart, not for those who enter King Tut’s tomb before going home to Downton Abbey or Mar-a-Lago, or whatever that black hole of Florida is called.

 

 

Bronson’s Land

DATELINE: Death Wish Out West

By 1971, Charles Bronson began to make the revenge picture his personal genre.

It’s also the year he met Michael Winner who became his John Ford, shaping a series of films, hardly great but full of fury and impact.

The first was a Western done in Spain called Chato’s Land. You might think it’s a spaghetti Western, but it is something far more American: a metaphor for pointless commitment to deathly war and racist attitudes.

It’s not a classic by any means, but it borrows from American classics and thus becomes part of the derivation formula. It seems to take its cue from The Ox Bow Incidnt, made thirty years earlier: a dour Henry Fonda picture about a lynch mob that hangs anyone it can put its hands on. It was led by a fool in a Confederate uniform of past glory.

This time it’s Jack Palance donning the Confederate officer garb—and leading an all-star gang of terrible Western settlers who want to hang a “half-breed” who has killed the town sheriff.

The cast will bowl you over: there’ Ralph Waite as the worst of the worst before he became Daddy Walton.

There’s Simon Oakland and Richard Jordan as his brothers. You will also be treated to James Whitmore and Richard Basehart as older men who should know better.

Charles Bronson turns the tables. And when he goes into full loincloth mode, his body puts body builders to shame. He was pushing sixty, said some, when he did this film. He claimed to be fifty.

There is a death wish pick off, one by one, of rapists and mayhem’s henchmen. Michael Winner wallows in rape and cruelty—and it would become worse over the next decade. Yet, this film is sharply in focus, however cruel, and it started the revenge movie in the urban jungle, starting in the American West.

 

 

 

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.

Surely Templar on Oak Island

DATELINE: Coconut Fiber 

Ship in Swamp.

If you are among the faithful, your belief in Templars, treasures, and miraculous artifacts, may be about to be rewarded big time.

The show itself has begun to ask if the search is worth it. Yet, there is a major structure or more on the island. Both the Money Pit and Smith’s Cove are showing to be rich in evidence. The thinking finally is that the ocean was much lower at Smith’s Cove that made it easier to build giant structures that had no nails or fasteners.

The eye of the swamp may be pivotal. They think a major discovery of a Spanish galleon may be their reward. The possible ship is about 15 feet at the shallow end and over 50 feet at the other end. Ground penetrating radar presented an image.

Marty arranges to dig a major shaft into the Money Pit where wood has been found that is from 1620. They can do a safe dig eight feet across and 120 feet deep.

On another front, the Scottish immigrants came to Oak Island and wanted to use a prebuilt system to hide their Templar artifacts. They may have created the newer Money Pit. These Templars, aka Knights Baronet, were freemasons. In fact, many of the searchers were actually Masons.

It may be the original discoverers of the Money Pit were actually came with some knowledge of treasure. They knew what was there and why they went down over 30 feet.

Even more shocking, they discover an opening to a tunnel under the foundation of early resident Daniel McGinnis. Direct descendants several years earlier claimed there were treasure chests the original teen treasure hunter located. Back at Smith Cove, Gary Drayton jokes about a tunnel—but then they find one. It contains more coconut fiber—or something else! If that material is fiber, it could mean it is near the booby traps.

They return again to Carmen Legge, now a regular deliverer of amazing findings. He identifies this pipe pole as a boat hook.

However, the biggest news of the night has to do with the mystery fiber discovered in a strange new place. It turns out to be a shock from Dr. Ian Spooner: it’s not human hair. More coconut fiber indicates a flood tunnel. It was a filter and original work for the placement of treasure.

Mable Stark: Tiger by the Tail

DATELINE: Trainer Not Tamer

 Mabel & coworker.

For nearly 50 years, from the 1920s to the 1960s, one of the most fearless of tiger trainers was a woman out of the vaudeville, circus world. Her name was Mable Stark, and she was not the first woman to take on the task, but she revolutionized animal training.

This hidden gem of biography is called Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer. She was a patient humanist and used gentle techniquest to control the animals. Move over, Clyde Beatty.

Mabel was not shy flower. She took on Sumatran tigers, considered the most ferocious of all. They have an unpredictable temper—and she had enough claw marks in her life to prove it.

She always said she expected, and wanted to die at the claws of her tigers.

Nearly as ruthless and dangerous as her animals, Mabel came out of the dusty world of dirt farmers. Her father was alcoholic, and her mother married a bigamist child-molester. No wonder she felt no compunction to face wild beasts.

She married the best “lion tamer” in the business—and took his place, refusing to be the usual pretty assistant to the Clyde Beatty-style macho man.

She could put her head in a tiger’s mouth and win even more accolades.

This marvelous documentary by Leslie Zemekis, Though it also features interviews with those women who followed Mabel into the cage, she is a pioneer. She’d tell you that these creatures might be smart, but they were temperamental too. One deviation in word, step, or approach, set them off the script.

She had contact tigers that she raised from cubs, but those were even more dangerous because they never knew distance or understood their size.

With tons of footage and photos from the circus world—and early TV where she made guest appearances often, the film is a record of something lost—a world when kids ran off to the circus and learned a lifestyle singular and outside the norms of society.

This one is sheer entertainment and an education too.

 

 

 

 

Shatner’s UnXplained On Oak Island

 DATELINE: Curses, Foiled by UnXplained!

 

Gary & Rick Guests on UnXplained!

Last week we had a special episode of Curse of Oak Island that featured William Shatner visiting and researching. Now, on his own History Channel show, Shatner gives us his conclusions and his perspective on the second season operner of UnXplained.

For openers, Shatner sneers at the thought of a curse preventing hunters from finding the treasure. Shatner is quick to point out that no treasure has ever been found, and that obsession seems to be the operative motivation.

History Channel provides its usual consultants to weigh in on the mystery. And, in fact, they even use the same re-enactments that are endlessly repeated on Oak Island series.

Shatner also spends some time discussing pirates who may have left treasure there—and an equal amount of time on the victims who died in the search, including Robert Restall and his son Bobby. It is reported that the gang of Lagina brothers have spent thousands of work hours—and millions of Lagina dollars on the quest.

This leads to the Knights Templar and evidence of their visits to Oak Island. In fact, Shatner’s show discusses Jacques Demolay and his curse placed on the Templar treasure. It resonates with every treasure hunter.

In fact, UnXplained  brings on a few psychologists who do not speak well of treasure hunters–and Ancient Alien  staples show up to confirm mythology lives on Oak Island.

UnXplained takes the position that the curse of Oak Island is the energy, and dark force, that it imposes on all treasure seekers. Is there paranormal stuff here? For the first time, Marty Lagina admits to having some frightful experiences on the island—which he has steadfastly denied on his own series.

Interesting take by one series on another. Our own relatives who lived near Oak Island a hundred years ago always said it was the treasure of Captain Kidd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak Island Box Out

DATELINE: Wait till Next Year

 Inexplicable Log Boxes

They now have evidence from science that material buried in the cove dates back to 1620, around the time of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. With the end of the season rapidly approaching, The Curse of Oak Islandhas more mysteries and fewer answers.

The original Money Pit shaft has wood dating back way before the original searching. How many people were on an uninhabited island doing this engineering? And why? We may have to tune into the UnXplained to hear what Shatner states.

At Smith’s Cove they have found a bizarre wooden log box. It was either meant to be part of the flood booby traps or to circumvent them. Their digging nearly destroys the box. It collapses. However, it was not tied to the drain systems.

They are off to the next spot: the swamp. There, Gary Drayton finds another hinge or bracket. It was a match to one found last year that blacksmith expert said was 400 years old.

When Alex and Marty show up at an area between the cove and Money Pit, it looks like a war zone of a no man’s land from the Western Front excavation. That is how much work has been done on this small island. Millions have been poured into this money pit.

They never expected to find another tunnel, well-constructed and with no historical record. They had discovered another massive building project on a small island. It leads to conclusions that define historical mysteries of Arks of the Covenant and Holy Grails.

Carmen Legge joined in to identify various metals that he placed around the mid-1700s.  Who was making those tunnels?  He found it amazing that tunnel tools were in a swamp (or maybe it was not a swamp). He finds the strapping is from a sailing ship. He felt it was a ship from as early as 1710. Gary thought it was from a pirate ship, and Legge said the metal was in a big fire.

We are realizing that another season will be required. They are nowhere close to revealing the truth. But it may be worth the wait.

Shatner on Oak Island: Beam Him Down

DATELINE: UnXplained Star Visits 

 Shatner at Oak Island!

Well, if you travel across the universe and end up with the UnXplained,you will surely make a pit stop to visit with the Lagina Brothers on Oak Island. William Shatner, not slowing down at 90, is there to see what all the commotion is about.  One fan called this appearance “epical.”

He is there to interview each of the key people about what is going on: he is intrigued, but the people in the so-called War Room are in awe of Captain Kirk in their midst.

There will be no revelations, but there are insights into the past of key people like Gary Drayton who is not used to turning over the findings to the Nova Scotia government. He has a history of being a modern pirate: keeping the spoils.

Yet, Shatner is cynical enough to tell them that the metal of the lead cross, apparent Templar, that was dropped not 600 years ago, mined back then.

They show him the swages that likely made the massive structures of 1741 that indicate that no Europeans were not supposed there—but really were.

Shatner tries hard to find the logic of the mystery of Oak Island, but he needs the late Leonard Nimoy’s Spock to give him the explanation. Marty Lagina tries to play the role of the man explaining the UnXplained.

It will be interesting to see how the same interviews come out on the other History Channel show.

Shatner drives at the key question, what is the curse! But he believes that the Shakespearean manuscripts sounds most plausible, hidden by Sir Francis Bacon.

Captain Kirk digs hard at the notions of mythology and magic, and for that we give him much credit as a journalist. He is intrigued by their notion that the latest technology always renews interest in solving the mystery.

Tractor and big equipment operator Billy Gearhardt is quite eloquent in answering. His new found fans will be thrilled that he stands up to Captain Kirk in this cross-pollination of History channel hit shows.