DATELINE: Best Series on TV?
William Shatner is in wry form again as the series UnXplained actually tackles another unusual subject with some interesting insights. This time the show’s topic deals with how several individuals have made up for a lack of one sense (blindness, deaf, etc.,)with enhanced other senses.
This is more than someone learning to rely on what’s left when Nature has denied them the full range of sensory perception. The handful of interview subjects are not your usual subjects—and that gives the series yet another fresh approach.
A blind man who lost both eyes as a child to cancer make clicking noises, a form of sonar, to locate objects around him—and can makes a drawing or map accurately as to what is in his world when he walks around or ride a bicycle. It’s called echolocation, and some may disparage it as luck, he clearly has a new sensory approach that is nothing short of paranormal.
Another example, from the deaf world, is called synesthesia or synesthetes, people who may not hear noise or sound, but experience colors, and strange noise, to make up for their lacking. It is amazing to think that sound has color to define it.
Old-hand experts from our usual History Channel shows, Dr. Michael Dennin and Dr. Travis Taylor, are around again to discuss the physics of cross-connected senses. And, it is ground-breaking when it comes to these show topics.
Another victim of lack of senses, who feels no pain, explains the dangers of daily life when there is no pain sensitivity, which is called a genetic malfunction. He also explains he has so many injuries since childhood that it is now a blessing to be pain-free. To have it restored would mean he would not function at all.
Another premature infant named Eric Paravicini given oxygen in abundance to survive turns into a musical maven who at age 5 had memorized thousands of songs and now can play the piano like a virtuoso. The drawback and price for these “talents” is that forms of autism deny a full and satisfying existence.
Shatner is clearly in awe of this episode’s subjects—and we have to admit this was a startling and fresh approach, again putting UnXplained at the top of the heap of History series.
DATELINE: Mystery Liaisons
Beehive hair and sex.
If you want your history to be salacious and lurid, this film called JFK’S Women seems to be a candidate, but in reality, this one-hour documentary is fairly staid, but blunt. Though there were many women who caught the attention of JFK from his youth until his death, this film puts focus on five disturbing choices he made.
The source material is highly legitimate and interesting observers and researchers, including notorious Bobby Baker, author Anthony Summers, and prosecutor G. Robert Blakely. You have a well-known, reliable group of insiders with information.
Many women from Hollywood are simply never raised—probably because today they are not known or are basically forgotten (Gene Tierney is a case in point), and the only Hollywood tie is the ever-repeated Marilyn connection. Yet, she comes later in his life—and her delusion was that she had hoped to have a post-movie career as the wife of a president. It was never going to happen.
The first notorious affair was with a Danish-born woman named Inga Avard, a friend of Adolph Hitler no less, and a German spy in America, preying on a young and oversexed officer named Kennedy. Only transferring him to the South Pacific could end this catastrophe—but the mold of bad connections was set. She later married movie star Tim McCoy.
JFK was apparently not so bright in bed—and had a propensity to be a sexual danger nut. He became emboldened by the risky nature of his liaisons. In the 1950s, the shift came toward communist agents who canoodled with a Massachusetts senator. Kennedy had flings with woman under Soviet control, and another under China communist control. He seemed oblivious and defies logic.
However, J. Edgar Hoover was not pleased by the Kennedy lifestyle—and kept track of all these problems. It worsened when mobster Sam Giancana joined the 1960 campaign to drum up votes—and provide Kennedy with a White House interloper by the name of Judith Campbell.
Brother Bobby as AG ran afoul of Hoover and Giancana with his control over bubbling scandals. He would deport these women and threaten journalists. It was the last of the agents, Ellen Rometsh who was in mid-1963 the one who could have brought JFK down—if not for an assassin’s bullet.
JFK claimed she gave the best oral sex he ever had in or out of the White House.
If any question emerged from the investigatory film, it is JFK’s motives to be so dense, and then angry when caught. It will forever remain inexplicable how he could be prisoner of his own sex drive. He’s not the only man in history condemned by his libido. The film turns out to be quite a stew.
DATELINE: Second Season UFO Investigations
You could surely knock us over with the return of this series. Now in a second season, Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigations was certainly one of the interesting miniseries History provided last year. It featured two prominent former government officials: Chris Mellen, a defense minister and Luis Elizondo who ran the Pentagon UFO program that released actual UFO footage to great excitement.
We did not expect to see it again.
Luis Elizondo was in charge of the notorious AATIP program at the Pentagon.
The first show of the new season entails “UFOs in Combat,” though it only tackles living witnesses of the past fifty years, we know that orbs in World War II were inexplicable and thought to be Nazi weapons.
Now both men who are key hosts of this series have left the government to seek fame and fortune as informants of the UFO phenomenon. They are likely the most interesting, if not trustworthy, of experts these kind of shows present.
Elizondo interviews decorated American soldiers from wars of the past 50 years, going back to 1966 Vietnam. Here, in case after case, they witness these “tick-tacks” an allusion to the shape of the object. They are elongated or circular like an orb.
One expert calls them part of the 21stcentury technology or “angels” that are decoy devices around aircraft to deflect missile attacks. But this technology does not extend back 20 years, where it has been witnessed.
Another expert essentially questioned the mental stress of these patriots and claimed they were suffering from lack of sleep, fear, and other factors. The show’s hosts reject this out of hand.
The series seems to be covering the same ground as in the first season, but it is cracking open new testimony and information.
DATELINE: How a Life Matters
Grandma as Empress!
One of the most original documentaries and fascinating undertaking belongs to a film by siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarin. When their grandmother dies at age 93 in New Jersey, they undertake to deconstruct her life though the house she lived in for 67 years.
Grandma Annette saved everything and they, at first, plan to shred documents and toss everything out for a quick sale. However, strange evocations in the house lead them to stop everything. Even the undertaker tells them her spirit may be in the house for up to 11 months.
Whereas most of our possessions are trashed in a bin immediately, like her lifelong collection of paperclips, the grandchildren now want to sift through her ordinary life like it is the pyramid of a great personage. The result is astounding, heart-rending, and illuminating. You must look at how our lives end up in a trash heap that no one wants or cares about. It could be your address or anyone you know.
In one segment, they visit the archivist for the John D. Rockefeller house, the saved heirlooms and collectibles of the rich family. They have the resources to do what middle-income people cannot—and they have selected what will survive to prove the Rockefeller legacy.
They then ask the archivist about his family. He has saved his grandmother’s cookie recipes and her log of making dozens for her children.
As Annette made dresses, beautiful copies for herself too, they have an interesting take on the fashion as icons. A conservator tells how she can feel the spirit of the owner in the clothes, and physicist Alan Lightman talks about how molecules and atoms never die, but become disarranged: the dead person is no longer assembled, but parts float around the universe.
They keep the house for six years until Jonathan hears his grandmother call his name. As Alan Lightman states, houses are universes, and like the universe, they can be reduced to fit into a thimble.
DATELINE: NH Hideaway for Child Molester
Home Sweet Home!
A new episode of Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein is now required! In the past two weeks, Trump fired the prosecutor responsible for the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s eponymous procurer for a couple of decades.
Apparently she believed the motto of New Hampshire: “Live Free or Die,” as the FBI arrested her in Bradford, NH, in the foothills of Mount Sunapee. There, she lived like Prince Andrew’s consort in exile.
She was not exactly living free: in December she bought a beautiful one-million-dollar mansion with cash. Miss Maxwell has more loot than you could count. Her hideaway was in the heart of Trump country: most of the locals thought a reclusive movie star had moved into the neighborhood, as the buyer was anonymous.
No, she was simply on the run from federal authorities, and she lived like a star.
The manse, located in cell phone free zone, had a breathtaking window wall view of the mountain. You couldn’t be reached by modern inconveniences. This little house required servants and caretakers, and so you can assume that Ghislaine had her enablers. They were either locals or flown in to do the dirty work.
Maxwell’s father was Robert Maxwell, the notorious tabloid dirt collector. Some claim he worked for Putin, providing photos and grist on political leaders who ended up in the blackmail pile.
Ghislaine procured for Jeffrey Epstein, not for money or love, but because it was a hobby she enjoyed. She ‘d choose and groom those 14-year-old girls for Epstein. She likely whistled while she worked. The British socialite could have fled the US and hidden in one of Prince Andrew’s castles in Scotland (they’re old buddies, or old something). Instead, like most arrogant people, she flaunted her money and lived the high life.
She had a helicopter pilot license and could have fled, but chose to challenge the FBI.
Now her residence of six months in Bradford will be on the market before you can say “child molester.” They better watch her closely in her cell, lest she be dispatched before being deposed.
DATELINE: Prime Suspect.
Alex Acosta & friend.
Maybe we will learn what really happened to Jeffrey Epstein, but not while William Barr is AG and Trump is POTUS. The only prosecutor prepared to go after Epstein and his co-conspirators was fired by Trump recently.
Yes, Geoffrey Berman did what Alex Acosta would not, and Trump has dismissed him. Acosta was paid off with an appointment to Secretary of Labor, but resigned two days after Epstein’s death. Trump praised him, and he ignored victims of child abuse.
Why would a man be taken off suicide watch in the federal prison? Have his Bunkie removed? And be given dozens of sheets and extension cords? Someone certainly made sure he had a message to kill himself.
Who is ultimately in charge of the Federal Bureau of Prisons? None other than the man whose father was a pal of Epstein, William Barr. And who is Barr’s superior? The man who was a close friend of Epstein, Donald Trump.
All the dots are there in this series, but no one dares to connect them. It’s dangerous, and Ghislaine Maxwell has her helicopter pilot license and is off globe-trotting. Epstein put his will into the Virgin Islands legal system, an irony for the owner of the Lolita Express jet. It is also a means to deny anyone access to his estate for at least a decade.
Murder or suicide? Both Michael Baden and Cyril Wecht, America’s two most prominent pathologists, will give you an answer that is disturbing.
DATELINE: Patsy Monroe?
In a new documentary called Marilyn Monroe Declassified, director and writer Paul Davids in 2016 tackled the thorny subject of the probable suicide (its official designation) almost 60 years later.
He takes much archival footage and tries to find rare insights to give a background in his premise that it was more likely her death was an improbable suicide.”
No doubt that even decades later, Marilyn is a glowing and beautiful icon, transcending time and place. She may be up there in a few thousand years with women like Helen of Troy. Yes, legends easily pass into mythology with a background like Marilyn.
This film purports to examine both FBI and CIA documents only recently released to public scrutiny.
Using some fairly reputable scholars and researchers, the film veers off the standard biography patter for the final 20 minutes or so when the revelations about affairs with the Kennedy brothers (President and Attorney General) devolves into a mob contracted hit to embarrass the Kennedy Administration, led by the CIA guru and demonologist, James Angleton.
Sam Giancana, who believed the Kennedys betrayed him, was an eager contractor for Angleton. All stones could be unturned and thrown into the ocean when used. You may well ask yourself why it took 4 hours to call the police to report Marilyn was dead by her housekeeper (allegedly a CIA agent). After that, all bets are off.
The connection to Kennedy revealing to Monroe about the truth of the Roswell incident is documented in CIA/FBI reports. Whether true or not, she believed it and was prepared to use it, but the CIA was not about to accept that reality.
This documentary may seem to have gone off the rails, but it also seems grounded in the horrors that not even Ancient Alienswill tackle. It appears Oswald was not the only Patsy in a conspiracy-ruled world.
DATELINE: Wild Theoretical Movie!
Robin Lord Taylor.
David Guy Levy has directed, written, and presented us with a highly clever paranormal mystery movie. It’s able to straddle the world of presenting us with dubious Internet info interspersed with a fictional movie. It is highly entertaining and thought provoking.
A young father loses his daughter to a drowning at the beach—and goes into a philosophical crisis that upends his world. Indeed, he begins to think his world is simulated reality in an attempt to reach the spirit of his dead child.
It threatens his sanity and worries all those around him, including his gay best friend (Robin Lord Taylor, once again in a creepy performance).
The Mandela Effect is a theory that mass memory errors are not misremembered events, but seepage from a parallel universe (like Jif Peanut Butter, or it is Jiffy Peanut Butter—or is Mr. Moneybags called something else without a monocle here and now). We all have these strange false memories that cannot be explained.
Some of us are clairvoyant and may think we are part of the interdimensional brigade. You may not be seeing ghosts, merely interlopers from a parallel universe.
Particle simulations being what they are in computers, the hero Brendan (Charlie Hofheimer) is increasingly drawn into a parallel universe where everything is a Looney Toon. He meets the designer of a quantum computer at a local university, and it resembles the Monolith out of Kubrick’s Space Odyssey, and it may be exerting forces on events.
As a computer programmer, Brendan tries to overload the godly computer of quantum physics to blast through to a parallel universe. Considering its low budget, this is a a clever, intriguing, and ultimately thought-provoking sci-fi paranormal entry coming in at under 90 minutes of dangerous ideas.
DATELINE: Shocking Allegations!
MacArthur & Truman!
With all the hyperbole and exaggeration around this season and the unpleasant and arrogant John Casey who did in his first-season team, it is no surprise that there is a “shocking discovery” on the latest episode.
The expert miners involved once again overrule Casey, feeling he has jumped to conclusions about how easy it will be to find the treasure vault.
The father-son miners are concerned that their robotic dig of a parallel tunnel may uncover gases that can overcome the men.
At the second dig, they have found rope that is clearly not old enough to be from World War II. It is blue nylon, indicating that their dig is not the first. They are finding modern digging tools. Another successful treasure hunter would not have publicized his discovery.
They now think one of three boxes of gold or treasure has been found and taken, but two boxes remain—based on the McDougall map.
Bingo Minerva is hot on the trail of rival searchers back in the United States. He has been encountering dire threats about their safety and a conspiracy that supports covert operators. A New York Times reporter suggests that it is General Douglas MacArthur may have been one o those who found treasure. He at least shared the info with President Harry Truman.
Allegedly Truman and MacArthur used the treasure money to fund U.S. operations against the Soviet. They had over 20,000 tons of gold at their disposal. It is certainly shocking to learn that the POTUS and his Supreme Commander were taking treasure at will for their nation’s covert operations.
They are warned this search is dangerous. Then, there was carbon dioxide and monoxide that can kill fairly quickly. They have to flush out the poisonous air.
There are sensational shocks this week for sure.
DATELINE: Pioneer Filmmaker
Alice Thru the Lens Glass!
How is it possible for someone to be erased from history in movies? Alice went through the camera lens and made the first wonderland of studio narrative movies! The film is called Be Natural: the Story of Alice Guy-Blache.
With Jodie Foster producing and narrating this insight into forgotten history, Pamela B. Greene is a researcher, director, and force to right a wrong done to a creative and mistreated woman. Alice Guy was contemporary in France to the Lumiere Brothers, and she ran the Gaumont Studios.
Yet, she was omitted time and again by critics for her massive contributions. She made about 1000 short movies from 1896 to the start of World War I.
Both Alfred Hitchcock and Sergei Eisenstein called her a tremendous influence on their directing, but she is still today relatively unknown. Director Greene does a whirlwind of research to uncover the story.
In that way, this is a thrilling and fascinating detective work. Alice Guy-Blache was the victim of critics, bad history, misinformation, and a husband who took credit for her work.
She was a driving force for Solax Pictures, one of the big movie companies in Fort Lee, New Jersey. All the others went to Hollywood, and she went out of business.
Returning to France, she was further isolated and ignored. IN her later years she tried to find her films, but most were lost. During the 1950s her glowing, brilliant works were slowly found.
Her mantra was “Be Natural,” to actors. It was heresy in the silent era, but her films feature performances that are amazing by today’s standards.
Family told her in old age to give up: she would never be recognized. Fortunately, that is not true, thanks to pioneer women in movies today uncovering the injustice done to Alice. This turns out to be an extraordinary documentary.
DATELINE: Mystery Maven
You have to delve into the Britbox archives to find the 1990 biography of Agatha Christie done a dozen years after her passing. The thinking at the time was that she was a surprise to have her popularity survive her death.
Indeed, one interviewed critic dared to say he thought she had great staying power and would keep her fame and interest alive well into the 21stcentury. Imagine that!
This is, perhaps, a highly intelligent portrait called An Unfinished Portrait.It is based on the title of one of her nom de plumeworks that passed unheralded for years. Her furtile and creative mind is boggling.
This delightful film is narrated by Joan Hickson (who played Miss Marple several times) and features appearances by David Suchet (the definitive Hercule).
Using archival interviews with the grand Dame, you have an understated genteel woman who fairly much is dumb-founded when an interviewer asks her if she likes crime. She retorts, she likes detectives and puzzles.
She worked as a pharmacist during World War One, and learned all about poisons. The documentary uses words from her novels that parallel her personal feelings and biographical events.
IN one creative period from the 1920s to 1950, Dame Agatha wrote about 35 classical titles, all still known. Several include plays like The Mousetrap or Witness for the Prosecution.
We could list 30 titles here that you’d recognize.
The film is unflinching in examining her strange, staged disappearance in 1926 that cast a murder charge over her philandering husband, Col. Christie. She set him up, or so it appears. She later married an archaeologist, 14 years her junior, who gave her many plot ideas.
Miss Marple was based on her grandmother, and Dame Agatha always maintained good manners in her personal life and in her storylines. She just enjoyed giving people a good mystery to figure out: chess on an entertainment level.
What a refreshing look at the great mystery writer.
DATELINE: America is Tanking, Thanks to Trump
Trump now wants to shoot protestors.
With Minneapolis in turmoil over the killing of a black man by an overzealous police officer, Trump has thrown fuel on the fire. He wants to order military troops into the city and shoot citizens under the guise of executing looters.
Forget trials, arrests, or formal crimes charged. You are to be executed by order of a man without a shred of decency, legal sense, or compassion.
In fact, this type of action has precedence in America of recent vintage. Police and military started shooting American students at Kent State College in 1970. It was the unwinding of an era.
It will be the end of Trump and his pro-Nazi cronies in the United States Senate, including Moscow McConnell and Closet Queen Lindsay.
When a cop puts a knee on your neck for eight minutes, he might as well be the Boston Strangler. Even the poor victim realized it was his death knell. You cannot cut off oxygen for eight minutes and expect someone to live. Derek Chauvin, the killer kop, has a double, a Doppleganger who attends Trump rallies and takes orders via dog whistle.
There are no police strategies that recommend that subduing officers kill their suspects for forgery, let alone a violent crime.
Derek Chauvin (or his photoshopping double) appeared at the Trump rally, standing with Trump. The president refuses to acknowledge that he has given dog whistles to his K-9 cops to kill black people, seemingly part of the genocide that the COVID-19 is creating with its disproportionate deaths of people of color.
This neo-Nazi president is likely not done yet. He has yet to destroy the Constitution and demolish the presidential election, next goal on his mad agenda.
DATELINE: Pre-TV Series
Two years previous to the History Channel series, the “paranormal investigator” named Jeremy Corbell took on the subject with his viewpoint. He rounded up George Knapp who had done 20 years of research—including work with Robert Bigelow before he sold the ranch and its rights to the new TV series owner.
The film is called Hunt for the Skinwalker.
Skinwalker Ranch is a paranormal Disneyland, according to this movie.
Corbell intones like he is Rod Serling stealing Twilight Zone phrases in his narrative. He found his matchmate in George Knapp, aging and renewed UFO hunter for decades. Knapp has boxes of old videotaped interviews and paper documents. Korbell won fame by bringing Bob Lazar out of hiding a few years ago to give an updated opinion on Area 51.
This is George Knapp’s seminall life work, apparently never digitized nor copied for posterity. Videos were never made into DVD and audio tape look like you couldn’t find the proper equipment to play them. No one has looked at this material in years. Now, the Hunt for the Skinwalker will make an attempt. It’s clearly enough to spark History Channel’s interest in doing a series two years later.
Korbell likens the area to “Area 52” and largely lets dramatic Knapp do narration duty. He knows how to make mystery more bizarre, for sure.
Knapp related the story of how he tried to do everything to provoke the poltergeist, UFOs, ghosts, orbs, or other phenomena, to no avail, even doing some forbidden digging. He was attacked only by mosquitos. He also knew Robert Bigelow and reveals that the strange billionaire did not want the associated horrors beyond UFOs. He indicated that Bigelow was warned off the property—and sold it to Brandon Fuglar.
Fulgar shows up in this film, refusing to identify himself because it would hurt his business “empire,” which is Fuglar to a T. However, something changed his mind between making this Corbell movie and the History series.
Here the cattle mutilations and other worldly voices are given far more attention.
Neither Corbell, nor Knapp, has any participation in the TV series. And, the movie is far better than the Fuglar produced show.
DATELINE: Bigfoot Next to Champ
Brian Gosselin of Whitehall.
You might think it is some dark Viking who attacked Alfred the Great, but no, this beast is another Bigfoot wannabe who seems to reside in upstate New York, not far from Vermont. Whitehall is the “Home of the U.S. Navy,” so damn those torpedoes.
Yes, Whitehall is a sleepy New England town with charm galore, but it borders on paranormal, if not abnormal, creatures: Champ is the Loch Ness Monster of nearby Lake Champlain, and the Beast of Whitehall, (the Abair Road Incident) has been skulking around the Adirondack Mountains since settlers first arrived. Now the local Chamber of Commerce seems to be cashing in.
We don’t know if Hawkeye and Uncas ran into them during the Last of the Mohicans, but if they looked, Bigfoot was behind one of the trees.
This short, interesting local documentary was put together, based on a key 1976 sighting in which 11 police officers, local and state, responded when three local teens ran into a seven-foot monster with red eyes.
Officer Brian Gosselin’s younger brother is no longer among us, and this film is a testimony to his encounter. Brian remains haunted by the meeting and suffered years of ridicule as a police officer. His logs have mysteriously disappeared, despite his painstaking recollections.
First sightings occurred when people showed up in the area in the mid-1700s. The national protected area is bigger than most other national parks, including Yellowstone. It also has the distinction of being a protected area—that is, they ban any hunting of Bigfoot. He is a permanent resident, but hasn’t cast any ballots we know of.
Most academics disparage the idea of a large primate living secretly in Whitehall, even today. Alas, too, many of the key witnesses from the 1970s have amazingly already passed away: Dan Gordon gave an extraordinary interview to Monsterquest and died in 2016, while Paul Gosselin died in 2015. It is hard to believe how fast time passes. Even Bigfoot’s grandchildren must now be secretly roaming the woods outside of Whitehall.