Hunt for Real Dragons!

NOT MYSTERYQUEST, BUT MONSTERQUEST

DATELINE: Monsterquest Provides More Thrills

These lizards that once topped 40 feet, or the size of a bus, have been gone for 40,000 years according to some experts. However, on Monsterquest, in Australia, there have been sightings of monster dragons (monitor lizards?) that run at least 20 feet in length back in 1890. It was hunted and disappeared.

On Monsterquest, there is no such thing as extinction.

Today there are reports growing that something at least that big is in southern Australia. Since the habitat of these creatures was in tradition around the equator (northern Australia), they have moved increasingly south.

WE don’t expect to see one parading around in Central Park, but knowing what is in the Everglades, we wouldn’t be surprised. Footprints have been found that rival anything of Bigfoot near Alice Springs.

You’d have to accept the notion that alligators and great white sharks both grow to 20 feet normally. So, a monitor lizard of that size should not surprise. We did learn that lizards grow all through their lives, and only death stops that size.

So, your sprinting lizard could catch and rip a human apart easily. No comfort there. Aboriginal reports put the lizard at 10,000 years ago after the Ice Age. Could they survive in bush country?

Mysteryquestassembles a team of cryptozoologists (people without a degree or academic standing). The braver and younger team is in Indonesia at Komodo Island where a child was killed by a big dragon several years ago. These guys use a stick and rope to catch a dragon and measure it. They find several nine feet long, but the Australian team is smaller, older, and less lucky.

These creatures have saliva that contains fifty kinds of toxins that cause sepsis quickly, though one Smithsonian expert notes that if they bite something, it comes off.

Once again, Monsterquest has a solid episode without much result, but plenty of information and intrigue. As for the footprint, one museum expert with real credentials said it was too symmetrical and looked like it was artificially created.

If there was a truly disturbing moment, it was when the show switched to a commercial with that Australian lizard who sells insurance. Talk about frightening. 

Return of Former Celtics?

DATELINE: Past is Prologue

For a team eliminated out of the playoffs in a collapse, the powers of Boston Celtics high command think the problem was in a lack of veteran presence to calm the choppy waters.

The Smart man, Marcus, may be history like his two predecessors before next season commences.

To that end, the Celtics may be looking at returns of the native that will shake up the Boston sports scene even more than a night out having dinner with a COVID-19 colleague.

Rajon Rondo, who made the word mercurial a common vocabulary lesson for years in Celtics Green, will be a free agent after winning a title with the Lakers. He has the dubious honor of winning the 17thchampionship with both teams.

It seems almost poetic to have him return to Boston to lead a charge to hoist an 18thbanner.  Yet, not so fast, you nostalgia fans.

The Celtics have a second retread whose tires need to be kicked. Isaiah Thomas, who played hurt and in mourning to prove his green bona fides,is also available to be a backup returnee.

The Celtics do not really have a veteran backup point guard—and since we made a cottage living out of writing blogs on both Rondo and Thomas before retiring out of lack of material, we are ready to resume the resume.

Yes, either Rondo or Thomas would give us great strides in resurging our chops of humor back on Celtics. Whether either or neither appears on the roster this off-season, we have hope springing out of our keyboard.

Imagine a reunion with either and our sarcastic satiric barbs. We have begun forging our needles and knives in fire out of such keen anticipation.

Oh, a last hurrah is always so poignant.

 

 

 

Mysteryquest: 4th Reich Regenerated in US?

Original Bormann grave in Ita, Paraguay

DATELINE: Reich and Wrong

Back in 2009,Mysteryquest listed an examination of the continuation of the Third Reich through the theoretical Odessa Organisation.

According to war crimes experts, Odessa was the name of a secret group that was dedicated to helping about 100,000 Nazis flee Germany in the five or six years after the fall of Hitler.

The Mysteryquestshow to prove or disprove the existence of Odessa actually was sidetracked into a Nazi hunt for how leading Nazis (Eichmann, Bormann, and Mengele) managed to evade the authorities after World War II and took up refuge in South America, notably Paraguay.

The evidence pointed to an escape route, enabled by extreme Roman Catholic priests who supported the Nazis. There is some evidence that the Catholic church continues to cover up the crime of fugitive Nazis as late as 2009.

All this seems to take on new life with the emergence of right-wing white supremacist groups like Proud Boys in the United States under the Trump regime. The attempt to fill the Supreme Court with Nazi sympathizers would fulfill the promise of a Fourth Reich.

 

According to Mysteryquest over a decade ago, Bormann’s body was buried originally in 1959 in Paraguay where he died—but his remains were moved to Germany after that to hide his escape and thwart investigators. The body had the DNA of Bormann, including newer dental work, done long after the collapse of the Third Reich.

With journalists and writers like Graeme Wood, the show did not prove Odessa existed, but surely indicated that far-right extremists were still a powerful force in the world.

 

 

 

Monsterquest Looks at Chupacabra

DATELINE: Or is that Chupalabera?

 Specimen, dead thankfully.

Are you a dog or a cat?  Perhaps you are some kind of hybrid species from interbreeding creatures.

The Chubacupla, or is that Chupacabra, is examined in two locations by the series: Texas and Puerto Rico. It seems that an island is a hard place to reach, meaning it was brought there. These creatures are somewhat similar and are bloodsucking killers who have a thirst, but do not eat flesh.

They are also fearless of people, which is disconcerting.

The Monsterquest team is a wildlife expert and a cryptozoologist who tends to wear all black leather (of course). They make a good team, going out in Texas with bait, infra-red cameras, and nerves of steel. Of course, as expected, one of the key cameras malfunctions, denying us an image.

Puerto Ricans have been seeing the creature for 25 years, and it seems to have come out of hibernation after bad hurricane devastation.

The animals in Texas seem to be covering hundreds of miles, but all share similar DNA and hair follicles.

Locals have shot these things and kept samples of hair, skin, and teeth, that are sent to university scientists. The result is something akin to canine, but likely an interbred wolf, fox, coyote, and hairless dog, or they are likely suffering from mange.

Whatever is out there seems to belong to a growing population. And, we suspect that it won’t be long before we see these creatures in other parts of the nation.

More meat than usual, more results than usual, and the same crypto-questions remain. This was one of the series’ good entries.

 

 

 

Broken Noses, Unbroken Style

DATELINE: Weber’s Boys

Bruce Weber, as a film-maker and fashionista, made a career of studying masculinity in all its forms. He started with a young boxing coach named Andy Minsker and his latest is a bio-doc about Robert Mitchum.

In between during his long career, Weber has run into the wall of many from his generation: the values and relationships with male models he created in the beginning have not held up to today’s more overly sensitive accusers.

Yes, Bruce Weber has suffered charges of sexual harassment from a dozen or more men who might have let it slide years ago. Today, money-struck and fame-driven revenge pulls these guys into a world of accusations, both dubious and false.

In Weber’s first movie, Broken Noses,he took on a lookalike to jazz beauty Chet Baker. This young man, born in 1982, had been a teenage boxing champ—and coached other adolescents in how to box.

Today with horrors over concussions and other masculine pursuits deemed too violent, that world of homoerotic attraction is far more dangerous for other reasons, like being a Boy Scout leader.

Minsker was adorable, charming, and could likely win followers with his easy-going personality. His image on T-shirts from youth still may bring him fame. Weber made him into a book of photos—and relentless celebrity.

The film in black and white from 1987 is hypnotic and staggering to think it could never be made today. Even back then, the Olympic people warned boys to avoid Weber. Andy Minsker was utterly intrigued by the alarms and pursued Weber.

Interestingly, Weber next went on to do a film  Let’s Get Lost  on Chet Baker right before the jazz great met a hideous end.

As for Broken Noses,you might see more than the surface and inclinations in that regard are like reading Tarot cards. You may see something insightful, or you may just go off the deep end.

These young adolescents were part of a norm for the 1980s, and they were the last of a breed. Soon political correctness and re-defined masculine codes would end this world of seductive youth.

Weber’s career has its notoriety and its sublime beauty, and to see Broken Noses thirty years later is like looking at an extinct animal in the wild.

You may fall out of the orbit of Weber’s men and boys, but you cannot deny his sociological and psychological truisms.

What’s Bugging Voters Most?

Just for Men!

Great moments in American politics are hard to find nowadays with Proud Boys mixing it up with kidnappers at Trump rallies.  However, the fly on Pence may last for generations of politics as fallout.

Your hair spray will do you in eventually.

If Pence had only used Just for Men in a dark shade, you would have found the bug blend into the follicles.

Pence has lost the chance to use the slogan, “No Flies on Me!”

Kamala Harris is now viral, singing a remix of sorts about the Fly. And, this one does not star Vincent Price.

Biden’s campaign is now locked into swatting away at $10 a pop their own little weapon against flies.

No one will ever again tell Mike Pence to zip up his fly.

Proud boys may soon become a version of fly boys.

You have to say the debate gave off a stink that attracted the star of Amityville and the progenitor of Maggotworld.

Why did the fly stay on the side of Pence? Did those plastic barriers prove to be insurmountable?

Two minutes for a fly is half a lifetime. Yet, that bug stayed still for a long bout of cootie watching. Something in Pence’s hair smelled good, tasted good, or looked good.

But flies are never a good look on national TV. This year, 2020, has not only proved hindsight is blind, but that Raid is now your best choice for hair control.

Nazis Versus Aliens? Not Exactly

DATELINE: Help from Another Galaxy

A group of people in uniform

Description automatically generated
Von Braun with Nazis

This mishmash uses a title that suggests that the Nazis and space aliens were opponent. However, the film more fittingly states that the visitors from outer space helped the Nazis and supported them. It is a horrid thought that these creatures are not exactly out to help humankind but support letting factions on Earth kill each other.

Here is another misnomer and misleader when it comes to Nazi approval. This time the special from American Heroes Channel, no less, uses a minor connection to Nazi Wonder Weapons to lead into 21sttechnology.

If you are looking for some kind of competition or rivalry between Nazi technology and alien visitors, you won’t find anything like that under the false advertising of this deceptive documentary.

There is some theory espoused that the Nazi scientists were visionaries. Forget any hints that they used concentration camp labor to death to accomplish whatever last minute inventions were in their evil arsenal. Speer and Von Braun are not held accountable.

No attempt is made to delineate Nazism with anything bad, only with progress The so-called experts are young exuberant “journalists” who seem to be salivating over the Nazi “accomplishments.” This film could be endorsed by the Proud Boys as they threaten to kidnap and to kill female governors in the U.S..

But then this execrable doc notes the United States went in a different direction to create the greatest war progress with an atomic bomb. So, right there, you have no connection between the Nazi flying wings and stealth aircraft and American technology.

Then, you throw in the Soviet espionage. Nothing is said of either side capturing , then using former Nazi scientists to jump-start their weapons programs. This film ignores whatever seems to impede its bizarre narrative chronology.

As bad documentaries go, this one has better production values, but worse historical sense and logic. After telling us that the military was flying balloons (the Roswell crash was one) to check on Soviet nuclear explosions. Then, the nation is surprised? 

The show then draws a parallel between Soviet Red Menace and UFOs. Not Nazis. They show photos of Werner von Braun, but glossing over that he was a Nazi scientist. The focus of the program is the Space Race of the 1950s and 1960s, creating Area 51, a cryptic Soviet style base.

This scattershot approach tackles everything.

Add this to the growing list of ahistorical assessments of Nazis by 21stcentury ahistorians. Just appalling.

Booksellers and Book Buyers

DATELINE: Dying Art of Dying Breed

Readers Anonymous?

The vast opinion nowadays is that book collecting is a form of dust collecting. And, this little doc tells us something about the sellers and the buyers. Author Fran Leibowitz provides some cogent and hilarious commentary in The Booksellers.

Taking a look behind the scenes of New York’s lively bookseller market may be less than pleasant, however interesting. This little documentary gives us some monitoring of a business that was stable for 150 years—until the PC and Internet changed everything.

The Booksellerstakes a pulse of intellectual America. It needs more oxygen than Trump.

As someone who has a library with a couple of thousand books, I know that I am a dinosaur. Most friends have no books in their homes, and don’t VHS tapes either because they don’t own a player.

Book owners are often academic types who have piles of books from years of teaching college. In fact, many booksellers were former academics who left teaching because they’d rather read than deal with people.

So the vast number of bookdealers in this film own cats, live in dusty apartments with books from floor to ceiling. They complain that the Internet has taken joy from collecting: they used to look for a book for 20 years that no one will buy, and they put on a shelf for the rest of their lives.

Personal book collecting is a dying art, or dying obsession. Most books that are collectible (like Ian Fleming 1steditions go for $100,000).  So, collectors are now looking at autographs and manuscripts, movie scripts and other paper documents. 

The film dabbles in a dozen New York sellers, like the Argosy Bookstore and the three sisters who run it.

Sellers still hold fairs, and interesting people show up. However there are now only 20% of the number of bookstores in New York than years ago (now about 75). Big chain stores are also dying because of Internet sales. And, a small group of obsessed types are opening tiny specialty bookstores here and there.

The film focuses finally on women (the true readers of the era) as taking over whatever is left of the business and collecting.

The art is not dead: but most of the collectors will be soon.

Lost Lincoln Deathbed Photo

Partial Image.

Discovery Channel offered one of the most intriguing documentaries of the past few years: someone has located or revealed a photo of Abe Lincoln taken shortly after he died on the bed at the house across from Ford’s Theatre.

The photo is so creepy and weird looking that you may be unconvinced until the lead researcher, Dr. Whitny Braun brings in her big guns:  a battery of PhDs and MDs to take us through the investigation.

Yes, she can trace it to the family of Lincoln’s mother in Illinois. It was given to them by a man who had charge of Lincoln’s body for several hours. He apparently allowed the Ulke brothers, professional photographers, to secretly enter the room and take the picture, which is an ambrotype glass plate in a little frame.

They knew Lincoln and lived in the building. It was against the War Secretary’s orders to take photos of Lincoln in death, though many people did this in the 19thcentury.

The brothers had another picture of the bloody bed, empty, that was hidden until the 1960s. This new one is now locked in a bank vault as a legal fight continues over who owns it.

It could be worth millions, as it is the 130thphoto of Lincoln.

The medical explanations for his looks are stunning, as his hands are clenched. It was not a peaceful death as the legend reports. The man suffered with a lead bullet in his brain stem for eight hours. Today they could have saved him, but back then he was doomed.

If you have a sense of the ghoulish and grisly, you will be utterly fascinated by this investigation. The picture is coyly hidden for almost an hour of the documentary—and to see it is shocking.

This is history in a morbid vein. Your choice. We will only show part of the photo out of respect.

Essential Movie Critic: Pauline Kael

DATELINE: Role Over Model

A documentary on the life of movie critic Pauline Kael would seem to be counter-productive. The late genius of insight into movies was hardly the stuff of action melodrama, but this film takes on her life—unwed motherhood, marriages of convenience, a history of working in low-level jobs trying to find herself.

What She Said is about the art of Kael. It is more about words than images. For that reason it is a topic doomed to be wordy and not visual, yet there are plenty of home movies and photos of Kael. That notion might not please her. Her ideas were the key.

When she first sells a movie review in the early 1950s to the New Yorker, it was a scathing attack on Charlie Chaplin’s bloated egotistic movie, Limelight. It won her an audience and a career.

Her insights into movies, which she loved as a medium, contain brilliant insights that some movie makers in this film tell us were influential to their productions. We don’t believe it. They may have read Kael, but it was to see how she shot down their rivals.

We would have preferred a film in which someone simply read some of her most scathing comments about well-known films over her life. She collected about 14 books of her critiques. And, they are delightful to read.

Sometimes she is utterly wrong about a film and its importance, but she always gives an interesting perspective on what the cultural or artistic value really may be. Her views are meant for the wider, lasting meaning of life in the film world.

We admire Kael and used to read her work when it came out. It frequently put good movies into a framework, and bad movies into a trash can.

She might have been the first to tell you this documentary is unnecessary and superfluous. Just read her books.

Enchanted Cottage: Ghostly Choice!

DATELINE: More Augurs

Into the Vortex?

When I entered the library this morning, where I have many Titanic books and keepsakes, there was once again something out of place. The house once belonged to a couple of victims who died on Titanic, and their presence is never far away.

So, on the floor, tossed off the wall shelf was a single DVD, tossed quite a distance. It landed on the edge of a new addition to the room: a vortex rug.

When psychics told me there was a vortex in the floor, through which the spirit world had a rapid transit station, I covered it with a vortex rug.

How appropriate that my spirit resident nearly had a bullseye with his toss.

The DVD is The Enchanted Cottage,little fantasy movie from 1945 about a wounded war veteran, harmed emotionally and physically, and an ugly girl who is the cottage housekeeper. They soon find the house makes them see the world differently. The stars are Robert Young and Dorothy Maguire.

A spirit at the cottage makes them see each other as whole and spiritually lovely. They grow beautiful and young. It is all tied together by a blind man (Herbert Marshall, of course) who helps them understand.

The film was based on a play by Sir Arthur Wingo Pinero and was adapted by DeWitt Bodeen for the screen.

The film is a trifle, but my ghostly resident thought enough of it to give it a look. When he visits books or DVDs, he finishes up by tossing them to the floor. He seems to have the power to enter them as an orb and see what’s inside. 

Since I set up the library, he has put many a film or book to the carpet, including a couple of Titanic books and DVDs, as well as a photo of his family homestead on Diamond Head, Hawaii. He likes to visit these items, and I am happy to make them available to interested ghostly parties.

Death in the Bunker

DATELINE: Endings 

Appalling Parents of the Year?

When this documentary blurb stated, the true story, we were taken aback: you mean the hundred shows where we  have seen all the details, can be wrong!??

Death in the Bunker  really starts off by talking not about the final ten days, as they advertised, but the final twelve days. Our criticism was quickly allayed. This quickly turned into a magnificent and sharp picture of the end of the Nazi madness.

We were stunned by the rare footage, both newsreel and interviews, that we had somehow missed along the way. Later, they noted that the Soviets had forty newsreel guys shooting footage. It paid off with tons of interesting angles of the invasion of Berlin.

We were still overwhelmed by the photos of average Germans who were part of propaganda. If you looked closely, many of the bystanders looked like they were in a nightmare listening to maniacs.

Well, they were. And, absolutely staggering was the catatonic reactions from those low level functionaries who knew Magda Goebbels, Eva Braun, or even had conversations with Hitler in the final days.

The consensus was that he was a demoralized shadow, however insane. He clearly had not been replaced by a double while he escaped with space aliens, as has been postulated.

The Russians contend they have his teeth, Magda’s denture, and Joseph Goebbels’ club foot prosthetics.

To see their murder of their six children so they would not have to live in a world without Nazis is horrifying.

This turned out to be one of the most impressive documentaries on the end of the regime.

Dalmatian Jasper Stones

DATELINE: More Mysteries of History

 Signs of psychic protection?

A summer of mysterious signs at my historic home has finished with a flourish of new augurs. Over the course of the month of September, there had been such bizarre occurrences as a black butterfly hovering and settling on my white garden love-seat.

I had a visit on three consecutive days by a gold finch who showed up at the same time, same place, then never came by again.

And of course, I found white quartz stone next to my driveway where I had never seen it on a lawn that is mowed regularly. All three events have mystical connotations, interpreted differently by many cultures.

Suffice it to say: when your home was once the property of victims of the Titanic, and paranormal is the norm, you can expect more.

Today, that event arrived: home from having morning bloodwork at the lab, there in the grass next to the driveway in the same spot where the white quartz rock had rested, there were several oval white, black speckled stones.

They were not there previously. We would have seen them. Nothing more is there, and if something turns up, we will know what is afoot.

According to Internet lore, they are Dalmatian Jaspers, a rare stone that promotes calmness, stops insomnia, and helps with meditation. They are considered psychic protection.

Now they rest in my library with other stange marvels of psychic power, What will they bring? Will spirits respond? We can only wait and anticipate.

Pictured are the Dalmatian stones. One of the Titanic victims used to collect rocks around the yard: we cannot help but think these were the kind he enjoyed finding.

 

 

 

 

Dangerous Primates: Monsterous!

DATELINE: Not Man.

BigChimp

When we saw the title, our thought; the most dangerous primates are members of the Monsterquest  investigation team.

You might think the most dangerous primate on Earth is humans, but actually there are many chimpanzees here in captivity as pets. Their insane tantrums are well-documented, andMonsterquestexamines the problem of these dangerous creatures who can grow to the size of an adult male.

They can be quite unpleasant and unruly, ripping people apart ruthlessly in a fit of anger. Monsterquest  gruesomely documents this in the latest episode.

Horrific photos, seen by us for the first time, of a victim in Connecticut showed the poor woman who survived with a face transplant, no hands, and blind, from the attack.

Half the states in the US allow chimpanzees as pets. And, Florida, of course, has had over 70 sightings of wild roving chimps in the swamps. Speculation centers on released or escaped primates. Once again, Florida is the place where nature is allowed to run wild and old folks are in constant danger. Not crocs, chimps. Dr. Hogan Sherrow seems knowledgeable enough, but he’s left back in the swamps.

One chimp escaped in California, and his owners were frantic to find him as they had raised him since he was a baby: speculation was that he could not survive in the wilds because he was 42 years old.

There is not much evidence during the Monsterquest investigation, though they find just about every other wild animal in Florida. Abruptly, they switch to the Pacific and Vancouver Island where there are reports of extremely large primates. They sound exactly like Bigfoot.

Clever enough,Monsterquest experts describe the Bigfoot and never uses the word for the remainder of the show, but we felt more than a little miffed that this has evolved, yet again, into another Bigfoot episode.

You hae the usual reports of smell, hostility to campers, and the odd footprint. Yup, this is Bigfoot territory. A promising episode turns out to be old hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack the Tailor of Beverly Hills

 DATELINE: You Are What You Call Yourself!

 Clothes Make the Man!

Upon first coming across a one-hour documentary on a fashion store in Beverly Hills, we thought it was one of those vanity documentaries, produced by its subject. Jack Taylor was a 90-year old high fashion artist from old Hollywood days.

The film is a tad old, with Taylor gone in 2016 and his main supporter, Mike Douglas, a decade before that. Yet, we are always eager to catch up on our past misgivings.

Jack Taylor hardly needs publicity, and business is dying out as his A-list celebrity patrons pass away. He would soon follow and take an era with him. He was the man who tailored all those magnificent suits worn by Cary Grant from the 1930s till his death. Grant would order a dozen suits at time.

We wondered if there were any celebs who’d go on camera for a commercial appearance—and there were plenty of men: Mike Douglas, Hal Linden, swore by Jack Taylor. Monty Hall wore a different outfit every show on Let’s Make a Deal, all created by Taylor.

He made clothes for Elvis, Sinatra, Charles Bronson, and so many men. He was not easy either. He would tell them not to eat or put on weight. His suits were meant to show them off at their best shape. His most obstreperous client was Jackie Gleason who needed 3 sizes, because of his weight changes over weeks and months.

Taylor would tell them to eat only half the plate at the restaurant. He did not do alterations, or sew the suits. He has a 60-year tailor for that: he has worked for Taylor for sixty years. He’s in his 80s. But both lament there are no tailors any longer.

We are looking at the extinction of men’s fashion. There was no endangered species list: men’s suits and ties were dinosaurs when the political landscape changed its pants.

Clothes for men nowadays are off the rack at best, and China imports at worst. Jack Taylor knows his world of well-dressed men is fading away. He thinks the 1940s were the last gasp, but the war killed it at that point. And, the 1970s turned into a fashion death knell for men’s clothing with jeans and t-shirts as the extent of wardrobe.

We never expected to be fascinated at expensive clothes, being a recluse who never makes public appearances. However, celebrities still know a good suit is essential, but they are going to have a hard time finding anyone to replace jack Taylor.