Lincoln Murder Conspiracy & Civil War Gold

DATELINE: More than Expected?

Nutcake Stanton Edwin Nutcake Stanton.

You could say that Alex Lagina, son of producer Marty Lagina, is picking his moments to stay clear of the series—and when to jump in to take over.

We still haven’t figured out what the Curse of Civil War Gold may be:  perhaps the show should have been configured as the Conspiracy of Civil War Gold.

In more idiocy, Kevin Dykstra seems determined to go out onto Lake Michigan when heavy waves could capsize his boat and bring physical harm to members of his search team.

You may have noticed that Alex Lagina stayed clear of this aspect of the search. He did come in toward the end, when again the Masons were made to be culprits in the Hackley scheme to steal the Confederate treasury.

Hackley now has been tied to the freemasons, and his propensity to build tunnels between his various building projects looks suspicious. Now there is an attempt to show Charles Hackley wanted to make Michigan a rival to New York as a financial capital with capitol.

As the richest man in Muskegon, Michigan, Hackley built hospitals and schools with his money (wherever it came from) and that philanthropy continues to be tainted with each show in the series.

After this night, Hackley is tied in to Edwin ‘Nutcake’ Stanton, the notorious Secretary of War under Lincoln whose mad techniques led him to suicide and/or murder. On top of this, he’s accused of being a freemason, worse than anything else.  It’s Alex Lagina who brings in another “author” and investigative journalist to liven up the stolen gold tale with assassination plots.

If this seems to be turning from a molehill of gold into a conspiracy of historical proportions, you may wonder how far afield can the History Channel take us.

Stay tuned because the plot just thickened.

 

 

 

 

Glen or Glenda: Ed or Edwina?

DATELINE:  Transvest or Transsex?

ed Glen, Ed, or Alan Young?

We never thought we’d tackle Ed Wood, figuring it was beyond anything we could tolerate.

You never know until you sample the wares. Perhaps the decades of derision about his schlock-master directing jobs, or worse, being portrayed in a movie by Johnny Depp, has left Edward Wood with a reputation in tatters. He has become synonymous with laughingstock. What a shame.

Glen or Glenda was one of his daring efforts of 1953, on the heels of Christine Jorgensen and the sex-change scandals of that socially calm time.

Looking like a version of Alan Young on steroids, Ed Wood made us think Mr. Ed will show up at any point. However, it was Mr. Ed Wood who played the outrageous Glenda in blonde wig and high heels.

Simplistic and well-intended, the film was way ahead of its time in terms of trying to present a subject that was laughable to society. He likely contributed to the snide attitudes with his masculine “woman” who dresses like his girlfriend.

Indeed, the high point of their relationship is when she understandingly gives him her beautiful angora sweater that he yearns to wear.

The notion that transvestites and transsexuals were similar is debunked here, as well as the notion that transvestites were homosexual. You have to give Wood credit. He was trying too hard to bring legitimacy to the subject matter.

On hand, inexplicably, is Bela Lugosi, sending in his performance from an armchair. You might ask why is he here? Well, box-office and a payday for him could be the answer. He talks a great deal of gibberish in his tacked-on loony scenes.

Mostly the story is a psychiatrist telling Lyle Talbot, as a sympathetic detective who has found a suicide victim (a man dressed as a woman) and he wants to understand. Talbot also added a presence to the film, as he was better known from being the neighbor friend to Ozzie and Harriet on TV!

The low-budget film is in its own way equal to anything Kenneth Anger was trying to do outside the Hollywood system. Wood works with bad actors, bad script, bad sets, and a wacky message, to present something presentable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Deco Icons: Short Brit Series

DATELINE: Casa de Orient Express

casa del rio Casa!

A man named David Heathcote is billed as a design historian of all things Art Deco, and he hosts this four-episode series. Each program is about half an hour, and the selected areas of study are not the best examples, but they will serve as a teaching tool.

Heathcote visits Claridge’s, the swank Art Deco hotel in Mayfair, London, as well as the London Transport building. He also takes in Casa del Rio, and the juiciest of all, the Orient Express train.

With long and flowing silver hair, Heathcote has a tendency not to look into the camera, which leads us to think he is talking to someone other than his TV audience.

We always want to explore other areas or spend more time in a certain place the host shows us, but we are at his peripatetic mercy. He always moves on, blithely climbing staircase after staircase. Perhaps he just wants to show us the decorative elements in hallways, but we of lazy bones yearn for an elevator.

In the first episode, Heathcote seems befuddled by a butler in his hotel suite, unpacking. And, he calls having breakfast in his hotel room a bit too much, when that is what we always prefer. We generally rise from bed when it is delivered.

Heathcote notes that the Art Deco Transport of London is quite modern and American. Indeed, some of the stations look like flying saucers, not train depots. They hold up their modernity quite well.

Not until the final two episodes does the show hit its stride magnificently.

Heathcote clearly is more comfortable with the camera and the presentation. He visits two major art deco sites: Casa del Rio and the Orient Express train.

The hacienda in England is as out of place as you might expect: it is Pickfair on the Devon, a Hollywood version of a Spanish mansion in Olde California. Of course, there were old haciendas in California, but seldom in England. It is stunning in silver, black & white tiles, verandas, and wrought iron.

The Orient Express, restored in the 1980s, used actual cars from the original train—and used in the Agatha Christie movie version. It is romantic, exciting, and delightful to observe the detailed carvings and colors.

If you want to cherry-pick your episodes, opt for the final two.

 

 

 

American Experience Fails H.G. & Orson Too

 DATELINE: War of the Worlds

orson  Orson, not H.G.

We can usually count on American Experience documentaries to give us intelligent and insightful looks at history.

Nobody is perfect, and an attempt to look at the 1938 radio broadcast that made young hotshot Orson Welles a household name is disappointing. War of the Worlds probably owed more to the idiocy of audiences and their unsophisticated and non-critical thinking skills.

In some ways, not much has changed when it comes to the public and its media habits. However, radio as the first big democratic source of info learned that it’s not nice to fool people, even on Halloween.

Half-way through the broadcast, executives wanted to stop Welles, but Orson had a head a steam up—and he ignored his producer John Houseman and his writer Howard Koch. He did it his way: and it won him a contract in Hollywood. Houseman thought it was a terrible idea and that Welles never read Wells.

In his own rash dash style, Welles came up with a mimic newsreel approach to the topic, eschewing the real H.G. Wells for his own personality. After all, this was the man who put on Macbeth in Harlem with an all-black cast and set it in 19th century Haiti. He dared convention.

Welles provided a contrite and unbelievable apology next morning. It must rank as the worst performance he ever gave. He hardly could hide his smirk.

As for the documentary of the event, the film uses bad actors, emoting and faking, pretending to be people in 1938 (wearing period clothes in black and white film) who talk unconvincingly about their experience listening to the program. These imbecilic comments were based on real letters.

The technique fails miserably and demeans the entire hour-long episode of American Experience. Five weeks after the broadcast of 1938, the FCC fully exonerated Orson for his folly.

 

Same Old? Ancient Astronauts Return!

 DATELINE: Colder Spots

Antarctica Portal of No Return?

Another batch of crypto-history with Giorgio, Nick Pope, David Childress, Linda Moulton Howe et al, awaits us, starting with “Return to Antarctica”. It only seems like a rerun, or a rehash, as the series is apt to do, ad nauseum.

The ice pack of the South Pole may be a good place to investigate for strange activities. And, with three miles of ice atop the ground, it provides a fertile area for speculation. And, Ancient Aliens is not shy about noting there are volcanic warm spots under the ice where military bases may be as a home for colonizing space creatures.

Linda Moulton Howe finds a retired military career soldier who volunteered for Antarctica duty and will speak only with facial and voice distortion. He saw plenty but is too afraid to talk in public—and only confides to Howe.

Satellite images indicate again that there are strange crashed spacecraft in the ice, and the government of the U.S. won’t allow people to fly over certain areas where they might see neighbors from another galaxy in residence.

The old chestnut of Hitler making a deal with space visitors before World War II and sending down a flotilla to make a Fourth Reich always seems to be too far-out for an advanced civilization. Yet, here it is again.

Filling vast empty spaces and unknown and unexplored territory is right down the pike for the series—and they make the most of what could be there and how explorers like Admiral Byrd have warned the world off the place.

We note during end credits that Bill Mumy, formerly of Lost in Space as Will Robinson, is still on board the space continuum as one of the producers of the series. The Robot is not around to tell us this does not compute.

It’s a good start for another round of speculative shows.

Civil War Gold: Southern Discomfort

DATELINE:  Another Tangential Search

Alex & Gary Hostile Take-over?

When Kevin Dykstra notes how glad he is to be returning to Georgia for this fifth episode of Curse of Civil War Gold, there is a strong sense that his nose grew about five inches.

We didn’t believe him. Again.

Dykstra now comes up with a third brother (Darren) also a diver and leaves him to clean up the lake-bottom while the other brothers go south. It’s beginning to look like the weak link in the show is Dykstra himself—and Alex Lagina cannot save the day.

Gary Drayton once again, in a throwaway role, steals the show, finding horseshoes, silver rings, and pieces of metal off a Confederate uniform. His sharp wit and insights blow the hosts out of the creek in which they are digging.

The show has two angles that now splits the message by suggesting gold is in multiple locations—and the Lake Michigan search may be only one minor aspect.

So, in this episode they shoot the horse that was leading the charge.

This time he has information from a descendant of a plantation owner. He insists she is “legit” in her information, which is paltry. We also wondered why she is telling him anything at all. These gold seeping out of creeks after rainstorms according to her great aunt.

It also appears that another expert is a former mayor and novelist (that’s a fiction writer) who insists he has insider info too. It seems everyone was an ex-Reb robber—and there was gold being taken by wagons out of the Confederate treasury in buckets.

If you want to have a less respectful opinion of these gold hunters, they drive from Michigan to Georgia. There they meet up with Alex Lagina (now described as the “investor’s son”—something for his resume) and Gary Drayton.

At least, the best part of the show has returned for this episode. They have permission to dig on 300 acres where gold may be hidden, though the other 700 acres are off-limits.

We are not sure how they can remove Dykstra without a revamping and re-imagining of the entire show concept. The man who brought the idea to Marty Lagina may be all wrong to bring the idea to fruition.

 

Andrea Doria, Sinking Slowly into History

DATELINE: End of Luxury Ship Travel

doria

The List of Andrea Doria.

An Italian documentary, it may be suspect as having some prejudice in favor of the Italian liner that came to its doom in 1956. The Sinking of the Andrea Doria may be the opposite of Titanic’s helpless 1500 fatalities, where 1200 lived off Andrea Doria and a few dozen unfortunates met their deaths.

The film is an abject lesson about what might have been recorded on Titanic if the accident occurred during daylight to see the sinking, and if there had been modern media. Andrea Doria seemed also quaint in its destruction in a technological age. Yet ships still did not directly communicate, and radar in fog seemed unreliable. The real problem again is human error.

On its 101st voyage across the Atlantic, with an aging captain ready for his last trip, in summer, there could not be any icebergs. It was far worse when a direct impact slice into its side. Slower to sink, with more rescue ships nearby, the death toll was nowhere as bad as 50 years earlier.

Indeed, if you are waiting for parallels to be drawn between this luxury ship, believed the height of technology in 1950s futuristic mechanics, and its counterpart, the unsinkable Titanic, you may wait a long time.

RMS Titanic is mentioned but twice in regard to lifeboat numbers. The connection is never more than: Andrea Doria had enough lifeboats to save everyone; they just were listing so badly that half of them could not be launched. That was the panic and horror.

This ship, like Titanic, was an art museum on water. Each was meant to be a playground for first-class elite. And, each kept other classes separate and discrete: indeed, third-class was now “tourist class.” And, they had their own swimming pool, but never would the big money gentry meet the under-privileged.

The likes of Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Ty Power, Orson Welles, and other grand stars often took the slow, luxurious week-long sail across the ocean. The film never mentions the only big star on board: Ruth Roman who lost her jewels, not her life.

Unlike Titanic, Andrea Doria’s demise likely put the cap on all luxury ships. Jet aircraft became the safer rage.

The Stockholm hit the Andrea Doria like a can opener on a can of baked beans. It killed over 50 people in the collision. One girl was thrown off her bed in the ship into the open hole that was the offending smaller ship.

If you were looking for blame, try the old chestnut term: “cover up.”

Both ships were represented by Lloyd’s of London who conspired to hush up everything they could. Worse for the Italians, they didn’t know how to handle media—and the Swedes put their story out, blaming the former allies of Hitler for the problem.

Not until recently did the story come out fully: and the Swedish third mate, Carstens, may have been at the eye of the trouble.

The Andrea Doria took a dozen hours to sink, giving media a chance to film its demise into 76 meters of ocean. Unlike Titanic, this modern ship was dangerously dive-able—and no one mentions the idiots who died trying to salvage the Italian liner.

As telling as this documentary is, it seems to miss out on much information.

 

 

The Last Days of Anne Boleyn

DATELINE:  Off Kilter & Off with Her Head?

Boleyn Plain Jane Came Later!

A documentary about the trial and execution of Henry VIII’s second wife, 500 years ago, sends historians into a tizzy of debate. It’s the last days, literally, of Anne Boleyn, just about a couple of months of instant downfall.

The hour-long film puts most of its focus in a six-month period after she seemed ready to take over as a powerful queen—almost immediately fortunes turned against her. She miscarried a male heir, and she alienated the powerful aide to Henry.

They wonder if she deserved execution, or whether it was a giant conspiracy to eliminate an upstart to the throne.

No one mentions that her ghost wanders the halls of various castles holding her head under an arm. If you wonder about the relative nature of injustice, that’s a compelling notion. She gave a confession in the hours before her death, saying she did nothing “physical,” whatever she was hinting.

Anne Boleyn was too clever for her own good, and she was a woman ahead of her time, thinking she could influence and advise the king. Her adversary seemed to be Thomas Cromwell, a man who would be right at home in a Trump cabinet.

She was accused of having sex with five men, including her brother. Henry never saw her after the accusations, and the kangaroo trial sent her the message that innocence is no protection in a world where the whim of a king is law.

In case, you’re wondering: Henry married the next wife not two weeks after Boleyn’s death in 1536. That may speak volumes about failing to deliver a male heir, which was her royal duty.

As for Cromwell, he too met an untimely end for treason: Henry wasn’t about to leave loose ends around his court.

When the floodgates open, you don’t stand a chance–and that history lesson remains the same 500 years later.

 

Hitler’s Secrets, Again!

DATELINE: Last Birthday Gift for Adolph?

Birthday Greetings from Eva Faithful Fool.

Hitler likely could have his own cable network: the documentaries just keep coming.

We prove to be a saphead when it comes to Hitler tales. Suckered in again to Hitler secrets, we watched Hitler’s Last Secrets, a relative newcomer in 2017 to the controversies.

You knew a reaction, vehement and in focus, was bound to arise out of the spate of stories and documentaries that Hitler escaped death and took up residence in South America.

According to the French documentary, Hitler’s Last Secrets, this cottage industry is based on a house of cards and a bunker of bunk.

A French commandant named Rose led a group into the vandalized bunker months after Hitler’s alleged suicide and found a cache of original documents that he kept. Another collector had access to Eva Braun family letters, and together these are the basis for concluding Hitler refused to leave the bunker and killed himself before his May Day arrived.

We certainly concur that most of his hangers-on tried desperately to convince him to leave Berlin in the weeks before the end, but Albert Speer was most influential by arguing that the better Wagnerian opera ending was a go-down fighting scenario in Berlin.

Eva Braun held herself up as the last faithful supporter and threw a birthday party that proved how hypocritical all the others were. She received a wedding certificate for her trouble, followed immediately by a death certificate.

However logical this doc is, there remains an unknown element that could have given Hitler a chance to flee—and leave a double in the fortified bunker. Yet, the incontrovertible evidence that he had Parkinson’s and likely was not well enough to undergo hardship in escape remains strong.

With Stalin spewing misinformation, and suggesting the United States wanted to hide Hitler, it seems to undercut everything. Stalin was even more deluded than Hitler—and tended to live in his own reality.

We are left with an alternate viewpoint, but that simply gives us pause and the stuff of legend. That is, if you are really up for another Hitler story.

Oreo Cookies Not on Titanic Menu

 DATELINE: You Need a Biscuit?

Oreo biscuit 1912 1912 Version!

With Oreo Cookies in the news this week, another one of Trump’s “stable genius” appointees mixed up the distinction between an REO and an Oreo.

It came to our attention that the Oreo was invented and launched to the public on March 6, 1912, while the RMS Titanic was launched on April 12, 1912. So, we checked our First-Class Titanic menu for April 14, and learned that British-style biscuits were not proffered to passengers among the fancy pastry tray items.

The elite on the voyage had a choice of apple meringue, custard pudding, or assorted pastry. We think Animal Crackers were not on the docket.

Our spirit of choice, who stays in our haunted home, never had a chance to partake of an Oreo Cookie from the National Biscuit Company. He was a teenager during the years that the American cookie revolution hit:  oh, you would find Fig Newtons, Graham Crackers, Animal Crackers, and even Saltines, all invented in the first decade of the 20th century. Oreos came on the tail end.

In all likelihood, Richard White—who died on the Titanic at age 21—never heard of an Oreo Cookie.

Oreos have since been sunk into a billion glasses of milk by children, while the Titanic sank but once as it steamed into oblivion.

When first on the market, the Oreo was sold as an elegant, first-class “dessert sandwich.”  They came in a tin box to prevent dampness and water from turning them into soggy spoils.

Snobs of America, those lovers of all things Anglophilia around 1900, likely preferred ‘biscuits’ to ‘cookies’, in language terms. The cookie was a term around since the American Revolution, derived from a Dutch sounding word for little sweet cakes.

Since the Titanic was of British registry, you would not find a cookie aboard, though unkind people might have referred to Titanic passengers, artist Francis Davis Millet and his friend Archibald Butt, as a couple of sweetcakes.

By 1912, American children who had been introduced to snack-food cookies began a journey that would bring them to an epidemic crisis of diabetic proportions 100 years later.

And we have not even dunked our blog cookie into the racist use of the term Oreo.

 

 

Titanic Leap from Shelf

 DATELINE: Shocked in the Library!

leap from Titanic   Side by Side on Shelf: DVD titled Last Mysteries of the Titanic, next to photo or Richard White in Titanic’s Reading Room.

Oh, poltergeist generally are puckish spirits who have a tendency to throw items or create havoc with a brazen sense of humor.

We have posted a video on YouTube that shows a DVD named Last Mysteries of the Titanic, sitting next to a photo of Richard White in the First Class Reading Room of the Titanic, that took on a life of its own—and jumped from the shelf leaving me speechless.

Maybe the headline for YouTube should be “Ghost Throws Book at Writer.” My spirit guardian Richard and I would receive more hits, searches, and bingo moments.

In my Titanic Memorial Library, where my roommate spirit Richard spends some time, several psychics have noted that he always has a playful sense of fun.

The library is a commemoration to him, as he lived here once long ago, and then he died on Titanic, celebrating his college graduation on a maiden voyage of a luxury ship.

Earlier my security camera had mysteriously fallen down from its perch in the library where it had been completely secured with duct tape. It provides a late-night glimpse into the space where orbs, noises, and things that go bump tend to congregate. No one really wants to be there after dark.

However, around 8pm, still with dusk at hand, the camera had fallen onto a cushion on a chair. It could be re-secured before total blackness fell. Yet, later in the early morning hours, the camera fell again. I was not going in there at that hour.

Having an early morning cup of coffee to bolster the latest visit around 6:30am, we headed over there to restore the camera and face it directly at the floor-to-ceiling shelving of books and videotapes.

Once there, we accomplished our mission and stated aloud to the spirits present that we would check on the other memorabilia and souvenirs to see if they had fallen too.

Walking to the books, we were ginger in our steps, keeping an eye out for oddities. Upon looking at the books, we were startled when one of the DVDs came off the shelf just as we asked, “Has anything else fallen?”

You can see the incident caught on camera here.  It is posted on YouTube.

The movie in question on the shelf was a documentary on Titanic, of course. What else would jump off the shelf like a passenger trying to disembark a sinking ship?

As you can see from the footage captured, your host was clearly startled. It must have amused Richard and the other resident ghosts of the library.

It’s just another day at home when your housemates are spirits from another era.

Dali’s Greatest Secret & Miracle of Fatima

 DATELINE: Uninspired Dali?

Humdrum Dali Humdrum Dali?

If you have never heard of the Blue Army, you are not alone though it purportedly had 80 million followers at its peak. It was an organization tied to the Vatican by a couple of 1950s personalities who wanted to make sure the vision of hell as seen by 3 children in 1917 frightened people to convert to Catholicism.

The Paul Perry documentary Dali’s Greatest Secret may be hyperbole.

The miracle at Fatima was about small Portuguese children who witnessed an orb in the sky in the form of a woman who claimed to be Our Lady, mother of Christ. She terrified the children with visions and even appeared to thousands of hysterical people during her multiple visits to Fatima.

One child survived into adulthood, sworn to silence in a religious order: Lucia (called Lucy-ah throughout this documentary) kept a third secret that the Vatican withheld for a long time. Scaring children with visions of hell is not a nice thing to do, even in a good cause.

The Blue Army decided to commission the only man capable of depicting the children’s “Vision of Hell.” Atheist Salvadore Dali was given $15,000 to pain the image to help bolster the Blue Army numbers. It was meant to frighten the hippie generation into turning to God and Catholicism, over free love and communism.

Dali tried repeatedly to do something but could not. He needed to meet Lucia, but she at first refused. After a few years, she gave him 15 minutes that seemed to revive his inspiration. He actually converted back to Catholicism to do his painting with escargot forks.

Dali returned the money he was paid to priests associated with Fatima, but never showed anyone his final image of hell. Not his official photographer and executor of his estate, not to his last long-time mistress (both interviewed and showed the image on camera). It was largely unimpressive to them.

Even the Blue Army never saw the work in progress. A few experts claim it was too personal for public consumption for the surrealist who never shied away from tooting his horn.

What are we to make of the ultimate work? Perhaps that too is personal and may hinge on your attitude to Dali’s far-out notions. Perhaps he knew in his heart that it was one of his most inferior works.

 

 

 

Library of Dreams!

DATELINE:  Magic on the Bookshelves?

end table of Titanic   Brenda Duval’s Titanic End Table

We all know the famous baseball story by W.P. Kinsella, Field of Dreams, in which a man is inspired by a spirit of Shoeless Joe Jackson to build a baseball field in his cornfield.

As a result, he finds himself at the epicenter of spirit life.

We never presumed to be the builder of a “Library of Dreams,” yet it appears to be our role late in life. It was easy to change part of the house, the north wing, to a library to honor all the people who lived in the Spring Village area since 1800, but in particular we had a push by the main spirit who has reached out to us:  one of the passengers of the Titanic who met his end at an all-too young age of 21 years.

For decades, without knowing why, compelled by unknown forces, we have collected many items somehow associated with the infamous tragedy at sea that killed 1500 people: RMS Titanic.

Our part has been minor, pointing out only one more benighted victim of the arrogance of luxury and money in 1912. He is our spiritual chess-mate from Titanic.

Richard himself was privileged by birth, but also never had a chance to realize his potential as a poet and philanthropist.

Richard too loved libraries. The final library in his life was the First Class Reading Room on the Titanic. There is even a photo of him, back to camera, reading while his father was on deck, also photographed, looking for his son.

Within two days, they would drown.

Richard’s other favorite library belonged to his aunt, Julia White Castle, who married the Hawaiian pineapple king, James Castle. They had the largest library in Hawaii in 1900 in their Waikiki Diamond Head mansion.

Richard lived there for a year. While his brother went out to enjoy the climate and people, Richard enjoyed the hundred magazine subscriptions that arrived regularly .

Almost in irony, after Richard died, his brother Percy wrote over 25 books: they too adorn our library shelf.

Local artist Brenda Duval, painted a picture of Titanic at full steam atop an end table. It is a labor of love, as she has all four funnel stacks billowing dark smoke. Only three were functional: the fourth was for show. It was the one that fell off the ship after the iceberg hit. It smashed into the frigid water atop dozens who had jumped—and were struck by a lethal force before hypothermia killed them. Richard likely was one of these unfortunates.

All of this is part of our library of dreams, giving the spirits of Mill Circle their safe haven. Based on photos of the original First Class Reading Room, we proudly note that we have more books! We will maintain it as long as our own spirit holds out.

 

Irony Lost on Civil War Gold

DATELINE: Follow the Red Brick Wall!

IMG_4765

“A Void at All Costs”? That’s what the episode is titled.

Yikes, when the show names its own poison, you have to wonder how serious it is when it comes to playing around with truth and history. Of the trio of gold hunt shows on History, this one is the lamest. Irony is lost here, not gold.

In a continuing effort to malign people who are dead, History Channel gives us more of the same. Collapsed tunnels from the late 19th century connects the two houses of banker partners who lived across the road from each other. How nefarious is that?

More troubling is the connection between a man who captured Jefferson Davis, Confederate president, and the treasury of the South—to Charles Hackley, the banker who hired the Union officer’s son.

Modestly poor men suddenly open banks. It does raise an eyebrow.

As far as permits go to salvage Lake Michigan, we again have been misled. The process only leads to a federal appeal—and a more deliberate delay. Clearly the Michigan connection is a dead end for now—and the series must move to other areas, literally.

The suppositions are built on sand, or brick walls that front air pockets. Follow the red brick wall. The tease of Wilkes Booth and Jesse James being involved in the story has dried up. They cannot break through the walls because it could bring down the house, which would put them over-budget.

There’s enough dubious dullness that Alex Lagina is not on Oak Island, but back at his father’s business. He gave them any excuse to flee the Civil War hoax.

But, we are connecting dots not meant to lead anywhere. Maybe next week, Gary Drayton will show up and find a coin. Going nowhere is a theme on this show, and they are off on another tangent next week. We still don’t know what the curse is this show’s title refers to.

American Master: Andrew Wyeth, son of N.C.

 DATELINE: And father of Jamie Wyeth

Christina's World Another World?

As painters go, he was dismissed by a generation as the dark vision of Norman Rockwell, or the pastel version of Grant Wood.

Andrew Wyeth ignored all and remained true to himself: he is a giant of American art.

True enough, he was groomed for the role of independent artist by his father, N.C. Wyeth, whose vibrant and bold book illustrations inspired generations of readers. He was the guy who gave you early 20th century visions of Treasure Island and other classic novels. He was Scribner’s go-to artist of robust literary images.

N.C. felt smaller than life, making a big living in his art, but not true to what he felt he should have been. So, he instructed and mentored his son Andrew from an early age to become all the father never could.

If you don’t yet appreciate Andrew Wyeth, this documentary will educate you fast and completely. He was a man who never went to study European masters but stayed in PA and Maine to paint the bleak landscapes of his world. He also used a tempura style to mute the already dour, almost airless world of his art.

“Christina’s World” catapulted him into international fame. Few understood the stark horror of an invalid crawling home, which was the subject matter.

For a man who seemed to catch the wind on canvas, he was an easy mark for a wife who served as business manager, and a secret model named Helga who gave him 15 years of portraiture. In his old age, he released these works, which catapulted him back in the conversation of art masters.

He was dismissed for a time as not being abstract enough, experimental enough, and too sentimental with his deathly images. It’s no wonder: his father was killed by a hideous train accident.

Art and man conjoined in Andrew Wyeth, and the ample 20th century record of pictures, interviews, home movies, and his art work, provide us a documentary for the ages.