Shatner Looks for Atlantis

Edgar Cayce

 DATELINE: Visionary and Cautionary Tales 

 Every other weekUnXplained gives us chopped liver, but in between we have some gemstones and meaty insights. Will William Shatner’s search for Atlantis, the Lost Continent, fall into the good group, or the stinkeroo group?

Shatner is in fine fettle for the opening, always a good sign as he laces his intro with skepticism. And, the episode starts off with Plato’s “metaphor” that one expert notes has a kernel of historical truth. Well, not usually in poetry, but so much for the experts.

The real fad of Atlantis arose out of the 1880s when Jules Verne science fiction was at its height, and a book about an antediluvian world caught the public fancy. A philosophic allegory became a visionary and cautionary tale.

Reputable archaeologists indicate that many clues from Plato indicate that the word “island” has been misinterpreted: it means peninsula, and that leads them to the coast of Spain and Portugal where layers of methane indicate many dead bodies deep under ground.

However, Edgar Cayce had a different take: his visions indicated that Atlantis was located in the Caribbean and has since become the many disjointed islands. He thought it was destroyed by self-used crystal death rays. It sounds like Tesla lived there.

There is also a consideration that the Atlanteans were hybrid extra-terrestrials with both paranormal skills and technological genius.

Shatner saves his best wild attitude for the final push: that Atlantis was a community of space aliens. But, the final note is that Walt Disney planned EPCOT as a concentric utopian Atlantis.

Book Review:  Edison Versus Tesla

Mr. Not-Nice Guy

DATELINE:  Pro-Edison, Anti-Tesla

The co-author of this work is William Birnes whom you may remember as the older member of the UFO Hunters TV series a few years back.

Now he has put his name on a work that describes itself in subtitle as the “Battle” over their last invention. Whatever this book presents, the real Edison was not a nice person. You will not know that from this book.

How about a little truth in advertising? Or at least in titles?  There is no battle,  and it isn’t really Tesla’s last invention.  So, what have we got here?

The book is a hagiography to Edison, and sells Tesla a bit short, noting he feared having people aware of his paranormal and clairvoyant abilities. Edison privately believed that Tesla had found a radio frequency that transmitted ethereal voices.

Tesla undercut this by claiming he was receiving signals from Mars—or some inter-dimensional location.

Edison did not believe in spiritualism, rapping poltergeists or any of that stuff:  he did believe that electrons lived forever.

If Tesla could do it, Edison wanted to create a receiver for electrons and conscious energy. He wanted to measure unusual messages. He did believe that memory survived death—and that traumatic memory might be quite strong. The inventor wanted a device to increase the volume of sound waves.

Their vocabulary has been updated: Tesla likely knew of EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) and Edison was into quantum entanglements.

The book could have been a pamphlet, but does contain nuggets that are fascinating. Edison awoke on his death bed from a deep coma to tell people he saw an afterlife, and promptly died.

 

 

 

 

UnXplained Tackles Endangered Monuments

 DATELINE:  America’s Monuments Features Trump

By sheer coincidence, after an attack on the great monument of the Washington, now under National Guard protection and fencing, UnXplained  has an interesting take on the locations. Included in this potpourri is, naturally, the U.S. Capitol Building.

The Capitol was designed to be the Temple of Democracy and has 600 rooms, far more than a mob can circumnavigate without help. It is a special place with a space alien goddess, an Iriquois, on top of the dome. She may not be related to the Qanon Shaman who attacked the Capitol, claiming too to be a space alien ET.

Shatner laconically tells us of the crypt in the basement and the ascendant painting on Washington on the inner dome. It becomes all the more appalling to think Trump rioters crashed and vandalized this magnificent structure.

The show also deals with the Washington Monument, recently renovated against terrorists!  The show is downright sentient.

Another sequence deals with Mt. Rushmore and its white supremacist connections, built on sacred Native land. But the true piece de resistance belong to treasonous Trump himself who shows up in a sequence to discuss the Empire State Building.

You got it: the guy who turned in his New York citizenship to move to Florida and has denigrated American monuments (except Rushmore where he thinks he ought to be) is cited as an expert. Yikes.

The episode ends with the near catastrophic Golden Gate overload of 1987.

If irony and shock is your thing, this episode of UnXplained is both shocking and ironic.

 

Chesley Bonestell: Futuristic Artiste

Titan Viewpoint

DATELINE: Sci-Fi Art 

An artist you likely never heard of by name may be one of the most intriguing personalities of the 20thcentury. His name is Chesley Bonestell, and you have seen his work all over the world.

A staggering biographical documentary called A Brush with the Future tells his amazing story.

Living to be nearly 100 years of age, he passed away in the 1980s But, his life transcended the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake to days of Old Hollywood and New York City at its pinnacle.

He managed to succeed in whatever he put his energy. Though he preferred to be an artist, his first years in a profession was work as an architect. After the great earthquake in his hometown, he helped to re-build the city with Willis Polk. It was Chesley who drew the illustrations for investors and made the schematics come to life.

When he went to Los Angeles in the late 1930s, he took a job for several studios as the matte painter. You’d think that to be a rather anonymous job, but he transformed it into a peak of success by making all the set designs for Orson Welles in Citizen Kane and also Magnificent Ambersons.  It was his vision of Xanadu, interior and out.

Between jobs, he did the design brochures for Golden Gate Bridge and made it a popular idea across the world with its startling originality and beauty.

Later, he designed the architecture for the movie version of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.  Then, in New York, he worked on the Chrysler building. It was a full life: but not his true fame.

Yes, in 1944 for Life magazine he did some color illos of the planet Saturn that looked like a rover had landed. It was a true vision of the future, and made him a staple of science fiction.

His terrain paintings of Mars, the Moon, and other planets, decades ago showed a man who saw the future and painted it as it is. It was his teaming with scientist Willy Ley (from TV’s Tom Corbett Space Cadet)  who  co-authored a book called Conquest of Space.  Ley was a friend of Frank Thomas and Jan Merlin,  stars of the show (who later teamed with this writer). How many degrees is that?

Jan Merlin and Dr. William Russo collaborated on six books.

Roswell, Part Three, End All

Marcel’s Wreckage from UFO

DATELINE: New Info on Roswell

The results of History’s Greatest Mysteries  may be the least disappointing of a well-produced series. You can’t have a steal of home base on every episode, but the show has taken the safe road nearly every time.

The Roswell investigation has uncovered some disturbing testimony that contradicts government coverups of 70 years, now by grandchildren of the original witnesses. If you add new technology into the mix as a means of corroborating, you have a new case.

If there is anything to be claimed, it is that your U.S. government cannot be trusted.

Researcher Ben Smith starts with a 1981 taped interview with a college journalist who became Dr. Linda Corley who managed to extract more info from Major Jesse Marcel:  the marks were written on a block of wood (or something like wood) in a Tyrolean Note form of ancient writing.

When apprised of this, he backed off: someone came and threatened him from an unknown agency. Men in black?

His notebook was written by a colleague who had a home-made code, nearly impossible to break. Marcel did begin to reveal more and more as the 1980s came, shortly before his death. He may even have kept some artifacts to prove his case, but they are now “lost.”

Another officer not interviewed previously told his relatives that he was in charge of destroying files. He may have written the memo book. His name was Patrick Saunders, and now another name is added to the registry of fame.

If you want that smoking gun, it isn’t here. Nothing is definitive, but everything is suggestive. Key information is being withheld, but we do hear that U.S. military radar used some kind of ray to shoot down UFOs, about six in a year in New Mexico in the late 1940s. So, the flying saucers were not smashed up because of bad drivers.

We could only think of Nikola Tesla and his death ray.

 

Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece!

DATELINE:  Raphael’s Young Man Abducted

For over 70 years, one of the premiere items from a Krakow art museum has been missing, plundered and stolen by Nazi terrorists in the early 1940s. The work, by Raphael, is the remarkable Portrait of a Young Man. Today, if it is located, the value is put at around $100million.

If you want someone with expertise and knowledge to be the centerpiece of a miniseries on Nazi Treasure Hunters,you would likely call on James Holland who also examined such diverse issues as Nazi pep pills.

You don’t need much incentive to go looking for a impressive Raphael Renaissance painting. It was one of three the museum owned: a Leonardo and Rembrandt were the others. It’s a small but extraordinary trio.

Only Raphael’s fey young man in a black beret remains lost.

Most interesting is the fact that elderly sons of powerful Nazi leaders are more than willing to criticize their fathers and their ruthless attitude. Hans Frank’s youngest son called his father “a cultured killer,” and he believed his mother sold the Raphael for food after the war when her executed husband left her to raise children without funds or help. He didn’t think much of his parents, as his mother called herself “Queen of Poland,” only half in jest during the Nazi occupation.

The painting was the victim of a tug of war between Goering and Frank for two years before Hitler tired of their bickering to send it back to Krakow—and a fate under the control of an art restorer who had rejected Nazism and was sent to Poland as a punishment.

As often happens in these shows, they have set up a public forum to flush out the lost painting. Maybe it will hit the news, but the picture may be in some attic in Silesia. Or it will be sold to a billionaire Saudi who collects private art, never again to be seen (sort of like the Leonardo sold at auction a few years ago)>

Another Tree Stands Defenseless to the Onslaught!

DATELINE: Witness to History   

 

Winchendon Springs, Massachusetts, has the worst record for not protecting history that I, as an author and historian, have ever encountered. Over decades, key buildings have been razed, and a cavalier attitude of a somewhat less than helpful historical society masquerades as a town body.

 

In the latest incarnation of sad anti-historical activity, the new owners of a location going back to the 1820s have routinely ignored the past in pursuit of profit. They have systematically dismantled the area’s past.

The Mill Circle Equestrian Center acts like it has the right to do whatever it wants. It is typically run by people with a chip on their shoulders—and horses to corral. 

In the past days, they took down a tree planted by Nelson White in 1850. Yes, the grand maple was 170 years old—and lately some limbs came off in bad wind storms.

We hate to see a living witness to history be taken down, limb by limb. The magnificent tree had some core rot at the top, but it was left standing upright. It deserved care and treatment, not execution.

Perhaps the coming seasons will bring new growth and resurrection. The tree once grew over the famed cold mineral spring that healed so many in the 19thcentury.

It oversaw the notorious murder of a peddler under its shade on the Fourth of July in 1826.  It was on the family property, near the gazebo where two victims of the Titanic once played as children.

Now the hulk stands denuded, not quite a stump, not cut to the nub. Yet, it is a pathetic reminder that time fells all—the deserving and undeserving.

Giddy new owners and neighbors seemed to revel in the tree’s demise. We were saddened to see it fall piece by piece. The neighborhood’s beauty has been diminished.

Albert Speer Finally Exposed

DATELINE: Out for a Walk.

So many of these so-called Nazi documentaries are secretly honoring the monsters of World War II.  With reluctance, we tuned into the last episode of The Last Secrets of the Third Reich.

This mini-series is not apology for Nazis and it rightfully exposes the evil banality and shenanigans of Himmler, Rommel, and Speer, a nasty Nazi trio.

This hour-long insight into Hitler’s architect and “best friend’, surrogate son, took Albert Speer apart, piece by piece. He was the only high-ranking Nazi not to be condemned to death at Nuremburg trials. He spent 20 years in comfort in prison at Spandau, and then made millions with his apologetic autobiography.

He was a clever man who manipulated people his entire life, from Hitler to judges, down to history. He never admitted his guilt in the Holocaust though he went to Auschwitz and used slave labor on his projects to prolong the war.

He also had a secret collection of stolen art-work that he hid for decades and sold at auction in 1981. He must have known he’d escape into old age.

From being Hitler’s likely successor to being a patrician German version of the “good Nazi,”  Speer spoke English like a Hollywood casting agent’s dream of a Nazi out of Stalag 17. He was reprehensible for being even more of a hypocrite and role model for Germans who didn’t know there were Nazis in their government.

Herr Professor Speer, as he was known among Nazis, owned about 30 fine artworks worth millions, and he also sold his personal sketches by Hitler. He made himself rich in retirement on the lies and dubious morality of being a contrite Nazi.

Speer spent the last free years of his life, doing a batch of interviews and rehabbing his reputation. Many bought his act, but this bio film does not let him off the hook. He was a revolting faker.

With clips of the stolen art collection, rare interviews and horrifying photos of Hitler and Speer cavorting as friends, this is one Nazi documentary that must be seen to be believed.

 

 

 

 

 

Humming a Tune

DATELINE: Tiny Speedster

 

The littlest birdie in the world is the hummingbird, and you have David Attenborough ready to spill the beans in the heartbeat in this documentary from 2012 called, Hummingbirds.

When in flight, their hearts beat around 1200 beats per minute. When they sleep at night, they go into a suspended animation that leaves their hearts beating 40 times per minute. It takes them half an hour in morning to wake up—and they are prime choice for predators in this condition.

They must eat every fifteen minutes to keep their prodigious lifestyle. Besides flower nectar, they go after little bugs. They avoid bees whose sting could kill them.

These remarkable mammals are the fastest, smallest, and most amazing of creatures: they came about ten million years after flowers and adapted to become the cold morning pollinator. Insects could not do the job.

The hummingbird also is the most acrobatic flier in the world: he can fly backwards and upside down, unlike any other bird. Though they seemed to be most closely tied to South America and Brazil, they moved into the Andes Mountains soon thereafter—and a micro-version went to North America.

They must eat every 15 minutes to keep up their energy, but there are so many mysteries about how they live, no scientist can say for sure.

They migrate thousands of miles to Texas each year—and then must fatten up to make a flight across the Gulf of Mexico where there is no rest, no food, and no information on how they do it.

But this film is stunning for the beauty of the birds that have iridescent feathers that explode in color when they are combative. Slow motion photography grants an opportunity to see what is too fast for the human eye normally.

 

 

 

 

 

  Machine That Made Us? Really?

DATELINE: Gutenberg, Not McLuhan 

Docudrama re-enactment from 1880s, not real scene.

A quaint British documentary made over a dozen years ago thrusts the premise at us that the Gutenberg Press is the most important invention of civilization. Hmm, we are skeptical as usual.

As host and presenter Stephen Fry notes, it may be more important than the car, the computer, or other accoutrements of the latest centuries. The little one-hour film The Machine That Made Us never mentions Marshall McLuhan, which is a shame.

Fry is a bibliophile, which is to say he loves books, though that is hardly historical or cultural expertise. He is also an excellent actor and charming as  host for a travelogue and investigation into Johannes Gutenberg and his invention.

There are no pictures or illos of Gutenberg or his press. One early image from Albrecht Durer of a press is 50 years later. So, all pictures and lithographs are actually re-enactments imagined, just like in today’s so-called documentaries.

There are those, however, who’d point out that books are fading fast. That includes authors who find that their sales are now comprised mostly of e-books. We print out of nostalgia for the most part.

Nobody really wants dust-collecting libraries in their homes or even in their universities. When Fry walks down miles of stacks of books, we think the cost of protecting them (miles and miles of books) is staggering. You could probably fit them all in a file cabinet of Kindles.

Fry is no technocrat—and he leaves the making of an original press to a woodworker, and the making of the actual letters to another metallurgist. Since it would take a few years to make one page of letters to print up a Bible, they send to America for pre-made, and use their one “E” in the print block.

Vellum too would mean the death of hundreds of cows, so paper is made the old-fashioned way of 1439 and it is cloth bits into pulp. You make Bible pages between the Black Death that gripped your pressings with old clothes.

There are only a handful of the original Bibles left from Guttenberg’s endeavor—and he never made money from publishing. That fell to his creditors. And, the beautiful illustrations in the margins were always hand-done anyhow.

It is fascinating to watch, but a tad dull—and we never see them actually bind a book or stich it together. When Fry thumbs through one of the surviving books in cotton gloves, you fear he might sneeze on the book and let water vapor take its course.

Author, Author: Go Away Again!

DATELINE: Unwanted Gifts Redux

 Latest Affront to Re-Gifting.

A friend kindly scoffed at me for a bad habit.

He claimed how I had a tendency to give away gifts to people who did not necessarily want them. He was referring to my bad habit to bestow a copy of one of my books to people who have been nice to me.

I usually inscribe them with thanks for some generic kindness. It is, I am told, not appreciated because I have given people something that they cannot repay or reciprocate. After finding my personally autographed books for sale on eBay (with warm wishes to someone who sold the book to a used bookstore), I have re-dedicated myself to not giving away books.

Well, okay. I realize that not everyone can write a book and return a copy to me in standoff fashion. However, I thought that providing a free, gratis copy of a personal creation would qualify as an act of generosity, not as a slap with my velvet glove.

However, my friend argues that it is not that at all: it is a brazen show of ego.

Well, you can knock me over with a dust-jacket. I would never have thought that giving a personal gift would be construed as an act of selfishness. In fact, I always thought the creative process was something to be shared.

Alas, if you share it with those who have no appreciation, no interest, or no good manners, the writer of a book may well deserve to have the gift accepted without thanks or acknowledgement.

I often note that I give away my book as a token of my gratitude and not as homework assignment. I will not quiz the recipient on the book’s message or contents. If I did, we know the result would be a failing grade. We’ve seen enough of that in the nation’s body politic.

As a resolution, I have now promised my old friend that I will be more circumspect in sharing my books. Never give a page away that is not requested, or at least has some kind of interest expressed by another. It means I will save money on copies and postage.

It is an age when reading is a chore, not a pleasure, and the disrespected writer is a prophet without honor in any country.

Dr. William Russo is too prolific for his own good, and he has written too many movie history books and biographies. He will continue to write, but not to send out complimentary copies.

Triangulated Triangles: Identified

DATELINE: Unidentified: America’s UFOs

The use of triangle shaped craft by some entity seems to have gained traction on the series Unidentified: America’s UFO Investigations.

 

In the second episode of the second season, AATIP’s Luis Elizondo and Chris Mellen tackle the issue of mysterious black triangles now dominating the UFO scene.

For decades we have heard of saucers, then orbs, then tick-tacks. Now we find that the predominant military sightings are of silent, slow-moving craft of varying sizes, some as big as football fields. They are usually cloaked from radar. We can only note that most triangular shaped ships are designed by terrestrials here on earth.

Why would extra-terrestrials simply change their design in the past few decades? It’s illogical, if not unlikely. Of course, those saucers were crashing all over earth for decades. Perhaps the space creatures have smartened up and are designing safer space crafts.

Once again, notably, the witnesses are all highly reliable and credible military men who have retired and are now willing to come forward. It gives this show far more believability than so many others.

Mellen’s troubling conclusions are that, if unknown visitors are inspecting American territory, there is a big problem of national security and motives.

In the 1980s a massive sighting occurred over the Hudson Valley, not far from New York City. No one can fathom the legal and moral decision of the government to fly experimental craft over a populated area. It leads to a frightful conclusion: they are not US airships.

It is ultimately a distressing conclusion that these triangular ships could be like Cortes landing among the Aztecs. They had no idea how dangerous and deadly to their civilization this interloper would become.

Unidentified: UFO Investigations

DATELINE: Second Season UFO Investigations

 Elizondo.

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.

Dive Bomber Alert on Mill Circle!

DATELINE: Robin Bobbin’ on Squirrel

When a plethora of robins showed up this spring in my yard near the big tree, I thought—there goes the neighborhood. However, they started rummaging through last year’s flower stems. Each one was yanked out and taken to some unknown spot for a nest.

That’s when the first wave of bombers hit.

Under the eaves of my side-door porch, I saw birds flying toward the storm door. They never hit because they were building a nest, which I promptly discouraged.

So, the freeloaders went to the big tree not far from the dining room picture window. There, for the first time, they started their architectural work. As if for good measure, they regularly cleaned out the yard of ants and other crawling insects.

 

The good neighbor policy continued until I saw the squirrels and chipmunks arrive.

It was war.

A half-dozen robins attacked with all the ferocity of kamikaze flights. They chased the squirrels out of the tree and around the yard. I had never seen such nimble flight—and they worked often in pairs till the squirrels ran for cover.

Then, they began chasing the chipmunks out of the yard. Less inclined to climb the tree, the chipmunks were nonetheless not welcome in this yard anymore. They were attacked with zooming claws outstretched.

I thought I watched out-takes from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

You may have thought the hawk patrol had been replaced.

Regular bombing runs can be seen during morning coffee break whilst sitting at the window. Warfare never looked so natural.

Afraid of Nothing or Nothingness?

DATELINE:  Paranormal in Salem, MA!

 Director Robert Heske.

Bob Heske is a writer/director of low-budget stories, and his major documentary film is called Afraid of Nothing.Its appeal on some levels is all the small businesses associated with spirit life and death (from Ouija board historians and prosthetic mask shops to healers of all stripes who meet people for various paranormal purposes.

The film spent considerable time in Salem, Massachusetts, which is a hotbed of witchcraft and afterlife experts. Also included in the visits are East Bridgewater, Mass., and Gardner, Mass. All three locations are adjacent and contiguous owns where this writer lived.

As someone who lives in a haunted house, we are always curious about others and what they experience: to that end we meet regression specialists, healers and teachers of how to deal with death. The big wheel involved here is Jeff Belanger who created the Ghost AdventuresTV series and has cornered the market on paranormal topics in New England.

An actor from Los Angeles is at the crux of people here, as he lived a previous life in Salem—and has been drawn to return to the area of Salem Willows, an old haunt.

All these many individuals have achieved some level of connection to the great beyond—and all seem to have multiple talents to connect with both positive and negative forces. It astounds us—as we have only one spirit in the house, though he is a big one, a victim of Titanic.

We have learned late in life that we have some still unknown connection to this guide and mentor who is a guardian spirit. So, we hardly disparage all the kind souls who show up in Bob Heske’s little film. It is not frightful or horrific, but it is informative and fascinating for those with an interest in the hereafter.