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.

 

Another Smart Woman on Oak Island

Cartographer Erin

DATELINE: Cartographer Erin

So much for that dumb Fellowship of the Dig. They wouldn’t know what they have or where to look if it weren’t for the occasional drop-in woman scientist. The latest is named Erin Helton, and she is a cartographer with IT skills.

She has taken the 1397 map Rick Lagina found with the help of an elderly woman five years ago, Zena. She claimed it was drawn by the Templars of Oak Island. It contained many written site markers that can still correspond to the Island today, but several items are vague and unknown.

She has taken her computer skills to find east-west markers of great precision that correspond to the map. It even makes Marty Lagina sit up and take notice. She identifies the “anchors” on the map, heretofore a mystery. They may be located and could provide data to triangulate a Templar find.

When the key members of the group go out (Alex, Jack, Gary, and surveyor Steve) to find the stones, they are small and precisely where they ought to be.

It is Alex Lagina who draws a parallel to a Templar carving in Westford, MA, that is of a sailing ship, thought to be from 1347. He thinks there is a vague outline similar on another rock. If these are accurate, the team has found something of significance as markers of treasure.

Another smaller finding has Rick Lagina go out with Gary, usually a sign that something big may happen: they locate a hinge from what Gary calls a Victorian cabinet. We never doubt him, and we never need the so-called experts to arrive to confirm his insights.

Small findings, on the surface, may mean bigger news later.

 

 

Misalignment on Oak Island

Peter with Gary

DATELINE:  More Templar at Nolan’s Cross

In case you missed the pandemic, the series Curse of Oak Island is here to remind you that some of what they planned must be postponed till next year.  We wondered how the virus stops a Big Dig for the Money Pit.

Everyone danced around the big issue: obviously, Marty Lagina was not about to spend the big bucks on the Big Dig. But, they’ll never say that!

Since they will save the work on the Money Pit until next year, we know already they have a commitment for another season.

The other point made was Rick Lagina’s high praise for Tom Nolan, son of the crusty old man who was Dan Blankenship’s arch-nemesis for decades. Now, Tom is the active, productive, and cooperative new partner:  so long, Dave Blankenship.

The show immediately went for the gold: not treasure, but Gary Drayton who will find something every time. This time, for unknown reasons, Jack Begley is not there—and Peter Fornetti, the Lagina teen nephew, is the digger. He is affable and handles the spade well enough.

Almost immediately they come across a plethora of axe blades, buried for centuries. The archaeologist thinks they are several hundred years old. So, Gary has found an old camp.

They also call in some “theorists” from Europe, experts in Templars and math arcs. They have plotted a perfect menorah design on Oak Island that matches one in Jerusalem. They have whittled it down to two spots: Dig there. And, how a straight line goes from the Temple Mount, through the front door of the Palace of Versailles to Oak Island is quite amazing.

Right where they were told to look, there are man-manipulated dig sites going back 300 years, according to Dr. Ian Spooner’s sludge test.

They’re cooking now.

 

N.E. Patriots Meet a Slump, a Speed Bump, and a Pothole

Lady Luck!

DATELINE:  Going Down!

Mother of Mercy, can this be the end of the Patriot juggernaut of two decades? The road to glory seems to have run out of pavement.

After a glorious 20-year run, spending most of the time in first place in the hearts of Patriots Nation, the home town team seems to have hit a bump in the road. At least there are no sinkholes ahead. They are sinking in one now.

Yes, the Patriots are no longer in sole possession of the top spot to the playoffs. They are in their first slump of of the 21stcentury. When your first slump comes with the dog days of a pandemic, you are about to find cause to worry that rivals the Black Death in sports.

The last time a Patriots team came into a prolonged slump, they went into the poop chute faster than you can say Shaeffer Stadium.

We are more inclined to worry this time. There is no way they can equal the sinking of the titanic teams of the 1970s, which stands as a benchmark of hubris. We saw the past, and the future looks much the same.

This time their QBs have gone soft. We have not exactly seen a team with endless TD power, but their ability to make timely scores has lost more games than expected.

Now the dinner bell, like the guns over Flanders Field, have gone silent. Scarce heard below are the dead Pats of previous seasons hoping the present underdogs have caught the torch and will hold it high.

Short days ago the Patriots won, Brady looked younger than youth, and Bill Belichick looked like a genius, but now the Pats are starting to look like the embalmed teams of the yesteryear, or like the Jets.

Cheer up, fans! This may be only an aberration on the road to the Super Bowl. . A team with character knows their fate is in the hands of Bill Belichick and Cam Newton.

Move over, Black Death. The Pats need more room.

Deadly Jellyfish

DATELINE: Hold the Monsterquest

Peanut Butter

 

Something is happening in the warmed-up oceans, especially off Japan and Australia. There has been a proliferation of jellyfish, and Monsterquest is here to alarm you.

The problem is that they also point out jellyfish breakouts in Massachusetts, Ireland, and other diverse spots across the globe in 2020. Blame it on pollution or global warming, but jellyfish proliferate in water that has less oxygen. And worse yet, they are growing bigger and bigger.

Some jellyfish are bigger than man, and they tend to clump together and can damage the water filtration systems of nuclear power plants. Their tentacles can reach dozens of feet on the bigger ones—and they are loaded with the stuff you don’t want to feel.

The deadly species are the box jellyfish, and they can kill you within three minutes:  heart attacks are their modus operandi.

Jellyfish, according to experts, do not have brains. They are transparent, but don’t be fooled, they do think and can see you. No one is sure how they do it. We know mammals that have brains and you can’t see their intelligence, so the jellyfish may be the next step in evolution.

The Monsterquest team again is sent out to do dumb things, and the experts now wear full-face protection. A sting from a non-lethal jellyfish can leave painful welts for months. Giant jellyfish are not something we want clogging the oceans or coming into beaches.

Oh, they hate desalinated water, and heavy rains will force them out into deep waters.

These guys are diving near a cyclonic storm to add to the suspense. Like most Monsterquest  teams, they seem to revel in acting like they lack brains.

This hour passed uncomfortably quickly, but this was a dynamic episode of the series.

 Apocalypse Earth as Frozen Popsickle

DATELINE: Doomsday Glacier

  

Now blizzards are something we can warm up to. The latest doomsday show starts off with the 1300s and the Little Ice Age, which was bad for a 100 years but lingered until almost 1900.

If the series is correct, everything from the Black Death to the French Revolution could be traced back to failed crops and angry people. And, the worst may be about to return.

It’s enough to make you want to colonize Mars where it’s cold, but there is no snow. This is another of those compilation from the lost burial ground of snow documentaries.

Smack in the middle of discussing ice ages, there is a sidebar in which climbers of a Himalayan mountain barely escape an avalanche. It is adrift from the rest of the show, under the odd heading of survivor stories. You mean there was no one who could speak to the Blizzard of ’78 and how hard it was?

Not in this oddball pastiche.

The best part of the show came in the final 30 minutes or so when glaciers and hailstorms came under discussion. Rock gouges indicate that there have been a dozen glaciers coming and going over the past million years.

One glacier may have been four times as high as the Empire State Building over New York City.

Another shocking moment was the home video of a family home in Oklahoma being decimated by softball size hail. It is terrifyijng, and this few scenes make up for the drivel also poured over the audience.

These “specials” from History are hit or miss, every other week. And they are hit and miss within their own hour or two. The final episode of the “season” will be shown next week on the topic of tsunamis, again with no particular order or progression of development.

 

 

 

Black Butterfly in the Yard!

DATELINE:  Noir Papillion?

Our summer of paranormal messages continues its barrage of weekly activities.

The latest visitor to our little corner of spooky alley is a black butterfly.  It might have piqued our interest in normal times, but over the past few weeks, it has become a culmination of strange events.

According to some experts in mythology, Irish and Celtic legends say that black butterflies are also the souls of deceased people who are unable or unwilling to move on to the afterlife; they may return to the place they once lived or somewhere they were fond of visiting when they were alive.”

If you have followed our adventures, you may recall that three days in a row, we had a visit from a gold finch. We had never seen one around here previously, in person, but to have it show up for an afternoon tea break for three separate visits was fascinating. The totem mythology of gold finches is their spiritual impact, sending positive vibrations.

After a tropical storm not a few days earlier, we discovered a white quartz rock, flat and unusual, next to the car that also seems to have positive predictive qualities if you follow the buzz on the Internet.

So, should I be surprised when a few days ago a black butterfly sat on my car’s windshield before I could adjust my eyes and grab the camera.  A few friends told me it was bad luck and not to drive the car for a while.

A Haitian friend who knows his voodoo told that the black butterfly is feared as a portent of death to come.

This morning the black butterfly returned, and he sat on my white garden chair. He stayed long enough for me take a video.

Investigating its meaning, I discovered the old Celtic legend about a spirit returning to its old home for a visit.

None of this would matter much except for the long history of my home, once the residence of two victims of the Titanic in 1912.  Now, one of them has taken up regular stays in my library where paranormal experts and psychics have been in ecstasy over the ghostly presence. We have had more than a few seances!

Now, a series of physical and totem experiences has made the theory more concrete for me. Gold finches, white crystals, and black butterflies. It is a summer to remember.

Dr. William Russo is author of several Titanic books: Tales of a Titanic Family, Chess-mate from Titanic, Spooky Geology & Titanic. All are available in print or ebook format on Amazon.com.

 

Oh, My Gog! Not to Mention Magog!

DATELINE: Forgotten Classic? 

 Infamous Gog and Herbert Marshall.

Back in the early 1950s, one of the way-ahead-of-its-time movies was something called Gog (out of your Bible as a nasty evil force). The movie turned Gog into a “brain machine,” because no one dared to call it a computer back then.

Gog and Magog are robots with independent thinking skills. The computers must deal with out of control nuclear power where no man can go. Without much overt horror, this thinking man’s vision of the future went down the tubes with nary a fly-by.

More than a decade before Kubrick unleashed the HAL computer as villain on A Space Odyssey,Ivan Tors of Flipper fame turned his vision loose in a desert military base, top secret, a few years before the government created Area 51.

No wonder this movie in 3-D was a bomb. No one in the days of flying saucer mania believed in this stuff really would take over TV in the 21stcentury. The movie plot was years ahead of crypto-zoology and Artificial Intelligence with evil intent.

The movie starred Richard Egan, or is that Richard Carlson? You know any good sci-fi/horror effort in those years had to star one of them.

And, as the distinguished scientist, you had Herbert Marshall heading down the road that Vincent Price would later own.  This is a few years before Marshall had a big hit with an original shocker, The Fly. Marshall is also long-past the razor’s edge here.

Apart from the high-tech predictions, you have a great many silly low-tech, insipid notions, like a windshield wiper on the glass of a lab window—and steam radiation heat out of pipes.

Gog was a big disappointment to the drive-in audiences of the age, and its lost color and 3-D view on TV never helped it achieve any kind of post-release respect.

 

 

Unidentified Finale, Part 2

DATELINE: Biting Audience Hand

 Elizondo

The series may smell its own doom and climbs out of the box in which it has placed itself for two seasons:  instead of video footage of UFOs, the show switched to alien abduction stories.

Lou Elizondo calls abduction of Americans an “act of war,” and an attempt to regain audience support. Like John Casey on World War 2 Gold, Lou Elizondo may be pushing out his costars. He takes the reins completely in the final two shows of the season.

The victims of close encounters are all, of course, former military non-coms who have retired and now are willing to speak their stories. Nearly all are serving at nuclear facilities when they had their bad meetings and missing time.

At least one witness adds a new wrinkle: that the UFO was gaseous with no sharp edges and had changing colors. The witness was left with odd burns from the encounter, but military tests are never shared with him.

These vets often mention black-outs and sleep paralysis.

Host Elizondo talks to one expert, Dr. Susan Clancy, who completely shreds and debunks all these witness experiences as “false memory.” Elizondo readily accepts this.

She insists that the belief of these memories is important for validation for an individual whose life is devoid of meaning. She also takes a shot at Dr. John Mack of Harvard who came to accept abduction as real.

In a last-ditch effort to throw a sop to the fans who usually are faithful to these kind of shows, Elizondo claims there are real physical effects to these witnesses. It may be too little too late.

Elizondo notes that there are six billion earth-like planets in the galaxy and may have “brothers and sisters” of the human race. The final few minutes become a desperate plea to continue the investigations, but History channel may more than likely pull the plug on this series.

The Mad Mad Mandela Effect

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.

 

 

 

Mysteries of the Holy Sepulchre!

DATELINE:  Jesus as Shapeshifter?

 

Shroud Face with Jerusalem  Pollen 

Oh, no, not another Shroud of Turin documentary? Yes, and this one is from Italy. We were worried at first that it was taking an evangelical position, not a scientific one, but how wrong we were. This film provided information and new science that we had not seen applied to the mysterious shroud.

This has a misleading title called Mysteries of the Holy Sepulchre, but it is really about new scientific experiments on the shroud of Turin.

It is alleged to have been debunked as the shroud of Jesus years ago, but new pollen science from forensic criminal investigators have taken the information about pollen on the shroud to stunning levels.

It seems there are three kinds of pollen from plants that can only be found in the area of Jerusalem and Hebron.

Scientists of all persuasions from Italian universities weigh in on the subject. They even find dirt rubbed onto the shroud from knees and feet, and that too is native to Jerusalem.

One botanist notes that the blooming flowers placed on a body during burial in that culture only bloomed in March and April. By tying together with historical information, they conclude the victim died the first week of April during the middle years of Pilate’s reign.

Going back to the gospels to tightly parse the wordage, they glean that the description of the shroud was that it was in two pieces, found still tied together, but missing the body that had apparently evaporated. In fact, all the signs of what now is called shapeshifting are present: he left one form and took on another that removed his physical presence from the shroud. By leaving the shroud in a flash, he changed shape or morphed into something else. He may have become an orb.

It begs the question why these rather ordinary people in a backward country suddenly went out of their way to tell this story and keep it alive. It shocked them. The earliest surviving fragments of the New Testament are then traced to about 50 A.D. or about twenty years after the events explained.

As to resurrection and transfiguration, science now can replicate the coloration on the shroud through a combination of radon gas and radioactive UV light in a sudden burst. There are no machines now in existence that are powerful enough to put an image on cloth, but it is feasible theoretically.

So, did we come away from this documentary better educated and taken aback? You better believe it.

 

Shatner Goes to Dogs

DATELINE: Amazing Animals on UnXplained  

 Statue of Greyfriars Bobby!

 

“Amazing animals”, indeed, as UnXplained  takes on the mysteries of animal sentience. It is not just cats and dogs that Shatner gives a full nod and wink, but birds and whales too.

In certainly one of the most intriguing episodes of the series, the vignettes under study include one on the famous and heroic horse from the Korean War! Yes, a horse with independent spirit worked near miracles without human assistance. Sergeant Reckless even has a statue to her testimony—and how did she know what to do to bring wounded soldiers to medical assistance. Who knew there was an active military horse as late as the 1950s?

Shatner admits that his own love of horses is proven by the ability of the creatures to bond with its riders. Such animals are often used for therapy with psychically injured vets who need TLC—which the horse can provide.

There is also a rather interesting take on the Disney movie that was, in fact, a true story about Greyfriars Bobby. That’s the dog with such loyalty that for 14 years he slept every night on his master’s grave.

The suggestion here is that these animals saw dead people, or had psi trailing ability. That’s the condition where cats can go over a 1000 miles to locate a family they belong to.

There are also stories about dolphins and whales saving people from predators tiger sharks, as well as warblers that seem to take cues from Nature about meteorology and dangers.

If you think that the animal kingdom is more psychic than you ever suspected, this is your evidentiary show. Fascinating, with the usual Shatner delivery to amuse us.

Eero Saarinen: More than a Crossword Name

 DATELINE:  Gateway to Modern Architecture

   Eero-port Terminal.

 American Masters did a one-hour biography of the notable architect whose name dominates New York Timescrossword puzzles. Of course, he is one of the most modern of all kinds of American architects (by way of Finland as a boy).

Saarinen is best known as the man who designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch, iconic like the Pyramid of Giza. He wanted something to last 1000 years—and his arch may well reach that grandeur.

This documentary is mostly narrated by his son Eric who is a noted film cinematographer—not following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. He was alienated from his pater, but this film (he confesses) has changed him by seeing what marvels his father created: from a John Deere office building to Kresge Auditorium at MIT, or even a hockey rink at Yale.

His aides told him all hockey rinks were barns, so he designed one at Yale that is staggering in its Norse winter sports notions.

His father was hard to eclipse. Eero grew up with his father’s friends Gustav Mahler and Sibelius hanging around the house. He was bounced on Frank Lloyd Wright’s knee. Heavens, he was destined to create great buildings.

He made only one house—a glass marvel with stunning modern light. He is airier and brighter than Wright.

Yet, we must admit that these creative geniuses are not particularly good at being a family man. Eero was not an exception, but his second wife got him on the cover of Time—and the rest is history.

Shatner’s UnXplained recently claimed his great Arch is meant as a weather control system to deflect thunder and lightning. No such grandiose claims are made here—only breathtaking buildings and grounds, not to mention furniture.

He worked 60 years ago, but looks more modern than anything done today. This film also collects the withering criticism he took over his designs—by those who felt he pandered to 1950s American commerce. How wrong can they be?

We once heard an architectural critique as “nobody wants to live in someone else’s head.” Alas, most heads are devoid of creativity, individuality, or good taste. Thank heavens for Saarinen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westworld 3.3, Even Robots Get the Blues!

DATELINE: AI Goes Bananas

One of the Hemsworths.

 We are back to mad robotic Dolores and her plan to take over the human world. She has found an ally in human Caleb, who apparently is taking the place of James Marsden who died last season (if robots die forever).

This week is cryptically called “Absence of Field.”  Its absence will not make you nostalgic for previous seasons.

In the Tessa Thompson subplot, we have the robotic charade version of Charlotte Hale now running Delos Corporation. Alas, she is informed that some version of a Howard Hughes billionaire, the richest in the world, is buying up their stock.

This is the employer of robotic Maeve who is being groomed to do battle with Dolores to put the automatons back in Westworld where they belong. This week Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright are off on their subplots, likely to return next time.

We miss Luke Hemsworth who has bulked up over the past year and now is a little muscle robot.

If you are lost and confused, this is part of the chess match Jonathan Nolan plays with Lisa Joy to show you that dumb viewers are watching mindless sit-coms on another network.

In the meantime, robot Charlotte is having stress pangs—perhaps controlled the spirit of her dead human counterpart. Charlotte’s six-year-old son senses this is nothis mother.

This child-parent motivation has now gripped several characters: notably Maeve and now Charlotte, as impostor robots seem to feel actual biological ties. And, thrown in for good measure, we also have a mother-son relationship with the real person of Caleb who seems to have an inordinate amount of machine in him.

Whether these turn out to be red herrings, or plot keys, you know only that Dolores holds the key everyone seeks.