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.

 

Part Two on History’s Roswell

DATELINE: More Roswell Insights

History’s Greatest Mysteries starts off the second of three episodes with a bang:  the journal of Maj. Jesse Marcel was written by someone else, likely one of the fellow officers at the base where he found the UFO (or weather balloon) wreckage.

The researcher for this miniseries seems to be hot on the trail of something, and Laurence Fishburne intones that we are in “uncharted territory.”

The real issue of this episode is the “Memo” held by Gen. Ramey after a press conference with the weather balloon. Whose signature is on the telegram? They hint it could be J. Edgar Hoover and his code name “Temple.”

Whatever, they bring in microscopic and electronic microscopes to read the memo.

Of course, these shows have attention deficit issues and are back at Roswell, visiting the “Impact Site.”  Here is where witnesses saw little men wandering and others dead in a craft about the size of a Volkswagen bus about 40 miles north of Roswell.

Marcel’s journal is brought to a York, PA, professor of math who is a cryptologist. One look at the journal and he sees a cipher with “biliterate code.” That’s using cap letters in mid-printed word.

Ben Smith, main researcher, also consults a body language expert to show Marcel interviews from years ago. She seems to think he believes what he says.

The sheriff’s elderly daughter reports with a broken heart that what the Roswell officer saw and the pressure the government put on him drove him to lose his mind within a few years. He claimed to have seen the alien bodies.

The final five minutes seem a rush to bring together all the expert points—but fear not. There is another episode coming. History Channel is truly investing in this historical issue, making a miniseries within the miniseries. 

 

Roswell & History Channel

Jesse Marcel 1947, 1980.

 DATELINE: New Evidence Forthcoming?

With its Cadillac history investigation series with Laurence Fishburne, we had little hope for more than another cover-up with their new program. All the past shows have ignored and distorted enough evidence to support traditional and conventional theories that we don’t expect much.

The episode, however, has promise—as they have been contacted by the grandchildren of the  first government official to visit the crash site. They have their grandfather’s journal from that era.

Major Jesse Marcel found odd wreckage covering a large desolate area—and for years he stayed quiet when the material he discovered was exchanged for debris from a weather balloon. He was incensed at being so used—and in 1980, shortly before he died, gave an interview to Leonard Nimoy’s In Search of TV series.

The former CIA researcher has to authenticate the journal, which is gibberish (in code?) and in different styles of handwriting (to mask identity?). Or, was there a second writer?

We immediately suspected Marcel’s pre-pubescent son took the journal and was writing in it, innocently and apart from the crash controversy.

However, we first notice that the TV show re-enactor for Major Marcel has the uniform of a corporal. So much for care to accuracy.

The investigation at the site includes drones, radiation measurements, and ground-penetrating radar. Soil samples will date when some heat-related activity occurred in this remote area.

Ben Smith, lead investigator, discovers there is much protection of privacy from children and grandchildren of witnesses. Mac Brazel, the rancher who found the debris, has an elderly grandson who also is reclusive but reveals what he knows.

The journal is genuine, according to the expert, and the second part of this fascinating study is forthcoming. There is only one writer, despite the odd change in handwriting. Everyone suspects it is in code.

 

 

 

 

Greatest Mysteries: Escape Artist?

Racist Murderer Booth

DATELINE: Racist Pin Up Boy

 History Channel gave its prestigious series a shot at the Booth mystery theory about his escape after killing Lincoln. It seems to be a culmination of finally legitimizing the idea that John Wilkes Booth managed to live out his life for four decades as Lincoln’s assassination.

In History’s Greatest Mysteries, a new Cadillac series, Laurence Fishburne narrates an updated look at the Booth murder/death with more cooperation from descendants of the assassin. In fact, they are prepared to use DNA to make their case that he lived for decades—and even fathered some children.

You will see again some of the familiar “expert” faces of the past few decades, though they are now aging and still dealing with the mystery. And here, Booth is described as charismatic and able to lead and to orchestrate a great conspiracy down to minute details. Yet, he is also shown as having drinks to fortify his resolve before shooting Lincoln.

In this version of events, the descendants contend Booth, married to a woman named Martha Izola, left the country with her and went to India for a time.

The great grandson of Harry is willing to be tested. There are other marriages, one discounted by handwriting and signature comparison.

The idea of exhuming Booth’s body and testing its DNA is impossible when he was buried in an unmarked grave with many other family members, under orders of Edwin Booth.

This show takes the same photos of John St. Helen and David E. George to a University of Virginia facial recognition expert who denies they can even be matched. So, they are not truly run through his program. And a handwriting expert dismisses both St. John and George as having handwriting that was not as artistic and flowery as the real Booth!

The issue of whether he shaved off his mustache is also left in obfuscation: sometimes he has one, and other times he does not.

The show does suggest that Booth, even today, has a bevy of fans—mostly white supremacists who want to hear he got away with his crime against Lincoln and the federal government.

The mystery of John Wilkes Booth is far from solved.

Shocking Titanic Info in Forgotten Journal

 

The show is called “Lost Evidence,” but it really is “Ignored Evidence.”

When History Channel presents Laurence Fishburne to narrate another Titanic documentary, you might be skeptical about what more can be said. You’d be surprised almost immediately by the high quality of this production. IN fact, it may be instantly one of the best of all Titanic documentaries.

The premise is snide: there was far less heroism and good behavior than you have been led to believe, and the key is in the British investigation of 1912 that was led by Lord Mersey. He was likely the spearhead of a coverup, or at least whitewash.

In his private red journal, however, unread for 100 years, were his observations never published. His GGG grandson, the new Viscount of Mersey, appears and allows information to be released.

Some is surprising, but the most visual is a spectacular collection of film clips and photos, not necessarily from Titanic, but of the White Star liners.

The grand tragic ship itself was not at capacity, despite legends to the contrary. Indeed, young Richard White, traveling with his father in first-class D deck, moved across the hall to an empty cabin a day into the voyage.

Mersey notes that the crew was the same bunch of incompetents under Captain Smith that were involved in several crashes on the Olympic. And, buried headlines indicate survivors denounced the officers of Titanic.

Smith was old-fashioned—and a 20thcentury technophobe, disdaining Marconi-grams on icebergs and refusing to hold new system lifeboat drills. Who knows what else contributed to the “millionaires’ captain” and his failures? A few experts suggest that Smith deep-sixed the ship’s log because it would make him look bad.

Marconi operators actually told other ships to “Shut Up!” about ice warnings. Lord Mersey notes all this in his journal.

Of twenty lifeboats, only two bothered to pick up floundering passengers in the water. Others had seats and left them empty. One British aristocrat paid cash bribes to lifeboat crewnotto turn back to help others.

Ismay and crew were trapped by the American investigation that started almost immediately. Ismay was labeled a “coward” and “murderer.” Yet, the British inquiry with Lord Mersey was meant to be fairer and restore integrity to the shipping industry.

Mersey came to conclude Californian was most at fault and might have saved many, if not all, victims. Yet, years later, it was discovered Titanic was 13 miles off-course, allegedly too far from Californian to rescue them. It’s a stretch.

It seems excuses still abound 108 years later.

 

John Wick: Serial Killer or Mass Murderer?

DATELINE: Kill Count Around 200?

Keanu with Anjelica.

We just had the pleasure of watching a film that is the epitome of political incorrectness in America after a half-dozen shootings in society. John Wick: Chapter Three Parabellum is a violent satire of gun use. At least, we think it is meant to be funny.

Para bellum is Latin for “prepare for war.”  It is only one of several high-toned touches of art and culture in a brutal shoot’em up. We did not have our clicker with us, but we believe Wick kills over 150 people, one at a time. It causes the movie to run for a full two-hours and have credits that will feature keanu’s chef.

Keanu Reeves has now appeared in three of these sagas, his big money-making series. At 55 he is giving contemporary Tom Cruise a run for old age. We cannot imagine how he can run, jump, kill, and duck endlessly and never be out of breath. And, he is shot and stabbed on more than one occasions.

You know that Wick is dangerous when he kills an assassin in the New York Public Library—with a book. And then puts the bloody tome back on the shelf.

The film is a series of set pieces of mayhem. It seems everyone in the world is packing heat—and most of those are hired guns. No wonder we have shootings every week. It’s part of a movie fantasy world.

Among the high-brow stars is Anjelica Huston playing The Director, some kind of Russian oligarch balletomane who runs a dance company like she’s a female Diaghilev. Also on hand for chuckles is Ian McShane and Laurence Fishburne. Don’t worry about your stars being killed off: they will need to return for the fourth entry (yes, it is clearly coming).

In the meantime you can wonder about the brilliant choreography done by Reeves, and then there are outlandish set scenes like a swordfight on motorcycles.

We want to say the body count is quite high, but we think more panes of glass were broken than any other kind of vandalism. There isn’t a window in which someone does not put his head right through.

We also see plenty of blood splatter as heads are blown away with armor piercing bullets when a sword through the eyeball is not handy.

We haven’t seen this high a body count since Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood went Where Eagles Dare, killing Nazis.

 

 

 

 

Event Horizon Meets Lost in Space

 DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

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Event Horizon is a mysterious space ship that disappeared in 2040 and suddenly shows up behind Neptune seven years later.

They might as well have called the ship The Flying Dutchman in science fiction garb. This interesting little-known sci-fi thriller is heavy on loud noises to rattle your bones, but the plot owes its being to Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a dozen other ‘something is lurking in the air shaft’ school of unseen monsters.

Sam Neill is on board as an odd scientist who invented the original ship that would breach black holes. And, Laurence Fishburne is aboard as the no-nonsense captain.

Among the other crew is Sean Pertwee and Jack Noseworthy, both adept in their stereotypical roles. The female leads like Kathleen Quinlan are cast to be politically correct more than developed heroic figures. Of course, Joely Richardson is wonderful, as she always is.

You may keep wondering if the formula means the doctor is actually a robotic computer, as often happens in these pictures. There is fortunately no superhero actor like Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Sylvester Stallone, ready to take charge with the action thrills.

With so many space shot movies, this one seems to have slipped between the cracks, but may be ripe for rediscovery. It provides a few thrills, without the comic book special effects.

The screenplay seems written to circum-navigate all the previous tales and still seem fresh.

The notion that the ‘mad’ scientist has no idea what he has unleashed—or perhaps knows all too well—is a time tested plot device, but with Neill’s performance, you may be unsure where he really stands when it comes to creatures from the black abyss.

Event Horizon is pithy and has a Dragnet kind of style. We want the facts, but Sam Neill’s Dr. Weir simply won’t provide them, much to our delight

Alas, in the final ten minutes, all hell literally breaks loose, and we do not misuse our figurative language. The ultimate result looks like Stanley Kubrick directed on LSD.