Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Camouflage Through Limited Disclosure

In the October 2007 issue of Fortean Times, I published a review of Randy Koppang’s book, Camouflage Through Limited Disclosure:  Deconstructing a Cover-up of the Extraterrestrial Presence (Book Tree, 2006).  Due to space restrictions, the review had to be edited severely.  I’ve always wanted to see the complete review in print, so I decided to post it here.

On February 10, 2007, at the Conscious Life Expo (held annually at the LAX Hilton Hotel), I met Richard Hoagland, author of The Monuments of Mars and Dark Mission:  The Secret History of NASA, and heard him tell the standing-room-only audience that Camouflage Through Limited Disclosure was (and this is an exact quote) “the most important exopolitical critique of the UFO subject to date I’ve read in decades.” 

Months later, the book was praised by no less an authority than Richard Dolan, author of the excellent book UFOs and the National Security State.  Dolan said, in part, “Koppang takes on issues most UFO researchers avoid... going beyond simple black and white arguments.”

I happen to know that Koppang is hard at work on a follow-up book (a voluminous tome) that’s going to blow quite a few minds when it’s published.  It will definitely turn your conception of UFOlogy upside down and inside-out.  Keep your eyes peeled for it.

Here’s what I wrote about Koppang’s first book back in 2007: 

CAMOUFLAGE THROUGH LIMITED DISCLOSURE:
DECONSTRUCTING A COVER-UP OF THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL PRESENCE

Author:  Randy Koppang
Publisher:  Book Tree
Price:  $15.95 (US)/£8.95 (UK)
Isbn:  978-1-58509-110-2

Since the birth of the UFO phenomenon sixty years ago when pilot Kenneth Arnold first coined the phrase “flying saucer” upon witnessing strange aerial craft hovering over Mt. Rainier in Washington State way back in 1947, numerous authors have published books that attempt to peel back the lid of secrecy on this taboo subject and reveal the inner workings of the government cover-up.  Randy Koppang’s new book, Camouflage Through Limited Disclosure, differs from almost all of them in one crucial respect:  it does not miss the main point.  There is no government cover-up of the UFO phenomenon.

Is Koppang’s book written from a skeptical point of view, like one of those many pseudo-academic tomes published by Prometheus Books’ stable of Skeptical Inquirer authors that attempt to explain away every anomalous phenomenon that has ever occurred as mass hysteria or errant swamp gas?  No, it’s not.  It’s written from the point of view of somebody who has studied the most basic tools of behavioral psychology and Madison Avenue mind-manipulation techniques to understand that the most effective cover-up is the one that doesn’t exist.

Consider the lesson of Edgar Allan Poe.  In 1841 Poe created the very first literary detective, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, in his celebrated short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”  Fifty years later this story will inspire Arthur Conan Doyle to create the most famous literary detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes.  In 1844 Poe writes a sequel to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” titled “The Purloined Letter” in which Dupin outsmarts the Prefect of the Parisian Police by doing what the Prefect cannot:  retrieve a most incriminating letter that has been stolen from a member of the royal family.  The entire police department has searched the room of the thief and come up empty-handed.  It takes Dupin to point out the obvious to the Prefect:  this entire time the envelope they’re searching for has been sitting safely in the letter holder perched on the mantle piece, hidden in plain view.

In Philip J. Corso’s 1997 book, The Day After Roswell, a memoir detailing his involvement with the aftermath of the infamous UFO crash at Roswell, the retired Army Colonel discusses the method his superiors decided to employ in order to most effectively distract public attention away from the UFO topic (a topic that consistently appeared emblazoned in the headlines in almost every major newspaper, almost every single day, during the late 1940s and early 1950s).  It’s a method still used to this day—to this very second, in fact—and Corso sums it up in a single sentence:  “The cover-up is the disclosure and the disclosure is the cover-up.” 

Back in 2001 and 2002 I published a two-part article in the pages of Paranoia Magazine (Issues 28 and 29) titled “Science Fiction As Manipulation:  SF’s Intersection with the Intelligence Community” in which I delineated the intimate link between various intelligence agencies and the field of science fiction going all the way back to the 1890s.  In the second part of that article I briefly mentioned the vast number of documented military and intelligence agents who were involved in the flood of science fiction B-films that poured out of Hollywood beginning in 1951.  In his book Corso claims that his military team influenced from behind the scenes the production of such films as The Man From Planet X (United Artists, 1951), the first movie to feature the alien-from-outer-space meme.  “This was called camouflage through limited disclosure,” Corso writes, “and it worked.  If people could enjoy it as entertainment, get duly frightened, and follow trails to nowhere that the working group had planted, then they’d be less likely to stumble over what we were really doing.” 

Koppang takes his cue from Corso and applies this principle to the various “limited disclosures” we’ve seen leak out of the military and the media (is there a difference?) over the past six decades.  The book is divided into three sections.  Part One, simply titled “Overview,” is among the most dense and keenly observed analyses of the current state of the UFO field I’ve ever read.  Koppang demonstrates that the UFO issue is the missing piece of the puzzle in any mainstream analysis of world affairs.  For sixty years the UFO subject has been the proverbial elephant in the room, and the purpose of this book is not only to admit that the elephant exists, but to explain how it got there in the first place and where it’s headed from here.  After all, an elephant can’t just stand there unseen in the middle of the room forever, can it?  In only 66 pages Koppang illustrates in this “Overview” how politics, psychology, media studies, and the transgressive UFO subject are all converging to form a post-postmodern field of exopolitics, a proscenium arch under which the entire theatre of geopolitics is now being enacted. 

After the neophyte student of UFOlogy has managed to plow through a curriculum of increasingly more in-depth fare like Timothy Good’s Above Top Secret, Richard Dolan’s UFOs and the National Security State, and Paul Hill’s Unconventional Flying Objects (in that order), Koppang’s “Overview” is the perfect post-graduate text to be assigned to the most dedicated student of the UFO conundrum.

In Part Two of this book, Koppang offers a brief but illuminating interview with Melinda Leslie, one of the best kept secrets in the UFO field.  Leslie claims to be an alien abductee who, following her various close encounters, has been repeatedly reabducted by military-style commandos and interrogated by them with cavalier interrogation techniques that sound suspiciously similar to those used by private corporations such as Blackwater, the company responsible for the illegal interrogation of suspected terrorists in Abu Ghraib and other concentration-camp-style prisons in the Middle East.  After reading Leslie’s highly convincing testimony, which does not lack corroborating evidence, one wonders if Blackwater has been contracted to handle interrogations of a different kind on top of their rather lucrative deal in the Middle East.

Part Three, titled “Ace in the Hole,” is devoted to Koppang’s transcription of testimony far more obscure than even Melinda Leslie’s:  that of a former Marine Corps fighter pilot named Bill Uhouse who claims to have played a formative role in perfecting anti-gravity technology back-engineered from recovered extraterrestrial spacecraft.  Uhouse’s plain spoken, non-sensational reportage gives his testimony a ring of truth lacking in those who claim to be insiders while actively seeking the spotlight of media attention.  Uhouse’s disclosure of this Unacknowledged Special Access Project was so “limited” as to be almost nonexistent.  If not for Koppang going out of his way to hunt down this information and transcribe it, the public wouldn’t even know it existed.

In this relatively short but comprehensive analysis of the cover-up that doesn’t exist, Koppang never once takes his eye off the envelope sitting on the mantle for everybody to see, if only they were willing to open their eyes. 

To order Camouflage Through Limited Disclosure, visit the publisher’s website.

 http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0231/1817/products/Camouflage_through_limited_Disclosure_large.jpg?3060

Friday, March 16, 2012

PALEO POP

To my surprise, I recently received a rather thoughtful letter from Stephen R. Bissette praising my Video Watchdog article “Charles Darwin and the Suppressed Science of Dr. Mirakle.”  He has asked for permission to reprint the entire article in a book called PALEO POP:  S.R. BISSETTE'S TYRANT® MEDIA GUIDE, VOL. 1, which he intends on publishing sometime next year.  The book will be a collection of essays about what Bissette calls “prehistoric media.” 

In case you don’t know about Bissette’s career (and if not, you definitely should), he was the artist of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, the co-creator of the subtly subversive retro comic book 1963, the editor of the groundbreaking anthology Taboo, and the writer/artist of Tyrant, an ambitious graphic-novel-in-progress documenting the life of a Tyrannosaurus Rex from birth to death. 

Synchronicities abound in my life, and this incident is no exception.  Twenty-four hours before I received Bissette’s letter, my wife was glancing through Video Watchdog #166 (the issue that contains my article).  She was commenting favorably on the overall quality of the layout and photo reproductions.  I said, “Here, let me show you where I first saw Tim Lucas’ name.”  (Lucas, of course, is the editor of Video Watchdog.)  From my bookshelf I pulled out all ten volumes of Taboo, something I hadn’t done in many, many years.  (Lucas’ multi-part story “Throat Sprockets” was serialized throughout Taboo's run.)  “These books spun my brain around when I was sixteen years old,” I told my wife, handing her the first couple of volumes.  I then started telling her about Bissette at great length—a subject that had never come up between us before.  Only a few days prior to that, I stumbled across Tyrant #1-4 at a local bookstore and brought them home.  Then, only a day later, Bissette’s letter dropped out of the sky and landed in my inbox.  Weirdness!

By the way, at the moment Bissette is running a series of very perceptive articles analyzing Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s respective relationships with Marvel Entertainment (or “Godcorp,” as Steve Gerber once called the corporation in his and Jack Kirby’s satirical Destroyer Duck series).  They are the best and most insightful articles I’ve ever read on the subject.  The articles rise above being mere gossipy speculation about the ins and out of a fifty-year-old collaboration between two comic book creators and become instead, on a macroscopic scale, an analysis of the destructively symbiotic relationship between artists and the corporations that often control their destinies.  I urge you to check out Bissette’s website:  http://srbissette.com/







Sunday, March 11, 2012

R.I.P. Moebius


I’ve just now learned about the death of the legendary artist, Moebius (1938-2012).  I honestly thought he would live forever.

If you’re not familiar with Moebius’ work, you should get up to speed posthaste.  The Incal, Moebius’ epic collaboration with writer Alejandro Jodorowsky (director of such iconoclastic films as El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre, etc.), is one of the great metaphysical works of fiction produced in the 20th century.  Moebius’ classic solo work (e.g., The Airtight Garage, Arzach, The Gardens of Aedena, The Long Tomorrow, Pharagonesia, Upon a Star, etc.) has been indescribably influential on generations of filmmakers, novelists, and illustrators all around the world.  Alas, the vast majority of Moebius’ work is out of print in the United States (a dirty shame).  The Incal, however, is scheduled to be republished in a single volume later this year: http://www.humanoids.com/album/270

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this to anybody, but Moebius was one of the main inspirations for the first story of mine that Rudy Rucker published in his webzine, Flurb.  I attempted, in a short story called “Initiation,” to approximate in prose the level of High Strangeness that Moebius could (seemingly without effort) conjure up in mere two-dimensional images.  Whether or not I succeeded, I’ll leave up to you:  http://www.flurb.net/7/7guffey.htm

Friday, March 9, 2012

A COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

A colleague suggested I post a complete bibliography of my published work, so here it is….

They’re all listed here:  short stories, interviews, articles, forthcoming books, etc.  If I’ve overlooked the stray oddment, however, I’ll be sure to add it to the list later.  For now, this is as complete a bibliography as my memory and haphazard records can construct: 

A Complete Bibliography

"The Sheet."  Phantom Drift:  A Journal of New Fabulism #7 (Fall 2017). 

"The Box in the Desert:  Budd Boetticher, Breaking Bad, and the Twenty-first-century Western."  The Films of Budd Boetticher.  Edinburgh University Press, 2017.  

"Little Human and Giant Gods:  The Extraterrestrial Tiki Art of Jack Kirby."  The Jack Kirby Collector #70 (Winter 2017).

"What's At the End of Main Street?:  The Struggle Between the Artificial and the Real in Recent Gnostic Cinema" Part 3New Dawn Magazine #160 (January/February 2017).

"Destroy All Monsters."  The Mailer Review Vol. 10, No. 1 (Fall 2016).

"What's At the End of Main Street?:  The Struggle Between the Artificial and the Real in Recent Gnostic Cinema" Part 2New Dawn Magazine #159 (November/December 2016).

"What's At the End of Main Street?:  The Struggle Between the Artificial and the Real in Recent Gnostic Cinema" Part 1New Dawn Magazine #158 (September/October 2016).

"Can & Can'tankerous by Harlan Ellison."  The New York Review of Science Fiction #335 (July 2016).

"Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and Esoteric Science."  Nexus Magazine Vol. 23, No. 4 (June/July 2016)

"The Wedding Photographer."  Postscripts #36/37 (2016).

"Here Among the Dead:  The Phantom Carriage and the Cinema of the Occulted Taboo."  Expressionism in the Cinema.  Edinburgh University Press, 2016.

"Apotheosis of the Self:  The Magical Universe of William S. Burroughs."  New Dawn Magazine #154 (January/February 2016).  

"Janelle's Key."  Buffalo Zine #3 (2015).

"The Mystery of Albert Pike" reprinted in New Dawn Special Issue (Vol. 9, No. 4, 2015).

"Chameleo Chapter Thirteen."  The Believer (June 2015).  

"Chameleo Chapter Three."  Flavorwire (April 2015).  

"Chameleo Chapter One."  The Los Angeles Review of Books (Winter 2015).  

Chameleo:  A Strange but True Story of Invisible Spies, Heroin Addiction, and Homeland Security.  OR Books, 2015.


"Attack of the Poisonous Mushroom Growth!"  Fortean Times #320 (November 2014).

“What Is a Cloud?”  The Chiron Review #97 (Fall 2014).

Spies & Saucers.  PS Publishing, 2014.   


"The War Against the Imagination:  How to Teach in a System Designed to Fail."  No More Fake News (February 2014).  

"Captain America Meets Big Brother."  The Jack Kirby Collector #62 (Winter 2013).  
  
"The Walk."  The Mailer Review Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall 2013). 

Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow's The Best Horror of the Year Vol. #5 for “Cryptopolis.”  Night Shade Books, 2013.

"Flames."  Plan B Magazine Vol. #2 (September 2013).  

“Strange Tales of Homeland Security.”  Fortean Times #305 (September 2013).

"Selections from The Expectant Mother Disinformation Handbook."  Postscripts #30/31 (August 2013).

"Still Pulling This Train:  Harlan Ellison's Pulling a Train and Getting in the Wind."  The New York Review of Science Fiction #295 (March 2013).

"Zeroville:  On the Edge of the Unreal."  Phantom Drift:  A Journal of New Fabulism #2 (Fall 2012).

"Cryptopolis."  Phantom Drift:  A Journal of New Fabulism #2 (Fall 2012).

"The Couch."  Pearl #46 (2012 Fiction Issue). 


“Cryptoscatology:  Andr√© Breton & Fortean Phenomena.”  Fortean Times #286 (April 2012). 

“Film Noird and the Multiple Realities Thereof:  Bowery at Midnight, The Chase, and Kiss Me Deadly.”  The New York Review of Science Fiction #282 (February 2012). 

“Charles Darwin and the Suppressed Science of Dr. Mirakle.”  Video Watchdog Magazine #166 (January/February 2012). 

"Science Fiction on the Periphery:  The Literary Novels of Steve Erickson, Jim Dodge, Denis Johnson and Larissa Lai."  The Albatross (Jan. 2012).  

Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow's The Best Horror of the Year Vol. #3 for “Ticks.”  Night Shade Books, 2011.

“We All Live in Happyland:  Jack Kirby and the JFK Assassination” reprinted in The Jack Kirby Collector #57 (Summer 2011).

“Graffiti.”  Art From Art:  A Collection of Short Stories Inspired by Art.  The Modernist Press, 2011.  
“The Morning of the Mutants.”  Fortean Times #277 (July 2011).

"Bring Me the Head of Andr√© Breton!"  Flurb:  A Webzine of Astonishing Tales #11 (Spring 2011).  

“Twilight in Hysperia.”  Aoife’s Kiss #36 (March 2011).

“We All Live in Happyland:  Jack Kirby and the JFK Assassination.”  The New York Review of Science Fiction #270 (February 2011).

“The Man from Planet X:  Hollywood’s First Invasion from Outer Space.”  The New York Review of Science Fiction #266 (October 2010). 

“Check.”  Catastrophia.  PS Publishing, 2010.  

“My Blood Is Rotten.”  Fortean Times #260 (April 2010).

“Ticks.”  Flurb:  A Webzine of Astonishing Tales #9 (Spring 2010).  

“The Mystery of Albert Pike.”  Paranoia:  The Conspiracy Reader Vol. 1.  Paranoia Publishing, 2010.

“Satan, God, H.P. Lovecraft and Other Mephitic Models:  An Interview with Paul Laffoley” reprinted in Journal Particules #26 (October/December 2009).

“Occult America.”  Fortean Times #255 (November 2009).

“Macbeth and the Masons.”  Fortean Times #255 (November 2009).

“Zeroville:  On the Edge of the Unreal.”  NTHPOSITION Online Magazine (2009).  
“Dr. Apocrypha’s Manifesto.”  Chimeraworld 6:  New World Disorder.  Chimericana Books, 2009.

“silvertime.”  Escape Clause:  A Speculative Fiction Anthology.  Ink Oink Art Inc., 2009.  

“Initiation.”  Flurb:  A Webzine of Astonishing Tales #7 (Spring 2009).   

“Tierra de los Muertos.”  Alien Skin Magazine (April/May 2009).

“The End of History and the Clash of Civilizations” reprinted in Cyrano’s Journal (March 2009).

“Jack Kirby’s OMAC:  Captain America Loves Big Brother.”  The New York Review of Science Fiction #245 (January 2009).

“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.”  Dark Jesters:  An Anthology of Humorous Horror.  Novello Publishers, 2009.   

“The End of History and the Clash of Civilizations.”  Paranoia Magazine #49 (Winter 2009).

“A Truly Fortean SF Writer:  Jack Womack.”  Fortean Times #236 (May 2008).

“The Twelfth Thunder:  Beyond the Digital Environment of Finnegans Wake.”  The HunterGatheress Journal Vol. 1.  HunterGatheress Publishing, 2008.

“Exopolitics and Planet X.”  Fortean Times #228 (October 2007).

“White Noise:  Don DeLillo’s Postmodern Autopsy of the 20th Century.”  The New York Review of Science Fiction #229 (September 2007).

Bicycle Bites Man:  Flann O’Brien’s Journey from the Sublime to the Absurd (A Fraudulent Essay of Dubious Scholarly Value, with Spurious Footnotes by An Imaginary Author).”  The New York Review of Science Fiction #227 (July 2007).

“The History of Unknown Men.”  New Dawn Special Issue #3 (Spring/Summer 2007). 

“To See the Invisible Man:  An Interview with Project Chameleo’s Richard Schowengerdt.”  UFO Magazine Vol. 22, No. 3 (March 2007). 

“George Bush Is Not a Christian.”  New Dawn Magazine #100 (January/February 2007).

“A Strange & Portentous Case Study in Creeping Christo-Fascism.”  New Dawn Magazine #100 (January/February 2007).

“William S. Burroughs:  20th Century Gnostic Visionary.”  New Dawn Magazine #99 (November/December 2006).

“Feast of Clowns.”  Modern Magic:  Tales of Fantasy and Horror.  Fantasist Enterprises, 2006.   

“The Illusion of Control.”  New Dawn Special Issue #2 (Autumn/Winter 2006).

“The Solomon Keyhole.”  New Dawn Magazine #95 (March/April 2006).

“The Insect Queen of Venus & Other Strangeness.”  The Chiron Review #80 (Autumn 2005).

“Collaborating with the Dead.”  Like Water Burning #1.  Like Water Burning Press, 2005.

“1001 Nights with Ali.”  www.paranoiamagazine.com.  Paranoia Publishing, 2005.

“Programming Armageddon in the Middle East.”  New Dawn Magazine #90 (May/June 2005).

“©onspiracy Inc.”  Paranoia Magazine #38 (Spring 2005).

“Science Fiction on the Periphery:  The Literary Novels of Steve Erickson, Jim Dodge, Denis Johnson, and Larissa Lai.”  The New York Review of Science Fiction #202 (June 2005).

“The Suppressed Teachings of Gnosticism” reprinted in New Dawn Magazine #88 (January/February 2005).

“Satan, God, H.P. Lovecraft and Other Mephitic Models:  An Interview With Paul Laffoley.”  www.paranoiamagazine.com.  Paranoia Publishing, 2004.

“Fahrenheit 24/7.”  www.paranoiamagazine.com.  Paranoia Publishing, 2004.

“Letters to the President” reprinted in the “Special Political Issue” of The Pedestal Magazine (Fall 2004).  www.thepedestalmagazine.com.

“Concentration Campus” reprinted in The New Conspiracy Reader.  Kensington Books, 2004.

“The Mass Psychology of Fascism in the United States.”  Paranoia Magazine #36 (Fall 2004).

“Letters to the President.”  Riprap #26 (Spring 2004).

“The Death of the Matrix.”  www.paranoiamagazine.com.  Paranoia Publishing, 2004.

“The Suppressed Teachings of Gnosticism:  An Interview with Dr. Stephan A. Hoeller” in Paranoia Magazine # 34 (Winter 2004) and on www.paranoiamagazine.com.  Paranoia Publishing, 2004.

“Tracks in the Desert” in Riprap #25 (Spring 2003).  (Winner of the Best Fiction Prize for that issue.) 

“Concentration Campus.”  Paranoia Magazine #31 (Winter 2003).

“The Comic Book Conspiracy” reprinted in Popular Paranoia.  Adventures Unlimited Press, 2002.

“Interview with David Ulin.”  Riprap #24 (Spring 2002).

“Science Fiction as Manipulation Part II.  Paranoia Magazine #29 (Spring 2002).

“Esthra, Shadows, Glass, Silence.”  The Third Alternative  #27.  TTA Press, 2001.

Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling's The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror Vol. #14 for “The Infant Kiss.”  St. Martin’s Press, 2001.

“Science Fiction as Manipulation Part I.”  Paranoia Magazine #27 (Fall 2001).

“Heaven’s Gate, Columbine, the Unabomber, and Other Atrocities.”  Paranoia Magazine #25 (Winter 2001).

“The Infant Kiss.”  After Shocks.  Freak Press, 2000.  

“The Comic Book Conspiracy.”  Steamshovel Press #17 (2000).

“Synchronistic-Linguistics in The Matrix.”  Paranoia Magazine #22 (Winter 2000).

“You Name the Dwarfs” and “Honey, Did You Leave Your Brain Back at Langley Again?” reprinted in The Conspiracy Reader.  Citadel Press, 1999.

“Was Shakespeare a Freemason?” in Paranoia Magazine #19 (Winter 1999).

“Honey, Did You Leave Your Brain Back at Langley Again?”  Paranoia Magazine #17 (Fall 1997).

“You Name the Dwarfs.”  Paranoia Magazine #12 (Spring 1996).