Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gangstalking Law Firm Targets City Council Members in Costa Mesa

On Dec. 17, 2014, Jeremiah Dobruck and Bradley Zint published an article in the L.A. Times entitled "Costa Mesa Officials May Investigate Reported Tracking of Councilmen."  This article is about three council members (Jim Righeimer, Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan) who were surveilled and harassed by private detectives working for Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir, a now defunct Upland law firm linked to decidedly gangstalking-like behavior.  According to the L.A. Times, the law firm "represented scores of law enforcement agencies across California and had a reputation for its aggressive style of negotiations."  The Costa Mesa police union apparently hired the law firm to use its illegal gangstalking tactics against Righeimer, Mensinger and Monahan, all three of whom had raised the ire of the local police due to the fact that they, the councilmen, were attempting to "reduce police pensions and outsource City Hall jobs."

Prominent L.A. radio talk show hosts are using this scandal as an excuse to rail against the undue influence of labor unions, when in fact the most important aspect of this story is that it was almost certainly a gangstalking operation that was stumbled upon by the Orange County's district attorney's office.

One wonders where the former "private detectives" (i.e., gangstalkers) of the now dissolved Lackie, Dammeier, McGill & Ethir law firm are working now….

To read this L.A. Times story in its entirety, simply click HERE.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Manly P. Hall and the Winter Solstice

Here's a rare opportunity to sit in the front row of the lecture hall at The Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles while Manly P. Hall, the twentieth century's foremost expert in the occult (and author of such comprehensive masterpieces as The Secret Teachings of All Ages and The Secret Destiny of America), delivers an illuminating lecture about the esoteric symbolism of the Winter Solstice.  If you wish to listen to Hall's lecture in its entirety, simply click HERE.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Brain Drain

Here's an intriguing report about a bizarre theft that has occurred at the University of Texas at Austin. When this story first hit the news on Tuesday, it was being reported that 100 brains had disappeared from the basement of the university's Animal Resources Center.  Among these organs, according to initial reports, was the brain of the infamous sniper Charles Whitman (a former U.S. Marine responsible for murdering 16 people and wounding 32 others during a shooting spree that took place on the campus of the University of Texas in 1966).  According to the co-curators of the collection, Prof. Lawrence Cormack and Prof. Tim Schallert, the formaldehyde-preserved brains had disappeared without a trace.  As of Wednesday afternoon, however, this story changed abruptly. Here's the new spin coming out of UT Austin….

Below are excerpts from Rick Jervis and Doug Stanglin's 12-13-14 USA Today article entitled "Mystery of Missing University of Texas Brains Solved":



AUSTIN -- The mystery of the missing brains at the University of Texas appeared solved Wednesday afternoon.
UT officials released a statement saying the 100 brains believed missing from a neuroscience lab were actually destroyed in 2002 as part of routine disposal of biological waste.
"We believe the workers disposed of between 40 and 60 jars, some of which contained multiple human brains, and worked with a biological waste contractor to do so safely," the statement read. 
University officials also denied earlier claims that the missing brains had surfaced at another university and said they had "no evidence" that one of the missing brains belonged to Charles Whitman, the infamous UT campus sniper, "though we will continue to investigate those reports."
The missing organs, which represent about half of the university's original collection, had been stored in jars of formaldehyde in a closet in the university's Animal Resources Center, where studies of human brains also occur, prior to the building's renovation, it said.
The brains have been used by neuroscience students to study everything from Huntington's disease to Parkinson's disease, depression, strokes and other disorders.
The Animal Resources Center originally got the organs in 1986 from the Austin State Hospital, formerly known as the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, under a "temporary possession" agreement.

The specimens were assembled by Dr. Coleman de Chenar, a resident pathologist at ASH. They were taken from deceased patients at the hospital from the 1950s through the 1970s, when surgical lobotomies and electroshock therapy were common [...].

As for the missing organs, the university said in a statement that it will investigate "the circumstances surrounding this collection since it came here nearly 30 years ago" and is "committed to treating the brain specimens with respect." It says the remaining brain specimens on campus are used "as a teaching tool and carefully curated by faculty."
The 100 remaining brains at the school have been moved to the Norman Hackerman Building, where they are being scanned with high-resolution resonance imaging equipment.

To read Jervis and Stanglin's entire article, click HERE.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Greatest X-Mas Present of All!

Announcing the greatest X-mas present of all!  Yes, indeed, friends and enemies, my scintillating second book SPIES AND SAUCERS is now available on Amazon!  This Dec. 25th, why not give the gift of incurable paranoia to your closest friends and family?  The mental and physical strain of receiving SPIES AND SAUCERS as a gift is known to be immediate and dramatic, as documented by several health care professionals in Switzerland and the Ukraine!  As you sit near the fireplace drinking tasty eggnog and hot chocolate with marshmallows, watch in stunned amazement as your parents accuse you of being a foreign secret agent, the local police arrest the family dog for sedition, and your spouse rats you out to Homeland Security in quick succession!  What more could you want this cheery Yuletide season?  Click HERE to order your copies of SPIES AND SAUCERS TODAY!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Banker Necrology

The necrology of prominent bankers continues.  These excerpts are from the 11-20-14 edition of the South China Morning Post:

"A prominent Citigroup banker has been found dead in the bath of his Manhattan flat, with his throat cut.
"Shawn Miller, 42, was a Citigroup managing director who was global head of environmental and social risk management.
"Ambulance crews declared him dead at his apartment after responding to an emergency call on Tuesday afternoon.
"Investigators were waiting for the medical examiner to determine a cause of death, police said, adding that he had suffered a 'neck laceration.'
"The New York Post reported that Miller's throat was slashed and that no knife was recovered, leading authorities to suspect foul play […].
"Miller advised on sustainability matters, including environmental and social policies related to industries such as mining and renewable energy […]."
"Citigroup Banker Shawn Miller Found Dead in Flat, with His Throat Cut," the article from which the preceding paragraphs were excerpted, can be seen in its entirety by clicking HERE.

It's worth mentioning that I've written about this expanding necrology in previous posts.  One such entry, "Dead Bankers and CIA Agents Are Falling from the Sky," can be found HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Kerry Thornley & the Last Words of Lee Harvey Oswald

Fifty-one years ago today, on live television, Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered by Jack Ruby in the basement parking lot of the Dallas Police Department.  Click HERE to listen to Oswald's friend, Kerry Thornley (who wrote a novel based on Oswald's life several years before the JFK assassination), discuss the web of peculiar synchronicities that swirled around both Oswald and Thornley during the years preceding the JFK assassination.  In this segment Thornley also offers just a few of the many reasons why he believed Oswald couldn't possibly have shot the President on November 22, 1963.

This would also be an appropriate day to revisit "The Last Words of Lee Harvey Oswald" as compiled by the late, great Mae Brussell.  You can read Oswald's final words by clicking HERE.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Harpo Marx, Freemason!

Today is Harpo Marx's 126th birthday.  In honor of this illustrious occasion, I offer this tale about Harpo told by his younger brother, the one and only Groucho:

"Oh, I've got to tell you a wonderful story about Harpo!

"We had an uncle by the name of Felix Levy.  He was a 32nd Degree Mason and Harpo's one ambition in life at that time was to become a Mason just like my uncle.  I forget how the number system of the Masons works.  I think the lowest number is three and from there you can go all the way up.

"It's a lot of horse shit but the Masons believe in it.

"Anyway, Harpo finally became a Mason and he was very proud of the pin he'd wear in his lapel that would show everyone what he was.  It had taken him three or four years to become a Mason and he really treasured that pin very much.

"One day he picked up a dame in front of a theater and brought her to his dressing room because he wanted to lay her.  Before anything she asked him if he had any money and Harpo admitted he had none because we hadn't yet performed the first show.  Instead he said, 'Do you see this pin?  It's my treasured possession.  I haven't any money, but if you'll go down on me I'll give you the pin.'  And that was the finish of the Masons.

"He had talked for years about getting this Masonic pin and he gave it up just to get his head blown.  But we were young then and getting your head blown was considered kind of a triumph.  This was when we were in vaudeville.  Well, now we're really off the track.  Weren't we talking about our early films?"

--from pp. 146-47 of The Marx Bros. Scrapbook by Groucho Marx and Richard J. Anobile (Grosset & Dunlap, 1974)



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Myron May, Energy Weapons and Disembodied Voices

Here are choice excerpts from Mark Schlueb and Stephen Hudak's 11-21-14 Orlando Sentinel article entitled "FSU Shooter Myron May Feared 'Energy Weapon,' Heard Voices, Thought Police Were Watching Him":

Hours before Myron May strode into a Florida State University library with murder on his mind, he left a series of chilling voicemails saying he was being attacked by an "energy weapon" and had a scheme to expose it "once and for all."
Those messages, along with mysterious packages that May mailed to friends before he shot three people, were the culmination of what seemed to be a mental breakdown several months in the making.
Two months ago, the promising young prosecutor went to police and told them that people were watching him through cameras planted in his apartment and talking about him through the walls. Last month, May abruptly resigned from his job, and a worried ex-girlfriend told police he suffered from mental problems that were getting worse.
May, an FSU alumnus, was killed by police early Thursday morning. On Friday, May's three victims were identified as Elijah Velez, 18; library employee Nathan Scott, 30; and Farhan Ahmed, 21. Velez was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene and released. Scott, who was shot in the leg, was released from the hospital Friday night. Ahmed remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday evening […].
At the time May began showing signs of mental instability, he was an associate trial attorney in the felony division of the Third Judicial District Attorney's Office in Las Cruces, N.M. He'd previously worked in the area as a public defender.
Prosecutor stunned
District Attorney Mark D'Antonio said his colleagues saw no sign of May's mental decline.
"I nearly fell off the chair," D'Antonio said Friday, describing when he learned of the shooting. "It was as shocking to me as it could have been. The staff took it hard. He was very well-liked."
May's visit to the police station in Las Cruces happened on Sept. 7.
"He stated that he can constantly hear voices coming through the walls specifically talking about actions he was doing," an officer wrote in an incident report. As an example, May cited a time he had climbed out of a bubble bath and began applying lotion.
"He specifically stated he heard voices say, 'Did you see that, he never puts lotion on,' " the report states.
Police said there was nothing they could do, and May responded that he planned to hire a private investigator and wanted his report documented.
Weeks later, on Oct. 6, May's co-workers arrived at work to find he had cleaned out his office and left, leaving a resignation letter on his desk. The letter thanked D'Antonio, was professional and showed no sign of a breakdown.
"None of us saw any clue," D'Antonio said. "If I had known, we could have gotten him some help. Maybe this wouldn't have happened."
The next night, police were called to the home of May's ex-girlfriend. May had just left, after showing up rambling and giving her a piece of a car he said was a camera that police had placed in his SUV. May's former girlfriend, who had dated him for about 15 months before breaking up two weeks before, was worried about his state of mind.
"Myron has recently developed a severe mental disorder," police wrote in a report. "Myron believes that the police are after him and are bugging his phone and car, as well as placing cameras in his home and car."


May's ex-girlfriend said he'd been taking prescription medication and had recently been taken to Mesilla Valley Hospital for a mental health evaluation. He had not made suicidal or homicidal threats, but had been acting erratically.
"He has been staying up four to five days straight with no sleep and recently he took a trip from Las Cruces to Colorado and back again in one day with no reason," an officer wrote.
Police went to May's apartment to check on his well being, but he wasn't home. They issued an alert for his vehicle for an "officer's safety/welfare check" […].
May was also a member of a Facebook group called "Targeted Individuals International." Targeted Individuals are people — often seen as conspiratorial or delusional — who contend they are targets of spying, harassment or abuse, sometimes by electromagnetic radiation weaponry.
On Friday, NBC News reported that May had reached out to another "targeted individual," Renee Pittman Mitchell, about a week ago through Facebook.
"He told me he just didn't want to go on living like this," Mitchell told NBC News. She said May left her three voicemails between 9:19 p.m. and 9:42 p.m. Wednesday, just hours before the shooting.
"I am currently being cooked in my chair. I devised a scheme where I was going to expose this once and for all and I really need you," he said in one of the messages, which NBC News reported had been authenticated by a relative as May's voice. "I do not want to die in vain."
In an email sent at 11:19 p.m., he wrote: "I've been getting hit with the direct energy weapon in my chest all evening. It hurts really bad right now."
That message was sent […] just over an hour before the shootings at FSU. But May had apparently already made provisions to share what he believed was happening to him.
According to a friend and the Associated Press, May mailed packages to friends that were due to arrive Friday. May snapped photos of the envelopes and messaged them to friends via Facebook before mailing them from Tallahassee. One arrived in Texas, according to the Associated Press. Another was intercepted by postal authorities in Orlando.
Joe Paul, who attended FSU with May, alerted Tallahassee police about the package headed his way.
"What did he send everyone? Was it a manifesto? Was it a message? I don't know," said Paul, 35, who formerly resided in Orange County. "I think I'm just as curious as everyone else."
A few minutes before 12:30 a.m., May shot Velez and Ahmed outside Strozier Library. He then entered the library and shot Scott, but did not pass through the lobby turnstiles. When he went back outside, he was confronted by police.
On Friday, Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs said he'd been told May had shot at the six FSU and Tallahassee police officers who first arrived on the scene. A day earlier, Tallahassee police chief Michael DeLeo had declined to answer questions about whether May had fired or pointed his weapon at police.
Meggs said once the investigation was completed he would impanel a grand jury to examine the shooting, and added that he believed all three FSU victims had been shot by the time the police arrived.


"There were two groups that had guns, the police and the dead guy. And the police weren't shooting civilians," he said […].
May's Facebook page shows that he recently shared a link to a video interview from the television show "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura" that featured an interview with Dr. Robert Duncan, "who put together the technology that allows the government to transmit thoughts and voices into the heads of Americans."
May shared the video with this comment: "IS OUR GOVERNMENT VIOLATING ORDINARY CITIZENS' RIGHTS? UNFORTUNATELY, THE ANSWER IS YES! SEE INSIDE THIS VIDEO."
Amy Hoffman, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist in Winter Park, said the type of delusions described in police reports are likely a sign of serious mental illness.
"Paranoid delusions of this nature can be associated with major mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or in some cases bipolar disorder," Hoffman said.


It's unclear whether May, 31, had exhibited any sign of a mental health problem before the past few months.
"Typically, the age of onset for a major mental illness in males is the early 20s," Hoffman said.
To read the unexpurgated article, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Here Come the Spy Planes

"And I said: OK. Who is this really? And the voice said:
This is the hand, the hand that takes. This is the
hand, the hand that takes.
This is the hand, the hand that takes.
Here come the planes.
They're American planes. Made in America.
Smoking or non-smoking?
And the voice said: Neither snow nor rain nor gloom
of night shall stay these couriers from the swift
completion of their appointed rounds."
--Laurie Anderson, "O Superman," 1981

Here are a few brief excerpts from Kate Knibbs' 11-13-14 Gizmodo.com article entitled "WSJ: A Secret U.S. Spy Program Is Using Planes to Target Cell Phones":


"A secret U.S. spy program used fake cell phone towers attached to airplanes to scan citizens' cell phones and collect their data, the Wall Street Journal reports […].

"The scheme, carried out by the Technical Operations Group of the U.S. Marshals, uses devices known as 'dirtboxes' to mimic powerful cell tower signs. These dirtboxes are strong enough to trick phones to automatically switch over to their signals, even if a real tower is nearby. The small-winged airplanes operate from at least five major airports, and they can fly over most of the U.S. […].

"'There are some serious and troubling legal questions about this program,' EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury told me. 'It's important to note this is very different from the government getting this information from a phone company. In the last few months, many state courts and legislatures have required law enforcement get a probable cause search warrant to use these devices. The US Marshals should explain how this program works and what kind of court authorization, if any, they're obtaining to fly planes with 'dirtboxes.'

"That another instance of a large-scale, secret surveillance program from the U.S. government has been exposed will undoubtedly continue to corrode the public's faith in the government's commitment to protecting privacy.

"The fake phone tower signals used work even on phones with encryption, like the iPhone 6, so there's virtually no way phone makers could've prevented this from happening.

"The Justice Department has neither confirmed or denied the WSJ report. I reached out to the Justice Department and it declined to comment."


To read Knibbs' entire article, click HERE.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spies and Saucers Now on Amazon

My second book, SPIES AND SAUCERS, is now available through Amazon!  Simply click HERE to procure yourself a ticket to a slipstream version of 1950s America that defies the traditional notions of time and space, history and mythology, paranoia and sanity (and all that jabberwocky)….

spies-and-saucers-jhc-robert-guffey-2158

SYNOPSIS
Madness, murder and mayhem abound in SPIES & SAUCERS, a collection of three sui generis novellas by ROBERT GUFFEY.  Each of these tales explores the anti-Communist hysteria of the 1950s, as well as the flying saucer obsession of that era, while straddling the boundaries of seemingly disparate genres:  metaphysical science fiction, espionage, satire, and crime noir.

The first part of SPIES & SAUCERS, “The Fallen Nun,” takes place in 1959.  Our protagonist, Kyle Black, wakes up one morning to discover a dead nun lying facedown in the marijuana garden in his backyard.  Attempting to solve the mystery of how the nun ended up in his garden leads Kyle to strange encounters with an Irish Cyclops named Finn mac Cumhall, a Devil Bat grown to enormous proportions by a dead mad scientist, two homicidal tabloid journalists, and a sickly extraterrestrial abducted by a time travelling mother superior . . .

In “Communist Town, U.S.A.,” a young FBI agent named Philip Trowbridge is sent to Wisconsin in 1955 with orders to infiltrate a small town, reportedly a hotbed of underground Communist activity, in which several previous FBI agents have disappeared without a trace . . .

"Spies and Saucers" is set three years earlier in 1952 and involves a blacklisted, left-wing Hollywood screenwriter named Curt Adamson.  Down on his luck after having been dumped by every studio on the West Coast, Adamson is recruited by a covert spy agency to write a screenplay for an unknown reason—unknown only to Adamson, that is.  Adamson’s superiors are well aware of the screenplay’s purpose.  Though consistently told he doesn’t have a “need to know,” Adamson insists on discovering the truth behind the tale he himself is weaving, and uncovers a plot far more outlandish and ominous than the cheap horror and science fiction B-movies on which he’s built his tarnished reputation . . .

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Postal Spies

Here are some brief excerpts from Ron Nixon's 10-27-14 New York Times article entitled "Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S.":

"In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations.

"The number of requests, contained in a 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service’s inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax.

"The audit, along with interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, offers one of the first detailed looks at the scope of the program, which has played an important role in the nation’s vast surveillance effort since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 200 […].

"The surveillance program, officially called mail covers, is more than a century old, but is still considered a powerful investigative tool. At the request of state or federal law enforcement agencies or the Postal Inspection Service, postal workers record names, return addresses and any other information from the outside of letters and packages before they are delivered to a person’s home […].

"The Postal Service also uses a program called Mail Imaging, in which its computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail sent in the United States. The program’s primary purpose is to process the mail, but in some cases it is also used as a surveillance system that allows law enforcement agencies to request stored images of mail sent to and received by people they are investigating."

To read the rest of Nixon's article, simply click HERE.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

ATTACK OF THE POISONOUS MUSHROOM GROWTH!

Last night I returned home from trick or treating with my daughter to discover a most excellent Halloween present waiting for me in the mailbox:  my contributor copies of the latest issue of FORTEAN TIMES MAGAZINE.  My article "Attack of the Poisonous Mushroom Growth!' is the cover feature of the November 2014 issue (#320).  My article explores the moral panic sparked by the taboo-shattering American horror comic books of the 1950s, postulating that the devastating witch hunt mounted against these comics was nothing more than a clever distraction designed specifically to draw attention away from the real horror stories (i.e., political conspiracies) lurking just beneath the picture-perfect surface of Eisenhower's America.  Rush to your nearest Barnes and Noble (or any other well-stocked newsstand) and pick up your copy of FORTEAN TIMES #320 TODAY!  Tell 'em Ogo the Clown sent ya!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Octo Camo

From Ivan Amato's 9-30-14 Guardian article entitled "Engineers Mimic the Amazing Camouflage Abilities of the Octopus":

"At first glance, the thumbnail-size grids of 256 minuscule black squares seem to have nothing to do with the octopus, squid and cuttlefish that inspired them. But these hi-tech microconstructions of polymers, semiconductors, light sensors and heating elements are what you get when scientists attempt to replicate the camouflaging ability of the animal world.
"One of the goals of the scientists’ work, which explains the US navy’s financial support of the project, is to invent synthetic skins that can recast their textures, colours and patterns to match their surroundings – match them well enough that the skins and what’s underneath them essentially disappear.
"For millions of years, hiding has been a primary means of survival for soft and often defenceless cephalopods. Engineers can learn a lot from these masters of deception.
“'The power of evolution is spectacular,' says John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who is part of a multi-institutional team developing hi-tech camouflage. 'We are taking inspiration from nature to build devices that can respond and adapt to the lighting and coloration of whatever environment they are in.' The scientists envision paints and fabrics that can change their patterns swiftly, even entire naval vessels that can blend into their surroundings with octopus-inspired camo skins [...].

"Military applications will come first, but Rogers envisions a world with octopus camouflage ability all over it. 'This is a starting point,' he says. 'I am thinking about surfaces whose colours are programmable and adaptive to what is going on.' A textile artist at the Art Institute of Chicago interested in futuristic fabrics has been in touch, Rogers notes. He then ticks off a bunch of things — cars, toys, displays, even living room walls — that he imagines could be designed with astounding morphing surfaces, from smooth to bumpy or woven textured, like wicker."
To read Amato's entire article, click HERE.

For further information on octopus camouflage, click HERE.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Announcing... CHAMELEO!

My third book, CHAMELEO:  A STRANGE BUT TRUE STORY OF INVISIBLE SPIES, HEROIN ADDICTION, AND HOMELAND SECURITY, is now available for pre-order!  It's scheduled to be published by OR Books in New York this coming February.  Feel free to spread the word!



If you wish to pre-order CHAMELEO, simply click HERE.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Unrestrained Surveillance in New York

A revealing article from Friday's New York Times is entitled "Undercover Police, Just About Everywhere" written by reporter Jim Dwyer.  Here are some brief excerpts:
"[New York City] now has a sturdy legion of undercover officers who have taken up residence in many surprising regions of civic life. Much of this began in early 2003, when a federal judge lifted many restraints on spying by the Police Department. The city had been failed by the federal intelligence services, and thousands died on Sept. 11. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg created an independent intelligence capacity.
"So before and during the Iraq War, the organization of antiwar rallies was regarded as a fit matter for police surveillance; so were the monthly Critical Mass bicycle rallies, as well as groups protesting at the Republican National Convention in 2004, and a range of Islamic facilities, from mosques to college student clubs. Undercover New York police officers showed up at activists’ meetings all over the country, carrying guitars and knapsacks […].
"The unrestrained surveillance in New York public life is the physical embodiment of what has been taking place online over the last decade under operations of the National Security Agency revealed by Edward J. Snowden. To borrow the title of a 1918 novel about nosy Irish villagers, we have become The Valley of the Squinting Windows […].
"One of the large, undiscussed questions of such surveillance is how civic dialogue can be influenced or distorted by police agents — perhaps as provocateurs, or possibly with no motive beyond maintaining cover. During the Republican convention, after a group making a film was arrested, a redheaded man standing on the street pounded on the back window of a police van, urging that the people inside be let go. A day later, the same man was videotaped being briefly put under a fake arrest, leading to tumult in the street from others who objected to his incarceration. They were unaware that the man was an undercover police officer who was walked down the street by uniformed officers, hands behind his back but uncuffed, and sent on his way: catch and release."
You can find the entire article by clicking HERE.

Friday, October 10, 2014

SPIES AND SAUCERS on ANCIENT OF DAYS

Earlier today Tessa B. Dick (wife of the late Philip K. Dick) interviewed me on her radio show, ANCIENT OF DAYS.  Over the course of an information-packed half hour we discuss my new book SPIES AND SAUCERS, Curt Siodmak, the OSS, the CIA, CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN, THE GAMMA PEOPLE, secret mind control experiments, the dangers of communicating with dead celebrities, Philip K. Dick (naturally), and did I mention SPIES AND SAUCERS?  That interview can be heard by clicking right HERE.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gary Webb and the CIA

Check out Andrei Burke's 10-3-14 article entitled "When the CIA Conspired to Kill Journalist Gary Webb."  Here are a few excerpts:

"The recent trove of documents that the CIA released under the Freedom of Information Act contained a six-page article titled 'Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story' [written by Nicolas Dujmovic] that was published in the agency’s in-house newsletter Studies in Intelligence. The article is a detailed account of the initial impact and eventual aftermath of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb’s groundbreaking 'Dark Alliance' series of reports, published in 1996 by the San Jose Mercury News. Webb’s series was an in depth investigation into the CIA’s implicit role in the explosion of crack cocaine in America’s urban centers, through Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, who were trafficking cocaine into the United States to fund their counter-revolutionary campaign […].

"The CIA closely observed these developments, and collaborated when and where it could with outlets challenging Webb’s story. In 'Managing a Nightmare,' Dujmovic boasted that the agency virtually abandoned its longstanding policies in order to discredit Webb and the series. 'For example, in order to help a journalist working on a story that would undermine the Mercury News allegations, Public Affairs was able to deny any affiliation of a particular individual—which is a rare exception to the general policy that CIA does not comment on any individual’s alleged CIA ties,' he wrote.
"[Ryan Devereaux of] The Intercept notes:
"[Dujmovic's 'Managing a Nightmare'] chronicles the shift in public opinion as it moved in favor of the CIA, a trend that began about a month and a half after the series was published. 'That third week in September was a turning point in media coverage of this story,' Dujmovic wrote, citing '[r]espected columnists, including prominent blacks,' along with the New York Daily News, the Baltimore Sun, The Weekly Standard and the Washington Post. The agency supplied the press, 'as well as former Agency officials, who were themselves representing the Agency in interviews with the media,' with 'these more balanced stories,' Dujmovic wrote. The Washington Post proved particularly useful. 'Because of the Post‘s national reputation, its articles especially were picked up by other papers, helping to create what the Associated Press called a "firestorm of reaction" against the San Jose Mercury News.' Over the month that followed, critical media coverage of the series ('balanced reporting') far outnumbered supportive stories, a trend the CIA credited to the Post, The New York Times, 'and especially the Los Angeles Times.' Webb’s editors began to distance themselves from their reporter.
"The CIA 'didn’t really need to lift a finger to try to ruin Gary Webb’s credibility,' said Webb biographer Nick Schou. 'They just sat there and watched these journalists go after Gary like a bunch of piranhas.'
"What was a minor victory for the CIA became a living hell for Webb. He was eventually removed from his position at the Mercury News, and ultimately took his own life […]."
To read Burke's entire article, click HERE.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The War on ISIS

I highly recommend reading Tory Newmeyer's 9-13-14 Fortune Magazine article entitled "The War on ISIS Already Has A Winner:  The Defense Industry."  Here are some choice excerpts:

"It’s far too soon to tell how the American escalation in the sprawling, complex mess unfolding in Iraq and Syria will play out. But this much is clear: As our military machine hums into a higher gear, it will produce some winners in the defense industry.
"New fights mean new stuff, after all. And following the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan—and the belt-tightening at the Pentagon imposed by steep budget cuts—military suppliers are lining up to meet a suddenly restored need for their wares […].
"'The drone builders are going to have a field day,' says Dov Zakheim, who served as Pentagon Comptroller during the George W. Bush administration. That could mean a tidy profit for privately held General Atomics, maker of the Predator drone, the granddaddy in the category and still widely in use, as well as the second-generation Reaper, designed to carry 3,000 pounds worth of bombs. And to help survey vast expanses of desert, the military will rely on the Global Hawk, made by Northrop Grumman to hover at altitudes as high as 50,000 feet for up to four days at a time. Those vehicles will likely be making use of the Gorgon Stare. This sensor, developed by privately held Sierra Nevada, is capable of scoping a 4-kilometer diameter by filming with nine cameras […].
"It is the munitions makers, however, who stand to reap the biggest windfall, especially in the short term. Topping that list is Lockheed Martin, producer of the Hellfire missile, a precision weapon that can be launched from multiple platforms, including Predator drones. Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk, a long-range missile launched from the sea, and General Dynamics, which also has a munitions business, are also well-positioned, analysts say."
To read Newmeyer's entire article, click HERE.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"What Is a Cloud?" in the CHIRON REVIEW

My short story "What Is a Cloud?" has just been published in the latest issue of the CHIRON REVIEW (#97, Fall 2014).  Here's the first sentence of the story:  "During my last semester in high school, at Kurt T. Shery High, a cop almost beat the crap out of me because of the way I answered a question posed to me in a Biology class."  And if you'd like to know what happened after that, order a copy of the CHIRON REVIEW #97 TODAY!!!  (It's a true story, btw.)

To order a copy of the CHIRON REVIEW #97, simply click HERE.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BOXES O' SPIES AND SAUCERS!

About an hour ago I received two boxes from England overbrimming with copies of my first book of fiction, SPIES AND SAUCERS.  Yes, it's available for purchase at last.  Support your local/nonlocal author!  Every sale counts, my friends!  To order a copy of SPIES AND SAUCERS, visit PS Publishing's website by clicking HERE.  (A regular edition as well as a signed, limited edition are both available.)





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thoughts Through Space!

From George Dvorsky's 9-3-14 io9.com article entitled "The First Successful Demonstration of Brain-to-brain Communication in Humans":

"For the first time ever, neuroscientists have demonstrated the viability of direct — and completely non-invasive — brain-to-brain communication in humans. Remarkably, the experiment allowed subjects to exchange mentally-conjured words despite being 5,000 miles apart.
"It's the neuroscientific equivalent of instant messaging. Two human subjects, one in India and one in France, successfully transmitted the words 'hola' and 'ciao' in a computer-assisted brain-to-brain transmission using internet-linked electroencephalogram (EEG) and robot-assisted image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technologies.
"It wasn't the most elegant set-up, but it represents an important step towards achieving technological enabled telepathy — the ability to exchange thoughts directly with another person."
To read Dvorsky's entire article, click HERE.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fake Cell Phone Towers

Some choice excerpts from Avi Bhunjun's 9-12-14 Neon Nettle article entitled "Fake Cell Towers Across U.S. That Gain Access to Your Smartphone":

Around 19 phony cell towers have been located around the United States according to a security company selling Samsung Galaxy S3s with enhanced encryption.  The fake cell towers were discovered in July and were reported by Popular Science that the towers have the ability to attack mobile phones through gaining access to personal information by installing spyware […].

Les Goldsmith, chief executive of security firm ESD America, told Popular Science:

"Interceptor use in the US is much higher than people had anticipated.

"One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip […]."

He said several of the masts were situated near US military bases. "What we find suspicious is that a lot of these interceptors are right on top of US military bases," he said […].

These tracking devices have existed in the U.S for decades and have even benefited the police and homeland security. However critics suggested that using these devices were morally unethical.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2011 that the Federal Bureau of Investigations used a [tracking] device known as a stingray to catch tax fraud Daniel David Rigmaiden.

Whilst according to L.A Weekly, The Los Angeles Police Department purchased a stingray/stinger and used it to monitor 21 individuals suspected of murder and burglary. They used this in spite stating the device would be used for 'regional terrorism investigations' in a grant application submitted to the Department of Homeland Security.

Popular Science said that the devices target the smartphone's 'baseband operating system.' This receives radio signals such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Users are worried this compromises the constitutional rights of Americans.

To read Bhunjun's entire article, click HERE.

STINGRAY

What follows are excerpts from Cyrus Farivar's 9-1-14 Ars Technica article entitled "Cities Scramble to Upgrade 'Stingray' Tracking as End of 2G Network Looms":

OAKLAND, CA—Documents released last week by the City of Oakland reveal that it is one of a handful of American jurisdictions attempting to upgrade an existing cellular surveillance system, commonly known as a stingray.
The Oakland Police Department, the nearby Fremont Police Department, and the Alameda County District Attorney jointly applied for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to "obtain a state-of-the-art cell phone tracking system," the records show.
Stingray is a trademark of its manufacturer, publicly traded defense contractor Harris Corporation, but "stingray" has also come to be used as a generic term for similar devices.
The cellular surveillance system's upgrade, known as Hailstorm, is necessary. Existing stingray devices will no longer work in a few years as older phone networks get turned off.
According to Harris' annual report, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the company profited over $534 million in its latest fiscal year, the most since 2011.
"We do not comment on solutions we may or may not provide to classified Department of Defense or law enforcement agencies," Jim Burke, a spokesman for Harris, told Ars.
Other locales known to be in the process of related federally-funded upgrades include Tacoma, Wash.Baltimore, Md.; Chesterfield, Va.; Sunrise, Fla.; and Oakland County, Mich. There are likely many more, but such purchases are often shrouded in secrecy.
Worse still, cops have lied to courts about the use of such technology. Not only can stingrays be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. Relatively little is known about how stingrays are precisely used by law enforcement agencies nationwide, although documents have surfaced showing how they have been purchased and used in some limited instances. Last year, Ars reported on leaked documents showing the existence of a body-worn stingray. In 2010, Kristin Paget famously demonstrated a homemade device built for just $1,500.
Robert Shipway, of the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, said he was not aware of their described use during the process of criminal discovery in county prosecutions in recent years. That could mean that local law enforcement and prosecutors are concealing or obscuring their use […].
"The most frustrating part of this whole situation is that the county continually refuses to share information on what the technology does, while telling lawmakers and the public to just trust them," Michigan state representative Tom McMillin said in a statement in June 2014. "Among other things, this technology can mimic cell towers to collect data, and citizens wouldn’t have any way of knowing their privacy, or worse their rights, have been violated. To me, that runs into our constitutional rights."
To read Farivar's entire article, click HERE.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The War Against the Imagination Continues

Here are a few brief (but telling) excerpts from Jeffrey Goldberg's recent Atlantic article entitled "In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist":

"From the Dept. of Insane and Dangerous Overreactions to Fictional Threats:  A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Maryland, middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—'taken in for an emergency medical evaluation' for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace's Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, according to news reports from Maryland's Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future [...].

"According to an equally credulous and breathless report in the Star-Democrat, which is published in Easton, Maryland, the combined efforts of multiple law-enforcement agencies have made area children safe from fiction. Sheriff Phillips told the newspaper that, in addition to a K-9 sweep of the school (!), investigators also raided McLaw's home. 'The residence of the teacher in Wicomico County was searched by personnel,' Phillips said, with no weapons found. 'A further check of Maryland State Police databases also proved to be negative as to any weapons registered to him. McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.'

"I've tried to reach the sheriff, so far unsuccessfully, to learn whether McLaw's 'inability to travel anywhere' means that he is under arrest. It is somewhat amazing that local news reports on this case don't make clear whether McLaw is under arrest, and if so, on what charge. It is equally astonishing that the reporters on this story don't seem to have used the words 'First Amendment' in their questioning of law-enforcement officials, and also astonishing they don't question the Soviet-sounding practice of ordering an apparently sane person who has been deemed unacceptable by state authorities to undergo a psychological evaluation.

"It would be useful to know if McLaw is under investigation for behavior other than writing two novels—and perhaps he will be shown to be a miscreant of some sort—but so far, there is no indication that he is guilty of anything other than having an imagination, although on Maryland's Eastern Shore, as news reports make clear, his imagination is considered an active threat."

To read Goldberg's entire article, click HERE.