Thursday, March 28, 2019

Scientology Samurai Sword Attack

A few hours ago, CBS Los Angeles posted an article entitled "Sword-Wielding Suspect Reportedly Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting, 2 Officers Injured":

A suspect, allegedly wielding a Samurai sword, was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon in an officer-involved shooting.
The suspect was described as a male Asian who walked into a building owned by the Church of Scientology around 3:30 p.m. Police said there was an altercation in the lobby.
Police arrived and reportedly were both shot — one in the arm, one in the hand. The injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.
Authorities said the suspect is dead.
The Scientology Center is located in the 300 block of Market Street in Inglewood.
CBS2’s Dave Lopez reported from the chaotic scene. Police remained tight-lipped. In fact, he reported they didn’t even want to confirm the suspect who was dead was a male or not or even if in fact the suspect was deceased.
Sources said the suspect — who arrived on scene in a white Bentley without plates — died on the way to the hospital.
He spoke to a young woman named Kebrown Faris who read text messages from a woman she knew who had been inside the building.
She said, “A weird guy came into (the building) with a sword acting crazy. Police were called and he was shot, basically. But I’m fine and only the bad guy was shot.”
Police were still trying to piece together. They couldn’t tell Lopez if the suspect had a gun and if he didn’t, did the officers get wounded by friendly fire?
It was still unclear if the man was making a random attack or had targets. It was also unclear if the suspect had a gun in addition to the sword.
When Lopez asked Lieutenant Oscar Mejia who shot the officers, he replied, “At this point, our investigation is still preliminary. There are a lot of things that we are looking in to. And we don’t have the answers to that, as of this point, right now.”
He followed up with “Did the suspect have a gun?”
Mejia replied, “That’s what we are trying to determine. The crime scene is still fresh. There is a lot of evidence there that we have to process. There is video that we have to look at. So, at this point, that’s all we have as far as the investigation is concerned.”
Lopez said the building has an unarmed security guard.
Late Wednesday, KCAL9’s Rachel Kim reported that detectives were still poring over the crime scene.
The question remains who shot the officers if the suspect was carrying only the sword?
Detectives said they are also trying to establish why the suspect came to this location or if he was linked to anyone there.
To read the entire CBS article, click HERE.
Oddly enough, this is the second samurai sword attack on a Los Angeles Scientology building that ended in the perpetrator being fatally shot (of course, there could be more, but I'm only aware of two at the moment).  The first attack occurred in July of 2009, as reported by NBC on 7-17-09 in an article entitled "Man With Samurai Swords Shot, Killed at Scientology Building":

An Oregon man who was fatally shot as he wielded a pair of samurai swords and attempted to attack guests at a landmark Scientology building was a former follower of the religion who had made at least a dozen previous threats against the church, a Scientology official said Monday.

Mario Majorski, 48, was shot once by a security guard as he tried to use the swords to attack guests Sunday at the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, police said.

Majorski had threatened the church in a string of incidents dating to at least 2005 that were reported to the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI and Oregon authorities, said Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis. The threats were allegedly made through faxes and telephone calls but police could not immediately confirm how many were made.

"He was clearly disturbed," Davis said. "It's just a tragic incident. Our condolences go out to his family or friends."

Majorski had been a Scientologist in the early 1990s but appeared to have left the church about 15 years ago, Davis said.

The shooting will be reviewed by the district attorney's office but police were treating the killing as justifiable.

"The security guard had to take action to prevent the deceased from killing or maiming people on the premises," Los Angeles police Detective Wendi Berndt said.

Security surveillance tape showed Majorski arrived around noon in a red convertible, then approached the guards with a sword in each hand before he was shot, Berndt said. She said the tape would not be released to the public because it was too graphic. No other weapons were found in the car, which Berndt said she thought was a rental.

Majorski was pronounced dead at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

Public records show Majorski associated with a string of addresses in Los Angeles County and Oregon during the last two decades. He filed for bankruptcy in 2000.

In October, police in Florence, Ore., arrested a Mario Majorski for menacing and disorderly conduct after he reportedly threatened a man with an ax handle, Florence Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Huff said. She said court records show Majorski had run out of gas and called AAA service to respond, but threatened the AAA representative when he arrived to help.

Other Oregon arrest reports show Majorski was arrested for criminal trespass by the Eugene Police Department in May 2007, and the next month the Lane County Sheriff's Department arrested him for unlawful use of a weapon.

In 1993, Majorski and another man sued a University of California, Los Angeles professor who had been speaking out against Scientology, Davis said. He said the men felt the professor was discriminating against them but the case was found to have no standing and was dropped.

The Celebrity Centre is a turreted, castle-like landmark in Hollywood that serves as "a home for the artist, a place where he can come and learn, attend seminars, meet other artists and even perform at our many showcases and events," according to the Centre's Web site.

Late Monday morning, a security guard patrolled outside the premises on a bicycle. He did not respond to questions.

Davis said the church frequently receives threats, many of them originating from a "cyber-terrorist group" that goes by the name Anonymous and includes Scientology among its targets.

Earlier this year, a Scientology building in Hollywood was vandalized with graffiti, and shots were fired through another Scientology building in Los Angeles, Davis said. In January, church officials in California received 22 envelopes of suspicious white powder that was treated by authorities as an anthrax threat.

Davis did not know if Majorski had been a member of the group.

Neighbors at his home in Florence said Majorski lived alone and seemed to receive few visitors. He often would disappear for weeks at a time on trips to California, they said.

Dale Doyle, 47, lived across the street from Majorski and helped him move into the neighborhood six months ago. He said he had never heard Majorski discuss Scientology.

"We saw him as pretty much harmless," he said.

The Church of Scientology was established in 1945 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and claims 10 million members around the world. It likes to cultivate celebrity followers and among its more famed acolytes are Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Larry Cohen, R.I.P. (1941-2019)

Writer/Director Larry Cohen passed away three days ago on the 23rd of March.  Any dedicated cryptoscatologist should definitely be familiar with Cohen's cinematic oeuvre.  Much of Cohen's work in film and television explored such perennial Fortean phenomena as UFOs and government conspiracies run amok.  Among his most important achievements is his 1967-68 paranoid science fiction television series THE INVADERS starring Roy Thinnes as a tenacious architect trying to prevent an alien invasion that no one else on Earth knows (or cares) is underway. 

The second episode of the series, "The Experiment," seems to have been inspired by the Fortean articles of John A. Keel that were appearing quite regularly at that time in such publications as the FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, SAGA, and TRUE.

Cohen's most important films include the crytozoological monster flick Q: THE WINGED SERPENT (1982), which I saw with my older brother in the UA theater at the Del Amo Mall in Torrance, CA when I was ten years old, and his masterpiece GOD TOLD ME TO (1976), which I can say without hesitation is the best--and weirdest--Fortean-Science-Fiction-Horror-Psychotronic-Noir-Active-Shooter-UFO-Disclosure Film you will ever see.  Hands down.  No doubt about it, my friend.  Trust me on this one.  Go see it.

It's also worth noting that Cohen wrote the screenplay for Abel Ferrara's BODY SNATCHERS (1993), the third cinematic adaptation of Jack Finney's 1955 novel THE BODY SNATCHERS.

Yesterday morning, Larry Blamire, writer/director of such films as THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA (2004) and DARK AND STORMY NIGHT (2009), posted the following message on Facebook in reaction to Cohen's death:  "I am stunned at the news that Larry Cohen has passed. What a vision this guy had. Started writing for the great TV series THE DEFENDERS, going on to create CORONET BLUE, THE INVADERS, and in the '70s beginning a series of unique compelling films, which I love: IT'S ALIVE, GOD TOLD ME TO, IT LIVES AGAIN, Q, THE STUFF and so much more. RIP and thank you for thinking outside the box."

To read The Seattle Times' 3-24-19 obituary for Cohen, click HERE.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Douglas Rushkoff on IN OTHER NEWS

Recommended Listening:  On January 28, 2019, Douglas Rushkoff appeared on Geoff Brady's IN OTHER NEWS RADIO and discussed his latest book, TEAM HUMAN.  Listen to the entire interview right HERE.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mystery Object Over Las Vegas

What follows is the opening paragraph of Tyler Rogoway's 3-17-19 article entitled "Air Controller Wowed By Pilot's Ability To See Mystery Object Over Las Vegas With Night Vision":

"Around 9pm local time on Saturday, March 16th, 2019, an air ambulance helicopter was flying roughly 15 miles west of central Last Vegas when something odd caught his aided eye. During an exchange with an air traffic controller, the pilot of Mercy Air 21, an Agusta 119 Koala helicopter, noted spotting an unidentified object some distance from his position and only he was likely able to see it in the darkness as he was wearing night vision goggles (NVGs). The controller responded that he had nothing on radar in the area where he was seeing the object, but when he heard the pilot could only see it through his NVGs, he responded with amazement." 

Skipping down to the end of the article:

"We can also positively ID the helicopter. It is an Agusta A109, registered N238AM, belonging to Air Methods. We also now have better positioning information. According to this, MA021 would have been roughly nine miles from the South Hills Hospital, the approximate area where the pilot thought the object was flying over at 7,000 feet, when the radio exchange occurred.

"A nine mile visual ID of a party balloon or something like that at night using NVGs seems really questionable. So size of the object and its exact configuration is the big question at this point. We also know that the A109 was flying at 7,000 feet. So, the pilot would have seen this object at eye level from his perspective.

"Update: March 18th, 2019 @ 6:19pm PST—

"We finally talked to the Mercy Air operations base where the helicopter flies out of and they informed us that Air Methods headquarters has told them not provide comment or access to the pilot who was talking on the radio and spotted the object. They told us Air Methods wants any inquiries sent to their headquarters. The problem is that I had reached out to them and have heard nothing back in well over 24 hours. I will keep trying to contact them directly, but at this point it looks as if they are actively trying to avoid discussing the event with us."

Read Rogoway's entire article HERE.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Scott Pelley's "Brain Trauma Suffered By U.S. Diplomats Abroad Could Be Work of Hostile Foreign Government"

What follow are choice excerpts from a 3-17-19 article entitled "Brain Trauma Suffered By U.S. Diplomats Abroad Could Be Work of Hostile Foreign Government" by CBS News Correspondent Scott Pelley:

"In 2016 and '17, 25 Americans, including CIA agents, who worked in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba suffered serious brain injuries causing impaired vision and memory loss among other persistent symptoms. Now, we've learned that at least 15 American officials in China suffered unexplained brain trauma soon after. The FBI is now investigating whether these Americans were attacked by a mysterious weapon that leaves no trace. Over many months we have been collecting evidence of what appears to be a hostile foreign government's plan to target Americans serving abroad and their families."

Skipping down further in the article...

"The State Department declined an interview, but in a statement to 60 Minutes it said, 'We will continue to provide our colleagues the care they need, regardless of their diagnosis or the location of their medical evacuation.' A State Department official told us that the Cuba patients are victims of an attack. But State hasn't made the same determination for the China patients. The department has asked the National Academies of Science to assist in the medical investigation.

"The FBI is also investigating. Intelligence sources told us that in addition to Cuba and China, Russia is a suspect. But if microwaves were used, the technology is not rare. It could be more than one country is using it. U.S. Intelligence is still debating what caused the injuries."

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Cricket Conspiracy

Back on 8-14-17, in a post entitled "Covert Sonic Weapons Deployed in Cuba," I first mentioned a series of unexplained attacks in Cuba that "left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device," according to journalists Matthew Lee and Michael Weissenstein. In January of this year, USA Today reported that the solution to these mysterious assaults was none other than... crickets. Yes, crickets induced "severe hearing loss" in at least five U.S. diplomats despite the fact that all firsthand descriptions of these attacks indicate they were caused by the same type of nonlethal weaponry used by covert American operatives to torture my friend Dion Fuller in San Diego back in 2003 and 2004. (For a detailed account of Dion's experiences, see my 2015 nonfiction book CHAMELEO). Here's an excerpt from N'dea Yancey-Bragg's 1-8-19 USA Today article entitled "Remember That Mysterious 'Attack' on U.S. Diplomats in Cuba? Scientists Think It Was Crickets":

Beginning in late 2016, a mysterious illness befell U.S. diplomatic personnel and family members in Havana.
Specialists said the symptoms, described by those afflicted as “buzzing, grinding metal, piercing squeals and humming,” were similar to the brain dysfunction caused by concussions.
Some U.S. officials suspected the “health attacks” were intentional, perhaps perpetrated by the Cuban or Russian governments, but new research has implicated another culprit: Very loud crickets.
Scientists analyzed a recording of the sound released by The Associated Press in 2017 and found it matched the chirp of the Indies short-tailed cricket Anurogryllus celerinictus “in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse.”
This particular kind of cricket is typically found in the Caymans, Florida Keys and Jamaica, but researchers Alexander L Stubbs of the University of California Berkeley, and Fernando Montealegre-Z of the University of Lincoln in England believe they may also be present in Cuba.
The researchers noted that the pulse structure of the AP recording initially didn’t match outdoor field recordings of the insects, but when the cricket call was played indoors, “the interaction of reflected sound pulses yields a sound virtually indistinguishable from the AP sample.”
They said their research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, provides “strong evidence” that crickets produced the sound on the recording. However, their findings highlight the need for more rigorous research on what caused the diplomat’s ailments and does not rule out the possibility of another form of attack, according to the report.
To read the entire USA Today article, click HERE.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Jennifer Senior on "The Perils of Cancel Culture"

I'd like to offer a special tip of the hat to Elizabeth Hand (author of GENERATION LOSS, AVAILABLE DARK, and HARD LIGHT, and many other excellent novels) for alerting me to Jennifer Senior's illuminating 3-8-10 New York Times Opinion piece entitled "Teen Fiction and the Perils of Cancel Culture," which Hand describes as "an excellent piece [...] on social media's disturbing call-out culture and its power over publishing, in particular YA novels."

Here's a key quote from Senior's article: 

"The die-hards in this army of crusaders will argue they’re doing it in the name of diversity, but it’s really just the opposite: If Twitter controls publishing, we’ll soon enter a dreary monoculture that admits no book unless it has been prejudged and meets the standards of the censors."

To read Senior's entire article, click HERE.