Thursday, April 30, 2020


Not sure what to do during the lockdown? Why not watch Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds twenty-four hours a day...?

Happy Walpurgisnacht!

"Are They Repeating Conspiracy Theories?"

From Cindy Harper's 4-28-20 Reclaim the Net article entitled "Greater Manchester Police Ask Residents to Call Police If Someone Repeats Conspiracy Theories":

Asking people to call the police on family engaging in “conspiracy theories” is an idea that sounds like it comes out of China’s social credit system.

But it’s not. It’s happening in the United Kingdom.

Police in Manchester, England, are engaging in a social media campaign, requesting local residents to call police if any of their friends and family are engaging in “conspiracy theories.”

“Online platforms can be a fun world. Unfortunately, they can also be used to exploit vulnerable people. If you are worried that one of your friends or family is showing signs of radicalisation seek advice or call police on 101,” Greater Manchester Police said on Facebook.

101 is the non-emergency number to contact local police in the UK.

To read Harper's entire article, click HERE

Your Random Jack Kirby Panel of the Day

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

COVID-19 Curtails Suits Claiming Wrongdoing By City Police

What follows is an excerpt from Dan Nephin's 4-20-20 Lancaster Online article ("COVID-19 Courts Slowdown Slow Progress of 2 Suits Claiming Abuse") about the effects of the coronavirus on court cases alleging police misconduct:

At least two cases claiming wrongdoing by city police are moving through federal court, although little action has taken place because the coronavirus has curtailed court functions.
Sean Williams, of Lancaster, sued the city and police after Officer Philip Bernot shocked him with a Taser in June 2018.
Williams initially sued the city and Bernot, both in his capacity as a police officer and individually, claiming excessive force, failing to provide adequate medical care and racial profiling: Williams is black.
Racial profiling and failure to help claims were dropped and a judge dismissed the excessive-force claim against the city and Bernot in his professional capacity.
That means the case is only against Bernot as a private individual. The city is covering his legal costs under its labor contract with police.
The city wants the case dismissed, claiming Williams hasn’t pursued his claim and that he did not show up for trial in February. City police said they found him high on a hallucinogenic drug the night before the trial’s scheduled start 
When courts reopen, argument will be held on whether the case should go forward.

To read Nephin's entire article, click HERE.

Lancaster Police, Mayor Respond to Tasing Incident Caught on Video:

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Gary D. Rhodes Interviewed by the Chicago Tribune

Back on March 15th, my BELA LUGOSI AND THE MONOGRAM NINE co-author, Gary D. Rhodes, was interviewed by Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune about the effects of the 1918 influenza outbreak on the film industry and its parallels to today:

“There is a connection to be made to 1918,” argued author and University of Central Florida associate film professor Gary D. Rhodes. He wrote “The Perils of Moviegoing in America: 1896-1950,” a compelling account of fires, stickups, anarchist bombings, poor ventilation and communicable diseases coloring the darker chapters of film exhibition. 

“In 1918 nobody knew how to respond to the influenza (pandemic) or how long it would last,” Rhodes said. No two cities or states implemented regulations regarding the opening or closing of theaters the same way, or at the same time. In New York City, bucking most trends, city officials allowed theaters of all kinds to stay open through the worst of the 1918-early 1919 pandemic.

Yet the death toll in New York “wasn’t any worse than any other city’s death toll,” Rhodes told me. “Though that may have been pure coincidence.” Later than most cities, Chicago closed its theaters that same month. The movie industry lost an estimated $40 million in revenue nationally by February 1919. That’s nearly $623 million in 2020 dollars.

World War I-weary audiences wondered if the movies, then silent, were dead and gone. Some are wondering the same now, at least in the traditional brick-and-mortar multiplex world. Will our collective moviegoing experience convert to moviestaying only? How soon?

Recently postponed film festivals range far and widely, from the massive Austin, Texas, mainstay South by Southwest to the regional boutique favorite Ebertfest, held (though not this year) at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Ill. The local Chicago Critics Film Festival, held annually at the Music Box, announced postponement Friday. The Chicago Latino Film Festival postponed its April 16-30 festival, slated for the AMC River East multiplex,

On March 9 longtime critic and festival programmer Robert Koehler tweeted: “Film festivals must now stop being public events. They must shift to online access and viewing. This requires some infrastructure work, but it can be done. Tell me that I’m wrong.”

Perils of Moviegoing" author Rhodes, for one, won’t go that far, and doesn’t see the coronavirus as the end of traditional moviegoing. “Theatrical exhibition is fragile,” he said, "and has been for a long time. This thing is going to be tough on so many industries. But people are not going to stop congregating. I mean, they will for a limited time — that’s what happened in 1918 and early 1919 — but that’s temporary. I find it difficult to believe that theaters will ever disappear entirely.”

To read the original article, click HERE.

And if you'd like to read my 2-24-13 Cryptoscatology review of The Perils of Moviegoing in America, just click HERE.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Essential Information for Revolutionaries Under Emergency Conditions

The Ray Harryhausen Creature List

"How Deadly Pathogens Have Escaped the Lab"

From Kelsey Piper's 3-20-19 article entitled "How Deadly Pathogens Have Escaped the Lab — Over and Over Again":

In 1977, the last case of smallpox was diagnosed in the wild.
The victim was Ali Maow Maalin of Somalia. The World Health Organization tracked down every person he’d been in face-to-face contact with to vaccinate everyone at risk and find anyone who might have caught the virus already. Thankfully, they found no one had. Maalin recovered, and smallpox appeared to be over forever.
That moment came at the end of a decades-long campaign to eradicate smallpox — a deadly infectious disease that killed about 30 percent of those who contracted it — from the face of the earth. Around 500 million people died of smallpox in the century before it was annihilated.
But in 1978, the disease cropped back up — in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom. Janet Parker was a photographer at Birmingham Medical School. When she developed a horrifying rash, doctors initially brushed it off as chicken pox. After all, everyone knew that smallpox had been chased out of the world — right?
Parker got worse and was admitted to the hospital, where testing determined that she had smallpox after all. She died of it a few weeks later.
How did she get a disease that was supposed to have been eradicated?
It turned out that the building that Parker worked in also contained a research laboratory, one of a handful where smallpox was studied by scientists who were trying to contribute to the eradication effort. Some papers reported that the lab was badly mismanaged, with important precautions ignored because of haste. (The doctor who ran the lab died by suicide shortly after Parker was diagnosed.) Somehow, smallpox escaped the lab to infect an employee elsewhere in the building. Through sheer luck and a rapid response from health authorities, including a quarantine of more than 300 people, the deadly error didn’t turn into an outright pandemic.
Could something like that happen today?
All over the world, bio research labs handle deadly pathogens, some with the potential to cause a pandemic. Sometimes, researchers make pathogens even deadlier in the course of their research (as Science Magazine reported last month, the US government just approved two such experiments after years of keeping them on hold).
Research into viruses can help us develop cures and understand disease progression. We can’t do without this research. But on a few notable occasions, it’s gone dangerously wrong and even killed people.
To read Piper's entire article, click HERE.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Pandemic Drones

From Bill Galluccio's 4-23-20 report entitled "Connecticut Town Testing 'Pandemic Drone' That Can Sense If You Cough":

The town of Westport, Connecticut, is testing out a new drone that is capable of gathering biometric readings from people nearly 200 feet away. The 'pandemic drones' will be used by the police to monitor crowds and large gatherings to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading when the state begins to reopen.

"We know that social distancing is working to flatten the curve and ultimately saving lives," Westport First Selectman, Jim Marpe said in a statement. "In an effort to continue safeguarding the citizens of Westport during the COVID-19 outbreak, and as we position ourselves to gradually return to our routines, we should explore ways to prevent a possible resurgence of the virus."

The drones are made by a company called Dragonfly and come equipped with sensors to detect a person's body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. They are also able to identify if somebody coughs or sneezes.

Police said they will not do anything if the drone identifies somebody who has a fever or is coughing. Instead, they will log the information, and after the testing phase is complete, work with experts to determine the best way to use the drone to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

To see the original article, click HERE.

‘Pandemic Drone’ Conducts Initial Flights Near NYC to Detect COVID-19 Symptoms:


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Coronavirus Tests Tainted with Coronavirus

From Beth Mole's 4-20-20 Ars Technica article entitled "CDC’s Failed Coronavirus Tests Were Tainted with Coronavirus, Feds Confirm":

As the new coronavirus took root across America, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent states tainted test kits in early February that were themselves seeded with the virus, federal officials have confirmed.

The contamination made the tests uninterpretable, and—because testing is crucial for containment efforts—it lost the country invaluable time to get ahead of the advancing pandemic.

The CDC had been vague about what went wrong with the tests, initially only saying that “a problem in the manufacturing of one of the reagents” had led to the failure. Subsequent reporting suggested that the problem was with a negative control—that is, a part of the test meant to be free of any trace of the coronavirus as a critical reference for confirming that the test was working properly overall.

Now, according to investigation results reported by The New York Times, federal officials confirm that sloppy laboratory practices at two of three CDC labs involved in the tests’ creation led to contamination of the tests and their uninterpretable results.

To read the entire article, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic Dreams

From Rebecca Renner's 4-15-20 National Geographic article entitled "The Pandemic Is Giving People Vivid, Unusual Dreams. Here's Why.":

Ronald Reagan pulled up to the curb in a sleek black town car, rolled down his tinted window, and beckoned for Lance Weller, author of the novel Wilderness, to join him. The long-dead president escorted Weller to a comic book shop stocked with every title Weller had ever wanted, but before he could make a purchase, Reagan swiped his wallet and skipped out the door.

Of course, Weller was dreaming. He is one of many people around the world—including more than 600 featured in just one study—who say they are experiencing a new phenomenon: coronavirus pandemic dreams.

Science has long suggested that dream content and emotions are connected to wellbeing while we’re awake. Bizarre dreams laden with symbolism allow some dreamers to overcome intense memories or everyday psychological stressors within the safety of their subconscious. Nightmares, on the other hand, can be warning signs of anxieties that we might not otherwise perceive in our waking lives.

With hundreds of millions of people sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic, some dream experts believe that withdrawal from our usual environments and daily stimuli has left dreamers with a dearth of “inspiration,” forcing our subconscious minds to draw more heavily on themes from our past. In Weller’s case, his long-time obsession with comics came together with his constant scrolling through political posts on Twitter to concoct a surreal scene that he interpreted as a commentary on the world’s economic anxieties.

At least five research teams at institutions across multiple countries are collecting examples such as Weller’s, and one of their findings so far is that pandemic dreams are being colored by stress, isolation, and changes in sleep patterns—a swirl of negative emotions that set them apart from typical dreaming.

To read Renner's entire article, click HERE.

Peter Beard, R.I.P. (1938-2020)

From Lisa Finn's 4-19-20 Patch article entitled "Remains Matching Missing Artist Peter Beard Found in Montauk":
MONTAUK, NY — The remains of an elderly man matching the description of missing photographer and artist Peter Beard were found in Montauk's Camp Hero State Park, police said.
Beard, 82, has been missing from his Montauk Home since March 31, police said. At the time he went missing, police said, Beard was suffering from dementia.
Detectives were called to Old Montauk Highway in Montauk Sunday at 9:10 a.m. after a hunter familiar with the area found a piece of clothing consistent with a description of clothing worn by Beard, police said.

A search of the area was conducted and the remains of an elderly man consistent with the description of Beard and the clothing he was wearing were located in a densely wooded area, police said.
To see the original article, click HERE

Note: Beard was one of the main subjects of the 2017 documentary, That Summer.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Nova Scotia Mass Shooting

From Meredith Deliso's 4-20-20 ABC News report entitled "Death Toll in Nova Scotia Shooting Rampage Increases to 19":
The death toll in the worst shooting in Canadian history has risen to 19 -- and authorities expect it to increase as the investigation into the rampage continues.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported Monday that some of the victims in the Nova Scotia shooting were specifically targeted by the suspect, identified by police as 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman, while other victims were randomly killed.
"It appears that some of the victims were known to the suspect and others were targeted and not known to the suspect," RCMP Chief Superintendent Chris Leather said at a press conference Monday in Halifax.
Police said they expect to find more victims as they examine the multiple crime scenes that resulted from the rampage. Five properties had fires, and more victims are believed to be in homes that "burned to the ground," Leather said.
"That part of the investigation is still very much ongoing, and again, speaks to why we don't have a final total because we expect that to rise in the coming days," Leather said [...].
[Gabriel] Wortman was wearing what appeared to be a police uniform and drove a vehicle made to appear like a police cruiser, which helped him move around the province undetected, Leather said. Wortman was not employed by the RCMP, police said.
To read Deliso's entire report, click HERE

Loren Coleman (author of The Copycat Effect, Mysterious America, and numerous other illuminating books) discusses this latest shooting spree at his Twilight Language blog right HERE.

William Cooper CNN Interview (Uncut)

In his 1970 book, UFOs: OPERATION TROJAN HORSE, John A. Keel wrote the following about the late Albert K. Bender (1921-2016): "When Bender’s account, FLYING SAUCERS AND THE THREE MEN, was first published in 1962, it read like the fantasies of a madman. But now many of the things he described have repeatedly occurred all over the world, and the book deserves a careful rereading.”

In 2020, much the same could be said of the work of the late William Cooper (1943-2001), author of the underground bestseller, BEHOLD A PALE HORSE. Given everything that's occurred since Cooper's death on November 5, 2001, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate Cooper's influence on exopolitics, cinema, science fiction, and American pop culture in general (e.g., Cooper's undeniable influence on music, particularly hip-hop, is not at all well known). To begin, I recommend watching this uncut version of William Cooper's CNN Interview, which was recorded in 1992....

William Cooper CNN Interview (Uncut)

Note: If you want to buy a copy of BEHOLD A PALE HORSE, you should go out of your way to get your hands on an edition published before May of 2018. The cheaper version of BEHOLD A PALE HORSE now being sold by Light Technology, the original publisher, has been inexplicably edited and pared down to 434 pages. The version I own (purchased in 1993) is exactly 500 pages and includes material left out of the current edition. This pre-2018, 500-page version of BEHOLD A PALE HORSE is available from Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.

(Previous Cryptoscatology posts dealing with William Cooper can be found HERE and HERE.)

"Long before anyone was talking about the red and blue pills of The Matrix, Bill Cooper was warning of mass social engineering on the part of the New World Order. 'In a study of mind control and psychological warfare, ladies and gentlemen,' Cooper said, 'it is not enough to simply review the latest technology of coercion, the most recent gadgetry of techno-junk littering the depths of government supply depots and so-called cults. Far more dangerous than these appliances is the praxis behind them. An ages-old underground current informs the modern project in this modern era; life in our modern era is little more than life in an open-air mind-control laboratory.'

"Who is 'the modern man,' Cooper asked. 'He is the smartest, most advanced individual to ever strut the planet, the most relatively liberated being in history. He scoffs with great derision at the idea of the existence and operation of a technology of mass mind control emanating from the mass media and government. Modern man believes he is much too smart to believe in anything as superstitious as that. But the truth is, modern man is the ideal hypnotic subject.'"
--William Cooper, quoted in Mark Jacobson's Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America (Blue Rider Press, 2018) 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

"Using Astral Projection to Escape Quarantine"

From Tamlin Magee's 4-17-20 Vice article entitled "Meet The Redditors Using Astral Projection to Escape Quarantine":

Late last year, the internet was crackling with plans to stage a million-strong raid on the supposed alien stronghold, Area 51. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to quarantine at home, venturing farther than the local park seems like a dream from a lost reality.
But what if there was a way to explore our planet that didn't put us in harm's way and was more stimulating than scrolling through Google Earth? And what if, while we were at it, we could storm Area 51 too?
According to a group of paranormal enthusiasts on Reddit, astral projection could be the vehicle we need.
Falling somewhere between a lucid dream and a near-death experience, astral projection is the sensation of separating from your physical self, keeping your mind awake while your body is asleep. Early records of the practice trace back to the Roman Empire. Experiences feel profound, and astral travelers have even claimed to learn things they otherwise couldn't have known.
Today, thousands of practitioners not only trade success stories for consciousness-expanding cosmic exploration, but have built a network to share techniques for traversing time and space using a toolkit available to everyone—the human mind.
Reddit's /R/AstralArmy is a focal point for the psychically curious to embark on out-of-body “missions” to off-limits locations, including military bases, Wuhan, the Pentagon, and supposed hives of paranormal activity like Skinwalker Ranch. The idea is intriguing: if you could go anywhere at all, what secrets could you learn?
To read Magee's entire article, click HERE.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Your Random Jack Kirby Panel of the Day

"A Report on Preliminary Experiments With Virus B-23"

"Ladies and gentlemen of the Board, I am here to give a report on preliminary experiments with Virus B-23.... Consider the origins of this virus in the Cities of the Red Night. The red glow that covered the northern sky at night was a form of radiation that gave rise to a plague known as the Red Fever, of which Virus B-23 was found to be etiological agent."
--William S. Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night (1981), p. 20 

From Jenna McLaughlin's 4-14-20 Yahoo News report entitled "Intelligence Officials Weigh Possibility Coronavirus Escaped from a Chinese Lab":

Although the the U.S. intelligence community early on dismissed the notion that the coronavirus is a synthesized bioweapon, it is still weighing the possibility that the pandemic might have been touched off by an accident at a research facility rather than by an infection from a live-animal market, according to nine current and former intelligence and national security officials familiar with ongoing investigations.
After extensive research, scientists in the U.S. and elsewhere have determined that the new strain of the coronavirus discovered in China in December is, as Chinese officials have maintained, of natural origin, but they are taking seriously that its route to human infection may have started in a lab in Wuhan. 
“It’s definitely a real possibility being bandied about at the high levels of the administration,” said one of the sources, who has knowledge of China and national security [...].
The possibility that the pandemic originated in a lab was first discussed publicly in mid-February as China hawks and Trump allies began to push the bioweapon angle. The New York Times reported that the main proponent of the lab accident theory is President Trump’s deputy national security adviser, Matthew Pottinger, a former Wall Street Journal reporter in China with a reputation for hawkish views on Beijing. Pottinger, through an NSC spokesperson, declined to comment. 
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas publicly promoted a range of theories, including that the virus could have been a “deliberate release” or an “engineered bioweapon” that was accidentally leaked. However, Cotton, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also noted that the culprit could have been “good science, bad safety” or a mistake made in the course of honest research on “diagnostic testing or vaccines.”
Current and former intelligence officials familiar with internal briefings declined to provide details but noted the lab accident theory being promoted by Cotton may not be so crazy. “Tom Cotton is presenting some useful stuff there,” said one recently retired intelligence official when asked about the theory [...].
Sources declined to discuss any evidence, if it exists, that points to a potential lab accident, but the intelligence community is not ruling it out. 
“Absent a credible whistleblower or verified primary communication intercept, it will not be possible to prove the origins with certainty,” said [David] Relman, the Stanford microbiologist. “However, with more relevant data, the likelihood of a natural virus versus accidental origin can be strengthened or diminished.”
One former senior CIA official said that if the virus did originate from a Chinese research institution, the U.S. intelligence community will eventually be able to prove it. “There will be disaffected Chinese sources,” the former official said. 
“Disasters are good for us,” the former CIA official continued. “The crappier the regime, the better it is to recruit sources there.”
To read the entire article, click HERE.

From Adam Payne's 4-6-20 Business Insider article entitled "Boris Johnson's Government Has Considered the Possibility that the Coronavirus May Have Accidentally Leaked from a Chinese Lab":
The UK government believes the novel coronavirus may have accidentally leaked from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan where scientists were researching viruses, according to a Mail on Sunday newspaper report.
Most experts believe the outbreak of the virus began with animals passing the disease to humans in or near a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan where live animals were sold.
The Mail on Sunday report, however, says that while officials in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government believe this is still the most likely explanation, it is "no longer being discounted" that a leak from a nearby laboratory actually caused the outbreak.
"There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus," a member of the UK government's emergency committee of senior officials, Cobra, told the newspaper. "Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted."
To read the entire article, click HERE.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Your Random Jack Kirby Panel of the Day

William S. Burroughs on "Creative Reading"

Here's your opportunity to attend a lecture by William S. Burroughs only two years before the publication of his 1981 novel, CITIES OF THE RED NIGHT (one of Burroughs' most impressive achievements). Burroughs, needless to say, is the author of such important novels as JUNKY (1953), NAKED LUNCH (1959), NOVA EXPRESS (1964), THE PLACE OF DEAD ROADS (1983), and THE WESTERN LANDS (1987). This lecture was delivered at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado on August 8, 1979.

"A William S. Burroughs lecture on Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and A Short Trip Home, and Stephen King's The Shining. Burroughs also discusses exercises for increasing awareness, books as mental film, codes of conduct, heroes, and the film of Burroughs's novel Naked Lunch."

Part One of this lecture can be heard right HERE.

Part Two can be heard HERE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Three Morning Planets Line Up

From Shreya Chauhan's 4-14-20 India Times article entitled "Rare Event: Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Moon To Line Up On These 3 April Nights, Here's How To Watch":

One of the side effects of coronavirus lockdown around the world has been the tremendous reduction in pollution level. One can breathe in fresh air. And after ages probably, stars are also visible in the night sky. 
This is an ideal time to stargaze, given the number of constellations one can easily spot in the night sky without a telescope or even binoculars. Hope you did not miss the giant pink supermoon that recently graced the night sky. 
You might not want to miss another major celestial event that is going to occur soon: Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and the moon will appear together for three days! April 14, 15, 16.
Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are morning planets, which means they are easier to spot in the morning. The three planets have been stretching out gradually and in the middle of April the three would almost be in a single line, visited by the moon. Keep an eye out for the moon on these three days and you just might spot the three planets near it.
The three were seen together every night in March, but in April, Mars will keep moving further away from the other two gaseous planets. For the three nights of April 14, 15, 16, the three will be close together, highlighted by the moon. Seeing the four together will indeed be a treat and if you are in the country, they will be really easy to spot. On April 14th the beautiful event will be visible around 3am, on April 15th 3.30am and then on April 16th- 4am.
To read the entire article, click HERE.