Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: New Atlantis at Denver International Airport

An enormous blue horse sculpture with glowing red eyes greets Denver International Airport entrants. During construction in 2006, part of the sculpture fell on the artist, Luis Jiménez and killed him. Officially dubbed Blue Mustang (2008), locals nicknamed the 9,000 pound stallion 'Blucifer,' and decided it looks like the pale demon horse carrying Death, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Others say it relates to the Blue Star Kachina in a Hopi prophecy of the destruction of the world. Image Source: flickr.

One of the pinpoints on the globe which conspiracy theorists associate with apocalypse and New World Order is Denver International Airport. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry scoffs at this, but acknowledges that the airport has become a hub for conspiracy theories about how the world is changing.

Locals think the airport may be a secret shelter for the government, or a military base in the event of global conflict. Do this city and its airport have more strategic importance than we know? Some think the airport has underground tunnel connections to an official bunker further west. Truthers and New Age occultists suspect the airport is the Illuminati's site of 'New Atlantis' after World War III.

Image Source: flickr.

Millennial paranoids got this idea from a novel, New Atlantis, by Sir Francis Bacon, published in 1627, which you can read here. In the book, Bacon explained the driving motivation of secular rationalists:
"The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible."
Their foundational centre, the triumphant capital of enlightened intellectuals, would be named New Atlantis. Bacon situated this endgame metropolis in America:
"For the several employments and offices of our fellows; we have twelve that sail into foreign countries, under the names of other nations, (for our own we conceal); who bring us the books, and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts. These we call Merchants of Light. 

"We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books. These we call Depredators. 

"We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical arts; and also of liberal sciences; and also of practices which are not brought into arts. These we call Mystery-men. 

"We have three that try new experiments, such as themselves think good. These we call Pioneers or Miners.

"We have three that draw the experiments of the former four into titles and tables, to give the better light for the drawing of observations and axioms out of them. These we call Compilers. 

"We have three that bend themselves, looking into the experiments of their fellows, and cast about how to draw out of them things of use and practise for man's life, and knowledge, as well for works as for plain demonstration of causes, means of natural divinations, and the easy and clear discovery of the virtues and parts of bodies. These we call Dowry-men or Benefactors. 

"Then after divers meetings and consults of our whole number, to consider of the former labours and collections, we have three that take care, out of them, to direct new experiments, of a higher light, more penetrating into nature than the former. These we call Lamps. 

"We have three others that do execute the experiments so directed, and report them. These we call Inoculators. 

"Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries by experiments into greater observations, axioms, and aphorisms. These we call Interpreters of Nature. 

"We have also, as you must think, novices and apprentices, that the succession of the former employed men do not fail; besides, a great number of servants and attendants, men and women. And this we do also: we have consultations, which of the inventions and experiences which we have discovered shall be published, and which not: and take all an oath of secrecy, for the concealing of those which we think fit to keep secret: though some of those we do reveal sometimes to the state and some not.
Critics argue that Bacon's vision closely describes modern international globalization's rampant science, technology, and materialist consumerism. Conspiracy theorists believe that Bacon's work inspired the Illuminati when they planned their future capital of the New World Order. When the theorists began to guess where that projected site might be, they focused on Denver, Colorado, USA.

In 2009, the Telegraph posted a curious slideshow of World War III comics, without attributed author or artist, entitled, "Operation Blackjack - the story of a series of terrorist nuclear attacks on major western cities and the aftermath." This series caught the attention of conspiracy theorists and became notorious on the Internet. In the slideshow, Denver becomes the capital of the future state of the Union of North America. In reality, 'Operation Blackjack' is a series of weekend wargames staged in locations in the USA; an affiliated UK site is here. Image Source: The Telegraph via Youtube.

The full Telegraph slideshow. Video Source: Youtube.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Disasters, Miracles and the Mandela Effect

The wildest so-called 'whistle-blower' of 2016 is the 4chan boards 'CERN scientist,' who insisted the Mandela effect was real on 21 August 2016. (Click to enlarge.) Image Source.

In 2015, astrologer Liz Greene summarized the spirit of our times (her extended comment on the subject is here): 
"The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once wrote that nothing is certain except change. In the last two decades we have been forced to acknowledge this ancient truth, for many of our time-honoured and reliable religious, economic and social structures and definitions of reality have undergone major upheavals. Because human beings instinctively fear change, we imagine global disasters as we move into the future, or global redemption through the miracles of technology or some extraordinary new spiritual or political revolution. We are filled with both anxiety and hope. Is this really a time of great opportunity, spiritually and materially? Or does it seem so merely because we believe it to be so?"
In the spirit of understanding the power of perception over rationality and belief, I sometimes cover strange material on this blog. I discuss this material with reservations, and save the weirdest stories for the Hallowe'en countdown.

This summer, a deranged rumour on the Internet combined disasters with miracles. It is called the 'Mandela effect,' a meme which asserts that "large groups of people have alternate memories about past events." The effect is likely a jarring dyslexia of shared memory in the era of kinetic information. The Mandela effect is the creepiest meme I have ever encountered (even creepier than this one). It made me think of the line from David Lynch's 1997 neo-noir horror film, Lost Highway: "I like to remember things my own way. ... How I remember them. Not necessarily the way they happened."

The Mandela effect resembles Lynch's plot structures, especially in Mulholland Drive (2001) and Inland Empire (2006), where characters and incidents repeat, transform, and overlap in new contexts. In Lynch's most recent work, the characters share a basic story. This is the 'highway' of everyday experience, the type of historical story we all know, expect and recognize. It follows a linear chronology. Radical variations in this kind of story are almost always rationally comprehensible. They may involve one character missing a critical piece of information; or big differences in opinion or perspective between characters; or a character's tragic flaw forcing him to act in a way he should not. A larger fate, god, or mystery can play a role in these stories, but the linear highway of the narrative remains predominant, even if the characters take an off-ramp.

From the Lost Highway soundtrack. I'm Deranged. LP: Outside (25 September 1995) © David Bowie/Brian Eno/RCA. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

But in the Lynchian universe, that main highway chronology is overlaid with other narratives which follow the separate stories of symbols (or archetypes), of the individual subconscious (possibly the soul), and of a larger, collective unconscious (perhaps the group soul). Those other, eerie narratives are non-linear and have different shapes. In Lost Highway, the plot relating to death symbols was constructed like a Möbius strip. Some of those unconventional narratives may have no shape at all and may be quantum, popping in and out of the linear narrative of conventional sanity, and co-existing in many times and realities. This allows Lynch's characters to disappear and reappear, sometimes with new identities, for no apparent linear reason. It is easy to dismiss these films as crazy, but Lynch's aim seems rather to tell the complete story of reality. The characters' behaviour and the events in these films would only make sense if you could map all the different narratives at play, and understand how they were interacting.

The Mandela effect also reminds me of Dark City (1998); the time travel and tangent universe of Donnie Darko (2001); and the Matrix films (1999-2003). In these movies, anomalies are explained as the products of manipulation by higher, outside actors. This is all fine, if you are a film critic or a post-Postmodern novelist. The only problem is, believers think the Mandela effect is real.

Clip from Lost Highway (1997) © October Films. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

Clip from Dark City (1998) © New Line Cinema. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

Clip from The Matrix (1999) © Warner/Roadshow Entertainment. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

Inland Empire (2006) official trailer. Video Source: Youtube.

As to the source of the Mandela effect, one woman found discussions on the effect as far back as 2005. But the effect was defined by a Wiccan paranormal researcher and blogger named Fiona Broome, during a conversation at the 2010 comic book convention DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The conversation involved a collective belief that Nelson Mandela had died in prison on 23 July 1991, and then reappeared alive and well, and became President of South Africa and died in 2013. This led to Broome's conviction that people were dividing between those who remembered alternate histories - and those who did not.

Interview with the Vampire (1994) contains one example of the supposed Mandela effect. The film is © Warner, reproduced under Fair Use. Image Source: Goodreads

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Swiss Gates to the Underworld

Gotthard Base Tunnel opening celebration (1 June 2016). Image Source: Daily Mail.

This year, concerns about hoax rituals shifted to Switzerland, where the Gotthard Base Tunnel was completed after 17 years of work and a cost of £8.4 billion. It is the longest and deepest traffic tunnel in the world, the first of its kind through the Alps. The opening ceremony seemed to be business as usual, in the style of the Olympics and similar global events. But after professional dancers stripped off their construction coveralls and began dancing semi-naked around a bellowing goat god, conspiracy theorists, and even the mainstream press, wondered about the themes depicted. Artistic commentators dismissed conspiracy theorists as misreading this creative homage to Swiss Alpine culture - bloated angels, sacrificial lambs, scarab beetles and all.

Scenes and images associated with the Gotthard Tunnel. The tunnel opens to public use in December 2016. Images Source: Daily Mail.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Bohemian Grove's Hoax Cult Exposures

Moloch. Image Source: Your Newswire. See the full image here.

How true conspiracy theories are depends on how much you are willing to believe. I consider conspiracy theories to be powerful fictions and mischievous propaganda. This post concerns the granddaddy of them all, the story of the Bohemian Grove, the conspiracy theory that launched a thousand ships on the Internet.

Image Source: WikiLeaks via Your Newswire.

On 16 March 2016, WikiLeaks released Hillary Clinton's hacked e-mails on the Internet. In an August 2009 e-mail lay 'evidence' of Clinton's connection to the Bohemian Grove and the Illuminati. In the leak, Lewis Amselem, US lead representative to the Organization of American States, joked about the Honduran coup (see criticism of Amselem here, and coup-related comments herehere, herehere, here, here, here and here); if everything there worked out as they hoped, Amselem would go out in the backyard and sacrifice a chicken to Moloch.

Perhaps Amselem actually mentioned Moloch to Clinton's staffers. However, several reports maintain that Russian hackers tampered with Clinton's and the Democratic party's e-mails prior to releasing them to WikiLeaksWikiLeaks has been blatantly anti-Clinton during the American election campaign. Even The Intercept and Edward Snowden criticized Julian Assange for his bias. Thus, this weird, tenuous connection between Hillary Clinton and Moloch could be fictitious. As WikiLeaks continues its suspect info dumps leading up to the US election, there is a lot of talk about the validity of the data they are revealing about a criminal and corrupted American establishment. Yet the question remains: who is Moloch? And why would Amselem, or Russian hackers, mention him?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Americans, Aliens and Area 51

A lamp post in Roswell, New Mexico, USA. Image Source: Houstonia.

The American election campaign has reached the 'aliens are real' stage. Given WikiLeaks' latest (and possibly Russian-sourced) UFO leaks (herehere, here and here) relating to Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, today we head to Area 51 for all things X-Files, Roswell, aliens, and flying saucers. According to WikiLeaks, US government staffers relayed the following information to John Podesta in an e-mail from December 2008:
"Add this to John Podesta's pile: A 'million fax on Washington' directed by the head of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC) to demand that Obama 'demand a full briefing from your military services and intelligence agencies regarding what they know and what they are doing about extraterrestrial related phenomena' and 'formally acknowledge the extraterrestrial presence and finally end the truth embargo after 61 years.'

X-PPAC's executive director, Stephen Bassett, writes in his own open letter that he believes that the transition chief is a secret ally in this:

If you are in need of counsel to assist you in these matters, you have but to turn to your transition co-chair, John Podesta. His efforts to end the truth embargo and release all relevant government documents date back to at least 1993 and the Rockefeller Initiative. PRG believes he is fully aware of the extraterrestrial presence and is committed to creating more open, transparent governance. In this he is in sync with the chief financial backer of his Center for American Progress think tank, George Soros.

This is not a new theory. The response to Clinton Library Freedom of Information Law requests was delayed because the UFO people got there first, FOIAing, among other things, 'All files on UFOs, Roswell New Mexico, flying saucers, Area 51 or the TV show X-Files in the files of John Podesta'

X-PPAC reportedly is further heartened, this time around, by the likely presence of Bill Richardson in the new administration; during one debate, he called on the federal government to 'come clean' on Roswell, though he later said he hadn't meant to suggest he's a believer."
Russia Today claims the leaks prove that the American government knows that aliens exist, and the aliens want to help us with "zero point energy," or "free energy," which would change the whole history and development of the world. The fact that 'energy' is the aliens' main concern should be a telltale sign in all this Russian mischief. According to the leaks, the aliens are unwilling to share their technology unless 'we' overcome our violent, war-mongering tendencies. The leaks also 'prove' the Vatican's awareness of extraterrestrials. You can see these bizarre revelations summarized here. See more reports here, here, here, here, here and here. Critics argue that these leaks and Russian propagandistic interference in American affairs herald a new era of "false stories" and "weaponized information."

This image was attached to a 26 October 2015 e-mail purportedly from Tom DeLonge to Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta; it was leaked by WikiLeaks on 10 October 2016. It and other attached images relate to a Hollywood-sourced novels, films and 'non-fiction' works to be released about the existence of aliens. Image Source: WikiLeaks via CBS.

Image Source: PBS.

From the Prelinger Archives: "Color footage of atomic bomb tests with active duty military personnel at Camp Desert Rock, Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Shows soldiers in foxholes as nuclear detonation occurs nearby; light and shockwaves; blowing dust; soldiers climbing out of foxholes and running towards mushroom cloud." Video Source: Youtube. This film is in the public domain.

The Russians are cleverly exploiting a famous corner of American mythology to demoralize and confuse the Americans, turn them against their own system, and disrupt the USA's democratic process. Russian tactics are working because the adolescent republic reflexively reverts to revolutionary mode when considering any undue government influence - and because ancient superstitions married high technology in Nevada's now-toxic desert. Talk of flying saucers and aliens has long circled Area 51, a restricted facility, where the US Air Force tests experimental aircraft and weapons. According to Wiki, rumoured events in Area 51 include:
  • "The storage, examination, and reverse engineering of crashed alien spacecraft (including material supposedly recovered at Roswell), the study of their occupants (living and dead), and the manufacture of aircraft based on alien technology."
  • "Meetings or joint undertakings with extraterrestrials."
  • "The development of exotic energy weapons for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or other weapons programs."
  • "The development of means of weather control."
  • "The development of time travel and teleportation technology."
  • "The development of unusual and exotic propulsion systems related to the Aurora Program."
  • "Activities related to a supposed shadowy one world government or the Majestic 12 organization."
My 2012 post, Mutants, After the Apocalypse, contended that atomic bomb tests, nuclear accidents, and radioactive leaks on domestic soil constituted the fallout equivalent of a North American nuclear war. In other words, the nuclear apocalypse had already occurred but was not openly acknowledged. The subliminal fear of cancer and mutations became internalized through cultural metaphors, many of which were spiritual, religious or magical. Abduction narratives and alien conspiracy theories involve the internalization, impregnation, or hybridization of humans by insidious, non-human elements. A subplot in these stories includes world domination or military worries. These ideas symbolize the fear that deadly poisons have been absorbed inside physical human systems, with health and land compromised in the name of science, technology, defense and progress.

While aliens are mathematically likely to exist, the Fermi Paradox asks why they have not unquestionably arrived on earth. Believers say they have, but their logic bears all the remnant trademarks of the medieval religious and occult imagination. Where once Catholic Europe, threatened by bubonic plague, feared demonic possession, and the ghosts and vampires arising from a pandemic period of mass death - now technological Millennial America, unnerved by the radioactive source of her own superpower, fears alien invasion.

On 10 October 2016, the European Space Agency sent 3,775 messages toward the Pole Star Polaris, in a numerologically-laden 11-11-11 statement. Irish-born artist Paul Quast entitled the project, A Simple Response to an Elemental Message, in which the interstellar conversation with aliens was supposed to start around the question: "How will our present environmental interactions shape the future?" The messages will take 400 years to arrive. Image Source: Daily Galaxy.

When one considers unacknowledged fallout in the already-nuked homeland, American citizens become the real victims, alien to themselves, shambling around a ruined and polluted environment. Nor are they alone. By 2012, over 2,000 nuclear tests had been conducted around the world. For a map of where those tests occurred (assume far-reaching, global fallout), go here. Among the five top nations to conduct tests, only the British and French did not use their homeland territories. The British tested their bombs in Nevada, Australia, on islands in the Pacific, and in the atmosphere. The French conducted their tests in Algeria, the Pacific, and in the atmosphere.

Paul Hellyer statement on a covert alien invasion, supposedly kept secret by top governments as part of the New World Order conspiracy (May 2013). Video Source: Youtube.

Before the October 2016 WikiLeaks revelations, the most high profile official to claim that aliens and related military conspiracies are real was the Canadian ex-Minister of Defence, Paul Hellyer. Hellyer remains hazy about whether he actually read secret governmental reports about UFOs while in office. His cited information comes from UFO writers, enthusiasts, and convention attendees. He implies that the Canadian government received reports of UFOs. But Canadian governmental neglect of those reports does not constitute a cover-up or proof of UFOs. Due to his former cabinet rank, Hellyer looks like a government UFO whistle-blower, even if he is not one.

Of course, as WikiLeaks shows, whistle-blowing carries a lot of momentum and perceived ethical weight in Millennial social media. Telling a suppressed secret in the name of a higher truth to protect the beleaguered public is a now-classic Millennial meme, which transforms the whistle-blower into a nearly-irreproachable, self-sacrificing holy man. It must be tempting to play the role of gnostic truth-teller, to become a prophet unveiling real reality in the nascent Age of Information. Only recently have netizens and hacktivists begun to ask about their sources' motivations.

Hellyer gains social media traction by mashing up two Millennial memes: aliens and whistle-blowing. Playing the whistle-blower gives Hellyer a carte blanche to say nearly anything and to occupy a projected space of moral rectitude in the UFO subculture. As a result, Hellyer is now a darling of these circles. He is spending his retirement touring alien conferences and conspiracy theorist conventions. He wants governments to give a "full disclosure" on UFOs to their citizens. He apparently believes the entire Millennial alien mythology: aliens in the ancient world, Atlantis, the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers, the shadow government, the anti-banking movement, the New World Order plot, and human genetic manipulation orchestrated by alien interlopers.

Yet Hellyer's most poignant desire in resolving these perceived threats reveals a man struggling with a deeper problem. He says: "In a word, we have to become spiritual beings." As with the Russian-inspired aliens who are focused on energy, this is the giveaway. Although Hellyer would deny it in his quest for the truth, perhaps the problem he faces is one of alienation, not aliens, in society. The spiritual path typically begins by smashing the truth one takes for granted.

For Hellyer, that truth is obviously the integrity of western governments. His deeper spiritual concern chimes with a story of Area 51 which asks how love, community, and soul-based morality contend with fear of a contaminated landscape, rapid technological change, and death-dealing power. Hellyer's Nevada odyssey hints that in the era of mass communications, social media, and big data, the central challenge to the individual is how one decides to know information, and how one connects that 'way of knowing' to moral and political value systems. His interests also echo the New Age end of the aliens-are-here spectrum, where belief in aliens is associated with spiritual enlightenment and higher awakening.

Below, see an urbex video from urban explorer Dan Bell for a real, recent view of the region; and from across the Web, see some of the best alien Hallowe'en costumes. These days, most Millennial UFO reports hail from Central and South America rather than Nevada, although this US state still guards many mysteries: the most recent known nuclear test in Nevada was a 2012 underground plutonium bomb, Pollux.

From the 1950s to the present, 928 atomic bomb tests were conducted in the Yucca flats and surrounding areas at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Mushroom clouds could be seen from Las Vegas's downtown hotels and became tourist attractions. This is the 1 November 1951 'Dog' test from Operation Buster-Jangle, the first to include live troops manoeuvring on Frenchman Flat while the bomb went off. Image Source: Wiki.

Dan Bell's urbex video of an abandoned complex, 30 minutes from the alien gas station and celebrity-connected Heidi-Fleiss-owned brothel at Amargosa, Nevada, adjacent to the infamous Area 51 and equally infamous Yucca Mountain (17 August 2016). Bell mentions gold and silver mining, but regions to the north, south and southwest also featured uranium mines. Video Source: Youtube.

Brothel adjacent Area 51 at Amargosa, Nevada (Yucca Mountain Travel Center): "This is a legal brothel, or 'Cathouse' (whorehouse?) at the intersection of the Veterans Memorial Highway (US 95) and State Highway 393 in Amargosa, Nevada. Dennis Hof (owner of a successful brothel in Carson City) and Heidi Fleiss (the former Hollywood Madame who was arrested in the '90s for running a high-price prostitution ring) own and operate the place, respectively." (31 July 2012) Video Source: Youtube.

Image Source: Wiki.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: The Slender Man, An Internet Monster

A Slender Man Hallowe'en costume (2012). Image Source: imgur via Twisted Sifter.

On the Internet, a Web-based horror folklore is called a 'creepypasta.' Among creepypastas, the creepiest of all is the Slender Man. Slender Man is a monster invented in 2009 on the 'create paranormal imagesphotoshop thread at the site Something Awful; he is a Millennial spectre, invented by Eric Knudsen (pseud. Victor Surge) to give the Web a virtual haunter of children and young teens. Know Your Meme:
"Slender Man (a.k.a Slenderman) is a mythical creature often depicted as a tall, thin figure wearing a black suit and a blank face. According to the legend, he can stretch or shorten his arms at will and has tentacle-like appendages protruding from his back. Depending on the interpretations of the myth, the creature may cause memory loss, insomnia, paranoia, coughing fits (nicknamed 'slendersickness'), photograph/video distortions and can teleport at will. The urban legend has inspired fan arts, fictional creepypastas and a mockumentary series in the style of the 1999 indie horror film Blair Witch Project. As the character has grown in popularity, he’s gained a number of other nicknames including The Operator, Der Großmann, Mr. Slim, The Administrator, Daddy LongLegs, Mr. Thin, The Tall Man, The Thin Man and Slendy."
In the evidential narrative style of X-FilesBlair Witch Project, and RinguKnudsen added to his Slender Man photographs, and in forum posts began to create false 'true story' cases on the thread. These details put fake historical meat on Slender's bones; other contributors added scraps to the fake casebook:
  • “We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time…” – 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.
  • One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as “The Slender Man”. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence. – 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.
  • 5/24/95**1994: Wilks Estate. One subject reported nothing out of the ordinary before taking photograph. Lower stairs area was said to be very dark. Subject states that after the camera flash she heard a sound like a watermelon being *unable to understand subject*.
  • 5/25/93**Subject unable to recall events after manor power failure. Unable to question other two identified subjects. Camera and film acquired from Gloria Cready, current resident of Woodview Mental Hospital and Psychological Rehabilitation Clinic. Film mostly uncontaminated despite mass of blood and human tissue present on camera. No positive ID on anomalous tall and slender subject. Facial blur caused by possible contamination.
  • 6/7/93**Early digital analysis indicates tall subject may have no eyes. Anomalies, previously thought to be film errors and flash artifacts, now thought to be appendages.
  • 6/10/93**Final identified subject reported missing along with other thirty-three patients and staff of Woodview Mental Hospital and Psychological Rehabilitation Clinic south wing.
  • 6/18/93**Further inquiry to cease immediately. (see report No.3339-2)
  • This first photo was given to me by my uncle, a police officer who was part of the investigation trying to find nine missing teens who had gone camping in the local mountains six years ago. It was developed from a disposable camera found at the campsite. None of the missing teens have ever been found, and all their possessions were still at the campsite. He was pretty drunk and shaken up when he gave me this, and made me promise I'd never show anyone else.
  • The second photo is of an elementary school fire in 1978. No official cause was ever found. Seven students and a teacher became trapped and died before firefighters could respond. Many of the students and teachers from the time have a history of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, even those who weren't at the school on that day. At least one has since committed suicide, and several others legally changed their names once they reached adulthood and have disappeared.
  • **Alert**Alert**Deployment Request**ANTI-S WALKER UNIT to deploy to --Wichita--Kansas--
  • Steinmen Woods**Both subjects were hunting in the Steinmen woods four hours before sundown. Surviving subject states that while hunting both men grew uneasy as fog levels rapidly increased. A constant murmuring sound accompanied by a low hum eventually became apparent to the two men an hour after the fog increased. An object falling out of tree stuck one of the men in the left shoulder causing him to discharge his weapon. Object said to be the body of a man of unknown age. It was very precisely dissected, with major internal organs still contained within the rib cage in what looked to be clear bags. Surviving subject placed organ bag within backpack. Attack followed several minutes later after a "low children's laugh, like a giggle". Surviving subject ran until he reached his vehicle. Subject then drove to assumed safety. Backpack destroyed. Surviving subject is classified as a B7 witness. B7 witness to be placed in quarantine "Blind Box" until resolution.
  • 2007:Investigation team discovered twenty-two bodies of both genders and various ages impaled on broken tree branches in a radiating circle pattern with chest mutilation as often noted with Slender Man. Upon confirmation, lead investigator ********* called for an immediate evacuation of investigation team at 1700 hours. Bodies first discovered at 1100 hours. Deadline for safe evacuation of team with only viewed physical evidence of Slender Man approximately 1730. Lost contact of team at 1725. Safety procedures fell well within established protocols. Reason for abnormality is unknown. Second team recovered camera equipment one week later. Slender Man safety procedures require this incident's physical photographic evidence to be disposed of by no later than 10/20. I honestly don't get what half this poo poo means. I'm done with this Slender Man stuff. It's starting to make me uneasy. It's like reading the GBS ghost story threads before I go to bed. Why do I have to look at this stuff while it's super late? Luckily, my friend is coming over.
Everyone chatting in the Something Awful forum agreed that Knudsen had created something frightening and original, a big monster begging for a bigger story. One commenter thought Slender Man reminded him (or her) of the scary (and true) 1959 Dyatlov Pass incident in Russia. Another wrote:
"Slender Man would make a pretty nice horror novel in the lines of House of Leaves. Essentially, make the novel a collection of witness statements, newspaper clippings, pictures, drawings, articles discussing evidence for an against the slender man and, to tie it all neatly together, a few stories of people who want to track the slender man, unravel the mystery, [a]nd the kicker would be the last 20 or so pages would be missing, with only scraps of paper left, arranged as logically as possible, just excerpts, words, rips, ink stains, etc."
Another said, "Slender Man is scaring the crap out of me for some reason." Others thought that Slender Man would be great subject for a movie. When you go back and read the forum thread now, you can see how the Internet can be a hotbed of genuine creativity, as it was supposed to be. This was folklore, generated in a brand new way. The Something Awful forum offered a new narrative form, an organic, virtual reality story-telling standing on the shoulders of oral tradition, fairy tales, urban legends, spiritual mythologies, religious texts, and ghost stories. That, in itself, is fascinating and culturally significant. Scholars of mythology have deemed Slender Man to be an authentic example of digital folklore: he is open-sourced, communally-created, variable in form, and audience-response-driven. Commentators have since remarked that Slender Man's appeal exploits the fears of the Digital era:
"Shira Chess describes the Slender Man as a metaphor for 'helplessness, power differentials, and anonymous forces.' Peck sees parallels between the Slender Man and common anxieties about the digital age, such as feelings of constant connectedness and unknown third-party observation. Similarly, Tye Van Horn, a writer for The Elm, has suggested that the Slender Man represents modern fear of the unknown; in an age flooded with information, people have become so inured to ignorance that they now fear what they cannot understand. Troy Wagner, the creator of Marble Hornets, ascribes the terror of the Slender Man to its malleability; people can shape it into whatever frightens them most. Tina Marie Boyer noted that 'The Slender man is a prohibitive monster, but the cultural boundaries he guards are not clear. Victims do not know when they have violated or crossed them.'"
This faux-real authenticity, as the directors of the 2016 Blair Witch sequel will tell you, is extremely for artists hard to achieve; sometimes a fable's original power only strikes full force in a particular time and place. This happened with Slender Man. What the Something Awful forum members did not reckon on was that Slender Man would inspire a real horror in real life.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Urbex in Your Mind

Dan Bell explores an abandoned house, site of a tragic 1983 crime in Randallstown, Maryland, USA, when Craig Johnson decapitated his baby son, possibly while under the influence of drugs. (Video published 8 May 2015.) Video Source: Youtube.

For today, see some videos from American urban explorer Dan Bell, who visits abandoned properties and films them with camerawork and subtle editing reminiscent of horror movies. He is not a ghost hunter or paranormal believer; his interest merges the artistic with the historic to create unnerving video experiences on his Youtube channels (here and here). Beyond urban exploration, he could be an aspiring feature film director with an uncanny knack for locating disturbing places.

Above, a house outside Baltimore, site of a 1983 Christmas Day beheading of a child by a father. Some Youtubers dismiss Dan Bell's work as sensationalist; some like his added effects, including music from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980). All commenters debated whether the evil of the 1983 crime remained in the building; part of the Youtube experience involves their collaborative reactions:
  • "Here's what I found and Researched on the man named Steven Craig Johnson the Drug addict. A Baltimore-area man, who police say thought his son was Jesus Christ and had to die for the sins of the world, was denied bail Monday after being charged with first-degree murder in the decapitation of his 14-month-old boy.Baltimore County police said Stephen Johnson, 28, was charged with first-degree murder and held at police headquarters in Towson."
  • "Creepy music and a house slowly falling into ruin does NOT make a house evil. Sheesh. The PCP caused the man to hallucinate that his son was Jesus, and for whatever his drug-addled mind thought, the son wound up dead at the hand's of his own father. That was HUMAN EVIL ... not some house. PCP is evil!"
  • "You miss the point here. Dan Bells videos are his art and he obviously likes to bring horror movie elements to his videos. Its his point of view and a genre he has chosen. Its totally irrelevant weather the house truly is evil or not."
  • "Stories like this destroy the real estate market. Not Dan's fault. I'm glad that history leaks. I rent-to-own an apartment and when I had tile installed the tile company told me the place is contaminated. I got out of the contract. Two people were murdered in the bedroom and the carpet foam had blood in it. Now I know the patched up holes weren't picture holes. They were bullet holes."
  • "Both my parents died in our family home. They were in their 90's, on hospice and died peacefully. We did not have to declare it, nor did it ever occur to us that we should. The people who bought the house after a company bought the house seemed to get upset when I went over there and took them a framed artist's drawing of the house that I had had done for Daddy for Father's Day one year. I'm not sure how it came up in the conversation but I gave the man and his daughter a little history of the house. It was built by my grandfather for my grandmother, then she died and my parents bought it from him and they lived in it for almost their entire 71 year marriage. The man seemed shaken up that my parents died IN the house, so I wish I hadn't told him, but it's not like there was a murder. However, not long after that, the house disappeared. I asked the neighbors and they said a crane woke them up one morning and by noon, the house was gone. There doesn't even look like a house was ever even there. Very sad. I would have loved to have lived there, but I couldn't afford to buy out my sister's half."
  • "Another problem with this type of places is that when something like that happened in there (murder, witchcraft, playing with ouija), they're usually haunted, I had to move out of a house because of that shit."
  • "I wouldn't say its so much evil I would call it a complete wreck but the one odd thing that stood out to me if anyone else caught it. This house is in complete ruins with what looks like a brand new energy star hot water heater in the basement and the paint is still glossy while everything else is severely weathered. I don't think the house is as evil as the water heater."
  • "All those flies are a classic sign that the house is demon possessed. It's very dark and oppressive atmosphere. It's damp negative lowly energy. And it's perfectly clear that something is very very wrong. It takes a brave person to go into a place such as this, because it's facing our inner fears. A film or documentary would be interesting. Did any one hear voices on this footage? or were they part of the musical background? Thanks for sharing."

Occupant's keepsake, occult prop, or message from a previous visitor? The curious note next to remnants of a woman's dress, found in the Johnson closet, reads: "About luck thats good for us. I don’t know what made thy house evil, I only know that thee begs thy help of whatever within here can help with. Undo." Image Source: Dan Bell via BlumHouse.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Clown Detour

Image Source: Instagram/Vin Innocente via HuffPo / Café Mom.

In March 2014, a person dressed as a clown terrified citizens of the New York borough of Staten Island. The clown stole around the streets at night and lurked near train stations. HuffPo:
"A mysterious clown has been roaming the streets of Staten Island and freaking out local residents.

Staten Islanders have been posting pictures and videos on social media of a person dressed up like a clown wearing a yellow outfit, red shoes and a mask while holding balloons and waving to the cameras, the Staten Island Advance reported.

The clown has been spotted at night near the Richmond Valley and Grasmere train stations and in front of a Chinese restaurant during the day on Richmond Avenue, according to the Advance and online posts.

'I wish I was joking dude, it scared the heck out of me,' Michael Levy posted on his Instagram photo of the clown behind a tree at night. 'I thought it was like some dummy or cardboard standup thing at first until he pointed at me.'"
Image Source: Instagram/Robert Privitera via HuffPo.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Countdown to Hallowe'en 2016: Interview with Horror Film Director, Oliver Park

Vicious (2016). The lead actress is Rachel Winters. Directed, written and produced by Oliver Park. Video Source: Youtube.

Welcome to another Countdown to Hallowe'en blogathon, in which Histories of Things to Come joins hundreds of other blogs during October to count down to All Saints' Eve. Today, I am very pleased to interview UK film director Oliver Park, whom Bloody Flicks calls "the new face of horror." Park wrote, directed and produced the acclaimed short British film, Vicious (above). On 24 September 2016, he premiered his new short horror film, Still, in the UK at the Exit 6 Film Festival in a screening at the Vue Cinema in Basingstoke, Hampshire, with more screenings in coming months in the UK and USA. Originally from Bath, Park is also an award-winning actor.

Vicious is just over twelve minutes long and has won many international film awards. It scared me! Park visually quotes other horror films, but his take is new. He told TurnAbout Media about his inspirations:
"I was born in the 80’s, so I grew up with stories by M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Then, when I discovered horror films I quickly fell in love with films by Carpenter, Craven, Kubrick, Romero, Cronenberg, Russell, Barker and of course – Hitchcock (to name but a few). I remember being terrified by those stories and I would regret them every night as I was lying in bed unable to sleep!

My father is also a huge film fan so he introduced me to the horrors from the 50’s and 60’s, the Hammer Horror collection – and two of my all-time favourites: Night of the Demon by Jacques Tourneur and Nosferatu by F. W. Murnau.

Modern day horrors are a new breed and cannot be compared to the older ones. I love the work of Leigh Whannell and James Wan, David Robert Mitchell, Tomas Alfredson, Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza and of course Hideo Nakata and Takashi Shimizu (among many, many others)."

I do not know if Park draws from film noir, but for me, the first scene in Vicious echoed Experiment in Terror (1962; online here), when a woman comes home from work late at night. The scene is similar, down to the barking dog. The woman hurries to leave the lonely street and get inside her house, where she'll be safe. In fact, the dog is warning the woman not to go inside her house.

This is where Vicious starts, at the moment when the place where we feel most secure becomes a cauldron. The film combines horror genres: the home invasion, the haunted house, mental isolation inside the four walls. Perhaps Park's secret is his relentless subliminal insistence on the invasion, even rape, of Millennial privacy; the associated thrall of home-based technologies and Internet connections leaves us trapped and subjugated. Our time wasted. Our lives squandered. Our identities frayed. Park's films may have monsters, but they are secondary to the violated spaces they occupy. There is no privacy, no safe place left. Park remarked on Still's premise:
"My stories are designed to target real life situations - it's not about a 'jump scare'. Still takes you on a journey that we all go on, but then it takes a detour and asks 'what if...'. We all think of our homes as our safe place, when in fact, they can just as easily be our prison - or worse - our tomb. You think you're safe inside - you're not. You're trapped."

Image Source: Turnabout Media.