Saturday, October 31, 2015


On Halloween, what better time to write about the world beyond the veil?

For this, we move backward in time to the night, appropriately and ironically, of October 31, 2004.  Really.

Being non-participant misanthropes, my husband and I laid low as is normal for us on this and other holidays.  The porch light was off, the gate closed to deter trick-or-treaters.  Not that they are much of a problem out here in a semi-rural neighborhood where houses are sparsely located and any pickings not worth the legwork.  Besides, the long, overgrown driveway leading to our house is not particularly inviting to kids at night -- "spooky" I'm told – and darn near impossible to find in daylight for first-timers.

Anyway, we were settled in for the night.  I was reading.  Richard was on the computer.  CNN was providing background noise for us half-an-ear news junkies.  Absorbed in his evening toilette, Sam Cat was ensconced on the other end of the couch from me.  Moggie, Cat Two, was curled up dead asleep on her favorite chair.  Cat Three, Casper was zonked out elsewhere in the house.  A typical evening.

Suddenly, Sam, who was facing the back of the couch while washing his tummy, leaped straight up into the air, pulled a 180, and landed standing frontward and wide-eyed on the cushion.  He was rubber-necking as if Moggie had sandbagged him and dashed off as part of their ongoing feline rivalry.  But she was asleep and he didn’t appear remotely interested in seeking retribution.  He was looking for something else at floor level.  Fluffed, he jumped to the carpet and continued to stare around intently.

"So what's the matter with you?" I asked. 

Across the room, Moggie remained undisturbed.

At this point, Richard came from the other room around to the end of the couch to say, "It was the little black thing again.  It ran around the desk and end table into the living room."

Cut to the backstory.

For over a decade before that 2004 benchmark point, Dick had been occasionally seeing what we have dubbed the "black entity."  We refer to it as that because it radiates no color, similar to the stellar black hole which allows no light to escape from it.  Perhaps another term might be a "familiar."  Or simply “it.”  It is that “something” that we have all heard of or have perhaps experienced, that form or movement lurking just at the corner of the eye, that is not there when you turn to look.  However, this little fellow has put in far more obvious appearances to my husband.

These visitations began in the early 1990s when we were in the Holiday Inn in Great Falls, Montana, while Dick’s father was in the hospital because of a heart attack.  Dick was showering.  I was sitting on the end of the bed watching TV news.  Dripping, Dick came out of the bathroom with a startled expression and asked, “Did you see something come out here?”

That is a provocative opener to an unknown topic guaranteed to garner attention.

It seems that when Dick opened the shower stall door, he was greeted by a dark “blob” about the size of a cat or small dog down close to the floor.  “It” froze in place as though caught out by Dick, about as surprised as Dick was in seeing “it.”  Then it zipped out the door and turned to the right, which meant it would have come into my view.  And, no, it had not.

From that point forward, the black entity put in appearances as related primarily to Dick’s father’s health.  News of Larry’s cardiac near-misses manifested in novel ways.  One time, Dick awakened in the middle of the night to find the weightless “it” curled up on his chest like a favorite cat.  On another occasion, he nearly stumbled over it when it ran in front of him around high noon as he was walking across the construction yard at his work headquarters. A few times, our black entity would peek in from the periphery of Dick’s vision.  Only afterwards would we learn that Dick’s dad had been on the brink with another heart issue.

Return to Halloween night, 2004.

What did Sam's reaction to “it” mean?  We knew well that Sam, being a nuts-and-bolts, kibbles-and-mice sort, had never given sign of seeing things that weren't, as people so often claim cats do.  Having had many cats (156 at the last count, mostly in quantities no greater than three at a time) over the years, I have not seen any of them even pretend to watch things going bump in the night, and I observe them pretty closely because they are fascinating people.  So, that furry flurry over, Sam went off to his food bowl.  Moggie and Casper slept on peacefully.  Therefore, my husband and I marked this episode as notice of something to come and returned to what we were doing.  A successful other-worldly trick-or-treat sortie had been run on us, despite the dark porch and closed gate.  All we could do was wait.

Fast forward to a month later, November 30, 2004.

Well, as we learned that evening after getting only busy signals from Dick's father's number, Larry had died sometime that night in his apartment, attempting to call for help.  He was 89.  That very afternoon, he had been out with his coffee buddies at the K-Mart.  Altogether, that's not a bad way to go, being busy and mobile to the last.

So, yes, the veil between the living and the dead had lifted a little that Halloween.  The harbinger, that little black entity, “it” had come to warn us that the game was indeed afoot.  More, we had an independent and remarkable corroboration of its presence, surely of interest at the purely scientific level, an unbiased validation of a genuine paranormal occurrence.  Everyone should be so lucky as to have a personal banshee to warn of serious illness and impending death.  A little head's-up is always a good thing.  Thus, it came as no real shock or surprise to learn of Larry's transition out of his present life.

But we are left wondering how busy those other-dimensional dudes are kept, message-running like that.  How many little black entities are left frustrated because so many dense humans miss those cues lurking at the corners of their eyes?  And although I have never seen it, I know it and something more exists.

A cat confirmed it all.

Happy Halloween! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Underwater UFOs

You never know when and where corroborations will crop up.  This blog arises from claims made about sightings of unusual lights moving under water or UFOs as physical bodies emerging or diving into the oceans or lakes.  The stories are many, from Shag Harbor in the Northeast to the waters off the Southern California coast and around the world.  I have an in-family addition to share with those folks interested in such things---and also a cautionary about preserving such history.

In the early 2000s, during a fast-food lunch break with my brother Kurt, I brought up the topic of UFOs.  Documents (see previous blog) that I had come across in my archival work at the Clark County Museum called to mind his off-hand remark made decades before, that there were other “Bermuda Triangles” scattered around the oceans where weird stuff happens.  He briefly related two personal sightings, in 1956, in the Indian Ocean when he was in the Navy aboard the USS Merrimack AO-37, a Kennebec-class fleet oiler and one of several naval ships to have carried that historic Civil War name.

It was night.  Kurt and some fellow crew members were on deck when one of the sailors spotted a strange light in the water off the starboard side.  They witnessed a large, round, glowing object submerged at an unknown depth.  I asked if this could have been a school or cluster of bioluminescent sea life.  No, my brother was definite about this.  They all knew the difference.  This was a well defined circular object that did not change shape, and it continued to pace the ship for some miles.  Then the light simply blinked off.  No radar return had been registered before, during or after that incident.

Afterwards, during that passage across the Indian Ocean from the Red Sea, my brother was on the ship’s fantail with several other sailors. It was high daylight when a sudden bubbling appeared on the water’s surface at a distance of approximately a quarter mile ahead, so that was not a small disturbance.  Then bubbles churned into violent froth.  A large silvery orb erupted from the water and shot off at an angle into the sky and, moving at extreme velocity, quickly vanished from eyesight.  Radar tracking was not mentioned.

The former event sighted from the USS Merrimack uncannily echoes the description of a nighttime incident that took place on November 14, 1949, between the Strait of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean.  It is recorded in the United States Naval Institute Proceedings as Report # 63, “An Unexplained Phenomenon of the Sea,” by Cmdr. J. R. Bodler, a Merchant Marine officer who had served in World War II and then returned to the Merchant Marines.  It is accessible online.  The condensed version is that, on the date noted above, in calm seas, Bodler witnessed a large, luminous, circular object approach his ship from below the horizon level, underwater.  The object proved to be approximately 1,000 to 1,500 feet in diameter.  It passed silently under his vessel, casting light up against the hull, and appeared to be revolving spoke-like around a center hub in a timed, counterclockwise rotation.  It paused directly under the ship before slowly moving away.  He viewed the object until it was some miles away, at which time a second, slightly smaller object manifested on that same track, passing underneath his ship.  A half hour later, a third object appeared, detected when it was in much closer proximity.  It was smaller with a diameter of approximately 800 to 1,000 feet, and followed the others’ path.  No electromagnetic effects were noted.  References and coordinates are provided at the end of the online article. 

Then, in 1957, after his tour aboard the Merrimack, Kurt was reassigned to the radar picket ship, YAGR Searcher, in the North Atlantic.  (He once quipped that YAGR meant “You Ain’t Getting Relieved.”)  That former Liberty ship, loaded with electronics and radar, was part of the DEW Line system during the early Cold War period.  The Searcher described a repeating rectangle over the same coordinates, 150 miles wide by 250 miles long, exceedingly boring -- except for the occasional intriguing electronic blip.  During that TDY, he and other radar crew and officers witnessed several anomalous radar returns tracking objects  moving at extremely high speed (well exceeding 3,000mph) and performing erratic maneuvers that could not be attributed to known aircraft, missiles, or meteor incursions through the high atmosphere.

Of course, the Searcher incidents will ring familiar to any radar operator who has witnessed oddball, inexplicable returns on radar screens.  Certainly, they fit in with numerous similar reports of unusual radar trackings.  While not undersea phenomena, these unusual occurrences witnessed at sea in a military setting lend credence to significantly large and growing hardcopy, eyewitness and anecdotal reference bases. 

Here I want to point out that  credible eyewitness accounts and anecdotes should not be discounted as real evidence or discarded as unscientifically gathered observations.  For when compiled and examined under stringent criteria, they create data bases that reinforce a very strong hypothesis for actual phenomena behaving outside an established norm.  Just so, much science has grown from recognition of incident similarities---not to mention hunches, flights of the imagination or dreams, the DNA double helix and the benzene molecule being two well known examples.  And informant credibility must be factored in.  In my brother’s case, I knew him well enough to accept that his powers of observation and skeptical nature made him a believable source.

Looking back on that lunch, I have wished many times since that I had had the presence of mind to ask for more details from my brother before his death.  I have only a few notes from one short meeting to wrap this posting around.  Any other “Bermuda Triangle”-type occurrences alluded to by Kurt are lost to my lack of journalistic aggressiveness.  So, don’t let the opportunity slip by to query a possible source about an unusual occurrence that falls into the paranormal category. 

A final point is that important clues, like gold, are where you find them, in unexpected places and at unexpected times.  Be alert for them, but don’t interpret or interpolate what is not there.  Like bibliographies, with time, you learn which sources are reliable and which are not, and whether it is worth your time to keep reading.  The more of the latter, the more suspect the content.  But when unrelated similarities start adding up, pay attention.

[ For conspiracy buffs and accuracy, this particular Merrimack is listed as having been decommissioned in December 20, 1954.  However, in 1956, it was pulled out of mothballs for service prior to the Suez Crisis, ostensibly for crew training.  My brother, who was aboard during this time, told me that, besides fuel, the ship was hauling weapons and other war-related items.  It also picked up and delivered mysterious, unidentified individuals in civilian clothes at various ports.  That time is certain.  As an 8-year-old, I recall the night my family received a phone call from him to let us know that he was okay.  That day, October 31, the Egyptians had blown up a British ship (among others) to blockade the Canal.  The Merrimack had been ahead of that target and was able to sail on to the Red Sea.  The Suez Canal was closed until April 24, 1957.  Just a tidbit to whet the appetite. ]

Friday, March 13, 2015

Life in the Paranormal Lane

As a kid, you may have heard family stories or asides about “unusual events,” a house with a “presence,” extrasensory perception, “little green men,” those brief sidebars in life that hook up an axon here and extend a dendritic connection there in your developing brain.  Over time, the references may or may not stick.  You may bury that information in other interests and demands and never revisit such topics, except perhaps on sci-fi TV programs or in film or books as escapist entertainment.  Or the paranormal may take root and insert itself into your life in ways you could never have imagined.  

For me, UFOs and aliens were remote novelties enjoyed occasionally in fiction, film and TV:  “Star Trek”; “The Invaders;’ “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and other offerings.  In 1977, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was a fun ride with awesome special FX for that time, but most of the UFO insider references were lost on me.  

However, I was aware that we lived about 75 miles south of the Nevada Test Site, parents of some kids I knew worked up there, and up there was, well, special.  After all, in 1952, I had witnessed atomic bomb tests from our kitchen window.  And, as we all knew back then, atomic power was our friend.

Then, circa 1992, I hired on as registrar at the Clark County Museum to catalog an archive donated to McCarran International Airport by the widow of George Crockett.  The collection founded what would become the airport’s Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum.  Crockett was a pioneer in aviation in the Las Vegas Valley, beginning with his establishing Alamo Field back in the 1940s.  This airfield was later taken over by the county for a municipal airport site and opened as McCarran Field.  As Las Vegas evolved and grew, so did the airport.  My family arrived in 1952, and I grew up along with both the community and its aviation support.  We lived just east of Paradise Road in full view of the incredible expanding airport.  Ironic that, many years later, I would be working 9-to-5, logging in aviation-related archives and artifacts so closely related to this history.

George Crockett was a conservative businessman on the Las Vegas scene.  His papers reflected a hard- working family man with no surprises, just a dedication to building and maintaining his business, keeping in touch with fellow aviation business types and flying enthusiasts, and providing aviation services typical as an FBO (Fixed Base Operator).  And why, you might ask, was the museum not named for him?  Well, clout counts.  Howard W. Cannon was a long-time U.S. Senator for Nevada and a mover-shaker who helped de-regulate the airlines for good or ill (ill, I say), got money and muscle for the State, and was also a WWII pilot and war hero. ‘Nuff said.

Anyway, working into the last bits of that sizeable collection, I opened up an untitled document file that contained an old photocopy of a March 1951 Las Vegas Review-Journal page featuring a large picture and article of Davis Dam and other smaller articles.  Paper-clipped to that were seven carbon-copy sheets typewritten on Crockett’s personal machine.  (He did most, if not all, of his own secretarial work.)  The first three pages assessed his plans for expansion at Alamo Airways which by then served as a general aviation airport on the McCarran Field site.  Given the time period, Crockett logically assumed commercial growth for his facility.  The big push had started to promote Las Vegas as a tourist destination for “fun in the sun,” a popular slogan for the desert resort town.  Nothing unusual.

Then I read the next four pages -- and dropped into the Twilight Zone.

Jolted out of stultification (a danger periodically facing all cataloguers/archivists), I re-examined the newspaper photocopy to see how Davis Dam fit into what I was now reading and realized that an X marked a small article just below. That short news piece noted the beginnings of Indian Springs and what was to become the Nevada Test Site -- and that all other information pertaining to the U.S. Government’s doings there was under blackout. 

Then I began to understand and reread those four pages, which content follows below (brackets, tightened spacing and any missed typos are all mine).

 [Page 1:]
The project will be several times the $300,000,000.00. [sic]
There will be two town [sic] of 20,000 population created.                                                                      
The H-bomb is being hatched.
Atomic power for saucers, or guided missiles is to be manufactured.
Much of the installation is to be underground.
It is to be the largest defense expenditure in the history of the United States.
The activity of the National Lead Company, General Motors and Consolidated Vultee in this area is tied into the Indian Springs operation in some way.
[Page 2:]
1.  There have been three separate aerial surveys made of the area north of here in the past year.
2.  Several large engineering firms have spent months in this area during the past year.
3.  There is a large area of government land about 45 miles north of here.  It contains ample water supply. [sic] and there are several valleys and mountain ranges in it.
4.  For several months Carco’s planes have been bringing in groups of men from Los Alamos.  Each group is accompanied by a security agent.
5.  In the last groups that came in this week were two generals.  One, a brigadier in uniform with medical ensignia [sic] and the Atomic patch on his shoulder.  The other general, in civilian clothes, obviously outranked the brigadier by a star or two.
6.  McKee Construction Company and Reynolds Electric and Engineering have leased a sizeable building for office space to have 35 office employees.  This lease is for five years at $500.00 per month with option to renew for 5 years.
7.  High caliber construction men have been seen pulling up in cars with license plates from Washington, Idaho, and New Mexico.  They great [sic] each other like they haven’t seen each other for several years.  It appears that key men are being pulled in from all directions.
8.  Between six and ten U-Drive cars and pickups have been rented for an indefinate [sic] period.
9.  There are between fifteen and thirty executive personell [sic] staying at the Last Frontier Hotel.
10.  My wife’s folks have a group of construction executives desiring to rent their entire dude ranch for a five year period.
11.  National Lead Company officials are in town accompanied by security agents.
12.  General Motors just paid the state some $123,000.00 to form an $88, [sic] million corporation in the state and rumor has it that G.M. is to spend over $100,000,000.00 in Southern Nevada this year.
[Page 3:]
"Proven Facts, Cont.
13.  Consolidated Vultee have [sic] four U-Drive cars reserved for the middle of this month.
14.  The town is teeming with security agents.
[Page 4:]
"[1]   I prepared this information [sic] I have obtained the following information, which I believe to be authentic.
[2]  The admitted $300,000,000.00 expenditure is just one-fifth of the money already appropriated for this project.
[3]  It is definitely the biggest project ever undertaken by this or any other country, and will be the biggest development of the century.
[4]  It is the center of development for Atomic power for the propulsion of everything from guided misseles [sic] to tanks, submarines, ships, trains, and everything that moves.
[5]  This would explain the interest of General Motors, and Consolidated Vultee.  Also, I note that the president of Union Pacific has just spent a week here.
[6]  The installation is permanent and will expand this area many times it’s [sic] present size in the next few years.
[7]  This town is swarming with Security Agents.
[8]  Consequently, I would appreciate your immediately destroying this sheet, as they will no doubt trace any authentic information to it’s [sic] source.”

On being shown this document, the late Chris Crockett, a son of George Crockett, surmised that the person to whom this information was directed was Howard Hughes, whom his father knew and who frequently used the Alamo facilities in its early years.  Because of his aviation and engineering industries, Hughes would have been especially interested in what was going on at the new Nevada Test Site.

Whatever the outcome for all the plans and players noted above, the development of the U.S. Government’s soon-to-be Nevada Test Site was a done deal by 1952.  But what of those plans posited as rumor that might be hidden from public view?  Apart from the atomic bomb testing that pockmarked Nye County’s outback and the existence of Area 51 and S-4, it was the mention of “saucers” (and we’re not talking about Avro aircraft and similar failed attempts) and the implied size of underground installations and budgets that brought me up short. 

Point is, falling onto something unexpected like the above documents can be transformative and clarifying to one’s thoughts.  In a way, it is a conversion experience.  Certainly, it ignites a serious desire to find out what is really happening in the world you think you know.  It brings together all sorts of little snippets of remembrances that start to make sense and paint quite a different picture of reality.

So, I’m sharing.  Future blog entries will focus on other bits of paranormal weirdness that bump into our lives (mine, at least) now and then, reminders that all is not always what it seems.  Stay tuned.

Source:  Crockett Collection, Clark County Museum/Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum.

Alternate topics may occur in this blogsite from time to time, covering that other zone of strangeness:  politics.

My novel, The Genesis Codex, a paranormal thriller, is now available on  and Kindle.  I hope you will enjoy reading it, the first in a series.