Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Slow News Week

As the U.S. seethes with racial tension, protestors swarm the streets of Hong Kong, and missiles gut Syria, a few intrepid journos have somehow managed to ferret out the real stories…

  • Say, does anyone remember the absurdly disappointing mystery of those invisible flying creatures known as “rods“? No? Well, let Oklahoma City’s News 9 take you back to ’97 with their hard-hitting report on bad photography.
rods

Fascinating.

Fry Screaming

IKR?

Advertisements

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Stolen Imaginary Friends, Bigfoot Bears, & The Clinton Chronicles Redux

imaginary friend

  • With the recent passing of British comedian Rik Myall, you might have had nightmarish flashbacks to one of the most astoundingly awful films of recent decades: Drop Dead Fred. Or maybe you had fond flashbacks, because you were one of the people who cherished that movie. But did you know that the movie’s title character was stolen?
    Sometime in the late ’90s, I read the fantasy short story “Mr. Fiddlehead”, by Jonathan Carroll, in a 1990 collection of the year’s best fantasy and horror. In the story, a woman falls in love with her BFF’s imaginary childhood friend after he materializes as a carroty-haired, freckled, impish man. He appears only when the woman who created him is in emotional distress. He delights the two women with his practical jokes, childish sense of humour, and magical powers.
    I was appalled that Mr. Carroll had recycled the plot of a terrible movie.
    What I didn’t bother to notice at the time was that “Mr. Fiddlehead ” had already appeared in Carroll’s 1989 book A Child Across the Skytwo years before Drop Dead Fred was released. Somebody had recycled a plot, but it clearly wasn’t Carroll.
    The IMDB page for Drop Dead Fred credits one Elizabeth Livingston for the story. It is her only listed story credit. The script was written by Anthony Fingleton and Carlos Davis. Davis’s only other screenwriting credit is a TV children’s movie  from the early ’80s. What is he doing these days? Possibly working on the long-rumoured remake of Drop Dead Fred, his one and only big-screen effort.
    Are we dealing with out-and-out theft, or with the sort of “inspiration” that Yann Martel used to refashion Moacyr Scliar’s Max and the Cats into a slightly different (but infinitely more famous) story? That’s a judgment call. But I would absolutely love to hear Ms. Livingston, Mr. Fingleton, or Mr. Davis explain how their shitty movie somehow ended up with the central character from a story they didn’t create.
    UPDATE: After additional research, I have found that Elizabeth Livingston is a freelance writer/editor who was a book editor with Reader’s Digest for many years. She co-authored two children’s books.
    In a 1991 interview with Fantazia magazine (reproduced here), Rik Myall said of the screenwriters, “They’d been talking with a mutual friend, Elizabeth Livingston, who was writing a story based on her little daughter’s imaginary friend, Drop Dead Fred. They decided it would make a better film than series and approached me.”
    This doesn’t clear up the mystery, of course. It just establishes that Livingston was not simply the pseudonym of a writer who didn’t want to be connected to the movie.
  • Happy World UFO Day! International Business Times has a fun piece about a video hoax that involved both the secret space program and yet another alien corpse.
  • Two years after Melba Ketchum released the profoundly weird results of her Bigfoot DNA study, the group of UK researchers that was conducting a parallel study has announced its findings. Researchers at Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology, led by Bryan Sykes, have spent the past two years analyzing 30 hair samples suspected to be from Bigfoot, Almas, and the Yeti. The upshot? Not a single hair came from an unknown animal. Most were from bears. The rest came from horses, deer, wolves, raccoon, sheep, cows, a porcupine, a human, and a tapir. Curiously, a hair sample from the Himalayas turned out to be a match for a prehistoric polar bear.
  • Mother Jones has compiled one of the largest lists of Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories ever. We’ll be seeing lots of these in the run-up to the 2016 elections. One of the latest, crafted by a JFK researcher who loves boobies, is that Chelsea Clinton is actually Webster Hubbell’s daughter. Morrow also asserts that Bill Clinton is a serial rapist, and claims that a large number of U.S. presidents (including, um, Nixon) were secretly bisexual.
chelsea

Oh my glob, a morphing .gif. HOW MUCH MORE EVIDENCE DO YOU NEED?!

 

The Top 10 Stupidest/Weirdest Theories About Flight MH370

lost numbers

We all know the first part of the story: Early in the morning on March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, just one hour into its flight, lost radio contact with air traffic controllers. After going silent in the Gulf of Thailand, the plane unexpectedly veered west and flew back across Malaysia, heading into the Strait of Malacca. As indicated by primary radar returns, it was last charted heading northwest towards a navigational waypoint called IGREX, near the Andaman Coast of Phuket. However, ACARS reports indicate that Flight 370 remained in the air for at least 4 hours after losing radio contact, and the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch collaborated with the satellite company Inmarsat to track the plane as far as the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia – meaning the plane was airborne for at least 8 hours after losing radio contact. As there are no potential landing sites anywhere near this location, it is assumed that Flight 370 crashed into the ocean. Despite extensive searches, not a single piece of debris has been found. Another search is scheduled for August. There were 277 passengers and 12 crew members aboard, making Flight MH370 the largest aerial disappearance in history.

mh370 map

Flight MH370’s last known movements (Daily Mail)

Contradictory and false information given by Malaysian authorities led many people to suspect that Malaysia knew exactly what had happened to its plane, and was suppressing the truth for reasons unknown. In Beijing, victims’ family members have protested and staged vigils outside the Malaysian Embassy, demanding the truth. One of the first Western conspiranoids to contribute a theory was Rupert Murdoch, who tweeted that jihadists had hijacked the plane to “make trouble for China.” Rush Limbaugh chimed in that the plane may have been shot down by some “hostile little country.” Then the professional conspiranoids took over. Here, in no particular order, are ten of the goofiest narratives they came up with to explain the disappearance of Flight 370.

10.   Scientific Sabotage

Retired Delta Air Lines Captain Field McConnell believes Flight 370 was hijacked to obtain information about pending technology patents from some of the passengers, Chinese employees of Freescale Semiconductor, an Austin-based microchip company. According to McConnell, Freescale has developed a classified technology that uses paint and electronics to turn regular jets into stealth aircraft. He points out that a patent (#8671381) related to integrated circuits and semiconductor wafers was approved just days after the plane vanished. McConnell and others have claimed that the rights to this patent were supposed to have been split five ways: 20% to Freescale Semiconductor, and 20% each to four employees who were on the plane. 

This theory isn’t completely out in left field, since rashes of odd scientist deaths related to innovative or secret technology have occurred a few times. In the ’80s, over a dozen British scientists involved in defense research died rather weird, untimely deaths; several of them worked for Marconi. But there have also been red herring Dead Scientist memes floating around in the conspiracy world for years, including the Dead Microbiologists meme that began shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The list of dead microbiologists thought to have some knowledge of U.S. and/or Iraqi bioweapons became so absurdly long that even community college biology teachers ended up on it.

Field McConnell’s theory crumbles under scrutiny. Not one of the names listed on patent #8671381 appears on the passenger manifest released by Malaysian authorities. To date, there is no evidence that any of the people listed on the patent worked for Freescale or that the patent has anything to do with Freescale.

It must also be noted that McConnell and co-researcher David Hawkins have one of the most batshit insane, least coherent websites on the entire Internets: Abel Danger. Don’t believe me? Try reading whatever the hell this is. The entire website is like that – lesbian assassins taking over the world, word salad, Floyd Cramer videos. Field McConnell is also the author of the self-published tome Lesbian Cults, Pedophile Oaths and the Guild of Patented Hits. I challenge you to read more than two pages of it on Amazon without getting annoyed. Can’t be done.

The Scientific Sabotage theory has been embraced by Henry “Lesbian Candy Bars” Makow, though he awkwardly grafts the Diego Garcia abduction theory (below) onto it. Needless to say, Makow also found a way to drop a Rothschild into the mix, repeating the snopes-debunked factoid that Jacob Rothschild owns Freescale. Rothschild is a member of the Blackstone Group’s International Advisory Board, and the Blackstone Group owns more 196 million shares in Freescale, but the Carlyle Group and TPG Group Holdings both own the same number of Freescale shares as the Blackstone Group does. Then Makow got bored with missing planes and returned to his usual gay-bashing and theories like “Jesse James Killed John Wilkes Booth by order of the Freemasons.”

9.   The U.S. is hiding the plane at Diego Garcia (AKA the Assphone Scenario)

This theory holds that either the plane was hijacked by agents of the U.S. government, then flown to the U.S. military base on the island of Diego Garcia, or the plane made an emergency landing at this base and was captured on arrival. 

 Here’s how it started: Shortly after the flight’s disappearance, a message and a photo were posted to 4chan by a man claiming to be a passenger. The message read, “I have been held hostage by unknown military personal after my flight was hijacked (blindfolded). I work for IBM and I have managed to hide my cellphone in my ass during the hijack. I have been separated from the rest of the passengers and I am in a cell. My name is Philip Wood. I think I have been drugged as well and cannot think clearly.”

The photo was just a black screen, but its Exif data identified the iPhone user, a time consistent with the plane’s last known movements, and GPS coordinates of a building on Diego Garcia.

Philip Wood, a 50-year-old IBM engineer living in Asia, actually was a passenger on the plane. Wood’s girlfriend, Sarah Bajc, has appeared on CNN and a few radio shows to air her belief that he and his fellow passengers are being held hostage at a secret facility. She hasn’t mentioned the Assphone message, but one has to wonder if she accepts it as genuine. I doubt that she does, because she seems like a smart lady.  And to accept the Assphone Scenario, one has to accept a shit-tonne of dodgy things:

  • that the abductors remembered to dose everybody with drugs, but forgot to confiscate phones from all of their super-secret hostages, on a military base that has wi-fi
  • that a successful, industrious adult man, caught in a situation that would make Jack Bauer twig out, decided not to email a loved one or post a message to Facebook or notify the FBI or send a message to his Congressman
  • instead, he chose 4chan, because credibility
  • he relied on 4chan for his salvation
  • srsly, people, fucking 4chan

8.   Accidental Shootdown and Cover-up (AKA the Whoops Scenario)

Whether Limbaugh really believed his shootdown theory or not is unclear. Let’s face it, most of the time he just says words on the air. If he believes his theory, then he thinks Malaysians accidentally shot down their own plane in blind panic.

Nigel Cawthorne has a different shootdown theory. His book Flight MH370: The Mystery, released in May, argues that a joint US-Thai fighter jet training drill accidentally shot down the plane. Fearing an international incident (or maybe just epic embarrassment), Thailand and the U.S. collaborated on a cover-up that would put Charles Widmore to shame.

Cawthorne is a freelance journalist and prolific author. His specialties are the sexual peccadilloes of English gentlemen and Hollywood starlets, historical military battles, ’60s celebrities, and true crime. His titles include The Mammoth Book of Football Hooligans and Takin’ Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner. A review of Flight MH370: The Mystery by David Free of The Australian might confirm your suspicions about Cawthorne’s level of expertise in this area. The book contains many typos, factoids, and speculative scenarios, but no new evidence that would support the War Games/Whoops scenario.

7.   Black Hole, Wormhole, Portal from Donnie Darko

A poll posted on CNN‘s website reported that 9% of respondents thought it was either very or somewhat likely that the plane was abducted by aliens, “time travelers or beings from another dimension.” To date, CNN has not conducted a poll to determine how many people like to screw with CNN polls.

The notion that a “miniature” black hole swallowed the plane shouldn’t have gone anywhere, but CNN Newsroom host Don Lemon briefly entertained it on-air. Panelist Mary Schiavo gently informed him that black holes don’t work like that.

If it seems unbelievable that anyone could believe time travel made a jet vanish, keep in mind that people still buy into the Philadelphia Experiment and Montauk Project hoaxes.

6.   Reptilians or Whatever

Alexandra Bruce, a conspiracy writer who specializes in stories about reptoid aliens and New Age flim-flam, became the first person to throw out the obligatory “ALIENS” theory. Her evidence consisted of a YouTube video of a computer simulation of the plane departing from Kuala Lumpur,  in which the simulated plane seems to vanish in the presence of an aircraft Bruce identifies as a UFO.  Boston.com journalist Jack Pickell, in his own rundown of silly Flight 370 theories, pointed out that the “UFO” was clearly marked as Korean Airlines Flight 672.

5.   Predictive Programming

“Predictive programming”, which I have written about here and at Leaving Alex Jonestown, is the profoundly dumb notion that the baddies who run everything can’t do terrible things to us without asking our permission first (a common theme in the folklore of vampires, demons, and other supernatural entities). But they can’t just ask, “Mind if we kill several hundred of you today?”, so they resort to seeding clues about their plans into episodes of The Simpsons. As reported by the Independent, predictive programming experts agree that the 2012 Pitbull/Shakira song “Get It Started” betrays prior knowledge of Flight 370’s disappearance, containing lines such as, “Now it’s off to Malaysia” and “Two passports, three cities, two countries, one day.” The lyrics “No Ali, No Frazier, but for now off to Malaysia” refer to the shady character known as Mr. Ali (no word yet on who the hell Frazier is), and the “two passports” are clearly a reference to the stolen Austrian and Italian ones Mr. Ali provided to two mystery passengers. The song also mentions Times Square, Tom Cruise, and Manila. I think this means that Tom Cruise is going to marry a Filipino ladyboy on New Year’s Eve.

No fewer than eight people share the writing credits for “Get It Started.” In addition to making me fearful about the future of pop music in general, this makes me doubtful that the Illuminati was involved. I could see letting Shakira in on a secret plan to kidnap a planeful of people – she could never become an effective whistleblower, because people are so busy staring at her that they rarely hear a word she’s saying. But seven other people? That’s just silly. Besides, if Morrissey didn’t predict MH370, then no one did.

4.   A Scary-Ass Machine or Something

Mike “Health Ranger” Adams, who was recently featured on Dr. Oz’s TV show, ponders the fate of the plane in this article at his Natural News site. He dismisses the conventional explanations,  one by one, before telling us that an “entirely new, mysterious and powerful” weapon can make airplanes vanish without trace.  Whoever controls this Aircraft-Disappearing Machine clearly has the capability to dominate the whole planet. Elsewhere on his website, however, Adams opines that a rogue nation has commandeered the plane and will soon be using it as a “stealth nuclear weapon.”

langoliers

Maybe it was these guys.

3.    China

This theory, first proposed by Reddit user Dark_Spectre, also revolves around Philip Wood, who was an IBM Technical Storage Executive for Malaysia. Since IBM was one of the companies implicated by Edward Snowden as helping the NSA spy on China, maybe the Chinese hijacked the flight to abduct and interrogate Wood. And maybe the U.S. found out about it, located the plane, and killed all the passengers to prevent the Chinese from learning anything. Or maybe, in bloody retaliation for NSA algorithms, China patiently waited nearly a year after Snowden’s IBM revelations to off Philip Wood in a manner that looks totally accidental. Makes sense.

Eric-Snowden1

Fail.

2.    Israel

Israel framed Iran. Without actually framing Iran. Yoichi Shimatsu aired this theory during an interview with conspiranoid radio host Jeff Rense (below). Citing alleged eyewitness reports from anonymous sources, “Jews did 9/11” researcher Christopher Bollyn reported that a lookalike of MH370 is being stored in a hangar at Tel Aviv Airport, possibly for use in a future false flag attack by Israel.

1.    Distraction

No matter what you talk about, some dickhole is going to inform you that there’s something more important to talk about. In Conspiracyland, this is taken to the nth extreme, creating elaborate Russian nesting dolls of derp. For example, after mentally disturbed mother Miriam Carey was gunned down for driving through a barricade in D.C., Jones declared that her death was simply a distraction from the government shutdown, while the shutdown was “political theater billed as a government shutdown”, while the political theatre was just globalists reinforcing a false left/right paradigm. Is everything a distraction? Just where do distractions stop and real events begin, guy?

In the case of Flight 370, people opined that it was a distraction from the Ukraine, One of these people was David Hawkins, of the aforementioned Abel Danger website.

Technically, everything on this planet distracts you from something else on this planet. No one has to deliberately engineer distractions in an age of commercial-free television, beer pong, and breastaurants.

Perhaps we shouldn’t judge any of these wonky theories too harshly, though. Reporter and CNN commentator Jeff Wise has candidly admitted in a piece for Canada’s National Post that he poured feverish enthusiasm and plenty of money into pursuing a theory that turned out to be flat-out wrong. Unlike a lot of the other MH370 armchair detectives, who will defend their discredited theories to the death, Wise has admitted his error, and he explains just how easy it is to fill in the blanks or craft wildly imaginative scenarios when there are so many unanswered questions, so many red herrings, so many unknowns.
Like Flight 19, Flight 370 seems destined to become one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time…and that means we’ll be seeing scores more wacky theories in years to come.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Satan, Satan Everywhere

Think Satanic panic disappeared along with Geraldo and acid-washed jeans? Well, not quite. Welcome to the world of Jordanian Satanists conducting ceremonies in college bathrooms, panty-stealing gremlins, demonic mermaids – and the deeply misguided authorities who persecute them. 

Satan Is Real

 

  • We’ll get to Satan, but first: Yet another alien body has surfaced, this time in China. In what appears to be the Eastern version of the Dr. Reed Microwave Burrito Alien hoax, a man identified only as Li claims he witnessed a UFO crash near his home on the Yellow River in Binzhou, Shangdong province, on a night in March. The next day, checking his electric rabbit traps, he found the remains of a lightly fried entity roughly four feet tall, with pebbly white skin, a bulbous head, and what appears to be female genitalia. Li took the alien lady home and stowed her in his freezer, where local police officers made a landmark scientific discovery: Somewhere in the cosmos, there exists an alien race made entirely out of rubber.
  • Since 2011, four women have filed lawsuits against Mark Schwartz, founder of the Castlewood Treatment Center for eating disorders in Ballwood, Missouri. The former patients allege that in the course of treatment Schwartz and his partner, Lori Galperin, persuaded them to “recover” (false) memories of Satanic ritual abuse, cannibalism, and even murder. Schwartz has stepped down as the director of Castlewood.
    This is practically an instant replay of a case that erupted over 15 years ago in Chicago. In the mid-’90s, Dr. Bennett Braun was sued by several former patients after he and members of his staff at the Dissociative Disorders Unit of Rush Presbyterian Hospital convinced the women they were recovering repressed memories of belonging to abusive, powerful Satanic cults. Though Braun and his colleagues were trained and licensed medical professionals, their methods weren’t much better than those of the bizarre faux-psychotherapy cult of Okie pastor Doug Riggs, and the outcomes were identical: Dozens of people came to believe their loved ones were actually demented Devil worshipers who had enslaved them through a combination of ritualistic abuse and sophisticated mind control programming.
    I’ll be posting about the Schwartz and Braun cases at Speak of the Devil in the near future, because there’s far too much weirdness there for a mere roundup.
  • Also in the ritual abuse category, a Dutch woman named Toos Nijenhuis has declared that child sacrifices are taking place in Holland. She recently told a group of independent researchers that a sinister international cabal, which includes such prominent members as Prince Bernhard of Holland and British royals, has been ritualistically abusing and experimenting upon children for some arcane purpose. Nijenhuis led the researchers to a rural forest near Zwolle where she claims ritual child sacrifices have been committed as recently as November of 2010. Her claims are virtually identical to those made by some of the former witches and Satanists I wrote about in the Prodigal Witch series, particularly Arizona Wilder (who has retracted her claims about a clan of Satanic lizard-people ruling the planet) and alleged Illuminati slave Cisco Wheeler. The Canadian-based citizens’ group called the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) and allied organizations plan to investigate Ms. Nijenhuis’ allegations and possibly issue  “court summonses” to the royals and high-level clerics she has named.
  • In Etwatwa, South Africa, a 14-year-old boy stands accused of murdering four members of his family with an ax. Police have reportedly called in an occult expert to determine if the boy was connected to Satanism or Satanists, but no link has been discovered so far. That hasn’t stopped neighbours and South Africans in general from declaring the murders a Satanic ritual sacrifice, as shown in the video report below and in this tabloid article, which cites a detailed confession allegedly given by the boy. The boy’s family, on the other hand, seems to think drugs were involved.
  • Many reports out of Africa draw parallels between the Etwatwa ax murders and the “Satanic” stabbing murder of schoolgirl Keamogetswe Sefularo in March, which brought up memories of the “Satanic burning” of teenager Kirsty Theologo two years ago. Two 18-year-old boys were convicted of Kirsty’s murder last March, sentenced to 17 years each.
  • Also in Africa, a 2-year-old Northern Cape girl drowned in late May after she was allegedly pushed into a dam by a female 12-year-old cousin who reportedly had a history of doing the same thing to other young children. Family members promptly blamed Satanism, telling the press the girl was possessed and “doing the Devil’s work”. Before they start shopping for an exorcist, they should perhaps ptry adopting some appropriate water safety and child supervision practices.
  • Parts of Zimbabwe have been aflame with Satanic panic in the past year. In Bulawayo’s suburban Cowdray Park last October, a teen girl confessed to participating in 16 murders committed by a neighbourhood cult of Satanists, causing deep rifts and panic in the community. Around the same time, at least three schools in the country were closed after students were stricken with bizarre symptoms they attributed to Satanic spells. Then there are the evil mermaids. Last March, Zimbabwe Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo told a senate oversight committee that mermaids had been terrifying workers at reservoirs in Mutare, Gokwe, and Manicaland, causing them to flee their work and refuse to return. Many Zimbabweans consider mermaids to be demonic creatures, and a man named Justice Manyonga even claims to have been held captive by them for two years. To remedy the mermaid infestation, Nkomo summoned traditional chiefs to perform exorcisms at the Gokwe and Mutare dams.
    In Gokwe, Underpants Gnomes made an appearance around the same time. A 62-year-old man declared that a rash of missing ladies’ undergarments in his neighbourhood was caused by a panty-stealing goblin he had somehow acquired years earlier. Incredibly, this is not the most bizarre goblin story to come out of Zimbabwe in the past year. In January of this year, an explosion in Chitungwiza, Zumbabwe, killed 5 people in a single house. The home was owned by a traditional healer, and he claimed the explosion occurred because he was attempting to behead a goblin on behalf of a client. Just like the owner of the Underpants Gnome, this guy says he bought a goblin to help bring himself good luck and prosperity, but it ended up being a major PITA. So if you buy a goblin through Kijiji or Craigslist, make sure you get a warranty on that sucker.
  • In March, five students at Al al-Bayt university in Mafraq, Jordan, were accused of burning pages from the Koran as part of a supposed Devil-worship ritual conducted in a campus bathroom. They were promptly arrested for desecrating the Koran, but no charges were filed against them, prompting Human Rights Watch to call for their release. This resulted in immediate charges against  the students. They were tried before a military tribunal in May and acquitted of all charges, but the incident caused tremendous strife and distress throughout Jordan, with extremists demanding the students be lynched and others bewailing the lack of freedom of religious expression in a country that has been presented to the world as relatively open and progressive.

merman

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Extra-Stoopid Edition

satanfarts

It’s good to be back. My ThinkPad finally succumbed to a series of long-term ailments two weeks ago (Hans has a computer, but can’t type with cloven hoofs. I think he just uses it for porn). I’ve now replaced it.
So. On with the weirdness.

  • Folks love a good feral child story. Probably because feral child stories combine three of the things we want most in our Pixar films hard-hitting news coverage: Kids, the triumph of the human spirit, and cute fluffy animals. Sadly, some of these stories are ridiculously bogus. Amala and Kamala, the Bengalese girls raised by wolves, were actually urchins “rescued” by a minister who wanted to promote his missionary work (the famous photos of the wolf-girls walking on all fours were taken years after they died, using stand-ins). Misha Defonseca, the Belgian Holocaust survivor adopted by wolves at the age of 8, wasn’t even Jewish and spent the duration of the war safely ensconced in her grandpa’s house.
    Now we have Marina Chapman, a British national who claims in a new memoir that she was reared by monkeys in Colombia. She clambers up trees, makes monkey noises, and says it’s quite comfortable to scoot around on all fours. Supposedly, Marina was abducted from her family by two men around 1954, when she was 4 or 5 years old. One of them chloroformed her as she played in her yard, and she was taken to a remote area somewhere near the Venezuela-Colombia border. Then her kidnappers simply dumped her in the rainforest for no obvious reason, never to return.
    Marina says she gradually came to be accepted – even loved – by a troop of Capuchin monkeys, and survived by mimicking their behaviour and scooping up their dropped bananas. The monkeys groomed her and led her to water when she was sick, but the relationship Marina describes strikes me as one of tolerance rather than affection.
    Marina says she was rescued by hunters around age 9, only to be sold into sexual slavery in exchange for a parrot. She ran away from the brothel to become a street kid in Cúcuta, stealing food until she was saved again, this time by a family of “notorious” gangsters that treated her like a household slave. Finally, she was adopted by a decent family that migrated to England in the late ’70s. Marina settled down and raised a large family while working as a chef at the National Media Museum in Bradford.
    At this point, no one knows exactly who the hell Marina Chapman is. She says she can’t remember her name, or where she lived prior to the age of 4. She doesn’t recall her birth family at all, in fact. Her daughter Vanessa, who helped her write the memoir, hopes someone in Venezuela or Colombia will step forward to identify her.
    Aside from the obvious parallels with the wolf-girl hoaxes, there are a few other reasons to question Marina’s story. First of all, her memoir reads like a serial melodrama from the early 1900s. It’s The Perils of Pauline meets Tarzan, with absurdly evil villains lurking around every corner, scheming to trap the innocent monkey-girl. Secondly, Marina claims she totally lost the ability to speak Spanish during her time in the jungle, yet regained it with ease some 6 years later. How likely is it that Marina basically learned to speak for the first time as a pre-adolescent, without assistance? She would be the first feral kid to pull that off. Thirdly, she recalls the details of her abduction remarkably well…but she can’t remember a single thing about the family she left behind on the very same day? This whole thing smells.
    And speaking of smells…
  • The city of Quincy, Massachusetts is experiencing some rather weird shit. Perhaps literally. For the past several weeks, citizens have been complaining of sulfurous, noxious odours wafting through town, and at night they’re observing overflights of a mysterious plane they can’t quite identify. Theories range from ZOMG ALIENS to ZOMG CHEMTRAILS, though there doesn’t seem to be any direct link between the stink and the annoying plane. Also, the Patriot Ledger reported last week that the stench is probably coming from a malodorous brown algae, Pilayella littoralis.
  • If massive, non-human primates were roaming populated areas everywhere from Arizona to upstate New York, we would be finding copious signs of their existence; bones, poop, furballs, etc. But it seems Bigfoot only leave behind Blair Witch-style craft projects and magically vanishing corpses. About a week ago, a Bigfoot was supposedly shot and killed by an unnamed turkey hunter somewhere near Altoona, Pennsylvania, as overheard by a ham radio operator known only as Daniel C. This happened scarcely two weeks after the release of Shooting Bigfoot, a documentary about a 2012 Bigfoot murder in Texas. It includes footage of Rick Dyer luring a Sasquatch with some ribs, then shooting it (the Bigfoot stumbles off, fatally wounded, and is never seen again). Before that, in 2010, there was a double Bigfoot murder called the “Sierra Kills”. That incident produced a “Bigfoot steak” that may or may not have been examined by Dr. Melba Ketchum as part of her bizarro Sasquatch DNA study, but the bodies themselves were never recovered. And no one has presented the Pennsylvania Bigfoot yet, either.
  • Alex Jones thinks a magical government weather machine may have caused the tornado that ripped through an Oklahoma City suburb, killing dozens and leaving hundreds homeless and injured. Jones hasn’t seen this mechanism, he can’t even begin to explain how it might function, and he didn’t produce the name of a single scientist or agency involved with its development. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
    Looks like the Godlike Productions Forum guys have it all figured out, though…it was a HAARP tornado whipped up to distract us from government scandals. If so, it was kind of a bonehead move; the tornado itself is creating government scandals.
    Pat Robertson doesn’t know what caused the tornado, but he still says prayer can alter storm systems  if enough people join in. He doesn’t seem to realize what he’s revealing about himself, here. If he truly buys into this prayer-based weather manipulation deal, then he should park himself in front of the Weather Channel every single day and go on the air to tell his viewers to start praying for certain areas. The 700 Club has roughly 1 million viewers per day in the U.S. alone, and if half of them prayed under Robertson’s direction, he could theoretically prevent any tragedy from occurring ever again. Instead, he waits for a storm to hit and then gets all Dr. Brule on us, like, “Why didn’t you think of that, dum-dum?” From this we can infer one of two things: Pat Robertson is lazy, or he just doesn’t give a crap.
    Either way, he’s being a total dick.

The Boy from La Noria

The Secrets of the Atacama Humanoid Human

As described in my last post, ufologist Dr. Steven Greer announced last summer that he had gained access to the tiny body then known as the Atacama Humanoid or the Atacama Alien, discovered around 2003 in the desert sands of Chile. It is a seemingly human skeleton with an elongated and peculiar skull, not much longer than a pencil, yet remarkably well-proportioned. Strangely, it has only ten ribs and what appears to be a tooth. Greer said that two top scientists – a geneticist and a foremost expert on skeletal abnormalities – were analyzing the creature, and promised the results would be made known to the world in the documentary Sirius. The film was screened earlier this week in Los Angeles, to wildly mixed reviews.

“In the end, no halfway intelligent person will be swayed by this film.” – Bad UFOs

“I got the feeling that it should be called Greer Movie instead of Sirius.” – Before It’s News

“The tag line for this film is…’It’s time you know’. To be honest you can keep it to yourselves. ” – Troll2Rocks

Did I say the reviews were mixed? Yeah, they weren’t. It was terrible. Everybody hated it. And yes, you read that correctly – a Troll 2 fan thinks Sirius is awful.

But we did get what Greer promised: The long-awaited findings of the two American scientists who analyzed the Atacama Humanoid. We now know they were Dr. Garry Nolan and Dr. Ralph Lachman. Nolan is a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, and Lachman is a pediatric radiologist specializing in the study of skeletal dysplasia (“dwarfism”).
After studying DNA samples and images of the body for over half a year, what do these esteemed medical professionals have to say about it?

Welp, it’s not a monkey. Or an ape. Or an alien. Or a human-alien hybrid. It’s a six- to eight-year-old child that could fit in the palm of your palm. Think about that for a minute. If it’s not blowing your mind yet, think about it some more. I’ll wait.

The body is evidently not – as a I originally suspected – a Piltdown Man or a Nondescript, stitched or glued together from parts of different species for the amusement of some trickster. Greer’s team extracted a DNA sample from the body by surgically dissecting two of its ten ribs. These samples contained bone marrow material. DNA analysis conducted by Nolan (which is ongoing) shows the tiny being is a male human child, probably born to an indigenous Chilean woman. Though its age is difficult to estimate, Nolan guesses it was  born sometime in the last one hundred years. According to Nolan, “Obviously, it was breathing, it was eating, it was metabolizing. It calls into question how big the thing might have been when it was born.” You can read a preliminary summary of his and Lachman’s findings here.
Working with X-ray and CAT scan images, Lachman found that the skeleton’s bone density and epiphyseal plates were those of a small child, approximately six to eight years of age, rather than a foetus. As you’ll see, not everyone agrees with his conclusions.

Atacama Human

Bizarrely, Greer states early in the film that the body is extraterrestrial, only to be contradicted later on by his own experts, and his report on the skeleton contains weird references to Martian obelisks and DNA that is 10 billion years old. He still refers to the skeleton as humanoid, and plans to talk more about it at this year’s Mutual UFO Network symposium. If someone can figure out WTF Greer thinks he’s doing, let me know.

At this point, we know very little about the boy found in the desert. His body was unearthed by a treasure-hunter in the autumn of 2003. If the account of his discovery is accurate, it seems the boy was given a crude burial beside the Catholic church in the long-abandoned mining town of La Noria, in northern Chile’s Atacama desert. This is a desolate place, once home to one of Chile’s many saltpeter mining operations but now known only as a literal ghost town with a spectacularly creepy cemetery. Eschewing a coffin, someone had wrapped the body in a piece of white cloth, bound it with some purple ribbon, and interred it in a shallow grave near the church.

Was the child considered a demon? A curse? A portent of disaster? Stories of “monstrous” human infants, like the legendary Hull House devil baby that terrified Catholics in pre-WWI Chicago, continue to be told even today – so it seems quite likely that devout Catholics in a remote desert town would have been petrified (and perhaps mesmerized) by the birth of a baby that would make Tom Thumb look like a  giant. They may have kept the child’s existence a secret, out of shame and fear. It’s even possible the boy was never known to the world beyond his immediate family, or perhaps nuns entrusted with his care. To date, no contemporary reports of a tiny child born in Chile have surfaced. One has to wonder what his brief, astonishing life and untimely death were like. Was he baptized? Was he loved? Did the skull fracture observed by the doctors have something to do with his death? Did a weeping mother kneel beside his grave? As the last residents of La Noria drove away in the 1950s, did they gaze back through the swirls of dust at the little Catholic church and whisper a goodbye to the boy they had never known, but always heard about?

After his discovery in 2003, the “horrible dwarf extraterrestrial” was briefly spotlighted in Chile’s tabloid media. Thereafter, he was passed from hand to hand like a carnival sideshow exhibit, finally ending up in the possession of a Barcelona “exobiologist” named Ramón Navia-Osorio. He was treated much more like a collectible curiosity than a scientific specimen, but Navia-Osorio did persuade several scientists to render their opinions on the body. According to an article at the UFO site Open Minds, three physicians X-rayed it and determined it was a complete human skeleton, rather than an assemblage of parts. Dr. Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, a professor of legal and forensic medicine at Basque Country University and a specialist in forensic anthropology at Madrid’s Complutense University, declared the body to be that of a mummified human foetus, approximately fifteen weeks old.

Greer, on the other hand, decided he was an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity and commissioned Lachman and Nolan to examine him. If the boy had been considered merely a human oddity rather than a possible EBE, it is doubtful he would have regained any degree of attention. I certainly hope that once the alien nonsense fades away, other scientists will examine him and tell us much more about him. They should be able to resolve the disparities between Dr. Etxeberria’s report and the Lachman/Nolan findings.

I have only one thing to ask of you. Don’t think of the Atacama skeleton as just another alien hoax, or yet another black mark against Steven Greer, or the over-hyped hook for some goofy documentary. Think of him as the little boy from La Noria.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Steven Greer’s alien + lots of other fake dead aliens

srsly

On April 22, Amardeep Kaleka‘s documentary Sirius will premiere in L.A. Though the film is mostly about magical alien energy sources, like Thrive, the highlight will undoubtedly be the tiny alien body that Dr. Steven Greer has been studying for more than a year. (Update: You can read more about that here. )

Greer’s alien was discovered by a treasure-hunter back in 2003, in the ghost town of La Noria in Chile’s Atacama desert (interestingly, a place considered similar to the Martian surface). The dessicated little skeleton, which is no longer than a pen yet has perfect proportions, was found buried  in a ribbon-tied bit of cloth near La Noria’s Catholic church. It had well-formed teeth, nine ribs, and a strangely elongated skull. The tabloids in Chile joked about a “horrible dwarf extraterrestrial”, but no serious interest was shown in the “Atacama humanoid”. It changed hands a few times, eventually ending up in Spain.
That’s where it came to the attention of Dr. Greer, an American ufologist best-known for founding the Disclosure Project. He probably heard about the humanoid during the Exopolitical Symposium held near Barcelona in 2009 (he was a presenter). Last year, he announced that his Center for the Study of ET Intelligence had gained access to the body, and would need funding to carry out scientific tests. He released a single photo and an X-ray of the “humanoid”, failing to mention it had already been in the Chilean tabloid press nine years earlier. In late October, he announced the body had been examined by “experts” using X-rays and CT scans, but still wouldn’t release more photos or give the names of the scientists working with him. For a disclosure advocate, Greer doesn’t like to disclose much. He would only say that “one of the world’s top geneticists” was studying DNA samples from the alien, and the “world’s foremost authority on skeletal abnormalities” had pronounced the skeleton non-human.

Atacama Humanoid

The Atacama alien

Steven Greer has a – how shall I put this? – rather checkered history in the field of UFO studies. He has promised big things before, with no payoff:

  • Throughout the ’90s, he claimed the ability to summon and communicate with UFOs using lights, lasers, and mental telepathy.
  • In 2008, the Orion Project announced it was developing a free energy device. Delay after delay pushed its unveiling all the way to the spring of 2010, when the Orion Project declared the work could not continue until their funding needs were met (a mere $3 million or so). Greer repeatedly insisted the device was already functional, yet it has still not been revealed.
  • In 2009, he practically guaranteed that the Obama administration would give full disclosure about UFOs and ETs by the end of 2010. (video)

Greer claims the secrets of aliens, free energy, and antigravity spacecraft are being kept from the public by a massive conspiracy possibly known as PI-40, comprised of Freemasons, Bilderbergers, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and…uh…Mormons. He says most of his associates, including Eugene Mallove, were murdered because they came too close to the truth about aliens – just like Marilyn Monroe and former CIA director William Colby. He also thinks the government has possessed the capability to induce cancer from a distance since the 1950s.

You would think the Atacama humanoid results would be big, big news in the world of ufology, but skepticism and disinterest remain high. I’m guessing this is partly because of Greer’s track record, partly because he won’t even release the names of these world-renowned scientists, and partly because we’ve been through all this before. Since the ’50s, we have been subjected to a veritable parade of alien fetuses, alien autopsies, alien skeletons and alien skulls – nearly all of which turned out to be terrestrial. Let’s take a quick look at some of the alien corpses of years past. Be warned that a few of the photos are kinda gross.

1953: Spaceman hit by a truck

georgia monkey

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a bald monkey.

Three young men in Georgia reported to police that they had struck what appeared to be a 2″-tall space creature with a pickup (the alien’s two companions had managed to escape in their flying saucer). A local vet confirmed the round-eyed, jug-eared being was no animal known to mankind, but Emory University anatomists who studied the body disagreed: The Georgia alien was a shaved Capuchin monkey with its tail removed. The three men confessed to staging the hoax to get into the local paper. Today, the spacemonkey is displayed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation museum. (read more at The Museum of Hoaxes)

1979: Puerto Rico’s baby Conehead

Puerto Rico Alien

Consume mass quantities.

As one version of the story goes, two teenage boys exploring a cave near Cerro Las Tetas stumbled upon a whole colony of aliens, and bludgeoned one of the creatures to death in their panic. The pickled alien was revealed to the world by ufologist Jorge Martin later that year. It was never subjected to thorough scientific examination, however, and its current whereabouts are unknown. Señor Martin has since moved on to other dead aliens that are definitely fake. (read more at the Forgetomori blog)

1995: American alien autopsy

alien autopsy

His name was Bob.

Supposedly a film of doctors conducting a peculiar autopsy on an alien killed in the Roswell crash of 1947, the film turned out to be precisely what it looks like: A hoax utilizing rubber aliens, animal parts, and raspberry jam. The owner of the footage confessed to fakery, but stubbornly insists it was a “recreation” of genuine Roswell autopsy footage that is too damaged to be shown.

1996: Dr. Reed’s alien, AKA the Screaming Alien or the Microwave Burrito Alien

Burrito Alien

Protip: Fake aliens always look more real if you stick ’em on a space blanket.

You could probably compose several novels, an entire History Channel series, and an opera out of the hilariously dumb saga that is the “Dr. Reed” hoax, in which a Seattle psychologist enthralled Coast to Coast AM listeners with his tale of encountering a landed triangular spacecraft in the Cascades, watching a very fast alien vaporize his dog, then capturing the alien and stuffing it into his freezer. The alien wasn’t quite dead yet, however, and let out a horrifying shriek when Reed opened the freezer. Reed claimed the body was stolen by government agents who continued to stalk and menace him (though they somehow forgot to confiscate his photos of the UFO and the frozen alien).
“Dr. Jonathan Reed” was soon exposed as Seattle gas station attendant John Rutter. Incredibly, Rutter still insists his alien story is essentially true, and has made many fantastical additions to it over the years, including the discovery of an alien bracelet that either allows him to teleport (skip to the 7:00 mark) or just sit on a couch in a Mexican TV studio. (read more at UFO Watchdog)

1999: The Starchild skull

starchild skull

In 1999, American novelist Lloyd Pye purchased what is probably the skull of a hydrocephalic child. But he’s pretty damn sure it’s an alien-human hybrid, and won’t stop talking about it.

2005: Yugoslavian alien autopsy

Yugoslav alien

I prefer them medium rare.

Basically the same as the American autopsy footage, this film was said to have been taken in the former Yugoslavia in 1966. In photos sent to UFO Casebook by one “Ivan Kremer”, doctors are shown examining the charred corpse of an alien, supposedly recovered from a crashed UFO in the village of Otocek. Italian skeptic Andrea Zoboli later took credit for the hoax, citing the American alien autopsy as his inspiration.

2006: alien in a jar

attic alien

Antiques Roadshow estimate: $3.50

During renovation of a cottage in Gunthorp, workers found a jar containing what appeared to be (and was) a realistic alien model made from clay. Who put the alien model in Barney Broom’s attic, and why, remains a mystery. (read more at the BBC)

2008: Russian alien autopsy

Russian alien autopsy

Might be Joan Rivers. Somebody check.

The makers of this film were quite innovative. They opted for colour instead of black and white, chose a small alien dummy rather than a child-sized dummy, and zoomed in on the alien instead of standing ten feet away. The film even includes footage of Russian soldiers surrounding a crashed UFO that looks about as real as Tara Reid’s breasts. B for effort, guys.
This is not to be confused with a  “KGB” film that shows unmasked doctors hovering over random bits and pieces of an alien (judging by the hair on the lady doctor, this one was shot in the ’80s or early ’90s).

2011: Siberian alien and Russian refrigerator alien

Siberia alien

finger lickin’ good

The Siberian alien was probably the biggest dead alien story to hit the news since the American autopsy. Media outlets around the world carried stories of the cell phone video shot and posted to YouTube by anonymous teens, showing a pitifully one-legged alien entity sprawled in the snow. The Kremlin actually launched an investigation, and within hours an “alien” made out of old bread and chicken skin was found in the home of one of the kids in the video. Two boys confessed to creating it.
A few months later, Marta Yegorovnam of Petrozavodsk produced photos of a plastic-wrapped alien corpse she had been storing in her fridge for two years. It looked somewhat like the lovechild of Jabba the Hut and Kermit the Frog. Sadly, no one ever had the chance to examine Ms. Yegorovnam’s disgusting leftovers, because she surrendered them to the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Academy disclaimed any knowledge of the fridge alien. (read more at the Daily Mail, which was one of the few mainstream media outlets to bother with this)

Russian fridge alien

C’mon, lady.
At least put it in the crisper.

Date unknown: Roswell alien that looks suspiciously like the masks from the movie Brazil

roswell alien  brazil

No “Leap of Faith”

didnotjump

Peter Gersten, the UFO disclosure activist who pledged to pitch himself from the top of Bell Rock in Sedona yesterday, confident that an interdimensional portal would open up and swallow him before he hit the ground, apparently didn’t jump. He showed up at Bell Rock on schedule, but told authorities and reporters he would jump only if the portal appeared. Since I haven’t seen any “ZOMG GIANT PORTAL” stories online today, I’m going to assume Mr. Gersten simply went home to wait for the next hippie doomsday.

“Have you ever seen a portal?”

Have the happiest holidays ever, and we’ll see you in the new year, if Hans can avoid getting baked for someone’s Christmas dinner.

The Prodigal Witch Part XVII: More Illuminati Defectors

So far in this series, we have seen two people who claimed they were born into the Illuminati (John Todd, Doc Marquis), two women who claimed they were enslaved by the Illuminati (Cisco Wheeler, Arizona Wilder), one guy who says he joined the Illuminati of his own free will (BIll Schnoebelen), and another guy who hints he had some dealings with the Illuminati (Mike Warnke). Their accounts differed, dramatically so in some cases, but they all agreed on one thing: The Illuminati is pure evil, and all its members worship Satan or Lucifer. These next two Illuminati defectors have used that same basic script, adding a few of their own twists.

Leo Zagami in 2008, being interviewed by Kerry Cassidy



Leo Zagami 

 
Leo Zagami is the first European in this series, the youngest person in this series, the first one to claim he has returned to the Illuminati to help reform it, and the first to establish his own religion. He surfaced online in 2006, on a now-defunct site called Illuminati Confessions, and quickly gained a small but devoted following in the conspiracy community. No one had stepped forward to take the place of Arizona Wilder after she went quiet in 2003, so Zagami was offering up the first brand-new revelations from an Illuminati insider in three years. By this time, Todd was confined to a psychiatric ward, Schnoebelen had moved on to talking about his vampirism, and the other defectors had been out of the Illuminati for at least a decade. 
 
I have to admit, I don’t have much love for this guy. He’s certainly not as despicable as convicted rapist John Todd, but he definitely lacks the hucksterish charm of Warnke and Schnoebelen.  I found much of what he had to say to be bigoted, hateful nonsense. This guy doesn’t like Jews, Catholics (though he used to be one), Muslims (though he used to be one), or occultists (though he supposedly used to be one). He basically says the Third Reich was a Jewish creation, set up for the sole purpose of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine. He says all Catholics are spies for the Vatican. He says Islam  is a Jesuit-created deception. He tells us the Vatican is riddled with high-level Muslim moles and Satanists.  (1)
Everything he has to say could have been gleaned from conspiracy paperbacks and a few websites; he has no startling revelations to offer, though he acts as if he’s dropping pearls of rare wisdom. Talking about demons, he tells us, “If you knew the reality what these entities were, you would not even touch them, you would just drove the other way.” (That’s another problem: His English is so dodgy that listening to his interviews or reading his website is an agonizing ordeal.)  (1)
Personal feelings aside, though, Zagami’s information simply doesn’t stand up to any amount of scrutiny. 
 
Leo’s Story
 
Unlike Marquis and Todd, Zagami wasn’t exactly born into the Illuminati. He claims, however, that some of his relatives were high-ranking members. This, combined with his aristocratic background, opened doors for him when he was in his early twenties. That’s when a family friend introduced him to Freemasonry, one of the most powerful branches of the Illuminati.
 
Zagami was born in Rome in 1970. His father, Elio Zagami, comes from an aristocratic Sicilian background (he is the son of the late Sicilian senator Leopoldo Zagami and the Marquisa di Gregorio). His mother, Jessica Lyon Young, is descended from European aristocracy. His maternal grandmother, the late bohemian novelist Anne Cumming (Felicity Mason), was a prominent member of the Illuminati. His maternal grandfather, writer Henry Lyon Young, was a first cousin of the Queen Mother.  (2)
“That means I’m technically a Sicilian Don and a Prince of the Sacred Roman Empire and a person protected by their own Vatican secret constitutions, so they can’t touch me,” Zagami once boasted to conspiranoid radio host Greg Szymanski. 
Zagami was raised as a Catholic, but introduced to the occult at an early age. His grandmother Mason gave him a copy of Aleister Crowley’s Book of Thoth when he was just 11 years old, and he often dipped into his father’s magical library.  (1)
In 1993, 23-year-old Leo was initiated into an irregular Masonic lodge. Between that initiation and his departure from the Illuminati in 2006, he was connected to a bewildering array of Masonic lodges (all irregular, with one exception), as well as the Ordo Templi Orientis, a few fraternal organizations, and some secret societies. Ultimately he became a member of something he calls the Committee of Monte Carlo, a Freemasonic lodge that serves not only as a hub for arms-dealing (Leo’s primary source of income at that time), but as a meeting place for “senior Masons” of various nationalities and traditions. It is also, of course, a front for the Illuminati. 
Zagami tells us that this Monte Carlo lodge was an offshoot of Propaganda Due, or P2, the infamous Italian lodge, and that he was groomed to take over the reigns of power from P2’s enigmatic “Puppet Master”, Licio Gelli. Thanks to his aristocratic background, he moved rapidly through the Freemasonic ranks to join the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree (a degree conferred only by the Scottish Rite Freemasons)
 
I have long been fascinated by Propaganda Due and the banking-related scandals that erupted around it in the ’80s. It’s a staggeringly complex web of fraud, murder, and blackmail that I can’t even begin to cover here, and much of what occurred remains a mystery. 
So you would expect this Zagami guy to offer up a lot of juicy, inside information about Gelli, P2’s inner workings, and the banking scandals, right? 
Then you’ll be disappointed. Wikipedia has more to say about Gelli than Leo Zagami does, and his brief recap of the scandals is P2 101. Seriously, you’ll learn more from listening to 5 minutes of Robert Anton Wilson than you will from listening to 5 hours of Zagami – and unfortunately, I did listen to 5 hours of Zagami. 
 
P2 effectively ceased to exist after its membership was exposed in 1981, and that occurred when Leo Zagami was about 11 years old. Are you telling me that one of the most powerful secret cabals in Italy was grooming a grade-school student to take over for the Puppet Master? Besides, Gelli already had a second-in-command, his business partner Umberto Ortoloni. 
 
Zagami’s mentor and “boss” within the Illuminati was the head of the Monte Carlo lodge. I thought Gelli was the head of this lodge? Well, never mind. That’s not the last contradiction you’ll see in this story. 
Leo made his money by dealing in weapons. He also worked as a club DJ and music producer, attracting fans all over the world. Somehow, he was also linked to NATO’s Operation Gladio. He went by several aliases. (2)
 
Zagami’s Illuminati isn’t headed by the Rothschilds, as most of the other Illuminati defectors in this series have stated, nor by Arizona Wilder’s horny French noble “Pindar”. And the Illuminati isn’t headquartered in California like John Todd, Mike Warnke, or Wilder would have you believe. No, this Illuminati is centred in Jerusalem and Rome. Zionists and the Vatican are at the top of the power pyramid. Jesuits (or as Zagami calls them, “Jesooites”), in particular, are very powerful within the Illuminati. The pope takes all his orders from the Jesuit General (in 2006, when Zagami first appeared on the conspiracy scene, this was Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, the “Vatican’s top Satanist”).  (3)
This Illuminati strongly resembles the one described by Bill Schnoebelen, a surreal mishmash of occultism and ritual magick, Catholicism, Freemasonry, and New Age beliefs. The Ordo Templi Orientis is part of the Illuminati, as are Opus Dei and the Rotary clubs. Zagami even claims there’s a real Priory of Sion, though it’s not the same one Dan Brown used in The Da Vinci Code.  (4)
Aleister Crowley’s 1904 revelations are extremely important to them. The closest thing the Illuminati has to scripture is Crowley’s Book of the Law, though the Bible and the Q’ran also play significant roles (as we have seen throughout this series, no one can seem to agree on the central texts used by the world’s Satanic elite). 
Zagami says the primary goal of the Illuminati is to usher in the endtimes and the earthly kingdom of God. But its members are also Satanists who outwardly adhere to the three main religions. So I guess that makes them….Christians pretending to be Satanists pretending to be Christians, Muslims, and Jews? And if that’s not complicated enough, we have Muslim cardinals pretending to be Catholic (yet Zagami points out that Islam forbids the practice of magic, and the Vatican is steeped in occult practices – how does that work?).
For centuries, the Jesuits and the Pope have been practicing magicians who know how to summon demons from other dimensions. Today, these demons masquerade as aliens. The elite want you to believe that UFOs and ETs are unknown phenomena, because they can’t admit they’re conjuring demons with the use of black magic rituals. (1)
Sometimes, demons manifest as Reptilians
 
Like Arizona Wilder, Zagami identifies the late pseudohistorian Zecharia Sitchin as a source of disinformation. His 2007 book The End of Days was written by order of the Vatican to distract people from the real aliens and the real endtimes preparations. 
The late Monsignor Caraddo Balducci, one of the few high-ranking Catholic clerics to express interest in UFOs, was really an Illuminati demonologist. When he declared that ETs are not demonic, he was lying. 
The Jesuits, too, are masters of disinformation. They invented Planet X and Nibiru, and they are behind much of the ersatz spirituality of the New Age movement. Meanwhile, they were eager to establish an observatory on Mount Graham despite Native American opposition because they know that demons dwell on top of that mountain, and they like to keep an eye on the sky for astrological purposes. You see, the Vatican’s demon-invoking rituals have to be conducted at precise times in order to be effective. 
Never mind that the Mount Graham Observatory is an international establishment, actually consisting of several different observatories maintained by different nations. The site was selected for its elevation and the low level of light pollution in the vicinity, as most observatory sites are. 
Zagami insists the Jesooites churn out disinfo to mask the reality of our situation: We are in the midst of a continuous war waged between good and evil, angels and demons. Um. Isn’t that precisely what the Catholic Church teaches? 
 
Muslims, too, know how to summon djinn and use them for their own purposes. Zagami tells a rambling story about one of his ex-wife’s relatives, an “uncle or granddad” who had a farm. Using secret codes from the Q’ran, this farmer was able to summon demons to do all his farm work for him. (1)
 
Zagami’s Illuminati differs from Bill Schnoebelen’s in many key aspects. Leo apparently didn’t have to have sex with a fallen angel or converse with the dead as part of his initiation process, and he wasn’t required to become a Catholic priest. He didn’t have to convince seven people to sell their souls. These are all steps that Schnoebelen identifies as essential for all high-ranking Illuminati members. After a certain stage of illumination is reached, the initiate has to decide between lycanthropy and vampirism. Zagami has nothing to say about vampires and werewolves at all, so I guess he skipped that step. 
This Illuminati also differs from John Todd’s version. Zagami has worked as a club DJ, yet he doesn’t have anything to say about the demonic evils of music, while Todd told churchgoers that each and every musical artist signed to a major label must sell his/her soul to the Devil, and described how Satanic rituals were used to implant demons into every master recording. Also, Todd stated that very few Illuminati members are Jewish, while Zagami says the entire organization is controlled by Jews and Catholics. Todd said the central scripture of Satanism is the fictitious Necronomicon; Zagami says it’s Crowley’s Book of the Law
 
Zagami doesn’t drop as many names as Arizona Wilder once did, but he’s not as close-mouthed as Doc Marquis. He identifies key members of the Ordo Templi Orientis as CIA-controlled Illuminists. In addition to the Jesuit General Kolvenbach, he names the late Alberto Moscato as a high-ranking member and 33rd degree Mason, in charge of all the O.T.O’s Satanic activities in Italy. The now-defunct political party Alleanza Nazionale was flush with Illuminati members. Giorgio Balestrieri, head of the Rotary Club in New York, was one of Zagami’s superiors. Zagami claims Balestrieri is a weapons dealer and a P2 member. (1)  Olympic athlete Jean-Pierre Giudicelli is a P2 member. Massimo Introvigne is a Satanist, and was present for a Black Mass held in the Vatican in 2000. (3) These are just of the names – some obscure, some well-known – that Zagami sprinkles into his interviews. 
 
A dramatic conversion…sort of
 
Zagami began to have differences of opinion with Opus Dei and the American faction of the Illuminati in 2003.  He knew that some of the demons being invoked by himself and his cohorts posed a threat to the rest of mankind, and wanted to put a stop to the rituals associated with them. The CIA-controlled American arm of the Illuminati would not be swayed. This was the beginning of his disenchantment with the occult practices of the Illuminati. 
According to Zagami, rifts and battles are common among the various Illuminati factions. For example, Opus Dei and the Jesuits are at odds, each struggling for control. He was aligned with the Opus Dei faction, which doesn’t practice black magic as enthusiastically as the Jesuit faction.
Zagami tried to distance himself from the Illuminati at this time, but was unable to extricate himself from it entirely. Instead, he fomented a small revolution within the ranks of the European Illuminati. (1)
 
In 2004, Zagami secretly established his own religion, Matrixism. Go ahead and guess what it’s based on. 
Given the heavy gnostic Christian overtones in that film, you’d think gnostic Christianity would be the natural choice for Zagami. But no. He’d rather make up a religion based on a freaking movie. I’m not really sure what this religion is all about, and frankly I don’t care. For all I know, you take some drugs, sit in a chair, and pretend to do Kung Fu. If you’re interested, its tenets are laid out on Zagami’s website
 
A year later,  Zagami married a Sufi and converted to Islam. He wished to “infiltrate the bloodline of Prophet Mohammed”, whatever the hell that means. (2)
But he was still a…what, exactly? A Catholic Satanist Matrixist? 
 
In June 2006, Zagami discovered that former Italian president Francesco Cossiga had ordered Giorgio Balestrieri to have him killed if he didn’t follow a specific set of orders. (2)
The previous month, his wife had a dream about Balestrieri working for the Antichrist. 
In July 2006, Zagami visited London and observed first-hand the Illuminati preparations for the staged attacks of 7/7. Being a loyal Illuminati member at that time, he didn’t alert anyone to what was happening.
On the day the attacks actually occurred, Zagami’s son (his second child) was born. These events led him to the realization that the Illuminati isn’t working for the betterment of mankind, and he finally decided to break away. He emerged as a “whistleblower” later that year. His former cohorts were displeased, of course, and for his own safety Zagami relocated to Norway with his family. This contradicts his boast about being untouchable because he was “protected by their own Vatican secret constitutions”.
His first English-language interview was given to Greg Syzmanski in October, 2006. 
His popularity was limited mostly to rabid anti-Zionists like Szymanski, Jeff Rense and Henry Makow (whom I’ve mentioned before on this blog), hateful bigots like “Unhived Mind” (a conspiracy blog that refers to Mitt Romney as “Fagmaster”), and ultra-credulous conspiranoids like the Project Camelot duo. 
Zagami’s new mission was to expose and interfere with the Illuminati to the greatest extent possible. He claims that his first counter-Illuminati actions led to his arrest and torture in Italy. 
 
In February of 2008, Zagami was interviewed in his Oslo home by Kerry Cassidy of Project Camelot. I’ve written about this wacky duo several times (here,for instance). Once, they declared that information from their sources indicated Earth would run out of oxygen in about three months (that was three years ago). 
Nothing in the Zagami interview inspires me to change my mind about their work. At one point, Cassidy interrupts Zagami’s rambling discourse about demonic aliens to ask, “Now you haven’t sold your soul, is that correct?”. 
Zagami displays to the camera a folder bulging with “official documentation” that can validate his various claims, but we don’t actually get to examine its contents. 
 
Zagami and his wife separated in the same month this interview was conducted, and Leo promptly ditched Islam. He now denounces it as a Jesooite-created sham. This is a theory heavily promoted by Jack Chick, a key figure in the Rebecca Brown hoax and the John Todd hoax.
On his website, Zagami writes that he is also “affiliated with people connected with the gnostic congregation in Oslo (Ecclesia Gnostica Norvegia)”. 
 
He was forced out of Norway in early 2008.
 
Now here’s where it gets confusing. In May 2008, after his separation from his wife and his departure from Islam, Zagami decided to rejoin the Illuminati – as a good guy this time. Now he “personally controls major parts of the Illuminati”, a faction he calls the Illuminati Resistance. It is supported, he claims, by a chivalric order known as the Knights Templar of the Apocalypse, with members recruited from the military, law enforcement, the FBI, and the CIA.  Zagami’s Resistance also has its own paramilitary security corporation, Green Lyons Security Team, consisting of “approximately 12,000 troops”. (2)  He’s starting to sound a lot like Benjamin Fulford. In fact, Fulford has played along with Zagami’s Illuminati stories, even though Freemasons are the good guys in his version of the Illuminati. Both men are enthusiastically supported by the batshit-crazy Henry Makow. 
Reminds me of the time bogus Holocaust survivors Lauren Stratford and Binjamin Wilkomirski met up and “recognized” one another. 
 
In 2009, with an Italian girlfriend, Zagami returned to Italy. Then the girlfriend ended  up betraying him in some crazy conspiracy, and in March 2009 he was confined to a mental asylum on the Isola Tiberina.
 
He remains a faithful Matrixist. In fact, he is now Neo Leo Lyon Zagami, the Prophet of Matrixism. He claims to have 16,000 followers. I’m not sure if 12,000 of them are also his employees or not. 
 
This year, Zagami published the first volume of a projected three-volume memoir (in Italian). 
 
In the four years since his re-entry into the Illuminati, Zagami has fallen out of favor with many of his fans in the conspiracy community. Greg Szymanski, who believes “the Illuminati is the Vatican and the Vatican is the Illuminati”, denounced Zagami as a Luciferian Jesuit propagandist after an eccentric anti-Jesuit crusader named Slats Grobnik told him that Zagami can’t possibly be a 33rd Degree Mason unless he possesses a copy of a “secret” book given only to high-level Masons, Albert Pike’s Moral and Dogma. Never mind that you can buy it on Amazon
Szymanski and Zagami seem to have buried the hatchet, however. 
Disenchanted Zagami fans and critics have embraced some interesting theories about who he really is. One fellow thinks he’s a Reptilian, and another seems to believe he’s actually Aussie comedian Steve Hughes. 
 
Back in 2007, Zagami warned that the Illuminati planned to “Nazify” the entire Western world by this year, persecuting all religious believers. Guess they’re a tad behind schedule.
 
More Deep Thoughts and astounding insights from Leo Zagami:
  • “Magic is the calculation of the arts, with peculiar calculations around the symbols, to evoke certain entities and have from them, if you want, certain gratifications.” (2008 Project Camelot interview)
  • “The president die, the president of the U.S., or no? Yes, he dies. One day, he will die. He can’t be mortal, okay? So he has to meet death. Well, for him to meet death without the approval of the pope, is to be basically scrubbed off the map. Because they themselves are relying on those blessings and that network to bring their power to their successors, to the people after them, and to the people after and after.” (Project Camelot interview)
  • “I also  know for a fact the Satanist and Nazi, [Pope] Benedict, has a 24-year-old gay lover and that Satanic worshipping does go on at the Vatican. Most recently, in May of 2000, a Black Mass was celebrated with Satanist Aleister Crowley’s follower William Breeze present, as as Satanists Alberto Moscato and Massimo Introvigne, who are intermediaries for the Jesuits.” (2006 Greg Szymanski article)
  • “The P2 and the Jesuits keep their privileges alive in Monte Carlo because they blackmail even the gay Prince Alberto II of Monte Carlo who had been doing orgies with two black gay men and one black woman at the same time not knowing there was a P2 Brother with a camera living next door. The woman actually had a son from the Prince because of one of these encounters, as some of you in the gossip field might remember.” (Szymanski article) Even if this was 100% true, would any of it really matter? Who cares what kind of orgies the dude has? 
  • “Wahabi or wahibi as you call them were created by the Zionists and their English friends who think they are the lost tribe of Israel as the same happened with Arafat and the so-called Muslim Brotherhood created by English intelligence.” (Syzmanski article) If you don’t know how to spell nor correctly pronounce “Wahhabi”, it’s safe to say you don’t know much about Wahhabism
  • “The reality of humanity’s existence now has changed for ever. Mr. Zagami’s arrival in Chicago on April 20 2008 a date chosen for its symbolic connotations, marks a watershed in the thus far unorganized grassroots resistance against the New World Order.” (Zagami’s website)
Why we probably shouldn’t take Zagami’s story at face value
  • He hasn’t provided much in the way of documentation, and what he does present is just silly. Take, for example, the ridiculous Masonic ID badge that he flaunts as proof of his Masonic affiliation.
  • We know very little of his background. Which schools did he attend? Does he have siblings, and are they supposedly part of the Illuminati, too? 
  • To be unkind for a moment, his physical appearance and demeanor are not those of someone from a privileged, aristocratic background. His English is poor, and his writing skills are minimal. He rarely waits for anyone to finish a sentence before continuing his circuitous, disjointed ramblings. Cosmetic dentistry has clearly never been a part of his life.
  • We don’t have a shred of evidence for the existence of his 12,000-strong paramilitary force. Not one photo. Not a single video. Nothing.
  • We have absolutely no evidence that he was involved in arms trafficking. His only known source of income was his work as a club DJ. 
  • His grasp of occult history is rather shallow. He can rattle off the names of famous magicians like Cagliostro and Crowley, but he doesn’t have much to say about them. Some things are just wrong. For instance, he states that L. Ron Hubbard joined the “Parsons lodge” (the O.T.O.’s Agape Lodge in Pasadena) after he established Scientology. In reality, Hubbard was briefly involved with Jack Parsons four years before Dianetics was introduced. You’d think an O.T.O. initiate would know this. He identifies the head of the American O.T.O. in 2001 as Lon Milo DuQuette. Since 1996, this position (national Grand Master General) has been held by Frater Sabazius X°. DuQuette is the Deputy Grand Master. 
  • Most of his “inside information” about the Illuminati is stuff that can be found in conspiracy literature. The rest is either unverifiable or nonsensical, like the Satanists posing as Muslims posing as Catholics. If the Illuminati really existed and really operated in this fashion, it would be a hot mess unworthy of our attention. 
He has had 6 years to provide solid proof of his involvement in high-level Freemasonry and arms trafficking, 4 years to provide solid proof that he is in command of a huge paramilitary force, and a whole lifetime to provide solid proof of his august lineage. He has not done so. 
 
If Zagami wasn’t a big-time weapons dealer and Illuminati kingpin, then what was he? 
Well, first of all, he wasn’t a real Freemason for very long. The website Masonic Info has examined some of his claims, and they have a page dedicated to calling bullshit on them. His Committee of Monte Carlo doesn’t seem to exist, P2 ceased to be an accepted lodge when he was still in kindergarten, and vanished completely when he was 11 years old. Zagami briefly belonged to only one regular lodge, Kirby Lodge 2818, and was ejected from it. This means that Zagami does not legitimately hold the title of 33rd Degree Mason. 
From this history, it’s clear that Zagami attempted to become a legit Mason, failed, then joined as many irregular lodges and traditions as he could. If he was an “untouchable” bloodline Illuminati member, groomed to take Licio Gelli’s position, why did he get kicked out of the only regular lodge to which he ever belonged? Shouldn’t his lodge brothers have quailed before his tremendous power? 
 
Furthermore, according to comments on a conspiracy forum, Zagami was ejected from the O.T.O. and the Order of Memphis and Misraim, as well. Nicholaj Frisvold has expressed regret for initiating Zagami into the Franco-Haitian order, and the Norwegian O.T.O. also gave him the boot. 
Again, if the O.T.O. is a branch of the Illuminati, and Leo Zagami is a powerful figure within the Illuminati, just how did he get kicked out of organizations that his people supposedly control? 
 
Zagami’s story is convincing to some people precisely because it is vague and full of unverifiable information. His supporters will say that Masonic lodges can exist in secret for decades (even though Gelli’s P2 was exposed after just 5 years), that some Catholic clerics might very well be Satanists posing as Muslims, that Islam was invented by Jesuits as a means of controlling the Middle East, etc. 
But isn’t it also possible that an imaginative young DJ with the gift of gab used his interest in the occult and conspiracy theories to craft a personal history that would appeal to the more credulous members of the conspiracy community? 
 
 
 
“Svali”
 
 
I’m not going to spend much time on the Illuminati defector known as Svali, because a “whistleblower” who won’t even use his/her name is about as useful and reliable as a mousetrap made entirely out of cheese. 
 
“Svali” in 2003
 
 
Svali emerged in 2000, posting articles about Satanic ritual abuse and her own escape from a Luciferian cult on a blog called Svali Speaks (many of these articles have been reposted by others since that time). 
Svali, then living in Texas, claimed she was raised by wealthy parents who belonged to an abusive Luciferian cult linked to the Illuminati. Born in Germany, she moved with her family to the U.S. in her early years. They settled in the San Diego area, where the cult has a large following.
She was subjected to extensive mind control programming and ritual abuse from a very young age. At 12, she was taken to a series of catacombs beneath the Vatican, filled with mummies. In one room was a large, golden pentagram, where she and two other children were to be officially inducted into the cult. An altar-like table of dark stone was set up in the center of the room. A small boy, 3 or 4 years old, was lying motionlessly on the table (appearing drugged or unconscious). The boy was ritually sacrificed in a ceremony that involved Latin incantations. Terrified, Svali and the other two children didn’t intervene. After the completion of the ritual, Svali was ordered to swear her allegience to the New World Order. She was warned that she, too, would be sacrificed if she ever violated her oath. (The Illuminati was evidently bluffing, because Svali survived an appearance on national television, radio interviews, and numerous blog posts that exposed the Illuminati’s hideous deeds.)
By the age of 22, she was the cult’s youngest “leadership council” member in San Diego. She was trained to program the children of other cult members, and acted as a “head trainer” until her escape in 1996. This involved indoctrination, martial arts, and firearms training as well as mind control programming. Hypnosis and sedation were often used prior to programming, to render the children more calm and suggestible. Electric shock was used to discourage certain behaviours. 
Svali was instructed to give false information to the kids, and gradually realized that she must have been deceived as a child, too. 
In the ’80s, Svali was forced to marry another cult victim. They had two children together. Svali’s husband became a Naval officer. By day, Svali taught at a Christian school and raised her children in an outwardly normal manner. They even attended Christian schools (affiliated with the Illuminati). By night, she and her husband – like all Illuminati members – were programmed to attend secret meetings. Each attendee would drive to an Illuminati meeting place, change out of their street clothes, and don a military-style uniform. Training sessions would then be held in the middle of the night, in well-guarded locations. 
In 1996, when she was in her late thirties. Svali fled to another state, breaking away from the cult. She was separated from her husband at the time, and the children were with their grandparents. Mr. Svali subsequently filed for divorce, but then changed his mind and joined his wife in exile. Though they weren’t menaced by vengeful cultists in the same manner that John Todd and Edna Moses claimed to have been, she was nervous enough to refrain from using her real name. Like Arizona wilder, she worked as a nurse.
Svali converted to Christianity, like most of the former Satanists and witches in this series. (5)
 
Svali’s Illuminati is centred in Europe and headed by twelve cardinal-like “fathers”. Each Illuminati centre is known as a “house”. The power structure she outlined bears no resemblance to any of the other hierarchies described in this series, and the terminology is unique. Children are raised to enter one of twelve disciplines dominated by the Illuminati. They can’t become, say, disc jockeys. 
Svali told Henry Makow that although there are Jewish people in the Illuminati, bigotry prevents them from rising to high-level positions unless they renounce their faith. In fact, there is a strong Aryan, “Fourth Reich” element in the Illuminati.
The goal of this Illuminati is simply to control the world by the year 2050. Svali doesn’t mention the endtimes. (5)
 
Svali appeared on a November 3, 2003 installment of the TechTV program Conspiracies, “Satanic Panic”. Her story was embraced and promoted by many of the same people who fell for Zagami’s tales: Greg Szymanski, Henry Makow, Project Camelot. None of these people pointed to the obvious inconsistencies between Svali’s Illuminati and Zagami’s Illuminati. 
She gave one interview to Szymanski’s Investigative Journal radio show on January 17, 2006. This was her last known radio interview. 
At some point, a woman known only as Maria stepped forward to claim she was part of the same Illuminati Luciferian cult as Svali. According to Szymanski, Maria died mysteriously in St. Peter’s Square. As Maria never revealed her true identity, there’s no way to confirm this.
In 2006, Svali dropped out of communication, leading her supporters to worry she had disappeared. Project Camelot reported in 2009 that she was still alive and well, but after that she fell off the radar again. Her current status and whereabouts are unknown. 
 
Sources
 
2. Zagami’s official website, leozagami.com (audio NSFW)
3. More High Level Illuminati Inside Info From Monte Carlo P2 Masonic Lodge Defector” by Greg Szymanski @ Arctic Beacon.com. November 7, 2006.  
4. Greg Szymanski interview of Leo Zagami on The Investigative Journal radio show. March 31, 2012. (YouTube)
5. Greg Szymanski interview of Svali on The Investigative Journal radio show. January 17, 2006. (Project Camelot) 

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Maybe some people should stick with kitten calendars

space

  • According to Swedish toxicologist Carl Johan Calleman, the Mayan Long Count calendar ended on October 28, 2011. This date was based on his own calculations, and doesn’t seem to have been accepted by any other Mayanists; they’re sticking with the December 21, 2012 end date. Calleman tells us the end of the calendar has resulted in a profound shift in consciousness for a number of people, several of whom now experience a “flattening of time, an end to time acceleration.” I have no idea what that’s all about, but if it means they don’t have to adhere to Daylight Savings, then it’s pretty damned cool.
  • Anyway, this is some very bad news if you’ve been following the story of attorney/UFO disclosure activist Peter Gersten. He plans to pitch himself off the top of Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona, on December 21, 2012 at 11:11 UT (4:11 AM in Arizona), in the hope an interdimensional portal will open up and catch him before he hits the ground. Gersten fondly calls this plan his “leap of faith”. Other people call it “OMG WHY”. Gersten explains it all in this 2007 interview with ufologist/filmmaker Paul Kimball, who stays a little too calm throughout. (Kimball, on his blog, opines that the leap of faith is “perfectly logical…within the context of Gerston’s stated beliefs”, and that if Gerston jumps, he will “applaud him for having the courage of his convictions.” Whatta pal.)

I doubt that anyone will be able to talk Mr. Gersten out of this, but I’m calling upon anyone who knows him or can get in touch with him to at least try. Failing that, perhaps we can prevail upon the women of Arizona to start knitting the world’s largest net.