Friday, March 31, 2017

Lost In A Comic Corn Maze

Continuing our recent walking through the maze of the corn, here is another side trek.

Jim Keefe currently is the artist on the comic strip Sally Forth that reflects a history about a family that frequently finds themselves lost in a corn maze - a topic of some interest in our Twilight Language analyses. Mr. Keefe writes that I may reproduce portions of his work for "educational purposes...covered under fair use."

D. B. Echo clarifies, "Keefe is the current artist (since 2013), but Francesco Marciuliano is the writer and has been since 1999. The strip was created by Greg Howard, and Craig Macintosh was the artist until 2013. (The strips that are signed "MAC" were drawn by him.)"

Searching for synchromystic insights, I post here some of these panels for your observations.

Cornfields. Temporal anomalies. Corn Mazes. Greek Gods. Corn stalks. Harvest Gods.

All rather intriguing, whether in cinema or cartoons.

(The panels are progressed through the year by calendar month days, no matter what year they are published.)

Meanwhile, we must note that Dan Piraro in his Bizarro cartoons is also aware of the richness of the corn.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spur: Twisters, Death, and Heaven's Gate

Three storm chasers die in Spur, Texas.

A death signals a threshold that appears to be a precursor for other tragic events.

Bill Paxton's death was one of those moments, this year. Paxton died on Saturday, February 25, 2017. A well-known actor in many famous movies, the film most news organizations mentioned was Twister (1996). Cornfields. The Shining.

The next day, February 26th, a Bonnie and Clyde-involved (Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty) fiasco hit the Oscars. Cornfields.

Immediately, several states of the Midwest to the East were hit by the earliest winter records of tornadoes. Cornfields.

Now, tornadoes and death are in the news again.

At about 3:30 pm, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at Spur, Dickens County, Texas, three storm chasers were killed in a two-vehicle crash, while chasing tornadoes. A line of tornadic thunderstorms were through the South Plains at the time.

Two of the dead were subcontractors from The Weather Channel, reported the Armadillo Globe News.

DPS Sgt. John Gonzalez said the crash between a Jeep and a Suburban happened 5 miles west of Spur at FM 2794 and FM 1081:
The driver of the Suburban was identified as Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, of Cassville, Missouri. Mr. Williamson was ejected from the vehicle at the time of the crash. Mr. Williamson was not wearing his seat belt. The passenger in the Suburban was identified as Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also of Cassville, Missouri. Mr. Yarnall was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the Jeep was identified as Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, of Peoria, Arizona.
Williamson and Yarnall were contractors for the Weather Channel, according to a statement released by The Weather Channel late Tuesday.
Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community. We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved.
Investigators believe the black Suburban was traveling northbound on FM 1081 when it disregarded a stop sign and collided with the black Jeep that was traveling west on FM 2794.

“There were two drivers and one passenger in the two vehicles,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “All three occupants were pronounced deceased at the scene.”

The crash prompted statements of support and condolences from storm chasers across social media.

Storm chasers die in Twister.

It will be recalled in Twister, there is a scene where the team of Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes), the corporate-funded meteorologist and storm chaser, is shown driving their black Suburbans dangerously close to a F5 tornado. That tornado shifts course towards Jonas's truck, causing a piece of metal to come flying through the windshield and impale his driver Eddie (Zach Grenier). Their truck is then caught by the tornado and thrown into the ground, and both men are killed in the resulting explosion.

Storm chasers are killed. It happens.

But there's more. From Spur, Texas.
Heaven’s Gate – also known as the “UFO cult” – burst into American consciousness 20 years ago this month, when, on March 26, 1997, law enforcement discovered 39 decomposing bodies in a San Diego, California mansion.

Each detail that emerged from the scene stunned a rapt public: Adherents had committed suicide in waves on March 22 and 23, ingesting a lethal mix of barbiturates and alcohol; they lay under purple shrouds, with five-dollar bills and rolls of quarters in their pockets; all wore simple dark uniforms and Nike tennis shoes. ~ Ben Zeller
The leader of the Heaven's Gate cult, Marshall Applewhite (May 17, 1931 – March 26, 1997), was born in Spur, Texas.


Fayette Factor: First Quarter 2017

The Fayette Factor seems to be always be with us. There are a surprisingly high incidence of Fortean (inexpliable) events linked to places named after one of the USA's Founding Fathers--the Marquis de Lafayette. Fayette, Lafayette, Fayetteville. The locations are "special," in terms of the weird quotient.

The Fayette Factor is probably one of the strangest mysteries in American Forteana, first discovered by researcher William (Bill) Grimstad, back in 1977, and written about in "Fateful Fayette," Fortean Times, No. 25, Spring 1978.

Now in Bill's 40th year of tracking the phenomenon, he shares the following recent notices of the Fayette Factor yesterday, in a email to me:

It’s been a lively Lafayette, CO scene in the past few days. A man claiming FBI harassment burned himself to death at a Lafayette Wal-Mart on March 27.

Only 12 days earlier, on March 15, a man publicly shot himself to death in front of police near [the Flatirons] church in Lafayette.

Also on March 27, a man was charged with stabbing to death his two infant daughters from Fayetteville, NC.  
Tillman Freeman is accused of killing his 2-year-old and 4-day-old daughters, Genesis and Serenity.

~ Bill Grimstad

Anticipating A Viking Attack?

Anniversaries are strong indicators of possible future copycat behavior, including of acts of violence. But what should be expected and what should not?

On March 29, 845, Paris was sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collected a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.

But there are probably no Vikings around in 2017, who wish to recall this date to justify a new attack against Paris.

In 1882, on March 29, The Knights of Columbus were established. The Knights of Columbus, apparently, are not warring Knights in 2017, if they ever.

Other recent events, however, may show up via current anniversary events.

Ones like...

On March 29, 2010, two suicide bombers hit the Moscow Metro system at the peak of the morning rush hour, killing 40.

...might make a ripple, a year later.

Today's news are not over but one strange story caused some concern this morning to law enforcement authorities and the media.

A female is in custody after apparently attempting to strike a Capitol Police cruiser and run over other officers during a traffic stop near the U.S. Botanic Garden, on March 29, 2017.

The driver is taken into custody.

The incident, which happened about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, sparked a heavy police response. At one point, police fired a weapon but no one was struck, but media reported a window of the car being driven was broken out.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said the incident, near the 100 block of Independence Avenue, began as a traffic stop after police spotted a car driving erratically.

My question: What was her name?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Aurora Again

Aurora means "dawn," and another Aurora has been touched by tragedy. 

The Oregon State Police identified a teen who died around 4:00 pm, March 25, 2017, after getting pinned by a log at a Bandon beach, specifically South Jetty Park beach.

Aurora Genai Sheffel, 14, of Eugene died from her injuries after attempts by a Bandon police officer and paramedics to save her life.

Witnesses said the log had rolled over on top of her, and they were able to remove the wood after several attempts. She was rushed by crews to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Sheffel's stepfather, David Wederquist, told the Register-Guard on Sunday, March 26, 2017, that Sheffel and two friends were playing on the log and taking selfies at the start of their spring break. Her friends jumped off, but she did not.

"They were just taking pictures and posing," he told the newspaper.

Her father said Sheffel, a freshman who earned straight As, had recently been selected for North Eugene High School's varsity cheerleading squad.

PNW logs...

Catherine Elizabeth Coulson (October 22, 1943 – September 28, 2015) was an American stage and screen actress who worked behind the scenes on various studio features, magazine shows and independent films as well as acting in theater and film since the age of 15. She is best known for her role as Margaret Lanterman, the enigmatic Log Lady, in the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks, based in the fictional Pacific Northwest location of Twin Peaks, Washington State.

Twin Peaks was broadcast for 18 episodes in 1990-1991. The story began in 1989, logger Pete Martell discovers a naked corpse wrapped in plastic on the bank of a river outside the town of Twin Peaks, Washington. The body is identified as homecoming queen Laura 

A reboot of Twin Peaks, in a limited series event, will consist of 18 episodes, premiering on Showtime on May 21, 2017.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Joker Returns

There is something in the wind. The Joker is back, in a couple violent situations. Are copycats going to be in the news?

Jeremy Putnam, 31, of Winchester, Virginia was arrested and charged with wearing a mask in public Friday, March 24, 2017, after he was spotted walking around dressed as the iconic comic book supervillain the Joker, police said.
Police in Winchester -- located about 75 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. -- said the Winchester Emergency Communications Center received "several calls" around 2 p.m. on Friday of a suspicious male wearing a black cape and carrying a sword walking around the city.
Jeremy Putman was charged with wearing a mask in public, a felony that could land him in jail for up to five years, the Winchester Police Department said in a statement.

A week previous, a Joker-obsessed student shoot up a school in France on Thursday, March 16, 2017.
He had posted a bizarre clown-masked video on his Facebook.

  • Killian Barbey opened fire at the Alexis de Tocqueville lycee (high school) in Grasse, near Cannes, wounding four. He was arrested after injuring headmaster Herve Pizzinat and three pupils, two named Julie, 16, and Akram, 17. The gunman was armed with two revolvers, a hunting rifle and fake grenades and is said to have been bullied. He is the son of far-right French politician Franck Barbey, who is a councillor for the Rally for France party.

  • Barbey's cover photo on Facebook is a picture of the Joker - the Batman villain - with the caption "give a man a mask and he'll become his true self."

    And posted this image of himself too.

    Late in March 2017, truly the Joker had returned.

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    2017 London Attack

    March 22, 2017, is the first anniversary of the 2016 terrorist attack in Brussels. Three suicide bombers killed 32 people and injured 316 in the 2016 Brussels bombings at the airport and at the Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station.

    Also on this date, in 2004, Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders are killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force Hellfire missiles.

    On this day, in the UK 22-3-17, at about 2:40 (2:37?) pm local time, a terrorist incident occurred. A woman was killed on Westminster Bridge in central London in what police are treating as a terrorist incident. Reportedly a police officer has died too. Five people are reported to have died. At least 40 people have been injured, some severely.

    The car.

    The police officer was stabbed in the nearby Houses of Parliament by an attacker, who was shot by police.

    It appears to have begun with a vehicle ramming on the Bridge, striking several pedestrians as he drove a car across the bridge, before crashing it into railings.

    A doctor at St Thomas' Hospital said a number of other people were hurt - some with "catastrophic" injuries.

    A combination of a ramming, stabbings, and shootings occurred. The scene is unfolding, and it is unclear what form of terrorism was thrown at Parliament. There are even reports of a body in the Thames. Breaking news notes that a woman has been recovered (alive) from the river.

    The suspect.

    This happened just across the bridge from the obelisk named Cleopatra's Needle (which I visited on March 2, 2009).

    The Year 2017 has begun with car rammings in Heidelberg, New Orleans (Mardi Gras), Bellingham (UK), and during MardiGras in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Another Coat Hook Death

    In 2010, I wrote of the mysterious series of deaths of young children, all killed in similar ways via hangings from hooks. The deaths often occurred due to coat hooks, sometimes in closets, sometimes in bathrooms. That essay appeared on January 24, 2010, under "The Peter Pan/Hook Deaths." I followed this on February 27, 2014, with "New Hook Death." Below are some other writings on the overlap with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

    Now there's been a new, as CNN called it, "unspeakable tragedy that happened in the most mundane of places -- a thrift store dressing room."

    On Saturday the 18th of March, after St. Patrick's Day, 2017, Ryu Pena, 4, was found hanged to death in a dressing room of the Again Thrift and More store in Mankato, Minnesota. 

    Ryu had been with his grandmother, who was shopping in the store. She lost track of him. He was literally a "lost boy."

    Police and parents told the media that they think Ryu "went into an empty changing room....apparently closed the door, climbed on a bench and got the hoodie he was wearing caught on a coat hook."

    It is the same scenario we have heard before.

    The meaning of the name Ryu is Dragon. The origin of the name Ryu is Japanese.

    Peña or de la Peña is a Spanish habitation surname. The origin of the surname can be traced directly to the Middle Ages. The earliest public record of the surname dates to the 13th century in the Valley de Mena (Burgos) in the Kingdom of Castile. It is a topographic name for someone who lived near a crag or cliff.

    "We believe that he got himself caught up on a coat hook within that dressing room area and couldn't free himself from it," Commander Jeremy Clifton with Mankato Public Safety told CNN affiliate WCCO.
    Ryu's mom, Denise Gonzalez, said her son lost his life simply playing.
    "That's the only way I can describe it. He was playing because he's very curious, adventurous, and it all just happened so quickly," she told WCCO.
    "He was such a daredevil."
    On December 26, 1862, the largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, 38 Native Americans died. It was more specifically, a mass execution of 38 Dakota at the end of the 1862 Dakota War. Let me say that again. A mass hanging.

    While it may or may not be true that the city was intended to be called Mahkato, the Dakota called the river Makato Osa Watapa (meaning "the river where blue earth is gathered"). The Anglo settlers adapted that as the Blue Earth River. Source.

    The list of "hook deaths" grows longer, as shown here, chronologically, which I first began gathering in 2010. There probably are many more. Of the known named children, the some of the first names are relatively unusual - e.g. Ryu, Montana, Aquan, Imhotep. Yes, Imhotep.

    1. Ethan Rider, 11 or 12. A sixth grader from St. Jean Vianney Catholic School in East Baton Rouge Parish. The student, Ethan Rider, was found unconscious in a bathroom at the school on Thursday [Feb 20, 2014] and taken to a local hospital, and died early Saturday [Feb 22, 2014] morning.
    2. Montana Lance, 9 - Stewart's Creek Elementary School, The Colony, Texas; January 21, 2010; allegedly hanged himself in bathroom; deceased.
    3. Unnamed youth ~ Kanpur (old English Cawnpore), India; February 20, 2009; hanged from the hook of the toilet in a train; deceased.
    4. Unnamed girl ~ South Side Chicago, Illinois; February 20, 2009; hanged on a clothes hook in home closet; deceased.
    5. Unnamed boy ~ Chatham, Illinois; February 4, 2009; hanged by hook; deceased.
    6. Aquan Lewis ~ Evanston, Illinois; February 3, 2009; hanged on a school bathroom hook; deceased.
    7. Tevin Park-Flowers (a twin) ~ Austin, Texas; January 30, 2008; hanged by a hook in a gymnasium bathroom; pants were down at his ankles; deceased.
    8. Unnamed boy ~ New Bedford, Massachusetts; January 30, 2008; found alive, hanging on a hook in a children's room of the New Bedford Public Library; man arrested, charged with child molestation and rape.
    9. Unnamed child ~ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; April 27, 2005; near death, found hanging on a hook in a school coatroom closet.
    10. Imhotep Lubin ~ Brooklyn, New York; 2004; found alive hanging by his belt from a hook in a school closet; teacher arrested.
    11. Unnamed child ~ Chatham, Ontario; 1998; hanged from a hook in school bathroom; deceased.

    12. Morgane, 3 ~ Brussels, Belgium; June 1994; hanged from a coat hook in a school restroom.

    h/t Robert Schneck

    13. Jesus Martinez, 9 ~ Chicago, Illinois; November 13, 1967; hanged from a coat hook in a school coatroom.