Random thoughts on the world's mysteries

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Did GWB call Laura a "cunt"?

A sensational story is creeping around the shadier regions of the internet. Clearly, some people want to believe this report, or are ready to believe it. But is it true? And how did it start?

The tale traces back to gadfly investigative journalist and former U.S. Naval Officer Wayne Madsen, of the Wayne Madsen Report:
Our White House Press Corps sources report further disturbing news about President Bush.

Our sources have witnessed a clearly inebriated Bush approaching members of the press corps and making rude comments, including one particularly crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush.

In that case, Bush, nodding toward Laura, called her a "c**t."

While Bush's drinking is no secret to the White House press contingent, that particular comment was reportedly the worst they have heard uttered by Bush.

Our sources also report that Laura Bush's stays at the White House are less frequent and that her overnight trips to the Mayflower Hotel often coincide with the president's drunken binges.
Does this story pass (pardon the expression) the smell test? Note that Madsen pins neither when nor where on this incident. No first-hand source confirms it. We don't even have any second-hand rumors from a source that traces back to someone other than Madsen.

One cannot easily believe that any journalist would overhear such a remark without making reference to it. On the other hand, reporters understand that any disclosure of such an incident would result in the loss of White House access.

Wayne Madsen's track record is best described as frustrating.

He often cites anonymous "intelligence sources" for scoops that never receive outside confirmation. Of course, Madsen did work for the NSA and the Navy, positions which allowed him to make contacts unavailable to others. Even so, most of his revelations remain suspended in a maddening realm of "Maybe so, maybe no."

Let's look at some recent examples (with emphasis added throughout):

1. Madsen claims that any story in which Democratic politicians have trouble with Capitol Hill police will always involve Terrance Gainer, the Senate Sergeant at Arms.
Our sources on the Hill said that McKinney was targeted by Gainer and the Republican leadership in a ploy to embarrass her.
2. Madsen claims that the Foley scandal involves the Department of Justice:
WMR has learned from informed sources in the Justice Department that the salacious e-mails from Rep. Mark Foley were leaked to ABC News by career Justice Department prosecutors and FBI agents who are incensed that Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales covered up the House page scandal for political reasons. The back story of Pagegate is that there was a criminal conspiracy by the top political leadership of the Justice Department to cover up the predatory activities of Foley and other GOP members of Congress since at least 2003 and, likely, as early as 2001.
Nobody else working on the Foley scandal has even hinted at this.

3. Israel (says Madsen) played a bizarre role a then-notorious 2002 terror incident (blamed on Al Qaeda) in Bali:
Our Indonesian and American sources report that there was a significant U.S. and Israeli military-intelligence connection to the October 12, 2002 bombings of the Sari Club in Bali, Indonesia. A DeHavilland Dash-7 aircraft registered in Queensland, Australia, landed at Denpasar Airport in Bali only hours before a massive explosion ripped through the Sari Club, killing over 200 people, many of them vaporized.

Our sources claim that an Israeli military team arrived at Denpasar Hospital a after the explosion and claimed four bodies of white men in uniform and flew them out of Bali on the Dash 7.
Most, but not all, of the flight logs were deliberated altered. Or so claims Madsen. Moreover:
Our sources also indicate that the then-U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, Ralph Boyce, who is now posted as ambassador to Thailand, was fully aware of U.S. intelligence pre-knowledge of the terrorist bombing in Bali.
4. Russian expatriates control the U.K.:
Our sources in Britain report that the scandals surrounding British Prime Minister Tony Blair and key members of his government are part and parcel of the fact that Britain's government has been co-opted by the Russian-Israeli mobsters, much in the same way that their American colleagues, acting through neo-con proxies, have captured control of the Bush administration.
One could go on. Madsen relies on the nameless "sources" nearly every day -- and nearly every day, he reports some fact or claim that causes his more skeptical readers to shrug and to roll their eyes.

Madsen is scarcely the only person claiming that Bush has returned to the bottle and that the President's marriage has undergone great strain. The supermarket tabloids, all controlled by the same Republican-friendly company, have made the George/Laura separation a recurrent theme. Capitol Hill Blue (another source which does not command universal respect) has made claims of Bush's unhinged behavior. Bush's poor on-camera performances have persuaded many observers that he may have returned to the bottle, although such assessments remain highly subjective.

A oft-repeated Madsen claim holds that Laura Bush spends many nights in the Mayflower Hotel. The rumor has entered into beltway lore, and some folks seem to be under the impression that it was confirmed by the BBC, although no-one can point to the actual BBC story. As far as I can tell, every single "Mayflower" tale on the internet traces back to Wayne Madsen.

Could Laura Bush and her Secret Service detail take up residency at the Mayflower without the knowledge of any other reporter? Each reader must supply his or her own answer to that question.

Laura stays at the Mayflower...Bush is drinking again...Bush called a Laura a vicious name in front of witnesses... If anyone can cite any non-Madsen source for any of these claims -- or if anyone has first-hand testimony -- please write to me at cannonfiremail@yahoo.com.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who was the Mad Gasser?

In August of 1944, during the worst of World War II, the city of Mattoon, Illinois came under attack. A phantom "gasser" attacked women in their bedrooms at night, spraying a strange "sweet smelling" gas in through the bedroom window. The gas left victims paralyzed, at least in part. They also suffered from dizziness, dry mouth, palpitations and difficulty walking.

The authorities investigated, but never discovered the culprit. In 1945, The Journal of Abnormal Psychology wrote an article characterizing the attacks as a classic case of "mass hysteria" brought about by war jitters. Why those jitters should manifest themselves so oddly in one Illinois town, and nowhere else in America, went unexplained.

Since then, aficionados of the odd have considered the strange case of the Mad Gasser a classic example of "Fortean" phenomena, akin to England's "Springheel Jack" sightings of the 1800s. On the skeptical side of the aisle, introductory psychology books have long referenced the case as a classic instance of collective behavior gone awry. As one sociologist put it:
Could the case of the Mattoon episode have been initially triggered by a real prowler or phantom gasser, or could it have been caused by a paranormal entity as some have suggested? Theories involving a real prowler or gasser are highly speculative and made in ignorance of basic theories of social psychology (specifically, conformity dynamics, reality-testing, perceptual and memory fallibility), and a knowledge of the scientific literature on epidemic hysteria and collective delusions.
The man who wrote those words, like most of the people who have written about the incident over the decades, never visited Mattoon.

In 2003, writer Scott Maruna, a former resident of Matoon, published a book which revealed some little-known aspects of the case. The inhabitants of that city always felt that the Gasser was real. They even knew who he was: An emotionally disturbed fellow with the unlikely name of Farley Llewellyn, the offspring of a well-regarded family.

He was an amateur chemist, widely thought to be homosexual. The derision he encountered in those less-enlightened times caused him to become somewhat unhinged, and the attacks, it is said, were his means of achieving vengeance. All of the attacks were within a short distance of Llewellyn's household.

The police considered Llewellyn a prime suspect and, although they had him under surveillance for a brief period, they never did find enough evidence to charge him. The "Mad Gasser" attacks ended when Llewellyn's family had him committed to a mental institution. Maruna argues that the gas involved could well have been 1,1,2,2-, tetrachloroethane, which smells sweet and produces symptoms similar to those described by the victims.

Here we see the difficulties facing anyone who investigates "X-File" material. Whenever a case of this sort occurs, one type of person will immediately espouse an unprovable supernatural explanation, while an opposing faction will fasten on vague psychological theories. Farley Llewellyn was neither a spook nor a figment of the mass imagination, and the gas he used was hardly outside the range of the possible.

But one mystery remains..

An exactly similar series of attacks occurred in Botetourt County, Virginia, between December of 1933 and February,1934. Residents (usually women) were overcome by a sweet-smelling gas that left them dizzy, with headaches, nausea, and partial paralysis.

"Prowlers" were seen running from the crime scenes. On one occasion, no less than four "prowlers" were chased off.

The perpetrator(s) were never caught.

When the Mattoon incident occurred, local journalists made no reference to the Virginia attacks of a decade previous. No print source connected the Botetourt attacks to Mattoon until the 1980s.

Did Farley Llewellyn somehow "catch wind" (so to speak) of the Virginia mystery?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Woody Harrelson, his Dad, and the JFK assassination

Charles Harrleson has died. That news may not mean much to you, even after you learn that he was the father of actor Woody Harrelson.

Woody's father was a hit man, convicted of killing Texas Judge John H. Wood back in 1979. The elder Harrleson committed this crime, it is said, at the behest of a man named Jimmy Chagra, an accused drug smuggler from a well-known family in El Paso.

The obits don't tell you that Charles Harrelson admitted, in the stand-off before his arrest, that he had been involved in the murder of John F. Kennedy.

Later, in prison, Harrelson retracted that statement. However:
At Harrelson's trial, Joe Chagra, the brother of the man who was believed to have hired Harrelson, testified that Harrelson was given the contract to kill Judge Wood after he claimed to have participated in the JFK assassination. Indicted along with Harrelson in the plot to kill Judge Wood was the brother of New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello, who was one of the Mafia figures identified by the Select Committee as possibly having been involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.
At the time of arrest, Harrelson had in possession the business card of a R.D. Matthews, mobster who was a known Jack Ruby associate. Matthews later worked for casino operator Benny Binion, who may have been the "go between" who introduced Harrelson to Jimmy Chagra.

This page presents some fascinating original research into the Harrelson affair:
A reporter for the Dallas morning news by the name of Chuck Cook interviewed Harrelson on the judge Wood case and subsequently asked him about his claims of murdering the President, Cook said that Harrelson ‘got this sly little grin on his face, Harrelson is very intelligent and has a way of not answering when it suits him’(6). At a later interview Cook brought the subject up again and at that point Harrelson became very serious, Cook quoted Harrelson as saying "Listen, if and when I get out of here (prison) and feel free to talk, I will have something that will be the biggest story you ever had" and added "November 22, 1963. You remember that!".
There is evidence that Harrelson was identified in 1982 by Florida Law enforcement officials as being a member of a group of hired gunmen known as ‘The Company’(36), which takes its name from the CIA. It is claimed that ‘The Company’ owned million in assets including planes ships and real estate. Florida officials claim that ‘The Company’ imported drugs from South America and also were involved in gunrunning and mercenary operations.
The "Company" has been linked, by some researchers, with both the Kentucky drug ring outlined in the book The Blue Grass Conspiracy and with another ring run out of the China Lake Naval Research Facility.

Quite a few researchers noted a similarity between 1963 arrest photos of Harrelson and the "tall tramp" arrested on the day of the 1963 assassination, one of three tramps hauled in that day and not identified. Both heads have similar cowlicks, and in both cases, the mouth does not parallel the eyeline.

The identities of the tramps were one of the great mysteries of the JFK assassiination for three decades. In the mid-1990s, researchers discovered that the Dallas police records contained the names of three homeless individuals arrested in a boxcar that day; the tramp thought to be Charles Harrelson was in fact a man named John Gedney. However, arresting officer David V. Harkness has said that more than three transients were pulled out of the boxcar on that day.

Woody Harrelson believes that his father was innocent of the murder of Judge Wood. I do not know the younger Harrelson's response to the claimed connection to the JFK assassination.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rudy Guiliani and the pedo priest

Odd, isn't it, that the media refuses to take an interest in some of the juiciest stories. Right now, the Republican frontrunner is former mayor Rudolf Giuliani, who is trying his darnedest to win the evangelical vote.

But Rudy has a few skeletons in his closet.

In boyhood, he developed a close friendship with one Alan Placa, who grew up to become a bigwig in the Roman Catholic Church -- to be specific, he was a Monsignor in Long Island, New York. Placa, it seems, developed what we may now call the "priestly ailment" -- a yearning for underaged males. His legal staff would attempt to buy off any talkative victims for a few thousand. He counseled other accused priests in other parishes on the best ways of fending off such accusations.

Eventually, Placa's odd sexual drives hit the newspapers. From a 2002 Newsday article:
Richard Tollner, 43, a mortgage broker now living in the Albany area, said he told prosecutors he had his first encounter with the priest in January 1975, on a day that classes were out, and the teen had come in to help make banners for a Right to Life march in Washington, D.C.

He said the priest pulled out some posters in the deserted administrative area as if to show him something, and then began fondling him - all the while making conversation about the posters.

Tollner said the incidents repeated every month or so for the next year and a half. "It was always groping," he said. "He'd draw his hand deliberately to the inside of my thigh, and over my penis. It would go on for four or five minutes, sometimes as long as 10."
Even though the statute of limitations put Placa in the legal clear, he was, in essence, defrocked. I say "in essence" because he case is, technically, still being considered by Rome.

Throughout this entire period, Placa remained close to Giuliani. The bond remained close throughout Rudy's years at the Justice Department, and throughout his tenure as Mayor of New York City.

Placa provided the necessary ecclesiastical "wink" when Giuliani decided to marry his second cousin, a union normally frowned upon by the Roman Catholic church. (According to some, Placa, Rudy and the lady in question were all childhood pals.) When the marriage went sour, the Church annulled it following the "shocking" revelation of the familial tie.

In 2002, lauded worldwide as "America's Mayor" in the wake of the 911 attacks, Rudy Giuliani stepped down from his post and started a consulting firm -- called, unsurprisingly enough, Giuliani Consultants.

Of course, even former Monsignors have to earn a living. I suppose it might be too much to expect Placa to take on a humble position as a fast food clerk or gas station attendant or even (ahem!) a carpenter.

What gets to me is the lack of media attention.

Suppose John Edwards or Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton had given a cozy sinecure to a defrocked priest accused of pedophilia. What would occur? I'll tell you what: Every newspaper reader, every radio listener and every television watcher in America would be discussing the matter the very next day.

I'll bet you're learning about Rudy and his child-friendly priestly pal for the first time right here.

About Me

I'm a Democrat. That means my goal is to enslave humanity beneath the spike-heel boot of Bolshevism. We, the elite, the few, shall one day rule the planet. Until then, we gather in secret, sacrificing goats, devouring newborns, studying the ancient Goetic rites, and luring unsuspecting youths into the evil and mysterious worship of the Mighty Satan. Soon, soon, all humanity shall tremble at the supernatural power of our Dark Lord, and the puling, putrid, pious partisans of the pretender from Palestine (who died because he was weak and stupid) shall be consigned to the ovens and used to feed our dogs.