Saturday, September 29, 2012

Flag Of Greece

The flag of Greece, officially recognized by Greece as one of its national symbols, is based on nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white. There is a blue canton in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbolizes Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the established religion of the Greek people of Greece and Cyprus. According to popular tradition, the nine stripes represent the nine syllables of the phrase, “Freedom or Death”, the five blue stripes for the syllables “Έλευθερία” and the four white stripes “ή Θάνατος“. The nine stripes are also said to represent the letters of the word “freedom” (Greek: Ελευθερία). There is also a different theory, that the nine stripes symbolize the nine Muses, the goddesses of art and civilization (nine has traditionally been one of the numbers of reference for the Greeks). The official flag ratio is 2:3

The blazon of the flag is Azure, four bars Argent; on a canton of the field a Greek cross throughout of the second. The shade of blue used in the flag has varied throughout its history, from light blue to dark blue, the latter being increasingly used since the late 1960s.

The above patterns were officially adopted by the First Nationally Assembly at Epidaurus on 13th of January, 1822. Blue and white have many interpretations, symbolizing the colors of the famed Greek sky and sea (combined with the white clouds and waves), traditional colors of Greek clothes in the islands and the mainland, etc.

The origins of today's national flag with its cross-and-stripe pattern are a matter of debate. Every part of it, including the blue and white colors, the cross, as well as the stripe arrangement can be connected to very old historical elements; however it is difficult to establish “continuity“, especially as there is no record of the exact reasoning behind its official adoption in early 1822.

It has been suggested by some Greek historians that the current flag derived from an older design, the virtually identical flag of the powerful Cretan Kallergis Family. This flag was based on their coat of arms, whose pattern is supposed to be derived from the standards of their claimed ancestor, Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas (963–969 AD). This pattern (according to not easily verifiable descriptions) included nine stripes of alternating blue and white, as well as a cross, assumed to be placed on the upper left.

The stripe-pattern of the Greek flag is visibly similar to that used in several other flags that have appeared over the centuries, most notably that of the British East India Company’s pre-1707 flag or the flag of the United States of America. However, in such cases of flags derived from much older designs, it is very difficult to prove or trace original influences.

There is no mention of any “state” flag until the mid-14th century, when a Spanish atlas, the Conoscimento de todos los revnos depicts the flag of “the Empire of Constantinople” combining the red-on-white Cross of St George with the “tetragrammic cross” of the ruling house of the Palaiologoi, featuring the four betas or pyrekvola (fire-steels) on the flag quarters representing the imperial motto Βασιλεύς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων (King of Kings Reigning over those who Rule). The tetragrammic cross flag, as it appears in quarters II and III in this design, is well documented. However, the exact “Westernized” (quartered) arrangement that includes the Cross of St. George, appearing in the Spanish atlas, is never depicted or described in any Greek source.

In the same Spanish atlas the (well documented) “plain” tetragrammic cross flag is presented as (among other places in the Empire) “the Flag of Salonika” and “the real Greece and Empire of the Greeks” (la vera Grecia e el imperio de los griegos) (not being clear whether this implies usage of the quartered flag mainly in Constantinople). Pseudo-Kodinos records the use of the “tetragrammic cross” on the banner (phlamoulon) borne by imperial naval vessels, while the megas doux displayed an image of the emperor on horseback.

During the Ottoman rule several unofficial flags were used by Greeks, usually employing the Byzantine double-headed eagle, the cross, depictions of saints and various mottoes. The Christian Greek sipahi cavalry employed by the Ottoman Sultan were allowed to use their own, clearly Christian flag, when within Epirus and the Peloponnese. It featured the classic blue cross on a white field with the picture of St. George slaying the dragon, and was used from 1431 until 1639, when this privilege was greatly limited by the Sultan. Similar flags were used by other local leaders. The closest to a Greek “national” flag during Ottoman rule was the so-called “Graeco - Ottoman flag” (Γραικοθωμανική παντιέρα), a civil ensign Greek Orthodox merchants (better: merchants from the Greek-dominated Orthodox millet) were allowed to fly on their ships, combining stripes with red (for the Ottoman Empire) and blue (for Orthodoxy) colors. After the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca, Greek-owned merchant ships could also fly the Russian flag.

During the uprising of 1769 the historic blue cross on white field was used again by key military leaders who used it all the way to the revolution of 1821. It became the most popular Revolution flag, and it was argued that it should become the national flag. The “reverse” arrangement, white cross on a blue field, also appeared as Greek flag during the uprisings. This design had been used earlier as well, as a local symbol (a similar 16th or 17th century flag has been found near Chania), while Greek volunteers in Napoleon’s army in Egypt in 1798 used a white cross on blue incorporated in the canton of the French flag.

A military leader, Yiannis Stathas, used a flag with white cross on blue on his ship since 1800. The first flag featuring the design eventually adopted was created and hoisted in the Evangelistria monastery in Skiathos in 1807. Several prominent military leaders (including Theodoros Kolokotronis and Andreas Miaoulis) had gathered there for consultation concerning an uprising, and they were sworn to this flag by the local bishop.

On 15 March 1822, the Provisional Government, by Decree Nr. 540, laid down the exact pattern: white cross on blue (plain) for the land flag; nine alternate-colored stripes with the white cross on a blue field in the canton for the naval ensign; and blue with a blue cross on a white field in the canton for the civil ensign (merchant flag). On 30 June 1828, by decree of the Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias, the civil ensign was discontinued, and the cross-and-stripes naval ensign became the national ensign, worn by both naval and merchant ships. This design became immediately very popular with Greeks and in practice was often used simultaneously with the national (plain cross) flag.

After the establishment of the Kingdom of Greece in 1832, the new king, Otto, added the royal Coat of Arms (a shield in his ancestral Bavarian pattern topped by a crown) in the centre of the cross for military flags (both land and sea versions). Additionally, the ratios of the country's flags were set to 7:10 for the state flag and 18:25 for the state and naval ensign by a decree dated 3 June 1833. After Otto's abdication in 1862, the royal coat of arms was removed, only to be replaced by a simple royal crown in 1863 when the new king, George I, arrived in Greece. A square version of the land flag with St. George in the centre was adopted on 9 April 1864 as the Army’s colors. Similar arrangements were made for the royal flags, which featured the coat of arms of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg on a square version of the national flag. The exact shape and usage of the flags was determined by Royal Decree on 26 September 1867. By a new Royal Decree, on 31 May 1914, the flag with the crown was adopted for use as a state flag by ministries, embassies and civil services, while the sea flag was allowed for use by private citizens.

On 25 March 1924, with the establishment of the Second Hellenic Republic, the crowns were removed from all flags. On 20 February 1930, the national flag's proportions were established at a 2:3 ratio, with the arms of the cross being "one fifth of the flag's width". The land version of the national flag was to be used by ministries, embassies, and in general by all civil and military services, while the sea flag was to be used by naval and merchant vessels, consulates and private citizens. With the restoration of the monarchy by Georgios Kondvlis on the 10th of October, 1935, the crown was restored on the flags. The crown was again removed by the military dictatorship in 1967, following the aborted counter-coup and subsequent self-exile of King Constantine II on the 13th of December. The sea flag was established as the sole national flag in 1969, using a very dark shade of blue, and on 18 August 1970, the flag ratio was changed to 7:12.

After the restoration of democracy in August of 1974, the land flag was restored for a while (Law 48/1975 and Presidential Decree 515/1975) until 1978.

In 1978 the sea flag was adopted as the sole national flag, with a 2:3 ratio. The flag is used on both land and sea is also the war and civil ensign, replacing all other designs surviving until that time. No other designs and badges can be shown on the flag. To date, no specification of the exact shade of the blue color of the flag has been issued. Consequently, in practice hues may vary from very light to very dark. The Greek Flag Day is on October 27th.

The old land flag is still flown at the Old Parliament Building in Athens, site of the National Historical Museum, and can still be seen displayed unofficially by private citizens.

Source: Wikipedia -

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA -

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bonnie and Clyde: American Gangsters

They were - Bonnie and Clyde. (Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, born October 1, 1910, died on May 23, 1934) and (Clyde Chestnut Barrow, March 24, 1909, he also died - with Bonnie - on May 23, 1934) They were well-known outlaws, robbers, and criminals who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the time of The Great Depression. Their gang was known as the “Barrow Gang” which included Bonnie and Clyde, and at times Buck Barrow, Blanche Barrow, Raymond Hamilton, W.D. Jones, Joe Palmer, Ralph Fults, and Henry Methvin. Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the “public enemy era” between 1931 and 1934. Though known today for his dozen-or-so bank robberies, Barrow in fact preferred to rob small stores or rural gas stations. The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and committed several civilian murders. The couple themselves were eventually ambushed and killed in Louisiana by law officers. Their reputation was cemented in American pop folklore by Arthur Penn’s 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde”. (A lot of the Bonnie and Clyde story in the film is Hollywood hogwash.)

Even during their lifetimes, the couple's depiction in the press was at considerable odds with the hardscrabble reality of their life on the road - particularly in the case of Parker. Though she was present at a hundred or more felonies during her two years as Barrow's companion, she was not the machine gun-wielding cartoon killer portrayed in the newspapers, newsreels, and pulp detective magazines of the day. Gang member W.D. Jones was unsure whether he had ever seen her fire at officers. Parker's reputation as a cigar-smoking gun moll grew out of a playful snapshot found by police at an abandoned hideout, released to the press, and published nationwide; while she did chain-smoke Camel cigarettes, she was not a cigar smoker.

Author-historian Jeff Guinn explains that it was the release of these very photos that put the outlaws on the media map and launched their legend. “John Dillinger had matinee-idol good looks and Pretty Boy Floyd had the best possible nickname, but the Joplin photos introduced new criminal superstars with the most titillating trademark of all - illicit sex. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were young and unmarried. They undoubtedly slept together. Without Bonnie, the media outside Texas might have dismissed Clyde as a gun-toting punk, if it ever considered him at all. With her sassy photographs, Bonnie supplied the sex-appeal, the oomph, that allowed the two of them to transcend the small-scale thefts and needless killings that actually comprised their criminal careers.”

Bonnie was born in Rowena, Texas, the second of three children. Her father, Charles Parker, a bricklayer, died when Bonnie was four. Her mother, Emma Krause, moved with the children to her parents' home in Cement City, an industrial suburb of Dallas, where she found work as a seamstress. Parker was one of the best students in her high school, winning top prizes in spelling, writing and public speaking. As an adult, her fondness for writing found expression in poems such as “The Story of Suicide Sal” and “The Trail's End” (known since as “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde“).

In her second year of high school, Parker met Roy Thornton. They dropped out of school and were married on September 25, 1926, six days before Parker's 16th birthday. Their marriage, marked by his frequent absences and brushes with the law, was short-lived, and after January 1929 their paths never crossed again. But they were never divorced, and Parker was wearing Thornton's wedding ring when she died. Thornton was in prison in 1934 when he learned of his wife's death. His reaction was, “I'm glad they went out like they did. It's much better than being caught.”

In 1929, after the breakdown of her marriage and before her first meeting with Clyde Barrow in January 1930, Parker lived with her mother and worked as a waitress in Dallas. One of her regular customers in the café was postal worker Ted Hinton, who would join the Dallas Sheriff's Department in 1932 and, as a posse member, would participate in her ambush in 1934. In the diary she kept briefly early in 1929, she wrote of her loneliness, her impatience with life in provincial Dallas, and her love of talking pictures.

Clyde was born in Ellis County, Texas, near Telico, a town just south of Dallas. He was the fifth of seven children of Henry Basil Barrow (1874–1957) and Cumie T. Walker (1874–1943), a poor farming family that emigrated, piecemeal, to Dallas in the early 1920s as part of a wave of resettlement from the impoverished nearby farms to the urban slum known as West Dallas. The Barrows spent their first months in West Dallas living under their wagon. When father Henry had earned enough money to buy a tent, it was a major step up for the family.

Clyde was first arrested in late 1926, after running when police confronted him over a rental car he had failed to return on time. His second arrest, with brother Marvin “Buck” Barrow, came soon after, this time for possession of stolen goods (turkeys). Despite having legitimate jobs during the period 1927 through 1929, he also cracked safes, robbed stores, and stole cars. After sequential arrests in 1928 and 1929, he was sent to Eastham Prison Farm in April 1930. While in prison, Barrow beat to death another inmate who had repeatedly assaulted him sexually. It was Clyde Barrow's first killing. Paroled in February 1932, Barrow emerged from Eastham a hardened and bitter criminal. His sister Marie said “Something awful sure must have happened to him in prison, because he wasn't the same person when he got out.” A fellow inmate, Ralph Fults, said he watched him “change from a schoolboy to a rattlesnake.” In his post-Eastham career, he focused on smaller jobs, robbing grocery stores and gas stations, at a rate far outpacing the mere ten to fifteen bank robberies attributed to him and the Barrow Gang. Barrow's favored weapon was the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (called a BAR). According to John Neal Phillips, Barrow's goal in life was not to gain fame or fortune from robbing banks, but to seek revenge against the Texas prison system for the abuses he suffered while serving time.

There are several versions of the story describing Bonnie's and Clyde's first meeting, but the most credible version indicates that Bonnie Parker met Clyde Barrow in January 1930 at a friend's house. Parker was out of work and was staying in West Dallas to assist a girl friend with a broken arm. Barrow dropped by the girl's house while Parker was supposedly in the kitchen making hot chocolate. When they met, both were smitten immediately; most historians believe Parker joined Barrow because she was in love. She remained a loyal companion to him as they carried out their crime spree and awaited the violent deaths they viewed as inevitable.

After Barrow was released from prison in February 1932, he and Ralph Fults assembled a rotating core group of associates and began a series of small robberies, primarily of stores and gas stations; their goal was to collect enough money and firepower to launch a raid of liberation against Eastham prison. On April 19, Bonnie Parker and Fults were captured in a failed hardware store burglary in Kaufman, Texas, and subsequently jailed. While Parker would be released in a few months, Fults remained in jail and never rejoined the gang. On April 30, Barrow was the wheelman in a robbery in Hillsboro, Texas, during which the store's owner, J.N. Bucher, was shot and killed. When shown mug-shots, the victim's wife identified Barrow as one of the shooters, even though he had stayed outside in the car; it was his first murder accusation. Meanwhile, Parker remained in jail until June 17, writing poetry to wile away the time. When the Kaufman County grand jury convened, it declined to indict her, and she was released. Within a few weeks, she reunited with Barrow.

On August 5, while Parker was visiting her mother in Dallas, Barrow, Raymond Hamilton and Ross Dyer were drinking alcohol at a country dance in Stringtown, Oklahoma, when Sheriff C.G. Maxwell and his deputy, Eugene C. Moore, approached them in the parking lot. Barrow and Hamilton opened fire, killing the deputy and gravely wounding the sheriff; it was the first killing of a lawman by Barrow and his gang, a total eventually amounting to nine officers killed. Another civilian was added to the list on October 11, when storekeeper Howard Hall was killed during a robbery of his store in Sherman, Texas. The stolen goods consisted of $28 and some groceries.

W.D. Jones had been a friend of the Barrow family since childhood, and though he was only 16 years old on Christmas Eve 1932, he persuaded Barrow to let him join up with the pair and ride out of Dallas with them that night. The very next day, Jones was initiated into homicide when he and Barrow killed Doyle Johnson, a young family man, in the process of stealing his car in Temple, Texas. Less than two weeks later, on January 6, 1933, Barrow killed Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis when he, Parker and Jones wandered into a police trap set for another criminal. The total murdered by the gang since April was now five.

On March 22, 1933, Buck Barrow was granted a full pardon and released from prison. Within days, he and his wife, Blanche, had set up housekeeping with Clyde Barrow, Parker and Jones in a temporary hideout in Joplin, Missouri. According to family sources, Buck and Blanche were there merely to visit, in an attempt to persuade Clyde to surrender to law enforcement. As was common with Bonnie and Clyde, their next brush with the law arose from their generally suspicious - and conspicuous - behavior, not because their identities had been discovered. Beer had just been legalized after Prohibition, and the group ran loud, alcohol-fueled card games late into the night in the quiet neighborhood. “We bought a case of beer a day,” Blanche would later recall. The men-folk came and went noisily at all hours, and once, a BAR discharged in the apartment while Clyde was cleaning it; the short burst did not bring any neighbors directly to the house, but at least one registered suspicions with the Joplin Police department.

Unaware of what awaited them, the lawmen assembled only a 5-man force in two cars on April 13 to confront the suspected bootleggers living in the garage apartment. Though taken by surprise, Clyde, noted for remaining cool under fire, was gaining far more experience in gun battles than most lawmen. He, Jones and Buck quickly killed Detective McGinnis and fatally wounded a Constable. During the escape from the apartment, Parker laid down covering fire with her own BAR, forcing Highway Patrol sergeant G. B. Kahler to duck behind a large oak tree while 30-60 slugs struck the other side, forcing wood splinters into the sergeant's face. Parker then got into the car with the others. The car slowed long enough to pull in Blanche Barrow from the street, where she was pursuing her fleeing dog, Snow Ball. The surviving officers later testified that their side had fired only fourteen rounds in the conflict, although one of these hit Jones in the side, one struck Clyde and was deflected by his suit-coat button, and one grazed Buck after ricocheting off a wall. The group escaped the police at Joplin, but left most of their possessions at the rented apartment: Buck and Blanche's marriage license, Buck's parole papers (only three weeks old), a large arsenal of weapons, a handwritten poem by Bonnie, and a camera with several rolls of undeveloped film. The film was developed later and yielded many now-famous photos of Barrow, Parker and Jones clowning and pointing ordnance at one another. When the poem and the photos, including one of Parker clenching a cigar in her teeth and a pistol in her hand, went out on the newly installed newswire, the obscure five-some from Dallas became front page news across America as The Barrow Gang, fully illustrated and with the poem “Story of 'Suicide Sal” as an apparent back-story.

For the next three months, they ranged from Texas as far north as Minnesota. In May, they attempted to rob the bank in Lucerne, Indiana, and robbed the bank in Okabena, Minnesota. Previously they had kidnapped Dillard Darby and Sophia Stone at Ruston, Louisiana, in the course of stealing Darby's car; this was one of several incidents between 1932 and 1934 in which they kidnapped lawmen or robbery victims, usually releasing them far from home, sometimes with money to help them return. Stories of these encounters made headlines, but so too did the darker encounters. The Barrow Gang would not hesitate to shoot anyone, lawman or civilian, who got in their way. Other members of the Barrow Gang known or thought to have committed murders included Raymond Hamilton, W.D. Jones, Buck Barrow and Henry Methvin. Eventually, the cold-bloodedness of the killings would not only sour the public perception of the outlaws, but lead directly to their undoing.

On June 10, while driving with Jones and Parker near Wellington, Texas, Barrow missed warning signs at a bridge under construction and flipped their car into a ravine. Sources disagree on whether there was an actual gasoline fire or that Parker was doused with acid from the car's battery under the floorboards. What is certain is that Parker sustained serious third degree burns to her right leg. The burn was so severe, the muscles contracted and caused the leg to “draw up“; near the end of her life, Parker could hardly walk and would either hop on her good leg or be carried by Clyde. After getting help from a nearby farm family and kidnapping two local lawmen, the three outlaws rendezvoused with Blanche and Buck Barrow again and they hid out in a tourist court near Fort Smith, Arkansas, nursing Parker's burns. Then Buck and Jones bungled a local robbery and killed Town Marshal Henry D. Humphrey in Alma, Arkansas. With the renewed pursuit from the law, they had to flee again, despite the grave condition of Bonnie Parker.

On July 18, 1933, the gang checked into the Red Crown Tourist Court south of Platte City, Missouri (now within the city limits of Kansas City, Missouri across I-29 from Kansas City International Airport). The Red Crown Court was just two brick cabins joined by garages and the gang rented both. To the south stood the Red Crown Tavern, a popular restaurant and a favorite watering hole for Missouri Highway Patrolmen. Once again, the gang seemed to go out of their way to draw attention to themselves: owner Neal Houser became interested in the group immediately when Blanche Barrow registered the party as three guests, and Houser, out his rear window, could see 5 people exiting their car - which the driver backed into the garage, “gangster style,” for a quick getaway. Blanche paid the lodging tab with coins rather than paper money, and did the same thing again later when she purchased five dinners and five beers for, presumably, three guests. The next day, Houser noticed that his guests had taped newspapers over the windows of their cabin, and Blanche once again paid in silver for five meals. Even Blanche's outfit - tight jodhpurs riding breeches - attracted undue attention: they were just not the kind of thing the staid women of Platte City would ever wear, and were the first thing mentioned by eyewitnesses reminiscing even 40 years later. It was all too much for Houser, who brought the conspicuous group to the attention of his restaurant patron, Captain William Baxter of the Highway Patrol.

When Clyde and Jones went into town to purchase bandages, crackers, cheese, and atropine sulfate to treat Bonnie's leg, the druggist contacted Sheriff Holt Coffey, who put the cabins under watch. Coffey had been alerted by Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas to be on the lookout for strangers seeking such supplies. The sheriff contacted Captain Baxter, who called for reinforcements from Kansas City including an armored car. At 11 pm that night, Sheriff Coffey led a group of officers armed with Thompson sub-machine guns toward the cabins. But in a pitched gunfight at considerable distances, the submachine guns proved no match for Clyde Barrow's preferred BAR’s, stolen July 7 from the National Guard armory at Enid, Oklahoma. The Barrows laid down withering fire and made their escape when a bullet short-circuited the horn on the armored car and the lawmen mistook it for a cease-fire signal. They did not pursue the retreating Barrow automobile.

Although the gang evaded law enforcement once again, Buck Barrow had sustained a horrific wound to the side of the head and Blanche Barrow was nearly blinded from glass fragments in both her eyes. Their prospects for holding out against the ensuing manhunt dwindled. Five days later, on July 24, the Barrow Gang was camped at Dexfield Park, an abandoned amusement park near Dexter, Iowa. Buck's head wound was so severe that Clyde and Jones dig a grave for him. After their bloody bandages were noticed by local citizens, it was determined that the campers were the Barrow gang. Surrounded by local lawmen and approximately one hundred spectators, the Barrows once again found themselves under fire. Clyde Barrow, Parker, and W.D. Jones escaped on foot. Buck was shot again, in the back, and he and his wife were captured by the officers. Buck died five days later, at Kings Daughters Hospital in Perry, Iowa, of pneumonia after surgery. For the next six weeks, the remaining trio ranged far a-field of their usual area of operations - west to Colorado, north to Minnesota, southeast to Mississippi - keeping a low profile and pulling only small robberies for daily-bread money. They restocked their arsenal when Barrow and Jones burglarized an armory at Plattville, Illinois on August 20, acquiring three BARs, handguns, and a large quantity of ammunition. By early September, they risked a run back to Dallas to see their families for the first time in four months, and Jones parted company with them, continuing on to Houston, where his mother had moved. He was arrested there without incident on November 16 and returned to Dallas. Through the autumn, Barrow executed a series of small-time robberies with a series of small-time local accomplices while his family and Parker's attended to her considerable medical needs.

On November 22, 1933, they again narrowly evaded arrest while attempting to hook up with family members near Sowers, Texas. This time it was their hometown Sheriff, Dallas's Smoot Schmid, and his squad, lying in wait nearby. As Barrow drove up, he sensed a trap and drove right past his family's car, at which point Schmid and his deputies stood up and opened fire with machine guns and a BAR. The family members in the crossfire were not hit, but a single BAR slug passed through the car, striking the legs of both Barrow and Parker. They escaped that night. Bonnie Parker crossed an ominous personal threshold the following week when on November 28, a Dallas grand jury delivered a murder indictment against her and Barrow for the January 1933 killing of Tarrant County Deputy Malcolm Davis; it was Parker's first warrant for murder.

Barrow and Parker were ambushed and killed on May 23, 1934 on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The couple appeared in daylight in an automobile and were shot by a posse of four Texas officers, and two Louisiana officers. The posse was led by Texas lawman, Frank Hamer, who had begun tracking the pair on February 10, 1934. He studied the gang's movements and found they swung in a circle skirting the edges of five midwest states, exploiting the “state line” rule that prevented officers from one jurisdiction from pursuing a fugitive into another. Barrow was a master of that pre-FBI rule, but compared to John Dillinger, who was active throughout the Midwest at the time of Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree, Clyde was consistent in his movements, so an experienced man-hunter like Hamer could chart his path and predict where he would go. The gang's itinerary centered on family visits, and they were due to see Henry Methvin's family in Louisiana, which explained Hamer's meeting with them over the course of the hunt. Hamer obtained a quantity of civilian BAR’s and 20 round magazines with armor piercing rounds.

On May 21, 1934, the four posse members from Texas were in Shreveport, Louisiana when they learned that Barrow and Parker were to go to Bienville Parish that evening with Methvin. Barrow had designated the residence of Methvin's parents as a rendezvous in case they were later separated and indeed Methvin did get separated from the pair in Shreveport. The full posse, consisting of Captain Hamer, Dallas County Sheriff's Deputies Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton (both of whom knew Barrow and Parker by sight), former Texas Ranger B.M. “Manny” Gault, Bienville Parish Sheriff Henderson Jordan, and his deputy Prentiss Oakley, set up an ambush at the rendezvous point along Louisiana State Highway 154 south of Gibsland toward Sailes. Hinton's account has the group in place by 9:00 pm on the 21st and waiting through the whole next day (May 22) with no sign of the outlaw couple, but other accounts have them setting up on the evening of the 22nd.

At approximately 9:15 am on May 23, the posse, concealed in the bushes and almost ready to concede defeat, heard Barrow's stolen Ford V8 approaching at a high speed. The posse's official report had Barrow stopping to speak with Henry Methvin's father, planted there with his truck that morning to distract him and force him into the lane closer to the posse. The lawmen then opened fire, killing Barrow and Parker while shooting a combined total of approximately 130 rounds. All accounts of the ambush, including his own, agree that Oakley fired first, and probably before any order was given to do so. Barrow was killed instantly by Oakley's initial head shot, but Parker had a moment to reflect; Hinton reported hearing her scream as she realized Barrow was dead before the shooting at her began in earnest. The officers emptied the specially ordered automatic rifles, as well as other rifles, shotguns, and pistols at the car, and any one of many wounds would have been fatal to either of the fugitives. According to statements made by Ted Hinton and Bob Alcorn.

Some today say Bonnie and Clyde were shot more than 50 times, others claim closer to 25 wounds per corpse, or 50 total. Officially, the tally in Parish coroner Dr. J. L. Wade's 1934 report listed 17 separate entrance wounds on Barrow's body and 26 on Parker's, including several headshots on each, and one that had snapped Barrow's spinal column. So numerous were the bullet holes that undertaker C. F. Bailey would have difficulty embalming the bodies because they wouldn't contain the embalming fluid.

The bullet-riddled Ford containing the two bodies was towed to the Conger Furniture Store and funeral parlor on Railroad Avenue in downtown Arcadia, Louisiana across from the Illinois Central train station (which is now a historical museum containing Bonnie and Clyde artifacts.) Preliminary embalming was done by Bailey in the small preparation room in back of the furniture store. It was estimated that the northwest Louisiana town swelled in population from 2,000 to 12,000 within hours, the curious throngs arriving by train, horseback, buggy, and plane. Beer which normally sold for 15 cents a bottle jumped to 25 cents; ham sandwiches quickly sold out. After identifying his son's body, an emotional Henry Barrow sat in a rocking chair in the furniture part of the Conger establishment and wept.

Bonnie and Clyde wished to be buried side by side, but the Parker family would not allow it. Mrs. Parker had wanted to grant her daughter's final wish, which was to be brought home, but the mobs surrounding the Parker house made that impossible. Over 20,000 people turned out for Bonnie Parker's funeral, making it difficult for her family to reach the grave site.

The ambush of Barrow and Parker proved to be the beginning of the end of the “public enemy era” of the 1930s. New federal statutes that made bank robbery and kidnapping federal offenses, the growing coordination of local jurisdictions by the FBI, and the installation of two-way radios in police cars combined to make the free-ranging outlaw bandit lifestyle much more difficult in the summer of 1934 than it had been just a few months before.

Source: Wikipedia -

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA -

Thursday, September 27, 2012

UFO Files: Otway Sighting

About a week ago, September 21st, 2012, a news report came out about a UFO sighting in Otway, North Carolina. This is the report.

The Collector

THE COLLECTOR - Written by Carroll Bryant

She collects poetry about broken love
She collects poetry
Because she's afraid to touch
She will spend her life
With men who will forget her name
She will spend her life
Running like a rabbit in the rain

A woman
A child
A rose with intentional thorns
A bull with horns
A clown to be adored

She collects poetry at the expense of love
She collects poetry
Too much is not enough
She screams for something real
In a world that is so fake
Her dreams are leaves on the ground
Poetry is her rake

A woman
A child
A nightmare with no end
A vision inside an illusion
A shadow without a friend

She collects poetry like trophies on the wall
She collects poetry
Because she's afraid to fall
She will spend her life chasing rainbows
Only to paint them black
She will spend her life afraid
Afraid of the facts

A woman
A child
A song that can't be sung
A misconstrued wanderer
A virus inside your lungs

She collects poetry
And that's what pisses me off
She collects poetry
Her poetry collects dust

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quotes by Carroll Bryant Vol. Two

“Look how healthy you are, and your skin, it's like a Barbie doll."
"Why, thank you, Jenny." Christine graciously accepted the compliment, only to get side swiped when Jennifer moved to the door. "Tell me, will you melt if it gets too hot outside?” - Children of the Flower Power

“Peace loves war”

“I think a person can do one of two things in life ... make your own choices despite the past or let your past make your choices for you. Very few poeple go through life completely untouched by something bad. It's just up to the individual on how much of that bad you want to define who you are where it should be that YOU define who you are.”

“Listen." Jennifer reverted, "I didn't mean anything by all of that before. I understand what you were trying to do and ..." She struggled for the right words. "Sweetie, like love, people don't live inside of life, life lives inside of you. Open yourself up to it and there's no stopping your heart.” - Children of the Flower Power

“Where am I going to grow a garden in a penthouse?”
“Next time I visit I’ll fix you up a spot in one of the corners. You won’t even know it’s there until its time to harvest.”
“Wonderful.” But then it occurred to her. “Jenny, next time you visit?”
“What? What is it?” Jennifer asked.
Christine half stuttered. “You have never been to my penthouse.”
“Really?” Jennifer thought back when something came to mind. “Well, what was that great big building we went to the last time we visited? You know, we went all the way to the top.”
“That was the Empire State building.”
“No fooling? Huh, what do you know? Well you should move in there, it was beautiful as I recall.”
“You can’t move into the Empire State building.”
“Oh, that’s right,” Jennifer soon realized, “those mean terrorists tore it down. My, that was just awful.” - Children of the Flower Power

“You are evil woman, just plain evil.” - Children of the Flower Power

“If you want to dance the dance then you better learn the steps, the world has enough pretenders. If you want to practice sex then you better find a partner, and to love you must surrender.”

“Mary approaches her before she is able to reach her station. "Hello Lily. Get anything special for Christmas?"
"Just the usual." She answers. "Shattered dreams.” - Last Flight Out

“What goes up must come down. Which is why we invented Viagra, to make it stay up a little longer.”

“How am I going to explain to my kids one day that I can't buy them a happy meal because the toy will make them fat?”

“A sin is nothing more than regret. Not for doing it once, but doing it again when you know you’re going to regret it.”

“All I wanted for Christmas was a New Years Eve party that I would never forget. Too bad I got too drunk to remember it.”

“I'm not a type-O ... Don't delete me.”

“Lily looks back down at the necklace in her hand that Kavita had given her. "It must have cost a fortune."
"It did." He confirms. "Though not nearly as much as you're worth."
Lily looks up at him. "Don't say that. You hurt me everytime you speak.” - Last Flight Out

“You know," Kavita begins, "I think I can pick out my own furniture. I am an artist after all. I do have some taste."
"No you don't." Nick plainly states. "No man has taste. Besides, I didn't pick it out, she did. Wives are good for things like that.” - Last Flight Out

“I don't know who he was," Kavita flat-out states, "but whoever he was he sure did a number on you, didn't he?"
Mary leans forward to ensure he would see her deviant stare. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe I did a number on him?"
Kavita leans in closer as well, and with that same deviant expression, "Yes. I have.” - Last Flight Out

“When it comes to being famous, you’re usually the last to know, and the first to deny it. Unless you were already famous in your head. In which case, party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!”

“If only yesterday could be my tomorrow then today wouldn't even matter.”

“The white lily stands for purity. Artists for centuries have pictured the angel Gabriel coming to the virgin Mary with a spray of lillies in his hand, to announce that she is to be the mother of the Turks.” - Last Flight Out

“Often times, "shame" is the word that best describes reality.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Babe Ruth (Legends)

He was born George Herman Ruth Jr. on February 6, 1895 and passed away on August 16, 1948. He was best known simply as, “The Babe” and nicknamed “The Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat” while playing the game of baseball for 22 seasons in The Major Leagues (MLB) playing for three teams between 1914 and 1935. Known for his hitting brilliance, Ruth set career records for home runs (714), slugging percentage (.690), runs batted in (or RBI) with 2,217 and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164). Ruth originally entered the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox as a starting pitcher (and very good at it), but after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919, he converted to a full-time right-fielder. He subsequently became one of the league's most prolific hitters and with his home run hitting prowess, he helped the Yankees win seven pennants and four world series titles. Ruth retired in 1935 after a short stint with the Boston Braves, and the following year, he became one of the first five players to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ruth was the first player to hit 60 home runs in one season (1927), a mark first eclipsed by Roger Maris in 1961 with 61. Ruth's lifetime record of 714 home runs stood until 1974 when it was surpassed by Hank “Henry” Aaron. Unlike many power hitters, Ruth also hit for a high batting average: his .342 lifetime average is the tenth highest in baseball history, and in one season (1923) he batted .393, a Yankee record. Ruth dominated the era in which he played. He led the league in home runs during a season twelve times, slugging percentage and OPS thirteen times each, runs scored eight times, and RBIs six times. Each of those totals represents a modern record.

Ruth is credited with changing baseball itself. The popularity of the game exploded in the 1920s, largely due to his influence. Ruth ushered in the “live ball era”, as his big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only excited fans, but helped baseball evolve from a low-scoring, speed-dominated game to a high-scoring power game. He has since become regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture. Ruth's legendary power and charismatic personality made him a larger than life figure in the “Roaring Twenties”, and according to ESPN, he was the first true American sports celebrity superstar whose fame transcended the game of baseball. Off the field he was famous for his charity, but also was noted for his often reckless lifestyle.

Ruth has been named the greatest baseball player of all time in various surveys and rankings. In 1998, The Sporting News ranked him number one on the list of “Baseball's 100 Greatest Players“. In 1999, baseball fans named Ruth to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 1969, he was named baseball's Greatest Player Ever in a ballot commemorating the 100th anniversary of professional baseball. In 1993, the Associated Press reported that Muhammad Ali was tied with Babe Ruth as the most recognized athletes in America. In a 1999 ESPN poll, he was ranked as the third-greatest U.S. athlete of the century, behind basketball (NBA) great, Michael Jordan and boxing legend, Muhammad Ali.

Ruth was born at 216 Emory Street in Pigtown, a rough neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. Ruth's German-American parents, Kate Schamberger-Ruth and George Herman Ruth, Sr., owned a succession of saloons and sold lightning rods. Only one of Ruth's seven siblings, his sister Mamie, survived past infancy.

Not much is known about Ruth's early childhood. His mother was constantly ill (she later died of tuberculosis while Ruth was still a teenager). Ruth later described his early life as “rough.” When he was seven years old, his father sent him to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory and orphanage, and signed custody over to the Catholic missionaries who ran the school (the site of St. Mary's was occupied by Cardinal Gibbons School.) Ruth remained at St. Mary's for the next 12 years, visiting with his family only for special occasions. Brother Matthias Boutlier, the Head of Discipline at St. Mary's, first introduced Ruth to the game of baseball. He became a father figure in Ruth's life, teaching him how to read and write, and worked with Ruth on hitting, fielding, and, as his skills progressed, pitching. During his time in St. Mary's, Ruth was also taught tailoring, becoming a qualified shirt-maker, and was a part of both the school band and the drama club.

In 1936, Ruth was one of the first five players elected into the Baseball hall of Fame. Two years later, Larry MacPhail, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager, offered him a first base coaching job in June. Ruth took the job but quit at the end of the season. The coaching position was his last job in Major League Baseball. His baseball career finally came to an end in 1943. In a charity game at Yankee Stadium, he pinch hit and drew a walk. In 1947, he became director of the American Legion’s youth baseball program.

Ruth made many forays into various popular media. He was heard often on radio in the 1930s and 1940s, both as a guest and on his own programs with various titles: “The Adventures of Babe Ruth” was a 15-minute Blue Network show heard three times a week from April 16 to July 13, 1934. Three years later, he was on CBS twice a week in “Here’s babe Ruth” which was broadcast from April 14 to July 9, 1937. That same year he portrayed himself in “Alibi Ike” on Lux Radio Theater. His “Baseball Quiz” was first heard Saturdays on NBC June 5 to July 10, 1943 and then later that year from August 28 to November 20 on NBC, followed by another NBC run from July 8 to October 21, 1944. His film roles included a cameo appearance as himself in the Harold Lloyd film “Speedy” (1928). His first film appearance occurred in 1920, in the silent movie “Headin’ Home”. He made numerous other film appearances in the silent era, usually either playing himself or playing a ballplayer similar to himself.

Ruth's voice was said by some biographers to be similar to that of film star Clark Gable, although that was obviously not evident in the silent film era. He had an appropriate role as himself in “Pride of the Yankees” (1942), the story of his ill-fated teammate Lou Gehrig. Ruth had three scenes in the film, including one in which he appeared with a straw hat. He said, “If I see anyone touch it, I'll knock his teeth in!”. The teammates convinced young Gehrig (Gary Cooper) to chew up the hat; he got away with it. In the second scene, the players go to a restaurant, where Babe sees a side of beef cooking and jokes, “Well, I'll have one of those…” and, the dramatic scene near the end, where Gehrig makes his speech at Yankee Stadium ending with “I consider myself the luckiest man …”

Ruth married Helen Woodford in 1914. Owing to his infidelities, they were reportedly separated around 1926. Helen died in a fire in Watertown, Massachusetts, on January 11, 1929, in a house owned by Edward Kinder, a dentist whom she had been living with as “Mrs. Kinder“. Kinder identified her body as being that of his wife, then went into hiding after Helen's true identity was revealed; Ruth himself had to get authorities to issue a new death certificate in her legal name, Margaret Helen Woodford Ruth.

Ruth had two daughters. Dorothy Ruth was adopted by Babe and Helen. In her book, “My Dad, The Babe”, Dorothy claimed that she was Ruth's biological child by a girlfriend named Juanita Jennings. She died in 1989.

Ruth adopted Julia Hodgson when he married her mother, actress and model Claire Merritt Hodgson. Julia Ruth Stevens currently resides in Arizona, and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the final game in the original Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2008.

By one account, Julia and Dorothy were, through no fault of their own, the reason for the seven-year rift in Ruth's relationship with teammate Lou Gehrig. Sometime in 1932 Gehrig's mother, during a conversation which she assumed was private, said, “It's a shame (Claire) doesn't dress Dorothy as nicely as she dresses her own daughter.” When the remark inevitably got back to Ruth, he angrily told Gehrig to tell his mother to mind her own business. Gehrig in turn took offense at what he perceived as Ruth's disrespectful treatment of his mother. The two men reportedly never spoke off the field from that moment until the famous “bear hug” in Yankee Stadium on Lou Gehrig Day in 1939.

Ruth and Claire regularly wintered in Florida, frequently playing golf during the off-season and while the Yankees were spring training in Tampa, Florida. After retirement, he had a winter beachfront home in Treasure Island, Florida near St. Petersburg.

For decades, the Baby Ruth candy bar was believed to be named after Babe Ruth and some sports marketing practitioners used this example of one of the first forms of sports marketing. However, while the name of the candy bar sounds nearly identical to the Babe's name, the Curtiss Candy Company has steadfastly claimed that Baby Ruth was named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth Cleveland. Nonetheless, the bar first appeared in 1921, as Babe Ruth's fame was on the rise and long after Cleveland had left the White House and 15 years after his daughter had died. The company failed to negotiate an endorsement deal with Ruth, and many saw the company's story about the origin of the name of the bar as merely a ploy to avoid having to pay the baseball player any royalties. Ironically, Curtiss successfully shut down a rival bar that was approved by, and named for, Ruth, on the grounds that the names were too similar in the case of George H. Ruth Candy Co. v. Curtiss Candy Co, 49 F.2d 1033 (1931). Sports marketing experts now believe that the Curtiss Candy Company employed the first successful use of an ambush sports marketing campaign, capitalizing on the Babe's name, fame and popularity.

The New York Times supports the evidence of the ambush marketing campaign when it wrote “For 85 years, Babe Ruth, the slugger, and Baby Ruth, the candy bar, have lived parallel lives in which it has been widely assumed that the latter was named for the former. The confection's creator, the Curtiss Candy Company, never admitted to what looks like an obvious connection - especially since Ruth hit 54 home runs the year before the first Baby Ruth was devoured. Had it done so, Curtiss would have had to compensate Ruth. Instead, it eventually insisted the inspiration was “Baby Ruth” Cleveland, the daughter of President Grover Cleveland. But it is an odd connection that makes one wonder at the marketing savvy of Otto Schnering, the company's founder.”

Thus, in 1995, a company representing the Ruth estate brought the Baby Ruth candy bar into sponsorship officialdom when it licensed the Babe's name and likeness for use in a Baby Ruth marketing campaign. On page 34 of the spring, 2007, edition of the Chicago Cubs game program, there is a full-page ad showing a partially unwrapped Baby Ruth in front of the Wrigley ivy, with the caption, “The official candy bar of Major League Baseball, and proud sponsor of the Chicago Cubs.” Continuing the baseball-oriented theme, during the summer and post-season of the 2007 season, a TV ad for the candy bar showed an entire stadium (played by Dodger Stadium) filled with people munching Baby Ruths, and thus having to hum rather than singing along with “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch.

In 1946, Ruth began experiencing severe pain over his left eye. In November 1946, a visit to French Hospital in New York revealed Ruth had a malignant tumor in his neck that had encircled his left carotid artery. He received post-operative radiation therapy. Before leaving the hospital in February 1947, he lost approximately 80 pounds.

Around this time, developments in chemotherapy offered some hope. Teropterin, a folic acid derivative, was developed by Dr. Brian Hutchings of the Lederle Laboratories. It had been shown to cause significant remissions in children with leukemia. Ruth was administered this new drug in June 1947. He was suffering from headaches, hoarseness and had difficulty swallowing. He agreed to use this new medicine but did not want to know any details about it. All the while he was receiving this experimental medication, he did not know it was for cancer. On June 29, 1947, he began receiving injections and he responded with dramatic improvement. He gained over 20 pounds and had resolution of his headaches. On September 6, 1947, his case was presented anonymously at the 4th Annual Internal cancer Research Congress in St. Louis. Teropterin ended up being a precursor for methotrexate, a now commonly used chemotherapeutic agent.

On August 16, Babe Ruth died at age 53 due to pneumonia. An autopsy showed the cancer Ruth died from began in the nose and mouth and spread widely throughout his body from there. His body lay in repose in Yankee Stadium. His funeral was two days later at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York. Ruth was then buried in the Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven in Hawthorne, New York. At his death, the New York Times called Babe Ruth, “a figure unprecedented in American life. A born showman off the field and a marvelous performer on it, he had an amazing flair for doing the spectacular at the most dramatic moment.”

Ruth's impact on American culture still commands attention. Top performers in other sports are often referred to as “The Babe Ruth of ______.” He is widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in history. Many polls place him as the number one player of all time.

Source: Wikipedia -

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA -

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cold Soul Winter

COLD SOUL WINTER - Written by Carroll Bryant

So this is how it feels
A heart that never heals
A world that never breathes
A hurt that never leaves

So this is who I am
Just a shadow of a man
Just another Ponzi scheme
Just another dead end reverie

There was a time when I thought the job was mine
All I had to do was just show up
Back when I was young and much too dumb
Back into the future of a babies cry

So this is where it ends
A place full of faceless trends
A house filled with emptiness
A bargain not for sale

So this is what it means
To hear her silent screams
To know it was all my fault
To bring what was already brought

There was a way I could get them all to stay
With nothing more than a look
Back in the days of unsophisticated ways
Back into the future of a paradox

There was a song that I know I used to sing
Now to only hum the tune
Back in the days of my delirium
Back into the future of a girl named June

So this is what it’s all about
A winter that you can’t get out
A moment in unsheltered eyes
A fragment of unhardened time

There was a road that I always loved to stroll
Where unicorns welcomed trolls
Back in the hope of all isolated fears
Back into the future of an angels tears

So this is how it feels
A heart that never heals
A world that never breathes
A hurt that never leaves

A dream that never dreams

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Flag Of Kenya

The flag of Kenya was officially adopted on December 12, 1963. The Kenyan flag is based on that of Kenya African National Union. The colors symbolize black majority, red for the blood shed during the struggle for freedom, and green for Land; the white fimbriation was added later and symbolizes peace. The black, red, and white traditional Maasai shield and two spears symbolize the defense of all the things mentioned above.

The Kenyan flag is based on the black over red over green flag of Kenya African National Union (KANU), the political party that led the fight for freedom and independence of Kenya. Upon independence, the white fimbriation, symbolizing peace and unity, and the shield were added. The meaning of the colors of the flag of Kenya match closely to those of the Pan-African flag adopted by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League in 1920.

I just think it’s an awesome looking flag.

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA -

Friday, September 21, 2012


Okay, so I have been busy lately, really busy! However, with my recent trip to California I made an interesting discovery about a new and exciting band called VASEY. They're fresh on the scene and they have a good sound that I like a lot. Karl (The front man of the band) has agreed to allow me to share their video with all of you called "The Other Side".

Vasey is a Nottingham based rock band that was founded by lead singer/songwriter, Karl Vasey. A trip to America exposed him to the land of New York and California after having been contacted by a couple of record producers with ties to such artists as Bon Jovi, The Grateful dead and the legendary Bob Dylan.

Karl generated a following through his debut EP "Out Of The Imaginary". Influenced by such acts as the Goo-Goo Dolls (One of my influences too) and 30 Seconds To Mars, Karl spent his time in the USA working by writing new songs to take back home with him. His goal, as he told me, was to "record the perfect album".

Karl recruited a band upon his return, starting with Bass player, David Amar, and guitarist, Ben Perdue. The band was complete when drummer, Aidan Hunnisett was added to the group.

I hope I can convince them to let me do an in-depth interview with them some day here on my blog. You know, when  their schedule would allow. I think we will be hearing a lot from these guys down the road. (Maybe on the charts?) Yeah, I think so. They're that good!

Just remember that you heard of them first right here on my blog. And now, their video, "The Other Side".

Keep up with Vasey on their MySpace page. And when you get there, check out their other two songs, "A Throne That's Nowhere" and "Wake Up call". They're awesome!

Check them out on Youtube


Best of luck fellows. Like AC/DC said, it's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. Just keep doing your thing, and keep in touch. I'll be looking for your tour dates.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

UFO Files: Peruvian Stargate

It exists in the Hayu Marca mountain region of Southern Peru, 35 kilometers from the city of Puno, long revered as the “City of Gods”. Carved in the side of a mountain wall, and standing seven meters high and seven meters wide, the door. (Also called, “Puerta de Hayu Marca” or “Gate of the Gods.”) The Inca gate - of the gods. It was “discovered” by Westerner’s in September of 1996. However, many in Peru already knew about it. It was one of the most well kept secrets of our times. (But why?)

The native Indians speak of a legend. “The gateway to the lands of the gods.” and in that legend it is said that in times long past, great heroes had gone to join their gods and passed through the gate for a glorious new life of immortality, and on rare occasions those men returned for a short time with their gods to “inspect all the lands in the kingdom” through the gate. Another legend tells of the time when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Peru, and looted gold and precious stones from the Inca tribes, and one Incan priest of the temple of the seven rays named Aramu Maru, fled from his temple with a sacred golden disk known as “The key of the gods of the seven rays“, and hid in the mountains of Hayu Marca. He eventually came upon the doorway which was being watched by shamen priests. He showed them the key of the gods and a ritual was performed with the conclusion of a magical occurrence initiated by the golden disk which opened the portal, and according to the legend blue light did emanate from a tunnel inside. The priest Aramu Maru handed the golden disk to the shamen and then passed through the portal “never to be seen again.”

Something interesting to ponder is the structure undeniably resembles the Gate of the Sun at Tiahuanco and five other archeological sites which link together by grid lines intersecting each other exactly at the point where the plateau and Lake Titicaca is located. News reports from the region tell of sizable UFO activity in all of these areas, especially at Lake Titicaca. Most of the reports describe glowing blue spheres and bright white disk shaped objects. The afore mentioned legend concludes with a prophecy that the door of the gods will one day open “many times bigger than it actually is” and allow the gods to return in their “sun ships.”

There are said to be many other stargates spread throughout the planet. Many of which are locate dalong the “power grid” of Earth’s electromagnetic energy field that links to an unordinary amount of UFO sightings. One is the “Sumerian Stargate” of the Annunaki. It shows a figure in the door. Many ancient astronaut theorists believe this represents the space traveler’s from long ago who came to this planet.

Another stargate is said to be located in the “Bermuda Triangle.”

There is cosmic debate about what will occur this December, when the Mayan calendar ends. Some reason that the “gods” will return, entering into our world through this, and all other stargates across the world, and in their “sunships.“ Of course, this is just speculation. Who is to say, though? The Mayan calendar is a whole other segment. However, just because the calendar runs out, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, it could just be the beginning of a new one. A new life. Maybe just for some of us, or perhaps, for the entire planet.

Until then, I guess we will have to wonder. Wonder who (and how) could have carved that door so high and wide and deep into the rock like that with ancient tools? And why out in the middle of nowhere? Could this actually be one of the pieces of evidence, right in plain sight, that extraterrestrials do exists and have been coming to this planet for thousands of years? Ancient astronaut theorists would say, “yes!”

Billy The Kid (American Outlaw)

Live fast and die hard, that’s how it was for some in the Old West. While Hollywood has made several movies portraying this outlaw legend, I don’t think any of them ever got it right. I don’t think it is even possible to get him right. There are so many stories about him, who knows which of them are true and which are embellished? One thing is for certain though, he was (is) an American outlaw legend.

William H. Bonney was originally born William Henry McCarty, Jr. on November 23rd, 1859. He died July 14, 1881. He was better known simply as Billy the Kid but also known as Henry Antrim. He was a 19th-century American gunslinger who participated in the Lincoln County War and became a frontier outlaw in the American Old West. According to legend, he killed 21 men, but it is generally believed that he killed between four and nine. He killed his first man at the age of 18. He stood a meager 5'8" tall with blue eyes, a smooth complexion, and prominent front teeth. He was said to be friendly and personable at times, and it's been said that he was as nimble as a cat. Contemporaries described him as a “neat” dresser who favored an “unadorned Mexican sombrero“. These qualities, along with his cunning and celebrated skill with firearms, contributed to his paradoxical image as both a notorious outlaw and beloved folk hero. Relatively unknown during most of his lifetime, Billy was catapulted into legend in 1881 when New Mexico's governor, Lew Wallace, placed a price on his head. In addition, the Las Vegas Gazette (Las Vegas, New Mexico) and the New York Sun carried stories about his exploits. Other newspapers followed suit. After his death, several biographies were written that portrayed the Kid in varying lights.

William Henry McCarty, Jr. is believed by Michael Wallis and Robert M. Utley, scholars of western history, to have been born on the eve of the Civil War in an Irish neighborhood in New York City (at 70 Allen Street). If indeed his birthplace was New York, as there are no records that prove that he ever lived there, ad if they there were, they have ever been uncovered. While it's not known for sure who his biological father was, some researchers have theorized that his name was Patrick McCarty, Michael McCarty, William McCarty, or Edward McCarty. His mother's name was Catherine McCarty, although there have been continuing debates about whether McCarty was her maiden or married name. She is believed to have immigrated to New York during the time of the Great Famine.

In 1868 Catherine McCarty had moved with her two young sons, Henry and Joseph, to Indianapolis, Indiana. There she met William Antrim, who was 12 years her junior. In 1873, after several years of moving around the country, the two were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and settled further south in Silver City Antrim found work as a bartender and carpenter, but then became involved in prospecting and gambling as a way to make a living, and during that period spent very little time at home with his wife and stepsons. Young William McCarty did not often use the surname “Antrim.” Married to a husband who was frequently absent, McCarty's mother reportedly washed clothes, baked pies, and took in boarders in order to provide for herself and her sons. Boarders and neighbors remembered her as a jolly Irish lady, full of life and mischief, but she was already in the final stages of tuberculosis when the family reached Silver City. On September 16, 1874, Catherine McCarty died; she was buried in the Memory Lane Cemetery in Silver City.

At age 14 McCarty was taken in by a neighboring family who operated a hotel where he worked to pay for his keep. The manager was impressed by the youth, contending that he was the only young man who ever worked for him who did not steal anything. One of McCarty's schoolteachers later recalled that the young orphan was no more of a problem than any other boy, always quite willing to help with chores around the schoolhouse. Biographers sought to explain McCarty's subsequent descent into lawlessness by focusing on his habit of reading dime novels that romanticized crime. Another potential explanation was that his slender physique placed him in precarious situations with bigger and stronger boys. Forced to seek new lodgings when his foster family began to experience domestic problems, McCarty moved into a boarding house and pursued odd jobs. In April 1875, McCarty was arrested by Grant County Sheriff Harvey Whitehill for stealing cheese. On September 24, 1875, McCarty was arrested again when found in possession of clothing and firearms that a fellow boarder had stolen from a Chinese laundry owner. Two days after McCarty was placed in jail, the teenager escaped up the jailhouse chimney. From that point on McCarty was more or less a fugitive. According to some accounts, he eventually found work as an itinerant ranch hand and shepherd in southeastern Arizona. In 1876 McCarty settled in the vicinity of the Fort Grant Army Post in Arizona, where he worked on ranches and tested his skills at local gaming houses. Sheriff Whitehill would later say that he liked the boy, and his acts of theft were more due to necessity than wantonness.

During this time McCarty became acquainted with John R. Mackie, a Scottish-born ex-cavalry private with a criminal bent. The two men supposedly became involved in the risky, but profitable, enterprise of horse thievery. McCarty, who stole from local soldiers, became known by the name of “Kid Antrim“. Biographer Robert M. Utley writes that the nickname arose because of McCarty's slight build and beardless countenance, his young years, and his appealing personality. In 1877 McCarty was involved in a conflict with the civilian blacksmith at Fort Grant, an Irish immigrant named Frank “Windy” Cahill, who took pleasure in bullying the young McCarty. On August 17, Cahill reportedly attacked McCarty after a verbal exchange and threw him to the ground. Reliable accounts say that McCarty retaliated by shooting Cahill, who died the next day. The coroner's inquest concluded that McCarty's shooting of Cahill was criminal and unjustifiable. Some of those who witnessed the incident later claimed that McCarty acted in self-defense. Years later, Louis Abraham, who had known McCarty in Silver City but was not a witness, denied that anyone was killed in the altercation.

In fear of Cahill's friends, McCarty fled the Arizona Territory and entered into New Mexico Territory. He eventually arrived at the former army post of Apache Tejo, where he joined a band of cattle rustlers who raided the sprawling herds of cattle magnate John Chisum. During this period McCarty was spotted by a resident of Silver City, and the teenager's involvement with the notorious gang was mentioned in a local newspaper. McCarty rode for a time with the gang of rustlers known as the Jesse Evans Gang, but then turned up at Heiskell Jones's house in Pecos Valley, New Mexico. According to this account, Apaches stole McCarty's horse, forcing him to walk many miles to the nearest settlement, which happened to be Jones's home. When he arrived, the young man was supposedly near death, but Mrs. Jones nursed him back to health. The Jones family developed a strong attachment to McCarty and gave him one of their horses. At some point in 1877, McCarty began to refer to himself as “William H. Bonney“.

Then, in 1877, a conflict between two established town merchants began that was later describes as “The Lincoln County War”. Billy (as he was now known as William H. Bonney) moved to Lincoln County, New Mexico where he was hired by Doc Scurlock and Charlie Bowdre to work in their cheese factory. Through them he met Frank Coe, George Coe and Ab Saunders, three cousins who owned their own ranch near the ranch of Richard M. Brewer. After a short stint working on the ranch of Henry Hooker, Billy began working on the Coe-Saunders ranch. Late in 1877, McCarty, along with Brewer, Bowdre, Scurlock, the Coes and the Saunders, was hired as a cattle guard by John Tunstall, an English cattle rancher, banker and merchant, and his partner, Alexander McSween, a prominent lawyer.

Before the arrival of Tunstall and McSween, Murphy and Dolan presided over a monopoly of Lincoln County's cattle and merchant trade; their far-reaching operation was known locally as “The House“, after a large mansion in Lincoln that served as Murphy and Dolan's headquarters. There was also an ethnic element to the House's conflict with Tunstall; Murphy and Dolan, both Irish immigrants, were strongly opposed to an Englishman like Tunstall cutting into their business.

Events turned bloody on February 18, 1878, when Tunstall was spotted while driving a herd of nine horses towards Lincoln and murdered by William Morton, Jesse Evans, Tom Hill, Frank Baker and Sheriff William J. Brady of Lincoln County - all members of a posse serving the House, sent to attack McSween's holdings. After murdering Tunstall, the gunmen shot down his prized bay horse. Although members of the House sought to frame Tunstall's death as a “justifiable homicide“, evidence at the scene suggested that Tunstall attempted to avoid a confrontation before he was shot down. Tunstall's murder enraged Billy and the other ranch hands.

McSween, who abhorred violence, took steps to punish Tunstall's murderers through legal means; he obtained warrants for their arrests from the local justice of the peace, John B. Wilson. Tunstall's men formed their own group called the Regulators. After being deputized by Brewer, Tunstall's foreman, who had been appointed a special constable and given the warrant to arrest Tunstall's killers, proceeded to the Murphy-Dolan store. The wanted men, Bill Morton and Frank Baker, attempted to flee, but they were captured on March 6. Upon returning to Lincoln, the Regulators reported that Morton and Baker had been shot on March 9 near Agua Negra during an alleged escape attempt. During their journey to Lincoln, the Regulators killed one of their members, a man named McCloskey, whom they suspected of being a traitor. On the day that McCloskey, Morton, and Baker were slain, Governor Samuel Beach Axtell arrived in Lincoln County to investigate the ongoing violence. The governor, accompanied by James Dolan and associate John Riley, proved hostile to the faction now headed by McSween. The Regulators “went from lawmen to outlaws“. Axtell refused to acknowledge the so-called “Santa Fe Ring“, a group of corrupt politicians and business leaders led by U.S. Attorney Thomas Benton Catron. Catron cooperated closely with the House, which was perceived as part of the notorious “ring“.

The Regulators planned to settle a score with Sheriff Brady, who had arrested Billy and fellow deputy Fred Waite in the aftermath of Tunstall's murder. At the time Brady arrested them, the two men were trying to serve a warrant on him for his suspected role in looting Tunstall's store after the Englishman's death, as well as against his posse members for the murder of Tunstall. On April 1, the Regulators Jim French, Frank McNab, John Middlton, Fred Waite, Henry Brown and Billy ambushed Sheriff Brady and his deputy, George W. Hindman, killing them both in Lincoln's main street. Billy was shot in the thigh while attempting to retrieve a rifle that Brady had seized from him during an earlier arrest. With this move, the Regulators disillusioned many former supporters, who came to view both sides as “equally nefarious and bloodthirsty“. The connection between McSween and the Regulators was ambiguous, however. Billy was loyal to the memory of Tunstall, though not necessarily to McSween. Jacobsen doubts whether Billy and McSween were acquainted at the time of Brady's death. According to a contemporary newspaper account, the Regulators disclaimed “all connection or sympathy with McSween and his affairs” and expressed their sole desire was to track down Tunstall's murderers. On April 4, in what became known as the Gunfight of Blazer’s Mills, the Regulators sought the arrest of Buckshot Roberts, a former buffalo hunter whom they suspected of involvement in the Tunstall murder. Roberts refused to be taken alive, although he suffered a severe bullet wound to the chest. During the gun battle, he shot and killed the Regulators' leader, Dick Brewer. Four other Regulators were wounded in the skirmish. The incident had the effect of further alienating the public, as many local residents “admired the way Roberts put up a gutsy fight against overwhelming odds.”

After Brewer's death, the Regulators elected Frank McNab as captain. For a short period, the Regulators benefited from the appointment of Sheriff John Copeland, who proved sympathetic to their cause. Copeland's authority was undermined by the House, which recruited members from among Brady's former deputies. On April 29, 1878, a posse including the Jesse Evans Gang and the Seven Rovers Warriors, under the direction of former Brady deputy George W. Peppin, engaged McNab, Ab Saunders and Frank Coe in a shootout at the Fritz Ranch. They killed McNab, severely wounded Saunders and captured Coe. Coe escaped custody a short time later. The next day the Regulators “iron clad” took up defensive positions in the town of Lincoln, where they traded shots with Dolan's men as well as U.S. cavalrymen. The only casualty was Dutch Charley Kruling, a House gunman wounded by a rifle slug fired by George Coe. By shooting at US government troops, the Regulators gained a new set of enemies. On May 15, the Regulators tracked down Seven Rivers Warriors gang member Manuel Segovia, the suspected murderer of Frank McNab, and killed him. Around the time of Segovia's death, the Regulator “iron clad” gained a new member, a young Texas “cowpoke” named Tom O’Folliard, who became Billy’s close friend and constant companion. The Regulators' position worsened when the governor, in a quasi-legal move, removed Copeland and appointed House ally George Peppin as sheriff. Under indictment for the Brady killing, Billy and the other Regulators spent the next several months in hiding and were trapped, along with McSween, in McSween's home in Lincoln on July 15, by members of the House and some of Brady's men. On July 19, a column of U.S. cavalry soldiers entered the fray. Although the soldiers were ostensibly neutral, their actions favored the Dolan faction. After a five-day siege, the posse set McSween's house on fire. Billy and the other Regulators fled. The posse shot McSween when he escaped the fire, essentially marking the end of the Lincoln County War.

In the Autumn of 1878, the president appointed Lew Wallace, a former Union Army general, as Governor of the New Mexico Territory. In an effort to restore peace to Lincoln County, Wallace proclaimed an amnesty for any man involved in the Lincoln County War who was not already under indictment. Billy, who had fled to Texas after his escape from McSween's house, was under indictment, but sent Wallace a letter requesting immunity in return for testifying in front of the Grand Jury. In March 1879, Wallace and Billy met in Lincoln County to discuss the possibility of a deal. Billy greeted the governor with a revolver in one hand and a Winchester rifle in the other. After taking several days to consider Wallace's offer, Billy agreed to testify in return for amnesty. The arrangement called for Billy to submit to a token arrest and a short stay in jail until the conclusion of his courtroom testimony. Although Billy’s testimony helped to indict John Dolan, the district attorney - one of the powerful “House” faction leaders - disregarded Wallace's order to set Billy free after his testimony. After the Dolan trial, Billy and O'Folliard escaped on horses supplied by friends. For the next year-and-a-half, McCarty survived by rustling, gambling, and taking defensive action. In January 1880, he reportedly killed a man named Joe Grant in a Fort Sumner saloon. Grant, who did not realize who his opponent was, boasted that he would kill “Billy the Kid” if he ever encountered him. In those days people loaded their revolvers with only five rounds, with the hammer down on an empty chamber. This was done to prevent an accidental discharge should the hammer be struck. The Kid asked Grant if he could see his ivory-handled revolver and, while looking at the weapon, rotated the cylinder so the hammer would fall on the empty chamber when the trigger was pulled. He told Grant his identity. When Grant fired, nothing happened, and Billy shot him. When asked about the incident later, he remarked, “It was a game for two, and I got there first.” Other versions of this story exist. One biographer, Joel Jacobsen, recounts the story as described in Utley, describing Grant as a “drunk” who was “making himself obnoxious in a bar“. The Kid is described as rotating the cylinder “so an empty chamber was beneath the hammer“. In Jacobsen's recounting of the incident, Grant tried to shoot Billy in the back. “As Billy was leaving the saloon, his back turned to Grant, he heard a distinct click. He spun around before Grant could reach a loaded chamber. Always a good marksman, he shot Grant in the chin.”

In November 1880, a posse pursued and trapped Billy’s gang inside a ranch house owned by his friend James Greathouse at Anton Chico in the White Oaks area. James Carlyle of the posse entered the house under a white flag, in an effort to negotiate the group's surrender. Greathouse was sent out to act as a hostage for the posse. At some point in the evening, Carlyle evidently decided the outlaws were stalling. According to one version, Carlyle heard a shot that had been fired accidentally outside. Concluding that the posse had shot down Greathouse, he chose escape, crashed through a window and was fired upon and killed. Recognizing their mistake, the posse became demoralized and scattered, enabling Billy and his gang to slip away. Billy vehemently denied shooting Carlyle, and later wrote to Governor Wallace, claiming to be innocent of this crime and others attributed to him.

During this time, Billy became acquainted with an ambitious local bartender and former buffalo hunter named Pat Garrett. While popular accounts often depict Billy and Garrett as “bosom buddies“, there is no evidence that they were friends. Running on a pledge to rid the area of rustlers, Garrett was elected as sheriff of Lincoln County in November 1880; in early December, he assembled a posse and set out to arrest Billy, at that time known almost exclusively as “Billy the Kid”. Billy then carried a $500 bounty on his head that had been authorized by governor Lew Wallace. The posse led by Garrett fared well, and his men closed in quickly. On December 19, McCarty barely escaped a midnight ambush in Fort Sumner, which left one member of the gang, Tom O'Folliard, dead. On December 23, Billy was tracked to an abandoned stone building located in a remote location known as Stinking Springs (near present-day Taiban, New Mexico). While Billy and his gang were asleep inside, Garrett's posse surrounded the building and waited for sunrise. The next morning, a cattle rustler named Charlie Bowdre stepped outside to feed his horse. Mistaken for Billy, he was shot down by the posse. Soon afterward, somebody from within the building reached for the horse's halter rope, but Garrett shot and killed the horse, whose body blocked the building's only exit. As the lawmen began to cook breakfast over an open fire, Garrett and Billy engaged in a friendly exchange, with Garrett inviting McCarty outside to eat, and Billy inviting Garrett to “go to hell.” Realizing that they had no hope of escape, the besieged and hungry outlaws finally surrendered and were allowed to join in the meal.

McCarty was transported from Fort Sumner to Las Vegas, NM, where he gave an interview to a reporter from the Las Vegas Gazette. Next, the prisoner was transferred to Santa Fe, where he sent four separate letters over the next three months to Governor Wallace seeking clemency. Wallace, however, refused to intervene, and Billy’s trial was held in April 1881 in Mesilla. On April 9, after two days of testimony, Billy was found guilty of the murder of Sheriff Brady, the only conviction ever secured against any of the combatants in the Lincoln County War. On April 13, he was sentenced by Judge Warren Bristol to hang. With his execution scheduled for May 13, Billy was removed to Lincoln, where he was held under guard by two of Garrett's deputies, James Bell and Robert Ollinger, on the top floor of the town courthouse. On April 28, while Garrett was out of town, Billy stunned the territory by killing both of his guards and escaping. The details of the escape are unclear. Some researchers believe that a sympathizer placed a pistol in a nearby privy that Billy was permitted to use, under escort, each day. Billy retrieved the gun, and turned it on Bell when the pair had reached the top of a flight of stairs in the courthouse. Another theory holds that Billy slipped off his manacles at the top of the stairs, struck Bell over the head with them, grabbed Bell's own gun, and shot him with it. Bell staggered down the stairs, dying as he fell. Billy scooped up Ollinger's 10-gauge double-barrel shotgun. Both barrels had been fully loaded with buckshot earlier by Ollinger himself. Billy waited at the upstairs window for his second guard, who had been across the street with some other prisoners, to respond to the gunshot and come to Bell's aid. As Ollinger came running into view, Billy leveled the shotgun at him, called out “Hello Bob!” and killed him. Billy’s escape was delayed for an hour while he worked free of his leg irons with a pickax and then the young outlaw mounted a horse and rode out of town, reportedly singing. The horse returned two days later.

Sheriff Pat Garrett responded to rumors that McCarty was lurking in the vicinity of Fort Sumner almost three months after his escape. Garrett and two deputies set out on July 14, 1881, to question one of the town's residents, a friend of McCarty's named Pete Maxwell (son of the land baron Lucien Maxwell). Close to midnight, as Garrett and Maxwell sat talking in Maxwell's darkened bedroom, Billy unexpectedly entered the room. There are at least two versions of what happened next. One version suggests that as Billy entered, he failed to recognize Garrett in the poor light. Billy drew his pistol and backed away, asking “Who is it? Who is it?” in Spanish. Recognizing Billy’s voice, Garrett drew his own pistol and fired twice, the first bullet striking Billy in the chest just above his heart, although the second one missed and struck the mantle behind him; Billy fell to the floor and gasped for a minute and died. In a second version, Billy entered carrying a knife, evidently headed to a kitchen area. He noticed someone in the darkness, and uttered the words, “Who is it? Who is it?” at which point he was shot and killed. Although the popularity of the first story persists, and portrays Garrett in a better light, some historians contend that the second version is probably the accurate one. A markedly different theory, in which Garrett and his posse set a trap for Billy, has also been suggested. Most recently explored in the 2004 Discovery Channel documentary, “Billy the Kid: Unmasked”, this version says that Garrett went to the bedroom of Pedro Maxwell's sister, Paulita, and bound and gagged her in her bed. When Billy arrived, Garrett was waiting behind Paulita's bed and shot him Garrett allowed the Kid’s friends to take his body across the plaza to the carpenter’s shop to give him a wake. The next morning, Justice of the Peace, Milnor Rudulph, viewed the body and made out the death certificate, but Garrett rejected the first one and demanded another one be written more in his favor. Billy’s body was then prepared for burial, and at noon was buried at the Fort Sumner cemetery between his two friends, Tom O'Folliard and Charlie Bowdre.

In his book, ’Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life’, Robert Utley told the story of Pat Garrett's book effort. In the weeks following Garrett's execution of the Kid, he felt the need to tell his side of the story. Many people had begun to talk about the unfairness of the encounter, so Garrett called upon his friend, Marshall Ashmun Upson, to ghostwrite a book with him. Upson was a roving journalist who had a gift for graphic prose. Their collaboration led to a book entitled ’The Authentic Lofe of Billy the Kid’, which was first published in April 1882. The book originally sold few copies; however, it eventually proved to be an important reference for historians who would later write about the Kid's life. Rumors persist that Billy the Kid was not killed that night, and in fact that Garrett, a known friend of the Kid's, may have staged it all so the Kid could escape the law.

But that is just a rumor.

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA -