Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hard Knocks

HARD KNOCKS - Written by Carroll Bryant

It’s been a long time
I can’t get it out of my head
Words can be unkind
Like blue can be painted red

You keep spinning the truth
They keep spinning the lies
They keep blaming their youth
You keep rolling the dice
Bullies like what they say
And they like what they do
Don’t go wishing it that way
Someday they’ll be coming for you too

It’s been a wild night
And visions can replace the dark
It was a dog fight
But I had to defend my heart

Girls will run around town
While they play with their toys
Just like Patrick Brown
Likes to play with little boys
You can squeeze all the blood
From the palm of your hand
Hide behind your fake love
Or you can make your own stand

And in the mystery of life
You seek for wisdom and for something wise
The school of hard knocks always has classes
Morning, noon and night
They’re nothing but asses

It was a rough ride
Glad to see it finally end
No, you can’t hide
Behind a false prophet or friend

You keep spinning instead
They keep jumping the gun
They keep spinning their web
You keep them on the run
Bullies like what they say
And they like what they do
Don’t go wishing it that way
Someday they’ll be coming for you too

They will be coming for you

American Gangster: Machine Gun Kelly

He was born George Celino Barnes on July 18th, 1895 and died on the same day (his birthday) in 1954. He was best known as “Machine Gun Kelly”. He was an American gangster during the prohibition era. His nickname came from his favorite weapon, a Thompson submachine gun. His most famous crime was the kidnapping of oil tycoon and businessman Charles F. Urschel in July 1933 for which he, and his gang, collected a $200,000 ransom. Their victim had collected and left considerable evidence that assisted the subsequent FBI investigation that eventually led to Kelly's arrest in Memphis, Tennessee on September 26, 1933. His crimes also included bootlegging and armed robbery.

During the Prohibition era of the 1920s and 1930s Kelly worked as a bootlegger for himself as well as a colleague. After a short time, and several run-ins with the local Memphis police, he decided to leave town and head west with his girlfriend. To protect his family and escape law enforcement officers, he changed his name to George R. Kelly. He continued to commit smaller crimes and bootlegging. He was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for smuggling liquor onto an Indian Reservation in 1928 and sentenced for three years to Leavenworth Penitentiary, Kansas beginning February 11th, 1928. He was reportedly a model inmate and was released early.

Shortly thereafter, Kelly married Kathryn Thorne, who purchased Kelly’s first machine gun and went to great lengths to familiarize his name in the underground crime circles; she also helped plot some small bank robberies. Nonetheless, Kelly’s last criminal activity proved disastrous when he kidnapped a wealthy Oklahoma City resident, Charles F. Urschel and his friend Walter R. Jarrett. Urschel, having been blindfolded, made note of evidence of his experience including remembering background sounds, counting footsteps and leaving fingerprints on surfaces in reach. This proved invaluable for the FBI in their investigation, as they concluded that Urschel had been held in Paradise, Texas, based on sounds that Urschel remembered hearing while he was being held hostage.

An investigation disclosed that after 56 days on the run, the Kellys were staying at the residence of J.C. Tichenor in Memphis. Special Agents from Birmingham, Alabama, headed by Special Agent in Charge, William Rorer, were immediately dispatched to Memphis on the orders of J. Edgar Hoover, where, in the early morning hours of September 26th, 1933 a raid was conducted, led by agent Rorer and Memphis police officers Sergeant William Raney and officer Thomas Waterson. George and Kathryn Kelly were taken into custody. Caught without a weapon, George Kelly supposedly cried, “Don’t shoot, G-Men! Don’t shoot, G-Men!”, as he surrendered to FBI Agents. The term (which had applied to all federal investigators, meaning simply 'Government Men') became synonymous with FBI Agents.

Reports of the raid, however, indicate that George Kelly came to the door, dropped his pistol and said, “Okay, boys, I’ve been waiting for you all night.” Recent research revealed a 1933 newspaper interview with one of the federal agents at the arrest. He reported that, upon their arrest, Kathryn Kelly put her arms around George and said, “These G-men will never leave us alone.” The FBI used the G-Man story to build its reputation. The arrest of the Kelly’s was overshadowed by the escape of ten inmates, including all of the members of the future Dillinger gang, from the penitentiary in Michigan City, Indiana that same night.

In October 1933, George and Kathryn Kelly were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial was held at the Post Office, Courthouse and Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City. Kathryn Kelly had all charges dropped and was released in 1958 from prison in Cincinnati.

The kidnapping of Urschel and the two trials that resulted were historic in several ways. They were: 1) the first federal criminal trials in the United States in which moving cameras were allowed to film; 2) the first kidnapping trials after the passage of the so-called Lindberg Law, which made kidnapping a federal crime; 3) the first major case solved by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. And 4) the first prosecution in which defendants were transported by airplane.

Machine Gun Kelly spent his remaining 22 years in prison. During his time at the famed Alcatraz Prison he got the nickname “Pop Gun Kelly“. This was in reference, according to a former prisoner, to the fact that Kelly was a model prisoner and was nowhere near the tough, brutal gangster his wife made him out to be. He spent 17 years on Alcatraz, working in the prison industries, and boasting of and exaggerating his past escapades to other inmates, and was quietly transferred back to Leavenworth in 1951. He died of a heart attack at Leavenworth on July 18, 1954, his 59th birthday, and is buried at Cottondale Texas Cemetery with a small headstone marked “George B. Kelley 1954“.

Source: Wikipedia

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons


Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Night She Cried

LAST NIGHT SHE CRIED - Written by Carroll Bryant

Last night, she cried
And I didn’t even ask her why
When she needed me the most
I left just like a ghost
Fading into the night

Yesterday she said
Her heart was all and everything but dead
When she reached out for my hand
My mind didn’t understand
Lingering there instead

There was a moment to the scene
It was all just standing there for me to believe
I froze like a stone of ice
Looking deep into her eyes
Looking deep into a dream

Tomorrow is the time
When I think I know what she will find
Nothing is all you gain
When you throw it all away
A picture so sublime

There was a reason to discard
The feelings of the girl who made me hard
I wilted like a weed
In search of what I need
Like Napoleon Bonaparte

There was the hope of season two
Before the curtain fell right down on you
It’s a road to lay the blame
Like on a runaway train
And you don’t know what to do

Last night, she cried
And I didn’t even ask her why
When she needed me the most
I left just like a ghost
Fading into the night

If I was what she needed least
I could have been a better beast
I would have gave it another try

And last night, she cried

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Carroll's Journal: Chillicothe

Welcome to my hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio. There is so much to show that I should do two parts. (Maybe three) But since my camera is now broke, blah! So here it is, my hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio.

My favorite place of all in Chillicothe is Yoctangee Park. One of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen. The high school is located to the back side of the park. They have like a five mile jogging path made of concrete that over looks the river and some baseball fields. And speaking of baseball fields, our local minor league baseball team, Chillicothe Paints, keeps us entertained in the summer days.

Inside the park, you will find the Pump House Art Gallery. It was originally a water pump facility way back in the good old days that serviced the townspeople with fresh drinking water. In the 70’s, there was a plan to tear it down when the new water plant facility was built, enter our local “world renowned” pen and ink artist, Ted Fickisen and his manager, Charlie Queen. They were able to preserve the structure, getting it listed as a historical building and they transformed it into what it is today, a building that houses some great artwork by local residents and famous artists. It has become one of the many attractions in not only Yoctangee Park, but in the city of Chillicothe itself. If you ever get a chance to go to Chillicothe, this is a must on your list of things to visit. Oh, when you go to the park, bring some bread for the ducks, but be careful, while it is okay to feed them, if you do, they will mount an attack. LOL Albeit, a friendly one, as anyone who feeds them becomes their best friend for the moment. I used to take my little sister there often, and spend some time making new friends. We had a few incidents where they got too close to her and she would freak out, but big bubby was always there to save her from being eaten by them. Ha-ha.

The courthouse is also a great sight. It is itself a historical building. Here is a view of it at night as well as the day.

Another fantastic and historical building is where our local city paper is located, The Chillicothe Gazette.

We also hold an Easy Rider Rodeo every year around the end of August, first weekend of September. This is when our streets are riddled with bikers from all over the United States. The girls are pretty hot too. I have been to many of these events and it can get pretty wild. I think I best leave it at that before I spill a few of my (mis)adventures. LOL

This is a part of downtown where jenny’s store is located.

Memorial Stadium is located on the property of the V.A. hospital and is home of the Chillicothe Paints minor league baseball team. Before they make it to the major leagues, they play here. Well, some of them do anyway. LOL

On the outskirts of town, we have the Mound City Indian burial site. It is gorgeous and a must see on your list if you ever visit. As is Adena, the 2000 acre estate of Thomas Worthington, our sixth governor of Ohio and one of the states first United States Senators. It has been restored to look just like it did when the Worthington family lived there. The house was completed in 1807. The house is one of only three houses designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe still standing in the country. Latrobe is considered the first professional American architect and served as architect of the U.S. capitol under President Thomas Jefferson. The picture you see here is of the garden. How beautiful is that?

As for the last pic, I want to move into this house. LOL Wish me luck.

And as for other events taking place in my world, well, I did get to shake hands over the past month with presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, and Vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan. If they win the election then that would make two presidents I shook hands with. (The other being former president, Bill Clinton.) And one vice president. I guess that is something, isn’t it? Then later, one of them and their caravan of police escorts came driving through town and right by my home. Just about every time a big shot politician comes through Ohio it is almost a given that they will be traveling right through Piketon. They sure do use a lot of police officers for those escorts though. I think I have figured out why so many states, counties and cities are on the verge of bankruptcy. Maybe these candidates could use some of that donation money they get for their campaigns to pay for those escorts instead of the tax payers always flipping the bill. (Just a thought) In fact, I think all left-over campaign funds should automatically go to paying the national debt and stuff. (Just another thought)

That about wraps it up for this journal. Don’t forget to go out and vote. Not that it’s going to make a difference. It’s all rigged anyway. The politics of America is so corrupted, I mean, dead people voting? Really? I better stop here. Just remember, it doesn’t matter who you vote for, America is screwed either way. LOL If you’re still undecided, just do what I do. Break the candidates down into two categories. Dumb, and dumber. (That’s the easy part) The hard part is figuring out which one is dumb and which one is dumber. Ha-ha. Flip a coin.

Random thought: To think I could have been stuck with her. Thanks universe!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Flag of Burundi

The national flag of Burundi was adopted on March 28, 1967. It consists of a white saltire which divides the field into alternating red and green areas. The center of the saltire merges into a white disk, on which there are three red solid six-pointed stars outlined in green. The ratio of the flag was 2:3 until September 27, 1982.

The green color symbolizes hope, the white symbolizes peace, and red represents those who fell in the struggle for independence. The three stars stand for the three major ethnic groups of Burundi: the Hutu, the Twa and the Tutsi. The three stars also stand for the three elements of the national motto: “Unity, Work, and Progress“, which can be seen on the Coat of Arms of Burundi.

The origins of Burundi are known from a mix of oral history and archaeology. There are two main founding legends for Burundi. Both suggest that the nation was founded by a man named Cambarantama. The legend most promoted today states that he was Rwandan. The other version, more common in pre-colonial Burundi says that Cambarantama came from the southern state of Buha. The first evidence of the Burundian state is from 16th century where it emerged on the eastern foothills. Over the following centuries it expanded, annexing smaller neighbors and competing with Rwanda. Its greatest growth occurred under Ntare IV Rutaganzwa Rugamba, who ruled the country from about 1796 to 1850 and saw the kingdom double in size.

The Kingdom of Burundi was characterized by a hierarchical political authority and tributary economic exchange. The king, known as the mwami, headed a princely aristocracy which owned most of the land and required a tribute, or tax, from local farmers and herders. In the mid-18th century, this Tutsi royalty consolidated authority over land, production, and distribution with the development of the ubugabire - a patron-client relationship in which the populace received royal protection in exchange for tribute and land tenure.

European explorers and missionaries made brief visits to the area as early as 1856, and they compared the organization of the kingdom of Burundi with that of the old Greek empire. It was not until 1899 that Burundi became a part of German East Africa. Unlike the Rwandan monarchy, which decided to accept the German advances, the Burundian king Mwezi IV Gisabo opposed all European influence, refusing to wear European clothing and resisting the advance of European missionaries or administrators. The Germans used armed force and succeeded in doing great damage, but did not destroy the king’s power. Eventually they backed one of the king's sons-in-law Macono in a revolt against Gisabo. Gisabo was eventually forced to concede and agreed to German suzerainty. The Germans then helped him suppress Maconco's revolt. The smaller kingdoms along the western shore of Lake Victoria were also attached to Burundi.

Sources: Wikipedia 1 and Wikipedia 2

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons

Thursday, October 25, 2012

UFO Files: Rendlesham Forest Incident: Britain's Roswell

The Rendlesham Forest Incident is the name given to a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights and the alleged landing of a craft or multiple crafts of unknown origin in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, in late December 1980, just outside RAF Woodbridge, used at the time by the U.S. Air Force. Dozens of USAF personnel were eyewitnesses to various events over a two or three day period. Some ufologists believe it is perhaps the most famous UFO event to have happened in Britain, ranking amongst the best-known UFO events worldwide. Along with the Berwyn Mountain UFO incident, it has been compared to the Roswell UFO incident in the United States, and is sometimes referred to as "Britain's Roswell".

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) denied that the event posed any threat to national security, and stated that it was therefore never investigated as a security matter. Later evidence indicated that there was a substantial MoD file on the subject, which led to claims of a cover-up; some interpreted this as part of a larger pattern of information suppression concerning the true nature of unidentified flying objects, by both the United States and British governments. One such person to take this view was eyewitness and Deputy Base Commander Colonel Charles Halt. When the file was released in 2001 it turned out to consist mostly of internal correspondence and responses to inquiries from the public. The lack of any in-depth investigation in the publicly released documents is consistent with the MoD's earlier statement that they never took the case seriously. Included in the released files is an explanation given by defence minister Lord Trefgarne as to why the MoD did not investigate further. Skeptics regard the sightings as misinterpretation of a series of nocturnal lights - a fireball, the Orford Ness lighthouse and bright stars.

Rendlesham Forest is owned by the Forestry Commission and consists of about 5.8 square miles of coniferous plantations, interspersed with broadleaved belts, heathland and wetland areas. It is located in the county of Suffolk, about 8 miles east of the town of Ipswich. The incident occurred in the vicinity of two former military bases RAF Bentwaters, which is just to the north of the forest, and RAF Woodbridge which extends into the forest from the west and is bounded by the forest on its northern and eastern edges. At the time, both were being used by the United States Air Force and were under the command of wing commander Colonel Gordon E. Williams. The base commander was Colonel Ted Conrad, and his deputy was Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Halt. Halt's memo to the Ministry of Defence on the incident, and his personal involvement in the second night of the sightings, has given the case credibility.

The main events of the incident, including the supposed landing or landings, took place in the forest, which starts at the east end of the base runway or about 0.3 miles to the east of the East Gate of RAF Woodbridge, where guards first noticed mysterious lights appearing to descend into the forest. The forest extends east about 1.0 mile beyond East Gate, ending at a farmer's field, where additional events allegedly took place. Orford Ness lighthouse, which skeptics identify as the flashing light seen off to the coast by the airmen, is along the same line of sight but 5 miles further east of the forest edge.

Retired Sgt. John Burroughs (LE) states that the events took place over three successive nights (pm into am); 24th, 25th, 26th, and 27th of December in 1980. One of the key pieces of primary evidence suggests that the first sightings were on the 26th, rather than 25th in a memo. The memo was written almost two weeks after the event and its author later agreed that he had probably made a mistake in his recollection of the dates. This discrepancy in dates has not only confused subsequent researchers but also led to confusion at the time, for example in the MoD's investigation and analysis of contemporaneous radar records.

Around 3 a.m. on the 26th of December, 1980 - strange lights were reported by a security patrol near the East Gate of RAF Woodbridge apparently descending into nearby Rendlesham Forest. Servicemen initially thought it was a downed aircraft but, upon entering the forest to investigate, they saw strange lights moving through the trees, as well as a bright light from an unidentified object. One of the servicemen, Sgt. Jim Penniston, later claimed to have encountered a craft of unknown origin and to have made detailed notes of its features, touched its warm surface, and copied the numerous symbols on its body. The object allegedly flew away after their brief encounter. Penniston also claimed to have seen triangular landing gear on the object, leaving three impressions in the ground that were visible the next day. While undergoing regression hypnosis in 1994, Penniston subsequently claimed that the craft he encountered had come from our future, and was occupied by time travelers, not extraterrestrials. Sgt. Penniston's report made shortly after the incident contains no mention of physically encountering an unknown craft, nor of interacting with it. This report and associated sketches are neither signed nor dated, nor are they representative of AF Form 1169, Statement of Witness.

Shortly after 4 a.m. local police were called to the scene but reported that the only lights they could see were those from the Orford Ness lighthouse, some miles away on the coast. Some reports claim that local farmyard animals had been behaving in a state of fear and panic. After daybreak on the morning of December 26th, servicemen returned to a small clearing near the eastern edge of the forest and found three small impressions in a triangular pattern, as well as burn marks and broken branches on nearby trees. Plaster casts of the imprints were taken and have been shown in television documentaries. At 10.30 a.m. the local police were called out again, this time to see the impressions on the ground, which they thought could have been made by an animal.

The servicemen returned to the site again in the early hours of December 28th with radiation detectors, although the significance of the readings they obtained is disputed. The deputy base commander Lt Col Charles I. Halt investigated this sighting personally and recorded the events on a micro-cassette recorder. The site investigated by Halt was near the eastern edge of the forest. It was during this investigation that a flashing light was seen across the field to the east, almost in line with a farmhouse. The Orford Ness lighthouse is visible further to the east in the same line of sight. Later, star-like lights were seen in the sky to the north and south, the brightest of which seemed to beam down a stream of light from time to time.
There are claims that the incident was videoed by the USAF; but, if so, the resulting tape has not been made public. The release of this video, if it exists, would certainly clear everything up, unless the video shows proof of extraterrestrial visitation. In which case, for a government wanting to keep the truth hidden, then ti would be imperative to keep the video under wraps and its existence in constant wonder.

The first public report of the incident was published in the tabloid newspaper “News Of The World”, on October 2nd, 1983, beneath the sensational headline “UFO Lands In Suffolk - And That’s Official”. The story was based on an account by a former US airman, using the pseudonym, Art Wallace (supposedly to protect himself against retribution from the USAF), although his real name was Larry Warren.

The first piece of primary evidence to be made available to the public was a memorandum written by the deputy base commander, Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt, to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Known as the “Halt memo“, this was made available publicly in the United States under the US Freedom of Information Act in 1983. The memorandum was dated “13 Jan 81” and headed “Unexplained Lights“. The two-week delay between the incident and the report might account for errors in dates and times given. The memo was not classified in any way. Dr David Clarke has investigated the background to this memo and the reaction to it at the Ministry of Defence. His interviews with the personnel involved confirmed the cursory nature of the investigation made by the MoD, and failed to find any evidence for any other reports on the incident made by the USAF or UK apart from the Halt memo.

The Scottish researcher James Easton succeeded in obtaining the original witness statements made for Col. Halt by Fred A. Buran, 81st Security Police Squadron, Airman First Class John Burroughs, 81st LE, Airman Edward N. Cabansag, 81st Security Police Squadron, Master-Sergeant J. D. Chandler, 81st Security Police Squadron and Staff-Sergeant Jim Penniston, 81st Security Police Squadron. These documents are now in the public domain and scans of them are available on Ian Ridpath's website. These documents describe the sightings of strange lights. Penniston, for instance, states that directly to the east (of East Gate) about 11/2 miles in a large wooded area, a large yellow glowing light was emitting above the trees. In the center of the lighted area directly in the center ground level, there was a red light blinking on and off 5 to 10 sec intervals. And a blue light that was being for the most part steady. Burroughs, Penniston and Cabansag drove into the forest in search of the source of the lights. They heard strange noises, too. Burroughs reported a noise like a woman was screaming and also that you could hear the farm animals making a lot of noises. Halt heard the same noises two nights later. In a CNN interview in January 2008 he said: “The livestock around the barn seemed to be going crazy“. Such noise could also have been made by Muntjac deer in the forest, which are known for their loud, shrill bark when alarmed. Cabansag said: “We figured the lights were coming from past the forest since nothing was visible when we passed through the woody forest. We would see a glowing near the beacon light, but as we got closer we found it to be a lit-up farmhouse. We got to a vantage point where we could determine that what we were chasing was only a beacon light off in the distance.” Burroughs' statement also states that “We could see a beacon going around so we went towards it. We followed it for about two miles before we could see it was coming from a light house.”

Penniston's statement is the only one that positively identifies a mechanical object as the source of the lights. He states that he was within 160 feet of the object and it was definitely mechanical in nature. Penniston has subsequently claimed that, contrary to his statement at the time, he actually encountered a landed craft in the forest which he circled, touched and made notes of for 45 minutes, although there is no corroborating evidence of this from other witnesses. Penniston has shown on television a notebook in which he claims to have made real-time notes and sketches of the object. The notebook is headed with the date 27 December and the time 12:20 (00:20 GMT), which does not accord with the date and time given by the other witnesses for the incident. Penniston claims that he saw the object at a different landing site from the one investigated by Halt, much closer to RAF Woodbridge. This is inconsistent with his initial assessment that the light lay a mile and a half from East Gate. The witnesses were unnerved by their experience and believed that they had witnessed something, as Buran expresses it, “out of the realm of explanation“.

Also, in 1984, a copy of what became known as the “Halt Tape” fell into the hands of researchers. Unfortunately, because of static electricity and the fact that the tape had been dubbed on an old machine, much of its background conversations could not be discerned. The US Sci-Fi Channel acquired the original recording, which documents Halt and his patrol investigating a UFO sighting in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980. This tape not only reveals much more of the background conversations, but features names that could not be heard on the poor-quality 1984 dub. The tape has also been transcribed by researcher Ian Ridpath, who includes a link to an audio download.

In June 2010, retired Colonel Charles Halt signed a notarized affidavit, in which he again summarized what had happened, then stated he believed the event to be extraterrestrial and it had been covered up by both the US and UK. In 2010 base commander Colonel Ted Conrad provided a statement about the incident to Dr David Clarke of Sheffield Hallam University, UFO adviser to the UK National Archives. Conrad stated that “We saw nothing that resembled Lieutenant Colonel Halt's descriptions either in the sky or on the ground.” and that “We had people in position to validate Halt's narrative, but none of them could.” In an interview, Conrad, criticized Halt for the claims in his affidavit, saying he should be ashamed and embarrassed by his allegation that his country and England both conspired to deceive their citizens over this issue. He knows better. Conrad also disputed the testimony of Sergeant Jim Penniston, who claimed to have touched an alien spacecraft; he said that he interviewed Penniston at the time and he had not mentioned any such occurrence. Conrad also suggested that the entire incident might have been a hoax.

Suffolk Constabulary have a record, dated 26 December 1980, of a report from the law Enforcement Desk of RAF Woodbridge, stating that “We have a sighting of some unusual lights in the sky, we have sent some unarmed troops to investigate, we are terming it as a U.F.O. at present“. The police investigated this report and the result is recorded as follows: “Air Traffic Control West Drayton checked. No knowledge of aircraft. Reports received of aerial phenomena over southern England during the night. Only lights visible this area was from Orford light house. Search made of area - negative.” Skeptic Ian Ridpath has speculated the reported “aerial phenomena” refers to the re-entry of the Soviet Cosmos 749 satellite's final stage rocket, which was widely seen over southern England shortly after 9 p.m. on the evening of December 25th. A letter in the police file notes that one of the PCs returned to the site in daylight in case he had missed something. “There was nothing to be seen and he remains unconvinced that the occurrence was genuine. The immediate area was swept by powerful light beams from a landing beacon at RAF Bentwaters and the Orfordness lighthouse. I know from personal experience that at night, in certain weather and cloud conditions, these beams were very pronounced and certainly caused strange visual effects.” A scan of the report is available at Suffolk Constabulary's website.

Some researchers have claimed that personnel from Porton Down visited Rendlesham in 1980 after the Rendlesham Forest Incident. No evidence has been presented and there seems to be confusion with other alleged UFO incidents. Admiral Lord Hill-Norton, the former Chief of the UK Defence Staff, argued that an incident like this at a nuclear weapons base was necessarily of national security interest. As a member of the House of Lords, Lord Hill-Norton asked Her Majesty's Government: “Whether they are aware of any involvement by Special Branch in the investigation of the 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident". Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean gave the reply that “Special Branch officers may have been aware of the incident but would not have shown any interest unless there was evidence of a potential threat to national security. No such interest appears to have been shown.” Hill-Norton commented, “Either large numbers of people were hallucinating, and for an American Air Force nuclear base this is extremely dangerous, or what they say happened did happen, and in either of those circumstances there can only be one answer, and that is that it was of extreme defence interest.” In 2001 the British Government released its file on the incident to researchers following a request from Dr David Clarke under the Code of Practice for Access to Government Documents, a precursor to the Freedom of Information Act. The Ministry of Defence has since made these documents available online. The United States continues to remain silent despite the Sci-Fo Channel-sponsored investigation entitled “UFO Invasion at Rendlesham“, the History Channel’s “UFO Files - Britain's Roswell” and Coalition For Freedom of Information inquiries.

Some of the first people to examine the event in detail were the British Ufologist Jenny Randles in her book “Sky Crash“,co-authored with local researchers, Brenda Butler and Dot Street, who were the first investigators to interview any witnesses and to visit both the site and airbase and Nick Redfern in his books “Cosmic Crashes” and “A Covert Agenda“. Georgina Bruni has researched the subject and in her book, “You Can’t Tell The People” publishes a photograph of the supposed landing site taken on the morning after the first sighting. The late Lord Hill-Norton also believed that a UFO landed at Rendlesham and repeatedly questioned the UK Government on the issue.

Larry Warren, who was the source of the original “News of The World” article has written extensively on the subject and is a firm believer in an extraterrestrial explanation. Warren was certainly a USAF airman at the Woodbridge base, but his own claims that he was a witness to the incident are disputed by others, notably by Col. Halt. Bruni and Warren do not agree on the details and have clashed publicly over the supposed inaccuracies of their respective accounts. Prominent amongst the skeptics is Ian Ridpath. Much of his research is available on his website, which also includes much of the raw evidence, including the original eyewitness statements.

Jenny Randles, one of those who originally brought the case to prominence, wrote an extensive article in her book with David Clarke and Andy Roberts, (The UFOs That Never Were) entitled “Rendle Shame Forest” where she came to the conclusion that “While some puzzles remain, we can probably say that no unearthly craft were seen in Rendlesham Forest. We can also argue with confidence that the main focus of the events was a series of misperceptions of everyday things encountered in less than everyday circumstances.”
One of the most prominent believers in the extraterrestrial origin of the Rendlesham UFOs is Nick Pope who worked for the MoD, researching and investigating UFO phenomena between 1991 and 1994. He discussed the Rendlesham Forest Incident in his various books and in his articles: “Selected Documents“, which relates to the MoD documents on the Rendlesham Forest incident, “Rendlesham - The Unresolved Mystery“, “The Rendlesham Files Reviewed” (a detailed commentary and analysis of the MoD documents) and “Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident”. He has gone on record as saying that the Rendlesham Forest Incident is bigger than Roswell. Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) Charles I. Halt, the former Deputy Base Commander of USAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge, who was a major witness to these events, is also a firm believer and contributor to books and documentaries. Halt believes he witnessed an extraterrestrial event that was then covered up. Halt was also a speaker at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on September 27th, 2010, one of half a dozen former Air Force officers testifying on the subject of “U.S. Nuclear Weapons Have Been Compromised by Unidentified Aerial Objects.”

Source: Wikipedia

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons

Goodreads Bullies At It Again

By now, many of you know about the attack on me on the website "Goodreads" that was launched by Jude Henderson, (who's real name is Elsa Hernandez). It was planned, it was vicious, and when they attacked, it was like a swarm of bee's. Since then things seemed to have calmed down a bit. I give a lot of thanks to that to the folks at STGRB. They have been working relentlessly to expose these bullies, and to try and ensure that this kind of attack doesn't happen to others. However, recently, these Goodreads bullies have taken it upon themselves to go after yet another author. His name is M.T. Dismuke.

This attack was started on Amazon Kindle Boards (where apparently, they too foster, condone and endorse this kind of behavior) then it spilled over to Goodreads where they attacked him on (his) M.T.'s Goodreads account. True to form, these bullies are now doing to him what they did to me. As the evidence shows, they are rating and reviewing his book with one stars and placing his work into ridiculous book shelves when they haven't even read his book. And what did Mr. Dismuke do to justify this attack? He simply posted a question on Kindle Boards in regards to "rating and reviewing E-Books when an author offers their work for free." I guess he wanted to know if it was too much to ask to recieve one when an author offers their work free of charge for the reading public. Not that "he" was asking on behalf of himself, but in general. And these bullies took some kind of offense to the question and started attacking him.

How pathetic has our society fallen when a person can't even ask a simple question anymore without being attacked by "so-called" adults? How much more pathetic can these bullies sink? To what level of insanity do these morons reside? And if you notice, there are many familiar names on his attack as was (is) on mine.

I beseech you all to show support for Mr. Dismuke and if you are a member of Goodreads, go to his profile and his book where these reviews are being left and flag them. Also post reinforcing comments for Mr. Dismuke to show your support. Write to Patrick Brown , the manager of Goodreads, or to Otis Chandler, the creator of Goodreads, and demand that they put an end to this kind of idiocy at once, and punish those involved as what these people are doing is in full violation of the Goodreads ToS. Demand that they enforce that ToS!

For Mr. Dismuke, I offer these words as one who knows exactly what he is going through - Don't give up. Don't let these bullies win. Keep writing, keep doing your thing. And maybe someday, good people won't have to put up with this kind of behavior on the internet. And to these bullies I say, you are all nothing but a bunch of f#*king cowards and haters. I hope there is a heaven and a God and a hell where people like you will most certainly call home eventually. And to all other authors out there, tread carefully where Goodreads and Kindle Boards are concerned. These two websites are key sources for bullying against Indie authors. If you can avoid these websites in your pursuit of a writing career, then do so by all means. Otherwise, be careful of these people whom these two websites obviously allow to roam amuck on them. Many of the Goodreads Librarians are huge contributors to this bullying as evident right here.

To keep up with this and other stories about the Goodreads bullies, keep going to STGRB. They are on top of everything and offer a list of people and blogs to avoid or watch out for and advice in so that this kind of thing doesn't happen to you.


Well, I just went back into M.T.'s GR profile and took a look at those hateful reviews and saw that they were taken down. Not hidden, but completely deleted. If GR took them down then great. (Why they didn't show me the same courtesy, I don't know.) Rest assured, STGRB and I will monitor the situation. If you want to see the reviews, go to STGRB and read them for yourself and see who said what. Now, if only all of these types of bully reviews would be removed and the people doing it, punished. Maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but a person can dream, can't they?


I stand half corrected. (I think) Some of them may have been taken down. There are more that remains right here.


So I just learned that M.T. took down those reviews. I should have known that GR wasn't going to bother. I guess they are still endorsing bully behavior. What else is new?

So, let's give some of these "intelligently challenged" bullies their 15 minutes, shall we?

Oh, look, ARCHER has shown up yet again. No surprise there. LOL I'm starting to think that nut-job gets paid to bully. Paid by who? One can only speculate. *Cough*Goodreads*Cough*

I also see jordyn/lost in zombieland says "waste of my time". First of all, she is lost in stupid land. Second, she herself is a waste. Like Archer, she is always there at the scene of the crime. Where there is a bully attack, there is Jordyn and Archer.

Then I see someone caling themselves Book (booklover9384) who has placed the book in a shelf that reads like a book. The shelf is called "batshitcrazyauthor, butt-hurt author-whines-about-butt, donotsupporttheloco, supports-stgrb, call-the-whaaaaaambulance" - Wow! Talk about a "butt-shit-reviewer-bully-who-needs-therapy-for-whining- about-authors" LOL

Then there's Kana with her shelf, "author-foot-in-mouth-disease" - Like she should be the one to talk. Looks like she has "ten-foot-forehead-shines-like-a-new-nickel" disease. Not to mention, "shit-for-brains-disease".

Belle marked it simply as "snowflakes". - WTF does that even mean? Is that something she snorts?

Jessie (Ageless Page Reviews) marked it as "will-not-read" - Perhaps she should have marked it, "can-not-read" - LOL

And then there is Tracy Guinther, who like Archer and Jordyn, always seems to be right in the middle of attacking people along with her bully friends. But the one I take a special interest in is Cheryl M-M who marked it "author-supports-cyberstalkers-and-b" - I am suprised at this one because if she thinks M.T. supports cyberstalkers then that would mean he supports her. She is a cyber-staker, after-all. I highly doubt that is the case. In any event, I hope you bullies are pleased. You are getting more famous now, but for all the wrong reasons. Keep showing the world the kind of hater you all are. You amuse us with your childish mannerisms.

Update 4:

On March 31st, 2014, I discovered that M.T. (Mike) Dismuke is nothing but a back stabbing, judgmental, lying little coward of a pussy ass punk. He secretly talked about me behind my back to others instead of being a real man and confronting me with any questions he may have had in regards to my integrity. He's nothing but a gossipy little woman (my apologies to women world wide) who belongs in a beauty salon with other little gossipy women. He is a bully, and not to be trusted. Which is why I removed his interview, the ungrateful little bitch. And Mike, you can .... suck my balls, boy. Next time you have a problem with me, be a man and talk to me about it. Now I am beginning to think that maybe the bullies had good reason to attack your dumb ass. You're a piece of shit. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Influences: Van Halen

It’s always gonna be, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar? Man, I don’t care either way, they rocked with both! I have been to two Van Halen concerts in my life, one with DLR and one with Sammy, all I can say is, at both of them, there were girls all over the place willing to do anything for nothing. Yeah buddy! I cashed that check. Haha As for Gary Cherone, yeah, I’ll take a pass, thank you.

Back in high school, all the wanna-be’s wanted to be Eddie Van Halen. He rips through those chords like they were emotions coming from his soul. (Who’s to say they weren’t?) And this is what influenced me to a larger degree. As a songwriter, he is certainly one of the best. As a musician, he is the best! (Eric Clapton not withstanding) And don’t think I didn’t envy him being married to Valarie Bertinelli either because I did. LOL

Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. Its 1978 debut album, “Van Halen” - featuring guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony - is widely considered to be among the most original and revolutionary albums to change rock and roll.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Van Halen is the 19th best-selling band/artist in United States history, with sales of over 56 million albums in the U.S. and over 86 million albums worldwide, (with the band's former record company, Warner Bros. Records, last certifying Van Halen's albums in 2004.) Van Halen is one of only five rock bands that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S. Additionally, Van Halen has had the most #1 hits in the history of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart.

In addition to Van Halen's many popular songs, the band is known for the drama surrounding the exits of former members. The multiple exits of lead singers David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone were surrounded in controversy and press coverage, including numerous conflicting press statements between the former singers and the band. Following their 2004 concert tour the band was on a hiatus from the public until September 2006, when new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen’s place was confirmed and Roth reunion rumors began to re-surface, both events coinciding with the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on March 12th, 2007. After years of speculation, Van Halen began a tour with Roth across North America in 2007 and into 2008. On December 26th, 2011, Van Halen announced a tour for 2012, and released their first album in 14 years, titled “A different Kind Of Truth”, on February 7th, 2012.

Born in Nijmegen, Netherlands, Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex are the sons of musician Jan Van Halen, who arranged for them to have music lessons. The Van Halen brothers started playing music together in the 1960s when Eddie played classical piano and later drums, and Alex played the guitar. While Eddie was delivering newspapers on his paper route, Alex would sneak over and play on Eddie's drumset. Eventually Eddie found out about Alex playing his drum set and was so frustrated that he told Alex, “OK, I'll go play your guitar.”

In 1972 the Van Halen brothers formed a band called “Genesis” featuring Eddie as lead vocalist/guitarist, Alex on drums, and Mark Stone on bass. They initially rented a sound system from David Lee Roth but decided to save money by letting him join as lead vocalist even though his previous audition(s) had been unsuccessful. By 1974 the band decided to replace Stone, so Michael Anthony, bassist and lead vocalist from local band “Snake” was auditioned. Following an all-night jam session, he was hired for bass and backing vocals.
The band later changed its name to Mammoth when they discovered the name “Genesis” already was being used. Then in 1974 “Mammoth” officially changed its name to “Van Halen“. According to Roth, this was his brainchild. He felt it was a name that had power, like Santana. They played backyard parties and on a flatbed truck at Hamilton Park. Van Halen played clubs in Pasadena and Hollywood to growing audiences, increasing their popularity through self-promotion: before each gig they would pass out fliers at local high schools. This soon built them a major following. Later that year, the band got its first break when it was hired to play at Gazzarri’s, a formerly famous but down-at-the-heels night club on the Sunset Strip which closed in 1996.

Earlier, they had auditioned for the owner, Bill Gazzarri, but he claimed they were “too loud“, and would not hire them. But their new managers, Mark Algorri and Mario Miranda, who had coincidentally taken over Gazzarri’s hiring, did the deal. Shortly afterwards, they recorded their first demo tape at the now defunct Cherokee Ranch Studios in Northridge where Steely Dan recently had completed an album. Van Halen became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene during the mid-1970s, playing at well-known clubs.

According to a January 4, 1977, L.A. Times article entitled HOMEGROWN PUNK by Robert Hilburn, Rodney Bingenheimer saw Van Halen at the Gazzarri club in the summer of 1976, so he took Gene Simmons of Kiss to see Van Halen. Gene Simmons then produced a Van Halen demo tape with recording beginning at the Village Recorder studios in Los Angeles and finished with overdubs at the Electric Lady Studios in New York. Simmons wanted to change the band's name to “Daddy Longlegs“, but the band stuck with Van Halen. Simmons then opted out of further involvement after he took the demo to Kiss management and was told that “they had no chance of making it” and that they wouldn't take them.

In mid-1977 Mo Ostin and ted Templeman of Warner Bros. Records saw Van Halen perform at the Starwood in Hollywood. Although the audience was small, the two were so impressed with Van Halen that within a week they offered the band a recording contract. The group recorded their debut album at Sunset Sound recorders studio in mid September to early October 1977, recording guitar parts for one week and then recording vocals for two additional weeks. All of the tracks were laid down with little over-dubbing or double tracking. Minor mistakes were purposely left on the record and a simple musical set-up was used to give the record a live feel. During this time they continued to play various venues in Southern California, including some notable concerts at the Pasadena Convention Center produced by their promoter and impresario, Steve Tortomasi, himself a fixture in the local rock and roll scene.

Upon its release, “Van Halen” reached No. 19 on the Billboard pop music charts, one of rock's most commercially successful debuts. It was highly regarded as both a heavy metal and hard rock album. The album included songs now regarded as Van Halen classics, like “Running With The Devil” and the guitar solo “Eruption“, which showcased Eddie's use of a technique known as ’finger tapping’. The band toured for nearly a year, opening for Black Sabbath and establishing a reputation for their performances. The band's chemistry owed much to Eddie Van Halen's technical guitar wizardry and David Lee Roth's flamboyant antics, strong points which later made them rivals. The band returned to the studio in 1978 for “Van Halen II“, an album similar in style to their debut. This record yielded the band's first hit single, “Dance The Night Away”.

Over the next few years, the band alternated album releases and touring. Their “Women and Children First” album was released in 1980 and further cemented Van Halen's status. But in 1981, during the recording of the “Fair Warning” album, tensions rose. Eddie's desire for more serious and complex songs was at odds with Roth's poppy style. Although Roth (and producer Templeman) acquiesced to Eddie's wishes.

“Diver Down” performed better. The band then earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest-paid single appearance of a band: $1.5 million for a 90-minute set at the 1983 US Festival. Despite this return to form, Roth and Eddie's differences continued, and this caused friction with other band members. Billy Sheehan, after his band Talas completed a tour with Van Halen, claims he was approached by Eddie Van Halen to replace Michael Anthony. The reasons for this were never clear to Sheehan because nothing came out of it. During this time Eddie and Alex Van Halen contributed the score and instrumental songs to the movie “The Wild Life“, starring Eric Stoltz. The score was heavy on the keyboards, similar to the sound used on the previous two albums and much more like the sound coming in the upcoming album “1984“.

“1984“ (released on January 9, 1984) was their commercial pinnacle. Recorded at Eddie Van Halen's newly-built 5150 Studios, the album featured keyboards, which had only been used sporadically on previous albums. The lead single, “Jump“, featured a synthesizer hook and anthemic lyrics, and became the band's first and only No. 1 pop hit, garnering them a Grammy nomination. Other singles included “Panama” (#13 U.S.), “I’ll Wait” (also No. 13 U.S.), and “Hot For Teacher“. Three of the songs had popular music videos on MTV. “1984” was praised by critics and fans alike, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard charts behind Michael Jackson's “Thriller”.

The album, however, was also a breaking point for the band. In the midst of the 1984 Tour the artistic and personal tensions among the musicians reached a fever pitch. Reasons for the breakup vary based on the band member interviewed, but were rooted in control of the band's sound and image. Roth was upset about Eddie playing music outside of Van Halen without checking with the band, and his alleged drug abuse that allegedly prevented the band from viable practices. Eddie was sick of Roth's flamboyant behavior and stage persona. Roth was also having a successful solo career with a hit song and EP (a remake of The Beach Boys classic “California Girls” (#3 U.S.) and the old standard “Just A Gigolo” (#12 U.S.). Roth was also offered a $20-million film deal for a script entitled “Crazy For The Heat”. Roth hoped Van Halen would contribute the soundtrack; however, the film deal fell through when MGM Pictures was sold in 1986.

Eddie invited Patty Smyth of Scandal to replace Roth but she refused. Eddie was then introduced by way of a mutual auto mechanic to Sammy Hagar, formerly of 1970s band Montrose, and at that time a solo artist coming off a very successful year. His hit single “I can’t Drive 55” came from his 1984 album “VOA“, produced by Ted Templeman who had also produced Hagar's first album “Montrose”, as well as all of Van Halen's albums up to that point. Hagar agreed to join and also serve as a rhythm guitarist on stage to add to the Van Halen sound. The 1986 Van Halen album 5150 was a hit, becoming the band's first No. 1 album on the Billboard charts, driven by the keyboard-dominated singles “Why Can’t This Be Love” (#3 U.S.), “Dreams“, and “Love Walks In” (Top 30 U.S.). To further introduce the new era for the band, a new Van Halen logo was put on the cover. The new logo retained elements of the original, but now the lines extending from either side of 'VH' wrapped around and formed a ring.

Following the release of the 5150 album, a tour was launched to support it across North America. Named the 1986 Tour, the title was a homage to the previous 1984 Tour in support of the “1984”album. Footage was released on VHS and DVD as Live Without A Net. In the tour Hagar wanted to minimize the use of pre-Hagar Van Halen songs in the set, other than the band's best known classics. This was a trend that continued, with the expanding repertoire of Hagar-era songs slowly whittling away at the number of Roth-era songs on the set list.

All four studio albums produced during this period reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop music charts and 17 singles breached the top 12 of the mainstream rock tracks chart. During that era, a single taken from 1988's 'OU812', “When It‘s Love“, reached the Top Five, peaking at No. 5. In addition, Van Halen was nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning the 1992 Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal award for the album For “Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”. Van Halen continued to enjoy success throughout the mid-90s. In 1995, Van Halen released the album 'Balance' & supported Bon Jovi on their European Summer Stadium tour.

During the recording of songs for the film “Twister“, escalating tension between Hagar and the Van Halen brothers boiled over and Hagar departed on Father’s Day, 1996. The band had recorded a song, “Human Being“, for which Eddie claimed he had to write all the lyrics since Hagar's were “too cheesy“. This upset Hagar, and when they were to record a second song for the soundtrack, Hagar was in Hawaii. He wasn't keen on doing soundtrack work since it would make the music hard to obtain for fans, 'abusing' them, so the second track the band was due to record became an Eddie/Alex instrumental, “Respect The Wind“.

The band was also working on a compilation album. This led to conflicts with Hagar and the group's new manager, Ray Danniels (Ed Leffler's replacement and Alex Van Halen’s former brother-in-law), even though it was former manager Ed Leffler who renewed their contract with Warner Bros. Records and added in the Best Of album option years before. Hagar was reluctant to work on a compilation album before a new album came out, the band fell out, leaving the management siding with Eddie and Alex. Hagar also had concerns over comparisons on an album which featured both his work and Roth's. Hagar claimed that he was fired; Van Halen claimed that he quit. Most accounts confirm that Hagar technically quit, but only upon finding that Van Halen had secretly been recording with their former vocalist David Lee Roth which saw them reunite briefly in 1996.

Van Halen's next lead singer was Gary Cherone, front-man of the then-defunct Boston - based band Extreme, a group which had enjoyed some popular success in the early 1990s. The result was the album Van Halen III (the roman numeral III signifying not the album number but the band's third lead singer). Many songs were longer and more experimental than Van Halen's earlier work. It was a notable contrast from their previous material, with more focus on ballads than traditional rock songs. Sales were poor by the band's standards, only reaching Gold certification, despite the album peaking at No. 4 on the US charts. Van Halen III did produce a hit however, “Without You“, and additionally the song “Fire in the Hole” appeared on the Lethal Weapon 4 soundtrack. The album was followed by a tour. The III Tour saw Van Halen playing in new countries, including first ever visits to Australia and New Zealand.

Shortly afterwards, Van Halen returned to the studio and in early 1999, they started work on a new album. The project was left unfinished when Cherone left the band amicably in November of 1999. Citing musical differences, it is likely III’s poor sales and critical reception had a big impact. None of the material from these sessions has ever been released, and in fact the band released no new material at all (aside from three new songs included on the 2004 Best Of Both Worlds compilation) in the years following until January 10, 2012.
Touring with Cherone had proven disappointing in terms of attendance. Eddie would later admit that “the powers that be” (Warner Bros.) had forced his hand in parting with Cherone. Unlike with the previous two singers, there was reportedly no bad blood behind the breakup, and Cherone remained in contact and on good terms with Van Halen. As when Hagar left, speculation resumed on a Roth reunion.

Their official website was updated on December 26, 2011, announcing that tickets for their 2012 Tour would be available starting January 10, 2012. On January 5, 2012, Van Halen played an intimate club gig at New York City's Café Wha?, which received widespread praise from media and fans. On January 10, the band's first single, titled “Tattoo“, made its premiere on radio stations. The following week, the single debuted at No. 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The band's new studio album from Interscope records, entitled “A Different Kind Of Truth”, was released on February 7, 2012. It was Van Halen's first studio release since 1998 and first with David Lee Roth on lead vocals since 1984.

Where will they go from here? … Only time (and the power that be) knows the answer to that one.

Source: Wikipedia

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons