"Ideas are overrated. Of course, you need good ones, but precious few are so novel that nobody else has ever thought of them before. It’s really about where you take the idea, and how committed you are to solving the endless problems that come up in the execution.”
- John Lassiter
"When some jamook asks me this one (thereby revealing him/herself to be a person who has about as much imaginative muscle as a head of lettuce), I always smile prettily and answer, “Schenectady.” And when the jamook looks at me quizzically, and scratches head with hairy hand, I add: “Oh, sure. There’s a swell Idea Service in Schenectady; and every week I send ‘em twenty-five bucks; and every week they send me a fresh six-pack of ideas.” And wouldja believe it…there is always some demento who asks me for the address.”
- Harlen Ellison
WELCOME TO "THE SCHENECTADY IDEA SERVICE" aka
The (ANTI) WRITER'S-BLOCK PAGE
Gone dry on ideas for stories? Wishing there was something you could get your teeth into? Tired of fruitlessly perusing your local newspapers for a high concept film idea?
Back in the mid-1980s, together with writers, Chris Lee and Steve Wright, I came up with an idea and a screenplay for a feature film based upon urban legends. I wanted to call it Urban Legend, but the project's producer put the nix on it, explaining that "no one would ever use that as a title - too academic". Subsequently, the project went through many drafts and was finally given a pre-sale by a big Hollywood company. Everything was set, casting was started, and the script was re-titled You Never Can Tell (from the song by Chuck Berry, which was to be featured in the film). Alas, at the last minute, the AFC (Australian Film Commission) decided not to pick up the "non-deductibles", owing largely to the fact that the producer wanted to assign an inexperienced director to the project, namely himself! Ultimately, the project fell over and became - as they say in the classics - "history".
Twenty years later, as is often the case, Americans took up the idea and made the very successful - albeit inferior version of the Australian-grown film - Urban Legends, a film - and a title - successful enough to warrant a sequel.
Here's what they came up with:
In light of the fact that there are any number of great ideas begging for imaginative writers and filmmakers to breathe some dramatic life into them, WHERE'S THE DRAMA? is happy and generous enough to offer a new service to screen storytellers that are wishing to broaden their story horizons.
The film "ideas" contained here will be written by some one, some time; and most of them will probably be made; the only question is when and by whom?
Each of these story "triggers" offers a compelling starting point for dramatic action; each is grounded in both the "real world" and in genre, with the potential for character and situation that most audiences will find intriguing. This page won't tell you HOW to write the script, but if your looking for starting points or something to inspire your imagination, the you've come to the right place.
If you have any story ideas that you'd like to share, please contact the Editor.
RE-VISITING "THE GAME"
In 2002, performance artist Brock Enright started charging $2,500 and above for "bespoke executive kidnappings," customized abductions performed by Enright and his partners. In these experiences, clients would be "kidnapped" and subject to specified abuse, but retain the right to stop "the game" at any time. Enright soon found a client base wanting more than abductions: today he calls what his organization does "customized reality adventures."
"Anything you want to have happen, we will try our best to make it happen," Enright told The Guardian in 2005. The experience can be whatever the client wants -- as long as the client can cough up the necessary cash.
Immersive narratives less customized to individual "players" were also on the rise at that time. Use of Internet and social media were crucial to these, allowing real-time response and customization per player, plus the ability to connect across a mesh of media. READ MORE
THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE of 1212
In 1212, two groups - one from France, the other from Germany - set off on a crusade to the Holy Land. There was nothing unusual about this as many 'armies' had gathered before to fight the Muslims. The major difference about these two groups was that they were composed entirely of young children. These children became convinced that they would be protected by God and that because of this protection they would get to the Holy Land and take Jerusalem for the Christians.
Not a great deal is known about the Children's Crusade other than it was a disaster. The person who seemed to be in charge was a boy called Stephen of Cloyes. We know very little about him. We know that he was a shepherd and that in 1212 he was 12 years of age. With a peasant's background, he would not have been able to read or write and at his age he would have done very basic work around a farm.
In May 1212, it is said that he turned up at the court of King Philip of France and told him that he had a letter from Christ ordering him to organise a crusade. Not surprisingly, King Philip was not impressed by the 12 year old and told him to go away and come back when he was older!!
Regardless of this rejection, Stephen went around preaching to children about his letter from Jesus and his desire to go to the Holy Land to capture Jerusalem. He told his followers that crossing the Mediterranean or any other waterways was easy as the waters would part and they would walk across as they were protected by God. By June 1212, Stephen is said to have gathered 30,000 followers around him - all children.
As they marched south through France, they clearly had no idea of what to expect. Adults cheered them along the route. It was as if their innocence shone through and made their success a certainty.
The Roman Catholic Church was not so sure. The Children's Crusade was never officially a crusade as it was never blessed by the pope. However, this did not deter the children. The Church could not bless a 'crusade' that was doomed to failure but the Church also did not stop it. Why ? It is possible that the Church believed that the actions of the children might shame kings and emperors into getting a proper crusade going to capture Jerusalem.
The Children's Crusade was doomed to failure. Many of the children had never walked such distances before and for many the effort proved too much. The journey from Vendome to Marseilles caused many children to drop out. Some even died of exhaustion. The sea did not part as Stephen had said and they had to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat.
The children boarded seven boats in Marseilles and that was the last anything was heard of them.
However many years later a priest returned from traveling around northern Africa and he claimed to have met some of the surviving children (now adults). He claimed that two of the seven ships had sunk killing all on board and that pirates had captured the other five ships and the children were sold into slavery. White skinned children were considered to be a valuable prize in Algerian and Egyptian slave markets.
There is no proof that any of this is true as none of the children who left Marseilles ever returned. As a priest, it is unlikely that he would have knowingly told a lie as Catholic priests would have believed that God is omnipresent (everywhere) and omnipotent (all powerful). Therefore if he told a lie, God would know and he would have been condemned to Hell. However, he may have been told incorrect information and told this story in good faith not knowing if it was incorrect. As historians, we just do not know.
THE FALL OF THE EASTLAND
"As I watched in disoriented stupefaction a steamer large as an ocean liner slowly turned over on its side as though it were a whale going to take a nap. I didn’t believe a huge steamer had done this before my eyes, lashed to a dock, in perfectly calm water, in excellent weather, with no explosion, no fire, nothing. I thought I had gone crazy.”
So recounted one of the witnesses to the infamous Eastland incident. Passengers on the top deck were thrown into the river, many of them pinned under the hull or swamped by the wake of the capsized ship. Inside, the passengers in the crowded compartments were tossed into heaps on the port bulkheads as furniture rained down on them. Some were crushed by rogue refrigerators, pianos, and equipment, and many others were pinned under piles of panicked people as the water came rushing in.
As the Eastland settled on its side in the mud of the shallow Chicago River, witnesses stood stunned for several moments. Then, within seconds, the bystanders on the docks began to throwing anything that would float into the water for the floundering victims. Some dove into the river and ferried people to safety while others stood at the water’s edge and lifted the disoriented, waterlogged victims onto the pier. A nearby tugboat immediately pulled alongside the Eastland, allowing the crowd of passengers standing on her overturned hull to leap on board.
Read more about this amazing story at THE FALL OF THE EASTLAND
THE DEVIL'S HOLE
In the northern part of the state is Boone County and somewhere within the county is said to be a small village called "Self'. There is reportedly a mysterious location here that has proven to be both elusive and fascinating. Referred to locals as the Devil's Hole Cave, it is a strange and unexplored cavern.
One day, the owner of the land where the cave is located made the decision to climb down a rope into the cave and to explore a little bit. He climbed down 200 feet to a place where it could only be crawled through from there on out. When he was crawling through, he heard a hissing noise that sounded like what he imagined a large lizard would sound like. Not too long after that, he went down again with some other men. They dropped a rope down into the darkness that had a flat iron attached to it. When they did this, they heard the same hissing again and the pulled the rope back up. The IRON had been badly bent and had teeth and scratch marks on it (please keep in mind how difficult it is to even dent iron). The next day, the men did the same thing but they did it with a stone. When they pulled the rope back up this time, the stone was gone completely.
Since then, no one has bothered trying to figure out what this creature is. All that they know is to stay away from it.
Some time later, he and some men from town dropped a flatiron tied to a rope to the same place in the cave. They heard a hissing sound and the rope was pulled hard. When they pulled it back up, they found the flatiron had been badly bent and scored with scratches and teeth marks. They next tried a stone and the rope was pulled taut again. They pulled it back up and the stone was gone.
No one wanted to dare and climb down to see what was in the cave. Occasionally, local stories apparently come from the cave, but the "gow-row" as the natives supposedly call it, seems to prefer staying down in the darkness. The story dates back to around 1900 and many believe the monster may be some sort of giant lizard.... but nobody knows for sure.
The story closely resembles another pit of this type that is said to be located near Hannibal, Missouri. I can not find any existing records of this hole either, although I have heard a number of stories about it. The tale of the land owner checking out the cave is also said to have occurred here also, but with a bizarre twist. This time, the land owner was discovered by some friends shortly after his adventure in the cave....his hair had turned completely white and he was wildly insane. Whatever he had encountered down in the cave had broken his sanity.
HE LEAD MASKS CASE
The Lead Masks Case refers to the discovery of the bodies of two electronic technicians in Brazil in 1966. The bodies were found in a field wearing impermeable coats and lead masks (usually used to protect against radiation – pictured above). Even stranger was the discovery of a small notebook beside the bodies with signs and numbers, and a letter in which was written: “16:30 be at the agreed place. 18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for the mask sign”. A waitress who was the last to see them alive said that one of them looked very nervous and kept glancing at his watch. There were no obvious injuries on the bodies. Gracinda Barbosa Cortino de Souza and her children, who lived next to the hill where the men died, claimed that they had seen a UFO flying over the spot at the exact moment the detectives believed the two men must have died. For more about this, visit
There is an unsubstantiated story about the disappearance of a group of campers at Stonehenge in August 1971. At that time, people were allowed uninhibited access to the location day or night:
In August of 1971, a group pitched tents in the center of the circle, and lit a campfire. At 2 a.m., a severe thunderstorm quickly blew in over Salisbury Plain. Bright bolts of lightning struck the area, including nearby trees and the standing stones themselves.
A farmer and a policeman both said that Stonehenge lit up with an eerie blue light so intense they had to look away. The screams from the campers rang out, and the two witnesses rushed to the scene expecting to find injured or dead campers. What they did find shocked the hell out them - the campers were gone. The smoldering tent pegs and the drowned remains of a campfire were all that remained.
Where the hell did the campers go? What happened to the tents?
To this day, they have not been found. Considering the tent pegs were smoldering and the rest of the tent was gone leads one to believe that maybe the campers were incinerated by the lightening, if that is even possible.
THE WOMAN WHO FOUGHT AS A MAN
Most of the Civil War photographs show men with bristling beards in battle. But sometimes the men weren't the only ones doing the fighting.
That was the case with Pvt. Franklin Thompson of the Union's 2nd Michigan Infantry unit. No one in her unit knew that Thompson was actually Sarah Emma Edmonds, Kelly said.
Edmonds, who had worked on her father's farm in boy's clothes as a child, deserted an arranged marriage when she became an adult. She sold Bibles and then joined the Union army as Thompson.
Thompson eventually became a spy, donning both male and female guises as she passed through enemy lines. After contracting malaria, she deserted the Army because she didn't want to be exposed as a woman while ill.
After the war, she married -- and shocked her old comrades of the 2nd Michigan by appearing at a reunion as herself, a woman," Kelly wrote. "Most amazing of all, perhaps, she now reported that at the Battle of Antietam she had buried a Union soldier who was a woman.
THE BLACK MOZART
Joseph Bologne - The Chevalier De Saint-Georges ‘The Black Mozart’ (1745-1799)
• Musically Saint-George was considered the “King of Pop” of his age;
• Militarily he helped prevent what could have been the early collapse of the French Revolution. The vicissitudes of his journey are dramatic: from a young outsider in Paris to the dizzying heights of super-stardom in pre-Revolutionary France, to an utterly tragic end.
• In his lifetime Saint George was an elite musketeer of the King’s Horse Guard; a master-swordsman and Europe’s fencing champion;
• A composer, violin impresario, and opera director that influenced Mozart;
• Queen Marie-Antoinette’s music teacher and confidant; a playboy whose inner circle included the author of Valmont;
• A military hero who championed the French Revolution.
• That Saint-George was all of these in an age when slavery was endemic and white superiority was dogma, is beyond extraordinary and the height of irony.
Known possibly as being the “king of pop for his age”, Charles Pettaway music professor of Lincoln University, sums up Bologne as being ‘perhaps the most unjustly forgotten composer of the classical period. In his day, he was known as much for his symphonies as his swordsmanship, as much for his violin virtuosity as his trendsetting dress, and as much for his equestrian skills as his many romantic dalliances. In fact, only one thing kept him from attaining the uppermost heights of his profession and immediately securing his place in music history—he was, in the parlance of his era, a mulatto’.
Despite his Herculean accomplishments, Saint George - a man whose company was once fought over by royalty and great aristocrats - died alone, unmarried and destitute in 1799. The tragedy deepened: instead of being celebrated, in 1802 after the re-institution of slavery in France by Napoleon, Saint-George’s music was banned, and many of his scores were destroyed. Yet, Saint-George lives. Like a Phoenix, two centuries later, the indomitable Chevalier has risen from the ashes as music lovers and historians have rediscovered him. In February 2002, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe renamed a street in the memory of the Chevalier de Saint-George, restoring his stature to one of a legendary statesman
When the French Revolution erupted in 1789, the democratic ideals of the revolution—liberté, égalité, fraternité—appealed to the composer, who under the Ancient Régime “never knew when the ugly face of racism would present itself again,” . He joined the National Guard at Lille at 1789, and a year later was selected to lead one thousand black soldiers charged with defending the ongoing revolution.
But service to the revolution, it turned out, was no guarantee against the sweeping violence of la Terreur. The revolutionaries regarded anyone with ties to the aristocracy with suspicion, and Saint-Georges, who had been a guard for Louis XV and conducted Haydn’s Paris Symphonies before Marie Antoinette, was no exception. Brought in on trumped-up charges in 1793, he spent nearly a year in prison. Five years later, at about the age of fifty-five, he died in Paris, destitute, alone, and all but forgotten.
Saint-Georges’s music suffered the ill effects of the Revolution no less than his person. Many of his manuscripts were destroyed during the early years of unrest and, later, under Napoleon’s government, performances of those few of his works that did survive were banned. Only recently, through the work of scholars and musicians such as Pettaway, has the music of Saint-Georges begun to reclaim audiences as it once so ably captured.
Although he was gifted, his inborn talents were magnified by his relentless effort, permitting him not only to be better, but above all to overcome the racial barriers put before him in a time when slavery was endemic and white superiority was dogma.
Dunoyer, T The Historical Biography of Joseph Bologne (Griot pictures Entertainment, LLC) [Online] available from: http://www.chevalierdesaintgeorge.com/bio_fulltext.html
“Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George” Notablebiographies.com, http://www.notablebiographies.com/supp/Supplement-Mi-So/Chevalier-de-Saint-George-Joseph-Boulogne.html (March 31 2012)
Remirez, C, R (2012) Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra - “The Black Mozart”(local arts Live) [Online] available from: http://localartslive.com/profiles/blogs/black-pearl-chamber-orchestra-the-black-mozart
Willford, J (2010) Black mozart: (Humanities Magazine) [Online] available from:
Zick, J, W (2012) Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) (AfriClassical.com) [Online] available from: http://chevalierdesaintgeorges.homestead.com/page1.html
JFK Assassination & the U.F.O. Cover-up
An uncovered letter written by John F Kennedy to the head of the CIA, which is released under the Freedom of Information Act reveals that the president demanded to be shown highly confidential documents about UFOs 10 days before his assassination. The secret memo is one of two letters written by JFK asking for information about the paranormal on November 12 1963, which have been released by the CIA for the first time. In one of the secret documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, JFK writes to the director asking for the UFO files. In the second memo, sent to the NASA administrator, the president expresses a desire for cooperation with the former Soviet Union on mutual outer space activities. He said that JFK’s interest in UFOs could have been fueled by concerns about relations with the former Soviet Union.
Kennedy was very ambitious in making a strong and good space program for the United States and maybe now we know why.
Along with the two documents that have just been released there was also newly released secret White House tapes that have recorded over 248 hours of meeting conversations including one with then US Ambassador to the Soviet Union Foy David Kohler on a system that was reportedly a closely held secret even from his top aides.
Central Intelligence Agency Director John McCone written 10 days before his assassination requesting a “Classification review of all UFO intelligence files related to National Security.”
The formerly classified document, released in 2011 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, proposed a review of “high threat cases” along with a “program of data sharing with NASA where Unknowns are a factor.” Secret messages encrypted backwards in the president’s conversation with Foy Kohler, recorded on September 17, 1963, anticipated JFK’s expressed UFO interests eight weeks before the memo was written.
The following video shows encrypted messages in one of the many conversations about space and UFO’s.
Spring vs Langan
The Boxing Match that makes "Rocky" Look Like a Walk in the Park
Tom Spring was the undisputed English boxing champion. He received a hero’s welcome in London, and upon his return to Hereford was presented with a silver trophy to commemorate his Championship win. It was inscribed “To Thomas Winter…”
Having beaten all the top English boxers, ‘Team Spring’ put out public advertisements seeking opponents: a call that was answered by the Irish Champion, John Langan. In October 1823, Langan’s backers traveled to London to commence a month and a half of negotiations. It was decided that the fight would be held in Worcester on 7 January 1824.
Anticipation for Spring vs Langan was so intense that even the magistrates were loathe to interfere. Thousands came from miles around, many on foot in the January cold to sleep in frozen ditches around the field of battle until the day of the contest. Makeshift stands were built to accommodate the crowd. In all, some 50,000 spectators churned the field into mud.
Just before midday on the 7th, a huge cheer went up as Spring’s coach came into view. The Champion was saluted with a cacophony of rattles, bells and hunting horns. As the Champion stepped into the ring amid thunderous applause, one of the stands collapsed sending some 2000 spectators plummeting into the mud. Miraculously, no-one was killed.
Langan was late, and Spring had to bundle up to keep warm while he waited amongst the now restless crowd. When the Irishman finally arrived, he gingerly placed his hat in the ring, rather than flinging it. He was most likely cowed by the prospect of fighting Spring, and he was probably enthralled by the size of the gathered throng. The two men disrobed and the contest began. A second stand collapsed, but again, fortunately there were no fatalities.
The Champion drew first blood in the second and floored Langan, but the Irishman clutched and pulled Spring down with him. This sparked a terrific shootout between the two which first saw Langan down, then both down with Langan on top, then Spring was knocked out of the ring when a rope snapped. By the ninth round, Langam had successfully turned it into a wrestling match, laughing off The Champions blows. In the 29th he threw Spring over his hip and clean out of the ring a second time, and in the 34th, the Irishman started throwing punches the moment he came up to scratch.
The scene outside the ring was pandemonium, with fistfights breaking out all over and the crowd steadily surging forward towards the ring. The seconds must have foreseen this, as they sought to lay the crowd back with the lash of whips.
At the start of the 38th, Langan came up grinning, and chided the champion, saying, “You’ve done nothing yet!”
Spring’s response: “All in good time…”
By the 56th round both fighters were wrestling and they were exhausted, as were the seconds, and the crowd had finally pressed in on the ring from all sides such that it was impossible to see the action from more than a few yards away. Tom Cribb, in Spring’s corner, advised him to finish it before the crowd took matters into their own hands, but the Champion could not. Finally, in the 62nd round, the Irishman seemed totally spent and Spring poured it on, in spite of his battered and bleeding hands, hoping that the contest would end. Langan held on for another 15 rounds, until, decked and exhausted, he failed to come up to scratch.
The victory was hailed throughout Hereford: Songs were written and sung in pubs and much commemorative pottery was kilned, from plates to Toby mugs. A convict, one John Thurtell, condemned to death, broke off prayers to make a last request that he might read a newspaper account of the match.
The fight had taken a toll on Spring, however, especially his hands, and he wanted to retire but Langan was pressing for a rematch. Spring tried to make an issue of the ring’s size – a larger ring would suit his boxing style and confound the wrestler Langan – but he finally relented, stung by insinuations that he was afraid to fight Langan a second time. The fight was to take place 8 June 1824 at Warwick Racecourse.
This time, however, the magistrates stepped in at the last minute and the fight was moved to Birdham Bridge in Chichester. The sudden switch caused chaos and most travelers did not hear of the change of venue, or couldn’t make it in time. As a result the crowd was only 12 000. Why would the magistrates suddenly step in to stop the rematch when they had not done so in the first match? Perhaps the unruly crowd at Worcester had convinced them, or perhaps the magistrates hadn’t stepped in at all.
Perhaps the unruly crowd had convinced the fighters, and they had engineered the last minute change to keep the event down to a more manageable size.
The two men came up to scratch just after one in the afternoon. The fight was not a repeat of the last one: Spring was able to keep the Irishman off him with his precise punches. By the fifth round he had cut Langan’s face badly and the challenger was covered in blood, but The Champions brittle hands were already beginning to fail. It soon became apparent that this contest would be between the constitution of Spring’s hands and the stamina of Langan.
The fight was pressed at a very quick pace. By the 34th round sections of the audience were calling for it to stop and both men were so tired they were staggering around comically. In the 54th round, the Irishman finally got his hands on the elusive Spring and threw him to the ground, only to be dropped himself by a punch in the 55th. Spring’s hands were now swollen and mangled and his backers wanted to retire. In the corner, Tom Cribb urged him to finish it, but typically, Spring could not. Finally, in the 108th round, the umpire stopped the fight on the grounds that it would be too cruel to allow it to continue. Spring was declared the winner.
Immediately after the fight one of Spring’s backers approached him, “I have never seen such bad hands in any battle,” he said, “If you fight again I will never speak to you.”
Spring replied, “Sir, I will never fight again.”
Tom Spring kept his word and took the 1000 pounds (plus side money) that he had made from his last three fights and retired from boxing that very day. He bought his beloved Castle Tavern and died there in 1851 at age 56. Read more at http://www.eastsideboxing.com/news.php?p=5202&more=1
The Three Christs of Ypsilanti
In the late 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach was gripped by an eccentric plan. He gathered three psychiatric patients, each with the delusion that they were Jesus Christ, to live together for two years in Ypsilanti State Hospital to see if their beliefs would change.The early meetings were stormy. "You oughta worship me, I'll tell you that!" one of the Christs yelled. "I will not worship you! You're a creature! You better live your own life and wake up to the facts!" another snapped back. "No two men are Jesus Christs. … I am the Good Lord!" the third interjected, barely concealing his anger. Here is an idea for a string, character-driven film that offers a rare and eccentric journey into the madness of not three, but four men in an asylum. It is, in that sense, an unexpected tribute to human folly, and one that works best as a meditation on our own misplaced self-confidence. Whether scientist or psychiatric patient, we assume others are more likely to be biased or misled than we are, and we take for granted that our own beliefs are based on sound reasoning and observation.
The Taman Shud Case
Also known as the "Mystery of the Somerton Man", is an unsolved case revolving around an unidentified man found dead at 6:30 a.m., 1 December 1948, on Somerton beach in Adelaide, Australia.
Considered "one of Australia's most profound mysteries", the case has been the subject of intense speculation over the years regarding the identity of the victim, the events leading up to his death and the cause of death. Public interest in the case remains significant due to a number of factors, the death occurring at a time of heightened tensions during the Cold War, the use of an undetectable poison, lack of identification, the possibility of unrequited love and the involvement of a secret code in a very rare book.
While scrutiny of the case has been mainly centered in Australia, there has also been international coverage. Read more about the details of this strange and persistent mystery at
In 1983, a team of deeply pious scientists conducted a radical experiment in an undisclosed facility. The scientists had theorized that a human without access to any senses or ways to perceive stimuli would be able to perceive the presence of God. They believed that the five senses clouded our awareness of eternity, and without them, a human could actually establish contact with God by thought. An elderly man who claimed to have “nothing to left to live for” was the only test subject to volunteer. To purge him of all his senses, the scientists performed a complex operation in which every sensory nerve connection to the brain was surgically severed. Although the test subject retained full muscular function, he could not see, hear, taste, smell, or feel. With no possible way to communicate with or even sense the outside world, he was alone with his thoughts.
Scientists monitored him as he spoke aloud about his state of mind in jumbled, slurred sentences that he couldn’t even hear. After four days, the man claimed to be hearing hushed, unintelligible voices in his head. Assuming it was an onset of psychosis, the scientists paid little attention to the man’s concerns.
Two days later, the man cried that he could hear his dead wife speaking with him, and even more, he could communicate back. The scientists were intrigued, but were not convinced until the subject started naming dead relatives of the scientists. He repeated personal information to the scientists that only their dead spouses and parents would have known. At this point, a sizable portion of scientists left the study.
After a week of conversing with the deceased through his thoughts, the subject became distressed, saying the voices were overwhelming. In every waking moment, his consciousness was bombarded by hundreds of voices that refused to leave him alone. He frequently threw himself against the wall, trying to elicit a pain response. He begged the scientists for sedatives, so he could escape the voices by sleeping. This tactic worked for three days, until he started having severe night terrors. The subject repeatedly said that he could see and hear the deceased in his dreams.
Only a day later, the subject began to scream and claw at his nonfunctional eyes, hoping to sense something in the physical world. The hysterical subject now said the voices of the dead were deafening and hostile, speaking of hell and the end of the world. At one point, he yelled “No heaven, no forgiveness” for five hours straight. He continually begged to be killed, but the scientists were convinced that he was close to establishing contact with God.
After another day, the subject could no longer form coherent sentences. Seemingly mad, he started to bite off chunks of flesh from his arm. The scientists rushed into the test chamber and restrained him to a table so he could not kill himself. After a few hours of being tied down, the subject halted his struggling and screaming. He stared blankly at the ceiling as teardrops silently streaked across his face. For two weeks, the subject had to be manually rehydrated due to the constant crying. Eventually, he turned his head and, despite his blindness, made focused eye contact with a scientist for the first time in the study. He whispered “I have spoken with God, and he has abandoned us” and his vital signs stopped. There was no apparent cause of death.
The Mystery of David Lang
On September 23, 1880, on a farm near Gallatin, Tennessee, David Lang was walking across the fields of his farm. The area where he was walking was large and flat. There were no trees or stones or fences in the area. Lang’s wife and children were watching him from the house. Two men in a buggy were riding by and also watched Lang as he made his way across the field. Suddenly, in the view of everyone, Lang vanished in mid-step. One moment he was walking and the next moment he was gone.
The first conclusion by those that had been watching him was that he had fallen down a hole in the ground. But searching the area showed no hole or other explanation for his disappearance. Once it seemed that Lang had just vanished without explanation, his wife became hysterical and had to be taken back to the house. Neighbors joined the search but there was no sign of Lang. Eventually the searches were called off and Lang was left as lost.
One year later, Lang’s daughter stood in the spot where Lang had vanished and called out to her father several times. Not getting a response, she was turning to go back to the house when she heard a faint cry for help in her father’s voice. She ran and got her mother who went to the spot and also heard her husband’s voice. They returned the following day and once again heard Lang calling for help, although the cry was fainter. After several days the voice was too faint to hear and it was never heard again.
A sound, reported initially as a “sonic boom” shook the ground and rattled walls in three Alabama counties on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Hundreds of people reported the incident and to date there is still no explanation. One by one, the presumptions are being struck down. We now know that it was not an earthquake or an aircraft. Below are excerpts from two articles in The Birmingham News.
Jeremy Gray (The Birmingham News)
Dan Wright, director of the county’s 911 service, was at home, about a mile east of downtown Clanton, playing outside with his son when he heard the noise. It was about 4:30 p.m., he said.
“I felt the ground shaking and I heard this loud rumbling,” Wright said. “My garage door started shaking and it sounded like it was falling down.”
The calls at first seemed to be coming from mainly the northern half of the county, but several came from other parts of the county too, Wright said. Some came from as far away as Bibb County.
A dispatcher with Bibb County 911 said they received about a half dozen calls reporting the same thing. All of the calls came from north of West Blocton but stretched across Bibb County east to west.
The director of Shelby County’s 911 service said no reports were received there.
The service is also receiving reports on its Twitter page, Wright said.
Efforts to reach officials with the Geological Survey of Alabama were not immediately successful this afternoon.The website of the U.S. Geological Survey does not show any earthquakes anywhere in Alabama since Feb. 29.
In a subsequent article he writes:
CHILTON COUNTY, Alabama — A review of air traffic records by the Federal Aviation Administration today found no records of any flights Tuesday afternoon that could have caused a sonic boom in central Alabama.
Some have speculated that a sonic boom could have been the cause of the loud sound that rattled walls across Chilton County and in parts of Bibb County Tuesday afternoon.
More than 100 calls about the incident were received by Chilton County 911 about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said if there was a sonic boom, it would have had to have been caused by a military aircraft because no civilian plane flies fast enough to cause one.
A spokesman for Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery said none of the aircraft that fly out of there travel fast enough to cause a sonic boom. A spokesman for the Alabama Air National Guard said today he would look into the report, but no information had been provided as of this afternoon.
The Battle in the Sky
At sunrise on the 14th April 1561, the citizens of Nuremberg beheld "A very frightful spectacle." The sky appeared to fill with cylindrical objects from which red, black, orange and blue white disks and globes emerged. Crosses and tubes resembling cannon barrels also appeared whereupon the objects promptly "began to fight one another." This event is depicted in a famous 16th century woodcut by Hans Glaser.
Read more about it at http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case486.htm
Thunderbird is a term used in cryptozoology to describe large, bird-like creatures, generally identified with the Thunderbird of Native American tradition. Similar cryptids reported in the Old World are often called Rocs. Thunderbirds are regarded by a small number of researchers as having lizard features like the extinct pterosaurs such as Pteranodon. Although reports of Thunderbird sightings go back centuries, due to the lack of scientific evidence (such as a fossil record), the creature is generally regarded as a myth.
One of the great mysteries of modern times has its roots in Arizona. This mystery involves a photograph of a so-called "Thunderbird" and a mysterious creature that was said to have been captured near the town of Tombstone.
The story goes that two cowboys sighted an enormous flying creature in in the Arizona desert in April 1890. The beast had the body of a serpent, immense wings, two clawed feet and the face of an alligator. The men got as close as their skittish horses would allow and then chased the bird on foot. It took off and landed a few times and the cowboys opened fire with rifles and killed the monster.
The enormous wingspan of the creature was said to have been 160 feet and the body was more than 92 feet long. It was smooth and featherless, more like a bat than a bird, and they cut off a piece of the wing and brought it with them into Tombstone, Arizona.
Or least that's the story that was allegedly told in an April 1892 issue of the Tombstone newspaper, the Epitaph. This was the only mention of the story and it gave all of the appearances of the tall tales that were often written in the western newspapers of the era. What makes this story different though is that it has given rise to an odd modern legend.
The story was revived in 1930 in the book On the Old West Coast by Horace Bell and then 33 years later, a writer named Jack Pearl mentioned the story in the sensationalistic men's magazine called Saga. Not only did he tell the story though, he went one step further and claimed that the Tombstone Epitaph had, in 1886, published a photograph of a huge bird nailed to a wall. The newspaper said that it had been shot by two prospectors and hauled into town by wagon. Lined up in front of the bird were six grown men with their arms outstretched, fingertip to fingertip. The creature measured about 36 feet from wingtip to wingtip."
On Sept. 8, a hundred years ago, the Bronx Zoo in New York unveiled a new exhibit that would attract legions of visitors -- and spark a furor. Inside a cage, in the zoo's Monkey House, was a man named Ota Benga. He was 22 years old, a member of the Batwa people, pygmies who lived in what was then the Belgian Congo.
More at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5787947
The Voynich Manuscript is a medieval document written in an unknown script and in an unknown language. For over one hundred years people have tried to break the code to no avail. The overall impression given by the surviving leaves of the manuscript suggests that it was meant to serve as a pharmacopoeia or to address topics in medieval or early modern medicine. However, the puzzling details of illustrations have fueled many theories about the book’s origins, the contents of its text, and the purpose for which it was intended.
More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript
E.H. Jones and his Australian companion, Lieutenant C. W. Hill, devise an extraordinary plot of deception and intrigue which bring them untold suffering but eventually gain for them their freedom. Using a ‘Ouija-board’ and fostering among their fellow prisoners-of-war and their Turkish guards the belief that the two men are in touch with a ‘spirit medium’, they stategise the most startling saga of escape ever lived.
Read more at
The mysterious stranger stopped and cried out in a loud voice, "Jakob, Jakob, come forth." In amazement and fright, Böehme ran out of the house. The strange man fixed his eyes upon the youth—great eyes which sparkled and seemed filled with divine light. He took the boy’s right hand and addressed him as follows: "Jakob, thou art little but shall be great, and become another Man, such a one as at whom the World shall wonder.
Read more at http://www.greatdreams.com/sacred/boehme.htm
Shortly after the end of World War I, Percy Harrison Fawcett read a report of a 1753 expedition that had gone into the jungle into central Amazon, looking for a secret city that was supposed to hold many amazing secretes The citizens of this advanced civilisation were said to have been descendents from the lost city of Atlantis. This story fascinated him, and the mystique and secrecy appealed to his adventurous nature. In 1925, he made arrangements for an expedition into the South American jungle to bring proof back to the outside world.
Read more at http://www.unmuseum.org/fawcett.htm
Sometime between the years 1135 A.D. and 1154 A.D., two strange children were found near Woolpit, England. Workers were harvesting their fields when they heard frightened cries; investigating, they discovered two children, a boy and a girl, terrified and huddled near a pit. They were screaming in a unknown language, and their clothes were made of a strange looking, unknown material... but stranger still, the children's skin was green.
In 1587, a group of 117 English colonists sailed to North America to establish a city on Chesapeake Bay but ended up on Roanoke, a small island near the Outer Banks of present-day North Carolina, stranded at the end of the summer with few supplies. Their governor, John White, returned to England with the ships that had brought them, promising to be back by spring. It took him three years.
The Gemstone File
"The gemstone file was written in many segments over a period of years by an American man named Bruce Roberts. Parts of the file were released to certain Americans beginning in 1969." What the File purportedly offerred was the entire background of the Kennedy assassination; names and addresses, who had done it, and the historical perspective. http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/gemstone_files.htm
Run to Paradise
Ignorant of geography, and longing to escape the misery of their existence, Australian convicts in the latter part of the 18th and early part of the 19th century, gambled with thier lives, hoping that the rumours of a mysterious "white colony", somewhere near the border of China, was little more than a few weeks walk to the west of Parramatta. These unseen neighbours, it was said, had offerred sanctuary to others that had escaped, so in November, 1791, a group of 20 Irishmen and a pregnant woman fled the penal farm near Parramatta, headed for China. Read more at
The Evidence Inside Gusev Crater
"I am writing to inform the National Geographic Society that I have discovered life on Mars." So begins the intriguing and out-of-this world odyssey of lawyer, Andrew D. Basiago, who claims to have uncovered "a cosmic treasure trove of pictographic evidence, including humanoid beings, animal species, carved statues, and built structures" in series of panoramic snapshots taken near the western edge of the plateau called Home Plate in the inner basin of the Columbia Hills Range inside Gusev Crater.
The attendant said I could save time if I took the Navaho reservation Route 160 through four corners, up to Wolf Creek Pass, and down to Denver, instead of Route 66. I saw on the map: we would see some of the Painted Desert. It never occurred to me that I would soon rendezvous with a huge “silver saucer”, the size of a football field.
Rolling In Ditches With Shamans
Surely one of the most colorful and fascinating individuals in 20th-century anthropology, Jaime de Angulo (1887–1950) lived many lives. Born in Paris to Spanish parents, in 1905 he immigrated to America, where he worked as a cowboy, earned a medical degree, and ranched in Big Sur, California, before his fateful meetings in 1919 with Berkeley anthropologists Alfred Kroeber and Paul Radin. A crackshot linguist and renegade anthropologist, his bohemian life eventually shut him out of academia, and his writings took a wild turn from orthodox ethnography into fiction and poetry.
Human spontaneous involuntary invisibility allegedly happens on a regular basis to many people around the world. In all cases the person is still physically present but cannot be seen or heard. The world appears perfectly normal to the invisible person, who doesn't normally realize at first that they are invisible.
One case from Ventura, California, details how a housewife became invisible while sitting on her living room sofa. Her husband began to search the house looking for her, but could not see her. This lasted 10 minutes before she became visible again. Her husband was quite upset and thought she had been hiding.
Human invisibility has been written about for centuries. Ancient magicians believed that it was possible to become invisible and used herbs and rituals to obtain it. In India students of Raja Yoga are taught that supernatural powers are a natural outcome of self-development. One of the yogic siddhas is indeed human invisibility.
At the forefront of this research is U.S.-based Donna Higbee. Since 1994, she has collected thousands of reports of invisibility from Europe, Australia, Puerto Rico and Brazil. She believes that we are tapping to an ancient power.
The Soul of Nyria
Mrs Campbell Praed was Australia's first novelist, and her book, Soul of Nyria : the memory of a past life in ancient Rome (1904), is as unexpected as it is dramatic.
The book relates events drawn from a series of hypnotic-trance episodes conducted over a five-year period in which her friend and constant companion, medium Nancy Harward, recounts an intimate "memoir" of a life in Rome over 1,800 years ago. What results is an incredible story within a story that traces purportedly real historical events during the first half-century after the death of Christ. The book itself, which was not published for thirty years after it was written, is now in the public domain, and the story it tells has all the ingredients of an major epic, high-concept picture. The story played out in ancient Rome has interesting parallels with the relationship between Praed and Harward, and their obsession with the occult and reincarnation offers a unique window into the lives of two unusual women. An imaginative screenwriter will find the writing of an adaptation of this book both challenging and, I would imagine, thoroughly engrossing.
Husky claims that Kyle is one of his many personalities, a separate consciousness residing in his mind, a force over whom Huskey has no control. He says he has no memory of committing the crimes.
The defense has filed in court a psychiatrist's evaluation stating that Huskey suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID).
The Code is an ancient matrix system built up of monuments all across the globe. These monuments include megalithic stone works, pyramids, circular works, effigies, and ancient earth mound. Each structure is a point in a remarkable global matrix which explains a global positioning system involving the mathematical precisions of the Earth. In order to "read" this matrix one must first change the current Prime Meridian back to the pyramid fields at Giza
Dr. Mary's Monkey
Strange Disappearance of the Anjikuni Village People
On a freezing winter’s night in November 1930, Canadian fur trapper, Joe Labelle was to discover, under the glare of a full moon, one of the most remarkable disappearances known to date. The bustling Eskimo village’s 2,000 inhabitants, located on the shoreline of Lake Anjikuni in Canada, had vanished without trace.
The Saga of Shoichi Yokai
On January 24 1972, two residents from Guam discovered Shoichi Yokoi, a Japanese soldier who was hiding in the jungle for… 28 years. When discovered, Shoichi Yokoi was 56 years old, he looked skinny but he was healthy, was dressed with a uniform woven by himself from hibiscus fibers and he was keeping an accurate record of time. He attacked the two residents with a fishing net, but they managed to capture him and took him to the police station.
His story became famous throughout the world and he became one of the most famous people from Japan.
The Colonel's Wife (An urban legend)
This true story from the late 1950s would make an excellent short film.
During a vacation trip, Colonel Robert Collins, the base commander at James Connelly AFB outside Waco, Texas, was traveling north out of Waco. His route was to take him through Dallas and on to his family home in north Texas. This was before the Interstate highway system was built. The trip extended into the dark winter night and he stopped at a gasoline station to use the restroom and fill up with gasoline. His wife was asleep on the darkened back seat of their large Cadillac sedan
The colonel paid for the gasoline, then went to use the men’s room. At this point his wife, Dot, awakened and decided that she needed to use the ladies' rest room. A few seconds later, Colonel Collins returned to the car, started the engine and continued to drive north toward Dallas on the rural two lane highway. He was unaware that his wife was not in the car.
When Mrs. Collins returned to the gasoline island, she was surprised and perplexed to find the Cadillac missing. What had happened? Where was the car? Where was her husband? She sat on the concrete island and pondered her options. How could she contact her husband? This was decades before cell phones. There was no way to telephone him and ask him to return and pick her up. What could she do? Then she remembered he was listening to a football game from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on the car radio when she went to sleep in the back seat. If she called the radio station broadcasting the game they might get a message to him and he could turn back to get her.
She went into the gas station office and telephoned the radio station and described her predicament. Within minutes the broadcaster at the Cotton Bowl was announcing to everyone in radio range: “Colonel Collins, traveling north on Highway 77 … You left your wife at the Gulf gas station in Hillsboro. Please go back to get her.” This was announced repeatedly throughout the game. The sports commentators had great time at the Colonel’s expense.
Now it was a contest. Who would get to the gas station first? … Colonel Collins or the photographers from the Dallas newspapers? The vipers from the press won the race. The morning newspapers featured a large picture of Mrs. Collins sitting forlornly on the concrete island in front of the gas pumps. Any hopes Colonel Collins may have had for future promotion were drowned in the ink that produced the unflattering headline, the glum photograph and the accompanying feature article that appeared above the fold on the first page of every edition. It definitely was a career altering moment for the good Colonel.
Charles Fort - The Man Who Invented The Supernatural
A man, largely undiscovered by the modern world, whom I, and many others, believe made one of the most significant contributions to the world of science. Had it not been that he vehemently opposed modern scientists and their methods, his work might be enjoying a greater popularity than it does. Had this man decided to write about completely different topics, he would be hailed as a fabulous literary character. Here was a peculiar fellow. Charles Fort devoted 26 years of his life to compiling documented reports of scientific anomalies from journals and newspapers from all around the world.
In 1975, a man named Jackson Wright was driving with his wife from New Jersey to New York City.
This required them to travel through the Lincoln Tunnel. According to Wright, who was driving, once through the tunnel he pulled the car over to wipe the windshield of condensation. His wife Martha volunteered to clean off the back window so they could more readily resume their trip. When Wright turned around, his wife was gone. He neither heard nor saw anything unusual take place, and a subsequent investigation could find no evidence of foul play. Martha Wright had just disappeared.
The Mysterious Cloud
Three soldiers claimed to be witnesses to the bizarre disappearance of an entire battalion in 1915.
They finally came forward with the strange story 50 years after the infamous Gallipoli campaign of WWI. The three members of a New Zealand field company said they watched from a clear vantage point as a battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment marched up a hillside in Suvla Bay, Turkey. The hill was shrouded in a low-lying cloud that the English soldiers marched straight into without hesitation.
They never came out. After the last of the battalion had entered the cloud, it slowly lifted off the hillside to join other clouds in the sky. When the war was over, figuring the battalion had been captured and held prisoner, the British government demanded that Turkey return them. The Turks insisted, however, that it had neither captured not made contact with these English soldiers.
The golden age of jigsaw puzzles was around 1920 to 1930. This period was also the time of the Great Depression and it is said that constructing a jigsaw puzzle relieved stress during those troubled times. The low cost of these puzzles and their ability to be reused or exchanged could also be a reason why they were so popular in the depression era.