Sunday, October 31, 2010

other-worldly scene

20100928 007, originally uploaded by an0nym0n0us.

Many who view photos of the carillons at the Nashville Bicentennial Mall are appropriate spooked by them. I do not buy the William Henry notion that there's some sort of occult symbolism behind the layout of this mall, but I will concede that these bells would make a nice UFO landing pad.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cool new HDR iPhone app

IMG_0611, originally uploaded by an0nym0n0us.

The app is called HDR Pro and is available in the Apple app store for about a dollar. I discovered it while reading a tech analysis of iPhone's iOS 4 HDR function (which is okay but no great shakes).

I am admittedly not a good photographer, so I have to resort to trickery to get my photos looked at on Flickr, where I've forked over $36 annually for a pro membership for five years. (I quit posting shots of women in bikinis a while back, to the chagrin of most of my Flickr followers.)

I like to experiment with different photo methods in an attempt (so far, a vain one) in translating into pixels what I actually see in my head. And HDR impresses me.

We all know about "orb" photos and various other attempts to capture the unseen with photography. We all know that the bulk of paranormal photography can be explained conventionally. But I believe that the invisible can be photographed, with the right equipment and, perhaps, with novel methods such as HDR--which is essentially a composite of two or more shots of the same scene framed at different exposures.

I have taken maybe two--perhaps three--genuinely paranormal photos in my life. But I hope that with HDR I might capture a few more. Why? Because HDR manipulates both light and time to create the composite. And the paranormal "likes" to play with both.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Paratopia moving to a subscription model

Was a bit surprised that Jeff and Jer are moving to a subscription model for their podcast / forum. But it's this sort of audacious, DIY ethic that has propelled their enterprise. And I think it's a smart move. If only a fraction of their downloaders subscribe, they should be able comfortably finance the podcast. I'm also looking forward to the private forums. I don't really participate in public forums, for several reasons... a.) I don't think I really have anything to say, and b.) the nothing I have to say, I don't say well. (True, I blog here, but fortunately, no one reads it.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nazi UFOs?

An idea that I'm seeing gain increasing currency on the paranormal talk shows is the concept of "Nazi UFOs," specifically, the argument that the Roswell crash was not "alien" but instead contraband Nazi equipment, piloted by either the Nazis themselves (from bases in South America) or by Americans.

It's almost as if we have to replace an unlikely theory (the ETH) with an absurd one.

I've never read any of the books arguing the Nazi UFO connection. And no, it's not a case of don't-bother-me-with-the-facts-my-mind-is-made-up.

It's just that I'm a fair student not only of World War Two history but also of twentieth-century technology in general. Not only is there no evidence in the official histories that the Third Reich came anywhere near approaching the capability of mastering the physics involved--not a hint--but there's much to argue against it.

Indeed, the Nazis blundered greatly in their anti-semitism and opposition to non-classical physics by causing not only Albert Einstein to flee Germany but other prominent scientists as well.

You could argue that Hitler *might* have won the war but for this tragic and moral flaw; but the Nazis' persecution of the Jews stemmed from a skewed moral as well as scientific sensibility.

The Nazi UFO proponents get around this by hinting at the even more bizarre notion that Himmler and gang consorted with eastern mystics and dabbled in black (but non-Jewish) magic, as if a practice that barely can find you a vacant parking place will get you a UFO.

I see more than a hint of revisionism in all this Nazi UFO talk. I don't want to see philosophical and political overtones in it, but I do.

The nice thing about the ETH is that when you apply it to the UFO puzzle, you gotta admit, most of the parts fit. No, they don't fit well, but as a placeholder theory, it has it's advantages.

Throw it out--throw out Hopkins and Jacobs--and what are you left with? A wide open mystery, begging to be researched, and a fertile ground for some dark conspiracies.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Meditation on a fragment of the Seth material...

One recurring theme in the Seth material examines the development of the modern human ego, and its deliberate separation from 'nature.' This concept is difficult to wrap the Western mind around, since we have difficulty imagining any state of consciousness other than the 'default' one. Yet, Seth argues, the modern ego is an artificial and (relatively) recent development--an experiment that has been largely successful. Through the objectified conscious ego, mankind (and womankind) has created the material world that we know--the iPods, the mass transit (except in Tennessee), the literature, the music, the edifices, the politics, the religions--the trappings of modern life.

So immersed we have become in our objectified reality that we assume that it is all that is. When intrusions from other realities--other states of consciousness--pass across our awareness, we mark these intrusions as alien, or demonic, or supernatural.

If we study these intrusions, however, we can be reminded of the greater reality that encloses our contemporary one. So.... where others see a UFO, or a haunting, or (even) angels, I see something else. I see these as an invitation to fashion an awareness of a different reality.

It is here that Whitley Strieber's writings dovetail with the Seth material. Seth states that it was part of the "grand design" that humanity, after creation of the objectified ego and elaborate material world, would ultimately return to the unity with nature. We would reach a point in our physical world where we could travel no further in our current path. The road would end. We must evolve--or die as a species.  I think that most objective commentators would agree that we are starting to hit quite a few "road endings" in our physical world. We have exceeded capacity and can go no further.

It is at this juncture that signposts would appear for a return to 'nature' (or as Seth would define it, the greater reality that supports the specialized Western ego consciousness).  This is what I, personally, see these anomalous occurrences as representing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Powerful enemies, powerful friends

Remote viewer Joe McMoneagle was once asked if there was a singular cause for the development of remote viewing abilities in children. He paused, then said that in almost all cases, there had been a history of childhood abuse or neglect.  For me, this statement became one of my personal touchstones in approaching the paranormal; it became a core truth.

Does abuse or neglect in childhood mark the individual as a lifelong target and victim?  I think so.  I live in constant awareness that someone, somewhere--without warning--will attack me, unprovoked. I was marked as a victim at an early age, and no matter where I go, or what role I am playing, predators will read my victim sign--visible only to them--and move in for the kill.

I have never succeeded in ridding myself of that early mark. Fortunately for me, however, I find that I have inner resources that rise to my defense. I see in advance that a attack is coming. I discern the thoughts and plans of my attackers. Hunches will guide me to take one path instead of another.  And through my experiences I have learned to trust that inner guidance, knowing that while we may have powerful enemies, we also have powerful friends.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top Ten reasons why Liz Phair is cool and deserves to be cool again.

10. Funstyle. I was about to spring for the digital copy, but I discovered yesterday that it's being issued as a double CD with some Girlysounds demos for a not-bad price.

9.  Her demos and rough outtakes are superior to the final studio product.

8.  Her live shows are on par with, if not superior to, her studio work. The true test of a musician is how good he/she is. live.

7. She dissed Capitol records.

6. She embarrassed some Jehovah's Witnesses in 1996 who came to the door while I was playing "Chopsticks" on the stereo.

5.  She is a fan of Soviet art and once declared herself a "Russian girl."

4.  That photo-shoot she did in the desert.

3. David Byrne gave her a good intro on "Sessions at West 54th."

2.  Yeah, she made some sucky commercial albums, but you gotta admit that, by commercial standards, they weren't bad.

1.  She made her sucky commercial albums in the suckiest decade of all, the '00s.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


It's been a little over two years since I've been raised a Master Mason. I can't think of any system of thought that has had a more subtly profound influence on my life than Masonry. To those who are active in it, you know. To those who aren't, I invite you to check into it.

Some join Masonry for limited reasons--the illusion of "personal advancement," or for monetary gain, or for power. I joined because a series of events and coincidences dropped bread crumbs in front of me, and I followed them. In retrospect, I realized that Freemasonry was placed in my path by forces that understood that this was the very doctrine and discipline I needed to turn my life around.

Since joining, I've devoted myself to a study of the ritual. The Masonic ritual is quite ornate and is undoubtedly ancient. In it, there are echoes of death-and-rebirth ceremonies that pre-date Christianity. Did the historic Masons cleverly appropriate these practices for obscure reasons? Or is Freemasonry, in fact, a contemporary manifestation of a ritual that has survived, in one form or another, since the beginning of our current civilization? And is there still transformative power in that ritual? I won't divulge my answer. But if you would like to find your own answer, I invite you to check out Freemasonry.