Edward and John’s reputations were growing.  They’d received invitations from several Courts on the Continent to display their abilities.  Even after a series of successful esoteric demonstrations though, their stomachs were still more often empty than full.

John was a dreamer, and his dreams told him that a new apocalypse was dawning, that unless men resolved their differences and became as one, their world was doomed to eternal suffering.  He sought the advice of angels on how this was to be done.  Edward dreams however, were a little worldlier.
On August 6, 1585, Edward sat down before a crystal ball and began to scry new messages from the Archangel Uriel, the “Light of God.”  Uriel commanded that the two should henceforth hold all things in common.  Later, Edward would insist, this would also include John’s wife.    At this, John drew the line… eventually.

In any time and any place, he might be considered a genius; another Da Vinci or Francis Bacon.  In his particular place and time, he was widely recognized for his great learning and daunting intellect.  When the University at Cambridge had 450 books in its entire library, he personally kept thousands in his own home.  But John also had another aspect to his character that prevented him from becoming a household name today: a childlike trust; or more bluntly, a foolish naivety.  Wanting so badly to make peace in the world and in heaven, he spent the most productive years of his life being played.

John Dee was an astronomer, mathematician, scientist, philosopher, and political advisor to royalty.  But because of enabling and opportunist “friends” like Edward Kelley, he is better remembered as an occultist, alchemist, and magician, and by a few, as the man who signed his letters to Queen Elizabeth with the code name 007.


The Event

Nobody had heard from Leonid since he’d sent a progress report back from Taishet on the Trans-Siberian railroad.  That was two months and six hundred miles in the past.  Since then, he’d been on sled, horseback, and foot as he and his assistant made their way through the palearctic boreal forests and bogs, still frozen over but fast-approaching the spring melt.  It was imperative that Leonid found what he was looking for before the melt; if not, the floods and mosquitos would make travel impossible and he doubted he could ever find the funding again.

He was sick, malnourished, and exhausted.  But in his heart, he knew he was close, and this is what drove him on.  His Evenki guides, Potapovich and Okhchen, didn’t share his drive however.  They’d agreed to take him where he wanted partly out of their natural friendliness toward strangers and partly out of a curiosity to see if they’re old trapping grounds could be used again.  Even then, they made sure to see their shaman for a blessing before they left.  After two days of trekking through rugged terrain, Leonid noticed that the two had grown unusually quiet and they only answered his questions in hesitant speech and made no eye contact.
And then, on April 25th, 1927, Potapovich and Okhchen stopped and pointed.

“There is only death here,” Potapovich said solemnly.  “Ogdy, god of storms, cursed this land…”

Leonid walked forward a few steps along the Makirta River and his heart shot up to his throat.  As far as he could see, trees were toppled like toothpicks, their bark and limbs stripped away.  Some nineteen years after the event, Leonid Kulik became the first scientist to visit the site of the Tunguska meteoroid impact, though the airburst epicenter was still forty barren miles away.


The Word on the Street

Like most everyone else in his south Philadelphia neighborhood, Tony worked hard.  He’d rise with the sun, grab his lunchbox, and walk the mile and a half to the docks at the Navy yard.  There, he spent the better part of each day behind a welder’s mask and at the sound of the whistle in the evening he’d pick up his empty lunchbox and walk the same route back to his South 7th Street home where his Maria would have dinner waiting.  He’d usually throw down a few bottles of beer in front of the television and shuffle off to bed.

But sometimes he’d stay up a little later if a game was on; like tonight.  Maria and the kids kissed him goodnight and left him in peace to his one little luxury.  With the Phillies and Pirates all tied up going into the 9th inning, the television began to crackle.  Tony groaned and pushed himself out of the recliner, “Not now…  Adjusting the antennas didn’t help and he whacked the side of the set.  Then, as the headlights of a passing car illuminated his front window, the static broke and a voice came through his television.

… dead molecules will be put back together!

Tony ran to the door and saw an old car driving away, a massive antenna protruding from the roof.  Tony had seen it before.

“God help me if I catch you!”

First, he’d tried to form a group, tried calling radio talkshows, and tried broadcasting on short wave.  This mobile transmission was his last effort to express himself before the Toynbee Tiler finally found his perfect medium.  It wouldn’t be until October 19, 1994, that media outlets around the Americas began to take notice and not until 2012 that a mysterious suspect was named.


Upon Further Investigation...

Sayyid could tell that the soldiers were on edge; five of their bomb-sniffing dogs had been killed by snipers in in the first few months of 2008.  And now they were getting sloppy, afraid to spend too much time searching each vehicle by hand.  With no sniffer-dogs in sight, Sayyid was testing them; beneath his truck, he’d hidden some small packets of gunpowder.

The line of cars funneled into a blast area the size of an Olympic swimming pool, its six foot high concrete walls designed to contain any explosions.  Just as Sayyid was about to enter into the point of no return, the hair on the back of his neck stood up.
He saw one of the checkpoint guards walk with a swiveling antenna pointed at the trunk of a little Fiat.  The driver of the car suddenly jumped out and attempted to escape on foot but was quickly tackled.  Sayyid turned his wheel hard and drove off while he still had a chance.  Until he got his hands on one of these new sensors, there’d be no more attempts.

It didn’t take Sayyid long to figure out that the new bomb-detecting technology being used by the Iraqi soldiers was no threat to his schemes.  After all, it was simply a piece of metal in a plastic grip.  “It looks to be a dowsing rod,” he laughingly told his coconspirators, “They’ve basically spent $85,000,000 for a crate of magic wands...”

On July 11, 2012, British authorities charged the makers of the ADE651 with fraud.  The question remains why it took them 30 months of “scientific testing” to figure it out.

The question also remains as to why 20 nations around the world, including Iraq, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, and the Philippines, continue to use similar “molecular detectors” to this day.


6EQUJ5: In a Word...

Often, momentous deeds are accompanied by momentous words.  There are no prescriptions for placing the right words at the right time.  We know them when we hear them.

When Sir Henry Morton Stanley staggered into Ujiji and discovered another explorer who had for years been assumed dead, his “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” became a hallmark of the brevity and understatement famous in the English.

General Anthony McAuliffe, when faced with the German’s demand for surrender during the Battle of the Bulge, sent back the official reply of “Nuts!” exhibiting a characteristic American flippancy in the face of danger.

And though Neil Armstrong bungled his article when he took that “giant leap,” the words he spoke will still echo through time as a monument to all of humanity’s indomitable spirit and determination.

Then we come to the happening at the “Big Ear,” a radio telescope the size of three football fields at Ohio State University.  The task of the monitors at the telescope was straightforward: watch for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.  Parameters had been determined as to where that signal would most likely be found, in the narrow band range: TV, AM, FM, and HAM radio, and satellite transmissions.  The “Big Ear” had been scanning the skies since 1973 without success… until August 15, 1977.


It hasn’t been proven to have come from an intelligent source but is still today the only transmission that hasn’t been disproven.

The “Big Ear” is no longer there, since bulldozed to make way for townhomes and golf courses, but if that signal someday turns out to have been our first communication with a civilization from outer space, we’ll have to live with the simple description given by volunteer-monitor Jerry Ehman when he made a hand-written notation along the edge of a computer printout: “Wow!


Suggestions Welcome

 (Easter Procession, 1893 ~ Illarion Pryanishnikov)

It's been a long time since I updated my sidebar and I already have a few new ones to add but if you have any suggestions for fascinating history links, interesting places, or great writing sites, please do offer them up!  If not, then just enjoy the picture!  



Sergio Catalan’s day was nearly done; the last of the loose cattle had been rounded up.  He was a huaso, a proud horseman of Chile.  Like the cowboys of Texas, he was strong, and silent, and brave; and though he hadn’t yet realized it, he was the last of a disappearing breed.  Santiago, not too far away, was overcome with modernity in 1973, as well as military coups.  Still, he stared up at the snow-covered mountains to the east and felt confident in the permanence of his land and his life and a day’s hard work.

Sergio followed the Rio Portillo south until it intersected the Rio Azufre.  The waters were high and running strong.  Just as he was about to turn his horse to the west, he noticed a skinny man on the eastern shore, waving at him.  He was obviously out of place.  Sergio rode close by the bank to try and see what the stranger wanted but the noise of the river’s rush made it impossible for him to make sense of the shouts.  Besides, the sun was setting and his dinner was waiting.  “Mañana!” he called out to the stranger.  “Mañana!”
When he returned the next morning, December 22, the man was still there and he had another with him.  Sergio dismounted and pulled a paper and pencil from his pocket, tied them to a rock, and threw it across the river.  The stranger retrieved it, spent a minute writing, and then threw it back.

Sergio opened the note and read it in disbelief.

“I come from a plane that crashed in the mountains…”
The next day, after seventy-two days in the Andes, the remaining survivors of crashed Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued and incredible tales of heroism, and cannibalism, soon captivated the world.


Welcome all!

I've missed quite a few new "followers" over the past month or so, thank you and welcome to all who have found their way here.  I had a "thing I had to do" but I'm back and my hiatus from writing here ends, more stories this week!  A thousand more bonus points to anyone who identifies the image!