Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Isabel, you are going to feel very silly when this turns out to be make-believe.

According to a report in yesterday’s Daily Torygraph Telegraph the Earth is steadily becoming invisible to aliens. Basically the idea is that as we hurtle ever so quickly towards a complete digital switchover from analogue, less radiation is produced and thus the earth becomes harder to detect externally. Says Dr Frank Clarke, founder of Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, “The actual amount of radiation escaping is about two watts, not much more than you get from a cell phone. If this continues into the future, very soon our world will become undetectable.”

So two things immediately spring to mind. One, aliens or no aliens, isn’t less radiation a good thing? I mean if life has taught me anything it’s that unless you’re a comic book character radiation isn’t really all that good for one’s health (Gee Note: On the other hand if you are a comic book character feel free to go buck wild with radiation. Seriously, not only will it get you the girls, but it will also give you the power to bench press some nerds). Secondly, has anyone told Danny Dyer about this?

Last night BBC 3 aired it’s latest instalment of “I Believe In…”. Basically the concept of this fabulously bizarre programme is getting a Z-list celebrity to admit they believe in things like the chupacabra for example, and then follow them around as they fail miserably at trying to prove it exists. Last weeks premiere was “I Believe In Ghosts” hosted by Joe Swash, an out of work actor with a slightly annoying cockney accent. Sadly the best moment over the entire hour came in the first 30 seconds of the show, where Joe spoke directly to the camera and said “What do I fink ghosts are? I fink they’re dead people’s spirits.” (Gee Note: As opposed to what? People wearing sheets on their heads going “Oooooo”? I mean, c'mon now.).

The beeb followed up this undoubted triumph with “I Believe in UFOs” hosted by Danny Dyer, an out of work actor with a slightly annoying cockney accent (Gee Note: You may have spotted a pattern here). Except Dyer isn’t just any old actor who'll occasionally appears in “B” movies that even Vinnie Jones would feel were beneath him. Nuh uh Jack, Danny boy is also a stand alone television personality in his own right, presenting shows with titles like “Danny Dyer’s Top 20 Violent Psychopaths” and “Danny Dyer’s Britain’s Sexiest Hedgehog”. So you would think that where Swash failed as far as presenting goes, to Danny it should be like riding a log. Or falling off a bike. You know, easy peasy.

So you can imagine my surprise when 30 seconds in to the programme Dyer came out with this little gem.

Now I know there’s some cynics out there that fink that UFO spotters are complete raving lunatics. You know the idea of us being visited by aliens from another planet, you know there’s more chance of me becoming Prime Minister! But is believing in somefink that most other people find ridiculous really that stupid?

Well, when you put it like that… yes. Yes it is stupid. I mean it’s a bit like saying “Some think people who jump off cliffs and flap their arms expecting to fly are crazy. But are they?”. Well of course they are. And believing in UFOs just for the sake of believing in them is also pretty stupid. I mean it’s one thing to interested in the phenomenon and to study it in depth. But it’s another thing to think "intelligent alien life forms must be whizzing around our skies because it would be soooooo cool if they were".

Anyway Danny starts his journey by going to visit the king of kings, Sir Patrick Moore. For overseas readers who may not be familiar with Moore, Sir Patrick is one of the finest human beings ever to have lived. An amateur astronomer primarily, since 1957 he has hosted The Sky At Night for the BBC, making him the world record holder as the longest serving television presenter. Moore is also an accomplished, self taught, Xylophone player and composer, as well as authoring several non-fiction and science fiction books. And he wears a monocle. Really the only way he could be more awesome is if he was made out of chocolate and LSD.

(Gee Note: Here’s a video of Sir Patrick Moore being interviewed by Brian May of Queen fame. How or why this happened I have no idea. But for some reason it did. You know, like Mel Gibson calling a female cop “sugar tits” or agreeing to make "Signs" even after he read the script. Or Tiger Woods finding anyone to have sex with his goofy ass, let alone the 5000 women suggested by the tabloids. Why these things happened no one knows. All three mysteries of the universe my friends. Mysteries of the universe).

So Danny arrives at Moore’s home to find Sir Patrick drinking wine out of a mug while watching a game of cricket (Gee Note: See? I told you this guy was brilliant. Screw the fact that there’s a camera crew coming around. This is Pat’s special time, ya dig. By the way the future ex-Mrs. Davies always shouts at me when I drink wine out of a mug, complaining it stains the ceramic. Which is true, but then A) I’m too lazy to wash up the wine glasses and B) if it’s good enough for Sir Patrick Moore then it’s sure as Betsy good enough for me), and dives headfirst in to his interview.

DYER: Do you believe, erm, there is intelligent life in the universe?

MOORE: Yes. There are a hundred thousand million stars in our galaxy. We can see a thousand million galaxies. So in these galaxies there must be many planets where life could appear.

DYER: See this is the fing. There has to be, mate. It’s a ridiculous idea that there can’t be.

The interview continuous in a similar vain with Sir Patrick talking a lot of sense and Danny agreeing with him in the most ludicrously blokey fashion, until Dyer has to mosey off and meet some crop circle enthusiasts. First he meets a bunch of nutbars eccentrics who are investigating a local crop circle, convinced it was them ET’s wot done it. Then he heads down to a local pub where he meets a group of guys who claim that they are responsible for the geometric shapes in the farmer’s yard.

And it actually highlights an issue with Danny’s style when it comes to investigative journalism. The problem is that he tends to believe the last thing that he’s told. He walks away from the eccentrics believing that aliens are landing their spaceships willy nilly all over Britain’s fields. Then after leaving the bar it appears he’s all turned around on the subject, seemingly persuaded that dudes with large boards attached to their feet are responsible.

It’s a problem that raises it’s head later on in the documentary when Dyer goes to meet Stan Romanek in the good ol’ US of A. Now Stan Romanek is either an outright shyster or the unluckiest sumbitch walking the face of this planet, depending on who you believe. Made famous by an appearance on Larry King Live, Romanek claims to have had over 100 encounters with UFO’s and extra terrestrial beings. One of these is the infamous “Peeping Tom” alien video which shows an apparent other worldly being playing peek-a-boo outside his living room window. It’s the jewel in Stan’s little green crown, and has reportedly made him a pretty penny.

After spending about 5 hours sifting through Romanek’s evidence, most of which involves Stan himself as either the victim of some type of alien pervert or the target of a government conspiracy, Dyer is shown in the street immediately after leaving Romanek’s property.

I cannot believe what I’ve just witnessed wiv my own eyes. Some of the shit he’s just shown me in there is unbelievable. He’s got evidence of aliens poking their head around the facking window ‘aving a pipe at him.

Then a few days later.

This what I struggle with. Stan’s got an agent right, an agent, and he want fifty fousand dollars for the footage.

The latter statement is delivered by an obviously disgruntled Danny looking mean and moody in a leather jacket. Still not one to deny us a happy ending, the show does end on a high note. Quite literally as it happens.

Danny voyages out to Washington to the Sattva Sanctuary, run by James Gilliland. The sanctuary is basically a hove for bonkers hippies who think UFOs come in and out of a door in a mountain. Danny is invited to take part in a meditation session where people stretch, wail, and generally look a wee bit daft. In yet another talking head interview an obviously stoned Danny is left to muse “You go in to yourself, cos you’ve gotta hold your position and all you’ve got is your brain, and your facking thoughts, and for me that’s not necessarily a good fing.”. (Gee Note: Um… yeah I have no idea what he means either). Regardless whatever it was seemed to have worked, as thanks to some hi-tech night vision camera’s Danny finally manages to spot a UFO. Not just one mind you, but five in one night. Remarkable. So remarkable in fact Double D celebrated the sighting by exclaiming “That is a facking UFO”.

So there by the grace of God goes “I Believe In UFOs”. And, amazingly, I enjoyed every second of it. Oh sure Danny Dyer isn’t exactly John Keel or Nick Pope when it comes to level headed, serious discussions about extra terrestrial life. But he did seem genuinely enthusiastic about his cause, as well as having a boyish charm and what seems to be a nice way about him. His accent is still bloody annoying though.

Mind it would only be fitting to leave you with the final words of the man himself.

Where there’s belief, there’s hope. And that’s the one thing that keeps all these guys going. And I hope one day, in my heart of hearts, they’ll be proved right.

You know if there is intelligent life beyond the stars I hope they have a Danny Dyer of their very own. And if not, maybe we could send them ours as a gesture of good faith?

Friday, 22 January 2010

Miss Prentice I'm not the guy you think I am. I snore and everything.

Dude, if these things start to grow wings then I'm moving to Mars or something.

They say there's a fine line between genius and madness (Gee Note: Although in my experience there's a fine line between sanity and madness. For example, dress up in a clown suit at a children's party and you’re a fun loving eccentric. Dress up in a clown suit at someone's funeral however and, oh no, you've suddenly become "weird"). And no one really exemplifies this more than Sir Isaac Newton. Sir Isaac was first and foremost a man of science. Credited with advancing the study of mathematics, optics, and of course the theory of gravity he was undoubtedly one of the finest minds the world has ever seen. Problem is though Newton was also crazier than a bunch of chimpanzees on acid.

You see Newton believed that he was literally an instrument of God. Convinced that the universes secrets were hidden in a secret code in the Bible, Newton dedicated a large portion of his life trying to unravel said sacred text. Now one would think that such things were better left to the Priests and the like, but according to Newton those religious types simply wouldn't be able to get the job done. The reason? Well Newton believed he was the only one on Earth who would be able to decipher the Bible's true meaning, having been chosen specifically by The Supreme Creator themself.

Now had you asked me about my opinion on Newton two weeks ago I would have told you that he was straight laced, highly intelligent, and probably a snappy dresser. But then two weeks ago was before I read about his code breaking beliefs. Now if you asked me about Sir Isaac I'd probably say "Oh him? He's a genius" while pointing at my temple, moving my finger in a circular motion, and whistling.

All of which brings me to Mikey Graham.

For those of you who are currently saying "Who the Hell is Mikey Graham?" trust me you're not alone. Mikey is a member of Irish boy band Boyzone, who were at the peak of their powers approximately ten years ago. I say peak, their success was pretty much limited to the UK, Asia, and parts of Europe. Still on this side of the pond they were dashed popular, racking up 5 UK number one singles, three UK number one albums, and over 15 UK top ten hits.

Sadly, Mikey is nowhere near as famous as this domination of the UK music scene would suggest. For a start, he was the most unremarkable member of the group to begin with, spending most of his time in the background while those around him stole the limelight. If ever this was in doubt, after the band split in 2000 Mr. Graham embarked on a solo career which consisted of a single that charted at number 62 and an album that sold so poorly it made "Smell The Glove" look like a smash hit.

However in the past 12 months Mikey's stock has risen considerably. First off there was a storming performance on "Ghost Hunting with Louis Walsh and Boyzone", where he managed to annoy Yvette Fielding by asking the gathering spirits "Are you a figment of my imagination? Tap once for no, twice for yes" before getting spooked by his own cell phone. Following this triumph he's now currently appearing on "Dancing on Ice", a show that challenges a group of Z-list celebrities to perform figure skating routines. In just two short weeks Graham has easily established himself as the alpha player on this programme. Coming up with insane statements that make no sense? Check. Monologuing about the death of his former band mate Stephen Gately in heart breaking fashion? Check. Stumbling on the ice and careering towards the barrier before regaining his balance at the very last second and winking at the camera? Check. Seriously Mikey Graham is about the best thing on television at the moment.

The reason I bring all this up is that it's funny how your perception of someone can change. Much like Newton, a year ago I didn't know anything about Mikey Graham (Gee Note: Including his name as it goes. No really, I've been calling him "the other one" for years). Now however he's the highlight of my week.

Which, in turn, brings us to Samuel Eaton Thompson.

Thompson was one of the first North American's to claim to have had contact with extra terrestrial life forms. (Gee Note: Actually he may have been the very first. Which can put a lot of pressure on a guy. Just ask Neil Armstrong. Rumour has it that Buzz Aldrin used to steal his lunch box, empty out the contents, and replace it with a note saying "Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Not so clever now are we Moonboy?!?!"). Now in the process of cobbling together this blog I've come across his name a couple of times, but never really had the time to read up on him. I'd always assumed though that he had a fantastical tale about meeting a bunch of aliens, getting along swimmingly, before they took off in some kind of woovy bezerk spacecraft that scared the crap out of the local wildlife.

Which is pretty much exactly what happened. According to a report published in the Centralia Daily Chronicle on April 1 1950, Thompson - an elderly gentleman who had previously been employed as a railroad worker and resided in Centralia, Washington - had in fact stumbled across some extra terrestrials quite unexpectedly. On the evening of March 28, Samuel was driving home through some woods when he came across (Gee Note: Elvis? No? Dammit! By the way January 8th this year marked what would have been The King's 75th birthday. Wanna know how I celebrated this event? I watched Blue Hawaii. For ten minutes. And then gave up. Seriously Elvis + Angela Lansbury = Fail of epic proportions) a bloody great big flying saucer, which he estimated to be 80 feet across and 30 feet tall.

OK so here's where it gets a bit weird. Thompson claims that around the UFO were two naked, deeply tanned children, both human in from and very attractive (Gee Note: OK pervert settle down). Samuel approached from a distance of around 50 feet when several adults, all of them naked and tanned and what not, appeared at the door of the craft. Thompson stopped dead in his tracks, watching these odd Brazilian naturists from afar. After what appeared to be a heated conversation Team Why Wear Clothes called him over. There he met the rest of the ship's crew, which consisted of 20 adults and one female smurf 25 children. He claims he spent the next 40 hours with his new friends.

Which strangely enough, is all pretty believable. Well believable as far as claims of contact with alien life goes. I mean ship in the woods, naked little fellows, “we come in peace”. Pretty standard stuff.

But then it all falls apart.

You see, according to Thompson, these aliens didn’t come from Alpha Centauri, or any other place a million light years away. Nuh uh Jack, these folks were locals. Neighbours practically. They came from a planet within our very own solar system. Venus to be exact. These Venusians were vegetarians, never grew ill, and believed that Jesus Christ would return to the Earth in the year 10,000 A.D. Also they had no idea who built the great big flying saucer with which they were hurtling around the universe in, and generally didn’t seem to care to find out.

And here’s the problem. Venus is the second closest planet to the sun. It’s atmosphere is 95% Carbon Dioxide, the temperature often exceeds 440 °c, it rains sulphuric acid, and it’s atmospheric pressure is 92 times that of Earth. So, even if there was life on Venus, there’s no way it would be humanoid. 9 foot amour plated fire breathing lizards maybe, but not humanoid.

I mean that alone completely annihilates any shred of truth this story may have had. And so it would be easy to dismiss Thompson as just some crackpot looking for his fifteen minutes of fame by making up a story about beings from another world.

Except, and here’s the thing, years later Kenneth Arnold interviewed Thompson. Now Arnold was a pilot who started the whole UFO craze in the first place after he spotted a series of moving objects in 1947. Arnold had become something of a reluctant poster boy for them who believed in life beyond the stars, and had set about interviewing many people who claimed to have witnessed either UFOs or extra terrestrials. And while he didn’t believe Thompson’s story for a second, he had trouble accepting that the poorly educated and seemingly sincere retired railroad worker was deliberately misleading him. Rather that Thompson may have had a psychotic break, or a kind of psychic vision.

Which makes Thompson all the more an interesting character. I mean he may be crazy. Or someone who can see things on a higher spiritual plain. Or a prankster. Or he may really have met an alien or two.

The point is even Samuel Eaton Thompson may be a lot more complex than he first appears.


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Hey, sheriff, you forgot your pants.

It's official. I hate snow.

Actually that not true. Snow that's three feet high off the ground and practically begging you to dive head first in to it is great. Building a snowman, realising the snowman looks a bit crap, giving up and heading inside to drink brandy and listen to Dean Martin records, it really is a lot of fun. Problem is what we have now isn't three foot of snow. Instead we have a trickle. A trickle that is then roundly stamped on by dogs, cats, children, and other animals before freezing over and turning in to a sheet of ice. Now while this may seem like a minor irritation to many, it's starting to become very tiresome as far as this stunningly handsome man is concerned. See the thing is I don't drive, and as such the pavements of Swansea have long been my friends. Over the past week however those friends have turned in to bitter enemies who appear to take delight in making me look foolish.

For example, yesterday morning I had to walk down to the shops to pick up some essentials (Gee Note: You know, bread, milk, feathers so I could dress the guinea pigs up as Native Americans and pretend to be a cowboy. Bang bang. Take that pilgrim). Sadly I say walk, I of course mean skid while my arms flailed wildly around like an electrified ostrich. Literally every footstep I took produced a set of ridiculous gesticulations and less than manly yelps. I even managed to terrify an old woman after nearly careering in to her with my ample ginger ass. By the time I'd ventured approximately 13 feet from my front door I was hanging on to a chain link fence for dear life, while being silently mocked by a small boy watching from his living room window.

Like I said, I hate snow. The good news is we've got someone to blame for all this. Thanks to an email from my good friend Jenny, I know exactly who to vent my frustrations and anger at. Yes. It's all America's fault.

You see according to a post taken from the Pakistan Daily dated January 8, those darned yanks are completely to blame. Now the Pakistan Daily is an online forum dedicated to bringing news and opinions to Pakistani folks the world over. It's part newspaper, part interactive blog. Basically anyone can register and post their views on, well, anything they like and the article will be published alongside those of the journalists who work there. For the most part this works swimmingly well. However every so often someone absolutely bonkers comes along and posts something screamingly insane. January 8 was one of those times.

Remember that Norwegian UFO in December that generated a gaggle of excited talk about aliens and stuff? And then remember how everyone said after the initial outburst of excitement that it was just a Russian rocket that had gone off course? Well whoever wrote the following obviously thinks that's a load of old bollocks.

Norway Time Hole “Leak” Plunges Northern Hemisphere Into Chaos

Russian scientists are reporting to Prime Minister Putin today that the high-energy beam fired into the upper heavens from the United States High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) radar facility in Ramfjordmoen, Norway this past month has resulted in a “catastrophic puncturing” of our Plant’s thermosphere thus allowing into the troposphere an “unimpeded thermal inversion” of the exosphere, which is the outermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere.
(Gee Note: I thought I had a catastrophic puncturing of my exosphere once. Turns out it was just gas. Ah boom cha cha. Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll be here all week).

To the West’s firing of this ‘quantum’ high-energy beam we had previously reported on in our December 10, 2009 report titled “Attack On Gods ‘Heaven’ Lights Up Norwegian Sky”. (Gee Note: Not the snappiest headline I've ever read. Maybe something like "American Assault on Nordic Sky makes God cry" would've been better? No. Perhaps not.).

To how catastrophic for our Planet this massive thermal inversion has been Anthony Nunan, an assistant general manager for risk management at Mitsubishi Corporation in Tokyo, is reporting today that the entire Northern Hemisphere is in winter chaos, with the greatest danger from this unprecedented Global event being the destruction of billions of dollars worth of crops in a World already nearing the end of its ability to feed its self. (Gee Note: Hang on. Mitsubishi make cars don't they? What the hell do they know about weather? I mean it would be like saying "Here I have proof that Sex in The City is actually a mind control device used by Satan. Jim "The Magnificent Bonzo" Johnson from Bolton's Premier Clown School was quoted as saying "Sex in The City? What's that?". There. I rest my case.").

So powerful has this thermal inversion become that reports from the United States are stating that their critical crops of strawberries, oranges, and other fruits and vegetables grown in their Southern States, are being destroyed by record cold temperatures (Gee Note: What about apples?!?!? Please tell me the apples will be OK. Won't somebody think of the apples?!?). The US is further reporting record amounts of snowfall in what they are now warning may be their worst winter in 25 years.

Reports from the United Kingdom today are, likewise, showing a Nation in chaos as brutal cold temperatures continue to batter the British people
(Gee Note: And rape the British live stock. Maybe) suffering under the worst snow blizzards to hit them in almost 50 years. So dire has it become in the UK that their National Grid yesterday issued only its second warning in its entire history stating that their Nation’s gas supply was running out due to this unprecedented event.

(Gee Note: Edit. At this point the article becomes beyond tedious detailing how the cold weather has caused avalanches in Russia, storms in Canada, and Chinese people to be mean to kittens. I think. I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention if I'm honest. Anyway it goes on to say…)

To the long-term consequences of this thermal inversion caused by the West, these reports further warn that by the puncturing of our atmosphere by the HAARP (Gee Note: By the way, as much as I hate it when the truth spoils a good yarn, HAARP is based in Alaska, not in Ramfjordmoen. So in no way could it "puncture the atmosphere" in Norway. Still let's not get bogged down in details guys. Enjoy the show.) radars our Planet has, also, been “needlessly exposed” to the growing threat posed to us by the giant mysterious object currently approaching us (named by NASA as G1.9) which we had previously reported on in our January 3rd report titled “Russia Prepares For Asteroid Strike As New Comet Nears Sun”, and which has been blamed for the rapid shifting of our Earth’s North Pole that was first documented in 2005. (Gee Note: OK look I wasn't going to be a stickler or anything but really, dude, c'mon now. For a start G1.9 isn't a "giant mysterious object". It's a brown dwarf star with an elliptical orbit that occasionally approaches our solar system from behind Venus. Secondly during it’s travels the closest G1.9 gets to the Earth is about 60 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Now the Sun is some 93 million miles from the Earth give or take. So 60 times 93 million is… um… well it’s a f***ing long way away however you look at it).

But to the most critical aspect of these events it surely lies with the Western World’s continued arrogance in regards to experimenting on both our Planets natural species and human beings (Gee Note: Human beings aren‘t a natural species?), and though who may think that they are ‘gods’, are continuing to give evidence that they are acting more like devils. (Gee Note: Oh word play! You little scamp you).

Unsurprisingly this insane tirade prompted the following disclaimer.

Pakistan Daily News does not necessarily agree with the views set forth by the Author of this post.

And it’s not hard to see why. I mean the above is one of the worst examples of calculated racism I’ve seen in a long while. Look if you dislike “the West” so much then so be it. I live here and I’m not sure I agree with the rest of us most of the time. But really, bro, if you are going to bother going to the effort of writing a long article about how “evil” someone else is, at least have the decency to try and make it non-fiction. You have a golden opportunity to make a statement using intelligence, wit, and charm. Not to mention a laundry list of dubious activities conducted by the US, the UK, and others over the past 500 years or so.

But instead you cheapen it by creating an argument where none exists. Trust me, speaking as a man who’s had a million bad relationships, that bullshit never works. You really want to annoy someone? Tell them all about their worst excesses and make valid points about how they could be better. You want to be ignored and marginalised? Keep on doing exactly what you are doing. Put it this way, I’m as dumb as a bag of spanners, and even I can prove that you’re talking nonsense. When something like that happens, it may be time to rethink things a wee bit.

Anyway, I gotta go. It’s started snowing again. And the guinea pigs have eaten all the feathers. Hopefully I can get down to 14 feet before hanging on to that fence for dear life.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

You're alive, stupid. And you're lucky to be here. Now get on with it.

Have you ever read Terry Prachett’s "Hogfather"? For those of you who haven't (Gee Note: Hi Dad), basically it's the story of one man's attempt to assassinate Father Christmas. No really, that's it in a nutshell. A very intelligent yet wildly unstable person sets about trying to do in everyone's favourite jolly fat man. Now think about this for a second. Santa is just a device to entertain children. A fable employed by parents to make kids feel like something magical happens at the end of every year. In effect good ol' St. Nick is nothing more than an idea. So how do you kill an idea?

Well here's what the chap in the Hogfather does. He simply convinces children the world over that Father Christmas doesn't exist. That's it. No travelling to Lapland. No drugging reindeer. No lacing mince pies with arsenic. No fitting a bomb underneath a sleigh that eventually gets intercepted by Mel Gibson who sweats a lot as he tries to choose between cutting the red wire or the blue wire. Make the children around the globe firmly believe that there is no Santa Claus, no matter how many times they are told otherwise, and POOF no more Coke adverts and Ho Ho Hoing.

The reason I bring this up is that, amazingly, Pratchett may be a lot smarter than any of us gave him credit for. For example I was reading “Dawn of the Dumb” last night, a collection of Charlie Brooker's columns for the Guardian newspaper between 2005 and 2007, when I came across an entry regarding Robbie Williams. Williams is one of the worst pop stars ever produced by Britain. Which of course means that, for a time, he was exceedingly popular and loved by folk across the country. Then in December 2005 Robbie went to court after the People newspaper claimed that the former Take That member was gay. It was settled out of court, with the People paying the singer an undisclosed amount of damages. Still it didn’t stop Mr. Williams’ lawyer crowing that he “is not, and has never been, homosexual”.

In an article dated 9th December 2005 Brooker states that “I’m worried this legal action might lead to a reduction in the number of gossipy articles written about him”. Well stone the crows (Gee Note: By the way where does that saying come from? I mean why crows? They're not even the most offensive of birds. There are surely much more deserving targets for a stoning. Like Paris Hilton for example), if that's not exactly what happened. Williams stock in the tabloid press immediately dropped, and his career went off the end of a cliff with it. At first it was poor reviews for his album, then steadily decreasing sales for his singles, before eventually he disappeared from sight all together. Oh sure he'd occasionally pop up now and again trying to garner some sort of publicity, like the time he told a reporter he believed in UFOs. But sadly it would earn him little more than a side bar a couple of lines long at best, while the rest of the page was dominated by what shoes Russell Crowe was hitting the paparazzi with that week. In between these rare half hearted bursts of notoriety were long periods of silence, during which the public pretty much forgot about Robbie Williams all together. The press stopped talking about him and he, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist.

There is some good news though. Robbie recently made a comeback and is now back in the news again (Gee Note: Although considering his comeback consisted of two performances on The X Factor, the first so erratic people thought he was high, and the second where he screwed up his entrance so badly that he had to be bailed out by the amateur singer, it's a wonder he survived). Also Robbie Williams is not the Loch Ness Monster.

You see dear old Nessie has had a similar problem in recent times. And it all started with a chap named Robert Rines.

Rines passed away last year on November 1st. Last week I posted a quick review of 2009 here and listed some noteworthy people who had shuffled off this mortal coil in the past twelve months. I debated for a long time whether to include him on that list. In the end I decided against it. The reason being that Robert Rines really deserves more than just a one line obituary.

Robert Rines was something of a phenomenon. He was a lawyer, an inventor, and a composer. He lectured at Harvard University, invented devices that helped radar technology in the Gulf War, developed sonar mapping contraptions, and was the founder of the Franklin Pierce Law Centre. Somehow he also found time to compose music for various Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, as well as playing a violin duet at the age of eleven with Albert Einstein. Oh and he won an Emmy. Seriously the only way this guy could be more awesome is if he saved kittens from a burning building every morning before breakfast while simultaneously teaching a Basset Hound how to solve crimes.

Best of all though Rines was fascinated by Cryptozoology and one elusive, possibly non existent beast in particular. After attending a tea party  (Gee Note: Holy shit this guy went to tea parties as well? Where did he find the time? You know what I’ve done today? I woke up. Had some toast. That’s it. In the same time Rines would have probably learnt how to paint water colours and brew his own Champagne) with his wife on the banks of Loch Ness on June 23 1972, he saw what he described as “a large, darkish hump, covered... with rough, mottled skin, like the back of an elephant” moving through the water. From his view point, he estimated that the creature was about 45 feet long and was moving at a fair speed. This one moment inspired Rines to spend the next 36 years trying to find and document the creature known as Nessie.

Of course this being good ol’ Robert, he succeeded somewhat. Later that same year he captured a picture from and underwater camera showing what appeared to be a large flipper. In 1974 another showed a close up of the head and neck of an unknown creature. Yet another in 1975 displayed what looked to be an animal with a long neck, small head, and large body. In 1997 Rines returned to the Loch and made two sonar contacts with objects the size of small whales, before filming a 40 ft long v-shaped wake on the surface of the water in 2001.

And then in 2008 Robert Rines announced to the world that he was abandoning his search for a f***ing great big plesiosaur splashing around in Scotland’s waters. The reason? Well he believed that the Loch Ness Monster was, erm, dead. Rines speculated that diminishing returns from his most recent trips to the Loch pointed towards the wee beastie’s extinction, and that it was possible globing warming played a part in wiping her out. This made headlines around the world, and was published in news rags such as The Sun, The Daily Star, and The Mirror to name a few. Then, earlier last year, the History channel’s  MonsterQuest program featured Rines expanding on his theory that the monster really was no more.

The reason I mention all this is because last week The Daily Torygraph Telegraph published a story featuring an interview with Gary Campbell, president of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club. Now while Mr. Campbell was keen to maintain that there isn’t any hard evidence to prove Nessie’s demise (Gee Note: Although to be fair there isn’t a huge amount of evidence to prove Nessie’s real to begin with), he was forced to admit that in the past year there had only been one “credible” report of a monster sighting. "Ten years ago we had a lot of good sightings,” he said,  “But in the last two or three years, they have tailed off.". Regarding the rumours that the monster had ceased to be, he added "If people start to believe this, it might start to affect tourist numbers. Whether you believe in Nessie or not, the Loch Ness Monster is one of the most important tourist attractions we have".

Which might be true. However if both Robbie Williams and Terry Pratchett have taught us anything, it’s that if people start believing that there’s no such thing as a living, breathing, fish eating, monster in them there waters then it will simply disappear in to thin air. Like Mandrake the Magician. Except with a longer neck. And living in a really large lake. And not wearing a top hat and cape. So not really like Mandrake the Magician at all when you think about it.

And I don’t know about you, but that kind of bothers me a bit. I mean, I like living in a world where in an un-remarkable part of Scotland there’s a small chance that an impossible creature might be splashing around willy nilly. I have no idea why, but an  alive and kicking Nessie brings a warmth to my heart. A dead Nessie makes the world that little bit darker.

So here it is. The start of an official campaign here on I Saw Elvis. If you agree with me that the bloated carcass of the Loch Ness Monster at the bottom of the lake is a lot less fun than a live one scaring the bejesus out of Scotland’s finest on a daily basis, then I ask you to join me in saving this noble beast. You don’t have to visit the Loch. You don’t have to find proof it exists. You don’t have to physically do anything at all.

You just have to believe.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

That was the year that was.

Hello. It's the start of a New Year. And so what better way to celebrate than looking back at some of the stories that have intrigued us over the past 12 months? Well a better way would be to get drunk at a theme park obviously. But I'm tired, so instead this is what you get.

What the hell was that?

A UFO lit up the skies of Norway on December 9th which made people gasp and go "Wow. What is that thing?". Except in Norwegian obviously. Most media outlets are claiming that this was a failed Russian missile test, something which the Russians deny. And to be honest with you, if I'd accidentally fired a missile at Norway I'd do the exact same thing as well. Wasn't me pal. Oh gosh no.

MOD closes dedicated UFO department.

On December 4th the British government decided to close it's dedicated UFO department after almost 60 years. Why? Because they're jerks, that's why.

Brazilian Werewolves.

If you go down to Brazil today you're sure of a big surprise. If you go down to Brazil today you'd better go in disguise. For in Brazil is a f***ing great big Werewolf that will kill you as soon as look at you. Well that's according to Kelly Martins Becker, who reported to police that she had been attacked by a large dog that ran about on it's hind legs on January 28th. She managed to escape by throwing a T-Bone steak on to the ground and running away. Or maybe that was in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I don't know. One of the two.

Tom Biscardi finds Bigfoot toenail.

Tom Biscardi called the world's media to attention on October 22nd when he announced he had discovered a "toenail of unknown origin" in some Bigfoot prints. This being Biscardi however he followed it up by saying "This toenail has magical properties. If you rub it in just the right way you summon an army of unicorns and strippers. And then they fight with each other until only one of them is left standing. And then a comet hits the earth and kills all the penguins. And then Lucifer himself opens up a tire place on 34th Street, where he gives out free bagels with every fitting. And then…"

Up in Smoke.

Proving that the only thing human beings have to fear is other human beings, on March 2nd it was reported that Acea Schomaker had come up a rather novel way of relaxing his hyperactive cat. Namely by stuffing the feline in to an extra large home made bong. Sadly the local Sherriff's department disagreed with Schomaker that this was for the cat's best interest and promptly arrested him. Schomaker was quoted as saying "I know for sure this isn't the first time someone has done this, I'm just the first one to get caught." The cat was quoted as saying "Dude… have you ever noticed… like... my hands are huge.".

Bikini and Yeti together at last.

August 31st brought with it a tale of unexpected sauciness, as a video of bikini clad Polish student Justyna Folger showed her being seemingly spied on by a large bipedal creature. Her boyfriend Tadeusz Serafinowski managed to catch the incident on film. Kinda. The camera shakes so badly you'd swear the dude is on a bouncy castle. However, thanks to this video I can now watch bikini clad women prancing across my screen all day long and claim it's research. GO POLAND!

Gary McKinnon is going to be extradited. Maybe.

Everyone's favourite plucky go lucky computer hacker Gary McKinnon was dealt a blow when Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced that McKinnon will be extradited to the US on November 27th. Except his lawyer appealed against that decision, meaning McKinnon stays put for the time being. Meanwhile Roman Polanski was overheard saying "You break in to military databases and zey treat you like royalty. But you rape one 13 year old girl…".

American Idol is haunted.

So said the National Enquirer in May. Actually the ghost, named Phyllis, was specifically targeting host Ryan Seacrest. Some say it was because she had a crush on Ryan. Some say it's because he smells like beef jerky. Who's to say which one is right?

Charlie Sheen knows the truth.

In September Charlie Sheen wrote a fictional teleplay between him and President Barack Obama discussing the events of 9/11, the aftermath of which Sheen believes to be a giant cover-up. Sheen was later on in the year arrested for allegedly trying to stab his wife during a domestic dispute. Or that’s what THEY want you to think anyway. In reality the CIA had replaced Sheen’s wife with a looky-likey cyborg programmed to threaten itself and then call 911 sobbing uncontrollably. Those bastards. Is there no low our dark overlords won’t stoop to in order to keep a brave man quiet. Screw you Illuminati.

In Memoriam: Remembering those who passed away in 2009.

Captain Lou Albano - Professional wrestler and real life Super Mario.

Patrick Swayze - 80’s heart throb who also happened to be a damn fine actor.

Mac Tonnies - Ufoologist and for my money one of the best writers in North America.

Michael Jackson - Weird pop star who everyone remembered they liked after he died.

Natasha Richardson - Actor and all around nice person apparently.

David Carradine - Kung Fu star and all around pervert apparently.

John Hughes - Cinema legend.

Edward Woodward - Actor famous for The Equalizer, The Wicker Man, and for a joke where you remove all the d’s from his name.

Tony Hart - Artist, children’s television presenter, and friend of Morph

Keith Floyd - Celebrity chef who made drinking on the job seem like a lot of fun.

And finally… Something to look forward to.

Awesome. This year is already off to a great start.