Saturday, 31 December 2011

I got dressed in a hurry.

Before we start I feel I have to warn you. I’m feeling a little flat today.

You see I’ve spent most of the day catching up on all the stuff I missed over Christmas. And so far it’s been one colossal disappointment after another. First off we have the rugby match between my home team the Ospreys and their fierce rivals the Scarlets, a game that the Ospreys not only managed to lose but was so poor in terms of quality that calling it “garbage” would be an insult to empty crisp packets everywhere. Then we had the news that some remains of the Pangboche hand had been discovered in Tibet London and had been DNA tested, the results revealing that it belongs to a human and not a bloody great big Yeti after all (Gee Note: Which, if you think about it, just goes to show that monks are as full of crap as everyone else. Yeah that’s right. I said it. Just because you walk around in a robe all day doesn’t mean you you’re any more enlightened than the rest of us. That includes you Jedi. I mean, sure, you may think you’re pretty badass with your laser sword and your mind control. But did you stop Darth Sidious corrupting young Anakin Skywalker and beating down the galaxy like it was a prostitute locked inside Mickey Rourke’s hotel room? Did you? DID YOU?!? No. No you didn’t. Instead we had to leave it up to the Ewoks to save our bacon. Ewoks for f***s sake. So now the entire galaxy is indebted to a load of teddy bears. Thanks a lot Jedi).

Following that we had the ball bustingly exciting news that a bona-fide Yeti had been captured by Russian authorities, only for it to turn out to be a man in a monkey suit (Gee Note: I imagine he gave up the goose when he spied a vet approaching wearing a rubber glove). And to top it all off I eventually managed to watch the festive episode of Doctor Who, and it was largely awful. Unless you happen to love boring trees being boring of course. If that’s you’re thing then this was the TV event of the year. Sadly as I have not recently had a lobotomy, it left me feeling cold and vaguely angry about wasting an hour of my time watching it.

So yeah, since Christmas decided to make its excuses and leave things have pretty much gone downhill quicker than Sonny Bono skiing. Although maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just grumpy that Christmas is over for another year and now I have to go back to my regular duties (Gee Note: As opposed to drinking beer all day and shouting at whatever happens to be on the TV). Maybe it’s the stress of it all. Being a new dad, not getting any orders for a signed copy of RAINBOWS ARE MADE OF CHOCOLATE BUT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT, living through yet another year when no one has found definitive proof of a sea monster or something cool like that, maybe it’s all just getting to me. Maybe I need a break from it all. A holiday perhaps.

But where to go? That’s the question. It will need to be somewhere I can unwind. Relax. Somewhere filled with enough positive energy to make the cast of Sesame Street look like a right bunch of miserable bastards. And it will also need a great big rock as well. Because nothing says “Here is a place you can recharge and feel connected with a higher level of existence” more than a great big rock.

Thankfully the answer arrived in the form of a link sent to me by a wonderful lass named Jenny.

Because out there somewhere deep in the Mojave Desert in California is The Giant Rock, which believe-it-or-not fits the bill perfectly. But don’t just take my word for it, ask the folks at Specifically an article written by Kathy Doore entitled “George Van Tassel's Amazing Integratron at Giant Rock”.

Now if you’re sitting there and asking yourself “Who’s George Van Tassel? And while we’re at it, what the hell is an Integratron?”, never fear brave reader. I have painstakingly taken the time and effort to reprint the important bits of the article here for you to read, as well as adding helpful notes along the way. No need to thank me. I do this out of love, not for any type of reward. I’m like Robin Hood. Except I don’t have a bow and arrow. Or ride a horse. Or wear tights on a daily basis. So not really like Robin Hood at all when you think about it. Anyway the article in question kicks off with…

To researchers, Giant Rock is significant for many reasons. For starters it was the home and workplace of the enigmatic George Van Tassel, known as (Gee Note: “The All-Night Delight” to travelling salesmen and truckers looking for some love on the road?) "Van" to his friends (Gee Note: Oh. OK).

Van allegedly made contact with extraterrestrials in the 1950's and was tutored by them on a variety of subjects, including human cellular rejuvenation leading to the building of a structure called "The Integratron”. (Gee Note: They also helped him out with his Math homework, and gave him the courage to ask Suzie Rubenstein to be his date to the prom. As well as showing those no good jocks a thing or two by defeating them in a game of basketball. It’s true. I saw it on the Lifetime TV Movie “Van and his alien tutor”, with Harry Hamlin giving the performance of the decade as Van’s best friend who happens to be an imaginary duck. If you haven’t seen it you should check it out. It’s emotional stuff.)

After arriving in California from Ohio in 1930, Van, a young pilot and engineer, lived with an uncle who owned an automobile repair shop in Southern California. One day during that period, he met Frank Critzer, a down and out prospector who needed to have his Essex car repaired. Van found the prospector to be an engaging fellow and the two of them soon became friends. Owing to Critzer’s financial difficulties Van agreed to repair the car for free. Critzer was even allowed to sleep at the garage while repairs were made to his car. Van's largess didn’t end there. He gave Critzer a trunk full of canned goods along with $30, which, as Van put it, was a lot of money then. In return, Critzer promised to include Van and the uncle in any mining claims he might make in the future. (Gee Note: Lucky Van wasn’t married at the time, otherwise he’d have probably have said something along the lines of “Hey Frank. Look I know it’s a bit difficult picking up chicks, what with you living in a car an’ all. So I was thinking, why don’t you have sex with my wife? No really. Why don’t you? Seriously I’d be happy to let you slip one to my missus. In fact, why don’t you go and send a meaty missile in to my wife’s red love zone right now? And when you’re done I’ll have a tray of freshly baked hot scones waiting for you”).

A year later, Critzer mailed a map to Van showing him how to get to Giant Rock - a massive boulder surrounded by a dry lake bed sacred to the native Americans, who called it the "Great Stone", the place where Critzer was living. Map in hand, Van set out to visit his friend. When he arrived, he was (Gee Note: Raped by a marauding pack of Grizzly Bears who were fraudulently sending maps to random addresses hoping someone would bite. This in turn taught Van a valuable lesson about being gullible) surprised to find that Critzer had dug under the massive boulder in order to carve out a place to live. He had made an alcove within the cavity to set up house.

During WWII, Critzer ran afoul of the government and was accused of stealing dynamite and later of being an enemy spy. Conflicting stories about this colorful character abound. But whatever the truth, a confrontation with the police resulted in his death in August of 1942. Interestingly, Van Tassel claims the prospector was an "advanced thinker" who researched innovative methods of manufacturing plastic. However details of that matter are sketchy. (Gee Note: There’s no real great mystery to Critzer’s demise by the way. Basically US Marshalls responded to anonymous tip that Critzer was a German spy and went to arrest him. When he refused to come quietly they set about bombarding his home with tear gas. Alas the dynamite which Critzer had in fact pinched was ignited by one of these tear gas canisters, and proceeded to blow the poor sumbitch to smithereens. Which suggest that he wasn’t really that much of an ‘advanced thinker’ after all. Unless of course by ‘advanced thinker’ you mean ‘dumber than a bag full of tortoises with astonishingly low IQs’).

During the ensuing years, Van Tassel became an aeronautical engineer, flight inspector, and test pilot (he'd obtained his pilot's license while still a teenager), and worked for Douglas Aircraft during the 1930s, and alongside Howard Hughes in the 1940s at Hughes Aviation as Hughes' personal flight inspector for testing experimental aircraft (Gee Note: “Hey. This helicopter we made out of silly string and nitro-glycerine doesn’t look very safe. Get George on the phone would you?”). During this time he continued to visit Giant Rock with his wife on vacation. In 1945, he made an application to the Bureau of Land Management to lease the property. And in 1947, he quit his job at a Lockheed aircraft plant and moved his wife and three daughters to the Mojave Desert near Landers, leasing four square miles of land surrounding Giant Rock from the government.

The area was covered with decomposed granite making it a natural site for a small airport where Van Tassel created Giant Rock Airport and Cafe, which he operated from 1947 until 1975. Howard Hughes was a frequent guest who flew in for the delicious pie that Van Tassels wife made (Gee Note: I hope “pie” isn’t some sort of euphemism).

Van Tassel believed the rock's crystalline structure possessed great channeling power by virtue of its piezo-electric characteristics. In 1953, he began a series of weekly meditations in the rooms under the boulder where it was said the meditations led to contact with extraterrestrial beings. On August 21, 1953, a ship from Venus landed and a man wearing a jumpsuit stood at the foot of his sleeping bag, announcing “I am Solganda, and I would be pleased to show you my craft”. (Gee Note: To which Van replied. “Um… OK. I guess. Although how long is this going take? Howard Hughes has just been on the line. There’s an exciting new helicopter he wants me to be the first to fly.”). Van Tassel wrote that he was led to a hovering spaceship, and stepped into what he described as a “butter colored” light emanating from the underside of the craft. He was taken on a tour of the ship and told that he had been chosen to bring a message of peace and interplanetary brotherhood to his fellow earthlings. (Gee Note: Also his tight firm buttocks would give the ladies something to talk about. Phoooaaawwwrrrr) He was shown the principals of cell rejuvenation which later led to the creation of The Integratron.

Designed specifically to carry out anti-aging processes to prolong human life, the Integratron schematics called for recharging human cell structure using a powerful negative ion field. Although Van Tassel died before he could complete the structure (Gee Note: Wait. He died? Not much of a cell rejuvenator is it?), what was left behind continues to focus and amplify powerful geomagnetic forces running through its location, built over a large underground aquifer, while the unique all-wood construction created, sets up a resonant sound field (Gee Note: I have a similar thing at home. I call it “THE SHED”).

George Van Tassel called his Integratron "a time machine for basic research on rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel". The structure stood four-story's high and 55 feet in diameter. It was of non-metallic structure, sited over a magnetic vortex--an essential part of its functioning. Van Tassel erected a sign at the entrance which simply stated: “Integratron: Dedicated To Research In Life Extension.” (Gee Note: “If you’re looking for Mrs. Van Tassel’s “pie”, please use the rear entrance and have a credit card to hand”). The placement of the Integratron was chosen based on a complex set of theories involving the earth's magnetic field, with the Integratron's relationship to the Great Pyramid in Egypt and Giant Rock, presumed to be the world's largest freestanding boulder at the time.

With no written plans for completing the project, Van Tassel's family abandoned the site (Gee Note: Hi Bill. Bill? It’s Mary. Your cousin. Did you hear? Crazy-ass uncle Van died. Left you his alien building or whatever. Bill you still there? Bill?). The buildings at Giant Rock were vacated and gradually Vandalized until the Bureau of Land Management found it necessary to bulldoze the remains, leaving only the nearby dome intact as you see it today.

In his many hundred radio and TV appearances, George Van Tassel compared the Integratron to the Tabernacle of Moses. He claimed that he was instructed by a higher intelligence to build a 21st century version of the Tabernacle that Moses constructed, using the same positive power principle of the Great Pyramid of Giza, and was given the name The Integratron. He was told it would revitalize and rejuvenate the physical bodies of humankind. George Van Tassel openly shared much of the technology with his supporters and followers, but those close to him say he kept much of it secret, sharing it only with his closest, trusted colleagues. (Gee Note: They wants to take it from ussssss. The precioussss. Filthy hobitsesss wants it for themselvesss).

According to Van Tassel, the Integratron is located on an intersection of powerful geomagnetic forces that, when focused by the unique geometry of the building, will concentrate and amplify the energy required for rejuvenation and healing. In 2005, a geophysicist measured the earth's magnetic field for up to 15 miles in every direction from the Integratron and then inside the dome. She proclaimed that there is a significant, unexplainable spike in the earth's magnetic field in the center of the Integratron. (Gee Note: A geophysicist who didn’t want to be named apparently. Sad really. Obviously suffering from crippling shyness. Or as it’s known in the trade “the geophysicist’s curse”).

George Van Tassel's literature describing the project stated that the machine's purpose was "to recharge energy into living cell structures, to bring about longer life with youthful energy." He theorized that the body is an electrical device, and aging was a matter of the cells running out of power. The Integratron, capable of collecting up to 50,000 volts of static electricity from the air, would be a multi-frequency, electrostatic charger for the human body. (Gee Note: It’s amazing that no one had thought of pumping electricity through a human body before really. I mean it sounds perfectly safe and in no way potentially fatal).

The 16-sided Dome was built of wood and concrete and held together by glue and gravity-electrically neutral materials. The generating core was made of copper wire. Had it been placed into operation, candidates would have walked through the building, essentially a huge air capacitor, while wearing white outfits. The charges, distributed over a wide range of frequencies, would affect every cell. Integratron became a Noah's Ark, "a vehicle or vessel that could deliver a chosen lot of followers to a secure place. It's the dream as old as mankind to live forever and have some control in governing our time on earth." (Gee Note: I bet Mumm-Ra The Ever-Living was first in line. Was always on the look out for a wacky never dying scheme that one).

Recently honored with a dedication and historical monument by the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, Billy Holcomb Chapter, the Integratron today receives many visitors drawn to experience the Integratron's enhanced energy fields. An overnight stay at the Integratron is said to result in waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation of the mind and body. (Gee Note: As well as the feeling of a great weight lifted from your wallet). Affectionately called "The Dome" by the Karl sisters (Joanne, Nancy, and Patty), who together own and operate the Integratron, say "Our work at the Integratron has been about honoring the old history and getting the story straight about George Van Tassel's life's work, what we call the New History of the Integratron, which we believe is about creating an environment that is a gathering place where science and spirit meet. We're dedicated to the research and the understanding of what the Integratron's gift to humanity really is." And many agree, including a very high-ranking Tibetan Buddhist lama who has been teaching out of the Integratron, purportedly sent there by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Gee Note: Which suggests that no one has actually confirmed that he was sent there by the Dalai Lama. For all they know he could just be a bald bloke in a dressing gown. “Heyyy. Whatchoo mean I ain’t no lama or nothing? I’d kick your ass if I weren’t all peaceful and shit.”).

So there we are then. Sounds perfect doesn’t it? I’m packing my bags as we speak.

Now where did I put my white suit?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

I never was a fancy talker.

Something funny happened to me the other day (Gee Note: Funny as in strange. Not funny as in Herman Cain’s run for President. Although, I’ll be honest, I was sad to see him go. Even if he couldn’t keep lil’ Herman under control, he was still brilliantly entertaining. Did you know he even finished his concession speech with a quote from the Pokémon movie? No really. Pokémon. I swear the world would be a much better place if all politicians took that route. Think about it. President Obama purposefully striding towards to the podium, placing his hands on either side with authority, and announcing “My fellow Americans. I just saw something on the television that pulled at the strings of my heart. It was a wildlife documentary about cartoons and people who say “wah” a lot. Anyway apparently a small turtle with surgically implanted water cannons needs to get to a particular forest otherwise he will lose all his power. And if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taught us anything it’s that there’s nothing more important than turtle power. So it goes without saying that this little dude needs our help. As such I’ve made an executive decision. Yeah that’s right. Suit up bitches, we’re heading out to Japan to lend a hand. Hold on Squirtle, we’re coming to save you”. And then President Obama marches away triumphantly to the sound of “Hail to the Chief”. It would easily be the greatest moment in human history is what I’m saying).

I was at my desk, perusing the online editions of the daily newspapers, and came across an article about David Icke. The contents of which surprised me so much that I had to get up, find the nearest sink, and splash water on my face.

I should probably explain. For those not in the know, David Icke is a former professional soccer player and BBC sports journalist who completely lost his shit in the early 90’s and started going around claiming to be the son of God. When that didn’t stick, Icke took some time off to reflect and reinvented himself as a conspiracy theorist. And boy did he come out swinging. Reviving the dusty old NWO hypothesis for a new millennia, Icke put a novel spin on the idea of secret overlords making the rest of the world miserable and poor. While his peers were still claiming these sinister rulers of the planet were greedy privileged psychopaths, Icke instead painted them as… wait for it… evil aliens.

Not just any aliens you understand. These sumbitches are 9 feet tall, shape shifting reptiles that are able to pass for people by sacrificing the occasional virgin and making the human race as depressed as possible. You see that way they can feed off the collective negative energy pumped out by the Earth and are able to carry on their day to day roles of causing mass genocide and so on. These “Reptoids” were responsible for the Holocaust, 9/11, medieval witch hunts, the black death, the war in Afghanistan, the JFK assassination, the crusades, Twilight, Katie Price, and everything else in between. In fact if anything really awful has happened on this planet, you can bet your ass these slithering lunatics were behind it. Of course there’s not a shred of evidence to support any of this, but in situations like these all you need is the ability to shout loud enough and have a knack of blowing the tiniest details out of proportion to be a success (Gee Note: For example, “There’s a portrait of Queen Elizabeth I holding a snake! Which proves she’s a reptile! Because snakes are also reptiles! HOW CAN THE REST OF THE WORLD NOT SEE THIS???!!!??!?!?!?”). And, as it happens, Icke has both those attributes in spades.

However, the reason I had to dowse myself in liquid (Gee Note: Easy tiger) was that I never realised just how good a Snake Oil salesman David Icke is. According to an article in the Daily Fail Mail, Icke has recently sold out the Best Buy Theatre in New York, all 2100 seats of it. For £45 a ticket. £45. A ticket. Or, as my calculator puts it, a total of £94,500. Which, and this is the bit that really got me, is more money than I’ve earned in the past five years combined. Of course David won’t be taking all of that huge pile of dosh home to himself. The theatre itself probably requires a cut, and the cost of staging his… er… show (Gee Note: Show? Lecture? Call to arms? One man public service announcement about how meds for mental illness should be easier to obtain?) probably costs a fair whack as well. But even if Icke is taking home only half of the house receipts it’s still a healthy £47,250. Which is a very tidy wage for an entire year, let alone one day.

All this got me thinking. Obviously I’m in the wrong business here. I’ve been quietly poking fun at folks like Icke for nigh on four years now on this blog, and despite being recognised for my talents with a prestigious award my total net earnings from this escapade equal a big fat zero dollars. Nada. Nothing. Zip. In fact the closest I get to any type of monetary reward for this here web adventure is the occasional random email from a marketing type person. Every so often one will offer me a potentially free copy of a book with a supernatural theme, on the understanding that I write a glowing review on these very pages. Which would be fine except I’m a terrible liar (Gee Note: Just ask The Future Ex-Mrs. Davies. Once I told her I wouldn’t be able to take the bins out because I was being attacked by a shark. She soon saw through that one), and so if I end up not liking the product my only alternative would be to type something like “This book is really great! I was especially impressed by the binding. I’ve had it for three weeks now and almost none of the pages have fallen out. Pick up your copy today!”. I’m no expert but I would be willing to bet that quote wouldn’t make the dust jacket.

So after a whole three minutes of quiet contemplation, I’ve decided that things need to change. I need to change. No longer can I be content with receiving the odd email from friends telling me “That last post was OK”, or meeting up with relations every once in a while who’ll say things like “Oh sure. I’ve read your blog. It’s really… say how’s your daughter getting along?”. No. I’ve been kidding myself for too long now. This blog and I. We’ll never be successful. It’s time to go in a different direction. That’s right folks. No longer will I simply find stuff on the internet and add snarky comments. Gone are the days when I would cheerily wonder what brand of beer Bigfoot would drink (Gee Note: Although I’m pretty sure Biggy is a Coors Light type of man-monkey). You’ve seen the last of me trying to make weak jokes about psychic mediums. I’m giving all that up.

Instead, I’m going to become a conspiracy theorist/spiritual guru. Because, baby, that’s the where the money is. Bucket loads of cold hard cash are waiting to be given to me by gullible fools enlightened individuals who want to learn to truth about who REALLY rules our planet. And believe me, as soon as I’ve come up with whatever it is, that truth will shock you to your very core. Get ready to make your cheques out to “Gareth Davies” as I invite you to follow me on a very special path. A path that leads to a higher level of understanding. I can help you set your minds free, my friends. And together we can make the world a better place to live.

Problem is, I have no idea where to start with this new venture. So I guess I should be thanking the various Gods for Edward Alexander. AKA Maggador.

You guys remember Maggy right? Of course you do. A blonde bombshell of Scandinavian silliness, Maggador is one my favourite internet personalities of all time. Claiming to be a reincarnated alien (Gee Note: See? I told you he was awesome), he’s also a top notch conspiracy nut, and something of a dab hand when it comes to raising us humans to a greater plane of existence. Better yet, no matter how many times I’ve been a wee bit mean about him within the sphere that is blog, he always sends me a message along the lines of “Hey, you’re a funny guy. Good luck”. Which means that not only is he wise, he’s also forgiving. You know, a bit like Jesus. If Jesus had a pet monkey and made YouTube videos telling you to overthrow the government that is. Point being, he’s exactly the kind of chap I should be modelling myself on in order to make this new venture of mine a triumph.

So just what has Maggy been up to recently? Well it turns out that about a week ago he uploaded this video:

WOW! Lightening! Egyptian flute music! Badly synched audio! Maps! Maggy saying the exact same thing all over again except this time using some sort of distortion software to either make his voice sound deeper, or to fool you in to thinking you’ve accidentally ingested some sort of hallucinogenic compound! More maps! I bet you’ve just had your tiny little mind rocked to its socks, haven’t you? I know I have. If that trailer is any indication of what’s to come then I can’t wait for the full documentary.

And then of course we have Jim Corr (Gee Note: Or as most people know him “That bloke from the band with all the pretty women”). Corr, the former guitarist from popular beat combo The Corrs, recently caused havoc in his native Ireland by claiming 9/11 was an inside job on national television. Which, if you’re looking for a comparison, is a bit like Fab Morvan from Milli Vanilli publically announcing that JFK was shot by a unicorn with a bad attitude. Even better when the news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by a bunch of kick ass marines in May this year, Corr immediately took to twitter and claimed that it would be difficult to kill Bin Laden as he had already died some ten years prior.

But here’s the beauty of this. Anyone with half a brain would work out pretty quickly that unless Bin Laden was a freakin’ zombie, it would be pretty tough to produce a time sensitive video of him in August 2007 had he snuffed it in 2001. But Jim can afford to claim things like this because he probably knows full well that no serious minded journalist will challenge him on it. Instead at worst he’ll have to endure some “phew what a loony” type snickering from tabloid headline writers, while his target audience will lap it up like thirsty dogs.

And that’s the one thing Icke, Maggador, and Corr all share in common. Because once you’ve put your mind to becoming a conspiracy theorist you can pretty much say whatever you want to and get away with it. Throw in some bogus history and a slide show and - BOOM - you’re making more money than a Kardashian divorce lawyer.

With that in mind, prepare to have your universe shattered. We here at I Saw Elvis In The Woods proudly present to you a serialisation of the new soon-to -be smash hit best seller “RAINBOWS ARE MADE OF CHOCOLATE BUT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT.” written by me, Gareth Davies (Gee Note: And don’t think I’m serialising it here just because nobody else wanted it. Nuh uh Jack. All the big ass newspapers were after it. Rupert Murdoch was practically blowing up my phone to get it for The Times. “Strewth mate” he’d say, “You’ve got to give me the rights to for your new book, you great big galah”. In the end I had to tell him “Rupy, dearest, you know I would. But the people who read I Saw Elvis on a regular basis, all six of them, they’ve been really good to me. I have to give something back. You get it don’t you?”. Unfortunately this upset Murdoch so much that if you ask him about it now he’ll tell you he’s never heard of me. Bit childish really).


Friends. If you’re reading this you probably think you’re awake. Unless you’re sleep reading. In which case, you might not think you’re awake. Or you might think you’re awake when you’re actually not. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure sleep reading is a real thing. Look I’m getting off topic here. The point is you think you’re awake when you’re reading this, but you’re not. And it has nothing to do with sleep reading. You were not awake when you got out bed this morning. Or the day before. Or the day before that. Or the day before that one. In fact you’ve been asleep your whole lives. And not in a fun, dreaming about a sitcom starring Tony Danza and the kid from Jerry Maguire, kind of a way. I’m talking about a constant nightmare. A nightmare that’s so nightmarish, you don’t even know it’s a nightmare. You actually think it’s pretty good for the most part. You may not even to be willing to accept that this terrible nightmare is a nightmare at first, due to it being so terrible that you don’t even know it’s a nightmare. But your life is a nightmare. A terrible one.

Before you go all wacky and start running down the street naked, you need to know why your existence is in the gutter. The good news is it’s not your fault. You see the world is secretly controlled by an exclusive group who are purposefully making your life rubbish just to amuse themselves. Now you may be reading this thinking “My, that doesn’t sound very likely”. If you are, let me ask you this. Do you own that Ferrari you’ve always dreamed of? No, of course you don’t. And even if you do, do you own two of them? And if you own two, why don’t you have three? Or four? Or seventeen? It’s because this shadowy organisation has been holding you down your entire life, denying you such things as spiritual enlightenment and Ferrari’s. The bastards.

But luckily for you I am here to WAKE YOU UP. You’ve been living in a fake reality for too long now, a reality where you’ve probably been walking a lot more than you have to due to the lack of Italian sports cars. However I am not naïve or simple minded. I do not expect everyone who hears what I have to say to be able to fully comprehend it. But for those who choose to stay ignorant I will simply state that a day of reckoning is coming soon. At which point you’ll look back at these passages and realise that I was right all along. What I’m saying is, this is your chance to get in on the ground level here. It’s like when you hear a new band on the radio and you’re all “Hey that’s a pretty good record” and on an impulse you buy the album. And then you realise the band is actually all kinds of amazing and you’re like “Hey this is band is really great. I wonder why nobody knows about them?”. And then six months later everyone you know is talking about how great they are, and they release a second album which is pretty much the same as the first one, and you don’t like them anymore because they’re “not as good as they used to be”. Well, this right here is your chance to figuratively “buy that first album”.

So yeah, the secret rulers of Earth that are keeping YOU down are everywhere. They have infiltrated every section of society, from that Café you went to once where the waitress was looking at you funny, all the way to The White House. Many influential figures including President Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, David Cameron, Ryan Seacrest, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Lady Gaga, Christopher Biggins, and three time figure skating World Champion Elvis Stojko are not who they claim to be. In fact they’re not even human.

No. These imposters are passing themselves off as human when they are actually highly intelligent birds. Yes birds. As in Ostriches and Emus. Puffins. Wrens. Peregrine Falcons. That type of thing. All cleverly disguised by wearing a combination of movie make up and animatronics. Birds previously ruled the Earth over five thousand years ago when they were all dressing up as dinosaurs. In fact back then the only group of dinosaurs that weren’t secretly birds as well were the Stegosaurs. Alas a Stegosaurus brain is only the size of a walnut and so they NEVER realised that some of the other dinosaurs had feathers despite them supposedly being lizards. 

When the stegosaurs became extinct after the birds had killed them all and used their plates as surfboards, the evil overlords of the planet took a different route. Some of them reverted to their natural form to act as spies on a new race of evolved apes called humans. Others started disguising themselves in order to manipulate the humans every chance they got. Because of their superior skills, such as the ability to point at things and pick tiny specks of stuff off the ground with their mouths, birds quickly rose to the top of the human power structure. And they have remained there ever since. The TRUTH is that birds have been lying to you from day one. So while you go through your humdrum life by watering your pot plants and painting your fences, the birds are becoming more and more powerful with each passing second. Name any politician and the chances are they are a bird in a man suit. Apart from George Osborne. He's human believe it or not, just a very very stupid one. The point is it doesn’t matter which political party you vote for as they’re all frauds anyway. DEMOCRACY IS A LIE. A BEAKY FEATHERY LIE.

The serialisation will continue next week and cover such topics as “Birds are up to no good. The proof” and “How to tell if your neighbour is a bird”. If you are interested in securing a signed copy of RAINBOWS ARE… ETC please send me your details and a bundle of unmarked notes totalling £300. It would make the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to call the Best Buy Theatre in New York. After all, they’ll definitely want to book a guy like me, right?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Bert, what utter nonsense!

A thought popped in to my head the other day (Gee Note: Surprised the bejesus out of me let me tell you. I was minding my own business watching a TV show about dogs comically falling over when suddenly, out of the blue, I’m thinking. I almost dropped my custard cream). The thought was that little Davies Jnr will never know what the world was like before the internet.

Now of course you could say that about a lot of things. Like Davies Jnr will never experience the pure brilliance of children’s television show Knightmare, which sadly shuffled off this mortal coil in 1994 (Gee Note: By the way, I know I’ve talked about it on this blog before, but if you’ve never seen an episode of Knightmare then you really do need to hunt one down straight away. Bribe officials and associate with villains if you have to. It’s that important. Sure at a base level it’s just some gameshow where you take four middle-class kids, blindfold one of them, and send him or her off to fight wizards and goblins while the other three watch on CCTV and offer advice. But it’s so much more than that. Firstly - it wasn’t until years later that I worked out that the contestants weren’t really sent to a fantasy world on the back of a dragon, and yet to this day I’m still not entirely sure how it was all put together. Did they use blue screen? Computer generated images? Magic? Seriously, not a clue. Secondly – It’s amazing how many children in the late 80’s/early 90’s had no idea how to spell SHROUD . And thirdly, Hugo Myatt who acted as the presenter/guide was quite frankly incredible. No really. You try saying shit like “Caution team. This wood elf appears to be trying to steal your meat. Maybe you could try giving him something else instead.” while dressed up like ‘Hercules: The Hobo Years’, and you see how easy it is to keep a straight face.) Neither will she know the true horror of hearing your favourite music tape getting mangled in the cassette player, and the frustration of having to spend half an hour delicately winding it back in with a pencil using all the precision of a neurosurgeon.

But with all that said the internet is the big one. Because, even if it’s only on a small scale, the internet has changed our lives. For example, two days ago I had absolutely no idea what I would write for this post (Gee Note: Which, you’re right, wouldn’t exist in the first place without the world wide web. But for arguments sake let’s just say you’ve stumbled across this in a file of papers while burgling my house, you hoodlum you). Partly due to the fact that I haven’t been feeling myself recently and so my daily routine has largely consisted of waking up, watching some telly, feeling a bit woozy, heading back to bed with a good book while waiting for the light headedness to subside, getting back out of bed, watching some telly, feeling a bit woozy, etc, etc. And partly because ever since we won an award for this blog I’ve had the fear put in to me something chronic. Honestly, a blank page on my computer screen used to be my friend. Now I swear I can feel it judging me. C’mon fat boy, it says, type out something interesting. Or funny. Entertain me you chubby idiot. Bet you can’t. Lard arse.

And then salvation arrived from three of the most unlikely sources. The first was from Neil, who sent me a link via Twitter. (Gee Note: I should point out that Neil is the type of person that everyone should want to be when they grow up. Right this very minute he’s actually sprouting a moustache for the month of November in the name of charity. No really. His upper lip is helping to fight cancer. He’s a goddam hero in his own way). As the link states, something odd has happened in the Gobi desert according to Google Maps. Namely these have popped up rather unexpectedly.

Now while to the untrained eye these may look like they were made by gigantic slugs (Gee Note: Which is actually pretty scary when you think about it. It’s only a matter of time before they make it over here. And then what? Do they even make slug pellets that big? The Ministry of Defence should be preparing for this now, before it’s too late.) they actually show what appear to be large structures in the middle of, well, absolutely nowhere. How they got there no one this side of the world seems to know, but theories are sweeping across the internet like Dick Van Dyke with a bad cockney accent. When zooming in to the images there appears to be a collection of burnt out vehicles and tracks from aeroplanes. And so this naturally led to speculation that it was a Chinese missile testing site, located as they are close to the borders of the Xinjiang and Gansu provinces. Which then led to speculation that the Chinese are planning to blow up a major American city for… er… no reason at all. Still it’s astonishing how paranoid some people can be if the Telegraph’s comments section is anything to go by. Other less discussed but just as awesome theories suggest that it was a UFO crash site or, and this is my personal favourite, that it’s the remains of an unknown civilization. Who set fire to trucks for larks I guess. (Gee Note: “And now that the age old ritual of blessing the Sun God has been completed we can finally relax. EVERYONE GRAB A TORCH AND GIVE THAT TOYOTA WHAT FOR!!!”).

The second came from Jenny, again via Twitter. (Gee Note: By the way Jenny is a tremendously talented artist who, thankfully, was too happy at the time to notice that I was Best Man at her wedding. Otherwise she probably wouldn’t be speaking to me). Jenny had stumbled across a fascinating paper published by the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2008 which went a little bit like this.


We have seen a number of individuals who received blood-type tattoos on the left side of the chest as schoolchildren in northwest Indiana during the 1950s. 


To investigate the history of blood-type tattooing.


Historical research was conducted using newspaper and journal articles found in medical libraries, online archives, American Medical Association archives, Chicago Historical Society records, local medical society documents, in addition to personal interviews.


Blood-type tattoos were used during the Cold War to enable rapid transfusions as part of a "walking blood bank" in case of atomic attack…

And that was the bit where I lost my mind.

Walking blood banks? Walking blood banks?!?! Are you f***ing kidding me?? Who in their right mind looks at the potential problems of an atomic fallout and goes “Look we're all going to be shuffling around without legs and with seven eyes but if we tattoo some children and then steal their blood when the time is right we might just make it through this”? I mean it’s this type of stuff that leads to Batman swooping in to a room and beating up a bunch of dudes wearing white coats. “I understand that we’re all concerned about the Red Menace, but using children as IV stands is wrong Doctor Strange” KER-POW. And having dealt with that he'd zip-line away, walk in to a bar in the shady part of Gotham City, and punch a communist right in the face. Because he’s Batman. And that’s how he rolls.

But just as I was geared up to a write a post about how stuff like marking children with needles and ink in the 1950’s helps fuel modern day conspiracy theories such as 9/11 being an inside job, or even the Gobi desert being a launch pad for a potential Chinese hostile take over of America (Gee Note: Although really it’s not highly likely is it? I mean since the global economic crisis China pretty much owns The States anyway), something legitimately jaw dropping caught my eye thanks to the online edition of The Daily Fail Mail.

No it wasn’t the Liz Jones article about how she stole – quite literally - sperm from her previous boyfriends without their knowledge, or how she pulled out of this years’ I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here because “I knew I couldn’t do it. Not only would I not eat an insect, I would not put one under stress either – not for any amount of cash. I’m not religious, but I admire those who adhere to Jainism: they even wear masks to avoid inhaling a bug by mistake. They are my kind of people. Higher Beings. And most definitely not celebrities.” (Gee Note: Yes. You read that right. She just called herself a Higher Being. Without even a trace amount of irony. And that’s the reason she didn’t head out to the jungle. Not because the realisation dawned on her that for histrionic nutjobs like herself “I’m a celeb” is a legendary career killer. Amazing). Nay dear reader, in fact it was something even more bizarre than that.

Meet Marta Yegorovnam. Ms Yegorovnam lives in Petrozavodsk. Now in 1977 a very famous UFO known as the Petrozavodsk jellyfish made headline news around the world when it was spotted zooming around and having a jolly good time above the western Russian city, so the area is not unaccustomed to alien related malarkey. As such the idea that a UFO actually crashed outside Marta’s summer house a couple years ago isn’t all that shocking. What is shocking is that she went outside, rummaged about in the rubble, found a dead alien, and took it back home and stuck it in the fridge. Right next to the bacon and the eggs no doubt (Gee Note: You know, just like Jeffrey Dahmer would have done). And then she kept it there for two years, until some men rocked up at her front door claiming to be from the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences and confiscated it. Here’s the DUN DUN DUNNNN bit though. Karelian Research Centre has, wait for it, no record of the body and claims not to have even heard of Marta Yegorovnam before. Thankfully Marta took some pics of Jack McMartian before he disappeared. Wanna see ‘em?

(Gee Note: Hey, I’m pretty sure I dated that girl for a while back in the late ‘90s. I kid, obviously. I couldn’t buy a date in the late ‘90s).

Now ignoring the bleedingly f***ing obvious question of “WHY WOULD YOU KEEP A FREAKIN’ DEAD ALIEN IN THE FRIDGE FOR TWO YEARS??????” it’s pretty difficult to take this story at face value (Gee Note: No. I know. I totally believed in it as well. In fact I went out and bought myself another fridge just in case a UFO crashes in my back garden. Now I’ll have to use it for beer or something. Grrr. So annoying). The reason? Well according to the Mail they got the story from the “Unexplained Mysteries website”. Presumably they mean this one. Which is great. It’s a fine site. But they themselves got the story from this website here, who claim they were sent one of the images three years ago before the others appeared on a Russian blog earlier that week. So if I’ve followed the trail correctly then the source for this news story is a blog who got it from a blog who got it from another unnamed blog written in a foreign language. Which, I don’t know, doesn’t strike me as all that convincing in regards to its authenticity.

Now the earliest post regarding this is dated November 9 2011. However, this video was posted on the November 5 2011 on YouTube with the following description.

Watch the video in full! After a description will be clean images without the text! Pensioner from Petrozavodsk, Russia, kept the alien UFO pilot in the fridge! November 3, 2011. It turns out that she had a couple of years stored in a refrigerator, frozen corpse of his apartment pilot UFOs, alien! As we told Grandma about two years ago, serene autumn night, she found in the yard of his suburban home in the village Mashezero strange Aliens, which came from the intolerable heat, lay crumpled next to a pile of metal. Shortly before it was heard a terrible roar and rumble. The creature was growing about 40 - 50 inches, with a big head, big mouth, big eyes. Clothing on that creature looked like a jumpsuit.

However, as we reported today in the Karelian Academy of Sciences, is no alien in their study does not and can not be. It seems that the famous story is repeated with a stranger Alexis, who took care of mentally incompetent grandmother from the Siberian village and then the mummy which had disappeared somewhere. Fortunately, still managed to make a couple of shots of the creature. For the first time in Karelia, we publish sensational pictures strange creature, which mysteriously fell to the pensioner from Petrozavodsk and as mysteriously disappeared. This may sound crazy, but an alien corpse was kept in a plastic bag about 2 years.

You get all that? Because, I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what the hell this person is talking about? Who's Alexis? What does any of this have to do with their mentally incompetent grandmother? I haven’t been this confused since that episode of Lost where it turns out that God did it (Gee Note: While never actually explaining what “it” was. Lost was bullshit is what I’m saying here).

So yeah. Whatever this is, I’m convinced it’s not a real story. No one has managed to come up with a quote from Marta Yegorovnam herself. The photos don’t look particularly convincing (Gee Note: Unless you're a fan of the relatively unknown "rotten watermelons from space" theory). And I can’t find any reports of a major UFO sighting in Petrozavodsk in the past three years, especially when you consider it was alleged to have hurtled in to the ground engulfed in a big ball of flames.

Still thank God for the internet right? Because if it didn’t exist then The Daily Mail might be forced to print some actual news. Or more columns written by Liz Jones.

Which, and I think we can all agree on this, would be pretty horrible.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Kent, your nostrils are flaring...

Let’s face it. Times. They be tough. So tough in fact that the top story on the BBC website today is about how everyone is flat broke, and we’re all probably going to have sell our spare internal organs to sailors on the docks until we’re 85 just to make ends meet. In fact not a day goes by without a stark reminder that we live in a world where spare cash is scarce and the cost of living is ever increasing. (Gee Note: Today’s lesson was provided by the local supermarket, where I found myself shouting things like “£1.60!!! For some butter?? I could buy a goddam cow for that much!!”. In the end The Future Ex-Mrs. Davies had to leave me in the video game aisle because A) You can’t really buy a cow for £1.60 and B) the shelf stackers were starting to look at me funny).

As such there’s a new craze that’s sweeping the media. Newspapers and television shows are now filled with opinion pieces teaching their audience about the virtues of recycling old junk and turning it in to something useful. Presenter Kirstie Allsopp has recently launched a new programme on Channel 4 entitled Kirstie’s Handmade Britain, in which she tours the country showing how easy it is to make a hat out of an old Listerine bottle. And while all that’s going on, in the print world glossy magazines such as Pick Me Up! are offering readers a princely £25 to submit their money saving tips, offering such insights as “Re-use old net curtains to clean work surfaces” and “Instead of buying expensive wrapping paper, use pages of the kids comics instead” (Gee Note: Although, just so you know, if you come anywhere near my comic collection with a pair of scissors I WILL F***ING CUT YOU. I’m tough but fair).

It appears though that some folks may be taking the advice of using everyday objects for other purposes a little bit too far. People like Paul Moran for example.

Moran, a 30 year old native of Northern Ireland, was jailed last week for 3 months after a hearing at Enniskillen Magistrates Court. His honour Judge McFarland also ordered that Paul be placed on licence for a further twelve months upon his release. Now, technically Moran had plead guilty to arson and to endangering the lives of others after accidentally setting fire to his block of flats and causing an estimated £3000 worth of damage. But the reason the fire started in the first place was because Moran was attempting a spot of good ol’ fashioned Alchemy. Or the practice of turning items that aren’t gold in to… er… gold.

(Gee Note: Actually, before I get emails from a group of angry cloak wearing people who would probably not think twice about calling upon the Gods to curse my crops, alchemy is a philosophical tradition that deals with various different subjects. It is a lot more complex than just creating gold out of thin air. So, there we go. No need to slit that goat's throat at all now is there?).

Traditionally alchemists believe that creating a Philosopher’s Stone and then using it will somehow change base metals like lead in to precious ones. (Gee Note: You know like those toy cars that would change colour when you rubbed them with warm water. Hot Wheels I think they were called. They were pretty great to be fair. I should get me some more of those). Moran on the other hand took the novel step of skipping that bit all together and tried to create bullions without a Harry Potter prop or any lead to convert in the first place.

Instead Paul went all Rumpelstiltskin with an electric heater and…


His own faeces.

Now I’m no expert in this or any other field but I think I can see what went wrong here. You see when you heat up poo it doesn’t turn in to gold (Gee Note: Amazing right? With knowledge like this I should totally be on QI or something). Instead it just kind of melts a bit. And then probably smells quite frightful. Point is cooking turds in some ghetto level meth lab doesn’t make you rich. Or, I guess, get you many dates either.

The amazing thing about all this is that Moran could have avoided Richard Bransoning his block of flats by simply fishing around online. For on the world wide web there are more than enough crackpots concerned citizens offering advice on various ways to do alchemy related things. Hell videos such as this one even give you step by step instructions on how to make the “Elixir of life” which promises to help you levitate. Oh and walk on water. “Because” says the video’s description, “it is flowing so much light within you, you literally do not attract gravity” (Gee Note: Sure. Because that’s exactly how physics works. Anyone can float around like a freakin’ helium balloon as long as they drink some fizzy stuff first. Einstein wrote a paper on it once. He called it “The theory of special relativity in relation to being able to fly and shit”).

(Gee Note: By the way is it just me or does that guy sound like he’s doing the voice over for a blue movie, rather than a ‘how to make a potion that will give you woovy bezerk super powers’ video? “Yes. And then you dip it in to the bubbles. Nice and slow. Yeah. That’s it. Right there. Oh yeah baby.” It’s a bit creepy really.)

Another excellent resource for all things alchemy based is the “Cosmic Awareness Channellings” website. Which also has a step by step guide on creating a Philosopher’s Stone. What’s that? You want to read it?

Well ok. I mean if you insist.

This Awareness indicates that the First Matter for alchemist normally referred to as water, is that element known as urine. This Awareness indicates that the urine is taken at the time of the spring or fall, at the eclipse of the moon. This is often referred to in alchemy as the “Slaying of Diana,” Diana being the Goddess of the Moon. (Gee Note: Urine you say? Huh. Well no wonder it didn’t work. I’ve been using faeces this whole time. Tsk. It's so simple now you've explained it).

This Awareness indicates that this is to be put into a cornerless jug, in other words a jug that is bulbous in shape, without any corners, so that the urine can flow without being caught in any corners. (Gee Note: Because liquids often get stuck in corners. That’s totally how physics works. Einstein wrote a paper on it once. He called it “The Theory of special relativity in relation to liquids getting stuck in corners and f***ing shit up”. It’s one of his less well known works).

The bulbous bottle with the urine in it is kept at room temperature approximately 80 degrees, or 75 degrees, relatively warm, during that 40 days. After the 40 days, it may be capped with a cork, to continue fermentation. (Gee Note: You might also want to place it somewhere high up. Because I’m guessing that should you spill it, 39 day old wee would be nightmare to get out of the carpet).

The fermentation that occurs during the first 40 days requires that you have it somewhere that can allow for the odor to escape without offending others. (Gee Note: In other words don’t serve lemon snow cones to your guests while your urine is fermenting on the dining table. Might cause a scene).

This Awareness suggests that this may be in a garage or room or shed, someplace where it can be kept warm, such as in a bucket of sand that is on a hot water tank or some place that keeps the temperature up. A light bulb in a box, after the sand has been heated may keep the box warm enough and may keep the bulb bottle warm enough (Gee Note: Basically treat your piss like you would a tortoise. Maybe try feeding it some lettuce and giving it a name. “Splashy” perhaps. Or “Chester Wingnip Jnr”. Something like that).

This Awareness indicates that after the 40 days, the substance is corked, the cork put in and sealed with wax, dripping wax around the cork so that no air can enter or leave. (Gee Note: Why do you start your paragraphs with “This Awareness”? Is it some kind of narcissistic, referring to oneself in the third person, type of deal? If so why call yourself “This Awareness”? If it was me I’d pick something better. Like “Daddy McAwesome”. Daddy McAwesome doesn’t stand for that. Daddy McAwesome thinks you’re crazy. Daddy McAwesome will meet you for drinks later cutie, but only after Daddy McAwesome has finished saving the universe from evil space lizards).

This Awareness indicates that the temperature remains warm, but below body temperature, and time passes. After several months you will see a rainbow-like oil on top. This is referred to in the alchemical symbolism as the “Eagle’s Wing.” It is colorful in that the oil, when light strikes it, causes a rainbow effect so that there are colorful reflections on the oil that surfaces or floats to the top of the mixture. (Gee Note: Aww. It almost sounds quite pretty. If you forget for a moment that we’re TALKING ABOUT URINE HERE.)

This Awareness indicates during this time, the substance grows dark, almost black, and the Eagle’s Wing, or the oil floating on top becomes more vivid. This Awareness indicates that as the year comes to a close, the oil begins to turn red in color, a more reddish color, and eventually, near the end of the year, it should become more or less dried out as a whitish colored powder. (Gee Note: White powder? Hmm. Whatever you do keep it away from Charlie Sheen. He’s likely to snort the whole lot before attempting to mount a slot machine in Las Vegas thinking it’s a willing mate. A year’s worth of hard work cultivating your own pee undone by horny lunatic Topper Harley. Heart breaking stuff).

This Awareness indicates that the white powder is the Philosopher’s Stone, which then can become a product for creating more Philosopher’s Stone by adding more urine and simply allowing it to ferment and evaporate. Once the Philosopher’s Stone is developed, it serves as a kind of powder that can be put into the melted lead and its presence then turns that lead into gold. This Awareness indicates that entities playing with alchemy need to be extremely spiritual and avoid the greed aspects. It can turn against you. (Gee Note: Of course. It goes without saying really. I mean when I think of keeping a jar of human waste in a cupboard for a year the three words that spring to mind are “closer to God”).

So there you go. If you are determined to turn something ordinary in to gold, then there’s no need to go the faecal/electric heater route. Just follow the above instructions and you’ll be rolling around in Russian supermodels in no time. And as an added bonus you can be just as skeevy with human waste products as you want to be.

Just, try not to set fire to anything.

Wales Blog Awards 2011

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

He liked the idea of travel, and the memory of travel, but not travel itself.

Do you ever find yourself saying something that you know you’ll come to regret later on?

For example, the other night I was lying in bed when I had a sudden urge to [insert your own euphemism for urinating here]. So, with a bleary eye and a head full of cotton, I lurched into the bathroom and discovered two unexpected guests lounging around in my bath tub. A spider and a moth to be precise. Now I’ll be honest with you. I’m not a huge fan of insects. It’s not that I’m scared of them you understand (Gee Note: Because I don’t fear anything. In fact if you look up “Alpha Male” in the dictionary you’ll find a picture of me shirtless and carrying a gun while a pair of Lithuanian sex workers hold on to my legs) It’s just I find them very weird. Indeed, it never fails to amaze me that people scoff at the idea of the existence of Bigfoot, and yet think slugs are perfectly acceptable. I mean sure, tentacled legless mucus bags that have protective shells on the inside of their body are perfectly fine. But an undiscovered large ape? Now you’ve gone too far buddy.

Anyway it was late and I was tired, and this situation was only going to end in one of two ways. Either I was going to stumble downstairs, grab a newspaper, head back upstairs and spend a fruitless half hour trying to coax the little buggers on to the folded journal so they could be deposited neatly out of the window. Or I was going to turn on the tap and send both these intruders to a watery grave.

I chose the second option. Which, it turns out, was a mistake.

Because after I had completed my initial goal of relieving myself I pawed at the faucet to turn it off without checking to see if the little squatters and taken the one way trip to drainsville. Instead I bumbled out of the bathroom, stubbed my toe on the bannister, and climbed back in to bed moaning about how completely unfair the world is when things like bannisters are allowed to exist.

The following morning I was woken by the sweet voice of The Future Ex-Mrs. Davies.

“Gareth?” she asked softly.

“Mmmmppfflufflloff” came my response.

“Gareth?” she asked again, somewhat louder this time.

“Wha?” (Gee Note: To be fair it was first thing in the morning. I’m amazed she got that much out of me. She normally checks my pulse before banging a pair of cymbals next to my head).

“Why is there a dead spider and a dead moth in the bath?”

“I don’t know” I said before making my second mistake “Maybe… they fought to the death”.

Now had I just said “Oh sorry love. I tried washing them down the drain last night but I guess it didn’t work.” then things would have been fine. But I didn’t say that. Instead, even though there was only the slightest chance I may get in to trouble over two deceased insects, my fight or flight response kicked in and I immediately reverted to ‘deny all knowledge of event and offer alternative hypothesis’ mode.

“They fought to the death?” The Future Ex-Mrs. Davies asked incredulously (Gee Note: She’s a smart cookie that partner of mine. She knows nonsense when she hears it. Which is why I have to often distract her with shiny things and pictures of puppies. Otherwise I’d end up spending all day every day explaining myself and, well, that would become awfully tiring after a while).

“Yeah sure,” I said. “Spiders and moths are mortal enemies”.

“Are they now?”

“Uh huh. In fact it was in that nature documentary we watched last week. The one narrated by David Attenborough. Insecty Planet. There was this moth and this spider and the moth was all like “Don’t you come near me man!” And the spider was like “I’ll go wherever I please. I’m a muthaf***ing spider!” And then the moth starting throwing karate kicks and the spider came back with these brutal haymakers and…”


“Yes dear?”

“Go in to the bathroom. Get rid of the two bugs you killed. And then clean the bath from top to bottom.”

“Yes dear.”

So yeah. That was my morning. Cleaning the sodding bathtub. All because for some reason I tried to convince my wife that there's a 300 billion year rivalry between two different sets of creepy-crawlies.

But hey, it could have been worse I guess. It wasn’t like I went missing for five days and when I returned claimed I had been abducted by aliens.

Meet Travis Walton. The date was November 5 1975. At the time 22 year old Travis was part of a logging crew led by his best friend Mike Rogers. The rest of the crew was made up of Ken Peterson, John Goulette, Steve Pierce, Allen Dallis and Dwayne Smith, all of whom resided in the small town of Snowflake, Arizona. They had been hired by the United States Forest Service to tidy up some 1,200 acres of land that had become overrun with shrubs. It was a pretty sweet deal all things considered, as should the work be completed by the agreed deadline then Rogers and friends were set to make more money from this single job than they had on any other one previously.

Problem was the lads had fallen behind schedule, and rather than risk defaulting on the contract they had literally started working from dawn till dusk. On November 5 at a little after 6 pm the group had hung up their bush cutting implements for the day and were heading back to Snowflake in Mike’s truck. It was an uneventful trip and nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Nah. I’m yanking your chain. The truth is all hell broke loose. Shortly after setting off on their journey they saw a bright light coming up from behind a hill in front of them. As they got closer they noticed it wasn’t a light at all. Rather a bloody great big flying saucer, hovering above a clearing in the forest. Silver in colour it was described as being somewhere in the region of 8ft high and 20ft in diameter.

Now Mike Rogers was a sensible sort of chap and he immediately stopped his truck so as not to get fried by an alien laser. Alas Travis Walton was not as sensible, because as soon as the vehicle stopped Walton leapt out and started running toward the UFO like a dog chasing a car. Everybody else in the truck started shouting things like “What the deuce? Travis? Why art thou heading towards that beastly contraption at such velocity?” (Gee Note: Either that or “Holy shit! Travis??? Get back in the truck you goddam moron!!”. Records are sketchy is what I’m saying). Undoubtedly scared witless by the huge spaceship in the heavens above none of the other loggers followed Walton. Which was probably for the best, because as Travis arrived at his destination the woovy bezerk flying thingy fired a beam at Travis that "rose him a foot into the air, his arms and legs outstretched, and shot him back stiffly some 10 feet (3.0 m), all the while caught in the glow of the light. His right shoulder hit the earth, and his body sprawled limply over the ground." according to statements made to UFO researcher Jerome Clarke.

Seeing Walton getting his ass handed to him by a bunch of aliens was enough for Mike, who swung the truck around and put his foot down. When he finally lost control and skidded off the road they were a quarter of a mile away. It was half an hour later and after “much discussion” (Gee Note: “So, Mike. I hear Julian Barnes has been shortlisted yet again for the Booker prize. Do you think he’ll win this year, and if so is The Sense of an Ending any better than the bracing postmodernism of Flaubert’s Parrot?”) they returned to the scene. Where they found…


Not a jot.

No sign of Travis. No sign of a struggle, or a body being violently flung about like a hot cup of coffee at one of Barbra Streisand’s assistants. Sure as sugar no sign of any aliens. Rogers and the rest of the crew drove around for a bit trying to find any clue as to what might have happened to Travis, but to no avail. They found neither hide nor hair of him.

At 7.30 pm Deputy Sheriff Chuck Ellison received a phone call from Ken Peterson. Peterson, obviously sounding distressed, reported that Walton had gone missing. Ellison arranged to meet Peterson and the rest of the crew at a shopping centre, and upon his arrival they divulged the full story. During this conversation Ellison noted that all the men were distraught, with two of them actually reduced to tears. While he did not believe for a second that Jack McSpaceman was snatching folks from Arizona willy nilly, he became convinced that whatever had happened to these men had affected them deeply. So Ellison called his superior Sheriff Marlin Gillespie, who advised Ellison to keep the men at the shopping centre until he got there. Within the hour Gillespie arrived with Officer Ken Coplan and the tale was related to them. Rogers demanded that they head back out to the scene with sniffer dogs. No dogs were available, but Gillespie rounded up a posse regardless and they all headed off to find what many expected to be the lifeless body of Travis Walton.

There wasn’t a body to be found. In fact there wasn’t anything to be found.

Literally no physical evidence to suggest that anything untoward had happened at all. Although police kept up the search for a couple of hours the truth was many of them had already come to one of two conclusions. Either Walton had been killed by accident or on purpose by one of his work colleagues and buried somewhere in the forest, with the rest of the crew going along with this fantastical ruse in order to protect one of their own. Or Walton had pulled a prank on his mates and was now currently hanging out in a bar laughing at how silly everyone else was.

Rogers and Coplan went to visit Walton’s mother Mary Walton Kellett to break the bad news to her. Rather than collapse in tears and tear open her blouse, she simply asked the men to repeat themselves. They did and she then calmly asked if anyone other than police and eye witnesses had heard the story. Coplan left her house thinking that she was acting strangely, very unlike a mother who had just been told that her son was missing. He got the impression that the only way she would be this calm was if she knew Travis was actually not missing at all. This added fuel to the growing suspicion that Walton’s “abduction” was not on the level.

Fast forward three days and still little progress had been made on the case. In fact the police had pretty much given up the search, which led to Rogers and Travis’ older brother Duane to cause a fracas in the police station. Worse the media had rocked up in Snowflake, and were salivating all over this story. For reporters this was a win/win. Either Walton was dead, in which case the loggers would go down as the most knuckleheaded criminals in the history of North America. Or Walton had faked his own disappearance, which would make him a real life pantomime villain. Or Travis had actually been abducted by aliens, which would be the biggest news story since that Jewish guy water skied across a lake without any skis or a boat to pull him. Whatever the result the newspapers and television shows were quids in.

Almost immediately large sections of the media started to raise doubts about the validity of the UFO story as well as questioning the character of all the main players involved. Therefore Rogers and the rest of the crew agreed to a polygraph test (Gee Note: On the Jeremy Kyle show! That would be an amazing episode. “Where I come from people are taught to take responsibility for their actions. So why don’t you LAY OFF THE CANNABIS, GET OFF YOUR BACKSIDE, PUT SOMETHING ON THE END OF IT, AND STOP KILLING THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH AND BURYING THEM IN THE WOODS??? *pauses for applause* We have to take a break but we’ll be right back with those all-important lie detector results”). With the exception of Allen Dallis, the men passed the polygraph, leading to the tester to comment that "These polygraph examinations prove that these five men did see some object they believed to be a UFO, and that Travis Walton was not injured or murdered by any of these men on that Wednesday".

(Gee Note: By the way the reason Dallis did not complete the test was that he legged it halfway through. You see Dallis had lied about a previous criminal conviction in order to get his job with Rogers and was worried that he would get exposed. Which is why all employers should have a polygraph machine on hand when interviewing prospective employees in the first instance. “What’s my worst quality? Well some people have suggested that I’m a workaholic and I care about my job too much” Beep. “What? Oh f*** it then. My worst quality is stealing underwear from Marks & Spencers. There. Happy now?”)

It didn’t matter though, as both police and the news people were convinced this was all a stunt. Snowflake town marshall Sanford Flake was particular keen to expose the fraudsters, publically announcing that Travis and Duane had fooled the loggers by lighting a balloon. Without, alas, a shred of evidence to back it up. He even turned up on Mary Walton Kellett’s doorstep with a camera crew hoping to find Travis hiding inside her house.

And then on 10 November, five days after he had gone missing, Travis Walton called his friend Grant Neff from a public phone box at Heber Gas station. Neff at first didn’t believe it was him until Travis screamed down the phone "It's me, Grant ... I'm hurt, and I need help badly. You come and get me". So Neff did what he was told. He found Walton at the Herber Gas station slumped in a booth, wearing the same clothes he had on when he went missing. Neff bundled Travis in to the back of his car and headed back to Snowflake, while Walton mumbled about “things with terrifying eyes” (Gee Note: What, like Edwina Curry?) and was surprised to discover he had been away for five days, thinking he was gone a couple of hours at most.

So what had happened to Travis Walton?

Well, according to the man himself the beam that hit him knocked him unconscious. And when he woke up he was on an alien craft. Luckily Walton was carrying a home movie camera with him at the time and managed to record the following footage.

OK. Not really. I have no idea what that is (Gee Note: It’s kind of hypnotic though right? I’ve watched this thing like sixteen times in a row now. It’s not that I like it. It’s that I can’t not watch it). According to Walton the last thing he remembered was being hit by a beam, waking up on the ship, and getting in to an argument with some little aliens which he described as “shorter than five feet, and they had bald heads, no hair. Their heads were domed, very large. They looked like foetuses”. Which I’m guessing is what caused the argument in the first place. I mean Martians have feelings too you know? Anyway the tiny follically challenged dudes beat a hasty retreat when Walton threatened them with glass rod. They were replaced with human figures in blue jumpsuits and with glowing golden eyes. These people grinned at him inanely not saying a word, before eventually leading him to a small room where they gassed him and then presumably dumped him at a gas station for no reason at all.

Now the spacemen were done with Travis Walton, it was the turn of the press. The Phoenix Gazette ran a story about a man named William H. Spaulding who claimed to have examined and questioned Walton for 2 hours the day following his return. He claimed that there had been inconsistencies with Walton’s story and that he was prepared to expose Travis for creating a carefully constructed lie. Feeling under pressure to defend himself Travis spoke to Gillespie and offered to partake in a polygraph or be injected with truth serum. Gillespie said a polygraph would be fine (Gee Note: Largely because he was neither Jack Bauer nor a Russian spy and as such truth serum was pretty hard to come by). But then news that he was to undergo a lie detector test was leaked to the press and Duane Walton, by this point acting as his brother’s minder, cancelled the test thinking Gillespie had tipped off the reporters.

In the end Travis did take a polygraph test, paid for by the National Enquirer, who were probably trying to tie up the Waltons to an exclusive interview. The test was conducted John J McCarthy and…

Travis failed. (Gee Note: I assume that there was a sharp intake of breath by the studio audience when the results were read out. At least that’s what happens on Maury. And considering I’ve never been hooked up to one of these things that’s all I can go by).

In fact not only did he fail but Duane Walton requested the results be supressed, as per the agreement he made with the National Enquirer. And by the time that they were made public eight months later Travis was already considered to be a fraud, the polygraph being the final nail in the coffin. The cynics sighted the lack of emotional response from Mary, interview statements made by Rogers and Duane casting doubt on their motives, and a medical examination of Travis showing low levels of ketones in his urine (Gee Note: Ketones are present when you go without food or drink for an extended period of time and your body starts to break down fats to survive. If Travis had been gone for five days then he surely would have had high levels of ketones in his wee. But he didn’t. So either he was eating pretty regularly, or E.T. and pals were funnelling liquefied cheeseburgers directly in to Walton’s tummy. Which, when you think about it, is one way McDonalds could revive their flagging business. “In a hurry? Why not try the new McPumpulator?”. Cash cow I tells ya).

And it really doesn’t matter that McCarthy’s conduct during the test was brought in to question as being “unprofessional”, or that Travis would later pass two further polygraph tests. It doesn’t matter that Rogers was accused of being an accomplice in a scam to allow him to default on his contract with the Forrest service, despite the fact that he had defaulted on several other contracts with them before without claiming alien involvement. It doesn’t matter that the Walton’s were labelled as drunks and ne’er-do-wells in the tabloids, or that Mary’s dignified response was deemed to be suspicious.

No the real moral of the story is that if you want to have a quiet life and you see a friend of yours being abducted by aliens then do the smart thing. Tell the authorities it was a gang of hoodlums that did it or something. Because when it comes to aliens, just like the moth and spider’s rivalry, getting people to believe you is damned difficult. No matter how many lie detector tests you pass.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

My name is Sue. How do you do?

I should really stop trying to be a smart arse.

Allow me to explain. A couple of weeks ago I posted a piece on this ‘ere web based log about Cosmic Ordering, and how it was all just a little bit silly. To prove my point I decided to nominate myself for the Wales Blog Awards’ “Best Writing” category, and placed a Cosmic Order asking the universe if it could see its way to making this blog one of the finalists.

Now I’ll be honest with you (Gee Note: I mean by this point we’re pretty much buds right?). I expected to get trounced by all the other folks who entered the Wales Blog Awards. Largely because the people of Wales have a tendency to be bloody good at this sort of thing. No really. We might not be able win a football match or leave a supermarket without having to pay for the carrier bags, but dognammit when it comes to being creative we can rub shoulders with the best of them. We produce more Hollywood stars than we have any right to. Our poets and song writers are celebrated around the world. Our language is rightfully considered to be one of the most remarkable in Europe. All in all we’re a pretty awesome bunch when you think about it.

So when it came to my chances of making a splash in the WBA’s, I was rather confident in my upcoming failure. Because, when surrounded by genuinely intriguing and fabulously written blogs, a fat ginger nerd waffling on about aliens and sea monsters would probably be considered laughable at best. Oh sure if there was a “Bless him. He tries hard. He really does” award then maybe I’d be in with a shout (Gee Note: Although even then I’d probably lose out to a particularly slow squirrel bashing a nut against a keyboard). But “Best Writing”? Nah. Not a chance.

Anyway the Wales Blog Award finalists were announced on Friday. And so I clicked on the link while gleefully preparing a smug “told you so you crazy hippy basket cases” post in my head.

And then… it all fell apart.

Because somehow the judges were afflicted with what medical professionals would refer to as “a case of the f***ing crazies” and, lo and behold, I Saw Elvis In The Woods is on the list. Which means one of two things. Either A) the judges really are open to bribes no matter how much they “protest” or B) Cosmic Ordering actually works. In which case nuts to the Wales Blog Awards. I should have asked for a Ferrari to be delivered to my front door by a Swedish bikini model.

(Gee Note: By the way the finalists are all listed here for your consideration. And, despite the questionable practice of including this tour de farce amongst them, the rest of the entries are all brilliant. Not least the other two nominations in the “Best Writing” category, Morden Haiku Poetry by the ridiculously talented Matt Morden and by a tremendous writer named… er… Mike Jenkins. So congratulations to both of them as well and, as long as neither of them actually wins, I’m honoured to be considered alongside them. Should either of them win then they are both thieving bastards and probably also terrorists of some sort. Also as well as the established categories up for grabs there’s THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE award which is decided by a public vote. So go there and vote for me if you want to. Or don’t. Whatever. I can’t force you to. It’s not like I’ve kidnapped your pet or something. And then tied said pet to a conveyor belt that's heading ever so slowly towards a circular saw. I mean that would be crazy wouldn’t it? It would also make me the type of guy you wouldn’t want to mess with correct? Well relax. I haven’t done that to Mr. Fluffy at all. You’re right. He’s probably just out in the back garden enjoying the sunshine.)

Speaking of things that don’t turn out the way you would expect, Psychic Sally has been in the news a lot recently. You guys remember Psychic Sally right? No? You sure? Well for those of you who aren’t familiar with “Britain’s Favourite Psychic”, Sally Morgan is a former dental nurse who claims to be able to contact the dead. In 2008 she became rather famous in the UK after publishing a book entitled “My Psychic Life”. Since then she has toured the country non-stop, conducting shows in various theatres where she offers readings to members of the audience. Unlike most UK psychics who, let’s face it, are kind of creepy - Sally’s gimmick is that she’s an average, down to earth woman. She’s the mumsy medium, the one who’ll hold your hand while saying things like “There, there love. Your grandmother wants you to know that you shouldn’t leave the cod in the oven for too long”.

She’s also a complete charlatan. Well she is if you believe a boy woman named Sue.

On September 11th Morgan performed in the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin. Just like any other show of Sally’s she wowed the crowd by (Gee Note: Contacting the spirit of late great professional wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage? That would be amazing. “I’m with a man named Randy and he says… OOOH YEAH!!!!! Does that mean anything to anyone here? ‘OOOOH YEAH!!!!’? He’s also saying… wait… he’s saying ‘Hulk Hogan is a little bitch’.) informing them that their loved ones in the great beyond were having a grand old time and were proud of them and so on.

However the following day Sue, a member of the audience the previous night, called in to RTE Radio 1 during their Liveline show. Here’s a recording of the interview.

Now if you looked at that video and balked at the running time of 17 minutes then I’ll break it down for you (Gee Note: Although if you don’t have at least 17 minutes to kill then why the hell you’re reading this blog I have no idea. I mean you may not have noticed but these posts tend to go on for a long ass time). Sue was at the show at the Grand Canal Theatre the previous night and noticed something rather odd. At the back of the theatre, just behind where Sue was sitting was a small enclave that she described as like “a projection room”. From the room Sue could distinctly hear the sound of a man’s voice during the performance (Gee Note: Talking during the show eh? Only one way to deal with people like that. They deserve a full blooded, no holds barred, tutting at).

The strange thing is the voice didn’t appear to be having a regular conversation about whether or not one would “do” a certain celebrity or what a shambles a specific sports team is. Instead the voice from the room would say something and then a handful of seconds later Sally would repeat the same thing on stage. The example Sue gave is that the voice would say something like “Dave. Complained of a bad back. Passed quickly” and almost immediately Sally would say “I’m here with Dave. He’s complaining about a bad back. Says he passed quickly”. Sue was under the impression that the information was being fed to Sally via an earpiece from an accomplice who had mingled with the audience before the show, picking up scraps of information here and there.

Anyway the story was picked up by The Guardian, and specifically by Chris French. French is the editor of The Skeptic Magazine, and as such is always on the lookout for a good tale about claims of the paranormal not being on the level. So he submitted his article to the Guardian, threw in some information about James Randi and the one million dollar prize for proof of psychic abilities remaining unclaimed, and probably thought nothing else about it.

Sally Morgan, as featured on Living TV

But, like sharks smelling blood, tabloid journalists came a-sniffing. You see there’s nothing better than stories of celebrities, no matter how small and insignificant, disgracing themselves with which to fill up the pages on an otherwise slow news day. And so with ears pricked and claws sharpened, off to the races the press went.

There were a million opinion pieces written that week, penned by slathering sirens desperate to preach from their holier than thou soapboxes. Journalists such as Jan Moir, who claimed that people who believe in psychics are “gullible”, “simple-minded” and “foolish”. In an article that wasn’t so much an attack on Sally Morgan as it was on those who spent hard earned money trying to find some piece of mind, it’s astonishing that she didn’t jot down a paragraph asking those morons to just kill themselves and make the world a better place. Iain Hollingshead took a slightly less abrasive position, at first comparing the news that a psychic could be a fraud to the pope admitting he’s catholic before claiming he has an “open mind”. Even Nigel Pauley of The Star got in on the act, guffawing that for such a powerful medium it’s amazing that Sally never saw this hullaballoo coming. (Gee Note: Think that’s amazing. I once saw a potato that looked exactly like Winston Churchill. Point to me I think).

Obviously feeling under pressure to respond to the criticism being levelled at her Morgan came out swinging. At a show at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford, Sally opened her act with the following monologue which The Daily Mail referred to as a “spirited defence” (Gee Note: GEDDIT?!?!? “Spirited”. Cos she’s like a psychic and everything? I know. It’s pretty sweet right? It’s all Jeremy’s work. We sat there for, oh gosh, ages trying to come up with a brilliant pun and Jeremy walks in and is all like “How about a spirited defence”? At first we didn’t get it but then he explained it and we were like “Oh man, that’s great”. But that’s Jeremy all over really. Deep thinker).

These are so you can hear me. This is a microphone. I can put my hair behind my ears to prove I have nothing in my ears. I refuse to hold a hand microphone because part of the show is the fact that I act out what I am hearing (Gee Note: Really? I refuse to hold a microphone because I often say stupid things. Like, for example, comparing my feet to my ears or something). If I’ve got a hand microphone I’m going to feel restricted. I don’t hear anything through my ears. It’s like trying to say I receive messages through the soles of my feet (Gee Note: Well I’ll be damned. You say stupid shit as well).

She went on to say: I don’t know any of you in the audience. I don’t know who is coming tonight. I know nothing about you. I can’t Google you. I haven’t walked around your local cemetery. I’m a medium. This is what I do. (Gee Note: You can Google me if you like. Although you won’t find much. Because I’m a super-secret ninja spy who must keep his identity secret at all times. Either that or I’m not very noteworthy. One of the two).

And do you know what? This speech received a hearty round of applause. No really it did. In fact not one single person called out and said “Bollocks. I’ve seen Derren Brown on the telly. I know how this stuff works!”. Instead she carried on with the show and everyone probably had a marvellous time.

Which, I guess, is the moral of this story. It doesn’t matter what all those mean newspaper people say. Morgan’s fans will stick with her regardless. They want to believe that she can talk to the dead, even though all logic and scientific fact would suggest otherwise. They want to believe that Sally Morgan has a direct line to the spirit world, even though if she did you would think that she'd spend all her time betting on the gee-gee's (Gee Note: No relation) and helping world leaders locate members of Al-Qaeda, rather than standing on stage in a sparkly blouse. They want to believe in her to such a degree that they’re willing to ignore a national scandal about her authenticity. They simply want to believe in Psychic Sally.

So despite the outcry, the blustering editorials, and the online comment sections being flooded by opinionated readers, Sally Morgan will keep drawing in the crowds whether she’s knowingly duping the public or not.

And you don’t really need a voice in your ear to tell you there’s something not quite right with that.