Thursday, April 25, 2013

Invasion of the Micro-Drones!


So there I was having just sat down to dinner in time to catch the beginning of the movie I've been waiting to see.  I turned off the phone and computer so as to not have any unwanted distractions while I watched the latest new terminator franchise movie.  

The opening credits are just ending, which makes me wonder why they haven't changed that along with everything else, It just makes no sense to splash all that writing all over the screen obscuring the picture I'm trying to see.  The same exact lists of names are at the end of the movie, but the ego freaks know nobody would ever see them so they splatter them all over the screen at the beginning too.  Damned annoying, if I wanted to read, I would have grabbed a book instead of the remote.  But it's all good now as the credits are finished and the action has begun, and looks so damn real on the Double Dolby Plasma HD big screen BluRay home theater.  The screen takes up the whole wall; so with the right lighting it just looks like you're looking out a window at real life and the people are all life size.  Unfortunately so is the hapless fly buzzing around like some drunk kamikaze pilot trying to fly thru the window to get outside.  As soon as that sucker works his way near me, it's gonna be 'instant universe' pal, and good riddance, cause flying bugs strafing the screen are as annoying as opening credits and political campaign ads.  Here he comes now, boy is he in for a surprise.  Most folks would just black flag that housefly, except what's poison for him is also poison for me so I never use the crap.  all you need is a plastic spray bottle full of high test Windex, the stuff with the ammonia in it.  When the insect in question is in range I just blast him with a couple shots, when the spray hits his little spiracles it's like liquid-X on a date-rape and he drops to the floor where it's so much easier to step on him.

Gotta drop this little pest quick the first try, or I'll be hunting the clever little bastard all night.  Once they know you've gone weapons hot the little scudders have a whole bag of tricks to evade & hide from you...just until you go back to what you were doing, then they start their strafing run right at your third eye!  He's nearly in the kill zone, and doesn't see the spray bottle as a threat the way he would a fly swatter or rolled up news paper, so he's almost a goner.  He is flying right at me, so I fake him out a little by reaching for my drink, he sees me and banks to the right to avoid me...putting him on my bulls eye.  Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh; my chemical-biological weapon is deployed with zeal and overkill as I want this sucker dead right now.

To my amazement, this brazen insect does not fall to the floor dying but rather goes ballistic in a vertical climb which becomes a beautiful hammerhead stall and he dives right down on me at like ninety friggin MPH.  How the hell did he do that, it was a direct hit, even if the ammonia didn't knock him out right away, the sheer weight of the liquid drops all over his body should have dropped him.  He must be one of those early season flies, for some reason they're a bit more resilient. Now he pulls up again and as I lead him a bit to poison the air he is about to fly into; he performs a perfect immlemann maneuver and disappears from view.  Like I said, flies are clever, and I knew this one would be hiding by now.  Determined to end this intrusion, I paused the movie- picked up my weapon and went on the hunt.  A lot of folks don't know that all flies are born knowing that they are colored black so they just naturally land on anything black to hide.  Searching  these places yielded no aggressor so I immediately began searching adjacent rooms as that is evasive tactic #2.  I saw him immediately as I entered the den, he was buzzing around the table lamp obviously seeking heat with which to dry off from the chemical dusting I gave him.  He spotted me and quickly ducked behind the lampshade but too late.  I faked him out by pretending not to see him, then doubled back & snuck up on him all stealthy like.  When I finally got a good look at him I couldn't believe my eyes.


There on the lampshade was a cybernetic mechanical remote fly drone, and as I was taking this in, I could see my own reflection in the camera lens the thing had for eyes.  With a barely audible whirr of tiny servo motors the eyes rotated to fix directly on me, and the thing launched...I could hear the shutter clicking as the thing flew over my head and sprayed some vile liquid which just missed my eyes.  Well now the battle is engaged full bore as I spin around to give hot pursuit but the little spying fly is much faster now that he's dry and I lost him in the shadows.  Time to get serious; so I dig out the ultimate defense for the first time this year; the micro car & computer vacuum with extended wand for difficult Robofly's ass!   The little devil tried to make for the open window, but I cut him off and laughed maniacally as I heard his tiny metallic corpse get inhaled into my machine.

Satisfied with my victory I set out to search the rest of the house for any more of these tiny government spy drones.  I heard somewhere they usually have a wingman, sometimes even two, so I was taking no chances.  As I entered the kitchen sure enough his wingman struck from behind in a dastardly sneak attack.  He buzzed right by my ear sounding like an out of tune dentist drill and when he was just a foot or two in front of me the bastard does a marvelous reverse turn and killed my vacuum with a tiny blue lightning bolt coming from a little dish antenna where a head should have been.

One down, and one to go.  I fogged the interloper with enough Windex to clean your windshield; and as before, it had little if any effect other than to obscure his vision long enough for me to swat at him.  I just clipped him, but it was enough to send him smashing into the wall, and flopping around all dazed and injured on the floor, which is when my cat took notice and promptly ate him!  Being rewarded with her favorite treat and a hit or two of catnip was my way of showing Gracie (the cat) my approval and hopefully honing her hunting skills in case there were any more of these Orwellian insects around.  Whatever it was the micro-drone sprayed on me is burning my scalp now so I rush into the bathroom and rinse my head under the faucet to rinse it off, but to my horror, all my hair is now falling out and clogging the sink.  I open the medicine cabinet to find some salve or ointment to stop the burning, but instead of  remedies, the cabinet is now a nest full of those Monsanto-Darpa killer bee drones which immediately attack me with great hostility. 

The swarm drives me out of the bathroom and I manage to shut the door before they can follow me.  Just as I think I'm safe for the moment the sound of clicking mechanical feet reaches my ears over the sound of my excited breathing.  Holding the breath and listening; the sound is coming from the kitchen, and when I sneak a look around the corner I see what is making the noise...400 little mechanical legs carrying 50 spider drones ever closer to my position.  My mind is blaming me for this...I just had to be a blogger and pretend we really have freedom of speech by actually having the balls to exercise the right.

No time for psychological recriminations just now, I have to move before the spider drones corner me; so I dash through the room calling, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty."  Thinking I have more catnip Gracie comes trotting into the room, her tail high in the air with expectation when she suddenly sees and hears the approaching horde of tiny tin spiders.  In less time than it takes to tell,  Gracie  does the patented roadrunner reverse maneuver and climbs up my leg, sinks her claws in nice & deep then starts gnawing my nads like a gut-shot Comanche.   So now I am running thru my house with my hair burned off and head full of bee stings with an unhappy feline finally getting her revenge for having been neutered as I'm being pursued by Obama's army of micro-drones. 

By now the spider drones are covering the walls, scurrying  their way around to the garage door to cut off my escape and seal my fate.  On the way thru the room I grab my cell phone thinking to call for help, but alas, I am screwed, it's an Android phone, and all I can get on it just now are a series of painful electric shocks as it refuses to be used by me any longer.  Tossing the phone; I think to grab my laptop but suddenly realize just how screwed I am, cause it's from Alienware...the dirty bastards have had us all along, we played right into their hands.  Hobbling now like Django Chained towards the garage door it dawns on me that this cat is working for the spiders, trying to slow me down so they can get me, so I sing out "Bath time"- and the crazy bitch jumped off my mangled leg just in time to be swarmed by the spider drones and buy me the seconds I needed to make it to the garage.  I reach over to flip on the light switch but just as I do there comes a sharp jab on my hand like a pin, or needle! (I know, I know-I deserved it) With light filling the garage now I am horrified to see what stuck me, Darpa's new indoctrination scorpion-bot, capable of injecting up to 30 people with 50cc's of pure patriotism & pride. 

It's not looking so good for me right now, the scorpion drone scurries into the shadows, no doubt to regroup for a second strike...probably go for the ankle this time.  Whatever he hit me with is working faster now as the room looks a little strange and I have suddenly grown a mustache oh wait, no, it's just another clump of hair falling out.  Brushing the dead follicles off my burning, bee-stung face; I make it to the outside door, and freedom.  I know if I can just get outside to my car I'll be safe & can escape.  Without a window in the door I just have to take my chances; but I must go now because that scorpion is still nearby and the spiders ain't far behind him.  Just like a blindfolded sack race in a mine field, at some point you just have to go for it, all in.   

Door thrown wide open I charge out into the night with a flashlight in one hand and my car keys in the other.  After a few steps I slow down, and look all around, head on a's clear, no drones anywhere, at least, none that I can see.  I crouch down low and start moving along the outside wall of the garage, toward the driveway, & my car.  The night air is refreshing, and silent, and it worries me because I don't know whether the silence is good or bad, and I should...but too many years of city life have dulled my senses I guess.  As I near the corner the drugs injected by the scorpion are near maximum effect now and it's all I can do to not pass out...just a little further.  As I catch my breath and steel myself for the run to the car I suddenly feel foolish, all this sneaking around is just giving the spider-bots more time to catch me, at least my head is still clear enough to see that -and with new reassurance & confidence, I step around the corner to see my way is blocked.

 Before me is my death, in the form of a Darpa-Boston Dynamics combat cheetah; crouched and ready to pounce on me - which it immediately does, and takes my mind completely off my previous worries as well as my body.  As my decapitated brain begins the long goodbye all the really important events of my life flashed before my fading eyes.  I remembered back when we had clear blue skies and even a gossamer pretense of accountability and integrity in the way we lived upon this beautiful world.  I thought about just when it was the people gave up on themselves and submitted to psychopathic dystopian rule with nary a whimper of serious resistance.  I wondered when & how it came to pass that we were in the final hour betrayed by our very own indifference to the suffering of millions on a daily, and yearly basis.  When did we give permission for our food to be genetically modified and our children injected with experimental genetic toxins?  If we did not allow such things by consent how is it then we allowed them to take place in silence?

My brain is fading to grey more...thought.....end ....of ....memory, ah the sweet.... release from the...... burden of knowing......should try... try to take what I learned with to it's gone now as life fades away at ...last....
Man, oh wow was that ever a wild friggin dream man; I'm sure glad I woke up before I died, cause ya know what they say about that!!  What a harrowing experience, man that was so vivid it felt so real.  I was so freaked out by all those micro drones the one I knew nothing about was what got me.  After a nightmare like that it's just so re-assuring when I can look out the window of my room on the International Space Station and see mother earth below me, just as she's always been.

Until Next Time ~ Be Good to Each Other.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Great Alaskan Monster Hunt


    * Featured in the book "In Search of the Kushtaka" by Dennis Waller

Almost forty years ago I moved to Alaska soon after my enlistment in the navy expired.  Like so many other young men returning from the war in Vietnam, I had myself a rousing good case of PTSD, and a head full of dreams I couldn't wait to get started on.  I originally come from a clan of people who are at home in the forest, and spent much of my youth exploring the lakes and woodlands of Northern Wisconsin.  I cannot say just when or where it began, but I had always wanted to go to Alaska for most of my life, you could say it was the alpha male in the pack of those restless dreams of mine. 

It just made perfect sense that the next chapter of my life should begin in the place that had been calling to me for so long, a no-brainer as they say nowadays.  Being born both a type-A personality and under the sign of Aries, city life was just never interesting enough to hold my attention.  I always wanted something more, and I found it when I moved to Alaska.  It isn't just a whole other place, it is a universe unto itself; and the day I arrived to make my home there my soul felt truly free for the first time in my life. 

I went to Alaska with the central goal of eventually having my own version of Walden Pond, deep in the wilderness.  A navy shipmate had spent several summers salmon fishing out of the southeastern town of Ketchikan, and had several times regaled us with stories from his time there.  Being that it had the double distinction of being both the only town I knew anything about and the first town the state ferry stops at; Ketchikan was my destination.  I arrived with sufficient funds to see me through for a good while, or if I got lucky right off the bat, to buy the place to build my dream.  In those days Ketchikan was a warm and engaging community of about five thousand or so souls, year round population.  There was opportunity, wilderness and bald eagles, simply everywhere I looked...I don't think I quit grinning for a solid month as I began assimilating myself into this picturesque maritime town clinging to life on a long, narrow strip of real estate between the ocean, and the mountains.
The fishing fleet arrived shortly after I did that summer, so I headed down to the city dock area in hopes of talking myself into a job on a purse seiner.  It seemed at least fifty other guys had the same idea, all chasing the legendary big bucks associated with commercial salmon fishing.  This wasn't going to be easy.  I persisted even though a lot of the competition had actual experience fishing where I could only tempt prospective skippers with my navy record.  As it turned out that was enough, and my first job commercial fishing was aboard the vessel Mark Christopher captained by Dave Demmert Sr. 

We put up good numbers that year, and crew share was something like six grand apiece.  It was aboard this boat that I first heard many enthralling stories & legends of southeast Alaska, but none more intriguing and interesting than the Tlingit legend of the Kooshdaakaa (anglicized as Kushtaka) or "Land Otter Man" which is similar to but different from Bigfoot or Sasquatch.  Being full blood Tlingit, captain Dave knew the stories by heart.  

We could always tell when he was pulling our leg because he'd get a slight gleam in his eye, and the corner of his mouth would almost, but not quite smirk.  Those 'tells' were totally absent whenever he spoke of the Kooshdaakaa.  He didn't like talking about them, he told us doing so was bad luck.  He was emphatic however whenever one of us suggested it was just another Sasquatch or Bigfoot, He said "They are not the same creature, although both do exist in Alaska."

The Kooshdaakaa, according to legend is a shape shifting supernatural being; part human, part land otter, who lures people into the woods then kills them.  Captain Dave's stories just left me hungry for more, yet actually finding it isn't always easy; as not everybody believes and those who do usually decline to talk about the creatures.  Just my cup of tea!  One of the first friends I made in Ketchikan was a native Alaskan fellow named Delaney whose family lived up on second avenue overlooking part of town and the Bar Harbor marina. 

Whenever I visited the house; there would be his grandmother, Nana sitting in her rocker by the bay window, always knitting something or another for someone.  Out of respect I always said hello and goodbye to Nana, but she wasn't so sure about me just yet, so usually I was lucky to receive a nod or some guttural sound in return.  Delaney of course became a wealth of information on local history, legends and such, but every time I inquired about the Kooshdaakaa the information slowed to a trickle.  I knew he wasn't telling me everything he had on the subject, but I also knew that the hesitation to speak of the creature came from a very deeply seated tribal custom; so I was patient. 

Several months later I was rounding the corner on a downtown sidewalk when I spotted a true hulk of a man coming out of the bank, and I instantly recognized Frank Zinn, an unforgettable civilian tug boat skipper I'd met years before in Vung Tau, south Vietnam.  Looking up, Frank saw me and was equally surprised.  We stood there talking and catching up the way people do...when Frank asks what I'm doing for work?  I explained I was figuring on fishing again this summer.  It turns out Frank was living in Ketchikan and working as the captain of a Crowley maritime harbor tug assigned to the Louisiana-Pacific pulp mill...and was in need of a deckhand!  Next thing I know, I'm making better money that ever before at a job I love. 

Before I knew it, four years went by in a flash.  I have a nice place to live, a truck and two boats; and am seemingly farther from my wilderness dream than I ever was.  It occurs to me that with all this abundance, I might as well be still in the big city, it is nice, and intoxicating - but not what I came here to do.  So; in an act I'm sure many thought was insane, I quit the job, sold everything I didn't need and purchased a float house, which is just what it sounds like, a house on a log float.  I figured that if I already had a movable cabin, I was halfway to having my wilderness dream.

As if to acknowledge my commitment, the universe soon delivered the other half of the dream.  The Cape Fox Corp (one of Alaska's 13 regional native corporations) was looking for someone to live way up in George Inlet as a wilderness watchman to protect against poaching and illegal logging on native lands.  As it turned out, my friend Delaney is related to the president of the corporation, puts in a good word for me, and I get the job.  My ex-boss lined up a tugboat to drag my float house the 15 miles up George inlet; to a pristine little place called Gem Cove.

 Suddenly my wilderness dream came alive, and I was in it.  

As I went about my chores and activities over the ensuing months it was always in the back of my mind that now, I was out where the Kooshdaakaa live.  One day when I was in town getting supplies I ran into Delaney who invited me up to the house; saying he had something to give me.  Once there he rummages around for a bit before finding what he was looking for, a small innocuous  little booklet 30 pages long entitled;           
 The Strangest Story Ever Told by Harry Colp.

 Delaney hands me the book with as serious a look as I'd ever seen on his face, and said; "Here, you'd better read this."  As I went to leave following our visit, Nana looks me in the eye & said, "You be careful out there."  The book is an account of the experiences of four prospectors up in the Thomas Bay around the year 1900.  It is a thoroughly engrossing story of repeated encounters the men had with an entire group of aggressive hairy man-ape type creatures.  The prospectors knew that just eight miles up river from the bay existed a source of free gold quartz, which is quartz crystal included with tendrils of gold flake frozen within the crystal.  Now, I have always liked quartz crystals and mysterious monsters, so I was hooked and ready to go visit Thomas Bay myself.  The trouble was, I couldn't find anyone to go with me.  Either they didn't believe, and thought the trip foolish, or they believed and thought the trip dangerous; either way none of the people I knew were willing to go there.  Of course when Delaney declined, I asked him why he had given me the book.  He replied, "Because I hoped it would scare some sense into you." Now I was more determined than ever to make the trip, to see for myself, and maybe even find some valuable free gold quartz in the process. 

Life in Gem Cove was peacefully idyllic; it was everything I ever expected it to be, and more.  Bald eagles ruled the skies, & their nest was within sight of my cabin.  It wasn't unusual to see black bears strolling by on their way to the creek, to fish for salmon.  One afternoon at high tide with 20 feet of water under the raft I was astonished to see a seal come flying out of the water and land on the deck ten feet away...and even more astonished to see a killer whale glide silently under the raft searching for him.  Clearly, I was the lesser of two evils at the time.  There were times when I was out deer hunting when I'd see tracks I couldn't easily identify, and once or twice when I heard sounds & noises nearby that also were strange and unknown.  The Alaskan wilderness is like that, it lets you know right away just where you are on the food chain.  It teaches respect. 

Three more years passed and as happy as I was to be living my dream, Thomas Bay was still calling me from somewhere deep in my subconscious, and I still wanted to go.  The next time I saw Delaney I brought up the subject of Thomas Bay again, and this time I persisted until he finally gave up, and agreed to go with me.  We began making our trip plan, gathering the gear we'd need and so forth, and I felt exhilarated with the thought of finally going.  We both thought having a third person along would be a good idea, and Delaney said he'd recently met a guy he thought might be game for the adventure; so he took me to meet Jim, who turned out to be an automotive mechanic and former member of a prestigious southern California motorcycle fraternity.  Jim was a real bruiser of a fellow, standing six foot two at about 285 pounds or so; with a big square face framed in shaggy blond hair which made him slightly resemble the actor Gary Busey.  We came with the copy of the book I had in case we needed to entice Jim with something beyond our enthusiasm.  I watched his face for clues as he read thru the booklet, occasionally raising an eyebrow here & there.   When he finished reading Jim returned the book and asked me why I wanted to go there.  I told him I wanted to film or photograph the elusive Kooshdaakaa if we got the chance, and if we drew a blank on the monster there was always the gold. 

Without hesitation Jim says; "I'm in~ as long as you're OK with capturing the thing alive and becoming millionaires!"  I think I was prepared to hear anything except that!  His comment took me so off guard I thought at first he must be joking; so I asked just to be sure.  When Jim asked me if he looked like he was joking, one glance at his face gave me my answer.  Honestly I wasn't so hot on the whole idea of going all Rambo on an established Alaskan legend but I kept that to myself, thinking that Delaney and I could talk him out of that notion once we got there.  My next surprise came when Jim volunteered to take us up there in his 30 foot cabin cruiser.  

The closest town to Thomas Bay is Petersburg some 150 miles north of Ketchikan; which is about a ten to twelve hour boat ride.  Jim had just finished overhauling the engine, and entire steering system on his cruiser.  I volunteered to pay the fuel cost both ways if Jim & Delaney would spring for food and such.  After trying for years to get to Thomas Bay, it all came together in a matter of a few hours.  The day was set, we would leave in a weeks time.  The next day I was taking a bunch of gear to the boat & stopped to get Delaney.  When I got inside I could see there was some somber & serious energy in the house.  It almost felt like there had been a tragedy or death in the family.  I asked Delaney if everyone was alright...he affirmed the whole family was just fine...but that he would not be going to Thomas Bay with me, not now, not ever.

Nana was in her rocker, but not knitting now, she was just rocking back & forth, and staring out the bay window at something only she could see.  I felt like an interloper suddenly, as if I had just made off with all the fine silver.  A gracious and swift exit seemed to be called for here so I told Delaney it was OK, and I'd call him later on.  In that house you couldn't get to the front door without passing Nana's rocking chair, and as I attempted to glide smoothly past the old lady she reached out and gently took my wrist in her aged, weathered hand and said, "You come sit." Although her voice was soft and kind I could tell it was a command, not a I kneeled down in front of her chair like a commoner granted an audience with the queen.  Still holding my hand, the old woman made eye contact...and whispered "Listen to me child...Thomas Bay is not Gem Cove...I told my grandson that if he went there and came back alive he would be changed forever, never again the same person; and I say the same to you now."

In the old days, Nana would be a tribal elder, whose word is never questioned by the very young & unwise; and so, her words ushered me into a period of introspection that night, as I wrestled for hours with my desires and Nana's wisdom.  I knew that much of her deep respect for Thomas Bay stemmed from the massive 1750 landslide there which wiped out an entire village of 500 people; earning the name "Bay of Death".  A hundred fifty years later, following the exploits described in the booklet: Thomas Bay received another nickname..."Devils Country."  These were the thoughts flowing around and around in my brain like clothes in a washer that night, and over the following days.  I respected both Nana & Delaney too much to push the issue ever again, and so it was just Jim and myself who set off for the Bay of Death the following week. 

We shoved off just after sunup on a Friday morning.  Most small boat operators in Alaska avoid running after dark on account of widowmakers; which are rogue logs so waterlogged that they float almost invisible a few inches below the surface.  They're hard enough to spot during the day, & impossible at night...& will rain all over your parade.  Aside from that there are other navigation hazards like fishing nets & whales to be avoided; so the run to Petersburg was anything but a leisurely cruise as our eyes were glued on the water ahead of us for the whole trip.  After a mostly uneventful transit up the inside passage we pulled into the transient dock at Petersburg about six PM, and of course headed straightaway to the nearest bar to celebrate the successful completion of the first leg of our Alaskan monster hunt.  

 Upon our return to the boat there was of course just the one subject for discussion.  I was pretty certain that by this time Jim was maybe somewhat less obsessed with the hair brained idea of capturing one of these "devils country" creatures.  I couldn't have been more wrong as the man began explaining how "we" would lure the creature in with fresh fish, some bacon and whatever else we had that smelled good, like the Hormel ham he'd bought for just that purpose...and then he would zap the thing with his military grade stun gun so we could wrap him up in the cargo net stowed up in the bow.  This wasn't going to be easy.  Here I was trying to conjure the right words to convince this hulking ex-biker that his idea was exploitive lunacy that could get both of us killed.  As I listened to Jim explain how once we had the creature all we had to do was keep stunning him until we got back to Petersburg to make the proper phone calls...I began to envision an entirely different outcome than what I might have imagined. 

Jim had consumed several beers at the pub in the time it took me to nurse two myself, and he continued to down a few more beers back on the boat while laying out his master plan.  When it was my turn, I asked Jim if he recalled from the booklet that these creatures were encountered in numbers and were said to be both strong & agile?  Before he could answer I added the comment that if the damn thing woke up halfway to Petersburg it would probably not take long to bash his way thru the hull of the fiberglass boat, to which he just replied; "That's what the leg irons & chains are for!"   With that Jim pulls out a rifle case, unzips it to reveal a glimmering stainless steel mini-14 assault rifle complete with scope.  He holds the gun up to show it to me saying; "and this is how I'll handle any of his buddies who give us trouble!"  

I'd wanted to get to Thomas Bay so bad that I neglected to ascertain how compatible my goals were to Jim's and had just gotten the rude awakening that there was no compatibility to be had.  Yes, I had also brought along a firearm, but for self defense, not naked aggression against another living creature.  Inwardly my gut feeling was that my adventure had been hijacked by this knuckle dragger with delusions of fame & fortune.  The way I saw things, there were but two choices available to me, equally unacceptable.  I could get off the boat at first light then wait to ride the state ferry back to Ketchikan; or I could proceed, hoping that I could convince Jim to reassess his personal goals.  The night was longer than any in recent memory as sleep was not to be had; towards dawn I finally nodded off.

A couple hours had passed when the noise of Jim making breakfast woke me up.  He was crisp as a fresh C-note and whistling away as if he hadn't a care in the world.  When he saw me stirring Jim looked over at me and asked if I was still ready to go to Thomas Bay.  Rubbing my weary eyes; I was in no mood for guile or games so I said rather flatly; "I suppose that depends on whether you still intend to capture one alive, or kill one-because that ain't why I came all this way.  I want to see one of these creatures to prove to myself they are real & if I get lucky, to get photographic evidence to prove it to the world - but not if it means harming or killing one.  So, if that much fame & fortune ain't enough for you, I'll just wish ya luck and take the blue canoe back home."   

For what seemed like forever the only sound in that boat was the bacon sizzling on the stove; Jim's mouth was  open, but no sound was coming out of it and the look on his face was approaching  comical.  While my partner's brain was in buffering mode searching for something to say I decided to exploit the sudden shift in energy by politely reminding him whose idea the trip was to begin with, and who had paid for the fuel...and that I'd be expecting a reimbursement for his return fuel if I ended up taking the ferry home.  Now to be honest I didn't feel exactly comfortable issuing ultimatums to this robust ex-biker; I just didn't see any alternative I could I softened my tone a little, adding... "Besides, dude I got my fill of violence in Vietnam, I'm just not looking for that here."  We discussed the matter over a delicious breakfast of fresh trout, bacon & coffee, which is when I realized Jim had no desire to go to devils country alone.  He seemed equally hesitant to return home without so much as a decent tall tale; so a compromise was agreed upon.  Jim promised not to harm or capture any kooshdaakaas...unless they came onto the boat, (as they had done in the Strangest Story Ever Told) and I decided I could live with that, or at least really hoped I would. 

An hour later we were making our way across Frederick Sound in three foot seas, heading straight for the bay of death.  The closer we got the more electric the energy on the boat became...we were now restless to engage this adventure on it's own terms.  The seas calmed down nicely once across the channel and the going was smooth as we slowed; approaching the mouth of this glacier formed bay.  There are shallow shoals at the entrance which can be tricky at low tide.  The northern prominence of Thomas Bay is called Point Vanderput, and includes a dwarf island with four of five trees growing on it.  The southern prominence of the entrance is called wood point and is littered with submerged rocks.  The safest way in was right down the middle, where the water is deep enough with no hazards.  It was just after high noon on this typically overcast day when we left the channel and entered the legendary bay of death, devils country! 

There was still a goodly amount of morning fog lingering over parts of the bay, giving it a decidedly creepy look as we made our way further in.  We had of course decided to take a nice slow tour of the entire bay before making any further plans, as we needed to know the 'lay of the land' and get a good sense of the place.  At the rear of the bay there are two 'arms' going left to Baird glacier the other going right towards Ruth island, and the Patterson river where the four prospectors encountered so much woe at the turn of the century.  Jim steered the boat left taking us up to check out the glacier first.  As we slowly plied the waters of Thomas Bay at trolling speed I was immediately struck by how silent the entire place was.  No birds flying or singing, no eagles riding thermals searching for meals, no fish breaching the surface feeding on mayflies & insects.  It was quiet as death itself.  Jim noticed it too, giving me a weird kind of look as he asked if it was spooky enough for me yet.

Down on the other end, on the far shore across from Ruth island there was something that we had not known about...a forest service cabin built there as shelter for hunters & fishermen who use the Bay.  Jim was all excited at the prospect of spending the night in that cabin, and wanted to anchor up, so we could take the rubber raft ashore and set up for the night.  As he prepared to set the anchor I was taking a look at the cabin thru the binoculars.  It looked sound enough...yet there was something about it I couldn't put my finger on that bugged me.  With the anchor set Jim was getting the zodiac ready when I handed him the binoculars and asked him to take a look at the cabin for me, which he did.  After a long look he hands me the glasses back and says it looks fine to him.  I have one of those pesky kind of minds that simply cannot abide a mystery and leave well enough alone.  I wanted to understand why I got a chilly feeling when I looked at that cabin so I took another look with the optics.  It took a couple of minutes but then I noticed the outside walls were covered with bullet holes. 

I didn't understand why that would set me off because you see a lot of that kind of vandalism in Alaska.  Most places they just shoot the deer crossing signs, here, we go for the whole cabin.  Regrettable as it is, those kind of jerks are everywhere you go.  I was thinking those thoughts as I continued glassing the cabin and surrounding forest for whatever it was that was giving me this creepy feeling - then I saw it.  I wasn't alarmed because there were so many bullet holes, I was alarmed because every one appeared to be an exit wound.  People shooting a forest service cabin from their boat is one thing.  Emptying your gun from inside the cabin...that is entirely something else again!!  

The raft was just about ready to use, and Jim seemed very anxious to get ashore and look around.  "Humor me and take another look at that cabin" I said as I handed him back the glasses.  I waited in anxious silence as Jim peered thru the optics...after maybe 30 seconds he says to me; "Man you gonna have to clue me in cause I don't see.....Holy Shit!!...those bullet holes are all exit wounds!"  A brief eternity passed as we just stared at each other and then the shoreline.

Jim went back inside the boat for a couple of minutes then returned to the aft deck where I was still puzzling things thru in my head. My giant ex-biker partner looks at me and says; "Ya know...the day's half wasted now anyway, why don't we sleep on the boat tonight and go ashore in the morning."  That sounded quite reasonable to me, so I added, "Yeah, right...and tonight we can just keep alert to see what goes on here after dark."  So we put out a couple of fishing lines hoping to catch dinner even though there were still no signs of life anywhere; and passed the time in harmless conversation.  Towards dusk Jim commented to me, "Say- you live out in the woods, is it always this quiet?  I don't think I've seen or heard any critters all day!"  When I answered that this silence was not normal even though the forest is sometimes called the quiet places, Jim just shrugged his big shoulders and said, "I guess that's why they call it the bay of death!"  To take our minds off of how little it took to spook us we played a few games of cribbage and then called it a day.

I couldn't help but feel a little like bait as Jim retired to the forward berth cabin while I slept on the fold down cot in the back, right by the sliding glass door leading to the back deck.  I was only marginally reassured upon discovering the door had a locking latch.  For the second night running I was getting very little sleep.  It seemed every few minutes the waves would slap the hull of the boat, or some loose piece of gear would move or shift slightly, creating a faint but audible noise.  Each & every time my eyes would pop open, looking furtively thru the sliding glass door, hoping not to see some glowing eyed Kooshdaakaa glowering back at me. 

I thought about what Nana had said to me, and why the native folk here about have such a healthy respect for this place.  The words "if you come back alive..." kept floating up from my subconscious mind to further vex my efforts at rationality.  I tried to convince myself that those bullet holes didn't mean what logic dictated they meant...I tried...but when I did finally fall asleep long enough to dream, it was about terrified campers inside that cabin shooting at creatures attacking them.  It was a very vivid & unsettling dream to be sure.  That night went by so slowly I was beginning to wonder if time was being messed with somehow when the first golden rays of dawn broke over the mountaintops.  I put on a pot of coffee then stepped out on the back deck to get my first look at the new day.  Another cloudy, overcast day with the smell of rain in the air.  When the coffee was done I took my first cup back outside to just sit and watch the bay, searching for any sign of life at all.  There was none to be seen or heard. Not even the pestering insects Alaska is famous for. 

I was on my second cup of coffee and third cigarette of the morning when Jim stumbled out to join me on the deck, still wrapped in his blanket like a refugee of some unknown tragedy.  He was strangely silent, and about the polar opposite of the previous morning.  He didn't look good, as if he'd gotten about as much sleep as me.  Jim didn't say a word to me as he nursed his morning joe.   We hadn't brought any beer with us and there was no alcohol smell on him so I knew he wasn't suffering from a hangover...he just looked exhausted.  I went inside at this point to take my turn at making breakfast; leaving Jim to his brooding silence as the day became brighter. 

About the time the hobo breakfast was ready for human consumption Jim comes ambling back inside the boat.  "Smells edible" says which I haggardly responded, "Top o' the Morn, Captain; what be our agenda for the day."  After a lengthy pause he looks right at me and said, "Well ... I figure we got what we came for and should head back to Petersburg today, and go home tomorrow."  I simply could not believe what I was hearing, he left me truly dumfounded.  I must have stammered for ten seconds before blurting out "What?"...... "Go home?? -Please explain to me how we got what we came for...I just don't understand that at all."  Jim looked me right in the eye for a long second or two before saying; "Let me put it another less ambiguous way...the boat is leaving today, you are welcome to stay here if you like."            

Now I was beyond dumbfounded, I was totally mystified at Jim's behavior, yet the tone of his voice and the cold look in his eyes banished any thought of this being some kind of joke.  The man was serious!  I tried to get him to explain how and why he'd arrived at this unilateral decision but to no avail.  He said the subject was closed, and that we were pulling anchor at noon to leave this spooky place.  By this time I knew better than to push the issue any further, to do so would simply not be wise, so I just said, "You're the Captain, leaving at noon it is."  

Jim's demeanor that morning only improved slightly upon hearing my agreement to his departure decision.  I was totally bummed out to have it all end like this, and just wanted to be alone, so I grabbed a cold soda from the fridge and climbed up to the flying bridge to sulk & ponder.  After drinking about half the soda, I set it down on the seat beside me to light up a smoke and try to calm down as I processed the days disastrous developments.  The cigarette smoke felt unusually harsh in this still, stagnant place of death, so I grabbed the soda and took a long pull.- of 100 % pure sea water!  Even as I spewed the stuff out of my mouth my mind was reeling with the implications of what I had just experienced.  I could hear Jim moving  about downstairs in the galley, and besides there was no physical way on earth he could have switched soda cans...simply not physically possible - besides he was a very long way from being in a joking mood.  I cannot accurately describe how I was feeling at that moment, but the closest I can come is that camera special effect they do in movies where the background zooms in & out behind an actor distorting the viewers perspective as it moves. All sound seemed to be on mute save for an intense ringing in my ears, the sound of reality cramps.  Everything else but this singular moment fell away from consciousness as if I needed all my brain power to deal with the cognitive dissonance created by this supernatural event. 

I felt like I was in the twilight zone, or an episode of outer it was my brain in buffering mode trying to explain what had just happened; and it could not.  Knowing I had to eliminate the unlikely explanation of false taste impression; I took another sip from the soda can.  Still, pure sea water!  I took the can downstairs with me, sat myself down at the galley table, and in what I know was a cracking voice, I says to Jim- "Ya know Cap, why the hell wait for noon, lets haul ass right now!"  My partner looks at me kinda strangely with a very curious look on his large square face.  He didn't have to say a word, I knew that look meant what has gotten into you.  Saying nothing, I just handed him the soda can.  He looked at the can then took a tentative sip, and spewed it all right in the sink.  Neither of us spoke for a good two minutes...we just sat there looking stupid at each other.  Then, very calmly, Jim says, "I saw you take that from the fridge and go upstairs where there is no seawater, and I saw you return without leaning over the where did the seawater come from?"   My answer was simply, "I am ready to go home now Jim, do we have to wait till noon?"  Thirty seconds later I was hauling up the anchor while Captain Jim fired up the engine to take us out of devils country.  

We made our way past Ruth island and turned left towards the bay's entrance, checking the tide book for depths and the chart for hazards.  The last thing we wanted was to be stranded in this place.  With Spurt point falling away behind us on our starboard side we had a clear shot to the channel so Jim gave it the throttle and just as we gained speed, the brand new steering system installed a week earlier failed and the boat careened off toward the rocky shore.  Jim reduces speed, and steering capability suddenly returns.  When he speeds back up - the steering goes out and we head for the rocks again.  Repeating this three times was enough to convince us there was a major malfunction.  The steering system was not at all easily accessible while underway so it wasn't feasible to try to repair it until we were in safe harbor in Petersburg.  We absolutely didn't want to spend another minute in Thomas bay so we did the only thing we could do; which was to "aim" the boat as best we could once in the open channel, then increase speed as long as possible before we had to slow down and re-aim the boat.  It was like playing leap frog with ourselves the whole way to Petersburg, and it took the better part of the day to finally arrive back at the transient dock.

The trip back to town had been so hectic & intense the only conversation was about navigation and seamanship.  With the expedition back in safe harbor and the boat secured I stepped off onto the dock without a word and made my way up to the pub for some much needed liquid therapy.  Half an hour later Jim shows up, parks himself beside me and ordered a beer.  We drank in silence, not even looking at each other.  We were both oblivious to the atmosphere in the bar, as if we were the only ones in the place.  As my third beer was winding down I turned to Jim, gesturing with my index finger I said, "Ya know..."  Jim cut me off immediately, and angrily snapped "Listen, nothing happened over there, nothing...and that is what I have to say, nothing. Don't you ever mention the subject or ask me any questions because I have nothing to say, period, end of discussion."  

The look on his face was that of a man not to be trifled with; and I was certain then and now that if I had pushed the issue any further the man would have punched me out to punctuate his point.  After a reasonable silence I looked over at my former partner and said, "Hey, Ya know what, all I was going to say was I'm gonna get a room in town tonight, can't handle that bunk on the boat...I need a shower & good sleep, so I'll just go do that and get my stuff out of your way."   The look on the man's face was that of someone who had just had their hospitality insulted.  " I'm sorry I snapped at you" he said; "it's been a grueling couple of days, that's all.  Don't waste money on a hotel, you ain't in my way cause I'm not working on that boat tonight."  This guy was beginning to make me think he was bi-polar with all his sudden mood swings, and I'd had about all of his company I could stand, so I got that hotel room and spent another sleepless night trying to figure out just where in my world view I was going to store the memories from the bay of death.  I had to rearrange my belief system to account for the supernatural, either that or end up like poor Jim.

The following morning having had breakfast in town I made reservations on the afternoon ferry back to Ketchikan; then strolled down to the transient dock to say my farewells to captain Jim.  I simply couldn't believe my eyes as I approached the boat.  Jim and two other fellows were trying to keep his boat from sinking at the dock.  Fortunately Jim slept aboard the boat so he heard the bilge alarm when it went off, and was able to start the pump.  The other guys were preparing to tow the boat over to the haul out to get in on dry land.  Out of sheer curiosity I hung around until they got the boat up on blocks.  The problem was spotted right away, as in addition to the steering malfunction, the boot seal on the engines lower unit had several puncture holes in the thick rubber, allowing seawater to seep into the boat.  Jim & I stared at the holes, then each other.  He just silently shook his head as if to remind me of his words from the night before.  I raised my hands as if to 'surrender' and said kinda laughing..."I ain't sayin a single word ... except I'll see you back in Ketchikan." 

My experience at the bay of death remained my central focus for several days after returning home.  It wasn't enough to just keep rolling it all over in my brain, I had to somehow come to terms with it, to understand and accept it, and for that, I needed to go visit Nana.  When I called Delaney he said come right over as he was anxious to hear of the adventure.  As I was describing the trip to them Nana would occasionally nod her head a little, but said nothing until I was finished.  She asked her grandson to fix her a cup of tea, and when he'd left the room, Nana leans closer to me and said this: "Now you know, because your soul is strong enough to know; as for my grandson...I'm just not sure his mind would have survived.  You have been touched by the Kooshdaakaa child, and they gave you a gift to remember them by."

A couple weeks later I ran into Jim at the hardware store, and asked how it went with the boat repairs.  "Funny thing about that, as it turns out, there was nothing whatsoever wrong with the steering, it was in perfect working order!   Boats, man...go figure...that thing was a lemon, so I sold it."  That was the last time I ever saw captain Jim, as a few weeks later I heard he'd moved back to the lower 48.  

I have pondered my experiences in Thomas bay many times over the ensuing years and the one thought that just keeps defying understanding is, what the hell happened to Jim?  Clearly each of us had been touched by the Kooshdaakaa but in very different ways.  My experience left me with a feeling of wonder and enlarged my universe to include the truly paranormal; while Jim's experience left him a shattered man immersed in fear and denial.  Nana's words echo back to me "If you go there and make it back alive, it will change you forever."

Sometimes when you go looking for the magic, it finds you.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Blackhawks over Boston


My soul was restless all night, like a flat stone skipping over calm water...I just couldn't sink into deep sleep.  Experience has taught me not to fight it if it persists, so I surrendered around 4 AM and got up to start my day.  As soon as I fired up my laptop I understood why my soul was is April 19th, and right on cue, we have an escalation in the Boston false flag bombings...which at this point seem to have been pulled off by seal team members and the FBI, of course.

 I covered the whole April 19 scenario in a recent post, Waiting for the Black Swan, so I won't go into that detail here just now except to say that for several weeks I have had the darkly unpleasant feeling that this April 19 would go down in history as being equal to Waco, and the OKC bombing.  That feeling was amplified greatly when I turned on the TV to follow the "coverage" of unfolding events to see numerous Urban Assault Vehicles prowling the locked down streets of Watertown as Military Blackhawk helicopters circled overhead like vultures searching for carrion.  Sometimes I really hate being right.

 I have been watching these kinds of false flag aftermaths ever since the CIA killed JFK and then hunted down their patsy Lee Harvey Oswald.  I was watching when Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner in Dallas was allowed into the police parking garage with a pistol so he could kill Oswald.  That was the second murder broadcast on live TV that week, and it leaves an impression.  It is designed for that effect.  From so many recent examples, we all know what is going to happen next.  The powers that be will continue to shift the story around many times to cover their mistakes and ineptitude, until it becomes impossible to discern what really happened.  Another built-in design feature of the post-modern, pre-apocalyptic false flag scenario.  You would think that after so many staged productions like this the powers that be would be much better and smoother at this sort of thing, but evidently practice doesn't always make perfect!  Then again, I remember times when they were slicker, and sneakier with these types of black ops; so maybe it isn't that they are suddenly becoming the 'keystone cops' as much as it is they are now so close to the final endgame of their agenda 21 master plan, they just don't care anymore if we can see thru their lies or not.

 Already we have seen several of these mis-directions what with the wrong photos being released of the two dark skinned "suspects" then the totally false report on CNN that they had arrested two "Caucasian" males yesterday, when no such thing had yet occurred. Like they always do, they are stirring the waters and flushing the toilets to create a nasty screen of pure excrement with which to conceal the beleaguered truth.  Earlier this week we had the confusing issue of the "Family Guy" Boston Marathon episode which also changed a couple of times before the 'facts' seemed to settle into place.  This is just another debacle like Aurora and Sandy Hook, where the puppet masters divert and distract with this where's Elmo, whack-a-mole routine designed to make us give up trying to understand what really happened.  Don't fall for it! 

 I am not by nature an investigative journalist, just a digger following the flow of truth and listening to what my gut tells me, so this is more of a rage against the machine because I find it simply impossible to keep these thoughts to myself as this nasty piece of treason unfolds before us, once again.  The air over Massachusetts is full of bovine excrement as well as Blackhawk gunships today.  The talking heads want to talk about everything except those photos showing military seal team members with bulging backpacks, and just what they were doing there before and after Monday's bombings?

In all the hours of 'reporting' no one seems to want to address this issue, as well as several others, such as yesterday's fake arrest report.  Why is there a no-fly zone over Watertown, are they thinking this suspect at large is going to steal an aircraft...or are they just making sure there are no embarrassing videos of them covering up and destroying evidence?  Besides, faking a massive manhunt gives them the pretense to do house to house searches so they can enter & search every  home without a warrant.  This isn't over yet, this is just a dress rehearsal for the feature presentation coming soon to a neighborhood near you. 

 I can just see it all play out from this point.  The current manhunt will conclude with the death of the remaining patsy brother, but the suspected third accomplice will go uncaught so that we all have that boogeyman rummaging around in our subconscious saying he might strike anywhere, any time.  Once things settle down a bit more, we're going to see the same knee-jerk BS as we have so recently seen with the gun control hysteria; only this time it will be cries from every political hack & pundit that we must ban black powder for reloading ammo because the bombs were made with that.  It will go on for weeks getting shriller by the day until the Obama tries to push thru new black powder control bills in congress.  When he does, I hope the quisling cowards throw it right back in his face. 
I just really don't get it.  Israel kills people every single day, but no politicians want to outlaw them, because they are all so protective of that rogue terrorist state.  The Obama administration currently has two separate & parallel drone programs; one run by the CIA and the other run by DOD.  Both programs are actively seeking out and killing scores of people every day, including children, and Obama wants to do the same on American home soil...and nobody carries on non-stop for a week or two over that travesty.  We are to just accept all those deaths as OK because they are not us.  As the old saying goes, if we don't start taking this bastards toys away from him real soon, there will be nobody left to protest when those hellfire rockets are hitting houses in your neighborhood! Something to think about. 

Something else to ponder is where are "they" going with all this emphasis on these 2 brothers being from Chechnya, and making trips to Russia, and recently being "radicalized."  It just sounds way too much like deja vu if you ask me.  Seen it all before and unlike so many of my countrymen, I have a relatively good memory for this type of stuff.  It's the patented false flag formula hard at work one more time.  Only this time I don't think it will fade away after a few dozen news cycles.  This time I think we may see something the magnitude of 911 or even bigger, all the earmarks are in place.  The daily demands for gun control following Sandy Hook continue and grow louder; and as I said will soon be joined by a cacophony of the same idiot politicians wailing for the government to ban black powder, and restrict how much ammunition legal gun owners can buy.  After all we can't have people breaking open thousands of bullets in order to get black powder for bomb making.

 If they are really that determined to save lives how come they don't ban backyard swimming pools because last year nearly 1200 kids under the age of five drowned in backyard pools, so where is the outrage over them?  Where are the emotional pleas for the banning of backyard swimming pools.  In 2011, between Memorial day and June 28th 48 children under five years old died in backyard pools; but we have yet to see such wall to wall coverage of those deaths...accompanied by fervent demands for justice because the government hasn't yet declared war on backyard money in that!

 I'd like everyone reading this to take a good long look at those photos and videos of the urban assault vehicles covered with armed mercenaries, and those military helicopter gunships.  Get real accustomed to seeing them on the streets of your hometown real soon if what I'm feeling is correct.  Instead of winding down as they usually do, this Massachusetts scenario may very well flow right into a larger, more widespread national emergency requiring martial law to be declared; especially so if yet another 'event' goes ballistic at the same time.  For more than a week straight recently we were subjected to around the clock "coverage" of Kim Jong Un's nuclear a launch was imminent...danger, Will Robinson, danger!!  Did you notice how all that BS immediately went away when the bombs went off in Boston?  Did the tiny tyke suddenly change his mind, or was he just telling his servant to re-heat the take-out when he said he wanted the Chinese nuked?  It just seems awful fishy to me, and it should to you as well.

Clearly the last several weeks have seen a significant ramping up of false flag attacks, manufactured fear, constant anti-gun, anti-freedom rhetoric from all the talking heads & Feds across the land.  This is way more than just a little street theater to keep our attention away from the continuing torpedoing of the world financial system.  The pieces are falling into place now and will continue to do so until one day we will awake to find ourselves penniless, homeless and on the way to a FEMA camp somewhere...unless we snap out of it and remove all these psychopathic parasites from power, where ever they are!  Should we begin right now?  Or maybe wait a bit longer, until it is You who wakes up to the sound of Blackhawk helicopters flying overhead some morning in the not too distant future.

" I didn't say it would be easy, Neo.  I just said it would be the truth."

 Until Next time ~ Be Good to Each Other

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