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This week we were given a task to watch, research and work on a film. Our group was assigned the film Jacob’s Ladder.
Jacob’s Ladder Image – (Image sourced from Itcher.Com)
Watching it the first time, I found it interesting, unique and a bit confusing. It contains a vast amount of detail, thought and several themes. The film presents many standpoints, varying from Political views and Governmental schemes to Religious ideas of purgatory and the afterlife. Therefore, making it a film that you need to rewatch again and again to get the full meaning from it and fully understand what is happening.
Rough Plot/Film Synopsis
The film focuses almost entirely on a scarred soldier, Jacob Singer, who struggles to piece his life together…
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One of the things I do on interminable business trips is re-read John Keel. He is a mild sensationalist and much more of a journalist / entertainer than rigorous researcher or ‘scientific’ analyst, but he was no fool. It’s unfortunate he self-censored his writings, and edited them according to his prejudice de jour about the unexplained Forteana that interested him.
Despite that, he was by far the best recorder of the strange of his era.
In relation to Mothman, it seems to me that several different phenomena were noticed at the same broad span of time – an unknown flying cryptid, possibly even Batsquatch based on two of the witness testimony descriptions; some misidentifed rare but known birds; a paranormal / hallucinatory grue or other boogum type scary presence; and something that, despite some overtly organic features – a bird like or bat like form – in all other respects conforms to machine, not living, behavior.
The description of the woman screaming / baby crying / loud mouse squeak type noise is something I have heard in the Pacific, and which seems to be made in the case of the Pacific creature by some sort of thumping great bat or nocturnal bird, more likely a bat or something else with echo location. Rare, weird, somewhat unidentified – but a real living critter.
However in the case of Mothman there is also the set of accounts where televisions blow up, radios screech and hum and people feel a creepy presence at the same time. To me, that sounds like high energy radio or radar, ie electromagnetism sweeping in a ray or beam. I don’t mean a death ray, but I am wondering if it was radar or a FM control beam for some earlier version of a drone as they have come to be called.
People in the Ohio Valley saw, en masse, ‘lights in the sky’ etc. of the same type described in the Dulce case, which means, most likely, that the same MAN MADE secret lighter than air craft was involved. If that craft, which it is documented used Scooby Doo villain type disguises to hide what it was, was in the area, might it also be the case that a “bat winged” somewhat humanoid drone was also used? It’s easy to forget that fan-driven drones were being developed as early as 1952, were described in general terms in boy’s comics and magazines by 1961, and were used by the Navy as early as 1962 for public, or at least not hidden away, missile testing.
Given the existence of drones able to “take straight off flying straight up in the air” it is striking when some Mothman witnesses describe identical behavior of this ‘man-shaped’ but unmoving figure.
I kind of suspect that the Big Bird, the ‘real’ Mothman familiar to the locals around Point Pleasant, ended up being investigated on the QT by say Navy or DIA. To do so without attracting attention they hid themselves within the existing phenomena – as happend at Dulce – just like a Scooby Doo villain using an existing legend as cover. In other words, they set a (man-made) UFO to catch a (they knew for a fact wasn’t a man-made) UFO / cryptid.
It’s a way out idea and it’s pure speculation, but that is one of the things I love the most about John Keel’s work, it is inspiring for these sorts of flights of speculation. He is easier to read than Charles Fort, but very much in the same rich tradition.
Page 73 to 74 of Our Haunted Planet by John Keel:
John A. Keel, from the introduction to the 1975 paperback edition of ‘Our Haunted Planet’: