Kansas City investigators report that a feathered costume may have caused a cable to malfunction, initiating the fall that killed Owen Hart, a wrestler for the WWF. Other rumors include suggestions of murder by dominance-degradation elements among WWF executive elements. The 34-year-old Hunt plummetted 90-feet from the top Kemper Arena in Kansas City on May 23. Kansas City police say feathers from Hart's A quick release mechanism jammed on a harness holding the wrestler because of the feathers. The harness was to lower Hart into the ring, as part of an effort to humiliate him. Dominance, degradation, humiliation--themes that help explain recent affiliation between the wrestling world and politics.
In 1989 the Globe tabloid newspaper reprinted charges made by former CIA agent Robert Morrow that Pakistani native Khalid Khawar (named Ali Ahmand by Morrow) assassinated Robert Kennedy with a gun disguised as a camera, on behalf of the shah of Iran. Morrow made the claim in his 1988 book, The Senator Must Die. Khawar filed a defamation suit that ended with a $1,175,000 award. The California Supreme Court upheld the judgement last year and on May 17, the US Supreme Court let the verdict stand "without comment or dissent." The decision ignored arguments by the Globe's lawyers that the case "seriously threatens the right of the media to accurately report previously published allegations of public concern''--which would include book reviews as well as news items based on controversial books--should be protected against libel lawsuits.
Mr. Hitchens had a brush with high notoriety (although already rightfully well-known and respected) a few weeks ago when he reported that he heard the story about Monica Lewinsky stalking Clinton from Sydney Blumenthal, the White House conspiracy theorist (known as "GK" for "Grassy Knoll"). Clinton once told Blumenthal that he felt trapped, like the character Rubashov in Arthur Koestler's novel, Darkness At Noon. Interestingly, in a recent column for The Nation, Mr. Hitchens mentions that one of the Serb anti-fascist internationalists he stays in contact with is Dusan Makavejev, the filmmaker responsible for WR-Mysteries of the Organism, a fairly wretched misfire of a documentary (identified by Hitchens as "one of the defining movies of the seventies") that nevertheless contains the only available footage of Wilhelm Reich. At one time, Reich and Koestler shared a red cel.
There's a book out about the Rhodes scholars: Cowboys into Gentlemen, (sic!) Rhodes Scholars, Oxford and the Creation of an American Elite by Thomas J. Schaeper and Kathleen Schaeper (Berghahn Books, NY and Oxford, 1998). Not a very good book, though full of interesting fragments on US Rhodies. In chapter 15 the authors consider the conspiracy theories around Rhodies, miss out Quigley! but say this on p 338:
"Most of the leading exponents of this conspiracy theory are little known to the general public, but they have thousands of devoted fanatical fellow-believers. From the late 1940s to the present day they have churned out thousands (??? -RR) of books and newsletters claiming to provide incontrovertible proof of their charges. Two of the most famous books are Rose L. Martin's Fabian Freeway: High Road to Socialism in the USA (1989) and Gary Allen's None Dare Call it Conspiracy (1971). One of the more influential periodicals espousing these views is aptly titled Steamshovel."
The aptly bit I don't get ...old fashioned? Heavy industry? Blue collar?
Ever notice how books written years ago often make for more satisfying reading than the bulk of what is being churned out today? This seems to be true particularly when it comes to UFOS. Nostalgics will be delighted with Flying Saucers Over Los Angeles, a previously unpublished student dissertation written by DeWayne B. Johnson in 1950. Kenn Thomas, editor of Steamshovel Press, stumbled on this valuable historical document while researching the controversial Maury Island affair.The well-researched manuscript contains reports from 1947-1950, a time when America's skies seemed infested with UFOS. Johnson focuses on Los Angeles in 1950, before the flurry of saucer books published from the mid- 1950s through the 1960s. Of particular note is information Johnson gleaned from a friendly United Press International correspondent about Kenneth Arnold, whose 1947 "flying saucer" sighting near Mt. Rainier kicked off the modern era in ufology. These early interviews with Arnold portray him as a paranoid man, irrationally worried about hidden microphones, who believed the saucers were somehow connected to a rash of mystery submarine reports off the U.S. coast. Johnson presents an impartial face as he seeks explanations, giving consideration to hoaxes, secret government projects, extraterrestrial theories, and psychosocial factors. Debunkers have their say, no matter how convoluted their logic. One Australian physiologist, for example, endorses the idea that UFO reports are caused by the effect of "red corpuscles ... passing in front of the retina." Flying Saucers Over Los Angeles is lavishly illustrated with vintage saucer material and an eye-popping color section of archival FATE covers and UFO photos. UFO historians will treasure this superb chronology of the events that marked the beginning of ufology. - Peter Jordan
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