Chapter 14

My Enemy’s Friends Are My Friends


If I could give up the habit of sleeping, I’d be on the right track. I’ve tried, but can drink only so much coffee and drop only so many stimulants (how I miss the “old days” of the 1970s when benzedrine flowed, friendly as a handshake).

But we live in different times, intolerant and stupid. Nothing closes, but at least the pay sucks. Don’t get me wrong–I love America, which is why I write what follows.

The field of so-called paranormal investigation has become a media event–for good or ill. Mostly ill. Seemingly controlled by people with whom I would have a hard time sitting across the table, sipping beer, forking (if very lucky) Asian delights. Said-producers would be unfailingly polite, perhaps even tolerate my request for a few shots of Pernod. Or Perrier. Or even a glass of tap water.

You know what I’m talking about. I went so far, based on a trailer tacked on to a horror movie, as to purchase a season of so-called ghost-hunters. So have you. It all looks so scary and fetching and right–but it isn’t.

Can anyone with enough budget go out and buy nifty plastic devices that measure the electromagnetic background of any space? Of course. That device will indeed bring out a certain amount of activity, brought to us by whoever caused the Big Bang (not a theory). A measure of background radiation, which proves…something. Especially, well, background radiation. Anywhere you care to enter will give this–abandoned structure, Wal-mart, a swimming pool, or empty forest. The earth has a magnetic signature. Period.

Does this negate the genuine results recorded by paranormal investigators? No. I have personally–in Point Pleasant, West Virginia–seen the reality of above-average readings. This is inarguable. Does it mark gateways to other dimensions? I can’t say. But it does mark  something, and I was impressed by just how far these “common” people went to rule out natural emanations. Much more than I ever did.

So what’s going on?

I hope anyone reading this is aware of the entire Point Pleasant, West Virginia events of 1966-1967, which are chronicled in John Keel’s 1975 book THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES. I don’t assume this, so will very briefly relate the “facts.”

Many people in PP reported encounters–terrifying, even physically damaging–with a 7-foot-tall entity that resembled a bat, with terrible glowing red eyes. Many of these sightings took place 7 miles north of PP, in a closed-down space known as the TNT area. This vast zone, during World War II, was used to develop and test weapons–explosives. Thousands worked there, not commonly known until quite recently. Picture it as a sort of Area 51 without the glitter. I admit to having a hard time understanding why workers were driven there in school buses with blacked-out windows.

Having visited PP several times, all I can think is this: How could employees NOT know where they were being taken? Even blindfolded–which they weren’t–they would know only one road (Route 62) leads to their job. Completely absurd–yet that’s what was done. The only thing that makes sense to me, since I grew up with daily drills (1965 until 1968) designed to teach us how to “survive” a nuclear attack, was that of pure unmitigated terror of being bombed by Russia and/or China. Have no doubt, this was taken very seriously, for all the good it might have done. And it scared the ever-loving shit out of us.

As it no doubt did across vast America. It sure as hell scared me and my little smart-ass friends. I can only imagine the dread felt by my mother and father, who probably were subjected to the same drills at their work-place. This was fiercely serious stuff, hard for anyone younger to imagine. My strongest memory of school is when JFK was assassinated.  The teachers I so liked became shouting, weeping, terrified caricatures. Lighting cigarettes in the hallways, shouting, completely losing it. “The Russians killed Kennedy! Jesus Christ, we’re gonna die!” Not one effort to protect us kids, and that terrified me. My mother–one mile away–came in and shoved me into the car. “What’s going on?” I asked, already in tears seeing my teachers so upset. “Where’s Dad?”

25 miles away, working in Cleveland, my father of course had heard the bad news. I can’t imagine his terror, but he was already home, trying to be calm. “A man shot the president,” he said, “we might be attacked.”

Already afraid, I said: “What do we do?”

My stoic, gentle father said: “Get batteries for the radio and bring them to the basement. And Fritos and hot dogs.”

I did not understand what was happening, even though I’d been told. It wasn’t real. But seeing my parents so afraid really shocked me. What could they say? “Well, Billy, we’re gonna be all right.” They clearly didn’t believe that, no doubt expecting a Russian (or Chinese) nuclear attack. It has been said, and I don’t know how true, that our famous enemies had a contingency-plan, in the event of presidential assassination. Perhaps the very first “conspiracy” theory. But I think that might very well have been real. Why would communist powers NOT think of this?

Thank God–or whoever’s in charge–that JFK feared this scenario–big-time–and had put trusted associates in place for exactly this terrible possibility. Akin to the Cuban missile crisis, which brought the world as close to nuclear war as possible, JFK knew that not everyone in power loved him or his policies. He maintained a very brave ideal: If we ever are threatened with nuclear annihilation, make the call. He probably actually said: Make the fucking call. Do not piss around with this.

Which meant, pick up the phone, talk to our enemies. What’s going on? We came within hours of nuclear annihilation–which means the world came within hours of certain death and nothingness. How’s that for pure terror?

Today that possibility sounds ridiculous–even impossible. It isn’t. We’ve got serious trouble between India and…you know. Would anyone with a brain actually drop a nuke? Hard to say. Obviously, we hope not. There are those who believe in limited strikes with nukes. No such thing, and you don’t need me to tell you. For it is the aggression behind such an act that tells all–despair, horror, hopelessness. Not to mention the possibility of some pissed-off country having the money to buy plutonium. Something to think about.

On the other gladder hand, is anyone stupid enough to make that move? I sure hope not. Mostly because we’re set on a hair-trigger regarding any attack–nuclear or otherwise. The recent “revelations” (wake up, the NSA has been monitoring us for decades) of National Security Agency misdeeds should not be pissed on. As much as I hate the very idea, what are we to do? 

NSA has access to all communications. Someone must, right? It scares me. To know that if I dare type the word “terrorist,” NSA is flagging that–as they no doubt just did. They also know that I’m a guy writing about NSA–not trying to hide anything. But it still scares me.

Are the enemies of my enemies my friends? I can’t say, since I don’t actually know who might be my enemies. But more and more, I feel uneasy even in the comparative luxury of writing this blog. Is anyone paying attention? Of course. My only hope is for the watchers to slide a Neil Young CD into the player, the one that shouts: “Keep on rockin’ in the free world.”

It’s playing right here right now, my friends. Even a Canadian like Mr. Young can appreciate that absolute freedom to express our feelings, thoughts, fears, and hopes. I leave you with this simple task: Keep on rockin’ in the whole world…the one we share…the one we love.


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