March 8th, 2016 – With so many explorers taking the final journey lately, it can be difficult just continuing. I’m so thankful for all the friends and family I have who are still here with me, with us, as we continue moving forward through spacetime.
This week’s newsletter was particularly difficult… I’ve been meaning for some time to mention the passing last year of “Texas ParaCryptozoologist” Rob Riggs. I’d known him since late 2001, early 2002, after I became aware of his book In the Big Thicket: On the Trail of the Wild Man. We went on an overnight expedition together into the wilds along the Sabine River with fellow Texas bigfoot seeker, Chester Moore. I’d see Rob speak of his alternative perspectives at various Texas Bigfoot conferences and host him and friends in my living room, interviewing him for a feature article in the Austin Para Times newspaper I was editing. When Rob was managing the local Natural Awakenings magazine, he sponsored the Anomaly Archives’ biggest ever event, the Texas Ghost Lights Conference featuring me as Master of Ceremonies, plus speakers including Rob, Nick Redfern, Paul Devereux, and James Bunnell. The last time I saw Rob was at his July 2014 presentation to the Anomaly Archives. Then last November, I got word that he’d passed away. I was asked to speak at his memorial and I did. I told his friends and family about my experiences with him, about how his research was received by fellow bigfoot seekers, told them about his support of the Anomaly Archives and about our strange experience on the Sabine River with Chester Moore. I also heard many wonderful stories from his numerous friends and spiritual seekers. It was a truly moving memorial for a man who dared to ask about possibilities. You can read more about him and his legacy at the links below. At that link you can also find photos of the the text of his last book, Bigfoot: Exploring the Myth & Discovering the Truth, for pages 100-103 wherein Rob relates the trip we took on the Sabine River with Chester… when the engine synchronistically cut-out after repeated mentioning of ‘El Diablo.’
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Sadly, Rob was but one of many losses to the Cryptozoology Community this past year or so. You can find many excellent memorials to those other fine researchers as chronicled by researcher Loren Coleman at his CryptoZooNewsand Twilight Language websites in our “Leaving a Legacy” section below.
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Meanwhile, there has been yet another passing of someone whom I and others found inspirational, right here in Austin, Texas: local artist and “Unofficial Mayor of South Austin” Henry Gonzalez. I met Henry and his wife Leea several years ago when my then girlfriend (now my wife) was working with them on the non-profit that they had founded. South Pop (South Austin Popular Culture Center) “collects, conserves, and exhibits vintage posters and live music ephemera from the 1960s through today to educate future generations on the rich and unique culture that makes Austin the Live Music Capital of the World.” In 2010 I became better friends with Henry and Leea as they helped me host a fun science-fiction pop-culture film-series outdoors at the South Pop facility on South Lamar. We launched the Summer Flying Saucer Cinema Series 2010, projecting such SciFi classics as Quatermass & the Pit, aka Five Million Years to Earth!, Invaders from Mars, and Starship Invasions. Henry lived an amazing and inspirational life. “Primarily known for his murals and outdoor art installations… he was part of the Armadillo Art Squad at the legendary Armadillo World Headquarter… spent time as the stage manager for the Austin Opera House and for the AFM free concert series… [and] on the road with touring bands” [including on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s final tour].
Just as we’ve been chronicling the passing of giants in our field of study, so too had Henry Gonzalez been chronicling the passing of Austin’s giants in the fields of art, music, and popular culture. One of his many achievements was “maintaining a vast altar to Austin’s departed musicians and artists. No one deserves placement on that wall more than Henry Gonzalez.”
You can read more about Henry in the “Leaving a Legacy” section below, online at our Anomaly Archives page, and in this article (Playback: The Mayor’s Plan to Save Austin Music Mayor – Steve Adler addresses the elephant in the club, Susan Antone honored, and Henry Gonzalez goes to the head of the Austin poster artist altar) by Kevin Curtin, in the March 4th edition of the Austin Chronicle(Volume 35, Number 27 – e-edition | pdf).
[Portrait of Henry Gonzales by Kerry Awn]
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In lieu of our usual Book-of-the-Week, we’ve got a brief article by researcherScott Corralles reflecting on his interactions with rare book seller and independent publisher Bob Girard. Scott is the editor of Inexplicata – The Journal of Hispanic Ufology and corresponded with Bob for several years. After you readScott’s article you can read other past memorials and reflections about Mr. Girard at our Anomaly Archives website including our Bob Girard Collection page, searchable Catalog, Clas Svahn’s farewell to Bob Girard, and The Legacy of Bob Girard – An Interview with SMiles Lewis.
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As with each issue of our weekly newsletter, we have a wealth of News Headlines from around the globe.
Among those which particularly caught our attention and imagination this week were yet another in a long series of “strange” teaching exercises that have been enacted repeatedly at schools in England. In my 2013 lecture, The Fantastic Facts About UFOs, Altered States of Consciousness, and Mind-at-Large – UFOs & Consciousness: Part Two, I mentioned that there had been at least nine such events like this between 2008 and 2013 in which the Department for Children, Schools and Families had employed staged scenarios involving UFO crashes, alien abductions of teachers, a bloody crime scene, and even a terrifying World War 3 simulation involving sirens, videos of global catastrophe, and fireworks. Well they are at it again… check out the link in the Headlines section below.
Meanwhile, a recent article from RoadTrippers.com highlights the “hidden gems” at the Capitol Reef National Park. This reminded me of the last “Kook Out” that my friends and fellow para-seekers, writers, and researchers from the old 1990s zine scene went on back in 2003. We converged in Capitol Reef National Park and had a wonderful time hiking and sight-seeing. As always with these gatherings, we told weird stories around the campfire and enjoyed each others’ company. In the spirit of that trip I include a picture of myself below in which I am posing in front of one of the barricaded uranium mines, complete with radioactive warning sign.
We hope you enjoy this latest edition of the weekly email newsletter.