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Lyle Zapato

Of Bees And Men: The Riddle Of The Flying Saucers

Lyle Zapato | 2015-01-27.0490 LMT | Paraterrestrials | Technology | Cascadia


(Click for full dustjacket.)

Did super-intelligent Martian bees visit Earth in flying saucers to observe us and examine the stockpile of gold at Fort Knox, concerned that we were on the verge of destroying the Sun? According to Gerald Heard in his book The Riddle of the Flying Saucers: is another World watching? (1950), that is the only conclusion that agrees with the facts surrounding the riddle of the saucers.

I have the original UK edition; there's also a US edition with the title and subtitle flipped. (The 1953 Bantam edition has two new chapters covering sightings outside the US and up to '53, among other changes -- full text here).

This was the second nonfiction book ever published on the flying saucer phenomenon, the same year as The Flying Saucers Are Real by Donald Keyhoe. Although Keyhoe's book was more influential among UFOlogists, Heard's cover art matches more closely what became the popular image of flying saucers, even if his theories about the saucers' pilots were more unconventional.

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Lyle Zapato

The Reed Hollow Earth Exploring Club

Lyle Zapato | 2015-01-11.6510 LMT | Hollow Earth

Special Correspondence to The Press.

NEW YORK, April 13.—The Wm. Reed Hollow Earth Exploring club has just been incorporated. The purpose of this strange organization is to prove by experiment that the earth is hollow and that such a thing as a north or a south pole does not exist.

It is the theory of the men planning the trip to the inside of the earth that there's a hole where the north pole ought to be. By means of balloons, submarine boats, gyroscopes and high explosives they expect to slip over the edge of the earth's crust into the inside of the shell and there find continents and kingdoms yet unseen.

The executive committee of the club has talked of two starting points for their explorations. One is in Norway and the other in Greenland. Roy Knahenshue, the aeronaut, has been asked to take charge of the balloon experiments.

Wm. Reed, the former insurance man who heads the club, says it is prepared to spend $1,500,000.

"It's time for action now—not a time for mere talking," said Reed when seen at his home. "But the earth is hollow and our investigations will soon prove it. The poles so long sought are but phantoms. There are openings at the southern and northern extremities of the earth. In the interior are vast continents, oceans, mountains and rivers. Vegetable and animal life is evident in this new world. And it is possibly peopled by races yet unknown by dwellers on the earth's surface."

"Our equipment is to be nothing but the best," said W. S. Rookey, the business manager. "We shall use Holland boats, dirigible balloons, wireless telephone and telegraph and the gyroscope—in fact anything that will be of value."

The gyroscope is to be used in place of a compass for the reason that the compass has been proven unreliable by previous explorers. John P. Holland, inventor of the submarine, and Hiram Maxim, the maker of explosives, have been asked for their opinions on the expedition. Holland believes his boat can operate under ice, and Maxim says it can be liberated by the use of nitrogelatin.

[The Spokane Press, 1908-04-13, p.4.]

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Lyle Zapato

Ajooba Kudrat Kaa: Yeti I Love You!

Lyle Zapato | 2015-01-02.9580 LMT | Sasquatch Issues | Entertainment

Happy New Year again! Here's a 1991 Bollywood film called Ajooba Kudrat Kaa (English: The Magnificent Guardian) about a young girl, Sasha, who befriends a Yeti and helps save him from yetinappers. Skip ahead to 1:06 in the clip above for the song and dance number, "Yeti I Love You!"

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Lyle Zapato

Woodrow Wilson In The Clamp Of A Yeti

Lyle Zapato | 2015-01-01.0000 LMT | Sasquatch Issues | Simulacra | Politics

Happy New Year! Here's US President Woodrow Wilson being delimbed by a Yeti with the help of a knight monster (representing the Cotton Trust and the Steel Trust, respectively), by Rudolf Herrmann, from a cover of Die Muskete (1916-03-30), an Austrian humor weekly.

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Lyle Zapato

Octopus: Devil Of The Trees

Lyle Zapato | 2014-12-29.0300 LMT | Cephalopods | Weyerhaeuser Conspiracy

'OCTOPUS: DEVIL OF THE TREES'

In less enlightened times, traveling sideshow exhibits, such as this one by Glen "Bones" Hartzell from 1942, demonized tree octopuses to the ignorant masses. This and other fear-inducing anti-octopus propaganda was concocted by the Timber Industry to encourage the eradication of tree octopuses, which they viewed as a threat to their profits. Read the updated Tree Octopus page for more info...

Lyle Zapato

"Sword of Fire": Mind-Controlling Alien Jungle Octopods

Lyle Zapato | 2014-12-14.9600 LMT | Cephalopods | Mind Control | Paraterrestrials | Weyerhaeuser Conspiracy | Entertainment

Illustration from the novella "Sword of Fire" by Emmett McDowell, published in the Winter 1949 issue of Planet Stories (full scan here, mangled text version here). Spoilery synopsis follows:

Jupiter Jones, advanced explorer for the Galactic Colonization Board and misanthropic loner, is forced by low fuel to land his ship, the Mizar, on the distant jungle planet Yogol after he was accidentally space-warped beyond Alpha Centaurus. There he discovers that the native humanoids are ruled by purple-shelled octopods called the Anolyn, who ages ago shambled from the inland sea of Dra Dur and mind-controlled the humans by attaching their snail-like young to the back of the humans' necks, forcing the humans to carry the octopods around the jungle on litters, engage in blood-sports and inhuman orgies, and service their nameless cities from which the Anolyn lord over the world.

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Lyle Zapato

Hildegard von Bingen's Octopus Visions

Lyle Zapato | 2014-11-11.6090 LMT | Cephalopods | Art

In 1141, a land octopus living in the spandrels of the convent of Disibodenberg, in Germany, visited Hildegard von Bingen, the new head nun, and gave her visions, most likely via a combination of chromatophoric signals and pressure phosphenes from palpation of her eyeballs.

Being as she was steeped in her religion, and with the obvious cross-species language difficulties, she misinterpreted the octopus' attempt at communication as messages from the "voice of heaven". She recorded her theological interpretations of these visions in her book, Scivias ("know the ways"), which included the above illumination in the frontispiece.

Unlike later illustrations of her receiving the visions, which show divine light-rays from the sky as would suit the presumptions of the time, this original one was either done by her or made from her sketches. In fact, the image shows her sketching on a wax tablet, perhaps recording the event as it happened. So it's the most accurate depiction of the encounter -- one clearly more cephalopodic than theophanic.

(Thanks to reader Rich Thomas for bringing this to my attention.)

Lyle Zapato

Hatchan The Octopus

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-28.9260 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment


H8ERS GONNA H8

Hatchan The Octopus (蛸の八ちゃん, "Tako no Hatchan") is a Japanese comic about an octopus, Hatchan, who goes on land to learn about being human and has various misadventures. The author, Suihō Tagawa (田河水泡), is more famous for his Norakuro character, a semi-autobiographical, anthropomorphic dog soldier in a thinly veiled Japanese Imperial Army.

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Lyle Zapato

Octopus-Horde Attack: The Perle, 1906

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-23.7900 LMT | Cephalopods | Piratical Yarrings | Anarchy


A SINGULAR BLOW OF THE NET. — Boat attacked by octopus

The attack of the fishing boat Perle by an octopus horde in 1906, from Le Petit Journal's illustrated supplement (click for full image). The article it illustrated:

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Lyle Zapato

The Lost Continent Of The Arctic

Lyle Zapato | 2014-07-15.6476 LMT | Lost Worlds | Hollow Earth | Elephants

At the dawn of the twentieth century, explorers had vanquished all the dragons from the map, leaving only the Poles as blanks to be filled. The Arctic, nearer to the majority of humanity than its antipode, had long been the subject of imaginative filling, playing host to paradisiacal lands of legend and rumor.


Mercator's map of the North Pole (1595)

The idea of an undiscovered Arctic continent is an old one. The ancient Greeks believed in Hyperborea, an idyllic land of eternal sunlight beyond the North Wind, populated by long-lived Hyperboreans. William Fairfield Warren in his book Paradise Found: The Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pole (1885) placed Hyperborea -- and Atlantis, Eden, Mount Meru, Yggdrasil, and Avalon -- in the Arctic.

Up to the 1890s, Greenland was widely thought to be the peninsula of a much larger land that covered the Pole. On the periphery, phantom islands like Sannikov Land and Frisland dotted the Arctic of the mind. For centuries, cart­o­graph­ers, most notably Mercator, filled the otherwise empty tops of their maps with various places drawn from mythology and tales of sailors seeking the Northern Passages.

It's no surprise then modern explorers, emboldened by scientific and technological advances, took up the search for lands hidden in the northern ice -- and some claimed to have found them.

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