The Debunker Files: The Philadelphia Experiment

Now, don’t lose your shit: this isn’t a creepypasta; it’s an urban legend. Tomato, tomato right? That sounds much better spoken than written. I especially like this story for two reasons: one, it’s set in my hometown, and two, Morey’s Piers in Wildwood made a kickass ride about it.

Ooh weee oooh…

Ooh weee oooh…

The experiment was conducted during the height of World War II, when Nazi Germany was kicking our teeth in with U-boats. Instead of, y’know, blowing up the U-boats, we decided to jump ahead a century and make our ships invisible to radar.

So, like this

So, like this

But, they were taking it a step further: instead of faceting ships like normal future countries, they decided to take the decidedly mad-scientist route and just make them straight up invisible, using some good old fashioned, Einsteinian unified field theory to bend light itself around the ship.

By Jove! Nikola’s about to ram Edison’s house with the USS Tesla Coil!

By Jove! Nikola’s about to ram Edison’s house with the USS Tesla Coil!

So, all of these scientist egghead guys figured that Philadelphia Naval Shipyard was the perfect location to conduct experiments “for science!”

So what if it can blow up the planet it thirty different ways, Dr. Bunsen! Just think of the potential!

So what if it can blow up the planet it thirty different ways, Dr. Bunsen! Just think of the potential!

They rigged the USS Eldridge, a Cannon class destroyer escort that has a name eerily similar to “eldritch”, with the necessary equipment, which I’m assuming involved a lot of mirrors and smoke machines, with maybe a few magicians onboard.

Testing began on a summer day in 1943, much like this one, and it was sort of maybe successful to a certain degree, with the ship almost completely invisible, but a dead giveaway greenish fog taking its place.

The USS Eldridge, fully cloaked

The USS Eldridge, fully cloaked

Then, things went FUBAR. When the ship reappeared, guys were throwing their guts up left and right, with some sailors actually fused directly to the ship, and one poor guy wound up on the deck below where he had been before, which must’ve been really confusing for him when he tried to find the bathroom. Some guys just went insane, as in “gone mad from seeing a Lovecraftian abomination” bonkers.

Perhaps today IS a good day to die! Prepare for ramming speed!

Perhaps today IS a good day to die! Prepare for ramming speed!

Now, the Navy was slacking off that summer, because they did a shoddy job at recalibrating this thing, but went ahead with the experiment anyway on October 28, despite multiple warnings from a scientist claiming it would “send us back to the stone age!”

Wrong movie, but immeasurably superior

Wrong movie, but immeasurably superior

This time, the poor ship was definitely invisible, but that’s because she wasn’t there anymore. The Eldridge up and disappeared in a puff of blue light, proof that a wizard at odds with the magicians aboard the vessel was out to kill them and everyone associated with them.

She was seen, however, by the crew of the Liberty ship Andrew Furuseth, which must’ve been really odd for the crew having a ship just materialize next to them. Also, it was said that she went ten seconds back in time during the trip before returning to Philly, because who doesn’t love the City of Brotherly Love?

No word on how serious the shit was when they hit 88 knots…

No word on how serious the shit was when they hit 88 knots…

There were serious side effects; ten times worse than the side effects you see on those medicine commercials. Guys were physically fused to bulkheads, inside out, understandably gone mad or just fucking vanished. Later, conspiracy nuts, in true conspiracy nut fashion, claimed that “the government” brainwashed the surviving crewmembers so that they could maniacally keep the experiment a secret.

Much later, in 1955, the amazingly named Carlos Miguel Allende would later retrieve newspaper articles and personal experience as a crewmember on the Furuseth as proof that the Navy “IS HIDING SOMETHING OUT THERE, AND IT IS GONNA SEND US BACK TO THE STONE AGE!!”

He contacted the also amazingly named paranormal researcher Morris K. Jessup about the experiment. A little information on Jessup; he wrote a book called The Case for the UFO, which was a case for the existence of UFOs (duh…) He thought that antigravity or electromagnets could be used to achieve spaceflight, and probably despised Wernher von Braun for limiting spaceflight research into horribly inefficient rocketry.

Eat electromagnetically propelled tungsten, bitch!

Eat electromagnetically propelled tungsten, bitch!

He also thought Einstein’s Unified Field Theory was critical to spaceflight. So, basically he predicted half of the Philly Experiment without even trying to.

Carlos sent him a letter, which, as stated, had newspaper clippings as proof. He said how Einstein had suppressed the Unified Field Theory because “the world wasn’t ready for it.” Riiiiight, just like the water powered car…

Jessup replied via a postcard, asking for further evidence, since he was a man of proof, much like myself. A few months later, the not so awesomely named “Carl M. Allen” replied that he couldn’t provide any more details, but that hypnosis might help him recall something. Jessup smartly and probably correctly assumed that this guy was a loon and cut contact with his ass.

However, Jessup’s story wasn’t finished yet. Like the main character in a sci-fi thriller, his story only got creepier.

Meh, at least it didn’t end like this.

Meh, at least it didn’t end like this.

According to the reliable James W. Moeseley- who exposed numerous hoaxes– Jessup was contacted in 1957 by the Office of Naval Research, asking him to look at a package they had received. He sped over there like lightning, probably shooting himself out of a railgun, and was shocked to find that the package was his book, heavily annotated in the corner and sent, I shit you not, marked as “Happy Easter” to the ONR.

These annotations were written in pink ink, by three people: Jemi, Mr. A and Mr. B. These three unimaginatively named people discussed two people living in outer space, probably greys and pod people, and use all SorTs of Unusual caPItalization and Dumb punctuations, discussing Jessup’s assumptions and probably taunting him with cryptic clues about “just how little he really knows.” They seemed to know a lot about the Philly Experiment, suggesting they were directly involved or were omniscient space aliens.

Jessup figured, based on the handwriting, that Mr. A was in fact Carlos Allende/Carl Allen. Spookily, the return address on Allende’s letter to Jessup was in fact and abandoned farmhouse.

Allende patiently waits inside with his drug cartel buddies

Allende patiently waits inside with his drug cartel buddies

 

Then, Jessup’s story goes downhill rapidly. None of his follow up books sold well, and in 1958 his wife left him. He was depressed and unstable when he traveled. Returning to his home state of Florida, he was involved in a serious car accident, adding to his depression while he slowly recovered. On April 20, 1959, he was found dead, ruled as a suicide.

Sad, and kind of awesome story. Did it happen, though?

Uh, yes?

Okay, not as you would think. The USS Eldridge, undeniably a real ship, wasn’t commissioned until August 27th in 1943, and around the time of the second experiment was doing something along the lines of this in the Second World War:

Perhaps today IS a good day to die! Prepare for ramming… hey, wait a minute, I said that already!

Perhaps today IS a good day to die! Prepare for ramming… hey, wait a minute, I said that already!

However, the USS Engstrom, docked right beside the Eldridge in ’43, was subjected to an experiment in making ships invisible to magnetically fused mines, using an electromagnetic field. Sound familiar? British ships used it widely later in the war, such as the still-afloat museum ship HMS Belfast, and the technique is still in use today, because nobody wants their billion dollar, state of the art missile cruiser blown up by a derelict Nazi mine.

Mix that story with that of the USS Timmerman, who underwent an experiment on its generator, with a higher-frequency genny producing wacky corona discharge- although nobody was hurt- and you have this story almost to a T.

Ooooh! Fireworks!

Ooooh! Fireworks!

And the Eldridge could, indeed have “teleported” from Philly to Norfolk, via a top secret weapons system we had to keep hidden from the Nazis at all costs: the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. With stupid jetpack Hitler’s U-boats ravaging the eastern seaboard, the military moved all its ships through this secret passageway down to Norfolk. So, that’s a possibility. A less glamorous and fused-to-my-ship possibility, but a possibility.

The Nazis had fallen victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia; but only SLIGHTLY less well known is this: NEVER FUCK WITH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!

The Nazis had fallen victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia; but only SLIGHTLY less well known is this: NEVER FUCK WITH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!

And all of the veterans of the Eldridge told a Philly newspaper in 1999 that their ship was never even homeported in Philadelphia; just built there. Not to mention the fact that the Eldridge’s entire World War II action report is completely public and makes absolutely no mention of any wacky experiments, including the remarks section of the ’43 deck log.

Basically, this story is mostly a mashup of several other far less paranormal naval experiments, with a spooky element involving a broken man, three psychos and the Office of Naval Research.

Seriously though, it could’ve been a lot worse.

Seriously though, it could’ve been a lot worse.

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The Debunker Files: Abandoned By Disney

Well, here’s the second amazing Debunker Files! Since my family is going on a trip to Disney World in five days, I figured this one would be perfect for the occasion! It also helps distract me from  a crippling fear of flying, but whatever. So, let us get to the debunking part of the file, eh?

Okay, first of all holy shit that is a long-ass story, so I won’t be posting the whole thing here. Basically, Disney wanted to build a theme park called Mowgli’s Palace near Emerald Isle in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, upsetting many Confederates who were just itching to “get back in the game.”

Now, it’s rather obvious that this story is bullcrap; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true… yeah, that’s what I meant to say. It runs on suspense, building up to the “GACK!” part via, well, suspense.

Alright, Emerald Isle is literally a block wide at most. Whoa, I just had déjà vu back to the Gadianton Canyon article.

Pictured: Not Ireland

Pictured: Not Ireland

Now, Mowgli’s Palace never existed. Seriously, check Google Earth, like I did. There’s just forests on the mainland; no hidden palaces or anything. Damn you Hubble! Ruining our stories!

“But wait a minute, Philly,” you dispute, “I’ve seen satellite pictures of Mowgli’s Palace on AboveTopSecret and Fark!”

Oh, you mean this one?

Ooooh-weeeee-ooooh!

Ooooh-weeeee-ooooh!

“Yeah!”

Well, that, my friend, is Disney’s River Country in Florida, and it’s, well, abandoned by Disney. Along with Discovery Island- which is literally in the same lake as River Country- it’s the only Disney park to ever be flat-out abandoned.

There was one primary reason for closing River Country: the filtration systems couldn’t keep out germs from the stagnant water. In 1980, an eleven year old boy was killed by Naegleria fowleri, a virus with 95% fatality rate, attacking and devouring the nervous system and brain. I admit that’s a pretty good reason to shut down business.

Meh, could’ve been worse.

Meh, could’ve been worse.

Discovery Island is far less creepy, but its story is more akin to this one. In 2010, an urban explorer and blogger, the excellently named Shane Pérez secretly visited the island, swimming out with some friends to it like Navy SEALs, although on his blog on the Rich Fancy Blog Site, he said he wouldn’t recommend doing it again due to alligators and the aforementioned brain eating virus.

The author runs a short little paragraph for people who have never heard of Disney’s The Jungle Book, describing the basic premise and whatnot. Who the fuck hasn’t heard of The Jungle Book? If you don’t know who at least Baloo is, then you deserve to get your face eaten off by a demented costume. It’s one of those bare necessities of life, you know? See what I did there? Yeah, you see it.

Now, I’m not denying that Disney is an unspeakably evil corporation, as these two links will give plenty of information about:

http://bestforfilm.com/film-blog/10-reasons-disney-are-unspeakably-evil/

http://www.anomalies-unlimited.com/Disney.html\

And those prices! WOW!

I honestly don’t even want to go to Disney World, but hey, if I have a chance at seeing some hot chick’s tits on Splash Mountain, I’m gonna take it, even if my plane has a chance of exploding in midair courtesy of missile, just fucking disappear or crash.

Although, I’m definitely NOT worried about an assault rifle taking down my plane, seeing as to how that’s PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE, MR. HOLDER!!!

Although, I’m definitely NOT worried about an assault rifle taking down my plane, seeing as to how that is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE, MR. HOLDER!!!

So, I can see them doing this. They’re a cross between SPECTRE and North Korea, with more talking mice. I can also see the locals flipping shit over this. I mean, I would, even without the redneck xenophobia. I certainly wouldn’t want them tearing down my home so that a bunch of dudes can have their dicks concealed by a loincloth, walking over the area that used to be my pool while a ride through a tunnel with singing dolls takes up my crush’s house. You know, usual reasons to flip shit.

Then, like Tank Man in Tiananmen Square, one lone redneck took the stage, breaking a board in badass protest.

Y’all not be getting’ ‘way with this. I got me three six pack and a shotguns; bring it on, hippy!

Y’all not be getting’ ‘way with this. I got me three six pack and a shotguns; bring it on, hippy!

Everyone was against it, the newspapers, the news TV crews– although those two later went Quisling on the good guys and face-heel turned against the opposition- and especially the citizens. I imagine the guys from Duck Dynasty waged a small guerilla war against the construction workers, but you know I have an overactive imagination.

Quickly! Call in air support with our duck calls!

Quickly! Call in air support with our duck calls!

But Disney, in their typical “I’m an evil corporation” attitude, ignored everyone and kept building dat shit. Apparently, people stayed in the resort, with an assload of traffic taking up the roads.

Then, they shut it all down for no clear reason whatsoever.

And the rednecks collectively laughed their asses off, throwing manure after them as Disney hightailed it out of there.

So, shit was smashed all over the place, defaced and all around ruined. There were two competing theories, that it was either the employees or rednecks; probably both, the resistance teaming up with slaves revolting against their masters. There were also rumors that Disney released aquarium animals into the water

Bullshit alert!

Sharks can’t live in freshwater, dumbasses! Okay, bull sharks and tiger sharks can, but does anyone really think they had bull sharks and tiger sharks in their aquarium tanks? More likely sand tigers, if any. But why waste sharks in an aquarium? I know what I would do if I had a shark…

Ah, now we’re past the exposition to the story and get to this dude’s story.

“Recently, I learned that corporations can actually ask Google, for example, to remove links from search results… basically for no good reason.”

This is true.

And the bane of people who want to watch Mel Gibson movies for free…

And the bane of people who want to watch Mel Gibson movies for free…

So, he asked around and everyone was useless, either rich beach couples gettin’ it on or the now elderly resistance members who cringed even mentioning Mowgli’s Palace.

I was lining up for a PTSD joke there, but that’s no laughing matter. Thank-you for your service.

I was lining up for a PTSD joke there, but that’s no laughing matter. Thank-you for your service.

Then, the guy describes a plant war raging between Disney’s invasive tropical plants and the native, beautiful North Carolina forests.

Guidons, Guidons! Black Six! Attack! Attack! Attack!

Guidons, Guidons! Black Six! Attack! Attack! Attack!

Then he describes the gates of the park as massive, monolith things made of wood with supports that “looked like they must’ve been cut from giant sequoias.” The gate wasn’t doing too well though, as North Carolina’s ecosystem had assaulted it viciously in their endless war of reclamation, with woodpeckers and bugs eating it.

“…Dr. Grant, my dear Dr. Sattler; welcome, to Mowgli’s Palace!”

“…Dr. Grant, my dear Dr. Sattler; welcome, to Mowgli’s Palace!”

Then, shit got creepy. The words “ABANDONED BY DISNEY” were scrawled all over damn place, and North Carolina’s flora was in Disney’s base, killing their dudes while this blogger ran around rampantly.

The inside of the Palace part of Mowgli’s Palace was completely gutted, but apparently this guy’s fight or flight instinct needed recalibration, because he just kept pressing on. The kitchen was all torn up, dents in the doors and smelling “like very old piss.”

The freezer had eerily swinging hooks, and again, this guy desperately needed some desperate instinctual recalibration, because he didn’t run once he saw they were swinging with no breeze.

He heard a short little conversation in one of the rooms, probably tip-toeing up to listen it like a really stupid guy in a horror movie; the one who gets killed five minutes in.

So, he left- the one smart thing this dumbass has done in this whole story, and went to snap a picture of a “statue” of a python. Damn, this story has everything! Then, the python “statue” slithered away, proving Disney had unleashed their animals in an all or nothing assault against North Carolina’s unstoppable biosphere. The python slithered off, probably going to engage an assload of alligators in mortal combat.

So, he chickens out and stupidly runs into the building, at which point my mother and father give me a strange look as I scream out “NO YOU IDIOT! GO THE OTHER WAY!” in the middle of Gone with the Wind.

He saw a sign that said “MASCOTS ONLY PLEASE! THANK-YOU!” because Disney was pretending they gave a shit about manners. The padlock was still in place there; nobody had gone down there. Hey bucko; maybe you should’ve taken heed to that!

He busted the padlock- well, the wall the lock was attached to, and descended into the bowels of the Mascots Only area. Apparently, tropic and Carolina wildlife had made this a demilitarized zone, because it was untouched. The lights were on, the air was fresh and this guy is about to die a horrible death.

“Tables had note pads and pens, there were clocks… even a punch-in clock on the wall complete with filled-out time cards. Chairs were scattered around and there was even a small break room with an old, static-filled television and long rotted-out food and drink on the counters. It was like one of those post-apocalypse movies where everything is left in the state of evacuation.”

Yeah, except this time Will Smith won’t be saving you from bad CGI monsters…

Yeah, except this time Will Smith won’t be saving you from bad CGI monsters…

So, then things got all post-rampaging like in the place, with desks and tables knocked over, papers all over the place, probably a few bodies. And everything this guy touched literally turned to shit, with wood and clothing disintegrating before him.

So, he comes up to “CHARACTER PREP NO. 1” and tries to open the door, but it doesn’t budge. What a moron.

Hey morons! Stop being morons!

Hey morons! Stop being morons!

Then, he quit and started walking away. Just as I give a sigh of relief, the door up and pops open. It was pitch black in there, and in true found-footage fashion, the guy uses his cell phone as a lantern- extremely unreliable, by the way- to explore.

He was scared shitless by the lights suddenly all flickering on at once, flickering and fading.

“We've had a doozy of a day officer. There we we're mindin’ our own business. Makin some improvements to our new vacation home. When all the sudden these kids start killin’ themselves all over my property. Now, I don't know about how much experience you've had with this kind of thing but me and Dale here, well, we were scared SHITLESS.” “Scared SHITLESS!”

“We’ve had a doozy of a day officer. There we we’re mindin’ our own business. Makin some improvements to our new vacation home. When all the sudden these kids start killin’ themselves all over my property. Now, I don’t know about how much experience you’ve had with this kind of thing but me and Dale here, well, we were scared SHITLESS.” “Scared SHITLESS!”

So, there he was, looking at all of these Disney character costumes hanging on the wall like they were in the gallows, and a rack of loincloths and racist Indian clothes in the back.

Slumped down on the floor in the center of the room was the anti-Mickey. Literally, as in he was white where he should’ve been black and black where he should’ve been white. Oh, and with blue pants for some reason. The fur was rotten and shedding all over the place, and he looked like someone had knifed him.

So, he’s snapping pictures like paparazzi (it took me three times to spell that right. Two p’s, two r’s, two z’s!), getting every single angle possible of this abomination. He reaches for a Donald Duck head to snap some demented selfie, and a frickin’ human skull falls out.

Now, personally, I would have hightailed it out of there once I set foot in the abandoned palace and made up some shit later about my findings. But this guy has to take a goddamn selfie with a duck head that has a human skull in it. If, somehow, someone had chained me down long enough to get me to stay for that, I would have screamed like a little girl and ran home crying for my mommy.

Yeah, nothing short of that will get me to go down there…

Yeah, nothing short of that will get me to go down there…

This dumbass though (I’m using that word a lot, aren’t I?) just had to take a picture of it. Well, he was going all conspiracy mode, thinking Disney was responsible for this, and wanted to reveal it to the world.

Then, the photo-negative Mickey costume stood up.

He still wanted that picture, but apparently electronics go haywire around the supernatural, and the camera died. You know what? I’ll post the remainder of the story; this is too scary. Come and get me when it’s over, okay. I’ll meet you at the finale!

What cowards! I’m right behind youse! AHHHHHHHH!

What cowards! I’m right behind youse! AHHHHHHHH!

“I raised my eyes once again to the Mickey Mouse costume.

“Hey,” it said in a hushed, perverted, but perfectly executed Mickey Mouse voice, “Wanna see my head come off?”

It started to pull at its own head, working its clumsy, glove-clad fingers around its neck with clawing, impatient movements similar to a wounded man trying to pull himself free of a predator’s jaws…

As it worked its digits into its neck… so much blood…

So much thick, chunky, yellow blood…

I turned away as I heard a sickening tearing of cloth and flesh… only cared about getting away. Above the doorway out of this room, I saw the final message clawed into the metal with bone or fingernails…

“ABANDONED BY GOD”

I never got the pictures out of the camera. I never wrote the blog entry about it. After I ran from that place, fled for my sanity if not my very life, I knew why Disney didn’t want anyone to know about this place.

They didn’t want anyone like me getting in.

They didn’t want anything like that getting out.”

“Philly,” you say, “you can come out of the corner now. Stop sucking your thumb, it’s okay…”

So, now we know. A demented, color negative Mickey Mouse pulled off its own head, with extra chunky blood falling to the ground as it took it off. Then, this guy finally bolts, probably chased by the monster mouse.

H-Hey everybody! It's me, Mickey Mouse! Do you wanna come inside my clubhouse?

H-Hey everybody! It’s me, Mickey Mouse! Do you wanna come inside my clubhouse?

And that’s where it ends.

Now, why is it scary?

Well, he leaves you hanging. That’s the appeal to every horror story to grace God’s green Earth: they don’t tell you how it ended for the protagonist. Now, this guy apparently survived (obviously from the first person perspective) but he doesn’t describe the chase, which would have been the most horrifying- and hardest to pull off scene.

The thing is, an effective writer leaves your imagination to wonder what the hell happened to the protagonist, because your imagination is much better at scaring you than other people; it’s a survival thing. If you’re always hardwired to imagine the absolute worst case scenario, then your less likely to do something stupid. I guess this guy’s sense of that was on vacation that day, because he’s a dumbass.

So, for all we know, horror Mickey could have been trying to challenge him to a game of Sudoku for all we know, or chased him around like a silly Scooby Doo villain, arms outstretched over his head shouting “Boo!”

Now, there’s two other “installments” involving a suggestion box with a stunning number of cards for not having any cards, and a murder. I’ll post links at the bottom, this article is already long enough as is.

The verdict: abandoned by Disney is just another creepypasta, a well-written one, though, by someone with way too much time on their hands. Much like myself… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Naw, I just read no-sleep; I don’t write it.

Links! Good luck sleeping tonight, asshole!

Shane Perez’s blog: http://shaneperez.blogspot.com/2009/12/discovery-island.html

Abandoned By Disney Full: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Abandoned_by_Disney

Abandoned By Disney Pt. 2, The Demented Suggestion Box: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/A_Few_Suggestions

Abandoned By Disney Pt. 3, The Reckoning: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Room_Zero

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Join the Corps against Common Core!

Okay, I’m gonna step out of my normal boundaries of mystery and little-known historical events today, because I’m royally pissed off. Or, maybe this could be a mystery too. Yeah, we’ll go with that. Today’s mystery: why in the hell would ANYONE support the Common Core? That’s Bermuda Triangle level shit right there.

My little fourth grade sister is currently working on her summer math packet, because schools are too effin’ stupid to recognize that summer is the three month period where kids don’t work. If any of those thickheaded school officials are reading this, here’s the real meaning of summer, put to song:

So, she has to learn division. Big whup, right? Well, yeah; because the packet says to teach it to her a certain way, in a way she doesn’t understand at all.

Tis the nature of Common Core, and from what I understand, parents are ripping their hair out across the country about it. According to the almighty Wikipedia, the Common Core State Standards Initiative is all about:

“an educational initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade… and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce.”

Sounds lovely. Problems so far?

Yes, you in the back? That’s right! It’s a very rigid system! They’re saying that there’s only one method of getting the right answer, when in reality there could be more than seven!

“But, Philly,” you say, “math is math. It’s pretty straightforward. 2+2 will never equal anything but 4, right?”

Well, obviously.

Let me get this out right off the bat: I am not against the Common Core for the same reasons other people are. People on the left say it’s too “utilitarian” and focused on testing, data and accountability. On the right, people say it’s a federal intrusion. I don’t give a flying fadoodle about either of those arguments; kids shouldn’t be morons and should be self-sufficient, but there also needs to be a base for learning so that kids in Utah aren’t learning about long division while in Maine they’re stuck at addition.

But Common Core is not the way to go.

Meanwhile, at Common Core Headquarters…

Meanwhile, at Common Core Headquarters…

Right now, my sister is struggling in the room next to me to understand how to divide, because my father is convinced that teaching her any other way but the Common Core way won’t help her in school. The sad part is that he’s right.

Common Core dictates that if you have to get from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, the Turnpike is literally the only way, when in reality it’s quite different.

There’s about forty roads, ten avenues, thirty streets and three major highways leading there…

There’s about forty roads, ten avenues, thirty streets and three major highways leading there…

I’m sure many of youse guys have heard of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, right? For I have a smart audience, who likes learning new things about the mysteries of life. I’ll just reiterate and provide a Wikipedia link at the bottom of the article, eh?

There was a brilliant man named Howard Gardner. Basically, he believed that there were eight basic “intelligences,” as in “ways people learn stuff.” They were musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. Oh, and everyone has a blend of those; so it’s not like we’re limited to just one. This picture sums it up perfectly:

So many intelligences, so little time…

So many intelligences, so little time…

So, for example, one kid may understand a math problem via this song:

Meanwhile, another child may learn via the words to that genius, hilarious song and think nothing of the actual song’s rhythm or melody. By the way, the introduction to that song describes perfectly both the failed New Math thing AND the Common Core. They were afraid of the Soviets getting an edge on us; we’re afraid of China doing the same. Isn’t it amazing how history repeats?

Common Core doesn’t get this though. They want kids to do it one way, all the time, and act like that one way is the only way.

Hell, I have personal experience with this! I’m an intrapersonal, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic learner. If I see or read something, gosh darn it, I remember it! I have a solid grasp on how I’m unique, how I’m probably going to react to something- not that that has ever stopped me from watching a scary movie when I know damned well I’ll be up till three in the morning watching Disney movies after that- and I think, very deeply, about who I am in the world.

My ELA teacher didn’t get this though. I mentioned him once before, in my very first post. He’s a Common Core thumping, rambling asshole who basically worships Common Core.

By God! It all makes sense now!

By God! It all makes sense now!

He wanted me to be a rote drone, and he wanted everyone else in the class to be too. Okay, well technically he wanted us to be interpersonal, logical-mathematical, verbal-linguistic learners. That intersects with me in, what, one field? That’s why- although I have a rather massive, loquacious vocabulary, I bombed that class harder than Hiroshima.

About three sizes of explosion bigger than the Tzar Bomba is how badly I flunked ELA

About three sizes of explosion bigger than the Tzar Bomba is how badly I flunked ELA

It was holding me back. I didn’t do good in it; Common Core and I didn’t mix. It was pinning me down; enslaving me to its twisted principles. How could I work with that? It literally went against the hardwiring in my brain! I tried; occasionally I made a few good grades, and I did wind up passing the class; but it was very close. All because Common Core wouldn’t let me be me.

The future of childhood under Common Core

The future of childhood under Common Core

Here’s what I recommend to the parents out there struggling with this: teach your kids the way they’re comfortable with learning. If they learn it better by counting beads, or hearing a song, then do it that way. They know more about how they learn that you do. And, if they learn it their way, then they’ll be able to do it when school comes. And eventually, if we do it the way our kids will actually know what the hell they’re doing, Common Core will go the same way as New Math: the way of the dodo.

Minus the hilarity factor

Minus the hilarity factor

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Comcast, You’ve Doomed Us All! Billy Penn’s Curse 2.0 Is Upon Us!

First, let me say this: Comcast isn’t the best of companies. They are a greedy monopoly with really bad customer service. On Demand frequently doesn’t work and the company is poised to, no, already dominates the cable market with an iron fist. But damn can they make a jingle!

But, and I’ve said this before, this isn’t a political blog, it’s a mystery blog, so let me step off the soapbox and leap into the mystery.

Not only has Comcast screwed us to higher cable bills for all eternity, but in 2017 the Phillies, Flyers, 76ers, Eagles, that soccer team whose name I always forget and any other of our sports teams may never win any champsionships EVER AGAIN!!!

Being a Philadelphian, this is bad.

Why? Well, to celebrate the death of net neutrality, they’re building a brand-smacking new crystal tower at 19th and Arch that totally looks like it’s flipping us all off.

Is this going overboard? Did I get my point across?

Is this going overboard? Did I get my point across?

Problems so far? Okay, supernatural problems so far? Yes, you in the back? That’s right, it is a hundred and fifty feet taller than the current Comcast Center. Do you know what else? Yes, you again? It’s five hundred and seventy three feet taller than the statue of William Penn atop City Hall!

 

Pictured: Billy Penn totally NOT pissing on the Mormon Temple

Pictured: Billy Penn totally NOT pissing on the Mormon Temple

Why, that means that Billy Penn won’t be the tallest thing in the city anymore! THAT MEANS THE CURSE IS BACK!

“Whoa, slow down!” you say. “Billy Penn hasn’t been the tallest thing in Philly since One Liberty Place was erected in 1987.”

Quickly! Hop into my Philadelphia Experiment style time machine! We must find the origins of this terrible curse in order to defeat it!

I sure hope the Nazis don’t win World War II because of this…

Goddamit!

We’re back in 1901 now, when City Hall was first completed. This thing is a goddamn fortress; the world’s largest masonry building, with twenty-two foot thick granite and brick walls, with limestone, granite and marble exterior. You could shoot this thing with a howitzer and not cause any real damage. It has seven hundred rooms, making it the largest municipal building in the country, and a twenty-seven foot high bronze statue of town founder William Penn atop it, still the tallest of its kind on the planet.

As of the when elevators enabled skyscrapers to be built to whole new heights, the Philadelphia Art Commission put out a “gentlemen’s agreement” saying “Yeah, you build whatever the hell you want, just as long as it isn’t taller than Billy Penn’s hat.”

This lasted a long time, giving Philly a pitifully diminutive skyline compared to other megacities in the country. New York, I’m looking at you! Somebody eventually said “Hey, guys, aren’t we kind of keeping ourselves stuck in the caveman days of cities with this whole gentlemen’s agreement?”

Like this, but with less nakedness and more buildings

Like this, but with less nakedness and more buildings

And the city gave a collective “Damn, this guy’s right!”

That guy was Willard G. Rouse III, probably a banished prince from the Austro-Hungarian empire who wished to usurp power in Philadelphia. He proposed Liberty Place: a giganto, two tower complex a full three hundred and ninety seven feet taller than City Hall, one tower with sixty five stories and the other with fifty five, complete with a hotel and mall. Rumors were that this baron had spent so much money buying the deeds to the land that he had to build something to justify using all that money, a classic case of sunk-cost fallacy if I ever saw one.

And then the city collectively lost its shit.

NIMBYs went apeshit, but they always do. But a ton of other sane people, like the late Ed Bacon- yes, Kevin Bacon’s architect daddy- were wholeheartedly against it. Two out of three citizens were against building the damn thing. It was a new World War of community meetings, focus groups and NIMBY backlash.

I heard they even hijacked the Olympia to sink Rouse’s yacht

I heard they even hijacked the Olympia to sink Rouse’s yacht

But, money and jobs ruled the day, with Mayor Wilson Goode- yes, his last name was Goode- supporting it on the grounds of “an assload of revenue and a shitton of jobs.”

And so it was. The complex got built.

Pictured: Billy Penn attempting to slay the Rousebeast

Pictured: Billy Penn attempting to slay the Rousebeast

“So… what? This isn’t a post about building a skyscraper is it? Like Atlas Shrugged? Cause if it is I’m leaving!”

No, it isn’t! You see, up until now, Philly sports teams were, how to put this: fucking amazing! The Phillies won the 1980 World Series and the 1983 National League pennant. Meanwhile, the Flyers won back-to-flippin’-back Stanley Cups in ‘74 and ’75, with finals in ’76, ’80, ’85 and ’87. The 76ers dominated in the 1983 NBA Finals, and I can’t find any info on that damned soccer team, but let’s just assume they did well. The Eagles swooped in for Super Bowl XV but lost in 1980 to the Oakland Raiders. DAMN THEM!

Okay, maybe don’t damn them THAT badly…

Okay, maybe don’t damn them THAT badly…

Ever since then… nothingness. But Billy Penn was having a hell of a hootenanny hoedown fucking with OUR MINDS!!!

The Flyers lost in the Stanley Cup Finals in both 1987 and 1997, to Canadians and Detroit for God’s Sake! The Phillies lost the 1993 World Series to Toronto (which is clearly the capitol of Canada) and the Sixers lost the 2001 NBA Finals to the LA Lakers. The Eagles had it the worst, though: they lost three NFC Championship games in a row from 2001-2003, before finally getting to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004 all for naught, as they lost to a bunch of New Englanders who forgot to “pak thei cahs in Havahd Yahd!”

On another note, apparently you are NOT allowed to park in there…

On another note, apparently you are NOT allowed to park in there…

Don’t even get me started on the semi-final losses, five by the Flyers and three for the Eagles.

And our fans were horrible during this time period, shooting flare guns and throwing snowballs at news reporters. Recent events suggest that that’s only natural Philadelphian behavior, though.

Decorating Billy Penn’s statue only made him more pissed off, as when the Flyers tried it in 1997 for the Stanley Cup, giving him a big Flyers jersey, they lost rather miserably. The Phillies avoided this though, as they won the 1993 National League Pennant and then decorated the statue.

Basically, the curse is a real life version of that one Simpsons episode where Bart beheads the statue of Springfield’s founder and it curses him to failure.

Then, after Comcast built the world’s largest flash drive, heroic ironworkers John Joyce and Dan Ginion hoisted a small figurine of William Penn atop the tower, attaching it to the final beam. Somehow, this got stolen, because yes, Philadelphia’s crime rate is solid up to the stratosphere, so they replaced it with a smaller four inch figure, alongside an American flag and an evergreen tree.

The miracle to end all miracles occurred on October 29th, 2008. The Phillies were in the World Series yet again, against the Tampa Bay Rays, and WE FUCKING WON!!! There was a parade, and Comcast even aired an ad thanking the wittle tiny-winy Billy Penn statue atop the world’s largest flashdrive.

It will be plugged into the world’s largest computer when we need it most…

It will be plugged into the world’s largest computer when we need it most…

Alright, let’s hop back into the USS Eldridge and go back to the present! Try not to get fused to the bulkheads en route, alright?

Now, Comcast is building their giant, middle-finger raising, zeppelin docking Nazi tower of ominousness and it’s taller than the Comcast Center. So, they’d better either make a new Billy Penn statue and put it at the very top of the spire so he can have the best view in the city, or they can move the other Comcast one up there. Either way, he has to have the best view or we won’t win any more!!! DO YOU HEAR ME COMCAST??? MOVE THAT DAMN STATUE! NOW!

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The Debunker Files: The Gadianton Canyon Incident

Let me say this right off the bat: I like strange stories. No, check that; I love strange stories. Fake stories, too. Creepypastas; frickin’ love ‘em.

My BFF...

My BFF…

But I prefer true stories, because they’re so much freakier/stranger/cooler/scarier because they actually happened. So, I’ll be doing a bunch of these Debunker Files, using my horribly uninformed opinion to judge: did this shit really go down?

This one: the Gadianton Canyon Incident, still one of my favorite stories. I’ll post a link to the story in whole at the bottom, but let me get some excerpts in here:

“One of the strangest Highway Space Warp (HSW) cases took place in southeastern Utah near the railroad crossing of Modena, on the edge of the Escalante Desert.  

Janna North had the wheel of her father’s 1971 Chevrolet Nova, and Carol Abbott was in the passenger seat. Sitting in the back seat were Lisa Rochefort and Bethany Gordon. It was after 10 p.m. when the girls crossed the Utah-Nevada state line nine miles (14 kilometers) east of Modena. And they were anxious to get back to the campus before their housemother, Mrs. Mortensen, locked the dorm doors.

That stretch of Utah Highway 56 is pretty desolate, all sand and sagebrush and ocotillo and Spanish bayonet, with the red sandstone bluffs on the northern horizon. So the girls were pretty happy when they finally spotted the Union Pacific railroad crossing at Modena. But just past the rails, Janna noticed something strange. Two sets of blacktop highway headed off into the desert–one veered sharply to the southeast, the other shooting northeast toward the canyon country further north. As the girls approached the Union Pacific rail line, the road leading off Highway 56 looked inviting. It seemed to be a more direct route back to their dorm. Their landlady, a stickler on curfews, always locked the doors by midnight and it was already half past ten. None of the girls relished the thought of arriving late and being forced to sleep in the car. The opportunity to take what seemed a short-cut strongly appealed to them.

The mysterious road curved sharply away from the main road towards the direction of the ominous Gadianton Canyon in the distance.

“Which one do we take?” asked Carol.

“Left,” Janna said. She knew that Cedar City was 46 miles (73 kilometers) to the northeast, and she guessed that the canyon road would bring them home much sooner. Despite the stories of the canyon, the girls agreed to take the road. They chatted happily about the day’s events as the car wound its way deeper into the foreboding canyon. As they drove, the dark rock walls inched ever closer to the crumbling edge of the thin ribbon of asphalt.

Five minutes later, the Chevy entered the red-rock canyon. Janna, who had been chatting with her friends, suddenly noticed that the car’s headlights were shining more brightly on the pavement. Looking closer, she let out a gasp. The white centerline was gone. Instead of black asphalt, they were driving on white cement…

“Janna, up ahead!” Carol exclaimed.

Abruptly, one of the girls shrieked, “Look out!” The road suddenly ended at a towering rock wall. They were boxed in by the canyon and had no choice but to turn around and go back the way they’d come.

The three girls moaned and complained to the driver. Now they’d all have to sleep in the car. They’d never make it back to the dorm in time because the “short-cut” cost them at least a wasted half hour of driving.

Impossibly, the landscape had completely changed.

Janna gasped. The highway ended abruptly at a rocky cliff face. Janna stepped down hard on the brake pedal. Fishtailing slightly, the Chevy screeched to a stop in front of the cliff.

“Oh, great! A dead end!” Putting the gear into reverse, Janna swung the car’s nose around. “You’d think they’d put up a few warning signs.”

“Now we’ve got to go all the way back to Modena,” Bethany complained.

“We’re never going to make curfew,” Lisa said.

“We’ll make good time once we’re back on the state highway,” Janna assured them.

Tense minutes passed. Janna began to feel uneasy. They were still rolling along, hemmed in by red canyon walls. But they should have been back out in the open desert by this time.

The canyon gradually gave way to open country. The girls gasped. Instead of moonlit desert, they saw grain fields on the right and a large dike, with stands of ponderosa pine, on the left. What was desolate, wind-swept desert sand, dotted with dry sagebrush, stubby ocotillo and gnarled Spanish bayonet, was now lush fields of ripening wheat under a clear, moonlit sky. In the distance, the water of a large lake shimmered, silvery under a bright moon.

Yet the moon should not have been visible that night.

Later, they recalled at that moment they felt they’d driven into a different world. The events that followed proved them right.

Carol looked around in awe. “This sure ain’t Modena!”

“We must’ve gotten turned around back there,” Janna said, her gaze darting back and forth. “Where the hell are we?”

Now the girls were on edge. They had no idea where they were and wherever it was it didn’t look like either Utah or Nevada. Maybe someone could help point them in the right direction so they could get back onto Highway 56 and finally reach their dorm.

Approaching the light ahead of them, they discovered it came from a large building—some kind of roadhouse or restaurant. The place sat in the middle of a large parking lot and a blazing neon sign on the roof spelled out a message—at least that’s what the girls assumed the sign was for because they couldn’t read it; what should have been letters were brightly-lit squiggles and curlycues… The sign’s brilliantly glowing symbols were composed of strangely twisted lines creating of a mosaic of weird curves…a written language unknown to any of them.

Without warning, some very tall men came out of the building. Quite a number poured through the front door spilling into the parking lot. Later, the girls recalled the people from the roadhouse seemed shocked and frightened at the appearance of the Chevrolet driving into the parking lot.

Some of the roadhouse people seemed upset by the girls’ arrival. They waved their arms at the girls. Others shouted and pointed at the girls and the Nova.

“There are some guys,” Carol said. 

Bethany let out a giggle. “Are they cute?”

“Let’s find out.” Lisa began rolling down the rear passenger window.

“Lisa! We don’t have time for this,” Janna said.

“Relax!” Hastily she touched up her lipstick. “I’m only going to ask them how to get back to the highway.”

As Janna slowed down, she noticed a good deal of consternation among the men. As if they’d been startled by some unknown animal. As the girls pulled into the lot, Lisa got a good look at the throng of people milling outside the building.

Sticking her head out the window, she said, “Hi! We’re–” And she let out a terrified scream.

“Lisa! What–!?” Janna turned in her seat.

“Get out of here!” the girl screamed, frantically rolling up the window. “Punch it, Jana!”

Bethany shrieked, “Step on it!”

Tires sitting sand, the Chevy zoomed away from the building. Janna stepped down hard on the gas pedal. The lake flew by on her left.

As they raced through the forbidding night on a strange road passing the strange lake, intense lights lit up their car from behind. The girls in the back saw the lights at the same time the driver saw them in her rear-view mirror.

“Oh, my God! They’re coming after us!”

“Go faster. Faster!”

“Oh, my God! They’re coming after us!” Bethany shouted. “Janna, faster!”

Janna glanced in her rear-view mirror, and what she saw turned her blood to ice. They were being chased, but not by any vehicle that had ever been built in Detroit.

Four queer-looking automobiles followed in their wake. Egg-shaped vehicles mounted on tricycle wheels. That is, with two large wheels in the front and a smaller wheel in the rear. A single bright white headlight shone from the front of each pursuing “car.” They made a strange whirring or buzzing sound as they rolled along, humming and whining loudly, closed in on the speeding Nova.

The Nova’s engine roared as its speed crept towards 80 miles per hour. Still the crazy egg-shaped cars pursued them.

“Janna, go faster! They’re gaining on us!”

Ahead the road led back into a red-rock canyon. Janna’s Chevy plunged into it at 80 miles per hour. The road was so narrow; it seemed to hem them in. The Chevy’s tires kicked up a billowing cloud of dust. They could no longer see their pursuers.

Then the girls were back into the canyon. The Nova’s roaring engine reverberated off the sheer rock walls. A rooster tail of dust rose up behind them and soon none of the girls could spot the whirring egg-shaped things anymore.

As they flew out of the canyon and into the desert, the road before them all but disappeared. The car bucked crazily over sagebrush and sand.

Minutes later, they roared out of the canyon, back into the familiar desert. All at once, the road vanished. The headlights showed nothing but sagebrush and ocotillo. The Chevy bucked and jostled like a wild bronco. Janna hit the brakes. Too late! Although it quickly slowed, the Nova skidded out of control sliding into an arroyo and crashing into the bottom.

The engine died.

Although badly shaken, none of the girls were seriously hurt. The car, however was undriveable; three of the tires were flat.

Shaking uncontrollably, the girls emerged from the car. Miraculously they were unhurt. The Chevy took the worst of it, with three flat tires, numerous dings in the front bumper and a missing hubcap. Jenna took one look and clapped both hands to her forehead. “Oh, no-no-no! My dad’s going to kill me!”

Lisa, however, was near-hysterical. She sat on the ground, hugging the knees of her bell- bottom blue jeans, weeping and moaning, She kept mumbling, “They-they weren’t human…”

The girls stayed with the car until sunrise. Then they walked a couple of miles due south. Boy, were they glad when they found the familiar blacktop of Highway 56. An hour later, they flagged down a cruiser of the Utah Highway Patrol and told their story.

The details of the report to the Utah Highway Patrol have been muddied over the years. Most versions of the incident list the trooper at the scene as a “Vic Lundquist.” But the officer was not a man, as many assumed, nor was the trooper’s name “Lundquist.”

As best as can be determined, Trooper Victoria “Vic” Lindquist took the report, and the details of the accident investigation make fascinating reading. They tend to support the girls’ testimony of what transpired that strange night off Highway 56 in the barren desert near Modena.

  1. There were no tire tracks showing where the Chevy had left Highway 56 in Modena.
  2. Tire tracks from the wrecked Chevy extended only 200 yards back into the desert and ended abruptly.
  3. No one could explain how the Chevy had gotten nearly two miles north of Highway 56 without leaving any physical trace of its passage through the rough desert terrain.
  4. Although volunteers searched diligently, no trace of the Chevy’s right front hubcap was ever found.”

Alright, I lied: that’s the entire story right there. BUT… did it happen?

I’m sorry to be the pooper of the party, but no, probably not.

For starters, Modena is literally a block wide at most.

H-Hello? Civilization?

H-Hello? Civilization?

First off; what were these chicks doing out that far in the desert? I mean, unless they live in Modena, which as stated is a block wide. And Cedar City, their destination, is an hour away, and the story starts at ten. So, sorry, ladies; you weren’t making it back to your campus before 11:00 interdimensional travel or not. Also, Cedar City is more to the southeast of Modena by fifty-three miles, but I’d allow those tiny errors on part of seeing inhuman monsters trying to eat your face off.

Now, looking on Google Earth, there is one divergence from Highway 56 into dirt road, which does lead through not one, but two canyons, although I can find no references to either of them being named Gadianton Canyon. If it helps and native Utahers (or Utahans?) the mountain the first canyon borders is called Silver Peak.  The only place I can find any reference to Gadianton anything is in Mormon folklore, because we all know just how rock-solid, factual and not ridiculius the Mormon belief system to be.

And what sane streets department would build a highway through a slickrock canyon?  Okay, maybe PennDOT would, but they’re always screwing things up! The “canyon” I mentioned before as existing looks to be a narrow valley at best! You know what happens in slickrock canyons?

Yeah, sure seems perfectly safe to me, Bob; let’s build a road through it…

But maybe Gadianton Canyon is one of those creepy-ass geographical locations that is there one day and then not there the next. Like in the Monkey’s Paw, but with fewer sadistic wishes and more canyons.

Then we jump into this parallel Earth, which I can’t really critique that well, because it’s not freaking on Google Earth (duh) but I can comment a bit, because I am the king of this damn blog! BWAHAHAHA!

So, assuming that they were still in Utah, and weren’t just transported to some other part of the planet, that means that Utah never became a desert, which means two things: one, Meteor Crater didn’t cause a minor extinction event in North America fifty-thousand years ago, and two, the frakkin’ Ice Age didn’t ever end. So, New York looks something like this:

This whole IRS scandal is making Lady Liberty a little… bitter. Ba-dum-chish!

This whole IRS scandal is making Lady Liberty a little… bitter. Ba-dum-chish!

Also, the Moon is approximately one lunar cycle ahead or behind our world’s, as it was full in this universe and presumably new in ours at the time, since it “should not have been visible that night.”

Then, they come to a restaurant with a neon sign presumably in some foreign language of squiggles and curlicues. Well, maybe the letters were written in cursive and the girls were just really, really high on whatever drug was big in the seventies.

Yeah man, just like, huff some LSD-ijuana and it looks totally radical!

Yeah man, just like, huff some LSD-ijuana and it looks totally radical!

Well, at least these poor almost-people were at least as scared of a Nova as we were of them, right? Cause they seemed kind of shocked to see this revving monster sports car barreling towards them belting out Bee Gees, right?

Welcome to Earth!

Welcome to Earth!

They acted all around like any normal person would if they saw a flying saucer rambling down the street, pointing at it and shouting expletives in whatever godforsaken language they spoke.

So, Bethany is a total whore and wants to induce a Close Encounter of the Seventh Kind and get it on with some tall-ass ET’s. And her buddy Lisa was totally down with this, each going to spawn some hybrid hell-child that’ll eat its way out of their wombs if that were to happen.

Holy ZORK! Look at the size of those glands!

Holy ZORK! Look at the size of those glands!

Then, Lisa starts talking to them all hot and heavy, but then reacts something like this:

WOULD SOMEBODY GET HER OUTTA HERE!?!?!?!?

They floor it out of there, but then these interdimensional guys pull a Gorman on her with their egg-mobiles.

Quick! To the eggmobile! VROOOOOOOOM!

Quick! To the eggmobile! VROOOOOOOOM!

Now, I can see some truth to that part of the story; I mean, that picture above is actually a proposed vehicle by the amazingly named Alan Gerardo Farias. So, I won’t call bullshit on that; it could happen. Unless somebody saw the above picture when making up this whole yarn, but I don’t think so; the story dates to 2007, the eggmobile to 2010.

Apparently, our vehicles are no match for theirs because they were still tailing smoothly when the Nova was thundering by at eighty miles an hour. They roared back into the canyon, and then their Nova was like “Guys, I’ve had enough; wake me when I can get a complete engine overhaul.”

Then, they were back! Back and better than ever, on planet Earth! Apparently Lisa was a hippy, because she was “hugging the knees of her bell-bottom blue jeans, weeping and moaning. She kept mumbling ‘They-they weren’t human…’”

Sounds like a bit of shock, maybe PTSD. It’s a moot point, though; anyone can fake that in writing. Hell, I’ve faked that in my own writing- I am an author, you see.

The story then attempts to cover one of the fallacies consistent in many others, mainly the one where the police are just like “meh” and don’t care that people are disappearing and being brutally killed left and right. They also make the story seem “muddled over the years” and make their “Vic Lundquist” a chick!

Here’s the next set of problems: unless they were burning rubber, how would the police be able to find tire tracks leaving Highway 56, although that part does lend to the theory that Gadianton Canyon can just appear and disappear on a whim.

So, there’s a few things lending credence to the slim possibility this story may have actually happened: one, the police didn’t just brush it off and got shit done. Two, those people that weren’t quite people at the squiggly-do roadhouse seemed just as scared of us as we were of them, much like I would imagine such an encounter would be- not them suddenly whupping out intergalactic chainsaws and trying to kill them. Three, the one girl seemed to have PTSD afterwards- but again, could’ve been faked. Four, eggmobiles aren’t so strange and far off as they are 2020’s premier vehicle. Five, Highway 56 does indeed veer off onto a Desert Mountain Road beside Silver Peak, which could be the basis for the canyon. And finally, Gadianton Canyon isn’t just some made up b.s. location, since it is featured in a religion, no matter how ridiculous it is. So, it’s not quite as ridiculous as, oh say, Slenderman or the Rake.

Oh, and the hubcap was missing in action, and the story hints that it might be “on display in a museum on that parallel Earth.”

Bullshit, man! They’re reverse engineering a Nova from that hubcap, just itching for Gadianton Canyon to reappear so they can use their massive army of eggmobiles to lay waste to Utah!

The end goal of the Eggmobilians…

The end goal of the Eggmobilians…

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The Battle of Turtle Gut Inlet: America’s First Wile E. Coyote Moment

So, in early 1776, things weren’t going too well for the Americans in the Revolutionary War. Britain was being a dick and blockaded the Delaware Bay to starve my hometown into surrendering. Unfortunately for them, we here in Philly subside mainly on the five main food groups, none of which are from Britain: TastyKakes, soft pretzels, Rita’s water ice, cheesesteaks and Yuengling lager.

TastyKake, fuck yeah! Coming to save the motherfucking day yeah!

TastyKake, fuck yeah! Coming to save the motherfucking day yeah!

But Robert Morris wasn’t about to let those bloody Redcoats get away with that. He chartered the brig Nancy on March 1st, 1776 to help transport a shitload of guns, gun parts, gun ammunition, rum, sugar and other typical old timey goods.

 

I hope there’s pudding…

I hope there’s pudding…

Meanwhile, John Barry, the other “founder of the American Navy,” was commissioned captain of the fourteen-gun Lexington on March 14, 1776. He was alerted that the Nancy would need some babysitting going up to Philly because she only had a laughable eleven guys and six cannons onboard.

Then, a mighty Avengers-style task force assembled en route, with the mighty, eighteen gun (aka: a lot of cannons) Reprisal and the eight cannon Wasp joining them on the way.

So, take those three ships, take away the planes, missiles, torpedoes, radar, sonar and going underwater, make them made of wood, very tiny, take away the propellers and nuclear reactors add some sails and divide the number of sailors by twenty and you’ll have the right idea

So, take those three ships, take away the planes, missiles, torpedoes, radar, sonar and going underwater, make them made of wood, very tiny, take away the propellers and nuclear reactors add some sails and divide the number of sailors by twenty and you’ll have the right idea

The three British ships blockading the Delaware Bay were the mightily armed HMS Liverpool, Orpheus and Kingfisher, with twenty-eight, thirty-two, and sixteen cannons respectively. That’s a shitload of cannons against our heroic fleet. This would be like the USS Olympia trying to stand up against three Iowa class battleships.

Aw this little thang? She ain’t nothing, really…

Aw this little thang? She ain’t nothing, really…

And just to lower the odds from “impossible” to “just give me a chance man! JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE!” the entire hundred-ship fleet of Redcoats had just entered New York Harbor the day of the battle.

So, the lookout on the Kingfisher was actually competent and not only did not let his ship get hit by an iceberg or rocks next to Skull Island, but also spotted the Nancy trying to sneak past him.

Sneaky, sneaky. I’m an island, I’m an island…

Sneaky, sneaky. I’m an island, I’m an island…

So, Kingfisher and Orpheus gave chase like two Imperial class star destroyers. Nancy, in dire straits, called on the Lexington for help with flag signals. So, all three American ships set out rinky-dinky rowboats to help, because their actual ships would last about as long in a straight fight with these Brits as Dipper and Mabel against Slenderman.

I stand by what I just said

I stand by what I just said

Under the relentless pursuit of tea drinking, funny accented assholes, Nancy took cover in heavy fog in the horribly named Turtle Gut Inlet.

Yeah, I’m not showing youse a turtle’s guts. Here’s a turtle practicing his Second Amendment rights instead.

Yeah, I’m not showing youse a turtle’s guts. Here’s a turtle practicing his Second Amendment rights instead.

She ran aground in the inlet, probably getting stranded atop the ruins of no fewer than three castles built by a man who just would not give up building his castles that kept sinking into the swamp. No word on how many vicious gillmen, Slendermen and rodents of unusual sizes they had to fend off once grounded, but she did lose the British ships for the same reason a lot of ships can’t traverse the Panama Canal: they’re too fat.

I’m not fat! All this cargo makes me look… poofy!

I’m not fat! All this cargo makes me look… poofy!

Barry sacrificed his ship, exchanging cannonfire with the British to keep them from attacking the helpless Nancy while the other American ships sent sailors to transfer most of the grounded vessel’s gunpowder kegs to shore and hide them behind some sand dunes.

Bop, bop Americano, motherfucka!

Bop, bop Americano, motherfucka!

Then, Barry arranged perhaps the most elaborate and cruel practical joke in the history of cruel and elaborate practical jokes. He cleverly had the Nancy’s main sail wrapped with fifty pounds of gunpowder, creating a really big Wile E. Coyote style fuse running back into the ships’ hold, where a hundred kegs of gunpowder remained. They lit the fuse as the crew abandoned ship, with one last heroic sailor climbing the mast the take down the American flag, a very respectful and courageous gesture after you’re ship’s been set on fucking fire.

Those silly British thought we were surrendering when the flag came down, which we totally were.

Retreat hell! We’re just advancing in another direction!

Retreat hell! We’re just advancing in another direction!

So, the silly Brits boarded the stricken Nancy, but by then that Wile E. Coyote fuse had reached the hold and we killed an assload of British sailors in the first display of Fourth of July Fireworks- except it was on June 29th. Close enough! USA! USA! USA!

Interesting factoid: these fireworks are being launched less than a mile from the site of the battle.

Interesting factoid: these fireworks are being launched less than a mile from the site of the battle.

The battle, along with the miraculous evacuation of New York, demonstrated to the British that America had divine intervention on its side, and also that the fledgling nation was batshit insane. As such, they chickened out and moved their blockade away from Cape May.

In the year 1922, Turtle Gut Inlet was filled in by the county, killing off innumerable gillmen. They made up for this slaughter of a sapient species by putting a little memorial park in a very similar vein to Partisan Rock at the end of Red Dawn.

“… In the early days of World War 3, guerillas - mostly children - placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth."

“… In the early days of World War 3, guerillas – mostly children – placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so that this nation should not perish from the earth.”

 

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James Forten: An African American Actually Worth Remembering

The reason for this post is two-fold: Firstly, I’ve been a little pissy ever since last Black History Month. My little sister had to write a short essay on a famous African American (duh.) Problem? She wanted to do someone obscure, to stand out among all the Rosa Parks’ and MLKJ’s in the sea of essays. Okay, I had a man for her; second problem? He was too obscure for her. So, I figured I’d tell you all about this guy so he’ll never be too obscure again!

Secondly, with all of the media hype over the shooting of Michael Brown- a robbery suspect- and Ferguson basically turning into an open insurrection zone, I decided to write a post about the badass James Forten, an African American actually worth remembering. Hey, title drop!

Born a free man in the year 1766 in the greatest city on the planet, Philadelphia, he was the grandson of a slave- name unknown- who had “freed himself” which means either he saved enough money over the years that he bought his freedom, or he went commando and crept north, evading Georgia laser sword gun batteries and Virginian hover jet tank copters in the process. But this post isn’t about him!

When he was six, he started working with his father as a sailmaker. You know what my six year old brother does? He watches Phineas and Ferb and cries when he loses at an X-Box game to his sister! He did this until his father tragically died when he was seven. James was seven, not his father. Having a seven year old father is just plain unnatural.

Dad? DAD? C'mon, dad.

Dad? DAD? C’mon, dad.

Then, he went on to study at Quaker school- unrelated to oatmeal- but had to drop out in 1775 to become a storekeeper to do such monumental tasks as “get food for family” and “make money.” That’s leagues beyond what I was doing when I was nine.

Pictured: a reenactment of me when I was nine

Pictured: a reenactment of me when I was nine

Then, in July of 1776 he heard the Liberty Bell ring and joined a crowd in Independence Square for the very first ever public reading of the Declaration of Independence. That’s just about the most American thing someone could do when America didn’t exist yet.

Also, he was totally about civil rights; believing the document applied to “all men,” not just whites; which he was right about.

To help with the war, he volunteered as a privateer, which basically means he did this for a living:

Argh! Fire our cannons! Get me closer! I want to hit them with my sword!

Argh! Fire our cannons! Get me closer! I want to hit them with my sword!

So, Black Sparrow. Sorry, someone had to say it.

But alas, in 1781 his vessel, the Royal Louis, was captured by the Brits. The captain of this British ship, twirling his evil moustache and cackling maniacally sized up Forten- who was fifteen at the time. He was more of a badass by the time his pituitary gland put his big plan into action than Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and all the other black people shot by police ever put together.

This evil Brit captain, again, twirling his moustache, gave Forten an ultimatum: “Niyah! Either you join us or we’ll send you to prison! Niyah! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

In all seriousness, the captain offered to take Forten back to England to see that he got the education he clearly deserved. For a guy that was just moments ago trying to kill you and all your friends, this was a pretty big offer.

All Forten had to do was say one little word: yes.

Instead, he said another little word that is two letters long, beginning with an ‘n’ and ending in a ‘if you can’t figure out what it was you’re a dumbass.’

So, the captain, true to the evil instinct present in every Brit ever, sent Forten to Hell; the serious nickname sailors gave to the prison ship HMS Jersey.

Meh, still not as big an asshole as this guy

Meh, still not as big an asshole as this guy

Thousands of prisoners were crammed below the decks of this fugly-ass prison ship floating off of New York more ominously than the Death Star over Alderaan. There were no such commodities as “light” and “air” and “the right to not be beaten by my captors” down there.

Dun- Dun- DUUUUUN!!!

Dun- Dun- DUUUUUN!!!

Forten withstood seven months down there, in conditions that make Auschwitz look like a daycare center with rainbows and glitter for adorable kittens.

After the war, this badass went right to England working in shipyards on the River Thames, which would be like if Bryan Mills moved to Paris, right next to Jean-Claude’s home and worked as his mechanic at the end of Taken.

Moving back to Phila-frickin’-delphia, he took over his own sail-making business at age thirty-two. He invented a new type of sail that made ships maneuver better and move faster, and he didn’t patent it. Compare to today, when greedy companies are trying to patent the very genes that make up your body.

Forten had a disciplined, loyal workforce of about thirty guys, probably made up of former Revolutionary War soldiers itching to “get back in the game” but they can’t because they’re eighty something. He had strict rules about hard work, church attendance, no alcohol and due dates. Again, compare to today, where people file lawsuits if their business tries to make them do anything they don’t agree with and force their employers to fork over wads of cash for things like “I don’t believe in your God” while at the same time kicking them in the crotch and demanding they give them free birth control- but this isn’t a political blog, so I’ll step off the soapbox and get back into our no-nonsense badass’s life here.

He was also really snarky, because he noted several times, probably with a  sarcastic voice like the kind I use on this site but that you can actually hear, that legally he was allowed to vote but was stopped from doing so by whites. Oh, you didn’t know that? Yeah, blacks could totally vote in the early years of American history. http://www.cracked.com/article_20474_5-shockingly-progressive-ideas-from-primitive-cultures_p2.html

Thanks a lot, mighty whitey...

Thanks a lot, mighty whitey…

He then made a small real estate empire of houses and land in Philly and the surrounding region that we call the Delaware Valley but nobody else knows about because the rest of the world is assholes.

Seriously guys, it's called a hoagie.

Seriously guys, it’s called a hoagie.

He was also, like, totally a humanitarian. Say that with a stereotypical valley girl voice; it’ll sound so much funnier. He used over half of his wealth to purchase freedom for other slaves, operate an Underground Railroad station out of his own frickin’ home, fund a school for black children- in the same damn house, mind you- and  finance William Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. He makes Bill Gates look hesitant in giving to charities!

Some other accomplishments: He was a founding member of the Free African Society and the American Reform Society. For some reason, he apparently once walked from Brooklyn to Philly, just because. He really got around, too; some people say he was responsible for the entire modern black population of Philadelphia.

So... thanks for that...

So… thanks for that…

He was also into women’s rights and anti-alcoholism. We know he forced his workers into temperance, but I can’t find any references to him hiring women, so I’m forced to assume he had a bunch of super-busty blondes making sails, and probably clothing themselves in those sails for Forten because… because.

Well, he-llo babe!

Well, he-llo babe!

During the War of 1812, which didn’t last just 1812, he personally recruited 2,500 African American volunteers to protect Philadelphia, probably also including in his personal army his thirty-some workers who wanted to “get back in the game” I mentioned earlier.

In 1834, a few tough guys beat up and almost killed his son on the streets of Philly. I’m forced to assume he went all Liam Neeson on those thugs afterwards, but don’t take my word for it.

Also, he boycotted slave-trading ships from his store. “If you sell my people, may your boats squallow in the pits of hell!” He never said that, but I can imagine him saying something to that effect.

And when he finally croaked in 1842, at the ripe old age of 76- four more years than my grandfather lived to be in the goddamn 21st Century, it was, as the wonderful GroJLart on Philaphilia put it “a big fucking deal.” There was a massive funeral procession with four-thousand attendees, black and white. I find it of important note that this is approximately the same number of people who attended the great Ronald Reagan’s funeral, so there’s that.

His death shook the world, and I don’t mean that figuratively. His death was literally reported around the world.

Pictured: Someone worth remembering.

Pictured: Someone worth remembering.

 

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