Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Phoenix Shooting: 3 Dead & the Other James Holmes

Phoenix police confirmed that Steve Singer died from his injuries in the shooting. Singer owned Fusion Contact Centers, LLC, a local call center business.

The Aurora shooting suspect is named James Holmes.

But there is another James Holmes.

For several months before the July 20, 2012 theater event, a Phoenix police officer played the sync in his several media appearances. 
His name game name is James Holmes.

I wrote the paragraph above on December 22, 2012, and put it away in a draft on this blog. It seemed unnecessary to bring attention to this man, doing his duty, just because he happened to share two parts of the name of the Aurora suspect. 

"They're all around the high schools, and don't think that it's just south and west, because it's happening up north," Phoenix police Officer James Holmes 
said about teen fight clubs in June 2012 .

On January 30, 2013, events conspired to bring Officer James Holmes to the fore of another mass shooting. One person was dead and 70-year-old William Arthur Harmon III was declared the suspect. The person bringing this information to the media? James Holmes.

Phoenix Police Media Relations Officer James Holmes is shown on the scene of another local crime event over two years ago.

Today, headlines shouted out, "Six people injured in Phoenix, Arizona mass shooting."

The shooting occurred around 10:30 a.m. MST (12:30 p.m. EST) at an office building in Phoenix, Arizona. Police believe that the shooter is a white male in his 60s, who was seen fleeing the scene in a white SUV.... After being questioned by reporters, Officer James Holmes said the shooter appears to have been working alone and that the reason behind the attack remains unknown. Source.
In a breaking report, Yahoo News posted this early:
Phoenix Police spokesman James Holmes said the people who were shot were taken from the scene to a local hospital, and there was no immediate word on their condition.
Changing their story later to delete Holmes' first name entirely, and leaving this awful reference, it appeared in their later article:
Police said they were searching for a white man in his sixties with gray hair. "Some say he left the building in a vehicle, and some say that he was still inside, so that's kind of where we are at," police spokesman Holmes said.
The gunfire occurred at an office complex on 16th Street north of Glendale Avenue.

The Arizona Republic reported that Mark Hummels, a partner with Osborn Maledon and president of the Phoenix chapter of the Federal Bar Association, is among the wounded. He was shot after leaving a mediation session, and was reported to have a strong pulse after surgery.

2nd Victim Dies: Mark Hummels (Source:


Mark Hummels, the attorney gravely wounded in a downtown office shooting Wednesday, died Thursday night after being taken off life support, according to his colleagues at the law firm of Osborn Maledon.

Hummels, 43, was one of three people police said were shot by Arthur Douglas Harmon, 70, apparently over a long-running financial dispute.

Steven Singer, 48, a call-center company CEO, died from his wounds Wednesday; Harmon’s body was found Thursday in Mesa, dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; a third victim shot in the hand, Nicole Hampton, 32, is expected to be released from hospital Friday.

Doctors declared Hummels to be brain-dead as a result of his injuries, according to the Arizona Republic on February 1, 2013.


Steve Martos, also of the Phoenix Police Department, said officers staged outside a home in the area of 14600 block of North 28th Street in Phoenix in connection to the shooting. Police have said they believe the home is connected in some way to the office shooting.
The timing was another one of those "coincidences," for the Phoenix shooting was mentioned during today's first day of congressional hearings about gun violence by victims from the Tuscon, Arizona shooting. Mark Kelly (a twin), the former shuttle astronaut and husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, told the Senate panel that there had been "what seems to be a shooting with multiple victims with multiple shots fired."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Fortean Society and Forteans

If you are a Fortean or want to be one, take delight today in the first beginnings of a uniquely intellectual American and global movement. 

We measure a celebration, beginning anywhere. This one seems as good as any other.

The Fortean Society was founded on January 26, 1931:  1-26-1931 - 1-26-2013 = 82 years. 

Charles Hoy Fort (August 6, 1874 – May 3, 1932)
Fort's four published nonfiction books are: The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1931), and Wild Talents (1932).
But my liveliest interest is not so much in things, as in relations of things. I have spent much time thinking about the alleged pseudo-relations that are called coincidences. What if some of them should not be coincidence?
~ Charles Fort, the first modern synchromystic
The Fortean Society was started in the United States in 1931 during a meeting held in the New York flat of Charles Hoy Fort in order to promote the ideas of American writer Charles Fort. The Fortean Society was primarily based in New York City. Its first president was Theodore Dreiser, an old friend of Charles Fort, who had helped to get his work published. Founding members of The Fortean Society included Booth Tarkington, Ben Hecht, Alexander Woollcott (and many of NYC's literati such as Dorothy Parker), and Baltimore writer H. L. Mencken. Other members included Vincent Gaddis, Ivan T. Sanderson, A. Merritt, Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller. The first 6 issues of the Fortean Society's newsletter Doubt were each edited by a different member, starting with Theodore Dreiser. Tiffany Thayer thereafter took over editorship of subsequent issues. Source.

Thayer contacted American author Charles Fort in 1924, and Thayer moved to New York City in 1926.

Thayer founded the Fortean Society (FS), but placed as its first president Theodore Dreiser, an old friend of Fort who had helped to get Fort's books published. Fort's involvement was minor. The first six issues of the FS's newsletter were each edited by a different member, starting with Dreiser. After those first six, Thayer took over editorship of all issues. 

The mission of the FS, as noted by Thayer, was:
(1) To perpetuate the name of Charles Fort;
(2) To promote the reading of Charles Fort's books;
(3) To preserve Fort's notes and papers;
(4) To continue the work of gathering Fortean data; and
(5) To encourage dissent.

The FS regularly met at the Yorkville restaurant, the Brauhaus.

Here is what Fort wrote, famously, about his involvement in the FS: "I had nothing to do with this plan. I wouldn't join it, any more than I'd be an Elk." ~ Charles Fort to Theodore Dreiser, correspondence, November 19, 1930, as per Damon Knight's Charles Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970; page 181).

The first members of the Fortean Society were the thoughtful, radical writers, actors, screenwriters, actors and thinkers of the early 1930s, before the darkness of Nazism and the Depression engulfed their lives. But even that would not stop the addition of important members; for example, Bucky Fuller was a founding member, who was made a life member after the publication of his Nine Chains to the Moon in 1938.

That the FS survived World War II spoke to an underlying appeal of the Fortean skepticism that it reinforced. 

See below some images of the early founders.
Dorothy Parker

The founding members of Algonquin Round Table: (l-r) Art Samuels, Charlie MacArthur, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott.

Alex Woollcott, Heywood Bron, Frankn Asams, John Peter Tooley, Robert Benchley, George Kaufmann, Mark Connely, Robert Sherwood, Harold Ross and Dorothy Parker.

Theodore Dreiser

Booth Tarkington

Ben Hecht

H. L. Mencken 

 Vincent Gaddis

Ivan T. Sanderson

Abraham Merritt

Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
 Youthful Bucky Fuller

R. Buckminster Fuller

The Fortean Society ended in 1959, with the death of Tiffany Thayer. The legacy of the organization has mostly lived on in the lives of Forteans, like myself (the first Vietnam-era CO to base my alternative service on being a Fortean, with letters of support from Ivan T. Sanderson and Bucky Fuller directly addressed to my draft board).  The experience of being a Fortean can be a very personal one. There are today hundreds of nonfiction authors and science fiction writers worldwide who call themselves Forteans

Books like mine, dedicated to Charles Fort and Fortean thought, 
populate the globe in 2013. 

Various organizational incarnations of the FS have resurfaced, thanks to John A. Keel and Keel blog chronicler Doug Skinner, and in Edinburgh, Gordon Rutter. Publications, like the International Fortean Organization's INFO Journal of the Washington D. C. area and Fortean Times of London, England, follow in the direct footsteps of Doubt. Online Fortean news sites, the wave of the future, include the early weblocations The Anomalist, The Daily Grail, and The Fortean Times. There is a Fortean Wiki too. Even mildly skeptical but clear-headed locations, such as WhoForted and IDoubtIt, honor Fort in their content.

One measures a circle, beginning anywhere. ~ Charles Fort

Interested in more? I will be speaking about Bucky Fuller as a Fortean at the Fuller Future Festival in Carbondale, Illinois in April 2013. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lone Star Shooting: Wall-to-Wall Media Attention

Wall-to-wall media went wild today with the reports out of Texas of a "college shooting."

Did they go overboard?

I remain convinced my hypothesis in The Copycat Effect is a valid factor, among many, in linking this kind of media attention to fostering an environment of future shootings.

This shooting, for example, does not appear to have been a random, senseless mass shooting. This was a confrontation between two individuals who apparently got into a verbal disagreement where guns were drawn. Two people started shooting, two bystanders (one white, one black) in a hallway got wounded, and one other person collapsed with an apparent heart attack. This is not to diminish it, but the processes of these kinds of school shootings are much different than homicidal-suicidal forms of school violence.

One federal official said the Texas incident was a "gang-related" shooting (read, "African-American" in this location*) versus a random school mass-shooting (read, "Caucasian"). That hints at more than the media wanted to look at, for the comparisons to Newtown, the debate on gun control, and the horror of the incident were reinforced often today.
Police descended on the campus. Lots of law enforcers. People and police are supersensitive from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The media flew overhead, on many flybys.

In North Harris, Texas, two "people of interest" (AfricanAmericans, one with a red shirt) were seen by news helicopters as having apparently already been arrested (in handcuffs).

Now the television cable news channels are interviewing students who were only marginally involved, but most are naming all their friends with whom they ran from the area. And seem to be "enjoying" the media attention.

Aerial footage from local television stations showed police cars and ambulances parked on the Lone Star College System campus about 20 miles north of downtown Houston. Emergency personnel could be seen tending to people on stretchers, while others ran from a building led by officers.
Mark Smith, spokesman for the Harris County Emergency Corps, said four people were taken to two hospitals. He said at least two had gunshot wounds, and one appeared to have had a heart attack related to the shooting. He said one was in critical condition. Source.

At least three people were shot in a shooting at Lone Star College in north Houston, Texas some time before 12:30 PM. Witnesses on the scene say the shooting may have escalated after a heated argument, possibly over a bad grade. At least two victims were caught in the crossfire and suffered “multiple gun shot wounds,” KTRK reports, and are in serious condition. They were brought into surgery at Ben Taub General Hospital. One of the victims — who was shot in the leg — is a school employee. The other, a younger student, was found on the ground unconscious, with his eyes closed. Another person on the scene suffered a heart attack. Source.

*Gang-related: In 1996, 50 percent of gang members were juveniles (i.e., younger than 18) and 50 percent were adults (i.e., 18 and older). In 1999, these numbers were 37 percent and 63 percent, respectively. In 1999, respondents reported that 47 percent of gang members were Hispanic, 31 percent African American, 13 percent white, 7 percent Asian, and 2 percent "other" (National Youth Gang Survey Trends From 1996 to 2000, 2002).

A Pope Kills Three

Three are dead in a courthouse shooting in the Philippines. Above is a photograph of the shooter's gun found at the scene.

The official Philippines News Agency (PNA) has reported that a gunman identified as John Pope "went berserk" at the courthouse in the city of Cebu, Philippines, on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

John Pope, a Canadian national, entered the Palace of Justice at about 8:10 a.m. clad in jogging pants, long white shirt and with a body bag.
He was body-frisked and his bag was inspected.
Pope went directly to MTC Branch 6 as he has a scheduled hearing for malicious mischief case.
According to Prosecutor Noel A. Cellona, Pope greeted him when they met at the stair near the court room.
Cellona noticed nothing unusual in Pope.
Before the start of the hearing, Cellona heard two successive gun bursts.
He saw the complainant Dr. Rene F. Rafols and private prosecutor Juvian Achas lying dead on the ground.
After shooting the victims, Pope went out of the court room and proceeded to MTC Branch 1 opposite the building about 50 meters away.
While walking towards the lobby of MTC Branch 1, Pope met Prosecutor Ma. Theresa C. Casino, the public prosecutor handling his grave threat case.
Casino was point blank shot and was hit in her neck. She was immediately rushed to the hospital and is now in critical condition.
Pope was found dead at the stair of the ground floor with gun shot at the head.
He allegedly shot himself, according to PNP SOCO-7.
Recovered from Pope is a 6-shot 357 revolver with four bullets spent. He was declared dead and his body was brought by the PNP SOCO-7 in Cebu City. (PNA)
Facing a criminal case in the courts, the gunman fatally shot the complainant in the case, who was a doctor, and the doctor's lawyer. The gunman also took his own life.

The scene at the courthouse on January 22, 2013.

According to the website of the City of Cebu, the name Cebu came from the word “Sebu,” meaning "animal fat."

The Supreme Court has now tightened security measures on all courts nationwide following the incident in the Palace Hall of Justice in Cebu where three people were killed including a lawyer, doctor and the gunman.

Other violence has swept through the Philippines in recent gun violence. Earlier this month, a gunman went from house to house in a town near the capital, Manila, killing at least 9 people. On New Year's Eve, a 7-year-old girl died after being shot in the head amid celebratory gunfire.

The country's Firearms and Explosives Office says there were 1.2 million registered firearms in the Philippines as of last year. Also, the office estimates there were 600,000 unlicensed firearms in circulation nationwide.

American John Popes

The name Pope is from the Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας (pappas), a child's word for father. The familiar terms "Pop" and "Pops" for "father" are derivatives.
The name of the Cebu courthouse shooter, Canadian John Pope, is one that has a prosaic sound in America, in relationship to the military and spying, in reality and in fiction. This appears to be related to the founding nature of the Pope family in US History.

Some insights into the linkages of a Kentuckian named John Pope (February 1770 – July 12, 1845), U.S. politician, senator for Kentucky (served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Eleventh Congress), and governor of Arkansas Territory, gives a notion of the Pope power family. 

Pope practiced law in Washington, Shelby, and Fayette County, Kentucky. This John Pope was married to the sister-in-law of President John Quincy Adams. He was also the brother of Nathaniel Pope, a prominent figure in early Illinois Territory, and the uncle to both John Pope, Union General in the Civil War and Daniel Pope Cook, another prominent politician in the early history of the state of Illinois.

The Kentucky's John Pope's uncle was John Pope (March 16, 1822 – September 23, 1892), who was a career United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War. He had a brief but successful career in the Western Theater, but he is best known for his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas) in the East.

Another John Pope (December 17, 1798 – January 14, 1876) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. Born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, Pope was appointed midshipman from Maine, May 30, 1816. Prior to the Civil War, he served in the Mediterranean, West Indian, Brazil, African and East India Squadrons.

From July 1 to October 24, 1861, he was attached to the Gulf Squadron commanding Richmond. He participated in the search for CSS Sumter in the West Indies while on his way to join the Gulf Blockading Squadron, assisted in the blockade of the passes of the Mississippi River and took part in the engagement with Confederate States’ vessels at the Head of Passes October 12, 1861. He died January 14, 1876, in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Fictional John Popes

John Pope is a fictional astronaut character in James A. Michener's 1985 novel Space. One of the main figures in the book is this John Pope. Small town Pope is swept from naval warfare in the Pacific, through air combat in the Korean War and his test pilot life at "Pax River," to his astronaut selection and training.

Another character in this book, according to this summary, is "a highly intelligent but cynical cult leader calling himself Leopold Strabismus who exploits first the UFO craze and then an anti-scientific creationist agenda to increase his fortune...The novel closes with Pope retired from NASA and a respected professor of astronomy, his wife Penny in the Senate, and [aeronautical engineer Stanley] Mott consulting on 'Grand Tour' unmanned missions to the outer solar system. The two men finally attending a NASA workshop discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life, at which Strabismus privately drops the creationist/fundamentalist persona he has adopted and joins in the intellectual debate on the inevitability of life elsewhere in the Universe."

Also in 1985, in the fiction movie Agent On Ice, the lead character, ex-agent John Pope (Tom Ormeny) was unwittingly involved in a deadly conspiracy, and in the film, the Mafia, the police, and the C.I.A. all want him.

A Real Pope Spy

The name "Pope" is one that some remember from CIA flights over 50 years ago in Asia.

Allen Pope, 1960, Indonesia, shot down flying a B-26 bomber in Indonesia in May 1958, flying for the CIA in support of Indonesian rebels and against the Government of Indonesia. Sentenced to death, the US brokered his release, but he spent four years in an Indonesian jail. Source.

Monday, January 21, 2013

44th President Syncs With Four Oaths

The 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama is a man of symbolism. Perhaps no other number is more synchromystical in his life that "4."

President Obama takes his 4th oath of office for the President of the USA, on January 21, 2013, the symbolically significant Martin Luther King Day.

Obama was born on August 4, 1961. He married Michelle Robinson on October 3, 1992.

The couple's first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998; followed by a second daughter, Natasha ("Sasha"), on June 10, 2001.

Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago and was a civil rights attorney until 2004. He served as a representative in the Illinois Senate until November 42004. In 2004, Obama was elected to the United States Senate for Illinois. 

On November 4, 2008, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 received by John McCain. 

Barack Obama is sworn in on January 20, 2009, for his first term. The first time.

On June 4, 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt calling for "A New Beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States and promoting Middle East peace.

On the 4th of April (the fourth month), 2011, Obama announced his re-election campaign for 2012 in a video titled "It Begins with Us" that he posted on his website and filed election papers with the Federal Election Commission. 

President Barack Obama is officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Sunday, January 20, 2013. A portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale is behind the President.

At noon today, January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama will have taken the oath of office for the presidency four times for his two terms.

It is to be recalled that on January 21, 2009, the day after the inauguration of Barack Obama, Chief Justice John Roberts re-administered the constitutional oath of office to Obama in the Map Room (the oath having been flubbed in the ceremony the previous day).

The Charles Willson Peale painting of Benjamin Latrobe, a Freemason and the first Architect of the USA, was moved from elsewhere in the White House's Map Room, to be behind the swearing in on January 21, 2009. Latrobe designed many buildings around Lafayette Park, including the highly symbolic Stephen Decatur House.

 The Map Room in 2008, before the second swearing in during 2009. The Latrobe painting was not over the fireplace.
 The Map Room (above and below) in 1992.


Intriguing footnote: In 1848, newly appointed president Thomas Swann and Chief Engineer Benjamin Latrobe sent surveyors to chart a route through the then-Virginia mountains west of Cumberland. Mason County, West Virginia and Point Pleasant, West Virginia - Mothman Country - were first surveyed and charted by Latrobe's surveyors. On January 20, 2013, @anomalistnews floated a news bulletin throughout Twitterland that President Barack Obama had taken his first oath this year on a copy of The Mothman Prophecies. An inappropriate silly joke, perhaps, but one in which there is a strange link to the factual "redo swearing in" of January 21, 2009.

The Number 4
The number of order in the universe is 4—the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water; the four seasons; the four points of the compass; the four phases of the Moon (new, half-moon waxing, full, half-moon waning). The Four Noble Truths epitomize Buddhism. To the Pythagoreans 4 was the source of the tetractys 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, the most perfect number. In medieval times there were thought to be four humors (phlegm, blood, choler, and black bile—hence the adjectives phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, and melancholic), and the body was bled at various places to bring these humors into balance.
Because 4 is generally a practical, material number, few superstitions are associated with it. An exception is in China, where 4 is unlucky because she (“four”) and shi (“death”) sound similar. In the biblical Revelation to John the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse wreak destruction upon humanity. ~ Encyclopaedia Britannica