Friday, 24 April 2015

Deep Beneath our Feet


Bizarre Tales Beneath our Feet

Beneath the landscape of Great Britain lie thousands of miles of forgotten tunnels.
Half a mile beneath me as I write, in the heart of the Nottinghamshire coalfields,  a labyrinth of mining tunnels lies dark, damp and forgotten, having last felt the tread of human feet seven decades ago. There's one such shaft half a mile beneath my house.

Coal mines are one thing – but other tunnels – and their contents, are the source of legend, fear and mystery.  As you sleep tonight, deep beneath you ‘flushers’ – the special breed of men who keep our sewers flowing free, will wade thigh-high in filth, braving rats and disease in a dank, dark world one step from hell – simply  to keep the tons of daily human waste on the move. The history of London’s Underground rail network is rightly the breeding ground of a great horror yarn. Tunnels are the stuff of nightmares; they are somewhere we simply do not want to be. Here’s a witty extract describing the 1972 film Death Line from the website

            ‘The premise: Russell Square tube station is playing host to a series of  gruesome
murders (including a show stopping spade-through-head)      uncovered by a token boring young couple (the man played with rainforest- strength woodenness by David Ladd, son of cowboy short-arse Alan and, more pertinently, brother of the film’s producer Alan Jr.) when they find respectable   civil servant James Cossins face down on the stairs. This same station was the scene of a disaster in Victorian times, when the roof collapsed on a group of tunnel workers, trapping them underground. Could these two tragedies be linked? Well, it wouldn’t be much of a film if they weren’t, and fortunately    they are – in a marvellously inventive way.’

A Victorian Conspiracy?

As urban legends go, the following story seems, on the face of it, to be just that; an urban legend. But there’s more to this yarn than meets the eye.
In 1973, a young student called Pamela Goodsell was walking in a park in the Sydenham area in South London. She decided to take a short cut through an area of  shrubbery. As she elbowed her way through the bushes, she felt the ground begin to give way beneath her feet. Within seconds she was tumbling down a dank-smelling shaft, soil falling all around her. With a violent ‘thud’ she landed on something hard, flat and wooden. Above she could see a distant, bright circle of light from the hole which had opened up beneath her feet. Stunned, she sat there for some seconds, catching her breath and hoping no bones were broken.  She was in some kind of tunnel. From her pocket she took a box of matches and struck one. She had landed on the roof of what appeared to be a Victorian railway carriage. She stretched out and leaned over the edge of the roof and lit another match. What she saw sent her pulse racing.  Through the grimy carriage windows, strewn with cobwebs and flecked with mould, she saw the skeletons of up to thirty passengers, still in rotting Victorian clothes. As the match burned her fingers and went out,  she forced herself back into the shaft above her head,  driven upwards by sheer terror, using her hands, knees and feet against the shaft wall until, bruised, grazed and gasping she hauled herself back into the daylight. Still terrified, she ran home and tried to convince herself that this had all been a dream.
She reported her grisly find to London Transport,  but was told that she must have imagined all this; there was no record of a tunnel beneath the park, and even if there was, the likelihood of  a train being sealed in there – still with passengers – was simply in the realms of fantasy.
Of course, I thought so too. It’s the kind of yarn Hammer Horror would have used – as we’ve already seen when Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance did star in 1972’s Death Line.

Yet, quite by chance, as I was looking through some copies of the Illustrated London News for the year 1864 I came upon a story dated September 10th that year which may indicate that the mysterious Ms. Goodsell’s experience may just have been real.
T. W. Rammell was a Victorian engineer  obsessed with the idea of the ‘pneumatic railway’. In 1864 a 600 yard brickwork tunnel, 10 feet high and 9 feet wide, was built to demonstrate his invention, ‘from Sydenham to the armoury, near the Penge gate’.
This would not match up with the area known today as Sydenham Wells Park, which is too far north. But the nearby Crystal Palace Park has a Penge Gate, and Rammell’s tunnel is supposed to have run from there to the Sydenham entrance.
Rammell’s train was driven along the tunnel by air pressure gained from a large fan wheel. To quote the article;

“When the journey is to be performed the brakes are taken off…the carriage moves by its own momentum into the mouth of the tube, passing in its course over a deep air well in the floor, covered with an iron grating. Up this opening a gust of wind is sent by the disk (fan) when a valve, formed by a pair of iron doors, hung like lock-gates, immediately closes firmly over the entrance of the tunnel, confining the increasing atmospheric pressure between the valve and the rear of the carriage…”

Rammell's big demonstration of his pneumatic railway as depicted in the Illustrated London News, 1864.

Thus the train would glide silently and cleanly along – a real novelty in the grimy steam era of 1864. “Instead of a train being used at Sydenham, there is one very long, roomy and comfortable carriage, resembling an elongated omnibus, and capable of accommodating some thirty to thirty- five passengers…”
Visitors to the grounds of the Crystal Palace could take this 600 yard underground journey, which lasted just under a minute, for  sixpence return.
So, what happened to Rammell’s tunnel? Is it still there? Did some passengers take a one-way ride? Had it not been for the financial crisis of 1866, Rammell may have been the founder of the London tube system. In October 1865 he began work on the half mile Waterloo and Whitehall underground tunnel between Whitehall and the edge of the Thames. But Rammell ran out of funds in 1866 and his tunnel, (which apparently still exists) was abandoned.
I put out an unsuccessful appeal on London’s LBC Radio for Ms. Goodsell to come forward.  Nothing was known of her whereabouts either now, or at the time of her experience. But Rammell’s tunnel is a fact. Is there a coachload of corpses beneath the park?  There have been attempts to (if you’ll excuse the phrase) ‘get to the bottom’ of this mystery. Archaeologists, the BBC and others have come to the conclusion that story is full of holes, 20% fact and 80% romantic myth. No corpses have been found. But how did a modern urban legend like this get started?
Can such an immense engineering project as a tunnel simply vanish into history? The answer is yes. You can’t see tunnels – they’re underground. There are some bizarre remains down there, too.

Waldorf-Astoria or Roosevelt Platform under the Grand Central Station, New York. It was first used in 1938, but being famous because of Roosevelt, who wanted to hide this way the fact that he has polio and using a wheelchair. His train is still there, which was large enough for the President's armoured car, which could be taken underground via a giant elevator.

In  1912, The Degnon Construction Company were hard at work beneath the streets of New York  building the City’s new subway system.  One morning in February 1912, the soil before them suddenly gave way and the startled engineers found that someone had been there before them. They were amazed to find a perfectly engineered subway tunnel, with a carriage still on the tracks. At the end of the tunnel was a sumptuous 120-foot waiting room with murals, chandeliers and expensive tiling.

This construction had been a massive, secret project carried out by one Alfred Ely Beach, famous in the USA as the owner of the successful magazine, Scientific American.
Back in the 1860’s, Beach had been inspired by Rammell’s attempts to run a pneumatic railway in London, and had decided to build his own beneath New York.  Political forces were against him, and he was refused planning permission.

His solution was to have his construction crews smuggled underground at night, and the soil was brought up in sacks.  Although his subway was opened on February 28th 1870, within a couple of years, like Rammell in London, Beach was forced to abandon his project by a financial crisis. And so it remained, dark and forgotten for 39 years.

Beach's subway in action

If it could happen in New York, why not Sydenham?


In 2002 I interviewed the late author Barry Herbert, who had been enjoying some success with his books on railway ghosts . During the conversation he told me a peculiar story of his meeting with a retired Sheffield engine driver, who, like him, was a dedicated railway buff.
Warning; FOAF imminent - (a ‘friend of a friend’) yarn!
Other than the location, Sheffield, Mr. Herbert refused to give me details of his footplate friend’s identity, claiming that the retired driver had signed the Official Secrets Act.
The aftermath of the 1963 Beeching Report, which decimated Britain’s rail network, coincided with the dark days of the Cold War and the growing paranoia around the possibility of nuclear Armageddon. As a long-serving steam locomotive driver, the hapless Sheffield railwayman was among many who were designated the sad task of seeing their faithful engines, which were to be replaced by diesel units,  off onto their final trip to the breaker’s yards at Barry Island in South Wales. He’d already heard strange stories of footplate crews being sent home early from work only to return to find ‘their’ engine had vanished during the night. Then, one night in 1967, he’d been approached by ‘a man from the MoD’ and was asked, along with a selected few other drivers, to become part of a special crew taking selected locomotives on a journey not to the scrap yard, but to a secret location, where they would be mothballed for future use.  However, every driver, fireman or Fat Controller employed in this scheme was required to sign the Official Secrets Act and never reveal the whereabouts of their slumbering Thomas Tank Engines.
Urban Myth  - or Conspiracy nuttery?

    The facts are thin on the ground, but there were selective records kept of all locomotives decommissioned and scrapped. Members of the train spotting fraternity are noted for their meticulous thoroughness, and those with a keen eye soon spotted the absence in the records of approximately 70 engines. It is known that at one time the Royal Engineers ran courses for the Sappers in steam loco driving . With the closure of the Longmoor Military Railway in 1969, which ran 70 miles between Liss and Bordon in Hampshire, the MoD lost its own in-house training facility. All this could be cited as circumstantial evidence, although it doesn’t prove locos were ‘spirited away’. However, if they have been hidden, then their location remains the Holy Grail for romantically-minded rail fans. 
A fine Stanier 8 preserved and ready for action
This secret fleet of locos, claimed by train aficionados to be Stanier 8 and 9F models, most of which were only 10 years old, with an expected service life of between 50 and 100 years were to be kept in reserve in the event of a nuclear attack. The USSR had already done this, as had Sweden and some other Eastern European countries. It became known as the SSR (Strategic Steam Reserve). Railway fans of a more quixotic bent saw these fine machines in the role of a mechanical King Arthur, ready and waiting to answer the call in the hour of Britain’s need. Being organically propelled vehicles, and, at the time, the UK having huge coal stocks, they offered the prospect of some kind of transportation in an apocalyptic Mad Max landscape where everything electrical had been trashed due to the immense electromagnetic radiation given off by a nuclear blast.
            The majority of serious railway observers regard the SSR as nothing more than a fanciful legend. But this is the age of conspiracies, and there’s no shortage of determined choo-choo theorists out there who remain determined to follow the rusty rails which they hope will lead to Arthur’s mothballed leviathans. So - if there’s any veracity in all this - where are the missing locos? Time to go underground.
It’s well known that had the Soviets threw a few megatons at us, then whilst we, Joe Public, would end up as crispy bacon, our noble leaders would have survived at the British government's alternative seat of power in the underground ‘city’ known as Burlington , 100 feet below ground at Corsham in Wiltshire. Covering 35 acres, 1km long and 200 meters across, its ten miles of tunnelling was built between 1956 - 61 to safely house 4000 ‘worthies’ -   the Prime Minister, Cabinet Office, local and national government agencies, intelligence and security advisors and domestic support staff. After Burlington was decommissioned in 1991, it still remained secret until it was declassified in 2004. You’ll find no railway lines down there, because our rulers had their own fleet of battery powered buggies to get around on. However, some SSR hunters cite Burlington’s close northern neighbour, - Tunnel Quarry

The eastern portal of Box Tunnel, Wiltshire, UK. The disused entry to Tunnel Quarry is on the right. Much speculation has surrounded the purpose of the long-removed line into the tunnel, the tunnel itself and the station deep within. Derek Hawkins [CC-BY-SA-2.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Central Ammunition Depot as a potential loco store. It has underground railway platforms and a siding which many ‘hunters’ claimed as the final wartime destination for the Royal Train, transporting the Windsors to Burlington bunker; and that the 4,000 Whitehall staff’s requisitioned trains would disembark there ready for them to take up their Burlington residence. Tunnel Quarry remained in MoD hands, to house the Corsham Computer Centre, and its rail link  to the ex GWR main line could have been used to house the SSR .

Another favourite potential locomotive hidey-hole is Brunel’s 1836 Box Tunnel  between Bath and Chippenham. Rail travellers would be familiar with the Western portal to the tunnel, but there’s also an elusive Eastern portal. This is a small side tunnel to the north leading to an underground quarry which supplied the fine Bath stone used for many buildings along the line. Some claim that the locos are hidden away there behind large steel doors.

Then, in 2000, I came across an intriguing web site run by one of the SSR’s leading enthusiasts, Rory Lushman . Headed ‘Heapey, There’s Trains in Them Thar Hills’, this is a solid testament to the boundless investigative determination of an enthusiastic urban (or in this case, rural) explorer. After dismissing the idea of the Box Tunnel as the SSR’s hiding place, Lushman tells us “I was put in contact with a man called Paul Screeton who told me about another possible site. Paul has been investigating for many years unusual stories across the country, especially those concerning rail myths. He came across a railway worker who claimed to have seen lines of locomotives at an old former Ordnance factory in Heapey, Chorley.” The ensuing ten pages offer all manner of tantalising hints - elderly locals who used to call this place ‘the steam train graveyard’, and mysterious reports of nocturnal comings and goings. After his lengthy exploration of the site (albeit from a restrictive distance)

One of the Heapey Tunnels. Photo by Rory Lushman.
Lushman sums up:
“The locals recount the tales of the steam trains being kept in the hillside. We know for definite that the site is still visited by lorries and the police. What is going on in this small village of Heapey? Do the locals care? Is there something more than old ammunition, or maybe even new ammunition kept in the hillsides. Could old steam trains be kept there?”
Of course, this was all pre-Google Earth. So using this I took a look at the site and indeed there are four roads which end in tunnel entrances, and the site is still secured by serious fencing and walls, and patrolled by security guards. Could there be trains in there? Not according to secret bases expert Alan Turnbull . Turnbull admits that Heapey is still secret and still active, but has doubts about King Arthur’s locos.

Other possibilities include one of the three Woodhead tunnels in Yorkshire (although the favoured Tunnel 3 now carries National Grid cables), locations in Wales, and Scotland has its own clan of SSR hunters. This, for example, is from a forum discussion on the subject at  :

“SSR is a possible explanation for the long tunnel in Greenock from the top of the town (where the Kilmacolm line and the link to  the Paisley line join) to Princes Pier.  This remained double tracked and the rails were still there the last time I looked …Why would you leave the rails in a disused tunnel?  The rails also continued through the Paisley link tunnel joining the Wemyss Bay line at Inchgreen … and I am talking recently.”

Ultimately, the Strategic Steam Reserve wears the same mythical cloak of Joseph of Arimathea visiting Glastonbury, or Adolf Hitler staying at a B&B in Liverpool on the late 1920s. Anti-SSR adherents (and they’re legion) have some strong counter arguments. Locos stored in damp tunnels would need regular attention to stop them seizing up or rusting away. And here’s another thought - perhaps we already have the SSR in the many preserved steam lines throughout the country. But these mighty iron beasts, waiting there in the subterranean darkness … it should be a notion to keep any fortean in motion.
Romantic hogwash? Would any government at the height of the cold war have been so stupid as to destroy all but a few private engines and those run by museums? It seems doubtful.
Beneath the fields and streets of our country lie citadels, halls of refuge for the rich and powerful, and thousands of miles of  hidden tunnels. Perhaps what keeps us from knowing more about this underworld is our fear of the dark, the deep and the unseen.

Recommended reading;
Bainton Roy The Mammoth Book of Unexplained Phenomena Constable & Robinson, London, Running Press Inc. USA.
Herbert, Barry; RAILWAY GHOSTS Railway Book Club, 1985
Richard Trench & Ellis Hillman; LONDON UNDER LONDON John Murray, 1984.
Lambert, Anthony J., Editor, 19th CENTURY RAILWAY HISTORY THROUGH THE LONDON ILLUSTRATED NEWS.  David & Charles, 1984.

White, H. P. FORGOTTEN RAILWAYS David & Charles 1986

Laurie, Peter BENEATH THE CITY STREETS Granada Publishing 1979

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Clashing Symbols and Witchfinder Generals

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding
count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man;
and his number is Six hundred three-score and six.

Book of Revelation 13: 18

Bambi. Mickey Mouse. Donald Duck.  Representatives of  subversive evil? Let’s get a grip here. Look closer. Goofy certainly has a bit of an odd look about him. Then, of course, there’s the 7 Dwarfs.  Who were they? Why did they live in a dark forest and work underground, and what kind of sleazy deal did they have with Snow White – sharing that secluded cottage…..  heigh ho, heigh ho…. off to bed we go? 

And what about the Orwellian Disneyland, where, amongst other regulations, the unctuously ‘nice’ and always ‘correct’ staff are not even allowed to grow facial hair?
And as for Fantasia, with its sorcerer’s apprentice and dancing broomsticks; maybe, according to the Witchfinders, old Uncle Walt Disney was a  bit more sinister than we like to think.

Doc (just in case) Dopey (not quite) Happy (You bet he is) Grumpy (waiting his turn)  
Bashful (too late for that) Sleepy (not for long) Sneezy (in charge of the Kleenex)

At least, that has been the  bee in the bonnet of some of America’s new wave of born-again Bible students in recent years. We should forget the stereotypical redneck Jesus fanatic; despite some often startling claims and  bizarre views many recent recruits are at least capable of making their case without spelling mistakes.
Way down in Austin, Texas there’s an ex-military man called Texe Marrs who runs his own Internet Newsletter Power of Prophesy. This self-proclaimed ‘Ministry of Truth’ is slightly more articulate than most of its ilk, and avoids that barking-mad fringe temptation TO GO INTO CAPITALS TO MAKE A POINT. Although not exactly an out-and-out hate merchant, Texe does seem to have it in for just about everyone – from lacklustre Christians to Zionist Jews and the Pentagon, we’re all going to Hell in a handcart unless we recognise the abundant signs of the approaching New World Order. Sadly, though, as ever, it’s  ‘the Jews wot done it’ which is a peculiar prejudice for Christians - wasn’t Jesus a Jew, after all?  Texe, whose nearest comparison in the UK could be David Icke, is a prolific author with a dozen books under his belt with titles like The Blind and The Dead and Leviathan In Space. One Marrs presentation was called  Project L.U.C.I.D. which, among other high-tech terrors, informed us of the secret designs behind the one-time rush to get us all carrying computerised I.D. cards[1]. Said, Texe:

‘The computerised I.D. card – to be followed eventually by an implanted chip – is an electronic straitjacket that allows the New World Order’s Gestapo to track and link every man, woman and child on planet Earth. Our activities are going to be monitored 24 hours per day, seven days per week, by Gestapo agencies……Who among us can possibly escape from the electronic cages now being prepared for all mankind?’

Thankfully, in the UK we dodged the New Labour government’s lust for ID cards.
However, among the many fascinating revelations on Texe Marrs’ site, his section on something he calls ‘Devil logos’ provides an inviting threshold to the study of the iconography of the corporate globe, which leads inevitably to the often bizarre symbolism of world currency.
So, back to Walt Disney. Check out the great Cryogenist’s famous trademark signature. Can you spot the Mark of The Beast? Oh, yes – there’s three cleverly disguised 6’s in there – pay attention. The gripe against Uncle Walt’s tinsel town successors is that they have a ‘hostility to traditional Christian values’.  What form this hostility takes is anyone’s guess – but perhaps the Devil might be pleased with some of the studio’s recent sacrificial turkeys.

But that’s all kid’s stuff. Reebok gave the name Incubus to a woman’s running shoe. Of course, all good students of the occult know that an Incubus is a demon who makes love to women whilst they’re asleep.[2] What were those Reebok people up to? A spokesman for the company claimed to have been ‘surprised’ when the demonic name was explained to him[3]. Then again, there’s been a few gaffes by running shoe companies. Umbro called one of its designs Zyklon - all you needed was to add the separate letter ‘B’ and you had the gas used by the Nazis. Nike stumbled with a shoe called Black and Tan, which didn’t go down too well with the Irish. Then there was a bit of Japanese outrage over Air Jordan’s Rising Sun shoe, but Nike got into potential Fatwa territory with their Air Bakin shoe, because the chosen ‘Air’ logo design was claimed to spell ‘Allah’ in Arabic. Dangerous footwear, trainers.

Online Witchfinder Generals who keep up a constant Satan watch never have to look far. AT & T’s Bell Laboratories became known as Lucent Technologies. Their logo was a fiery red circle. But the Ministry of Truth were onto this one – especially after they were horrified to discover that one of Lucent’s software products was being marketed under the name Inferno. Even the word Lucent has been figured out to be a truncated version of ‘Lucifer’s Enterprises’.  A Ministry member from Columbus, Ohio, made this deduction from Lucent’s fiery red logo; ‘Lucent Technologies is the most blatantly evil company in the world…’  Of course the form and purpose of the ‘evil’ behind all this Satanic graphic art remains vague (or should that be ‘secret’?) and is rarely expanded upon.  For instance, what happens if you or a relative has 666 in their phone number?  (As did my late daughter…) Do we get the black candles out, strip off, dance around the kitchen and microwave the cat?  Whilst the sceptics among us can have a good old chuckle over all these visualisations of the New World Order, one of the plus points to the concentration on symbols is that at last the virulent, hoary old anti-Semitic fakery of The Protocols of The Elders of Zion is taking a back seat on the global conspiracy bandwagon.  It seems to be the technical, silicone valley outfits (known to the new Witchfinder Generals as ‘Big Brother’ technologies) who come in for a righteous bashing these days. Apple Computers’ logo – the apple with the ‘byte’ taken out, obviously represents the tasting of the Forbidden Fruit by Adam in the Garden of Eden. Honeywell Inc. have had dealings with their provocatively-named European subsidiary, Lucifer Industries, and they have been known to co-operate with a software corporation known as Oracle. Halloween must have been a fun night in the Honeywell boardroom. And let us not forget the Lucifer Lighting Company of San Antonio – even the Devil needs to see what the Hell he’s doing.

But if the Satanic robes hanging in the world’s corporate executive locker rooms need a good wash, then there would be only one detergent company to choose.
The whole Devil’s Logo furore goes back to Procter & Gamble’s old logo, the ‘Man in the Moon with 13 stars’. For a company which exists to keep half the world clean, they’ve had an often uphill struggle to get some of the devil-worship muck off their own shirts over the past two decades.  Imaginative believers in P & G’s evil connections cite the following aspects of the logo;
In the curlicues of the old man’s beard can be found an array of triple 6’s. Some can see two ‘horns’ growing out of the old man’s head. Others believe that by connecting the dots (the 13 stars) then three 6’s can be made to appear. Procter & Gamble’s response to all this was a straightforward explanation. The logo was first used in 1851. At that time in some of the more frontier areas of the USA far fewer people could read so that highly pictorial trademarks were easy to spot on packaging. The thirteen stars were nothing more than a homage to the original 13 American colonies, and one of the most popular mid-19th century images  was the Man in The Moon, which P & G adopted.  Witchfinders do not, however, deal in logic. At some time during the 1990s the following media myth broke through which has dogged Procter & Gamble ever since.  It states that at one time, one of P & G’s top executives appeared on a prime-time U.S. TV chat show. In the legend the show varies – some say Phil Donohue,  others claim Sally Jesse Raphael or Jenny Jones. The un-named executive is supposed to have admitted to being a worshipper of Satan. He claimed that some of P & G’s profits were channelled into Satanism; he further boasted that “there aren’t enough Christians in America to stop me”, and that the old man in the company logo is a ‘wizard’.

P&G's new logo, but the Witchfinders
are still concerned - isn't that a crescent moon?
Of course, this is absolute tripe probably concocted by a competitor to bolster up the devil logo mythology. Even the devotees of The Good Book have to admit that no such TV appearance took place. Apart from Procter & Gamble suing over this rumour – and winning – several times, even Christian notables such as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell  and Pat Robertson issued statements in support of P & G[4]. However, for devil-hunters,  there’s always an extra dimension of evil behind what the rest of us accept as the truth. 
Way down in Texas Texe Marrs informed us:

“I have no evidence whatsoever that Procter & Gamble is linked with Satanism”. He then goes on to say “but rumours and questions still remain…in at least one of the lawsuits, the company raised eyebrows when the news came out that Procter & Gamble was seeking exactly $66,600 in damages!”[5]

If that’s the case, then someone at P&G had a wry sense of humour. Yet it seems like when the devil’s around, the truth goes into hiding.

Other corporate ‘devil’ logos which come in for a Bible-bashing  are AOL (America On Line) with their pyramid, CBS-TV’s ‘eye of Horus’, Intel (Pentium) whose logo is claimed to represent the mythical serpent Ouroboros, biting his own tail. Nabisco’s logo, an oval or egg shape sprouting a multi-bar cross, is suspected of being a phallic Masonic fertility symbol. Saturn Automobiles’ logo looks simple enough, but the Witchfinders suggest that the crossed lines on the red background are crossed devil’s horns. When we get to petroleum,  we shift up a couple of gears.
Shell (and let’s face it, this would have been the most obvious logo for the company to choose) are suspected of displaying the golden shell of Aphrodite (see Revelation 13:1 then count the red gaps in the logo). Texaco, with it’s Tau cross on a Satanic pentagram background?
Maybe the fact that it is also a letter ‘T’, with the company being called ‘Texaco’ – and the star a popular Texan emblem, has been conveniently overlooked.  Chrysler motors get a special mention because their ‘wingspan’ logo looks suspiciously like an ancient Egyptian and  Masonic wingspan which protects the sun.

As the capitalist centre of the modern world, America is naturally the nation in charge of the New World Order. The Witchfinders have been onto this for some time. It’s the Masons who planned it all, and if you need any proof, check out the street plan of Washington, D. C., which was laid out in 1791 by a French Freemason,  Pierre Charles L’Enfant. Masonic researcher Manly P. Hall warns us that

Washington's Street plan - the Devil's in the detail.
“When a Mason learns the key to the warrior on the block is the proper application to the dynamo of living power, he has learned the mystery of his craft. The seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands and therefore he may step onward and upward, he must prove his ability to properly apply energy”.[6]

But what about Sandusky, Ohio? Is this the town Lucifer forgot?
You don’t have to surf very far on the internet[7] to discover that the wily L’Enfant planned the streets of Washington so that they included a massive inverted pentagram with it’s bottom tip in the White House. There’s a goat’s head in the design, and a nice bit of civic planning for the kiddies with a Satanic bunny rabbit coming into view if you’re clever enough with your pencil and ruler.

In the end, the New World Order, whose symbols and logos are all around us, will apparently be overseen by the Illuminati and the Freemasons ( and let us not forget that, according to the new religious watchdogs, both George Bush senior and junior, as well as Tony Blair, are 33° Freemasons). This is going to cost lots of money, and when we come to the green stuff,  in particular the U.S. dollar, then roll up your trouser leg and bare a nipple, because the symbolism begins to run riot.
 American Masons began meeting in Boston’s Green Dragon Tavern as early as 1720. Over the decades, as plans were laid down for the eventual overthrow of British rule,  Freemasonry was to play a big part. Revolutionary heroes such as John Hancock, Paul Revere and Peter Faneuil were all Masons, as were a great number of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence. A U.S. State Department publication[8] informs us that ‘It seems likely the designers of the Great Seal and the Masons took their symbols from parallel sources’.  It has also been strongly argued that the symbols on the American dollar bill are Masonic just by coincidence. But make up your own mind. Bank notes are odd things, yet one wonders - how many have been designed by a secret society?

One of the Dollar's many mysteries ,,,
Eye-eye! Here's lookin' at you, kid!
The Secretary of the Congress, Charles Thomson, was involved in the design of the Great Seal, which can be regarded as the USA’s coat of arms. It was adopted by the Congress on June 20th 1792. The central feature of the Seal is a bald eagle, a native of North America. His wings are outstretched in a pose of soaring freedom. That seems fair enough. But more excitable researchers note that there are 32 feathers in one wing and 33 feathers in the other. 32 and 33, if a Mason passes through the Scottish rites, are the highest degrees of Masonry. Another rite, the York, has nine ranks – the number of feathers in the eagle’s tail. In one talon the eagle carries an olive branch, denoting
The Great Seal
peace. It has 13 leaves. In the other talon, however, he’s carrying 13 arrows, signifying that America is equally capable of war. The figure 13 denotes the power of the original 13 colonies. Above the eagle is a field of 13 stars – join them up and you have a Star of David. Some far-out conspiracy types like to turn the Great Seal upside down and claim that the 7 white stripes in the shield represent a 7-candle Jewish temple menorah[9], (as opposed to the 9-candle Channukah menorah). It’s the Jews at it again! The central ‘candle’ emanates nine rays of light, which are actually the eagle’s tail feathers.
But so much for the greenback’s backside.  All this overcooked gumbo is already splattered across the internet, but in case you missed it, here it is again. It’s on the front of the Mighty Dollar where the fun starts.
Some argue that the symbolism on the front of the dollar represents the Roman war against the Jews and the battle of Masada, but this seems far-fetched.
What is spooky is the pyramid and the Latin inscriptions.
The pyramid is said to represent strength and solidity. It has 13 courses of 72 stones symbolising human attributes and divinity. Hovering above is a triangle, sometimes called the keystone, containing the Eye of Providence.  Or is that the Eye of Horus, the Egyptian falcon God of Justice who has power over the sun and sky? Another view is that this is the all-seeing eye of the ‘Grand Architect’, a Masonic term for God. To Masons the pyramid signifies the release from bondage of the Israelites in Egypt. Could this be a comparison with the release of the new Americans from their own bondage with Britain?  Those who see the New World Order still in the assembly stage claim that the fact that the eye in the triangle is detached from the pyramid means that human society is not yet complete and will be ‘imperfect’ until the New Order gets under way.  Who knows – maybe then we’ll get a new dollar with the keystone in place.
The Roman numerals on the pyramid stand for 1776, the USA’s birth date.  Then comes ‘Annuit Coeptis’,  which can be translated as something lifted from Virgil’s epic poem, the Aeneid – ‘He (God) has approved our undertakings’, or, alternatively, ‘a bold beginning’. If we consider 21st century America as the new Roman Empire, then Virgil’s lines on the task of the Romans appears apt;
‘Roman, remember that you shall rule the nations by your authority, for this is to be your skill, to make peace the custom, to spare the conquered, and to wage war until the haughty are brought low’.[10]    Doubtless this did not go down too well in Iraq, but what the dollar says, the G.I. has to do.
Finally, we come to the chilly bit below the pyramid – ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ –
‘A new order of the ages’.  This is another steal from Virgil’s Ecloges, and is claimed to represent the separation of the state from the church, but as every conspiracy theorist will tell you, it’s those Illuminati and Mason people’s promise that the dollar is a constant reminder that the New Order is well under way.
The reason so many of us never have time to consider the symbols on our money is that we can never hold onto it long enough to make a detailed study.  Many of the world’s bank notes have inexplicable oddities. Witchfinders find the mark of The Beast here and there if they’re imaginative enough, and making the right folds will always turn up odd images. The old Finnish Marks of the 1960s, if you folded the president’s face carefully, produced a neat picture of a scurrying rat. There has been a complaint that the simplified graphics on the 2-Euro coins makes the contours of Sweden look like a limp penis, which is probably why sexy Sweden opted out of the new currency.
In his book Magic Symbols[11] Frederick Goodman writes a definition of an occult symbol as “an image which hides an inner meaning. This meaning is usually hidden behind a form”.
In a world where the name of God can appear in a sliced aubergine, the New Witchfinders could find Satan on a bus ticket. However, the next time you’re queuing up for a Ben & Gerry’s in Orlando, Florida, just take a long look at those crisp dollars in your sweaty hand.  Along with  our  frozen uncle, Walt Disney, they may be telling us something we all ought to know – and let’s face it – Britain now stands a snowball’s chance in Hell  of adopting the Euro. As the Reverend T. Blair pushed Britain closer and closer to the U.S.A., and if the sinister, secretive TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Industry Partnership between Europe and the USA)  becomes law, my bet is on the dollar as a future U.K. currency.  Think about it the next time you pull on your baseball cap on your way for a Big Mac via Pizza Hut and KFC. We’ll have plenty of time to read our currency then, but sadly, it’ll all be too late.

Notes / Sources

[1] You can read an excerpt at
[2] Gettings, Fred: Visions of The Occult Guild Publishing, London 1987. The female version of the Incubus (which has it’s way with sleeping men) is known as the Succubus.
[3] US News & World Report March 3rd 1997. 53,000 pairs of Incubus shoes had been sold before anyone pointed out the definition of the name.
[6] Hall, Manly P. The Lost Keys To Freemasonry Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Company, Richmond, Virginia, 1976.
[7] There are numerous sites demonstrating Washington’s occult lay-out.
If you can stand all the capital letters, try or there’s a much deeper analysis at
[8] Patterson, Richard S. & Dougall, Richardson The Eagle & The Shield: a History of The Great Seal of The United States U.S. State Dept. Publications, Washington, 1976.
[9] The 7-branch menorah is described in Exodus 25:31-40. The kohanim lit the menorah in the Sanctuary every evening and cleaned it in the morning, putting fresh olive oil in the cups and replacing the wicks. See also
[10] Benet, William Rose, The Reader’s Encyclopedia  A & C Black, London 1972.
[11] Goodman, Frederick Magic Symbols Brian Todd Publishing, London 1989

Monday, 20 April 2015

Himmler's Holy Lance Part 3



When it came to storing money or valuables and committing robbery for Himmler, SS
Josef Spacil
General Josef Spacil (1907-1967) was very busy as the Reich crumbled around him. He knew where all kinds of cash was buried. But as the Americans were now everywhere, on 8 May 1945 he changed into a plain Wehrmacht uniform and tagged along with the retreating 352 Volksgrenadier Division who were surrendering to US troops. For a while he got away with calling himself ‘Sergeant Aue’, but under intense interrogation his true identity soon came out.  The American Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) officers encouraged him to reveal the location of various caches of cash, gold and buried treasure.
            By June 1945, the CIC in Nuremberg knew there was something amiss. It was known that this city was where Charlemagne’s holy relics had been stored, and suspected that Eberhard Lutze, director of the German Museum, knew more than he was telling. He was taken for some rough interrogation at Ellingen where he told the Liebl cover story about the SS men removing the treasures. Spacil had told the same tale, but after listening to other SS prisoners the Intelligence men were not buying the story. Some had stated that Himmler planned use the Holy Roman relics as symbols of a new German resistance movement. This idea did not sit well with the Americans. SHAEF, (Supreme High Command Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force) had gathered together an impressive crew of art and monuments experts known as the MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives), and they knew their business and what to look for.
It was at this point that Lieutenant Walter Horn arrived, a German speaking member of
MFAA who exercised his prodigious interrogation expertise in Nuremberg. He focused in on one of Mayor Liebl’s cronies, Dr. Friese, and played him off against Josef Spacil. Horn banged Friese up for a night of solitary confinement with the threat that he would have to face Spacil the next day. Friese cracked. The Nazis and the SS, the whole Reich, were finished. Himmler was no longer a threat; on May 25th he’d bitten on his cyanide capsule and had gone to hell as the greatest mass murderer in history. Dr. Friese had nothing more to gain by keeping the location of the treasures secret. Not long after, he led the Americans to the secret entry off Panier Platz, and deep below the street the Holy Roman Empire’s regalia was finally revealed.
So the much repeated story of Hitler dying on the day of the discovery is simply untrue. The Fuhrer had been dead almost two months when the Holy Lance was revealed again. And where was Patton’s Third Army in April 1945? Not beneath the streets in Nuremberg. They were miles away at Kronberg Castle in Frankfurt, where they had ordered the Hesse family, including Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Margaret Hesse, to pack up and move out so that the castle could become a HQ and officer’s club. No doubt Patton, who had a great feeling for poetry and world history, eventually viewed the relics, and with regard to the spear, there is a curiously oblique reference in the first verse of one of his own poems entitled Through a Glass Darkly;

‘Perhaps I stabbed our Saviour
In His sacred helpless side.
Yet I’ve called His name in blessing
When in after times I died.’

So whilst the massed ranks of internet based paranormal/psychic/occult webmasters pass around the legend of the Holy Lance from site to site, complete with all its warts, you can make what you will of the main oracles of all this colourful mythology, Trevor Ravenscroft and his mentor, the psychic Dr. Stein. Without doubt, the true history of the Spear of Destiny is still bizarre and engrossing.
Christoph Lindenberg (1930-1999) was a lecturer at the University of Tuebingen and a prominent German writer and academic whose specialised work was his biography of  Rudolf Steiner (1861 –1925). Steiner was a philosopher and social reformer who also spent a great deal of his life studying spiritualism and mysticism. When Trevor Ravenscroft’s The Spear of Destiny came out in 1973, it was natural that one of its main reviews would be by a German specialist, and Christoph Lindenburg gave the book all the scrutiny he could muster in the journal Die Drie.
One of Lindenberg’s main criticisms is that he doubts whether Dr. Johannes Stein met Hitler at all, and seems dubious about his relationship with Ravenscroft. Stein died in 1957, and The Spear of Destiny didn’t surface until 1973. Because of all the psychic/cosmic/higher consciousness stuff in the book, if you believe in such things, then we have to assume that at some time Stein was dictating to Ravenscroft from the grave. The main problem is that it is easy to believe that Ravenscroft really did intend his book to be simply a historical fantasy novel, yet it was promoted and issued as ‘real’ history, and a dyed in the wool academic like Lindenberg may not have grasped this.  Lindenberg was an expert in the social, mystical and political scene in early 20th century Vienna, so it’s hardly surprising that he blows huge holes in Ravenscroft’s narrative about Hitler. Lindenberg really went to town on research for his review by scouring the Vienna Records office. Ravenscroft’s story, for example,  features Adolf Hitler at the Vienna Opera House in the winter of 1910 – 1, naturally, to fit in with the ‘tramp’ image, in the ‘cheap seats’,  sympathizing with the character Klingsor as he watches Wagner’s Parzifal. That might be fine for Quentin Tarantino, but Lindenberg reveals that it was impossible; the first performance of Wagner’s opera did not take place until January 14, 1914, three years later than Ravenscroft’s version.  Although Ravenscroft/Stein even describe its proprietor in a suitably macabre way ‘a malevolent looking man with a bald pate, a partly hunched back and a toad-like figure’ there’s a problem with the bookshop run by Herr Ernst Pretszche. Lindenbergh combed Vienna’s police records and business directories covering the period 1892 to 1920 but found no such shop.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke is professor of Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter and author of several books including The Occult Roots of Nazism (1985). He also demolishes much of Ravenscroft’s work. For example: ‘The fictional nature of the whole episode surrounding the annotated copy of copy of Parzival is suggested by the similarity of Pretzsche’s obscure bookshop to the one described by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton in Zanoni, (1842), which probably served Ravenscroft as a literary model.’
Then there’s the image of the early Hitler. The media, past and present, has always loved rags to riches, impotent-to-powerful stories, and the thought of the pre-World War 1 Fuhrer as described by Stein as he sits by the window in Vienna’s Demel CafĂ© near the Hofburg Palace (it’s still in business today – great chocolate and fine coffee), reading Hitler’s scribbled notes in the copy of Parzival - ‘the footnotes of Satan’ - fits the bill.  Stein glances through the window and sees ‘the most arrogant face and demonical eyes he had ever seen’. It was Hitler, clad in ‘a sleazy black overcoat, far too big for him’ a starving, ragged pavement artist, flogging post-card size watercolours, toes poking through his tattered shoes ‘beneath frayed trouser ends’.

Still g0ing strong: Cafe Demel, Vienna; Some yummy stuff available here.
If we take on board the comments of the book’s erudite critics, then there appear to be more inaccuracies than you can shake a stick at. Ravenscroft has Stein going to search out Hitler in the ‘flophouse’ he’s living in on Vienna’s Meldemannstrasse, in August, 1912. But when he asks the hostelry’s manager, Herr Kanya, about Hitler’s whereabouts, Kanya informs Stein that Adolf had gone to Spittal-an-der-Drau where an aunt had left him a legacy. Thereafter, Hitler dressed well. But as Christoph Lindenberg points out in his review, whilst it’s true that Johanna Poelzl, Hitler’s aunt, did leave him a legacy, he’d collected in it March 1911, not August 1912.
The most thorough work on Hitler’s early years is by a German, Werner Maser (1922-2007) who in some detail collected all ascertained facts of Hitler’s youth. Among several works covering the period, his 1973 Hitler: Legend Myth and Reality offers many revelations, although other works on the Fuhrer by John Toland and Ian Kershaw are equally as absorbing. Maser’s research reveals that Hitler was not impoverished, and always had enough money. The so-called ‘flophouse’ on Meldenmannstrasse was more of a hotel than a Salvation Army hostel, and Hitler paid for a comparatively expensive room at 15 Kronen a month. He was also particular about his appearance. So the tragic image of a Chaplinesque gutter figure, trying to sell his pictures, is  misleading. Yet as a myth to engender empathy with the destitute German proletariat years later, it was ideal.

The Holy Lance: More than one Destiny?

  • Alan Baker, author of Invisible Eagle, The History of Nazi Occultism, thinks Hitler’s quest for the Hofburg loot was more about its cash value than its occult power.

  • There are also those who insist that the real Holy Lance is not in the Hofburg today, but is in the possession of a secret German society who call themselves the Knights of the Holy Lance, and that a fake lance was constructed and returned to the museum.

  • In Cracow, there’s another contender for the title Holy Lance, yet although it is alleged to have been there for eight centuries, its earlier history is unknown.

  • Professor of medicine at Tulane and then Louisiana State University, Dr. Howard A. Buechner, M.D. served in World War II and is a retired colonel with the U.S. Army. He’s written extensively on the Spear. He claims he was contacted by a WW2 U-Boat commander, using the pseudonym ‘Capt. Wilhelm Bernhart.’ He also states that the Vienna lance is a fake. The ex-U-boat skipper maintains the genuine spear was sent with other Nazi treasures by Hitler to Antarctica on a mission commanded by a ‘Col. Maximilian Hartmann.’ In 1979 Hartmann allegedly recovered the treasures. Buechner received a logbook from Bernhart detailing  this expedition with pictures of the objects recovered, claiming that after the Spear of Destiny was recovered, it was hidden by a Nazi secret society somewhere in Europe. Among others Buechner contacted to enquire about the alleged expedition was Hitler Youth Leader Artur Axmann. Buechener remains convinced that the story is true.
Das Birkenhead Boot: U 534 now a spooky Merseyside tourist attraction.
  •  Another theory is that German U-boat U-534 was carrying the spear. Although Admiral Donitz had ordered all his U-boats to surrender as from 08.00 May 5th, 1945, on that same day U534 was underway heading north towards Norway in the Kattegat, north-west of Helsingor, Denmark when she was attacked by the RAF. She was commanded to stop, yet for some unknown reason U-534 refused to do so. She was badly damaged and began to sink by the stern. 49 of her 52 man crew survived including five who escaped via a torpedo hatch as she lay on the sea bed. Her commander, Kapitänleutnant Herbert Nollau, committed suicide in 1968.

In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board – even perhaps the Holy Lance. Today you can visit her as a museum in the UK at Birkenhead. There were some advanced secret torpedoes on board, but no treasure, according to Danish businessman Karsten Ree who financed U-534’s salvage. No Spear of Destiny. 

Vienna? Cracow? Antarctica? The Knights of the Holy Lance? We may never know, and that’s an essential factor in maintaining a truly engrossing mystery.
Those who have analysed the artefact state that the so-called Spear of Longinus is not the spear that pierced the side of Christ and has been dated to around the 13th century. But there is something about the nail, purported to be from the cross … just maybe …
'Old Blood and Guts' General George Patton.
As for the Spear of Destiny giving the owner ‘power over the world’, Austria was hardly a world power in 1938, nor is it today. The Third Reich was already powerful by the time Hitler got his hands on it. And if General Patton did get hold of it, with the atomic bomb under her belt, America was already powerful enough, although Patton didn’t last much longer than the Fuhrer. Aged 60, he died 12 days after a car crash in Germany of a pulmonary embolism in the afternoon of December 21, 1945. Sadly, not the kind of inglorious death ‘Old Blood and Guts’ had probably envisaged.
Just a couple of other myths about Der demonic Fuhrer. There’s a great line in the Mel Brooks movie, The Producers; ‘Hitler! There was a painter – he could do a whole apartment, two coats, in one afternoon!’ Adolf was never a house painter. The jury may still be out on whether or not he only had one testicle, but the general academic consensus is that he had the full set.

from Constable & Robinson in the UK, or
The Running Press Inc., USA/Canada.
End of blatant commercial.