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Paranormal Music: News/Stories

Annual Halloween Concert - October 5, 2011


Good Evening...
I will perform my annual Halloween concert of original music on
Saturday October 29th from 6-8pm at Bent River Books & Music at 1010 Main st in Old Town Cottonwood
refreshments served

Trivia: Boris Karloff was my great uncle on my father's side, real name William Henry Pratt.
I am proud to carry on the tradition of spooky and strange tales through my music
and have many songs featuring paranormal as well as UFO/ET related themes.

I hope you will join me...
Vyktoria Pratt Keating

Coast to Coast - July 6, 2011

My favorite talk show in the world,
Coast to Coast AM played my song "Into The Amazon" as part of their bumper music on July 5th 2009.
The show, hosted by George Noory, is heard by millions of listeners all around the world and specializes in UFO, parannormal, conspiracy and alternative news topics with top researchers, authors and experts.

April 22nd Fate Radio Interview - April 18, 2011

Host Chris Onefeather interviews Vyktoria on Earth Day April 22, 2011
Host Chris has a wonderful website

PARANORMAL CAFE CD - February 28, 2011

A Cd featuring all of my paranormal songs will be released on March 15th 2011 (my birthday). It is titled "Paranormal Cafe" and includes many new songs such as:
Face on Mars
Scorpio Moon
and more!

GutWrench Interview - February 22, 2011

Monday Feb 28th 7-8:30pm EST
I was interviewed on the popular "Gut & Bone" paranormal talk show
on MONDAY FEBRUARY 28th 7-8:30pm EST!
listen to the archived show at this link

Dead Whisper 2 uses "Yer Dead - February 1, 2011

Filmmaker Ron James is in production for Dead Whisper 2. Here is a short clip on Youtube. The clip features the song
"Yer Dead" the Full length version will be out in a few months and will feature a bonus music video of "Disembodied Voices on Tape"
for preview:

Fate Magazine Interviews Vyktoria - December 29, 2010

Fate Magazine, for many years, has been one of my favorite publications. I have God knows how many back issues that I will never part from. Needless to say I was totally thrilled and honored when they asked to interview me for their website e-version of Fate.
The interview is currently on the front page of their website

Jerry Pippin Show Airs Halloween Concert - November 1, 2010

The fabulous Jerry Pippin has posted a podcast of my Halloween concert on his website. He hosts a lng running show on all things paranormal, ufo and strange. The concert is from Friday Oct 29th in Sedona. It is currently on his website. Go to:

Halloween Concert - October 25, 2010


Good Evening...
I will perform my annual Halloween concert of original music on
Friday October 29th from 6:30-8pm at Sedona Heartwalk
1456 Hwy 179 in Sedona 928-204-5589 $5 includes refreshments

Trivia: Boris Karloff was my great uncle on my father's side, real name William Henry Pratt.
I am proud to carry on the tradition of spooky and strange tales through my music
and have many songs featuring paranormal as well as UFO/ET related themes.

I hope you will join me...
Vyktoria Pratt Keating

Music for Film - July 12, 2010

VPK is currently seeking films to score or to place her songs. Her recent CD "Things That Fall From
The Sky" features lush, cinematic production by Andrew Giddings
(keyboardist, Jethro Tull). Specializing in songs with
paranormal, sci-fi, UFO, mystical, spiritual and fortean themes, she is
particularly interested in movies and documentaries presenting
similar subject matter.


Thoughts on the Nature of Secrets - March 9, 2009
a great read on conspiracy entitled
"Can Government Keep a Secret"
by my brother Noel Pratt

Ghostly Stories, Sightings, Strange Phenomena, Conspiracies - June 21, 2008


This section of is going to be devoted largely to stories, poetry, musings, and news of the paranormal. I am proud to kick it off with a story by my brother, Noel Pratt. This section will feature Noel's writings on a regular basis as well as "The Jim Hale Corner", a logbook of amazing tales and the musings of my good friend Jim Hale.

Sometime around 1994, Jim, Noel and I formed "The Mystery Club", a regular gathering to explore paranormal, UFO and related events, topics, news, movies etc. With the three of us comprising the core group, we have had many guests (you know who you are). We still meet when we can.

Don't Look Now (By JIm Hale) - June 13, 2008

Don’t Look Now

J. Hale – May 2011

A few decades ago I was on my way to a big Vicky Pratt Keating concert in Warrenton with my buddy Ted. We were cruising down the altered state and listening to some future oldies on the radio when Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” came on:

Out on the road today
I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac,
A little voice inside my head said, don't look back,
You can never look back…

Right about then the station faded out and another one in; the new one was carrying the Greaseman. Greaseman was a shock jock back before the term or the genre was well known. He ran a highly rated talk show on DC-101 until his politically incorrect sense of humor got him yanked off the air one Martin Luther King Day.

Kind of a cross between Lenny Bruce and Robin Williams, Grease had a manic depressive’s gift for spewing the most inappropriately hysterical rants you could ever hope to hear. Listeners would call in and they’d be having a normal conversation on some innocuous topic when a word or a thought would set the Greaseman’s inner Mr. Hyde loose, and from there you never knew where things might lead.

But this was a relatively mild and pre-rehearsed gag involving a mugging scene where the victim was a Catholic priest. The priest was attempting to dissuade his assailant with counseling on the eternal consequences of his sinful ways, but the mugger was unrepentant. To the contrary, he was proud of his morally degenerate lifestyle and regaled the Father with numerous examples of his nefarious accomplishments. He boasted that if the priest could name one single sin he hadn’t already committed, he would commit that sin right then and there. The priest suggested suicide.

It seemed like the bit went on for 10 or 15 minutes, but when Greaseman’s station receded into the ether and the original returned, Don Henley’s song was still playing:

I thought I knew what love was,
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever,
I should just let them go…

I bring all this up only because something similar happened the other day on that same stretch of road, the Radio Twilight Zone, along 29 N between Culpeper and Warrenton.

This time I was tuned to a morning talk/music show when the hosts placed a phone call to their pal in New York. He was going to see Elvis Costello that night and was excited that Elvis had brought back “The Wheel” for this tour. Seems “The Wheel” is a big upright roulette type thing with song titles; Costello spins it and plays whatever song the pointer lands on. They were going on about him and his wheel when that station dropped out and another took its place playing, believe it or not, “The Wheel in the Sky” by Journey:

Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’
I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’…

Just those lyrics repeated over and over again to some 80’s era power chords, but the cosmic timing was perfect. At first I thought it must have been a planned gimmick, but no, the Wheel in the Sky station rolled over and when the talk show guys popped back up they were in the middle of a completely different conversation.

And that’s when I saw it…

The patch of brown emerging from the greenery ahead to my right. Instantaneously, I uttered the word, “GOD-”, but the follow-up expletive had to be deleted because it was on me so fast. My foot didn’t have time to leave the gas pedal but somehow my arms managed to spin the wheel about 33º counter-clockwise faster than I could think about it. I turned my head to look for cars in the adjacent lane and prepare myself for death by deer through the windshield when…nothing happened. No crash boom bang, no shattered glass, no airbags, no blood, no gore, no nothing.

In the rearview I witnessed the very bizarre sight of a deer sailing tail-first and sideways over the road. Its legs flailing wildly in mid-air gave the impression that it actually was running through the air, very cartoony and moonwalky like. It skidded to a stop in the grass, stumbled, then managed to get up and trot across the median out of sight, with both of us wondering: “What the hell just happened?”

I mean, I was doing 65 mph and that deer was moving at a pretty good downhill clip too. He (or she, probably) did not pause to look both ways for traffic and was right on top of my car in a heartbeat. I pulled over as soon as I could to check things out and the slightest little scuff marks with some embedded hairs on the front right corner of my bumper proved that I hadn’t simply imagined how close it was – but it also made the lack of disaster seem that that much more mysterious.

What laws of physics would allow a car-struck deer to keep going in its original direction, except in reverse airborne fashion, and still be capable of getting up and running away on all four legs?

After several days of ruminating about this, I concluded that some precisely applied principle of aerodynamics must have resulted in the deer getting flipped up and over the top of my car – the way a wide receiver running full speed to snag a pass goes somersaulting head over heels when the defensive back dives low into his legs, with minimal damage to either. But defensive backs don’t weigh 2400 pounds and they aren’t running 65 mph and the deer wasn’t wearing any protective padding, so I dunno.

Last night a friend shared his story of witnessing a cat who, once upon a time, was startled by the sudden appearance of a bull terrier and “literally launched itself straight up four feet into the air and out over the yard, hit the ground running and cleared our six foot fence in about two seconds. This cat transformed itself into a Frisbee, spinning several times like a wheel.”

Maybe my deer did something similar, the old Wheel in the Sky trick. Maybe a lot of animals have the app for that? But after a while my friend’s story reminded me of another feline with some interesting talents, a cat that belonged to a guy named Schrodinger.

Quoting from

In 1935 [physicist] Erwin Schrodinger proposed a famous thought experiment in which a cat was somehow both alive and dead at the same time...In his original thought experiment, Schrodinger imagined that a cat is locked in a box, along with a radioactive atom that is connected to a vial containing a deadly poison. If the atom decays, it causes the vial to smash and the cat to be killed. When the box is closed we do not know if the atom has decayed or not, which means that it can be in both the decayed state and the non-decayed state at the same time. Therefore, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time - which clearly does not happen in classical physics.

Although intended to demonstrate the paradoxical absurdity of something existing in multiple states until it is observed, as the Copenhagen Interpretation (proposed by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in the mid 1920’s) implies, many physicists contend that Schrodinger’s Cat (and anything else subject to conditions of quantum indeterminacy) not only can but does exist in multiple states simultaneously until an act of observation (or a measurement) collapses its “wavefunction” – the set of all potential probabilities – down to the one unique state that is observed. Similar to the way many radio stations are broadcasting on the same frequency but you only hear the one your receiver detects.

In the mid 1950’s, Hugh Everett III, a graduate student / Ph.D. candidate in the Physics Department at Princeton, developed a different solution to the multi-state conundrum. Calling it the Relative State Formulation, Everett proposed that there was no collapse of the wavefunction but that instead, whenever faced with making a quantum level determination, the universe simply branches into separate decoherent universes with each quantum possibility becoming the observed actuality in one universe or the other.

This notion of ever-splitting universes, generally referred to nowadays as the Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI), is taken very seriously by modern physicists but Everett and his concepts were treated with such derision by the scientific establishment of the 1950’s that he abandoned his work in theoretical physics and applied himself to more pragmatic pursuits like helping the Pentagon develop new weapon technologies.

Born in Washington, DC in 1930, Everett lived in McLean, VA for most of his adult life and frequently traveled up and down Route 29 between Warrenton and Culpeper. Possibly. It’s also possible that he occasionally experienced the curious behavior of radio waves along that road, and who knows, he might have even hit a deer or two – IF he had been looking at it…

You see, I now realize that my salvation, and the deer’s, must have came from the fact that I turned my head at the exact instant of universal bifurcation – that critical sub-nanosecond when the deer and I were both colliding and not colliding, thereby allowing anything that possibly could happen, including the miraculously improbable, to actually happen. In other words, had I kept my eyes on the deer to observe the singularity, I probably wouldn’t be here writing this today – and in some other universe they’re probably going through the motions of a funeral service for my former parallel self right about now.

Come to think of it, I have been feeling a little different lately, and I don’t remember liking Don Henley, Journey, or the Greaseman all that much, but I do hope they play The Boys of Summer, Wheel in the Sky, and maybe a few bits from Grease’s radio show at my doppelganger’s funeral. And I hope the hearse is a Cadillac with a Deadhead sticker.

Hey – didn’t my eyes used to be green? Hmm…

At any rate friends, the lesson to be learned here is that, for best results, don’t look now. Keep your eyes closed as much as possible in order to allow the universe to proceed on course with its most miraculous and improbable ways, which it can only do when you’re not looking. The ancients understood this principle and taught people to pray and meditate with their eyes closed. If thy eye offends thee pluck it out, etc. Probably best to keep your ears plugged too, and whatever you do, don’t try to measure anything! Throw out all rulers, tape measures, clocks, calendars, scales, etc. These things only serve to limit your possibilities. The Egyptians and Stonehenge builders didn’t need no stinkin’ scales, that’s how they were able to move those huge stones around with ease.

So, until next time and space, may the wheel in your sky keep on turnin’,
and Don’t Look Now!

"And The Blind Shall Lead Them" - May 19, 2008

(excerpts; email author for free Word file of complete story,
29 pages at 1.5-spaced)
Copyright 2007 by Noel Pratt,

I met a man last year who swore he wouldn’t go crazy. “Nowhere near it” was how he put it, in fact. And recalling the days that ended a week ago, I still cannot say whether he was one of the mad ones. When we met – as I stopped to take advantage of some free literature the man was distributing – his company had him on a street corner which was a minute’s walk from where I lived on the outskirts of town. This corner was, for the time being anyway, his outpost.
Upon discovering his kiosk (which resembled a fully stocked newsstand), and seeing him place the volume he’d been reading face-down on the counter, I had quipped ironically that I’d probably go crazy if ever given the time he had to read on the job. He seemed delighted at this and so began our exchange. Worth mentioning here is the fact that, throughout the ensuing interview, I would from time to time assess the stall in front of me, and found there to be an eeriness brought about by its small size in relation to the strong, dreamlike sense I had of its containing within itself everything the mind could ever want. For me, already, the kiosk emanated a tantalizing air of dimensional depth and hominess, like a long-beloved library.
However, the man confessed to spending almost as much time in the corner coffee shop as within the shelter of the kiosk, this notwithstanding a certain hint of the zealot about his manner of work. He hadn’t been at this job long, yet it wasn’t long before he invited me to join him inside the coffee shop for what he termed a quick cup, saying he could perhaps use some real company. Before stepping in with him, I took note of something strange about this man’s eyes, something odd. And the demeanor of newfound zeal was giving way to an apparent nervousness. I surmised that all had not gone well with his world. Furthermore, it was not my business to find out just what. Such people simply seemed to find me…or I them.
My portly companion formally introduced himself after our coffees came. “My birth name is [and here he enunciated something that sounded either foreign or garbled, or was confused by the noise of silverware nearby] – but the dear people rather I chose a common name so you can all me Rex.” I then introduced myself and, when he asked what occupied my time, figured it best to tell him I was between jobs. “That’s the best place I’ve ever found to be,” he said with dubious cheer, then suffered a too-early sip from his steaming mug. He curled his lips…the eyes looked up at me….

…Here he did something astounding, yet simple in hindsight. He plopped out his two eyes with his fingers and held them in his palms. The sockets under his brow were expertly cauterized. The “eyes” were obviously false, but highly advanced mechanisms. “Yet when you lose your sight,” said Rex, “as I did three years ago, you begin to wish you’d expended a little more of that energy while you had the chance. And so along came a second chance for me – a real gift. You see, the company gave me these eyes last month.” He then placed his eyes back where they belonged and smiled. “I haven’t stopped reading since.”
Apparently this accounted for the slight oddness and awkwardness I’d noticed in him initially. It was as if he were still getting used to his so-called gift.
“And that was just for joining,” he added.
When I asked the name of the people he worked for, he replied: “The World’s Largest Distributor of Free Literature.” I could actually hear the capitals accented in his voice….

…I looked outside at the dying daylight. A seeing-eye dog stopped on its leash in front of the […] kiosk. The dog’s owner came to a stop too, and began calling after his dog. But the animal did not come to him; it stood stock-still with its eyes staring straight ahead down the sidewalk. The kiosk was to the dog’s right. I peered at the dog and saw the vacant look in its left eye facing the café window. Or could it be called vacant? The beast on the whole gave the impression of a deep shift in…consciousness. As I watched it come upon him, Rex looked out to see what held my attention. He was squinting. The dog began to agitate, stepping backward then forward, walking in a circle, and now and then stopping to shake violently. The blind man holding the leash was himself stumbling about in an attempt to locate his companion, and when the dog again came to a sudden stop, was more or less jerked back in a reversal of the usual dynamic.
“It’s him! I know him,” Rex said.
“Does he need help?” I asked.
“It’s too thick, all around this small section of town. He is called the Backslider. Observe the dog itself!”
At that moment the dog performed a thrashing twist-about and strained toward the waterfront, actually pulling its owner for a few steps. Then the man let go of the leash and the dog bolted, dragging the leash behind it.
“It went blind,” said Rex with a shudder. “Lights out, ha! Can you imagine: the whole ordeal of earthly consciousness suddenly flooding the poor beast’s brain?”
“Your ‘philosia’?” I asked….

…“I suspect the authorities, for reasons unknown to them, will soon remove the frozen statue, and one day soon it will be thought that a statue is all it is or ever was, and it will stand in some nearby park, if there be any left. A story will be told commemorating…”
As Rex indulged the imaginative scenario to which anyone was entitled, three other things happened outside. The snow now fell straight and slow, but became so thick as to cause a virtual white-out; and as if to refute the age-old caution that books were but dead words, the last of the books winging about were seen to have such dense writing on their pages that they appeared black, thus being the only discernible objects as eyes turned heavenward. And this writing was taking place as they flew! Finally, the very last book I saw myself was the one that swooped sideways and knocked off the highest hand of the tallest of the eternally grasping monks. Off it fell onto the ice, where it twitched no more.
“…an example has indeed been made.”
Rex was now quiet a moment. Who knew if what he was saying was so; but it might as well be. It made as much sense as anything else. I was glad I had not joined the Order of the Haggis. And that they had never seen fit to return the book I’d entrusted to their keep. But my thoughts were now disturbed by a rustling behind me. Rex had retrieved something from his bag. More literature? Somehow I doubted it. Turning to the window again, I thought I might rest my chin for a moment on the cold sill…might watch the falling flakes. But this was not to be.
“Here is something, here are clues,” Rex was saying, his voice much less exultant. And instead I had to make way for what Rex was attempting to place upon the sill, the object backlit by the glare from outside. “They too have been talking among themselves,” he said. “We have not been at odds, no, it is not truly that way.” He was clearly agitated underneath the reasonable words. “Please to read it as I cannot; perhaps some indication of the scale… Er, people’s thoughts. Aloud, please.”
It was the compact, squarish form of that electronic animal we have all lived with for some time. Instead of being brought down in spirit, however, I felt a definite draft, but one of transcendence, an “above it all” I’d not felt in years.
I pushed the thing from the window just as its operations lit up its filmy eye. Again Rex acted on the instinct of one whose sight was intact – he joined me head-to-head to watch the short plummet of the object from his bag. What we saw – rather, what I saw, and with my own eyes – was only a hole of the most incredible depth in the snow, as going through the street and into hell itself. Shall I not say it as it looked to me? And around the fringe of the initial shape,….
(for the rest of the story, email

Moon Hoax Revisited - May 18, 2008

On a recent outing I picked up a 1989 documentary video about the Apollo II moon landing mission and watched it this afternoon looking for any evidence of possible hoax-inations.

There were the usual impossible lighting/shadow effects in some of the photography but I also spotted another glaring discrepancy. Near the end of this documentary (and this was a straight official historical tape) they showed footage of the astronauts view of the earth "rising above the lunar horizon".

Think about it: To us the moon appears to rise, traverse the sky and set because the earth is rotating. But the moon does not rotate, the same side is always facing the earth. Thus, if you were on the moon you could see the distant earth going through it's daily rotation but you would never see the earth appear to rise or set with respect to your horizon.

Jim Hale


You are absolutely assuming that the horizon wasn't moving either :-) ...this footage has been doctored in some way...Of course seeing the sun rise from an earth vantage point is often time lapsed.....

How do you know the footage is offical?

(Mike White)

Hey Mike-

I watched that earth rise clip again and noticed that it was definitely a time lapse sequence, not particularly well done either. There was no clear indicator that this clip was supposed to be "official" NASA footage, there were no astronauts or equipment shown in the view, just a comment by the narrator that we were seeing the earth rising from the astronauts point of view. I'd like to dig back in my video files and see if this earthrise sequence shows up anywhere else.

Jim Hale

My brain hurts today; somebody please tell me in plain englsh if it means the moontrip is a hoax or not. I'll believe you...your reward.

Thank you very much.
(Noel Pratt)

Hey guys what if the astronauts did go to the moon,
but never really returned?

Jim Hale


The trip wasn't a hoax.....the moon is! It's been projected on our sky for eons by aliens!

Mystery Club Memoirs - May 17, 2008

Hi Guys-

Haven't left the house since Sunday which was the day all the stuff got brought down from the attic. Been going through all the miscellaneous boxes & piles from there which, as you know, was the repository for most of my Mystery Club archival type paraphernalia.

The Weekly World News issues with cover stories on "Bigfoot Captured in Wisconsin" and "Man's Head Explodes in Barber Chair". All four issues of the "CCC Report", Charlottesville's short-lived publication dedicated to the local UFO community and edited by Phaedron; as well as every episode of Phaedron's radio program, "The Winged Disc" on audio tape (he pre-dated Art Bell you know).

Along with all the books and crystals and electronic gizmos stored in my upper room, I keep coming across all these little momentos from you guys. Various postcards from both Vic & Vyk, a photo of Vyk and Rena consuming pizza and wine in my once cozy kitchen, Rena's exubriently decorated business card touting her jewelry making business, a typed paper I'd written about the Nature of Time which Noel edited for me. (And it actually reads pretty well I might add.) I've even still got most of my original Blue Apples Incense sticks with the instruction card still attached!

Well I sure hope some university or museum picks up this stuff soon but in case they don't, here's a few things I wanted to pass on:

Found a 16 page print-out on "The Makeup Man and the Monster: John Chambers and the Patterson Bigfoot Suit" which leads one to think that the costume worn by that particular Bigfoot had been previously seen on the Lost in Space episode entitled "Space Croppers". Fortunately this 1997 article is still availble on-line at
And for Vyk, I came across my nearly forgotten collection of astrology stuff which I went through a phase of back around 1995-6 it seems. I was working on a new way of drawing charts that would show not just the position of Sun & planets but also other astronomical features such as Orion, the Pleides, Sirius, the Milky Way, etc. In fact, some recent information I've read concerning the influence of siderial time on psi phenomena and possible connections to the strong radio sources in Virgo and Saggitarius has me thinking that this might be an idea whose time has come?

Sorry Rena, haven't come across any cows but there's probably some hiding around here somewhere. Hope to see y'all again soon, the place in Warrenton works for me.

Jim Hale

Twinkies Mystery Deepens - May 16, 2008

Where do these strange coincidences come from? I was just at the new Super Giant across the border today, and at the time of writing have eaten my first package of everybody's used-to-be-favorite cream-filled yellow snack cakes in many many a year! With any extra impatience at all in removing them from the lovely and handy, gleaming and decorated plastic wrapping (sorta like Christmas!), I could have surely had a unique marketing demo -- Twinkie Balls. Sure...the way the sponginess has now given way to such a mouth-watering concoction of oil-saturated, supermoist, sickl- , er, healthily sweet pablum...and the way the cream, er, creme itself now wants to just let you know it's in there, spilling all over and out of itself; I mean, the temptation to just roll it all right up and take it to Madison Avenue is just so great. But who can wait when you've been made so wary through years of ill-rumor as to buy not a carton, but only a single pack of twins. And hey, my headache notwithstanding, there goes a new idea: these ladylike delicacies have now revealed to me part of the eatem- , er, etymology of their nifty name, as Twinkies obviously started as this self-of-same gloppy "ball" somewhere in, well, let's just say the Void for now, and became, in patient time, twins! hence, Twinkies!  Lo! They came to our shelves from the land of Kie!

 So. Apropos of nothing? I twink not! And with that, I think nought.........

 noel b. pratt

Hey, if you think Twinkies make for some weird science, try Marshmallow
Peeps: Click on ALL the experiments.

Think milk out your nose, tears down your eyes..

Uh-oh, I just wondered what would happen if a Twinkie married a Peep.
What would result??


Twinkies and Peeps can't legally marry or biologically reproduce, but a lot of them share well-decorated Dupont condos and some even adopt Little Debbies and move to the suburbs.


Soon science will permit Twinkies & Peeps to reproduce & the law will
have to permit them to marry, so they can raise their progeny according
to mallowy values... worshipping the Lord of Hostess.
And lo, the family Littlefoot begat twins of a curious texture named
Tweep and Peepie.
Surrounded by Balls of Light.


Papa's Got a Brand New Baghdad - May 14, 2008

OK, as some of you know I've had periodic confrontations with mice here. They appear when I least expect it and sometimes it becomes quite a battle of wits between them and me. I usually win in the end, but the one that left his little calling cards on my kitchen counter Christmas morning has proven to be a most formidable opponent.

Monday night I set two traps, smeared the trip plate with peanut butter and left a trail of breadcrumbs leading into it. Came down yesterday a.m., both traps had been licked clean, neither had been tripped. Tried again last night, same two traps with more peanut butter to encourage the little bugger to linger longer under the shadow of his spring loaded destiny.

Came down this morning and found one of the traps cleaned out again without being tripped and the other trap . . . GONE! Nowhere to be found, no trail, no clue. I am in shock and awe. What to do?

Jim Hale


First, I would put to use some of that ghost hunting equipment that's been
collecting dust; see if you can catch this guy on infrared to see exactly
what your dealing with!

This could be a rat as big as a cat or a tiny mouse with an IQ of 150!

If it's a mouse, go to the pound and get a cat. If it's a rat, go to the
pawn shop and get a gun!


Vic Mertens


In our last episode, I was left creeped out and befuddled by the tale of the disappearing mousetrap. What was really unsettling was that I had sort of "envisioned" this very scenario when I was placing the traps. Next time I will set up an infrared video camera. Could make it big on youtube.

So there's that 1/2" gap between my oven & the corner of the kitchen counter that I always figured they used as a secret passage but of course it would be impossible for a mouse to get through that small crack carrying a 2" x 3" wooden trap around his neck right? Apparently not.

After looking everywhere else in the house, I got down to the floor & looked underneath the oven with a flashlight. There they were, mouse and trap cuddled together in the corner, silent and motionless. Just the way a mouse should be.

So I pulled the oven away from the wall and saw what had happened. The poor little thing had gotten itself wedged under the curl of the oven's heavy duty electrical cord. How wonderful, I thought to myself. Well, I got a plastic bag in which to discard the remains and then, wincing and grimacing from ear to ear, I reached in to lift up the cable with one hand and the mouse a la trap with the other.

Suddenly, little mouse legs sprang to life, whipping sliding and scraping against the floor like James Brown at a KKK rally. I jumped back about three feet and hit the ground like a flying saucer over Roswell. Freed now from the electric cord, the mouse was making his way into open territory with surprising quickness.

For some reason I thought about the can of ant spray sitting under the kitchen counter. With no time to read the fine print as to its effect on mice, I grabbed the ant spray and gave little Mickey two strong shots right in the face, thinking it would at least slow him down until I could think of something better.

Instead, while I gagged from the poisonous overspray, the mouse's perambulatory efforts only intensified and now I was worried that the spray might actually have lubricated him and the trap so that he could wriggle completely out out out and away. I knew I had to act fast.

Grabbing a nearby yardstick, I wielded it over my head with both hands and, recalling the words of Gandalf as he stood before the monstrous Balrock on the bridge above the firepits of Mordor, I made a silent vow, "You shall not pass!"
Then, WHACK!

Of course I totally missed the flippin mouse and rent my yardstick in twine. Pissed now, and armed with two half-yard length daggers, I finally managed to sort of chop stick the death-defying rodent into the nearest empty cardboard box where he will not be having a very


Jim Hale

My Powers Strike Again (by Jim Hale) - February 18, 2008

Went to bed early and tuned into WTJU, the independent UVA campus station. They've been running their annual Rock Marathon fund raiser all week, with unique program segments targeting specific genres and concepts. Last night they were doing a two hour sampling of songs that had been banned from radio airplay at some point in time or place, with such scandalous examples as Puff the Magic Dragon, Rocky Mountain High, and the notorious Louie Louie (nobody could figure out what the words were in that one, so obviously it had to be something dirty.)

Maybe not a surprising sign of our times that the Stones Let's Spend the Night Together had been banned, but in a slightly earlier time the Everly Brothers Wake Up Little Suzy was considered equally verboten by some. Many even earlier songs by such social radicals as Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, and the Fleetwoods had been banned simply because good clean-living Americans thought they sounded too sensually titillating.

Well anyway, this was a cool and interesting show, very thought provoking, but the two DJ's (Robert somebody and my Greene County acquaintance Ponch) weren't being overly opinionated or professorial about it. In fact, I thought they were being a little too low-key in that respect and people didn't seem to be responding in big numbers. With less than half an hour to go they were still about $200 under their pledge goal -- and they still hadn't played what I thought should have been an obvious pick for their playlist:

A song that was never played on WCBT in Roanoke Rapids, but I heard it there one afternoon while listening to my short wave radio. The station was Radio New York International, and for me, listening to them was like listening to The Radio Voice of Liberty in some oppressed country from deep behind the Iron Curtain. I still remember my 15 year old heartbeat ramping up the first time I heard this song, maybe the first time I'd heard anything by that particular group, though I'd certainly heard of them via print media and word of mouth. So, I force myself up and out of bed, go downstairs, call in my request (plus a measly five dollar pledge), chat with Ponch for a bit, and a few minutes later my song begins to play:

The bass guitar leads in --

Dum dum de dum dum,
De da dum dum de dum dum,
De da dum dum de dum dum,
Da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....

And Grace sings the first line --

One pill makes you larger...

But then, sudden and utter silence!!!!!!!

Note that I'm listening to the show over a modified Datsun car radio running on a 12 volt CB base station power supply, with a home made antenna, one audio channel driving a vintage Harmon-Kardon speaker, the other feeding an audio spectrum analyzer program on my old laptop -- the same system I use for monitoring meteor, satellite, and UFO activity. So I frantically start looking for loose connections and pounding on the speaker, etc. but the silence continues for an indeterminable time...

Finally, Robert's voice breaks in, he sounds just as flusterated as I was with the interruption and starts making comments about how WTJU really needs money for new equipment. He seemed genuinely surprised when the song spontaneously started playing again, apparently all on its own, and from the top. I guess the glitch had been with my flux capacitor and all systems in the area were affected simultaneously? Robert aborted his money requesting comments to announce, "Jefferson Airplane! White Rabbit!" and Ponch tossed in a quick,"Thank you Jim!"

This time the song played in its entirety. A close ear to the lyrics confirmed there was nothing that couldn't be taken as an almost word for word musical rendition of Lewis Carroll's highly esteemed children's story, yet this song was banned by many radio stations and the band's destiny as an iconic voice of the psychedelic generation was set. Oddly enough though...

When White Rabbit ended, the mood at WTJU seemed to have changed dramatically. The DJ's had really come alive, there was even a third guy in the studio now, hoopin' and hollerin' in the background, and they were all making jokes about how they thought the FCC had broken into their broadcast and banned that song again. Ponch thanked me for my call/pledge one more time, and for the last few minutes of the show their phone was ringing off the hook. They ended up surpassing their pledge goal with seconds to spare, and everybody lived happily ever after...


Got Coincidences? (by Jim Hale) - January 30, 2008

> Just wanted to go on record with the following oddities from yesterday:
> > 1) While working on the chimney at an old-timers mountain farm house I
> couldn't hep noticing the big old slop bucket in the kitchen corner. I
> thought about how I hadn't seen one or even heard the term "slop
> bucket" in a long long time (kind of like Windows Vista) and I
> wondered how old non-farmers have to be to have even heard of such a
> thing. Later, back on the road in my car, I happened to tune into a
> station I don't usually listen to when an ad for a new barbecue
> restaurant came on and they were emphasizing their super duper feature
> item, what else: "The Slop Bucket". That ad ran repeatedly as I drove
> into C'ville, just seemed odd.
> > 2) So the same radio station was playing a series of songs by groups
> from the Land Down Under and the DJ made comments about how it would
> be "Australia Day" tomorrow (which is now today, unless you're in
> Australia where it was yesterday.) Hadn't given this another thought
> until I woke up in the middle of the night and flipped on the short
> wave radio by my bed and tuned to the first English language broadcast
> which just happened to be the Australian Broadcasting Network talking
> about Australia Day. In particular, there was a news item about how
> the Australian Prime Minister and a colleague had to be rescued &
> removed by guards from an Australia Day event when they were attacked
> by a couple hundred aborigines. Haven't heard a word about this on the
> American lamestream news this morning, have you?
> > 3) Again by happenstance - Last night I tuned into the premier of a TV
> show called "Touch," kind of science fictiony drama about an 11 year
> old autistic boy who has some kind of supernatural ability with cell
> phones and numbers. He's able to connect and interact with the lives
> of people all over the world in mysterious ways. For some reason this
> seemed to relate to my slop bucket experience from earlier in the day.
> The Australia Day coincidence hadn't manifested itself yet, but in
> retrospect it all seems mysteriously connected somehow. At the end of
> Touch, we see one of the characters who appears to be under the boy's
> surrealistic influence and he was getting on a bus destined for
> Lynchburg, Virginia.

On Turning Corners By Jim Hale - January 30, 2008

On Turning Corners

I was three hours behind my regular schedule for Friday’s run to Harrisonburg, but still twenty minutes early for my irregular stop at Backstage Video in Elkton. Backstage was Elkton’s first and foremost video rental establishment. It outlasted many bigger-name, bigger-city competitors, but has finally succumbed to the crush of the 21st Century. Their Craigslist posting re store fixtures for sale perked my interest, and since I had some time to kill before they opened, I decided to grab lunch at the nearby Scottish restaurant.

As I settled into a secluded booth with my MacBurger, MacFries, and sweet MacTea, my attention was drawn to a scene playing out at the only other occupied table in the joint. The focus of my gaze was an incongruous gent, perhaps in his mid-sixties, with ruddy complexion and a grizzled gray stubble of beard that matched the grizzled gray stubble of hair jutting out from beneath the knit cap he was wearing. At first glance that dark blue cap seemed to contrast haphazardly with his red flannel shirt, but the Jim Williams style pea coat draped over the rim of his chair completed a fashion statement that convinced me this man was here on leave from the Royal Canadian Navy.

The wayfaring stranger, I’ll call him “the Skipper”, occupied the center seat on one side of a six-seater table. The adjacent two seats were empty but all three seats on the opposite side were occupied by a mix of folks who seemed more characteristically Elktonian in their appearance and demeanor. Mom and Pop sat in the wing seats; Pop looked and dressed exactly like every other 70+ year old man you’ve ever seen in a MacDonald’s anywhere in America, and Mom was similarly unremarkable except for the chain attached to her glasses. That ostentatiously beaded chain dangled down in front of rather than around her neck. Junior, a forty-something bovinish looking bubba in track warm up suit and ball cap, sat between Mom and Pop directly across from the Skipper.

Junior held a pen in his hand; sometimes he used it as a pointing device, at other times he would jot down notes while the Skipper talked. I could only catch bits and pieces of the conversation, or “the lecture” as I perceived it, as the Skipper appeared to be delivering a lesson of some sort in concise, articulate, and well-practiced tones. He was continually accompanying himself with hand gestures that, while not quite within my line of sight, seemed peculiarly animated and frenetic. Junior would alternately ask questions or express confirmations of understanding while Mom and Pop appeared mindlessly oblivious to whatever it was the other two were going on about.

In fact, at one point, a mustachioed gentleman wearing a khaki colored fedora walked up and joined the group. Pop greeted him with a gusty, “Hey Cowboy!” Cowboy took the seat to the left of the Skipper and engaged in some cross talk with Mom and Pop, ate, bid his adieus, and exited, with never the slightest acknowledgement or disruption to the ongoing tête-à-tête between the Skipper and Junior.

Of course, by now it was officially the lunch hour and many others were coming and going. The restaurant had filled with people of various ages and stages, each occupying their own little corners and absorbed in their own little worlds. As far as I could discern, no one but myself was showing any interest in the Skipper and Junior. Likewise no one, including the Skipper and Junior, seemed cognizant of my intense concentration upon them as I strained to watch and listen for any clues as to what they were up to.

The random bits that I did manage to catch included phrases the Skipper would utter like, “unbeknownst to you,” and “I hope you will discover,” and from time to time, “that may be too much information for you right now,” all of which served to heighten my fascination. And there was something being emphasized about “the corners,” and how “you’ve got to watch the corners, they’re the key to the whole thing.” My imagination raced through all sorts of possibilities while the Skipper talked and Junior took notes.

I was stirring my last French fry into my last dab of ketchup when the Skipper turned slightly in his seat. At last I could see his hands, what he was holding in them, and what had been the object of his discourse with Junior this whole time:

It was a Rubik’s Cube and the Skipper was a Rubik’s Cube Master. I quickly realized his enigmatic gesturings had been twistings and turnings of the cube to demonstrate various logistical points. Now, I watched in awe as the Skipper would scramble, then deftly rearrange one side or another into matching colors, scramble again, and within seconds arrange the cube so that its sides were almost completely matched except for one segment on each face. Like any good Zen Master, he did not deign to get the thing perfectly aligned, but would come so teasingly close again and again that you knew he could do it in the blink of an eye had he but the imperfection of desire to do so.

When the moment arrived the Skipper handed the cube over to his eager pupil who did have that desire. Junior glanced at his notes, asked a few final questions, then began spinning the cube’s segments around and around. Much to my surprise, in a matter of seconds he held it up and proudly announced, “There it is!” And indeed, it was there.

With their session complete, the two men stood. They bowed to each other in Japanese fashion, or at least I imagined that they did, and without saying another word the Skipper donned his pea coat and headed out. Junior followed a few steps behind carrying the resolved Rubik’s cube in one hand, his pen and notepad in the other. (At this point I realized Mom and Pop were no longer present which seemed odd since I’d barely taken my eyes off their table and hadn’t noticed them leave.)

I emptied the debris from my tray into the designated receptacle, refilled my cup of tea, and headed over to Backstage Video which is kind of Rubik’s Cubing itself into Elkton Guns & Ammo now. Dozens of high powered scope-equipped rifles already adorn the walls and overlook shelves of heavily discounted VHS tapes, DVD and Blue-Ray discs, video game cartridges, and the like. Turn, turn, turn ...

Just remember to watch the corners. They’re the key to the whole thing.

Jim Hale – January 2012

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