93.1 FM (THE BLADE) HOSTS LIVE SHOW FROM
THE FINAL WORD
WBDE (93.1 FM, "The Blade") hosted a live
radio show from local curio shop "The Final Word," a bookstore and
coffee shop in Midtown DC. On-Air Personality Lear "Nyx" Christiensen
was the host for the event, which was to promote The Spirit of
Washington Cruises' upcoming October "Ghost Tour" of DC, which will take
a group of up to 100 participants on a guided all-night cruise up
through the Tidal Basin and Monuments area, and back down past Old Town
Alexandria to Mount Vernon, then returning to the Pier in Old Town.
live broadcast covered some of Christiensen's typical weekly material
on the paranormal and occult, as well as showcased The Final Word
bookstore, one of the sponsors of WBDE's live broadcast from the Ghost
Listeners brought questions of the
paranormal and unusual from the floor, as well as some phone-in topics,
ranging from conspiracies to UFOs to occult overtones of the Little
Death drug problem. As you might expect, much of the material was rather
speculative if not outright outlandish, but thought-provoking.
Five Tickets for the Ghost Cruise were raffled off for $2 apiece,
with the profits going to a local charity.
Groups of 15 or more attendees receive a
group rate discount on tickets, which are normally $25 and include
unlimited soft drinks and hors d'oeuvres, with a cash bar.
Human bones help lay bare oddity of lodges:
Skeletons linked to initiation rites of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows are turning up nationwide
By Maria Glod, LA
Times-Washington Post Service
WARRENTON, Va. -
Paul Wallace was alone, repairing
overloaded circuits in the old red-brick building, when he
discovered a tiny door to a dark recess between two walls.
Inside was a black wooden box. Curious, Wallace tugged it
from its dark resting place. A white shroud appeared. Then
leathery ribs. Then white candles.
"It was like a Dracula movie," Wallace said. "The top of the
skull was covered, but you could see the rib cage and the
For a good 20 minutes, Wallace sat frozen. Finally, he
returned the skeleton to its home between the walls of the
Warrenton lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
When police learned of Wallace's macabre discovery, they
rushed to get a search warrant and seized the remains. State
medical examiners are studying the bones. Around town,
neighbors speculate about who the corpse was and why she was
there. But perhaps the strangest thing about the mini-drama
captivating Warrenton is that strikingly similar mysteries
have played out across the country.
It turns out that skeletons similar to "Jane Doe Odd
Fellow," as one officer calls her, reside in closets,
drawers, attics and crawl spaces in Odd Fellows lodges
nationwide. To members of the age-old fraternal order, the
skeleton is a symbol of mortality, a treasured relic used in
one of their most solemn and secret rituals: initiation.
But for many residents in the towns where the bones are
found, the whole thing is just plain odd. "A lot of people
thought it was weird," Wallace said. "They were like, 'What
if it were my daughter?"
As with many fraternal orders that compete, with today's
fast-paced lifestyles, interest in the Odd Fellows has
waned, and many lodges have closed. More and more of the
skeletons are emerging from their hiding places, often to
the shock of the souls who come upon them.
Lisa Stone, a Chicago historian who has studied fraternal
organizations, said one surprising part of the rituals is
that the group has kept them secret for so long. The rituals
are "not a booga-booga scary thing," but out of context, the
skeletons are "frighteningly powerful objects," she said.
She noted that many fraternal orders, including the Masons,
use similar images.
Even the Warrenton police haven't been able to get the Odd
Fellows to betray their order. Lt. Kerry White said members
have cooperated, but with one caveat. "They specifically
asked us not to divulge what they told us," he said.
Odd Fellows Virginia Grand Lodge Secretary Jack Gibson Jr.
bristles at the description of the organization's rituals.
"I don't like the word 'secret,' Gibson said. "It is a
ceremony that is confined to the members, and if you're not
a member, you don't discuss it."
Why so hush-hush? "It makes you different," Gibson said.
The Odd Fellows skeletons have popped up in costume shops
and as decorations in bars. One made its way into a display
on serial killers in a New Orleans art gallery. Another made
an appearance in "Dawn of the Dead," the cult classic horror
The Independent Order of the Odd Fellows dates to
17th-century England as a charitable organization that
worked to help families in need and buried their dead. The
first American lodge opened in 1819 in Baltimore.
Present-day Odd Fellows support a professorship of
ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University, and they
contribute to the Arthritis Foundation and American Heart
Association. The organization's symbol - three interlocking
rings - represents friendship, love, and truth.
The skeletons likely were purchased from scientific or
fraternal supply companies. One catalog from the early 1900s
advertised a "genuine, full-size selected specimen, set up
and wired, fairly deodorized."
"Every one has a different story," said Randall Kremer, a
spokesman at the Smithsonian Institution. "The companies
would obtain skeletons from anywhere possible. They could be
indigents. Or often people, especially at the higher levels
of society, were anxious to donate their remains for
POLICE OFFICER DIES WHILE
INSTITUTIONALIZED - INVESTIGATION PENDING
DCPD Detective Antoine
"Tony" Laike, on a medical leave of absence
following a second mishap in the line of duty, has died
suddenly while hospitalized.
Police and doctors have not given a cause of death, though a
spokesperson did indicate that the death was not a suicide,
as some had feared given Laike's service record of the last
Following witnessing the sudden
and violent death of Laike's partner, Detective John Moran a
couple of years ago, Laike struggled to cope with the
demands of police service and had previously sought medical
treatment, only just recently having been certified as fit
to return to work.
Laike responded out of
jurisdiction to a Virginia B&E call that seemed related to
the ongoing "Little Death" investigation, and the encounter
went wrong, resulting in the escape of one suspect and the
death of the other, the only witness in custody.
Saint Elizabeth's Mental
Hospital spokespeople indicate that Detective Laike was
found on morning rounds a few days ago, dead in his
quarters. and had appeared to have suffocated or had a
seizure in which he swallowed his own tongue. They have no
record of any pre-existing medical conditions to which they
can attribute these symptoms at this time.
SUSPECT QUESTIONED ABOUT GWU STUDENT
Undergraduate Harmony Neal was found dead in her dormitory
last Sunday. Neal was last reported as having been seen by
school acquaintances on the Metro heading home from a club
She was found in her dorm room,
having been raped and with one lung punctured. Preliminary
post-mortem reports from the Coroner's office indicate that
Neal was killed by a sharp knife or razor cut of the throat
Neighboring rooms, whose occupants were interviewed by the
police, recall hearing the sound of something tipping over
in the middle of the night and assumed it was her fumbling
around in the dark, trying not to wake up her roommate due
to getting back to the dorm at such a late hour.
Neal's roommate, whose name is being withheld, was off with
family for the weekend and has been informed of her
roommate's death. She was visibly shaken, saying that
Harmony was a good friend and she was unsure of why anyone
would want to hurt her.
There were no direct witnesses, though several students
recall seeing an unknown white or Hispanic male of varying
descriptions jogging away from the dorms at approximately
Fellow GWU student Hank Bukalski is being held for questioning
related to the case, but has not been
charged with Neal's murder as of yet.
The police are asking that
anyone with information on this case please call (202)
Ford: I'm still 'fit' to play Indiana Jones
(AP) -- Harrison Ford says he feels
"fit to continue" to play Indiana Jones despite growing older.
64, said at the inaugural Rome Film Festival on Friday that he was
delighted to team up again with directors Steven Spielberg and
Lucas for the film. Lucas co-wrote and executive produced the earlier
films, which Spielberg directed.
"We did three films that stay within the
same block of time. We need to move on for artistic reasons and obvious
physical reasons," Ford said at a news conference. "I feel fit to
continue and bring the same physical action."
"Indiana Jones 4" has been in
development for over a decade, but the production has recently gained
momentum. Lucas has said he and Spielberg, who would direct, are working
on a script, though no details have been disclosed.
Ford played Indiana Jones in 1981's
"Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1984's "Temple of Doom" and 1989's "The Last
Crusade." In the last film, Jones' father was played by Sean Connery,
who Ford said might also appear in the planned fourth feature.
"He's part of the emotional fabric of
these films. I think there may be an opportunity, I believe that Sean is
still willing and I'd be delighted if he joined us," said Ford.
Connery, who attended the Rome event
last week, has said that no offer had been made.
Ford declined to provide details about a
shooting schedule or film locations, adding that the directors were not
yet finished with the script.
"I think it's a real opportunity to make
a film as successful ... as the ones we've made before," he said.
Chicken Ticketed for Crossing the Road
(AP) RIDGECREST, CA --
Linc and Helena Moore may have finally learned the
to that age-old question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Because
the chicken doesn't know jaywalking is illegal.
Kern County Sheriff's Deputy J. Nicholson does know, however. The deputy
issued a ticket September 4th because one of the couple's chickens
allegedly impeded traffic in Johannesburg, a rural mining community near
Ridgecrest, some 220 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
The Moores were in Superior Court on Friday to plead not guilty. A trial
was scheduled for September 16.
The chicken's owners say they believe they were cited because they were
among several people who complained that sheriff's deputies haven't done
enough to control off-road vehicle riders who create dust and noise in
Sheriff's officials say that isn't so, adding they are doing what they
can to keep off-roaders away from homes.
"The chicken thing has nothing to do with the motorcycle thing," Moore
The Great Taste of Human Flesh, Without the Guilt
Nuckols, a business student at Dartmouth, has begun selling a
tofu-like food, Hufu, that is flavored to resemble what he believes
is the taste of human flesh. His target audience is those who
already enjoy cooking with tofu, as well as any actual cannibals who
might settle for artificiality in order to avoid legal problems and
logistical hassles. Nuckols said he has never tasted human flesh but
based his recipe on cannibals' reported descriptions of the flavor.
AUSTIN, TX --
Nuckols, a Dartmouth College business student and
part-time Austin resident, has created Hufu, a soybean product designed
to replicate the flavor and texture of people.
“There is a lengthy tradition of novelists that have used the theme of
cannibalism for either a tragic or comic effect,” said Nuckols, citing
authors such as Evelyn Waugh and Mark Twain. “I think the whole project
is tapping into something that runs quite deep in the culture.”
Nuckols’ own modest proposal originated about eight years ago in a
London sandwich shop.
was working on Fleet Street, reading a book on cannibalism and eating a
tofurkey sandwich, and I had a revelation,” Nuckols said. “If people
could make tofu that tastes like turkey, why not tofu that tastes like
And thus the “healthy alternative to human flesh” was born.
Mark Nuckols is the founder and CEO of Hufu, LLC, and his company has
but one goal: To serve man (or some reasonable, soy-based facsimile
thereof). Hufu is tofu, but textured and flavored into a pseudo-meat
billed as "The Healthy Human Flesh Alternative." They say it tastes like
At this point, the first question to spring to the mind of a normal,
well-adjusted individual is, "Why!!?" For those of us who fall outside
of that category, our first response is, "How?
As usual, the normal and well-adjusted will get a lot more satisfaction
than the rest of us. The company is delighted to share details on why,
but as for how, their only comment is, "The taste and texture of Hufu
are the result of painstaking research and extensive testing in our
kitchens. We are supremely confident that our food products would
satisfy the tastes of even the most demanding cannibal." Clearly,
there's no meat in that response. Cough.
As for why, the company says that they originally intended to market the
product to students of anthropology who were curious about the cannibal
experience, yet daunted by the task of reproducing it. But the folks at
Hufu soon learned through market research that some of the general
public was "interested" in such a food– though perhaps "morbidly
curious" might have been a more fitting description– so they are now
marketing it to a broader audience. And people are buying it.
So what does human flesh taste like? Their FAQ says, "If you've never
human flesh before, think of the taste and texture of beef, except a
little sweeter in taste and a little softer in texture. Contrary to
popular belief, people do not taste like pork or chicken."
Their ambiguity on how makes one wonder if they simply made their best
guess on the flavor, knowing that any persons able to refute the claim
would most likely be unwilling to do so. And who would believe such a
person's claims anyway? Perhaps they used a beef-based flavoring,
sweetened it a tad, and called it good; but if so, they won't fess up.
Of course it's always possible that their researchers really were
willing to make some sacrifices to get the flavor just right, but they
would never admit to that either. No doubt the ambiguity is key to their
borderline, curiosity-driven marketing: sales will dry up if they admit
to shenanigans, but equally so if they claim their researchers have
eaten real human flesh.
Wild Iceberg Tears up Antarctica
By Roy Britt, LiveScience Senior Writer
A huge wandering iceberg is tearing up the Antarctic like a
slow-moving bull in a frozen China shop.
roving destructor, named B-15A, slammed into the Drygalski
ice tongue a month ago and broke off at least two city-sized
chunks. Now it is poised to strike another feature sticking
out from the continent.
At 71 miles (115 kilometers) long, B-15A is the largest
free-floating object in the world.
It is expected to lumber into the Aviator Glacier any day
now, scientists with the European Space Agency said Tuesday.
If B-15A gets stuck, as it has before, researchers fear it
could block sea ice behind it, thwarting animals that need
to move from shore to the open sea.
B-15A is the largest chunk left of a bigger iceberg, known
as B-15, that broke off the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000.
That initial frozen hunk was about the size of Jamaica.
After B-15 broke apart, the chunk named B-15A drifted into
McMurdo Sound, where it blocked ocean currents and caused
other sea ice to build up, threatening wildlife.
Scientists predicted an imminent collision back in January
this year. Instead, the iceberg ran aground and stalled out.
Then it broke free in March. On the move again, it collided
with the Drygalski ice tongue in April, forcing the redraw
of Antarctica maps.
Egyptian Doctors Remove Baby's Second Head
Science - Reuters By Amil Khan
BENHA, Egypt (Reuters) -
Egyptian doctors said they removed a second head from a
10-month-old girl suffering from one of the rarest birth
defects in an operation Saturday.
Abla el-Alfy, a consultant in paediatric intensive care,
told Reuters at the hospital in Benha, near Cairo, that
Manar Maged was in a serious but improving condition
the procedure to treat her for craniopagus parasiticus -- a
problem related to that of conjoined twins linked at the
"We are still working on the baby. After surgery ... you get
unstable blood pressure, you get fever. But she is
stabilizing," Alfy said. "We have some improvement."
As in the case of a girl who died after similar surgery in
the Dominican Republic a year ago, the second twin had
developed no body. The head that was removed from Manar had
been capable of smiling and blinking but not independent
life, doctors said.
Video footage provided by the hospital, a national center in
Egypt for children's medicine, showed Manar smiling and at
ease in a cot with the dark-haired "parasitic" twin,
attached at the upper left side of the girl's skull,
After the 13-hour operation, Reuters journalists saw the
baby, her head swathed in bandages and body wreathed by
tubes, in an intensive care ward. A separate twin sister,
Noora, is healthy after initial problems with the birth on
Alfy said the 13-strong surgical team separated Manar's
brain from the conjoined organ in small stages, cutting off
the blood supply to the extra head while preventing
increased blood flow to Manar's heart, which would have
risked cardiac arrest.
MONTHS OF PREPARATION
The condition occurs when an embryo begins to split into
identical twins but fails to complete the process and one of
the conjoined twins fails to develop fully in the womb. The
second twin can form as an extra limb, a complete second
body lacking vital organs, or, in very rare cases, a head.
Last February, seven-week-old Rebeca Martinez died in the
Dominican Republic after surgery to remove a second head.
The leader of that team, Jorge Lazareff of the University of
California at Los Angeles, noted on viewing one picture of
the Egyptian baby that the face of the undeveloped twin was
"very well developed" compared to that in Rebeca's case. "Rebeca
... had a more vertical sibling, whereas (in) this the
second growth is tangential," he told Reuters, while noting
he had not previously been aware of the Egyptian child.