“THE GRIM REASON WE NEVER SEE EXTRATERRESTRIALS” and More Creepy But True Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: Murder Incorporated carried out assassinations – but then one of their controlling members had his own number come up. (Clipped In A Barber’s Chair) *** The United States government confiscated Nikola Tesla’s notes when he died. Could he have been working on something we’ve yet to be told about? (Tesla’s Secret Space Program) *** A woman calls a service to fix her furnace – but ends up with a cold, ghostly chill. (The Vanishing Gas Man) *** On November 1, 1918, the deadly Malbone Street Disaster took place in Brooklyn. It remains today as the worst wreck in the history of New York City’s subway system. (The Malbone Street Disaster) *** Were Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed murdered in a staged car accident? (Princess Diana: Murder in Paris) *** Why don’t we ever see aliens? A physicist has come up with a very disturbing answer to that question. (A Grim Reason We Never See Aliens)
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE…
TRANSCRIPT of this episode (bottom of blog post): https://weirddarkness.com/archives/6181
“UFOs and the National Security State, Vol 1” by Richard Dolan: https://amzn.to/2GnbwTJ
“UFOs and the National Security State, Vol 2” by Richard Dolan: https://amzn.to/2E6nkay
“Nikola Tesla Journey To Mars Update: Exposing the Existence of the Secret Space Program” by Sean Casteel: https://amzn.to/2N4z0xi
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STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Note: Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
“The Vanishing Gas Man” by Sophie Thunder: http://ow.ly/cdZd30nGcNf
“A Grim Reason We Never See Aliens” posted at Alien-UFO-Sightings: http://ow.ly/eHw130nGcR6
“Clipped in a Barber’s Chair” by Troy Taylor: http://ow.ly/dvG830nGcuZ
“Tesla’s Secret Space Program” by Sean Casteel: http://ow.ly/R27u30nGcyY
“Princess Diana: Murder In Paris”: https://tinyurl.com/yb832ebc
“The Malbone Street Disaster” by Troy Taylor: https://tinyurl.com/ycjpxeqt
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“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
Find out how to escape eternal darkness at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IYmodFKDaM
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The Universe is so unimaginably big, and it’s positively teeming with an almost infinite supply of potentially life-giving worlds. So where the heck is everybody? At its heart, this is what’s called the Fermi Paradox: the perplexing scientific anomaly that despite there being billions of stars in our Milky Way galaxy – let alone outside it – we’ve never encountered any signs of an advanced alien civilisation, and why not? It’s a decent question, and one that generations of scientists and thinkers have grappled with since the paradox was formulated decades ago. Some suggest aliens might be hibernating, or that something mysterious is preventing their evolution from taking place. Or maybe they just don’t want anything to do with us? Physicist Alexander Berezin has a new theory – and to some, it might be just a bit disturbing.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
Murder Incorporated carried out assassinations – but then one of their controlling members had his own number come up.
The United States government confiscated Nikola Tesla’s notes when he died. Could he have been working on something we’ve yet to be told about?
A woman calls a service to fix her furnace – but ends up with a cold, ghostly chill.
On November 1, 1918, the deadly Malbone Street Disaster took place in Brooklyn. It remains today as the worst wreck in the history of New York City’s subway system.
Were Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed murdered in a staged car accident?
Why don’t we ever see aliens? A physicist has come up with a very disturbing answer to that question.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
WHY WE DON’T SEE ALIENS
Theoretical physicist Alexander Berezin from the National Research University of Electronic Technology (MIET) in Russia has devised his own explanation for why we’re seemingly alone in the Universe, proposing what he calls his “First in, last out” solution to the Fermi Paradox.
According to Berezin’s pre-print paper, which hasn’t as yet been reviewed by other scientists, the paradox has a “trivial solution, requiring no controversial assumptions” but may prove “hard to accept, as it predicts a future for our own civilisation that is even worse than extinction”.
As Berezin sees it, the problem with some proposed solutions to the Fermi Paradox is they define alien life too narrowly.
“The specific nature of civilisations arising to interstellar level should not matter,” he writes.
“They might [be] biological organisms like ourselves, rogue AIs that rebelled against their creators, or distributed planet-scale minds like those described by Stanislaw Lem in Solaris.”
Of course, even with such a wide scope, we’re still not seeing evidence of these things out there in the cosmos.
But for the purposes of solving the paradox, Berezin says the only parameter we should concern ourselves with – in terms of defining extraterrestrial life – is the physical threshold at which we can observe its existence.
“The only variable we can objectively measure is the probability of life becoming detectable from outer space within a certain range from Earth,” Berezin explains.
“For simplicity let us call it ‘parameter A’.”
If an alien civilisation doesn’t somehow reach parameter A – whether by developing interstellar travel, broadcasting communications across space, or by other means – it might still exist, but not help us solve the paradox.
The actual “First in, last out” solution Berezin proposes is a grimmer scenario.
“What if the first life that reaches interstellar travel capability necessarily eradicates all competition to fuel its own expansion?” he hypothesises.
As Berezin explains, this doesn’t necessarily mean a highly developed extra-terrestrial civilisation would consciously wipe out other lifeforms – but perhaps “they simply won’t notice, the same way a construction crew demolishes an anthill to build real estate because they lack incentive to protect it”.
So is Berezin suggesting that we are the ants, and the reason we haven’t encountered aliens is because we simply haven’t had our own civilisation unthinkingly demolished by such unimaginably superior life forms yet?
No. Because we are probably not the ants, but the future destroyers of the very worlds we’ve been looking for this whole time.
“Assuming the hypothesis above is correct, what does it mean for our future?” Berezin writes.
“The only explanation is the invocation of the anthropic principle. We are the first to arrive at the [interstellar] stage. And, most likely, will be the last to leave.”
Again, such potential destruction wouldn’t need to be wilfully designed or orchestrated – it could just play out like a completely unrestricted system, bigger than any individual’s attempts to control it.
“One rogue AI can potentially populate the entire supercluster with copies of itself, turning every solar system into a supercomputer, and there is no use asking why it would do that,” Berezin writes.
“All that matters is that it can.”
It’s a pretty terrifying outlook on Fermi – basically, we may be the winners of a deadly race we didn’t even know we were competing in, or as Andrew Masterson at Cosmos put it, “we are the paradox resolution made manifest”.
But the physicist’s views are just the latest scientific statement of why we may be destined to gaze at the stars alone in time and space, much as we might wish it were otherwise.
Murder Incorporated carried out assassinations – but then one of their controlling members had his own number come up.
A woman calls a service to fix her furnace – but ends with a cold, ghostly chill.
These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
Being cooped up inside during the plague of 2020 can have you climbing up the walls – but don’t lose your sense of humor. In fact, I’m here to help make sure you don’t. Weird Darkness is an official sponsor for the Laugh or Die Comedy Fest – and it’s online! Two dozen hilarious comedy films you can watch whenever you want through the rest of the month – because the festival is online and YOU click the play button! You can pay to see each movie separately, which would cost you over $160… OR… you can take advantage of the fact that you are a Weirdo family member and get to see all of the films for just TEN BUCKS! We all need a few laughs, and this is a cheap way to do it! We’ve set up a special link on the Weird Darkness website for just my Weirdo family to use. Visit WeirdDarkness.com and click on “Laugh or Die” to gain entry! It will automatically take $155 off the price so you can get an all access pass for just ten bucks! I’ve already been sending you chills, now how about a few laughs! Again, click on “Laugh or Die” at WeirdDarkness.com to go immediately to the secret page that takes $155 off the film festival price, and you pay just ten bucks, an all-access pass good for the rest of the month!
CLIPPED IN A BARBER’S CHAIR
“We only kill each other.”
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel
On October 25, 1957, mob boss Albert Anastasia was shot to death in a barber’s chair inside of the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York. Anastasia was one of the controlling members of “Murder, Inc.” which was the branch of the national crime Syndicate that carried out assassinations. Anastasia had no idea that his own number had come up.
Murder, Incorporated was the enforcement arm of the Syndicate, formed by Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky. The branch carried out a record number of murders between 1935 and 1940, wiping out Syndicate rivals and police informants. The men associated Murder, Inc. included Abe “Kid Twist” Reles, Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss, Louis Capone (no relation to Al), Charles Workman, Emmanuel Weiss and Marty “Bugsy” Goldstein. All of them were engaged in a number of different rackets in New York.
They had business and social relationships with two other members of Murder, Inc., Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, who was heavily into labor racketeering, and Albert Anastasia, who controlled the New York docks.
Both Anastasia and Buchalter were high up in the Luciano-Lansky Syndicate. Buchalter and Anastasia subcontracted killings out to Workman and Weiss, who hung out in Midnight Rose’s Candy Shop in Brooklyn, where they could be contacted any time, day or night. The store was also the headquarters of Abe Reles’ loan-sharking operation. The recruiting of Abe Reles was done by Buchalter on orders of the Commission. The Syndicate wanted killers from outside of their ranks, who could not be traced and were unknown in the underworld. The only Syndicate members in direct contact with the killers at Midnight Rose’s were Anastasia and Buchalter. In exchange for their services, the Syndicate granted Reles and the others a free hand in East New York and in Brownsville.
Up until 1940, Murder, Inc. is thought to have carried out between 400 and 500 killings, settling mob matters from New York to Los Angeles. All of the murders would have had to have been cleared through Lansky and Luciano. The decision was then passed to Anastasia or Buchalter, who contacted the assasins.
In 1940, Murder, Inc. came crashing down. Reles and a number of his colleagues were arrested on suspicion of murder and Reles decided to save himself by offering information on the others. He took a deal that offered him immunity in exchange for revealing the details of 200 murders he had taken part in. His testimony convicted Harry Strauss and Bugsy Goldstein, among others. All were sent to death in the electric chair. Reles also gave up Charles Workman and Emmanuel Weiss, who killed Dutch Schultz in 1935. Workman and Weiss were sentenced to life in prison.
From the Syndicate’s viewpoint, all of these men were expendable. However, when Reles implicated Anastasia, Buchalter and Benny Siegel in first degree murders, his days were numbered. To protect Reles, the police kept him under 24-hour guard in a hotel room on the sixth floor of the Half Moon Hotel at Coney Island. On November 12, 1941, his body was found on the ground outside the hotel. He had been flung out the window of his room. The police were unable to explain how this could have occurred but years later, Luciano and Lansky claimed that the police officers guarding Reles had been paid $100,000 by Frank Costello to demonstrate that “the canary could sing, but it couldn’t fly.”
Anastasia became a victim of the power struggles that took place in the New York mob in the 1950s.
In 1931, Lucky Luciano took over the Masseria crime family and he named Vito Genovese to serve as his underboss. He expected to take things over when Luciano went to prison for tax evasion in 1936, but Luciano passed him over and put Frank Costello in his place. Special prosecutor Thomas Dewey was convinced that Genovese was in charge anyway and the mobster fled to Italy for several years.
Costello, meanwhile, ran the Masseria crime family while Luciano was in prison and then after he was thrown out of the country in 1946. Costello became a very popular boss after Luciano, largely because of his political connections and the fact that his complex deals with Luciano and Lansky meant that members of his organization were granted a large amount of independence and the possibility of becoming very wealthy. Costello was protected not only by his close friendship with Luciano and Lansky but also by his enforcer, Albert Anastasia – a man that no one messed with.
Costello’s appearance before the Kefauver Hearings in March 1951 effectively ended his usefulness to the mob. The hearings began in May 1950 and were held in 14 cities across the United States. More than 800 witnesses were subpoenaed to testify. Some of the proceedings were broadcast live and even in those early days of television, attracted 20 to 30 million fascinated viewers. The hearings were the brainchild of Estes Kefauver, a Democratic senator from Tennessee and chairman of the Special Committee on Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce. The main focus of the Kefauver Committee was gambling. Witnesses came from all walks of life including politicians, policemen, state governors, gamblers and racketeers.
Of the major mob figures swept up by the hearings, Frank Costello came out looking the worst. Threatened with deportation and under constant surveillance by the police, he was forced to answer questions rather than exercising his rights under the Fifth Amendment. Even so, Costello was charged with contempt and sentenced to 18 months. Thanks to his testimony, he was also prosecuted again for tax evasion and imprisoned again in 1956. He only served 11 months on that conviction but by this time, the damage to his credibility was done.
Vito Genovese was determined to take Costello’s place as head of the family. He had been patiently biding his time, building up a healthy war chest by dealing drugs and cultivating supporters within the family, like Carlo Gambino. Genovese was convinced that in order to succeed, he had to remove Costello and his enforcer, Anastasia, and neutralize Lansky and Luciano.
Genovese went after Costello first. Soon after Costello was released from prison on tax evasion charges, on May 2, 1957, he was shot as he entered his apartment building on Central Park West. The bullet grazed his skull, not causing any serious damage. The gunman was Vincent Gigante, who was identified by the doorman and certainly known to Costello. Gigante was brought to trial, but both Costello and the doorman now claimed they had never seen him before and the case was dismissed.
Genovese did much better when it came to Anastasia. On the morning of October 25, 1957, Anastasia entered the barbershop of Manhattan’s Park Sheraton Hotel for a shave and a haircut. Anastasia’s bodyguard parked the car in an underground garage and then conveniently decided to go for a stroll. Anastasia relaxed in the barber chair, closing his eyes. Suddenly, two men with scarves covering their faces walked in. One of them told barbershop owner, Arthur Grasso, who was standing behind the counter, “Keep your mouth shut if you don’t want your head blown off.” The pair walked up to Anastasia’s chair and shoved the barber out of the way. Anastasia still did not open his eyes. The two men pulled guns from the coats and opened fire on the reclining man. Anastasia lurched from his chair after the first volley and flung himself at his killers – or rather at their reflections in the mirror. He crashed against the counter and more shots were fired into him. Finally, he fell to the floor in a lifeless heap.
Like most gangland assassinations, the Albert Anastasia murder remains officially unsolved.
VANISHING GAS MAN
A few weeks ago, my house started getting colder. I assumed the boiler had gone wrong. So my boyfriend and I looked up gas men and found this really cheap one. At first I thought he’d be some sort of criminal for that price, but my boyfriend persuaded me. On the day he came, my boyfriend had to be somewhere else so his mum stayed with me in case he was some kind of robber.
When he came, we showed him to the boiler cupboard and kind of left him to it despite my uneasiness of a stranger in my house. Every 15 minutes I would go out and ask him if he wanted tea or if he knew what was wrong with it. Each time he either declined tea or said something general like it needs fixing. I was generally sceptical of this guy being a gas man and was convinced he was about to rob me.
After an hour, there was a knock on the door. I opened it thinking it was my boyfriend. There was this guy around 40 standing there. He told me he was the gas man. I told him to stop conning me as the gas man was already here. He told me that I had obviously wasted his time if I already had a man in. He then showed me his badge.
I invited him in because he had the badge saying his name. The name of the guy I had hired. When walking past the cupboard, I noticed the guy wasn’t there. Panic set in because I thought he was upstairs robbing me. As I was about to call the police, the new gas man said something that chilled me to the bone. He held up the other guys badge and said,”He couldn’t have been here.” His face had gone really pale. I thought he was going to say something like he’s not even a gas man, but he said,”He died last week.”
My boiler was seen to by a ghost it seems. The gas man thinks the same. My boyfriend’s mum also thinks so. Needless to say we did not go far from each other that day.
When Weird Darkness returns: The United States government confiscated Nicola Tesla’s notes when he died. Could he have been working on something we’ve yet to be told about? That story is up next.
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TESLA’S SECRET SPACE PROGRAM
In the tortuously tangled web of conspiracy theory, there is endlessly spun the element of fear and mistrust. Who in that shadowy realm is really in charge, and how afraid should we be of losing our freedoms – such as they are – to the ambitions of a “deep state” that operates without public scrutiny and seeks to control every aspect of our public and private lives?
And does this shadow government possess advanced forms of technology that they keep secret as they quietly go about the business of subduing the entire planet to their willful control? Have they conquered outer space and colonized the moon and even Mars under our trusting noses?
This is one of the questions tackled in “Nikola Tesla Journey To Mars Update: Exposing the Existence of the Secret Space Program,” in which certain possibilities are dealt with openly and without fear of the debunkers.
We are concerned here with the idea of a Secret Space Program and the innovators who may have made it possible. It is theorized that Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest scientists of the modern era, developed an antigravity form of propulsion that was used to go to Mars.
The book includes a Q and A I conducted with Tesla expert Tim R. Swartz, who told me of a strange statement made to him by J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer and UFO chaser who was once the lead investigator for the Air Force’s Project Blue Book. Some years after the closing of Project Blue Book, Swartz was working as a journalist for a television station in Dayton, Ohio, home to Wright Patterson Air Force Base (which is said to house the dead alien bodies recovered from the Roswell Incident, among other UFO legends) when Hynek made an appearance there.
Hynek was at the base to deliver a talk on the new exhibit of Project Blue Book artifacts and Swartz was covering the story for his television station. As Swartz was packing up his camera equipment and preparing to leave, the two men discussed television technology, which led to a further discussion on the role of Tesla in developing what would later become television.
“Hynek brought up the subject of the Tesla/Mars project,” Swartz said. “And I was like, ‘What?’ And he told me that there were files possessed by the Air Force that talked about Tesla’s attempt to send a spacecraft to Mars. Now that was all he knew about it. But he had heard, from what he said were reliable sources, that Tesla had been involved in a project that involved a group of wealthy men from the East Coast that were building an aircraft in the middle and late 1800s. And that these were the aircraft being reported during the ‘flying machine flap’ that started in California in 1896.
“Hynek told me that this was one of the reasons,” Swartz continued, “that the United States government confiscated Tesla’s notes when he died. That, and Tesla had been saying that he had invented a Death Ray and had tried to sell it to the highest bidder.”
When Tesla passed away, many of his confiscated notes and papers ended up at Wright-Patterson, where further research was being done with the material.
The wealthy group of men referred to above weren’t just pulling the new technology out of thin air – or were they? Swartz said one story has it that the men were receiving communications from a spirit medium, probably around the mid-19th century. This really opens up the possibility of a supernatural, nonhuman source for the information, an entity with a vested interest in getting mankind to Mars quickly and with no public fanfare.
“They started to get messages from spirits,” Swartz explained, “and eventually communication professing to be an intelligence from the Planet Mars. These channeled messages started feeding technological information that led to the development of early flying machines.”
Further along, in 1899, Tesla built an experimental lab in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was hoping to learn to harness lightning as a source of electricity. Tesla began to hear strange, rhythmic radio signals on his low-frequency radio receiver. He later wrote that he was the first person to hear the sound of one planet greeting another.
“When the newspapers picked up the story,” Swartz said, “the so-called ‘Martian Messages’ created a firestorm of debate. No one had ever heard regular signals from space, and Tesla concluded that they must be from living creatures on a nearby planet, such as Mars.”
Tesla was then approached by the secret East Coast-based group, who called themselves the Aero Club and claimed they had been receiving the same mysterious radio signals as Tesla.
“Tesla’s mission was to help the Aero Club develop an aerial machine,” Swartz said, “that could fly them into space and onto Mars. Most likely, Tesla considered this group to be peopled by suicidal madmen. But obviously, after seeing the results of their earlier successful airships, Tesla could have been caught up in the enthusiasm of making such a grand project a reality.”
All this information is taken from the rare manuscript, reprinted in its entirety in “Nikola Tesla Journey To Mars Update,” and makes for fascinating reading. There is much more to the Tesla/Mars story for readers to discover on their own.
In a manner similar to the group that drafted Tesla, the Germanic mediums of the Vril Society, which consisted of beautiful blonde women that were the physical embodiment of the Aryan ideal, received advanced technological information from an extraterrestrial civilization existing light years away in the Constellation of Taurus. The transmissions held the key to constructing circular flying craft capable of traveling around the world at great speed as well as exiting the Earth’s uppermost atmospheric levels.
Many believe that some of the information gathered by the mysterious females in the early 20th century was eventually exploited by Hitler for the sake of warfare and maintaining his dictatorial authority. And, as with the Tesla story, the Nazis may have used the channeled information to actually travel to the moon and Mars on spacecraft totally unheard of by the general public in their time or our own.
So far we have presented here the bare bones of two separate Secret Space Programs, that of Nikola Tesla and the Nazis, programs shrouded in history and hidden from the world at large but nevertheless compellingly believable. But what’s happening in these terms today? Why believe in a Secret Space Program?
For that we turned to Richard Dolan, one of the most respected figures in the UFO community. In a field crowded by overzealous believers and fringe “contactees,” Dolan has firmly established a reputation as a researcher and author who relies primarily on public and proven sources, or at least sources whose background can be verified in real-world terms. He has written two very influential books on the government cover-up of the UFO phenomenon, “UFOs and the National Security State,” Volumes One and Two, that provide thorough research into the history of the clandestine, black budget response of the US military and intelligence community to the alien presence.
We asked Dolan, why should we believe in a Secret Space Program?
One crucial factor, according to Dolan, is the many nomalous events witnessed by both American and Soviet astronauts beginning in the mid-1960s. We also have the evidence of what are known as DSP satellites, or Defense Support Program satellites.
“These are a series of geosynchronous satellites in Earth orbit,” Dolan explained, “that have a long record of tracking ‘fast-walkers’ in space. That is, objects that are like a space UFO.”
Dolan said that from 1973 to 1991, nearly 300 “unknowns” were recorded by the DSP satellites, a number of which were really bizarre. For example, around 1984, one of the special satellites recorded an object that approached it very closely and then ominously moved away into deep space. The information comes to us almost by accident. A friend of Dolan’s who worked for many years at an aerospace company received mistakenly, but not illegally, a printout of some DSP “fast-walker” events.
Dolan said his point is a simple one.
“You’ve got those events and quite a few others that are intriguing,” Dolan said, “and which tell me there is something going on in Earth’s orbit that’s not being officially explained. It would seem to me very logical that just as there would be a covert monitoring of the UFO phenomenon within Earth’s atmosphere and on the ground and so forth, if there are anomalous activities going on in space, then clearly you would want an agency to monitor that as well, to deal with it. And that would necessitate the creation of a very clandestine component to the U.S. space program.”
But what about some of the wilder claims, like our having traveled to the moon and Mars in secret? Dolan says he has spoken to people he considers credible who affirm that there is a secret program connected with the moon. Concerning Mars, he says he’s never gotten anything that would allow him to say confidently one way or the other, but, he added, he would not be shocked to learn that we had traveled to Mars by the means of recovered alien technology.
“Every conclusion in science,” he said, “is provisional and contingent on more information coming your way.”
Dolan also has opinions on the Nazis ability to travel to the stars.
“The Nazis were quite sophisticated,” he said, “in their science of what we would call ‘flying saucer technology.’ We now know this.”
But Dolan also cautions that those who believe that UFOs are all a product of Nazi technology need to do a little more research into the phenomenon itself. UFOs were sighted long before the Nazis came to power in the 1930s, and the fact remains that UFOs may be piloted by nonhuman entities of no particular political stripe.
“It’s either a very, very clandestine human intelligence that exists as a longstanding secret society – of course we need to find their manufacturing plant and where the hell they’re located – or we’re dealing with nonhumans here that are interacting with Planet Earth. I actually think the latter theory is more likely, but there certainly is a clandestine human power structure. I don’t dispute that.”
How could such powerful technology exist right under our oblivious noses? Who could keep things like traveling to Mars a secret? Dolan answers by way of something he calls a “Breakaway Civilization.”
“I think that this is something that is real,” he said. “Now, my theory of it is that it originated in post-World War II society, but there’s nothing preventing such a thing from having happened earlier. The basic idea of the ‘Breakaway Civilization’ is simply that you have a secret group, a classified group of people, with access to radically advanced technology, radically advanced science, and they just don’t share it with the rest of the world. One scientific breakthrough leads to another, and that leads to another and so on. So the next thing you know, you’ve got a separate group of humanity that is far beyond the rest of the world.”
Dolan compared the situation to our own “official” world history of 200 years ago, for example, when the level of technology achieved by Europe was contrasted with, say, Central Africa.
“You’re talking about two vastly different ways understanding the world,” Dolan said. “So, really, what is the difficulty in understanding that a classified, secret, scientific community would make radical breakthroughs that they wouldn’t share? I don’t think it’s outrageous, and I do think this has happened since World War II. Now, one of the breakthroughs they’ve made is what we would call ‘antigravity technology.’ Could this have happened in the 19th century? I don’t think it’s impossible, in theory.”
Dolan confessed that he sometimes speculated privately that such a secret breakaway group has existed since ancient times. Some of history’s most puzzling mysteries, like the Great Pyramid of Giza or Macchu Picchu, don’t make a lot of sense in architectural terms in the context of human society in their given eras.
“I wonder if this was a human construct at the time,” Dolan queried, “and what human civilization are we talking about here? So I leave open the possibility that some great secret would be understood by a very small, elect group of people. They would want to hide this from the rest of the world for obvious reasons – power, and just not wanting to share.”
Was Nikola Tesla one of the hidden few who kept his scientific advances a closely guarded secret? Did he lead his clandestine group of wealthy patrons on a trip to Mars with antigravity technology that he barely understood himself? Did some off-world civilization telepathically implant space-faring technology into Tesla or the Vril group? Was our current space age jumpstarted by messages given to mediums during extraterrestrial séances?
In the absence of publicly available, irrefutable, absolute proof, one can only speculate, as Richard Dolan makes clear. It all seems a little “beyond” us mere mortals, something our minds could not conjure independently. But if the knowledge of this secret group eventually takes us to the stars, we will surely find whatever guiding force – or breakaway civilization – has summoned us to join them.
Up next: Were Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed murdered in a staged car accident? When Weird Darkness continues.
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MURDER IN PARIS
It was one of those moments, like when President Kennedy died, that are so momentous that everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news.
That moment, in the early hours of the 31st August 1997, shook the world. Princess Diana, her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul had died in a car crash at the Alma tunnel in Paris.
The world initially blamed the paparazzi, widely believed to have forced Diana’s car into a high-speed chase through the streets of Paris. A chase that ended in tragedy as the car hit a pillar in the Alma tunnel at an estimated 110kph.
This was an all too convenient narrative — the paparazzi, despised by celebrities and public alike, were easy scapegoats for the tragedy and the image that they had hounded the Princess to her death stuck with the public almost immediately.
Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer summed up the public mood at her funeral where he described her as the ‘most hunted person in the modern age’.
However, as the years rolled by and calls for an official inquest into the deaths grew stronger, it became apparent that the paparazzi weren’t responsible for Diana’s death. Indeed, they weren’t even present when the car crashed.
After years of campaigning by the press and Dodi Fayed’s father Mohamed Al Fayed — who had made several lurid allegations of murder involving MI5 and the Royal Family, the inquest into the accident got underway in 2007, headed by Lord Justice Scott Baker.
Exceeding £12.5m and extending to over 6 months, the enquiry interviewed 250 witnesses and considered hundreds of pieces of evidence.
It concluded that Diana had been unlawfully killed by the following vehicles, never identified, exacerbated by her driver Henri Paul being drunk.
But many troubling details uncovered at the inquests cast serious doubt that the crash was just a tragic accident.
Was Diana really murdered?
The official narrative of Diana’s death has the passengers, Princess Diana, her companion Dodi Fayed, the driver Henri Paul and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones attempting to discreetly leave the Paris Ritz by the back entrance in order to avoid the throng of paparazzi waiting outside.
However, Paul’s odd behaviour on the night contradicts this. He is seen on CCTV repeatedly exiting the back door in the hours proceeding their departure and talking to paparazzi to inform them when they planned to leave.
Moments before Diana and Dodi are lead to their car Paul signals the waiting photographers. The paparazzi themselves found this behaviour highly unusual. If the group had wanted to avoid the waiting press, why was Paul trying his best attract their attention?
Paul himself had a mysterious background, the inquest uncovered evidence linking him to arms dealers and various intelligence agencies — including Britain’s MI6. One uncorroborated report had him meeting his MI6 ‘handler’ on the night of the crash.
Whatever the truth, unusually large amounts of cash were found in Paul’s possession after his death and over £170,000 were found deposited across 15 different bank accounts.
Within hours of the crash, even before his autopsy, news was leaked to the press that Henri Paul was ‘drunk as a pig’ and this had contributed to the crash.
However the official inquest found he’d only had 2 alcoholic drinks that day, and several witnesses said he showed no visible signs of been drunk, something backed up by the CCTV from the Paris Ritz.
The idea that he had a drink problem also appeared in the press — from where it’s not been established.
But all the evidence suggests he was no more than a moderate social drinker. In fact, he’d recently become a qualified pilot, which includes tests for alcohol abuse, and his liver was shown to be normal and healthy at the autopsy.
After the autopsy, Henri Paul’s blood was found to contain more than 3 times the legal limit for alcohol under French law. This more than anything sealed the story in the minds of the public — Princess Diana and Dodi died in a car accident because their driver was hopelessly drunk.
But this picture is undermined by the official inquest, which repeatedly questioned the veracity of Henri Paul’s blood samples.
Numerous problems were found; samples disappear, they have the wrong dates on, they contain several drugs that Paul was not known to take and his blood, most confusingly of all, contained incredibly high levels of carbon monoxide that none of the pathologists could explain.
The readings were so high that Paul would have felt noticeably and violently ill, something nobody who was with Paul that night observed.
Several experts who gave evidence at the inquest — including Professor Peter Vanezis, a professor of forensic medicine and Dr John Oliver, a toxicology expert, simply couldn’t believe the levels found in the samples could be correct.
Atholl Johnston, a professor of pharmacology said — “the most likely explanation is that it isn’t Henri Paul’s blood; it’s someone else’s. We have gone through all the other ones”.
Even the judge at the inquest appeared to doubt the samples were from Paul. He told the jury — “Too much emphasis is placed on assumptions that the blood being tested was from Henri Paul…the jury will have to consider if wrong samples got into the bottle or there was a deliberate mix-up”.
Were Paul’s samples deliberately swapped to support the false idea he was drunk?
Suggestively, researchers found one of the other bodies in the morgue that night was of a suicide victim who killed themselves via carbon monoxide poisoning.
Contrary to popular belief, the Mercedes had long since pulled away from the pack of chasing paparazzi, who didn’t catch up until at least a minute after the crash.
But multiple witnesses describe other vehicles buzzing around Diana’s car as it sped towards the tunnel. There are reports of high-powered motorcycles encircling the car, and paint found on the crashed vehicle was forensically matched to a white Fiat Uno turbo, indicating a collision between them.
No CCTV was available in the local area and the vehicles have to this day never been identified.
Unlike the paparazzi who arrived after the crash and stayed at the scene taking photos, the drivers of these vehicles left the tunnel immediately. What role did they play in the crash and why did they flee the scene?
One witness — Francoise Levistre, claimed to have seen a bright flash of light as a motorbike swerved in front of the Mercedes causing it to lose control.
Whilst an assassination scenario in this fashion may seem far-fetched, ex-MI6 intelligence officer Richard Tomlinson told the official inquest he’d seen plans to kill Slobodan Milosevic in exactly this manner by staging a car crash using a powerful strobe light to disorientate the driver.
Forensic investigation of the crash site concluded a white Fiat Uno collided with Diana’s car inside the tunnel, possibly causing the crash.
Whilst none of the official investigations ever traced either the car or its owner, private investigators for Dodi Fayed’s father claimed to have traced the car to a paparazzi called James Andanson, a millionaire photographer who had been following Diana all across Europe in the days leading up to the crash.
Andanson, a colourful character with a shady background, owned a white Fiat Uno and investigators found it had recently undergone repairs for a broken tail light. Was Andanson’s car in the tunnel that night?
Andanson, allegedly an MI6 informant, had been blabbing to his friend, crime writer Frederic Dard, that he was in the tunnel that night and had photos of the crash.
But whilst most of the evidence against him is circumstantial, Andanson’s strange fate has convinced many of his involvement.
In 2000, he drove 400 miles from his home to a remote piece of woodland. He doused himself in 20 litres of petrol, secured his seatbelt and, choosing the most unlikely form of suicide possible, set fire to the car from the inside.
His body was found, not much more than a charred crisp, with what was left of his arms peacefully crossed in the driver’s seat. It’s hard to imagine just how horrendous burning to death would be, and equally hard to imagine how anyone could remain still whilst in such horrific agony.
But it got stranger — Andanson had somehow managed to lock himself into the car from the outside, the keys nowhere to be found. And when fireman Christophe Pelat attended the smoking shell of the car, he was certain there were two bullet holes in Andanson’s skull.
The official verdict was, improbably, suicide. Andanson has set fire to himself in a car locked from the outside, and then whilst on fire, shot himself in the head.
A scenario so unlikely that it can be realistically discounted.
In 1993, Diana set a handwritten note to her butler Paul Burrell which read — “This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous — my husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injury…”.
Later, in 1995, Diana’s lawyer Lord Mishcon made a note of a conversation with her in which she predicted she would be got rid of in “an accident in her car such as a pre-prepared brake failure or by other means”.
Miscon was so concerned by this note that after her death he forwarded it to the Metropolitan Police. The police did nothing with the note and kept its existence secret until it was revealed in 2003.
Many critics of conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s death have commented on the unreliability of assassination by car crash.
Diana and Dodi’s plans for that evening changed multiple times and with many possible routes to Dodi’s flat from the Ritz, how could the plotters know when and where to prepare their ambush?
And even if they did, how could they be sure they would succeed in causing a fatal crash? Whilst none of the occupants of the car were wearing seatbelts, the conspirators could neither know or control this.
With this and so many other variables outside of their control, it seems an unlikely method for a professional hit.
One undisputed fact is a white Fiat Uno was involved in the crash. The Uno — a lightweight small engined city car would be no match for Diana’s large powerful Mercedes.
Would a state or intelligence service orchestrated assassination choose a vehicle so unsuitable for forcing a Mercedes off the road?
What was the motive for the state, royal family or intelligence services to murder Diana?
Many of the claims surrounding the former princess that may have provided a motive have been shown to be false.
Contrary to Mohammed Al Fayed allegations, she was not pregnant with Dodi’s child. Diana had only known Dodi for a few weeks and friends thought the relationship was not serious.
The spectre of a Muslim father in law or half brother for the heir to the throne seems too remote to warrant a risky murder plot.
And with Diana no longer a princess and effectively ostracised from the royal family, what other threat to them was she aside from her ability to court headlines?
Some conspiracy theories suggest Diana was murdered because of her anti-landmine campaigns.
But the murder of such a prominent landmine campaigner would surely provide an extra impetus to the cause and indeed her death was the catalyst behind the signing of the Ottawa Treaty in December 1997, banning the weapon.
Up next: On November 1, 1918, the deadly Malbone Street Disaster took place in Brooklyn. It remains today as the worst wreck in the history of New York City’s subway system. When Weird Darkness returns.
Our next Weirdo Watch Party is Saturday, April 25th at 7pm Central Time. These are really becoming popular and more and more Weirdos are joining in for the fun! This time, horror host The Bone Jangler will be presenting the horror flick “The Black Sleep” from 1956, starring Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Basil Rathbone, and John Carradine! Four of the biggest names in classic horror cinema all in one film! Join me Saturday, April 25th at EerieLateNight.com and we can all watch the movie together online, hang out with other Weirdo family members in the chat room as we make snarky and snide remarks about the movie, and at most Weirdo Watch Parties, the horror host of the evening usually jumps into the chatroom with us! The Weirdo Watch Party gets bigger every time we do it! It’s fun and at the same time it supports the undead creative horror hosts who still entertain us with old scary movies! So be sure to set a reminder on your phone, your smart home device, put it on your online calendar, whatever you have to do so you don’t miss it! Join me and the Weirdo family Saturday, April 25th at 7pm Central Time – that’s 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain at EerieLateNight.com. That’s EerieLateNight.com. And if you’d like to see a trailer for the movie “The Black Sleep” I have it posted on the Weirdo Watch Party page at WeirdDarkness.com!
ANNOUNCING THE WEIRD DARKNESS STORE’S “PLAGUE OF 2020 SALE!” (Times 2!)
I’ve added some crazy and cool designs to the Weird Darkness store with themes like social distancing, quarantine birthdays, healthcare workers, 2020 graduates, and a lot more, all of them are fun! Unlike Walmart, grocery stores, etc., the Weird Darkness store shelves never go empty!
The sale takes place two weeks in a row, three days each. It’s Wednesday, April 22nd thru Friday, April 24th… AND Wednesday, April 29th through Friday, May 1st! T-shirts starting at just 13-bucks, and everything in the store up to 35% off! You can do some window shopping now by visiting the STORE page at WeirdDarkness.com, and then get ready to do some quarantine-discount shopping starting April 22nd!
THE MALBONE STREET DISASTER
The early 1900s were marred by scores of labor strikes across the country. There was no question that workers of the day often labored under deplorable conditions. They worked long hours in often unsafe factories and, in many cases, labor unions were the only relief they had from the greed of big companies who would work their employees until they literally broke under the pressure. But in some cases, labor strikes had fatal consequences – as they did that day in Brooklyn when a strikebreaker lost control of a Brighton Beach train during the evening rush hour. The horrible wreck ended with 93 people dead and many more injured.
Previously known as the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railroad, the Brighton Beach line dated back to the 1870s. It was one of several steam railroads that linked Brooklyn to the seaside resorts. By the early 1900s, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit system controlled the line, along with streetcar and elevated lines throughout the area.
During 1918, the last year of World War I, tensions escalated between Brooklyn Rapid Transit (BRT) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. At least 20 men had been fired because of their membership in the union. The union responded by filing a grievance with the National War Labor Board, a federal review panel that had been created to strengthen the war effort on the home front by improving labor-management relations. In late October, the board recommended that the BRT re-hire the workers with back pay, but the board had no power of enforcement and the BRT ignored the recommendation. In fact, they even refused to meet with the union’s delegation. Finally, a strike was called started at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, November 1, 1918.
The strike crippled the rail line. Supervisors and clerks with little or no hands-on training were thrown into empty locomotives to work as motormen. Among the strike-breakers was Edward Luciano, 23, who worked under the name of Billy Lewis to avoid the anti-Italian prejudice that was prevalent at the time. He had been a dispatcher for the BRT for two years. Earlier in 1918, he had received two hours of classroom instruction to become a motorman. Just before he was assigned to a locomotive, he had spent two days riding as an observer to gain practical experience in train operations. Needless to say, this scant training fell far short of the BRT’s usual 60 hours of on-the-job training, in addition to a 90-question exam, 60 hours of apprenticeship on board trains, a physical exam and further testing and certification. After all of that, neophytes would be permitted to take empty trains on practice runs in and around the yards and terminals before finally being allowed to operate a train that was carrying passengers.
At 5:00 a.m. on November 1, Luciano began a long, eleven-and-one-half hour shift. When it ended at 4:30 p.m., he was offered a $20 bonus and the promise of a post-strike raise to pilot a rush-hour train from Kings Highway to Manhattan and then back to Brooklyn over the Brighton Beach line to Coney Island. Luciano had never ridden on the Brighton line, let alone driven a train there, but he gladly accepted. “A man has to earn a living,” he later told the New York Times.
In the aftermath of the disaster, William Brody, a BRT trainmaster, stated that Thomas Blewitt, the BRT superintendent responsible for certifying motormen, had represented Luciano as being “properly qualified.” Ironically, according to the standards set by the company in the midst of the strike, he probably was. Men with similar “qualifications” had been running trains on the line all day. Supervisors decided to take a chance with Luciano. At the yard, he was given a train with five cars attached. Each car had a steel underframe and a wooden body and roof. Four of the cars were at least 30 years old.
At 6:08 p.m., Luciano’s train arrived at the Park Row terminal, the vaulted train shed that stood at the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge. Six minutes later, Luciano began his return trip to Brighton Beach. Charles Darling, a lawyer riding in the first car, later said that the train moved with sudden starts and stops and sped around a curve at Sands Street, the first station in Brooklyn. The train then rumbled onto the Fulton Street elevated line. Walter H. Simonson, a civil engineer who was on board, recalled that the car was jammed to near standing room only.
At 6:29 p.m., Luciano departed Grand Avenue for the junction at Franklin Avenue. The switch there was incorrectly set, keeping the train on the Fulton Avenue line toward East New York, rather than turning it southward toward Brighton Beach. After some delay, Luciano managed to back the train up and route it onto the Brighton Beach line at 6:38 p.m. Two minutes later, the train left Park Place Station.
As its name indicates, Crown Heights is located atop a crest of land. Between Park Place, at the top of the Heights, and Prospect Park, the station at the foot of the hill, the track dropped 70 feet over a distance of less than a mile. After the drop came an S-shaped curve that was known as “Deadman’s Curve” even before the accident. It was a hazardous place where experienced motormen had to stay alert. By this time, Luciano was probably exhausted. He had been fortunate enough to have recently recovered from the deadly strain of influenza that targeted mainly young adults in the wake of World War I, claiming an estimated three percent of the world’s population. In addition to having been ill, he was finishing up a double shift at an extremely demanding job for which he had been inadequately trained. His conductor signaled a stop at the next station — Consumer’s Park (now Botanic Garden) — but Luciano rushed through without stopping. Passenger Walter Simonson felt the train accelerate, as if to make up for lost time. The next stop was Prospect Park, on the other side of Flatbush Avenue.
Luciano found it simple to accelerate the train but not so easy to stop it. Braking a subway train safely and smoothly – and aligning it with the station platform so passengers can safely board and depart – was a difficult task that could only be achieved with experience. The brakes operated with compressed air. By maximizing air pressure in the train’s main brake line, a motorman had to release the brakes. In other words, he permitted the air to push the brake shoes from the wheels so the train could move. When he wanted to slow the train, he applied the brakes by reducing air pressure, permitting the brake shoes to make contact with the wheels. Air brakes took time to apply and to take effect, which meant that trains often traveled hundreds of feet before stopping. A motorman who knew from training and experience how his train would respond to a particular uphill or downhill grade could gauge when to begin braking. Luciano had no such experience. He had never run a train on the Brighton Beach line — or any other line — before that morning.
At the bottom of the hill, the tracks curved sharply, entering a short tunnel beneath the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Malbone Street. The posted speed limit for the curve was six miles per hour. Luciano later stated that he had been traveling at 30 miles per hour. After the crash, the New York Times quoted a naval officer who estimated the train’s speed at 70 miles per hour when it left the track. Many of the surviving passengers later admitted to feeling frightened as Luciano picked up the pace to try and make up for lost time.
As Luciano approached the curve, he claimed that the air brakes failed, after which he applied the emergency brakes and threw the train into reverse. Investigators from the New York Public Service Commission and the BRT found after examining the wreckage that the brakes had not failed, the emergency brakes had never been applied and the motors were never reversed. No one could explain what Luciano had been doing in those final seconds but it was obvious that he was totally unprepared for the challenges that faced him that day.
It was 6:42 p.m. when the train reached Malbone Street and roared into the curve, the first car derailed, ripping up the third rail in a burst of blue sparks. The car left the rails a few feet in front of the opening to the tunnel and rammed one end of a concrete partition that separated the north and southbound tracks. It was thrown at right angles across the roadbed, its front and rear corners crashing into the tunnel wall. The windows of the car shattered, spraying glass at the screaming passengers. Packed together in the flimsy wooden box, the passengers were crushed and cut to pieces.
The two following cars had swung wider. One of them struck the edge of the tunnel’s mouth and ripped along its inner wall, where steel girders that supported the tunnel roof and Flatbush Avenue above protruded from the concrete surface. The girders tore into the car’s roof and left side and it splintered and shattered into bits and pieces of wood, steel and flesh. Great gashes were cut into the side of the car, which was still traveling at high speed, mowing down the passengers who were standing, and decapitating some of them.
The left sides of both the second and third cars were stripped away. Scores of men, women and children were flung against the girders and the concrete wall, where they were either killed instantly or crushed under the wheels after falling onto the tracks. Some of those remaining inside the car were killed inside when they fell onto the twisted iron of the seats, broken timbers, and iron beams that projected through the shattered bottom of the car. People standing on the platforms were nearly all killed instantly. One dead man was found impaled on a broken metal rod that had run underneath the car and had snapped, shooting upward in the crash.
With an agonizing shriek of metal, the train finally came to a stop. Only 10 seconds had passed – it was still 6:42 p.m.
The last two cars had not derailed and most of the passengers riding in them escaped without serious injury. However, nearly all of them had been cut by flying glass or were bruised from being thrown from their seats. They were packed so tightly in the two rear cars that the force of the wreck was not really felt. Many women on board became hysterical when they learned what had happened in the front cars. The passengers were in complete darkness since the derailing cars had torn out the power lines in the tunnel. They could see nothing, but could hear the screams of the dying and injured in the blackness ahead. Would-be rescuers who tried to reach the forward cars found their way cut off by masses of broken wood and twisted steel. There was no way to get to the survivors who were pinned to their seats or crushed in the ruined cars.
Firemen who took part in the rescue work said that the second and third cars had fallen over on their sides and the passengers lay heaped together, some dead and some dying, some slightly injured and some unhurt, but all tightly gripped by the wreckage. Bodies were smothered to death found with only slight marks of injuries.
The last cars had survived the disaster and the locomotive was also largely intact. Attorney Charles Darling watched as Edward Luciano emerged unscathed from the cab. The lawyer asked him what had happened. “I don’t know,” Luciano reportedly replied. “I lost control of the damn thing, that’s all.” Then he stepped from the car and walked up the track to Prospect Park station. A newsboy waiting for a train who had heard the crash saw a man – presumably Luciano — walk out of the tunnel and wander away. Luciano arrived home later that evening, having taken a trolley.
Because of the position of the wreck and the nature of the accident, there was a delay in spreading the alarm. Police and firefighters were not notified for nearly 20 minutes. The first rescuers to arrive on the scene found the tunnel jammed with debris “so tightly…that no crevice or opening was left,” reported the New York Times. With lanterns in hand, they began removing wreckage one piece at a time. Police officers and firefighters set about removing the wounded from the tangle of steel, glass and shattered wood, “which stuck out like bayonets in all directions, some of them having already pierced those in the cars,” the Times reported. Those who could walk staggered from the tunnel. Others had to be carried out. Cradles of burlap were made for the recovered bodies, which were hoisted by the rescuers to the street and laid out in rows before being taken to the morgue.
As word about the accident spread throughout Brooklyn, there was little detail about when or where it had happened. Those waiting for loved ones traveling home during rush hour began to panic. When it was finally realized where the tragedy had taken place, a crowd began to gather. Most were there to try and learn the fate of friends and loved ones, but ghoulish curiosity-seekers also swelled the ranks of onlookers. As the bodies of the dead were lifted out of the tunnel, reserves from six police precincts were sent to keep order. Ambulances arrived from every hospital in Brooklyn and scores of doctors and nurses were sent to the scene.
As darkness fell on the city, conditions in the tunnel grew even blacker. Automobiles were commandeered and their headlights were pointed at the wreckage. The Brooklyn Gas Company and the Brooklyn Edison Company sent gangs of men with searchlights to illuminate the site. Down in the tunnel, surgeons were working by lantern light, side by side with priests administering last rites.
Tens of thousands of people flocked to the police stations and to the morgue where the bodies were taken. The large numbers of those searching for missing relatives made identifying the dead a slow process. Telephone service in Brooklyn became overburdened as frantic calls were made to try and track down loved ones who usually traveled on the BRT line and had not yet arrived home. The wreckage stopped all Brighton Beach traffic, holding up thousands of passengers on the trains that followed. Many of those delayed had to walk long distances to overcrowded streetcars. Commuters arrived home more than two hours late, usually to empty homes. In many cases, their families had become alarmed and had gone to the site of the wreck in search of news, delaying their reunions until late in the evening.
In the early morning hours of November 2, Edward Luciano was arrested at his home on 33rd Street in Brooklyn. He was taken to the Snyder Street police station, where he was questioned by the district attorney, the police commissioner and the mayor. The young man quickly broke down when faced with such intimidating interrogators and blurted out a nervous story that turned out to be largely untrue. New York City Mayor John Hylan, himself a former railroad man, indicated to reporters that he believed Luciano had been criminally negligent. He told the press, “This man confessed that he had never run a train on the Brighton Beach line before. He also admitted that when running around that curve, he was making a speed of thirty miles an hour.”
Ironically, the mayor had been fired from his position as a locomotive engineer for taking a curve too fast and nearly hitting a supervisor who was crossing the tracks. He protested his dismissal, but to no avail. The experience left him with a bitter hatred of private rail systems and their owners.
When it was pointed out that a sign on the curve warned motormen to go no faster than six miles per hour, Luciano shrugged and had no reply. When he was asked why he had taken a job for which he was unfitted, he answered, “A man has to earn a living.” He told the men that he had no intention of running away from the crash. He said he remembered nothing until he found himself at home after the accident.
He did not know how he got out of the wreck, or how he got home. He said that he had a vague recollection of having boarded a trolley car, but could not remember what car it was. Detectives stated that Luciano was “as pale as death” when they reached his home and he appeared to be on the verge of collapse. His replies to questions about the details of the accident turned out to be lies: The brakes had not failed, the emergency brakes had never been applied and the motors were never reversed.
His wife pled his case to the newspapers. “Three weeks ago, my husband had an attack of influenza. The next Friday, our baby died… now this terrible accident,” she wept. But the general public had little sympathy for Luciano, or for his bosses who operated the rail line.
Luciano and five officials from the BRT were indicted for manslaughter after the accident. Before the trial began, the BRT’s lawyers obtained a change of venue from Brooklyn to Nassau County. Mysteriously, although the prosecution knew that Luciano had perjured himself by lying when he said that he had applied the brakes, that part of his statement was never used as evidence. All cases ended in hung juries, acquittals and dismissals. No one, including Luciano or the men who put him into his deadly position at the train controls, was ever held responsible for the deadly disaster.
The controversy over the disaster raged for months, culminating in a charge by Public Service Commissioner Travis Whitney that Mayor Hylan was responsible for the deaths in the tunnel. He said that it was the mayor’s fault that the decrepit wooden cars – which were pulverized in the wreck while the steel cars came through unscathed – were still being used. Hylan, Whitney insisted, had done nothing for 10 months with an agreement awaiting his signature that would compel the line to use only steel cars. His charges were dismissed as nothing more than political posturing and eventually, the finger-pointing faded from the headlines.
In December, just a month after the accident, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit line went into receivership. This delayed payment of any claims against the line for over three years. Eventually, the company paid out damages totaling $1.6 million. The largest payout was $40,000, which went to the widow of George W. Holmes, the only railroad worker to die in the disaster. In 1923, the BRT was reorganized as the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation. It, too, went into receivership and was dissolved on November 1, 1941, the twenty-third anniversary of the accident.
After Luciano was acquitted in 1919, he moved and went into the real estate business. He faded from history and what happened to him after that is unknown.
CHAMBER OF COMMENTS==========
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(review) Awesome!! Love the podcast, even the repeated archive ones! –starshinemine via Apple Podcasts ·
(review – from Bumblebee in Australia) Love this podcast! I think you are doing an amazing job. The stories are always interesting and creepy, I LOVE IT!!!! I love the true ones and I really love the creepy pasta episodes. Keep up the good work champ. –BUMBLEBEE!!! via Apple Podcasts · Australia
(email) Hi Darren, If I may impose and use your first name, after listening to you for all of the episodes I feel like I know you at least a little. I hope you know how many friends you have, and while I may not have walked in your shoes I think all of us know someone suffering from depression. For to long we dismissed them or denied it was a problem, thankfully things have started too change. If you stopped broadcasting tomorrow(and I truly hope you continue for some time), you would still be surrounded by friends, we want you happy and healthy first, then you can get off your butt and read more weird darkness and creepypasta’s! Love your show, like you as a person more. Godspeed. –James Bass
I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and more next time! Again, you can find all of my social media and contact information on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com.
CREDITS AND FINAL THOUGHT==========
If you made it this far, welcome to the Weirdo Family. If you like the podcast, please tell your friends/family about it however you can and get them to become Weirdos too! And I’d greatly appreciate you leaving a review in the podcast app you listen from, that helps the podcast get noticed!
If you’d like a transcript of this episode, there’s a link in the show notes.
Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Fact or fiction, click on “Tell Your Story” at WeirdDarkness.com and I might use it in a future episode.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true unless stated otherwise, and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“The Vanishing Gas Man” by Sophie Thunder: http://ow.ly/cdZd30nGcNf
“A Grim Reason We Never See Aliens” posted at Alien-UFO-Sightings: http://ow.ly/eHw130nGcR6
“Clipped in a Barber’s Chair” by Troy Taylor: http://ow.ly/dvG830nGcuZ
“Tesla’s Secret Space Program” by Sean Casteel: http://ow.ly/R27u30nGcyY
I also have links to the books that were mentioned in the Tesla story in the show notes.
“Princess Diana: Murder In Paris”: https://theunredacted.com/princess-diana-murder-in-paris/
“The Malbone Street Disaster” by Troy Taylor: https://www.facebook.com/authortt/posts/1938559686241008
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music.
WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2020.
NOW THAT WE’RE COMING OUT OF THE DARK, I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH A LITTLE LIGHT: Psalm 46:1-3 = God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
AND A FINAL THOUGHT: Happiness comes easier when you stop complaining about your problems and start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.