“TILLIE KLIMEK: THE CONSTANT WIDOW OF CHICAGO” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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Listen to ““TILLIE KLIMEK: THE CONSTANT WIDOW OF CHICAGO” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: Tillie Klimek had been convicted of only a single murder, but the authorities suspected that she had killed many more, including her three husbands. (Chicago’s Constant Widow) *** The batteries of numerous vehicles in a family’s driveway all go dead at the same time. Two at the same time might be a coincidence. Three would be suspicious. Four dead batteries – combined with the sighting of a shadow person and other bizarre experiences… that has got to be supernatural. (Dead Battery) *** The case had gone cold some say because of police corruption and a cover-up, but is heating up again now as a new sheriff discovers long-hidden evidence. We’ll look inside the Keddie Murders. (The Quadruple Homicide at Cabin 28) *** Extraterrestrials… and the government. It seems you can’t have one without the other. (The Politics of the UFO)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“Chicago’s Constant Widow, Tillie Klimek” by Troy Taylor: http://bit.ly/weirddarkness2Gkzz4r
“Dead Battery” by Sunset Sister: http://bit.ly/weirddarkness2v7GWFT
“The Quadruple Homicide at Cabin 28” by Ted Kammerer: http://bit.ly/weirddarkness2UhZKg9
“The Politics of the UFO” by Brian Allan: http://bit.ly/weirddarkness2X72oqA
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In November of 1936, a Chicago woman who had been found guilty of murder, died in prison. But Tillie Klimek wasn’t just a murderer – she also had the uncanny ability to predict the exact day someone would die.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
The batteries of numerous vehicles in a family’s driveway all go dead at the same time. Two at the same time might be a coincidence. Three would be suspicious. Four dead batteries – combined with the sighting of a shadow person and other bizarre experiences… that has got to be supernatural. (Dead Battery)
The case had gone cold some say because of police corruption and a cover-up, but it’s heating up again now as a new sheriff discovers long-hidden evidence. We’ll look inside the Keddie Murders. (The Quadruple Homicide at Cabin 28)
Extraterrestrials… and the government. It seems you can’t have one without the other. (The Politics of the UFO)
Tillie Klimek had been convicted of only a single murder, but the authorities suspected that she had killed many more, including her three husbands. (Chicago’s Constant Widow)
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
CHICAGO’S “CONSTANT WIDOW”=====
On November 20, 1936, a Chicago woman named Tillie Klimek died in prison. She had been convicted of only a single murder, but the authorities suspected that she had killed many more, including three of her husbands. But Tillie wasn’t just a murderer – she was also a self-proclaimed psychic who was able to determine a person’s exact date of death. It was a convenient ability for a woman who killed with poison.
She was born Tillie Gbrurek to immigrant parents in 1865. At a young age, she began working in a North Side sweatshop, a fate shared by many poor inhabitants of Chicago in those days. By the age of 20, Tillie had given up on the idea of ever finding a husband. To be charitable, she was not exactly the sort of girl to attract a man. She was short, broad, muscular, and red-faced and dressed poorly in mannish-looking clothes. She was said to be a superb cook, however, one of the best in the Little Poland neighborhood – a skill that would someday bring Tillie into the public eye.
Eventually, Tillie decided to invest $50 with a marriage broker, who found her a husband – a dully young man named John Mitkiewitz, who promptly proposed to her. He was a lazy, shiftless, would-be handyman who knew his prospective wife had a job and was the best cook in the community. So, Tillie settled for a man whose best efforts were directed toward starting, or recovering from, a serious hangover.
She put up with it for years and then, in 1911, she decided that she’d had enough – she was tired of being berated by her supervisor, neglected by her husband, and taken advantage of by her neighbors. She wanted more – and decided to become a prophet. One hot summer evening, Tillie was sitting on a fire escape with a neighbor woman and she pointed to a yellow mongrel dog that was sniffing around for food in the alley below. She told the neighbor that the dog would be dead within a week. When asked how she knew this, Tillie replied, “My powers tell me so.”
On the seventh day, the dog was found lying stiff and dead and Tillie’s fabulous career as a seer was begun.
Over the course of the next few years, Tillie predicted the deaths of neighborhood cats and dogs with stunning accuracy. As a result, Little Poland learned to respect and fear her. She found the butcher would give her excellent prices on the meat that she bought for her stews when she hinted that evil might befall him if he overcharged her. The ice man made sure that his deliveries reached Tillie’s house first, especially after she mentioned to him that she disliked his product to be melted when it arrived. Men, women, and children went out of their way to be nice to her. In fact, the only person not impressed by Tillie’s claims of prophecy was her husband.
That, as it turned out, was to John Mitkiewitz’s misfortune.
One night in 1919, Tillie predicted that she would become a widow in the next three weeks. Sure enough, John died. He wasn’t even cold yet before Tillie went looking for another husband.
She remarried just a few weeks later to laborer John Ruskowski. Her second husband dropped dead within three months, leaving her $1,200 in cash and $722 in life insurance.
Her next fiancée, Joseph Guszowski, also met Tillie through the same marriage broker. He was a blunt-faced, ugly man who had been looking for a young and pretty wife. No amount of money was going to help him, and he ended up with Tillie, who was an excellent cook with a fat bank account. He agreed to bring her home on a trial basis before marriage. He was quite taken with her cooking and eventually, he decided to look past her plain appearance and ask her to marry him. Tillie delayed the marriage, though, shortly after finding out that her suitor had no life insurance policy. It wasn’t long before she had a “premonition” of his death. He spent the last two months of his life confined to bed and was buried in the same cemetery as Tillie’s two husbands.
Tillie’s third husband, Frank Kupczyk, was a friendly, easy-going man who worked at the same factory where Tillie had for so many years. For whatever reason, he believed that Tillie was the most attractive woman that he had ever met. This was a new experience for her. It was the first time that she was married to a man who liked her for herself, not just for her cooking or her money. Many believed that Tillie, at age 50, was in love for the first time in her life.
But the good times wouldn’t last for long.
Soon after the wedding, Tillie had a falling out with a young woman, Rose Chudzinski, a distant relative who lived in the neighborhood. Tillie sadly predicted that the young woman wouldn’t live much longer. Surprise – she was right. Tillie began making frequent visits to the young woman’s home – to patch up their disagreement – and Rose died six weeks after the wedding.
Strangely, no one suspected Tillie of foul play –or if they did, they knew better than to talk about it. The deaths had simply increased Tillie’s reputation as the neighborhood psychic.
After Rose’s death, Tillie was quiet for a long time. She retired from the factory and stayed home to cook and care for her adoring husband. Just to maintain her reputation, she continued to predict the deaths of dozens of neighborhood dogs and cats. Her predictions, of course, were never wrong. Then, in 1920, she got into arguments with the parents of three small children in the neighborhood – three children who died, one by one, just as Tillie predicted.
Years had passed, and Frank had gotten bored with his wife. He had lost interest in her, and rumor had it that he had strayed into another woman’s bed. It’s probably not a surprise that Tillie had a psychic vision that announced that Frank would be dead within eight days.
At his funeral, she told a friend, “I hope the next husband lasts a little longer.”
In 1921, Tillie married Joseph Anton Klimek. They were quite happy during the early months of their marriage, but a rift formed over two large dogs that Joseph insisted on keeping in the house. Needless to say, he was heartbroken with they mysteriously died a short time later. Not long after, Klimek began not feeling well himself. He told his brother, John, about his ailments and John became suspicious. After his brother was rushed to the hospital, he notified the police. Joseph’s doctors suspected arsenic poisoning. Lucky for Klimek, he survived. But Tillie was arrested after forensic tests confirmed the doctors’ suspicions.
When officers arrived at Tillie’s apartment on October 27, 1921, she was taken into custody after a struggle. Tillie fought savagely against the police and injured several officers before she could be tossed into a patrol car. It’s reported that as she was driven away, she turned to one officer and said, “The next one I want to cook a dinner for is you. You made all my trouble.”
Bodies of her other husbands were soon exhumed and found to contain lethal doses of arsenic. It also came to light that several relatives and neighbors had died unexpectedly. In all, investigators found 20 suspected victims — and 14 of them had died. The press referred to Tillie as the “Bluebeard” of Chicago’s Little Poland neighborhood.
A circus-like atmosphere surrounded her trial. She strutted around, posed for the newspaper cameras, sneered at the prosecutor and even made another prediction – that she would escape the gallows. And she did. She was found guilty of the murder of Frank Kupczyk in March 1923 and sentenced to life in prison.
Tillie was put to work in prison, although officials expressly ordered that she never be allowed to cook for her fellow inmates.
She died behind bars on November 20, 1936.
The batteries of numerous vehicles in a family’s driveway all go dead at the same time. Plus, we’ll take a look at the quadruple homicide of the Keddie family. These stories and more when Weird Darkness returns.
We have recently been tasked with moving house. At the moment we are right in the middle of building our own home and unfortunately, though we are weeks off finishing, we have been told our lease won’t be continuing and have to move. In 20 days! We put up an ad on Facebook for a short term rental and have been lucky enough to find a house with a secure yard for the dogs, enough room for us and close to my son’s new school where he starts next week.
So, first things first. We hired a skip bin. We have far too many things and we could almost downsize by half. What can be sold or donated has been set aside and the rest will go in the bin.
The skip bin arrives and with it, something else. Over the next two days we fill it to the brim. We are too busy during the day to notice anything off. At night, things don’t feel right. I tell my partner I keep seeing things out of the corner of my eye, look around and there’s nothing there. My partner works Fly in/Fly out -FIFO. On a 2 weeks away, 1 week home roster. He flies back to site.
That night I walk out of the front door to put the garbage bins out. I have a rubbish bag in my hand. It is dusk, the sun has gone down but there is still some twilight. As I open the door, I fleetingly see a dark shadow crouching by the skip bin. I look down to tie the bag, process what I’ve seen and look back up. It stands up, walks two steps and vanishes.
I stop walking. The street light is on, it sits to the left of the skip bin. Weird. I’m a little freaked out but put the bins out and go back inside.
Later that night while watching a movie, out of the corner of my eye I see something walk past the theatre room window. Look around and there’s nothing there.
The dogs begin to get agitated outside. Running up and down the yard, growling. This is very uncharacteristic for them. One of them never barks and the other is a good guard dog but mostly a big goofball. The dogs are freaking me out more than anything else. I bring them inside, they are my safety net when my partner isn’t home. They will not leave the front of the house alone. Watching out the windows and looking at the skip. All night they are agitated. I didn’t get much sleep.
A few days go by, I am at work during the day and aside from the dogs being agitated at night I notice nothing else.
Saturday comes and I decide to take a trailer load of stuff over to the new house when I pick up the keys later. I pull the SUV out and hitch it up to the trailer (I have driven with the trailer before, but never done it all by myself). I pull it out from the back yard and back it into the driveway. I get it in on the first go. I am so chuffed with myself that I backed the trailer in and on the first go!
I load it up, tie it down, lock the cage and I’m ready to go. Get in and flat battery. What?! It was fine! It’s a 6 month old battery. It’s not cold, middle of summer. Nothing left on. No reason for it to go dead. No worries, we have a battery charger. Hook it up and let it charge. 30 minutes later I’m on the road. I park the trailer and then back the SUV into the driveway so I can jump it with my car if I have any more trouble.
Sunday my mum and sister are over to help me pack and do some cleaning. We spend the day doing just that. Then they have to go home. My mum goes to start her car in the driveway and flat battery. Totally dead. I get my car out of the garage and jump start her car. We talk about how weird this is and can’t work it out. My sister gets in her car and flat battery. What the heck is going on here. I walk over to the SUV whose battery was perfect that morning when I started it. Flat battery.
We now have 3 out of the 4 cars at my home with dead batteries. I am at a total loss to comprehend this.
I jump start my sisters car from my car and she is good to go. My mum leaves and I begin to back out from my spot directly facing my sisters car. I’m watching her as she begins to back out, she’s looking in the mirror and suddenly smashes into the lamp post. I hear glass fall from the lamp to the road. It is difficult to explain how this happened. The look of shock on her face and the fact that she backed into the lamp post as if it simply wasn’t there. I was watching her. I could see out her back window, the lamp could not be seen yet it hit dead in the centre of her bumper.
Totally shocked we both get out of our cars, run to the back of hers. And no damage. Not even a scratch. It was a hard hit. You heard the smash and crunch. But no damage. I look at the lamp dreading the amount of damage that it must have. Not a scratch. There is also no glass on the road. Nothing shattered onto the road and yet we both clearly heard it.
My mums battery was dead after she parked it at home. She got another battery installed. We had to replace the battery in the SUV as the life was sucked out of it. All were batteries less than a year old that went dead.
A few mornings later I wake up with the indescribable feeling that I was watched all night. I went to a little shop in town and bought some white sage and smudged the place. I felt better but it did nothing. First time doing it, maybe I just didn’t do it with enough conviction.
I have to replace the bulbs in the bedside lamps because they keep flickering. Once I change them, they seem fine. One evening the dogs are so freaked out that I am starting to get very nervous. They typically tag team when on alert at night. They sleep in the bedroom with us. We have a border collie and a dingo x kelpie. The border collie has a big bark and will go off when he hears something. The dingo usually comes and sits with me on the bed as if guarding me while the border collie sorts out business.
The border collie goes off his nut barking and whining. Then starts growling. His hair stands up and he begins to bare his teeth. The dingo gets up on the bed with me and whines, her hair is standing up and she is baring her teeth. They are both looking at a spot in the corner of the room. I have bought White sage essential oil and made up a spray bottle of it. I go nuts around the room with it and it seems to calm things down. For a little while. The dogs go beserk a little later that evening.
The skip bin was picked up a few nights later. It made no difference. My partner flew back from site and we moved a few days later. I’m happy to say that whatever was there did not come with us.
STORY: CABIN 28=====
On the morning of April 12, 1981, Sheila Sharp returned to her home at Cabin 28 in the Keddie Resorts in California from the next door neighbor’s house. What the 14-year-old girl discovered inside the modest four-room cabin instantly became one of the most macabre scenes remembered in modern American crime history and has come to be known as the gruesome Keddie murders.
Inside Cabin 28 were the bodies of her mother, Glenna “Sue” Sharp, her teenage brother John, and his high school friend, Dana Wingate. The three had been bound by medical and electrical tape and had either been viciously stabbed, strangled, or bludgeoned. Sheila’s sister, 12-year-old Tina Sharp, was nowhere to be found.
Stranger still, in an adjoining bedroom the two youngest Sharp boys, Rickey and Greg, as well as their friend and neighbor, 12-year-old Justin Smartt were found unharmed. They had apparently slept through the entire massacre which had unfolded mere feet from their beds.
The Sharp family had just moved in to cabin 28 the year before. Sue had just divorced her husband and brought her children from Connecticut to Keddie in northern California. The 6 of them, 36-year-old Sue, her 15-year-old son John, 14-year-old daughter Sheila, 12-year-old daughter Tina, and 10-year-old Rick and five-year-old Greg, were friendly with their nearby neighbors at the Keddie resort.
The night before the murders, Sheila had slept over a friend’s house down the street. John and his 17-year-old friend Dana had hitchhiked to a nearby town of Quincy for a party and returned sometime later that evening. Tina had briefly joined her sister at the neighbors before returning home to her mother, two younger brothers, and one of the neighbor boys, Justin Smartt.
When Sheila returned home early the next morning to find her mother, brother, and his friend bloodied on the living room floor, she bolted back to her neighbor’s house. Her friend’s dad retrieved the three unharmed boys through their bedroom window so they would not have to see the scene.
The murders had been notably violent. Investigators had been called about an hour after Sheila had discovered her slain family. Deputy Hank Klement was the first to arrive on the scene and he reported blood everywhere, on the walls, the bottoms of the victim’s shoes, Sue’s bare feet, the bedding in Tina’s room, the furniture, the ceiling, the doors, and on the back steps.
The prevalence of blood suggested to investigators that the victims had been moved and rearranged from the positions in which they were murdered.
15-year-old John was closest to the front door, face-up, his hands blood-covered and bound with medical tape. His throat had been slit. His friend Dana was on the floor beside him on his stomach. His head was badly damaged as though bashed in with a blunt object and lay partially on a pillow. He had been manually strangled. His ankles were tied with electrical wire which was wound also around John’s ankles so that the two were connected.
Sheila’s mother had been covered partially with a blanket though that had done little to hide her gruesome injuries. On her side, the mother of five was naked from the waist down, tightly gagged with a bandana and her own underwear secured with medical tape. She had injuries consistent with a struggle and had an imprint of the butt of an 880 pellet gun on the side of her head. Like her son, her throat had been cut.
All victims had suffered blunt-force trauma by hammer or hammers. They also all sustained multiple stab wounds. A bent steak knife was on the floor. A butcher knife and claw hammer, both also bloodied, were side-by-side on a small wooden table near the entry into the kitchen.
It would take the police hours to realize that a fourth victim, Tina, was missing.
When it was eventually discovered that Tina Sharp was missing, the FBI arrived on the scene.
The sheriff at the time of the murders, Doug Thomas, and his deputy Lt. Don Stoy were not initially able to discern an apparent motive which made the murders at Keddie Cabin 28 seemingly random. “The strangest thing is that there is no apparent motive. Any case without an apparent motive is the toughest to solve,” Stoy recalled to the Sacramento Bee in 1987.
Further, the home did not indicate forced entry, though detectives did recover an unidentified fingerprint from a handrail on the back stairs. The cabin’s telephone had been left off the hook and all of the lights had been shut off as well as the drapes closed.
More confounding is that the three youngest boys were not only untouched but allegedly unaware of the event, even though a woman and her boyfriend in the cabin next door woke around 1:30 a.m. to what they described were muffled screams. Unable to discern from where they were coming, they went back to bed.
However, though the three boys initially claimed to have slept through the massacre, Rickey and Greg’s friend Justin Smartt did later say that he saw Sue with two men in the house that night. One reportedly had a mustache and long hair and the other clean-shaven with short hair but both in glasses. One of the men had a hammer.
Justin reported then that John and Dana entered the home and argued with the men which resulted in a violent fight. Tina was then allegedly taken out the cabin’s back door by one of the men.
Allegedly, a lot of potential evidence was collected at the scene but because this was pre-DNA testing, very little helpful information was found at this time.
Sheriff Thomas called the Sacramento Department of Justice which then sent in two special agents from their organized crime unit — not homicide, which struck many as odd.
Immediately, the two lead suspects were Justin Smartt’s father and the Sharp’s neighbors, Martin Smartt and his houseguest, ex-convict John “Bo” Boudebe who was known to have connections to organized crime in the area. Both men had been seen in suits and ties behaving oddly in the bar the night before.
Martin Smartt later told the police that he had a hammer which matched the one discovered and also that his hammer and gone “missing” shortly before the murders. Later that year, a knife was recovered in a trashcan outside the Keddie General Store; authorities also believed this item to be linked to the crimes.
It would be another three years after the Keddie murders that Tina was found.
A man discovered a human skull in the adjoining Butte County, about 30 miles from Keddie, in Plumas County. Near the remains detectives also found a child’s blanket, a blue nylon jacket, a pair of jeans with a missing back pocket, and an empty surgical tape dispenser.
With that, the remains of Tina Sharp had been found, which made the crimes committed on April 11 or 12, 1981 a quadruple homicide.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Dept. was perplexed by the identity until an anonymous call asked, “I was wondering if they thought of the murder up in Keddie up in Plumas County a couple years ago where a 12-year-old girl was never found?”
Meanwhile, Sheriff Thomas had resigned from the investigation three months in and take a job instead at the Sacramento DOJ. His handling of the case in retrospect would be considered disastrous at best and corrupt at worst. “I was told the suspects were told to get out of town, so to me, that means it was covered up,” Sheila Sharp told CBS Sacramento in 2016.
The Sharp’s home was demolished in 2004.
Remarkably, the tape of the anonymous tip regarding Tina was found sealed in case files, untouched by Plumas County Sheriff’s Dept. until 2013 when the case was reopened with new investigators Plumas Sheriff Greg Hagwood and Special Investigator Mike Gamberg.
In 2016, Gamberg located a hammer believed to be one of the murder weapons in a dried up pond in Keddie.
Further, it came to light that Marilyn Smartt, Marty’s wife and mother of Justin, had left her husband on the day of the murder discovery. Afterward, she provided Plumas Country Sheriff’s Dept. with a handwritten letter sent to her and signed by her estranged husband. It read: “I’ve paid the price of your love & now that I’ve bought it with four people’s lives, you tell me we are through. Great! What else do you want?”
This letter was not treated as a confession nor was it followed up on at the time. Even though Marilyn admitted in a 2008 documentary that she thought her husband his friend Bo was responsible, Sheriff Doug Thomas contradicted this and stated that Martin had successfully passed a polygraph test. It was later confirmed that Martin was close with this Sheriff.
In 2016, Gamberg met with a counselor at the Reno Veteran’s Administration. The anonymous counselor told him that in May of 1981, Martin Smartt had confessed to killing Sue and Tina Sharp. “I killed the woman and her daughter, but I didn’t have anything to do with the [boys],” he purportedly told the counselor. When the DOJ was alerted to this confession in 1981, they dismissed it as “hearsay.”
The most widely accepted theory involves a love triangle between Martin, Marilyn, and Sue.
It was believed that Martin and Sue were having an affair and that Sue was supposedly counseling Marilyn to leave her husband, who she had said was abusive to her. When Martin discovered this, he enlisted Bo, his friend, and known mob enforcer who had lived with the Smartt’s a mere 10 days before the Keddie murders, to take Sue out of the picture.
This would account for Marilyn leaving her husband the day of the murder discovery. It would also explain why the Smartt boy and the other Sharp boys in the adjoining room were spared. Additionally, it gives context to Martin’s handwritten note that Marilyn gave to the Plumas Sheriff’s Dept.
Some investigators who picked up the case when it reopened in 2013 tie the slayings into an even larger plot. To Gamberg, it is clear that the DOJ and Thomas-run Sherriff’s Dept. “covered it up, is the way it sounds.” He alleges that Bo and Martin fit into a larger drug smuggling scheme which involved the federal government.
Martin was a known drug dealer and Bo was connected to Chicago crime syndicates with financial interests in drug distribution.
This might explain why the Sacramento DOJ sent two allegedly corrupt organized crime special agents instead of agents from the homicide department. It also provides an explanation as to why the two lead suspects were seemingly given a free pass and told to leave town by Sheriff Thomas.
Furthermore, it suggests an answer as to why this case was handled so sloppily, remains unsolved and is seemingly not a priority to the Sacramento DOJ.
What is known is that this 37-year-old crime is far from a cold case, as new evidence sheds light on what may have occurred at Cabin 28 in Keddie, California.
Although both Martin Smartt and Bo Boudebe are now deceased, new DNA evidence has pointed investigators to other suspects who may have had a hand in these murders, and who are still alive.
“It’s my belief that there were more than two people who were involved in the totality of the crime–the disposal of the evidence and the abduction of the little girl,” Hagwood said. “We’re convinced that there are a handful of people that fit those roles who are still alive.”
When Weird Darkness returns – extraterrestrials and the government. You can’t have one without the other.
STORY: POLITICS UFO=====
Serving as an object lesson to us all; towards the finale of the classic 1950’s Sci-Fi film, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, in which an alien spacecraft lands in an American city park, the line of dialogue, ‘Clatu barada nicto’, uttered by the heroine saves the Earth. By using this phrase from an alien language taught to her by the hero, an alien but human looking ambassador from the spacecraft, the heroine instructs a robotic enforcer/bodyguard/policeman called Gort, to rescue and reanimate his by now dying charge, i.e. the ambassador, instead of systematically laying waste to the entire planet.
The film ends with an impassioned farewell speech delivered from the rim of the saucer by the altruistic ambassador prior to his departure, earnestly pleading with us to abandon our aggressive tendencies, internecine rivalries, and most importantly the nuclear arms race, and live in harmony. The film was very much of its era and reflected the bone-chilling paranoia and fear generated by the Cold War. It also admirably demonstrated that if we cannot coerce, defeat or understand something, we must of necessity fear and if possible destroy it. Sadly, over time and irrespective of how much we learn very little changes, except that we become even more proficient at killing one another.
One thing that sets the events depicted in the film apart from run-of-the-mill accounts of other paranormal events, and make no mistake about it Ufology is exactly that, a manifestation of the paranormal, was its malleability to the needs of government bodies. While this is especially true of the almost obsessive, labyrinthine secrecy of the military machine, it is also an accepted fact that the United Kingdom possesses, in spite of claims to the contrary, one of the most secretive governments in the free world.
However, even within this ingrained culture of secrecy there are pockets of reticence that beggar belief and the obfuscation and lies concerning the events at Rendlesham are a case in point. Even the much needed, recently introduced and high profile British Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), is currently being watered down to conceal the misdoings and incompetence of government ministers and the sheer scale of waste and inefficiency that occurs within officialdom.
The intense secrecy over the past and present (mis)deeds of the House of Windsor is yet another example of this mania for concealment. However, while all countries have secrets that, in the interests of national security require to be kept under wraps, there are some ‘secrets’ that can be deliberately moulded to serve a variety of purposes.
This is particularly true of the large-scale use of reported UFO sightings to conceal the development of very real, cutting-edge, weapons technology from a variety of sources. The worst offender was undoubtedly the government of the United States of America who concealed an entire generation of stealth aircraft from the public gaze by promoting, and to some extent encouraging, the belief in extraterrestrial spacecraft. The system was simple, drip-feed a subtle blend of half-truth and lies to gullible and credulous dupes, then stand back and watch the disinformation solidify into hard facts; facts that had the dual benefit of discrediting both the reputations of the person promoting them and by implication, the entire subject of UFO research.
The system of disinformation was repeatedly used to good effect on the Soviet Union, although in fairness they were also masters of this arcane art, especially in the early days of the Cold War when they managed to convince the USA that they were far more advanced in their long-range, strategic bomber capability that they actually were. This of course caused the US government of channel prodigious sums of money into its arms related space and weapons programmes, which resulted in the first moon landing in 1969.
Whether or not the moon landings actually took place is, for the present, neither here nor there, neither is what was allegedly witnessed during the flights and the excursions on the surface of the moon; what is important is what was learned from it. We can only hope that the upcoming planned manned mission to Mars capitalises on the lessons learned and is successful and many of the enigmas associated with this most enigmatic planet are revealed…we can only hope!
The reason that cutting-edge space projects were curtailed, and to a large extent still are, was not entirely due to a lack of funding, but, rather, for safety reasons. The flights leading up to and including the Apollo Project were horrendous affairs that imposed such intolerable levels of risk and danger upon the crews, that they simply would no longer be countenanced. The courage of the astronauts was truly remarkable, little wonder that some of them went a little bit ‘off-line’ afterwards.
However, at the time, for political expediency the safety fears were to a large extent either played down or brazenly denied. Among other factors it has been stated publicly that the level of computer technology used on board Apollo 11 was unreliable and technologically similar to a hybrid between a digital watch and a mobile phone, but probably closer to the digital watch. In fact it has now been admitted by those who were part of the space programme at the time, the computers used both on board the spacecraft and at mission control, were in fact ‘data loggers’, rather than what we now think of as state-of-the-art computers.
From the acres of print created, the hundreds of books written and the myriad theories espoused on the subject of Ufology and supposedly alien spacecraft, one thing in particular stands out; in spite of bold claims to the contrary there is absolutely no consensus on their point of origin. Alternately attributed to paranormal, social and cultural phenomena and even visitors from other star systems and dimensions, just what they are or are not, is still, as always, open to conjecture.
During the halcyon, heady days between the 1950’s and the early 1990’s the entire subject was a happy hunting ground for liars, charlatans and the deluded. However, to be fair, the subject is one that by its very nature readily lends itself to manipulation, not only by the lunatic fringe, but, as we shall see, official bodies too. Not least among the difficulties facing the genuine researcher is getting one basic fact across to the general public and that is, a UFO is not necessarily an alien spacecraft crewed by extraterrestrials.
The average run of the mill reports on UFO’s were, and still are, easily explained away through more prosaic reasons, viz. aircraft both civilian and military, satellites, meteors, stars, planets, temperature inversions and to a large extent sheer wishful thinking. There is however a harder core of sightings, both by the naked eye and on radar, which cannot be dismissed so easily and a good number of these are almost certain to be very highly classified experimental aircraft.
There is little percentage in getting excited about sightings of prototype aircraft since, other than personal satisfaction, all governments will resolutely deny all knowledge of them. Frankly, it would be surprising if they did not. This instinctive, official denial may actually have some validity, since ‘deep black’ projects fielded by one country are unlikely to appear in official reports of even friendly powers, in fact the intelligence community may be genuinely unaware of them.
The rather curious type of mania of attempting to identify top secret military hardware also extends to the group of Ufologists who continually try to prove the existence of secret military underground bases; R.A.F Rudloe Manor is a prime, but by no means lone example. The implication is usually that these bases are monitoring points to the track UFO’s, not only across British air space, but as part of a worldwide network. This is not surprising; of course there are secret underground bases in fact it would be far more surprising if there were not. It may be uncomfortable, but in this increasingly paranoid world these and other covert measures are necessary to maintain our national security.
Whether or not they are used to track and monitor UFO’s, or anything else that invades our airspace, is a matter for speculation, but on balance I am quite certain that they are. There is no intention to detract from the work already done researching these bases, but since the bases are manifestly there and their existence will be continually and categorically denied, why don’t the researchers involved in this subject turn their undoubted talents to ultimately more rewarding areas, the prime subject in this case being Ufology in its own right.
Serious researchers in the field have had a largely uphill struggle to get themselves heard above the agendas of self-promoting grandstanders, media junkies and so called ‘UFO experts’, which is in itself a peculiar expression: what exactly is a ‘UFO expert’? In spite of claims to the contrary there are no ‘UFO experts’, none! If there is no consensus then how can there be experts? This is about as valid as someone calling themselves an expert on balloon farming on Venus. However, as long as there are tabloid newspapers and late night talk shows with a wad of cash to spend and a desire to trivialise possibly important information, then self-styled ‘UFO experts’ will continue to appear and proliferate.
Fortunately, Ufology is not just confined to one particular geographical area or country, but is spread around the world and the majority of sightings tend to be centred on areas of military activity. This is perhaps stating the obvious, but it is not exactly surprising given the nature of the clandestine projects often carried out there. The main problem here is attempting to tell the difference between covert military aircraft overflying the base and alleged scrutiny by extraterrestrials.
The grandfather of all military bases is of course the notorious Area 51, a part of the gargantuan Edwards Air Force Base which incorporates the Groom Lake test range and covers an area about the size of Wales in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the US Government still robustly denies the existence of the facility although accounts of what has regularly been seen in the skies above the air base are legion.
Again we must remember what this base is all about, i.e. the testing of highly secret, prototype military aircraft and as such, a magnet for snoops and spies both human and (allegedly) alien. I must confess that I don’t know why ET spies would want to keep an eye on our (in their terms) rather backward technology, whether cobbled up and back engineered from their wrecked craft or not. Surely if they did not wish their technology to be used by us then they should be more than able to mount a retrieval.
We as a species often fail to do ourselves justice in terms of our own capabilities. This may contribute to our willingness to attribute extraterrestrial origins to our own cutting edge technology. It is also odd that for some reason we are apparently only interested in devising flying machines and not exploiting any of the other (and perhaps more useful) technologies, which these craft would presumably contain.
There have been a few theories regarding what may or may not have been done in this field of allegedly adapted and back-engineered technology; transistors, fibre optics and stealth capabilities are a few of them, dubious and disprovable claims made in Major Donald Corso’s book, ‘The Day After Roswell’.
The type of manoeuvres performed by these aircraft as described by eyewitnesses is evidently quite extraordinary. Whizzing around at breathtaking speed, pulling amazing ‘high G turns’, apparently stopping dead in the sky only to race off in another direction in a manner that would leave the pilot smeared like a bloody pulp over his cockpit. Although this is what would happen if there was a pilot aboard most likely there is not.
What has been seen there are almost certainly experimental, pilotless aircraft, drones guided from the ground, of which ‘Have Blue’ was an early example, and flown by technicians using a form of virtual reality remote control. We have the materials, techniques and capabilities to design and build aircraft that in terms of durability and handling, far outstrip the physical ability of pilots to fly them to the limits of their design envelopes, so why bother with pilots at all? Why not just build a ‘smarter missile’?
They fly far faster than piloted aircraft; and using satellite guidance can hit targets with incredible accuracy. They see in the dark or through thick fog and can discriminate between houses and vehicles, they don’t get tired and they don’t have to eat or sleep. On the down side, missiles have no common sense, and vitally, no compassion or humanity; pilots on the other hand do, (or should do); if nothing else they could abort or modify a mission on humanitarian grounds. Unfortunately, future wars will, rightly or wrongly, eventually be fought using this type of technology. This then is one totally feasible and believable explanation for what has been, and still is, seen over Area 51.
The alternative explanation to this is of course that what is actually being witnessed is the test flying of piloted vehicles, back engineered from the alien craft allegedly retrieved over the years from various crash sites in the USA and other countries. These ‘black projects’ have allegedly been going on since the 1940’s in an attempt to utilise a technology that is still far in advance of our own. Well, perhaps, but there are no clear examples of this; if it was the case why have we seen no evidence to support the theory?
In the Gulf War and the subsequent conflict in Iraq there was technology aplenty, Patriot missiles, stealth fighters and bombers, spy satellites, everything in fact except for some show of alien technology. This could not have been kept hidden so effectively for so long, in fact today why keep it hidden at all? Are we to believe in all seriousness that our race, a relatively sophisticated and nominally civilised society couldn’t handle the reality of beings from another planet being here with us? Are we so arrogant that we think that we are the only life forms in the entire universe? No, not arrogant perhaps, but almost certainly afraid, especially if we thought that the supposed race was much superior to us.
This also begs the question, superior in what way, technologically, physically, mentally, spiritually, or a combination of these attributes? Human nature being what it is, in the event of a meeting there would be a period of uncertainty accompanied by the predictable ranting of religious fundamentalists and xenophobic minorities. It would of course rather depend on what the extraterrestrials looked like. Providing they were reasonably humanoid and not too alarming in appearance, (the ‘Nordic’ variety preferably), it is a fair assumption that they would be accepted fairly quickly.
On the other hand, if they were not and resembled giant spiders or had waving tentacles they would be assumed to represent a menace to the human race. This would probably involve a return to the paranoia expressed in sci-fi films over the years. For example, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, ‘The War of the Worlds’ and ‘Independence Day’. All these films expressed different viewpoints, in one instance i.e. in ‘The War of the Worlds’, the evil, tentacled aliens were eventually laid low by humble, terrestrial bacteria. In another, as we saw at the beginning of the article, the ignorance, fear displayed by the population and military of (in this case) the USA, created havoc when friendly overtures on the part of the alien were misunderstood.
He tried to demonstrate a gift and was shot for his pains. Finally, in ‘Independence Day’, we had a return to sheer, the tub-thumping gung ho heroics of yesteryear and the overthrow of an unpleasant alien species by the combined wiles and selfless heroism of a few brave men. Fiction? Yes, but does this indicate a deep, instinctive reaction to a perceived threat, or is there a much more subtle agenda at work here, are we perhaps being prepared and acclimatised for something?
Perhaps the process of preparation has already begun with the steady introduction of the population to the idea of contact with another race (or races) using the medium of television and outlets. It would make a lot of sense to do it by this method given the impact that television and the media in general have on our lives. If this was the case, to present the E.T’s as warlike or aloof would be a grave mistake, which is why the majority of blockbuster films (with a few exceptions) tend to be more cerebral. Given time I am sure that we would eventually come to accept their presence here and hopefully an atmosphere of mutual trust would develop.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find all of my social media, listen to free audiobooks I’ve narrated, visit the store for Weird Darkness t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, phone cases, and more merchandise, sign up for monthly contests, find other podcasts that I host, and find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
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.
“Chicago’s Constant Widow, Tillie Klimek” by Troy Taylor
“Dead Battery” by Sunset Sister
“The Quadruple Homicide at Cabin 28” by Ted Kammerer
“The Politics of the UFO” by Brian Allan
WeirdDarkness® – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid’.” – Mark 6:49-50
And a final thought… “Our bodies will grow old, but great memories will keep us young.” – Willy Nywening (Willie Nye-WHEN-Ning)
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.