Now, this Timothy Green Beckley turns out to be a thirteen year old kid, and being much older and wiser myself (at fifteen), I was impressed with his work. This kid has potential, I thought. Everything you needed in the outré universe of UFOlogy and Forteana – a sense of the numinous, an even greater sense of luridness, and that peculiar knack for finding what later came to be called High Weirdness.
Flash forward, past the early National UFO Conferences in Cleveland and New York and Charleston, West Virginia; zip by our annual New Year’s Eve bash at the New York Hilton, which usually ran nonstop till we dropped—about 72 hours (we were pretty young). We’ll skip the foot fetish thing altogether, and tread lightly over the decades up to the present moment, and, while Tim is not my oldest friend (age wise – that’d be James W. Moseley, my mentor in cosmic skepticism), we’ve managed to stay friends through all our changes, travels, careers, my various wives and girlfriends and sometimes both, and Tim, still in New Jersey and New York, is an outrageously successful publisher of New Age and UFO books as “Mr. UFO” and by far the worst vampire soft-core porn ever made, beating out Ed Wood in his declining years (Ed’s, not Beckley’s) easily as “Mr. Creepo” and somehow making a living at both. I love the guy.
Anyway, Tim has always been good to me, cheerfully ripping off stuff I’ve said over the years in such obscure efforts as Alternate Horizons Newsletter, UFOlogy Notebook, The Paraufologist and what-have-I-done, and packaging them as interviews in books on the men in black and stuff, which is always fine with me – I’ve never lost a nickel on the ultimate flattery of having my stuff reprinted, and Tim’s more than welcome. His newest effort, just arrived on my doorstep as the postman rang twice and ran for his truck, flooring it, is called – get this “Our Alien Planet: This Eerie Earth” written with Sean Casteel. Like everything else Tim, I’m sure it’ll sell really well. Jim Moseley in his Saucer Smear long ago dubbed him “Timothy Greed Beckley” and I’m sure Tim took it in the spirit in which it was intended.
So, I open it up, putting aside for later the copy of his "Conspiracy Journal" and the bonus CD that came with the new book, and said volume is all about our good old days of saucer chasing and other related weirdness. There’s even a bit about good ole Ralph, the guy who we met on one of our expeditions who had visited the Planet Peewam, after he was abducted and taken to the saucer base below Brown Mountain. My long-lost photo of Ralph in his museum even shows up, and it brought back fond memories of two expeditions into the heart of weirdness I took in November and December of 1968.
For those of you – and I know it’ll be most of you – who just can’t get by without owning this veritable treasure of weird highness, you can get it from Amazon, but its more fun to go to Tim’s website at http://www.uforeview.tripod.com/alienplanetbook.html
or for even more fun just google him as “Mr. UFO” and, if you’re liberal minded and totally tasteless, “MR. CREEPO”. Tell him I sent you, but probably not what I said. We are still friends after forty some-odd years after all, and they have been some odd years.
Anyway, as I told the story to a very dear friend recently:
In the late sixties I began to receive word here and there that St. Simons Island, on the Georgia Coast, was haunted by a number of ghosts-a phantom horseman, near the site of the Battle of Bloody Marsh where the English drove back the Spanish invading from Florida during the "War of Jenkins Ear" in the early 1700s; the ghosts of Ibo (Igbo) Landing where a large group of slaves fresh from what is now the Eastern Region of Nigeria were said to have walked into the Marshes of Glenn, drowning themselves, singing, rather than submit to slavery, and the one that cinched it for me, the story of the historic Christ Church graveyard, where the young bride of a priest (it was-and is-an Anglican Church) in the 1870s had died unexpectedly, and had been seen ever since in the churchyard. Two reporters from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and two Baptist ministers went down to see for themselves, and reported their sightings of mysterious forms and lights.
In spite of the dubious witness of Baptist Ministers and Journal-Con reporters, I decided it needed investigation.
My UFO buddy and sometimes South American Inca and pre-Inca grave robber, Jim Moseley, Don Cook and I went down after I had done some preliminary investigation with local Glenn County antiquarians and newspaper people, and we were armed with cameras, recording equipment and other gear -- pretty sophisticated for the time. We arrived in late afternoon, got hassled by the local cops (the cops told us a long story about a Bible salesman who was a stranger and got shot the year before, for some reason), spent sunset listening for the chanting on Ibo Landing (my ears glued to my dish listening device, but nothing), hung out at Bloody Marsh, made a preliminary once over of Ft. Frederica and Christ Church before daylight faded, visited the current priest at his home unannounced; he was barely polite, and then we made for the churchyard, Jim going on about being a "psychic negative" that is, when he was there nothing happened.
We wandered around the graveyard by eerie moonlight shining through the moss-strewn old oaks and off of the tombstones, with a light from the window of the church the only artificial illumination (it was a Wednesday--choir practice or something, but we never saw another person). I was sure the cops would come back--they had made those ill-concealed threatening remarks, but, as Jim gave us the fine points on grave robbing, I decided to go off by myself and commune with any spirit of Mrs. Priest circa 1870, who might be wandering about the premises.
I was completely alone among the semi gothic graves, and I formulated a respectful plea to any spirit who might be there to reveal itself. I intuited that I should go closer to the church and face it from the graveyard, and take a one second exposure. As I took the shot, I got this strange strong intuitive message that the ghost of the woman would appear in the picture. At the moment I snapped it I was sure of it.
On the way back to Atlanta I said nothing of this, and we decided to play an ESP game. After only two or three half-hearted starts, a three digit number came into my head forcefully, and I blurted it out. Both of the others jumped....they had picked the identical number. We spent much of the rest of the trip trying to figure out the statistical likelihood of our experiment.
When the film was developed, mostly pix I had taken of the various locales we had visited, one negative was undeveloped, but I could see there was something on it, so I had it taken back to the lab and printed large, and there, on the left, about seven feet up, was what appeared to be a decomposing face with a wisp of long hair and a ruffled Victorian collar...just the head. To the right was the church window, its pane dividers not blurred, showing the camera had not moved.
Subsequently, the negative was examined by Eastman Kodak in Rochester NY, they had a guy whose job was explaining anomalous images, and he was unable to explain it. (Curious? Check long 'bout the middle of my splash page at http://www.mindspring.com/~hellfire/bishop/ By weird coincidence, this Kodak guy Choron is a relative of the late OTO Camp Master from New Orleans, Tamyr.) Many years later, a retired Eastman Kodak official living in Russia with Russian secret service connections examined a digital print in extreme detail with the kind of photo analysis equipment not available for decades after the picture was taken, and his analysis is on my web site.
The next month Jim Moseley and Tim Beckley, already mentioned, that unforgetable and unlikely sometimes UFO investigator and sometimes vampire blood flick soft-core film heir to the Ed Wood tradition, and I set out - insanely as it turned out, to investigate the Brown Mountain Lights near Lenoir, NC, which have been around forever. It was the wrong time of year to be up in the oldest mountains in the U.S., as it turned out, the weekend before Christmas. Jim's daughter Betty was with us, and I thought it a helluva way for a kid to spend Christmas, but that wasn't my call. She later became a street person with a penchant for having a child by a different guy every year, a sort of Jesus freak (Jim's an atheist, but whatever), and still is (a Jesus freak…she stopped having kids afer about six or so, I lost track). Anyhow, we visited the local newspaper office, interviewed a guy who had seen the lights up close and personal and thought them intelligent, and recorded an interview with the owner of the Outer Space Rock Shop Museum, who turned out to be a UFO abductee with some crystalline relics of his extraterrestrial experiences after being taken inside Brown Mountain. He also owned a shrunken Jivaro Indian head, which, as it happens, so did Jim from his South American grave robbing days, so they swapped shrunken head stories.
On Christmas eve, we made our way slowly in Jim's car up the winding two lane iced-over road with no guard rails to the highest observation point overlooking Brown Mountain and the distant lights in and around Gaffney NC. There they were, just as had been described to us, looking like slow-moving plasma balls or who-knows what, and we watched the chilly light show for an hour or two as the temperature dropped. It was the same night astronauts first circled the Moon, and, after inching our way down, finding Beckley's room, somebody turned on the TV and an astronaut was reading the Bible--Genesis 1:1- as I recall. My first thought was something had gone wrong, but it was just there way of marking the occasion--the first Earth-rise seen by human eyes.
I didn't know what to make of any of this -- an interesting bizarre adventure, but no hard evidence of anything. The next day a mysterious guy I'd never seen showed up at my room, and debunked the whole thing, saying the abductee was a local ne’er do well, etc. et al. We talked for a long time, he was well-dressed, a Suit, "clean cut"(as they say--whatever the fuck that is), and it wasn't until after he left that the obvious occurred to me -- HOW THE HELL DID HE KNOW WHO I WAS, WHERE I WAS STAYING, WHO I'D SEEN OR ANYTHING. I'd been low profile. None of the rest of our crew was visited. I believe this is what is called a "Man in Black Experience". I'm a good questioner, and I find it odd that it never occurred to me while he was there that it was strange he was there, and I asked no useful questions about who he was and what was his interest.