Here comes the first in what is probably going to be a weekly series, introducing you to some of the shit we’ve been reading.
In this column (can we call it that, I don’t know) we’ll be looking at novels, articles, reviews, interviews, biographies, fact, fiction and all things in between. We’ll try to do an article (or a couple of them) and a novel or a textbook (in the loosest sense of the word) every week… Which should offer some insight into the ridiculous amount of crap/gold that we wade through to bring you that much sought after and inevitably inaccurate thing we like to think of as the truth.
Reminder: there is no actual truth in this unstable projection of a universe, so prise that third eye open and get ready for some words. We hope you’re sitting uncomfortably.
All of them witches… From ROSEMARY WOODHOUSE to THE RENDLESHAM FOREST INCIDENT
So, we’re kicking off this dog’s breakfast with a light breadbasket we might as well call… All of Them Witches.
What connects an article about Rosemary’s Baby, lifted from an explicitly satanic site called Devils Fane (which you should definitely check out) to one of the keystones of British ufology, the Rendlesham Forest Incident? All of them witches, of course. Well not really; the relationship is tenuous at best, but it was a good title (which we nicked from an already fictional book, inside another work of fiction, obviously). However, we will be using the witch clans of Suffolk and the idea of ancient and secret powers at the heart of our institutions, to segue into a bit of a review of the whole Rendlesham thing… All by way of Larry Warren and Peter Robin’s somewhat contentious book, Left at East Gate.
ARTICLE – Rosemary’s Baby and Generational Conflict
[Harold is…] Currently reading: this great article on Rosemary’s Baby as a critique of ingrained hegemony in western culture. It’s pretty fucking good, and also, it’s only a five minute read.
There’s no need to describe it in detail, suffice to say it takes a fresh look at Ira Levin’s classic novel (and obviously the Polanski film) as social satire and political critique. If you’ve not read the book or seen the film, do both. They’re both solid. Then give this article a blast, because it rings pretty true.
The crux of its argument is that the ancient satanic establishment in Rosemary’s Baby (you know, the wealthy and influential pensioners who have done a Faustian deal to maintain their power, but require fresh yuppie blood to seal the contract) is basically an analogy for the sociopolitical system we live in today and the mechanisms of big, old money hubs like NYC and London.
Yep… Checks out.
BOOK – LEFT AT EAST GATE
[Harold is also…] Currently reading: a beautiful, signed copy of Left at East Gate, by Larry Warren and Peter Robins. How did we get here from Rosemary’s baby? Well… It’s not the satanic government this time, but it certainly does concern the secret powers at work behind some of the institutions we all know and love… In this case, that’s the various offices of UK and US Military Intelligence. Oh, and for the more tenuous segue (which also offered the better title), most of the book is set in Suffolk, which has a long history of witchcraft. But you know, mostly the wholesome, British, wicker man sort… One assumes.
If you know anything about the Rendlesham Forrest incident (often called The British Roswell) then you’ll probably recognise it as one of the most hotly debated cases in UFO history… Not least because of Warren and Robbin’s book, or the subsequent collapse of their professional relationship (involving some snarky contributions by Ministry of Defense backed UFO researcher, Nick Pope). Now we’re not here to gossip (mainly because there’s so much of it out there already and my god is it spicy, so check that shit out too, xoxo) but we will certainly be taking a little look at how Warren’s personal account fits into one of the biggest UFO stories in history.
Something fucking wacky definitely happened at RAF Bentwaters at the height of the Cold War. No one is quite sure what… In Larry’s account it’s aliens and underground bases and in others’ accounts it’s secret military tech and nuclear weapons tests. But something happened. It was front page news all over the UK and USA.
From everyone’s favourite source, “In late December 1980, there were a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights near Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, which have become linked with claims of UFO landings. The events occurred just outside RAF Woodbridge, which was used at the time by the United States Air Force (USAF). USAF personnel, including deputy base commander Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Halt, claimed to see things they described as a UFO sighting” (Wikipedia, obviously). (What? What do you think we do here, something that means have time to cite things properly? Jesus Christ, who do you think we are, Mysterious Universe?)
Anyway… Enter Larry Warren, the whistle-blower who broke the case in the mainstream media, and, by and large, the reason this story reached the notoriety it did. Larry claims to have had a much more hands on relationship with the whole thing than most, and this beautifully crafted book is a personal, witty and broadly entertaining (read: deeply upsetting) account of it. Robbins handles the collection of reports that pepper the narrative, whilst Larry walks us through his time as a military policeman in the USAF, his life as a serviceman at RAF Bentwaters and his part in the Rendlesham Forrest Incident, as well as the aftermath of the whole thing and the effect it had on his life back in the States. His tale is beyond mental, reads like a 1950’s b-movie and implies some pretty serious PTSD. It would seem delusional if it wasn’t for a) things that have happened to yours truly (come and see our show if you want to know the details, you freeloading bastards), b) the fact that he was seemingly fucked around with by his debrief team (and, subsequently, by plenty of people working for the government to cover up whatever actually happened) and c) the work of Jacques Vallee (which we will absolutely come to in another episode). At any rate… It might not be believable for every reader out there (the jury is out, for us) but what its very existence implies is dark, unsettling and pretty miserable. Larry did his job, saw some shit he should not have, then got fucked by his own government… And this is his story.
It’s somewhere between two of our favourite books (which we will definitely reread for this series): Chameleo (Robert Guffey) and Communion (obviously the one by Whitley Strieber). If you like UFO stuff… Especially if you’re a Fire in The Sky, Roswell and Area 51 sort of person, we recommend it. Be wary of all the shit slinging that goes on in the bizarre and disgusting world of the UFO community… Or get involved and have a laugh. But remember… Whatever happened to Larry in Rendlesham Forest really did fuck his life up. And that sucks. We’re glad we have a signed copy too… Because we’ll tell you this, Larry has always seemed like a solid dude.
We’ll tell you something else too… Don’t take it down Spoons. People look at you like shit. Can’t a man just read his UFO books whilst getting utterly shitfaced, alone, in peace?