Year: 1999

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'We were somewhere over Manchester on the edge of England when the drugs began to take hold... and suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the plane, which was going about a thousand miles an hour on the way to the UnConvention in London. And a voice screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?" 'I thought about telling the pilot, dragging myself up the aisle, fighting off the lizard-like stewardesses with my sword-stick, but no... ...no point in mentioning those bats I thought. The poor bastards will see them soon enough.' +Unconventional Means 1+ By 1100 hours, Blather's leading gonzo journalist staggered from his plane at London City Airport and lurched into the steaming fleshpots of the City. By 1900 hours he was seated by the Thames - outside...

blather.net
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'A country without village idiots is not worth living in. Without them there is no way of knowing who are sane.' - Oliver St. Gogarty, *As I Was Going Down Sackville St.* 'Sounds like the most serious, intrepid and desperate act in Dublin since the Holy Order of the Lemon filled the River Liffey with lemons a few years ago...' Robert Anton Wilson on The Festival of Fools 1999 T'was a warm and pleasant spring afternoon - 5pm on Tuesday, March 29th 1999, when the Count O'Blather, resplendent in his motoring leathers, clerical collar and wide-brimmed hat, loped up Dublin's South William St. towards The Castle Lounge, more commonly known as Grogan's. On nearing the lounge doorway, he caught site of the handsomely aquiline features and lengthy gait of Smolian rounding the corner. The two exchanged greetings, threats and irrelevant unpleasantries before ducking inside the tavern. Inside was an cheery...

blather.net
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On Thursday March 18, Blather received an email from an Edel Chadwick: 'I was driving across the bog (ostensibly a road)... between Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary and Cloghan, Co. Offaly. Anyone who knows that road will know it is unrelieved flat bog. It was Saturday March 6 at about 11.30pm. I saw what I presume to be a meteorological phenomenon... it was a very clear dry night, cold. I saw what looked like a very large shooting star, comet type thing, about 10 times larger than the comet that was visible last year. It moved through the sky extremely quickly but not for a very long distance (similar to shooting star)... it was a very vivid green. It lasted a second or two and vanished... ideas?' +Fiery Sky+ Oddly enough, we do have a few. Firstly though, we shall take the pedantic liberty of discussing any confusion surrounding 'meteorology', which is...

blather.net
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All has been suspiciously quiet at Blather HQ in recent times, giving us just cause to run riot with any miscellaneous rubbish that we salvage from the in-tray overflow. Bear with us. First up are our recent investigations into the strange column of light that we wrote about the Blather issue *Big Lights Out West*. Blather reader Peter McNally and in-house Blatherskites both made enquiries into the matter - with the Irish Meteorological service, i.e. Met Eireann. Once our pre-war (Crimean) typewriter is back on the road, we intend to furnish those fine meteorologists with a missive of inquiry, as our telephone investigations were met with vague response. +Ghost of a Chance+ We did (as did Mr. McNally) learn that the occasionally manned weather station in Claremorris employs a strong search light - diameter of some 2 feet (0.6m) - that is played, at an angle, across clouds in an...

blather.net
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At last, another issue of Blather - issues have been far and few between recently, for a plethora of reasons, including problems with Best Internet's mailing list server, excursions to Edinburgh, and a nasty flu contracted by the Chief Blatherskite himself. Things *should* be back to normal, but we do forsee shifting both website and mailing list to an Irish server - stay tuned. This week though, we welcome back Our Man in London, Agent Mark Pilkington, who tells us of recent encounters with the enigmatic David Icke . On Thursday last, Scotland had its biggest earthquake in over 100 years, with its epicentre around 3 miles (4.8k) from the Isle of Arran. On Friday, *The Express* newspaper made mention of how Icke had predicted (some years ago) that Arran would sink during 1999. +Here Be Dragons (and that way lies madness)+ Anyone who caught David Icke's media appearances in...

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As mentioned in *Good Puzzle* a couple of weeks back, there was a spate of Dublin UFO sightings *predicted* for 0500 hrs on January 30th. Dare we admit it, but this insomniac was indeed awake at the time (after having spent the evening lurching about the streets). We saw nothing in the sky other than the manner of thing that one expects to see (stars, clouds, aircraft, etc.), and as we didn't hear tell of any radio, TV or newspaper reports afterwards, Blather would only be *thrilled* to hear news to the contrary... +Big Lights Out West+ A report of a rather bizarre nature (as if anything we report *isn't* bizarre) has come to us by way of the noble folk at Astronomy Ireland, originating with a certain Paraic O'Loughlin. He tells us that on December 27th 1998, he was motoring to Castlebar, Co. Mayo, along with three fellow passengers....

blather.net
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Just as the by-now traditional pre-Christmas rash of Irish UFO predictions had apparently given way to a New Year lull, our blatherbubble has been punctured by a painful article in *The Boston Herald* (of all places). This newspaper gave column inches to Blather's favourite UFO proponent, Eamon Ansbro, in a suitably skin-crawling article by one Jim Dee. After wading through the cringeworthy opening paragraph, which rattles on about the 'Emerald Isle', 'Land of a Thousand Welcomes', and 'legendary hospitality', we're told that Ireland is now welcoming tourists from outer space. *Experts?* This is, of course, according to Ansbro - cited as a 'self-taught UFO expert', prompting the question - how many UFO 'experts' are not self-taught? We could proceed from here, wondering how one becomes expert in objects deemed as unidentified, but... Anyhow - Ansbro's latest prediction for the appearance of UFOs is for Dublin at 0500 hrs on January...

blather.net
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We blatherumskites rarely get to rattle on about Irish ABCs (Alien Big Cats... not saucer-of-milk endowed extraterrestrials, but rather reports of large felines running loose in the Irish countryside), at least not to the extent that the phenomenon is said to take place in England, Scotland or Wales. Back in July 1997 *BBC Wildlife* magazine came under attack from Blather for its hyperbolic claims concerning the *Beasts of Dublin -- Craze for macho pets lets loose wild animals on the streets* (See *The SAS, Aliens and Big Cats*), which claimed that one had to be careful navigating one's way about the nation's capital due to the proliferation of crazed syringe-waving lynx-owners. +Urban Big Cat Avoidance+ Let it be known, apart from the odd procurement of maltreated caged pets by the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the eagle-eared spies of Blather Inc. are so far blissfully inexperienced in...

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We will come clean this week, and enlighten the readership as to how the name Blather was arrived at when naming this vitriolic vessel of the various. The original Blather was the title of a short-lived Dublin monthly periodical, published in 1934 by one Brian O'Nolan, better known as Flann O'Brien or Myles na gCopaleen (1911-66). Devoted to the absurd and the satirical, Blather purported to be (amongst many other things) 'The Only Paper Exclusively Dedicated to Clay-Pigeon Shooting in Ireland'. In his brother Ciarán Ó Nualláin's The Early Life of Brian O'Nolan - Flann O'Brian - Myles na gCopaleen, we find an extract from the Editor's introduction in the first issue: <IMG SRC="http://www.blather.net/img/featured/flan.gif" WIDTH=110 HEIGHT=129 BORDER=0 ALT="Flann O'Brien - from the cover of The Early Life of Brian O'Nolan/Flann O'Brien/Myles na gCopaleen*" VSPACE=5 HSPACE=5> 'Blather is here. As we advance to make our bow, you will look in vain...