Year: 2007

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Grey-headed albatross - vulnerable species, 2.2m wingspan! © 2007 Dave Walsh I'm writing from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, currently en route to the Antarctic.In the last few weeks we've threaded our way south, around Papua New Guinea, down past New Ireland (we didn't stop in, but I hear the Guinness may be good) and into to the port of Auckland, New Zealand, which is almost becoming a second home for me. I've now sailed out of there five times on Greenpeace ships since May 2004. On Wednesday we left Auckland, and headed down the east cost of New Zealand. After a quick stop off at Bluff (right at the bottom of the South Island), I'm currently writing you from remarkably good weather in the Southern Ocean. Down here, "good" is a relative term - the wind is howling outside, the ship is rolling around a bit, which makes sitting at...

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In February 2007, Blather.net issued a challenge to the 9/11 Truth Movement. We said: "It's time to up the game. Time to get better. Time to write better blogs, make better movies and ask better questions. We're sorry, but Loose Change and the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are just not doing that right now." But now, it seems, somebody has upped the game: one Peter Joseph. His film, 'Zeitgeist: The Movie', is an altogether different prospect. The Call to Adventure Peter Joseph's two-hour labour of love 'Zeitgeist: The Movie' is a compelling, engaging and highly effective prayer: a hymn for the Dubyatube generation. Splicing together hundreds of videos, audio files, historical footnotes and citing and quoting sources from an impressively broad spectrum (from Roman Historians to Carl Sagan) 'Zeitgeist: The Movie' is a look at what can only be called 'the greatest conspiracy theory of all' - tracking a clear path from...

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© Dave Walsh Dave and Mir tell of pirate hideaways from on board the Esperanza: The other day our ship, the Esperanza passed near the island of Sonsorol, one of the sixteen states of the Republic of Palau. But when we say "near" it's very relative - the ocean is a very very big place, and we didn't actually see it. Still, Sonsorol was there, just a tiny dot in the chart, so small. It could have been just a rock. But it is also the place of an utopian anarchist dream. Some years ago, an article called Visit Port Watson!, a sort of tourist guide about the perfect lawless society on Sonsorol, was published in a book called Semiotext(e) SF. The article would have you believe that Sonsorol was a sizeable place, a pirate enclave with towns and farms where anyone could go and live, with all sorts of...

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'Out There Radio' is the brainchild of Messrs. Joe McFall and Raymond Wiley. Broadcasting from Athens, Georgia and touching on every form of conspiracy theory and fortean phenomena imaginable, 'Out There' is an excellent podcast, covering ground that should be quite familiar to readers of Blather.net. We recently caught up with Joe McFall and invited him to introduce himself and 'Out There' to Blatherskites. Blather: Who is responsible for 'Out There Radio' and how did you all get together? Joe: Raymond's really the captain of the ship here... Blather: Who would you cite as your most prominent influences? Joe: Like many who have read Robert Anton Wilson, I would say that his books, especially /Prometheus Rising/ and /Cosmic Trigger/, had a profound effect on me, moreso than the works of any other author or artist. Timothy Leary, too. Many people who trash Leary for exposing entheogens to the public (and,...

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I wrote this review of Conspiracy of Silence; UFOs in Ireland by Dermot Butler and Carl Nally about a year ago for Fortean Times - and completely forgot to publish in Blather! Of course, that's all because blather.net is part of an Irish government conspiracy to suppress the proof that extra-terrestrials are visiting this very parish, I'll have you know. The authors of Conspiracy of Silence set their stall out early, the cover showing a sinister black triangle - with conspicuous red lights on each corner - hovering above Newgrange, the 5,000 year old passage grave in County Meath. Inside, the thesis continues, with ufologist Timothy Good's foreword stating "in this ground-breaking book, Dermot Butler and Carl Nally have shown us that, in company with many other governments, the Irish authorities have made strenuous efforts to keep its populace in the dark". The authors, Butler and Nally - both of...

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Once again the Blather team lead their readers into a dark corner to show them disturbing things. This time, Dave descends below Dublin's oldest church, St. Michan's, to see the famous "mummies" - ancient cadavers that have dried out rather than rotted, and to pull the Crusader's finger. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust - you've been warned, potentially unsavoury photographs to follow... I was an impressionable youth. Well, a wide-eyed seven-year-old country kid anyway - easily wowed by the city slicker ways of his urban cousins. I've recounted elsewhere my early experiences with the Dublin Hellfire Club. The same aunt, uncle and cousin who took me on that adventure were also responsible for introducing me to the Mummies of St. Michan's. Down the steps they led, me, down into the bowels of St. Michan's Church, some grey place in the middle of a grey city. Down a tunnel, into...

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Dear reader (excuse the familiarity - we don't know you from Adam) - please sit down, as you may find this hard to swallow. Blather.net is ten years old. Yes, ten years or if you like, 3653 days. This means that this website is racing towards puberty, and will no longer stand for the wearing of shorts pants, at least not in the depths of the Hibernian winter. As the legal drinking age in this country is eight-years-old, we've already been hard at it, building up a fierce resistance to the hard stuff, so the website won't (or shouldn't crash) during the celebrations. Do you get the smell of porter? It was a Monday, May 1997. I was at my desk in a trendy loftspace, just off Westland Row, Dublin. Gerry McGovern, one of my bosses at the upstart Internet startup Nua, approached me, somewhat tentatively. "You were in London...

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You just can't keep us out of graveyards here on blather.net. This season sees us dashing around the New World, inquiring into the whereabouts of the corpse of that irascible iconoclast, Charles Hoy Fort, father of fortean studies and teleportation. It's 11am on the 29th day of April and I'm surrounded by dead people. I can't see any of them. The year, 2007, Gregorian, 5767 Hebrew, 1428 Islamic, 1386 Persian. In the Julian calendar it's 13 days earlier... sort of. In any case, it's heading for midday, Eastern Standard Time, if you believe in that kind of thing. It's a Sunday morning, according to the ancient Egyptians. 'Sies Solis, Dimanche, Sonntag, Dé Domhnaigh, the Christian Sabbath. I'm sitting the passenger seat of a rented automobile, careening around the backroads of Albany Rural Cemetery, in upstate New York, or, if you like, the New Netherlands. The Dutch village of Beverwyck became...

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Late at night, somewhere in Ireland, a shadowy figure will be crossing the land. He or she will be holding in their hand, a bag, or box of eggs. They might bend to dig and bury an egg in a field, or creep closer to an outhouse and lay one gently inside straw or hay. The moon is almost full, so the light is good, and the ground is dry. It is a good night to be out in the fields with malice in your heart... May Eve This night is May Eve, the night before the 1st of May, the feast of Bealtaine, also known as Mayday. This is an old Celtic feast day that marked the start of summer, the day when cattle were driven out to pasture. Bealtaine is calculated as a quarter day, between the Vernal equinox on March 21st and Midsummer Solstice on June 21st....

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  The 9/11 Conspiracy Theories are getting too silly, too widespread and far too pervasive. In their frantic dash to prove the complicity of the Neo-Cons, the 9/11 Truther Movement has given the Bush administration exactly what it wanted in the first place: a population mired in minutiae and utterly convinced of its own impotence. The Call to Adventure I've been avoiding this issue, if the truth be told, for months now. I started dabbling with the 9/11 conspiracy theories that have been evolving this last two or three years, a few months back, by listening to podcasts, reading articles and yes, watching the movie Loose Change - the home-made student film on 9/11 which sits at the very centre of most of the recent conspiracy theories. Whilst you have to admire the ingenuity of those responsible for the movie, you also feel forced to point out that this is,...