Tuesday, October 03, 2017


Desperation is a terrifying beast when it creeps into your life. Its stench, claws and foul breath can, even from a distance, paralyze you with fear. My uncle has been battling with this monster for some time now; a fight none of us was even aware of. He’s a retired loving grandfather, still a very active karateka and the first to come help out when someone in the family is moving or has some renovation project. When I was completely broke he would invite me over for dinner and made sure I was alright. Last week he sat down in a dark room, far away from anyone he knew and downed a boatload of pills. He had lost to desperation. It was a kata he couldn’t finish. 

But there was still a spark which made him call his daughter who immediately called an ambulance. He did not want that help. He fought, trashed, lashed out. It was as if the beast was all that was still left. He was finally strapped to a bed in a psychiatric hospital, after fighting the nurses and the police. A lifelong commitment to martial arts makes for a rather difficult patient. When I told my brother all this, we looked at each other in fear. This is our blood. This is one of our role models. This beast might rear its ugly head in our lives too.  My uncle, my father and my niece are now going on a walking trip to Spain together; to heal, reflect, support and gain strength. Strength to, maybe, kill that ugly beast once and for all.

I wish I was joining them. I remember he named his karate club Akatombo and as a kid I was told it was the Japanese word for dragonfly. I just found out it’s also a children’s song from 1927, with lyrics from a poem by Rofu Miki. It’s hugely popular in Japan and that’s where he most likely got the name from.

Little red dragonfly
Resting, waiting
On the end of a bamboo pole

This poem better not be on some memorial card soon uncle, you’re a lot stronger and wiser than you think.

Sensei ni rei.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Alpha, Theta, Gamma

Today they are a leader, healer and caretaker. Today they are wolves chasing a wild river through the forest. Tomorrow that might change. The river might turn into a lake or a small creek while the forest twists and turns into something else entirely. Even the wolves change shape as if their metamorphosis is as easy and natural as ice melting in the sun.

Their world is a dreamscape. They live in the time out of time, the everywhen. Once they were, or will be, satyrs with cocks as thick as tree trunks and legs as strong roots going deep through the earth. Then they are monkeys flying through a giant honeycomb grid sucking on the sweet nectar of beings we will call, for lack of a better word, gods. They might as well be giant bees. They are also gusts of wind, following the intoxicating notes of a song.

Sometimes, when the world settles in darkness, they melt into each other. Their strong, hard bodies become soft and malleable and their minds float peacefully through the everywhen. When they wake up they are a Rarotonga peppermint angelfish, a Wallachian ram and a Tanzanian red clawed scorpion. They hold court high up in the stars to discuss the prints they left behind on each other. Scientist might call these petrosomatoglyphs of the soul, like hands imprinted on their individual cores.

“That’s a bit much, don’t you think?” the phantomape says.

 Is it the petrosomatoglyph part?

 “No that’s quite clever. But it reads live Ovid had a trip with some aboriginals and woke up without pants the next day.”

Well, that’s the only way I can describe it, little tarsier.

 “Then you must be in deep. From the house you destroyed for me, through the harlequin fields you finally reached the wild forest.”

Are you pretending to be a wise mentor through my journey to manhood?

 “Might as well. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

Upādāna. Wait, did you just quote Yoda?

 “He was a wise muppet.”

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Blue Orb

My earliest ‘strange’ memory is from when I was about five years old. My older brother (he must have been seven back then) and I were in our Lego phase. We were obsessed with Lego and our entire bedroom floor was covered in brightly covered bricks and pieces. My mum got fed up with the huge mess and ordered us to clean it up. After a lot of loud protest, we start the task of putting everything back in these plastic containers we had for our Lego. I vaguely remember our mum helping us at first, but I guess she went to her own bedroom to finish some ironing or sometimes. In any case, she couldn’t have gotten far. I remember sitting on my knees, putting bricks of Lego in the container, my brother talking to me in the background and all of a sudden time seemed to slow down to a halt. Strange electricity engulfed the air of the room, giving me goose bumps. I don’t remember if it flew in from somewhere or just appeared but there was this blue orb. The orb was quite small, about the size of a tennis ball, dancing erratically through the room. It was clearly electrically charged, I remember blue sparks coming out of it. I wasn’t scared at all; in fact I was mesmerized by it. It seemed to explore the room, quite playfully. In my memory, the event couldn’t have lasted longer than a few seconds, but next thing I know I’m being shaken by my mum. She looked worried and confused. Apparently, after I hadn’t moved in almost half an hour, my brother got worried and called out to my mother. When she came in the room and started talking to me, I didn’t react to her. When she crouched down to my level, my eyes were blank and staring into space. Only after shaking me, I snapped out of it. I don’t know if I told her what I saw, but if I did she must have assumed I was daydreaming. After all, my family told me I was a strange kid, prone to escaping to fantasy worlds and having a very active imagination, especially when it was my bed time. Aside from that one experience, I never see a blue orb like that again (as far as I can remember at least.) Now, as part of exploring a lot of my strange childhood memories, I did some quick research about orbs and I found out that there is a phenomenon called ‘ghost orbs’. It seems mostly linked to them showing up on photos, and I doubt there is any truth to them. One site mentions that a blue orb is associated with psychic energy and truth. It is associated with spiritual guidance, which is somewhat comforting. After all, I didn’t fear the orb at all and was quite amused by it. None of these so-called ‘ghost orbs’ seem to be electrically charged though, so I have to dig a bit deeper. So far, nothing really has turned up that managed to convince me. These ‘ghost orbs’ pictures don’t seem paranormal in the slightest and accounts of other people seeing these orbs don’t quite match up with my experience. The only thing close to this experience happened a few years ago. It was during the short time I lived at M’s apartment. When I was lying in bed reading, I felt a surge of electricity coming out of the wall close to the ceiling and slowly making its way through the room to the opposite wall. I didn’t see anything, but I felt the power of it slowly crossing the room. I could easily follow it with my eyes, although there was nothing to see. I have no idea if these two events are related in any way, but as I was writing this I was reminded of it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Eilean Mor Lighthouse Mystery

In 1900, the only living souls on the Scottish island of Eilean Mor were three lighthouse keepers, alone in the vast ocean. The day after Christmas, a supply ship arrived at the island. To the crew’s surprise, the lighthouse keepers were not waiting for them on the island’s small dock. After blowing the ship’s horn and sending up a flare, there was still no activity on the island. A replacement lighthouse keeper named Joseph Moore was eventually sent to investigate. As he climbed the narrow, rocky stairs leading up to the lighthouse, Moore recalled being struck with a sense of nameless dread. As he neared the door, he saw that it was unlocked. Stepping carefully inside, he also noticed that two of the three waterproof jackets usually kept in the hall were missing. Reaching the kitchen, he found the remains of a meal and a chair lying on the floor. The clock in the kitchen had stopped working. The lighthouse keepers were nowhere to be seen.A further investigation revealed the disturbing final entries in the lighthouse log. The entry for December 12 was written by a keeper named Thomas Marshall. In it, Marshall claimed the island had been struck by severe winds, worse than anything he had experienced in his career. Even though the lighthouse was solid enough to outlast any storm, Marshall wrote that the Principal Keeper, James Ducat, was very quiet. The third keeper, William McArthur, was an experienced sailor and a famously tough tavern brawler. The log entry ended by noting that he had been crying. Further entries recorded that the storm continued to rage for a few days. Secure in their lighthouse, the three men had nonetheless begun praying. The last entry stated: “Storm ended, sea calm. God is over all.” Though the lighthouse was visible from the nearby island of Lewis, no storms were reported in the Eilean Mor area during the days noted in the log entry. The bodies of the three lighthouse keepers were never found.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Isdal Woman

The Isdal woman (Norwegian: Isdalskvinnen) is the subject of an unsolved case involving an unidentified woman found dead at Isdalen Valley in Bergen, Norway on 29 November 1970. Considered one of Norway's most profound mysteries, the case has been the subject of intense speculation over the years regarding the identity of the victim, the events leading up to her death and the cause of death. Public interest in the case remains significant. The woman was found in a part of Isdalen popularly known as "Death Valley", which lies in the direction towards Mount Ulriken. Next to the scene police found a burned-out passport. The autopsy showed that the woman had suffered blunt force trauma to the neck and had taken several sleeping pills before she died. The official police report concluded suicide, but this conclusion is highly controversial. Police traced the woman to two suitcases that were found in an NSB train station in Bergen. Police also found that the labels had been removed from every piece of clothing she wore, and that her fingerprints had been sanded away. Police eventually found out that the woman had travelled around Norway and Europe with nine different identities: Jenevive Lancia, Claudia Tjelt, Vera Schlosseneck, Claudia Nielsen, Alexia Zarna-Merchez, Vera Jarle, Finella Lorck and Elizabeth Leen Hoywfer. All of these identities were false. According to witness sightings the woman used various wigs, and in the trunk there were found several cryptic diary entries. Witnesses reported that the woman had spoken several languages: French, German, English and Flemish. On 24 November, five days before the discovery of the woman, a local 26-year old man was hiking with friends around the same area. He reported to have come across a woman of foreign appearance, her face completely distorted by fear. He noted that the woman was dressed elegantly, although not appropriately for being outdoors, let alone hiking in the hills. As they passed each other she formed her mouth as if to say something but appeared intimidated by two black-coated men who followed her.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Bloop

In the summer of 1997, an array of underwater microphones, or hydrophones, owned by the US government picked up a strange sound. For a minute, it rose rapidly in frequency; then it disappeared. The hydrophones, a relic of cold-war submarine tracking, picked up this signal again and again during those summer months, then it was never heard again. No one knows what made the sound, now known as "The Bloop". Its origin has been only loosely pinned down: it seems to have originated from somewhere off the west coast of South America, and could be heard from 2000 kilometres away. The Bloop sounds like it has been created by an animal, but it is far louder than any whale song. The marine creature that made it would be many times bigger than any whale.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Belgian UFO Wave

The Belgian UFO Wave peaked with the events of the night of 30/31 March 1990. On that night unknown objects were tracked on radar, chased by two Belgian Air Force F-16's, photographed, and were sighted by an estimated 13,500 people on the ground – 2,600 of whom filed written statements describing in detail what they had seen. The lights were reported to be brighter than stars, changing color between red, green and yellow, and appeared to be fixed at the vertices of an equilateral triangle. The two F-16s attempted nine separate interceptions of the targets. On three occasions they managed to obtain a radar lock for a few seconds but each time the targets changed position and speed so rapidly that the lock was broken. On no occasion were the F-16 pilots able to make visual contact with the targets and at no point, despite the speeds involved, was there any indication of a sonic boom. About three years after the sighting, skeptics claim that the Belgian UFO Wave was mostly a mass delusion and…helicopters. They argue that the lack of noise from these alleged helicopters could be due to the engine noise in the witnesses' automobiles, or strong natural wind blowing in the direction of a witness, combined with the wind due to driving a vehicle. So far, the skeptics have been unable to convince the 13,500 witnesses and the 2 F-16 pilots.

Cedar Sanai

In June 1972, a woman appeared in Cedar Senai hospital in nothing but a white, blood-covered gown. Now this, in itself, should not be too surprising as people often have accidents nearby and come to the nearest hospital for medical attention, but there were two things that caused people who saw her to flee in terror. The first being that she wasn't exactly human. she resembled something close to... a mannequin, but had the dexterity and fluidity of a normal human being. Her face, was as flawless as a mannequins, devoid of eyebrows and smeared in make-up. There was a kitten clamped in her jaws so unnaturally tight that no teeth could be seen, and the blood was still squirting out over her gown and onto the floor. She then pulled it out of her mouth, tossed it aside and collapsed. From the moment she stepped through the entrance to when she was taken to a hospital room and cleaned up before being prepped for sedation, she was completely calm, expressionless and motionless. The doctors thought it best to restrain her until the authorities could arrive and she did not protest. They were unable to get any kind of response from her and most staff members felt too uncomfortable to look directly at her for more than a few seconds. But the second the staff tried to sedate her, she fought back with extreme force. Two members of staff had to hold her down as her body rose up on the bed with that same, blank expression. She turned her emotionless eyes towards the male doctor and did something unusual. She smiled. As she did, the female doctor screamed and let go out of shock. In the woman's mouth were not human teeth, but long, sharp spikes. Too long for her mouth to close fully without causing any damage… The male doctor stared back at her for a moment before asking "What in the hell are you?" She cracked her neck down to her shoulder to observe him, still smiling. There was a long pause, the security had been alerted and could be heard coming down the hallway. As he heard them approach, she darted forward, sinking her teeth into the front of his throat, ripping out his jugular and letting him fall to the floor, gasping for air as he choked on his own blood. She stood up and leaned over him, her face coming dangerously close to his as the life faded from his eyes. She leaned closer and whispered in his ear. "I...am....God...."