Monday, July 25, 2011


A cryptid is a creature whose existence is alleged but has not been verified by scientific consensus, such as Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Loch Ness Monster, Draconian Reptilian Shape-Shifter and the Grinch who stole Christmas.

Beware my fellow Earthlings -- some of these elusive entities may indeed mingle among us.

In November of 1966, the following events took place near Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

On November 15, Newell Partridge, a rural resident, noticed some unusual interference on his TV, as his dog Bandit began howling outside. Partridge went outside with a flashlight and spotted Bandit, about 150 feet from the house, circling a large creature with glowing red eyes. He called Bandit but the dog persisted. Consumed with fear, Partridge returned into the house to retrieve a firearm, but then decided to remain indoors until dawn.

At sunrise, there was no trace of Bandit or the creature.

Later same evening, two couples were traveling in a single vehicle about seven miles north of Point Pleasant. They noticed two red lights in the shadows of an old abandoned factory. As they stopped the car to check it out, they discovered the two red lights were the eyes of a large eerie creature "shaped like a man,... maybe seven feet tall, with big wings folded against its back." They drive off in fright.

As they were about to enter the main highway, they spotted the creature standing on a nearby ridge. The creature spread its wings and flew alongside the vehicle, at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, all the way to the city limits. As they approached Point Pleasant, they noticed the corpse of a large dog along the roadside (in the area of the Partridge residence).

They reported the incident to a deputy at the sheriff's office who considered them to be credible witnesses, having known the two couples all their lives.

On November 24, four witnesses reportedly saw an identical creature flying above the old factory in the same vicinity.

On November 25, a man was driving on the highway just north of the old factory when he spotted the creature standing in a field. The creature then spread its wings and flew away. The witness reported the incident to the Point Pleasant sheriff's office.

On November 27, A woman driving home from church saw a huge figure shaped like a man, at least seven feet tall, with large glowing red eyes. As she slowed her car, a pair of wings unfolded from its back, spreading to about 10 feet, whereby the creature rose slowly off the ground, then swooped toward her car as she accelerated to escape.

There were also other sightings reported of this terrifying creature that would become known as Mothman.

On December 15, 1967, the bridge connecting Point Pleasant, West Virginia, with Gallipolis, Ohio, over the Ohio River, collapsed, killing 46 people. Thereafter, fewer sightings of Mothman were reported, leading some to speculate that the creature appears before a pending disaster -- either attempting to warn people, or perhaps contributing to the disaster.

We live in a mysterious universe. According to recent discoveries (theories) in physics, there are as many as 12 dimensions (we reside in the 3rd dimension) with as many as 12 vibrations (frequencies) in each dimension -- with each vibration within each dimension being an individual reality (such as our universe being one of those realities).

If so, it is not inconceivable that an "unearthly" creature could alter from one vibration (frequency) to another, thereby slipping into another dimension.

The universe may be astonishingly vast and complex and mysterious -- but it isn't everything.

Other realities also exist -- they too are vast and complex and mysterious.

And they may not always be in harmony with our daily existence.

Quote for the Day -- "Everything in the universe is endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception." Helena Blavatsky

Bret Burquest is the author of 7 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY and ORB OF WOUNDED SOULS (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and lots of moths.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Fritter Dilemma

Some people come into money and fritter it away -- others have a knack for turning money into more money.

Jim Lindsey graduated from high school in Forest City, Ark., in 1962. He went on to the University of Arkansas and played football under Coach Frank Broyles. As a 6-2, 210 tailback, he helped the Razorbacks become national champions in 1964. And by the time he graduated in 1965, they had won 22 games in a row.

In 1966, Lindsey was drafted in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings under Coach Norm Van Brocklin.

Bud Grant was hired to replace Van Brocklin in 1967 and Lindsey fit right in the new coach's system as a role player (backup running back and tight end) and soon became special team's captain on all the kicking plays.

Lindsey was a marginal offensive player for the Vikings, ever fearful he wouldn't make the team. He rushed for a total of 566 yards and six touchdowns, and received 65 passes for 632 yards and four touchdowns over seven seasons. But on special teams he was invaluable at breaking up wedges on kickoffs and covering punts.

Having played for Frank Broyles in college, Lindsey developed a deep appreciation of coaching. Throughout his seven years in pro football, Lindsey always assumed he would someday be a football coach, probably at the high school level somewhere in Arkansas or perhaps even back at his college alma mater.

As a second round draft pick back in 1966, Lindsey signed a three-year deal with the Vikings which paid an annual salary of $25,000 in the first year, $27,500 the second year and $30,000 the third year. He also received a signing bonus of $90.000. After taxes, the up-front cash bonus had been reduced to $60,000.

Lindsey was a small-town kid who majored in math in college. Instead of frittering away his fresh wad of cash on instant frills (cars, jewelry, etc.), he made a $60,000 down payment on a $167,000 chunk of Arkansas land.

Payments on the land came out of his salary while he and his wife lived modestly in a rented apartment.

Three years after purchasing the land, he sold it for $1.5 million.

Lindsey never did get into coaching, but he did start a real estate investment company in Fayetteville called Lindsey & Associates, plus he currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of Arkansas as chairman of the athletic committee.

Presently, Lindsey owns 27,500 apartment units, 12,000 acres of farmland and 28 golf courses. Not including income from the apartment building operation (which is spread over the Ozarks to Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee), Lindsey & Associates did $800 million in sales last year.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was also a member of the University of Arkansas football team at the same time as Lindsey. He and Lindsey are currently embarking on a five-year project to construct 5,000 apartment units, at a cost of $50 million, on 270 acres in the Dallas area.

And the rich get richer once again.

Unless you're born into it, money is hard to come by in this world, especially if you have to work for someone else. If you start your own business it's even harder because it requires a personal commitment, diligence and plenty of good luck along the way. And no matter how much effort you put into it, success is never guaranteed.

So if you suddenly acquire a large sum of cash, don't fritter it away on flashy goodies or get-rich-quick schemes -- invest it wisely in something worthwhile, such as real property or furthering your own enterprise.

If you define success by the size of your bankroll, you need to follow certain steps, starting with a long-term plan. Then be prepared to sacrifice personal luxury, remain persistent and have the patience to see it through.

Personally, I believe success is being content with everyday life, regardless of the surrounding insanity.

I've solved all my money problems the easy way -- by not having very much of it; just enough to maintain a debt-free existence and never any extra money to fritter away on anything beyond the bare necessities of life.

To fritter or not to fritter, that is the question.

But it's only a dilemma if you have more money than you need.

Quote for the Day -- "I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present." Donald Trump

Bret Burquest, author of four novels, has recently published THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY (esoteric knowledge) and 1111 HAPPY TRAILS ROAD (humor) -- available on Amazon. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and has a small jar of quarters for emergency transactions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Population Center of the USA

According to the 2010 Census, the new center of population of the USA is a point 2.9 miles east of Plato, Missouri (population 109).

This is the spot where there are just as many people north as south, and as many people east as west.

In 2000, the center of population was a point 2.8 miles east of Edgar Springs, Missouri (population 190), some 23 miles northeast of Plato.

The USA center of population has been steadily moving west and south since it was first introduced in 1790 where it was then pinpointed 23 miles east of Baltimore.

Over the years, it has been located in West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

Based on the last 10 years, the center of population has been traveling at a speed of 3.4176 miles per year or about two feet per hour.

This is slightly faster than the U.S. Congress moves when in session.

The west-southwest drift of the center of population is no great surprise.

In 1950, Phoenix had a population of about 40,000. Today, It’s well over a million.

California had a population of 10 million in 1950. In 2000, it reached 35 million.

During those forty years, the population of California increased by approximately 1,370 people per day.

That’s a lot of Ryder trucks heading one-way.

If this west-southwest drift of the USA population center continues on its present course, in a few years it should hit Tulsa, Oklahoma, about the same time gasoline hits $99 per gallon.

By the way, the exact Center of the Universe at any given moment is wherever I'm standing at the time.

Quote for the Day -- "Unless we do things in this country to slow down our population, slow down our birth control, provide better water for people, provide power for people, we're gonna find out that the next wars are not going to be fought over diamonds, gold and political things." Evel Knievel.

Bret Burquest, author of four novels, has recently published THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY (esoteric knowledge) and 1111 HAPPY TRAILS ROAD (humor) -- available on Amazon. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and the ghost of Davy Crockett.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Computer Geeks Unleashed

In April of 1966, I was drafted into the U.S. Army (Vietnam Era) and served as a computer analyst at Third Army Headquarters at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia, with the Third U. S. Army Data Processing Company.

Every company on the post had a football team. Plus there was a company of U.S. Marines stationed at a nearby supply depot that filled out our 6-team league.

We played touch football.

In the military, that meant it was illegal to break bones during a touch.

The Marines and the data processors met in October of 1967. During warm-ups, the Marines appeared confident. After all, they were big, tough dudes with necks as big as their thighs and we were computer geeks.

We had enough players to field a team, as long as we played both ways, with a couple players left over for emergency.

I often played fullback and middle linebacker. This night I was the center and a defensive lineman.

As usual, John Danko, a notorious street fighter from north Minneapolis gave us an emotional boost. Just before he kicked off to open the game, he pointed at some of the nastiest-looking Marines and announced he was going to stomp them into the ground.

When Danko kicked the ball to start the game, eleven computer geeks, including me, stormed down the field like we were all blood kin to Dick Butkus.

Thus began an evening of pure mayhem.

In the first half, Staff Sergeant Jackson blew out a knee in a pileup and was carted off to the hospital. He was replaced at defensive tackle by a guy from Philadelphia named Phillips, a decent athlete with good size.

In the third quarter, the biggest Marine on the offensive line nailed Phillips in the mouth with a forearm. Phillips lost several front teeth and was bleeding badly from a split lip, so he left the game and went off to be repaired.

John Wright, linebacker, took my place at defensive end while I slipped into the tackle position previously occupied by Jackson and Phillips. Wright was an excellent athlete, tall with speed.

When we lined up again, I told the molester of computer geeks, in rather colorful language, that he was about to encounter the next level of bad. Rather than intimidating him, it made him smile.

In the last quarter, the score was still zero-zero.

We had the marines backed up deep in their own territory when they ran up the middle. Somehow, my elbow smacked into the biggest offensive lineman’s mouth. It drew blood but his teeth remained intact. Although it was accidental, it turned out to be a turning point in the game.

A couple of other Marines accosted me but Banning and Valentino, the left side of our defensive line, joined in and soon whistles were blowing and flags flying.

Everyone on the field was now in full macho mode. Danko gave me a nod, acknowledging me for molesting the molester, sending my reputation up about four notches.

In high school, Banning had been an all-state basketball player and the Missouri State discus champion. He was basically a human gorilla.

Valentino was a tough guy from Chicago who lifted weights every spare minute of his life. But he was so strong he had no lateral movement. He could only go straight ahead, always at full throttle.

The next play, the Marine quarterback dropped back to pass.

Banning and I broke through the line, chasing the quarterback to his right. Valentino, at full speed, “tagged” the quarterback in his own end zone.

In fact, he “tagged” him so hard the quarterback rolled about three revolutions before coming to a halt with a mouth full of Georgia clay.

The final score – Computer Geeks 2, Marines 0.

Sometimes you can’t tell a book by the cover.

And sometimes geeks are more than just geeks.

John Luzon, quarterback, had a great arm. He was signed as a pitcher in the Baltimore Oriole organization.

Jack Quitoni, halfback, played semi-pro football and now coaches high school football in New York State.

Clyde Pruitt, wide receiver, was a super athlete who had played basketball on scholarship for UCLA.

Bill Banning, lineman, became a hotshot software developer for IBM, creating the OS/2 database manager.

John Valentino, lineman, moved on to Hollywood where he represents many famous actors as an agent.

John Wright, linebacker, returned to his old job in Burbank and was nominated for an Oscar for editing the movies THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990) and SPEED (1994).

And of course, I went on to become a hermit in the Ozark Mountains where I write stuff and talk to trees.

We were all draftees, serving two years in an office building on a small post in Atlanta, Georgia, doing our best to maintain our sanity. In those days, most draftees went across the Big Pond to the jungles of South Vietnam to dodge bullets.

A man named Jeffrey Mellinger was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1972. In July of 2011, after serving nearly 40 years, Command Sgt. Major Mellinger is preparing to retire from service. He is the last of the Vietnam Era draftees to retire.

Destiny is a curious thing.

Quote for the Day -- "If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead." Erma Bombeck

Bret Burquest, author of four novels, has recently published THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY (esoteric knowledge) and 1111 HAPPY TRAILS ROAD (humor) -- available on Amazon. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and the ghost of Bronko Nagurski.

Friday, July 1, 2011

40-Year Nightmare

In January of 1966, there were 215,000 American soldiers involved in a skirmish called the Vietnam Conflict and lots of GIs were coming home in body bags. In his State of the Union Address, President Johnson declared that the USA should increase troop strength and remain in Vietnam until the Communist aggression ended.

One week later, U.S. airplanes resumed bombing of North Vietnam after a 37-day pause.

Soon thereafter, I received an official federal form letter informing me that I was being conscripted (drafted) into the U.S. Army, so I quit my job as a computer programmer in St. Paul and had a final fling as a civilian.

On April 12, 1966, I reported for basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., where I learned to stand in line, clean toilets and do squat thrusts. My drill sergeant, who had been raised by crazed wolverines, was not a pleasant fellow.

The number one song at the time was "Sounds of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel.

"People talking without speaking...
People hearing without listening...
People writing songs that voices never share...
And no one dared disturb the sound of silence."

It wasn't exactly a peppy tune but it somehow captured the mood of the day.

During my eight weeks of basic training, soccer fans in Peru went on a rampage resulting in 248 deaths, a Buddhist monk set himself on fire in front of the U.S. Embassy in South Vietnam, the NFL and the AFL merged, the Supreme Court ruled that criminal suspects must be informed of their rights (Miranda vs. Arizona), and the Medicare insurance program went into effect.

I was too busy standing at attention to notice.

After basic training, I reported for duty at the Third Army Data Processing Company at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta, Ga., where I spent the remainder of my two year obligation of active duty as a data processing analyst.

It was fairly easy duty.

Even so, I never stopped counting the days until I could return to the real world once again.

The summer of 1966 was a time of social upheaval. There was a race riot in Atlanta near Ft. McPherson. There were also race riots in Omaha, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and elsewhere. Plus, opposition to our involvement in Vietnam was becoming increasingly widespread.

And I was stuck in Georgia shuffling Army paperwork.

In any event, I was drafted into the Army in April of 1966 and honorably did my duty.

It's hard to cut two years out of your life in your early 20s. I was just beginning my career as a computer programmer and had to start completely over again after my discharge. It took another year or two to catch back up to where I had been before I was drafted.

I've been plagued ever since by a reoccurring dream whereby I'm drafted into the Army a second time and am unable to convince anyone of authority that I don't belong there because I had already served and no longer had a military obligation.

The theme is always the same but usually it's on different military installations.

I also know two other former draftees I served with at Ft. McPherson who have the same reoccurring nightmare. Our duty wasn't very traumatic but for some reason we can't get past it. I suspect it has something to do with the helplessness of being stuck in a situation we didn't want to be in and the only way out was to do the time.

Young men and women who enlist into the military do so voluntarily and accept the consequences.

However, those who are drafted are forced into mandatory servitude whether they like it or not, and are torn between serving their country and losing their freedom. They must give up their freedom and individuality, and are required to be obedient to strict (often unreasonable) orders at all times.

Plus, many career soldiers resented draftees and made life tougher for them. A draftee is merely a pawn in someone else's war whose fate is dictated by others.

On April 12, 2006, I had a dream that I was finally discharged from my military obligation.

When I woke up and pondered the dream, I realized it was the fortieth anniversary, to the exact day, of my military service. I had served two years of active duty, and 40 years of conscription over again and again in my dreams.

Fortunately, I haven't had the dream since -- it only took me 40 years to get over it.

The subconscious mind is a reservoir of unresolved conflict. If you suppress it, your dreams will remind you.

Quote for the Day -- "An Army is a collection of armed men obligated to obey one man." William Tecumseh Sherman

Bret Burquest, author of four novels, has recently published THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY (esoteric knowledge) and 1111 HAPPY TRAILS ROAD (humor) -- available on Amazon. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and a reservoir of unresolved conflicts.