Sunday, January 31, 2010

Elite Warriors of the World

This 1200 page book provides a detailed look at the special forces of every country in the world. I have found it to be an invaluable resource for tracking the relationships between and among the elite paramilitary services.  Required reading for the reference links alone!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Human Side

When Trickfox, a Canadian scientist and fellow forum member requested some beta testers for an invention of his,  Mr. Twigsnapper asked Linda to bring me a test unit.  The Astrologer and I rendezvoused with her and Tractorman George at our local Chevron station. It was a brief but intense get acquainted meeting and I remember being struck by something she said as we nattered away in the back seat of the Prius: “You ought to see some of the pictures!”

I assumed she was talking about surveillance photos, but the significance of that statement didn't really click until I read  JD's reference to pictures “taken through the Keyhole,”  made  in one of his e-mails to the author of "Defying Gravity," (Once Linda decided to write her memoirs, someone, presumably JD, arranged for her to be handed a packet of printouts of their (JD and the author's) correspondence on the anniversary of her Dad's birthday in 2009, and I have read through most of it. ) Anyway, wonderful though reconnaissance satellites are, the need for boots on  the ground will always remain.

JD  and Mr. Twigsnapper represent the human side of the espionage world or HUMINT, as it is known.   Although I have seen photos of each of them, I imagine that I might be sitting in the same room with either one of them and not know who they were, unless they wanted to be known.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On being all covert and stuff...

Way back in the dark ages, while I was still a grad student at San Diego State, I was recruited to design a logistics management program for a very new, very different type of Navy project, based on (gasp!) COMPUTERS!  I had to get a top secret clearance for that job and for my next job with the Air Force Systems Command, and for all the jobs after that until I quit that type of work.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First Impressions

I was intrigued with the people gathered around Defying Gravity. They seemed to be a motivated and intelligent crew focused on researching and discussing Townsend Brown's life and career. As I mentioned in the previous blog post, Linda Brown's presence came across loud and clear. Her forum self was bright, staunch, eloquent, gracious, and loyal. She was just as I expected her to be. But I had to depend on observation and intuition to tell me about the other posters.

Almost everyone stood up to my sincerity tests. I was sure that the majority of the posters were exactly who they claimed to be. There was also a notable contingent of spooky folks there, members and former members of three-letter intelligence agencies. Beyond adopting noms de forum even they did not go out of their way to create false posting personas. I soon learned to pay attention to one of them in particular.

Mr. Twigsnapper was (and is) a charming octogenarian who knows more about Townsend Brown than anyone else alive other than Linda. He freely admitted to being one of the two significant sources for Defying Gravity. He introduced himself as Garrity to Linda and her husband, Tractorman George, shortly after they moved to the high desert but his real name was lost ages ago.

The original primary source also made a brief appearance on that forum as J.D. Barret. "JD" had been Linda's First Love and his relationship with her family dated back to the early sixties when "Dr." Brown helped him along with his dream of becoming a real life James Bond. From what I know now, it would be safe to say that his career has outstripped his wildest dreams.

Mr. Twigsnapper's career has also been a successful and colorful one. Many of us followed his posts avidly because he was adept at sharing previously unknown and seemingly irrelevant stories that sent us off to do further research. More often than not, we found independent verification of his facts and some connection to the Townsend Brown story. The more I researched, the more I came to believe that we had barely scratched the surface of a most remarkable story.

After eighteen months of near daily immersion in it, I am more than ever convinced that this is so. It is a complex and multi-generational story that affects us all and it may take many tellings before we understand the full ramifications of it, but it is time now for the next chapters to unfold.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It all started way back when...

In the spring of 2008, I happened across the mention of electro-culture in an old organic gardening book. A quick Google search told me that the term was coined by Townsend Brown in his 1948 report about the positive effects of weak electrical fields on the growth of sugar cane. Further research brought me to a forum where the first draft of Paul Schatzkin's Defying Gravity, the Parallel Universe of Thomas Townsend Brown was published.

I had never heard of Townsend Brown before but I read the entire 700 page book online. And that was before I owned an e-reader which should tell you how entranced I was, I fell in love with the Brown family. After I finished the book, I lurked at the forum for a bit.

Writers always recognize other writers' wordsmithing and I became ever more certain that the author's research assistant, a poster who called herself "Elizabeth Helen Drake," was actually Townsend Brown's daughter, Linda.  I recognized her writing style from the many excerpts of her early journals that were quoted in "Defying Gravity."  After“Elizabeth” mentioned being able to see Giant Rock from her place of work, I was also sure that she was a fellow high desert resident.

I joined the forum as Rose, introduced myself, and learned that I was right on both accounts. We met in person shortly thereafter.Two forum incarnations later I am still Rose; but Linda has come out of the EHD closet.

2012 Update: and her memoir, is now available from Smashwords, at the link to the left  I'm the co-author. Further works are in process by each of us.