I'm Nate

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Senior Cadet
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:35 am
Location: New Zealand

I'm Nate

Post by natecull »

I'm a kid [1] from New Zealand who grew up in the 1980s. The Kaikoura Lights had been a major news story here in the 1970s, sometime in the early 80s my brothers discovered Moore and Berlitz's 1979 "The Philadelphia Experiment" with its mention of Thomas Townsend Brown as a possible inventor of actual flying saucers. Interest in the UFO mystery led to a further string of fringe-science books coming through our living room: Stan Deyo's 1978 "The Cosmic Conspiracy" (which claimed Townsend's 1950s technology had led to usable flying hardware deployed at Pine Gap, Australia, as part of a left-wing conspiracy to fake an alien invasion - which will be a familiar plotline to anyone who has read a certain famous 1986 comic by Alan Moore), David Hatcher Childress's 1986 "The Antigravity Handbook"; and several small photocopied dossiers of papers about the life and work of Thomas Townsend Brown. They all came through the bookshop Scorpio Books [2] which specialised in the 1980s in odd subjects. These books weren't mine, however. I spent hours as a teenager studying them, trying to reconcile the names and weird scientific theories with what I understood of mainstream physics. This was the era before Wikipedia and Google, where if a scientist wasn't Feynman or Einstein, you just couldn't find their name.

One of those little photocopied packets talked in depth about: the Gravity Cruise with Vening Meinesz; William Stephenson; Ilya Tolstoy visiting Tibet; and Townsend's daughter Linda having had an "interesting" boyfriend in the 1960s who might have been some kind of spy, and who apparently died in a vehicle accident, but that there was some kind of cloud of mystery over whether he really had or if he'd faked his death.

(Some of this material continued into the early 1990s. Some of it might also have been articles in the Australian/NZ New Age "Nexus Magazine", though I have not attempted to conduct an exhaustive and expensive search of the Nexus back issues.)

When the Internet came in the mid-1990s I spent quite a few more hours trying to track down any information about the Townsend Brown mystery, and anything else related to "Biefeld-Brown propulsion", since he seemed to be at or near the heart of the UFO problem. This was the era of The X-Files, NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project, Project Greenglow, and JL Naudin's blog. The "Lifters" craze briefly crossed my feed. But the older material I'd read never came online. I am still looking.

In 2006-ish I came across Paul Schatzkin's "Defying Gravity" project, and was immediately startled to find that some of the *very* specific details about the Townsend Brown story (Stephenson, Tolstoy, and the mystery spy boyfriend) that I'd already read in the 1980s, were there in his book. And that Linda herself was in his circle and talking. And that the mystery spy boyfriend himself - or someone pretending to be him - was also talking.

In 2009 Paul quit the project, but I remained part of several follow-up forums organized by Linda and some of her friends. These forums at one time focused on Linda writing her own version of her biography, a project she seems to have abandoned. The forums also seemed to experience a lot of drama between Linda and her friends, and eventually closed down. I have never understood exactly what was going on in the Townsend Brown family circle, and tried not to push if disclosure wasn't forthcoming. [5] I tried to be, and continue think of myself as, a neutral outsider, read in to no classified secrets, but someone who's a little aware of the open-source world of fringe publications. I can sympathise, I think, with both the New Agers and the skeptics: I believe there is more to the world than we see, but I also want to see honest evidence. I am happy to help anyone wishing to honestly talk, but not willing to take sides in a fight.

But I continue to believe that the Townsend Brown story should be told, because I think it's important to removing some of the fear from the UFO world.

In November 2022 I discovered that Paul was restarting his book, and the forum, so here I am. If I can help, I will.

Nate Cull

[1] I keep forgetting that GenX aren't actually the kids we were in the 1990s and to GenZ we're all just "Boomers", but no, I at least am not a Boomer. Rubik's Cube, Commodore 64, Doom and HTML, not the Beatles.

[2] I've wondered for a long time why teenage me, a nobody in sleepy little New Zealand, should have somehow stumbled on some apparently quite precious source material near a large vortex of weirdness. [3] One of the answers might be that Riley Crabb, of Borderland Sciences Foundation, who lived in Hawaii around the time Townsend was there, and then seems to have been in Townsend's California circle via Gray Barker, retired to New Zealand in 1985. That would have been right around the time all this stuff turned up in our occult bookshops. Could Crab be the missing link that explains it? Heck, I even read Hakan Blomqvist in the 1980s (of UFO-Sweden, now the Archives for the Unexplained, and apparently another key node). *Somebody* was putting this stuff in our libraries and bookshops. I really wanna blame someone for getting me into this, and Crabb seems as good a scapegoat as anyone. [4]

[3] I think I've even personally met Tony Brunt, the author in 2010 of "George Adamski: The Toughest Job In The World". At least I've met *a* Tony Brunt, back in the 1990s. There can't be that many Tony Brunts who lived in Auckland? Can there? It's not just a small world, it's a tiny one.

[4] Not the only one though. NZ was a mini-vortex of New Age stuff. Benjamin Creme's "Share International" was active here too, much to my creepiness back in the 80s, when Creme was being nominated as Most Likely To Be The Actual Antichrist by the Evangelical Christian community. Creme was in the 1950s Contactee circle (George King's Aetherius Society) and was also a literal card-carrying Communist, so that ticked all the conservative fear boxes.

[5] Why didn't I push? I guess because I felt like I liked Linda, but didn't entirely trust everyone around her, and didn't want to insert myself into whatever was happening offscreen, which didn't seem entirely good. When I first encountered the Townsend Brown story in the 1980s, the subtext of his legend in many tellings of it (probably via John Lear) was "Townsend Brown in 1943 opened some kind of gateway to evil forces". By 2016 I came to the conclusion that whatever forces Townsend Brown might have been involved in, his Visitors were not the bad kind - and neither were the Invisible College who have been tracking UFOs and other paranormal activity throughout the decades. That was the main thing I wanted to know. But I also am not part of the family and if Linda or "Morgan" still have secrets or beliefs to share and the ability to do so, that's their business. Also if there are actual US intelligence contacts who may also have insights into who "Morgan" was and want to share, then that's their business. "UAP Disclosure" is newly fashionable this year in the US Congress, so.....
Going on a journey, somewhere far out east
We'll find the time to show you, wonders never cease
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