Friday 30 December 2011

2012- the Race to the Line

Something strange is afoot in the South Seas! Two nations in the central Pacific Ocean have changed their clocks and calendars meaning that when they were originally going to be the last in the world to see New Years Day they will now be among the first. See:

This occurrence is all to do with the International Date Line, a line on the world map that bisects the entire Eastern Hemisphere of the globe to decide when one day begins and another ends. Usually it runs neatly along the 180th Meridian, directly opposite Greenwich, but it warps here and there to take account of geography. At the Bering Straits for instance, and also when it passes through the nation of Kiribati. Kiribati is huge in area, over a million square miles, but it is almost entirely ocean and its land surface consists of a few small islands. Until 1995 the Date Line passed straight through the middle of the Kiribati islands. Because the western side of the Date Line is always a whole day ahead this meant that the country had two dates. The practical effect of this is if you visited the western side you moved into “tomorrow” and if you passed back east again you’d return to “yesterday”. It was this that caused confusion for Kayleigh in Chapter 4 of my novel Rockall, see: Kiribati overcame this problem in 1995 by giving the whole country the same date, unilaterally moving the Date Line 650 miles east.

This has now been done again in Samoa and Tokelau. As you see from the map below those two countries have jumped to the Western side of the Date Line, this means that they’ve missed out the 30th of December altogether. The story is that this is to bring the islands into a better political and economic relationship with Japan, China and other countries in that region, but their position in relation to the Date Line has been one they’ve been dallying over for almost 120 years; why has it been done now, just in time for New Years Day 2012? Is that date itself significant to those countries? Do they want to be among the first, runners up after Kiribati in fact, to see in the big year?

HPANWO-readers will be familiar with my views on the 2012 phenomenon, see: As you can see, I am well aware that the Mayan Calendar doesn’t synchronize to our modern Gregorian one at all; in fact the Mayan Calendar is centuries older. So January the 1st 2012 is no red letter day in the Mayan Calendar at all, but maybe it is in effect in the modern world. You see although the Big Day as far as the Mayans go is December the 12st 2012, this fixation in the mass human consciousness on the Gregorian year in which this big changeover will take place still has significance; culturally, psychologically, spiritually, and therefore maybe practically. Either way Samoa and Tokelau are now in pole position when before they’d have been stragglers coming in way behind the pack.

Sunday 25 December 2011

How Come "Woo-Woo's" never see Santa Claus?

Obviously this is an apt time of year to raise this subject: I've been reading books full of reports of encounters with UFO's, ghosts, lake monsters and other cryptids, fairies, elves, gnomes, green men, blue men, pink men, moving castles in the sky etc etc etc for many years. Skeptometrists respond by saying these things are all just delusion or fraud; lies or pies-in-the-skies. But one thing is missing: How come there are no reports from paranormal witnesses... not a single one... of anyone seeing Santa Claus? (Unless any readers have heard of one; do let me know.)

The Skeppist theory is that we tend to encounter supernatural phenomena that we have been culturally programmed with and this explains a lot of these encounters in mundane terms For instance, a recent article in UFO Matrix magazine (See: attempts to explain a famous UFO close encounter in Scotland in that a similar craft that the witness encountered was broadcast on the sci-fi Tv series Doctor Who the evening before!

However people do not encounter things that necessarily fit in with their belief system or culture. If this were a valid argument then surely we'd see at least a handful of Santas flying over the head of a man out walking his dog at night on Cannock Chase; maybe not many, but a few. Of course every adult knows that Santa is not real, but then doesn't every adult also know that UFO's and ghosts are not real? Despite claims to the contrary, I think that in our culture UFO's/ghosts etc and Santa occupy a very similar status; and if you admit that then you have to admit that this makes it more likely that there is some reality to UFO/ghost etc sightings otherwise Santa would be seen as well, and he's not.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Debunking 9/11 Myths in Blackwells

I was walking through Blackwells bookshop in Oxford this afternoon, doing a bit of Christmas shopping, and I came across a display shelf that consisted of stagger-patterned placements of two books: The 9/11 Commission Report and Debunking 9/11 Myths by David Dunbar and Brad Regan. The latter is subtitled Why Conspiracy Theories can’t Stand up to the Facts. (I wish I’d taken a photo of the display!) I looked up and down through the Politics section and could not find one single book by David Ray Griffin, Dr Judy Wood, David Icke or anybody else supporting the 9/11 Conspiracy. Of course you can order those books from the counter if you like but I couldn’t see them stocked at Blackwells Oxford and they’re certainly not included in the very grand 9/11 display at there. So this Oxford bookshop, in the heart of Academia, is somewhat biased I should say!

I’ve bought a copy of the Debunking… book and I plan to review it; I don’t expect my critique to be favourable any more than was my one of the film Screw Loose Change, see: I’ve written a similar review of the infamous Project for the New American Century’s Strategies… pamphlet:

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Men's Moisturizing Cream

I seem to have a bit of a fixation on advertizing today; this is my third HPANWO Voice article on the subject in two days! This poster was on a railway station platform promoting Bulldog men’s moisturizer. Of course moisturizers have been manufactured and advertized since time immemorial, but in the past these products were always aimed at women. For this reason you’ll see them contained in very feminine-looking bottles with feminine-themed marketing and advertizing. But not anymore! Maybe because of David Beckham and similar fashion icons it’s recently become quite trendy for men to look “Metro-sexual”: well-groomed, smartly-dressed and youthful with a smooth unblemished complexion; hence these new moisturizers.

But how new are they? I went into a chemists shop to check and actually the list of ingredients is almost the same for both the male and female moisturizers. They’re both the same stuff! What we are looking at here is very crafty rebranding that has used the sinister and morally dubious psychological tricks developed by Edward L Bernays, see: (Especially the first episode from about 5.50)

There is nothing illegal about this practice at all, and I think few people would feel offended or under attack by such mind-games, but I do. Mental sovereignty should be something held sacred by society, but instead it’s wantonly, contemptuously and thoughtlessly exploited every day as a normal part of business.

Lynx 2012 "Noah's Yacht" advert

How many of you have seen this?:

The latest fragrance in the Lynx for Men range is called 2012, funnily enough as we’re about to enter that year. In the above TV advertisement, which is being broadcast regularly at the time of writing, the producers have alluded to the various transformational and apocalyptic ideas connected to that year. These have now entered the mainstream, but in a very distorted and negative way thanks to the blockbuster film by Roland Emmerich 2012. This advert jumps on that bandwagon and blends in a more familiar and engrained catastrophe myth, Noah’s Ark from the Book of Genesis.

I find this ad very tacky; it has many of the themes promoted in the “Lad Mag” genre, Loaded, FHM and Nuts etc, which I’m sure is a form of mind-control; but that’s a story that deserves a longer article of its own, however I incorporate it into my novel Rockall. See: This is the relevant passage:
“Kayleigh.” Mrs Ford put down the rolling pin and came around the table to face her daughter, brushing the flour off her hands. “Watching TV and reading magazines like Sorted M@n is not the way to find out what men are thinking. It’ll only tell you what they’re supposed to be thinking. Even when lads talk together, they’re not saying what they really think; they’re just saying things that make them sound cool and sophisticated to their mates. And that means regurgitating the kind of crap you find in Sorted M@n.
Kayleigh hesitated. “Why?”
She took out two teacups and switched on the kettle. “When I was a girl I took sociology in my last year of school. I was a wee bit plump in those days and was a member of Pound-Shedders. I decided to do a paper on the diet industry for my O-grade, thinking it would be something I could easily research. I found out that Scottish women spend two and a quarter billion pounds a year on slimming products! Somebody is getting very rich on women wanting to lose weight. I managed to find out who they were too. Pound-Shedders is run by a company called Michaelson Enterprises while a cartel called Cameron Skeyn owns the firm that produces Trim-Shakes and Calorectify pills. ‘Fine’ I thought and added it to my essay as a note of interest. Then one day I was checking through a catalogue, looking for a good deal on a new dress, when I happened to glance at an advert for a fashion and beauty magazine. I didn’t really pay much attention till I saw the names of the magazine’s publishers… Michaelson Enterprises and Cameron Skeyn!” She handed a steaming teacup to her daughter....

... Mrs Ford sat down on a stool and took a sip from her teacup. “I’m sure that this fraud is just the tip of the iceberg. As I said before, there’s Sorted M@n and other lad mags too. They’re just another side to the one coin that says: ‘If you want to be a real man then get a six-pack stomach, drive a big, fast car and only fancy the girls we tell you to fancy’.”
There was a pause as Kayleigh digested this new information. “Mum… Surely there’s some mistake. All this can’t be true.”
“I’m afraid it is, Sweetie. It’s not just about money either. It’s about making us think a certain way so the people in power can control us.”
“But it couldn’t possibly work! People would suss it!”
“Some do. I did, didn’t I?...

I go into more details about the truth about 2012 in this article: I don’t think I’ll be building “Noah’s Yacht” as a “babe magnet” next year!

Benylin and Sleep-Paralysis

Have you seen this advert on TV? It’s being broadcast regularly at the moment:

This is not an advertisement and I’m not promoting this product; on the contrary I find Benylin, and all cough medicines, absolutely useless. They have never had any effect on me at all and I don't bother taking them nowadays. The reason this one interests me is that the creator of this advert has knowingly or unknowingly made a parody of sleep-paralysis and attacks by the various monsters encountered during these experiences. In a way it’s just like the Nightmare painting by Henry Fuseli, see below.

This phenomenon is explained by Skeptics as a hallucination caused by a sleep-disorder, but I have reason to think otherwise as I describe in these two articles:

Saturday 17 December 2011

Christopher Hitchens Dies

Christopher Hitchens 13th of April 1949 - 15th of December 2011.

Background articles:

I’m sorry to announce that Christopher Hitchens has died. This follows months of battling against oesophageal cancer. He has faced his fate with all the hard-bitten wit, lack of self-pity and style that he always lived his life. I've never felt such strong emotions about the passing of a stranger. Rest in Peace, Hitch.

Christopher Hitchens was born in 1949 and graduated from Balliol Collage, Oxford in 1970. He spent many years as a Marxist, writing for various Leftist journals. His Left-wing sentiments cooled to Liberalism with maturity and he eventually became a columnist with Vanity Fair, the role for which he is best known. In later life he found a new niche for himself: as one of the world’s greatest polemicists and disputants; in fact some say he has virtually redefined what Schopenhauer called “the Art of Controversy” for all time. He has done a lot of his own lectures, but his favourite activity by far involved not so much talking to an audience as debating with somebody else on a dual platform in front of them. In this role he was absolutely unbeatable! He left opponent after opponent flummoxed and red-faced with his persuasive, poetic wit and razor-sharp intellect.

I’ve become enthralled by Hitchens in the last few years and watched hundreds of hours of his videos. I’ve read two of his books, including his autobiography Hitch 22. He’s somebody I’ve come to feel great affection for and have even started dividing other people up into two groups: Those who like him and those who don’t. I’ve found by doing this that all the most sensible people end up in the Like group and all the most foolish end up in the Dislike one, regardless of their personal opinions on the views Hitchens holds. Even if you totally disagree with him (and Hitchens himself has made sure that you will, but I’ll come to that point in a minute) it’s amazing to watch him and read his works. He’s so intellectual, so stylish, so knowledgeable and such a... yes!... a genius! He’s one of the most thought-provoking and entertaining characters I know of. He’s also the grandmaster and world champion of the most exciting spectator sport there is!

In Hitch 22, he describes how he can’t bear to lose a debate, and at the same time it’s obvious he loves debating. For this reason I must say I do question his sincerity. I wonder how much of what he preaches he really believes. He's also stated some very contradictory sentiments about the Military and what I call “The Military Religion” (See: At one moment praising a solider he knew in true Poppy-and-Flags fashion; the next he is scorning Scott Ritter’s own appeal to his status within Military Religion in their debate, see: Hitchens is a man who lives for the debate. Debate is an art form to him; a great game, one of which he is the virtually invincible. It’s not a means for him, but an ends in itself. His opinions seem tailor-made to ensure that he can get a wrangle out of anybody. He’s a Left-wing Liberal who supports the war and he’s an atheist who opposes abortion. All his positions are perfect to make him the universal contrarian.

As I said above, lot of people, even his most constant and dedicated opponents, will be dismayed at his death. There will of course be a few Bible-Belters who will be dancing on his grave, relishing him being impaled on the Devil’s toasting-fork. If this were to occur then Hitchens would no doubt face it as bravely as he’s faced everything else and think of some rip-roaring satirical joke to tell the Devil as he gets his muffins ready. For example, Hitchens was once asked: “What if you’re wrong and there really is a God?” He replied that when he stands before the Almighty at the end of his life he’ll say: “Sir, you provide no evidence of your existence and yet you criticize us when we don’t believe you exist? I hoped you would at least admire my honesty.”

CS Lewis has a quote that sums up Christopher Hitchens and his relationship to the people he deals with: "A noble friend is the best gift in the world; a noble enemy, the next best."

Wednesday 14 December 2011

My Interview on Critical Mass Radio

On Wednesday next week, the 21st of December, I will be a guest on Paul Giovanni’s Critical Mass show on Manchester Radio Online, see: This show has been archived and can be downloaded; see:

I’ve been interviewed by Paul before on his Awakened People show; this one has been recorded and can be downloaded, see:

First Man to the South Pole

A hundred years ago today, on the 14th of December 1912, at 3pm the first man ever (at least the first in recent recorded history) stepped onto the South Pole of Planet Earth. He was called Roald Amundsen, the leader of a Norwegian expedition that bore his name. This wasn't only an expedition, it was a race! Another team, led by an Englishman called Captain Robert Scott, was on the way to the Pole too. Both groups of men travelled speedily through an environment colder and more desolate than any have ever experienced before. Amundsen beat Scott by 5 weeks, which is quite close in terms of the time-scales of the expeditions. Amundsen returned home in triumph while Scott's men, already on their last legs, attempted to escape to their base camp, but cold, exhaustion and hunger stopped them and they sadly perished.

Since then Captain Scott's expedition has become more famous by far than Amundsen's. Surveys show time and time again that more people can name Scott, the loser of the race than Amundsen, the winner. This is interesting in terms of how we judge social values. It seems that a very heroic failure can in a sense be a victory. Scott kept a record of his travels and it reveals a story of immense human courage and dignity. I have a copy of the published diary and there's not one hint of self-pity or bitterness anywhere in the pages. Lawrence Oates, a member of the team who was too sick to walk, committed suicide so that his comrades would not be burdened with carrying him.

I take heart from this observation; it flies in the face of a lot of the propaganda we've been fed about the benefits of practical, ruthless nihilism and social Darwinism, see:

Sunday 11 December 2011

Strange Googe Earth Images in Gobi Desert

My friend and fellow researcher Nick Pope has had a new article published in The Sun. See:

What are these strange objects? The runways could be just that: old abandoned airfields. Why they're so long I don't know. Area 51 has an extra long runways too for some reason. As for the rest of it, I don't know. Could it be some mad artists showing off to the crew of the International Space Station, which of course includes a few of his fellow Chinamen now!

(Addemdum Febuary 2012: Background article: