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Fwd = The Mothman Prophecies: "Gordon Smallwood" and Some Strange Happenings

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) URL: http://scifidimensions.fanhosts.com/Feb02/gordonsmallwood.htm Original Date: Fri, 1 Feb
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1, 2002
      Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
      URL: http://scifidimensions.fanhosts.com/Feb02/gordonsmallwood.htm
      Original Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 11:19:12 -0800

      ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================

      The Mothman Prophecies:

      "Gordon Smallwood" and Some Strange Happenings

      by Loren Coleman[37]

      In the new motion picture, [38]The Mothman Prophecies ( based on the
      book of the same name by John Keel), chemical plant worker "Gordon
      Smallwood" (Will Patton), is deeply upset by late-night visits, he
      thinks, from reporter "John Klein" (Richard Gere). "Smallwood" also
      believes that an entity named Indrid Cold is communicating with him,
      and this is slowly driving him, well, to turn a phrase, batty.
      "Gordon Smallwood" is loosely based on contactee Woody Derenberger,
      who reported encounters with an Indrid Cold in West Virginia during
      the period of the Mothman sightings there in 1966-1967. This is all
      rather obvious, and the "Smallwood" and Woody link is not hard to see.

      Right after the movie's opening, Jerome "Jerry" Clark, author of The
      UFO Book, posted the following on an online UFO group: "I wonder how
      many of you who've seen the movie caught the
      deep-inside-the-ufological-beltway use of the name 'Gordon Smallwood'
      for the Will Patton character?"

      No one answered, but many were interested in learning what the in-joke
      was all about.

      Jerry Clark explained: "Gordon Smallwood is a pseudonym Gray Barker
      [the late West Virginia ufologist, and friend of John A. Keel] used
      for Quebec ufologist Laimon Mitris, who allegedly was visited by a man
      in black. See chapter 13 of They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers.
      Barker writes, 'I would like to know someone by the name of Gordon
      Smallwood. The name in itself sounds honest and reputable. If there
      are any Gordon Smallwoods reading this book, let them rest assured the
      name used here is an invention. But let them write to me for I would
      like to know people with such a name.'"

      The Mothman Prophecies movie has many layers of meanings and a few
      inside jokes: from the Fortean number game turning up in the night
      visits related by "Gordon Smallwood", the selection of names (e.g.
      Leek = Keel), and even on-camera appearances. Notice the imposing
      figure of the bartender at the Marriott who helps the Richard Gere
      character with the television channels. That's director Mark
      Pellington in his Alfred Hitchcock-like cameo.

      There have also been several strange occurrences associated with the
      movie's release.

      A special screening of The Mothman Prophecies for me and 199 of my
      guests in Portland, Maine, on January 23rd, did not occur without a
      visit from the weird. One of the most bizarre experiences of my
      movie-viewing life happened with about 15 minutes to go in the film.
      It was the point at which Richard Gere and Laura Linney are arguing
      about whether her character should go help with the governor's
      security at the chemical plant. During that conflict, up on the big
      screen, the film stuck. It stopped. It slowly started melting. The
      film was burning right in front of all of our eyes. It moved a little
      and then burned more. Strange shades of black, orange, and red.
      Richard Gere's ear seemed to be the source of ghosty images of melting
      film footage. We all watched in horror, transfixed. We all were
      trying to understand if this was part of the film. The movie strip
      began to burn across the screen and people began to yell, "It's going
      to break!" Then a fellow film professor, Dan Porter, jumped up, ran
      down the aisle, and found someone to deal with the unattended
      projector. Everyone was more than a little freaked out by this
      experience happening with *this* film. The theater people turned off
      the projector, the lights came up, and then we waited. And talked and
      talked about the eerie melting. In about five minutes, we all were
      watching it again. Bizarre.

      (I've now seen the film again - an unburned print. The line missed
      due to the projector problem was "You saw Leek." How appropriate.)

      The real Point Pleasant, West Virginia, which had a special showing of
      the movie on Thursday, January 24th (a day before the national
      release) experienced phone outages and power blackouts all day. By
      Friday, the hospital's phones in town could call locally, but not
      across the Ohio River.

      Also on the 24th, Arkansas wildlife artist Bill Rebsamen (who did the
      Mothman cover art for my new book, [39]Mothman and Other Curious
      Encounters) reported "...can you believe I missed the FX program [the
      documentary, Search for the Mothman] last night? Tuesday our phone at
      home went dead inside the house...Strange, when you pick up the the
      phone it simply sounds like there's a phone off the hook somewhere in
      the house. We've never had this kind of problem before. Then, last
      night we had a small thunderstorm come through very quickly around 6pm
      (didn't even rain for more than an hour and really did not lightning
      that much) and our cable went out and did not come back on until about
      10:30 our time (30 minutes after the program went off)."

      To round out the bizarre happenings, I was on Errol Bruce-Knapp's
      Toronto radio show late on January 26th, and it was hit with the most
      incredible phone problems I have experienced lately. I was literally
      blown off the line with weird echoes and a blasting noise. It
      happened not just once, but five times during my hour - twice with
      ufologist Jerry Clark on another line from Minnesota. Jerry kept
      humorously repeating the words, "I am not paranoid, I am not
      paranoid," as it was happening. The line would finally go dead, and
      the technical staff at the show would call back, apologizing about all
      the "trouble they were having with the phones since they began talking
      about Mothman today."

      After the program was over, 12:23 AM to be exact, (yep, the Fortean
      number game again), I wanted to look into a mirror to see what toil
      Mothman had taken on my face. As I began to look into the mirror, an
      overhead light that had been on all night, blew up. I was in the dark
      - again.

      This is just getting a little too strange.

      Enjoy the movie.

      P.S. As I was finishing this on Sunday, January 27th, news came that
      on Saturday, January 26, two Point Pleasant area auto accidents
      resulted in five deaths in Mason County. The first accident happened
      around 7:05 AM when two vehicles collided on W.Va. 2 south of
      Henderson, the town next to Point Pleasant. Michael Lee Wilson, 23, of
      Point Pleasant, and Dana W. Chapman, 51, of Southside, were killed.
      The second wreck occurred at 1:22 PM on U.S. 35 about one mile inside
      the Mason County, and three people from one vehicle were killed and
      five in two other vehicles were injured. The Charleston Daily News on
      January 27th noted: "The large number of fatalities in one day is
      unusual for a rural county such as Mason." Jeremy Bryant, chief of the
      Point Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department was struck by the rare nature
      of two such tragedies. "And to beat it all, today is my birthday,"
      Bryant said. "I'll never forget it."

      Copyright 2002 Loren Coleman

      [40][LINK] Loren Coleman is a world-renowned cryptozoologist and
      author of numerous books and articles, most recently [41]Mothman and
      Other Curious Encounters, available from Amazon.com. You can visit
      him online at [42]www.lorencoleman.com.


      37. http://www.lorencoleman.com/
      38. http://scifidimensions.fanhosts.com/Jan02/mothman.htm
      39. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1931044341/scifidimensions
      40. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1931044341/scifidimensions
      41. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1931044341/scifidimensions
      42. http://www.lorencoleman.com/

      ========================== Forwarded message ends ========================
    • Joseph F. Guarino
      Ok, this might be hokey, and I didn t really think about it much until reading this article, and I don t know if it changes my opinion. Just want to see what
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2002
        Ok, this might be hokey, and I didn't really think about it much until reading this article, and I don't know if it changes my opinion. Just want to see what others have to say about their own experience in or surrounding the viewing of this film, the Mothman Prophecies.

        When I saw the film on opening day at a local theatre, during the film I had to leave because when the 'good' parts were playing, there was a cutting of the volume from lower to higher output. This happened all throughout the movie. It didn't stop after I informed the people at the theatre of the apparent problem, which was within the first 15 to 20 minutes of viewing.

        I still think it was a problem with the sound projection, but who knows. LOL

        Anyone else have something happen in or around the viewing?

        Houston, TX

        Ps. Hoky?

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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