This past Friday I drove up to Massachusetts with another spiritually inclined friend. The purpose of this trip was to experience the Lightfield unit on Saturday. I had initially intended in some vague way to write a blog piece about that adventure. As it turns out it was a very positive experience, however photos are not allowed and the whole set up is somewhat proprietary and for several reasons it seems better not to write about the actual Lightfield right now.
The trip was rather longer than I usually drive and after supper in Stockbridge I was getting into the last stretch of the drive on Massachusetts Route 20 looking in vain for the road to the Baird Tavern Bed and Breakfast we booked for that night. It was just getting toward twilight. We had passed through Lee and were in the area of Becket when I noticed first one and then two cars following me close behind. Both of these cars looked rather identical in the rearview mirror. They were both shiny black late model mini-SUV type vehicles and both had their parking lights on but not their headlights. The one directly behind me had tinted windows but I could not tell about the rear vehicle. The parking lights of both vehicles looked absolutely identical and that struck me as slightly odd.
I mentioned to my companion that I was about to pull over so these cars could pass me and she could call the B & B for further instructions and then I pulled off to the side of the road at the Becket Fire Station. To my great surprise the cars that were right behind me did not pass me because they had absolutely disappeared. We got some updated directions and a minute later proceeded on our way and I would have probably forgotten about the disappearing tailgaters in short order. But only a minute or two down the road we saw what appeared to be a slight young man walking down the left side of the road in the same direction we were driving. This was a very wooded area and there was nothing nearby with which to judge his height. We were otherwise alone at that time on the road. On his back was what appeared to be a light grey backpack with a darker horizontal stripe. As I drove closer to him I saw a black hood on his head which seemed to be coming from his shoulders rather than from the base of his neck. This also struck me as very odd, so that when I passed him at a relatively slow speed I took a good look back at him and to my surprise and slight horror saw only the solid pitch black hood and no face or indication of a head. I was very spooked, as it was not so dark that I should not have seen a face.
The larger depiction is from the back showing the “backpack”. The inset shows the front view with solid black head area, no gradation. My little depiction shows blue clothing. In honesty this was muddier and grayish in color.
In a state of confusion and bewilderment I drove on to the Baird Tavern B & B. When we arrived we were both very happy to get there. It is a beautiful place built in 1768 and loving maintained by Carolyn Taylor, very much in the spirit and style in which it was originally built. I recommend it highly both for the accommodations and the very attractive garden. I think it may be the oldest building in this hemisphere in which I have slept the night!
In closing this piece, I have no explanation for these anomalous occurrences. I do not know that it had anything to do with my next day’s Lightfield experience, but there is purportedly an opening to other dimensions within that technology. I will be scouting for other similar paranormal accounts in the region.
I haven’t done any fun posts of late, so here’s a contest. Where was this photo taken? Please list country and town/city. I’m not sure of the prize. Any suggestions? I will publish the comments until a correct answer is given and then I publish the answer.
Update: The winner is Bid! The photo is of Dragør in Danemark (Denmark). What would she like for a prize? Let me know Bid. The flowers are “hollyhocks” in English (stockrosor in Swedish[?]), but as Karen said they are huge here because they are closer to the Arctic Circle. Second place goes to Baker, because (s)he named a town in Denmark, though it wasn’t the correct town. Third place goes to Sandy, Ellen and Marc who all guessed Denmark but gave no town. To everyone else who participated I send out a virtual hearty handclasp! This was so much fun (for me at least) that I may just do it again.
I have always been fascinated with the idea of living underground or living in a cave. I really think it might be the wave of the future. When I visited France, I went into some marvelous wine caves. Nearby some people live in caves and they are often called troglodytes.
In Tunisia there is a place called Matmata that I wanted to visit where the denizens escape the North African heat by burrowing into the ground and creating underground homes. There is even an underground hotel Hotel Sidi Driss, where a scene from Star Wars was filmed. Unfortunately I did not have enough time in Tunisia to get there.
The most fascinating of all underground complexes to me is in Cappadocia Turkey. There are at least forty underground villages some of which can be visited and toured.
Right here in the USA it is possible to purchase defunct underground missile silos to use as offices or dwellings. Peter Davenport who manages the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) has done just that. He has purchased a decommissioned USAF ICBM missile base in Washington State to house the center. I met him and heard him speak at the Atlantic City UFO Conference last February (2008). He is doing a terrific job and I wish him well in this very important work and with this innovative underground site.
Finally here is a most informative article brought to my attention by Dara H. about 20 MILLION people who live in caves in China.
Energy efficient home, easy to maintain — and no mortgage
MIAOGOU VILLAGE, China — Like millions of other Chinese, Li Zhanjun lives in a dwelling that is fireproof, noise proof, warm in winter, cool in summer and the epitome of an eco-friendly design. Moreover, it’s cheap.
Li lives in a cave.
About 20 million Chinese still reside in caves and dirt-covered dwellings on the Loess Plateau that straddles the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River in China’s northwest.
Some of the caves have been passed down for generations, with hard-packed earthen walls, electrical wiring, piped-in plumbing and other modern conveniences, including cable television.
Longtime cave dwellers are often passionate about their way of life, saying they are shielded from the elements in a practical and efficient fashion, dwelling along hillsides and leaving valuable arable land in valleys for growing crops.
Researchers say economic necessity isn’t the only reason so many Chinese continue to reside in caves.
“People from abroad think people who live in caves are very poor. But our research shows that is not always the case,” said Wang Jun, a researcher on caves at the Xian University of Architecture and Technology.
Many simply have grown accustomed to a lifestyle that dates back more than a millennium. Caves also have a revolutionary luster. Mao Zedong, the revolutionary founder of modern China, lived in caves that still honeycomb this region after the Long March, plotting the drive to take over the country that succeeded in 1949.
Caves are easily excavated from the silty soil here, requiring only picks and other digging implements. The earth is so hard-packed that caves don’t need additional support to prevent collapse. Most have a stone facade, with large lattice windows framing a door and allowing light to pour in during the day.
Generally, the caves are shaped like loaves of bread, 10-to-13 feet wide and anywhere from 20-to-25 feet deep, with arched ceilings. Several caves dug next to each other can have connecting doors, providing for a larger overall dwelling, with flues allowing for ventilation from indoor cooking fires.
The caves provide a cool respite from intense summer heat, and a snug retreat for inhabitants as winter temperatures drop.
Wang Aifang recalled how one day last winter, temperatures fell to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. When she stoked up an indoor cooking furnace, the cave quickly warmed up.
“Look how the warm air circulates from the stove, under the bed and out the flue,” she said, feeding a fire in an earthen hearth with branches from dried sesame plants.
Her dirt cave had walls so hard-packed they appeared to be made of concrete. They were covered with white lime, except at lower levels, which she had covered in newsprint.
“The houses in the city have to use heat. We don’t,” Wang said.
Wang, the architect, who’s not related, said researchers had done tests on the caves finding that even when outside temperatures fell to 3 degrees, indoor temperatures in the caves stood at about 54 degrees.
Just a few decades ago, as many as 40 million Chinese lived in caves. Back then, many caves had small doors and windows, making them dark and dank. The numbers of cave dwellers has dropped as living standards improved in China, even as cave designs have gotten more comfortable, with bigger doors and windows and better ventilation systems.
Wang is trying to convince authorities to promote cave living, designing greenhouse fronts that allow them to trap solar heat more efficiently in winter. He said caves are far more energy efficient than freestanding buildings.
“If you cook just a little food over a fire, it heats up the whole cave. A house isn’t so efficient,” he said.
One American who spent five months with Chairman Mao in the caves around Yanan, his revolutionary headquarters here in Shaanxi Province, recalled the caves as “a great way to live.”
“My cave was very easy to heat — just a little square stone charcoal brazier . . . with a few sticks of charcoal glowing would warm the place during the day. When you went to sleep, on your little cot, you’d bank the fire by raking the ashes over the embers and then puff them back to glowing in the morning,” said Sidney Rittenberg, who spent some three decades in China before returning to the U.S.
“Life in the cave was quite clean,” Rittenberg added in an e-mail. “After boring a new cave out of the hillside, they would leave it unoccupied for the first year to let it dry out, so that by the time someone moved in it was both clean and dry.”
Cave living holds less appeal to young Chinese.
“They think it’s rustic,” said Li, who along with his wife Wang raised two sons in their cave, which was dug out by his grandfather. “They (the caves) are so comfortable, but the young people think it’s primitive.”
In addition to caves, many Chinese in this region live in hillside housing with earthen berms for walls and earth on the rooftop. Many are built with local stones from a quarry, with an arch facade. Standing outside his earthen home, Sheng Xiaolong noted the stonework on the facade, comprising large slabs.
“Actually, we pay more for this than for a regular building,” Sheng said. “People are not allowed to use explosives anymore to get their own stone slabs. . . . Stones are heavy and require a lot of labor.”
Cave designs have changed over the years. As rural incomes rise, cave dwellers bring more furniture home. They’ve built walls that go straight up to about six feet, allowing for wardrobes to be placed flush against walls. Ventilation systems have improved, and Wang said some 80 percent have indoor plumbing.
They remain largely impervious to natural disaster.
“They are safe in earthquakes. Only landslides can damage them,” Wang said. “They can’t burn down.”
One of the biggest advantages remains economic, he added.
“You can live there forever. You don’t pay anybody,” Wang said.
Not so long ago, in fact quite recently, I visited Canyon de Chelly in Chinle, Arizona. This beautiful sandstone canyon lies in the heart of the Navajo (Diné) Nation in northeastern Arizona. I spent two nights at the Thunderbird Lodge inside the Canyon Park. The first night I was there in the wee hours of the morning I had an interesting dream. The dream took place where I was at the time in this reality and was of the hyper-real dream variety. It had a bit of the conscious dreaming aspect to it. It may have been an out-of body experience.
Black clad figures woke me and ushered me from my bed to just outside my motel room door where more black clad figures were standing, looking upward and some pointing. Their faces were also covered in black material. Amazingly I was not afraid. The sky was brilliantly lit by stars, but something was odd. The stars seemed to be on cards, illustrating the constellations and there were star craft up there too. I ran back inside to awaken my fellow travellers and share this strange night sky with them, but when I did, I awoke to this reality.
When I went to breakfast at the lodge’s cafeteria I was intrigued bya vault-like room in the center of the dining area that I discovered once served as a jail for the trading post that was on the lodge’s site. The room contained a gallery of Native American art from the area.
My eyes gravitated to a print showing several kachinas in the process of throwing the constellations into the heavens. This print was remarkably like my dream of just a few hours earlier. I was blown away. I felt sort of welcomed to the place. I am still looking for a write up of this traditional story.
The rest of my stay was interesting. We took a half day tour on the back of a very large military jeep type truck. The canyon was breathtaking. The Navajo guide was very informative. I bought a few souvenirs from vendors at the canyon. That evening a Navajo Park Ranger gave a delightful musical performance. I am so glad I went to Canyon de Chelly.