Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 49

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 49

Chapter Five

 SANITY

 You would think that the discovery of Willard Libby, or at least that he is still alive, would bring to an end the service of CCPI; though rightful credit falls in the column of pure dumb luck.

If you would ask Constance Caraway, who when she left Tallahassee it was a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit, her druthers may lean toward heading home, considering that a recent night’s low temperature was -10 degrees (below zero cold).

The one BUT in the equation and it is a big one, lies somewhere between a warm down-filled coat and the titanic struggle between good and evil that seems to be shaping up. Adding layers of clothing is an easy solution for the former and her unfettered Baptist belief that the devil is real, running rampant in a world ripe for defiling, the latter.

In between that creature comfort and the pit of hell, she has the no-small-matter of Willard Libby hanging over her. In the short time she and Fanny have been in Chicago, her dreams of investigatory adventure have been met, yea exceeding her expectation.

Willard Libby represents a ‘monument of righteousness’ to her. Where does it read that a man, a scientist devoted to following the trail of his research, can be snatched from that life and unceremoniously deposited into the chaos of another? Can a story as dire as this, be rewritten to her satisfaction? And what is the cost if the ending they author falls short?

Questions without answers, the world is full of them, never mind the chicken and egg. One of the more meaningful mysteries is just how old planet Earth is and how it came to be. That seems to be the very reason CCPI has been drawn into this fray. Students around the world are being taught that by all scientific calculations it is somewhere around 5 billion years old, meaning that it sat around doing nothing for most of that 5 billion years, without supporting human life.

Rather a waste of divine time.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 46

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 48

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 48

…Martin Kamen is weak-minded, Master and being led by his nose by those flawed females…

“Fanny Renwick was a mistake, in more ways than you know. They were told to grab that vexatious Constance Caraway,” Canisso, an agent of darkness in human form, recounts the recent undesired turn in events. “We must neutralize that female Constance; she is a rose armed with a poison thorn. It is like female Caraway is being shielded by the Divine One.”

Pentateuch does not take the name of the Divine One in vain, even though He is Pentateuch’s truest contemporary, nay inestimable antagonist. The Son of Perdition used to be in the Divine One’s good grace, until and only after he challenged His authority and fancied himself an equal.

“The man Libby and his heretical work has been lost to the world he once knew, without any other to pick up his cause,” Canisso is confident in his assessment. “And the Pope’s sibling has come to a bad end.”

“I made a personal appearance to Pacelli. I helped the man deal with his own mortality,” a veiled reference to driving the Pope’s emissary to madness. “And what about the man named Martin Kamen, a contemporary of the mortal Libby with the opportunity to come to the same conclusions?”

He is weak-minded, Master and he is being led by his nose by those flawed females.i”

Serpent & Eve 1“Flawed perhaps, but still an ample adversary my dear Canisso. As when I appear in the form of an asp, so few human fear me. Just ask Eve, when in The Garden she should have run as far and as fast as her feeble legs could take her.” Pentateuch, a noble of obscurity, has little respect for the beings on the world he rules.

He inadvertently reinforces the notion that, behind every good man is a great woman, a translation for his philosophy: ‘males with potential are soiled by dominant females’.

One, two, and three: “You have everything under control, Master.”

If that is true, it would indeed be a revelation.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 45 (end Ch. 4)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 47

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 47

…You seem to have trouble finding reliable human souls to aid our cause…

“The job is done, master.”

Pentateuch, a dark figure with a frothing glow, listens intently to an underling in the form of a mere human being, “You did not take his life did you? We do not want the Divine One to react with wrath,” he speaks from a building in somewhere in the ancient city of Rome.

There is more than a modicum of deference in the deep reverberating voice from up high on his golden throne. He fiddles with miniature gold figurines on the shiny surface of a silvery chess board. The one in his grip is taken away from the three tall stacks, while the others are shifted to new positions. There is one figure to the side of the board, lying on its side with a gold thread tied around the neck.

“The man known as Willard Libby, enemy of the darkness, has had his memories taken from him. He lives, but will not be damaging the ‘Great Deception’.”

“The Great Deception was going so well until he had discovered the lie behind the secret.” Pentateuch speaks with vigilance about his proud pet project. For as long as mankind has looked up at the stars in wonder, did he plot and scheme to keep them in the dark about its true age and his relationship to its creator.

“You best be correct about this, Canisso. You seem to have trouble finding reliable human souls to aid our cause, like those two fools who could not handle one flawed female threat.”

“Fanny Renwick was a mistake. They were told to grab Constance Caraway,” Canisso, an agent of darkness in human form, recounts the recent undesired turn in events. “We must neutralize that female Constance; she is a rose, armed with a poison thorn.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 45

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 42

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 42

…“Okay, I understand that Adam and Eve thing, but what about things like the Grand Canyon”…

Billy Graham explains how God pulled off the creation of all things (and Earth).

“In a nutshell, Miss Caraway, the theory of evolution, as it applies to man, amounts to hogwash. That is the very reason that Pacelli fellow was at the meeting, expressing The Vatican’s concern about erosion of common sense, not that I subscribe to all of Catholic doctrine. But I do agree that our children are being lead down the wrong path.

“We did not slowly evolve all the way from a pool of primordial goop. Adam and Eve, along with all the other living things in the Garden of Eden, were created with a divine patina; adult creatures male and female to propagate and populate the earth. Now that was before The Fall, mind you, but that’s a totally different subject.

“Which brings me to the topic of life expectancy, before the Great Flood; man routine lived to be upwards of 1,000 years old. The earth was protected a ring of water called the firmament. There was as much water in therein as on the surface itself. That water acted a buffer zone between it and the sun’s radiation. It also kept the levels of oxygen at 3 times what they are currently. As a result man lived to a great age, the animals some call dinosaurs grew very large and the surrounding plants in like proportion.

“Now when God lost his patience with petulant mankind and ordered Noah to build an ark for his obedient family and the creatures 2 by 2, He released the firmament which flooded the whole earth.

“In doing so He exposed the planet to heretofore unseen levels of radiation; hence accelerated aging; Noah was 600 when he died, Moses lived 150, and you can see the progression downward.”

“Okay, I understand that Adam and Eve thing,” Constance wants to expand the conversation to a wider topic, “but what about things like the Grand Canyon; my father took us on vacation there and frankly it must have taken millions of years for the Colorado Rivers to go a mile deep into the desert.” (… Creation part 3 tomorrow)


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 41

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 33

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 33

…A simple 2×3.5” handout gives them their first truly tangible clue…

The good news: Fanny is set free. The bad news: her hands are tied and they have pushed Schneiderher out of the car, somewhere near a rail yard. She is tossed into the heart of Midwest industrialization; factories, diesel powered trains and trucks. Needless to say, she sticks out, a Florence Nightingale in a Rosie the Riveter world.

As luck would have it, she is picked by Schneider Transportation truck driver within ten minutes. He questions not, her bound hands and rumpled appearance, “I’m headed to Wisconsin,” she is told.

“I’m taking Halsted all the way back into the city. I bet those guys are headed for the Loop,” Eddie advises. The Loop is what makes Chicago industry tick.

“Just get us back in one piece. We now have two missing people to locate.” Constance has learned to act in a calculated manner, unlike her spontaneous friend whom they now must add to their to-do list. “This is getting harder to figure out by the minute.”

“Well I found out how to get into this attaché.” Martin delivers the first of a series of fortune reversals. There was also some meaty paperwork tucked into a hidden compartment in this “cold war” era design. “There is a business card in here:”

The simple 2×3.5” handout gives them their first truly tangible clue.

“Agnostica? That implies that they do not believe “in” God or “a” God.”

agnostic

aɡˈnästik/

noun

 1. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

“That certainly is consistent with the religious theme we keep running into,” they continue to stumble upon more clues with each passing pothole littered on their path back through the Chicago South Shore. This briefcase is a huge coup.

“There is a list of names in here… and my name is on it.” Martin Kamen swallows hard upon seeing his name right below Willard Libby while above Fermi and Sam Ruben.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 32

Sinister Ministers – Haunted Places of Worship

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Haunted

Places of Worship

Around the World

Temples, churches, mosques, shrines, synagogues, and so on are meant to protect us from evil, or at least serve as temporary refuges. Even the demonic gargoyles and grotesques on Gothic Christian cathedrals, as well as their cross-cultural counterparts, are only supposed to remind us of the forces of darkness—never to invite them inside.

And that may be why so many places of worship appear to attract ghosts, as lost, tortured souls in search of belated salvation. But some of them are allegedly haunted by worse, particularly, though not always, once they’re abandoned…

10. Ari Sephardi Synagogue, Israel

The Ari Sephardi Synagogue of Safed, the most elevated (and coldest) city in Israel, was already pretty ancient when Yitzchak Luria moved to the area in 1570. The old Jewish mystic, founder of modern Kabbalah, is said to have met with the long-dead Prophet Elijah there to discuss the mysteries of the Torah. And to this day, the tiny, cave-like room where they stood is considered a sacred spot.

But the building has also been haunted by apparently more malevolent entities. On a visit to Safed in 1921, the young Baba Sali, Rabbi Israel Abuhatzeira of Morocco, was told that demons had infested the temple. Anyone who went in, he was warned, never came out alive. In fact, things got so bad that the beadle (a kind of usher) had locked up the synagogue for good.

At first he refused to allow even the Baba Sali to get through the door, insisting the building was full of immovable corpses and that entry meant certain death. Eventually, however, the gatekeeper acquiesced—albeit begrudgingly and only to avoid obstructing his visitor’s “holy mission.” Besides, the Baba Sali assured him, the temple would be clear within minutes.

With his aide clinging to his side, the Moroccan stepped through the door and into the main synagogue, finding it filled with a strange blazing light despite the sun setting outside. Undeterred, the Baba Sali made his way to the Ark and read aloud from the Torah scroll, followed by some chants of prayer, until he felt that the danger had passed. He then invited the beadle to come through, dismissing the old man’s sheepish apologies for earlier refusing him entry. Since that time, the synagogue has been open to the public.

Still, the Ari Sephardi’s close proximity to the Safed Old Jewish Cemetery, which has graves dating back to the first century AD, as well as the devastating earthquakes that twice leveled this synagogue to the ground, all continue to uphold its formidably spooky reputation.

9. The Amherst Synagogue, USA

At the other end of the synagogue spectrum, on the surface at least, is the Amherst Synagogue in Williamsville, New York. Built in the 1980s, it remains a modern building even by American standards, with a red brick facade, large windows, and picnic tables outside; but nowadays it sits largely forgotten.

According to local rumor, the bodies of several kidnapped children were buried here, having been lured to their deaths by a mysterious man—a theory attested to by the people who claim to have seen their ghosts. One group of friends, for example, all swear they saw “a ghost child come from the ground.” Another visitor claimed they usually emerge at midnight.

The synagogue is also alleged to have been built on Native American land, hence the (admittedly dubious) photo of a phantom Indian in ceremonial garb at the site. Ghost hunters claim to have witnessed other entities too, including “a heavy set woman, something not human, and a priest or Spaniard … [with]long brown hair and a cross.” Some even say they’ve been chased away by someone or something with an axe. Suffice it to say that many visitors to the site consider it the most haunted they’ve ever been to.

Yet despite three men apparently having lost their lives during the synagogue’s construction, there’s very little information about it.

8. Oiwa-inari Tamiya Shrine, Japan

The suburbs of Tokyo are supposedly home to many vengeful ghosts, or onryo—spirits believed to be capable of causing physical harm. They’re so entrenched in the city’s mentality, in fact, that property developers sometimes forgo profits to avoid disrupting their haunts.

Perhaps the best known—thanks to numerous stage, film, book, and TV dramatizations—is the restless spirit of Oiwa, a woman killed by her cheating husband in 1636. Her ashes are meant to be buried outside the Buddhist Myogyo-ji Temple in Sugamo, where she is said to appear as a horrifically twisted, or “molten,” face in a lantern—her husband’s choice of poison having also destroyed her beauty.

According to legend, Oiwa’s onryo immediately set about destroying her husband’s remarriage from beyond the grave, forcing him to poison his new wife and family. And when she killed him off as well, her remaining relatives built a Shinto shrine to placate her ghost.

While there are justified doubts as to the truth of this story—with some claiming it was all just made up by the kabuki playwright Tsuruya Namboku IV—theatre and media companies are known to pay their respects at the Oiwa-inari shrine before embarking on any adaptation of her story, apparently to avoid fatal “accidents” during production.

7. Avebury, UK

It’s unclear whether the Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire was erected as a place of worship, but it has become one for Neopagans and Druids. Older and larger (by total area) than Stonehenge to the south, Avebury has long been steeped in magic and mystery. And, unsurprisingly perhaps, it has also seen its fair share of hauntings.

In the 1960s, for example, a passing driver claimed to see ghosts in period dress dancing among the stones. Dwarf-like creatures have also been seen here, as well as other phantom “fairy folk.” Some of the stones themselves may even be haunted; for instance, the 40-tonne “diamond stone” to the northwest of the site is said to uproot itself at midnight and cross the A4361 road, while the “devil’s chair” stone to the southeast allegedly spews black smoke.

Poltergeists are also said to be common, particularly in the cottages around Avebury that were built using sarsen stones from the site. Meanwhile, St. James’ Church, which lies entirely within the confines of the stone circle and dates back to the 11th century, is reputedly haunted by a little Victorian boy who hops up and down on a tomb by the door.

6. Doryo-do Temple Ruins, Japan

Officially, the ruined Shinto Doryo-do temple in Hachioji, Tokyo, was named for the kami(spirit) Doryo, but its ambiguous name can also mean “End of the Road Temple.”

It was built alongside a major highway during the Edo period and enjoyed regular foot traffic until the opening of the Yokohama Railway in 1908, when it fell into relative obscurity. But it gained some notoriety in 1963 when its elderly caretaker was brutally murdered—stabbed through the heart and slashed across the throat—during a robbery of the temple’s funds. Two years later, visitors began to report sightings of her ghost among the surrounding trees, as well as the sound of her weeping.

Then in 1973, a university professor lured his pregnant undergraduate mistress to the temple and strangled her to death. Since he threw himself, his wife, and two children from a cliff just months later, her body went undiscovered for some time. Allegedly, it was only when locals heard a young woman crying out “Here! I’m here!” in the woods near Doryo-do that her buried remains were found.

The temple was finally closed in 1983 and torn down in 1990. But to this day the Otsukayama site where Doryo-do once stood (and only its foundation remains) is considered “the most haunted graveyard park in Tokyo,” and possibly the whole of Japan, attracting ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from around the world to uncover the ruins’ secrets.

5. St. Botolph’s Church, UK

Named for the East Anglian patron saint of wayfarers, a man reputed to have cleared demons from swamps, St. Botolph’s Church in Lincolnshire, England, shouldn’t by rights be haunted. But for decades this abandoned 13th-century building, protected by English Heritage and the Churches Conservation Trust, has apparently been a hotspot for ghosts, ghost hunters, and alleged “Satanists.”

In the 1970s and ’80s, when Christian worship here ceased, it was even nicknamed the “Demon Church” by locals. According to the rector of nearby Louth in 2004, the isolated site had been repeatedly desecrated by devil-worshipers starting fires, sacrificing animals, and painting black satanic symbols on the masonry.

Many visitors to the site feel a sudden chill upon entering the graveyard, even on sunny days, along with a sense of doom. Some have also reported phantom footsteps and the sound of thunder, ghostly hooded monks, and the grip of icy cold hands on their own. Eerily, some of the sunken graves apparently show skeletons within.

Local investigators, the Bassetlaw Ghost Research Group, spent a night at the church in the summer of 2003. Among other things, they claim to have seen “small babies among the gravestones and grass.” They also claim to have recorded hundreds of cylindrical “rods” up to a foot in length shooting across the sky.

The site continues to attract paranormal investigators and explorers. Just last year a drone operator ran into some technical interference over the church and stuck the video on YouTube.

4. Fengdu Ghost City, China

Fengdu Ghost City sits on the bank of the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China, and comprises numerous shrines, temples, and monasteries, as well as plenty of statues of ghosts. Visitors to the site, which combines Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist elements, are invited to rehearse their own passage to the afterlife, crossing over the “Bridge of Helplessness” in their journey to the underworld—or Diyu, upon which the entire complex is modeled.

On the surface, Fengdu Ghost City is something of a quirky, if religious, theme park, showcasing the various hells and punishments that await the less pious among us. But at night, it is said to swarm with the souls of the dead who are making the journey for real.

3. Le Grand Cimetière, Haiti

Death is so firmly a part of the Haitian Vodou tradition that cemeteries become places of worship.

At le Grand Cimetière (Grand Cemetery) of Port-au-Prince, for example, services and ceremonies are held among the graves in makeshift marquee churches. People also make offerings and animal sacrifices to the loa (deity spirits) at altars scattered throughout the grounds. Some worshipers even come to bathe naked with the bones of the dead.

The tombs themselves, as well as the trees, are often covered in symbols, slogans, dolls, and other artifacts of the religion—usually in reverence of Baron Samedi, the loa of the dead and ruler of the underworld.

Naturally, le Grand Cimetière is also thought to be haunted—although ghosts wandering through the graveyard may be the least of visitors’ problems. Simply leaving a gift for the loa—a couple of Cuban cigars, for instance—can be fraught with paranormal danger. Specifically, after making their offering, if one doesn’t “close the door” to the underworld by knocking three times on the loa’s altar crucifix, the spirit could accompany them home. And given that some are associated with violence, it may be prudent to go along with the custom.

2. Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb, India

Another allegedly haunted ruin, this one in Delhi, dates back to the early 16th-century and the rise of the Mughal Empire. Now part of the Mehrauli Archaeological Park near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Qutub Minar, the Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb is among the better known sites on this list. But it tends to be eerily quiet. Even the one security guard on duty can seem like a specter at times.

This is the final resting place of the Sufi saint “Jamali,” aka Shaikh Fazlullah or Jalal Khan, and another man (or possibly woman) known only as “Kamali.” Although the official description outside the entrance to the site describes the pair as brothers, some believe they were actually gay lovers—or at least two men bound in the traditionally loving Sufi master-and-disciple relationship. Either way, it’s thought that Kamali died first and Jamali, who enjoyed considerable influence at the time, commissioned the elaborate tomb.

While access to the burial chamber is reportedly limited, visitors to the abandoned mosque have noted all kinds of paranormal activity—from strange white lights and apparitions to the sounds of animals growling. A few become convinced of a presence in the building with them—someone or something watching them from behind a pillar, for instance—while others hear ominous laughter. At least one person claims to have been slapped by an invisible force while exploring the historical site.

Whether these experiences can be attributed to ghosts, or indeed jinns—the Quranic trans-dimensional entities with a fondness for derelict spaces—was a question one visitor posed to the security guard. His response, given the vandalism at the site, was that humans are more problematic.

1. Mehandipur Balaji Temple, India

The problem of humans is far more in evidence at the Mehandipur Balaji Temple in northwest India, where even just queuing outside can turn into a fight for survival against a crowd heaving and stampeding to get in. To be fair, though, most are seeking help with ghosts or demons of their own. Not only is Rajasthan’s so-called “witch temple” said to be haunted but actual exorcisms are routinely carried out here.

The building itself is imposing but old, with towering columns, grimy brickwork, blocked up windows, and crumbling balconies. Pilgrims travel for miles through lifeless desert to get there, only to find themselves in a “dusty haze,” as author Edward Hower puts it, surrounded by “scrawny children,” “ghostlike women,” “scab-eared” dogs, and crows circling overhead “like ashes rising from a smoldering fire.” Inside the temple, the air is filled with pungent smoke and the agonized cries of the “possessed,” while visitors are encouraged to offer strange black balls into fires.

Some families keep their supposedly demon-inhabited loved ones here for weeks on end, putting them up in dharamsala (religious rest houses) and contributing years’ worth of their savings to heal them. This often entails having a priest chain up and mercilessly beat their relative until they purge out the offending preta (hungry ghost). Many families then invest in a kind of gravestone outside, a marker to keep exorcised spirits from following them home. Visitors are also warned not to look back as they leave, or to consume anything at all—even water—because of how densely haunted the area is thought to be.

Understandably, while most psychiatrists tend to think of these “possessed” individuals as merely neurotic, even the most skeptical of visitors are bound to find this strange Hindu temple unsettling.


Sinister Ministers –

Haunted Places of Worship

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 15

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 15

“Mastadon is misspelled,” Fanny seldom lets on that she is a great speller…

“We are looking for your friend and colleague who left the grounds undetected.”

“Not exactly true,” Kamen had to completely vet Constance and Fanny, before allowing them to view secret government material. “He had been using the IBM Supercomputer to research ancient animals, specifically from the Ice Age.”

“You mean like why men behave like Neanderthals.” Fanny rarely lets her science knowledge bleed into casual conversation.

“No, there was a picture of a Mastodon on his desk,” Martin hands them a lithograph with the handwritten word, all in lower case scribble: mastadon.

“Mastadon is misspelled,” Fanny seldom lets on that she is a great speller.

“You are correct Miss Fanny! Why didn’t I notice that?! It’s mastodon with an “o” not “a”.”

The power of observation, an acquired talent, is what makes Constance and Fanny perfect for the field they have chosen.

“Willard would not have made that mistake,” he contends.

“That’s a pretty weak clue, but any clue sure beats a handful of nothing.” Constance racks her brain for their next possible move.

“There is one more thing.” Martin Kamen fires up the small monitor in front of them, the view screen for the supercomputer which occupies a room the size of the Argonne cafeteria. “There are remnants of a de-crypted memorandum from the Pope:

 HUMANI GENERIS

(Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine)

Pope Pius XII

Encyclical Promulgated on 12 August 1950

 

  1. We must resist these fictitious tenets of evolution.

 

“Heady stuff, even for a scientist.”

“Is Mr. Libby a religious man?”

“Not that I know of, but then again religion and science make strange bedfellows.”

“… ‘fictitious tenets of evolution’, that implies that it fundamentally opposes the foundational dogma of Creationism.” Though not an outspoken proponent of all things religious, Constance Caraway has deep roots in the Baptist Church, her father having been an elder at the Tallahassee Baptist Temple; but don’t remind her of the night of her violin solo, at the 6P service on Resurrection Sunday in 1921.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 15