Looking at the event-filled and politically-heated days leading up to the summer of 2015, I must predict that it appears something “hot” is going to happen on June 24th. Maybe even beginning on its eve, June 23rd?
Not sure if it is a fire, a ufologist’s death, an assassination, another church shooting, a form of mass violence or what, but something is in the air.
This will mark yet another anniversary of the beginning of the era of “flying saucers” – 68 years, to be sure. But more than UFOs have happened on past June 24ths.
June 24th is St. John’s Day.
The modern era of “flying saucers” did begin with Kenneth Arnold’s 1947 sighting on this date. Unidentified flying objects seen flying at supersonic speeds between his plane and Mt. Rainier, Washington. Arnold reported that nine discs flew off towards Mt. Adams, in the distance.
Some previous events on this day include:
Knights Templars displayed “Mysterious Head” at Poitiers (1308). Founding of the Order of the Garter (1348). A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance (1374) caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations, and jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion. John Cabot discovered North America (1497). Lucrezia Borgia (1439) died. Samuel de Champlain discovered (1603) the mouth of the Saint John River, in New Brunswick, Canada. Galileo released (1633). “Woman of the Wilderness” utopian community arrived in America (1694). “Woman of the Wilderness” angelic visions (1701). Grand Lodge of Freemasons inaugurated (1717) in London. Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed (1812) the Neman River beginning the invasion of Russia. Ambrose Bierce born (1842). Red rain, Italy (1877). Ice fall, Ft. Lyon, Colorado (1877). Fall of jelly-like mass, Eton (1911). Fred Hoyle born (1915).
Pieces of a meteor, estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded, landed (1938) near Chicora, Pennsylvania.
June 24ths have often had a “fiery” theme.
Arthur Brown (“Fire,” 1942 or 1944, both are reported) is born. Jeff Beck (Yardbirds, 1944), Charlie Whitney (Family, 1944), and Chris Wood (Traffic, 1944), all born. Colin Blunstone (The Zombies, 1945) born. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac, 1947) born.
Filmstock fire killed seventeen people, Brussels (1947). Movie theaters evaluated during huge fire, Perth Amboy, New Jersey (1947). United Airlines plane struck by lightning over Cleveland. Ohio (1947). Invasion of grasshoppers battled with flame-throwers, Guatemala/El Salvador (1947). Woman attacked and killed by bees or wasps, Seattle (1947).
More births of future musicians. Patrick Moraz (Yes, 1948), John Illsley (Dire Straits, 1949), Astro (UB40, 1957), Dennis Danell (Social Distortion, 1961), Curt Smith (Tears for Fears, 1961), and Richard Z. Kruspe (Rammstein, 1967) were all born on June 24ths.
Bizarre aerial sightings near Daggett, California (1950) and on Iwo Jima (1953). The Angora Fire (2007) started near South Lake Tahoe, California, destroying over 200 structures in its first 48 hours.
On June 24, 1908, Grover Cleveland, the 22nd & 24th US President (1885-89, 93-97), died at the age of 71. On June 30, 1908, the Tunguska event, a large aerial explosion of unknown origins, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, Russia, occurred. The UFO wave of 1909 in New Zealand followed sightings in the Southland in June 1908.The topic of the death of ufologists is a modern but old one in the field.
In 1971, UFO author Otto Binder claimed that at least 137 UFO investigators had died under mysterious circumstances during the 1960s. Binder’s 1971 Saga article, “Liquidation of the UFO Investigators,” summarized his findings.
Additionally, tied to a specific date, Otto Binder (1911-1975), as well as John Keel (1930-2009), noticed a number of “seemingly coincidental deaths in the UFO field on 24 June.”
These included the following:
June 24, 1964, Frank Scully, author of one of the first crashed-saucer books;
June 24, 1967, both British UFO contactees Arthur Bryant and Richard Church; and
June 24, 1969, Willy Ley, the rocket scientist and Fortean author.
Furthermore, on June 23, 1967, Frank Edwards, popular UFO author and radio personality in the 1950s, died a few hours before Bryant. James Moseley stunned the delegates assembled for the 1967 Congress of Scientific Ufologists at New York City’s Hotel Commodore on June 24th, with the news of the sudden death of Frank Edwards.
I have continued to track June 24th UFO-related deaths since Binder’s time.
One person’s June 24th death I found seems to have been underreported. That individual is Robert Charroux, the best-known pen-name of Robert Joseph Grugeau (born April 7, 1909). He died June 24, 1978. Charroux was a French author known for his ancient astronaut theories and writings on other Fortean subjects.
Charroux’s books include: Treasures Of The World (1967); The Mysterious Unknown(1972); Forgotten Worlds: Scientific Secrets of The Ancients and Their Warning For Our Time (1973); The Mysterious Past (1974); Legacy Of The Gods (1974); The Mysteries Of The Andes (1977); Masters Of The World: Groundbreaking New Revelations About The Ancient Astronauts (1979); and One Hundred Thousand Years Of Man’s Unknown History (1981).
Still others have died on June 24th since then.
An early advocate of flying saucer research, Jackie Gleason, died June 24, 1987.
June 24, 2006 saw the death of renegade publisher Lyle Stuart, who published anomalist writer Frank Edwards’ Fortean book, in 1959, Stranger than Science, a paperbook full of information on ufology and other unexplained accounts.
On June 24, 2013, former rocket scientist, computer scientist, and author of After the Internet: Alien Intelligence (2000), James Martin, 79, was found floating dead in the waters off Agar’s Island. Dr. Martin bought Agar’s Island in 1977 and made his home in Bermuda. The multi-millionaire kept a relatively low profile in Bermuda.
Alan Myers was a member of Devo, seen here on their Freedom of Choice album cover.
On June 24, 2013, the most prominent drummer (1976-1987) of the band Devo, Alan Myers, died of stomach cancer in Los Angeles. Devo played punk, art rock, post-punk and new wave music, and performed stage shows that mingled kitsch science fiction themes, deadpan surrealist humor, and mordantly satirical social commentary. Devo recorded at their own UFO Studios.
Mystery deaths are thus often associated with St. John’s Day.The day is named after John the Baptist, in celebration of his birth date. The feast day of his birth (June 24) became celebrated more solemnly than that marking his martyrdom by beheading (August 29). This is unusual but then “strange” and June 24th go hand and hand.
Other facts about the day’s events respect the wonder of the 24th of June.
Bonfires and burning of witches are associated with the day.
Throughout Europe, and via the United Kingdom, St. John’s Day’s symbolism spread to the USA. In the UK, and especially, Scotland, bonfires are a key. Should we be surprised to find it so in North America too?
St. John’s Day (”Jaanipäev”) is a major traditional holiday in Estonia, celebrated by singing around bonfires, in Estonian communities in the United States and Canada as well as in Estonia itself. The glow-worm, because it usually starts appearing around St. John’s Day, is called Jaaniuss – “St. John’s Worm” – in Estonian.
In France, the Fête de la Saint-Jean (Feast of St John), traditionally celebrated with bonfires (le feu de la Saint-Jean) that are reminiscent of Midsummer’s pagan rituals, is a catholic festivity in celebration of Saint John the Baptist. It takes place on June 24, on Midsummer day (St. John’s day). In certain French towns, a tall bonfire is built by the inhabitants in order to be lit on St. John’s Day. In medieval times, this festival was celebrated with cat-burning rituals.
Of course, there will be no cat burnings during most American or other worldwide celebrations. But a bonfire might be in order. Fire in the sky is a major underlying theme of this day.
St. John’s Eve and St. John’s Day are powerful, in the minds of humans.
The iPhone 4 was first placed for sale on June 24, 2010.
Some people even create their own special events to be specifically associated with the day…
Monroeville is located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Happy Birthday to Arthur Brown on June 24.
Now for a few cryptid events…
Two Inuits killed a huge, yellow-furred bear at Rendezvous Lake, Barren Ground, Canada, on June 24, 1864. The bear was similar to Arctodus simus, which died out in the Pleistocene. Naturalist Robert MacFarlane acquired the bear’s skin and skull, and shipped the remains to the Smithsonian Institution, where they were placed in storage and soon forgotten. Eventually, Dr. Clinton Hart Merriam uncovered the remains, and in 1918, he described the specimen as a new species and genus, calling it the “patriarchal bear,” with the scientific name Vetularctos inopinatus. Today, it is often recognized as a new species, Ursus inopinatus. Later thoughts have called into question the uniqueness of this species. (For more, see Matt Bille’s contribution.)
On other June 24th, locals have had Bigfoot sightings, in Logan and Union counties, Ohio (1980). A Chupacabras was encountered outside a disco, at Maria Elena, Argentina (2000). Moose hunters saw a Bigfoot, near Fort Simpson, NWT, Canada (2002). A mysterious fire erupted in Mothman country, in a Gallipolis, Ohio resident’s car on a bridge from Ohio to Point Pleasant, West Virginia (2003). Massive unusual aerial phenomena (winged weirdies?) were viewed at Xalapa, Mexico (2005). “Aren’t You Chupacabra to See Me?” aired for the first time on Cartoon Network (2005). Nestle used Bigfoot-costumed marchers to launch Kit Kat Limited Edition – Cappuccino at the Giant Mahkota Parade, Malacca, and Jusco Tebrau City, Johor (2005).
What will happen in 2015?
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