Monday, October 19, 2009

"Balloon Boy" Dad: The New Wilhelm Reich?

History repeats itself, first as tragedy,
 second as farce.- Karl Marx

By now, we've all heard that the Flight of the Falcon in the mushroom-shaped UFO is believed to be a hoax, all part of a bid for a reality series by the somewhat intense Richard Heene and his family.

"It has been determined that this is a hoax, that it was a publicity stunt and we believe we have evidence at this point to indicate that this was a publicity stunt in hopes to better market themselves for a reality show," Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden told reporters at a press conference. Deputies searched the home of the boy's parents Saturday night, carrying away several boxes and a computer.
We've also heard that Heene and his wife subscribe to unorthodox ideas about UFOs and the like (horrors!), and it appears he follows the work of David Icke. In the words of a co-plotter on a previous hoax attempt, Heene said this about the 'Reptilians':
...there are alien beings that walk among us and are shape shifters, able to resemble human beings and running the upper echelon of our government. Somehow a secret government has covered all this up ...and the only way to get the truth out there raise Richard to a status of celebrity...As the weeks progressed, his theories got more and more extreme and paranoid.
Aside from the Icke/V Reptilian theory, Heene believed in the solar-apocalypse theory we saw in Knowing, which would take place in 2012:
A lot of it surrounded 2012, and the possibility of there being an apocalyptic moment. Richard likes to talk a lot about the possibility of the Sun erupting in a large-scale solar flare that wipes out the Earth. (Heene said) we're running out of time, we're running out of time, the end of the world is coming.
The Heene family are also storm-chasers, and Heene also subscribes to the magnetic earth theory vis a vis extreme weather:
Richard Heene is a proponent of an electromagnetic explanation for atmospheric vortices such as tornadoes, dust devils, and tropical cyclones. This is in contrast to the predominant view within the scientific community, which favors a fluid dynamics explanation (i.e., air pressure changes, inherent spin or vorticity of air, etc.).
Heene also believed that if he created a suitably-convincing UFO, that alien UFOs would be attracted to it (I'm shorthanding like hell here). Quoted in Gawker:
Can we attract UFO's with a homemade flying saucer? We will modify a weather balloon, so that it resembles a UFO and will electrically charge the skin of the craft (Biefield-Brown Effect). ....This will be the most significant UFO-related news event to take place since the Roswell Crash of 1947, and the result will be a dramatic increase in local and national awareness about The Heene Family, our Reality Series, as well as the UFO Phenomenon in general.
Well, the minute I heard about this guy and his theories, the first thing I thought of was Wilhelm Reich, the former Freud apostle. Reich developed similar ideas to Heene about energetic fields and weather, eventually developing the 'cloudbuster', which he claimed could control the weather by accumulating 'orgone', which Reich thought was the libidinal radiation that animated all life on earth:
In order to study the effects of this radiation, he designed a specially-constructed box to house and concentrate this energy. Boxes were constructed to house lab animals. Eventually larger boxes were constructed in which a person could sit comfortably.
Reich also believed that UFOs were a threat, and was also planning his own war against them:
"There is no doubt that I am at war" with the UFOs, Reich wrote hours after four bright pulsating lights hovered for hours over Orgonon, his research facility in rural Maine. "What seemed only a possibility one year ago is certainty now." The UFOs had been menacing Orgonon since Reich began experiments with super-charging his "cloudbuster" weather-control device with small amounts of radioactive material.
Reich was seen by most scientists as a quack, but the US Government saw him and his work as a national security threat. Reich was arrested for fraud, and his books and papers were confiscated and burned. Reich died in federal prison in 1957. 

Needless to say, I'm not overly optimistic about the Heene family's future prospects. The charges might not add up to much, but when you piss off government officials in front of the worldwide media, there's usually a pretty stiff price to pay. But by the same token if they intended to become media celebrites from the hoax, they certainly got their wish.
In 1985, Anglo-Irish druidess Kate Bush recorded a tribute to Reich called 'Cloudbusting.' This is the video for the single, which features Donald Sutherland looking absolutely nothing like Reich and the bodacious, curvaceous Bush making for a particularly-unconvincing preteen boy. 

 One not named Falcon, as far as I know.

UPDATE: Oh, now Yahoo uses the c-word. Media rule #1- never use the word "conspiracy" in anything pertaining to government, corporations or the clergy. Anything else is fair game.