Thursday, November 18, 2010


NOTE FROM JEFF: What follows is a two-part follow-up to recent postings on my e-group, motivated by responses from three friends for whose acumen I am grateful. Please check it out, as these are important qualifications to the articles I posted.


I have to thank our great friend John Garlick of Auckland NZ for pointing this out to me. As I sometimes do, I posted this interview without having read it in its entirety. I first heard of Barry only a few weeks ago through Jean Hudon's newsletter, and learned of his internet activism which supposedly had been instrumental in shutting down Gunns Timber in Tasmania, or at least in getting them to stop old-growth logging there.

John sent this email:


I believe this is a highly dangerous proposal which could get out of control!

Glen Barry wrote:
'I firmly believe that on a personal level—without asking anyone to do anything illegal—that it may well come to a period where a cell-based structure that carried out sabotage and very carefully-conceived insurgency activity against the equipment and people destroying the Earth, may well be the one and only means that we have to stop what are such insurmountable trends destroying the Earth.' "

I replied to John that I agreed with him and that I hadn't read far enough in the Barry interview to see this statement. Thanks again, John!

Here are my thoughts on all this: Barry seemed to be taking credit for "ending" old-growth logging by Gunns in Tasmania, which for years has been one of the grossest of environmental catastrophes sponsored by corrupt politicians in all of Australia. But when I thought back on my early years in Tas, meeting many activists there, they told me that the permits for old-growth logging actually ended in 2010, and that Gunns was pushing to take as much as possible before then. So, if this is in fact the case, Gunns would have had to quit this year anyway, and so this apparent move to "voluntarily" stop is really just a "pr" maneuver to enhance their dismal public image.

More importantly, in this quote from the interview, Barry is more or less inviting people to become what is actually the New World Order's textbook definition of the "terrorists" that they have vaulted to the status of "Global Enemy Number One." Think about it.

In 1968 American author Edward Abbey published what is to this day one of my favouite books of all-time, Desert Solitaire, a collection of essays based on journals he kept as a park ranger in Arches National Park in Utah. In this book he formulated the origin of what later became known as "monkey-wrenching", whereby environmental activists or whomever would do things to obstruct the commercial destruction of the environment, like cutting down bill-boards with a chain-saw or putting sand in the gas-tank of a bulldozer. This was, to me, an acceptable response; even though it did involve the illegal destruction of "private property", it was more symbolic than anything.

What Barry is advocating is decidedly NOT "monkey-wrenching." Because of his choice of words like "cells", "sabotage" and "insurgency" what he is doing is recommending that people actually BECOME the textbook definition of the "terrorists" that the NWO is so keen on ridding us of through any means possible.

What I see at work here could in fact be the CIA. The way they work is to "infiltrate" a country, government, environmental organization, etc. with someone who pretends to be a "leader of the cause"; these people draw to them unwitting supporters who believe in "the cause", whether it be "fundamentalist Islam rights" or "protecting the Earth." These unwitting do-gooders then BECOME exactly what the "anti-terrorism" NWO police-state junkies want: REAL 'TERRORISTS.' Then, with "real terrorists" out there, the NWO can then justify whatever means they wish to employ to "protect" us all from them.

Even further, Barry is also using the internet for all this, which adds another dimension: the NWO-controlled Pentagon has long targeted the internet for "cyber-warfare." For someone advocating "terrorist cells", "sabotage" and "insurgency" on-line, this gives the police-state crowd yet more "justification" to clamp down on the internet.

Are you following me here?

Finally, and most ridiculously, Barry is targeting the "the equipment and people destroying the Earth." But who, in fact, is that? What conscious and intelligent person can stand there pointing a finger at some "evil them" when the reality is that it's US all together who are making it all possible. We ALL contribute to supporting the corporations and military-industrial complex everytime we pay Federal income tax, buy petrol, use electricity from the grid, consume commercially manufactured products, take a pill or use a mobile phone.

All I can say is "be aware" of this person.


Last week I posted an article I wrote about the astronomer Carl Sagan, who I had admired for his "cosmic vision" and goal of inspiring people to be aware of the uniqueness and fragility of life on our "pale blue dot", Earth. I was aware that Sagan had been an outspoken critic of Immanuel Velikovsky, a well-known Russian psychoanalyst who, like Carl Jung, had been a student of Sigmund Freud, and had moved on to do some extremely ground-breaking research into the history of the Earth and the local solar system.

In response to two emails, one from Michael Armstrong of Mikamar Publishing ( ), whom I thank for alerting me to this BUT whose email I will not reproduce because he completely berated both Sagan and myself, accusing Sagan of the worst forms of evil and me of being "self-aggrandizing" and an "Earth worshipper." Armstrong is a big fan of Velikovsky, as you might guess.

The second email was from Jon Eisen, publisher of Uncensored magazine in Auckland

(see a new article "Former CIA Officials Admit Faking Bin Laden Video")

Eisen alerted me to the fact that Sagan went to the trouble of lobbying the publisher of Velikovsky's books to stop publishing them...successfully!

I had no idea of this! Below are two reviews of a book Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky...the basic scenario is explained.

SO pitiful and ironic that a HUGE public figure like Sagan, advocating "scientific" thought and the "search for truth" could be so arrogant and stupid, even as he praised the importance of "imagination." In his Cosmos series, Sagan even goes into great detail on how the great library at Alexandria had been burned by the barbarous invaders, and how hundreds of thousands of unique scientific texts had been lost forever. Sagan even details the story of a lone women scientist who was burned to death for daring to stick to the quest for "truth."

Velikovsky's insights may in the long run prove to be FAR more valuabe than anything Sagan contributed, especially concerning his "mankind in amnesia" theory that may in fact explain why humanity as a whole acts like a traumatized psychiatric patient in our refusal to act on the best knowledge we already have.

To read more of what I have to say about this, check out

"Carl Sagan and the Nuclear Scenario: A Cosmic Perspective on Terrestrial Problems"

Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky is a book (1995) by Charles Ginenthal, who gives his views on Carl Sagan's criticisms of Velikovsky's work. Ginenthal states:

"Dr. Carl Sagan, a professor of astronomy from Cornell University, a well known public personality and writer of popular books of science, in 1974 at a symposium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) delivered a paper, "An Analysis of Worlds in Collision". This paper was later edited and presented in a book, Scientists Confront Velikovsky, published by Cornell University Press. The paper was further edited and presented in Sagan's book Broca's Brain, under the title "Venus and Dr. Velikovsky". Sagan's paper is a critique of Immanuel Velikovsky's book Worlds in Collision.
"Having read Velikovsky, I also read Sagan's paper; I thereafter discovered that a group of scientists and scholars had written critiques of Sagan's analysis. After reading these criticisms I began a search of the literature and over a period of time I became convinced that Sagan's critique lacked substance. Most surprising was the number of statements made by Sagan that proved to be clearly untrue. Further reading reinforced this discovery of the glaringly unscientific and unscholarly quality of Sagan's paper. What was much worse, was that it was difficult to imagine that even Sagan was unaware of the misrepresentation of evidence presented as scholarly criticism by him and offered to the public."
"[..] the realization struck that Carl Sagan's criticisms had been uncritically read by a wide audience. This was soon discovered to be the case among friends and relatives. Seemingly, they had all read Sagan's side, but not Velikovsky's. With little or no scientific background with which to judge, they had accepted Sagan's word on all matters. It was then that I conceived the idea for this book. It is hoped that reading the other side will permit laymen to clarify the issues."[1]

Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky
by Charles Ginenthal

The dark side of scientific debate

Charles Ginenthal in his “Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky” tried to correct the unfair treatment of Velikovsky by his contemporaries. Ginenthal points out that Velikovsky predicted many never-before-proposed phenomena about The Solar System (like Venus was very hot at a time when the Venus was considered by main stream scientists to be a planet similar to Earth but possessing a heavy cloud cover). Mainstream scientists scoffed at Velikovsky’s predictions and ridiculed him for proposing them. Later, when space probes explored The Solar System, many of Velikovsky’ predictions proved true. In an unbiased way, Ginenthal clarifies much of what Velikovsky proposed.

Immanuel Velikovsky rocked the scientific community in 1950 with the publication of his Worlds in Collision. In that book, he claimed that Venus suddenly appeared in The Solar System dragging a long atmospheric plume along with it and nearly collided with Earth and later with Mars. Because of the atmospheric plume, Velikovsky considered Venus a comet (the word “comet” originally meant having a hairy tail). By profession a renowned psychiatrist, Velikovsky was also keenly interested and well read in many fields. His study of ancient civilizations brought him to the conclusion that some of the irrational myths of early civilizations might not be irrational after all. They might be based on first-hand observation of cataclysmic events no longer occurring, especially the almost universal myths among early civilizations that the planets were gods, had battled in the heavens, and had influenced the destinies of these early cultures. Worlds in Collision was followed by Ages in Chaos in which Velikovsky claimed that the accepted dates for Egyptian history and Biblical history are out of sequence by several hundred years.

Sixty years ago, The Solar System was compared to a perfect watch. The positions of the planets were considered stable and secure and had been that way for many millennia. Worlds in Collision changed public opinion about the stability of the Solar System when it became a best seller almost as soon as it was published. Velikovsky proposed that, during historical times, with humans as witnesses, Venus was ejected from Jupiter, nearly collided with the Earth, then nearly collided with Mars, thereby causing Mars to nearly collide with the Earth.

Influential members of the scientific community immediately and prejudicially rejected Velikovsky’s thesis and went out of their way to ostracize him and refute his claims by any means possible, even dishonesty. Open-minded younger, not yet established, scientists rallied behind Velikovsky and fueled a scientific debate that lasted for decades. Disillusioned, Velikovsky desperately tried to defend his position and tried to explain how he came to his conclusions. Finally, drawing on his professional training, this eminent psychiatrist wrote Mankind in Amnesia, proposing that mankind witnessed terrifying and traumatic experiences, the significance of which subsequent generations repressed into their subconscious by redefining them as myths and legends.

Velikovsky died in 1979, still vilified and ridiculed by some very prominent members of the scientific community like Carl Sagan. Velikovsky has been given very little credit by later scientists who wound up making similar observations as Velikovsky, like the Egyptologist David M. Rohl, who proposed that the accepted dating of Egyptian and Biblical history is off by a couple hundred years in his “Pharaohs and Kings: a Biblical Quest,” published in 1995 or like D.S. Allan and J. B. Delair who, in their “Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C.,” proposed that the solar system was disrupted by a huge planet-sized body that entered the solar system from outer space, disrupting the orbits the outermost planets, destroying the planet Electra (now the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars), disrupting Mars, Earth, our moon, and Venus, before plunging into the Sun. These scientists cite many of the documents cited by Velikovsky, plus, as they say, much new evidence that came to light. Yet they give Velikovsky only minimal mention and they give him no credit at all for having been the first to propose that events like these had, indeed, happened.

How sad for Velikovsky to be denied recognition for his contribution to our understanding, even after he is dead. Ginenthal’s “Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky” is a much needed book, not only to set the record straight, but also to show how even the best educated people can let their presumptions overshadow their scholarship. Reading “Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky” will be time well spent.

Maurice A. Williams

Here is a very interesting response from Richard K. Moore, author and independent researcher ( ) Apparently Richard knows Glen Barry and believes him to be a very passionate, even emotional "Earth-saving" person, and probably not a CIA-asset (not knowingly, anyway). So this is cool. And Richard once heard Immanuel Velikovsky speak, which is cool as well.

Glen...[he's in my e-group, too!] Keep up the good work bro's what I think: since it's US...that's humanity collectively...who's doing the damage, there is no "them" at whom we can point a finger. More "violence" is just that: more violence.

The way I see it is that if we EACH voluntarily simplified our lives in the material dimension, for example, by reducing the amount we drive, the amount of meat we eat, the amount of energy we use, and avoid health-destroying technologies like mobile phones, television, pharmaceutical drugs, food additives and pesticides, the summation of a widespread simplification done collectively yet by individuals, would have enormous consequences in terms of reducing the ecological impact of the human process, which is literally an unconscious jihad akin to "world war three."

We also have been blessed with "the ultimate technology", our minds/brains, and if we could simply learn how to use it as it's meant to be used, we could very easily literally "reprogram our biocomputers", to paraphrase John Lilly, so that we could perceive reality in entirely new, more creative, less destructive ways. WE HAVE THESE ABILITIES...but why we refuse to use them is the crux of the problem.

Start by loving the Earth and showing her you love her by changing destructive patterns in your day to day life; then show you love yourself by using your mind/brain in ways that reflect a genuine respect for life, our fellow beings, and the Earth.

Jeff Phillips
Balingup WA


Finally, and most ridiculously, Barry is targeting the "the equipment and people destroying the Earth." But who, in fact, is that? What conscious and intelligent person can stand there pointing a finger at some "evil them" when the reality is that it's US all together who are making it all possible. We ALL contribute to supporting the corporations and military-industrial complex everytime we pay Federal income tax, buy petrol, use electricity from the grid, consume commercially manufactured products, take a pill or use a mobile phone.

Hi Jeff,

Interesting points you make. I've spent time with Barry, and he's emotionally caught up in 'saving the Earth'. He actually started crying when he was talking about how the Earth is getting destroyed. I don't blame him at all, but most people aren't quite that emotional about it. So I'd say we're seeing a sincere activist speaking, who is getting desperate in his hopelessness, rather than a CIA covert op.

And yes, his words would go over quite well in a Congressional hearing about closing down the Internet.

There's a scene in Grapes of Wrath that is relevant. A farmer is being evicted, and a fellow is driving a bulldozer, about to demolish the farmer's house. The farmer confronts him (ie, 'equipment and people destroying the Earth') with a shot gun. The driver explains he's just another bloke, needing a job, and someone else would come if the farmer shoots him. A classic scenario.

I really enjoyed The Monkey Wrench Gang, by the way.
Velikovsky died in 1979, still vilified and ridiculed by some very prominent members of the scientific community like Carl Sagan.Velikovsky has been given very little credit by later scientists who wound up making similar observations as Velikovsky, like the Egyptologist David M. Rohl, who proposed that the accepted dating of Egyptian and Biblical history is off by a couple hundred years in his “Pharaohs and Kings: a Biblical Quest,” published in 1995 or like D.S. Allan and J. B. Delair who, in their “Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C.,” proposed that the solar system was disrupted by a huge planet-sized body that entered the solar system from outer space, disrupting the orbits the outermost planets, destroying the planet Electra (now the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars), disrupting Mars, Earth, our moon, and Venus, before plunging into the Sun. These scientists cite many of the documents cited by Velikovsky, plus, as they say, much new evidence that came to light. Yet they give Velikovsky only minimal mention and they give him no credit at all for having been the first to propose that events like these had, indeed, happened.
Velikovsky was cool. I went to a lecture by him, just before he died, and I read most of his books. The response of the scientific community to Velikovsky is shameful in the extreme, and it is also the standard response to anyone who challenges mainstream models, particularly if thy are perceived as amateurs.

It is also shameful that the critics focus on Worlds In Collision, his first book in a series, which was by far the least rigorous and most easily attacked. A 'cheap shot' as we used to say. They never talk about Ages in Chaos, which is much more scientific.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010


"The hard-core reality few people want to face is that the current 'mental operating environment' that defines 'reality' for most of us is hopelessly out-dated and dysfunctional. We have literally 'turned on ourselves' because of it. Only when we look within and begin to understand our own limitations...and therefore our own conscious creative intelligences...can we begin to 'solve' the human-side of the equation which now appears to be 'insoluble.' We have the ability to 'reprogram' our entire way of looking at things; why we refuse to is the problem. We MUST make this effort, collectively yet at the individual level, before Mother Nature decides not to renew the contract on 'man, the really wise.' "

Greetings from the “third stone from the sun” here in an outer arm of the Milky Way galaxy. Known as “Earth” to some of her inhabitants, and resembling a “pale blue dot” as approached from the outer limits of her star system, she is recognized as a unique gem by sentient beings within a radius of several parsecs, not for her hydrocarbon or mineral wealth, but for her amazing diversity of life.

Home of myriad forms of life based on a complex macro-molecule known as DNA and water, over 70% of her surface area is covered with this unique living substance and teems with ever-changing expressions of improbable creativity. The special qualities of her atmosphere and the ubiquity of water have enabled life-forms to inhabit every possible ecological niche of the planet.

At this point in her spatio-temporal continuum, however, Earth is experiencing an unprecedented form of planetary warfare in which one species of life, an upright bipedal hominid referring to itself as “man, the really wise” has undergone continuous psychic mutation to such a degree that now he has created not only technologies designed to mutate himself even further psychically, but to extend the scope and goals of his species dementia not only over the entire surface of the planet, but also to project his megalomaniacal hallucinations upon the screen of interplanetary space. “Man, the really wise”, believing himself to be “president of the galaxy”, is bent on self-annihilation through the abuse of his most advanced forms of technology, and is currently in the process of destroying every eco-system and transforming “his” planet into a electro-mechanical wasteland devoid of life-as-she-currently-exists.

In what is referred to as the “late-20th century” in local chronological colloquialism, a specimen of “man, the really wise” rose within the ranks of human science, and, through his singular awareness of the cosmic beauty, uniqueness and fragility of life on his planet, was able, for a brief moment, capture the imagination of his fellow beings and share with them his vision, and his grave concern, for the future of life on the Earth.

This man's name was Carl Sagan, and today, 9 November, his birthday, has been declared as “Carl Sagan Day” around the world. Originally a scientist specializing in planetary atmospheres, he was involved in designing experiments for several probes to other planets; but he is best known for his advocacy of what was called the “search for extra-terrestrial intelligence”, or S.E.T.I. The underlying belief here was that if “technological civilizations” existed “out there”, they would surely be detectable, if not candidates for communication, as they would surely be using electronic technology based on radio waves, just like we do.

Sagan was a member of Project Ozma, a group of leading-edge minds, including Dr. Bernard Oliver, founder of Hewlett-Packard, and Dr. Philip Morrison, theoretical physicist, who convened in the early 1960's to speculate on the probabilities, ways, means and effects of “contact.” Sagan worked closely with Dr. Frank Drake to come up the “Drake equation”, a mathematical estimate of the number of “technological civilizations” one might be expected to encounter, and to design the “Arecibo message”, an “extraterrestrial calling-card” using binary digits to encode a range of information on who we are, our scale, form, chemistry, physics, our location and how we think. This message was transmitted from the Arecibo radio-telescope dish in 1974 towards a location in the constellation Hercules, which is the direction that our solar system is moving towards. Sagan was also a key designer of the plaque and “time capsule” installed on the Voyager space-probe, as it was destined to be the first artifact of human technology to leave the solar system. Back then this seemed important, somehow. Sagan probably knew or at least met Dr. Roger Payne, leading cetacean researcher and the first to refer to humpback whale vocalizations as “songs.” Some of Payne's early whale recordings were included in the Voyager catalogue.

Interestingly, a lone biological researcher stood out at the Project Ozma conference, a highly independent scientist of Einsteinian proportion named Dr. John C. Lilly. Lilly had been drawn to study dolphins because of his...and that of mainstream academic science as well...belief that a profound if not mysterious connection existed between the quality of one's consciousness and the quality of one's neurobiological hardware. The dolphins not only had a neurobiology far in advance of ours, but they'd had it for far longer than we had while living on the same planet as us, but in the sea, not on land. Lilly accurately termed them a true “extra-terrestrial” intelligence, meaning “not from on land”, and his approach as an Ozma participant was to try to learn how to communicate with the dolphins. His reasoning: if we couldn't even learn to respect as fellow beings, much less “communicate” with, someone who was already among us, or, rather, on whose planet we have come to exist, what possible chance did we have for “communicating” with, much less “understanding” or even recognizing, an “extra-terrestrial” intelligence from another planet or star-system.

i know that Sagan and Lilly knew each other to a degree, and each was influential on the thinking of the other in many ways. While Lilly was exploring his own mind, coming out with books like The Mind of the Dolphin and The Center of the Cyclone, and working on ways to apply the newly-emerging generation of computer technology towards inter-species communication, Sagan was hard at work lobbying for S.E.T.I. funding, writing his science-fiction novel Contact, upon which the film was based, moving towards Lilly's 'territory' of the mind/brain with books like The Dragons of Eden and Broca's Brain, and producing the award-winning and astronomically popular television series Cosmos, airing in 1980, and which was a testament not only to Sagan's cosmic enthusiasm but also the public's love of the universe! Both Lilly and Sagan commanded their own share of the public imagination, through their writings and media projects; each of them as well was highly respected in the mainstream scientific community and published hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals. Lilly was also the inspiration for two “Hollywood-ized” versions of his work, Altered States and Day of the Dolphin.

Lilly was a somewhat more controversial figure because of his inner exploration work using LSD and the isolation tank; Sagan, on the other hand, was more accessible and mainstream as “media scientist”, and even became a member of the highly influential Council on Foreign Relations. Lilly was highly critical of the military-industrial complex and their henchmen, the CIA, who had tried unsuccessfully to recruit him in the 1960's. Lilly was able to maintain his independence, and to avoid having his research classified as military secrets; Sagan, on the other hand, teamed up with the establishment at the highest possible level, I believe, with the intention of helping to prevent the destruction of life as we know it on the Earth by our own actions.

Carl Sagan and John Lilly, each of whom I had the honour to meet, were both driven by the highest motivations a scientist could have, those not only of sharing their awareness of the awesomeness of life on the Earth, and of the singular uniqueness of our planet in the vast expanse of the unknown, and the quest for “truth” or “reality”, both in inner and outer-space, but also of working to create awareness of the ways that human activity threatens the health of our planet, and what each of us, as caring and informed “planetary citizens”, could do about it.

Both of these minds have been a great inspiration to me, and my current work as artist/writer/musician/film-maker, “investigative journalist” and information activist centers on the goals that Sagan and Lilly shared, not only as scientists but also as human beings.

They each believed that “contact” or “communication” with “someone else”, whether it be cetaceans or beings from another star-system or galaxy, might end the “long loneliness” that “man, the really wise” has created for himself, isolated as he is at his self-created pinnacle of “intelligence.” Interestingly, I don't think I've ever felt “alone” with so much life and natural beauty around!

In as much as I honour their intentions, to believe that “someone else”...whale or “alien” going to solve our problems for us makes for good public relations and is great for selling books...but in reality is a bit naïve to say the least. Moreover, both Sagan but especially Lilly, being among other things a psychiatrist with “light years” of inner exploration under his cortex, knew that the problem side of the equation with all this was the human side. The limitations are in US, not in the dolphins or the “aliens” who may or may not exist.

I always found Lilly's approach to be more “down to earth” as it were, more sound logically and scientifically, at any rate, as the dolphins are real, tangible beings, here and now available to interact with; plus, Lilly realized the necessity of inner work before understanding of “someone else” was even possible. Sagan's “technological civilizations”, on the other hand, have to this day failed to materialize or be discovered. Why? Now we come to the most relevant part of this whole story.

Sagan believed that the reason no “needle in a hay-stack” signals from E.T.I.'s have been detected is because there aren't any. His reasoning was that “technological civilizations” must evolve through a form of “global adolescence” and if they are unsuccessful at managing and controlling “forces of nature” that they may have attempted to harness or tamper with, like nuclear energy, well...just like Cheech and Chong, they're “up in smoke” and disappear off the screen of radio-based “intelligence.”

He believed that technological civilizations tended to have relatively brief life-spans because few, if any, had the insight or fortitude first to understand and control their own internal technologies BEFORE unleashing things like atomic energy or engaging in the global extraction and combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, manufacturing and releasing tens of thousands of endocrine-disrupting chemicals into the environment, manipulating the genetic codes of living beings, “geo-engineering” their planet's climate, or conducting mind-control experiments on entire populations using Tesla-technology-based microwave transmitters like HAARP. If they'd bothered to master themselves first, then none of these things may have “needed” to be done!

Sagan correctly identified the nuclear scenario as the single biggest threat to life as we know her and in the last decade of his life became not only a highly outspoken anti-nuclear activist, lobbying governments for the dismantling of the ever-expanding nuclear arsenal, but also co-authoring a series of scientific articles on what came to be known as the “nuclear winter” effect in which the entire Earth would be thrown into a literal 'dark age' in which the sun would become obscured from all the smoke and dust in the after-math of a nuclear war. Not only were these papers highly influential in the scientific community, Sagan also demonstrated in person against nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site hundreds of times, and it is my belief that because of his repeated exposure to ionizing radiation there, he contracted the rare form of leukemia which finally killed him in 1996. His last words were that he hoped humanity could someday learn to live by “reason.”

John Lilly, more than Sagan, was acutely aware that the cetaceans are, in fact, a form of intelligence far beyond us, and that the whales and dolphins are so perfectly adapted to living on the Earth and so in balance in every way, that they never had any need or motivation to develop any form of external technology whatsoever. Not only that, they didn't even bother with hands! Their “intelligence” is primarily a spiritual, creative and social intelligence utilizing their “internal technologies” in ways incomprehensible to us, and focusing on being in touch with the Earth, each other, and the consciousness of water, truly the “mother of life” as we know her, as if they are in many ways what I call “the ultimate indigenous people.”

Lilly and Sagan were in full agreement, however, on the fact that nuclear weapons specifically, and the military-industrial complex in general, were the biggest threats to life on the Earth. Lilly's apocalyptic vision, conveyed in his “novel auto-biography” The Scientist, described the development of ever-more-powerful electronic computers which were part of an alien “intelligence” he called the “solid-state entity” which at this stage was using us to create itself and whose ultimate goal was to rid the Earth of water-based life, possibly through its eventual control of nuclear weapons.

Sagan's eschatology was more of the “big bang” school in which an all-out nuclear exchange between rival super-powers, “launched on warning” a la Dr. Strangelove or “accidentally” from...yes, a computer malfunction...would essentially destroy global civilization, plunge the entire planet into a turgid “nuclear winter”, and cause our genome to mutate, creating “new and horrifying varieties of human beings.”

I'm not sure if Sagan was aware that “nuclear war” had already been unleashed over the face of the Earth, not in the form of the spectacle of exploding war-heads, but in an invisible and much more insidious way, the dissemination of ionizing radiation in the forms not only of fall-out and residue from nuclear detonations and leakage from reactor sites, but even more diabolically, through the deliberate use of what are euphemistically referred to as “DU”, or “depleted uranium” weapons, manufactured from the highest levels of reactor wastes, and that the “new and horrifying varieties of human beings” were already being born every day in southern Iraq, a debacle that now dwarfs Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined in terms of destruction of human life.

Sagan may also have believed, just as Einstein did, that a 'world government' was surely the answer to the certain “self-destruct” of nuclear madness...but I doubt that he was aware that one of the primary agendas of the Council on Foreign Relations, for example, at whose round-table he had sat, was in fact the reduction of the world's population down to a few hundred million people, and that the use of “depleted uranium” and radiological warfare in general as biological weapons was in fact the implementation of strategies conceived by “think tanks” funded by such organizations themselves.

I have been highly educated and inspired by the minds and work of Carl Sagan and John C. Lilly, and in the spirit of what I perceive them to have been all about, I continue to share their vision of the singular uniqueness and beauty of life on this planet, of which we are a part, and to assist in the “solving” of the human side of the equation.

I differed with Sagan in that I believe that “intelligent life” is in fact all around us, or moreover, that ALL life is highly “intelligent” in its own ways. If “man, the really wise” was REALLY so “wise” then he'd realize that he needs to stop doing almost everything he's currently doing and get to know his own inner self, to come to understand the awesome power of our own creativity, of the truly “ultimate technology” which we and all living beings ARE.

And I differed from Lilly in that I don't believe it is right to keep dolphins in captivity...for whatever reason. The only legitimate way to work with or encounter them is either at sea, where they live, or possibly in specially-constructed places where they are free to come and go. Emphasis on FREE. NO ONE who is not free to come and go at will could be considered a candidate for true understanding or communication.

We don't need massive arrays of radio-telescopes to detect intelligent life; we also don't need to keep whales and dolphins captive in “research institutes” or “sea-quaria” for entertainment purposes, nor do we really need to “study” them, even with “non-lethal” methods. If YOU were a whale, would YOU want to be “studied”?

What we need to do is, in the words of my favourite musician on the planet, Ralph Towner, “leave those people alone” and get to know OURSELVES.

This is best done from out in nature, away from the noise, electromagnetic fields, and photochemical smog of civilization, where you can still feel the spirit of life and entrain your brain to the “music of the spheres.” Absorb and contemplate the beauty and power of undisrupted nature; quiet your inner tempest of “looking out for number one”, reverse the suction-polarity of your “getting what is mine” vortex; let star-light bathe your retina and realize that we all ARE one family of life on the only planet we know in the whole universe that has life.

Realize that human choice, decision-making, and activity is creating the wide spectrum of problems that threaten to extinguish life as we know her, and therefore that human choice and decision-making can STOP doing these things.

We don't have to be like the whales and give up having hands...but we COULD seriously cut back on inherently dangerous and unecological things we typically take for granted like, for example, what are literally light-years of needless driving and consumption of hydrocarbon fuels; eating the flesh of fellow beings who love and care for their young, experience fear, and don't want to be murdered for their meat; talking on mobile phones, which are actually microwave ovens placed next to your brain; and watching television, the “atomic bomb of the mind” originally developed as a form of electronic mass-brain-washing technology. And how many of us actually NEED a new 3000 square meter five-story holiday home?

And if we were EXTREMELY radical, we'd even consider “losing our faith” and stop worshiping the Molochs of money by insisting that every thing we do and exchange be defined in terms of a total hallucination created out of thin air by people whose goal is total domination of the world and enslavement of the human population? Whales don't use money...why do we have to? What ever happened to sharing and giving? Did these disappear along with real apple pie, “music” in music, silence in the wilderness camp-ground, and the ability to see the Milky Way from the northern hemisphere?

John Lilly thought that we needed the dolphins to tell us what the solutions are; Carl Sagan thought we needed to hear from a distant “technological civilization” that had miraculously survived its “adolescence” in order to “shock and awe” us into working together.

I differ from Lilly and Sagan here: I believe that if the “problem” is us, then the “answer” is us. Is this not, in fact, pure “reason” of the highest order? Is being in “contact” and “communicating” with EACH OTHER no longer a viable option? If we can't even find a way to do THIS, doesn't our obsession with “someone out there” become clear as the dementia that it truly is?

In honour of the highest “intelligence” I have been able to access, and in honour of life as we know her on this beautiful planet, I have worked for decades to make myself a vehicle of this intelligence and to live a life that reflects this intelligence and respect for life. This is why I am an artist* and networker, film-maker and activist; this is why I don't drive a car, own a house, use mobile phones or watch tv: because I can live healthily and productively without the necessity of owning these things. I have voluntarily simplified. We need some of these things, of course, to a degree, but in general we abuse the privilege of having them, and the summation of these abuses over billions of people constitutes a large part of the planetary destruction we are responsible for. We don't need dolphins or E.T.I.'s to tell us this.

The hard-core reality few people want to face is that the current “mental operating environment” that defines “reality” for most of us is hopelessly out-dated and dysfunctional. We have literally "turned on ourselves" because of it. Only when we look within and begin to understand our own limitations...and therefore our own conscious creative intelligences...can we begin to “solve” the human-side of the equation which now appears to be “insoluble.” We have the ability to “reprogram” our entire way of looking at things; why we refuse to is the problem. We MUST make this effort, collectively yet at the individual level, before Mother Nature decides not to renew the contract on “man, the really wise.”

"Don't be a soldier in World War Three...park your car and plant a tree...

Use the tube to educate...leave the plants to vegetate."

from Return of the Lorax, 1995

Signing off from the third stone...




* Interestingly, Sagan thought that pictures would be the most likely way that an extra-terrestrial intelligence would encode information; and Lilly felt many times that whales were telepathically beaming pictures rich in information into his mind. Our art is, in fact, an expression of these orders of information transfer.

"The Ultimate Technology" Jeff Phillips

"Notes on My Connection with Arthur C. Clarke" Jeff Phillips

"Who are the Cetaceans?" Jeff Phillips

"Man and Dolphin" [article I wrote on behalf of Dr. John Lilly for Magical Blend magazine]

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


For a selection of recent photos see:

Greetings from Exmouth, Western Australia. In the weeks past since our last travel update from Kununurra in the Kimberley-boab country to the north, we’ve covered several thousand kilometres of some of the most remote territory in Australia, met dozens of really nice people, “ridden on the storm”, experienced a wealth of the power and beauty of nature, and, as you can guess, a dollop of fair dinkum genu-wine down-home “give me that old-time” stupid human stuff! The “s.h.s.” by no means over-shadows the nature experience, but it is a force to be reckoned with now and then, and is always good for a laugh, especially if you find psychic mutation to be funny!

Western Australia is a land of extremes and extreme contrasts. The time zone here is iso-longitudinal with places to the north like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines; Perth, while still closer to Sydney than New Delhi, for example, is strategically located on the “grand chessboard” in terms of the American global dominance paradigm, and, like Darwin, functions as a major conduit for U.S. military forces. The local “economy” is in fact “booming”…at about the same decibel level as 50 tons of TNT…not only from the American military presence but even more from bureaucratically-unleashed mining and energy extraction industries. At present, no uranium mines have ever existed in WA, but as soon as Minister of the Environment Donna Faragher finishes handing out the carnival tick…I mean, permits, over one hundred uranium mines will open all over the state.

And that’s just one of many resources under attack: Woodside Petroleum, already destroying the Burrup peninsula (home of the largest concentration of rock art on the planet) with emissions from it’s Mordor-like gas plant there, has essentially closed on a deal with the state government of WA and premier Colin Barnett to open an even huger monstrosity at James Price Point, north of Broome on the way to Cape Leveque. According to environmental activists in Broome who we met, this thing could dwarf the Burrup site and cause Broome to mutate from the “relaxed tourist destination” it is now into “another dysfunctional mining town.” The new plant, located directly on top of an extremely ancient aboriginal song-line path, would include an “industrial port…built in a humpback whale nursery. Reefs and seagrass beds…would be blasted and dredged so that supertankers [over 600 per year] can get close to shore…” in conjunction with “the bulldozing of thousands of hectares of woodlands and rare remnant rainforest.”

For more information see

Who is behind this ecocidal madness? Believe it or not, it’s YOU AND ME. Every time we drive a car or fill our tanks with petrol or diesel, we are participating in “eco-terrorism” and maintaining demand for the resources stolen from the Earth by energy henchman like Woodside, BP (“first the Gulf…then the Earth”), Shell, Chevron, and BHP “Resourcing the Future” Billiton.

BHP stands for “Broken Hill Proprietary” and was the first mining company in Australia. I spent some time in Broken Hill, in the remote western outback of NSW, a few years ago, and if this small town can be seen as the after-math of mining and the future of Australia…well, if you like tailings in your breakfast cereal, lead in your water, 70% of your people classified as “mentally ill” and the second highest suicide rate in the southern hemisphere…you’ll be laughing! It was in Broken Hill that I first encountered genuine “PR” (public relations) executives who had been imported from Hong Kong to “improve the image” of Broken Hill and to put it on the map as a tourist destination. I laughed when one of the blokes was describing to me his vision of “walking down the street in Broken Hill and smelling apple pie.” I told him that people would have to clear the lead dust out of their nostrils before they could smell any apple pie. I feel pretty sure that these clowns were paid for by BHP, who has succumbed to the rampant macrophilous tendencies seen around the world. (Macrophilia is a socio-psychological disorder I identified a few years ago, characterized by an obsession to become as huge as possible…you can see it everywhere, from peoples’ bodies to their cars, caravans and houses, to military budgets, investment portfolios and national debts. Interestingly, the mathematical manifestation of macrophilia is the number of zeroes used to describe the quantity of something, for example, of bytes, tons or dollars.)

As Australia’s largest mining company, their most highly macrophilous endeavour so far is the extraction of the largest iron ore deposit on the Earth, in the Pilbara near Karijini National Park. From the summit of Mt. Bruce you can see the whole mine, which must be 20 kms long. Ore trains of around 250 cars each run continuously to the loading facility at Port Hedland; these are reputed to be the longest trains in the world. Most or all of this iron ore is going straight to China, who is by far the hugest importer of resources from other countries. BHP is responsible for one of the biggest Earth-raping projects currently underway, and not only does their board of directors have no idea whatsoever about the planetary geological, atmospheric, energetic and ecological effects of this mining, they are also spending sums of money which to them are nothing but to most other people are astronomical to fund “scientific research” which on the surface appears to be meaningful, but when you look closer, you find that what they’re actually doing is paying the researchers to prove “scientifically” that not only are BHP’s activities harmless to the environment, they might even be beneficial! Right now I can name at least a half-dozen “scientists” whose work pertains to the environmental health of this region who are receiving substantial funding from BHP. I’ll save this for later…back to the travelogue.

We made it out to El Questro Wilderness Park, at the top of the Gibb River road, for about three days. Liesbet and I had fond memories of Champagne springs, from our visit in 2007, and our first walk was to there, about 13 kms return through some relatively rough country-side; we were alone, as the temperature was climbing into the mid-forties. But there’s no way we weren’t going to go; even though this was probably the hottest walk by far we’ve done on this visit to Australia, the cloud ancestors stepped in and gave us a good bit of solar shielding while we were at the springs themselves, which allowed us to be able to sit on the rocks for a while, as there is no shade to speak of in that area.

The next day we walked into El Questro gorge, which is shorter; less strenuous, yet requiring a good deal of large boulder scrambling; and in shade most of the time. This was our first visit here, a place regarded by many as the best walk at El Questro, and it truly is a wonderful, magical place, with permanent spring-fed water and a lovely fall at the end of the gorge, beyond which you cannot proceed without climbing a wall.

The landscape at El Questro is fantastic, but the non-traditional “owners” are not so cool. Even though some of the management people were quite helpful and even gave us a couple of discounts of significance, the overall vibe was one of the total and on-going commercialisation of the “wilderness” experience.

We learned that new “management” had taken over since our first visit in 2007, a company called Delaware North, based in the U.S. and owning major tourism properties at Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, and Niagara Falls; in Switzerland and Canada; and in other Australian locations like Kings Canyon and several islands off the east coast. We heard talk of plans to open a ski resort at the base of Nix Olympica on Mars pending the outcome of U.S. Air Force atmospheric modification experiments there…but don’t quote me on this, ok?

Check out the future of "wilderness tourism"'s all about eating!

At the reception kiosk at EQ we happened to be sitting there waiting to use the phone, and over-heard the chick at the desk running through the gamut of things you had to pay for to be there, for example, a $35 per night camping fee and a $35 PER PERSON entrance fee for the “park.” When she had finished reeling off all the figures, the young German couple who were enquiring asked her to repeat it all, as if in disbelief or confusion at the amounts of money being asked of them. “Now, let me get this straight…you want HOW MUCH for…”

Anyone who is at El Questro has just driven at least a hundred or so kilometres, and probably a lot more, over mostly unsealed roads, paying exorbitant remote-western Australia prices for petrol, just to get there. Unless, of course, they arrived in their own jet-black tri-rotored helicopter. Yes, we saw this!

In other words, a couple arriving to camp out for a night at El Questro would be expected to pay over $100 for their first night of that privilege, which includes a camp-ground with not a single picnic table, nor a single bbq, rubbish bin, or even working water taps. Toilets and bins can of course be found over at the “amenities” center, but nothing related to cooking, washing dishes, or even boiling water can be found anywhere, as if they’re trying to channel everyone into eating at the over-priced restaurant. Besides, who would expect all that stuff at a truly WILDERNESS camp-ground?

Other than that, the area where the camp ground is IS nice, but not because of anything people did…only because of what people have yet to do. There’s no actual “sites” or numbers, which is what you’d expect from a “wilderness” camp-ground, right? You kind of just set up in one of several “areas.” This much is ok. We almost never had anyone to set up right on top of us.

But we did have a ‘shades of Nitmiluk” déjà vu experience, when we were already lying down ready to go to sleep and what did we chance to hear…no, not reindeer hooves prancing on the roof but the ominous sound of an amplifier turning on and someone preparing to “sing.” Yes, again…yes, at an outdoor café…yes, in a “wilderness” camp-ground. I’m beginning to wonder if the management of these places all attended the same tourism conference at the Gold Coast where a presentation was made called “Live Music at Wilderness Camp-ground Bistros Will Draw Heaps More Tourists and Impress their Friends Back Home” and a special work-shop on how to get away with recording and selling your own version of songs that belong to famous American artists!

Remember, the official marketing name of this place is El Questro Wilderness Park. Emphasis on WILDERNESS. You know, with live amplified “singers”, just like in the middle of the Gobi desert, the Pacific ocean, and the Antarctica ice fields!

OK, this is the short version of our travelogue…and you probably think I’m joking about the ski resort on Mars. Gravity is somewhat weaker there, so skis will have to be made of lead, or perhaps depleted uranium, which is even denser. You’ve got to be forward in thinking these days, eh?

We returned to our beloved Kimberleyland Holiday Park in Kununurra after the EQ excursion (thanks again Nora, Daniel, Mary and George!), and were arboreally invited to set up camp beneath another huge, twin boab tree there. Here we were able to chill out for a few days, paint some rocks, and meet up with Pierre and Katherine, a nice French couple traveling around Australia.
They were headed south, same as us, and their van had two seats for extra passengers and plenty of room for us and our gear, so we joined forces and set out for Purnululu, or the Bungle Bungles as the Aussies like to refer to this awesomely unique region of mountains, gorges, strange geological formations and potentially extreme heat.

As it turned out, we just missed 50 degree heat by only a day or two; and just as we got there, some cloud cover had begun to appear, enough to keep the temperatures moderate but still give good light for photos. At first I was a little dismayed at not having the cobalt blue skies in every photo, but later on I realized what a true blessing it was from the sky ancestors actually to have some cloud: fifty degrees is HOT and human beings as we currently know them are not likely to be found out in it for any reason other than seeking shade or mummification.

This is the only place in the world where “bungling” something is a good thing! We bungled our way to Mini-palms and Echidna gorges; these are essentially large crevices between bee-hive shaped mounds formed from sandstone sandwiched between cyanobacteria deposits. It’s hard to know if the cyanobacteria are living or fossilized, as they can “live” in the harshest known conditions, from the benthic depths of volcanic vents on the ocean floor possibly to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, requiring neither light nor oxygen to flourish.

Because of our early start, our timing was good with respect to being a step ahead of the larger tourist groups waiting to descend on these locations. We synchronistically managed to have extended periods of solitude in the depths of these gorges, where Liesbet was able to play some flute in silence so that we could hear the magic of the reverberation in these very sacred places. We even had a relatively long span of silence at Cathedral gorge, a large dome-shaped enclosure with magnificent acoustics; but before Liesbet could play much, this Canadian chick who we later learned to avoid couldn’t resist cackling and guffawing, even while the beautiful flute harmonics reverberated throughout the chasmic space.

After a morning of almost chilly temperatures, we “bungled” our way back to Halls Creek, a small and not unfriendly town often mistakenly associated with a bogus B-grade Australian film called Wolf Creek (the Wolf Creek meteor crater is about 100 kms down the Tanami but there’s no town by that name).

We headed down the highway to Fitzroy Crossing, a seemingly desolate small town consisting of a huge multi-star caravan park/tourist facility on the outskirts of an aboriginal community. The cool thing with the aborigines is that you see them out on the land, outside, outdoors, sitting on the grass beneath the trees. Maybe they’re just sitting there, doing nothing, or sitting there in groups talking, maybe drinking some grog. But they’re OUTSIDE. The white fella, he stay indoors with the air-conditioning and tellie going full blast.

We arrived at Fitzroy only hours after a torrential downpour, the first of the season. Huge puddles of water were all around the caravan park. We were beginning to realize that somehow we were traveling right on the leading edge of the early wet season, having experienced some very early downpours in Darwin in early September. In Kununurra we were in more brief downpours, this time accompanied by thunder and lightning, which was exciting! As we pulled into Fitzroy we were listening to a Doors compilation...the song “Riders on the Storm” was playing, and we realized that, for the moment, that's who we were! I felt the spirit of Jim Morrison smiling on us all the way!

After Fitzroy we made our way to Geikie Gorge, which is an ancient limestone reef now exposed to the air, and then continued on to Derby, a smallish town on the coast at the southern end of the Gibb River Road. In this area you see a higher concentration of boab trees than anywhere else in the Kimberley, and some of them are quite freaky, even scary, looking.

Derby is known for having the second highest diurnal tidal fluctuation in the world…I think it was around 8 meters (but I can’t remember what the highest is); we spent a few hours out on the wharf while Pierre was fishing and the out-bound tide seemed to be moving at about 20 kms per hour. The sunsets here over the Indian Ocean are often spectacular, too. We visited the Mowanjum Arts Centre before we left, and the girls there loved our Milky Way paintings, saying they were “deadly.” The saucer-eyed Wandjina figures of local dream-time mythologies came from the Milky Way, they say.

Our next destination was Broome, perhaps the most well-swept community in Australia! (ugh!) The night we spent between Derby and Broome, at a rest area called Nillibudgie, was interesting. First, we arrived there, again, on the tail end of a rain-storm, and were greeted by a brilliant double-rainbow. After dark I sat with my cameras photographing the lightning, vehicular tail-light trails, and nocturnally illuminated storm-clouds. Strangest of all, we were awakened in the night by one of the weirdest sounds I’ve ever heard. From my initial half-awake state, I thought it was some kind of huge baritone frog that was stuck inside a metal container. But as I woke up and listened more closely, I was going “That ain’t no frog. But WHAT THE HECK could it be?” I got out of the tent, donned my trusty headlamp, and walked towards the sound source. As it got louder and louder, I could also hear it rustling in the grass. By now I knew that not only was it NOT a frog, it was something with a degree of physical enormity. And the fact that I could in no way identify the sound made it a bit scary. I knew that there was a fence between me and it, but I also knew that if it chose to do so, it could walk around and come in through where the road was. I returned to the tent only then to hear ANOTHER one going off, much closer to the tent, but still on the other side of a fence. What we figured out was that, even though we never saw them, it had to be a pair of huge wild pigs that had become separated in the dark and one was calling out to the other so they could catch up. Eventually the one made its way to the other, and we could then hear them rustling away, rooting as they may beneath the bright star-light, one of them emitting the occasional grunt as a locator beacon. From the low frequency pitch and loudness of their groans or grunts, I would say they had to be the size of a bear!

I’d visited Broome several times before, and always thought it to be vastly over-rated as a place to visit. The last time we were there was in 2007 when the caravan we were hitching in with our German cyclist friend Christian broke down near the Sandfire roadhouse and had to be towed back to Broome; they parked us in the Cable Beach parking lot for the weekend, which was cool.
This time was the first time I could actually say that I liked it there. Pierre and Kathy dropped us at a caravan park at Cable Beach, as they didn’t want to pay to stay anywhere. Liesbet and I, on the other hand, were glad to be there, and also relieved to have a couple days on our own again, de-coupled from the rhythms of another couple who were new-comers to Australia, who invariably had to take ten minutes to smoke cigarettes before beginning any action or movement, and who liked to listen to “music” that we could hardly stand, like some moronic rap and System of a Down. Actually, System is good for what their goal is, which would be to go up inside and inflame the hole of any mainstream parent, teacher, bureaucrat or other authority figure…but “The Prison Song” is not exactly what you want to hear at full volume very early in the morning after spending the night on an isolated and tranquil beach!

We did enjoy Broome, and here we were able to go on-line; it was here that I learned about Pete Bethune and Sea Shepherd’s “whale whores” war. I’ve already reported on this ad nauseum, as is called for in this case, but one further insight: Bethune was saying that Paul Watson ordered him to sink his own boat…SO HE DID IT…as a publicity stunt. THEN…Bethune somehow manages to “board” the Japanese whaling boat, in a brave and noble attempt TO PROTEST THEIR SINKING OF HIS BOAT and to demand remuneration…even though he sunk the boat himself, as can be seen from the video footage. Months later, Bethune is released by the Japs and then accuses Watson of ordering him to sink his own boat, which he obeyed. Watson says he gave no such order and that the Japs are making Bethune turn against him. Is it possible that a larger and more fertile crock of pure shite can be found anywhere in the world of enviro-media today? If you can top this, let me know, because the Murdoch Book of Media Abominations is just waiting to crown it with glory…and a full scholarship to Murdoch University’s School of Tourism and Reality Activism.

On our way back from visiting Gantheaume Point, we had a ride with a very cool guy named Ike who related some highly relevant “camping” stories that were very much like the kinds of things we experience and talk about, for example, the time he was camping in a remote area and had his little generator going. All of a sudden he gets a knock at the door, and it was another camper, asking not that he turn it off but, get this…if HE could plug into Ike’s generator and get some juice! He also related an incident where a friend of his was camping in an extremely remote area, off the Gibb River Road and way up in there towards Mitchell Falls…you’re talking many many hours to drive these roads which are notoriously unforgiving on tires and vehicles…they had set up camp in the middle of nowhere and set off on foot for a few hours. Upon returning to their site what did they see but a huge caravan that had somehow followed them in and set themselves up RIGHT BESIDE IKE'S FRIENDS, complete with satellite dish. We know all about this phenomenon which I've yet to name, but I'm working on it. We had a similar experience in Tom Price, but that can wait.

One of the good things about riding with Pierre and Kathy was that he liked to drive pretty slow, around 90 kms per hour. This is not only safer, but saves on fuel and things are less of a blur as you pass them by. Sometimes this meant going only a couple hundred kms per day but this was a good thing, as after Broome we got to camp out at two fantastic remote beach locations, Barn Hill Station and Cape Keraudren, where we met Steve, the park ranger, who told us how nice he thought Americans in general were, even polite, compared to the usually rude Aussies he knew so well. He also reckoned that most Australian women had testicles, a hypothesis I hope never to test (and I'm scared to ponder how he came to believe this!)

After we fueled up in Port Hedland and glimpsed the huge piles of salt and the gargantuan ore-loading machinery in the heart of town, we headed inland towards Karijini National Park, stopping to spend the night at the Munjina Gorge lookout. This beautiful location was littered with assorted rubbish that looked like it had been building up for years, so the next morning Liesbet and I were inspired to pick up as much as we could, often getting a Spinifex thorn in our hand as a reward. The Frenchies saw no reason to help, however, and went about their business of taking a shower and trimming their nails. C’est la vie, as they say.

Karijini is one of the most special places in all of Australia, to us, up there with Flinders Island, Nitmiluk, and the Flinders Ranges. This was my fourth visit there, and Liesbet’s third. Located in the middle of the largest deposit of iron on the planet, Karijini is a huge area but is mainly known for a network of deep gorges cut by water into the surface of the Earth. This particular area is some of the most stable crust that exists on the planet, not having moved in over two billion years. Because of this, as you descend down into the gorges you are traveling back in time as you see the BIF’s (banded iron formations) deposited by ancient cyanobacteria, the most ancient of all life-forms. It’s even possible that DNA and consequently life-as-we-know-her arrived on Earth embedded in a giant meteor or asteroid that crashed into what was then ocean above the modern-day Pilbarra, leaving the huge deposit of extra-terrestrial iron for BHP and bringing the cyanos to evolve, mutate and proliferate.

At the visitors’ centre we caught up with Margie, an elder of one of the three local aboriginal tribes, and her two daughters. I’d first met her in 2004 on my first visit to Karijini, riding with my friend Tanya, aka “Doc Hillbilly” in her 1978 Landcruiser with dual-fuel options. Margie shared some information with us, for example, that the name “Karijini” derives from the aboriginal name for the local Hamersley Ranges landscape, which is “gulligini.” We gave them each a rock and a dvd of our film “Te Waiwaia Dreaming”, in honour of Thurru, who, in the local story, was a serpent who moved over the land and created rivers and streams; then we went out to become “engorged.”
We hiked down into almost all the gorges, and went swimming in every one, too. None of the walks are long in terms of distance but are quite steep as you might descend several hundred meters over a one-km long path. It’s really like entering the bowels of the Earth, or maybe her womb; a feeling of comfort and security as you are buoyed up by cool waters and surrounded by ancient living rock, literally, the body of the Earth, “hine ahu one” to the Waitaha of Aotearoa, of which we all are made.

As usual, I with my massive load of camera gear lagged behind everyone else, and I never went quite as far as everyone else could go, into the depths of gorges where you had to swim to get through the narrow channels. But I was happy to sit there in solitude, at least some of the time, alone with the rocks, water and ancestors…enjoying REAL reality as it should be.

After a couple days of exploring the gorges, we climbed Mt. Bruce, or Bunurrunha, which is the second highest peak in Western Australia. (Interesting to note that the whitefellas insist on calling another similar peak Mt. Nameless, although the aboriginal name, Jarudunmunha, is printed on all the maps and travel brochures, as if to remain in defiance of history and negation of black Australia.)
We left the car-park well before sun-rise to avoid what was likely to be massive heat by mid-day. Climbing Mt. Bruce is a wonderful walk of a little less than 10 kms return; it’s not that steep of a climb but there is a significant bit of serious boulder scrambling and climbing rock that can be as hot as a frying pan. On the way you can see the entire BHP Hamersley iron mine and dual rail-ways stretching from horizon to horizon. I found myself wondering, “How much iron can China possibly want or need?” Supposedly it will take hundreds of years at present rates of mining to get it all out…but what will the distant ancestors of present-day humans look like by then? Surely, if they’re still walking it will be on at least three legs?

Last year, while traveling with a wonderful Czech couple, Mike and Jana, we were able not only to visit Hamersley Gorge, but to arrive there by the light of the full moon and camp out in the parking lot, just the four of us. The next morning we had the whole gorge to ourselves for a few hours, and came to know and love her as probably THE most awesome and special place in all of Karijini. Liesbet and I were determined to return there, at least for a few hours, no matter what it took to do so.

At the last minute Pierre and Kathy decided they didn’t want to go to Hamersley, so Liesbet and I said “au revoir” and set up camp at the Tom Price caravan park while les Francoise moved on down the road towards Exmouth.

It took us about a day and a half of first talking with people at the caravan park, then hitching in front of the visitors centre in Tom Price (which is actually not a bad little place for a mining town). Finally we connected with a nice couple named Ben and Sharon and their daughters Chelsea and Caitlin. They came and stayed at the caravan park and we all went to Hamersley the next day. This time we were there in the latter part of the day, which made the colours quite different from our first visit which was at night and early morning. The magic was no less powerful than before, and we spent a few hours swimming, taking photos and just being with the beauty and tranquility, and feeling the presence of the ancestors smiling on us all.

The only bad thing that happened was that I experienced a “gravity attack” when a plastic clasp on my video camera bag broke as I was twisting my way along a rocky ledge; I heard a “snap” and looked around just in time to watch my camera bag drop about 3 meters onto solid rock, then roll gently into the water. Instantly I was down there and got it out. Luckily, it floated and there was no water damage. I had the top zipped closed, which would have been disastrous if it had not been. Due to the bag being really good, plus, I take great care to pack the camera to absorb shock, the only damage that was sustained was to the microphone and to the view-finder. Even though the image in the view-finder is blurry, it records perfectly, but with no audio. It also plays back audio and video perfectly.
The problem then is recording audio. I have an external mike given to me by a cool repair guy in London; when I plug it in, it records audio fine but there is a low-frequency rumbling sound, as it seems to be picking up vibration from the camera motor. So, if I detach the mike from the shoe on the camera, it records the audio fine, only I have to hold the camera in one hand and the mike in another. I haven’t really had time to deal with it much yet, and there hasn’t been much to record here in Exmouth, but I might be able to find a way to duct-tape the mike to the camera to free up my other hand. All this is just to keep going until I can get it repaired.

But this may be an ordeal in itself, as my former Sony repair person, the Hon. Paul Duckworth at Macray Specialized Services in Artarmon, got shut down a few weeks ago on short notice because the owner decided to sell the business. Paul had hoped to keep his top technician in operation with their existing client list, and I’m hoping that this in fact is the case. If not, I am terrified at the prospect of having to send my camera to people who a) I don’t know and b) stand a good chance of proving to be totally incompetent, as I’ve learned from previous experience.

From Tom Price we got a ride with Mike Earnshaw from Geraldton, who is truly one of the nicest and coolest people we’ve met on the road in Australia. He’s a computer person working for a company called “Not a Geek” that deals with automated control systems for mining companies. He was actually heading from Tom Price to Karratha, so we got to ride up the road that parallels the ore rail-way. Mike drove us up onto a mountain top (or almost there!) to get a view down the Hamersley range, then we went out onto the Burrup peninsula and camped out at a cool spot called Hearson Cove. He shared some interesting stuff with us, for example, that the ore trains really don't need humans on them at all, but that the unions require that each train have at least two engineers. These guys have so little to do that, if they aren't actually operating any machinery, they have to push this big button once every two minutes to prove that they are awake! FAIR DINKUM! He also said that he had been involved in physical violence against people in camp-grounds who were making too much noise. He's a pretty big dude who used to be an Outward Bound instructor, so I can guess who came out sucking hind tit there!

The next morning he dropped us at the Karratha roadhouse, and after a couple hours of hitching a nice truck-driver named John who was “dead-heading” (American truck-driver jargon for driving with no load) to Perth gave us a lift to the Minilya roadhouse, where we spent the night. The next morning the couple next to us, Trish and Mac, loaded us into their caravan and dropped us here in Exmouth where we’ve been for the past several days, painting rocks and doing internet stuff and taking care of this and that.

Liesbet and I realized when we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn last week, that we’d been in the tropics for over seven months, since we crossed it between Barcaldine and Longreach in Queensland back in April. There is something special about being in the tropics, but it’s hard to define exactly what it is. It is related to being warm, but that’s not totally it. Maybe it’s because human life must have originally evolved in a warm climate, or that warm climates are more conducive to life and home to more species than temperate or cold climates?

Once we got to Broome we were beyond the early wet season rains that had cooled and accompanied us for weeks since we left Darwin; we realized what a blessing the rains had been, how wonderful it is to be with the thunder beings, to hear and see them, followed by rainbows and happy plants glistening with drops in the morning sun! We realized how much we truly DO love water in all her forms, how much we’d love to live in “te waiwaia”…”the realms of the beautiful waters.”

We’ve noticed several things about the unfolding season here in north-western Australia: the coming wet/cyclone season is likely to be potent. In Darwin they had one of the shortest “dry” seasons in recent years, with no rain falling only in June-August. All down through the Kimberley we were “riders on the storm” traveling with the first rains of the season as we went.
And the “signs” are there: Darwin electronics wizard David Daly, who brought my computer back to life after it’s “near-death experience” with the guru in Alice Springs, noted that the amount of lightning he was already seeing there in September indicated a massive wet season; park rangers at El Questro noted that the crocs were nesting high on the bank, which indicated a big wet coming; and John the truck-driver told us that, according to local folklore, if you tended to see lots of “willy-willies” (Australian name for “dust devils”) in the same day in the Pilbarra…which we and he had both experienced…this indicated that the coming cyclone season might be powerful.

Interestingly, the “season” started two days ago, on November 1; and as of yesterday, indeed there is a baby ‘clone brewing about a thousand kms out in the Indian ocean.
Time for us to head on down the road to the south.

OK, enough for now. Take it easy, or, as they might as well say here in Australia, “Have it easy.”

Oh, yes, one final story to tell. On the evening of the day we arrived in Exmouth, a conference of marine biologists was happening at the local yacht club, so we decided to check it out. Some of them appeared to be studying the effects of tourism on the local marine environment, which is an area of great concern to us, and others were studying fish populations. Almost all of them were computer people working for CSIRO constructing “models” that were supposed to be tools to assist local decision-making people. One of them, Dr. Beth Fulton, had some interesting things to relate about “rec fishing” in this area, for example, that over 200,000 tourists come through Coral Bay yearly (a tiny resort town south of here), and that they take somewhere between 400 and 1000 tons of fish per year, which is FAR more than the combined catch of all the commercial fisheries in the Pilbara region.
I found it interesting to see in her presentation she mentioned “attitude change” as a possible solution to the perceived problem of fish depletion, the idea being to convince or persuade people to take only one or two fish per trip, instead of filling their whole chest. Being, of course, a forward thinker, I suggested to her that why not take the “attitude change” thing one more step and get people to consider the option of not eating ANY fish, of being vegetarian. She and almost every person in the room, most of whom were scientists, turned and laughed at me, scoffing disdainfully as if that was the most outlandish thing they’d ever heard. “US…GIVE UP EATING FISH? YOU MUST BE CRAZY!!!”

Their research (funded in part, of course, by our good friends and environment-lovers BHP), which claimed to have created accurate and useful models of local eco-systems, was entirely quantitative, dealing only with estimates of fish abundance, or population sizes, but totally excluded ANY qualitative information about whether or not said fish were actually viable as a food, in light of what is now known about the levels of chemical toxicity in every region of the global ocean. Mercury, PCB’s, chromium, and a host of other lethal substances have been found to abound in every nook and cranny of the world’s oceans, as documented by Ocean Alliance’s five-year survey; with every industrial accident, every oil-drilling disaster, every barge and super-tanker voyage, even more toxic substances are poisoning the global food chain further and further.
That these so-called “scientists” not only laughed at me for suggesting vegetarianism as an option for living, but that they are totally ignorant of information that is essential and vital for any valid evaluation of the place of fish as a food for humans, was quite unbelievable. But so it goes with the on-going circus of “stupid human stuff.” Where is it all leading?


To download the Executive Summary of Ocean Alliance's survey of global ocean toxicity:

To check out the new digital atlas of Ningaloo reef see: