Friday, October 19, 2007


In 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors the definitive Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd were fortunate to survive a plane crash.

A chartered Convair 240, N55VM, carrying the band between shows from Greenville, South Carolina to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed near a forest in McComb, Mississippi. Drummer Artimus Pyle crawled out of the plane wreckage with several broken ribs, but was ambulatory, as were road crew members Kenneth Peden Jr. and Mark Frank. Other members of the band were unhurt.

The injured men hiked some distance from the crash site, through swampy woods, and finally flagged down farmer Johnny Mote, who had come to investigate. Varying accounts have Mote either firing a warning shot into the air or actually shooting Pyle in the shoulder — no report is completely reliable. Pyle claimed in a February 2007 appearance on Howard Stern's Sirius radio program that Mote had shot him; Mote has always denied shooting the drummer. Video of a barechested Pyle at the 1979 Volunteer Jam does not show evidence of a gunshot wound.

Billie Jean
In 1992, a third newcomer was murdered in Los Angeles. The investigation of the Tenctonese now known as Billie Jean was led by Los Angeles police detective Matthew Sykes.

Four years earlier a flying saucer bearing enslaved aliens had crash-landed in the Mojave Desert. Los Angeles had become a new home for the aliens, who took, or in some cases were assigned, sometimes comical human names.
Big Foot
Big Foot
In 1967, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin captured sasquatch on film in Bluff Creek, California. It was a ridiculous hoax, with Patterson's film clearly showing Gimlin in a tacky outfit, shot at a slow shutter speed to hide his human gait. Which is not to say the episode was a failure. As intended by Patterson and Gimlin the fanfare drew attention away from the real sasquatch just over the border in Canada.

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee began its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years. Amongst the blacklist is the little known actor Ronald Reagan who had been considering the launch of a political career as a Californian Democrat.Reagan
Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
In 2999, the mind cast for the next instalment of “Personality of the Triple Millennia” was re-run across the networks. POT3M drew an even larger audience because of its oddness. Winston Churchill was the candidate, the context was the Fall of Britain in 1940 and the moment bare minutes after he arrived in his south Atlantic exile with the remnants of the British Royal Navy. Winston Churchill confessed his ignorance of the weakness British Imperial defences, saying to MC Millennia: "I did not know. I was not told. I should have asked." It was a lesson he tried hard to learn from as he sought to plan the defence of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, where he and the remnants of the British Royal Naval had fled to in 1942.

In 1968, on this day former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Her former husband and his new wife Norma Jean Baker were present at the reception, and it was all smiles from both couples. Considered the royal family in America, the Kennedys made their own rules and the nation judged them a breed apart. JFK himself had been married three times, received the last rites three times and stood on the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missiles Crisis so you could say he had a thick skin.Kennedy

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