Wednesday Weirdness: Jellyfish of the Air

pathway between large, gnarled trees with words "on the path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over imageWelcome to my first Wednesday Weirdness. As a collector or curiosities, I hope to have many odd stories and unexplained phenomenon to share with you in the weeks and months ahead. Some of these posts appeared previously on my blog in the guise of Mythical Mondaybut I’ll only recycle those from my early days of blogging with few visitors. Other posts will be cover new oddities and some of the strange legends that have inspired many of my books.

First up—jellyfish of the air. This particular subject is one that has fascinated me from the moment I stumbled over it years ago.

Many people believe multiple dimensions flow through alternate timelines and places, others that they coexist within the same time and space as us, but aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Wilhelm Reich, a controversial psychoanalyst born in the late nineteenth century, was so convinced of this fact he set out to capture evidence on film.

Intense northern lights (Aurora borealis) over Lake Laberge, Yukon Territory, Canada, with silhouettes of willows on lake shore.Reich’s theory was built around the concept of something called “orgone,” a life force or cosmic energy omnipresent in the ground and sky. As proof such energy existed, Reich offered the Northern lights and St. Elmo’s fire as examples. He was so enraptured of the idea, he built “orgone accumulators”—life sized boxes in which he hoped to harness the energy and use it to cure his patients of diseases such as cancer.

The problem: Wilhelm Reich was not a licensed medical practitioner. The procedure, along with his highly dubious mental state and other questionable treatment theories, eventually landed him in hot water with authorities. Details of Reich’s life can be found on Wikipedia for anyone interested in learning more about his bizarre behavior and therapy concepts.

What interests me is an experiment he supposedly conducted in 1953 with the help of photographer Norman Leistig.

Reich had Leistig’s assistant raise an “orgone-charged” rod into the air in the hopes of attracting one of the invisible beings he believed existed. Within five seconds a huge jellyfish-like creature attached itself to the rod, becoming visible long enough for Leistig to capture it in a photograph. But the terrified screams of Leistig’s assistant so repulsed the manifestation it faded from sight.

Supposedly, twelve additional people witnessed the spectacle. Reich and Leistig were so unnerved by the experiment they refused to discuss it (although it’s rumored Leistig referred to Reich as “the Devil himself” much later in life).

Interestingly, I couldn’t find a single mention of this experiment among the numerous sites I visited related to Reich or Leistig, and I checked many. Even Google images came up blank. That makes me question whether it even took place, but like anything in a “cabinet of curiosities” I’m drawn to the idea. I originally stumbled across the story and a pin of the photo on Pinterest.

The original link connects to a photo blog for the
Caledonian Mining Expedition Company.

Check out the second photo from the top,
then come back and let me know what you think.

Hoax or not you’ve got to admit that is one freakishly cool photo…although I certainly wouldn’t want to get stung by that thing. No wonder Leistig’s assistant screamed his head off!

In closing, if you’re out and roaming about the blogosphere today, you can also find me at Teri Polen’s blog answering some spooky questions, and at Story Empire discussing writing sprints. It’s a busy Wednesday so if I’m a little slow responding to comments please bear with me! 🙂

Mae Clair Presents: Twice in a Blue Moon by Cate Masters

Don’t you love that title? 🙂

Today, I’m happy to share in the  excitement over Cate Master’s latest novella, a contemporary release from Kensington Publishing. Check it out!

Twice In A Blue Moon
by Cate Masters

TwiceInABlueMoon-MD

Contemporary romance novella
Publish Date: 1/19/2015
About 48,000 words
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kensington

Blurb
Can true love strike twice?

After the death of her first love, Melanie Michaels buries her grief in the risky demands of a reality show, where her extreme stunts leave her teetering on the edge of danger. That’s exactly where she wants to be—until she arranges for her crew to traverse the Swedish Lapland in the dead of winter. It’s the one place she shouldn’t go, on the one day she should avoid—her would-be wedding anniversary.

Instead of romantic nights spent in the Ice Hotel or under the Northern Lights, Melanie is stuck with Joe “Buck” Wright, a snarky loner tour guide who loves his sled dogs and nothing and no one else. But Buck is also trying to numb a painful past. Can two people skilled at pushing others away find warmth at the edge of the Arctic?

About the Author
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Connect with Cate at the following haunts:
Website 

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com 
Facebook 
Twitter: @CateMasters 

Book video

Advance reviews for TWICE IN A BLUE MOON

“…a great read. It is fun, it is romantic, it is moving.” – Dan Curnett, 5 stars

“…a quick romance read that will undoubtedly leave them wanting more” – Maria, 4 stars

“… a satisfying and enjoyable read” – Jennifer Schultheis, 4 stars

“I really liked this book! It had a unique setting and a hero with a lot of baggage” – JoMarie DeGioia, 4 stars

Excerpt
Buck tried not to drool. “Perfect.” He loved making new friends, especially of the female variety. So long as they didn’t complain about his modus operandus: all fun, zero ties. Repeats happened if the girl abided the rules. And if he didn’t get too attached. Such foolishness led to all manner of drama and heartache. He’d had enough of both. His life had become about survival, and he’d taught himself not to let anyone get close. Not to make himself vulnerable to pain. To live alone and like it.

Klaus set two mugs in front of them and deftly removed a bill from the stack Buck had left on the bar.

Something made him glance up at the television. Maybe Kenny had implanted a subliminal suggestion during their conversation. Damn if the name at the bottom of the screen didn’t read Melanie Michaels. A man spoke into a microphone, then stepped closer to hold it near her.

“No way. That’s her?” He waved at the bartender. “Turn up the volume, will you please, Klaus?”

The camera zoomed in on her face. Features delicate but strong, beautiful but serious. God, that mouth—lips full and wide, and the way they moved as she spoke, he could hardly tear away his gaze. Her large eyes, dark and luminous in the way that had always struck him to the bone. Just like Poppy. She’d turned out to be anything but sweet. More like poisonous, the opium behind the flowery facade an instant addiction that took him years to overcome. He still carried the scars from her acid nectar. Anything and anyone reminding him of his former lover ranked the lowest of low on his shit list.

Melanie Michaels just claimed that spot.

And now he’d have to deal with her every day for almost a week. “Oh man, it’s going to be a grueling six days.” Five, technically. Tomorrow’s meet-and-greet was strictly a formality, though the preliminaries helped him size up his guests so he could better prepare.

Klaus glanced from Buck to the screen and back again. “She’s taking your tour? You lucky bastard.”

Lucky? No. Bastard? Yes, according to some. “Oh yeah. Skol.” He raised his mug and gulped. And gulped.

The blonde assessed him. “You’re a wilderness guide? For which company?”

He tried to sound proud and manly as he said, “Arctic Adventures.”

“I’ve heard about them.” An arch of her brows, and her demeanor turned glacier-cold.

He could only imagine what, exactly, she’d heard. Kenny insisted they stretch their expenses as far as possible. Translation: second-rate accommodations. And hey, it wasn’t his fault if the sled dogs took a dislike to certain clients. They should know better than to leave unpackaged foods unprotected and stow their backpacks away from the team. The dogs had few enough trees upon which to relieve themselves, and he didn’t blame them one bit.

Klaus shot the blonde a dubious, don’t-make-trouble look.

“What? They’ll be famous.” She hid a laugh behind her hand. “No Boundaries will make you a star in America.”

“America.” Ah, hell. Why hadn’t it occurred to him? His family would see him, the friends he’d left behind. And Poppy. Shit. Short of them traveling to Sweden, there’d been no way for any of them to bust him on the lie he’d told. Now they’d know he didn’t work for the prestigious National Geographic tours, but a crap company based in Kiruna. In his last email, he’d boasted of almost having saved enough money to build a log resort better than the world-famous Wilderness Lodge. Fat chance, on his salary.

Me, a star? More like an outcast. Buck heaved a sigh. “I’ve suddenly lost my appetite.” For drinking or anything else.

He grabbed the cash from the bar, left a generous tip, and nodded goodbye to Klaus. He strode to the exit, ignoring the blonde’s taunting calls to come back. The laughter in her lilting tone churned his gut.

Whether he returned to the job at all depended on how badly Melanie Michaels and crew shamed him on video. He’d spend the next six days avoiding the camera, and afterward, crawl into some isolated igloo a dismal failure. He might stay there until global warming melted away the polar ice cap.

Purchase TWICE IN A BLUE MOON from:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kensington