Category Archives: Odd

Mars Attacks! Topps trading cards from 1962

I’d never heard of these until the other day. I don’t like the Mars Attacks! movie any better after learning of these. But these are rather interesting trading cards, especially for 1962. Apparently Wallace Wood, the original artist (did the designs but not the final art) was a rather dark character, taking his own life in the early 1980s at the age of 54.

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Odd: Joseph Moshe, August 13, 2009, Los Angeles

Odd Stories header

Joseph Moshe August 13 2009Joseph Moshe, Thursday, August 13th, 2009
The (barely) reported story was that Mr. Moshe had phoned 911 and threatened to kill the President. That was enough for him to find his car blocked by an armored personnel carrier and half the cops in LA — oddly, none of whom had any markings on their uniforms. Hmm. He sat in his car smoking cigarette after cigarette while the LAPD (or whomever they were) sprayed him with pepper spray. They finally employed a cattle prod (“Taser”) on him and arrested him.

The news media (this was live on television, btw) dropped the story at once. Nothing more was ever heard of Mr. Moshe. Very suspicious.

The story I heard was that he had called in to a radio show discussing a new bioweapon designed for population reduction — that’s you and me, not any 1%ers — and that the sudden mysterious illness in the Ukraine in August of 2009 was a test run. Apparently he was on his way to the Israeli Embassy to seek shelter.

It’s a darned interesting story and there is very little of substance on the web about it. The LA Times has one photo of Mr. Moshe and NO ARCHIVED STORIES WHATSOEVER. How likely does that seem to you? Isn’t that like the BBC claiming that they had lost all their video from 9/11/01. Which they did claim.

An odd story.

A very well-protected olive farm

Nothing weird going on here, eh? —

Mysterious Olive Farm Deflates Balloon Companies

Olive Farm plays hardball with balloon businesses

Updated 12:00 PM PST, Sun, Jan 30, 2011

The owners of a mysterious, fortified olive farm near Indio have used lawsuits and other legal intimidation tactics to virtually shut down the Coachella Valley‘s once-thriving hot air balloon industry, according to various newspaper reports.

JCM Farming Inc. has sued 14 hot air balloon companies, charging them with violating property rights by flying low over its high-security compound near Jackson Street at Avenue 54. An airplane services company was also sued because its plane — dropping sterile insects under contract for the U.S. Department of Agriculture — flew too low over the orchard.

The Desert Sun newspaper reported that the Federal Aviation Administration has twice investigated the farm’s complaints, and twice found that the balloons were not violating aviation law.

But the hardball legal tactics have caused 13 small hot air balloon companies to either go out of business, receive default court orders not to fly in the area because they did not challenge the suit, or promise not to fly balloons in the Coachella Valley. One Riverside County balloon owner has declared bankruptcy after spending $130,000 to fight the farm’s lawsuit.

“I know we haven’t done anything wrong or illegal.” said Magical Adventure Balloon Rides owner Dennis Barrett to the newspaper. “Even so, I have spent over $130,000 on legal fees to date and I haven’t had my day in court yet.”

JCM Farming has also threatened to sue advertisers who formerly paid the balloon companies for signage, and even threatened suit against neighboring landowners if they allowed balloons to land near the farm.

The legal barrage has virtually ended hot air balloon flights in the Palm Springs resort area, a onetime major tourist attraction where it was not uncommon to see as many as 20 colorful balloons aloft on calm winter days, reported the Desert Sun.

JCM Farming’s compound is an 80-acre olive field in the fields southwest of Indio, surrounded by a 24-foot-high, four-foot-thick security wall. Guard turret-like structures, possibly ornamental, sit at the corners of the plot, and signs warn of an armed response with no exit, reported the Desert Sun.

Court records indicate that the company is based in Solana Beach and was owned, at one time, by spouses John C. Marrelli and Carol Marrelli and their daughter, Mailena, reported the Daily Sun. The father has apparently died in recent years.

No employee there would speak to the newspaper. The company’s attorney, Andrew Rauch, told the newspaper that the balloons”are breaking the law. They’re violating our property rights. They’re creating a danger.”

The farm has also filed 10 lawsuits since 2000 over such alleged offenses as a neighbor’s barking dog, contractors who helped build the walled compound, and defamation against a one-time contractor who criticized the outfit.

In those lawsuits, JCM Farming has described the compound as a place “to provide a secure meeting place and retreat for VIPs, dignitary (sic) and other notable individuals and/or the companies they represent,” according to court documents reviewed by the Daily Sun.

“The Project also provides a secure location for JCM to conduct research and development of a highly confidential nature, for which numerous patents have been applied for, are pending, and have been granted,” JCM Farms said in a court document.

Its attorney, Rauch, would not tell the newspaper what type of research is conducted there, other than to say the activity complies with agricultural zoning rules.

But he complained that the low-flying balloons allowed passengers to look into the private area. “It’s like a guy standing on top of your fence with a pair of binoculars and a camera looking at you.”

The company has also complained about the noise from balloon’s air heaters, and says the flights should be eliminated because the airspace near Indio has become congested. But that has not stopped JCM Farms from applying for a permit for a private helipad, reported the paper.