All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Barron Marvelous

Note the similar, gothic style between Ingersoll Lockwood's 1893 book "Baron Trump's Marvellous Underground Journey" and John Bellairs'
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – Until today, I had never heard of the 1891 book Extraordinary Experiences of Little Captain Doppelkop on the Shores of Bubbleland, written by one Ingersoll Lockwood.

Why did that obscure children’s book title – from over a century ago – capture my attention? Because it is one of the many odd and strangely prescient books Lockwood wrote.

And that name, “Doppelkop”? The nickname of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper’s Black Lodge doppelganger is known as “DoppelCoop.

Now, I have not read this book, obviously, only having just learned about it. But “Bubbleland” is curious, only in that the Black Lodge enters our earthly plane via the detonation of the first atomic bomb at Trinity site at White Sands, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. Reddit fans of Twin Peaks speculate that DoppelCoop is trying to kick off a nuclear war to allow more Black Lodge denizens to enter our world.

The weirdest image of that explosion is that the first bubble-shaped images of the Trinity test show, as observers of the test recalled “the ball of fire start up like a tremendous bubble or nob-like mushroom …” It could be argued that “Bubbleland” is connected to portals and time travel – accessed via the splitting of the atom. Just a theory …

But there’s more to this Ingersoll Lockwood (who appears to have been a real person, by all accounts, with titles in the Library of Congress) …

So, when I first saw a viral story being bandied about on the internets about an alleged 1893 book titled Baron Trump’s Marvellous Underground Journey (illustrated by Charles Howard Johnson), I chalked it up to a bit of “fake news” fakery. Curious, yes. But true? Probably not.

Now I am convinced of the book’s reality, after reading more about it today, specifically a Huffington Post article headlined: “Internet freaks over 19th-century books featuring boy named ‘Baron Trump.’

Yes, I recalled that story in The New Yorker last September, where writer Paul Collins offered up “Trump and Clinton: The Victorian novel,” a piece about an “anonymously authored and utterly forgotten tale ‘The Odd Trump,’ from 1875” … “a ripe bit of Victorian preposteriousness” which included “ghostly sleepwalkers! Bloody duels! Secret sliding doors!” and the hero? Trump, of course. And Trump’s nemesis? A character named “Clinton,” of course.

That was weird.

But it doesn’t compare to this Baron Trump book about a boy by that name who is “an aristocratically wealthy young man living in Castle Trump.” Whoa? What!?! Like President Trump’s son, Barron Trump? (Note that the title includes "marvelous" with an extra "l" and "Baron" with a single "r").

In Lockwood’s novels (which also includes The Travels and Adventures of Little Baron Trump and His Wonderful Dog Bulger) young Baron Trump – and the accompanying illustrations feature a child who looks not unlike the president’s son – is said to have a “very active brain” and, according to a Newsweek piece on this extraordinary find, “is bored of the luxurious lifestyle he has grown so accustomed to.”

Continuing, Newsweek notes that “In a twist of fate, Trump visits Russia to embark on an extraordinary adventure that will shaped the rest of his life.”

Looking at the chapters of the Underground Journey book, one notices some very interesting bits of information regarding Baron Trump’s journey (mapped out for him by his mentor “Don Fum”) is that he travels specifically to “Northern Russia” on the “westerly slope of the Urals,” having departed Castle Trump via (Saint) Petersburg. It is at the location, noted in “Don Fum’s manuscript,” that the portal leading to this subterranean realm is reached via “The Giants’ Well.” This is the entrance to the “World within a world.”

In fairness, it appears that "Baron" is a title, not a first name. In the story, he introduces himself to a Russian woman as “world-renowned traveler, Wilhelm Heinrich Sebastian von Troomp, commonly called ‘Little Baron Trump.’”

Anyway, back to Twin Peaks ... the reference to the "Giants' Well" sort of reminds me of the sinister, Black Lodge woodsman who repeats “this is the water and this is the well …” whilst the “Giant” is a good spirit in the White Lodge, trying to prevent bad things from happening, like a nuclear war.

Eerily, Lockwood's final literary contribution was an 1896 pamphlet titled 1900: Or The Last President. Recall that it was in 1896 that William McKinley, the governor of Ohio, sucessfully ran for president - America's 25th president - only to be assassinated a year after the predictions in Lockwood's final book. In The Last President book, rioters show their wrath against a "Fifth Avenue hotel." Sounds like Trump Tower to me.

In fact, Newsweek notes: "The story begins with a scene from a panicked New York City in early November, describing a "state of uproar" after the election of an enormously opposed outsider candidate.

Synchromystically, the 2020 presidential election is scheduled for November 3rd - the same date used in The Last President.

Continuing: "The entire East Side is in a state of uproar," police officers shouted through the streets, warning city folk to stay indoors for the night. "Mobs of vast size are organizing under the lead of anarchists and socialists, and threaten to plunder and despoil the houses of the rich who have wronged and oppressed them for so many years."

"The Fifth Avenue Hotel will be the first to feel the fury of the mob," the novel continues, citing an address in New York City where Trump Tower now stands. "Would the troops be in time to save it?"

Today just so happens to be the 100th anniversary of the Green Corn Rebellion, here in Oklahoma. A protest led by agrarian socialists who were fed up with the idea of being sent to war by President Wilson - a man who said the U.S. would never enter what is now known as World War I. They wanted no part of a "rich man's war" fought by men who were poor. 

I should also add that President McKinley has been coming up quite a bit in recent years, at least here at Red Dirt Report.

In our August 2015 post "The red carnation," on September 6, 1901, Polish immigrant, anarchist and assassin Leon Czolgosz shot President McKinley during his visit to the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley succumbed to his gunshot wound and died on September 14, 1901. (As a side note, in a scene in a recent episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, Sarah Palmer, mother of Laura Palmer, is inexplicably watching lions devour a buffalo on the African plains).

It was in 1917 - 100 years ago - that the highest peak in North America, found in Alaska, was named Mount McKinley, although native Alaskans long called it Denali. That name was made its official name (despite protestations by folks in McKinley's home state of Ohio) in 2015 by President Barack Obama.

I should also note in my April 6, 2017 Dust Devil Dreams post "Desaparecidos (Upside down)" that I note everything from Twin Peaks to doppelgangers to portals to disappearing Brazilian occultists to the strange case of writer Ambrose Bierce vanishing somewhere south of the Rio Grande in 1913. 

It just so happens that I just reviewed a new book by Walter Bosley titled Destination: Carcosa, a fascinating book that speculates about what Ambrose Bierce might have really known involving the strange activities of the mysterious "airships" of 1896-97 (when McKinley was a hot item, politically speaking - and The Last President was released - a book that includes a man named "Pence" in the president's cabinet) and possibly much more, including "gateways" to other realms. 

The mysterious Ingersoll Lockwood, who may or may not have been into spiritualism, which was all the rage at the time, may have been in touch with occult sources we don’t fully understand.


In an April 2016 piece in The New Yorker by Amy Davidson Sorkin, titled “Donald Trump’s Nuclear Uncle,” the president’s uncle, John Trump, was an engineering professor at MIT and a physicist who, according to his nephew, “used to tell me about nuclear before nuclear was nuclear,” and that it was John Trump whom the FBI called in 1943 when inventor Nikola Tesla died in a room at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. They wanted Professor Trump to examine the papers in Tesla’s room to see if there was anything to be concerned about.

Writes Davidson Sorkin: “Professor Trump examined Tesla’s papers and equipment, and, in a written report, told the F.B.I. not to worry: Tesla’s “thoughts and efforts during at least the past 15 years were primarily of a speculative, philosophical, and somewhat promotional character,” but “did not include new, sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.” 

So said John Trump, the uncle of a particularly "promotional character" who seems to be unlike any celebrity/politician we have ever come across. It's almost as if Trump acts the way he does because he knows how things turn out in the end. That he has foreknowledge of certain things.

And as for the Trump family, some think Donald Trump and Barron Trump are "time travelers," thanks to Uncle John's federally-sanctioned access to Tesla's research.

This, of course, brings to mind our previous writings on the Back to the Future links between villain Biff Tannen and Donald Trump. Tannen becomes wealthy and powerful after finding the Grays Sports Almanac giving sports stats for sporting events between 1950 and 2000. 

In my post "There is a light that never goes out (Hell Valley)," I remind readers of that bit of dialogue in Back to the Future Pt. II where Marty McFly and Doc Brown realize they are in an Alternate 1985. Recall that the DeLorean time machine Doc built is fueled by stolen plutonium. Plutonium that may have been produced at the Hanford nuclear site on the Columbia River in Washington state - a locale that plays into Mark Frost's The Secret History of Twin Peaks.

"It's like we're in Hell or something," Marty says, looking at the dystopian, alternate version of their California hometown. Doc responds, "Oh it's Hill Valley, although I can't imagine Hell being much worse."

I added: "Hill Valley under Tannen (Trump) becomes a veritable HELL Valley."

Adds Doc: "Time traveling is just too dangerous."


A week or so ago, while visiting my brother in Alabama, I noted some old John Bellairs books on his bookshelf - the ones with the gothic Edward Gorey illustrations. He and I are big fans of Bellairs' young adult gothic horror novels. 

Anyway, Bellairs had been on my mind a lot. I still have a half-dozen of his novels with that Gorey artwork. Anyway, the last Bellairs novel to be released before his death in March 1991 was The Secret of the Underground Room, published in 1990. 

In a terrific post at The Millions website, headlined Why the link between Edward Gorey and John Bellairs remains unbreakable,” writer Matt Domino writes the following - and incredibly includes a True Detective sync:
“In the second episode of the first season of True Detective, entitled “Seeing Things,” the characters Rust Cohle and Marty Hart are investigating the murder of Dora Lange in the year 1995. Their investigation leads them to a burnt-out, crumbling church in the middle of a desolate Louisiana swampland. Upon exiting the car, Rust Cohle (played by Matthew McConaughey) looks to his side and sees a flock of birds rise from the ground. The birds soon begin to synchronize their movement, forming a sign or symbol in the air. For a moment, Rust looks puzzled — or as if he has experienced deja vu. Then, without a word, he moves on, and the detectives continue toward the burnt-out church.

Three years ago, while I was watching that specific scene in that specific episode, it immediately reminded me of something, but I couldn’t place what it was. Watching the scene play out, the setting itself gave the scene a sense of foreboding, while the random hallucination added a thrilling sense of mystery and the fantastic. It reminded me of books I had read as a child — young adult horror books. Ones with remarkable covers that had frightened and enchanted me as a boy.

But the names escaped me. I finally found relief after a series of Google searches (as one does). The books that one brief scene in True Detective had dredged from my memory were by a young adult author named John Bellairs. And the cover art that stood so vividly in my mind, pen and ink drawings full of shadowy forms and eerie faces, were by the artist and illustrator Edward Gorey.

I can totally relate, Mr. Domino. Bellairs was fantastic. And all the better with those Gorey illustrations. Yet, strangely, the two men never really knew one another. And yet, like David Lynch and Mark Frost, they complimented one another beautifully. 

So, when I saw that Victorian-styled font for Baron Trump’s Marvellous Underground Journey, the word “underground” looked identical to the way “underground appeared on the cover of the original version of 1990’s The Secret of the Underground Room, which involved brave, young protagonist Johnny Dixon and his friend Professor Childermass going to “Glastonbury, England” to battle a long-dead knight who kidnapped a friend and who wants to rule the world.

These are most assuredly strange times, dear reader. And here at Red Dirt Report we will continue to offer our insight and analysis on rapidly changing events, often viewed through sync.

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK