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Hold the line

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Notorious outlaw Bonnie Parker, of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame, featured here, along with gun used by the infamous bandits killed in an ambush in Gibsland, Louisiana in 1934 (just outside 94th meridian).
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CLAREMORE, Okla. – A few months back I read Annie Jacobsen’s fascinating book Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis.

The book was fascinating, tackling the controversial government-sanctioned programs into ESP, remote viewing and the utilization of psychic abilities. A chapter on the ancient Chinese practice of qigong partially inspired a Dust Devil Dreams post I subsequently wrote titled Life energy,” posted on Feb. 5, 2019.

I thought about the book as I approached Claremore, here off of Interstate 44, also called the Will Rogers Turnpike. I thought of Will Rogers as I zoomed across the Oklahoma state line, from Missouri (roughly along the line of 94 degrees west longitude) and the Toto song “Hold the Line” was synchromystically playing on my car stereo. Toto's lead singer on that debut single from 1978 - Bobby Kimball - is of interest to me because he is from Vinton, Louisiana, which is a bit over 500 miles south and also just outside the 94th meridian, but of importance in my synchromystic research.

It would seem that “lines” were the focus of this particular part of my journey between St. Louis and Oklahoma City.

What triggered the thoughts about Phenomena were the signs advertising Claremore’s fascinating J.M. Arms & Historical Museum, which is located off of old Route 66, a roadway said to inspire Americans to embrace their own “occult trip.

(Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

It was in Jacobsen’s book that she makes mention of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s interest, in the late 1980’s in which Capt. Ed Dames – a figure who has made some very odd and controversial claims over the years involving crop circles, the lost city of Atlantis, aliens and outer space dangers, usually while being interviewed by the late radio host Art Bell  – highlighted a remote viewing session where the “target assignment” was the J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum here in Claremore (once voted "Best Small Town" in Oklahoma). The remote viewer was instructed to learn more about an alleged “alien visitation” that purportedly took place at the museum.

Dames, writes Jacobsen, “noted that aliens likely visited this museum to learn about human weapons technology; the gallery of guns included ‘firearms from the 1300’s,’ as well as ones used by ‘Pancho Villa and Pretty Boy Floyd.’

Well, this certainly grabbed my attention at the time I was reading that chapter. I filed the info away in the back of my mind, not knowing that I would be reminded of it, seeing the sign for the museum out there on the turnpike.

So, I wound my way into Claremore, never really having spent much time in Will Rogers’ hometown before.

So, running into a dry cleaners on the main street, near the offices of the Claremore Daily Progress, I got directions to the museum, which proved somewhat martial and imposing, complete with a tank – not surprisingly – parked out front.

As I walked in, and absorbed the sight of all those armaments (“the largest privately-held firearms collection in the WORLD,” as touted on its website), coming from over the past 600-plus years, I wondered, “well, if I was an alien, I might be drawn to this museum as well, at least as a way to learn what makes humans tick.”

Yes, we are warlike. I think we have made that perfectly clear to any others in the universe who may be keeping tabs on what those puny earthlings are up to. It may be quite a while yet until we are invited to join the “Galactic Federation,” as it were.

I should mention that Claremore, Oklahoma is no stranger to odd, aerial phenomena. A glance at, which catalogues UFO sightings in North America, highlights about a dozen reported in and around Claremore in the past decade or more.

An older woman at the front was pleasant and answered my questions. She seemed surprised when I explained why I dropped by. She later said that two women who were “ghost hunters” requested to investigate reported hauntings in the museum. She said the women were turned away. 

Davis Museum curator Jason Schubert was on duty this particular day and the woman taking tickets and answering questions suggested I speak to him regarding my questions.

I told Schubert about the bit in Phenomena and that the government allegedly sent remote viewers – psychically – to the museum in the late 1980’s, following reports of alien visitation in this very museum.

As I recounted this to Schubert his expression never changed. I wasn’t sure if he had already heard about this or not. As it turned out he had not. He didn’t seem to want to talk about it all. I thought this odd for a man whose place of work had been highlighted in Anne Jacobsen’s book a – a book that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

“You seemed nonplussed about the statement I just made to you,” I told Schubert.

“Well, I just don’t believe in that stuff,” he stated, matter-of-factly, not a hint of a smile on his face.

Clearly I would get nowhere discussing the matter with the museum curator. But he was polite enough to point out the Pancho Villa and Pretty Boy Floyd weapons that Ed Dames noted in his log that were mentioned in that chapter in Phenomena.

Pretty Boy Floyd and his weapon of choice. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd was a Georgia native who grew up in Akins, Oklahoma (35°30′27″N 94°40′7″W) in Sequoyah County and would become a dangerous bank robber and gangster during the Depression Era. He would be killed by federal agents in East Liverpool, Ohio in 1934. East Liverpool, on the Ohio River and border with West Virginia, is in the vicinity of an area known for "high strangeness." Floyd would later be buried in Akins (again, on the 94th meridian) and draw the biggest crowd to his funeral in nearby Sallisaw - between 20 and 40,000 people!), the biggest in state history!

I also noted Jesse James' gun. James was the infamous bank and train robber and Confederate sympathizer and "bushwhacker" from western Missouri who would allegedly die in St. Joseph, Missouri (also on the 94th meridian) in 1882.

Jesse James' Smith & Wesson revolver on display at the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

One has to wonder with so many weapons in one place - many linked with horrific violence and death - whether negative energy has attached itself to many of the weapons on display, leading to the aforementioned accusations of the museum being haunted - or that entities from another place or dimension - visited the museum to gain more insight into that certain madness plaguing mankind to this very day.

That being said, it was a very interesting and informative museum and one I would recommend visiting to one and all.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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

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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

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