Seattle Europe and Greece
Thirty Two Years after King Solomon's Gate
Knowledge of religion began very late in life for me. But its practice and application in life began sometime before my memory did. My parents both lived exemplary Christian lives in every single respect, they just never really talked about religion much. My mothers favorite expression about religion was "Don't wear it on your sleeve". Their example in the practice of life was, however, crystal clear. The family went to the Falmouth Episcopalian church on Easter regularly for a few years, and some years we got there maybe another half dozen times. It was quietly assumed that, as a member of the family, "I believed", anything else was completely unthinkable. During my early teenage years I went to the Methodist church in Cumberland by myself for a few months to explore the assumption. I was even a member of the choir for a short time. But sports soon replaced my formal education in the scriptures, and then of course came Rock and Roll, Revolution, and the Sixties. "John" in my mind, was a guy also named "Glen". By the time I got to college, the only thing I really remembered about the bible was that Daniel escaped the Lions den and that was where my name came from. Later on the Name began to really make sense :)
I didn't volunteer to go to the Gezer archaeology dig because of any particular religious zeal. I went to Tel Gezer because one of the prettiest girls in my class was going (Joanne Hanson 74) and I was hoping to get to know her (yea ok biblically probably too). She canceled at the last minute and I went anyway. (Probably better no Israeli Desert than one with me hot on her tail). So it was that I found myself sitting in the middle of the Israeli Desert in 1971 with 150 assorted Biblical scholars, archeologist and other people devoted to dusty subjects that all seemed to pale next to a good ole student riot against the Vietnam war replete with tear gas, clubs, cops, and oodles of excitement to go around. (Riots always seemed to go with Romance in those days). As Bill Dever began his speech, I was sitting there wondering what the heck I was doing there anyway.
It was not an inspiring speech. It was not supposed to be. If any of those scholars had had a clue what he was asking, then the competition for the spot would have probably tried the values of the best of them. He made it sound like the supreme sacrifice from the start. "We need three volunteers to dig a ditch and your not going to learn ANY archeology but it will really help us out". No volunteers of course, everyone was there at great expense precisely to learn archeology (everyone except me of course). "This is going to be really hard work, we need to dig down six meters on a five meter by five meter square, its all been dug before, so you are just moving dirt". One graying minister volunteered. "We hope there's something interesting at the bottom but we just really aren't sure." A chubby middle aged Opera singer stood up and walked to the front to join the minister. Silence. A long awkward silence. Several more requests later Bill Dever was showing exasperation, he knew he was offering the opportunity of a lifetime. Then giving vent to his exasperation, Bill Dever spoke those magic words.... "COME ON PEOPLE... we really need this one"...."THIS IS ONE FOR THE CAUSE". ...the words could have just come from Abbey Hoffman, Rene Davis, Tom Hayden, a Yippie or even a Zippie. It was just too much for me. I shot my hand up, with a "Yea I'll dig your ditch". I walked up to the front of the tables and shook hands with my new partners. Together, we were the hands for Yigael Yadin's vision. Together that summer we produced the first objective scientific evidence of the Bibles relationship to actual human events.
It would be decades before I understood its personal implications, or even considered that there were any. I would periodically say to associates over the years that I had played a role in proving the bible. Usually their attention would begin to wane about when I started to explain what Solomon's gate was. They would sort of nod with a "That's cool", and a "whose playing at the dance on Saturday ?" or something similar. I relegated it to the same class and went on about my life with a particular and fulfilling enjoyment, often at odds with its circumstances. I didn't really notice it at the time, but my life took a turn that summer. A turn toward the unusual, even toward the bizarre. A blizzard of strange coincidences over the decades became something I tried not to talk about. Weirdness is something to hide to in modern life.
Then A&E made a movie called "Digging for Truth". I remember watching it for the first time and challenging the TV to talk about it, and being delighted and shocked when it did. At the peak of middle age, I suddenly realized that the most important thing I ever did, or would do, in life, was to dig a ditch at the age of 19.
The title "Digging for Truth" was laden with Irony and coincidence for me. I was in the middle of a years long battle with the FBI over the true facts of the largest, longest, terrorism case in history, spending my time in Libraries and my money on databases and investigators. I was still, it seemed, "Digging for Truth" in a world that seemed full of nothing but Government lies.
Slowly it began to dawn on me that here was a possible, if improbable, explanation for the endless series of wild, improbable coincidences that had puzzled me for the last thirty years. There were so many of them that I had long ago stopped telling people about even the short list. Why me ? I kept asking myself. If anybody had told me the stories I had, I would have written them off as crazy or a liar in a New York minute. But I had been there, seen it and experienced it for myself, I knew it was all real. I had jumped from Gacy's truck, shook hands with the shooter in the days before columbine, gotten stuck in the greyhound station in Boulder on Christmas night 1996 etc ad infinitum. I just had no logical explanations. Christian dogma was full of such stuff, even if I always took that stuff with a double dose of salt myself. I certainly had never come up with any workable explanations myself...so?
I had carried a bible around with me for six years. Ever since the year when the Unabom case started for me. I had never read it, but was always intending to read it when the time was right in life. I decided to go back to Israel to a dig run by an old friend, and take the bible I had been carrying with me, and read it during the trip. What better place to read a Gideon than on the road to Jerusalem.
I interrupted my packing for the trip to watch the movie "Dogma" which was playing on TV. It was a hoot. The irreverence for me was a total delight. I suspected that the movie was probably closer to reality than the dry sanitized versions of religious events we were always getting. If there were people who were really hooked in to other worldly things then I figured they probably had to be a little off the beam compared to regular folk. The movie really did start me to thinking about the issues involved in a refreshing way.
I was pondering the issue of a false Gods, the golden calf, and other religious issues brought up by the movie, so I decided there was no time like the present to start. I opened the bible I had been carrying for so long and started to read it. Genesis seemed like a stretch from what I had heard, so I did not start at the beginning. I started at the book in which I felt a personal stake, One Kings of course. One Kings contains the Solomonic passages proven at Gezer thirty years ago partially with the sweat of my back. I was 19 years old at the time. The temperature at the bottom of the Solomonic square hit 125 that summer in the direct Israeli sun. I think I can say primarily with the sweat of my back...although we each went to our physical limits on that dig.
It was a dense read. I slogged my way through a page and was exhausted by the effort. An effect that would last all the way through Kings 1, but have not experienced on any other set of passages since.
The doorbell rang. My mail was here. Due to my involvement in Unabom, I have for years maintained a postal drop in Denver and had my mail forwarded to me wherever I was living. Since I would be gone for 4 months, I had them send me my mail before I left. During the conversation with Mail Boxes etc to arrange the drop, they had mentioned a package that they questioned, it looked suspicious to them. I wasn't really worried, the site had been up for four years and nothing dangerous had arrived so far, so I just told them to forward it on to me and I would check it out.
I spotted it immediately as I opened the mail box. What was this? Wrapped in a brown paper bag was what appeared to be a stiff, very heavy package. As I picked it up it seemed too heavy. It really was suspicious. It was so heavy it felt like it could easily contain a pipe. Whoa. I tried to see who it was from. The return address was a Kevin somebody in Orlando Florida. I didn't know anybody in Orlando Florida? I hadn't ordered anything I was aware of*. The package started to give me a really bad feeling. What should I do ? I did not really want to open it. My lord it really felt like it could be a bomb or something. In four years of running Unabombers.com this was the first package I had ever received which seemed suspicious to me. I decided to test it. I opened the window. threw it high in the air and it landed with a thump on the concrete 20 feet below the window. Well, it didn't go off, so what should I do now? I decided to consult the police. There was no way I was going to open this one. I called the bomb squad.
I didn't want to start a fuss and disturb my neighbors so I asked if they could QUIETLY send one guy out, without the sirens and the whole circus. They said no. We follow procedures when responding to a suspicious package call. "Well then could I just bring it down and have you look at it". They emphatically advised against that. "Well wait a minute, let me try to confirm the return address first", I said. I went out to look at it and tried to look up the "Kevin Pagan" guy in Orlando and got nothing. I called back. "Well I guess you had better send them". I told them why I was worried. You see, "I run this web site named Unabombers.com". That got her attention. She asked me to describe the package. "Well wait a minute, it's out back let me go look at it". She advised me not to go near it. "Lady I just threw it out a window and it didn't go off so its not going to go off just looking at it", I said. Then I had to explain my test. It didn't seem to make much sense to her, it still does to me :). I carried my cell phone out back and began to measure the package and give her the details. When I got to the address I read off the "Pagan" name and then got to the written "666" in the zip code. "Maam? Maybe you better send somebody who really knows what they are doing" :). No rush I said, it's just sitting out back by itself.
It took them forever to get to my location. After a while I chuckled, realizing they were probably pouring over my web site trying to make heads or tails of it. During the wait I realized that "Pagan" and "666" clearly implied religion, not Unabom. I had put up a page on my site about Solomon's Gate with my picture... I changed my mind as to its possible motivation. When a bomb squad officer named John Lewitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) arrived, I tried to explain my new theory. He was "into" the bible he said, so I invited him in and showed him the Gezer page. "Then your going to love this", I said.
At this point I had little doubt. I knew this one was a bomb, everything seemed to point to it. When Sergeant Ken Crow informed me it was a book I was stunned and a little embarrassed at all the fuss. They were very nice about it, I must say, and told me I had done the right thing. This had all the warning signs they said. I was right to call them. I still felt like an idiot :). I still wanted them to open it and they did. Then I got a look a the title. "The Macintosh Bible".
I had spent 20 years of my life reading yards and yards of technical gobbley gook about Macintosh computers, and never even an hour reading the central religious work of our time. Then in the midst of personal reflections about false gods, as I begin to read the Bible for the first time in my life, its a "Macintosh Bible" that gets me to call the bomb squad for the first time ever.
In my mind, as I reflected on it, this one rapidly rose up the ranks of the long list of strange coincidences of my life. I continued my packing. I started to walk to the store later that evening to get some supplies. As I walked, a street light went out exactly as I walked underneath it. Not an uncommon event in Seattle. As I continued, the exact same thing happened at the exact same spot on the next light. I noticed. I kept walking. When the third went out directly above me I was impressed. I kept walking. I got to the fourth light and pointed my finger up at it at the right spot, expecting it to go out....and nothing. Oh well. I continued to walk. It would be a few more months before I got to the passages that say "Tho shalt not test God". I turned the corner and in the next block, it happened again, then again on the very next street light, then nothing. I got my supplies and as I returned to my apartment several of the lights (not all) went back on, again right as I walked precisely underneath.
I guess it could have happened to anybody. It was just a strange day for it to happen to me.
I hopped on a plane to London, wondering what the trip would be like. London was fun, Stonehenge amazing, Paris interesting. On the road from Paris to Marseille I started thinking about seeing the Solomonic gate at Hazor, and why it had proved so difficult to get any evidence at all of King David, while there was so much evidence of Solomon now in the archeological record. The early Kings passages I was reading talked a great deal about King David. The drive started getting a little long. I decided that "budget be damned" I was going to pull off at the very next town and cut the rug. It was time to find a bar with a band and cut loose a little. The next town turned out to be Avallon France. When I saw the square I realized, I had stopped there 30 years earlier on my way to dig up the Gezer Gate. It had one open bar near the town square. A local band was playing that night. A really really really excellent blues band. After a few drinks and a few songs I was really enjoying myself. Then I saw the posters plastered all over the walls with the large words "King David!!! The lead singer's, name was "David Curci and the "King" was for BB King. To get an impression of what a great exotic evening it was in this tiny Medieval French village.. listen to his band play Stormy Monday (MP3 Format) and imagine hearing the Lyrics "Lordy have mercy on me" in the midst of amused astonishment at the very moment of spotting the big "King David" words in the 150 or so posters plastered all over the bar. Pretty funny. (King David Band)
Needless to say I kept reading, waiting and wondering what if anything was going to happen next.
I stopped in Avignon for a few days, toured the Papal palaces there. By this time I was up to 1 Kings 13. I stopped at:
When King Jeroboam heard what the man of god had cried out against the alter at Bethel, he stretch out his hand from the altar and said "Seize him". But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up so that he could not pull it back" (Paralyzed in some versions).
later in the same passages: "So the man of God interceded with the Lord, and the King's hand was restored and became as it was before".
I headed across southern France toward the Italian border. It was a long drive again and late at night I was looking for anyplace to pull off the road for some sleep. I found a dirt road with an alcove and drove in a half a mile, turned around in some guys driveway, and parked in an alcove back near the road to get some shuteye. I turned the van off and went to climb over the seats to get in the back. Both legs went numb with ferocious painful cramps. Must have been the long drive. I went to open the door to get out and could not move my legs. After three attempts to move, I stopped to catch my breath. I was quite alarmed. Could I be having a stroke?
At that point a small car from the driveway came racing down the dirt road, slowing and reving his engine to the max as he passed. He roared out onto the road, drove several hundred feet down the road and returned gunning the engine all the time. He roared back past me to his house, spun the car around throwing dirt and repeated a second pass blowing his horn. As he came around for a third I split. My legs were suddenly completely normal. The car followed me for miles racing up to my rear bumper and pulling off. I was seriously concerned the maniac might have a gun. He eventually turned around and I pulled off another 50 miles down the road, and hopped in back...without difficulty.
Needless to say I kept reading, waiting and wondering what if anything was going to happen next.
I drove through Italy on the Old Roman roads winding endlessly through the mountains, one hairpin turn after another, until finally I came to a wide spot in the road. A valley stretching down to the coastal plain. I turned right and headed for the seashore of the "Italian Riviera" stopping at a campground.
Early in the evening I resumed reading Kings over a glass of wine
at the Campground restaurant. The passages seemed so dense, ladened with
meanings that took time to think over. And now I was stuck on one in particular.
1 Kings 20:35.
"Then one of the members of the prophetic guild said to another at the Lords request, "strike me now". But when the man refused to strike him, he said to him, "Because you did not listen to the command of the Lord, when you leave me a Lion will kill you". When he left him, the Lion met him and killed him"
Now wait a minute I said to myself. Could I do this? Not really it seemed. It started a dozen questions in my head. The one had not said to the other "This is the word of the Lord" or nothing like that. Maybe the guy had no idea. Should I accommodate every Masochistic Son of a Bitch that walked? What if I lived in New York next to an S and M bar ? My knuckles would wear out. Is this really the Lords way? Did the man deserve it cause he did other things, or did the Lord just not really like this guy that much. What if he asked me to do the same? Wasn't this the exact phraseology of your common everyday lunatic? "I shot the president cause I heard voices in my head and I trusted in the Lord"?. So if I ever went crazy I should just "go with it"? Come on, get real. I don't strike people and I don't expect to get struck. But still, if this came to me as a test what would I do? Was I going to be damned for being in my eyes good and correct in my dealings with my fellow man? Eaten by a Lion no less? I finally decided that for some reason the Lord seemed to like me so he probably would not ask such a thing of me. So far, anyway, life had been nothing short of a blast. So somebody up there had to like me. Then there was all the near escapes of my life. I had made a lark out of courting danger and skipping through it, often stupidly, often humorously, most of the time in a near perfect imitation of an Inspector Clouseau movie. If the Lord didn't like me, at least he must find me kind of humorous and worth having around for a good laugh once in while I thought. After all did I or did I not have a role and a place in deciding my own life. Was I a separate entity or not?
Since it seemed I would not have much say in the matter anyway, I put the Bible back in the van and went into the bar for some more wine. It had been a wonderful friendly place so far and I had seemed to be immediately accepted by the folks there. Dancing it up with the elder daughter had seemed to get me some good points. I was struck and surprised by the warmth and the fun of the of the people there and the Mother/Owner with her shock of read hair was taking good care of me. I had driven all the way from the French Riviera on the secondary Roads only, it had been exhausting. This was the first wide spot in the endless mountains of the road and I simply turned right toward the ocean. Then the next day I had discovered it was Albenga, the site of where the Albengsie Crusade had started. It had some great museums to visit
Later that night after I took a swim on the Italian Riviera, and showered. I was sitting with some people from the campground on the rocks near the opening to the sea and I looked over at the seat where I had sat reading and considering the troubling passage. Right there above my head, where I had sat was the 20 foot metal banner spread across the entrance ..Proudly displaying "Camping Lionetta". The lady with the red hair... her name was Mama Lionetta :) I guess better a Lionetta than a Lion :).
If a reader finds this who can take a picture of the Lionetta Campground entrance banner (and Mama Lionetta!) and email it to the webmaster@KingSolomonsGate.com it would be greatly appreciated and promptly posted.
Needless to say I kept reading, waiting and wondering what if anything was going to happen next.
At last I arrived in Pisa. During my first trip to Europe on my way to the Solomonic Gate 30 years earlier, I had split from the rest of our college group in Paris and hitchhiked from Paris to Rome to "experience the real culture". In Pisa on that trip, I gave up the effort and took a night train to Rome barely making the flight to Israel much to Chaplin Don Hobson's dismay. (more like a total freakout). That night while waiting for the train I had explored Pisa, stumbled upon the tower, then took the night train into Rome. It has been a special place for me since. That morning I read the final chapter of Kings about Jehoshaphat including the phrase:
"In everything he walked in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them: he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord...." "He rid the land of the" (abomination of) "the rest of the male prostitutes."
That evening, I re-explored Pisa, wandering among its amazing buildings with Giant Doors and oversized windows. Suddenly and in a very shocking manner, I was crudely propositioned by a transsexual male prostitute with breasts no less. Later that evening, as I walked across the plaza in front of the tower of Pisa I shook my head thinking of the incident and said aloud to myself "...what an Abomination !!!". Right at that moment, late at night, in the middle of the square in front of the leaning tower, a seagull swooped down at me and began to fly circles above my head. 15 feet above my head the gull circled 20 times and more screeching all the time. For some reason at that point I said aloud "Yea and you want them out of your church too don't you". (I had been thinking of the Pedophile Priest issue whilst headed toward Rome.) The gull flew off over a nearby building out of sight. It took a slow loop around the outside Rim of the plaza, and then returned for yet another twenty screeching circles. By the time it flew off I was dizzy from turning around, and laughing like a maniac at the sight. Some local tower maintenance workers saw the spectacle, I have no idea what they thought. I walked off bewildered and amazed and spent the next day thinking about nothing but what had happened.
The experience left me with a number of questions. What was the meaning of the second set of circles. Was it a response to what I said? Second time in Pisa? Things had gotten pretty weird but could I really call it divine? I was never "spoken too" (and can still say that:) ), maybe it was just a crazy gull and another weird coincidence. A nest in the middle of the squares lawn...unlikely. But what did it mean, or did it mean anything at all ? A response to what I said. Was the second pass and pause of the circling a rejection of what I said, a rejection of me?. What was going on here anyway.
The next day I drove to Rome and began a week of exploring its wonders. My first stop was the Vatican. I parked the van across from the Vatican, and went to get some lira. At the Bank door I was stumped. Some kind of crazy circular door with buttons left me dumbfounded and I could not get in. As I stood there in puzzlement, a priest walked up and said in American "let me help you". He pushed something and we were in. I stood in line for a time, then the teller said something in Italian, then in English, "your number ?" What number ? He pointed to a machine that dispensed numbers. I was again dumbfounded when the same effeminate priest walked over to assist. He punched the button and pulled the number out. His face sort of fell, I thought, as he handed me the number. The number was 86. 86 means you are 86'd out of the bar to me. It startled me. What was this? Did it mean the Priest was 86'd (as in thrown out of a bar), or was I 86'd. It was my number after all. It left me more puzzled than ever.
Rome is a noisy city. Too noisy for me to sleep in a "RV". So I drove back up to the fields of Tuscany to find a camping spot. Tuscany is beautiful, pastoral, and very very pleasant. The next morning I awoke to the sounds and views of a Tuscan pastoral valley. I opened the door of the van and decided to spend the morning continuing my Biblical reading because it was just such a nice spot I didn't really want to leave. Just as I started to read a strange large fly appeared in the doorway with a long black body of an inch and a half, and another half inch stinger off its tail. It hovered right at the very center of the doorway as I watched it. Initially I was worried about getting nailed by the nasty stinger but it just kept hovering there right in the center of the doorway facing inward at me. About five minutes into the event I began to realize that this was another strange one. It would occasionally swoop off to chase a fly out of the doorway, and then immediately return to its sentinel spot. I started to studiously ignore it and continue reading, occasionally glancing up at it. The stinger was always pointed out the doorway. It seemed after a quarter an hour that it was somehow watching me. Then after an amazing, ...astounding half an hour of this, it just few off.
I described the event to a Roman some days later over a bottle of wine. He assured me that "Yes, Yes, they have those kind of flies in Italy and they do that." Well...maybe...you couldn't prove it by me. To me it seemed and I must admit, I still think it was, an answer to my question. I was not 86'd, the non communication communication it appeared would continue. It was just too strange.
After Rome came Pompeii, and the schedule for the dig's start was getting close. I was driving and seeing what I could fit in, rather than reading. I crossed over the south of Italy, grabbed a ferry from Brindisi to Greece, and then stopped in a small costal resort town of Paralia Greece just out side of Thessaloniki.. Time was now critically short. Should I grab a flight from Athens or Istanbul, or did I have what it took to drive all the way around through Syria, or was I taking this Daniel thing a little to far? The Lions Den is one thing, yet another for an American drive a van with "Solomonic Express" painted on the side straight through Syria. I spent three days there, and in the end, I walked into a beautiful local church dedicated to some Saint whose name was lost in Greek to me to contemplate and make up my mind. I had gotten to know some of the locals, and had proudly told them of what I did at Gezer and it created a bit of a stir in the small and very Religious town. For the first time in my life, the Gate made me a sort of mini celebrity, even if it was only among a few locals in a tiny Greek town. It is to that which I ascribe what happened next. As I rose to leave the church, this tiny little wizened little old lady walked up to me with eyes as big as a pizza and said "You Papaaa", "You Papaaa", "I see", "I see", making the motion of a crest around her head. Interesting event given the circumstances of the trip... Sweet little old lady, but very mistaken I suspect.
The next leg of the Trip gets its own page
Upcoming: "Flowers and Onions... a nearly pornographic prophetic dream"
* I had actually ordered a piece of software three months earlier. I did not realize that the offer included a free Macintosh Bible. Three months later, even the main order had entirely slipped my mind. Why it took so long to get to me, or why the guy packaged it like he did I have not a clue. You would have to ask whomever it was that sent it to me...and sent it to me three months late.
**See Pictures Hazor01
03 taken about five blocks from the
little old ladys church. Photos looking away from the beech
This is just one of the Paranormal Events surrounding
King Solomon's Gate
The first Archaeological Proof of the history of the Torah, Bible, and Quran