Jan 03, 2023 I Nick Redfern

Mysterious Deaths: Murders in Bizarre and Weird Ways

There's no doubt that over the years and decades there have been more than a few bizarre killings. Of course, there's no way I can focus on them all, but, there are some cases that really stand out. We'll begin now: Jim Keith was a noted conspiracy theorist who died under extremely weird and dubious circumstances in September 1999 after attending the annual Burning Man event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Keith had headed out to the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock, just north of Reno, Nevada, a day before the event began. While on stage, Keith lost his balance and fell to the ground. At first, Keith thought he had just badly bruised his leg. By the morning, though, Keith was in such agony that he had to call for paramedics, who were quickly on the scene and took him to the Washoe Medical Center, in Reno. Keith was told he had fractured his tibia and that he was to be prepped for surgery – which would require him to be anesthetized. This was when things got really strange. Keith put a call through to a friend in the conspiracy field – George Pickard – and told him that one of the attendants at the hospital had the same name as someone he had debated on the matter of the black helicopters, and just a few months earlier.

(Nick Redfern) Sinister and creepy characters ready to blow someone away.

Was Jim Keith murdered? Coincidence? Who knows? But, read this: at the time for surgery got closer, Keith got more and more anxious. He said to his nephew, Chris Davis: “I have a feeling that if they put me under I’m not coming back. I know if I get put under, I am going to die.” That’s exactly what happened: a blood-clot took Keith’s life. The field of conspiracy-theorizing was both stunned and suspicious by this very untimely and tragic state of affairs. An unfortunate event or a well-orchestrated murder by culprits unknown? That was the question which was specifically asked most frequently in the immediate wake of Keith’s death. It’s a question that still gets asked today. UFO authority Greg Bishop says: “I would prefer to think that there was no connection to the weird computer problems,” which was a reference to a series of hacking of Keith’s computer that he, Keith, experienced just days before he died and while he was investigating the 1997 death of Princess Diana of Wales. 

Now, let's look at a huge number of deaths - most of them connected. To many, it might sound like the ultimate plotline of the equally ultimate conspiracy-thriller: dozens of scientists and technicians – all working on highly-classified programs, and all linked to one, particular company – dead under highly controversial and unusual circumstances. It’s a controversy that ran from the early 1970s to 1991 and remains unresolved to this very day. And it all revolves around the top secret work of a company called Marconi Electronic Systems, but which, today, exists as a part of BAE Systems Electronics Limited. Its work includes the development of futuristic weaponry and spy-satellite technology. As far as can be ascertained, the first to die was a man named Robert Wilson who,, by 1971, had carved for himself a successful career with Marconi, specifically at its facility in Chelmsford, England. By that time, however, Wilson was ready to move on and take his work to a new level and to a new company. It was a decision that may have spelled his doom. One Sunday afternoon in the following year, Wilson decided to finally get around to tidying up the attic of his home. As he did so, and to his concern, he stumbled upon a stash of files from his old employer. He could not imagine how they got there and, deeply worried, contacted Marconi. A major investigation was quickly launched.

(Nick Redfern) Make it look like an accident.

I can't share with you all the deaths, but here's some: It was in March 1982 that Professor Keith Bowden, whose computer expertise made him a valuable employee of Marconi, lost his life in a car accident. His vehicle left a three-lane highway at high speed and slammed into a railway line. Death was instantaneous. In March 1985, Roger Hill, a draughtsman with Marconi, died of a shotgun blast. His death was deemed a suicide. Just months later, the body of Jonathan Wash, an employee of a department within British Telecom that had extensive links to Marconi, was found on the sidewalk of an Ivory Coast, West Africa hotel. Wash fatally fell, or was pushed, from the balcony of his room. That Wash had told friends and family he believed someone was watching and following him, and that he suspected his life was in danger, added to the suspicions that his death was not due to accident or suicide. It's about time someone re-opens the the story....

May 22, 1949 was the date on which the first U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, died. Specifically at 1:50 a.m. As will quickly become apparent, the circumstances surrounding Forrestal’s final hours are swamped in controversy. All that we know with absolute certainty is that in the early hours of the 22nd, Forrestal’s body was found on a third-floor canopy of the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Maryland. Did he take a fatal leap out of the window of the 13th floor of the hospital, his mind in turmoil and suicide on his mind? Was it an accident? Or, was Forrestal assassinated? Let’s have a look at this undeniably strange and disturbing affair. Now, let's take a trip to recent times:

From the final months of 2001 to mid-2005, near-countless people employed in the elite field of microbiology - which is defined as the study of organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye, such as bacteria and viruses - died under circumstances that some within the media and government came to view as highly suspicious and deeply disturbing in nature. Many of the deaths appeared, at first glance at least, to have down to earth explanations. But, even those that were skeptical of the notion that the deaths were suspicious in nature could not deny one overriding and important factor: many of those dead microbiologists had secret links to worldwide intelligence services, including the United States’ CIA, Britain’s MI5 and MI6; and Israel’s Mossad.    

(Nick Redfern) Microbiology and murder.

Inevitably, this mysterious collection of deaths, in such a tightly knit area of cutting-edge research, has led to a proliferation of theories in an attempt to resolve the matter. Some believe that a cell of deep-cover terrorists, from the Middle East, wiped out the leading names within the field of microbiology as part of a plot to prevent Western nations from developing the ultimate bio-weapon. A darker theory suggests that this same weapon has already been developed, and, with their work complete, the microbiologists were systematically killed, one by one, by Western Intelligence, in an effort to prevent them from being kidnapped by terrorists who may then have forced them to work for the other side. Now, let's jump back to the 1950s.

In the early evening of April 20, 1959, the lifeless body of Morris Jessup was found in his car, which was parked in the Matheson Hammock Park in Miami, Florida. The car’s engine was still running and a hosepipe, affixed to the exhaust, had been fed through the driver’s side window. Jessup was dead from the effects of carbon-monoxide. Jessup’s body was found by a man named John Goode, who worked at the park. Shocked at the sight before him, Goode quickly called the police, who arrived in no time at all. While it certainly looked as if Jessup had killed himself, not everyone was quite so sure that things were as clear cut as that. The window through which the hose was stuffed with a couple of towels, to prevent air from getting in and carbon-monoxide from getting out. Curiously, Mrs. Jessup - Rubeye – confirmed that the towels were not theirs. Why, if Jessup took his own life, did he not take towels from the family home? What would have been the point of buying new towels? And, if he did buy such towels, where was the receipt from the store they were purchased from? It certainly wasn’t in the car, or in any of Jessup’s pockets. Equally suspicious is the fact that on the very night before his death, Jessup was in a very upbeat, fired-up mood: he spent more than an hour chatting on the phone with a good friend, Dr. Manson Valentine, expressing his enthusiasm for his latest work and plans for further investigations into anti-gravity/levitation.

(Nick Redfern) Did someone want Morris Jessup gone? Forever?

Now, to a really weird story: In the summer of 2006, a large Crop Circle appeared in a field practically right next door to Chartley Castle, a centuries-old construction in the English county of Staffordshire. Not only that, strewn around the fringes of the Crop Circle was a not inconsiderable pile of large and colorful peacock feathers. While the presence of the peacock feathers at the site of the circle was interesting and odd, it wasn’t necessarily connected. Or, maybe it was; according to one person, at least. The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable recorded that: "The peacock’s tail is the emblem of an Evil Eye, or an ever-vigilant traitor. The tale is this: Argus was the chief Minister of Osiris, King of Egypt. When the king started on his Indian expedition, he left his queen, Isis, regent, and Argus was to be her chief adviser. Argus, with one hundred spies (called eyes), soon made himself so powerful and formidable that he shut up the queen-regent in a strong castle, and proclaimed himself king. Mercury marched against him, took him prisoner, and cut off his head; whereupon Juno metamorphosed Argus into a peacock, and set his eyes in its tale." What's coming next is very strange...

Jane Adams is a devotee of Wicca, someone who I first met in a Wiltshire Crop Circle back in August 1997. She had an intriguing theory to account for the presence of out of place peacock feathers in the U.K. She was of the opinion that the presence of a large number of feathers at Chartley Castle, Staffordshire, England, is evidence that the people she believes are guilty of making the formations in the crops use the peacock’s “Evil Eye” in what she describes as “black ceremonies.” Adams further claims that these very same ceremonies have been conducted - under the camouflage of the hours of darkness and on a whole variety of occasions - within British-based crop circles, and within ancient stone circles too. And, she adds that those responsible were endeavoring to create “negativity” and invoke bizarre, life-threatening creatures from darkened realms that co-exist with ours, including some that would fit the image of a Bigfoot-type beast seen at Chartley Castle by a man named Mick Dodds and his wife in September 1986. As for the reason why, Adams claims the goal is to harness the beasts and then make use of them in, as she described it, “psychic assassinations” of people who might be opposed to the activities of the group.

(Nick Redfern) A paranormal assassination?

And there was one more thing to come; much more, in fact. Adams also revealed to me that she possessed “personal knowledge” - as she specifically described it - that these same people had engaged in sacrificing animals “near a stone circle in Devon, England some time ago.” The purpose? To try to conjure up, from some ethereal netherworld, both “a black cat” and a creature that would most certainly fit the description of a British Bigfoot and that would then duly perform the group’s dark bidding: a form of supernatural assassination via coordinated heart-attacks. And, finally...what all of this tells us is that death by bizarre and controversial murders is nothing new. In fact, a case can be made that it has been done on numerous times - and throughout history.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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