Noises In The Night


Chief Napoleon Bear Killer wasn’t really a Chief, but he looked the part and he scared most White men. He was tall with a face that was the color and texture of weathered leather in need of oil. A mustache drooping from the corners of the mouth gave him a sinister look, his facial expression never changed, and he stared right through you; these particular characteristics made people from the city a little uncomfortable. The long knife he carried on his hip didn’t help his appearance; especially, when he sharpened it every night after dinner while telling one of his tales of murder and mayhem. He was actually a kind hearted man with a gift for story telling. Unfortunately, a favorite story of his was about one of his ancestors, a homicidal maniac named Olivia Muskrat. He loved to tell this story to hunters late at night around the campfire, when there were strange noises in the darkness or the wolves were serenading us after a few shots of sipping whiskey.

Olivia and her husband trapped on the banks of the Parsnip in the mid 19th Century. Apparently, they had a blissful and harmonious existence except for her husband’s tendency to commit adultery with various young maidens. Now trying to hide facts from a trapper would be like hiding a crime from Sherlock Holmes. Trappers are attuned to reading ‘sign’ and they can see a story among the grass and twigs where most people see nothing at all.

Olivia knew her husband was cheating and this can be a serious offense in a matriarchal society. She tracked him and came to know all of his paramours. The knowledge of his infidelities seethed in her until she lost her mind and went on a murderous rampage; she killed her husband and his girlfriends, all in one bloody night. Her victims were decapitated and their heads stuck up on poles around her cabin. She kept one skull for a lantern on her table and to carry at night as she walked checking her traps. Since the daylight in the North country is only a few hours during the winter and it is usually an eerie gray misty kind of daylight, she needed her lantern most of the time.

Since her ghoulish lantern could be seen at night as she walked along the creeks and rivers, the Indians lived in stark terror of her and her knife. Infidelity became a much more risky business in the Peace and Omineca River country; Olivia always knew and she would seek you out in the dark of night.

Eventually she died, but the spirit world wouldn’t let her in when she refused to leave her skull lantern and her knife at the gate. So Olivia still walks the trails and creeks looking for those who have committed adultery. The flickering lights that people see at night are thought to be the candles burning in the eye sockets of Olivia’s husband’s skull that she carries with her.

Chief Napoleon would look around and say that they were still finding headless bodies in the bush country and they are almost always adulterers. We guides would join in the game and say something like, “Old Sam Morton wasn’t an adulterer, he wasn’t even married.”

Chief Napoleon would stop sharpening his knife and say, “He laughed with Mona Red Top, Charley Red Top’s wife. She was killed a week later.” The Chief would then draw his finger across his throat for emphasis.

Oyuki, A Japanese Ghost

Then one of the guides would say, “Damn I didn’t know that. I don’t want to meet Olivia at night. She doesn’t cut your throat while you are sleeping does she?”

“Olivia comes around when you least expect it. That’s how she has been able to kill so many men without them fighting back, but she only kills you if she thinks you cheat.”

The hunters would get nervous and put their rifles right next to their blanket rolls and be listening for sounds and watching the darkness for the light of a lantern.

One of the guides always asks, “Have you ever seen her?”

Scrooge's Third Ghost

“Many times, she comes to me while I sleep. Make noise and wake me up. First I see skull, with eyes burning bright red and yellow. Then I see her point knife at me.”

A guide, “Are you a cheater?”

“No. I have two wives: old one for housework and cooking, young one for laughing and kids. I old man, two is enough for Chief Napoleon.”

We guides were country boys caught in a time warp. Most of us lived out our lives and were never over a hundred miles from the cabin we were born in. Being able to spook the sophisticated hunters who acted superior to us was great fun, not all of them acted superior, some of them were actually great guys to be around, but when they had an arrogant attitude, Old Chief could pretty well make them hysterical with his stories of murder and mayhem. Often times, some of us guides would get half spooked after listening to Chief Napoleon.

Polls report that half of us are concerned about anthropogenic global warming. Those believers have been fed vivid and frightening stories with facts that rival Chief Napoleon’s stories. Chief specialized in taking a few facts and blowing them out of proportion until a grown man was as scared as a child. Chief’s story telling entertained those of us who liked a good story and scared the Hell out of the gullible.

It’s been done many times in the past on a much larger scale. In 2004, an EPA employee figured out that 630,000 babies were born at risk of brain and nervous system damage because of “unsafe” levels of mercury in the mother’s body. Pregnant women were advised not to eat fish.

The Japanese have continued to eat fish; actually, women of childbearing age consume 74% over the unsafe levels of fish as set up by the EPA. In fact, instead of babies being born with brain and nervous system problems, the babies have good brain function and a higher intelligence at age four.

The erroneous report was based on extrapolating the deleterious effects of high dosages of mercury to a presumed level for pregnant women without evidence. Suddenly, the hysterical effects of a dire warning set in and pregnant women quit eating fish, a healthy food for expectant mothers.

The hysteria over DDT was brought about by Rachael Carson’s book Silent Spring in 1962; she claimed the insecticides, particularly DDT, caused cancer. She scared way more people than a Hellfire and brimstone preacher could ever dream of scaring. There was no evidence for the claim and no one has proven the assertion to this day. The EPA banned DDT in 1972 followed by Europe and Africa. The most significant effect of the ban has been the deaths of millions from mosquito borne diseases like malaria.

In 1979, the American Journal of Epidemiology published an article linking low levels of Electro Magnetic Force from household wiring with Childhood Leukemia. There was the typical media feeding frenzy with scientific opinions from experts, who linked headaches and depression to the wiring that is in every American home.

In typical Big Brother concern, the US government established exposure limits and regulations that were estimated to cost over one billion dollars to the economy by the World Health Organization.

The authors of the original article published without proof and since then, there has been tens of thousands of articles published on the subject with no scientific proof of a link between EMF and cancer to date.

If we think back to Chief Napoleon and compare him to the most famous story teller of modern times, Al Gore; we realize they both achieved a measure of control through hysteria. Their audiences were considerably different. The Chief had a captive audience that was slightly scared to begin with, from being in a strange environment at night: Gore’s audience lives in a state of fear, a fear of the unknown and the future. Having a science they can comprehend, even if it is a false science, is reassuring to those who are insecure and gullible. Thus we have defined the people for whom these hoaxes are formulated, the gullible and insecure. Unfortunately it is their hysteria that can be used as a tool and a weapon by the Left to control the direction of our country and to keep themselves in the public trust. Most everyone knows it is far easier to save people when they aren’t really in danger.

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Check out Burt Rutan’s presentations:

Tears the global warming religion a new one.

Good one Skookum. Michael Crichton’s “Environmentalism as Religion” is good, too.

Thanks JC. Crichton was an educated man and a great writer. I admire his intellect.

I am more of a basic type that realizes my failings by remembering lines like this.

Learning Humility:
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of
influence, try orderin’ someone else’s dog around.

Skook, as usual, a fabulous article. iI’m just back from a nice long vacation and pretty much left the news, etc. out of the mix, but I always check to see if you have anything new up. Great analogy and as always great writing! I’ve said it more than once, but it bares repeating. You manage to get to the heart of a matter with well laid out premises and I’m always in a can’t put it down mode when I read your sdtuff.


Joe, its’ good to have you back.

I drove through your town two days ago.

Hope you had a good vacation.

SKOOKUM, I like it, hope it’s in the next book,
I know one more that would like it that is
OLD TROOPER 2, he would laugh, hope he come to read you’r POST,
I was in a summer camp once very young and that man was kind of babysitting us youngster, and he start on a similar story,and finish by telling us the murderer like to stand in front of windows to watch
the kids after the sunset, just at the same time I was looking out the window and saw a face out,
I start to scream and all the kids screamed too, the man was unable to calm us, we where all petrified.
I remember dreaming that many times after, and awake screaming,

Great read… The last paragraph it goes straight to the heart of the matter…. I work with people who know science…I asked one of them what he thought of this Global Warming thing… he was silent for a moment, he shook his head with a puzzled look of ‘what kind of b/s are these people pushing… then he said “when ‘they’ can ‘control a hurricane’ then I will think about it…” Ha! ….another straight shootin’ answer!!

FAITH, THAT’S SMART, why I never thought of it that way,

I find this whole global warming thing rather funny. Back in the late 1990’s one of the top scientist that study weather and the earth was saying from the data he put togeither the earth was heading for a ice age. I read his article and looked at his information. It was all very easy to understand and clear no smoke and mirrors. The other part was it made sense. Then all of a sudden you never seen him print a nother article or anything write at the same time the global warming scam started. I realy wish I could find his articles again and his name. I find very interesting how all at once I cant find any articles on him or his information. I guess the left does not like other points of view. Black 3/6 out

@Skookum: Wow. Wish I had known you were around! Nothing like two old racetrackers in Vegas! LOL!

Proof? Who needs proof? In your heart, you know that you are right.
Global Warming needs no proof; it is an axiom (assumed true without proof).
The devil is in the detiails: the data either do not exist at all, or have been massaged too much to have any validity whatever.
Good ghost stories are like this: they need no proof. Told around a campfire, in the dark, they assume a life of their own, and metastasize freely.
The problem comes when ghost stories become the basis for public policy. Millions of people have died because of the banning of DDT. Millions of people will suffer because of the restrictions on electrical power which will come from limiting the use of carbon for energy. Millions will suffer because of the mercury in our curly “light bulbs,” mandated by a blind Congress “for our own good.” Millions will starve, or get a little hungrier, because of the confiscation of corn crops to produce ethanol.
But how do you say STOP to politicians whose only skill is fear-mongering?
If they didn’t scare people, they wouldn’t be re-elected.
And that’s a tragedy, for us all.

mathman, hi,
you know in 2008, things where getting really wrong, when a canditat could not
and was not willing to produce a bill of showing he was an AMERICAN PURE BLOOD,
THE MEDIA must have made a fortune to sell a non person, and specially a dangerous thinking one,
there was sign enough to loose that one even from the beginning, and yet they fell for that one,
without substance just words of lies.

You left out that dangerous cause of all this trouble. Man-Bear-Pig!