Who Forted? Magazine

Lo! The New Land Of The Internet’s First Correspondence

implogAges ago, when this grand network of tubes choked with cats was known as ARPANET, some nerds at UCLA wanted to send the first message that wasn’t about Viagra or enhanced penises.

On Wednesday, October 29, 1969 Charley Kline and Professor Leonard Kleinrock were preparing to connect to the Stanford Research Institute’s Scientific Data Systems 940 Host computer. If the connection didn’t crap out, the first message would have been ‘login’. Instead, FORT-uitously, only the letters L-O were sent before the connection crashed. Lo! being Charles Fort’s third book covering anomalous phenomena, causing no end of grief for scientists ignoring damned data.

An interesting resonance with a darker day exactly 40 years before, when the stock market collapsed and precipitated the Great Depression. Maybe, just maybe, those two characters were entangled in time, forcing those tickertapes to choke when analog data met digital data, facilitating Black Tuesday.

dreyfussAlso born on this day, in the banner year of 1947, is Richard Dreyfuss. You know, the guy who sculpted the Devil’s Tower out of mashed potatoes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The film’s director, Steven Spielberg, is no stranger when it comes to aliens in mainstream media with E.T. the Extraterrestrial, *batteries Not Included, Amazing Stories, his remake of War of the Worlds featuring Scientology’s prophet Tom Cruise, and producing J.J. Abrams’s Super 8.

Of interest is CEO3K being a shot-for-shot remake of his earlier opus Firelight. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

What inspired Spielberg to reach for the stars? His father Arnold dragged Steven out of bed one night to watch a meteor shower over New Jersey. That’s the year when Frank Feschino claims a meteor crashed on September 12, 1952, connected to dozens of USAF jets being shot down by flying saucers.

On that day, the Flatwoods Monster was first sighted in West Virginia. A close encounter of the third kind. One extraterrestrial, lost and alone in the woods. Whomever ran across this poor soul may have shouted “Lo!”

What are the other pieces of this puzzle? Practice your twilight language on our Facebook page, at Twitter, or in the comments below! Hat tip to David Pecotic for the inspiration for this piece.

Chris Savia
Contributor and admin at Who Forted?, in addition to managing the social media and weekend news for The Anomalist. Chris caught the weird bug as a kid, boning up on New Jersey legends, the occult, and forteana. Chris lives near the Pine Barrens with his wife, six cats, and the Jersey Devil.
Chris Savia
Chris Savia

1 Comment

  1. Loren Coleman

    07/06/2014 at 12:50 PM

    Great article. Ah, twilight language, indeed. There were two rather “coincidental events” on this same day:

    29 October 1969 ~ The US performs a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site.
    29 October 1969 ~ The USSR performs an underground nuclear test.

    I figure Jack Parsons must have been yelling “Lo!” somewhere in OTO heaven.

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