The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack

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Today in History: Operation Chopper

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 12, 2019 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 12) in 1962, the U.S. and the Republic of Vietnam jointly carried out Operation Chopper—the first U.S. combat mission in Vietnam. The mission involved U.S. helicopters carrying 1000 Vietnamese paratroopers on a raid against the Vietcong ten miles west of Saigon. The mission was totally successful.

Today in History: The Grand Canyon

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 11, 2019 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 11) in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon National Monument, preserving forever one of the great natural treasures of the United States. Thank you, President Roosevelt.

Origin of Fantasy and SF Magazines in the U.S.

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 11, 2019 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Wikipedia is spotlighting an interesting article on the origins of the Fantasy and Science Fiction magazines in the United States. Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, Astounding, the list goes on and on. These magazines were critical to cultivating the fields of science fiction and fantasy in the U.S. today and many of the authors we will be featuring in our Written Gems discussion group on GoodReads published in these pages.

Here is the article link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_US_science_fiction_and_fantasy_magazines_to_1950

And for those of you who are interested, here is a link to the Written Gems site on Goodreads. Our next book is The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells who published in the first issue of Amazing Stories in 1926: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/519247-written-gems

Today in History: The Rubicon

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 10, 2019 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 10) in 49 BCE, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon starting the last civil war of the Roman Republic. The Rubicon was the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy. Generals were forbidden to lead their legions across the Rubicon to prevent them from attempting to use the legions to take over the government. By 45 BCE, Julius Caesar did just that, taking over the government of the Roman Republic despite the fact that he had attacked with a vastly inferior numerical force.

Today in History: The iPhone

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 9, 2019 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 9) in 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Hard to believe it’s only been thirteen years.

The Full Painting of Winterhaven

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 8, 2019 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Here is the full painting of Winterhaven by Chris L. Adams:


You can see more of Chris's art, read his poetry, and find links to his stories at: https://www.chrisladamsbizarretales.com/

Today in History: The Battle of Ashdown

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 8, 2019 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January Eight) in 871, Alfred (the Great), younger brother of King Ethelred I, led a West Saxon army against the Danes and won the Battle of Ashdown. Days earlier, the West Saxons had been defeated in their attempt to push the Vikings out of Reading. Ethelred and Alfred’s three older brothers had already been killed in battle against the Danes and the situation looked quite severe—so much so that Ethelred refused to leave Mass to command his army out of fear that God would punish him with another defeat if the king insulted Him. So Alfred took the initiative, defeated the Danes and drove them back to Reading. It was the only victory the West Saxons would enjoy that year.

More Winterhaven

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 7, 2019 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Here is another view of Chris L. Adam's painting of my map of WInterhaven:


You can find more of Chris' work at: https://www.chrisladamsbizarretales.com/

Today in History: An Unidentified Flying Object

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 7, 2019 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 7) in 1948 Kentucky Air National Guard Pilot, Captain Thomas F. Mantell, died in what had become known as the Mantell UFO Incident. At 1:45 p.m. the control tower at Fort Knox reported an unidentified flying object that was about one quarter the size of the full moon, white with a red bottom. The object was also seen from two airfields in Ohio, one of which reported that the object had the “appearance of a flaming red cone trailing a gaseous green mist.” Four P-51 Mustangs (already in the air) were directed to approach the object. Observers in the control tower disagree over whether or not Mantell reported that the object “looks metallic and of tremendous size”. (You can easily see why accusations of government cover ups get made. Did he make the statement or not? Why can’t the witnesses agree on this simple point?)


One of the pilots ended pursuit because he was low on fuel. Two others ended their pursuit at 22,500 feet due to low oxygen. Mantell continued pursuing the object until he (according to the Air Force) passed out at 25,000 feet and his P-51 spiraled downward, crashing south of Franklin Kentucky near the Tennessee border at 3:18 p.m. By 3:50 p.m. the UFO was no longer visible.


The incident got a lot of attention in the press—a P-51 Mustang had been destroyed and many rumors were published: the Soviets were responsible; aliens shot Mantell down; his body was riddled with bullet holes; his body was not found with the crashed plane; the wreckage was radioactive. The Air Force refuted these rumors in its report, but they persisted.


The Air Force attempted to convince the public that Mantell had seen the planet Venus and died trying to reach it. Four years later, they retracted this explanation as Venus was neither large enough nor would have been visible at the time of the incident. There also have been efforts to explain the sighting by way of the (then secret) U.S. Navy Skyhook Weather Balloon project but no balloon can be demonstrated to have been in the vicinity at the time of the sighting.


Another Glimpse of Winterhaven

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 6, 2019 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's another glimpse of the amazing map of Winterhaven painted by Chris L. Adams. Like the first the map shows the transition from my sketch, to Chris' preliminary coloring of that sketch, to the full painted map.


More of Chris' work can be found at https://www.chrisladamsbizarretales.com/


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