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Followed by author Nick Redfern on obscure secret societies. Economist Harry Dent talked about a major crash coming in Followed by author Nick Redfern on the lore of paranormal and cryptid entities. In the first half, researcher Nick Redfern joined George Knapp to discuss the dark and disturbing evidence surrounding stories of Women In Black WIB including their involvement with alien abductions, Mothman, and the supernatural. Host Richard Syrett was joined by Fortean researcher Nick Redfern for a discussion on his recent travels along the rugged back country of Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Texas, investigating the continuing legacy of the fearsome Chupacabra.

Author and researcher Bill Grabowski joined George Knapp in the first half to discuss his exploration of the work of John Keel and the Mothman incidents, which involved anomalous aerial phenomena, Men in Black MIB , and bizarre electromagnetic intrusions. George Knapp was joined by ufologist Nick Redfern , who discussed a wide range of UFO cases rife with unsettling examples of suspicious deaths - accounts of accidents that might not have been accidents, researchers and witnesses who have vanished, conveniently timed heart attacks, as well as out-of-the-blue suicides that bear the Joining George Knapp, Fortean researcher Nick Redfern and doctor of Physics from Cornell University, Bob Wood , discussed the many leaked documents that describe research into alien biology and virology.

Robert Wood's forensic analysis of the documents George Knapp was joined by Fortean researcher Nick Redfern for a discussion on paranormal hot spots that can be found across the globe. During the first hour, leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified foods, Jeffrey Fortean researcher Nick Redfern discussed how and why government agencies have, for decades, taken a clandestine and profound interest in numerous archaeological, historical, and religious mysteries. In the first hour, author and lecturer Jeff Belanger Ufologist and researcher Nick Redfern joined John B.

Wells for a discussion on the Men in Black phenomenon. In the first hour, space researcher Robert Zimmerman talked about SpaceX's launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and successful docking of their Dragon capsule with Filling in for George, Rob Simone email welcomed trends analyst Gerald Celente for a conversation about what he foresees as the major trends for The first report of Men in Black was associated with Albert Bender, who was studying UFOs in the early s and formed a popular group called Redfern first learned of the group's existence through Ray Boeche, an Anglican priest, and former director of Nebraska's In the first half of the show, ufologist and cryptozoologist Nick Redfern talked about his new book Monsters of Texas and shared tales of bizarre creatures reported in the Lone Star State.

The latter half of the program was British ufologist and cryptozoologist, Nick Redfern discussed his latest research and study of numerous people all around the world who, since the late s and early s, have claimed to have made face-to-face contact with very human-like aliens. In addition to detailing the enormous impact the contactee era had on British ufologist and cryptozoologist Nick Redfern talked about his new book Science Fiction Secrets which probes the intertwining connections between works of Investigative reporter Linda Moulton Howe shared cases of high strangeness.

In her first report, she detailed the Oct. Researcher Nick Redfern discussed his 2-year transatlantic hunt, investigating Bigfoot, werewolves, lake monsters, Mothman-type creatures, UFOs and crop circles. Bigfoot or 'wildman of the woods' reports date as far back as AD in Britain. In recent times, a number of Bigfoot cases in the U. International teacher Barbara Hand Clow discussed her new book on the Mayan Calendar which incorporates scientist Carl Johan Calleman's concepts on time acceleration. Researcher Nick Redfern spoke about a variety of cryptozoological creatures including chupacabras, Mothman, Bigfoot and werewolves.

Despite these successes, Parsons, the project engineer of Aerojet's Solid Fuel Department, remained motivated to address the malfunctions observed during the Ercoupe tests. In June , assisted by Mills and Miller, he focused his attention on developing an effective method of restricted burning when using solid rocket fuel, as the military demanded JATOs that could provide over pounds of thrust without any risk of exploding.


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Although solid fuels such as GALCIT were more storable than their liquid counterparts, they were disfavored for military JATO use as they provided less immediate thrust and did not have the versatility of being turned on and off mid-flight. When it failed the test, he realized that the fuel's binding black powders rather than the oxidizers had resulted in their instability, and in June that year had the idea of using liquid asphalt as an appropriate binding agent with potassium perchlorate as oxidizer.

Malina recounted that Parsons was inspired to use asphalt by the ancient incendiary weapon Greek fire ; in a talk for the International Association of Astronomical Artists Captain Boushey stated that Parsons experienced an epiphany after watching workers using molten asphalt to fix tiles onto a roof. This set a precedent which according to his biographer John Carter "changed the future of rocket technology": the thermoplastic asphalt casting was durable in all climates, allowing for mass production and indefinite storage and transforming solid-fuel agents into a safe and viable form of rocket propulsion.

Aerojet's first two contracts were from the U. Despite this drastically increased turnover, the company continued to operate informally and remained intertwined with the GALCIT project. Caltech astronomer Fritz Zwicky was brought in as head of the company's research department. Company heads including Parsons were exempted from this austerity, drawing the ire of many personnel. Parsons' newfound credentials and financial security gave him the opportunity to travel more widely throughout the U.

Among Parsons' favorite works of fiction was Williamson's Darker Than You Think , a novelette published in the fantasy magazine Unknown in , which inspired his later occult workings. Boucher used Parsons as a partial basis for the character of Hugo Chantrelle in his murder mystery Rocket to the Morgue Helen went away for a period in June , during which Parsons, encouraged to do so by the sexually permissive attitude of the O.

Upon Helen's return, Sara asserted that she was Parsons' new wife, and Parsons himself admitted that he found Sara more sexually attractive than Helen. He converted the garage and laundry room into a chemical laboratory and often held science fiction discussion meetings in the kitchen, and entertained the children with hunts for fairies in the acre garden. Although there were arguments among the commune members, Parsons remained dedicated to Thelema.

He gave almost all of his salary to the O. They disapproved of his hesitancy to separate his vocations; Parsons became more rigorously engaged in Aerojet's day-to-day business in an effort to resolve this weariness, but the Agape Lodge soon came under investigation by both the Pasadena Police Department and the FBI. Both had received allegations of a " black magic cult" involved in sexual orgies; one complainant was a year-old boy who said that he was raped by lodge members, while neighbors reported a ritual involving a naked pregnant woman jumping through fire.

After Parsons explained that the Lodge was simply "an organization dedicated to religious and philosophical speculation", neither agency found evidence of illegal activity and came to the conclusion that the Lodge constituted no threat to national security. When Parsons paid for her to have an abortion , McMurtry was angered and their friendship broke down.

Crowley and Germer wanted to see Smith removed as head of the Agape Lodge, believing that he had become a bad influence on its members. Parsons and Helen wrote to them to defend their mentor but Germer ordered him to stand down; Parsons was appointed as temporary head of the Lodge. Parsons soon created the Thelemite journal Oriflamme , in which he published his own poetry, but Crowley was unimpressed—particularly due to Parsons' descriptions of drug use—and the project was soon shelved. Smith remained skeptical as Crowley's analysis was seemingly deliberately devised in Parsons' favor, encouraging Smith to step down from his role in the Agape Lodge and instructing him to take a meditative retreat.

Parsons—who remained sympathetic and friendly to Smith during the conflict and was weary of Crowley's "appalling egotism, bad taste, bad judgement, and pedanticism"—ceased lodge activities and resigned as its head, but withdrew his resignation after receiving a pacifying letter from Crowley. Though JATOs were being mass-produced for military applications, JATO-propelled aircraft could not "keep up" with larger, bomber planes taking off from long aircraft carrier runways—which made Aerojet's industry at risk of becoming defunct.

The Navy guaranteed Parsons a contract on the condition that this residue was removed; this led to the invention of Aeroplex , a technology for smokeless vapor trails developed at Aerojet by Parsons. As the U. Aerojet's Caltech-linked employees—including Zwicky, Malina and Summerfield—would only agree to the sale on the condition that Parsons and Forman were removed from the company, viewing their occult activities as disreputable.

JPL historian Erik M. Conway also attributes Parsons' expulsion to more practical concerns: he "still wanted to work in the same way as he'd done in his backyard, instinctive and without regard for safety". Parsonage resident Alva Rogers recalled in a article for an occultist fanzine : "In the ads placed in the local paper Jack specified that only bohemians, artists, musicians, atheists, anarchists, or any other exotic types need to apply for rooms—any mundane soul would be unceremoniously rejected".

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Navy officer L. Ron Hubbard soon moved into the Parsonage; he and Parsons became close friends. Parsons wrote to Crowley that although Hubbard had "no formal training in Magick he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences I deduce he is direct touch with some higher intelligence, possibly his Guardian Angel.

He is the most Thelemic person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles. Parsons and Sara were in an open relationship encouraged by the O. From the start he always wanted to evoke something—no matter what, I am inclined to think, as long as he got a result. Pendle suggested that Parsons was particularly susceptible to these interpretations and attributed the voices to a prank by Hubbard and Sara.

Describing this magical operation as the Babalon Working , he hoped to bring about the incarnation of Thelemite goddess Babalon onto Earth. He allowed Hubbard to take part as his "scribe", believing that he was particularly sensitive to detecting magical phenomena. Their final ritual took place in the Mojave Desert in late February , during which Parsons abruptly decided that his undertaking was complete. Believing her to be the " elemental " woman and manifestation of Babalon that he had invoked, in early March Parsons began performing sex magic rituals with Cameron, who acted as his " Scarlet Woman ", while Hubbard continued to participate as the amanuensis.

Unlike the rest of the household, Cameron knew nothing at first of Parsons' magical intentions: "I didn't know anything about the O. Everybody was watching to see what was going on. Inspired by Crowley's novel Moonchild , Parsons and Hubbard aimed to magically fertilize a "magical child" through immaculate conception , which when born to a woman somewhere on Earth nine months following the working's completion would become the Thelemic messiah embodying Babalon.

Hubbard suggested that with this money they travel to Miami to purchase three yachts, which they would then sail through the Panama Canal to the West Coast, where they could sell them on for a profit. Parsons agreed, but many of his friends thought it was a bad idea. Hubbard had secretly requested permission from the U. Navy to sail to China and South and Central America on a mission to "collect writing material"; his real plans were for a world cruise.

When Crowley, in a telegram to Germer, dismissed Parsons as a "weak fool" and victim to Hubbard and Sara's obvious confidence trick, Parsons changed his mind, flew to Miami and placed a temporary injunction and restraining order on them. Upon tracking them down to a harbor in County Causeway , Parsons discovered that the couple had purchased three yachts as planned; they tried to flee aboard one but hit a squall and were forced to return to port. Parsons was convinced that he had brought them to shore through a lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram containing an astrological, geomantic invocation of Bartzabel —a vengeful spirit of Mars.

Allied Enterprises was dissolved and in a court settlement Hubbard was required to promise to reimburse Parsons. Parsons was discouraged from taking further action by Sara, who threatened to report him for statutory rape since their sexual relationship took place when she was under California's age of consent of Hubbard, already married to Margaret Grubb , bigamously married Sara and went on to found Dianetics and Scientology.

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The Sunday Times published an article about Hubbard's involvement with the O. In response, the Church of Scientology released an unsubstantiated press statement which said that Hubbard had been sent as an undercover agent by the U. Navy to intercept and destroy Parsons' "black magic cult", and save Sara from its influence.

The Church also stated that Robert A. Heinlein was the clandestine Navy operative who "sent in" Hubbard to undertake this operation. He wrote in his letter to Crowley that he did not believe that "as an autocratic organization, [the O. In May , Parsons gave a talk at the Pacific Rocket Society in which he predicted that rockets would take humans to the Moon. Many of Parsons' former colleagues lost their security clearances and jobs as a result, and eventually the FBI stripped Parsons of his clearance because of his "subversive" character, including his involvement in and advocacy of "sexual perversion" in the O.

He speculated in a June letter to Germer that his clearance was revoked in response to his public dissemination of Crowley's Liber OZ , a tract summarizing the individualist moral principles of Thelema. When they interviewed Parsons he denied communist sympathies but informed them of Sidney Weinbaum's "extreme communist views" and Frank Malina 's involvement in Weinbaum's communist cell at Caltech, which resulted in Weinbaum's arrest for perjury since he had lied under oath by denying any involvement in communist groups.

Malina's security clearance was withdrawn as well. Unable to pursue his scientific career, without his wife and devoid of friendship, Parsons decided to return to occultism and embarked on sexually based magical operations with prostitutes. In this oath, Parsons professed to embody an entity named Belarion Armillus Al Dajjal , the Antichrist "who am come to fulfill the law of the Beast [Aleister Crowley]".

In the latter work, Parsons writing as Belarion prophesied that within nine years Babalon would manifest on Earth and supersede the dominance of the Abrahamic religions. During this period, Parsons also wrote an essay on his individualist philosophy and politics—which he described as standing for " liberalism and liberal principles"—titled "Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword", in which he condemned the authoritarianism, censorship, corruption, antisexualism and racism he saw as prevalent in American society.

Through Heinlein, Parsons received a visit from writer L. Sprague de Camp , with whom he discussed magic and science fiction, and disclosed that Hubbard had sent a letter offering him Sara back.

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De Camp later referred to Parsons as "An authentic mad genius if I ever met one", and based the character Courtney James on him in his time travel story A Gun for Dinosaur Parsons was also visited by Jane Wolfe, who unsuccessfully appealed for him to rejoin the dilapidated O. He entered a brief relationship with an Irishwoman named Gladis Gohan; they moved to a house on Redondo Beach , a building known by them as the "Concrete Castle". Parsons responded by initiating divorce proceedings against her on the grounds of "extreme cruelty". Parsons testified to a closed federal court that the moral philosophy of Thelema was both anti-fascist and anti-communist, emphasizing his belief in individualism.

This along with references from his scientific colleagues resulted in his security clearance being reinstated by the Industrial Employment Review Board , which ruled that there was insufficient evidence that he had ever had communist sympathies. This allowed Parsons to obtain a contract in designing and constructing a chemical plant for the Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City. Rosenfeld offered Parsons a job with the Israeli rocket program and hired him to produce technical reports for them. She accused Parsons of espionage and attempted theft of classified company documents on the basis of some of the reports that he had sought to submit to the Technion Society.

Parsons was immediately fired from Hughes; the FBI investigated the complaint and were suspicious that Parsons was spying for the Israeli government. Parsons denied the allegations when interrogated; he insisted that his intentions were peaceful and that he had suffered an error of judgment in procuring the documents. Some of Parsons' scientific colleagues rallied to his defense, but the case against him worsened when the FBI investigated Rosenfeld for being linked to Soviet agents, and more accounts of his occult and sexually permissive activities at the Parsonage came to light.

In October the U. The Review Board still considered Parsons a liability because of his historical Marxist affiliations and investigations by the FBI, and in January they permanently reinstated their ban on his working for classified projects, effectively prohibiting him from working in rocketry. Parsons reconciled with Cameron, and they resumed their relationship and moved into a former coach house on Orange Grove Avenue. Parsons converted its large, first-floor laundry room into a home laboratory to work on his chemical and pyrotechnic projects, homebrew absinthe and stockpile his materials.

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They also congregated at the home of Andrew Haley, who lived on the same street. Though Parsons in his mid-thirties was a "prewar relic" to the younger attendees, the raucous socials often lasted until dawn and frequently attracted police attention. He offered a course in its teachings for a ten dollar fee, which included a new Thelemic belief system called "the Gnosis", a version of Christian Gnosticism with Sophia as its godhead and the Christian God as its demiurge.

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He also collaborated with Cameron on Songs for the Witch Woman , a collection of poems which she illustrated that was published in Parsons and Cameron decided to travel to Mexico for a few months, both for a vacation and for Parsons to take up a job opportunity establishing an explosives factory for the Mexican government.

They hoped that this would facilitate a move to Israel, where they could start a family, and where Parsons could bypass the U. He was particularly disturbed by the presence of the FBI, convinced that they were spying on him. On June 17, , a day before their planned departure, Parsons received a rush order of explosives for a film set and began to work on it in his home laboratory.

His right forearm was amputated, his legs and left arm were broken and a hole was torn in the right side of his face. He tried to communicate with the arriving ambulance workers, who rushed him to the Huntington Memorial Hospital , where he was declared dead approximately thirty-seven minutes after the explosion. Cameron learned of her husband's death from reporters at the scene when she returned home from grocery shopping. Pasadena Police Department criminologist Don Harding led the official investigation; he concluded that Parsons had been mixing fulminate of mercury in a coffee can when he dropped it on the floor, causing the initial explosion, which worsened when it came into contact with other chemicals in the room.

Two colleagues from the Bermite Powder Company described Parsons' work habits as "scrupulously neat" and "exceptionally cautious".

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The latter statement—from chemical engineer George Santymers—insisted that the explosion must have come from beneath the floorboards, implying an organized plot to kill Parsons. Harding accepted that these inconsistencies were "incongruous" but described the manner in which Parsons had stored his chemicals as "criminally negligent", and noted that Parsons had previously been investigated by the police for illegally storing chemicals at the Parsonage. He also found a morphine-filled syringe at the scene, suggesting that Parsons was narcotized.

The police saw insufficient evidence to continue the investigation and closed the case as an accidental death. Both Wolfe and Smith suggested that Parsons' death had been suicide, stating that he had suffered from depression for some time. Others theorized that the explosion was an assassination planned by Howard Hughes in response to Parsons' suspected theft of Hughes Aircraft Company documents. The immediate aftermath of the explosion attracted the interest of the U. These initial reports focused on Parsons' prominence in rocketry but neglected to mention his occult interests.

When asked for comment, Aerojet secretary-treasurer T. Beehan said that Parsons "liked to wander, but he was one of the top men in the field". A private prayer service was held for Parsons at the funeral home where his body was cremated. Cameron scattered his ashes in the Mojave Desert, before burning most of his possessions. Parsons was considered effeminate as a child; in adult life he exhibited an attitude of machismo.

As well as a fencing and archery enthusiast, Parsons was also a keen shooter ; he often hunted jack rabbits and cotton tails in the desert, and was amused by mock dueling with Forman while on test sites with rifles and shotguns. Upon proposing to his first wife Helen, he gifted her a pistol. As well as intense bursts of creativity, Parsons suffered from what he described as "manic hysteria and depressing melancholy. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington D.

Parsons' obituary listed him as a member of the Army Ordnance Association , the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Chemical Society , the American Association for the Advancement of Science , and—despite his lack of an academic degree—the Sigma Xi fraternity. It also stated that he had turned down several honorary degrees.

Parsons adhered to the occult philosophy of Thelema, which had been founded in by the English occultist Aleister Crowley following a spiritual revelation that he had in Cairo , Egypt, when—according to Crowley's accounts—a spirit being known as Aiwass dictated to him a prophetic text known as The Book of the Law.

In July , Parsons gave a speech to the Agape Lodge, in which he attempted to explain how he felt that The Book of the Law could be made relevant to "modern life". In this speech, which was subsequently published under the title of "Doing Your Will", he examined the Thelemite concept of True Will , writing that:. The mainspring of an individual is his creative Will. This Will is the sum of his tendencies, his destiny, his inner truth. It is one with the force that makes the birds sing and flowers bloom; as inevitable as gravity, as implicit as a bowel movement, it informs alike atoms and men and suns.

There is no known force that can turn an apple into an alley cat; there is no known force that can turn a man from his Will. This is the triumph of genius; that, surviving the centuries, enlightens the world. This force burns in every man. Parsons identified four obstacles that prevented humans from achieving and performing their True Will, all of which he connected with fear: the fear of incompetence, the fear of the opinion of others, the fear of hurting others, and the fear of insecurity.

He insisted that these must be overcome, writing that "The Will must be freed of its fetters. The ruthless examination and destruction of taboos, complexes, frustrations, dislikes, fears and disgusts hostile to the Will is essential to progress. Though Parsons was a lifelong devotee to Thelema, he grew weary of and eventually left the Ordo Templi Orientis—the religious organization that began propagating Thelema under Crowley's leadership from the s—which Parsons viewed, despite the disagreement of Crowley himself, as excessively hierarchical and impeding upon the rigorous spiritual and philosophical practice of True Will, describing the O.

In this sense Parsons was described by Carter as an "almost fundamentalist" Thelemite who placed The Book of the Law ' s dogma above all other doctrine. From early on in his career, Parsons took an interest in socialism and communism, [] views that he shared with his friend Frank Malina. The dictatorship of the proletariat is merely temporary—the state will eventually wither away like a snark hunter, leaving us all free as birds.

Meanwhile it may be necessary to kill, torture and imprison a few million people, but whose fault is it if they get in the way of progress? During the era of McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare in the early s, Parsons was questioned regarding his former links to the communist movement, by which time he denied any connection to it, instead describing himself as "an individualist" who was both anti-communist and anti-fascist. Science, that was going to save the world in H. Wells ' time is regimented, straight-jacked, [and] scared shitless, its universal language diminished to one word, security.

Parsons was politically influenced by Thelema—which holds to the ethical code of " Do what thou wilt "—equating this principle to the libertarian views of some of the Founding Fathers of the United States in his article "Freedom is a Lonely Star", writing that by his own time these values had been "sold out by America, and for that reason the heart of America is sick and the soul of America is dead. To bring about a freer future Parsons believed in liberalizing attitudes to sexual morality stating that, in his belief, the publication of the Kinsey report and development of the psychonautical sciences had as significant an influence on Western society as the creation of the atomic bomb and the development of nuclear physics.

He also believed that in the future the restrictions on sexual morality within society should be abolished in order to bring about greater freedom and individuality. Parsons concluded that. No true civilization is possible without this liberty and no state, national or international, is stable in its absence. The proper relation between individual liberty on the one hand and social responsibility on the other is the balance which will assure a stable society.

The only other road to social equilibrium demands the total annihilation of individuality. There is not further evasion of nature's immemorial ultimatum: change or perish but the choice of change is ours. Jack Cashill , American studies professor at Purdue University , argues that "Although his literary career never got much beyond pamphleteering and an untitled anti-war, anti-capitalist manuscript", Parsons played a significant role—greater than that of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey —in shaping the Californian counterculture of the s and beyond through his influence on contemporaries such as Hubbard and Heinlein.

Science fiction writer and occultist Robert Anton Wilson described Parsons' political writings as exemplifying an "ultra-individualist" who exhibited a "genuine sympathy for working people", strongly empathized with feminism and held an antipathy toward patriarchy comparable to that of John Stuart Mill , arguing in this context that Parsons was an influence on the American libertarian and anarchist movements of the 20th century.

Jack Parsons (rocket engineer)

In the decades following his death, Parsons was well remembered among the Western esoteric community; his scientific recognition frequently amounted to a footnote. UFO incident was a spiritual reaction to Parsons' death. The same month JPL held an open access event to mark the 32nd anniversary of its foundation—which featured a "nativity scene" of mannequins reconstructing the November photograph of the GALCIT Group—and erected a monument commemorating their first rocket test on Halloween Many of Parsons' writings were posthumously published as Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword in , a compilation co-edited by Cameron and O.

Goddard had in his lifetime, and said that his role in the development of rocket technology had been neglected by historians of science; [] Carter thought that Parsons' abilities and accomplishments as an occultist had been overestimated and exaggerated among Western esotericists, emphasizing his disowning by Crowley for practicing magic beyond his grade. Wilson believed that Parsons was "the one single individual who contributed the most to rocket science", [] describing him as being "very strange, very brilliant, very funny, [and] very tormented", [] and considering it noteworthy that the day of Parsons' birth was the predicted beginning of the apocalypse advocated by Charles Taze Russell , the founder of the Bible Student movement.

Parsons' involvement in the Agape Lodge were also discussed by Martin P. Smith and the Thelemites , published by Teitan Press in Before his death, Parsons appeared in science fiction writer Anthony Boucher's murder-mystery novel Rocket to the Morgue under the guise of mad scientist character Hugo Chantrelle.

Sprague de Camp's short time travel story A Gun for Dinosaur. Parsons was portrayed by English actor Adam Howden. Independent record label Drag City released Parsons' Blues , an instrumental tribute single by experimental rock act Six Organs of Admittance. In AMC Networks announced plans for a serial television dramatization of Parsons' life, [] but in it was reported that the series "will not be going forward. In Parsons was featured in an episode of the Amazon series Lore.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jack Parsons. Los Angeles , California, U. Pasadena, California , U. I height Don Quixote , I live on Peyote, marihuana, morphine and cocaine. I never knew sadness but only a madness that burns at the heart and brain,. See also: L. John W. Parsons, handsome year-old rocket scientist killed Tuesday in a chemical explosion, was one of the founders of a weird semi-religious cult that flourished here about 10 years ago Old police reports yesterday pictured the former Caltech professor as a man who led a double existence—a down-to-earth explosives expert who dabbled in intellectual necromancy.

Possibly he was trying to reconcile fundamental human urges with the inhuman, Buck Rogers type of innovations that sprang from his test tubes. Rocketry postulated that we should no longer see ourselves as creatures chained to the earth but as beings capable of exploring the universe. Similarly, magic suggested there were unseen metaphysical worlds that existed and could be explored with the right knowledge.

Both rocketry and magic were rebellions against the very limits of human existence; in striving for one challenge he could not help but strive for the other.