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The Mad Bomber Is Caught... BY PROFILING

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

No. It's not Bill Ayers. It's George Metesky, a Con-Edison employee who was dismissed after breathing gases during a boiler accident. The doctors said there was nothing wrong with him, so he filed for workman's compensation. The paperwork was late, so his claim was denied. In reaction, he set a pipe bomb at a Con-Edison power plant with a note reading "CON EDISON CROOKS – THIS IS FOR YOU." Thus began 16 years of fear and dread as the Mad Bomber of New York set small bombs in lockers, restrooms, and under movie theater seats to publicize his complaint. After years of no leads, a psychiatrist builds a profile of the bomber. (This is a first.) He is male, older than 35 (and by now over 50). He wears a double-breasted suit (buttoned) and he lives with a female relative. He is unmarried but not a homosexual, and on and on. (Most of the profile is simple logic applied to the data at hand, but if we did this today, people would shout "BUT NOT EVERYONE IS LIKE THAT!" I know. I'm not three-years-old.) The profile is printed in the newspapers, and bingo! A Con-Edison employee matches his description along with several frightening complaint letters on file. George greets the police warmly. Yep. He wears a double-breasted suit (buttoned), and he lives with his two maiden sisters. He is judged nuttier-than-a-fruitcake, and locked up with the criminally insane. In 1973, he will be judged harmless and released. He will remain angry with Con-Edison, but he will keep his vow to bomb no more. He knows how to keep his promises. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I had a speaking engagement for the Christmas party at the Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane. (Would it be wrong to say that they were crazy for me? It would? Oh. Sorry.) I planned to make the drive with my girlfriend, but as the date approached, we broke up. I was rebuilding my car engine, so I could still make it if I assembled the engine in ONE DAY. My boss let me go home early, and that had NEVER happened before, so I thought, "This is God's will." I laid the parts out and realized that the machine shop hadn't returned my camshaft! I thought, "Maybe this is NOT God's will." I swallowed my pride, and asked my ex-girlfriend for a ride. Amazingly, she agreed. I thought, "This is God's will!" But we were soon lost in cow country while taking the scenic route. "This can't be God's will." Hours later, we rolled into the parking lot with minutes to spare. "It's God's will again!" I took the steps two at a time, and identified myself to the nurse. "I'm the speaker for the Christmas Party." She asked, "What?" I repeated, "I'm here for the Christmas Party!" Then it dawned on her, "Oh! That was LAST week." My ex-girlfriend laughed. Apparently, God was having His little joke, and when God laughs it behooves the smart man to laugh too. I learned that I must not mistake my will for God's will, and that His will may include a little ego deflation for my own good. (Honestly, it was a good joke. I really did laugh.) [6] [7] [8]

The Killer Bees Have Escaped!

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

Not the heavy metal band. The bees from Africa. Last year an apiary was set up a 100 miles south of Sao Paulo, Brazil as an experiment in increasing honey production using African honey bees. (An apiary is a bee hive or group of hives.) Unfortunately, this year 26 queens and their swarms escape into the wild and are not recovered. The bees are aggressive, they swarm more quickly than the European variety, and they will chase you a quarter mile before they give up... if then. They also produce queens a little more quickly than European bees, so when a hive produces a queen it is more likely to produce an African queen before the European one has time to mature. Then it is out with the European and in with the African. The bees have been spreading north at about 100 to 200 miles a year. They will reach Texas by 1990 and California by 1995. [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I have now exhausted my bee lore. I leave it to experts to say more, but this parallels the introduction of fire ants to the Caribbean. When you introduce a new species to a region and they are the biggest and baddest bugs on the block, they become a pest in more ways than one.

Operation Power Flite: The B-52 flies around the world

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

Between January 16th and January 18th, five B-52 bombers, two of which were spares in case something went wrong with the three main planes, flew around the world, taking off from Castle Air Force Base in California. Refueling multiple times as they went, on of the bombers failed to refuel, forcing it to abort the mission and land early. On January 18th the three main planes landed having flown for 45 hours and 19 minutes, over twice as fast as the first non-stop circumnavigation performed by the Lucky Lady II in 1949. The purpose of the mission was to demonstrate the Air Force's capability to be able to drop a hydrogen bomb anywhere in the world. All crew members of the flight were awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses. [12]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
With tensions flaring in Europe and the Middle East after the Suez Canal Crisis, the US wanted to show the USSR that it could still wreak havoc on the USSR even though it was half way around the globe from the major population centers. This was one of the biggest benefits and drawbacks of the US's location, it is far away from all of the wars and conflicts occurring in Europe, which gave it protection from being directly invaded by the Red Army, however it also meant that it was harder for the US to directly assert it's military might, as any full scale land battle would require shipping millions of men across an ocean. So the US had to focus on it's Navy and Air Force to better allow the US to project it's power. As a result, to this day, the US has a extremely large Navy and Air Force which it uses to police the world, because its policy hasn't matured since the Cold War era.

Notable Births

I'm not saying there is something WEIRD about 1957 but... sheeesh!

  • Osama bin Laden (died 2011, age 54): Founder of al-Qaeda, responsible for the 9-11 attacks. [13]
  • Andrew Cuomo: 56th Governor (D) of New York and son of Mario. [13]
  • Cindy Sheehan: Anti-war protestor. [13] [14]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- LeVar Burton: Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek, and Kunta Kinte in Roots. [13]
  • -- John Lasseter: Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation and director for Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Cars. [13]
  • -- Nancy Cartwright: The voice of Bart Simpson. [13]
  • -- Dan Castellaneta: The voice of Homer Simpson. [13]
  • -- Scott Adams: The creator of the Dilbert comic strip. [13]

This Year in Film

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai: Starring Alec Guinness as a British POW who builds a bridge for the Japanese war effort. (Great movie winning many history awards, but THERE WAS NO BRIDGE over Kwai. I'm nit-picking.--alexshrugged) [15]
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Starring Joanne Woodward as a woman with multi-personalities, remade as "Sybil" starring a young Sally Fields and Joanne Woodward as her doctor. [15] [16]
  • An Affair to Remember: This movie is reimagined in the movie "Sleepless in Seattle". [15] [17]

This Year in Music

  • (Please Stay... By Me...) Diana: Paul Anka. [18] [19]
  • (I'm) All Shook Up: Elvis Presley . [18] [20]
  • (Goodness, Gracious) Great Balls of Fire: Jerry Lee Lewis. [18] [21]

In Other News

  • Felix Wankel gets his prototype engine running: This is the rotary engine that Mazda will eventually picked up. (It backfires, but it puts Mazda on the map.--alexshrugged)[22]
  • The Soviet Sputnik 1 and 2 orbit the Earth: The USA steps up the Atlas ICBM program.(I mean space program.--alexshrugged) [23] [24]
  • The "Little Rock Nine" are escorted to school by the 101st Airborne: Eisenhower made desegregation happen because a judge said it was his constitutional duty. (Eisenhower will be the last Constitutional President for some time, if ever.--alexshrugged) [23]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1957, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Bill Ayers - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “In 1969, he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group with the intent to overthrow imperialism, that conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings (including police stations, the US Capitol Building, and the Pentagon) during the 1960s and 1970s in response to US involvement in the Vietnam War.”
  2. Portrait of 'Mad Bomber' not what many expected - NY Daily News (January 23, 2011). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “That day, a worker found a pipe bomb on the windowsill of the Con Edison plant on W. 64th St. It did not explode and was wrapped in a note: 'Con Edison crooks, this is for you. F. P.'”
  3. How New York’s Mad Bomber George Metesky was brought down by pioneer profiler - Daily Telegraph (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “After studying crime scene photos and notes from FP, Brussel drew up a detailed description of the suspect. He predicted the bomber was unmarried, foreign-born, self-educated, in his 50s, lived in Connecticut and was paranoid, with a vendetta against Con Edison. Although some of Brussel’s predictions were common sense, others such as the bomber’s age drew on psychological study. Bussel noted paranoia tended to peak around age 35, so 16 years after setting the first bomb put the bomber in his 50s.”
  4. NOVA - Transcripts - Bombing of America - PBS. pbs.org (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “On sick pay for months, he was dropped from the roster when doctors found nothing wrong. He spend the next three years writing angry letters, and in them, 'dastardly deeds,' that uncommon phrase mentioned in the profile, was used repeatedly. Alice Kelly saved this file for the police. It led them to this house in Waterbury, Connecticut. When George Metesky answered the door, he confessed immediately. The capture of the 'Mad Bomber' of New York made national news.”
  5. George Metesky - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “Metesky had answered the door in pajamas; after he was ordered to get dressed for the trip to Waterbury Police Headquarters, he reappeared wearing a double-breasted suit, buttoned.”
  6. Atascadero State Hospital - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “Atascadero State Hospital (ASH) is located on the Central Coast of California, in San Luis Obispo County, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is an all-male, maximum-security facility, that houses mentally ill convicts who have been committed to psychiatric facilities by California's courts. Located in the city of Atascadero, California, it is the largest employer in that town.”
  7. CA Dept of State Hospitals - Atascadero (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “The Department of State Hospitals-Atascadero is a secure forensic hospital located on the Central Coast of California, in San Luis Obispo County. It opened in 1954 and is a psychiatric hospital constructed within a secure perimeter. The majority of the all-male patient population is remanded for treatment by county superior courts or by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The hospital does not accept voluntary admissions.”
  8. Alex Shrugged notes: I was not Jewish at the time of this story, but my talks on spirituality have not changed. They are very general just as the one I related above, so they can be applied to just about anyone. My neighbor was the regional director for the Campus Crusade for Christ, and he told me that I sounded like about any Christian. That makes sense. Although Christians and Jews approach the texts in different ways, the baseline lessons we take from them are close enough. As long as we don't get too specific, everyone can translate those lessons into their own context and benefit.
  9. Killer Bee (band) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 21 February 2017. “Killer Bee is a Swedish-Canadian rock band formed in the 1990s by songwriters Anders 'LA' Rönnblom and Brian 'Bee' Frank. The band has since released five studio albums and five singles and had a No. 1 hit single 'Take Me Home' that topped the charts for many weeks in Scandinavia.”
  10. Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Killer Bees (2015). Retrieved on 21 February 2017. “In 1956, some colonies of African Honey Bees were imported into Brazil, with the idea of cross-breeding them with local populations of Honey Bees to increase honey production. In 1957, twenty-six African queens, along with swarms of European worker bees, escaped from an experimental apiary about l00 miles south of Sao Paulo.”
  11. Apiary - definition of apiary (2017). Retrieved on 21 February 2017. “a beehive or collection of beehives.”
  12. Operation Power Flite - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 21 February 2017.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 1957 Births - Wikipedia (2017).
  14. Cindy Sheehan - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “an American anti-war activist, whose son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended antiwar protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch”
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 1957 in film - Wikipedia (2017).
  16. Sybil (TV Mini-Series 1976) - IMDb (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed 16 different personalities.”
  17. Sleepless in Seattle - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017. “After watching the film An Affair to Remember, Annie impulsively writes a letter suggesting that Sam meet her on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day. She does not intend to mail it, but her friend and editor Becky does it for her and agrees to send Annie to Seattle.”
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 1957 in music - Wikipedia (2017).
  19. Paul Anka- Diana - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017.
  20. Elvis Presley: All Shook Up - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017.
  21. Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire - YouTube (2017). Retrieved on 20 February 2017.
  22. Felix Wankel - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 July 2016. “He began development of the engine at NSU Motorenwerke AG, leading to the first running prototype on 1 February 1957. Unlike modern Wankel engines, this version had both the rotor and housing rotating. It developed 21 horsepower.”
  23. 23.0 23.1 1957 - Wikipedia (2017).
  24. SM-65 Atlas - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 21 February 2017. “The SM-65 Atlas was the first operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed by the United States, and the first member of the Atlas rocket family.”

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