The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 12, 1974 · Page 193
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 193

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Sunday, May 12, 1974
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" r' Sunday, May 12, 1974 Philadelphia Inquirer , AS I SEE IT A viewpoint column by various authors . Rush to Rapid Transit Might Backfire JOHN HERITAGE Environmental writer for ; is. The Christian Science Monitor . WASHINGTON A 'T FIRST GLANCE, the surg-J ing interest in mass transit f would seen a healthy trend. The United States badly needs new -transport modes to ease pollution and congestion and save energy. But the nation should take a second look before making an all-out mass-transit commitment. A gigantic program to build new transit facilities might create big new problems and yield poor results. There may be cheaper, quicker solutions for urban travel. .... - Illustrating the current rush to mass transit, the Federal Government now has $S billion in applications from 250 cities for bus and rail-system aid. To meet the rising demand, Congress is working on emergency measures, and the administration is seeking broad reforms. One key House subcommit- JAMES R. MILLS President pro tern of the Calinrnia Senate (Demoorat from San Diego) Los Angeles Times Service GAS STATION LINES have diminished. Gasoline, once scarce, is more plentiful at 60 cents a gallon. And private enterprise, the oil companies would have us believe, has once again saved the day, and the energy crisis is under control. But is it? Since the beginning of our fuel shortage, the major oil companies have been able to achieve goals that were never possible in pre-shortage days. They have succeeded in: Getting approval for an Alaskan pipeline. Raising profits by high percentages. , Easing .out independent dealers in favor of company-operated stations. Pyramid Some Say Trim Fat, FRED GIRARD' Knight News Service GLORIA SWANSON sleeps with one under her bed. James' Co-burn meditates inside one, then puts his cat and her kittens to bed over a nest of them, in the belief the kittens will grow to be supercats. A Houston doctor placed microbes inside one, and found they lived 64 hours longer than their brethren outside. At least, three companies sell them, claiming that razor blades kept inside them will never dull. A college lecturer who sleeps in one claims he slimmed down nicely, remembers his dreams better and needs only 90 minutes of sleep a night. In France housewives buy their yogurt in containers shaped like them, and in Spain and Italy, their counterparts buy milk the same way, because the products supposedly stay much fresher much longer. , They're pyramids, the legacy of Cheops and Giza, potential high energy alternatives to the cults of the Mahari-shi, transcendental meditation, biofeedback and I Ching. For thousands of years the immense pyramids jutting up from the red-brown sands of Egypt have fascinated and mystified man. Were they simply the tombs of the pharaohs? Or could they have been enormous Rosetta Stones," keys to understanding the genius of a highly complex and developed civilization? Or perhaps even a form of time capsule, an embodiment of information and history left by a race of super-beings from some other planet? Rather than waning with the passage of years, the mystery of the pyr fc;'l (V4 1 v, r iirrm- i u iiiiiinwm - "HTM liilniiliMMPWH wmmm mm ifiT T' litimmmWrnrnmnnm San Francisco's BART, has been plagued with troubles, including a March strike that halted service. " tee reportedly is considering a $30-billion, six-year program. However, " Owen and the other transportation experts emphasize the dangers in a hasty swing to Getting off-shore drilling bans lifted. Raising retail prices, The major oil companies have gotten what they . wanted from the oil crisis.' By manipulating our energy resources, they have brought the country to its knees. They will continue to abuse the trust they have to manage our petroleum resources unless the people act now. A reasonable and sensible approach toward managing those resources can be found in an initia- tive called OIL for Oil Initiative League. The proposal would make petroleum corporations public utilities, subjecting them to regulation by the state Public Utilities Commission. The oil initiative would establish a public policy of conserving and protecting petroleum resources for the public interest not corporate profit. Regulation of the major oil companies by the Public Utilities Power? They Can Sharpen Razors, and Do Other Weird Things amids has been fanned into flame again by a curious cult of scientists, mystics and plain citizens who believe the pyramid shape possesses a unique and quite useful energy. T HEIR NUMBERS are led by an aging boy genius from California, Patrick Flanagan. Flanagan, 29, was a child prodigy in electronics who now holds' more than 200 patents on various inventions. He theorizes, and claims to have proven, that the pyramid-shape acts as a focus, or lens, for an unknown energy he calls "bio-cosmic," or pyramid energy. His research has led to a thriving direct-mail business in which Flanagan sells a Pyramid Energy Generator, an array of inch-high pyramids on a wooden base; a vinyl Cheops Pyramid Tent, said to be a good environment for meditation because it surrounds the user which energy; a gold-colored aluminum plate charged with pyramid energy; and small cardboard pyramids used in experimentation. Part of the reason for the sustained interest in pyramids is the series of. utterly inexplicable and enchanting facts that have been learned about the Egyptian pyramids themselves. For instance: The exact height of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, at Giza, 146.S9 meters, when multiplied by one billion equals 93 million miles, the number of miles from the earth to the sun. A meridian extended directly through the center of the pyramid forms a straight line from the North Pole to the South Pole that crosses the greatest amount of land around the globe that a straight line possibly can. The area of the base of the Cheops pyramid, divided by twice its Among believers in pyramid-power are Gloria Swan-son and James Coburn. ' new rapid transit line, costly rail-transit facilities. "In the end, the country will find out that neither highways nor rapid rail will automatically solve our urban living problems," Owen predicts. The Should Big Oil t5c"Sri I "Oil companies have begun a campaign to make their hold . . . complete with the takeover of independent service stations." Commission would provide a hedge against another "crisis" brought on by corporate manipulation. Arguments by the petroleum industry that the companies are not height, equals pi, the keystone of advanced math. The exact circumference of the base of the pyramid is 36,524 inches. It takes the earth 365.24 days to travel around the sun. The pyramid's weight is said to be precisely that of the earth's divided by one trillion. , From these startling facts grew an entire body of theory, propounded by John Taylor in 1859 and expanded by astronomer Charles Piazzi Smith five years later into the full-scale philosophy of life known as pyramidology. THE MAIN TENETS of their "theory were that the pyramids' measurements embodied a totality of geodesic and astronomic knowledge, that the measurements also held, in cipher form, prophesies relating to the events that later would form the body of the Old Testament, as well as the complete future history of Christendom up to and including the second coming of Christ. Taylor and Smith, both English, also believe the great pyramids were constructed not by the ancient Egyptians but, under divine inspiration by a race of invaders, whose descendants were the biblical Israelites and latter-day Anglo-Saxons. " It was really no quantum leap, therefore, to a theory that pyramids possessed a unique energy. It began to the late 1930s when a French scientist, M. Bovis, visited Giza. In the King's Chamber, in the center of the pyramid a third of the way up, Bovis noticed trash cans containing the bodies of small animals that had wandered in and died. Oddly, the corpses were not decayed, but dehydrated and mummified. When once again in France, Bovis experimented by building an exact replica of the pyramid with a base three feet long and aligned directly on a north-south axis, as the Giza pyramid is. He placed a dead cat inside the structure, and another outside. The one in the pyramid mummified, literally embalming itself, while the one outside putrefied as expected. Bovis made other experiments with the same results,, and his work came to the attention of Karel Drbal, a Czechoslovakian radio engineer. country must learn, he argues, that good urban planning is as vital to transportation as new technology. Already automation problems have delayed the opening of a key section of BART, San Francisco's fabled new rapid-rail system. And an experimental rail-transit line in Morgantown, W. Va., has suffered so many technical and cost problems that its federal sponsors, reportedly may dismantle it. In Congress, the new Office of Technology Assessment is preparing a review of automated:rail-transit technology as a result of the , San Francises problems. The! study was requested by transit supporters who fear major - nationwide setback if technical kinks aren't removed. New rapid-rail systems now are under way or being considered in- at least nine major U. S. cities. THE HUGE COSTS posed by the U. S. transit revival are bringing distress signals from the Urban Mass Transportation Ad Be a Public monopolies and therefore should not be declared public utilities strain the public belief. Dr. Allen Ferguson, president of the Public Interest Economics Center and Foundation, reports that "the first fact about the pertoleum industry is that it is not competitive. There are nnly a small number of major cfirms in the state and even the nation." THESE FIRMS work together so often in all phases of the petroleum industry that their separate corporate entities become indistinguishable. Four of the biggest American companies own t. .: major part of Aramco, the largest producer of oil in Saudi Arabia. The oil companies have begun a campaign to make their hold on all phases of the petroleum industry from drilling to refining to retail sales complete with the takeover of the independent service stations. Great Pyramid of Drbal made the first practical application of pyramid energy. He placed a used razor blade inside a small replica of the Cheops pyramid, and found the edge of the blade automatically regained its sharpness after use. He shaved, he said, more than 200 times with one Gilette Blue Blade. A ridiculous claim? The Czechoslovakian Government didn't think so it awarded Drbal a patent for the Cheops Pyramid razor blade sharpener. AND THERE ARE THOSE in this country who make the same claims. Max Toth, of New York City, for instance, president of Toth Pyramid Co., sells a cardboard Pyramid Razor Blade Sharpener for $3.50, as does Flanagan in Glendale, Calif. And the same type of pyramid is sold by the Monarch Manufacturing Co. of Roseville, Mich., owned and operated by a man who wants to appear anything but silly. Larry Craven's primary interest actually isn't in pyramids, but in a shaving brush that attaches to aerosol cans of shaving cream and furnishes hot lather. "The pyramid business was just a related thing," Craven said. "I hold the patent on a piece of shaving equipment, so why not distribute something that's supposed to sharpen blades?" Craven is deathly afraid of appearing "far out." He knows the razor blade sharpener doesn't fit that description, because other companies around the country are doing the same thing, and their , customers swear it works. But his connections with the world of pyramids also have led him into distributorship of the "Mystic Pyramid," a truncated figure inside of which are multicolored plastic pegs ministration" (UMTA). Big federal-aid requests from just a few cities "can blow our budget," says a UMTA spokesman. This year, the administration has been reluctant to fund "new starts" in the expen-" sive rail-transit projects although it now says it is setting new criteria for rail aid. , There may be alternatives to a full-scale, national mass-transit push, however. One now is being debated in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The emphasis of this plan would be on reducing the need for transportation, rather than on building a high-priced rail-transit system. This dollar-conscious new ' strategy was authorized by the respected local group, the Citizens League. Unlike many big transit plans, the Citizens League would de-emphasize the automobile. Rail transit would be one substitute, but it would be used within downtown centers rather than laid out across Utility? Clearly, the major companies monopolize our petroleum resources. To declare them public utilities would be in keeping with our regulation of the more competitive airline bus and trucking industries. Making oil companies publb utilities would have no disastrous elect on the major oil companies' ability to search for more oil. , Tax incentives to urge exploration rve, in tu oast, only been an incentive for oil companies to drill everywhere but in the United States, using the American taxpayer to foot the bill for their foreign operations. The oil companies have been using the American public for too long, and there is no hope that they ' ;.. i l " ji r r ... w. i v t.i : future. Rep. Les Aspin (D., Wis.), writing in the Annals of the American Academy, summed up the situation: "as iing as siignt but nat 'Bf It r ,a l cfr w " tXi Cheops looms behind the Sphinx near Cairo. and a convex mirror surrounded by silver foil. Peering into the open top, Craven's advertisement says, one will see a "parade of images and strange events . that are reflected upon the optic nerve! Perhaps we are viewing images of events from the past or future!" . . That, by anyone's definition, is far out. And so are some of the results' supposedly gained by Dale Cottrill, a professional psychic and lecturer at Macomb County Community College near Detroit. Cottrill has conducted some pyramid experiments that most other dabblers in the field consider normal: His results have demonstrated the sharpening of razor blades, dehydration and mummification, preservative- effects on dried flowers and other substances, the mellowing of bad wine, the sweetening of bitter coffee ... But Cottrill has gone several steps further. "I slept in a pyramid which was a replica of the one at Giza," Cottrill explained. "I lost weight, needed only an hour and a half of sleep a night, improved my memory to the point where I could remember 'far lives,' remembered my dreams better and even had 'triple dreams', improved my body control." FLANAGAN, on the other hand, has made very effort to keep his claims for pyramid power at reasonable, believable levels. Flanagan, for instance, is one of the few scientists who make a serious effort at explaining the phenomenon of pyramid energy. "My present research results confirm that this energy is of a special magnetic nature," Flanagan writes in an essay entitled "The Pyramid and Its Relationship to Biocosmic Energy.". the whole metropolis. Minibuses, bike ways;' and enclosed walkways would also be used to loosen the automobile downtown grip. The director of the Citizens League, Ted Kolderie, argues that this dual strategy in improving auto use and cutting travel needs could yield big results quickly and cheaply. "Basically, it is a matter of persuading people," he says. "By contrast, a big rail-transit system would take years to build. It might never attract the ridership necessary to ease significantly' the area's traffic load." , In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the Citizens League proposal has stimulated a vigorous and healthy debate. The same issues now must be raised nationally. Should America embark on another era of enormous construction in transportation, or are there more economic alternatives which would provide better travel and greater urban liv-ability? AS I SEE IT A viewpoint column by various authors severe shortages allow the major oil companies to squeeze out independents, to collect windfall profits and to undermine the environmental movement, there is no reason to think that these slight shortages will not continue." In the early 1900s, the railroads abused their responsibility to the public to the point that we rose up in defense of the public interest and made them public utilities in 1911. The oil companies have exceeded the abuses perpetrated by the railroads. The time for public involvement n cur rV policies is at hand. The entire proposition boils down to the question of whether regulation of the oil resources should be in the hands of the people or in the hands of corporate interests. The corporate interests have controlled it so far, with disastrous results for the consumer. It is time the people held the oil companies accountable. "The forces are those which bind the universe together. By Magnetic Form Resonance (Flanagan's name for the new energy), energies on micro-cosmic levels may be 'tuned' in with microcosmi devices such as the pyramid. "This energy can expose a sheet of Kodacolor film to an intense blue color " in total darkness ... it can create effects similar to heat, magnetism and luminous radiations, but is itself none of these." After Flanagan wrote that, however, he claimed to have developed process whereby the energy was no longer invisible. Called "Kirlian photography," the process was developed in Russia as a method of photographing the "aura" that supposedly sur-, rounds all living things. 1 After a long series of hit-and-miss experiments, Flanagan's busines manager, M. Duke Lanfre, using Kir. lian filters, took a photograph of a Pyramid Energy Generator with a three-hour time exposure in a totally darkroom. The developed print shows streaks of something light 'or energy 8 emanating from the tips of the little pyramids. How much is myth, how much fact? "I'm skeptical terribly skeptical," was the reaction of the Rev. Father Vincent Hagarman, a Jesuit priest and an associate professor of physics at the University of Detroit. Fr. Hagarman knew nothing of the pyramid theories, other than having heard of the razor blade experiments some time ago, but made some general comments. "It's extremely difficult to say certain things such as types of energy do NOT exist," he said. "It's just difficult for me to believe that such an energy, if it did exist, could be influenced by a geometric shape. . , I

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