Mothman and Golf

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 29th, 2009

Mark Pellington, The Mothman Prophecies, Arlington Road, Mason Gamble, Esalen, and Golf in the Kingdom. It’s just another day of twilight links.

Mark Pellington directed Arlington Road (1999) and The Mothman Prophecies (2002).

Christopher Knowles, over at The Secret Sun, today is discussing “astrognostics,” and then he starts to make some connections to names personally familiar to me. While I put the finishing touches on my Lake Champlain thoughts for mid-week, let me share this with you here.

After pondering some popular cultural astrogeneaology emails, family mythology, and some films it brought to mind for Knowles personally, the Secret Sun blogger writes that he has “friends in common” with Mark Pellington, director of The Mothman Prophecies. He notes that Pellington’s first feature film was Arlington Road.

Mason Gamble in Arlington Road.

Knowles writes:

And weirdest of all, Arlington Road opens with a harrowing scene of a boy who’s been maimed by a bomb. The boy is played by Mason Gamble…..who I was just hanging around with at Esalen. The gyre is constantly widening, isn’t it, Bob?

Christopher Knowles and Mason Gamble at Esalen.

…Like the Mothmen, the syncs notice you noticing them and tend to follow you around.

But for some reason, the syncs we see inside films like The Nines or The Number 23 never seem to be as arresting as the syncs we see in the Synchrosphere, or in our own lives. Movies are great at generating Synchronicity, but not usually as good at portraying it. ~ Chris Knowles


As some may or may not know, I worked with Sony/Screen Gems’ publicity division in late 2001 and early in 2002, doing media interviews on behalf of Pellington’s film. John Keel was regularly ill, so I appeared on nearly 400 radio shows and in a few television documentaries (including on the special deluxe DVD) talking about the Mothman movie. My Mothman book also came out in January 2002, complete with what’s called a tie-in “sunburst” promoting the movie on its backcover.

Loren Coleman being interviewed about Mothman on “Animal X.”

The links mentioned by Knowles are intriguing, to say the least.

It is a small world, indeed.

Pellington, I found, is a master of understanding the “name game.” Arlington Road was a deep look at the conspiracy thought process. The Mothman Prophecies film and events surrounding it are a synchromystic gold mine or minefield (depending upon how you are impacted). Some of Pellington’s “name games” are seemingly well-planned and others simply align with supposedly “random events,” which I can hardly insult anyone anymore by calling them “coincidences.”

In February 2002, I wrote of some of these elements I discovered in a SciFi Dimension piece, entitled “The Mothman Prophecies: ‘Gordon Smallwood’ and Some Strange Happenings.”

I’ve discussed often the little “name games” played in this movie, such as John Keel showing up in the “Leek” (as in “Keel” backwards) character, played by Alan Bates (who died December 27, 2003) and the “John Klein” (John Keel) role of Richard Gere. But sometimes the “games” seem to turn sinister.

Linda Scarberry, famed first Mothman eyewitness, is interviewed on “Animal X.” Her boyfriend and fellow witness was Roger Mallette.

As I was writing that SciFi piece, deaths related to the original Mothman eyewitnesses were occurring too frequently, including Agatha Bennett (January 12, 2002), Charles Mallette (January 22, 2002), and Gary Ury (February 15, 2002). When the deaths started touching closer to the film and my book, the darkness seemed nearer. Some of those deaths included Ted Demme (Pellington’s friend, January 13, 2002), Ted Tannebaum (the film’s executive producer, March 7, 2002), and Aaron Rebsamen (son of the illustrator who did the art for my book’s cover, by suicide, May 23, 2002).

Then, with much shock and sadness, I was so sorry to hear that Pellington’s young 42-year-old wife died unexpectedly two years after the success of his film, on July 30, 2004.

That movie took many of us on several wild rides, emotionally.

That Knowles would highlight Mason Gamble, when so much of The Mothman Prophecies centers on the happening in Mason County, West Virginia, seems only right. To learn that Gamble’s next project is as Michael Murphy in the movie adaption of Golf in the Kingdom (1972), an Esalen book by Michael Murphy, well, just seems so very Secret Sun. 🙂

For those unaware of the links here (pun intended), here is the overview of Golf in the Kingdom:

Esalen Institute founder Michael Murphy’s divine meditation on the royal and ancient game defied categorization when it was first published in 1972, and it still does. Instantly hailed as a classic, Golf in the Kingdom is an altogether unique confluence of fiction, philosophy, myth, mysticism, enchantment, and golf instruction. The central character is a wily Scotsman named Shivas Irons, a golf professional by vocation and a shaman by design, whom Murphy, as participant in his own novel, meets in 1956 on the links of Burningbush, in Fife. The story of their round of golf together culminates in a wild night of whiskey and wisdom where, as Shivas demonstrates how the swing reflects the soul, their golf quite literally takes on a metaphysical glow. The events alter not only Murphy’s game, but they also radically alter his mind and inner vision; it’s truly unforgettable. For a golfer, Murphy’s masterpiece is as essential as a set of clubs.

Even as a non-golfer, I appreciate the deep mystical significance of golf’s connection to much of what we all are attempting to fathom. One can measure a circle, beginning anywhere.


Mothman and Other Curious Encounters, 2002.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

2 Responses to “Mothman and Golf”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    The movie was Ok for me, nothing more. I DID like your book on the subject. Very informative and enlightening, as always. And I was sorry to hear Pellington’s wife died after the movie came out.

  2. seagraves responds:

    Some excellent cryptofiction for pre-teens: “Sasquatch” and “Cryptid Hunters” by the retired field biologist Roland Smith. I read Sasquatch when I was eight and have been enamored with cryptozoology ever since. Both books are thrilling and rich with information about cryptids and nature. They’ll suck in anyone of any age, even if you’ve been a cryptozoologist for thirty years!

Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.