Please enjoy this imagery from one of the spiritual ancestors of WEIRD UNIVERSE, FATE MAGAZINE
Researchers of the paranormal have identified a common theme in ghost tales: dime-dropping ghosts. That is, many people report the belief that ghosts are leaving them dimes. Consider this example reported on about.com's paranormal phenomena blog
My aunt Julie died two years ago, on November 14, 2006. She had three children. Her youngest was only 14. Not long after her death, my uncle (her husband) found a dime on the floor of his workout room. No one, but him goes in that room. It was weird because he never has money when working out! He told my mom about it, and my mom had found a dime too! That same day. She found it at work, in the corner of her office. She called my mom about the stories. She found that very odd because she just found two dimes underneath my pop's chair at the kitchen table. Neither one of them put the dimes there. After almost the whole family found many dimes that were randomly anywhere, we knew it was Aunt Julie.
That's just one example. There are many more. My dead relatives must be stingy because they never leave me any dimes. But if any of them are listening out there, and are feeling generous, please consider leaving more than ten cents! $100 bills would be nice.
Synchronicity in the creative arts is pretty weird. The independent invention of very similar things. Charles Fort
, one of the masters of all things weird, even had a term for it: "steam engine time." Fort's notion was that when an era was ripe, it called forth certain creations multiple times, without coordination among mere humans.
I was reminded of this recently in a small way while watching the 1942 film TO BE OR NOT TO BE
. In this film, Robert Stack plays a dashing Polish aviator named Lieut. Stanislav Sobinski.
What other fictional dashing Polish aviator premiered right at this time? None other than Blackhawk
, who debuted in August of 1941.
Could it be a simple case of the Blackhawk
comic influencing the scripter of To Be or Not to Be
? Unlikely, given the short span between the debut of Blackhawk and the release of the Robert Stack film, which had to be in production for some time prior.
It's more likely that the plight of Poland under Hitler's invasion called forth the notion of a national hero. But why aviator? Just the romance of aerial combat, I suppose.
Here're pictures of Blackhawk and Stack in his role (leftmost figure, below) to compare. Stack is out of uniform in this shot, but when he's wearing his flying outfit, the resemblance to Blackhawk is uncanny.