Came across an article today worth posting about. It's from www.mania.com:
Back in the 1950s, psychological warfare planners within the American military began spreading tales of blood-sucking, monstrous vampires being on the loose in the Philippines. The reason: to terrify the superstitious, Communist Huk rebels that at the time, were engaged in an uprising in the Philippines.
The operation was a truly ingenious one that was coordinated by a certain Major General Edward G. Lansdale. Born in 1908, Lansdale served with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War. Then, in 1945, he was transferred to HQ Air Forces Western Pacific in the Philippines; and, in 1957, he received a posting to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, working as Deputy Assistant to the SoD for what were vaguely termed as “Special Operations.”
At the specific request of President Elpidio Quirino, Lansdale was assigned to the Joint United States Military Assistance Group to provide assistance and guidance in the field of Intelligence, to the Philippine Army, as the latter sought to squash the Huk uprising. And it was while lending assistance to President Quirino that Lansdale had the bright idea of exploiting a local legend for psychological warfare purposes – namely, that of the deadly, predatory and monstrous Asuang Vampire. A very strange “special operation” had well and truly begun.
In his own words, Lansdale would later say that: “To the superstitious, the Huk battleground was a haunted place filled with ghosts and eerie creatures. A combat psy-war squad was brought in. It planted stories among town residents of an Asuang living on the hill where the Huks were based. Two nights later, after giving the stories time to make their way up to the hill camp, the psywar squad set up an ambush along the trail used by the Huks.”
Lansdale continued: “When a Huk patrol came along the trail, the ambushers silently snatched the last man of the patrol, their move unseen in the dark night. They punctured his neck with two holes, vampire-fashion, held the body up by the heels, drained it of blood, and put the corpse back on the trail. When the Huks returned to look for the missing man and found their bloodless comrade, every member of the patrol believed that the Asuang had got him and that one of them would be next if they remained on that hill. When daylight came, the whole Huk squadron moved out of the vicinity.”
And, as a direct result of these actions, key, strategic ground was taken out of the hands of the Huk rebels.'
So two and a bit weeks after resigning as AHWA's President and the rust is slowly sloughing off... I actually sat down at my computer last night and spent 3 hours on my novel - mostly research - but it was a wonderful feeling.
Then I watched Dexter. That guy's so cold, it's awesome.
So that's the Worldcon, thank you very much. And what a trip!! Ye Gods, I drank too much, said too many silly things, but jeez I had an awesome time :)
Met loads of cool cats, folks I've spoken to via email for years but had never actually met, and caught up with many old friends. It was a brilliant time - but somewhat chaotic! There just didn't seem to be enough time to do half of the things I wanted to do. Oh well, there will be other cons.
The Nightmare Ball went really well (a huge THANK YOU to Kyla for that; she truly did do us all proud), with many crazy-cool costumes. And the one thing I forgot to do - throughout the whole con - was to take photos! D'oh.
A mate of mine would call that a Dave Moment...
Oh well, there are plenty of photos doing the rounds on Facebook (and fortunately, I'm yet to see any of me in drunken disarray, which is always good...).
I caught up with the agent fellow (John from Zeno Agency) and had a very positive and exciting chat about my novel, so I've come home enthusiastic and eager to get back into writing - which of course I can do now I've passed on the Presidential reigns to Leigh Blackmore (who is gonna rock as the new head honcho). Exciting times indeed...
Macabre was even launched and damn, that book looks great (okay, so I'm slightly biased here, but damn it looks great). Met Bob Franklin, TV/movie star and horror writer, and cool dude. He's one of our contributors so I got him to sign my copy (go Bob!). Missed out on getting many other signatures though, so it looks like I'll be lugging that tomb of a book around at the next con...
And I even brought a domain name for my new coming-soon website - can you believe I managed to get www.martyyoung.com? Couldn't believe it wasn't taken.
So as well as writing frantically, I'll also be updating this rusty, cobwebbed blog and changing a few other things. It's a new start, and an exciting one at that!