Friday, August 12, 2016

Errol




Errol Bruce-Knapp, of UFO UpDates, Strange DaysIndeed, the Virtually Strange Network... ...and the coiner of the expression "Fast Forward," has passed. 

22:00 hours, the eleventh of August, 2016.  He was 73.

I never met him in meat-space.  That's come to matter not at all.  Does it have to, one wonders.

I used to hate talking to Errol on the phone even as I had great times, even peak experiences with him, on the radio... weird.  It wasn't him, not at all.  It was me... I didn't feel worthy enough to take up his time, even as it had been him calling me for something!  

Myself, a world traveled professional soldier, summa grad, and aviation combat veteran, I was frankly intimidated by Errol's life experience, intelligence, and his depth of character.  He was who I had wanted to be when I grew up, eh?  I felt unworthy.

Truly, it was rather like getting rung up by a genuine "Gandalf the Grey" who had "roadied" for the Beatles and was a confidant of Dr. Strange's "Ancient One"... for chit-chat on the unsettled and unsettling issues of the day.  I was loath to be caught short conversationally or not measure up in some imagined manner... ...Revealed as a "fraud" and asked to leave Errol's stage. 

Maybe he knew; he probably did.  He never made me pay for it.  He was ever gracious, unconsumed with self, and all that given the stories he could tell about casual participation in the very events about which they are now making feature films, today!  Errol was the whetted cutting edge of the bona fide "age which is upon us."  He was all that, I say true.

It was Errol, in the beginning, who cultivated this insignificant person's contribution and facilitated his "odd odes," a name Errol had coined himself, as early as 1996. It was he who was key regarding this writer's early fellowship with Stanton Friedman and on whose coattails Frank Feschino would serendipitously  ride!  It was an association with Errol that would lead to contact and friendship with Robert Hastings and Richard Dolan. These four would synergize and otherwise qualify a limitless interest in the most demanding questions of our time to become a philosophical quadriga powering this writer's ufological chariot!  Errol was the master of those accommodating ufological stables!

These would be followed by hosts of others, for which he was the communicational mortar, and from which I'd never have gotten the remotest traction, myself, but that Errol Bruce-Knapp let me in the room to stand with him and even throw down a little sand, eh?  I was a hard sell!  

Eventually, I am allowed opportunity to travel the country, to a degree, in the interests of UFOs, meet the people involved, be introduced to perpetual wonder, and then write about it in an International Magazine.  A facilitated opportunity all owed, initially, to Errol Bruce-Knapp.

Errol was, moreover, an ethical paragon of our paranormal milieu in which senseless, if purposed, ridicule and a forced information-void provides for few ethical or moral paragons.  He was short on "woo" and long on "reasonability."  He was not detoured when that same reasonability would include a huge potential for the existentiality of UFOs widely reflected in seven categories of compelling evidence he had helped this writer to evolve and recognize. He'd go where the data went. 

A light in a darkness provoked by that jealous status quo, Errol was tireless amidst those fatigued by official indifference, reflexive skepticism, and du jour scientism.  Rare bird, he.

Asked once in interview about his research as regards UFOs and the ETH, he admonished, "I'm not a researcher, I'm a facilitator."  This was true in the best possible sense.  There was original research, but Errol Bruce-Knapp was more a genuine carrier wave for information that would not have, otherwise, gotten so easy a transmission by alternative means.  Certainly not one of Errol's open-minded if hard-nosed caliber.  By reputation, he was a 30 mm high explosive cannon round among 22 caliber short rounds. He didn't make anybody pay for that either.

Many of us got our starts and first venue on his Strange Days, Indeed AM radio program and his world class UFO UpDates list and message board, from whom the likes of Chris Carter, of X-Files fame, would draw their lore and lexicon for lucrative theatrical projects.  Don Ledger, Paul Kimball, Grant Cameron, and significant others saw greater penetration as a result of the inclusive band-width which was Errol Bruce-Knapp.

Needlessly cautious and intimidated I was enlivened, still, to bask in the glow of the man. Here was a person of whom it could be said that talent and expansive rationality had combined with efficacious imagination to shine productive lamps... where light is unbravely loath to go!  That glow is snuffed out as all glows must, I suppose, but I wonder when and in what situations we're going to miss the illumination that Errol would provide, and mourn his memory fresh and anew.  That's where he'll be missed.

I fancy the idea that ilk the likes of Errol Bruce-Knapp is out there.  That one of those alluded to no longer is, is to be reminded how brief our stay on life's stage. We're admonished that we shouldn't waste a second of what is later to be a regretted missed opportunity to avail ourselves of something we'll mean to make time for... with all the best intentions... but put off until it's too late.  Would that I could talk to him on the phone one more time... 

Goodbye, Errol!  We'll see you on the other side, friend and Brother!  ...And one more, last, time?  I say thank you, Sir.  

Thank you for "getting" me, encouraging me, supporting me, and for being a valued friend, to the end.  You'll be having better things to do, I know, but read on, Mr. Flynn.

1 comments:

Paul Kimball said...

He was a fine man, with a life well lived. I was fortunate to be able to count him as a friend, one of the few people in ufology that I truly respected. He will be greatly missed.

PK