I could not be Captain Cook. There was no new island to discover. No lee shore to step upon for the first time. No “Giants of Patagonia” to entice the adventurous to a mythic land in which one might discover Professor Challenger’s “Lost World” and find dinosaurs on an isolated escarpment. But world mysteries abounded. They captured the minds of generations. Yet none were ever solved. Hype and Hyperbole had obscured them for decades. What was the truth behind them? Who were the villains of famous crime sprees who had outwitted their pursuers? The principles of investigative inquiry could be seriously directed beyond biographies of Napoleon and the great events of the march of history. I unintentionally became an ‘investigative historian’ of the world’s most popular mysteries and unsolved crime cases.
We are intrigued with exotic and tantalizing mysteries. When mass media could take us around the world, we added to the dossier. We heard of Yeti and speculated he was the missing link. We heard of a monster in Loch Ness. More mysteries were added: a hairy “animal human” called Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada. The Bermuda Triangle– a place in the North Atlantic where ships and planes mysteriously vanish. In the mid 20th century there came the exciting possibility our planet was being visited by intelligences from other planets. We wondered about Ancient Astronauts and past super-civilizations. There was no denying that the appetite of mystery was strong in human kind.
Mystery is not a closed universe. They are born frequently. Some are born from a dark world– Jack the Ripper, The Black Dahlia, ZODIAC, EAR/ONS. So many exist, in fact, they are divided into genres.
Like many people I love mystery. It means we do not know it all. Therefore a mystery is an invitation to look and learn. In all subjects I am neither eager believer nor scornful debunker.
In 1990 I got proactive. I began with the Bermuda Triangle. I uncovered over a 100 disappearances no one had heard of before. I could document with official reports bizarre circumstances, even a reference by a pilot to a “weird object” before he vanished. Despite a 30 page bibliography in my book Into The Bermuda Triangle, I presented the subject with a pious determination to be the compiler and commentator, studiously if not painfully avoiding any reference to myself and the first person pronoun.
The book overwhelmed people, but I was labeled as one of those who spreads mystery rather than one who wanted to solve them. In successive books, I ripped from the enigma of the Triangle two of its most famous cases– Flight 19 and the USS Cyclops. No one knew what to make of me. New York Times bestseller Randy Wayne White even had to warn readers: “The danger of Gian J. Quasar’s fascination with mysteries often assigned to ‘paranormal causes’ is that readers will assume his writing is tainted with secret advocacy and bias— like the majority of hacks who litter this field. Readers, rest easy. Quasar is a superb writer and researcher, and stands alone at the top of this unusual field. Through Quasar, the genre is elevated (finally!) to equal, even exceeds, the highest standards of investigative journalism . . .”
In Recasting Bigfoot I took on the issues of, naturally, Sasquatch. My Bermuda Triangle bibliography had showed how I was capable of finding any report. Bigfooters thought my book would be the book of books of Bigfoot stories. I had to forewarn it was not. By this time I was squarely in investigative mode. Evidence, in fact, pointed to humans having been involved and a native American anthropoid. I changed the image of Bigfoot and became the center of a schism that took hundreds quietly to my side. I became the most hated man in Bigfootery. Yet the point of my thesis is not contentiously pushed lest the smoldering fire burst into flame.
The closest I had come to solving one of these weighty world mysteries is Flight 19, and indeed a number of media and military historians believe I have logically solved the case. As I moved on to other cases, there were those who wanted to follow Flight 19 to solution according to my thesis and insist The Okefenokee Swamp allow a detailed investigation of its contents.
I had pressed on into Cold Case. I followed the doctrinaire approach and began with Jack the Ripper. Like the Triangle, I set out to document, to vividly and factually recreate the crimes and seasons of Jack the Ripper and London 1888. Scarlet Autumn was the result. The difference is I was not the aloof commentator but the investigative historian and crime scene investigator. Like so many of my other books, it had to fight its way through the cottage industry of folklore.
I found the folklore in True Crime and Cold Case more disturbing than that which haunts the sensational cases of UFOs and Bigfoot. It is a serious subject, with many people left in the wake of brutal carnage. Yet I never found real investigative theses. I found the hurried desire to promote suspects and claim solutions that were so thin they were practically transparent. It was a genre choked with “Daddy did it” books or pointless conspiracies.
Yet these cases are far more solvable than the sensational genres of UFOs and Yeti.
With cold case I started pushing the point. These were solvable, not just marketable. I started re-writing cases with the facts according to the crime scene investigation, content of all clues and evidence, inquest proceedings, and context of the time in which the crimes happened.
Of all the most famous cases, ZODIAC was the case that was still historically reachable. I could revisit each crime scene. I could examine each letter he wrote. I made a laborious display of it online. The information was considered “a very different take” rather than definitive. Still the “bitter with daddy” books were churned out, none of the daddies bearing any resemblance to ZODIAC. The reenactment of the crimes was grossly in error. Authors used economic rehash.
The ability to educate and influence via the internet seemed lost. For cold case anyway, the web seemed an unvetted display equal to cheap pulp publishing– a world of suspects and folklore, a real life comic strip in which new installments were welcomed but no attempt to rewrite a franchise with the facts was acceptable.
I pushed the point all the way with EAR/ONS. Few had heard of this super-villain. I intended the section of my new website The Quester Files would be the definitive investigative work. One purpose. Solve the case. Push the point that these cases can be solved. They do not need to forever wallow in a perpetual franchise of fantasy.
This is where we are as of this writing, January 10, 2016. It is working. Two jurisdictions have reopened the case. I have been contacted for input. Aside from my suspect there are 2 others. This will be pushed to solution.
Websites and books can be made respectable again.
I became The Quester, the Q Man, Qolchak with a Q, both hated and loved. We all love mysteries, but it is time to start solving some of them. There shall be many more to take the place of those that get solved. So this is what I have become. I could not be Captain Cook. I cannot get to another planet. I didn’t want to spend a lifetime on the respectable mysteries of science. I wanted to solve some of the fantastic mysteries of our time, probe into some of the most exotic claims to see what could be learned, and hunt some of the worst villains in history.