Recollections of Tall Timbers
The Alien Connection
By Ed Komarek
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My blog: http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/
I am not one that dwells on the past preferring to live in the present and for the future. The invitation to come to Tall Timbers http://www.talltimbers.org/ alumni gathering as part of this year’s 50th anniversary celebrations however stimulated old memories of my involvement with Tall Timbers that I feel should be put down in print for the benefit of others interested in Tall Timbers history.
As the last Komarek standing I feel that I owe it to my father Ed Komarek Sr. the central organizer of Tall Timbers to attend some of these Tall Timbers functions as well as for my uncle Roy Komarek without whose lifetime support and follow up, my father never could have done all that he did. In fact both Roy and Ed worked so closely together all their lives that they should be considered a team. Roy was like a second father to me. I also feel that I should be here for Herb Stoddard my father’s ecological mentor and my mentor as well. Herb was like a grandfather to me as a boy and young man and I was fortunate to know him for much of the latter part of his life right up to his death.
My earliest memories of Tall Timbers were of coming with my parents to Tall Timbers to view Mr. Beadel’s wildlife films. Mr. Beadel always sat in his high chair high up in front of those of us in his audience who were often just our little family but sometimes there were others. When it came time to show the films we turned our audience chairs around to view the projector screen. I always thought this arrangement a little particular as well as the woman who lived in the Beadel house who seemed to always be in the background. We kids were told that this woman was Mr. Beadel’s nurse. J
I was impressed by the huge fish mounted on the west wall of the Beadel room as well as the taxidermy specimens on the benches and walls of the room. The large power generator in front yard also caught my interest. The best part of these early visits to Tall Timbers plantation was that my sister and I got ginger ale to drink. This would be no big deal for kids today but back then my mother rationed coke and other drinks to mostly when we had an upset stomach feeling that such drinks were not good for young children.
Somewhere early on around 1954 the really big deal for me was the annual rabbit hunt at Tall Timbers. The rabbits were hunted only with sticks and the hunters were mostly black who had become very skilled at hunting with sticks and had learned this from their slave ancestors who were allowed very limited access to guns. Still several whites, Sonny Stoddard and Leon Neel joined the ranks of the hunters as well as me. It was an inspiration to see Sonny and Leon nail rabbits with a stick but being so young I never got a rabbit.
My parents and we kids rode in the hunting wagons with the other white folks to follow the hunters and the dogs who traveled on foot. I was well prepared to get myself a rabbit and had cut, cured and practiced throwing sticks for a month each year in preparation for the rabbit hunt. I would jump down off the wagon and make my throws when the hunters and dogs found a rabbit. After the hunt my father would wear rubber gloves and inspect the cleaning of the rabbits and check the livers to make sure that the rabbits did not have a rabbit disease that could be spread by contact with rabbit blood. I think we ate the rabbits but my memory is not clear on this.
I was around when early discussions developed at Birdsong http://www.birdsongnaturecenter.org/ about the need for a research station to fight U.S. Forest Service Smokey the Bear anti-fire propaganda. There is a picture on the wall of the main Tall Timbers building and in this years Tall Timbers calendar that shows one of these meeting in our back yard. Discussions also developed in the Birdsong bird room on just about every Sunday morning where very heated arguments would erupt over just about any topic under the sun. To Herb, Sonny, Ed, Roy , Leon and whoever else that showed up this was just letting off steam and 5 minutes after the arguments everybody was the best of friends but sometimes my mother would get upset and even leave the house over all he ruckus. I latter understood that Tall Timbers board meetings could get just a heated.
After the creation of Tall Timbers I was at Tall Timbers often both with my father and with Herb Stoddard. Herb’s main interest was the television tower that was allowed on Tall Timbers so Herb could study bird kills and bird migrations. I got up around 4:00 am many a morning to go with Herb in his little VW bug with the hatch above the driver’s seat to Tall Timbers to pick up dead and injured birds. When the tower was first put up it killed huge numbers of birds for years. Latter for some reason the bird kills diminished.
There is a picture in the Stoddard museum with me as the golden haired kid in a group at the tower grounds. Most of the time when I was with Herb it was just he and I who picked up birds. Herb rode in his VW because he was already getting old and his injured knee could not handle the strain of walking all over the grounds. (He injured the knee as a young man climbing a tree with climbing spurs to get a hawk or owl. He walked with a limp the rest of his life. He gave me his climbing spurs and I almost did myself in too. I still have the spurs.) I did a lot of walking and the injured birds were of the most interest to me. I took many home to have as pets and to release if they recovered.
I know there are many at Tall Timbers who cringe knowing that Herb one of the fathers of ecology trapped and poisoned many predators at the tower site. He did this because it was not long before the predators would beat him to the birds. I remember posts with steel traps at the top for catching owl and hawks.
It’s important to understand that most of the early ecologists were collectors and a collecting attitude was very deeply engrained. I remember Herb having my mother shoot rare birds at her bird window for museum specimens. Both Herb and Dad both loved to collect and did so all their lives. Even late in life when Gates wanted some earthworm specimens Dad passed the job on to me for a science project but when I came up with many new earthworm species he had to get involved. He even had me collect earthworms all the way down from Alaska where I was going to college to Florida on one of my trips home.
I also was around when the fire plots were planned and set up by Herb, Roy, Dad and others. This was part of a well thought out strategy to fight Smokey the Bear propaganda. Dad, Herb and Roy were scientists not politicians and so they decided to fight the Forest Service’s propaganda war using scientific evidence. They felt that the propaganda would sooner or later fall because it could not stand up to the facts, to the truth. The strategy worked.
At about the same time of the fire plots I remember that Dad got interested in Tripsigum one of the primitive ancestors of corn that either showed up along Meridian Road or at Tall Timbers. It was a very hot burning, high standing native fire grass and I remember he built up a plot of it at Tall Timbers. Apparently cattle and farming had pretty much wiped it out of our area. I got samples of my own and spread it all around Birdsong Plantation where today the managers there try to keep it under control. J
It’s important for folks to realize that Tall Timbers in its early years was devised as a vehicle to change mass consciousness. I used to think that my father was obsessed with fire and Tall Timbers but only in my old age have I realized that it takes this kind of passion and a lifetime of dedicated work to affect mass consciousness. Such passion and dedication rarely come from a paycheck but from a very strong desire to do the right thing for both man and nature. In fact my Dad used to say that the quality of scientific research declined as both paycheck and education increased.
Something else that folks today need to understand in the changing of mass consciousness is that you have to put up with a lot of grief. I remember that late in life my father would break down in tears when he was praised. He had a thick skin and knew how to handle adversity, anger, ridicule in the pursuit of the betterment of mankind and the environment throughout his life but praise was unexpected and shocking. He just did what he felt he had to do and took adversity in stride. I do the same as well.
I understand many of these things now because it has been the same for me in the field of exopolitics. My father’s and Tall Timber’s battles to change mass consciousness and against government lies and propaganda prepared me for my life’s work in exopolitics. Today I and my associates struggle just as my Dad and his associates did with government lies and propaganda in order to get the truth out in the face of a huge very well organized UFO/ET cover up. Entrenched interests behind the cover-up are not only destroying society but the earth’s environment as well.
Those silly contrived UFO/ET stories at every checkout counter are deliberate and very effective in trashing the subject amongst scientists and other scholars on the one hand while the denial groups attack the public mind from the other end of the spectrum. The CIA’s psychological warfare group’s now declassified documents pointed out in the early 1950s that the plan was to create a wall of denial and ridicule around UFOs and it worked beyond their wildest dreams. http://archive.alienzoo.com/conspiracytheory/ufosoverwashington.html Unfortunately our entrenched interest foes in the industry involved in fossil fuels, arms and banking are much stronger that what my father and his associates were up against and we may never be able to get the truth out in our lifetimes.
My father did live long enough to make it to the Promised Land saying that he was fortunate indeed because all his dreams had come true. We involved in the exopolitics battle may not be so fortunate. (Those ecologists, politicians and reporters rolling their eyes might note that in downtown Tallahassee the Brogan Museum of Art and Science in association with the Smithsonian Institution are hosting a Roswell exhibit into January. http://www.thebrogan.org/ They even have an alien face on the front cover of their summer/fall Brogan News magazine.) I urge Tall Timbers to exercise this same kind of creativity, courage and foresight in its educational programs. Tall Timbers was built by people who believed truth should always trump reputation and this is the way they lived their lives.
Other memories of Tall Timbers involved being a boy and young man tagging behind Jack Rudloe, Wilson Baker and others about the grounds and elsewhere. When Jack was employed by Tall Timbers I followed him about the mudflats of the coast collecting marine specimens. Jack and I are still close friends. I remember days with Wilson Baker going out to Buzzard Island and checking on the bats in Waterfall Cave .
Most at Tall Timbers may not realize it but I was also a employee of Tall Timbers in its early years. Tall Timbers and FSU had a cooperative arraignment that involved scuba diving in coastal rivers in which I participated. I found arrowheads, mammoth and mastodon bones and tusks, and even a beautiful Indian eagle head pendant that had a Mayan look it was so well carved. I remember whole mastodon tusks disintegrating on the ground at Tall Timbers because we did not understand preservation techniques. On my own I found a important part of Florida history perhaps the last complete Spanish rum bottle to be found just above the Saint Marks bridge.
In 1966 the year I graduated from high school I worked the summer for Tall Timbers and FSU in a archeology dig on the Aculla River . The wage was $1.25 a hour in extreme heat and in a mosquito infested environment. I had never worked so hard for so little and I began to think about going to college and working in Alaska . (So much for a job my father got for me!) We excavated many Indian burials along the Aucilla River and investigated mounds in the mosquito infested swamps in the surrounding area. I used to take my pet fox with me when I went to the coast to work on the digs. One of my most painful early memories was when he somehow got out of his cage and was caught by dogs and died under a house. I remember our little screen shack full of bed bugs and mosquitoes and using old World War 2 cans of DDT spray against them.
When I left for Alaska to strike out and on my own I communicated a lot with my parents by snail mail. It’s important for folks to realize that Dad built up Tall Timbers using mostly snail mail correspondence. He found other fire mavericks like himself around the world from the literature and then corresponded and built up friendships through the mail. This was how the first fire conference was organized. People like Larry Requa from the Yukon gave a papers at Tall Timbers after we traveled to meet these mavericks on their home turf.
Late in life these friendships meant so much that people like Larry returned to visit Tall Timbers and my family. Larry even shared his greatest secret of finding alien bodies in British Columbia when he was a constable and a young man operating out of Stewart Canada. http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2005/04/aliens-on-ice.html He had never told anybody until one evening under the stars on our back porch my mother as usual brought up my interest in UFOs. At such times in my life ecology and exopolitics converged. There are others deeply associated with Tall Timbers that also have their UFO stories. There will of course be those that will say aliens have nothing to do with the ecological sciences and I should not talk about such things in association with Tall Timbers but I believe history will show that they are very wrong and Tall Timbers may one day be involved in studying the ecology of other worlds.
I am confident that one day people will openly study the ecology and evolution of life on other worlds because I know we are not alone and our government lies to us about what it knows from highly classified research. I very strongly believe that ecology is still in its infancy and that it will mature as astro-ecology in the not too distant future. In fact even now I am pointing out in exopolitics that we don’t have to travel to other worlds to study alien ecology. We can study the evolution of extraterrestrials life already coming to earth in sophisticated high technology spaceships.
Evolutionary laws just as the laws of physics apply elsewhere about the universe. One day planetary ecology and exopolitics will merge into what may be called the universal sciences. It’s time for ecologists with vision to begin to seriously consider what I have to say rather than remain in denial until the time the governments of the world come clean and reveal their extensive secret highly classified alien ecological research files. In time these words will be viewed as prophetic. I say let history be the judge.
The best thing about the early fire conferences were not the formal conferences but the barbeque and bonfire afterwards. This was my father’s idea that he got from old plantatation custom. After the hunt like at Greenwood Plantation the owners would hold a barbeque for the hunting guests. Dad saw the friendships that developed from these events and realized that this would help his lecturers and guests at the fire conferences to get to know and build friendships in a informal setting. The idea works wonderfully. Many people met and became friends from life because of these barbeques. I used the same idea after a UFO conference I hosted in Tallahassee .
In closing I would like to point out to the younger generation the importance of interest based education. The problem with our educational system is that it is an, autocratic skills based indoctrination system, a master-slave educational system in a sophisticated wage slave society. I did not understand until latter in life this intellectually and emotionally crippling system that I subconsciously rejected when I quit after three years of college. Worldwide democracy and the rule of law are so fragile that they are little more that a façade behind which exists a hidden ever growing more sophisticated system of feudal control.
What we should be doing is expose young people to as many environments as possible to determine interest. Then and only then assist the student with the skills needed to develop and promote that interest. The student should be in the driver’s seat through this process and the teacher the assistant not the master. The student should determine the need to know not the teacher. This way the student really learns the skills because they can be seen as necessary in promoting the interest and where creativity and innovation are not suppressed but enhanced and fostered. This is how I was taught on a day by day basis by the best early ecologists and scientists in the world. They taught inspiration, interest, love, passion and creativity not through fear and intimidation but out of love and by example. Tall Timbers played a role in this process.