Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Letter from Lorene Marcoux Published in Shavertron

The following letter from Lorene Marcoux was printed in Shavertron Number 28 (1992). Reprinted with permission from Richard Toronto:

From Lorene Marcoux, widow of Charles A. Marcoux, we get a postscript to the ill-fated blowing Cavern Expedition of 1985:

Dear Richard:

Of course I remember you. After all these years? Those years almost seem like yesterday to me, in some ways. In other ways, it does seem like I have been living the single life forever. It's hard to recall life any different from what it now is - I'm very used to it!

So, also, the subworld, magazines about the unknown, the people we used to correspond with, etc. are not a part of my life anymore. It seems like another world to me. I miss it a lot in some ways, but am glad to be rid of the negativity part of it. The only person I have heard from is Mary Martin with a Christmas card, and "L" writes once in a while when his vision allows it.

I found "L's" manuscript extremely interesting, but he ended at the point of the biggest interest. I am very willing to give my permission to have them printed and published in whatever form you wish. I appreciate the fact that "L" felt it was a tribute to Charles, but I only want to do whatever suits "L" himself. It was really his life experience. He has always expressed the desire to remain anonymous with his buddies and that the name of the organization also be kept confidential. "L" wrote and sent your letter and made these same requests for confidentiality again.

As for the final stages of the Southwestern Expeditionary Unit (I had forgotten the name of it!), you probably know as much as I do. We came here to Arkansas and Charles only lived two weeks. Therefore, we only went to Cushman to try to discover the proper cave about three times, I believe. "L" let us know a short time before our move that we had the wrong cave, even though it was Blowing Cave. The first time we went to Blowing Cave a couple years earlier, Charles had commented that something didn't feel right about it. However, we described it and sent pictures to "L" and he confirmed it as being the cave he found. So Charles went ahead and presented it to everyone as the cave "L" had found and explored.

Not long before Charles died, he told "L" about the wetness of the cave when we went in later on. "L" said the cave he went into had been a totally dry cave, so he sent Charles further drawings to try to lead us in the proper directions. Since "L" is very poor at giving directions, it didn't do us any good.

If only "L's" health, vision and family conditions would have allowed him to come and show us, in person. I wish it were still possible for "L" to come visit and show me, even. I don't count on it, though. After Charles died, I quickly lost interest in the whole cave since I could not do it alone, if I did find it. A young man came from Kansas, if I remember correctly, with a couple of friends. I directed them to the correct area, but they ran into a brick wall. They found the same one we did, but no one in the area would admit that another cave even exists around there or by the name of Blowing Cave. I was still not recovered from the shock of Charles' death when they came the two times that they did. That is the last anyone has ever contacted me in any way concerning the cave. I finally went back there once after I felt strong enough to face the memories, about a year later. That is the last time that I have been there, too. It seemed hopeless to me to ever find the right cave or to just wander around looking endlessly. There are many caves in the widespread area, but no one ever mentions anything but the cave we did find. I must admit that I really haven't made much of an effort! I guess, I got into a negative frame of mind and felt it probably was not meant to be when it came to finding that cave. Without Charles, who could find the proper entry and paths, etc. anyway. Charles was the one who had the psychic abilities (to a much greater degree than me) and the highly positive attitude. To come to Arkansas, only to have Charles die when it looked like we might have a real Chance to go into the subworld made me feel that it was fate and wasn't meant to be. I decided that the writing about it, and exposing people to higher levels of thought was the ultimate goal rather than physically attaining it to the subworld. It seemed like it was more or less falling apart anyhow when it came to finding those who had a positive reason for going on the expedition rather than for selfish or material gain. It was very discouraging! We had decided we would go by ourselves, alone, if necessary.

Actually, Charles' health had gone downhill the last two years of his life to some extent and writing was mostly what he could manage to do as he could rest whenever it became necessary. He disliked doing the Shaver topic, as he considered it rehashing old ideas and he much preferred to go on to new things. However, he knew that there were those who knew nothing about it so he wrote about it again. Shaver's old writings were so negative he felt they should be left in the past and he wanted to present fresh positive approaches to life. The really important thing was to present the ideas of other dimensions, other mansions, unknown worlds, etc. People need to have their minds stretched beyond the material world and search and reach for a higher self. All roads lead to the same ultimate Creator, shall we say. Subworlds, UFO, spirits, phenomena etc. are all means to finding the same truth and understanding - there is a lot more to life than the material world of money, success, glory, war, power and controlling the minds of others. He tried to help people in the search for the true inner self and teach them to learn to think for themselves. In a much smaller way, I try to do the same thing.

I do hope that "L" manages to give more detail of his time with the subworld which he and his friends had. I sense that "L" has a strong need to express it in writing. It must be hard for him to suppress it and be secretive about it except to a very few - those who went with him and me and you. His wife and kids know nothing about it as I guess he feels they couldn't accept any of it. That's too bad.

I wish you good luck with your Shavertron endeavor. I do have a lot of Charles' old records, yet, in case any of it may be of use. I threw away a lot of things, too, but I needed more room and what I tossed was not important to me. He must have kept nearly everything for many, many years, so I had to think it out a little. Anyhow, I'll close for now and look forward to your publication.

Lorene Marcoux 

As always, any typo's are mine. If you find any that slipped by me, drop a note in the comments.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's Finally Done

It took me all summer and fall, but Uncle Charlie's book I Search for the Portals is now in electronic format with searchable text, etc. I just made the final pass through it, but I'm sure there are still lurking typo's in there.

In any case, enjoy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Another Letter

I recently received another letter from Lorene Marcoux:
April 2014

Dear Richard,

I was surprised to get any letters from anyone about Charles after all this time since his passing. It happens rarely at this time. I'd like to send you more things by Charles, but there isn't much left these days. Since my three sons are not interested in the paranormal or caving etc., I have sent most of his stuff to one of his former Publishers. Now that I am so elderly, I have tried to prepare for my own death by seeing that his manuscripts would not be lost for the public. My own family might have thrown them away, I fear.

Since I am Charles' second wife, Most of his past is known to me by what he talked about. I sent you one paper where he discribed a lot of his personal history. I can tell you that he was married at 21 years of age, and his wife was 16. They had five kids with Four daughters and one son. His marriage lasted around 35 years when they were divorced. He married me in 1974 when we were both middle aged. I was ten years younger than he was, however. Both our families were grown and on their own.

Charles told me that he had been raised in a Catholic family, and he was an only child until his parents adopted another boy who was a relative. He was about 5 years younger. Also, Charles' dad was mugged and robbed while Charles was still a child. His dad received brain damage from this and was placed in a mental instition for the rest of his life.

After graduation, he worked as a tool and die employee for a while. He worked at a few different jobs altogether and lived in a few different states. He was a car salesman and sprayed a substance on boats in Phoenix which caused him to go on diability because it had damaged his lungs. This was in the 1960's, I believe. Then, after many previous years of being involved in his Spiritual search through New Age type churches, he became a Minister, and started his own church a while after that.

Over the years, he had started different organizations to search for truth about Superstition Mt. gold stories, undergroud life, and psychic things. He wote many, many articles for different publications and was known as an authority by many, as well as being a noted psychic. I, personally, have run across his name in different books and Newsletters. He was even referred to in England and books overseas.

Charles and his first wife started a church in Phoenix about 1970 where they held Sunday and Wed. services, as well as psychic instruction classes. Charles taught an advanced class which I attended and learned a lot. I also played the piano for their services. It turned out that my middle son married Charles' oldest granddaughter. That marriage lasted four years, only.

Charles' life was very difficult over the years. He had his back injured at one time, nearly died of marlaria once, had eye problems where the doctor predicted he would go blind within a year. Charles had been known as a healer, and he just laughed at his prediction of blindness by the medical community. It turned out that this eye disease was cured within a year and he could see fine. He didn't have their help to cure him. He said that he just knew it would get better!

In 1971, Charles did die from a combination heart and stroke attack for 8 min., 3 min., and 1 min. (total of 12 min.) at the age of 51 on his birthday. As he lay dead in the emergency ward the doctors declared him dead after he couldn't be revived. The doctors left with an intern being left behind who decided to keep trying to revive him. Miracle of miracle, he did, but Charles was in a coma for the next three days. During the three days, he shared the fact that he had left his body and gone to the waiting room where he saw his family memebers and some friends. Then he left through the ceiling and sent on to be in heaven for the next three days.

After returning home eventually, it took him about 1 1/2 years to almost fully recover. He had to learn to talk, walk, and regain strength. After his death experience, his psychic abilities were even better, too. Also he decided it was time to divorce his wife after 35 years. He mentioned to me that he had stayed for his children and partly because he had been taught by the Catholic religion that once married, always married. Anyhow, he did divorce her after he recovered.

At that time, he somewhat retired and devoted his time to giving healings, psychic readings, and some writings again. He did to some lectures and substitute Sunday Services. At this time, he became involved in a publication for whom he wrote articles about the Shaver Mystery again. He then received a letter from a man who claimed to have been to a subsurface place, and he began to become interested in that. You know about his writings on the subject, and I won't go into that. It ended with us moving to a town in Arkansas. He died two weeks after we moved there on the date of Sept. 23, 1983. So, I decided to stay here, and I've been here ever since.

Charles' life was filled with so much eventfullness that it would take a book to tell it all. As it is, I feel that Charles was the best thing that ever happened to me. He made me happy and had the biggest influence in making me a better person!! He was just extra special in every way!!

I hope this takes care of your curiosity. As for me, I do not have a computer. Well, I guess I will call this enough for now. Oh yes, I'm healthy, happy, and going strong for my age, which means I,m slowing down, have a few ailments, and losing energy. I'm signing this as Charles usually did....

Love, light & truth,

A couple days after receiving the above letter, a package arrived from Lorene containing copies of two of his books, I Search for the Portals and Selfology. I already stumbled across a copy of Portals that someone has scanned and posted online, but the paper the book was printed on was thin, so the text on the back of some of the pages bleeds through onto the images making it hard to figure out just was some of Uncle Charlie's "psychic photos" are supposed to be showing. She also sent copies of his Straight Talk articles that were originally published in The Hollow Hassle and reprinted in Shavertron. I have copies of the Shavertron versions, but what Lorene sent me seems more substantial, but that may be an artifact of single-sided copying and having them all in one stack instead of spread through a number of issues. I haven't yet compared the two versions to see if Richard Toronto shortened them up or not.

She also sent copies (some enlarged) of many of the images from Portals with circles and arrows and even a paragraph on the back of one of them describing what each one was. I will try to scan or take digital photos of them and see if I can get them into digital format and still preserve what we were supposed to be seeing in those photos.

A plea for help: I don't want to bother Lorene again (she has already done far more than I ever could have asked of her), so I'll throw this out to the internet: Any idea which publisher she is referring to in the first paragraph? I understand her desire to get Charles' materials into someone's hands who won't toss them into a dumpster after her death. I just finished scanning in an entire box of family photos and letter that my parents found sitting at the curb in trash bags the day after my grandmother's funeral. My cousin was going on and on about how great it was to finally get rid of all that "junk" that grandma wouldn't let her throw away. Knowing my cousin, my parents ran outside and sure enough, the entire family history was on its way to the landfill. In any case, if you have any information, just pop it into the comments. Thanks.

Spare time is a rare thing these days, but I'll keep chipping away at the pile.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Second Letter to Lorene

I didn't keep a copy of my initial letter to Lorene. At the time I thought it was a long shot; now that the long shot has paid off, I wish I had done so. In any case, here is my response, which I mailed out today, to the card she sent (postmarked March 24, 2014):
Dear Lorene,

First, a huge THANK YOU for the package of Charles' work. Take all the time you need; I'm just thrilled that his work is still around and that I was able to find you.

You are correct regarding my relationship to Charles. His first wife was my father's half sister. (I just learned about the "half" part a few days ago; it's amazing what you find when you start flipping over those old stones of family history! :-)

I was never clear on just what Charles did when I was young. I knew he made many drawings and maybe had a few articles published, but all my parents would tell me was that they were some sort of "strange" science fiction stuff and change the subject. I was completely blown away to find hundreds of people on the internet who knew Charles, or knew of him, who have copies of his articles or his book. There is even one young man who is trying to put together a team and the funding to explore Blowing Cavern in Charles' memory. I seems like I find someone else every day that has been influenced in some way by Charles' life or his writings.

Again, I cannot thank you enough for your help. I hope you have an enjoyable visit with your family.

Richard Frost
I've also stumbled across yet-another name of someone that has at least met Lorene, and may have know Uncle Charley as well. More when I know more.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lorene Marcoux: Alive and Kickin'

A couple weeks ago, I sent a letter off to a person who may or may not have been Uncle Charlie's second wife. It was a long shot; right person but an old address, different Lorene Marcoux, right Lorene and right address but physically or mentally incapable of corresponding. In short, I wasn't all that hopeful. Well, I received a card in yesterday's mail with the following written inside:

Dear Richard

It keeps surprising me that people still know about Charles after he's been gone for 30 years.

I could be mistaken, but I think (?) the name of Frost was associated with Charles' first wife's family. Maybe!

Anyhow, I will put a package together for you of some of Charles' pictures, writings, and write a personal letter about his personal life, in time.

Right now, I'm preparing for family to visit me soon. Then, please be patient with me. Everything I do takes about three times longer than it used to because I'm 85 yrs old. However, I will get it done eventually.

Charles was a special person and so very talented in the psychic realm. He was the wisest and most kind and loving person that I ever knew! I feel so blessed that he chose me to share his life!

Lorene Marcoux

Holy crap....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More Biographical Info

Someone better on the Googles than I am found an obit site that didn't require a credit card to access information. So I now have a definitive date of death for Uncle Charlie; September 1st, 1983. It also gives the city and state of last residence, which matches what I found for someone who may be his widow. A letter will go out to her in today's mail; we'll see if she responds. Previous attempts to contact her shortly after Uncle Charlies death were not answered, but maybe time will make a difference. I also did a little name-dropping. Other than his second wife, my father is the only family member Uncle Charlie ever mentions by name in his published writings that I've been able to dig up so far. Maybe that will help.

I also have a series of scans of the one book he self-published, I Search for the Portals. It's straight jpeg files, so I'm going to attempt to transcribe the text and build a webified version here. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole

[This is a cross-posting from my regular blog. I originally assumed I would find enough material for one or maybe two posts and that would be it. However, I'm running into a great deal more than expected, so I decided to create a separate place to put it and to kick things off with this post.]

[Warning: Some of this post will read like the bad fiction you find for free on Amazon, but trust me when I say that I am not capable of making this stuff up. So come on Alice; don't be afraid....]

When I was growing up, we had some family out in Arizona near Phoenix. My dad's sister (Aunt Marie), her husband (Uncle Charlie) and three kids had lived out there since I was old enough to know such things. At the time (late 1960's and early 1970's) the distance from Flint, Michigan to Phoenix was approximately the same as the distance from Flint to the dark side of the moon. Contact was limited to the occasional letter or card, and the annual Christmas-morning phone call. My parents twice drove out to visit them; the first time in the early 1960's before I was born, then again in either 1970 or 1971 when I was around six or seven years old. That was the only time I met Uncle Charlie. At the time, he was recovering from a recent stroke and spent most of our visit in his favorite chair. Later, I would be regaled with stories of all the crazy (and illegal) places he had taken my parents and sister during their first visit: hidden valleys, caves, old mines, pueblos, and so on. But who I met was a kindly "old" man (younger than I am now, but when you're six, anyone past third grade is "old") who seemed to live in his chair and was a bit awkward around a young boy.

I was also told that Uncle Charlie was... well... eccentric. He was a fair artist; there were rumors that GM had once offered him a serious sum of money for his drawings of cars of the future. He was also a writer, although my parents never seemed to know what he wrote about, or where, or if, any of his writings had ever been published. I never saw any of this, but I was assured it was all very "weird". In my young mind, that fit, as my Aunt Marie was a reverend in the Spiritualist Church. Aunt Marie and Uncle Charlie = weird. Got it. In a fundamentalist Baptist house, that isn't just something said with a wink and a knowing smile. That is an indictment of the most serious kind. I was being warned.

Sometime in the late 1970's, we received word that Uncle Charlie had divorced Aunt Marie, packed up all his writings and artwork, and vanished. At some point in the early 1980's, my Aunt Marie received a phone call from a woman who identified herself as Uncle Charlie's widow. She informed my aunt that Charlie was dead, but refused to offer any details about where, when, how or what Uncle Charlie had been up to in the years since he'd pulled his Houdini on his family. There were a few rumors that he may have died of a heart attack or maybe was stung to death by bees. That he had died while climbing Superstition Mountain (one of his favorite haunts) or may somewhere in New Mexico. Or maybe Mexico. Or....

No one knew anything or who might know anything, so that was where things stood for over three decades.

A couple months ago, I had purchased a stack of books by John Michael Greer. I first encountered JMG thanks to someone posting a link to his blog, The Archdruid Report, on Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor website. I had already read most of JMG's current peak oil books and decided to try some of his less-mainstream books on magic, the occult, UFO's, monsters, and so on. One of those books was his Element Encyclopedia of Secret Societies. The entries on men named Shaver and Palmer, and others on various beliefs centered on beings living underground started some serious itching in the back of my brain. I asked my parents a few questions, then spent time on the Googles. This is what I've dug up so far. Understand that this is from the internet, which isn't always the best source for facts, and that the people with these "facts" hold beliefs that most would find... okay; "weird" is as good a word as any. Here we go:

The early to mid 1900's was the heyday of pulp science fiction magazines with titles like Astounding, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories. One of them, Amazing Stories, was struggling financially until a new editor by the name of Ray Palmer began running stories by Richard S. Shaver about ancient humans he called the Deros and Teros, living deep underground and controlling humans via telepathy. Magazine subscriptions soared. Then Palmer dropped a bombshell: All the Shaver stories were true. Subscriptions exploded, but there was also some grumbling that Palmer was taking the magazine off the deep end. Palmer ended up starting several magazines that focused on Shaverism (that article is in German, but Wikipedia will translate it to passable English), Ufology, etc, while moving Amazing Stories back towards pulp sci-fi.

Enter stage left: Uncle Charlie, or as he is known in Shaverite circles, Charles A. Marcoux. He was a true believer. The drawing at the top of this post is one he made of two Teros he encountered on the corner of S. Saginaw St. and Union in Flint, Michigan while leaving the Thom McAn shoe store. You can read the entire story in his own words from an article published in Fate, another of Palmer's magazines. Just to give you a taste:
Soon, the light changed, and as they crossed the street they passed within six feet of me. I decided to walk over to them, while I searched for the right words to start a conversation. Try as I may, my body would not respond to what I wanted to do and to what my mind was telling it to do. In those few seconds when they passed so close to me, their eyes did not waver right or left, and their thoughts left a mark in my mind. They seemed to say, "Guard your thoughts from unfriendly rays." I was stunned and speechless as I helplessly watched them go up the street with the crowd of Christmas shoppers. At that moment, I was again able to move, just as they seemed to merge into the crowd and disappear. Hastily I walked after them, and I assure you that I could have caught up with them, but try as I may I just couldn't find them. It appeared as if they became one with the other people. As I rushed to the spot where last I saw them, I psychically examined the crowd of people. The couple had simply disappeared or became "invisible" from my mind.

While still living in Flint, Uncle Charlie was also published in a non-Palmer publication called the Journal of Borderland Research. In this article, he relates being confronted by, as he calls them, Men in Black after verbally sparing with one Howard Menger after a talk Menger gave on aliens and flying discs in Flint. In Uncle Charlie's own words:
I knew it was time to stop this line of inquiry. It would he reckless to attack Merger on his chosen field of battle. I knew that if I continued, my hatred of THE SECRET EMPIRE would rile me up; so I got up and walked outside. My feeling then was that Menger was a complete hoax, or that he was a pawn of the Secret Empire, willingly or unwillingly. Obviously, the money taken in from these lectures would not pay Menger’s expenses and those of the two men in black with him, and pay for the $5,000 car they were driving. To me it was significant that their car bore New Jersey license plates. That state is a hot house of Dero control. The Cavern World is in complete control of ALL surface exchange in that area. The Cavern Bosses get much of their needs from this State.

As I left the meeting, one of the men in black, the one called Dave, followed me outside.

“Don’t you think it would be better to follow the higher contacts?” he said.

“I could have knocked loopholes in everything Menger claimed,” I replied. “I know a faker when I see one — after being in this work twenty years.”

“Then why didn’t you?” he asked.

“Wouldn’t that have been stupid — to attack him in his own field!”

“Yes, it would. You were wise, not to do so in such a large gathering.”

That was the end of it, or so I thought. The Menger meeting made me disgusted with all contactees. A few months later a car bearing Detroit license plates cane to my home in Flint. There were three men in black this time and they tried to barge in to my house, using foul, threatening language. They couldn’t scare me. I told them to get on down the road. The next thing I knew was a campaign of slander against me, from nowhere. This broke up my group. The members got scared out. They didn’t [want] anything more to do with me, just like that.

A major player in Shaverism was another Michigander named George D. Wight, who claimed that while exploring Blowing Cavern near Cushman, Arkansas, they had found an entrance to the Underworld, spent several days exploring, eventually being guided by Teros to one of their cities. Wight wrote everything up in a document called the Wight Manuscript, which made its way into the hands of good ol' Uncle Charlie. I have no proof of this as I haven't been able to nail down an exact timeline, but I suspect this was around the time Uncle Charlie disappeared from Arizona. Several years after receiving the Wight Manuscript, Uncle Charlie put together a team to explore Blowing Cavern in 1983. According to several accounts I have dug up, it was either in or near the cave that he was attacked by a swarm of bees and died from the resulting heart attack. Here is a story of Uncle Charlie's demise written by Richard Toronto published in Fate magazine in 2000:
With wife Lorene in tow, Marcoux moved to Cushman in September 1983. He made some tentative forays into the cave, preparing for the final assault once expeditionary unit members arrived. Before the team ever assembled, however, internal disagreements brought accusations from Marcoux that questioned some members' dedication to the project.

A month passed as Marcoux taunted readers in both Shavertron and The Hollow Hassle.

"I allow you to disclose the location and name of this cave, which will give your readers enough information to decide for themselves whether they want to explore it... if they have the guts."

Then, while hiking near the entrance of Blowing Cavern that November, Marcoux was attacked by a swarm of bees, bringing on a fatal heart attack. He died at the scene, leaving the handful of Blowing Cavern team members wondering what to do next.

Rumors fluttered around Marcoux's untimely -- some said mysterious -- death. Shaver had always warned that the cavern world was hidden for good reason, and that cavern dwellers liked to keep it that way.

A troubled Mary Martin conferred with a California psychic who knew nothing of Marcoux or Shaver. Martin wanted to know if Marcoux had any message to impart.

"I told [the psychic] his name and that he had died, and could she make contact with him," Martin said.

"This is the message she received: 'Tell her I am unable to find the way to the underground tunnel at this time. Tell her to look in the Cucamonga wilderness area for what she seeks. She must be very wary for the guardians are quite jealous... They won't let me talk to you anymore. They are forcing me away... help me...'"

The elusive "L" was also contacted. He said evil intent had nothing to do with Marcoux's death, but he would not elucidate. He also threatened to re assemble the old Michigan spelunking group one last time to wall up the Blowing Cavern portal to the Underworld. It had caused too much sorrow and misery already, he said.

The story of Blowing Cavern, the Wight manuscript, and Marcoux's efforts to locate the Underworld of Richard Shaver was the final nail in the Shaver Mystery's coffin.

Most active Shaver Mystery buffs had given up hope of finding proof long before Marcoux's 1983 attempt. They were facing old age and waning interest. Newcomers to the UFO/occult scene became New Agers, with new controversies to contemplate (Roswell, Area 51, Majestic 12) -- enough to distract from the Underworld of Shaver and Palmer.

That's pretty much what I have at this point. I'm in contact with a number of people who knew Uncle Charlie, and I'm chasing a lead that will hopefully uncover at least some of Uncle Charlie's journals and artwork. I've also ordered compilations of yet-another Palmer magazine titled Shavertron that Uncle Charlie wrote numerous articles for.

Little by little, the story is surfacing. I'm sure this will all consume far more time than it ought to over the coming months, but it's fun digging up information on someone who disappeared decades ago.