The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Statue of Liberty

un cheval de Troie

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You can’t trust anyone, even France.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A statue of a one hundred eleven and a half foot tall French chick, with a four and half foot long nose and a thirty five foot waistband, has been greeting all who enter New York Harbor since October of 1886. The thing was shipped here in 350 sections which were contained in 214 crates, which were almost lost in a storm at sea while in transport from France, onboard a French Frigate called “Isère” in 1885. Isère is a river in France, btw, which runs through an area formerly called Dauphiné Viennois, which was the feudal territory controlled by the heirs apparent to the French throne.

The monument was publicly touted as a gift from the nation of France, specifically the Third Republic France, to its fellow Democracy.

As it turns out, the Statue of Liberty was actually a trojan horse.


- photo via anonymous

News of what’s been happening on Liberty Island has been reaching me since Hurricane Sandy, through confidential informants and whistle blowers in the maritime industrial complex. As you might recall, both the Island and Statue received quite a wallop during the storm. The U.S. Parks Dept. kept the island closed for a longer than expected interval, and growing curiosity found me asking friends and acquaintances what was happening. Many grew pale and said “nothing” while others related a sordid tale.

It seems that Sandy had uncovered human remains which had lain hidden since the 19th century, a fact which the Federal Government wished to keep hidden from the American people for prosaic reasons.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

According to my sources, these human remains were found between the inner and outer layers of copper in Liberté’s skirt. Their condition was skeletal, and all in all 16 individuals were located. By all appearances, with two exceptions, it seemed the men had simply starved to death deep within the Statue of Liberty. The reason that this fantastic sounding story has been officially suppressed involves the uniforms and equipment found with the corpses, which strongly suggests that a small group of French Soldiers had been sent on a commando mission to New York City in 1886 and were hidden away in the Paris manufactured statuary.

The mission? Assassinating President Grover Cleveland on October 28th, 1886.


- photo via Wikipedia

Uniforms and weapons found amongst the human remains are consistent with those used by French Armed Forces during the 1880’s, and include early production models of the Lebel Model 1886 Bolt Action Rifle – a weapon strongly associated with both the Armed Forces of France and the Fusiliers-Marins of the Troupes de marine (that translates into American as Marine Special Forces attached to Naval Special Operations).

So, what did the French have against Grover Cleveland?

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Cleveland was the guy who kept the United States out of the Berlin Conference, which caused colonial France to lose out on getting the good parts of Africa (cotton, rivers, lack of malaria) and allowed Britain and Germany to massively expand onto the continent in its stead. This cost the French a LOT of money.

You didn’t screw around with France back then, and the supposition that a squad of soldiers were sent to assassinate Cleveland on a suicide mission is not altogether crazy for the era. Also, there’s an odd anecdote which suggests that some inside members of this Gaulish conspiracy might have interfered with its execution (and with the execution). 

from wikipedia

A nautical parade began at 12:45 p.m., and President Cleveland embarked on a yacht that took him across the harbor to Bedloe’s Island for the dedication. De Lesseps made the first speech, on behalf of the French committee, followed by the chairman of the New York committee, Senator William M. Evarts.

A French flag draped across the statue’s face was to be lowered to unveil the statue at the close of Evarts’s speech, but Bartholdi mistook a pause as the conclusion and let the flag fall prematurely.

The ensuing cheers put an end to Evarts’s address. President Cleveland spoke next, stating that the statue’s “stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression until Liberty enlightens the world”.

Bartholdi, observed near the dais, was called upon to speak, but he refused.

Statue of Liberty unveiled, by Edward Moran, courtesy wikipedia

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Written by Mitch Waxman

April 1, 2014 at 11:00 am

strenuous activity

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a short one today depicting the giant pile of copper and copper and steel which has been arranged, in NY Harbor, into a 111 feet and six inches tall simulacra of a french woman. Her nose is 4.5 feet long, and she has a 35 foot waistline, just in case you were wondering.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 31, 2014 at 11:27 am

vast and inscrutable

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…stand beside her, and guide her…

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A joke those of involved with New York Harbor throw readily around is that there is a coast guard regulation which states that every harbor tour has to stop at the Statue of Liberty. Its become such a ubiquitous part of the “experience” that I barely shoot the thing anymore, which is a huge mistake.

Never, never, ignore an icon. That is, unless you are jaded idiot like me.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Many of the tourists on the Staten Island Ferry- did you know that the Staten Island Ferry is NYC’s #1 tourist destination- come out just for their statue shot. At the mid point of the 30 minute trip, port or starboard (depending) gets mobbed with visitors taking “selfies” and family shots. When your humble narrator is onboard the big orange boat, I’m usually looking for unusual harbor traffic and treat the statue as little more than background.

Liberty is not just part of the landscape, nor should it ever be taken for granted.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Given the events of the last decade or so, with the beating of war drums and other dire portents omnipresent, even one such as myself has begun to look toward this ubiquitous icon with new eyes. She was the product of a brutal era, the symbol of a comparatively innocent time, and meant to serve as a beacon. According to Teddy Roosevelt, she was useless as a light house.

Its a complicated concept- this “liberty,” as embodied by a 111 and a half foot tall French chick with a four and half foot long nose and a thirty five foot waistband who is well over a hundred years old.

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Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Modern Corridor- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Atlas Obscura, tickets now on sale.

Kill Van Kull- Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills- Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

later developments

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Just a quick one for Maritime Sunday this week, of the Marjorie B. McAllister tug steaming out of the Kill Van Kull. Iconic backgrounds notwithstanding, this is a pretty cool little boat, and deserving of a hearty “Hi.”

held colloquy

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Liberty persists in darkness, and threatening storms, and even on “Black Friday”. This one off shot, captured while onboard a Working Harbor Committee expedition during the summer of 2012, is one of my annular favorites simply for the presence of “crepuscular rays”. That’s the fancy thirteen dollar word way of describing the rays of light filtering down through the clouds.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 23, 2012 at 12:15 am


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