That's the good news; now for the odd, bad, distinctive, memorable, or just plain irreproducible (tm) news:

Robert E. McElwaine (UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this IMPORTANT information is ENCOURAGED):

Contrib. post: The nice thing about mcelwaine was that they acted as proxy for not just one loon, but for every loon in the local galactic cluster. mcelwaine was sort of a lightning rod for looniness, like some sort of device that tesla might have dreamt up to concentrate and store the stuff. but frankly i stopped reading mcelwaine's posts pretty quickly; it was all just too repetitive and too pointless. but i never stopped reading those little one or two-line introductions to the canned posts, tailored to each individual newsgroup, explaining the reason for the cross-post. those were often priceless gems of idiocy.


 Ahhh, McElwaine. Fun fellow. Completely and utterly loony.
His site-imposed censorship was a blow to comedically inclined
physicists around the world.
sissel@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu wrote:
>You almost have that McElwaine-ian touch, JF, by
>randomly capitalizing words, but you still haven't
>yet mastered the RM's decidedly brilliant method
>of randomly throwing in dollar $IGN$!
 McElwaine didn't "randomly" throw in dollar signs.  THere were
a few words that he consistently dollar-signed, and a few words
that had dollar signs every once in a while.
 Nor did he randomly capitalize words, although his capitalization
is indeed unorthodox.
 I have done some counting-up-of-words for the corpus of
McElwainiana, and I have some preliminary results.  Sooner-or-later,
I intend to post a summary of what I have found, along with a
program to implement McElwaining of arbitrary text.
>Does anyone know what McElwaine's position was at UW Eau-Claire?
>(BTW, he never responded to my email.)
 No, Robert never responded to anyone's email, and I'll bet he used to get a
bunch of it!  McElwaine was an undergrad student at UWEC who then graduated
from there and apparently hung around the school after graduation, either
working there part time or just hanging-out.  If he entered grad school
he never mentioned it, and since he was very fond of signing himself:
  Robert E. McElwaine
  Physicist and Astronomer B.Sc. UWEC
I'm sure he would have trumpeted any grad school work he was doing.
-- I am one of the lucky few, then - here's one I got back when hew first started the posting binge. Note that his famous capitalization style extends to email. Makes you wonder what he sounded like in person.
Date: 04 Feb 1993 17:44:07 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: FREE-ENERGY TECHNOLOGY For Spacecraft
>       You posted this same article to sci.astro a few months ago.  There was
>a great deal of discussion about it at the time, but you did not reply to any
>of the comments.  May I ask why you would want to post the same big artile
>again if you don't want to participate in any discussion of it?
     I repost articles for the benefit of NEW READERS.  I do NOT have time to
argue about with CLOSED MINDS.  Interested readers should consult my cited
Apparently lost his account Some Time Ago for abusing net-access privileges; has not been seen since... Kibo maintains an archive of McElwaine's postings on UseNet,at world.std.com, under /pub/alt.religion.kibology/net-wackiness/ mcelwaine, for those of you who came in too late to $EE the real THING. Joel Furr (q.v.) has released a McElwaine T-shirt. Posted from MCELWRE@CSNVAX.UWEC.EDU (??).

B1FF (HEY D00DZ!1!! THIS IZ K()()L!!1!!):

extremely unorthodox (but somewhat consistent, and *easily* mimickable) typography in his posts (ALL CAPS, I->1, O->0, E->3, etc.) "K00L, DUD3Z!", plus much surfer-type slang. B1FF posts from a Commodore C-64, and is a Kool Dude who Rilly Knows Net.Stuff. Has many imitators. Remembered semi-fondly by millions. Had a girlfriend, Buffy (tee-hee! :-) :-) *giggle*! :-) :-) ), [or possibly Muffy; rumors are flying that Muffy has been killed by kibologists - I would remind people that Rumors are Treason and make The Computer unHappy; have a Nice Day, Citizen...] who would probably blow Phil Gustafson's diodes permanently were she to appear on afu... B1FF is *not* Kibo, nor is Kibo B1FF. Nu-uh. Nope. B1FF was last seen proclaiming his new account, b1ff@aol.com (an obvious forgery, of course - B1FF has no minuscules) and before that, his BIFFSTER@DELPHI.COM account (and before *that* on news.groups, quickly followed by buffy).
From the alt.religion.kibology FAQ:
 BIFF IZ A REELY K00L D00D !!!!!!!!!!!!!1 HE P0STS 2 THE NET FR0M HIZ
BIG BROTHERS C-64 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 BIFF IS AWESUM
 N0 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Everyone's a Kibologist... whether they know it or not!
Contrib. post:
5> STOP OVER-BIFFING.  BIFF is simply a YUNG D00D on his brother's
5> COMMODUR with poor spelling, grammar and typing skills.  He is not
5> dyslexic.  If i see someone use a 3 instead of an E in a BIFF post
5> i will claw my eyes out with a spork.
5> Don't overemote.  Keep BIFF simple.  He is a simple personality.
 He used to be.  But he got older and learned about RADIK()()L NEW
 N0W B1FF IZ A WAY-K00L HAKER D()()D 2!!!!11111
 WAY 2 G0 B1FF!!!1111

Let me take a moment and explain the history of the Wacky Misspelling Gag. It started out as a parody of usage common in certain subcultures, particularly those of teenage software pirates and crackers, and infantile Usenet newbies. You still see someone who types this way without irony every once in a while, particularly in groups devoted to heavy-metal bands. In any case, at some point a number of different individuals created a mythical entity named BIFF or BIFF@BIT.NET or BIFF@psuvm.psu.edu or something like that, an enthusiastic but clueless adolescent who posted from his brother's Commodore 64. BIFF typed in all caps, often with bizarre line breaks, and ended every sentence with a string of !!'s and some ones mixed in for good measure (which really makes no sense given the C64 keyboard, but BIFF's naivete exceeded even physical bounds). It is a very old joke and tired too, but now that's its charm, as Mike Nelson as Jack Perkins would say. Most of us started out as BIFFs in some sense or another; we would put huge ASCII swords in our .signature files, or misspell things intentionally so it would be K00L, or respond in a puzzled manner to obvious bait and flame the poster apoplectically in sentences ending in strings of exclamation points. We look back on our newbiehood, and BIFF helps us remember. Personally, one of the most embarrassing aspects of my Usenet childhood was that I thought BIFF had at one time been a real person.

In any case, now you know. Kibo wasn't responsible, not originally, at least. I've asked him who was, but he says if he tells me he'll have to kill me.

[The true ID of the *original* B1FF is to be found in the Jargon File (which spells it "BIFF"; this can be found at prep.ai.mit.edu (, in directory pub/gnu, as the file named jargon300.ascii.gz (gzipped); >1MB unzipped, watch out! Also at netcom.com, in /pub/linley. I include it here:] [Or you could just access http://www.ctrl-c.liu.se/~ingvar/jargon/b.html#biff]

Lookup request: BIFF
:BIFF: /bif/ [USENET] n. The most famous {pseudo}, and the
   prototypical {newbie}. Articles from BIFF are characterized by
   all uppercase letters sprinkled liberally with bangs, typos,
   `cute' misspellings (EVRY BUDY LUVS GOOD OLD BIFF CUZ HE"S A
   THIS!!!), use (and often misuse) of fragments of {talk mode}
   abbreviations, a long {sig block} (sometimes even a {doubled
   sig}), and unbounded naivet'e. BIFF posts articles using his
   elder brother's VIC-20. BIFF's location is a mystery, as his
   articles appear to come from a variety of sites. However,
   {BITNET} seems to be the most frequent origin. The theory that
   BIFF is a denizen of BITNET is supported by BIFF's (unfortunately
   invalid) electronic mail address: BIFF@BIT.NET.

   [1993: Now It Can Be Told! My spies inform me that BIFF was
   originally created by Joe Talmadge , also the
   author of the infamous and much-plagiarized "Flamer's Bible".
   The BIFF filter he wrote was later passed to Richard Sexton [q.v.], who
   posted BIFFisms much more widely. Versions have since been posted
   for the amusement of the net at large. --- ESR]

BIFF (not B1FF) was created by Joe Talmadge (of "Ten Rules for Flaming" fame) of HP in 1988. Joe posted three postings by BIFF from his account, and shortly after Richard Sexton began sending out BIFF@BIFF.NET postings for about a year until he lost interest. At this time, because some idiot had posted "How to forge a posting" to talk.bizarre, everybody and his brother was now forging B1FF postings. Talmadge and Sexton never used digits (C00L, B1FF) in BIFF postings. Most of the original BIFF forgeries were done from psuvm1.psu.edu .

Gary Stollman:

pursued by aliens; was not seen for a while, but has turned up posting from Netcom on alt.alien.visitors .
Contrib. posts:
 I remember Stollman quite well. However, I never did save them [his posts]
since I thought he was going to be Eternal. At least until the Aliens
got me, at which point I wouldn't care.
 He was manic, paranoiac, and a man of his convictions. I think he'd had
several convictions, though he was not guilty by reason of insanity...
 I do have Gary Stollman's long life story somewhere -- the
highlight of this is how he realized that people were following him
when he started staring at this family he saw at a rest stop, and they
became so discomfited at his staring that they left! Imagine!
 I remember Gary. I even flamed him once. It was kind of mean, it was
an indirect flame/rant about the lack of interesting nutcases (ie, Van
Gogh was a more interesting and creative mentally disturbed type of
person, you're no Van Gogh etc.)
 He responded in his usual fashion. "No, it really did happen!" etc.
I feel pretty sorry for him really. I remember seeing the fake gun
holdup on TV. It surprised me that this guy had gotten net.access.
Mind you, it says a lot about some mental illnesses-- you can be
intelligent and yet totally unable to deal with one facet of reality.
>From garys@netcom.com Sat Mar 19 01:21:44 PST 1994

Well, the account name looks similar...

>Article: 4028 of alt.alien.visitors
>Newsgroups: alt.alien.visitors

Posting to the same groups as usual...

>From: garys@netcom.com (Gary Stollman)
>Subject: INVASION!!!

His favorite subject-line...

>Summary: Yeh, I'm still around...
>Keywords: stollman, invasion, clones

Not sure about him adding keywords, but never mind...

>Date: Sat, 19 Mar 1994 02:51:58 GMT

>This is just to let people know that I am still around and
>functioning...I am curently taking a C programming class at Tallahassee
>Community College, currently I have an A in it, I just want to get it
>done so I can visit my mom in LA...Enjoy!!!!!
 Hmm.. Seems a little "upbeat" for Gary.  New medication?  It's a little
short to be able to tell if it is his style (the easiest way of detecting
forgeries, IMHO... anyone can forge an email address but forging style
is another thing entirely!) but it is close enough to what I remember.
>       Gary
>Gary Stollman    Internet: garys@netcom.com     GEnie: G.STOLLMAN
>          The world is your playground.  Keep it clean!
Same .signature.  Brings back memories!  (sniff)  Well I would say that
it is about a 80% probability of being him.  Glad he's back, and that the
clones didn't get 'im after all... :)
Currently posting from garys@netcom.com (Gary Stollman), and possibly from Gary Stollman .

Jack Schmidling (I will be arrested for refusing to buy Israeli oranges):

Contrib. post:
>Jack was never widely known was he?  Certainly Jack would qualify for
>the Net.Legends list if he's posted all over the map.  Did he?
 He was pretty widely known in alt.revisionism; he used to post in a bunch of
other groups - the usual suspects for crossposts from AR: alt.activism,
alt.conspiracy, alt.activism.d, alt.discrimination, alt.censorship.
(Contributor) thinks anybody who dares sign all their posts "ARF" in a group
scanned by the ZUMABOT qualifies for net.legend status.
 Jack is the reason I stopped reading t.p.m.  Well, one of the
reasons, anyway.  It should be noted that Jack shows up in
rec.crafts.brewing, from time to time, and is reported to be just
as obnoxious there, but in a different way.
 (A friend who graduated read rec.crafts.brewing often, and
mentioned Schmidling's presence.  You'd have to check r.c.b to make sure.)
>>>Are you sure it's the same guy?
>>One hundred percent positive.
> Jack Schmidling is not just a Usenet kook and a suburban-Chicago lawn kook,
>he is an internationally famous amateur radio kook also.  Anyone remember
>Jacks old .sig trumpeting his "ARF" (Amateur Radio Forum) on 14.313 MHz?
>Jack managed to use roughly 40 lines of text in that baby.
 The one with the lighthouse image?
> Anyway, Schmidling & Co. staked-out 14.313 as their personal turf and
>set up a swearing/yelling/threatening encounter group that, due to the
>magic of ionospheric propogation, interfered with the normal activities
>of amateur radio operators worldwide.  The last I heard, the FCC had
>cracked-down on the 14.313 mob, issuing $10,000 fines and such, and the
>frequency seems to be rather quiet now.  Anyone know if Jack got caught
>up in the dragnet?  Is that why he is now the master.loon of rec.arts.brewing
>rather than rec.radio.amateur.misc?
 He's back in alt.revisionism again, repeating his oft-disproved claim that
Barry Shein maliciously altered a post of his when reposting it in another
 Dan "Karnes/Artimus and now Schmidling? McElwaine's return may be right around
the corner" Case
Schmidling mini-FAQ available, thanks to Ted Frank (q.v.). He's also one of the few net.legends to have his video publicized by Garbage magazine, and to be interviewed by the CBS news; had some odd ideas about lawns... Formerly sometimes believed to actually be the same person as Dan Gannon (q.v.); seems to have settled down a good bit recently. A miniFAQ of some former posts is available.

L. Detweiler (you are all TENTACLES of the CYPHERpunk anarchoSYNDICALIST pseudospoofing CONSPIRACY; everyone who contacts me via post or email is a tentacle of a single Medusa):

All information relevant has been deleted (probably by the cypherpunk pseudospoofers); ask around - old-timers can tell you about him, through "safe" avenues (like email). Warning: attempting to disillusion him of his theories usually results in threatening mail and getting incorporated into said theories. Handle With Extreme Care. Appeared occasionally on the news.* hierarchy (for instance, news.admin.policy), crossposted to hell and back. Author of the Internet Anonymity FAQ and the InterNet Writer Resource Guide, pre-legendary status... first name apparently Lawrence or Larry. Contrib. post:
>I think this article was some sort of satire but I fell asleep on
>the spacebar and, ya know, I just don't get it.  Anyone care to boil it
>down to a sentence or two?
 Yes. L. Detweiler, the guy who posts as an12070, and who also posts
(now less frequently) under his own account
"ld231782@longs.lance.colostate.edu", is a paranoid psychotic (or
someone doing a good parody of one) who believes there is a nationwide
conspiracy out to get him, said conspiracy consisting of almost every
prominent cryptographer on the net. He periodically rants against this
conspiracy. He makes lots of extremely bizarre claims, such as stating
that every person posting articles saying he's nuts is in fact a
pseudonym of the great conpiratorial group. He's pretty much
ignorable, although he has sent death threats to a large number of
people that some have taken seriously.
 ...This *may* all be a "front"; he comes across as relatively sane in
email (just don't mention Nick Szabo or Tim C. May...). There's really no
way to tell, which may actually be the point of all this... Was peculiarly
insistent on wanting to become the poster of *this* FAQ as well (to the
point of my having to tell the news.answers team "Don't approve this unless I
send it to you"...). Posted as ld231782@.lance.colostate.edu (L.
Detweiler) and an12070@anon.penet.fi (various constantly-changing identities)
- this last address has been disabled by the anon server's sysadmin, and was
been proven to be him on several different occasions, although he was hiding
it fiercely for a time... his Colorado address has gone also (2/94), according
to the sysadmin; this impending loss apparently prompted the Blacknet notices.
He's not been seen since from that address - but beware: anyone who "talk"s
you may actually be either Detweiler or a Tentacle incognito... MUAaahahaaa!!!
 The person posting to (among other places) news.admin.* as tmp@netcom.com is,
if not this entity, making a good run at attempting to imitate Detweiler
(posting to all the same old places, antagonizing Tim May, having S. Boxx and
Blacknet show up in tmp@'s constantly-changing .sigs, assuming a dizzying
variety of identities...) - but with somewhat better material this time
around... and given Detweiler's bee-in-the-bonnet, impersonating him
successfully would in some sense make somebody *be* him... Since netcom folks
are allowed to choose their own IDs, there's no real evidence that "tmp" is
any sort of a guest account (as some have postulated). Posted (maybe) as
tmp@netcom.com (various identities); has since been kicked off Netcom,
allegedly for posting, somewhat altered, a piece of email from the support
staff there. One nym@netcom.com (Sue D. Nym) got kicked off shortly later when
(as one Cypherpunks-list person apparently got notified via email) they
discovered that "the same person who had formerly paid for tmp's account was
now paying for nym's", thus garnering "And we *mean* it!" points... *May* be
also ldetweil@csn.org, but if so is not posting from there. Keep yer eyes
peeled, kids - he may be back at any time, in any disguise...

Abian (IMAGINATION IS THE ESSENCE THE REST ARE DETAILS - I deserve a Nobel prize for this):

Hangs out in the sci.* hierarchy, as in sci.physics . "NASA's exclusive goal, ambition and aim must be the reorbiting Venus [into Earth's orbit] by the year 2004. Otherwise NASA will lose its viability. That wee should not permit ! never ! never !" Is convinced that altering Earth's orbit and tilt is the only way to cure humanity of its evil deviance; puts subject lines in ALL CAPS. In Real Life tm, is a retired tenured math professor at a Iowa State U. A miniFAQ of Abian, critiqued MST3K style, is available. Has been interviewed by the BBC, and broadcast...
Contrib. post:
>Abian [from his .sig]:
Isn't that how time flies or crawls?  Certainly you've seen this effect around
the beginning and ending of your workdays/weeks, people!
Well, if you knock Earth out of orbit, the sky's the limit. (Although it
would be a darn shame if I couldn't spend a comfortable retirement in Florida
that's pending for me in, ohh, 2035?)
Nevermind. I should take up horticulture while I can...
>-- "waiting for the tag-team match:
>      Marilyn Vos Savant & Robert McElwaine vs.
>        Alexander Abian & Ludwig Plutonium"
Hmm...those team-ups could be destructive could they?  (I'd prefer an
ABIAN/MCELWAINE vs. Sagan/Plutonium match.)
>   I read an interesting short article in Omni a few years back.  Some
>   scientist (don't remember who) suggested that earth's environment could be
>   improved by nuking the moon.
>I think I read it -- or at least something similar.
Aiee. How Soon They Forget (tm).
The "scientist" in question was/is none other than Alexander Abian.
Yes, he may have moved on to "reorbiting Venus to make it a born-again
Earth", but he began on a smaller scale, closer to home.
 ...you forgot to mention that you can also find
Dr. Abian's work in the Weekly World News from time to time. Yes, the
bastion of supermarket journalism has indeed employed our own Dr.
Abian for what nefarious purposes I can not remember. But ooh, it was a doozy!
-- Posts as abian@iastate.edu (Alexander Abian).

Serdar Argic (What a bunch of turkeys):

Common monickers: zumaBOT, "that d*mn*d turkey". Greps for "turkey" much as Kibo greps for "Kibo", and follows up to many appearances thereof with long rants about Armenian genocide as practiced on Turks, or Muslims (or was it vice-versa?), which bear little if any relevance to the original post other than (usually) quoting a line or two out of it. Will happily follow up to Ken Arromdee's Stuffed/Leftover Turkey .sig bait... Usually crossposts to hell and back, also. Widely believed to have been a script for auto-posting for Some Time Now. Can be sighted on soc.culture.turkey and alt.revisionism, usually. If you really wanted to. His sysadmin, Ahmet Cosar, has been talked at, and is *not* cooperative in the least with the wishes of the rest of UseNet that Serdar get a real life. Believed to have formerly posted under the name Hasan Mutlu; see FAQ mentioned below. Other names sometimes associated with it are Joachim Mattillo/Ilan Rabinowitz/Supric Gupta.

Contrib. post:

 Actually, the repititious daily bombing of USENET in this manner
was started a couple of years ago ['92?] from the account of Hasan B.
Mutlu from an AT&T site.  The real Hasan B. Mutlu, based on an
examination of conferences and transactions by an author of that
name, is/was one of those AT&T software wizards.  The manual
reposting of files containing canned replies, preceded by a
custom-written reply-specific insult, could have easily been
coded into a program whether or not the two Mutlus were the
same person.  This Mutlu net.personality (referred to as such
in deference to the real Hasan who may be a different person
that may be suffering repercussions due to the USENET entity)
then moved around to a number of other sites, using that name
or masked behind other nicknames (either getting disciplined
by AT&T, or after the entity was discovered to have been a
hacker breaking into the real Hasan's account).  Whatever
the name, the behaviour is obvious.  For a while a running
joke was a weekly Mutloids analysis done out of Australia,
which tracked the infestations, ranked the appearance of
file repostings, etc.  Traffic was considerably higher for the
two weeks preceding the past two American Thanksgivings,
also popularly referred to as you-know-what day.

One "Suha Artun", whose path also goes through anatolia.org, ("anatolia" apparently translates to "Turkey", by the way) has shown up on soc.history doing the same thing (xpost, Armenia, etc.) (2/94), and a Mr. RooT from anatolia has shown up to protest the group alt.cancel.bots, formed specially to carry cancel messages for the 'bot (subscribe if you want to automatically not see the bot's posts at your site), in news.admin.* . Other recent arrivals are meltem@rahul.net (Arif Kiziltug) and ephesus@netcom.com (Yalin Ekici), although these two do not set followups to soc.culture.turkish, post much less often (~ once/day), and don't crosspost *quite* as widely. Finally (?), Argic apparently disappeared entirely in April '94, one step ahead of a petition drive aimed at UUNet to ask them to ask him to tone things down; a representative from UUNet said "the site anatolia has not existed on UUNET since April 94." Does not answer posts directly; cannot be e-mailed to (although Cosar can be; see the miniFAQ). Bleah. May actually be a small group of people who have taken over maintenance of the posting script. Representative quote: "There are now none left of the 2.5 million Turks slaughtered by Armenians in the early years of this century" or some similar combination of templates/words to that effect. Because this FAQ includes the word "turkey", it may well be followed-up to if it's ever posted, although cross-posting to a moderated group may slow it down a bit. Minifaqs with a bit of info are available, as well as the alt.fan.serdar-argic FAQ. One note: as far as anyone who's read history can tell, the Turks slaughtered the Armenians, directly contrary to this entity's multitudinous claims... Has (2/94) claimed to have virtual lawyers, quoting their success record; possibly rented them from John Palmer (q.v.), and (5/94) claimed to have a doctorate ("Dr. Argic") by one of the people railing against the Uunet petition. Can be emailed to at cosa0001@gold.tc.umn.edu (Ahmed Cosar); be warned that *any* mail to this address earns you a threatening email to your sysadmin complaining of harassment... A person from anatolia (*not* "Mr. RooT") showed up on news.admin.* in 2/94 asking how to set up mail maps; this may be a sign that mail to zuma.UUCP may actually start going somewhere (bit-bucket, most likely). Joel Furr (q.v.) has released a Serdar Argic T-shirt. Posted from (among others) sera@zuma.UUCP (Serdar Argic).

Jack Sarfatti:

Posts long strange posts on physics, consciousness, and metaphysics, many of which do not make much sense to practitioners of the above fields. Used to crosspost to hell and back. Can be seen in the sci.* groups and alt.consciousness. A small collection of posts is available. *Not* a "crackpot" in the classic sense; has a Ph.D. in physics and understands the field quite well - but tends to use it to delve into philosophical concepts and outre' theories rather deeper than many other physicists care to read about. Also posts on and off to sci.psychology about connectionism and perception, and the neuro-psychological implications thereof.

Contrib. post:

 Jack Sarfatti is a physicist who posts on sci.physics.
He believes in faster-than-light communication through quantum effects
and backwards-in-time communication due to the existence of advanced
solutions of wave equations (which exist mathematically, but.... it's a
long story).  I post to sci.physics a lot as well, and used to take him
to task for various errors, and finally he got so annoyed at me he wrote
letters to me, the chair of my department, and a dean, threatening to
sue me for libel.  He has done similar things to a number of people [note:
Jack says the "similar things" did *not* include specifically writing to anyone
else's Dean/chair/superior]. I am not immensely fond of him, so I was amused
when Kibo picked up on a recent post of Sarfatti's in which he mentioned the
notion of "beables" as an alternative to the usual concept of "observables."
 Since then "beables" have become a bit of a fad; over on alt.sex there are now
some people under the impression that "beabling" is some sort of vile act
people do while watching X-rated movies, etc. etc..  One has to read
alt.kibology to get the total picture.

Has written to at least one poster's dean and dept. chair, complaining about their sense of humor in posting that the 4 moderators of sci.physics were pretending to be Abian, Plutonium, Hannu and Sarfatti in order to drive folks to sci.physics.research, leading the chair to start asking (in jest) in the halls "Did you know was a vicious clown?"... Says that the rationale for the letters (as mentioned in the Contrib. Post) was *not* the pointing-out of supposed errors, but instead various libels and untrue anecdotes that appeared concurrently with the "error-corrections". A story *was* going around at least one physics dept. (which is probably at least as false as any of these entries; Jack himself denies it utterly - but you know how urban legends grow) that Jack used to tell people Murray Gell-Mann found his ideas interesting, and that someone finally checked with Gell-Mann - and found the complete quote was "Your ideas are interesting, but [looking at watch] I'm late for an appointment." Posts from sarfatti@netcom.com (Jack Sarfatti).

Hannu Poropudas (Wanna see gifs of my daughter's theories?):

Posts theories about space potatoes, made up of combinations of positive- and negative-matter neutrinos, in sevens, to the sci.* hierarchy (sci.physics). Somewhat entertaining. Had a leave of absence, due to his sysadmin responding to protests about his changing his userid with every post so people couldn't killfile him; he says it was actually because he told Scott Chase (sci.physics FAQ person) that he was asking God to put Scott in God's killfile... lost more credibility when he revealed that the official-looking name he kept referencing was in actuality his wee daughter, to whom much of this information had come in the form of dreams, and who gives him further leads in the form of crayoned drawings. Has been "harrassed" by Ludwig Plutonium (q.v.), who has decided Abian is an AI experiment. Posts as haporopu@freenet.hut.fi (Hannu Poropudas).

Dan Gannon (Let me explain by reposting the *same* Holocaust-was-fake trash; I didn't write this, I just scanned it in. And you are all VILE LITTLE LIARS for saying so! don't forget my high IQ and my theory of the universe having 23 - nope, wait a minute, make that 25-dimensions):

The original UseNet "let's post Nazi revisionist junk in quantity and never reply to debunking, except by reposting the same stuff" person. Has occasionally *tried* to answer posts debunking his anti-Holocaust views; was normally not very successful, and quickly went back to crossposting his articles to hell and back, followed by the self-appointed Dan Gannon Cleanup Crew, who spend selflessly of their time and effort debunking Dan *every* time (Dan posted to soc.college, as far as anyone can tell, in order that maybe just *one* of his multiplicities of posts would catch some uninformed person's eye and fool them into believing his articles... similarly for the other, ever-changing newsgroups on his Newsgroups: line. One is reminded of the IHR people who attempted to take out ads in college newspapers across the USA, succeeding once [I believe; I may have this confused with the CODOH and Bradley Smith's ads, which have been placed successfully several times and laughed down many more times]). Alt.revisionism created mainly to have some place to redirect followups from the cleanup crew; most old-time soc.history readers have killfiles because of him and Serdar. Soc.history.moderated's creation also mainly motivated by him and Serdar... Runs a BBS in Portland, OR that is known for attracting neo-nazi punks of various varieties. For a while, long ago, posted under a multiplicity of identities; retreated to only the Gannon one only when finally caught out. A mini-faq of gannon rebutting this entry, and several others rebutting Gannon, is available; eerily reminiscent of the "main event", without the negative connotations thereof... Has posted as "Ralph Winston", "Maynard", "Pete Faust", and "Foxy Roxy" in the past. Made #7 on the list of "most evil net.personalities", just behind Serdar Argic.
Contrib. post:
>I'm new to this thread and don't know who Gannon is or what he is famous or
>infamous for.  Can someone give me a clue??  Why is what he posts considered
>drivel??  --KAC
 In a nutshell:
 Gannon and the now dissolved organization he patsies for, the IHR,
maintain the following thesis:
 1. No Jew, Gypsy or other person was purposely killed as part of a
national policy by the Nazi govt during WWII.
 2. That there certainly were no mass killing operations, no gas chambers,
no gas vans, no mass executions in Nazi Germany during the period 1933-1945.
 For example, they completely deny things like the Einsatzgruppen who
wandered the countryside in Eastern Europe executing Jews and others,
and certainly deny events like Babi Yar. How over 30,000 bodies got
into the same ravine, dead, in a few days is to them merely one of
life's great mysteries, perhaps they all tripped and fell...
 3. They assert that the massive deaths in concentration camps and
similar both did not occur (e.g. all the Jews and Gypsies actually ran
off to the USSR and lived happily ever after), and that they were the
fault of the Allies, particularly the US, UK and USSR.
 See, their theory is that it was Allied bombing that caused food
shortages, typhus, perhaps the noise made SS guards' guns go off into
lined up prisoner's backs, it's hard to know. But it was all the
Allies' fault, they're guilty of all the supposed Nazi war crimes. And
no one died anyhow. How this happened years before any bombing of Nazi
territory occurred is never quite explained.
 4. Gannon and the IHR are closely allied with bona-fide Nazis and
white extremist and virulent anti-semitic individuals and organizations.
For example, when Gannon is not busy claiming contradictory rewrites
of history he is often found typing in long tirades about how the Jews
are responsible for every conceivable evil that's occurred in western
history, including but not limited to the souring of milk and rain at
picnics. Seriously, it's your typical jews control the banks, jews
control the media, jews control all major western govts, etc. type of
rants. Some of the folks he likes to quote have written such notable
works as "The Hitler We Loved and Why". He's also promoted the typical
"Blacks have smaller brains than Whites" kind of garbage.
 There's more, but that should be enough for anyone who isn't two tacos
short of a combo plate.

Formerly posted as dgannon@teleport.com (Dan Gannon). Started posting again from maynard@banished.uucp, then dgannon@banished.com, in 12/93, apparently from having lost the teleport account after request-bombing one Holocaust information server... Update: Dateline: 3/4/94. Netcom.com (through which banished.com feeds) gave Dan an ultimatum - that in the future he may only post to the following newsgroups through them:

(copied from a "Goodbye!" post Dan made on soc.history)... Dan *specifically* tells us netcom.com has forbidden him to post to (or to post revisionist stuff to - he's not clear on this [but it seems it's "post to" after all]) (says Dan). This has been a Net.Legend News Minute...

Riley G. Mat(t)hews:

Collated from various people:
>Oh, who was that ex-NYC cop over in sci.skeptic a few months ago who was
>offering to use his psychic powers to fix the Mars orbiter and the Hubble
>telescope? ...
 Riley, alias Riley G., alias The Thin Blue Line, alias Riley G. Mathews.
Proper skeptics (or, as Riley liked to call them, septics) never were
convinced he actually *was* an ex-NYC cop. ... can't remember
whether or not he posted from DELPHI.
 Ah, yes, "Riley G".  Although one of my personal favorites, especially
after Bob Ingria over on sci.skeptic challenged him to give Bob's personal
information and Riley got it *all* wrong, Riley is rather new, doesn't
cross-post into places like rec.gardens, and disappeared during ("my good
friend") Uri Geller's recent tour, so is mostly unknown.
 Ahh yes! Riley. Most of the sci.skeptic people ended up calling him Rile E
Coyote, I think. He sounded like he must have gotten his brain from Acme,
that's for sure. He used to post letters ostensibly from The Amazing Randi
and then flame, flame, flame away about them (the letters certainly sounded
like Randi might have written most of them -- they certainly took Riley
apart. Why Riley posted stuff against his own position just so he could
make (badly written!) retorts to them in public is a bit confusing to me...).
>Riley's touchiness about Randi knowing where he lives, and presumably his
>real name, motorcycle licence number, etc seem quite at odds with the very
>casual way in which he posted the names and phone numbers of people here,
>along with those of innocent bystanders he claimed to be neighbours of his
 They're not really at odds.  If Riley is really as paranoid as he
sometimes seems to be (viz his claims to have ``phone traps'' on his
phone to list the originating phone numbers of all incoming calls, to
have ``motion trackers'' and video cameras around his house, etc.),
his knowledge of where his opponents live and what their phone numbers
are, etc., gives him a potential edge on them---an edge which he loses
if they know the corresponding information about him.  Also, Riley
posts purported information about people both to show off (and, in the
first few times he did this, to imply he got the information
psychically), and to serve as an implied threat (see his comments to
me that he could pay me an unexpected visit because he knew my phone
number).  It's the bully syndrome: he gets to do other people, but no
way do they get to do him.  And realizing that they can do him must
drive him even crazier than he already is.

Has reappeared; was pleasant for a bit, then returned to flamebait... Posts from psicop@pipeline.com (Riley G).

Ted Frank:

(What's this about James "Trashcan" Kirk?)
Alt.folklore.urban has *no* loons. Really. An a.f.u "old hat", ted is considered the master (after Kibo) of the "trolling" post - one with deliberate misinformation inserted in order to stir up endless followups from unwary people. Generally crossposts, as a clue, to alt.ted.frank.troll.troll.troll - but so *many* people ignore the Newsgroups: and Followups: lines. ted (along with most of the rest of afu) regrets ever reviving the Monty-Hall-gives-a-Chevy-Nova-to-Winston-Churchill thread ("1/2!" "No, you idiot, 2/3!") that in 11/93 took over for a time a.f.u, rec.arts.startrek.misc, alt.sex.bondage, alt.fan.hofstadter, soc.culture.british, alt.(fan?.)rush-limbaugh, and maybe another I'm forgetting; when that finally died down, a "Robbie the Robot" thread was spawned from it with one simple touch from his newsposter - from a *.sig* reference. (Kibo (q.v.) is also an acknowledged trolling expert, much to the dismay of many newsgroups, including rec.org.mensa ...) Hangs out in a.f.u and misc.legal a lot; also soc.college, denigrating fraternities (or possibly just those who inhabit them). A perennial high-number-of-posts stat-list inhabiter. Posts as thf2@kimbark.uchicago.edu (Ted Frank).

snopes and Lasner (Paul is dead!) (The sixties started in 149^H^H942!):

Okay, I lied: afu *does* have a loon. However, in typical afu fashion, our one recurrent loon is made up of two posters, who are rather harmless when separated, but who attain critical posting-mass when both have net access simultaneously... A.f.u veterans will recall the definitive refutation of the Beatles' "Paul is dead" troll/myth by snopes, the incredible tenacity of Lasner (even when massively proven wrong), and the amazing amounts of cross-sniping between the two. Also the flamewars that erupted over the UL Uncle Don/"That oughta hold the little bastards"... neither one admitted to thinking it actually happened - but the fallout from snopes' trying to deny Don ever existed and Lasner's arguing that he in fact had was vast...
Contrib. post:
 Charles isn't a bad person, except for a few annoying traits.  Unfortunately,
each of those traits has led to incredibly long flame wars because he will
never, ever, ever admit he was wrong or allow a subject to drop.  Those
traits are:
 1. Thinks that PDP-8s are the pinacle of computing technology, and will flame
anybody who thinks that C or C++ on a modern computer is better than
assembler on a PDP-8.
 2. Thinks that decades begin and end when he declares them to have begun or
ended.  I think he decided on this stance after he said that "The Battle of
New Orleans" song came out in the 60s.  When somebody pointed out that it was
released in 1958, rather than admitting his mistake, he redefined the 60s.
 Unfortunately, snopes will also not let the famous "snopes vs. Lasner" flame
wars drop, so I usually end up dropping both of them in my kill file for a
month or so when these things crop up.
Lasner, for instance, has strong feelings about "Strawberry Fields Forever".

snopes has been seen on-net only rarely since shortly after the California earthquake (he did survive it though); Real Life apparently reclaimed him for a while, but he did return in spectacular fashion with a troll to the rec.arts.startrek groups about shadows on the Enterprise in a vacuum which went strongly for at least two weeks. Ted Frank is thought to be contemplating countermeasures. Post as {snopes@netcom.com | vacsc02n@vax.csun.edu} (snopes) (real name: David P. Mikkelson) and cjl@maestro.maestro.com (Charles Lasner).

Ludwig Plutonium (This newsgroup is contained inside a plutonium electron):
A classic crackpot (in the scientific sense). Believes that the element plutonium has a special significance in the universe, as well as existing as one atom at the center of his brain. Floats around the sci.* hierarchy, (sci.physics, sci.physics.fusion, sci.math) as well as (sometimes) alt.religion.kibology. Kibo (q.v.) is rumored to have an archive of his songs on science-type subjects set to popular tunes and carols. Can prove or disprove any unsolved mathematical theorem in a matter of weeks, using q-adic numbers (*don't* ask). Entertaining, once you get used to his style; his songs are actually singable (although I wouldn't really want to try). He's not at *all* happy with general relativity, but is content with quantum mechanics, apparently... Currently set against both Abian *and* Hannu (q.v.) (has since apparently made up with Abian, to the point of dedicating a Jurassic Park parody to him, but still needles him on occasion)... Is apparently employed as a dish washer, and has limited himself to 3 posts per day to the Net; is slowly posting "Ludwig Plutonium, the Chosen One" (his massive autobiography) to his newsgroup (alt.sci.physics.plutonium) and to a.r.k . Was off-net for a month or so for allegedly posting some sort of Jewish slur against someone who complained to Dartmouth, but apparently this has been cleared up, and he's merrily posting away again. Posts as Ludwig.Plutonium@dartmouth.edu (Ludwig Plutonium).

Ted Holden:

Contrib. post:
 Has Ted Holden got net access back yet? He lost it when someone on
talk.origins figured out that he didn't actually work for the site he
was posting through, and informed them of it. For those unacquainted
with the Tedster, his hobby-horses were:
 1) Immanuel Velikovsky (_Worlds_in_Collision_) knows more astrophysics
than all astronomers put together. God has been playing billiards
with the solar system during the last few millenia.
 2) The ADA language sucks.
What really set Ted apart was the invective he indulged in against
those who asked him to provide any scientific evidence for his claims
(well, actually, mostly just #1, there was some sympathy for his views
on #2), and the tired list of "astronomer jokes" he used to post.
 Ted only got boring once you realized he has a loop time of
about 6-12 months. Up until then he was quite a hoot.
 The good folks on t.o. tell the sad tale that Ted lost his newsfeed a couple
of months ago, when the company from which he was posting discovered he had
been using their site, even though they had never heard of him! Now that Ted
has to pay for net access, he apparently has no desire to post mega-messages
 however, just to tide you over,
I'll point out that the inimitable Ted Holden is definitely back on the
net and is quite definitely posting the same huge reams of "arguments"
that he's been posting for years (still without modification or response
to the counter-arguments) and has recently declared total victory over
talk.origins because few people bothered to respond to all the "arguments"
in his n-th reposting of his proof that Venus had was recently ejected
from Jupiter, leaving that big red spot behind as evidence.
 However, no critique of Holden, the man, would be complete without an
examination of his own considerable programming talents, as demonstrated
in this truly impressive bit of code that he actually had published as
part of an article in support of Velikovsky's theories:
<begin included text>
Newsgroups: talk.origins
From: prl@csis.dit.csiro.au (Peter Lamb)
Subject: Re: Holden and the C programming language
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1992 23:40:20 GMT

 Actually, feel compelled to encourage Ted in his efforts to improve
his programming style. The program which he posted and has had criticised
in this thread is a *vast* improvement to what he had published in
Aeon 2(4), p115.
[Note: Ted has denied ever writing this code in this form, but admits the
"while" loop; Peter insists that this is what got published under his name, at
least, in Aeon. Last I heard, both of them had retired from the fray to
furiously dig through boxes of old magazines to try to find the Aeon issue in
---------------begin Ted code; indenting per original---------------
#include <stdio.h>
#include <math.h>
int i,j,k,l;
long ii,jj,kk;
double a,b,c,aa,bb,cc,dd;
double x,y,z,xx,yy,zz;
xx = 550;
while(xx > 1)
{ printf("\n num of args was %d\n", ii);
xx=jj; yy=kk;
printf(\n\n ratio = %f\n", aa);
---------------end Ted code---------------
The while loop in this program continues to fascinate me.
<end included text>
Something like this, you can imagine, would have been far more difficult
to program in Ada....

Posts from medved@access.digex.net (Ted Holden).


The lurking horror at the bottom of the TCP-IP protocol; where the bits go after they hit the bitbucket. *Don't* call it up if you're not *sure* you can put it down again... Last seen (3/94) incarnated as a pair of lawyers named Cthul^H^H^H^Hanter & Siegel, posting GREEN CARDS & Spam!; before that (1/94), giggling from orion.*.edu, having swallowed Clarence Thomas IV's brain; before *that*, sighted on rec.arts.sf.starwars (12/7/93) [Dick Depew (q.v.), oddly enough, was a great help in stemming that outburst]. (I know there's more, but my backups seem to have evaporated...)
Contrib. post:
ObUL: .sigs over ten lines will awaken Shub-Internet.

Daniel Drucker (14 Year Old Learning-Curve Wizard):

Contrib. post:
 In 1992, Danny Drucker appeared on several newsgroups [for ~3-4 weeks],
alt.folklore.computers especially, with a signature that called himself a
"14 Year Old Networks Wizard". However, by his behaviour and general
cluelessness, it would be difficult to call him "larval stage", never mind
"wizard". When he got roundly flamed over that, he changed it to "C and
Lisp Wizard", and promptly demonstrated just how little he knew on either
of those topics. His sig mututated to several other "14 year old xxxx
wizard" variants.  As well as the self-proclaimed "wizard" title, he
always had eminently warlordable signatures - and the worst thing was
that they promised to add his ham packet radio id later, as if this sig
really needed something extra to make it just that much more terrible.
 I think he eventually got the hint and stopped calling himself a "wizard",
but not before the phrase "14 year old xxxx wizard" became a catch phrase
on alt.fan.warlord and several other places. (Like all catch phrases, it
had its lifetime, and now it's over, ok?)
>Seriously, was he really _that_ annoying for _that_ long that he gets
>to be in the Net.Legends list?
 No longer than a couple of weeks. Which is about three or four eras in
Usenet. Long enough for the phrase "14-year-old _____ wizard" to become
part of the Usenet vocabulary.
 Perhaps Mr. Drucker could go into the net.legends list for another reason
beside the above: quickest evolution from clueless newbie to normal Usenetter.
Where the normal response to flames is more flames (e.g. Barbara A[bernathy].),
Daniel quietly stored up the clues he received, thus becoming a properly
functioning member of Usenet in what I think is probably a record time. Have to
respect him for that.
 The elitism displayed then was both unusually pointed (maybe it was around one
of the exam periods, I forget) and much more ad hominem than it usually gets
when someone's clueless.  And Danny, er, Daniel, was only clueless for a week
or so after someone first jumped on him.  He'd been just fine for the previous
month, during which nobody objected to his participation.
 It was an interesting situation, sociologically speaking.

He's still around; quieter, but there. A photo of him may be found at the URL ftp://bombadil.ori.org/pub/akt/photos/daniel.jpg ... Posted from xyzzy@panix.com (Daniel Drucker); now posts from dmd@panix.com .

John_-_Winston (Dear People Who Breath Air: ):

John F. Winston (I have *no* idea what the F. stands for) believes semi-passionately in alien visitors and UFOs; hangs out at those newsgroups a lot in consequence thereof, as well as sci.skeptic. This in itself would not distinguish him, but he frequently crossposts "interesting" articles from those groups, or from Weekly World News, or from aliens from the future who have travelled back to talk to him, into alt.religion.kibology, in the teeth of He Who Greps. This if nothing else qualifies him for "legendary" status. Likes (or possibly believes(!)) the X-Files for some reason.

From the a.r.k FAQ: "IS JOHN_-_WINSTON SERIOUS? AND WHAT'S WITH THE `_-_'?" I'd like to answer that question in two parts. First, John_-_ is a perfectly normal alt.religion.kibology household word. And second, the _-_ is actually a single letter in Chippewa meaning, approximately, "sideways schwa". How this relates contextually to the information he posts about UFOs is something only the Reptoids from Behind The Green Galaxy can tell us.

Waitaminute. I thought that John_-_Winston was the same person as the JOHNFW@SLACMV.SLAC.STANFORD.EDU. I'm sure he's signed a couple of times as "John Winston", even if he was normally just "John F. W.". I've seen him posting to alt.alien.visitors until summer 1991, when he disappeared. Some time later John_-_Winston made his appearance to the net.

Photon belt?
Photon shoes?
Thinking cap?
Okay, we're ready for "John"....
John_-_Winston@cup.portal.com wrote:
: Subject: What's The Buzz.
:   I always love a mystery and there is one I would like to check out in New
: Mexico, USA.  Here is some information about it............................
:   We'll start our trip by way of northern New Mixico, specifically the
Me, I prefer the original Mixico.  Mmmmm....just thinking about that
authentic Mixican food gets my mouth watering.  I took Spinich for two years
in High School and a year in college, so I never have a problem getting
around Mixico City or the Axetek ruins nearby.
Spell-checker, anyone?
: tourist town of Taos.  Taos is best known to travellers for its excellent
: skiing and the Native-American beauty of the Taos Pueblo.
:   Yet there's something strange going on, hidden behind the artsy galleries,
: gift shops and ski lifts.  Whatever it is, it's in the air.  You can feel
: it - or better yet, hear it.  Especially at night when the town quiets down
: and the tourists are gone.  It is an ominous, low-frequency buzzing sound.
: The sound permeates businesses, houses, walls, windows and brain cells.  It
: is driving farm animals, pets and people in the Taos area out of their
: gourds.
Well then, "John", you'd fit right in.
:   No one knows what's causing the buzzing and no one can tell where it is
: coming from.  The sound is everywhere and cannot be traced to its source.
Whoops. Sorry. That's just me...that darn Thai food does it to me every time.
: Thinking that it might be part of a secret Air Force project, the town's
: leaders contacted the military.  The Pentagon claims they have no connection
: to the buzzing.
But, as we all know, WHATEVER the Pentagon says is actually the OPPOSITE!
Yes, folks, every day is OPPOSITE DAY with "John".
:   Not far from Taos is the super-secret city of Los Alamos, where government
: eggheads are busy developing new super-weapons and Star Wars projects.  Calls
: were placed to Los Alamos and, specifically, Sandia Laboratories, a
: government funded tech-company responsible for atomic weapons research and
: other dark projects.
GASP!  How DARE the U.S. Government have secret projects and not tell us!
:   Sandia denied having any connection; however, they did send a specialized
: team of acoustical experts to study the sound.  The Sandia studs brought
: in all their expensive toys and  high-tech gizmos.  After months of study,
: they issued their report.In a nitshell, it said that they didn't have a clue
: as to where the noise was coming from.
Well, perhaps if they took it out of the nitshell, they could get a better
look at it.
:   To this day, the buzzing continues and no one has come forward to claim
: responsibility.  Mean while, the people of Taos go on with their lives,
: trying to ignore the insessant buzz.  Everyone in town has their own theory
: as to what is causing it.  Some say it's wind rushing through the nearby
: Rio Grande Gorge, while others suspect the government.  Still other believe
: the sound may have an extraterrestrial origin, or even suggest that satanic
: cultists are at work.  Whatever the cause, the buzzing continues.
: JW Don't ask me what it is.
Don't worry.
: Source Of Information:  Far Out, winter, 1993.
I'll say.

Has also gotten a reputation on alt.conspiracy, alt.alien.visitors, alt.dreams , alt.pagan, and alt.mythology... frequently gets his posts MST3K-ified on a.r.k, as in the example above. Posted from John_-_Winston@cup.portal.com . Frequently . (Unfortunately, he has finally discovered Delphi, and has lost his middle thingy - however, he'll always be John_-_ to us...) Currently posts as John Winston .

Dave Hayes (Impeach the Net.Cabal!; Ignore it, it'll go away on its own):

Self-proclaimed news.* (news.groups in particular) "Biggest Clown". Delights in arguing with people over details there, apparently mostly for the entertainment value. Has stretched several threads there beyond all logic. Claims to have reasons for everything he does, and to be speaking for all the "little people" of UseNet who do not, cannot, or will not speak for themselves, leading to someone's coining the phrase "This is UseNet. Speak up for yourself or Dave Hayes will speak for you...". Has been awfully quiet recently (1/93); may be Up To Something [returned as of 4/93, espousing the Advanced form of the "Hit the `n' key if you don't like it" Philosophy]. Posts from JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories), as dave@elxr.jpl.nasa.gov (Dave Hayes).

Dick Depew (ARMM! ARMM!! ARMM!!!):

Long-lost twin brother of the intelligent and articulate Ray Depew, who's not paying me one cent for those adjectives (AFU Official Ex-Executioner: *no* smileys!). Showed up first in the sci.* hierarchy, later became most common on news.* . Interestingly enough, as near as I can tell, the original set of cancels that he did affected exactly *two* posts - both of which had dared to come from anon.penet.fi in the sci.* hierarchy... much to his surprise, something of a furor arose over these, which was prolonged unmercifully by his defense of his actions. Notable chiefly for his long and vocal insistence that his plan (ARMM) for moderation by forge-cancellation of people's posts (RetroModeration, or RM), possibly without their permission, is a valid, necessary, and logical addition to UseNet. Version one malfunctioned when tested (3/30/93), causing a massive newspost/cancel loop (it was cancelling its own cancels, as near as I can make out) which caused general hysterical laughter from those who knew what was going on, as well as the usual predictions of the imminent death of UseNet (q.v.). Briefly espoused a "tit-for-two-tats" version. As it turns out, the net is actually threatened in various manners by several different things (not the least of which is its own ever-increasing growth), but anonymous postings and/or the accountability thereof generally are not among the subjects people post "Death of Usenet predicted" (q.v.) messages about these days...

Joel Furr (q.v.) newgrouped alt.fan.dick-depew (which is *not* retromoderated by Dick, despite frequent claims by him to the contrary...). Dick was helpful in cancelling, for instance, the rec.arts.sf.starwars 16+Megabyte UseNet "burp", which tied up traffic for half a day in 12/93, and more recently the mustang.com repost spew on news.groups and alt.config. He has also offered for public consumption his spam-auto-cancel scripts (talk to him for details) since the advent of Canter & Siegel...

Also notable for his theory that off-charter postings are uncivil and therefore deserve to be "moderated" out of existence. Uses the term "supersedes" instead of "cancels" to refer to his scheme, generally. Has had trouble in the past making his plans conform to RFCs -822 and -1036. "Now he lives off his new-found fame, kibozing the Net for `ARMM' and revelling in immortality by monumental error." More info is available in the Anonymity On The Internet FAQ (which, oddly enough, is by a pre-legendary-status L. Detweiler (q.v.)...). Also the proponent of "Newsgroup Democracy", an interesting concept he regards as semi-integral to RM (but which others, sadly, regard as a separate item - if ND *were* inseparable from RM, objections to the latter would be far fewer).

Had a medium-size heart attack in 1/94, but (against doctor's orders to not do anything stressful) returned to net.debate soon after; it seems not to have had adverse effects though, thankfully. Newgrouped alt.retromod in 3/94 after a perfunctory proposal (not involving ND) on alt.config and has taken to mostly posting (and "admonishing" and "rejecting") there. Claims to currently be figuring out a revolutionary new Message-Id: scheme for HappyNet... and is gleefully awaiting the return of Canter & Siegel to UseNet...

Contrib. post:

>P.S.  are you considering taking on the task of ARMM archivist?
 No, Dick, I'm not.  I'm actually still of the opinion that you're a
dangerous loon who should be locked up in a small steel box and put in a
room with Tim Pierce.
Posts from red@redpoll.mrfs.oh.us (Richard E. Depew).

John Palmer (Another FORGERY!!!; I'm outa here for good and this group is toast):

Has his own alt.fan. group. And his own FAQ (which nobody can apparently locate at the moment). Associated off and on with Rabbit.Net (currently up); names his computers after the Thundercats. Perenially in trouble with Michigan net-routing people for forging map address entries for tygra. Has his own stable of virtual lawyers, constantly on the go (which can be seen only by the pure of heart), at least one of whom is named Mr. Stechschulte; has his own special epithet ("asshole") [note: he uses it about others, not vice-versa - just to be clear here...]. Is the victim of many, many forged postings doing nasty things with rmgroups and newgroups, all of which are shrouded in mysterious circumstances, and all of which were confirmed at first by other forged postings purporting to be from him. He's never (curiously) taken advantage of PGP to verify which of these postings are actually from him...

His last widely-known exploit resulted in the twilight existence of alt.tv.tiny-toon.sex, against determined rmgrouping by other admins (who were chiefly incensed because John's "discussion" seemed to have taken place on an other-dimensional net)... Currently has reappeared, claiming never to have left or been "no longer employed by" RabbitNet after all, and started up an automatic repeated rmgrouping of alt.fan.john-palmer, which in consequence has gotten a lot *busier* (maybe he should be newgrouping it instead?) Gave up on that after a while. Is now apparently running an anonymous-remailer service off tygra which Vitaca Milut (q.v.), among others, is using. Ask on a.f.j-p about the "Mortimer Bomb"... Newgroups for about six rabbit.*- hierarchy groups, including rabbit.config and rabbit.q-and-a, showed up in 9/94; questions about RabbitNet probably belong on the latter... Posts from uuhare@rabbit.net and @tygra.com, among (many) others.

Bruce Becker:

Sysadmin reportedly somewhere in Canada who takes many rmgroups for alt.* that reach his site, forges them (under assumed names) into newgroups for the same groups, and sends them out again, ensuring the effective immortality of anything in the alt.* hierarchy. Widely cordially disliked, and partly responsible (with his imitators) for many of the unused newsgroups that infest alt.* to this day. His newgroups are recognizable from the invariable ...!feline!halt!... in their path somewhere. Reported to have been responsible for the whole series of "Copyright violations" description lines in the alt.binaries.pictures.* groups... Was absent between October 1993 and March 1994; no such forged newgroups were reported during that time, except for one in 1/94 (for alt.binaries.games.vga-planets) which was rather more clueless than usual Becker forges, and was probably from an imitator...

GTS.ORG is a site registered to Bruce Becker in Toronto, along with several others according to rs.internic.net, and visitors to the city have said that there is a Bruce Becker in the phone book there... is this the real Bruce? Who knows? Posts, occasionally, a list of the alt newsgroups he considers to be non-bogus from news@gts.org to alt.config/alt.answers/news.groups/ news.admin.misc/"alt.newgroup". May also be bdb@gts.org; if anybody knows a consistent email address for Bruce, let us know...

Laurence Godfrey:

Found on soc.culture.canada and soc.culture.british. Contrib. post:
 For the uniniated, Laurence Godfrey is a british scientist who worked in
Canada until he quit after a dispute with his boss (he is currently suing
his former employers). Since that time, Godfrey has taken to posting on
soc.culture.canada with insulting comments about Canada and canadians in
general. Needless to say, he has generated a lot of flames.
 A few months back, several people posted comments to the effect that he
was fired from his canadian job. "Libel!" cried Godfrey! Surprisingly, as
of about a week ago (12/93), Godfrey claimed to have won out of court
settlements from the academic institutions that these people attended. In
the last few days, the thread has spiralled out of control - people
doubting his claim (particularly the aspect of suing people in Canada from
a British court) have called him a liar. His response to these people has
been along the lines of: you'd better be careful what you say or: I am
taking the necessary steps to deal with this person - basically implying
that he will take legal action. A popular reply to this has been that
Godfrey is purposely attracting "libelous" flames in order to make a
quick buck.
 He vehemently loathes Canada and anything Canadian. Or German. But he's not
racist (he married a Thai [note: Filipino, actually]); he came to hate most
foreigners after a great deal of thought. He also loves suing, and is
perpetually threatening to sue for libel over the net. Look for his posts in
soc.culture.british (or don't), and there was even at least one issue of the
Godfrey Gazette containing some of his more xenophobic comments.
>this might sound like a rather minor net.loon...
 Well, apart from his disturbing ability to capitalize correctly (they're the
most dangerous ones), he does have all the correct attributes.

John Palmer (q.v.) has a stable of virtual lawyers, but this appears to be looniness of an entirely different order... Has been fairly quiet about the legal threats since 12/93; claims to have served someone with a High Writ just before Xmas. But wait -
Contrib. Newsflash:

From "RISKS DIGEST 16.06" (usenet group comp.risks):
> In the first case of its kind in the UK, Canadian academic Dr Laurence
> Godfrey                                 [^^^^^^^^ oh boy, RISKS DIGEST is
                                           about to get sued for libel!!]
> issued a libel writ in London against another academic based in Geneva
> claiming he was defamed by a bulletin board message posted on the Usenet
> system. If the claim succeeds, hosts and users could soon be contemplating
> sizeble pay-outs.
 I'm not wrong, "Phil Hallam-Baker" is the "academic based in Geneva" that
Godfrey has the libel writ against.  Personally, I regard Hallam-Baker
as one of the "single issue" ax-grinders that make Usenet such an inter-
esting place.  He seems to regard DEC (the corporation) and VMS (the
operating system) as some sort of holy things.
Posts from s0lg@exnet.com (L Godfrey).

David Sternlight:

Contrib. post:
 I second. David is one of the insidious ones, because he can spell and
write. But he's terribly dishonest (or a GREAT troller). Every now and
then, someone will post something saying "I don't always agree with David
[who does?], but his posts always seem to make sense". I suspect they
either don't understand the subject matter, they don't like flames (get
off usenet NOW), or they're just loony lurkers.
 David would need to be added based in his lifetime of work, not a single
rant (although I could probably dig one up if I needed). This contrasts
with the Dan Gannon ilk whose every sentence screams "I'M A LOON!".
David has been kind enough to keep from proliferating too far across the
net. He tends to stick to the crypto groups and has what I would call a
sick obsession with other people using pgp (he doesn't like it).
 There's David Sternlight, who seems to get his jollies by presenting his
own agenda while ripping up or dismissing out of hand everyone _else's_
positions on topics in comp.org.eff.talk, then getting bent out of shape
when people start slapping him down, so he declares that he's making his
last post to this group, so any snappy comebacks are pointless because he
won't see them -- and then begins posting again within a week. I think
he's up to his third or fourth "I'm leaving this newsgroup forever"
message now, and there was another posting from him this morning in
Clearly your counting abilities are not very well; you have lost count ;-).
[He is widely believed on those groups to be working for the government, and trying to encourage use of the Clipper encryption chip, and to discourage PGP (because the US govt. can't break it); he is (or was, in 1989) a member of the gov't's Council on Foreign Relations...]

Pat Townson (UseNet is a cesspool, a dungheap):

Moderator of comp.dcom.telecom, alias the Telecom Mailing List/Digest (gatewayed). Known mainly for his commentary added, seemingly at random, to the ends of posts - that is, up until John Higdon, and others, proposed another, unmoderated, telecom group, to be called comp.dcom.telecom.tech; got *way* over-worked-up on this issue. Had a personal vendetta against Higdon - accused him of owing him thousands of $, wrecking his net.livelihood, etc. The first vote failed; much of the blame for this was laid at Pat's feet for allowing only negative commentary (except for one special issue of the Digest [which {I disrecall} may actually have only appeared *after* the first vote]) to appear in the group and for sending out a special mailing, to the list, urging people to vote against the group's creation on rather specious grounds. Negative votes poured in from list people - but only *after* said mailing. The vote failed the 2/3-YES test (but not the >100 test).

The allegations of irregularity finally moved tale (q.v.) to waive the normal six-month waiting period. The second vote was marked by even *more* of a flamewar (although not up to the standards of the soc.culture.tibet/ talk.politics.tibet flamewar which had just ended, and of less volume than the rec.food.veg "discussion") in news.groups, and passed resoundingly; shortly after, Pat made some final scathing comments in news.groups (including a threat to start a group sounding remarkably like this present FAQ) and cut off the gatewaying of the mailing list to UseNet. Has since restarted the Digest's feed (*possibly* motivated by Joel Furr's (q.v.) generous offer to take over the moderation of c.d.t); all has been relatively quiet since 12/93...

Daniel J. Karnes (None of you guys have phased me even for a minute):

In the same tradition as Fordyce/Kaldis/The Bard; seen periodically on a.p.h, attempting to ridicule arguments against bigotry and usually winding up showing how little he knows on the subject. His sig read at one point "Infinitely inconclusive", which many people think applies to his usual "arguments" quite well. Has missed, somehow, learning that quantity of posting does not correlate with quality thereof. One of his aliases may (or may not) be "Artimus Page", who posts radical-right anti-homosexual tracts from time to time from a (bogus) address at Yale, claims to have a "cure" for homosexuality and a clinic at which it's implemented, and who seems to be present only when Dan is on-net... many people argue against this on the grounds that Dan couldn't keep from wisecracks long enough to post "Artimus Page"'s tracts (which isn't true, as Dan *can* write well when he bothers to make the effort - see below), and that "Artimus" never responded directly to people... Netcom knows about Dan, is watching to see if he oversteps himself, and has had at least one little chat with him about harassment of other netizens... Also seen on the other gay groups; gets shunned on soc.motss, and leaves quickly because of it. Apparently in it solely for the attention he gets from gay people, which makes one wonder severely... Has claimed outright to kiboze, apparently for his name and/or initials in various forms (which is why certain groups warn new people "don't say That Name again, please, or he'll show up and we'll all have to start up our killfiles again"); has also claimed to rarely call people names. Also seen frequently on ca.earthquakes, where he reportedly has something of a reputation as well. Has been laughed out of alt.flame at least once by the master flamers residing there; has been taken against by "Andrew Beckwith" (q.v.). Once (shortly after his first wife packed herself up in their brown Ford Taurus station wagon and left him) forged a post to news.announce.important asking that anybody who saw her get in touch with him; I suppose it *was* important to him...

Contrib. post:

 Strikingly, no one that I've noticed has nominated Daniel J. Karnes as
a net.butterfly (in the sense of "small thing one wishes were easily
torn apart", perhaps).  Maybe it's because he's been away.  But he's
back.  Here's an extract from one of his recent posts, detailing his
own assessments of his accomplishments last time around...
>Actually, I "accomplished" quite a lot... Thus:
>1) I got two hundred queers to go buy Bibles - and READ them.
>2) I exposed the little "nice guy" facades that you guys put on
>as the bullshit those of us with thinking minds know them to be.
>3) I demonstrated the mental illness rampant in gay circles by
>facilitating situations in which some really sick people dropped
>their guards and demonstrated symptoms of their sickness publicly.
>4) I exposed dozens of pedophilic gays for what they were by their
>own admissions.
>5) I thoroughly enjoyed myself. :)
>>Artimus Page is always good for a laugh. He claims to have a `cure'
>>for homosexuality.
>Artimus Page is Dan Karnes under a very thin disguise... therefore he's
>already got.
 This was widely claimed, but never decisively proved, as far as I
know. The Path lines weren't even similar. I think Artimus deserves
(?) separate mention, maybe in the Karnes section.  Artimus definitely
had a very different rant from the typical Karnes style; Artimus also
never responded directly to anyone, as Karnes did all the time (albeit
incredibly ineffectually).
 For what it's worth, every Artimus Page article that anyone
bothered to track down was forged from the same
out-of-the-way terminal server from which DJK has been seen to log in.
Does Dan's entry include his rather, err, uh, unusual theories about
earthquakes? He believes that earthquakes "like" to happen at 4:34 a.m.
Danny has taken against this FAQ entry for some reason, and has threatened to borrow John Palmer's virtual lawyers, saying it's "slanderous" (hint: look up slander sometime) and defames his reputation, without actually ever giving any details to ye olde FAQ-writer on *why* he thinks this or what exactly he doesn't like, and going so far as to bother yoF-w's sysadmins and Department Heads and Deans (sheesh!) about it; his version of what it ought to read like is as follows (note that this by itself doesn't really tell one why he's widely known on UseNet, or most of the interesting details):
-----begin Karnes-----
The problem I have with my entry in this "FAQ" is that most of it is simply just not true, and the rest is nothing but propaganda from the net.queer element that reeks up certain parts of USENET. Reading this, I find that almost all of it conforms nicely to the "model" that net.queers try to paste on anyone that opposes them, but very little of it is based on fact. (quite typical of homosexuals)

Please remove my entry from your FAQ - or allow it to be revised so that more TRUTH is presented.

Like this:

Daniel J. Karnes
  Or "djk" as he is known on computer systems around the world has been
a part of the internet since it's early days. At first, he was confined
to posting to "relative" newsgroups and sending private email through
a numbered account in a large corporate machine. Djk found true freedom
when he was one of the first users on one of the first commercial public
access UNIX systems when the internet was opened up to non-governmental
or academic users in the early 1990's.
  Djk works in the telecommunications industry as an engineer and manager,
and possesses a rare blend of hardware and software skills that make him
a technical power to be reckoned with.
  Early in his net.carreer, djk noticed a strong homosexual element present
on the net, and being a member of a very large Traditional Values group,
decided to watch them closely. It did not take much time for djk to become
outraged by the activities of net.queers who seemed to think that the net
was their own private playground. Djk began his very controversial postings
to the gay groups as an effort to undermine the efforts of net.queers who
were operating with gang-like organization against anyone who opposed them.
Djk can stand firm against hundreds of opponents and his name strikes fear
into the hearts of most homosexuals on the net.
  djk posts as djk@netcom.com and operates TASP.NET as a private access UNIX
system from his home.
There! Now THAT is more accurate!
-----end Karnes-----

I might add that, contrary to his usual one-liner posting style, Dan *can* compose long rational pieces of prose like the above, given time, but apparently does not think it worth the effort to do so in almost all of his UseNet posts. A minifaq is also available with some interesting Dan posts and email, to/from myself and sysadmins. In 5/93, came in 13th in the "most evil net.personalities" vote on alt.evil .

Posts as djk@(TASP.uucp.)netcom.com (email: djk@bandor.tasp.net) (Daniel J. Karnes).