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Too Close For Comfort
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Strange Synchronicities Around The Oklahoma City Bombing

By James Donahue

We lived thousands of miles away in Michigan but the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on the morning of April 19, 1995 struck my family close up and strangely personal.

The event occurred a few days after Easter. My wife, Doris, and I remember it as a dark and dismal Easter weekend. We were both struck with a sense of foreboding and a feeling that something evil was about to befall us. It was one of those things we could not explain. We just had a subconscious knowledge. But there was more.

I was getting my first taste of retirement that spring, having been persuaded to take an early pension from my job with a Gannett newspaper. I was trying my hand at self-publishing and promoting my own string of books, which kept me busy and on the road. But for some reason I was home that morning. I had an impulse to turn on CNN just as the first reports began coming in. We consequently watched as the full horror of the bombing unfolded before our eyes.

It seemed as shocking as the Kennedy Assassination some 30 years earlier. Perhaps even as shattering to us as the 9-11 attacks because by the time that happened, we were getting somewhat numbed to visual television reality shock. These events, the Waco burning of the Branch Davidians, the Harvey Oswald shooting, the Bobby Kennedy assassination, and killing of Dr. Martin Luther King. We saw it all. And they had a surreal element as the tragic images and stories rattled our world.

The Oklahoma City bombing was unique because it had a peculiar personal element attached to it.

Doris and I were getting interested in esoteric things that year. We were reading Wilson, Leary, Jung, Campbell and Crowley. We were experimenting with palm reading, telepathy, auras, altered states and using the Ouija board to communicate with spirits.

Only weeks before the bombing Doris discovered that she had a "gift" at Ouija. At about her first try she made contact with a spirit that identified itself as Elohim. Elohim, we later learned, is a Hebrew name for God, or Gods, but we were unfamiliar with the name then. We thought, perhaps, he was a demon, or archangel. All I know is that Elohim only made himself known to Doris that one time. He never came to her again. It was as if he was saying "hello" before fading off into the shadows and letting other spiritual forces take over. The Archangel Michael was among them. It was almost as if the angelic and spirit world had been waiting for years for Doris to open her eyes and communicate with it.

I tell this story about Elohim for one reason. Timothy McVeigh, the man charged with the bombing, was said to have hatched his plans with the White Aryan Resistance, a right-wing extremist group headquartered in a place called Elohim City, in Oklahoma.

A coincidence you say?  We called them synchronicities because the story gets even stranger. 

I spoke with my father the following day. He said that Timothy McVeigh allegedly rented his Ryder truck in Kansas, near the very place where my father grew up. Dad said just knowing this gave him an eerie feeling.

Within a week after the event, unmarked white government cars were prowling our neighborhood. In my years of reporting and running with law enforcement officers, I had little trouble picking up on the fact that something was going on.  We started getting a creepy feeling that something was very wrong. Was it just our imagination or were we feeling extremely paranoid? They had captured McVey but there were reports that other suspects were being hunted. The appearance of those white government cars made us feel as if the whole world was suspect.

Then I received a call from my former editor who wanted to know what I knew about our neighbors, brothers Terry and James Nichols, who lived and operated a farm just down the road from our home. I was told that government agents had raided the Nichols home and taken the brothers captive in connection with the bombing.

Indeed, I had met the brothers a few years earlier when they filed a lawsuit in Sanilac County Circuit Court that attempted to claim that property taxes on their farm were illegal. The case was thrown out of court, but it was an odd enough case that it made news. The brothers also got in trouble with the law when they detonated some explosives on the farm without getting a permit.

 It seems that McVeigh knew the Nichols brothers. Not only that, he stayed with them on occasion. Terry was charged with conspiring to bomb the Oklahoma federal building. James was held in a federal lock-up in Detroit for a while before he was released, under tight surveillance, to take care of his farm. He was never implicated.

That summer we sold our Michigan home and went on our pilgrimage to Arizona. How odd it felt when we drove through Oklahoma City in our own rented Ryder truck. We never saw the bombed out rubble though. Traffic was detoured around the downtown area where it all happened.

It was just as well. The implant of that terrible deed will remain forever fixed in my memory. I didn't need more visual images to make it worse.

To this day, however, I have had a feeling that the public was never told the full truth about that bombing. I believe McVeigh went to his death with secrets. And I doubt if even Terry Nichols knows what they are.