Prairie Lights: Anomaly theory clears up Missoula mysteries


A river runs through it, supposedly.

You may have seen the news that a researcher in California claims that there is no Missoula.

The Nevada County (Calif.) Scooper reported last week that Skyy Wolford, of North San Juan, Calif., had concluded that Missoula “is an elaborate hoax and does not exist.”


Ed Kemmick

The Scooper also reported that Wolford, a part-time chemtrail researcher and amateur ionizing radiation hobbyist, has spent three years studying what he called “the Missoula anomaly.”

He bases his theory concerning the non-existence of Missoula on something called the “Bielefeld effect,” named for the allegedly real city of Bielefeld, Germany. The Bielefeld effect, Wolford told the Scooper, refers to “this illusion that some place actually exists. People talk about it. They even claim to know people there. But it’s all fake. They’re either part of the conspiracy to keep the hoax alive, or they’re delusional.”

Wolford said one can prove his theory of the Missoula anomaly by asking anyone three questions: “Do you know anyone from Missoula? Have you ever been to Missoula? Do you know anybody who has ever been to Missoula?”

I would answer yes to all three questions, but how then do I prove that I am neither part of the conspiracy nor delusional? If the Internet has taught us anything, it is that we can know nothing for certain. In the age of the Internet there is no proposition so outlandish that someone hasn’t devoted his life to proving that the proposition is true.

I call it the Web anomaly (patent pending).

The Web anomaly is immediately apparent in the case of Skyy Wolford. Many say that he doesn’t exist, that the Nevada County Scooper itself is an elaborate hoax that reports nothing but spoofs, lies and gibberish.

Well, if believing that helps you sleep at night, go ahead and believe it. For me, the Missoula anomaly finally explains so much that was previously incomprehensible. There was always an air of unreality about Missoula, or what, in my naiveté, I took to be Missoula.

We speak of someone with no grip on reality as being “lost in the fog.” You could say “lost in Missoula” and it would mean the same thing, though technically what envelops that alleged city is not fog.

There were hints about the non-existence of Missoula all along. They seemed like clever little sayings or constructs at the time, but was someone trying to tell us something? There are T-shirts that say: “Missoula. A place, sort of.” It doesn’t seem quite so innocent now, does it?

And what of those bumper stickers that you used to see everywhere in the sector of Montana popularly thought to contain the city of Missoula? These bumper stickers, conceived as a response to stickers that said, “Restore the river. Remove the dam,” bore the words: “Restore the valley. Remove Missoula.”

What if there was no Missoula to remove? What if that bumper sticker was an inside joke coined by a member of the cabal that invented Missoula?

And why do you suppose the city used to be called “The People’s Republic of Missoula”? It was long thought that this referred to the leftist sympathies of the city’s intelligentsia, but what if it was a veiled hint about the city’s non-existence?

I have what seem to be so many vivid memories of Missoula, where I purportedly went to college and where I got married, but then I think of the famous quote, “If you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.” Exactly! And what made Missoula so entrancing when I was young was that it seemed to embody the whole ethos of the ’60s.

To adduce just one more piece of evidence, which I don’t believe is needed but which is nevertheless interesting: in my researches, I came across a review in a newspaper that calls itself the Missoula Independent, a review of a movie bearing the title of “The Anomaly.”

Ask yourself: Have you ever heard of this movie? Do you know of anyone who’s seen it? Of course not. It doesn’t exist. I believe the so-called Missoula Independent was established with the sole intention of perpetuating the myth of Missoula, forever reporting on the mythical activities of non-persons in a town that doesn’t exist.

And yet someone on the inside must want us to know that something is amiss, and hence this “review” of a “movie” called “The Anomaly.” Someone on the staff of this purported newspaper is crying out to us, rather like young Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix,” trying to let us know about the giant hoax of which he is part.

You can call me crazy, but I’ve done the research and so far it looks pretty damned convincing. For that matter, I have a lot of questions that need to be answered about this place they call “Butte, America.”

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