The thief, the minstrel & the trickster

NCE upon a time

there was a thief who

escaped from paradise

by tying sheets together and

climbing down from the

walls of Eden.

For three days he remained a free man and the sheriff knew not where to look.

The sheriff posted wanted pictures and the people were amazed to see how much he resembled a famous knight, but the cunning thief disguised himself by cutting off his golden locks.

During this time, there came to the ‘Town below Paradise’ a famous minstrel who had played at royal courts & sung songs for princesses. On a starry, starry night the minstrel poured forth his songs upon the townspeople and they said that it was good, though rather pricy.

The day after this wondrous event, the thief was spotted by two rebels in a market on the outskirts of the town. They called for the sheriff and he & his men arrived & gave chase.

Through the streets of the ‘Town below Paradise’ their chariots raced, but lo, upon reaching a rich & foreign land where the hunters gather on corners, the thief’s silver chariot crashed into the wagons of two townspeople & he was recaptured & returned to paradise.


(well not quite)

Last Monday (12th May), a very strange event occured.

A prisoner who was on remand for robbery escaped from Mt Eden Prison in Auckland. In a style that brings to mind comics & old movies, the prisoner made a rope from knotted sheets & scaled the castle-like walls to freedom.

At the time I wondered & went to check out his name, usually a good place to start on synchs, and always interesting when you get the full three names – Aaron Stephen Forden – yes I thought, there’s possibilities there.

But then the mercurial visit by Elton John captured my attention. But still wonder I did, about this highly publicised escape prior to the concert.

So I’ve come back for a second look & I believe we can weave enough pretty synchs together to come up with a splendid little cape for he who is fleet of feet but short of wardrobe.

I must add here that this little chap may have taken offence to my comments about his lack of raiment because I have once again been set back a day in posting this second article about him. Yesterday while I sat at my computer a couple of cars managed to take out a local transformer (no one was hurt, but two cars totaled) – it was a long candle lit night & I issue a public health notice to avoid toasting hamburger buns over smoky fires.

To return to the scene of the crime we find that, as a thief, Aaron Stephen Forden was under the patronage of Mercury. At the time of the escape it seems there was much head shaking as to just how this breakout was possible, but it’s been put down to staff shortages – 3 guards instead of the usual 4 (remember this is NZ).

Tremendous media attention was placed on this event, & there was a certain amount of sniggering by the public. We even had a linen supplier using the picture of the escape rope as part of an advertising campaign & offering a 30% discount on sheets. It was quite the topic of the moment.

At the time I couldn’t help thinking that his wanted poster reminded me of someone, well actually one person, in particular – how about you.

Now there seems to have been some confusion over the photos of Forden that were issued & I myself am not sure what he looked like when he escaped. I don’t think clarity of the thief was of prime importance, instead I feel that the first image did a very good job of bringing Heath Ledger to mind. Looking at subsequent photo’s of Forden we still see a remarkable similarity to the late actor.

Atlantean Times said this of 14th May; “Today there are two planetary events taking place and one of them is identical to the event that happened during Heath Ledgers death on the 22nd Jan.

To return to our story.

For three days, a ward of Mercury flits around a town where a Mercury concert is taking place, looking a great deal like a man was almost certainly sacrificed during a Mercury alignment.

Stay, see! our Mercury is coming forth; art and all the elements assist. Call forth our philosophers. He will be gone, he will evaporate. Dear Mercury ! Help ! He flies. He is ‘scaped. Precious golden Mercury, be fixed; be not so volatile. Will none of the sons of art appear ? from Ben Jonson’s ‘Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists at Court’.

Forden was recaptured the day after the concert in again rather strange circumstances. He was apparently recognised in a sports store & then again by a member of the public as he was driving down an Auckland street – beware the eagle eye of the kiwi.

From the NZ Herald; “Police praised eagle-eyed members of the public who recognised ‘Aaron Stephen Forden’ – “who looked considerably different (my emphasis) from his released mugshot… Rebel Sport manager said two staff members recognised the fugitive as he wandered around the store.&He was looking suspicious – just because of his sheer look and demeanor – but they [the staff members] had both been watching the news and thought he looked like the guy on TV, even though he had changed his appearance.” Senior Sergeant John Yearbury said “It was good spotting…because he’s changed his appearance somewhat“. Bloody amazing might be closer to the mark!

Forden, highly sought after prison escapee, had succumbed to dreaded weakness of the female of the species & gone ‘clothes shopping’. “He bought a pair of track suit pants from the store then went out to his car to get changed and then….. returned to the shop to buy a T shir”t -you may be wondering how he managed to stay ‘at large’ for three minutes let alone three days. I could get myself in trouble again by wondering if the clothes shopping isn’t a subconscious effort to help ‘he who is sartorially challenged.’

Did you spot the interesting choice of venue to announce his ‘first (& second) coming’ – Rebel Sport. Perhaps Mercury, as he has been with me, was having a bit of sport with Forden. Mind you, we can have have our own little bit of sport with this & say that ‘Ford’en created Mercury’ (cars that is).

Rather snug fittingly for this tale, our lightly clad friend has another title – the Trickster, & Hermes upon whom Mercury is modelled, invented not only the lyre, but also – the liar. You owe your ability to tell porkies to Hermes (however I can’t answer for your dress sense).

Perhaps the transformer episode did me a favour, or I mightn’t have cottoned on to a pretty obvious thread that’s been lying in the middle of the road all this time. Maybe you beat me to it. If not I’ll give you a clue, try thinking of Forden as an outlaw, one made famous by the boy Ledger.

Forden is 26 years old, Ned Kelly died aged approx 26. His death in 1880 brings back those mercurial numbers of 80 & 88 again. His remains were believed to have been located earlier this year – 2008. Heath Ledger’s untimely death certainly echoes that of Kelly. If I was fishing for fishies instead of clues my basket would be getting very full.

After leaving the Rebel Sports store (sport being an aussie term similar to, but less friendly than ‘mate’), Forden was somehow spotted by an observant citizen while driving down Redoubt St – a redoubt being a type of fort that brings to mind Mt Eden prison and perhaps Ned Kelly’s last seige. Synching in from a previous post we also find Redoubt Cemetery in Gallipoli which holds the bones of a number of ANZAC soldiers.

Getting back to The Great Escape we find that Forden was driving a silver Nissan Silvia, which does rather beg us to pay attention. Mercury is also known as quicksilver, it’s symbol is Hg – hydrargyrum, meaning watery or liquid silver. I should think the silver Nissan racing through the streets at up to 150km must have looked rather like a silver stream.

At Hunter’s Corner, the car clipped a sedan & smashed into two parked cars outside Lotus Foreign Exchange. A fitting place for a ledger?

Forden was recaptured on foot shortly thereafter. A picture was issued of him today at his court appearance, now looking remarkably unlike Heath Ledger. I’ll post it if I can find it, but for now I’d better get on before Mercury rises. (Here it is)

To finish, I thought I should check out the headlines of the NZ Herald on the day they reported his capture (the NZ Herald is ‘it’ in NZ as far as national newspapers go).

Anyway atop the Herald / Messenger/ Mercury I found this:

It is advertising a feature on bringing better broadband to NZ – plugging us in. I did not feel at all comfortable with the image. Thinking I might find a Mercury connection I had a look & sure enough it is to do with a deal between Vodafone & Vector, who you may remember from my previous article used to go by the name of Mercury Energy. There is still an electricity company here that goes by that name – why waste a good name eh?

May 18, 2008. Uncategorized.


  1. wise woman replied:

    Interesting little find this morning:The word ‘election’ comes from:1270, from Anglo-Fr. eleccioun, from L. electionem, from stem of eligere “pick out, select,” from ex- “out” + -ligere, comb. form of ***legere*** “to choose, read – a link between US elections & the chosen? Heath Ledger


  2. aferrismoon replied:

    Great read this , really well put together.i did a thing on Mercury energy a while back, have to find the title.Ledgitamate Target.


  3. wise woman replied:

    Thank you Mr Moon.I would be very interested to read your Mercury article if you could give me a title or link.I have to say your ‘way with words’ is helping to open my mind to more ‘word play’


  4. Ben Emlyn-Jones replied:

    Can I make a prediction?: The “paradise” bit will come into the story. Maybe it will be the name of a prison or cell block where Forden ends up!How remarkable that life could immitate a story so closely. The escape (tying sheets together!? That sounds like a story in itself!), the resemblance to a famous person, the word “Rebel”, the silver chariot.Let me know if my prediction comes true.


  5. Ben Emlyn-Jones replied:

    Good find, WW!


  6. aferrismoon replied:

    its called Mercurial max piles on the NRG, and its short. I think its the only time I,ve written something to do with NZ


  7. wise woman replied:

    Hi BenThanks for your kind comments as always.If I had read my story to you in person, you would have seen that my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek – I made up the fairy tale to fit the tale – a sort of antidote to the poison of media reporting. If they brought out news like that I just might pay attention :)Aferrismoon thanks – will check it out.


  8. Michael Skaggs replied:

    Elegant post! Those photos compared to Heath are a bit uncanny!A great bit of weaving Wise! Well done.


  9. wise woman replied:

    Thanks Michael.I’m still going through that link you gave – a weekends worth of reading, but I feel some shifts in my consciousness – just keeping an open mind at the same time.


  10. ~D A R I A~ replied:

    You certainly are wise!I got your link from Hidden Agendas.So glad to have stumbled across your blog. I will be visiting often.Peace,Daria


  11. wise woman replied:

    Well thanks Daria.I see you’ve been rather busy yourself – will be going back for a second look. I like your comment about expanding on ideas rather than reaching ‘conclusions’.ATB


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