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Old 02-06-2020, 06:50 AM   #63
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Default University of Florida and Connections to Kessler's People

I decided to reply to Fred Brackin in this thread, rather than the one where he posted this, Seaplanes or Amphibious Aircraft for Caribbean Adventuring and Logistics, as this thread is more appropriate for discussion of Kessler's network of influence among universities, research institutions and other academic or scientific entities.

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
At least the way the campus map was oriented when I attended the Engineering stuff would have been up in the north-east quadrant across from the bookstore but not all the way to the athletic dorms or the law school. The later things would probably have been under the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and clustered in the south-east quadrant where 13th Street and University Avenue crossed.

That intersection pretty much marked the heart of G'ville with UF filling one quadrant and the heart of old downtown going down those 2 streets. The later the development was the farther out from there it was.

There were only about 7000 beds worth of dormitories in the late 70s so most of the student body had to live off-campus with a significant amount of off-campus housing just across from those 2 streets mixed in msotly with places to eat but newer apartments complexes a good bit farther out.

One of those 2 streets and I think it was 13th was just the local re-naming of State Road 441. That's mentioned in the Tom Petty song "American Girl" where "you could hear the cars roll by on 441 like waves crashing on the beach". That's one of the things that would tell you he was from G'ville.

Oh dear, I'm afraid i could go like this for a while but my info is 40 years old now and probably quite dated.
Aside from Gerardo 'Lalo' Calderon, who attended the University of Florida between 2005-2017 (distance learning while on active duty at first), I have several other NPCs with a connection to the University of Florida.

First of all, Gerardo's brother, Lazaro Calderon Jr., was an anthropology student there 1993-2002, did post-graduate studies there as well, and is now a member of the faculty. I'm not sure what his exact academic rank should be, but I'm leaning toward a full professor, if necessary because Kessler endowed a chair specifically for him.

Second, Danny Daniels lived in Florida from 2011-2015 and belonged to the 'Night Rider' team there, which makes it practical for him to live in Gainesville or nearby. Danny was either the commander of the team or the second in command (haven't decided, as I haven't worked out who the other two initial members were), but as they started out as only four people in 2011, that's maybe not as demanding a position as it sounds.

Danny was also part of the National Guard 20th SFG, but as neither that nor 'Night Riding' is really a full-time job (hunting monsters is quite demanding, but hunters are encouraged to have something to keep them occupied while they await reports to act on and/or rest up and recover mentally or physically), I thought Danny might have taken some classes with his GI Bill grant.

UF is supposedly quite accommodating for veterans and prepared to accept credits from various military educational programs or online courses people did while in the service.

Danny was in his late forties (moved away from Florida at age 50) at the time and a 25-year veteran of the US Army, an E-8 at the time he transferred into the National Guard and made E-9 in the National Guard before his retirement. He was a communications guy in the Army and has always been an enthusiastic ham radio operator, so I thought he might have taken something to do with radio operation or repair, if that's offered at UF (or, for that matter, a community college in Gainesville).

Danny doesn't really care about getting a fancy degree*, but would really like to continue learning about radios, the physics behind it, the history of the technology, etc. Also, of course, improve his skills with repairing and even rebuilding all kinds of radio rigs, especially interesting historical ones.

Aside from that, as Kessler was investigating the occult and paranormal from 1987 to the current year in play (2018), he consulted with a lot of academics and scientists. Initially, most of those were from the oil business, Texas universities and other places where he had good contacts anyway, but using networks of personal and professional relationships, Kessler slowly grew his influence in the academic world in the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean.

Kessler might have consulted with an expert at any academic and scientific discipline that could have major utility when investigating the occult and researching reports of paranormal phenomena. If there are fields of research where the University of Florida is especially strong, such as (I am assured) anthropology, it's very plausible that Kessler or someone connected to him could develop a relationship with experts in that field based at UF.

So, what other fields of research could Kessler be supporting at UF? What are fields that UF is does a lot of research in and could be vital for investigating the occult?

I had a vague idea that even if Kessler didn't have much of a connection to the University of Florida before 1993 or so, once Lazaro began studying there (Kessler knows his father), it was plausible that the boy (well, Lazaro is born in 1973) could act as an informal recruiting agent. By 2018, I expect Kessler to have some kind of relationships (mostly through intermediaries) with several UF academics or scientists in various fields.

What fields should those be?

Also, the other 2-4 members of the Florida 'Night Rider' team should probably all be military veterans (technically, police tactical unit experience might be an alternative) and some of them will no doubt be willing or even eager to pursue an education once their time in uniform is over. It is strongly encouraged that those who plan to hunt monsters learn as much as they can about them, either informally from other hunters and libraries, or by taking college courses in some field that is useful for investigating the occult and hunting monsters.

So, any suggestions for more team members in 2011, their background and their current studies, if any?

*As a 'Night Rider', he's collecting a high salary ($150,000+ a year, with plenty of stock options and bonuses aside from that if he has to go on operations) as a security consultant from a cover company, anyway, so he's not worried about having to use a degree to find a job. Though I suppose that Danny could be thinking about what he'll do once he retires from all military and security work in a few years and wouldn't mind having some certificates or even degrees to set up as a restorer of classic radio equipment. Maybe even work in a museum of technology or something like that.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 02-06-2020 at 07:05 AM.
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