I'm actually serious here. This is not a joke. I will let you know every step that I took so you can see exactly what I'm doing and can check this yourself. There's something really fishy going on (though I'm not sure I can honestly call it a conspiracy).

I was browsing through some random nodes and decided to do a search for Howdy Doody (you know that little wooden cowboy from the fifties). Nothing. That's odd, I say. Maybe I'll do a writeup on him, then. So I type in howdydoody.com into my browser, figuring at the very least, it will be a fan site. Nope. Instead, I end up at NBC. Okay, I think, NBC must own Howdy Doody. So I search the site. Hmm... No Howdy Doody anywhere on the site. So the first (at this point, just annoying) thing is that howdydoody.com has zip to do with Howdy Doody.

Well, I think to myself, why would NBC own Howdy Doody.com? So I pull up Google and find another Howdy Doody site. Yes. NBC owns (or owned) Howdy Doody. Makes sense, but I check WHOIS just to verify. This is where it gets weird. GE is hosting them. Not too weird I guess, I was just expecting a telco. But NBC has no administrative or billing contacts. Hell, they didn't even register howdydoody.com. Everything NBC has online is really GE. Then I notice their domain servers. They have three as opposed to the typical two. I don't think anything of it, until I see the third. Their domain servers are NS1.GE.COM (, NS2.GE.COM ( and MASON.GE.COM (

Mason?! I think. Now this is getting weird. I'll go swing by mason.ge.com to see what's going on. When I connect, though, it actually tries to muck with my proxy settings! What the hell?! Out of fear of being paranoid I decide maybe that's normal. Connect to ns1.ge.com. No connection. ns2.ge.com. No connection. mason.ge.com -- you need to reconfigure your proxy.

Alright, then I do a little more research on Howdy Doody. It turns out, there was a bitter custody dispute that may still be going on today. I don't know if it's been worked out yet, but all of this surrounds Howdy. You see, after the show was cancelled, Howdy Doody was given to one Rufus Rose. Rose temporarily gave Howdy to Buffalo Bob Smith (the main human star of Howdy's show) so that Bob could continue to make a living and not starve to death. It was also agreed that after Mr. Rose died, custody of Howdy would go to the Detroit Institute of the Arts. Well, Rose died but instead of going to the DIA, Rose's family locked Howdy up and even tried to auction him off (thank heavens it wasn't on ebay). So, the Detroit Institute of Arts vs. the Rose family. Even went to court -- with zero word on the outcome that I could find. Given the dates of this (May 2000), there's a good chance it hasn't been resolved. Smith in fact, had been caring for (and using) Howdy up until 1998. But the thing that gets me most is that for some reason, GE says that NBC owns the website and that they're doing absolutely zero related to Howdy Doody.

Now, I can't figure out what any of this means because I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but if anybody knows what Howdy Doody has to do with freemasons at GE pretending to be NBC on the internet so that NBC can't cover the Howdy Doody custody battle, by all means, please let me know what's going on. This is just weird and it freaks me out.
WHOIS. NSI. <http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois?STRING=HOWDYDOODY>
Holmberg, Heather. Buffalo Bob Smith: Still Living the Howdy Doody Legend. Odyssey Publications, 2000. <http://www.odysseygroup.com/coll796/howdy.htm>
HOWDY DOODY CUSTODY FIGHT. Bandersnatch. <http://bandersnatch.com/howdy.htm>
It's Howdy Doody COURT Time. About.com. <http://collectibles.about.com/hobbies/collectibles/library/weekly/aa022800a.htm>
NBCi: Search results for "Howdy Doody". NBC, 2000. <http://nbc.snap.com/search/directory/results/1,61,nbc-0,00.html?keyword=Howdy+Doody&category=60975%3Ad-et%3ANBC&rfr=60975%3Ad-et%3ANBC&tag=nbc.com>

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