The October Surprise, The Octopus And The Warning?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
February 9, 2017
Last Updated
September 23, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
Conspiracy Theory Analysis, Government

Although the title of this article sounds like some bizarre fairy tale, possibly written on some mind-bending drug, it is, in reality, one of the grittiest and nastiest cases of recent times. One whose roots stretch back to the Americans taken hostage in Iran in 1979, on to the US election of 1980, and on to the grim discovery of an investigative journalist in a motel room in the summer of 1991.

The investigative journalist in question, Danny Casolaro, was investigating events that he believed would shock the world. Events so dark, that if proven, would implicate former president, Ronald Reagan, and current president, George Bush (Senior).

A protester holding up an Iranian hostage crisis sign

Iranian hostage crisis.

There is a reason to believe that the reach and influence of those involved in these incidents are still strong today. As the strange death of a writer in the early 2000s perhaps indicates, some things are intent on staying buried.

The Death Of Danny Casolaro

Danny Casolaro was discovered on 10th August 1991 in room 517 at the Sheraton Inn, West Virginia. [1] His body lay in a bath tub. A dozen slashes adorned his wrists and blood had splattered the walls.

Perhaps most chilling – the suicide note which read: “Please forgive me for the worst possible thing I could have done!”

Maybe not as chilling as the last words he said to his brother before he left for his mystery meeting. “If anything happens to me, don’t believe it was accidental!” he informed him before he left.

His death was immediately ruled as a  suicide. In fact, his body was embalmed before his next of kin were even informed of his death. This is not only extremely unusual but also completely illegal. Perhaps no wonder then that those close to him and his work refused to accept the verdict of suicide.

To look at how Casolaro became involved in such a murky and twisted world we need to go back. We need to go to 1979, and one of the darkest times in American history.

Iran Hostage                                    

The Shah of Iran fled from his position of power in January 1979. There had been nationwide street protests for months which had finally achieved their purpose.

From his exile in Paris, Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran and filled the vacuum left by the Shah’s disappearance. For the American government and their foreign policy, this was a huge blow to their national pride and concern.

Not as huge a blow to their pride and concern as what transpired several months later. In November 1979, the US Embassy, overrun by protesters — many of whom protested the Shah — took over the building and held over sixty members of staff as hostages.

The hostages remained captives for months. Well into 1980 as the upcoming presidential race for the White House between Ronald Reagan and the incumbent, Jimmy Carter.

Reagan’s vice-president nominee, George Bush, made a strange quip to the media that they feared an “October Surprise!” [2] In American political jargon, this means something deliberately made up or released at a certain time, to influence an election. We only have to look at the recent US election to see evidence of the “practice” still in use today. By both sides! In this case, back in 1980, the Reagan camp feared that Carter would manage to negotiate the hostage’s release. This would push Carter to the White House.

The two short videos below are worth checking out. The first is a look at the build up to the hostage situation in Iran. The second is a clip from ABC news a week incidents began and gives a “feel” for how the story went out to the American people.

“October Surprise!”

As the election of 1980 came, with the hostages still not home in the United States, Reagan took advantage. Indeed many felt Carter’s failure to secure their release cost him the election.

Some believe, however, that behind the scenes, the Reagan/Bush team were making deals. That they were asking with the hostage takers to hold on to the hostages until after the American election. And you can hardly blame them. Literally minutes into Reagan’s inauguration was the announcement the fifty-two remaining Americans were free.

One person who took a particular interest in these matters at the time was writer and investigator, Danny Casolaro.

He believed – like others – that Reagan’s campaign manager, William Casey, under direction from Bush, met with Iranian officials in secret. The meetings took place in Paris and Madrid. The purpose was simple – to negotiate delaying the release of the hostages. In return, the Iranians would receive ample arms supplies, something they desired immensely for their conflict with Iraq.

Essentially, the Reagan team had negotiated not only the delayed release of the hostages but an election victory over Carter. It is perhaps worth bearing in mind George Bush’s CIA past and their connections to media and manipulating public opinion.

Below is an ABC news report that looks at the Iran hostage crisis. It is interesting to watch the “spin” and to see the news of the hostages breaking during Reagan’s inauguration.

Evidence For Secret Deal?

A 1983 probe into the allegations did find links to spies for the Reagan team “listening” to the Carter/Iran negotiations. Whether this was purely keeping tabs on an opponent or for the alleged claims is up for debate. Once things were close to completion, they stepped in and hijacked the negotiations to their own ends.

Many people also came forward to back up these assertions, including the former Iranian president, Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr. Ultimately by 1992, however, the findings were that any evidence was circumstantial and no reason to pursue investigations existed.

Incidentally, around this time, the Russian government released a statement on the matter. They (as the former Soviet Union) “monitored” the talks between Reagan’s team and Iranian officials. The Russians stated that the claims of delaying the hostages’ releases were completely true.

One person who continued to investigate the claims was the aforementioned Casolaro. However, his investigation had led him to what he claimed was a world that no-one knew existed. A world that those that did know existed, didn’t speak of it. A world, that if true, was responsible for his death.

First though, check out the video below. An interview that looks at the alleged deal that the Reagan team made with Iranian officials before the US election.

Casolaro’s Investigation And “The Octopus”

Danny Casolaro’s investigation into the October Surprise of 1980 took him down a path that would eventually prove deadly. The more he uncovered, the more conspiracies and secret deals he uncovered. He began to connect the same people with these events.

He referred to this network, as “The Octopus.”

He essentially believed he had uncovered a cartel, involving high-ranking politicians and world leaders who ruled and manipulated everything. At the time of his death, he was preparing a manuscript for a book he would release on the subject. The general tone of the manuscript was surprisingly similar, both in content and brutal delivery to that of David Icke.

One particular line that Casolaro writes about “The Octopus” reads: “…..A web of thugs and thieves who roam the earth, with their weapons and their murders, trading dope and dirty money for secrets of the temple!”

In another style and slant similar to Icke’s, Casolaro took “key” events of the twentieth century. He then offered his alternative version of why things had transpired the way they did.

Most dismissed Casolaro’s claims as nonsense. With the announcement of anti-depressants found in his body, most assumed they were right to dismiss his claims. Surely this was a case of a mentally ill man, who finally unable to cope, had taken his own life. Right?

Suicide Or Murder?

It is interesting that what Casolaro was claiming then, many conspiracy writers claim today. So is there any truth to his claims? And more importantly, is this really suicide?

Casolaro was mixing with many “unsavory” type figures in the months leading to his death. People who he believed were providing him with evidence and information of his theory – and maybe they were.

Just one was Michael Riconoscuito, a man who claimed to have worked on gene warfare with the CIA. He also possessed potentially damaging information concerning the Department of Justice’s PROMIS software controversy. [3] A controversy in which they not only faced allegations of stealing people-tracking software from the INSLAW company but selling it to other world governments with a “back-door” program inserted. This essentially allowed the American government (or sectors of it) to track other world powers.

Another “informant” of Casolaro’s was Robert Booth Nichols. Nichols had ties to both the CIA and very well-known mafia families. Casolaro made some interesting notes about Nichols. Firstly he was ready to “inform” on mafia family members and their connection to the PROMIS controversy. Perhaps most chilling was a warning that Nichols issued when he said, “If you continue this investigation, you will die!”

A warning, or a threat?

Even if Casolaro’s claims of the “Octopus” network were way off the mark this appears to be more than suicide. He had his nose in some very shady business affairs for sure, and consequently a list of potential suspects.

A Final Warning?

When Casoralo’s autopsy went under review by George Washington University, they found no evidence of “hesitation marks” on the wounds. These would be present on people who have killed themselves in such a manner. In fact, one wound went so deep, it severed ligaments. This would have made it impossible for him to even grip a razor.

A waitress from the Sheraton bar recalled seeing Casolaro drinking with an “Iranian” man in the hours before his death. The mystery man is still unidentified.

Even stranger, at his funeral, two unknown men arrived and placed a military medal on his coffin. They then saluted the coffin and left. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, Casolaro had no military connections.

Maybe most telling though, is according to those close to him, his most recent files were missing!

Perhaps a final warning that investigation into the Casolaro case and his alleged “Octopus” would have consequences came in 2004. Jim Keith, together with Kenn Thomas, wrote The Octopus – The Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolora the previous year – an in-depth study of the Casolaro case. He went into a hospital for a simple knee operation shortly after its release. He mysteriously died from a blood clot on his lung several days later.

Make of that what you will!

Check out the video below that looks at the accusations that Casolaro aimed at such organizations as the CIA.


1 The Danny Casolaro Primer: 13 reasons to doubt the official narrative surrounding his death, Emma North-Best, Muckrock, March 15th, 2018
2 George H. Walker Bush and the 1980 “October Surprise” Mystery, Robert Parry, Global Research, April 8th, 2016
3 Inslaw Software Theft: Conspiracy at the Justice Dept?, Project Censored, July 9th, 2015

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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