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Articles Home » Past Tales » The Philip Taylor Kramer Mystery (2008)
The Philip Taylor Kramer Mystery (2008)

Mysterious Circumstances - Suicide or Silkwood?
The mysterious disappearance of one-time Iron Butterfly bassist Philip 'Taylor' Kramer, 42, has come to a tragic conclusion with the May 29, 1999, discovery by hikers of his 1993 Ford Aerostar van at the bottom of a Malibu, Calif., ravine. Skeletal remains found inside and near the vehicle were confirmed through dental records to be those of Kramer.

Kramer's Feb. 12, 1995, disappearance has been the subject of numerous TV shows due both to his connection with Iron Butterfly and his involvement with government projects, lending X-Files–like conspiracy overtones to his vanishing. Unfortunately, most reports have given the mistaken impression that he was with Iron Butterfly during the band's 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' days when in fact he was only with the band during a mid-70s re-formation. Most glaring (and high profile) of these shows is a segment on VH-1's Where Are They Now? which, while purporting to be on the band as a whole, devoted more than three and a half minutes out of the five-minute segment to the Kramer mystery, never once mentioning that Lee Dorman was the main Butterfly bassist during their classic years. This was done in spite of Dorman being both interviewed and shown performing on stage during the VH-1 show.

Kramer played in a number of bands in Ohio (including Max, with future Dead Boy Stiv Bators) before moving to L.A. in the early '70s. After working a number of odd jobs and even living on the streets, he was asked to join an Iron Butterfly reunion by original drummer and friend Ron Bushy, whom he'd been working with as a prop builder at Warner Brothers Studios. Along with guitarist Erik Braunn and keyboardist Howard Reitzes, they recorded Scorching Beauty for MCA in 1974, followed by Sun And Steel with Bill DeMartines replacing Reitzes). Neither album was particularly good, and while the band toured based on the strength of the name (with Kramer singing 'IAGDV'), the band folded in 1977. Kramer and Bushy formed a post-Butterfly group called Gold and recorded an unreleased album during '78-'79. After that stint Kramer quit the music business altogether.

Kramer immersed himself in schooling, studying engineering and getting a job building radar equipment. He graduated from night school with straight A's and got a job at Northrup, working on the design of the MX missile. At the time of his disappearance, he had reportedly discovered a mathematical formula that would allow matter to travel faster than the speed of light. His involvement in projects of this nature have led to theories that he was abducted or murdered.

What is known is that on Feb. 12, 1995, having spent an hour waiting at Los Angeles International Airport for a business contact who never arrived, he called both his wife and Ron Bushy from his cell phone in his car, leaving Bushy a cryptic message about seeing him '...on the other side.' According to newspaper reports, Kramer also called 911 just before noon that day and said he was going to commit suicide. Despite this, family members believe he could have been the victim of foul play.

Officials said that determining whether Kramer's death was a suicide, murder or accident could take months.


Another Take
Remember Iron Butterfly bassist, Philip 'Taylor' Kramer? His death was a mystery-he was possibly, even murdered because, of a recent discovery he made in the field of computer science. While working with Northrup, designing the MX missile, he came up with a 'mathematical formula' that would allow matter to travel faster than the speed of light. What follows next is strange behavior and then he disappears. Before vanishing, he left a cryptic message to Iron Butterfly drummer and close-friend Ron Bushy (Bushy & Kramer worked on projects together including, an unreleased album) about seeing him '...on the other side.' After that, nothing-until, 4 years later when his skeletal remains were found inside the wreckage of a minivan that had plunged down a 450-foot ravine outside of Malibu, California!

Although, the discovery allowed closure, his family and friends still refuse to believe it was suicide. After he disappeared, his wife, Jennifer, said her husband 'would never, for any reason or under any circumstances, allow himself to completely abandon the family he loves more than life itself.' Ron Bushy voiced similar feelings, telling the Los Angeles Daily News that he does not believe Kramer killed himself. 'I don't think it was a suicide,' he said. 'That's just not like Taylor. I've never known him to run away from something. He just tackles it head-on. He had a zest for life.

The bottom-line is that the whole incident smacks of murder and theft. Obviously, his discovery would mean a world of difference in how we view not only computers but, reality in general. Since his field of study was computer-based and since he was not that far-removed from the Silicon Valley or Seattle for that matter, conspiracy theories about his demise abound! Personally, I wonder if his mathematical formula was quantum in nature-perhaps he discovered how to formulate/build a 'quantum computer?' Any thoughts on this? Is it possible that he created the ground work for 'quantum computers?' If so-isn't it odd nothing of that design has emerged to the public arena yet? Maybe, TPTB are milking the idea for all it's worth. The possibilities of such a concept are simply mind-boggling! Imagine what a discovery could do for the wrong people-controlling the world is only the start of it!


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#1 | Eric on April 08 2008 02:16:38
Hmmmm... Steve Perry appeared in an episode of 'Roswell' and has rarely been seen again...

I remember reading about his body being discovered in a ravine and thought to myself 'well that's not unusual in the western US' and it happens here in Minnesota from time to time too, in fact they just found a girl who ran away from home in Northern Minnesota 14 years ago- in a ravine 4 miles from her home.

Too much sci-fi about a mediocre bass player me thinks.
#2 | gdazegod on April 08 2008 02:32:51
I kinda like these thought-provoking stories nonetheless. As a result, I think I will be scouring some more unusual tales like this - that touch on those people who have had an association with rock music.
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