Tag Archives: Federal Bureau of Investigation

10 Shocking Conspiracies About 9/11

By Alltime10s via YouTube

More than a decade after the terrorist attacks that shook the nation, questions still surround what happened during 9/11.

From the collapse of the twin towers, to whether the White House had inside knowledge, AllTime 10s brings you, the 10 most shocking conspiracies about 9/11.

Sylvia Browne’s FBI File: Examining Her Alleged Detective Work and a Federal Criminal Investigation

By Ryan Shaffer via The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry – CSI

During Sylvia Browne’s decades-long career offering psychic readings and doing television appearances, she made numerous claims about working with law enforcement to solve crimes. In an age before the Internet, fact-checking by television and newspapers was more labor intensive. It was difficult to find sources to support or deny many of her claims. sylviamontel 819While several articles in the Skeptical Inquirer have cast doubt on her psychic abilities, Browne defended herself by citing her “work” on cases and giving the media endorsements from seemingly respectable law enforcement members, such as former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Ted Gunderson. Recently obtained FBI files shatter her insinuation that she had a relationship with federal law enforcement and show that the only interest the agency had in Browne was investigating her for fraud.

Records about a person in possession of an investigating government agency, such as the FBI, are available with the person’s permission or if they are deceased. In all likelihood, Browne would not have consented to the release of her FBI file given her refusal to allow Robert Lancaster, of StopSylvia.com, to post a transcript online that her own office sent him in 2007 (Lancaster 2007a). FBI Seal_150pxIn her haste to refute claims from an ex-husband about an alleged lack of higher education credits, Browne’s office sent Lancaster her St. Teresa’s College (now Avila University) transcripts. The transcripts, according to Lancaster, did show Browne’s ex-husband was incorrect about how long she attended college. Yet unfortunately for Browne, that transcript also demonstrated that she did not complete college and proved her often-made claim about having a higher education degree was false. Given Browne’s reluctance to make records her office sent to a critic publicly available, she probably would not have been willing to allow the release of her law enforcement records. Following her 2013 death, anyone can now obtain the government files concerning Browne.

I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI asking for documents about Browne, using her date of birth under her previous legal last name of “Brown” and her later addition of “e” to the name.

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Michael Hastings: 5 Conspiracy Theories That Didn’t Pan Out

By Dennis Romero via LAWeekly Blogs

The June 18 crash of Michael Hastings took the life of a talented but troubled journalist. As Gene Maddaus’ excellent feature in the latest issue of LA Weekly demonstrates, people around the L.A.-based writer were truly concerned about his state of mind and reported drug use.

The coroner’s report released last week says blunt force trauma from the collision with a tree ultimately did Hastings in, but it notes that he had drugs in his system, which were listed as noncontributing factors. The conclusion that this wasn’t a homicide, however, hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists.

Hastings’ supporters have pointed to his work covering the military, the NSA and other Big Government institutions as reasons to be skeptical. They’re wrong. Here are the five conspiracy theories or assumptions about the case that haven’t panned out:

5. The FBI did it. The FBI doesn’t normally kill civilians because it doesn’t like the journalism they’re working on. Nonetheless, the federal government has been suspect No. 1 in a case without a crime, mainly because the day before the crash Hastings told colleagues he believed he was being investigated by the bureau. The FBI says that’s not true. Hastings also said he had zeroed in on a big story and needed to go off the grid. So far, though, there’s no evidence of a murder here.


4. His last moments were being videotaped on purpose. A freelance news crew happened to be at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue when its dash cam, which was rolling, captured what appears to be Hastings’ Mercedes-Benz C250 coupe blasting through a red light at high speed en route to his death a few blocks south.

Michael Hastings' Mercedes-Benz burning

Michael Hastings’ Mercedes-Benz burning (source)

Some folks couldn’t believe that a news crew just happened to have tape rolling at that moment. But it happens. Early morning hours are prime time for random news, and freelance crews are the bred-and-butter of local television’s overnight coverage.

3. He was being followed. In the days and even months before his death Hastings expressed increasing concern about government wiretapping. And, yes, he apparently thought he was being watched. Some conspiracy theorists have shared their belief that Hastings was being followed, or even chased, in the minutes before his crash, thus explaining the estimated speed of 75 miles per hour, perhaps more.

If you check out the dash-cam video above, however, you’ll see that nobody was following Hastings’ car as it sped through the red light. And no witnesses have come forward to report that the Mercedes was being tailed or that any other car might have been involved. Police have released no statements indicating this was anything other than a solo-vehicle crash into a tree.

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Psychic Fail – Psychic’s Amber Alert Visions Bomb

by via Mind Soap

Another terrible situation unfolded in Southern California this week and self-described “intuitive” Pam Ragland is already positioning herself and her daughter for more media attention.  Ragland’s visions and claims have unsurprisingly turned out to be flat out wrong.

amber-alert-search_350pxAmber Alerts were sent throughout California Sunday evening for James Lee DiMaggio, suspected of abducting a 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and wanted in the death of the girl’s mother and younger brother.  The alerts were quickly expanded to Oregon and Washington.  [full story] [wiki]

Steven Gregory at KFI AM640 radio called Ragland to talk about the case and was aired on Bill Handel’s morning program on Thursday, August 8th.  The segment begins with a background on the Amber Alert search and the portion involving Pam Ragland begins at about 4:30.  Listen to the trimmed segment below:

Unfortunately for the Pam Ragland media jamboree, a little over twenty four hours after Ragland’s interview aired on KFI, the authorities found James DiMaggio’s vehicle after a man riding horseback spotted hikers he believed to be the missing pair.

Over 830 miles away from San Diego, California.

In the rugged wilderness of Idaho.

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failed_stamp_200pxJames DiMaggio was shot and killed by an FBI search team near Morehead Lake on Saturday, August 10th and Hannah Anderson was rescued.

The rescue of Hannah Anderson is such a positive outcome to such a tragic situation after the deaths of Hannah’s mother and younger brother.

This does not let Ragland and her discredited claims free from continued skepticism.  Here are a few observations and thoughts on the radio interview points that were discussed:

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What do conspiracy theories, religious beliefs and detoxifying proteins have in common?

By Ashutosh Jogalekar via Scientific American Blog Network

People who believe in conspiracy theories display the classic symptoms of patternicity and agenticity.

People who believe in conspiracy theories display the classic symptoms of patternicity and agenticity.

Why do people believe in God, ghosts, goblins, spirits, the afterlife and conspiracy theories? Two common threads running through these belief systems are what skeptic Michael Shermer in his insightful book “The Believing Brain” calls “patternicity” and “agenticity”. As the names indicate, patternicity refers to seeing meaningful patterns in meaningless noise. Agenticity refers to seeing mysterious but palpable causal ‘agents’, puppet masters who pull the strings and bring about unexplained phenomena. God is probably the perfect example of an agent.

Patternicity and agenticity can both be seen as primitive evolutionary features of our brain that have been molded into instinctive behaviors. They were important in a paleolithic environment where decisions often had to be made quickly and based on instinct. In a simple example cited by Shermer, consider an early hominid sauntering along somewhere in the African Savannah. He hears a rustle in the grass. Is it a predator or is it just the wind? If he assumes the former and it turns out to be the latter, no harm is done. But if he assumes it’s just the wind and lets down his guard and it turns out to be a predator, that’s it; he’s lunch and just got weeded out of the gene pool. The first mistake is what’s called a ‘Type 1’ or false-positive error; the second one is a ‘Type 2’ or a false-negative error. Humans seem more prone to committing false positive errors because the cost of (literally) living with those errors is often less than the cost of (literally) dying from the false negatives. Agenticity is in some sense subsumed by patternicity; in the case of the hominid, he might end up ascribing the noise in the grass to a predator (an ‘agent’) even if none exists. The important thing to realize is that we are largely the descendants of humans who made false-positive errors; natural selection ensured this perpetuation.

Before we move on it’s worth noting that assuring yourself a place in the genetic pool by committing a false positive error is not as failsafe as it sounds. Sometimes people can actually cause harm by erring on the side of caution; this is the kind of behavior that is enshrined in the Law of Unintended Consequences. For instance after 9/11, about a thousand people died because they thought it safer to drive across the country rather than fly. 9/11 did almost nothing to tarnish the safety record of flying, but those who feared airplane terrorism (the ‘pattern’) reacted with their gut and ended up doing their competitors’ gene pools a favor.

Patternicity: The tendency to find meaningful patterns in meaningless noise. – Michael Shermer

Yet for all this criticism of pattern detection, it goes without saying that patternicity and agenticity have been immensely useful in human development. In fact the hallmark of science is pattern detection in noise. Patternicity is also key for things like solving crimes and predicting where the economy is going. However scientists, detectives and economists are all well aware of how many times the pattern detection machine in their heads misfires or backfires. When it comes to non-scientific predictions the machine’s even worse. The ugly side of patternicity and agenticity is revealed in people’s belief in conspiracy theories. Those who think there was a giant conspiracy between the CIA, the FBI, the Mob, Castro and the executive branch of the government are confronted with the same facts that others are. Yet they connect the dots differently and elevate certain individuals and groups (‘agents’) to great significance. Patternicity connects the dots, agenticity sows belief. The tendency to connect dots and put certain agents on a pedestal is seen everywhere, from believing that vaccines cause autism to being convinced that climate change is a giant hoax orchestrated by thousands of scientists around the world.

Notwithstanding these all too common pathologies of the pattern detection machine, it’s satisfying to find a common, elegant evolutionary mechanism in our primitive brain that would be consistent with generally favoring false positives over false negatives. What I find interesting is that this behavior even seems to exist at the level of molecules.

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Michael Shermer discusses patternicity and agenticity.

New film explores mysterious Puget Sound UFO sighting

Via KOMO News

The mysteries behind many UFO sightings may never be explained, but what happened over Puget Sound on June 21, 1947 is a mystery that’s getting new life in a film.

mauryislufos_300pxIt’s a complex story with many facets, but it that can be summarized like this: At 2 p.m., Harold Dahl was on a fishing boat salvaging logs with his young son when he said he saw six flying discs appear above him over the water.

One of the donut-shaped discs appeared to be in trouble and dropped what appeared to be tons of a hot molten substance in the water and the beach. As the story goes, the heat and debris killed his dog and burned his son.

Days later he was visited by a mysterious “man in black,” who told him not to talk about what he saw. He was then visited by two Air Force investigators who were on a classified mission to see him and gather evidence. On the investigators’ return to a California airbase, the B-25 they were piloting crashed, killing both of them and destroying whatever evidence they were carrying. The FBI closed the case without any resolution.

It’s known as the Maury Island Incident.

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“They are just many unanswered questions and that makes it an intriguing mystery and maybe a solvable mystery, we don’t know,” said Philip Lipson, Co-director of the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore.

Lipson and the museum’s other co-director, Charlette LaFevre have been investigating the incident for the last 10 years.

What makes the Maury Island Incident significant in UFO lore is its timing. It happened three days before pilot Ken Arnold‘s famous sighting of “flying saucers” over Mt. Rainier. The media called Arnold’s account of what appeared to be disc’s skipping across sky as flying saucers and that’s where the term first originated.

roswell 1153_300pxTwo weeks after Dahl’s sighting came Roswell, which is arguably the most famous claim of an alien crash landing on earth. After that, the floodgates of UFO sightings opened wide as it seem everyone had a story to tell. But to UFO buffs, the Maury Island Incident started it all.

“It’s not promoted like Roswell but I always say it’s the Roswell of the northwest,” LeFevre said.

Seattle’s Northwest Museum of Legend and Lore has a collection dedicated to the incident, including a piece said to be from the B-25 that crashed new Kelso Washington on August 1. That date also has some significance as it was the first day the Air Force separated from the Army and became a branch of the armed services. The crash is considered the first Air Force Crash ever.

Lipson says people have written off the Maury Island Incident as a hoax.

“We don’t know for sure if it’s a hoax, but the reality of it is two people were killed and that’s definitely not a hoax,” he said.

Men_in_black_200pxThe Incident is significant in UFO folklore for another reason, too. It’s the first reported sighting a so-called “man in black,” made famous by the series of comic books and movies where men dressed in simple black suits and white shirts show up mysteriously when aliens appear.

“The movie is a comic version but the people that met them were scared out of their mind so it wasn’t very funny to them,” said Lipson.

Dahl met with a man in black at a Tacoma café and according to Lipson it was the “first incident in modern history of this sort of thing happening”.

Now, some local filmmakers think the story is worthy of making a movie.

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UFOs or No? The Guy Hottel Memo

FBI Alien Ufos

A single-page March 22, 1950 memo by Guy Hottel, special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, regarding UFOs is the most viewed document in the FBI Vault, our online repository of public records.
Click image to download PDF copy.

Via FBI.gov
H/T: Brittius

ufo-crash1-200x225It’s the most popular file in the FBI Vault—our high-tech electronic reading room housing various Bureau records released under the Freedom of Information Act. Over the past two years, this file has been viewed nearly a million times. Yet, it is only a single page, relaying an unconfirmed report that the FBI never even followed up on.

The file in question is a memo dated March 22, 1950—63 years ago last week. It was authored by Guy Hottel, then head of our field office in Washington, D.C. (see sidebar below for a brief biography). Like all memos to FBI Headquarters at that time, it was addressed to Director J. Edgar Hoover and recorded and indexed in FBI records.

The subject of the memo was anything but ordinary. It related a story told to one of our agents by a third party who said an Air Force investigator had reported that three “flying saucers” were recovered in New Mexico. The memo provided the following detail:

“They [the saucers] were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.”

Guy Hottel Biography
 
Guy L. Hottel was born around 1902. He was a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he was a star football player. He was later inducted into the university’s athletic hall of fame. He entered the FBI as a special agent in 1934. In December 1936, he was named acting head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; he was appointed special agent in charge the following May and served until March 1941. Hottel was re-appointed special agent in charge in February 1943 and served until 1951, when he took a position in the Identification Division. He retired in 1955. Hottel was married three times and had two sons. Following his FBI career, Hottel served as executive secretary of the Horseman’s Benevolent Association. He died in June 1990.

After relaying an informant’s claim that the saucers had been found because the government’s “high-powered radar” in the area had interfered with “the controlling mechanism of the saucers,” the memo ends simply by saying that “[n]o further evaluation was attempted” concerning the matter by the FBI agent.

That might have been the end of this particular story, just another informational dead end in the FBI files. But when we launched the Vault in April 2011, some media outlets noticed the Hottel memo and erroneously reported that the FBI had posted proof of a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico and the recovery of wreckage and alien corpses. The resulting stories went viral, and traffic to the new Vault soared.

So what’s the real story? A few facts to keep in mind:

First, the Hottel memo isn’t new. It was first released publicly in the late 1970s and had been posted on the FBI website for several years prior to the launch of the Vault.

Second, the Hottel memo is dated nearly three years after the infamous events in Roswell in July 1947. There is no reason to believe the two are connected. The FBI file on Roswell (another popular page) is posted elsewhere on the Vault.

Third, as noted in an earlier story, the FBI has only occasionally been involved in investigating reports of UFOs and extraterrestrials. For a few years after the Roswell incident, Director Hoover did order his agents—at the request of the Air Force—to verify any UFO sightings. That practice ended in July 1950, four months after the Hottel memo, suggesting that our Washington Field Office didn’t think enough of that flying saucer story to look into it.


Finally, the Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs; it is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated. Some people believe the memo repeats a hoax that was circulating at that time, but the Bureau’s files have no information to verify that theory.

Sorry, no smoking gun on UFOs. The mystery remains…

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Resources (FBI.gov):

$100,000 Reward for Proof of a UFO (EXCLUSIVE)

Alejandro Rojas: James Fox to Announce $100,000
UFO Reward for Proof of an ET Spacecraft (EXCLUSIVE)

UFO-570
via The Huffington Post

Nearly every day, videos, photos and eyewitness accounts of UFOs pop up on the Internet.

Some are hoaxes. Some are quirks in the weather. Some sightings are never explained and forevermore remain UFOs.

The photo above, taken by Hannah McRoberts on Vancouver Island in British Columbia in 1981, is considered one of the most credible UFO pictures.

Still, never has there been widely accepted positive proof of an extraterrestrial spacecraft, though there are those who believe various government agencies around the world have conspired to hide the truth.

ufo3Now, however, if someone can prove otherwise, they will be $100,000 richer.

Filmmaker James Fox will make this announcement as part of the promotion for his upcoming movie The 701, inspired by the Air Force’s two-decade UFO study, Project Blue Book.

The massive study into 12,618 UFO sightings, which ended in 1969, was able to explain away all but 701 of these sightings.

Fox, who previously directed Out of the Blue (2002) and I Know What I Saw (2009), will reveal the $100K challenge at the 22nd International UFO Congress (IUFOC), which begins Feb. 27, in Fountain Hills, Ariz.

“One of the aspects that sets our film apart is the producers’ commitment to bringing forth never-before-seen evidence. As part of this effort, we’re offering a $100,000 reward for the best proof that some UFOs are alien spacecraft,” Fox told The Huffington Post exclusively.

“This material can be in the form of a photograph, video or film footage or debris from an alleged crash site. But it must be able to withstand scientific scrutiny by our chosen panel.

Seth Shostak: The UFO Bestiary“Our intent is not to create another television UFO documentary, but to produce a feature film for worldwide theatrical release — ‘The 701’ — the most compelling film ever produced on UFOs,” Fox said.

“701 is the number the government doesn’t want you to know about. The U.S. Air Force had a serious problem, starting in the late 1940s. Technological devices were invading our airspace with total impunity. Glinting, metallic discs, which could accelerate and maneuver in ways hard to imagine, were being seen in incredible numbers by reliable witnesses. Many of them were pilots.”

Fox, one of the co-stars of National Geographic’s Chasing UFOs, will be sharing the IUFOC podium over the five-day event with former nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman; ex-FBI Special Agent (and host of the Syfy Channel’s Fact, or Faked) Ben Hansen; skeptical research scientist Ben McGee; former UK Ministry of Defense officer Nick Pope; and regression therapist Barbara Lamb, among others, presenting a compelling variety of topics, including:

  • Ancient Astronauts and Technologies
  • Physics of Space Travel
  • A New Look At The Cosmos
  • ET/Human Hybrids
  • Close Encounters of The 4th Kind: ET Contact

Watch IUFOC’s Jason McClellan and Syfy Channel’s Ben Hansen talk about a planned night vision skywatch at the upcoming International UFO Congress:

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Sicko Conspiracy Sociopaths Harass Man Who Sheltered Kids During Sandy Hook Massacre

The Age of Blasphemy

This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it

Gene Rosen sheltered six kids during the Sandy Hook massacre. Now he’s become a target of conspiracy theorists

By Alex Seitz-Wald

This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it
Enlarge  (Credit: AP/Mary Altaffer)

“I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What…

View original post 1,045 more words

Psychic Sued for Police Hoax About Massacre

by Benjamin Radford via Discovery News

The owners of a Texas ranch raided by police in 2011 based on false information from a psychic are now suing, along with police and several news organizations.

psychic_300pxThe case began June 6, when a psychic using the name ‘Angel’ called police and described a horrific scene of mass murder: dozens of dismembered bodies near a ranch house about an hour outside of Houston, Texas. There were rotting limbs, headless corpses and, chillingly, children in a mass grave.

Deputies from the Liberty County Sheriff’s office went to investigate but didn’t see anything amiss. After a second call the following day, dozens of officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI and the Texas Rangers were on the scene—not to mention cadaver dogs, news helicopters and gawkers.

It all turned out to be a false alarm. There were no dead bodies; the psychic was wrong (or lying).

Though the incident became a national embarrassment, the police refused to apologize, saying that procedures were followed and that the severity of the claims warranted an investigation. Whether a tip comes from an ordinary citizen, an anonymous informant or a self-proclaimed psychic, information about mass murders cannot be ignored.

The ranch owners, Joe Bankson and Gena Charlton, were not amused and filed a lawsuit earlier this year. However, according to Anna Merlan of The Dallas Observer

Angel, who’d called in the tip by phone, vanished into the ether, leaving the couple to sue the media outlets for defamation and the sheriff’s office for unreasonable search and seizure. … Now, court records show that the plaintiffs seem to have located and sued the woman they think is an Angel in disguise. Her name is Presley Gridley, she goes by “Rhonda,” and she lives in Stanton, Texas, about 800 miles away from their farmhouse.

According to Merlan, a Liberty County blogger named Allen Youngblood did some detective work and discovered a call Gridley made to a nearby county Sheriff’s Department in which she told police to investigate a rural Texas farmhouse in search of two missing children who were the subject of an Amber Alert.

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Subjective Validation

via Skepdic.com

Subjective validation is the process of validating words, initials, statements, or signs as accurate because one is able to find them personally meaningful and significant. Subjective validation explains why many people are seduced by the apparent accuracy of pseudoscientific personality profiles. Subjective validation deludes everyone from the housewife who thinks her happiness depends on her blood type or horoscope, to the FBI agent who thinks criminal profiles are spot on, to the therapist who thinks her Rorschach readings are penetrating portraits of psychological disorders.

Subjective validation is an essential element of any successful cold reading done by astrologers, palm readers, tarot readers, mediums, and the like. The sitter in such readings must cooperate. Fortunately for the medium, most sitters are usually eager for the reader to succeed and are willing to work hard to find personal meaning in whatever the reader throws out. In a successful cold reading, the sitter will be convinced that the accuracy of the reading was not due to her ability and willingness to cooperate but rather to the powers of astrology, palmistry, tarot, or mediumship.

Sitters are often very compliant. A medium will say he senses a father figure trying to contact him from the spirit world and the sitter has only to find someone to fit the bill. It need not be the sitter’s father. So, when the sitter identifies this father figure as her deceased husband, the medium is validated by the subject. The medium is validated by the subject when the medium says she is getting the message “I do not walk alone” and the sitter makes sense out of this by seeing it as a communication from a departed soul who was in a wheelchair before she died. There may be thousands of ways to make sense out of an ambiguous stimulus like the name ‘Michael’ or the expression ‘broken wheel’ but all it takes is for the sitter to find one and the medium is validated.

Selective memory is also involved in subjective validation because it is very unlikely that any sitter will be able to find meaning in every utterance the medium makes. Fortunately for the reader, the sitter will usually forget the misses and remember only the hits. That is, the sitter will remember what she was able to make sense out of and forget the stuff that made no sense to her. Also, it rarely occurs that anyone makes an independent check of the accuracy of the sitter’s rating of the reader.* So, if a sitter is satisfied that a reading is very accurate that is usually taken as sufficient evidence by the medium – and by experimenters who test mediums such as Gary Schwartz – as proof of the accuracy of the reading.

The stronger the desire to make contact, the harder the sitter will work to find meaning and connections in the medium’s items. This fact should impact the design of experiments that are supposed to test a medium’s ability to get messages from spirits. Experimenters should always checks factual claims made by sitters. But even though the concern with factual accuracy is important in verifying the success of the medium, one should not lose sight of the importance of the studies that have been done on how the human mind works when it comes to making sense out of and giving significance to disparate data presented to it. The overall effect of subjective validation should show up in the way sitters rate the accuracy of the mediums’ claims.

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Helicopters of the Mysterious Kind

via Mysterious Universe

There can be very few people – if, indeed, any – with an interest in UFOs, conspiracies, cover-ups, and strange and sinister goings-on of a distinctly weird nature who have not heard of the so-called “black helicopters” or “phantom helicopters” that seem to play an integral – albeit admittedly unclear – role in perceived UFO-connected events. And one of the biggest misconceptions about this deeply weird phenomenon is that those same mysterious helicopters are lacking in official documentation. Actually not so at all. In fact, exactly the opposite. If you know where to go looking…

The FBI’s now-declassified files on cattle-mutilations in 1970s USA make for fascinating reading and demonstrate the Bureau had a deep awareness of the presence of the enigmatic helicopters in affairs of the mute kind. On 29 August 1975, Floyd K. Haskell, Senator for the State of Colorado, wrote an impassioned letter to Theodore P. Rosack, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI at Denver, Colorado, imploring the FBI to make a full investigation into the cattle mutilations, in an attempt to resolve the matter once and for all.

He said: “For several months my office has been receiving reports of cattle mutilations throughout Colorado and other western states. At least 130 cases in Colorado alone have been reported to local officials and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI); the CBI has verified that the incidents have occurred for the last two years in nine states. The ranchers and rural residents of Colorado are concerned and frightened by these incidents. The bizarre mutilations are frightening in themselves: in virtually all the cases, the left ear, rectum and sex organ of each animal has been cut away and the blood drained from the carcass, but with no traces of blood left on the ground and no footprints.”

And there was an unmarked helicopter out in force in Colorado too, as Senator Haskell was only too well aware: “In Colorado’s Morgan County area there has [sic] also been reports that a helicopter was used by those who mutilated the carcasses of the cattle, and several persons have reported being chased by a similar helicopter. Because I am gravely concerned by this situation, I am asking that the Federal Bureau of Investigation enter the case. Although the CBI has been investigating the incidents, and local officials also have been involved, the lack of a central unified direction has frustrated the investigation.”

He continued: “It seems to have progressed little, except for the recognition at long last that the incidents must be taken seriously. Now it appears that ranchers are arming themselves to protect their livestock, as well as their families and themselves, because they are frustrated by the unsuccessful investigation. Clearly something must be done before someone gets hurt.”

The loss of livestock in at least 21 states under similar circumstances suggested that an interstate operation was being coordinated.

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9/11 Truther Convinced Government Destroyed Past 11 Years Of His Life

via The Onion – September 11, 2012

PROVIDENCE, RI—Citing “overwhelming evidence,” 9/11 Truth movement adherent Dennis E. Shaw, 53, told reporters Tuesday that he believes the U.S. government has orchestrated a secret, intricate plot to systematically destroy his entire life over the past 11 years.

Shaw, who since 2001 has lost his job, seen his marriage end, and, according to friends, completely alienated himself from mainstream society, argued that there are “serious reasons to doubt” the commonly accepted explanation that his slide into reclusion and paranoia was his own fault.

“The official story is all too familiar,” said Shaw, a self-identified 9/11 Truther who hands out pamphlets at Kennedy Plaza from 2 to 6 p.m. every day. “On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists crashed three planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Then, over the ensuing months and years, my obsession with the truth behind those events supposedly led to the gradual collapse of my personal and professional life. But this convenient little narrative requires us to believe a series of highly improbable coincidences.”

“Open your eyes, and you’ll see the puppet masters’ fingerprints are all over my pathetic, seemingly self-destructive existence,” he added.

Pointing to a detailed timeline scrawled on poster board affixed to the wall of a studio apartment cluttered with 9/11 paraphernalia, Shaw reviewed the events that, he believes, “happened too perfectly to be anything but the intentional, controlled demolition of [his] life.”

“In January 2004, my wife said she wished I spent more time with her instead of on Internet Truther forums, yet somehow, in April of that very same year she complained that it was ‘becoming unbearable to be around me,’” he said, showing reporters a day-by-day account of the couple’s failed relationship. “It simply doesn’t add up that Melissa would say she wanted to be with me both more often and less often—unless, that is, an outside party like the U.S. government wanted her to say it.”

“Meanwhile—and this is where it really gets interesting—on four separate occasions in 2002 I recorded my mother saying she thought my research was ‘interesting’ and ‘worth thinking about,’” continued the man, who confirmed he has watched the film series Loose Change seven or eight times in the past week. “How was it, then, that by November of the following year she was calling it ‘crazy’ and ‘sad,’ a complete reversal of her original stance?”

Shaw went on to present a chart showing the “suspiciously” rapid disintegration of his friendships since 2001, noting the disparity between the 258 social interactions he shared with his best friend, Stephen Danforth, in the years before 2001 and the mere 17 interactions they’ve had since then, a decline Shaw said “can’t be explained by pure, random chance.”

Recently, the 53-year-old created a website dedicated to “uncovering what really happened to Dennis E. Shaw’s life,” in which he posits the existence of a shadowy government conspiracy whose sole purpose is to engineer his downfall.

“Everyone’s in on it—Bush, Cheney, Bernanke, Israel, and now Obama,” said Shaw, claiming that an entire life and career “couldn’t just collapse like this all on its own.” “Not a single one of them has ever come forward to deny their involvement in the destruction of my life.”

Even ignoring the rest of the evidence, Shaw remarked, the fact that he lost his job as a reporter for The Providence Journal mere weeks after writing articles in which he described 9/11 as an inside job was, in itself, “a smoking gun in Uncle Sam’s hand.”

“On the evening of October 28, 2005, I handed in an article exposing Bush and Cheney’s cover-up of the real 9/11 Commission report. Well, what a surprise that the very next morning I was fired from my job by my editor, a man I have reason to believe has connections to the FBI, the CIA and, yes, Dick Cheney,” said Shaw, whose former employer cited “repeated breaches of journalistic integrity” and “erratic behavior” as the reason for Shaw’s dismissal. “Fast-forward three years and my rent has shot up, my credit score has dropped, and Melissa is no longer taking my calls. You think that was all some kind of magical coincidence? Think again.”

Smoking cigarette after cigarette, Shaw then proceeded to show reporters a homemade videotape he shot of his ex-wife returning to his apartment to pick up her toaster, rewinding the tape over and over again to spot what he believed could be “government surveillance devices” concealed in her clothing.

“The facts speak for themselves—I’m just connecting the dots,” said Shaw, reiterating that only the “sinister machinations” of the U.S. government could make a formerly happy, stable human being “totally fall to pieces.” “We must keep fighting for the truth, if not simply out of respect for justice, then at least out of respect for the innocent victim of this calculated crime.”

via 9/11 Truther Convinced Government Destroyed Past 11 Years Of His Life | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

Ben Hansen Of Syfy Channel’s ‘Fact Or Faked’ Examines Your UFOs

Lee SpeigelBy via huffingtonpost.com

Armed with millions of available cell phone cameras and digital cameras, people are looking to the skies around the world, and posting images of apparent UFOs on YouTube every day.

It’s about time the FBI helped out with sifting through it all. Or at least former FBI Special Agent Ben Hansen, who now makes a living uncovering the truth behind strange and bizarre sightings.

“I think that having a background in formal investigation helps in a logistical part of how to manage a case, and also gathering information,” Hansen told The Huffington Post.

As the lead host and investigator of the Syfy Channel‘s “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files” series, Hansen, seen at right, uses his FBI-trained skills to debunk fake material and search for the truth. He says most UFO sightings are easily explained.

“It probably falls in the range of about 95 percent. When you actually have a photo or video, I would say the percentage of the unexplained increases a little bit. However, the biggest factor, I think, in the increase [of claimed UFO videos] is due to the availability of computer graphic software.”

Hansen looked carefully at several videos for HuffPost Weird News and offered his expertise on whether they’re fact or faked.

Read More [videos too !]: Ben Hansen Of Syfy Channel’s ‘Fact Or Faked’ Examines Your UFOs.

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