Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Proof of Heaven?

by via NeuroLogica Blog

In an article for Newsweek, neurosurgeon Eben Alexander recounts his near death experience during a coma from bacterial meningitis. This is sure to become a staple of the NDE/afterlife community, as Alexander recounts in articulate and breathless terms his profound experience. His book is called, Proof of Heaven – a bold claim for someone who insists he is and remains a scientist.

Alexander claims:

There is no scientific explanation for the fact that while my body lay in coma, my mind—my conscious, inner self—was alive and well. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: a dimension I’d never dreamed existed and which the old, pre-coma me would have been more than happy to explain was a simple impossibility.

While his experience is certainly interesting, his entire premise is flimsily based on a single word in the above paragraph – “while.” He assumes that the experiences he remembers after waking from the coma occurred while his cortex was completely inactive. He does not even seem aware of the fact that he is making that assumption or that it is the central premise of his claim, as he does not address it in his article.

Of course his brain did not go instantly from completely inactive to normal or near normal waking consciousness. That transition must have taken at least hours, if not a day or more. During that time his neurological exam would not have changed significantly, if at all. The coma exam looks mainly at basic brainstem function and reflexes, and can only dimly examine cortical function (through response to pain) and cannot examine higher cortical functions at all. His recovery would have become apparent, then, when his brain recovered sufficiently for him to show signs of consciousness.

Alexander claims there is no scientific explanation for his experiences, but I just gave one. They occurred while his brain function was either on the way down or on the way back up, or both, not while there was little to no brain activity. During this time he would have been in an altered state of consciousness, with different parts of his cortex functioning to different degrees. This state is analogous to certain drug-induced mental states, or those induced by hypoxia and well documented, and there is even some overlap with the normal dream state. All of these are states in which the brain’s construction of reality is significantly different from the normal waking state.

Documented features of these altered states (and features commonly experienced by everyone during dreams) include a sense of oneness with the universe, a sense of the profound, of being in the presence of a godlike figure, and of automatic knowledge with absolute certainty. The latter is not uncommon during dreams – you just know things in your dreams that were not communicated or directly observed, and you have no doubt about that knowledge.

MORE . . .

Also see: Victor Stenger: Not Dead Experiences (NDEs).

The power of acting ‘As If’

Richard Wiseman‘s (here and here) book, Rip It Up, is based on a psychological idea known as the “As If” Principle.

Check it out🙂

via The power of acting ‘As If’ « Richard Wiseman.

Happy Halloween!!!!

In the spirit of Halloween here are a few hilarious photos of people losing their sh*t in the Nightmares Fear Factory, Niagara Falls Canada. Click a photo to begin viewing. Enjoy🙂


For more hilarious photos and videos of people losing their sh*t click on over to the Nightmares Fear Factory webpage.

Great Halloween Costume – The Ghost of Michael Jackson

Ghost of Michael Jackson

See more great costume photos at the 2012 Halloween Costume Contest.

Eyewitness to the Paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained’

via CSI | The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

Research in experimental psychology has shown that many paranormal sightings fall directly within the realm of eyewitness memory. Experiments reveal that such “sightings” derive from the psychology of the observers rather than from supernatural sources. Experiments show these proclivities.

If many sources on cable TV and the Internet are to be believed, the world is currently under attack by a variety of supernatural forces, apparently acting in concert.

Such reports are ubiquitous. Aliens appear at night on deserted country roads. The ghosts of hoary and defunct Scottish peers turn up on castle battlements, demanding retribution for ancient defeats at the hands of the Sassenach. Bigfoot, all eight or nine feet of him, runs past a given cabin on his way to some cryptozoological tryst—and all of it winds up on television.

What, exactly, is going on?

There is a difficulty in explaining many of these paranormal “sightings.” At first, one might expect that the witnesses to these phenomena would be residents of the wilder shores of psychological instability; however, many of the people who report these things are sober, educated, reasonable individuals. Many are ac­tively adverse to publicity, and an ap­preciable fraction of them passes polygraph tests. In short, many of these witnesses—in fact, probably the majority of them—are neither lying nor mentally ill. They have normal nervous systems, and they are convinced that they have experienced something extraordinary.

Logically, therefore, there are only two viable explanations for the events these people claim to experience. Either Bigfoot, the ghosts, and the Gray aliens actually exist, or the individual witnesses to these exotic beings have actually observed and misinterpreted relatively prosaic phenomena. If the latter is the case, then these misinterpretations are very literally eyewitness errors and, as such, are governed by the same psychological principles that operate in eyewitness processes in the forensic world.

Eyewitness Memory and the ‘Paranormal’

On average, most of us think of eyewitness memory in relatively narrow terms, such as criminal identification via police lineups. In fact, the eyewitness field has much broader significance both in the criminal justice system and beyond. Every human phenomenon involving reportage—from recall of childhood memories in psychotherapy to the observation of a planetary transit—coalesces around some kind of account of some variety of human experience. This means that the processes involved in eyewitness cognition per se are continually operating, albeit at a relatively subtle level, through the entire fabric of human existence.

Unfortunately, eyewitness memories are frequently wrong. In my own work I have found that people, including and perhaps especially jurors, tend to think of the human nervous system as some kind of digital recorder, faithfully reproducing what we’ve actually seen when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Eighty years ago (Bartlett 1932) it was demonstrated that human memories become reconfigured—changed in terms of gist, brevity, and personal belief. Our memories lose detail; they become shorter; and what we think we’ve seen frequently replaces what we’ve actually seen. These aspects of human memory have been reconfirmed by modern studies (e.g., Ahlberg and Sharps 2002) and have been shown as far back as the 1970s to be directly important for eyewitness memory; for example, Loftus (1975) showed that witnesses will typically “remember,” and confidently re­port, the color of a barn in a given scene as red even when there is no barn in the scene to be observed. This illustrates the effect of personal belief on an individual’s memory. People generally expect barns to be red; therefore, when Loftus asked experimental witnesses for the color of the barn they had seen, their imaginations obligingly provided the most typical color even though no actual barn had been presented to them.

Our recent experimental research has underscored this effect (Sharps et al. 2009; see also Sharps 2010). In studies of witness errors derived from a violent crime scene, the most prevalent error
(an average of nearly two errors of this type per witness) was a mistake in the physique or clothing of a gun-wielding perpetrator. However, the second most prevalent error (an average of 1.25 errors of this type per witness) was one of “inference, extrapolation, or imagination”: in other words, the average witness simply made up, out of whole cloth, one and one-quarter nonexistent “facts” about a given violent crime.

‘Seeing’ the Supernatural

Human memory, therefore, is malleable: what you see is not necessarily what you get. This concept has obvious relevance to sightings of the “unexplained.” It is clearly possible for a human being …

MORE . . .

25 Most Popular Urban Legends Still Being Told

Whether its an unsolved mystery, a popular misconception, or sometimes just a big hoax urban legends are an inevitable part of any culture. Usually they are handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and many times have their origin in some vaguely twisted version of a true story. Regardless of their veracity, however, these are the 25 most popular urban legends still being told.

25 Most Popular Urban Legends Still Being Told – YouTube.

Did Nostradamus make any predictions about 2012?

by via HowStuffWorks

After the horrific attacks of 9/11, the United States and the world searched desperately for clarity and solace amid the chaos. Like countless others before them, many people turned to the writings of Nostradamus for answers. Books about the prophet leaped off the shelves, with four about Nostradamus landing in Amazon.com’s top 10 best-sellers in the week following the disaster. Those sales probably got a big boost from an eye-opening prophecy purportedly from Nostradamus that began flooding inboxes at the same time. In case you never saw it, here it is:

In the city of God there will be a great thunder / Two brothers torn apart by chaos, while the fortress endures / The great leader will succumb / The third big war will begin when the big city is burning.

Even skeptics could see how the verse mirrored the events of 9/11 and, more alarming still, foretold World War III. Except Nostradamus didn’t write it. A Brock University student named Neil Marshall did. Marshall wanted to demonstrate how the vague language in Nostradamus’ predictions allows them to be twisted to fit any situation. The incident illustrates an interesting phenomenon that’s arisen around Nostradamus’ legacy: In an effort to piggyback on the fame of one of history’s best-known prophets, some people are willing to put Nostradamus’ name on work he had nothing to do with, like Earth-shaking predictions about 2012.

Before we look ahead to 2012, let’s get a better understanding of who Nostradamus was and how he became such a famous soothsayer. Born in France in 1503, Nostradamus originally tried his hand as a healer. With the bubonic plague in full swing, Nostradamus had plenty of opportunity to practice his craft and experiment with different herbal remedies. After losing both his wife and children to the plague and suffering irreparable damage to his reputation as a healer, Nostradamus turned to astrology and the occult.

Initially, he focused on producing a series of almanacs known informally as the Prognostications, but by 1555, Nostradamus had begun publishing a set of much grander predictions that would come to be known as “The Centuries.” The tome was filled with gloom and doom, foretelling wars, natural disasters and untold misery for future generations, and it remains as popular today as it’s ever been. But did the book say anything about the year 2012?

Read on to find out. More ….

Flaming Moron Says: Hurricane Sandy = False Flag = Inside Job. Seriously.

This one is so far off the moron chart i’m speechless. Ladies and gentlemen, i present Alex Jones …

Via Idiot Says Hurricane Sandy=False Flag=Inside Job Created By Obama – YouTube.

Top 10 Universal Monsters

by Simon Troaré via listverse.com

This list is about the 10 best and most scary monsters. Universal studios has, since the 1920s, produced numerous creatures, monsters and phantoms. Not only amazing monsters, but also some pretty awesome performances from actors such as Boris Karloff, Bela Logusi, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney and his son. Not only is this list focused on appearance, but also performance.

10 – It Came from Outer Space – 1953

Monster: Aliens; One-eyed creature.

It came from outer space is an original sci-fi 3D film, the creature attacking the people of Earth is really frightening with its big scary eye – and that eye is huge! I think it’s a really underrated film, and should be praised more like Creature from the Black Lagoon.

The movie centers around the author and amateur astronomer John Putnam (Richard Carlson) and his woman Ellen Fields (Barbara Rush) as they witness a meteorite crash-land near Sand Rock, Arizona. Putnam is quick to believe that it’s a space craft that has landed on Earth, but Fields is skeptical about it.

Putnam is proven right when a number of local people start to disappear and act strangely. He wants to reach a peaceful solution, so he goes into a mine which he hopes will lead him to the buried spacecraft and its occupants. It ends up that the aliens are benign beings whose space craft crashed because of a malfunction; they planned to stay until the parts on the ship were replaced. They temporarily took control of a few humans since they looked so different from them. In a way, you could say that they feared us more, than we did them.

9 – The Phantom of the Opera – 1943

Monster: The Phantom; disfigured Claudin.

The Phantom of the Opera (1943) is known for its amazing music and beautiful colors, but there is also looming an evilness, or is it evil? Isn’t it just love gone bad? This story is Universal’s version of the Phantom and the idea of the acid has spawned many versions like this. Claudin isn’t a monster, but just madly in love.

The story tells us about an old lonely violinist, Erique Claudin (Claude Rains). Claudin has been playing in the Paris Opera for twenty years, but soon finds himself fired due to a lack of motion in his left hand. Claudin is broke; he is so in love with the voice of Christine Dubois (Susanna Foster) that he has used all his money on paying lessons for her, so she can become the greatest singer of all!

With no money to pay for her lessons and being kicked out of his small apartment, Claudin is forced to sell his lifework – a concerto. Unfortunately the author is an old angry man who doesn’t like newcomers. Frustrated, Claudin searches for his lifework at the office, but he can’t find it! He starts to shake in anger when he hears his concerto being played in the next room. A misunderstanding leads Claudin to strangle the author, whose wife throws acid in his face. Disfigured, Claudin escapes in the sewers and catacombs of Paris. He is now transformed into the Phantom, stalking and killing out of madness and love mixed together – helping Christine and killing anyone who tries to stop him or her voice from being great.

8 – The Bride of Frankenstein – 1935

Monster: Frankenstein’s Bride.

Everyone knows Frankenstein’s bride; she’s beauty mixed with elegance and ugliness. She’s one of the 8 Legendary Universal Monsters, and an all-time original. This list is nothing without The Bride of Frankenstein.

The story continues right after the original Frankenstein’s ending, the monster (Boris Karloff) has survived the burning and crumbling windmill and is very lonely. He isn’t evil, just misunderstood, and he misses love. Henry Frankenstein (the doctor that created the monster) survived the kidnapping too, and now meets his old professor Dr. Septimus Pretorius, the two of them plan in madness to create a bride of Frankenstein.

A storm rages as final preparations are made to bring the Bride to life. Her bandage-wrapped body is raised through the roof. Lightning strikes a kite, sending electricity through the Bride. Henry and Pretorius lower her and realize their success. “She’s alive! Alive!” Henry screams. The excited Monster sees his mate (Elsa Lanchester) and reaches out to her, asking, “Friend?” The Bride, screaming, rejects him. “She hate me! Like others,” the Monster cries. Angered, the Monster rampages the lab and finally tells Henry and Elizabeth, “Yes! Go! You live!” To Pretorius and the Bride he says, “You stay. We belong dead.” As Henry and Elizabeth escapes the monster sheds a tear while pulling a lever making the castle and lab collapse.

7 – The Mummy – 1932

Monster: Imhotep; ancient priest.

The Mummy is a cult classic and also one of the 8 Universal Monsters. its story has been retold in other forms from time to time, but nothing comes near this exiting ancient story about the evil Egyptian priest Imhotep. The Mummy has spanned many semi-sequels – The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost, and The Mummy’s Curse. Though these doesn’t center around Imhotep, but Kharis.

An Ancient Egyptian priest called Imhotep (Boris Karloff) is revived when an archaeological expedition led by Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Byron) finds Imhotep’s mummy. Despite the warning from his friend Dr. Muller (Edward Van Sloan), Sir Joseph’s assistant reads an ancient life-giving spell that brings Imhotep back to live. Imhotep escapes from the archaeologists, taking the Scroll of Thoth, and prowls Cairo seeking the reincarnation of the soul of his ancient lover, Princess Ankh-es-en-amon.

Ten years pass and Imhotep returns in human form, now under the name Ardath Bey. He contacts Sir Joseph’s son and says that he knows were Ankh-es-en-amon’s tomb is. After a lot of digging, they finally find her grave; the mummy and treasures are given to the Cairo National Museum. Imhotep was once mummified alive for attempting to resurrect her and – upon finding Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann), a woman bearing a striking resemblance to the Princess – attempts to kill her with the intention of mummifying her corpse, bringing it back to life using the ancient scroll, and making her his bride. In the end the scroll that keeps Imhotep alive is burned, due to Helen remembering her past and praying to the goddess Isis, making Imhotep crumble to a skeleton.

6 – The Invisible Man – 1933

Monster: Griffin; Mad scientist.

This film is just awesome! It has action, explosions, a mad scientist, and the idea of being invisible! The film was made in the ’30s and it’s just amazing that the technology at that time could make a man invisible. And we must not forget the very amusing acting of Claude Rains; his voice will tear your soul apart.

The film opens in a blizzard, where we see this mysterious man with bandages covering his face and body and his eyes obscured by dark goggles. He takes a room at an inn in the English village of Iping, and tells the owners, with his crumbling voice, that he wants to be left alone. The Invisible Man has also spanned many interesting sequels – The Invisible Man Returns, The Invisible Woman, Invisible Agent, and The Invisible Man’s Revenge. All these films has some of the greatest special effects of the ’30s.

We later find out that the mystery man is Griffin (Claude Rains) a mad scientist who has created a drug that makes you invisible! The film continues with the people of Iping discovering him, forcing him to torment and kill anyone who tries to stop him, which in the end makes him a complete madman. He is hunted down like Frankenstein and shot in the snow. We then see his dead body regaining visibility again.

MORE . . .

Mayan descendants say, “Shut up already!”

via Agence France-Presse (AFP)

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s Mayan people accused the government and tour groups on Wednesday of perpetuating the myth that their calendar foresees the imminent end of the world for monetary gain.

“We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles,” charged Felipe Gomez, leader of the Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop.

Several films and documentaries have promoted the idea that the ancient Mayan calendar predicts that doomsday is less than two months away, on December 21, 2012.

The Culture Ministry is hosting a massive event in Guatemala City — which as many as 90,000 people are expected to attend — just in case the world actually does end, while tour groups are promoting doomsday-themed getaways.

Maya leader Gomez urged the Tourism Institute to rethink the doomsday celebration, which he criticized as a “show” that was disrespectful to Mayan culture.

Experts say that for the Maya, all that ends in 2012 is one of their calendar cycles, not the world.

MORE . . .

Can your body sense future events without any external clue?

via sciencedaily.com

ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2012) — Wouldn’t it be amazing if our bodies prepared us for future events that could be very important to us, even if there’s no clue about what those events will be?

Presentiment without any external clues may, in fact, exist, according to new Northwestern University research that analyzes the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010.

Researchers already know that our subconscious minds sometimes know more than our conscious minds. Physiological measures of subconscious arousal, for instance, tend to show up before conscious awareness that a deck of cards is stacked against us.

“What hasn’t been clear is whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen,” said Julia Mossbridge, lead author of the study and research associate in the Visual Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern.

A person playing a video game at work while wearing headphones, for example, can’t hear when his or her boss is coming around the corner.

“But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand and close your video game,” Mossbridge said. “You might even have a chance to open that spreadsheet you were supposed to be working on. And if you were lucky, you could do all this before your boss entered the room.”

This phenomenon is sometimes called “presentiment,” as in “sensing the future,” but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.

MORE . . .

Experiments, Conspiracies and Invisibility

by via Mysterious Universe

Back in 1955, the late Morris K. Jessup’s book, The Case for the UFO, was published. It was a book that delved deeply into two key issues: (a) the theoretical power-source of UFOs, and (b) the utilization of the universal gravitational field as a form of energy. Not long after the publication of the book, Jessup became the recipient of a series of extremely strange missives from a certain Carlos Miquel Allende, of Pennsylvania. In his correspondence, Allende commented on Jessup’s theories, and gave details of an alleged secret experiment conducted by the U.S. Navy in the Philadelphia Naval Yard in October 1943. Thus was born the highly controversial saga of what has become known as the Philadelphia Experiment.

According to Allende’s incredible tale, during the experiment a warship was rendered optically invisible and teleported to – and then back from – Norfolk, Virginia in a few minutes, the incredible feat supposedly having supposedly been accomplished by applying Albert Einstein’s never-completed Unified Field theory. Allende elaborated that the ship used in the experiment was the DE 173 USS Eldridge; and, moreover, that he, Allende, had actually witnessed one of the attempts to render both the ship and its crew invisible from his position out at sea on-board a steamer called the SS Andrew Furuseth.

If Allende was telling the truth, then the Navy had not only begun to grasp the nature of invisibility, but it had also stumbled upon the secret of teleportation of the type demonstrated – decades later, in fictional, on-screen format – in Star Trek and The Fly. On these very matters, Allende made the disturbing claim that not only did the experiment render many of the crew-members as mad as hatters, but some, he said, even vanished – literally – from the ship while the test was at its height, never to be seen again. Others reportedly suffered horrific and agonizing deaths.

Of course, as students of this very weird affair will know, the tale of Allende and the vanishing ship (or non-vanishing ship, depending on your perspective!) has been denounced as much as it has been championed. But, few are aware of the U.S. Navy’s official stance on the matter. Many assume – quite incorrectly – that the Navy’s position is that nothing whatsoever occurred at all. But their assumptions are wrong.

Contrary to what you might think, the Navy does believe the story has a basis in fact – albeit of a far more down to earth nature.

MORE . . .

More Inattentional Blindness

via NeuroLogica Blog

First, take the challenge presented in this video:

This is a demonstration of inattentional blindness (or attentional blindness) – when we are focused on one task this interferes with our processing of other information. This is exactly why you should not text while driving, or even talk on the phone while driving.

The cause of this is conceptually simple: our brains have limited processing power, more limited than we would like to think. When we use some of that processing power for one task it is not available for other tasks, even basic tasks like seeing obvious things right in front of our eyes. This concept is called load theory, and researchers have documented numerous ways in which it manifests. A related concept is that of interference – when we perform one task it reduces our performance on other tasks. In fact, the act of multitasking itself causes interference because multitasking requires processing power (it takes brain power to switch among more than one task)  which is taken away from each task.

Interference is probably greater for tasks that are vying for the same parts of the brain. It seems that different areas or modules in the brain participate in multiple networks engaging in different tasks. Placing a processing load on one module for different tasks causes significant interference. Some modules participate is very basic functions, like perception, attention, and memory, and therefore become overloaded very easily.

A recent study has demonstrated a new aspect of this phenomenon. Up to now research demonstrating inattentional blindness has used visual clutter to distract from seeing the target – following the basketball interfered with the ability to detect the gorilla. The new research creates the same effect without visual clutter but instead using visual memory:

Participants in the study were given a visual memory task to complete while the researchers looked at the activity in their brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The findings revealed that while the participants were occupied with remembering an image they had just been shown, they failed to notice a flash of light that they were asked to detect, even though there was nothing else in their visual field at the time.

This research suggests that remembering an image uses similar resources to seeing an image – that visual memory and perception are similar in terms of the brain resources that are used (which is in line with previous research).

Assuming the results of this study are reproducible, it extends the implications of inattentional blindness. Not only is texting or using a cell phone distracting while driving, the researchers suggest that trying to visualize directions or remember that image on a navigational GPS system can cause interference and reduce a driver’s ability to detect obstacles in front of them.

There are a few take-home messages from this line of research I would like to emphasize.

MORE . . .

Man captures pictures of reported UFO

via WYMT TV

VIRGIE, Ky. (WYMT) – An object spotted in the sky by several people across Pike County last week has still not been identified. One local astronomer captured pictures and video of it through his telescope.

No one seems to know.

“It wasn’t anything I recognized. Definitely not an airplane, and I’ve never seen a helicopter that looked like that,” said Allen Epling.

Sightings of the object have been reported in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, but it has yet to be identified.

Epling says even with his background in astronomy, it is unlike anything he has ever seen.

“Looked like two fluorescent bulbs, side by side, parallel, shining very brightly. It would get so bright they would seem to merge, and you could see it very clearly with the naked eye. Then it would dim down almost invisible,” he said.

Even stranger, the object barely moved. It hovered in the same area for more than two hours.

MORE . . .

Conspiracy Theorists Aren’t Crazy

via skeptoid.com

We usually dismiss conspiracy theorists as crazy people; but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Skeptoid #264
Podcast transcript | Listen | Subscribe

Today we’re going to descend into the darkest depths of the human mind to learn what makes a conspiracy theorist tick; or, as some would put it, to learn why his tick seems just a bit off. Is there anything we can learn from the conspiratorial mind, and is there a method to its apparent madness?

The human brain evolved in such a way as to keep itself alive to the best of its ability. For the past few million years, our ancestors faced a relatively straightforward daily life. Their job was simply to stay alive. Like us, they had different personalities, different aptitudes, different attitudes. This was borne out in many ways, but the classic example that’s often used is that something would rustle in the tall grass. Some of our ancestors weren’t too concerned, and figured it was merely the wind; but others were more cautious, suspected a panther, and jumped for the nearest tree. Over the eons, and hundreds of thousands of generations, the nonchalant ancestors were wrong (and got eaten) just often enough that eventually, more survivors were those who tended toward caution, and even paranoia. In evolution, it pays to err on the side of caution. The brains most likely to survive were those who saw a panther in every breath of wind, an angry god in every storm cloud, a malevolent purpose in every piece of random noise. We are alive today as a race, in part, because our brains piece random events together into a pattern that adds up to a threat that may or may not be real. As a result, we are afraid of the dark even though there’s rarely a monster; thunder frightens us even though lightning is scarcely a credible threat; and we perceive the menace of malevolent conspiracies in the acts of others, despite the individual unlikelihood of any one given example.

Conspiratorial thinking is not a brain malfunction. It’s our brain working properly, and doing exactly what it evolved to do.

So then, why aren’t we all conspiracy theorists? Why don’t we all see conspiracies all day long? It’s because we also have an intellect, and enough experience with living in our world that we are usually able to correctly analyze the facts and fit them into the way we have learned things really work. It is, exactly as it sounds, a competition between two forces in our head. One is the native, instinctive impulse to see everything as a threat, and the other is our rational, conscious thought that takes that input and judges it.

Let’s look at two examples that illustrate the ends of the spectrum. David Icke is a British conspiracy theorist best known for his claim that most world leaders are actually reptilian aliens wearing electronic disguises. When you pause a video, he points to the compression artifacting and asserts that it’s a glitch in the electronic disguise. However, he’s out in the world, he tours, he writes books, he has a family and is a member of his community. He’s not locked in an asylum as we might expect from hearing his theory.

MORE . . .

What is deja vu?

Via HowStuffWorks

The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, “already seen.” Those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn’t be familiar at all. Say, for example, you are traveling to England for the first time. You are touring a cathedral, and suddenly it seems as if you have been in that very spot before. Or maybe you are having dinner with a group of friends, discussing some current political topic, and you have the feeling that you’ve already experienced this very thing — same friends, same dinner, same topic.

The phenomenon is rather complex, and there are many different theories as to why déjà vu happens. Swiss scholar Arthur Funkhouser suggests that there are several “déjà experiences” and asserts that in order to better study the phenomenon, the nuances between the experiences need to be noted. In the examples mentioned above, Funkhouser would describe the first incidence as déjà visite (“already visited”) and the second as déjà vecu (“already experienced or lived through”).

As much as 70 percent of the population reports having experienced some form of déjà vu. A higher number of incidents occurs in people 15 to 25 years old than in any other age group.

Déjà vu has been firmly associated with temporal-lobe epilepsy. Reportedly, déjà vu can occur just prior to a temporal-lobe seizure. People suffering a seizure of this kind can experience déjà vu during the actual seizure activity or in the moments between convulsions.

Since déjà vu occurs in individuals with and without a medical condition, there is much speculation as to how and why this phenomenon happens. Several psychoanalysts attribute déjà vu to simple fantasy or wish fulfillment, while some psychiatrists ascribe it to a mismatching in the brain that causes the brain to mistake the present for the past. Many parapsychologists believe it is related to a past-life experience. Obviously, there is more investigation to be done.

MORE . . .

The Rothschild Conspiracy

Some believe that world governments and economies are secretly controlled by the Rothschild banking family.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild

By via skeptoid.com
– May 22, 2012
Podcast Listen | Subscribe

Today we’re going to point our skeptical eye at the famous Rothschild banking family, and the multitudinous conspiracy theories surrounding them. Just about every conspiracy theory website that presumes the world’s governments act in willing concert under the guidance of some secret council points the finger at the Rothschilds. We’re going to take a modern-day look at this mysterious family, see who they really are and what they really do, and see exactly what evidence there is that shows that they are actually directing world affairs. Why would superpowers such as the United States, Russia, and China willing give up their sovereignty, conducting wars and exerting control over markets according to instructions from above? The answer, according to the believers, is money.

Driven by their quest for money, the Rothschilds have been said to assassinate US Presidents, and to create virtually every war since the 1800s in order to finance both sides. Some say the Rothschilds (who are Jewish) caused the Holocaust, while others say they were the true power behind the creation of Israel. They would, and continue, to do anything for money. In fact one of the earliest and most influential Rothschilds, Nathan, is claimed to have said:

I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.

The Rothschilds’ whole story is one of money, and it began in the 18th century. Their history is perhaps largely responsible for the modern belief that Jews control the world’s money supply, which is not entirely unrooted in fact. Throughout Christian Europe, it was common for institutionalized anti-Semitism to prohibit Jews from owning property; so Jewish businesspeople had no choice but to work in the fields of commerce and finance, where money could be kept liquid and easily transferred or hidden. By denying Jews the stability of property ownership, Christians unwittingly forced Jews of the day into great financial expertise.

The greatest of these financial adepts was Mayer Amschel Rothschild, born in 1744 in a Jewish slum of Frankfurt. Not much is known about his early life, as his was one of tens of thousands of marginalized, outcast families. But once he came of age he became an apprentice at a small bank in Hamburg, where he learned the trade.

MORE . . .

When You’re At Rest, Your Brain’s Right Side Hums

via LiveScience

There’s plenty of brain activity even when people are thinking nothing at all. But it’s the brain’s right side — for most people the less-dominant half — that stays busiest while you’re at rest, according to surprising new findings.

Researchers found that during periods of wakeful rest, the right hemisphere of the brain chatters more to itself than the left hemisphere does. It also sends more messages to the left hemisphere than vice versa. Surprisingly, this remains true whether the owner of the brain is left- or right-handed. That seems odd, because in right-handed people the left hemisphere is the dominant one, and in left-handed people the right is usually more dominant.

MORE . . .

Best UFO Sightings Of September 2012, AFO

I don’t believe, but enjoy🙂

by
http://www.AnonymousFO.com/

via Best UFO Sightings Of September 2012, AFO – YouTube.

Homeland Security Buying Ammunition (Again)

by Brian Dunning via Skepticblog
– Sep 20 2012

News on the conspiracy websites is once again reporting that the US Department of Homeland Security is making huge purchases of ammunition, which they believe is to be used against American citizens. For the entire decade I’ve been following the conspiracy theorists, they’ve been predicting the imminent war on the American people by the American government. That this prediction has always failed to come true every time it’s been made has not seemed to suggest to any of them that perhaps the idea should be reviewed.

This particular report from our old friends at InfoWars cites a purchase of 750 million rounds of ammunition in addition to a previous purchase of 450 million rounds. Evidently it has not occurred to anyone at InfoWars to consider reasons for this other than a war on the citizens.

Why else might Homeland Security buy ammunition? You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure it out. Homeland Security encompasses a huge number of federal agencies. It’s not just FEMA and the TSA, whom the conspiracy theorists usually name as the agencies on the verge of declaring war against us. DHS also includes these five agencies, all of whom blow through a lot of ammo, and are in a constant state of readiness to blow through a whole lot more:

It’s fine to harbor ideological objections to the idea of DHS, FEMA, TSA, what have you; and fine to keep a sharp watchdog eye on the government. What’s stupid is to just make up infantile crap without even taking the trouble to check to see where that ammunition is needed.

Headache-Inducing Spiral Illusion Explained

Four Circles Illusion

By Natalie Wolchover via LifesLittleMysteries.com

Warning: This optical illusion might give you a headache. At a glance, the swirls of tilted black-and-white squares create the perception of a spiral. Look more closely and you realize that the squares don’t form a coil at all; they trace out four perfectly round, concentric circles. The cognitive dissonance between your overall impression of spiraling and your recognition of individual circles … well, it hurts.

This “intertwining illusion” sends the brain conflicting cues.
CREDIT: Pinna & Gregory, 2002

The illusion — called the “intertwining illusion” — has been a hit on social media recently, and it also happens to be the subject of study by researchers around the world. Because optical illusions harness the shift between what the eyes see and what the brain perceives, teasing out how that shift happens enables scientists to understand the inner workings of the human visual system.

When confronted with an optical illusion, or any other scene, “the visual system is interested in inferring what regions of an image are part of the same object or were made by the same process,” explained Alvin Raj, a researcher in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who uses spiral illusions to study peripheral vision mechanisms.

But in this case, the visual system receives conflicting cues: Some say “circle,” and some say “spiral.” At the periphery of your vision, the spiral cues win.

MORE . . .

Recency Bias

via Unnatural Acts that can improve your thinking

Recency bias is the tendency to think that trends and patterns we observe in the recent past will continue in the future. Predicting the future in the short term, even for highly changeable events like the weather or the stock market, according to events in the recent past, works fine much of the time. Predicting the future in the long term according to what has recently occurred has been shown to be no more accurate than flipping a coin in many fields, including meteorology, economics, investments, technology assessment, demography, futurology, and organizational planning (Sherden, The Future Sellers).

Doesn’t it strike you as odd that with all the intelligence supposedly going on that such things as the breakup of the Soviet Union, the crumbling of the Berlin wall, the former head of Sinn Fein meeting with the Queen of England, the worldwide economic collapse of recent years, the so called “Arab spring,” the recent attacks on U.S. embassies in several Muslim countries, and a host of other significant historical events were not predicted by the experts? Wait, you say. So-and-so predicted this or that. Was it a lucky guess or was the prediction based on knowledge and skill? If the latter, we’d expect not just one correct prediction out of thousands, but a better track record than, say, flipping a coin. Find one expert who’s consistently right about anything and we still have a problem. How can we be sure that this sharpshooter isn’t just lucky. If thousands of people are making predictions, chance alone tells us that a few will make a right call now and then. The odds in favor of prediction success diminish the more events we bring in, but even someone who seems to defy the odds might be the one a million that gets lucky with a string of guesses. You flip the coin enough times and once in a while you will get seven heads in a row. It’s not expected, but it is predicted by the laws of chance. Likewise with predicting how many hurricanes we’ll have next year or what stocks to buy or sell  this year.

MORE . . .

Harrelson, Sheen and Asner Line Up for New 9/11 Truther Film

via Breitbart News

A gaggle of far-left actors have signed on for a new film embracing the 9/11 Truther movement.

“September Morn,” to be directed by former stuntman B.J. Davis, will star Woody Harrelson, Martin Sheen, Daniel Sunjata (“Rescue Me”), Judd Nelson and Ed Asner.

Styling itself as a drama in the tradition of Twelve Angry Men, the film’s advance publicity note hints at a cover-up, saying: “We the people demand that the government revisit and initiates a thorough and independent investigation to the tragic events of 911.”

Other stars appearing in the film, according to IMDB.com, include Esai Morales (last seen in “Atlas Shrugged: Part II”), Valerie Harper and John Heard.

Sheen, Harrelson and Asner have a history of questioning what “really” happened on Sept. 11, 2001, although making a feature film about those questions may bring greater scrutiny to their career choices.

The Spinning Dancer Illusion (Updated 2/3/13)

via Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Which way is she spinning?
If the foot touching the ground is perceived to be the left foot, the dancer appears to be spinning clockwise (if seen from above); if it is taken to be the right foot, then she appears to be spinning counterclockwise.

The Spinning Dancer, also known as the silhouette illusion, is a kinetic, bistable optical illusion resembling a pirouetting female dancer. The illusion, created in 2003 by web designer Nobuyuki Kayahara,[1][2] involves the apparent direction of motion of the figure. Some observers initially see the figure as spinning clockwise (viewed from above) and some counterclockwise.

The illusion derives from the lack of visual cues for depth. For instance, as the dancer’s arms move from viewer’s left to right, it is possible to view her arms passing between her body and the viewer (that is, in the foreground of the picture, in which case she would be circling counter-clockwise on her right foot) and it is also possible to view her arms as passing behind the dancer’s body (that is, in the background of the picture, in which case she is seen circling clockwise on her left foot).

When she is facing to the left or to the right, her breasts and ponytail clearly define the direction she is facing, although there is ambiguity in which leg is which. However, as she moves away from facing to the left (or from facing to the right), the dancer can be seen (by different viewers, not by a single individual) facing in either of two directions. At first, these two directions are fairly close to each other (both left, say, but one facing slightly forward, the other facing slightly backward) but they become further and further away from each other until we reach a position where her ponytail and breasts are in line with the viewer (so that neither her breasts nor her ponytail are seen so readily). In this position, she could be facing either away from the viewer or towards the viewer, so that the two positions two different viewers could see are 180 degrees apart.

MORE . . .

Update (2/3/13): The Spinning Dancer Illusion Explained

The 6 Most Famous Alien Abductions

By: Danny Gallagher via thefw.com

Hulton Archive, Getty

Some say alien abductions are nothing more than fevered, unexplained night visions that make their victims believe they were the guinea pig of an interstellar joyride.

Others believe the stories as cold hard fact, that aliens are using humans to unlock all of the mysteries of the universe, which may or may not have something to do with an ultrasound probe in an uncomfortable place.

Either way, it seems that this strange phenomenon is forever ingrained in our culture. Some of the most infamous cases of UFO abductions have spawned books, films and even serious historical recognition. So since today is “Alien Abduction Day,” we look back at some of those cases that made us scratch our heads as we looked up at the stars.

1. The Antonio Villas Boas Abduction

UFOCasebook.com

One of the earliest studied cases happened in Brazil when a farmer in the 1950s claimed a spacecraft emitting a very bright light landed on his family’s farm. He continued to see the strange object until one night, when it took him and left some disturbing evidence of alien experimentation. The farmer claimed the alien beings brought him on their ship to impregnate a rather fetching-looking female and described everything from the ship to his “suitor” in great detail.

When he returned, he claimed the incident produced symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, headaches and even bruising. Investigators have differed on their conclusions, but the differing outcomes only gave it more credibility and notoriety among believers and skeptics alike, especially the believers who are praying for an interstellar hook-up of their own.

2. The Barney and Betty Hill Abduction

There may have been cases of alien abductions since the dawn of time (or at least since psychiatric medications became more readily available and potent), but the most famous and first well-documented case goes to this couple of Portsmouth, NH. They claimed in September of 1961 that as they were driving home from Montreal, Canada, a bright light jutted out of the nighttime sky on a dark road. As the light approached them, they could see “bipedal humanoid creatures” looking out of the window of the spacecraft. The couple had no memory of the next two hours, but claim they were returned to their car where damages to their clothes and shoes left “evidence” of their spacey encounter.

The incident made the two famous overnight and turned Betty into the nation’s first “UFO Hunter.” The state of New Hampshire also recognized the legend with an official historical marker on the 50th anniversary of the “abduction.

3. The Betty Andreasson Luca Abduction

Betty Andreasson Luca

Alien abduction claims exploded after the Hills’ experience, but the vast majority were easily explained away. However, just a few years later, a woman in Ashburnham, MA, stepped forward to claim she had been taken up by interstellar beings as well. Her case was closely examined by Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) founder and investigator Ray Fowler who had Andreasson undergo hypnosis to verify her claims. She gave chilling details about how the beings were able to immobilize her entire family in order to take her and implant a foreign object in her skull. She said they could talk to her “but not with their mouths.”

The woman even described moments of serene peacefulness, and said the aliens told her the experiments they were conducting were to “prepare for some kind of planetary revelation.” Fowler spent almost a decade examining the case and concluded she was “either the most accomplished liar and actress the world had ever seen, or else she had really gone through this ordeal.”

MORE . . ..

How will biometrics affect our privacy?

by via HowStuffWorks

We’ve all seen movies in which a character has a retinal scan to prove his or her identity before walking into a top-secret installation. That’s an example of a biometric system. In general, biometrics is a collection of measures of human physiology and behavior. A biometric system could scan a person’s fingerprint or analyze the way he or she types on a keyboard. The purpose of most biometric systems is to authenticate a person’s claimed identity.

Biometrics tend to be more convenient than other methods of identity authentication. You might forget your ID at home when you head out the door, but you’ll still be able to use biometric devices. Imagine verifying your identity while at the store by swiping your finger across a sensor.

But along with convenience and security comes a concern for privacy. For biometrics to work, there needs to be a database containing the relevant information for each individual authorized by the system. For example, at that top-secret installation, every employee’s biometric signature would have to be recorded so that the scanners could verify each person’s identity.

This might not present much of a problem on its own. If the only data the system stores relates to the actual biometric measurements, privacy violations are at a minimum. But by their very nature, biometric systems collect more information than just the users’ fingerprints, retinal patterns or other biometric data. At a basic level, most systems will record when and where a person is at the time of a scan.

MORE . . .

Anecdotal (testimonial) Evidence

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Testimonials and vivid anecdotes are one of the most popular and convincing forms of evidence presented for beliefs in the supernatural, paranormal, and pseudoscientific. Nevertheless, testimonials and anecdotes in such matters are of little value in establishing the probability of the claims they are put forth to support. Sincere and vivid accounts of one’s encounter with an angel or the Virgin Mary, an alien, a ghost, a Bigfoot, a child claiming to have lived before, purple auras around dying patients, a miraculous dowser, a levitating guru, or a psychic surgeon are of little value in establishing the reasonableness of believing in such matters.

Anecdotes are unreliable for various reasons. Stories are prone to contamination by beliefs, later experiences, feedback, selective attention to details, and so on. Most stories get distorted in the telling and the retelling. Events get exaggerated. Time sequences get confused. Details get muddled. Memories are imperfect and selective; they are often filled in after the fact. People misinterpret their experiences. Experiences are conditioned by biases, memories, and beliefs, so people’s perceptions might not be accurate. Most people aren’t expecting to be deceived, so they may not be aware of deceptions that others might engage in. Some people make up stories. Some stories are delusions. Sometimes events are inappropriately deemed psychic simply because they seem improbable when they might not be that improbable after all. In short, anecdotes are inherently problematic and are usually impossible to test for accuracy.

Thus, stories of personal experience with paranormal or supernatural events have little scientific value. If others cannot experience the same thing under the same conditions, then there will be no way to verify the experience. If there is no way to test the claim made, then there will be no way to tell if the experience was interpreted correctly. If others can experience the same thing, then it is possible to make a test of the testimonial and determine whether the claim based on it is worthy of belief. As parapsychologist Charles Tart once said after reporting an anecdote of a possibly paranormal event: “Let’s take this into the laboratory, where we can know exactly what conditions were. We don’t have to hear a story told years later and hope that it was accurate.” Dean Radin also noted that anecdotes aren’t good proof of the paranormal because memory “is much more fallible than most people think” and eyewitness testimony “is easily distorted” (Radin 1997: 32).

Testimonials regarding paranormal experiences are of little use to science because selective thinking and self-deception must be controlled for in scientific observations. Most psychics and dowsers, for example, do not even realize that they need to do controlled tests of their powers to rule out the possibility that they are deceiving themselves. They are satisfied that their experiences provide them with enough positive feedback to justify the belief in their paranormal abilities. Controlled tests of psychics and dowsers would prove once and for all that they are not being selective in their evidence gathering. It is common for such people to remember their apparent successes and ignore or underplay their failures. Controlled tests can also determine whether other factors such as cheating might be involved.

If such testimonials are scientifically worthless, why are they so popular and why are they so convincing? There are several reasons.

MORE . . .

Here is a great podcast:

Robert T. Carroll, Ph.D. discusses anecdotal evidence (8 minutes).

Click here to open in a new window or listen right here:

Via Skepticality – the official podcast of Skeptic magazine and the Skeptic Society

Shuzi Magic Power Bracelet

by via NeuroLogica Blog

Here we go – yet another magical bracelet claiming to improve balance, energy, and performance. This time you get to pay $100 for a black piece of cloth with a small chip inside. From the Shuzi website:

Shuzi (pronounced shoo-zee ) utilizes a proprietary chip from the United States, which is programmed to resonate with your cells’ natural frequencies and causes your blood cells to separate thereby creating a better blood flow which can lead to more oxygen through out the body.

“Resonate with natural frequencies” – they can’t even be bothered to make up their own ridiculous pseudoscientific technobabble. Improving blood flow by separating blood cells is also an old scam. We have evolved very robust mechanisms to ensure optimal delivery of oxygen to our tissues. There is no simple way to “improve” this in a healthy person. These mechanisms may not be adequate in someone with advanced disease affecting the pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, neither is a little wrist band going to have any effect in such serious conditions.

The company claims that their product improves balance. Why would increased oxygen delivery improve balance specifically? It might have something to do with the fact that the balance demonstration is an old scam – a parlor trick to convince the unwary that something real is going on.

My favorite part of websites selling blatant nonsense is the tab “how it works.” You know this is going to be fun. In addition to the above claim, they write:

No battery/energy source is required. Many people ask us how this is possible.
Here is our official explanation:

It is a well known fact in the scientific community that ALL atoms are in a constant state of motion. This includes physical object atoms, such as the atoms that make up a desk or chair. More specifically, every atom in a physical object is known to “vibrate” or oscillate back and forth.

Logically, utilizing e=mc2 every atom has mass and the speed of light (c) is a constant, therefore there must be energy in every atom. Through our proprietary programming process, our chip emits sub-atomic energies powered by an atom’s inherent energy. Coincidentally, this energy stimulates the separation of blood cells in the wearer’s body which can help increase blood cell circulation. While the scale of vibration is considerably smaller for nano-vibrational technology, it is inherently the same in definition, to any other object that vibrates.

They quote Einstein and E=mc2 – it’s so sciencey. Yes, all atoms vibrate and have energy (unless they are at absolute zero). That’s called heat. None of this explains how their chip, or anything, can emit “subatomic energies” (what energy, exactly, is that?), and how this energy is transferred to the blood of the wearer. How is a computer chip “programmed” to do this? Are they saying that the energy of atoms responds to the programming inside a computer chip?

The physiology makes as little sense as the physics here.

MORE . . .

Alejandro Rojas: New Book Chronicles Official Government UFO Investigations

By via huffingtonpost.com

Many do not realize that for several decades the United States took UFO reports very seriously. In fact, it was the Air Force that coined the term UFO in the first place. Furthermore, there are several governments around the world who still take UFO reports very seriously and continue to investigate them in an official capacity. All of these government-sponsored UFO investigations have been documented like never before in the new book UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry.

Click Image For More Information
or to purchase

The cover of the book says it is a history of government UFO investigations “from the perspectives of the governments themselves.” That is because the authors have undergone years of painstaking research, unearthing hundreds of official government documents from government and university archives chronicling the manner in which government agencies went about tackling the UFO phenomenon and why they even bothered.

The book begins during World War II when many Allied pilots in the European campaign reported witnessing balls of light following their aircraft and eventually flying off at great speeds. They were dubbed “Foo Fighters.” After the war the military inquired of the Germans and Russians as to what these Foo Fighters were. Their response was that they had also witnessed the mysterious balls of light, and had assumed them to be secret weapons of the United States. Thus began over two decades of investigation as to what these unidentified flying objects were and whether or not they posed a threat.

Reports of UFOs of varying shapes and sizes increased steadily into the 50s. After sightings over Washington, D.C., President Truman tasked the CIA to look into the matter. They convened the Robertson Panel, which determined that the phenomenon did not pose a direct threat; however, they did worry that it could pose a psychological threat that could be exploited by the Russians.

Over half of the humongous 600 page, 8 1/2 by 11″ book reviews hundreds of files demonstrating the serious nature in which every branch of the United States military, the CIA and the FBI took into investigating the flood of UFO reports coming in from the public, the military and even law enforcement personnel.

Photo From The book

Eventually, due to the conclusions of an independent panel of investigators in 1969 with the University of Colorado, commissioned by the Air Force, official UFO investigations in the United States ended. The panel concluded that there was no scientific benefit to the study of UFOs. However, the authors dedicate a chapter to UFO investigation that took place post-1969, demonstrating that there have been a number of important sightings that the Air Force could not ignore.

One of these incredible events took place over two days at Loring Air Force base in Maine in October 1975. The first day’s event was in the evening when security police saw a craft with red blinking lights fly in and then began circling the base. It came within 300 yards of a nuclear storage area and was tracked on radar before disappearing. It was thought at the time that it could have been a wayward helicopter. However, it apparently returned the next night. This time the crew of a B-52 bomber reported seeing a large football shaped object the length of four cars.

MORE . . .

Psychic Devastates Dead Student’s Family

By Benjamin Radford via LiveScience

Harsha Maddula, a Northwestern University pre-medical student from Long Island, N.Y., went missing Sept. 22, last seen leaving an off-campus party in Illinois. Police and volunteer searchers were unable to find him, but Maddula’s family said reassuring words from psychics had raised their spirits.

Apparently, psychics contacted by the Maddula family’s relatives in India said Harsha was okay and would be found: “He’s still alive. Don’t worry.'”

The next day, however, Maddula’s body was found in Wilmette Harbor near his dormitory. He’d been dead for nearly a week, hidden from searchers in the water between two boats. There was no sign of struggle, robbery, or assault; though toxicology tests are still underway, police believe he was likely the victim of an accidental drowning.

This is only the latest of many cases where grieving families of missing persons have been given false hope by psychics. Despite the failure of psychic detectives to locate missing people, desperate families often turn to psychic and soothsayers.

It happens regularly: grieving families hoping psychics will recover their missing loved ones are always disappointed. Still, even if they don’t believe in psychics, they conclude that nothing else has worked, so there’s no harm in trying.

Indeed, as a news article on Michigan Live.com noted, the mother of a missing woman will be seeking advice from a nationally-known psychic next week: “The mother of Venus Stewart, who has been missing since April 2010 and is presumed to have been killed by her estranged husband, has been invited to appear on the syndicated talk show ‘Dr. Phil,'” according to Live.com. The news article went on to say the mother Therese McComb of Colon, Mich., would fly to Los Angeles next week to tape the show, which will air in November. On the show, famed psychic John Edward will try to contact Stewart’s spirit to possibly get information about the whereabouts of her body.

“I’m desperate’ to find Stewart’s body and have closure,” McComb said. ‘This is about a desperate mother. That’s what it is,” she added.

If Edward can lead police and the McComb family to where Venus Stewart is, dead or alive, it would be the first time it’s happened.

MORE . . .

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of six books including Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. His Web site is www.BenjaminRadford.com.

Also see: Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena

ESP & Psychic Powers: Claims Inconclusive

By Benjamin Radford via LiveScience

The idea of special — apparently paranormal — mental abilities such as psychic powers or extrasensory perception (ESP) has intrigued people for centuries. There are several claimed varieties of psychic powers, including telekinesis (or psychokinesis, the ability to move objects through mind power); precognition (knowing future events before they happen); and telepathy or clairvoyance (French for “clear sight” — describing things at a remote location). It’s the stuff of fiction and movies — but is it real?

Many Americans believe in psychic ability (about 15 percent of the country, according to a 2005 Baylor Religion Survey; and 41 percent in another survey), but scientific evidence for its existence remains elusive. And it’s not for lack of trying; people — and the U.S. government — have spent decades searching for ESP.

Government ESP research

During the Cold War, rumors circulated that the Russians were developing an army of psychic spies; in response, the U.S. military created a program to examine whether psychics could be useful in military applications. The program, called Stargate, tested “remote viewers” to see if their feelings and visions were accurate. The research continued for about two decades, ending in the mid-1990s with little apparent success. Finally the CIA took over the program and asked scientists to review the results. They concluded that the psychics did no better than chance, and that the psychic information was neither validated nor useful. Project Stargate failed and was shut down.

Some suggest that the fact that Stargate program even existed is evidence that there must be some validity to psychic powers (otherwise it would not have been created and funded for years). Yet countless programs have been funded despite never having been proven valid or effective; the U.S. government spending money on fruitless programs is hardly novel. Some believe that top-secret government programs still use psychics today, though high-profile intelligence failures (i.e., if accurate psychics are employed by the government, why did it take a decade to find Osama bin Laden?) cast doubt on such conspiracy claims.

ESP in the laboratory

Though the government concluded that psychic power doesn’t exist (or, if it does, the information it provides is no more accurate than random chance guesses), ESP research has continued. Unfortunately, ESP has not fared well under scientific conditions, whether in the private or public sector.

Early experiments used “Zener cards” with common symbols such as circles, squares, and wavy lines selected at random and which a psychic would try to guess. In the 1930s and 1940s a researcher at Duke University named J.B. Rhine became interested in the idea that people could affect the outcome of random events using their minds. Rhine began with tests of dice rolls, asking subjects to try and influence the outcome through concentration. Though his results were mixed and hardly robust, they were enough to convince …

MORE . . .

Pseudo-TV: Ten shows that promote non-sense

via The Soap Box

Over the years there have been a lot of television shows that promotes things that are either non-sense, or just bizarre (I myself even admit that I loved these types of shows) and even today these shows seems to be more popular then ever.

Not only has the amount of these shows seemed to have increased, the amount of topics these shows are based on has also increased as well. Everything from conspiracy theories to psychics are now covered on these shows, and not just ghosts and UFOs anymore.

Here are what I consider to be the ten biggest TV shows that promote non-sense:

10. Brad Meltzer’s Decoded – History Channel

This show examines mysteries and conspiracy theories that in a way have become a part of American folklore. What makes this show unique from other shows that examine conspiracy theories is that after the investigation is over, Meltzer will sometimes comes to the real, or at least a logical conclusion.

9. Doomsday Preppers – National Geographic Channel

This profiles people who are getting prepared for some sort of doomsday event, which they are not only certain will happen, but they are usually certain what type of disaster it will be (some even almost seem to be happily anticipating that it will occur). While some of the people on this show do appear to be some what rational, there are others that appear to need some sort of mental health treatment for their paranoia.

8. Finding Bigfoot – Animal Planet

This show follows a group of bigfoot hunters, and their attempts to find the legendary creature. The bigfoot hunters use multiple tools, such as night-vision technology and FLIR cameras, in their attempts to find bigfoot. In fact they do just about everything to find bigfoot… and still can’t find him.

7. Haunted CollectorSyFy

This reality show follows demonologist John Zaffis as he travels around the country, investigating allegedly haunted homes and buildings in which the haunting may be being caused by a certain object, or objects, within the property. After Zaffis has “determined” what object is causing the haunting activity, he then usually removes object (which is usually pretty nice looking and expensive) at the owner’s request, and puts it into his own private museum.

6. Chasing UFOs – National Geographic

This show profiles three people, one skeptic, one believer, and one not quite sure what to believe, as they travel the world investigating claims of UFO sitings, and trying to capture UFOs on video. Basically this show is not much more than your typical UFO hunting TV show that fails to prove that aliens are visiting the Earth.

5. The Dead Files – Travel Channel

Featuring psychic medium Amy Allan, and former NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi, this show features the two conducting two “independent” investigations, first with Allan going through a walkthrough of an alleged haunted site (after her husband Matt goes through the place prior to her arrival to remove any objects that might “influence” her). During this time it is shown that DiSchiavi is interviewing people who have had paranormal experiences at the location of the investigation. The two then meet up and share the information they got. By all appearances this show seems to be nothing more then an attempt to prove that psychic powers are real.

MORE . . .

The 21 Strangest Conspiracy Theories

By Brian Fairbanks via Conspiracies on TruTV

The 21 Strangest Conspiracy Theories

Here at the Conspiracy section of truTV.com, we like to be at the cutting edge of what theories are out there.

One way we do that is with our Tipline, wherein we encourage you, the public, to submit conspiracy theories you think we should investigate. While we aren’t able to follow up on every tip (and where does on start with a theory that says simply “JFK was murdered,” for example?), we do get many interesting ones that we wish we could explore further. These, we feel, are the best of the best.

Although they have been edited for length and content, each tip retains the original intent of the submission from a real reader. As always, keep the suggestions coming, and remember that the only dumb question is the one that isn’t asked.

21. J. Edgar Hoover created a hit squad made up entirely of homosexuals “to assassinate JFK.” “If, after the ‘hit,’ the street clothes were changed to “flamboyant/gayish” attire, would those people have been detained/questioned as any “normal/regular” looking individual on the street that day, or would they have been ignored as “homosexuals” that couldn’t possibly have committed such a horrendous act?”

20. The lottery is rigged. “The jackpots go up and up, with no winners. People get lottery fever. Millions nationwide are willing to wait in a line just like the ones for bread in the former Soviet Union for the pipe dream of striking it rich.”

19. We already have cures for cancer but the government “runs people out of the country” once they know the cure. “I did a year and a half of research myself. Cancer etc can be cured and prevented. It has been proven.”

18. Redheads are the offspring of aliens. “Why do they all look similar??”

17. Sono Bono was murdered [on the ski slope] because he was going to run for President.

16. There is a concentration camp under the Denver International Airport. It has an 8 level underground military base, a gas chamber… and it’s rumored that there is genetic experiments taking place. The base at Deluce, New Mexico, meanwhile, houses alien spacecraft and aliens who are conducting genetic expirements on humans and animals. There is a ton of info ! if you look at D.U.M.B.S. on the internet.”

15. Fox News broadcasts invisible signals that affect your sense of smell. “Fox News Channel — though it might not be the only one — has a peculiar sensory ‘flavor’ to me (affecting my sinuses), which leads me to believe that some parallel, inaudile/invisible signals are being broadcast with the audiovisual that’s consciously perceived by the viewers.” Insert joke about how you’re allergic to Sean Hannity’s tan here. “We need to know IF Fox News is using mind control, and what specifically its purpose would be.”

14. Obama was groomed to be the first Muslim President by Gaddafi. “[Obama] will do things for the Muslim Brotherhood and since they do not like Israel (Jews) Obama wants to make sure this country falls. This will help Libya.”

13. Kato Kaelin Killed Nicole Brown Simpson. One reader has suspicions about the Nicole Brown Simpson murder case. Only he doesn’t even mention OJ or evidence from months of trials: “Kato Kaelin is the only one who had the opportunity to act. Nicole’s sister said something about him being involved in drugs. And the cop and limo driver said he was acting odd that day.” Kato Kaelin acting odd? That’s all you’ve got? Well, we aren’t exactly going to indict a guy for acting like a weirdo, otherwise we’d have to round up every nerd alive.

12. There is a conspiracy between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to become one country. “I heard and see on the internet that this is in the makings is it or not? if so what would happen to the Consitution of Independce?”

MORE . . . .

Britain has alien-war weapons, says former government adviser – Exclusive video and images

By Zoe Catchpole via UK MSN News

Britain has a stockpile of aircraft, drones and weapons that could be used to fight aliens in the event of an invasion from space, according to the government’s former UFO adviser.

In an interview with MSN, Nick Pope, who worked for the Ministry of Defence for 21 years, said that while Britain doesn’t have a war plan, it certainly had sophisticated enough weaponry to defend itself.

Mr Pope, whose job it was to advise on the threat posed by other life forms, said that in the event of an attack he expected that we would “quickly adapt our plans for other more current war scenarios.”

At present, he said, there was no special organisation like Torchwood, the alien-hunting team from the BBC science fiction series of the same name, but he said he was sure that in the event of attack an operation could be set up quickly and efficiently. World nations would probably pool their technology together like in films such as Independence Day.

Mr Pope said: “We do have several prototype aircraft and drones and other weapons you won’t see on the news for another 10-15 years so if we did face a threat from the unknown then even if there is no Torchwood around now, there would be something like it by then and they certainly would have some great kit to help in the fight.”

He said: “Look at the Taranis, which is a prototype made by BAE Systems. It looks for all the world like a spaceship in the hanger.”

So are aliens a threat?

The official government position is that UFOs offer “no significant defence threat”.

However, Mr Pope said what that really means is that “we don’t know”.

“My colleagues and I said, whatever our official position – the one we gave to the public, media or parliament, – privately, where five per cent of UFO sightings remained unexplained, at the very least there has to be a potential threat.”

How would we fight?

“One possibility would be trying to unite all the nations of the world. For those who think that far-fetched, Ronald Reagan once hinted at it in a speech to the UN. He said ‘I occasionally think how quickly we would set aside our difference if we faced some alien threat from the other side.'”

So why is the government looking at UFO sightings?

“Between 1991 and 1994, my job at the MoD was to investigate the 200-300 reported sightings of UFOs in the UK each year to see if there was evidence of a potential threat or something of general defence interest.

“One of the things that was interesting was that when people reported seeing UFOs these things were capable of extraordinary manoeuvres and speeds. They were much faster than our military jets so we wanted to find out about the technology and if we could find it useful.

“Defence scientists were very interested in the fact they might have some kind of exotic propulsion system.”
So do aliens really exist?

“I am absolutely convinced that elsewhere in the universe there must be other life and I am also convinced that some of that is going to be intelligent. I am open-minded about the possibility that some of that life is visiting us down here but just as our space programme is reaching out to find out what is out there, it seems other life forms could be motivated by the same thing.”

MORE . . .

The Faking Hoaxer

Just for the fun of it, here are just some of the hoaxed videos done by YouTube user The Faking Hoaxer. I’ve been following this YouTube user for a very long time. The quality of his work surpasses many of the special effects works  i’ve seen in Hollywood movies.

His videos are often reposted by conspiracists and UFO believers who falsely claim they are real.

So beware the next time somebody shows you video “proof” of UFOs or secret government plots!!!🙂

Air Force One Down

2 UFO’s visit the Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Destroyed

The Battle of Los Angeles Trailer

See More Great Hoax Videos.

Shoehorning

via Unnatural Acts that can improve your thinking

Shoehorning is the process of force-fitting some current affair into one’s personal, political, or religious agenda. So-called psychics frequently shoehorn events to fit vague statements they made in the past. This is an extremely safe procedure, since they can’t be proven wrong and many people aren’t aware of how easy it is to make something look like confirmation of a claim after the fact, especially if you give them wide latitude in making the shoe fit. It is common, for example, for the defenders of such things as the Bible Code or the “prophecies” of Nostradamus to shoehorn events to the texts, thereby giving the illusion that the texts were accurate predictions.

A classic example of psychic shoehorning is the case of Jeanne Dixon. In 1956 she told Parade magazine: “As for the 1960 election Mrs. Dixon thinks it will be dominated by labor and won by a Democrat. But he will be assassinated or die in office though not necessarily in his first term.” John F. Kennedy was elected and was assassinated in his first term. This fact was shoehorned to fit her broad prediction and her reputation was made as the psychic who predicted JFK’s violent death. In 1960 she apparently forgot her earlier prediction because she then predicted that JFK would fail to win the presidency. Many psychic detectives take advantage of shoehorning their vague and ambiguous predictions to events in an effort to make themselves seem more insightful than they really are.

Court TV exploited the interested in so-called psychic detectives with a series of programs, one featuring Greta Alexander. She said that a body had been dumped where there was a dog barking. The letter “s” would play an important role and there was hair separated from the body. She felt certain the body was in a specific area, although searchers found only a dead animal. She asked to see a palm print of the suspect—her specialty—and the detective brought one. She said that a man with a bad hand would find the body. Then searchers found a headless corpse, with the head and a wig nearby. The man who found it had a deformed left hand.* The letter ‘s’ can be retrofitted to zillions of things. Many scenarios could be shoehorned to fit “hair separated from the body” and “bad hand.” (Fans of psychics will overlook the fact that Alexander’s reference to the bad hand was supposedly made after looking at the palm print of the victim.)

MORE . . .

Leslie Kean: UFO Caught On Tape Over Santiago Air Base (Plus My Analysis)

By Leslie Kean – written with Ralph Blumenthal – via huffingtonpost

Is this the case UFO skeptics have been dreading?

Sightings of mysterious flying craft with capabilities unknown on Earth have confounded mankind throughout recorded history. Most have been convincingly explained away as unfamiliar aircraft, natural phenomena or illusions. But then there are the others, witnessed in our time by pilots and air traffic controllers, military leaders, scientists, law enforcement officers and other trained observers, sometimes with physical evidence, including corroboration on film and video.

“We don’t know what they are,” says Nick Pope, a former head of the official UFO office in Britain’s Ministry of Defense. “But they do exist.”

As agreed by authorities around the world, these truly unexplainable unidentified flying objects appear solid, metallic and luminous, able to operate with speeds and maneuvers that defy the laws of physics. And, most chilling of all, they often behave as if under intelligent control.

One such case has just come to light in Chile, and was presented by government officials for the first time at a press conference on March 13.

It was a glorious, sunny morning on Nov. 5, 2010, when crowds gathered to celebrate the changing of the Air Force Command at El Bosque Air Base in Santiago. From different locations, spectators aimed video cameras and cell phones at groups of acrobatic and fighter jets performing an air show overhead. Nobody saw anything amiss.

But afterward, an engineer from the adjacent Pillán aircraft factory noticed something bizarre while viewing his footage in slow motion. He turned it over to the government’s well known Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena, or CEFAA, for analysis.

The stunning conclusion: The Chilean jets were being stalked by a UFO.

In the clips below, the UFO is difficult to see because it’s moving so fast. The clip is repeated with the UFO highlighted as it makes passes around three separate groups of airplanes:

MORE . . .

My Analysis

By Mason I. Bilderberg

I don’t pretend to be a video/photographic expert, but i do believe this footage has some telltale signs of being a fake.

Above are two frames from the movie. The problem is in the frame on the right where the trees display a blurring or double-image effect. This is consistent with either motion blur (camera shake or movement while recording), video compression or possibly video interlacing. Given the movement of the camera by the camera operator, i believe it’s impossible to have everything in this frame blurred EXCEPT the object in question. This would, however, be completely consistent with a blurred video frame that had an object superimposed (edited) onto it. In other words, this film is faked.

Additionally, this object was supposed to be flying at impossible speeds – yet the object is not blurred in the video.

The image above exhibits the same inconsistencies as the first image. The jets in the second frame are blurred or double-imaged, yet the unidentifed object is not. This looks like the object was superimposed (edited) onto these frames.

The object should be blurred, if for no other reason, the alleged speed of this object.

The image above fails the smell test for the same reasons.

(BELOW) These are a series of frames taken from the video depicting the movement of the object from point “A” to point “B”. These series of frames occurred over an approximate 3 second period.

The first thing you should note is the complete lack of blur on the object allegedly moving at lightning speeds. There are other anomalies:


(ABOVE) Position B appears empty.

(BELOW) The object is starting to appear in position “B” while still located in position “A”.



Still: No blur.



(ABOVE and BELOW) The object is simultaneously occupying both positions – “A” and “B”.


(BELOW) In the remaining frames the object is seen continuing to occupy both positions – slowly fading (as opposed to instantaneously disappearing) from position “A”.




My conclusion: FAKED!

Psychics, Spies and Animals

by via Mysterious Universe

The Defense Intelligence Agency was created in 1961 by United States Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and brought together the military intelligence branches of the US Army, Navy and Air Force. Currently, the DIA satisfies the foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence requirements of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, various components of the Department of Defense and provides the military intelligence contribution to national intelligence. In other words, the DIA is a highly respected and vital component of the US Government and the Intelligence world. And, it has crossed paths with some decidedly weird and paranormal matters in its time…

An examination of files that the DIA has declassified under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act reveals that, in the Cold War environment of the 1970’s, the Agency spent considerable time researching the existence (or otherwise) of extra-sensory perception and psychic phenomena. Not only that; the DIA was predominantly troubled by one particularly nightmarish and nagging scenario: that the Soviets would succeed in using ESP as a tool of espionage and that the secrets of the Pentagon, the CIA and just about everyone else would be blown wide open for Kremlin and KGB psychic-penetration.

Acting on this concern, the DIA (along with the CIA and the Army) began to seriously address the issue of whether or not the powers of the mind would one day prove superior to – or at the very least, the equal of – conventional tools of espionage and warfare. And it was as a result of its intensive study of Soviet research into psychic phenomena for espionage purposes, that the DIA learned of some of the notable advances made by both Russian and Czechoslovakian scientists whose attention was focused on the links between psychic phenomena and the animal kingdom.

In a September 1975 document, Soviet and Czechoslovakian Parapsychology Research, the DIA reveals its findings on animals and psychic phenomena in the former Soviet-Bloc countries. Interestingly, the Defense Intelligence Agency learned that Soviet research into the world of psychic powers in animals began decades previously and focused on attempts to determine the validity of mind-to-mind contact between human beings and dogs. One section of the document is titled Telepathy in Animals. It begins thus:

MORE . . .

The Roswellian Syndrome: How Some UFO Myths Develop

By Joe Nickell and James McGaha via CSI | csicop.org

An analysis of four classic flying-saucer incidents reveals how debunking can send a mundane case underground, where it is transformed by mythologizing processes, then reemerges—like a virulent strain of a virus—as a vast conspiracy tale. Defined by the Roswell Incident (1947), this syndrome is repeated at Flatwoods (1952), Kecksburg (1965), and Rendlesham Forest (1980).

Near the very beginning of the modern UFO craze, in the summer of 1947, a crashed “flying disc” was reported to have been recovered near Roswell, New Mexico. However, it was soon identified as simply a weather balloon, whereupon the sensational story seemed to fade away. Actually, it went underground; after subsequent decades, it resurfaced as an incredible tale of extraterrestrial invasion and the government’s attempt to cover up the awful truth. The media capitalized on “the Roswell incident,” and conspiracy theorists, persons with confabulated memories, outright hoaxers, and others climbed aboard the bandwagon.

We identify this process—a UFO incident’s occurring, being debunked, going underground, beginning the mythmaking processes, and reemerging as a conspiracy tale with ongoing mythologizing and media hype—as the Roswellian Syndrome. In the sections that follow, we describe the process as it occurred at Roswell and then demonstrate how the same syndrome developed from certain other famous UFO incidents: at Flatwoods, West Virginia (1952); Kecksburg, Pennsylvania (1965); and Rendlesham Forest (outside the Woodbridge NATO base) in England (1980). Between us, we have actually been on-site to investigate three of the four cases (Joe Nickell at Roswell and Flatwoods, and James McGaha—a former military pilot—at Rendlesham).

Roswell (1947)

Here is how the prototype of the Ros­wel­lian Syndrome began and developed:

Incident. On July 8, 1947, an eager but relatively inexperienced public information officer at Roswell Army Airfield issued a press release claiming a “flying disc” had been recovered from its crash site on an area ranch (Berlitz and Moore 1980; Korff 1997). The next day’s Roswell Daily Record told how rancher “Mac” Brazel described (in a reporter’s words) “a large area of bright wreckage” consisting of tinfoil, rubber strips, sticks, and other lightweight materials.

Debunking. Soon after these initial reports, the mysterious object was identified as a weather balloon. Although there appears to have been no attempt to deceive, the best evidence now indicates that the device was really a balloon array (the sticks and foiled paper being components of dangling box-kite–like radar reflectors) that had gone missing in flight from Project Mogul. Mogul represented an attempt to use the airborne devices’ instruments to monitor sonic emissions from Soviet nuclear tests. Joe Nickell has spoken about this with former Mogul Project scientist Charles B. Moore, who identified the wreckage from photographs as consistent with a lost Flight 4 Mogul array. (See also Thomas 1995; Saler et al. 1997; U.S. Air Force 1997.)

Submergence. With the report that the “flying disc” was only a balloon-borne device, the Roswell news story ended almost as abruptly as it had begun. However, the event would linger on in the fading and recreative memories of some of those involved, while in Roswell rumor and speculation continued to simmer just below the surface with UFO reports a part of the culture at large. In time, conspiracy-minded UFOlogists would arrive, asking leading questions and helping to spin a tale of crashed flying saucers and a government cover-up.

Mythologizing. This is the most complex part of the syndrome, beginning when the story goes underground and continuing after it reemerges, developing into an elaborate myth. It involves many factors, including exaggeration, faulty memory, folklore, and deliberate hoaxing.

MORE . . .

Was there a real Atlantis?

by via HowStuffWorks

Sometimes Plato can be irritating, especially if you’re one of those people dedicated to uncovering the lost civilization of Atlantis. He wrote of its destruction some 9,000 years ago, but unfortunately for modern historians, he didn’t tell us much. Was it a continent? Was it a city? Plato can be maddeningly vague. He also has a tendency to muddy the waters by weaving literary license with fact. Characters he wrote of were real people — for example, Socrates, his teacher — but Plato inserted his own words. After all, he was a philosopher, not a documentarian.

Such is the case with his description of Atlantis. In his book “Timaeus,” the classical Greek philosopher tantalizingly places the location of the lost civilization in a real place, the Pillars of Hercules. This is what we now call the Strait of Gibraltar, off the coast of Spain. On the other hand, he loses some credibility when he mentions that the city was also populated by blood descendants of the sea and earthquake god Poseidon.

But perhaps it was never Plato’s intent to deceive or to challenge others to search for the lost city (continent?). Perhaps it wasn’t Atlantis that was lost to the ages, but Plato’s intent to present the story as allegory. At any rate, people have taken the ball and run with it.

via MORE . . .

Prager University: Do You Have Free Will?

Do you have free will? Do you have the ability to shape your own destiny? Is there a difference between your mind and your brain? Or is free will just a convenient delusion? Are you really just a product of physical forces beyond your control? Best-selling author an acclaimed theologian Frank Pastore frames the debate the outcome of which may reshape the way you look at your life.

http://www.PragerUniversity.com

Prager University: Do You Have Free Will? – YouTube.

8 Questions for people in the 9/11 Truth Movement

via The Soap Box

As everyone knows, the 9/11 Truth movement is a loose group of people who believe that the United States government committed the 9/11 attacks.

Now despite the fact that they have never been able to prove that the government committed the 9/11 attacks, they still hold steadfast to the belief that the government did.

It seems to me that most people in that movement have never really sat down and asked themselves some serious, logical questions about the attacks.

Here are eight questions that I feel that people in the 9/11 Truth movement should ask themselves, as well as should be asked by others:

1. If the government did commit the 9/11 attacks, then why would they hit more then one building?

Hitting one building with a plane would have been more then enough for the government to justifiably giving it an excuse to go to war. More then one would be overkill.

2. If the government did commit the 9/11 attacks, then why did it attack the Pentagon for?

The Pentagon is the United States top military headquarters. Hitting it with a plane could have killed our top military leaders and seriously harmed our ability to fight. The government attacking the Pentagon makes no sense both logically and militarily.

3. Assuming that the Twin Towers were brought down in a controlled demolition, then why would they be brought down in the first place?

There would be no reason for the government to bring down the towers. Not only would flying a couple of planes into the towers would have been more then enough to justify going to war, but bringing down the towers would be another example of overkill. Also, it would have been cheaper to repair the towers then it has been to clean up the rubble and build new buildings at the site.

4. Why would WTC 7 have been intentionally brought down?

Wouldn’t intentionally bringing down WTC 7 have been a pointless action? There would have been no reason for the government to ever bring that building down and create a bigger mess. Not to mention many in the 9/11 Truth movement see that building’s collapse as a “smoking gun” for a controlled demolition. If the government did do this, shouldn’t they have had the foresight to see that it might look suspicious to some people?

MORE . . .

Alex Jones: What Does He Believe?

By Mason I. Bilderberg

Well, well, well. Alex Jones may have been caught with his hand in the corporate cookie jar.

Alex Jones has a warning for humanity! The global elites are putting lead, mercury and arsenic in our water! You must take action NOW to protect your health! The solution? Alex tells us to beat the global elites by using ProPur Water FIlters to reduce or remove detectable levels of lead, mercury, arsenic and other demonic poisons from our water. Curse those global elitists!! Thank you Alex!!!

But there’s a problem.

Alex also endorses a nutritional drink called Beyond Tangy Tangerine, manufactured by a company called Global Youngevity that has some very interesting ingredients. Let’s go to the video:

WHAT?!? Beyond Tangy Tangerine lists as part of their ingredients lead, mercury and arsenic?? Alex Jones is pitching a water filtration system to remove the very same chemicals found in the nutritional drink he wants us to ingest?? Yes!

But wait, there’s more!

Here is the list of ingredients for Beyond Tangy Tangerine:

Click the image for a PDF screen shot of the Tangy Tangerine web site showing these ingredients.

Click the image for a more complete list

See the ingredients inside the black boxes above? Those ingredients are on the “contaminants removed or reduced” list (image to the right) for Alex’s water filtration system. Again, Alex Jones is pitching a water filtration system to remove the very chemicals found in the nutritional drink he wants you to ingest!!!

See the ingredients inside the red boxes? These are ingredients Alex has previously warned us to avoid because they are dangerous and evil (All sources are from sites controlled by Alex Jones):


Aluminum Hydroxide

  • “… aluminum hydroxide, the main metal-based adjuvant present in vaccines, as well as a supplemental aid, may be causing an aluminum overdose at the point of vaccine injection(s).”
  • “(A)luminum hydroxide [may be] contributing to the pathogenesis of diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, macrophagic myofasciitis and subcutaneous pseudolymphoma.”

(Source: aluminum_hydroxide (ZIP) (PDF))

Arsenic

  • calls arsenic “a powerful cancer-causing agent” in our water supply.
  • reports (falsely) arsenic falls from man-made clouds and … is “a huge cause in most respiratory breathing problems in america.”

(Source: arsenic (ZIP) (PDF))

Barium

  • reports (falsely) barium falls from the sky and “short term exposure can lead to anything from stomach to chest pains and … long term exposure causes blood pressure problems” and can contribute to weakening the immune system.

(Source: barium (ZIP) (PDF))

Cesium

  • “cesium causes cancer of the liver, kidneys, pancreas and other organs. it is particularly dangerous when it is in the soil and ends up in food.”

(Source: cesium (ZIP) (PDF))

Chlorine

  • “chlorine is pretty bad for people, and has been linked to heart disease.”
  • “(w)hen chlorine is not filtered out of the water and is instead consumed in tap water, it destroys the natural microflora throughout the body. this adversely affects natural immunity and dramatically increases the risk for immune disorders and cancer.”

(Source: chlorine (ZIP) (PDF))

Lithium

  • lithium side effect: “if taken during a woman’s pregnancy can cause her child to develop ebstein’s anomaly (cardiac defect).”
  • “unresolved scientific issues [concerning] the drug’s use.”

(Source: lithium (ZIP) (PDF))

Mercury

  • “mercury and most of its compounds are highly toxic to humans, animals and ecosystems.”
  • “… even relatively low doses (mercury) can seriously affect the nervous system and have been linked with possible harmful effects on the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems.”
  • “there is really nothing new about the dangers of mercury …[.] it’s a highly toxic substance and science has recognized this for some time.”
  • mercury has “been directly linked with autism in children.”

(Source: mercury (ZIP) (PDF))

Sulfur

  • Health Effects:
    • neurological effects and behavioral changes
    • disturbance of blood circulation
    • heart damage
    • effects on eyes and eyesight
    • reproductive failure
    • damage to immune systems
    • stomach and gastrointestinal disorder
    • damage to liver and kidney functions
    • hearing defects
    • disturbance of the hormonal metabolism
    • dermatological effects
    • suffocation and lung embolism
  • “laboratory tests with test animals have indicated that sulfur can cause serious vascular damage in veins of the brains, the heart and the kidneys. these tests have also indicated that certain forms of sulfur can cause foetal damage and congenital effects. mothers can even carry sulfur poisoning over to their children through mother milk. finally, sulfur can damage the internal enzyme systems of animals.”

(Source: sulfur (ZIP) (PDF))

And there you have it – these are some of the chemicals/ingredients Alex Jones says are very bad for us, yet he wants us to buy his favorite nutritional drink which will put these very same ingredients back in our bodies. It seems the only thing Alex Jones believes in, is making money. He has weaved conspiracy theories out both sides of his mouth to collect a paycheck from both sides of the corporate fence.

When will his followers wake up?

A very high quality copy of this video is available at: http://tinyurl.com/8ak5obnPLEASE FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD THE HQ COPY AND RE-POST!!

Controversial ESP Study Fails Yet Again

via Discovery News

A study published last year in a scientific journal claimed to have found strong evidence for the existence of psychic powers such as ESP. The paper, written by Cornell professor Daryl J. Bem, was published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and quickly made headlines around the world for its implication: that psychic powers had been scientifically proven.

Bem’s experiments suggested that college students could accurately predict random events, like whether a computer will flash a photograph on the left or right side of its screen. However scientists and skeptics soon questioned Bem’s study and methodology. Bem stood by his findings and invited other researchers to repeat his studies.

Replication is of course the hallmark of valid scientific research—if the findings are true and accurate, they should be able to be repeated by others. Otherwise the results may simply be due to normal and expected statistical variations and errors. If other experimenters cannot get the same result using the same techniques, it’s usually a sign that the original study was flawed in one or more ways.

Last year a group of British researchers tried and failed to replicate Bem’s experiments. A team of researchers including Professor Chris French, Stuart Ritchie and Professor Richard Wiseman collaborated to accurately replicate Bem’s final experiment, and found no evidence for precognition. Their results were published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Now a second group of scientists has also replicated Bem’s experiments, and once again found no evidence for ESP. In an article forthcoming in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers Jeff Galak, Robyn LeBoeuf, Leif D. Nelson, and Joseph P. Simmons, the authors explained their procedure: “Across seven experiments (N = 3,289) we replicate the procedure of Experiments 8 and 9 from Bem (2011), which had originally demonstrated retroactive facilitation of recall. We failed to replicate that finding. We further conduct a meta-analysis of all replication attempts of these experiments and find that the average effect size (d = .04) is no different from zero.” In other words there was no evidence at all for ESP. The paper, “Correcting the Past: Failures to Replicate Psi,” is available on the web page of the Social Science Research Network.

MORE . . .

Cattle Mutilations: Us or “Them”?

by via Mysterious Universe

Within the annals of Forteana, there can be little doubt that one of the most mystifying of all puzzles is that relative to cattle-mutilations. As far as the UFO research arena is concerned, the one theory that, more than any other, provokes so much interest is the idea that the mutilations are the work of extraterrestrials engaged in nightmarish, genetic experimentation. But, perhaps, we should be looking down here, rather than to the stars, for the answers…

Following a series of mutilations between 1976 and 1978, Manuel S. Gomez, a rancher from Dulce, New Mexico, who had himself lost a number of cattle, approached the Senator for New Mexico (and former NASA astronaut), Harrison Schmitt, and requested that inquiries be made to determine if some form of investigation could be instigated to settle the problem.

Schmitt duly complied, and on July 10, 1978 wrote to Chief Martin E. Vigil, of the New Mexico State Police, and informed him of the concerns of Gomez, and other ranchers in the area, many of who were also losing livestock to the elusive mutilators.

Aware that Police Officer Gabe Valdez, of Espanola, had investigated a number of such cases, Vigil asked Captain P. Anaya, of the Espanola Police, to forward him copies of all relevant paperwork, which could be made available to the senator.

One report, filed by Valdez in June 1976, stands out as being of profound significance. At 8.00 p.m. on June 13, Valdez was contacted by Manuel Gomez and advised that he had found a three-year-old cow on his ranch that bore all the classic signs of mutilation. Gomez said the cow’s left-ear, tongue, udder and rectum had been removed with what appeared to be a sharp instrument. Yet there was absolutely no blood in the immediate vicinity of the cow, nor were there any footprints in evidence. There were, however, ground-markings that gave every impression some form of aerial object had landed and carried out a grisly attack on the unfortunate animal.

MORE . . .

Hypnotism: Hijacking Your Brain?

The facts and the fiction of one of the most intriguing psychological phenomena.

By – October 02, 2012 – via skeptoid

Today we’re going to point the skeptical eye at a topic that’s intrigued nearly everyone who’s thought about it: hypnosis. The hypnotist appears to have the ultimate superpower, the ability to persuade anyone to do or feel whatever he wants them to. For the subject, hypnosis appears to be the miracle cure to just about anything: lose weight, stop smoking, feel happier. We’ve all heard the basic plot points — that it can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, that different people are susceptible to varying degrees — limitations that seem to negate the potential benefits. So what can it actually do, and might it be of any value to any of us?

Forms of hypnosis go back through history nearly as far as history itself. Even the earliest reported forms of deep meditation from India and Persia are considered to have been analogous to what we now refer to as self-hypnosis. Even the ancient Greeks are believed to have had practices comparable to Hindu sleep temples, where people would go to essentially become hypnotized to be put into a relaxed state as a presumed medical cure. But the history of hypnotism is associated with one name more than with any other: the 18th century German physician Franz Mesmer.

[…]

Many of us wonder about the common usages we hear about in psychotherapy, like stopping smoking, weight loss, or recovering lost memories. These are generally overblown. We like to think that we can go to a hypnotherapist who will make us no longer desire cigarettes or food, and snap like magic, the problem is solved. This is completely fictitious, as are most magically easy solutions in life. Whether hypnotherapy is effective at all in long-term behavior modification is something of an open question. Weight loss has shown good promise, but studies of using hypnosis to stop addictive behavior such as smoking or drug abuse have been much less successful. The difference is probably that weight loss is a matter of willpower alone, whereas addictions such as nicotine have additional physiological factors. Regardless, virtually all authorities agree that hypnosis should only be used to supplement conventional psychotherapy, and should not be the only tool relied upon.

The idea of recovering lost memories is highly controversial, and is no longer accepted as reliable. Hypnotherapists would lead the patient through age regression, to have them relive and re-experience a traumatic event. It is true that the focused, relaxed state does enable very strong and realistic recollections, but what we’ve learned is that these recalled experiences, though vivid, are no more accurate than any other memories. Similarly a dream can be extremely realistic, but as we know, dreams don’t necessarily reflect reality in the slightest. It’s essentially the same imaginative mechanism in your brain that creates dramatic and lucid dreams that creates the perception of a relived moment in age regression hypnosis. The prevailing view is that the subject is not actually reliving what happened, but rather is realistically imagining what it was probably like way back when, based in part on whatever recollections remain. Today, in many jurisdictions, hypnotically recovered memories are no longer admissible in court as evidence, since they’ve been proven to be too unreliable.

MORE . . . .

Washington Attorney: ‘I have physically traveled in time’

By Matt Markovich via KATU.com – Portland, Oregon

VANCOUVER, Wash. – The new Bruce Willis movie “Looper” opened this weekend, in which Willis’ character is sent back in time to kill himself.

And while most scientists say time travel isn’t possible, a Washington attorney claims he’s done it dozens of times as part of a secret Cold War project.

“I have physically traveled in time,” says Andrew Basiago, an attorney in Vancouver, Wash. “We have – we did over 40 years ago.”

Now Basiago is on a mission – to reveal what he calls a 40-year government cover-up – of Project Pegasus – where he says he was teleported back and sideways in time, dozens of times.

“I have the whole story, I have hundreds of facts,” he says. “I can tell you what personnel were at what locations where and which travel device was being used.”

And his time travel wasn’t recent – it’s when he was a kid.

“I entered the program officially in the fall of 1969 as a third grader, age 7,” says Basiago.

He says he was one of 140 kids, 60 adults – chrononauts, including his dad, who he says joined him on his first jump.

“My dad held my hand, we jumped through the field of energy, and we seem to be moving very rapidly but there was also a paradox and we seemed to be going no where at all,” he says.

The TV show “Fringe” aired a similar scene two years ago. A coincidence?

Paradoxes, unscientific claims, unbelievable stories and encounters on Earth and Mars – including meeting Barack Obama when the president was a kid.

Basiago also says he time-traveled six times to the Ford Theatre on the day President Lincoln was shot – but he didn’t see it happen. He also saw President Lincoln on another famous occasion, he says.

“In fact, during one probe, the one to Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Address, I was dressed as Union bugle boy,” he says.

That’s right – he was at the Gettysburg Address. He says a famous photo taken that day proves it. The picture shows a bugle boy who he says is him. It’s the only visual evidence he provides for any of his travels – nothing else.

“I was physically at Gettysburg,” says Basiago.

He says his time travel experiences show that teleportation as protrayed on the “Star Trek” series is all wrong.

“No, in fact if you had just arrived via quantum teleportation, the Star Trek method of teleportation, you would have collapsed as a dead person,” he says.

Basiago weaves his tale with such conviction, he’s either a psychopathic liar, a lunatic – or the fastest-thinking science fiction writer on Earth.

“A tunnel was opening up in time-space just like a soap bubble being blown by a child,” he says. “And when that bubble closed, we were repositioned elsewhere in time-space on the face of the Earth.”

Some would say Basiago is still living in a bubble, but he’s put his professional reputation at risk claiming time travel isn’t science fiction – because he did it.

It was hard for KOMO News to confirm any of Basiago’s claims. Still, he says many out there say they believe Project Pegasus was real.

Confabulation

via Unnatural Acts that can improve your thinking: Confabulation

Have you ever told a story that you embellished by putting yourself at the center when you knew that you weren’t even there? Or have you ever been absolutely sure you remembered something correctly, only to be shown incontrovertible evidence that your memory was wrong? No, of course not. But you probably know or have heard of somebody else who juiced up a story with made-up details or whose confidence in his memory was shown to be undeserved by evidence that his memory was false.

Confabulation is an unconscious process of creating a narrative that is believed to be true by the narrator but is demonstrably false. The term is popular in psychiatric circles to describe narratives of patients with brain damage or a psychiatric disorder who make statements about what they perceive or remember. The narratives are known to be either completely fictional or in great part fantasy, but they are believed to be true by the patients.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks writes of a patient with a brain disorder that prevented him from forming new memories. Even though “Mr. Thompson” could not remember who Sacks was, each time Sacks visited him he created a fictional narrative about their previous encounters. Sometimes Sacks was a butcher Thompson knew when he worked as a grocer. A few minutes later, he’d recognize Sacks as a customer and create a new fictional narrative. Sacks described Thompson’s confabulations as an attempt to make meaning out of perceptions that he could only relate to events in long-term memory.

You might think: poor fellow; he has to construct his memories and fill in the blank parts with stuff he makes up. Yes, he does. But so do you, and so do I. There is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence on memory that shows memories are constructed by all of us and that the construction is a mixture of fact and fiction. Something similar is true for perception. Our perceptions are constructions that are a mixture of sense data processed by the brain and other data that the brain supplies to fill in the blanks.

Now there is a body of growing scientific research that shows confabulation is not something restricted to psychiatric patients or gifted fantasizers who believe they were abducted by aliens for reproductive surgery. The evidence shows that many of the narratives each of us produce on a daily basis to explain how we feel, why we did something, or why we made a judgment that we made are confabulations, mixtures of fact and fiction that we believe to be completely true.

This research should give us pause. Many of us accuse others of making stuff up when they present arguments that are demonstrably full of false or questionable claims, but it’s possible that people who make stuff up aren’t even aware of it. They might really believe the falsehoods they utter.

MORE . . . .

Rendlesham: About Those Missing Files

by via Mysterious Universe • Mar 16, 2011

Between December 26 and 29, 1980, multiple UFO encounters occurred within Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England that involved military personnel from the nearby Royal Air Force stations of Bentwaters and Woodbridge. According to numerous U.S. Air Force operatives, a small, triangular-shaped object was seen maneuvering in the forest – as were, some said, near-spectral, alien-style entities. And although the incident has been the subject of a significant number of books, intense media coverage and even parliamentary questioning, it continues to provoke furious debate within the UFO research community. And that debate was reignited only very recently when it emerged that certain files on the affair – that originated within the murky world of defense-intelligence – appear to be, ahem, “missing.”

So, what might be the reason for this intriguing loss of potentially-crucial data? Some have suggested that nothing stranger than mere bureaucratic bungling was the root-cause. Others took the view this was further evidence of high-strangeness having occurred at Rendlesham. And if conspiracy, rather than  bureaucracy, is indeed at the heart of the mystery of the vanishing papers, then what might have prompted such action?

I suggest it might be worth looking at an aspect of the affair in the forest of which few have taken much, serious notice – and of which many are simply unaware. It’s an aspect that implicates staff from one of the U.K.’s most secret installations in the saga – Porton Down – and suggests the distinct possibility that, in the immediate aftermath of the incident, ”something” may have been secretly retrieved from the site. And, as we shall also see, that “something” may have been distinctly hazardous in nature.

MORE . . .

Tin Foil Hats Actually Make it Easier for the Government to Track Your Thoughts

via The Atlantic

Or so says “physics.”

Let’s say some malevolent group — the government, powerful corporations, extraterrestrials — really is trying to read and/or control your thoughts with radio waves. Would the preferred headgear of the paranoid, a foil helmet, really keep The Man and alien overlords out of our brains?

The scientific reasoning behind the foil helmet is that it acts as a Faraday cage, an enclosure made up of a conducting material that shields its interior from external electrostatic charges and electromagnetic radiation by distributing them around its exterior and dissipating them. While sometimes these enclosures are actual cages, they come in many forms, and most of us have probably dealt with one type or another. Elevators, the scan rooms that MRI machines sit in, “booster bags” that shoplifters sometimes use to circumvent electronic security tags, cables like USB or TV coaxial cables, and even the typical household microwave all provide shielding as Faraday cages.

While the underlying concept is good, the typical foil helmet fails in design and execution. An effective Faraday cage fully encloses whatever it’s shielding, but a helmet that doesn’t fully cover the head doesn’t fully protect it. If the helmet is designed or worn with a loose fit, radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation can still get up underneath the brim from below and reveal your innermost thoughts to the reptilian humanoids or the Bilderberg Group.

MORE . . .

Ancient Aliens Debunked (The Movie) Has Been Released!!!

I just received notice of this release and have yet to watch the film so i can’t yet tell you if it’s bad, good or brilliant. Feel free to leave your reviews in the comments section.

Because of the length (3 hours), the creators have made it possible to watch the film in segments. To do this, click the links at the bottom of this post.

Ancient Aliens Debunked

A refutation of the history channel show Ancient Aliens


To see references, or to watch each section individually click on one of the following links:

The creators of this video have granted permission to distribute this film for free on the internet and/or for non-profit projects. “Viewers are encouraged to share, and burn copies to DVD, as long as they do not profit from its distribution.” For more distribution and download information, go to YouTube and see the remarks section of the video.

See also:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 934 other followers

%d bloggers like this: