Monthly Archives: November, 2012

No Huge Discovery by Mars Rover Curiosity Yet

via LiveScience

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity used its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to snap a set of 55 high-resolution images on Oct. 31, 2012. Researchers stitched the pictures together to create this full-color self-portrait.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
View full size image

Contrary to rampant speculation, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has not made an earth-shaking find just a few months into its Red Planet mission, agency officials said today (Nov. 29).

Rumors of a big discovery began swirling earlier this month, after an NPR story quoted Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger as saying that the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument had recently gathered data “for the history books.”

SAM is capable of identifying organic compounds, the carbon-containing building blocks of life as we know it. So many people assumed that Curiosity had detected organic compounds in the Martian soil.

But that’s not the case, officials said.

“Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect,” officials at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., which manages Curiosity’s mission, wrote in a mission update today. “At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics.”

Grotzinger, who is a geologist at Caltech in Pasadena, and several other members of the Curiosity team will hold a press conference Monday (Dec. 3) at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Don’t expect a bombshell announcement.

“The news conference will be an update about first use of the rover’s full array of analytical instruments to investigate a drift of sandy soil,” JPL officials wrote.

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Bigfoot totally exists, everybody!

Gravity's Wings

So apparently some “scientist”, and I use the term loosely, has sequenced some DNA that’s totally from a Sasquatch.  Take a look:

A team of scientists can verify that their 5-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” living in North America. Researchers’ extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species.  [From the press release]

Seems legit.  Although wouldn’t it be better to prove that Bigfoot exists before you start sequencing it’s DNA?

Also, how did they get the Sasquatch DNA sample in the first place?

Ketchum says her DNA sample was obtained from a blueberry bagel left in the backyard of a Michigan home that, according to the owner, sees regular visits from…

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Mayan doomsday mountain blocked: French officials ban access

via Mail Online | h/t Thomas J. Proffit

French officials ban access to sacred mountain which believers claim will be refuge from ‘Mayan apocalypse on December 21′

  • Rumours say the mountain will burst open on December 21 to reveal an alien spaceship which will save those nearby from the apocalypse
  • French police will control access to the mountain and village to stop expected hordes of New Age fanatics, sightseers and journalists
  • December 21 is the estimated end of the Mayan long calendar, which some believes marks the end of the world as we know it

The Pic de Bugarach, south-west France: Online rumours claim that on December 21 the mountain will burst open to reveal an alien spaceship that will rescue those nearby from the apocalypse

Fears the end of the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world this coming December have run rife on the internet in recent years.

Less well known is the rumour that one particular mountain in south-west France will burst open on that day revealing an alien spaceship which will carry nearby humans to safety.

Well, if you were counting on that possibility to save you from the apocalypse, prepare to be disappointed. French officials have banned access to the Pic de Bugarach to avoid a rush of New Age fanatics, sightseers and, above all, journalists.

A hundred police and firefighters will also control approaches to the tiny village of the same name at the foot of the mountain, and if too many people turn up, they will block access there too.

Believers say the world will end on December 21, 2012, the end date of the ancient Mayan calendar, and they see Bugarach as one of a few sacred mountains sheltered from the cataclysm.

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Alex Jones Says People Who Can’t Swim Have A Mental Illness

Ladies and gentlemen … grab some popcorn … because once again, i present to you … my favorite moron …   … Alex Jones! (ht Thomas J. Proffit)

by

Alex Jones Says People Who Can’t Swim Are Mentally Ill

Alex Jones Says People Who Can’t Swim Have A Mental Illness – YouTube.

Magical Thinking

via Unnatural Acts that can improve your thinking

 magical thinking is “a fundamental dimension of a child’s thinking.”
Zusne and Jones

Magical thinking is a belief in the interconnectedness of all things through forces and powers that transcend physical connections. Magical thinking invests special powers and forces in things and sees them as symbols on various levels. According to anthropologist Dr. Phillips Stevens Jr., “the vast majority of the world’s peoples … believe that there are real connections between the symbol and its referent, and that some real and potentially measurable power flows between them.” He believes there is a neurobiological basis for this, though the specific content of any symbol is culturally determined. (“Magical Thinking in Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” Skeptical Inquirer, 2001, November/December.)

One of the driving principles of magical thinking is the notion that things that resemble each other are causally connected in some way that defies scientific testing (the so-called law of similarity, that like produces like, that effect resembles cause). Another driving principle of magical thinking is the belief that “things that have been either in physical contact or in spatial or temporal association with other things retain a connection after they are separated” (the so-called law of contagion) (James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion; Stevens). Think of relics of saints that are supposed to transfer spiritual energy. Think of psychic detectives claiming that they can get information about a missing person by touching an object that belongs to the person (psychometry). Or think of the pet psychic who claims she can read your dog’s mind by looking at a photo of the dog. Or think of Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance, the idea that there are mysterious telepathy-type interconnections between organisms and collective memories within species. (Coincidentally, Sheldrake also studies psychic dogs

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Book-riffling robot scans one page at a time

By Paul Marks, chief technology correspondent via newscientist.com

Like a bored child who can’t be bothered to read, this robot flips from page to page. This odd contraption is actually a new way to scan and digitise the world’s books – at a speed of 250 pages per minute. Although it’s only a research machine, that reading rate easily beats manually-fed commercial scanners that only scan around 12 pages per minute.

The secret of the University of Tokyo’s new system is to eschew the flatbed scanner used by most book digitising systems, including the kind Google uses to digitise the British Libary’s precious collections for instance. Instead, Masatoshi Ishikawa and Yoshihiro Watanabe use a process they have dubbed, for obvious reasons, Book Flipping Scanning.

In their technique, there’s no need for an operator to laboriously turn the pages from one spread to the next. Instead, the book is held with its spine under slight tension so that a robot arm with a stepper motor can flip from one page to the next by moving a fraction of a millimetre per spread. Then – and Google does this too – the page image is corrected for the 3D curviness of the page to provide a clean scan for the optical character recognition system.

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Long Island Medium – The Learning Channel

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Long Island Medium is a television program on The (so-called) Learning Channel featuring Theresa Caputo doing readings as a psychic medium in the tradition of Sylvia Browne, James Van Praagh, John Edward, and thousands of other men and women claiming to get messages from dead people. What are the odds that Caputo is not deluded or a fraud? I’d say they’re about the same as those for Gordon Smith or Allison DuBois or Char Margolis or Noreen Renier or Sylvia Browne or Rosemary Althea or Lynn Ann Maker or Greta Alexander or Phil Jordan or James Van Praagh or John Edward or George Anderson or Dorothy Allison.

Theresa Caputo is just one of many unsinkable rubber duckies, as James Randi calls them. No matter how many of these characters skeptics expose, dozens more will pop up to replace or join them. Why? Not because they really get messages from the dead or have special powers, but because people want to believe in them, people are easily deceived, and most people don’t understand subjective validation and how it works. For more on how subjective validation works see “Gary Schwartz’s Subjective Validation of Mediums.”

It is understandable that many people want to reconnect with loved ones who have died. Belief in the afterlife and in spirit communication seems natural to many people. People who are skeptical of life after death seem to be in a minority, so there is little reason to distrust such beliefs when there is substantial communal reinforcement for them.

Another reason these rubber duckies remain unsinkable is that they are playing a win-win game. Skeptics don’t have a chance against them. Even when caught in egregious falsehoods–as Sylvia Browne has been several times–support for their work increases rather than suffers. When Sylvia Browne appeared on the Montel Williams show and told the parents of a missing 10-year-old boy that their son was dead, she did not lose any followers when four years later Shawn Hornbeck was found alive. Browne had also claimed that the man who took Shawn was a “dark-skinned man, he wasn’t black — more like Hispanic.” She said he had long black hair in dreadlocks and was “really tall.” She was wrong on all counts.

She was also wrong about the vehicle driven by Michael J. Devlin, the man convicted of kidnapping and child molestation in the case. Another alleged psychic, James Van Praagh, said that two people were involved in the abduction and that a person who worked in a railroad car plant was involved and the body might be concealed in a railway car. He was wrong on all counts.

A look at Van Praagh’s message board will reveal why such errors do little to destroy people’s faith in characters like Browne or Van Praagh. To the devoted believer, the psychic can do no wrong. If there was an error, it wasn’t the psychic’s fault. What may appear to be an error may not really be an error. It’s possible the psychic got his or her wires crossed and mistook one spirit for another. And so on. And, as Van Praagh and Browne have often said, they’re not gods and not infallible. When you’re validated you’re right and when you’re wrong your fallibility is validated. For the alleged psychic it is always a win-win with your devoted followers.

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Subjective Validation

via Skepdic.com

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

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

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

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

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

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Apophenia

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Face? What face?

Apophenia is the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena.

Soon after his son committed suicide, Episcopalian Bishop James A. Pike (1913-1969) began seeing meaningful messages in such things as a stopped clock, the angle of an open safety pin, and the angle formed by two postcards lying on the floor. He thought they were conveying the time his son had shot himself (Christopher 1975: 139).

Peter Brugger of the Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Zurich, gives examples of apophenia from August Strindberg‘s Occult Diary, the playwright’s own account of his psychotic break:

He saw “two insignia of witches, the goat’s horn and the besom” in a rock and wondered “what demon it was who had put [them] … just there and in my way on this particular morning.” A building then looked like an oven and he thought of Dante’s Inferno.

He sees sticks on the ground and sees them as forming Greek letters which he interprets to be the abbreviation of a man’s name and feels he now knows that this man is the one who is persecuting him. He sees sticks on the bottom of a chest and is sure they form a pentagram.

He sees tiny hands in prayer when he looks at a walnut under a microscope and it “filled me with horror.”

His crumpled pillow looks “like a marble head in the style of Michelangelo.” Strindberg comments that “these occurrences could not be regarded as accidental, for on some days the pillow presented the appearance of horrible monsters, of gothic gargoyles, of dragons, and one night … I was greeted by the Evil One himself….”

According to Brugger, “The propensity to see connections between seemingly unrelated objects or ideas most closely links psychosis to creativity … apophenia and creativity may even be seen as two sides of the same coin.” Some of the most creative people in the world, then, must be psychoanalysts and therapists who use projective tests like the Rorschach test or who see patterns of child abuse behind every emotional problem. Brugger notes that one analyst thought he had support for the penis envy theory because more females than males failed to return their pencils after a test. Another spent nine pages in a prestigious journal describing how sidewalk cracks are vaginas and feet are penises, and the old saw about not stepping on cracks is actually a warning to stay away from the female sex organ.

Brugger’s research indicates that high levels of dopamine affect the propensity to find meaning, patterns, and significance where there is none, and that this propensity is related to a tendency to believe in the paranormal.

In statistics, apophenia is called a Type I error, seeing patterns where none, in fact, exist. It is highly probable that the apparent significance of many unusual experiences and phenomena are due to apophenia, e.g., ghosts and hauntings, EVP, numerology, the Bible code, anomalous cognition, ganzfeld “hits”, most forms of divination, the prophecies of Nostradamus, remote viewing, and a host of other paranormal and supernatural experiences and phenomena.

Those of us who have had the pleasure of spending some time with a person having a psychotic episode have often been asked to see the significance of such random things as automobile license plate numbers, birth dates, and arrangements of fallen twigs.

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Embarrassing Conspiracy Theory (ECT) Follow up: FEMA camps: Executive Orders

via The Soap Box

In a previous Embarrassing Conspiracy Theory post I talked about how many conspiracy theorists believe that the government is going to place citizens who object to government authority in prison camps. One of the key pieces of “evidence” for people who believe in these prison camps that are allegedly being built is that there are Executive Orders that have been made by the President which will give the government, FEMA, and the military the authority to round up citizens who object to government authority and ship them off to these alleged prison camps. Often times they also claim that government will create a disaster that will kill millions of people in order to justify the execution of these Executive Orders.

While conspiracy theorists often times cite real Executive Orders as evidence for what they believe is the planned coming of Martial Law, many of the conclusions they come to about these Executive Orders are very deceptive and quite frankly, incorrect.

First, many of the Executive Orders are often claimed to have been made by either President George W. Bush, or President Barack Obama. In perhaps most of these cases this is incorrect, and is either the result of poor or non research, or even an outright lie.

If you do the research you will find that the Executive Orders that are often cited by conspiracy theorists were not made by either President Bush or Obama, but were actually made by either President John Kennedy, of President Lyndon Johnson. In fact most of the Executive Orders that are commonly cited were made during the Cold War when the threat of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union was very real.

Also, most of the Executive Orders that are cited makes no mention of things like “prison camps” or “Martial law” or anything even of the like. The only things mentioned in these cited Executive Orders that would come even come remotely close is …

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Stunt Driving in San Francisco: Gotta-See Video

Nothing mystical or magical here, just sheer awesomeness! Check it out:)

via Discovery News

Gymkhana is a timed motorsport involving the memorization of a track with obstacles. DC Shoes co-founder Ken Block is also an expert at rally driving. He took to the streets of San Francisco in his 650 horsepower Ford Fiesta to drive a crazy complex course as fast as possible. Don’t miss it! via Today Show

Click here for more Gotta-See Videos From Discovery

How Long Will a Lie Last? New Study Finds That False Memories Linger for Years

By Kyle Hill via Scientific American Blog Network

True memories fade and false ones appear.

Each time we recall something, the memory is imperfectly re-stitched by our brains. Our memories retain familiarity but, like our childhood blankets, can be recognizable yet filled with holes and worn down with time.

To date, research has shown that it is fairly easy to take advantage of our fallible memory. Elizabeth Loftus, cognitive psychologist and expert on human memory, has found that simply changing one word in a question can contort what we recall. In one experiment, Loftus had participants watch a film of a car crash, and then asked about what they saw. They were either asked “How fast were the cars going when they hit each other,” or “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other.” One week later the participants returned for some memory questions. Loftus asked whether or not there was broken glass at the scene of the accident. Those participants that heard the word “smashed” were more than twice as likely to recall seeing broken glass than those who heard the word “hit.” Keep in mind, there was in fact no broken glass at the scene[2].

This kind of insight—that our memories are terrible camcorders of reality—had serious pop culture ramifications. “Repression” and “repressed memories” have entered our culture’s lexicon, without evidential support. Even with numerous accusations of sexual abuse and other childhood horrors filed in court with the explosion of “recovered memory therapy,” the same research pioneered by experts like Loftus has suggested that most if not all of these “repressed” memories are merely false ones[1]. At CSICon, a skeptic’s conference earlier this year in Nashville, Tennessee, Loftus herself noted that the same techniques used to implant false memories in psychological experiments are precisely the techniques used by repression therapists to recover supposedly buried traumas.

Nearly four decades later, Loftus and colleagues aim to further memory science once again. Introducing a false memory in experiment can be done quickly and with some degree of reliability, but how long does the lie last? Surely bolstered by a digital age reverberating with misinformation, the results point to a disturbingly long half-life of lies.

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Narcissistic People & the Lost Art of Conversation

This is so apropo given the upcoming holiday conversations😉
by Joseph Burgo, Ph.D. via Psychology Today

Most people are narcissistic.

I’m not using that word in the clinical diagnosistic way, nor in the everyday sense of vain or conceited. What I mean is that most people are almost exclusively focused upon themselves, their personal interests and their own emotional needs for attention. A certain amount of preoccupation with oneself is normal and healthy; it becomes a problem when you’re not truly interested in other people or ideas and only want to talk about yourself.

Here’s a fairly common experience for me: I’m at a party or social gathering, speaking to someone I’ve just met, or an acquaintance I haven’t seen in a long while. I’m asking questions, inquiring about the person’s background or catching up since we last met. Fifteen, twenty minutes pass…we’re still talking about the other person. I get the feeling that I could be anyone; I’m just a receptacle, a mirror or an audience. I provide needed attention to the other person; he or she has no interest in getting to know the man who’s listening.

As a therapist (by temperament as well as profession), I’m a good listener and adept at drawing people out. As a student of human nature, I’m genuinely curious and, for the most part, fascinated by the variety of people I meet. Sometimes I feel lonely, though. I used to be surprised and disappointed that the person I’d just met didn’t want to get to know me. Now I expect a lot less. Lack of genuine interest in others—that’s what I mean when I say I find most people to be narcissistic.

Even with friends, conversation tends to mean waiting your turn to launch into your own story, waiting for the gap or the conversational trigger that will make the transition over to you seem more or less natural. With some truly narcissistic people, the transition seems forced—they’ll use any excuse to change the subject. It can even seem funny if you look at it from the right point of view, although painful when you recognize the reasons for that kind of behavior.

[…]

With the holidays upon us, where parties and family gatherings are on the calendar, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to watch yourself and others at work. Is the conversation of the type I described? Are family and friends just waiting for their own turn to be the center of attention? Does one person tend to dominate? How about you? Do you ask questions? Do you take an interest in other people?

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Doomsday 2012 Hoax: NASA Scientist David Morrison Debunks End Of World Theories

via huffingtonpost.com

Is the world going to end right in the middle of the upcoming holiday season? While that wouldn’t be good for retail sales, many people feel that Dec. 21, 2012 is a date that will linger in our minds forever — assuming we all survive the calamities that are supposedly headed our way.

The ancient Mayan civilization calendar is believed to end this year on Dec. 21. And somehow, through word-of-mouth, movies, books, the Internet, etc., a cult-like belief system has sprung up in our culture suggesting any number of awful things will take place on that date.

Some of these include:

  • An unknown planet on a collision path with Earth.
  • A close encounter between Earth and a black hole in deep space.
  • More natural disasters around our planet.
  • A shifting of Earth’s magnetic poles.

But where did all of these rumors actually start?

Many believe it goes back thousands of years to the ancient Sumerian culture who reportedly discovered a twelfth planet they called Nibiru — aka Planet X — which was predicted to have a close encounter with Earth in 2003.

When that didn’t happen, a new Doomsday was moved to December 2012.

On the other hand, there are some who believe the December date heralds not doom and gloom, but a more positive transformative experience for Earth and its inhabitants.

It all sounds rather sketchy, especially to a scientist.

“It’s all a hoax, and it’s based on absolutely no factual information. None of the things that are supposed to happen are real, and so it’s kind of hard to even have a scientific discussion about what they’re worried about because there’s no science there,” said David Morrison, a leading space scientist and director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute in California.

Watch this Doomsday video with David Morrison

While SETI scientists are involved with the ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence, they also want to quiet any fears the public has about the alleged Doomsday.

To that end, Morrison created a special Doomsday 2012 Fact Sheet in September that’s posted on both SETI and NASA websites.

According to this fact sheet, “opinion polls suggest that one in 10 Americans worry about whether they will survive past December 21 of this year.”

“Think about that. It means when you walk down the street and look around, there are 25 million people who presumably have no stake in anything because their world’s going to end in [December]. That is scary,” Morrison told The Huffington Post.

When Morrison was researching information for his Doomsday fact sheet, he didn’t find anything that confirmed that the Mayans left us any dire predictions.

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16 Signs That Your House is Haunted

By via paranormal.about.com

How do you know if that persistent rapping on your walls is bad plumbing or a mischievous spirit? Here are some of the signs of a haunting

You hear heavy footsteps in the upstairs hallway when you know no one is up there. Doors slam unaccountably. Commonly used items disappear and reappear without cause. The kitchen light turns on by itself. There’s the unmistakable scent of a strange perfume in the air.

These may be indications that your house is haunted. True hauntings are rare occurrences, and it may be difficult to determine whether or not any strange phenomena you are experiencing in your home might be due to a haunting. For one thing, no one really knows what a “real” haunting is – what causes it or why it starts. There are many theories, of course, which we have discussed in this space in the article “Ghosts: What Are They?” But if you think your house may really be haunted, what can you do about it?

THE SIGNS OF A HAUNTING

The first step is to determine, as best you can, whether or not you truly have a legitimate case of a haunting. Not all hauntings are alike, and they may exhibit a variety of phenomena. Some hauntings feature a single phenomenon – such as a particular door slamming shut that occurs repeatedly – while others consist of many different phenomena, ranging from odd noises to full-blown apparitions.

Here’s a partial list of phenomena that might indicate that your house is haunted:

  • Unexplained noises – footsteps; knocks, banging, rapping; scratching sounds; sounds of something being dropped. Sometimes these noises can be subtle and other times they can be quite loud.
  • Doors, cabinets and cupboards opening and closing – most often, these phenomena are not seen directly. The experiencer either hears the distinct sounds of the doors opening and closing (homeowners get to know quite well the distinctive sounds their houses make) or the experiencer will return to a room to find a door open or closed when they are certain that it was left in the opposite position. Sometimes furniture, like kitchen chairs, are perceived to have been moved. Very rarely will the experiencer actually witness the phenomenon taking place.
  • Lights turning off and on – likewise, these events are seldom seen actually occurring, but the lights are switched on or off when the experiencer knows they were not left that way. This can also happen with TVs, radios and other electrically powered items.
  • Items disappearing and reappearing – this phenomenon, which we have dubbed “the DOPler Effect” (DOP = Disappearing Object Phenomenon), has been examined in the article “The DOPler Effect.” Others have called this “the borrowers” phenomenon, and it’s the familiar experience of not being able to find a regularly used item – say, your set of car keys – which you believe you placed in a spot you routinely place them. But they’re gone and you look high and low for them with no success. Some time later, the keys are found – in exactly the place you normally put them. It’s as if the object was borrowed by someone or something for a short time, then returned. Sometimes they are not returned for days or even weeks, but when they are, it’s in an obvious place that could not have been missed by even a casual search.
  • Unexplained shadows – the sighting of fleeting shapes and shadows, usually seen out of the corner of the eye. This phenomenon has also been discussed in some detail in “Shadow People.” Many times, the shadows have vaguely human forms, while other times they are less distinguishable or smaller.
  • Strange animal behavior – a dog, cat or other pet behaves strangely. Dogs may bark at something unseen, cower without apparent reason or refuse to enter a room they normally do. Cats may seem to be “watching” something cross a room. Animals have sharper senses than humans, and many researchers think their psychic abilities might be more finely tuned also. (See “Animals and Ghosts” )
  • Feelings of being watched – this is not an uncommon feeling and can be attributed to many things, but it could have a paranormal source if the feeling consistently occurs in a particular part of the house at a particular time.

Those are some of the most common experiences of those who think their houses are haunted. Yet even stranger things can happen…

Next page: Stronger Evidence

Are Flat-Earthers Being Serious?

via LifesLittleMysteries.com

A Flat Earth model depicting Antarctica as an ice wall surrounding a disc-shaped Earth.
CREDIT: Creative Commons 1.0 Generic | Trekky0623
View full size image

Members of the Flat Earth Society claim to believe the Earth is flat. Walking around on the planet’s surface, it looks andfeelsflat, so they deem all evidence to the contrary, such as satellite photos of Earth as a sphere, to be fabrications of a “round Earth conspiracy” orchestrated by NASA and other government agencies.

The belief that the Earth is flat has been described as the ultimate conspiracy theory. According to the Flat Earth Society’s leadership, its ranks have grown by 200 people (mostly Americans and Britons) per year since 2009. Judging by the exhaustive effort flat-earthers have invested in fleshing out the theory on their website, as well as the staunch defenses of their views they offer in media interviews and on Twitter, it would seem that these people genuinely believe the Earth is flat.

But in the 21st century, can they be serious? And if so, how is this psychologically possible?

Through a flat-earther’s eyes

First, a brief tour of the worldview of a flat-earther: While writing off buckets of concrete evidence that Earth is spherical, they readily accept a laundry list of propositions that some would call ludicrous. The leading flat-earther theory holds that Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150-foot-tall wall of ice, around the rim. NASA employees, they say, guard this ice wall to prevent people from climbing over and falling off the disc. Earth’s day and night cycle is explained by positing that the sun and moon are spheres measuring 32 miles (51 kilometers) that move in circles 3,000 miles (4,828 km) above the plane of the Earth. (Stars, they say, move in a plane 3,100 miles up.) Like spotlights, these celestial spheres illuminate different portions of the planet in a 24-hour cycle. Flat-earthers believe there must also be an invisible “antimoon” that obscures the moon during lunar eclipses.

Furthermore, Earth’s gravity is an illusion, they say. Objects do not accelerate downward; instead, the disc of Earth accelerates upward at 32 feet per second squared (9.8 meters per second squared), driven up by a mysterious force called dark energy. Currently, there is disagreement among flat-earthers about whether or not Einstein’s theory of relativity permits Earth to accelerate upward indefinitely without the planet eventually surpassing the speed of light. (Einstein’s laws apparently still hold in this alternate version of reality.)

As for what lies underneath the disc of Earth, this is unknown, but most flat-earthers believe it is composed of “rocks.” [Religion and Science: 6 Visions of Earth’s Core]

Then, there’s the conspiracy theory: Flat-earthers believe photos of the globe are photoshopped; GPS devices are rigged to make airplane pilots think they are flying in straight lines around a sphere when they are actually flying in circles above a disc. The motive for world governments’ concealment of the true shape of the Earth has not been ascertained, but flat-earthers believe it is probably financial. “In a nutshell, it would logically cost much less to fake a space program than to actually have one, so those in on the Conspiracy profit from the funding NASA and other space agencies receive from the government,” the flat-earther website’s FAQ page explains.

It’s no joke

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Also see The Flat Earth Society

What You Need To Know About… Psychometry

via paranormal.about.com

The incredible phenomenon of psychometry that senses an object’s past – by touching it

WHAT IS PSYCHOMETRY?

Psychometry is a psychic ability in which a person can sense or “read” the history of an object by touching it. Such a person can receive impressions from an object by holding it in his/her hands or, perhaps, touching it to the forehead. Such impressions can be perceived as images, sounds, smells, tastes – even emotions.

Psychometry is a form of scrying – a psychic way of “seeing” something that is not ordinarily seeable. Some people can scry using a crystal ball, black glass or even the surface of water. With psychometry, this extraordinary vision is available through touch.

For example, a person who has psychometric abilities – a psychometrist – can hold an antique glove and be able to tell something about the history of that glove, about the person who owned it, about the experiences that person had while in the possession of that glove. The psychic may be able to sense what the person was like, what they did and even how they died. Perhaps most important, the psychic can sense how the person felt – the emotions of the person at a particular time. Emotions especially, it seems, are most strongly “recorded” in the object.

The psychic may not be able to do this with all objects at all times and, as with all psychic abilities, accuracy can vary, but the ability is available to the psychic.

A BRIEF HISTORY

“Psychometry” as a term was coined by Joseph R. Buchanan in 1842 (from the Greek words psyche, meaning “soul,” and metron, meaning “measure.”) Buchanan, an American professor of physiology, was one of the first people to experiment with psychometry. Using his students as subjects, he placed various drugs in glass vials, and then asked the students to identify the drugs merely by holding the vials. Their success rate was more than chance, and he published the results in his book, Journal of Man. To explain the phenomenon, Buchanan theorized that all objects have “souls” that retain a memory.

Intrigued and inspired by Buchanan’s work, American professor of geology William F. Denton conducted experiments to see if psychometry would work with his geological specimens. In 1854, he enlisted the help of his sister, Ann Denton Cridge. The professor wrapped his specimens in cloth so Ann could not see even what type they were. She then placed the wrapped package to her forehead and was able to accurately describe the specimens through vivid mental images she was receiving.

From 1919 to 1922, Gustav Pagenstecher, a German doctor and psychical researcher, discovered psychometric abilities in one of his patients, Maria Reyes de Zierold. While holding an object, Maria could place herself in a trance and be able to state facts about the object’s past and present, describing sights, sounds, smells and other feelings about the object’s “experience” in the world. Pagenstecher’s theory was that a psychometrist could tune in to the experiential “vibrations” condensed in the object.

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“They” Are Watching

by via Mysterious Universe

Some people will tell you it’s totally untrue. It’s not. Others will say it’s unfounded. Dead wrong. And probably more than a few will claim it’s nothing but paranoia run rampant. Wrong again. What is it? Well, I’ll tell you: it’s the claim that Intelligence agencies not only monitor UFO activity, but carefully take note of what is being said on the subject at conferences around the world, too; even to the extent of sitting in the audiences and carefully making notes or recording every word that comes out of the mouths of the speakers. Think I’m wrong? Read on. You’ll see several examples of around no less than 30 cases that I have been able to document via the Freedom of Information Acts of several countries.

In the late 1970s, the FBI was taking a keen interest in the research of a number of investigators of the cattle mutilation mystery and even went as far as dispatching agents to attend a conference on the subject that was held on 20 April 1979 at the New Mexico-based Albuquerque Public Library. A report to FBI headquarters from Albuquerque, dated 25 April 1979, outlined the flavor of the conference, and addressed the various opinions of those in attendance:

Gabe Valdez, New Mexico State Police, Dulce, New Mexico, reported he has investigated the death of 90 cattle during the past three years, as well as six horses. Officer Valdez said he is convinced that the mutilations of the animals have not been the work of predators because of the precise manner of the cuts. Officer Valdez said he had investigated mutilations of several animals which had occurred on the ranch of Manuel Gomez of Dulce, New Mexico.

“Manuel Gomez addressed the conference and explained he had lost six animals to unexplained deaths which were found in a mutilated condition within the last two years. Further, Gomez said that he and his family are experiencing fear and mental anguish because of the mutilations.”

The FBI document on the conference turned its attention to the various and diverse lectures given by a range of additional speakers at the conference:

“David Perkins, the Director of the Department of Research at Libre School in Farasita, Colorado, exhibited a map of the United States that contained hundreds of colored pins identifying mutilation sites. He commented that he had been making a systematic collection of data since 1975, and has never met a greater challenge. He said, ‘The only thing that makes sense about the mutilations is that they make no sense at all.’

“Tom Adams of Paris, Texas, who has been independently examining mutilations for six years, said his investigation has shown that helicopters are almost always observed in the area of the mutilations. He said that the helicopters do not have identifying markings and they fly at abnormal, unsafe, or illegal altitudes. Dr. Peter Van Arsdale, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, suggested that those investigating the cattle mutilations take a systematic approach and look at all types of evidence is discounting any of the theories such as responsibility by extraterrestrial visitors or satanic cults.”

And as the FBI also noted: “Richard Sigismund, Social Scientist, Boulder, Colorado, presented an argument which advanced the theory that the cattle mutilations are possibly related to activity of UFOs. Numerous other persons made similar type presentations expounding on their theories regarding the possibility that the mutilations are the responsibility of extraterrestrial visitors, members of Satanic cults, or some unknown government agency.

“Tommy Blann, Lewisville, Texas, told the conference he has been studying UFO activities for twenty-two years and mutilations for twelve years. He explained that animal mutilations date back to the early 1800’s in England and Scotland. He also pointed out that animal mutilations are not confined to cattle, but cited incidents of mutilation of horses, dogs, sheep, and rabbits. He also said the mutilations are not only nationwide, but international in scope.

“Chief Raleigh Tafoya, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, and Walter Dasheno, Governor, Santa Clara Pueblo, each spoke briefly to the conference. Both spoke of the cattle which had been found mutilated on their respective Indian lands. Chief Tafoya said some of his people who have lost livestock have been threatened.”

Moving on from cattle mutilations, from 1992 and 1993, come other examples of official interest in monitoring conferences that had UFO themes or connections. For example, American military intelligence personnel were in attendance at the first European meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration, which was held on August 7-8, 1992, in Munich, and that had the UFO subject on its agenda.

A three-page document pertaining to the conference, originally classified at Secret level, was made available to me under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1993. Its contents make for interesting reading:

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Spark Socket Connects Your Regular Old Light Bulbs to the Internet

Very cool . . .

via Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Companies from Google to Comcast to Electric Imp are trying to connect home devices and appliances to the web, but the internet of things remains more of a complicated, distant dream than a reality. Spark Devices wants to start off simple, with one of the most used items in your house — the light bulb.

Spark Devices launched on Kickstarter with a working prototype of what it calls the Spark Socket. All a user needs to do to get their lights on the web is screw a regular light bulb into the Spark Socket and screw that into a regular light fixture. They can then control their lighting — on, off, and dimming — through an iOS or Android app, which opens up entirely new avenues for home lighting. Users can schedule their lights when they’re away, set them to slowly turn on in the morning, and even set them to flash when someone calls their phone.

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Alien Mug Shots: The Ten Best (or Worst) Photos of Aliens

via CSI

Photos of supposed UFOs abound. Most of the time they show dark stains or bright dots in the sky, of varying dimension and quality, which could be due to a lot of things: military aircrafts, weather balloons, birds, meteors, etc. Sometimes the UFO is well focused, but the flying saucer always looks suspiciously similar to a pan lid suspended from a thread or a lamp holder or a wheel cap thrown in the air. And of course today the possibilities for digitally retouching an image are endless.

What are lacking, however, are credible photos of the creatures that should be flying these UFOs—the actual aliens or extraterrestrials. It appears there are no more than fifty such photos shot in the past eighty years, but once you take out those plainly fake and the more suspicious looking ones all you are left with are about ten photos. These are, essentially, “mug shots” of wanted extraterrestrials. Here is my personal list of the best (or worst) photos of aliens.

10. High Bridge, New Jersey (August 2, 1956)


Howard Menger was a well-known American contactee who claimed he had met extraterrestrials throughout his whole life. He detailed in his books his chats with friendly Adamski-like Venusian “space brothers” who also gave him a wife and took him on their bases on the Moon and on Venus. This is one of the photos that he took of his ET friends; interestingly, in his photos the aliens are always dark shapes illuminated from behind. They almost look like Menger’s mother or wife coming out in the porch at night with a flashlight in hand, calling for that weird Howard, always lost in his UFO dreams.

9. Lossiemouth, Scotland (1954)


Cedric Allingham was an amateur ornithologist who was looking for birds in the North of Scotland when he saw a flying saucer descend to the earth. One of the occupants exited the spaceship and walked up to him. The alien told him he was coming from Mars and, after a little chat, left. Precisely in that moment, Cedric took this picture. Well, yes, the beanpole here looks more like a janitor or a plumber than an extraterrestrial. However, it was later suspected that Cedric Allingham never existed and that the photo was circulated by Patrick Moore, an astronomer well known for his pranks.

8. Carp, Ontario, Canada (August 15, 1991)


The photo of this alien “entity” was supposedly taken along with the film of a UFO landing. The fact that nobody knows who took the photo or the film, both sent by an unknown person calling him or herself “Guardian” to Tom Theofanous, a Canadian UFOlo­gist, does not help in taking the photo seriously. Other messages sent by “Guardian” describing a “conspiracy between the Chinese and Grey Aliens planning to take over the world” did little to increase its credibility.

7. Alaska (1930s)


This seems to be the most ancient of the lot, even if it was seen for the first time in 2003. The anonymous source claims that his grandfather took the picture seventy years before in Alaska and gave it to him the day before he died. Nothing is known about the photographer, the location, or the date of the photo. Some thought that since the little man seems to be leaning on one side it might actually be a dummy. What is more suspicious, however, is the fact that with the original source “conveniently” dead exactly one day after his revelation (isn’t that a little too trite?), all possibilities of verifying the story are defunct.

6. Falkville, Alabama (October 17, 1973)


That night, police chief Jeff Greenhaw received a phone call from an excited lady who said that she had witnessed a “spaceship” land in an open field not far from the town proper. The sheriff took off with a camera and found a “tinfoil alien” who consented to be photographed but then ran away. The ridicule that the whole story brought on the sheriff’s office cost Greenhaw his job as well as his wife. Some think that he may have encountered someone wearing a fireman’s as­bestos suit; others, however, think that the being in the suit was a friend of Greenhaw and that the whole thing was an attempt to get famous that went terribly wrong.

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Automatic writing (trance writing)

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Automatic writing is writing allegedly directed by a spirit or by the unconscious mind. It is sometimes called “trance” writing because it is done quickly and without judgment, writing whatever comes to mind, “without consciousness,” as if in a trance. It is believed that this allows one to tap into the subconscious mind, where “the true self” dwells. Uninhibited by the conscious mind, deep and mystical thoughts can be accessed. Trance writing is also used by some psychotherapists who think it is a quick way to release repressed memories. There is no scientific evidence that trance writing has any unique therapeutic value.

Advocates of automatic writing claim that the process allows them to access other intelligences and entities for information and guidance. They further claim that it permits them to recall previously irretrievable data from the subconscious mind and to unleash spiritual energy for personal growth and revelation. According to psychic Ellie Crystal, entities from beyond are constantly trying to communicate with us. Apparently, we all have the potential to be as clairaudient as James Van Praagh and John Edward.

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Let’s Take a Stab at the Medical Myths Surrounding Vampires

By Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. via huffingtonpost.com

If you buy into the current pop-culture craze about vampires, they’re simply the most intriguing, seductive creatures around, trapped in torrid love triangles with young, beautiful people. With super-speed, super-strength, killer wardrobes and a thirst for blood that can’t be slaked, the “undead” now dominate the box office, rack up ratings and top the bestseller lists. Whether it’s vampire Bill guzzling True Blood in the swamps of Louisiana, Edward Cullen brooding in the twilight of the Pacific Northwest, or revenants hunted by Abraham Lincoln (?!), the public never has seemed more obsessed with saying fangs you very much to these mythical demimonde.

But let’s dig deeper into their past, racing beyond creepy Count Orlok of black-and-white cinematic fame and dashing across historical Europe to ask whether whispers of health, medicine and science can stake out a different view of vampires: A considerable body of scholarly work seeks to explain what might have created the folklore of the vampire or Nosferatu — a name that comes from the Greek nosophoros, or plague-carrier.

Records of vampire-like creatures can be found in ancient religions of Tibet, India and Mexico. Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian and other ancient cultures also appear to have held beliefs involving a dead figure who returns to life in its own body and feeds off the living. Similar myths exist in European, Chinese, Polynesian and African cultures.

Our modern ideas about these monsters probably originated in Scandinavia and the British Isles but really took hold in Central and Eastern Europe in medieval times. In a region of what is now Romania, the unspeakable deeds and a reputation for barbarism gave rise to the posthumous name for Vlad III Dracul, a prince of the region, as “Vlad the Impaler.” In turn, this inspired author Bram Stoker‘s legendary tale, making Dracula a synonym for vampire. Of course, even in modern times, we occasionally read about a psychotic killer who cannibalizes his prey (remember Jeffrey Dahmer).

Even more fundamental to vampire lore may be a misunderstanding of the death and disease people once encountered in their everyday lives.

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Cognitive Dissonance

via Unnatural Acts that can improve your thinking

Cognitive dissonance is a theory of human motivation that asserts that it is psychologically uncomfortable to hold contradictory cognitions. The theory is that dissonance, being unpleasant, motivates a person to change his cognition, attitude, or behavior. This theory was first explored in detail by social psychologist Leon Festinger, who described it this way:
Dissonance and consonance are relations among cognitions that is, among opinions, beliefs, knowledge of the environment, and knowledge of one’s own actions and feelings. Two opinions, or beliefs, or items of knowledge are dissonant with each other if they do not fit together; that is, if they are inconsistent, or if, considering only the particular two items, one does not follow from the other (Festinger 1956: 25).
He argued that there are three ways to deal with cognitive dissonance. He did not consider these mutually exclusive.
  1. One may try to change one or more of the beliefs, opinions, or behaviors involved in the dissonance;
  2. One may try to acquire new information or beliefs that will increase the existing consonance and thus cause the total dissonance to be reduced; or,
  3. One may try to forget or reduce the importance of those cognitions that are in a dissonant relationship (Festinger 1956: 25-26).
For example, people who smoke know smoking is a bad habit. Some rationalize their behavior by looking on the bright side: They tell themselves that smoking helps keep the weight down and that there is a greater threat to health from being overweight than from smoking. Others quit smoking. Most of us are clever enough to come up with ad hoc hypotheses or rationalizations to save cherished notions. Why we can’t apply this cleverness more competently is not explained by noting that we are led to rationalize because we are trying to reduce or eliminate cognitive dissonance. Different people deal with psychological discomfort in different ways. Some ways are clearly more reasonable than others. So, why do some people react to dissonance with cognitive competence, while others respond with cognitive incompetence?
Cognitive dissonance has been called “the mind controller’s best friend” (Levine 2003: 202). Yet, a cursory examination of cognitive dissonance reveals that it is not the dissonance, but how people deal with it, that would be of interest to someone trying to control others when the evidence seems against them.

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Alex “Einstein” Jones’ Torturous Genius Level Understanding

Ladies and gentlemen, once again i present to you … my favorite moron …  … Alex Jones!

Alex “Einstein” Jones’ Torturous Genius Level Understanding.

Eyes right – eyes left? New illusion

via Richard Wiseman

My pal and amazing psychologist Rob Jenkins has created this great illusion.  The animation below shows the same image getting smaller (you might need to click on the image to get it to animate).  However, at the start the women looks like she is looking to your left and at the end she appears to be looking to your right.

Do you know why it works?

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Mermaids: Why they really are a myth Part 1: Why they can’t hide

via The Soap Box – OCTOBER 23, 2012

Recently the Discovery Networks produced a fictional movie in the form of a documentary called Mermaids: The Body Found. While the movie was indeed a work of fiction, many people thought it was real, and it attempted to present that mermaids could theoretically be real.

The reality is that mermaids are not real. If they were indeed real, we would have known about them by now, despite the fact that they would be close to intelligent as us, if not as intelligent as us.

Mermaids would most likely be sea mammals, and despite the fact sea mammals can often stay under water for long periods of time, they would still need air to breath, and thus must come up to the surface occasionally.

Mermaids would also require a viable breeding population in order to keep the species going. Even endangered animals are occasionally seen in the wild. This includes sea creatures who would have a easier time staying hidden. Sea mammals especially, because as I said before hand, sea mammals must come up air, making it harder to hide from us if they intended to do that. The amount of ships on the oceans, and even the great deal of the population that lives along coast, would make it even harder for an sea mammal to remain hidden.

Another reason why mermaids most likely do not exist is because no bodies have ever been found beached.

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Part 2 of this 3 part series can be found here.

Agenda 21 mind control conspiracy idea circulating among Republicans

Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot

via Mother Jones

President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as “Delphi” to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That’s according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.

On October 11, at a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus convened by the body’s majority leader, Chip Rogers, a tea party activist told Republican lawmakers that Obama was mounting this most diabolical conspiracy. The event—captured on tape by a member of the Athens-based watchdog Better Georgia (who was removed from the room after 52 minutes)—had been billed as an information session on Agenda 21, a nonbinding UN agreement that commits member nations to promote sustainable development. In the eyes of conservative activists, Agenda 21 is a nefarious plot that includes forcibly relocating non-urban-dwellers and prescribing mandatory contraception as a means of curbing population growth. The invitation to the Georgia state Senate event noted the presentation would explain: “How pleasant sounding names are fostering a Socialist plan to change the way we live, eat, learn, and communicate to ‘save the earth.'”

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Water Wars

And the silly conspiracies continue …

by ConspiracyStuff

Billions of people around the world have little or no access to clean water — and experts believe this situation will only worsen. In fact, some analysts believe the next world war won’t be over nukes or ideology — but, instead, a war over water. Tune in and learn more in this installment of … Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know.

Part 1:

via Water Wars, Part 1.

Part 2:

via Water Wars, Part 2.

Top Conspiracy Theories

via Pakalert Press

 The JFK Assassination

This much we can stipulate: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, struck by two bullets — one in the head, one in the neck — while riding in an open-topped limo through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with killing him, and a presidential commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren found that Oswald acted alone.

That conclusion hasn’t passed muster with the public. A 2003 ABC News poll found that 70% of Americans believe Kennedy’s death was the result of a broader plot. The trajectory of the bullets, some say, didn’t square with Oswald’s perch on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Others suggest a second gunman — perhaps on the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza — participated in the shooting. Others believe in an even broader conspiracy. Was Kennedy killed by CIA agents acting either out of anger over the Bay of Pigs or at the behest of Vice President Lyndon Johnson? By KGB operatives? Mobsters mad at Kennedy’s brother for initiating the prosecution of organized crime rings? Speculation over one of history’s most famous political assassinations is such a popular parlor game that most people have taken the rumors to heart: just 32% of those polled by ABC believe Oswald carried out the killing on his own.

 9/11 Cover-Up

Not since the JFK assassination has there been a national tragedy so heavily imprinted in American minds — or that has given rise to quite as many alternative explanations. While videos and photographs of the two planes striking the World Trade Center towers are famous around the world, the sheer profusion of documentary evidence has only provided even more fodder for conspiracy theories.

A May 2006 Zogby poll found that 42% of Americans believed that the government and the 9/11 commission “concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence that contradicts their official explanation of the September 11th attacks.” Why had the military failed to intercept the hijacked planes? Had the government issued a “stand down” order, to minimize interference with a secret plan to destroy the buildings and blame it on Islamic terrorists? In 2005, Popular Mechanics published a massive investigation of similar claims and responses to them. The reporting team found that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) did not have a history of having fighter jets prepped and ready to intercept aircraft that had gone off route. And while the team found no evidence that the government had planned the attacks, lack of proof has rarely stopped conspiracy theorists before.

 Area 51 and the Aliens

We may have Tang thanks to the space program, but who gave us such innovations as the Stealth fighter and Kevlar? Aliens, of course. Conspiracy theorists believe that the remains of crashed UFO spacecrafts are stored at Area 51, an Air Force base about 150 miles from Las Vegas, where government scientists reverse-engineer the aliens’ highly advanced technology. Fodder for this has come from a variety of supposed UFO sightings in the area and testimony from a retired Army colonel who says he was given access to extraterrestrial materials gathered from an alien spacecraft that crashed in Roswell, N.M. Some believe that the government studies time travel at Area 51, also known as Groom Lake or Dreamland.

The government has developed advanced aircraft and weapons systems at nearby Nellis Air Force Base, including Stealth bombers and reconnaissance planes. And the government’s official line — that the details of Area 51 are classified for purposes of national security — is only seen as further proof that the military is hiding aliens or alien spacecraft.

 Paul Is Dead

Paul McCartney never wrote “Maybe I’m Amazed.” He never formed the band Wings. He never clashed with Yoko, became a vegetarian, or fathered any of his children. When Queen Elizabeth knighted him in 1997, she was actually knighting someone else. This is because, conspiracy-minded Beatlemaniacs say, Paul McCartney secretly died in 1966. Theorists claim the other Beatles covered up his death — hiring someone who looked like him, sang like him, and had the same jovial personality. But the guilt eventually got to them and they began hiding clues in their music. In the song “Taxman,” George Harrison gave his “advice for those who die,” meaning Paul. The entire Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album was awash with Paul-is-dead clues: the Beatles had formed a “new” band featuring a fictional member named Billy Shears — supposedly the name of Paul’s replacement. The album contained John Lennon’s “A Day in the Life,” which had the lyrics “He blew his mind out in a car” and the recorded phrase “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him,” which becomes evident only when the song is played backward. Lennon also mumbled, “I buried Paul” at the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (in interviews, Lennon said the phrase was actually “cranberry sauce” and denied the existence of any backward messages).

Paul-is-dead believers think the Beatles accompanied these backward tape loops and veiled references to death with album covers that illustrated the loss of their friend. The original cover of 1966′s Yesterday and Today album featured  the Beatles posed amid raw meat and dismembered doll parts — symbolizing McCartney’s gruesome accident. If fans placed a mirror in front of the Sgt. Pepper album cover, the words Lonely Hearts on the drum logo could be read as “1 ONE 1 X HE DIE 1 ONE 1.” And of course, there’s the Abbey Road cover, on which John, George and Ringo forwent all pretense and pretended to cross the street as a funeral procession. John wore all white, like a clergyman. Ringo, the mourner, dressed in black. George donned jeans, like a gravedigger. Paul wore no shoes (he didn’t need them, because he was dead) and walked out of step with the others.

If Paul is dead, then his imposter is still at large. He met and married Linda Eastman, with whom he had four children before losing her to breast cancer in 1998. He released a live album in 1993 called Paul Is Live (likely story), and produced more than 20 solo albums — and that’s not even counting the ones released by Wings. Then he endured a horrible divorce from Heather Mills, which may have made him wish he were dead — or, at least, were still Billy Shears. So who is the real McCartney? The world may never know.

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“Bigfoots are real. The evidence shows it.”

via KVAL CBS 13

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Bigfoot is no stranger to the Pacific Northwest: about a third of reported sasquatch sightings happen in Oregon and Washington.

The legend – or search – has gained new popularity from “Finding Bigfoot” on Animal Planet.

“It won’t take long, a few years tops,” Portland native and bigfoot hunter Cliff Barackman told a Springfield High School club. “These things are real, and soon everyone is going to know about it.”

Barackman admits to a lifelong obsession with sasquatch, an obession he now gets to indulge by traveling the country with three other bigfoot experts in search of ‘squatch.

He is used to dealing with skeptics, but during a recent visit to Springfield High School, barackman was preaching to the choir at the Sasquatch Brotherhood, a school club.

“It’s like religion,” said Austin Helfrich of the Sasquatch Brotherhood. “You try to spread religion. Sasquatch, you try to spread it around, and have other people start to believe in it. And it just spreads like wildfire.”

“Finding Bigfoot” has helped fan the flames: 1.3o million people tuned in for the premiere of its third season.

“Certainly more people are becoming believers because of the show,” Barackman said. “I don’t encourage belief. I encourage weighing the evidence and coming to your own conclusion.”

The Sasquatch Brotherhood’s members have come to the conclusion that bigfoot is out there, and like many fellow enthusiasts, they feel there’s a good chance he calls the Pacific Northwest home.

“Lots of forested areas, very wet, mostly lots of animals,” Helfrich said. “I think it would be an easy location for sasquatches to live in.”

Helfrich and his friends admit they get some odd looks from other students.

But the general public’s skepticism doesn’t seem to bother them – or Barackman. They are all convinced that sasquatch’s days in the shadows are numbered.

“I don’t have a PhD. I don’t care what other people think of me,” Barackman said. “Bigfoots are real. The evidence shows it.”

Leap of Faith 2012 (almost here!)

A real life Wile E. Coyote… listen to THIS nonsense …

His crazy world: http://www.1111invitation2012.info/1111Invitation2012/Welcome.html

via Leap of Faith 2012 (almost here!) – YouTube.

Man Finds His Doppelganger in 16th Century Italian Painting

via ABC News Blogs – Yahoo!

Courtesy Nikkie Curtis
(click image for larger view)

What started out as a leisurely stroll through the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Nov. 11 with his girlfriend, quickly turned into quite a surreal experience for Max Galuppo, 20, of Bloomsbury, N.J.

Galuppo, a Temple University student, found his doppelganger in a 16th century Italian painting by an unknown artist titled “Portrait of a Nobleman with Dueling Gauntlet.”

“It was really weird. He goes to Temple so we’d been saying for a while we wanted to go to the art museum,” his girlfriend, Nikkie Curtis, told ABCNews.com. “We went into the armor exhibit and he loved the helmets. He was completely oblivious to it, and I walked past it and was like, ‘Do you see this painting right now? It looks just like you.'”

Although Galuppo’s resemblance to the dark haired, huskily built, bearded face seems obvious to the 735 Reddit users who have commented on the photo since Curtis uploaded it to the site late Sunday night, Galuppo, at first, said he failed to recognize the similarity.

“To be honest, I didn’t see it. I didn’t see the resemblance,” Galuppo said. “And then I saw the picture of me next to it, and you can’t deny that.”

MORE (with video). . .

Updated 11/16/2012 – Via ABC:

Denver ‘UFO’ Likely Has Earthly Explanation

by Benjamin Radford via Discovery News

(H/T Thomas J. Proffit)

An unusual video of mysterious dark objects moving very quickly and erratically over the skies of Denver, Colo., has local residents buzzing.

Fox affiliate KDVR reporter Heidi Hemmat described “an unusual object that appears to launch and land in the metro area.” The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had no record of anything unusual in the skies at the time, either visually or on radar.

The video made news last week when KDVR reported:

“Strange objects caught on camera flying over the city and nobody can explain it. We first learned about these sightings when a metro area man, who does not want to be identified, brought us his home video. He captured the images on his digital camera from a hilltop in Federal Heights looking south toward downtown Denver. … The strangest part is they are flying too fast to see with the naked eye, but when we slowed down the video, several UFOs appear. … Aviation expert Steve Cowell is a former commercial pilot, instructor and FAA accident prevention counselor. He thought he would have a logical explanation, until he watched the video. ‘That is not an airplane, that is not a helicopter, those are not birds, I can’t identify it,’ he said.”

Cowell is certainly correct: It is not an airplane nor helicopter, nor birds. He’s also right that he can’t identify it, though he’d likely have better luck if he was trained as an entomologist instead of an aviation expert.

There are many obvious holes in the spacecraft explanation, not the least of which is that it’s amazing that no one in Denver apparently noticed the extraterrestrial spacecraft launching and landing in the skies over the downtown area in the middle of the day.

The most likely explanation? A bug or insect, probably a fly or bee.

How Optical Illusions Create UFOs

Assuming that the TV station is not being pranked by the anonymous cameraman, it’s not difficult to see how the insects could fool people. It’s not necessarily that anyone is stupid or gullible; instead it’s an optical illusion created by the camera representing a three-dimensional object in two dimensions.

MORE . . .
Also See: Bugged by UFOs (iLLumiNuTTi.com)

Lady Thinks She Has A Haunted Toaster

Duck Duck Gray Duck

Originally run on the “Today” show, in May, 1984, this might be the best interview about evil ever shown on television. Hold on to your peanut butter. This lady makes a convincing case. Richard Dominick, the interviewer (and producer from Jerry Springer) made this astounding moment in TV history possible.

Need to see the full interview? Well make yourself a piece of toast and sit back my friend. You are about to witness a segment that should have won every journalism award in existence. CLICK HERE.

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Bugged by UFOs

by  via NeuroLogica Blog

UK UFO enthusiasts recently called a meeting to discuss the future of the UFO movement, specifically whether or not there is going to be one. Numbers of groups and members are plummeting as enthusiasm for talking about the latest Chinese lantern to be misidentified as a flying saucer is waning.

If history is any guide this is just a temporary generational downturn, and interest in UFOs will eventually rebound. It is possible, however, that the most recent decline is more than just the usual cycle. Perhaps the internet has changed the game, allowing for rapid turnaround of possible UFO stories. Before the ink would be dry on traditional print media, the new social media can debunk UFO stories and nip them in the bud.

Here is an excellent example: Mile High mystery: UFO sightings in sky over Denver. The beginning of the news report (it is just crappy local news, but it’s a Fox affiliate which means such stories can be picked up nationally) has all the red flags for sensational mystery mongering:

Strange objects caught on camera flying over the city and nobody can explain it.

We first learned about these sightings when a metro area man, who does not want to be identified brought us his home video. He captured the images on his digital camera from a hilltop in Federal Heights looking south toward downtown Denver.

He said, “The flying objects appear around noon or 1:00 p.m. at least a couple of times a week.” The strangest part is they are flying too fast to see with the naked eye, but when we slowed down the video, several UFOs appear.

The objects are not so strange, they actually are not appearing “over” the city, and there are probably millions of people who can explain it. The fact that the source of the video of the “UFOs” would not be identified is a problem. Finally we learn that no one actually saw the UFOs – they were only noticeable after reviewing the video, which itself is a red flag that perhaps this is a common video phenomenon, not an uncommon UFO phenomenon.

Take a look at the video and try to figure out what it is before reading further:

OK – everybody now… it’s bugs.  This bug-UFO is especially bad because on some of the shots the insect actually hovers and moves around like an obvious insect. The videographer did not notice them because they were small fast-flying insects. Or perhaps they did notice the insects, but did not connect them to the unfocused black dots buzzing about on the video. It is also possible they know exactly what they are, but is just pranking  the local news station (hence the anonymity).

One or two shots in there are probably birds. You can see an apparent wing flap. Birds and bugs are common sources of UFO artifacts in the video age. They are small objects close to the camera that will appear as out-of-focus dots and streaks that can be mistaken (by the willful or truly incurious) for objects that are large and farther away. The fact that no one saw them live and there was no radar tracking should be a clue, but for the believer can just add to the mystery.

The lameness of this video being presented in breathless terms as a compelling UFO might have something to do with the declining interest in UFOs. Anyone with a genuine interest – enough to join a UFO group and try to find real evidence that UFOs are visiting ETs, would probably get tired of all the bugs and lanterns after a while.

MORE . . .
Also See: Denver ‘UFO’ Likely Has Earthly Explanation (iLLumiNuTTi.com)

Cleverbot.com – a clever bot – speak to an AI with some Actual Intelligence?

Click The Image To Chat With CleverBot

Description (courtesy Wikipedia): Cleverbot is a web application that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to hold conversations with humans.

Since being launched on the web in 1997, the number of conversations has exceeded 65 million. Unlike other chatterbots, Cleverbot’s responses are not programmed into it, but rather selected from phrases entered by humans in previous conversations. Humans type into the box below the Cleverbot logo and the system finds all of the keywords or an exact phrase matching the input and after searching through its saved conversations of previous chats, responds to the input by finding how a human responded to that input in past conversations when posed by Cleverbot,[2][3] although the commercial version of Cleverbot has more than one thousand requests per server, the ones hosted were for 1 or 2 people per server. This allowed more speed and quality of responses hosted by the artificial intelligence system.

I can tell you from experience, chatting with CleverBot can get a bit creepy at times. Some of the responses generated by CleverBot’s computer can seem so human-like.

From the CleverBot website:

PLEASE NOTE  –  Cleverbot learns from real people  –  things it says may seem inappropriate  –  use with discretion, and at YOUR OWN RISK

PARENTAL ADVICE  –  Visitors never talk to a human, however convincing it looks  –  the AI knows many topics  –  use ONLY WITH OVERSIGHT

Try conversing with CleverBot: Cleverbot.com – a clever bot – speak to an AI with some Actual Intelligence?.

How Predictable Are You?

Follow along and have fun!:)

Via How Predictable Are You? (Better Quality Version) – YouTube.

Bohemian Rhapsody performed by one amazing person

This is amazing – the song Bohemian Rhapsody reproduced with near perfection by one, single person named Richie Castellano. That’s right, Richie Castellano sings every part, plays every instrument and even did the video editing by himself.

Enjoy:)

Split Screen Bohemian Rhapsody – Richie Castellano – YouTube.

For more info visit http://www.richiecastellano.com

10 Common Science Myths

H/T Thomas J. Proffit

10 Common Science Myths – YouTube.

‘Terminator’ arm is world’s most advanced prosthetic limb

via TheFW.com

This amazing video makes us wonder — is there some sort of psychological evaluation before somebody is given a robot-Terminator arm, or do doctors just cross their fingers and hope for the best? It seems like that could go really wrong. Fortunately, Nigel Ackland, 53, is using his bionic arm for cracking eggs and pouring beers, rather than throttling somebody until their heart beats no more. Ackland lost part of his arm in an accident, and now for the first time in six years he can dress himself, peel vegetables and shake hands with any person brave enough to stick their hand into a robot hand, thanks to sensors in the arm that are attached to two muscles. Good job, science..

'Terminator' arm is world's most advanced prosthetic limb – YouTube.

Mile High mystery: UFO sightings in sky over Denver

UPDATE 11/14/12: This UFO video has been debunked here.

by

DENVER –  It’s a mile high mystery in the skies over Denver.

Strange objects caught on camera flying over the city and nobody can explain it.

We first learned about these sightings when a metro area man, who does not want to be identified brought us his home video. He captured the images on his digital camera from a hilltop in Federal Heights looking south toward downtown Denver.

He said, “The flying objects appear around noon or 1:00 p.m. at least a couple of times a week.” The strangest part is they are flying too fast to see with the naked eye, but when we slowed down the video, several UFOs appear.

We altered the color contrast to make it easier to see. You can take a look for yourself by watching the video clip.

We wanted to verify the video we saw was legitimate and not doctored in anyway. So our photojournalist set up his camera in the same spot, and shot video from just before noon until just after 1:00 p.m. He also captured something unexplained on video.

Aviation expert Steve Cowell is a former commercial pilot, instructor and FAA accident prevention counselor.

He thought he would have a logical explanation, until he watched the video. “That is not an airplane, that is not a helicopter, those are not birds, I can’t identify it,” he said. He also told us the objects are not insects.

He said he knows of no aircraft that flies as fast. He did tell us there is one other possibility. “Perhaps there’s some sort of debris that is being raised up by some of the atmospheric winds.”

But in his professional opinion, “As it fits the definition, it’s an unidentified flying object.”

More via Mile High mystery: UFO sightings in sky over Denver | KDVR.com – Denver News, Weather & Sports from FOX 31 News in Denver, Colorado.

Is Caputo Kaputo Yet?

I have one question for this Long Island psychic: Did she predict the absolute devastation hurricane Sandy would bring to Long Island? No? Really? But, but, but … she’s psychic!!! Right?😉

– Mason

by Mark Edward via Skepticblog

Together at Last!

If you didn’t watch the Nov. 8th episode of “Inside Edition,” you missed an expose of “America’s favorite psychic” and star of the popular “Long Island Medium” television “reality” series, Theresa Caputo. A few weeks ago I was asked to take part in a “sting” on Caputo with several IE investigative reporters who had been singling out Caputo for a serious takedown for months. We worked hard to reveal her for what she is – a fast talker of the lowest order. There was no question she was doing old cold reading bits, but her other methods were less obvious to the untrained eye.  I was put on the case in New York City for four days. It was a eye-opening experience and great fun watching Caputo going through her histrionics, but I quickly learned that mediums and psychics are getting more and more slippery and hard to catch red-handed than they were only a decade ago.

Like many of the latest crop of bullshit tossers making the rounds, Theresa and her savvy crew have learned from the mistakes of others like Sally Morgan, John Edward and Jimmy VanPraagh. Instead of taking chances with too much guessing, Theresa bumps-up her percentage of hits and avoids bad misses by front-loading her stage shows with a combination of techniques; some time tested like cold reading and planting previous clients they have already read for in specific seats in the audience, (ala Rosemary Altea on the Penn & teller Bullshit!” episode I worked on) but also making use of the latest social media outlets.

In combination with selling seats through Ticketmaster and the use of credit cards, Facebook, Fousquare, Twitter and all the rest of the latest places people post private information, our own egocentric fascination with ourselves makes it easy for the techie-smart-agent or producer to make seeming miracles happen. Like the old days when the gypsy only needed to tell her sitters what they wanted to hear about themselves, we are now in an era when anyone can tell you more about yourself than you might ever want to know.

At the show we saw, at one point Theresa asked a woman, “…Why am I picking up baby clothes?” To which the woman replied, “Oh, that’s weird. I just put up a bunch of pictures of baby clothes on my Facebook page!”

Not weird at all really. With five or six  gathered bits of information like that placed beforehand on a seating chart of the show  it’s easy to be cued by her staff of roving  microphone and camera people. All seats are numbered and the sections are far enough apart so even Theresa can’t screw up: a red shirt is a fireman, down in front under the lights is the missing child, on the left is the suicide’s mother, etc.

After watching this crew with their equipment  move over to a person who was next called upon by Theresa, it became apparent that only one of two things could be happening.  The only two logical reasons for the roving crew to move  BEFORE Theresa points out the person in the audience they are standing near are:

1.  Theresa has already planned with her crew what people she is going to be talking to before the show.
2.  The crew is psychic and knows who Theresa is going to be calling on.

I leave it to the reader to decide which option is more likely.

On the heavily edited segments for Caputo’s so-called “reality” program, everyone who happens to apparently casually “bump into” Theresa on the street or in supermarkets or beauty parlors, each is a carefully choreographed set-up.  In classic mentalist style, everyone must sign a pre-show waiver or agreement to have their image used on television. It’s only a standard form to those folks. Why would they suspect anything? They should. All the staff needs is a laptop, a name, an address and a willing victim.

The slippery part is this perfect storm of information availability seems to make no sense when you watch Theresa live doing nothing but asking a non-stop machine gun scatter shot of questions, one after the other. It would be so much easier for her to just stick to a list of sure-fire pre-show information. That’s what I would do… So why doesn’t she stick to that strategy?

I’ll tell you why: She’s not a professional mentalist for one, and also because if she did use all the information available all the time, she would be far too accurate and her audience of adoring believers would begin to smell a rat.  She has to play that “odds” part down to a believable minimum. It’s the “less is more” angle mediums have been using for centuries.

It was amazing to see her act “surprised” by her hits, as if she had no idea how she did it. Maybe  a few times she was genuinely surprised

MORE . . .

An excerpt from The Jeff Probst Show. With the help of Mark Edward, Jeff Probst goes undercover as a fake psychic:

The Long Island Medium – Can She Really Communicate with the Dead?

via InsideEdition.com

She’s one of the most popular reality stars on TV today. For three seasons now, Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, has amazed viewers and brought people to tears by communicating messages from beyond.

“I have a very special gift. I talk to the dead,” Caputo says on her hit series.

[…]

So is the Long Island Medium really communicating with those who have passed on, or is she simply using trickery to fool the living? INSIDE EDITION decided to see what happens at her popular live readings across the country. What we saw was starkly different from what viewers see on her TV show.

On TV, she’s almost always dead right, but at her live shows, we watched her strike out time and again.

Caputo asked one audience member, “Is your mom also departed?” “My mom? No, she’s with us,” said the audience member.

“Is your mom departed?” she asked another fan. The woman responded, “My mom? No, she’s still with us.”

Caputo asked another audience member, “Did they pass one right after the other?” to which the audience member responded by shaking their head ‘no.’

She asked one person, “Was this on your mother’s side.” “No, my dad’s,” she replied.

“I know a trick when I see one,” said Mark Edward, after watching the L.I. Medium’s live show. Edward once made a living as a psychic, but he’s now coming forward to reveal the secrets that he says some psychics use to convince people they really do communicate with the dead.

Edward believes one technique Theresa Caputo uses is a classic trick called “cold reading.” It’s done by firing-off open-ended questions that someone in a large audience will surely relate to, like a number.

“How do you connect with the number 2? Is it the month of February? The day?” Caputo asked an audience member.

Inevitably someone raises a hand.

MORE . . .

Seeing Things? Hearing Things? Many of Us Do

By OLIVER SACKS via NYTimes.com

HALLUCINATIONS are very startling and frightening: you suddenly see, or hear or smell something — something that is not there. Your immediate, bewildered feeling is, what is going on? Where is this coming from? The hallucination is convincingly real, produced by the same neural pathways as actual perception, and yet no one else seems to see it. And then you are forced to the conclusion that something — something unprecedented — is happening in your own brain or mind. Are you going insane, getting dementia, having a stroke?

In other cultures, hallucinations have been regarded as gifts from the gods or the Muses, but in modern times they seem to carry an ominous significance in the public (and also the medical) mind, as portents of severe mental or neurological disorders. Having hallucinations is a fearful secret for many people — millions of people — never to be mentioned, hardly to be acknowledged to oneself, and yet far from uncommon. The vast majority are benign — and, indeed, in many circumstances, perfectly normal. Most of us have experienced them from time to time, during a fever or with the sensory monotony of a desert or empty road, or sometimes, seemingly, out of the blue.

Many of us, as we lie in bed with closed eyes, awaiting sleep, have so-called hypnagogic hallucinations — geometric patterns, or faces, sometimes landscapes. Such patterns or scenes may be almost too faint to notice, or they may be very elaborate, brilliantly colored and rapidly changing — people used to compare them to slide shows.

At the other end of sleep are hypnopompic hallucinations, seen with open eyes, upon first waking. These may be ordinary (an intensification of color perhaps, or someone calling your name) or terrifying (especially if combined with sleep paralysis) — a vast spider, a pterodactyl above the bed, poised to strike.

Hallucinations (of sight, sound, smell or other sensations) can be associated with migraine or seizures, with fever or delirium. In chronic disease hospitals, nursing homes, and I.C.U.’s, hallucinations are often a result of too many medications and interactions between them, compounded by illness, anxiety and unfamiliar surroundings.

But hallucinations can have a positive and comforting role, too — this is especially true with bereavement hallucinations, seeing the face or hearing the voice of one’s deceased spouse, siblings, parents or child — and may play an important part in the mourning process. Such bereavement hallucinations frequently occur in the first year or two of bereavement, when they are most “needed.”

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Amazing tunnel illusion…..

via Richard Wiseman

I love this – a great use of illusory motion…..

Does it work for you?

Helicopters of the Mysterious Kind

via Mysterious Universe

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORE . . .

Illuminati Symbolism in Music and Sport’s

Ever wonder why i named this blog iLLumiNuTTi? Well, the following story is but one example – this is some of the nuttiest crap i’ve ever read. Illuminati Symbolism? I don’t think so. This is just more iLLumi“NuTTi” nonsense. Grab the popcorn and enjoy:)

via Pakalert Press

When researching the Illuminati you are going to come across a lot if information from many conflicting beliefs and opinions. As a writer I will remain objectionable and focus on Illuminati symbolism in popular media and more precisely Illuminati symbolism in music and music videos. If you tend to be on the paranoid side you may want to remain in the dark and maybe read about sports or celebrity breakups. This subject matter is not to be taken lightly and should be pursued with caution. With this warning said it is time for you to decide.

What to Look For

Illuminati symbolism can be found in movies and music alike. While there is Illuminati symbolism in the music itself, most of the symbolism in the music industry will be found in album covers and music videos. It’s possible that the symbolism is just easier to identify in the visual art. I will focus as much as possible on both representations when possible and identify what could be interpreted as Illuminati symbolism and why.

For example, you will find a lot of “artists” blatantly hiding one eye in videos and on album covers.

MORE NUTTINESS . . .

Jet pilots fear ‘chemtrail’ attacks

via The Australian (Australia)

AIRLINE pilots fear their jumbos could be shot down by conspiracy theorists who believe they are being poisoned by commercial aircraft.

The conspiracy theorists are part of a global “chemtrail” movement that claims jets are spraying toxic chemicals over heavily-populated towns and cities around the world.

“Threats to shoot down aircraft or harming pilots are becoming more prevalent, overt and alarming,” says Mike Glynn, a current airline captain and former vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots Association.

“While most can be discounted as empty threats, there remains the possibility that some unhinged individual or group may act. It is beginning to cause consternation in pilot ranks.”

Sydneysider Robert Hoogenboom and Melbourne actor Peter Kusznir are part of the movement, although both say they advocate peaceful protestand there is no suggestion that they have made any threats or engaged in any violent conduct.

News Ltd can reveal that Mr Hoogenboom was one of a small group of activists being observed by Australian Federal Police at Sydney Airport last December as they were waiting to question pilots they believed were flying aircraft spraying toxins.

The activists say contrails (the white vapour clouds that trail from aircraft exhausts) are actually “chemtrails”, and some believe that governments and airlines are involved in conspiracies to reduce population numbers.

Hoogenboom admitted he and two others went to Sydney Airport to talk to the pilots.

“It was simply to find out if they knew the planes they were flying were spraying chemicals,” he said.

“The evidence that commercial airlines are spraying is overwhelming, you can see it on (Youtube) clip after clip. We just decided to talk to an airline pilot.

“We got to the passenger exit and knew which gate they were coming out of, so we waited. We saw the cops and I kept on saying, `We’ve got to get out of here … because they’re waiting for us’. It turned out they were waiting for us. It was a bit of a fizzer. There were about 10 cops and then a couple of them went into the exit where passengers come out, and then 15 minutes later they turned up at another entrance, so they’ve lead the crew out somewhere else. The only thing we wanted to ask was if they knew their plane was spraying.

The Australian Federal Police confirmed the protesters were being monitored at the airport. “The AFP was aware of possible protest activity at Sydney Airport involving the group Chemtrail. As a matter of caution the AFP escorted a number of airline employees through an alternate exit,” a spokesperson said. The AFP would not comment on whether it was monitoring the activists.

Captain Mike Glynn, who describes some of the conspiracy theorists as having “room temperature IQs”, has attempted without success to reason with Kusznir and many others via willing online chat discussions, by providing scientific explanations for the contrails.

MORE . . .

Debunked: ChemTrails and ChemClouds

Easter Island Heads: Walk, Don’t Run

Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars

A lot of people have probably heard of the fascinating statues of Easter Island known as moai, though more often called Eastern Island heads. These megalithic structures on the island first discovered (by westerners) by Jaob Roggeveen in 1722 on Easter Sunday (hence the name) are around 15 tons (the largest standing one is about 80 tons). Believed to have been created in what for Europe was the Late Middle Ages, these statues have brought about much speculation as to their creation, creators, and purpose. Most fantastically they are connected with, would you guess, aliens who happened to get stuck on the island and to pass the time built the moai. Besides being unlikely and without a shred of proof (von Daniken’s allegation of the lack of trees was uninformed by knowledge of prehistoric conditions of the island), we have much better ways to explain how these great structures…

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Bigfoot Sightings & Pictures: Hoaxes and Cases of Mistaken Identity

via LiveScience

Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is a giant ape-like creature that is said to roam the Pacific Northwest. There is scant physical evidence that such creatures exist, but Bigfoot buffs are convinced that they do, and that science will soon prove it.

While most sightings of Bigfoot occur in the Northwest, the creatures have been reported all over the country. There are many native myths and legends of wild men in the woods, but Bigfoot per se has been around for only about 50 years. Interest in Bigfoot grew rapidly during the second half of the 20th century, spurred by magazine articles of the time, most seminally a December 1959 “True” article describing the discovery of large, mysterious footprints the year before in Bluff Creek, California.

If you don’t believe in Bigfoot (singular or plural), you’re not alone. According to a 2007 Baylor Religion Survey, only 16 percent of Americans said that Bigfoot “absolutely” or “probably” exist, with 44 percent responding “probably not” and about 40 percent saying that they “absolutely [do] not” exist. (In contrast, over twice as many people believe in ghosts or astrology.) [Infographic: Tracking Belief in Bigfoot]

Eyewitness evidence

By far the most common evidence for Bigfoot is eyewitness reports. Unfortunately, this is also by far the weakest type of evidence. Psychologists and police know that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and that people are simply not very good at accurately describing something they saw — especially at a distance in low light and when the subject is partially hidden by trees and foliage (as most Bigfoot reports are).

A frame from the film by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin.

Anyone can be mistaken, and pilots, policemen, priests, and public officials are no exception. Most Bigfoot researchers admit that the vast majority of sightings are mistakes or hoaxes (up to 95 percent, by some estimates). Still, they insist that a Bigfoot must be hiding in that tiny portion of sightings and reports that can’t be easily explained.

Photographic evidence

The most famous image of a Bigfoot is the short film taken in 1967 by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. Shot in Bluff Creek, Calif., it shows a dark, man-sized and man-shaped figure striding through a clearing. Widely considered a hoax, it remains to this day the best evidence for Bigfoot. However this poses a serious blow to the film’s credibility: if it’s real, and these Bigfoot creatures are really out there wandering in front of people with cameras, it’s very suspicious that better films and videos haven’t emerged since Lyndon Johnson’s administration.

MORE . . .

Unidentified Flying Obscurity

by Brian Thompson via randi.org

As reported in Britain’s The Telegraph this week, a number of organizations devoted to investigating unidentified flying objects are either disbanding completely or turning their attention to other paranormal pursuits. Said Dave Wood of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena: “It is certainly a possibility that in ten years time, [UFOs] will be a dead subject.”

Once, I was a true believer that extraterrestrials were visiting our planet. Compared to, say, believing that leprechauns are hoarding their gold at the end of a rainbow, alien visitation is downright plausible. Mathematically speaking, there’s a good chance other worlds speckled throughout the universe have incubated intelligent life. Maybe some of those worlds have dodged asteroids long enough for their inhabitants to become technologically capable of traveling between the stars. Maybe that’s a Star Trek fantasy, but it’s far less fantastical than another Star Trek notion: that the primary fashion of all Milky Way species is some variation of a polyester jumpsuit.

So, why is interest in UFOs waning? According to Wood, his organization’s open UFO investigations have dropped 96% over the past 25 years. This despite the fact that millions of people walk around every day with point-and-shoot cameras built into the phones they carry in their pockets and purses. If a flying saucer from Zeta Reticuli were to zoom past the White House, it’s a good bet there would be crystal clear, 1080p video posted to YouTube within minutes. And it’s an even better bet that at least one of the comments will simply read, “Meh.”

MORE . . .

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