Monthly Archives: April, 2013

The Conspiracy Theory Flowchart “THEY” Don’t Want You To See

via crispian-jago.blogspot.com

Had enough government rhetoric? Tired of following the sheeple? Fed up with believing what THEY want you to believe? Maybe it’s time to branch out and discover THE TRUTH.

If you’re new to the exciting world of conspiracy theories and just can’t decide which paranoid delusion best suits you, then why not use this handy flowchart to find your ideal conspiracy theory. Then you too can go and stick it to THE MAN.

Alex Jones: “I’m part of a false flag operation!”

via The modest disposal

alexjones_animated_1In a surprising admission today, the controversial radio host, documentarian, and author Alex Jones suggested that all the evidence points to his direct involvement in a false flag operation directed against his own Infowars website. During his radio show, Jones said, “After having carefully sifted through the websites and Youtube videos, it’s 100% IMPOSSIBLE that anyone could write or say this ridiculous and insane bullshit while still seeking even a semblance of respectability or credibility. I’m clearly doing this to bring myself down.”

“Whoever is responsible for my words, they have a direct agenda straight from the Bilderberg group, the New World Order, and Obama and his gun-grabbing Washington cronies … to discredit me, Infowars, and all freedom-loving Americans, because who would spout this crap and think it wouldn’t make them look like a giant tool in the hands of the powers that be in their corridors of power?!”

AlexJonesMoron_200pxJones said that he began to take his suspicions of himself seriously after reading his tweet directly after the Boston Marathon bombing, in which he wrote, “Our hearts go out to those that are hurt or killed #Boston marathon – but this thing stinks to high heaven #falseflag.” Jones’ apparent dismay stems from the gross lack of even the most tenuous of half-cocked and circumstantial innuendo gleaned from biased or amateur news sources to support this wild theory.

“Someone,” said Jones, “and by someone I mean me, has got it in for me, this country, guns, and liberty, and they – or I – will do anything to make me look like more of an idiot. I clearly hate the message that Infowars is bringing to people and I won’t stop at anything to slander my good name and hasten the goose-stepping, jack-booted Obamatrons by false-flagging myself. It’s been done BEFORE!”

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I’m Taking My Vacation!!!

vacationOkay everybody, it’s that time of year for my long awaited VACATION!

I’m taking two weeks off to enjoy the conspiracy-filled world of chemtrails, false flags, secret societies, men in black and reptilian aliens!

I will do my best to make the occasional post, but just in case i’m a little less attentive than usual or a little slower with the posts, you’ll know why. I wouldn’t want you to think i was abducted by aliens or anything.😉

I’ll be back in action right about May 4th!!!!

In the mean time, feel free to use the iLLumiNuTTi facebook page as a place to post new stories and leave comments.

🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

What Happens When You Wring a Washcloth in Orbit? (Geek Alert!)

If you know me, you know i love anything space related. The question is, what happens when you wring a water drenched washcloth in orbit? Do you know? Check this out …🙂

CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield performed a simple science experiment designed by grade 10 Lockview High School students Kendra Lemke and Meredith Faulkner. The students from Fall River, Nova Scotia won a national science contest held by the Canadian Space Agency with their experiment on surface tension in space using a wet washcloth. Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA

For more info about the experiment: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/media/ne…

via Wringing out Water on the ISS – for Science! – YouTube.

Also see: What Happens When You Wring a Washcloth in Orbit?

Inside of Alex Jones’s head ‘like Hitler chatting to Yosemite Sam’

This is a slightly dated story going back to Alex Jones’ completely humiliating appearance on the Piers Morgan show. Still, i can’t help posting anything that criticizes my favorite moron with such humor. Enjoy!🙂

ALEX Jones is the result of an intense conversation between Adolf Hitler and the angry midget prospector, Yosemite Sam, psychiatrists have confirmed.

via The Daily Mash (UK)

Jones has also spent a lot of time in the New Mexico desert

Jones has also spent a lot of time in the New Mexico desert

Brain experts leapt into action after millions of people saw Jones being interviewed by Piers Morgan and immediately asked what on earth was wrong with him.

Dr Martin Bishop said: “Like Hitler, the International Jewish Banking and/or Communist Conspiracy is the foundation stone of his meandering, psychotic paranoia.

“But it is mingled with the indomitable wild west spirit of the greatest outlaw philosopher north, south, east and west of the Pecos.

“I suspect that if we peer inside Alex Jones’s head when he is being quiet we would see either Hitler writing Mein Kampf in Landsberg prison, or Yosemite Sam being lifted into the air by firing his guns directly into the ground.

“I would not be surprised if Jones is writing a 3,000-page book about rabbits.”

Jones left Morgan almost speechless with his theory on how ‘international bankers’ want to take his guns and his gold, before advising the CNN presenter to ‘say his prayers’.

Bishop added: “Like Sam, Jones will never surrender his weapons despite being blown-up repeatedly by his own dynamite.

“But most importantly he will never admit defeat to a no-good, low-down, varmint. Who is also from New York. Like Woody Allen.”

AlexJonesMoron_240px

His genius is undeniable.

Army Field Manual FM 3-39.40 proves FEMA camps are real…

… Or does it?

via Is that a FEMA Camp?

Does Army Field Manual FM 3-39.40 prove FEMA camps are real?

Does Army Field Manual FM 3-39.40 prove FEMA camps are real?

Recently I read a comment on Illuminutti.com that was posted on a reblogging of several FEMA camp sites that were debunked on this site.

The comment (you can see the comment here) was concerning a US military document and training manual called FM 3-39.40 (alternate link) also known as Internment and Resettlement Operation.

The document is believed by many conspiracy theorists to be “proof” that the United States government is going to place citizens in interment camps and that the military was being trained to operate these places.

The person whom left comment also left a Youtube video concerning this as well:

While watching the video (which is 3:37 minutes, but tries to explain a 325 page document in that time frame) I could tell that the person who made it was obviously quote mining the document and taking a lot of things out of context, with many things that were just not mentioned.

One thing that was not mentioned was the Introduction section . . .

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The Honest Liar – Homeopathy

Money for Nothing

by JREF Staff via randi.org

JREF senior fellow, magician and scientific skeptic Jamy Ian Swiss, “The Honest Liar”, presents JREF’s newest video series, aptly titled The Honest Liar. Follow Jamy as he uses critical thinking, skepticism, and a healthy dose of humor, along with his expertise in legerdemain, to explore the facts behind false claims.

In our first episode, “Money for Nothing”, Jamy punctures the pretense of homeopathy. How much is too much to pay for a remedy with nothing in it?

View on YouTube

Optical illusion for those on a diet

Richard Wiseman

This is doing the rounds at the minute, and is very well done….

choc

 

Can you figure it out?

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Where have all the UFO pictures gone?

The Philadelphia Experiment

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

Nowadays many people are familiar with the legend of the Philadelphia Experiment — but how did it all begin? Tune in to this Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know video and learn more.

New videos every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Please subscribe to Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know:
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Watch more episodes here:
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Conspiracy Palooza

matrix-red-pill-or-blue-pill_600px
Stephen Propatier4.10.2013 | by Stephen Propatier Via Skeptoid

I always find conspiracy theories to be the most interesting aspect of the information age. The thought process fascinates me. I also love to see how conspiracy thinking breeds conspiracy thinking. There was a national telephone survey questioning 1247 registered US voters on 20 of the “Most Famous” conspiracy theories  The response was, lets say, entertaining.

In no particular order.

ALIENSprotest_350px

  1.  13% President Barack Obama is the “Anti-Christ”
  2. 14% 1980′s Crack Cocaine epidemic was created by the CIA.
  3. 30% believe aliens visit us.
  4. 21% of voters say a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947 and the US government covered it up.
  5. 28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order.
  6. Voters are split 44%-45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
  7. 9% of voters think the government adds fluoride to our water supply for sinister reasons (not just dental health)
  8. 4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power.
  9. 51% of voters say a larger conspiracy was at work in the JFK assassination, just 25% say Oswald acted alone
  10.  14% of voters believe in Bigfoot.
  11. ALEXJONESFOIL_250px 15% of voters say the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals
  12. 5% believe exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons
  13.  15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry “invent” new diseases to make money.
  14.  Just 5% of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966.
  15. 6% of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive.
  16. 28% of voters believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.
  17.  7% of voters think the moon landing was faked
  18.  20% of voters believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism.
  19. 37% of voters believe global warming is a hoax.
  20.  11% of voters believe the US government allowed 9/11 to happen.

To be generous this is a small number of people and may not be representative of the US as a whole. MY TAKE ON THE FINDINGS:

  1. President Obama been pretty ineffective as the Anti-Christ, I mean a whole first term and no nuclear holocaust. I guess you also have to believe in Christ to be concerned about the anti-Christ.
  2. Crack epidemic Sure why not? I mean all government agencies love it when their funding is stolen by competing departments…DEA?
  3. Aliens? Possible but I think it is nothing more than human arrogance that makes us believe that we would be interesting to advanced cultures.

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More Than 125 Sketchy Domains Registered Within Hours Of Boston Marathon Explosions

Consumerist

Yesterday, many of us stopped giving a hoot about — at least for a few minutes — about problems with our wireless bills and cable connection to watch with concern as news reports tried to piece together exactly what happened during and after the explosions that rocked the Boston Marathon. Then there were those jerks who, as will all high-profile tragedies, sought to cash in.

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How did the psychic know that?

Actually, he didn’t.
The Great Psychic Con

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com

There’s no way he could have known my grandmother’s name?” “How do you explain his predicting the lights would go off at the shop?” “How did he know my uncle’s name?” “There’s no way he could have known my father died of a heart attack.” “How could he possibly know that my brother collects cuckoo clocks?

John_Edward_3_200px

John Edward has been described as a fraud by James Randi [Skeptic, v. 8, no. 3] and Leon Jaroff [Time, March 5, 2001].

These and millions more like them represent the kinds of statements we get from people who say they’re skeptical, but who’ve been to a psychic and have come away as believers in the paranormal. Many times I’ve been asked to try to explain the “paranormal” experiences of people who tell me they’re skeptics, but who can’t think of any other explanation for something than that it was paranormal. I call it the “Explain That!” game. I’ve posted responses to some of these requests, but I can’t say I’ve been able to persuade any of the believers to consider alternative explanations, even though they ask me to provide them with one. [Some of my explanations for various psychic readings are here, here, here, and here.]

George Anderson, a former switchboard operator.

George Anderson, a former switchboard operator, now claims he talks to the dead via his psychic switchboard.

How do psychics know so much about me? I’ve heard or read many times variants of that question asked by people who are intelligent and educated, but naive. For example, a local sports writer visited a psychic to get a story about her predictions for the local high school athletic teams. He ended up writing two stories. I didn’t read the second one, but the first revealed how amazed he was at how much she knew about him and how accurate she was. It made him think, he wrote, that maybe there’s something to this psychic business. There is, but it’s not what he thinks. In my letter to the editor of the local paper where the sports writer plies his trade I said:

Bruce Gallaudet is an experienced journalist, but he seems to know nothing about cold reading and subjective validation, the two tarot cards up the sleeve of a working psychic. He’s dazzled within 60 seconds and befuddled when she tells the old man that she’s sorry he had to cancel a trip. Did she ask about your knee injury? Or about the outdated calendar you keep at home, along with the box of newspaper clippings? Did she mention your business venture setback (but you’ll do well in new endeavors) or the health problems a loved one is having?

Stick to local sports, Bruce. You were in way over your head with Ms. Mertino, the Davis Psychic.

James Van Praagh plays a kind of twenty-questions game with his audience.

James Van Praagh plays a kind of twenty-questions game with his audience.

The fact is, psychics may know certain things about you in the same way that many people know many things about others by knowing their age, sex, occupation, education, where they live, how they dress, what kind of jewelry they’re wearing, or their religion. Does anyone have perfect knowledge of others based on what are sometimes called warm reading techniques? Of course not. We’re dealing with probabilities, not absolute certainties here, but it doesn’t matter. The psychic is not obligated to stop the reading when she makes a mistake. If she misinterprets your wearing black as a sign of grieving for someone who has died, she doesn’t have to say “oops, wrong again.” No, she just slithers on to the next question or statement, ignoring her “miss” and counting on you to ignore it as well. Eventually, she’ll hit something that resonates with you, that you can validate. The key to a psychic reading is not the psychic’s ability to tap into a world you are not directly privy to. The key to a psychic reading is your willingness to find meaning or significance in some of the statements she makes or questions she asks. If mentioning the death of a loved one evokes no response from you, the psychic will move on to another statement, another question.

“Psychic” Sally is seen removing a microphone from her right ear, and what appears to be an earpiece from her left ear.

It is also possible that the psychic you are dealing with is a very sleazy professional fraud who investigates her clients before she does the reading. Doing a hot reading, however, is not likely if you are a drop-in. Although, even drop-ins can be conned by distracting the client and looking through her purse or wallet. Some psychics who work fairs, for example, have a colleague who walks by those in line trying to pick up information about various clients who are in conversations. The colleague passes on the info to the “psychic” via a wireless device. Most people who visit psychics on a whim are probably not going to be a victim of someone using hot reading, however. Why? Because it’s really unnecessary. Cold reading works just as well. (For a special case of using hot readings by sharing information in order to con wealthy clients who go from psychic to psychic, see Lamar M. Keene. The Psychic Mafia. Prometheus, 1997).

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The True Science of Parallel Universes (Geek Alert!)

Major, major GEEK ALERT!!!!!😉

via The True Science of Parallel Universes – YouTube.

Time Travel: The Story of John Titor – Digging Deeper

Delorean Time Traveler
Time Travel: The Story of John Titor via Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know:


This is the video “Time Travel” referenced in the above video at 0:35:

Also see:

Idiot Chump Alex Jones Says Our Men In The Military Are Idiot Chumps Damned To Hell

Idiot Chump Alex Jones Says Our Men In The Military Are Idiot Chumps Damned To Hell – YouTube.

Is that a FEMA Camp? – April 7, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations. Below is some of their findings. Enjoy🙂

April 7, 2013 Edition

Department_of_Corrections_of_PennsylvaniaSchuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania

The claim: Federal prison camp, north of Reading.

What it really is: It’s a medium security prison that has a minimum security prison camp. The prison holds 1,330 inmates, with 340 in the prison camp.

New Cumberland Army Depot, Pennsylvania

The claim: on the Susquehanna River, located off Interstate 83 and Interstate 76.

What it really is: It’s an Army base that employs 3,000 civilian personnel and 100 military personnel.

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

The claim: State prison close to Army depot. Lots of room, located in Camp Hill, Pa.

What it really is: The prison that is being refereed to is called the State Correctional Institution, Camp Hill.

The prison houses 3,400 inmates. While there are many buildings there, I wouldn’t say that there is lots of room because the buildings are pretty tightly packed together. In fact there has been over capacity problems at the prison in the past, which may have been one of the factors that lead to a major riot at the prison in 1989.

Indianatown gapIndiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania

The claim: located north of Harrisburg. Used for WWII POW camp and renovated by Jimmy Carter. Was used to hold Cubans during Mariel boat lift.

What it really is: The base is a National Guard training center, and is controlled by the Pennsylvania National Guard.

It is true that the site was used as a POW camp, and was used to hold Cuban refugees after the Mariel boatlift. What is not true however is that there is a prison camp there. I’ve taken a look at the site using Google maps, and there is nothing there that looks like a prison camp.

Allenwood, Pennsylvania

The claim: Federal prison camp located south of Williamsport on the Susquehanna River. It has a current inmate population of 300, and is identified by William Pabst as having a capacity in excess of 15,000 on 400 acres.

What it really is: There’s actually three Federal prisons there, not one.

The first is a low security prison that can hold 1,450 inmates, a medium security prison that can hold 1,400 inmates, and a high security prison that can hold 1,000 inmates. That’s a total of 3,850 inmates, which is almost four times less than what is claimed the prisons can hold.

Also, William Pabst has been making claims about this sort of stuff since the 1970’s, and he has been described by some people as being unhinged, so any information from him should be considered unreliable.

camp_ripley_250pxCamp Ripley, Minnesota

The claim: new prison facility.

What it really is: It’s a training base for the Minnesota National Guard, the Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Center, and hosts the Minnesota State Patrol Academy. The site also hosts the Minnesota Military Museum and annual deer hunts.

Also, after looking at the site using Google maps, I can find nothing there that looks like a prison.

Duluth, Minnesota

The claim: Federal prison camp facility.

What it really is: Not a FEMA camp. It’s a minimum security Federal Prison camp that holds about 800 prisoners.

Click here for the latest findings at “Is that a FEMA Camp?”

With Absolutely No Evidence, Alex Jones Calls Boston Marathon Explosions a ‘False Flag’ Operation Conducted by the Gov’t

By Jason Howerton via TheBlaze.com

alex-jones_200pxAs authorities scramble to determine who is behind the horrific Boston Marathon explosions, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones already has a theory: It was a “false flag” operation conducted by the United States government.

No, he doesn’t have legitimate evidence to back up his claim, however, he points out that the Boston bomb squad was also conducting a bomb drill on Monday. It should be noted that it certainly wouldn’t be strange for the Boston bomb squad to be training with bombs on any given day. They are the bomb squad.

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Follow the latest Debunking of Boston Marathon Explosion Conspiracy Theories at the MetaBunk Discussion Forum.
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Also See:

5 Ways to Tell Science from Pseudoscience

Here are 5 quick ways to tell good science from bad science.

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Full transcript and more information.

Brewer offers $1M Bigfoot reward

via Fox News

bigfoot hideand seek_300pxSasquatch has been on the lam for far too long and brewer Olympia Beer is out to catch the elusive beast.Evan and Daren Metropoulos, owners of Pabst Brewing Company and Olympia Beer, are offering a $1 million reward for “the safe return of Bigfoot.”

“We have been sharing the same backyard for over a century and we believe it’s time to do what has never been done,” the company announced on its website. “That is to offer a one million dollar reward to anyone who can ensure the safe capture of Bigfoot.”

According to the official rules of the contest, the winner must prove “the irrefutable existence of Bigfoot at some time during the period beginning January 1, 1989 through March 31, 2014.”

And they are serious about “irrefutable” evidence.

The rules state that acceptable proof must be in the form of DNA evidence (hair, blood, tissue or saliva) that does not have the same genetic markers and DNA sequence as any known species ever discovered. The evidence may also include ‘Visual Proof’ of a live physical body.

“We have been operating in the Northwest since 1896, so we know firsthand how important Bigfoot is to the people here,” the owners told TheDrinksBusiness.com.

The contest will run for one year, finishing at the end of March 2014. The website states the $1M reward will be payable at $25,000 per year for 40 years. Happy Hunting, folks.

The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

via You Are Not So Smart

The Misconception: You take randomness into account when determining cause and effect.

The Truth: You tend to ignore random chance when the results seem meaningful or when you want a random event to have a meaningful cause.

AL_JFK_300pxAbraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were both presidents of the United States, elected 100 years apart. Both were shot and killed by assassins who were known by three names with 15 letters, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald, and neither killer would make it to trial.

Spooky, huh? It gets better.

Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln.

They were both killed on a Friday while sitting next to their wives, Lincoln in the Ford Theater, Kennedy in a Lincoln made by Ford.

Both men were succeeded by a man named Johnson – Andrew for Lincoln and Lyndon for Kennedy. Andrew was born in 1808. Lyndon in 1908.

What are the odds?

In 1898, Morgan Robertson wrote a novel titled “Futility.”

More than two miles down, the ghostly bow of the Titanic emerges from the darkness on a dive by explorer and filmmaker James Cameron in 2001.

More than two miles down, the ghostly bow of the Titanic emerges from the darkness on a dive by explorer and filmmaker James Cameron in 2001.
Source: National Geographic Magazine

Written 14 years before the Titanic sank, 11 years before construction on the vessel even began, the similarities between the book and the real event are eerie.

The novel describes a giant boat called the Titan which everyone considers unsinkable. It is the largest ever created, and inside it seems like a luxury hotel – just like the as yet unbuilt Titanic.

Titan had only 20 lifeboats, half than it needed should the great ship sink. The Titanic had 24, also half than it needed.

In the book, the Titan hits an iceberg in April 400 miles from Newfoundland. The Titanic, years later, would do the same in the same month in the same place.

The Titan sinks, and more than half of the passengers die, just as with the Titanic. The number of people on board who die in the book and the number in the future accident are nearly identical.

The similarities don’t stop there. The fictional Titan and the real Titanic both had three propellers and two masts. Both had a capacity of 3,000 people. Both hit the iceberg close to midnight.

Did Robertson have a premonition? I mean, what are the odds?

In the 1500s, Nostradamus wrote:

Bêtes farouches de faim fleuves tranner
Plus part du champ encore Hister sera,
En caige de fer le grand sera treisner,
Quand rien enfant de Germain observa.

This is often translated to:

Beasts wild with hunger will cross the rivers,
The greater part of the battle will be against Hister.
He will cause great men to be dragged in a cage of iron,
When the son of Germany obeys no law.

That’s rather creepy, considering this seems to describe a guy with a tiny mustache born about 400 years later. Here is another prophecy:

Out of the deepest part of the west of Europe,
From poor people a young child shall be born,
Who with his tongue shall seduce many people,
His fame shall increase in the Eastern Kingdom.

Wow. Hister certainly sounds like Hitler, and that second quatrain seems to drive it home. Actually, Many of Nostradamus’ predictions are about a guy from Germania who wages a great war and dies mysteriously.

What are the odds?

If any of this seems too amazing to be coincidence, too odd to be random, too similar to be chance, you are not so smart.

You see, in all three examples the barn was already peppered with holes. You just drew bullseyes around the spots where the holes clustered together.

Allow me to explain.

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Green Bank, W.V., where the electrosensitive can escape the modern world

The “electrosensitive” are moving to a cellphone-free town.
But is their disease real?

via Slate Magazine

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Click image for larger view.
The Radio Quiet Zone is a rectangle of land approximately 13,000 square miles (34,000 km2) in size that straddles the border area of Virginia and West Virginia. (Read more at Wikipedia)

You can turn your phone on in Green Bank, W.Va., but you won’t get a trace of a signal. If you hit scan on your car’s radio, it’ll cycle through the dial endlessly, never pausing on a station. This remote mountainous town is inside the U.S. National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000–square-mile area where most types of electromagnetic radiation on the radio spectrum (which includes radio and TV broadcasts, Wi-Fi networks, cell signals, Bluetooth, and the signals used by virtually every other wireless device) are banned to minimize disturbance around the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, home to the world’s largest steerable radio telescope.

For most people, this restriction is a nuisance. But a few dozen people have moved to Green Bank (population: 147) specifically because of it. They say they suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity, or EHS—a disease not recognized by the scientific community in which these frequencies can trigger acute symptoms like dizziness, nausea, rashes, irregular heartbeat, weakness, and chest pains. cell phone no_200pxDiane Schou came here with her husband in 2007 because radio-frequency exposure anywhere else she went gave her constant headaches. “Life isn’t perfect here. There’s no grocery store, no restaurants, no hospital nearby,” she told me when I visited her house last month. “But here, at least, I’m healthy. I can do things. I’m not in bed with a headache all the time.”

The idea that radio frequencies can cause harm to the human body isn’t entirely absurd. Some research has suggested that long-term exposure to power lines and cellphones is associated with an increased chance of cancer, although most evidence says otherwise. But what these people claim—that exposure to electromagnetic frequencies can immediately cause pain and ill health—is relatively novel, has little medical research to support it, and is treated with deep skepticism by the scientific mainstream.

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Can you spot the circles?

Richard Wiseman

@MattBloomFilms brought my attention to this great image.  How many circles can you see?

circles

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Jastrow Illusion in Action

By Vurdlak via Mighty Optical Illusions

VIDEO: Jastrow Illusion in ActionTake a look at this short and simple animated gif showcasing the Jastrow illusion in action! The Jastrow illusion was first discovered in 1889, by American psychologist Joseph Jastrow. In this clip, both figures are identical in size, although the lower one appears to be slightly longer. The short edge of the upper shape is compared to the long side of the lower one. If you still can’t pinpoint what causes this illusion – it’s because the lower object is placed slightly to the right. This isn’t immediately noticed, because both of their edges are skewed, and both are placed along the imaginary line, one parallel to their edges. I’m not sure I managed to explain this properly, so better take a look at this picture below and you’ll understand the cause immediately!

Jastrow_illusion_revealed

Ex-congresswoman to head panel pushing existence of space aliens

By Marisa Schultz via The Detroit News

Cheeks Kilpatrick (right)

Cheeks Kilpatrick (right)

Washington — A group hoping to prove alien contact with Earth has tapped former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick to help convince the federal government to acknowledge the existence of extraterrestrials.

The Detroit Democrat and mother to former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will help preside over 30 hours of congressional-style hearings April 29 to May 3 at Washington’s National Press Club. She did not respond to calls for comment.

Dubbed the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, the public panel pledges to expose evidence of “extraterrestrial vehicles” and a government effort to deny sightings of such craft commonly called UFOs.

Stephen Bassett, executive director of the Bethesda, Md.-based Paradigm Research Group that is hosting the hearings, said he sought former members of Congress to interview dozens of witnesses in a style that harkens back to their work peppering witnesses in congressional hearings.

“I had invitations out to about 50 former members who I thought were likely candidates to participate, and Congresswoman Kilpatrick was the first one to respond,” Bassett said.

Kilpatrick became a U.S. representative in 1997 but lost her seat to Hansen Clarke after a 2010 primary challenge.

alien 1209 reversed_200pxKilpatrick will be joined by five other former members of Congress for the hearings. Each will be paid about $20,000 and their expenses will be covered, Bassett said.

Joining Kilpatrick on the bipartisan panel are ex-Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska (Democrat and more recently Libertarian), as well as former Reps. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., and Merrill Cook, R-Utah.

The chosen panel members weren’t required to believe in aliens or a government cover-up, but pledged to keep an open mind.

“I made it clear to them that I am unlikely to be persuaded,” Utah’s Cook told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Extraterrestrial life? I can buy into that as a possibility, but to this day I have not heard or read or seen anything that makes me believe that anyone has encountered one on Earth.”

The Paradigm Research Group disagrees. “We’ve been tracking these (extraterrestrial) crafts for decades,” Bassett said. The evidence is “overwhelming — beyond any reasonable doubt there’s an extraterrestrial presence (and) almost certainly from another planet,” he said.

The five days of testimony are to be filmed and included in a documentary.

MORE . . .

Iran’s New Fake Invention: Time Machine

via Wired.com

Iran’s time machine isn’t Doc Emmett Brown’s DeLorean. It allegedly fits in a computer case, for convenience.

Iran’s technological prowess has reached an all-time high. It claims to have solved the metaphysical conundrums associated with time travel.

Ali Razeghi has not created a flux capacitor, and probably doesn’t own a DeLorean. But the managing director at the delightfully-named Centre for Strategic Inventions claims to have put together a device that fits into a “personal computer case” whose algorithms can discern key details about the next five to eight years of a user’s life based merely on a fingertip impression.

“It will not take you into the future,” Razeghi told the state-run Fars news agency, according to the Daily Telegraph, “it will bring the future to you.” With that, Razeghi becomes the most significant scientist since Albert Einstein.

Taking Razeghi at his word, today marks the day that Iran becomes a global economic and military superpower. It no longer matters how many aircraft carriers or afloat staging bases packed with laser cannons the U.S. idles near Iranian shores. The commandos who operate in secret across the Persian/Arabian Gulf are now irrelevant. Iranian air defenses will now know precisely where and when Israeli jets seeking to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities will enter their airspace.

Iran’s woes at constructing an intercontinental ballistic missile now appear trivial. Nothing matters more than accurate, predictive intelligence for discerning an adversary’s move before he makes it. An Iranian chrononautical effort gives the Islamic Republic a near omniscience: the ability to access, process and utilize data before it even enters existence. It is entirely possible that the implications of Iranian trans-chronal access are already rippling backward in time across the multiverse, transforming reality in ways that are difficult to comprehend.

There are limited countermeasures Iranian adversaries can design or field. One option would be to design son-of-Stuxnet malware to attack the device itself. But there is great likelihood Razeghi’s machine will have already warned the Iranian security apparatus of a forthcoming cyberattack. A more fruitful option might be to out-invent Iran, and create a better forecasting device than the Iranians possess. Such a move carries heavy implications for the fabric of reality, but Razeghi has already crossed a Rubicon, and U.S. policymakers must now ask themselves how long they are prepared to tolerate an Iranian monopoly on time travel.

via Wired.com.

My War on Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories

My War on Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories

Via Judy Rosen’s Pop Topics blog at NYU Silver School of Social Work

sherlock_holmes_57pxI am that annoying Facebook friend who can smell an Internet hoax a mile away. It’s a skill I had to develop as an entertainment reporter because I often ran across stories or received tips that were about as reliable as the R train on a weekend. My protocol is made up of a few simple questions:

  1. Is the headline particularly shrill?
  2. Is it just a picture with a caption and no news source?
  3. If there is a source, are they reliable? (AP: yes, Natural News: no)
  4. Are they telling me to “like” the picture or story?
  5. Are they telling me to “share this with everyone you know”?
  6. Is it being covered by any other reliable news outlet?
  7. And most reliable of all: is my gut telling me this is b.s.?
Thia photo purportedly showing

This faked image, purportedly showed hurricane Sandy hovering over New York City with the Statue of Liberty in the foreground, went viral in October 2012.

Depending on the answers to these (such as “yes” for 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7; and “no” to 3 and 6), I will pay a visit to Snopes or Hoax-Slayer. This usually settles the matter.

Internet hoaxes are often based on conspiracy theories, which I also can’t stand. They cause unnecessary anxiety ( “The entire city of Tokyo is evacuating!” “The world is going to end on October 21, 2012!”), they distract people from dealing with the real issues (“Why try to find the root cause of autism when we know it’s caused by vaccines?” “Why try to come up with effective anti-poverty policy when the shape-shifting lizard people control the Federal Reserve?”), and they can be downright deadly (“Why have the life-saving surgery when you can [insert quack “cure” here] instead?”)

Last week, Public Policy Polling released the results of their poll regarding American’s beliefs about various conspiracy theories. As usual, they asked a lot of wacky questions and some were downright vague. Heck, I’d answer yes to “Do you believe aliens exsit?” because I believe there is likely life somewhere out there in our vast universe. I don’t, however, think they’ve made it to our tiny little speck of a rock yet. But a surprising amount of people believe Obama is a Muslim, vaccines cause autism, and that global warming itself is a hoax. In an interesting twist, some of the people who say they believe Obama is the AntiChrist also voted for him. I’m hoping that means there were some survey respondents who were just goofing on the pollsters.

So why do people believe so fervently in conspiracy theories? Author and publisher of Skeptic magazine, Michael Shermer, writes in his book, “How We Believe,” that …

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VIDEO: Missing Cubes Optical Illusion

If you know me, you know i love a good optical illusion. Check this out🙂

By via Mighty Optical Illusions

missing_cubes_optical_illusion_thumbIf you haven’t had the chance to see this “Missing/Extra Cube” video that went viral recently, here’s your chance to see it now! Norberto Jansenson has re-thinked famous missing-piece illusion (original version included triangle), and then presented it in much more appealing and effective manner.

The idea behind this toy is somewhat identical to “Preposterous Puzzle” and “Confuzzle“. Norberto starts with a wooden frame filled entirely by 63 cubical pieces, where he then starts rearranging them. By the end of the video he ends up with few extra pieces on his side. Let’s see if we can solve this illusive puzzle one more time!

Telepathic Girl Baffles Researchers with Her Ability to Read Minds

I love this kind of nonsense, it’s always entertaining. If she were really psychic she would know about James Randi’s $1,000,000 paranormal challenge.

All she would need to do is “show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event” and she would take home the $1,000,000 prize!!!!!!!  Can you imagine winning $1,000,000? Wowee kazowee!!!!!

But alas, MY psychic abilities are telling me she would never take the challenge. I wonder, why?

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

via Who Forted? Magazine

Nandana Unnikrishnan doesn’t want $1,000,000!!!

Being autistic, Nandana Unnikrishnan is not like other girls her age. Despite the troubles that come with such a developmental disorder, autism sometimes lends itself to unusual and amazing talents, but never one like this: Nandana is allegedly telepathic.

According to initial testing, it appears that the young Indian girl has the ability to read her mother’s thoughts and emotions with no physical contact, able to pass ESP tests with flying colors, even going so far as to type out entire poems that have been telepathically communicated to her. The results have stunned skeptical researchers like Dr. Phillip John of the Indian Psychiatric Society, who told the Khaleej Times that he believes Nandana’s case is genuine.

“We see several autistic children with savant skills like unusual Mathematical skills, extraordinary memory about calendar days and dates. In such cases, they have access to their memory. In some people with schizophrenia, there is a symptom called “thought broadcast” wherein they believe their thoughts are known to others. psychic_fraudIt is not transmission of memory. In Nandana’s case, she has access to her mother’s memory and there is a transmission of memory, that too without a medium. This is the first time I am seeing a case like this. Here, we are talking about memory as a function which is why it is very surprising. This is a very rare phenomenon of transmission of memory without a medium.”

Nandana’s parents first became aware of her bizarre talents when they began to notice “unusual coincidences” when it came to her almost premeditated responses to her mother’s thoughts and feelings.

“I used to feel strange when she would come to me and say the name of the food I was thinking of preparing for her”, Nandana’s mother Sandhya, told reporters. “The same way, if my husband and I had decided to take her somewhere, she would know about it without being told about it and would start reacting to it.”

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Is that a FEMA Camp? – April 3, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations. Below is some of their findings. Enjoy🙂

April 3, 2013 Edition

Lansing, Michigan

The claim: FEMA detention facility.

What it really is: There are several urban renewal projects happening around the city, some of these projects may be mistaken as a FEMA camp to people who think that FEMA camps are real.

femacamp2_250pxSouthwest – possibly Berrien County, Michigan

The claim: FEMA detention center.

What it really is: This is obviously a bogus claim. Whomever made this claim can’t even give a relatively close location.

The claim is clearly made up.

Bay City, Michigan

The claim: Classic enclosure with guard towers, high fence, and close to shipping port on Saginaw Bay, which connects to Lake Huron. Could be a deportation point to overseas via St. Lawrence Seaway.

What it really is: I’ve taken a look at the city via Google Maps, and despite it’s name, there is no shipping port at Bay City, unless of course you count the public marines and a couple of privately piers. Other then that and a maybe a few industrial centers, there is nothing there that resembles the claim

escape_to_camp_fema_sticker_bumperSawyer AFB, Michigan

The claim: Upper Peninsula – south of Marquette – No data available.

What it really is: This Air Force base was closed in 1995 and in 1999 became the Sawyer International Airport.

Camp Grayling, Michigan

The claim: Michigan Nat’l Guard base has several confirmed detention camps, classic setup with high fences, razor wire, etc. Guard towers are very well-built, sturdy. Multiple compounds within larger enclosures. Facility deep within forest area.

What it really is: Using Google Maps I’ve taken a look around the area of the camp, and the only buildings that I can find that comes even relatively close to what resembles the claim are some private businesses and churches off base and some recreational areas.

conspiracy-theory-alertFt. Devens, Massachusetts

The claim: Active detention facility. More data needed.

What it really is: The base was closed in 1995, but was reopened in 2007 as an Army Reserve installation.

While there isn’t a Federal prison there, there is a Federal Medical center there that handles male inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care.

Camp Edwards / Otis AFB – Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The claim: This “inactive” base is being converted to hold many New Englander patriots. Capacity unknown.

What it really is: This base is a training center for the National Guard, and is not inactive.

Click here for the latest findings at “Is that a FEMA Camp?”

(Updated 4/18/13) Also See: FM 3-39.40 proves FEMA camps are real… Or does it? (Is that a FEMA Camp?)

Citizen Hearing on Disclosure: ET Believers To Get Congressional-Style Grilling From Former Lawmakers

By via HuffPost Weird News

aliens-ufo_300pxAre we alone in the universe? Could UFO sightings actually be extraterrestrial spacecraft?

We ask these questions every day, especially on HuffPost Weird News, but now, four former lawmakers are about to open up the discussion to a congressional-style grilling.

The former federal legislators will convene in Washington, D.C. later this month and hold a serious meeting on the subject, called the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure. They’ll hear some 30 hours of testimony from researchers, military personnel and witnesses, all claiming to have proof of alien life.

Don’t worry, taxpayers, this isn’t an official meeting at the public’s expense. But it’s meant to focus public opinion.

The man organizing this event — Stephen Bassett of the Paradigm Research Group — is essentially a lobbyist for extraterrestrial issues.

The retired representatives will be paid, but they won’t be speaking to the press. That said, having a pseudo-official congressional-style hearing about aliens is an ambitious one, and it’ll all be recorded and released as a documentary.

Some even say that the “truth” will be revealed at the hearing.

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5 Things I’ve noticed about… Psychics

LongIslandMedium_250px_200pxvia The Soap Box

Ever watched a psychic on TV, or met one in real life? Well other than meeting one in real life, I sure have, and I have noticed certain things psychics that they tend to do a lot of.

So here are five things that I’ve I’ve noticed about psychics:

5. They apparently don’t play the lottery.

Despite the claims of many psychics that they can predict the future and that they can use that power to help guide other people in a positive way, none of them apparently plays the lottery so that they can win lots of money and not have to charge people $50 so they can talk to their dead relatives for 20 minutes.

Why don’t you remember this headline?

(Author’s note: that last part is just a guess. I don’t have any clue what the average going rate for speaking to a psychic is.)

4. They make lousy detectives.

There have been hundreds, if not thousands of criminal investigations in which psychics came in and either volunteered, or were actually asked by an officer on the case to use their powers to help solve a case. Currently not a one has ever solved a case.

In fact the total success rate for psychic detectives isn’t even zero, it’s actually in the negatives because sometimes the psychic leads the investigative officers to the wrong person, and this has even lead to some innocent people being arrested.

3. They ask a lot of questions.

For people who’s powers are suppose to let them know everything, they sure do ask a lot of questions before they start to give a person answer to the question that they originally asked.
psychic-john-edward-2012-events_02
Why the heck would a psychic need to ask a bunch of questions for in the first place? In fact why would anyone need to ask a psychic a question? Shouldn’t they already know what question you want to ask them?

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The Airplane that Wasn’t There

A B-25 bomber ditched in a Pennsylvania river in broad
daylight 1956 and, seemingly impossibly, was never found.

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via Skeptoid

Podcast transcript below or Listen

This is the story of a WWII-era bomber that disappeared in broad daylight, during peacetime, with plenty of witnesses. Something like an ultimate magician’s trick. It was 1956, and a B-25 bomber was on a routine transport flight, headed from Nevada to Pennsylvania to pick up some spare parts and also deliver a couple of passengers. aircraft-3504-2336-wallpaperAs the plane neared Pittsburgh, a sudden loss of fuel was observed. The bomber ran out of gas, and with both engines out, it made a controlled belly landing in the Monongahela river. All six men aboard survived the landing, but only four were rescued. Two of the men died from exposure in the freezing January water. The real mystery is that the aircraft itself, in water that was scarcely deeper than the plane’s tail stood from the ground, completely vanished. To this day, not a single relic or piece of debris has been found, despite extensive searching by numerous groups. Did the bomber manage to almost incredibly evade detection, or was it secretly removed?

The North American B-25 Mitchell was a twin-engine medium bomber developed just before the United States entered WWII. It saw service throughout the war and normally carried a crew of six. B-25s are best known from the Doolittle Raid, in which sixteen of them were launched from an aircraft carrier for a one-way bombing raid against Tokyo, greatly exceeding the design capabilities of both the carrier and the aircraft. It was a B-25 that crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945, killing 14 people. In 1969, nearly a quarter of all flying B-25 survivors were acquired and featured in the 1970 movie Catch-22. So it’s a well-known plane with a familiar history.

This particular plane was a TB-25N, a variant designed for training navigators, of which some 47 were made. Its serial number was 44-29125. After the war it was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, from where it departed with 7 men on board on January 30, 1956.

TB-25N, circa 1956
Photo credit: USAF

One man, a Cap. Tabak, stayed behind when the crew overnighted at Selfridge AFB in Michigan. The remaining six crew left for Olmstead AFB in Pennsylvania, a flight which should have required only an hour and 40 minutes. They left at 1:43pm on Tuesday, January 31, with three hours of fuel indicated on board — plenty for this short flight. Once they got to the vicinity of Pittsburgh, they noticed a sudden decrease in the fuel readings. No problems were found, but to be on the safe side, they decided to change course for Greater Pittsburgh Airport, the nearest refueling site. And, unfortunately, their story became one that’s all too common in aviation. Weather closed in, they stayed aloft off-course longer than they should have; and once they sighted a break in the clouds, they were short on fuel and all they could see were populated areas. The fuel ran out and both engines quit and 3000 feet. Rather than crash into a populated area, they made the decision to ditch in the Monongahela river. The air temperature was below freezing; the water temperature only a fraction above.

The B-25 ditched in the river just clear of the 1936 Homestead Grays Bridge, following the current in a southwesterly direction. Reports from the crewmen and the witnesses state that the plane stayed afloat for 10-15 minutes, and during that time, drifted about one mile downstream. The current was reported as 8-10 knots, so all these numbers are roughly in the same ballpark; but it’s hard to say at exactly what time the plane disappeared from view or exactly where that was, witnesses said it was near the Jones and Laughlin steel plant. The water in the Mon river (as it’s commonly called) is kept dredged just deep enough for towboats and coal barges; if you stood a B-25 up on its end in the water, about half or even two-thirds of it would be out of the water. It seemed unthinkable that it might be able to sink and never be found; but at the time, energy was focused on rescuing the six men who were on the verge of a frozen death.

Dotson and Smith were picked up by a commercial boat. Alleman successfully swam to shore. Jamieson was rescued by a police boat. The other two men, Ingraham and Soocey, were seen swimming but didn’t make it. Both bodies were recovered, but only after their remains were discovered months later.

Underwater plane_250pxThe sunken airplane was an obvious hazard to navigation in the small river, so efforts to remove it began quite quickly, in fact the very next day. The water of the Mon was both muddy and polluted, so search efforts depended upon the dragging of anchors and grappling hooks, and hoping to latch onto something. For several days, a Coast Guard cutter, the Forsythia, marked all candidate debris with buoys. A barge commission by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Monello II, patiently scraped and search each spot. Only once did they think they had something; operators began raising what they believed to be a wing of the aircraft, but the anchor slipped off and the object, whatever it was, sank and was not found again. No photographs were taken that may have confirmed what was believed to have been found.

After two weeks of combing the river with the mind-boggling result of not finding such a large object that must be in such a small space, the search was called off. Nobody has ever since reported finding so much as a scrap of aluminum. The loss defied all logic and expectations, but facts are facts. The Air Force put the salvage rights up for auction in September. They sold for $10. The buyer, John Evans who owned a nearby seaplane base, mounted his own search, but also found nothing.

So what did become of the plane, and do we have the facilities to solve this mystery after so many decades?

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Near-Death-Experiences Incredibly Vivid

Via LiveScience

near-death-tunnel_300pxLong after a near-death experience, people recall the incident more vividly and emotionally than real and false memories, new research suggests.

“It’s really something that stays in the mind of people as a clear trace, and it’s even more clear than a real memory,” said Vanessa Charland-Verville, a neuropsychologist in the Coma Science Group at the University of Liege in Belgium. She, along with colleagues, detailed the study online March 27 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Mysterious phenomenon

Roughly 5 percent of the general population and 10 percent of cardiac-arrest victims report near-death experiences, yet no one really knows what they are, Charland-Verville told LiveScience.

Across cultures and religions, people describe similar themes: being out of body; passing through a tunnel, river or door toward warm, glowing light; seeing dead loved ones greet them; and being called back to their bodies or told it’s not time to go yet.

Some think near-death experiences show the spirit and body can be separated. Others say oxygen deprivation or a cascade of chemicals in the failing brain are to blame. Some believe near-death experiences reveal the existence of God or heaven.

But what makes finding an explanation even more complicated is that healthy people in meditative trances and those taking hallucinogens, such as ketamine, describe very similar experiences, Charland-Verville told LiveScience.

Life-changing events

Because it’s impossible to monitor these events in real time, Charland-Verville and her colleagues spoke with those who had gone through these trancelike states, sometimes years earlier.

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Also see: Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens

New film explores mysterious Puget Sound UFO sighting

Via KOMO News

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

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

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

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

It’s known as the Maury Island Incident.

1154_5_600px

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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John Titor, Time Traveler

Delorean Time Traveler

An Internet legend claims that a man named
John Titor is a visitor from the year 2036.

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via Skeptoid

Podcast transcript below or Listen here

timetraveling_300pxToday we’re going to delve into a modern Internet-borne legend: the story of time traveler John Titor, said to have come from the future, and briefly stopped by the year 2000 to make some Internet forum posts. That, my friends, is essentially the beginning and the end of the story. However, this is Skeptoid, and we can’t stop there. There’s something to learn from every urban legend. Even in cases where the legend itself has no connection to any actual events or history, the fact that it has nevertheless managed become a legend offers a lesson. Moreover, the thinner a story is, the stronger is the urge to dismiss it out of hand, which is never a responsible type of analysis. So let’s take a look at our apocryphal friend from another time, John Titor.

His first well-known appearance is believed to have been in the year 1998, when many accounts say that he sent some faxes into the paranormal radio program Coast to Coast AM, identifying himself as a time traveler from the year 2036. He warned that the Y2K computer bug (an issue in which many old computer systems only allowed two characters for the year) was going to be disastrous when clocks rolled over at midnight on December 31, 1999, causing deaths by starvation and freezing, martial law, and all kinds of problems. Next, sometime in the year 2000, he appeared as a participant in the discussions on an Internet forum called the Time Travel Institute. His handle was TimeTravel_0. He (or someone else using the same name) also posted on the forums for Coast to Coast. He told how, beginning with the US Presidential election in 2004, civil war tore the nation into five regions, culminating in World War III which would not end until 2015. His many predictions included that the Large Hadron Collider, yet to be completed at the time of his posts, would produce tiny black holes. Without exception, all of his predictions failed to come true.

time_200pxTitor was here on a military mission, he said. He’d been sent back from 2036 to 1975 to retrieve an IBM 5100 computer, one of the earliest suitcase-sized portable computers that boasted a monochrome 5-inch CRT display. He claimed there was a need to translate some legacy program code. While on his way through the decades, he decided to stop by 1998 and spend a few years hanging out. While here, he drove around in a 1967 Corvette Sting Ray convertible with the time machine built into it. It’s noteworthy that the idea of a time machine installed in a car was not a new one, having entered pop culture many years earlier in the 1985 movie Back to the Future which featured a time traveling DeLorean. It’s scarecely inconceivable that a prankster having people on with time traveling posts might well choose to insert this old device as an inside joke.

As John Titor remained active on the Internet even after his Y2K claim had been proven false, he explained it away by saying there were parallel universes, and what happens in one might not happen in another; thus events that were established history in his 2036 universe might not happen at all in the parallel times he would visit. We call this a special pleading. It is the logically invalid invocation of an untestable condition or force as support for a claim, thus making the claim immune to scrutiny.

timetravel_300pxSo the skeptical mind might well slap a palm to the forehead and wonder why the John Titor story has become well known. Anyone can go onto virtually any Internet forum and say anything they like. There is no editorial review. You can say you’re Mickey Mouse, you can say you’re the reincarnation of Napoleon, you can say you’re from the future. People also impersonate one another all the time; it’s likely that more than one person who read John Titor posts decided to make their own. Any given random Internet post, that is not connected to an established body of posts from the secured account of a known individual, has no meaningful provenance. Similarly, there’s no serious reason to suspect that anonymous faxes or phone calls into radio shows are not crank calls; it happens many times every day.

John Titor differed from purely unverifiable posts in that he made testable claims: future predictions. The predictions for whose time has come and gone have all been proven false, many of them absurdly so; and so his posts were indeed consistent with what we’d expect from random prank posts.

Why did the John Titor story grow legs? Why does it still exist?

One reason is that . . .

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12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run Our Country

By Philip Bump via The Atlantic Wire

Icke - Remember what you are_250pxAbout 90 million Americans believe aliens exist. Some 66 million of us think aliens landed at Roswell in 1948. These are the things you learn when there’s a lull in political news and pollsters get to ask whatever questions they want.

Public Policy Polling has raised weird polls to an art form. During last year’s presidential campaign, the firm earned a bit of a reputation for its unorthodox questions; for example, “If God exists, do you approve of its handling of natural disasters?”

Today PPP released the results of a national survey looking at common conspiracy theories. Broken down by topic and cross-referenced by political preference, the results will not inspire a lot of patriotism. If you need to defend your fellow countrymen, be sure to note that the margin of error is 2.8 percent.

We took the findings and arranged them from most- to least-believed. And, just to inspire additional shame, figured out how many actual Americans that meant must believe in things like the danger of fluoride in water. (28 million, if you’re wondering.)

View the full question asked for each conspiracy.

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Strange Sleep Disorder Makes People See ‘Demons’

Via Yahoo! News

sleep paralysis 908 cropped_300pxWhen filmmaker Carla MacKinnon started waking up several times a week unable to move, with the sense that a disturbing presence was in the room with her, she didn’t call up her local ghost hunter. She got researching.

Now, that research is becoming a short film and multiplatform art project exploring the strange and spooky phenomenon of sleep paralysis. The film, supported by the Wellcome Trust and set to screen at the Royal College of Arts in London, will debut in May.

Sleep paralysis happens when people become conscious while their muscles remain in the ultra-relaxed state that prevents them from acting out their dreams. The experience can be quite terrifying, with many people hallucinating a malevolent presence nearby, or even an attacker suffocating them. Surveys put the number of sleep paralysis sufferers between about 5 percent and 60 percent of the population.

“I was getting quite a lot of sleep paralysis over the summer, quite frequently, and I became quite interested in what was happening, what medically or scientifically, it was all about,” MacKinnon said.

Her questions led her to talk with psychologists and scientists, as well as to people who experience the phenomenon. Myths and legends about sleep paralysis persist all over the globe, from the incubus and succubus (male and female demons, respectively) of European tales to a pink dolphin-turned-nighttime seducer in Brazil. Some of the stories MacKinnon uncovered reveal why these myths are so chilling.

Sleep stories

sleep paralysis 903 flipped_250pxOne man told her about his frequent sleep paralysis episodes, during which he’d experience extremely realistic hallucinations of a young child, skipping around the bed and singing nursery rhymes. Sometimes, the child would sit on his pillow and talk to him. One night, the tot asked the man a personal question. When he refused to answer, the child transformed into a “horrendous demon,” MacKinnon said.

For another man, who had the sleep disorder narcolepsy (which can make sleep paralysis more common), his dream world clashed with the real world in a horrifying way. His sleep paralysis episodes typically included hallucinations that someone else was in his house or his room — he’d hear voices or banging around. One night, he awoke in a paralyzed state and saw a figure in his room as usual.

“He suddenly realizes something is different,” MacKinnon said. “He suddenly realizes that he is in sleep paralysis, and his eyes are open, but the person who is in the room is in his room in real life.”

The figure was no dream demon, but an actual burglar.

MORE . . .

Also see:

Consumers Overestimate Benefits of Organic Foods

via LiveScience

organic certified_02_300pxConsumers see a lot of value in organic foods and new research has found that those shoppers are willing to pay a great deal more for that value.

Overall, researchers found that people were willing to pay up to 23.4 percent more for organic foods than they were for the same products not labeled organic. Consumers are willing to pay more for organic foods because of the so-called “health-halo effect,” researchers say.

That effect, where consumers overvalue the benefits of organic foods, was shown in research by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab researchers Wan-chen Jenny Lee, Mitsuru Shimizu, Kevin Kniffin and Brian Wansink. In that research, 115 people were recruited from a shopping mall in Ithaca, N.Y.

Each of those shoppers was then asked to evaluate three pairs of products. The catch was that one of those products was labeled organic while the other was not. However, both pairs of yogurt, cookies and potato chips used in the study were identical.  Consumers were not able to make the distinction between the products and rated organically labeled food lower in fat, more nutritious, more appetizing and more flavorful. The only difference came when consumers rated cookies not labeled organic as tasting better.

Those attitudes go a long way in explaining why consumers are willing to pay more for organic products than others, researchers say.
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Penn and Teller give their opinion of Organic Foods.
CAUTION: ADULT LANGUAGE!

Via Penn & Teller: Bullshit! – Organic Food – YouTube.

Where’s the Beef? Thoughts on the Lack of Paranormal Evidence

evidence_600px

By Todd Misura via Who Forted? Magazine

When skeptics and believers alike look for evidence in the paranormal fields of inquiry the overwhelming question regards evidence. Where is it? What is it? What should be counted as evidence?

We have video, picture, and eyewitness testimonials, and even physical evidence in some cases, but it never seems to hold up. Why is that? It’s possible that the reason we don’t have evidence that even believers can stand behind a hundred percent is tri-fold. I’m going to break down several topics of interest, and give my thoughts on why we might not have any usable evidence. Well, public evidence at least.

Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Other Hairy Dudes

bigfootronaldsmWhen Sasquatch researchers go searching for clues or evidence, one of the biggest finds happens to be the reason for the creature’s nickname: footprints in soft dirt, sand along creek or riverbeds, and other soft marshlands. We seem to have many footprints, but not any real fur, bone, scat, or even a body. When it comes to Sasquatch sighting and there is visual evidence of video or pictures, it seems to be very blurry or out of focus.  When we do have fur or hair to be analyzed it comes back inconclusive at best, American Black Bear at worst.

So, what gives? Why is solid evidence of Bigfoot so hard to find? Here’s a few thoughts:

Sasquatch is metaphysical in nature

Perhaps Sasquatch is a physical creature only part of the time, almost as if he is half here, and half in another dimension. There are strange stories of Sasquatches and other creatures being picked up or dropped off in UFOs, arriving or leaving in green mists, and other just plain bizarre acts of arrival or disappearance. This is a strange enough idea, but if Sasquatch were metaphysical they could only leave partial evidence behind, like, say.. footprints.

Sasquatch is entirely supernatural, a woodland spirit

When one is sighted by human eyes, they’re as real as anything else, just ask a witness. But once photographed or recorded on video, the recordings lose definition or clarity, particularly while the subject is on camera. Of course, there are hoaxes out there, and we can and do get duped every now and then by those that are particularly well-done, but what of the unsolved evidence that really stands out?

The Sasquatch or Yeti tend to be the focal point of the shot,  they’re blurry yet usually identifiable, though other pictures taken with the camera or even in the same shot, things are in focus and clear. If these creatures are either metaphysical or entirely supernatural, I would hazard a guess that they might have the ability to, well.. “blur” reality. Or perhaps have the ability to “jam” electronics if they want to be photographed. Hell, maybe it’s a passive thing.

If we can believe that something is a form of supernatural or metaphysical creature or entity, we can also believe they will be able to warp or effect reality if strong enough. If Sasquatch is a personification of the earth or woodlands, technology isn’t exactly its best friend…

Unidentified Flying Objects

Seth Shostak: The UFO BestiaryThe field of ufology makes me the most curious as to the things that are really going on, specifically why we don’t have particularly good evidence. This is especially perplexing considering the high speed cameras and advanced technology widely available to observe and record strange things everywhere.

One reason for lack of concrete evidence is actually quite simple:  they don’t land on the ground and are just really good at avoiding being shot down or captured.

Aside from the theory of being fantastic escape artists,  there could be several other reasons why we lack good evidence of extraterrestrial craft.

It’s an entirely natural phenomena on Earth

It’s possible that the UFOs we see in photographs and video clips are just a natural occurrence that we don’t quite understand. The spheres, lights, and even tube-like objects reported could be a form of plasma, a biological response to certain geological conditions, or even simply a kind of weather related phenomena.

The uniform shape, colors and speeds of similarly shaped objects can’t be denied, though. When someone actually manages to snap a photo, or are lucky enough to capture a video, they seem to blend into the skies they occupy, and video footage is usually too shaky to examine properly. Those particular objects might lend themselves to military craft. Good luck getting information about that.

They are multi-dimensional, or have a “bubble” around them.

We’ve seen UFOs capable of some astounding feats, many of which are completely un-repeatable by modern technology if piloted. The 90 degree turns and sudden bursts of speed exhibited by these objects tend to make me think that they are either not fully here, or have shields of some sort. The occupants of most space vehicles will tell speak of the toll it takes upon the body for exiting and re-entering our atmosphere. It’s certainly not the thickest around, but the g-force exerted during some of these maneuvers would crush a man. So, to have a machine perform these maneuvers with occupants is unheard of unless they have anti gravity tech that compensates.

Extraterrestrials, Ghosts, and Other Creatures

This is a catch all for the entities that are extremely random or unclassifiable that happen to turn up in blurry photos from time to time. We have the extraterrestrial peeping toms, the cave goblins, the duende, or the ghost haunting an old prison. Again, with these creatures, no real evidence seems to exist.

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Is that a FEMA Camp? – March 23, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations. Below is some of their findings. Enjoy🙂

March 23, 2013 Edition

Camp+Fema+Roadkill_300pxSheppard AFB, Texas

The claim: in Wichita Falls just south of Ft. Sill, OK. FEMA designated detention facility.

What it really is: It is an Air Force training base, with one of it’s runways being shared with the Wichita Falls Municipal Airport under a joint civil-military arrangement.

I’ve also taken a look at it via Google maps, and nothing there looks like a prison camp.

Amarillo, Texas

The claim: FEMA designated detention facility

What it really is: Amarillo is a fairly decent sized city in Texas (over 190,000) and grew in population by nearly 10% between 2000 and 2010, so the city probably has had several building projects happening (most likely for housing).

Considering that it is a large, populated area, it seems highly unlikely that a FEMA detention facility could be hidden here without someone. Taking this into consideration, and the fact that there is a lack of information about this claim, it has lead me to believe that this claim is bogus.

Reese AFB (Lubbock), Texas

The claim: FEMA designated detention facility.

What it really is: The base was closed in 1997, and is now a research and business park named Reese Technology Center, and the runways are used by model airplane pilots.

dees-fema-camp-billboard2_300pxMexia, Texas

The claim: East of Waco 33mi.; WWII German facility may be renovated.

What it really is: There was a World War Two POW camp there, but it was convert in 1947 for use as the Mexia State School.

Ft. Bliss (El Paso), Texas

The claim: Extensive renovation of buildings and from what patriots have been able to see, many of these buildings that are being renovated are being surrounded by razor wire.

What it really is: Fort Bliss has been a army base since before the Civil War, so it’s not surprising that some of the buildings would occasionally need to be renovated, even including extensive renovations, in order to remain operational. If the building are being surrounded by razor wire it’s probably because they need to keep people out so that the renovations can be completed.

North Dallas, Texas

The claim: near Carrolton – water treatment plant, close to interstate and railroad.

What it really is: It’s a water treatment plant… and that’s all it is. Most cites have water treatment plants. Being near an interstate and a railroad means nothing.

Eden, Texas

The claim: 1500 bed privately run federal center. Currently holds illegal aliens.

What it really is: While everything is factually true (and it probably does hold illegal aliens there that have committed crimes), what is not mentioned is that the prison is a low-security prison.

escape_to_camp_fema_sticker_bumperBastrop, Texas

The claim: Prison and military vehicle motor pool.

What it really is: My question about this is where exactly is this alleged motor pool at? There is not exactly a lot of detail here.

When I did a Google image search for “bastrop texas military” I saw that a lot of photos were of nearby forest fires, so it’s possible these vehicles (if they did exist) were used to transport in solders and even prisoners to fight forest fires.

Austin, Texas

The claim: Robert Mueller Municipal airport has detenion areas inside hangars.

What it really is: A bogus claim.

If this was true then there would simply be no way to hide it.

There are probably caged areas inside of the hangers there, but that is probably to keep people out, not in.

Click here for the latest findings at “Is that a FEMA Camp?”

2013 Pigasus Awards Announcement (James Randi)

Since 1997, the JREF’s annual Pigasus Awards have been bestowed on the most deserving charlatans, swindlers, psychics, pseudo-scientists, and faith healers—and on their credulous enablers, too. The awards are named for both the mythical flying horse Pegasus of Greek mythology and the highly improbable flying pig of popular cliche. These are the awards for 2012. Find out more about this year’s winners here: http://ow.ly/jDZwg

via 2013 Pigasus Awards Announcement – YouTube.

Electro-sensitives

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Skepdic.com

electromagnetic-radiation 1005Electro-sensitives are people who suffer from various physical and psychological ailments that they say are caused by electro-magnetic radiation (EMR) from ordinary household appliances, radios, televisions, cell phones, Wi-Fi, computer monitors, overhead power lines, and many other sources. The term is self-descriptive and not a medical term.

Double-blind, controlled studies have repeatedly shown that electro-sensitives can’t tell the difference between genuine and sham electro-magnetic fields (EMFs).1, 2 For example, a research team in Norway (2007) conducted tests using sixty-five pairs of sham and mobile phone radio frequency (RF) exposures. “The increase in pain or discomfort in RF sessions was 10.1 and in sham sessions 12.6 (P = 0.30). Changes in heart rate or blood pressure were not related to the type of exposure (P: 0.30–0.88). The study gave no evidence that RF fields from mobile phones cause head pain or discomfort or influence physiological variables. The most likely reason for the symptoms is a nocebo effect.”

A systematic review of 31 experiments testing 725 “electromagnetically hypersensitive” participants concluded:

The symptoms described by “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to EMF can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is unrelated to the presence of EMF, although more research into this phenomenon is required.

cell phone no_200pxTwenty-four of these studies found no evidence supporting biophysical hypersensitivity. Seven reported some supporting evidence. “For 2 of these 7, the same research groups subsequently tried and failed to replicate their findings. In 3 more, the positive results appear to be statistical artefacts. The final 2 studies gave mutually incompatible results….metaanalyses found no evidence of an improved ability to detect EMF in ‘hypersensitive’ participants.1

Some electro-sensitives believe their cancer was caused by EMR. It is very unlikely that the kinds of things that electro-sensitives fear actually cause cancer. All electromagnetic radiation comes from photons. The energy of a photon depends on its frequency. “Roughly one million photons in a power line together have the same energy as a single photon in a microwave oven, and a thousand microwave photons have the energy equal to one photon of visible light” (Lakshmikumar 2009). Ionizing radiation is known to cause health effects; “it can break the electron bonds that hold molecules like DNA together” (Trottier 2009). “The photon energy of a cell phone EMF is more than 10 million times weaker than the lowest energy ionizing radiation” (Trottier 2009). Thus, the likelihood that our cell phones, microwave ovens, computers, and other electronic devices are carcinogenic is miniscule.

Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence against the view that our electronic gadgets are causing our headaches, nausea, Alzheimer’s, or stress, there are organized movements in several countries to enlighten the world about the dangers of EMR.

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Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: Natural Disasters are False Flag Attacks

via The Soap Box

NaturalDisaster False FlagNatural disasters can occur anywhere on the planet. Sometimes they’re small scale with no lose of life and relativity little damage. Sometimes they’re huge and kills thousands of people, and even wipe out entire cities an regions.

Most people accept the fact that natural disasters are random, mostly unpredictable, uncontrollable, that there is nothing we can do about them, and that it has been that way since before humans even existed.

But, there are some people out there who do not believe that many of the recent natural disasters over the last few years are actually “natural” in nature, and that many of these natural disasters are actually man-made.

As crazy as it sounds, a lot of people believe that many of our recent natural disaster are actually man-made, false flag attacks (I’m not sure why they would be called that, but for some reason they are) and that the government can control the weather, and even create earthquakes.

The main focus of conspiracy theorists who seriously believe this is that they mostly believe that the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is the cause many of these large natural disasters… at least since 1993 when the facility was built.

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Ghost Caught on Video

I am not a believer, but this video has me intrigued. Listen carefully for the light tapping sound right after the cat walks across the open doorway.

What do you think this is? Leave your answer in the comments section.🙂

Ghost Caught on Video – YouTube

P.S. What is the date of this post?

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