Category Archives: Story Telling

10 Unexplained Paranormal Events

By Alltime10s via YouTube

From the mysterious death of Elisa Lam, who’s body was found in a hotel water cooler, to the real life events that inspired The Exorcist, check out our terrifying list of the top 10 unexplained paranormal events.

Happy New Year! (Alex Jones Style)

Party Like It’s A Nuclear War !!!

By Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)
(Originally posted December 31, 2013.)

Who is old enough to remember Y2K? I remember it well (translation: i’m old).

y2k1Y2K is an acronym for “Year 2000,” or, as it was also known – “The Year 2000 problem, the Y2K problem, the Millennium bug, the Y2K bug, or simply Y2K.” (source) It was the moment when the clocks struck 12:00 AM on Janury 1, 2000 and how it might affect every aspect of our lives. Why?

The year 2000 was a problem for many computers because many computer programs stored years using only the last two digits of the year; for example, 1980 was stored as “80”, the year 1999 was stored as “99” and the year 2000 would be stored as “00”.

Do you see the problem? Not only did such systems view the year 2000 as “00”, but they also viewed the year 1900 as “00”. Imagine what would happen to half your programs if your computer suddenly thought the current year (2013) was actually the year 1913. Your calendar program, your watch, your smart phone and many other programs we rely on would suddenly be all wacked out. Imagine what would happen to the banking system if this glitch occurred. Would you be able to access your money? Would all your checks suddenly bounce? (On the other hand, maybe the banks would suddenly give us 100 years of accrued interest. But i digress …)

Now imagine if such a glitch were to occur in bigger systems like nuclear electric plants and nuclear weapons? What might go wrong? This is what had a lot of people in a near state of panic.

Would telephone systems shutdown? Would the electric grid turn off across the country – plunging all of us into darkness for an indeterminant amount of time? Would trains run on schedule? Would the air traffic control system lose control? Would our nuclear arsenal behave in some unpredicted manner and cause WWIII? Would the nuclear arsenal in some other country malfunction and bomb us?

It seemed nobody knew for sure what would – or would not – happen. People were concerned and scared.

Enter my favorite moron – Alex Jones.

AlexJonesLunaticOn New Year’s Eve 1999, the night the clocks were due to change over to the year 2000, The Alex Jones show engaged in some of the most negligent, egregious and irresponsible scare mongering ever. I don’t know of a worse case than this.

In the 3 hours Jones was on the air, he made every conceivable claim of catastrophe imaginable. He took everything people were fearing about Y2K and he claimed those fears were materializing. Everything from cash machines failing, nuclear power plants shutting down, concentration camps (with shackles) being readied, empty grocery store shelves, gas stations out of gas, Martial Law declared, the military serving search warrants in 77 Texas counties – to an actual nuclear missile attack!!!!!!!!

And did any of this actually occur? No. None of it. People were so frightened they reportedly headed for the hills (literally) and got physically sick.

alex-jones_200pxWhat you are about to hear is approximately 30 minutes of the Alex Jones Show audio from that night. This audio from the Alex Jones Show was part of a radio show broadcast by William (Bill) Cooper on approximately January 4, 2000. Bill Cooper himself was a conspiracy theorist, but even he was disgusted by the antics of Alex Jones and he called him out.

Bill Cooper’s original broadcast was 3 hours long. In the Alex Jones recording i present below, except for the opening 30 seconds, i have edited out all of Bill Cooper’s narratives so you can hear Alex Jones uninterrupted in all his despicable glory.

As i was going through the audio, i noticed breaks in the Alex Jones audio that i assume were done by Bill Cooper’s editing team in preparation for broadcast. Where ever i believed there was an edit i added a half-second “beep” sound. This is to help avoid confusion as the conversation would sometimes abruptly change topics. So listen for the beeps (you can’t miss them).

Below the audio you will find a complete transcript of notes i made of what to expect in the audio. This will help you follow along. Where ever you see the word “Regurgitation,” that is my own shorthand to indicate it is a previously mentioned point being repeated by Jones – a tactic he uses to give the impression he has a pile of information. Any words [inside brackets] are commentaries i made for myself.

Believe me, this is an audio clip Alex Jones wishes would go away.

Enjoy!

🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg.

P.S. If anybody knows where i can find a copy of the full 3 hour Alex Jones Show from 12/31/1999 please let me know.

P.P.S. I apologize in advance for any spelling errors.


Alex Jones Y2K (30 minutes):

Transcript/Notes:

  • 0:00 Bill Cooper sets up the scene.
  • 0:27 Cash machines are failing in Britain and other European countries
  • 0:32 Finding large amounts of explosives in France
  • 1:03 More wars then in the last 50 years is going on right now
  • Russian Hinds Helicopter

    Russian Hinds Helicopter

    1:07 The war in chechnya is raging with hundreds of thousands dying

  • 1:13 20,000 to 40,000 civilians trapped in the city [presumably chechnya]
  • 1:16 Russian Hinds (Helicopter) are being shot down, tanks are being blown to bits
  • 1:20 Massive Grad unguided rocket attacks are being launched from the city
  • 1:26 Air and artillery bombardments [presumably chechnya]
  • 1:39 Pennsylvania nuclear plant (Limerick Generating Station) has been shut down [implied because of Y2K-related problems. Not true. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) findings are contained in the image, below]
  • 1:49 The shelves (In TX) are empty of water and gas stations are running out of fuel
  • 1:50 In Minneapolis and Texas the shortwave (radio) is down
  • 2:50 The Pennsylvania nuclear plant and (now) 4 other nuclear plants were having Y2K-related problems [See 3:04 mark]
  • 3:12 The government in Washington D.C. has set up a $50M command bunker that is hooked into FEMA and they can take over all the shortwave (radio), AM/FM radio stations and all television and other broadcast stations
  • 3:34 The police and military [presumably nationwide] are on high alert
  • 3:41 The military are highly visible [presumably in the streets]
  • 3:45 Trains of military equipment moving into Austin, TX
  • 3:53 The airport (Robert Mueller Airport) will be used as a massive holding facility [ala concentration camps]
  • 4:03 Vladimir Putin is a demon
  • A Topol-M mobile launcher.

    A Topol-M mobile launcher.

    4:12 Now 6 to 7 (nuclear) reactors having Y2K related problems [Not true]

  • 4:50 Globalist Forces are gearing up to clamp down on America, Russia and the world
  • 5:08 America is gearing up and bracing for terrorism and militarizing everything in front of us.
  • 5:19 The Russians have deployed Topol-M “first strike” missiles across Russia while (Boris) Yeltsin (Russian President) has been openly threatening to nuke us [See the 5:44 mark].
  • 6:00 They (Russia) have deployed their missiles and submarines against us (America).
  • 6:09 Vladimir Putin, who just took over as Russian President, has “taken the codes off” Russia’s nuclear arsenal. (The Russian nuclear arsenal no longer requires a secret code to initiate a nuclear missile attack on America.)
  • 6:25 Discussing America being hit with a nuclear first-strike and the ensuing annihilation.
  • 7:27 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania Electric Company (PECO), Limerick Generating Station (here and here) was shutdown [presumably because of Y2K-related problems. Not true. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) findings are contained in the image, below].
  • 7:38 Doesn’t challenge a caller paraphrasing (Colonel) Bo Gritz who said, that Russia said, if their (Russia) power goes out they will blame us and they (Russia) would set off their nuclear arsenal.
  • 8:01 The Russians are threatening to nuke us every, single week.
  • out of gas_250px8:25 Currencies around the world are plunging
  • 8:39 Gas stations in America are out of gas
  • 8:58 American’s are standing up as Russia threatens to attack us with nuclear weapons
  • 9:02 Nuclear power plants are being shutdown
  • 9:07 The military is “running around” with the police and the FBI saying terrorism is imminent [the takeover is beginning]
  • 9:25 “They” have activated a powerful, cold war, radar system in the north pole region [presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack] that is affecting shortwave (radio)
  • 9:46 Military traffic is EVERYWHERE
  • 9:52 Regurgitation: Super power, cold war radar systems (presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack) and nuclear systems are up.
  • 10:07 Fresno (California?) is blacked out, he (Jones) is off the internet
  • 10:25 [Scare tactic, Survivalist Commercial]
  • 11:03 “America is under siege right now.”
  • 11:14 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 11:33 Egypt is having a run on the banks
  • 11:45 Regurgitation: The power in Fresno (California?) is down, he is off the internet
  • 11:50 Regurgitation: Cash machines and ATMs in Europe are having problems
  • 12:03 Martial Law signs are posted on highway 65 in Arkansas by the Arkansas Transportation Department
  • 12:52 Regurgitation: In Austin, TX they have announced it is a concentration camp at Robert Mueller Airport

    APC_250px

    Armored Personnel Carrier

  • 13:09 At Fort Hood giant, long lines of trains with flat cars loaded with APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) and LAVs (Light Armored Vehicles)
  • 13:33 They (Fort Hood) have flat bed trailers, large cattle trailer-types (think concentration camps)
  • 14:17 A power plant in michigan is prepared to shutdown when “given the order.”
  • 15:01 If you don’t have a supply of potassium iodide, now is the time to get your supply of potassium iodide in case of a russian nuclear attack.
  • 15:18 Regurgitation: The Russians have been publicly threatening to nuke us and they’ve been deploying their missiles against us.
  • 15:33 We will not survive a nuclear first strike
  • 15:58 Regurgitation: Austin (TX) is out of water and gas
  • 16:03 Regurgitation: The city of Fresno (California?) is blacked out
  • 16:18 Russia and China are now threatening to nuke us
  • 16:42 Discussing how the Russians have been building the biggest bunker ever known to man
  • 17:16 Our (America’s) designated nuclear fallout shelters are parking garages so “they” can move in later to pull out all the rotten skeletons after “they” emerge from “their” shelters.
  • 17:57 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 18:12 Regurgitation: Nuclear power plant problems in PA (Pennsylvania), shutdowns (?), power outages in Fresno (California?)
  • 18:40 Regurgitation: Russia and China have been threatening to nuke us.
  • 18:58 Regurgitation: The Russians deployed their Topol-M “first strike” missiles 2.5 weeks ago.
  • 19:09 The head of the Russian missiles systems, a top general, has been threatening to nuke us and he reserves first strike authority to attack us – even though they have no reason to attack us.
  • 19:25 A power plant has been blown up in Oregon [Not true]
  • 19:36 “Clinton has pulled it.” (????)
  • x

    Robert Mueller Airport
    (concentration camp)

    20:26 Massive Y2K problems being reported across the globe.

  • 20:55 Regurgitation: In Austin, TX Robert Mueller Airport, the local news was showing off the “detainment facilities.” [i.e. concentration camps]
  • 21:15 The local news showed the barbed wired fences inside the Robert Mueller Airport facility.
  • 21:18 There are “shackles on the ground, concreted into the ground” at Robert Mueller Airport – like a slave galley.
  • 21:42 New Zealand is having power outages
  • 21:57 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 22:33 Regurgitation: Vladimir Putin threatens to nuke us
  • 22:50 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 22:55 The power is off in 8 different areas across the country
  • 22:58 A lot of cable systems aren’t working
  • 23:01 Satellites are down
  • 23:09 “Minor fault (???) struck two nuclear power plants in Japan just seconds after the clock ticked into 2000 …”
  • 23:25 Anybody near a nuclear power plant should pack up and go someplace else.
  • 23:37 The store shelves are bare in Austin, TX.
  • 23:43 Regurgitation: Gas is running out.
  • 23:44 They’re announcing on the news that, “if you’re bad they’re going to put you in a … they’re going to bolt you to a pipe coming out of the ground at the airport (Robert Mueller Airport) in some cold hangar.”
  • 24:04 “The military is serving search warrants now in 77 Texas counties.”
  • 24:08 Regurgitation: “We got nuclear power plants shutting down.”
  • 24:20 Regurgitation: The Russians are threatening to nuke us RIGHT NOW.
  • 24:40 Regurgitation: “Well, they got the Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and LAVs (Light Armored Vehicles) loading on the flat cars out of Fort Hood.”
  • the end is near_300px25:06 There are currently nuclear missiles being launched.
  • 25:15 ABC (news) just had a special news bulletin – a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 25:44 The general refused to say what kind of missiles, where they were coming from or where they were going.
  • 25:58 This secrecy is just like when the special operations training that was conducted with the Russians in south TX when they burned buildings and laying siege to towns [never happend]
  • 26:44 Jones’ co-host: “You elect me to president and i will nuke them (Russians) first, i’ll push the button as soon as i take the oath … i’m opening up that football and start launching, man.”
  • 26:55 Regurgitation: The Russians have been threatening to nuke us, they reserve the first strike right to hit us for no reason and Clinton said he will absorb the first strike by the Russians.
  • 27:06 Jones’ co-host: Hopes one of those 5 incoming nuclear missiles is headed towards Clinton.
  • 27:12 Regurgitation: a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 27:39 Jones complains that the television network went to a commercial break after announcing 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 27:53 A NORAD commander was on the news. “Space Command” (Air Force Space Command) is now running everything.
  • 28:20 The perceived enemy is “obviously” the American people.
  • 28:36 Regurgitation: It’s on ABC news that 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • boom28:57 The night before (12/30/99), anything and everything on the flight line at Selfridge Air National Guard Base was put into the air and was constantly in the air. [i.e. The U.S. is preparing for a nuclear attack]
  • 29:11 Regurgitation: Super power, cold war radar systems [presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack] are turned on.
  • 29:21 The Russians are not the only ones we need to be concerned about … we should worry about the Chinese too.
  • 20:24 We also need to be worried about Germany.
  • 29:58 Regurgitation: It’s on ABC news that 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 30:03 Regurgitation: a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 30:25 Jones complains, “we’re calmly sitting here knowing nuclear missiles could be about to rain down!”
  • 30:42 Discussing “Who launched?” Was it the U.S., a ballistics submarine? . . .
  • 30:54 Jones’ co-host: “No offense, but I hope it was us who launched.”
  • 31:19 Vladimir Putin is the Fuhrer.
Click image for larger view

The February 7, 2000 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) report shows the “unusual event” was terminated less than 3 hours after the initial declaration at 1:11 am. The event was NOT Y2K related.
Click image for larger view

Keywords: Apocalypse, Bermuda Triangle, ChemTrails, Climate Change, Comedy, Conspiracy, David Icke, Deepak Chopra, Demons, Disinformation, Doomsday, ESP, False Flag, FEMA Camps, Fraud, God, Hoax, Metaphysics, Moon Landing, Moron, New World Order, Organic, Paranoid, Seance, Secret Societies, Story Telling, Stunt. Tagged: Alex Jones, Alex Jones Show, Bill Cooper, Jones, Martial Law, nuclear power plant, nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, United States, Year 2000, youtube

The War of the Worlds Panic Broadcast

War of the worlds 133
On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles panicked a nation with a single broadcast. Or did he?
skeptoid eye
by Alison Hudson via skeptoid
Read transcript below or listen here

We know now that in the early years of the twentieth century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own.

War of the worlds 135BSo began one of the most famous radio broadcasts of all time: the October 30, 1938 adaptation of H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. Whenever Halloween rolls around, I always get in the mood to listen to the so-called “Panic Broadcast”. It’s one of my favouite radio shows. Not only is it a great program by itself, but I’m also fascinated by the story around it. Not the story that’s usually told, however, but the far more interesting truth behind what we all think we know about the “Panic Broadcast.”

Most people know the broad strokes of the popular story. On the evening before Halloween, the Mercury Theater on the Air starring Orson Welles performed a radio version of the popular science fiction story. What set the War of the Worlds broadcast apart from other shows the Mercury Theatre produced was its script, written by Howard Koch with input from Welles. Koch and Welles decided to use what was at the time an uncommon trick for creating realism:war of the worlds 148 they framed the audio play as if it were itself a totally different radio broadcast experiencing a series of journalistic interruptions to the normal nightly entertainment.

What happened next is widely told today in books, in television documentaries, and online: many people tuned in after the show began and, lacking the context of the intro, assumed they actually were listening to news reports about New Jersey being invaded by Martians. This triggered a night of chaos as listeners panicked about the arrival of the interplanetary menace. People fled their homes; people flocked to churches; people called the police; people grabbed their guns; people contemplated suicide; all because of a fake news broadcast about Martian invaders.

The event created a social and political firestorm that threatened the radio industry’s very existence. Within a few days, newspapers were reporting that “literally MILLIONS OF PEOPLE understood the broadcast to be REAL”. A flurry of lawsuits was filed against CBS. war of the worlds AttackCongressional hearings were declared, and regulations were imposed forbidding stations from airing fake news broadcasts. The Panic Broadcast has since become a morality tale for broadcasting, a warning against the misuse of the great power that media wields over the public.

At least, that’s the way it’s told. But how could reasonable people accept a fantastic event like Martian invaders as real? Before we answer that question, we need to ask a different question, one often asked here on Skeptoid: did it really happen the way it’s told?

MORE – – –

Alex Jones Y2K

Originally posted December 31, 2013:

Party Like It’s A Nuclear War !!!

By Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

Who is old enough to remember Y2K? I remember it well (translation: i’m old).

y2k1Y2K is an acronym for “Year 2000,” or, as it was also known – “The Year 2000 problem, the Y2K problem, the Millennium bug, the Y2K bug, or simply Y2K.” (source) It was the moment when the clocks struck 12:00 AM on Janury 1, 2000 and how it might affect every aspect of our lives. Why?

The year 2000 was a problem for many computers because many computer programs stored years using only the last two digits of the year; for example, 1980 was stored as “80”, the year 1999 was stored as “99” and the year 2000 would be stored as “00”.

Do you see the problem? Not only did such systems view the year 2000 as “00”, but they also viewed the year 1900 as “00”. Imagine what would happen to half your programs if your computer suddenly thought the current year (2013) was actually the year 1913. Your calendar program, your watch, your smart phone and many other programs we rely on would suddenly be all wacked out. Imagine what would happen to the banking system if this glitch occurred. Would you be able to access your money? Would all your checks suddenly bounce? (On the other hand, maybe the banks would suddenly give us 100 years of accrued interest. But i digress …)

Now imagine if such a glitch were to occur in bigger systems like nuclear electric plants and nuclear weapons? What might go wrong? This is what had a lot of people in a near state of panic.

Would telephone systems shutdown? Would the electric grid turn off across the country – plunging all of us into darkness for an indeterminant amount of time? Would trains run on schedule? Would the air traffic control system lose control? Would our nuclear arsenal behave in some unpredicted manner and cause WWIII? Would the nuclear arsenal in some other country malfunction and bomb us?

It seemed nobody knew for sure what would – or would not – happen. People were concerned and scared.

Enter my favorite moron – Alex Jones.

AlexJonesLunaticOn New Year’s Eve 1999, the night the clocks were due to change over to the year 2000, The Alex Jones show engaged in some of the most negligent, egregious and irresponsible scare mongering ever. I don’t know of a worse case than this.

In the 3 hours Jones was on the air, he made every conceivable claim of catastrophe imaginable. He took everything people were fearing about Y2K and he claimed those fears were materializing. Everything from cash machines failing, nuclear power plants shutting down, concentration camps (with shackles) being readied, empty grocery store shelves, gas stations out of gas, Martial Law declared, the military serving search warrants in 77 Texas counties – to an actual nuclear missile attack!!!!!!!!

And did any of this actually occur? No. None of it. People were so frightened they reportedly headed for the hills (literally) and got physically sick.

alex-jones_200pxWhat you are about to hear is approximately 30 minutes of the Alex Jones Show audio from that night. This audio from the Alex Jones Show was part of a radio show broadcast by William (Bill) Cooper on approximately January 4, 2000. Bill Cooper himself was a conspiracy theorist, but even he was disgusted by the antics of Alex Jones and he called him out.

Bill Cooper’s original broadcast was 3 hours long. In the Alex Jones recording i present below, except for the opening 30 seconds, i have edited out all of Bill Cooper’s narratives so you can hear Alex Jones uninterrupted in all his despicable glory.

As i was going through the audio, i noticed breaks in the Alex Jones audio that i assume were done by Bill Cooper’s editing team in preparation for broadcast. Where ever i believed there was an edit i added a half-second “beep” sound. This is to help avoid confusion as the conversation would sometimes abruptly change topics. So listen for the beeps (you can’t miss them).

Below the audio you will find a complete transcript of notes i made of what to expect in the audio. This will help you follow along. Where ever you see the word “Regurgitation,” that is my own shorthand to indicate it is a previously mentioned point being repeated by Jones – a tactic he uses to give the impression he has a pile of information. Any words [inside brackets] are commentaries i made for myself.

Believe me, this is an audio clip Alex Jones wishes would go away.

Enjoy!

🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg.

P.S. If anybody knows where i can find a copy of the full 3 hour Alex Jones Show from 12/31/1999 please let me know.

P.P.S. I apologize in advance for any spelling errors.


Alex Jones Y2K (30 minutes):

Transcript/Notes:

  • 0:00 Bill Cooper sets up the scene.
  • 0:27 Cash machines are failing in Britain and other European countries
  • 0:32 Finding large amounts of explosives in France
  • 1:03 More wars then in the last 50 years is going on right now
  • Russian Hinds Helicopter

    Russian Hinds Helicopter

    1:07 The war in chechnya is raging with hundreds of thousands dying

  • 1:13 20,000 to 40,000 civilians trapped in the city [presumably chechnya]
  • 1:16 Russian Hinds (Helicopter) are being shot down, tanks are being blown to bits
  • 1:20 Massive Grad unguided rocket attacks are being launched from the city
  • 1:26 Air and artillery bombardments [presumably chechnya]
  • 1:39 Pennsylvania nuclear plant (Limerick Generating Station) has been shut down [implied because of Y2K-related problems. Not true. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) findings are contained in the image, below]
  • 1:49 The shelves (In TX) are empty of water and gas stations are running out of fuel
  • 1:50 In Minneapolis and Texas the shortwave (radio) is down
  • 2:50 The Pennsylvania nuclear plant and (now) 4 other nuclear plants were having Y2K-related problems [See 3:04 mark]
  • 3:12 The government in Washington D.C. has set up a $50M command bunker that is hooked into FEMA and they can take over all the shortwave (radio), AM/FM radio stations and all television and other broadcast stations
  • 3:34 The police and military [presumably nationwide] are on high alert
  • 3:41 The military are highly visible [presumably in the streets]
  • 3:45 Trains of military equipment moving into Austin, TX
  • 3:53 The airport (Robert Mueller Airport) will be used as a massive holding facility [ala concentration camps]
  • 4:03 Vladimir Putin is a demon
  • A Topol-M mobile launcher.

    A Topol-M mobile launcher.

    4:12 Now 6 to 7 (nuclear) reactors having Y2K related problems [Not true]

  • 4:50 Globalist Forces are gearing up to clamp down on America, Russia and the world
  • 5:08 America is gearing up and bracing for terrorism and militarizing everything in front of us.
  • 5:19 The Russians have deployed Topol-M “first strike” missiles across Russia while (Boris) Yeltsin (Russian President) has been openly threatening to nuke us [See the 5:44 mark].
  • 6:00 They (Russia) have deployed their missiles and submarines against us (America).
  • 6:09 Vladimir Putin, who just took over as Russian President, has “taken the codes off” Russia’s nuclear arsenal. (The Russian nuclear arsenal no longer requires a secret code to initiate a nuclear missile attack on America.)
  • 6:25 Discussing America being hit with a nuclear first-strike and the ensuing annihilation.
  • 7:27 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania Electric Company (PECO), Limerick Generating Station (here and here) was shutdown [presumably because of Y2K-related problems. Not true. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) findings are contained in the image, below].
  • 7:38 Doesn’t challenge a caller paraphrasing (Colonel) Bo Gritz who said, that Russia said, if their (Russia) power goes out they will blame us and they (Russia) would set off their nuclear arsenal.
  • 8:01 The Russians are threatening to nuke us every, single week.
  • out of gas_250px8:25 Currencies around the world are plunging
  • 8:39 Gas stations in America are out of gas
  • 8:58 American’s are standing up as Russia threatens to attack us with nuclear weapons
  • 9:02 Nuclear power plants are being shutdown
  • 9:07 The military is “running around” with the police and the FBI saying terrorism is imminent [the takeover is beginning]
  • 9:25 “They” have activated a powerful, cold war, radar system in the north pole region [presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack] that is affecting shortwave (radio)
  • 9:46 Military traffic is EVERYWHERE
  • 9:52 Regurgitation: Super power, cold war radar systems (presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack) and nuclear systems are up.
  • 10:07 Fresno (California?) is blacked out, he (Jones) is off the internet
  • 10:25 [Scare tactic, Survivalist Commercial]
  • 11:03 “America is under siege right now.”
  • 11:14 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 11:33 Egypt is having a run on the banks
  • 11:45 Regurgitation: The power in Fresno (California?) is down, he is off the internet
  • 11:50 Regurgitation: Cash machines and ATMs in Europe are having problems
  • 12:03 Martial Law signs are posted on highway 65 in Arkansas by the Arkansas Transportation Department
  • 12:52 Regurgitation: In Austin, TX they have announced it is a concentration camp at Robert Mueller Airport

    APC_250px

    Armored Personnel Carrier

  • 13:09 At Fort Hood giant, long lines of trains with flat cars loaded with APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) and LAVs (Light Armored Vehicles)
  • 13:33 They (Fort Hood) have flat bed trailers, large cattle trailer-types (think concentration camps)
  • 14:17 A power plant in michigan is prepared to shutdown when “given the order.”
  • 15:01 If you don’t have a supply of potassium iodide, now is the time to get your supply of potassium iodide in case of a russian nuclear attack.
  • 15:18 Regurgitation: The Russians have been publicly threatening to nuke us and they’ve been deploying their missiles against us.
  • 15:33 We will not survive a nuclear first strike
  • 15:58 Regurgitation: Austin (TX) is out of water and gas
  • 16:03 Regurgitation: The city of Fresno (California?) is blacked out
  • 16:18 Russia and China are now threatening to nuke us
  • 16:42 Discussing how the Russians have been building the biggest bunker ever known to man
  • 17:16 Our (America’s) designated nuclear fallout shelters are parking garages so “they” can move in later to pull out all the rotten skeletons after “they” emerge from “their” shelters.
  • 17:57 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 18:12 Regurgitation: Nuclear power plant problems in PA (Pennsylvania), shutdowns (?), power outages in Fresno (California?)
  • 18:40 Regurgitation: Russia and China have been threatening to nuke us.
  • 18:58 Regurgitation: The Russians deployed their Topol-M “first strike” missiles 2.5 weeks ago.
  • 19:09 The head of the Russian missiles systems, a top general, has been threatening to nuke us and he reserves first strike authority to attack us – even though they have no reason to attack us.
  • 19:25 A power plant has been blown up in Oregon [Not true]
  • 19:36 “Clinton has pulled it.” (????)
  • x

    Robert Mueller Airport
    (concentration camp)

    20:26 Massive Y2K problems being reported across the globe.

  • 20:55 Regurgitation: In Austin, TX Robert Mueller Airport, the local news was showing off the “detainment facilities.” [i.e. concentration camps]
  • 21:15 The local news showed the barbed wired fences inside the Robert Mueller Airport facility.
  • 21:18 There are “shackles on the ground, concreted into the ground” at Robert Mueller Airport – like a slave galley.
  • 21:42 New Zealand is having power outages
  • 21:57 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 22:33 Regurgitation: Vladimir Putin threatens to nuke us
  • 22:50 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 22:55 The power is off in 8 different areas across the country
  • 22:58 A lot of cable systems aren’t working
  • 23:01 Satellites are down
  • 23:09 “Minor fault (???) struck two nuclear power plants in Japan just seconds after the clock ticked into 2000 …”
  • 23:25 Anybody near a nuclear power plant should pack up and go someplace else.
  • 23:37 The store shelves are bare in Austin, TX.
  • 23:43 Regurgitation: Gas is running out.
  • 23:44 They’re announcing on the news that, “if you’re bad they’re going to put you in a … they’re going to bolt you to a pipe coming out of the ground at the airport (Robert Mueller Airport) in some cold hangar.”
  • 24:04 “The military is serving search warrants now in 77 Texas counties.”
  • 24:08 Regurgitation: “We got nuclear power plants shutting down.”
  • 24:20 Regurgitation: The Russians are threatening to nuke us RIGHT NOW.
  • 24:40 Regurgitation: “Well, they got the Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and LAVs (Light Armored Vehicles) loading on the flat cars out of Fort Hood.”
  • the end is near_300px25:06 There are currently nuclear missiles being launched.
  • 25:15 ABC (news) just had a special news bulletin – a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 25:44 The general refused to say what kind of missiles, where they were coming from or where they were going.
  • 25:58 This secrecy is just like when the special operations training that was conducted with the Russians in south TX when they burned buildings and laying siege to towns [never happend]
  • 26:44 Jones’ co-host: “You elect me to president and i will nuke them (Russians) first, i’ll push the button as soon as i take the oath … i’m opening up that football and start launching, man.”
  • 26:55 Regurgitation: The Russians have been threatening to nuke us, they reserve the first strike right to hit us for no reason and Clinton said he will absorb the first strike by the Russians.
  • 27:06 Jones’ co-host: Hopes one of those 5 incoming nuclear missiles is headed towards Clinton.
  • 27:12 Regurgitation: a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 27:39 Jones complains that the television network went to a commercial break after announcing 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 27:53 A NORAD commander was on the news. “Space Command” (Air Force Space Command) is now running everything.
  • 28:20 The perceived enemy is “obviously” the American people.
  • 28:36 Regurgitation: It’s on ABC news that 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • boom28:57 The night before (12/30/99), anything and everything on the flight line at Selfridge Air National Guard Base was put into the air and was constantly in the air. [i.e. The U.S. is preparing for a nuclear attack]
  • 29:11 Regurgitation: Super power, cold war radar systems [presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack] are turned on.
  • 29:21 The Russians are not the only ones we need to be concerned about … we should worry about the Chinese too.
  • 20:24 We also need to be worried about Germany.
  • 29:58 Regurgitation: It’s on ABC news that 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 30:03 Regurgitation: a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 30:25 Jones complains, “we’re calmly sitting here knowing nuclear missiles could be about to rain down!”
  • 30:42 Discussing “Who launched?” Was it the U.S., a ballistics submarine? . . .
  • 30:54 Jones’ co-host: “No offense, but I hope it was us who launched.”
  • 31:19 Vladimir Putin is the Fuhrer.
Click image for larger view

The February 7, 2000 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) report shows the “unusual event” was terminated less than 3 hours after the initial declaration at 1:11 am. The event was NOT Y2K related.
Click image for larger view

Keywords: Apocalypse, Bermuda Triangle, ChemTrails, Climate Change, Comedy, Conspiracy, David Icke, Deepak Chopra, Demons, Disinformation, Doomsday, ESP, False Flag, FEMA Camps, Fraud, God, Hoax, Metaphysics, Moon Landing, Moron, New World Order, Organic, Paranoid, Seance, Secret Societies, Story Telling, Stunt. Tagged: Alex Jones, Alex Jones Show, Bill Cooper, Jones, Martial Law, nuclear power plant, nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, United States, Year 2000, youtube

Are there secret messages in da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’?

Originally posted March 3, 2013:

via HowStuffWorks

Click image for larger view

(Click image for larger view)
The above image is the composite created by Slavisa Pesci. Some of the features he identified may be visible, such as the knights at both ends of the table.

You’ve likely heard of ­Dan Brown’s best-selling book “The Da Vinci Code” and the subsequent movie adaptation. The ­book has sold tens of millions of copies, w­hile the movie, with more than $757 million in box office revenue, stands as the 22nd highest grossing film of all time as of July 2007 [Source: IMDb]. Brown’s story centers around the theory that Jesus married his follower Mary Magdalene, had a child with her, and that the descendants of that marriage live today.

­The book also invokes two other popular theories, both of which have been discounted by art historians: that Mary Magdalene, rather than the apostle John, sits on Jesus’ right in Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting, and that a disembodied hand in the painting holds a knife. For years, amateur theorists and art historians alike have considered whether “The Last Supper” contains hidden imagery. The latest theory du jour has generated so much excitement that several da Vinci-centered Web sites crashed from an overwhelming amount of traffic.

Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist who’s taken up an interest in da Vinci’s iconic painting, created an interesting visual effect by overlaying a semitransparent, mirrored version of the painting on top of the original. The result is that two figures that look like Templar knights appear at both ends of the table, while someone possibly holding an infant stands to Jesus’ left. Pesci also cited the presence of a previously unseen wine goblet in front of Jesus. mona-lisa-louvre-paris2_250pxPesci suggested that it may be a depiction of the first Eucharist, when Jesus gave his disciples bread and wine at the Last Supper to represent his body and blood. Pesci didn’t indicate who he thought the baby might be, but many amateur scholars have said it’s the child of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

As for the meaning of these ostensibly hidden images, Pesci has no comment, though he believes they may be a product of da Vinci’s noted love of mathematics [Source: AOL News]. Da Vinci was also known to write from left to right and from right to left, a technique called mirror writing.

Pesci’s theory and its possible relationship to da Vinci’s mirror writing, while alluring, present some problems. Chief among them, one da Vinci scholar notes, is that the original painting has deteriorated over time [Source: AP]. The mural is no longer as vivid or crisp as it was when da Vinci first unveiled it. The composite image is distorted and blurry, a problem made worse by the original’s current, faded condition. Still, Pesci’s composite image does seem to show something or someone.

Before we dissect this and other theories about “The Last Supper,” let’s investigate the painting’s history and subject. Leonardo da Vinci completed the work between 1494 and 1498. It’s a wall mural in the Church and Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The painting depicts the famous Biblical scene known as the Last Supper, when, shortly before his death, Jesus predicted that one of his followers would betray him. “The Last Supper” actually shows the moments immediately following Jesus’ pronouncement, explaining why his followers appear engaged in a frenzied conversation. The painting is considered remarkable for, among many celebrated featur­es, its realism and for portraying the apostles as full of emotion and taking part in an intense discussion rather than simply standing quietly behind the table [Source: The Cenacolo].

MORE . . . .

The Santa Barbara Simoom of 1859

Santa Barbara 600px
Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via skeptoid

Today we’re going to go back more than a century and a half to a hot summer day on the central coast of California, to the town of Santa Barbara. June 17, 1859 began as a summer day much like any other, clear with plenty of warm sunshine, plus a cool breeze to make it just perfect. But according to legend, something happened that wrought sudden death and destruction: from out of nowhere, a wind with temperatures usually reserved for baking ovens blasted down from the hills, killing animals and injuring people. It immediately set the country’s highest recorded temperature. They named it the simoom, after the hot Sahara wind of the same name. But it turns out that data is hard to come by. Was the Santa Barbara simoom a true freak of nature, or perhaps merely a tall tale told to visitors?

Here is a snippet about the 1859 simoom from the Insider’s Guide to Santa Barbara:

Until 1934, Santa Barbara had a record high temperature on the U.S. Weather Bureau’s books. On June 17, 1859, a simoom (scorching wind) swept down from the northwest, and the mercury soared to 133° Fahrenheit (about 56° Celsius). Cattle dropped dead, and birds fell from the sky. The record was topped when the mercury hit 134° Fahrenheit (about 57° Celsius) in Death Valley in 1934.

It sounds a bit like a tall tale, a perfect subject for our skeptical eye.

fire_300px

Was the Santa Barbara simoom a true freak of nature, or perhaps merely a tall tale told to visitors?

Sudden, hot winds are absolutely a reality on the California coasts. They’re called the Santa Ana winds, and are the main contributors to the wildfires that can so often be so destructive to coastal communities. Dry air from the Mojave Desert and even the Great Basin further inland forms a high pressure region which cools, sending it spilling downhill toward the coast. The wind is very dry and gusts can reach hurricane forces at their strongest. The wind is usually hot, but not because it came from the desert; it gets heated on the way by adiabatic forces; basically, compression. Santa Ana winds can happen at any time of year, but are most common in the late autumn and early winter.

Although Santa Barbara is a ways up the coast from the Santa Ana winds, it is indirectly affected by them. The high pressure systems that create the Santa Anas are usually moving east, so a few days before they collapse into Santa Anas, they often cause a similar phenomenon in Santa Barbara that locals call the Sundowner. When the Sundowner winds spill over the Santa Ynez mountains and rush to the sea, they can wreak some havoc; but because their path is much shorter, adiabatic compression forces don’t have as much opportunity to heat the Sundowners as much as their more southerly cousins.

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Hillary vs. Mallory: The First to Everest

Did George Mallory really beat Sir Edmund Hillary to the summit of Mount Everest in 1924?
Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via skeptoid
Read transcript below or listen here

Today we’re going to up in altitude, back into history, and down in temperature, to the days when the most daring adventurers wore wool, cotton and leather instead of advanced lightweight synthetic materials. They had heavy wood handled ice axes instead of aluminum. Their canvas and nylon sleeping bags and tents weighed at least three times what today’s climbers use. Sir Edmund HillaryThey packed calories with heavy metal tins of fish and fruit instead of dense energy bars and electrolyte shots. Their only support was sparsely manned expeditions, rather than today’s crowds of competing porters and contractors and rope layers. Their chances of survival were far slimmer, yet even in the punishing days of the mid 20th century, men managed to compete to be the first to summit the world’s tallest point: Mt. Everest.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to summit the mountain and live to tell the tale, which they did in 1953. But they certainly weren’t the first to try; Tenzing had, in fact, made it the previous year to a point only 240m short of the summit with a Swiss expedition. A competing claim exists from about 30 years earlier, when climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine disappeared while on the final leg of their climb. Their claim is a thin one; it’s based only on the fact that they disappeared and thus aren’t proven to have failed. But today we’re going to examine what evidence there is, and see if we can arrive at a “best guess” at who was first.

The north face of Mount Everest (Wikipedia)

The north face of Mount Everest (Wikipedia)

Let’s look at some foundational information about the mountain. Everest is, in broad strokes, a three-sided pyramid. Its north and east faces are in Tibet, and its southwest face is in Nepal. The boundary between the two countries follows the ridge lines over the summit, so only that northeastern ridge is entirely in one country, Tibet. Tibet and Nepal were both originally closed to outsiders, so nobody had ever been able to try and climb the mountain. But in 1921, Tibet was persuaded to allow access, giving mountaineers access to the north face, the east face, and the northeastern ridge between them. Thus, this ridge, today called the north ridge route, became the route used by the early mountaineers, including Mallory and Irvine. Its grand finale is a series of technical walls that must be climbed, called the First Step, Second Step, and Third Step. The Second Step is the hardest of the three. In 1950, coincident with China’s assertion of its claim over Tibet, access to foreigners was closed, and the north route was no longer available.

George MallorySo when Hillary and Tenzing’s 1953 expedition succeeded, it was via the southeast ridge route. Having secured permission from Nepal, climbers start from the base camp west of the mountain in Nepal, ascend to that southern ridge dividing Nepal from Tibet, and head northwest to the summit, straddling the border all the way. This route remains the most popular today, and is significantly easier. Its most famous obstacle near the summit is the Hillary Step; besides that, it’s mostly no more than a strenuous hike.

So, since Hillary and Mallory took different routes to the summit, we can’t directly compare them. Hillary made it up the southeast ridge route, no problem; and will only be dethroned if evidence ever surfaces that Mallory made it up the north route thirty years before. The only way we can ever solve the mystery is to  .  .  .

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The Boggy Creek Monster

Is Arkansas’ Fouke Monster a real zoological specimen, or an important part of local folklore?

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via skeptoid
Read transcript below or listen here

It was 1971, in Fouke, Arkansas. Fouke is a small hamlet of under a thousand people, in the Boggy Creek area of southwestern Arkansas, tucked in just between Texas and Louisiana. It’s in the middle of a thousand miles of flat country, dense dark woods rippled with rivers and creeks that twist every which way before finally draining into the Louisiana swamps. Beast-of-Boggy-CreekIt was on a hot summer night in May that two newlywed young couples, and a friend or two, were crashing in the house they’d just rented a few days before after a long day of unpacking. But the mellow evening took a shocking turn for the worse when Elizabeth Ford, 22, thought she’d have a nap on the couch when it happened.

You know that moment when you see something unexpected, but it takes a few seconds for your mind to process what it is? That was Elizabeth’s experience. When she realized that what she was looking at was a huge furry hand with claws, reaching through the open window and groping on the couch as if to find her, she screamed — and Fouke would be changed forever.

Even as the two young couples made emergency move-out preparations, giving up on their new home after less than a week, reporter Jim Powell covered the incident for the Texarkana Gazette, calling it like it was a campy 80s slasher pic:

Elizabeth Ford said she was sleeping in the front room of the frame house when, “I saw the curtain moving on the front window and a hand sticking through the window. At first I thought it was a bear’s paw but it didn’t look like that. It had heavy hair all over it and it had claws. scared-1_200pxI could see its eyes. They looked like coals of fire … real red,” she said. “It didn’t make any noise. Except you could hear it breathing.”

Ford said they spotted the creature in back of the house with the aid of a flashlight. “We shot several times at it then and then called Ernest Walraven, constable of Fouke. He brought us another shotgun and a stronger light. We waited on the porch and then saw the thing closer to the house. We shot again and thought we saw it fall. Bobby, Charles and myself started walking to where we saw it fall,” he said.

About that time, according to Don Ford, they heard the women in the house screaming and Bobby went back. “I was walking the rungs of a ladder to get up on the porch when the thing grabbed me.”

…The “creature” was described by Ford as being about seven feet tall and about three feet wide across the chest. “At first I thought it was a bear but it runs upright and moves real fast. It is covered with hair,” he said.

The episode triggered a rash of sightings that kept the Texarkana Gazette lively for months. And more significantly, it attracted the attention of filmmakers, who quickly shot the 1973 docudrama The Legend of Boggy Creek. The film dramatized dozens of sightings and featured many Fouke and Boggy Creek residents, telling and reenacting their stories. One of the most fantastic involved a boy named Lynn Crabtree who encountered the beast while hunting in 1965, and shot at it repeatedly without effect.

It’s at this point when, during researching such a story, we start to examine the timeline.

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Texarkana Gazette Fouke monster

Nothing supernatural about the Bermuda Triangle, NOAA says


By Ken Kaye via Sun Sentinel

Now it’s official: The Bermuda Triangle is a bunch of bunk.

bermuda-triangle1_300pxFor decades, rumors persisted that hundreds of ships and planes mysteriously vanished in the area between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda because it was cursed or patrolled by extraterrestrials.

Most of us already suspected that was a myth. Yet, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just posted a story declaring the Devil’s Triangle, as it’s also known, is no different than any other open ocean region — and that foul weather and poor navigation are likely to blame for any mishaps.

“There is no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-traveled area of the ocean,” the agency stated this month on noaa.gov.

Ben Sherman, spokesman for NOAA’s National Ocean Service, said the agency wrote the story as part of an educational program where it responds to readers’ questions.

The story was based on information from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Guard, which make no bones about saying the mythological area is so much balderdash.

bermuda-triangle 754_250px“The Coast Guard does not recognize the existence of the so-called Bermuda Triangle as a geographic area of specific hazard to ships or planes,” the military branch said. “In a review of many aircraft and vessel losses in the area over the years, there has been nothing discovered that would indicate that casualties were the result of anything other than physical causes.”

Not everyone is in full agreement, including Minerva Bloom.

She’s a volunteer docent at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum, which pays homage to Flight 19, perhaps the highest-profile incident involving the Bermuda Triangle. The five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale on a routine training exercise in December 1945, never to return.

“I don’t think there are aliens or anything like that, but I do think there’s something going on there,” Bloom said.

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Happy New Year! (Alex Jones Style)

Party Like It’s A Nuclear War !!!

By Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

Who is old enough to remember Y2K? I remember it well (translation: i’m old).

y2k1Y2K is an acronym for “Year 2000,” or, as it was also known – “The Year 2000 problem, the Y2K problem, the Millennium bug, the Y2K bug, or simply Y2K.” (source) It was the moment when the clocks struck 12:00 AM on Janury 1, 2000 and how it might affect every aspect of our lives. Why?

The year 2000 was a problem for many computers because many computer programs stored years using only the last two digits of the year; for example, 1980 was stored as “80”, the year 1999 was stored as “99” and the year 2000 would be stored as “00”.

Do you see the problem? Not only did such systems view the year 2000 as “00”, but they also viewed the year 1900 as “00”. Imagine what would happen to half your programs if your computer suddenly thought the current year (2013) was actually the year 1913. Your calendar program, your watch, your smart phone and many other programs we rely on would suddenly be all wacked out. Imagine what would happen to the banking system if this glitch occurred. Would you be able to access your money? Would all your checks suddenly bounce? (On the other hand, maybe the banks would suddenly give us 100 years of accrued interest. But i digress …)

Now imagine if such a glitch were to occur in bigger systems like nuclear electric plants and nuclear weapons? What might go wrong? This is what had a lot of people in a near state of panic.

Would telephone systems shutdown? Would the electric grid turn off across the country – plunging all of us into darkness for an indeterminant amount of time? Would trains run on schedule? Would the air traffic control system lose control? Would our nuclear arsenal behave in some unpredicted manner and cause WWIII? Would the nuclear arsenal in some other country malfunction and bomb us?

It seemed nobody knew for sure what would – or would not – happen. People were concerned and scared.

Enter my favorite moron – Alex Jones.

AlexJonesLunaticOn New Year’s Eve 1999, the night the clocks were due to change over to the year 2000, The Alex Jones show engaged in some of the most negligent, egregious and irresponsible scare mongering ever. I don’t know of a worse case than this.

In the 3 hours Jones was on the air, he made every conceivable claim of catastrophe imaginable. He took everything people were fearing about Y2K and he claimed those fears were materializing. Everything from cash machines failing, nuclear power plants shutting down, concentration camps (with shackles) being readied, empty grocery store shelves, gas stations out of gas, Martial Law declared, the military serving search warrants in 77 Texas counties – to an actual nuclear missile attack!!!!!!!!

And did any of this actually occur? No. None of it. People were so frightened they reportedly headed for the hills (literally) and got physically sick.

alex-jones_200pxWhat you are about to hear is approximately 30 minutes of the Alex Jones Show audio from that night. This audio from the Alex Jones Show was part of a radio show broadcast by William (Bill) Cooper on approximately January 4, 2000. Bill Cooper himself was a conspiracy theorist, but even he was disgusted by the antics of Alex Jones and he called him out.

Bill Cooper’s original broadcast was 3 hours long. In the Alex Jones recording i present below, except for the opening 30 seconds, i have edited out all of Bill Cooper’s narratives so you can hear Alex Jones uninterrupted in all his despicable glory.

As i was going through the audio, i noticed breaks in the Alex Jones audio that i assume were done by Bill Cooper’s editing team in preparation for broadcast. Where ever i believed there was an edit i added a half-second “beep” sound. This is to help avoid confusion as the conversation would sometimes abruptly change topics. So listen for the beeps (you can’t miss them).

Below the audio you will find a complete transcript of notes i made of what to expect in the audio. This will help you follow along. Where ever you see the word “Regurgitation,” that is my own shorthand to indicate it is a previously mentioned point being repeated by Jones – a tactic he uses to give the impression he has a pile of information. Any words [inside brackets] are commentaries i made for myself.

Believe me, this is an audio clip Alex Jones wishes would go away.

Enjoy!

🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg.

P.S. If anybody knows where i can find a copy of the full 3 hour Alex Jones Show from 12/31/1999 please let me know.

P.P.S. I apologize in advance for any spelling errors.


Alex Jones Y2K (30 minutes):

Transcript/Notes:

  • 0:00 Bill Cooper sets up the scene.
  • 0:27 Cash machines are failing in Britain and other European countries
  • 0:32 Finding large amounts of explosives in France
  • 1:03 More wars then in the last 50 years is going on right now
  • Russian Hinds Helicopter

    Russian Hinds Helicopter

    1:07 The war in chechnya is raging with hundreds of thousands dying

  • 1:13 20,000 to 40,000 civilians trapped in the city [presumably chechnya]
  • 1:16 Russian Hinds (Helicopter) are being shot down, tanks are being blown to bits
  • 1:20 Massive Grad unguided rocket attacks are being launched from the city
  • 1:26 Air and artillery bombardments [presumably chechnya]
  • 1:39 Pennsylvania nuclear plant (Limerick Generating Station) has been shut down [implied because of Y2K-related problems. Not true. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) findings are contained in the image, below]
  • 1:49 The shelves (In TX) are empty of water and gas stations are running out of fuel
  • 1:50 In Minneapolis and Texas the shortwave (radio) is down
  • 2:50 The Pennsylvania nuclear plant and (now) 4 other nuclear plants were having Y2K-related problems [See 3:04 mark]
  • 3:12 The government in Washington D.C. has set up a $50M command bunker that is hooked into FEMA and they can take over all the shortwave (radio), AM/FM radio stations and all television and other broadcast stations
  • 3:34 The police and military [presumably nationwide] are on high alert
  • 3:41 The military are highly visible [presumably in the streets]
  • 3:45 Trains of military equipment moving into Austin, TX
  • 3:53 The airport (Robert Mueller Airport) will be used as a massive holding facility [ala concentration camps]
  • 4:03 Vladimir Putin is a demon
  • A Topol-M mobile launcher.

    A Topol-M mobile launcher.

    4:12 Now 6 to 7 (nuclear) reactors having Y2K related problems [Not true]

  • 4:50 Globalist Forces are gearing up to clamp down on America, Russia and the world
  • 5:08 America is gearing up and bracing for terrorism and militarizing everything in front of us.
  • 5:19 The Russians have deployed Topol-M “first strike” missiles across Russia while (Boris) Yeltsin (Russian President) has been openly threatening to nuke us [See the 5:44 mark].
  • 6:00 They (Russia) have deployed their missiles and submarines against us (America).
  • 6:09 Vladimir Putin, who just took over as Russian President, has “taken the codes off” Russia’s nuclear arsenal. (The Russian nuclear arsenal no longer requires a secret code to initiate a nuclear missile attack on America.)
  • 6:25 Discussing America being hit with a nuclear first-strike and the ensuing annihilation.
  • 7:27 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania Electric Company (PECO), Limerick Generating Station (here and here) was shutdown [presumably because of Y2K-related problems. Not true. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) findings are contained in the image, below].
  • 7:38 Doesn’t challenge a caller paraphrasing (Colonel) Bo Gritz who said, that Russia said, if their (Russia) power goes out they will blame us and they (Russia) would set off their nuclear arsenal.
  • 8:01 The Russians are threatening to nuke us every, single week.
  • out of gas_250px8:25 Currencies around the world are plunging
  • 8:39 Gas stations in America are out of gas
  • 8:58 American’s are standing up as Russia threatens to attack us with nuclear weapons
  • 9:02 Nuclear power plants are being shutdown
  • 9:07 The military is “running around” with the police and the FBI saying terrorism is imminent [the takeover is beginning]
  • 9:25 “They” have activated a powerful, cold war, radar system in the north pole region [presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack] that is affecting shortwave (radio)
  • 9:46 Military traffic is EVERYWHERE
  • 9:52 Regurgitation: Super power, cold war radar systems (presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack) and nuclear systems are up.
  • 10:07 Fresno (California?) is blacked out, he (Jones) is off the internet
  • 10:25 [Scare tactic, Survivalist Commercial]
  • 11:03 “America is under siege right now.”
  • 11:14 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 11:33 Egypt is having a run on the banks
  • 11:45 Regurgitation: The power in Fresno (California?) is down, he is off the internet
  • 11:50 Regurgitation: Cash machines and ATMs in Europe are having problems
  • 12:03 Martial Law signs are posted on highway 65 in Arkansas by the Arkansas Transportation Department
  • 12:52 Regurgitation: In Austin, TX they have announced it is a concentration camp at Robert Mueller Airport

    APC_250px

    Armored Personnel Carrier

  • 13:09 At Fort Hood giant, long lines of trains with flat cars loaded with APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) and LAVs (Light Armored Vehicles)
  • 13:33 They (Fort Hood) have flat bed trailers, large cattle trailer-types (think concentration camps)
  • 14:17 A power plant in michigan is prepared to shutdown when “given the order.”
  • 15:01 If you don’t have a supply of potassium iodide, now is the time to get your supply of potassium iodide in case of a russian nuclear attack.
  • 15:18 Regurgitation: The Russians have been publicly threatening to nuke us and they’ve been deploying their missiles against us.
  • 15:33 We will not survive a nuclear first strike
  • 15:58 Regurgitation: Austin (TX) is out of water and gas
  • 16:03 Regurgitation: The city of Fresno (California?) is blacked out
  • 16:18 Russia and China are now threatening to nuke us
  • 16:42 Discussing how the Russians have been building the biggest bunker ever known to man
  • 17:16 Our (America’s) designated nuclear fallout shelters are parking garages so “they” can move in later to pull out all the rotten skeletons after “they” emerge from “their” shelters.
  • 17:57 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 18:12 Regurgitation: Nuclear power plant problems in PA (Pennsylvania), shutdowns (?), power outages in Fresno (California?)
  • 18:40 Regurgitation: Russia and China have been threatening to nuke us.
  • 18:58 Regurgitation: The Russians deployed their Topol-M “first strike” missiles 2.5 weeks ago.
  • 19:09 The head of the Russian missiles systems, a top general, has been threatening to nuke us and he reserves first strike authority to attack us – even though they have no reason to attack us.
  • 19:25 A power plant has been blown up in Oregon [Not true]
  • 19:36 “Clinton has pulled it.” (????)
  • x

    Robert Mueller Airport
    (concentration camp)

    20:26 Massive Y2K problems being reported across the globe.

  • 20:55 Regurgitation: In Austin, TX Robert Mueller Airport, the local news was showing off the “detainment facilities.” [i.e. concentration camps]
  • 21:15 The local news showed the barbed wired fences inside the Robert Mueller Airport facility.
  • 21:18 There are “shackles on the ground, concreted into the ground” at Robert Mueller Airport – like a slave galley.
  • 21:42 New Zealand is having power outages
  • 21:57 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 22:33 Regurgitation: Vladimir Putin threatens to nuke us
  • 22:50 Regurgitation: Pennsylvania nuclear power plant shutdown
  • 22:55 The power is off in 8 different areas across the country
  • 22:58 A lot of cable systems aren’t working
  • 23:01 Satellites are down
  • 23:09 “Minor fault (???) struck two nuclear power plants in Japan just seconds after the clock ticked into 2000 …”
  • 23:25 Anybody near a nuclear power plant should pack up and go someplace else.
  • 23:37 The store shelves are bare in Austin, TX.
  • 23:43 Regurgitation: Gas is running out.
  • 23:44 They’re announcing on the news that, “if you’re bad they’re going to put you in a … they’re going to bolt you to a pipe coming out of the ground at the airport (Robert Mueller Airport) in some cold hangar.”
  • 24:04 “The military is serving search warrants now in 77 Texas counties.”
  • 24:08 Regurgitation: “We got nuclear power plants shutting down.”
  • 24:20 Regurgitation: The Russians are threatening to nuke us RIGHT NOW.
  • 24:40 Regurgitation: “Well, they got the Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and LAVs (Light Armored Vehicles) loading on the flat cars out of Fort Hood.”
  • the end is near_300px25:06 There are currently nuclear missiles being launched.
  • 25:15 ABC (news) just had a special news bulletin – a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 25:44 The general refused to say what kind of missiles, where they were coming from or where they were going.
  • 25:58 This secrecy is just like when the special operations training that was conducted with the Russians in south TX when they burned buildings and laying siege to towns [never happend]
  • 26:44 Jones’ co-host: “You elect me to president and i will nuke them (Russians) first, i’ll push the button as soon as i take the oath … i’m opening up that football and start launching, man.”
  • 26:55 Regurgitation: The Russians have been threatening to nuke us, they reserve the first strike right to hit us for no reason and Clinton said he will absorb the first strike by the Russians.
  • 27:06 Jones’ co-host: Hopes one of those 5 incoming nuclear missiles is headed towards Clinton.
  • 27:12 Regurgitation: a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 27:39 Jones complains that the television network went to a commercial break after announcing 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 27:53 A NORAD commander was on the news. “Space Command” (Air Force Space Command) is now running everything.
  • 28:20 The perceived enemy is “obviously” the American people.
  • 28:36 Regurgitation: It’s on ABC news that 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • boom28:57 The night before (12/30/99), anything and everything on the flight line at Selfridge Air National Guard Base was put into the air and was constantly in the air. [i.e. The U.S. is preparing for a nuclear attack]
  • 29:11 Regurgitation: Super power, cold war radar systems [presumably to keep an eye out for a Russian ICBM attack] are turned on.
  • 29:21 The Russians are not the only ones we need to be concerned about … we should worry about the Chinese too.
  • 20:24 We also need to be worried about Germany.
  • 29:58 Regurgitation: It’s on ABC news that 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 30:03 Regurgitation: a military General standing in front of Cheyenne Mountain (nuclear bunker) announced 5 nuclear missiles have been launched.
  • 30:25 Jones complains, “we’re calmly sitting here knowing nuclear missiles could be about to rain down!”
  • 30:42 Discussing “Who launched?” Was it the U.S., a ballistics submarine? . . .
  • 30:54 Jones’ co-host: “No offense, but I hope it was us who launched.”
  • 31:19 Vladimir Putin is the Fuhrer.
Click image for larger view

The February 7, 2000 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) report shows the “unusual event” was terminated less than 3 hours after the initial declaration at 1:11 am. The event was NOT Y2K related.
Click image for larger view

What was the New England vampire panic?

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – YouTube

Between 1799 to 1892, families across New England dug up the corpses of their children, parents and siblings, desecrating the bodies in an effort to prevent them from rising from the grave.

10 Crazy Literary Conspiracy Theories

By Nolan Moore via Listverse

If you read between the lines of your favorite novel, you might discover a crazy conspiracy theory. From Elizabethan England to the 21st century, people have made some pretty weird claims about books and the folks who wrote them, ranging from secret identities to dastardly deeds.

10 • Is J.K. Rowling Real?

rowling_200pxJ.K. Rowling was just an average working mom who became a world-renowned, uber-wealthy author. At least, that’s what the Bloomsbury publishing company wants you to believe. According to Norwegian filmmaker Nine Grunfeld, there is no J.K. Rowling. The author never existed.

Grunfeld believes the Harry Potter books are just too successful to be the work of one woman. She’s suspicious of how Rowling can churn out seven Potter novels in 10 years, and how those books, written by a nobody, can sell more than 250 million copies worldwide. Grunfeld claims this whole operation is too professional, too slick to be the result of a single author. Instead, Harry Potter is a corporate creation, written by a team of writers a la the Nancy Drew series. The woman we know and love as J.K. Rowling is actually an actress paid to fool readers. Anybody else think Grunfeld is just a tiny bit jealous?

9 • Did Charlotte Bronte Kill Her Sisters?

99705849_200pxThe Brontes were a pretty special family. Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre, Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, and Anne wrote the lesser-known The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Only Charlotte’s and Anne’s novels were successful in their day, but all three have since become classics of English literature. Sadly, none of the Brontes made it past their thirties, thanks to tuberculosis. But . . . was it really TB?

Criminologist James Tully, author of The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte, has a much more sinister theory. According to Tully, Charlotte was jealous of her sisters’ fame, so she teamed up with her father’s curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, and poisoned Anne and Emily along with their brother Branwell. Thanks to their scheme, Emily and Branwell died in 1848, and Anne passed away in 1849, allowing the deadly duo to cash all their royalty checks. After the murders, Arthur and Charlotte were married, but Tully claims Nicholls double-crossed his wife. He poisoned Charlotte, thus eliminating all the Brontes, and kept all those fat checks for himself.

Tully tried to have his theories published as a nonfiction book, but couldn’t find a willing publisher. So he rewrote the whole thing as a novel, proving that sometimes truth isn’t necessarily stranger than fiction.

8 • Were J.R.R. Tolkien And C.S. Lewis Occultists?

NarniaMap_200pxJ.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are two of the most influential fantasy authors of all time, and their novels are beloved across the world. However, several conspiracy theorists claim these two men were heavily involved in the occult and were priming their readers for a New World Order—the one conspiracy to rule them all.

For example, in The Lord of the Rings, the eye of Sauron supposedly represents the all-seeing eye of the Illuminati. Some theorists claim Gandalf symbolizes famous magician Aleister Crowley, and that Frodo is an “aspirant,” someone hoping to be initiated into Gandalf’s illuminated brotherhood of black magic. The infamous John Todd preached that Tolkien actually copied his novels from The Book of Shadows, a Wiccan text, and that his runes are really the witches’ alphabet.

To top it off, some claim the Illuminati uses rings to enslave people! In fact, the “One Ring” poem is allegedly an incantation used to control brainwashed servants. As proof, conspiracy theorists note that Tolkien taught at Oxford, a college obviously run by the Illuminati. They claim Tolkien was softening his readers’ resistance to the occult, preparing them for the coming Illuminati kingdom.

And what about Lewis? His novels are really Christian allegories, right? Well, conspiracy theorist Mary van Nattan says Aslan actually represents pagan solar deities. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe focuses on a land plunged into eternal winter. However, the wintry curse is broken by the return of Aslan, so he’s like the mid-winter solstice breaking through the winter nights. Van Hattan also points out that Aslan has golden fur, a golden face, and golden eyes. Guess what else is golden? The sun!

And going back to John Todd, he claims that Lewis is required reading if you ever want to join a coven of witches. So anyone wanting to practice witchcraft better head down to their local Christian bookstore.

7 • Was Edgar Allan Poe Murdered?

mason_200pxAs the father of the detective genre, it’s appropriate that Edgar Allan Poe’s death is a mystery. On October 3, 1849, Poe showed up in Baltimore, delirious and wearing someone else’s clothes. He died four days later, though no one is sure how. Some think he overdosed, some say he had diabetes, and some even blame rabies. It should come as no surprise that some say Poe was murdered.

One of the more prominent theories suggests that Poe was “cooped.” In the 1800s, when election season came around, gangs would round up men wandering the streets, beat them up, and get them drunk. The men would then be taken to polling booths and forced to vote for a particular candidate multiple times, rigging the election. To make sure their captives weren’t recognized, the kidnappers would force them to wear different clothes every time they cast a ballot. Some think this is why Poe showed up unhinged and wearing clothes that weren’t his.

Others suspect the murder was personal. As the story goes, Poe was involved with a woman who had some pretty possessive brothers. When they learned Poe was an alcoholic, they had a nice, long talk with the author and encouraged him to see other people. Evidently, they convinced him a little too thoroughly.

The most bizarre theory has Poe being murdered by the Masons. By exposing their evil deeds through short stories such as “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Never Bet the Devil Your Head,” Poe incurred their wrath and was murdered on his trip to Baltimore. However, most historians put little stock in this theory as it’s stark raven mad (sorry).

6 • Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays?

shakespeare-061708_200pxShakespeare’s authorship has been questioned by crazies and scholars alike. Those who believe the man from Stratford-Upon-Avon was the sole author of works like Hamlet are known as Stratfordians. All those opposed are anti-Stratfordians, and this camp has attracted a surprising number of notable figures, such as Charlie Chaplin, Vanessa Redgrave, Sigmund Freud, Charles Dickens, and Orson Welles.

Conspiracy theorists have a problem believing the Bard penned his own poetry because he was a commoner. The son of a glover and wool-smuggler, Shakespeare was just an actor who didn’t even go to college. How could this guy write some of the most beautiful prose in the English language? He didn’t hang out with royalty, and he’d never traveled outside of England, so how could he write about those topics with such depth and precision? Anti-Stratfordians think Shakespeare was just too ignorant to write a play like King Lear. Instead, the author had to be someone with education and class. So who was the man behind the man?

Anti-Stratfordians have several candidates, the most popular being Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, and Sir Francis Bacon. Marlowe was a famous playwright who was murdered in a bar fight before many of Shakespeare’s plays were written, but according to conspiracy theorists, he actually survived. As he was a spy for the Crown, Marlowe was smuggled into France where he spent the rest of his life writing Shakespeare’s canon.

The second candidate, de Vere, was the 17th Earl of Oxford and has the support of the Roland Emmerich film Anonymous. However, de Vere also died before plays like Macbeth and The Tempest were even written.

The Francis Bacon theory is the most plausible, mostly because he wasn’t dead at the time. Some believe he was the sole author of Shakespeare’s plays while others think he was one member of a dramatist conspiracy. Mark Twain favored the Bacon hypothesis and believed you could find the words “Francisco Bacono” hidden in Shakespeare’s First Folio. But if you think these suspects are just a little too usual, then how about Queen Elizabeth I? Some actually believe the Virgin Queen penned Shakespeare’s words. It seems some will always wonder if Shakespeare achieved greatness or had it thrust upon him.

MORE – – –

Forty-Five Failed Alex Jones Predictions

By via disinformation (disinfo.com)

AlexJonesMoron_240pxBank runs in February 2009. 9/11-scale terror attacks in 2010. 50% of the U.S. population will be killed in a bio-weapons attack in 2009. 16 year-old soldiers will enforce nationwide martial law by 2012. A major terror attack will occur in the U.S. by the end of summer 2009 (oh, and it’s a false flag). The U.S. will go to war with Russia in 2009. Texas stores are being looted and National Guard troops are moving into Austin right this minute (December 31, 1999). The UN will announce the presence of ET intelligence during 2009 to stage a NWO takeover. The U.S. dollar will be devalued by 50% by 2012.

If you’re Alex Jones, you’re used to being wrong. But that doesn’t stop his wild-eyed fans from listening – there’s always another edge-of-your-seat, apocalyptic prediction coming down the pipeline, after all. In this highly entertaining mash-up, Alex Jones Clips runs down 45 of the most wild, failed Alex Jones predictions.


[END] via disinformation (disinfo.com)

▶ North Sentinel Island: Digging Deeper

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – YouTube.

Located off the coast of India, North Sentinel Island is a distrubing anomaly. Mysterious people live on it, but all attempts to contact them have gone disastrously wrong, and they attack any outsiders with unparalleled ferocity. So what’s going on at the island? Tune in to learn more.

You’re Getting Sleepy … and Misled: Regression Hypnosis in Ufology

by via The UFO Trail

psychiatrist_300pxRegression hypnosis has long been used during investigation of alleged alien abduction. Some have made up their minds that the activity provides reasonable evidence. For them, there is no amount of expert opinion or scientific research contradicting their belief that can motivate sincere review of the circumstances. Even the words of warning from former hypnosis subjects, lengthily explaining firsthand how its ill effects and misuses can be harmful, fail to inspire objective evaluation of the use of hypnosis as a mythical truth serum.

Much has been learned of memory functions, potential dangers of regression hypnosis and related issues since researchers first began hypnotizing self-described experiencers in hopes of uncovering hidden memories. However, many investigators continue subscribing to the now decades old concepts while the professional research community has long since updated its understandings. If you are sincerely interested in reviewing facts surrounding regression hypnosis, including taking into consideration some opinions of qualified experts and documentation of relevant circumstances, please continue reading.

British UFO Research Association

UFO2croppedThe fact of the matter is the professional research community has never established hypnosis as an effective investigative tool or a reliable memory retrieval technique. The American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association released statements clarifying its members should not inaccurately represent the stance of the American Medical Association on such matters.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is concerned that many individuals using hypnosis may be making the inaccurate statement that hypnosis is approved by the AMA as a legitimate therapy for medical or psychological purposes,” the APMHA explained. “The AMA has a current position that this statement is inaccurate.”

The AMA clearly does not recognize or define hypnosis as approved for use for medical or psychological purposes. That would of course include subjecting traumatized individuals to the exploration of the possibility they are regularly abused by perpetrators from other planets, to say the least.

The British UFO Research Association was formed in 1962

The British UFO Research Association was formed in 1962

It should be further understood that significant portions of the UFO community itself came to accept and agree with policies as established by the AMA. The British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) enacted a moratorium in 1988 on the use of hypnosis, and the policy continues to remain in place.

Across the water in America, researchers of alleged alien abduction nonetheless continued and increased their uses of hypnosis. Purposes could reasonably be interpreted to include it was identified as the easiest way to create evidence for what were otherwise largely unsupported claims and theories. In other words, researchers could not prove their assumptions through professionally recognized credible means, so they resorted to hypnosis and what writer/researcher Sharon Hill coined sham inquiry: nonscientific activities conducted and misrepresented as scientific investigation.

The BUFORA moratorium on hypnosis is referenced and relevant issues are explored in the Heather Dixon article, Alien Abduction, Hypnosis and Memory. The piece contains an interview with Judy Jaafar, a BUFORA investigator and researcher with some 20 years experience at the time of the interview. Ms. Jaafar is also a clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist who clearly and competently explained reasons hypnosis should not be used during the investigation of alleged alien abduction.

“It is a very powerful tool and can be dangerous when used irresponsibly,” Jaffar stated, “and no matter what fantasy a witness might come up with during hypnosis, it has to be remembered that under a hypnotic trance state, your capacity for imagination and fantasy is probably doubled or trebled.”

Jaafar further explained potential dangers to witnesses, or hypnosis subjects, adding, “So whatever experience they describe, during hypnosis as far as the abduction scenario is concerned, and when a recording or transcript is taken, this has now become a real event for them, irrespective of whether it actually happened or not. ufo1 1114_250pxIt is now real – and that really bothered me because I felt that we were dealing with someone’s mental health – for the rest of their lives. Because they’ve been hypnotised, they really believe that they must be telling the absolute truth because they have this peculiar notion that hypnosis is like a truth drug, but it certainly isn’t!”

The psychotherapist continued, “You take someone back for example to ‘missing time’ where they have no conscious memory of any event, so therefore the analytical, logical, judgmental process cannot be brought to bear on the situation. Immediately the witness has to delve into their unconscious mind… which is a wonderful, dreamlike fantasy factory. It is so important in our lives, we need to be able to do this otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it. It sorts out all of your emotions, it is not like a filing cabinet, it is not an archive – it is an emotional repository to access every day of our lives; to keep our mental health balance. And this is what you are sending your witness into, totally unprepared, they don’t know what they are looking for except that they feel they have been abducted by aliens otherwise they wouldn’t be with a ufologist in the first place.

MORE . . .

Alien abductees gather in Portland

By DEIRDRE FULTON via The Portland Phoenix

UFO warning SIGNMillions of people on this planet claim to have been abducted by aliens. About two hundred of them (alleged abductees, that is) will converge on Portland this weekend, for the second annual Experiencers Speak conference, organized by and for people who say they’ve been kidnapped by — or had close encounters with — extraterrestrials.

Among those who plan to attend the two-day symposium are Travis Walton, the logger whose UFO experience was portrayed in the 1993 film Fire in the Sky; Jim Weiner, one of four young men who saw a UFO and “lost time” (presumably due to abduction) during a 1976 camping trip in Allagash, Maine; and Kathleen Marden, director of abduction research for the Mutual UFO Network, a national organization dedicated to researching UFO sightings. Marden is also the niece of Betty and Barney Hill, the New Hampshire couple who claimed to have been seized by aliens in September 1961 near Franconia Notch. Many more will come to share their own stories, and be validated by others; last year’s Experiencers Speak event in Gorham attracted about 150 attendees.

“People really need to talk about it and realize that they’re not alone,” says Audrey Hewins of Mechanic Falls, the lead organizer of the conference and founder of Starborn Support, a group that exists to help those who say they’ve met ETs. “We like to get them to a point where they accept who they are and are able to function in society.”

ufo 658_250pxHewins, 40, describes herself as a “lifelong abductee,” who, along with her identical twin sister, has “been taken [repeatedly] since early childhood.” After years of trying to repress the memories (she calls it “stuffing”) she and her sister reached out to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and a representative from that organization put both sisters under hypnosis (separately), helping them to access often-traumatizing memories of visits from “beings” with big, motionless, almond-shaped eyes and bald heads. Over time, through hypnosis, Hewins began to recall experiences of being paralyzed, lifted, and brought onto a spacecraft — all at extraterrestrial hands.

Although Hewins likens “Post-Abduction Syndrome” (PAS) to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), her interactions with the otherworldly beings weren’t always hostile; in fact, it was one of them that suggested she launch Starborn Support in 2006. Today, there are chapters in 10 states along the east coast, along with a Starborn streaming radio program.

“This isn’t something you can tell your family members without having them question you,” says Kathleen Marden, of MUFON, who co-coordinates a peer-facilitated support group for experiencers in Florida. “Some people receive very negative feedback” from loved ones such as ridicule or ostracization (not to mention lay diagnosis of “totally insane”).

MORE . . .

The Trilateral Commission

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – YouTube

With around 390 members, the Trilateral Commission is a fairly small group — so why do they get so much attention from conspiracy theorists? Tune in to learn more about the history of the Trilateral Commission.

Near-Death Experience (NDE)

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

One study found that 8 to 12 percent of 344 patients resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest had NDEs and about 18% remembered some part of what happened when they were clinically dead (Lancet, December 15, 2001).*

near-death-tunnel_300pxThe term ‘near-death experience’, or NDE, refers to a wide array of experiences reported by some people who have nearly died or who have thought they were going to die. There is no single shared experience reported by those who have had NDEs. Even the experiences of most interest to parapsychologists–such as the “mystical experience,” the “light at the end of the tunnel” experience, the “life review” experience, and the out-of-body experience (OBE)–rarely occur together in near-death experiences. However, the term NDE is most often used to refer to an OBE occurring while near death. Both types of experience have been cited to support belief in disembodied spirits and continued existence after death.

[ . . . ]

Raymond Moody

Raymond Moody

Raymond Moody (1944-), an M.D. and psychology Ph.D., is considered by many to be the father of the modern NDE movement. He coined the expression ‘near-death experience’ and has written several books on the subject of life after life. He is well known for his compilation of a list of features that he considers to be typical of the near-death experience. According to Moody, the typical NDE includes a buzzing or ringing noise, a sense of blissful peace, a feeling of floating out of one’s body and observing it from above, moving through a tunnel into a bright light, meeting dead people (saints, Jesus, angels, Muhammad); seeing one’s life pass before one’s eyes; and finding it all so wonderful that one doesn’t want to return to one’s body. (The typical experience he describes does not, however, include trips to the body repair shop or sexual encounters with spirits.) This composite experience is based on interpretations of testimonials and anecdotes from doctors, nurses, and patients. Characteristic of Moody’s work is the glaring omission of cases that don’t fit his hypothesis. If Moody is to be believed, no one near death has had a horrifying experience. Yet, “according to some estimates as many as 15 percent of NDEs are hellish” (Blackmore 2004: 362). Reports of Christians meeting Muhammad or Muslims meeting Jesus or Jews meeting Guru Nanak, if they exist, have not been publicized.

depths-of-hell-cartoon_250pxThere are numerous reports of bad NDE trips involving tortures by elves, giants, demons, etc. Some parapsychologists take these good and bad NDE trips as evidence of the mythical afterlife places of various religions. They believe that some souls leave their bodies and go to the other world for a time before returning to their bodies. If so, then what is one to conclude from the fact that most people near death do not experience either the heavenly or the diabolical? Is that fact good evidence that there is no afterlife or that most people end up as non-existing or in some sort of limbo? Such reasoning is on par with supposing that dreams in which one appears to oneself to be outside of one’s bed are to be taken as evidence of the soul or mind actually leaving the body during sleep, as some New Age Gnostics believe.

What little research there has been in this field indicates that the experiences Moody lists as typical of the NDE may be due to brain states triggered by cardiac arrest and anesthesia (Blackmore 1993). Furthermore, many people who have not been near death have had experiences that seem identical to NDEs, e.g., fighter pilots experiencing rapid acceleration. Other mimicking experiences may be the result of psychosis (due to severe neurochemical imbalance) or drug usage, such as hashish, LSD, or DMT.

MORE . . .

‘Joe Rogan Questions Everything,’ SyFy’s surprisingly reasonable conspiracy show

51fac294d467c.preview-620_600px
By JIM VOREL via Herald & Review

chemtrail UFO culprit_300pxI randomly ended up watching an episode of SyFy’s brand new “investigation” show “Joe Rogan Questions Everything” (http://www.syfy.com/joeroganquestionseverything) last night, and I have to admit it didn’t send me into the frothing rage I fully expected would follow. Especially given the subject matter of “chemtrails” and government weather control, I was actually shocked to find a mostly reasonable examination of the topic in question rather than the typical pandering to conspiracy theorists that is so popular on TV today, especially in a venue like SyFy. At least in flashes, the show gave me something I never would have expected — genuine scientific skepticism. Unheard of, I know!

Rogan is one of the main reasons I bothered to give it a chance in the first place. Because he is known to most people as simply a comedian, UFC commentator or “Fear Factor” host, many would probably be surprised to see him hosting this kind of show, but Rogan is a very smart guy. If you’ve ever really watched mixed martial arts, it’s tough to name any broadcaster who actually knows the subject material better than Rogan. His reputation as a crass comedian who likes to work blue completely vanishes in that setting. The best word for his on-air presence in the UFC is “professorial.” He practices jiu-jitsu himself and knows what he’s talking about, not that this has all that much to do with “Joe Rogan Questions Everything.” I’m merely pointing out his genuine interest in the things he’s passionate about.

joeroganThis interest is clear in his ongoing podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” (http://joerogan.net/podcasts/) I haven’t listened to a ton of these, but I know enough to be aware that he’s often used this space to discuss his interest in various supernatural or pseudo-scientific topics, the key word being “interest.” Rogan may want to believe, but he’s not a believer by nature. His attitude toward pretty much any claim is “I’ll allow you to convince me, but only if I have reason to be convinced.”

That’s the personality he brings to the show on SyFy, and this is what makes it so different from any of the other shows like it. The first 20 minutes or so of last night’s program were honestly brutal for the chemtrail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory) supporters he interviewed. He reacted to being brought down into a crazy person’s bunker about the same way that I would probably react — he asked for them to demonstrate evidence that was actually compelling. When they failed, he acknowledged that they were probably crazy people and moved on. There was a great moment when one of the chemtrail supporters also mentioned his belief in “Nibiru,” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibiru_cataclysm) a supposedly rogue, planet-sized body hiding somewhere in our own solar system, piloted by aliens. You better believe that Rogan was ready to jump all over that one.

MORE . . .

The Lie Is Out There: Three Types of Alien Encounters

TheLieIsOutThere_20_01
By Ashley Feinberg via gizmodo.com

Nearly everyone who’s looked up at the night sky has asked him or herself at least some form of the very same question: Are we really, truly alone in the universe? The only thing that’s certain is that we definitely don’t want to be. Maybe that explains why we keep seeing UFOs in the sky… and why they’re always one of three types.

alien603_250pxThe idea that humankind is pretty much the end all be all as far as intelligent life goes is a pretty depressing thought. It’s only natural, then, that we’d grasp on to pretty much anything as a sign of alien contact—seriously, anything. History is rife with reports of UFO sightings, but if you take a second to stop and think, nearly all of them come with perfectly reasonable explanations—and not one of them extraterrestrial.

Consider this: It would take one of our space ships 60,000 years simply to reach the edge of our galaxy alone. Now, that doesn’t bode well for an extraterrestrial playdate. But this hasn’t deterred the hoards of people willing to swear until their dying day that they have seen, interacted with, touched, and/or been probed (anally or otherwise) by creatures of a world beyond our own. And sure, the thought that we’re not alone is an exciting if not slightly unsettling one, but these little claims and subsequent “proofs” of alien life on Earth almost always fall into one of three categories: military exercises gone wrong, acts of nature, and of course, man-made hoaxes.


• Military

Ever notice how UFO sightings tend to conveniently happen on or around military bases? Yeah, that’s not a coincidence. Be it weather balloon, aerial spy cam, or rogue aircraft, people are more than happy to assume that the mystery circling overhead is alien—rather than military-made—especially during times of national paranoia.

The Battle of Los Angeles

battle of los angeles_300pxTimes of paranoia like, say, WWII, for instance. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the country’s sense of security was shattered. So three months later, when a weather balloon went casually wafting over Los Angeles in 1942, hysteria naturally followed suit. What’s a terrified city to do? Why, conduct a massive military airstrike against the interloper, of course—resulting in this iconic photograph of what was later dubbed The Battle of Los Angeles.

Initially the shadow in the sky was thought to be another attack coming over from Japan, but at a press conference shortly after the incident, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox quickly put that rumor to rest, calling it a “false alarm.” Which then left media personnel free to publish all sorts of “reports” of extraterrestrial coverup. And remember—after WWII, people were shaken. They were ready to believe anything.

The Battle of Los Angeles acclimated civilians to the notion that alien sightings were not only plausible but likely. It allowed for a more comfortable way to explain away their fears, and the instances only picked up speed.

The Roswell Incident

UFO2croppedOne of the most notorious alleged UFO sightings (and the inspiration for a criminally underrated television show), Roswell, all started in July of 1947 when local ranch foreman William Brazel stumbled upon a giant ditch hundreds of feet long and filled with debris—namely rubber strips, tin foil, paper, scotch tape, and toughened sticks.

Since the bizarre mess was on the property where he worked, Brazel promptly reported it to the authorities, and the account eventually made its way over to the Roswell Army Airfield base. The base’s commander denounced the mess to be nothing more than a weather balloon gone wrong, encouraging everyone to forget about the mini-dump and go about their business. So of course, conspiracy theorists decided it was the perfect time for a good, ol’ fashioned UFO rabble-rousing.

roswell_600px

Stanton Friedman, a physicist and amateur ufologist (it’s a word), was one of those noble crusaders for the alien origins explanation—it’s just that he decided to wait a good 30 years before weighing in because, well, no one really knows why. After interviewing Major Jesse Marcel—one of the site’s original inspectors—in 1978, Friedman got what he was looking for. Marcel claimed that the entire event was a military coverup of an alien spaceship. Bingo!

Glenn Dennis, a mortician, also piped in (another 11 years after that) and claimed that dead bodies had been removed from the site and taken to an airbase. But apparently, these people weren’t totally insane (or at the very least, totally wrong).

ufo-crash1-200x225Because there was so much controversy over what actually happened, two separate official government investigations took place—one in 1994 and the other in 1995. The first confirmed that the cause had indeed been a weather balloon; the military was testing them in a classified program that used sensitive lights to try to detect Russian nuclear tests. The second cleared up that whole “dead bodies” issue; the test had used dummies during parachute testing, dummies which then had to be removed.

After Roswell, interest in potential alien spacecrafts skyrocketed, with almost 800 sightings occurring in the weeks that directly followed. As with the Battle of Los Angeles, the international climate probably played a role; this was mid-Cold War, when Americans were well-primed for a little extra paranoia and perpetual fear. While photographs of UFOs are now are relatively rare and met with considerable skepticism, back then, the claims were accepted in droves. Each UFO sighting was merely another log tossed on top of an already hefty pile of anxiety-inducing fodder.

The Mysterious Lubbock Lights

In August and September of 1951, the small town of Lubbock, Texas enjoyed its own brief stint in the UFO spotlight. The Texas Technical College professors spotted a group of 20-30 some-odd lights floating overhead the night of August 25. The next week, student Carl Hart noticed a similar phenomenon in the sky and snapped photos, which the local newspaper then published and eventually sent nationwide.

lubbock_600px

Lieutenant Edward Ruppelt from the Air Force’s Project Blue Book (the government agency set up for the express purpose of UFO investigations) analyzed the images and ultimately declared them not to be a hoax—but he didn’t believe them to be of alien origin, either. Rather Ruppelt believed that the vision had been nothing more than streetlights being reflected off the underbellies of a flock of plovers. Witnesses in the area supported this explanation, agreeing that they had in fact seen large flocks of migratory birds and had even her some squawking.

Still, others maintained that the lieutenant was simply attempting to cover up the training exercises of the Air Port’s new flying wing. Whichever the correct explanation might be, however, certainly doesn’t include aliens.


• Acts of Nature

Pink UFO: A stack of altocumulus lenticularis clouds hovers over the Alpujarra Mountains in southern Spain, stained by the rays of the setting sun Picture: IAN DENNIS

Pink UFO: A stack of altocumulus lenticularis clouds hovers over the Alpujarra Mountains in southern Spain, stained by the rays of the setting sun
Picture: IAN DENNIS

These little alien scares down’t necessarily have to come from the hand of man, though. Our world is fully capable of creating its own absolutely beautiful, stunning phenomenons that can pretty easily terrify any witnesses who don’t understand what’s going on in the sky above them. Generally, as science advances, we have fewer and fewer instances of people reporting suspicious, potentially otherworldly activity in the wake of a natural occurrence. Still, it’s curious how quick we are to jump to the conclusion that a phenomenal vision came from some alien being when, in fact, it just came from our very own phenomenal world.

Portugal’s Miracle of the Sun

In 1917, 30,000 people in Fatima, Portugal supposedly witnessed the “Miracle of the Sun,” an event that was supposed to predict the appearance of the Virgin Mary. Crowds gathered to find themselves staring at a cloudy sky for hours. But when the clouds finally did part and the sun came bearing down, everybody simultaneously experienced radiating, multicolored lights that came spiraling downwards. And cue collective panic… now.

portugal_600px

Understandably, though, and to this clearly devoutly religious population, the bright, shiny lights could very well have seemed like a sign of the End Times. Nearly 100 years later, we’re aware of the fact that staring at the sun for such a long of a period of time has the potential to directly induce mass hysteria and hallucinations. But hey, they were looking for a little excitement; at least they got what they came for. The severe retina damage was just a bonus.

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Three Steps to Building Your Own Conspiracy Theory

By Nancy Bixler via The Blog Herald (2007)

Conspiracies 901_250pxDo you want to put forward a conspiracy theory of your own on your blog? Perhaps you suspect that the CIA and U.S. government, in an unholy union with Muammar al-Qaddafi, are, for nefarious reasons of their own, raising the taxes of middle class U.S. citizens to fund AIDS research in Libya. Or that the Catholic Church, environmentalists, the PLO, or [fill in the blank] are working underground to [fill in the blank] put hallucinogens into the local water supply, make burping in public a capitol offense, or suppress a cure for warts. No doubt they have their methods and motives.

It’s your job, as a buddying conspiracy theorist, to find some troubling elements of life that, so far (in your opinion) lack an explanation and point out the ways the hidden conspirators plan to achieve their aim. With tongue firmly in cheek, let’s look at how to create a conspiracy theory, and if all else fails, you can make your own conspiracy theory with a conspiracy theory online.

1. Define Your Conspiracy Subject Matter

puzzled_200pxFirst, choose something people find puzzling. It’s no good providing a theory for something that is already sufficiently clear; conspiracy theories develop where people are mystified, not where curiosity is already appeased. If you believe that aliens abducted Elvis for their own evil purposes, it’s probably because his death seemed impossibly sudden and, therefore, incredible.

People have a built-in need to feel that there is sense in what happens in the world, and we’ll make a story for why events happen even where there isn’t sufficient evidence to really know. The clearer the events in the story, the better.

If you can’t understand why, with all your hard work, your small farm isn’t making enough money to support your family, you’ll be looking for reasons. International trade agreements, tax structures favoring corporate farming, and local laws on land development, waterways, flood management, and wildlife preservation are complex, interlocked, hard to understand, and harder to change. A ravening band of insane environmentalists aching to convert all farmland to human-free wetlands, however, has the virtue of simplicity. (The perpetrators can also be caught and summarily executed, a real plus for any conspiracy theory.)

Breaking-News-Alert-Graphic--New-as-of-3-21-11---27279469_250pxSecond, make sure what you choose to explain is significant to enough readers. Money, especially for those caught in the middle-class crunch of supporting their families, is a powerful motivator. So is fear.

Thousands living along the U.S. Gulf Coast feared hurricanes, but now they have a new respect for nature and the disaster it can bring. Hurricane Katrina triggered fear locally and nationally with the message: Nowhere is safe and help may not be there when you need it. Is the government and citizens ready for a category 5 hurricane to hit the Eastern Seaboard? What about a head-on collision with New York?

Building a good conspiracy theory is improved by taking it international. Don’t just think local. Think global. What’s the international connection to your local problem? Where are the links and pattern?

international-trade_250pxWhat if a foreign country had invented a new secret weather machine and a failure in the preliminary tests created the dramatic 2005 hurricane season which culminated in Katrina? What if they set it against the U.S. on purpose? Maybe Japan is behind the powerful weather machine, seeking revenge for Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or the Russians? Maybe the machine was created as part of the effort to fight against or speed up global warming, and the flooding in New Orleans was just a taste of what’s to come when the oceans rise? Are we ready? Bad weather isn’t a local issue. If you can find a global angle, you will reach a wider audience with your conspiracy theory.

And don’t forget love as a powerful interest-getter and possible motivation. If Marilyn Monroe was your idol, you’re going to care whether she committed suicide or was murdered by government agents to protect her affair with President Kennedy from coming to light.

2. Identify The Agents Responsible For The Conspiracy

Men_in_black_200pxIt’s normal and entirely human to long for someone to be responsible for the bad things in the world. After all, the alternative world view – that horrible events fall on us haphazardly and randomly – is hardly easy to live with. It’s a complicated, confusing world, and the need for scapegoats is rapidly outstripping the supply.

Let’s face it, explaining a sequence of events without laying blame is not only profoundly unsatisfying to many people, it’s just not a conspiracy theory. Let’s consider the siphoning off of local city water supplies by large corporations who sell bottled water. This is only a conspiracy theory if you hand the corporations a goal and a reason.

If you pick as the goal the total control of the U.S. water supply, then you must supply . . .

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Immortality: Henrietta Lacks

via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

For thousands of years, humans have tried — and failed — to achieve physical immortality. At least, most of us. Rumors of immortals have abounded throughout history, but did anyone actually achieve eternal life? Tune in to learn more about modern medicine and the bizarre story of Henrietta Lacks.

Immortality: Henrietta Lacks – YouTube.

Cornered and Someone Wants to Tell Me Their Paranormal Story

Sharon_hill_80pxBy Sharon Hill via Huffington Post

One of the hazards of being a “skeptic” about paranormal subjects is that those who have had their own personal experiences or investigated a peculiar case like to play “Stump the Skeptic.”

“Oh, you are a Skeptic. Well, I have a story for you,” and then I get an earful.

GhostGirl_250pxHow do you explain that?” they conclude, with added self-satisfaction of a story well-told.

I can’t. And I’m not going to try to explain it.

Unless it’s a well researched case which has published documentation, I can’t say anything about it. It’s just a story. If I accepted every story I heard at face value every day, I’d be broke and in a mess of trouble. I am not accusing people of lying. I’m saying “I wasn’t there. It was not my experience,” so I’m not going to speculate about what you saw or what may have happened.

There is nothing to go on when cornered with these stories. I can’t fact check or confirm. I can’t pull an explanation out of a hat. I have no place to go with them except to say, “Hmm, interesting.”

Paranormal books are primarily these types of stories. It’s unusual for a case to be well-investigated compared to the thousands of stories that are related from eyewitnesses or referenced from other sources. Too many stories aren’t referenced at all. I was recently reading a book on local monsters and some accounts lacked accurate locations. There was no town of that name or there were no details. Useless. That is such poor quality evidence, it might as well be discarded since it is more likely wrong than helpful.

anecdote_200pxAnecdotes do not necessarily garner strength in numbers — not for paranormal subjects. A pile of unreliable tales is no better than one unreliable tale. It’s all hollow.

When it comes to local ghost and monster tales, the stories just exist and it is unclear where they originated. Such tales are great as local folklore. A problem arises when these anecdotes are elevated to “evidence.”

There is an over-reliance on anecdotes in the paranormal community — for hauntings, cryptozoology and ufology — as the basis of investigation. A case will start with an observation but if that is ALL that it is, with no physical evidence, no verification and a cold trail left to follow, there is nothing you can do with it but document it.

Had your own experience? Cherish it as your own. I just can’t help you and it’s a bit rude to put me on the spot. You had the experience. It’s up to you to provide evidence to support it, not for me to disprove your claim.

[end]

via Huffington Post

Video: The curse of the spinning statue at Manchester Museum

By via Manchester Evening News

The 10-inch tall relic, which dates back to 1800 BC, was found in a mummy’s tomb and has been at the Manchester Museum for 80 years.

An ancient Egyptian statue has spooked museum bosses – after it mysteriously started to spin round in a display case

An ancient Egyptian statue has spooked museum bosses – after it mysteriously started to spin round in a display case.

The 10-inch tall relic, which dates back to 1800 BC, was found in a mummy’s tomb and has been at the Manchester Museum for 80 years.

But in recent weeks, curators have been left scratching their heads after they kept finding it facing the wrong way.  Experts decided to monitor the room on time-lapse video and were astonished to see it clearly show the statuette spinning 180 degrees – with nobody going near it.

The statue of a man named Neb-Senu is seen to remain still at night but slowly rotate round during the day.

Now scientists are trying to explain the phenomenon, with TV boffin Brian Cox among the experts being consulted.

Scientists who explored the Egyptian tombs in the 1920s were popularly believed to be struck by a ‘curse of the Pharaohs’ – and Campbell Price, a curator at the museum on Oxford Road, said he believes there may be a spiritual explanation to the spinning statue.

Watch the time-lapse video as the statue spookily moves all by itself…

Egyptologist Mr Price, 29, said: “I noticed one day that it had turned around. I thought it was strange because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key.

“I put it back but then the next day it had moved again. We set up a time-lapse video and, although the naked eye can’t see it, you can clearly see it rotate on the film. The statuette is something that used to go in the tomb along with the mummy.

“Mourners would lay offerings at its feet. The hieroglyphics on the back ask for ‘bread, beer and beef’.

“In Ancient Egypt they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit. Maybe that is what is causing the movement.”

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Who Is the Grinning Man?

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via skeptoid

Read transcript below or listen here

Should a bright UFO ever streak across the night sky in front of you, don’t be so quick to think the show might already be over. For throughout the 1960s, some who had that very experience found there was more to come. The Grinning Man 01_250pxIt came in the figure of a man, unnaturally tall, strangely dressed in a long shiny green metallic jacket, bald headed and eery looking. But his most distinctive feature is that from which his name comes: his bizarre ear-to-ear grin, like a silent shriek dashed across his face. The Grinning Man frightened UFO witnesses for many years, and some say his visitations are not yet finished.

The original Grinning Man report to make it into print, so far as anyone knows, was published in UFO researcher John Keel‘s 1970 book Strange Creatures from Time and Space. He devotes an entire chapter to the Grinning Man. This original incident concerned two boys walking along a street in New Jersey one night in October 1966. Keel wrote that they saw a strange tall man standing in some brush beneath a turnpike:

Jimmy nudged me… and said “Who’s that guy standing behind you?” I looked around and there he was… behind that fence. Just standing there. He pivoted around and looked right at us… and then he grinned a big old grin.

The man was over six feet tall, they agreed, and was dressed in a “sparkling green” coverall costume that shimmered and seemed to reflect the street lights. There was a wide black belt around his waist… He had a very dark complexion and “little round eyes… real beady… set far apart.” They could not remember seeing any hair, ears, or nose on this figure, nor did they notice his hands.

That same evening, Keel wrote that a strange UFO was being reported just kilometers away at several sites throughout New Jersey. It was a brilliant white light, darting through the sky and behind hills, and was reported in various locations by civilians and police officers alike, most notably at Wanaque Reservoir.

The Grinning Man 02_250pxBut the most dramatic and seminal encounter with the Grinning Man came about three weeks later. Woodrow Wilson Derenberger, a 50-year-old sewing machine salesman, was driving home from Marietta, OH to Mineral Wells, WV, on the night of November 2, 1966. He had a very strange experience. So strange, in fact, that the next day he went on WTAP television in Ohio to recount his tale:

I am a salesman and I drive a truck, and last night shortly after 7:00, I was coming from Marietta OH, coming down Interstate 77, and just before I came to the insection of route 47, there was a car, passed me, overtaking me from behind; and following closely behind this car was this unidentified flying object, and as the car behind passed me, this object was following close behind it and swerved directly in front of my truck, turning crosswise. And when it turned crosswise, it slowed down. It started slowing not abruptly or too fast, but gave me plenty of time to step on my brakes and slow down with it. But it forced me to come to a complete stop. As soon as I had stopped, there was a door opened in the side of this vehicle, and this man stepped out, and came directly to me, came to the truck. He walked to the right hand side of the truck, and he told me to roll down the window; he asked me to roll down the window on the right hand side of my truck, and I done what he asked. And this man stood there, and he first asked me what I was called, and I knew he meant my name and I told him my name. And then he asked me, he said “Why are you frightened?” He said “Don’t be frightened, we wish you no harm.” He said “We mean you no harm, we wish you only happiness.” And I told him my name, and when I told him my name, he said he was called Cold. That was the name that he was called by.

They had a telepathic conversation, mostly small talk, where Derenberger was headed, what the next town was; and after a few minutes Cold returned to his vehicle and flew away. Derenberger described the vehicle as a shiny, charcoal-colored thing the shape of a kerosene lamp, tapered at both ends and with a bulge in the middle.

Together, these two events alone comprise the bulk of the Grinning Man legend.

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ESP

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

In a nutshell: ESP stands for extrasensory perception. If you had ESP, you could see, feel, or hear things without using your eyes, hands, or ears. There are some scientists who say they have proof of ESP, but most scientists think the proof is weak and does not support a belief in ESP.

ESP stands for extrasensory perception.

mindcontrol_640px_200pxSensory perception is seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, or tasting. Extrasensory perception is when you see or hear something that can’t be seen or heard with your eyes and ears. Such experiences happen outside the normal range of the senses and are said to be paranormal or psychic. Most scientists don’t think paranormal events actually happen or that anyone is actually psychic.

If you had ESP, you could see, feel, or hear things without using your eyes, hands, or ears. Somehow your brain would get messages and images from distant places and distant times. If your brain confused you with perceptions from the past and from places far away while you were trying to get dressed, eat breakfast, get on the school bus, pay attention in class, or do your homework, you would have a very hard time making it through the day. As far as we know, this has never happened to anybody.

mind reading or telepathy

Mind reading is a type of ESP where a person “sees” what is in another person’s mind. Mind reading is also called telepathy. The scientific study of telepathy began over one hundred twenty years ago when it was called psychical research. Today, scientists who study ESP are called parapsychologists and their science is called parapsychology. (Psychical comes from the Greek word for spirit. Many parapsychologists say the mind is a spirit.)

rsz_museumesptestThe first scientific test of telepathy was done in England in 1882. Scientists at the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) tested several young girls who said that they could tell what each other was thinking. The scientists put the girls in different rooms and asked those in one room about a card or name of a person that a girl in the other room was thinking of. Many tests were given over a period of six years. The scientists said there was no way the girls could have got as many right answers as they did just by guessing. The scientists also said they were sure the girls weren’t cheating. The scientists agreed that the girls were reading each other’s minds. The scientists were right about one thing. The girls couldn’t have gotten as many right answers as they did just by guessing. But the scientists were wrong about the cheating. The girls—the Creery sisters and their servant Jane Dean—admitted they cheated by using secret signals. This wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last time, that children would fool scientists.

In 1848 two sisters, Kate Fox (age 12) and Margaretta Fox (15), said they heard strange rapping noises in their bedroom. They got people to believe that they were getting messages from spirits. Soon they went on tour with their big sister Leah who was in her mid-30s. They did séances, which became the rage in both the U.S. and Europe. In 1871, the Fox sisters fooled Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), an important scientist who attended a Fox-girls séance in London. Sir William said he tested the girls “in every way that I could devise” and was sure they were not producing the rapping noises “by trickery or mechanical means.” In 1888 the sisters confessed that they made the raps by cracking their toe-joints. They made bumping noises by fastening an apple to a string under their petticoats and bouncing it off the floor.

q461-2From 1979-1983, two teenagers tricked scientist Peter Phillips into thinking they were able to move and bend objects by their thoughts, a power known as psychokinesis. (Psychokinesis comes from two Greek words meaning mind or spirit and movement. Psychokinesis, when it involves moving an object with mental power alone, is called telekinesis, literally distant-movement.) Steve Shaw (18) and Mike Edwards (17) fooled the scientist for four years through more than 160 hours of tests. One of their favorite tricks was to pretend to bend a spoon or fork with thoughts, a trick made popular by Uri Geller. Geller, however, claimed that he had psychokinetic powers. At one time, he claimed he got his powers from the planet “Hoova” in another star system and a UFO called “IS” or “Intelligence in the Sky.”

Skeptics don’t think there is good evidence that anyone has moved even a pencil across a table using only the power of thought. Psychokinesis nearly always involves trickery, though we might occasionally think we caused something to happen when it happens right after we thought about it happening. If you point to the sky during a rain storm and say “let there be lightning” and then a lightning bolt shoots across the sky, you might think you caused it. You’d probably be wrong.

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James Alan Hydrick claimed to be able to perform acts of telekinesis, such as his trademark trick involving the movement of a pencil resting at the edge of a table.

Here he is exposed as a fraud by none other than James Randi:

It was soon after this appearance on That’s My Line Hydrick confessed the fraud to an investigative reporter.


Uri Geller’s Tonight Show failure (courtesy of James Randi):


Also see: Top 10 Psychic Debunkings

Supernatural Creep: The Slippery Slope to Unfalsifiability

Sharon_hill_80pxBy Sharon Hill via The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) – Sounds Sciencey

I’m taking a step beyond sciencey with the following topic. What happens when science doesn’t cooperate with your subject area? Researchers of unexplained events may get frustrated and disenchanted with the scientific process when the eyewitness accounts they collect are too weird to explain via conventional means. They go unconventional.

hill-supernatural-creep-1Captain Jean-Baptiste Duhamel led the hunt for a beast that was attacking and devouring victims in the Gevaudan, France, in 1794. He had a problem. He could not catch and kill the man-eating monster. Being a proud man, he had to justify why he could not conquer this particular foe. Since the option that he was an inadequate huntsman was not acceptable, the creature must be supernatural in its abilities to escape his capture. The characteristics of the beast were exaggerated—it was huge, cunning, and not just an ordinary wolf. Captain Duhamel left defeated by what must truly be an extraordinary beast.

Captain Jean-Baptiste Duhamel led the hunt for a beast that was attacking and devouring victims in the Gevaudan, France, in 1794. He had a problem. He could not catch and kill the man-eating monster. Being a proud man, he had to justify why he could not conquer this particular foe. Since the option that he was an inadequate huntsman was not acceptable, the creature must be supernatural in its abilities to escape his capture. The characteristics of the beast were exaggerated—it was huge, cunning, and not just an ordinary wolf. Captain Duhamel left defeated by what must truly be an extraordinary beast.

The cognitive dissonance experienced by the French captain is reflected today by those who can’t capture Bigfoot. When normal processes and causes fail to satisfactorily explain events or answers to questions, then the reasoning slips beyond nature, into super nature, beyond the testable claims of science.

I call this “supernatural creep.” Although, I swear I’m not the first one to name it as such. I searched to find where I have seen this referenced before. (If anyone knows, please email me so I can give the originator due credit.) Once I noticed this kind of reasoning, I saw it frequently. Wherever I come across this concept, it reveals a bit about human nature:

If you have to choose between the belief or a rational explanation, the rational explanation may be that which gets rejected.

hill-supernatural-creep-2_200pxThe effect of supernatural creep can be seen with UFOs, anomalous natural phenomena (Fortean topics), and in bizarre stories categorized as “high strangeness” (which I’ll explain a bit further on in this piece). A perfect example is that of “black dogs” whose appearance is spectral or demonic and is associated with either protection from or nearness of bad spirits. Could it be just a big black dog? Witnesses perceive that it’s more than that. When the circumstances feel uncanny, we slip into thoughts of the supernatural. An enjoyable book that illustrates supernatural creep quite nicely is Three Men Seeking Monsters by Nick Redfern. Fun stuff.

With phantom black dogs, there is a connection to local legends and ghost stories. A modern example of the dispute about supernatural creep is evident in the Bigfoot/Sasquatch community.

Bigfoot proponents generally fall into two camps: those who search for a real animal that functions as nature intended (called ‘apers’) and those who entertain the option that the entity is not natural (paranormalists).

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The 9/11 conspiracy theorist who changed his mind

(H/T: Thomas J. Proffit)

Charlie Veitch was once one of Britain’s leading conspiracy theorists, a friend of David Icke and Alex Jones and a 9/11 ‘truther’. But when he had a change of heart, the threats began. He talks to Will Storr.


‘The poster boy for a mad movement’: Charlie Veitch (Photo: Will Storr)

By Will Storr via Telegraph (UK)

On a June afternoon in the middle of New York’s Times Square, Charlie Veitch took out his phone, turned on the camera and began recording a statement about the 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center.

“I was a real firm believer in the conspiracy that it was a controlled demolition,” he started. “That it was not in any way as the official story explained. But, this universe is truly one of smoke screens, illusions and wrong paths. If you are presented with new evidence, take it on, even if it contradicts what you or your group want to believe. You have to give the truth the greatest respect, and I do.”

To most people, it doesn’t sound like a particularly outrageous statement to make. In fact, the rest of the video was almost banal in its observations; that the destruction of the towers may actually have been caused by the two 767 passenger jets that flew into them. But to those who subscribed to Veitch’s YouTube channel, a channel he set up to promulgate conspiracy theories like the one he was now rejecting, it was tantamount to heresy.

“You sell out piece of s—. Rot in hell, Veitch,” ran one comment beneath the video.

Charlie Veitch, before his change of heart, protesting in New York's Times Square

Charlie Veitch, before his change of heart, protesting in New York’s Times Square

“This man is a pawn,” said another. “Your [sic] a f—ing pathetic slave,” shrilled a third. “What got ya? Money?” So runs what passes for debate on the internet. Veitch had expected a few spiteful comments from the so-called “Truth Movement”. What he had not expected was the size or the sheer force of the attack.

In the days after he uploaded his video, entitled No Emotional Attachment to 9/11 Theories, Veitch was disowned by his friends, issued with death threats and falsely accused of child abuse in an email sent to 15,000 of his followers. “I went from being Jesus to the devil,” he says now. “Or maybe Judas. I thought the term ‘Truth Movement’ meant that there’d be some search for truth. I was wrong. I was the new Stalin. The poster boy for a mad movement.”

[ . . . ]

His friend showed him the online documentary Terrorstorm: A History of Government Sponsored Terror, made by the American radio host Alex Jones. It parsed a new version of history, in which governments secretly organised terror attacks to spread fear and extend their matrices of control. From the Reichstag fire to the Gulf of Tonkin up to the present day, it writhed with apparently unassailable facts and sources.

US radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

US radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Jones is a brilliantly effective propagandist who recently made headlines for his hostile showdown on US television with Piers Morgan, over gun control. His YouTube channel has had over 250 million views while his masterpiece, Terrorstorm, has been watched more than 7  million times.

Shortly after watching it, Veitch was made redundant and, instead of looking for a new job, he used some of his £4,000 payout to buy a camcorder and a megaphone and began uploading short videos to YouTube. As the founder of what he called the Love Police, he was filmed performing quasi situationist stunts, such as standing outside McDonald’s with his megaphone berating customers (“Excuse me, sir. Next time I’d advise you to buy some real food for your son”). In more meditative moments, he’d explore his own spiritual, philosophical and conspiratorial notions. Veitch soon gathered subscribers by the tens of thousands.And the bigger Love Police grew, the more radical Veitch became. He occupied Fortnum & Mason during the anti-capitalism rally and Millbank Tower during the student fees demonstrations. He was a witness to the death of Ian Tomlinson during the 2009 G20 summit, called for “chaos” in London, was arrested in Toronto, Edinburgh and London and invited to festivals around the world. “People were throwing money at me. I did a donation appeal and overnight I had £3,500 in my account,” he says.

Icke - Remember what you are_250pxThen, there were the women. “I could have anyone. And there’s a lot of cute activist girls in Holland and Denmark.” Thrillingly, he was courted by his heroes, Jones and David Icke, the former television sports presenter who believes humanity is being controlled by alien lizards.

“It was like being a struggling actor and Tom Cruise phones you,” he says. Jones invited him on to his internet show Prison Planet and praised his “great work”. Veitch interviewed Icke outside parliament just after the 2010 general election, and in return was sent a birthday present of a T-shirt and a book, signed, “To Charles, a great man doing great things. Love David”. Veitch was now a well-known figure in the conspiracy community. But, while some believers could be dismissed as harmless crackpots, there was a malevolent undercurrent to many of the theories.

MORE . . .

Also see: Former Conspiracy Theorist: When They Say ‘Illuminati’ or ‘Reptiles’ They Mean Jews (Algemeiner.com)

Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories

matrix-red-pill-or-blue-pill_600px
By MAGGIE KOERTH-BAKER via NYTimes.com

conspiracies02In the days following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, speculation online regarding the identity and motive of the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators was rampant. And once the Tsarnaev brothers were identified and the manhunt came to a close, the speculation didn’t cease. It took a new form. A sampling: Maybe the brothers Tsarnaev were just patsies, fall guys set up to take the heat for a mysterious Saudi with high-level connections; or maybe they were innocent, but instead of the Saudis, the actual bomber had acted on behalf of a rogue branch of our own government; or what if the Tsarnaevs were behind the attacks, but were secretly working for a larger organization?

Crazy as these theories are, those propagating them are not — they’re quite normal, in fact. But recent scientific research tells us this much: if you think one of the theories above is plausible, you probably feel the same way about the others, even though they contradict one another. And it’s very likely that this isn’t the only news story that makes you feel as if shadowy forces are behind major world events.

“The best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory is belief in other conspiracy theories,” says Viren Swami, a psychology professor who studies conspiracy belief at the University of Westminster in England. Psychologists say that’s because a conspiracy theory isn’t so much a response to a single event as it is an expression of an overarching worldview.

As Richard Hofstadter wrote in his seminal 1965 book, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” conspiracy theories, especially those involving meddlesome foreigners, are a favorite pastime in this nation. paranoid illuminati_250pxAmericans have always had the sneaking suspicion that somebody was out to get us — be it Freemasons, Catholics or communists. But in recent years, it seems as if every tragedy comes with a round of yarn-spinning, as the Web fills with stories about “false flag” attacks and “crisis actors” — not mere theorizing but arguments for the existence of a completely alternate version of reality.

Since Hofstadter’s book was published, our access to information has vastly improved, which you would think would have helped minimize such wild speculation. But according to recent scientific research on the matter, it most likely only serves to make theories more convincing to the public. What’s even more surprising is that this sort of theorizing isn’t limited to those on the margins. Perfectly sane minds possess an incredible capacity for developing narratives, and even some of the wildest conspiracy theories can be grounded in rational thinking, which makes them that much more pernicious. Consider this: 63 percent of registered American voters believe in at least one political conspiracy theory, according to a recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

While psychologists can’t know exactly what goes on inside our heads, they have, through surveys and laboratory studies, come up with a set of traits that correlate well with conspiracy belief.

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10 Places As Mysterious As The Bermuda Triangle

By Michael Alba via Listverse

Everyone has heard of the Bermuda Triangle and the mysteries that surround it. Theories about this area range from reasonable to just plain ridiculous, but whether you believe it’s the site of time warps, alien abductions, or just plain paranoia, it certainly abounds with strangeness. It’s not the only place you can find creepy things happening, however—here are 10 other places on Earth with their fair share of mysteries:

10 • Superstition Mountains

superstition-mountains_3614_990x742_300pxThe Superstition Mountains are a mountain range located east of Phoenix, Arizona. Already it’s off to a great start with the name.

According to legend, sometime in the 1800s a man named Jacob Waltz discovered a huge goldmine within the mountains that has since been dubbed the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine (because Waltz was German, and eh, close enough). He kept the location a secret until his deathbed, upon which he may or may not (depending on which version of the story you’re reading) have told a single person the secret. Regardless, the mine has never been found, in spite of many expeditions. Some say the spirits of people who’ve lost their lives in search of the gold still haunt the mountains.

One reportedly Native American legend goes that the treasures of the mountains are guarded by creatures called Tuar-Tums (“Little People”) that live below the mountains in caves and tunnels. Some Apaches believe that the entrance to hell is located in the mountains. This is, of course, ridiculous, as we all know the entrance to hell is in Sunnydale.

9 • South Atlantic Anomaly

200710_saa_300pxDid you ever wonder if there was a Bermuda Triangle in Space? No? Well you’re probably wondering it now, and you’re in luck! Because there totally is, and it’s called the South Atlantic Anomaly. The SAA is the area where the band of radiation known as Earth’s inner Van Allen belt comes closest to the Earth’s surface.

It’s an area centered just a bit off the coast of Brazil, and it’s responsible for numerous problems with satellites and spacecraft, from messing up their programs to actually shutting down their function. The Hubble Telescope is actually turned off from taking observations when passing through the Anomaly, and the International Space Station avoids scheduling spacewalks when passing through it (which happens up to 5 times a day). It’s not just technical problems, either—some astronauts report seeing “shooting stars” in their visual field as they pass through.

The cause of all these problems isn’t fully understood. The main suspect is the high levels of radiation that accumulate at the anomaly, but scientists aren’t sure exactly how or why the effects occur. So let’s just pin this one on aliens.


8 • Lake Anjikuni

Colville-River-Alaska-1901-USGS_300pxNot content with just a few individuals disappearing, Lake Anjikuni decided to take things to the next level and provide the locale for the disappearance of an entire village. It all happened in November 1930, when a trapper named Joe Labelle was looking for shelter for the night. Labelle was familiar with the Inuit village, whose population ranges from 30-2000, depending on who you believe. He made his way there and found quite an eerie scene—the villagers were nowhere to be found. Everything else, including food and rifles, had been left behind.

Labelle telegraphed the RCMP and an investigation began. In the Village Burial Ground it was discovered that at least one (sources vary) grave had been opened, clearly not by animals, and emptied. Furthermore, about 300 feet from the village, the bodies of around 7 sled dogs were found, having starved to death despite open stores of food at the village. Some versions of the story even report strange lights being seen above the lake around the time of the disappearance.

So what really happened? There have been all sorts of claims about the cause for the disappearance, including aliens (of course), ghosts, and even vampires. The RCMP’s own website disregards the story as an urban legend, but with so many versions of it floating around from so many years ago, it’s hard to be certain. Except about the vampires, I think we can be certain it wasn’t vampires.

7 • The Devil’s Sea

u6XdE8YhXv_300pxThe Devil’s Sea (or Dragon’s Triangle, take your pick of which sounds more ominous) is an area of the Pacific Ocean as riddled with strange happenings as its Atlantic counterpart near Bermuda. Located off the coast of Japan, it’s been the site of countless claims of unexplained phenomena including magnetic anomalies, inexplicable lights and objects, and of course, mysterious disappearances. The area is even considered a danger by Japanese fishing authorities.

One story has it that in 1952 the Japanese government sent out a research vessel, the Kaio Maru No. 5, to investigate the mysteries of the Devil’s Sea. Naturally, of course, the Kaio Maru No. 5 and its crew of 31 people were never seen again. Another story tells of Kublai Khan’s disastrous attempts to invade Japan by crossing the Devil’s Sea, losing at least 40 000 men in the process.

The usual theories abound for what’s really going on: from aliens, to gates to parallel universes, even to Atlantis (because why not). Some suggest that high volcanic activity in the region is responsible for some of the disappearances (the Kaio Maru No. 5 may have been caught in an eruption). Our advice? Just stay out of the ocean, period.

6 • Bigelow Ranch

ftduchesne2002-1a_300pxBigelow Ranch (formerly known as Skinwalker Ranch and Sherman Ranch) is a 480-acre property in northwest Utah that is home to countless UFO sightings, animal mutilations, and other strange occurrences. Though mysterious happenings have been documented since the 50’s, some of the most bizarre stories happened to a pair of ranchers named Terry and Gwen Sherman after they bought it in 1994.

The first day they moved on to the property, they saw a large wolf out in the pasture. They even went to pet the wolf as it seemed tame (to the curious reader, yes, this is always a good idea). It was docile with the Shermans, but ended up grabbing a calf by the snout through the bars of its enclosure. When Terry shot at the wolf with a pistol, the bullets had no effect. It finally left after Terry brought out the shotgun, though even that didn’t do any actual damage. The Shermans tried tracking the wolf, but it’s tracks stopped abruptly as if it had vanished.

And that wasn’t the end of things. The Shermans were constantly plagued by such events as UFO sightings, intelligent floating orbs (reputed to have incinerated three of their dogs), inexplicable cryptids, and gruesome cattle mutilations. It got so bad that the Shermans actually sold their ranch to Robert Bigelow in 1996, the founder of the National Institute for Discovery Science, who wanted to study the mysteries surrounding the ranch. Bigelow owns the ranch to this day and NIDS keeps a tight lid on their findings.

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10 Strange Unexplained Events

Disappearances, UFOs, premonitions…some mysteries will never be answered, feed your curiosity by watching 10 strange unexplained events.

via 10 Strange Unexplained Events – YouTube.

Psychic Victim: ‘How Could I Be So Stupid?’

via CBS Denver

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Adam Marks and 4 On Your Side Investigator Brian Maass (credit: CBS)

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)– A 65-year-old woman who says she lost her retirement savings to a Loveland psychic is now calling the psychic “a complete ripoff” and says she wants others to hear her story and avoid the mistakes she made.

“I look back on it now and think, ‘How could I have been so stupid?’” Francine Evers told CBS4.

Evers handed over more than $73,000 to psychic Adams Marks in a six-month time frame.

Marks has been charged with theft, crimes against an at-risk adult and intimidating a witness.

He declined to talk to CBS4 about the pending criminal case promising, “I’ll have my lawyer call you.”

Evers decided to open up about her experiences with Marks in the hopes others might come forward if they have had similar experiences with Marks even though she acknowledges “It’s embarrassing.”

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The Lunar Effect and Confirmation Bias

moon-bigger-on-horizonBy via NeuroLogica Blog

I gave a seminar recently to science teachers and the topic of whether or not there is a lunar effect came up. I was not surprised to find that 80% of them believed that emergency rooms and police stations are more busy during a full moon. I was also not surprised, but only because I have been there before, that they were highly resistant to my claim that the scientific evidence shows that there is no such effect.

Several questions emerge from the notion that the phases of the moon affect human behavior: what is the plausibility of such a claim, is there actually such an effect, and if not why do so many people believe that there is?

Plausibility

Moon_Animated_250pxOne of two justifications are commonly given for how the moon might influence human behavior. The moon basically has two physical effects on our environment – gravity and light. Astrological influences are not worth further discussion in this article, and I rarely hear that as a justification from the general public in any case.

Gravity is the far less plausible explanation of the two physical effects of the moon. The reasoning often goes something like this: the moon causes tides, which are powerful gravitational effects on water. Our bodies are mostly water, and in fact our brain are floating in water, therefore the moon’s tidal effect might affect our brain function.

This reasoning fails on many levels. First, the moon has a tidal effect regardless of phase. The only difference with lunar phase is the relationship between the lunar tide and the solar tide (yes, the sun has a tidal effect on the Earth as well). During a full moon the lunar and solar tides are lined up, and therefore the combined effect is additive (which is called a spring tide).

However, the same is true of the new moon, therefore if the full moon effect were due to tidal forces there should be an equal new moon effect.

The bigger problem with the gravity explanation is that tidal forces are dependent upon the difference in the distance of the near and far side of an object from another large object. So the ocean tides are caused by the different gravitational pull of the moon on the near side vs far side of the Earth. The tidal force of the moon between the near side and far side of your head is negligible. This is simply not a viable source of an effect on human behavior.

The more plausible mechanism for an alleged lunar effect is the light from the moon. It is reasonable to hypothesize that people are more willing to be outside and active during a full moon because there is more light. This effect, however, should therefore not be present when the sky is overcast or in large cities where artificial light trumps moonlight.

Is There a Lunar Effect?

werewolf 928_250pxThis is one question that is very amenable to standard observational studies – is there a correlation between some kind of event and the lunar cycle? There have been hundreds of such studies over the last few decades, involving emergency room visits, births, accidents, crime, crisis center calls – just about any marker of human behavior you can think of. Systematic reviews of this research consistently demonstrate that there is simply no evidence for any such effect.

Many of these studies cover years or decades of data, and thousands or tens of thousands of data points. A recent German study, for example, found no lunar effect for births between 1920 and 1989. A review of studies looking at crisis center calls found:

12 studies are reviewed that have examined the relationships among crisis calls to police stations, poison centers, and crisis intervention centers and the synodic lunar cycle. On the basis of the studies considered it is concluded that no good foundation exists for the belief that lunar phase is related to the frequency of crisis calls. In addition, there is no evidence whatsoever for the contention that calls of a more emotional or “out-of-control” nature occur more often at the full moon.

An often cited 1985 review by Rotton, Kelly and Culver found no lunar effect for a long list of events, including suicide, homicide, crime, sleep walking, alcoholism, and many others. Several later studies of psychiatric hospital admission also found no effect.

The bottom line is this – this question has been asked and answered, there is no lunar effect. A massive amount of data simply shows no connection between lunar phases and human behavior.

Belief in the Lunar Effect

Why, then, does belief in this effect remain high? Surveys show that belief in this effect remains at about 40-45%, even among those highly educated. In fact, mental health workers have a greater belief in the lunar effect. The short answer as to why this is – confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is a bias in human thinking that causes us to notice, accept, and remember information that confirms beliefs we already have, while ignoring, forgetting, or explaining away contradictory data. This is a powerful effect that can lead to the very compelling illusion that an effect is real when it isn’t.

MORE . . . .
moon phases

10 Mysterious Anomalies

By Ron Harlan via Listverse

Science continues to give us a deeper and more convincing knowledge of the universe we live in. But we still only partially understand the mysterious world we inhabit, and many mysteries remain unsolved. Here are ten of the most fascinating of these anomalies:

10 • Dragon’s Cave Anomaly

cave 857_300pxThere are the usual cryptid mysteries that we all wish to resolve, but the implications of some of these are so disturbing that we might rather not know the real answer.

In an unknown year—but likely some time in the early 1900s—land surveyors dropped rope down a cave in Boone County, Arkansas. After the rope had descended two hundred feet into the cave pipes, a horrendous hissing and roaring sound was heard, suggesting that a bizarre and enormous beast had been disturbed. Some believe that the roaring belonged to a cave-dwelling cryptid, or an apparently-extinct or so-far-undiscovered species.

The exact site of the eerie report has not been found, but the explorers of a second Arkansas cave heard a case of a landowner who had apparently gone insane with terror after entering a similar subterranean system and encountering something.

9 • Precognition of American Presidents

abe-lincoln-close-up_300pxPrecognition—including the vague sense of impending doom—is an unexplained phenomenon whereby events are seen before their time. Eerily, Abraham Lincoln reported a dream in which he had seen his own dead body. Only days later, he was fatally shot.

Quantum theorists studying the fourth dimension propose that time can bend, allowing us to glimpse the future. Limiting ourselves to American Presidents alone, we find that John Garfield and William McKinley also “previewed” their own deaths. In a related—albeit slightly different—case of extrasensory perception, John Adams’ last words the moment before he died were simply “Thomas Jefferson.” It was unknown to him, but hours before, his great political rival had indeed passed away…

8 • Hatley Castle Haunting

Front-of-Hatley-Castle_300pxHatley Castle was built on Vancouver Island, off Canada’s West Coast, by the Scottish Coal Baron Robert Dunsmuir. He was a famous but controversial figure in his day, known for his swift-handed approach to decisions concerning the use of land.

The castle, which now forms part of the campus of Royal Roads University, has begun to fall prey to a series of unexplained events, which send chills down the spine of those who venture too close. Terrified observers have reported seeing a white figure drifting around the windows, and they’ve also made reference to hearing the clash of pots and pans.

It is rumored that the maid of Robert Dunsmuir—rejected by her lover—leapt from the window and died. SPIRITS, a charity dedicated to investigating the paranormal, claims that one of its staff members actually saw a female figure clothed in white slipping through the castle corridors. Unfortunately, few sources have less credibility in such cases than a charity dedicated to investigating the paranormal.

7 • Ancient European DNA

dva 857_300pxEuropean culture is extremely diverse; distinct customs and peoples live there side-by-side in relatively small but clearly-defined regions. One would imagine that the development of Europe consisted of historically understandable transitions—but according to research at the Australian Center for Ancient DNA, genetic markers in skeletons sampled for DNA suggest a sudden, drastic change around 4,500 years ago.

According to paleo-anthropologist Dr. Alan Cooper, “Something major happened, and the hunt is now on to find out what that was.” The mysterious event or cataclysm may never be determined, but it’s possible that an unknown plague, or else a mysterious conflict or agreement between ancient tribes, may hold the key to Europe’s anomalous past.

6 • Australian UFO Aberrations

AU ufo_300px“Alien Abductions” have become fairly widely reported, to the point that most researchers have grown somewhat tired of the subject. However, some accounts are much more difficult to disregard than others.

In 1993, Kelly Cahill and her husband were driving at night in Victoria, Australia, when a bizarre form appeared in front of them, apparently in the process of abducting something. The occupants of a second car behind the Cahills also observed the phenomenon. When the Cahills tracked this second group down, they were able to confirm the fact that they too had witnessed the event. Spooky.

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Cold Reading

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

“In the course of a successful reading, the psychic may provide most of the words, but it is the client that provides most of the meaning and all of the significance.” —Ian Rowland (2000: 60)

Note: to understand cold reading you must understand subjective validation.

psychic_300pxCold reading refers to a set of techniques used by professional manipulators to get a subject to behave in a certain way or to think that the cold reader has some sort of special ability that allows him to “mysteriously” know things about the subject. Cold reading goes beyond the usual tools of manipulation: suggestion and flattery. In cold reading, salespersons, hypnotists, advertising pros, faith healers, con men, and some therapists bank on their subject’s inclination to find more meaning in a situation than there actually is. The desire to make sense out of experience can lead us to many wonderful discoveries, but it can also lead us to many follies. The manipulator knows that his mark will be inclined to try to make sense out of whatever he is told, no matter how farfetched or improbable. He knows, too, that people are generally self-centered, that we tend to have unrealistic views of ourselves, and that we will generally accept claims about ourselves that reflect not how we are or even how we really think we are but how we wish we were or think we should be. He also knows that for every several claims he makes about you that you reject as being inaccurate, he will make one that meets with your approval; and he knows that you are likely to remember the hits he makes and forget the misses.

Thus, a good manipulator can provide a reading of a total stranger, which will make the stranger feel that the manipulator possesses some special power. For example, Bertram Forer has never met you, yet he offers the following cold reading of you:bertram-forer_200px

Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary and reserved. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. You pride yourself on being an independent thinker and do not accept others’ opinions without satisfactory proof. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety, and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. Disciplined and controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside.

Your sexual adjustment has presented some problems for you. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a strong need for other people to like you and for them to admire you.

Here’s another reading that you might find fairly accurate about you:

People close to you have been taking advantage of you. Your basic honesty has been getting in your way. Many opportunities that you have had offered to you in the past have had to be surrendered because you refuse to take advantage of others. You like to read books and articles to improve your mind. In fact, if you’re not already in some sort of personal service business, you should be. You have an infinite capacity for understanding people’s problems and you can sympathize with them. But you are firm when confronted with obstinacy or outright stupidity. Law enforcement would be another field you understand. Your sense of justice is quite strong.

The last one was from astrologer Sidney Omarr. He’s never even met you and yet he knows so much about you (Randi 1982: 61). The first one was taken by Forer from a newsstand astrology book.

psychicFair_210pxThe selectivity of the human mind is always at work. We pick and choose what data we will remember and what we will give significance to. In part, we do so because of what we already believe or want to believe. In part, we do so in order to make sense out of what we are experiencing. We are not manipulated simply because we are gullible or suggestible, or just because the signs and symbols of the manipulator are vague or ambiguous. Even when the signs are clear and we are skeptical, we can still be manipulated. In fact, it may even be the case that particularly bright persons are more likely to be manipulated when the language is clear and they are thinking logically. To make the connections that the manipulator wants you to make, you must be thinking logically.

Not all cold readings are done by malicious manipulators. Some readings are done by astrologers, graphologists, tarot readers, New Age healers, and people who genuinely believe they have paranormal powers.

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Is the Winchester House haunted?

Why does the Winchester Mystery House have stairs leading nowhere?

via HowStuffWorks

Is this sprawling mansion haunted or just oddly designed? Photo courtesy ­Winchester My­stery House, San Jose, CA

Is this sprawling mansion haunted or just oddly designed?
Photo courtesy ­Winchester My­stery House, San Jose, CA

Most of us want to get home construction over as soon as possible. We worry about the expense and complain about the inconvenience. But for Sarah Winchester, construction was a way of life. For 38 years, she had construction going 24 hours a day at her home in San Jose, Calif. This was no ordinary construction job, though; the house is an oddball labyrinth of rooms that at one point reached seven stories. It’s filled with weird things like stairs and doors that go nowhere. And I haven’t even mentioned the ghosts

Sarah Winchester didn’t always want to build a haunted mansion. Born in 1839, Sarah Pardee was one of the social stars of New Haven, Conn. Although she only stood 4 feet 10 inches, she was known for her beauty and her sparkling personality. In 1862, Sarah married William Winchester, who was the heir of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The company had developed the repeating rifle, a gun that was easy to reload and fired rapidly, at a rate of one shot every three seconds. The gun was used by Northern troops in the Civil War and was also known as “the gun that won the West” Silva.

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You won’t get far if you follow the stairs to nowhere.
Photo courtesy Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, CA

The young couple started a family in 1866, but their daughter, Annie, died in infancy, a blow that Mrs. Winchester never recovered from. Mr. Winchester died of tuberculosis 15 years later. Distraught over these losses, she visited a medium for spiritual guidance.

The medium told her that the Winchester family had been struck by a terrible curse and was haunted by the ghosts of all those killed by the Winchester rifle. Their spirits were seeking vengeance, and the only way to appease them was to build a house for them. The ghosts had another request: that the house never be completed. Never stop building, the medium told Mrs. Winchester, or you will die. We can’t know exactly how she interpreted this advice; she might have thought the spirits would get her if she stopped, or she might have seen continuous construction as a path to eternal life.

Mrs. Winchester headed west to build a home for herself and her ghosts. She bought a six-room farmhouse on 162 acres in California and set to work building, a task that would occupy her until her death 38 years later. But how did she end up with such a weird house? Why did she construct stairs that went nowhere and doors that opened into walls?

Find out on the next page . . .

Foiled Again: Lake Monster, Bigfoot Body and Alien Humanoid All in One Week

Sharon_hill_80pxBy Sharon Hill via The Huffington Post

It’s been a busy week in the world of the weird. Not a good one for those who hope to see the dawn of new worldviews or a shift in the paradigm. In one week, three stories topped the abnormal news headlines — all three hyped stories fell apart.

While the stories are still unfolding, it’s clear that they turned out to be nothing as promised.

Click image to view the fake monster video.

Click image to view the faked monster hump video.

First, there was this video of a lake creature swimming among boaters supposedly in Lough Foyle in Ireland. The video, taken by students one of which has the suggestive name Conall Melarkey, shows a hump moving rapidly through the water. The story gained widespread attention. The problem is that no animal can swim this way, no animal looks like this and, in consideration of the circumstances, the best explanation is that someone is towing a hump through the water. In all respects, this video is unbelievable. That is, it appears to be faked.

This second story is a bit more “inside baseball.” Many people will remember the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax of 2008 when two men, including Rick Dyer, teamed up with Bigfoot tracker Tom Biscardi to announce to the world they had a Bigfoot body in a freezer. There was even a press conference where Tom was adamant this was not a hoax, it was “the real deal.” Well, it was a hoax. Hard to fathom how a rubber suit with animal entrails would fool anyone for very long.

Rick has been telling anyone who will listen yet again that he has another Bigfoot body. This beast he supposedly shot during filming of a documentary called Shooting Bigfoot. The majority of Bigfoot enthusiasts did not buy it — once bitten, twice shy — and berated Dyer for his claims and his pay-per-view antics. The movie has come out and… there’s no body. But ever the profiteer, Dyer is still looking for money even though he says he is quitting the ‘footer world.’ Bye. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

alien603 836This week was the Citizens Hearing on Disclosure, an unofficial governmental hearing that provided a forum for testimony from believers in the reality of UFOs and alien visitation. It was nothing we haven’t heard before (and been unimpressed by). But, one very interesting aspect of this tale was about a six-inch, strange-looking mummified body, human-like but not quite right. The ribs, the head, the bone growth was strange. DNA testing showed it was human and of local Chilean origin where it was said to have been found in the Atacama desert. The Atacama humanoid was featured in the new movie “Sirius,” also about extraterrestrial visitation to Earth.

Study of the specimen’s bones by one expert delivered a shocking conclusion: the being was six to eight-years-old. Either the bone conclusions are wrong or we have a very bizarre find here.

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Inside Source Claims “Shooting Bigfoot” Documentary Climax is Just a Big Hoax

By Greg Newkirk via Who Forted? Magazine

Jeff, a squatter who appears prominently in the film as a “weird homeless guy”, but as it turns out.. was actually part of the crew, says "I can tell you right now, all the shooting and stuff like that is staged.”

“I can tell you right now, all the shooting and stuff like that is staged.”

Since the Sasquatch hunting documentary Shooting Bigfoot premiered at Toronto’s “Hot Docs” festival this week, the cryptozoological community has been buzzing with widespread allegations that the film wasn’t so much a documentary as it was science fiction, but all they had to base their opinions on were a few broken promises, previous hoaxes, and inconclusive footage.. until now.

Thanks to the investigative prowess of J.R. Bob Dobbs Jr, a man involved in the filming of the movie has come forward claiming that infamous Bigfoot hunter (and hoaxer) Rick Dyer and director Morgan Matthews coordinated an elaborate hoax for the film’s climactic scene, a tense moment during which Dyer has long claimed to have actually shot and killed a Sasquatch.

Dobbs met up with Jeff, a squatter who appears prominently in the film as a “weird homeless guy”, but as it turns out.. was actually part of the crew tasked with being a “lookout” during the pivotal “Bigfoot killing” scene.

“They had me right on that hill back there watching for people… they radioed in letting me know before they did anything, so I knew what was going on,”  he tells Dobbs, adding that he had to walk in and out of the camp all night, and there wasn’t a Squatch in sight.

dyershooting_250pxDobbs’ offscreen partner tells Jeff that internet commentators were picking apart the film’s final scene, saying, “at the end you see some sort of scuffle and Rick with his gun, and then Morgan Matthews, the director, gets knocked over by something.. can’t really tell what’s going on, and then at the end he’s in a hospital. Doesn’t really explain what happened to him.”

“Did you see him beat up or anything like that?” she asked.

“He actually walked out of here just fine, got in the truck, put everything away – he was carrying at least 80 pounds of gear, at least… I can tell you right now, all the shooting and stuff like that is staged.”

Jeff went on to mention that the money shot was actually filmed multiple times and that Dyer’s gun wasn’t even firing live ammunition, a fact that would certainly make it hard to kill a Bigfoot, unless they’re just sensitive to loud noises.

MORE (Including Video) . . .

bigfoot hideand seek_300pxRelated articles

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.

Conspiracy Palooza

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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.

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  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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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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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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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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Jersey Devil: Impossible Animal of Story & Legend

By Benjamin Radford via LiveScience

jersey-devil

Jersey Devil sightings go back to the 1700s. This image is from a 1909 Philadelphia newspaper.

A devil is said to haunt the wooded Pine Barren of southern New Jersey. Dubbed the Jersey Devil, it has never been photographed or captured, but has appeared in dozens of books, films, and television shows including “The X-Files.”

Most accounts suggest that the creature has a horse-like face with antlers or horns sprouting from the top of its head. It walks on two legs, ending with cloven hooves or pig’s feet. The overall body shape resembles a kangaroo, though it also has wings like a bat. Some say it has a tail like a lizard; others say it has no tail at all. The monster is said to kill dogs, chickens and other small animals, as well as leave spooky cloven hoof prints in snow, and bellow a terrifying screech in the wooded darkness.

History of the Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil is the subject of a legend dating from the early 18th century. There are several variations, but a common story holds that a woman named Mother Leeds (who was believed to have been the wife of a Daniel Leeds) gave birth to her 13th child on a dark and stormy night. Rumors claimed that she was a witch, and bore the Devil’s child. Shortly after birth, it changed form, growing wings, hooves and an equine head. It flew into the air with a bloodcurdling shriek, killing a midwife in the process, and headed toward the woods.

It sounds like a scene from a horror film or novel, too bizarre to be true. And indeed Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast notes that there are holes in the popular story of the Jersey Devil: “In looking at the historical sources, we soon find that this story is not possible. … There appears to be no contemporary sources connecting Daniel Leeds or either of his wives to a devilish character of any sort, and … Although newspapers of the 1800s did occasionally print the Mother Leeds story as given in the legend, we seem to have a total lack of factual basis to anchor it to any real history.”

Despite its origins in legend, several people have claimed to have seen or encountered the Jersey Devil over the past 250 years. In a section on the topic in the encyclopedia “American Folklore,” folklorist Angus Kress Gillespie notes that “The Jersey Devil remained an obscure regional legend through most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, until 1909 when a series of purported ‘Devil’ sightings inspired a Philadelphia businessman to stage a hoax. He painted a kangaroo green, attached fake wings to the helpless creature, and had it exhibited to the public.” The 1909 hoax (and others like it) inspired further sightings and reports, which continue to this day.

What Is the Jersey Devil?

Could the creature be real? The Jersey Devil’s diverse features are strong evidence that it does not — and cannot — exist as a real animal. The most obvious biologically implausible feature is its wings: they would need to be much bigger, and anchored in a much more massive musculoskeletal structure, to lift the animal’s body weight into the air. Birds and bats can fly because their bodies are relatively lightweight; the reputed heavy muscles and thick limbs of the Jersey Devil would never work; you’d have better luck putting butterfly wings on a rhino. Most images of the Jersey Devil look like a monster that a high school Dungeons & Dragons player might dream up as a composite of different, unrelated animals whose features could never actually exist in the same animal, but look weird and scary.

So what’s the explanation for the Jersey Devil? There’s very little to “explain”; we have a monster whose origin is obviously . . .

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Psychic: “I have sex with aliens”

Psychic Stephany Fay Cohen on This Morning tells Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about orgasms with octopus men
Sexy-Alien copy_1oopx

  • Stephany Fay Cohen discussed alien adventures on This Morning
  • Claims she visits other solar systems on a UFO at night
  • Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield tested her psychic powers

By Martha De Lacey via Mail Online

Before the show, Cohen, left, revealed to Philip Schofield that the sex she has with aliens including the Grey race, right, resulted in 'out-of-this-world orgasms'

Before the show, Cohen, left, revealed to Philip Schofield that the sex she has with aliens including the Grey race, right, resulted in ‘out-of-this-world orgasms’

A psychic who claims to have sex with aliens who sneak into her room while she sleeps appeared on live TV to discuss the ‘out-of-this-world orgasms’ she has with ‘octopus men and cat people’.

Stephany Fay Cohen discussed her adult adventures with Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield on today’s This Morning, as part of a week of features celebrating the supernatural.

Cohen even drew pictures of both the UFO she travels in with her ‘spirit guides’, and a Grey, one race of alien with whom she interacts.

Before the show, Cohen had revealed to Philip that the sex she has with aliens resulted in ‘out-of-this-world orgasms’.

A drawing, by Stephany Fay Cohen, of the UFO on which she was taken in to space on Tuesday night

A drawing, by Stephany Fay Cohen, of the UFO on which she was taken in to space on Tuesday night

Explaining her story, Cohen said that the aliens sneak into her room at night: ‘My group, I call them Team Spirit, we have a UFO, a flying saucer, and we go off to planets within our own solar system but also way out. We go in mind. It happens when my physical body is asleep but my spiritual body travels.

Holly then asked: ‘Could it be a dream? Isn’t that what most people call dreaming?’

To which Cohen replied: ‘A dream is a friendly way of letting you know what you’ve been doing without scaring you. That’s what they are. Because otherwise people would be afraid if they were face-to-face with an alien.’

Cohen explained that the various types of alien races include the Greys, the reptilians, the cat people and the octopus men, all of whom come from different planets in the Canis Major solar system. She has a particularly close octopus man friend named Ian.

CatPeopleShe said: ‘He stays close to me, kind of like a spirit boyfriend – but I don’t call him my boyfriend, he’s more a good spirit friend who happens to be from the octopus race.

‘All of the races indulge in sex, but particularly the cat people are highly-charged sexually – and it’s part of our culture.’

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I Doubt It and Maybe You Should, Too

Sharon_hill_80pxBy Sharon Hill via The Huffington Post

On the hill behind my yard where I grew up, there was an Arborvitae tree in the shape of Sasquatch — small pointy head, huge shoulders and massive long body.

The outline of this monstrous Bigfoot looming in the darkness caused me a little anxiety as I rushed from the car to the house. I grew up fascinated by monsters, ghosts and strange things. They seemed real, out there in the woods, in the cemetery, or just beyond my senses. in search of title_300pxI checked out every book about monsters, haunted houses and UFOs from my school libraries. I learned about Loch Ness and psychic powers on In Search Of… with Leonard Nimoy. I can’t really explain why I was interested in these things or why I still am. But I’m certainly not the only one. Ghost hunting and monster tracking is a popular hobby these days thanks to cable TV programming.

My views about the paranormal and the mysterious have radically evolved since childhood. My opinion has swung like a pendulum from belief to disbelief and I progressively ended up in the center. I learned how to apply scientific skepticism. Skepticism is a process of evaluating things by emphasizing evidence and the tools of science. It’s an approach that I personally adopted and practiced. Why? Because I didn’t want to be fooled. I didn’t want to swallow a comforting story when I would rather have the truth.

The younger me, the Bigfoot believer, assumed that Bigfoot is out there. Why not? I mean, hundreds of people tell of their experiences of seeing, smelling, hearing or otherwise experiencing something that they attribute to our popular description of Bigfoot/Sasquatch. bigfoot-1Books are filled with stories. Stories are a gift to humanity but they are far from being hard data. Pictures of footprints and dark blobs are questionable. There’s hair here and there. There is also that famous film — named for those who captured the images, Patterson and Gimlin — taken of a large hairy creature striding rapidly across a California creek bed only to glance back and reveal her face for a moment.

I don’t have enough information to make a pronouncement on all the evidence. But it’s a logical error to say “why not?” when we really need to ask “why?” Why should I believe in this extraordinary creature? In the 50 years after that iconic film, the evidence for Bigfoot still consists of mainly lots of stories that can’t be double-checked. The rest of the evidence remains questionable — possible mistakes, misinterpretations, and a slew of hoaxes. After 50 years, we are no closer to finding Bigfoot. There is no body. The clues do not converge on a solid explanation. As much as I want to think that the creature is out there, strong evidence for it is still lacking.

Skepticism is a valuable thing to practice in proportion — not too much, not too little. This approach can be highly valuable when you are dealing with medical treatments, consumer products or investment. You can apply the same approach to other questionable claims like UFOs or psychics.

Sure, there is a downside. When you dig into the mysteries, they become . . .

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(Leonard Nimoy) In Search Of… Bigfoot

Hitler’s South Pole Hideaway

By Massimo Polidoro via The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry – CSI

hitler-adolf_250px“Searching for Hitler’s DNA in Antarctica.” This is the bizarre headline that made the news a few months ago, launched by Russian news agency Ria Novosti and picked up by the world media after scientists were able to successfully drill into Antarctica’s Lake Vostok. The lake, a massive liquid reservoir cut off from daylight for fourteen million years and buried beneath two miles of ice, is the object of a years-long project to study its waters, which may house life-forms new to science. But what immediately caught the imagination was what seemed to be a revamping of the long-held myth that Adolf Hitler did not commit suicide in his Berlin bunker in May 1945 but was able to escape via submarine to a secret base at the South Pole.

Doubtful Death

Such an idea started circulating immediately after the end of the war. In 1952, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler’s death. Many people believe that Hitler escaped from Berlin.” Stalin’s top army officer, Marshall Gregory Zhukov, whose troops were the first to enter Berlin, flatly stated after a long thorough investigation in 1945: “We have found no corpse that could be Hitler’s.” The chief of the U.S. trial counsel at Nuremberg, Thomas J. Dodd, said: “No one can say he is dead.” Former Secretary of State Jimmy Byrnes in his book Frankly Speaking stated that, after the war, at the Potsdam Conference of the Big Four, he met Stalin, who “left his chair, came over, and clinked his liquor glass with mine in a very friendly manner. I said to him: ‘Marshal Stalin, what is your theory about the death of Hitler?’ Stalin re­plied: ‘He is not dead. He escaped either to Spain or Argentina.’ ”

Hitler’s Berlin bunker, after the Soviet army destroyed it.

Hitler’s Berlin bunker, after the Soviet army destroyed it.

If so many Nazi officers and criminals, like Adolf Eichmann or Joseph Mengele, were able to escape undisturbed from defeated Germany, who’s to say that a diabolical mind like Hitler’s could not have set up a plan in order to simulate his own death? After all, it was known that, like many dictators, he used doubles in order to disorient his enemies. What if he had left the body of one such double in Berlin while he was fleeing to the South Pole?

It appears that in the early 1930s, the imaginations of Nazi hierarchs and maybe Hitler’s as well was captured by theories that the Earth was hollow inside and inhabited by a superior race. In particular, Madame Blavatsky’s esoteric theories had inspired the notorious Thule Society, the extremist right-wing German secret group that later reorganized and became the Nazi Party. Anxious to demonstrate the superiority of the Aryan race, theorists accepted legends of advanced civilizations living inside the Earth: such a superior breed had to be the Reich’s progenitor.

Nazis on Ice

hitler-uboatsProof is lacking, but some claim that Hitler had ordered an expedition aiming to find the entrance to the inside of the Earth and that this had been located at the South Pole. Admiral Karl Doenitz referred to this during the Nuremberg trial when he stated: “The German submarine fleet has even now established an earthly paradise, an impregnable for­tress, for the Fuhrer, in whatever part of the world.” Although he did not specify where the exact location was, many believed it was Antarctica.

After the war, Nazi sympathizer Ernst Zundel claimed that Hitler and a trusted group of men had been able to escape aboard a ship in which they entered the Earth through a hole at the South Pole. Inside the Earth, Nazi scientists worked to build a new army with which to take over the world. An army that could count on revolutionary round, flying vehicles: UFOs.

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Rethinking the Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942

Battle-LA-585x306

By Micah Hanks via Mysterious Universe

Few wartime incidents have been so compelling, and controversial, in the eyes of modern ufologists as that famous “battle” which took place in the skies above Los Angeles in the early morning of February 25, 1942. While conventional history maintains that the entire ordeal had been the result of “war nerves,” UFO researchers have scoffed at the assertion that an object allegedly seen in the skies above Los Angeles that evening had simply been meteorological balloons (see Wesley Craven and James Cate’s 1983 The Army Air Forces in World War II: Defense of the Western Hemisphere for more on the official analysis of the incident). 

The story is well known by now: a strange object appears on radar, moving in slowly toward land from off the Pacific, and soon there are reports buzzing about sightings of Japanese planes over California. Artillery fire ensues, lasting until around 4:14 AM, causing damage to buildings, and even a handful of deaths throughout the panic-stricken city, with reports of disabled Japanese fighter planes crashing to the ground.

The story has remained sensational, largely due to the interest and assertions of UFO researchers; in the past, I too have questioned, on occasion, how a misidentified aircraft of any kind might sustain an onslaught lasting nearly an hour and a half, courtesy of 12.8 pound anti-aircraft shells.

caption

Hoax?
(Click image for larger view)

For all we know, maybe the root of the mystery really does have to do with an exotic aircraft… and to be fair, maybe weather balloons are still just as worthy of consideration. But over the years, there has been enough misinfo presented by both sides–favoring skepticism as well as belief–to almost forever color the waters around this strange and scary incident. So what happened on that February night over Los Angeles, and was California really visited by an unknown aircraft capable of sustaining long-term firing well into the morning hours?

Over the years, there have been a number of bad reports–some of them outright hoaxes–that have been passed along as “evidence” of something strange in the skies over Los Angeles in 1942. Back in 2010, I had taken particular interest in reports appearing at various sites online that alleged the object seen over LA that evening had resembled a giant butterfly. The specific source being cited for these claims had been The Reno Evening Gazette February 26, 1942 edition, thus resulting in a few Fortean scholars who began to draw parallels between the LA air raid of ’42 and later “Mothman” reports emanating from Point Pleasant, West Virginia, during the late 1960s. Like many others, I was intrigued by this, and so I decided to see if I could hunt down an old microfilm copy of this edition of the Gazettesure enough, I located the paper thanks to a little help from an amateur historian friend of mine, with the famous headline emblazoned across the frontpage that read, “Los Angeles Confused Over Air Raid Alarm.” My search for a large Fortean fluttering beast had begun, but the biggest surprise came at the end, when it became clear that . . .

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Crystal Skulls Deemed Fake

A potpourri of analytical techniques reveals purported Aztec sculptures are not bona fide

By Sarah Everts via Chemical & Engineering News

Skull 200px

FAKE DENTISTRY
One of the suspicious features of this fake pre-Columbian Aztec skull is the impossibly perfect teeth.
Credit: James Di Loreto/Smithsonian Institution

Humans seem to have a predilection for fake quartz-crystal Aztec skulls. Since the 1860s, dozens of skull sculptures have appeared on the art market purporting to be pre-Columbian artifacts from Mesoamerica, that is, created by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century. Three such skulls have graced the collections of major museums on both sides of the Atlantic: the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the British Museum in London, and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

As early as the 1930s, some experts began to have doubts about the authenticity of the skulls, says Margaret Sax, a conservation scientist at the British Museum. But for a long time researchers “didn’t have the scientific means to follow up” on their hunches, she adds. Over the past two decades researchers at all three museums have capitalized on analytical science innovations to show that these peculiar skulls are not unusual Aztec artifacts but post-Columbian fakes.

Nowadays the market for crystal skulls is limited to Indiana Jones fans, New Age devotees, and people in the goth and punk subcultures. But in the 1860s, when the skulls appeared on the market, many people in Europe sported little skeletons on rings, pendants, or other personal trinkets to remind them of their own mortality, says Jane Walsh, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. It was a French dealer named Eugène Boban who capitalized on this fascination with the macabre, as well as Europe’s growing interest in and ignorance of Mesoamerican artifacts, to slip some of the first sham skulls into museums.

Goblet 200px

GENUINE GOBLET
Researchers looked at the surface of this real Aztec artifact to help determine that the crystal skulls were frauds.
Credit: Museum of Oaxacan Cultures

Walsh has traced fake crystal skulls at the British Museum and the Quai Branly Museum back to Boban, who sold them to art dealers who then sold them to the museums more than 100 years ago. The Smithsonian skull, however, showed up in the mail in 1992, as an anonymous donation. Its arrival motivated Walsh to contact the British Museum to discuss the skulls. That conversation catalyzed the scientific and historical research that finally proved the objects were phonies.The British and American team were particularly suspicious of the skulls because they hadn’t come from documented archaeological sites. And something was wrong with the skulls’ teeth. Although skulls do appear as motifs in Aztec art, most representations of teeth in authentic pieces reflect the dentistry—or lack thereof—of the time. The teeth in the suspect skulls seemed too linear, too perfect, Sax explains.

So the team took a closer look at the skulls’ surfaces. As a benchmark, they borrowed a legitimate Mesoamerican crystal goblet from the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures, in Mexico. Then they used scanning electron microscopy to compare these surfaces.

It turns out that the surface of the authentic goblet has irregular etch marks, a sign that the pieces were carved with hand-held tools. But the surface of the suspect skulls have regular etch marks, evidence that they were made with rotary wheels and hard abrasives, which appeared only after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Walsh says.

Looking even closer at the British Museum’s skull, the team discovered green, wormlike inclusions in the rock. Raman spectroscopy revealed that the inclusions were an iron-rich chlorite mineral. Although this kind of trace impurity is found in rock crystal from Brazil or Madagascar, it is not found in Mexican crystal, Walsh says.

The team also noticed a small deposit of something curious in the Smithsonian’s skull. By using X-ray diffraction they discovered . . . MORE . . .

Are there secret messages in da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’?

via HowStuffWorks

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(Click image for larger view)
The above image is the composite created by Slavisa Pesci. Some of the features he identified may be visible, such as the knights at both ends of the table.

You’ve likely heard of ­Dan Brown’s best-selling book “The Da Vinci Code” and the subsequent movie adaptation. The ­book has sold tens of millions of copies, w­hile the movie, with more than $757 million in box office revenue, stands as the 22nd highest grossing film of all time as of July 2007 [Source: IMDb]. Brown’s story centers around the theory that Jesus married his follower Mary Magdalene, had a child with her, and that the descendants of that marriage live today.

­The book also invokes two other popular theories, both of which have been discounted by art historians: that Mary Magdalene, rather than the apostle John, sits on Jesus’ right in Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting, and that a disembodied hand in the painting holds a knife. For years, amateur theorists and art historians alike have considered whether “The Last Supper” contains hidden imagery. The latest theory du jour has generated so much excitement that several da Vinci-centered Web sites crashed from an overwhelming amount of traffic.

Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist who’s taken up an interest in da Vinci’s iconic painting, created an interesting visual effect by overlaying a semitransparent, mirrored version of the painting on top of the original. The result is that two figures that look like Templar knights appear at both ends of the table, while someone possibly holding an infant stands to Jesus’ left. Pesci also cited the presence of a previously unseen wine goblet in front of Jesus. mona-lisa-louvre-paris2_250pxPesci suggested that it may be a depiction of the first Eucharist, when Jesus gave his disciples bread and wine at the Last Supper to represent his body and blood. Pesci didn’t indicate who he thought the baby might be, but many amateur scholars have said it’s the child of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

As for the meaning of these ostensibly hidden images, Pesci has no comment, though he believes they may be a product of da Vinci’s noted love of mathematics [Source: AOL News]. Da Vinci was also known to write from left to right and from right to left, a technique called mirror writing.

Pesci’s theory and its possible relationship to da Vinci’s mirror writing, while alluring, present some problems. Chief among them, one da Vinci scholar notes, is that the original painting has deteriorated over time [Source: AP]. The mural is no longer as vivid or crisp as it was when da Vinci first unveiled it. The composite image is distorted and blurry, a problem made worse by the original’s current, faded condition. Still, Pesci’s composite image does seem to show something or someone.

Before we dissect this and other theories about “The Last Supper,” let’s investigate the painting’s history and subject. Leonardo da Vinci completed the work between 1494 and 1498. It’s a wall mural in the Church and Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The painting depicts the famous Biblical scene known as the Last Supper, when, shortly before his death, Jesus predicted that one of his followers would betray him. “The Last Supper” actually shows the moments immediately following Jesus’ pronouncement, explaining why his followers appear engaged in a frenzied conversation. The painting is considered remarkable for, among many celebrated featur­es, its realism and for portraying the apostles as full of emotion and taking part in an intense discussion rather than simply standing quietly behind the table [Source: The Cenacolo].

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