New Scientific Paper Offers Evidence for Younger Dryas Conflagration; Lost Civilization Believers Immediately Lay Claim …

In this first of four posts Jason Colavito takes issue with the notion that a comet strike almost 13,000 years ago extinguished advanced ancient civilizations. He also mentions a contact by the producers of the new In Search Of series made about his appearing as a “dissenting voice” on the subject of Atlantis. With The First Effort to Identify Atlantis with the Sea Peoples Jason bursts that appearance bubble, then reproduces an interesting section from an 1886 academic article. With Fringe Writer Claims Spectacular Bronze Age Gem is Secret Astrological Image Colavito is withering about an attempt to connect a gorgeous Mycenaean age agate carving with a really lost civilization. And with Review of “Ancient Giants: History, Myth, and Scientific Evidence from Around the World” by Xaviant Haze Colavito takes swings at Haze’s theory, his research methodology, and his apparent inattention to copyright issues. (WM)

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Cats With Wings? Extraordinary Things! – Shuker Nature

Flying cats? Not so much, more like leaping felines, but Dr. Shuker is more than familiar with this twist of nature and can attest that it’s not all that uncommon. It is one for the strange books however, and we’re not going to be throwing around the phrase “when pigs fly” with such ease anymore. We need to be careful what we ask for. This next piece, White Dogs of Death also features pets that seem to be less than earthbound, but it’s more of a case of payback and karma than nature playing pranks. In honor of the Year of the Dog, Chris Woodyard shares a tale that will make you appreciate–and respect–your four-legged pals a whole lot more. (CM)

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No Aliens at Roswell, Part-1 – Mysterious Universe

In this and in No Aliens at Roswell, Part-2, Nick Redfern summarizes his thoughts behind rejecting an ET crash in 1947 New Mexico. But he doesn’t quite draw final connection between the USAF’s “polyethylene balloons coated or laminated with aluminum” flown up “as early as May 1948″; Keith Basterfield’s “gigantic balloons” of a period undated in Nick’s article; and an event that, again, certainly took place 9 months prior to the USAF statement. Nick does a whole lot better with the apparent lack of interior parts of the craft. But it seems somewhat questionable that a “clean-up crew” in this instance should have scooped up the crash remains before Mac Brazel laid eyes on them. If one goes that route, numerous freelance human explorers have likely vanished into then-uncharted territories of this globe. Paul Seaburn wows us with Testimony Claims Nixon Hid Proof of ET in White House Time Capsule. Sometimes it seems that human shenanigans, real or imagined, are beyond even the capabilities of those ETs. (WM)

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Elongated Peruvian Skulls May Have Been Elite Humans – Mysterious Universe

Seems like some fun archaeological theories are faltering. Brett Tingley weighs in on the Paracas Skulls with the gist of a mainstream bioarchaeologists’ take on why the skulls were so deformed. And not only ain’t it aliens, but the construction is that the deformations occurred because of the cultural elite status of the individuals involved, and was not their cause–no separate subrace thing here. On another matter archaeological, Callum Hoare says that the ‘Oldest Pyramid in the World Discovered’ with Hidden MYSTERY Messages BAFFLES Scientists. Well, the thing at Fort Ransom, North Dakota (or at least the bottom 2/3rds of it) is generally felt to be a natural formation left by the Ice Age. But the pattern gouged on a “nearby” stone certainly is intriguing. Alas, one writer says this particular “Writing Rock” is in Divide County (not the Ransom County location of the Hill), and that other similar but not as exciting stones located at Fort Ransom are “glacial erratics,” again naturally sculpted. Yet the “writing rock” has some fascinating qualities, as per The Fort Ransom Writing Rock. Jasper Hamill is asking us Does this Ancient Map Show a Mermaid Holding a ‘Flying Saucer’ UFO?. Well, the map isn’t technically “ancient”–which might have been even a bigger story than Jasper’s question. But one of the two discus-like objects in question sure looks like a “Sport Model” UFO. If so, the mermaids seem just as puzzled by the saucers as we moderns are. But Ivan, who basically asks the same question in An Ancient Map of America–published in the 1500’s, Depicts a Mermaid Holding a…UFO?, plausibly suggests that one mermaid is actually holding a mirror up to her face. By extension the hand gesture to her hair might be a cue that the more exciting object in the other mermaid’s grasp is just another mirror, too. (WM)

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Making Sense of the Paranormal – University Affairs

Readers, we hope you’ve got your thinking caps on. First up, we have a call to embrace the paranormal not as anomalous, but as a mirror through which human experience can be measured. To quote the 9th Doctor:”Fantasic!” Next, Scientific American  gets to Thinking Outside the Quantum Box, essentially asking if the nature of reality is entirely in our heads, or if there’s some spookiness about the whole thing, as Einstein suggested. It gets a bit heavy on the science-y vocab but just approach it conceptually and enjoy the ride. (CM)

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Michael Mayes Interview – The Crypto-Kid

Host Colin Schneider interviews the Texas Cryptid Hunter about the Creatures from the Lone Star State, including of course black panthers, which is the subject of Michael Mayes’ new book, Shadow Cats, just published by Anomalist Books. Another Anomalist Books author, Avrel Seale, gets a big thumbs up from Andrew W. Griffin of Red Dirt Report for Monster Hike: A 100-Mile Inquiry Into the Sasquatch Mystery. “I’m glad I read Monster Hike because I appreciated Seale’s honesty and wonderment, even at his age, when we are told that believing such creatures exist is plain silly,” writes Griffin in his review: “Monster Hike” takes author – and reader – into Texas wilderness, in search of Bigfoot. (PH)

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Special Cases: The Long Island File (74): Men In Black and Princess Moon Owl – John Keel

Well, the eccentric Princess Moon Owl has come back into the John Keel Long Island Contactee saga, and John’s none too happy about it. More concerning is the strange story Jaye Paro relates about two MIB visitors who “depend on power” and make threats against “the four children.” We’ve not heard of these kids since we started reading Doug Skinner’s installments of the Long Island File, but the related conversation chills us. From Moon Owl to Project Moon Shadow, Randy Cramer and the Templeton Spaceman is one of Kevin Randle’s lighter posts. The problem with both stories, he says, “is that one is absurd and the second is an optical illusion.” But both are diverting. (WM)

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Russian Police Summon Priests to Exorcise ‘Poltergeist’ – The Moscow Times

Typically, Russian news contains the best of the weirdest, but these two recent news items seem more like the worst of the lamest. In this first piece the police force evidently grew weary of trying to deal with a call that had no solution, so they declared the situation demonic and called in a priest. The late Douglas Adams would have called this a Somebody Else’s Problem field. Next, a Psychic Russian ‘foresaw deadly plane crash’ but boarded plane anyway after misreading omen. Evidently he thought the message meant he would be arrested at the airport. (Excuse us?? Is that a regular thing that happens at Russian airports?) As odd an assumption as that was, we just wish he’d been able to warn every single passenger away from that flight. (CM)

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What Is Up With Those Pentagon Videos? – Wired

Sarah Scoles notes problems with the “chain of custody” touted for the videos released last December 16th by the New York Times and the To The Stars…Academy of Arts & Science. She gives a mostly accurate if not fully complete exposition of the matter and such issues as the exact classification-or-not status and release of the videos. These are not insignificant points, but her efforts fall short of tarnishing the videos’ authenticity. And if the footage is legit as claimed, there are issues more important to their interpretation. Scoles properly notes some of these matters, including the current mystery about what happened in the GIMBAL case after the video ends. More information is definitely required, and we’ll stay tuned for whatever Luis Elizondo told the audience to his pre-recorded video this past Saturday at the International UFO Congress. (WM)

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A Strange Creature and a Stranger Name! – Mysterious Universe

Batsquatch…cue Caped Crusader Music. Actually don’t. Whatever your take on dark caped dudes with revenge issues, it’s nothing compared to what was reported in Washington State in 1994. Enormous and winged, the creature seemed capable of producing EMPs that stalled automobiles, and while no violent interactions were reported it was clear the monstrous entity was more than capable of taking down anyone that got in its way. Similarly, Bizarre Encounters with Lizard Men. While some reports describe these strange scaly beings in terms that are more human than reptile, others tell of terrifying encounters that made the witnesses flee for their lives . Humans aren’t always the innocent ones though. “This Monster of the Deep,” as told by Nick Redfern, describes an encounter in Norway waters in the 1840s wherein a sea monster minding its own business was fired upon by humans who would later describe the encounter as an attack. If only we had dash cams back then. (CM)

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The Original Cash-Landrum Case File, 3/4/81: Transcript & Analysis – Blue Blurry Lines

Curt Collins has come through on his promise to publish original case documents from the famous Cash-Landrum CEII-Physiological incident of December 29, 1980. His analysis will raise a few eyebrows, and the links provided to Collins’ other resources on this case will provide a valuable resource to those of us who plan to examine this iconic UFO story further. For the classic UFO abduction Pascagoula Mississippi case, British LADbible writer Jess Hardiman contributes Secret Police Audio Files Could Prove Men Were Telling Truth About Alien Abduction, Researcher Says. This mainstream social media and entertainment journalist summarizes a The Sun article that includes the audio tape secretly made of Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson after their 1973 CEIV ordeal. Hardiman’s treatment is straightforward and done with minimal editorial comment. Bienvenido Perez Garcia tells a series of Hispanic stories from the days of Pascagoula and Cash-Landrum in his Dominican Republic: UFO and Alien Experiences and Sightings. They include CEII EM and Physiological, CEIII, and scary multiple witness CEI cases. More than the usual amount of detail is generally provided, too, and it’s interesting that Perez Garcia puts “the early 1970s” as the time when such phenomena “multiplied overwhelmingly” in the Dominican Republic. (WM)

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You Need to Hear These FAA Tapes From That Oregon UFO Incident That Sent F-15s Scrambling – The WarZone

“It’s been an unusual night here for us” said the Operations Manager in Charge for Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center of an incident that occurred on October 25th of last year. Pilots of multiple air crews saw something that flitted in and (mostly) out of radar’s grasp at about 37,000 feet altitude between Oakland and Portland, and escaped jet interception. Tyler Rogoway profiled this story in November as Airliners And F-15s Involved In Bizarre Encounter With Mystery Aircraft Over Oregon. And apparently that “mystery” still remains. Working from materials gained through the Freedom of Information Act, Rogoway has now done a masterful job of packaging audio recordings of radio transmissions and phone calls, plus radar data and his own commentary, into a coherent presentation of those events. Noting that FOIA Strikes Again, Billy Cox aptly likens the occurrence to “that riveting opening sequence in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind'”. The account, both authors remark, dramatically shows our air control and defense networks in operation, especially during a situation beyond standard procedures. A fascinating set of articles. (WM)

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Inside the Mind of Amanda Feilding, Countess of Psychedelic Science – Wired

As Matt Simon writes, “If LSD is having its renaissance, 75-year-old English countess Amanda Feilding is its Michelangelo.” Descended from an ancient line of anti-government nobles, she continues the family tradition of sticking it to the man. In this case, tearing away the pariah status of psychedelics. Amidst the profile, there’s interesting science focused on blood flow, electricity, and trepanation. If you’re too timid to tune in, turn off, and drop out like Paul Seaburn, dare to try Michelle Myer’s technique having her Wake Up With Three Foreign Accents. Also guaranteed to break your brain is Greg Bishop. He invites Skylaire Alfvegren on the podcast to discuss What Is A Fortean, her UFO encounter, and the necessity to have a robust sense of humor about everything. (CS)

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Surprising Stone Age Knowledge Revealed On A Mammoth Bone Bracelet – Ancient Origins

While this isn’t exactly a smartphone hidden amidst a midden of mammoth bones, this ivory bracelet is quite a technological achievement. Of particular interest is Ingvar Nord noting the knowledge underpinning this technology may go back even further. Other engraved objects aren’t so astonishing to the keen eye of Jason Colavito. Today he teases apart the tanglged web behind another artifact, one that a British Investigator Claims To Be A Secret Templar Treasure Map. Sometimes if one wants to see something so earnestly, they’re bound to find it regardless of evidence. (CS)

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How An 18th Century Anatomical Dictionary From Tibet Offered Evidence Of The Legendary Yeti – Mysterious Universe

Drawings aren’t necessarily ‘evidence’, unless a similar drawing pops up hundreds of miles away without any way of the artists sharing their vision. Such is the discovery of Micah Hanks, and he shares the chain of evidence for this extraordinary coincidence. Also On The Track Of Unknown Animals is Glasgow Boy, drawing a parallel between Richard Freeman’s quest for the thylacine and Glasgow Boy’s own romance with Nessie. Should the thylacine lose its title as “World Hide-And-Seek Champion”, what would that say about Nessie’s naysayers? Keeping with the theme, Karl Shuker calls shenanigans on those who say the thylacine was Never In New Zealand, pursuing the potential time when thylacines stalked kiwi birds. (CS)

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U.S. Diplomats In Cuba Have Unusual Brain Syndrome, But There’s No Proof They Were Attacked – Science Magazine

Last summer American diplomats in Cuba experienced something, leading even mainstream outlets to humor James Bond-ian spycraft and gadgetry. Victims underwent extensive testing and Richard Stone presents those conclusions, only serving to deepen the mystery. Robert Bartholomew strongly disagrees by pointing out how this Major New Study On These “Sonic Attacks” Is Alarmingly Inaccurate. Enumerating Douglas Smith and company’s oversights, it becomes clear the paper “Neurological Manifestations Among US Government Personnel Reporting Directional Audible and Sensory Phenomena in Havana, Cuba” is more about disinformation than actual science. What aren’t they telling us? (CS)

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Messages Received From Aliens Could Ruin Life On Earth – The Independent

Just when you thought it was safe to open email attachments again, some eggheads suggest trolls from Zeta Reticuli are keen on infecting our computers with viruses. Andrew Griffin says installing McAfee isn’t enough, and we should protect ourselves with an artificial intelligence on the moon. Matters get sillier from there. On the bright side, the Crypto-Currency Craze Is ‘Hindering The Search For Extraterrestrial Life’. In the pursuit of initial coin offerings, NEETs and nerds are snapping up processors better served to detect alien signals than crunching through blockchains. Peeking into the rabbit hole, let’s consider the blockchain as an adversarial memetic virus playing upon humanity’s propensity for greed. An alien technology ’emailed’ to Earth, employed by Satoshi Nakamoto, then spreading by the promise of easy money. Easy money isn’t free since the blockchain’s power requirements are unsustainable for civilizations not on the Kardashev scale. Not only is SETI technologically hampered, leaving us deaf and mute to ‘good’ aliens, we face a ridiculous future where the sum of Earth’s energy is used for the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrencies. Another looney theory suggests Bitcoin and company are a libertarian Ponzi Scheme devised by a hidden Turing-grade artificial intelligence with the purpose of paying for eir server space and bandwidth. A down-to-earth hypothesis concerns Russia leveraging the West’s burgeoning energy demands from the blockchain to force an easing, or outright lifting, of international sanctions impacting Russia’s energy industry. No sanctions means Russia could compete with Saudia Arabia and Iran, making Russia “great again”. Such an action would affirm to Putin the world would look the other way should another sovereign country get invaded or annexed. The cherry on top? America seems poised to make fossil fuels, rather than renewables, the future. Do the math. (CS)

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Is Humanity Ready For The Discovery Of Alien Life? – Scientific American

With all of those nutty ideas in mind, let’s ruminate upon Yasemin Saplakoglu’s headline question. Despite current American immigration policies, Americans would celebrate the arrival of aliens. Just as long as they weren’t wearing sombreros. The rest of the planet? Well, they’re not so optimistic. Take Australia’s Greg Taylor giving his two dollarydoos on Why Finding Alien Life Would Be A Horrible Thing For Humanity. Kurzgesagt – In A Nutshell‘s presentation is based on several “what-ifs”, and baitworthy doom porn, but it’s something for any anomalist to chew on. (CS)

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Tell Us A Ghost Story, Mummy: Khonsuemheb And The Whiny Ghost – EsoterX

He’s ba-aa-ack! Despite reports of ostracization, EsoterX comes bearing gifts from the darkest curiosity shops run by centenarian Asians. The best laid schemes of ancient Egyptian beer meisters gang aft agley when they try to help a spook, with unexpected consequences. Khonsuemheb had good intentions, but everyone knows those make the finest paving material this side of paradise. Other souls resign themselves to rocks, similar to those found by Paul Cropper upon investigating a Stone Throwing Poltergeist Tormenting A Zimbabwe Family. Bringing us to Tim Binnall’s dirty little secret: his fancy-pants doll collection. He’s negotiating the purchase of a unique addition to his tea party, one notorious for exuding the “heebie-jeebies” in person and through photographs. Can You Feel This Haunted Doll? We certainly did, but that might be last night’s pizza and bourbon. (CS)

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Dark Days And A Phantom Town – Fortean Ireland

Fata morgana could be the explanation for a curious event off the shore of Ballyconnelly, yet Fortean Ireland‘s confounded as to the nature of darkness which befell Coleraine. In the same measure, Brett Tingley is hard at work to suss out the agency behind those Unexplained Mystery Booms Across America. One thread Brett’s following involves Trump’s Sons, Mysterious Explosions, And A Haunted Psychiatric Hospital in upstate New York. Maybe the lads are preparing to pursue the most dangerous game, contributing a few more ghosts to this haunted plot of land. (CS)

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The Fulshear Fish Fall – The Fortean

Australian fortean Paul Cropper–co-author of two fabulous books, The Yowie: In Search of Australia’s Bigfoot and Australian Poltergeist: The Stone-throwing Spook of Humpty Doo and Many Other Cases–has just started a new blog and his first post is a dozy. It’s all about the “rain” of fish that took place in Texas on the afternoon of January 16, 2018. His investigation, conducted remotely we assume, is a model of how these things should be done. The report considers several proposed explanation and finds them all lacking. What better way to kick off a fortean blog! (PH)

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New York Times ‘Gimbal UFO’ Footage Explained? – Daily Grail

An independent researcher has cast doubt on the anomalous nature of one of the two videos publicly released along with the announcement of the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) last December. Greg Taylor describes two videos produced by Ian Goddard that suggest features of the gimbal infrared system, when locked onto a jet aircraft, could cause results extremely similar to what the 2015 GIMBAL video portrays. The explanation is on its face impressive, although as Greg notes, it does not “prove” that the subject of the video was indeed a jet. Another quibble is that Goddard’s explanation only applies to the single image on the video, when the accompanying audio includes the words “There’s a whole fleet of them; look on the ASA”. We do not hear that sentence in the Goddard videos, but the Metabunk people discuss this issue in their review entitled NYT: GIMBAL Video of U.S. Navy Jet Encounter with Unknown Object. Well, now that the U.S. has ‘fessed up to its secret UFO program, will other countries also own up? In British Ministry of Defence Breaks Silence on Bombshell US X-Files Jon Austin gives us the English answer: No. (WM)

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Bread-Eating King-Killing Mer-Woman – Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog

We stay in chilly British waters for today’s crypto-round-up, beginning off the coast of County Clare in Ireland, where the sighting of a fishy female with “well-shaped hands” occurred just before the death of Edward VII. Further north, Glasgow Boy heats things up a little with A Review of “The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded” (Part II) which is a further exposition of his excoriating opinions of Ronald Binns’ latest book. And finally, still in Scotland, Karl Shuker tells us I’d Like to be beside the Sea in a Water-horse’s garden in the shade, which is a whimsical intro to his analysis of the Ord Water Horse’s skeleton on the Isle of Skye. (LP)

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Canadian Academics on the UFO Phenomenon – The UFO Past

Ufology is as much about the witnesses and those who interact with them as about whatever is perceived. Penn State historian Greg Eghigian says a group of Canadian scholars is intensively studying the human response to UFOs, and we can expect some reports on their work eventually. Nick Redfern’s already got one for us, as he relates in The Road to Strange: A New UFO Book Reviewed. Michael Brein and Rosemary Ellen Guiley emphasize how UFO experiences affect the witnesses themselves–how they and those around them deal with the aftermath. Ridicule is a prominent element in a number of instances. But maybe that is diminishing, as seen in Poll: A Majority of Americans Are Preparing For An Extraterrestrial Invasion. Yes, Jazz Shaw’s title is a bit over the top. But Shaw aptly asks whether the perceived rise in public acceptance of ET possibilities may be somewhat connected to the revelations of the Pentagon UFO study program, either in a rise in belief itself, or just in the willingness to express that opinion. Some might even find that latter a job enhancement move, says Paul Seaburn in his Kim Wilde Sees a UFO and Fears an Alien Abduction. The English pop singer and personality recently mentioned a 2009 UFO encounter in an interview, just coincidentally on the eve of a new album and concert tour called “Here Come The Aliens.” But promoting one’s UFO interests can have its pitfalls, too; just ask the subject of ‘Ghostbuster for Aliens’ Investigates UFOs on the ‘Paranormal Highway’. Michael Koenigs profiles Colorado’s controversial ufologist Chuck Zukowski, who was fired by a Sheriff’s office for mixing paranormal and police work. (WM)

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Satellite Records 400 Kilometer Wide UFO – Inexplicata

Bet this headline caught your eye. Maybe a diameter of 240 miles sounds more believable, but this is still really a BIG story and we’d have loved to have heard the debate in Chile that accompanied the 1999 TV broadcast of two images supposedly taken separately some years before. Inexplicata sitemaster Scott Corrales attaches another case that, if anything, seems wilder and “deeper” than the lead. Staying in country, Scott gives us Chile: A UFO Over Temuco–First One This Year (2018). Scott helpfully provides some translation to the associated video, whose witness reactions may be just as interesting as the intriguing photography. Our final South American case takes place in Argentina: New UFO Sighting in Pocito introduces us to a largely youthful group of “UFO Hunters.” Whether the associated video shows one or multiple point light sources is unclear, but again the sound impresses upon us the wonder that celestial doings can inspire in us all. (WM)

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The Strange Case of the Quinault Blow Down: The Ultimate Solution – Cliff Mass Weather And Climate Blog

For those of you wondering what a hard core weather nerd with a penchant for the strange likes to read, wonder no more and welcome to meteorological heaven. For those of you wondering what knocked those old growth trees down in the wee hours of January 27, the short answer is “Wind.” The long answer reads like a mystery novel with an incredibly well thought out plot. Other puzzling news includes two videos from Coast To Coast AM. The first Video: ‘Time Traveler’ Passes Lie Detector Test? is a lengthy display of ambiguity, which is quite disappointing because we really want to believe this is a real time traveller. Sadly it’s just too easy to fake results on a video recording. Next, we Watch: Ghost Knocks Ball Down Stairs? Creepy? Yep, we got goosebumps, too. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to explain away. Now we’re itching to go ghost hunting. (CM)

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100 Years Ago–Did Crowley Usher in the Modern UFO Wave With An Inter-Dimensional Portal? – Paranoia

Aleister Crowley, portals, and the “origin” of UFOs–Andrew Arnett’s article has it all. It’s a fascinating and densely informative read, and the links will be especially helpful to those new to this particular fringe-element to the wild “extra”-world of ufology. On a lighter, and nearer in time, note, the Missing Wreckage of UFO Which ‘Crash Landed’ in Yorkshire is Found, 60 Years On, says David Clarke. Clarke relates the story of the “Silpho Moor Object,” its strange message “You will improve or disappear,” its disappearance, and the recent reappearance of parts of it that had been stowed in 1963 in an archive. Sarah Knapton fills out the story of the Lost Wreckage of ‘British Roswell’ Flying Saucer Discovered in Science Museum. It turns out that Dr. Clarke himself had recently given a lecture there, and afterwards “One of the museum staff tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was aware that ‘bits of a flying saucer’ had been kept in a cigarette tin in the museum group store for decades.” Amazing. (WM)

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Erich von Daniken and David Halperin – The Paracast

In the first half of an outstanding Paracast, Biblical scholar and ufologist David Halperin debates Erich von Daniken on Ancient Astronauts, then continues on with host Gene Steinberg in a discussion of Halperin’s own sense as to what UFOs are and what they are not. Halperin pursues von Daniken doggedly across time and cultures, praising the Swiss raconteur for bringing out the “mystery” of antiquity while differing with him on almost every other point. In the process von Daniken also gets his views and methodology across. The second part of the podcast brings out the basic perspectives that inform and animate Halperin’s excellent blog articles. Though one may come away unconvinced by Halperin’s theories, he or she may very well feel they have a richer understanding of the UFO subject. With “Chariots of the Gods?”–Erich von Daniken and the Book of Enoch Halperin expands upon one of the contests he had with von Daniken in the Paracast debate. Again, Halperin finds something to praise in von Daniken’s overall work, while strongly disagreeing with his theme and methods. In the process Halperin highlights the frustrations historians have with conveying to non-historians–and beginning students in particular–what historians know and what they reconstruct about the past. (WM)

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Dickson: It’s Easy To Poke Fun At Nebraska’s Bigfoot Believers, But What If They’re Right? – Omaha World-Herald

Columnist Brad Dickson has some well-deserved fun poking the squatchy possibilities with a long scratchy stick. That’s the thing about forteana–if you’re in it for the long haul, you better have your sense of humor somewhere next to your monster spray and holy water. You also need to have a bit of a stubborn streak. A columnist in South Whidbey thinks Lawmakers Should Pass Sasquatch Bills and is as disappointed as the rest of us that the recent bill aimed at making Bigfoot the official cryptid of Washington wasn’t passed. Or perhaps there’s some tongue in cheek going on there–we’ll let you decide for yourselves. But Beware of the Beastly Bunyip. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of safety because the Bunyip seems to stick to Australia. Nor should you think it’s not a predator just because Bunyip is so darn fun to say out loud. (CM)

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Researchers Claim Ancient Greeks Sailed to Canada – Mysterious Universe

Paul Seaburn strikes again with an entertaining tale cooked up by Greek thinkers who’ve squeezed out “history” from a story in a book by Plutarch. Plutarch was a 1st-2nd CE biographer of famous Greeks and Romans who also wrote a book called Moralia, and it’s from the latter that the current Greek team has drawn its inspiration. Seaburn points out some of the weaknesses in the “Greeks in Canada” theory, most glaringly that there is absolutely no physical evidence to support it. Jason Colavito exhaustively attacks the theory in Greek Scientists Claim Plutarch Recorded Ancient Greek Voyages to Canadian Colony. Colavito points out astronomical, geographical, literary, mythological, and historical knowledge problems in the authors’ attempt “to reduce myth and legend to historical fact,” and sets the story in the Moralia into a larger Greek speculative context. (WM)

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The ‘Mandela Effect’ And How Your Mind Is Playing Tricks On You – The Conversation

Have we seen this article before? Hop on the merry-go-round while we ponder the source of false memories. It’s Food for the Fortean Soul, covering the spread between incorrect recall, parallel worlds, and time travel. Just don’t take yourself too seriously. Scientists Studying Psychoactive Drugs Accidentally Proved The Self Is An Illusion. Well dang, why couldn’t they have proven chocolate actually made you thinner, or that we get more work done when we work only 2 days a week and take off the remaining 5? This piece goes on to quote The Tibetan Buddhist monk Chogyam Trungpa, with whom we must agree: “Life is a humorous situation but it is not mocking us.â€� (CM)

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Exclusive 60 Minutes with Luis Elizondo–Former Director of the AATIP – UFORadio-international

For anyone still following the BIG NEWS that broke in December, Giuliano Marinkovic’s interview with Luis Elizondo is a “must listen” (as it’s just audio). Conducted on January 15th, the dialogue gives Elizondo’s replies to many of the questions raised since the existence was revealed of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Some of these questions are still being asked. Two examples: the confusion of “metal alloys” with “meta-materials”, and the focus by skeptics upon debunking single sources of information, when cases like the 2004 “Nimitz”, featured multiple different data sources (eyes, electro-optical, radar). (In fairness to the skeptics, the complementary data to the two videos released to the public on December 16th has not been fully released.) About 45 minutes into the interview Elizondo goes to some lengths to counter his critics and explain and justify his own thought process and actions since last autumn. Interviewer Marinkovic certainly did his homework, and the result is a strong and rather persuasive whole. Jon Rappoport’s not convinced, per his “UFO Disclosure”: A Covert Op to Discredit Real Disclosure. Whether one accepts Rappoport’s thesis or not, it does point out some uncomfortable elements in the “To The Stars…Academy of Arts & Science” initiative. (WM)

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Something Weird Went Down in the Woods of Washington – Mysterious Universe

What the heck happened last month in the forests of Olympic National Park? More than a hundred old growth trees were knocked down in early on the morning of January 27th and no one has any idea how or why. What they do know is a measurable seismic event took place near the centre of the tree fall, although it’s clear an earth rumble did not snap the trees. Is it time to start looking for portals opening wide and slamming shut? And it looks like there is no shortage of strange noises belting out of our skies: Video: Colorado Cops Baffled by Mystery Booms. Mind you, in this case the local residents are comparing notes on Facebook and trying to sort out who has been pranking the area since July, as opposed to assuming it’s the end of the world, so that’s progress. (CM)

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Levitating Saints – and Others – Malcolm’s Anomalies

Malcolm Smith examines levitation, as well as its associated near misses over history. While some examples just seem like “good tries,” others are either miraculous or hallucinatory. We have to point out that Malcolm’s ability to examine marvels such as this through a highly objective lens makes him one of our favorite forteans. Next, Brent Swancer brings us Mysterious Cases of People Who Teleported Out of Prison. While some flat out disappeared, never to be heard from again, there were also those strange examples of prisoners who went MIA at will and returned when they were ready for the warm confines of their prison cells. Sounds more like the prison guards were indulging in the local fungi when no one was looking. (CM)

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UFOs (Today) are So Unsexy! – UFO Conjectures

Apparently Rich Reynolds is not enamored of “Flying Tic-Tacs,” not even mentioning (which he does) mere “lights in the sky.” Not to mention, again, that such current UFOs don’t even seem to sport “Space Brothers” (and “Sisters”!). On the question of UFO Trauma or Exploitation? Rich proposes a kind of “sense check” to UFO witness claims by monitoring their post-event lives. We think a person could report a genuine anomalous experience, appreciate the subsequent attention they received, and even create “new” experiences to make a little money and/or stay in the limelight. The human makeup is quite complicated, as Rich will agree–but his concluding paragraphs are persuasive. Rich’s third offering Dealing with UFO Madness, Even the Foolish Kind…… is an interesting variation on one of his major ufological themes. It’s also a kind of apologia for the skeptics, whom Rich admits to be “a little rabid, some of them”–and thus a little “mad,” themselves. (WM)

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‘You Can Think I’m Crazy': Idaho Golfer Takes to Twitter after UFO Sighting in Mexico – Idaho Statesmen

On February 6th of this year golf pro Graham DeLaet figured he’d experienced something rarer than a hole-in-one, according to Nicole Blanchard. DeLaet’s Twitter video wasn’t overwhelming, and some respondents persuaded him that the thing was a SpaceX rocket, but the incident seems to have energized a lot of people. Last year, a large number of people saw and photographed five objects cavorting in the afternoon sky above Mexico City’s Portales Metro Station, as detailed in Mexico: Hundreds Witness UFO Sighting in Tlalpan (2017). And Mexico’s participation in a worldwide “wave” more than a decade earlier is recounted by Alfonso Salazar in Mexico: The 1973 UFO Wave. (WM)

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Now the Counterpunch – Herald Tribune

During the relative drought in information flow since the release last December of two F-18 gun camera videos and disclosure of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, skeptics have rather belatedly suggested a variety of explanations, of varying quality and relevance. Billy Cox applies this analysis to efforts by Ian Goddard and the SETI Institute. While we recently noted some of the miscues committed by Seth Shostak and “sidekick” Molly Bentley, Billy raises weaknesses in the arguments of the “guest talent.” He also underscores a particularly important but under-appreciated point raised by James Oberg, which is implicit in the comments of fellow CSI member Benjamin Radford. (WM)

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Investigating the Sepia Pandas of Qinling – It’s All There in Brown and White – Shuker Nature

Panda plagiarism features in this retrospective report by Karl Shuker as he looks back to the fairly recent emergence of the “Sepia Panda,” a handsome creature now recognized as a “subspecies in its own right.” The good doctor then advises Beware, Beware, The Fish with Hair–or not, as the case may be. Hirsute hoaxes and furry folklore seem to account for these stories. (LP)

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Three-Fingered Mummy Update: They were Once Alive – Mysterious Universe

Paul Seaburn gives a summary of the Gaia website’s handling of this Peruvian archaeological discovery, hoax, or …? He also gives us the latest news, which doesn’t impress him, or others, for that matter. Further, Paul provides information and commentary on the New DNA Test Results on Peru’s Elongated Skulls. Again, he’s not excited by the data on the Paracas skulls that came out at February 2nd’s “Elongated Skulls Symposium”. Paul is kinder here, however, than was Jason Colavito in his L.A. Marzulli Holds Live Stream Symposium to Reveal Elongated Skull DNA Results [Updated With Results], which we profiled on the 6th. (WM)

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Brain “Pacemakerâ€� Could Help You Remember Only What You Might Forget – Scientific American

Do not blame scientists for ‘scientific’ blog posts. More often than not bloggers are not scientists. Case in point, why are they blogging rather than “science-ing”? Their mission? Perpetuate the science news cycle at all costs. Science, to be honest, is boring. Dreadfully and painfully boring if you can’t make sense of Greek letters, Latin terminology, and weird mathemagical symbols that could summon Cthulhu. This is where science bloggers come in and, with good intentions, muck everything up. Case in point: Dana Smith got a hot tip on a brain implant which can remember it for you wholesale, courtesy of a gentle zap. A tremendous breakthrough for Alzheimers patients and others with neurodegenerative disorders! Yet the day before, Dana’s colleague Helen Shen acknowledges Brain Stimulation Is All The Rage — But It May Not Stimulate The Brain. Helen’s talking about transcranial electrical stimulation harnessing the same principle: Zap brain, brain work better, who’s your insurance provider? Does electrical brain stimulation work at all? Nobody really knows, and that’s the most scientific statement anyone can make. Science is about educated guesses, and taking a few risks, not dogmatic headlines tailored to the tastes of positivists for whom their religion of Science can do no wrong. (CS)

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An Ancient Virus May Be The Source Of Human Consciousness – Mysterious Universe

We’re just as excited as Brett Tingley when it comes to this news, and how an ancient case of the sniffles might be responsible for us becoming clever, hairless chimpanzees with smartphones! We are overstating the facts, but Brett’s analysis is more substantial than our kooky proposition. If you wanna go deeper, and we know you do, science fiction author Peter Watts has a deeper analysis of Arc’s Weld and tantalizing potentials for taking advantage of your infection. (CS)

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Many Animals Can Count, Some Better Than You – New York Times

What could we have been like if humanity didn’t get infected all those aeons ago? Perhaps a little something like Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man. Mixing biology, anthropology, and neuroscience together Natalie Angier illustrates the knack for numbers possessed by chimps and frogs, the lexical similarities among words for small quantities, and humanity’s bargain for consciousness vs. being savants. More speculative could some of these observations expose the foundations of Julian Jaynes’s bicameral mind, based on the near-subsconscious counting capacity of male túngara frogs mentioned in Natalie’s piece? It’s a long shot. If we could talk with the animals, on neutral rather than anthropic terms, the science of cognition and consciousness would expand by leaps and bounds. Linda Tellington-Jones’s mode of Interspecies Communication is touch. More specific, a special kind of touch utilized by Russian gypsies working racetracks. This technique works on bears, dogs, and other critters much to Jeffrey Mishlove’s surprise. Linda is earnest, making her case compelling, but she does skirt the edges of 5-D Lemurian crystal territory. (CS)

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Brain – Scientific American

Do not blame scientists for ‘scientific’ blog posts. More often than not bloggers are not scientists. Case in point, why are they blogging rather than “science-ing”? Their mission? Perpetuate the science news cycle at all costs. Science, to be honest, is boring. Dreadfully and painfully boring if you can’t make sense of Greek letters, Latin terminology, and weird mathemagical symbols that could summon Cthulhu. This is where science bloggers come in and, with good intentions, muck everything up. Case in point: Dana Smith got a hot tip on a brain implant which can remember it for you wholesale, courtesy of a gentle zap. A tremendous breakthrough for Alzheimers patients and others with neurodegenerative disorders! Yet the day before, Dana’s colleague Helen Shen acknowledges Brain Stimulation Is All The Rage — But It May Not Stimulate The Brain. Helen’s talking about transcranial electrical stimulation harnessing the same principle: Zap brain, brain work better, who’s your insurance provider? Does electrical brain stimulation work at all? Nobody really knows, and that’s the most scientific statement anyone can make. Science is about educated guesses, and taking a few risks, not dogmatic headlines tailored to the tastes of positivists for whom their religion of Science can do no wrong. (CS)

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Washington State Sasquatch Bills Bogged Down By Bureaucracy – Coast2Coast AM

Why is it Washington State can legalize weed, but not sasquatch? It’s been keeping Tim Binnall up at night and, cathartically, he lays out the politics behind the delay better’n C-SPAN. No word if Pennsylvania will adopt a state cryptid anytime soon despite Lon Strickler’s reports of a ‘Bizarre ‘Black Being’ Encountered Near Pittsburgh. From looking at the sketches, this could be a case of a shadow bigfoot. A shadow bigfoot? What’s The Anomalist smoking anyway? Well it’s not as dank as the stuff in Nick Redfern’s pipe as he remembers a Bigfoot: Tusked And With Backwards Feet way out in Mississippi. Making this outlandish tale all the more intriguing is the orang pendek connection. (CS)

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‘The Simpsons’ Has Predicted a Lot. Most of It Can Be Explained – The New York Times

Is Matt Groening’s cash cow a 21st century Nostradamus? Well if you swing at every pitch, you’re bound to make a few hits. Some of those are political horse hockey, yet Maya Salam has a respectable collection to leave you scratching your noggin. Maybe John Swartzwelder, Al Jean, and other alums found inspiration for their prognostications in dreams. From low-brow to high-brow, there’s something familiar to be found within The Enthralling, Anxious World Of Vladimir Nabokov’s Dreams. We hope Dan Piepenbring does visit our humble site from time to time, because his mind would be completely blown by Eric Wargo’s The Nightshirt. Mixing both these stories up like so much peanut butter and chocolate, Alex Tsakiris invites Michael Tsarion on the podcast to elaborate upon the question, Why Conspiracy Work Is Spiritual Work. If you’ve never listened to Skeptiko before, this installment is an exemplar of when Alex is running on all cylinders, unabashedly approaching taboo topics to get at tougher questions running at oblique angles. A must listen! (CS)

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Fairyland Revisited – The Magonia Review

After two decades where vampires and zombies ruled popular culture, it’s heartening to see fairies as the new black. They’re not all white light and bunnies, the fae still have bite and Simon Young and Ceri Houlbrook aren’t talking nips ’round the ankles. Janet Bord finally got her copy, finding it to be delightfully puzzling and intriguing with the first, and second, hand accounts collected here. Another copy of Magical Folk somehow landed into John Reppion’s lap, catching his fancy as a review of British And Irish Fairies, 500 A.D. To The Present. Unsurprisingly, John also has nothing but effusive praise for this collection and its contributors. (CS)

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How Archaeologists Discovered An Ancient Assyrian city – And Lost It Again – The Guardian

While Mary Shepperson’s headline might come across as a fun-loving sitcom plot, the stakes here are dire. Turkey’s Ilisu Dam will be flooding scores of archaeological sites, some being 12,000 years old. This very well may be our last chance to see some of these ancient marvels. As we lose Hasankeyf, we regain a Sprawling Maya Network Discovered Under A Guatemalan Jungle. So far scientists have uncovered 60,000 structures, quadrupling the original estimated population of Tikal. (CS)

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The Living Ghosts: Tales Of Survival And Japan’s Mysterious Lost Soldiers – Mysterious Universe

World War 2 may have ended seventy three years ago, but many Japanese soldiers held their ground long after the glare of Fat Man and Little Boy waned in the east. Cracking the history books, Brent Swancer shares the adventures of the likes of Sakae ÅŒba and Teruo Nakamura while keeping the door open to some seniors still holding watch in the 21st century. From the It’s-Gotta-Be-Seen-To-Be-Believed department, Tim Binnall wants you to watch this Cambodian Actress Gets Possessed by a Ghost. Or does she… (CS)

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Ad Astra John Anthony West (1932-2018) – Daily Grail

There’s a touch more erosion on the Sphinx today, as a monumental tear rolls down her stony cheek upon hearing of the death of John Anthony West. He’s the maverick who made the case for the Sphinx being older than conventional wisdom insists. The news hit Greg Taylor particularly hard and he gives a fine eulogy for the man, but not his ideas which shall endure. Half a world away in another desert, Four Corners Researcher JC Johnson Passed Away leaving behind an ouevre of skinwalkers, pterodactyls, and Loren Coleman’s favorite: bigfoot. Grab a few tissues as friends join Loren in remembering the “Indiana Jones of Bigfoot Researchers”. (CS)

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The State of the Unusual 2018 – Weird Lectures

All hail John E.L.Tenney, he who has charted the courses of all that might be considered anomalous…Too much? You might change your mind after you read what is essentially John’s manifesto calling all weirdos to restate their essential core values and plot new (large, hairy) track ways into the future so that all that is weird might not be forgotten in the mire of hoaxes, fake news, and poor judgements on the part of researchers and the media. Think of it as our new operating manual. Learn it. Use it. Make the paranormal world a much better place to live in. Beats the heck out of what’s getting reported in muggle news. (CM)

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