Saturday, June 20, 2009

Patrons of Ghostly Charity Event Get Their Money's Worth

Hour upon hour of ghostly goings on proved very successful in raising hundreds of pounds for the special baby care unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

A group of friends from the Wrexham area – Claire Westhead, Kurtis Baines, Michael Griffiths and Leanne Westhead – decided to stay overnight at Plas Teg, near Mold, which has a reputation as one of the most haunted buildings in Wales, and were sponsored by friends and family to the tune of £383.

They said their time spent at the imposing country house was a very spooky occasion with several incidents taking place.

"During the time there we did a number of different things, including table-tipping. That is when four people gently place their hands on a table," said Claire.

"If there are any spirits present they are asked by the medium to help lift the table on to two legs, then eventually onto one, and are asked to move the table around the room – which to our amazement they did.

"The table was bouncing around the room on one leg. We thought it was the medium pushing it, but he asked someone else to go in his place to prove he wasn't doing anything, and the table continued to bounce."

Claire said the friends then went on to a different room where they had the opportunity to use a message board.

"During the time we were on it, Kurtis' friend's nana came through and spelt out her name, her grandson's name and her daughter's name. We were all amazed.

"Seconds later my grandad came through. He even knew about a tattoo which my cousin has had on her wrist in remembrance of him and knew about my daughter Darcie, who was born after my grandad had passed away.

"It was really weird but amazing at the same time. It was as if we were in a dream, as it all seemed too hard to believe what was going on was real."

Claire said that Leanne experienced a sensation of somebody blowing on her face in one room, and Kurtis felt he was being touched on the back of his neck.

"While we were on the message board a spirit from the house came through, a little boy named Jack who was seven years old. He said it was him who helped us tip the table in the previous room. We asked if it was him who kept touching Kurtis' neck and the glass went straight to yes. It then spelt out fun games.

"Kurtis came off the message board to let someone else have ago. When another member of the group put their finger on the glass it just stopped moving. We asked questions and waited a few minutes, but nothing, so the medium asked Kurtis to go back on it.

"As soon as Kurtis went back the glass started moving again. We asked if it was Jack that was still with us and it went to yes. We asked if he liked Kurtis and he said yes, because he reminded him of himself. We asked Jack why and he spelt out the word fun. It was really creepy.

"The medium then closed down the table to all spirits and we went to explore the rest of the mansion where we saw a number of orbs, and felt coldspots in different rooms.

"None of us believed in ghosts before, but after visiting Plas Teg for the night all of us have said that we take back everything we ever said about ghosts not being real."

Brief History of Plas Teg

Plas Teg is one of the most important Jacobean houses in Wales. Located near the village of Pontblyddyn between Wrexham and Mold, it was built by Sir John Trevor I in about 1610. At the time of construction it was the most advanced houses in Wales and few others of this date can truly be compared to its uniqueness. Throughout the early 17th Century it was primarily a family home and the setting for lavish entertainments put on by the Trevor family. It was only after the death of Lady Margaret Trevor, wife of Sir John Trevor and the onset of the Civil War that the house was tenanted out and the family resided at their other residences. "Plas Teg" translates to "fair house", but a quick look into the history of the house reveals anything but a fair history, full of bloodthirsty deeds and sorrowful events. Plas Teg was built amidst a great battle between Christian religion and the much darker, older Pagan beliefs. Sir John Trevor had a witch sign carved in the fireplace to prevent evil spirits from coming in from the chimney, though looking at the history of the mansion it clearly didn't work.

The estate was finally left the hands of the Trevors around 1930 and it was during this time the decline of the house began. By 1958, Plas Teg was under threat of demolition, but a preservation order was placed on the house. The house was now derelict and was purchased by a Trevor descendent, Patrick Trevor-Roper who partially restored the building with funds from the Historic Buildings Council. Patrick then leased out the house until 1977 until Mr and Mrs William Llewelyn bought the house. The couple only used parts of the ground floor but sadly the rest of the house became little more than a ruin. Fortunes dramatically changed in 1986 when Cornelia Bayley (the present owner) acquired Plas Teg for £75,000. She carried out a series of works at a cost of £400,000, £199,000 of which was funded CADW. Ten months after purchase, the house was opened to the public and still is to this day.

A book detailing the history of Plas Teg and the Trevor family was released by Mark Baker in 2006 and has been reprinted October 2007 after selling out. The revised second edition tackles the theories regarding Judge Jeffries as well as expanding on the history of the Plas Teg.

Plas Teg is said to be one of the "most haunted" houses in Wales and has featured on Living's Most Haunted programme on two occasions.


Reports of UFO Landing, Multiple Witnesses - Brailov, Ukraine

Reports of a UFO landing in a small rural village are filtering out from the Ukraine. Residents of the village of Brailov are insisting that they were woken up to an intensely bright white light in the middle of the night, earlier this month.

The residents, mostly farmers, are also claiming that electrical surges and a strange feeling of electrical currents passing through their bodies accompanied the light.

In the morning after the UFO event three unusual imprints consisting of 'wheels with wheels' arranged in triangular formation were seen on the ground of one of the resident's yards.

The witnesses included 82 year grandmother old Helena Ganzyuk, her daughter 56 year old Nadezhda Ganzyuk and 24 year old Helena Petrovskaya. After the event a number of residents, including some witnesses, became ill.

Symptoms of their illnesses included vomiting and high temperature. Emergency services were called in from Kiev and radioactivity was measured. Radioactiviy levels were high but not extreme. Metal traces were identified and dirt samples removed for analysis.

The residents believe a UFO of extraterrestrial origin might have been responsible for the incident.

Clooney Hires Psychic to Contact Dead Pet Pig

George Clooney has hired to psychic to help him contact his beloved potbellied pig Max, who died in 2006.

George reportedly told a friend: "The psychic told me Max had a great life with me. He is very happy in spirit and still hangs out with me sometimes.

"I am not sure she was telling the truth but I do want to believe her."

The actor was left devastated after 300lb Max passed away at home while the actor was promoting his movie 'The Good German'.

Max, who had suffered from partial blindness and arthritis, had lived with George for 18 years and the pair often shared a bed.

The 48-year-old hunk regularly took Max to interviews and photo shoots and joked it was his longest-running relationship.

Clooney said shortly after Max's death: "He was as old a pig as the vets had ever seen. He was a big part of my life. It's strange how animals become a big part of your family. They really become a big issue with you."

He vowed never to get another pig following the loss of the pet he affectionately called 'Max the star'.

Warwick Castle's Dungeon Attraction Freaks Out Tour Visitors

In the first month since the dungeon opened, 15 people have fainted and another four have vomited, apparently due to fear.

Visitors to the medieval dungeon are greeted by fake blood and life-size models of victims on the rack. Guides demonstrate how prisoners used to have their tongues ripped out.

Sue Kemp, general manager of Warwick Castle, said: "Our first month has certainly proved that the castle dungeon isn't for the fainthearted or those of a delicate constitution."

An official commented: "If there are many more incidents like these then the dungeon will have to be toned down."

Warwick Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and used as a fortification. Some of the early prisoners were French soldiers.

During the English Civil War in the 1640s it was a parliamentarian headquarters in which senior royalists were held prisoner.

Publicity for the dungeon attraction refers to "decaying bodies, chanting monks, torture implements and execution.

Alligator Discovered in Pine Lake, Indiana

Two fishermen screaming for help led police to Pine Lake where officers spotted an alligator in what's the first confirmed sighting.

"It was no bigger than 4-foot long," said LaPorte police Officer Matthew Drangmeister, who saw the reptile on Wednesday.

According to police, officers about 10 p.m. Tuesday responded to Pine Lake near the channel.

Two fishermen were on a floating platform about 20 feet off shore when they spotted the alligator swimming.

The water was only knee deep but the men refused to get back in and head toward shore.

Their screams caught the attention of a passing motorist who contacted authorities. Police shined flashlights on the water as the men waded to shore.

"They said they seen the alligator and got scared and was not going to walk back through the water to shore without our presence there to make sure the alligator didn't attack them," Drangmeister said.

The next morning, Drangmeister out of curiosity returned about sunrise and spotted the reptile about 200 yards off shore.

Officer Chae Uhlemann also caught a glimpse and "positively identified it as an alligator," Drangmeister said.

An alligator sighting was first reported June 1 by fisherman near the same channel.

Ever since, Davis said DNR officers during the course of their regular duties are looking harder along the shoreline and using binoculars to try and spot the reptile believed to be a discarded pet.


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Friday, June 19, 2009

Photos: Massive Golden Ray Migration - Yucatan Peninsula

Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico. The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters. Gliding silently beneath the waves, they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula . Sandra Critelli, an amateur photographer, stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whale sharks. She said: “It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind.

“We were surrounded by them without seeing the edge of the school and we could see many under the water surface too. I feel very fortunate I was there in the right place at the right time to experience nature at its best.” Measuring up to 7ft (2.1 metres) from wing-tip to wing-tip, Golden rays are also more prosaically known as cow nose rays.

Cryptozoology Online

Unknown Metal Alloy Particle Found at Roggero Reservoir, Merlo, Argentina

An interesting story appeared last week in Argentina’s Diario Popular concerning the alleged discovery of an “abnormal alloy” at the Los Robles Nature Preserve. Those of you who have been following Inexplicata on a regular basis will remember the visits on horseback performed by members of Argentina’s Codigo OVNI group in response to sightings of UFOs and strange creatures.

The story, appearing in the 06.14.2009 issue of the paper, states that a minuscule portion of an alloy whose creation was “impossible to human technology” was collected by members of Codigo OVNI near the Roggero Reservoir in Moreno, which has become the epicenter of UFO activity in the Province of Buenos Aires. The newspaper quotes Codigo Ovni’s Jorge Marrón as saying: “When we speak of UFOs, reference is being made to a set of experiences that some refute or project into the future. In this case, things are different. We have official certification of material that is not of this planet.”

Marrón refers to a certification issued by a branch of Argentina’s INTI describing the particle as an alloy of iron of aluminum in a percentage that reaches “unconceivable” levels by terrestrial standards. Marrón went on to say that this find, and its subsequent confirmation by the INTI, “represent, without question, a very valuable contribution” within the framework of UFO activities.

Members of Codigo Ovni combed unexplained marks found on the surface (crop circles?) and it was here that this particle was discovered through the use of magnets. Marrón believes, according to the article in Diario Popular, that of all the work performed by his group at the Los Robles Nature Preserve, this is indeed the most important, particularly with the validation by an official agency of the Argentinean government of the existence of an extraterrestrial particle.

Technicians with SEGEMAR, a dependency of the Institute of Industrial Technology (INDI), reported that the ratio of iron and aluminum was highly unusual. Marrón is again quoted as saying: “The sample reveals the presence of a high percentage of iron, combined with aluminum, in a ratio that cannot be achieved with conventional technology currently known on our planet. It is impossible for materials of this sort to be found in the Province of Buenos Aires. For the time being, we can say it is nothing made by human beings, and we would have to wonder about the relationship that exists between the marks and the particles.”


Unidentified Fireball Hits Central Queensland Mountain

Melbourne, June 19, 2009 - In the latest UFO riddle to grip Australia, a flaming object has been spotted crashing into a mountain in central Queensland.

The spectacle was initially treated as a possible plane crash but is now believed to be a meteor or space junk falling to earth.

Police said the Australian Search and Rescue Authority received no mayday or distress calls from aircraft.

The AGL Action Rescue helicopter has been tasked to search the mountainous area at Takilberan Creek northwest of Gin Gin.

Property owner Hazel Marlin told ABC Radio the mountain was covered in smoke.

A spokesman for the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter said a crew had not been able to identify what caused the fire.

Police are also conducting a ground search of the thickly wooded area.

“They’ve conducted ground searches as well as an aerial search,” the Courier Mail quoted him as saying.

“There is a fire up there but it could have been caused by a space junk or meteor strike, or even a lightning strike,” he added.

A spokeswoman for UFO Research Queensland said that they had received no reports about the incident.


Australia UFO crash: Meteor or extraterrestrial craft?

Something fell from the sky today and landed on a mountain near the town of Gin-Gin in central Queensland in Australia. The object or UFO, described by witnesses as a fireball, set nearby trees alight. A subsequent search of the area failed to find any remains of whatever it was that impacted the bush.

Most are declaring the object to be either space junk or a very small meteor that had entered the earth’s atmosphere, however others are not sure. Is it possible that it was a UFO of extra-terrestrial origin?

According to Australian ufologist Michael Cohen ‘unmanned’ probes sent by an extra-terrestrial civilization to explore earth and other planets are entering the atmosphere through specific UFO vortex exits located at various points throughout the world. These vortex exits are currently being studied by government scientists. No such exits are believed to be located in the skies above Australia; however the super-fast travelling probes that enter earth through them are exploring all continents.

‘This incident might well have been caused by one of these UFO probes’ Cohen noted ‘It might have run out of energy, failed for other reasons or been struck by lightning. Much about this incident is similar to other confirmed UFO crashes that are known have occurred on other continents, such as Asia and South America.’

‘The probes generally disintegrate on impact, however thorough forensic sifting of the exact location of the crash might yield debris. Locals should keep an eye on who appears at the site over the next few days searching for remains. If the event seems to be attracting more attention than should a pebble from space, start suspecting something more exotic’ Cohen concluded.



Fireball UFO Crashes Into Mountain

An air and ground search of area in central Queensland where a bright flash and explosion was witnessed early this morning has failed to find an obvious cause. Emergency services initially believed a plane may have crashed into a mountain at Takilberan Creek northwest of Gin Gin but the Australian Search and Rescue Authority received no mayday or distress calls from aircraft, according to the Courier-Mail. Although a search found a fire on the mountain, there was no evidence of any wreckage or risk to human life.

A spokesman for the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter said a crew had not been able to identify what caused the conducted ground searches as well as an aerial search, he said. There is a fire up there but it could have been caused by a space junk or meteor strike, or even a lightning strike. Police from Gin Gin have also been involved in an air and ground search in the thickly forested area following a 000 call about 6.30am.

Space authorities said it was not uncommon for natural material to hit the earth, with about 100 tonnes of material entering the earth's atmosphere every day. A resident of Dalby, about 350km southwest of Takilberan Creek, said she saw an explosion of white-yellow light streak across the sky about 6am. "It was brighter and larger and too low in the sky to be a falling star,'' Jo Kemlo said. "It was just a flash, it was kind of like a comet tail, but just for a few seconds. "It was a ball of light that went to a tail.'' A UFO Research Queensland spokeswoman said they had received no reports about the incident.



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Thursday, June 18, 2009

MUFON Report: Possible Extraterrestrial Encounter in Oregon

MUFON report - 6/16/09: I had taken my dog outside to have a cigar and about halfway through my cigar, I started to notice flickers and flashes of light in both crescent shapes and orbs.

There was cloud cover but no thunderstorms. The light seemed to be both in the clouds at times, and also under the clouds. This did not even loosely resemble lightning.

As I watched this very lengthy light show, I was aware of a passing car. My dog then began to get unnerved and looked in the same direction as I was looking.

As the car came closer down the road, across the street I noticed a pair of eyes as if an animal's eyes were reflecting in the light, except they were a deep purple/indigo.

As the car passed, I watched the spot where I had observed the eyes, and was shocked to see a whitish humanoid shape stand up and quickly walk into the neighboring yard across the street.

My heart began to race and I became quite unnerved. I called my wife outside and told her what I'd seen and asked her to look at the lights in the sky as well.

She confirmed that something was flickering/flashing in multiple spots. We both got very nervous and came inside the house. As I write this, my heart is still pounding in my chest.

All through this episode the dog also was alert and cautiously raising and lowering her head, as she watched something more that we couldn't see across the street. Also, I heard a jet pretty low with a loud roaring sound afterwards.

Multiple Bizarre Claims of Alien Abduction Throughout Australia

The inter-webs are buzzing with reports that countless people in Australia are claiming aliens abducted them and took them to some kind of medical facility over the Blue Mountains.

George, a bank manager in Sydney, Australia, told a reporter:

I had the window wide open and was lying in my bed next to it trying to get a cool breeze happening. I was drowsy but definitely not asleep. Then I began floating out my window and over Sydney. I wasn't nervous but felt a bit surprised, like what the hell was happening. It was as if I had been sedated, thinking back. I saw the city pass by under or at least felt as if it was and then thought I might have been going over some bush or mountains.

I was on a platform and then on some kind of operating table in a chamber within a UFO, I think. I noticed odd ‘furniture' in the room: if you could call it that- unusual spheres and pyramids. There were beings over me. They appeared to be wearing white robes or togas of some sort. I could not see their faces or any bodily features. Nothing in this UFO chamber looked human. What looked somewhat like a dental or baking instrument was then inserted into my backside and pulled out and put away.

UFOlogist Michael Cohen says that he is confident that the people making these kinds of reports are telling the truth. He says many of them include similar details in their stories, and few of them have had any interest in UFOs before their abduction experience. They are just "regular people" according to him. It may not be clear what's causing the sudden interest in Australians on the part of aliens, but Cohen does have a few words of advice if you want to avoid having baking instruments put into your backside by aliens in togas. He writes:

I make a point of driving past the homes of abductees that contact me. I have noticed other common factors that in no way can correspond to the psychology of the abductees. Usually abductees will live on wide open, boulevard type streets and the window they floated through will face this street. There are never any bars on their bedroom windows. A large percentage of abductees are single men who won't be missed for a few minutes of absence at 3am.

This tells us a few things. The aliens doing the abducting are advanced: but they can't float people through walls. They like to make things easy for themselves. Many ufologists equate the ability to travel faster than the speed of light with the ability to do anything. This might not be the case.

More than anything else the aliens doing the abducting don't want any corroborative witnesses. They don't mind the abductees knowing what occurred but they want to keep their activities otherwise secret. They go to extra-ordinary lengths to this end.

It appears that cloaking technology is used to disguise any bodies floating through the sky and abductions are done in the dead of the night. it is also believed that the entire abduction process is completed within minutes.

Sydney UFO abduction accounts indicate that if you really don't want to be abducted invest in an air-conditioner or a fan. Avoid sleeping with an open-window if possible or install bars. Most abductions occur during Australia's hot summer.

Photo: 'Caveman' Apparition Captured at Kent's Cavern, Devon

Britain's oldest ghost appears to have been caught on camera at the country's most ancient inhabited site.

The 'spook' was snapped in a prehistoric cave at Kent's Cavern in Torquay, Devon, looming from a wall and surrounded by an eerie mist.

In the image, taken by a tourist, the ghostly face of the caveman seems to hover in mid air staring in to the distance.

For almost 200 years archaeologists have been digging up the prehistoric caves hoping to unearth evidence of our ancestors.

They've found lots of bones of all sorts of animals - as well as a human jawbone dated at around 40,000 years old which was when Neanderthal Man became extinct.

Now, it seems, there could be fresh evidence of the early inhabitants of the caves - but no excavations were needed for this new 'find.'

Simon Howard took the photos during a visit to the caves, one of which he says shows the outline of a face in the rocks, and a strange mist which wasn't there when the picture was taken.

"We were on a tour round the caves and I happened to snap a picture inside the Bear's Den chamber while waiting for the other members of the tour to arrive.

"Later on when I took a look at the photo I saw this mist which was not visible at the time.

"I won't say what I think I can see in the picture - I'll let people decide for themselves."

Kent's Cavern worker James Hull says it's not the first time a ghostly sighting has occurred: "There have been some strange and unexplained happenings in the caves down the years, as I've personally experienced on some of the paranormal investigation nights we have held here," he said.

"But this is the first photograph taken that we're aware of which shows what looks like a ghost.

"Everyone who has seen the photo here at the caves can see the profile of the face of a man with a large eye, long nose, small mouth and a beard, wearing what appears to be a helmet with a nose-guard, shrouded in mist."

Kent's Cavern is recognised as the most important stone age cave in Britain and has revealed more about palaeolithic Britain than anywhere else.

Implements found there include some that date back almost half a million years and many flints associated with the Neathderthals, while a human jawbone uncovered in 1927 is 31,000 years old, providing the oldest evidence of modern man (Homo sapiens ) in northwest Europe.

'Resurrection' of Some Extinct Species Now Likely

The idea of resurrecting extinct animals moved a step closer to reality last year when scientists announced that they had decoded almost all of the genome of the woolly mammoth, from 60,000-year-old remains found frozen in Siberia.

Now New Scientist magazine has named the 10 other beasts most likely to rise again, including the Irish elk deer whose antlers measured 12 feet across, the dodo and Neanderthal man.

Animals that died out thousands of years ago could be recreated using genetic information retrieved from well-preserved specimens recovered from permafrost, dark caves or dry desserts.

There is no chance of bringing back the dinosaurs because genetic information is unlikely to survive more than a million years in any environment.

But scientists have just announced they had "resurrected" a gene from the Tasmanian tiger by implanting it in a mouse and examined its function - the first time such a feat had been achieved.

The genomes of several extinct species besides the mammoth are already being sequenced.

To revive a long-dead species scientists would have to recover enough DNA from a well-preserved specimen and find a suitable surrogate species similar to that of the extinct animal in which to grow the new baby from an embryo.

"It's hard to say that something will never ever be possible,"said Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who is sequencing the Neanderthal genome.

"But it would require technologies so far removed from what we currently have that I cannot imagine how it would be done."

Assuming we will develop the necessary advanced technology, New Scientist has selected 10 extinct creatures that might one day be resurrected.

The magazine said: "Our choice is based not just on feasibility, but also on each animal's 'megafaunal charisma' – just how exciting the prospect of resurrecting these animals is.

"Of course, bringing extinct creatures back to life raises a whole host of practical problems, such as where they will live, but let's not spoil the fun..."

1. Neanderthal: Extinct: 25,000 years ago.

A draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome should be published sometime this year by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Humans would make the ideal surrogates.

2. Sabre-toothed tiger: Extinct: 10,000 years ago

There are some spectacularly preserved sabre-toothed specimens from the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, and lions are close enough to be surrogates.

3. Short-faced bear: Extinct: 11,000 years ago

This towering beast would dwarf the world's largest living land carnivore, the polar bear, stanidng a third taller when standing upright, and it weighed up to a tonne. Recovering its DNA should be possible as there are specimens encased in permafrost.

4. Tasmanian tiger: Extinct: 1936

The last Tasmanian tiger died in Hobart Zoo in 1936 which means there are well preserved tissues to obtain good-quality DNA. The tasmanian devil would make good surrogate.

5. Glyptodon: Extinct: 11,000 years ago

The Volkswagen Beetle-sized "colossal" armadillo, with its spiky, club-like tail, once rumbled across the South American countryside, and some might fancy seeing it do so again.

6. Dodo: Extinct: AD1690

In 2002 geneticists at Oxford University got permission to cut into the world's best-preserved dodo specimen, a foot bone – complete with skin and feathers – held under lock and key at the university's Museum of Natural History.

7. Woolly rhinoceros: Extinct: 10,000 years ago

As with the mammoth, there are plenty of specimens preserved in permafrost, and the availability of hair, horns and hooves is a big plus. These tissues can be cleaned up to release an abundance of near-pure rhino DNA.

8. Giant ground sloth: Extinct: 8,000 years ago

This giant stood around six metres tall and is estimated to have weighed a whopping four tonnes. The sloth's relatively recent extinction means several specimens have been found with hair, an excellent source of DNA.

9. Irish elk: Extinct: 7,700 years ago

A typical male stood more than two metres tall at the shoulder and sported antlers 12 feet wide. It is actually a deer rather than an elk and its closest living relative is the much smaller fallow deer.

10. Moa: Extinct: AD 1500

There is plenty of DNA to be found for this flightless bird, which is similar to an ostrich, in well-preserved bones and even eggs in caves across New Zealand.


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Controversy at Scottish Carmelite Friary Burial Grounds

More than 100 skeletons have been dug up on a planned Perth retail site. But developers say they can’t afford to continue funding an archaeological excavation there unless planning restrictions are dropped to make the project more profitable.

The cost of archaeological excavations on the site of the former 13th century Carmelite friary, at the corner of Riggs Road and Jeanfield Road, have soared to £250,000 – and work has had to be halted.

Now, the developer says the completion of investigations depends on raising the value of the site, Perth and Kinross Council’s development control committee will hear tomorrow.

The site, on the Whitefriars Industrial Estate, has already been given the go-ahead for a restricted range of retail units but the developer now wants that to be widened.

“Due to the current economic conditions and the unexpected archaeological costs, the applicant has indicated that he is no longer able to financially develop the site under the current use restrictions,” states Nick Brian, the council’s development quality manager, in a report to the meeting.

The archaeological excavations recently undertaken on the site have revealed the substantial remains of the mediaeval Carmelite Friary of Tullilum, founded in 1262.

But excavation work halted last August due to the rising costs.

Since then, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) has investigated and exhausted all possible grants and financial aid for the completion of the investigations.

To date, the “dig” has uncovered 103 skeletons from the site – but it is estimated there may be more than 200.

In the meantime, the applicants, Direct Flooring, have back-filled the site to preserve the important remains.

They are claiming that there are insufficient funds to complete the investigations under the restrictions of the existing consent.

“The completion of the investigation will only be possible if the value of the site can be increased through permitting a wide range of uses, including unrestricted Class 1 retail,” adds Mr Brian.

It was originally envisaged that the three planned units would be occupied by a timber flooring shop, a bathroom showroom or ceramic tile company.

They now want the go-ahead for the site to be used for unrestricted Class 1 retail use, Class 2 (financial, professional and other services), Class 3 (food and drink) or use as a hot food take-away.

But Mr Brian is recommending refusal.

He states: “Whilst it is acknowledged that the economy has changed since the approval of the existing consent in March, 2007, the present market conditions are not considered to be a sufficient justification for approval.”

“There are also concerns that the approval of unrestricted retail use from this site could set a dangerous precedent and could potentially undermine the council’s retail policy and consequently impact on the vitality of the city centre.”

In a letter to the applicant’s agents, PKHT state: “Given the significance and sensitivity of the site and, in particular, the human remains uncovered, we recommend that Direct Flooring demonstrates best practice and carries out a post-excavation study of these remains as soon as possible, followed by the accession of the skeletons to a museum collection or arranging for their reburial.”

As well as the human remains, the archaeological team discovered pieces of grave slabs, window glass and further evidence of the 13th century Carmelite friary.

It is hoped that once the finds have been processed and catalogued, they can be displayed in Perth Museum.

During a previous excavation in 1982 about 20 skeletons were found at the site.

Archaeologist Derek Hall said: “Perth had four friaries - Carmelite, Dominican, Franciscan and Carthusian.

“They were taking advantage of the fact that Perth in the mediaeval period was a very rich Scottish burgh.

“So, they were able to exist outside the town limits and people used to pay the friars to pray for their souls and, if they wanted, they could also get buried in the friary burial grounds.”

The friary was founded in 1262 and stood until the Reformation in 1559.

Report: Cheney Tied to Cash Theft, Possible Murder in Iraq

by Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

According to an informed source, Dick Cheney, while vice president, amassed a fortune in cash stolen by U.S. occupation forces in Iraq from Saddam Hussein and some of his leading officials and advisers.

Sources report to WMR that U.S. troops confiscated “billions” in currency found stored in aluminum containers in various secret caches in Baghdad and elsewhere. Our sources report that the seized cash was transferred to accounts run by Cheney and the money is now being partly used to fund Cheney’s growing political opposition movement to the Obama administration, including secretive payments to a “stay behind” group of Cheney loyalists who burrowed into senior civil service positions from political appointee jobs during the Bush administration. Cheney’s loyalists are now in key positions to stymie Obama’s programs and policies within a variety of cabinet departments and federal agencies.

The recent intelligence about Iraqi cash ending up in the coffers of American officials is not the first time WMR has reported on the theft of Iraqi cash by U.S. forces.

On November 14, 2005, WMR reported: “In one of the worst intelligence fiascoes carried out by the neocon administration of Iraq under Paul “Jerry’ Bremer, Saddam Hussein’s chief money mover and financial adviser was beaten to death by US interrogators in Tikrit after the U.S. invasion . . . As Saddam’s chief financial adviser and money mover, Abu Seger [Sa’ad Hassan Ali], a man who was fluent in American-style English, knew where all the “financial skeletons” were buried -- details of Halliburton’s involvement with the UN’s Oil-for-Food program, the purchase by Iraq of VX nerve gas and other WMD components from US and British sources in the 1980s, and various counter-intelligence operations run by Saddam against the United States and Britain. Abu Seger was also one of Saddam’s trusted counter-intelligence agents . . . After Samara was occupied by US forces, it was discovered that Abu Seger lived in a home on the Tigris River just 200 yards from the main U.S. military position in the city. It did not take long for U.S. troops to break down Seger’s door and haul him off to a detention center. Seger’s wife Sada, an English teacher, and U.S. military intelligence officers were witnesses to what soon transpired. U.S. forces discovered $30 million in plastic garbage bags in an armoire in Seger’s bedroom. Contained in the bags was $14 million in US currency, $28 million in convertible Iraqi dinars, and $12 million in euros. Although the money was counted, signed for by two U.S. military witnesses, and transported to U.S. military headquarters in Samara, it was never seen again. A knowledgeable source present at the time revealed that the $30 million was stolen by U.S. authorities in Iraq.”

Amid the other scandals surrounding Cheney, including his countenance of torture, the theft of cash and his possible involvement in the murder of Abu Seger may be added to the former vice president’s rap sheet of crimes perpetrated in Iraq and in the United States.

Cheney recently built a multi-million dollar home in McLean, Virginia, a stone’s throw from the CIA headquarters. He also owns luxury houses in Jackson, Wyoming, and St. Michael’s, Maryland.

Corporate U.S. news media drastically downplayed the amount of cash stolen from Iraq by U.S. forces and that the maximum amount of cash discovered in “cottages” was around $760 million, when, in fact, it was much higher. A handful of U.S. troops were charged with stealing some bundles of $100 bills. According to the May 28, 2004, Los Angeles Times some of the troops who admitted to stealing Iraqi cash tried to tell Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID) investigators that “higher-ups” stole much more, but their information was ignored.

NOTE: Wayne Madsen is an accomplished reporter and has a very good track record in DC. I checked up on some of the background research that went into this report and, for the most part, it checks out. It'll be interesting to see how fast this gets swept under the proverbial rug.

Benevolent Spirits, Guardian Angels

by Tom Slemen, Liverpool Echo

I think most of us are familiar with the concept of the guardian angel, who stays with you throughout your life on earth, guiding you and shielding you from danger and harm.

Some mediums believe most of us have spirit guides, known as “Doorkeepers”, that stay with an individual from a time prior to birth right through to the afterlife and beyond.

Whether that is true I cannot say, but over the years I have collected many accounts of a mysterious benevolent force preventing death and injury in the lives of people, and here are just a couple of these intriguing cases.

At 6.30pm one dark autumnal evening, in October, 1973, a 19-year-old Kirkby woman named Sylvia went to help her husband, Ken, who was serving in a mobile shop.

Sylvia was 5½ months pregnant, and as she made her way to the shop on wheels, she had to walk over an expanse of treacherous waste ground which was still slippery from a recent heavy downpour.

Sylvia slipped, and both of her feet came off the ground as she tumbled backwards, but the young pregnant woman never landed on her back because something “caught her” in mid-air and gently lowered her down to the ground, and that unseen something felt like a giant pair of hands.

Sylvia was sure that, if those invisible hands had not saved her, she would probably have fallen heavily and miscarried.
In 1965, an unearthly mimic saved the life of a girl on Cornett Road, off Longmoor Lane, Aintree. A 14-year-old named Mary attended Sherwood Lane Girls’ Secondary Modern School, and after the 4 o’clock bell had rung, Mary would go to Hartley’s newsagents for a bag of sweets before going home.

Mary’s beauty soon caught the eye of a 15-year-old boy named Sam Miller, of Inglis Road.

He started following Mary, and became hopelessly besotted by her to such an extent, he would often stand opposite the girl’s home on Cornett Road of an evening and gaze up at Mary’s window, hoping to catch a glimpse of her silhouette on the lemon-coloured curtains.

Three days into this stalking behaviour, infatuated Sam saw something that froze his blood. Just before 9pm, he saw Mary’s silhouette come into view on the curtains.

The girl seemed to be standing on a chair for a few moments – then she dropped slightly and hung there, plainly suspended by a rope or cord.

She swung sideways, and Sam ran across the road and hammered on Mary’s door until her bald bullet-headed father answered.

‘Mary’s hanged herself!’ Sam shrieked, and the girl’s father was understandably taken aback by this remark. ‘Where?’ he asked. ‘Up in her room!’ a tearful Sam told him.

Mary’s father looked down at the teenager with a puzzled expression.

‘She isn’t in her room, lad. Why, here she is now!’ he said, and looked down the road.

There was Mary walking towards her house. Sam backed away from the furious man and ran off, feeling confused and a fool.

Three days later, Mary was found red-handed in her bedroom, trying to make a noose from a length of washing line.

She intended to end it all, for she was being bullied by a gang of local girls.

Her father had seen his daughter go upstairs with the washing line, and, recalling the chilling claim of Sam Miller earlier that week, he became suspicious and followed Mary up to her room.

She’d been saved by the eerie premonition that her admirer had seen three nights before.

Mary and Sam dated for three years and later married.

Haunted History of Infamous 'Sallie House' Retold

Several people pass by a little two-story house on North Second Street in Atchison, Kansas every day. What’s surprising is how few people know about all of the bizarre things that have allegedly happened there.

Those who are aware of the freaky events know it as The Sallie House. As legend has it, the house is haunted by a little girl named Sallie who died during a botched appendectomy inside. For years, tenants who have lived in the house have reported harmless happenings like electrical appliances switching on and off and pictures turning upside down as well as violent attacks that left victims with welts and bloody scratches. The latter was even documented on the ‘90s TV show “Sightings.”

After watching some amateur videos filmed in the house on the Internet, Atchison Media Services owner Scott Unruh felt the story of The Sallie House was not only worth telling, but putting on film.

“It’s hard to get a spook to act on cue,” Mr. Unruh explains, “but with The Sallie House, the more cameras come in there, the more these weird things occur.”

Mr. Unruh set out to produce a documentary film simply titled “The Sallie House.” The hour-long film has three parts: a re-enactment of Sallie’s appendectomy, interviews with former victims and a paranormal investigation of the house.

The paranormal investigation was headed by acclaimed Canadian psychic, Robbie Thomas (who’s famous for finding dead bodies for law enforcement agencies) and Michael Esposito, a specialist in EVP (electronic voice phenomena), a recording process that captures hidden voices riding ambient noise. Mr. Unruh joined the duo during their investigation and says the results are somewhat unsettling.

“I didn’t feel anything (when I was in the house), but Michael got some incredible EVPs,” he says. “There were some fantastic ones that he pulled out and they do kind of creep me out.”

Chuck Pulliam, Jennifer Stammers and Faith Nagel are the three local actors who took part in the surgery re-enactment. Mr. Pulliam says everyone who was involved takes a great deal of pride in being a part of the film.

“This is a local event,” Mr. Pulliam says. “Not only are the house and the hauntings local, but it’s a local production company with local people and local actors.”

“The Sallie House” premiered June 11 at Theater Atchison. Mr. Unruh also will hold a screening of the movie in Topeka this summer and is trying to find a venue in St. Joseph to hold a screening. For more information or to order a DVD copy, visit


Brief History of 'The Sallie House'

The Sallie House haunting is in a class by itself. There have been full-bodied apparitions and objects flying through the air. Items have moved, been misplaced or lost only to reappear or show up later or at another location. Phantom furniture has been heard along with thumps, thuds, knocks, scratching and the sound of animals and human voices. Although some voices have been heard with the naked ear, there have been an amazing amount of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) captured, further depicting the voices of men, women and children. Many have experienced extreme smells. Lastly, and most famously, there has been physical harm to the occupants and investigators in the form of scratches, burns and cuts. Although the majority of these attacks have often been centered on Tony Pickman, there have been a few others who have also been the focus of the physical harassment.

Investigations into this house continue, but it was initially investigated by the television show Sightings back when Tony and Debra Pickman lived there with their newborn son. Numerous psychics have entered the picture in order to help us along the way, including Barbara Conner and the world-renowned Peter James who has worked on the haunting of the Queen Mary for many years. Paramount Pictures, the Travel Channel, KQ2 News out of St. Joseph, Missouri, Channel 4 News out of Kansas City, Kansas, and the Discovery Channel have all been involved in documenting this story over the last 12 years.

Some believe that what exists in the house is evil. Some believe that the entities within the house are reaching out and in need of our help. Some believe that Tony is doing it all himself (which doesn't seem like a viable assessment when the activity continues without his presence). Some believe there is much more going on there than we can imagine, and yet others think its all been a hoax.

A multitude of monitoring equipment has been utilized to help determine what is causing the strange occurrences in this small little house on the bluffs of the Missouri River. The equipment includes, but is in no way limited to digital and analog voice recorders, infrared and heat sensitive video cameras, and electromagnetic meters. Many investigative groups have used dousing rods, crystals, and pendulums. Some have tried to set up controlled ESP situations to experiment with more possibilities. Since the activity seems to be constant, some groups dedicated to learning more about the paranormal have used the house as an experimental laboratory. They have obtained some remarkable evidence, not only expanding on the history of the house but also furthering the study of paranormal.

What started out as the simple haunting of one little girl named Sallie has developed into a growing list. Some think that over the years more entities have come to resided with the walls of this houses. Do they just visit, do they call the place home, or has it become a doorway to the other side where the spirits we encounter move on after their visit?

The commonality, or lack of commonality, of all the investigations and investigators involved or associated with this house is that we are all curious about the who, what, and why of the house and its occupants. Who is there, when did they live, what do they want, why have they stayed behind, is there something they need to share with us, and what would that be? How is it that spirits or ghosts are able to move objects, show us their likenesses, and speak to us? These are just some of the questions that come to mind and to which we all seek answers.

Most of the human race has an innate human curiosity about events we cannot explain. The scientific and logical principles we currently employee have not yet been able to explain many of the nuance's attached to hauntings, and paranormal investigators have an overwhelming desire to do just that. We study them to understand these events. Each investigation gets us closer to the truth and its in the sharing evidence and theories of all those who are interested or involved, that we learn more about this and other hauntings.


'Convincing Evidence' Cannabis Damages DNA, Increases Cancer Risk

Using a newly developed highly sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method, the University of Leicester scientists found clear indication that cannabis smoke damages DNA, under laboratory conditions.

They have now published the findings in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

The research was carried out by Rajinder Singh, Jatinderpal Sandhu, Balvinder Kaur, Tina Juren, William P. Steward, Dan Segerback and Peter B. Farmer from the Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

Raj Singh said: “Parts of the plant Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana, ganja, and various street names, are commonly smoked as a recreational drug, although its use for such purposes is illegal in many countries.

“There have been many studies on the toxicity of tobacco smoke. It is known that tobacco smoke contains 4000 chemicals of which 60 are classed as carcinogens. Cannabis in contrast has not been so well studied. It is less combustible than tobacco and is often mixed with tobacco in use. Cannabis smoke contains 400 compounds including 60 cannabinoids. However, because of its lower combustibility it contains 50% more carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons including naphthalene, benzanthracene, and benzopyrene, than tobacco smoke.”

Writing in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, the scientists describe the development of a mass spectrometry method that provides a clear indication that cannabis smoke damages DNA, under laboratory conditions.

The authors added: “It is well known that toxic substances in tobacco smoke can damage DNA and increase the risk of lung and other cancers. Scientists were unsure though whether cannabis smoke would have the same effect. Our research has focused on the toxicity of acetaldehyde, which is present in both tobacco and cannabis.”

The researchers add that the ability of cannabis smoke to damage DNA has significant human health implications especially as users tend to inhale more deeply than cigarette smokers, which increases respiratory burden. "The smoking of 3-4 cannabis cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day," the team adds.

"These results provide evidence for the DNA damaging potential of cannabis smoke," the researchers conclude, "implying that the consumption of cannabis cigarettes may be detrimental to human health with the possibility to initiate cancer development."


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Video: LAPA Investigates a California Spanish Mission

Los Angeles Paranormal Association investigated a Spanish mission (La Purisima Concepcion Mission - Lompoc, CA) in April, 2009. We encountered a number of odd occurrences, including lights in the cemetery, dramatic temperature shifts in the portico, and unidentified sounds.

About LAPA

Los Angeles Paranormal Association is a paranormal investigative group based out of LA. We are a small, tightly-knit group of investigators who came together with a common goal and interest. Our mission: we seek to document physical evidence of the paranormal. To this end, we commonly investigate historical and/or reputably haunted locations and report on our findings.

Evidence is subjective. We don’t post anything that we claim to be definitive proof of ghosts or spirits caught on camera or in audio. What we will post is anything we find from our investigations that is outside “the norm” and could possibly suggest something other than naturally explained phenomena. We welcome outside analysis of anything we post, and we let the viewing public make up their own mind, as we believe everyone has a right to form their own opinions.

Along with a few amateur photographers, Los Angeles Paranormal Association does have a professional photographer in our group. This is handy when we want to analyze photographic anomalies. It also means that in addition to “regular” photos, we also have and will occasionally post “artistic” photos. We will never claim such photos as “evidence”, and they are merely meant to elicit the mood of the locations we visit and to document our investigations in a visually captivating way.

We conduct all of our investigations with the utmost of professionalism and will always seek to find a natural explanation where possible.

Equipment we commonly use in our paranormal investigations includes: digital still cameras, film cameras, video cameras, digital audio recorders, emf detectors including K-2 meters, and digital thermometers.

Questions or comments? Is there a suspected haunting you would like us to investigate? Contact us:

NOTE: the LAPA is a very professional team. Make sure to check out their other investigations at Los Angeles Paranormal Association...Lon

I received this email from Ben Castelli at 'The Travel Channel' today...Lon:

Hi Lon,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that the Ghost Adventures crew is investigating the La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, California this Friday at 9 PM E/P on the Travel Channel. Below are episode details and an extended video preview.

The La Purisima Mission is a former Spanish residence of padres, soldiers and the native Chumash. The area is beautiful, but the air around it is heavy with the tragedy of disease and war. At La Purisima, the sounds of flutes and the voices of the long-gone inhabitants are reported to still linger. Trapped within its white-washed walls, the spirits seem bound to this land, forever locked in their struggle with each other.

Video Preview
Here is an extended preview of the upcoming investigation at La Purisima Mission where Zak highlights two instances of possible evidence: Video Preview

Crop Circle Experts Believe Phoenix Pattern May Be 2012 Warning

The 400-foot design was discovered in a barley field in Yatesbury near Devizes and depicts the mythical phoenix reborn as it rises from the ashes.

Investigators claim more formations are referencing the possibility of a cataclysmic event occurring on December 21, 2012, which coincides with the end of the ancient Mayan calendar.

The Mayans believed civilization exists within a series of earth cycles of 144,000 days each with the 13th expiring in December 2012, resulting in Armageddon.

Crop circle enthusiast Karen Alexander, from Gosport, Hants, said: "The phoenix is a mythical creature which symbolizes rebirth and a new era in many cultures across the world.

"Within the crop circle community many believe the designs are constantly referring to December 21 and its aftermath.

"This could be interpreted as the human race or earth rising again after a monumental event.

"The patterns are becoming more intricate with every find and it is exciting to think how they are going to evolve by the time we get to 2012."

Recent crop circles have included giant jelly-fish and one image discovered in Wiltshire in June which experts dubbed the most 'mind boggling' they had ever come across.

The formation, measuring 150ft in diameter, is apparently a coded image representing the first 10 digits, 3.141592654, of pi.

'Ghost Bride' Practice Continues in China

Five people have been arrested in China for digging up the corpse of a young woman to be a "ghost bride" for a man killed in a car crash.

The suspects included a grieving father who allegedly paid his four accomplices around £2,700 pounds to find a female to be his son's companion in the afterlife.

The men were caught after unearthing the remains of a teenage girl who had poisoned herself after failing her university entrance exams last year. In rural China, superstitious villagers have for centuries sought out the bodies of recently deceased woman to be ghost brides for young men who die single.

Marriage ceremonies are conducted for the two corpses, and the bride is placed in the same grave as her husband.

Under Chairman Mao's rule, officials made strenuous efforts to stamp out the ghoulish practice but it has since resurfaced in some rural areas.

Last year, a gang in southern China was arrested for strangling young women to sell as ghost brides when the supply of female corpses in their area ran short.


The Ghost Brides of China

They are murdered to give dead bachelors a wife in the afterlife.

A ring of gangsters who traded in the bodies of women they murdered, selling them as brides to keep dead bachelors happy in the afterlife, has been arrested in China.

The arrests have exposed a trade that places a higher value on women when they are dead than when they are alive.

• Traditional Chinese belief holds that the living must tend to the wants and needs of dead relatives, who exist in an afterlife

• The tradition manifests itself in the burning of fake money or paper models of luxury goods

• It is believed by some that an unmarried life is incomplete, leading to the practice of minghun — burying single sons with recently dead young women to provide them with a wife in the afterlife

• Parents of a dead daughter often regard the money received in selling her for minghun as recompense for the dowry that they did not receive in her lifetime, while also posthumously elevating their child’s place in a patriarchal society

• Communist authorities tried to ban the practice, which datesfrom the Zhou dynasty (1122-256BC). It was also forbidden in the Book of Rites, texts that describe religious practices from the eighth to the fifth century BC

• Minghun survives mainly in the poor rural north, particularly in the remote plateau on the upper reaches of the Yellow River

Yang Dongyan, 35, was arrested in Sha’anxi province as he played cards with his children. In his prison cell, Yang showed little remorse for committing two murders. He told the Legal Daily: “I just wanted to make money. It’s a quick way to make money. I was arrested too soon otherwise I had planned to do this business a few more times.”

Two accomplices, Liu Shengbao and Hui Haibao, were also arrested, as was Li Longsheng, a self-styled undertaker who traded the bodies to bereaved families.

Zhang Yanjun, chief of police in Yanchuan county, said: “It’s lucky that the case was cleared up in time or we don’t know how many women would have been killed by them. These people thought they had found a short cut to wealth.” Instead, they face the death penalty.

The men preyed on the superstitions of ill-educated farmers eager to ensure that a dead son was happy in the afterlife. It is not uncommon in rural parts of China for a family to seek out the body of a woman who has died to be buried alongside their son after the performance of a marriage ceremony for the deceased pair.

Ancestor worship is a tradition that runs through many aspects of Chinese life. One of the main Chinese festivals is Tomb Sweeping Day, when families visit graves of their forebears to clean them and burn incense. The spirit is believed to live on in the afterlife and at funerals families burn offerings of paper money and models of houses, cars and other little luxuries that the dead may need.

Yang chanced upon the trade in dead bodies when he paid 12,000 yuan (£800) for a mentally handicapped woman whose family hoped to marry her off for a price. The trade in women as wives is a common practice in rural China and a woman may be sold several times by intermediaries before meeting her eventual husband.

Yang arranged for the woman to stay in a guesthouse in Yanchuan county where Mr Liu offered him $1,310 for her.Yang refused, until Liu told him the woman would be worth much more dead than alive. The next morning the two men set out across the Yellow River to meet “Old Li” in Xixian County, Shanxi province. Old Li agreed to buy the woman’s body for $2,067 and to complete the deal late at night on the Yanshuiguan bridge.

The next day Yang killed the woman and took her body by taxi to the bridge where Mr Li was waiting and handed over $1,969 for her. For his part in the deal, Mr Liu received $590 andYang came away with a loss of $394 after his expenses.

Back at the guesthouse, Yang told an old acquaintance, Hui, he had found an easy way to make money. The two men agreed to go into the body business together. Last November they sought out a prostitute they knew in nearby Yan’an — the city where Chairman Mao began his Communist revolution — but she threw them out after they said that they could not afford to pay her $40. They returned the next morning and killed her.

On December 3 they completed a similar body handover with Li on the bridge. This time they made only $1,043 because the buyer was unhappy with the quality of the body and, after costs, Yang and his two friends each earned $196 on that deal.

Old Li had made a name for himself in Xixian county by selling clothes to outfit the dead and by handing out cards that offered to help families in need of a spirit marriage. They want young and good-looking dead brides for their sons and regard the family of the girl as “in-laws”. Police discovered that Li paid between $1,043 and $1,300 for a body and sold it on for as much as $4,500.


New Dig For the Leader of the Terracotta Army

The dig will uncover more of the enormous pit that surrounds the tomb of Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor.

The first excavation of the site lasted six years betweeen 1978 and 1984, during which 1,087 clay soldiers were discovered. A second excavation started in 1985 but was cut short after a year.

Altogether, archaeologists believe there may be as many as 8,000 life-size clay figures in the pits, as well as chariots and hundreds of horses. No two figures are alike, and craftsmen are believed to have modeled them after a real army.

Liu Zhancheng, the head of the archaeological team at the museum in Xi'an, said the new dig will search for someone who appears "in command" of the force.

"We're hoping to find a clay figure that represented a high-ranking army officer, for example," he told Chinese state media.

The dig will focus on a 2,153 sq ft patch inside the first of four pits around the emperor's tomb. Pit one has eleven corridors and contains the main body of the Terracotta army.

Mr Liu said the team, which will work on the site for a year, will also examine the colouring of the figures. The warriors exposed to the air in the 1970s have lost their delicately painted details.

Qin, who died in 210 BC at the age of 50, created China's first unified state by conquering rival kingdoms. He built an extensive system of roads and canals along with an early incarnation of the Great Wall of China. He introduced standard measurements, a single written language, currency and law.


Are you interested in the paranormal, cryptozoology, UFOs and conspiracies? Go to Phantoms and Monsters Wiki and become a member of this unique network. Start a page on a subject or add your input to an existing page or thread. Phantoms and Monsters updates are posted daily at Twitter. Signup today! Find me on Facebook


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Monday, June 15, 2009

Reader Accounts: Large Craft Over LA - UFO Reacted to Witness' Anxiety in Kentucky

This event occurred on July 23, 2002, at approximately 10:15 p.m. (PST) in Hawthorne, California.

Hawthorne is a small suburb just outside of Los Angeles, located approximately 5 miles east from the Los Angeles International Airport. The city is just about 2 miles off the approach path of planes landing. Planes continually land and it gets kind of noisy; at any time, one can see the flickering lights of planes spaced out in the distance towards the east coming in to land at the airport.

This occurred while two of my friends and myself were outside talking. My two friends never saw a UFO before and are the type that tend not to believe UFOs or the paranormal without direct evidence.

In any event, we were talking. They were facing towards me (south), while I was facing towards the north. While we were talking, I saw a rather huge object coming towards us from the north. At that point, it appeared to be a string of evenly spaced lights. A white one in the center, with three red lights on either side of the red lights. I immediately realized this was odd because the thing was way too big to be a plane. I interrupted one of my friends mid-sentence and said, "Don't look now, but we're being invaded" as I pointed to the object. My friends both turned around and did a somewhat comical double take. Their jaws dropped.

The object flew towards us silently. It's altitude was roughly the same altitude of planes that we normally see coming in from the east. Thus, it was crossing directly in front of the flight path. I suddenly realized that all air traffic had ceased. The familiar lights of the planes coming in for a landing from the east had ceased and all was quiet.

The object flew almost directly overhead (heading from north to south), traveling very slowly and completely silent. It became apparent that it was triangular shaped - a white light at the nose, with the red lights going back in a V shape. We watched it glide over us and kept it in sight until we couldn't see it anymore in the south sky. After the object passed, the air traffic eventually resumed again.

The object was many times larger (perhaps 4 to 5 times) than the 747s that I'm accustomed to seeing. It traveled slowly, less than 200 mph I'd estimate.

This event, which occurred over a major U.S. city and caused air traffic to be rerouted or put on hold, never made the news. I reported the sighting on and noticed that others across California had seen the same object (some reported on and others on


This incident took place in August, 2008. I was in my studio, which is a room I built in my unattached garage so that I do not bother my family sleeping in the house at late hours.

At about 1:30 AM, my dog began barking non-stop. I went outside to see what might be going on. She was at the end of the drive way, looking towards the soy bean field across the road. I wandered down the driveway to look. I figured it could be a rabbit or a possum.

She was looking a bit skyward. I looked up and saw a moving light. She stopped barking once I saw it. The light was not much bigger than Venus, however it was moving in an erratic motion. Sort of keeping with in an area of a quarter if you held it about 3 inches from your eye.

The light pulsed about every 2 seconds. It would be a reddish light, it would grow brighter and fade. Then it would turn white and grow brighter. Back and forth between the two colors.

It was a clear night, no moon and I could see many other stars and lights from jets. I wondered if it was just my eye jumping, so I concentrated on stars. None of them jerked about or pulsed. Then I held myself very still and watched the sky in general and the stars remained motionless, but the light continued to move about.

I can't tell how big the light source was. I am not sure, it being quite dark across the field where a tree line is, if the light was in front of the tree line or a bit above it. However, it was quite low in the sky.

The light began to enlarge, or move closer to me and I became uneasy. It approached for a few seconds, maybe 10 or so, then as my anxiety increased it seemed to retreat from me back to what I guess was it's original position. I watched for a few more minutes and then decided to tell my daughter about it who had been watching TV a bit earlier. I went inside but she had gone to bed.

I went back outside and the light was gone. I looked around the sky and found it had moved, seemingly farther away and no longer southeast of me, but now more in the direction of southwest.

I watched it for a few minutes more, lost interest and continued my art project.

A few days later I contacted MUFON via email. I received an email later than night from the regional director of MUFON based in Bowling Green, KY. He asked follow up questions and I sent him my phone number. A few more days later he called me in the early evening and I repeated all I had posted in the initial email and answered in his follow up email.

He informed me that MUFON had been receiving the same type of reports from eastern and southern central Kentucky for the last few weeks. He had no answers for what it could be, but just that it was a common sight from those of us who happened to wander outside in the very early morning hours.

I have never experienced this before and I am really interested in how this "thing" reacted to my anxiety level.

Photo: Orbs / Light Specks - The Dakota Hotel - NYC

Katherine Fulton interview at

In April 2006, Katherine Fulton, a freelance writer and music buff, traveled to New York City to visit and stay with friends. She wanted to visit several places while in New York and when visiting Central Park's Strawberry Fields, she found that it was close to The Dakota, the apartment building where John Lennon lived where he had been shot and killed.

When visiting the complex, Katherine was overcome with a sense of queasiness that she could not explain; she dismissed the feeling originally as being a big fan of John Lennon so her friends would not worry. They suggested that she take a picture of the place, but she felt so ill that she only took a quick shot on her digital camera and left.

When she returned home, the picture proved to be more unusual than she suspected.

“It wasn't until I got back from my trip that I took a closer look at the Dakota shot and saw the strange streaks of light in front of and behind the gate,” says Fulton. “I was especially puzzled because I couldn't figure out a reason as to why they would be there. No one was around me when I took the shot, so no one bumped into me to cause a light streaking effect... The photo was taken with a digital camera, which ruled out exposure or film damage, and the rest of the photos I took on the trip were sharp, clear and normal, which for me ruled out the possibility that there was something wrong with the camera or memory stick.”

She showed her picture to her father who worked for years as photographer and a graphic designer and he was not able to clearly explain the phenomenon. However there is another explanation for these streaks of light, which is that she managed to photograph “orbs” in the picture.

Orbs are a rare phenomenon in photography; theories range that orbs are souls or the spiritual energy of the dead to the presence of the supernatural aura. The only common explanation of the orbs phenomenon is that it is the presence of supernatural energy and they are generally not recorded on camera. In some cultures, orbs were the sign of forthcoming death and were considered spiritual creatures themselves like the Will O' The Wisps in Irish folklore or ghostly balls of flame in Japanese folklore. However more recent pictures with claims of orbs are attributed to fairies and their sparkling presence.

The problem is that most claims of orbs in photographs are legitimately explained as the presence of reflected dust particles caught in the light when the shutter went off in the camera. What makes this photo different are a couple of key elements: 1. The presence of light streaks do not all move in the same direction. 2. Without knowing any of the details of John Lennon's murder at these gates, some sensitives react with foreboding at the picture, despite that there is nothing outlandishly gory or horrifying about the actual image.

If the phenomenon of orbs is actually present in the picture, its significance is still up for debate. Three years later, Katherine still feels an ominous presence when looking at the picture. But she explains her reluctance to identify the streaks of light as a paranormal phenomenon.

“I didn't want to go around saying that I'd captured anything paranormal simply because I didn't want to jump to conclusions. Someone could easily come along and offer a logical explanation that my dad and I hadn't considered, and I'd be okay with that. And admittedly, I didn't want to give the impression that I'd taken the photo in an attempt to capture something "ghostly" or "spooky" about what is, essentially, a murder scene. I respect Lennon too much to make light of where he was killed, and I also respect the fact that for his family and friends, this was more than the loss of a cultural icon - it was the loss of a husband, a father, a collaborator and a friend.”

NOTE: if it was a video and these 'orbs' were moving around then I could consider it as possible. This looks like a film / capture light anomaly sometimes seen when the photographer is in the sunlight or light area and the subject is shaded...though, I'm open for thoughts...Lon Win a Piece of Moon Rock

Would you like to own this little piece of the moon?

Depending on which time zone you happen to be in, 20 or 21 July 2009 sees the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing.'s competition to celebrate that historic event offers a rare and fabulous prize for the winner: a scrap of genuine moon rock.

The competition is simple to enter. You will doubtless know the words relayed from Neil Armstrong when he stepped off Apollo 11's lunar module and onto the moon itself: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Can you think of something better for him to have said - something even more memorable, or perhaps something funnier?

Go to for details on the moon rock and entry instructions.

Roswell Incident: A Brit's Pursuit of the Truth

By Kevin Connolly - BBC

There is a lunar quality to the landscape of New Mexico which seems somehow appropriate for a state which is our portal to the heavens.

It is here on a dried-up lake bed high above sea level that the radio telescopes of the US government's Very Large Array (VLA) receive signals from the outer edges of our expanding universe, chasing the very moment of the Big Bang through the trackless void of time and space.

And of course it is also here - perhaps - that 62 years ago a flying-saucer crashed to earth on a ranch outside the town of Roswell, killing its alien crew and prompting one of the most elaborate and protracted cover-ups in history.

The power of that possibility and the darkness of the nights here so far from the light pollution of the big cities are what draw scientists and curious tourists alike to this entrancing place.

And it is what motivates watchers of the skies to keep, well, watching the skies, obviously.

Alien ambiguity

If UFO true-believers are right, then nothing much that has happened on our tiny, fragile planet in the years since that stormy summer's night really matters very much.

What, after all, would Watergate, or Vietnam or Iraq amount to if we could establish that the US government knew for sure that we are not alone in the universe?

Most of the big questions about alien life and UFOs can be traced back to Roswell - not least the issue of how life-forms from another civilisation have such an uncanny sense of when the tourist industry in a small US town could use a shot in the arm.

Are we really alone in the heavens, for example, and if we are not, do the civilisations with which we share the heavens mean us any harm?

Is it just a coincidence that aliens have never managed to find an earth-dweller who knows how to operate his own camera properly?

And why, if you have journeyed light years across the unknowable vastness of the heavens, would you confine yourself to a fleeting and ambiguous appearance before a handful of New Mexican ranchers?

Why not go the extra mile and find a research institute of some kind - unless our visitors have a sense of humour, of course.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Let us return to that stormy summer New Mexican night in 1947 when the story of the UFO landing first broke.

It was a world of tension and uncertainty.

The United States had detonated the first atom bombs - they were developed just up the road at Los Alamos, New Mexico - and was uneasily aware that the Soviet Union, its increasingly hostile former ally, had nuclear ambitions of its own. The Cold War was just beginning.


Roswell was in those days the home base of the 509th Bombardment Group of the US Eighth Army Air Force.

Most of the boys in the 509th were combat veterans and when they were tasked to investigate reports of some kind of landing on a ranch a short distance away it seems reasonable to assume they were not too excited at first. That soon changed.

When they got the material back to base, they quickly concluded they were onto something historic.

Their first press release talked of the recovery of a flying saucer - it was only when the suits descended from Washington that the tone of the official communiques changed.

The base intelligence officer who was tasked with taking the wreckage to another base reports leaving it in an office there and returning a few minutes later to find that the space debris he had brought had been replaced with parts of a weather balloon.

The fix was in. Faced with evidence of one of the most significant events in human history the American authorities had responded by pulling the old switcheroo.

One account of those days comes from Julie Shuster, whose father was the press officer at the Roswell base.

She now runs the museum in the town which is the focal point for the local UFO industry (it is on a street where the street lights have been decorated so that they look like alien heads).

For Julie there is a simple issue in all of this which goes back to the version of events her father passed on to her.

"My daddy didn't lie. My father saw the bodies, my father saw the craft," she says.

"He saw bodies - large heads, almond shaped eyes... and material that couldn't be burnt, ripped, cut - anything."

'Majestic 12'

It is not quite so personal for the other true believers in the incident.

Dennis Balthaser, for example, is a retired civil engineer who is perhaps the most meticulous researcher of the Roswell incident.

He has spent years (and thousands of dollars of his own money) tracing every witness and every player from that night in 1947 and is convinced that there was a landing.

But he is at his most compelling when talking about the cover-up which follows.

Dennis lives in a rather frightening world where the US government would be perfectly happy to murder anyone (including him) who got too close to the truth.

He believes the US is really governed by a kind of secret committee of senior military and intelligence officials with the president serving as a kind of hired hand to deal with the public.

"Basically he can't be trusted with information like this" says Dennis.

"Back in Truman's time, we're looking at a thing called 'majestic 12', which was a group of some of the highest military people, some of the highest dignitary people we had. I believe today we still have a group similar to that that calls the shots."

Even before I met Dennis, I knew he believed that space travellers helped build the pyramids - where I, for example, am more inclined to the view that they are probably the work of Egyptians.

I expected to find him hopelessly naive - but the funny thing is he is so lucid and convincing that I left feeling rather naive myself.

(And in case you were wondering - if anyone ever lifts a quote from this article to promote a book or a DVD it will be that previous sentence.)

Missing balloon?

But here is the problem.

I mentioned before that New Mexico is a place where real science and Roswell science-lite co-exist.

And it is in that proximity that our explanation probably lies.

At the VLA (that centre of government radio telescopy) they will tell you that around the time of the crash, the US government was sending up special high-altitude weather balloons made of a then-classified material.

They were looking for atmospheric evidence that the Russians were testing their own nuclear bomb.

On the night of the Roswell incident, one of those balloons went missing.

Until, perhaps, it was found by the boys of the 509th.

And all that stuff about alien bodies being recovered and autopsies being performed? Well I leave you to speculate about that for yourselves.

If you find all that a little disappointing then you can always employ the debating technique favoured by UFO true believers - the deployment of questions designed to expose the lack of absolute certainty in almost all human affairs.

How do you know, for example, that there really is not a government department 27 layers above top secret tasked with keeping an eye on these things?

Perhaps they insist that articles like this are submitted to them for screening before publication.

And maybe this is not the script I originally wrote and submitted - just the script they sent back.

You could hardly blame me for giving in - I am sure you would not want to find my bleached bones left out in the desert, would you?

All I am saying is - keep watching the skies.
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