Saturday, August 22, 2009

Creation of Artificial Life Only Months Away


dailymail.co.uk - Scientists are only months away from creating artificial life, it was claimed yesterday.

Dr Craig Venter – one of the world’s most famous and controversial biologists – said his U.S. researchers have overcome one of the last big hurdles to making a synthetic organism.

The first artificial lifeform is likely to be a simple man-made bacterium that proves that the technology can work.

But it will be followed by more complex bacteria that turn coal into cleaner natural gas, or algae that can soak up carbon dioxide and convert it into fuels.

They could also be used to create new vaccines and antibiotics.

The prediction came after a breakthrough by the J Craig Venter Institute in Maryland.

Researchers successfully transferred the DNA of one type of bacteria into a yeast cell, modified it and then transferred it into another bacterial cell.

The pioneering 'gene swap' was performed on a simple species of bacteria called Mycoplasma mycoides.

Carole Lartigue and colleagues removed the bacteria's entire genome and inserted it into the yeast - an organism that is distant from bacteria on the tree of life.

Yeast is easier to manipulate in the lab and this process allowed the team to alter the genes - in this case, deleting one gene not necessary for bacteria to live.

The cell went on to divide normally, producing a new healthy strain of the modified bacteria.

In January, the team created the entire genetic code of a new bacterium. They now hope to transfer such artificial DNA into a host cell to create a new species, the journal Science reported.

Yesterday Dr Venter said: ‘Assuming we don’t make any errors, I think it should work and we should have the first synthetic species by the end of the year.’

The team successfully transplanted the genome of one bacteria into another for the first time in 2007.

They then created the first entirely man-made genome. But previous attempts to introduce the synthetic genome into another organism and take control of the new bacteria all failed.

Now the team has harnessed a biological process called methylation - where special molecules are added onto the cell's DNA - to protect them from viruses.

Writing in Science, they said their method might be used to tinker with the genetics of a range of bacteria that have been difficult to engineer.

'Many medically or industrially important microbes are difficult to manipulate genetically,' they wrote.

'This has severely limited our understanding of pathogenesis and our ability to exploit the knowledge of microbial biology on a practical level.

'We hope that the cycle presented here can be applied to other species, to help solve these problems.'

Ms Lartigue, who is now at the Biotechnology Industry Organisation, said there may have already identified a direct application in the development of animal vaccines.

The Mycoplasma mycoides bacterium they used causes a disease called pleuropneumonia in cattle and goats.

'There is an urgent need for vaccines,' they wrote. 'This technology could accelerate the construction of live vaccine strains.'

Dr Venter, named as an author in the paper and who founded the institute, is working to make genetically manipulated or completely synthetic organisms.

Last month, Exxon Mobil Corp signed a $600million (£362million) deal with Dr Venter's privately held Synthetic Genomics Inc to work on making biofuel from algae.

Venter has said he hopes to manipulate organisms to produce biofuels, clean up toxic waste and sequester carbon to slow global warming.

Researchers already regularly engineer life forms by adding or deleting genes.

A College's Most Beloved Ghosts, Ghouls and Secrets

flathatnews.com - By Mary Bonney - Seeing as the College of William and Mary is the second oldest in the nation, it has its fair share of history. But with centuries of students comes centuries of gossip, which, over the years has turned into legend. Whether fact or fiction, each such story must be taken with a grain of salt. You should feel free to investigate the truth and rumors behind them.

Arguably the most famous campus ghost, this haunt visits students who choose to pull all-nighters in the classroom on the third floor of St. George Tucker Hall. The ghost’s identity is yet unknown, as it has been rumored to be anyone ranging from a resident of Colonial Williamsburg during the Revolution to a disgruntled or suicidal student at the College.

Students reportedly began hearing mysterious footsteps in the Wren Building shortly after the Revolutionary War. They claimed that the ghosts were French soldiers who died in the building, although nowadays students maintain that it is Sir Christopher Wren himself, roaming the very building he designed.

The spirits of students who were forced to attend the Indian school that was housed in the Brafferton are said to run across campus at night. The best time to sneak a peek is on misty night in the Sunken Garden. The ghosts run a few feet above the ground down the length of the Garden.

Underground steam tunnels exist on both Old and Ancient Campus. The tunnels are said to connect to the Wren Chapel burial vault, located in the basement of the Wren Building. In 1977, access to the crypt from the tunnels was blocked with the addition of a padlocked steel door to prevent vandalism. During that time, supposedly, it was popular for fraternity brothers to sneak into the crypt and steal a bone from the tomb of James Blair. It is rumored that secret societies use these tunnels to move around campus.

There are at least nine secret societies on campus, including The 7s, The 13s, The Alphas, The Bishop James Madisons and The Flat Hats. Look for signs of them throughout the year, particularly around the time of Homecoming and graduation. If they deem you worthy, you may be contacted by them out of gratitude for your contribution to the College community or even invited to join their closeted rankings.

The legend behind the Crim Dell is that if you walk across it’s bridge with your significant other and kiss at the top, you are destined to marry that person and be in love forever. If you break up, however, you will remain cursed unless one member of the hopeless couple pushes the other into the Crim Dell. It’s never agreed upon as to who should be chucked over the edge — girls will say it’s the boy who should be pushed, and boys will say it’s the girl. Avoid walking across it alone, however, unless you want to be doomed to a life of loneliness.

Less grave, however, is the myth surrounding the statue of Lord Botetourt. Allegedly, if you touch the statue, you’ll get a good grade on your next test. Couldn’t hurt to try, right?

North Port Devil: Hoax?

nbc-2.com - The North Port man who claims his home is being visited by aliens has been exposed as a fraud. The paranormal investigator looking into this case says the homeowner made the whole thing up to make a quick buck.

Mike Rowley's story hasn't changed.

"These reptilians are gung ho travelers of outer space," he explained.

But paranormal investigator Eric Patterson says he isn't buying it.

"This is definitely a hoax, definitely a hoax," said Patterson.

He says Rowley's alien encounter claims are far-fetched. And when it comes to the so called cast of an alien footprint Rowley showed us a few weeks ago Patterson said, "Nice try. Basically, it looks like a gopher hole."

But Rowley is convinced he has something unique.

Rowley: I have the only devil's foot print in the world.
Reporter Kevin Ozebek: [Patterson] says that's a gopher hole.
Rowley: So what? I don't give a flip.

Patterson says his investigation didn't reveal extraterrestrials, just a scheme to make some extra cash.

Rowley is now selling $22 alien T-shirts on his website and he is also trying to sell the plaster cast he made of the supposed footprint to the highest bidder. He hopes to bring in $1-million for it.

Ozebek: Are you making this up for money?
Rowley: No. I'm not making this up for money.
Ozebek: Are you exaggerating this for money?
Rowley: No, I'm not making this up for money. But I don't mind making some money.

Rowley says he'll soon be leaving North Port and his home is up for sale. He says he's moving to Alaska. His reason for moving there, he says, is that aliens don't like the cold.

NOTE: I don't know the investigator...as well, I don't know anyone who has examined this case. The behavior of Mr. Rowley does seem a bit incriminating. Until I see some tangible evidence, like an image, I'm going to reserve judgment...Lon

Toxic Sea Slugs Empty New Zealand Beaches

timesonline.co.uk - New Zealand's normally teeming North Island beaches have been emptied after a spate of mystery poisonings left five dogs dead and the bodies of hundreds of fish, dolphins and penguins littering the coastline.

At least two dogs in Auckland, NZ's largest city have been found to have been killed by tetrodotoxin, a poison found in the deadly pufferfish and at least a dozen others have become seriously ill.

More than 1000 fish, penguins and seabirds also washed up dead on beaches around Auckland at the same time dog owners began reporting their pets' illness.

Tetrodotoxin is potentially lethal to humans; ingesting only a small amount can cause paralysis and death within an hour. The substance has killed many a would-be Japanese gourmet who has eaten under-cooked fugu pufferfish, a delicacy in Japan.

The findings have caused widespread alarm, with normally beach-loving Kiwis abandoning the seaside as public health officials warned parents to keep children and animals off the sand.

"This substance is extremely toxic and potentially fatal to humans and animals," said a spokeswoman for Auckland Regional Public Health.

Pufferfish are prolific in NZ waters but scientists have been mystified at the poisonings which have occurred on beaches 40 miles apart although none of the deadly fish have washed ashore.

The most likely culprit appears to be the humble and normally harmless sea slug after tests on a slug found it contained the same toxin found in the vomit of one of the dead dogs.

Paul McNabb, an algae specialist at the Cawthron Institute which carried out the tests on the sea slugs said: "People can die from this.

"If you put a slug in your mouth, within minutes you'd be paralysed. Your heart and lungs would shut down and you'd be dead within the hour," he said.

The mystery now is not why anyone would put a slug in their mouth in the first place but how the slugs, herbivorous bottom feeders, could have ingested pufferfish poison.

"It is very rare for this toxin to be found in sea slug," the Cawthron Institute's Mark Jarvis told The Times. "You normally find it in algae blooms. But this doesn't mean sea slugs have been eating puffer fish. They might have grazed on the same organism that caused puffer fish to become toxic," he said.

"The problem is we don't know what that organism is," he added.

Lethal though they are, puffer fish are not naturally poisonous. Scientists have found that if they are bred from an egg within an aquarium they carry no toxins which suggests that at some stage early in the fish's life it ingests an organisam which creates its toxicity. What that organism is has yet to be discovered.

Dr Reg Gregory, an Auckland vet who successfully treated one of the first dogs to be poisoned four weeks ago, said he had never seen such a severe case of poisoning.

"The symptoms were horrific," Dr Gregory told The Times. "The dog was very ill when he was brought in; he was uncoordinated with persistent, violent vomiting. He was very anxious and appeared to be hallucinating."

The dog had not appeared to have eaten anything he would not normally have swallowed during a walk on the beach, he said.

"Mind you, he did seem to vacuum it all up," he said. "When he was sick he vomited up the whole beach."

Aucklanders were taking the threat seriously, he said. "Normally rain, hail or shine the beaches are awash with people but now they're completely empty.

"Summer is fast approaching and if they don't nail this one down we're going to have our first summer with no one on the beaches."

********************

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


********************

Have you had a close encounter or witnessed something unusual?
Send us an email


********************

Anomalist Books - works on maverick science, unexplained mysteries, unorthodox theories, strange talents, and unexpected discoveries. Please check out their excellent and diverse catalog



Friday, August 21, 2009

Unknown Creature Roaming Florida's Lake Worth Lagoon



wptv.com - There's something lurking just under the surface of the Lake Worth Lagoon.

Greg Reynolds of LagoonKeepers.org recalls, "Channel marker ten is the first time we saw the unknown creature." "I hollered out...and said what is that? We followed it, started taking video."

This mysterious creature was caught on tape by the LagoonKeepers.

Don Serrano was with Reynolds. "I didn't know what it was….I was like HEY LOOK! And we moved over and saw it. It was different, very different."

"Little wakes and just kind of moving like this…real long ones too, just like that."

Reynolds remembers, "We sped up on it to catch up to it and we got up on it, it dove down." "Every time we get 10 feet from it, it would just disappear."

What could it be?

"Who knows? I have no idea, but it was something that’s for sure, without a doubt," said Serrano.

Thanks to the LagoonKeepers, until it's identified, it has a name:

Reynolds calls it, "The elusive muck monster!"

Thomas Reinert a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Biologist studied the video and said: "This appears to be one animal moving in this direction…nothing's breaking the surface. Typically dolphins break the surface, sea turtles, manatee, a large school of fish, if it were a shark at that level you would see a fin."

"I cant definitely say what it is." "I can speculate but we need more evidence to determine the identity of the Lake Worth muck monster," said Reinert.

"We spend a lot of time out here on the water and seen a lot of different creatures out here and this is the first time in three and half years that I’ve ever seen anything out here that didn't know what it was," Reynolds said.
"We see dolphins out there, sharks, we always see a fin."

Whatever it is, it certainly has people talking, and watching.

Reynolds jokes "Maybe Nessie’s vacationing in South Florida!"

Mailbag: Encounter With a Shape Shifter

I was with a group of people on Saturday, August 8th in Central Arkansas (out in the country) right before dusk. This area has one lane bridges with gravel roads and no road name signs. Many years ago this had been a Amish community. One of the people I was with had lived there when she was a child. We had returned to the area to go ghost hunting at a cemetery near her old home. None of us are drinkers or drug users and are all middle aged. We belong to a local ghost hunter's club, but this night, we were on our own.

We arrived well before dusk to make sure we had a good feel for our surroundings. I stepped out of the car and walked maybe 6 feet when I heard the sound of something quickly approaching me. It sounded like wings flapping, but not the same. Hard to describe really. It was on a much larger scale than I had heard before. I quickly turned around and saw this thing headed right for me. I was so scared I could not image what I was seeing. I screamed and hit the ground. It flew over my head and landed on the tree limb near me. I looked up and saw it looking down at me, I turned as my friends called my name and was running to me. When I looked back, I couldn't see it. My friends witnessed it as it flew towards me though they didn't see it in the tree.

It didn't look the same in the tree that it had looked while flying toward me. In the tree, it looked more like a large worm or snake but much, much larger. It looked as if it had wrapped it's self around the tree limb. A bird can't do that. I did look to see if there were any other reports like this area, but did not find any documented. I am now afraid to go outside before dusk in fear of seeing another one. I have never been scared ghost hunting. This thing was the most amazing, scariest thing, I have ever seen in my life. I pray I never see it again. Do you have any idea what this thing was? A shape shifter or a Thunderbird maybe? Or a demon? I have no idea.

NOTE: this email was sent in response to the Medina River creature posting. Constructive comments are welcomed. As well, this would be a great topic for discussion on the wiki ...Lon

Most Haunted Places In Japan

The Japanese believe that all humans have a spirit or soul called a reikon. Ghosts are yurei, meaning “faint spirit.”

If a person dies in a sudden or violent manner, the reikon is thought to transform into a yurei, which can then bridge the gap back to the physical world.

The yurei tend to remain near where they died. They usually appear between 2 and 3 a.m., which is like the western world’s bewitching hour of midnight, and a time when the veils between the world of the dead and that of the living are at their thinnest.

Many Japanese ghosts are connected with battlefields and military bases. Here are some to chillingly consider.

Atsugi Naval Base

Located two hours south of Tokyo, Atsugi Naval base has a secret past, which includes the fact that it was a CIA U-2 Base, which housed the U-2 flown over Russia by Gary Powers in the early 1960s. In 1957, Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John F. Kennedy, was stationed at Atsugi as a Marine radar operator.

The spirit of a young man who wanders aimlessly from room to room is said to haunt the naval base. It is believed that he is the ghost of a young marine who was killed in a car accident back in the 1960s

Atsugi: The Corrosion Hangar Bay

Located on the other side of the naval base, this hangar stands over an older one that was used by the Kamikaze pilots of Imperial Japan. Here, many pilots killed themselves in disgrace after Japan’s final surrender to the allied powers.

It is said that doors slam and disembodied red eyes float about.

Field Hospital- Kanagawa Prefecture

Located on the military base named Sagami Depot, this hospital has been the site of several unexplainable occurrences.

The building is hardly used, but nightly security checks reveal raised windows and locked doors that had been previously unlocked.

Many of the military police who patrol the building have reported hearing someone or something walking around inside.

Iwakuni- Barracks 1687, Room 301

A few years ago, a Marine living in that room committed suicide. He broke the mirror in a fit of drunken rage and slit his wrist with one of the shards of broken glass.

Since then, there have been reports from other soldiers staying in the room that sometimes very late at night when looking into the mirror, the dead marine stares back from somewhere deep inside.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

It should come as no surprise that these two sites of such terrible tragedy are haunted by the unfortunate souls who perished during the nuclear bomb attacks at the end of World War II.

Ghostly voices are heard at twilight crying and screaming for help.

Okinawa: Camp Hansen- Gate #3

After darkness falls, every weekend a soldier with blood all over his World War II fatigues and a cigarette in his hand would ask the gate guard: “Gotta light?” The MP would oblige and as soon the cigarette was lit, the soldier would disappear.

Whether you believe this or not, gate #3 at Camp Hansen is closed because of this reported haunting.

Tokyo: Akasaka Mansion

Many guests have reported seeing specters standing at the end of their beds, white mists coming in through the air vents and sudden changes of temperature in their rooms.

Some have reported a feeling of someone stroking their heads while they sleep, and one person claimed she was dragged from her bed to the other side of the room and then back again. Scratch marks on her back the next day corroborated her story.

Yokosuka Naval Base: Gridley Tunnel

It is thought that the ghost of this narrow, one-way tunnel that runs through a hill is that of a Samurai warrior who was on his way to avenge the death of his lord when he was ambushed and cut down in the tunnel. Because he failed in his mission, he can’t leave his place of death.

Visions of the samurai as reported by passing motorists have caused several accidents in the tunnel over the years.

Himuro Mansion: Tokyo Outskirts

The basis of the survival horror video game series that deals with ghosts, exorcism, and dark Shinto rituals, “Fatal Frame,” Himuro Mansion was the site of a brutal family murder and sacrifice.

Many weird happenings have been reported in and near the old mansion; including apparitions of those who once lived there, bloody handprints and sprays of blood, which mysteriously appear on the walls.

Sometimes, a small girl in a kimono is seen in one of the windows. To add to the mansion’s mystery, no one knows the significance of the vast tunnels the run underneath.

Yokohama: Ikego-The Middle Gate

The Middle Gate marks the spot where a concentration camp from the World War II era once stood. Here, thousands of Chinese and Korean people were put to work and then killed by the Japanese army. Today it serves as a U.S. military housing base.

There are five incinerators on the premises and three gates that separate it from the Japanese community. At the middle gate, patrol guards have reported hearing voices and footsteps, and have described the feeling of being watched by unseen eyes.

One recurring vision concerns a Japanese soldier from World War II in a brown uniform with no legs floating between the middle and back gates.

These incidents are part of a much bigger picture, as there are many more haunted spots in Japan. Most but not all date back to the era of World War II.

If you plan a visit to one of these spooky places, whatever you do, don’t go alone!

Mutilated Cow Found Near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


A veterinarian is examining the remains of a mutilated cow after a local farmer discovered one of his animals brutally slain in a pasture north of Saskatoon.

The cow was found lying in a pool of blood. Its genitals and udder had been cut out, the flesh on its head had been stripped to the bone in a perfect circle and its tongue had been cut out. The cow may have been dead for up to 36 hours before it was discovered Wednesday.

"This was not an animal (that inflicted the wounds)," says Mary Bartsch. Her husband Neil discovered the cow. "They obviously stabbed her."

The Bartschs have rented the pasture land for nearly 20 years and have never seen this type of injury.

None of the other cows sustained any injuries.

Mary Bartsch said this is not the first time a cow has been mutilated in the area. She said her neighbour reported losing several cows to identical injuries.

"You hear about this from time to time," she said. "We're kind of in shock. We're not sure quite what to do now."

RCMP are investigating the incident.

MUFON Investigates Sylvan Lake UFO Mystery - Video



kstp.com - The mystery over what's sitting at the bottom of Sylvan Lake in Forest Lake has the attention of UFO investigators.

A Forest Lake woman claims she saw large waves rippling out in a swirling motion on the lake. She thought it seemed strange and called police. She told them she thought the churning water came from a helicopter.

"There was quite a stir for 5 to 7 minutes, with waves that went out 30 to 40 feet. Not up, but out," said the woman's neighbor Eugene Huerstel.

Since the woman's account was credible according to police, Forest Lake firefighters and the Washington County Dive Team went into the lake to look for the unusual and suspicious object.

They used a pontoon and an airboat to search to a depth of 26 feet. Washington County Sheriffs Deputies used a side scan sonar. Police said they did not find any debris on the water and no petroleum film from a boat or plane wreck, which they initally suspected. But what took everyone by surprise was the investigator who showed up Friday.

"We received several reports on our website about the incident," said Richard Lang from the Mutual UFO Network.

During a second water search, the Washington County Sheriff's Office found an object, about the size of a washer or dryer. They plan to pull it out in the coming weeks, though no one could say, what it might be.

However, a UFO does not seem likely.

"Based on our findings, we don't believe a UFO crashed into the lake," said Lang.

********************

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


********************

Have you had a close encounter or witnessed something unusual?
Send us an email


********************

Anomalist Books - works on maverick science, unexplained mysteries, unorthodox theories, strange talents, and unexpected discoveries. Please check out their excellent and diverse catalog



Thursday, August 20, 2009

Video: 'North Port Devil' Interview - New Witnesses



Statement with video: Listen to Mike K and his mom Susan K discuss the chilling details of Mike K's eye witness of a strange large, long and skinny entity flying over street in Michael and Shane Rowley's front yard during the last full moon.

NOTE: Mike Rowley emailed to inform me that this video was posted on YouTube. Interesting to note that, originally, the MUFON investigator wanted me to remove the links to their report but now the parties are contacting me directly...Lon
________________________

Original post - 8/4/09

Video: Alien Sightings Reported in North Port, Florida



MUFON Field Report - North Port Encounter
Foot Print Analysis
Rowley Website - The North Port Devil


nbc-2.com - Family members are scared to go outside at night because of what they say is lurking in the woods. They claim more than five alien encounters in the last four months have taken place. Now, an international UFO organization wants to crack the real-life X-file.

Michael Rowley and his son Shane moved to their North Port home in April.

“Well, I’m retired and I thought this was where you’re supposed to go,” Michael said. “The only bad part is the aliens around here.”

Shane, 16, says he’s had several extra-terrestrial encounters - most of which have been through his bedroom window.

“They kind of show up when they want. You get used to them, but it is weird to see them walking around the woods with those big eyes,” he said.

“I haven’t seen the wings but we know he flies,” added Michael.

The Rowleys’ twilight story has the attention of MUFON - Mutual UFO Network. The group is investigating and wants to setup surveillance. But Michael believes they won’t show up if cameras are around.

He says the plaster cast of a foot-print is his key evidence. While it may be hard to see, Michael believes the creature has a cloven hoof (watch the video to see the footprint.)

“It’s about this big with pure deep red eyes. It just looked at me for a second,” Michael said.

Michael admits to rarely going out at night. But he says he believes they come in peace and that they’re here for a reason.

“I’m a combat Vietnam vet and I don’t wake up until something good is going on,” he said. “This is something big and good going on.”

The family expects another alien encounter during the next full moon.

“And the neighbor, I showed a sample of the foot print and he goes, ‘nah.’ No one believes me,” he said.

To the skeptical, Michael says just come to his house for a visit. “I didn’t believe it at first,” he said.

New, Strange Crop Circles...An Owl and Mothman


telegraph.co.uk - The 400ft pattern, the latest in a string of bird-themed designs seen this summer, appeared overnight in a field in Woodborough Hill.

But while crop circle specialists are searching for a meaning, and some are convinced it is a tribute to the teenage wizard.

Steve Killick, a Harry Potter fan, said: "It is very exciting to think that there are fans of Harry from other galaxies.

"Most of the world has fallen in love with Harry Potter so it makes sense that most of the universe will do eventually too."

JK Rowling's seven-book series on the adventures of wizard-in-training Harry have sold over 400 million copies since the first title was released in 1997.

Pattern expert Karen Alexander dismissed the claims.

She said: "The owl is an ancient symbol of wisdom, so perhaps it is a message to people that we should be thinking deeper about the world around us.

"This is obviously a time of some upheaval in the world so perhaps this is a sign that we should be looking backwards for some wisdom in how to deal with today's problems, rather than anything to do with Harry Potter."

Crop patterns have caused fresh controversy this summer, after a farmer in Wiltshire fired a shotgun over the heads of circle-spotters last month.


NOTE: this beauty comes from The Netherlands and is said to be the size of 4 football pitches! Some say it looks like Mothman...to me, looks more like the comic book character Arthur...'The Tick'...Lon

Traditional Stoning Festival Banned in India


A centuries-old festival in which residents from rival Indian villages throw stones at each other — often leaving people dead or injured — has been banned, an official said Thursday.

The annual Gotmar festival in an impoverished central region of the country involved teams competing to capture a tree placed in a river running between two villages as crowds pelted rocks and pebbles across the divide.

The origin of the custom is unclear, but many locals in Madhya Pradesh state believe it developed from the tale of two young lovers who lived on either side of the river and wanted to elope together.

As they tried to escape, residents of the two villages started throwing stones at each other and killed the couple, according to folklore.

In last year's clash between Saargaon and Pandhurhna, one person was reported killed and more than 400 injured.

District civil servant Nikunj Srivastava said the event, scheduled to be held on Friday, had been banned after the state authority Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission described it as ‘inhuman and criminal’.

‘The act of injuring each other by hurling stones is done in the name of tradition, but traditions like Sati are banned and so this is now banned too,’ Srivastava said.

‘Not all local people support the stone-throwing but they do not speak out against it because they fear a backlash from the villagers who favour it.’

Sati is the outlawed Hindu custom of a widow being cremated on the funeral pyre of her husband as an indication of her devotion.

Attempts to replace the stones with rubber balls in 2001 and 2002 failed as villagers refused to use them.

Creatures!


I can remember when I was a child listening to stories about sightings of Big Foot being seen all over the world. I read reports almost daily about people seeing large unknown biped creatures. Many fit in with the hairy human type creature we all now think of as Sasquatch, or Big Foot. I think with the long-standing history of reports concerning this creature that there is without question some truth to all of these sightings.

I have read many articles about huge cats seen where huge cats do not belong. Many have told me that they have seen animals that do not fit in or are natural to the surroundings they are seen. I wonder at times how this is happening or if these creatures are being transported by some source or time slip to be sighted in places they do not belong?

My interest has been drawn to those who have had encounters with creatures that do not fit in with any living creation we know on this earth. I find some reports to be what I consider another level of visitation that we just now are starting to understand. Could we have doorways from other dimensions or times on this planet that allows for visitors from places other then this universe. Could we also have visiting beings from other layers of time or dimension dropping by and then simply vanishing back to where they have come?

I hear reports from Mexico about flying human shaped beings. I have read many reports from those who tell us that aliens have crossed their path. Look at the recent article about a man and his son in Northport Florida who have reported aliens visiting their home at night. I read the mans experience and watched his video report and wonder if what he witnessed fit in more with unknown creatures rather then aliens from space?

He reported a reptile hoofed flying creature with glowing eyes that made me think of moth man reptile being reports I have heard over the years.

I recently had a friend tell me that he was part of an odd encounter that occurred when he was a child. He told me about an upright two-legged animal with clawed type hoof feet that tried to bang through a door at a cabin in the wilderness of the Midwest where he was staying with family members one winter. He told me that the people inside the cabin kept the door barricaded until the morning light. The thing on the other side of the door spent hours trying to pound its way through the door. When they opened the door the next morning to investigate they found a badly clawed door and strange foot prints in the snow that were made by a two-legged animal. The tracks walked around the cabin, on the roof of the cabin and then off into the woods. The stride was long and deep indicating a heavy tall creature. The men in the cabin were hunters and not one of them ever saw tracks or footprints like those left by their night visitor. The family never knew what it was that tried to entire their cabin that night.

When I was a teenager on Long Island New York I experienced along with my entire family and a group of friends a unknown creature that spent one night tormenting us. This creature had gotten into our home while my family was not home and waited for us to return. When it was discovered something was in the house with us we quickly ran outside. The creature stayed in the house taunting us with turning the lights on and off, pounding on the walls and howling in heart stopping screams of anger. It wanted to trap us in the house and went wild when we would not cooperate.

The police were called to search the area. They found a rope he was hoping to use, clawed walls and a putrid smell left behind. A few weeks later this horrible creature returned to my neighborhood again to try and grab a family. He ripped a large window out of a nearby house wood casing and all trying to grab a 17-year-old girl watching TV in her family room. Her mother chased the creature off with a shotgun. The ordeal was terrifying for all involved. The creature was never found. What this thing was or where it came from remains a mystery to this day.

I had dinner recently with old friends whom I had gone to college with years ago. Both the husband and wife had careers working in agencies that involved security for the United States. Both were well trained to deal with dangerous situations. The woman was retired but the husband was still working. As part of his job this man carried a weapon.

They told me about a experience that they had a few years ago while on vacation. They were spending a week on the end of Long Island near Montauk Point. One afternoon they decided to drive around the less populated wooded areas that cover the end of Long Island. They had packed a lunch and were driving along a deserted road looking for a place to set up lunch in the back of their truck. They found a lovely area along the side of the country road. The wife jumped into the bed of the truck to set up their little chairs and table so they could begin their lunch. The husband decided to look along the side of the wooded road to see if he could locate a secondary dirt road he was told about that was suppose to be the entrance to a civil war building he was hoping to see. The wife was in the back of the truck busy with her cooler while the husband walked close to the side of the road along the woods.

The wife and husband both heard it at the same time. It was a strange clucking animal sound. It was loud, close by and unlike anything they had ever heard before. Both of them immediately froze in response to this odd out of place sound. The woman stood up to view where her husband was standing. He stood motionless. They both stood silently listening. They listened only a few seconds when they heard it. Foot steps adjacent to where her husband was walking. They were heavy breaking sticks and crushing leaves. Both this man and his wife were trained to know the difference between the normal sounds of the forest and its animal life and that of sounds not normal to the area. These steps were of something more human like and structured. Not the fluttering random steps of an animal. They were methodical and keeping pace with the man. She watched as her husband stood perfectly still. He slowly turned around and looked at his wife. She knew at once they were in trouble.

The woman dropped the lunch on the floor of the truck, jumped over the side and quickly got into the truck and started it. She placed her foot to the floor fish tailing down the road as quickly as she could get that truck to travel. She flew up next to her husband who now stood feet planted in a squat position with his gun drawn facing the woods. She slammed on the brakes and screamed at him to get in. The second he jumped into the truck she took off flying down the road wanting as much distance between them and whatever was in those woods.

When her husband opened the door of the truck to jump in she was able to glance towards the side of the road where he had his weapon aimed. There in the woods she saw two red glowing eyes looking towards them from the woods. They were about 7 feet in the air making what ever was looking at them at least 7 to 8 feet high.

As they were racing down the road away from the thing in the woods her husband shaking and still holding his weapon could only stutter “Did you see it? It was not human.”

The husband told his wife he knew something large and intelligent was following him along side the road in the woods. It would stop when he did and back off from sight when the man tried to get a look at it. He told his wife it was huge at least 8 feet tall with an outline that appeared wide and square in form. He told his wife it had red colored eyes that had a glow that would turn on and off in the dark woods. The man was shaken and convinced it was not of this world.

The couple returned to the hotel they were staying and packed up and left the area. They thought about reporting the event to the local police but decided to handle it differently and more effectively by way of connections they had made over their careers. They told me that they were able to have a search of that area done with trained professionals and dogs but came away without anything that could explain what they had seen that day.

I have no reason not to believe my friends. I do know them to be special people who have devoted their lives to the safety of my country and without question not the type to tell a story like this unless it happened. They do not want anything other then to get this story out to others and to tell people to be careful where they go and to make sure they are prepared for the unknown in such settings.

Having encountered a creature I could not explain in my lifetime I can only come to the conclusion that creatures do wander our planet that are unknown and not human. I think that the case in Northport Florida needs to be watched along with other stories that people tell about these creature type beings that seem to visit at their whim and then disappear into the night, or woods or for that matter your back yard!

I am not sure what these creatures are that so many people encounter. They could be aliens however they could also be beings from another dimension or time. I am not sure why we encounter these creatures I just know too many report these unknown beings for them to not be something we need to investigate along with all the other unknowns of the paranormal world. I do know once you do encounter a being that is not from your time dimension or world – you never forget it!

I wonder how many others out there have had encounters with creatures they cannot identify. One day we may have answers to all these strange events. For now I can only warn you all to always pay attention to your surroundings and please – be careful out there!

Thanks to Chris Holly at Chris Holly's Paranormal World

********************

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


********************

Have you had a close encounter or witnessed something unusual?
Send us an email


********************

Anomalist Books - works on maverick science, unexplained mysteries, unorthodox theories, strange talents, and unexpected discoveries. Please check out their excellent and diverse catalog



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

USAF Documents Confirm Roswell Crash Debris Examined


A research study that has recently been obtained through FOIA offers stunning confirmation that Wright-Patterson Air Force base contracted Battelle Memorial Institute to analyze material from a crashed UFO at Roswell in 1947. Remarkably, the co-author of this very metals study is the same scientist who decades ago had confessed that he had examined extraterrestrial metal from a crashed UFO while he was a research scientist at Battelle! This just-received document also reveals that another one of its metallurgist authors reported directly to a Battelle scientist who was conducting secret UFO studies for the USAF. It appears that the study represents first-ever attempts in creating highly novel and advanced Titanium alloys. Some of these alloys were later associated with the development of "memory metal" of the type reported as crash debris at Roswell.

The following links provide greater detail:

USAF Docs No Longer Missing

Scientist Admits To Study Of Roswell Crash Debris! (Confirmed by FOIA Document)
_______________________

Posted May 29, 2009

Reports On Memory-Metal Nitinol 'Missing'


With a boost from Sarasota resident Tony Bragalia, the enduring Roswell UFO controversy is about to swing the spotlight onto one of the most successful research and development entities in America — Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, OH.

At issue are some missing reports from Battelle’s study of a nickel/titanium alloy called Nitinol, renowed for its resilience as a “memory metal.” Contracted by the U.S. Air Force to assess and exploit its compelling properties in the late 1940s, Battelle participates in or manages six national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy, including Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore, and Brookhaven.

The problem is, neither Battelle nor the USAF can produce copies of what the scientific literature refers to as the “Second Progress Report on Contract AF33 (038)-3736.” Bragalia suspects that’s because the data is still highly classified due to its source — a flying disc that crashed outside Roswell, N.M., in 1947.

“Personal testimony is one thing,” says Bragalia, whose research skills have been polished by his business as an executive-search consultant. “But when you start talking about documents and the history of science, unlike testimonials, their provenance is not questioned.”

Bragalia says his curiosity about the Roswell debris began accelerating in 2007, shortly after a retired Army Air Force veteran from Ellenton named Ben Games told De Void a tale that no one had ever heard before — in July of 1947, he flew Gen. Laurence Craigie to Roswell during the furor over the alleged UFO recovery.

As chief of the Research and Engineering Division at AAF headquarters, Craigie had offices at the Pentagon and at present-day Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. In October 1947, he became Director of Research and Development for the U.S. Air Force. At the end of the year, he authorized the first-ever USAF study of flying saucers. From 1948-50, he served as commandant of the USAF Institute of Technology at Wright-Pat.

In 1991, retired brigadier general Arthur Exon confirmed for author/investigators Schmitt and Kevin Randle that the Roswell debris was transferred to Wright Field in ‘47. Civilians and military personnel who handled the stuff compared some components to aluminum foil, except that it would conform to its original shape after being crumpled.

Exon, a lieutenant colonel on base at the time, said lab chiefs in charge of testing the material “knew they had something new in their hands. The metal and material was unknown to anyone I talked to.” However, Exon, who was promoted to Wright-Pat base commander in 1964, never had access to the debris.

But who did? And if, as skeptics contend, the thing that went down in Roswell was simply a classified but hardly exotic balloon project, why did Craigie make a hurried flight to New Mexico from Washington?

Enter Nitinol, which made its debut in 1939. The nickel/titanium metal was created as a byproduct of another project and initially studied for its crystalline structures. Bragalia was unable to find any research on its shape-recovery properties until encountering references to a WPAFB contract with Battelle produced in 1949.

Its “Second Progress Report” — authored by Battelle employees listed only as C.M. Craighead, F. Fawn, and L.W. Eastwood — implies a first progress report, for which Bragalia could find no references at all. Although unable to get his hands on the “Second Progress Report,” Bragalia lists four references to its existence in 1952, 1965, 1972, and 1984.

Bragalia didn’t read the “Second Progress Report” because nobody appears to know where it is. Kemberly Lang, manager of the Battelle Library, couldn’t find a copy, and neither could Annette Sheppard, special collection librarian at WPAFB. Lang reconfirmed to De Void her futility at learning anything about the 60-year-old project beyond published references to it.

“There’s something strange going on here, but there is no copy of the contract. And Wright-Patterson doesn’t have it, either. Evidently it was never submitted for retention,” says Lang, who coordinated her search efforts with WPAFB. “Both sides have miraculously lost their copies of it.

“I don’t know what’s in it, I don’t have a clue. I don’t think there’s anything malicious going on, but it’s kind of in my ‘open’ file now. It’s a mystery.”

Bragalia doubts the USAF farmed out the actual Roswell debris to Battelle. More likely, he suspects its scientists were tasked to simulate its morphing abilities through Nitinol, which requires 99.99 percent purity and the application of heat.

Curiously, Braglia says military reports announcing the unveiling of Nitinol as a memory metal cite every year from 1959 to 1963 as its point of discovery. The last word from the U.S. Naval Ordnance Lab lists its debut as 1962 or 1963.

Today, Nitinol has blossomed into the commercial sector, finding its way into everything from medical hardware to bendable eyeglass frames. Among the most ambitious firms incorporating the latest generation of metallic elasticity into a vast array of products is LiquidMetal Technologies, a publicly traded R&D company headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Attributing its “amorphous alloys” to researchers from California Institute of Technology — managed by Battelle in cooperation with Lawrence-Livermore — LiquidMetal’s Web site says it has collaborated on “numerous shuttle missions for NASA scientists to study its technology in space first hand.”

“The NASA connection is huge,” says Bragalia. “When you begin taking stuff into space and testing it under microgravity conditions, it allows you to develop material of exceptional purity.”

Battelle, listed as a charitable trust exempt from taxation, is most famously known in UFO circles for producing a 1954 Air Force Project Blue Book study called Special Report No. 14. Concluding that 21.5 percent of UFOs in the military database were unknowns, Battelle directly contradicted then USAF Secretary Donald Quarles’ assertion that only 3 percent of its sightings were unknown.

“Battelle is very artful at concealing its connections,” says Bragalia. “When people say ‘the government’ knows about UFOs, I wonder. Especially when you consider that Battelle has more or less privatized six of our national laboratories.”

By Billy Cox - Memory-metal files are missing

Video: Journalist Spooked at Scotland's Dalhousie Castle



news.com.au - There is something slightly unnerving about being dispatched to the dungeon immediately after drinks.

"Everything's ready for you … downstairs," an attendant says as we sit around in the library of Dalhousie Castle, the ancient, supposedly haunted Scottish fortress that is now one of Britain's most elegant small hotels.

It sounds ominous; the sort of thing a matinee-movie medieval torturer might say, just before the hero is dragged below, strapped to the rack and introduced to the red-hot pokers.

Dungeon delights

So we clatter down the stone stairs and emerge into a torture-chamber straight out of old Hollywood: there's a vaulted ceiling; a few sinister crevices just perfect for housing whips and thumbscrews; a ghostly suit of armour; a collection of battle-axes displayed in a jaunty fan arrangement on one wall.

We dine on smoked duck and delicately grilled aubergine, chocolate cr̬me brulee and local cheeses Рand there's not a single howl of agony.

No ghosts either, although Escape video-journalist Helen Parker later returns to the dungeon to scare the wits out of herself by attempting to conjure up the ghost of Lady Catherine – a lovelorn young woman who supposedly starved herself to death.

The next morning, in the sanity of daylight, Dalhousie seems not scary, but thoroughly romantic. The castle has its own falconry, housing the birds of prey that once served as a hunting aid and pastime for the Scottish aristocracy. Guests can learn how to handle hawks, falcons, buzzards and owls, and participate in Dalhousie's Hunting With Hawks days in the surrounding countryside - or, for a memorable wedding, arrange to have one of the owls deliver wedding-rings to a ceremony in the castle grounds.

There's an aqueous spa where guests can plunge into saunas, steam-rooms and thermal pools pre- or post-dungeon, and upstairs, every suite is different, from the twisty garret with its own internal water-well to the suites with antique furniture and tasselled four-poster beds.

It's also the perfect place to indulge fantasies of sweeping about in long dresses - which brides do regularly, at the frequent weddings hosted in the chapel downstairs. The scent of lilies floats out from the chapel, where a couple is to be married later today.

Scotland's greatest natural beauties


Dalhousie has been home to the Ramsay family since the 13th century, frequently besieged and contested in the battles for Scottish independence that have raged around these borderlands.

Since the family moved to another castle a century ago, the castle has been a boarding-school and, since 1972, a hotel. It has been carefully modernised over the years, with ensuite bathrooms and heating added to soften the austerity of Scottish winters.

It is 12km from Edinburgh, and a couple of hours' leisurely drive from one of Scotland's greatest natural beauties, Loch Lomond. The giant lake is right on the border of the lowlands and highlands, and part of the West Highland Way, a 150km trail that brings bushwalkers through the heather over several challenging days of walking.

Earlier that day, we had trotted along a tiny section of the walk; a little hill overlooking the loch where our tour-guide whipped out his bagpipes and played a summery air.

MacKenzie Dalrymple is the sort of man who is never caught without bagpipes in an emergency; a bluff thirtysomething whose pride in Scotland is intense.

Indeed, Dalrymple is like a cartoon Scotsman, with floppy ginger hair, a bright red kilt and a dagger in his socks. He belongs on the front of a biscuit tin; a giant shortbread prince, iced in tartan, with kippers for hands.

Guiding tours is the perfect job for indulging his theatrical tendencies: as we drive along, he's been telling the stories of Scotland's bloody history with aplomb, brandishing an imaginary battleaxe in the air with his left hand as he drives the Rabbie's Trail Burners tour bus with his right.

Young Investigators Give Old Grange Hall the 'Once Over'

myrecordjournal.com - The creaks of an old building could be the settling of the floorboards, or, as some believe, the nighttime jaunts of a ghost.

To test what may be making nocturnal noise at the Southington Grange building on Summit Street, members of the New England Ghost Hunters Guild will make a moonlit investigation Saturday using their wits and a van full of high-tech equipment.

The Grange moved into its headquarters about 60 years ago, said President James Lamoureux, but the organization itself was founded 115 years ago. "People have a strong connection to the organization," he said. That connection could mean friendly spirits want to stay in touch, Lamoureux mused.

"You hear creaks and the pipes go on. The curtains blow because the windows are leaky," Lamoureux said. "I can't say there is paranormal activity," he added.

"We're not going to catch Casper the Friendly Ghost flying around," said Jay Palazzo, a Ghost Hunters Guild member from Plainfield. He said digital electronic equipment can record sounds that can't be heard by the human ear and infrared cameras can spot movement in the darkest of rooms.

Palazzo said electromagnetic fields can be measured and could show a spirit is present. "We use five LED lights. The theory is, if a spirit is present, they can move the lights up and down," he said.

Guild founder Cassy Pabst, of Chelmsford, Mass., started the organization when she was 19. "We saw shows like 'Ghost Hunters.' We noticed they were nonprofit and made up of kids like us," she said. She's done about 30 investigations since then and has learned how to help the folks who are worried about what they are sensing.

"Some feel they're insane. I've heard it many, many times. I give them comfort. They are not insane," Pabst said.

Both Palazzo and Pabst say the best paranormal encounter they've had came in an historic home in Warner, N.H. Pabst said an innkeeper asked the guild to investigate a ghost. The investigation showed the home's former owner, known as Uncle Frank, was still around, they said.

"The owner thought it was so cool. They see Uncle Frank all the time. The innkeeper said (Frank) looks like an old man, which he was," Pabst said.

"We called out, 'Are you Uncle Frank?' " Palazzo said. "He answered 'yes', very distinct. It was an instant, intelligent response," Palazzo said. "It was like they were protecting the home. It was Uncle Frank's old home."

Palazzo said they believe two or three of Frank's family members are also present.

Paranormal investigations usually take most of the night, and the guild often visits the same location several times. "There is a fifty-fifty chance the first time they won't communicate," said Pabst. Another visit gives the spirit the chance to get used to the guild members, she said.

Palazzo said it will take about a week to compile the information from the Grange investigation. "We don't know of any paranormal activity, but this is about curiosity," he said.

Study: What Would We Do If Zombies Attack?

bbc.co.uk - If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.

That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada.

They say only frequent counter-attacks with increasing force would eradicate the fictional creatures.

The scientific paper is published in a book - Infectious Diseases Modeling Research Progress.

In books, films, video games and folklore, zombies are undead creatures, able to turn the living into other zombies with a bite.

But there is a serious side to the work.

In some respects, a zombie "plague" resembles a lethal, rapidly spreading infection. The researchers say the exercise could help scientists model the spread of unfamiliar diseases through human populations.

In their study, the researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University (also in Ottawa) posed a question: If there was to be a battle between zombies and the living, who would win?

Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname and not a typographical mistake) and colleagues wrote: "We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies.

"We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions."

To give the living a fighting chance, the researchers chose "classic" slow-moving zombies as our opponents rather than the nimble, intelligent creatures portrayed in some recent films.

"While we are trying to be as broad as possible in modelling zombies - especially as there are many variables - we have decided not to consider these individuals," the researchers said.

Back for good?

Even so, their analysis revealed that a strategy of capturing or curing the zombies would only put off the inevitable.

In their scientific paper, the authors conclude that humanity's only hope is to "hit them [the undead] hard and hit them often".

They added: "It's imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly or else... we are all in a great deal of trouble."

According to the researchers, the key difference between the zombies and the spread of real infections is that "zombies can come back to life".

Professor Neil Ferguson, who is one of the UK government's chief advisers on controlling the spread of swine flu, said the study did have parallels with some infectious diseases.

"None of them actually cause large-scale death or disease, but certainly there are some fungal infections which are difficult to eradicate," said Professor Ferguson, from Imperial College London.

"There are some viral infections - simple diseases like chicken pox have survived in very small communities. If you get it when you are very young, the virus stays with you and can re-occur as shingles, triggering a new chicken pox epidemic."

Professor Smith? told BBC News: "When you try to model an unfamiliar disease, you try to find out what's happening, try to approximate it. You then refine it, go back and try again."

"We refined the model again and again to say... here's how you would tackle an unfamiliar disease."

Professor Ferguson went on to joke: "The paper considers something that many of us have worried about - particularly in our younger days - of what would be a feasible way of tackling an outbreak of a rapidly spreading zombie infection.

"My understanding of zombie biology is that if you manage to decapitate a zombie then it's dead forever. So perhaps they are being a little over-pessimistic when they conclude that zombies might take over a city in three or four days."

Researcher: Cocaine Present on 90% of U.S. Paper Currency

nationalgeographic.com - If you live in the United States or Canada, chances are you have cocaine in your wallet.

Nearly nine out of ten bills circulating in the U.S. and its northern neighbor are tainted with cocaine, according to what's being called the most definitive research to date on the subject.

What's more, researchers were surprised to find hints that more Americans are using the illegal drug, said study leader Yuegang Zuo of the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth.

In a similar study by the same team in 2007, 67 percent of U.S. bills were found to be tainted with cocaine. The new study puts the percentage at 85 to 95—a jump of roughly 20 percent, Zuo said.

The drug gets on paper money during drug transactions and when people roll bills to snort cocaine powder, Zuo said.

Stress spurred by the worldwide financial crisis may be driving people to abuse cocaine, one of the most common illegal drugs in the world, Zuo said in a phone interview.

The new findings could "help raise public awareness about cocaine use and lead to greater emphasis on curbing its abuse," Zuo said in a follow-up email.

Cocaine Country

Part of the reason the new study is so complete, Zuo said, is because the team used new equipment, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer, which doesn't ruin the money—allowing the scientists to test more bills without breaking the bank.

The team collected banknotes from the Brazil, Canada, the U.S., China, and Japan.

With 5.8 million people having used the drug at least once in 2007, the U.S. is the world's biggest cocaine market, according to the 2009 UN World Drug Report.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the U.S.—along with Canada—had the highest percentage of cocaine-permeated bills in the study.

Of the 234 U.S. bills collected in 17 large and small cities, nearly 90 percent had traces of cocaine, especially in larger cities such as Baltimore, Boston, and Detroit. Ninety-five percent of the dollars found in Washington, D.C., had cocaine embedded in their fibers—among the highest in the study.

In keeping with their reputations for having relatively low rates of cocaine use, China and Japan yielded bills with relatively low levels of cocaine contamination.

Asian drug-taking practices could conceivably be partly responsible for the lower percentages of cocaine-tainted bills. Zuo doesn't know, for example, whether Asian cocaine users inhale through rolled bills as many Western users do.

"It is for sure that drug abuse in different countries and regions has different use patterns which may affect cocaine contamination on money," he said via email.

Regardless of where you live, though, there's little chance of getting buzzed off your bills, Zuo said. Even in the U.S. and Canada, the concentrations are simply too small.

********************

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


********************

Have you had a close encounter or witnessed something unusual?
Send us an email


********************

Anomalist Books - works on maverick science, unexplained mysteries, unorthodox theories, strange talents, and unexpected discoveries. Please check out their excellent and diverse catalog



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meet North Carolina Conjurer 'Dr. Possum'

newbernsj.com - Six or seven years ago, three women came to Doctor Possum’s home wanting the Celtic witch and root doctor to tell them if their husbands were cheating on them.

Douglas Helvie, who goes by “Doctor Possum” for his work practicing the African-inspired magical practice of hoodoo, looked to his Norse runes to help see the truth. The 24 symbols carved into chips of rock help the conjureman tap into his psychic consciousness, he said.

What he saw about two of the women gave him pause.

“What I’m seeing right here is you’re not being cheated on. What I’m seeing right here is you’re cheating on your significant other,” said Helvie, as he recalled the memory from inside his store “The Hex House,” recently opened in February of this year.

He sells herbs, candles, coffin nails and books on the occult in the store, located behind his home in Ernul.

A black leather top hat perched on his head and a silver pentagram hanging from his neck, Helvie said he saw that the second woman was cheating with two men. The color ran out of her face, he said, and she asked him how he knew.

“I see what I see,” Helvie said. “You come to me, you ask me to do this reading, I tell you what I’m going to see.”

The 48-year old has been doing psychic readings and other work for years, as he’s a believer in the Wicca faith and a practicing Celtic witch. Just recently, he was also trained in hoodoo.

He completed a mail-in course with Catherine Yronwode of the California-based Lucky Mojo Curio Co. on Feb. 10, and his certification hangs on the wall of The Hex House.

“The hoodoo is a magical practice, it’s not a religious practice,” he said. “It’s something that a person of any religion can practice, if they understand there are certain things it encompasses.”

He said that mostly women come to see him for psychic readings or to pick up a mojo hand — which is a small bag that he fills with herbs such as lavender, rose petal, myrrh, orange peel — for help with love or romance issues.

But there are some things he won’t do as a root doctor or conjureman, such as death spells, or magic to make a person fall in love.

“I won’t put a love spell on somebody for you,” he said. “I’m not going to cage anybody for you. I don’t want the karma, thank you very much.”

Helvie said he has, however, done spiritual healings (one time he said he helped clear out a person’s headache using meditation techniques), he’s done spells to help ward off “good old-fashioned bad luck,” and he’s done psychic readings. He also has small statues of bears, a cat and a dog in The Hex House to help a person’s pet.

“If somebody comes to me, like they have a pet that’s sick or seems to be having difficulties, I’ll do that for free,” he said.

When he works the magic, he said he draws on powers from different sources such as nature or realms beyond normal human consciousness.

“When I practice hoodoo, it’s not uncommon for me to draw on my pagan gods,” he said. “Having said that, I might be … calling blessings from the Buddha. It’s kind of open-ended and it’s got many facets.”

As for his background, Helvie says he’s always had an interest in the occult. He attributes part of his attraction to his astrological sign — he’s a Scorpio, which characterizes people of intensity and contradictions that often have an interest in the paranormal and other unknown mysteries, according to zodiac-signs-astrology.com.

From the age of eight until he was 25, Helvie said he was a practicing Satanist. “Not the puppy-killing, animal-sacrificing kind, but I had gotten involved in that behind my mother’s back as a youth for reasons that are very deeply personal,” he said.

By the time he left the religion, he had risen through the ranks to become a lord high priest. But he left Satanism, and “frankly didn’t look back,” realizing it was causing him to be more and more of a negative person.

Helvie found a group in New Bern practicing Wicca, which is a nature-based religion that recognizes that spirits exist in all things, he said, explaining his own interpretation of the religion. “Plants, trees, people, and animals, everything we believe has a spirit,” he said.

The religion also recognizes a male and a female deity, he said. “It’s not only a god or male deity that exists out there, but there’s a goddess, a female-equal, but separate deity that exists with the god.”

Helvie said he realized from the beginning that the religion was what he’d been looking for in his heart, and now he’s practiced Wicca going on 22 years. He has even started his own branch called Eternal Harvest, and he practices a form of Wicca that is an amalgamation of Germanic and Celtic techniques, he said.

He took the hoodoo course to become a root doctor and conjure man because he felt people, especially in the Southeast, would be more uncomfortable going to see someone who calls himself a witch.

“It’s kind of a social door opener,” he said.

As for why he’s called “Doctor Possum” — he explained the name’s origin came from one day working maintenance at the New Bern Golf & Country Club when he saw a possum on the grounds.

His co-workers, who knew his faith background, had nicknamed him “Doctor Buzzard” after several other root doctors, but he said he was warned in a dream that he couldn’t keep the name.

“‘You’re doing magic on the possum,’” said Helvie, recalling what his co-workers said.

“I’m just petting it!” he said he told them, but the name stuck.

And while Wicca gives him personal powers, its ethics and codes of conduct also guide his life.

“I’m amazed by the potential, how if a person really learns the ancient ways, they can empower their lives, and help them frankly be better people,” he said.

NOTE: before I read the article I was skeptical, probably because of the moniker. But I have to say, his knowledge of conjuring and refusal to cast dark spells changed my mind. Yeah, I know many of you are thinking 'Lon has gone off the deep end'...well, my descendants (who came to America in 1732) were Ana-Baptists from Switzerland...better known in the New World as the Amish. There was a sect in the old Pennsylvania Dutch community known as 'PowWowers'. You can see the 'Hex signs' on Amish barns, these are PowWow symbols used to deter evil spirits. Unlike HooDoo and some other forms of conjuring, PowWow is deeply associated with religion. Most of the better know healing spells and folk magic are in John George Hohman's 1820 German-American magical receipt-book named 'The Long Lost Friend'. Though 'PowWow is illegal to practice in Pennsylvania and other places...be assured, it is still used. Use this link and read some source material HooDoo in Theory and Practice. A side note: I'm not a religious person, but I keep 'The Long Lost Friend' near me...always. It's my version of a 'talisman'.

Reports of Ghosts Roaming New South Wales Parliament House


news.com.au - There is the ghostly man who walks through the floor, a silent horse drawn carriage out the front and down the road a baby cries at night.

Anyone who claims there is no spirit left in the New South Wales Parliament should try spending a night there alone.

Once a hospital complete with a morgue, Parliament House is giving up its ghostly secrets for a new history project.

Most staff have a tale of a shadowy figure in the corridor, lights flickering or a strange tap on the shoulder out of thin air.

And down the road at Government House the stories are even more terrifying.

The most common include a baby that cries in the night from under the building, shadowy soldiers out the front on misty mornings and an old woman in a rocking chair in one room.

The old morgue under the theatrette at Parliament, which is preserved but bricked up, is considered by some to be the source of the ghosts.

Education staff will compile the tales in a new bulletin named The Ghosts And Ghost Stories of Parliament House.

One parliamentary staffer said: "A guy was here late one night and there was a hand on his shoulder, he turned around and there was no one there.

"The ghost stories are worse at Government House, the most common one is that a baby cries and no one can find the baby."

Another said: "You hear about people in old-fashioned garb mysteriously appearing, walking down stairs or even walking through the floor."

Parliament education officer Daniela Giorgi wrote in the latest Legislative Assembly newsletter that the bulletin would "explore the strange phenomena that have been reported throughout Parliament for many years".

"The building has housed the legislature for over 150 years but disembodied spirits nursing unrequited civil passion are not the only ghosts that wander these corridors of power," Ms Giorgi said.

"Once the building housed the Rum Hospital and morgue."

Long-serving MP Chris Hartcher said ghosts included a man who died in his office.

Mr Hartcher and fellow MP Paul Gibson said they had never seen a ghost.

MoD X-Files: 600 UFO Visits to UK in a Single Year



Click for full article Close encounters... UFOs made 600 visits to the UK in a single year, according to MoD 'X-Files'

Hundreds of Britons had 'close encounters' with UFOs, according to previously-classified documents released by the Ministry of Defence.

The sightings were made between 1981 and 1996 from observers including police officers, fighter pilots and school children. They range from lights in the sky to close contact with aliens with 'lemon-shaped heads', and include detailed analysis on some of the UK's most well-known cases.

The Government 'X- Files', contains 14 files of sightings, letters and Parliamentary Questions - 4,000 pages in total.

Photo: Amazing Crop Circle - Tidcombe, Near Burbage, Wiltshire, UK


Recent crop circle reported at Tidcombe, near Burbage, Wiltshire, UK. Magnificent detail...very strange design.

According to the Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group, the study of crop circles is based on facts:

-Crop Circles exist.
-They are found all over the world.
-More than 6,000 have been documented since 1980.
-Over the last twenty years analyses of thousands of plant and soil specimens from hundreds of formations worldwide have been carried out in laboratories in various countries, and most extensively in the UK and in the USA.
-These analyses show that the cellular structure of the plants has been strongly affected and that the composition of the soil greatly altered in crop circles (man made designs exhibit no such results).
-Their designs are based on complex geometry, ancient symbology and advanced mathematics.
-They can be decoded.
-The message that comes through is important for mankind at present.

Source:
http://www.wccsg.com


********************

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


********************

Have you had a close encounter or witnessed something unusual?
Send us an email


********************

Anomalist Books - works on maverick science, unexplained mysteries, unorthodox theories, strange talents, and unexpected discoveries. Please check out their excellent and diverse catalog



Monday, August 17, 2009

Haunted Earth Video - A Spiritual Encounter



This video was produced by my friend Chris Halton of Haunted Earth Paranormal in Essex, UK. Chris is a serious spiritual sensitive as well as a gifted hands-on-healer who I have gained a great deal of respect for since I became familiar with his abilities...Lon

Chris Halton's statement: We were contacted some months ago by a Naomi Polley who is the official lookalike of the late Diana Dors.

Following a spiritual encounter at a BBC TV studio where she believes that Diana tried to make contact, I agreed to video one of her regular visits to the grave site of this lady where it was hoped that the spirit of Diana would speak.

Some strange EVP was captured during this investigation.

Some viewers who were fans of this actress may find this distasteful, but no disrespect was shown during the filming of this video nor intended.


You can find Chris' videos at Haunted Earth Videos and his website at Haunted Earth Paranormal
________________________

Diana Dors' Biography

Diana Dors (23 October 1931 – 4 May 1984) was an English actress and sex symbol.

She was born Diana Mary Fluck in Swindon, England and was educated at Colville House in Swindon. She was considered the English equivalent of the blonde bombshells of Hollywood.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, Diana Dors made over 35 films, most prominently in comedies. By the time she was 20 years old, Dors was already very famous in the UK and became the youngest owner of a Rolls Royce. Some of her most notable roles were in the 1956 movie “Yield to the Night,” the 1972 Antonia Barber film adaptation “The Amazing Mr. Blunden” and the BBC TV Shakespeare series “Timon of Athens” in 1981. Diana Dors also appeared on a legendary “The Alfred Hitchcock Show” episode that was so gruesome that it was banned from being aired for decades.

Diana Dors also had several music recordings. In 1951, she released “A Kiss and a Cuddle, and a Few Kind Words From You” and “I Feel So Mmmm” on a two-side 78 rpm single. For the film “As Long As They’re Happy,” Dors sang “The Hokey Pokey Polka” for the movie soundtrack. Diana released her first and only album entitled “Swinging Dors” in 1960. Other singles followed, including the song “It’s Too Late/So Little Time” in 1966, “Passing By/It’s a Small World” in 1977 and “Where Did They Go/It’s You Again” in 1982.

While juggling film production and music recording, Diana Dors appeared on TV shows, including “All Our Saturdays,” “Just William,” “Hammer House of Horror: Children of the Full Moon” and “The Two Ronnies: The Worm that Turned.”From 1970 to 1972, Diana Dors played Queenie Shepherd in British sitcom “Queenie’s Castle.”

When Diana Dors died of ovarian cancer in May 4, 1984, she left a mark on pop culture for her “50s blonde bombshell look” alongside other icons like Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren and Jayne Mansfield.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.imdb.com
http://www.www.dianadors.org

Please help support
'Phantoms and Monsters'
Thanks!



Amazon.com - Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices


 photo stricklerbanner-animate_zps7808a06b.gif


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...