Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Young Man in the Woods

I received the following anecdote a few weeks ago. I was aware of a similar account but the witness assures me that this encounter actually happened to her. So, here you go...enjoy.

When I was 10 years old, my grandmother started to recall stories about a special friend, by the name of Percy, who she had when she was a girl. My grandmother lived in the same house since she was born, a huge old Antebellum era house just outside of Elba, Alabama.

Apparently, Percy was a young adult and she was 10 years old when she met him. She would sometimes see him on the edge of the woods not far from the house and when she would tell her family to look they would see nothing. After a while people started to think she was crazy, saying ‘it’s just your imagination’. So she eventually gave up saying she was just playing a joke, though she still continue to see him. She would say that he was very nice and kind as well as very handsome.

When I was 12, I was staying at my grandmother's house during my summer vacation. I was unpacking my suitcase in one of the bedrooms. As I tried to pull open one of the dresser drawers, it wouldn’t budge at all. I yanked, groaned and moaned but to no avail. After about 5 minutes of desperation, I heard a low pitched chuckle. I turned around, but nothing was there. I was completely puzzled because I knew what I heard, but decided to brush it off.

Several years later my grandmother passed away. My family and I decided to stay at my grandmother's house during the time of her viewing and funeral since we lived about 5 hours away.

The funeral was conducted at her house in the large front living room. After the ceremony, the pallbearers carried her casket to the hearse parked in the front when I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone quickly running into the bushes at the edge of the woods. I thought it may have been one of the neighbors though the nearest farm was about a mile or so away.

That night I was in the same room where I usually slept at my grandmothers house, which was her old bedroom when she was a child. As I laid in the bed, I heard soft moans and whimpering. The sound was coming from the direction of the window and balcony. The evening was very dark and with moonlight peaking through the trees, the only source of illumination. As my eyes adjusted I could make out the figure of a man, but more of a shadow instead of a solid body. The spectre was sitting down on the balcony floor, it's elbows resting on it's knees and it's head hung down in it's hands.

After a few moments, the figure became somewhat clearer and I realized that this was Percy. I called out 'Percy?' The spirit raised it's head and slowly looked in my direction. He was exactly as my grandmother had described though I only saw his face for a second as he quickly vanished. I didn’t know whether it had been a dream or what, so I decided to keep my mouth shut, not wanting people to think I was delusional.

The next night while I slept, I felt a cold brush-by on my cheek. My eyes snapped open and the young man I had seen the night before was looking at me. He appeared blurry but still recognizable with light brown hair and bright blue eyes. He stared at me and smiled, then quickly dissipated.

The next morning we prepared to leave for home. I sat on the edge of the bed and thought about what had transpired the previous days. A few minutes later, we were in the car ready to pull away when I decided to look out the side window towards the woods. There he stood, arms by his side but staring directly at me. He quickly turned and vanished into the bushes. I just knew I would never see him again.

I later found out that Percy was the son of a wealthy land owner who built and lived in my grandmother's house in the 1850's. One day, at the age of 20, Percy simply disappeared and was never heard from again. There had been a rumor that he was killed by a slave who worked on a nearby plantation but a body was never recovered.

That was 15 years ago, but I still see Percy in my mind's eye. I was able to talk to the current owner of the house recently who says they occasionally hear someone talking softly on moonlit nights. I have little doubt that Percy is still at home.

Michelle - Asheville, NC

Report: Humanoid Close Encounter - Manati, Puerto Rico

The following NUFORC report occurred about 1:00 am local time, near Manati, Puerto Rico on November 6, 2008.

The young witness was awakened by his father who told him to follow him outside the house to the other side of a hill next to the house, there gathered the rest of his family all staring at a large teardrop ship craft that was floating just 3 to 4 feet above the ground at about 100 feet in distance.

The craft emitted a loud humming sound. In front of the craft stood a human shaped figure covered in a shiny blue metallic appearing armour-like suit that was carrying a large box-like object on his hands.

The being then placed the box on the ground and it also started floating in midair. The being then scooped up a handful of earth from the floor and placed it inside the box and in an instance the box emitted a bright red beam of light into the air that seemed to travel deep into the space.

The group just waited and stared in awe as the alien figure then picked up the box and walked back inside the object, the craft then took off and disappeared into night sky. They described the craft as having a large shiny bulbous hull. About an hour later the same group of witnesses and others in the area reported seeing additional similar looking ships but apparently larger maneuvering high in the sky.

Source: NUFORC

NOTE: consequently, there was another report filed near the same location and at the same time:

Occurred : 11/6/2008 01:00 (Entered as : 11/06/08 1:00)
Reported: 11/6/2008 11:24:14 AM 11:24
Posted: 1/10/2009
Location: Manati (Puerto Rico),
Shape: Rectangle
Duration:8sec
Rectangular lights flashing over a hill top.

My friends and I (3) were talking in my back yard, when suddenly I saw what it appeared to be a different light from all the other normal lights I've seen. I then told my friends to look and they spotted quickly. We saw the object for 7 – 9 seconds hovering on a hill top that's 480 yards away or less. The object was rectangular with lights flashing all over and if I was not mistaken there was a red light on one of its corners. Then when we all stared at the object it propelled away from us very very quickly.

Photos: Saucer Shaped UFO - Colombia - 12/25/09




MUFON witness report (rough translation): Colombia (undisclosed location) - 12/25/09 - After taking two photos, without tripod, of a dusk, when reviewing them in the PC south wind a sparkle with oval form that apparently corresponds to an object with displacement. In the first location and position it is different from the second taking. The coincidence but impressive this in the apparent oval form of clouds to the bottom of the dusk, like simulating a great ship, that went what it took to want to me to photograph that figure. After reviewing in the PC it surprised the light that appears to me in the two takings, furthermore in different positions. The difference between both photographs is of 35 seconds.

I was in my residence sharing with the family. When I observed that light in the photos, I shared with the family, that accepted that sparkle apparently is a flying object. Immediately I wanted to report on the subject and I acceded to the internet, looking for where to post this event. The object has an oval form, which I did not observe it at first. Nótice that the location of the object is different between a photo and the other. I believe that I have been lucky with this event.

Despues de tomar dos fotos, sin trípode, de un atardecer, al revisarlas en el PC noto un destello con forma oval que aparentemente corresponde a un objeto con desplazamiento. En la primera la ubicación y posición es diferente de la segunda toma. La coincidencia mas impactante esta en la forma ovaloide aparente de las nubes al fondo del atardecer , como simulando una gran nave, que fue lo que me llevó a querer fotografiar esa figura. Despues de revisar en el PC me sorprendió la luz que aparece en las dos tomas, ademas en posiciones diferentes. La diferencia entre ambas fotografias es de 35 segundos.

Estaba en mi residencia compartiendo con la familia.
Cuando observé esa luz en las fotos, le compartí a mi familia, quienes aceptaron que ese destello aparentemente es un objeto volador.
Inmediatamente quise reportar sobre el asunto y accedí a la internet, buscando donde consignar este evento.
El objeto tiene una forma ovalada, el cual no lo observé a simple vista.Sólo lo pude notar una vez quise abrir el archivo en mi PC. Nótese que la ubicación del objeto es diferente entre una foto y la otra.
Creo que he sido afortunado con este suceso.


NOTE: this sighting seems familiar to an earlier report in Colombia posted below:

Publimetro.cl & Planeta UFO
Date: 12.19.09

Colombia: College Photographer Captures Phantom UFO

The presence of "phantom" or "invisible" UFOs in digital photographs (and some analog ones, too) is a persistent and annoying situation. And a polarizing one, too. Many either embrace these objects as proof of the otherworldly or reject them outright as proof of the photographer's ineptitude. But Guillermo Gimenez of Planeta UFO has kindly sent us an article from the Chilean on-line newspaper Publimetro.cl that suggests that even college campuses are being plagued by the pesky "invisibles".

Juan Gabriel Sutachán, a graphics designer with Colombia's prestigious Universidad de los Andes, more specifically its School fo Sciences, was taking photos of the campus for a college fair and at no time saw the strange object, which subsequently appears flying over the School of Economics building of this academic institutuion.

"What I find truly curious is that I wasn't aware of the object while taking the photos. In fact, none of us present at the time ever noticed it, despite the fact that it was a particularly sunny and clear day. It was only when we downloaded the images to the computer that we noticed it," says Sutachán.

The "phantom UFO" depicted in this latest case shows a saucer-shaped form that emits a whitish-pink wake. The sequence of images was presented to Prof. Carlos Hernández of the Physics Department "As a rule, we physicists are very skeptical when dealing with such subjects, as we consider that there is always a logical and scientifically provable reason to explain any phenomenon. However, despite the fact that the image recorded its very curious, we will have to engage in a more thorough analysis before being able to say what it is."

NOTE: there have been some interesting reports from Colombia in recent years. Hopefully, these recent reports will be investigated properly...Lon

TV Host on Islamic Hajj Sentenced to Death for Sorcery

allgov - One need not be a practicing witch or warlock to run the risk of being charged with sorcery in Saudi Arabia. Case in point: Ali Hussain Sibat, a Lebanese television host who occasionally offered predictions on his show.

In May, Sibat traveled from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia to make his pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, and after being spotted by the kingdom’s religious police, was arrested on charges of committing sorcery. Officials convinced Sibat to confess to talking to spirits—on the promise that he would be freed—and then used his confession to convict him in court last month. He’s now been sentenced to death.

According to Amnesty International, arrests such as Sibat’s have been on the rise in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. Others charged with sorcery included a Saudi man accused of smuggling a book about witchcraft into the country, an Asian man accused of using his powers to solve marital disputes, and another man for trying to learn magic.

Of the 140+ people on death row in Saudi Arabia, 104 are foreign nationals. The last known execution for sorcery was that of Egyptian Mustafa Ibrahim on November 2, 2007. A pharmacist, he was accused of defacing a copy of the Qur’an.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

MUFON Responds to Posts

I received the following comment Friday evening:

With all due respect...

Slow down Lon!

This only proves that you are more concerned with stirring up conspiracy theory than reporting the truth of the matter.

For the record, BAASS is not involved in any way with the management of MUFON, nor is MUFON involved with the management of BAASS.

MUFON has been independently investigating UFOs since 1969. BAASS has recognized that MUFON investigates with scientific protocol and a strict code of ethics.

MUFON's finest Certified Field Investigators are finally being respected and rewarded for their talent, persistence and professionalism.

BAASS is only one of many benefactors who have recognized MUFON as the leading UFO investigative organization on the planet. MUFON is thankful for the support received from all of our benefactors and members.

I for one am pleased that MUFON finally has funding and state of the art equipment to properly investigate reports of unexplained aerial phenomenon in a thorough and timely manner.

I remember when everyone bitched that there needs to be "serious funding" for true and professional UFO investigation and research.

Now that MUFON has access to the needed resources to independently and properly investigate, the poles are automatically shifted to make a positive into a negative.

Am I the only one to notice this?

The UFO phenomenon has not gone away. And it still brings out the good, the bad and the ugly in everyone.

By the way, my name is Mark Easter and I am the International Director of Public Relations for MUFON.

Is anyone interested in the positive things happening at MUFON?

There are many!


This is Mr. Easter's contact information:

Contact: Mark Easter, MUFON International Director of Public Relations
Phone: 775-358-9205
E-mail: mufonpr@gmail.com
Web: www.mufon.com and www.nevadamufon.org
Blog: www.mufonpr.blogspot.com

NOTE: Obviously, my 2 posts in regards to MUFON are getting some reaction...good! Here are the links to those posts MUFON: Who Are They...Really? and Press Release Proves MUFON and Feds Connected. Since the first post, I have received comments from the MUFON International Director of Public Relations, another MUFON Public Relations staff member, 2 MUFON State Directors and numerous former State Directors, field investigators and rank & file members. Honestly, not all the comments I received were favorable and/or defending of MUFON. My blog posts, on most occasions, reflect the opinions of readers and those who want to be heard. It's obvious that MUFON feels I'm stirring up a conspiracy theory. It is not my intention to get into a pissing contest with this organization...but I'm not going to sit back and be bad mouthed either. If MUFON has concerns, then let them take the initiative and answer their critics and follow up with their witnesses in a more conducive manner...Lon


BTW...here is an interesting post by Joe Capp at UFO Media Matters - MUFON’s 600 lb Gorilla: Common Sense. I want to thank all of those who have responded to me on this matter...Lon

Penguin-Like Bird in Indiana Identified

post-trib - No, you're not seeing things if you spot what looks like a small penguin along the Lake Michigan shore.

State park naturalist Brad Bumgardner says it's an ancient murrelet, a cousin of the puffin that lives in Alaska and winters in the Pacific Northwest.

"For a lot of birders, this was their Christmas gift," he said.

According to Bumgardner, Valparaiso birder John Kendall, who set the state record for spotting bird species, saw the football-sized bird floating with a grebe in the water Dec. 18 off the breakwall at the Port of Indiana.

He was joined by about 20 other spotters, and by Saturday morning, others were braving the winter storm and roads to drive in from as far away as Indianapolis.

"This would be only the third murrelet spotted in Indiana. It may be the same one that was seen in the harbor at St. Joseph, Mich., last month. It's kind of small, so it gets picked on by the gulls and other birds," Bumgardner said.

There's no explanation why the bird is so far from home.

People Living in Cages in Hong Kong



Click for video

During this holiday season, please reflect on how lucky many of us are as compared to the millions of people who are homeless and destitute worldwide. Though these people are not living on the streets, their situation is still a far cry from decent and not conducive to health habitation.

Hong Kong is a vibrant city chock-full of people — so much so that the quality of life for those at the bottom tier is atrocious. And I’m not talking about, “Oh my goodness, I have to share a bathroom with my brother and sister.” I’m talking about up to 18 strangers being smashed into a tiny 625 square foot flat with just one toilet to share.

One such former cage-dweller is Chau Kam-chuen. Mr. Kam-chuen used to be one of over 400,000 working poor who paid approximately $167.6 USD to live in such an environment. According to him, it’s extremely uncomfortable, especially if you get the top bunk: “You hit your head on the ceiling.”

The way it works is that a flat is chosen and then partitioned into multiple cubicles, each composed of wooden planks and wire mesh. Each cubicle then becomes home to one resident.


The cage that the woman sits in above contains all her possessions, from clothes to cooking supplies and even family heirlooms. Realistically speaking, the cage is smaller than a jail cell; yet, these cages house thousands of poverty-stricken men and women who have nowhere else to turn.

And they aren’t comfortable either. Oftentimes, the air-conditioning and heating doesn’t work. Or if it does work, it rarely gets turned on before 9pm. As Lai Man-law, an employed man from Hong Kong explained, “It’s dirty and hot. There are cockroaches and bedbugs, and the air-conditioning doesn’t work.”

One wonders though why someone would choose to live like this. Most of these people have no alternative option. These are normal everyday citizens who befell upon hard times and ended up unemployed, homeless, and struggling to make ends meet. The horrific floods of 2008 didn’t help either, as it forced many into homelessness and poverty.

Video: Multi-Colored UFO - Moscow, Russia - 12/21/09



Click for video


NOTE: UFO captured over Moscow in area of "Falcon Mountain" (Sokolinaya Gora) on December 21st, 2009 at 22:01 (Moscow local time). There have been a lot of sightings over Moscow lately, but I have to say that this one has potential as an authentic anomaly. BTW, Moscow has a very strict ordinance on the use of RC, lanterns, laser pointers, fireworks, etc. ...anything that floats, propels, shines or flies...Lon

Ugh! 10 Historically Bad Christmases


toptenz - Most people think of Christmas as a joyous day. Whether as a time for celebrating the birth of their savior or as an excuse to get together with loved ones for good food and drink, Christmas is generally a day to look forward to.

But not everyone’s Christmas turns out so well. Before you complain about the uncle who always gets drunk or your slutty cousin, consider these Christmases and how bad they were.

Christmas 1261: Blinded by Power

Poor John IV Lascaris, things started out well enough for him, as he was born on Dec. 25, 1250, and inherited the throne of emperor of Nicaea at the age of seven, when his father died. Unfortunately, in a plot that could be described, well, as Byzantine (get it? Nicaea was formed from fragments of the disintegrated Byzantine Empire), aristocrat Michael Palaiologos finagled his way into the court and managed to declare himself co-emperor. Michael VIII was actually John’s second cousin 12 times removed or something. After Michael conquered Constantinople, though, he left John behind and then ordered him blinded on his 11th birthday. That would be Dec. 25, 1261. Being blind was a deal-breaker for being an emperor and so was deposed. Fortunately, people didn’t really like this, Michael VIII was excommunicated and John became a monk named Joasaph, Michael’s son lager sought his forgiveness and he eventually was recognized as a saint. Things turned out OK and all, but that birthday/Christmas in 1261 was pretty crappy.

Christmas 1621: No Games Allowed

Gov. William Bradford, leader of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, forbade game playing on Christmas Day in this year. Imagine if the Governator in California did that this year? There’d be a riot! But back in in the day, people actually did what their governors told them and feared not obeying. And Christmas, at this time, was a very holy day. And Bradford still hoped, at this point, for Plymouth Colony to be that Shining City on the Hill, a beacon of religious freedom – emphasis on the “religious.” One might imagine that Christmas in Plymouth Colony, if you were a young one, was not so enjoyable and festive. No games for you!

Christmas 1776: A Christmas Surprise

Christmas Day this year was a turning point in the American Revolution and is remembered quite fondly by many in the U.S. who’ve studied their history. However, for the Hessian soldiers defeated at the Battle of Trenton, that was one lousy Christmas. On Christmas, you see, no one expected a surprise attack. OK, you might argue that no one ever expects a surprise attack, but when you’re at war, you generally don’t let down your guard. On Christmas, though, it was expected that everyone would take the day off from fighting and that you could let your guard down, if only for a moment. Bad idea. American Gen. George Washington was counting on that and crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania, surprising the Hessians (who were German soldiers of fortune, hired by the Brits to battle the upstart Colonials) and capturing almost 900 of the 1,500 men.

Christmas 1914: Lost at Sea

The S.S. Therese Heymann set sail from the Tyne in Britain on Christmas Day, with a cargo of coal. It was never seen again. Though it wasn’t officially classified as “missing” until the following March, it was never heard from again shortly after setting sail. It was suspected she was one of several ships sunk by mines in the area at the time. No one ever found the wreckage or any bodies from her crew. No word if Santa hijacked the ship because he had an extra lot of naughty names on his list.

Christmas 1941: Deadly Christmas

The Battle of Hong Kong ended on Christmas Day, resulting in the surrender of the British-Canadian garrison at Hong Kong – the Royal Rifles of Canada (a regiment from Quebec) and the Winnipeg Grenadiers. Of the two regiments, 290 were killed and 493 wounded, and the survivors all got to spend the rest of the war in Japanese POW Camps. I’m thinking the soldiers felt rather like the Hessians did back in 1776.

Christmas 1953: A Volcanic Eruption

Not all bad Christmases had man to blame. In 1953, activity of the Ruapehu volcano caused the worst rail disaster in New Zealand’s history, with 151 people killed. A barrier of volcanic debris and ice collapsed, sending boulders, sand and other debris into the Whangaehu River, along with 1.6 million cubic meters of water from a lake. The subsequent flood lashed the piers of a rail bridge as a Wellington-Auckland passenger train was crossing. The force was too much and the piers buckled, sending the engine and six passenger carriages to plunge off the bridge. The accident happened on the night of Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. For the families of those lost in the disaster, this surely was a horrible Christmas.

Christmas 1974: Tracy Visits and Leave a Mess

Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin, Australia on Christmas Eve and Day. Almost the whole city was destroyed – more than 70 percent of the city’s buildings, including 80 percent of the housing. This left more than 20,000 people homeless; 71 people died. Damage was in the hundreds of millions of (Australian) dollars. People didn’t have much of a chance to mourn the loss of their Christmas gifts; they were too busy mourning the loss of the family, friends, homes and livelihoods. One might imagine the memory of this cyclone cast a pall on quite a few subsequent Christmases.

Christmas 1989: A Firing Squad for Christmas

After 15 years as president of Romania, Nicolai Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed at the end of a televised “trial.” The two-hour trial followed a military coup, but it is apparent that he was either in complete denial of the dire situation his nation faced or he didn’t care. Romanians stood in bread lines for food and Ceausescu would show up on TV talking about the high standard of living his citizens had achieved. People who believed their leader simply was unaware would send and hand him written appeals, but it became dangerous to do so, as those people soon found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Though he technically was kicked out of office through a military coup, that was merely the capper to days worth of rebellions that had spread throughout the entire nation like wildfire – through word of mouth. The members of the firing squad were so eager to do their jobs, they didn’t even wait for the couple to be tied up and blindfolded before they began shooting. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Romanian today who mourns the loss of the Ceausescus.

Christmas 1990: The Third Time Was Not a Charm

Christmas Day was becoming, at this point, the biggest movie day of the year. Studios saved blockbuster releases for premieres on Christmas Day each year and many looked forward to seeing what just might be the best movie of the year six days before said year came to a close. And what movie could be expected to be more of a blockbuster than “Godfather III”? The final movie in the brilliant saga, still starring Al Pacino and with a young Andy Garcia in what promised to be a breakthrough performance. Then people saw the film. It consistently crops up on “worst movies in the history of mankind” lists. It’s a good bet that the three hour crap-fest ruined more than one person’s Christmas Day.

Christmas 2009: Caught a Tiger by His Tail

Festivities at Tiger Woods’ home are unlikely to be very … festive this year.
___________________________

AMAZING!


Click for video

Ho...Ho...Ho! We got you everything you own!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Press Release Proves MUFON and Feds Connected

Las Vegas, NV, U.S. (AHN) - The Federal Aviation Administration has designated the Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies.(BAASS) as one of the reporting centers for UFO sightings and unexplained phenomena.

In its Dec. 10 update to air traffic control organizations, the FAA said pilots and air traffic controllers should refer the said reports to the Las Vegas-based company that explores extremely advance aerospace technology. The BAASS can be reached at 1-877-979-7444 or reporting@baass.org.

Prior to BAASS, the National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS) was the contact center for UFO concerns in the U.S. However, NIDS is now defunct.

The BAASS makes inflatable low-Earth orbiting modules, It is currently hiring astrophysics, biochemists, microbiologists, nanotechnolgists, physicists, and propulsion and stealth technology experts.
_____________________
originally post 3/7/09

MUFON Receives Major Funding / Logistics From Billionaire Entrepeneur

Billionaire real estate investor and entrepeneur Robert Bigelow of Las Vegas, Nevada is now betting his bucks on MUFON to find valuable new knowledge about alien propulsion systems.

Bigelow who has long been known to give millions of dollars to fund serious UFO research has just concluded a deal with MUFON whereby he will supply this organization with whatever it needs to be able to go out and bring back the hard evidence, not only to document the reality of UFOs interacting with us but most importantly to gather the kind of information that will truly advance scientific understanding of this phenomenon.

This may well prove to be a historical occasion for MUFON and for the science of Ufology in general. MUFON since its inception has been a volunteer effort on the part of civilians who devote whatever spare time and energies they can afford in order to fulfill MUFON's stated mission of scientifically investigating the UFO phenomenon for the benefit of humanity.

Now for the first time MUFON's members are going to be paid to do their work. MUFON's agreement with Bigelow is to train and qualify a special rapid response team of Field Investigators who can be deployed within 24 hours to the scene of a major UFO event, the kind designated as Category 2 or 3 in the classification system devised by legendary UFO researcher Jacques Vallee.

These are the rarer cases where either physical traces are left or physiological effects are caused in the witness. Bigelow has hired 50 top-flight scientists to assist MUFON in this endeavor who will function as consultants and do expensive lab analysis of alien materials gathered at the location of a UFO event.

Bigelow, who never does anything on a small scale, a few years ago founded BAASS (Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies) with the incredibly ambitious goal of putting a commercial hotel up in orbit around the earth. He thinks that even one category 2 or 3 case if properly investigated can yield significant scientific paydirt.

Whatever high-tech equipment needed by the investigators on the scene will be drop-shipped to them overnight by BAASS. These high-profile cases will be investigated using the strictest methods of scientific protocol.

Bigelow, who has been known to keep his findings on the UFO subject secret, has agreed per his contract with MUFON to hold nothing back from this organization that is revealed in the BAASS lab analysis of materials supplied by MUFON.

This project, which just launched on March 1st, is code named SIP (for Star Impact Project). It is a pilot experiment and will be reviewed on June 30th to see if it has proven successful enough to warrant funding for the rest of the year.

Understandably there is a lot of excitement at MUFON Headquarters and among its membership. Now with this major infusion of funds from Bigelow, it will be better able than ever to carry out its stated mission. And Bigelow possibly will get what he wants to forward his goal.

How this will all work out is hard to guess. This is something that has never been tried before. They are moving into unchartered territory here.

In any case, Bigelow's investing so heavily in MUFON's ability to make SIP a successful search and find operation for greater knowledge about alien technology is some extremely good PR for MUFON whose credibility can be expected to take a significant leap forward in the eyes of the general public.

NOTE: well, it seems that there is now a proven connection between MUFON and the federal government...and it's MUFON's benefactor Robert Bigelow and his aerospace company BAASS. I had reported that some witnesses who reported to MUFON were getting blown off. As well, other witnesses were receiving visits from non-MUFON investigators. This press release confirms that there is a connection and that privacy can no longer be assured...Lon

Video: Shimmering UFO Sighted - Izumi, Kyushu Island, Japan




Click for video

allnewsweb - UFO was seen around a month ago by multiple witnesses on 23 November at around 11:30pm. This UFO sighting took place in the locale of the regional city of Izumi, in Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu Island at the southernmost tip of Japan.

The witnesses, a group of friends, had gone out for the night and were returning home when they saw what they described as a ‘beautiful glittering emerald’ in the sky. The shimmering UFO was moving erratically and the witnesses felt that it did not resemble any man-made craft. One of the witnesses was able to capture the image for over a minute using a video recorder. The object eventually vanished.

Dog Survives Owl-Napping

qctimes - Sadie, a petite-sized Pomeranian, landed next to a Davenport, IA street last weekend after surviving a flight of about two miles, clutched in the talons of a great horned owl.

As the owl flies, Sadie’s flight covered between 24 to 30 city blocks. She was scruffed up, but suffered nothing worse than bruises and a broken tail.

Sadie’s owl-napping saga began when her owner, Michelle McCarten, and friends were watching fireworks a week ago Saturday in the Village of East Davenport. Sadie was spooked by the booming, jumping off McCarten’s porch at 2216 E. 12th St., and fleeing into a nearby woodsy area. McCarten and friends called and searched. No luck.

What they didn’t realize was that a giant owl known to perch in the area had grabbed Sadie.

Sadie became the flying dog. She was soaring over east Davenport, destined to become a late-night snack for the owl. But the owl lost its grip. Sadie plunged to earth.

“I had stopped for the sign at East 29th and College when this dog came flying out of the sky right in front of my Jeep — right out of the sky,” says Jamie Padden, Davenport. “It dropped out of nowhere.”

The owl followed, ready to snatch back its lost snack.

Padden was horror-struck to see the little dog scrambling to get away.

“I opened my car door and ran screaming at that owl,” she says. “It was after the dog.

“That owl was so big I swear that its wings spread halfway across the street. That sounds overdramatic, but it’s true.”

Padden shooed the owl away and scooped up the whimpering dog. She took it home, gave it a bath, and called Davenport police to report that she had just picked up a dog that had been dropped from the sky by a great horned owl.

Barb Elmore, a police service generalist who took the call from Padden, says her first thought was “That is one lucky dog.”

While the police department gets lost animal calls all the time, Padden’s report was the first of its kind, Elmore said.

“Í knew that no one would believe me,” Padden says, “so I left my phone number, in case anyone called about a missing dog. That little dog was so scared that I took her to bed with me that night. She was frantic, shaking.”

Next morning, Sadie’s owner and a friend, Kris Overstreet, resumed their search. They called Davenport police and were given Padden’s number.

“We called immediately,” McCarten says. “It sounded like my dog. Jamie brought her to us and I cried. It was my Sadie.”

McCarten pieced together the tale of Sadie’s wild ride, something that is confirmed by a Quad-City ornithologist. Rick Crouch of Wild Birds Unlimited doesn’t question that Sadie was grabbed by a great horned owl.

“They are big, strong birds that stand 24 inches from feet to tip of head. They have a great capacity to lift,” Crouch says. “They are nocturnal, hunting by night, easily picking up rabbits, cats or small dogs. They have a strange appetite for skunks.”

Sadie, still shaky, is happily home with her owner. She has bruises and tenderness around her hind quarters where her tail was broken.

“She’s nervous. I’m giving her an aspirin a day. She’s comfortable,” McCarten says. “Getting her back is my best early Christmas present.”

Something is Rotten in the Northern Territory

ntnews - A mystery smell so powerful that it woke people up wafted across at least two Top End neighbourhoods early yesterday.

Theories about the source of the stink ranged from sewage to the exhaust fumes of an alien spaceship.

Keith Risk, 47, of Howard Springs, said the stench woke him up about 3am.

"It was overpowering," he said. "Like gas or rotten eggs. I drove around nearby streets and could still smell it.

"The stink went on for kilometres."

He said the smell could have been caused by sewage, gas or even flowering trees.

Mother-of-two Gina Francis, 41, of Marlow Lagoon, Palmerston, said her whole household was woken by the pong.

"I thought it might be a gas leak and was worried," she said. But her husband Rod thought it more likely to be a chemical spill.

Police said there had been no reports of chemical accidents.

And the firies said there had not been any reports of gas leaks.

Mr Francis telephoned police and they said there had been many calls about the strange smell.

Litchfield Shire Council president Mary Walshe suggested there had been an accident at a clandestine amphetamine laboratory.

But police said "clan labs" always smelt. "That's why they are set up in remote areas," an officer said. "But the smell only goes for a property or two."

A reader blamed the Litchfield rubbish dump, but Ms Walshe said the dump was innocent.

Independent politician Gerry Wood said the source of the smell may never be known. "We've had plenty of UFOs around here," he said. "This is a USO - Unidentified Smelly Object."

SUPER 7 THEORIES
1. Secret chemical spill
2. Clandestine drug laboratory
3. Flowering trees
4. Gas leak
5. Palmerston sewerage plant
6. Overflowing cesspits in rural area
7. Exhaust fumes from a visiting UFO

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

UFO Mystery in the Pine Barrens

I received this email a week or so ago:

"I kept quiet about the following described incident for about 4 years and have decided to come forward, mostly because I heard that someone had a similar experience recently and is looking for answers."

"My mother and I were driving in south New Jersey in the middle of nowhere as we were in the process of moving to where we live now. The location was in the area of Shamong, NJ. It's out in the Pine Barrens notoriously known for the Jersey Devil. We were on Jackson Road which is deep in the middle of a thick forest with very few lights, though there is a raceway nearby. I wish I remembered the exact time and the date because I'm sure others had to have seen it since there was car in front of us and the raceway was packed with people. It was July and had to have been late in the evening as the sun was starting to set."

"So we are driving down the road we noticed a huge dark object flying from a very high distance to simply disappearing into the trees. The driver in front of us slammed on the brakes since it appeared that the object was going to crash into the road in front of us. My mother almost collided with them because she was looking at the object, but it traveled above and across the road. It was about the height of a typical two story home and flew straight into the woods. We were expecting to hear a loud crash, see an explosion, something.... but nothing happened."

"We sat there staring until a car approached from behind, so we left. We were both confused and since my mother fears things like this she just refuses to talk about the encounter. Also, Fort Dix and McGuire AFB aren't too far from that location. Did the military cover this up? But it looked mechanical and too big to be a drone or anything similar to that. The raceway was near there and the bleachers were facing the same direction as this object. Could there be an explanation or rational reason why this was never reported? I'm seeking answers." David J.

NOTE: was this a case of 'lost time'? David does seem confused on the time and date. I sent David an email for some followup information. He states that his mother has a clear memory of the incident but refuses to talk about it. I asked him if it may have been anything natural, but he insists that the object was definitely man made. There are military training flights in that area according to sources I have talked to. Again, David insists it was not a jet or military craft...Lon

Clergy Fear Dark Forces Influence Congregation

sundaymercury - The dark forces of witchcraft may be at work in a Midland parish where 14 vicars have been ousted, or quit, in the last 40 years.

Rev Francis Biddlecombe, one of the long line of clergymen driven out by the flock, fears that evil has visited Worcestershire’s sleepy Teme Valley.

The 79 year-old vicar, who spent five years in the Rectory at Hanley Broadheath, spoke out after the village hit the headlines last week.

Rev Mark Sharpe told how he became the latest pastor to flee, claiming that he was driven out by “sinister behaviour” among worshippers.

He said his car tyres were slashed, his phone lines cut and his pet dog poisoned during a five-year campaign of intimidation.

But he was just the latest in a sinister succession of preachers leaving the rural parish abruptly, or after complaining of ill health.

No fewer than FOURTEEN vicars have quit since 1969.

“Going through all those vicars just isn’t right,” said Rev Biddlecombe, who was forced out by his own flock in 1984.

“My instincts tell me that if you are trying to do the work of the Lord but you keep being pushed out, there is more to it than meets the eye.

“There are rumours of a coven of witches on Clee Hill not too far away.

“I know of a recent mission by the Methodists who prayed all night and one of them was very conscious of evil.

“If you can’t make sense of why they go, some other force is in the background and it has to be the opposite of good.

“They need to get to the bottom of all this and it needs a strong praying against the work of evil.”

The latest problems arose after Rev Sharpe arrived with his wife and four children in late 2005, expecting a Vicar of Dibley-style existence.

Mafia hitman

Alarm bells were set ringing when he was warned by a church warden: “We didn’t like the last vicar so we chewed him up and spat him out.”

The 42 year-old former policeman said he was confronted on his doorstep by a worshipper who was “acting like a Mafia hitman”.

Others told him that he should keep his nose out of parish affairs because he was dealing with “local churches for local people”.

“There was some very sinister behaviour from a small groups of individuals,” said Rev Sharpe.

He is now suing the church for constructive dismissal after his union claimed that the Bishop of Worcester, Rt Rev John Inge, had stood by during the bullying and washed his hands of the affair “like Pontius Pilate”.

In 2004, Rev Martin Reed quit the parish after he was struck down by stress-related illness.

But he told the Sunday Mercury that he did not experience any problems with the worshippers in the parish.

Community figures have their own explanation for Rev Sharpe’s departure, saying he made enemies when he failed to turn up for a funeral and left an undertaker to address 200 mourners.

Former parish clerk and district councillor Alec Wall, 75, said: “His comments have upset a lot of people. Anybody who comes to this community and makes an effort to blend in will find themselves very welcome.

“When you do things like failing to turn up for a funeral, you really put the cat among the pigeons.”

Church leaders say they are shocked and disappointed that Rev Sharpe decided to break his silence and speak out before next May’s tribunal in Birmingham.

A diocesan spokesman said: “Mark Sharpe’s allegations, including that with regard to a culture of neglect and bullying or otherwise, are wholly denied.”

Photos: UFOs Over Traverse City, Michigan





MUFON witness report: 11/27/09 - Traverse City, Michigan - I went to town to see the lighting of the Christmas tree on November 27th, 2009. I got a new 2.8 lens and wanted to take some photos in a low light setting. I shot about 100 photos that evening from about 5:00 p.m. to around 8:00 p.m. The next day when I was uploading them to my computer I noticed some lights in the sky of one of them. When I zoomed in I saw a shape with the lights that interested me, and that I didn't know what it was. I began to look through my other photos and I found similar lights and shapes in 2 other photos. All 3 photos with the lights and shapes in question in the sky were while I was standing on front street facing west. I had taken 4 photos that evening from that same area, facing west, and those same lights are in 3 of them. (I did not find these lights, or anything like them in any of my other photos I took any place else that night.) Of the 4 I took facing west, the photo they were not in was the first one I took, about 5:00 p.m. The first two where they were was taken about 5:40 p.m. by the clock in one of the photos. The third one that the lights were in was taken about 6:00- 6:15 p.m. I really know nothing more about these. I took them to TV 7/4 to see if anyone there was interested and Mark Shelette contacted me a few days later and told me to file a report with you.

NOTE: another anomalous event in northern Michigan...lots of strange activity, terrestrial and non-terrestrial, the past year or so. Not sure what to make of this sighting but it is interesting and doesn't seemed to be CGI...Lon

Russian Space Monkeys To Mars!

telegraph - Although the ape will be looked after by a robot on the mission, the decision is expected to spark controversy with animal rights groups.

The Russians first succeeded in putting monkeys into orbit in 1983.

“We have plans to return to space,” said Zurab Mikvabia, director of the Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy in Georgia which supplied apes for the programme in the 1980s.

The Institute is in preliminary talks with Russia's Cosmonautics Academy about preparing monkeys for a simulated Mars mission that could lay the groundwork for sending an ape to the Red Planet, he said.

Such an initiative would build on Mars-500, a joint Russian-European project that saw six human volunteers confined in a capsule in Moscow for 120 days earlier this year to simulate a Mars mission.

Mr Mikvabia said: "Earlier this programme was aimed at sending cosmonauts, people (to Mars).

"But given the length of the flight to Mars, and given the cosmic rays for which we don't have adequate protection over such a long trip, discussions have focused recently on sending an ape instead of a person."

Estimates for the length of the journey to Mars vary depending on the type of mission envisioned, but the European Space Agency says its proposal for a round-trip mission would take 520 days, or about a year and a half.

If Russia pursues the idea of sending monkeys to Mars, Mikvabia's institute could become the site of an enclosed "biosphere" where apes would be kept for long periods to simulate space flights.

The Institute said a robot would accompany the first primate to Mars to feed and look after the ape.

Mr Mikvabia said: "The robot will feed the monkey, will clean up after it. Our task will be to teach the monkey to co-operate with the robot."

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Humanoid / Cryptid Encounter Reports 2

My last posting of Humanoid / Cryptid Encounter Reports was very popular, so I decided to 'go to the well' again and see what I could find.




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Date: January 1997

STRANGE WOMAN ENCOUNTERED AT SHOPPING CENTER

While working in a shopping center the witness says she noticed a woman who had a certain air about her and as she watched her she seemed to glide above the floor. The woman came to her desk and she noticed that this woman's irises were a pale gray color and her pupils were elongated from top to bottom rather than the usual round shape. She couldn't keep her own eyes off the woman's eyes and felt quite mesmerized by watching her. She knew she was asked a question but can't remember what it was or what she answered. She thought to herself "what planet are you from"? Suddenly, the woman moved off and disappeared.

She described the strange woman as having non-styled hair that was just to her ears, fairly straight and a mousy brown color. She wore a cardigan done up to the top button and the dress seemed to just hang on her. She didn't seem to be dressed for the times but more like the style a century earlier. She carried an old fashioned handbag over her arm.

The witness states she has experienced strange dreams in which she has found herself getting out of a ship and meeting a young man about 20 years old with tight curly hair, plaid trousers and a very tight-fitting jumper. She accompanied the young man on a dinghy and sailed to another floating craft. On the top of the craft there was a gray type alien that appeared to be steering it. He wore a tight-fitting gray suit with an emblem on one side. She saw a craft with transparent walls and people walking inside, she thought these people were "workers".

Source: UFO Research Queensland, Australia
____________________________

Location: Northern Tennessee
Date: June 1997

THE HORNED BEAST

Around midnight, the witness and his cousin were on a hunting trip and were sitting on the edge of a large hollow which consisted of very thick underbrush and lots of evergreen. It continued into a larger valley with a clearing and then to a ancient Indian burial site. After sitting there awhile, they heard the sound of the brush rattling deep in the hollow. Whatever it was, the loud racket suggested it was large. One witness was armed with a .22 magnum rifle with approximately 150 rounds of ammo.

On his night vision scope he could see what appeared to be a man, but upon further inspection he realized that the "man" was a creature about 7-8 ft tall covered with thick dark fur. It was slimmer that the popular Bigfoot image, almost skinny and had a neck. Also protruding on either side of its head were long tapered "horns" that were dark in color. On the top of the head also protruded a horn pointing straight up. All horns were approximately 5-6 inch in length and were as dark color as the creature.

The terrified witness emptied a 25 round clip into the creature and then retreated into a nearby cabin about 65 ft away. The next morning they could not find anything except for lots of spent shell casings and bullet holes on a walnut tree. He thought he had struck the creature several times. Nearby animals traps had been sprung and all the bait missing. On a nearby ridge, the witnesses located a series of tunnels made up of brush and various sizes of tree limbs, vines and leaves. They thought it could have been "the lair of the beast." They refused to investigate further.

Source: GCBRO
____________________________

Location: Northern Georgia
Date: August 1991

CAMPER ABDUCTED BY HUMANOID

The witness was camping with his family in the Georgia mountains near a river. Around midnight while trying to go to sleep, he heard a noise outside the tent. He went to check what was making the noise. When he opened the flap of the tent, he saw a nine-foot humanoid staring at him. Standing only four feet away, the giant humanoid was dressed in a white robe like garment. He wore no shoes or boots and had large feet. Alarmed and yelling, he awoke his wife who came outside when suddenly she was frozen in place.

The witness was then "towed" by the floating humanoid to a clearing near the river where a white silvery sphere hovered about 20-30 feet from the ground. A large sliding door opened on the side and the humanoid placed the witness in the craft. Inside, he was taken into a wide 35-50 foot long hallway and then into a control center with bright flashing lights and consoles. There he witnessed up to 20 other humanoids of the same size and clothed as the first one. The interior of the chamber was so bright that it resembled daylight. He was then taken into another room with a long black table examination. He was positioned and laid on the table with approximately 8-10 humanoids looking at him. They examined him but he didn't feel or notice anything done to him.

After a few minutes the same humanoid that brought him inside took him back outside. He was placed next to his wife who had became mobile again. They watched "jet fires" from the bottom of the object as it shot away at a high rate of speed. The craft apparently left a 200-yard circle of burned grass on the ground. An interesting note from this incident was that the witness stated that the interior of the craft was much larger than the exterior.

Source: NUFORC

UPDATE: Close Encounter - 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY - 9/10/81


The following is another MUFON witness report that backs up a report I posted last Close Encounter - 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky - 9/10/81...Lon

MUFON Case # 21057
Date/Time: September 10, 1981 @ 19:15
Location: Ft. Campbell, Kentucky
Shape: Cylinder
Distance: 500 feet or less
Description: Saw the same thing Doc saw on your email story from today!

Report: A couple of buddies and me were leaving the barracks about 19:15 to go to town. As we were headed toward the car we noticed a bunch of guys from surrounding barracks were pointing toward the sky and talking excitedly.

We stopped to see what they were looking at and saw a cylindrical object hovering right over our heads. I really don't know the exact size, but it looked large.

It was right on top of us but it didn't make a sound. It slowly turned and headed toward the air field. Another thing that was strange, was you could hear all kinds of air craft at the field taking off. Usually you'ld hear a plane or two taking off, but this night it was constant engine sounds.

We watched in awe for about 15 minutes then went to town.

NOTE: Last week, I posted parts of a thread in reference to MUFON's handling of reports and complaints by witnesses. Namely, witnesses were concerned that personal information was being forwarded to government officials after a few witnesses received follow-ups from non-MUFON personnel. Since that time, I have received a bunch of inquiries as well as a few from MUFON regional volunteers and field investigators. The original witness report on this incident sparked a lot of interest from MUFON officials (from my sources). Also, I received several requests (from MUFON staff) that I post MUFON contact information in reference to other witnesses of the Fort Campbell incident. Let me state....I have never been asked to forward MUFON contact information previously and the fact that this sighting was on government property and that the witnesses were military personnel raises my antennae...Lon

Videos: 'The Haunted' - Ghost Box Prophecies

I posted this episode of The Haunted: Ghost Box Prophecies for a few reasons which I will explain below.


Click for video 1


Click for video 2


Click for video 3


Clcik for video 4


Click for video 5

The episode centers around the Henryton Center in Carroll County, MD and how a spirit from that location may have attached itself to the subjects and became embedded in their home.

Before I go any further, the following is a brief understanding of the Henryton Center.

Henryton Center was established in 1922 for the care of African-American tuberculosis patients. In 1963 the hospital was transferred to the Department of Mental Hygiene and began to operate a training and habilitation program for severely and profoundly retarded ambulatory adults. The center was closed in 1985.

Now, I have lived very close to this facility since the mid 1970's and have had friends and family work there. In fact, I had been there several times when I was younger working part time at the hospital. Believe me, the place was even a 'house of horrors' before it was shutdown. At one time, it housed some of the most severe mentally ill patients in the state of Maryland and, frankly, it was under staffed and things got out of hand regularly.

I have heard several stories of horrid abuse, especially when it was used strictly for care of African-American patients who suffered from tuberculosis. I don't blame the staff as much has I blame the state who purposely considered it as a low priority.

Anyway, the place had extensive paranormal activity before it was closed. Towards the end of it's use, it was very hard to find workers because of the stories surrounding the facility....disembodied voices, malevolent phantoms, possessions, etc. Personally, I had a strange encounter while raking leaves one day.

It was a late afternoon in November and I was almost done raking leaves near one of the smaller buildings in the back of the grounds. The light was fading and I had just bagged a pile of leaves when I heard a voice behind me that said "go home...now". I turned around and caught a glimpse of the partial spectre of a elderly woman dressed in a hospital gown. She was clearly African-American but most of the figure was blurred. As I continued to look, the slowly spectre faded away then disappeared. I was shaken but not really afraid since this wasn't the first (or last) time I have witnessed an apparition.

I didn't say anything about the incident until I was at dinner with some family members a few days later. An aunt, who was a nurse supervisor at Henryton Center, had asked me if I was planning to pickup up some more part time work at the facility. I stated I already found other work...then proceeded to tell her what I had witnessed. Well, her reaction was profound and she told me that a female patient had passed away on that very day and time and that my description of this woman was very similar.

I have been back to Henryton Center as a paranormal investigator and I agree that it is one of the most active places I have ever been.

Another point I wanted to make from the episode is the use of a 'ghost box'. I have a friend who uses one in her investigations and swears by it. I am familiar with Chris Moon and his use of a 'Frank's Box' but I just wonder how many paranormal teams use a ghost box in their investigations. When I was in the field, I usually used a medium or spiritual consultant during investigations since I felt it was important to get a feel of the quarry before I started probing around. Can a ghost box actually help during an investigation? I'm interested in some opinions...Lon

Mothership, Aliens Invade Moscow....Nyet!



Click for video

telegraph - The object has been compared to an Imperial Cruiser in the Star Wars films and witnesses estimated it could be up to a mile wide.

Two film clips exist which appear to show the same object and footage has been repeatedly playing on Russian television news channels.

The shots, one taken at night from a car and one during the day, were both filmed by amateurs.

The 'craft' was said to have hovered for hours over Red Square in the Russian capital.

The clips of the 'invasion' have gone to the top of the country's version of YouTube.

The identity of the shape has not been confirmed. Russian reports ruled out a UFO but police refused to comment.

Nick Pope, a former Ministry of Defence UFO analyst, said it was "one of the most extraordinary UFO clips I've ever seen".

"At first I thought this was a reflection but it appears to move behind a power line, ruling out this theory."

A spokesman for aerospace journal Jane's News said: "We have no idea what it is."

NOTE: I've sat on this for a few days waiting for better evidence to emerge. I realize that it's been on the Russian news service for a couple days and that Nick Pope has seemed to buy into it. Personally, I think it's just a CGI hoax...namely because it was supposed to have been visible for hours and the only images were obtained by two people (who very well could have been the same person)...Lon

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Videos: UFOs / Possible Alien Witnessed In Puerto Rico




Click for video


Click for video


NOTE: Adjuntas, Puerto Rico - on the first video, a security guard and police officer witness two bright UFOs. In the second video, security cameras capture UFOs over an undisclosed beach (though it's stated to be in Puerto Rico). Something seems to trigger a security spotlight as well. It seems that whoever submitted the second video is suggesting that some type of beings are on the beach. At the 1:20 mark there is a small humanoid-like being standing / hovering on top of the wall or fence on the lower left. Take a look...Lon

St. Nicholas: Born In Turkey, Buried in Ireland


Just about now, the Santa Claus loved by children everywhere is busy wrapping up presents at his home in the North Pole. But if some historians are correct, the figure who inspired everyone's favorite portly gift-giver lies buried in a moss-covered Irish graveyard.

At issue isn't the white-bearded reindeer fan, but St. Nicholas of Myra, the philanthropic fourth-century Bishop of Lycia, now part of modern-day Turkey. According to Philip Lynch, chairman of a historical society in the Irish town of Callan, the original St. Nick's remains are interred under the ruins of Jerpoint Abbey in County Kilkenny. "It is an amazing story and yet very few people know about [his] connection to this country," Lynch told the Daily Mirror newspaper. "Every year now we get visitors to the site, but still not that many."

Like his more famous successor, the true St. Nicholas was renowned for his generosity. Born into a wealthy merchant family in the Mediterranean city of Myra, he dedicated his life to serving God and following Jesus' instruction to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor." He left anonymous gifts for the sick and destitute – bags of gold were a favorite – and later earned a reputation as a miracle worker with the ability to resurrect murdered children. Following his death in A.D. 346, his tomb at Myra cathedral became a site of pilgrimage for early Christians, who believed it possessed mystical healing powers.

So how did a Turkish saint end up on the Emerald Isle? It's long been known that St. Nick didn't stay in his initial tomb for long. In the 11th century, the city of Myra – part of the Byzantine Empire – was besieged by Seljuk Turks. Worried that they might lose the saint to the invading Muslims, a crew of enterprising Italian sailors snatched his remains and spirited them across the Mediterranean to their home port of Bari. Today, Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians flock to that city on the Adriatic to pray at the grand Basilica di San Nicola, where his relics are rumored to be kept.

However, Irish historian Lynch tells a different tale. He claims that the rescue of old St. Nicholas was actually carried out by a family of French crusaders, who were known to be major collectors of relics. "The de Frainets, who are now known as the Freaneys, had land near Thomastown in Kilkenny," said Lynch, referring to a county in the south of Ireland. "They also had lands in France. They went on the Crusades to the Holy Land to take on the Saracens." Lynch said the crusaders grabbed the bones as they were retreating from a Saracen army and took them to Bari in southern Italy, which was then part of the French Norman empire.

As Lynch tells it, the odyssey of the holy remains wasn't over yet. After the Normans were forced out of Bari by the Genoese, the de Frainets shifted the relics to their home in Nice. But soon the balance of power turned against the Normans in France as well, so the family packed up St. Nick's bones and headed to Ireland. Lynch said his remains were finally buried at Kilkenny's Jerpoint Abbey in 1200. The abbey now lies in ruins, but Lynch said one impressive tomb still stands out: a slab of rock into which the image of a bishop and two other heads have been chiseled. The heads are believed to be the two Crusaders who brought Nicholas to Ireland. And the bishop, surrounded by three gold bags, is St. Nicholas.

Of course the story could all be blarney. But there is another bizarre connection between this region of Ireland and Mr. Claus. Coca-Cola, the company that popularized the red-suited, black-booted modern Santa, was founded by the American entrepreneur Asa Candler. His family originally hailed from Jerpoint in County Kilkenny.

Reports of Bengal Tiger Roaming Brazoria County, Texas



Click for video

khou - Officials are on the lookout for a Bengal tiger in Brazoria County.

No joke.

Police say a man recently reported spotting a tiger near the Buc-ee’s at FM 523 and Highway 332. That’s close to the town of Oyster Creek.

Game wardens with Texas Parks and Wildlife have been searching the area, even using special goggles equipped with night vision in a bid to find the big cat.

Authorities said they haven’t actually spotted the animal, nor have they found any tracks or other signs of it.

Still, the chief of police in Oyster Creek wants his officers to be aware of the situation and alert while they’re out on their regular patrols, just in case it’s really out there.
_________________

chron - Law officers in Oyster Creek have been fielding reports for days from residents convinced they've seen a tiger roaming the Brazoria County town.

“I can't say people are making this up at this point but in this business you've got to take everything seriously,” said Oyster Creek police officer Byron Rexses.

Rexses said the most recent sighting, bringing total reports to a handful, came Friday morning.

“I was sitting in my patrol car on the side of the road and a guy drove up beside me and told me he saw him,” Rexses said.

The man told Rexses he was fishing with his buddies on the north end of Oyster Creek — about a mile from the first sighting reported Tuesday night — when they spotted a large animal on the banks.

“They thought it was a cougar,” he said. “They shined the spotlight on it and it ran away.”

ON THE LOOKOUT


Rexses emphasized while there is no physical evidence a tiger is milling about the banks of the creek — Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens found nothing, even with night vision gear — there could be serious danger if there truly is a feline predator out there.

He said police know of no one who owns tigers in the area and that it is illegal to do so.

A man called police about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, reporting he saw a tiger walking near the south end of Oyster Creek in the 4200 block of Texas 332.

“We're basically on the lookout and will respond if something comes up,” said Tom Harvey, spokesman for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

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JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!




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