Friday, July 02, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News - 7/2/2010

The Battle of Loch Ness

bbc - Rival Loch Ness Monster tourist attractions have settled a legal dispute by agreeing out-of-court to change their names.

Operators of the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre were suing the owners of the Original Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre for £1.3m.

The sites are 100 yards apart in Drumnadrochit near Loch Ness.

They are now to be known as the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and Nessieland Castle Monster Centre.

The case was set down for five days at Inverness Sheriff Court, but was resolved after two days of talks.
Lost profits

Sheriff Ian Abercrombie had appealed to both parties to sit down together in a bid to resolve the matter before any evidence was led.

Robbie Bremner, of the Official exhibition which will now become Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, took the long-running row to court.

He alleged the Original run by Donald and Gillian Skinner had cost his business £1.3m in lost profits since 1987.

In court documents, the Bremner family claimed that the Skinners had deliberately sought to confuse the public by using similar names and a similar colour scheme on promotion material to their company.

The Skinners denied the allegations.

Following out-of-court discussions, solicitor Bobby MacDonald, representing the Skinners, told Sheriff Abercrombie: "I am happy to say all matters have been resolved."

He said there were no longer any matters for the court to decide on.

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Witches and Miracle Healers Still Rule Roost in Superstitious Balkans


heraldscotland - It might sound weird, but even in 2010 the brooding Balkan countries can’t shake their addiction to psychics, clairvoyants, soothsayers and assorted ‘white witches’, all of which are still doing a roaring trade, from Bulgaria to Translyvania.

Clairvoyants and soothsayers ply their ancient trade around hospitals in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, reassuring anxious relatives with visions of a rapid recovery for their loved ones. They market ‘miracle cures’ and love potions, and in newspaper columns advise lovelorn women on how to land a man.

Some claim to be able to read, from coffee grounds, the fates of their fearful customers, while others predict the future from the stars. Their clientele pay handsomely for every divined word. Old women from the countryside tout herbal cures for everything from frigidity to erectile dysfunction and cancer, and claim that their healing craft extends well beyond traditional medicine. Credulous Bulgarians are the world’s biggest spenders when it comes to the miracle cures market.

Every second Bulgarian who took part in a survey for the Sofia television channel BTV said they believed in supernatural powers, and especially feared a curse being put on them. Professor Ljubomir Halachev confirmed in the programme that “trust in psychic powers and second sight is widespread in Bulgaria”.

At the upmarket end of this booming business, savvy younger ‘practitioners’ use state-of-the-art tools – internet websites, blogs and chatrooms – to spread their psychic messages, and give their readings a techy edge. Soothsayers’ most sought-after services include the lifting of curses, countering havoc wreaked by an evil eye and turning bad luck to good.

The apparently unchallengeable claim by Bulgarian clairvoyants and psychics to paranormal powers rests on the world-renowned reputation of their late peer, the seer Baba Vanga.

Born Vangelia Pandeva Dimitrova in 1911, this blind clairvoyant and herbal healer is claimed to have predicted, before her death in 1996, a number of world events, including the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the death of Princess Diana, the break-up of the Soviet Union, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US – “two American brothers would fall under attacks by birds of steel” – and the sinking of the Russian nuclear cruise-missile submarine Kursk.

Then there was her ‘chilling’ prophecy of the date for the outbreak of the Third World War – December 2010. Enigmatically, she said this would be the result of “attempts on the lives of four leaders following a conflict in Hindustan”.

Of course, ‘Hindustan’, in the parlance of an illiterate Bulgarian village clairvoyant, could well have covered the entire Indian sub-continent. And, as the slayings of Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh among others bear witness, the sub-continent is no stranger to political assassinations.

Asked, when she was quite elderly, about her psychic sources, she became shrewdly vague. Her words were ­especially difficult to decipher because she had spent her entire life in the Rupite region of the Kozhuh Mountains, and spoke with a heavy local accent barely comprehensible to outsiders. Her television interviews were always supported by subtitles.

She spoke of “creatures invisible to people with ordinary sight”, who told her about the fate and future of many people.

In the good ‘white witch’ stakes, Romania has the edge on the rest of the Balkans – even on Bulgaria. While keeping their ancient craft traditional, Romanian white witches use websites, blogs, email messaging and chatrooms to reach their clientele.

To judge by the claims of her website, Rodica Gheorghe is the leading ‘white witch healer’ in the country. Her credentials are based on her family tradition of witchcraft. She is the daughter of the witch Mama Omida and granddaughter of the witch Sabina. Some joke that her family are well on their way to having enough for their own coven.

But in the competitive cut-throat witch business, nothing is lasting, and in Romania’s Transylvania province, ‘black witches’ have muscled in on the lucrative evil eye and funerary markets. Proven spells to keep a newly widowed man from remarrying, and thus depriving his children of their inheritance, are especially well paid for.

After any death in the village of Camarzana, a witch is called in to smear the udders of cows with garlic to prevent ‘revenants’ – vampires returning from the grave – stealing their milk.

As long as the ancient Balkan superstitions rule ordinary lives, witches, clairvoyants and miracle healers will do brisk business, with or without the internet.

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Study Links Bee Decline to Cell Phones


cnn - A new study has suggested that cell phone radiation may be contributing to declines in bee populations in some areas of the world.

Bee populations dropped 17 percent in the UK last year, according to the British Bee Association, and nearly 30 percent in the United States says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Parasitic mites called varroa, agricultural pesticides and the effects of climate change have all been implicated in what has been dubbed "colony collapse disorder" (CCD).

But researchers in India believe cell phones could also be to blame for some of the losses.

In a study at Panjab University in Chandigarh, northern India, researchers fitted cell phones to a hive and powered them up for two fifteen-minute periods each day.

After three months, they found the bees stopped producing honey, egg production by the queen bee halved, and the size of the hive dramatically reduced.

It's not just the honey that will be lost if populations plummet further. Bees are estimated to pollinate 90 commercial crops worldwide. Their economic value in the UK is estimated to be $290 million per year and around $12 billion in the U.S.

Andrew Goldsworthy, a biologist from the UK's Imperial College, London, has studied the biological effects of electromagnetic fields. He thinks it's possible bees could be affected by cell phone radiation.

The reason, Goldsworthy says, could hinge on a pigment in bees called cryptochrome.

"Animals, including insects, use cryptochrome for navigation," Goldsworthy told CNN.

"They use it to sense the direction of the earth's magnetic field and their ability to do this is compromised by radiation from [cell] phones and their base stations. So basically bees do not find their way back to the hive."

Goldsworthy has written to the UK communications regulator OFCOM suggesting a change of phone frequencies would stop the bees being confused.

"It's possible to modify the signal coming from the [cell] phones and the base station in such a way that it doesn't produce the frequencies that disturb the cryptochrome molecules," Goldsworthy said.

"So they could do this without the signal losing its ability to transmit information."

But the UK's Mobile Operators Association -- which represents the UK's five mobile network operators -- told CNN: "Research scientists have already considered possible factors involved in CCD and have identified the areas for research into the causes of CCD which do not include exposure to radio waves."

Norman Carreck, Scientific director of the International Bee research Association at the UK's University of Sussex says it's still not clear how much radio waves affect bees.

"We know they are sensitive to magnetic fields. What we don't know is what use they actually make of them. And no one has yet demonstrated that honey bees use the earth's magnetic field when navigating," Carreck said.

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Check out Rick Phillips' latest blog entry - Finding 'Portal' Intrusions - in which he uses my personal Bigfoot encounter as an example of an entity moving through portals. Very interesting read...Lon

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Boulder, Colorado Police Search for Leprechan

kdvr - Boulder Police are looking for a Leprechaun who caused mischief and mayhem in a King Soopers parking lot.

They received calls from people about a man dressed as a Leprechaun outside the store at 30th St. and Arapahoe Ave. at about 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Boulder Police Sgt. Fred Gerhardt told the Daily Camera they responded because the caller said the Leprechaun was jumping in and out from between cars, pretending to shoot at people with his fingers. The report also said on top of that, he may have made obscene gestures with his fingers.

"I think that's why they called us," Gerhardt says. "He was acting bizarre."

But officers didn't find anyone matching the suspect's description.

Boulder Police had not ever received a complaint about a Leprechaun before this,Gerhardt said.

NOTE: I wonder if it has anything to do with the 'vampire' that caused the woman to crash her car the other day? Lon

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Maggots Force Plane to Return to Gate


Click for video

A flight bound for North Carolina was forced to return to the gate in Atlanta after passengers noticed maggots falling from an overhead bin. Passenger Donna Adamo describes her experience in video above.

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Scare Tactics...FREAKED!


Click for video

NOTE: reminded me of Yvette Fielding and the other neurotics on 'Most Haunted' who constantly scream, cry and freak out. This guy would fit right in that show...Lon

Fortean / Oddball News - 7/2/2010



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