One-week-old Cruella may look a bit scary but in reality she is highly vulnerable. The baby brown long-eared bat in the care of Secret World Wildlife Rescue at East Huntspill near Highbridge in Somerset, was found by a member of the public in Minehead after it is believed her mother dropped her during flight. Having been assessed by vets, Cruella will undergo rehabilitation at the rescue centre as one of more than 400 wildlife casualties to be cared for by the charity each year.
Commercial Pilot Confirms Existence of UFOs
technorati - With nearly 30,000 flight hours under his belt, Jim Courant’s qualifications as a major passenger airline captain are solid. So is his conviction that the UFO phenomenon is real.
"I got the proof that I was after,” Courant says. “That’s the part I won’t discuss. But obviously something has kept me in this, taking the chances I’ve taken.”
The nature of the proof that he found isn’t all that Courant won’t discuss. Concerned about professional repercussions, he declines to confirm the name of his airline. Nor will he reveal the identities of some high level officials who he says have confirmed the extraterrestrial presence in conversations with him.
There are a few names that he will drop, however.
Astronaut Gordon Cooper, whose own unambiguous UFO encounter is a matter of public record, was a friend of Courant’s. He’s also traded stories with astronaut Edgar Mitchell, whose 2009 statement at the National Press Building calling for the U.S. government to come clean on the topic of UFOs garnered such fleeting media attention.
The short shrift Mitchell received in the press gives Courant little cause for optimism that future media events will turn the tide.
“A national hero and the sixth man to walk on the moon says that your government and others have been in contact with ETs for 67 years. That’s an incredible statement. It was buried on page seven the next day in the NY Post. Then Rush Limbaugh got in on the act.”
Courant’s frustration with the trickle-down effect of what X-Conference organizer Steve Bassett calls the “truth embargo” is obvious when he’s asked to comment on the effectiveness of the disclosure movement.
“I’d like to say that Steve is getting somewhere with what he’s trying to do,” Courant says. “But the internet is the new sheriff in town. There’s so much B.S. that it’s made it tough for people to know what to believe.”
Saying that he’s ready to unload his 5,000-volume library of UFO books, Courant talks with the road-weary circumspection of someone who’s told his story countless times, and who’s taken a few hits for the telling.
“It’s ruined my social life,” says Courant, who is divorced and lives in the Carolinas.
According to Courant, it’s not unheard of for cockpit personnel to turn in pilots who express an interest in UFOs. This can trigger everything from psych tests to what are called “line checks” (in-flight performance evaluations) which, if they go badly, can result in dismissal. The best way to avoid trouble, Courant says, is to steer clear of the topic while in uniform and, even when out of uniform, never to mention your employer’s name in any context that involves UFOs.
But Courant, now 59, continues to fly, despite his active involvement in UFO research. He’s spoken on the topic as far afield as China and Brazil and, closer to home, in Gaithersburg, MD where he participated in the 2005 X-Conference “Seen from Above” pilots’ panel.
Courant was invited in 1992 by an NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina to host "New Perspective," a live daily television show focusing on topics similar to those popularized by NBC's “Unsolved Mysteries” series, for which he’d served as a consultant.
“We did 534 shows, covering many aspects of the UFO subject,” Courant says. He traveled extensively taping interviews for the show which he co-hosted with a woman he’ll identify only as “Dea,” explaining that she now prefers to maintain a low profile.
Quest for knowledge in the avalanche of lies
Asked about his own UFO sightings, Courant says that he’s had three, the most notable of which occurred in 1995 while he was flying from New Mexico to Los Angeles.
“My co-pilot wouldn’t talk about it afterward,” he says, describing a large, oval-shaped, blue-green object that approached from the left, then shot up at a 45-degree angle in a bright flash of light.
But Courant acknowledges that expert testimony is no match for what he says Gordon Cooper referred to as the “huge avalanche of lies” obstructing disclosure.
Google “Jim Courant” and you’ll find, among other things, a $20 DVD titled “Jim Courant Presents UFO Perspective,” which Courant says he’s never seen and did not authorize. Search for him on YouTube and you’ll find excerpts from an interview he did with black ops scientist and alleged contactee Dr. Michael Wolfe, which Courant says was posted without permission.
"I've taken a lot of heat for that," he says, lamenting the ill effects of information age technology, even as it raises public awareness (and acceptance) of UFOs.
“It’s sad that between your astronauts and your trained pilots, there’s still the put-down factor. I’ve learned from 20 years that you’ve got the real deal people, and the people who are in it for the ego and to make some money and fame.”
“For me," Courant says, "it’s ended up being a quest for knowledge.”
Are Earthquakes More Common Than Previously Thought?
reuters - The risk of earthquakes in the U.S. Midwest may be more widespread than geologists have believed, but a "big one" may be less likely at Missouri's New Madrid fault, researchers said on Wednesday.
They found that rivers that swept away sediments at the end of the last ice age could have triggered a series of large earthquakes that began in 1811 in the New Madrid seismic zone.
This suggests that these fault segments are unlikely to fail again soon, but the same process could trigger earthquakes on nearby fault segments, they reported in the journal Nature.
When glaciers melted at the end of the last ice age between 16,000 and 10,000 years ago, monstrous rivers formed and washed away 40 feet of sediment.
Eric Calais of Purdue University in Indiana and colleagues developed a computer model that shows this could have caused the crust underneath to slowly lift and cause the magnitude 7 and greater quakes that shook the Missouri-Arkansas border region in 1811 and 1812, causing the Mississippi River to run backwards and ringing church bells as far away as Boston.
"Models indicate that fault segments that have already ruptured are unlikely to fail again soon, but stress changes from sediment unloading and previous earthquakes may eventually be sufficient to bring to failure other nearby segments that have not yet ruptured," Calais and colleagues wrote.
Areas such as Charleston, South Carolina, hit by a highly damaging quake in 1886, may be susceptible to more activity cased by the processes described by Calais, geophysicist Mark Zoback of Stanford University in California wrote in a commentary.
Scientists have a good understanding of earthquakes at major faults where one of the Earth's tectonic plates touches another one -- such as in California, Indonesia and Haiti.
Less well understood are intraplate faults -- faults in the middle of a plate -- like the New Madrid fault.
"Much still needs to be done to reduce earthquake hazards for those living along active plate boundaries. To recognize that, one needs only to look at the devastating consequences of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Sumatra (230,000 dead in 14 countries), or the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year (approximately 200,000 dead and 2 million left homeless)," Zoback added.
But the uncertainty can be even worse in intraplate regions. "In the past decade alone, tens of thousands of people have died in each of the earthquakes that hit Bhuj, India (2001), and Bam, Iran (2003), as well as in the magnitude 7.9 Wenchuan event that occurred in China in 2008," Zoback wrote.
He said the New Madrid seismic zone is the best studied of such locations.
Alien Abduction Film to be Unleashed
hollywoodreporter - Hollywood remains under attack from aliens.
Paramount is the latest to snatch up an aliens-related pitch, this time from rookie scribe Bobby Glickert to be produced by Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form.
Though the plotline is getting the Area 51 treatment, the pitch, known as the "Confidential Alien Project," involves alien abductions.
Glickert wrote a treatment and cut together a two-minute teaser that attracted Platinum Dunes. The company is out to writers to pen a script.
Bay, in particular, can't seem to get enough of the sci-fi genre. In addition to filming the third installment of the alien-robots-at-war "Transformers" franchise for Paramount, Bay is producing the aliens-in-high-school thriller "I Am Number Four" for DreamWorks.
That same studio is currently filming "Cowboys & Aliens" with director Jon Favreau at the helm. Sony has its aliens-attack-L.A. actioner "Battle: Los Angeles" on the books for March, and Universal/Rogue Pictures has the alien-abduction thriller "Skyline" scheduled for November.
The WME-repped Glickert has worked as a production assistant on several big-budget studio projects and most recently worked for "Fast & Furious" director Justin Lin ("Better Luck Tomorrow").
Fortean / Oddball News - 7/31/2010