Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News - 9/21/2010

Alien Abduction Insurance Now Available!

hindustantimes - Do you fear being abducted by aliens? Have you ever seen a UFO? If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, getting an alien abduction insurance may not be such a bad idea.

However bizarre it may sound, you can actually get insurance against alien abduction. According to Newser, British Insurance has made $3 million selling this policy to gullible Californians. But the company's managing director admits it's a joke. "Let's face it," he says, "Insurance is so tedious that if I can enlighten my dreary life with a bit of humour every now and again, I will." Apparently the weird insurance is purchased usually by the weak minded.

With most people having a health, car, house and life insurance, companies are coming up with wacky insurance policies. Here's a list of Asylum's wackiest policies ever devised, reports Newser.

Immaculate Conception: Three Scottish virgins were so convinced that God might impregnate them that they took out a policy that would pay them $1.5 million if it happened.

AlienChest Hair: An unknown celebrity asked an insurance company to insure his manly chest rug for $7 million. Alas, he never took out the policy.

Giant Crab: When the Birmingham Sea Life aquarium took possession of a gigantic Japanese spider crab measuring 10-feet across, they assured the public wasn't dangerous-then took out a $1.5 million policy against visitor death or dismemberment.

Thailand Riots: To reassure tourists about their eminently safe country, the Thai government is offering visitors riot insurance.


Unknown Tiger Group Found Living in the Himalayas

Television footage shot by the BBC's Natural History Unit has provided the first evidence that tigers can live and breed at extremely high altitudes.

The team filmed the animals, normally found in jungle habitats, more than 4,000 metres high in the Himalayas.

Experts say the discovery could make it easier to create a conservation corridor, linking populations of the endangered felines across Asia.


Chemical Suicides

swns - Fire crews wearing specialist chemical protective clothing were called to a car park on an industrial estate in Braintree, Essex.

A stunned warehouse worker raised the alarm after finding an apparent suicide note pasted to the car’s window warning the vehicle was filled with hydrogen sulphide.

The bodies of a young man and woman, believed to be in their 20s or 30s, were found inside the car and fire crews cordoned off the car park.

It is believed that the deaths are one of the first ‘chemical suicides’ to occur in Britain.

The craze, which is sweeping Japan and USA, involves mixing bath salts and detergent to create deadly hydrogen sulphide gas.

A source close to the scene said: ”It is believed this is a ‘chemical suicide’ which is a growing trend around the world but could be the first in the UK.

”There was a warning note on the window of the car telling people not to open the door. It warned the emergency services there were hazardous fumes inside so they knew what to deal with.”

Joy Hale, spokesman for East England Ambulance, confirmed today that paramedics from the Hazardous Response Team are at the scene.

The bodies of two people were found in the car but have not yet been officially declared dead, Miss Hale added.

She said: ”We have resources down there including the Hazardous Response Team trying to make the area safe because it is a public area and people are trying to get to work.

”We are aware of two people in the van and we are working with all emergency services.”

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said: ”A chemical zone has been put in place while we work out what we are dealing with.”

A spokesman for Essex Police today described the operation as ”an ongoing situation”.

She said: ”A car with two bodies has been found in a a car park on an industrial site.

”All emergency procedures have been put in place because we believe the car may contain some form of noxious substance.

”Until we get into the car and find out exactly what we’ve got it’s difficult to speculate what has happened.

”We’ve evacuated the vicinity as a safety precaution until we know what we are dealing with.”


Dead 'Polar Bear' Was Really a Cow

telegraph - The presenter of ITV's West Country breakfast bulletin informed astonished viewers that an animal more commonly spotted near the North Pole had turned up in the seaside town of Bude. Video footage showed a large, white beast lying on the shore.

"A walker in Cornwall has caught an extraordinary sight on camera. A polar bear has washed up on a beach near Bude," an excited Miss Lloyd said. "The bear comes from the Arctic Circle and an investigation is under way as to how it could have ended up there."

Alas for Miss Lloyd, the tale of the Cornish polar bear turned out to be several thousand miles wide of the mark.

Closer inspection revealed that the polar bear was, in fact, a cow. The farm animal had been bleached white by sea water.

Red-faced bosses at ITV dropped the item from later bulletins, but insisted that it was an easy mistake. "The animal caused quite a stir in Bude. Several people has seen the animal from a cliff top and thought it was a polar bear," a spokesman said. "Its size and colour and its lying position on the beach did make it look like a polar bear and we had several calls.

"But on closer inspection we discovered it was a cow. The tide was very strong and it did bring several dead animals in along that stretch of coast."

The spokesman conceded that the mistake was "a bit embarrassing".

Several dog walkers and ramblers contacted the television station after spotting the animal early yesterday morning. The British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) service also received calls.

A BDMLR spokesman said: "Mostly we deal with stranded seals, whales, dolphins and porpoises. We don't get calls about polar bears in Cornwall all that often. Or cows, for that matter."

Miss Lloyd was unavailable for comment last night.

ITV West Country has an available audience of up to two million viewers and the bulletin was broadcast at 7.55am.

Students of geography would have realised the unlikeliness of a polar bear appearing in the warm seas off Cornwall. The animals live on the Arctic sea ice and Greenland is the closest they get to Britain. There are around 25,000 polar bears left in the wild and their existence is threatened by global warming.

Earlier this year, the RSPB pulled off an April Fool's joke by claiming that a polar bear had been washed up - still alive - on the Isle of Mull.

This was not the first time that something unusual washed up on the beach at Bude. In 2008, seven suitcase-sized packages of cocaine were found on the beach, part of a £2.5 million haul washed up along the coastline.


Christine O'Donnell Denunciation of Witchcraft Infuriates Witches

gawker - Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell hastily dismissed her witchcraft background this weekend, after Bill Maher released an old tape of her describing high-school experimentation with satanic altars. Now the Witch Community is furious, and will transform O'Donnell into a carrot.

O'Donnell laughed off her 11-year-old remembrance of high school — where she "dabbled in witchcraft" and dated a comely witch who took her to a bloody "satanic altar," for a picnic — saying that we all all hung out with "questionable folks," i.e. evil witches, in high school! This is essentially true.

And yet the Wiccan community ("Big Witch") is outraged over this smear job, according to the Huffington Post's Sam Stein:

Yes, this was 11 years ago she said that," said Reverend Selena Fox, the High Priestess & Senior Minister of the Circle Sanctuary a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting paganism and nature spirituality. "But the kinds of things she is saying now, saying 'well in high school you are with despicable characters' or some such thing, she is actually defaming Wiccans. Whether she intends to do that or not as a way to try and get herself out of this political problem she has created for herself, the fact is America really needs to be a place where you can celebrate diversity and practice your religion without getting ridiculed or defamed."

And here's Diotima Mantineia of 'The Witches' Voice," a "neopagan network," who also warns O'Donnell about how her hate speech could lose her the Delaware Witch vote:

I really have to question what she is talking about because witchcraft and Satanism are two different things... witches or Wiccans do not believe in Satan. We don't even believe that Satan exist. Satan is a Christian deity of some kind. He is part of the Christian religion not ours. We worship nature; we work very closely with nature. We do not have blood on our altar and we have little to do with Satan. So I don't know what Ms. O'Donnell is talking about. I wonder if she knows what she was talking about.

When will Christine O'Donnell apologize to these friendly witches?

NOTE: I know that there are several readers of this blog who are Wiccan. I'd like to read your response to this article...Lon

Fortean / Oddball News - 9/21/2010
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