Friday, October 15, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News: Giant Rogue Crocodile, China Bigfoot and Denver's ET Affairs Office

Queensland Rangers Hunt For Huge Rogue Crocodile

cairns - Rangers will attempt to catch a large crocodile that has been menacing returned soldiers at a private Gulf retreat.

A 4m saltwater crocodile has been stalking fishermen at Pandanus Park, a veteran’s retreat on the banks of the Normanby River, about 400km northwest of Cairns.

The aggressive crocodile is believed to be a regular in the waters running through the retreat.

It has been dubbed Patch by campers and locals, because of a white patch behind his left eye.

Pandanus Park secretary Mark Fielding said Patch had been regularly spotted along the 9km length of the retreat from May to August. The same croc has been spotted in the same stretch of water for the past three years. "During this past season, he did take a lunge at a veteran as that vet retrieved a bucket of water from the river," Mr Fielding said.

"The veteran lost the bucket of water from the river and a few years off his heart, with the croc reportedly missing him by a couple of feet."

Rangers will set a trap to remove the croc from near Kalpowar Station.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s Anthony Contarino said recent crocodile sightings had been placed in two locations where the animal had been spotted.

"People are being advised to take extreme care," Mr Contarino said.

Another park regular, founder of the Cooktown and District Historical Society, John Shay, said the crocodiles in the river were becoming bolder towards campers and fishermen over the past 10 years.

"It’s like they’re getting used to the people camping there, which is a bit of a worry," Mr Shay said.


Bigfoot Sighted on Taibai Mountain, China

peopledaily - The striking news on the appearance of a Bigfoot on Taibai Mountain in Xi'an, Shaanxi Provnice recently spread among local residents of Mei County located near the foot of Taibai Mountain. Is Taibai Mountain really home to a Bigfoot?

Who encountered the Bigfoot on Taibai Mountain?

Reporters interviewed many residents of Mei County, and their accounts varied. According to one story, when several travelers from Xi'an made camp in the deep forest, they suddenly heard a howl and when they looked up, they saw a hairy monster moving back and forth in the woods. After one of them cried, "It is a monster," they ran away in panic and nearly fell into a groove. It was said that these travelers were too frightened and were completely speechless for a few days after they got off the mountain, and they were admitted to the hospital right after returning to Xi'an.

However, according to another story, a few backpackers from Shanghai went to visit Taibai Mountain, the main peak of the Qinling Mountains, and started climbing the mountain in Houzhenzi Village, Zhouzhi County. They walked for two days in the misty mountain where there are a large number of old rattan plants and trees.

When they made camp at the foot of a cliff in the undeveloped Donghe scenic zone at dusk on the third day, they heard an unearthly cry and dimly saw a humanlike creature flying overhead, but the creature was quickly out of sight before they could take a good look. Afterwards, one of them said that the creature was entirely covered with hair but closely resembles a human being, and can swing from branch to branch. This unexpected incident really scared them all.

Then which one of the two stories is true? Or are both false?

A Taibai Mountain National Forest Park official told reporters that several tourists from Xi'an did tell park staff on Sept. 18 that they saw a wild creature in the mountain, but it is still unclear whether it was really a Bigfoot.

Reporters were also informed that Shaanxi Daily and other newspapers had published long reports on the discovery of half-human, half-animal creatures on Taibai Mountain as early as 1990s.


Scientists Suggest Cancer Purely Man-Made

manchester - Cancer is a modern, man-made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet, a study by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested.

The study of remains and literature from ancient Egypt and Greece and earlier periods – carried out at Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology and published in Nature – includes the first histological diagnosis of cancer in an Egyptian mummy.

Finding only one case of the disease in the investigation of hundreds of Egyptian mummies, with few references to cancer in literary evidence, proves that cancer was extremely rare in antiquity. The disease rate has risen massively since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer – proving that the rise is not simply due to people living longer.

Professor Rosalie David, at the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “In industrialised societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death. But in ancient times, it was extremely rare. There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle.”

She added: “The important thing about our study is that it gives a historical perspective to this disease. We can make very clear statements on the cancer rates in societies because we have a full overview. We have looked at millennia, not one hundred years, and have masses of data.”

The data includes the first ever histological diagnosis of cancer in an Egyptian mummy by Professor Michael Zimmerman, a visiting Professor at the KNH Centre, who is based at the Villanova University in the US. He diagnosed rectal cancer in an unnamed mummy, an ‘ordinary’ person who had lived in the Dakhleh Oasis during the Ptolemaic period (200-400 CE).

Professor Zimmerman said: “In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases. The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization”.

The team studied both mummified remains and literary evidence for ancient Egypt but only literary evidence for ancient Greece as there are no remains for this period, as well as medical studies of human and animal remains from earlier periods, going back to the age of the dinosaurs.

Evidence of cancer in animal fossils, non-human primates and early humans is scarce – a few dozen, mostly disputed, examples in animal fossils, although a metastatic cancer of unknown primary origin has been reported in an Edmontosaurus fossil while another study lists a number of possible neoplasms in fossil remains. Various malignancies have been reported in non-human primates but do not include many of the cancers most commonly identified in modern adult humans.

It has been suggested that the short life span of individuals in antiquity precluded the development of cancer. Although this statistical construct is true, individuals in ancient Egypt and Greece did live long enough to develop such diseases as atherosclerosis, Paget's disease of bone, and osteoporosis, and, in modern populations, bone tumours primarily affect the young.

Another explanation for the lack of tumours in ancient remains is that tumours might not be well preserved. Dr. Zimmerman has performed experimental studies indicating that mummification preserves the features of malignancy and that tumours should actually be better preserved than normal tissues. In spite of this finding, hundreds of mummies from all areas of the world have been examined and there are still only two publications showing microscopic confirmation of cancer. Radiological surveys of mummies from the Cairo Museum and museums in Europe have also failed to reveal evidence of cancer.

As the team moved through the ages, it was not until the 17th century that they found descriptions of operations for breast and other cancers and the first reports in scientific literature of distinctive tumours have only occurred in the past 200 years, such as scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps in 1775, nasal cancer in snuff users in 1761 and Hodgkin’s disease in 1832.

Professor David – who was invited to present her paper to UK Cancer Czar Professor Mike Richards and other oncologists at this year’s UK Association of Cancer Registries and National Cancer Intelligence Network conference – said: “Where there are cases of cancer in ancient Egyptian remains, we are not sure what caused them. They did heat their homes with fires, which gave off smoke, and temples burned incense, but sometimes illnesses are just thrown up.”

She added: “The ancient Egyptian data offers both physical and literary evidence, giving a unique opportunity to look at the diseases they had and the treatments they tried. They were the fathers of pharmacology so some treatments did work

“They were very inventive and some treatments thought of as magical were genuine therapeutic remedies. For example, celery was used to treat rheumatism back then and is being investigated today. Their surgery and the binding of fractures were excellent because they knew their anatomy: there was no taboo on working with human bodies because of mummification. They were very hands on and it gave them a different mindset to working with bodies than the Greeks, who had to come to Alexandria to study medicine.”

She concluded: “Yet again extensive ancient Egyptian data, along with other data from across the millennia, has given modern society a clear message – cancer is man-made and something that we can and should address.”


Denver Voters Will Decide on Proposed E.T. Affairs Office

aolnews - Of all the ballot measures that are being voted on this election season, none may have more universal impact than Initiative 300 in Denver.

Put it simply: If the measure is approved by the voters, Denver's mayor will have to select seven volunteers for a commission that will meet twice a year and gather the most compelling evidence regarding the existence of extraterrestrials and UFOs and put it on the city's website.

Jeff Peckman is the man behind Initiative 300, a ballot measure that, if passed, will require the Denver City Council to create a commission dealing with E.T. affairs.

In addition, Jeff Peckman, the man behind the proposal, says the commission will be a place where citizens can report sightings and assess the risks and benefits of dealing with the E.T.s.

"We don't know what could happen," Peckman told AOL News. "There could be some good things that come from E.T. contact and some negatives. We need to figure out if there are possible business opportunities or medical treatments that could come from them."

Peckman -- who describes himself as an entrepreneur and consultant who promotes alternative and clean energy and holistic health -- said his initiative is written so the commission will not cost taxpayers a red cent. Instead, any funding will be supplied by grants, gifts or donations.

As you might expect, the proposal is getting a lot of interest from all over the country. One person who is excited about it is Stephen Bassett of the Paradigm Research Group, a registered lobbyist who wants Washington politicians to fully disclose as much as possible about UFOs and E.T. visits.

To that end, he has been trying to nudge Beltway journalists into asking the hard questions that he says will force elected officials to reveal everything they know.

"On one level, it's going to be fun on Election Night," Bassett said. "It's an off-year election, so the networks will be checking back to see how it's faring. On a more serious level, if it does pass, it's one more sign that the days are numbered for the 'truth embargo.'"

Peckman is quick to add that even if the initiative is approved by voters, it only has so much power.

"A city ordinance cannot force the federal government to release evidence," he said. "Also, the City Council can repeal the commission after six months without putting it to a vote."

Still, Peckman thinks Denver is a city uniquely qualified to become an E.T. center.

"Denver was the first U.S. city to set up a trade office with China," he said. "So there is some vision and independent thinking here as well as a highly educated workforce. This could be good for the city. We're already hearing from people in Australia, Europe and Wisconsin who want to create similar initiatives."

But not everyone thinks the E.T. initiative is a good idea.

Bryan Bonner is head of an organization called the Mission for Inhibiting Bureaucracy (MIB) which objects to Peckman's proposal on many levels.

Bonner, who is part of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society, said that despite the claims of many people, there still is no concrete evidence that aliens even exist and much of Peckman's ideas of "evidence" just aren't credible.

"Everything that [Peckman] is basing his reasoning on has been disproven, and he tends to argue from authority, saying that the sighting came from a general or a policeman so you should believe it," Bonner said. "Everything they've said has no proof, so even if this initiative doesn't pass, it still puts a black mark on the city."

Bonner is OK with the idea of a philosophical discussion about what plans should be in place should E.T. ever decide to attend a Colorado Rockies game, "but don't bring it into city government."

"There's a certain religious element -- or should I say a belief system among the people who support this that shouldn't be taking place in government."

Bonner admits there is a satirical element to his organization's campaign, right down to picking a group name that has the same initials as the term "men in black."

"The people behind this initiative see everything as a big conspiracy that they need to expose," he explained. "Still, they believe the government is out to get them, but still want to work with the government to expose E.T.s?"

Bonner also has financial objections to the commission. Although it is supposedly going to be funded by grants, gifts and donations, he said there are hidden costs that aren't being discussed.

"According to the ballot language, the city agencies are required to meet with the commission for training on what to do in case of an E.T. visit," he said. "But it doesn't say who will pay for, say, the fire department's time, or how much the city PR people are going to spend dealing with questions about the commission."

But his biggest objection may be to the criteria for selecting who gets on the commission.

"Apparently, the commission will have to include an expert on E.T. and E.T. craft," Bonner said. "Who here can say that? I could talk about the propulsion system on the USS Enterprise, but that doesn't mean it's real."

Peckman said it's too early to see how the initiative is faring with voters. However, Bonner said a poll of one City Council district back in August suggested that Initiative 300 only had support of 8 percent of voters in that part of the city.

"Peckman dismissed that poll, saying the councilwoman in that district was a Republican," Bonner said.

Meanwhile, Peckman remains positive that there are enough Denver voters who are willing to consider the possibility that aliens have visited Earth, to help his measure pass. He jokes that there's a good reason why.

"We're closer to outer space than most other cities," he said.


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