Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Strange History of the Culbertson Mansion and Carriage House

news-tribune - Joellen Bye admits she was not the best student growing up. But, after accepting a job at the Culbertson Mansion in 1977, she read everything she could get her hands on about New Albany’s most famous landmark and those who occupied it.

“It sparked my interest,” she said of spending her days in the mansion. “It turned on my switch. I’ve learned more here than I could ever learn in school.”

The history lessons can be found on every floor of the Culbertson Mansion, which was built in 1867 by William S. Culbertson for $120,000.

The house has seen many owners and changes since Culbertson and his family roamed the hallways. The house sold at auction in 1899 for $7,100. During the course of the past century, it belonged to the American Legion, was almost torn down in favor of a gas station and eventually became a state historic site in 1976.

Bye has been working at the mansion for 33 years and knows it as if it was one of her children. She became site manager of the facility in 1995.

The house will open April 1 for public tours. Recently Bye spoke about the mansion, its history and the ongoing restoration.

QUESTION: What do you love about the Culbertson Mansion?

JOELLEN BYE: It’s hard to explain. I’ve seen it change over the years and have been part of that. Before the restoration, everything was really plain. There is something about this place. It has its own personality. It’s more than a house. It gets to you.

Q: Do people take this place for granted?

BYE: I hear it from people who visit the house. I would say 90 percent of them say they have lived here all of their life and this is the first time they have toured the home. They don’t think about it.

Q: What do you love about your job?

BYE: There is so much ... but I would say the ongoing restoration project. Some things we kind of stumbled into. We had no idea the painted design was under all of that wallpaper. Just to be part of it and see it happen, that’s been exciting.

Q: What frustrates you about the job?

BYE: I guess lack of funds. If it wasn’t for the friends’ group, none of the interior restoration would be done. All the money they raise with the haunted house and other projects goes right back into the house. The friends’ group is so important.

Q: What is left to renovate in the mansion?

BYE: The first floor is completely finished. We are currently on the second floor and it is partially complete. We haven’t started the third floor yet. I think the worst part is behind us. The state recently paid for a new copper roof, repainted the exterior and put in new walkways. In 2000, they put in a new climate control system.

Q: What is it that people might not know about the mansion?

BYE: If they came as third-graders, the ceiling was painted white, and the restoration project had not got going. The house has changed through the years.

Q: OK, is the house haunted?

BYE: That has always been a hot topic. I have seen and heard things that I cannot explain. We are not ghost hunters or ghost crazy people. We have ghost hunters who approach us about setting up cameras at night and doing their thing, but we always have to tell them no for insurance and liability reasons.

Q: So, you have seen things you can’t explain?

BYE: Yes. There are the typical things ... maybe you hear a door shut or it may sound like someone is walking upstairs when there is no one up there. My office is in the basement and at night, if I am here alone, I can hear things. We know something is here, but we have never confirmed it.

Q: What about the future of the home?

BYE: I hope we can start being open year-round. Last year we were scheduled to, but had funding cut at the last minute. We hope all third-graders continue to come to tour the mansion [as part of studying Indiana history]. And we will continue to focus on the ongoing restoration.


Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site is located in New Albany, Indiana by the Ohio River. It was the home of William Culbertson, who was once the richest man in Indiana. Built in 1867 at a cost of $120,000, this French Second Empire-style mansion has 25-rooms within 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2), and was completed in November 1869. It was designed by James T. Banes, a local architect. Features within the three-story edifice include hand-painted ceilings and walls, frescoed ceilings, carved rosewood cantilevered staircase, marble fireplaces, wallpaper of fabric-quality, and crystal chandeliers. The tin roof was imported from Scotland. The displays within the mansion feature the Culbertson family and the restoration of the building. The rooms on the tour are the formal parlors, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchen, and laundry room.

In its heyday, a railroad ran behind the house (Culbertson had sold land to the railroad), and a streetcar ran from his house towards downtown New Albany.

The Culbertson Mansion’s Carriage House originally served a dual purpose in the 1800’s: to house the Culbertson’s horse and buggy below and servants in the quarters above. One autumn night in 1888 lightning struck the Carriage House, causing a fire that torched most of the interior and killed all living things inside.

The new servants refused to live in the Carriage House, claiming the place was haunted by the souls of those who perished in the fire. The tragic building remained an empty shell until the early 1930’s when it was reconstructed and transformed into a rental property by the McDonalds. The Webb family moved into the house in the spring of 1933. Dr. Harold Webb, a well established doctor and dentist from out of state wanted to settle down in a smaller town and start his own in-house practice, using the Carriage House as his home and office.

Business was great and life had returned to the once unfortunate building. Little did they know something dark and sinister lurked below. The Webb children started to tell stories of a dark man entering their rooms at night through the walls.

Noises were heard underneath the house. Sounds of clanging chains, screams and horrible smells would come up through the floor. Dr. Webb and his wife dismissed the children’s stories at first, but they could not dispute the sounds and smells coming from the rooms downstairs.

Although Dr. Webb investigated the lower level repeatedly, he claimed to find no evidence of anything unusual, assuring the family everything was as it should be. But the children’s stories of a nightly visitor continued, as did the horrible sounds and odors. During this time the strange goings-on began to take their toll on the good doctor’s mental state. Webb became increasingly agitated and angry, losing most of his patients because of the unpleasant experiences they had in the office. Several of Dr. Webb’s patients went missing and an investigation of the Webb office was initiated by the local police.

On September 29th, 1934, one of Dr. Webb’s few remaining patients arrived for an appointment but found the doors locked and the place abandoned. After a few days of no activity a police warrant was issued to investigate. What the police found was horrendous; the Webb family had been slaughtered.

Each room of the house was littered with the remains of victims who suffered unspeakable deaths; a daughter was found repeatedly stabbed, his son was skinned, and his wife brutally beaten. Perhaps, the most shocking of all was what lied beneath the living quarters. A full search of the house revealed an even more macabre and mysterious scene.

The basement level of the house held secret passages and hidden rooms. Webb used these areas for his own evil practices, torturing patients and using them for his twisted experiments. The bones and remains of the patients were everywhere, some so disfigured the police began to question if they were even human.

After the investigation the house was boarded up and remained vacant for nearly three decades.

During the days of the American Legion ownership from 1946 to 1964, the Carriage house was restored then reopened for parties and musical events. The staff and attendees reported several unusual occurrences: electrical problems, missing items, strange sounds after hours and mysterious figures moving from room to room.

Even current staff and volunteers of the Mansion have reported strange happenings in the Carriage House over the years. A few have even refused to work in the building.

In 1987 the Friends of the Culbertson Mansion started using the Carriage House for an annual haunted attraction. Every year thousands of visitors pass through those ill-fated doors. Some never make it to the end.


The Strange History of the Culbertson Mansion and Carriage House

Calling the Dead at the Borden House

southcoasttoday - It's midnight, and Christopher Moon is hunched over his laptop computer in the cold, dark basement of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast.

He says he is listening to the voices of the dead.

Initially, there are no surprises. Moon first heard the voices earlier that night, two floors up, in the bedroom where Abigail Durfee Gray Borden was hacked to death with a hatchet in August of 1892. Now, he is playing back the audio of that session so he and a room of paranormal investigators can hone in on not only what was said, but who said it.

The words are choppy and abrasive to the ear as they are blasted from a set of speakers, but everyone is in rapt attention. The group hears static, white noise and occasional fragments from local radio stations, all picked up by a wooden, cigar box-like machine adorned with knobs and packed with wires — a device Moon calls the Telephone to the Dead.

But every few seconds, between and over all the noise, throaty voices, almost urgent in their clarity and speed, spout specific answers to direct questions. The voices are distinct, consistent and almost jolting in the way they stand out from the clatter.

A few minutes into the playback, Moon picks up on something no one heard during the real-time recording: a woman's voice, seemingly soaked in fear and desperation, making a plea.

Moon widens his eyes and scratches his red beard, realizing what he has captured. Then he rewinds the tape a few seconds back and plays the voice again. A couple of people gasp and nod their heads; one woman covers her mouth. By the time Moon plays the clip for the fifth time, the message is clear to all in the room.

"Help me," the voice implores. "Help me."


Moon — editor of "Haunted Times," a widely read paranormal magazine — and his Colorado-based team have amassed a rich collection of photos, videos and audio recordings during dozens of investigations that they say prove the historic Borden home is filled with spirits.

Ranked by the Travel Channel as the world's creepiest destination, the Borden home continues to attract ghost seekers and history buffs more than a century after the gruesome ax-murders of Andrew Borden, a wealthy city businessman, and his wife, Abigail. Lizzie Borden, Andrew's daughter and Abigail's step-daughter, was brought to trial for the killings. She was promptly acquitted and the case was never solved.

Out of all the supposedly haunted locations Moon says he has investigated in recent years, 92 Second St. ranks "easily in the top three." The 36-year-old former heavy metal musician uses technology to prove, as he puts it, the existence of ghosts, including electromagnetic field detectors, white noise machines, digital cameras and voice recorders.

Like many people who work or have stayed overnight at the house, Moon also claims he has experienced other unexplainable things without the aid of electronic equipment.

His first night as a guest, Moon was resting in a second-floor bedroom when he says he heard a voice warn, "Don't turn your back." Several hours later, he was jarred awake by a choking feeling, as if someone was trying to strangle him. In the morning, he discovered what appeared to be a rope burn around his neck. Moon attributes the attack unequivocally to Andrew Borden. And although he still investigates regularly at the house, he goes elsewhere when it's time to sleep.

"I believe he died not only angry, bitter and evil, but so brutally, that when he was released from his body, he attracted more negativity," Moon says of Andrew Borden, who sustained 11 blows to the head.

Andrew Borden, the miserly, affluent patriarch of the Borden family, is the dominant spirit in the house, Moon says. His energy turns up in photos of the sitting room sofa, an exact replica of the one on which his body was found. And his deep, stern voice, tinged with a slight Fall River accent, frequently interrupts Telephone to the Dead sessions, often with swears and warnings to "get out."

Moon says his evidence suggests that Andrew Borden was not only tightfisted, but cold and abusive to his daughters.

"Andrew Borden was one of the most sick, disgusting men who ever lived," Moon tells a group gathered in the home's basement for Ghost Hunter's University, a two-day crash course into the world of paranormal investigations.

Moon and his crew — including his parents, Dennis and Paulette Huff — return to the Borden home several times a year. The seasoned investigators claim the strength of Andrew Borden's spirit is unmatched by any other they know. They are drawn to the home.

"It's rare that a spirit has that much energy and ability," Moon tells The Fall River Spirit. "Aside from the obvious question, which is why, the bigger question is how does Andrew have the power when 99 percent of the spirits we encounter don't?"


Lizzie Borden didn't do it. At least, she wasn't directly responsible for the deaths of her father and step-mother, according to the "Haunted Times" group. Moon claims he learned that with help from his telephone to the spirit world, which souls on the "other side" speak through by manipulating radio waves. Thomas Edison started work on such a device before his death, Moon says.

Investigations at the house have led Moon's team to conclude that William Borden, believed by some to be Andrew Borden's illegitimate son, committed the crime. Fall River native Lewis Peterson, who knew Lizzie Borden in his childhood, professed the spinster's innocence to Hathaway Publishing in 1997, suggesting that William Borden was not only related to Andrew Borden, but guilty of his murder. The story was later reprinted in "The Hatchet: Journal of Lizzie Borden Studies."

"One of the advantages of our technology is that we can hear out of their own mouths what took place," Moon says. "Some of that information is cryptic in ways, but we have found out that Lizzie never swung the ax."

Lizzie Borden wasn't entirely innocent, Moon says. She planned the killings, securing her freedom by having someone else do the dirty work. She was determined to seek an end to the "hateful things that had happened to her."

Other conclusions the "Haunted Times" crew has drawn raise more questions than answers. Evidence collected from the spirits suggests that Andrew Borden might have been killed outside the home and that his body was later moved to the sofa, says Dina Everling, director of marketing for "Haunted Times."

Andrew Borden still forcefully stands watch over his home, but Moon claims to have found evidence of other spirits in the dwelling, including Abby Borden, Bridget Sullivan — the Bordens' maid — and a few children who are believed to have died in a well down the street.

Lizzie Borden has "moved on," Moon says.

"She comes back from time to time, though."


While on a break from the most recent investigation at the Borden house, someone shows Lee-Ann Wilber a photo he took in the room where Abby Borden was slain. The photo is filled with orbs — little white circles that some believe are the energy of spirits.

"OK, I know that's not dust because I just Dysoned in there," says Wilber, owner of the bed and breakfast.

Sometimes, orbs simply are dust or moisture and nothing more. Moon says he encourages people to think sensibly when they delve into the paranormal and rule out all possible explanations before assuming something is of another world.

"The only thing worse than a hard-headed skeptic is the true believer," he tells the Ghost Hunter's University class crowded in the basement one recent March evening. "Be rational."

Moon knows that paranormal investigations can be hard for some people to grasp. Skeptics regularly attend his seminars and investigations, and he's fine with that, so long as they are open-minded.

Wilber, who believes there has been legitimate spirit activity at the house, enjoys hosting the "Haunted Times" crew every few months. "I wouldn't invite them back if I didn't," she says as Max, her black cat, darts under the dining room table.

As for the team's conclusions about what really happened 118 years ago?

"Everyone who comes in seems to find something different," Wilber says, acknowledging with a smile that she has heard some "out there" theories. "I always stick with the facts. If people do ask for experiences, I can only offer my personal ones."


Lizzie Dickson wasn't named after Lizzie Borden, but she is reminded of Fall River's most infamous woman quite often.

"There's a guy at work who sings the song to me every week," Dickson says with a groan.

By song, Dickson means the well-known rhyme that pins Lizzie Borden down as the killer.

After arriving at the Borden home for the first time on a Friday afternoon, Dickson and her boyfriend, Joe Samalis, both of Shrewsbury, wait in the sitting room, not knowing what to expect from Ghost Hunter's University, which they have heard so much about. Their spur-of-the-moment trip has landed them in the John Morse bedroom, where Abby Borden was killed. Visitors usually book rooms well in advance, but there happened to be an unexpected vacancy when the couple called earlier in the week.

"It was something we always wanted to do," Samalis says.

Dickson's thoughts turn to spending the night in a purportedly haunted bedroom and she says she is nervous.

"She's going to stick to me like white on rice," Samalis says of his girlfriend.

"No, like super glue," Dickson clarifies. She breathes in, smiles and shakes her head, motioning to Samalis. "I hope nobody tries to poke me tonight — except him."

Later that night, Dickson volunteers to stand in the spot where Abby Borden was killed. Moon stands in front of her, asking her to breathe deep, close her eyes and tell him how she feels.

"Anxious," Dickson says, before becoming light-headed and stumbling backward. Huff, Moon's mother and a psychic, comforts Dickson and tells her to "let go" of the energy.

Samalis, an electrical engineer, says he is skeptical, but after receiving what he calls a sign from his late father several years ago, he believes in something more. He contends that the afterlife probably isn't as spooky or outrageous as Hollywood portrays it, though.

Other investigation attendees come from farther afield. Two men and two women from Saratoga, N.Y., on a return trip, say they have no doubts that the house is haunted. And Kris Bronson of Chicago brought along a pink suitcase full of her own investigative equipment, having experienced activity in the house before.

"The whole place makes me feel kind of nervous," she says.

The Borden home certainly isn't the only place to find spirits, says Moon, who spends most of the year on the road, conducting similar investigations at homes and historic sites.

"Everyone has a ghost story," Moon says. "There's paranormal activity throughout the country and the world. As long as people have been alive, there have been ghosts."

Calling the Dead at the Borden House

Mystery 'White Cat' Reported Roaming Cincinnati

kypost - The Phoenix Community Learning Center in Avondale is on spring break this week, so their courtyard should have been deserted. But, several people on their way to work Thursday morning say they saw one big, hairy intruder, possibly a lion in the courtyard.

"I looked across the street and I saw something sniffing the fence," said Rodney Meeks. "He was just standing there and he leaped over the fence."

One of Meeks' co-workers from the Glencare Center was walking down Glenwood Avenue.

"I stopped him and I said, 'Charles, do you see that?' And we looked, we both looked and he got up on his hind legs and looked into a window of the school, and me and him both said, 'That's a lion.'"

Several calls were made to 911. Cincinnati police, fire and members from the SPCA and Cincinnati Zoo responded. "Everywhere we looked there was nothing," said Mike Dulaney, Curator of Mammals for the zoo. "If there was an animal, it somehow got out before we got there."

Dulaney personally counted all the big cats at the zoo to make sure they were accounted for.

That doesn't assure Avondale resident Larie Andrews. She lives across the street from the school. "Yeah, I'm very concerned, You come out your door, there's a big lion, what you gonna do?"

She and her friend Latrace Horne are worried the animal may have been living in the neighborhood for a while as a personal pet. "That could be a protector of a house that you definitely ain't gonna go in," added Horne.

While that might sound a little far fetched, consider this statistic from Mike Dulaney. "There are actually estimated to be more tigers in private hands in the United States than there are left in the wild. And that estimate goes anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000."

NOTE: Cincinnati Bengal?

Mystery 'White Cat' Reported Roaming Cincinnati

A Louisiana woman had to call in a beekeeper after a standoff with bees swarmed her car Wednesday. The woman came out of a shopping mall to find thousands of bees covering her car.

Click for video

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Wild Coyote Captured in Manhattan

foxnews - A wily coyote who was seen roaming the streets of lower Manhattan was caught today at about 11 a.m. on West Street, authorities said.

Cops shot the coyote with a tranquilizer dart near a Watt Street parking lot and transported it to the Manhattan Animal Care & Control on the Upper East Side.

The officers were tipped to the coyote's location after a witness spotted him in the area and called 911.

NYPD Det. Robert Mirfield said officers "waited for [the coyote] to calm down, and then we put an animal noose around his neck."

The coyote had first been spotted Wednesday coming out of the Holland Tunnel at 3:52 p.m.

He hardly had time to get reservations at Nobu before officers tried to hunt him down.

It's unclear if this latest coyote was a bridge-and-tunnel type who came from New Jersey, or if he's the same coyote spotted in Central Park and Chelsea over the past few weeks, who entered the tunnel headed toward the Garden State but thought better of it and turned back.

Cops caught the coyote a day after giving cops the run-around on Wednesday.

After trotting around the traffic circle just outside the tunnel, he then headed south on Broadway.

About 90 minutes later, he was spotted on Thomas Street and surrounded by officers from the First Precinct and the Emergency Service Unit in a private park outside the AT&T building.

"I thought it was a little wolf," said Demetrius Jones, 18, a painter who saw the coyote craziness. "It looked scared."

NOTE: it seems that coyotes have invaded every lower 48 state. There is plenty for these animals to eat in urban areas. The increasing number of cats, dogs and wild species that are in our city parks and suburbs here on the east coast is astounding...Lon

Wild Coyote Captured in Manhattan

Breast Implants New Terrorist Weapon....Dutch Prisoners Need Psychics

telegraph -Radical Islamist plastic surgeons could be carrying out the implant operations in lawless areas of Pakistan, security sources are said to warned.

Explosives experts have reportedly said just five ounces of Pentaerythritol Tetrabitrate packed into a breast implant would be enough to blow a “considerable” hole in the side of a jumbo jet.

It would be virtually impossible for airport security scanners to detect the explosive if hidden inside a breast, medics have said.

Joseph Farah, a terrorism expert, told The Sun: "Women suicide bombers recruited by al-Qaeda are known to have had the explosives inserted in their breasts under techniques similar to breast enhancing surgery."

Plastic surgeons may also have inserted the chemical into the buttocks of would-be suicide bombers.

The discovery was reportedly made after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a London-educated Nigerian, attempted to blow up an airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas day with explosives packed into his underpants.

Hours after his attack failed, British intelligence services reportedly picked up “chatter” from Pakistan and Yemen that alerted them to the bizarre new method.

One plastic surgeon told The Sun: "Properly inserted the implant would be virtually impossible to detect by the usual airport scanning machines.

"You would need to subject a suspect to a sophisticated X-ray. Given that the explosive would be inserted in a sealed plastic sachet, and would be a small amount, would make it all the more impossible to spot it with the usual body scanner."

telegraph - Paul van Bree, a self-styled "paragnost" or clairvoyant, has been hired by the Dutch prison service to teach prisoners how to "love themselves".

"I tell them that dead relatives are doing well and that they love them. That brings them peace. Big strong men burst into tears," he said.

Mr van Bree, who also publishes annual predictions of the future, claims to be from a long line of clairvoyants, including his mother and grandmother.

The Dutch paranormal, who describes himself as the "happy Buddha" told De Tijd magazine that he is not the only psychic healer employed by the Dutch justice ministry.

He has claimed that by talking to both the prisoner and the prisoner's dead parents he can discover key psychological insights to help the prison authorities rehabilitate criminals.

"With my antennae I sometimes reveal more than a psychologist or a prison welfare officer," he said. "My work can be compared to mental health care in widest sense of the words."

A spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry said: "This is not something which fits in our treatment field."

The Dutch employment service has also looked beyond the normal to use "regression therapy" and tarot cards to help the jobless.

Uncooperative welfare claimants have been told they will lose benefits unless they accept the guidance of a regression therapist to help them get in touch with their past lives.

In 2007, 42,500 Dutch people signed up to state funded spiritually-based "personal development programmes".

Breast Implants New Terrorist Weapon....Dutch Prisoners Need Psychics

'X-Woman' DNA Identifies New Ancient Hominid

bbc - Scientists have identified a previously unknown type of ancient human through analysis of DNA from a finger bone unearthed in a Siberian cave.

The extinct "hominin" (human-like creature) lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago.

An international team has sequenced genetic material from the fossil showing that it is distinct from that of Neanderthals and modern humans.

Details of the find, dubbed "X-woman", have been published in Nature journal.

Ornaments were found in the same ground layer as the finger bone, including a bracelet.

Professor Chris Stringer, human origins researcher at London's Natural History Museum, called the discovery "a very exciting development".

"This new DNA work provides an entirely new way of looking at the still poorly-understood evolution of humans in central and eastern Asia."

The discovery raises the intriguing possibility that three forms of human - Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and the species represented by X-woman - could have met each other and interacted in southern Siberia.

The tiny fragment of bone from a fifth finger was uncovered by archaeologists working at Denisova Cave in Siberia's Altai Mountains in 2008.

An international team of researchers extracted mitochondrial DNA from the bone and compared the genetic sequence with those from modern humans and Neanderthals.

Origin unknown

Mitochondrial DNA comes from the cell's powerhouses and is passed down the maternal line only.

The analysis carried out by Johannes Krause from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and colleagues revealed the human from Denisova last shared a common ancestor with modern humans and Neanderthals about one million years ago.

This is known as the divergence date; essentially, when this human's ancestors split away from the line that eventually led to Neanderthals and ourselves.

The Neanderthal and modern human evolutionary lines diverged much later, around 500,000 years ago. This shows that the individual from Denisova is the representative of a previously unknown human lineage that derives from a hitherto unrecognised migration out of Africa.

"Whoever carried this mitochondrial genome out of Africa about a million years ago is some new creature that has not been on our radar screens so far," said co-author Professor Svante Paabo, also from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

The divergence date of one million years is too young for the Denisova hominin to have been a descendent of Homo erectus, which moved out of Africa into Asia some two million years ago.

And it is too old to be a descendent of Homo heidelbergensis, another ancient human thought to have originated around 650,000 years ago. However, for now, the researchers have steered away from describing the specimen as a new species.

Dr Krause said the ground layer in which the Denisova hominin fragment was found contain tools which are similar to those made by modern humans in Europe.

Slice of time

"We have ornaments, there is a bracelet, so there are several elements in the layers that are usually associated with modern human archaeology," he told BBC News.

"That's quite interesting, but of course, it is hard to prove that the bone is strongly associated to this archaeology, because it is possible that bones could have moved within the site.

"We are also not sure how exactly the excavation was done. It could have come from a deeper layer, so that's hard to say."

Professor Clive Finlayson, director of the Gibraltar Museum, said the find presented a number of questions, such as to what extent culture could continue to be used as a proxy for different prehistoric human groups.

Referring to his research on Neanderthals and modern humans in southern Iberia, he told BBC News: "The assumption is that when one group - the moderns - arrives the other group disappears. Here you have a very clear example of co-existence for long periods.

"Where is the rule that says you can have only one species in an area? Especially if they're at low density... the implications are big."

The research contributes to a more complex picture that has been emerging of humankind during the Late Pleistocene, the period when modern humans left Africa and started to colonise the rest of the world.

Professor Finlayson has previously argued: "A time slice at a point in the late Pleistocene would reveal a range of human populations spread across parts of Africa, Eurasia and Oceania.

"Some would have been genetically linked to each other, behaving as sub-species, while the more extreme populations may well have behaved as good species with minimal or no interbreeding."

It was long known that modern humans overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe, apparently for more than 10,000 years.

But in 2004, researchers discovered that a dwarf species of human, dubbed "The Hobbit", was living on the Indonesian island of Flores until 12,000 years ago - long after modern humans had colonised the region.

Difficult classification

Neanderthals appear to have been living at Okladnikov Cave in the Altai Mountains some 40,000 years ago. And a team led by Professor Anatoli Derevianko, from the Russian Academy of Sciences, has also found evidence of a modern human presence in the region at around the same time.

Professor Stringer commented: "Another intriguing question is whether there might have been overlap and interaction between not only Neanderthals and early moderns in Asia, but also, now, between either of those lineages and this newly-recognised one.

"The distinctiveness of the mitochondrial DNA patterns so far suggests that there was little or no interbreeding, but more extensive data will be needed from other parts of the genome, or from the fossils, for definitive conclusions to be reached."

Experts have been wondering whether X-woman might have links with known fossil humans from Asia, which have controversial classifications.

"Certain enigmatic Asian fossils dated between 250,000-650,000 years ago such as Narmada (in India), and Yunxian, Dali and Jinniushan (in China) have been considered as possible Asian derivatives of Homo heidelbergensis, so they are also potential candidates for this mystery non-erectus lineage," said Prof Stringer.

"However, there are other and younger fragmentary fossils such as the Denisova ones themselves, and partial skulls from Salkhit in Mongolia and Maba in China, which have been difficult to classify, and perhaps they do signal a greater complexity than we have appreciated up to now."

Other experts agreed that while the Siberian specimen may be a new species, this has yet to be shown.

"We really don't know," Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, told the Associated Press news agency.

Dr Tattersall, who wasn't involved in the new research, added: "The human family tree has got a lot of branchings. It's entirely plausible there are a lot of branches out there we don't know about."

Loren Coleman offers his take on this discovery at X-Woman Discovered: Is She Yeti? Almas? What?

'X-Woman' DNA Identifies New Ancient Hominid

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Haunted History of Cooperstown, NY and the Otesaga Hotel

thedailystar - Cooperstown....normal or paranormal?

That is the question investigators are asking about mysterious activities reported at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown.

Members of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) are staying at the resort hotel on Otsego Lake for two weeks and filming an episode for ``Ghost Hunters,'' Britt Griffith, tech manager, said Wednesday.

KJ McCormick, an investigator, agreed that being on the TAPS team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

``I'm just passionate about the paranormal,'' he said. McCormick, a wood and steel worker who lives in Boulder, Colo., said he joined TAPS about a month ago, and this visit is his first to Cooperstown.

``We're trying to bring some validity to the reports of activity in the hotel,'' McCormick said. ``I love the Otesaga _ this is a great hotel. ... I love the creaking floors and the large rooms with tall ceilings.''

The team and crews arrived Monday, Griffith said, and some residents have noticed their van with ``TAPS'' lettered on the black exterior and inquired about their visit.

``Everybody has a ghost story in this town,'' Griffith said.

Griffith said the production process involves setting up recording equipment at ``hot spots'' where activities have been reported.

Jim Johnson, of Fly Creek, who helped organized a ghost hunters' symposium at the Otesaga in January, said he has been visiting the TAPS team this week.

``It's very exciting,'' said Johnson, a member of the Otsego County Board of Representatives. ``It's great for the community. It's great for the Otesaga _ it's going to be fun to find out what they end up finding.''


William Cooper, father of the American novelist, settled Cooperstown in the late eighteenth century. Then as now the area's main industry was agriculture, an activity residents of the area would like to preserve.

Many of James Fenimore Cooper's novels were set in and around Cooperstown and celebrate its magnificent wooded hills surrounding the aesthetic centerpiece, Lake Otsego, which Cooper dubbed the "Glimmerglass." Due to its very special attributes, the Otsego area evolved into a summer retreat by the middle of the 19th century. Various estates and houses were built and many still exist today. It was during this time that the Clark family began its ongoing philanthropic interest in the Cooperstown community. Their commitment and foresight provided much of the foundation of the current economy.

The Otesaga Hotel was built on the shore of beautiful Otsego Lake in 1911. Now recognized as a "Historic Hotel of America," the Otesaga is the gracious keystone of tourism in the area.

Cooperstown is central quarters for the New York State Historical Association, with thousands of members across the state and country. The offices of the Association, a non-governmental educational organization, are in Fenimore House Museum, a mile from the center of town. The Association operates school-based statewide educational programs, and produces publications, including two quarterlies, New York History and Heritage. It hosts the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies, with alumni in museums around the country and abroad. It also administers two separate museums, The Farmers' Museum, established in 1943, and Fenimore House Museum, which opened its doors in 1945, built on the site of a James Fenimore Cooper residence, Fenimore Farm. The Museums attract over 100,000 visitors annually.

In addition, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum currently attracts 300,000 visitors each year. Arguably Cooperstown's most famous icon, The Hall of Fame, established in 1939, is located on Main Street as is the equally famous Doubleday Field.


Legend has it that sounds of ghostly children have been heard running up and down the third floor hallway of the Otesaga Resort Hotel.

This is just one story that has been told about the historic landmark. According to Cooperstown Candlelight Ghost Tour guide Bruce Markusen, the Otesaga has a long history of hauntings.

Markusen says there has been paranormal activity on the ground floor, first floor, third floor and fifth floor of the hotel. Some people believe the phenomenon is connected to the history of the hotel, says Markusen.

From 1920 until 1954, the hotel was also a private girl’s school known as the Knox School for Girls.

According to a former cocktail waitress, she would sometimes hear a low monotone voice slowly calling her name while working in the Glimmerglass Room. She said other staff would hear their names called as well. A security officer says he can hear people walking above him on the second and third floors. He says he also hears a music box between the second and third floors.

Ghostly sightings have also taken place at the Farmers’ Museum, where several tales are told during the ``Things that go Bump in the Night’’ guided, lantern- lit tours held in October.

The Christ Episcopal Church Graveyard

No account of haunted happenings in a small town would be complete without the inclusion of the local cemetery. At the corner of Church and River streets lies the Christ Episcopal Church cemetery, which houses the remains of many of the famous members of the acclaimed Cooper and Pomeroy families. The historic burial site includes tombs for the two most famed members of the Cooper family—legendary American author James Fenimore Cooper and town founder William Cooper. One of the saddest elements of the graveyard is the presence of a cluster of smaller gravestones; they indicate the burial plots of the Pomeroy children, many of whom who died at young ages. There is also a sinister element to the graveyard. The cemetery features a headstone for the infamous Ann Low Cary Cooper Clarke, who once placed a curse on nearby Hyde Hall.

According to a ghostly story associated with the graveyard, one of the men in the Cooper clan found an eerie way to interact with a 20th century resident of Cooperstown. The incident occurred in the late 1980s, when a young girl and her friends paid a social visit to the Christ Church cemetery. One of the girl’s friends, showing a lack of respect for the sacred nature of the burial ground, decided to lean up against one of the gravestones. Sure enough, the aging, loosened gravestone toppled over, falling directly on top of one of the girl’s legs.

Given the weight of the gravestone, her friends were unable to lift it from her leg and quickly ran to seek help. With extra manpower successfully found, the group finally succeeded in extricating the stone and enabling the girl to sit up. Relieved that the weight had been lifted, the girl took notice of the epitaph etched into the stone. The name featured on the stone was that of a Cooper family member, the oddly named Marmaduke Cooper. The girl then took note of the birth date engraved on the stone. The date startled the girl. It was not only Marmaduke Cooper’s birth date, but hers as well! Was this a case of ghostly intervention or merely an eerie coincidence? Either way, the episode left the girl more than a little chilled.

The strange incident took place in a section of the graveyard that is regarded as the focal point of the Christ Church cemetery. In fact, a metal banister sets the Cooper-Pomeroy tract of the graveyard apart from the rest of the cemetery; all of the graves and above-ground tombs in this parcel belong to members of the two families, with one notable and strange exception.

The deviation in graveyard rules came about, at least indirectly, because of the virtuous life lived by Hannah Cooper. One of the daughters of Judge William Cooper, Hannah was a beloved member of the Cooperstown community. The young Hannah earned a reputation as so innocent and wholesome that she became favored by all generations of Cooperstown’s social hierarchy. Tragically, Hannah did not survive past her early twenties. In 1800, she suffered a severe fall while riding on horseback; the injuries resulted in her death at the age of 23.

Hannah’s many admirers included Richard Cary, a colonel in the United States Army who once served as an aide to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Despite the difference in their ages, the older Cary became a close friend to Hannah. Several years after her death, Cary himself became seriously ill. On his deathbed, Cary made a special request of the Cooper family. He asked that his burial plot be included in the partitioned segment of the Christ Church graveyard, right next to the tomb that housed Hannah’s remains. A religious man with feelings of guilt, Cary had a very specific reason for the request. By being buried next to someone as pure and exemplary as Hannah, Colonel Cary believed that he could literally ride her spirit’s skirt tails into heaven. "She was the best woman I ever knew," said Cary, according to James Fenimore Cooper’s grandson in his book, Legends and Traditions of a Northern County, "and my only chance of getting into heaven is on her skirts." So impressed by the sincerity of the request and his respect for Hannah, the Cooper family decided to make an exception for a non-family member. They allowed Cary to be buried directly to the right of Hannah, presumably (or at least hopefully) facilitating his entrance into heaven.

Other members of the Cooperstown community were not afforded the same privilege as Colonel Cary. The vast majority of Cooperstown citizens, even those respected as doctors or community leaders, were not permitted inclusion in the specially enclosed section of the cemetery, unless they were born or married into the Cooper and Pomeroy clans. In addition, no black members of local society, whether free or slave, could be included in the preferred burial location. African Americans who had lived in Cooperstown were relegated to the less desirable parcel of ground located in the southeast corner of the graveyard, along with the other "commoners" who once resided in the village.

The exclusion of African Americans from the Cooper-Pomeroy burial lot may account for the ghostly tradition of the Christ Church graveyard. According to the legend, those who find themselves in the graveyard at the midnight hour will encounter the ghosts of one or more of the Cooper family slaves. It may just be that the spirits of the slaves, rejected in death as they were during their human lives by the color of their skin and their lack of social stature, continue to look for a rightful place to call their home in the afterlife.

The Old Stone Wall on River Street

Both local residents and visitors to the village of Cooperstown will notice a stone wall on the west side of River Street. The retaining wall, located near the home known as Greencrest, runs adjacent to the edge of Cooper Park. The wall, thick enough to sit on, occasionally provides tired visitors with a place to rest. It also provides local residents with a most unusual story.

Throughout much of the 20th century, those who walked the path of River Street noticed a strange tendency of the wall. Under normal conditions, the wall appeared to be straight, built flush against the grassy edges of Cooper Park. At other times, the stones of the wall tended to bulge out toward the street, giving the wall an uneven, buckling appearance. On occasion, the stones bulged out so much that they gave passersby the impression that the wall was about to collapse.

In the early 1960s, some Cooperstown residents found their curiosity so roused by the buckling wall that they decided to conduct their own investigation. They broke through the wall, in an attempt to find a structural reason for the flawed tendency of the wall. Expecting to find a logical reason for the problem, the locals instead made a ghastly discovery. Behind the wall, they uncovered a buried skeleton of a Native American—a great Mohawk chief—along with an array of pipes, weapons, and other artifacts.

The residents should have known better about the wall; if they had read some of the local history written by Ralph Birdsall and James Fenimore Cooper—the grandson of the legendary author—they would have heard the stories about how previous, thinner walls on River Street had supposedly been kicked down by the skeleton. After one of the older, flimsier walls had toppled over, residents saw the skeleton sitting behind the remains. The problems with the weaker walls eventually led to the construction of a sturdier one (the one that was investigated in the sixties), which didn’t fall over completely but instead showed the tendency to buckle over time.

The initial discovery of the skeleton, which was made by William Cooper in the late 18th century, led to the determination that the remains were that of a great Mohawk chief. Based upon the writings of more than one historian, local tradition offered the following ghostly theory: the spirit of the buried chief, resentful of the white man’s intrusion on Native American soil, was expressing his anger by furiously kicking at the wall.

Beyond the possibility of paranormal activity, the presence of the Native American skeleton proved unusual for several other reasons. Locals wondered why a Mohawk Indian chief would have been buried behind a wall, instead of a more traditional ground plot? And why he would have been buried on the west side of River Street, instead of toward the east side, closer to the Susquehanna River, where most of the Indian graves were known to exist? In addition, the locals took note of the strange positioning of the skeleton. It was not lying down, or even standing up, as one might expect to find in unearthing the remains of a typical grave. Instead, the locals found the skeleton in a hunched position, with its chin pressed up against its knees and its hands touching his shinbones. It was the most uncomfortable of positions, one that would be difficult to maintain for a live human being. Even for an unfeeling corpse, it seemed like a cruel fate to be buried in such a painful pose for over a century.

Having noticed the unusual squatting position of the skeleton, some local residents adopted another theory that would become part of the Cooperstown legend. According to the legend, the locals speculated that the skeleton was actually pushing the stones of the wall outward in order to achieve a more comfortable place of rest. They believed that the deceased Mohawk chief, unhappy with the way he had been buried, was somehow using his bony thighs and calves to move the stones of the wall, thereby creating a more passable amount of leg room behind the wall.

Another legend also developed. According to this alternate story, the unfortunate manner of burial had motivated the Indian chief to tears. The flow of tears, especially over long periods of time, interacted badly with the mortar located between the stones. The unexpected moisture created by the ghostly tears did not allow the mortar to set properly, thus causing the wall to bulge awkwardly.

Given the emphasis that Cooperstown places on history, it might have seemed logical for the skeleton and the artifacts to make their way to one of the local museums. Yet, that did not happen. In fact, opinions vary as to what actually did happen to the skeleton and the artifacts. Some contend that the local residents either sold or gave the artifacts to another museum, one outside of Cooperstown. Others contend differently. They say that the local residents, feeling fearful over their discovery of a ghostly presence behind the wall and their unintended desecration of sacred ground, decided to return the skeleton and the artifacts to their place of burial and then seal up the disrupted segment of the wall. Given the two contrasting stories, no one seems to know for sure whether the skeleton is still buried behind the wall.

After the 1960s discovery, an unexpected development took place. The wall seemed to return to a state of normalcy. It no longer bulged or buckled as it had in past years, at least not to the point of being visible to the naked eye. This observation has let to still another theory. Some contend that the local residents returned the skeleton to its burial place, but actually changed its positioning so as to make it more comfortable. Perhaps they laid the skeleton on its back, giving it a much more restful posture. If that’s the case, the Mohawk Indian chief would have no reason to push its bones outward.

Whatever the case, this much appears to be true. The walk down the west side of River Street remains a bit uneasy for some folks in Cooperstown—at least those who believe in the power of ghosts and the legends of skeletons that move on their own.


Haunted History of Cooperstown, NY and the Otesaga Hotel

Island in Bay of Bengal Vanishes Into Sea

New Moore Island has completely eroded away due to rising seas. This photo is from 2009

bbc - A tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.

The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.

Recent satellites images show the whole island under water, says the School of Oceanographic Studies in Calcutta.

Its scientists say other nearby islands could also vanish as sea levels rise.

Beneath the waves

The BBC's Chris Morris in Delhi says there has never been a permanent settlement on the now-vanished island, which even in its heyday was never more than two metres (about six feet) above sea level.

In the past, however, the territorial dispute led to visits by Indian naval vessels and the temporary deployment of a contingent from the country's Border Security Force.

"What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Professor Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Calcutta.

Anyone wishing to visit now, he observed, would have to think of travelling by submarine.

Professor Hazra said his studies revealed that sea levels in this part of the Bay of Bengal have risen much faster over the past decade than they had done in the previous 15 years.

And he predicts that in the coming decade other islands in the Sundarbans delta region will follow New Moore, or South Talpatti, beneath the waves.

"We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," Prof Hazra said.

Island in Bay of Bengal Vanishes Into Sea

Peruvian Woman Claims Insemination By Pink Amazonian River Dolphin

inexplicata - Perú: Woman Inseminated by the “Bufeo Colorado”?

[Stories such are this are often found in the Latin American tabloid press – but in an age when we freely admit the possibility of insemination by “space aliens”, who can deny the likelihood, however slim, that “river elementals” are up to no good? – SC]

This time, the legend comes to us from Mazán.

A woman identified as Reyna Yumbato Huamán, 28, claimed having been made pregnant by a pink dolphin found in the Amazonian rivers and known as the “bufeo” (pronounced: boo-fay-oh) The woman traveled from the region of San Jose in the district of Mazán to the Loreto Regional Hospital, where she was admitted due to complications with the pregnancy. She said that she has three children that caused her no problems during gestation, unlike the current one, which developed with intense pain, accompanied by dreams in which she allegedly sees the “bufeo”.

The staff gynecologist, Beder Camacho, says that this case was a “threatened abortion” and that “bufeo legend” is clinically impossible. The woman, he says, received treatment and no longer has any problems.

It is said that when the Bufeo Colorado falls in love with a girl, it adopts the appearance of a very handsome man and appears at a party where he can find his beloved and woo her. Once the girl has been ensnared, he lavishes attention upon her, visits her every night and leaves before daybreak, giving her presents. Within a short period of time, the girl longs to be by the riverside all the time, to the extent of throwing herself into the water to be with the Bufeo Colorado forever.


osita was a young indigenous girl of 18, who lived in a house near the banks of the mighty Amazon River. Every day she went to the river to get water to bring back to her family’s home. One evening at dusk while fetching water, she departed from her usual habit and stood on the river bank watching the river current as the sun set, seemingly hypnotized by the moving water.

Reassured by the calm current and the secluded bank, she undressed, taking off her dress and dove into the river for a refreshing swim. The constant stream of the water flowing round her body distracted hear and she failed to notice another pair of eyes secretly watching her from the river bank.

Suddenly, she shivered, overcome by the weird feeling that someone was watching her. A young man standing on the muddy bank, smiled and stared brazenly at her naked body. She became embarrassed when she saw he was not averting his eyes but looking into her eyes as if they knew each other. Spontaneously, as if controlled by a sinister force, she stood up from the water exposing her naked body and walked towards him. Her feet moved in small, constant steps, pulling her towards the man whose magnetism she could not resist and whose enchantment forced her to fall into his arms, kissing him.

Rosita whispered to the stranger, “Who are you and where are you from?” The man replied, “I am a fisherman from the river,” all the while maintaining eye contact with her. “I would like to be with you always. What is your answer, my beauty?”

“Yes,” she replied as if hypnotized. They spent the night together, in passionate embrace, making love the entire night.

From that night forward, they met every evening at sunset, and spent the night together under the shinning stars and in the secrecy of the dark night, making love.

Finally, her father confronted her about where she was at night. Although she was a simple and shy girl, she replied bravely to her father, with the force of a woman in love, “I am in love with a fisherman. We are both in love and we are going to get married.”

The father never seeing his young daughter react in such a way, agreed to meet the fisherman and talk with him. Later that night, the young fisherman came to Rosita's home and asked her father for permission to marry his daughter. Knowing that his daughter was in love with the mysterious fisherman, her father reluctantly agreed and allowed the young fisherman to sleep with his daughter in their hut.

As time when on, the young fisherman slept with Rosita every night, but mysteriously left every morning before first light and returned only after dusk. However one morning, Rosita’s lover did not leave before sunrise as he always had previously and remained sleeping in her bed after sunrise. Rosita awoke that fateful morning, feeling a strange wet body at her side. She opened her eyes and was shocked at what she saw in her bed and screamed loudly.

Her father heard her scream and rushed into the room with his shotgun to help his daughter. Incredibly, there was a pink river dolphin in Rosita's bed and it was trying to get away, but could not. Far from the water, the pink dolphin fell to the floor, helplessly, unable to escape. Shocked, the father reached for his shotgun and shot the pink dolphin in the head, ending the dolphin's life.

After that day, the young fisherman never returned and was never seen again. Rosita was heart-broken that her lover had abandoned her. Worse, she soon realized that he had gotten her pregnant and that she would soon bear the mysterious fisherman's baby.

Tragedy again struck when Rosita died during child birth. Despite her best effort, the midwife that attended Rosita could not save her life. However the baby lived, and to the shock of everyone, the baby was not human, but instead a baby dolphin. It seems that, in reality, the mysterious fisherman was not human, but rather a “Bufeo Colorado,” a pink dolphin who had the ability to transform himself into a human at night and had seduced Rosita.

Native girls be advised! If a mysterious and seductive fisherman appears to you by the river after dusk, do not let yourself be deceived by his appearance. He is the “Bufeo Colorado,” a magical being who can transform himself into a human at night and only wants to steal the heart and soul of an innocent young girl.


Peruvian Woman Claims Insemination By Pink Amazonian River Dolphin

Dead Cat Returns From Beyond

manchester - A cat has come back from the dead – NINE months after his owners buried their cherished pet.

Angelo Petrillo and wife Katy were devastated when ginger tom Alfie went missing last June.

Two weeks later, a neighbour told them Alfie had been spotted dead by the side of the slip road near junction 21 of the M62.

Angelo, 39, recognised the cat as his own and buried it in land near the family home in Milnrow, Rochdale.

The couple, who have another cat, Freddie, moved to a house about a mile away in November.

But this week they were stunned to receive a text message from the family who moved into their old home saying a ginger tom cat was going ‘berserk’ outside and trying to get in. They said it couldn’t be their cat as Freddie was asleep and they had buried Alfie.

But the next day they had three more calls from former neighbours saying the cat was meowing all night and asking if it belonged to them. Katy, 35, a manager for a wine company, drove to the house to reassure them that it was definitely not their cat. But when she arrived, she was stunned to see Alfie.

Angelo, an energy company worker, said: “It was just unbelievable – the cat I had buried nine months earlier, the cat we spent about a month grieving over was back and my wife just couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

“I was 100 per cent certain the cat I had buried was Alfie – he had the same markings, was the same size and everything about him matched, so when my wife walked through the door with Alfie I was totally stunned – it was like he had risen from the dead.”

The couple do not know where Alfie has been living since the summer but their vet told them he probably got lost and by the time he eventually found his way home, the family had moved.

Angelo added: “It is just one in a million – we even marked ‘Alfie’s’ grave so it’s amazing he’s back.

“He’s doing really well and recovering from his ordeal.”

Dead Cat Returns From Beyond

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Gable Film' Revealed As Hoax...MonsterQuest Ends It's Run

MonsterQuest's statement for this evening's broadcast of 'AMERICA’S WOLFMAN'

History says that a large and wolf-like beast is the stuff of legend, but recently uncovered film footage and new witnesses say something frightening is out there. MonsterQuest heads into the dark, isolated forests of the Midwest to search for this creature and analyzes the evidence to finally end this mystery.

Personally, I believe that there is a cryptid wolf-like creature in the northern midwest based on the eyewitness accounts I have seen and investigated. Tonight's presentation did prove one thing....the 'Gable Film' is a hoax. Yes, the truth was finally revealed after all the speculation. Honestly, I don't know what motivates people to create hoaxes and it irritates the hell out if me each time one is uncovered.

Nonetheless, one's person's cheap thrills does not change my feelings about this cryptid. There may not be a 'Michigan Dogman' on film but, IMO, there is an unknown creature roaming somewhere in the area.

Honestly, this MonsterQuest production was one of the best in the entire series. It included fact based evidence (include debunking a hoax) and restrained from using ridiculous conjecture and time filler. I suppose they were saving the best for last...this episode marked the end of the MonsterQuest series.

The producer of MonsterQuest, Doug Hajicek, passed along a statement to Cryptomundo today:

Dear MonsterQuest Fans,

Like many of you, I am a bit saddened by the official cancellation of MonsterQuest. However, we will continue to produce similar programming in the future as opportunities arise.

Cryptozoology will always be passion for me personally.

The official end of MonsterQuest did not happen because of any lack of topics or for lack of viewers. The Network has decided to go another direction to assure their future as a powerful force in television. We are extremely happy to have been part of the successful growth of the History Channel.

I am forever grateful to Loren Coleman and everyone at Cryptomundo. I also thank the hundreds of researchers, scientists and the courageous witnesses we had a chance to work with over the last four years.

It was an amazing run for the topic of Cryptozoology in prime time.

I am sincerely humbled by the opportunity to have created so much programming on this fascinating topic.

Doug Hajicek
Producer/ Creator/ MonsterQuest
Whitewolf Entertainment Inc.

MonsterQuest did bring cryptozoology into the homes of many people who had little idea what the study of 'perceived nonexistent animals' was. That said and for various reasons, I also feel the series ran it's course. Maybe in the future, more in-depth productions will evolve from the spectre of MonsterQuest...Lon

'Gable Film' Revealed As Hoax...MonsterQuest Ends It's Run

Researcher Investigates the Mysterious Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

palenews - The ancient stone spheres of Costa Rica were made world-famous by the opening sequence of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," when a mockup of one of the mysterious relics nearly crushed Indiana Jones. So perhaps John Hoopes is the closest thing at the University of Kansas to the movie action hero.

Hoopes, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Global Indigenous Nations Studies Program, recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica where he and colleagues evaluated the stone balls for UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization that might grant the spheres World Heritage Status.

His report will help determine if sites linked to the massive orbs will be designated for preservation and promotion because of their "outstanding value to humanity."

Hoopes, who researches ancient cultures of Central and South America, is one of the world's foremost experts on the Costa Rican spheres. He explained that although the stone spheres are very old, international interest in them is still growing.

"The earliest reports of the stones come from the late 19th century, but they weren't really reported scientifically until the 1930s — so they're a relatively recent discovery," Hoopes said. "They remained unknown until the United Fruit Company began clearing land for banana plantations in southern Costa Rica."

According to Hoopes, around 300 balls are known to exist, with the largest weighing 16 tons and measuring eight feet in diameter. Many of these are clustered in Costa Rica's Diquis Delta region. Some remain pristine in the original places of discovery, but many others have been relocated or damaged due to erosion, fires and vandalism.

The KU researcher said that scientists believe the stones were first created around 600 A.D., with most dating to after 1,000 A.D. but before the Spanish conquest.

"We date the spheres by pottery styles and radiocarbon dates associated with archeological deposits found with the stone spheres," Hoopes said. "One of the problems with this methodology is that it tells you the latest use of the sphere but it doesn't tell you when it was made. These objects can be used for centuries and are still sitting where they are after a thousand years. So it's very difficult to say exactly when they were made."

Speculation and pseudoscience have plagued general understanding of the stone spheres. For instance, publications have claimed that the balls are associated with the "lost" continent of Atlantis. Others have asserted that the balls are navigational aids or relics related to Stonehenge or the massive heads on Easter Island.

"Myths are really based on a lot of very rampant speculation about imaginary ancient civilizations or visits from extraterrestrials," Hoopes said.

In reality, archaeological excavations in the 1940s found the stone balls to be linked with pottery and materials typical of pre-Columbian cultures of southern Costa Rica.

"We really don't know why they were made," Hoopes said. "The people who made them didn't leave any written records. We're left to archeological data to try to reconstruct the context. The culture of the people who made them became extinct shortly after the Spanish conquest. So, there are no myths or legends or other stories that are told by the indigenous people of Costa Rica about why they made these spheres."

Hoopes has a created a popular Web page to knock down some of the misconceptions about the spheres. He said the stones' creation, while vague, certainly had nothing to do with lost cities or space ships.

"We think the main technique that was used was pecking and grinding and hammering with stones," said Hoopes. "There are some spheres that have been found that still have the marks of the blows on them from hammer stones. We think that that's how they were formed, by hammering on big rocks and sculpting them into a spherical shape."

NOTE: these stone sphere have fascinated me for quite some well as other paleolithic stone structures worldwide. Here are links to interesting sites on the subject THE STONE BALLS OF COSTA RICA and The Diquis Spheres...Lon

Researcher Investigates the Mysterious Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

Video: Disc Shaped UFO - Mahmutlar, Turkey - 3/23/2010

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NOTE: Below, I have posted the infamous Kumburgaz, Turkey UFO videos and other interesting accounts/videos/photos since 2007. These sightings are considered by many ufologists as some of the best evidence ever gathered. Is there is new 'flap' beginning over Turkey? There have been some spectacular sightings during the last 3 summers...Lon


Videos: Kumburgaz, Turkey UFO Sightings

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This extraordinary incident took place in a compound in Kumburgaz/Istanbul was witnessed by nearly a dozen of residents and filmed by a night guard in several different times. The images captured are expected to have a tremendous impact throughout the world and be listed as the most important UFO/extraterrestrial images ever filmed.

As is well known, UFO’s and proof of extraterrestrial life have been frequently witnessed by both government officials and civilians in our country as well as throughout the world. In several cases, these observations were captured on tape by amateur cameras.

In July-August 2007, a number of nation-wide UFO sightings were reported while some of them were filmed and aired. Within the same period, the objects witnessed by the residents of Kumburgaz/Yeni Kent Compound, caught on video by a night guard named Yalcin Yalman and the footage were considered as the closest and the most significant images ever filmed in Turkey and around the world.

In these amazing video footage which would likely have major repercussions around the world and be listed as “the most significant UFO video ever”, physical forms of UFO’s and their metallic structures reflecting moonlight are clearly noticeable. What’s more important is that in the close-up pictures of the objects, silhouettes of two entities can be distinctly made out.

The incident went on for two months intermittently before the very eyes of the residents of “Yeni Kent Compound”, filmed by a night guard named Yalcin Yalman for 22 minutes. The detailed analysis of a certain portion of these extraordinary videos showed that three different objects were captured at the same time. It is our belief that these outstanding first-ever video images of extraterrestrials will launch a new era in which further images of extraterrestrial beings can be captured on tape.

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During a 4 month period, between May and September 2008, many UFO sightings were reported from different parts of Turkey. During the same period of time, these objects were also witnessed by the residents of Kumburgaz/Yeni Kent Compound, caught on video several times by a night guard named Yalcin Yalman.


Click for video

NOTE: this video was released on June 5th and noted as the return of the Istanbul, Kumburgaz, Turkey UFO on May 13 & 15, 2009. At 4:05 through 4:25, check the reaction of the dog....seems to be barking at the UFO. Very interesting video...Lon

Video: Disc Shaped UFO - Mahmutlar, Turkey - 3/23/2010
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Chicago & Regional Winged Humanoid / Flying Entity Sightings & Encounters - Witness Sightings Map

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