wsoctv - BURKE COUNTY, N.C. -- A large, muddy and mysterious footprint has captured imaginations in the area.
The print is much larger than a human's foot, and some say it couldn’t be an animal. Its size and unexplained origin are fueling wild theories about a creature of lore making a real-life emergence in rural parts of Cleveland and Burke counties.
A farmer said he recently stumbled across a larger-than-life footprint near the intersection of Highway 18 and George Hildebran School Road in the southern part of Burke County.
Pork Lowman said he was walking in the woods when he came across the print, which measures 15 by 8 inches.
“It's out here in no-man's land, and that's what really got me,” Lowman said.
Lowman said its size and shape doesn’t resemble that of a bear or large cat, which raised a question: Could Bigfoot have trekked through Burke County?
Area resident Rex Lail and others videotaped the print and also made a casting of it. They said they then contacted the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Lail said the wildlife officer doesn't think the print was made by an animal, either.
Lowman and Lail said they hope the print turns out to be a hoax, but aren’t sure that it will.
“We're trying to prove that it is a hoax, but the details of it are amazing,” Lail said. “If it is a hoax, they are doing a terrific job.”
A sighting of a large, unidentifiable creature was recently reported about 15 miles south of the location of the footprint.
“I had a fellow call me yesterday, told me I was crazy; that they had a sighting in Cleveland County and they must be a-running everywhere,” Lowman said.
In the Cleveland County report, though, there was no print or any other evidence of someone -- or something -- passing through.
Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty tried to contact the wildlife biologist that Lail contacted, but he was unavailable.
Lowman said, while he hopes the print is a hoax, he still plans to be more cautious in wooded areas.
metrospirit - Dave Collier has never come face to face with a Bigfoot, but he’s talked to plenty of people who have.
“I believe that sightings and encounters are more common than most people believe,” he says. “And what surprised me the most when I started this was how many there were in this area.”
By this area, the Martinez resident doesn’t mean the Southeast, and he’s not just talking Georgia.
Collier means right here in the CSRA.
Working for a public utility, Collier is perfectly positioned to be a Bigfoot researcher. He’s out among the public all day, often in rural locations, he deals with people in a relatively relaxed setting, and he deals with a lot of them.
Though he’s consumed by the Bigfoot question — does it exist and if it does, how has it managed to remain so elusive for all these years — he doesn’t come right out and ask people if they’ve ever seen Bigfoot. That kind of directness would just shut them down.
But if he sees evidence that the person might be an outdoorsman, he’ll eventually steer the small talk around to the outdoors, maybe starting with some fishing or hunting stories before moving toward an icebreaker like, “So… have you ever run across anything unusual in the woods?”
While he admits the belief spectrum is pretty wide as far as Sasquatch is concerned, he says quite a few have actually confessed to having had some kind of encounter.
“And that’s just sampling the smallest, random percentage of the population,” he says.
The more people he talks to, the less surprised he is by what on the surface seems like such a disproportional response.
“The vast majority of people who have an encounter don’t call the media or the sheriff, they just want to keep it to themselves,” he says. “They don’t want to expose themselves to ridicule.”
Collier knows about ridicule. Like all Bigfoot researchers, he’s taken his share of ribbing and dodged some, too, like the close call he had a while back when WGAC talk-show host Austin Rhodes got a hold of one of the flyers he’s distributed throughout town.
“That could have been bad,” he says with a chuckle. “He could have really let me have it.”
“Bigfoot information wanted,” the poster reads. “Any sightings or encounters with large, manlike animals sometimes called Sasquatch, Bigfoot or swamp ape. All reports wanted.”
Collier devotes most of his free time to his hobby. He has read thousands of reports and is constantly amazed by what he considers the sincerity of the stories. If people wanted to make something up, he says, they could do a far better job.
“If it hits below the Holy Crap mark,” he says, “it’s probably true.”
Collier’s Holy Crap threshold might be a bit higher than most, however. Plenty of what he’s come across in his day-to-day interactions is downright mystifying.
Like the guy outside Thomson who found his fishing trotline pulled up on shore with the bodies of his catch twisted off and the heads still on the hooks. Or the guy in Graniteville who saw a hairy figure clear a large incline in only two strides.
Or, even closer to home, several encounters sprinkled along the Savannah River in Columbia County.
Kids who grew up in that area a few years ago talk of a hairy creature they would sometimes see in the woods when they would venture out to their secret spot to party.
They called it the Wolfman.
One guy Collier talked to remembers coming up on it and running away, another talked about seeing one wrestle with a beaver just around the corner from that first sighting, and yet another heard strange howling sounds, as if a group of animals were closing in on their prey.
“All of a sudden, I’m finding a grouping over there,” Collier says.
So, as he often does, he decided to go out and see for himself. Granted, it was a couple of years later, but to him it made sense to try. Sure, the area had become more developed, but the Sumter National Forest was still right across the water.
Looking for prints and stick formations (researchers suspect Sasquatches may actually bend small trees and position branches as a form of communication) is a daytime activity, but a Bigfoot investigation like this occurs at night.
“It was so dark that I had to use an LED light to stay on the trail,” he says.
When he got to the end of the trail, he whacked a tree with a piece of wood, a technique called wood knocking, which is thought to be another form of communication.
Something knocked in reply.
“The next thing I know, I hear something coming through the woods all the way across the water… coming toward me,” Collier says.
Then, in the still, cool silence of early morning, he heard something walking back and forth on the other side of the water.
“So, I’m hearing this breaking brush and then finally the sun just barely cracks and I hear this huge limb snap off, and I think — whoa, whatever that was, it was big.”
As exciting as it was, Collier knows that to some his encounter is incomplete.
“All I have is a story,” he says. “I heard something, but I didn’t see anything.”
Someone who did see something is Jack Hovatter. In the fall of 1971, Hovatter was hunting the small arms impact area of Fort Gordon with his son when he noticed a large footprint. The footprint was so large, in fact, that his first inclination was that it was the front and back prints of a bear that had blurred together. But on closer inspection, the print was obviously not made by a bear.
“It looked like a huge human track except for it was kind of a flatfooted human,” he remembers. “It didn’t make that much of an impression on the ground because the ground was so hard back there.”
Hovatter set his gun barrel beside the print and gauged it to be about 22 inches long and about nine inches across the ball of the foot.
In that same area, in the vicinity of a nearly impenetrable thicket at the bottom of the ravine, he noticed what he thought were about a dozen very large ant hills.
“We dug down to the bottom,” he said, “but it was just sand piled on the ground.”
No ants. No ant holes.
“It was like a three- or four-gallon bucket was dumped there,” he says.
In spite of the track and the strange piles of sand, he returned another day to investigate the thicket. It was a decision he will never forget.
“I heard something up on the other side of that hill,” he says. “I looked, and some animal came rolling down that hill that wasn’t even on its feet most of the time. It was a little bit far away to tell what it was or exactly how big it was, but I could see it was dark and I could see this salt-and-pepper look about it.”
He swung around the ravine to cut back on the creature and got a strong whiff of something that smelled like vomit.
“That’s what it was,” he says. “There was a big pile of it up there. About three gallon’s worth, I’d say. I took a stick and investigated it, and it had a piece of deer skin in there that was about two feet square.”
Hovatter figures the deer skin, which was partially missing its hair, had made the creature sick, because the rest of the pile consisted of poorly chewed acorns.
“That really made me wonder what it was, so I started in [the small opening he found in the thicket] and I only got about 10 or 12 feet in there when I heard something coming toward me… and there it was. It was this man-ape looking thing, all covered with this super-dark hair, expect I could still see that flaking of grey. This thing apparently lived in there, and I didn’t like the look on its face.”
Having the presence of mind to compare it to a basketball hoop, he estimates it was 10 feet tall and nearly five feet across the shoulders, which is considered big even in the Bigfoot community.
“Its arms were massive, but proportionally they were a little bit longer than a man’s arms,” he says. “I didn’t see any ears and its hair was kind of short, almost like a hound dog. It didn’t have any hair around its eyes or its mouth or its nose, and I suppose the palms of its hands and the soles of its feet didn’t have any hair on them, either.”
The pathway was extremely narrow, and knowing he didn’t want to provoke the creature, which he says looked disturbed by his presence, he resisted the urge to run, and though he had his gun, a 16-gauge, semi-automatic shotgun loaded with slugs, he says he never considered using it.
“I felt like I had a BB gun in my hands,” he says. “Comparing it to horses and cows, I’d say it weighed at least 1,000 pounds, maybe as much as a hundred more.”
Slowly, he continued to back up until he was out of the thicket. The creature remained inside.
“I went right up to the head of the ravine, up to the rifle range and back to my truck,” he says. “Lord, was I glad to get back into my truck.”
He told his brother in Tennessee about the encounter, and his brother rounded up someone from a natural resources organization, who called Fort Gordon to get permission to investigate. When they arrived, however, the ravine had been bulldozed and the thicket was gone.
Hovatter had another sighting during the fall of 1991, at the Yuchi Wildlife Management Area in Burke County, when he saw a hairy, bipedal creature sitting down at the base of a tree.
Though it might seem strange for one person to have two separate encounters while so many of the rest of us have never even had one, Hovatter says it’s all a function of his relationship with the outdoors.
“Most people when they go hunting don’t go very far from their vehicle because they figure if they get a deer, how are they going to get it back,” he says. “Me — I don’t really go deer hunting to kill a deer. I just enjoy being out, so I don’t worry about that kind of thing. I get way back in there.”
To Collier, Hovatter’s encounter is additionally significant because it coincides with two other sightings in the same general area at the same general time, including one he recently discovered where an area woman saw one near the Dearing Ponds.
According to the witness, a creature about the same size as the one observed by Hovatter rose up out of one of the ponds covered in green algae.
“If this is all just a bunch of BS, it’s strange that you start getting these clusters,” Collier says.
Besides that, he says, if somebody’s trying to pull a fast one, what’s the point of coming up with such detailed information and then setting it 30-some years in the past? And what are the odds of hearing it as a result of a purely random inquiry?
Spearheading the coordinated research into the Bigfoot mystery is the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO). Established in 1995, the group has a few hundred active members spread across the continental U.S. and Canada, including a few in Georgia, mostly in the southeast corner of the state.
According to Mike Aragona, a curator and investigator, BFRO investigators come from all walks of life, though most have one predominant similarity.
“The majority of the people grew up in the ’70s with the whole Roger Patterson footage,” he says.
Taken in 1967, the Patterson Footage, which shows a hairy, ape-like creature walking through the woods, made Bigfoot a household name across the nation, spawning such ’70s classics as “The Legend of Boggy Creek.” Soon, Bigfoot became a tabloid staple and a cameo player in shows like “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “In Search Of.”
A few men of science, like anatomy and anthropology professor Dr. Jeff Meldrum and fingerprint expert Jimmy Chilcutt, brought scientific and forensic credentials to the search, but mostly the academic world has taken a pass on Sasquatch.
“Overall, I don’t think the academic community is accepting that these creatures exist,” Aragona says. “It’s a level of arrogance, really. It’s people who don’t go out in the woods, who already have it set in their minds that there’s no way they’re out there.”
Using the reach and power of the Internet, BFRO founder Matthew Moneymaker set out to create an informational clearinghouse for Bigfoot information.
On the BFRO Web site, bfro.net, witnesses can submit detailed reports of their sightings, whether recent or historical, and have them classified in two ways: as an outright sighting like Hovatter’s, or as an encounter with evidence like vocalizations, woodknocks or footprints.
The Web site lists thousands of sightings, including 79 in Georgia.
As for what exactly the creature is, Aragona says they’re getting closer to an answer.
“The overall consensus in the BFRO and the greater Bigfoot community is that it’s a primate, either like us or like the great apes,” he says. “It might be a giant ape like gigantopithecus that’s managed to survive. Whatever it is, it’s an intelligent primate.”
Detractors, of course, would say that the existence of some kind of prehistoric cousin is next to impossible, but Aragona says such common logic doesn’t always make sense.
First of all, as a species we’ve been through a lot ourselves without going extinct, and, in order to survive side by side with us, a Bigfoot-like creature would have to have mastered skills of evasion, like being nocturnal, being shy and living ever deeper in the woods, he says.
“We believe their only natural enemy is man,” Collier says. “We actually believe they avoid making tracks.”
While that might seem like a convenient excuse for a general lack of evidence, in recent months Collier himself has come across some interesting tracks, and while he admits they are far from conclusive, they’re nevertheless enough to make him go, “Hmm.” And to him, that’s what the quest for Bigfoot is all about.
“I guess it fascinates me because, at my age, there aren’t many more mysteries in life,” he says. “If one eventually does get nailed by a car or something, I guess it will be kind of fun to say ‘I told you so,’ but the other side of me is like, well, there goes that hobby.”
Aragona agrees it’s going to take a body to convince modern science of Bigfoot’s existence.
Any other evidence, including the heralded “Kentucky” footage he says should be released this fall, will always be suspect.
Hovatter, however, doesn’t need convincing.
“I know one thing — I don’t feel safe in any area where they are if I’m not armed… and I don’t feel real safe then,” he says. “I would not go out at night and get out of a vehicle, that’s for sure. I’m 71 years old and I’d like to live to at least what the average is.”
calgaryherald - According to Chip Coffey, the Banff Springs Hotel is a lively place for the dead.
While Fairmont may not be putting this in its brochures, it seems those long held theories that the 123-year-old historical building is a hotbed for ghostly activities are true.
Coffey, the bespectacled medium and psychic from A&E shows Paranormal State and Psychic Kids, was in the hotel for only 15 minutes Sunday afternoon when he claims to have sensed no less than three ghosts milling about amid the chattering mob of movers, shakers and wannabes attending the Banff World Television Festival.
One was a woman, perhaps the famous bride who died on her wedding day and is said to haunt one of the hotel's many stairwells. Her name, Coffey has determined, was Christina and she was pregnant when she died.
"Not one life but two were lost at that time," said Coffey, in an interview with the Herald in the lobby of the Fairmont Banff Hotel. "With me being here, she felt very comfortable is saying, 'It's not a stigma anymore, so I will let you know I was pregnant. And the only two people who knew at the time was my mother and my husband-to-be.'
He also saw a man who he believes may have been Sam McAuley, the devoted bellman whose ghostly figure is said to haunt the hotel on a regular basis since his death in the 1970s.
The third was a little boy named Jack. He just wanted to hang.
"He's been around and pretty active and hanging in my room," says Coffey on Monday afternoon. "I do a show called Psychic Kids and I work with a lot of children. Children in particular feel comfortable, in spirit, to be chatting with me. The boy identified himself as Jack -- he's blond, he's about six to nine years old. He showed up in my room first and came through last night on the ghost walk."
Coffey, who was at the Banff World Television Festival for a panel discussion about paranormal TV shows, was enlisted to lead a private ghost walk around the premises alongside some VIPs. That's when he met Christina again, and Sam. The hotel's famous "hidden room" on the eighth floor is apparently haunted by ghosts of sheepish workers, who hang around as a sort of penance for mistakes in construction that required the room to be hidden in the first place. During his short stay in Banff, lights have mysteriously turned on in his hotel room, his computer rebooted by itself and his tour manager claimed some sort of presence was tapping him on the shoulder Sunday night.
"There's history," says Coffey about the hotel. "There's a lot of people here celebrating good times, maybe some bad times. There's people who are here with a lot of emotional events occurring. There were a lot of things that were heightened emotional events. Plus all the people here are very excited to be here. It's very open and your people are networking and having a good time and they're open and expressive emotionally. That really does attract energy, also. Our heightened excitement might heighten their excitement for trying to communicate."
The great-grandson of Native American medicine woman Minnie Sue Morrow Foster, the 55-year-old New York native says he has always been psychic, but admits his peculiar talent for having dead people talk to him was something he discovered by accident 10 years ago when a co-worker's dead brother started chatting him up in Atlanta, Georgia. By 2007, he was called to take part in A&E's Paranormal State, then called Paranormal U. He would later appear in Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal, making him one of the more recognizable faces in North America's fascination with all-things creepy.
Whether it be Ghost Hunters, Ghost Trackers or the History Television's Nostradamus Effect, television is cashing in on a renewed interest in the unexplained.
"There's a worldwide interest in spiritual and paranormal topics," Coffey says. "From the aspect of people looking for valid answers about the afterlife: Is it real? Does it exist? Within history, there have been these resurgences like the whole spiritualist movement in the late 1800s. Sometimes there is some correlation to world events. After 9/11 people, in my country, we were talking about spirituality and searching for answers. I think tough times can lead people to seek answers. We seek out faith and spirituality in tough times, and forget about our faith and spirituality when things are going well."
Of course, Coffey acknowledges there is always going to be some skepticism about his activities, not only as to whether the powers he claims to have are actually real but also about how he has managed to turn them into a rather lucrative business for himself.
But Coffey himself is arguably a skeptic, at least when it comes to showing reverence to some of the end-of-the-world scenarios that are linked to the paranormal or spiritual worlds.
The Mayan calendar, for instance, supposedly suggests that the world will end in Dec. 21, 2012, a prediction that has sounded alarms in some circles. Coffey, for one, doesn't buy it.
"People ask me what I'm going to be doing on that day," he says. "I'm going to be doing light Christmas shopping. I think the Mayans got tired and said, 'We've been doing this calendar for six weeks now. Let's stop. Let's go sacrifice somebody. Let's have a feast and sacrifice a virgin. Anything other than this calendar. I'm tired of this.'
"That's my crazy sense of humour that often comes out when I talk about topics," he explains. "I think we take some of this stuff so seriously."
NOTE: For those who are fans of Chip Coffey, I received a tweet from Chip last evening...he is in the Tampa area filming the 1st episode of 'Psychic Kids' third season...Lon
Posted by Cynthia Dermody at CafeMom - Bonnie McEneaney was a skeptic, just like you may be now. In the days and weeks following the death of her husband, Eamon, in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, McEneaney continued to question that the "signs" her dead husband was sending her were real and not some imaginary attempt to hold on to something she'd lost forever.
An eerie wind out of nowhere on a perfectly still day, making a river pattern among the leaves and branches of the trees.
A blue heron, a bird not native to Connecticut in the middle of winter and having great significance to her personally, guiding her to a burial plot in a local cemetery.
And then the penny. For her, this is what made her believe beyond a doubt that her dead husband was communicating with her from another realm.
She was at a restaurant with friends, discussing some of the strange things she and other spouses and relatives of 9/11 victims had experienced since the terrorist attack. She was explaining that Eamon had foreseen his own death several times, most recently two days before he died while he and Bonnie were watching the World War II-based Band of Brothers miniseries about D-Day, which occurred on June 6, 1944.
She opened her menu, and there sat a wheat penny -- from 1944.
The restaurant did not operate in cash or tips. No one else knew the background or would be so cruel as to plan such a mean practical joke. McEneaney could not rationalize any other way that the penny, with that specific date, could have gotten there, except for Eamon.
"This was just an incredible experience," McEneaney said. "No one at the table could explain where the penny came from. For me, it was clear. And what makes this experience even more remarkable was that the entire day I was beginning to feel like I had made a big mistake -- my own skepticism setting in. When the penny appeared that evening, it was if Eamon was saying, 'Don't give in to your doubts -- stay the course.' And I did."
McEneaney has chronicled her own spiritual experiences and those of numerous others in the book Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions From Loved Ones Lost on 9/11.
Her goal is not to convert skeptics, but to help others who've lost loved ones open up to the possibility that they might be receiving messages, too. She believes that when you love someone, even when they die, the relationship continues -- it's just different. That special connection is not broken.
McEneaney provided 4 key ways the rest of us can try to be more spiritually open to communication from the dead.
1. You don't have to be religious
"Raised Christian myself, I have thought a lot about this. I was brought up to believe in the resurrection of Christ -- that there is truly more than this Earthly existence we lead. And yet, when there is a sign that there may really be more than this, we become skeptics again ... 'it's impossible because we (with our human limitations) can't understand it' or 'it simply can't be because we haven't seen it ourselves.' The reality is, for most of us, unless you have had a spiritual experience yourself, it's extremely difficult to transition from skeptic to believer. Not until I experienced the events described in my book did I realize how transforming these experiences could be." 2. Realize that premonitions happen to people of all beliefs
"Although he was raised Catholic, Eamon was more spiritual than religious. He shaped his view of the spiritual world by combining tenets from several religions in addition to Christianity, Buddhism being one of them. I don't know why he had premonitions. This is a phenomenon that has been going on forever. Countless cases are documented. And why do some people see signs from their loved ones when others don't? There are just certain things that the human mind may never understand. There were so many things that made Eamon special. But all these traits do not preclude anyone else from having a strong presence after death. Perhaps, in part, I believe it's a function of how much love existed between the one who passed over and the one left behind."
3. You may be getting signs right now -- you just might not realize it
"This phenomenon is not unique to 9/11; it has and continues to happen all around us. Most people don't talk about their experiences for fear they will be judged in some negative way. But I have found that when I talk to small groups, it seems the one who hasn't had something unusual happen is the exception. And it's possible that they missed a sign that occurred right next to them. This is what has the most meaning for me." 4. Don't overlook the signs in your own life
"Pay attention to the small things that happen around you -- small but unusual. Signs from nature -- bird and butterfly behavior, coins, messages in dreams. There is a danger in looking for something too hard. Just be aware. The messages are never complex -- on the contrary, they are very basic -- even when someone has a sensory visitation, when they smell, feel, hear, or even see the loved one they lost. In most cases, the message is simply that the person who passed on is doing fine and still looking out for the loved one left behind. Just be open to all the spiritual possibilities that surround you every day."
heraldtribune - With all the odd things he has witnessed, Justin Norton, assistant manager at the Sun House Restaurant & Bar in Bradenton Beach, almost expects that every week he will experience something at work that he cannot explain.
He hears voices at night. The conversations are often so loud he steps outside his office to see if people have wandered into the restaurant after hours. And yet, no one is there and the doors are locked.
He sees shadows move. Although appearing only for a second or two, the shadows move distinctly away from where light is shining.
“After four years, I’m kind of used to it now,” Norton said. “There have been a few times I’ve been a little freaked out.”
Other employees claim to have experienced similar phenomena, such as locked doors opening on their own, burglar and fire alarms sounding for no reason and, most memorably, a strange fog enveloping the dining room.
Owner Angela Rodocker often jokes it was the ghost of “Key West Willy,” which was the name of the bar before it was leveled and replaced by the Sun House.
But the ghost stories took on a more serious tone this week.
Local paranormal author Kim Cool and internationally known psychic Rosemary Altea, both residents of Venice, toured the restaurant Tuesday to seek spiritual clues to explain the strange stories.
Almost immediately, Altea said she perceived a “really disturbed energy” attached to the Sun House property.
“I think someone connected to this building killed themselves,” Altea told a group of employees gathered in the restaurant’s second-floor private dining room on Tuesday.
“There was a family who owned this place before,” she said. “I’m seeing two partners and a lot of cheating going on, a lot of issues going on.”
Altea said she was able to “transport” herself into the bar as it existed in the past, describing in some detail the furnishings, patrons and even smells inside.
The British-born psychic has used that technique during investigations into several local hauntings. She claims to have talked to the ghost of John Ringling during a recent walk through the John & Mable Ringling Museum.
Rodocker was instructed not to give away many details during Altea’s questioning. But Altea’s description of the old bar – and its owners – matched what Rodocker remembered of Key West Willy’s, which operated at least back to the 1970s.
Very few historical records exist for the property, although the history of that area of Anna Maria Island stretches back to Ponce de Leon’s arrival in the 1500s.
Betty Yanger, director of the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, said that before Key West Willy’s, the business was called The Wreck and contained a unique bar made out of silver-dollar coins.
In 2000, Rodocker and her mother purchased the bar and four adjacent apartments and an abandoned convenience store. They leveled the buildings and built the BridgeWalk Resort and Sun House restaurant in 2001.
The resort was named for its close proximity to Bradenton Beach’s bayside pier, which is what remains of a wooden bridge built in 1921 to connect Anna Maria Island to Cortez on the mainland.
Altea deduced that the property’s historical connection to the bridge and adjacent waterways may explain the problems with constantly leaky water pipes and damp conditions inside the restaurant today.
No one told Altea about any such problems beforehand. “Now you are really freaking me out,” Rodocker said.
Axed Derek Acorah gig 'sparks backlash' - One disgruntled supporter told the newspaper: "We were told it was due to unforeseen circumstances. How can a psychic cancel his show due to unforeseen circumstances? It doesn't say much for his talents."
Click for video nbcdfw - A Southwest Airlines employee called police after finding human heads in a package set to be transported to a Fort Worth medical research company, the airline said.
"It wasn't labeled or packaged properly," said Ashley Rogers, a Southwest spokeswoman. "They called the local authorities."
The incident happened in Little Rock, Ark., last Wednesday, she said.
Little Rock police turned the package over to the county coroner, who questions where they came from and if they were properly obtained.
"We've come to the conclusion that there is a black market out there for human body parts for research or for whatever reason," said Pulaski County coroner Garland Camper. "We just want to make sure these specimens here aren't a part of that black market and underground trade."
The heads were being transported to the Fort Worth office of Medtronic, a leading medical research and technology company based in Minnesota.
Medtronic spokesman Brian Henry said it is common to ship body parts for medical education and research, but he said it is rare for a shipment to be seized.
"We expect our suppliers to follow proper procedures," he said.
Camper described the items as 40 to 60 human heads.
But Henry said they were "four full cranial specimens and 40 pairs of temporal bone ear blocks."
He identified the supplier as JLS Consulting of Wynne, Ark.
JLS's business license was revoked in December, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State's online database.
Company founder Janice Hepler did not return phone calls Wednesday. Her voice mail indicated it was full and no longer accepting messages.
But in an earlier interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, she blamed the problem on the private courier she had hired to transport the body parts.
"Nothing is wrong," the newspaper quoted her as saying. "We're providing the documentation."
But the coroner said the paperwork has "discrepancies."
Federal law generally prohibits the sale of human body parts, although suppliers can be reimbursed for expenses in cases of legitimate medical education or research.
"It is a lucrative business. There is money to be made," Camper said. "We're hoping that this isn't the case."
Above: the 'Brocken Spectre' at Ben MacDhui, some say the supposed image of the Fear Liath Mor or 'Big Grey Man'. Left: Prof. Norman Collie
In 1925, a respected and well known climber Professor Norman Collie reported to a stunned audience at a meeting of the Cairngorm Club his experiences with the Fear Liath Mor (as the 'Big Grey Man' is known locally) on Ben MacDhui in 1891. Collie explained that he had been coming down from the peak when he heard footsteps behind him. At first, shrouded in mist, he rationalized that it must just have been an echo of his own footfalls. "I was returning from the cairn on the summit in a mist when I began to think I heard something else than merely the noise of my own footsteps. Every few steps I took I heard a crunch, then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own. I said to myself 'this is all nonsense'. I listened and heard it again but could see nothing in the mist. As I walked on and the eerie crunch, crunch sounded behind me I was seized with terror and took to my heels, staggering blindly among the boulders for four or five miles nearly down to Rothiemurchus Forest. Whatever you make of it I do not know, but there is something very queer about the top of Ben MacDhui and will not go back there again by myself I know." Collie never returned to the mountain, and to his dying day firmly believed there was "something very queer about Ben MacDhui."
Ben Macdhui is the biggest mountain in the Cairngorms, Scotland and the second highest in the UK. The summit rises from the southern part of a huge sub-arctic upland unique in the British Isles. It is a harsh environment where nothing grows except the hardiest of alpine plants. When the cloud rolls in summits can be shrouded for days…in winter the weak northern sun often does not penetrate the deep glens for weeks.
During the World War II, Peter Densham was a mountain rescue worker, locating and saving pilots who had crashed in the Cairngorms. One day he was at the top of Ben MacDhui when a heavy mist started to fall. He sat and waited for conditions to improve. After a while he began to hear strange crunching noises and suddenly felt a presence close by. He stood up to investigate, but was immediately seized by a feeling of panic. Before he realized what was happening, he was running down the mountain, dangerously close to the sheer cliff edge. He said afterwards ‘I tried to stop myself and found this extremely difficult to do. It was as if someone was pushing me. I managed to deflect my course, but with a great deal of difficulty.’ Densham would later state "...tell me that the whine was but the result of relaxed eardrums, and the Presence was only the creation of a mind that was accustomed to take too great an interest in such things. I shall not be convinced. Come, rather, with me at the mysterious dusk time when day and night struggle upon the mountains. Feel the night wind on your faces, and hear it crying amid rocks. See the desert uplands consumed before the racing storms. Though your nerves be of steel, and your mind says it cannot be, you will be acquainted with that fear without name, that intense dread of the unknown that has pursued mankind from the very dawn of time."
Another mountaineer Alexander Tewnion wrote an account of his 1943 experience for The Scots Magazine: “Of all the experiences that have come my way, one stands out above all others in its strangeness. This was when I shot the Fear Liath Mor, the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui. It happened like this. In October 1943 I spent a ten day leave climbing alone in the Cairngorms. Rations were short then, and I carried a revolver and ammunition to shoot any hares or ptarmigan that came my way. One afternoon, just as I reached the summit cairn of Ben Macdhui, mist swirled across the Lairig Ghru and enveloped the mountain. The atmosphere became dark and oppressive, a fierce, bitter wind whisked among the boulders, and, fearing a storm was imminent, I took hurriedly to the Coire Etchachan path. Above Loch Etchachan the path angles easily downhill. I was swinging along at about five miles an hour when an odd sound echoed through the mist - a loud footstep, it seemed. Then another, and another. Spaced at long intervals!”
“I am not unduly imaginative, but my thoughts flashed instantly to the well-known story of Professor Norman Collie and the Fear Liath Mor. Then I felt the reassuring weight of the loaded revolver in my pocket. Grasping the butt I peered about in the mist, here rent and tattered by eddies of wind. A strange shape loomed up, receded, came charging at me! Without hesitation I whipped out the revolver and fired three times at the figure. When it still came on I turned and hared down the path, reaching Glen Derry in a time I have never bettered since. You may ask, was it really the Fear Liath Mor? Frankly, I think it was. Many times since then I have traversed Macdhui in mist, bivouacked on it in the open, camped near its summit for days on end on different occasions - often alone, and always with an easy mind. For on that day I am convinced I shot the only Fear Liath Mor my imagination will ever see.”
An artist's rendering of the Fear Liath Mor or 'Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui'. Credit: The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates
Since that time, many people have reported a strange being or felt an overpowering sense of impending doom or panic while on the mountain. One of the most recent encounters occurred in the early 1990’s when three men were walking in a forest just outside Aberdeen. One of the men noticed a human-shaped figure running across the trail not too far ahead of them. He told his friends, and when they all looked in the same direction they saw what they described as ‘a strange, not-quite-human face.’ A few weeks later, the same group was driving in the area when they realized they were being followed by the same tall, dark being. The creature kept pace, even at speeds of 45 miles an hour, but eventually tired and gave up the chase. Again, these men felt a distinct sense of terror and foreboding.
What is the Grey Man of Ben MacDhui? Some say that it’s merely a myth...that climbers of Ben MacDhui are letting the high altitude, grim surroundings and legends get the best of them, making them perceive they see something that isn't actually there. But in many cases, those who have seen and experienced the phenomena are respected scientists and mountain climbers...the sort of witnesses who should not be prone to suggestion.
One theory is that the mountain is home to Bigfoot-like hominids. In fact, in 1965, huge footprints were found in the snow. They measured 14 inches and seemed to show a creature with an enormous five foot stride between footsteps. But the hominid theory has many detractors. While the Cairngorm Mountains are rugged, they are not comparable to the Himalayas or other major ranges where these hominids have been reported to roam. Could a breeding population of humanoids stay mostly hidden in such an area for centuries?
Almost all the reports have a strong paranormal/supernatural aspect to them. In many cases, the Grey Man seems more like a demon or a ghost than a living, breathing creature. Then there is an extraterrestrial or alternate universe theory…namely, that these creatures are able to move in and out between our world and another plane. Many visitors to the mountain notice sensations of strangeness, depression and terror...some have actually noticed ‘boundries’ where these emotions suddenly start and stop. Novelist Joan Grant's experience on the mountain gives a excellent account of this phenomenon. Overcome by sudden fear while climbing the mountain, she became convinced something was pursuing her. She ran down the mountainside and described "I had run about a half a mile when I burst through an invisible barrier behind which I knew I was safe. I knew I was safe now, though a second before I had been in mortal danger; knew it as certainly as though I were a torero who has jumped the barrier in front of a charging bull." Prof. Collie and most all other "victims" of Ben MacDhui described this same feeling of passing through a barrier and becoming "safe". Ben MacDhui also has a strange, almost subliminal "ringing" or singing that is literally felt in the air. This tone has no explainable source other the mountain itself.
The legend of the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui is to be made into a movie by an amateur film company. Carrbridge Films is run by young people from the Cairngorms National Park. In order to raise £2,500 for a new camera, Carrbridge Films has offered sponsors "perks" such as roles as associate producers. Director Fergus Thom, 18, said the project was one of the company's most ambitious.
Inspiration for the film, called Broken Spectre, include the account from Prof. Collie. Mr. Thom said: "We're all very excited to be embarking on another big project and look forward to getting out and about and capturing all the wonderful locations we have on our doorsteps. Having said this, we also have a lot of work ahead of us to prepare the plot and screenplay."
The group hope to complete the film by early next year.
Special Guest: Karen Frazier - Author of Avalanche of Spirits: the Ghosts of Wellington
Karen Frazier is a paranormal journalist and the managing editor for the magazine Paranormal Underground. She also produces and moderates the Paranormal Underground Presents podcast, which features interviews with leaders and innovators in the paranormal field.
She is the Director of Production & Public Relations with Ghost Knight Media, LLC, and is the author of several books: Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington, Lessons of Many Lives, which she co-authored with hypnotherapist Melissa Watts, and Supernatural! Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe, which is due to be released early in 2010. She is also the creator of The Namaste Project, and she is currently writing her book about her experiences with 100 Days of Namaste.
Karen wasn’t sure whether or not she believed in ghosts until she visited the site of the Wellington avalanche disaster for the first time on July 11, 2009. Now she’s pretty sure she’s a believer.
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Weekly Segment Host: Scott "Hackenslash" Walton - "BTE Movie News and Reviews"
I received the following email from Tony P. in reference to a very unusual sighting:
I would like to tell you about something I experienced during my honeymoon in Isla Mujeres, Mexico in 1989.
I was with my wife and another couple, sitting at a waterfront restaurant overlooking the shallow bay between Isla Mujeres and Cancun on the mainland. Only five miles long and less than a mile wide, Isla Mujeres is a rocky expanse of limestone and scrub vegetation dotted with a few small resort hotels and white sand beaches. There are a few remnants of Mayan structures still evident in the center part of the island, some containing small carvings of Mayan deities or idols.
As we were sitting enjoying the balmy weather, I spotted something unusual about 150 yards offshore, moving slowly but steadily across the gentle waves of the bay toward the mainland. I strained to see what it was, but couldn't quite make it out. It almost looked like an animal's head sticking out of the water, but I could detect no paddling or other limb motion that would explain its slow, steady progress across the bay. I considered for a moment that it might be one of the island's ubiquitous iguanas paddling across to the mainland, but quickly dismissed that possibility due to the upright and squarish aspect of the moving shape. I also considered whether it could be a piece of driftwood that was being blown across the bay by a light wind or current, but it did not appear to bob or move erratically like a piece of driftwood or flotsam would. Its forward progress appeared to be steady and purposeful, as if propelled by something - fins or limbs of some kind - just under the surface of the water.
I pointed this out to Lincoln, the fellow that was sitting with us, asking if he could make out whether it was a living creature or something inanimate being pushed across the surface. Having told us earlier that he had very acute vision (20/10), I expected that he would be able to make it out, and he did. He hesitated for a moment, then announced in an incredulous tone that it appeared to be a small, vaguely human-like head and shoulders facing the mainland as it moved slowly across the surface of the water toward the mainland. He stood up to get a better look, then said, "you won't believe this, but it looks like a small stone idol moving through the water." Judging from the distance, the visible portion above the surface appeared to him to be about a foot tall. Neither my wife nor Lincoln's lady friend could make it out, but they could see that something was moving across the water.
We all challenged Lincoln - accusing him of pulling our leg, but he insisted he was not kidding at all, and we all looked at each other in amazement, wondering what it was that we had just experienced. Lincoln tried to keep it in view as it moved away, getting smaller as it went, and he indicated that it eventually disappeared from view as it approached the surf of the distant shoreline. He said the shoreline was too far away to determine if anything exited the water in that vicinity. We all laughed nervously about it, but I'm sure all of us were a bit spooked by the experience.
I certainly will never forget it.
Lon, have you ever heard reports of idols or statues appearing to move on their own?
NOTE: Tony is requesting feedback from anyone who may have experienced a similar incident...Lon
Chris Holly's Paranormal World - My recent interviews with the group of Real Time Abductees has been incredible. I have been talking with the abductee group of four and have decided to write about each abductee separately before writing about what they had to say as a group.
The group of people I refer to as real time abductees are people who were going along their normal day fully awake and aware of their surrounding when they were over taken against their will . The people in this group all remember the start of their abductions and being returned. They all have little or no recall of the lost time while they were taken. They do have flashes of recall concerning what took place during the encounters.
The group of real time abductees I was able to join together consisted of three women and one man. I recently wrote an article about the man's experiences. I will be writing about one of the three women today.
While living on the east coast of the United States the woman I will be writing about in this article had her first lost time experience as a young professor at a local New England College.
It took place in the late 70's when she was teaching a night course . She lived about ten minutes from the campus where she taught. She followed the same schedule each week. She finished her night class at the same time . She was newly married and made it a habit to quickly leave once the class ended so she could make it home quickly to have some time with her new husband before the day ended.
It was her routine to leave the campus making it home between 8:45 and 9P.M. after her night class. She did not stop along the way home and always took the exact same route.
The night of her first lost time abduction she finished her class on time and walked to her car like she did every other night . She remembers walking to her car with another professor. All at this point was completely normal. She started her car and headed towards the parkway she traveled to drive home. She remembers the highway having the usual light traffic. Nothing seemed unusual up to that point.
That is all she remembers.
Her young husband however was at home waiting for her to return. Her usual time had come and gone and she did not return home. Once she was an hour late he called the school. They told him she left on time . He waited another half an hour and called the police to see if there had been any accidents. None were reported.
Once she was two hours late he started to call family members and friends. He called his brother and asked him to come over to man the phone so he could follow her normal route in case she was broken down on the road.
The woman's husband traced her route but could not find her. He searched the campus as well as every place he could think of that she may have stopped on the way home.
Now nearly three hours late the husband decided to return home and to call the police. He decided to call the local hospitals before calling the police to see if she had run off the road or become ill on the way home.
As he was on the phone with one of the local hospitals he heard her pull in to the driveway.
The young college professor was ill and confused. She was shaking and upset. Her car was burned on the hood . trunk and roof. The inside of the car had a horrible odor of sulfur, mold and chemicals. She was bent over in stomach pain and vomiting. She had a fever.
She remembered driving home on the parkway. The next thing she recalls is waking up in a dark parking lot on the passenger side of her front seat. Her keys were in the ignition however the car was cold dark and not running. She told her husband she was the only car in the lot of what appeared to be a large factory of some kind.
She was dizzy and had a terrible headache. Her eyes burned and she felt ill all over as if she had the flu. She did not know how she got there. She had no memory of driving to this place. She had no idea what this place was . She did not recall falling asleep or feeling ill when she left the campus. She was frightened and confused.
Alone and terrified she started her car and started to drive looking for a way out of the large empty parking lot. She found an exit and could see lights ahead and drove towards them. She did not recognize her surroundings and still had no idea where she was. She kept driving until she found a large sign for a main expressway she knew ahead. She followed the signs and entered the ramp to the expressway. She drove for a few miles before finding signs along the expressway that indicated she was far from her home. She stayed on the expressway for two hours in the direction of her home town .Finally she f found her way back to the highway that took her home. It took her nearly three hours to get home.
When she arrived home her husband had to help wash the awful smell off of her and get her to bed. She was covered with the same smell from the interior of the car. She had a red rash similar to hives on her back . She was weak. sick to her stomach and terrified.
She did not know how she was taken to that parking lot and how she was able to cover what should have been a six hour car round trip car ride in three hours. She had no idea what happened . The ordeal left her so frightened she was not able to stay alone or return to work for about two weeks after the incident.
The burns on her car could not be explained. The smell took days of washing to remove from inside the car. The young professor refused to drive alone at night from that point on. Her husband knew something horrible happened to her yet could not explain what. He drove her to and from work during her night class's and still does to this day.
Over the years this abductee and her husband have both experienced lost time events. They were both taken twice while on vacation . The ordeals were so traumatic it forever ended car trips or visiting locations that are not fully populated .
Their shared encounters were very much like that of the first one she had driving home from the college campus. They would be driving to a destination and could remember when they started out and what they were talking about as they were on their way when without warning they would find themselves in their car miles away from their destination in places they did not know feeling ill and disoriented.
The time they last recall before the encounters begin and the time they wake up in a strange location usually is about three hours of lost time. The distance away from their original starting point also has been further than it would have been possible for them to have driven in the time that was lost.
The college professor and her husband decided to end all car trips after their last lost time event which occurred in 2003. They refuse to make it easy for these frightening disturbing events to take place.
This couple is very concerned about their privacy concerning these events. They both hold positions that could be damaged seriously if they were labeled as people believing they were having abduction encounters.
The few times this couple tried to discuss their abduction events with family or friends were met with rejection, insult and warnings for them to stop mentioning ridiculous things. Without any support at all this couple has had to keep this part of their life hidden.
Both of them fear being known in connection with the lost time events as much as they fear the actual events . It is sad that those being taken must live this way without help due to the public and media's reaction and abuse to those suffering the ordeals. We have a great deal to learn on this earth.
This woman is the most traumatized of all the abductees I have spoken to concerning her encounters. She is so fearful of what has happened to her and her husband that she becomes extremely upset and emotional when discussing their experiences.
She is terrified someone will try to hypnotize her against her will and is determined to never recall any of what happened during her lost time events. Her terror is so over whelming that she lives in constant fear that she may recall what took place.
She is angry at those involved with researching or reporting the paranormal as the first thing they try to do is expose the privacy of those enduring the events followed by wanting to hypnotize the abductees to fully recall the abduction. She feels that the selfish motives of those in the paranormal field is based first and foremost on personal gain or fame with the last consideration being discovery or truth of what is happening to so many who are taken. She also fears being thrown in to one box with those who report false experiences. She knows that they are a main reason she has been laughed at and warned not to discuss her experiences.
She fights all attempts of recall and quickly shakes off any flash of memory she may have. This woman is absolutely horrified of what happened to her. Her fear is so powerful she has blocked all recall in order to prevent facing what happened to her during her encounters.
She has suffered many odd physical problems over the years. She has had many miscarriages including unexplainable massive bleeding as well as finding she has severe damage to her reproductive system. She also suffered strange weight changes going from being obese to thin in a short period of time without any changes in her eating habits.
She is extremely fearful of talking about her encounters. She fear that being honest will only bring her ridicule and career problems. She also feels that the medical community may turn their backs on her and refuse to help her if she ever mentioned her lost time abductions encounters.
This woman has closed down completely to who or what has been taking her. The only thing she will say is that they are so horrific she cannot allow her mind to ever go there.
This woman lives in constant fear and does not trust anyone or anything. She believes the government is not a protector of the human race and that they are powerless against those who do take us.
This woman has been deeply and seriously wounded both emotionally and physically by whatever has been taking her over the last 30 years.
I can say that her message to humanity is to brace for impact as she feels we are all in for some very difficult times. This woman has warned me that we should never feel that creatures out there are here for our benefit . She does not feel they are here to take over the world or do the planet extreme harm . She does believe they are here for self motivated reasons only. Her feelings are of fear and anger for being taken against her will and used like a lab rat.
I have no idea what or who is taking this woman but will tell you that I know fear and this woman's terror is real.
She does not seem to have any sense of communication or mission from her kidnappers. She sadly seems to be only terrified by them.
I will talk more about the thoughts of this woman as I write about my time with the abductee group.
Meeting with this woman has been difficult as I do not wish to bring her any harm or upset. She does have many opinions on the subject of UFO's and those interfering with the human race without permission . I will be writing more about that after I have completed my articles about each of the four abductees I was lucky enough to group together and spend time talking to.
For now please pay attention to your surroundings and be careful out there.
I received this email today in reference to the 'Knobby' sighting in North Carolina. I have asked for more evidence and commentary from the reader:
Hi Lon, I have debunked "Knobby". I am positive that it is my cousin "Clarence" the biker. He has the same ZZ Topp beard long scraggly hair and get this, Clarence has six fingers on one hand and regular five on the other, (I can't remember which is which though). We've tried for years to keep Clarence from rootin' around in folks' garbage to no avail. He's a pretty gentle guy for being 6'9" though and appears much bigger. Got to be Clarence... Just sayin' NOTE: if other evidence comes forward, I will update this post. Here are the links to previous posts: Recent 'Knobby' Sighting Rekindles North Carolina Legend and Knobby: 'This thing was 10 foot tall....six fingers on each hand'...Lon
fredericknewspost - When an elevator was being installed at the Brunswick Railroad Museum last spring, workers and staff reported strange noises, voices and unusual activity
Supplies were being moved around. Several elevator workers even claimed they saw a woman in a white dress walking around the second floor.
The reports led a former museum board member to call the Mason Dixon Paranormal Society, a Gettysburg-based group that investigates claims of paranormal activity.
The group agreed to investigate on June 5.
Curator Rebecca O'Leary, who has been with the museum since last June, was caught by surprise when group members called and said they would be coming out to look for ghosts.
She said they arrived around 8:30 the night of the investigation with equipment valued at about $30,000, including electrothermal monitors, infrared cameras and audio recording devices. After setting up the equipment around the building, they started their investigation at around 11 p.m. and were in the museum until about 3 a.m.
"We had everything set up from as simple as a digital voice recorder to wireless audio and thermal imaging," Paranormal Society founder Darryl Keller said.
O'Leary said while she was unfamiliar with the earlier reports or the call to the investigators, several staff members told her that they were uncomfortable being alone in the basement where the offices were moved after the elevator's construction.
Museum board member Walt Stull said there have been reports of strange noises in the 1904 building over the years, but those noises intensified with the construction of the elevator.
Stull said he has heard unexplained sounds as well, but had never given them much thought.
"I always thought it was the building shifting or something like that," Stull said. "But we'll see what they come up with."
According to Keller, his group goes into an investigation trying to debunk the claims of paranormal activity, which he said happens more often than not. He estimates 70 percent of the society's investigations outside the Gettysburg area end up revealing no sign of anything out of the ordinary.
However, Keller said that likely will not be the case with the Brunswick Railroad Museum. He said the investigation is nearly complete and he should be contacting the museum this week. He said he was unable reveal the extent of the group's findings until he reviews the evidence with museum staff, but he said investigators had unexplained experiences.
"There were some things that happened Saturday we were not able to debunk," Keller said. "We do have evidence."
Keller also said Frederick County is a frequent location for investigations by the Mason Dixon Paranormal Society.
"We could open up a branch office in Frederick County," Keller said. NOTE: This story caught my eye since my Dad is a major railroad maven and that we used to go to New Brunswick, MD regularly when I was a kid (as well as every railroad museum and trainspotting event in the Mid-Atlantic!) If anyone from the Mason-Dixon Paranormal Society wishes to forward evidence from this case or any other case, please feel free to do so. I'm especially receptive to paranormal / cryptid experiences from Pennsylvania and Maryland, in particular York/Adams counties and south-central PA / Maryland historical sites...Lon
jakartaglobe - A Balinese teenager caught in the act of intercourse with a cow passed out on Friday when he was forced to marry the animal in a ceremony witnessed by hundreds of curious onlookers.
As the Jakarta Globe reported earlier in the day, Ngurah Alit, 18, an unemployed youth from the seaside village of Yeh Embang in Jembrana, was caught stark naked positioned behind the cow in a rice paddy field.
In his defence, Alit admitted to the act of bestiality but claimed the cow, which he believed was a young and beautiful woman, had wooed him with flattering compliments.
As part of a Pecaruan ritual, a ceremony to cleanse the village of the unholy act of a man mating with a cow, Alit was forced to “marry” the animal.
Alit, however, according to Detik.com, passed out surrounded by locals and police, who were attempting to prevent a number of journalists from covering the spectacle.
It is unclear whether or not he got to say “I do.”
Alit’s collapse prompted his mother to begin screaming hysterically, while other family members shouted at photographers not to take pictures.
“Poor kid. He’s actually a quiet kid,” said one villager.
As part of the ceremony, Alit’s victim and new bride was drowned in ocean.
Alit, on the other hand, was symbolically drowned and bathed on the beach.
“Only his clothes were thrown into the sea,” the villager said.
********** Originally posted 10/25/2008 Indonesia: Cow Drowned For Being Impregnated By Human
Villagers from Julah in Tejakula, Buleleng, tow (see photo) a pregnant cow behind a boat into open sea as part of a local traditional ritual.
The cow, which is five months pregnant, was thrown out to the sea about 3 kilometers from land Monday. The villagers believe the animal was impregnated by a village elder.
During the ritual the man, who was caught red-handed having sexual intercourse with the cow two months ago, joined the boat trip in order to throw away his clothes to to symbolize him discarding his sins.
Julah customary village head Ketut Sidemen said the ritual, called gamya gamana, or freak weeding, and had been conducted there for generations. The decision to perform the ritual was made a local residents meeting.
In line with customary regulations, the perpetrator, identified only as PS, 70, was sanctioned to fund the expensive ceremony, which aimed to cleanse him of any bad influences.
Luh Ketut Suryani, a professor and activist, deplored the sancation against PS.
She said drowning a cow was baseless because sexual intercourse between a human being and am animal could not cause pregnancy due to the different chromosomes and genes of the two.
"The cow is not guilty, why shoud it be drowned? Why don't just use a symbol like what was done by the perpetrator?" she said.
Suryani's said she was concerned dealt with the financial situation of the owner, who lives below the poverty line.
"The cow, which has a high price, had to be thrown away. It will be a pity for the owner, who is already poor and is now forced to lose his priceless belonging."
wired - Airplanes can punch holes in clouds and make it rain, new research shows. As propeller or jet airplanes pass through the right atmospheric conditions, they make liquid water droplets freeze and immediately drop as snow, leaving a circular fissure behind.
Odd clouds can sometimes elude explanation for decades, and these mysterious gaps in the sky, aptly called hole-punch clouds or channel clouds, have been puzzling sky gazers and scientists alike since the 1940s. A 1968 article in the magazine Weatherwise called them “A Meteorological Whodunit?”
As recently as October 2009, headlines touted a “Mystery UFO Halo Over Moscow.” Earlier studies had suggested a link between hole-punch clouds and airplanes, though the mechanism was unclear.
Previous research also suggests that propeller planes could make snow fall when they flew through supercooled clouds, where water droplets remain liquid despite subfreezing temperatures. But until recently, a direct connection between airplanes, hole-punch clouds and snowfall was missing. Now, a team of atmospheric scientists report observing all three in the June Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Andrew Heymsfield of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and colleagues flew a research plane through the snow produced by a hole-punch cloud west of Denver International Airport in 2007. The plane was loaded with instruments for studying how ice forms in clouds. Radar from the ground picked up a strange echo in their wake, indicating oddly-shaped snowflakes.
“We didn’t know it, but we went right through this precipitation feature that was spotted from the ground,” Heymsfield said. Video from the flight showed a hole in a patch of altocumulus clouds (see below), and two inches of snowfall directly below the hole.
Heymsfield and colleagues examined flight records for the nearby airport and linked the hole and the snow to two commercial turboprop aircraft that had taken off about an hour before. The movement of supercooled water droplets over the planes’ propellers cooled them enough to make them freeze and plunge to Earth as snowflakes, Heymsfield said. Normally, snowflakes or raindrops need a speck of dust or another imperfection to form around. But supercooled water can freeze instantly, if it cools quickly to around minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
To confirm this idea, the researchers compared the snowflakes that fell on either side of the hole-punch cloud to the ice crystals that fell directly beneath it. The snowflakes that fell from the hole were more plate-like and simple than those that originated in the surrounding clouds. The more-complicated snowflakes had accumulated drops of liquid water as they fell, Heymsfield said. But in the middle of the hole, all the liquid had either frozen or evaporated.
“This phenomena removes the droplets, so these crystals as they fell were not collecting any droplets,” he said.
“My initial impression is that it’s reasonable,” commented Patrick Chuang, a cloud expert at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was not involved in the new work.
The researchers then linked satellite images of hole-punch clouds to flight schedules to show that jet aircraft, not just propeller planes, can also punch holes and produce snow. The supercooled droplets freeze after passing over the jet planes’ wings, Heymsfield said.
“We know exactly which aircraft produced the holes,” he said. “Researchers had previously linked a lot of snow to propeller aircraft, but they hadn’t made the connection to jet aircraft.”
“There are a lot more jets flying around than there are propeller aircraft, so there’s much more opportunity to generate this effect,” he added.
Not all flights through banks of clouds will produce snow. About 7.8 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with clouds at the right elevation for supercooled droplets to form. And because jet aircraft don’t generally cruise at those altitudes, they may only form hole-punch clouds when they take off or land.
The extra precipitation left by airplanes punching holes in clouds is probably not enough to change global climate patterns, Heymsfield added. But “regionally, it could certainly enhance snowfall.”