Saturday, December 04, 2010

Strange Encounter / Abduction Attempt - Morrison, Colorado - 12/3/2010

Case Number: 26834
Log Number: US-12032010-0002
Submitted Date: 2010-12-03 03:32 GMT
Event Date: 2010-12-03 23:30 GMT
Status: Submitted
City: Morrison
Region: Colorado
Country: US
Longitude: -105.1910996
Latitude: 39.6535988
Shape: Flash,Sphere,Other,Unknown
Duration: 00:05:00
Distance: 100 feet or less
Entity Type: Other
Vallee Index: AN1

My parents are out of town for the week so they asked me to house sit for them, so I headed up to their house in the mountains with my dog (extremely smart Australian Shepard) after work at around 10:00 pm. At 11:30 I went into the kitchen to make something to eat and as I was washing my hands at the sink I saw 2 flashes of blue light through the sliding glass door in the back yard out of the corner of my eye. I didn't think much of it and went over to the stove. So now I'm facing the sliding glass window and as I look up I see another flash except this time its in my direct vision and my dog sees it too, perks her ears up and starts growling. As I stand there, kind of in shock, I see 2 more flashes all within 15-20 seconds of each other. So as my dog and I are standing there staring out the into the darkness, after what felt like maybe a minute after seeing the lights, both my dog and I hear a loud bang come from one of the bedrooms upstairs. I immediately call 911 and head straight into my mom and dads room to grab a gun. Dispatch tells me to stay in the room and hide somewhere to wait for the police to arrive and not even 30 seconds later I hear the police cars pull into the driveway so I put the gun away and crawl out the window to meet them (yes I grabbed my dog too).

The officers searched the house and the surrounding area for a good 20 minutes and find nothing. Here's where it gets weird, as I'm telling one of the officers about the lights 2 other officers, who were standing over at their car talking to each other, immediately walk over to me and start asking me questions about them, what did they look like, what color were they, what shape were they, etc... So I ask the officers why they're so interested and they tell me that they have had numerous calls throughout the past year regarding the exact same thing, and apparently another officer (who wasn't there) had seen them recently too. Now keep in mind that this area is in the Denver metro foothills where every house sits on about and acre of land and in my parents case, the nearest house is over a mile away and the back yard is literally a forest. But its now 1:05 am as I'm writing this and I haven't heard or seen a single thing since the police arrived about an hour ago. What I thought the lights were at first, was that it was a flashlight from someone trespassing, then once I heard the bang I thought for sure that they had broken in.

Only when I saw that look on the officers face when I was describing it did I realize this was something else. Thinking back to it now it doesn't make any sense that it would be a flashlight because when the flashes would occur it had no motion, the light was solid. The lights would just shine in place for a second or two, then go away. And the bang sound, I really don't know how to describe. It was as if someone dropped a heavy box or something in one of the bedrooms, and to be honest I'm still too afraid to go in there and see if anything is out of place. I don't know why I even got on here and wrote this, I just remembered seeing this organization on 9news a long time ago and thought that this might interest you. Anyways, that was my experience tonight.

NOTE: hopefully, there will be a followup to this incident...Lon

Fortean / Oddball News: Manson Caught Texting, Wikileaks UFO Details and Fallen Aliens Memorial

Convicted Cult Leader Charles Manson Caught With Cell Phone in Prison, Texting

PWNN - Who was Charles Manson texting? That’s the question everyone wants an answer to as well as the more pertinent one: How did Charles Manson get a cell phone in prison? There’s a growing number of inmates nationwide obtaining cell phones in prison and Charles Manson is the newest famed inmate to be caught red handed. According to a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections, Charles Manson had an LG flip phone hidden under his mattress. He also used the phone and sent text messages to New Jersey, California and Florida. It is unclear who Charles Manson contacted and the nature of the messages has not yet been publicly released.

At 78-years-old, Charles Manson remains one of the most notorious inmates in the nation’s history. His case was interesting in that he was not charged with the infamous murders of Sharon Tate (and her unborn son), Wojciech ‘Voytek’ Frykowski, Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring on August 9, 1969 on Cielo Drive. Instead, he was charged with masterminding the murders and exhibiting great control over his followers referred to as Manson family members. On August 10, 1969, Charles Manson accompanied several other family member to another home where this followers would murder Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Due to Manson’s proven control over his followers, and the fact that his teachings led them to commit horrific murders, Charles Manson is classified as a cult leader.

Prison authorities continue monitor inmates looking for cell phones and other contraband. Cell phones have been linked to additional crimes and with Manson’s control over his followers, many will question whether he used the cell phone to send crime related messages. At this point, it has not been stated whether or not Charles Manson was speaking to family members or what the messages were in regards to.

Charles Manson was found guilty of 27 counts on January 25, 1971; he has been incarcerated since. He has been in a number of prisons including Folsom State Prison, California Medical Facility and San Quentin. Charles Manson is currently behind bars at Corcoran State Prison.


New Diplomatic Cables Contain UFO Details, Says Wikileaks Founder

sify - Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said that the new leaked diplomatic cables set to be published by the whistleblowing website will contain fresh details on UFOs.

The 39 year-old Australian, who is wanted by Interpol over a charge of rape and sexual assault in Sweden, said there were some references to extraterrestrial life in yet-to-be-published confidential files obtained from the American government.

He did not revealed what information was contained in the diplomatic memos obtained by the website.

It also remains unclear when they will be published.

Assange said his website, under considerable strain in recent days over its "Cablegate" series of leaks, received emails from "weirdos" claiming to have seen UFOs.

"Many weirdos email us about UFOs or how they discovered that they were the anti-christ whilst talking with their ex-wife at a garden party over a pot-plant," the Telegraph quoted him as saying, when asked if any of the documents he had received referred to extraterrestrial life.

"However, as yet they have not satisfied two of our publishing rules. 1) that the documents not be self-authored; 2) that they be original.

"It is worth noting that in yet-to-be-published parts of the cablegate archive there are indeed references to UFOs," he added.

Assange's comments were made during a webchat with The Guardian.


UK Top Cops Lose Dead Colleague in the Toilet

metro - When a senior drugs officer with Britain’s ‘FBI’ went missing, his colleagues were baffled. The Serious Organised Crime Agency, admired for its investigative skills and hi-tech crime-fighting abilities, marshalled its resources in the hunt. If only they had checked the toilets. Two ‘extensive searches’ of the offices failed to turn up anything and, 16 hours after he was last seen, the officer’s colleagues called his wife and told her she should report him missing to local police.

He was eventually found at 4am the next day by a security guard on his regular rounds, who noticed the toilet cubicle door had been shut for a ‘considerable time’. The guard then called Soca officers who kicked down the door and found their colleague dead on the toilet, just a few metres from his desk in the London offices of the agency.

Bosses have since ordered that 10cm (4in) be lopped off the bottom of cubicle doors so they could easily check if anyone was trapped. The agency, which employs 4,200 staff and has 40 offices in Britain, refused to confirm when the officer was found dead earlier this year, but a source said he ‘vanished’ after going to the toilet at 12pm.

The source said his colleague, a team leader in charge of Soca’s Interpol drugs desk, was not found until the early hours the next day. He added that Soca was ‘staffed by brand new, inexperienced staff who are keen to assist but who have little, if any, background experience in law enforcement work’. A police source, who has worked in the Met for 15 years, said: ‘How these guys can be called Britain’s FBI when they can’t even find their own officer 50ft from his desk is an embarrassment.’


UFO Enthusiasts Want to Build Memorial to 'Fallen Aliens' in Ukraine

usatoday - In Ukraine, UFO enthusiasts want to build a memorial to "fallen aliens" who have died during their alleged Earthly encounters, the Russia-based news channel RT tells us.

These "ufologists" are collecting money for their extraterrestrial monument in the historic northern city of Berdichev, the project's organizer, Aleksandr Nalisman, told a local newspaper. RT recounts that report, writing that aliens "usually became the victims of different catastrophes," including "a jet fighter [that] collided with a UFO in 1997 in the ancient city of Kherson."

The source says the UFO's pieces were taken by Ukrainian soldiers for examination. Later, they succeeded in bringing down six more UFOs. It helped them "begin constructing its analogue." Whether the scientists have found the remains of the fallen UFO pilots is not known.

Nalisman issued his call for remembrance because "people of Earth have not paid attention to the lives of the aliens."

Friday, December 03, 2010

Alien Gods: Anu, Lord of the Great Above

Anu in flight

Arguments can be made that the evidence for ancient astronauts comes from supposed gaps in historical and archaeological records, and they also maintain that absent or incomplete explanations of historical or archaeological data point to the existence of ancient astronauts. The evidence is said to include archaeological artifacts that are beyond the presumed technical capabilities of the historical cultures with which they are associated. This also includes artwork and legends that are interpreted as depicting extraterrestrial contact or technologies.

Notwithstanding these contentions, let us say that there is an axiom to the ancient astronaut theory. Then we need to ask, who were these beings? What did they represent to the inhabitants of earth? Where these beings the ancient Gods of antiquity?

I would like to periodically chronicle my speculation of how the native people interpreted these unknown entities. This edition describes Anu, Lord of the Great Above.

To the Sumerians and all of Mesopotamia, Anu was a sky-god, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, and the father not only of all the gods but also of evil spirits and demons, most prominently the demoness Lamashtu, who preyed on infants. He was the father of the Anunnaku (also spelled Anunnaki). It was believed that he had the power to judge those who had committed crimes and that he had created the stars as soldiers to destroy the wicked. His attribute was a royal tiara decorated with two pairs of bull horns. His symbol resembles somewhat like a Maltese cross, representing as it appears the four points of the compass and hence the entire heavens. His bow, which is frequently mentioned, can probably be identified as the Milky Way.

Anu possesses vast powers of an unknown nature, which seem to surpass the powers of any other Mesopotamian god. Magical in their form and nature, these powers can be employed in numerous forms. He can project rays of mystical forms resembling modern lasers that can explode on impact and erect shields and objects such as thrones and ships from this energy. He can also create dimensional portals at will to travel between earth and heaven and create spells that augment or enforce spells already in existence. He can project his image, voice or energy bolts from heaven to earth and even place bondage spells powerful enough of bonding individuals to certain realms. Anu seems to have limited precognitive and sensory awareness to perceive facts and information from beyond time and space.

Anu was considered part of a triad including Enlil, god of the air and Enki, god of water. In the Code of Hammurabi it is said that then the goddess Inanna (or Antum) of Ereck may at one time have been his consort. Anu is so prominently associated with the city of Erech in southern Babylonia that there are good reasons for believing this place to have been the original seat of the Anu cult. Anu was the god of the 'great above', and the son of the first pair of gods, Ansar and Kisar, descendant of Apsu and Tiamat.

In the Sumerian cosmology there was, first of all, the primeval sea, from which was born the cosmic mountain consisting of heaven, 'An', and earth, 'Ki'. They were separated by Enlil, then Anu carried off the heavens, and Enlil the earth.

According to the Earth Chronicles series by Zecharia Sitchin, the wife of Anu was a fertility goddess and the mother of the gods; her cult was centered in Munster. However, Anu was one of the Anunnaki who came from the planet Nibiru (Marduk). According to Sitchin's theories on Sumerian legend and lore, the Anunnaki arrived first on Earth probably 400,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined gold in Africa.

After ruling for 9 years of his own, Anu was dethroned by his son, Enlil. There have been comparisons with the myth of Anu's dethronement to that of the Greek myth concerning Zeus and his father, Cronos. Like Cronos, Anu was castrated by his son with a bronze sickle.

Anu cursed Enlil to have three miserable sons for his disobedience and escaped. He retires to the upper heavens where Anu welcomed most of the gods into this new realm he called Celestial Dilmun, but Enlil, now calling himself Dagon, was soon overthrown by his brother Hadad, now called Baal. He confined both of them to Earth and after both of them were ousted as rulers, he confined both of them to separate kingdoms in the underworld. From the heavens, Anu reclaimed his role as King of the gods.

Fortean / Oddball News: Alien Faces, Pre-Rapture Jewelry Sale and Haitian Witchcraft Fears

Alien Faces

Click for video

Click for video

NOTE: These 2 videos have been floating around the internet...supposed 'alien' faces. I have very sincere doubts, but fun to look decide. Lon


Jeweler Promote Pre-Rapture Sale

duluthnewstribune - Larry Falter, owner of Superior’s LTD Jewelers, hit upon a novel idea for his latest TV commercial — blending a storewide sale with his belief that the second coming of Jesus is near.

After opening with the trumpeting of horns and a glimpse of a land assailed by fire and lighting, the 30-second ad shows Falter in his store, stating his belief that as he reads the news “we are really close” to the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem.

“Nonetheless, here and now, if you want jewelry, I have access to millions,” he then says. And it’s all on sale at 50 percent off during his Second Coming sale.

“I thought, ‘I am going to have some fun here, be bold about my faith position and make a commercial that would tell people how I believe things are in the world’ ” before transitioning into a sales ad, Falter, 65, said Wednesday.

“I’m trying to be upfront with my faith and my position,” he said. “If anybody wants to see my jewelry or talk about the Lord’s coming, I’m here.”

Falter, the head elder for Beth Yeshaa Twin Ports, a Messianic Congregation, made the ad after returning from a trip to Israel earlier this year. It began airing on two Duluth stations in early November. It will continue to air through most of December.

The blend of apocalyptic imagery with a jewelry sale has raised eyebrows.

“The first thing that crossed my mind was the line ‘Diamonds are forever,’ and I thought, ‘Is he going to go there with that?’ And he didn’t,” Michael Gatlin, Vineyard Christian Fellowship senior pastor, said after viewing the commercial.

“For me, from a theological prospective, I don’t find it helpful at all,” he said.

Gatlin worked in marketing for years as an art director.

“At that level, I can’t picture anyone rushing out to buy jewelry because the Day of the Lord is imminent,” he said. “Other than that, I just find that stuff kind of sadly humorous.”

Falter has received a few calls and store visits from people wanting to talk about the commercials.

“If Jesus really is coming back, why would I want diamonds?” Falter said one person asked. But so far he’s only received one negative comment. It came from a Buddhist who was uncomfortable with Falter mixing faith and selling jewelry in an ad.

In addition to the TV ad, Falter is using a large banner outside his Tower Avenue store to advertise his Second Coming sale.

“It’s giving me the opportunity to talk to people about things that maybe I wouldn’t have normally mixed in during my business day,” he said of the campaign.

The campaign is attracting attention beyond the Twin Ports area. The ad has been posted on YouTube and at least one other website. Bloggers and Minnesota Public Radio have mentioned it or interviewed a somewhat surprised Falter.

“I wasn’t expecting to get any attention,” he said.

So far, no one has asked Falter why, if he believes the Second Coming is near, he just doesn’t give the jewelry away. But he has a ready answer.

“I have ethical obligations to people I owe money to,” he said. “If I couldn’t discharge those ethical responsibilities, I wouldn’t be giving a very good witness. I don’t want to profit at someone else’s expense.”


Haitian Mob Kills 12 Over Fear of Cholera Spread by Witchcraft

afp - Tensions simmered in Haiti Thursday with its political future hanging in the balance, as protesters renewed charges of vote-rigging and cholera fears led to deadly mob violence.

As vote-counting continued ahead of the expected release of preliminary results on Tuesday, candidates in last weekend's presidential and legislative elections remained split over whether to endorse the outcome.

With the impoverished Caribbean nation in limbo, several hundred opposition demonstrators peacefully took to the streets of Port-au-Prince seeking annulment of the vote to determine the successor to Rene Preval.

"Arrest Preval!... Cancel the Election!" the protesters shouted as they made their way to the headquarters of the election commission, which was guarded by blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers and Haitian anti-riot police.

"Our message is clear: We want Preval to go and we do not want elections with him in power," said candidate Jacques Edouard Alexis.

Twelve of the 18 contenders rejected Sunday's election shortly after polls closed, but the following day longtime opposition leader and pre-election favorite Mirlande Manigat and popular musician Michel Martelly, another leading candidate, reversed their calls for the polls to be scrapped.

An unexpected admission from the ruling INITE (UNITY) party that its candidate Jude Celestin may have lost has fueled a sense that Haiti could experience a political watershed if the dysfunctional, failing nation is able to manage a relatively peaceful transition of power.

International monitors -- while acknowledging widespread problems including violence and claims of fraud -- declared the elections valid. Final results are expected on December 20.

But the stubborn cholera epidemic, which has claimed more than 1,800 lives since mid-October, cast a shadow over the first election since a massive earthquake tore the country apart in January, killing some 250,000 people.

The epidemic took a ghastly turn Thursday when officials revealed that at least 12 people had been stoned or hacked to death in the last week by angry mobs accusing them of trying to spread cholera through witchcraft.

"Their corpses were burned in the streets" in the far southwest area of Grand Anse, the region in Haiti least affected by the disease, local prosecutor Kesner Numa told AFP.

"These people were accused (by the mobs) of witchcraft related to cholera," said Numa, adding that their attackers believed the victims were trying to "plant a substance that spreads the disease in the region."

Local communities were refusing to cooperate with investigations of the killings there, officials said.

Suspicion about the outbreak has swept through Haiti, where many accuse UN peacekeepers of having imported the disease.

According to the latest official cholera tally, 1,817 people have died and a total of 80,860 cases have been recorded, with 36,207 hospitalizations.

On Wednesday the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said the epidemic continued to spread throughout the country but was less lethal.

"We went from nine percent of cases dying in the early days to 2.3 percent now," said Donna Eberwine-Villagran, a spokeswoman for PAHO, a local branch of the World Health Organization.

She warned, however, that the official toll was an underestimation, and that Haiti could see up to 400,000 infections over the next 12 months.

Amid the epidemic and the election tensions, the president's already tarnished image suffered further with the release of a leaked US diplomatic cable that portrayed him as seeking to "orchestrate" the vote.

"Close friends speculate that many of Preval's actions during the past year... stem from his very real fear that politics will prohibit him from returning to private life in Haiti after his presidency," a June 2009 cable by Washington's then-ambassador said.

"Thus, they argue, his overriding goal is to orchestrate the 2011 presidential transition in such a way as to ensure that whoever is elected will allow him to go home unimpeded."

Haiti has been plagued by dictatorships and political upheaval, and several past leaders have fled or been forced into exile, including Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti's first democratically elected president.


Spray-On Stem Cells Heal Burns Fast

ksl - A spray solution of a patient's own stem cells is healing their severe burns. So far, early experiments under a University of Utah pilot project are showing some remarkable results.

What was once a serious burn on Kaye Adkins foot is healing nicely now because of a topical spray. With diabetes as a complication, the small but open wound had not healed after weeks of failed treatments.

Dr. Amalia Cochran with the university's Burn Care Center says, "With a wound that is open for several months, as this patient suffered prior to seeing us in our burn clinic, we worry about a pretty heavy bacterial load there."

But enter the evolutionary world of regenerative medicine, using almost a bedside stem cell technique that takes only about 15 minutes. With red cells removed, a concentrate of platelets and progenitor cells is combined with calcium and thrombin. The final mixture looks almost like Jello.

"I woke up and saw them with this big thin, looked like a needle, and I said you're going to put that in my foot? And they said NO, we're going to spray," Adkins said.

Though her own skin graft had failed before, the topical spray was used during a second graft. It "took" and healed. "I had never heard of anything like that. It was just amazing," Adkins said.

Adkins burn is healing and so is her heart. Coincidentally, stem cells were used during her bypass surgery five weeks ago to hasten healing for that procedure as well. While hundreds of heart patients have had stem cell treatments, burn patients are still few in numbers.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Amit Patel and burn care surgeon Amalia Cochran are experimenting on small burns for now. But down the road, both are hoping for large scale clinical trials on patients with much larger burns.

Patel asks, "Can we accelerate healing or improve healing. Then it's the quality of healing. And then, we hopefully advance to decreasing the scarring process completely."

"It's my hope that in my career," Cochran adds, "stem cells will completely revolutionize how we're able to take care of patients. Not just with small burns that are challenging to heal, but with massive burn injuries as well."

The military is keeping a close eye on the Utah project. The future for treating burns on soldiers could stagger the imagination even more. Patel says "regrowing your own skin in a bioreactor is very realistic and that's not five years away even. We start with a biological band aid and hope to end up with basically synthetic skin that's still derived from your own cells."

In this dream of regenerative medicine, Patel believes we can only imagine a day when sheets of pristine skin might be available to any patient off the shelf.


An electronic crosswalk sign near the Maple Street Bridge in Spokane, WA is apparently showing its disapproval of either the weather and / or local drivers by giving people the middle finger.

The crossing sign, located in downtown Spokane in the northbound lanes of Maple south of the Maple Street Bridge, has been somehow modified so when the ‘Don’t Walk’ hand is displayed, only the upraised middle finger is visible.

City of Spokane spokesperson Marlene Feist says that street department personnel think the electronic sign may have snow somehow wedged into the sign, obscuring all but the palm and raised middle finger.

Feist added that clearly the display is “unintentional.”


Poultry Firm Under Review After Man Decapitated - Already under investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman, Australia's largest poultry manufacturer, Baiada, has now been cited by WorkSafe Victoria over the death of a contract worker at one of its plants.

In August this year Sarel Singh, 34, died instantly when fast moving machinery he was cleaning decapitated him.

A preliminary report on the workplace death, obtained by Lateline, has found Baiada breached occupational health and safety laws by not controlling the risks at the plant.

Six weeks ago, Lateline revealed how Baiada poultry was under investigation over claims of unlawful and unethical treatment of its majority migrant workforce.

Tim Kennedy from the National Union of Workers is horrified by the incident.

"It is absolutely horrific in a civilised society that we have now the fact that these things still occur, it is just not acceptable," he said.

Four years ago, Sarel Singh risked everything to find his fortune in Australia.

His brother, Harry Singh, says Sarel took out a large bank loan in his home state of Punjab to fund the relocation.

"Yes he was excited at that time. He was looking for a job - he can't get it here. Then he tried to get to Australia and have some study over there afterwards and have a job over there, for a better life," he said.

After graduating, Sarel worked as a taxi driver before getting married.

He then joined the Ecowize company, which has a contract to clean the production areas of the Baiada poultry processing plant in Melbourne's west.

"He used to say that life working at that place was like a hell. It's a very hard job and he was tired of that job. But due to the burden of the loans and debts over here and in Australia too, he had to work over there and he was struggling hard," Harry Singh said.

However, Sarel Singh was ready to give up and go back to India. But on August 12 he was killed at work.

Sarel had actually finished his four-hour shift when he was told to go back and re-clean the pack line area.

Mr Kennedy from the National Union of Workers says Sarel was not familiar with the line.

"Now the line he went to was not a line that he normally cleaned. He did not have his full protection gear on in terms of glasses and helmet," he said.

According to the union, as Sarel was standing on a ladder hosing down the line, his jacket was hooked. He was swept into the next machine and decapitated.

The union says the chain line should be stopped while it is cleaned.

"Over time what has happened is the company, to maintain production, to maintain the returns they want to get, has pushed the risk to workers by speeding that chain up so they have run the chain 20 to 40 birds per minute and people have been asked to clean it," Mr Kennedy said.

"The night on which Mr Singh was killed the chain was running at absolute capacity ... 180 birds per minute."

Harry Singh cannot believe that he has lost his brother.

"How can I believe it? My brother, he was my real brother and only brother. I have no brothers else ... and just a great shock to me," he said.

"My mother is feeling shock. Very upset with this because she has lost her older son. She has gone, gone through lot of things throughout [her] life and sacrificed a lot. Sacrificed the pension on his loans. So tough life for her now."

WorkSafe Victoria was soon at the scene of Sarel Singh's death.

Its report, obtained by Lateline, found that the production line posed an injury risk.

It also confirmed the line was operating at the top speed of 183 birds per minute, and that "by not adequately controlling the risks associated with this plant [Baiada poultry] is in contravention of the requirements of section 21(1) and 21(2)(A) of the occupational health and safety act."

Baiada poultry was issued with a prohibition notice, informing the company it must assess and control the risk to workers.

WorkSafe Victoria inspectors returned the next day and found the risk assessment prepared by Baiada was inadequate.

After assuring WorkSafe there would be changes to the production line's power system, the plant was allowed to resume operations.

WorkSafe Victoria has told Lateline the entire meat and poultry industry is now under review.

It says when it comes to work safety, employers should do more than the bare minimum and has reminded employers they are responsible for all employees whether they are staff or on contract.

Lateline has sought comment from both Baiada and Ecowize about Sarel Singh's death.

Both declined an on-camera interview.

Lateline also submitted a series of questions to Baiada about the death and work safety conditions at its plants, but there has been no reply.

The National Union of Workers has more general concerns about the treatment of workers at Baiada, particularly contract workers.

"Baiada is a major poultry processor company - we think that in large part Baiada tend to engage in a way that moves risk from them to people, where risk should not reside in terms of the employer relationship, we think that needs to change," Mr Kennedy said.

Bullying allegations

A separate investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman into rates of pay and working conditions is still underway after snap inspections at Baiada plants around the nation.

Workers at Baiada's Adelaide plant had complained about being bullied into accepting below-award wages and long hours - often beyond working or student visa conditions.

The National Union of Workers is campaigning to improve safety and working conditions at Baiada's various plants.

Mr Kennedy says management told workers to renounce their union membership this week or they could face reduced hours.

"The workers are expressing great concern, some are in tears, that not only have they been asked to resign from the union, but also being threatened [that] if they don't resign from the union, maybe their hours will change," he said.

"These reports concern us."

But Baiada has rejected the union's allegations.

The company says it has not threatened to cut staff hours or asked workers to resign from the union.

Sarel Singh's family wants answers.

"Yes it should be investigated and if there is a culprit he should be punished as per laws of the Australian Government," Harry Singh said.

The family is also seeking compensation.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Mermaids of the Caribbean

jamaica-gleaner - Yipe! I nearly slid into the river while trying to cross on some protruding rocks. Now it was by no means a roaring river, but I readily admit I'm no river-crossing expert.

It was my first time in Heywood Hall, St Mary, and after spending the first 20 minutes desperately trying to strike up a conversation with a woman who offered little more than a blank stare and an intermittent shake of the head, I decided to go exploring on foot.

It seemed it had rained earlier that day, so the roads in the community, which, over time, have degenerated to nothing more than glorified foot paths, were all muddy and slippery.

It was while crossing a small bridge near a community bar that I met Ornell. Now Ornell is not big on conversation, but he did offer to tell me a secret about the river that runs through the community, if I would be willing to treat him to a drink at the nearby bar.

"Mi brain nuh really wake up yet yuh know. After a drink, mi start function. Mi could tell yuh something bout di river, but not a word until mi get a drink," he said.

Before I could respond, Ornell continued.

"Me live bout di place from longer time yuh know. Heywood quiet but di river yah have whole heap a mermaid," he said, looking pleased with himself.

I paused a moment.

"Was that the secret?" I asked.

"Yeah, man," he said, quite casually. I paused again. I pointed out to Ornell that he had given the secret away before getting the drink.

The man's face went blank.

"But mi ... ahm," he stuttered. I felt bad for him, so I interjected, telling him it was fine and offered to treat him to a drink at the bar anyway.

"Tenk yuh, man. Tenk yuh," said Ornell, looking relieved.

After a short walk, we were at the bar. It really was just a shed with a fridge, overlooking the river, but it had a nice atmosphere. Ornell signalled to a girl sitting on a stool near the fridge and she handed him a bottle of beer. I walked closer to the river.

"Di river run right cross di road further down. Ah nice river fi bathe inna. Mi bathe inna it bout three time fi di day. Mi just throw off mi clothes and jump in," he said.

Eager to avoid a more detailed description of Ornell's bathing rituals, I asked him about the mermaids he mentioned earlier.

"Yeah man, nuff mermaid. When mi was likkle, mi used to see whole heap ah dem," said Ornell.

"Yuh tink ah likkle man mermaid pull inna di river wid dem? Dem mermaid deh nuh easy," he added, shaking his head.

Now, if I'm to be honest, I had very little confidence in Ornell's story. I was surprised though, when the woman behind the counter at the bar suddenly spoke up.

"Is true yuh know," she said, adjusting the zipper of the sweater she was wearing.

"My father tell me about it from mi was likkle. Dem say is one mermaid was there and she dead now, but first time yuh used to see har all di while," she said.

I had a puzzled look on my face. "True true," the woman said.

"Dem say is di same mermaid what used to deh ah Flat Bridge swim come here because it more quieter. Mi never used to believe it, but den mi seh, so much people couldn't just meck up di story so," she said.

I looked across at Ornell, who was nodding in agreement. "As granny seh, wah nuh go so, nearly go so," he said.


The mermaids, also known as merfolk and sometimes referred to as Scaly Tails, are human-fish hybrids. Many are said to serve as agents of the Sirens, dragging sailors down to a watery grave.

The mermaids are amphibious beings, a hybrid of human and fish. The average mermaid has the appearance of a beautiful girl with long, flowing hair the colors of the sea, and pearly-white skin flecked with scales. From the waist down, however, a mermaid is comprised of a long, shimmering scaly tail. Further undermining their conventional beauty, mermaids hide sharp, fang-like teeth in their mouths.

It is possible that this beautiful appearance is not the true form of the mermaids; if viewed peripherally, they lost their outward beauty and seemed to transform into creatures with clawed tentacles, fangs, and barnacles and boils covering their scales. They often speak in harmony, singing a melody commonly attributed to the Sirens

The Mermaid and the Comb

Many Jamaicans grew up hearing stories about the River Mumma or Mermaid. There are many legends surrounding these beautiful sirens. The most commonly known River Mumma involves the Rio Cobre River. Legend has it that on moonlit nights one may be lucky to catch sight of her as she sits on a boulder and combs her hair with a golden comb. In other areas of the island, it is said that for one night every year the mermaid leaves her underwater home to visit the surface. If frightened while combing her hair, she would dive into the water leaving her comb behind. It is believed that anyone who finds it will become rich.

Wanting the comb to be returned, the mermaid would approach the finder in a dream and direct them to treasure underwater. This treasure, according to folklore is said to be gold left by pirates who had forgotten the hiding place.

The following anecdote has been told for several years.

In an old district in western St. Mary, a very strange thing happened. 15-year-old Elvis Smith's mother had taken ill. It was her kidneys, the doctor said. There was no money for dialysis, and a kidney transplant was out of the question - there was just no money. It was when Elvis saw his mother getting weaker that he thought that the pirate's treasure could save her life. So he determined in his mind that if there were a mermaid he would find her, and if there were a comb he would take it, and if there were pirates' treasure he would find it, for his mother's sake.

Despite his mother's protestations, Elvis built a hut of plywood and zinc just below his house, at the riverside, overlooking a rock. He had picked out that rock because he calculated that if the mermaid surfaced that was where she would sit. There the river was a silent, expansive pool. Further up, the water was fast-moving. It cut into the rocks and cascaded down and down, until it came to a narrow section from where it seemed to just trickle into the pool and become silent. Boys dived under rocks there to catch shrimps, big black shiny ones and small, almost transparent ones. Further down, the river narrowed again and became fast-moving once more. Standing over that section of the river was a massive white concrete bridge, the bridge they said separated St. Mary from St Ann.

So, while everybody in the district celebrated the coming of the New Year that night, Elvis climbed into the little hut he had made. He thought that if the mermaid were real then he would not leave there for a long time, and so he took up residence at night in the little hut. His 12-year-old sister he mandated to care for his mother at night.

Two weeks into his vigil, Pastor Lincoln came to convince him the mermaid and the comb were only folklore, brought from Africa by slaves and modified through the ages. But Elvis was not convinced. He said, 'If it is a myth, by New Year's Day next year I will know.'

Elvis' cousins and uncles and aunts came to him, telling him to stop the foolishness and go sleep in his bed, but he remained unmoved. When that still didn't work, they destroyed the hut, but he sat in the cool air outside that night, watching and waiting; and when the whole district combined couldn't get him to stop his vigil, they left him alone. Elvis rebuilt his hut and, night after night, waited for the mermaid. But she didn't come. February, March, June, July - no mermaid.

Elvis looked up at the moon and saw that it was almost in the centre of the sky. He thought it might have been up for four hours or so, and by that deduction he surmised that it was around 10 p.m.. It was a cool September night - the frogs were croaking and the crickets were scraping, and Elvis' relentless determination was still intact. He yawned, and was about to go into the hut when he heard a swoosh, then a splash.

Then in the moonlight he saw her. She was seated on the massive stone. Her hair was dark and silky....he couldn't see her face, but her great tail she curled up and rested on the rock too. She was combing her hair.

Elvis thought of running to scream in the district that he had seen the mermaid, but that wouldn't save his mother's life. He thought, 'I will have to frighten her,' so he stole past the star apple tree and floated over the soft mud near the water's edge and shouted, 'River Mumma!'

The mermaid dived quickly into the water and was gone. And there it was, the comb, golden and lovely. The moonlight lent mystery and magic to it.

Elvis was hesitant. Should he take it up? But why not? He had slept in the cold for nine months; why then should he not take it up? And how then would his mother's life be saved? He quickly grabbed it, as if he thought it might disappear, but when he examined it he saw that it was old and ugly and he wondered if it was the right comb. He looked around. Perhaps the golden comb was near him somewhere. But he saw nothing. He went to his little hut, located the bag he had placed there in January for this very purpose, and put the comb in it. Then he climbed the hill to his house, rushed to his mother's room, shook her and said, 'Here it is, Mama; your life will be saved.'

But his mother was groggy and asked: 'What yu talking 'bout, Elvis?'

'Mama, a' find the mermaid's comb, here it is, mama.'

But she turned over onto her side, curling her feet so that knees and elbows almost touched. She clasp both hands and laid her head on them, and quietly said, 'Elvis, a' really feel tired.'

'So you don't believe, Mama?'

By this time his sister had awa- kened and come into the room. To her, Elvis said: 'Here it is, see, the mermaid's comb.' He brought it up to Nicole's eyes for her to see. 'You believe though, Nicole?' And he saw the look in her eyes.

He shook his head with disappoint and said, 'So you don't' believe me either, Nicole.' Finally she asked, 'Where did you get that old comb, Elvis?' She embraced him and said, 'Let us agree that you really tried Elvis. Goodnight.'

His feet felt weak, and his gut had a strange tingle to it. They didn't believe. They just didn't believe. But when he found the treasure they would have to believe!

He went to his bed with great anticipation that night. He fell asleep with a smile on his face, for he had reasoned that that night he would have the dream revealing the place of the buried treasure and his mother and sister would believe.

But that night no dream came. He got out of his bed and dragged himself out to the road and wondered what was happening. He told his cousin about the night's events, and by noon seven or eight boys were at his house demanding to see the mermaid's comb. 'Show wi the comb!'

'Nobody going to see it,' Elvis said

And the boys said, 'Him no have no comb, a' lie him a' tell.'

Elvis thought of rushing to the hiding place to show them he had the comb but one boy said, 'Unno come yaw, a' lie him a' tell.'

That night Elvis went to bed with hope and believed that he would have his dream.

In his dream, he saw the mermaid, her face ugly and scared and angry; he was standing by the river and she was threatening him, telling him that if he didn't return the comb she would wash their house down into the river. And he saw when she dived into the water and lashed her mighty tail against it and the water rose and almost swallowed up the house, and he woke up frightened. In the morning, he rushed down to the river and saw that some of the land had actually washed away.

For a week he had the dream every night. Every morning he would rush down to the river and see that a piece of the land had been washed away. It was then that the people started to wonder: 'Wonder if Elvis really have the mermaid comb fi true?' By the start of the next week they had come to believe, and they started to exhort him to return the comb to the mermaid, and Pastor Lincoln came again to convince him to give back the comb and to save his mother's house. 'Yu father dead lef' that house fi yu mother and it going to be yours when she gone and yu using yu own hands to mash it up, boy? Now, where yu hide the comb?'

Elvis' mother and sister, too, begged him to throw the comb back into the river. But he had one thing to say to them all - that the mermaid had not kept her part of the bargain, and that he was going to keep the comb until she did because his mother's life must be saved.

It was a Sunday afternoon when it happened. The whole district had come to see, 'how the little boy mek mermaid mash up him father dead lef' house.' The men had helped to take the furniture out of the house and Elvis' mother and sister were out there too, watching the last of their house come down. But Elvis was nowhere to be found.

Then the people saw him coming up from somewhere in the bushes. And they said, 'See the fool deh.' Elvis came with the old rusty comb in his hand. And the people said, 'Then is really the comb that?'

Elvis came and stood on the bridge. He held the comb in his hand for a while, then threw it into the river. And the people said: 'It too late fi that.'

And then, with a mighty sound, the house came crumbling down. The debris fell down at the riverside and some of it was washed away.

Then, from close beside Elvis, one little boy shouted, 'Is what that?'

And a man asked, 'What, what?'

'Seet there,' the little boy said, pointing. 'Something like a trunk.'

They saw it and hurried down to the river. It was not one but three chests, and when they finally got an axe to break the chain and opened one chest they held their collective breath - for it was like a dream. In the chest were glorious things, great jewelry and gold and things they didn't know. And the man who had asked the little boy 'what' said, 'The treasure was buried under the house. The mermaid has given us the pirate's treasure.' The people looked at him strangely and he rephrased his statement: 'The mermaid has given Elvis the pirate's treasure.'

Then the people held Elvis aloft and sang 'For he's a jolly good fellow,' and Elvis went to his mother and said: 'Now you can get yu treatment properly, Mama.'


Manatees: The REAL Mermaids

To the sailors of earlier Caribbean exploration, imagine the excitement of not only discovering the New World, but that it also had mermaids. Surely, this was a blessed place. What a great sailor’s tale this would make on the tall ships and in the seaports of 16th century Europe.

So what if they were a bit ugly, in fact so ugly that only a mother could love them. But they were gentle and they didn’t talk back, or shoot arrows like the native people either.

Today manatees are an endangered species in the United States and they are a protected species in all of the Caribbean as well. These gentle mammals, a mature adult can weigh up to ¾ of a ton, live and breed in warm protected bays and lagoons. With their soft whiskery muzzle they browse on sea grasses, water hyacinths, and other aquatic vegetation as they cruise along just beneath the surface.

Descended from land mammals that returned to the sea during the Tertiary Period, manatees have gradually evolved during the last 20 million years and are unique to the New World. Females give birth to a single calf after a 12-month gestation period. Individual manatees are solitary animals, but are sometimes seen in small groups. Their skin is gray, leathery, and hairless. They have 3 to 4 fingernails on the tips of their pectoral flippers, a reminder of their ancient ancestry. They have no dorsal or anal fins and their round paddle shaped tail is horizontal.

Manatees are difficult to see because they swim slowly beneath the surface stopping only occasionally to expose their nostrils when breathing. This is usually accompanied by a short burst of air. To see them you need to get lucky. Hang around in the bays and shallows early in the morning when the sea is perfectly calm. You just might catch a glimpse of one of these gentle creatures.

Today, the biggest threat to manatees is man and his machines. Collisions with boats and boat propellers are the single biggest cause of manatee fatalities each year. Please be careful and watch out for the mermaids. Their future is in our hands.

Fortean / Oddball News: Gov't Blocking Cell Phones, Oswald's Coffin For Sale and Man Marries Dog

Ohio Man Finds African Wild Cat Inside Barn

wlwt - An area man was shocked Tuesday morning when he saw an African wild cat outside his home.

Anthony Topmiller said he heard a growling sound when he opened his barn door to feed his cattle, and when he looked to see what it was, he saw what looked like a small cheetah about five feet away.

"I've never been afraid of an animal, but I will definitely say I was taken aback from this one," Topmiller said. "It sounds silly, but a 30-pound cat had my barn held hostage."

The animal was actually a serval, a medium-sized cat related to lions, hovering over a domestic cat it had just killed.

"It was not wanting to leave its prey, so we considered him fairly dangerous and called the proper authorities to come in and help us with this animal," Topmiller said.

Animal control officers picked up the serval, which a neighbor claims belongs to her.

The woman said she has been looking for the female serval, which she has raised from a baby and named Eris, since it escaped nine days ago.

She said the animal is valued at about $3,000.

The dog warden said Ohio has almost no regulations on wild animals such as this one.

"People need to be trained on what they're doing," Topmiller said. "We can't have these things wild like this. It's become a public safety (issue), and that's exactly what happened yesterday."

The serval remains with animal control officers while the neighbor attempts to regain custody.


Lee Harvey Oswald's Coffin for Sale

aolnews - A California auction house is offering bidders the chance to buy the coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man believed to have killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Bidding for the discolored, water-damaged pine box will start at $1,000, according to the website of the Nate D. Sanders auction house in Los Angeles.

"There's just a lot of interest in Kennedy and anything to do with his assassination," auction manager Laura Yntema told Reuters.

Oswald spent almost 18 years in the coffin before a bizarre set of circumstances led to his exhumation.

Oswald's widow, Marina, got into a bitter argument with his brother Robert. Marina heard rumors that the man buried in the coffin was in fact a Russian Oswald look-alike. She wanted to put it to the test.

Marina managed to get the body exhumed. Dental records proved that the corpse inside was indeed that of Oswald. The suspected assassin was then reburied in a new casket.

Oswald was arrested on Nov. 22, 1963, and was widely believed to have shot Kennedy from the roof of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. He had previously served in the U.S. Marines and lived and worked in the Soviet Union, according to the Biography Channel.

Oswald was killed two days after the assassination by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

Allen Baumgardner, a funeral director who assisted at Oswald's original embalming, is selling the coffin.


Missing Brit Backpacker Believed to be Eaten By Shark Off Aussie Coast

metro - Michael Utley, 30, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, went swimming with four friends on Saturday afternoon.

He was caught up in a riptide and has not been since.

A coastal search at Bremer Bay in Western Australia, had to be scaled back on Monday after a large shark was seen nearby.

Police have yet to formally identify the body but believe it is that of the missing man.

‘The body of a male person was located on Dillon Beach Bremer Bay yesterday morning at about 6.05am,’ a police spokesman said.

The search team of 50 with helicopters said a shark attack had not been ruled out. Michael, a plasterer, went travelling last December and met a group of friends.

He was swimming at Native Dog Beach when they became caught in a riptide.

All but Michael were washed ashore.

Michael’s mother, Susan, who lives in California, is flying from Germany with her husband, Graham Liles, who works there.

His father, Max, and his wife, Susan, live in Westhoughton.

Michael’s twin brother Mark from Westhoughton, said: ‘I spoke to Michael on Friday and he said he was going to stay out there because he was making good money, and when he got back we should go into the property business.’

Mark and his mother are to fly to Australia to identify the body.


Gov't evaluating cell phone blocking tech in cars

MSNBC - In addition to its efforts to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, the U.S. Department of Transportation is evaluating technology in automobiles that would disable cell phones. The move is a response to the growing number of deaths and injuries related to distracted driving.

"There's a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we're looking at that," Raymond LaHood, the Secretary of Transportation said during a discussion during MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "That's one way. But you have to have good laws, you have to have good enforcement, and you have to have people take personal responsibility. That's the bottom line."

In addition to his comments on disabled cell phones, LaHood also announced a new video campaign, "Faces of Distracted Driving." The series of online videos tells the stories of several victims of distracted driving. The DoT plans to add a new video every few weeks.

LaHood said that nearly 5,500 people died from distracted driving last year, and that about half a million were injured. That's a low estimate, according to Paul Atchley, a scientist at the University of Kansas who studies distracted driving.

LaHood's figures only account for known deaths or injuries -- suspected deaths or injuries aren't included. The real numbers, said Atchley, are likely far higher, and will only get higher.

While there is no federal law against using a cell phone while driving a vehicle, dozens of states prohibit texting while driving in an effort to reduce the number of deaths or injuries. Several other states forbid drivers from using hand-held cell phones.

Hardware, such as cell phone jammers, are illegal, and the FCC isn't likely to approve any kind of jamming equipment. That would leave software from companies like Zoomsafter, tXtBlocker and iZup.

While the specifics differ, the general idea is the same. When a cell phone or a vehicle exceeds a certain speed, determined by the car and transmitted via Bluetooth or by the speed of the cell phone itself as measured by cell phone towers, the phone is automatically disabled.

That won't work, said Atchley. Most of these services are voluntary. It is not difficult for users to either not activate them, or to work around them.

The real answer to the problem is a change in people's attitudes. The research on drunk driving and distracted driving is quite similar, but the reactions of people to both are far different.
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"When we ask young drivers about drunk driving, they say that judges should throw the book at drunk drivers, but not the person texting while driving," said Atchley.

"The bottom line is that people want to use these devices," said Atchley. "And things are going to get worse before they get better."


Man Marries Dog

thechronicle - A young Toowoomba man yesterday tied the knot with his best friend – a five-year-old labrador.

In perhaps a first for the Garden City, Laurel Bank Park hosted the wedding of Joseph Guiso and Honey, a labrador he adopted five years ago.

Thirty of the couple’s closest friends and family were in attendance for the emotional ceremony, held at dusk.

"You’re my best friend and you make every part of my day better," Mr Guiso’s vows read.

The couple decided on the location – and to tie the knot - after stumbling upon a wedding in Laurel Bank Park during an afternoon walk.

"I said that could be us," Mr Guiso said.

"She didn’t say anything so I took that as a yes."

Mr Guiso said as a "religious guy", he could no longer take the guilt of living with Honey out of wedlock.

"It’s not sexual," he assured the onlookers.

"It’s just pure love."

The couple is planning a short honeymoon to one of Toowoomba’s parks.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News: UFOs Are Ball Lightning? Secret Spaceplane and Brits Believe in Aliens

Astrophysicist: Ball Lightning 'May Explain UFOs'

BBC - Some UFO sightings could be explained by ball lightning and other atmospheric phenomena, claims Australian astrophysicist Stephen Hughes.

The scientist has made a detailed study of an unusual event in 2006 when large meteors were observed over Brisbane.

Their appearance occurred at the same time as a brilliant green object was seen to roll over nearby mountains.

Dr Hughes has put forward a theory linking the object - presumed to be ball lighting - to the fireballs.

His idea is that one of the fireballs may have momentarily triggered an electrical connection between the upper atmosphere and the ground, providing energy for the ball lightning to appear above the hills.

He has written up his explanation in a journal of the Royal Society.

Dr Hughes says the extraordinary episode, which occurred during a night of fine weather, is just the sort of happening that might lead some to think they had witnessed UFO activity.

"If you put together inexplicable atmospheric phenomena, maybe of an electrical nature, with human psychology and the desire to see something - that could explain a lot of these UFO sightings," he told BBC News.

The scientist, who is a senior lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology, initiated the study after being called in by the local TV station to look over and explain photos of the fireballs captured by members of the public on camera phones.

Fireballs are exceptionally bright meteors and are produced by fragments of space rock larger than the sand-grain-sized particles responsible for shooting stars; but like shooting stars they cross the sky at great speed.

A subsequent survey organised by the university brought forward many more eyewitnesses, including a farmer who recalled seeing a luminous green ball rolling down a slope of the Great Divide, a mountainous ridge about 120km west of Brisbane.

This object described as being about 30cm in diameter appeared to jump over some rocks and follow the path of a metal fence for "some minutes". The farmer said he saw the green object come into view just after a fireball had passed overhead.

He thought at first he was witnessing a plane crash and called the police, but a search the following day found no wreckage.

Ball lightning seems an obvious explanation, says Dr Hughes. These bright, hovering spheres of light are not fully understood. They are known to be associated with thunderstorms, but not always, and there was certainly no electrical storm activity in the vicinity of the Great Divide.

Dr Hughes does not offer a new explanation for the causes of ball lightning, merely how enough energy might have been put into the ground to trigger it.

He proposes that the natural flow of current that exists between the upper-most reaches of the atmosphere, the ionosphere, and the ground was increased by the passage of the meteor that streamed charged particles and other conductive materials in its wake.

"Could it be that the meteor descending through the atmosphere, having passed through the ionosphere, actually created a transient conductive connection between the ionosphere and the ground, even if it was only for a few seconds? Was that enough to put charge into the ground, and then with the discharge form some kind of plasma ball above?

"Think of the ionosphere and the ground as the terminals on the battery and you put a wire between those two terminals and current flows, and literally you get a spark."

Other scientists have suggested that charges dissipating through the ground can create balls of glowing ionised gas above it.

Dr John Abrahamson from the University of Canterbury, NZ, championed the idea 10 years ago that ball lightning consisted of vaporised mineral grains kicked out of the soil by a conventional lightning strike, an idea later tested with some success by Brazilian researchers.

He described Dr Hughes' work as "relatively feasible" and something which made "interesting connections".

"There's a long way to go before everyone will be happy and satisfied that we have a full solution," he told BBC News.

Dr Hughes said his publication in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences was intended to start a debate.

"It's not a vigorous theory; it's more a suggestion that may be worth exploring," he said.


Secret spaceplane set to land next weekend

tgdaily - The US Air Force's top-secret X-37B spacecraft is set to land sometime in the next few days at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

It will be the US' first ever autonomous re-entry and runway landing.

"Space professionals from the 30th Space Wing will monitor the de-orbit and landing of the Air Force's first X-37B, called the Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1)," says the Air Force in a statement.

"While the exact landing date and time will depend on technical and weather considerations, it is expected to occur between Friday, December 3, and Monday, December 6, 2010."

Amateur astronomers have had a high old time tracking the movements of the elusive craft. At one point it seemed to disappear, until a South African skywatcher spotted it in a new orbit five days later.

The landing date was to be expected, given that the craft has been aloft since April and one of the few known facts about it is that it has a 270-day maximum flight time.

The 4.9 ton spacecraft looks rather like a miniature space shuttle. It measures a little under nine meters long and has a wingspan of 4.3 meters. It's currently in orbit at around 180 miles high.

Its true purpose has been the cause of much debate. The military says the mission was intended to test guidance, navigation and control systems for autonomous orbital flight. Inevitably, though, there has been speculation that it could be used for other, more aggressive purposes.

Another x-37B is currently under construction and is expected to launch next spring.


Pakistani woman's nose cut-off by in-laws

timesofindia - A Pakistani woman's nose was cut off and her head tonsured by her in-laws who then locked her up for three days because they suspected her of having an affair with a neighbour, police said.

The incident took place in Gujranwala in Punjab province.

Aasiya Bibi's brother-in-law Anwar, his wife Kalsoom and sons Waqas and Awais caught hold of her and cut off her nose and shaved off her head, alleging that she had an illicit relationship with a local man.

"Aasiya has been living with her in-laws for over seven years and her husband works in Multan, so he rarely manages to visit," Express Tribune quoted Aasiya's neighbour Nida as saying.

Nida said that Aasiya's in-laws were often cruel to her.

Police said that the family locked up Aasiya in a room where she lay for three days after the incident, till a police team released her after being tipped-off.

Aasiya told the police: "I had been beaten and they didn't give me proper food. They locked me up and I was still bleeding."

Police officials said that when they found Aasiya she was in a terrible state and was promptly taken to a hospital where her wounds were stitched up. Doctors said that she narrowly managed to avoid an infection.

"We were surprised that her open wounds hadn't got infected even thought they weren't treated for three days," medical superintendent Azam Skeikh was quoted as saying.

"She is currently receiving treatment but we expect her to make a full recovery," he added.

Aasiya's in-laws were unrepentant.

Her brother-in-law Anwar said: "She was having illicit relations with a neighbour. We caught her and this was her punishment. She deserved what happened to her...I should have killed her on the spot."


Almost half of all Britons believe in aliens

telegraph - A poll of 2,000 adults concluded that 44 per cent were convinced of the existence of extra-terrestrial life.

Men were more likely to believe with 46 per cent answering the survey saying humans are not alone.

The survey was commissioned by the Royal Society, the country's most prestigious scientific body.

Meanwhile a third of those questioned said we should try and make contact with other life forms co-existing in the universe.

However, there was little agreement when it came to decided what form alien life would take.

Prof Simon Conway Morris, an evolution expert from Cambridge University, said people should "throw away all our preconceptions" about what alien life could be like.

Meanwhile only 28 per cent of people answering the YouGov poll would rule out the existence of alien life altogether.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Pier Fortunato Zanfretta Alien Encounter / Abduction

A private security guard was destined to have one of the most bizarre, and outright terrifying, encounters with extraterrestrial beings ever recorded.

On the frigid, moonless night of December 6th, 1978, a 26 year-old night watchman, husband and father of two named Pier Zanfretta was on a routine patrol in the village of Torriglia, when he stumbled into a horrifying encounter with creatures from beyond our world that would forever change his life.

According to Zanfretta’s report, he was negotiating the dangerously icy roads in his patrol car, en route to the currently unoccupied country home of a client, Dr. Ettore Righi, when the engine, radio and lights of his vehicle all simultaneously, and inexplicably, died.

It was at that moment that Zanfretta claimed to have seen four lights moving around in the garden of the Righi house. Assuming that the strange beams were emanating from the flashlights of would-be thieves, Zanfretta quietly climbed out of his car with his revolver and flashlight at the ready.

The security guard, committed to protecting his client’s home, silently slipped through the open gate and crept along a rock wall in an effort to get the jump on what he still assumed were ordinary was then that he got the shock of his life.

Just as he was preparing to leap out to confront these trespassers, Zanfretta felt something touch his shoulder from behind. He spun around, revolver in hand, but instead of finding an average human criminal illuminated by his flashlight’s harsh glare, he saw an entity that he described as being:

“An enormous green, ugly and frightful creature, with undulating skin… as though he were very fat or dressed in a loose, gray tunic… no less than 10-feet tall.”

In later interviews, Zanfretta would include more explicit descriptions of these ostensibly interstellar beasts including such features as hairy, greenish skin, points on the sides of their faces, rounded fingertips, monstrous, yellow triangular eyes and red veins across the forehead. Based on this depiction, these life-forms may be akin to what some believe are a particularly nasty breed of ET known as Reptoids or Reptilians.

Zanfretta also described a unique mechanical apparatus that fit over their mouths, which enabled them to breath in Earth’s oxygen rich atmosphere. Later, while under hypnosis, he recalled asking these creatures about the odd device:

“Why don’t you have a mouth? You get only those irons with a net, which give out light.”

Zanfretta was so stunned by the sight before him that he immediately dropped his flashlight, but he managed to hastily snatched it up and sprint away from this bizarre creature.

As he approached his car, Zanfretta would testify that a brilliant light began to loom up behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see a massive, triangular shape, which blinded him with its luminosity. Zanfretta shielded his eyes with his arm and stared in awe as this gigantic UFO, which he claimed eclipsed even the house in its immensity, ascended with a “hiss” from behind the Righi residence.

It was at this point that Zanfretta claimed to have been blasted with a searing wave of heat. Struggling, the guard finally made it back to his car where he proceeded to contact his security company’s center of operations in nearby Genoa.

It was at precisely 12:15 am. when Carlo Toccalino, the security company’s radio operator, testified that Zanfretta was speaking in an confused and agitated fashion. Toccalino claimed that what little he could discern of Zanfretta’s incoherent babbling consisted of descriptions of bizarre, inhuman beings.

When Toccalino asked his comrade to describe who was assaulting him, Zanfretta’s shocking response was: “No, they aren’t men, they aren’t men… my God, are they ugly!”

At that point, the communications were abruptly broken off and Toccalino called the chief of the security service, Lt. Giovanni Cassiba. Cassiba, concerned with both the welfare of his man and his client’s property, sent another patrol out to check on Zanfretta without delay.

Due to the treacherous conditions, the second patrol did not reach the site until approximately one hour later. It was at about 1:15 in the morning when the two night watchmen, Walter Lauria and Raimondo Mascia, discovered Zanfretta lying prone on the frozen ground in front of the Righi house.

When Zanfretta saw the approaching guards, he leapt to his feet, eyes bulging with fear, pistol and flashlight both aimed at his comrades. Lauria and Mascia both attested that the usually timid and lucid family man was irrational and did not appear to recognize them, nor did he seem comprehend their urgent requests for him to lower his weapon.

The guards, fearing for their own welfare, rushed Zanfretta and fortunately managed to disarm him before there were any unintentional casualties. The pair later testified that they were shocked to discover how warm his clothes were, despite the fact that he had apparently been laying on frozen ground for the last hour.

This event was so disturbing that the Italian military policem the Carabinieri, were immediately dispatched to the area in order to investigate. The very same night they found two distinct marks in the frost smothered grass behind the country home.

These immense imprints, which some have speculated may have been created by the triangular UFO’s landing gear, were measured to be 9-feet in diameter and were shaped like horseshoes.

The commandant of the Torriglia station, Antonio Nucchi, who had known Zanfretta for many years, stated unequivocally that he believed in the veracity of the guard’s frankly extraordinary testimony. When asked his opinion of the mental stability of this professional sentry, Nucchi answered:

“I can state with certainty that he is a clear thinking man with no strange fantasies in his head. When we went to investigate the scene the next day, he almost didn’t want to come, he was so scared. Only something exceptional could have frightened him so.”

During the investigation Nucchi revealed that no less than 52 Torriglia citizens had reported spying a bright, glaring illumination emanating from the direction of the Righi house at exactly the same time Zanfretta testified to watching the triangular UFO rise up into the atmosphere.

The story might well have ended there were it not for frenzy that soon descended on the village of Torriglia in the form of a scoop hungry press who had gotten wind of this extraordinary tale of UFOs, gargantuan alien visitors and a petrified security guard.

Not surprisingly, the reactions that most of the television and newspaper reporters had to this story ranged from polite skepticism to outright ridicule of Zanfretta and his mental state. Some even went so far as to flat out assert he was lying about the whole thing.

This incredulous attitude was shared by almost all of the journalists, with the sole exception of a reporter named Rino Di Stefano, who was working for the local Genoa daily paper “Il Corriere Mercantile.” Di Stefano was intrigued by the Zanfretta case and wrote several articles on the subject.

Unlike most of his peers, Di Stefano could not rationalize why a husband and father, who was engaged in a respected profession, would jeopardize both his career and his reputation in the community by making up a story as patently ludicrous as this. So he took it upon himself to contact Zanfretta in order to get to the bottom of this mystery.

What seemed to confirm Di Stefano’s belief in Zanfretta’s sincerity, above and beyond the additional 52 eyewitnesses who claimed to have also seen a bizarre light in the area, was what he attested to be the man’s disdain for the dubious fame and local recognition he was now being bombarded with: “Zanfretta didn’t want to be famous. He refused the notoriety, because he was worried about his job and his family.”

Zanfretta even admitted to Di Stefano that the crank calls he was steadily receiving were beginning to take their toll: “People call me on the phone at all hours just to play jokes on me. I don’t know what it was that I saw, but I saw it. I am not a liar… if I could have, I wouldn’t have reported my experiences, now that I see the consequences.”

Even Gianfranco Tutti, the director of the Institute of Vigilance, the security company that Zanfretta worked for, who was understandably concerned about the possible negative publicity these events might shed on his company and the reliability of its employees, publicly stated that he believed that the guard was an honest man.

On December 23rd, 1978, the harried Zanfretta, with the encouragement of Di Stefano, agreed to undergo hypnosis in order to shed light on what really happened on the fateful night of December 6th. The session was held in Genoa and presided over by Dr. Mauro Moretti, a psychotherapist and member of the Italian Association of Medical Hypnosis.

During the session, Zanfretta confirmed that not only had he actually seen beings from another world, but that these colossal fiends had actually abducted him. He further claimed, under hypnosis, that these terrifying apparitions had transported him into a hot, luminous location where they thoroughly examined and interrogated him.

According to Zanfretta, these the creatures did not speak Italian, but used a strange “luminous device” to translate what they were saying. During the same session, Zanfretta also indicated that the creatures came from the planet “Teetonia,” which was located in the “third galaxy” and that, perhaps most disturbingly, “they want to talk with us and that they will soon return in larger numbers.”

It should be noted that “soon” could be a relative concept from species hailing from another world. Sadly for Zanfretta, the horrific abductions did not stop here.

At 11:45 pm., on the foggy, rain soaked eve of December, 26th, just three nights after his first hypnosis session, Zanfretta claimed to have been snatched yet again. The guard stated that he was driving his patrol car through the Bargagli tunnel, near the Scoffera Pass, when he suddenly he lost control of the vehicle.

The panic stricken guard immediately radioed in and reported that his car was now driving of its own accord and had emerged from the tunnel. The horrified Zanfretta desperately tried to engage the brakes and the steering wheel to no avail as the Fiat continued to barrel through the drizzly fog bank up a steep incline.

After traveling in the presumably remote controlled automobile for approximately a mile, the Fiat finally come to a bone jarring halt. Zanfretta was thrust forward by the momentum and smashed his head against the steering wheel. It was then that his car was bathed in a white-hot light.

At this point the security company radio operator claimed that Zanfretta called in, speaking in what he described as a “very controlled voice,” stating that: “The car has stopped. I saw a bright light. Now I am getting out.”

Much like the first incident, Zanfretta and his vehicle were discovered at 1:10 am. by another pair of security guards. The first man to spot Zanfretta was Sergeant Emanuele Travenzoli. Travenzoli stated that he found Zanfretta in a field near the road and, despite the continuing downpour his clothes were warm and dry.

Travenzoli also claimed that Zanfretta was in a state of shock; quivering and weeping. This time the men on the scene were disturbed to hear their companion declare:

“They say I must leave with them. What about my children? I don’t want to… I don’t want to.”

Once again the Carabinieri were called in. After they arrived on the scene, the military officers found, much to their befuddlement, that even though the Fiat had been exposed to the cold downpour for an extended period of time, the roof of the car was as hot as one that had been baking in the scorching sun. Equally inexplicably, the officers revealed that the auto’s interior was as “hot as an oven.”

As if that weren’t bizarre enough, the military police also discovered that the Fiat was surrounded by inexplicably huge boot prints measuring 20-inches long, by 8-inches widee. These odd, almost BIGFOOT-like, prints had a distinctive bare spot between sole and heel. This remains one of the most intriguing traces of physical evidence ever to have been left at the scene of an alleged alien abduction.

The Carabinieri then came across Zanfretta’s revolver, a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, which had been fired five times. Amazingly, the still scared guard could not recall at whom or what he had fired the weapon.

Needless to say, due to the unexplained firing of bullets as well as the public furor surrounding these abductions, the military police’s probe into these unlikely events required a full report.

On January 3, 1979, all data in the case was collected by commandant Nucchi in a file labeled the “Report on the Sighting of Unidentified Flying Objects by Fortunato Zanfretta.”

This file was forwarded to the magistrat├Ęs court in Genoa with an inquiry as to what action should be taken. Finally, after the buck had been passed numerous times, the report was delivered to Magistrate Russo who, a year later on January 11, 1980, certified that it could be filed away with the declaration of: “No crime committed.”

The Carabinieri also informed the Italian Department of Interior and other military commands of the incident by two telexes sent respectively on December 8th and 28th of 1978. The Carabinieri defined the degree of reliability that these bizarre events actually occurred as: “good.”

This concern on the part of the Carabinieri night not seem so far fetched when one considers the fact that in December of 1978, there were so many UFO sighting across Italy that Falco Accame, a former member of the Italian Parliament, asked both Italy’s Premier, Giulio Andreotti, and Minister of Defense, Attilio Ruffini, to inform the Italian Congress about their opinion concerning the nature of the recent UFO sightings and what threats they may pose to the citizens of Italy.

Following his second encounter with the unknown, Zanfretta became somewhat of a reluctant celebrity. His employers, concerned about all the publicity as well as the mental health of their armed employee, asked prominent neurologist, Dr. Giorgio Gianniotti, to examine Zanfretta. His diagnosis was:

“The man is in a state of shock, but he is perfectly sane.”

Dr. Gianniotti’s conclusions helped to improve the credibility of this once unknown working class man, but the naysayers were starting to make life a living hell for Zanfretta and his family. It was then that Zanfretta agreed to undergo hypnosis under the supervision of Dr. Moretti yet again, and this time he consented to allow it to be televised in an effort to prove he was not insane. You can watch the filmed session here.

During this interview, Zanfretta recalled being stripped and forced by the abductors to wear a strange helmet, which enabled him to understand their language, but caused him tremendous pain. He also remembered one of the aliens taking his gun and firing the bullets into a “panel,” in what one can only assume was an effort to see if human weapons had the capability of harming them.

Zanfretta then expressed fear over the fact that he may be required to leave his home and family behind: “I know that you need me, but I don’t want to. I like to be alone. I have two children. I feel good this way… and after all you are not human beings. You are horrible.”

Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched this extraordinary interview, but instead of clearing his name it only further exacerbated the skepticism of his critics and elevated his cult celebrity to a global level. Eventually, as is often the case in unexplained events, the furor died down...that was until Zanfretta was abducted a third time.

On the night of July 30th, 1979, Zanfretta was on a motorcycle patrol in the residential area of Quarto in Genoa, far from the lonely peaks of Torriglia, when he vanished once more. Again his fellow guards were the first on the scene.

They managed to find him following a two hour search on the summit of nearby Mount Fasce. It should be noted that local eyewitnesses claimed that they had not seen the young guard or his motorcycle travel up the single road that led to the top of the mountain.

This time a hypnotic regression was conducted at International Center of Medical and Psychological Hypnosis in Milan where, on his own request, Zanfretta was injected with sodium penathol by Prof. Marco Marchesan. While under the “truth serum’s” effects, Zanfretta claimed that he was lifted from the ground into to the alien spaceship by a mysterious green light.

Following the procedure, Professor Marchesan confirmed that: “No human being can knowingly lie while he is under Pentothal treatment, so I think it’s very probable Zanfretta had these encounters.”

Still, for poor Zanfretta, and an even more unfortunate co-worker, the worst was yet to come. At about 10:30 pm. on Sunday, December 2nd, 1979, Zanfretta disappeared for the fourth time while driving an Austin Mini in the suburbs of Genoa. This time, however, the 26 year-old would not be the only one to have a brush with the inexplicable.

While driving in the hills of Genoa searching for their missing cohort, four patrol guards claimed to have clearly seen a very strange, cloud-like object floating above them. Suddenly, two beams of light seemed emanate from within the large “cloud,” illuminating the patrol cars below.

The vehicles’ engines concurrently stopped dead and the frightened, yet curious, guards got out of their patrol cards to get a better look at this UFO. Apparently the Chief, Lt. Cassiba, became so frightened by the sight before them that fired his pistol at the unknown object. It was then that the ethereal lights were extinguished and the UFO slipped away.

Sadly, Lt. Cassiba’s frightened reaction would not be the most tragic result of this unusual eyewitness event. One of those guards, Germano Zanardi, was so traumatized by the implications of what they had seen that it was said he never fully recovered his mental stability. A few months following this encounter he ended his life with a self inflicted gunshot to the head.

Just when it seemed as if it were impossible, this case took an even weirder turn, when on Monday December 3rd of the same year, at approximately 9:30 pm., Zanfretta got out of his patrol car at a self-service gasoline station near downtown Genoa. Zanfretta claimed that he heard someone calling out to him from the shadows outside the station.

He described entity that was speaking to him as a tall, humanoid figure with a bald, “egg-shaped” head, who was dressed in a checkered suit that included a chest plate made of “steel” where the shirt should have been.

As bizarre as this description is, it must be noted that legendary paranormal investigator and “Mothman Prophecies” author, John Keel, was the first to chronicled these beings in his seminal tome on unexplained beasts: “The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings.”

Dubbed the Grinning Man by Keel, this lanky creature, or creatures as the case may be,  has often been described as wearing a checkered shirt and is frequently associated with paranormal and, in particular, ufological phenomenon such as 'Men in Black'.

The first reported encounter with the Grinning Man was said to have taken place on October 11, 1966, when this terrifying apparition was seen by two boys, James Yanchitis and Marvin Munoz, as they were walking home along a desolate stretch adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike. The lucky boys managed to run for safety.

Perhaps the most famous example of this phenomenon, however, comes to us in the form of on 'Indrid Cold', who was said to have terrified 'Mothman' eyewitnesses in Point Pleasant, Virginia during the same year.

Zanfretta swore that the sound of the outlandish individual’s voice physically compelled him to obey the request that would come next. Apparently the voice, which may or may not have been telepathic as is often the case in Grinning Man scenarios, ordered him to drive his vehicle into a small cloud that was hovering just above the ground.

Zanfretta did as he was instructed and claims that he and his patrol car were levitated within the cloud and deposited onto a huge spacecraft. Onboard the ship the guard was allowed to explore with the company of the oversized aliens.

Within the colossal craft, Zanfretta claimed to have seen large, transparent cylinders filled with a weird blue liquid. One of the cylinders was said to have contained a “frog-shaped” body, which the aliens explained was: “An enemy of ours from another planet.”

Perhaps this was one of the same technologically advanced, self-illuminated wand waving species that the 'Aquatic Enigmas' known as the 'Loveland Frogmen' belong to. In two other cylinders, Zanfretta observed a large bird-like creature and another humanoid figure that he described as looking like a “caveman.”

Around this time these mystifying beings attempted to give Zanfretta a transparent sphere with what appeared to be an electrically charged pyramid inside. The aliens claimed that utilizing the sphere would enable human beings to comprehend who they were and how they live. Zanfretta tried to refuse the gift, stating that : “had enough of all these strange encounters and wished only go back to his normal life.”

Nevertheless, the creatures insisted he accept it, informing him that he was to give the sphere to a man of whose name he had never heard before, noted American scientist and UFO researcher DR. J. ALLEN HYNEK. Zanfretta, for reason only clear to him, laims that instead of giving this prize to the now deceased Hynek, he hid the object somewhere in the hills near Genoa.

Zanfretta disappeared again on February14th 1980, after which he was found by his colleagues in a state of shock and suffering from mild hypothermia. A villager living nearby stated that mere minutes before the rescuers arrived, he spied a huge, radiant mass in the sky.

During the next hypnosis session, doctor Moretti found Zanfretta to be uncharacteristically uncooperative. While hypnotized, he claimed he was contacting the aliens and began to speak an odd, unknown language. His voice became guttural and he uttered cryptic phrases like:

“Question with negative answer, can’t work out anything in a case like this. To believe or not to believe doesn’t mean anything: each thing in its own time.”

Against all odds, Zanfretta managed to vanish yet again on August 13, 1980. But this time, he was under close observation and was found before the aliens could contact him. This was the end of his least until recently, when the now long retired security guard claimed the extraterrestrials reinitiated contact. To what end remains to be seen.

In 1984, Rino di Stefano wrote a book about these enigmatic events entitled: The Zanfretta Case, which details the harrowing events that took place between 1978 and 1980. That same year, the Italian state national broadcasting network, Rai Tv, made a two part docu-drama based on the book. Portions of the unfortunately un-subtitled film can be seen above.

While there can be little doubt that the purported series of events that took place near Torriglia, Italy borders on the absurd, one cannot dismiss the fact that there were over 60 additional witnesses to this strange aerial phenomenon and at least one poor soul who lost his life because of it.

To this day the perplexing case of Pier Fortunato Zanfretta remains the most famous account of an alien abduction ever to hail from Italy. But as frightening as this case is, an excerpt from one of night watchmen’s hypnotic recollections, in the form of a warning he seemed to be giving to the aliens, might paint a more optimistic picture of the intentions of these visitors:

“I know you are trying to come more, you can’t come to Earth, people get scared if they look at you. You can’t make friendship.”

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