Monday, July 25, 2011

Just the Facts? - Kent's Big Cats, Looking For Goering's Gold and Corpse Wakes In Morgue


Kent's big cat / exotic animal sightings revealed


More than 50 reports of escaped big cats and exotic animal sightings have been made to Kent Police in the past three years.

A Freedom of Information Act request by the Kentish Express reveals police have received 52 calls about dangerous wild animal sightings since January 2008.

These included wild boar on the loose near Ashford, an emu seen near Paddock Wood and a wolf sighting in Sturry near Canterbury.

Most reports were of large black cats, making up 15 of the sightings, followed by big cats with 10 sightings.

A puma - could it be the big cat recently sighted?Other reports included four wild cats, three boars, two wolves, two lynx, two leopards, one cheetah, and an emu.

Police also recorded five hoax calls and two in which the animal was unknown. Someone reported a large orange cat on a roof in Maidstone town centre last July, but it turned out to be a fox.

There were also four reports of wild dogs, or dholes, in the days after a pack escaped from Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury in February 2009.

Officers helped to find an escaped emu in the Brenchley and Horsmonden ward of Tunbridge Wells in June 2009, and guided two wild boar into a field in the Downs West ward of Ashford last August.

In the majority of cases, the police reported the sightings to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and local zoos but took no further action.

Police Freedom of Information administrator Laura Brenchley said officers only went to the scene if the animal posed a risk to members of the public.

“The police would attend an incident if a member of the public was injured or if the animal was a danger to members of the public,” she said.

“However, the majority of the calls were reports made some time after the sighting and therefore police attendance would not have been a practical use of police resources.”

“We work closely with external agencies such as the RSPCA as they are better equipped to deal with animals than the police.”

South Kent police received 12 reports about dangerous wild animals on the loose in the countryside.

These included wild boar and wild dogs on the loose in the Downs West ward of Ashford, and large black cats in Lydd and Weald Central, Ashford.

A large grey and white spotty cat was seen in the Lympne area and it was reported that a large black cat had killed five sheep in Sandgate. - kentonline

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£2,000 reward to catch curse writer

A man in Glastonbury who received a curse telling him to leave town has put up a £2,000 reward to find the culprit.

Doug Hill, who owns The Gauntlet shopping arcade in the town, received the curse disguised as a sympathy card.

Mr Hill said: "What they're doing is messing with people's lives, but I'm not taking the curse seriously."

The inside of the card includes symbols such as an inverted pentagram and Latin phrases.

It also states: "Ye who sow discord, ye who infuse hatred and propogate enemies I curse you and request you leave Glastonbury."

Over the past year Mr Hill has also received eight death threats by phone, a letter and text messages.

Although they have also included threats to leave town, Mr Hill does not believe the same person is behind the curse.

He said: "I won't be getting out of the town, anything they're trying to do is certainly not going to have any effect. They picked the wrong guy."

Mr Hill, 53, hopes the reward money will help flush out the culprits.

He said: "What I'm trying to do is expose these individuals.

"I know some witches, wizards and warlocks that have said to me: 'This is diabolical'.

"Because I'm a landlord you cannot do that job without upsetting people - if they don't pay the rent you have to take them to court, and if you take them to court you're the bad guy.

"When you are helping them, you're the good guy, but when you cross them, but the very nature of the job, it's not all about making friends."

The incident has been reported to the police but it has not yet been officially logged as a complaint. - BBC

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150 human animal hybrid embryos secretively produced grown in UK labs for the past three years

Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far.

Last night a campaigner against the excesses of medical research said he was disgusted that scientists were ‘dabbling in the grotesque’.

Figures seen by the Daily Mail show that 155 ‘admixed’ embryos, containing both human and animal genetic material, have been created since the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilisation Embryology Act.

This legalised the creation of a variety of hybrids, including an animal egg fertilised by a human sperm; ‘cybrids’, in which a human nucleus is implanted into an animal cell; and ‘chimeras’, in which human cells are mixed with animal embryos.

Scientists say the techniques can be used to develop embryonic stem cells which can be used to treat a range of incurable illnesses.

Three labs in the UK – at King’s College London, Newcastle University and Warwick University – were granted licences to carry out the research after the Act came into force.

All have now stopped creating hybrid embryos due to a lack of funding, but scientists believe that there will be more such work in the future.

The figure was revealed to crossbench peer Lord Alton following a Parliamentary question.

Last night he said: ‘I argued in Parliament against the creation of human- animal hybrids as a matter of principle. None of the scientists who appeared before us could give us any justification in terms of treatment.

‘Ethically it can never be justifiable – it discredits us as a country. It is dabbling in the grotesque.

‘At every stage the justification from scientists has been: if only you allow us to do this, we will find cures for every illness known to mankind. This is emotional blackmail.

‘Of the 80 treatments and cures which have come about from stem cells, all have come from adult stem cells – not embryonic ones.

‘On moral and ethical grounds this fails; and on scientific and medical ones too.’

Josephine Quintavalle, of pro-life group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘I am aghast that this is going on and we didn’t know anything about it.

‘Why have they kept this a secret? If they are proud of what they are doing, why do we need to ask Parliamentary questions for this to come to light?

‘The problem with many scientists is that they want to do things because they want to experiment. That is not a good enough rationale.’

Earlier this week, a group of leading scientists warned about ‘Planet of the Apes’ experiments. They called for new rules to prevent lab animals being given human attributes, for example by injecting human stem cells into the brains of primates.

But the lead author of their report, Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, from the Medical Research Council’ s National Institute for Medical Research, said the scientists were not concerned about human-animal hybrid embryos because by law these have to be destroyed within 14 days.

He said: ‘The reason for doing these experiments is to understand more about early human development and come up with ways of curing serious diseases, and as a scientist I feel there is a moral imperative to pursue this research.

‘As long as we have sufficient controls – as we do in this country – we should be proud of the research.’

However, he called for stricter controls on another type of embryo research, in which animal embryos are implanted with a small amount of human genetic material.

Human-animal hybrids are also created in other countries, many of which have little or no regulation. - dailymail

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Looking for Goering's gold

A group of businessmen are to trawl a lake near Berlin in search of almost £1billion worth of Nazi gold allegedly dumped by Hermann Goering.

The Luftwaffe chief is said to have disposed of the treasure in the spring of 1945 to stop the Soviet Red Army getting their hands on it as they closed in on the German capital.

Up to 18 boxes of gold were apparently thrown in Stolpsee Lake, about an hour’s drive north of Berlin in the former Communist East Germany.

Polish slave workers ordered to dump it were allegedly machine-gunned on the shore afterwards, their bodies following the gold into the depths.
In 1986 Stasi chief Erich Mielke ordered a trawl of the water but nothing was found.

Now the search has been reignited after claims by a local priest.

The lake will be searched by submarines from October in a hunt financed by a group of unidentified businessmen.

The priest, Erich Koehler, 77, who has researched the legend of the treasure, said: ‘They didn’t have the technology in the former East Germany to properly examine the lake.

‘But there are enough local people still around to know that the gold is there – and the bodies of the poor souls forced to dump it into the water.'

Goering emptied his country home, Carinhall, of its loot and art treasures shortly before ordering it to be dynamited in the closing weeks of the war as the Red Army marched on Berlin.

According to authorities, the documents Mielke worked from still lie undiscovered in the millions of papers that make up the Berlin archive of the Stasi secret police.

Goering garnered astonishing wealth from lands conquered by the Nazis in the Second World War, including dozens of rare masterpieces from galleries across Europe.

Each weekend the ruins of Carinhall attract dozens of treasure hunters who believe that some of his wealth still lies in the grounds of the old mansion.

The consortium have been bolstered in their confidence of finding treasure from papers found in the German Federal Archive in Koblenz.

SS documents together with post-war eye witness statements to the events on the lake in March 1945, give credence to the theory that precious material was indeed dumped into the 400-feet deep lake.

One witness, Eckhard Litz, told a post-war allied commission: 'I remember well the night that lorries with slit headlights drove up to the lakeshore and I saw about 20 to 30 skeletal figures dressed in striped concentration camp uniforms being forced to unload heavy boxes.

'These were put into two rowing boats which made six separate trips to the centre of the lake.

'When the last case had been thrown overboard, the men returned to shore, were lined up and the last thing I saw were the flashes of the machine guns of the guards as they were killed.'

He said the bodies were then loaded back onto the rowing boats which were then taken out by the SS to the centre of the lake and sunk. A third boat brought back the SS men to the shore.

Goering is alleged to have personally taken charge of numerous amounts of bullion from the national bank of Poland following the Nazi invasion in 1939.

It is this gold which is believed to lie at the bottom of the lake, just a few miles from the estate that he owned. - dailymail

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'Corpse' wakes up, scares off morgue staff

A 50-year-old South African man thought to be dead woke up in a chilly morgue on Sunday and shouted to be let out, scaring off two attendants who thought he was a ghost, local media reported.

"His family thought he had died," health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo told the Sapa news agency.

"The family called a private undertaker who took what they thought was a dead body to the morgue, but the man woke up inside the morgue on Sunday at 5:00 pm and screamed, demanding to be taken out of the cold place."

This caused two mortuary attendants on duty to flee the building in the small town of Libode in the rural Eastern Cape as they thought it was a ghost.

After calling for help and returning to find the man alive, an ambulance was sent to fetch the man who had "been exposed to extreme cold for nearly 24 hours" said Kupelo.

He said the public should not assume that a sick person had died and contact a mortuary, the report said.

"Doctors, emergency workers and the police are the only people who have a right to examine the patients and determine if they are dead or not." - AFP

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