Former billionaire Sean Quinn's downfall 'caused by fairies'
Sean Quinn was once Ireland's richest man, with a fortune of €4.7bn, before his huge gamble on Anglo Irish Bank shares toppled him into bankruptcy.
But for some in his heartland on the Cavan/Fermanagh border, Quinn's downfall has more to do with the wrath of the fairies than risky business moves.
According to these locals, it was the decision to move a megalithic burial tomb 20 years ago which led to the fall of his cement, hotels, and insurance empire.
The Aughrim Wedge Tomb stood for 4,000 years in the townland after which it is named, two miles outside Ballyconnell, Co Cavan.
But when it got in the way of the expansion of a massive quarry for Quinn Concrete in 1992, permission was granted by the Office of Public Works to move it.
Following a full excavation of the site, it was moved -- stone by stone -- and relocated in the grounds of Mr Quinn's Slieve Russell Hotel on the other side of the village.
Mr Quinn has since lost the cement works, the hotel, a raft of other businesses and his multi-billion euro fortune. According to bankruptcy documents, he now claims to have just €11,000 in the bank.
Some locals have linked the movement of the tomb to Mr Quinn's financial woes.
"I'm a big supporter of Sean Quinn because of what he has done for this area but that tomb should never have been moved," said publican Toirbhealach Lyons, the owner of Molly Maguire's pub in Ballyconnell.
"There would be a lot of people who would think you could never have any luck after moving an ancient tombstone."
Such superstitions are common and widely believed according to University of Ulster folklore expert Seamus MacFlionn.
"Cavan is full of ancient sites like these and therefore many people there would be more superstitious about moving any ancient rath, tomb or fairy tree," he said.
"People do genuinely believe that to do so brings bad luck. It's part of our ancient Irish history," he added.
However, not everyone in the area subscribes to the view that the movement of the tomb brought Mr Quinn his bad luck. One sceptic is Ballyconnell butcher Gerard Crowe, "It's a load of auld rubbish. . . Simple as that," he said. - belfasttelegraph
A History of Irish Fairies
The 9/11 Explosive Materials That Collapsed The Twin Towers And Building Seven Revealed In New Theory
According to a theory advanced by a SINTEF materials scientist, a mixture of water from sprinkler systems and molten aluminium from melted aircraft hulls created explosions that led to the collapse of the Twin Towers in Manhattan. The mix of water and molten aluminum creates an explosive material as powerful as dynamite
Just before the two New York skyscrapers collapsed on September 11, 2001, powerful explosions within the building could be heard, leading many people to believe that overheated steel beams in the building were not the cause of the collapse.
The explosions fed the conspiracy theories that someone had placed explosives inside the towers.
At an international materials technology conference in San Diego, the audience heard senior scientist Christian Simensen of SINTEF Materials and Chemistry (picture) present an alternative theory based on the physics of materials of what happened in the towers when they were attacked by the aircraft. The SINTEF researcher believes that his theory is much more likely to reflect the actual situation than the official explanation of the collapse.
In the wake of the conference Simensen had an article published in the journal "Aluminium International Today", describing his theory.
Explosive meeting of molten aluminium and water
Simensen believes that it is overwhelmingly likely that the two aircraft were trapped inside an insulating layer of building debris within the skyscrapers. This leads him to believe that it was the aircraft hulls rather than the buildings themselves that absorbed most of the heat from the burning aircraft fuel.
The SINTEF scientist believes that the heat melted the aluminium of the aircraft hulls, and the core of his theory is that molten aluminium then found its way downwards within the buildings through staircases and gaps in the floor – and that the flowing aluminium underwent a chemical reaction with water from the sprinklers in the floors below.
“Both scientific experiments and 250 reported disasters suffered by the aluminium industry have shown that the combination of molten aluminium and water releases enormous explosions,” says Simensen.
Just before the two skyscrapers collapsed on September 11, 2001, powerful explosions within the building could be heard.
“Explosions demolished the towers”
Simensen continues: “I regard it as extremely likely that it was these explosions that made the skyscrapers collapse by tearing out part of the internal structure, and that this caused the uppermost floors of the buildings to fall and crush the lower parts. In other words, I believe that these were the explosions that were heard by people in the vicinity and that have since given life to the conspiracy theories that explosives had been placed in the skyscrapers.”
“Could your theory be used to protect human life and material values if other skyscrapers are ever hit by large aircraft?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact it could. One lesson is that we could develop means of rapidly emptying sprinkler systems in the floors under the point of impact. Another possibility would be to fire in a rocket carrying a fire-retardant that would overlie the aircraft body and prevent the metal alloy from becoming overheated.”
Day of unreality
It was in the morning New York time on September 11, 2001, when two Boeing 767 passenger planes flew into the World Trade Center’s “Twin Towers” in Manhattan in New York. One hour later, WTC2 collapsed, followed after half an hour by WTC1.
Neighbouring buildings were bombarded by flying debris when the towers collapsed. The 47-storey skyscraper called 7 World Trade Center also caught fire and collapsed several hours later at 17.20.
30 tonnes of aluminium
The official report on the causes of the collapse of the three buildings was drawn up by a commission appointed by the federal government and has since been supported by other publications. The report came to the conclusion that the collapse was caused by heating and failure of structural steel beams in the centre of the buildings.
“I believe that it is overwhelmingly probable that the theories regarding the cause of the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2 are wrong, but that the report very likely came to the correct conclusion as regards WTC7,” says Simensen.
“Why should we believe your alternative theory rather than the official explanation?”
“To put it as succinctly as possible: because the federal government commission did not take sufficiently into account the fact that the aircraft brought 30 tonnes of aluminium into each of the two towers.”
“What sort of evidence do you have for the theory that you are putting forward?”
“I base my theory on comparisons I have made with parallel observable phenomena in the world of physics. Let us start with what I think must have happened when the planes struck the two towers. They came in at high speed and at a low angle. The only similar phenomenon that we have any knowledge of is meteors that hit the Earth. What we know is that these drag material with them on their way through the soil layer. The whole surface, including all its pores, is covered by the material that they carry along. The innermost layer melts and turns into a glass coating on the surface of the meteor.
“I believe that similarly, the aircraft must have been covered by fragments of internal walls, ceilings and floors that collapsed around them and that the planes carried along with them as they penetrated the buildings. Much of this material was plaster, a material with extremely poor heat conduction capacity. All this debris probably formed a shield that kept the heat close to the aircraft and protected the rest of the building.”
Christian J. Simensen believes that the planes must have been lying in a sort of basin of material debris in the burning towers.
“So you believe that it was the aircraft themselves that became superheated, rather than the buildings?
“Yes I do. The disintegrated aircraft probably came to a stop near the centre of the buildings. The materials along the track of the collision must also have burned. But the really hot zone was where the aircraft came to a stop. I believe that some of the aircraft’s fuel tanks must have suffered major damage, but that most of them would have been cut in two when they met the steel beams in the buildings, and that the development of the fire was therefore fairly constant.
“I believe that the planes must have been lying in a sort of basin of material debris, with the floor of the basin two or three storeys below the one that they ploughed into. The entire internal basin must have been heated by the burning fuel. Outside of the basin, the temperature would have been much lower.
“The aluminium alloy of the aircraft hulls, which also contains magnesium, melts at a temperature of 660 oC. Experience gained from the aluminium industry suggests that it may have taken between half and three-quarters of an hour to reach such a temperature. If molten aluminium is heated further to a temperature of 750 oC, it becomes just as liquid as water. I presume that this is what happened within the Twin Towers, and that the molten aluminium then began to run down into the floors below.”
“What happened then?”
“All the floors in the Twin Towers were equipped with sprinkler systems. All the water above the hot aircraft bodies must have turned to steam. If my theory is correct, tonnes of aluminium ran down through the towers, where the smelt came into contact with a few hundred litres of water. From other disasters and experiments carried out by the aluminium industry, we know that reactions of this sort lead to violent explosions.
“The aluminium would immediately react with the water, with the result of a local rise on temperature of several hundred degrees, in addition to the explosions that were due to the fact that these reactions release hydrogen. Such reactions are particularly powerful when rust or other catalysts are present, which can raise the temperature to more than 1500 ˚C."
“Aluminium-water explosions are like dynamite explosions. They were probably powerful enough to blow out an entire section of each building", says Simensen.
"The aluminium industry has reported more than 250 aluminium-water explosions since 1980. Alcoa Aluminium carried out an experiment under controlled conditions, in which 20 kilos of aluminium smelt were allowed to react with 20 kilos of water, to which some rust was added. The explosion destroyed the entire laboratory and left a crater 30 metres in diameter."
“Many people in New York reported that they had heard explosions just before the buildings collapsed. Film taken of the buildings also showed explosions in the floor below the impacts. Given that the amount of aluminium involved was large in comparison with the quantity of water, and since rust was probably also present, I believe that it is highly likely that the building collapsed as a result of a series of extremely energy-rich aluminium-water explosions.”
“How could explosions in the centre of a building cause a whole tower to collapse?”
“Aluminium-water explosions are like dynamite explosions. They were probably powerful enough to blow out an entire section of each building. The top section would than fall down on top of the sections that remained below, and the sheer weight of the top floors would be enough to crush the lower part of the building.”
The neighbouring building
“What happened in the case of the neighbouring WTC7 building?”
“WTC1 and WTC2 took huge amounts of aviation fuel, fragments of steel and, if my theory is correct, large quantities of molten aluminium when they collapsed. When these materials and everything else fell some three or four hundred metres to the ground, they were squeezed between the upper and lower sections of the towers. This led to the neighbouring buildings being bombarded by hot particles, fuel and probably also aluminium droplets. Both large and small clumps of particles have since been found embedded in the walls of these buildings."
"WTC7 may have taken more of these impacts than the other buildings. At any rate, the building caught fire, which got out of control. In this case, the structural steel may have reached a temperature of more than 1000 oC, over seven hours, and the 13th floor collapsed in the course of a minute. In this case I do agree with the findings of the federal commission. Overheating of steel beams was probably the cause of the collapse.”
The way ahead
“Would it be possible to perform scientific experiments that can support your theory?”
“It would certainly be possible to look specifically for solidified droplets of aluminium and aluminium oxide in the walls of the neighbouring buildings. Experiments could also be carried out to find out whether fuel tanks are cut cleanly when they plough through a network of steel beams at a speed of 800 kilometres an hour. We could also test on model scale whether an object that ploughs through a room at extremely high speed becomes covered in debris from collapsed walls, ceilings and floors.” - nanopatentsandinnovations
The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Official Edition)
The Terror Conspiracy: Deception, 9/11 and the Loss of Liberty
Hiking the Redwoods with California's 'Squatchers'
Amateur researchers in the United States continue to eagerly search for the mysterious creature known as Bigfoot, staking out California's redwood forests at night in their hunt for the elusive beast. Despite many claimed sightings, the existence of Sasquatch has never been proven. Yet that hasn't stopped the obsessed from pursuing his giant footprints.
The plaintive howl echoes through the forest sounding like a muffled "whoop, whoop, whoop." Brandon Kiel pauses to listen in the dark, holding his breath for a moment before drawing air into his lungs.
Once again, Kiel cups his hands in front of his mouth and imitates the call: "whoop, whoop, whoop." The sound echoes back through the night, but all else is silence. Bigfoot isn't answering.
"The season is favorable," Kiel says, with a touch of disappointment. "But it's always possible that the animals are not in the area." The blueberries are ripe, and the calves of the Roosevelt elk, one of Bigfoot's favorite foods, haven't matured yet.
Kiel, 41, is a field researcher with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), a group based in the United States. The creature he is looking for is said to be clever, shy and stealthy -- an expert at camouflaging itself. But here in the redwood forests of northern California, Kiel is hoping he'll be blessed with hunter's luck. He and 20 fellow field researchers are on an expedition to track down Bigfoot.
Kiel calls the ominous creature "Squatch," short for "Sasquatch," a word in a Native American language that means "wild man of the woods". The shaggy, mythical creature -- half ape, half human -- is believed to be powerfully built, reach heights of up to 2.5 meters (over 8 feet) and weigh up to 230 kilograms (500 pounds), and it allegedly spends its time skulking through the forests of North America. So far, there is no real evidence of the existence of this alleged primate species. Indeed, human beings have never actually gotten their hands on a Sasquatch, either dead or alive.
Nevertheless, experienced "Squatchers" like Kiel are convinced that the animal exists. Even the Native Americans in the region had songs praising this mysterious miniature version of King Kong. Dozens of huge footprints have been found. Hundreds of eyewitnesses from the Canadian province of British Columbia all the way down to Florida -- including police officers, park rangers and professors -- claim to have laid eyes on the creature. The literature even mentions tufts of hair and a Bigfoot toenail found near the Grand Canyon.
"I am convinced that the Sasquatch exists," says British Columbia wildlife biologist John Bindernagel. For years, Bindernagel has put his academic reputation on the line by not only believing in Sasquatch, but also studying it. "I estimate the population of the animal to be several thousand at least," says Bindernagel, who has already written several books on Bigfoot.
Bindernagel also has a theory on how Bigfoot reached the American wilderness. He speculates that Gigantopithecus, an extinct genus of giant ape, once migrated from Asia across the same land bridge in what is now the Bering Strait that the first humans are believed to have crossed to reach North America.
Bigfoot is believed to be particularly prevalent in the area around the town of Klamath, in northern California, where a group of adventurous souls has gathered on this October day. Camouflage clothing is de rigueur, and the mood is euphoric. The most avid members of the group have studied the BFRO's expedition handbook, which informs readers to expect "type 1" inspections: a visit by "one or more" Bigfoots to the tent camp while everyone is sleeping, "most often between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m."
No one in the group questions whether the creature exists. Instead, they discuss its biology. The Squatch is "mainly nocturnal," Kiel says. It lives in groups and is "stinky, musky." Its diet includes "roots, slugs, frogs, deer, elk, fish, onions and berries." It literally licks its fingers after eating a meal of skunk cabbage.
Kiel has a round face with a vandyke beard, and he keeps his hair cropped short. When asked whether he has ever encountered the creature, he says: "Sure, just a couple of weeks ago."
In late July, he explains, the Squatchers gathered at Bluff Creek, less than 20 miles (32 kilometers) east across the mountains. "We had walked about a mile and a half, when someone suddenly said: 'There's a Sasquatch sitting by the side of the road,'" Kiel recounts. "I didn't believe him, so I asked: 'Is it a bear?' But he was adamant."
Kiel grabbed an infrared camera and peered through the viewfinder. "And, sure enough," he says, "there was the heat signature of a very large animal with its back to us, without a neck, with massively broad shoulders and a pointy head. You could see it from the waist up. I was totally flabbergasted." Kiel claims that the creature then turned around and looked at him twice. The intimate exchange of glances lasted about 15 minutes. Then Kiel, the expedition leader, decided to pull out. "I wanted to be respectful," he says.
The area around Bluff Creek is well known among Bigfoot aficionados. It was where, on Oct. 20, 1967, a legendary amateur film was shot depicting a massive, hairy beast strolling through a riverbed for a few seconds.
Film experts -- and even special-effects artists working for the Disney corporation -- have repeatedly scrutinized the blurred, grainy footage. But the evidence remains unclear. Is the creature a person in an ape suit or a world sensation of cryptozoology, the search for animals whose existence has yet to be proven? The man who shot the video, a rodeo rider named Roger Patterson, continued to insist that the film was authentic up until his death in 1972.
At the BFRO camp in California, at any rate, no one questions the authenticity of the Patterson video. In fact, almost everyone in the group claims to have already seen a Bigfoot at least once. "I was elk hunting", says Rey Lopez, a government employee who lives near Sacramento. "At first I thought it was another hunter, but then I realized that it was a Sasquatch with whitish hair."
We pile into Lopez's large pickup truck and drive out into the night. After a few miles, he stops the truck on a parking lot in the middle of the woods. The group uses headlamps with red lenses to avoid startling the beast. After a brief walkie-talkie test, everyone is ready to go out "Squatching," the nightly foray into Bigfoot territory.
We spend the next few hours whispering and stumbling through the same woods in which parts of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" were filmed. The undergrowth is wet, and the red light is barely strong enough to illuminate annoying roots poking out of the ground. Kiel, the expedition's leader, stops every once in a while and sends his "whoop" calls out into the night. Sometimes he also blows on a high-pitched whistle or hits trees with a large "Squatch knocker" -- in layman's terms, a branch -- hoping the hollow sound might attract Bigfoot.
Meanwhile, Robert Collier, who lives near Los Angeles, continues to observe everything with his night-vision goggles, which he proudly points out are "military grade." His eyes look green in the device's light.
The whole production has only one purpose: to somehow convince the woodland beast to communicate with the group. "Bigfoots have been known to answer us," says Kiel. "We experience time and again that rocks are thrown at us." He also points out that "wood-knocks," "whoops" and "screams" are regularly heard echoing from the undergrowth.
In fact, noisy audio recordings bear witness to the creature's supposed vocabulary, including sounds like blood-curdling screams and obscure-sounding jibberish. Particularly avid Squatchers say they've managed to make out bits of Russian and ancient Chinese in the audio soup.
Even some of the creature's genetic material is allegedly in circulation. Kiel claims that Melba Ketchum, a veterinarian based in Timpson, Texas, has analyzed dozens of hair samples, but that the results of her research have yet to be published. Nevertheless, there are rumors in the community that tissue from two dead Bigfoots is in refrigerated storage at Ketchum's laboratory.
Ketchum declines to comment, though, and the Squatchers have waited in vain for her to make an appearance at their annual Bigfoot conferences, which regularly attract several hundred attendees.
'A Good Excuse to Go Camping'
Does all of this sound crazy? Sure it does. And, yet, there are some questions that remain unanswered. For example, the 1992 discovery of a new bovine species, the Saola, in the jungles of Southeast Asia has given the Squatchers hope. The Saola lives in an area that is no less densely populated than many of the forested areas in the United States.
Couldn't it be possible that a shrewd giant ape has been hiding undiscovered in the forests of North America for centuries?
"It's a good excuse to go camping," says Bill Brewer, who harbors a healthy degree of skepticism despite being a BFRO member. Squatching, he says, also happens to be a lot of fun.
Perhaps this explains why these hikers in the northern California night seem undaunted in their enthusiasm, even though the woods remain stubbornly silent until the early morning hours. But at least that gives them a good reason to come back soon.
And it might also be that the Squatchers don't even want to find the mysterious, broad-shouldered creature after all.
"I like the romantic notion of our search, this wonderful gray area," Kiel says. If Bigfoot is actually discovered one day, he notes: "Then all of this will be over." - spiegel
Eyes In The Dark: The Sasquatch Experience
Sasquatch Odyssey: The Hunt for Bigfoot
Close encounter conference promises UFO truths
The main players in an unsolved paranormal saga are set to return to the scene of a 30 year mystery.
The infamous Rendlesham UFO incident has become the stuff of legend, dividing sceptics and believers worldwide since December 1980, when strange lights were seen by US airmen at RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge.
Last December, Woodbridge Community Hall hosted the 30th anniversary Rendlesham Forest UFO conference, followed this September by a forum for local witnesses to share their tales.
Now, organisers of both events are inviting back past speakers and introducing more characters to the debate for another conference next June, including Colonel Charles Halt, former Deputy Base Commander and subject of the fabled Halt Tape, on which the Colonel and his patrol are heard investigating the forest sighting.
For the first time since the notorious incident, he will be joined Sergeant Monroe Nevels, who can also be heard on the famous tape operating a Geiger counter at the investigation scene.
Former US airman Larry Warren will join old colleagues John Burroughs and Jim Penniston, returning with their accounts of events and presenting the “most comprehensive and accurate overview of the incident”.
Also appearing is Peter Robbins, co-author of Left at East Gate: A First-Hand Account of the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident, Its Cover-Up and Investigation.
Another special guest on the night will be Travis Walton, an American logger who vanished in Arizona for five days in 1975 and returned claiming he had been abducted by a UFO. His story remains one of the best-known cases of alleged alien abduction.
Organiser Gordon Goodger promises new evidence will be revealed at the two day conference on June 16 and 17. He said: “This event is nothing short of historic. John and Jim will be back in Woodbridge to present world exclusive findings of their recent investigations.
“Charles Halt will deliver a talk on the events of December 1980 and, for the first time ever together since those actual events, will appear with Monroe Nevels.
“Travis Walton will tell the amazing story of being abducted by extraterrestrials and held captive for five days. His appearance is an extremely rare opportunity to hear first-hand the inside details of one of the most thrilling UFO abduction cases in history.
“Larry Warren is recognised as the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident whistle-blower and the one who first got this story out.” - eadt
Left at East Gate: A First-Hand Account of the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident, Its Cover-up, and Investigation
UFO Encounter-Rendlesham UFO Case - DVD pre-order - to be released January 2012
Padre Pio's 'Stigmata Wounds' Caused By Carbolic Acid, Sergio Luzzatto's New Book Suggests
Italian saint Padre Pio reportedly used carbolic acid on his hands, feet and sides to "self-inflict" the wounds Christ endured during the crucifixion, according to a book by professor Sergio Luzzatto.
In his award-winning account dubbed Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age, the historian describes correspondence between Padre Pio and his pharmacist that suggest the saint used acid to mimic stigmata wounds, according to The Sun.
Padre Pio is a popular saint among Italians, and a survey conducted around 2007 revealed "more people prayed to him than to Jesus or the Virgin Mary," according to The Telegraph. In his book, Luzzatto suggests the Vatican succumbed to public pressure to canonize the popular priest.
In an earlier book, The Other Christ: Padre Pio and 19th Century Italy, Luzzatto examined the same documents found the Vatican archive, but his claims were dismissed in 2007 by the Catholic Anti-Defamation League, according to The Telegragh.
Born Francesco Forgione, Padre Pio was canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002, but not before two previous popes had debated the validity of Padre Pio's wounds, The Montreal Gazette reported.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, Francis of Assisi is believed to have endured the first documented stigmata wounds in 1224 in Italy. Since then, hundreds of stigmata cases have been reported, though the authenticity of the phenomena continue to be debated among scholars and researchers. - THP
Padre Pio Under Investigation: The Secret Vatican Files
Through the Year With Padre Pio: 365 Daily Readings