Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Glowing UFO, Wales Big Cat and DIY Plastic Surgery

Argentina: Strange Activity in Carlos Tejedor

Inexplicata - A well-known couple that operates a mechanic shop in the city described the strange manifestation of a glowing object over a country home in the Colonia del Toro area. The object was also seen on a photograph. From that point onward, upon inspecting previous photos, they noticed that the object appears to be patrolling the area for some time now. At night, it is possible to see very bright lights – red, green, blue and something like a fireball. The wife suffered experienced strong bodily tremors and a fever that faded away over a few hours. Some time ago, the woman and her two children even passed out, without any medical explanation being found. They now suspect that the phenomenon could be the cause, although she does not know how to go about researching it at the time. Other locals have also seen strange lights and fireballs.

Pedro Parera and María Rosa Velázquez and their children constitute a family of workers in [the town of] Carlos Tejedor. Both work day-to-day in their mechanic shop and spend weekends in a country property they own some 25 km from the city at Colonia del Toro. Their work is hardly over: there is painting to be done, grass to be mowed, repairs to be made – all of which delights the family. But something happened last weekend that changed everything for them.

María Rosa, a photography buff, does not waste any time in taking pictures, and she snaps away at her little digital camera, capturing every moment. It was in one of these photos of a growing soybean field, with the house visible in the distance, that she noticed something odd over the structure. Zooming in on her PC screen, she ascertained the presence of a shining object. Golden, resembling a bell, and of considerable size.

The strangeness quotient increased upon inspecting other photos. The object was visible in nearly all images taken in the same direction.

Not satisfied by this, María Rosa decided to look at pictures taken six months ago and even one year ago, and her astonishment was boundless: the object was always there.

At Night

Intrigue won out in the end, and after a conversation with a local engineer who told her that he’d seen something like a fireball – a story similar to one told by a fumigator, and other locals, who were unsure about the truthfulness of her story – she decided to return to field with her husband Pedro at night.

Her astonishment could not be measured, according to the report made to NOTICIAS at our newsroom last Tuesday, when they wanted the entire region to know what was going on. “There were very bright lights, green, red and blue. I took pictures of them, even though I was afraid. There was even one that turned into a true fireball and went away...”

María Rosa states that they were about to have dinner, but upon returning to the table, after taking as many pics of the lights as she could, until the fireball erupted, she felt a sensation of intense cold. “A very strange sensation, I don’t know how to explain it. I shivered. We went back and I had to cover myself with several blankets. I had a fever. But I was fine the next day,” she says, looking for an answer.

Everyone’s Sick

Today she connects this event with another that she and her children experienced last year, when she felt very ill one night and the boys woke up screaming, frightened, before fainting one after the other. This prompted the couple to return urgently to the city, with Pedro driving his family to the hospital. No abnormal health conditions were detected.

“Now, after what happened to me that night, I wonder if it was the same thing that made us feel so sick. I would like to go back to see if this is the case,” she says, her feelings an admixture of wonderment and astonishment, and fear about something she cannot explain.

Calls for an Investigation

Meanwhile, Pedro looks and listens, offering control and calm. Maria Rosa states that she “would like to have a large photo camera, to take higher-definition photos of all this, and to have someone tell us what it is, what it does, and why it’s there.”

Half-humorously, she adds: “The evidently “live” there, because they’re always there, they appear in nearly all photos. It’s a shame they won’t volunteer with the chores. Last week we mowed the grass, painted, made repairs, worked all day, but they didn’t offer much least none we could see.”

Date: January 28, 2011
Source: Diario Noticias Pehuajo (Argentina)

(Translation (c) 2011, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Guillermo Gimenez, Planeta UFO)


Ex-policeman in Wales 'big cat' sighting

yahoo - A former policeman based in west Wales spotted a "puma or panther-like animal" as recently as Wednesday.

Michael Disney now works for Pembrokeshire County Council's Public Protection Division and his sighting is being treated as authentic. While he gathered no photographic or other evidence, his sighting appears to give greater credence to the so-called big cat myth.

Stories of feline beasts living in remote corners of the UK are so common there is barely a region of the country without one - from the Beast of Bodmin in Cornwall to sightings in Kent and all over the north of England, such stories are common rural legends.

The latest sighting comes days after the government environment watchdog for England dismissed the existence of big cats. Experts with Natural England said in a report that they were confident no breeding populations of big cats exist in Britain.

Pembrokeshire Council begs to differ and is so convinced by Mr Disney that it is urging the public to report any sightings. It published extracts of the statement made by their man, which has been passed to the police.

Mr Disney's encounter happened in broad daylight in countryside six miles north of Haverfordwest, near Treffgarne village. He was driving his council car on a single track road at 15mph when a large black "puma or panther" crossed five metres in front of him.

He said: "I immediately stopped my vehicle and stared at this animal. It had a large cat-like head, muscular build and was approximately three feet tall.

"It was bigger and more muscular than a German shepherd dog. The coat was smooth and looked like it had brown spots on it. I had a clear, unobstructed view of the animal and the visibility was excellent."

He added: "I am 100% certain that this was a puma or panther-like animal and was definitely not a dog, cat or any other domestic animal. It was not something I had seen before other than in a zoo."


Cult of the mask grips Japan

theaustralian - They have blue sailor-suit uniforms, spangly mobile phones and several designer shopping bags. But one thing stands out: the cotton medical masks that cover their mouths and noses every waking hour.

These teenagers don't have colds. Instead, they are members of a growing tribe of Japanese teenagers who wear masks to take refuge from the world at large.

Rika puts her mask on when she leaves home and takes it off only when she goes to bed. She removes it reluctantly to eat, drink and occasionally allow her boyfriend to kiss her. She feels "comfortable" and "at ease" when she wears it. Rika, and others like her, are the cause of growing disquiet.

Last week's Asahi newspaper ran a long piece on these date or show masks. The phenomenon is one more example of a troubled youth culture turning in on itself, echoing Japan's lack of economic and political self-confidence.

The eccentricities of Rika and Kimiko are not as extreme as those of the million hikikomori, socially withdrawn Japanese who live with their parents and rarely leave their bedrooms. They are less sensational than the "girly men", heterosexual boys who forgo high-status pursuits and girlfriends in favour of humble jobs and clothes shopping.

But, like them, they seem to speak of a culture in which economic stagnation and the loss of guaranteed lifetime employment have left many young people uncertain of their place in society.


Tatsuya Ichihashi - before (left) and after DIY plastic surgery

Accused killer: 'I performed plastic surgery on myself'

msnbc - While on the lam for 2½ years, a Japanese man wanted for the murder of a British woman says he scissored off his lower lip, dug two moles out of his cheek with a box cutter and gave himself a nose job in an attempt to obscure his identity.

The disclosures come in a book released Wednesday and written from jail by Tatsuya Ichihashi, who will stand trial later this year in the murder and rape of his English teacher, Lindsay Ann Hawker.

Hawker, 22, was found dead in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of Ichihashi's apartment in Chiba, east of Tokyo, in March 2007.

Ichihashi, arrested in 2009 after a lengthy nationwide manhunt, admits to taking Hawker's life in the book, "Until the Arrest." But he doesn't describe the crime or his motives, instead detailing his life at large, during which he traveled up and down the country, in constant fear of arrest and obsessed with cosmetic surgery.

While police say Ichihashi has confessed to assaulting Hawker and that she died from her injuries, he won't enter a plea until the trial begins. The details in the book do not take responsibility for anything beyond what Ichihashi has already told investigators. If convicted of murder, he could face the death penalty.

After escaping the police who came to his apartment to question him, he bound up his nose with a thread and needle — like a cook trussing a piece of meat — to make it narrower.

At first, Ichihashi, 32, wandered around Tokyo and then drifted north to Aomori prefecture, where he twice tried to cut off part of his lower lip to make it thinner. The first time, he couldn't follow through because of the excruciating pain, he wrote. He finished it up a few days later in a public bathroom.

He wore several layers of surgical masks to hide the scars, but apparently didn't stand out in the spring when many Japanese do the same to escape pollen.

Moving by train and bus, Ichihashi headed south and embarked on a pilgrimage of temples in the southwestern island of Shikoku, wishing Hawker could "come back to life" — an idea he got from a novel, in which the dead are resurrected after someone who is thinking of them tours the same temples.

"I took Lindsay's life, that fact does not change," he wrote in the 238-page book released by publishing house Gentosha, its cover depicting Ichihashi's drawing of himself: a man wearing a baseball cap and a surgical mask.

While at large, Ichihashi carefully avoided monitoring cameras at shops and eye contact with anyone. He changed his location quickly and often when he thought he might have been spotted. He never contacted his family or friends.

Police offered a reward of 10 million yen ($121,000) for tips leading to his arrest.

Once he walked past a police station and saw a wanted poster with his face on it. It was then that he sliced off the moles on his left cheek — prominent in the wanted picture.

Having saved nearly 1 million yen ($12,100) from a string of construction jobs, he spent most of it on two plastic surgery operations, once to acquire a longer and narrower nose, and the second to raise the bridge of his nose.

In the end, his attempts to obscure his identity led to his arrest.

Staff at the second clinic took many photos of his left cheek with traces of moles he had removed, which seemed "strange."

The clinic reported his visit and sent the photos to police — news that was splashed in Japanese newspapers.

Ichihashi said he froze when he saw the news on TV about his cosmetic surgery.

"My heart raced," he wrote. "I gazed at it trembling."

He immediately checked out of his hotel, got a haircut and even bought a party disguise set containing a beard, sideburns and a mustache.

He was eventually stopped on Nov. 10, 2009, by police at the ferry terminal in Osaka as he tried to flee again. One of the officers asked his name.

Ichihashi gave his real name for the first time in 2½ years and was arrested.

In his book, Ichihashi apologizes to Hawker and her family, saying the book was intended as "a gesture of contrition for the crime I committed."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Strangeness In the Desert - Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport

The following narrative was posted on the MUFON CMS on 1/27/2011. The incident started on 1/10/2011. This is quite an odd report...I'm posting here only because of the 'strangeness' associated with it. I'd be interested in commentary related to this report.


I live across the street from the Laughlin/Bullhead, Arizona Airport. It is a small airport limited to small craft and a daily single line jumbo jets service which normally has about three landings and departures daily. Listening, I noticed that the jets had stopped landing that morning and only silence filled the normally noisy morning air. I turned on my police scanner to see if there had been a red alert or some other government action that might cease air traffic and listened to the airport frequency. The frequency had an issued alert that normal traffic would be suspended but did not specify why, it gave wind direction and other pertinent information for craft to land however. Mid morning, jets, I believed to be stealth bombers arrived. I did not see how many until the last day they were here, others, former military men who live here as well, claimed that while they had not see that particular jet, it resembled F-16. They began a series of sorties over the surrounding desert regions.

Mid morning, just shortly after they arrived, two men, one elder (early fifties to early sixties), and one younger man (mid 20's) arrived. They took up residence in the room beside my own which has an unobstructed view of the airport. But for all appearances sake, they rested from their trip for the rest of the daylight hours. Since the motel I live in is gay friendly, in all honesty I thought they were lovers and didn't question their true intent. That night, at around 9: p.m. I went to walk my dog, they were unloading their small blue truck of their personal belongings and I happened, (because I am a nosy person) to glace back over my shoulder and noticed what looked like a pup tent erected over one of the double beds in their room. I thought this was weird and noticed a bunch of wires and what-nots but basically reminded myself to mind my own business and walked the dog.

That night, I heard many different electronic sounds coming from their room. The next morning the entire airport was dominated by the fighter jets and their sorties. The noise was unbelievable and they took off and landed on a regular basis. Out of curiosity I asked the motel management, (whom I am friends with), if they knew what was going on over there and they said they didn't have a clue. I also asked about the two men whom were next to me and again, the management drew blanks, just that their truck bore Wyoming plates and they were probably gay. Again, that night I heard electronic noises and noticed they had obstructed the nosy view of any onlooking eye by placing a sleeping bag over their window but since I was at a dead end and their affairs were their own, I tried to ignore them.

The next morning the older man began what would become a daily habit, he would leave early in the morning and appear to be going to Laughlin to gamble or what-not leaving the younger man alone in the room, he'd honk twice as he was leaving but the younger man never left with him.

The jets continued to fly sorties all day and at night, a host of helicopters would begin to take flight as the jets appeared to settle down for the night and the helicopters which appeared as Search and Rescue craft being red and white in color, would fly in circular patterns all night long over the airport. I continued to hear the electronic sounds coming from the room next door and as I was passing the room, noticed the younger man had left to retrieve something from their truck. When he noticed that I observed him from the balcony he kind of acted like he was overcome with himself, not knowing what to do and almost froze suspended half way inside the truck until my dog and I passed him on our way to the field behind the motel.

As the days passed, not frequently but now and then, we'd see the younger man just standing, gazing from the end of the balcony into the barren desert. He never smiled, never spoke and I assumed was mentally challenged and began to believe maybe the elder guy was his father rather than his lover and maybe the elder guy went gambling every day, since he left in that direction but then one morning as the jets took flight, I noticed the elder man drove towards the right hand lane, which would have taken him to the Bullhead Parkway and hence to the airport. My son, who has a room two doors down from mine began to make it his business to find out what was wrong with the younger man, (mostly out of concern for his welfare since the older man left him alone everyday and if he was incapacitated in any way, we or at least he might offer to be there for him if needed), and my son attempted several times to speak with him but it appeared, either I was correct, and he was mentally challenged or something else was wrong with him as he had no normal human responses. Again, I mentioned to the management that I continued to hear electronic noises come from their room all night long and asked if they knew anything more about those two, but the office appeared to believe my original thought, that they were gay lovers and maybe they were playing video games all throughout the night on the T.V.

Now, I would have stopped here and as everyone else just thought that it was normal for air traffic to be interrupted in a tourist town that depends heavily upon all tourist and that maybe these two mysterious men who arrived the same day as the jets, in fact had nothing to do with the jets, with one exception. Everyone had a different theory who these jets were and why they had come to this remote town, essentially seized the local air port and were flying sorties above the desert but the night before they all left, a larger craft arrived under the cloak of darkness. We saw it quite by accident since it arrived about the same time we were walking the dog. From the balcony we could see the entire runway even though it was in pitch dark except for the tower as you could see apartment and house lights on either side of the airport. The craft was huge, (huge meaning it blocked completely view of the Southeastern horizon line which would have been dotted with lights from homes and streets),it was triangular and it was black, (assumed color), or as dark as the night, it had three lights around it and as this huge thing descended onto the airport it made absolutely no sound as it apparently landed. No jet engine noises, nothing.

I was obviously delighted to see this triangular black craft as I had never seen one before and was squealing and didn't realize we were right in front of the mens room. The younger one came out of the room and we both turned around to apologize for making so much noise and again, he froze, staring at the craft and back to us. So I said "hi" hoping we didn't disturb him too much and he quickly shut the door on the both of us. By the time we looked back, the craft had apparently landed as we just didn't see it anymore. My son was trying to convince me that this craft was something identifiable as I was trying to convince him it was the same triangular black craft many Arizonians have sighted over the years for it made no sound and appeared to glide to the earth or use some gravitational field to land.

The next morning as I took the dog outdoors there were three jets which took off side by side and flew north. By the time I arrived back at the motel the two men were packing up and leaving also. While I went to my room, I did secret watching them from behind my curtain to see what they brought out of that room and was amazed to watch them openly bring electronic scopes, wires and bags of stuff out and down the steps but the last thing I watched the younger of the two bring out and begin to drop down to the older man below, was silver insulated wall panels, (silver covering in a quilted pattern over a foam center, about 4' x 6' rectangular shaped), which I have heard some people use to block out signals from entering their homes. He dropped them down to the old man, who now appeared energetically charged, and I counted eight panels which they folded up, packed into the small camper shelled pick up truck and then as mysteriously as they appeared, they too, with the jets left Bullhead and by mid day, the tourist jets were landing at our airport as though nothing had happened.

Normal air traffic resumed and honestly no one I have spoken to appears to know exactly what happened here except some story that was going around that these jets came from Canada and the Canadians had permission to use the airport for their task, what ever that was, I was also told that the helicopters must have been Canadian as well since they were red and white but I haven't spoken to anyone who knows for certain about any of this stuff. All in all, they were here about one full week. I haven't spoken to anyone who also saw the black craft, it could be few people actually saw it as it was very cold that night and you'd have to have a reason to be outdoors, but we never saw it leave, I just doubt it was on the runway when normal traffic resumed as tourist would have wondered what it was. It must have left during the early morning hours.

Honestly there is no reason to contact me over the sighting since I really don't have any conclusions or answers and I understand only too well that in most of these cases there are cover stories which the public is expected to accept without question, I am certain that everything that went on here with the exception of the triangular black craft, will have a cover story but it makes no sense for Canadians to fly all the way down to a tiny little town to begin maneuvers that equate to test flying jets which I am certain Nellis AFB or any other northern military air field could accommodate with a lot less attention and then end by a legendary black craft landing on the field and disappearing overnight, along with two very strange men whom said less than a few sentences the entire time they were here. I did take phone camera photographs of the jets and from the land below, it is verifiable that they are flying over Laughlin/Bullhead Airport but I have not been able to identify the jets. Sorry I don't have more.

Fortean / Alternative News: UFO Sighting Opens 'Third Eye', Bomb-Detecting Plant and U.S. Troop Suicides

1961 UFO sighting gives cop third-eye, opens doors of perception

huliq - It’s been 50 years since Jim Mead witnessed his first close encounter with a UFO in a suburb of San Francisco while serving as a night watchman; now, looking back at that 1961 UFO sighting, Mead realizes that “it changed me for the better because it gave me a third-eye and opened my mind to a much bigger universe where we’re a part of it.”

Having a “third eye,” or an inner eye that expands clairvoyance has long been viewed as a perk for those who’ve had a close encounter or witnessed a UFO. The third eye is also an ancient and mystical concept that’s tied to certain Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.

“I was working as a security guard at a Montgomery Ward store outside of San Francisco. It was late at night and over the parking lot was a huge disc hovering with bright lights. There was no sound. It was also silent. It hovered for awhile and then went straight-up, sideways and disappeared. I will never forget it,” says Mead, who later became a L.A. police officer and then a psychologist before retiring due to a stroke.

He now lives in Reedsport, and operates an antique store.

When discussing this close encounter, Mead says he still feels apprehension and a faint though distant nervous anxiety.

“Seeing something like that never leaves you,” he says with a look that’s compassionate, troubled and still.

“At the time, I told my supervisor and he saw it also. But, we decided not to tell anyone because, after all this was the early Sixties, and people would have thought us nuts,” Mead adds.

As for how this UFO sighting has impacted his life, Mead said it simply makes him feel more aggressive and alive, and he was almost up on his toes telling this story about something that happened 50 years ago.

“Seeing it changed me,” he adds while pointing to his career choices afterwards. Mead said it “somehow” opened my eyes, or gave him a third-eye that served him well as a police officer in Los Angeles and later as a psychologist investing child abuse cases.

“I was able to see the evil in a person’s eyes, and just know what was on the up and up and what was not real or truthful. It was certainly one of those life moments that you never forget,” he says.

Today, Mead still thinks his story about his first UFO sighting seems too fragile for a world that spends more time debunking than proving alien life on Earth is real, and here now.

“Why is the government, and world governments not telling us the truth about UFOs,” asks the former cop as he smiles suggestively. "Maybe it's because nobody will believe it, and that's the best way to cover something up. Simply admit it's crazy and unbelieveable."

There are no easy or clear answers as to why Mead’s question remains unanswered now 50 years later, despite the intense scrutiny of the UFO community to prove the authenticity of decades of UFO evidence.

It’s also interesting to note that Mead’s 1961 UFO sighting happened at a time in the early 1960’s when “Project Blue Book” was being criticized by politicians, scientists and law enforcement that told the public it was just pie in the sky, and not real.

Still, there’s always been conspiracy theories about UFOs that simply won’t go away, says Mead.

A news story in a local Bend, Oregon, newspaper from back in 1949 noted pairs of disc-shaped UFOs “dancing” in the sky over Bend. During this say period, these disc-shaped UFOs were spotted up and down the ancient and winding Umpqua River that runs past Reedsport where Mead now lives.

While Reedsport has long been considered a timber town, that’s not been the case over the past few decades with the collapse of the Oregon timber industry. Today, it’s a quiet town that sits on the estuary of the Umpqua River where ancient Native American tribes once lived.

Steve Hallett is a retired logger from the region who’s hobby is collecting artifacts of the Lower Umpqua Native American tribe that “worshipped the hovering flying discs.”

Hallett points to Native American oral history records that go back to the 1850’s “where the Indians would speak of seeing the lights over their river.

Moreover, when the town of Reedsport was first established and named for a local settler, Alfred W. Reed, historical records state that Reed noted the local Indians fascination with “lights in the sky.”


More U.S. Soldiers Killed Themselves Than Died in Combat in 2010

good - For the second year in a row, more American soldiers—both enlisted men and women and veterans—committed suicide than were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Excluding accidents and illness, 462 soldiers died in combat, while 468 committed suicide. A difference of six isn't vast by any means, but the symbolism is significant and troubling. In 2009, there were 381 suicides by military personnel, a number that also exceeded the number of combat deaths.

Earlier this month, military authorities announced that suicides amongst active-duty soldiers had slowed in 2010, while suicides amongst reservists and people in the National Guard had increased. It was proof, they said, that the frequent psychological screenings active-duty personnel receive were working, and that reservists and guardsmen, who are more removed from the military's medical bureaucracy, simply need to begin undergoing more health checks. This new data, that American soldiers are now more dangerous to themselves than the insurgents, flies right in the face of any suggestion that things are "working." Even if something's working, the system is still very, very broken.

One of the problems hindering the military's attempt to address soldier suicides is that there's no real rhyme or reason to what kind of soldier is killing himself. While many suicide victims are indeed afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after facing heavy combat in the Middle East, many more have never even been deployed. Of the 112 guardsmen who committed suicide last year, more than half had never even left American soil.

"If you think you know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know,” Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli told the Army Times, "because we don't know what it is."


Professor breeds bomb-detecting plants

gizmodo - The next hydrangea you grow could literally save your life. With the help of the Department of Defense, a biologist at the Colorado State University has taught plant proteins how to detect explosives.

Never let it be said that horticulture can't fight terrorism.

Picture this at an airport, perhaps in as soon as four years: a terrorist rolls through the sliding doors of a terminal with a bomb packed into his luggage (or his underwear). All of a sudden, the leafy, verdant gardenscape ringing the gates goes white as a sheet. That's the proteins inside the plants telling authorities that they've picked up the chemical trace of the guy's arsenal.

It only took a small engineering nudge to deputize a plant's natural, evolutionary self-defense mechanisms for threat detection. "Plants can't run and hide," says June Medford, the biologist who's spent the last seven years figuring out how to deputize plants for counterterrorism. "If a bug comes by, it has to respond to it. And it already has the infrastructure to respond."

That would be the "receptor" proteins in its DNA, which respond naturally to threatening stimuli. If a bug chews on a leaf, for instance, the plant releases a series of chemical signals called terpenoids - "a cavalry call," Medford says, that thickens the leaf cuticle in defense. Medford and her team designed a computer model to manipulate the receptors: basically, the model instructs the protein to react when coming in contact with chemicals found in explosives or common air or water pollutants.


FAA warns of ongoing GPS issues in southeastern US due to Defense Department 'tests'

engadget - Don't panic, but anyone planning on using GPS in the southeastern US for the next month or so will likely want to make sure they have a fallback option. That's according to a flight advisory just issued by the FAA, which warns pilots that their GPS signal "may be unreliable or unavailable" due to "GPS tests" that the Department of Defense will be conducting between January 20th and February 22nd. Details are fairly light beyond that, but the FAA does note that when the "tests" occur they will be active for 45 minutes, and be followed by 15 minutes of off time -- additional notices to pilots will apparently be issued at least 24 hours prior to any test. Of course, while this particular advisory is directed at pilots, it will presumably will also affect all other GPS devices, as the FAA doesn't mention any GPS issues specific to aviation. The real question, however, is just what those mysterious "GPS tests" are -- if they're, in fact, GPS tests at all... - Official FAA warning PDF

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reader Mail: Weird Tracks / Blood, Chem-Trails and UFO Encounter

9" footprints with three claws. Note the blood droplets at top left. Click images to see full size.

I received the following from a reader and blogger, JS:


What do you make of this? A friend sent me these 4 photos from Ohio near Columbus. Any dogman sightings in that area that you're aware of?


“I am not used to seeing the kind of tracks in my back yard like the samples I’m attaching here. Any ideas? Looks BIG. Gulp.”

So read the email I received last week from my close friend S. with 4 photos attached. He lives in Franklin County, Ohio near Columbus, works in a highly visible profession and is too shy to post these images himself — but he’s also alarmed by the footprints he and his wife found in their back yard last week after the last big snowfall. Knowing of my keen interest in the ridiculous-yet-hard-to-explain, he sent them to me.

He’s been perusing BFRO’s site for sasquatch sightings in his area looking to make some kind of sense of this, but to no avail.

“The right track has blood on it — the right foot seems to indicate a foot injury,” his email continued. “We are kinda freaking out. We have spent hours combing through wild animal track books, trying to isolate and identify the tracks, hoping to come up with an explanation. WHOA. Freaking. S.”

He says the tracks crossed through his yard and stopped at a large tree. Sadly there was no shivering juvenile squatch hiding in the tree when he looked up — but then where did it go? Did it fly away? Jersey devil? Mothman? My two cents — these aren’t sasquatch, Jersey devil or mothman prints; they’re clearly dogman prints. Perhaps it leapt from the tree onto another tree or onto his roof (he didn’t think to look there for more prints) and was gone. (UPDATE 1/27/11: I just searched and found this regarding Ohio’s “Loveland creature,” a reptilian spotted in 1955 and 1972, so I’m switching my opinion from dogman to lizardman.)

They’re real. It’s not a hoax. Your theory? He’s open to your explanations.

Blood droplets, top left, spattered all along right foot path.

NOTE: not sure what to make of this...someone suggested a kid's lizard shaped slippers. The lack of depth in the snow fascinates me the most...Lon


I received the following email today...references chem-trails over Illinois:


I just caught your interesting article The Never Ending Mystery of Those Nasty Chem-Trails and I too, have been very concerned about them.

For a little background, let me explain that I have lived in the same location for over 60 years less 16 years of military service, and where I live, has been in my family for nearly 100 years, it is where I grew up. So I have experienced the skies above for nearly 45 years. Although I first noticed the Chem-Trail spraying over 20 years ago, over the past four years they have become increasing more persistent.

As a sky watcher, and a weather spotter, I keep an especially close eye on the sky in the spring, where thunderstorm here in Illinois can spawn a tornado in just a few minutes. Over the last four years I have noticed many strange cloud formations, and of course the lattice looking trails in the sky after a spraying has been done increasing in frequency and duration. In times past, say 10 years, the occurrence of Chem-Trails was periodic, and occurred a few times a month, and maybe no more than once or twice a week, and usually never more than once a day. Then beginning about four years ago, I noticed an increase in the spraying, to every few days, and in some cases two times a day. What I noticed as the spraying intensified was cloud formations that were forming much more quickly than they had in past years, and much faster than they did 20-25 years ago. Even more unexplained is the frequent storms that come from the east. When I was a kid, a storm coming out of the east was an unusual occurrence, and the saying was, "if a storm comes out of the east, it will be a beast." Over time, and especially over the past two years, the frequency of storms coming out of the east have increased noticeably.

I am also a radar observer, and over the course of a day, I will check the radar multiple times, especially if there are any threats of severe weather. This past year, I watched a thunderstorm that remained stationary over an area approximately 40 miles northwest of my location for over 2 days, and reports from the area reported more than 4 inches of rain fall in that period. The amazing thing was that only a few miles in any direction from where the storm was stationary, the weather was only partly cloudy, and in some cases the sun was shining, and they received little or no rainfall. While in the area that got the continued rain there was flood warnings issued!

The picture on your page, in years past before the spraying of our skies began, would have been termed a "sun dog," a phenomenon that is caused when ice crystals form in the upper atmosphere in very high clouds, and were a fairly rare occurrence, but over the past few years, these has become fairly common, seemingly from the effect of the materials that are being sprayed, and with no cloud formation in the area prior to the spraying. These kinds of formations were usually seen in the evening near the time of sun set, but over the past few years, they can been seen at any time of day.

In the spring of 2009, I found a strange gelatin like glob in my rain guage, after I pour out the water, it remained stuck to the glass. I fished the glob out, and put in a small clear glass vial, thinking that I might send it off for analysis, but within the matter of a few hours it had dried, and formed a crystalline shell like structure, and within a few more hours after that the structure disintegrated, and then disappeared completely leaving no traces of ever existing, except a ring in the corner of the vial where it had been. After I had found the first glob, I looked in other places to see if I could find anything like this, and while I did not find any globs, and only two other crystalline shells, I did find several circles that looked suspiciously like the one left in the vial.

Last year the spraying in this area was so bad that at times it would form a brown haze in the air, on what had been only a few hours ago, a clear sky. Even my wife, who until a few years ago took little interest in the spraying, pointed out several times the spraying that was being done, especially in the evening. I also noticed that in the spring during times of intense spraying that the rainfall amounts seemed to be much higher. Several times after a week of intense spraying we would see rain fall amounts that were in the 5-6 inch range, and caused minor flooding, or in some cases severe flooding, as was the case in the Spring of 2009. While some of these phenomenon would not to be out of the ordinary were they only occurring ever now and again, this pattern has repeated itself multiple times over a small period of time.

Which brings me to another point. The winter here in Illinois has been a terribly cold miserable one, with very little relief. For the past month we have seen few days above freezing, and much more snow than we are accustom to, but still noting compared to the snows I observed as a child where drifts was sometimes 4-5 feet tall, and blew over fences in such a way that you could walk the drifts clear over the fences. Still compared to winters of the past 20 years it is the worst I remember, and on a clear day last week I observed them spraying in the area, but with only straight lines, and not lattice style, running east and west. At the time the jet stream was just above my location according to the maps. The very next day we had 5" of snow, and oddly enough, while the movement of the storm was from west south west to east north east, the snow fell from the east most of the day.

I have my theories for the reasons behind this spraying, and while I am sure that the spraying is manipulating the weather, I believe that their may be other motives, and whether weather modification is the intended goal of the spraying, or whether its a by-product of the intended purpose, it is is happening on an increasing more frequent basis. I also have some pictures of the Chem-Trails and storm cloud formations that I have observed if you think you might be interested in seeing them.

Of course, while my observations of Chem-Trails have mostly been during the day, the night skies here on the Illinois prairie are no less intriguing, but then that's a subject for another day. Thanks for your sight, its a very interesting one, and I stop by often to see what new.

Renegade Rivers


I also received the following email a few weeks ago:

Dear Lon,

I have never written about this or even told anyone but as I read today's post about UFO encounters it made me realize that I have to tell someone. As I read your blog everyday I figured you would probably be the right person to tell. Please feel free to tell others this story, but withhold my name.

When I was 12 in the summer (late august) of 1998 I went to visit my Great Grandmother in a Village in Norfolk not far from Norwich, as a child I would often spend weeks at a time at her house. I remember the time of year and the actual year so well as I MADE myself remember, so that I would always know when it happened.

I always slept in the back room which was a spare bedroom / room where grandchildren slept. It was warm comfortable and filled with family photos, the only bad thing was that the cat would occasionally sneak in and scare me half to death.

One night shortly before I was due to go back I went upstairs to bed as normal. I walked across the bedroom to close the curtains when I noticed a UFO, not out of the corner of my eye but right in front of me. It was the classical UFO shape (flying saucer/ think Jupiter shape but squished so the ball part is not so round) it had a green and red light underneath. It must have some distance from me and I remember thinking that it was hovering close to the ground, over the field that the back of my Grandmothers house faced onto. I was only 12 at the time and it frightened me, I quickly closed the curtains and decided that I would never read another book about UFO's or even watch Star Trek. That did not last for long.

Strange thing is I am a very open person and I never told anyone about that night. Even odder was that My Great Grandmother, my Grandmother and my Grandfather were in that house that night and I never screamed or anything, it just never occurred to me. I just quickly closed the curtains, went to bed, pulled the blankets over my head, swore off UFO's and Star Trek and very quickly fell asleep, which is another unusual thing as I have always had trouble falling asleep.

It was not until years later when I was reading a new book I bought on UFO's that I discovered that there had been a wave of UFO sightings in Norfolk that same year. That news made me feel a lot better, yet I still never told anyone until now.
Thank you for reading this.

Also as a last note I have a pretty weird experience with ghosts in my teens, email my if you would like to hear that. Its just that right now I needed to get the UFO thing off my chest.


Fortean / Alternative News: UFO Kills Brazilian Fish, 'Terminator' Technology and Dragons & Unicorns

Brazilian Community Blames Fish Deaths on UFO

eluniversal - In Llanitos neighborhood, north of the city of Barrancabermeja, the collective death of two thousand fish is being attributed by the locals, to aliens. Witnesses said that saw an unidentified object that was hovering above the waters of a mangrove. The UFO emited a bright light and then, in few seconds disappeared. After that, the fish began to appear floating dead in the water. These fish showed signs of burns on the scales and gills.

A woman that is community leader from El Llanitos reported that the apparition of UFO phenomenon's lasted about 20 seconds. In the district of Puente Sogamoso, Puerto Wilches city, others people reported that they also saw the object, which was round and flew over the area with lateral movements.

The Municipal Department of Environment says the deaths are related to lack of oxygen in the waters of the swamp but the Fishermen's Association has rejected this hypothesis claiming that there was never a fish kills like was registered, now, in Barrancabermeja.

Furthermore, there is no known reason for this supposed lack of oxygen in the water. A committee headed by Environment Secretary, Isaac Lopez will inspect the marsh in order to ascertain the real causes of the phenomenon.


'Terminator' technology a reality

German researchers have built an anthropomorphic robot hand that can endure collisions with hard objects and even strikes from a hammer without breaking into pieces.

In designing the new hand system, researchers at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), focused on robustness. They may have just built the toughest robot hand yet.

The DLR hand has the shape and size of a human hand, with five articulated fingers powered by a web of 38 tendons, each connected to an individual motor on the forearm.

The main capability that makes the DLR hand different from other robot hands is that it can control its stiffness. The motors can tension the tendons, allowing the hand to absorb violent shocks. In one test, the researchers hit the hand with a baseball bat—a 66 G impact. The hand survived.

The DLR team didn’t want to build an anatomically correct copy of a human hand, as other teams have. They wanted a hand that can perform like a human hand both in terms of dexterity and resilience.

The hand has a total of 19 degrees of freedom, or only one less than the real thing, and it can move the fingers independently to grasp varied objects. The fingers can exert a force of up to 30 newtons at the fingertips, which makes this hand also one of the strongest ever built.

Another key element in the DLR design is a spring mechanism connected to each tendon. These springs [photo left] give the tendons, which are made from a super strong synthetic fiber called Dyneema, more elasticity, allowing the fingers to absorb and release energy, like our own hands do. This capability is key for achieving robustness and for mimicking the kinematic, dynamic, and force properties of the human hand.

During normal operation, the finger joints can turn at about 500 degrees per second. By tensioning the springs, and then releasing their energy to produce extra torque, the joint speed can reach 2000 degrees per second. This means that this robot hand can do something few others, if any, can: snap its fingers.

Why build such a super strong hand?

Markus Grebenstein, the hand's lead designer, says that existing robot hands built with rigid parts, despite their Terminator-tough looks, are relatively fragile. Even small collisions, with forces of a few tens of newtons, can dislodge joints and tear fingers apart.

“If every time a robot bumps its hand, the hand gets damaged, we’ll have a big problem deploying service robots in the real world,” Grebenstein says.

To change its stiffness, the DLR hand uses an approach known as antagonistic actuation. The joints of each finger [photo below] are driven by two tendons, each attached to one motor. When the motors turn in the same direction, the joint moves; when they turn in opposite directions, the joint stiffens.

Other hands, such as the Shadow hand designed in the U.K., also use antagonistic actuation. But the Shadow uses pneumatic artificial muscles, which have limitations in how much they can vary their stiffness.

Before developing the new hand, Grebenstein designed the hand of another advanced robot, the humanoid Justin. He says that in one experiment they would throw heavy balls and have Justin try to catch them. “The impact would strain the joints beyond their limits and kill the fingers,” he says.

The new hand can catch a ball thrown from several meters away. The actuation and spring mechanisms are capable of absorbing the kinetic energy without structural damages.

But the hand can’t always be in a stiff mode. To do manipulation tasks that require accuracy, it’s better to have a hand with low stiffness. By adjusting the tendon motors, the DLR hand can do just that.

To operate the hand, the researchers use special sensor gloves or simply send grasping commands. The control system is based on monitoring the joint angles. It doesn’t need to do impedance control, Grebenstein says, because the hand has compliance within the mechanics.

To detect whether an object is soft and must be handled more gently, the hand measures force by keeping track of the elongation of the spring mechanisms.

“In terms of grasping and dexterity, we’re quite close to the human hand,” he says, adding that the new hand is “miles ahead” of Justin’s hands.

About 13 people have worked on the hand, and Grebenstein insists it’s hard to estimate the cost of the project. But he says that the hardware for one hand would cost between 70,000 and 100,000 euros.

The researchers are now building a complete two-arm torso called the DLR Hand Arm System. Their plan is to study innovative grasping and manipulation strategies, including bimanual manipulations.

Grebenstein hopes that their new approach to hand design will help advance the field of service robots. He says that current robot hardware has limited new developments, because it's costly and researchers can't afford to do experiments that might damage them.

“The problem is," he says, "you can’t learn without experimenting.”

Click for video


Kentucky Creationist Museum Will Feature Dragons, Unicorns

theatlanticwire - Kentucky's state-backed $150 million creationist theme park, The Ark Encounter, will allow visitors to explore a literal interpretation of the Bible's story of Noah and the ark. But pseudonymous liberal Kentucky blogger Media Czech raises two important questions about that interpretation and how it will be manifest in theme park form. First, were there dinosaurs on the original ark? Second, what about unicorns?

Now, the blogger has found answers to both questions at Answers In Genesis, the official blog of the group behind The Ark Encounter. The group says "yes," to both, which implies that their creationist theme park will include dinosaurs and unicorns on the Ark. Here's Answers In Genesis explaining why dinosaurs were on the Ark, although the group prefers to call them "dragons":

Being land animals, dinosaurs (or dragons of the land) were created on Day Six (Genesis 1:24–31), went aboard Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6:20), and then came off the Ark into the post-Flood world (Genesis 8:16–19). It makes sense that many cultures would have seen these creatures from time to time before they died out.

And here's their position on Biblical unicorns:

The biblical unicorn was a real animal, not an imaginary creature. ... The absence of a unicorn in the modern world should not cause us to doubt its past existence. (Think of the dodo bird. It does not exist today, but we do not doubt that it existed in the past.). ... To think of the biblical unicorn as a fantasy animal is to demean God’s Word, which is true in every detail.

The Kentucky blogger fumes:

Kentucky will now be known as the state whose governor endorsed and gave $40 million in tax breaks to people who want to tell children that science and history explain that a 600 year old man herded dinosaurs, fire-breathing dragons and unicorns onto a big boat 4,000 years ago.

NOTE: Imagine, a cryptid paradise at a creationist museum...Lon


Arkansas fish, deaths still a mystery after tests

AP - Arkansas wildlife officials say the mystery of what killed tens of thousands of fish that washed up along the Arkansas River late last year can't be solved.

But there is a theory about what caused birds to fall out of the sky in a small Arkansas town on New Year's Eve.

Scientists determined it's likely that unusually loud noises frightened the birds so much that they flew off in the dark, even though they have poor night vision. New Year's Eve fireworks likely led the birds to fly lower than normal and into buildings or trees.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission say less is known about the Dec. 29 fish kill. Tests on fish and water samples didn't turn up anything.


Gorilla that walks like a man filmed at zoo in Kent

telegraph - Over 150,000 people have viewed the short clip on YouTube, where the 21-year-old is captured strolling around Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent.

A second and longer clip of Ambam has since been posted on the video-sharing site.

Phil Ridges, gorilla keeper, said: "Ambam’s father Bitam used to display the same behaviour if he had handfuls of food to carry.

"Ambam also has a full sister, Tamba, and a half sister who also sometimes stand and walk in the same way. All gorillas can do it to some extent but we haven’t got any who do it like Ambam and he is quite a celebrity at the park.

"We think he might use it to get a height advantage to look over the wall when keepers come to feed him and standing up can also help him in looking for food generally in his enclosure as it gives him a better vantage point.

"Ambam can also carry a lot more food if he stands and uses both hands and walking on two feet also means he doesn’t get his hands wet when it is raining."

Ambam was born at Port Lympne’s sister park, Howletts, in 1990. Both parks are dedicated to protecting rare species and are managed by an international conservation charity called The Aspinall Foundation (TAF).

TAF are pioneers in the conservation of gorillas both at the Kent Parks and at its gorilla rescue and rehabilitation projects in Congo and Gabon where it protects over 1 million acres of unique ecosystem.

Click for video

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flying Discs / Saucer-Shaped UFO Sightings Continue Over Colombia

colombiareports - The highest volcano in Colombia has been the scene of numerous UFO sightings in recent weeks, which according to some is due to extraterrestrials monitoring seismic activity in an effort to save the human race.

Locals in the border region between the two departments of Huila and Cauca, where the Volcan Nevado del Huila is situated, believe the UFOs to belong to extraterrestrial beings, and have documented sightings with pictures and video, reported Diario del Huila Tuesday.

These claims were backed by local UFO expert Ricardo Ayerbe, who told the newspaper that he has witnessed an increase in unidentified flying objects over the last decade.

Ayerbe explained that he is currently investigating the phenomenon and believes that alien beings have an interest in the geological area, which is at present at Level 3 risk level, meaning that there are changes in volcanic activity.

The activity of a number of volcanoes in the central Andes has not only caused alarm, but also provides a possible explanation for the UFO sightings, according to Ayerbe.

"Quite possibly these sightings are related to these geological events that have occurred in recent months. At the moment there have been sightings in areas of geological risk, because it seems they have an interesting in observing the risks that humanity is taking, surely with the purpose of intervening to try to save the race from these risks," he explained, apparently with a straight face.


Source: Diario del Huila - Colombia
Date: 01.25.11


Colombia: UFOs Seen near Nevado del Huila Volcano

Unidentified Flying Objects have apparently been seen near the Nevado del Huila volcano, in the municipalities bordering the Cauca and Opita territory.

This information was made known by residents of the region, who are in possession of photographs and videos of what could be the presence of extraterrestrial civilizations.

The strange images or sightings, as they are called, recorded in recent weeks from the end of 2010 to the present, are apparently not the first, according to Ricardo Ayerbe, a "Huilense" expert in the subject, who says these episodes have repeated for more than a decade.

"Sightings of the unidentified flying objects known as UFOs (sic) have been recorded for some years now, and there are photographs that clearly show objects plowing the skies, particularly near the Nevado del Huila, and some municipalities bordering the Huila and Cauca, such as Belalcazar, Sebastián de Belalcazar and other communities," said Ayerbe, a researcher of the phenomenon. He explained that while the events are under investigation, he believes that the alleged alien beings have some kind of interest in the geological area, which is currently at a Yellow Alert 3 level, and the volcanic activity is trending toward reduction.

The state of alarm in the area, which began last year, is due to the reactivation of some volcanoes in the central Cordillera, such as Nevado del Huila, according to followers of the UFO subject.” It is very likely that these sightings are related to these geological events over the past months. At this time there have been sightings in high-risk areas, because they apparently have an interest in monitoring these hazards facing humanity, surely with the aim of intervening and saving the species from certain danger," Ayerbe noted.

The alleged Unidentified Flying Objects seen by residents of the Huila and Cauca border region have special characteristics in their movement, such as high speeds, making no noise whatsoever, and making themselves visible and invisible at will.


Photos: Saucer Shaped UFO - Colombia - 12/25/09

MUFON witness report (rough translation): Colombia (undisclosed location) - 12/25/09 - After taking two photos, without tripod, of a dusk, when reviewing them in the PC south wind a sparkle with oval form that apparently corresponds to an object with displacement. In the first location and position it is different from the second taking. The coincidence but impressive this in the apparent oval form of clouds to the bottom of the dusk, like simulating a great ship, that went what it took to want to me to photograph that figure. After reviewing in the PC it surprised the light that appears to me in the two takings, furthermore in different positions. The difference between both photographs is of 35 seconds.

I was in my residence sharing with the family. When I observed that light in the photos, I shared with the family, that accepted that sparkle apparently is a flying object. Immediately I wanted to report on the subject and I acceded to the internet, looking for where to post this event. The object has an oval form, which I did not observe it at first. Nótice that the location of the object is different between a photo and the other. I believe that I have been lucky with this event.

NOTE: this sighting seems familiar to an earlier report in Colombia posted below: & Planeta UFO
Date: 12.19.09

Colombia: College Photographer Captures Phantom UFO

The presence of "phantom" or "invisible" UFOs in digital photographs (and some analog ones, too) is a persistent and annoying situation. And a polarizing one, too. Many either embrace these objects as proof of the otherworldly or reject them outright as proof of the photographer's ineptitude. But Guillermo Gimenez of Planeta UFO has kindly sent us an article from the Chilean on-line newspaper that suggests that even college campuses are being plagued by the pesky "invisibles".

Juan Gabriel Sutachán, a graphics designer with Colombia's prestigious Universidad de los Andes, more specifically its School of Sciences, was taking photos of the campus for a college fair and at no time saw the strange object, which subsequently appears flying over the School of Economics building of this academic institutuion.

"What I find truly curious is that I wasn't aware of the object while taking the photos. In fact, none of us present at the time ever noticed it, despite the fact that it was a particularly sunny and clear day. It was only when we downloaded the images to the computer that we noticed it," says Sutachán.

The "phantom UFO" depicted in this latest case shows a saucer-shaped form that emits a whitish-pink wake. The sequence of images was presented to Prof. Carlos Hernández of the Physics Department "As a rule, we physicists are very skeptical when dealing with such subjects, as we consider that there is always a logical and scientifically provable reason to explain any phenomenon. However, despite the fact that the image recorded its very curious, we will have to engage in a more thorough analysis before being able to say what it is."


Video: UFO / OVNI Itagui, Colombia

Click for video

The footage was obtained in Itaguí, Colombia in August 2007. An employee was recording the progress of the construction of a shopping venue when he witnessed the anomaly.


Video: Aliens / OVNI Land on Bogota, Colombia Building

Strange compilation of UFO / OVNI news video clips from Colombia. Seems to suggest that extraterrestrials were seen on the roof of a Bogota, Colombia building. - April 2008

NOTE: these flying discs have been reported regularly over Latin American but sightings have been frequently reported over locations in Colombia as well as several South and Central American volcanoes. Scott Corrales at Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic Ufology keeps abreast of the activity on his blog...Lon

Fortean / Alternative News: Alien Life Impossible, Astrology Declared 'Rubbish' and Bible-Chewing Devil Dog

Alien life deemed impossible by astrophysicist

telegraph - Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets discovered so far showed all were hostile to life.

Dr Smith said the extreme conditions found so far on planets discovered outside out Solar System are likely to be the norm, and that the hospitable conditions on Earth could be unique.

“We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own. They are very hostile to life as we know it,” he said.

He pointed to stars such as HD10180, which sparked great excitement when it was found to be orbited by a planet of similar size and appearance to Earth.

But the similarities turned out to be superficial. The planet lies less than two million miles from its sun, meaning it is roasting hot, stripped of its atmosphere and blasted by radiation.

Many of the other planets have highly elliptical orbits which cause huge variations in temperature which prevent water remaining liquid, thus making it impossible for life to develop.

A separate team of scientists recently declared the chance of aliens existing on a newly discovered Earth-like planet “100 per cent”.

Professor Steven Vogt , of the Carnegie institution in Washington, said he had “no doubt” extraterrestrial life would be found on a small, rocky planet found orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581 last September.

Such hopes are likely to be raised further in the coming weeks, when Nasa's Kepler satalite is expected to confirm the existence of hundreds of new planets.

But Dr Smith dismissed the claims, insisting that other extrasolar planets differ starkly from our own and that even if they did support life, it would be impossible for humans to make contact.

"Extrasolar systems are far more diverse than we expected, and that means very few are likely to support life.

"Any hope of contact has to be limited to a relatively tiny bubble of space around the Earth, stretching perhaps 1,250 light years out from our planet, where aliens might be able to pick up our signals or send us their own.

But communicating would still take decades or centuries.


37-year-old Maine hypnotist convicted for using craft to keep a 14-year-old girl quiet about their sexual relationship

wmtw - A jury on Tuesday afternoon convicted a 37-year-old hypnotist accused of using his craft to keep a 14-year-old girl quiet about a sexual relationship they were having.

Jurors found Aaron Patton guilty on all counts including four charges of gross sexual assault.

The attorney for Patton argued that the girl was 16 when the two had a consensual sexual relationship. In Maine the age of consent for sexual activity is 16.

Patton began treating the girl, now 17, with hypnotism when she was 8 years old to break her of a nail-biting habit.

The girl testified Monday that when she was 14 they began having sex and afterward Patton would hypnotize her to keep quiet about their encounters.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston said the girl testified she was in love with Patton and kept it secret for two years.

Patton is being held on $5,000 cash bail at the Androscoggin County Jail.


BBC show declares astrology 'rubbish'

guardian - Professor Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain have unleashed the wrath of Britain's astrologers with their comments about the ancient art on BBC2's "Stargazing Live" show, with the result that the Astrological Association of Great Britain have started a petition they plan to send to the BBC.

The section of the program that caused the fuss has been described in truly harrowing terms by 'respected astrologer' Angela Cornish, in an e-mail that was published by the SkyScript blog:

"If you didn't happen to see it, there were two presenters, Professor Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain. All was going well until they got to a part where they had models of the planets in our solar system on a table and Dara was explaining that all of the planets orbit at different speeds and distances away from the Sun. He said only the earth orbits the Sun in 365 days and returns to its own place, showing that horoscopes are nonsense. He then went on to add "Let's get this straight once and for all, Astrology is rubbish" The other presenter, Brian Cox, then agreed and said "in the interests of balance on the BBC, yes astrology is nonsense."

Shocking stuff, I think you'll agree.

This is not the first time that Brian Cox has waded into the astrology controversy that has raged in science for literally almost none of the last couple of centuries. The hackles of Britain's astrologers were raised last year, when Cox took a moment during his Wonders of the Solar System series to explain to the public that "astrology is a load of rubbish," a statement which pretty much echoes the scientific consensus on the matter, which says that, "astrology is a load of rubbish." It's a position that was first reached by Islamic scholars at least 650 years ago, and has been studiously ignored by such great minds as Jonathan Cainer ever since.

Since then, TV's most clean-shaven male Professor has become a bit of a lightning rod for astrologically-guided criticism, and the Astrological Association of Great Britain's new petition names him personally:

The Association will be requesting that the BBC make a public apology and a statement that they do not support the personal views of Professor Brian Cox or Dara O'Briains on the subject of astrology. We also request that the BBC will commit to making a fair and balanced representation of astrology when aired in the future.

On the second sentence at least I think we can all agree. I'd love to see the BBC give a fair and balanced representation of astrology. In fact sod it, let's extend that to all newspapers as well.

Such a representation would depict astrology as a pseudoscience with no real basis in evidence that was already being ridiculed in the Dark Ages, and note that after thousands of years astrologers still can't produce statistically meaningful results.

It would observe that any apparent successes of astrology probably owe more to the use of cold-reading techniques, convenient vagueness, and the exploitation of psychological quirks like confirmation bias or the Forer effect, and express amazement at the continued ability of the astrological industry to lift hundreds of millions of euros, pounds and dollars out of the pockets of customers each year.

Finally, it would make the point that intellectually-speaking, the pursuit of meaningful predictions in astrology isn't so much flogging a dead horse as punching a piece of rock and wondering why it won't say anything. Fair and balanced reporting is not the best thing to ask for when your views have about as much credibility as Andy Coulson's future in journalism.

Anyway, the Association's statement goes on to say (with my bolding) that:

"Communications the Association have received show that dissatisfaction is growing with Professor Brian Cox's support for Dara O'Briain's denigration of astrology in his Stargazing Live BBC2 television programme on 3rd January 2011 (see the portion commencing 17'30" and 19'45" into the programme). His justification was fragmentary astronomy and empty of logic. Yet he allowed the total condemnation of astrology. This is particularly disappointing, because for the previous nine months the Association had explained carefully to the BBC the reasons why Professor Cox's understanding of astrology was unreliable; following his gratuitous and unsubstantiated dismissal of it in Wonders of the Solar System (BBC2 28th March 2010 episode). "

Let's just leave aside the sheer burning irony of astrologers talking about "fragmentary astronomy and empty logic," because that's too easy. I do have to feel a bit sorry for whichever poor sod at the BBC has had to spend the last 9 months being educated at the hands of the AAGB's crack team of letter-writers. That said, I would dearly love to know what sort of evidence they presented.

I very much doubt the BBC are going to listen to this petition, but just in case, I say we start our own little petition here - if you agree with Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain (and let's face it, reality) that "astrology is a load of rubbish", feel free to leave a comment below supporting the BBC's stance. If I get more than a few, I'll put them in a letter and pass it on to the Beeb myself.


Woman hanged nephew's 'devil dog' from tree before burning it after it chewed her Bible

dailymail - A US woman has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly hanging her nephew's pit bull from a tree with an electrical cord and burning its body after it chewed on her Bible. Animal control officers said that 65-year-old Miriam Smith told them she killed a female dog named Diamond because it was a 'devil dog' and she worried it could harm neighbourhood children.

Smith's nephew left the one-year-old animal at the home he shared with his aunt during the recent winter weather while he went away. When he returned, he could find no trace of the dog and assumed she had broken the chain where she was usually tied at the front porch of the house.

An environmental enforcement officer came across the dog's body under a mound of dried grass, stinking of kerosene. The dog had an orange extension cord wrapped tightly around its neck and its body was partially burned.

Authorities said bail was not immediately set for Smith, who remains jailed in Spartanburg County, South Carolina after her weekend arrest. Smith is charged with ill treatment of animals in general, torture, according to an arrest warrant. She faces 180 days to five years in prison if convicted.


Mom horrified baby listed for sale in online classified

cbc - A young Sydney, Nova Scotia, mother is horrified her seven-month-old son was listed for sale in an online classified advertisement.

"I just felt disgusted that somebody would actually do that," Shannon MacLean told CBC News on Tuesday. "It's kind of sick, when you think about it."

MacLean found out about the ad on Kijiji when Cape Breton regional police visited her Friday night. Police hope to find out who put up the Kijiji ad.

They received a call just after 10 p.m. local time Friday from someone who had seen a For Sale ad for a two-month-old on Inglis Street in Sydney.

Police went to the address listed in the ad and met the parents, checking on the baby at the same time, said Desiree Vassallo, a spokeswoman for the police service. Police are satisfied the parents did not know anything about the ad and were shaken by the incident.

The ad posted the family's home address, MacLean said, and she is afraid it has endangered her son, Jayden.

"I'm very angry about that," MacLean said. "We could have had pedophiles or people come to our house looking for my son. It's pretty serious."

Vassallo said police believe the ad was a hoax.

"Obviously it was a concerning issue to us and so we did follow up on it to make sure that there wasn't anything of concern happening there," Vassallo told CBC News.

"We were able to confirm that at this point, it does, unfortunately, seem like a hoax or a joke."

The ad has since been taken down. Vassallo thinks any danger to the child was short-lived.

"Thanks to the concerned citizen alerting us to the ad, he contacted us as soon as he saw it pop up, so we were able to follow up on this quite shortly after it was posted," she said.

"So, thankfully, we were able to eliminate what we feel was a risk."

It may have just been a bad joke but police are taking it very seriously, Vassalo said. They are trying to track down the internet provider address from which the ad was sent.

"We have a member here who specializes in the internet," Vassallo said. " We are drawing on their skills help us to track down an IP address."

MacLean hopes the person who put up the ad is found and is made to realize how it endangered her son.

"Don't put fake ads on Kijiji because it's pretty serious and pretty disgusting that someone would go that low to do that and it's pretty immature," she said.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dominican Republic: UFOs, Angels and Aliens

MUFON CMS - On January 22th. 2011 between 10 to 12 am. on the town of Constanza, Dominican Republic in the center of country, I took a two consecutive photos (with a Nikon D80 camera 200 mm. lens) of my wife and son standing on balcony of a house in the mountain looking toward the valley, in the first photo appear an object far away in the sky (at left in the photo) with a classic UFO shape, in the second photo just one or two second apart the object is not present; note that the light and shadows of the objects and persons are the same.

I would like to know your impressions about these photos after being anaylized by your experts.


While in a private plane flying South East from Puerto Plata to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic I took these pictures from the co-pilot seat. The visibility was clear. We flew about 4500 ft. above the cloud deck. It was about 9:30 am, 4/22/08. (the time stamp setting was incorrect)

I took a series of photos and captured these objects in our flight path. The pilot estimated the objects were about 7-8 miles from the nose of the aircraft. The pilot did not receive any notification from Air Traffic Control.

The objects are extremely luminous. If you enlarge them you will notice the lower set of lights are twin diamonds or squares, symmetrical, and unnatural. The upper set of lights are almost amorphous. Both lights seem to disturb the surrounding atmosphere.

We called them angels because of the similarity to the wings of snow angels kids make in the snow. I urge strong analysis of these photos.

These objects were unlike anything I have seen. I welcome any comments and feedback as to what these may be. If there is anyone who can identify these unidentified flying objects contact me as I am very curious to solve the mystery.

We eliminated any thing like stars, planes, clouds, lightning, or natural phenomenon, since the conditions were perfectly clear weather. - ufodigest


Aliens in the Cane Fields

In March 1977, Dominican GOFOS group (Grupo Observador de Fenómenos y Objetos Siderales) researched a case which had taken place in San Francisco Macorís, a farming community in the southern part of the country. In one particular instance, a couple was awakened at 3:30 a.m. by their baby's crying. When the mother went to check on her, she noticed that the entire house was bathed in a hot, greenish-blue light. The mother described it as "a buzzing lightning bolt that won't go away."

The woman's husband went outside to see the source of the mysterious light, perhaps fearing an electrical fire of some sort. He was stunned by what he saw: hovering above the palm trees at a height of some fifty feet was a disk with a large number of "grates" which emitted an array of colors, mainly red, white, blue and green. He ran back into his house as the buzzing sound increased. The heat became
unbearable as the vehicle zoomed out of sight, and the couple was left with irritated eyes and a dryness of the throat that persisted for a week. Not much was known about UFOs in the Dominican Republic at the time, and certainly not in the agricultural region of San Francisco Macorís. But that was about to change.

On the night of June 24, 1977 an anonymous witness reported seeing an enigmatic light descending slowly from the night sky to remain motionless over the sea. A tube like structure emerged from the vehicle's "hull" and absorbed seawater for a protracted period of time. The unidentified object then rose again to hover above the witness, who noticed two beings staring at him through a porthole. According to the witness, a larger vehicle absorbed this smaller craft and became lost among the stars.

The stage for the sightings moved from the Dominican Republic's eastern tip to its western border with Haiti, near the sugar-producing region on the Bay of Ocoa, in late 1977 and early 1978, with events taking a grislier turn: mutilations, accompanied by strange lights and bizarre creatures, tormented the cane-cutters of the town of Barahona, who reported that a "gigantic dog" was slaying and eating domestic animals in the dead of the night. This monstrous canine possessed above average intelligence, as it was able to open pens and cages, extracting the last drop of blood from its hapless victims, which consisted largely of cats, hens and rabbits. Local authorities dismissed any supernatural suggestions, stating that it was merely "a joke in the poorest of taste" executed by the inhabitants of this agricultural area. The fact that the locals could ill afford sacrificing their animals for the sake of a prank was deemed irrelevant.

The mutilations were closely followed by a number of "occupant" sightings as the flap reached its peak: Cone-shaped beings were seen in November 1978 by five women in Santo Domingo. Three creatures, twice the height of the tallest human, carrying lanterns on their abdomens, descended a steep hillside to surround an automobile that braked to a screeching halt. The automobile's headlights died as the witnesses heard sounds which they assumed were blows being inflicted upon the vehicle by the conical trio. Their terrified screams attracted the attention of neighbors, who came to their aid. No traces were found of the beings or of the car which they had surrounded.

In the 80's and early 90's, the Dominican Republic's UFO activity became closely linked with the incidents being reported by commercial and recreational mariners along the Mona Passage, the turbulent channel separating Hispaniola from Puerto Rico. Many illegal immigrants, braving the Passage's fierce seas in order to land on Puerto Rico's western shore, have reported seeing bizarre lights performing spectacular aerial maneuvers before plunging noiselessly into the black waters. An anonymous ship captain in the illegal immigrant trade claimed that his fishing boat, along with its human cargo, was almost capsized by the sudden emergence of a glowing craft from beneath the waves. - Inexplicata


Date: Between the 8th and 11th January 2011
Time: Evening.

Hi, I’m from Germany so sorry for my English. Thanks for this report from a sighting on the 1st January 2011, before I thought I was wrong and I had an illusion.

I saw also two rectangular grey/silver shaped objects flying side by side maintaining a gap between them, equal to their own length, in my holidays in the Dominican Republic.

I don’t know anymore the exact date of my sighting, but it must be between the 8th and 11th of January in the night. I stayed near Las Terrenas, Samana and the two objects came from the south and they flew fast, but both with the same steady speed, with no noise in a northerly direction.

A short moment before there was a plane flying from north to a southerly direction with position lights. The plane was in a high in altitude and was against the two objects, only a small point in the sky. Maybe the pilots saw the same, I don’t know.

I couldn’t believe that there wasn't clouds in the sky. I don’t know what it could be. That’s all I could say. - Sightings


At 12:50 pm today (08.29.05) I was able to witness a completely black UFO at an altitude of between 1000 and 3000 meters. I say this because the object flew between a low cloud (raincloud) and medium altitude cloud (white cloud). We know that rain clouds are usually at an altitude of between 1500 to 2500 meters, with the lowest ones at 1000 meters and the higher ones between 2500-3000 meters.

"The object was traveling from West to East and its shape was hard to describe. I was unable to define its shape, but I believe it was something at appeared to be vertical (sic). Something like the alleged "flying humanoids" seen in Mexico over recent months. I cannot relate it to any other object, such as balloons, birds, airplanes, etc. on account to its very strange shape.

"Unfortunately I did not have time to a photograph, as the sighting lasted only some 40 seconds and I did not have a camera at hand.

"The object was flying in an even, single-row movement, except for a moment in which it a maneuver resembling a soft curve, which I estimate at some 5-10 degrees.

"I hope other people in my country saw the object and may therefore dispel any questions about the event. I will keep you informed about the event." - ufocasebook


There has been an excellent report of a USO just east of the Dominican Republic. Though only recently reported, the event occurred on April 21, at 11:40 PM. The report comes from a man and his wife who were on the deck of a pleasure cruiser enjoying the night view of the ocean.

The man first noticed a "white, spherical-shaped light out on the water a couple of hundred yards out from the ship." His wife first thought it was another ship.

Soon, other passengers joined them in disbelief. It was obvious that this was not a ship, as the light began to rise up from the ocean surface. It reached a height of approximately 30 degrees above the horizon.

The object was spherical, and began to perform amazing aerial maneuvers. It would dart like a mosquito, then suddenly sped back under the water. It soon disappeared. -


On November 3, 1957, Santo Domingo’s El Caribe newspaper ran a story concerning the remarkable sighting of four unknown objects “resembling flying saucers” over the city over the Barahona coffee factory. According to journalist Julio Lembert, “the strange and unexpected apparition of the strange devices, which came within 100 meters of the facility, caused tremendous surprise among the factory workers who saw them at 6:30 in the morning yesterday (Nov. 1). According to statements made by Messrs. Amador Ponds and Negro Reyes, the first to see the strange craft, these approached at low altitude and remained motionless when they reached a concrete structure used to dry out the coffee. They remained there for two minutes.”

One might be tempted to believe, half-humorously, that alien pilots needed a coffee-break as much a trucker might. But Lembert’s narrative continues: “Eyewitnesses to the odd manifestations say that the objects were round and had a sort of gyrating dome at the in the middle. They flew in tight formation, imitating a “letter Y” (the reader will recall the Jamaican case) and their low altitude enabled the factory workers to get a good look. While we were unable to see any portholes or occupants—they said—we understand that the height of domes would allow a man of normal height to sit within them. In Ponds and Reyes’s opinion, as well as that of other employees, the size of the objects was about six feet in diameter. After remaining over the factory for the indicated period of time, the four objects headed east at dizzying speed, without making the least sound, vanishing from sight in seconds.”

El Caribe’s edition for the following day understandably remarks that the unexpected visit from the inquisitive objects has become “the talk of the town” and that locals are suffering from neck strain from looking up at the sky so much. Other workers – whose names are given in the newspaper – stepped forward to add their names to the original witnesses. Weeks later, an “elongated, grayish object with an intense glow in its forward section” was seen after midnight on November 15 in Baní, witnessed by Francisco Fuertes, a deputy Municipal union worker. The object vanished behind a cloud and did not emerge again.

UFOs took an interest in the Dominican Republic’s hydroelectric works during this period. A strange blue glow, as bright as a welder’s arc, emerged from an unknown object that flew over the Jimenoa Hydroelectric Plant on November 16 and 17th in the early evening. Witnesses Manuel Crune and Luis Padilla described it as resembling a very bright Christmas ornament, moving slowly fron south to north. - Explicata

NOTE: some of you may remember at least two hoaxed sightings from Hispaniola over the past few years, in particular the La Vega Triangle UFO from April 2010. Historically, there have been sporadic credible sightings from the Dominican Republic...hopefully we'll soon start to receive constant and reliable reports from all of the West Indies...Lon
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