Saturday, March 26, 2011

The San Pedro Poltergeist

'Jackie Hernandez' during the investigation

One of the more infamous haunting investigations was the San Pedro Haunting or the Jackie Hernandez case. Dr. Barry Taff got involved in the case, along with cameraman Barry Conrad, in 1989 when he was asked to look into a house in San Pedro, California that was allegedly being haunted. The owner of the house was Jackie Hernandez, a young woman who also had some emotional problems in the past.

Recent images of the San Pedro, CA poltergeist house

The investigators were told of strange smells, unexplained sounds, moving objects, apparitions, a glowing cloud that tried to suffocate her (and which had appeared in front of other witnesses) and actually witnessed a peculiar, dripping substance dripping from the kitchen cabinets.

Barry Conrad hanging from a cord attached to a nail in the attic. This was the result of an attack by the entity

The events in the house grew stronger and even followed Jackie from place to place. Taff began to believe that she was creating the phenomena unconsciously because of her emotional problems and what became a strong romantic attachment to Barry Conrad. It seemed that anyone who might be perceived as threat to Jackie’s relationship with Barry ended up on the end of a violent attack by the poltergeist.

However, there are problems with the theory that this was strictly a haunting brought on by living subject. The unexplained lights are certainly odd and so would be the reports of male apparitions from witnesses. Also, as Taff found out later, Jackie’s house continued to be reported as haunted long after she moved out. According to the owners, no subsequent tenants stayed there for longer than 6 months. Could this be merely some residual from Jackie’s presence there or was there really a bonifide malevolent spirit?

Here is a link to a recent interview with Barry Conrad: 3-18-11 - San Pedro Haunting & Open Lines - Barry Conrad


Click for video

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Here is another brief version of the investigation:

On the night of August 8, 1989, Barry Conrad along with friend and photographer Jeff Wheatcraft, and Dr. Barry Taff, formerly with UCLA’s parapsychology lab and principal investigator of the now famous “Entity” case, would be witness to some of the most compelling and disturbing paranormal activity. Hernandez had told them stories of flying lamps, oozing blood-like gelatin from the walls, an apparition of a decaying old man, an invisible force that would hold her down as though trying to smother her, as well as a floating disembodied head in her attic. So before they left that evening Conrad suggested that Wheatcraft check out the attic. Not long after crawling through the small hole in the ceiling, Jeff’s camera was ripped from his hands into the darkness of the attic. Expectedly, quite shaken he bolted from the attic. Later he would venture back up into the attic in hopes of retrieving the camera. As he searched the empty attic he found an old dusty grape box, which when opened contained his camera, but strangely no lens. Continuing his search he found the surprisingly undamaged lens behind the trap door to the attic. Jeff decided to see if he could get a couple more shots before leaving. But as he began shooting a foul stench began to permeate the attic and without warning he was shoved by an invisible hand into the rafters. And this wasn’t the worst of the activity.

A month later on September 4th, they would be called back by a frantic Jackie Hernandez. The activity was escalating and getting more violent. Arriving around 1am, Jeff and friend Gary decided they should investigate the attic again. Jeff would pay for it, as he was attacked more brutally than the first encounter. Conrad down below with Hernandez heard a loud moan, it was Jeff. Something had grabbed Jeff by the neck and pulled him into the rafters. Somehow able to pull himself free, Jeff and Gary exited the attic. It was then that they all noticed an old cord wrapped around Jeffs neck. It was then that Gary explained that he actually had to pull Jeff off a nail in the rafter and if he hadn’t been there Jeff might have been strangled to death. But there was a plus to the attack, Gary snapped off a photo at the precise moment of the entity yanking Jeff into the rafters.

Jackie Hernandez would eventually move out of the house after the activity became so dangerous that she felt her children were in danger.

NOTE: I attempted to contact the current occupants of the house....no dice. I can understand their reluctance to comment...Lon

Fortean / Alternative News: New Jerusalem UFO Video and the UK Opposed United Nations UFO Initiative


New Jerusalem UFO Video Pops Up


Click for video

The video was forwarded to me by Rick Phillips at UFO Disclosure Countdown Clock. Is this a hoax?

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New British documents show UK attempted to derail UN UFO initiative

Among the thousands of pages in the latest badge of UFO documents released and posted online by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), there are two dozen pages of memos and telexes dealing with the UFO motion at the United Nations undertaken by the government of the Caribbean island of Grenada in the late 1970s. This effort, spearheaded by the late Prime Minister of Grenada sir Eric Gairy (1922-1997) in the period between 1976 and 1979, culminated with the UN General Assembly Decision 33/424 of December 18, 1978, “Establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations for undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of research into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena.”

The Grenada UN initiative remains one of the big milestones in the international diplomatic history of UFOs. Here you have the head of state of a member country making speeches, seeking experts and convening hearings to bring the subject of UFOs and alien visitations into the official agenda of the United Nations, so the subject can be dealt in a coherent and coordinated global manner. Real exo-politics at the highest level! I know this subject particularly well for this was one of the very first UFO stories that I covered professionally as a journalist. I attended the famous UFO Hearing at the Special Political Committee on November 27, 1978, where I had the opportunity of meeting Gairy himself as well as the experts who testified in the hearing like Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Dr. Jacques Vallee and Stanton Friedman. I wrote a long feature article on the third issue of Open Minds magazine (August/September 2010), “The True Story of the United Nations’ UFO Hearings,” where I provided a lot of history and background. Although Decision 33/424 was never implemented—the UFO effort died out after Gairy was overthrown from power in March 1979—the idea of a small UN UFO agency or department is still technically in the books, waiting for another country to take the torch and proceed from there. Continued reading at New British documents show UK attempted to derail UN UFO initiative

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South Africa euthanises famous mugger baboon

news.com.au - South African officials have euthanised the country's most famous baboon, known as Fred, who was well-known for raiding cars and frightening tourists along Cape Town's scenic route.

Fred was the ringleader of a group of baboons infamous for breaking into cars to chow down on sandwiches and snacks.

Cape Town's baboon management group said he was euthanised overnight because he was becoming increasingly aggressive.

The group said Fred attacked and injured three people in 2010.

"The decision to have him euthanised was not taken lightly and not without extensive discussions between all role players involved," the group said in a statement.

"This baboon's aggression levels had recently escalated to the point where the safety of tourists, motorists and other travellers along the road past Smitswinkel Bay was being threatened."

In 2009, Fred led a group of 29 baboons in a four-car raid outside Simon's Town, a small coastal neighbourhood.

The baboon chief used his signature tactic of opening unlocked doors and jumping through windows to search for food, while the rest looked for access inside from car roofs and bonnets.

There are more than 400 baboons roaming Cape Town's outskirts, particularly the popular scenic route to the Cape of Good Hope.

Baboons are a protected species under South African legislation but their aggressive pursuits of food have led to conflicts with residents.

Cape Town's baboon management group said as baboons are exposed to human food, rich in carbohydrates, they are becoming increasingly intent on getting more of it - and increasingly dangerous.

People caught feeding baboons are liable for a fine of 1500 rand ($215).

"Unfortunately, this baboon's demise can be contributed mainly to the continuous misguided efforts by humans to befriend and feed baboons," the group's statement said.

"Because people want to love, laugh at and be entertained by baboons, they start a cycle of events that can lead to tragedy, as in the case of this baboon."

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Chinese sheep gives birth to puppy

A Chinese farmer claims that one of his sheep has given birth to a puppy. The 'puppy' has wool like a lamb but it's mouth, nose, eyes, paws and tail look more like a dog's. Vets say it is impossible for a sheep to give birth to a dog - but people have been flocking to Liu Naiying's farm to see the animal for themselves.

Liu, of in Fugu County, Shaanxi Province, says his 'sheep dog' even plays like a puppy. He told how he found the unusual baby animal shortly after it was born in one of his fields.

"I was herding the sheep, and saw a sheep licking her newborn lamb on the grassland. The lamb was still wet," he said. "When I went up close to check on the lamb I was shocked because it looked so weird, like a cross between a sheep and a dog. I was a bit frightened, as I've been raising sheep for 20 years and had never seen such a creature."

Yue Guozhang, a researcher at Xi'an City Animal Husbandry Technology Centre, said sheep and dogs were different species. "It's not possible that a sheep could become pregnant with a puppy," he said. "It's likely that this is just an abnormal lamb."

Friday, March 25, 2011

'The Entity' Investigation - Culver City, CA - 1974

A recent photograph of the house on 11547 Braddock Drive (2011)

On August 22, 1974 at 11547 Braddock Drive in Culver City, California an investigation began that was to be like no other that parapsychologists Kerry Gaynor and Barry Taff had ever experienced. "At the time I had a colleague named Barry Taff," said Gaynor. “We were working under the auspices of Dr. Thelma Moss, but Barry and I did most of the research on this case.” Believing that this would be an open and shut case they journeyed to Doris Bither’s house with few expectations.

While in a bookstore, Kerry Gaynor and Barry Taff were overheard talking about the paranormal when a woman approached and mentioned to them that her house was haunted. She gave Gaynor a few details of the haunting, in which Gaynor told her that he would discuss this with his associate. Gaynor and Taff made an appointment to meet at her home to discuss her situation.

Parapsychologist Kerry Gaynor 

Doris Bither, a petite thirtysomething woman, greeted them at her door. Bither lived in the small house with her six year-old daughter and her three sons, ages ten, thirteen and sixteen. The house was in squalor with substandard living conditions and had twice been condemned by the city. There was also an uneasy relationship between the mother and her sons, especially by the eldest. It seemed they harbored dark resentment towards their mother, most likely as a result of their living conditions. Young minds unconsciously troubled by physical and/or verbal abusive and in a negative environment are lightning rods for paranormal activity that can manifest into psychosomatic or poltergeist activity.

Gaynor said that during the initial meeting a two-hour interview was conducted. Gaynor realized fairly soon that she was holding something back. “I kept pushing her," said Gaynor. "Finally she said that a ghost had raped and beat her. Barry and I laughed when we left her home, and I thought she was probably off her rocker. But she called me back a few days later and said that several people visiting her had seen an apparition. This is what we're always looking for...independent verification of the phenomena. I'm a scientist and that's how I approach it. I don't take their stories at face value. Their story is the beginning and I don't discount it, but I'm there to experience the phenomena and document it."

Recent photo of Dr. Barry Taff

During the second visit by Gaynor and Taff, it was starting to become apparent that this was not a simple haunting. Doris claimed that spirits would physically attack her, either bumping into the ghosts while walking through the house or actual spectral rape on occasion. Gaynor and Taff were still skeptical of these claims until they saw the dark bruises on her inner thighs and over much of her body. Doris’ eldest son did admit to seeing his mother being tossed around the room. In one instance he tried to intervene and was thrown across the room by the unseen force. Doris claimed that the spectres were Asian men and that the children had also witnessed the manifestations. The sightings were so frequent that the children dubbed one of the more prominent spirits as “Mr. Whose-it.” People outside the family corroborated through testimony that they had also seen apparitions. Gaynor and Taff did witness some visual phenomena. "We were seeing little pops of light," said Gaynor. "It would happen quickly. We would try to shoot the camera, but they were happening too quickly and we just couldn't catch them. We were shooting with a Polaroid and with a 35mm camera."

How could these investigators prove “spectral rape” or even claim it? The team decided to setup at the location and brought in high-speed cameras and photographers as well as other investigators to help capture something on tape. In the report, all the investigators and equipment, as well as Doris, were in her small bedroom. Uncomfortable and anxious to see any paranormal activity, they decided to have Doris call out to the spirits. Doris began swearing and yelling at the spirits while the investigators hoped for any evidence. Very soon small lights started to manifest throughout the room. As Doris continued to bait the entities, a greenish mist started to form in a corner. The green mist started swirling and growing quickly forming a visible upper torso of a man...very large and defined with muscles was reported. One of the investigators fainted after witnessing the manifestation. Unfortunately, none of the equipment was able to capture the definition of the form, only free floating arcs of light.


The most famous of these photographs is the one that shows Doris sitting on a bed, investigators surrounding her and the free floating arc of light in the middle of the picture. The arc of light appears smooth, even though this is a room with corners and one would expect bends in the arc as when someone uses a projector to display an image and the image hits corners in a room. If this were the case, the image would bend. The photographic evidence produce by the team shows the arc of light floating above Doris with no bends, even though behind it is the room’s corner.

There was also more common poltergeist activity noted during the investigation. “I was standing in the kitchen talking to the woman's 16 year-old son when a lower cabinet door slammed open and a pan came flying out," said Gaynor. “It flew out and landed about three or four feet from the cabinet. I immediately tore the cabinet apart to see if there were any tricks, or if anyone was hiding in the cabinets. But there was nothing.” Not long after this occurred Doris screamed, “it's in the bedroom.” Gaynor explains “we ran in there and that's when all the lights started happening. That's when we got the Polaroid shots. Again Doris shouted, 'the ghost is in the comer'. We snapped the picture, but it was bleached out and not very interesting. She shouted again, 'it's in the corner' and again the photo was bleached. At this point, I thought the camera wasn't working. So I took two control pictures. I asked her if the ghost was gone. She said yes. The picture came out perfectly. A few seconds later I took another one….perfect picture. But then we got the most interesting Polaroid. Doris said, 'It is right in front of my face.' Those were her exact words. So we took a shot. And in the photo you can see the curtains and the buttons on her dress, but her whole face is obliterated. We took a second picture when she once again said, 'it's right in front of my face.' Amazingly, her face was obliterated again, but you could see details in the rest of the picture.”


The investigative team observed lights and poltergeist activity for about two and a half months. As time went by, the activities decreased. Doris was attacked about 15 times during the ten-week investigation. "But she got stronger," said Gaynor. "And she was able to realize that she wasn't crazy and that there really was something going on. She got stronger, and in my opinion, she outlasted it." Doris moved five times, but the attacking entity followed her. She eventually moved further away. "As she moved," Gaynor said, "the phenomena diminished, and after about two years the attacks stopped altogether.”

Regardless of the evidence a few factors must be pointed out. Barry Taff notes that Doris moved from Culver City to Carson, CA. Then from Carson to San Bernadino, CA , then from San Bernadino to Texas. She eventually found her way back to San Bernardino. Doris reported that the phenomenon followed her and the family to every place they moved. This seems to support the theory that the poltergeist activity was a manifestation of the unstable environment and diseased mind. Doris was addicted to alcohol and she was very abusive and belligerent on a daily basis. Her refusal to deal with her own personal issues intensified negative energy in the home that eventually manifested as poltergeist activity. According to the reports paranormal activity was more intense ONLY when Doris was present in the home. Doris’ intoxication would attract the desired phenomena. It was also noted there were times when Doris was present with the team and sober. As expected the activity did not manifest during these periods. Because of the negative energy provided by Doris’ addiction and temperament combined with the resentment of her son’s towards her because of the abuse and poor living conditions it is rather easy to see why dark entities were attracted to the location.

NOTE: According to her son, Brian Harris, Doris McGowan Bither had a very turbulent upbringing. Both her parents were alcoholics and were not suited in providing a well-rounded environment for a child even though she was raised in an upper middle-class family. Harris states, “living in that home was hell.”

“…we all experienced some form of attack.” “…there were about 4 entities in the home, and they made themselves known by appearing all the time.” “…we were so used to the poltergeist, that we just got to a point where we wouldn’t even care.” Harris continues, “The rapes were real. My room was right next door to my mother’s. I would hear the attacks happening. Things being thrown and her screaming.” “…she would come out of the bedroom and have all these bruises on her legs, her inner thighs.”“…there were times where we would see it happen in front of us. It was like if a man was standing in front of my mother and would start to beat her. You could see her being picked up and thrown around. Sounds of slaps…but there was no one there to actually do it.”


Actress Barbara Hershey played the role of Carla Moran in the Hollywood film version of "The Entity"

Harris disagrees with many of the assessments made by the investigation team as well as how they were treated. “…well it was hell. Between Barry’s team of 30 or so people crammed in a small, and I mean, small room. Cheering and yelling at this thing. I was in the next room trying to watch television. I tried to mind my own business.” Harris continues, “The investigation lasted about 2 or 3 months, but it wasn’t like Barry was there every single day. So for him to say that this could have been some sort of telekinetic thing that my mother was creating is all bullshit. She didn’t want to have this happen….it’s a possibility, but it’s not like he knew what we were really going through. He was only there for three months. And from that, he would show up every Thursday or so.” “…when the team would show up, I knew as soon as they left, they (the entities) would become so angry that the house would come alive!”“The place we moved to was hell….in the bad part of Carson, CA. There was very little paranormal activity happening. It was hell because of the neighborhood. It was a bad neighborhood and school. The paranormal stuff was very rare at that point.” Harris adds,

Harris says that his mother passed away in 1995, from pulmonary arrest.

The book 'The Entity' written by Frank deFelitta (and subsequent film by the same title) was based on this case.



Click for video
The video contains a segment on the Doris Bither / Entity case

Sources:
robertjrgraham.com
"Sightings: The Real Entity Case" - Susan Michaels - 1996
"Weird California: The Entity Haunting" - Greg Bishop, Joe Oesterle, Mike Marinacci, Mark Moran, Mark Sceurman - 2006
Orange Coast Magazine - 10/1989
barrytaff.net

Fortean / Alternative News: Military Experiments, ATC Blunder and Are We Martians?

The 7 Most Outrageous Military Experiments

livescience - A super soldier program produces Marvel superhero Wolverine in the movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," along with rivals Sabretooth and Weapon XI. Now LiveScience looks back on real experiments that the U.S. government ran on soldiers and citizens to advance the science of war.

The military didn't replicate Wolverine's indestructible skeleton and retractable claws. Rather, they shot accident victims up with plutonium, tested nerve gas on sailors, and tried out ESP. While some of the tests seem outlandish in hindsight, the military continues to push the envelope in seeking new warfare techniques based on cutting-edge science and technology.

"My measure of success is that the International Olympic Committee bans everything we do," said Michael Goldblatt, former head of DARPA's Defense Sciences Office, while talking with reporters. And that's not a Hollywood script.

7. Nerve gas spray

Threats of chemical and biological warfare led the U.S. Department of Defense to start "Project 112" from 1963 to the early 1970s. Part of the effort involved spraying different ships and hundreds of Navy sailors with nerve agents such as sarin and VX, in order to test the effectiveness of decontamination procedures and safety measures at the time. The Pentagon revealed the details of the Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) project in 2002, and the Veterans Administration began studying possible health effects among sailors who participated in SHAD. This was just one of many chemical warfare experiments conducted by the U.S. military, starting with volunteer tests involving mustard gas in World War II.

6. Hallucinogenic Warfare

Psychoactive drugs such as marijuana, LSD and PCP don't just have street value: Researchers once hoped the drugs could become chemical weapons that disabled enemy soldiers. U.S. Army volunteers took pot, acid and angel dust at a facility in Edgewood, Md. From 1955 to 1972, although those drugs proved too mellow for weapons use. The Army did eventually develop hallucinogenic artillery rounds that could disperse powdered quinuclidinyl benzilate, which left many test subjects in a sleep-like condition for days. The National Academy of Sciences conducted a study in 1981 that found no ill effects from the testing, and Dr. James Ketchum published the first insider account of the research in his 2007 book "Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten."

5. Falling near the speed of sound

When the U.S. Air Force wanted to find out how well pilots could survive high-altitude jumps, they turned to Captain Joseph Kittinger, Jr. The test pilot made several jumps as head of "Project Excelsior" during the 1950s. Each time involved riding high-altitude Excelsior balloons up tens of thousands of feet, before jumping, free falling and parachuting to the desert floor in New Mexico. Kittinger's third record-breaking flight on August 16, 1960 took him up to 102,800 feet, or almost 20 miles. He then leaped and freefell at speeds of up to 614 mph, not far from the speed of sound's 761 mph, and endured temperatures as low as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Pacifist guinea pigs

Most soldiers don't sign up to fight deadly viruses and bacteria, but that's what more than 2,300 young Seventh-Day Adventists did when drafted by the U.S. Army. As conscientious objectors during the Cold War who interpreted the Bible's commandment "Thou shalt not kill" very literally, many volunteered instead to serve as guinea pigs for testing vaccines against biological weapons. Volunteers recalled being miserable for several days with fever, chills and bone-deep aches from diseases such as Q fever. None died during the secretive "Operation Whitecoat," which took place at Fort Detrick, Maryland from 1954 to 1973.

3. Rocket rider

Before man could launch into orbit and to the moon, he rode rocket sleds on the ground first. NASA scientists developed decompression sleds that could race at speeds of more than 400 mph before screeching to an abrupt halt, and early testing often had fatal results for chimpanzee subjects that suffered brain damage. Starting in 1954, Colonel John Stapp of the U.S. Air Force endured grueling tests that subjected his body to forces 35 times that of gravity, including one record-setting run of 632 miles per hour. As a flight surgeon, he voluntarily took on the risks of 29 sled runs, during which he suffered concussions, cracked ribs, a twice-fractured wrist, lost dental fillings, and burst blood vessels in both eyes.

2. Get your plutonium shot

As the United States raced to build its first atomic bombs near the end of World War II, scientists wanted to know more about the hazards of plutonium. Testing began on April 10, 1945 with the injection of plutonium into the victim of a car accident in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to see how quickly the human body rid itself of the radioactive substance. That was just the first of over 400 human radiation experiments. Common studies included seeing the biological effects of radiation with various doses, and testing experimental treatments for cancer. Records of this research became public in 1995, after the U.S. Department of Energy published them.

1. Seeing infrared

The U.S. Navy wanted to boost sailors' night vision so they could spot infrared signal lights during World War II. However, infrared wavelengths are normally beyond the sensitivity of human eyes. Scientists knew vitamin A contained part of a specialized light-sensitive molecule in the eye's receptors, and wondered if an alternate form of vitamin A could promote different light sensitivity in the eye. They fed volunteers supplements made from the livers of walleyed pikes, and the volunteers' vision began changing over several months to extend into the infrared region. Such early success went down the drain after other researchers developed an electronic snooperscope to see infrared, and the human study was abandoned. Other nations also played with vitamin A during World War II – Japan fed its pilots a preparation that boosted vitamin A absorption, and saw their night vision improve by 100 percent in some cases.

NOTE: the worst part is that these are just the ones we know of...Lon

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MIT: Are you a Martian?

MIT - Are we all Martians? According to many planetary scientists, it's conceivable that all life on Earth is descended from organisms that originated on Mars and were carried here aboard meteorites. If that's the case, an instrument being developed by researchers at MIT and Harvard could provide the clinching evidence.

In order to detect signs of past or present life on Mars — if it is in fact true that we're related — then a promising strategy would be to search for DNA or RNA, and specifically for particular sequences of these molecules that are nearly universal in all forms of terrestrial life. That's the strategy being pursued by MIT research scientist Christopher Carr and postdoctoral associate Clarissa Lui, working with Maria Zuber, head of MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), and Gary Ruvkun, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, who came up with the instrument concept and put together the initial team. Lui presented a summary of their proposed instrument, called the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG), at the IEEE Aerospace Conference this month in Big Sky, Mont.

The idea is based on several facts that have now been well established. First, in the early days of the solar system, the climates on Mars and the Earth were much more similar than they are now, so life that took hold on one planet could presumably have survived on the other. Second, an estimated one billion tons of rock have traveled from Mars to Earth, blasted loose by asteroid impacts and then traveling through interplanetary space before striking Earth's surface. Third, microbes have been shown to be capable of surviving the initial shock of such an impact, and there is some evidence they could also survive the thousands of years of transit through space before arriving at another planet.

So the various steps needed for life to have started on one planet and spread to another are all plausible. Additionally, orbital dynamics show that it's about 100 times easier for rocks to travel from Mars to Earth than the other way. So if life got started there first, microbes could have been carried here and we might all be its descendants.

If we are descendants from Mars, there might be important lessons to be learned about our own biological origins by studying biochemistry on our neighbor planet, where biological traces erased long ago here on Earth might have been preserved in the Martian deep freeze.

The MIT researchers' device would take samples of Martian soil and isolate any living microbes that might be present, or microbial remnants (which can be preserved for about up to a million years and still contain viable DNA), and separate out the genetic material in order to use standard biochemical techniques to analyze their genetic sequences.

"It's a long shot," Carr concedes, "but if we go to Mars and find life that's related to us, we could have originated on Mars. Or if it started here, it could have been transferred to Mars." Either way, "we could be related to life on Mars. So we should at least be looking for life on Mars that's related to us."

Even a few years ago, that might have seemed like more of a long shot, but recent Mars orbiter and rover missions have clearly shown that Mars once had abundant water, and many of the conditions thought to be needed to support life. And although the surface of Mars today is too cold and dry to support known life forms, there is evidence that liquid water may exist not far below the surface. "On Mars today, the best place to look for life is in the subsurface," Carr says.

So the team has been developing a device that could take a sample of Martian soil from below the surface — perhaps dredged up by a rover equipped with a deep drill — and process it to separate out any possible organisms, amplify their DNA or RNA using the same techniques used for forensic DNA testing on Earth, and then use biochemical markers to search for signs of particular, genetic sequences that are nearly universal among all known life forms.

The researchers estimate that it could take two more years to complete the design and testing of a prototype SETG device. Although the proposed device has not yet been selected for any upcoming Mars mission, a future mission with a lander or rover equipped with a drill could potentially carry this life-detection instrument.

No instrument has been sent to Mars specifically to look for evidence of life since NASA's twin Viking landers in 1976, which produced tantalizing but ambiguous results. An instrument on the Mars Science Lander to be launched in the fall will investigate chemistry relevant to life. The instrument from the MIT-Harvard team directly addresses Earth-like molecular biology.

Christopher McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA-Ames Research Center in California who specializes in research related to the possibility of life on Mars, says this work is "very interesting and important." He says, "it is not implausible that life on Mars will be related to life on Earth and therefore share a common genetics. In any case it would be important to test this hypothesis." But he adds that there is another motive for doing this research as well: "From an astronaut health and safety point of view and from a return-sample point of view, there is more to worry about" if there are organisms closely related to us on Mars, since a microbe that is similar is much more likely to be infectious to terrestrial life forms than would a totally alien microbe — so it is very important to be able to detect such life forms if they are present on Mars. In addition, this method could also detect any biological contamination on Mars that has been brought by spacecraft from Earth.

This kind of test is something we have the ability to do, he says, and therefore, although such an experiment has not yet been formally approved, "it seems improbable to me that we will do a serious search for life on Mars and not do this test."

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Air Traffic Control Abandoned as Two Passenger Planes Try To Land

gizmodo - Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, two DC airliners approached Washington DC's Reagan National Airport. They waited for guidance from air traffic control. And waited. And waited. And waited. They never got a response.

The two pilots—responsible for the safety of a combined 165 passengers—managed to land only by coordinating between themselves, giving each other regular status updates and confirming with their airlines which runway they were supposed to approach. A third plane was able to land a half hour later, only after ATC had been restored.

As The Washington Post points out, planes land at small airports without air traffic control guidance all the time. But at a major hub like Reagan, maintenance workers are crossing over runways late at night, sometimes towing jets in their wake. The only way incoming pilots are aware of their positions is from air traffic control.

So what happened? No one's saying yet, but there seem to be two distinct possibilities. One is that the operator somehow got locked out of his tower, which happened two years ago at the much smaller Teterboro airport. The other is that he simply fell asleep early into the graveyard shift.

Pushing tin is no easy job, and a few hiccups—the average number of errors is 1 in 84,000 flight operations, or double that in NYC—are inevitable. But a mistake on this scale could have had grave consequences. And while the FAA has ordered Reagan to place two air traffic control officers on the midnight shift, that's kind of like putting up a stop sign only after a schoolbus collides with an ice cream truck. And makes you wonder how many other major towers are understaffed, just waiting for the next lockout.

NOTE: there will definitely be a stink about this since most of Congress uses Reagan International. Personally, I don't like the place....I get a 'bad feel' there. Use BWI or Dulles if you can...Lon

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The relic, said to be a thorn from Jesus's crown, has been kept at Stonyhurst College, in Clitheroe, Lancashire, for the last 200 years. The thorn has Mary Queen of Scots's pearls twined around it

'Thorn from Jesus's crucifixion crown' goes on display at British Museum

dailymail - It was plundered in the Fourth Crusade, sold to French royalty and has spent the past 200 years in safekeeping at a British public school.

Now a relic claimed to be a thorn from Jesus's crown is to go on display at the British Museum.

And while no one can doubt the item's rich history, there is less evidence to support the claims of its provenance.

The Crown of Thorns is said to have been seized from Constantinople, the imperial capital of the Roman Empire, in the Fourth Crusade - around AD 1200 - and was later sold to King Louis IX of France while he was in Venice.

King Louis kept the religious relic in the specially-built Saint Chapel and thorns were broken off from the crown and given to people who married into the family as gifts.

The thorn at Stonyhurst College - a 400-year-old Jesuit boarding school - was said to have been given to Mary Queen of Scots who married into the French royal family and she took it with her to Holyrood in Edinburgh.

And following her execution in 1587, it was passed from her loyal servant, Thomas Percy, to his daughter, Elizabeth Woodruff, who then gave it to her confessor - a Jesuit priest - in 1600.

The Jesuits brought it with them to the college and it has been kept at the Ribble Valley college ever since.

Now it is to be loaned to the British Museum in London for a new exhibition, Treasures of Heaven, inspired by saints, relics and devotion in medieval Europe.

Jan Graffius, curator at Stonyhurst, said: 'It is an incredible object and we are really delighted that it will form part of the British Museum exhibition. It is a priceless treasure.'

Catriona Graffius, a sixth former at the college, was invited to take part in the production of a podcast guide for the exhibition.

She was interviewed to give a pupil's perspective on her school's precious possession, and said: 'I was asked to describe the thorn, which has Mary Queen of Scots's pearls twined around it.

'The thorn is placed in a chapel at Stonyhurst every year in Holy Week.'

The British Museum exhibition features sacred treasures of the medieval age, which have been collected from more than 40 institutions and many of which have not been seen in the UK before.

The thorn will sit next to rare loans from the Vatican, including from the private chapel of the popes and the Sancta Sanctorum.

While the majority of objects date from between AD 1000 to 1500, some of the earliest pieces include a late Roman sarcophagus dating from between AD 250 and 350.

The exhibition will open in June 23 and run until October 9.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scared to Death?

The following story was forwarded to me a few days ago. Since then, I have talked to the writer in order to ease the guilt and worry that she still retains:

Hello Sir - your email was forwarded to me by a relative who thought you or your colleagues could help answer some questions regarding an incident I witnessed a few years ago. You have my permission to use this story but I do ask that my name be left out. Since I no longer live in the area where this occurred you may use those details. I would ask that you call me first. (NOTE: I did call and talk to the writer and was given permission to add other facts to her account...Lon).

It was the summer of 2004. At the time I was selling real estate in Warren County, Virginia but mostly in the Front Royal, Virginia area. The vicinity is known more for the Shenandoah Valley as well as it's history during the American Civil War. It seems that most of the older property has a story behind it and it's usually tied to the Civil War.

I moved there in 2000, not long after I graduated from college. Real estate sales was not my first choice for a career but I was doing well, so I decided to see how far I could go.

In March 2004 a house with many acres of farm property was listed for sale. The former resident had recently passed away and the family was selling it. From what I gathered, none of the relatives wanted to take over the property and it was decided that it be sold as soon as possible.

On the day I first toured the old place it was obvious that the previous owner took very good care of it. It was quite a nice house with a barn, a smokehouse and a large greenhouse. A nephew of the former owner accompanied me during the inspection. He assured me that there would be no attempts by any family member to impede a sale and that everything in the house was to be sold 'as is.' All furniture, appliances, tools, etc. were to be included in the sale. I explained to him that they would most likely realize more profit if the items were removed for sale in an auction but he insisted it must be sold 'as is' and that the buyer would be responsible for the contents. I thought this was quite odd, but I promised that I would do as the sellers wanted.

To my surprise, the property was listed for only 3 weeks. The overall housing market was starting to get very tight and large properties were difficult to sell. But, in fact, I made the sale to a couple from Washington D.C. who was the second party that showed interest. They made a counter-offer which was quickly accepted by the sellers. Everything went quite smooth though the day of settlement was a bit strange. The nephew and his sister were representing the sellers. Their demeanor was very distant and cold during the entire procedure. At one point, the buyers asked the nephew if there was any property in the house that he would like to keep. The nephew gave them a glaring look and told them that he 'didn't care if they burned it all.'

Several weeks later the new owners invited me for dinner in their new home. They were quite proud and wanted to tell me about the history of the place. It was once owned by a former British officer who had defected and fought with the colonists during the Revolutionary War. Later it become a working farm and remained so until the 1950’s when it was purchased by a Baptist preacher and his wife. The couple was considered quite eccentric and the preacher never had a large congregation. The new owners were told by an attorney who lived nearby that the preacher held worship services in the barn because there was never a church. There were many rumors of strange rituals being performed during these services.

It was a very enjoyable evening and we agreed to get together again. I really did like this couple. They were very intelligent and quite polite. The husband worked for the Federal government and the wife was a pharmaceutical representative. They had grown tired of the urban lifestyle in Washington D.C. and wanted a home where they could relax. One thing I did notice was that much of the furniture and appliances left in the house remained and was being used by the new owners.

On the July 4th weekend, the couple invited me to join their cookout. My boyfriend was staying with me for the week so he decided to come along. I hadn’t seen the couple in over a month and was very interested to know the life in their new home was going. When we arrived, instantly I knew something was wrong.

We started walking towards the back of the house and noticed that no one other than the couple were there. I asked if we were the first to arrive and was told that none of their friends accepted the invitation. We sat down in the lawn chairs and started to talk. They both looked worried though I didn’t understand what was going on. I’m a very direct person so I asked if there was anything wrong. The wife looked at me and explained that none of their friends would come to the house anymore and that they had all had bad experiences when visiting. She started to get more specific and said that they thought the property was haunted. I tried not to laugh but the smile quickly came to my face. I looked back at both of them. They were deadly serious and not smiling.

They said that something tried to push people down the stairs and that a bad odor would permeate the living room for a few minutes then fade away. They also heard screaming sounds outside at night and thought it may have been coming from the barn. As well, they were both having dreams about dead bodies buried in the greenhouse and barn. I had never experienced anything paranormal while on the property so I simply dismissed it.

The day went by without an incident and, in fact, it was quite enjoyable. It was starting to get late and I needed to get up early the next morning so we thanked them for their hospitality and drove home. I really didn’t think much about what I was told and quickly went to sleep that night.

The next morning I woke early and got myself together because I had several homes scheduled to show that day. I needed to first stop by the office so I could pick up the newest listings. When I arrived at the office, I noticed a police car in the parking lot. I walked into the office and was immediately approached by the office manager and told that the authorities wanted to talk to me.

I introduced myself to the police officers and asked what was going on. One of them handed me a photograph of the couple. They were lying on the ground, side-by-side and obviously dead. They were both very pale, like all the blood had been drained. I acknowledged that I had sold them the property and that we had socialized the previous day. He explained that their bodies were found by a police officer the previous night after a 911 call was placed for a disturbance and that they were found laying in the barn as seen in the photo. The only information I could provide was what they told me and that they thought the property was haunted.

The next day I was told that they both died from natural causes and that there would be no further investigation. That’s all I was ever told and that’s all I would ever find out. I asked a physician if it was possible that two people could be scared to death at the same time. The look he shot back at me was of utter bewilderment, which was followed by laughter. He said that it was practically impossible to scare a person to death, let alone two people at the same time.

Since that incident I moved to the west coast and no longer sell real estate. I know their deaths will haunt me for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t feel so bad if I hadn’t dismissed what they said so quickly and so out-of-hand. I feel that something on that property frightened them so bad that it resulted in their deaths. J.L.

NOTE: I had an associate check the circumstances described in the story. I told the writer that I was going to do this and she agreed just so her name was left out of the post. There was a death of a couple in the area at the time described. Since there was no investigation and the deaths were determined to be of natural causes the only information available is on the death certificate...Lon

Fortean / Alternative News: Hunt For Siberian Yeti, Strange Deaths and American Idol Ghost

Official yeti probe planned after recent sightings

uk.news.yahoo - Government officials in Siberia are planning to set up a special research institute dedicated to the study of yetis following a number of recent mysterious sightings of the folkloric creature.

Hominology experts, who are lined up to lead the studies at Kemerovo University, are eager to prove their existence after people in remote parts of the region claim to have caught a glimpse of the elusive being.

According to 15 witness statements by Siberian locals in the Kemerovo region, 7-ft tall, hairy, manlike creatures have been spotted wandering the Mount Shoria wilderness, with one man even claiming to have saved a yeti from drowning in a river while hunting.

Villager, Afanasy Kiskorov in Tashtagol reportedly witnessed the yeti activity first-hand. He said: "Their bodies were covered in red-and-black fur and they could climb trees. The creature was screaming in fear after falling into a swollen mountain river."

Despite the alleged sightings, no photographic evidence as yet confirms the existence of the 'abominable snowmen.'

However, hair specimens, large footprints and huge branch shelters in forests have fuelled scientific belief to traces of the yetis, described as the 'Neanderthal ancestors of man.'

Officials of the Kemerovo administration in western Siberia have said that organising an institute or a scientific centre would be a logical continuation of research into the yeti.

Dr. Igor Burtsev, director of the International Center of Hominology, will join the brand new research unit if the plans go ahead. He said: "In Russia there are about 30 authoritative scientists who are engaged in studying the phenomenon of the abonimable snowman."

"All of them will be integrated into this institute. The primary goal is to establish contact with one of the creatures."

Dr. Burtsev told Russian newspaper Itar Press after a yeti expedition last year: "I saw markers (half-broken branches) the creature uses to mark the controlled territory. In the woods I have found several artifacts to confirm my theory. I plan to find the Bigfoot's shelter and even try to contact the creature."

Speaking on 'Friday Night with Jonathan Ross' in 2009, British wildlife expert David Attenborough said he believed that there was very convincing evidence that yetis do exist.

The Administration of Kemerovo, the regional government, will announce its final decision on whether they will implement the research institute after it hosts an international conference on yetis later this year.

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Video: Japanese Coast Guard Ride Over Tsunami Waves

A Japanese Coast Guard video taken as the ship crosses several tsunami waves shows just how deceptive these waves can be when riding them out in the ocean. The front of the wave appears as a wall of water. It's frightening to behold on two levels. The first is the visceral sense of fear at seeing such a wall of water approaching.

We see that sea level itself has risen up on the other side of the tsunami wave and the ship gently settles into the what is now a new, but very sudden norm. That's where the more frightening of the realizations comes - that this new sea level rise is what was about to wash over the coastline of Japan.


Click for video

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Strange deaths associated with Thai hotel

calgarysun - A 59-year-old Edmontonian is now seventh on the list of mysterious deaths that have hit tourists passing through a Thailand hotel since January.

Bill Mah died Jan. 26 in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand of “suspected natural disease” after vacationing in the city for two weeks prior.

Friend and travel companion Ken Fraser told freelance journalist Andrew Drummond that although Mah was staying at the People Palace Hotel, he had used facilities, including the swimming pool, at the Downtown Inn — a common location between six other people who have died in the region since January.

“His death is a complete mystery. He seemed fit enough with no history of heart problems. We have not been told his cause of death. We only have an initial report,” Fraser told Drummond.

Fraser said Mah has had no history of heart problems and in the seven weeks since his death, no toxicology reports have been returned.

“We have pressed the Canadian consul to try and get answers for us,” said Fraser. “I know Bill used the facilities at the Downtown Inn because he asked me to go there with him but I had other things to do.”

On Jan. 24, Mah began to feel sick, complaining of lack of sleep due to chest pains. He was taken to the local hospital where Fraser says he was kept for 24 hours and tested for signs of a heart attack.

“The tests all came back negative. On the morning of the 26th, the chest pains were less and the doctor diagnosed him with acid reflux and sent him home,” Fraser told Drummond.

“That evening, when I checked on him, he was in bed sweating and saying that he was not feeling well again. Later when I called on him, he came to the door but before he could open it. I could hear him collapse on the other side. We had to kick the door in.

“We tried to revive him in vain. At the hospital he was pronounced dead 15 minutes after arrival.”

Drummond reported that the Thailand Department for Disease Control said so far there are no links between the deaths of cases examined of people visiting Chiang Mai in January and February and no link to the Downtown Inn.

Chiang Mai Governor Pannada Disakul reportedly said the deaths were coincidental.

The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs told QMI Agency on Sunday that it is aware of the Canadian death.

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'American Idol' Top 11 contestants freaked out by ghosts in their mansion

TMZ is reporting the "American Idol" Top 11 contestants have left the mansion!

And it's because of "paranormal activity that sent the contestants over the edge." Supposedly, several of the "American Idol" contestants claim they "watched a bed sheet suddenly take on a life of its own and float down an empty hallway."

Some also reported lights flickering in the Beverly Hills house. And there was a spider infestation. And a leaky roof!

TMZ also reports the contestants moved out Monday and are now staying in an undisclosed location.

This is not the first time "Idol" contestants have complained of ghosts following them around. In 2009, "Idol" contestant Allison Iraheta said she heard growls.

Anoop Desai told ACCESS Hollywood that the “Idols” have named the ghost Phyllis.

"(She) is just a friendly troublemaker. She bangs around and keeps people awake. Allison hears something in her room every night. I don’t know if someone’s just creeping around in there or what.”

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Another Tsunami Perspective

Here is how the waves looked in the port of Oirase Town, Aomori Prefecture, in a video taken from "wngad869," who barely manages to escape at the end:


Clcik for video

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Humanoid / Cryptid Encounter Reports 37

The following accounts are previous humanoid / cryptid encounter reports received by various agencies worldwide:

THE IOWA GOATMAN

Location: Near Norway, Iowa - mid-December 2002 - night

The witness was on his way home late one night after work. He almost always walked the train tracks because they were a straight shot towards the house. These train tracks ran past a cemetery which was alleged to be haunted...an old settler cemetery. It’s already dark and has been so for a few hours. There was no moon that night.

As he walks near the cemetery, he starts hearing muffled footsteps behind him but doesn’t think much of it. Plenty of other guys walk home this way as well. So he keeps going and the footsteps get louder and louder. About midway past the cemetery he’s gets nervous and the steps are getting closer so he turns to look behind him. According to the witness he saw a “goatman” or “the devil himself”.

He describes this 'thing' as a man who basically had goat hooves and horns along the lines of the mythical 'Pan'. And this thing was heading straight for him. Reportedly all the snow around this creature was instantly melting as it walked through. The witness runs screaming like a banshee. He hears the clopping of the beast's footsteps behind him speed up to catch him as he’s running. Finally he gets past the graveyard and sees the thing stop right at the edge of the cemetery. He continues running, stops to look back and the beast just vanishes.

One of his older co-workers confided with the witness that there was a tale about a 'goatman' many years ago. It was supposedly a Polish immigrant who disappeared one night but returned as the creature several years later. There had been UFO and strange being reports around the same time the man had vanished.

Source: Witness account

NOTE: this anecdote was forwarded to me several years ago. I could not verify the story of the 'goatman' though there were a few UFO sightings and at least one reported abduction in the early 1990's...Lon

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STRANGE CREATURE IN NEW JERSEY

Location: Wharton State Forest, New Jersey - mid-December 1993 - night

A park ranger, John Irwin, was traveling through a deserted road within the forest and had reached a spot where the Mullica river was next to the road. As he looked ahead his headlights shone on a large dark figure that was emerging from the woods and moving into the roadway. As he got closer the figure stood in front of the car blocking the roadway. Irwin had to stop his car in order to avoid hitting the creature. The creature was described as being over six-foot tall and covered with black fur that looked wet and matted, it appeared not to have any forelegs but had a pair of huge powerful hind legs. The creature glanced through the windshield of the car revealing two piercing red eyes, it stood a few minutes then turned and continued across the road, walking upright like a human in a peculiar robot-like fashion.

Source: Fortean Times

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TWO SHORT OLD PEOPLE

Location: East Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - November 17, 1996 - 7:30am

At the same time that the area had suffered a blackout, the main witness was leaving the Skytrain Station when she noticed a large black square shaped object moving low over nearby Slocan Park. Arriving at her daughter's residence she heard a "whoo" type sound outside. The two women investigated and saw a tennis ball size blue light maneuvering over the area. At one point it dropped close to the ground near the trees. The witnesses felt a warm sensation during the sighting. Later the main witness felt compelled to go to the nearby park and found some strange marks on the ground. Upon leaving the park she saw two short old "people" wearing jeans with rolled cuffs. They had pointy ears, glassy eyes and were smiling as they stared at the witness. Apparently she then received a telepathic message related to her sighting, when she turned around to look at them the strange pair had disappeared.

Source: UFO BC

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THE TALL URBAN ALIEN

Location: Elizabeth, New Jersey - December 28, 2003 - night

Enrique Rodriguez and a group of friends were outdoors in their hometown located just across Newark Bay from the New York City borough of Staten Island when they spotted something very strange. "An alien ran to the left behind some trees and disappeared", Enrique reported. He described the entity as a tall grayish figure with long, large black-brownish eyes, long arms and fingers. It had no mouth, either, just the eyes. Rodriguez was at his friend's backyard when he saw it. The others became frightened and ran, but he just stood there looking and the creature was looking back at him until it disappeared from sight. Enrique said the entity had gray colored skin resembling that of a dinosaur, very shiny and was 6 to 8 ft tall. He called the police who scoffed at him but did check the yards. Apparently nothing was found.

Source: UFO Roundup

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THE OILY MAN?

Location: Pahang, Malaysia - June 2008 - night

This happened about 3 yrs ago. I was in Pahang at that time, celebrating my sister’s wedding. All my family, relatives were present to celebrate this occasion. The band played traditional songs and kompangs, though it’s still a blast.

During the wedding night, when the ceremony or “sanding” was over, there was still some singing and feasting. It was held at a grass field not far from the bridegroom’s house. It was then when my mum told me to accompany one of my aunts, to the toilet. I had always admired this aunt, only 25 at the time, so tall and pretty. I had noticed almost all the guys (including the bridegroom, and me) feast their eyes on her. So obviously I was happy to accompany her. You know, in kampungs, the toilet is always at the back of the house, and it’s real scary at night. While my aunt was doing her “business”, I secretly started to smoke, looking at the surroundings. It is quite far from the crowd, but I can still hear the faint sound of music. It was very peaceful here, until I heard my aunt scream from the toilet. I thought she saw me smoking, and I threw the butt immediately, cursing myself.

She then ran out of the toilet, her baju kurung rolled up to the waist. What I saw behind the toilet wasn’t a beauty though. It looks like a man, but his whole body was black and shiny. It seems his whole body was covered in oil. It darted away in an strange manner among the bushes, and in a split second, was out of sight. Before it ran out of view, though, I noticed it’s face, which I will never forget. It had red eyes, and they were staring at me, just before it took off. This thing certainly wasn’t human, as no human moves like that. It reminded me of a spider, but with two legs.

My aunt ran to me, catching her breath. I myself was scared, but still I consoled her. We then went back to the crowd, and I told my mother about it. She too was shocked, but one of the ladies on the bridegroom side who overhead the conversation, said it was an Orang Minyak, the 'oily man'.

The Orang Minyak is a ghost story and this was no ghost....

Source: Witness statement

Fortean / Alternative News: UFO's Watching Our Nukes, BAASS - MUFON Fallout and Manned NASA Asteroid Mission

Researcher says UFOs keeping tabs on nukes

inforum - Four decades of UFO research have convinced Robert Hastings that we are not alone.

And Hastings estimates that of the more than 120 former or retired U.S. military workers he has interviewed regarding their personal brushes with the unexplained, about 75 percent feel the same way.

Hastings will talk about his research at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Weld Hall Auditorium on the Minnesota State University Moorhead campus.

Much of his research explores UFO-related incidents at nuclear weapons installations and research facilities.

In a phone interview, he cited a story from his book, “UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites,” that featured testimony from David Schuur, who worked at a U.S. Air Force strategic missile wing in Minot, N.D., in the 1960s.

Schuur told Hastings about an object that was sighted in the sky above a number of Minuteman missile silos.

As the object flew over the silos, the electronic consoles at the launch control facility began acting strangely.

At one point, Schuur told Hastings, he and other crew members had to hit the “inhibit” switch because launch-in-progress indicators had inexplicably been activated.

When the flying object disappeared, the consoles reset to normal, Schuur said.

Based on that interview and others like it, Hastings said he has come to believe the Earth has been under scrutiny since the nuclear arms race began in the 1940s.

Whether to save humans from themselves or to prevent interplanetary nuclear contamination, Hastings said something is periodically tampering with the world’s nuclear stockpiles to send a message to Washington and Moscow “that we are playing with fire.”

Government officials in both the west and the east know it is happening, but from their perspective, there is nothing to be gained from letting the public in on the secret, Hastings said.

He cites a former CIA official named Victor Marchetti, who maintains that governments are afraid of what such revelations might spark.

“His (Marchetti’s) view as a professional intelligence officer was that even if whoever is piloting these craft is not hostile … their mere presence here could create unpredictable changes in human society,” Hastings said.

“If suddenly you have this sophisticated, outside, non-human influence on the overall global situation … that can only create potential disruptions to the status quo,” he said.

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What Caused the Failure of the BAASS - MUFON SIP Program?

By Richard Lang - MUFON (Mutual UFO Network), was the largest international UFO research organization in the world. The STAR Team was a Rapid Response UFO Investigation Unit that was funded by a special program within MUFON known as the SIP Project.

During the period from February 2009 until January 2010, I served as the STAR Team Manager and SIP Project Coordinator. I was also State Director of North Carolina MUFON and Chief Investigator for MUFON of Virginia. This investigative program came to an unexpected end in January of 2010.

Since then, I have received countless phone calls and email requests asking me to explain or confirm details of this project and the controversy that surrounds its premature ending. So many rumors are floating around the internet and many questions have come to the surface. I currently do not have any official association with the MUFON organization, I am no longer a member or an employee of MUFON. Continue reading at What Caused the Failure of the BAASS - MUFON SIP Program?

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Chavez says capitalism may have ended life on Mars

reuters - Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday.

"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.

Chavez, who also holds capitalism responsible for many of the world's problems, warned that water supplies on Earth were drying up.

"Careful! Here on planet Earth where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts," Chavez said, sipping from a glass of water.

He added that the West's attacks on Libya were about water and oil reserves.

Earlier this month, the U.S. National Research Council recommended that NASA's top priority should be a robot to help determine whether Mars ever supported life and offer insight on its geological and climatic history.

It would also be the first step in an effort to get samples from Mars back to Earth.

A NASA team recently tested a space suit in a setting with extreme conditions akin to some of those found on Mars -- an Argentine base in Antarctica -- for possible use on a visit to the Red Planet.

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NASA begins preparation for a mission to land astronauts on asteroids

news.com.au - Astronauts are lining up to be candidates for an extreme trip of a lifetime.

In a press conference this morning NASA released the details of its plan to land astronauts on an asteroid by 2025.

And while "planetary defence" is the most exciting of several reasons why NASA could be undertaking the mission, the agency says it isn't planning a Bruce Willis kamikaze mission.

That kind of drama and intrigue is reserved for Hollywood, said Dr Paul Abell, NASA’s lead scientist for planetary small bodies.

“The Armageddon film with Bruce Willis was a very fun movie but not exactly the most scientifically accurate”, Dr Abell said.

“This is going to be an exciting endeavour but not quite that dramatic. It’s going to happen a little bit more slowly.”

The mission is designed to garner new information about the potential to harvest resources from asteroids, as well as the origin of life as we know it.

“This exploration incorporates both the science, exploration, resource utilisation and planetary defence all in one go,” Dr Abell told news.com.au.

“We can do things that will further humanity’s forays into space — going to Mars and expanding the human presence in the solar system.

“We also expand our scientific horizons in learning about what’s out there in the solar system.

“And also being able to live off the land – resource utilisation is going to be key."

Oh, and did we mention planetary defence?

“Very important to the general public is the aspect of planetary defence and making sure we don’t have an impact and making sure our grand-children or great grand-children don’t have to worry about an asteroid coming in and hitting the planet," Dr Abell said.

NASA won’t be able to land a spacecraft on the asteroid directly however, as most asteroids have a very weak gravitational field.

That makes things a little tricky, because asteroids travel at speeds ranging from 54,000 to 90,000km/h.

The spacecraft is going to have to travel at the exact same speed as the asteroid while the astronauts deploy to and from it to collect samples and conduct experiments.

"One of the things we are looking at in earnest is seeing if we can anchor or attach or tether equipment and astronauts to the surface," Dr Abell said.

Though they’ve had plenty of volunteers, NASA is yet to pick a team of astronauts and do not plan on doing so for at least another five years.

But if you're thinking of applying for the job, know this — you have to be an experienced spacewalker.

"It takes a tremendous amount of strength upper body strength and endurance. It's very, very tiring," Dr Abell said.

"You’re probably going to have to be doing EVAs (extra vehicle activities) on the order of maybe 8 to 12 hours at a time on these missions, so the astronauts really have to be fit both physically and mentally for what they are going to be doing."

In fact the physical activity is so strenuous that NASA is considering recruiting a new generation of younger astronauts for the job — blowing yet another hole in the plot of Armageddon.

Bruce Willis and his team would simply have been too old.

"The astronauts we send on this mission may not even be the ones we have in our current core," Dr Abell said.

"They may be people who are in university right now or in high school right now. We’ll see."

NASA hasn't yet chosen an asteroid on which to land yet either, but they have it narrowed down to a group of 1200 “potentially hazardous” asteroids that present a potential risk to Earth and its inhabitants.

"If an object is potentially hazardous, it's because it makes close approaches to the Earth," Dr Abell said.

"So the objects that are potentially hazardous, even though they’re present a hazard, they also present the best opportunity for us to go out and get them and learn about them."

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Mystery as cars with no occupants collide and burst into flames...time travelers?

Two cars were destroyed after bursting into flames in the Wellswood area of Torquay yesterday.

No one was injured in the incident which happened in Kents Road just after 8.30am.

Witness Bill Harborne, who took the picture and lives in Kents Road, said: "I was asleep at the time and woken by this banging noise.

"I looked out and saw these two cars on fire. It must have been a considerable collision. My wife saw the fire first — and I rang the brigade. They were already on their way."

Police and firefighters say the circumstances of the collision were not clear.

Two fire crews attended the incident where two hosereels were used to extinguish the blaze.

Cutting gear was used to gain access to the vehicles to put out the flames.

A police spokesman confirmed that details of how the fire started remained uncertain.

Recovery teams were called to take away the written-off cars.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Kinross UFO / F-89 Disappearance Incident


Preamble: On the evening of November 23, 1953, an Air Force radar controller was alerted to an "unidentified target" over Lake Superior, and an F-89C Scorpion jet was scrambled from Kinross AFB. Radar controllers watched as the F-89 closed in on the UFO, and then sat stunned in amazement as the two blips merged on the screen, and the UFO left. The F-89 and it’s two man crew, pilot Felix Moncla and radar operator Robert Wilson, were never found, even after a thorough search of the area.

Incident: The channel that connects Lake Superior with the other Great Lakes flows through the Soo Locks near Saulte Ste. Marie, Michigan. On one side of the channel is the U.S., and on the other side is Canada. The fact that this area is on a U.S. national border makes it a restricted airspace. As such, it was monitored by the Air Defense Command in 1953.

On the evening of 23 November 1953, an Air Defense Command Ground Intercept radar controller at Truax AFB became alerted to an "unidentified target" over Soo Locks. He sounded the alert, and an F-89C Scorpion jet was scrambled from nearby Kinross Field. The jet was piloted by 1st Lieutenant Felix Moncla, Jr., with 2nd Lieutenant Robert Wilson in the rear seat as radar operator.

Ground Control vectored the jet toward the target, noting that the target changed course as the F-89 approached it at over 500 mph. Lt. Wilson had problems tracking the target on his onboard radar, so ground control continued to direct the jet to the target. For thirty minutes, the jet pursued the radar blip and began to close the gap as the UFO accelerated out over Lake Superior.

As Ground Control watched, the gap between the two blips on the radar screen grew smaller and smaller until the two blips became one blip. Ground Control thought that Moncla had flown over the target and that the two blips would separate again as he moved past it.

That didn't happen. Suddenly, the single blip flashed off the screen and the radar screen was clear of any return at all.

Frantically, Ground Control tried to contact the F-89 by radio. There was no response. Marking the last radar position, Ground Control dispatched an emergency message to Search and Rescue. That last sighting was about seventy miles off Keweenaw Point in upper Michigan, at an altitude of 8,000 feet, approximately 160 miles northwest of Soo Locks.

After an all night air/sea rescue search, not a trace of the plane or the men was ever found. No debris, no oil slick, nothing was ever found.

Officials at Norton Air Force Base Flying Safety Division issued a statement that "the pilot probably suffered from vertigo and crashed into the lake." However, this was merely speculation and was based on hearsay reports that Moncla was prone to vertigo.

The Air Force explained the unknown radar target at first as a Canadian DC-3, then later as a RCAF jet. Canadian officials responded that there were no Canadian aircraft in the airspace over the lake at any time during the chase. The Air Force finally stated that the F-89 had exploded at high altitude, ignoring the fact that this would have left a lot of debris on the lake surface.

NICAP investigators found that mentions of Moncla's mission - chasing an unidentified target - had been obliterated from official records. Project Bluebook files simply listed the case as an "accident."

Off the record, those that were present in the Ground Control radar room that day have expressed other opinions. They think that whatever the F-89 was chasing directly caused the disappearance of the jet. - Loy Lawhon, About.com

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Kinross AFB/F-89 Disappearance
November 23, 1953

On the night of November 23, 1953, an Air Defense Command radar detected an unidentified "target" over Lake Superior. Kinross Air Force Base, closest to the scene, alerted the 433rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Truax Field, Madison, Wisconsin, and an F-89C all-weather interceptor was scrambled. Radar operators watched the "blips" of the UFO and the F-89 merge on their scopes, in an apparent collision, and disappear. No trace of the plane was ever found.

U S Air Force accident-report records indicate that the F-89 was vectored west northwest, then west, climbing to 30,000 feet. At the controls were First Lieutenant Felix E. Moncla, Jr.; his radar observer was Second Lieutenant Robert L. Wilson. While on a westerly course, they were cleared to descend to 7,000 feet, turning east-northeast and coming steeply down on the known target from above. The last radar contact placed the interceptor at 8,000 feet, 70 miles off Keeweenaw Point, and about 150 miles northwest of Kinross AFB (now Kincheloe AFB).

The incident is not even labeled as a "UFO" case in Air Force records; instead, it was investigated by air-safety experts. There were several layers of scattered clouds (one with bottoms at 5,000 to 8,000 feet) and some snow flurries in the general area. Official records state, however, that the air was stable and there was little or no turbulence.

The Air Force later stated that the "UFO" turned out to be a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) C-47 "On a night flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Sudbury, Ontario Canada." The F-89 apparently had crashed for unknown reasons after breaking off the intercept. In answer to queries from the NATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE ON AERIAL PHENOMENA (NICAP) in 1961 and again in 1963, RCAF spokesmen denied that one of their planes was involved. Squadron Leader W. B. Totman, noting that the C-47 was said to be on a flight plan over Canadian territory, said "... this alone would seem to make such an intercept unlikely."

The Air Force suggested that "... the pilot probably suffered from vertigo and crashed into the take." Harvard University astronomer and UFO debunker Dr. Donald H. MENZEL accepted this explanation, adding that the radar operators probably saw a "phantom echo" of the F-89, produced by atmospheric conditions, that merged with the radar return from the jet and vanished with it when the plane struck the water.

Exactly what happened that night remains unclear, as the Air Force acknowledges, and serious unanswered questions remain. How likely is it that a pilot could suffer from vertigo when flying on instruments, as official records indicate was the case? If the F-89 did intercept an RCAF C-47, why did the "blip" of the C47 also disappear off the radar scope? Or, if Menzel's explanation is accepted and there was no actual intercept, why did the Air Force invoke a Canadian C-47, which RCAF spokesmen later stated was not there? No intelligence document has yet surfaced that reports the radio communications between the pilot and radar controllers, and what each was seeing. Without this information, it is impossible to evaluate the "true UFO" versus the false radar returns and accidental crash explanations. - Richard Hall, NICAP

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The Kinross Incident

Did a UFO abduct an Air Force jet interceptor and its crew in 1953?

Donald Keyhoe - UFO researcher, ex-Marine and director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) - an early advocate of the concept that UFOs were extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting Earth on reconnaissance and sampling missons, was particularly intrigued with cases where aircraft interacted with the objects. He was especially fascinated with one 1953 case, describing it in several articles and books. Here is one of the most detailed versions:

One of the strangest cases on record occurred in 1953. Though it has received considerable publicity, some of the follow-up developments are not generally known. On the night of November 23, 1953, an F-89 all-weather interceptor was scrambled at Kinross AFB, to check on a UFO flying over the Soo Locks. The jet had a crew of two – Lt. Felix Moncla, the pilot, and Lt. R. R. Wilson, the radar observer. Guided by an AF GCI (Ground Control Intercept) radar station, Moncla followed the unknown machine out over Lake Superior, flying at 500 miles an hour. Minutes later, a GCI controller was startled to see the blips of the jet and the UFO suddenly merge on the radar-scope. Whatever had happened, one thing was certain: The F-89 and the UFO were locked together. As the combined blip went off the scope the controller hurriedly radioed Search and Rescue. Moncla and Wilson might have bailed out before the collision. Both had life jackets and self-inflating life rafts – even in the cold water they could survive for a while. All night, U.S. and Canadian search planes with flares circled low over the area. At daylight, a score of boats joined the hunt, as the pilots crisscrossed the lake for a hundred miles. But no trace was found of the airmen, the jet or the UFO. The search was still on when Truax AFB gave the Associated Press this official release: “The plane was followed by radar until it merged with an object 70 miles off Keweenaw Point in upper Michigan.” In view of AF secrecy this was a surprising admission. The statement appeared in an early edition of the Chicago Tribune, headed JET, TWO ABOARD, VANISHES OVER LAKE SUPERIOR. (Photocopy in author’s possession.) Then AF Headquarters killed the story. Denying the jet had merged with anything, the AF said that radar operators had misread the scope. The reported UFO, it stated, had been an offcourse Canadian airliner which the F-89 had intercepted and identified. After this, the AF speculated, the pilot evidently had been stricken with vertigo and the jet had crashed in the lake. The Canadian airlines quickly denied any flights in the area. Expert pilots also hit at the AF explanation…. As customary, the AF sent two officers to the families of the lost airmen to give them official messages of sympathy. According to letters which a relative of Moncla sent me, here is what followed. Explaining the accident, the AF representative told Moncla’s widow that the pilot had flown too low while identifying the supposed Canadian airliner and had crashed in the lake. By some headquarters mixup, a second AF officer was sent to offer condolences to the Moncla family. When Moncla’s widow asked if her husband’s body might be recovered the officer said there was no chance – the jet had exploded at a high altitude, destroying the plane and its occupants. - Donald Keyhoe - "Aliens From Space" (1973)

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Official Account - Obtained FOIA

The following official accounts of the Kinross loss were obtained by Robert Todd under the Freedom of Information Act. Note that, surprisingly enough, there were two F-89s lost by the 433d Fighter Interceptor Squadron on November 23, 1953 - the first while returning from a short engine test flight near the 433d's home base at Truax AFB, Madison, Wisconsin, and the second on an operational intercept mission over Lake Superior, originating from Kinross AFB, Michigan, a satellite base of Truax. All four crewmen were either killed outright or declared missing and listed as dead.

A crucial point is that the first entry clearly implies that the unidentified radar target that Moncla was pursuing when his fighter disappeared was in radio contact with ground controllers at some point, and therefore was not a UFO: "the bogey was not aware of any aircraft in the area."

CHAPTER III OPERATIONS AND TRAINING

On 23 November a F-89 assigned to the 433d took off on a routine operational flight to check the afterburners on the new J-35-A-47 engines. After climbing to 40,000 feet and broadcasting performance data to the ground recording unit, air-to-ground transmission was discontinued. Approximately twelve minutes after the last transmission was received the ship crashed and disintegrated upon impact, killing both crew members. Prior to the crash, the aircraft was observed to pull out of a steep dive and eject the canopy. Cause was undetermined. Still again in November, an F-89 of Detachment #1, Kinross AFB, Michigan, took off on an active Air Defense mission and disappeared. GCI had control of the fighter and was directing it from 25,000 feet down to 7,000 feet. The fighter and bogey blips merged on the GCI radar scope and there was no further transmission from the fighter. The bogey was not aware of any aircraft in the area, and GCI saw no blips break off from the target. Both pilot and observer are missing and officially listed as dead.

HISTORICAL DATA FOR THE 433d FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR SQUADRON 1 July 1953-31 December 1953

D. Accidents On 23 November 1953, an F-89C assigned to this organization took off from Truax Field on a routine operational check of the afterburners on the J-35-A-47 engines. The pilot climbed to 40,000 feet and at the same time broadcast performance data to a ground recording unit. After reaching 40,000 feet, air to ground transmission was discontinued as all data had been received. Approximately twelve minutes after the last transmission the aircraft crashed seven miles south of the field with injuries fatal to both crew members. The aircraft was observed to have pulled out of a steep dive at 500 feet, and the canopy was ejected just prior to impact. On 23 November 1953, an F-89C of Detachment #1, 433d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Kinross Air Force Base, Michigan, took off on an active air defense mission. GCI had control of the fighter and was directing it from 25,000 feet down to 7,000 feet. The fighter and the bogey blips merged on the GCI radar scope. There was no further transmission from the fighter, the bogey was not aware of any aircraft in the area, and GCI saw no blips break off from the target. Both pilot and radar observer are missing and are now officially listed as dead.

OPERATIONS

In November this unit had a jet fighter, an F-89C type aircraft disappear over Lake Superior while on an active air defense mission under this unit’s control. The Controller (4) [2nd Lt. Douglas A. Stuart] on duty had positioned the fighter for the final phase of the intercept and the blips merged on the scope. Radar and radio [contact] was lost with the F-89 at this time and the aircraft was never sighted again. The search for the missing aircraft was under the direction of the Canadian Air Force; and the United States Coast Guard, Air Force, and Canadian Air Force participated in the search. No trace was found of the plane and crew of two.

NOTE: Here is a link to a report referencing known trouble with the F-89


NOTE: The following is a newspaper article from 7/20/2003 - Two Air Force Pilots Vanish Chasing UFO 50 Years Ago


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Missing F-89 Found?

Update: November 1, 2006

A number of individuals have been trying to corroborate information supplied by Adam Jimenez, who is the contact for Great Lakes Dive Company (if such a group actually exists). Most of the investigators believe that the information which has surfaced in these investigations suggests that this find is possibly or probably a hoax. Adam Jimenez is currently unavailable for comment or to answer questions. He is the only person known who can substantiate his claims.

Original Information Follows

A group of Michigan based divers and engineers, the Great Lakes Dive Company, has announced that they have found the wreck of an F-89 on the bottom of Lake Superior.

Using advanced side scan sonar equipment, they surveyed an area around the location where the F-89 was last observed on radar, back on the night it disappeared, Nov. 23, 1953.

Expecting to find perhaps the engines and a few scraps of metal debris, they were quite stunned when the first low resolution scans of the discovery showed an almost complete F-89, resting upright on the lakebed with the nose and one wingtip buried in the sediment. The upswept tail of the F-89 and a wing pod fuel tank were clearly visible. The port side wing is completely gone and looks like a straight-edged cut where it would join the fuselage. The starboard horizontal stabilizer on the tail is also mysteriously missing.

Despite an extended search of the nearby area, no evidence of the missing wing or tail part was found. Instead, another mysterious object was found which the divers believed to be the object with which the F-89 collided.

The object is reportedly metallic and contains a hole which they believe was caused by a collision of the missing port wing of the F-89.

GLDC states they believe the canopy and cockpit are in place also, which may imply the crew did not escape and their remains may be in the cockpit.

GLDC had intended to go back to the wreck this year to perform ROV scans of the craft, however they say they were contacted by the Canadian government who asked them to provide the GPS coordinates of the site before they would allow them to finish their site surveys. They also requested that a coast guard vessel or Canadian government official accompany GLDC on any further surveys of the site.

GLDC has stated they want to do a full length documentary of their search and discovery although their plans may now be on hold as they state they have abandoned efforts to do more surveys on the wreck discovery.

Implications of Discovery

It is far from clear what this reported discovery implies about the fate of the missing F-89. The reported find of another mysterious object may provide a clue.

Until more information becomes available, all we have is a few images which a reported to be images from their side scan sonar. Although the Great Lakes Dive Co. have so far been providing useful information, there will be lingering doubts on the veracity of this find until it can be further substantiated.

GLDC believes this discovery may imply the F-89 was brought down by a collision with some sort of unknown craft which may be the mysterious object on the lakebed. However they are unable to reconcile this theory with good structural condition of the F-89.

I believe the discovery might imply something quite different. It may be possible that the craft was placed on the lakebed by the crew of the craft which perhaps abducted the craft and crew.

I think this remains a possibility due to the following:

F-89 Not Tracked Below 7000 Feet

The F-89 disappeared from radar at an altitude of 7000 feet. If it collided with a craft at this altitude then the F-89 should still have reflected radar signals as it fell to the lakebed.

If it collided with the object at a lower altitude, we still need to explain why the altitude of the unknown and F-89 was not tracked below 7000 feet.

Missing Wing and Tail

The port wing and starboard tail horizontal stabilizer are missing from the plane and despite many scans, no evidence of them has so far emerged. All parts of the aircraft should have settled into the same general vicinity of the lakebed - although it is possible that the search has not been thorough enough or the radius of the search area still needs to be increased.

Is it possible that the missing tail piece was part of the parts found in 1968? We may never be able to find out as the identification of the parts were apparently withheld from the public and the Canadian and US governments claim they have no records of the find.

Lt. Moncla Heard on Radio

The pilot of the first F-89 into the air in search of the missing F-89, Lt. Mingenbach, took off from Kinross AFB just a few minutes after the F-89 went missing from radar. About 40 minutes after the F-89 disappeared from radar, Lt. Mingenbach believes he heard a radio transmission from the pilot of the missing plane, Lt. Moncla. While it is possible that this was something else, it certainly is doubtful that Lt. Moncla would be transmitting from the bottom of the lake, 40 minutes after his plane collided with an unknown object.

Where To Now?

The family of the missing USAF crew clearly have a right to know whether the discovered wreck contains the remains of the crew.

As someone who has investigated this mystery for over five years, I believe the Canadian and US public has the right to know what can be discovered from this find. This means that a detailed video scan should be made of the wreck as soon as can be arranged. The evidence which is obtained should be made available to interested members of the general public.

The US government has had a particularly poor record in dealing with this incident in an honest manner. The Canadian government also has some explaining to do with respect to its handling of the discovery of military jet aircraft parts in October, 1968 in the bush near the shore of Alona Bay (north of Sault Ste. Marie).

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F-89 Discovery a Possible Hoax

Since this story first appeared, various people have been trying to corroborate information supplied by Adam Jimenez concerning the alleged discovery of a missing F-89 on the bottom of Lake Superior.

Update Dec. 18, 2006 - See summary of MUFON's investigation into Great Lakes Dive Company and their claims of discovery of the missing F-89.

While it may be too early to reach any definitive conclusions, there certainly seems to be many more questions than answers concerning Great Lakes Dive Company and the alleged F-89 discovery.

About the middle of October, the Great Lakes Dive Company website suddenly went blank. It was at this time that Adam Jimenez stopped returning phone calls and emails.

Without communication from Adam Jimenez, it is impossible to know exactly why the website was blanked out and why Adam has chosen to stop answering questions.

It is possible that he simply decided he wanted to keep a lower profile and was tired of the publicity.

It is also possible that he was avoiding the exposure of those who were asking questions of the authenticity of his claims.

Some see the disappearance of the website as evidence of a dark conspiracy of government to hide the truth that was daring to be revealed. This seems like one of the lesser possibilities based on all the questions surrounding the claims.

Who is Great Lakes Dive Company?

According to Adam, Great Lakes Dive Company first discovered the F-89 in the summer of 2005. They sat on the discovery for almost a year before revealing it to anyone. To do this search, they need some very expensive equipment, and a fairly large boat. Adam indicated that GLDC was involved in the search of other missing shipwrecks, however, it seems that no one in the Great Lakes shipwreck searching community has ever heard of Adam Jimenez or his project.

Their name appears in no other web related citations concerning shipwrecks, side scan sonar or Great Lakes diving.

The Great Lakes Dive Company website was brought online about the time that Adam announced the alleged F-89 find. During the whole time it was online, it never once provided a list detailing the members or owners of the alleged "Great Lakes Dive Company". Investigators who have tried to track down any registration or license for the company have found nothing.

Does the company consist of any other person besides Adam Jimenez? It is difficult to tell because no one appears to have had any contact with anyone else but Adam and there were never any photographs of anyone from GLDC posted to their website.

Does the company have any assets such as a boat or side scan sonar equipment? This is also difficult to tell as GLDC never posted any pictures of the boat and the side scan sonar equipment.

Was the company ever on Lake Superior? You would think that anyone who was engaged in such a search would bring a camera and record the search and discoveries. Note that Adam claimed that GLDC had actually performed ROV surveys of the F-89 and "mystery object" and had taken photos of video of the F-89 and mystery object. But not a single photograph from the vessel was ever posted to the site. This certainly seems very puzzling.

Where Did the Story Originate?

My first knowledge of the alleged discovery came by word of mouth from someone who had read about the discovery on the website list "UFO Updates" which is hosted by Errol Bruce-Knapp of Toronto, Ontario. The original August 22nd, 2006 post was sent to UFO Updates from Francis Ridge who is a researcher, writer and investigator with NICAP. Francis received email from Preston Miller which consisted of copied text which was presented as an AP (Associated Press) news story from Port Huron, Michigan.

Beyond this, no one has been able to find the original story or any trace of the AP story. It now seems likely that the story was a fake. It is unclear who this Preston Miller is and whether they were the actual source for the story.

Are the Sonar Images Real?

There seems to be conflicting opinions on whether the images of the F-89 and the mystery object are real side scan sonar images. Brendon Baillod of Great Lakes Shipwreck Research uses side scan sonar to search for shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. He believes the images are real side scan sonar images although he does think that "his (Adam Jimenez's) claims are based on an elaborate hoax".

I am not an authority on side scan sonar imaging, but I thought it might be possible for someone to create these images using image processing software on a computer. The original image might be a real model or a computer generated model. The photographs don't have much detail so I thought it would be quite possible for someone to fake these images.

From the beginning, I worried that the whole find might be a hoax, but I did not want to sound too skeptical because I wanted to ensure that if it was a real find, that I would do my best to assist the investigation. In my view, if the claim turned out to be a hoax, this would be just another in a rather tedious and boring history. If it were real, then this possibly would lead to the solution to the mystery surrounding a fifty year old missing aircraft and crew - a mystery which resonates deeply within me.

I am very curious about the real truth behind the claims. Perhaps this whole thing is some persons idea of a joke. If so, they would have to know that they would eventually have to face up to the hoax. The only logical sounding theory I have heard put forward is that someone wanted to fool the UFO community into swallowing the notion that a flying saucer had been found on the bottom of Lake Superior. Then the idea would be just to make the whole UFO community look gullible. If this is the case, we would expect Adam to emerge trumpeting his success in making some people look foolish.

I was never really much impressed with the image of the "mystery object" or with Adam's account of how they used a fish finder to get the image after they noticed a distortion in the image from their regular sidescan sonar equipment. As Brendon states, it is really quite hard to imagine how they would connect up this fish finder and get it down several hundred feet on the towfish and then collect the returned signal from the fish finder and patch it back as a feed into the sonar signal processing software.

Where To From Here?

With what is known now, we still don't know the following:

Are the sonar images real sonar images?

If the images are real, are the images of an real F-89?

If the images are of a real F-89, is it an F-89 on the bottom of Lake Superior?

It is possible that Adam Jimenez could do us all a favor by explaining all that he knows about the find. He did state that he has photographs or video images of the F-89 showing it is the missing F-89 from Kinross.

If he doesn't come forward to validate his claim or explain the purpose of the possible hoax, then we can still solve the key remaining question.

Is the missing F-89 lying on the bottom of Lake Superior? All that is needed is some people with a good boat, some expensive side scan sonar equipment, and a camera equipped ROV and we're off to the races.

NOTE: Here's the link to the USAF Accident Report Documents

Sources:
www.ufoevidence.org
ufos.about.com
NICAP
CUFON
web.archive.org
Donald Keyhoe - "Aliens From Space" - 1973
The Town Talk - Alexandria-Pineville, LA
www.ufobc.ca
"Aircraft Parts Found in 1968". Sault Daily Star - 2008-06-07

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