Saturday, April 16, 2011

London's Phantom Rippers and Snippers


Let go beyond 'Jack the Ripper'. During the 1680s, a supernatural predator stalked London. They called him 'Whipping Tom', and he preyed upon women around Chancery Lane, Fetter Lane, Strand, Holborn and Fleet Street. Although Whipping Tom was an obscure lunatic, his crimes inspired a booklet that emerged in 1681, entitled Whipping Tom Brought to Light and Exposed to View.

Whipping Tom was said to prowl the streets after dusk and accost women, hitch their dresses up and spank them furiously, at times with a metal rod, shouting “Spanko!”.

Those who believed in him felt he was not of this Earth, who seemed to bound away at great speed and height after slashing, exposing and mocking his hapless female victims.

Between 1788 and 1790, a phantom aggressor prowled the capital. His repertoire of sadism included: stabbing the faces of women through a fake nosegay, slashing at clothing and bounding away into the shadows, and stalking females and hurling obscenities. Even more strangely he had attached blades to his knees and stabbed at women’s buttocks, leaving more than fifty victims with shredded clothing and sliced flesh.

Local panic hit the streets, while some men wore badges in order to let terrified women know that they were not the dreaded spectre, and were approachable. Despite the effort descriptions of the maniac were all too inconsistent, despite the many victims.

A 23-year old Rhynwick Williams was accused of following an Anne Porter. Despite having an alibi for other attacks, Williams was charged by the magistrates for the defacement of clothing, which, during the time, was given a harsher penalty than attempted murder. Though there was shoddy evidence and a questionable trial it still could not prevent a six-year jail term.

The infamous Spring Heeled Jack was another tormentor and slasher of females. Fast-forward almost thirty-years and gasp at the horror of the Phantom Skirt-Slasher Of Piccadilly, who for a terrifying reign of six-months prowled the London underground like some blade-wielding, elusive ghoul. Like some teasing menace, the phantom frequently haunted the escalators, cutting loose the fabric from women’s skirts to expose, unknown to the poor victims, their under garments, revealing their buttocks. The phantom-cutter, who would in 1977 become known as 'Jack The Snipper', would then flee into the depths of the underground, awaiting his next victim.

Although the skirt-ripper never wounded any of his victims, his perverted attacks bizarrely echoed those of Spring-Heeled Jack, as he reveled in exposing his victims underwear and genital area, and even the more vicious London Monster before him. In the summer of 1977 the spectre was finally caught, unlike many of his sadistic relatives, and turned out to be a twenty-three year old school career officer Graham Carter, who’d even kept a diary of his weird exploits.

On Halloween 1998, a pet cat with a severed head was found in a garden in Wimbledon. The horrifying discovery led some to believe that a satanic cult were on the prowl at night, whilst others claimed that the ‘M25 Monster’, a local big cat, possibly a lynx, had devoured the domestic feline.

At Stepney and New Barnet around the same time, other cats were found, but their heads remained absent, and on November 11th a psychologist was called in by police to create a profile of what the press had dubbed ‘the cat-ripper’. The Independent reported that the “… cat ripper may attack humans next”, causing a reasonable stir in the press and the local community. Ten rabbits were next on the hit list, but further south at Twickenham, an Eileen Tattershall lost her cat in grisly fashion.

The London cat-rippings of 1998 continued into 1999. An inspector analyzing the decapitations claimed that foxes, badgers and dogs had also been the cause, although there is no evidence of any animal native to England that kills in such a fashion.

The satanic connection came to the fore on several occasions, despite such rumored activity often being nothing more than local urban myth. Forensic psychologist Susan Hope-Burland commented, “...this scale of ritualized cruelty is rare. It’s very reminiscent of the way serial killers behave.”

After a lull in activity, the summer of 2001 brought more rippings, with half a Muntjac deer being discovered in Wycombe, it's wounds having all the traits of a 'big cat'.

Similar attacks would would occur for the next five years later, proof that the ‘cat-ripper’ was a sum of many parts...but definitely real nonetheless.

Sources:
londonist.com
www.georgianlondon.com
www.springheeled-jack.com
www.independent.co.uk
Bondeson, Jan - 'The London Monster: A Sanguinary Tale' - 2001
www.telegraph.co.uk

Fortean / Alternative News: Aussie UFO Research Secrets, Bad Meat and Lady Gaga = Alien?

Secret Northern Territory UFO claims

ntnews - Former foreign minister Andrew Peacock kept details of a secret underground UFO research centre near Alice Springs, his former lover and Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine has claimed.

In her new book, I'm Over All That And Other Confessions, she also said Mr Peacock nearly "climbed into the sky" during a UFO stakeout in Mexico.

"On a UFO stakeout in Mexico near Mt Popocatepetl, at one moment we thought we saw a craft and Andrew nearly 'climbed the sky' to see if it was real," she wrote. "As foreign minister he controlled all the information coming out of Alice Springs (supposedly the underground UFO research facility in Australia).

"Because he was sworn to secrecy, he never told me outright that UFOs were extraterrestrial in origin and were present.

"When I told him I had gone to see Jimmy Carter to discuss UFOs, he just smiled again. Andrew was a trained diplomat of the first order and was his own best intelligence gatherer. He was learning more about the subject of UFOs from me than I was learning from him."

News Limited contacted Mr Peacock in Texas, but he did not wish to comment on Ms MacLaine's new book.

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Nationwide study finds US meat and poultry is widely contaminated

eurekalert - Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates, according to a nationwide study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples — 47 percent — were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria — 52 percent — were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics, according to the study published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

This is the first national assessment of antibiotic resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply. And, DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination.

Although Staph should be killed with proper cooking, it may still pose a risk to consumers through improper food handling and cross-contamination in the kitchen.

Researchers collected and analyzed 136 samples — covering 80 brands — of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Flagstaff and Washington, D.C.

“For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial,” said Lance B. Price, Ph.D., senior author of the study and Director of TGen’s Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health.

“The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today,” Dr. Price said.

Densely-stocked industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses of antibiotics, are ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans, the report says.

“Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat Staph infections; but when Staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotics — like we saw in this study — that leaves physicians few options,” Dr. Price said.

“The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria — including Staph — remains a major challenge in clinical medicine,” said Paul S. Keim, Ph.D., Director of TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division and Director of the Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics at Northern Arizona University (NAU).

“This study shows that much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with multidrug-resistant Staph. Now we need to determine what this means in terms of risk to the consumer,” said Dr. Keim, a co-author of the paper.

The U.S. government routinely surveys retail meat and poultry for four types of drug-resistant bacteria, but S. aureus is not among them. The paper suggests that a more comprehensive inspection program is needed.

S. aureus can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, endocarditis and sepsis.

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Lady Gaga = Alien?

Of all the musical artists out there, few are of greater interest as topics of conversation in conspiracy circles as Lady Gaga. She has been declared an alien, a demon, the chosen face of the Illuminati, a dimension hopping tourist, an artist, and a scare monger - not necessarily in that order. But when she comes forward telling of bony protrusions pushing out from her head and reveals them during a photo shoot, it only stokes the flames of speculation that there may be more to this pop star than meets the eye.

The horns, according to Gaga, protrude from her skin when she feels a sudden bout of inspiration. The photos, which appeared both on her most recent Album's cover, Born This Way and in a photo shoot appearing in fashion resource, Harper's Bazaar. But the photos appear to show a type of horn protruding from the inside of her head. While Gaga denies having any surgery to create the unusual horns, she does state that they are temporary - appearing only when she is under the influence of what she calls "inspiration." This inspiration, as she has said in the past often comes from another source.

Already Gaga gained the attention of the UFO community after her most recent video alluded to a mythology to humanity that included an alien presence and even a race living within the human race. Symbolism has been present in her work for quite some time, though it often remains ambiguous and leaves many theorists disagreeing over just what they mean. Continue reading at Lady Gaga Horn Growth Fuels Alien Debate

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Mystery of the stowaway boy who fell from the sky

kansascity - He loved martial-arts movies.

He wanted his first car to be a Mustang.

He had just turned 16.

He was afraid of heights.

His name was Delvonte Tisdale.

At 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 15, US Airways Flight 1176 took off from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, bound for Boston.

Delvonte was inside the left wheel well.

Arrange the facts a certain way, piece the jagged edges together, and you start to see a picture. But the picture doesn't speak. Nothing in it says why.

A lot of people want to know the how. How, exactly, did Delvonte Tisdale get onto airport grounds and hide inside a commercial airliner? And if a 16-year-old could do it, why not a terrorist?

These are important questions, and authorities owe us the answers. But this is more personal. The idea this morning is to talk about why.

Back in November, right after it happened, a couple of relatives said Delvonte was homesick for his mom in Baltimore. But there's no hard evidence to back that up, and nobody's talking now. Several relatives declined to comment. Others didn't return messages. Delvonte's mother, Jonette Washington, sent a message two weeks ago agreeing to answer some questions. I sent a few. She never wrote back.

Delvonte's father, Anthony Tisdale, said Washington was planning to visit Charlotte for Thanksgiving. So if Delvonte missed his mom, he was due to see her in a week.

Delvonte's body was found the night of the day he disappeared. He ended up 700 air miles from home, splayed on a lawn in a Massachusetts town, about where the Boeing 737 jet lowered its wheels before landing in Boston. His handprint was later found inside the wheel well.

Charlotte police investigated. Their report is not yet public. A three-page summary doesn't talk much about the how. It says this about the why:

"Investigators also could not determine what motivated Mr. Tisdale to travel to the airport and stow away on the airplane."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Humanoid / Cryptid Encounter Reports 38

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

HOMINID AT THE ZOO

Location: Cheljabinsk, Russia - Spring 2002 - no time given

In the spring of 2002, a guard from the zoo of Cheljabinsk city was alerted though the strange barking of one of the guard dogs. The dog was very worked up, and tried to break free. The guard and random visitors of the zoo were witnesses to a large, hairy being attempting to jump over the fence of the park. Just as it had almost cleared the fence, the dog broke free and attacked the interloper. The being fled, following a short fight. Cries and murmurs could be heard coming from his direction. The dog returned in the morning covered with blood. Tufts of gray hair and footprints were discovered on the fence. The blood and hair were examined. The examination revealed that the hair did not belong to any known animal, but rather to an unknown primate.

The size of the footprints were 50 x 25 centimeters, the length of the stride was about 2 meters. The next morning, and employee saw a three-meter tall being in the forest near the zoo. He walked away from it. The zoo’s veterinarian, Valentin Gorbenko, examined the hair and tracks. He states that this 'hominid being' came to the zoo looking for food following his winter hibernation. He also thinks that the creature was a descendant of one which was seen at the zoo 10 years earlier.

Source: Na Grani Nevozmozhnogo - Russia

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HUGE UNKNOWN BIRD?

Location: West Virginia (mountains) - around 1970 - daylight

Witness statement: My mother and I saw a bird that followed the car up a mountain road. We saw only the tail and the underside of this animal. It's wings were almost as wide as the road. This animal repeatedly flew over the hood of the car as we drove. It did not have a feathered tail - it's tail looked long and coiled up. It was dark in color.

When we witnessed this I told my mother that I looked like a prehistoric bird. This animal was much larger than a turkey, turkey buzzard, owl, eagle, hawk or any other bird of prey that I have ever seen. It had a broad heavy body. In fact it looked so large that it had trouble getting airborne and it used the path of the road to get up in the air. This bird looked large enough to easily take down a dog or deer-sized animal.

I cannot say that it had any man-like features but this was something that both myself and my mother still remember. I have to believe that other people witnessed we saw and I can see why they called it Mothman. This is a true story - for obvious reasons I can see that people blow it off as untrue but we know the truth. I know another person in Maysville, WV that has described something similar. He explained to me he did not know what it was but it was as big as the highway is wide.

Source: Witness correspondence

NOTE: Maysville, WV is near Canaan Valley State Park, an area that has produced several bizarre cryptid sightings including Bigfoot and odd humanoids. Though the specific location of this sighting was not given I suspect it was in the same general locale...Lon

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THE 'CROWING' HUMANOID

Location: Near East Driefontein Mines, South Africa - 1953 - afternoon

The young witness remembered seeing an object land on the farm. The object was metallic and was shaped like two shells stuck together, it was about 10 meters in diameter and it was standing on three metallic legs. A human like figure came out of the object and approached the witness, apparently communicating with him, telling him that he was going to be taken for a ride in the object.

The man was described as thin, with long black hair, fairly dark skin, a young face, white teeth, and dark angular eyebrows. He accompanied the witness to the house to get a basket of food and on the way there one of the dogs apparently attacked and bit the strange visitor. According to the witness the man then made a strange “crowing” noise, resembling that of roosters, he made that noise continuously after the bite.

Inside the object he saw small windows all around, little lights around the window frames. It had light brown upholstery on motor car seats. The object took off silently. Apparently the witness does not recall what happened next. He later found himself in his bed.

Source: UFO Afrinews

NOTE: There are at least two versions of this encounter and the being is very similar to descriptions from the Zimbabwe school episode in 1994. One aspect that is consistent with both versions is the odd 'crowing' sound made by the being. Truly weird...Lon

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EAST EVERGLADES STRANGENESS

In November - December 1995, there was a flap of unusual sightings in rural Dade County, Florida in an area referred to as East Everglades. Four of those reports follow:

On several occasions a farm hand at a ranch located in an area known as the East Everglades noticed a large winged bat-like creature with leathery skin and wings fly over a fence several times and hover over a field. During the same time numerous farm animals including mules were found strangely mutilated by its owners in the same area.

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Awaken by the sounds of his barking dogs Rene Revilla Jr., a farm hand, ran out to see three tall blond haired men wearing gray coveralls ride away in what appeared to be 4-wheeled swamp buggy type vehicles. The men were tall and very muscular in appearance. They disappeared towards the west into an area known as the East Everglades. The farm hand fired a shot at the men, bud did not hit them. Soon after they saw a large white light descend over the nearby swamp. Two smaller white lights emerged from the bigger object and shot away at high speed. The light hovered over the area for a while. The witness is quite sure that the men were somehow connected with the bright lights.

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An anonymous man reported seeing a brilliant object descend from the sky and appear to land into a nearby man-made lake, behind an apartment complex. Armed with a flashlight he approached the site and reported seeing two beings in the water with large heads and bright luminous eyes that appeared to be flashing and blinking. They seemed to be swimming in the lake waters. The witness briefly illuminated the creatures with a flashlight, and reported that their eyes seemed to flare up. He then quickly ran away from the area and called the police. It is not known if the police found anything.

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The witness awoke to a white haze in his bedroom. It suddenly dissolved and several dozen small "angel-like" creatures appeared. These were described as about 3 foot tall, with white wing-like protrusions and with little lights. Their faces seemed to be a gray-human combination with the pupils of the eyes larger than a normal human and the faces larger in proportion to the body. The experiences made the witness feel elated.

Sources: Albert S. Rosales

Fortean / Alternative News: Russia Plans Mars Mission, Death By Pasta and 1st Commercial Jetpack


Russian vs. USA Space Race to Mars or Cooperation?

phenomenica - An interplanetary spacecraft for a flight to Mars will be created not before 2025 and the maiden flight to the red planet will be possible only after 2035, said Russian space agency Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov Wednesday.

"The possibility of a flight to Mars needs to be combined with the construction of a spaceship having a new nuclear power propulsion unit, which will make it possible to reach the planet in a month," Perminov said in Russia's upper house of parliament.

He said the propulsion unit, which serves the purpose of changing the velocity of a spacecraft in the space, is to be built by 2019.

Some 7.2 billion rubles ($256 mln) are to be allocated as part of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom's innovation development programme in 2010-2018 on the joint project with Roscosmos to create a nuclear power unit-based transport module for the future spacecraft.

Answering questions from senators in the Federation Council, the Roscosmos head called flights to Mars on board existing spaceships "absurdity," and added that the prospective flight could only be organised on an international level.

Russia, as well as the US, have been developing technology to produce nuclear-powered spacecraft for decades. Roscosmos and NASA are planning to discuss the development of a nuclear-powered spaceship Friday during talks in Moscow.

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Man dies after getting sucked into a pasta-making machine

dailymail - A 26-year-old man who was engaged to be married has died after being dragged into a giant pasta making machine.

Health and safety officials are investigating the gruesome accident that saw the man dragged head first into the machine.

Other workers managed to switch off the machine, but the victim died from his injuries.

The horrific accident took place at the Pasta Quistini factory in Ontario, Canada.

A piece of clothing worn by the victim is believed to have got caught up in the machine and dragged him towards spinning metal blades.

The family-run firm has been in business for 30 years and staff said the victim was engaged to the owner's daughter.

John Cartolano, brother of owner Elena Quistini, said: 'This was her future son-in-law, and they were very close.

'The boy was a very good boy. Very dedicated to the family and his work so it's affecting all of us.'

Police have yet to name the victim but have ordered production at the factory to cease until they have completed their investigation into the accident.

Elena Quistini was named Canada's 'Pasta Queen' due to the company's success in supplying restaurants and food chains with a variety of pastas.

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First commercial jetpack is 'just months away'

dailymail - It has been the stuff of science-fiction legend for generations, but the era of futuristic personal space-age travel may have finally dawned.

After completing a gruelling seven-minute outside test flight, the longest ever by a jetpack, the world’s first commercial rocketman suit could be just months from hitting the shelves.

Reaching death-defying altitudes of more than 100ft, the Martin Jetpack's flight last week brought 40 years of development near to a conclusion and the dreams of millions achingly close to reality.

Although limited to speeds well below its 60mph capacity, the remotely controlled test, using a weighted dummy pilot called Jetson, smashed records for altitude and air-time.

At its unveiling at a U.S. airshow in 2008, the aircraft did not go higher than 6ft - an arm's reach from a watchful ground crew - or fly for longer than 45 seconds.

Given the success of the trial, the first ‘jet-ski in the sky’ could now be dispatched for solo flights by the end of the year at a price of around £50,000 ($75,000) per machine.

Designed to be the ‘simplest aircraft in the world’ the Martin Jetpack will be a breeze to fly, according to inventor Glenn Martin.

He said: ‘You just strap it on and rev the nuts out of it and it lifts you up off the ground.

‘It’s just basic physics. As Newton said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when you shoot lots of air down very fast you go up and you're flying.'

Mr Martin says 2,500 people have already signed up for to buy the jetpack, with inquiries coming from Middle Eastern royalty and U.S. millionaires.

The two-litre 200-horsepower gasoline engine powers two ducted fans that can soar across the skies at 60mph at heights of up to 160ft.

The jetpack, which produces up to 6000rpm (revolutions per minute), carries enough fuel to fly for 30 minutes.

Its makers are targeting tourism joy flights, pilot training and private recreational sales.

‘Some just want to dodge the rush-hour traffic and do it in style’, Mr Martin said.

But the invention’s immediate deployment is likely to be as a ground-breaking defence tool with the U.S. military, which first tested jetpacks in the 1960s, and U.S. border control the first organisations to take delivery of the device.

Mr Martin, a 50-year-old father of two, sees the military version of the jetpack being used in hard-to-access areas, war zones to patrol borders and, if unmanned, to make difficult deliveries by remote control.

It could also be used in counter terrorism operations, as an airborne missile platform and mobile surveillance unit.

The New Zealander created the Martin Aircraft Company in 1998 specifically to develop a jetpack that could fly 100 times longer than the 28 seconds of its predecessor, the Bell Rocket Belt.

The Bell Rocket Belt was made famous by presentations at Disneyland, the 1984 Summer Olympics and an appearance in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball.

The belt could carry a man over 30ft-high obstacles and reached speeds of up to 10mph but its limited flying time of just 20-30 seconds and huge fuel consumption at $2,000 per flight made the device impractical and uneconomical.

By contrast, the Canterbury company’s latest jetpack costs just 15 cents for around 20 seconds air-time.

Given the shaky safety record of similar ultra-light aircraft, the inventor said a key component of the Martin jetpack will be its ‘ease of flight’.

Forward and backward movement and sideways tilt of the propellers, for left and right turns are controlled by a joystick in the left hand, yaw (angle) and the throttle by the right hand.

The jetpack will be fitted with electronic stabilisers and computer aided flight controls while a roll cage and ballistic parachute system will also come as standard.

The engine, fuel tank and pilot are positioned between and below the lift-fans to lower the centre of gravity and prevent the machine turning upside down.

While the first outside test is a huge advancement in bringing the device to the shelves, it is still unclear how aviation authorities will treat the jetpack.

Weighing just 250lbs, users in many European countries, including Britain, should not need to be licensed. However, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is still considering an official response.

Either way, Martin Aircraft Company said any attempt to fly the jetpack without professional instruction would be ‘extremely foolhardy’.

The company will require all owners to undertake an approved training programme before flying the aircraft with personal users taking delivery in around 18 months.

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77-year-old serial killer suspect arrested...bizarre claims on victim choice

sky - A 77-year-old man has been charged with four murders spanning 20 years amid bizarre claims the victims were targeted because their first and last initials were the same.

Photographer Joseph Naso was charged after investigators searched his home and found evidence linking him to murders across Northern California.

Roxene Roggasch, 18, was found murdered in 1977, Carmen Colon was discovered a year later and Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya were killed in 1993 and 1994 respectively.

Detectives in California say they do not know if the alliterative initials are merely coincidence or part of the pattern of a serial killer.

It has been revealed that police across the United States are now investigating whether Naso could be tied to other cold case murders.

Detectives in New York are looking into whether he could be responsible for the so-called "Double Initial Murders" of three young girls who were abducted, raped and strangled in Rochester in the 1970s.

Almost incredibly, one of the victims in the New York case was also named Carmen Colon.

Naso, a native of New York who also lived in the Rochester area, was a professional freelance photographer who often travelled the country for work.

A DNA sample taken from one of the New York victims did not match Naso but state police say they are not ready to rule him out of their investigation and are hoping to speak to people who knew him at the time.

Chris Perry, of Nevada's Department of Public Safety, said: "We think there are others out there we haven't discovered yet.

"Typically when you are talking about a person who has killed more than once, this doesn't stop."

Naso, who had been living in Nevada, has a criminal history dating back to 1955 although most of his convictions for petty theft.

Sheriff Mike Haley, who has helped launch the cold case task force, said: "The person has travelled around the country, has been engaged with law enforcement across the country, so we suspect, and have to suspect, that any cases that may emerge in the future have a rather long potential list of states that may been impacted."

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"Go Capture That UFO": The 1978 Puerto Belgrano CE-2

Very interesting article presented by Scott Corrales at Inexplicata - The Journal of Hispanic Ufology

I visited my friend Eduardo on February 1, 2009. He had been one of the protagonists of a UFO encounter at the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base while doing his compulsory military service in the year 1978. This is the main base of the Argentinean Navy, located in southern Buenos Aires province near the city of Punta Alta, some 30 kilometers from the city of Bahía Blanca.

As a preamble, Eduardo explained: “the battalion I served with was assigned custody of the base. It was a security battalion that stood guard throughout the facility. That was our only function within the Military Service.”

In the evening there was a group called GAO (Grupo A la Orden – Rapid Response Group) that would be the first responders in the event of any attack on the base, aside from those standing watch. The rapid response group slept in a guardhouse – we were six soldiers, a duty officer and a duty sub-officer. This was standard. The GAO existed at all times. We weren’t always the same, since there was a rotation involved. Continue reading at "Go Capture That UFO": The 1978 Puerto Belgrano CE-2 - Inexplicata - The Journal of Hispanic Ufology

Thursday, April 14, 2011

OK....Who Was 'Jack the Ripper' Really?

...this has been the big question on the minds of criminal investigators since 1888. 'Jack the Ripper' was the name the killer preferred after he signed his name to a letter to police...but he was also referred to a 'The Whitechapel Murderer' and 'Leather Apron'. At present count, there are 31 potential suspects...but who was he, really? The following articles will give you an idea of how confusing the 'Jack the Ripper' case actually is:

thelocal - Jack the Ripper was probably a German merchant seaman named Carl Feigenbaum. That’s the theory proposed by English former murder squad detective Trevor Marriott.

They are history’s most notorious serial murders and among the world's most famous unsolved crimes.

Between August and November 1888, five prostitutes were killed and horribly mutilated in and around London’s crowded, impoverished Whitechapel area.

Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly had their throats slashed and – with the exception of Stride – their abdomens mutilated. Then the killings stopped abruptly. The murderer was never identified. And the Jack the Ripper phenomenon began.

In the 123 years since, countless suspects have been proposed – and rejected – from various poor Polish immigrants to Queen Victoria’s physician William Withey Gull and even Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale.

But according to English former homicide detective Trevor Marriott, Jack the Ripper was most likely a German merchant sailor from Karlsruhe named Carl Feigenbaum.

Marriott, author of "Jack the Ripper: The 21st Century Investigation" and "The Evil Within: The World’s Worst Serial Killers," aired his theory in Germany this week in a ZDF documentary co-produced by National Geographic.

Marriott says he has used modern policing methods to overturn many of the old assumptions about the Ripper murders and gathered evidence that points to Feigenbaum, who was eventually convicted and executed for murdering Juliana Hoffmann in New York in 1894.

“There is a case for suggesting he might have been the first trans-continental serial killer,” Marriott says.

In 2002, the retired Bedfordshire policeman – who’d had a long-running interest in the Ripper case – decided to sift through the evidence, see what could be discounted, and determine what facts remained.

"When I looked through it, I thought, 'There are lots of things here that are not right, that are not factually correct'," he says. "The Ripper mystery is based on many wild, speculative, uncorroborated theories.'"

The police at the time believed the Ripper was a local man – and subsequent theories have generally assumed that he was at least a Londoner. But Marriot takes a novel approach, alleging that the murderer might have been a sailor.

“There were two merchant docks close to Whitechapel, and Whitechapel had hundreds of prostitutes and we all know that where seamen are, there are prostitutes as well,” he says. “It’s an area that hadn’t been explored by the police at the time back in Victorian times, so it was a totally new lead really.”

Hundreds of vessels came in and out of London every day. It was a “mammoth task,” he says, but he went through thousands of shipping records and found that there was a vessel, the Reiher, that was docked on all the dates of the murders save one. On that date, another vessel from the same line was docked.

The plot thickens

Around the same time, Marriott learned that what he calls a “Ripper-like murder” – of a woman named Juliana Hoffmann – had taken place in New York in 1894, six years after the five women in Whitechapel. The man convicted for that murder was German Carl Feigenbaum, who was also using aliases including Anton Zahn and Carl Zahn.

“He was bang to rights on that murder. He was arrested leaving the scene of the crime and the police found a long-bladed knife outside which was obviously attributed to him. When they searched his property, they found a kind of sheath and sharpening stone which indicates he’d been carrying it around for some time.”

Marriott’s research revealed Feigenbaum had been a merchant seaman and had worked for the Norddeutsche Line, which owned the Reiher.

“There was a strong connection there ... Once I started to widen the net, I found there was a number of unsolved, Ripper-like murders in Germany between 1889 and 1894 in addition to others in and around Whitechapel - outside of the original five women who everybody believed were the only victims, and other Ripper-like murders in and around the New York area,” he says.

He went to the Bremen archives to check crew lists for the Norddeutsche vessels – and was frustrated to discover that the key records had gone missing.

“All the other records were there, but the crew lists for this vessel that relate to the three months of the Ripper murders in the UK were all missing.”

However, he did find records showing that Feigenbaum had been working for the Norddeutsche Line for “many, many years,” he says.

William Sanford Lawton, the New York lawyer who defended Feigenbaum in the Hoffmann murder, later said that while on death row, Feigenbaum admitted being a pathological killer and mutilator of women. Lawton made the connection with the Ripper, conducted some inquiries and was quoted in newspapers in 1896 saying he could put Feigenbaum in Whitechapel at the times of the five murders.

The unasked question

“Sadly, the press never asked the $64,000 question, ‘What were those inquiries?’” Marriott says.

One possibility is that Lawton found the Bremen maritime records for the Reiher and removed them, he says.

Marriott had an advantage over other Ripper sleuths in that he started with a genuinely open mind and approached the case like any modern murder inquiry. He eliminated suspects considered “prime” and broadened the inquiry to consider others who fit the facts, he says.

This even included eliminating at least one of the five murders assumed to be the Ripper, based on the characteristics of the crimes.

“One, the murder of Elizabeth Stride, was definitely not the work of the Ripper and there are major question marks surrounding the murder of Mary Kelly as well,” he said.

Of course the debate will go on. Marriott admits that no theory is watertight, but had the police considered the merchant seaman theory, they would have come to the same conclusion as Marriott and would have been in a better position to solve the crime. Modern police would, for instance, have established a similarity with the New York murders and sent somebody over to interview Feigenbaum before he was executed.

He also says he has found new documentary evidence that he is still examining, and hopes that publicity in Germany may encourage descendants of Feigenbaum’s to come forward with information.

“This has always had a worldwide following and it will continue to do so,” he says.

“There’s quite a lot to suggest Feigenbaum was involved in these murders. We can’t say 100 percent. But Feigenbaum is the prime suspect for these murders because there is more evidence that points to him than to any other suspect.”

NOTE: here's a good source on this suspect - Casebook: Jack the Ripper...Lon


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The Ripper Casebook: Open to the Public - 3/10/2008

'PC.97J. NEIL reports at 3.45.a[m] 31st inst, he found the dead body of a woman lying on her back with her clothes a little above her knees...' So begins a vivid account on lined notepaper, by a Superintendent J Keating, under the heading 'Metropolitan Police'. The ink seems as fresh as a morning newspaper. Yet it is dated 31 August, 1888.

This is one of the police reports filed just hours after Jack the Ripper claimed another victim in London's East End. It is one of numerous documents relating to the Victorian killer which, after more than a century in the archives, are to go on public display for the first time.

Handwritten accounts from the scenes of the crimes, detectives' case reports, coroners' inquiry records, witness statements, photographs and letters will form the centrepiece of a major exhibition, 'Jack the Ripper and the East End', at the Museum in Docklands, London. Visitors will not be spared graphic descriptions, such as 'her throat cut from ear to ear', in the retelling of the bloody and gruesome crimes.

'They are absolutely amazing,' said Julia Hoffbrand, curator of the exhibition. 'They were written on the day each woman was found, so as a step by step account you get a real sense of what happened. The documents bring home the fact that these are real people and real events. They are very moving.'

The files were first kept at Scotland Yard, then transferred to the National Archives in Kew, west London. But due to their fragile condition they could only be viewed on microfiche. 'It's a rare opportunity to see the actual documents in the original ink,' Hoffbrand said.

The police report of 31 August 1888 continues: Dr. Llewellyn, No.152 Whitechapel Ro[ad]... arrived quickly and pronounced life to be extinct, apparently but [a] few minutes, he directed her removed to the mortuary, stating he would make a further examination there, which was done on the ambulance. It has since been ascertained that the dress bears the marks of Lambeth Workhouse and deceased is supposed to have been an inmate of that house.'

Jack the Ripper is believed to have killed five prostitutes in or near Whitechapel in 10 weeks between August and November 1888. More than 170 names have been put forward as suspects including the Duke of Clarence, the artist Walter Sickert, who had a morbid obsession with the killings, Montague John Druitt, a barrister who took his own life just after the last murder, and Michael Ostrog, a Russian thief. Books, plays, films and musicals have mythologised the killer and every night tourists walk the same streets on a guided Jack the Ripper walk.

A letter purportedly from the Ripper to the police will also be on display. Dated 7 November 1888, the handwritten scrawl states: 'Dear Boss, I am writing you this while I am in bed with a sore throat but as soon as it is better I will set to work again on the 13th of this month and I think that my next Job will be to polish you off and as I am a member of the force I can soon settle accounts with you I will tear your liver out before you are dead and show it to you.' The letter, signed Jack the Ripper, has a crude drawing of a man, but remains one of many tantalising clues.

Among the documents are witness statements to coroners as well as contemporary press reports. At the inquest into the death of Catherine Eddowes, whose mutilated body was found in Mitre Square in Aldgate, her daughter Annie Phillips tells of her father's separation from her mother: 'He had no ill will to my knowledge against Deceased [Catherine Eddowes]. He left Deceased between 7 & 8 years ago entirely on account of her Drinking Habits.'

Like Eddowes, Mary Ann Nichols was found with her throat cut, in Buck's Row, Whitechapel. On her last evening alive, she is reported as having said: 'I'll soon get my "doss" money; see what a jolly bonnet I've got now.'

The exhibition, which opens on 15 May, will also feature maps and recordings from people who grew up in the slums of Whitechapel. Donald Rumbelow, a leading expert on the Ripper and co-author of Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard Investigates, welcomed the exhibition. 'To see the documents out of the mounts will be quite something.' - Guardian

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Jack the Ripper May Have Killed Earlier - 8/7/2008

Jack the Ripper may have killed his first victim 25 years earlier than previously thought, a retired murder detective has claimed in a new book.

It is thought that Jack the Ripper killed and mutilated at least five prostitutes in the East End between August and November 1888.

But Trevor Marriott says he may have struck in 1863 and 1872.

Mr Marriott will be presenting his findings at the Docklands Museum which is hosting an exhibition on the killer.

Bodies unattended

The body of 28-year-old prostitute Emma Jackson was found in a brothel in St Giles, central London, in April 1863.

Mr Marriott also uncovered a second case he believes may have been committed by the Ripper.

Nine years after the Jackson murder, on Christmas Day 1872, Harriet Buswell was found with her throat slit at her lodgings in nearby Great Coram Street, after returning home the previous evening with a male guest.

Both cases remain unsolved.

In his book, The Evil Within, Mr Marriott claims that Jack the Ripper did not remove internal organs from two of his victims.

Traditionally, the serial killer is alleged to have removed organs from the bodies of his victims, including his second "official" victim Annie Chapman and Catherine Eddowes, his fourth, with a degree of medical precision.

But Mr Marriott said: "The organs were not removed by the killer at the crime scenes but by person or persons unknown for medical research at some point between the bodies being removed from the crime scenes and the post mortems taking place some 12 hours later.

"In both these cases the bodies had been left alone and unattended outside makeshift mortuaries." - BBC

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'Jack the Ripper' Indentified by Relative of Police Chief in Charge - 9/9/2008



The Jack the Ripper ‘industry’ got a boost on the 120th anniversary of his first acknowledged murder.

The great-grandson of the police chief in charge of the 1888 Whitechapel Murders arrived at the Ripper exhibition at the Museum in Docklands in East London—just before the 120th anniversary of the murder Mary Ann Nichols, a prostitute known as ‘Polly,’ believed by many to be his first victim.

He arrived with evidence from his Victorian ancestor revealing the Ripper’s true identity.

Jack the Ripper was never caught and his identity has remained a mystery for 120 years, feeding a whole ‘industry’ that has evolved worldwide with ‘Ripperologists’ keen to tell us who he really was.

One of the strong theories re-emerged this week was when Nevill Swanson, great-grandson of Chief Inspector Donald Swanson, turned up at the museum in Canary Wharf to see the exhibition before it closes in November.

“My great-grandfather knew who Jack the Ripper was,” Nevill told the East London Advertiser.

“He solved the case—but police couldn’t prosecute because the only witness who could identify the killer in a court of law wouldn’t testify.”

Donald Swanson scribbled who he knew to be Jack the Ripper in the margin of a copy of the memoirs of Sir Robert Anderson, Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner at the time of the Whitechapel Murders, in a chapter that just referred to the main suspect, but not by name.

“The suspect was Kosminsky,” Swanson pencilled in.

Aaron Kosminsky was a Polish immigrant living in Whitechapel who had been ‘identified’ by another Polish emigre, who then refused to take the witness stand.

“The police knew the case would collapse in court,” Swanson’s great-grandson added.

“He knew Kosminsky would get away with it—so he had him committed to an asylum instead.

“There were no more murders after that.”

It was Nevill’s father who uncovered the margin notes from the family possessions when Nevill’s great aunt—daughter of Chief Inspector Swanson—died in 1978. The book with the margin notes was left to Nevill’s father.

But the story got buried for several years after he sold the rights to the News of the World in a deal worth £1,000, Nevill remembers. For some reason, the notes were never published.

It wasn’t until 2001—some 113 years after the Whitechapel Murders—that the Kosminsky theory finally emerged.

“My father died in 2001 and the book with the margin notes came down to me,” Nevill added. “I knew the significance of the notes and have since loaned the book to Scotland Yard’s Black Museum.”

It is a strong and compelling theory—but would spoil the ‘Ripper Industry’ if even this was not challenged by rival theories over the Ripper’s identity.

The marginalia was probably added some time after 1910, and Anderson wouldn’t have known anything that Swanson hadn’t told him, a reader has informed us.

Martin Fido was the person who identified Kosminsky by going through asylum records.

This week, the Australians bowled their own theory to stump the Ripperology world with a claim that it wasn’t Kosminsky at all—but an immigrant named Walter Thomas Porriott who is now buried in a cemetery in Brisbane.

The Brisbane Times claims that Porriott, another suspect on Scotland Yard’s list, was the real Jack the Ripper.

Porriott was living at Limehouse in East London at the time, just two miles from Whitechapel. He was a convicted killer, a conman, bigamist and quack doctor known to hate prostitutes, the paper insists.

The murders ended as soon as Porriott emigrated in 1888. He died in Brisbane in 1952, some 62 years later.

But there’s more... Members of the renowned Whitechapel Society—dedicated to research into East London’s Victorian and Edwardian society and the 1888 Whitechapel Murders—hold a ‘21st century public investigation’ at the Museum in Docklands this Saturday (September 6), where the most comprehensive Ripper exhibition ever has been staged all summer.

They are promising “fresh photographic evidence” when the ‘investigation’ begins at 3pm.

Three authors are putting their theories to the public, Trevor Marriott, Bill Beadle (the society’s chairman) and Frogg Moody.

Ripperologists, of course, are a determined breed, determined to keep the fires of the ‘industry’ burning with different theories—and doubtless will continue to keep them burning for the next 120 years. - eastlondonadvertisor

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 Jack the Ripper: Hoax Invented to 'Win Newspaper War'? - 5/1/2009

Jack the Ripper was a forgery invented by journalists to link a series of unrelated murders and sell newspapers, according to a new book.

The unsolved murders of five prostitutes in London's East End in 1888 have spawned innumerable theories over the identity of the 'real' Jack the Ripper - with candidates including artist Walter Sickert, Alice In Wonderland author Lewis Carroll and even Queen Victoria's grandson the Duke of Clarence.

But now historian Dr Andrew Cook claims to have blown all these theories out of the water by dismissing the notion of a brutal, murderous spree by one 'serial killer' altogether.

In his book Jack The Ripper: Case Closed, he argues that the famous letter bragging about the killings - signed 'Jack the Ripper' in the first-ever use of that name - was actually forged by journalists desperate to sell their newspaper.

Dr Cook says streetwalkers Mary Nichols, Catherine Eddowes, Mary Kelly, Elizabeth Stride and Annie Chapman were killed by different men, as were the six other Whitechapel victims often added to the Ripper's toll.

He takes his evidence from police and medical experts at the time who expressed doubts about the single killer theory even as it began to take hold on the public imagination.

The senior Whitechapel policeman at the time of the killings admitted in his retirement speech that he did not believe Mary Kelly was killed by 'Jack the Ripper', Dr Cook points out.

The assistant police surgeon who examined all five victims, Percy Clark, told the East London Observer in 1910: 'I think perhaps one man was responsible for three of them. I would not like to say he did the others.'

However, comments like this were a drop in an ocean as the myth of the lone rogue killer took hold of the Victorian imagination.

Dr Cook shows that the newly-launched Star newspaper was the first to claim that one man was behind three of the 1888 killings.

Even though most experts today agree that two of these - Emma Smith and Martha Tabram - were not carried out by the same man, the Star's prurient accounts of the on-going murders massively boosted its circulation.

The Star only unveiled the notorious letter from 'Jack the Ripper' in the midst of a drastic fall in sales after the exoneration of a bootmaker it had identified as a key suspect.

Handwriting expert Elaine Quigley, recruited by Dr Cook to examine the letter, has identified it as the work of Star journalist Frederick Best.

But the public was convinced, Dr Cook says - and the concept of a lone rogue killer on the loose in the East End backstreets may have helped the real culprits literally get away with murder. - dailymail

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Has 'Jack the Ripper' Finally Been Identified? - 10/7/2009

telegraph.co.uk - Mei Trow used modern police forensic techniques, including psychological and geographical profiling, to identify Robert Mann, a morgue attendant, as the killer.

His theory, the result of two years intensive research, is explored in a Discovery Channel documentary, Jack the Ripper: Killer Revealed.

Trow's research is rooted in information from a 1988 FBI examination of the Ripper case, which had worked up a comprehensive criminal personality profile.

The portrait drawn up of Jack was as a white male from the lower social classes, most likely the product of a broken home.

It was also thought he would have had a menial job but with some anatomical knowledge, something like a butcher, mortuary or medical examiner's assistant or hospital attendant.

Because of prolonged periods without human interaction, Jack would also have been socially inept

It is known that Mann was from an extremely deprived background. His father was absent for much of his upbringing and he had spent some time as a child in a workhouse.

Trow said: "I wanted to go beyond the myth of a caped man with a top hat and knife, and get to the reality, and the reality is simply that Jack was an ordinary man."

Trow makes another startling conjecture, that the Ripper killed another two women.

He believes Martha Tabram, found with 39 stab wounds to her body in Gunthorpe Street, was the first of Jack's victims, and Alice Mackenzie, brutally murdered eight months after the confirmed five killings, was his last.

The two women, along with Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman, would have been delivered to the Whitechapel mortuary in which Robert Mann worked.

After the killing of Polly Nichols, Jack's first recognised victim, Mann unlocked the mortuary for the police so they could examine the body and as such, was called as a witness in her inquest to help establish the cause of death.

Most damningly, he undressed Polly's body with his assistant, despite being under strict instructions from Inspector Spratling to not touch the body, and Trow suspects that this was an opportunity to admire his handiwork.

The Coroner, in his summation of Robert Mann's testimony, concluded that, "It appears the mortuary-keeper is subject to fits, and neither his memory nor statements are reliable."

Professor Laurence Alison, Forensic Psychologist at Liverpool University, who features in the documentary, said: "In terms of psychological profiling, Robert Mann is the one of the most credible suspects from recent years and the closest we may ever get to a plausible psychological explanation for these most infamous of Victorian murders."

Trow's is the latest in a long line of theories about who Jack the Ripper was. More than 100 suspects have been proposed over the years, including a member of the royal family, a doctor and even the artist Walter Sickert.

Fortean / Alternative News: Alien-Proof Shelter, Live Missile In Wall and Polar Bear Surprise


When the Aliens Touch Down, Make for This Missile Base

wired - Larry Hall believes in preparing for scenarios that the Man would have you believe are fictional—Mayan disaster prophecies, pole shifts, alien invasions, that sort of thing. So the 54-year-old software engineer shelled out $250,000 for a decommissioned Atlas F Missile Base in Kansas. “I thought, wow, I can transform it into an ultrasafe, energy-efficient fortress,” Hall says. Then he figured that other people might also sleep better 200 feet underground within epoxy-hardened concrete walls. And with a custom retrofit featuring GE Monogram stainless-steel appliances and Kohler fixtures, they could also eat (and flush) in style. So Hall announced a “condo suite package”—starting at $900,000—that includes a five-year food supply (think hydroponics and aquaculture) and “simulated view windows” with light levels calibrated to the time of day to keep you from going crazy. Hall says his silo will have a military-grade security system and electricity powered by geothermal energy and wind turbines, as well as a theater, workout area, and pool with a waterfall. Not a bad place to wait out the apocalypse. Hall is still building this dream silo, but he’s already getting applicants. “When they call me up,” he says, “they’re like, you had me at MISSILE BASE!” With three out of seven floors already spoken for, you’d better get your bid in. You’d hate to be stuck in a moving van when the aliens touch down.

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) attempting to kill Amateur Radio

On February 10, 2011, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced H.R. 607, the “Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011,” which has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee (which handles telecommunications legislation). The bill addresses certain spectrum management issues including the creation and maintenance of a nationwide Public Safety broadband network.

As part of that network, the Bill provides for the allocation of the so-called “D-Block” of spectrum in the 700 MHz range for Public Safety use. HR 607 uniquely, provides for the reallocation of other spectrum for auction to commercial users, in order to offset the loss of revenue that would occur as the result of the allocation of the D-Block to Public Safety instead of commercial auction. H.R. 607 lists, among the bands to be reallocated for commercial auction within ten years of the passage of the Bill, the paired bands 420-440 MHz and 450-470 MHz.

The inclusion of most of the Amateur 70-cm spectrum as one of the replacement bands is a major problem. The 420-440 MHz band is not Public Safety spectrum and should not be included in any spectrum swap of Public Safety allocations.

While the ARRL and all Amateurs support the work of Public Safety and recognize their need for dedicated spectrum which would promote interoperability, the ARRL vigorously opposes HR 607 in its present form. HR 607 is a direct threat to our limited spectrum and the ARRL encourages all amateurs to appropriately voice their opposition to this bill.

NOTE: I know a lot of people this is going to piss of...Lon

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Man survives 9 days trapped in shipping container

A Bangladeshi man trapped for nine days in a shipping container is recovering in a Singapore hospital after being found with a co-worker's corpse. Chittagong port worker Din Islam, 30, was discovered on Sunday inside the container at Singapore's bustling Pasir Panjang Terminal, next to another man who was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

"Investigations indicate that both men are believed to be port workers from Bangladesh who were trapped inside the container by accident while they were taking a rest," a Singapore police spokesman said. Din and the decomposing body of the fellow worker, whom he identified as Alamgir, were discovered after a trailer driver heard the survivor banging on the walls of the container.

The two had entered the container to take a nap after having dinner and a smoke midway through their 12-hour night shift on April 1. "Then we just slept and we didn't know that the container had been picked up and transported onto the ship. By the time we woke up, we were probably already on the ship," Din said from his hospital bed.

He said his colleague, whom he estimated to be 40 years old, collapsed and died after a few days in the container, with nothing but a pack of cigarettes between them. "I really didn't know what to do. I was very scared. I cried and I prayed to God for a miracle to happen. I prayed for my life," he added. When the doors of the container were finally opened in Singapore, the stench from the corpse was so strong that port workers who were at the scene stepped back before Din was found naked and dehydrated.

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Polar bears awake from hibernation to find oil rig built around their den

wcsh6 - Imagine going to bed on a deserted island and waking up in the middle of a construction site.

That's exactly what happened to a pair of polar bears on Alaska's North Slope.

In March, oil field workers at ENI Petroleum were stunned when they spotted a pair of polar bears on Spy Island, a manmade offshore drilling site a few miles off the coast of the Beaufort Sea, near Oliktok Point.

The company called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which sent a biologist to set up a den camera.

The feds say the mother bear had made herself a den in a snow drift back in October, before the site was up and running.

Company employees did not know the pair of bears where there until their heads popped up on March 18.

"Must have been a shock for her because when she went into the den it was an empty island, and when she came out there was quite a lot going on," said Bruce Woods, spokesperson for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The surprise appearance triggered an evacuation of all of the employees, and shut down production until March 23.

Several hours of footage shows the nosy pair sniffed around the site for a couple days, even touching the equipment.

"The thing that really amazes me the most, and just makes me smile, is when the cub comes out you'll see that he doesn't want to be anywhere but immediately under his mother," said Woods. "You know wherever she goes, he just trots along and tries to hang under her legs."

The pair eventually made their way away from the island and headed out onto the sea ice and production resumed.

NOTE: honestly, I'm surprised they slept/hibernated that soundly...Lon

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Oops!

Firm pledges to take down 'Walking Dead' ad at funeral parlour

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Live missile found in bathroom wall

stfrancisnow - A week after she and her husband found a live bomb from the Korean War era in a bathroom wall of their home, St. Francis resident Sally Ann Wittman says the discovery now seems almost unreal.

Wittman’s 70-year-old husband, William, was doing some remodeling on a portion of the bathroom wall on April 5. Wittman was pulling out old insulation when he felt something in the wall, his wife said.

“I heard him say, ‘Oh my God, what the heck is this?’” Sally Ann, 60, said. “I walked in, and he was standing there with this thing in his hands.”

The small green missile, measuring 20 inches long with a 5-inch explosive head and four tail fins, was handed to her by her husband, then she walked outside and placed it on the grass next to a detached garage before calling police.

As she waited for police to arrive, Sally Ann said she was doing dishes in the kitchen when she saw a St. Francis police officer approach her yard in the 2000 block of East Leroy Avenue with extreme caution. The officer advised the Wittmans in no uncertain terms to evacuate the house immediately, as well as people living in the surrounding neighborhood.

With streets cordoned off in the residential area west of the Lake Parkway, it took a bomb squad from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department two hours to arrive. The bomb was taken to the St. Francis Department of Public Works, where it was safely detonated. The blast was heard all over town.

“One person told me that when she heard the blast, her son came running out to see where it was coming from,” Wittman said. A salesman I talked to who was making a sale on the corner of Whitnall and Pennsylvania said he heard the blast five blocks away. It was loud enough like ‘What was that?’”

Another woman told Wittman that her mother, who was in Europe during World War II, had a flashback when she heard the blast. “When it went off, I started to tear up,” said Wittman, who works for the Catholic Herald. “It was just (feeling) like this could have been so much more serious.”

Wittman said when she set the bomb down on the grass, it happened to be pointing west, directly at the house of a neighbor who has a 1-1/2-year old toddler.

A neighbor told Sally Ann Wittman that the previous owner of the house was a World War II veteran, and that his sons also served in the Korean War.

“This neighbor told us they used to bring souvenirs back from the war, and they shared it and gave other neighbors stuff,” she said. “They had an old shell that was used to hold a door open.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The LaCrosse, Wisconsin Man-Bat

Witness' drawing

The state of Wisconsin has become a particular area of concentration for me, thanks to Linda Godfrey's continued cryptid investigations and the submissions by the fantastic readers at 'Phantoms and Monsters'. The following accounts describe another strange creature from Wisconsin:

This encounter happened on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2006, on Briggs Road near LaCrosse, Wisconsin around 9:30 pm to a 53-year old resident who prefers to be known only by his Cherokee name, Wohali, and the man's 25-year old son. The creature they encountered was 6-7 feet tall with batlike, leathery wings with a span of 10-12 feet, long claws on it's feet and hands and a snarling expression on the face. It flew towards their windshield, stared at them and then swooped upwards into the night sky.

The creature "screamed" at them before sailing straight up into the air. Wohali stated that he did not know whether the creature had been on the road and then bounced up at them, or if it had been flying at the time it came at their car. He was sure the thing was a physical, actual creature, he said, but like nothing he had ever seen before. Their reaction? Immediate illness. In seconds, both became physically ill, and the son, who was driving, swerved and then pulled the truck over into the ditch so he could vomit. The son, who wishes his identity kept private, vomited six or seven times. Wohali retched, as well, and both remained sick for an entire week. The son was so frightened by the encounter that he refuses to discuss it. But Wohali told me he feels it's important for people to "know what is out there."

Wohali also described seeing "distended ribs, long sort of human legs with claws, huge bat-like wings with 'arms' sort of attached, I remember the teeth and the scream we heard was terrifying."

Wohali’s account and his sincerity convinced Godfrey that he had a “credible sighting” of something she has not heard described before. “He certainly has nothing to gain by making it up” — or talking about it, she said. “He believes the more he talks about it, the more power it gives the creature.”

Godfrey said she feels it is important that somebody record these experiences. The Man Bat of Briggs Road ranks right up there as far as notable weird experiences.

“I do think this sighting that Wohali had is an extremely interesting and exciting sighting,” Godfrey said. “I do think it should have some serious consideration given to it.”

There was another similar entity reported when a man and boy were searching for a lost dog. "They saw what they described as a 'lizard man' covered in brownish scales and very reptilian-looking. It did not have its mouth open or arms extended". Around the same time, a state DNR warden and separately, a group of highway workers saw what they described as a 'reptile man' on Hwy. 13 near Medford. It also possessed wings and was able to fly out of their view. The Medford spot was very near the Black River which winds up from LaCrosse!"

NOTE: since these sightings some people have suggested that this creature may have been a Mothman who appeared previous to several mysterious drownings in the LaCrosse area. You can find Linda Godfrey's website at The Beast of Bray Road and Hunting the American Werewolf Home Page...Lon

Sources:
lacrossetribune.com/couleenews/
Strange Wisconsin: More Badger State Weirdness - Linda S. Godfrey
Hidden Animals: A Field Guide to Batsquatch, Chupacabra, and Other Elusive Creatures - Michael Newton

Fortean / Alternative News: 'Vortex' Prompts Missle Alert, Exodus Doubts and Jesus' Crucifixion Nails

Russia orders missile alert after mysterious ‘vortex’ slams into Germany...WTF?

nation.com.pk - A shocking ‘top-secret’ report prepared Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) on their meeting this past week with Prime Minister Putin, in Novgorod region, warns that our planet Earth is ‘under attack’ by an as yet unnamed ‘extraterrestrial entity’ to which President Medvedev has responded by ordering a second regiment of S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile system to protect Moscow from low-Earth orbiting ‘targets’.

According to this report, the extraordinary gamma-ray explosion first observed in deep space on March 28 by NASA’s Swift satellite, and that has so far lasted an unprecedented 12 days, appears to be ‘communicating’ with the massive Asteroid 2010 SO16 , the largest space rock ever discovered so close to Earth, and Asteroid 2005 YU55, a round mini-world that is about 400 meters (1,300 feet) in diameter and which in early November will approach our planet within a scant 0.85 lunar distances.

Though Russian scientists have as yet been unable to identify what these ‘communications’ mean, this report continues, the effects upon our planet are being widely observed due to these two Asteroid’s shooting of ‘blue beams’ into our Earth’s upper atmosphere that have been captured on video in Russia, New Zealand and by the International Space Station.

This EMERCOM report further states that one of these ‘blue beams’ created a massive ‘vortex’ that opened over northern Germany this Friday past hurling nearly 100 vehicles into total chaos killing 8 people and wounding over 41 more.

Even more alarming is this report stating that as these two massive Asteroid’s have moved closer to our Earth over the past two-decades, the winds on our planet have been mysteriously increasing too, a shock finding further confirmed by Vice-Chancellor Ian Young, of the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, who has found that our world has gotten stormier the past 20 years, winds have picked up around 5 percent on average, and extremely strong winds caused by storms have increased even faster, jumping 10%.

Equally alarming is this report stating that our Earth’s ozone layer has suffered a record loss this spring over the Arctic due to these ‘blue beams’ disrupting our planet’s magnetic shielding, a finding further confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization who report that observations from the ground, balloons and satellites show that this region has suffered an ozone column loss of about 40% from the beginning of the winter to late March.

This EMERCOM report, also, reports that these two massive Asteroids are responsible for the many reports around the world of two suns appearing in the sky, such as in China this past month where one such episode was aired on their national news programme.

Important to note in this report, too, is it stating that another danger to our Earth from the presence of these massive Asteroids is their gravitational fields directing towards our planet fireballs every Spring season, such as the one that exploded in the skies this past week over the US State of Tennessee, but which Bill Cooke, of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Center, in a statement said “For reasons we don’t fully understand, the rate of bright meteors climbs during the weeks around the vernal (Spring) equinox.”

To what, and/or whom, lies behind these shocking assaults upon our planet Earth we were given a ‘clue’ this past week when the United States domestic spying agency called the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released to the public one of their most top-secret memos confirming that aliens had landed in the US in what is now referred to as the Roswell UFO Incident.

According to this FBI document, a memo titled ‘Flying Saucers’ to the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover from Guy Hottel, the special agent in charge of the Washington field office in 1950, stated “three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico” by the US Military in 1947 that he described as being “circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in a metallic cloth of a very fine texture and with each body bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots”.

To the reason(s) behind the FBI releasing this top-secret document at a time when our entire world is continuing to be pushed towards the abyss, and admitting what the US Military and past American regimes have spent hundreds of millions trying to hide from their own people; it is not in our knowing.

What is in our knowing, at least as far as the Americans are concerned, is their CNN News Service reporting this past week that the sales of bomb/survival-shelters in the US have risen an astounding 4,000% this past year showing a growing fear among these people of what is soon to come, and which many believe is related to the ancient Hopi Indian prophecies relating to the ending of this present age.
In our March 1 report ‘Russian Warning Issued Over “Controlled” Comet Headed Towards Earth’ we further documented that the Americans aren’t alone in their fears as Russia is building an additional 5,000 bomb shelters by 2012 too, but unlike the US will protect ordinary peoples and not just the elite classes whose wealth has been gained by wholesale theft.

Though many in the West continue to shun the ancient prophecies related to these times, and which the Sorcha Faal has well documented in her seminal works “The Masks Of The Dark Gods: The Coming Destruction Of Planet Earth” and “Battle Begins For Throne of This World: The Return of the Einherjar Warriors”, it is well worth noting, that with each passing day, the headlines of world’s most mainstream newspapers, more and more are beginning to resemble titles to reports we could have very well written ourselves.

After all, there is truly nothing new under the Sun, what has happened before will happen again, as it is now as our world blindly stumbles to its end of this age.

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Sioux Security officer reports UFO encounter and missing time

thecirclenews - A South Dakota Sioux Tribe security officer reported that hundreds of softball-sized red lights spun around his vehicle while driving home from work March 6 and that he had an encounter with two "translucent" beings, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

The man, who is unidentified in the report, said he left his job at the Standing Rock Sioux casino and was driving alone in his vehicle when he noticed the red lights about 11:40 p.m. on Highway 63 about five miles south heading into Eagle Butte.

"The red lights, about 100-200 of these red lights, kept going around the car for a couple of miles," the witness stated. "They never got super close, like two car lengths away from me, but all around me."

A few miles down the highway, the man noticed that his car was slowing down. "I was doing about 60 mph, but it slowed down to 40 mph, and wouldn't go any faster. Then the red lights just disappeared. They didn't fly off or anything, they just disappeared. The car then went back up to 60 mph like I normally drive it."

He then noticed something standing along the road. "Then I saw this thing on the side of the road where the gravel road meets the road and before I knew it, it was on the car. It reached in and touched my head through the windshield and ran its hand down my back. My back got real hot," the man said, according to the MUFON report.

He said he is missing time, as it took him over 2 1/2 hours to get home when it usually only takes 1 1/2 hours.

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Claim: Jesus crucifixion nails 'found'

telegraph - The film, 'The Nails of the Cross' by Simcha Jacobovici, follows three years of research during which he presents his assertions - some based on empirical data, others requiring much imagination and a leap of faith.

He hails the find as historic, but most experts and scholars dismissed his case as far-fetched, some calling it a publicity stunt.

Many ancient relics, including other nails supposedly traced back to the crucifixion, have been presented over the centuries as having a connection to Jesus. Many were deemed phony, while others were embraced as holy.

Mr Jacobovici, who sparked debate with a previous film that claimed to reveal the lost tomb of Jesus, says this find differs from others because of its historical and archaeological context.

"What we are bringing to the world is the best archaeological argument ever made that two of the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been found," he said.

"Do I know 100 per cent yes, these are them? I don't."

The film begins by revisiting an ancient Jerusalem grave discovered in 1990 which was hailed by many at the time as the burial place of the Jewish high priest Caiaphas, who in the New Testament presides over the trial of Jesus.

The grave, along with a number of ossuaries, or bone boxes, was uncovered during construction work on a hillside a few miles south of the Old City. It has since been resealed.

Caiaphas is a major figure in the Gospels, having sent Jesus to the Romans and on to his death, and one of Jacobovici's assertions is that the high priest was not such a bad guy.

Two iron nails were found in the tomb, one on the ground and one actually inside an ossuary, and, according to the film, mysteriously disappeared shortly after. Mr Jacobovici says he tracked them down to a laboratory in Tel Aviv of an anthropologist who is an expert on ancient bones.

Either way, Mr Jacobovici shows why those nails could have been used in a crucifixion, which was a common practice two thousand years ago. He then offers his theory about why they may have been used in the most famous crucifixion in history.

"If you look at the whole story, historical, textual, archaeological, they all seem to point at these two nails being involved in a crucifixion," he said. "And since Caiaphas is only associated with Jesus's crucifixion, you put two and two together and they seem to imply that these are the nails."

The Israel Antiquities Authority, which oversaw the Jerusalem excavation, said in reaction to the film's release that it had never been proven beyond doubt that the tomb was the burial place of Caiaphas. It also said that nails are commonly found in tombs.

"There is no doubt that the talented director Simcha Jacobovici created an interesting film with a real archaeological find at its centre, but the interpretation presented in it has no basis in archaeological findings or research," it said.

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Did the Exodus Really Happen?

This question has puzzled biblical scholars, archeologists and all those interested in solving one of the Old Testament's most intriguing mysteries. Was the story of the Israelites fleeing Egypt after years of slavery history or myth? Were there really 10 plagues that became so progressively terrible that they forced the Pharaoh to finally release all the Israelite slaves? Was there really a leader named Moses, and did he guide this "mixed multitude" for 40 years in the wilderness of the Sinai desert?

Passover is the Jewish festival that celebrates the flight of the Israelites out of Egypt. During this Passover season it is particularly pertinent to wonder, did the Exodus really happen?

Clues and speculations abound regarding alleged items of evidence discovered for the Exodus, and nearly all have their champions and detractors. It seems that every time a theory is proposed and the Exodus mystery appears to be solved, it is quickly shot down for one reason or another.

Nevertheless, ongoing archeological and etymological investigations into the Exodus have produced some tantalizing items and scholarship. Presented for your consideration are Exhibits 1-4. Read and wonder...Continue reading at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Leather Gloves and Sunglasses

The following anecdote was forwarded to me by a reader in reference to a friend's bizarre encounter. The experiencer did not want me to have access to their email address and requested that any information be relayed by their friend. I was given permission to publish their account. I was told that comments from other readers would be welcomed:

Hello - I was referred to you by a friend who is a subscriber to your newsletter. I recently had an experience that I cannot explain. I was hoping you or someone you know could help with an explanation.

I work for a limousine service in New York City and on 24-hour call. A few nights ago, I received a text message from the dispatcher around 9:30 pm and was instructed to pickup a client who would be arriving at the Westchester County Airport at midnight. Though I'm on 24-hour call, I rarely receive late night calls especially for a pickup outside of the city. I decided to leave as soon as possible since I wasn't really familiar with the Westchester area. I arrived at the gate to the airport and was instructed to park in a waiting section not far off the tarmac. I could see the entire runway from my position.

At 11:45 pm I received another text message from the dispatcher that repeated the client's name and where I would be taking her. I was instructed that I may be in service for 'an extended period' since the client had several errands to make in the city and that I would need to return her to the airport when she was finished. This was very strange since I usually take a client from Point A to Point B, though I will occasionally run across an odd request.

A little after midnight, there was a knock at on the passenger window. I looked over and noticed a young woman with sunglasses. I stepped out of limo and asked if I could help her. It was the client. I was totally confused because no private jet landed and I never saw her walk up to the limo. Anyway, I opened the back door for her. I returned to the driver's seat as she handed me a list of locations she want to stop at. I noticed that all were residential addresses, a total of five locations.

As we started our way back into the city I noticed that she never removed her sunglasses but seemed to be reading a document in the dark. As well, she never spoke and only nodded or motioned her gloved hands. We stopped at the first location which in the Upper East Side. She simply got out of the limo on her on and walked directly into the townhouse. A few minutes later, she returned to the limo and quickly got into the limo by herself. It was the same routine at the other locations - two in the West Village, another in Soho and last residence was in the Lower East Side where she remained for close to 2 1/2 hours. After we were finished, I asked if she wanted to return to the airport and she nodded in the affirmative. I noticed that she act very tired and was more pale than before.

We finally reached the airport around 6:15 am as it was just starting to turn daylight. As I pulled up to the gate, she suddenly opened the door and got out. She walked around to my side of the window and motioned for me to open the window. As I was doing this she reached into her small briefcase and removed five one-hundred dollar bills and handed it to me. I looked up at her as she smiled and spoke in a very weak high pitched voice saying "go home now - remember me." Then she turned around and walked quickly toward the hangers. I was simply dumbfounded. What did she mean?

I started to back the limo out of the access road when suddenly I felt a warm rush of air and a bright flash. The next thing I remember is waking up in bed in my uniform. I rushed out of bed and looked out the window to see of the limo was parked in my driveway. The limo was there as usual, so I went outside and looked inside. On the front passenger's seat lay the five one-hundred dollar bills. When I looked into the backseat, there were a pair of long leather gloves and the sunglasses worn by the client.

Can you possibly explain what happened to me? I have suffered no ill-effects from this incident but feel that something else will happen. What did she mean by "remember me"? Any information you can provide would be most appreciated. SM

UPDATE: I later received a few answers to questions I forwarded in regards to the incident. SM states that he awoke at 7:30 am in his bed in Queens, NY...only 1 hour 15 minutes after his last waking moment at the Westchester County Airport. In fact, his wife was still in bed and did not noticed when he returned home which he said was very unusual since she is a very light sleeper. He also has no recollection of anything during this lost time. SM also states that there was an 'ozone' odor on his clothes. I asked SM to keep me abreast of any noticeable experiences, which he has promised to do...Lon

Fortean / Alternative News: Fukushima Daiichi Level 7, Thylacine Search Expands and Moose Hunt in New Zealand


Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl

The Japanese government raised its assessment of the monthlong crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the highest severity level by international standards—a rating only conferred so far upon the Chernobyl accident.

Japan's nuclear regulators said the plant has likely released so much radiation into the environment that it must boost the accident's severity rating on the International Nuclear Event scale to a 7 from 5 currently. That is the same level reached by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union, which struck almost exactly 25 years ago, on April 26, 1986.

"Based on the cumulative data we've gathered, we can finally give an estimate of total radioactive materials emitted,'' Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said at a press conference Tuesday.

Even as they upgraded their assessment of the situation, Japanese officials went to lengths to say that the problem they are struggling to contain isn't anywhere near the disaster of Chernobyl.

"It is quite different from Chernobyl," said Mr. Nishiyama. "First, the amount of released radiation is about a tenth of Chernobyl," he said, adding that while there were 29 deaths resulting from short-term exposure to high doses of radiation at Chernobyl, there were no such deaths at Fukushima.

"At Chernobyl, the nuclear reactor itself exploded," he said, adding that at the Fukushima plant, the pressure vessel and the containment vessel were largely intact.

Still, Fukushima Daiichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. warned Tuesday that since the Fukushima Daiichi plant is still releasing radioactive materials, the total level of radiation released could eventually exceed that of Chernobyl, a spokesman said.

The new assessment comes as Japan admits that the effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident—which has already caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and spread radiation through groundwater and farms over a broad section of eastern Japan—are likely to be long-lasting and grave. The accident was precipitated by the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which knocked out Fukushima Daiichi's power and cooling systems, causing several of the reactors to overheat.

The International Nuclear Event scale, whose development is coordinated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, measures the severity of accidents based on how much radiation is released, the degree of damage to the nuclear cores and how widespread and long-lasting the effects are likely to be.

Level 5—the previous level given the Fukushima Daiichi accident—indicates a "limited release'' of radioactive materials requiring "some planned countermeasures.'' The 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania was rated a 5.

Level 7 labels this "a major accident," the most serious on the international scale. It means high levels of radiation have been released, and that the amount of time needed to bring the plant under control will require an extended period. But not all "major accidents" are equal in severity.

The decision to upgrade formally the severity of the accident came a day after Japan broadened the 12-mile nuclear evacuation zone around the plant to include all or part of five towns and villages that housed tens of thousands of people before the disaster, a sign that officials now see the long-term risks as far higher than originally estimated.

And the crisis appears far from over, with constant reminders that efforts to bring the crippled reactors under control are far from complete. Operator Tepco scrambled to keep reactors stable in the wake of another big earthquake Monday and a battery fire Tuesday morning, signs of how vulnerable the plant remains a month after the quake.

Experts have predicted it could take months for Tepco to bring Fukushima Daiichi's reactors truly under control, and years to clean up the plant itself.

Japanese nuclear regulators determined that after the accident, the plant has likely released tens of thousands of terabecquerels—or a mind-boggling tens of thousands of trillions of becquerels—of radiation in the immediate area. That's a level that's been recorded only during the Chernobyl accident.

While the new assessment puts Fukushima on a par with Chernobyl, there are key differences between the two, suggesting the Ukraine disaster was still far more serious.

The Japanese government said the monthlong crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is on par with Chernobyl in terms of severity. WSJ's Mariko Sanchanta and Yumiko Ono discuss the public's reaction to the news.

In the case of Chernobyl, a graphite fire burned uncontrolled for days, spewing out radioactive smoke that spread around the world. Fukushima, unlike Chernobyl, has a containment structure, which, even if damaged, has meant that the Japanese accident has shown "much, much, much lower'' traces of far-flung radiation, Wolfgang Weiss, chair of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, said in Vienna last week.

The release from Fukushima of tens of thousands of terabecquerels of iodine-131, while huge, appears to be smaller than the 5.2 million terabecquerels released from Chernobyl. Japanese government officials said the radiation release was between 370,000 and 630,000 terabecquerels so far from Fukushima. The permissible level of iodine-131 for vegetables and fish is 2,000 becquerels per kilogram, or just a tiny fraction of what has been released.

A 2005 United Nations study said up to 4,000 people could eventually die from radiation exposure to Chernobyl.

In Japan, so far, a handful of workers have been hospitalized, but they were released a few days later, and regulators said they showed no signs of lasting injury.

Japanese suppliers impacted by last month's quake are struggling to hang onto their business amid shortages of key components and electricity. Companies that rely on that hard-hit supply network are also rethinking their exposure to Japan.

There are, however, regular reports in the Japanese press of elevated radiation exposure for the workers trying to contain Fukushima, and it could be months, or years, before the real impact is known. The same is true for the population in and around the plant.

Officials said they expanded the original evacuation zone because the accident had lasted longer than expected.

"Japan has been doing drills for possible nuclear accidents, but they assumed that the accidents would be resolved in about 10 days," said Mr. Nishiyama, the spokesman. "We are now dealing with a crisis of a historic proportion. This has necessitated different kinds of responses than initially planned."

Even in announcing the expanded evacuation zone, Japanese officials said residents of the affected areas weren't in danger of surpassing government exposure limits anytime soon and that they have about a month to move.

Testing by Japanese, U.S. and IAEA officials shows that the radioactive contamination is spreading unevenly from the plant, creating what are known as hot spots due to wind, topography and other natural conditions that show a higher density of radioactive material compared with some areas closer to the plant.

The move will present major logistical hurdles for communities already battered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the plant as well as much of the surrounding countryside. The area includes towns and villages with a population totaling about 115,000 people before the crisis, though the number of people affected is likely to be far less because the government's order applies only to particular hot spots believed to have higher radiation levels, not a set radius from the plant.

Meanwhile, efforts to stabilize reactors at Fukushima Daiichi continue to be dogged by setbacks and scares, in a sign of how fragile the situation on the ground remains. On Tuesday morning, Tepco said there was a small fire at a battery unit outside reactor No. 4, which was put out shortly after being reported.

On Monday, a 7.1 magnitude quake centered in coastal Fukushima temporarily shut down power supply and makeshift cooling systems to three reactors at the plant, causing the evacuation of workers to the compound's command center. The systems remained down for nearly an hour while the evacuation remained in effect, keeping workers from switching to emergency power generators.

Tepco said the suspension didn't appear to have caused significant safety issues. But the scramble to restore power served as a reminder of how aftershocks and the risk of tsunami could upset the delicate efforts to stabilize the problems at the plant. - WSJ

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Moose on the loose in New Zealand?

While in other parts of the world people seek Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster or the Tasmanian Tiger, in New Zealand it is an elusive moose which has the community excited. A century after 10 Canadian moose were released in the southern wilds of New Zealand, a company's offer of NZ$100,000 for "proof of life" has re-ignited speculation about whether any are still alive.

Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno said that some people had searched for the moose for years and she was convinced one would be found in the Fiordland region - New Zealand's least populated area, in the nation's southwest - one day. NZ clothing company Hallensteins have launched a promotion offering $100,000 to anyone who found proof the moose was alive and well in Fiordland.

Company CEO Graeme Popplewell said the reward would be paid to anyone providing "verifiable video or photo evidence that could help us save this giant swamp donkey." In 1910, records show, 10 moose - six females and four males - were released in the area in the hope they would breed and become a big game resource, but the last confirmed shooting was in 1952.

However, biologist Ken Tustin, who has written two books on the topic, claimed there had been DNA and photo evidence of a moose in the area as recently as 15 years ago. Tustin said that a tuft of hair found in 2002 had tested positive for moose genes. "This takes the whole thing beyond the realm of hoax. People are astounded because there's been this whole climate of disbelief for so long."

NOTE: I wonder how long it takes for someone to attempt to smuggle a moose into New Zealand. Might be worth the risk for a $100K reward...Lon

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Sweden launches first medicine vending machine

thelocal - A grocery store in Grebbestad is the first in the country to offer the service, writes the local Bohusläningen newspaper.

Customers just need their bank card and identity number to purchase the medicines in a move that is likey to become more popluar since the laws on the purchase of prescription-free medicines were relaxed.

Customers make their choice on a touch-screen, from which they can also access advice on health problems and various products.

“This is its biggest advantage,” said store owner Eva Dennerlöv–Gunnarsson to Bohusläningen.

“We are not allowed to give advice or even answer questions about medicines because we do not have the right education, but here the customer can get the same information that they would from a pharmacist.”

She also points out that customers can be more discreet with their purchases from a vending machine and save time by not having to stand in long queues.

When stocks are low in the machine it sends an electronic message to a supplier, who can then come and refill it, while customers can still buy other medical products manually in the shop itself.

In the long run it may be possible even for prescription medicines to be distributed in this way, thanks to the newly relaxed regulations in Sweden.

The Swedish pharmaceutical monopoly was abolished in 2009, with the first competitors to Apoteket opening their doors for business in January 2010.

There are now four dominant market actors - Apoteket, Medstop, Apotek hjärtat and Kronans Droghandel.

NOTE: BTW...do they still have marijuana vending machines in California? I see legal medical marijuana possession was passed here in Maryland on Monday...Lon

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Fiji police warn against witchdoctors

radiofiji - Police are urging parents to take their children to the hospital or a recognised general practitioner when they are sick - and not to a priest or a witchcraft doctor.

The call comes after police received three reports last month whereby sick girls were raped by witchcraft doctors.

Police Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri says in the latest incident a parent took their daughter - who was suffering from stomach ache - to a witchcraft doctor in Cunningham.

Sokomuri says the doctor asked the parents to leave their daughter with him for a while so he could heal her.

However the daughter later complained to her parents that she was raped by the witchcraft doctor.

Sokomuri says similar incidents were reported from Duvula Road in Nadera and Narere.

He says all three have been charged. Sokomuri says that parents should never leave their children with any priest and should go to the doctor if they are sick.

NOTE: I was told that there are cannibal sects still active in Fiji. I read a story awhile back about how the WWII Japanese soldiers were scared to death of the Fijian natives...seems more than a few of them ended up in the cooking pot. Lon

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Thylacine search in Tasmania and PNG

australiangeographic - In December 2010, the AG Society-sponsored adventurer Andrew Hughes headed into the wilderness in an attempt to see if the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine - declared officially extinct in 1986 - continues to persist in any remote pockets of Tasmania - and surprisingly, New Guinea.

His eight-week, two-part adventure began on foot as he traversed remote regions of south-west Tasmania. He then travelled to the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) - where thylacine fossils have been found - and learnt about traditional hunting practices, before paddling down the Strickland River in a dugout canoe. "These two very different environments [Tasmania and PNG] were both home to the Tassie tiger historically," he says.

In fact in geological history, when sea levels where much lower, New Guinea was joined to Australia by a land bridge across the Torres Strait. New Guinea shares many species with Australia such as echidnas, quolls, tree kangaroos, possums and birds of paradise.

Unfortunately, Andrew didn't find any evidence for the continuing existence of the thylacine in either location. There was another purpose to the trip, however: it was the fourth in Andrew's Expedition Class series, which teaches Australian schoolchildren about science and the environment by coupling learning with adventure. More than 2000 children followed Andrew's daily web reports and interacted with him.

Andrew's past Expedition Class adventures included sea kayaking from Hobart to Cape York, paddling 2300 km from PNG's Port Moresby to the Irian Jaya border, and a seven-month, 15,000 km journey to the highest peak in each Australian state and territory by foot, kayak and bicycle.

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