Saturday, April 23, 2011

This Week on 'Beyond the Edge' Radio - Bigfoot Investigator Don Keating

BTE Radio is on the trail of long time Bigfoot investigator Don Keating from the Ohio Bigfoot Investigation Center

Something mysterious, big and hairy, leaving large human like tracks is roaming the forests of Ohio and this week Don Keating of the Ohio Bigfoot Investigation Center joins us to tell us about his 27 year quest to find out exactly what it is. Don also hosts the longest running Bigfoot Conference on record and this year celebrates his 23rd year and we will talk about the much anticipated 23rd Annual Bigfoot Conference held at Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge Ohio May, 13,14,15, 2011.

Don Keating has been investigating the Bigfoot phenomenon since July of 1984 when he read John Green’s book Sasquatch The Apes Among Us. He has conducted countless on site investigations of alleged Bigfoot sighting and track discoveries. He has also given countless talks to Scout groups, Libraries and other groups. Keating has been featured in numerous TV news shows, radio talk shows, newspaper and magazine articles and national programs including the History Channel’s “Monster Quest”; the Comedy Channel’s “Daily Show” and NBC TV’s “Today Show”. Furthermore he has hosted two decades of the Annual Bigfoot Conference / EXPO held in eastern Ohio in Newcomerstown and Salt Fork State Park. He has produced four video documentaries based on his discoveries and findings in Ohio. His most recent is titled “Sasquatch at Salt Fork” which chronicles sightings, track discoveries and other unusual incidents at the park in eastern Ohio. The production he was involved with while filming for an episode on the History Channel’s program Monster Quest which was called “The Ohio Grass Man” to date, is the highest rated show on Monster Quest. Keating has just re-released his 1993 book titled “The Buckeye Bigfoot” (1993, 2010) and has also recently authored a book based on Salt Fork State Park Bigfoot history and reports simply titled “The History of Bigfoot… At Salt Fork State Park” (2010). Keating’s Eastern Ohio Bigfoot Investigation Center web site may be accessed by going to

Join us this Sunday night, April 24th at 10:00 PM ET for what is sure to be an entertaining and informative show you do not want to miss! Live on Beyond the Edge Radio

Join Eric Altman, Lon Strickler and the crew LIVE each Sunday at 10 PM ET as we go
Beyond the Edge!

The Ariel School UFO Encounter - Ruwa, Zimbabwe

Preamble: On 14th September, 1994, a UFO streaked across the sky over Southern Africa. Two days later, something landed in a schoolyard in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, with three or four 'things' beside it. This was witnessed by 62 schoolchildren, who had little or no exposure to TV or popular press accounts of UFOs. The children were interviewed the day after the encounter.

Incident: On Friday 16th September, at approximately 10:15, 62 children from Ariel School, a private primary school in Ruwa (about 20 km from Harare) were in their playing field for the mid-morning break. Suddenly, they saw three silver balls in the sky over the school. These disappeared with a flash of light and then reappeared elsewhere. This happened three times and then they started to move down towards the school with one of them landing (or hovering) over a section of rough ground made up of trees, thorn bushes, and some brown-grey cut grass with bamboo shoots sticking up out of the ground. The children are not allowed in this area although it is adjacent to their playing field and is not fenced off, because of snakes, spiders and perhaps other harmful creatures. One can soon disappear from view while walking here, and there is only one very rough track used by tractors in an attempt to clear this area.

There is a line of electricity pylons and according to one boy, the object followed along this line prior to landing. There is also some controversy as to whether the object _landed_ on the ground or hovered above it. On Tuesday, 20th September, I went out to the school with a BBC reporter and their television equipment, as well as my son and Gunter Hofer, a young man who builds his own electrical equipment, viz, a Geiger counter, a metal detector and a magnetometer, to try and see if the object left any traces behind.

The headmaster of the school is Mr. Colin Mackie, who was most co-operative, and although he had never been involved with UFOs or a believer in them, said that he believed the children had seen what they said they saw.

I was able to interview about 10 or 12 older children and this was recorded for BBC television.

One eyewitness, Barry D., said he had seen three objects flying over, with flashing red lights. They disappeared, and reappeared almost immediately, but somewhere else. This happened about three times. Then they came and landed near some gum trees; Barry said the main one (object) was about the size of his thumb nail held at arm's length. The reports were similar although some children were more observant than others. The consensus of opinion was that an object came down in the area where they indicated, about 100 metres from where they were at the edge of the school playing field. Then a small man (approx 1 metre in height) appeared on top of the object. He walked a little way across the rough ground, became aware of the children and disappeared. He, or someone very like him, then reappeared at the back of the object. The object took off very rapidly and disappeared. The little man was dressed in a tight-fitting black suit which was 'shiny' according to one observant girl (11 years of age). He had a long scrawny neck and huge eyes like rugby balls. He had a pale face with long black hair coming below his shoulders.

I had suggested to Mr. Mackie prior to visiting the school and before the children had been interviewed, that he let the children draw what they had seen and he now has about 30-40 drawings, some of which are very explicit and clear, although some are rather vague. The children's' ages vary from 5/6 to 12 years. I have 22 photocopies of the clearer drawings as Mr. Mackie kindly allowed me to page through the pictures and choose those I wanted. Most of the descriptions are similar but some of the craft are very obviously 'flying saucers', and I wonder how many of these children have had access to the media. Others are crude but more or less in this saucer shape.

The children vary in cultures: there are black, white, coloured and Asian children. One little girl said to me, 'I swear by every hair on my head and the whole Bible that I am telling the truth.' I could see the pleasure on her face when I told her that I believed her. The smaller children from 5-7 years were very frightened at the time and ran shouting 'Help me, help me.' When the older children asked why they were saying this, the reply was, 'He is coming to eat us.' I should think this applied more to the black African children who have legends of _tokoloshies_ eating children.

Their teachers were in a meeting and did not come out. When I queried the headmaster about this he said the children always shouted and yelled during their playtime and no-one thought there was anything unusual going on. The only other adult available at the time was one of the mothers who was running the tuckshop. When the children came to call her, she did not believe them and would not come out: she was not prepared to leave the tuckshop with all the food and money. Gunter and the men thoroughly examined the ground around where the children had seen the object, but could get no reaction on the geiger counter or any other equipment. If the object was hovering perhaps nothing would show.

I walked, on my own, along the electricity pylons for quite a away, caught up in thorn bushes, trampling blithely over snake holes and discarding all caution. I found no place where some object could have landed and pressed down the foliage. In fact, I should think the bamboo stumps would have been a deterrent. The day was hot, around 33 C (91F)...

Dr John Mack was visiting Zimbabwe at the time of the event, and he spent two days at Ariel School with the children. He also spoke to the Headmaster, Colin Mackie, the teachers and some of the parents. John and his fellow researcher, Dominique Callimanopulos, were able to get through to the parents and teachers and convince them that even if they did not believe the children, it was counter-productive to accuse them of lying. Listen and think about what they were saying, he advised. His particular interest in child psychiatry was also of great use during the questioning and many former hidden memories came to light, something John is sure to make public when he has had a chance to reassess his interviewing. - UFO AFRINEWS 1994 - Cynthia Hind

A few of the schoolchildren who witnessed the encounter

"I got the feeling he was interested in all of us. ... He looked sad and without love. ...In space there is no love and down here there is."

John Mack and I were at the Ariel School, a small elementary school outside Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, listening to Elsa (not her real name) describe her encounter last September 16 [1994] with an "alien" being. In all, sixty children, ages six through twelve, reported seeing one large and several smaller spaceships land - hover, really - over the scrubby bushland adjoining their playground.

The twelve children we interviewed over the course of two days all described the same event with a steady consistency of detail. In addition to the spaceships, the children had seen two "strange beings," one sitting on one of the spaceships and the other running back and forth in the grass, "bouncing as if he were on the moon, but not quite so much."

The beings were described as black with long heads, "eyes as big as rugby balls," with thin arms and legs. The event took place during the children's morning recess while teachers were in a staff meeting. Many of the younger children were very scared and cried. "At first I thought it was a gardener," one fourth-grader told us. "Then I realized it was an alien."

The event lasted about fifteen minutes, the children said, before the spaceships faded from view. But even in their state of fear, many of the children reported also being curious and fascinated by the strange beings they saw, whose eyes in particular commanded an intense attention. Elsa told us that she thought the beings wanted to tell us something about our future, about how "the world is going to end, maybe because we don't look after our planet or the air." She said she felt horrible inside when she got home that day. "Like all the trees will go down and there will be no air. People will be dying. Those thoughts came from the man - the man's eyes."

Isabelle, a composed and articulate ten-year-old, echoed Elsa's feelings. "He was just staring. He was scary. We were trying not to look at him 'cause he was scary. My eyes and feelings went with him." What came through her "conscience" as she looked at the being was, "We are doing harm to the Earth."

The Ariel School sighting is one of the most significant in recent UFO history. It is the first time such a large group of people have reported witnessing the simultaneous appearance of spaceships and alien beings. After receiving a call in September from a BBC reporter telling us that a flight of strange objects and ships had glided across Zimbabwean skies for two nights prior to September 16 culminating in the dramatic sighting at the Ariel School, we decided to investigate firsthand. - Dominique Callimanopulos


Ruwa, Zimbabwe
September 16, 1994

On the morning of September 16, 1994, teachers and school officials at the Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe were amazed when the school's students, aged approximately 5 to 12 years old, reported that a flying object had landed on the school grounds.

The teachers at the school were in a meeting, so the 62 children were basically unsupervised while in the schoolyard on morning recess. The only available adult seems to have been one of the mothers, who was operating the school tuck shop - a sort of snack bar where candy, snacks and sodas are sold.

According to some sources, UFOs had been seen in the skies over Zimbabwe for two days before the incident occurred. Ruwa is about 20 kilometers from Harare, the capitol of Zimbabwe. Ariel School is a private elementary school with students of mixed ethnic heritage.

The children said that they had first seen three objects in the sky. These objects would disappear and then reappear in a different location. The objects moved closer and closer to the ground and finally landed in a brushy area adjacent to the schoolyard. This area had not been fully cleared yet and was off-limits to the students. The object landed, or hovered just above the ground, in an area about 100 meters from the students.

The children said that a small man, about one meter in height, appeared on top of the object. The little man, who was described as having a scrawny neck, long black hair, and huge eyes, walked a short way across the ground toward the students. When he noticed the children, he vanished and then reappeared at the back of the object. The object then took off and vanished.

The smaller children were very frightened and cried for help. They believed that the little man was a demon who would eat them. Black African children have heard legends of tokoloshis, demons who eat children. The children ran to the tuck shop operator, but she did not want to leave the shop unattended and so did not go.

The late Cynthia Hind, known as Africa's foremost UFO investigator, investigated the case the next day. When she was first contacted, she asked the headmaster of the school, Colin Mackie, to have the children draw pictures of what they had seen. When she arrived at the school, he had about 35 drawings for her. The drawings were of very similar objects.

'I swear by every hair on my head and the whole Bible that I am telling the truth.'

The headmaster affirmed that he believed that the students were telling the truth, and one little girl told Cynthia Hind that, 'I swear by every hair on my head and the whole Bible that I am telling the truth.'

Dr. John Mack, the abduction researcher, and his associate Dominique Callimanopulos went to Ruwa and spent two days interviewing and counseling twelve of the children and their parents.

"Those thoughts came from the man - the man's eyes."

Curiously, the older students said that they felt that the creatures communicated with them somehow, sending the message that we humans are destroying our planet, polluting the environment in ways that will have dire consequences.

The Sightings TV show did a report on the Ariel School landing, and CSETI has a RealPlayer video taken from the TV program with actual testimony from the children. - Loy Lawhon



Tonight at 8.30 SA time we were treated to the rare spectacle of a half a dozen CHILDREN AGED 8-12 attesting ON tv to the fact that a group of them had seen a group of four or five UFOs. Sentients with large eyes, long black hair wearing shiny black one piece suits had made themselves known. The ships had then departed. The witnesses to this encounter are a group of schoolchildren at the Areal School in a town called Ruwa not far from the capital of Harare. The date is 16 September 1994. Cynthia Hind, Southern Africa's most well known UFOlogist had a few words to say, but the children stole her show with their innocent and honest faces. They had all drawn crayon pictures of the craft. The pictures were all the same.. This I saw with my own eyes. We had Dr. John Mack on the same show. What is he doing in Africa? But the star of the show was the South African Sangoma Wiseman CREDO MUTWA. He is well known for his disturbingly correct prophecies. One of these was the prediction of Hendrik Verwoerds assassination. Credo Mutwa stormed the program with figurines of aliens looking exactly like the various races we suspect to co-inhabit our planet with us. These figurines have long been in the possession of the African nations. He attested to the fact that the African nations co-exited with aliens in Africa for hundreds if not thousands of years. He made the disturbing allegation that the Europeans who first 'colonised' Africa were mistaken for these 'other,' star people. Credo Mutwa has also said that AIDS can be cured by a SONIC SCAN or AUDIO FREQUENCY scan of some kind. This does not harm the person, only the virus. Surely this is worth investigating? There is a video available of his prophecies. He is very convincing! And Frightening! - Schwann - Cape Town, South Africa

Click for video playlist - 1994 Ruwa, Zimbabwe School Encounter

Hind, Cynthia - 'UFOs Over Africa' - 1996
Callimanopulos, Dominique and Mack, John - 'CenterPiece Magazine' - Spring/Summer 1995
Program for Extraordinary Experience Research (PEER)
South African TV, Channel 1

Fortean / Alternative News: Pennsylvania Abduction, Cape Cod Whale Gathering and Being Shakespeare

Pennsylvania man recalls observation of an alien abduction

MUFON CMS - 10/7/1974 - unedited: i worked 2nd shift,til midnight,after work i or we would get a 6 pack of beer & ride around to unwind or go park somewhere & sit . so this night we went to the top of the highest point in the area & sat & talked about work,etc.& we were enjoying the view of the country around us,had just opened the 1st beer,when my friend ernie said ,do you see that bright light over towards New Freedom.i sure did,it was very very bright & was hovering with a slight motion going to & fro. we watched it a good while,Ernie says i really don't think thats a helicopter or airplane,i totally agreed. then it shined a bright beam of light towards the earth,we watched in disbelief,after a few minutes we noticed something being brought up into the craft.i was so scared but kept watching.we said very just hovered there for quite awhile.then what or whoever they brought into the craft was being lowered back down.with the bright beam,then after that there was a bright beam coming from the earth towards the craft & then it stopped.we sat there & watched a little longer then the craft started moving southward. i had a willy's jeep with the top was still pretty warm then.we decided to try to follow it.we got to the bottom of the hill & tore up the road & caught up with it in our sight.we followed it into the state of Maryland,Baltimore county.we followed it to the Prettyboy stopped again for a minute & then it was gone,it took off in a flash.gone !!! ernie said to me,i don't think you should tell anybody about what we saw,they'll never believe us.i never did tell anyone til years later.but i remember it like it was Yesterday,i'm 60 now & i should let it out. before this happened ,i saw a ufo coming home from work at the same was huge a bright orange color & it was like quivering.thats the only 2 times i've seen ufo's,but i know what i saw .thank you for reading my experience.


Endangered whales gathering off Cape Cod in record numbers - Whale watchers won’t even have to leave land to see a spectacular sight.

A record number of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales have gathered close off the beaches of Provincetown and Truro and is expected to stay there for at least another week, said Charles “Stormy’’ Mayo, senior scientist at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown.

Researchers counted more than 100 whales during an aerial survey Tuesday, with a preliminary count of more than 200 total, a little less than half of the known population. At some points the whales can be seen just a few yards offshore, to a quarter-mile out.


Bullet Lodged in Man's Brain for 23 Years

telegraph - A two-centimetre rusted bullet, embedded in the head of a farmer for 23 years, has been removed at a local hospital.

In 1988 Wang Tianqing, who lives in Zhangjiakouin city in northern China's Hebei province, was knocked unconscious on his way home by a blow to the head.

"I thought I'd been hit by a slingshot," said Wang. "I saw a man standing on a hill and thought he'd hit me."

He woke up in a hospital bed, was given anti-inflammatory drugs by the doctors and sent home.

Shortly afterwards he started having epileptic seizures which grew progressively worse over the next two decades.

On a return trip to the hospital for treatment for his convulsions, the bullet was spotted on his CAT scan.

Wang Zhiming, an attending surgeon from Neurosurgical Oncology department, said that the survival rate for being shot in the head would usually be one out of several thousand, but the bullet missed his brain's main veins and not injured his brainstem.


Chinese author plans plastic surgery to look like Shakespeare

shanghaidaily - A BEST-SELLING author is planning to fork out 1 million yuan (US$153,000) on plastic surgery to look like British playwright William Shakespeare so as to "let the people across the world mourn" one of world's greatest writers and dramatists.

Zhang Yiyi will go undergo 10 face-lifts in 10 months to look like the playwright. He has to receive checkups every month after the surgery, China National Radio reported yesterday.

The surgeries won't be too difficult as Zhang has a sculpted face with a sharp nose and deep eyes that bear some resemblance to Shakespeare.

Chief surgeon Zheng Churong said the procedure will require work on the eyes, chin and other parts of his face

Zhang made the decision to go ahead with his plan after learning of the risks involved. The surgeries will cost 1.2 million yuan, which was royalties he earned for his new book that he spent the last four years writing.

"Life is a process of striving to become a better person. I think the surgeries are worth the money," Zhang was quoted as saying.

Members of the online community criticized him of seeking publicity instead of focusing on writing.

This is not the first time Zhang has stirred up media hype. He published a letter in which he proposed to a famous Chinese TV show host in 2006. The letter listed six reasons why she should marry him. He also wrote a book detailing the demerits of people from 13 provinces and municipalities in 2008, igniting outrage among readers who accused him of insulting many people.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Huay Nam Rak Alien Encounter

This incident has been classified by most investigators as mistaken identity. The explanation is plausible...but there are questions to a few of the circumstances. Decide for yourself...

Preamble: On September 9, 2005 villagers in Huay Nam Rak in Mae Jan district's Tambon Janjawa, Thailand claimed they witnessed an "alien" or extra-terrestrial being which appeared like a small-body man with large head and about 70 centimetres tall. Over 10 residents said they saw the being during the morning in a rice field outside the village.

"Thai TV, today, reported on an entity seen in NW Thailand near Chieng Mai. The entity was seen near a rice farm by four or five people. It had a large head and a yellow body. The phantasm then stretched into the sky and disappeared. The news anchor called this a "jahn binh" or flying saucer."

Five of the original witnesses

Incident: As reported by local media online - September 10, 2005 09:35 pm

Chiang Rai- Mae Jan District residents were excited over the sight of the unidentified entity floating into the sky above the rice farm. They believed it was an extra-terrestrial being. Several groups of people have been visiting the seen. The district chief was still in doubt, as many of the villagers insisted they witnessed the entity but failed to identify what it was. Witnesses’ drawings were the only evidence obtained. Police were not yet able to find any proof of such incident.

In response to the news on the villagers’ witnessing an alien, our reporter visited Huay Nam Rak Village, Moo 5, Jan Jawa Subdistrict, Mae Jan District, Chiang Rai Province on September 9, 2005. There have been over 100 visitors per day gathering along the rice field to discuss about the incident.

The scene is a large wide green rice farm. The spot where the villagers claimed they had encountered the incident was in the rice field of Ti Kitkangbon, 69. A lot of villagers reported that on September 31, 2005, around 06:30 am, they saw an unidentified entity that looked like a doll, being 1 meter in height. Its body was light yellow. It had large eyes, large ears, and skinny legs. They had initially thought the entity was a scarecrow.

Around 10:00 am, on the same day, the unidentified entity floated into the sky, seemingly with some energy, and disappeared. The witnesses were shocked. They discussed about the incident in groups, believing the entity seen could be an alien like that in a Hollywood film. Unfortunately, the villagers did not have any camera to photograph the incident, so there was no evidence. They sketched the entity witnessed that looked like a cartoon character. Some of them said the entity looked like Casper the friendly ghost.

Sawaeng Bunratchasak, 51, resident of the particular village, said he was not drunk, and not using drugs when witnessing the incident. That morning he saw an unidentified identity that resembled a scarecrow. He did not take that seriously until Kamma told him that the entity had floated away and disappeared. He, then, became excited.

Kamma Pinsaimoon, 56, said that at the beginning he thought the entity was a scarecrow used by Ti, the rice farm owner, to keep ducks away. As he observed further, he found out that the entity moved around, and then realized that it was not a scarecrow. He watched it until 10:30 am when the entity stretched, floated above an electricity pole into the sky, and disappeared like a soaring rocket.

Buapan Lawichai witnessed the entity in the morning, around 06:30 am, on August 31, 2005. She said it had a large round head that looked like a light bulb, red eyes, and yellowish skin. It floated unsteadily above the rice in the field, as if it had very little energy.

Wisit Sittisombat, Mae Jan District chief, said after visiting the scene that it was not possible to identify the entity seen by the villagers. Due to the fact that many of the witnesses confirmed the sighting, he did not believe that the incident was fabricated truth. He was working on an investigation into the issue. Everyday there were a number of people and media visiting the sight. The entity witnessed still remained unidentified.

Pol. Col. Kittisin Kongtaweepan, superintendent of Mae Jan District Police Station, Chiang Rai Province, said there was neither evidence for identifying the entity witnessed by the villagers, nor for concluding that it was an alien. According to
the investigation, there was no trace of the rice being damaged and no other proof. Police officers were assigned to watch the scene due to a great number of visitors.

A witness' drawing of the being


As reported by a local media online - September 12, 2005 10:15 am

Chiang Rai - Numbers of visitors to Mae Jan District looked for proof of the alien at the scene. The villagers still believed that what they witnessed was a mysterious entity or an extra-terrestrial being. Government agencies equipped with advanced technology were urged to investigate into the issue, as a floating fire had been sighted to fall on the scene before the entity was witnessed.

In response to the news on the villagers’ witnessing an alien at an area in Mae Jan District, Chiang Rai Province, our reporter visited Huay Nam Rak Village, Moo 5, Jan Jawa Subdistrict, Mae Jan District, Chiang Rai Province, to investigate the issue further. Groups of villagers were seen gathering in the village and the rice field discussing about the incident. After there were news reports through the media, the scene received significant numbers of visitors and those interested in
mysteries. The rain did not seem to be their obstacle.

The scene the alien sighting was claimed was in the rice farm of Ti Kitkangbon. It was a ridge through the paddy field. Go-ko 6 rice, which was 1 foot in height, was grown in the field along with lemongrass. There were no sign of unusual things, and no trace of the ground being stepped on by the entity. There were only footprints of visitors.

Buapan Lawichai, residing at 206 Huay Nam Rak Village, Moo 5, Jan Jawa Subdistrict, Mae Jan District, Chiang Rai Province, said she witnessed a 1-meter tall entity which had large ears, large eyes, and golden skin. It was standing and moving in the middle of the rice farm for several hours in the morning of August 31, 2005. She said now at night people tried to avoid passing the scene, because they were afraid of being kidnapped by the alien like a movie.

Kamma Pinsaimoon, 50, Huay Nam Rak resident, said he saw an object that looked like a child floating into the sky being 50 meters above the ground, without any sound made and wings. At the time of witnessing, the object turned black and disappeared in the sky. He was definitely certain that what he saw was not a bird, but still could not identify the object.

Somkit Kriangkraimoon, 31, Huay Nam Rak resident, said on August 31, 2005 he saw a strange object that resembled a doll. It had a head, body, legs, but no arms. Its two eyes were red, and the skin was yellowish red, like the color of red bricks. It stood unsteadily in the middle of the field. He initially thought it was a scarecrow, so he stopped paying attention. However, as seeing that object moving slowly and unsteadily like it was walking on water surface, he realized that he had been witnessing some incident which he insisted was not fabricated truth.

Kittikasem Ratanakosa, 30, an employee of a hotel in Chiang San District, said he himself did not witness the incident. After hearing about it, he visited the scene and hoped for scientific investigation, such as examining rocks or soil in the area. He said this was because he heard that a floating fire had been sighted to fall on the scene the night before the claimed incident of alien sighting. From his investigation, he did not find any evidence.

Wisit Sittisombat, Mae Jan District chief, said his visit to the scene after the incident suggested that there was no evidence to consider the entity seen by the villagers as an alien. Indeed, it was not possible right now to identify the entity. He did not comment on the fact that Huay Nam Rak Village was visited by numerous people, as there was no point in stopping people from following their personal belief. Looking on the bright side, the villagers could be making money from selling food and drinks.

Yongyut Tiyapairat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, who was on his business trip to Paya Mengrai District and Wiangchai District, Chiang Rai Province, said he had not yet made a journey to his hometown of Sansai Subdistrict, Mae Jan District, so he did not know what exactly had been witnessed by the villagers.


Villagers Claim ET Sighting

The Nation - Bangkok, Thailand
Sept. 9, 2005

Chiang Rai - Villagers claimed they today (Friday) morning witnessed an "alien" or extra-terrestrial being which appeared like a small-body man with large head and about 70 centimetres [about 2 feet] tall.

Over 10 residents of Huay Nam Rak Village in Mae Jan district's Tambon Janjawa said they saw the ET today morning in a rice field outside the village.

Sawaeng Boonyalak, 35, said he heard from friends that they saw the alien so he rushed to see it.

"The alien is about 70 cm high and has yellow skin and flat chest. Its mouth is very tiny. It has bald big head with big eyes and big ears," Sawaeng said.

He claimed that several villagers also witnessed the ET at the same time with him.

Sawaeng said the alien wandered around in the field for about an hour without caring the villagers who were looking at it.

"Suddenly, the alien floated to a tree top. After more villagers came to see it, it floated into the sky into the bright light," Sawaeng said.

He said villagers did not find any foot print of the being in the area.

Buakaew Intaweng, 59, said she initially thought the alien was a doll but it could move around.

Mae Jan district chief Wisit Sitthisombat said he interviewed over ten villagers and they consistently testified about sighting the alien.

"I asked them to draw what they have seen and the picture came out similarly," Wisit said.


Was the Alien Really a Blowup 'Doll'?

Tongmuan Pochailoet, a member of Pasak Subdistrict Administrative Organization, presented a sketch of his lost inflated rubber doll.

Tongmuan said that on August 20, 2005 he made a journey to congratulate his relative at the graduation ceremony at Chiang Mai University Conference Center. Then he visited the Ancient Village Museum nearby. On the way, he found an inflated greenish orange rubber doll being about 1 meter tall in a roadside tree. He believed someone had lost the doll, so he decided to take it home. He described that the doll was 1 meter in height, and floated like a balloon. It had large head, large eyes, a nose, and a mouth. It did not have ears. Its arms and legs were small. A string was attached through the doll’s lower part. There were a lot of people who had not seen such doll. As the string was not obvious, some children even got very scared seeing the head moved by the wind.

He tied the doll up at the front of his house, using it as a scarecrow, hoping its strange look could scare away ducks and chicken sneakily ate his rice and nuts. He noticed that at night the doll did not float. However, during the day when it was hot, the doll would float. He, then, had to tie it up.

On August 29, 2005, at about 6:00 pm, the storm carried away the doll to the north. He could not follow it, and believed that he lost it. Later, he found out from the media that the residents of Huay Nam Rak Village, Moo 5, Jan Jawa Subdistrict which was 6 kilometers away to the west, reported their sighting of a yellowish orange entity that seemed similar to the particular doll with a large head and eyes. He thought the unidentified entity could be his missing doll.

Tongmuan Pochailoet finally came clean about his missing scarecrow. He had not spoken sooner, he claimed, for fear of offending the Huay Nam Rak villagers. He made a sketch of his inflatable doll for reporters, who in turn showed it to the witnesses.

Although many witnesses had said that they first thought the strange figure was a doll or scarecrow, by now they had convinced themselves they had seen an extraterrestrial - and it was going to take more than Pochailoet's drawing to change their minds.

The doll had arms and legs, but the alien only had legs, they protested. The doll had a mouth but no ears, whereas the alien had ears but no mouth. And after all, hadn't a brilliant shooting star passed over the village only the night before the sightings?

A rumour even spread that the alien had been captured, and the local municipal office was overwhelmed by visitors clamouring to see the unearthly prisoner.

In desperation, the Mayor asked the village chief to set up a camera in the rice field in case the entity or balloon or whatever-it-was returned. (It didn't.) He also had to send workmen to repair the road running past the field, which had been churned to mud by the sudden influx of visitors.


Fortean / Alternative News: Congressional UFO Hearing, Slimey Black Fungus Attacks and Smell Like Blood

University Prof Calls for Congressional UFO Hearing

aolnews - Lee Speigel - Congress has a full plate of hearings coming up. Everything from medical liability reform, creating and promoting jobs and investigating Internet child pornography to assessing China's behavior and making immigration work for American minorities.

Do you think the House or Senate will have any extra time to discuss UFOs? While it sometimes might seem as though our lawmakers are from outer space, this hasn't stopped one college professor from urging Congress to take a serious look at unidentified flying objects.

Citing findings from a 12-year-old groundbreaking French UFO study, University of Missouri-Columbia psychologist and adjunct professor of peace studies Bill Wickersham has issued a call for congressional leaders to boldly go where their predecessors wouldn't.

In 1999, a special 13-member committee in France, made up of retired generals, scientists and space experts, created the COMETA Report, a study of 500 worldwide UFO sightings. The investigation narrowed down the reports to those that included radar and visual cases and previously undisclosed accounts from commercial and military pilots.

In a letter written in the Columbia Missourian, a news organization staffed by the Missouri School of Journalism, Wickersham cited the fact that the COMETA Report considered some UFO cases as possibly having an otherworldly source.

Even 12 years after that report, Wickersham, co-author of "Confronting Nuclear War: The Role of Education, Religion and the Community" (CreateSpace), feels it's important enough to warrant Congress' opening new, secrecy-free hearings into UFOs.

The name COMETA, in English, means Committee for In-Depth Studies, and the title of the 1999 French report was "UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For?" The three-year study concluded that approximately 5 percent of the UFO cases examined "could be the work of craft of extraterrestrial origin."

The first part of the report described the various sections of the study, including:

-Radar detection in France
-Astronomers' sightings
-Life in the universe
-The long history of the UFO phenomenon
-Reflections on various psychological, sociological and political aspects of the UFO phenomenon

Part 2 of COMETA outlines the study group's conclusions and recommendations based on their in-depth look into the UFO phenomenon.

They indicate that there are clearly some "unknown flying objects with remarkable flight performances and noiselessness, apparently operated by intelligent [beings]. With their maneuvers, these flying objects considerably impress civilian and military pilots, who hesitate to speak [about them].

"The fear of appearing ridiculous, alienated or simply gullible is the principal reason for this reserve."

It's worth repeating here that while the COMETA Report wasn't an official French government study, those who created it were very high-level officials, including ex-generals of the French Institute of Higher Studies for National Defense.

That said, here are more of the group's conclusions (mind you, from 12 years ago):

"A single hypothesis sufficiently takes into account the facts and, for the most part, only calls for present-day science. It is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitors. Advanced as of 1947 by certain military personnel, today it is popular worldwide.

"The extraterrestrial hypothesis is far from the best scientific hypothesis. It certainly has not been categorically proven, but strong presumptions exist in its favor and if it is correct, it is loaded with consequences."

Indeed. And remember, it's been 12 years since this report came to light. There don't seem to have been any hearings on Capitol Hill about UFOs since then -- or at least any that we're being told about.

"When I found the COMETA Report, I had a lot of friends in veterans' organizations -- I'm in Veterans for Peace," Wickersham told AOL News. "All of these people hold military folks in very high regard, but most of them won't pay any attention to UFOs, so I thought it would be a good idea to use the military angle [to call for hearings]."

This is actually not the first time that Congress has been called upon to consider a discussion of UFOs. In 1966, House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford, R-Mich., instigated an official UFO investigation after UFO reports in his home state.

"I believe Congress should thoroughly investigate the rash of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects in Southern Michigan and other parts of the country," Ford said in a radio broadcast.

"I feel a congressional inquiry would be most worthwhile because the American people are intensely interested in the UFO stories, and some people are alarmed by them.

"I think the American people would feel better if there was a full-blown investigation of these mysterious flying objects," Ford added.

The future president got his hearings, but the result, in 1969, was the government's proclamation -- amid severe criticism and internal debates -- that no evidence existed to warrant any further scientific study of UFOs. Case closed.

So does Wickersham think there's a real chance that a new congressional hearing on UFOs might actually come to pass in the current political climate?

"Not right now," he said. "And what's more, look at what happened to [2008 Ohio Democratic presidential candidate] Dennis Kucinich. The giggle factor, the ridicule, the ignorance, the apathy, denial -- all these things that surround this issue. It takes a lot of guts for a politician [to speak out on UFOs]. Most politicians run from it."


Police call in doctor to tell them headless man is dead

dailymail - When police pulled a headless body from a river, you would not have thought it needed a doctor to confirm the person was dead.

But there are rules and procedures to follow. And a medic was duly called in to declare that the man in question was actually ‘life extinct’.

Yesterday a coroner expressed surprise at why a doctor was summoned.

‘Even though there was no head, and the maggots, you had to call him in?’ Dr Shirley Radcliffe asked Det Insp Chuk Gwams.

The officer replied: ‘Yes Ma’am. They are the experts, we are not.’

The inquest heard that police were called to the River Wandle in Wimbledon, South-West London, last June.

Two Environment Agency contractors clearing Japanese knotweed from the bank had discovered the headless corpse floating in the water.

It was so badly decomposed, it was impossible to establish how the person had died.

And it was only through DNA tests that police identified him as Polish national Waldemar Drobig, 32, a former baker who slept rough and had previously been arrested for petty theft.

Mr Drobig was born in Sunechow, Poland, and was married with one son, although at the time of his death he had lost contact with his family.

'The area he was found in, a ledge under a bridge, in summer time is where the local street drinkers tend to congregate,' Det Insp Gwams said.

Recording an open verdict at Westminster coroner’s court yesterday, Dr Radcliffe said: ‘The cause of death in uncertain.

‘It is not possible to rule out foul play one hundred per cent.’


Army, Navy add citizenship option to boot camp

Military service has long been one route to U.S. citizenship. Now the Army and Navy, in need of specialists and language skills in wartime, are speeding things up by allowing recruits to wrap up the process while they're still in basic training.

It means a change in a no-visitors policy during boot camp, to allow federal immigration officers access to the recruits. But military officials say it's a well-deserved break for volunteers who otherwise would have to slog through the bureaucratic ordeal during deployments around the world, often far from U.S. embassies.

The military route is not a short-cut for foreigners abroad to get into the U.S. Only legal immigrants can apply, officials stress, and they must complete five years of honorable service or chance having their citizenship revoked. Continue reading at WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?


Scottish village in the grip of slimy black fungus

dailyrecord - A scots village is covered in slimy back fungus - and the locals are sick of having to wash it off their homes and cars.

Villagers in Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, have had to fork out hundreds of pounds on power hoses and spend hours on end cleaning up the goo.

But every time they get rid of the slime, it comes back.

As well as houses, paths and cars, it covers signs, public buildings and anything else in its path.

The muck has been blamed on fumes from the local whisky warehouse, run by booze giants Diageo. Bosses at the multi-billion pound firm deny being responsible.

Dad-of-two Neil Docherty, 39, told last night how it takes him all day to clean the slime off his conservatory.

He said: "It's horrible sitting in there with this black stuff over the roof all the time. It really blocks out the light."

Neil uses washing powder and an extendable mop in his struggle to keep the glass clean.

Neighbour Fraser McLachlan, also 39, bought a £300 pressure washer to try to beat the slime and uses a credit card to scrape the fungus off the roof of his car.

Fraser, dad of Megan, seven, said: "It's horrendous. We've been told the fungus is harmless but it's costing me a fortune to clean.

"If you ask anybody locally they've all said the same thing - it's coming from the distillery."

The fungus is also a pain for Clackmannanshire Council. The road signs in Tullibody need the most cleaning in the county.

But there's no solution in sight.

And Diageo and the Scotch Whisky Association have washed their hands of the problem.

The association say the slime is also found in areas with no whisky industry, and Diageo say research found "no direct link" between whisky fumes and the fungus.


Blood-Inspired Perfume

A new blood-inspired perfume may soon have an ideal group of early adopters: vampires.

Last week, a pair of Italian entrepreneurs, Antonio Zuddas and Giovanni Castelli, debuted Blood Concept, a provocative fragrance line based on the four major human blood types: A, B, AB and O.

While the line forgoes incorporating actual blood, the Italian duo nonetheless claim that each scent is evocative of the blood type it represents.

"Blood Concept is just a celebration of human life through an interpretation of its evolutionary process," Zuddas told AOL News. "To be more accurate, it's an interpretation of the evolution of our most important element, the blood in our veins."

In keeping with the hematic theme, the four scents come in 1.35-ounce vials with red droppers, and the website includes background images of swirling blood.

While the Milan-based designers concede that Blood Concept may make some squeamish, they maintain that their perfumes have nothing to do with blood lust.

"No splatter, no vampires ..." Zuddas said.

Not so fast.

Merticus, a 32-year-old Atlanta man who self-identifies as a vampire, intends to sample the fragrance line.

A founding member of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance and Vampire Community News, Merticus favors O-positive as his drink of choice. As for which scent he'd prefer to wear -- or detect on a donor -- he's keeping an open mind.

"I find the black cherry, pomegranate and patchouli infusions of B and the raspberry, rose hips, and birch infusions of O equally intriguing," Merticus said via e-mail. "Hopefully I'll be able to sample them in the flesh soon."

An antique dealer by daylight, he plans to travel to Italy in September, where, he told AOL News, he may drop by the Blood Concept offices and pick up a few vials.

Meredith Woerner, a New York City vampirist and author of "Vampire Taxonomy," is less sanguine. She has a hard time believing that vampires would go for such a gimmick.

"It's cheesy. It's chintzy," she said in a phone interview. "It's not their style. I can't imagine a real vampire would be that enticed by fake blood. In fact, if they detected the scent of it, it might make you more of a target for a mercy killing."

Woerner admitted, though, that Blood Concept was a "brilliant" idea, adding that, according to the mythology of the HBO vampire series "True Blood," vampires turn to synthetic blood when there's none of the real stuff.

"True Blood," of course, is fiction, and Merticus chaffs at the way vampires are portrayed in the media.

"The difficulty we encounter from these mass-marketed books and films occurs when individuals unwittingly stumble across the real vampire community," said Merticus, who organizes an Atlanta vampire meet-up. "They wrongly assume we consider ourselves immortal vampires who must sleep in coffins and avoid sunlight at all costs."

Wearing a designer scent like Blood Concept, however, could help soften a vampire's image and add a little primal vigor at the same time.

Fragrance O, Zuddas said, hearkens back to the beginnings of humankind, when we were all "lonely hunters" and had blood type O. It has a leathery base note to match.

Fragrance AB, meanwhile, represents the newest of the blood types and is redolent of -- according to the Blood Concept website -- aluminum, slate and pebbles.

Whether or not the blood-inspired perfume meets Merticus' expectations, he can at least take comfort that the fragrances eschew one particular ingredient: garlic. - AOLnews - Larry Knowles

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reader Submissions: Texas Close Encounter, Mauritius UFO Sighting and Portland, Ohio Mothman

The following post includes a few recent emails forwarded by readers with permission to publish:


I am a retired deputy sheriff from Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas. In November 2001 I was driving on my way to work early at morning on highway 377. I left Granbury, Texas and was entering the city of Benbrook, Texas. To my right, at the Wills Ranch, I saw a light source on the ground near large power lines. It was shooting red laser beams in the air.

I had WBAP AM radio on waiting for the news. Suddenly the announcer ask if anyone had seen strange lights near Benbrook to please call the station. I called the station and started explaining what I was witnessing. Suddenly as I was talking on live radio I was hit by some type of energy. It felt like warm syrup pouring on my head and going all the way to my feet.

The weird part is my Silverado pick up suddenly lost all power. The electrical system shut down. My cell phone went dead. I had to coast to the side of the highway and stop. I checked my watch to see if I had lost any time. I felt very tired and paralyzed. I could not continue my conversation with the announcer. Before this happened the announcer asked what else I had seen. I told him I saw a high winged single engine airplane flying very near the light source. The announcer said this was their spotter plane.

About 20 minutes later I was able to start my truck. My cell phone came back on so I continued to my daily briefing at work. Other deputies met me and laughed about me seeing a UFO. I never mentioned a UFO, only a light source.

That afternoon I called WBAP radio station and asked if they found out what the light source was. They didn't know but said several people had called to report the same thing I saw. The incident was never in the newspaper. For some reason it had to be a secret. To this day I have never been able to find out what this was.

Joe Lawrence
Granbury, Texas

NOTE: Can anyone help with this? I have made a few inquiries...hopefully, some information will come forward. Lon



Dear Mr Stanton Friedman and Lon Strickler,

My name is Paul Oosthuizen, I'm a South African married and living in Mauritius.

On the morning of Wed the 13th April, between 03:00-04:00am I got up to take a look outside like I always do, when I can't sleep.

I spotted an orange light which was bright and thought it was a ship, then realized it wasn't, as it was too bright.

It then faded out like a candle with no oxygen. As it appeared again it was white and had risen up, it looked like it was coming closer, then stopped, there were also two flashes, again I thought it was a plane but no sound, as well I thought it was a star, but too bright and very low too be a star. The light was shining on the water like the moon does when it rises, only thing is at that time of the morning the moon is on the other side of the house.

Now with that UFO out over the ocean, I heard a noise in my neighbors yard, to dark to see anything I instinctively looked up and spotted a triangle shaped craft with red lights in each corner and a red light flashing in the center. Now I've seen plenty of planes passing over at very high altitudes. You hear them on one side and see them in a different direction, only thing is this was lower and not a sound at all, absolutely nothing, and it was moving in a north westerly direction.

The response below is absolute rubbish, and do not believe a word that has been said to me. I believe 100% in UFO's and Aliens and believe we are not the only planet in the universe with life on. The link below has given me chills but excitement at the same time, the phone call really is what got to me, that gave me goose bumps!

The answer below is complete rubbish, as I spoke to the Director of the Department of Civil Aviation, on the morning of Wednesday 20th April, I asked him if he had anything on his radar, no he said now planes? which have silencers? Absolute Rubbish!!!

Thank you for your time,

keep up the good work

Paul Oosthuizen

P.S. you are more than welcome to post this on your sites.

To: (redacted)
Subject: Unidentified Flying Objects Spotted
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 15:14:20 +0400

Dear Mr. Oosthuizen

Thank you for your email regarding the sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) in the early morning of Wednesday 13 April 2011.

We have looked into the matter and our initial finding indicates that this could relate to a Malaysian Airlines flight (MAS 201), a Boeing 747 aircraft that was overflying the Mauritius airspace from the north east towards the south west at an altitude of 34,000 feet and passed overhead SSR International Airport at around 04:00 am.

At three o’clock in the morning the aircraft would have been at about 500 nautical miles in the north east sector and would have been seen very close to the horizon due to the “earth curvature” effect. Further, although it would be pitch dark in Mauritius, the aircraft, being so high in the sky, would be illuminated by the sun which would have already risen in the more easterly longitudes. As it approached Mauritius it would have been seen to rise in the sky and eventually pass overhead Pointe D’Esny (at a height of 34,000 feet) as it was on a route that passes over the airport.

Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

Kind regards

For Director of Civil Aviation

NOTE: the only MUFON submitted report of a UFO sighting (that I can find) from Mauritius: At 1848(UTC+4) on Saturday 29 Aug 2009 while observing the sky after sunset, I saw 7 starlike objects moving in the sky. The 1st 1 was south of the moon and crossed it moving towards the north. The rest 6 were moving in straight motion with the exception of the 6th object which made a U turn and disappeared. The remaining 6 objects were lost from sight on approaching horizon. All commercial aircrafts are excluded from possibilities coz we had all info from aviation civil. 6 persons were on the spot(20.2S ,57.3E) of the sighting. Any information on this recent sighting would be appreciated...Lon



I guess I'll just jump into this story that I've only revealed to a few people. My extended family mostly live along old River Road (Rt 124) in Portland, OH. I practically grew up there and spent entire summers there as a youth. It was and remains a special place for me as I loved exploring the areas.

My aunt and uncle live on a hill over looking the Ohio River and we have fished that area forever. I take groups of buddies every summer and we camp on their lower land and spend the night fishing. Some of us just go for the drinking and fun. There are all sorts of little gravel roads around that area and I know them all.

One evening, two friends and I decided to go walking. One of my friends hadn't had anything to drink but he chose to come along. We were just being loud and laughing since we were litterally in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly I caught a light out the corner of my eye and off in the distance was what looked like a house with every light on. I was totally confused and my friends had no idea what I was talking about because it's just a house. There is no house there. As we were walking closer to the "house" something appeared 20 feet in front of us. We only looked at it for a moment before we all turned and ran full blast back to the campsite. In the light of day, I drove down the gravel road we were on and there was no house anywhere in sight as I already knew.

Some months later, a different friend brought a Mothman movie (The Mothman Prophecies) to my house to watch. Surprisingly, I had never heard of the Mothman. I was almost panic stricken knowing this was the thing I saw. I immediately called my friend who was with me and told him to go rent that movie. He eventually called me back almost in hysterics after watching that movie. This happened almost 8 years ago and I still think about it at least once a day. I've never shared this account with anyone on-line and I'll assure you this really did happen.

NOTE: I would be interested in any similar encounters. Please feel free to forward to Thanks...Lon

Fortean / Alternative News: Zombie Science, Eat Insects vs. Global Malnutrition and CIA Declassifies WWI Documents

The World of Zombie Science

Zombies seem to be only growing in popularity, and I’m not talking about the biological kind. They’ve got their own television show, plenty of films, and even a musical. They invaded the world of Jane Austen, and there are zombie crawls around the world, in which people dress up like the living dead and shuffle across some urban area.

And then there’s the growing field of zombie science.

In 2009, University of Ottawa mathematician Robert J. Smith? (and, yes, he really does include a question mark at the end of his name) published a paper in a book about infectious disease modeling titled “When Zombies Attack! Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection” (pdf). It started as a class project, when some students suggested they model zombies in his disease modeling class. “I think they thought I’d shoot it down,” Smith told NPR, “but actually I said, go for it. That sounds really great. And it was just a fun way of really illustrating some of the process that you might have in modeling an infectious disease.” Using math, the group showed that only by quickly and aggressively attacking the zombie population could normal humans hope to prevent the complete collapse of society.

That paper sparked further research. The latest contribution, “Zombies in the City: a NetLogo Model” (pdf) will appear in the upcoming book Mathematical Modelling of Zombies. In this new study, an epidemiologist and a mathematician at Australian National University refine the initial model and incorporate the higher speed of humans and our capacity to increase our skills through experience. They conclude that only when human skill levels are very low do the zombies have a chance of winning, while only high human skill levels ensure a human victory. “For the in-between state of moderate skill a substantial proportion of humans tend to survive, albeit in packs that are being forever chased by zombies,” they write.

Then there’s the question of whether math is really the most important discipline for surviving a zombie attack.

But how might zombies come about? There are some interesting theories, such as one based on arsenic from Deborah Blum at Speakeasy Science. Or these five scientific reasons a zombie apocalypse could happen, including brain parasites, neurotoxins and nanobots.

A Harvard psychiatrist, Steven Schlozman, broke into the field of zombie research and then wrote The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse, which blames an airborne contagion for the zombie phenomenon. The book delves into the (fictional) research of Stanley Blum, zombie expert, who searched for a cure to the zombie epidemic with a team of researchers on a remote island. (They were unsuccessful and succumbed to the plague, but nicely left their research notes behind, complete with drawings.) It’s more than just fun fiction to Schlozman, though, who uses zombies to teach neuroscience. “If it works right, it makes students less risk-adverse, more willing to raise their hands and shout out ideas, because they’re talking about fictional characters,” he told Medscape.

For those interested in getting an overview of the science, a (spoof) lecture on the subject, Zombie Science 1Z, can now be seen at several British science and fringe festivals. Zombiologist Doctor Austin, ZITS MSz BSz DPep, lectures in three modules: the zombieism condition, the cause of zombieism, and the prevention and curing of zombieism. And for those of us who can’t attend in person, there’s a textbook and online exam.

And the Zombie Research Society keeps track of all this and more, and also promotes zombie scholarship and zombie awareness month. Their slogan: “What you don’t know can eat you.” - smithsonianmag


Are insects the answer to global malnutrition?

rawstory - Serge Verniau is a man with a mission: to persuade the world to swap the chicken wings and steaks on their plates for crickets, palm weevils and other insects rich in protein and vitamins.

Verniau, the Laos representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), is only half-joking when he says his dream is "to feed the big metropolises from Tokyo to Los Angeles, via Paris" with the small arthropods.

He plans to present the lessons drawn from a pilot project to the world at a conference on edible insects, probably in 2012.

"Most of the world's population will live in urban areas. Trying to feed the whole planet enough protein from cows won't work," Verniau told AFP.

It is not by chance that the dream was born in landlocked Laos, one of the world's poorest countries.

Almost one quarter of its population of six million people, and nearly 40 percent of children below the age of five years old, suffer from malnutrition, according to figures from the Laos government.

The typical rice-based diet provides insufficient nutrients for development -- a shortfall that could be filled by insects, highly rich in protein and vitamins.

Eaten as snacks, grilled or fried, they are already part of Laos cuisine, but most people do not know how to breed them, said Oudom Phonekhampheng, dean of the faculty of agriculture at the National University of Laos.

"They just take them in the wild and eat them, and then it is finished and destroyed. They have to think about the future," he said.

In a modest building in the suburbs of the capital, his department's laboratory collects scientific data on this new area of breeding.

Along with house crickets -- which are already widely farmed in neighbouring Thailand -- there are experiments in breeding mealworms, palm weevils and weaver ants, which are appreciated for their larvae.

The students are trying out different foods for the insects in an attempt to reduce costs while maintaining quality, explains Yupa Hanboonsong, a Thai entomologist supervising the project for the FAO.

Up to now, the roughly 20 cricket farms operating in Laos have used chicken feed, like thousands of Thai farms, but it is expensive and must be imported.

Vegetables or waste left over from the production of the national beer, BeerLao, could be one solution, said Yupa, who hopes to "train the whole country."

Beyond the fight against malnutrition, this new economic activity can also generate revenue for farmers, added Yupa.

Phouthone Sinthiphanya, 61, seized the opportunity in 2007 to supplement his meager pension after a career in the tobacco industry.

The 27 cylindrical concrete vats, about 50 centimetres (20 inches) tall, installed in the garden of his house in Vientiane produce 67 kilos (148 pounds) of crickets every two months, he explains.

One kilo of live insects fetches 60,000 kips (7.5 dollars). The same quantity crushed sells for 50,000 kips.

"I worked for a tobacco company and then retired. My pension was not enough so I started farming insects," he said.

"Our customers are restaurants, villagers, markets," he said, adding that breeding the small creatures was "easy".

It requires little space or natural resources and only their singing might annoy the neighbours.

"Insect farming creates less damage to the environment. It is a green protein," said Yupa.

Proponents believe such nutritional and environmental advantages could be beneficial beyond Laos, particularly in other developing countries where people are used to eating cicadas and grasshoppers.

"You can make powder from crickets that is very rich in protein. It's low in fat and it can be added to biscuits in problem areas where food rations are distributed," said Verniau.

Nor has he given up hope of persuading sceptics in the West.

"When you look closely, a grey shrimp or a cricket, it has the same appeal," he joked.


CIA Declassifies Documents from World War I

FAS - The Central Intelligence Agency announced yesterday that it had declassified six World War I-era documents describing the use of “invisible ink” to convey secret messages. The CIA presented the new disclosure as an indication that the declassification process was functioning properly, not that it was dysfunctional.

“These documents remained classified for nearly a century until recent advancements in technology made it possible to release them,” CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said in a news release. “When historical information is no longer sensitive, we take seriously our responsibility to share it with the American people.”

“The CIA recognizes the importance of opening these historical documents to the public,” added Joseph Lambert, the Agency’s Director of Information Management Services. “In fiscal year 2010 alone, the Agency declassified and released over 1.1 million pages of documents.”

But there are a few things the CIA news release did not say.

These World War I documents remained classified not because they were forgotten or overlooked, but because the CIA had vigorously opposed their release. In response to a 1998 FOIA lawsuit brought by the James Madison Project, the CIA argued that “some of the methods described in the documents in question are still used by the CIA, and that third parties inimical to the interests of the United States may not know which of the [invisible ink] formulas are still considered reliable by the CIA and approved for use by its agents.” In 2002, a federal court accepted that argument and ruled (pdf) in favor of the CIA, affirming the secrecy of the documents.

It is unknown what “recent advancements in technology,” if any, might have occurred between 2002 and the present to compel a complete reversal in CIA’s view on declassification of these records.

An alternate explanation for the new release is that the records were subject to a pending mandatory declassification review (MDR) request by attorneys Mark Zaid and Kel McClanahan. If CIA had continued to deny disclosure of the documents, that request could have been referred to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, which has been known to view extreme secrecy claims with skepticism, and often to overturn them. [Update: In fact, the request was appealed to the Panel in December 2010, but it had not yet been acted upon when CIA decided to disclose the requested documents.]

Also, if the CIA were to faithfully comply with the President’s executive order on classification — which not all executive agencies do — then it would have been obliged to release these documents (and all other records older than 75 years) by mid-2013 unless it requested and received special permission from the Interagency Panel.

There is no glass that is small enough to be made “half full” by the CIA’s new disclosures. But the latest release may still be viewed charitably, said William J. Bosanko, executive for agency services at the National Archives and former director of the Information Security Oversight Office.

“I see this as a sign the sick system is starting to get well,” Mr. Bosanko said. He added cheerfully that there are “lots of chances to make things better.”

In the early 1990s, the massive backlog of classified historical attention was just beginning to come to broad public attention. In those days, the scale and persistence of official secrecy often elicited embarrassment from government officials.

“Obviously it seems absurd on the surface,” said then-ISOO director Steven Garfinkel, referring to the fact that a World War I document had just been discovered to still be classified. That document, dated April 15, 1917, had been “the oldest classified document” until it was finally declassified and released in 1992 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Federation of American Scientists. It is a substantive, lively and quite interesting account (pdf) of “the intelligence system necessary in case U.S. troops are ordered to the continent.”

“Within the next decade there’s going to be a need for a complete re-examination of the issue of secrecy,” Mr. Garfinkel told Tim Weiner of Knight-Ridder Newspapers in December 1991. “The secrecy issue is a Cold War issue and the world is changing.”


Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant exclusion zone increased to 20km

radionz - The move was announced by Prime Minister Naoto Kan and comes into effect at midnight on Thursday.

People were urged to leave the area shortly after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on 11 March crippled the plant in northeast Japan, but the order was not enforced by law, the BBC reports.

The tsunami knocked out power systems at the plant, causing cooling systems to fail and radiation leaks.

Brief re-entry will be allowed to the area's 80,000 former residents to collect belongings.

The BBC reports it is not clear how many people are living in the evacuation zone, but reports said police had counted at least 60 families.

After the disaster the government also declared a wider 10km zone around the 20km evacuation area where people should either stay indoors or leave.

It later recommended that people also evacuate that area also.


Swarm of bees kills elderly couple

An elderly Texas couple died and their son was injured in an attack of bees at their ranch outside Hebbronville, Jim Hogg County deputies said. William “W.T.” Steele, his wife Myrtle and their son Richard were cleaning the small house they own on ranchland near Jones Ranch, a hunting area in Jim Hogg County, their daughter-in-law Judy Steele said.

The Steeles had gone to the ranch, which Judy Steele described as “way out in the middle of Jones Ranch,” for the day. She expected them to return on Monday afternoon. The elder Steele was spraying to kill bees that had built a nest in the fireplace, when the bees swarmed and attacked him, his wife and their son. She said her father-in-law must not have realized how large the bees’ nest was.

W.T. Steele, 90, was pronounced dead at the scene. Myrtle Steele, 92, was airlifted to a Corpus Christi hospital, about 100 miles away, where she died on Tuesday, Judy Steele said, adding her mother-in-law had been stung more than 300 times. Richard Steele, 67, suffered many bee stings to his head and face, she said. He was taken to Laredo Memorial Hospital, about 80 miles from the ranch, and was released on Tuesday.

Judy Steele said there was no cell phone service from her in-law’s ranch and her husband had to drive several miles to the nearest phone, where he called 9-1-1. Then he had to wait at the end of the ranch road so he could lead emergency workers to his injured parents. As of Tuesday evening, the species of bees had not been identified and the hive had not been removed from the home. - themonitor

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Doyarchu, The Irish Crocodile

The Doyarchu is described as an animal that is about the size of a crocodile or a big dog, but resembles a cross between a dog and an otter. It either has sleek black fur that fits very snugly to the body, or it has smooth, slimy black skin with no fur at all. The hindquarters are bigger than the forequarters and resemble a dog, especially a powerfully-built greyhound. The paws are big in proportion to the rest of the body, the same as most aquatic mammals. The head is sleek, the neck is long, and the tail is long and slender. A few individuals are described as having one or more patches of white, especially a large patch in the middle of the chest. It goes by various monikers, ex. dobhar-chu, anchu, water dog and Irish crocodile.

These creatures have been reported as living in Irish lakes from ancient times. They are highly aggressive towards people and dogs. They attack by grasping prey and dragging it into the water, and they are often a match for the fiercest dogs, especially when they get their opponents into the water. They are often found in pairs and hunt in tandem. One animal usually stays hidden while the other attacks, but it will appear if the first animal has trouble. If one of these is killed, the other becomes extremely angry and will risk its own life to get revenge, suggesting that these animals may have monogamous pair-bonds of exceptional strength. One report tells of a doyarchu that pursued the men who had killed its mate for twenty miles, even though it was at a disadvantage on land.

Some cryptozoologists acknowledge it could be a new species of giant otter since descriptions of the creature are consistent. Others favor the view that it is a variety of immature 'Loch Ness Monster' evenly though Loch Ness is in Scotland. Another possibility is that is represents a link between seals and their landbound ancestors. Seals are most closely related to the bear family and the dog family and a primitive ancestor of modern seals may have resembled the doyarchu.

There has been a scarcity of modern sightings which seems to indicate that the doyarchu, if it ever existed, may be extinct today. The location in which the largest number of modern sightings has taken place is Achill Island, located just off the western coast of Ireland in County Mayo. The lake called Sraheens Lough is supposed to have a small population of doyarchu, but these creatures seem migratory, not occupying the lake all year. -

An early description of the Dobhar-chú appears in A Description of West Connaught (1684), by Roderick O'Flaherty. This story, originating from the area of Lough Mask:

There is one rarity more, which we may term the Irish crocodile, whereof one, as yet living, about ten years ago had sad experience. The man was passing the shore just by the waterside, and spyed far off the head of a beast swimming, which he took to be an otter, and took no more notice of it; but the beast it seems lifted up his head, to discern whereabouts the man was; then diving swam under the water till he struck ground: whereupon he run out of the water suddenly and took the man by the elbow whereby the man stooped down, and the beast fastened his teeth in his pate, and dragged him into the water; where the man took hold of a stone by chance in his way, and calling to mind he had a knife in his jacket, took it out and gave a thrust of it to the beast, which thereupon got away from him into the lake. The water about him was all bloody, whether from the beast's blood, or his own, or from both he knows not. It was the pitch of an ordinary greyhound, of a black slimey skin, without hair as he imagines. Old men acquainted with the lake do tell there is such a beast in it, and that a stout fellow with a wolf dog along with him met the like there once; which after a long struggling went away in spite of the man and his dog, and was a long time after found rotten in a rocky cave of the lake when the waters decreased. The like they say is seen in other lakes in Ireland, they call it doyarchu, i.e. water-dog, or anchu which is the same.

In 2003 Irish Artist Sean Corcoran and his wife claim to have witnessed a Dobhar-Chú on Omey Island in Connemara, County Galway. In his description the large dark creature made a haunting screech, could swim fast and had orange flipper like feet. “What a shock!” he says, recalling the next few moments. “A vicious snarl right below us, like a loud hiss, followed immediately by a huge splash. The creature, if that is what it was, swam the width of the lake from west to east in “what seemed like a matter of seconds”, leaving a “fairly big wake”, Corcoran remembers when it reached shore, it clambered up onto a boulder, he swears, and gave “the most haunting screech”. My wife's account of the incident is give or takes the same as mine. Its body was dark, and I'd say it was about the size of a large Labrador, and about five foot tall when standing. It turned and disappeared into the darkness of the area I call the Heart.

We scrambled back to our tent, completely stunned. This was something very strange, it wasn't a swan or an otter or a badger. The next day we went across to Sweeney’s bar. Malachy served us and there were a few lads at the counter. I casually explained about the creature and there was nervous chuckling." -

The Kinlough Stone is claimed to be the headstone of a grave of a woman killed by the Dobhar-chú in the 17th century and shows an old drawing of the creature. Her name was supposedly Gráinne. Her husband supposedly heard her scream as she was washing clothes down at the Glenade lough and came to her aid. When he got there she was already dead, with the Dobhar-chú upon her bloody and mutilated body. The man killed the Dobhar-chú, stabbing it in the heart. As it died, it made a whistling noise, and its mate arose from the lough. Its mate chased the man but, after a long and bloody battle, he killed it as well. The Glenade Stone, found in Conwall cemetery in Glenade, Co. Leitrim also depicts the Dobhar-chú and is related to the same incident.

The Legend of the Dobharchú (Water hound) was written by Joe McGowan and stems from the bestial murder of Grainne Ni Conalai at Glenade Lake, Co. Leitrim on September 24th 1722:

The details were well known one time and the ballad sung at fairs on the streets of nearby Kinlough. Some say she went to the lake to wash clothes; the ballad tells she went to bathe. It is no matter. When she failed to return, her husband Traolach Mac Lochlainn went to look for her. He was aghast when he found her body lying by the lake with the 'beast lying asleep on her mangled breast'! The words of the following poem, written around the time of the incident, form part of the legend surrounding an event which excites discussion and controversy to the present day. The ballad, a lengthy one, was skilfully composed by a hedge schoolmaster of the time. An abbreviated version below brings the story vividly to life. Beginning with a description of the locality it goes on to record the dreadful occurrence:

…And whilst this gorgeous way of life in beauty did abound, From out the vastness of the lake stole forth the water hound, And seized for victim her who shared McGloughlan's bed and board; His loving wife, his more than life, whom almost he adored.

She, having gone to bathe, it seems, within the water clear, And not having returned when she might, her husband, fraught with fear, Hasting to where he her might find, when oh, to his surprise, Her mangled form, still bleeding warm, lay stretched before his eyes.

Upon her bosom, snow white once, but now besmeared with gore, The Dobharchú reposing was, his surfeiting being o'er. Her bowels and entrails all around tinged with a reddish hue: 'Oh, God', he cried, 'tis hard to bear but what am I to do?'

He prayed for strength, the fiend lay still, he tottered like a child, The blood of life within his veins surged rapidly and wild. One long lost glance at her he loved, then fast his footstps turned To home, while all his pent up rage and passion fiercely burned.

He reached his house, he grasped his gun, which clenched with nerves of steel, He backwards sped, upraising his arm and then one piercing, dying, squeal Was heard upon the balmy air. But hark! What's that that came One moment next from out of its depth as if revenge to claim!

The comrade of the dying fiend with whistles long and loud Came nigh and nigher to the spot. McGloughlin, growing cowed Rushed to his home. His neighbours called, their counsel asked, And flight was what they bade him do at once, and not to wait till night.

He and his brother, a sturdy pair, as brothers true when tried, Their horses took, their homes forsook and westward fast they did ride. One dagger sharp and long each man had for protection too Fast pursued by that fierce brute, the Whistling Dobharchú.

The rocks and dells rang with its yells, the eagles screamed in dread. The ploughman left his horses alone, the fishes too, 'tis said, Away from the mountain streams though far, went rushing to the sea; And nature's laws did almost pause, for death or victory.

For twenty miles the gallant steeds the riders proudly bore With mighty strain o'er hill and dale that ne'er was seen before. The fiend, fast closing on their tracks, his dreaded cry more shrill; 'Twas brothers try, we'll do or die on Cashelgarron Hill.

Dismounting from their panting steeds they placed them one by one Across the path in lengthways formed within the ancient dún, And standing by the outermost horse awaiting for their foe Their daggers raised, their nerves they braced to strike that fatal blow.

Not long to wait, for nose on trail the scenting hound arrived And through the horses with a plunge to force himself he tried, And just as through the outermost horse he plunged his head and foremost part, Mc Gloughlans dagger to the hilt lay buried in his heart.

"Thank God, thank God", the brothers cried in wildness and delight, Our humble home by Glenade lake shall shelter us tonight. Be any doubt to what I write, go visit old Conwell, There see the grave where sleeps the brave whose epitaph can tell.'

The story still survives in local tradition. A local man of Glenade, Patrick Doherty, now deceased, told me some years ago that the chase, which started at Frank Mc Sharry's of Glenade, faltered at Cashelgarron stone fort in Co. Sligo when Mac Lochlainn was forced to stop with the blacksmith there to replace a lost horseshoe. His version differs very little from the ballad. Acording to Patrick, when the enraged monster caught up with them the horses were hurriedly drawn across the entrance to form a barrier. Giving the terrified man a sword the blacksmith advised him, 'When the creature charges he'll put his head right out through the horse. As soon as he does this you be quick and cut his head off.'

The story is given credence today by the carved image engraved on Grace Connolly's tombstone in Conwell cemetery, Co. Leitrim. Cashelgarron stone fort, near where the chase ended and the Dobharchú met its gory end, still stands today nestled on a height under the sheltering prow of bare Benbulben's head. Both monster and horse lie buried nearby. - “Echoes of a Savage Land” by Joe McGowan

Because of its aquatic life style we usually associate the otter with a variety of watery places but not readily with bog. Otters are found in streams, rivers, marshes, lakes, estuaries, lagoons and on the coast. There are no sea otters in Ireland, nor is there such a thing as a bog otter. There is the river otter in Ireland (Lutra lutra), which exploits a range wetlands.

Otter, Lutra lutra (Ireland)

A clipping that references an encounter at Lake Erie, PA

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren - "Cryptozoology A-Z" - 1999
McGowan, Joe - “Echoes of a Savage Land”
Shuker, Karl - "The Beasts That Hide From Man: Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals" - 2003
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