Saturday, June 04, 2011

Humanoid / Cryptid Encounter Reports 40

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

LUMINOUS HUMANOID

Location: Sevilla, Spain - October 14, 2000 - night

Joaquin Aranda was out hunting in a field near his ranch when he spotted on top of a nearby hill, a luminous figure that as it walked, emitted flashes of bright light. Aranda then told his dog to go towards the strange figure. The animal walked a few paces then ran away into the brush. Lacking options and a little frightened the witness fired a shot into the air. Instead of being intimidated the luminous figure began walking towards the witness. At this point Aranda fired towards the figure that ignored the shot and apparently was not harmed and kept approaching him. Frightened Aranda dropped the rifle and fled from the area. Returning to the scene the next day accompanied by his sons, Aranda found the rifle propped up against a tree, and no tracks or footprints around it.

That same night Diego Garrido was driving on the C-421 motorway near the city when as he rounded a curve he noticed a very luminous figure that appeared to be walking along the embankment. As Garrido drove by, the figure lunged towards the car, causing the witness to slam on the brakes. He noticed that the figure had amorphous facial features, with two concaved cavities where the eyes would have been and a small dot in the area of the nose. Terrified the witness accelerated and left the area at high speed.

Source: Jose Manuel Garcia Bautista, Rafael Cabello Herrero


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LEAP OF FAITH

Location: Putre, Chile - June 27-28, 1974

Young Bolivian student Lucio Quevedo Lazarte was sleeping in his room when a noise coming from the living room woke him up. Going to investigate he was confronted by a man with very short white hair, wearing a tight-fitting shiny black outfit that ended in a closed turtleneck. On his arm he wore a bracelet and his hands were enclosed in dark gloves. He also wore a strange metallic belt with several sphere and rhomboid shaped object clinging from it. Lucio at first thought that the stranger was a thief and begged him not to steal the curtains. The entity answered him by saying: "I could changed that what you call a curtain for something of more value." At that moment the humanoid took out of his belt one of the rhomboid shaped objects and placed it in front of Lucio's face, at this time Lucio lost consciousness. Later he woke up from a kind of trance and the stranger had already gone. He went back to bed and covered himself completely even though he was unable to sleep after that.

The next day, Lucio woke up in his bed stiff, pale and unable to move. A local police doctor attended to him and concluded that he had some type of virulent disease. He woke up around noon, seemingly returning to normal. Around 1500 he suddenly got up from bed and climbed up on top of a bunk and proceeded to jump out the window. His brother Julio saw him and ran quickly to assist him, but to his surprised he could not find Lucio anywhere, not a trace of him. The police were called and they searched for him throughout the afternoon.

Around 9:00 pm a scream was heard: "He is here!" Everyone ran to the location and found student Donato Perez on the ground with Lucio lying directly on top of him. Donato explained that he saw Lucio being accompanied by two men that upon seeing him dropped him to floor and vanished. Lucio's clothing was dirty, and his shoes stained with grayish volcanic sand. During a medical examination it was discovered that his fingertips had triangular shaped scars on them. A couple of days later he was able to recall what happened and remembered that as he fell out of the window two short humanoids grabbed him and took him flying to the nearby Taapaca Volcano. There they entered a landed object and inside he saw additional humanoids (not described). Later the same 2 short humanoids took him back and that's when Donato saw him arriving. In the area around the Volcano investigators found several ground traces.

Source: Cristian Riffo

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ABDUCTION / REFUEL

Location: Iron Mountain, Michigan - 1972 - 10:50 pm

The witness was driving out of the parking lot of his foundry job when he noticed an object flying about 100 ft in the air above a junkyard. He noticed 4 lights, 2 red and 2 green. Suddenly it shot a bright beam down onto several of the wrecked cars in the junkyard, shut it off, and proceeded east repeating the same thing. The object then stops to hover above some trees and bushes. The witness drove closer to the object and realized it was a giant round disc shaped craft. There was a dome-like structure on the top with a giant pane of glass with 2 creatures standing. One pointed towards the witness car, turned to the other and immediately the glass was covered by some kind of barrier so it simply looked like a disc with a dome. The witness then stood directly under the object where he saw a mesmerizing red light that had an extremely tranquilizing effect on the witness. The underside of the object had a slight lip around the edge. Crisscrossing the belly were what appeared to be some kind of tubes or I-beams, which passed through to each of the lights resembling a “cross” or plus sign. Eventually, the witness heard a whine like an electric motor starting, and then silence set in. The lights then became more intense, while four globes beneath the object began to send off what looked like bolts of lightning. Out of nowhere and completely encircling the disc, came a coil, which looked like it was made up of overlapping scales, like fish scales, roughly spherical in shape and about 12 inches at the widest. The disc then rose cleared the top of the foundry roof and preceded slightly northeast, it momentarily turned its lights off as it glided across a street. The craft then stopped and disappeared. The witness then suddenly found himself back home.

Years later the witness remembered being lifted up on a beam of light and being inside of the disc. There he met the same two beings he had seen previously. One of the humanoids was about 4-½ ft tall, the other 4 ft. Their skin was kind of iridescent gray and they had large eyes, no ears, or mouth. They had 4 fingers on each hand with a tiny suction cup-like on each finger. Inside the object everything was metallic with sky-blue seat cushions. The humanoids seemed to lack what we would call substance, rather like a holographic image of one kind or another. He was told telepathically that they had needed electrons from the iron in the junked cars, which they needed as fuel. The witness could not remember how he left the object.

Source: Michigan UFO Central

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FROM INSIDE THE GLOBE

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio - October 2, 1966 - 8:20 pm

Mrs. Everett Steward was talking on the telephone when she smelled a foul odor in the room. She went to her bedroom, where she had a feeling of being watched. Looking out the window, she saw an oval shaped object with portholes & red, green, & white lights revolving around it. It was 75 ft in diameter & 100 ft up. She woke her husband, who also saw it, and called her married daughter, Mrs Janet Emery, a mile away; the Emerys also saw it, and a neighbor with binoculars could see that it had square windows glowing yellow. Janet went outdoors & saw the UFO eject a red ball, which maneuvered while the first UFO took off southward. The red ball flew 75-100 ft over Jane's head; it was oval, and its underside was shiny like aluminum foil; it was "bigger than my cottage and yard combined." She also smelled the garbage like odor.

Mrs. Steward went to bed, the odor still in the house. After some time, the room was filled for an instant with brilliant white light; then this vanished, and a globe of light about 21" in diameter appeared at the foot of her bed. Inside this globe were 5 "non-human, hairless heads" with oval, sunken eyes. "Instead of noses, there were slits, and they had no mouths." Telepathically, they repeated several times "We have made contact." Mrs Steward screamed, and the globe disappeared. She was so disquieted by the experience that she was under psychiatric care for the next 2 years.

Source: Leonard Stringfield

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"...SO MANY LESSONS TO LEARN"

Location: South Dakota (no specific location) - November 30, 1994 - late night

The witness was returning home from her sister's funeral and was very exhausted. She began to see shadows and movement on the road ahead and stopped at a rest area. She turned off the engine and layback to sleep. Her next memory was of looking down at herself in the car, her head was back, eyes shut and mouth wide open. She could see some type of craft next to the car and some beings were holding something that directed a beam of white light into her mouth. The beings spoke among themselves, saying, "That she had many lessons to learn." The beings said that she had to get cancer, and kept repeating the phrases about "so many lessons to learn." She found herself talking to a being that had soft tanned skin. The beings were humanoid with large eyes, but no hair. Next she found herself in the car and drove home arriving at 3:00 am. The witness did indeed develop breast cancer and was operated. She apparently recovered.

Source: Claude DiDomenica

Friday, June 03, 2011

Before the Kecksburg UFO Crash

The October 1965 sighting area is indicated by the yellow box. The Keckburg crash site is indicated by the green box.

On December 9, 1965 an object landed in the tiny town of Kecksburg, PA. It was observed as a fireball in the sky across several U.S. states and Canada. Four witnesses provided independent, corroborated descriptions of the object and its location in the Kecksburg woods. Dozens of others describe the military presence at the crash site, the cordoning off of the area, and the retrieval of an object transported by an army truck.

A report was filed on 11/14/2005 in reference to another UFO sighting that took place approximately 2 months prior to and in an area that was 8 miles west of the Kecksburg incident:

Summary: "I saw this saucer shaped disc with a dome on top about 500 to 800 feet up in the sky in front of me. It was silver yellow in color and about 30 feet in diameter."

Date Reported: 11/14/2005 8:49:00 PM
Sighting Time: 7:00AM
Day/Night: Dawn
No. of Witnesses: 2
Duration: 1 or 2 seconds

Appearance / Description of Object(s):

About 30 feet across, color silver gold, saucer shaped, round bottom, dome on top

Distance to Object(s) & Altitude:

500 to 800 feet up in the sky.

Description of Area / Surroundings:

I was going east on Route 70 getting ready to go onto the Pennsylvania Turnspike.

Witness' drawing of the UFO

Full Description & Details:

I was driving east on route70 early morning going to Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was starting to get light. I saw this saucer shaped disc with a dome on top about 500 to 800 feet up in the sky in front of me. It was silver yellow in color and about 30 feet in diameter. It went vertical for about 1000 feet, then made a sharp angle and disappeared at a high rate of speed, 2 or 3 seconds, no noise. I had a corvett with the top down. It was a very clear day. I looked to the right to see if I could still see it. I saw nothing but a small white cloud. I wondered if it was hiding in it. It was a very small cloud and it was the only thing in the sky.

Can sighting be explained as any conventional man-made or natural object?

No never. There was nothing else in the sky.

Witness Background:

Retired CEO of a electronics corporation.

Views on UFOs, before and after sighting:

Nothing before other then the news. Now I believe in UFO and watch scientific TV channels.

Reported Sighting? Yes
Reported To: Stan
Name: Byron H. Ritchey
Location: Dana Point, CA., USA
Age: 77

Source: www.ufoevidence.org

NOTE: I assume this earlier incident was reported to Stan Gordan. His account of the Kecksburg UFO is posted below...Lon

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"The Kecksburg, PA UFO Crash Incident"
Stan Gordon


It was December 9,1965, that an event occurred about 40 miles from Pittsburgh in a rural area of western Pennsylvania, that even now remains controversial for some, and mysterious to others. At the time many people saw a brilliant object moving across the sky. The news media focused on a young boy, who while playing outside, said he saw an object fall from the sky into some nearby woods. The media pursued his story since there were numerous accounts from others, that an aerial object was seen over a large area including many reports from the greater Pittsburgh area. Besides the police authorities, various newspapers, and radio and tv stations around Pittsburgh, had their phone lines jammed with calls about the object in the sky. Coincidentally, author Frank Edwards, who had written some popular books on UFO's, was a guest on a KDKA radio talk show in Pittsburgh that evening, hosted by the late Mike Levine.

During my years of investigation into the matter, other witnesses who saw the object go down into the woods that day have been located. It has been stated that moments after the object fell, blue smoke rose up among the trees, but dissipated quickly. Many people say that the military, including members of the Army and Air Force, began to arrive in the area around the village of Keeksburg within a few hours after the reported landing. During the evening, reporters from numerous media sources went to Kecksburg to investigate the event. The area around the alleged impact site was cordoned off, and a search for the object was conducted in the woods. Neither civilians nor reporters were able to get near the spot where the object had reportedly fallen. Hundreds of spectators looked on from a narrow country road which circled around the area, unaware that the object appears to have fallen on the opposite side of the woods.

As time passed that evening, many people left disappointed that they couldn't see the object. A few curious folks tried to sneak down into the woods, and later told me that they were tuned back by the military. Late that night, others say they observed a military flatbed tractor-trailer truck, carrying a large tarpaulin covered object, leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Reporters are among the many witnesses who verify that they saw military personnel in the Kecksburg area that night. The front page of the Greensburg, PA Tribune-Review county edition dated December 10, 1965, ran the headlines "Unidentified Flying Object Falls Near Kecksburg" and "Army Ropes Off Area." The city edition of the same paper however, on the same day ran the headline "Searchers Fail To Find Object." Officially, no object was found in the woods by searchers. It was suggested that the most likely explanation was that the brilliant object in the sky was a meteor. But word that something was removed from the site by the military that night, quickly circulated around the county. The Kecksburg incident remained a topic for area radio talk shows for years as it does today. As the years passed, I would receive various accounts from sources who claimed knowledge of the event. Many of those involved with the incident even today, wish to remain anonymous. Others have gone public and stand by their accounts. Some have faced personal attacks and ridicule. Many important witnesses have passed away.

What we now know is that there are individuals who say that they went down into the woods that December day in 1965, before the military arrived, and came across upon a large metallic acorn shaped object partially buried in the ground. The device was large enough for a man to stand inside of it. The object was a bronze-gold color, and appeared to be one solid piece of metal, displaying no rivets or seams. At the back of the acorn shape was what witness Jim Romansky calls the bumper area.

Upon this area were unusual markings that Romansky says looked similar to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Romansky who has been a machinist for many years, says the object itself, looked as though it had been made from liquid metal and poured into a big mold. Since the object was impacted in the ground, the bottom portion was not visible, but what could be seen appeared well intact. The late John Murphy, was the new director of WHJB radio in Greensburg at the time, and is believed to have been the first reporter on the scene. His former wife says that she was in radio contact with him from the site that day, and that he told her that he went down into the woods and saw the object. Various informants have approached me with information. Some of these were people who had military or government affiliation and wish not to be identified at this time. Some information is expected to be revealed in the future, when these sources feel that they are safe to disclose what they know.

I have also received anonymous tips that pointed me in the right direction which helped to uncover other details. Before Unsolved Mysteries broadcast their story about Kecksburg in 1990, 1 was contacted by a former Air Force security policeman who told me that he was among the unit that guarded the object from PA, when it arrived in the early morning hours of December 10, 1965 at Lockbourne Air Force near Columbus, Ohio. He remembers extreme security measures at the time, and says that the object was only a the base for a short time, and then continued on to Wright-Patterson Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio.

We later learned that the object was allegedly sealed up inside a building at that base. After years of searching for government documents relating to this event, the only official record located was in the Air Force Project Blue Book files. Included in the report it was stated "A further call was made to the Oakdale Radar site in Pennsylvania. A three man team has been dispatched to Acme [Some residents not far from the site have an Acme mailing address] to investigate and pick up an object that started a fire." While the report shows a lot of interest from various agencies concerning the aerial object, the report also indicates that the search found nothing. I have learned a lot about the Kecksburg case over the years, yet there remain many unanswered questions. I surely don't have all of the answers.

Based on the accounts of multitudes of eyewitnesses which I have interviewed, I am convinced that an object did fall from the sky and apparently was removed by the military. Other witnesses say they saw NASA personnel at the scene that night also involved in the search. Many have asked me what I believe that the object was, and my reply still is "I don't know." As I have stated in the past, the two most likely possibilities are (1) a highly advanced man-made space probe with some reentry control capability (2) an extraterrestrial spacecraft. It has been confirmed that a faulty Soviet Venus probe identified as Kosmos 96, reentered in Canada on the same date, but at about 3:18 A.M. The sightings around Kecksburg occurred at about 4:47 P.M. many hours later. The Russian's have told me that Kosmos 96 was not the source of what fell that day.

Other researchers have provided me with interesting but unverifiable information, that they have talked with former NASA sources who claimed to have examined the object which fell in PA, and determined it to be Soviet in origin. I have also talked with two former military men who are unknown to each other, that told me that during different years, and at different installations, they saw the recovery report on the Kecksburg object, and both said the report indicated that the object was extraterrestrial. From what the observers tell us, the object whatever it was, appeared to be slowing down a few miles before it impacted. During it's flight, it appears to have made some turns, and those who saw the object drop from the sky, say it was moving quite slowly as it moved towards the woods. This might account for the good condition of the object itself, and the little damage at the impact site, except for trees which were reportedly knocked down. One question we must ask is what was it that fell which was so important that it caused the military to act the way they did at the scene? Various witnesses have now gone public confirming that armed solders were around the village, and were preventing anyone from trespassing near the crash site. Jerry Betters, a popular jazz musician from Pittsburgh, has gone public and told his story that soldiers aimed rifles at him and his friends, ordering them from a back road, as an Army flat bed tractor-trailer with an acorn-shaped object on board, was making it's way up from a field. More recently, a prominent businessman contacted me and told me how he and his friends, then teenagers in 1965, tried to get near the site and were stopped my military personnel. He was frightened at the time of the experience, he thought the soldier was going to shoot him. Would armed soldiers respond to the scene of a meteorite crash? Who issued the orders for such an operation to take place?

Some of you are aware that earlier this year, I released a 92 minute video documentary on the incident called "Kecksburg The Untold Story" which I produced at my own expense. Many key witnesses are getting up in years, and some are not in good health. This was an opportunity for those involved to tell their own experiences about what occurred. For the first time some new and startling information is revealed about what allegedly occurred. Some of these people reveal details which strongly suggests a coverup. Also included in the video, are audio excerpts from the original 1965 WHJB radio broadcast "Object In The Woods." One man details his claim of seeing a partially covered body inside a building at Wright-Patterson, at the same time the Kecksburg object was being examined.

This case is much to involved to cover here in detail. One good source of information on the case can be found in Kevin Randle's book "A History of UFO Crashes." The Kecksburg mystery remains. Was the object a man made space device or did we receive a visitor from outside of our world? Recently while visiting an area business, a worker recognized me and asked about the Kecksburg case. He told me that he has had an interest in the incident for years since he had a relative who worked at the pentagon at the time, and this relative had made a special trip to this area to investigate that matter. When this person asked his relative about what had happened, he refused to give any details, but his words were remembered "There was more to it then you'll ever know." I have no doubt that there are other individuals who have important information on this case. It's time that the truth is revealed, regardless of what the source of the object was. It's been 33 years, it's time to break the silence. - Stan Gordon

NOTE: this general area has a very rich UFO and paranormal history. Of further note, the Flight 93 Crash Site / National Memorial is located 27 miles east of Kecksburg, PA...Lon

Fortean / Alternative News: Giant Caterpillars Attack, 'Doctor Death' Dies and Police Kill Lawn Ornament


Giant Caterpillars Attack Crops and Villages

Villagers from the border region between Yogyakarta and East Java have reported being attacked by what can only be described as jumbo caterpillars.

Surono, a resident of Sambirejo village, Gunung Kidul district, told the Jakarta Globe on Friday that the unusually large caterpillars — covered in long hair which make them appear about the size of a child’s fist — began appearing about 10 days ago.

“Villagers were shocked and scared because these caterpillars looked really unusual,” he said. “It is a bit bigger than a regular caterpillar, but the hair is so thick it makes them look jumbo-size.” Surono said the caterpillars had initially only attacked nearby plantations, but over the past several days they had decimated other trees in the area and were also invading villagers’ homes.

Pest control officers, he said, had recommended pesticides be used to get rid of the caterpillars but villagers opted not to for fear of damaging crops. “These caterpillars also didn’t die easily with the spray,” he added.

Surono said the villagers had instead been killing the caterpillars by hand, shaking them off the branches of affected trees and burning them. “It’s almost under control now,” he said.

The official Web site of the district administration said a similar outbreak had previously attacked a hamlet in Ngeposari village, southeast of Yogyakarta.

An official from the province’s forestry and agricultural agency, Sugeng Widodo, said it had collected specimens to conduct lab research, but still had not turned up any information about the unusual creatures.

Since March, millions of hairy caterpillars have cropped up in at least five subdistricts in Probolinggo on East Java’s north coast, invading fields and homes.

Aside from giving residents itchy rashes, the caterpillars have also destroyed more than 8,800 mango trees — the district’s main agricultural product. - jakartaglobe

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Jack Kevorkian, 'Doctor Death', Dies

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the controversial assisted suicide advocate, has died at a Detroit-area hospital at the age of 83.

Kevorkian's attorney and friend, Mayer Morganroth, told The Associated Press that he died early Friday morning at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, where Kevorkian had been hospitalized for kidney and respiratory problems.

"He says nurses played classical music by Kevorkian's favorite, Johann Sebastian Bach, before he died," the AP reports.

An official cause of Kevorkian's death is not yet known.

Kevorkian, a proponent of "right-to-die" legislation, earned the nickname "Doctor Death" after a string of assisted suicides in the 1990s.

He was released from a Michigan prison in 2007 after serving eight years of a 10 to 15-year sentence for second-degree murder. (Kevorkian was acquitted in three earlier trials; a fourth ended in a mistrial.)

In the 1999 case, Kevorkian administered a deadly combination of drugs to Thomas Youk, who was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, the devastating neurodegenerative disease that can lead to paralysis. It was captured on video and broadcast on "60 Minutes."

"It's not necessarily murder," Kevorkian told Mike Wallace in an interview. "But it doesn't bother me what you call it. I know what it is."

Kevorkian, who was trained as medical pathologist but stripped of his medical license, admitted to being present in at least 130 suicides of terminally ill patients between 1990 and 1999. He also developed a suicide machine, which according to WIRED, was essentially an automated drip hooked up to an IV needle that patients could personally trigger.

Many groups and individuals were vehement in their opposition to Kevorkian and his views. In 1995, the American Medical Association called him a "reckless instrument of death" who "poses a great threat to the public," The New York Times reports.

But others hailed Kevorkian as a hero.

"I think that Dr. Kevorkian was a man who sought out humanity," said Frank Kavanaugh, a member of the board of directors of the Final Exit Network, a non-profit and right-to-die organization. "He was a very controversial figure, but I think even critics would agree that because of that, hospice care has really boomed in the United States."

Kevorkian's attorney told the Detroit Free Press that he was present at the time of his death, as was his niece.

"It was peaceful," he told the paper. "He didn't feel a thing."

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Italian Seismologists Charged With Manslaughter for Not Predicting 2009 Quake

Italian government officials have accused the country's top seismologist of manslaughter, after failing to predict a natural disaster that struck Italy in 2009, a massive devastating earthquake that killed 308 people.

A shocked spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) likened the accusations to a witch hunt.

"It has a medieval flavor to it -- like witches are being put on trial," the stunned spokesman told FoxNews.com.

Enzo Boschi, the president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), will face trial along with six other scientists and technicians, after failing to predict the future and the impending disaster.

Earthquakes are, of course, nearly impossible to predict, seismologists say. In fact, according to the website for the USGS, no major quake has ever been predicted successfully.

"Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake," reads a statement posted on the USGS website. "They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future."

John Vidale, a Washington State seismologist and professor at the University of Washington, agreed that earthquake forecasting is simply impossible.

"We're not able to predict earthquakes very well at all," he told LiveScience.

"One problem is, we don't know how much stress it takes to break a fault," Vidale told the site. "Second we still don't know how much stress is down there. All we can do is measure how the ground is deforming."

Not knowing either of these factors makes it pretty tough to figure out when stresses will get to the point of a rupture, and an earth-shaking quake, LiveScience explained.

The seven scientists were placed under investigation almost a year ago, according to a news story on the website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) -- the world's largest general-science society and a leading voice for the interests of scientists worldwide.

Alan Leschner, chief executive of AAAS, said his group wrote a letter to the Italian government last year -- clearly, to no avail.

"Whoever made these accusations misunderstands the nature of science, the nature of the discipline and how difficult it is to predict anything with the surety they expect," Leschner told FoxNews.com.

The case could have a "chilling effect" on scientists, he noted.

"It reflects a lack of understanding about what science can and can't do," he said. "And frankly, it will have an effect of intimidating scientists ... This just feels like either scapegoating or an attempt to intimidate a community. This really seems inappropriate."

Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella said that the seven defendants had supplied "imprecise, incomplete and contradictory information," in a press conference following a meeting held by the committee 6 days before the quake, reported the Italian daily Corriere della Sera

In doing so, they "thwarted the activities designed to protect the public," the judge said.

Boschi's lawyer, Marcello Melandri, has been taking the news badly, reported the AAAS story. He was particularly stunned because -- despite of the near impossibility of predicting earthquakes Boshi had been indicating that a large earthquake would be coming, though he did not say when.

Melandri told the AAAS that Boschi never sought to reassure the population of L'Aquila that there was no threat. On the contrary, the INGV head made it clear that "at some point it is probable that there will be a big earthquake."

In addition to Boschi, those facing trial are:

* Franco Barberi, committee vice president;
* Bernardo De Bernardinis, at the time vice president of Italy's Civil Protection Department and now president of the country's Institute for Environmental Protection and Research;
* Giulio Selvaggi, director of the National Earthquake Center;
* Gian Michele Calvi, director of the European Center for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering;
* Claudio Eva, an earth scientist at the University of Genoa; and
* Mauro Dolce, director of the office of seismic risk at the Civil Protection Department. - foxnews

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Kansas City Police Kill Lawn Ornament

Police responding to a rare alligator sighting in suburban Kansas City took quick action to dispatch of the beast, shooting it in the head, as instructed, while it lurked menacingly in the weeds leading down to a pond.

It wasn't until a second rifle shot bounced off the reptile's head that the officers realized they had mortally wounded a concrete lawn ornament.

A resident of a subdivision near the pond called police Saturday evening to report that his children spotted the alligator while they were playing in some nearby woods.

After consulting a conservation agent, who told them to kill the gator if they felt it posed a danger, one of the officers shot it twice in the head before realizing something was up, said Tom Gentry, an Independence police spokesman.

"It didn't move," Gentry said. "They inched up closer and closer and discovered it was a mock-up of a real alligator made to look like it was real."

In the officers' defense, it was growing dark when they shot the fake gator and it was partially submerged in the weeds.

The property owner told police that the gator was meant to keep people off his property, Gentry said. Officers told him a no-trespassing sign would have been wiser.

"Now he'll have to patch up his alligator," Gentry said.

Conservation agent Derek Cole said the department has received calls in the past about alligators that had been set free in populated areas, so there was no reason to believe the Saturday sighting wasn't valid.

"The department doesn't get involved in something like that," Cole said. "They asked if they could go ahead and dispatch it if it was a danger, and I said there's a kill shot on alligators, a small kill shot on the head. I said if they can get a shot like that, go ahead." - aol

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Senators Want To Put People In Jail For Embedding YouTube Videos

Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. A few weeks back, we noted that Senators Amy Klobuchar, John Cornyn and Christopher Coons had proposed a new bill that was designed to make "streaming" infringing material a felony. At the time, the actual text of the bill wasn't available, but we assumed, naturally, that it would just extend "public performance" rights to section 506a of the Copyright Act.

Supporters of this bill claim that all it's really doing is harmonizing US copyright law's civil and criminal sections. After all, the rights afforded under copyright law in civil cases cover a list of rights: reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works or perform the work. The rules for criminal infringement only cover reproducing and distributing -- but not performing. So, supporters claim, all this does is "harmonize" copyright law and bring the criminal side into line with the civil side by adding "performance rights" to the list of things.

If only it were that simple. But, of course, it's not. First of all, despite claims to the contrary, there's a damn good reason why Congress did not include performance rights as a criminal/felony issue: because who would have thought that it would be a criminal act to perform a work without permission? It could be infringing, but that can be covered by a fine. When we suddenly criminalize a performance, that raises all sorts of questionable issues.

Furthermore, as we suspected, in the full text of the bill, "performance" is not clearly defined. This is the really troubling part. Everyone keeps insisting that this is targeted towards "streaming" websites, but is streaming a "performance"? If so, how does embedding play into this? Is the site that hosts the content guilty of performing? What about the site that merely linked to and/or embedded the video (linking and embedding are technically effectively the same thing). Without clear definitions, we run into problems pretty quickly.

And it gets worse. Because rather than just (pointlessly) adding "performance" to the list, the bill tries to also define what constitutes a potential felony crime in these circumstances:

the offense consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works

So yeah. If you embed a YouTube video that turns out to be infringing, and more than 10 people view it because of your link... you could be facing five years in jail. This is, of course, ridiculous, and suggests (yet again) politicians who are regulating a technology they simply do not understand. Should it really be a criminal act to embed a YouTube video, even if you don't know it was infringing...? This could create a massive chilling effect to the very useful service YouTube provides in letting people embed videos. - techdirt

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Tully 'Saucer Nest' Investigation

The Tully "saucer nest" has a very special place in UFO lore. The famous Tully "UFO nest" affair of 1966 is one of the best known accounts of an apparent UFO landing report.

At about 9.00am on the clear sunny morning of Wednesday January 19 1966, George Pedly, a banana farmer at Euramo, near Tully (north Queensland), Australia was driving a tractor with conventional electrical ignition, across the property of a neighbouring cane farmer. The farm track along which he drove wound its way towards and thence alongside what is locally known as Horseshoe Lagoon. This contained an area of water about 6 feet deep and one hundred feet across at its widest point, a total area of a little more than an acre. The greater part of the water was covered with a thick growth of water reeds, the stems of these about half an inch in thickness that protruded above the water to an average height of two feet.

As George approached the lagoon, he thought he detected an occasional misfire in the tractor motor. He leaned forward in his seat to listen, and almost immediately heard a distinct hissing noise which he thought momentarily was a tyre leaking air. Then, to his astonishment, a large saucer shaped object rose from the lagoon, ascended slowly to the level of the tree tops, tilted a little to one side, and then, in a fantastic burst of speed vanished in a south-westerly direction. Mr Pedley thought the object was about 25 feet in diameter, about 9 foot thick at the centre, silver-grey in colour and made no sound apart from the original hissing noise. The total duration of the sighting was about 4 seconds.

Mr Pedley jumped from the tractor and ran across to the lagoon. As he pushed his way through the 6 or 7 foot tall sword grass along the waters edge, he immediately saw a large circular area of slowly rotating water that was completely devoid of reeds. He further saw near the edge of the still slowly swirling water a patch of giant water couch grass, about a square yard of which had been clipped short, and the clippings removed. After a few minutes he returned to his tractor, started the motor, and went on his way. When questioned later, Mr Pedley was certain about restarting the motor, but could not remember whether he switched it off, it stalled or simply cut out when he left it, both of which were considered highly unlikely. Later that morning he came back past the lagoon and on further inspection saw for the first time the floating mass of reeds that had obviously come to the surface since his absence. The reeds were radially distributed in a noticably anticlockwise manner, and he was emphatic that at that time the reeds in the nest, as it came to be called, were quite green, as were all the other reeds in the lagoon.

At about mid-afternoon, he returned to the lagoon with Mr Albert Pennisi, the owner of the lagoon and surrounding property. Mr Pennisi waded out to the floating mass of reeds, and found that it was possible to swim beneath the mass, the water being quite clear and free from obstruction. But its most incredible feature, and one easily seen in photographs taken during the next 48 hours, was the amazingly clear impression of the UFO left on the surface of the nest. The outer perimeter was sharply down-thrusting, as if by a huge inverted saucer, with a perfectly circular central protruberance about 6 or 8 feet in diameter and possibly 18 inches deep.

An inspection of the surrounding area disclosed in the loose ploughed surface of an adjoining field some rather strange imprints. They led from the direction of the nest and extended a short distance into the ploughed field. They were described as being shaped like a tear drop, about 3 or 4 inches long and about 2 inches across at the widest point. They were spaced at 12 inch intervals in a direct line, one immediately behind the other. No plaster casts were taken, and no claim was made that these prints were somehow associated with the nest. Mr Pennisi made it quite clear that the prints were obliterated a few days later by the scores of people who tramped across the area on their way to view the nest. Mr Pennisi and his family were ridiculed however, due to what had happened on his farm. He was adamant that if such a thing ever happened again on his property, no-one would ever hear about it. This is the reason why the media were never informed of subsequent happenings.

On Saturday February 8, 1969, at 5.30am, a UFO monitoring device in the Pennisi home was triggered. The youngest son turned the instrument off, and then forgot about the incident. His father had left the house in the early hours of the morning, and upon returning noticed that the detector was off. When he was told why, he immediately drove to the lagoon and found, about 20 feet from the bank on the southern end, a new nest. This one measured 29 feet 6 inches and was perfectly circular.. The reeds had been extracted complete with roots from the floor of the lagoon, and they were floating in a very noticable clockwise distribution. Another nest was found at the extreme northern end of the lagoon, closer to the bank and much smaller but with all the characteristics of the larger one. Inspection of the area directly below the nests revealed it to be absolutely free of rubble or reed roots, almost as if it had been vacuumed. There were no signs of insect or algae life, and the water was remarkably clear and clean, with no particles in suspension. The floor of the lagoon was not muddy but appeared to be composed of a thick compressed mat of vegetation that was quite firm, if a little spongy, to walk on. About 25 feet away from the smaller nest was the protruding branch of a tree, which had an area of leaves about 6 feet long by 2 feet deep that were scorched or showed signs of browning. Other leaves on the same branch were quite green and healthy. The area below the leaves was thick with green healthy weeds and grass. In conclusion, and in the estimation of a botanist, there seems little likelihood of there being a natural/botanical explanation for the development of the nests in the Tully swamp. - UFO Research Queensland - B. Denton / C.A. Phillips

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Summary: The classic UFO landing at Horseshoe Lagoon near Tully, far north Queensland, and witnessed by farmer George Pedley, entered the term UFO "nest" into popular UFO parlance.

1966 was again a major year for UFO activity in Australia. The classic UFO landing at Horseshoe Lagoon near Tully, far north Queensland, and witnessed by farmer George Pedley, entered the term UFO "nest" into popular UFO parlance. The locality was the centre of an extended UFO milieu that continued for many years, particularly in 1969, 1972 and 1975. The area was also the site of controversial and fascinating experiments in UFO detection through remote sensing and filming.

Farmer, George Pedley's sighting at Horseshoe Lagoon and the physical evidence found there caused a media sensation. The Tully "UFO nest" affair of 1966 is one of the best known accounts of an apparent UFO landing report. It has been mentioned extensively in the UFO literature over the years,and yet surprisingly many inaccuracies and misconceptions have developed. These problems became more critical when the famous Tully incident of January 19, 1966, once again became the focus of attention, this time due to the English "crop circle" controversy. The prominent schools of thought on the crop circle formations adopted the 1966 Tully incident as a classic example of their percieved explanations for the circle complexes. Their claims about the relevance of the Tully incident as an example of the currently perceived crop circle phenomenon were flawed and generally unfounded.

My research of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) files uncovered the original police report on the incident. As these are the earliest documented sources they will be quoted in detail:

At about 9.00 a.m. on 19th January, 1966, Mr. G.A. Pedley, a banana grower of Tully, Qld, observed a light grey non reflecting dull object, reported to be about 25 feet long and 8 feet deep, rise vertically then climb on an angle of 450 from a height of about 30 feet above marshland which was situated about 25 yards away from his position. There was an associated hissing noise which descreased as the 'object' rose. The apparent shape was described as 'two saucers, face to face', but no structural detail was observed. The duration of the observation was approximately 15 seconds and it disappeared in mid-air whilst receding into the distance (not assessed).

A clearly defined near circular depression remained in evidence in swamp grass at the point from which the object was seen rising, and measured about 32 feet long by 25 feet wide. The grass was flattened in clockwise curves to water level within the circle and the reeds had been uprooted from the mud. There was no scorching of grass or surrounding trees and the observer stated that there was no smell of combustion..."

My research of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) files uncovered the original police report on the incident. As these are the earliest documented sources extracts of it are included here of details not included in the above statement made in 1973 in response to an enquiry from the "Australian" newspaper.

George Pedley reported his experience to Tully Police at 7.30 pm, on January 19th. At 7 am, January 20th George Pedley and Sgt. A.V. Moylan went to the site of the incident. Sgt. Moylan, then contacted Townsville RAAF Base by telephone, on the morning of January 20th. Flt. Lt. Wallace advised Sgt. Moylan that he would forward a proforma questionaire for completion by George Pedley. On Friday, January 21st, Flt. Lt. Wallace confirmed despatch of two copies of the sighting proforma by mail that same day and also requested Sgt. Moylan obtain "a sample of the grass from the scorched area." At 3.30 pm, on the same day, Moylan returned to the site and took a sample "of the grass from the depression in the swamp grass at the site. The proforma was filled out by Moylan based on his interviews with George Pedley and was dated 26/1/66. Sgt. Moylan despatched the report and the sample on 26/1/66.

The following details are extracted from the RAAF "REPORT ON AERIAL OBJECT OBSERVED:

Name of Observer: George Alfred PEDLEY aged 28 years.
Occupation of Observer: Banana grower
Date and Time of Observation: 19/1/66 at about 0900 hours
Period of Observation: About 15 seconds

Manner of Observation: Travelling on a tractor about 1/2 mile from farm house of Albert PENNISI, Rockingham Road, Euramo. Attention attracted by hissing noise, clearly heard over noise of tractor-similar to air escaping from tyre; checked tyres and was looking about for source of noise when he saw object about 25 yards ahead. No optical instruments used in sighting.

Where was object first observed: Object about 25 yards ahead at height of about 30 feet rising vertically.

What first attracted observer's attention: Loud hissing noise.

Did object appear as a light or a definite object: Definite object, no light visible. One object (only seen)

What was the colour of the object: Light grey; dull-non-reflecting.

What was its apparent shape: Two saucers -- face to face.

Was any detail of the structure observable: Object about 25 feet long and 8' to (9') deep. No structural detail observed.

Was any method of propulsion obvious: No.

Was there any sound: Loud hissing noise which seemed to diminish as object rose.

Height or angle of elevation: First seen at treetop height 30'. Rose vertically to about twice that height, then departed, climbing at about 45 degrees.

Speed, or angular velocity: Extremely fast; No estimate of speed, but much faster than an aeroplane. It was near treetops and these gave observer a good basis for estimating height.

Direction of flight with reference to landmarks or points of the compass:Rose vertically to about 60 feet and departed south west climbing at about 45 degrees; appeared to be rotating for full time observed. (object appeared to remain on) straight climbing path.

Was any trail of exhaust, vapour or light seen: No

Where did object disappear: Mid air; receded into distance.

Existence of any physical evidence:

Clearly defined near circular depression in swamp grass at point from which object seen rising, about 32' long and 25' wide. Grass flattened to surface of 4' of water lying in xxxx-clockwise curves.

[Sgt. Moylan, in his report, had typed in anti-clockwise initially and then corrected it to clockwise, by overtyping 'anti' with 'xxxx'. The direction of the swirl at the site of the 19 January 1966 incident was to become a matter of ongoing confusion. The correct direction was clockwise - B.C.]

Weather conditions experienced at time of observation:

Clear sky; Hot sunshine.

Location of any air traffic in the vicinity at the time of sighting: Unknown but checked by RAAF Garbut.

[Flt. Lt. Wallace of Townsville RAAF base in a covering minute paper confirmed that "there were no service or Civil aircraft operating in the area... at the time of the sighting..." - B.C.]

Observer reported this matter to Tully Police at 7.30pm on 19/1/66 and at 7am, 20/1/66 went with me to the site of the depression in the swamp. His version then included the information that the object rose vertically, appeared to dip slightly and then went off in straight climbing path. He then said...further that there was no smell of combustion and no scorching of grass or trees visible; that the the flattened grass or rushes was quite green when he first saw the depression; on his return that afternoon the grass had turned brown.

Sgt. Moylan further added: In this matter I formed the opinion that the depressed area in the swamp grass had been caused by a small helicopter and that the observer, in the early morning bright sunlight shining on the rotor may have mistaken the shape. His description of the takeofflent some strength to my opinion. However there was cleared land to the east for about 200 yards where such an aircraft could have more safely landed instead of the position indicated by the observer, close to trees. Later I was informed by Wallace Evans of ...Tully, an electrician that he has seen similar markings in a swamp at Kurrumine Beach and is quite certain that it was caused by a whirlwind, sucking up water into a waterspout, uprooting the grass and laying it out in a similar pattern. At 3.30pm, 21/1/66 I took a sample of the grass at the site and have forwarded it under seperate cover on even date.

Flt. Lt. T.D. Wright, for Air Officer Commanding, Headquarters Operational Command, RAAF, Penrith, New South Wales (NSW), on-forwarded police Sgt. Moylan's report on George Pedley's UFO sighting and Flt. Lt. Wallace's covering minute paper, to the Department of Air, Russell Offices, Canberra. His communication classified RESTRICTED, which was channelled to the Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI), also indicated, "This headquarters believes that the depressions of the swamp grass were caused by small isolated waterspouts."

In response to an enquiry, dated 2nd February, 1966, from the Commonwealth Aerial Phenomena Investigation Organisation (CAPIO), the Secretary, Department of Air, Mr. A.B. McFarlane, wrote on 11th February, 1966:

"Investigations of the area surrounding the reported "Nests", testing of samples taken from around them and interrogation of persons involved in the report failed to reveal anything of significance.

"However, during enquiries a number of local residents stated that the reported "nests" are fairly common during the onset of the "wet". Furthermore, the University of Queensland stated that there was nothing unnatural in the samples submitted and assessed that the "nests" could have been the result of severe turbulance, which normally accompany line squalls and thunderstorms prevalent in NORTH QUEENSLAND at the time of the year.

"There is no explanation for the visible phenomena reported but it could have been associated with or the result of "down draughts", "willy willies" or "water spouts" that are known to occur in the area.

".. for information ....in January of this year from an airfield in the tropics (a number of photographs taken give) a fine example of the type and growth of a cloud formation occuring with a severe "down draught"

This whirling mass of tropical air associated with thunderstorm activity, on reaching the earth's surface may dissipate and subside or persist giving rise to dust eddies, water spouts, etc, and leaving a telltale circular pattern on the ground.

Should it occur over a swampy reed bed the effect would be to flatten the reeds with a circular pattern. resultant photographs and investigations of the "nests" seem to fit in with this theory and is accepted as a possible cause of the phenomena."

It is fascinating to note how Secretary McFarlane's cursory explanatory exposition, no doubt inspired by "the tornado-like metereological phenomena" infested skies over Willow Grove, Victoria and Vaucluse Beach, NSW, anticipated by almost 2 decades Dr. Terence Meaden's early theoretical attempts to explain the English "crop circles" of the 1980s. Dr. Meaden would mistakingly assume that George Pedley saw his "vortex" at 9 pm, not 9 am, which is a fatal flaw in the mechanism he put forth to explain the report.

The only other significant official statement on the Tully sighting I found in the RAAF files was included in a letter by Mr. G.J. Odgers, Director of Public Relations, Department of Defence (Air Office), dated 17th December, 1973, directed to Charles Wright, a journalist working on a article for the national newspaper, The Australian.

George Odgers' Air Office public relations department had clearly gleaned from the 1966 DAFI files details of an explanation of what George Pedley seen that the original RAAF officers and Department officers back in 1966 had not determined:

"Although a conclusive determination could not be made, the most probable explanation was that the sighting was of a 'willy willy' or circular wind phenomenon which flattened the reeds and sucked up debris to a height of about 30 feet, thus forming what appeared to be a 'flying saucer', before moving off and dissipating. Hissing noises are known to be associated with 'willy willies' and the theory is also substantiated by the clockwise configuration of the depression.

Mr. Odgers further added, more generally,

"All to often unusual occurrences are reported in sensational terms with little or no attempt made at rational assessment. The general subject is 'newsworthy' and lends itself to sensationalism and guesswork, but in most cases logical explanations follow from careful investigation. You will appreciate that there is nothing to be gained from reopening old cases." - Bill Chalker - "A Catalogue of Australian Physical Trace Cases"

NOTE: Here is another very informative link for this case - Tully "UFO nest" affair of 1966 as well as a site that focuses on Australian Crop Circles and the light anomalies associated with this phenomena. Could there be a connection with the radar anomalies over Australia from March 2010 as referenced in UFOs, Radar Crop Circles, Aerial Anomalies or Computer Hack?...Lon

Fortean / Alternative News: New 'Devil Worm', Kidney Sold For iPad2 and Brain's Friend Limit

New "Devil Worm" Is Deepest-Living Animal

A "devil worm" has been discovered miles under the Earth—the deepest-living animal ever found, a new study says.

The new nematode species—called Halicephalobus mephisto partly for Mephistopheles, the demon of Faustian legend—suggests there's a rich new biosphere beneath our feet.

Before the discovery of the signs of the newfound worm at depths of 2.2. miles (3.6 kilometers), nematodes were not known to live beyond dozens of feet (tens of meters) deep. Only microbes were known to occupy those depths—organisms that, it turns out, are the food of the 0.5-millimeter-long worm.

"That sounds small, but to me it’s like finding a whale in Lake Ontario. These creatures are millions of times bigger than the bacteria they feed on," said study co-author Tullis Onstott, a geomicrobiologist at Princeton University in New Jersey.

"Shocking" Worm Evolved For Harsh Depths

Onstott and nematologist Gaetan Borgonie of Belgium's University of Ghent first discovered H. mephisto in the depths of a South African gold mine. But the team wasn't sure if the worms had been tracked in by miners or had come out of the rock.

To find out, Borgonie spent a year boring deep into mines for veins of water, retrieving samples and filtering them for water-dwelling nematodes. He scoured a total of 8,343 gallons (31,582 liters) until he finally found the worm in several deep-rock samples.

What's more, the team found evidence the worms have been there for thousands of years. Isotope dating of the water housing the worm placed it to between 3,000 and 12,000 years ago—indicating the animals had evolved to survive the crushing pressure and high heat of the depths.

"This discovery may not surprise passionate nematologists like Gaetan, but it’s certainly shocking to me," Onstott said.

"The boundary of multicellular life has been extended significantly into our planet."

Worm Inspires Search for Extreme Life

Onstott hopes the new devil worm will inspire others to search for complex life in the most extreme places—both on Earth and elsewhere.

"People usually think only bacteria could exist below the surface of a planet like Mars. This discovery says, Hold up there!" Onstott said.

"We can't negate the thought of looking for little green worms as opposed to little green microbes." - NatGeo

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Chinese teen sells his kidney for an iPad 2

The 17-year-old boy, identified only by his surname, "Zheng", confessed to his mother that he had sold the kidney after spotting an online advertisement offering cash to anyone prepared to become an organ donor.

"I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn't have the money," the boy told Shenzhen TV in the southern province of Guangdong, "When I surfed the internet I found an advert posted online by agent saying they were able to pay RMB20,000 to buy a kidney." After negotiations, the boy travelled north to the city of Chenzhou in Hunan Province where the kidney was removed at a local hospital which discharged him after three days, paying a total of RMB22,000 for the organ.

Trading organs online is a common practice in China, despite repeated attempts by China's government to stamp out the practice. Last year Japanese television reported that a group of "transplant tourists" had paid £50,000 to receive new kidneys in China.

According to official statistics more than a million people in China need a transplant every year, but less than 10,000 receive organs, driving an almost unstoppable black-market organ trade that enriches brokers, doctors and corrupt government officials.

The boy, who has suffered complications following the surgery, returned home but was unable to keep what he had done from his mother.

"When he came back, he had a laptop and a new Apple handset," his mother, identified as Miss Liu, told the station, showing off the livid red scar where her son's kidney was removed, "I wanted to know how he had got so much money and he finally confessed that he had sold one of his kidneys."

The mother took the son back to Chenzhou to report the crime to the police, however, the mobiles of the three agents that Zheng had contacted were all switched off.

The hospital, which admitted contracting out its urology department to a private businessman, denied any knowledge of the surgery.

The case, which caused an online furore, was cited by some as an extreme example of the rampant materialism of modern China.

Thousands of comments were posted on internet discussion groups, with many lamenting the lack of rule of law in China and the "immorality" of the new, 'capitalist' China.

"This is a failure of education, the first purpose of which is to 'propagate morality'," said one comment on Hong Kong's Phoenix TV website, "This teenager's stupid behaviour is a manifestation of his radically materialistic values." "To sell a kidney in order to buy consumer goods? What vanity!" added another, "It is undeniable that modern Chinese teenagers' morality is declining. This is something we must all think about."

Apple products like the iPhone and the iPad are in huge demand in China, and are seen as a badge of wealth and sophistication by young consumers.

Last month scuffles broke out among desperate shoppers outside several Beijing Apple Stores as they queued to buy the newly launched iPad2 and white iPhone4. - telegraph

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Russian who buried himself alive dies by mistake

A Russian man has died after persuading a friend to bury him alive for a night, hoping it would bring him "good luck".

The victim dug a hole in a garden in the eastern city of Blagoveshchensk and climbed into an improvised coffin, with holes for air pipes, taking a mobile phone and a bottle of water with him.

His friend covered the coffin with earth and then left, after the buried man phoned to say he was fine.

The next morning, he returned to find his friend dead, investigators said.

The 35-year-old victim had believed that burying himself alive for a night would bring him luck the rest of his life.

"According to his friend, the man wanted to test his endurance and insistently asked his friend to help him spend the night buried," said Alexei Lubinsky, a senior aide to the region's chief investigator.

"We know that the victim was a computer programmer and that he has a small child."
Internet craze

The coffin was covered with soil to a depth of about 20cm (eight inches), Mr Lubinsky said.

He speculated that heavy rainfall overnight could have blocked the air supply to the man trapped inside.

The superstitious victim was probably influenced by reading stories about self-burial on the internet, investigators said.

In a bizarre trend, numerous Russian bloggers write of undergoing supervised self-burial. State newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta has even run a feature on the practice.

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, in Moscow, says it is not the first time this has happened in Russia.

Last summer a man in the north-western Vologda region persuaded his friend to bury him in the ground - to help him overcome his fear of death.

He was found dead an hour and a half later, crushed by the weight of the earth. - BBC

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Human Brain Limits Twitter Friends to 150

Back in early 90s, the British anthropologist Robin Dunbar began studying the social groups of various kinds of primates. Before long, he noticed something odd.

Primates tend to maintain social contact with a limited number of individuals within their group. But here's the thing: primates with bigger brains tended to have a bigger circle of friends. Dunbar reasoned that this was because the number of individuals a primate could track was limited by brain volume.

Then he did something interesting. He plotted brain size against number of contacts and extrapolated to see how many friends a human ought to be able to handle. The number turned out to be about 150.

Since then, various studies have actually measured the number of people an individual can maintain regular contact with. These all show that Dunbar was just about spot on (although there is a fair spread in the results).

What's more, this number appears to have been constant throughout human history--from the size of neolithic villages to military units to 20th century contact books.

But in the last decade or so, social networking technology has had a profound influence on the way people connect. Twitter, for example, vastly increases the ease with which we can communicate with and follow others. It's not uncommon for tweeters to follow and be followed by thousands of others.

So it's easy to imagine that social networking technology finally allows humans to surpass the Dunbar number.

Not so say Bruno Goncalves and buddies at Indiana University. They studied the network of links created by 3 million Twitter users over 4 years. These tweeters sent each a whopping 380 million tweets.

But how to define friendship on Twitter. Goncalves and co say it's not enough simply to follow or be followed by somebody for there to be a strong link.

Instead, there has to be a conversation, an exchange of tweets. And these conversation have to be regular to be a sign of a significant social bond, so occasional contacts don't count.

Goncalves and pals used these rules to reconstruct the social network of all 3 million tweeters and studied how these networks evolve.

It turns out that when people start tweeting, their number of friends increases until they become overwhelmed. Beyond that saturation point, the conversations with less important contacts start to become less frequent and the tweeters begin to concentrate on the people they have the strongest links with.

So what is the saturation point? Or, in other words, how many people can tweeters maintain contact with before they get overwhelmed? The answer is between 100 and 200, just as Dunbar predicts.

"This finding suggests that even though modern social networks help us to log all the people with whom we meet and interact, they are unable to overcome the biological and physical constraints that limit stable social relations," say Goncalves and co.

The bottom line is this: social networking allows us to vastly increase the number of individual we can connect with. But it does nothing to change our capability to socialise. However hard we try, we cannot maintain close links with more than about 150 buddies.

And if Dunbar is correct, that's the way it'll stay until somebody finds a way to increase human brain size. - technologyreview

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

'I am Jimmy Hoffa, I am Jimmy Hoffa' - The Dawson UFO Encounter / Abduction

Drawing by Billy Norris as described by the witness

August 6, 1977, near Pelham, Georgia (20 miles north of Thomasville), in Mitchell County. At 10:30 a.m., retired automobile salesman Tom Dawson (sixty-three years old, at the time) took a walk down to his favorite pond to see how it looked for fishing later that day.

Just as he got inside the fence surrounding the pond, a circular space ship zipped right in between the trees and hovered just a few feet above the ground. At the same time he found himself, his two dogs and twenty head of cattle, frozen in place by an unseen force.

Dawson said the craft was about 15 feet high and 50 feet in diameter. It had portholes all around and a dome on top. It made no sound and changed colors rapidly from one to another. Suddenly, a ramp came down and out came seven hairless, snow-white beings, about 5 feet tall, with pointed ears and noses.

Some had on tight-fitting one-piece suits while others wore nothing. They talked in a high-pitched' gibberish he could not understand.

They conducted what he thought to be a medical exam of some kind. They placed a skullcap-like device on his head and a large hula hoop-shaped thing (connected to a box) around his midsection. After they had collected "some leaves and stuff," they got back on the ship and were gone in the blink of an eye.

Once free, Mr. Dawson ran uphill (about 300 yards) to his trailer. He was having trouble breathing and talking, so he was taken to the Mitchell County Hospital, where the doctor said he had been shaken both mentally and physically from his encounter with the UFO and its occupants. He was treated for hysteria (given something to calm him down) and later released. Dawson said he believed that if he had been a younger man the extraterrestrials would have taken him away. - Billy J. Rachels / Billy Norris - UFO Bureau of Georgia

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The following is another version of the original report that includes other information:

Location: Pelham, Georgia
Date/Time: August 6, 1977 - 10:30 am local time

"I AM JIMMY HOFFA"

Jimmy Hoffa

Tom Dawson, 63 and retired, was walking with his two dogs from his trailer home to a nearby farm when a "circular shaped space ship" with a dome and portholes, 40-50 ft in diameter and 12-14 ft high, hovered several feet off the ground in a field in front of him. He immediately noticed that he was unable to move a muscle as well as his dogs and the cattle in the field seemed likewise to be immobilized.

A hatch in the object opened, a ramp was extended, and 7 strange looking humanoids 5 ft tall emerged, five men and two women. The first stepped down cautiously, as if to test the solidity of the ground; then the rest followed, with two taking up sentry positions at the hatch. They were all hairless, with skin "as white as a flour sack," their noses were sharp and turned up, their ears were pointed, and they had no necks. One of the men and one of the women were completely nude. The clothing of the rest, male and female alike, was very beautiful with silk like shoes with pointed, turned up toes.

The humanoids cautiously approached Dawson and gave him a kind of physical examination, placing on his head a skullcap with cords connecting it to a hoop bearing dials. They dropped his trousers and lifted his shirt for the examination, passing the hoop over his body. While the examination was in progress, a loud voice came from the object, shouting three times "I am Jimmy Hoffa" (!) a fourth repetition was cut off, and the voice was not heard again.

After completing the examination, all returned to the craft except two men, who walked about 10 feet away and "went into a conference." They had very shrill voices, and although Dawson was unable to comprehend what it was they said, he thought he heard the word "Jupiter." He had the impression they were debating whether or not to take him on board; at any rate, they did not, and the leader passed his palm across his chest as though to signal good-bye. They reentered the ship, closed the hatch, and took off. He saw the object rise to 75 feet then, in a wink, it was out of sight. Dawson was then freed of his paralysis; he ran directly to his next-door neighbor, but was so excited he could say nothing more than "space ship!" He was taken to a hospital and treated for hysteria. - Billy J. Rachels - UFO Bureau of Georgia

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6 August 1977 10:30
Pelham, Georgia, USA

Paralysis, 5 beings with sharp noses, pointed ears, no necks, pale white skin, removed his shirt and pants in pasture, placed skull cap on his head, heard voice in head, something about "Jimmy Hoffa". Explanation: Hoax.

An abduction of a witness was reported. One disc was observed by one male 63-year-old witness in a pasture for two minutes (Dawson, T). Five pallid beings were seen.

Tom Dawson, 63 and retired, was walking with his two dogs from his trailer home to a nearby farm when a "circular shaped space ship" with a dome and portholes, 40-50 ft in diameter and 12-14 ft high, set down in a field in front of him, hovering several feet off the ground. He found he was unable to move a muscle, and his dogs, as well as the cattle in the field, seemed likewise to be immobilized. A hatch in the object opened, a ramp was extended, and 7 strange looking humans 5 ft tall emerged, five men and two women. The first to leave stepped down cautiously, as if to test the solidity of the ground; then the rest followed, with two taking up sentry positions at the hatch. They were all hairless, with skin "as white as a flour sack," their noses were sharp and turned up, their ears were pointed, and they had no necks. One of the men and one of the women were completely nude. The clothing of the rest-males and females alike-was very beautiful with silk like shoes with pointed, turned up toes. The humanoids cautiously approached Dawson, and gave him a kind of physical examination, placing on his head a skullcap with cords connecting it to a hoop bearing dials. They dropped his trousers and lifted his shirt for the examination, passing the hoop over his body. While the examination was in progress, a loud voice came from the object, shouting three times " I am Jimmy Hoffa" (!) a fourth repetition was cut off, and the voice was not heard again. After completing the examination, all returned to the craft except two men, who walked about 10 feet away and "went into a conference." They had very shrill voices, and although Dawson was unable to comprehend what it was they said, he thought he heard the word "Jupiter." He had the impression they were debating whether or not to take him onboard; at any rate, they did not, and the leader passed his palm across his chest as though to signal good-bye. They reentered the ship, closed the hatch, and took off. He saw the object rise to 75 feet, and then in a wink it was out of sight. Dawson was then freed of his paralysis; he ran directly to his next-door neighbor, but was so excited he could say nothing more than "space ship!" He was taken to a hospital and treated for hysteria. - www.ufodna.com

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Tom Dawson at the spot where he was paralyzed by a UFO and subjected to a medical inspection by alien beings.  (Courtesy of the Camilla Enterprise)

Tom Dawson made his living selling cars in Florida, then retired to the peaceful community of Pelham. He was 63 years old on August 6, 1977, living in a mobile home park on Vada Road with his wife and daughter. He arose early that Saturday morning, then took his girl to visit Linda Kolbie, who owned a house adjacent to the mobile homes. Dawson was a frequent visitor to the Kolbie home, where he enjoyed playing with their infant son.

After chatting with Linda for a few minutes, Dawson decided to walk to a nearby pond and see if conditions looked right for fishing. He set out accompanied by his two dogs, walking through a pasture occupied by 50 cows to approach the fishing hole, located in a grove of trees.

It was a beautiful day, the countryside quiet as Dawson neared the water. When he was 100 feet from the water, a circular space ship instantly appeared and hovered four feet above the ground in front of him. It was 40 to 50 feet in diameter and 12 to 14 feet high. A protrusion like a cabin was on top of the craft, which seemed to be colored shades of several different hues.

Dawson was frozen in place-he could not move a muscle. The cattle in his field of vision were also frozen, as were his dogs-one had a leg suspended in the air, stilled as it took a step.

A hatch opened on the ship and a figure emerged that Dawson dubbed the "leader." He seemed hesitant to disembark and his first step was tentative, but then he motioned four more aliens to join him. At the same moment, two "sentries" appeared on top of the craft.

Of the five humanoids that approached Dawson, three were men and two were women. All were beautiful and shapely, their skin a bloodless, powder-puff white. Their ears were sharp their small noses upturned. They had no neck-their heads sat directly on their shoulders. Their heads were hairless, as were the rest of their bodies. Dawson knew because a male and a female alien were naked.

The other three wore identical clothing, beautiful and with a texture and color that defied description. Their shoes, of the same material, ended in sharp, one inch high turned up toes.

After hesitantly approaching Dawson, the aliens preceded to conduct a medical examination. A device similar to a skullcap was placed on his head. It was connected by cords to a hula hoop sized ring which contained an extensive series of dials. During the electronic survey, the creatures stepped up to Dawson and dropped his pants, apparently to check his sex.

At this point Tom Dawson was transported to Oz. From the interior of the ship a human voice announced: "I am Jimmy Hoffa. I am Jimmy Hoffa. I am Jimmy Hoffa and I'm in this ship. I am..." and the voice was abruptly silenced and not heard again.
Hoffa was a notorious labor leader who had disappeared several years earlier and never reappeared.

As each alien completed their part of the exam, they reentered the ship. The last two removed the headset from Dawson, then conferred. They had appeared to communicate during the medical tests, emitting a shrill, high pitched sound that struck Dawson as gibberish. One of the females kept repeating a word that sounded to Dawson like "Jupiter."

Dawson thought the creatures were debating whether they should take him with them. They declined to kidnap Dawson and the leader "waved" goodbye by crossing his open palm across his chest, then they boarded the ship. Within seconds the ship quickly rose to 75 feet and vanished soundlessly.

Man and animals were instantly released from the force that had immobilized them. Dawson hastily secured his clothing and ran to the Kolbie house, where Linda was working in the yard about 9:15 a.m.

"He was in bad shape," Linda told a reporter. "He couldn't talk at all. I looked up to see him waving his arms and struggling for breath."

She sat Dawson down and fetched a cool rag to help calm him. The man was "wheezing and rocking, wild-eyed," she said.

Linda attempted to learn what had happened, but all Dawson could choke out was "space ship." Fearing for his life, Kolbie called an ambulance, which rushed him to the hospital.

Dawson recovered, but the experience had him shaken for days. Despite experiencing the disbelief of others, he stuck to his story, saying: "I don't care what they say. This is the truth...I'm not crazy. I wasn't drinking. I've never had a mental condition.

"The whole time it happened, my mind was alert. I knew what was happening...I do know what I've seen. I do know what happened."

Several months later I traveled to Pelham and spent a Saturday with Dawson, interviewing him, the neighbors, and the paramedics (the doctor told me to leave him the hell alone). Everybody accepted Dawson's story, and none thought a person could fake that degree of distress. This remains Georgia's most bizarre story, and I know something happened to Dawson-I'm just not certain what. - 'Weird Georgia' - Jim Miles - 2006

Fortean / Alternative News: Philippines UFO Mystery, Merlin's Grave Mound and Ukraine Stoning Death


Mysterious Light - UFO on the skies of Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines


Click for video

Roxas City is a medium-sized city in the province of Capiz, Philippines. It is the provincial capital and a component city. The city is a center of copra and aquaculture production. The surrounding area grows sugarcane, rice, coconut, fruit, hemp, and tobacco. The abundance of marine life makes Roxas City the "Seafood Capital of the Philippines."

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Marlborough Mound: 'Merlin's burial place' built in 2400 BC

A Wiltshire mound where the legendary wizard Merlin was purported to be buried has been found to date back to 2400 BC.

Radiocarbon dating tests were carried out on charcoal samples taken from Marlborough Mound, which lies in Marlborough College's grounds.

The 19m (62ft) high mound had previously mystified historians. Some believed it dated back to about 600 AD.

English Heritage said: "This is a very exciting time for British prehistory."

Dig leader Jim Leary said: "This is an astonishing discovery.

"The Marlborough Mound has been one of the biggest mysteries in the Wessex landscape.

"For centuries people have wondered whether it is Silbury's little sister; and now we have an answer. "

'Dramatic history'

Silbury Hill, an artificial man-made mound about five miles away, also dates back to 2,400 BC.

Marlborough Mound was reused as a castle and became an important fortress for the Norman and Plantagenet kings.

It was also the scene for major political events, such as the general oath of allegiance sworn to King John in 1209.

Nicholas Sampson, Master of Marlborough College, said: "We are thrilled at this discovery, which confirms the long and dramatic history of this beautiful site and offers opportunity for tremendous educational enrichment."

The work is part of a major conservation programme being undertaken by the Marlborough Mound Trust. - BBC

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California woman arrested while pushing trashcan of human body parts down the street

A California woman caught wheeling a trashcan full of body parts was arrested on Monday on charges of homicide.

Carmen Montenegro, 51, of San Bernardino, Calif. was spotted with the macabre container around 2:30 in the afternoon and nabbed by police who were tipped off to her bizarre activities.

"Officers stopped her leaving the location and in the trashcan we found human remains," Detective Jeff Crittenden told KTLA-TV.

The contents of the trashcan are being investigated by the coroner's office, but police believe it is a homicide and that there is only one body.

They are still working to clarify the connection between the woman and the remains and to identify the victim.

Crittenden told reporters he did not have much information on Montenegro, but said she is a relative of the homeowner whose house she was spotted wheeling the body away from.

One neighborhood resident's daughter told a KTLA-TV reporter she is Montenegro's cousin, and that the woman came to the home for help disposing the body.

Other residents said Montenegro's mother lives in the home, and that Montenegro herself lived there sporadically for over a decade.

The body is believed to have been dug up from the yard of the house where Montenegro was first spotted, according to police. - nydailynews

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False teeth save man's life

Of all the things you'd expect to save someone's life -- a lifejacket, a bullet-proof vest, a motorcycle helmet -- would you ever include the humble pair of dentures? Well, it seems like we might have to after reports of some fake gnashers coming to the rescue of a Brazilian barkeep.

Thursday's bizarre incident saw the bar owner from the town of Alta Floresta, western Brazil, taken to hospital after a gunman opened fire at him while he was tending bar.

His name: Zacarias Pacheco de Moraes. His age: 81-year-old... and still kicking, thanks to his pair of miraculous false teeth.

The bullet was heading straight for his brain before ricocheting off the chompers and lodging in the back of his throat. It's too delicate to remove right away, doctors have said, but there's no doubt that it all could have ended far, far worse.

It reminds of that surreal story of the man who was shot in the head and sneezed out the bullet afterwards, as well as this World Cup football star who managed to get a bullet in his brain... and still survive. Now, time to visit the dentist, just to be careful - asylum

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Muslim girl, 19, 'stoned to death after taking part in beauty contest'

A teenage Muslim girl was stoned to death under 'Sharia law' after taking part in a beauty contest in Ukraine.

Katya Koren, 19, was found dead in a village in the Crimea region near her home.

Friends said she liked wearing fashionable clothes and had come seventh in a beauty contest.

Her battered body was buried in a forest and was found a week after she disappeared.

Police have opened a murder investigation and are looking into claims that three Muslim youths killed her, claiming her death was justified under Islam.

One of the three - named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev - is under arrest and told police that Katya had 'violated the laws of Sharia'. Gaziev has said he has no regrets about her death.

Stoning is a divisive subject among Muslims, with some groups interpreting it as Islamic law and others disagreeing.

According to Amnesty International's annual report on death sentences worldwide, issued in April, there were no reports of judicial executions carried out by stoning in 2010.

However, new death sentences by stoning were reportedly imposed in Iran, the Bauchi state of Nigeria and Pakistan.

At least 10 women and four men remained under sentence of death by stoning at the end of the year in Iran, where adultery is the only crime which carries that penalty under Sharia law.

It was widely imposed as a sentence in the years following the 1979 Islamic revolution, and even though Iran's judiciary still regularly hands down such sentences, they are now often converted to other punishments.

The barbaric practice was thrown into the international spotlight last year when an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery after suffering years of abuse at the hands of her drug addict husband.

Miss Ashtiani's lawyer said she was allegedly beaten and sold for sex by opium-addict Ebrahim Ghaderzade, who she is accused of killing.

She was jailed for ten years for murder and sentenced to death for adultery. She was also convicted of having illicit relations for which she received 99 lashes.

The Iranian authorities eventually suspended the stoning after an outcry from the international community.

The European Union has called the sentence 'barbaric', the Vatican pleaded for clemency and Brazil, which has tried to intervene in Iran's stand-off with the West over its nuclear programme, offered Miss Ashtiani asylum.

A number of celebrities, including Robert Redford, Robert De Niro and Sting called for her release in an open letter to the Iranian regime, backed by more than 80 actors, artists, musicians, academics and politicians.

When Carla Bruni, the French First Lady, prominently gave her support to the 43-year-old mother-of-two, Iran responded by launching two scathing attacks on Miss Bruni, branding her an adulteress with a 'vastly immoral lifestyle'.

Last week Amnesty international called for 'clarification' on the legal status of a jailed lawyer who represented Miss Ashtiani, Javid Houtan Kiyan.

It issued a statement that read: 'If – as appears - he is held solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, including in connection with his work as a defence lawyer on behalf of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, he should be released immediately and unconditionally.

'The allegations that he has been tortured while in detention should be investigated immediately and anyone found responsible for abuses brought to justice.'

The Islamic republic says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.

In March, Iran hanged a woman convicted of murdering a love rival.

Shahla Jahed, 40, had been a 'temporary wife' of Nasser Mohammad Khani, a former striker for the Iranian national football team.

The execution was thought to be the 146th so far this year. At least 270 people were executed in 2009. - dailymail

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Attorney General orders more episodes of the “The Wire”, or a movie

Sometimes government officials draw fire for potentially overstepping their authority — but Attorney General Eric Holder will probably get some praise for ordering the writers of the critically-acclaimed television series HBO “The Wire” to come up with more episodes or a movie.

The gritty fictional series, which ran five seasons on HBO, showed the raw side of Baltimore as it endured hundreds of murders annually and a rampant drug scene. The show focused on the cash-strapped city police trying to root out crime as well as the drug dealers fighting for turf, using children to run their corners and the related effects on the city.

On Tuesday three of the actors, Wendell Pierce (“Bunk”), Sonja Sohn (“Kima”) and Jim True-Frost (“Prez”), dropped by the Justice Department to join Holder in trying to draw attention to the issue of protecting children from drug abuse and exploitation.

But Holder could not resist a plea — well really an order — to the writers David Simon and Ed Burns for more.

“I want to speak directly to Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon: Do another season of ‘The Wire’,” Holder said, drawing laughter and applause from the audience. “That’s actually at a minimum. … If you don’t do a season, do a movie. We’ve done HBO movies, this is a series that deserves a movie. I want another season or I want a movie. I have a lot of power Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon.”

Wendell “Bunk” Pierce, who is now on the latest HBO hit “Treme”, chimed in with a “hear hear.” - reuters

NOTE: "hear, hear" indeed! I was able to watch the filming of "the Wire" on several occasions and got to meet with several of the actors and crew during those years. One of, if not, the finest TV series ever produced...Lon

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