Tune in this Sunday night at 10:00 pm EDT as Eric, Lon and the Forkchop welcome Esteban Sarmiento, primatologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and a functional anatomist. His main field of study is the skeletons of hominoids, both extinct species and extant species. He also co-authored 'The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans' which was published in 2007.
Sarmiento is one of the few mainstream experts to give serious attention to cryptozoology, particularly reports of Bigfoot. Sarmiento does not suggest that the existence of Bigfoot has been established, but that its existence is possible and that claims and evidence deserve careful scrutiny, stating, "If real, this animal is exceedingly human-like. It would be our closest relative on earth.” He has appeared on several episodes of the History Channel series Monster Quest discussing Bigfoot and other "cryptids.
Join Eric Altman, Lon Strickler and 'The Forkchop' each Sunday at 10 PM ET as we go Beyond the Edge!
There has been a lot of speculation, especially by British author David Icke, concerning a real connection between non-terrestrial reptilian species and vampire beings. Some feel that this is simply a conspiracy theory or used as an allegory in order to sell books. But both elements, in my opinion, offer some insight into a hypothesis that may help explain some of the mysteries of why we are on Earth.
Draconians and Dracula...is there a connection?
This is where part of the symbolism in the story of Dracula originates. It was written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and published in 1897. Stoker knew the vampire legends after years of research...there is no part of the world and no era of history that does not have its myths and legends about vampires who feed off other people's energy and blood. Observe the main elements of that tale.
His name is Dracula (the Draco constellation is the alleged home of the royal reptilian bloodlines). He is called "Count" Dracula (symbolic of the way these Draco bloodlines have been carried by "human" royalty and aristocracy). Dracula is a vampire (symbolic of the need of the Draco reptilians to drink human blood and feed off human energy). Dracula shape-shifts, appears and disappears (symbolic of the reptilian shape-shifters). He cannot stand direct sunlight (what some say of the reptilians and greys). He comes in through "windows" (symbolic of the interdimensional portals through which reptilian entities enter our world).
Stoker's character was largely based on a man called Dracula or Vlad the Impaler, (in Romanian - Vlad Tepes) the 15th-century ruler of a country called Wallachia, not far from the Black Sea in what is now Romania (Rom = reptilian bloodlines). This was the same region that was once called Transylvania, the home of the most famous vampire legends, and the Danube River valley, which runs from Germany to Romania and into the Black Sea, is a name that comes up very often in the history of the bloodlines.
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, slaughtered tens of thousands of people and impaled many of them on stakes. He would sit down to eat amid this forest of dead bodies, dipping his bread in their blood. He usually had a horse attached to each of the victim's legs and a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body. The end of the stake was usually oiled and care was taken that the stake not be too sharp; he didn't want the victim dying too quickly from shock. Infants were often impaled on the stake forced through their mothers' chests. The records indicate that victims were sometimes impaled so that they hung upside down on the stake. Death by impalement was slow and painful. Victims sometimes endured for hours or days. Dracula had the stakes arranged in various geometric patterns and the most common was a ring of concentric circles. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim, an excellent indication of the ritual-obsessed reptilian mind.
The decaying corpses were often left there for months. It was once reported that an invading Turkish army turned back in fright when it encountered thousands of rotting corpses impaled on the banks of the Danube. In 1461 Mohammed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, a man not noted for his squeamishness, was sickened by the sight of twenty thousand impaled corpses rotting outside of Dracula's capital of Tirgoviste. The warrior sultan turned over command of the campaign against Dracula to subordinates and returned to Constantinople. Ten thousand were impaled in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu, where Dracula had once lived. On St. Bartholomew's Day, 1459, Dracula had thirty thousand merchants and others impaled in the Transylvanian city of Brasov. One of the most famous woodcuts of the period shows Dracula feasting amongst a forest of stakes and their grisly burdens outside Brasov while a nearby executioner cuts apart other victims.
Impalement was Dracula's favorite technique, but by no means his only method of inflicting unimaginable horror. The list of tortures employed by this deeply sick man included nails in heads, cutting off limbs, blinding, strangulation, burning, cutting off noses and ears, mutilation of sexual organs (especially in the case of women), scalping, skinning, exposure to the elements or wild animals, and boiling alive. No one was immune to Dracula's attentions. His victims included women and children, peasants and great lords, ambassadors from foreign powers and merchants.
Vlad III was the son of Vlad Dracul, who was initiated into the ancient Order of the Dragon by the Holy Roman emperor in 1431. It's emblem was a dragon, wings extended, hanging on a cross. Vlad II wore this emblem and his coinage bore the dragon symbol. All the members of the order had a dragon on their coat of arms and he was nicknamed Dracul (the Devil or the Dragon). Son Vlad signed his name Draculea or Draculya or the "Devil's son" and this later became Dracula, a name that translates as something like "son of him who had the Order of the Dragon". This is the same Dragon Order that is today promoted by the British "Holy Grail" author, Sir Laurence Gardner. By the way, Queen Mary or Mary of Teck, the mother of King George VI and therefore grandmother to the present Elizabeth II, was descended from a sister of "Dracula". - 'Children of the Matrix' (David Icke) - www.aboutromania.com - 'Dracula: Between Myth and Reality' (Adrian Axinte) - www.romaniatourism.com
NOTE: There have been several anecdotes referencing reptilian draconian beings in Romania since it joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004. There is no date given for the scenario detailed by General Emil Streinu (below) though, I suspect, it occurred post-1989 Romanian Revolution and pre-NATO membership. Again, this not the only reptilian claim to have come out of Romania...Lon
Romanian General Emil Streinu is an expert in radiolocation (radar technology) and has a doctorate in geophysical warfare (HAARP technology). He has served as the Advisor of the Romanian Parliament on unconventional issues and asymmetrical threats - Director of The Special Situations and Research Center on UFOs and Psihotronics - Founder of the Association for the Study of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena and author of several of esoteric publications.
For many years he has claimed that the reptilian extraterrestrials exist, that they have huge underground bases/cities, but nothing more. Each time he concludes by stating “I’m not going any further on this subject”
After reading Aryan Hava's books "Inuaki, The Reptilian Inside Me" (Vol. 1 & 2), General Streinu contacted her to convey a remarkable story as she was about to publish her third book on this subject: "Anunnaki vs. Anunnaki" (or "An.unnak.ki versus An.unnak.ki"). Streinu eventually writing the book's preface.
In the introduction he speaks about a good friend of his who had seen two reptilian beings in an early morning (5:00 AM) in the Retezat Mountains (A group of mountains in the Carpathians).
His friend is also a military figure, a high ranking officer specialized in commando warfare, which asked for his identity to remain hidden. He served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Latin America (South America). General Streinu also mentioned that his friend is not a fan of neither science fiction or ufology and that he trusts his friend above any doubt.
This high ranking officer, let's call him "Colonel X", was driving back from a short camping trip, which he took alone in the mountains. He was close to Bucharest when he noticed that he was low on gas...so he pulled into a small rural gas station.
It was 5:00 - 5:10 AM, so nobody was around. Colonel X noticed a khaki Hummer with black windows parked outside the gas station with the engine on, but nobody around it. After filling up his tank, he paid and walked back to his SUV. He then noticed that the driver's door of the Hummer was opened and inside it he saw a reptilian being. The reptilian had no clothes but it was wearing military boots...it was entirely covered with green scales (like a crocodile) and had a lizard-type crest on the head. The reptilian saw Colonel X, then he got out of the Hummer, while still staring at him. He directed some sharp sounds at someone from inside the car, this time looking irritated, then got back at the wheel and quickly drove away. The car had no license plates, either on the front or back.
Colonel X estimated the reptilian to be 2.00m (78.7 inches) high, with yellow eyes and cat type slits.
The Colonel looked around to see if someone else had witnessed the event, but he was alone. Then he noticed the gas station's video camera. Unfortunately, the attendant told him that the camera was "just for decoration" and had no practical use, other than scare any potential robbers. Thinking that this was a very well played hoax, he got back into the car and continued his journey.
After several miles he was still very upset by the events, when he saw the same Hummer with all four doors opened. On the shoulder he noticed two dark green reptilians that seemed to be arguing. The second reptilian was 15-20 cm (5,9 - 7,9 inches) higher than the first one. It wasn't wearing clothes or boots and had lizard-type feet and unlike the first one, it also had a tail.
On the street, trucks were passing by in both directions and the drivers were pointing at the creatures, but nobody pulled over. Then, Colonel X got his mobile phone out and took several photographs of the reptilians who seem oblivious to the situation.
After 3-5 minutes, the two reptilians got back into the Hummer and drove back, at high speed, in the direction they initially came from. The Colonel looked again at the pictures from his mobile phone and rushed for Bucharest in order to contact General Streinu and together decide what to do with the astonishing pictures.
Back in Bucharest, the phone clearly showed 11 pictures, but all of them were completely green. Together with General Streinu, they headed to a phone service company that couldn't help them either. It was like the Colonel photographed a bright green light.
For two weeks they analyzed the story in great detail and searched for witnesses, but all efforts ended up in failure.
General Streinu concluded: "Only one thing is sure: we live in a world that we only THINK we know, having a false impression that we are its masters. In fact we are only subtenants in transit, on a planet that never belonged to us and having no idea what our purpose really is..." - humansarefree.com
NOTE: here is a link to my post on The Romanian Vampires that details the legend. What do you think...could there be a connection between reptilians and vampires? Do you believe that these beings even exist? Are we starting to realize that there are other forces at play and that we are here for a specific purpose? Lon
Orange orbs witnessed over St. Louis / O'Fallon, Missouri
I was at a family BBQ in the backyard waiting for fireworks to start. There was some amateur fireworks being shot off in the area so our eyes were looking skyward.
We then noticed in the southern sky an orange flare-like object that appeared to be moving slowly but steadily westward. Everyone became interested in what it could be, because it was very unlike a plane or a firework.
I described the object as flare-like because it was large and brilliant, but it wasn't pulsating. The orange light also seemed to be somewhat directional as it seemed to be focused more to the east.
We watched it for about a minute and as it passed we did not witness any blinking lights and the orange flare did not really seem to change shape. We also did not hear any aircraft engine or anything that would lead us to believe it was a helicopter engine.
The light finally just slowly winked out was gone; very strange in a relatively cloudless sky. Shortly there after we watched from the direction of Lambert Airport three red lights take off and climb straight up in to the sky and disappear. It was the consensus of those who saw the three lights take off that they were jets. Someone even made the joke that they were after the orange thing.
I might have dismissed the entire event if I had not witnessed the exact same light the following night while out for a walk. It was 11:00 at night and I was walking near my home in Ofallon. I witnessed the orange light again for probably 30 seconds to a minute moving in the northwestern sky. I tried to see if my cell phone would register it but it didn't. The light did the same as it had the night before and slowly winked out. - MUFON CMS
Is Google Censoring Nibiru Planet X?
On May 21, 2011, much of the world laughed at a man by the name of Harold Camping. Camping was yet another Christian conservative who predicted the end of times, stating that on a fateful Saturday, Jesus Christ would return and rapture would culminate, eventually seeing the death of millions of people through fire and brimstone. The world was scheduled to end later that year on October 21, 2011, at least in Camping’s mind. As a result of his failed prediction, atheists, agnostics and even Christians chuckled in unison. Another doomsday prophet that dared to know the logic of the universe, and define it in human terms.
Now, just weeks removed from Camping’s admission of miscalculation (though he’s far from through making predictions) the world is again quaking in fear, this time because instead of God, “Science” is making a prediction of death and destruction. The supposedly hush-hush conspiracy is known as Nibiru or “Planet X.” Today, people prognosticate the end of the world, creating dramatic YouTube videos featuring footage of natural disasters, while scientists attempt to explain the threat in coherent terms, many of which downplay the imminent danger.
In the midst of this predictable panic of prediction, accusations are being whispered at the expense of the world’s most popular search engine. Is Google covering up Planet X? Is it true that the search engine is censoring results for Planet X in order to prevent wide scale panic? In particular, are they trying to drown out websites that point to a dreadful date in summer 2011 that will supposedly involve the state of California? Let’s first consider what Nibiru is, allegedly and through official confirmation. Read more at Is Google Censoring Nibiru Planet X?
Second world war bombers changed the weather
Allied bombing raids during the second world war inadvertently experimented on the weather by producing huge contrails over south-east England. A study of one 1944 raid offers a rare opportunity to check our models of how contrails change temperatures.
After listening to a radio programme in which an elderly woman recalled seeing a wartime sky "turn white with clouds" as fleets of bombers took off, Roger Timmis of Lancaster Environment Centre in the UK realised that the planes could have affected the weather.
Contrails are known to have several effects on climate. On the one hand, they act as a blanket, trapping heat that would otherwise escape into space. On the other, during the day they reflect incoming sunlight, cooling the Earth below more than it is warmed by the other effect. But overall, the consensus among climatologists is that they warm the planet.
In the 1940s – unlike today – there was hardly any civilian air traffic, so historical records offer an opportunity to test the daytime effects. "Pilots cared about contrails a lot," says Rob MacKenzie, formerly of Lancaster University, and now at the University of Birmingham, UK. "Aircraft were tracked using contrails and shot down. So pilots would report them."
Using operational records from the US Army Air Force and the British Royal Air Force, and archived weather data, Timmis and MacKenzie realised they could compare temperatures immediately beneath a raid's flight path to those several kilometres upwind, where there would have been no contrails.
Clear May morning
Conditions were ideal as one particular raid took off on the morning of 11 May 1944, with clear skies and enough moisture for contrails to form.
Timmis and MacKenzie found that where the aircraft circled and assembled into formation it was significantly cloudier and 0.8 °C cooler than the area upwind of the bases.
"It's innovative to use these historical records," says David Lee of Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He says the documented cooling due to daytime contrails is "entirely consistent" with what is already known.
Field studies of contrails are rare, says David Travis of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Most of our understanding of their effects is based on model studies.
Travis says studies like this MacKenzie's study could help change that. He previously found that temperatures were more variable when planes were grounded in the aftermath of 9/11, but faced criticism because the contrail effect couldn't be separated from natural variability in the weather. By comparing temperatures on the same day, but some kilometres apart, the bomber raid study was able to get around this problem. - newscientist
Australian claims continued poltergeist activity in home
I ran across this today...claims that his home is inundated with continued poltergeist activity. Also claims that this entity is using his iPhone to record it's own movements. Take a look at the videos and tell me what you think...Lon
After the 'Bigfoot Face Print' news conference (boy, that story went quiet real fast) and some of the more recent claims, I thought I'd post a typical daily selection of Bigfoot videos offered for our perusal.
This is the second best example of quadrupedal run. Far faster than any human. This shows the raw speed a Sasquatch has to take down a deer or other game. Confirms on Tree-hiding, consistent color, long-arm and ungodly speed. The terror these guys experience is real and emblematic of a real encounter. We include human champs in the bear crawl, Parkour and the world record crawler.
NOTE: is this really a Bigfoot? I'm not convinced. The two videos below, though I can appreciate the effort, are both a stretch.
Statement: Ohio Bigfoot Hunters: Josh - Lead Investigator
I trust Josh and his friends and believe them 100%. If I didn't then I would never have uploaded these videos. These guys are rare in today's world. They spend most of their time at my house playing card games in the Mancave and always steer away from trouble and at the same time I have never caught them drinking and when they are not around then you can find them fishing or playing putt putt golf. How rare is that! They treat me like one of the gang and we all have a blast together. The very cool thing is we all respect each others opinions and respect the field gear. The Thermal is useless in areas like this when the underbrush is so thick and when you can't see over the next ridge. Team was positive that it wasn't acorns falling from the tree's. Objects were horizontal and you can hear them projecting from right to left at high speed. Josh makes a final decision to get the other team members out of the area and feels if these events were caused by a Bigfoot then it was time to go.
NOTE: sounds like a coyote to me...really hard to hear.
Bigfoot Hiding In Strategic Position
Statement: ubel2012 of South Western Ohio Bigfoot present's Bigfoot Hiding In Strategic Position's. Here is the first 27 second's of "Bigfoot Face And Vocalization Full Quality HD Version". Since many viewer's are having a hard time seeing the Bigfoot Clan Member's I claim I have recorded, I thought I would start breaking the video down and slowing them down to 1/8th of regular speed. There is several Bigfoot in this clip. There is at least 3-5 straight ahead, at least 2 on left and 3-4 on my right(that I can find) I believe there is more that are hiding better, these are only the one's that were within view of the camera and myself. However I did not see one of them, nor did I knowingly hear any movement or vocalization's they let out. I had no idea anything was around me until I stepped inside the Large Structure I had found one week prior. When we initally found the Large Structure as we approached it we kept hearing movement behind us and did hear vocal's that day. That video is called "Possible Formation With Movement Around Us". That video was taken my 2nd or 3rd time ever conducting field research and first time ever in this area. I Believe I recorded at least one Bigfoot behind us that day also. That video is called "possible still's of a creature" There is other video's showing what appear's to a head turn called "possible bigfoot with a head turn from older video". Hope everyone enjoy's as I believe this is some real good evidence, if in fact I am recording Real Bigfoot Clan Member's, Their Vocal's, footstep's, Tree Breaking and/or Knocking, trail's and structure's/formation's, which I believe 100% I am.
NOTE: wow...I had to chuckle a bit when I read the statement. Anyway, another example of 'seeing Bigfoot everywhere'. Hey, if you think I'm being too hard on these videographers, witnesses and investigators, just LMK...Lon
Did UFO cause power failure at nuclear missile base? Missile technicians claim sightings coincided with October outage
When Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming lost control of 50 nuclear, inter-continental missiles last October, officials said a communication failure between the control centre and the weapons was to blame.
However, three missile technicians stationed at the base have raised fresh questions in the case, amid reports UFO sightings coincided with the incident.
UFO researcher Robert Hastings says eyewitnesses claim the interruption to the power supply also lasted much longer than the Air Force admits.
A power failure on October 23, 2010 meant that one-ninth of America’s nuclear arsenal went offline for almost an hour.
A U.S. Air Force spokesman said there had been a 'hardware issue' relating to an underground cable linking the command centre with the missiles.
This disrupted ‘communication between the control centre and the missiles, but during that time they were still able to monitor the security of the affected missiles’.
Defence officials insisted there was never any danger of an accidental launch. But the incident was deemed serious enough for Barack Obama to be briefed on it later.
There was no evidence of foul play and the U.S. never lost the capability to launch the missiles, although it could only have done so from an airborne command and control centre, he said.
Another official said there had been similar breakdowns on other bases in the past.
But Robert Hastings says more was involved.
According to Hastings, three missile maintenance technicians have agreed to speak to him on the condition of anonymity, revealing the military has kept UFO sightings that occurred during the power outage under wraps.
The witnesses, he said, reported sightings of 'a large cigar-shaped object high above the missile field'.
Hastings told AOL: 'They said the object was seen in the sky above the field, throughout the weekend, both during the (missile) disruption and the following day.'
His witnesses claim the power outage lasted several hours longer than officials reported.
'I have detailed information about the events. The Air Force said this (missile) disruption lasted 59 minutes. It actually lasted the better part of 26 hours,' he said.
'It was intermittent and involved a very specific sequence of these five missile alert facilities going on and offline. I have all of that down to the most minute detail.'
The eyewitnesses agreed that what they saw 'was not a commercial blimp.'
'It had no passenger gondola and no advertising on its hull,' Hastings said.
'Further, its aspect ratio (length to width) was very similar to a WWI Zeppelin: long and thin, and not at all like the squat shape of a corporate blimp.'
The witnesses did not, however, claim the alleged UFO was connected with the outage.
It is not the first time Hastings has reported UFO sightings at nuclear missile sites.
He organised a press conference last September, when six former Air Force officers stepped forward to reveal they had seen or had been involved with sightings at missile sites.
They claim that since 1948, aliens have been hovering over UK and U.S. nuclear missile sites and deactivating the weapons - once even landing in a British base.
The men said they were encouraged not to speak to the media about their sightings.
Captain Robert Salas, who was among the six, confirmed: ‘We’re talking about unidentified flying objects, as simple as that.'
However, Lieutenant Colonel John Thomas, director of public affairs for Air Force Global Strike Command headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, denies there is a policy to silence eyewitnesses to unexplained phenomena at Air Force bases.
'I have no reason to dispute anybody's claims of anything they may seen historically, because those occurrences and reports took place decades into the past and probably will decades into the future,' he told AOL.
'This incident is separate from all of that. We took it very seriously and we're very confident that we understand fully what happened.'
'If people see things that are unusual, they are encouraged to report them,' he said, adding: 'When people join the military, they don't give up their First Amendment rights.' - dailymail
Man sentenced to 10 years for trying to kill wife with electric chair
When Andrew Castle's wife of 18 years asked him for a divorce, his response was to rig up a homemade electric chair in his garage and try to kill her.
After inviting Margaret Castle into the garage "for a chat", he sat her in the metal chair, intending to knock her unconscious with a rubber cosh before connecting the impromptu device to the mains.
However, his 61-year-old wife got up from the chair before he could carry out his plan and there was a struggle, during which she hit him several times with the cosh. She escaped through a side door, but the fight continued outside their bungalow in Knott End-on-Sea, Lancashire, before a passerby intervened and called the police.
Mrs Castle was treated for minor head injuries at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Her husband, also 61, was found in the back garden with self-inflicted knife wounds to his wrists after grabbing a blade from the kitchen.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Preston crown court , having admitted attempted murder, at a hearing in May.
Officers who examined the garage found an electric cable running from a 13-amp plug with exposed wires. When switched on, the live and neutral wires which would have completed a circuit if touched together or put in contact with the chair.
Neighbours said the couple, who went on walking and cruising holidays together, appeared to be happy and content until March this year when she told him she wanted to end the marriage. One said: "We couldn't believe it when we heard what happened. We believe Andrew had, in effect, built his own electric chair to kill Margaret because she wanted a divorce. He managed to lure her into the garage on the pretext of them talking about it. He was about to do the deed but there was a struggle and she escaped."
Castle said he was "simply unable to cope" with the divorce and found it "overwhelming". A psychiatric report concluded that he had obsessive compulsive disorder and an adjustment disorder.
Detective Inspector Martin Clague, from Lancashire police, said: "It was a distressing case. He intended to kill his wife and had set plans in place to do this. It is rare for someone to attempt to kill their wife, or anyone, by these means.
"The fact Castle entered a guilty plea at least saves the family from having to go through the ordeal of listening to the evidence, which could have been very distressing for them." - guardian
Why Scientists Should Study Sea Monsters
From the Loch Ness Monster to the Kraken, sea monsters still capture the imagination centuries after medieval cartographers doodled them in the blank spots of their maps. But to Charles Paxton, a researcher at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, sea monster sightings are more than fish tales.
Paxton is no wild-eyed cryptozoologist who spends his weekends imagining Bigfoot behind every tree. He's a fisheries ecologist and statistician who believes that, with the right methods, anecdotes about mysterious monsters can become scientific data to tell us about human perception and the odd reports that science can't fully explain.
On July 12, Paxton and other bonafide, peer-reviewed researchers like him will discuss ways to bring cryptozoology into the scientific fold at the Zoological Society of London Communicating Science event "Cryptozoology: Science or Pseudoscience?"
Ahead of the event, Paxton spoke with LiveScience about sea monster sightings, the likelihood of unknown beasts roaming the sea, and why, before you report a sea serpent, you should always make sure you're not looking at a sexually aroused whale.
LiveScience: What drives you to study sea monster sightings?
Paxton: Several reasons. Actually, probably the first is I'm a big kid and I thought it was an interesting set of questions. A more proper scientific reason is that I'm interested in why people believe the things they believe, especially if their beliefs are non-mainstream. And the third reason I got interested is it's important to understand how science tries to relate to anomalous data, data that doesn’t quite fit into our existing paradigms.
LiveScience: You've lumped old sea monster sightings together to study them statistically. What did you find?
Paxton: I was interested in looking at reported distances in sea monster accounts, in seeing whether those reported distances, were they the same as we would expect if the reports were genuinely of random animals popping up around boats. But if you look at the distribution of reported distances of sea monster accounts, they're much closer than you would expect by chance alone.
This implies to me that there's a huge bias in the reporting of sea monster accounts.
LiveScience: What does that bias tell us about the validity of those reports?
Paxton: It means we can probably be more doubtful about one potential explanation for sea monster reports. I expected that when I did the analysis, the reports would be far away. I thought people were reporting monsters because they'd seen familiar things at a distances. But the reported distances are much closer than you'd expect. It's not because these things are a vast distance away, or at least, if witnesses are misinterpreting things, it happens over short distances.
LiveScience: Are any of these historical reports actually plausible?
There's a report by two zoologists actually in the early part of the century published in the Journal of Zoology where they actually reported seeing a serpent-like animal in the South Atlantic. They describe an animal which doesn't quite fit into our current view. That's an intriguing one. [Read: The Creatures of Cryptozoology]
LiveScience: Okay, let's talk about an implausible report. Tell me about the case of the possible whale penis.
Paxton: That's a quite famous sea monster sighting from the 18th century, where people saw a sea monster en route to the Danish colony in Greenland. What they saw was an animal which they described as having a serpent-like tail. We suggested that there could be an alternative explanation and what they were interpreting as a tail could actually have been the penis of the animal.
If you do a search for "whale penis" on the Net, they've got pictures and they do look quite serpentine.
LiveScience: Does it seem like misidentified body parts might explain many sea monster sightings?
Paxton: I think that goes on, yes, but as yet I've got no quantitative evidence of that happening. I'm actually collecting data on that.
I think people make mistakes and it does mean that I'm a little more skeptical of laypeople who report strange things. When you see something in the water, there are lots and lots of large animals it could potentially be, and there's no one in the world who is an expert on all of these animals. Zoologists, when they see an animal, perhaps they'll be looking at the features which will tell them about its affinities, whereas laypeople won't necessarily do that.
LiveScience: Do you think there are likely large, undiscovered marine creatures out there?
Paxton: Yes, but to make something absolutely clear, my position on this is quite an unusual one. I would actually say without any doubt at all that there are unknown animals out there. The reason I say without any doubt at all, if you look at the rate at which we're discovering new species, that hasn't completely flattened out.
The question isn't, "Are there large marine animals?" The question is, "Are they seen by laypeople prior to their discovery?" The answer to that is "Probably not."
LiveScience: Why not?
Paxton: Logically, the animals we've not discovered yet are the ones that are difficult to detect, which means it would be very rare for people to encounter them anyway. We know there are biases in the reporting process, and we know that to have the potential to recognize an unknown animal, you need to have superb expertise. In terms of marine mammals, for example, I can only think of about 10 people in the world who if they saw a marine mammal would be in a position to say, "That's a marine mammal that we've never described."
We can't explain away all the strange reports, but just because I can't explain a report doesn't mean it's an unknown animal. It's got to be a hypothesis of last resort. I think that's a mistake lots of people make, that just because they can't explain it, it must be something unknown. That's quite a jump.
LiveScience: Do you have a favorite sea monster?
Paxton: I quite like the sea monk [a creature with a monk's head and fish body], actually. The idea that there's a monk living in the sea, that's quite bizarre.
I quite like the Kraken as well. It's not what people say it is, actually. People often say that the Kraken is a mythologized giant squid. If you look at the early accounts of the Kraken, they're not like a giant squid at all. It's very similar to a monster which is a fish or whale so large that it sits for so long that trees grow on it. Sailors see it, they come onshore and make a fire, and it jumps to the bottom of the sea and drags the ship down. I think the Kraken is connected to that, because it describes it being like an island.
LiveScience: Is there anything else you want to add?
Paxton: You didn't ask me the one question everyone asks.
LiveScience: What's that?
Paxton: Whether I believe in the Loch Ness Monster. For the record, I don't. I've only been to Loch Ness once, actually. I didn't see anything. - livescience
The Marble Caves: Patagonia's Sculpted Azure Caverns
In the middle of Patagonia lies an enchanted underworld of azure caverns. Incredible streaks of blue make it look as though a master artist in a land of giants has made his mark on these special caves.
Known as General Carrera, the gorgeous lake where the caves are to be found has borders that are shared by both Argentina and Chile. It has a sunny microclimate in an area that is normally cold, so people can enjoy the water and explore the caverns in comfort.
The caverns are one of nature's miracles, sheer cliffs of marble whose sediments give them this enchanting color. The water itself has slowly thrown gravel against the cliffs to gently form spaces small and large. The caverns can be explored by boat at certain times of the year when the water level is low enough.
Known as Las Cavernas de Marmol – The Marble Caverns – there are three more specific names for the caves: the Cave, the Cathedral and the Chapel.
The Marble Caves are comprised of a jutting rock with a vein of pure marble beneath it that runs from one side of Lake Carrera to Puerto Tranquilo on the lake's north side. The Chapel and Cathedral have been designated as a nature sanctuary. These two can actually be visited all summer long as the water levels are fairly stable there.
The banks of stone above the caverns are white-gray, but you can see streaks of blue from the impurities there as well, culminating in their wild and wondrous colors at the bottom.
One of the worries for the area is Chile's plan to build five hydropower dams in Patagonia. Of course, this is going to disrupt the habitats of many unique and endangered species in the area as well as potentially disturb the beautiful lakes, including Lake Carrera (on the Argentinian side it is called Lago Buenos Aires).
These exquisite caverns may not be well-known but they are as beautiful as some of the world's top geographical wonders and should be included in any such list. Hopefully the lake will not be badly affected by the dams, and these caverns will still be accessible to people who can continue to marvel at them. - environmentalgraffiti
Map of Chu Lai base. (image credit: www.pcf45.com)
One of the very first articles posted on this site was a comprehensive piece titled “UFOs during the Vietnam War,” which included both first and second-hand accounts collected by me and evidence from documents and official statements released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These included the famous October 1973 remarks by General George S. Brown, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, that UFOs sighted in Vietnam “weren’t called UFOs. They were called enemy helicopters.”
Now, thanks to the blog of Dr. David Clarke – Folklore and Journalism, a professor of journalism at Sheffield Hallam University who works closely with the British Ministry of Defence on their periodic release of UFO files, I found a new fascinating UFO case reported during the Vietnam War. This one is particularly interesting because it involves an apparent landing of an egg-shaped object on January 6, 1969 at a major American military base in Indochina, the Chu Lai harbor on the China Sea about 40 miles southeast of Da Nang. It’s also quite significant that the discovery was made by Joe Gillette, an archivist with the U.S. National Archives and reported in their official blog titled, “The Text Message – The Blog of the Textual Archives Services Division at the National Archives.” The title of the piece written by Gillette, posted on June 6, 2011, is quite telling: “No Enemy Contact, but Alien Contact…”
“shaped like a big egg”
Joe Gillette’s blog begins his article by explaining that, “during the Vietnam War, American army commands maintained daily journals documenting assorted events. Most entries were relatively mundane, documenting staff meetings, personnel travel, incoming or outgoing messages, and the like. Some were more administratively significant, such as changes in command, the awarding of medals, or the filing of reports. Naturally, many contain descriptions of combat against the enemy. Then there are entries that more closely resemble an episode of the X-Files than a war movie.”
One particular entry in this “X-Files” category appeared in “the January 6, 1969 daily journal of the 23rd Infantry Division’s Chu Lai Defense Command.” Gillette adds that “base defenses included a system of numbered observation towers ringing the base” which “routinely reported anything unusual or potentially threatening to the base.” Precisely at 0152 (1:52 am), one of these Towers, “Twr 72,” made the following tantalizing entry on that day’s journal records:
Twr 72 rpts [reports] object flying into their area about 700m infront [sic] of them, AZ 310°. Object came in slow over the ASP [Ammunition Supply Point] & landed. When object moves it has a glowing light. It is about 15 – 20 ft across. It is shaped like a big egg. Control twr rpts their radar did not pick anything up. Object also does not seem to have any sound to it when it moves.
Gillette adds that “the only logged follow-up action was notification of the Duty Officer” and that no other data about the incident is contained in the records. “Peculiarly (if one is conspiratorially-inclined),” he continues, “the journals for the next two days, January 7 & 8, are missing.” Dr. Clarke elaborates a bit further on the mystery of the missing records in his blog: “Those looking for evidence of a cover-up will no doubt find significance in the fact that journals for the next two days, 7 & 8 January, are missing. But past experience has shown that ‘missing files’ are often only significant when seen in hindsight (the military regularly lose bits of paper, as everyone else does).”
Gillette’s analysis of the case
Joe Gillette ends his piece by analyzing all the possible conventional explanations that could have triggered such an unusual report, such as flares or drug use, although he doesn’t find them particularly convincing. His analysis is worth quoting in full:
Possible conventional explanations for the sighting exist. Tracer rounds and flares both create illumination. But tracer rounds don’t float to the ground and certainly aren’t shaped like an ‘egg’, and flares might float to the ground, but aren’t egg shaped either. Additionally, drug use by soldiers, particularly by 1969, was a known problem in Vietnam. But two or more soldiers typically manned these towers. Assuming this was a drug-induced vision, it’s difficult to imagine they each experienced the same hallucination, although if they were observing something they could not readily identify, one might have convinced the others they were seeing a UFO. Boredom too could have resulted in a bout of creative storytelling, but if discovered, the soldiers risked disciplinary action. So while potential conventional explanations exist for both the sighting and the report, nothing in the journals tells us which of those might have been at work.
The truth may be out there, but it isn’t in these records.
Although the log entry is quite short, some of the characteristics described do match those of UFOs reported elsewhere in the literature. The unnamed soldiers state the object was flying slow just before it landed and that it had “a glowing light.” It was not picked up by radar (common in many UFO cases and now available also in military stealth technology) and it didn’t make any sound—common again in countless UFO sightings. The object’s egg-shape, if not the most typical, can certainly be found in ufological records. One famous case that comes to mind is the Socorro, New Mexico, landing of April 1964 reported by policeman Lonnie Zamora, which was definitely shaped like an egg, and there are many others in the UFO annals.
Chu Lai aircraft service area, 1965. (image credit: U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation)
The Chu Lai base
Another blog titled “Chu Lai Coastal Division 16” provides some basic facts and history about this key wartime facility: “The primary US Navy activity at Chu Lai was the logistics support for both the Marine Air Units and Army Americal Division. This was accomplished by material offloading of supplies from LST and other small cargo vessels proceeding from the larger ports at Da Nang, Qui Nhon and Cam Ranh Bay. The provisions for the Swift Boat contingent formed a minor portion of that material support.” As for its history, the blog informs that “the words ‘Chu Lai’ are not Vietnamese, but a Mandarin Chinese abbreviation for the family name of US Marine General Victor Krulak, who selected the area around Dung Quat Bay for construction of an air field and base to supplement the major facility at Da Nang. When told by his staff that the area had no name associated with it on the maps of the day, he immediately decided that it would be called Chu Lai. Rank has its privileges. The new Vietnamese government has continued to maintain both the facility and its name.”
A “Unit History” of the 198th Infantry Brigade adds that Chu Lai served, among other things, as “the headquarters of the Americal Division. The sprawling base complex utilizes some 17,000 men and provide the necessary logistical support to the infantrymen in the field.” The 23rd Infantry Division, better known as the Americal Division of the U.S. Army, traced its history to World War II when it was created in 1942 in the jungles of the island of New Caledonia, later playing a key role during the Vietnam War.
View of the U.S. Marine Short Airfield for Tactical Support (SATS) at Chu Lai, Vietnam, in 1965. (image credit: U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation) - Entrance to PX, in 1967. (image credit: U.S. Signal Corp)
Whether we’ll get additional data on this fascinating 1969 landing incident in Chu Lai is probably unlikely, but hopefully some of the witnesses (the record is unclear but there must have been at least a few) will come forward at some point, or perhaps additional documents will be discovered. However, the mere fact that this case of “Alien Contact” was discovered and posted in an official website of the National Archives is already quite significant. Let’s hope that other UFO incidents will continue to be posted in the future. - by Andrew Huneeus - openminds.tv
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