I started keeping tabs on site traffic in August 2007. As of today, Phantoms and Monsters has received just over 4 million site visits and 5.8 million site page views! That's a remarkable number for a simple blog that was started in order to record a few of my personal paranormal experiences.
Also the daily newsletter has been mailed 8.5 million times since it started in 2007. Our current daily subscribers numbers are over 6400 currently! That doesn't include daily feed subscribers and those new readers who find us. When it is all said and done, approximately 12,000 people read Phantoms and Monsters each day.
I want to sincerely thank all of you for your support. Regardless of the praise and opportunities that the blog has brought my way, I still have the readers to thank for it...Lon
MUFON CMS - Pennsylvania: This is what I can remember: About 7 years old, in a neighbors basement. Home owner comes down the steps, husband right behind her. "When did you come in here?" Questions just kept coming. "How did you get in here?" "Everyone is looking for you!" I look up at basement window. Dark out. Panic! I'm supposed to be home before dark! "Go right home, your mother's very worried!" I never said a word to these people. I just run home as fast as I can. And I'm terrified of the dark! Upon arriving home, I am confronted by my Mom. She is beyond upset. Starts hitting me with a yard stick. Mostly I remember her words: "We've been looking for you for hours!" I was sent straight to bed. A 7 year old little girl, in complete confusion about what had just happened. I don't remember any follow up questions. The events of that evening tucked away in my memory. And life just went on. However, unexplainable experiences and sightings of UFO's continue to this day. Finally needed to get this out. Just telling it now makes me feel shaken inside. I've known they are real since childhood. My question now is "What are their intentions?" You don't need to contact me. Proof doesn't matter anymore. That they have always been in some of our lives is a given. It isn't easy to live with though.
Buzz joins the ‘Dark’ side
What’s up with Buzz Aldrin? Hate to end a sentence with a preposition, but is there anything this guy won’t pimp for?
I hadn’t planned to watch “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” anyway, but godawmighty, after reading a take on this mess from feisty blogger Robbie Graham, Michael Bay’s sci-fi stinker about what the Apollo 11 astronauts really found on the moon is apparently even worse than the trailers let on.
But what renders this one mildly noteworthy is a jack-in-the-box cameo by Aldrin, who tells audiences he and Neil Armstrong found ET robotics up yonder and were sworn to secrecy.
This is a wet dream for the conspiracy freaks who’ve been claiming for 40 years that the moon landings were staged. But to really appreciate the irony of Buzz’s latest move, let’s flash back to 2002, when he was confronted by a screwball accusing him of lying about his Apollo 11 mission. Continue reading at Billy Cox - heraldtribune
Here Be Monsters
I'm not sure who or what is more monstrous: the smug sceptics or the scant cryptids.
Let me explain. Having interviewed Debbie Martyr (research conservationist with Flora and Fauna International) 12 years ago about her apparent sighting of the primate cryptid the orang pendek in Sumatra and more recently interviewing ape expert Ian Redmond on his research into sasquatch/big foot (supported by David Attenborough and Jane Goodall), over the years I have acquired a fascination for primate cryptids. So I was eager to attend a recent lecture at the Zoological Society London entitled "Cryptozoology: science or pseudoscience?".
Henry Gee, a senior editor at Nature looking and behaving like a jovial, off-duty roadie dressed in grubby T shirt and ruby crocs, chaired the event in which Drs Michael Woodley, Charles Paxton and Darren Naish presented their crypto data.
Paxton reminded us that atmospheric electrical disturbances such as sprites, blue jets and elves were only identified in the 1980s and 1990s when they were photographed. Until then, anecdotal reports of flashes of light above the clouds were frequently ignored. Scientists used to dismiss accounts of meteorites as paranormal fantasy and poured scorn on eyewitness descriptions from lucky survivors of rogue waves – until satellite images in the 1990s confirmed their existence. The mountain gorilla wasn't believed to exist by Western science until two were shot dead in 1902, and the bonobo was not credited with being a unique species until 1930. In the past 20 years, 70 species of primate have been newly described, including a Vietnamese gibbon and the Bili ape: a large, sub-species of chimp from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2009, a Papua New Guinean crater yielded up a cat-sized species of woolly rat, among other previously undiscovered creatures.
In an age of satellites and robotic submersibles, it's easy to assume, with a "been there done that" attitude, that we know all there is to know about Earth. Clearly nature is far from being fully understood by science, and yet some sceptics persist in contemptuously sneering at almost everything outside of their immediate knowledge. With their high-systemised inability to tolerate newness, they stymie open scientific debate, bully original thinkers and drive away those with fascinating new data on unknown species.
I was sad to witness this and their non-reflective guffawing at ZSL? Paxton and Naish seemed particularly conscious of this spiked criticism and made a point of distancing themselves from misleading and bad science. Nothing wrong with that, but they were so ardent in this respect that the friend I was with mistakenly thought the panel were themselves anti-cryptozoology.
The three speakers focused their statistical analysis on sea monsters, Paxton saying that he prefers the term monster to cryptid. He also wanted to assure the audience that, "taxpayers have no fear, your money is not spent on crypto research, scientists do this in their spare time." Paxton's talk underscored the fact that anomalies should be actively pursued and science should be about wonderment.
But how should science deal with low-frequency phenomena that might well be real? One approach is to break witness reports down and analyse interesting properties. To illustrate, Paxon used his data of "initial reported distance" from sea monsters given by witnesses aboard boats. Significantly, initial sighting are usually reported close to the boat. Paxton wasn't sure why this might be. I would suggest that it is because witnesses do not know what they do not know – they have to see it close-up to be confident they are witnessing something unexpected. An unknown creature seen at a distance could be dismissed as a dolphin or a piece of wood. Initial sightings of terrestrial cryptids also tend to be at close proximity, and again the same factor may well apply.
Naish addressed the "prehistoric survivor paradigm". Some 65m years ago, during the late cretaceous, the coelacanth, the plesiosaur and many other species disappeared from the fossil record during a mass extinction. But in 1938 and again in 1999 two species of coelacanth were discovered. This Lazarus-like survival of the coelacanth gives confidence to those who suggest a long-necked surviving plesiosaur swims in our lochs and oceans. As a palaeontologist Naish was able to explain how the vertebrae of plesiosaurs could not move in the flexible, swan-like motion often described in reported sightings. But he believes this is a case of wrong classification rather than an indication that sea monsters do not exist. We were reminded of the new Indonesian species of ray and shark and the two recently identified (1991/2002) species of beaked whale, inhabiting a deep-sea niche: the deep sea and its inhabitants are barely understood.
During the Q&A an elderly sceptic quipped: "Some people say they've seen aliens and have even talked to them!" The panel trod an uneasy path as they attempted to accommodate these sorts of jibes while keeping on track.
The three speakers confirmed that their modelling indicates there are between 10 and 50 large species of marine animals yet to be described. They were also in agreement that marine sampling methods for cryptids must be established and remain constant.
For those readers left wanting more, the Weird Weekend is the biggest gathering of cryptozoologists in the world, held in Devon in August. Naish will again be speaking. - Carole Jahme - guardian
Cryptozoology: The First Documented Case?
By Javier Resines - Any discipline worth its salt has a more or less well defined point of departure, based upon a specific event or the presence of a given researcher or any other reason. This situation can be hard to pin down at times, as can be the case with cryptozoology, where there is no definite date that marks the start of this science. The first photo of Nessie, perhaps? Or the publication of the first book by Heuvelmans? Each individual probably has a starting point in his or her own head.
It is not our intention to kick off a debate on the subject, which we find absurd. What we want to show is that if there has indeed been a starting point with regard to the study of unknown animals, it occurred in an earlier age. A cryptozoological prehistory, so to speak, in which spectacular cases involving strange animals occurred, even if there were no researchers to disseminate the phenomenon explicitly.
And apropos of this, we have perhaps come across what may be the first documented cryptozoological case in the history of Spain. Our reporter of the age is none other than Roman author and scientist Gaius Plinius Cecilius Secundus (23-79 B.C.E.) better known as Pliny the Elder. His vast work Historia Naturalis, which collects all of the knowledge of his age with regard to zoology, botany and other sciences in 37 volumes, mentions the case of a “polyp” that killed off all the fish in the wells of Carteia, a city adjacent to modern San Roque, in Cadiz, where the salted meat and fish works of the time were housed.
Pliny mentions an item found by another Roman naturalist from the previous century – Trebius Niger in the third volume of his Natural History, in which he writes:
[...] for he affirmed, that at Carteia there was one of these Polypi, which used commonly to go forth of the sea, and enter into some of their open cesterns and vauts among their ponds and stewes; wherein they kept great sea-fishes, and otherwhiles would rob them of their salt-fish, and so go his waies againe: which hee practised so long, that in the end he gat himselfe the anger and displeasure of the masters and keepers of the said ponds and cesterns, with his continuall and immeasurable filching: wherupon they staked up the place and empalled it round about, to stop all passage thither. But this thiefe gave not over his accustomed haunt for all that, but made meanes by a certaine tree to clamber over and get to the fore-said salt-fish; and never could he be taken in the manner nor discovered, but that the dogges by their quicke sent found him out and bayed at him: for as he returned one night toward the sea, they assailed and set upon him on all sides, and thereiwth raised the foresaid keepers, who were affrighted at this so sodaine an alarme, but more at the straunge sight which they saw. For first and foremost this Polype fish was of an unmeasurable and incredible bignesse: and besides, hee was besmeared and beraied all over with the brine and pickle of the foresaid salt-fish, which made him both hideous to see to, and also to stinke withall most strongly. Who would ever have looked for a Polype there, or taken knowledge of him by such markes as these? Surely they thought no other, but that they had to deale and encounter with some monster: for with his terrible blowing and breathing that he kept, he drave away the dogges, and otherwhiles with the ends of his long stringed winding feet, he would lash and whip them; somtimes with his stronger clawes like arms he rapped and knocked them well and surely, as it were with clubs. In summe, he made such good shift for himselfe, that hardly and with much adoe they could kill him, albeit he received many a wound by trout-speares which they launced at him. Well, in the end his head was brought and shewed to Lucullus for a wonder, and as bigge it was a good round hogshead or barrell that would take and containe 15 Amphores: and his beards (for so Trebius tearmed his clawes and long-stringed feet) carried such a thicknes and bulke with them, that hardly a man could fathom one of them about with both his armes, such knockers they were, knobbed and knotted like clubs, and withall 30 foot long. The concavities within them, and hollow vessels like great basons, would hold four or five gallons apeece; and his teeth were answerable in proportion to the bignes of his bodie. The rest was saved for a wonder to be seen, and waighed 700 pound weight. (Translation of the 9th Book of Pliny by Philemon Holland, 1601)
The description given to us by Roman chroniclers suggest that the animal could have been a giant squid more than any other species of Cephalopod. The large tentacles, supposedly in excess of nine meters long, and the monster’s morphological characteristics, appear to suggest this.
Of what there can be no doubt whatsoever is the particular commotion caused by this event among spectators and citizens alike, who were later able to see this remains of this authentic predecessor of the mythic Kraken. - Scott Corrales - Inexplicata
Humans programmed to believe the supernatural
Forty separate studies (both analytical and empirical) conducted in 20 countries conclude that humans are predisposed to believe in gods and in afterlife.
Both theology and atheism are reasoned responses to what is a basic impulse of the human mind, the studies suggest.
Fiftyseven researchers, led by Oxford University experts, carried out the studies for three years, representing a diverse range of cultures.
They wanted to ascertain if concepts such as gods and an afterlife are entirely taught or are basic expressions of human nature, according to an Oxford statement.
The theology project led by Justin Barrett, from the Centre for Anthropology and Mind, drew on a range of disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and theology.
The findings are to be published in two separate books by psychologist Barrett in "Cognitive Science, Religion and Theology" and "Born Believers: The Science of Childhood Religion".
Studies by Emily Reed Burdett and Justin Barrett, suggest that children below five years find it easier to believe in some superhuman properties than to understand similar human limitations.
Children aged three believe that their mother and god would always know the contents, but by the age of four, they start understanding that their mothers are not all-seeing and all-knowing. However, they may continue to believe in all-seeing, all-knowing supernatural agents.
Experiments involving adults, conducted by Jing Zhu from Tsinghua University (China), and Natalie Emmons and Jesse Bering from The Queen's University, Belfast, suggest that people across many different cultures instinctively believe that some part of their mind, soul or spirit lives on after death. - IBN
Regarding the Sierra Kills, in which two Bigfoots were shot and killed in Plumas County, California, in November 2010, new evidence has surfaced casting doubt on the shooter’s story.
The shooter claims that he went back two weeks later and dug through the snow to find a 7 inch long by 4 inch wide by 3 inch deep “Bigfoot steak.”
Many people have suggested that finding such a huge chunk of a dead Bigfoot in the snow two weeks later is dubious.
Bigfoot steak was carved off a body with a knife. We now have information that Dr. Melba Ketchum, who is running the DNA project, said that the Bigfoot steak seemed to have been carved off of a dead body with either a knife or some sort of tool. This suggests that the story about the shooter finding it two weeks later in the snow is not true. Instead, the logical suggestion is that the shooter carved it off the body before he left that day or took one or more of the bodies or parts with him and carved it off later.
Shooter wants amnesty from prosecution. Sources on Taxidermy.net continue to believe that the shooter took one or more of the bodies or parts of them with him that day and that he continues to hold evidence. They say that unless he gets an amnesty for prosecution for shooting the Bigfoots, he will disappear all of the evidence. I support giving the shooter amnesty. In fact, I put an attorney in touch with him for just that reason.
Erickson/Ketchum Project chaos. Ketchum and Adrian Erickson continue to have a huge falling out. For a long time, she was not even returning his phone calls. This is all because he won’t sign one of her fancy new NDA’s that gives her all the rights and him none. However, she did call him recently because she was upset at all of the leaks and was wondering who was behind them.
Ketchum paper accepted for peer review? According to a comment on Cryptomundo, Ketchum submitted her paper to a journal for peer review in early December 2010 and the journal accepted it early February 2011. That means that the paper meets the required scientific standards for the journal, and that, even if some reviewers have critical comments during the peer review process, it will still be accepted with some sort of changes, ranging from major to minor. If true, this is excellent news.
However, on June 11, 2011, Rich Germeau of the Olympic Project stated on a forum that the paper had not been sent out yet. So the situation is very confused.
However, if the commenter is correct and Germeau is wrong then the Ketchum paper is in much better shape than I thought it was.
Bigfoot steak DNA tests positive for a Bigfoot. On a recent radio show, JC Johnson and Derek Randles suggested obliquely that DNA tests on the Bigfoot steak had tested positive as coming from an actual Bigfoot.
Is the Sierra Kills story a hoax? Some people say that the Sierra Kills story is a hoax. They believe that the shooter hoaxed the story by making it up. He went to Taxidermy.net and made up a big story about killing two Bigfoots. Then he fooled the Olympic Project into believing his story. Then he somehow hoaxed the Bigfoot steak sent to Ketchum’s lab, though in order to do this, he would have had to have cut a slice off of a very hairy human cadaver.
Sources who believe in this say that there could be various reasons why he would do this. For one, they say he is an extreme redneck and an ultra rightwinger who supposedly did not believe in Bigfoot before. They say this is just the sort of person who creates a Bigfoot hoax. They also feel that he is a highly disreputable and unreliable person, and this sheds doubt on his tale.
In addition, according to a thread on Taxidermy.net, two Black bears, a mother and a cub, were reportedly shot dead near the Dixie Mountain Game Refuge at the beginning of November 2010. The sources suggest that the shooter shot a female bear and her cub and turned that story into the shooting of two Bigfoots. Adding weight to this, the Nevada Department of Fish and Game, asked about the Sierra Kills story, said that it was two bears that were killed and not two Bigfoots.
As far as the Bigfoot steak, sources say that judging from the shooter’s character, he would not be below slicing a piece off the thigh of a human cadaver.
I don’t believe that this story is a hoax.
Shooter very religious, a polarizing personality. We have more information on the shooter. He moved from Texas to another state, apparently with his family, at at least age 16 and has lived in this state ever since. He is extremely religious – a fundamentalist Christian. I have seen a photo of him at age 16 after killing two bucks. His hair is dyed punk rock flame red and he has a pro-Christian t-shirt on.
I’ve been accused of harping on the shooter’s character. It’s true that I don’t like him, and a lot of others don’t either. However, he has a wife who loves him and a wide circle of friends.
Some people are just bad. Everyone agrees. Not so with this guy.
The shooter instead is more of a polarizing figure, something like his hero George Bush. The very things that those who don’t like him hate about him are what make a lot of others think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. As he says on his webpage: “I’m the type of guy you either love or hate. I’m fine either way.” This is a much better way of looking at his character as opposed to flat out saying he’s a bad guy.
Possible Sierra Kills government coverup. Supposing that the Sierra Kills actually happened, the Nevada wildlife officials’ statements is evidence of the government coverup that I have long said must be happening in the realm of Bigfoot.
Possible government investigation into the Sierra Kills and the Bigfoot steak. A new piece by Loren Coleman reveals some very strange emails he has gotten about the Sierra Kills. He has received some emails from folks claiming to have some sort of government connection. They say that federal investigators are closely watching the Sierra Kills investigation. They are monitoring the web forums and blogs and they know who all the players are and what their roles are. When they feel that laws have been broken, they will act.
What is interesting about all of this is that it suggests that the Sierra Kills may have actually happened and that it was not a hoax. Or at least the government seems to think that it happened, or that something happened anyway, as the emails are confusing.
This all smells of Men in Black stuff, but I have said for a long time that MIB are involved in a coverup of Bigfoot evidence.
A Bigfoot is found dead in a man’s yard in Washington state in 2003. He calls the police, but instead of police showing up, a black helicopter lands in his yard and MIB’s get out armed with automatic weapons. They order the man into his home, load the Bigfoot into the copter and fly away.
A sheriff’s deputy responds to a Bigfoot killed by the side of the road in Ohio. He radios for help, and backup shows up. They rope off the scene. Then state police show up. Then the National Guard shows up. Then a black van pulls up, two US soldiers get out, and they cart the Bigfoot to the van and drive away.
There are many more such stories. MIB’s actually exist, but hardly anyone talks about them. Guys dressed all in black, black helicopters, black vans – that’s all military intelligence, top secret, classified. I understand that a black helicopter was used in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Here are the emails about the Sierra Kills case and Ketchum’s lab using the Bigfoot steak:
I did hear from one of my retired federal investigator sources who still works for them as a consulting evidence expert. He told me essentially they know what is going on and are watching the situation. They have all the forum reports, know where the supposed samples came from, who is and who is not involved and what roles they’re playing.
I get the feeling from him that national security is somehow involved. I don’t know how except perhaps it might have something to do with release or misuse of technology that’s considered vital (educated guess). This is a new area in advanced research and puts a real dent in the how much anyone working on new technology can say or release in any form.
Beyond this he can tell me nothing in specific except that when and if they decide laws have been broken they will act. I know he holds a Top Secret clearance with compartmentalizations. He has multiple degrees in scientific fields and consults for several agencies on evidentiary issues. My work for him was routine but he’s really an interesting person.
He made no reference to any hoax other than to say they know what’s going on and who’s responsible. They will act if and when they decide the situation warrants it. It isn’t quite as bad as portrayed in the Indiana Jones movies but almost so.
And this, also:
I suspect there’s more beyond this supposed hoax than we’ll ever know. This business with the so called Dr. Ketchum smells like another stinking hoax and you’ve done a good job of reporting like you did in 2008. However, this time I’m not buying into it. I don’t know what’s up but when one of the people I’ve done work for in my past government careers tells me for my own good to stay out of a mess I should take his advice.
It’s an interesting twist with the feds watching the whole deal and I wonder what’s up and why but like I said when a friend says stay out I stay out. I suspect that we’ll never know the whole story. So much information is hidden in the name of national security that it’s ridiculous. - Robert Lindsay
NOTE: I've been digging into this controversy since the 'leak' was made public. As a result and in general terms, I believe the following:
- The 'Sierra Kills' story is most likely a fabrication being used to cover-up an earlier discovery.
- Blood and tissue from an unknown hominid was collected from another location in the United States.
- The initial results from at least 2 separate DNA tests indicated a distinct link that may have national security implications.
Take it for what it's worth but I have my reasons for these statements. There are a lot of players involved in this controversy. As well, the Erickson Project 'leak' seemed a bit too strategic. The suspicion and aversion within the Bigfoot community along with the recent well-publicized hoaxes adds fuel to the fire...thus creating a consummate atmosphere that can be used to disperse misinformation. I don't like to second-guess cryptid claims unless there is an obvious enhancement of the facts and/or embellished evidence from a witness. Nonetheless I smell a cover-up and detect an 'end-around' with the 'Sierra Kills' claim. Lon
This incident occurred in October of 2010 in Northern California. The persons involved will be known as Hunter 1, and Hunter 2. Hunter 1 is the shooter. Hunter 2 was driving the vehicle.
While driving down a dirt road looking for bear, hunter 1 and hunter 2 were noticing large piles of feces along their route. They commented on the amount they were seeing, and at the strange nature of it. They were having a rough time figuring out what was responsible. To big for Cougar, and didn't appear to be bear. It is important to note that they were hunting at considerable elevation. It's also important to note that they were legally hunting, with appropriate bear tags in a legal hunting area.
As the truck came around a corner they both noticed a large hair covered figure standing approx 80 to 100 yards in a meadow off to the side of the road. ( On the Bigfoot forum I previously said it was off to the left, that was my mistake, it was actually off to the right of the road.) The figure was standing on two legs with it's arms above it's head. It took roughly eight to ten steps toward the vehicle. The arms were moving a little either because it was walking, or it was intensionally swaying them. It was dirty grey in color with some black mixed in. The figure was very large. Hunter 1 decided it had to be a bear. It was completely hair covered, and from that distance good definition was impossible. Hunter 1 got out of the truck and leaned against the door aiming his riffle at the figure. He does admit that it looked strange but in his mind it had to be a bear. He did not believe in Bigfoot at that time. Hunter 2 was now looking at the figure and said " I'm not sure that's a bear". The shot was fired hitting it's mark in the chest region. The figure went down. It got back up immediately and started running on two legs, and then on all fours. It went from two legs to four legs a couple of times before it left view. A short time later they were very sure they heard it crash into the brush, although they never did confirm this. They couldn't believe what they were seeing.
They exited the truck and started across the meadow still wondering what just happened. When they reached the spot where it was standing they noticed movement in the nearby brush. Two smaller figures appeared from the brush and started circling around their position. The smaller ones were totally hair covered, but were much more black in color. They would go back and forth from two legs to four. They were exhibiting some type of chatter back and forth to each other. Hunter 1 and Hunter 2 described them as a cross between a gorilla and a bear. They said that they had very large heads, almost too big for their bodies. They also stated that the little ones had a much flatter face than a bear. They spent as much time on two legs as they did on four. The smaller figures began getting closer and closer, at on point, just a few yards. One of them climbed up a small outcrop above hunter 1. Hunter 1 started to get the feeling he might be attacked. He made a quick decision, turned and fired. The figure went down and rolled right down to Hunter 1's location. He lifted it up, and then placed it in the brush. They then decided that they needed to leave, now.
I, Derek Randles was put in touch with the hunters about two weeks later. I interviewed them both by phone extensively, and separately. I found that their story matched perfectly with no inconsistency's. I could also tell that they were natural and not rehearsed. Consequently, I've spent many many hour talking with hunter 1 one about all aspects of the story, and I completely believe him.
I then urged hunter 1 to return to the site and look around for any evidence from the incident. Upon returning they were greeted with roughly two feet of snow. The little one was not found. They concentrated their efforts in the area where they thought they heard the larger one go down. After digging though the snow for many hours they were able to find a piece of flesh, greasy fat and hair, but no body. The flesh and hair matched the color of the larger one exactly. White gray hair with some black in it.
I then asked him to forward a small piece of the flesh to Dr. Ketchum to have it analyzed for the current DNA study she's involved in. I cannot speak to the results at this time due to an NDA I've signed, but I will say that I 100% believe the story. Read into that what you will.
The site has been under snow since last November. Further study of the site is ongoing. To date, no bodies have been recovered or found. If and when a body or remains is discovered, the appropriate authority's will be notified.
The Olympic Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum do not advocate or condone the killing of a Sasquatch to advance science. That being said, if this sample can help with species verification and protection, then some good can come from a unfortunate incident. It's also important to note that this is but one of over a hundred samples the Olympic Project has contributed to this study.
Updates on this story will be available on this web site, and the story in it's entirety will be told by Hunter 1 when the time is right.
NOTE: what is your assessment of the update? Does it help verify the claim or does it raise more questions. If there was flesh, why would there be no bone or even fragments? Is it one body or two (or three)? Does the scenario sound plausible to you?
UPDATE: I have been given very credible assurance that Derek Randles' account is, for the most part, factual. I won't state more at this time but I am grateful for the confidence that has been afforded me...Lon
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I have seen this creature very close to Jasper, Arkansas. I have lived in the Arkansas Ozarks for over 20 years. I never knew what it was until recently doing research. And I do believe I know where they are. I first had visual sight of one was off HWY 65 on HWY 256, heading towards Welcome Home. When I saw it I couldn't believe my eyes, I had never seen anything like it, what shocked me the most and what was most memorable was the horns coming out of it's forehead, very much cat like, but it was it's face with it's horns that really shocked me. I drove as if in shock from a car crash not believing what I saw, until I started doing research on the subject. For over 10 years, in a remote region close to Mountain View, Arkansas, you can hear the howl every single night, usually after midnight. I never knew it was until I did the research, it is very elk like, almost like a horn, but definitely a howl. If anyone is brave enough I can show you where exactly to go to hear this, and where I made visual contact.
I also received several responses to my post Witness: The North Georgia Mothman, including the following email that describes a Mothman-like entity in the boroughs of New York City:
Sir - These are true experiences from my 60 year lifetime of strange experiences. I send you these that they may help me get in contact with the others that have had encounters with these things during the times I did. There were originally they posted at my first website in the early 90s. These are both about giant bird like entities that I encountered. The first one was when I was just a child circa 1958 -1968, then the another when I was in my early 20s. Both of which I had witnesses for.
Though I mainly speak about my UFO encounters there are other things that I experienced during my life time that are just as weird. I will start with a creature me and my brother Ralph called depending on how it appeared at the time it manifested different names. It was called Mr. Gonzwell , A Gonzwell , or just Gonzwell. This was during the time we where living at that hated tenement 1530 Brook Ave.
We both were very young and again told this thing was just a nightmare so it was relegated to the status of a Dream Demon as with all things I write I do not ask for belief for that does not really matter to me I know what I say here is true so what others may believe is of no importance to me.
I write this with hopes that some one reading it may have seen this creature and will get in contact with me. These encounters occurred from 1958 thru 1968. I will list here some of this creatures appearances and behavior.
Gonzwell was a large creature of human dimensions. It looked like a combination of a man, a bat and a bird. It was covered with a fine dark gray rat like fur and had huge owl like multi-spectrum iridescent eyes. If you looked into its eyes it would paralyze you. It had a eagle like beak, and huge bat like wings. The Entity seemed to be able to stretch its neck and shape shift. It would sometimes first appear as a large black bird, crow, or raven. At times it appeared as a tall silhouette of a man wearing a long black cape, or poncho wearing a wide brimmed bowler hat he only spoke when in this form. He would with anger speak of what man kind was doing to the world. Only in this form did we call it Mr. Gonzwell. It seemed mainly to come during the warmer months.
I seemed to be the main focus of this creature but Ralph had several encounters with it also. It like all the other creatures encountered while we live there would come to, and through the window of our bed room and stand there staring in, calling to you in your head to look at it. It seemed to be able to stretch is neck like an ostrich for at times it would seem not to move from its place in the window yet be able to get its face right up into your face.
It once told me this place was its home and it did not like what had been done to it. I was a kid I thought it meant it once lived in our apartment and died and was a ghost or a spirit that was haunting the alley like the other things that came to the window.
As with everything that happened to me I told my mother of this creature and she said it was just a dream but told me how I could defeat these monsters in my dreams.
She said to just tell them to leave you alone or you would wake up and that would destroy it. That worked fine in my nightmares and for awhile the household was able to finally get through a night of uninterrupted sleep without me waking them up screaming at the top of my lungs.
Then one night while my two aunts Dutes (Ruth) and Bob (Barbara) were visiting I had a "dream" encounter with Gonzwell. In it I found myself setting in the living room of our apartment alone with the shades up at night time. Our living room had two windows separated by a twelve foot wall at night with the shades partially lowered it made me think the house was watching me through these two huge darkened eyes faking sleep while in truth it was peaking at me.
Normally I would have immediately pull them all the way down to close these eyes. Suddenly in this dream the shades were up to the tops of the window and I could feel the cold watching on me coming from them. I went to pull the shades down but knew being short I'd have to stand up in the window to do it. But for me to do this meant that any one or anything standing out in the darkness of the roof would see me as I did so but I could not take the stare of darkness coming through them. As I started toward the window, the radio came on, and a male voice on it said "Gonzwell has been spotted in your neighborhood what ever you do, do not draw the shades it's the only way he can enter your home." Now I was in a pretty fine mess. Leave them up and let the terrible watching continue or pull them down and invite Gonzwell to enter.
My nightmares had finally reached a new level of cruelty to me one fear was used to force me to face the other. I sat still in that dream for what seemed hours terrified of the darkness watching me through those damned darkened windows yet horrified to draw the shades. Stupid nightmare huh? I know it sounds like that but if you knew the trauma I had and have of darkened windows you would understand the fear caused by the thought that some one or something was out there in the darkness watching me. That was and is still a deep terror I deal with to this day, though at least I can now walk to a darkened window and pull the shades with out almost dropping dead from terror. But to continue......
Finally if just to bring end to it I ran over and lowered the shade of one of the windows. A black spot appeared on it and began to grow until it filled it then as if it was a black opened door Gonzwell stepped from it. I quickly pulled the trump card that I had use with success for almost six months by then and screamed at it, "If you do not leave me alone I will wake up and that will destroy you!" "That won't help you now" was its only response and it started toward me. I woke up in bed with my two brothers Ralph laying beside me, and Chuck at the head of the bed.
I wasn't afraid, in fact I was invigorated, I had just defeated the King of the Dream Demons. Then I saw a black spot appear on the drawn window shade which then swelled into the same black doorway I had seen in my dream and through it stepped Mr. Gonzwell who then said, "I told you that would not help you now!" I screamed as loud as I could, "Daddy Daddy there is a man in the room, there is a man in the room!" "Mattie why don't you go in there and see what's the matter with that boy I got work tomorrow." was the only thing I heard him say. "Me?!" I heard my mother say" Didn't you hear him say there was a man in the room, you go in there, your the only other man in the house, I'm getting ready to go under this bed!" That's when came the familiar chorus I hadn't heard for six months or so before then...."Butch turn to the wall close your eyes and go to sleep!!!"
I look back to Gonzwell he was bending over my brother Ralph as if to reach for me.
I must have fainted because the next thing I remember was my mothers screaming, "Oh my GOD!" I sat up and looked in time to see her rushing Ralph out of the room. Then I saw where Ralph had been sleeping was covered with blood. During the night he had a terrible nose bleed. I thought I had hit him in the nose during my nightmare but there was so much blood it covered the corner of the bed where his head had laid.
It was to be years later when I got an inkling of what may have happened that night.
We moved soon after that but that was just because we were finally excepted into the new project that were opened. This was a real happening and have become one of those stories told about the table at every big family gathering. Not one will pass that my Aunt Ruth, Aunt Bob or my Aunt Gerlene who lived down stairs did not ask
"Butch do you still remember that night when you screamed there was a man in your room?" After we moved I thought that was to be the last I saw of Gonzwell but it was not...
I had not seen this creature for years then, when I was about sixteen, one night it entered my dreams and I just lost it and attacked it. In the dream I became a bigger version of myself that I called Posey ( my given name after my grandfather).
He wrestled Gonzwell to the ground and held it down and demanded for it to leave me alone its only response was. "I only want to be your friend." "The only way you can be my friend is to leave me alone " was Poseys answer.
That was the last time I saw Gonzwell and the first and last time I saw the bigger dream version of me called Posey. Years later I heard of the Mothman and read the book. The book describes a creature that was very similar to Gonzwell and to my surprise, and horror it was seen around the time we were having encounters with this Entity.
Years later I found out that the land that our homes were built upon was once sacred Native American burial grounds. Was that what Gonzwell meant about what it did not like about what we did to the land? Could it have been a nature spirit? I was to also learn years later that there is Native American in my blood line from my fathers side my Grand mother was Cherokee. When Ralph left the army he brought me a group of books he said I should read they were the works of Carlos Castaneda.
In the Teachings Of Don Juan I was first to hear of the Nagual form that some times comes out of people, a bigger version of themselves (Posey?). I also learned you had to wrestle and ally in order to defeat it, and was how I had finally defeated Gonzwell.
Then there was its statement once I had pinned it to the floor and would not release it, "I just want to be your friend." was it saying It wanted to be my ally?
Then many years later I learned of implants in the nose. Ralphs bleeding after the night Gonzwell came through the shade. They demolished 1530 Brook Avenue and for some reason have not yet built on the land there.
What was Gonzwell?
I don't know but the only connecting link I can see in these bizarre happenings is that the area in which it manifested was all once considered sacred lands. In fact all the areas I lived in, in the Bronx may have at one time been just that. Could this be the reason for the many kinds of encounters of Entities, sightings of UFOs, and strange phenomena that I had while I was living in the Bronx?
If that is so then why am I still dealing with the same phenomena now that I live in Brooklyn? This is something I think should be looked into by investigators of the paranormal. It's too bad that these lands were destroyed and built upon so long ago but it seems they have maintained their energy field or what ever it is that draws these things despite Man's ignorance, indifference to, and wanton destruction of these one time ancient and sacred sites. What do you think?
NOTE: I'm not going to comment on these revelations but I'm sure the readers would welcome your thoughts...Lon
A teacher at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell may have discovered the first scientific evidence of manufactured debris made on another planet. Furthermore, this debris was found near the location where pieces from an alleged flying saucer were discovered outside of Roswell in 1947.
Frank Kimbler teaches high school level Earth Sciences and college level Geology at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. He says he has always had an interest in UFOs, and actually had his own unusual sighting in his twenties. So when he moved to Roswell, he decided to put his expertise to the test and take a shot at investigating the most famous UFO incident of all time, the crash at Roswell.
He says his main goal was to find some physical evidence. He started by looking at some satellite imagery of the alleged “debris site.” This is where rancher, Mac Brazel, had told the Air Force he had found pieces of the crashed object. Kimbler used these images to enhance the infra-red in order to highlight areas where the ground was disturbed. He was surprised to find an area that was similar to what witnesses had described. It was about ¾ of a mile long and a few hundred feet wide, and facing the direction witnesses had reported. He also noticed this area had very straight edges, something unusual for a natural occurrence.
His next step was to get out there with a metal detector to see what he could find. He began making trips to the site in May 2010. Using a metal detector that could find a piece the size of a BB, three inches below the surface, he would be able to find small pieces, which was exactly his goal. In previous archeological digs in the area they had sifted dirt through screens with holes large enough for very small pieces to fall through. Kimbler figured that if there was anything left it would be very small and perhaps in animal burrows, or ant hills. An ant hill was actually where he found his first piece. Continue reading at openminds.tv
Indonesian volcano erupts as predicted
Mount Lokon, a volcano in central Indonesia, erupted in fury late Thursday, scattering nearby residents and wreaking havoc. But, because volcanologists have become so skilled at predicting eruptions, there were no fatalities. And none are expected.
For more than a week the mountain has been rumbling and scientists warned that an eruption was imminent. In the past such warnings may have gone unheeded until it was too late.
But because geologists now have such advanced prediction equipment at their disposal, and because of vast experience in other parts of the world, this time local officials were able to evacuate the area long before the mountaintop was blown away by the massive explosion.
The last eruption occurred in 1991 and killed a Swiss hiker. Thousands in the area were caught by surprise and hurriedly evacuated. In the latest eruption, advanced seismology equipment alerted seismologists that the volcano was beginning to build up again.
They have been predicting for days now that the volcano, one of nearly 150 in Indonesia, part of an area known as "The Ring of Fire," was about to erupt. The amazing thing is that they were absolutely right.
This means that volcanic eruptions around the world may be predicted with more accuracy and with less false alarms. It's a tremendous success, amidst terrible destruction, and means that many lives may be saved in the future. Lives that, until now, were doomed to end in catastrophe. - gather
Hundreds of bats watch over two of the oldest Portuguese libraries daily, in the University of Coimbra and the palace of Mafra. It's their ability to catch bugs that makes sure the books are kept safe.
Bats are the only mammal capable of flying and only do it during the night, making high-pitched sounds inaudible to the human ear, making it hard to study the 26 species known to exist in Portugal.
One night in 2008, Professor Jorge Palmeirim from the Science Faculty in the University of Lisbon, gathered his sound-equipment and went to King John's Library in Coimbra to try and understand which bats have been using the shelters in that place for over 200 years.
"I couldn't see them, just hear them, but according to the droppings I found, I can say that there live at least 2 different species of bats", says the professor.
In the entire country only one other library is known to shelter bats, in the Palace of Mafra and is thought that their preference has to do with the antique wood paneling.
"Bats are also very conservative when it comes to shelters. They tend to use the same shelters for several generations and prefer old buildings", the professor explains.
In Coimbra there are 200 years-old documents testifying the purchase of the same type of animal hide still in use today to protect the antique tables in King John's Library from bat droppings daily.
"Bats have been living in the library since ever. The library tables are protected with hide every night, because they are also antiques and the bats fly freely, eating the bugs," says the director of King John's Library, Carlos Fiolhais.
In Mafra it's also the bats and the good environment provided by the high ceilings and the 18th century wood paneling, that explain the "excellent state" the books are in, explains librarian Teresa Amaral.
A bat can eat up to 500 bugs daily, so no wonders that they leave the libraries during the night to hunt. The coming and going of the bats is made possible by the holes common to old libraries. - twitlonger
Extinct toad croaks again
A colourful, spindly-legged toad that was believed to be extinct has been rediscovered in the forests of Borneo.
Scientists from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) found three of the missing long-legged Borneo rainbow toads up a tree during a night time search.
The team had spent months scouring remote mountain forests for the species.
Conservation International, which launched its Global Search for Lost Amphibians in 2010, had listed the toad as one of the "world's top 10 most wanted frogs".
Dr Indraneil Das led a team that searched the ridges of the Gunung Penrissen range of Western Sarawak, a boundary between Malaysia's Sarawak State and Indonesia's Kalimantan Barat Province.
After several months of night-long expeditions, one of Dr Das's graduate students eventually spotted a small toad in the high branches of a tree.
"Thrilling discoveries like this beautiful toad, and the critical importance of amphibians to healthy ecosystems, are what fuel us to keep searching for lost species," said Dr Das.
"They remind us that nature still holds precious secrets that we are still uncovering."
Dr Robin Moore of Conservation International, who launched the Global Search for Lost Amphibians, was delighted by the discovery.
He said: "To see the first pictures of a species that has been lost for almost 90 years defies belief.
"It is good to know that nature can surprise us when we are close to giving up hope, especially amidst our planet's escalating extinction crisis.
"Amphibians are at the forefront of this tragedy, so I hope that these unique species serve as flagships for conservation, inspiring pride and hope by Malaysians and people everywhere." - BBC
Police have arrested three brothers in Minnesota for allegedly slaying their mother on Christmas because she wanted to play Yahtzee and they didn't.
The brothers are also accused of hiding their mother's remains, which were discovered buried in the family's backyard last week
Jacob Cobb, 17, allegedly strangled mom Tamara Lee Mason on the living room floor when she suggested that her sons play the board game in the rural town of Alberta last Christmas, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported.
Then he or his brother Andrew, 18, placed a plastic bag over her head and tightened a belt around her neck, TV station KARE said.
Their half-brother Dylan C. Clemens, 25, drove Mason's remains to South Dakota and back to Minnesota, hiding her body for months in a garbage can in a shed until the frozen ground softened enough to bury her in the backyard, police claimed.
"It is very strange," Stevens County Sheriff Randy Willis said Tuesday. "She wanted to play Yahtzee and they didn't. That seemed to be, in their minds, what expedited her sudden demise."
Jacob Cobb was held in juvenile court for second-degree murder while Andrew and Clemens were charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact, the Weekly Vice said. - HP
Carl L. Johnson has been researching unorthodox subjects and investigating reports of unexplained occurrences for the past three decades, beginning with a research team under the auspices of Rhode island College, plus his association with parapsychologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Carl was a member of The Atlantic Paranormal Society for eight years and appeared on the SyFy Channel series Ghost Hunters. Carl is featured on episodes of the Animal Planet series, The Haunted, and The Travel Channel's documentary, Most Terrifying Places in America. Specializing as a demonologist, Carl writes and lectures on related topics, his presentations directed towards analysis of phenomena.
Dina M. Palazini since early childhood has demonstrated an empathic ability to experience the emotional state of human beings and animals, and to sense disembodied presences.
She approaches paranormal investigation with dedication and objectivity. Dina founded Beyond The Veil Paranormal Research in 2009.
Dina has participated in television productions including the Animal Planet series, The Haunted, and Travel Channel's Most Terrifying Places in America.
Our interview included a myriad of paranormal subjects including Carl and Dina's paranormal techniques, past experiences and their search for 'Big Rhodey', a hominid that roams the forests of Rhode Island and New England. Carl describes 'Big Rhodey' as "between 7-8 feet in height, always of massive build with no obvious neck, covered in black, matted hair or fur. It has a saggital crest running over its' cranium, giving the head a conical shape. The eyes under a jutting brow ridge are black and "buggy"; protuberant black lips. Arms are proportionately somewhat longer than a human's. The nose is shriveled and rather flat, though more pronounced than an ape's. Judging from the tracks we've examined, the feet are basically human-like without divergent big toes suited for climbing but include some variations, lacking arch indents suggesting the foot is adapted for considerable weight. Two of the sightings were of a male, as was evinced by the genitalia. This ties in with the "rogue male" hypothesis. From a sighting on Plain Meeting House Road in Scituate related by four eye-witnesses, the creature is described as being roughly six feet in height, judging from roadside foliage at the site, with greenish smears on its fur probably resulting from contact with wet moss, and was observed running, keeping pace with the car."
It was a wonderful discussion that you won't want to miss. We sincerely hope that Carl and Dina can joined again in the near future.
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The name of the witness and some identifying names of the exact location have been changed to protect the principal, as requested.
Mrs. Pat Norris, 28, lives with her husband, Carl, and three children in a suburb of Mobile, Alabama. On the evening of February 3, 1983, she had visited a friend in Mobile and when the friend's husband arrived from work, Mrs. Norris left and headed home on Highway 90. She had turned off the Highway and when about 90 minutes' ride from her home she heard an explosion. At this point, her car began to vibrate and continued to do so, making it difficult for her to steer. She negotiated another turn off the road she was on, brought the car to a halt, opened the car door and leaned out and down and looked to ascertain if the transmission could have been causing the trouble. It had not.
Mrs. N. continued driving and the vibrating stopped. She executed another turn onto another road and saw that the woods ahead were brilliantly illuminated. At first she thought that there was a helicopter search in progress because of the lights and was very frightened. She again stopped the car, and at this point sighted a huge object about l/2 mile west of her. She now feels the explosion she had heard earlier was the object coming down over a clay and gravel pit in the vicinity.
The thing was huge — later estimated to be 7 to 8 stories (70 to 80 feet) high and "six telephone poles" (210 feet) wide, and appeared to be moving toward her at 4-5 miles per hour. The evening had been clear and cool and she had driven with the car windows closed. After the explosion, she noted a "chopping wind, a high-pitched sound and a roaring sound" as well as the vibration. She particularly noted the "whipping of the wind — like a tornado."
When the object reached a point fairly close it stopped and all of the noise stopped. It was completely silent and Mrs. Norris lost all of the fear she had felt before. She then got out of the car to get a better look. She strained to take in every detail — feeling like a child with "unbelievable happiness."
Mr. Norris said that although Pat told him of her sighting after it happened, he didn't realize how important it was to her until she started checking books out of the local library pertaining to UFOs and "related subjects."
She estimates the time duration of the sighting as five minutes. As the craft appeared Mrs. Norris' attention was drawn to a top deck with a long window which she estimates 53 feet and through which she viewed 20 to 30 persons, apparently oblivious of her presence, walking about as if they were changing shift. The wall behind them was curved and white. There were no instruments. The people did not give the appearance of looking out. The beings were pale skinned, dressed in white one piece suits. She judged them to be about our height, five feet 10", quite slender but with chests larger than ours, the top of the head more prominent, no hair, and having the lower half only of ears similar to our own. She noted nothing out of the ordinary about the eyes. What did draw her attention was the great grace of their movements. The atmosphere seemed "sterile."
Below this top deck window was an opaque window. The area around it was all white. This window was in sections and was inset. The glass was tinted.
Below the center of the craft a door was closing from right to left. (See drawing). And she looked onto a street that was dark as if made of asphalt or possible concrete. Off to the side of this street was tubular rectangular equipment. All across the craft she saw rivets and portholes. She said she could see the portholes "inside out" as she peered into the craft. She saw some construction that included "huge I beams like they put ships together with and beams holding the glass in there." The bottom side was tiered upwards. The construction reminds her of a ship or submarine. She said it seemed possible, very likely, it could have been constructed here on Earth.
The very bottom of the craft was formed into a cross made with one foot square mirrors and an observation deck hung down and around the bottom with beings in it. In this case, unlike the top deck, the people were peering out, while overhead she heard a very low pitched but clearly audible (almost like a growl) "announcing" coming from the area of the observation deck now closest to her.
Mrs. Norris said she believes they didn't realize she was there until directly over her position.
As drawn, she saw four pipes projecting six to eight feet out from the craft set in three or four foot square boxes. They had a hollow flange on the end like a tank cannon and she believes "it looked like a weapon."
The craft took a southerly turn as it went on from where she was parked. She said it was staying in the wooded area and did not cross Highway 90 again. Possible it was doubling back towards Irvington and Pascagoula. It lit up the wooded area, and all beneath it as it moved on off. It had white spotlights and to the side blue and red lights that intermingled, pointing up to the clouds and then down to Earth.
She told Mr. Brown she had prayed she might have such a sighting. She had extensive dream material both prior to and after the February 4 incident. The late dreams contain a detailed physical examination and scan of her emotions, which we expect to present later, when prepared.
After the object was out of sight, Pat continued on home, arriving at 1:10 a.m. - APRO - Field Investigators Bob Gribble and Ed O. Brown
NOTE: the U.S. Gulf Coast from Panama City, Florida to New Orleans, LA has been a hotbed of odd UFO activity since 1960's and continues to experience a myriad of anomalous incidents. Though this particular case has not received the notoriety the Gulf Breeze and Pascagoula scenarios have it is still one of the more credible and descriptive sightings. Unfortunately, there have been no follow up investigator reports associated with this case...Lon
Just the Facts? - Stonehenge Crop Circle, Neighbor From Hell and Sea Monster Debate
Mystery of 200ft crop circle within yards of Stonehenge
Some believe they are manmade, others that they are caused by earth's magnetic field. And there are a number who are convinced they are the work of extra-terrestrials
The ancient site is widely considered the most important prehistoric monument in Britain and is proving to be a hot spot for the phenomena this season.
Yesterday's design is just the latest in a spate of crop circles to have appeared in Wiltshire in the past few weeks.
Online enthusiast Eliakis Joseph-Sophia attempted to offer some explanation, believing the that the 'three half moons in the crop and that could indicate plans due to budgets in the third quarter.
'The crop is the other side of the road from Stonehenge. So clearly, the people involved in this crop cannot reach the sacred stones.'
The mystery of how crop circles are created has never been solved although they are widely considered to be an elaborate hoax.
Cynics have claimed the patterns are the work of computer scientists using teams of volunteers.
However crop circle enthusiasts argue there are not enough hours of darkness in summer to allow them to be completed by humans.
Many people believe the patterns are a message from extra-terrestrial lifeforms or even God.
Another theory is that colossal energy is amassed above the earth in the ionosphere and then zapped towards the ground where it creates the crop circle usually on chalky ground in areas traditionally known for their 'energy lines' and mystical past. - dailymail
Argentina: Residents of Rafaela Take UFO Photo With Cellphone
From Scott Corrales: They were recording a child dancing when a strange object appeared in the sky. When they noticed the object's presence, the young women began shouting. "It's a flying saucer" according to a local resident. They claim nothing like this had ever happened to them before.
Two women in the north end of Rafaela claim having recorded a strange object toward the sun exactly as they were recording the youngest brother of one of the women as he danced around.
"I was very scared," said one of the girls to a local news station, and her words subsequently appeared in Rafaela's Diario Uno. A strange object is visible in the video, which appears behind the figure of the dancing boy.
The girls began to shout as soon as they noticed the object. A neighbor said: "it's a flying saucer."
One of the young women stated that she has taken photos in the same way and pointing in the same direction, but that nothing similar had ever happened before. "I believe in these things, but I don't know." - Inexplicata
Wi-Fi–Hacking Neighbor From Hell Sentenced to 18 Years
A Minnesota hacker prosecutors described as a “depraved criminal” was handed an 18-year prison term Tuesday for unleashing a vendetta of cyberterror that turned his neighbors’ lives into a living nightmare.
Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ Wi-Fi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden.
His motive was to get back at his new neighbors after they told the police he’d kissed their 4-year-old son on the lips.
“Barry Ardolf has demonstrated by his conduct that he is a dangerous man. When he became angry at his neighbors, he vented his anger in a bizarre and calculated campaign of terror against them,” (.pdf) prosecutor Timothy Rank said in a court filing. “And he did not wage this campaign in the light of day, but rather used his computer hacking skills to strike at his victims while hiding in the shadows.
“Over months and months, he inflicted unfathomable psychic damage, making the victims feel vulnerable in their own home, while avoiding detection.”
Ardolf’s attorney, Kevin O’Brien, said in a telephone interview that “it was a lengthy sentence for a first-time offender.” The defendant also forfeited his house and computer gear.
Ardolf had no criminal record, but an investigation revealed that he’d also hijacked the Wi-Fi of other neighbors, and terrorized them as well.
A father of two, Ardolf had turned down a 2-year plea agreement last year to charges related to the Biden e-mail. After that, the authorities piled on more charges, including identity theft and two kiddie-porn accusations carrying lifetime sex-offender registration requirements. He pleaded guilty to them all last year.
The bizarre tale began in 2009 when Matt and Bethany Kostolnik moved in the house next door to Ardolf, who at the time was a Medronic computer technician living in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine. On their first day at their new home, the Kostolnik’s then-4-year-old son wandered near Ardolf’s house. While carrying him back next door, Ardolf allegedly kissed the boy on the lips.
“We’ve just moved next door to a pedophile,” Mrs. Kostolnik told her husband.
The couple reported Ardolf to the police, angering their creepy new neighbor. “I decided to ‘get even’ by launching computer attacks against him,” Ardolf later wrote in a letter to the judge.
Rank, the prosecutor, put it not so mildly:
“It was apparently this incident which caused the defendant to begin a calculated campaign to terrorize his neighbors, doing whatever he could to destroy the careers and professional reputations of Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, to damage the Kostolniks’ marriage, and to generally wreak havoc on their lives,” he said.
Ardolf downloaded Wi-Fi hacking software and spent two weeks cracking the Kostolnik’s WEP encryption. Then he used their own Wi-Fi network to create a fake MySpace page for the husband, where he posted a picture of a pubescent girl having sex with two young boys. Under the “about me” section, he wrote:
“I bet my coworker that since I’m a lawyer and a darn great one that I could get away with putting up porn on my site here. I bet that all I have to do is say that there is plausible deniability since anybody could have put this on my site. Like someone hacked my page and added porn without my knowledge. This is reasonable doubt. I’m a darn good lawyer and I can get away with doing anything!”
He then e-mailed the same child porn to one of the husband’s co-workers, and sent flirtatious e-mail to women in Mr. Kostolnik’s office. “You are such a fox,” read one of the e-mails. He sent the message’s through the husband’s genuine e-mail account.
After the husband explained to his law office superiors that he had no idea what was happening, his bosses hired a law firm that examined his network and discovered that an “unknown” device had access to it. With Kostolnik’s permission, they installed a packet sniffer on his network to try and get to the bottom of the incidents.
Then, in May 2009, the Secret Service showed up at Kostolnik’s office to ask about several threatening e-mails sent from his Yahoo account, and traced to his IP address, that were addressed to Biden and other politicians. The subject line of one e-mail read: “This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously.”
“I swear to God I’m going to kill you!,” part of the message to Biden said.
A forensics computer investigator working for Kostolnik’s law firm examined the packet logs, and found the e-mail sessions sending the threats. In the data surrounding the threatening traffic, they found traffic containing Ardolf’s name and Comcast account .
The FBI got a search warrant for Ardolf’s house and computer, and found reams of evidence, including copies of data swiped from the Kostolniks’ computer, and hacking manuals with titles such as Cracking WEP Using Backtrack: A Beginner’s Guide; Tutorial: Simple WEP Crack Aircracking and Cracking WEP with BackTrack 3 — Step-by-Step instructions. They also found handwritten notes laying out Ardolf’s revenge plans, and a cache of postal mail that Ardolf had apparently stolen from the Kostolniks’ mailbox and stashed under his bed.
“One of the manuals had Ardolf’s handwriting on it and another had the unique identifying ID for the Kostolniks’ router typed into it,” Rank, the prosector, wrote.
Also discovered in Ardolf’s possession was the pornographic image posted on MySpace and sent to the husband’s co-worker, and evidence that he’d secretly staged a similar harassment campaign against a neighbor at Ardolf’s previous home in Brooklyn Park, another Minneapolis suburb. Among other things, he sent that family a postal-mail message consisting of a one-page, color print-out of the family’s “TurboTax” return with personally identifying information, in addition to several skull images.
“I told you about a year ago that you should be very afraid. I can destroy you at will, you sorry-ass excuse for a human,” the letter said.
The Brooklyn Park family told the FBI they believed Ardolf was upset that their personal care attendants, who looked after their two disabled twin daughters, parked their car in front of his house. - wired
'Sea monster' sightings debated
Sea monsters like those described in ancient mariners' tales down the ages really could exist, some experts claim.
But they are probably not Jurassic Park-style survivors from the dinosaur age.
Scientists are to discuss the possibility of large undiscovered creatures in the sea at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
One of the speakers, science writer and palaeontologist Dr Darren Naish, said: "The huge number of 'sea monster' sightings now on record can't all be explained away as mistakes, sightings of known animals or hoaxes.
"At least some of the better ones, some of them made by trained naturalists and such, probably are descriptions of encounters with real, unknown animals.
"And, because new large marine animals continue to be discovered - various new whale and shark species have been named in recent years - the idea that such species might await discovery is, at the very least, plausible."
Some have suggested that present-day "monsters" might be plesiosaurs, long-necked marine reptiles that lived at the time of dinosaurs, or other survivors from the prehistoric world.
Dr Naish thinks this is unlikely and points out that the "prehistoric survivor paradigm" (PSP) contradicts what is known about the fossil record.
"The idea that these 'sea monsters' might be such things as living plesiosaurs is not a good explanation at all," said Dr Naish, who is affiliated with the University of Portsmouth.
The meeting, entitled "Cryptozoology: Science or Pseudoscience", is being organised by Dr Charles Paxton from the University of St Andrews. - belfasttelegraph
The Baigong Pipes...Natural or What?
We’re all familiar with the concept of modern technology having ancient Chinese analogues. But a 2002 discovery in remote Qinghai province is anachronistic enough to constitute an OOPart. Out-of-place-artifacts are so unusual, or found in such improbable contexts, that mainstream science has no plausible explanation for them.
The crystal skulls of Mexico referenced in the latest Indiana Jones movie, the iron pillar of Delhi, and the ancient Greek Antikythera mechanism are examples of OOPart yet to be explained. Like these, the pipes of Qinghai’s Mount Baigong suggest a level of technology simply inconceivable for the apparent era of their manufacture. Those open-minded enough to think “extraterrestrial” when searching for a theory, while often dismissed out-of-hand, have like-minded souls in some of the Chinese scientists investigating.
Locals, residing forty kilometers southeast of Qinghai’s Delingha city, have known of the pipes for centuries. They credit aliens for their construction, and even have legends of extraterrestrial visitors to Mt. Baigong. Although the stories are met with predictable skepticism, they become harder to laugh off when one takes in the sixty-meter pyramid near the mountain’s summit. Superficially, the pyramid could be shrugged off as having been shaped by natural forces. For some reason, however, the structure has not been conclusively studied, at least officially.
Near the foot of Mt. Baigong lie three caves, the largest and most accessible some eight meters high by six meters deep. Inside, spanning from the roof to the back end of the cave, runs a pipe 40 cm in diameter. Another one roughly the same size runs into the earth from the floor, with just the top protruding.
The pipes, according to tests carried out at a local smeltery, are made chiefly of iron, but with an unusual thirty percent silicon dioxide in their matrix. They are also centuries old, if Xinhua and its source, Liu Shaolin, the engineer who carried out preliminary tests, are to be believed. Strange, but easily written off as a bizarre metallurgical operation by some nomads with too much time on their hands, assuming geological origins of the eerily symmetrical pyramid.
However, dozens of pipe openings have been discovered in the mountains far above the caves. Now these nomads must be credited with some advanced system of drilling since forgotten, as there is no modern industry in the area nor record of such. Not far from the foot of Baigong sits Toson Lake, on whose beach run many more iron pipes in unlikely patterns and in a variety of diameters, toothpick-sized at the thinnest. More pipes are in the lake, some protruding above the water surface, others buried beneath the lake’s bed.
Although nine Chinese scientists were reportedly dispatched to make a detailed analysis of the pipes in 2002, there has been no further information. This hasn’t prevented local government from promoting the site as a tourist attraction. A CCTV crew went to Mt. Baigong soon after, accompanied by researchers from the Beijing UFO Research Association, but no record or footage of the expedition has come to our attention. If this is because such documentation would be widely laughed off, then they would at the expense of Yang Ji, a research fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who told Xinhua that the extraterrestrial theory was “understandable and worth looking into”.
Then again, plain old terrestrial science has many mysteries left to be fully explained. Similar pipe-like structures have been found in the Jurassic sandstone of the Southwestern United States, as well as in Citronelle formations in Louisiana. No pyramids have been found close on, and researchers have concluded that they were formed through natural processes. But similar conclusions from scientists studying the Baigong pipes have yet to be announced, six years later. - chinaexpat
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