Saturday, December 03, 2011

Just the Facts?: "Letters from the Big Man" Review -- Japan Chef Jailed For Serving Toxic Puffer Liver

'Letters from the Big Man' - Thumbs Up From Ebert

"Letters from the Big Man" makes no secret that it involves the mysterious forest creature known as Sasquatch, or more popularly as Bigfoot. No wonder. Legends about Bigfoot have inspired more than 20 previous films, from exploitation pictures to the big budget "Harry and the Henderson." Two things are different about this film. It is serious, and it isn't shy about showing us the creature. Instead of blurred shots of something vaguely seen through trees, we see the Sasquatch clearly and even in contemplative close-ups.

The story involves a Forest Service employee named Sarah Smith (Lily Rabe), who is on the rebound from a failed relationship and accepts a commission to study the rainwater run-off in a remote area devastated by forest fires. She packs camping gear, heads into the wilderness, measures the depths of streams, and enjoys her solitude so much that she actively repels a young Green activist named Sean (Jason Butler Harner) when she meets him on a trail. Lily Rabe's performance exudes self-confidence and determination (she's the daughter of Jill Clayburgh and playwright David Rabe.)

Sarah is aware she's being followed. She thinks Sean is the stalker. In a gradual way, without a dramatic turning point, she absorbs the fact that her shadow is Sasquatch. She isn't electrified with curiosity, nor is she frightened. She accepts his presence, and he accepts hers. Often she is aware of him without seeing him. A few shots show him transparent, hinting at metaphysical powers or invisibility.

Sarah keeps a journal and makes a great many sketches and watercolors. She also treats herself in the evening to red wine -- a great deal of wine, actually, considering how hard supplies must be to come by in these remote Oregon woods. The activist, Sean, encounters her again and this time they do a little necking on the deck of a Forest Service cabin while Sasquatch watches them from behind a tree with -- what? Curiosity? Disappointment? His eyes seem very sad.

The creation of the Bigfoot costume, by Lee Romaire, is so much better here than in previous movie appearances. He looks like a very tall cross between a gorilla and a bear, and inside is the actor Isaac C. Singleton Jr. At nights Sasquatch begins leaving where she will find them little arrangements of twigs, sticks and stones. These are his "letters." There is also an indistinct voice heard on the sound track, suggesting men and Sasquatch must find acceptance and peace.

Left unestablished is what Sasquatch thinks, how "human" he is, or indeed any details of his life. Does he mate? Have children? Live in groups? What do his thumpings of logs on trees mean? His mournful night cries? ("That's no coyote," Sarah says.) In the film he seems to be as much a manifestation of the forest as an inhabitant.

This film is unlike anything else by the indie writer-director, Christopher Munch, such as "The Hours and Times," the biopic about John Lennon and Brian Epstein. Asked if he believes in Bigfoot, he says "yes." He also apparently believe there is, or was, a CIA plan to investigate if the Sasquatch has extrasensory powers. Well, the CIA has investigated more cockamamie schemes.

"Letters from the Big Man" will mystify some, please others with its serenity, and be unlike any Bigfoot movie you have ever imagined. - rogerebert.suntimes


Japan: Chef Facing Jail Over Toxic Puffer Fish Dish

A Michelin two-star restaurant in Tokyo is facing a criminal investigation after a customer was admitted to hospital having been served the toxic liver of a puffer fish.

Fugu, or puffer fish, is a Japanese delicacy which can only be processed by specially licensed and trained chefs.

By law, chefs must cut out toxic parts including the liver and skin.

But Fugu Fukuji, a restaurant in Tokyo's upmarket Ginza district, last month served one customer puffer fish liver.

The 35-year-old woman had to be taken to hospital after complaining of a headache and numbness in her lips.

The chef is now facing a possible jail sentence for knowingly serving up the toxic dish.


Two strange hooded teenagers (not sure exactly what they were)

Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada - 10/10/1991 - unedited: I want to tell you about a strange experience that took place at my house on Ramsay street in the fall of 1991. I believe it was the first weekend of October but I could be mistaken. It happened between 10:30 to 11pm. Earlier that night my parents had gone out to my aunts for the night. My friend "K" and I were the only ones home at the time. We had planned on going out to the clubs but first I wanted to finish my six pack.

While sitting there watching music videos something in the window caught my attention. Across the street were two teenage boys, one was kneeling and the standing on the curb waiting for a drive. They both wore hoodee jackets with the hoods pulled up but I didn't pay much attention to them. About twenty minutes passed and they were still waiting for someone to give them a drive.

At that point "K" slides open the little window open and shouted out loud "you guys want me to call a taxi for you?". They responded by coming over to the front door but before I got up to let them in I heard the door being kicked followed by the jiggling of the doorknob. For a moment I was worried the glass inside the door might crack. Entering the hallway I caught a glimpse of the taller guy but before I could get a good look at him he turned swiftly, bumping into his friend as they both ran away. I hurried outside to speak with them but neither of the two responded to my questions so I got fed up and went back inside for another beer.

While I was in the kitchen "K" called to me "they are in the window". I returned into the room to see "K" talking though the glass to the boys in the hood. He asked them if they like to call someone. Suddenly the taller guy looked directly at us. We both saw his face. Whoa...what the ****? There is something really odd about this guys face. Aaaaah!!! This was not some sort of deformity either. I have met my share of shady looking characters but this fucker was something else entirely. Now that I think of it I don't think it was human. Not exactly sure what it is. All I saw was this broad grim faced thing with dark eyes and I don't recall seeing a nose. A rather menacing face to say the least.

Now the adrenaline is pumping so I ran outside anticipating a fight. "K" tried to hold me back but it was too late. We both pursued them into the driveway. The two of them waited for us. Just as one of us attempted to get closer they would advance further into the yard. There is no fence. The Yard empties into a large field. It's just too dark to pursue them any further and I wasn't willing to take chances knowing there could be more of them. What ever they are. I do recall saying out loud "this is private Property." and "you are trespassing." These two bastards slowly made their way back with their hoods pulled up. The last we saw of them they were swiftly walking down Ramsay street. The remaining hours of the night was uneventful.

What was really weird is how "K" no longer wanted to go to the pub crawl. instead he went home. We never spoke of the event until several years later.

The Canadian UFO Report: The Best Cases Revealed


What is so strange about that night was everyone left the house before 10 O'clock. There was little to no traffic. The place was completely deserted just like an old western town. These hooded bastards had the perfect opportunity to do whatever they wanted. To this day I can not fathom what had transpired. I'm not sure is they were spirits or something else entirely. All I know is they tried to communicate with me but at the time I didn't take it as a friendly encounter. I felt threatened and scared like a wounded animal which made me want to lash out. Whatever the message was it clearly didn't get through to me.

Now that I think of it they were also afraid of us too. The taller guy ran out of the porch as I entered the hallway. They both retreated into the yard as we pursued them. When I told them to "leave" they cautiously walked towards us being careful not to show their faces then swiftly made their way down the street. So weird!!!!!

"K" and I never spoke about it for many years. One night there was a party at his place. We sat outback next to the bonfire when someone began telling ghost stories and "K" interrupted ""R", remember those two guys we saw in the window?".... He remembers, so it wasn't a dream. - MUFON CMS


1930s actress Hedy Lamarr - inventor of cellphones, Wi-Fi and GPS

Hedy Lamarr is remembered as a stunning legend in Hollywood's Golden Age. However, most people do not know that she would co-patent the technology for today's cellphones, Wi-Fi and GPS by building a torpedo for the U.S.Navy.

This may have remained the world's best kept secret if it were not for author Richard Rhodes. He had become intrigued with Hedy Lamarr after he finished 30-years of working on a four-volume set about the history of the nuclear age. One of them, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb," had earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

LA Times writer, Adam Tschorn, has reported that Rhodes has just finished writing, "Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World." What has been found is that she was co-holder in 1942 of a patent on spread spectrum radio, a technology that would eventually underlie today's mobile and cordless telephones, the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Tschorn said that this would be similar to crediting the beautiful Fawcett for developing Google's proprietary search algorithm. It is difficult to comprehend or correlate the two together. But in reality, Hedy Lamarr was born as Hedwig Kiesler, an inquisitive young child who had been encouraged by her father to expand on this talent.

She would eventually marry Fritz Mandl, a munitions manufacturer, where she would become involved in a world filled with technical data. When she became involved as an actress in Hollywood, she had time on her hands because she did not like to drink, or go to loud and drunken parties. Invention became her hobby.

That hobby was having an inventor's corner set up in her Hollywood home that included a drafting table and tools. One of Lamarr's major inventions was the bouillon cube that would create a beverage when mixed with water. Howard Hughes lent her a pair of chemists to assist her inventor's lab. In addition to the bouillon she developed a fluorescent dog collar; a special technique to tighten the skin; and modifications to the Concorde airliner.

As time went on, she would eventually co- patent "U.S. Patent Number 2,292,387" under her married name, Hedy Kiesler Markey. Her partner would be George Antheil, the notable MGM costume designer Adrian she met in 1940 at dinner party hosted by a mutual friend. With a goal to help the U.S. military, they would combine their knowledge to develop a torpedo guidance system for the U.S. Navy. Way before the United States had entered the war, Lamarr was unhappy over the fact that German's actions would cause a ship to sink, while carrying dozens of children. The torpedo was her best project to build a better war bomb.

Lamarr and Adrian developed a method that would cause hopping or switching between radio frequencies that would prevent communications from being detected, and therefore prevent them from being jammed by enemies.

However, she would received very little, if any, recognition for her efforts. She would remain a siren of Hollywood with no credit given to her for her extreme intelligence.

"Lamarr’s effort to invent a radio-guided torpedo as a contribution to the Allied cause in World War II has been noted here and there since the 1940s." (Amarillo) - digitaljournal

Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fear of Contact: Transforming Denial

I received the following email today. I have made only minor edits because I feel the writer's intense conscience needed to be conveyed to the readers:

It wasn’t until quite recently that I realized my odd hallucinations and “awake nightmares” which had caused me to believe that I am either insane or possessed by some sort of demon although I did not believe in demons. At 12 years old I confided in a psychiatrist about a single event and it was determined I suffer from Hypnagogia. The psychiatrist noted that I had a vivid hallucination and I was admitted to hospital. Since then I have not shared my experiences and never found out what they were — until quite recently I stumbled upon a UFO and strange events website. There were others with the same experience I had!! The relief, the Eureka moment, and I have suffered from great fear, insomnia, and the suspicion that I was quite insane deep down inside.

Whew...OK, just talking about this upsets me but there are others here with much more descriptive events. Why aren’t these on the news??? Why isn’t this accepted in Western society??? It’s baffling!! This denial of spirit/alien? beings has ruined my life, and for some of my adult life was involved in drugs, in and out of mental hospitals. I am very sad that I did not have the opportunity to discover others' experiences earlier. Yes, even in this day and age of internet, etc. I never, never put two and two together until recently! I would laugh at ANY one with belief in these things. How could I have not seen what it really was? Denial.

When I was very young, I must have been around 5 or 6 I was sleeping at the edge of the bed that my elder sister and I shared. Everyone was asleep except (I think) my father was in living room watching TV. I woke up in middle of night for no reason but normal for a child? A “visitor” suddenly appeared in my bedroom doorway, he was leaning against the frame just staring at me. He was nothing but a deep black cut out shape of a man that was completely motionless. I told myself it’s an illusion and shut my eyes tight and held my breath (so the man couldn’t see me) but, even with my eyes closed I could still SEE him quite evidently (how??). He gave me the impression that he found it humorous that I was trying to “hide” and I really could feel his eyes. I lie there wishing someone in the household would wake up and make this “man” go away. I held my breath as long as I could...I was so terrified, I thought I would die of fright. Can you imagine being this afraid? I remember trying to damper my heartbeat, because he could “hear” it. It was beating so hard I think I could see the beats coming up through the blankets. I must have either passed out from holding my breath or from fright. I never told anyone (that I know of or can remember, that is...)

The next time, I was lying on my grandmother's guest bed while I was over for visit. I was 11 or 12 yrs old. I was just lying there thinking...not sleepy nor wanting to sleep. Suddenly I heard a sound getting louder and louder. It sounded like thousands of “electric bees”. It made my head “vibrate”. The “bees” sound slowly formed itself into words. It reminds me of trying to find an AM radio station and just tuning in to clarity. The “sound” (I will try to explain it best I can, it defies what I know of physics so far) “took” me up in the air a la Scrooge being led by ghost of Xmas past! I was “flown” over what I think to be the 1940s. I could hear the “bees” chanting louder and louder! Up to a crescendo that inferred something like “we are legions”. The “vision” I saw was Hitler, and he had not thousands of followers but millions! I was shown colors red, white, and black. They have some significance that the “electric bees” wanted me to note. I was “brought back” and found myself wide awake back on the bed and thinking to myself “hmm, wow, this must be what insane people feel when they hallucinate. This is very strange and I must seek professional help” but somehow even at my youth I did not believe the good doctor's explanation.

Fast forward to adult married life. I warned my new husband “be careful, since we now share bed I must confide in you that I suffer from extreme night terrors where I get “monsters” bothering me and you must wake me when I call for you in my sleep.” Yes...this refrain common when I share bed with anyone. Sometimes I can manage to get out a muffled “hellllp meeee...wake me up...monsters..”

The “nightmares” always start with a weird noise, like the sound you imagine you feel if you are being electrocuted (the best I can describe it). There have been several instances the past year where my mate “rescued” me. These “monsters” all come armed with nightmares with a common theme/message. One of my nightmares a soothing and calm man tried to explain the symbols in the dream, he even pointed and made some verbalization that I could not make out. It is as if “they” were doing their very best trying to convince me of something but that I cannot speak their language. In this vision, I was witness to a major “Battlestar Galactica” scene and many planets, namely Saturn, etc. and Earth were involved in a stellar battle...there was cannibalism, blood, guts, horror!! Absolute horror (The more I tell these stories the more descriptive they get, as I now am able to make out more details now that I am not trying to stuff the memories deep inside any more). I totally understand the messages now but I cannot explain them, not because it is impossible, but that you will find it trite and probably won’t believe it. Even if you believe my experiences, which in fact did happen, I am constantly in fear of the chance I may see the monsters again. I understand NOW that the monsters were not trying to harass me but instead helping me with important messages. I will say that “they” are supposed to instill great fear into people but they do not do it out of cruelty, but do so that you will respect and see them in awe.

After praying (I come from a very scientific and logical minded upbringing so this praying thing is all new to me) I was given “hints” by the former “monsters” (they are now what I think are friends, but I am still horrified at the idea of seeing one again!) to look around every day for more clues. A clue may present itself in a playlist on a station that you just tuned to (song titles) or in other coincidences. I prayed..."well if you can tell me these things in this way, why not show Mankind the clues in more obvious ways!" “They” said that they do, but we don’t believe it, and also it has to be this way, because we are given FREE WILL and that “they” already HAVE robots that do and think what they want! “They” are angry and sad that we human beings on Earth don’t appreciate “it” and always take credit for “their” things and that “it” is a special gift that we shouldn’t take for granted.

I feel I have said “too much” and these “monsters” tell me in hints help me in minor and major things. But my problem is that I don’t have enough faith in “them”. You can make what you want out of this and if you think I am a complete nut that is OK, I guess, but I wish more people would talk about these things. I wish more people would go to the news with their experiences, some of them so incredible, I can’t believe that these things aren’t more accepted! It is so sad.

Thanks for reading...K

Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials

CONFRONTATIONS: A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact

Just the Facts?: More 2012 Mumbo Jumbo -- Flesh-Eating Banana -- Space Junk

Oh please! Give a break already!...'End Of The World Not In 2012' According To Decoded Mayan Tablet

Good news, everyone! (yeah...yippee) The end of the world won't take place in 2012.

Sven Gronemeyer of Australia's La Trobe University says that his interpretation of certain hieroglyphs indicate that though 21 December 2012 is an important date for the ancient Mayan people, it won't necessarily be apocalyptic.

"The date acquired a symbolic value because it is seen as a reflection of the day of creation," Gronemeyer said whilst at an archaeological site in Palenque, Mexico. "It is the passage of a god and not necessarily a great leap for humanity."

His research shows that 21/12/2012 heralds the arrival of the Mayan god of creation and war, Bolon Yokte, 5,125 years after Mayan Long Count calendar began back in 3113 B.C.

His reappearance on earth is meant to indicate a new era on the planet, but not a destructive one.

Decoding the stone tablet in question - originally found at Tortuguero in the Mexican province of Tabasco - was especially difficult for Gronemeyer as it's 1,300 years old - and had a crack right through the middle of it.

This is the latest attempt by a group of Mayan archaeology experts to dismiss the popular belief that 2012 will be the end of all time, a rumour perpetuated by internet forums and cinema-goers who somehow genuinely believe in Roland Emmerich's disaster movie, 2012 - THP

2012: Mayan Prophecy and the Shift of the Ages- DVD


Flesh-eating banana fears hit Mozambique

Rumours of flesh-eating bananas in Mozambique have seen the sale of the fruit plummet there, prompting the health minister to reassure people of its safety.

"From the work conducted by the Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Trade and Industry, it was concluded that there is no record of entry of any infected banana in the country," according to a joint statement.

An email and text message hoax warning people against eating bananas for the next three weeks went viral as people feared being infected by necrotising fasciitis, or skin-eating disease.

The bacteria can destroy skin, fat and tissue covering the muscles.

The messages also advised people to see a doctor if they developed a fever after eating the killer fruit.

Bananas from KwaZulu-Natal province in neighbouring South Africa were claimed by the hoax to carry the virus.

Banana sales in the capital Maputo fell sharply despite the fact that Mozambique does not import bananas from its neighbour.

In a separate statement South Africa's agriculture ministry denounced the messages.

It strongly advised against burning the skin around the supposed infection, as suggested in the message. - couriermail


Elvis' Swedish 'daughter' sues Presley estate

A Swedish woman who has long claimed that she is the rightful daughter of deceased US crooner Elvis Presley has sued the singer's estate for $130 million. Lisa Johansen is claiming the money as compensation for alleged defamation and infliction of emotional distress. Johansen, who was at the time living in a Stockholm suburb with her two children, claimed in a 1998 memoir entitled I, Lisa Marie: The True Story of Elvis Presley's Real Daughterthat she was the daughter of the artist and Priscilla Presley.

Johansen claimed that she had been the victim of identity theft and the book caused a storm of interest, leading to the world's media hounding Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie, who was at the time married to Michael Jackson. But interest cooled quickly after Johansen refused to take a DNA test, a decision which led to her being sued by her publisher for $50 million. Johansen now claims that she submitted to a test in London last year, according to documents submitted in her lawsuit.

In an interview with the Swedish Aftonbladet daily in 1999, Johansen claimed that she had arrived in Gothenburg as a nine-year-old and grew up in Upplands-Väsby, north of Stockholm. Johansen argues in her writ, filed this week with Tennessee federal court, that Lisa Marie Presley stole her identity to prevent her from getting her inheritance after Elvis Presley, who died in 1977.

She has claimed that Priscilla Presley left her in Sweden in 1979 for "security reasons" and was due to stay in Sweden until she was 25-years-old, according to Aftonbladet. After the initial interest around the publication of her book, the story fell out of the media spotlight, but Lisa Johansen has continued to maintain her version of events, claiming that she has been subjected to harassment by the Presley family. - thelocal


The world's biggest ever insect found in New Zealand

An explorer has found the biggest insect ever on record - so large it can eat a carrot. She's called a Weta Bug and has a huge wing span of seven inches and weighs as much as three mice. Former park ranger Mark Moffett, 55, discovered the cricket-like creature up a tree on New Zealand's Little Barrier Island.

He spent two days searching for the creepy crawly which were thought to be extinct after Europeans brought rats to the island many years ago. American Mark, 53, said: "Three of us walked the trails of this small island for two nights scanning the vegetation for a giant weta. We spent many hours with no luck finding any at all, before we saw her up in a tree.

"The giant weta is the largest insect in the world, and this is the biggest one ever found. She enjoyed the carrot so much she seemed to ignore the fact she was resting on our hands and carried on munching away. She would have finished the carrot very quickly, but this is an extremely endangered species and we didn't want to risk indigestion.

"After she had chewed a little I took this picture and we put her right back where we found her." Mark, from Colorado, added: "We bug lovers hear a lot of people who think insects are inferior in some way because of their size, so it was great to see such a big insect. This became all the more amazing when we realised that this was the largest insect recorded." - thesun

Smithsonian Handbooks: Insects (Smithsonian Handbooks)


FAA Says Falling Debris Not from Any Known Aircraft

In the most significant UFO news to date, FAA officials are baffled by a piece of metal which crashed through the roof of a furniture warehouse in Plymouth, MA on Thursday because the debris does not belong to any known aircraft.

The 5-lb. chunk of metal was discovered on the floor of Michael's Wholesale Furniture Distributors after workers noticed a giant hole in the roof and the office below in disarray. Police were called in but soon turned the matter over to the FAA when they could not identify the metallic object.

A piece of metal crashed through the roof of a Plymouth business. (Photo Credit: Kathy Curran)

"We have no idea what it is. At this point, we can only speculate," said Plymouth police Capt. John Rogers. "This would have had to come through with some significant force or velocity to get through the warehouse roof and cause damage."

That means the object must have fallen from a great height and was not the result of some kind of explosion nearby on the ground.

A local FAA official, who was not identified in the report, said that he has "no clue" what the object is. Pictures of the debris haven't led to any conclusions either, as the piece looks to be completely solid and cylindrical.

Can this UFO news be the Holy Grail UFOlogists have been looking for? Is it possible the debris fell from an unidentified flying object? Further tests are being conducted and more FAA officials are traveling to Plymouth for a more detailed examination.

Stay tuned. - gather

Thursday, December 01, 2011

This Week on 'Beyond the Edge' Radio: Patterson-Gimlin Film Researcher Jeff Hilling

Eric & Lon welcome Patterson-Gimlin Film Researcher and Author Jeff Hilling

Jeff Hilling is a Bigfoot historian and researcher. He has studied over 2 dozen books and countless articles on the subject of the Patterson-Gimlin film and Bigfoot. He has developed a brand new website devoted exclusively to the subject of the Patterson film debate. In the midst of his studies, he has uncovered some interesting facts regarding the film. Jeff is about 80% convinced that the Patterson film footage is genuine. Jeff is the author of 'The Great Bigfoot Film Mystery: What Really Happened On October 20th 1967'

In 1967 Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin set out to film the unknown...a creature of myth, legend and folklore. On October 20th of that year, they captured the image of a terrifying man-beast, in which to this day still enthralls, enchants, and bewilders both scientist and laymen alike.

The Patterson film is still by far the best all around evidence of a sasquatch creature to date. is dedicated to a logical debate of whether or not this was a genuine sighting of an unknown beast, or an elaborate hoax involving a man in a costume. We start at a neutral position because we are unsure of both positions, and in order to weigh all the evidence and circumstances surrounding this event in an unbiased manner. This debate is limited to the Patterson film incident only. We do not presume the Patterson film footage is an authentic creature, nor do we presume it was a hoax. Our mission in this research is to try to reveal the truth with the best possible historical evidence available.


Join Eric Altman and Lon Strickler each Sunday at 8 PM ET as we go
Beyond the Edge!

Spotlight on the Patterson-Gimlin Film

Just the Facts?: Charles Dickens Spooked by Doppelganger -- Santeria Curse -- 30-Year Old Baby

Exhibition tells how Charles Dickens was spooked by ghost tale doppelganger

The spirits which terrorise and ultimately reform Scrooge in A Christmas Carolmay have been due to a nightmare brought on, as the miser put it, by "an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese".

Now a new exhibition at the British Library marking the bicentenary in 2012 of Charles Dickens's birth suggests that the real-life mystery of another ghost story by the author may have had an equally prosaic beginning: a manuscript he allegedly stole from a rival.

Dickens wrote some of the best-loved spooky yarns in the English language – but he did not please one artist who accused him of plagiarising his apparition in a piece published in 1861.

The author and artist Thomas Heaphy bitterly accused Dickens of underhand dealing and blatantly ripping off his own story which he had sent to the printers.

Friend and biographer John Forster described Dickens as having "a hankering after ghosts".

But Andrea Lloyd, curator of the British Library exhibition, says the author was always careful to include a possible rational explanation in his ghostly writings.

He was fascinated by the occult, a genius at evoking eerie atmosphere and powerful, malign characters, and knew there was nothing like a spinechiller to boost circulation for magazines which published his novels in installments.

In 1861 Dickens published a piece in his own All the Year Round magazine called Four Ghost Stories. One of the stories featured a beautiful young woman asking a portrait painter if he could remember her face well enough to paint it from memory months later.

The artist replied in puzzlement that he possibly could, but would much prefer conventional sittings.

"Impossible," she replied. "It could not be."

It transpires that she is already dead, and the portrait is needed to console her grieving father.

The story is hardly Dickens's finest effort, but it certainly caused a reaction in Heaphy, a now almost entirely forgotten Victorian artist. (Tate and the National Portrait Gallery both have works by his father in the collections, but nothing by him).

Heaphy wrote to Dickens in a rage, claiming that not only had he written up an identical story, ready for publication in the Christmas issue of a rival magazine, but that it had really happened to him – and on 13 September too, the very date Dickens had added in pencil in the margin of his own version.

There was never any explanation of the mystery: Dickens insisted that he was completely innocent of plagiarism, deliberate or psychic.

He called the episode, Forster wrote, "So very original, so very extraordinary, so very far beyond the version I have published that all other stories turn pale before it.

"Everything connected with it is amazing; but conceive this – the portrait painter had been engaged to write it elsewhere as a story for next Christmas and not unnaturally supposed when he saw himself anticipated in All the Year Round that there had been treachery at his printers."

The exhibition includes a very rare publication, a small booklet entitled A Wonderful Ghost Story Being Mr H's Own Narrative, which the artist published years later, giving his own version of the story.

Despite including in very large type "with unpublished Letters from Charles Dickens", it was not a success.

Although Dickens conducted a running battle with spiritualists over exposés in his magazines of fake mediums and seances, he did however believe in the so-called new science of mesmerism.

He was convinced he himself could heal others by putting them into a hypnotic trance.

Catherine, his long-suffering wife, pregnant by him for most of their 22 years together (10 of their children survived) before an acrimonious separation, made a rare protest when he devoted day after day of a holiday to gazing into the eyes of a beautiful young woman who claimed to be tormented by anxiety and insomnia.

In reference to this, the exhibition includes an indignant letter he wrote to Catherine years later, raking over the coals yet again.

There is also a copy of The Terrific Register, a "penny dreadful" weekly magazine which the teenage Dickens devoured, enthralled with and terrified by stories about murder, ghosts, incest and cannibalism.

Within five weeks of Dickens's death on 9 June 1870, spiritualists in America were claiming the last laugh. The spirit of the credulous sceptic, had been in touch, they insisted, and had dictated various messages through raps and knocks including the ending to his unfinished last book, The Mystery of Edwin Drood- guardian

Charles Dickens: A Life


Murder case solved in 2009 closes 127-year old cold case linked to paranormal phenomenon

In his book The Veil Beyond the Grave, Andru Hunter takes his readers into the world of the paranormal and uses forensic evidence from cold case files to create a thrilling and intriguing plot.

"Veil beyond the Grave" tells the true story of a series of murders in Jackson County, Mich. Four people, three men and one woman, who was 9-months pregnant, were shot as they slept on a county farm in 1883.

This case not only shocked the United States, but reached multiple parts of the world. The intrigue spread to a cattle ranch in Texas where more murders occurred. Other deaths ranged from an upstanding woman that was found dead in her bedroom to an apparent typhoid death which included a corpse that was posthumously shown to have three bullet holes.

After 127 years, two forensic paranormal investigators decide to re-examine the case. They will run into a gambit of outside forces that will stop at nothing to keep the detectives from learning the truth. The detectives have their own team of forensic technicians, research sleuths, internet detectives and ghost hunters to combat these evils in a battle of paranormal forces.

Hunter says he had a strong desire to complete this project, which was as much internal as it was external.

"The story, even in the unsolved state, was so entwined with truths and half truths that one day I was standing at a victim's grave and promised him that I would not only solve the case but write a book about it," Hunter says. "Thankfully, we did both."

Hunter uses the unique approach of writing the story through the eyes of the people who lived during the tragedies of the 1880s. For the modern day parts, he takes the persona of the investigators who worked the case in 2009. Hunter even takes a third approach by theorizing how ghosts look at today's investigators.

The Veil Beyond the Graveis available for sale online at and other channels.


North Miami Beach Police Department Employees Fired Over Plan To Put Santeria Curse On City Manager

Two North Miami Beach Police Department employees have been fired for plotting to put a Santeria curse on the city manager.

Officer Elizabeth Torres, a 24-year veteran of the police department, and Yvonne Rodriguez, an office manager for police chief Larry Gomer, were caught plotting to use birdseed to cast a spell to make Lyndon Bonner "go away" in August before a round of planned departmental layoffs.

Torres told Rodriguez she had previous success with the curse, having made her son and daughter move out by sprinkling it on the front porch of their home, according to the police report.

Investigators say the pair were upset with the "negative climate" in the department, and hatched a plan to similarly curse Bonner by gaining access to his office. Torres admitted to police that she brought the birdseed to Rodriguez, then approached janitor Esther Villanueva, asking her to sprinkle the birdseed in Bonner's office as she cleaned.

The two were busted when Villanueva reported the incident to a supervisor. Though Torres confessed to the plan, she told investigators it was just a superstitious idea and the pair meant no harm.

"It was kind of a joke, kind of a superstition," she said, according to interview transcripts. "It did have bases in religious knowledge I had from before...As misguided as it may seem, this idea popped into my head, and I thought, 'Well, it can't hurt anybody.'"

Fortunately for Bonner, University of Miami Religious Studies professor Michelle Maldonado agrees.

"Ultimately, the city manager really doesn't have anything to worry about. In Santeria, you can't just spread bird seed and make the supernatural do what you want it to do," she told WSVN.

The pair, who were fired last week, can appeal their terminations. - THP

Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America


30-Year Old Brazilian Woman Looks Like a 9-Month Baby

We bring to you the curious case of a real-life Benjamin Button, with a twist. A Brazilian woman, who has neither aged, nor is getting any younger. Born on May 7, 1981, Maria Audete do Nascimento still has the body of a baby.

Maria belongs to a poor family, living in a mud house in Ceara, Brazil. Her family consists of her father and his second wife, who has been caring for her ever since her own mother died, 13 years ago. The family cannot afford to provide any form of treatment for Maria, whose condition could have been reversed if treated at birth. For now, she continues to live like a baby, unable to tend to her own needs, and unable, even to speak. The home in which Maria lives, however poor, does not seem short of love. Her step-mother, Dora, has taken care of the woman-child since the day she was married. Dora believes that it is the passion of her life, and that the child was sent to her as a gift of God, to take care of.

Experts from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ceara believe that what Maria suffers from is a severe deficiency of the thyroid hormone. As a result of hypothyroidism, her body was never able to develop physically or mentally. They also went on to say that if the case had been identified early on, Maria may have grown up as a normal child. The University has agreed to provide free treatment to Maria, to enable her to be a little more independent – to walk, eat and say a few words. But for now she is, in some ways, what every parent wishes for – a child that never grows up. - odditycentral

Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just the Facts?: Strangeness Beyond Hollywood -- South New Jersey UFO -- 'Redneck Exemption'

Hollywood producer claims proof of UFOs

Hollywood producer J. Herbert Klein has proof that UFOs exist. That is the claim he makes in his new book Beyond Hollywood: A Memoir of Fate, Luck, the Unexplained, and Living the American Dream.

The book was announced today via press release from International Film Arts, a production company founded by Klein and his business partner, movie star Jon Hall. According to the press release, Klein and Hall invented things together, including a square anamorphic lens that Klein believed “could photograph the invisible – UFOs, alien life forms, energy fields, and other unexplained phenomena.”

The pair reportedly shot thousands of photographs using their special lens, and “frequently captured images that could only be called out of this world.” An example was explained in the press release:

The most notable example occurred in 1977, when Klein and Hall witnessed a test flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise at Edwards Air Force Base near the Mojave Desert in California. From his seat in the viewing section, Hall photographed the space shuttle before, during, and after the flight.

When Hall developed the film, he discovered that the photographs included images of what appeared to be energy fields, UFOs, and humanoid forms that had been invisible to the naked eye. Stunned at his discovery, Hall submitted the images to one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of photographic equipment – and the company’s experts could find no explanation for the unusual phenomena visible in the photos.

Hall died in 1979, and Klein kept the photographs in a “safe place” until deciding to write his memoir. Klein recently stated, “I’m finally ready to share my incredible story with the world.”

The 296-page book features approximately 100 photos taken by Klein and Hall, “including many amazing shots of unexplained phenomena.”

Beyond Hollywood: A Memoir of Fate, Luck, the Unexplained, and Living the American Dreamis available now at Amazon. - openmindsTV


Large Craft in South New Jersey

South New Jersey - 8/15/2011 - unedited: I should have submitted this sooner. However, i didn't. Anyways, It was about 7pm, August 15th, 2011(still daylight, clear sky, and no clouds) and i was driving north bound on black horse pike in Bellmawr NJ. I pulled up to the light at wendys and i noticed what i thought was the front end of an airplane, about 75 to 100 yards in the air, crossing the black horse pike about a mile up ahead, going westbound. It was very low and big.I thought at first, wow, this plane is low, its gonna crash. But it continued. As it continued to cross it stopped, hovered for a few seconds, then proceded again. While looking at it, it didnt seem right... The front was rounded, but square, with no windows, but I noticed 3 or 4 windows on the side at the top, with more holes or exhaust ports on the side. It had a milky white color on the top half, and a dirty silvery metalic bottom. It was made of some type of metal, almost submarine like. As the back end came across, i was expecting to see a tail or tail wings, but there was no tail, just a little hump on the back end. It did not have any wings or rotar blades, it just drifted across the tree tops to the west and then it was gone. I was kinda taken back for a moment, like wow that was really freakin cool. I looked to the person in the car next me, to see if they saw what i saw. But they turned left and showed no interest. I serverd in the USAF as a Security Officer back in the late 90's and i have never seen a craft like this... To me it was a mix between a plane, a helicopter, a sub and a space shuttle rolled into one. The best way to describe its shape is, it looked like a flying metal loaf of bread... Very wierd, but cool... MUFON CMS

NOTE: I'm familiar with the area since it's a highway that most people from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware take to Atlantic City, NJ off of I-76 or I-295. There have been several UFO sightings, as well as strange cryptid reports, in the general area in the past even though much of it is in an urban setting...Lon

BLACK HORSE PIKE, THE (NJ) (Images of America (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing))


3 Ft. Ape-Like ET

Mississippi - 7/1/1973 - unedited: I was 4 years old and my two brothers were 12 and 14. We were moving some dirt around in the backyard of our home. My brothers remember hearing a screaching sound, which sent them running to the front yard to hopefully see a cool car speeding away. After their disappointment they returned to the back where we noticed, near the same time, a disk shaped ship hovering over the back of our next door neighbors house. I saw the door slide open and a short (3 foot tall) ape-like being walk out onto a narrow catwalk that appeared to encircle the ship. He walked a few steps to my right and kneeled down and opened a small door on the side of the craft. He used a small tool to make some type of adjustment, and closed the small door before returning inside. While he was out, a second being walked to the door and watched him. The second guy was taller, maybe 5 feet. They were both covered in thick brown hair, but well groomed. Both were wearing a coverall but not anything resembeling a space suit like our NASA guys wear. After the door slid back down, the ship started ascending at a slow speed. When it reached about 100 Feet, it ascended almost straight up and out of sight in 1 or 2 seconds. The beings made no audible communication between each other, and didn't pay any attention to the 3 boys silently staring at undoubtable proof of life on other planets. My brothers knew they were looking at alliens, I didn't. I knew I had never seen anything like this before, but I wasn't old enough to know what an allien was. My oldest brother and I remember almost all the details the same, but our middle brother is now schitzofrenic. His recollection is light years away from what really happened. - MUFON CMS

Lloyd Pye: Where Did We Come From? Aliens, UFOs and our Origins


Two-Legged Pig

A dedicated farmer has taught his prized pig, which was born without back legs, to walk upright on his front legs.

Proud Ge Xinping, from Mengcheng in eastern China's Anhui Province, says he thought the deformed piglet would die after he was born in July.

However, after lots of time and devotion the pig has learned how to walk on its forelegs and is now the talk of the town.

'Villagers all love it as it walks like an upside down gymnast,' Ge said.


Man who shot his lawn mower claims 'redneck exemption'

A 43-year-old man said to have shot at his lawn mower while intoxicated, fought his adult son and pulled a shotgun on the son was arrested after being shocked three times with a Taser. Mark Thomas Wach, of Palm City, was arrested on Nov. 20 on charges including aggravated domestic assault with a firearm and domestic battery in connection with the incidents near his home. Wach told a Martin County Sheriff's deputy he was puzzled about why he was going to jail.

"He then stated that he shoots in the yard all the time and that fighting is what redneck people do," records state. Wach's 18-year-old son, who said he wasn't hurt, said that about 45 minutes before he called authorities, Wach was intoxicated in the side yard shooting a pistol at his lawn mower. Wach went on his son's porch and began "a verbal altercation with him over (the son's) mother not paying child support."

The son said Wach pointed the pistol "all over," but the son managed to get the .380 caliber handgun away. Wach left, and his son thought he was going home "to sleep it off." Instead, Wach returned with a 12 gauge shotgun. The son said Wach started to point the pump action shotgun at him, but he wrestled it away. They engaged in a physical altercation, and the son said they rolled out onto the porch. That's when a deputy arrived and saw them fighting.

Wach was on top of his son, and the deputy told him to stop fighting. Wach didn't, and the deputy shocked him with an X-26 Taser. Wach didn't follow additional instructions and was shocked twice more. The son wouldn't complete a written statement because he didn't want his dad to get in trouble. Wach said he didn't understand why he was being taken to the Martin County jail. He said he routinely shoots in the yard, saying "fighting is what redneck people do." - tcpalm

Jeff Foxworthy's Complete Redneck Dictionary: All the Words You Thought You Knew the Meaning Of

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monsters Of Our Species 2

There have been horrific murderers throughout human history...many are easily recognized by their name or moniker. Monsters Of Our Species was posted a few weeks. I decided to again post information on a few more 'not so famous' human monsters:

Dorothea Helen Puente (January 9, 1929 – March 27, 2011) ran a boarding house in Sacramento, California, and cashed the Social Security checks of her elderly and mentally disabled boarders. Those who complained were killed and buried in her yard.

The stench hovered over the Sacramento neighborhood like a putrid fog, sickly sweet and pungent. Everyone knew where it came from - the yard of the pale blue Victorian at 1426 F Street, where Dorothea Puente rented out rooms to elderly and infirm boarders.

During the summer it got so bad that some neighbors preferred to turn off their air conditioners and suffer the blazing Delta heat rather than have the fans suck the stench into their homes.

"The sewer's backed up," the 59-year-old boardinghouse mistress told people when they complained. Other times she blamed rats rotting under the floorboards or the fish emulsion she'd used to fertilize the garden.

She tried to blot out the fetor by dumping bags of lime and gallons of bleach into the yard and spraying her parlor with lemon-scented air freshener when guests dropped in. But no matter what she tried, the stench refused to fade; it clung to the boardinghouse like a curse.

When her boarders started disappearing, a concerned social worker tipped off police, who made a gruesome discovery: Seven bodies buried in the garden.

Not long afterward, Puente appeared in court, accused of murdering her tenants so she could steal their government benefit checks and buy herself luxuries ranging from fancy clothes to a face lift.

This is a story of keeping up appearances. Dorothea Puente tried hard to project a polished exterior with cosmetic surgery and tailored clothes. She also projected herself as a upstanding member of Sacramento society, a small-time socialite who gave to charity and rubbed elbows with second-tier politicians.

No one suspected that the sweet-faced, grandmotherly Puente was systematically drugging and killing her frail boarders and burying their remains in the yard she so lovingly tended. With her careful exterior, she got away with murder for years.


Javed Iqbal Mughal (1956?-2001) was a serial killer from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. He claimed he killed 100 boys during an 18 month period. He had been arrested in June 1998 for sexually abusing 2 boys for money. He went off on bail, and began murdering boys shortly afterwards. Iqbal found boys on the street, charmed them into his confidence, and then drugged, raped, and strangled them. He then cut the body into pieces and put them in a vat filled with hydrochloric acid. Once all of the remains were liquified, he dumped them. He first used the sewer, until neighbors complained of an acrid stench. He then decided to use the Ravi River. The partially liquified remains of two boys, one of whom was named Ijaz, were the only ones found of Iqbal’s victims. He kept the rest in an acid drum outside his house. He also kept clothing and shoes as trophies of his crimes. When he got to his fiftieth victim, he started taking pictures of them.

No one had noticed the disappearance of the boys that Iqbal killed. Iqbal claimed that he could have killed 500 if he had wanted to. He reportedly said “I am Javed Iqbal, killer of 100 children … I hate this world, I am not ashamed of my action and I am ready to die. I have no regrets. I killed 100 children.”

From a letter written by Iqbal:

“I had sexually assaulted 100 children before killing them,” read the first placard. “All the details of the murders are contained in the diary and the 32-page notebook that have been placed in the room and had also been sent to the authorities. This is my confessional statement.”

Iqbal was sentenced to death by hanging, although the judge said he would have liked Iqbal to be strangled 100 times, cut into 100 pieces, and put him in acid. Before this sentence could be carried out, he was found strangled with his bed sheets in his prison cell on October 7, 2001. One of his accomplices, Sajid, was also strangled. Pakistani authorities say that the men committed suicide. Another accomplice had previously fallen to his death from a CIA window.


Huang Yong was accused of murdering between 17 and 25 teenage boys between September 2001 and 2003. He would meet them in video game parlors and internet caf's and lure them to his home with promises of well paying jobs or school funding.

Born in 1974, the son of a pig farmer, Huang's early life is sparsely documented. He spent one tour of duty in the military and then spent time as a migrant farm worker in Southern China. Huang built a torture device in his basement, called the 'intelligent hobbyhorse' which resembled a noodle making machine. It is said that his victims were suffocated while being bound to the machine. His modus operandi was to meet the youths in video halls or internet cafes, and tell them he was working on a new video game that he titled 'God and the Intelligent Hobby Horse'. Other times he would offer to recommend them for well paying jobs in the area or pay them for school or sightseeing tours. He would drug them, suffocate them and then, posthumously rape them. He buried his victims in the grounds around his home. At the trial, Huang was quoted as saying, 'Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be an assassin, but never had the chance'.


Richard Trenton Chase (May 23, 1950 – December 26, 1980) was an American serial killer who killed six people in the span of a month in California. He earned the nickname The Vampire of Sacramento due to his drinking of his victims’ blood and his cannibalism. He did this as part of a delusion that he needed to prevent Nazis from turning his blood into powder via poison they had planted beneath his soap dish.

On December 29, 1977, Chase killed his first victim in a drive-by shooting, Ambrose Griffin, a 51-year-old engineer and father of two. Chase’s next victim was Teresa Wallin. Three months pregnant, Teresa was surprised at her home by Chase, who shot her three times, killing her. He then had sex with the corpse and mutilated it, bathing in the dead woman’s blood. On January 27, Chase committed his final murders. Entering the home of 38-year-old Evelyn Miroth, he encountered her neighbor, Don Meredith, who he shot with the same .22 handgun. Stealing Meredith’s wallet and car keys, he rampaged through the house, fatally shooting Evelyn Miroth, her 6-year-old son Jason, and Miroth’s 22-month-old nephew, David. As with Teresa Wallin, Chase engaged in necrophilia and cannibalism with Miroth’s corpse. Chase returned to his home, where he drank David’s blood and ate several of the infant’s internal organs before disposing of the body at a nearby church. A witness saw him leaving the scene where he left perfect fingerprints and shoe-prints – leading to his arrest.

On May 8 Chase was found guilty of six counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to die in the gas chamber. Waiting to die, Chase became a feared presence in prison; the other inmates (including several gang members), aware of the graphic and bizarre nature of his crimes, feared him, and according to prison officials, they often tried to convince Chase to commit suicide. On December 26, 1980, a guard doing cell checks found Chase lying awkwardly on his bed, not breathing. An autopsy determined that he committed suicide with an overdose of prison doctor-prescribed antidepressants that he had been saving up over the last few weeks.


Peter Kürten was known as The Vampire of Düsseldorfborn. He was born into extreme deprivation and poverty in Köln-Mullheim, a suburb of Cologne, Germany on 26 May 1883. The eldest of thirteen children, his father was an alcoholic with sadistic tendencies, who brutalized both wife and children, in the one room apartment that they all shared, for the duration of Kurten’s childhood.

This daily subjection to sexual violence must have had an immense influence on the boy who, aged 9, formed an unhealthy relationship with a dog-catcher living in the same building, who introduced him to the practize of bestiality, carried out initially on dogs.

Kurten claims to have drowned two school friends at the age of nine. Having pushed one overboard, the second dived in to his rescue. Kurten held both under water until they had suffocated. At the time the event was dismissed as a tragic childhood accident.

As Kurten matured sexually, his bestiality extended to sheep, goats and other farmyard animals, with the teenager discovering particular pleasure when the animal was stabbed during intercourse.

By 1899, at the age of sixteen, Kurten had progressed to petty crime, and ran away from home to escape the continuing violence. Shortly after his departure, his father was arrested for incestuous relations with Kurten’s 13-year old sister, and he was jailed for three years.

On 8 February 1929 he assaulted a woman and molested and murdered an eight-year-old girl. On 13 February he murdered a middle-aged mechanic, stabbing him 20 times. Kürten did not attack again until August, stabbing three people in separate attacks on the 21st; murdering two sisters, aged five and 14, on the 23rd; and stabbing another woman on the 24th. In September he committed a single rape and murder, brutally beating a servant girl with a hammer in woods that lay just outside of Düsseldorf. In October he attacked two women with a hammer. On 7 November he killed a five-year-old girl by strangling and stabbing her 36 times with scissors, and then sent a map to a local newspaper disclosing the location of her grave. The variety of victims and murder methods gave police the impression that more than one killer was at large: the public turned in over 900,000 different names to the police as potential suspects.

The November murder was Kürten's last, although he engaged in a spate of non-fatal hammer attacks from February to March 1930. In May he accosted a young woman named Maria Budlick; he initially took her to his home, and then to the Grafenberger Woods, where he raped but did not kill her. Budlick led the police to Kürten's home. He avoided the police, but confessed to his wife and told her to inform the police. On 24 May he was located and arrested.

He discovered a fascination for brutal sexual acts whilst in solitary confinement, which enhanced his fantasies: so much so that he began to break prison rules to ensure the maximum time in solitary confinement.

Kürten confessed to 79 offenses, and was charged with nine murders and seven attempted murders. He went on trial in April 1931. He initially pleaded not guilty, but after some weeks changed his plea. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.

As Kürten was awaiting execution, he was interviewed by Dr. Karl Berg, whose interviews and accompanying analysis of Kürten formed the basis of his book, Der Sadist. Kürten stated to Berg that his primary motive was one of sexual pleasure. The number of stab wounds varied because it sometimes took longer to achieve orgasm; the sight of blood was integral to his sexual stimulation.

Kürten was executed on 2 July 1931 by guillotine in Cologne.

NOTE: you may find this interesting - Regarding the Fate of Peter Kürten, the Düsseldorf Vampire...Lon

The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers

Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters

Forensic Files: Serial Killers
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Chicago & Regional Winged Humanoid / Flying Entity Sightings & Encounters - Witness Sightings Map

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