Just the Facts?: The Buxton Mermaid -- Yellowstone 'Lake Music' Mystery -- The Owlman of Mawnan...Hoax?
Buxton Mermaid origins probed at University of Lincoln
University staff and students are doing tests to uncover the origins of a museum exhibit which looks like a mummified mermaid.
They have already found the mysterious Buxton Mermaid's hair is human.
The University of Lincoln team is now testing the DNA of the mermaid's tail to see what fish it came from.
Anita Hollinshead, a conservation and restoration masters student, came across the mermaid while working at the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.
"We think that it came from the mid-19th Century," she said.
"We are still doings tests to find that out.
"She may have come from Japan or the Far East. A lot of these kind of mermaids came from that area and were made by fishermen and they sold them to supplement their income as sort of fake mermaids.
"Sometimes people bought them thinking they were the real thing.
"They were very popular side-show attractions, particularly in London in the mid-19th Century."
X-ray examinations have shown the mermaid's upper body is built upon a wooden and wire structure.
"The teeth are carved bone and we think the eyes are actually some sort of mollusc shell," said Ms Hollinshead.
"We didn't know if there were any bits of monkey in the top half, as there are in some of these, but that's proven not to be the case."
The team hopes further tests will determine what the mermaid's skin is made from.
Their research suggests that until 1982 the Buxton Mermaid was held with a merman at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, in London.
The merman is now held at the Horniman Museum, also in London.
The mermaid and merman will be reunited at the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery for an exhibition from 19 March to 13 May. - BBC
No explanation for mysterious ‘lake music’ reported by many Yellowstone visitors
Yellowstone Lake and the rugged backcountry that surrounds it is a place where millions go seeking solitude and silence. Yet it in a well-documented but rarely discussed phenomenon, some visitors to the Lake area have experienced remarkable celestial sounds of unknown and unexplained origin.
“They resemble the ringing of telegraph wires or the humming of a swarm of bees, beginning softly in the distance, growing rapidly plainer until directly overhead, and then fading as rapidly in the opposite direction,” wrote Hiram M. Chittenden in 1895 in his book, “The Yellowstone National Park.”
Chittenden’s description is one of several in the historical record — as well as many more from popular anecdotal accounts — of strange sounds or “lake music” coming from the skies around Yellowstone Lake and Shoshone lake.
Chittenden was an accomplished engineer with rigorous scientific discipline who built roads and bridges in the park, as well as locks in Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal. He was not given to idle speculation or unsubstantiated gossip about seemingly magical events.
But he is hardly the only — or even the first — prominent Yellowstone visitor to write about the strange and unexplained lake sounds.
Edwin Linton, a professor of biology at Washington and Jefferson College and a specialist in marine parasites was working in Yellowstone in the summer of 1890 as part of a project for the U.S. Fish Commission. Linton, his colleagues and his guides heard the mysterious sounds more than once during that trip, and he drew from his own diary entries when he wrote an account of the odd experience for the Nov. 3, 1893 edition of the prestigious journal Science.
“On the following morning, we heard the sound very plainly,” Linton wrote. “It appeared to begin directly overhead and to pass off across the sky, growing fainter and fainter towards the southwest. It appeared to be a rather indefinite, reverberating sound, characterized by a slight metallic resonance.”
Linton and others have described the sounds as “harp-like” or similar to human voices or the sound of metal cables crashing against each other, but no satisfactory explanation has yet been offered for their origin.
Lee Whittlesey, historian at Yellowstone Park and a longtime resident of the region, said that the Yellowstone Lake sounds aren’t often discussed by park insiders.
“You have to have a real interest in Yellowstone history to even be familiar with it,” said Whittlesey, who has written several books and articles about Yellowstone history.
“There are a number of pieces written about it, but it’s often deeply buried in the literature,” he said.
Despite how far-fetched the phenomenon sounds, Whittlesey said he’s confident the sounds have existed and the historical accounts about them are credible.
“It has been reported by too many people for it to be any kind of Bigfoot thing or something like that,” he said.
Respected scientists and prominent park figures have reported hearing the sounds, and accounts have appeared in books, journals and newspapers, Whittlesey said, although the last new written report may have been as far back as the 1930s.
Typically, accounts of the sounds state that they take place at or near Yellowstone Lake or Shoshone Lake on a clear day when there is little or no wind and the waters are still, usually in the morning.
Geologist Frank H. Bradley explored and documented Yellowstone’s natural wonders as a member of the Hayden Expeditions, and wrote in 1873 about hearing odd sounds along the shore of Yellowstone Lake.
“While getting breakfast, we heard every few moments a curious sound, between a whistle and a hoarse whine, whose locality and character we could not at first determine, though we were inclined to refer it to water-fowl on the other side of the lake,” Bradley wrote in his account of the geologic survey of the area.
“I have listened for it because I found it so interesting,” said Whittlesey, who has lived and worked around Yellowstone for more than 35 years.
“I first learned of it in the early 70s, and over the years kept running into references to it here and there,” he said. “So I listened for it any time I was camped in the backcountry anywhere near Yellowstone Lake or Shoshone Lake, and I never have heard it.”
Terry Dolan, a tour guide based in Cody, Wyo, said he has not only never heard the sounds, but was not familiar with details of the historical accounts of them.
There have been various explanations proposed for the sounds, ranging from fanciful speculation to educated guesses, often centered around the park’s unique geology.
An August 1930 article in Popular Science magazine cited “mild earthquakes, their sounds possibly magnified in underground caverns like sound boxes” as one potential explanation.
The article also referenced a theory put forward by F. C. Marvin, chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau, who based his ideas on observations by Glen Jefferson, a Yellowstone meteorologist.
Marvin noted that temperature inversions are not uncommon above Yellowstone Lake, where warmer air above the lake sits atop cooler air near the water’s surface.
He posited that such inversions “may alter the normal way that the air conducts sound,” the article states. “It might produce sound mirages, in which distant noises of geysers, birds or steamboats might appear to come from near at hand.”
A frozen horizon hangs in the far distance as cloudy skies loom over frozen Yellowstone Lake. At least one scientists believes temperature inversions over the lake may expalin why some Yellowstone National Park visitors hear odd sounds there.
Other theories are referenced dismissively by Stephen Forbes, of the Illinois State Natural History Survey, who wrote about hearing the lake sounds while on the same expedition as Linton.
“No scientific explanation of this really bewitching phenomenon has ever been published, although it has been several times referred to by travelers, who have ventured various crude guesses at its cause, varying from that commonest catch-all of the ignorant, ‘electricity,’ to the whistling of the wings of ducks and the noise of Steamboat Geyser,” Forbes wrote. “It seems to me to belong to the class of aerial echoes, but even on that supposition I cannot account for the origin of the sound.”
If the sounds are related to the park’s geology, they come and go along with thermal features like geysers or hot springs, which wax and wane over years or even decades depending on a complex set of natural factors.
It’s possible that some people in recent years have heard the sound but kept mum about it for fear of sounding foolish or being ridiculed, Whittlesey said, but for whatever reason, the lake sounds are not a topic most guides discuss with visitors.
“I was a tour guide and a ranger naturalist, and I don’t remember ever using it in a program,” Whittlesey said. “It’s just not something that is well known among Yellowstone interpreters or Yellowstone tour guides.”
Despite the lack of any recently documented lake sounds and the lack of a solid explanation for them, Whittlesey is sure the sounds existed as described.
“I feel quite certain these people all heard what they wrote about,” he said. - yellowstonegate
Yellowstone Treasures: The Traveler's Companion to the National Park
Armageddon Yellowstone: Hell Unleashed
Mysterious night time noise plagues Derry
People in Derry are being plagued by a mysterious noise coming from the air, it has been claimed.
SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey says scores of people are being kept awake by unexplained activity in the night sky - and the noise it creates.
He says if it is caused by police or military activity then the authorities must offer an explanation.
“I have received a number of calls from concerned residents who have been unsettled and whose sleeping pattern is being affected by what can only be described as a relentless and disturbing buzzing noise in the Derry sky over recent days,” he says.
“There has been an issue regarding the use of the PSNI Helicopter that has been frequently deployed which has caused annoyance, and I have been in contact with the Police Air Support Unit to ascertain some information in respect of the deployment of the helicopter.
“That having been said, the helicopter has not been visible in recent days when this noise has been reported, and is obviously operating at a high altitude.
“If the PSNI confirm they are not responsible for the noise, then it is only logical, given enquiries that I have carried out, that the British Army are responsible for the operation of whatever device is causing grief to my constituents. I intend to write to the Secretary of State to confirm if this is indeed the case, as the presence of the noise is causing considerable anxiety.”
He added:”We need answers to these important questions and I do intend to continue to pursue statutory agencies to find out who is responsible.”
Have you heard the noise? let us know if this affects you by leaving a comment below..... - derryjournal
The Owlman of Mawnan: elaborate hoax or unsolved mystery?
The Owlman is generally believed to have been a piece of splendid hoaxing... though some people remain convinced that a large and mysterious winged creature did visit the village of Mawnan for a short time in 1976.
The first sighting occurred in April of that year. Don Melling, who was holidaying in the area, said that on April 17 his young daughters, June and Vicky, were walking through woods near Mawnan church when they saw a "half-man half-owl" hovering above the church.
The girls were frightened and immediately ran to tell their father, who was so disturbed by what he heard that the family abandoned their holiday three days early.
Two months later, on July 3, 14-year-olds Sally Chapman and Barbara Perry were camping in the same woods. According to Sally, she heard a hissing sound and saw a figure that looked like an owl as big as a man, with pointed ears and red eyes. The girls reported that the creature flew up into the air, revealing black pincer-like claws. Sightings of this figure continued to be reported on the following day and on two further occasions two years later. In 1995, a tourist from Chicago wrote to the Western Morning News, claiming to have seen a "man-bird with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes, pointed ears and clawed wings".
So is the Owlman fact or fantasy? Most observers suspect the phenomenon was simply another example of Tony Doc Shiels' inventive imagination. Surrealist painter and writer, showman, wizard and arch-hoaxer, Shiels was living at Ponsanooth, not too far from Mawnan, in 1976. He was a man with a history of involvement in strange phenomena, from Nessie to Morgawr, the monster of Falmouth Bay. What's more, Shiels was also the first person holidaymaker Don Melling told of his daughters' strange encounter in Mawnan churchyard... - thisiscornwall
Mysterious ‘beast’ terrorizes villagers
An unknown creature is reportedly frightening and threatening village residents in the Uukwiyu Uushona constituency (Oshana region).
According to regional councillor Andreas Mundjindi, the mysterious animal was spotted late last Saturday chasing dogs and goats. Mundjindi says that the beast even almost injured a young man on Sunday afternoon on his way home.
“This is an alien animal that the people have not seen before. We don’t have a forest here and only bushes. So, this must be black magic at play”, the councillor told Informanté.
The animal is said to be white in colour with a dog-like head and pig-like backside. Locals are now only working and walking in groups whenever they go somewhere - day or night.
One resident told Informanté that the creature originated from a house of a grey haired man. “Everyone believes it is his beast and even he knows that we think so,” the source said, adding that the man would be so feared that no one dares to confront him.
The resident further says that people are puzzled that the mysterious animal only attacks dogs of some households while others are spared of the attacks.
“When it comes our side in the night, all the dogs are barking, but if it goes back west, then it’s all hush. People must be safe. We don’t want to be mauled by things we don’t know,” he fumed.
A teacher acknowledged that even his learners are talking about the alien animal. “Wether it’s true or not, I don’t know. Wambos are just like Caprivians. They like magic too much,” says the geography teacher. Unknown animals have been regularly spotted in the north over the past years, most notably at Okaku village. There residents accused a certain family of keeping strange animals as pets. The family successfully sued the Ministry of Safety and Security when police searched their house. Nothing was found.
The Uukwiyu Uushona councillor pleads with the owner of the unknown beast to remove it from the open before it causes injuries. ”Alikana tukwateni nawa iinima yetu nokuyipa yilye yo kaayi tu fadhukiipo” – translating into “please let’s keep our things safe and feed them, so that they don’t run out into the open.”
Some of northern tribes are said to believe that keeping strange animals in their houses would bring luck, protection and wealth. - informante
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