Navajo Task Force investigates the paranormal
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With this story, keep in mind that we really do tell it like it is -- even when it is hard to believe.
There is a law enforcement agency in Arizona that actually welcomes claims of the paranormal -- ghosts, witchcraft, UFOs and even Bigfoot.
CBS 5 News obtained dozens of photos and case files from strange scenes and sightings in northeastern Arizona.
Most police won't take reports like this. But about 10 years ago, officials on the Navajo Reservation decided to stop the snickering, to treat these witnesses with respect and thoroughly investigate.
Only one agency -- the Navajo Nation Rangers -- stepped up to the plate. For the first time ever, they are sharing their documents exclusively with CBS 5 News.
Retired Lt. John Dover explains that Navajo Nation Rangers are a federal law enforcement resource. They manage national parks, archaeological sites, fish and wildlife services and more as officers of the law.
Dover spent 31 years in police work -- the last 10 included claims of the paranormal.
"Haunted locations and things going bump in the night," he said. "Objects appearing out of the air and dropping onto the floors, objects flying across rooms, ceramic vessels exploding and then we got involved in UFO investigations."
In one of the most solid cases, a mother and daughter describe a mass of lights floating over uninhabited reservation land in January. As they watched, the lights blinked out after a few seconds, followed by a sonic boom, a black domed craft and the entire town of Chinle losing power.
Their drawings are strikingly vivid -- blue, orange and white colors stand out against a dark landscape.
There are also reports of Bigfoot. The hairy creature is most often associated with the Pacific Northwest. However, both the Apache and Navajo tribes say they've got Sasquatch too.
One case Dover investigated had 30 witnesses. "We came out with physical evidence," he said. "Hair samples, footprints, stride distances, logs that had been pulled out of the bog area and removed -- normal people wouldn't have been able to do that."
Here in Arizona, so-called paranormal activity is abundant, but serious investigation is not. Just ask Jim Mann, state director of the research organization MUFON.
Mann told CBS 5 News, "Tribal lands are filled with Native American legends and folklore and we know those people take the UFO phenomenon very seriously."
Mann said partnering with the Rangers is a huge step forward for the field of paranormal research. "It's always been the history that unfortunately the news media has sort of rolled their eyes at us and snickered at us," he said. "We have to grow up and realize this phenomena is really happening and we have to get over the giggle factor."
Dover says 10 years of investigations have revealed a wealth of information. Witnesses are comfortable speaking with officers who promise to be thorough and protect their anonymity. "Maybe we don't believe it," he said. "Maybe we don't hold every belief that you do, but we're going to investigate it rather meticulously and professionally. We'll report it and let the chips fall where they will."
More often than not, Dover said those chips fall on the side of truth. "Their testimony would be accepted in a court of law. The confidence level is high," he said. "We've seen them ourselves on occasion. We've seen cigar-shaped craft flying low, we've seen orbs. I had one follow me for about 30 minutes one time."
Dover retired from the Rangers last year but still consults unofficially on the side. The Rangers continue to take paranormal reports. "The cases are coming from people that are just normal people who were very afraid -- something unusual was happening to them," he said. "They didn't know what was going on, they didn't know if it was military, something supernatural, if it was witchcraft. They wanted answers and they wanted to know that somebody cared enough about them to find those answers for them."
You can meet Dover on March 11. That Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Harkins Shea 14 Theatre, Dover and other guests will attend a screening of the documentary The Phoenix Lights. They will take questions from the audience along with filmmaker and witness Dr. Lynne Kitei. For more information on the film and their appearance, click here.
Sound off below- tell us about your paranormal experience or why you think it's just not real! - KPHO
'Dead' woman climbs out of coffin
A 95-year-old grandmother terrified her neighbours in China - by climbing out of her coffin six days after she 'died'
Li Xiufeng was found motionless and not breathing in bed by her neighbour more than a fortnight after tripping and suffering a head injury.
When he failed to wake her up, Chen Qingwang assumed the frail grandmother had passed away in her sleep, in the village of Liulou, in Beiliu, Guangxi Province.
Recounting his daily visit to bring the elderly lady breakfast, Mr Qingwang, 60, said: ""She didn't get up, so I came up to wake her up.
"No matter how hard I pushed her and called her name, she had no reactions. I felt something was wrong, so I tried her breath, and she has gone, but her body is still not cold."
According to tradition, the 'dead' woman was laid in her coffin ahead of the funeral for friends and relatives to pay their respects.
But the day before the funeral, Mr Qingwang arrived at his neighbour's house to find the coffin empty and the corpse gone.
"We were so terrified, and immediately asked the neighbours to come for help," he said.
After searching for the missing body, the villagers were stunned to find Mrs Xiufeng sitting on a stool in her kitchen cooking.
She reportedly told villagers: "I slept for a long time. After waking up, I felt so hungry, and wanted to cook something to eat. I pushed the lid for a long time to climb out."
A county hospital reportedly believes Mrs Xiufeng suffered an artificial death, during which the person has no breath, but the body remains warm. - orange.co.uk
Police warn children at risk over return of witch-finders
Children in Britain are increasingly at risk of being branded as witches and tortured, police are claiming, following the high-profile case of Kristy Bamu - tortured and murdered by his brother for being a kindoki witch.
The threat comes from the rise of the West African belief, which states children can be possessed by evil spirits, according to a specialist unit set up to investigate witchcraft.
It is thought to be widespread among some immigrant communities, fuelled by a growing number of small fundamentalist Christian churches.
The belief is not confined to the poor or ill-educated and many cases of children being abused may never be uncovered, the officers fear.
Det Supt Terry Sharpe, leader of specialist witchcraft unit Project Violet, said: ‘We know this is an under-reported crime and a hidden crime.’
The warning came after a London couple were convicted yesterday of torturing a a 15-year-old boy to death because they were convinced he was possessed by evil spirits.
Murderer Eric Bikubi – who with his partner, Magelai Bamu, subjected her younger brother, Kristy, to four days of torment before drowning him – was obsessed with kindoki.
Kristy, 15, was attacked with a hammer, knife and pliers before being drowned in a bath after he begged to be allowed to die.
Kristy and his four other siblings were staying with the couple at their east London flat over Christmas 2010. But when Kristy wet himself, Bikubi – described as ‘feral and out of control’ – took it as a sign he was possessed by evil spirits.
The boy was beaten for four days before he was killed.
The couple even forced his brothers and sisters to join in the ‘staggering act of depravity and cruelty’.
At one point, Bamu, 29, twisted her brother’s ears with a pair of pliers before ordering her 21-year-old sister, Kelly, to do the same. Kristy suffered 130 injuries and a metal screw, which he was forced to eat, was found in his bowel.
The boy’s parents, Pierre and Jacqueline, who live in Paris, yesterday said they took ‘no comfort’ from the guilty verdicts.
But a family statement read: ‘To know that Magalie did nothing to save him makes the pain that much worse. We are still unaware of the full extent of the brutality – we cannot bring ourselves to hear it.’
In a phone call on Christmas Day, Bamu told her father: ‘Dad, you’ve got to pick up the children – they’re witches and you’re a witch, too.’
Kristy’s younger brother, then 13, told the Old Bailey he and his older brother Yves, 22, were forced to join Bikubi as he broke tiles over Kristy’s head.
His teeth were also smashed and his finger broken with a claw hammer.
It was one of 83 witchcraft cases Project Violet has investigated in London in the past ten years
Expert Dr Richard Hoskins said kindoki was widespread in the country where Bamu and Bikubi were born. He added: ‘Kindoki remains a force that is feared by lots of people over here, even here in London.’ - metro
Ricky D reports from the road....
In a recent update, after the unsuccessful Bigfoot 'stake out' in someone's backyard, Ricky D now reports that he was able to get into Canada to be briefed on the situation there. A few hours later he's back on the road headed to Florida.
How does he do it? An all-night stake out, a flight to an undisclosed location in Canada then back home to the Ozarks driving towards Florida...in a 36 hour period. Amazing! I'm surprised FOX News isn't tagging along with him already, because it's just a matter of time before Ricky D bags a Bigfoot...
For Sale: Deserted French village, pool included
The village of Courbefy has rustic buildings with fireplaces and exposed beams, a horse stable, a tennis court and a swimming pool.
Sound nice? It's for sale.
The saga of the abandoned hamlet is a story of flight from rural France, bad economic times and real estate schemes gone awry. It's turned the mayor of the village next door into a minor celebrity whose office fields inquiries from places as far flung as Qatar and China.
The village in Limousin, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southwest of Paris, was put on the block last week because its latest owners, who had run it as a luxury hotel and restaurant, had long stopped paying their mortgage.
The entire hamlet carried an asking price of just €300,000 ($400,000) — about the cost of a studio apartment in Paris.
But nobody bid.
That meant the village fell into the hands of bank Credit Agricole, which holds the mortgage. The bank hopes to put it up for auction again, and this time the odds are more promising: Since word leaked out to the media that an authentic French village was up for sale, Courbefy has swarmed with potential buyers, joined by curious hangers-on.
This past Sunday more than 50 cars pulled onto the grass that serves as a parking lot just inside the gated entrance to Courbefy.
Among those who are considering the property: a band of former college friends who always promised to live in a commune together, a group of retirees looking for a place to settle down, people interested in setting up a center for the handicapped, others scouting locations for a film set and studio.
"It's a real media phenomenon, it's crazy," said Bernard Guilhem, mayor of Saint Nicolas Courbefy, just down the hill from Courbefy. "It's a big snowball that everyone wants to push."
Who wouldn't, after all, want to own a French village?
Well, Credit Agricole, for one.
The bank, eager to unload the property, gave suitors a Thursday deadline to express serious interest by leaving a deposit of €330,000 ($440,000) — by law 10 percent higher than the original asking price. A new auction date will then be set.
Already more than 100 people have called Credit Agricole lawyer Paul Gerardin's office with queries.
They come from all over — every corner of France, England, Italy, Belgium, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. Gerardin's secretary has done nothing but field calls all day since the first story appeared in the national press last week.
Since then, Guilhem has also been overrun, variously serving as an amateur historian and real estate agent, showing potential buyers and journalists around. His photo appears in newspapers in Paris. His appointment book is filled. He has to turn his phone to silent when he gives his tours of Courbefy or risk being interrupted every 15 minutes.
Courbefy has gone through many incarnations in its long history.
The village goes back at least to Gallo-Roman times, when a road connecting Limoges and Bordeaux passed through, according to Guilhem.
It was the site of a chateau occupied by Jeanne d'Albret, mother of King Henry IV. Its surroundings are dotted with three so-called "miraculous springs" whose waters supposedly have healing powers.
Local lore has it that early in the Hundred Years' War between England and France, the residents of Limoges hired a mercenary to chase away the English who had settled at Courbefy.
One of the ironies of Courbefy's modern twist of fate? It could be the English who step in to save the town. Wealthy Britons in recent decades have flocked to this corner of France, mostly to the neighboring Dordogne region, where they've scooped up vacation homes and retirement properties.
The last couple to live in Courbefy left in the early 1970s, according to Rachel Mallefont, who grew up in Saint Nicolas Courbefy and went to school with kids who lived "en haut" — up there, as the residents of Saint Nicolas invariably call Courbefy.
It was not uncommon for villages to be abandoned in that era. In the 1970s, running water was brought to the last corners of France but many people ended up leaving villages where hooking up to the grid was too difficult and expensive, according to Francis Cahuzac, president of the French Commission for the Protection of Historic and Rural Heritage.
Other villages were abandoned as farming became industrialized and small plots like those in Courbefy didn't lend themselves to mechanization. Anywhere that manual trades predominated risked being emptied out, as children sought better education and easier lifestyles in big towns and cities.
Many of those hamlets have since been repopulated, often taken up by foreign buyers — especially English and German. But others still languish in obscurity.
Courbefy followed the former path for many years, passing through a series of hands — many foreign — becoming variously a summer camp for children, a property to rent for vacations and conferences, a luxury hotel and restaurant.
But folly seemed to lay at the end of every road. - KXAN