Interviews with survivors of a mine explosion in Dec. 26, 1945, known as the Belva Mine Disaster, appeared in several newspapers in Pineville, Kentucky and elsewhere between 12/1981-1/1982. The interviews revealed that a few of the trapped miner observed a "door" in one of the walls open, and a man dressed like a "lumberjack" emerged from a well-lighted room. After assuring the men that they would be rescued, the strange visitor returned to the room and closed the door. These "lumberjack-like" entities have been described by miners in other parts of the country and in other nations as well. There has been debate whether these are physical or paranormal entities.
A similar incident occurred in a mine near Shipton, Pennsylvania. Of the three victims of this particular mine disaster, only two were rescued. However both described a similar paranormal encounter with strange 'men' who entered the caverns and gave light to the two trapped miners and told them that they would be rescued. They were uncertain whether the entities were humans or supernatural beings however, as much of their collective "hallucination" contained both physical as well as supernatural elements. The bluish "light" which illuminated the room, they said, was real, but other holographic-like visuals that appeared on the walls, when touched by their hands, either disappeared or revealed solid rock behind.
Michael Burke, in his article 'Green Thing Sparks Rumors' in The Valley News Dispatch (New Kensington, Tarentum and Vandergrift, PA., Mar. 5, 1981) described a small creature (about 4 ft. tall), that appeared to be 'half humanoid - half dinosaur' was seen emerging from a sewer tunnel in New Kensington. A group of children chased the infant or young dinosauroid creature, one of them momentarily grabbing it at which point it let out a squealing or screeching sound, and then slipped from his hands and escaped back into the sewer tunnel. This incident took place some miles west of Dixonville, PA., where in 1944 several miners were killed or turned up missing as a result of encounters with 'alien' creatures in one particular mineshaft there.
PENNSYLVANIA, DIXONVILLE - Mine inspector Glenn E. Berger reported in 1944 to his superiors that the Dixonville mine disaster which "killed" 15 men was not the result of a cave-in, but rather an attack by underground creatures capable of manipulating the earth [partial cave-ins], whose domain the miners had apparently penetrated. Most of the dead miners were not injured by falling rocks but showed signs of large claw marks, others were missing, and one survivor spoke of seeing a vicious humanoid creature that was 'not of this world' within an ancient passage that the miners had broke into. The creature somehow created a "cave-in", blocking himself and another inspector [who closed his eyes when he felt the creatures 'hot breath' on his neck] from the main passage until another rescue party began to dig through the collapse, scaring the "creature" away. - Stoney Brakefield - NEWS EXTRA, July 14, 1974
Several years ago two boys entered a small cave in a Pittsburgh suburb that was uncovered by road excavation work, only to find a partially buried thermol-bore (a perfectly round fused polished shaft apparently melted through the rock), partially concealed by dirt, and which they uncover and explore. Their dog ran down the sloping shaft, which was about 4 ft. in diameter, ahead of them until a deep, vibrating sound is heard...at which time the dog came running back out of the shaft, clawing its way over them and in total terror, running back home. The cave was then subsequently covered by further road excavation. There were also rumors of old robber gangs in frontier times who would rob banks and escape to hide away in ancient caverns underground, via an "automatic door" they had discovered in the cliffs. - THE SHAVER MYSTERY Magazine
Near Blue Ridge Summit, PA is the location of the so-called "underground Pentagon" maintained by nearby Ft. Ritchie, MD, and used as a major electronic nerve center for the U.S. military. A massive installation that is also known as "Raven Rock" or "Site R" that was blasted out of greenstone granite 650 feet below. A 260,000 sq. ft. facility sprawling beneath 716 acres composed of five different "buildings" in specially excavated separate caverns, literally forming an underground "pentagon". Also contains fluorescent lights, convenience store, barbershop, medical and dining facilities, an underground reservoir containing millions of gallons of water, a chapel, 35 miles of telephone lines, and six 1,000-watt generators. It is a supercomputing and electronic command post linked with several military communications networks around the globe, and is reportedly connected via tunnel to Camp David several miles to the south near the town of Thurmont. - UFO Magazine, Vol.7, No.6; Richard Sauder (NOTE: the original source noted that Camp David was north of Raven Rock...it is actually south in the Catoctin Mts. Raven Rock has been the subject of speculation since it was built, but I can assure you that the facility does exist and is heavily secured. Deadly force warnings are posted well before you reach the 1st checkpoint...Lon)
The reason I bring up Raven Rock is because of several sightings and sudden 'vanishing' of odd entities in the general area. In light of the government presence, one has to wonder if there is any connection. I have personally investigated witness reports of reptilian and small hominids in nearby locations including Michaux State Park, Gettysburg, Cunningham Falls State Park, Waynesboro, PA Watershed and the South Mountain area.
There have been a number of small incidents and sightings of small strange entities throughout the Appalachian Mountains...from Georgia to Maine. But most seem to be concentrated in coal-bearing areas with deep mines or limestone quarries where caves are revealed. Food for thought...
Death forbidden - 4 places where you are banned from dying
When something as natural and inevitable as death is banned, it does seem a tad illogical. You would be surprised to know that there actually are quite a few places on Earth where death has been forbidden, and deemed illegal. In fact, it seems that this is actually an age-old practice; the earliest known instance of the prohibition of death was in the 5th century BC, when dying wasn’t allowed on religious grounds at the Greek island of Delos. Each place has a reason of its own, varying from religious beliefs to environmental factors.
We’ll take a look at four places where death is forbidden in today’s world:
Itsukushima - Japan
According to the Shinto belief, the Japanese island of Itsukushima is a sacred place, and the maintenance of its purity is of utmost concern. So in an attempt to keep up the sanctity of the island, the shrine’s priests have worked pretty hard to make sure no deaths occur there. Since the year 1878, no deaths or births have been permitted near the shrine. Pregnant women nearing the date of delivery aren’t allowed there, nor are the elderly or the terminally ill.
The only battle that ever occurred on Itsukushima was the Battle of Miyajima in 1555, after which the victorious commander ordered the bodies to be removed to the mainland immediately. The entire island was cleansed of the blood that was spilled, blood-soaked soil was thrown away from the island, and even the buildings were scrubbed new. Well, isn’t that cheating? Because no matter how much they cleaned it, the deaths clearly did happen. Still, nowadays dying is not allowed on Itsukushima.
Longyearbyen - Norway
The Arctic town of Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Islands of Norway has a similar rule. Death is forbidden, and the town has only a small graveyard that stopped accepting new burials over 70 years ago. The reason – the bodies never decompose. It was discovered that the bodies buried in Longyearbyen were actually perfectly preserved by permafrost. Scientists even removed tissue from a man who died there and found intact traces of the influenza virus that he died from during the epidemic in 1917.
People who are gravely ill or expected to die soon are dispatched by air or ship to a different part of Norway, where they would spend the last days of their lives.
Falciano del Massico - Italy
At Falciano del Massico, a small town in southern Italy, the story is kind of different. People aren’t allowed to die, not because of the environment or religious beliefs, but simply because there isn’t any space left for the dead to be buried. The mayor issued an order earlier this month that stated, “It is forbidden for residents to go beyond the boundaries of earthly life, to go into the afterlife.” Ever since local boundaries were redrawn in 1964, Falciano del Massico has been in dispute with a neighboring town over rights to the old cemetery. The mayor has decided to now build a new cemetery, but until then, people have been ordered to hold off their deaths. Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from the Indonesian Toraja villagers, and have their dead walking about town.
Sarpourenx - France
A decree prohibiting people from dying was again issued by the Mayor of Sarpourenx, a picturesque village in the southwest of France. The decision came after a French court refused planning permission to extend the town’s existing graveyard. But Mayor Gerard Lalanne has actually taken it a bit further, he’s not only banned death, but those who dare to die will be severely sanctioned. Although, it’s not yet clear what the sanctions will be. After all, how could you punish the dead? A coffin with no lining? Or perhaps, one that’s lined with nails. The mayor’s decision has gotten the residents of Sarpourenx worried. “What will happen to me if I die,” they ask. Well, don’t we all want to know that now? - odditycentral
Near-Death Experiences are Lucid Dreams, Experiment Finds
In a new exercise by a California organization that studies lucid dreaming, volunteers have been conditioned to dream near-death experiences, including the classic scenario of flying toward a light at the end of a tunnel. The researchers say their experiment demonstrates that these heavenly visions must be products of the human mind rather than supernatural phenomena.
In the sleep experiment at the Out-Of-Body Experience Research Center in Los Angeles, four groups of 10 to 20 volunteers were trained to perform a series of mental steps upon awakening during the night that might lead them to have out-of-body experiences. If able to "separate" from their bodies, they were then conditioned to try dreaming about floating through a tunnel toward a bright light. Eighteen of the volunteers said they were able to dream such an experience.
"Some of the test subjects not only succeeded in reproducing the out-of-body flight through a tunnel, but also enjoyed the ecstasy typical of the experience, and even flew all the way to the light and met their deceased relatives there," center leader Michael Raduga stated in a press release about the work, which has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
More than 8 million Americans have had a near-death experience, and they most often occur during states of anesthesia-induced sleep, according to the center. Prior work by neurologists, including Kevin Nelson of the University of Kentucky, suggests that NDEs are indeed generated by the same brain mechanisms that cause lucid dreams. Nelson's research shows that both types of experiences arise when part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal region — our "logical center," which is usually active only when we're awake — becomes active during REM sleep, allowing extremely vivid dreams that seem to be happening in real life. He calls the transitional state between dreaming and wakefulness a "borderland of consciousness" and believes it is in this mixed state that lucid dreams and NDEs occur.
With Nelson's research in mind, Raduga designed his experiment to determine if volunteers could be coached to dream up NDEs when in the transitional phase between sleep and waking. This would demonstrate that reports of NDEs, which are commonly cited as proof of the supernatural, really are just lucid dreams.
Volunteers who successfully generated NDEs described their experiences for the researchers. One participant, identified by the center asNadezhda S., stated: "I was able to leave my body after a couple of tries. Now that I was out of my body, I wanted to see the tunnel and it immediately appeared in front of me … Once I flew to the end of that tunnel … I saw my deceased husband there in the spirit. We spoke for several minutes. His words, touch, bearing, and feelings were real, just like during his life. Later on, when I felt it was time to leave, I went up to the tunnel, jumped and gently landed in my body."
Nelson said conclusions from the research should be "cautiously drawn" until the findings pass the peer-review process, but they are nonetheless well-aligned with prior research on NDEs. "Lucid dreaming can be conditioned and bears an uncanny similarity to near-death," Nelson told Life's Little Mysteries. "Indeed, Raduga's study demonstrates the similarity of near-death and lucid dreaming. Evidence from many sources converges to support that lucid dreaming and near-death use similar brain mechanisms but in different circumstances."
The research may have implications for those who believe in the afterlife. "NDE, as the most trusted reason for believe in life after life, may be just the result of spontaneous and hyper-realistic lucid dreams, induced by narcosis or brain damage during dying," Raduga wrote in an email. "This means that NDEs aren't evidence of life after life." - Natalie Wolchover - lifeslittlemysteries
NASA has released ultra high quality footage taken from the shuttle's rocket boosters during launch.
The footage shows in spectacular detail the ascent from ignition to the point at which the boosters are jettisoned with the curvature of the Earth and the black of space visible in the background. What sets this video apart however is the inclusion of audio which has been remastered by George Lucas' Skywalker Sound company, every rattle and whoosh has been cleaned up and can be heard in unprecedented detail. The footage is due to be included as an extra on a new NASA DVD commemorating the Space Shuttles.
Teen stabbing suspect: Ouija board said do it
A Texas teenager charged in the stabbing of his 14-year-old friend said a Ouija board told him to carry out the attack, police said on Friday.
The 15-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder after stabbing his friend with a 4-inch knife on Feb. 29 in a wooded area behind a high school in Weslaco, a small town along the U.S.-Mexico border at the southern tip of Texas.
The victim was treated in intensive care for three days for a severe laceration to his intestine, Weslaco police spokesman J.P. Rodriguez said.
The alleged assailant, whose name was not made public, has no history of mental problems or criminal behavior, Rodriguez said.
"I'm not making excuses for the kid, but I think sometimes it's harder for them to separate reality from fiction," the police spokesman said. "This is kind of bizarre."
After stabbing him, the boy took his friend to a nearby auto repair shop so the owner could call an ambulance, Rodriguez said.
A third boy said that he witnessed the stabbing, and that his knife-wielding friend told the victim to say he fell on the blade, according to police.
Marketed by Hasbro, the Ouija board has a flat surface marked with letters, numbers and symbols. It is used in a seance game that is said to help players communicate with the dead.
Rodriguez called the case "a little eerie" but said investigators believe the boy used the Ouija board to rationalize the attack.
"He actually believed what the Ouija board advised him, that the friend was the cause of his problems," Rodriguez said. "That's kind of the incredible part." - msnbc
During the past 2 months, Spirit Rescue International became involved with a haunted property north of San Antonio, Texas in Kendall County that has also endured UFO activity, including close encounters with 'Dyad scout craft' type UFOs. The client's son has experienced two separate encounters on the property...both occasions the craft approached the witness.
During two remote view sessions of the location, non-terrestrial activity was perceived. One of the scenarios identified interaction between livestock and several unknown entities. Specifically, I observed activity that suggested biological samples were procured by these unknown entities. In the other scenario a 'C' shaped craft swiftly flew over me while I perceived an outdoor ranch scene from 1873.
The San Antonio metro area claims many UFO sightings, including 'Dyad scout craft' reports. Another remote view may be required to obtain more insight into this phenomena. So far there have been no reports of animal mutilation and/or human or animal abduction...but a more intense investigation of the area may be warranted.
I have included 2 historical encounters of these small disc UFOs in the San Antonio, TX area:
San Antonio, Texas, United States - 1975
A 48-year-old San Antonio sheet metal worker claims he had a close encounter of the third kind with two occupants of a UFO. He was driving his pickup truck just south of San Antonio when he "was approached, spotlighted and, nearly buffeted off the road by an unidentified craft," investigators report
"UFOs are back"
A San Antonio man claims he had a close encounter of the third kind with two occupants of a UFO.
He was driving his pickup truck just south of San Antonio when he "was approached, spotlighted and, nearly buffeted off the road by an unidentified craft," investigators report.
The 48-year-old sheet metal worker reported two short creatures with slit-like eyes inside a globular airship. "They weren't human beings like we see here," he said.
Almost three years later this incident and many others remain unexplained.
In the wake of renewed interest in UFOs spurred by tho movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," many people are realizing that San Antonio has long been a prime site for UFO spottings.
With "Close Encounters" smashing attendance records across the country, Unidentified Flying Objects are getting more publicity than at any time since the last big UFO flap in 1973.
As defined by Dr. J. Allen Hyiiek, who also served as technical advisor for the movie, a close encounter of the first kind is merely seeing something that cannot be explained.
A close encounter'of the second kind is when a UFO leaves some kind of evidence that it exists; such as burned rings on the ground or radar traces, Hynek says.
And a close encounter of the third kind "is when you actually meet them,"' as the movie explains.
Some UFO buffs have added a fourth kind of encounter to the list for those claimed instances when a UFO has actually kidnapped or interfered with humans.
Strange alien creatures and flying saucers have become dinner table conversation in just the few months since the movie came out.
A quick cheek of the magazine, rack at a San Antonio grocery store this week turned up at least 11 different magazines with "Close Encounters" on their covers.
NBC-TV started a new series 'Sunday called "Project UFO."
Jack Webb of "Dragnet" fame will produce the series which will fictionalize a different actual UFO sighting every week.
At least one local TV station is also jumping on the UFO bandwagon.
KMOL-TV, Channel 4, will screen a three-part UFO report during its evening news show this week. The report will be locally produced.
Channel 4 also has an hour-long locally done UFO special in the works, according to the news director.
Two UFO organizations in the San Antonio area are very active in investigating unexplained events,
The Mutual UFO Network, based in Seguin, made the report on the San Antonio sighting that began this story.
Investigator Gary Graber concluded that "the majority of events happened as related."
The occurrence took place on Mogford Road south of town shortly after 9 p.m., according to his interviews with the San Antonio man. The man was driving to a nearby store when he noticed a strange amber-colored object rise rapidly from a grove of trees about 900 yards away.
The object then streaked toward the pickup truck "at a terrific rale of speed" as the light on the front of [he vehicle changed from amber to bright, cherry red. "When the craft got directly over the top of my pickup the lights went completely out and the engine was dead," the man said.
"As I was trying to get out of the pickup I thought it was a chopper passing on top of me, at first," he said.
"Then when they hovered over the top of me and I got a good look at it. I knew it was no chopper. I thought to myself, 'that's got to be a UFO,"' the man reported.
He said the craft was globular with a sort of shelf-like projection encircling the transparent upper section.
The bottom of the vehicle was highly polished metal and had the cherry red light apparently mounted (owards the front of the craft.
The UFO hovered over the truck for between 10 and 20 seconds and the man got a good look inside. The two creatures were not over five feet tall with tight, firm skin, he said
"They were bald, with long prominent ears and a long nose. Their eyes did not appear very plainly; they just looked like slits," he told the investigator.
The investigator speculates that the slits could have been lids or protective membranes to protect their eyes against glare.
Their skin "was not like our skin, it appeared to me to look sort of like sharkskin, sort of a grey color," the witness reported.
"There was no motor noise -during the time it was over my truck, just a whirring (shriek) of wind. It was very loud, it sounded to me like a cyclone." ho said.
When the craft left it "look off straight up. There was a terrible thrust that buffeted my pickup and then it vanished almost instantly," the man said. "II was just like turning off a light bulb."
He noticed a strong odor like burning copper or electrical wiring while the craft hovered over his truck. The odor lingered for several days, he said. '
The man also reported eye strain from the intense red light, the report notes.
"I feel like they got a look at me. and maybe got my picture or something," the man told the investigator.
The report notes that he was familiar with the type of aircraft seen in San Antonio and discounts any possibility of the craft being a helicopter or other conventional plane. - By MIKE ULLMANN - San Antonio Evening News (San Antonio, TX), Feb. 20, 1978
Examples of UFO images over the San Antonio, TX area
Disc-shaped UFO Chased by Jet over San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas - 01-11-12
Shape: Disk - Duration: 8 minutes
Disk-shaped object seen in broad daylight, pursued by jet.
I witnessed a white/silver, disc-shaped object, seen briefly. I was at the corner of Callaghan and Evers heading towards Bandera Road, when the object caught my eye.
It was heading south towards Lackland AFB, at what appeared to be a slow rate of speed, and positioned in the air at about 140 degrees relative to my position.
Suddenly I lost sight of it, but seconds later a high altitude aircraft traveling at a high rate of speed approached the area where I had last seen the object.
The intercepting craft appeared to be coming from the direction of Lackland AFB.
Minutes later as I was arriving at my destination, I witnessed the same fast traveling aircraft returning back in the direction of the base. Visual contact with the unknown object lasted mere seconds, but the whole event took place over a period of 8 minutes or so. - NUFORC
An amateur team spotted the unusual asteroid, named 2012 DA14, on February 22.
Its small size and orbit meant that it was observed only after it had flown past Earth at about seven times the distance of the Moon.
However, current predictions indicate that on its next flyby, due on 15 February 2013, it will pass Earth at just 24 000 km – closer than many commercial satellites.
“This is a safe distance, but it is still close enough to make the asteroid visible in normal binoculars,” said Detlef Koschny, responsible for near-earth objects in ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) office.
The asteroid was discovered by the La Sagra Sky Survey observatory, in the southeast of Spain, near Granada, at an altitude of 1700 m, one of the darkest, least light-polluted locations on the European mainland.
“Considering its path in the morning sky, its rather fast angular motion, the quite faint and fading brightness and its orbit high above the plane of Earth’s orbit, it was a slippery target – and easily could have escaped undetected during this Earth visit,” said Jaime Nomen, one of the discoverers.
“A preliminary orbit calculation shows that 2012 DA14 has a very Earth-like orbit with a period of 366.24 days, just one more day than our terrestrial year, and it ‘jumps’ inside and outside of the path of Earth two times per year.”
While an impact with Earth has been ruled out on the asteroid’s next visit, astronomers will use that close approach for more studies and calculate the Earth and Moon’s gravitational effects on it.
“We will also be keen to see the asteroid’s resulting orbit after the next close approach in order to compute any future risk of impact,” said Koschny.
The La Sagra Sky Survey is operated by the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca and has recently joined ESA’s SSA programme. In the future it will provide observations to the asteroid data hub that ESA is developing.
Together with information on space weather and debris, its information will help European scientists and policy-makers understand and assess hazards, particularly if an Earth-threatening asteroid is ever found.
The discovery of 2012 DA14 is particularly significant for the Agency’s SSA office, because it is typical of the estimated half a million undiscovered near-Earth objects up to 30 m across.
“The goal is to be able to spot them at least three weeks before closest approach to Earth.”
“We are developing a system of automated optical telescopes that can detect asteroids just like this one, with the goal of being able spot them at least three weeks before closest approach to Earth,” said Koschny.
To achieve this, ESA specialists supported by European industry are planning a network of 1 m-diameter telescopes with a combined field of view large enough to image the complete sky in one night. - phenomenica
Girl who is allergic to the cold
It's been a long, lonely winter for Abbie Tully.
The 12-year-old, who lives in Bournemouth, has been forced to spend the last five months stuck indoors because a rare allergy to the cold could kill her.
She only developed the condition cold urticaria in November last year but since then she has been unable to go outside even for a few minutes and cannot attend an ordinary school.
Cooped up: Abbie Tully, 12, pictured left with mother and full-time carer Nina, suffers from a condition called cold urticaria. Her allergy to cold temperatures means she has been stuck indoors since November
Whereas others her age are free to play in the snow or paddle in the sea, even the slightest chill could lead to a deadly allergic reaction for Abbie.
Not only does the condition cause an angry, burning rash to develop all over her body when she is exposed to the elements, a sudden change in temperature could send her body into anaphylactic shock.
For this reason, Abbie has to keep a self-administering syringe of adrenalin - called an Epi-pen - with her at all times in case the dangerous reaction takes hold.
Even wrapping up warm in the cold weather has little effect as the condition develops even if only a small portion of skin is exposed to the cold.
Abbie has even had to quit her normal school and attend a special unit for children with long-term illnesses during the colder half of the year.
Mother Nina Tully, 38, said: 'Both of us have spent the last five months cooped up indoors and I’ve spent a small fortune on thermal underwear, hats, gloves, coats and scarves for her.
WHAT IS COLD URTICARIA?
Its name meaning 'cold hives', this condition is so rare that it is not known how many sufferers there are in the UK.
It causes itchy, red rashes to flare up on the skin upon exposure to cold temperatures, whether through contact with air, water or surfaces.
Symptoms appear within just a few minutes and can last up to two hours.
Eruptions may appear on parts of the body or all over, while more severe reactions can cause shortness of breath, abdominal pain and an irregular heartbeat.
In the worst cases, it can bring about a drop in blood pressure, shock, collapse and even death.
Swimming in cold water is the most common cause of reactions and, since reactions could pose a risk of drowning, sufferers are advised to avoid entering the water unsupervised.
Suspected sufferers can diagnose the condition by holding an ice cube to the skin for a few minutes. If a distinct and swollen rash emerges, further tests may be required.
Among the underlying conditions associated with the allergy are chickenpox, viral hepatitis and glandular fever.
Very high doses of anti-histamines, the go-to medication for most allergy sufferers, are sometimes prescribed - but in Abbie's case they have no effect.
'Within minutes of being outside the reaction spreads all over her legs, arms and face, even if it’s not that cold.
'She is desperate for the weather to warm up so she can play outside. Sometimes all she wants to do is go for a ride on her bike but she can’t.
'It’s so hard on her and she is really struggling to make friends because she has been indoors with me for months.'
Mrs Tully, Abbie’s full-time carer, lives in Bournemouth with her husband John, 41, an IT manager.
The family moved to the south coast from chilly Edinburgh last year, but ironically Abbie’s problems only started after the move to the sunnier end of the country.
Mrs Tully said: 'Abbie has always been a sickly child and developed eczema when she was just four months old.
'Blood tests showed that she was allergic to milk and eggs and then at six months old she was diagnosed with asthma.
'She was always in and out of hospital with chest infections and pneumonia and she’s also allergic to dogs, cats, cows, pollen and feathers.
'However, everything was pretty normal until we moved to Bournemouth. After about six months her problems started.'
In April last year, Abbie went for a dip in the sea and emerged covered head to toe with red, itchy hives.
Doctors at first suspected a water allergy, but when the weather turned cold Abbie suddenly erupted in the rash again.
One day in November, while waiting for the school bus, Abbie turned red and the hives spread all over her face and body.
Mrs Tully said: 'She rang me up hysterical and begged me to let her come home. The reaction was awful and she said people were staring at her - she was mortified.
'Up until that point it had not been that cold but that was the first of the cold weather. She’s been at home pretty much ever since.'
A dermatologist at Christchurch Hospital, in Dorset, diagnosed Abbie with cold urticaria, a rare allergy to the cold.
The hives are a histamine reaction in response to cold stimuli, including a drastic drop in temperature, cold air and cold water.
Abbie cannot attend ordinary school because walking in and out of the school buildings - even for just a few minutes - will lead her to have a painful reaction.
Instead she attends a special learning centre for children who have missed long periods of school four days a week and gets a taxi to and from home.
Mrs Tully said: 'We are still learning how to cope. Things like thermal underwear only help while she is outside, but then often leave her too hot when she gets indoors.
'Even standing in the salad aisle at the supermarket can set off her reaction as its slightly colder than the rest of the shop.
'If she fell in some cold water or if the temperature suddenly changed, she could have a very dangerous reaction in which her body would go into shock.
'That’s why she carries her Epi-pen wherever she goes and all her teachers know how to use it in an emergency.
'Since November we’ve been pretty much locked in the house. I was going to take her shopping with a friend the other day but despite the fact the weather is getting milder it was still too cold.
'Instead I took her to her friend’s house and it was the first time she had been able to do that in nearly six months.'
Mrs Tully believes Abbie’s allergy developed following a viral infection but unfortunately there is no cure.
Anti-histamines are sometimes prescribed for sufferers but in Abbie’s case they have little effect.
So few people in the UK suffer from cold urticaria that it is not known how many people have it. - dailymail
Scientists unearth 1,400-year-old skeleton of one of Britain's first Christians
Scientists have discovered the remains of what is thought to be one of Britain's first ever Christians after unearthing an "excessively rare" 1,400 year old Anglo-Saxon burial site in Cambridgeshire.
The amazing grave in Trumpington Meadows contains the skeletal remains of a 16-year-old female Catholic convert lying on an ornamental bed clutching a gold and garnet cross.
It is believed the girl, from the 7th century AD, was a member of nobility, persuaded to join the Christian faith after the Pope dispatched St Augustine to England in 597AD.
St Augustine was a benedictine monk, known as the ‘Apostle to the English’, whose job was to convert Anglo-Saxon pagan kings and their families.
Dr Sam Lewsey, an expert on the period, said: "This is an excessively rare discovery. It is the most amazing find I have ever encountered.
"Christian conversion began at the top and percolated down. To be buried in this elaborate way, with such a valuable artefact, tells us that this girl was probably nobility or even royalty.
"This cross is the kind of material culture that was in circulation at the highest sphere of society." - yahoo
“When Flesh Meets Fabric: The Shroud of Turin” – Interview with Barry Schwortz, photo imaging specialist
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Mother, son survive 'bizarre' crashes
A mother and her son survived two separate head-on crashes within four minutes of each other on the Kapiti Coast.
Annie Price, 65, of Wellington, is in intensive care after a freak accident at Pukerua Bay.
She was driving north through the township in her Suzuki Escudo when a tyre came off a ute and hit her vehicle, causing her to cross the centre line and crash head-on into an oncoming car.
Just four minutes earlier, her son had also been involved in a head-on smash in which his car was written off.
Anthony O'Halloran, 35, had a "freaky, uneasy" feeling when he left his Upper Hutt home about 6am on Tuesday to head over to the coast, deciding at the last minute not to take his 2-year-old son with him.
"He was meant to come with me but my sister said leave him there.
"As I was going over Haywards I had a funny, uneasy feeling about the day and thought it was best he stayed behind," Mr O'Halloran said.
He was planning to help his mother and stepfather with some work in Paraparaumu.
He turned off State Highway 1 at McKays Crossing and was driving around a corner in nearby Emerald Glen Rd at 6.49am when he saw lights coming straight toward him in the dark.
A Nissan Sentra crossed the centre line and crashed into him.
Despite his Toyota stationwagon being written off, he escaped with only minor injuries.
He said emergency services told him "they had never seen anyone walk away from devastation like that".
"My car was like a piano accordion. All I got was a tiny scratch and a bruise".
As police arrived at the scene, his partner rang. "She said my mother had had a head-on crash. I said, `Yes, I have'.
"She said, `Have you had a head-on crash? Your mother has just been in one.'
"It was so bizarre, neither of us have ever had car accidents before. Two head-on crashes, it was unreal."
Mrs Price remains in Wellington Hospital's intensive care unit but is expected to be moved to a ward later this week.
Two other people were taken to hospital to be checked, one of whom had whiplash.
A 19-year-old man in the car that collided with Mr O'Halloran suffered pelvic injuries and was trapped for a while in his vehicle. He was flown to Wellington Hospital because State Highway 1 was blocked by Mrs Price's accident.
Mr O'Halloran was still recovering from the shock yesterday, "very glad" that he and his mother had survived.
"It still hasn't sunk in. It is so bizarre I was really totally unharmed. I am not in any more pain than I would be after a rugby game.
"The scariest thing for me was that my 2-year-old was meant to come with me, then 40 minutes later – bang."
Sergeant Mike George said it was "incredible and bizarre" that both mother and son were involved in head-on crashes, in which neither was at fault, within four minutes of each other.
"It was very, very bizarre. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction."
For the year ending August 2011, 12,952 people were injured in road crashes, the majority of whom were drivers.
Last year's 284 road deaths in New Zealand were the lowest since 1952. - stuff
Cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard posts in the local San Antonio newspaper his hunt for the Carrabelle Cat:
Within the field of monster hunting (cryptozoology), much ado is made about such notable, enigmatic creatures as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Chupacabra. But, among the lesser-known ‘cryptids’ that are reported with regularity are ABCs — Alien Big Cats. Frequently referred to as Black Panthers, these large, elusive felids have been spotted all over the United States, despite the fact that there are no known, native big cats that match the descriptions.
The American mountain lion, also known as the cougar or puma, can obtain lengths of seven feet and weights approaching 150 pounds, but they are typically tawny, brown or gray and no known black specimens have ever been documented. Bobcats are not considerably bigger than large house cats and are easily identifiable by their high haunches and stubby tails.
Recently, I joined up with some other mystery animal researchers, as we attempted to solve the mystery surrounding one such phantom cat. Multiple sightings and even an alleged video have emanated from a place known as Tate’s Hell State Forest in the Apalachicola region of Florida’s panhandle over the past two years. And interest in the enigmatic cat is so great that the Carrabelle City Commission extended our group an official invitation to track the beast; perhaps one of the first times that a Western governmental body has endorsed such an investigation.
Stalking an elusive predator in an area that is comprised of many miles of foreboding wilderness is a tall order indeed. Fortunately, we had the benefit of working with the Bear Creek Feline Center in nearby Panama City, which boasts a menagerie of exotic big cats including Florida panthers and Mexican jaguarundis. In addition, my team had obtained a slew of technological gadgets including heat-sensing, night vision, and motion activated surveillance cameras, in order to aid us in our quest.
We spent about three days in the vast terrain looking for tracks, scat, and other spoor that would indicate a big cat might be present. Unfortunately, torrential rains and thunderstorms kept us in our tents for a large portion of the time, hindering our efforts considerably, though ultimately we did manage to reach two conclusions. First: We were able to reconstruct the only alleged video of the animal using a panther-sized replica. By visiting the exact location where the film was shot, we were able to determine that the subject in the video stood only 13″ tall … well within the size range of a domestic cat. However, based on interviews with local hunters, in addition to a limited survey of the 80,000 acre wilderness, we came away convinced that a large, elusive felid may indeed be present.
Various theories that have been put forth to explain sightings of the Carrabelle Cat include misidentifications of feral tomcats, mutant, melanistic panthers, or even an escaped leopard. Has anyone seen a black panther in the San Antonio area? — Ken Gerhard - Tracking the Carrabelle Cat: Florida’s black panther mystery
Tate's Hell mystery: What is 'the Carrabelle cat'?
Larry Miller was hunting deer near Tate’s Hell State Forest when he captured his footage of a local wildlife mystery: a black feline slinking toward the camera and then stalking off through the underbrush.
Call it “the Carrabelle cat,” because no one is sure exactly what it is.
“It was definitely bigger than a house cat, but not as big as a panther,” Miller said of the unidentified creature, which he said he saw four days in a row in the area of his deer blind off Mill Road. On the fourth day, he said, he took his wife to the spot and “we heard it growling at us in the bushes.”
Sorting truth from big-cat rumor is difficult in the Panhandle, but one story in particular persists: The jaguarondi, a so-called “otter cat” that ranges from Texas to South America, has been rumored to make appearances across Northwest Florida. All the sightings are unconfirmed.
Miller estimated the cat he saw at 30 to 40 pounds, big enough to attack a family pet but not a human.
At least one cat enthusiast suspects some kind of hybrid animal. A handful of other experts disagree.
‘The search for little foot’
Jim Broaddus, owner of the Bear Creek Feline Center, a Panama City refuge for big cats, said the cat in Miller’s video does not appear to be a panther or a jaguarondi. He would know; he is one of many cat enthusiasts trying to document the existence of jaguarondis in Florida.
“We call it the search for little foot,” Broaddus said. State wildlife experts, he said, “gave us the nod to capture a jaguarondi, because they don’t exist.”
The rare jaguarondi (also known as a weasel cat or catamount) is native to South America but also found in southern Texas and Arizona. A close relative of the puma, the jaguarondi is about the size of a large house cat and similar in appearance to an otter — distinctive short legs and rounded ears. They may be dark brown, yellow or dark grey. The cat Miller saw was healthy and well-fed with glossy, coal-black fur, bright yellow eyes and pointed ears. He said he is sure it was not a panther.
Jaguarondis eat mostly birds but also consume fish and are good swimmers. Unlike many wild felines, jaguarondis are active during the day — when all of Miller’s sightings happened.
Rumors have long circulated of jaguarondis in Florida, but no physical evidence, documented film footage or photograph of a Florida jaguarondi exists. The cats are not found in Florida’s fossil record.
Broaddus, who said he would like to capture a female jaguarondi to breed with a captive male at his compound, has a theory the animal could be some kind of a hybrid between a domestic cat and a wild cat.
Other feline authorities lean toward a pure house cat.
FWC Wildlife biologist Mark Lotz, who specializes in panthers, said there is no evidence to refute the existence of the large cats, but there is no evidence to support they exist, either. He said the cat in Miller’s video is a house cat.
“One of the interesting things about sightings of rare animals is that they can usually be reproduced if the animal is genuine,” Lotz said. “Sometimes, when you glimpse something, your mind fills in the gaps. It’s easy to convince yourself you saw something.”
Adam Warwick, a wildlife biologist and bear specialist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said he has seen the Miller video with other wildlife specialists and they came to the same house cat conclusion. None of his FWC colleagues in Franklin County or neighboring areas, he said, have seen any strange, unknown cat.
“As much as we are in the woods, you would think one of us would have seen something,” he said. “Nothing would make me happier than to think there was a healthy population of panthers in Tate’s Hell.”
He said coyote tracks are frequently confused with cat tracks. Warwick added, however, he does not outright dismiss purported Florida jaguarondi sightings.
Darrell Land, a “panther team leader” for the FWC, said 20 Texas pumas were released in north Florida during the 1990s as part of an experiment to see if Florida panthers could survive here. Some past sightings could have been one of these, he said. He said the experimental panthers were able to survive, but several were killed by vehicles. At the end of the study, the remaining cats were trapped and removed.
Today, Land said, there could be 15 to 20 male panthers wandering north of Lake Ocala. These are young males displaced during territory conflicts with older males. But he, too, dismissed Miller’s sighting as a house cat.
“A panther would have easily stretched between two ruts” in the road seen in Miller’s video, he said. “They’re that big.”
A hybrid of what?
Miller said he first heard rumors of a big cat in the swamp from another man in Carrabelle: Cal Allen, who said he encountered the same black cat on County 67, a few miles north of U.S. 98, on a Friday in March.
“I was on my way to the Bear Creek Feline Center,” he wrote, “… when a black cat that looked exactly like the one in Larry’s video stepped out into the oncoming lane and … turned and walked back into the woods when it saw me.
“I was about 150 yards from it when it went back into the bushes,” he added. “And my long distance vision is excellent. This was about 20 miles from Larry’s site.”
Allen claims two other strange cat sightings: A pair of yellow-orange cats spotted earlier this year on Dry Bridge Road north of U.S. 98 and another black cat sighting off County 67 in September of last year. All of the cats he’s spotted, he said, were out in the daylight and appeared to be 60 to 70 pounds with long tails.
Allen also has what he believes are droppings of the elusive cat and has found a pair of indentations in the sand he believes the cat created. He also found tracks but so far has been unsuccessful in creating a plaster cast of most of them. One set he lifted were identified as the tracks of a coyote, not a cat.
There are other sightings from Carrabelle residents: Michael Allen (no relation to Cal Allen) said he saw a 80- to 100-pound yellow cat cross U.S. 65 in the early 1990s and initially thought it was an escaped zoo or circus animal. Gathana Parmenas said she believes she saw a jaguarondi on U.S. 98 west of Carrabelle and a puma on County 67.
Cal Allen remains convinced there is an unknown feline — some kind of “cat on steroids”— loose in the woods around Carrabelle, and he is on a mission to prove it. Not sure which Allen
“It seems too big for a jaguarondi, and too small and wrong color for a panther,” he wrote. “Hybrid? Maybe, but of what?” - newsherald
The "Carrabelle CAT"
The search for the "Carrabelle Cat" is underway. According to local witnesses, a number of unusual cats have been spotted in the area.
It all started with a video of what appears to be a large black cat that was video taped by a local hunter from a deer stand. The YouTube video which has received numerous hits on YouTube, captures a large dark brown or black cat walking down a local dirt road within a few miles of the Carrabelle city limits. At one point the feline stops to mark its territory.
Another cat that has been seen in the local area is thought to be a Jaguarundi. The south american cat has a history of existance within the Southwest United States but has not been documented to exist in Florida. These unusual cats are commonly refered to as "otter cats" and are only slightly larger that the domesticated cat. They have a very long tail and a small head. Their are a number of experts who believe that these cats exist in various parts of Florida but none have been officially recognized at this time.
Other eye witnesses claim to have observed the endangered Florida Panther in the area. Occasionally males move north from their limited habitat in South Florida and these cats have been documented in other southern states like Georgia and the Carolinas. This NorthWest Florida Panhandle is thought to be a possible territory for expanding the habitat of the Florida Panther. If the Florida Panther has set up residence in the Northwest Florida area it would be a significant development in the efforts to save this incredible native florida species. - carrabellecares