Saturday, September 15, 2012

Was the 'Little Blue Man' an Extraterrestrial?

The spooky tale of The Little Blue Man of Studham Common has caught the attention of Dutchman Theo Paijmans.

He has been in touch with Dunstable and District Local History Society to try to find out more about this intriguing mystery.

And an article from Theo in the society’s August newsletter revisits the oft-told tale.

Just to remind you, it all happened on a thundery day in the Studham area in late January, 1967.

Six young boys from Studham School were playing on the common on their way to school.

A few minutes after lightning struck, one boy saw a little blue man with a tall hat and a beard, and called to his friends, who also saw the mysterious figure.

They began running towards the little man but he disappeared in a puff of smoke, then appeared in another spot, only to vanish again.

This happened four times in all. Headmistress Miss Newcomb interviewed the children and pasted their written reports into a book, called The Little Blue Man On Studham Common.

The lads said the man was 3ft tall, and wore a tall, brimless bowler with a rounded top.

He had two round eyes, a small flat triangle instead of a nose, and seemed to have short arms.

The man wore a one-piece garment and a broad, black belt carrying a black box at the front, about six inches square.

One boy commented: “I and my friends were startled, he was horrid.”

Theo has been in touch with society chairman John Buckledee, who dug out Dunstable Gazette cuttings for him, about the event and readers’ suggestions about what had happened.

One person said that the incident “resembles the old legends and folk tales of earth fairies and elementals.

“Could it possibly be that in that freak atmosphere caused by the flash of lightning, these children saw into that other dimension which generally we are only dimly aware of?”

Theo wants to find out what happened to the book containing the children’s accounts.

And he would also like to get in touch with any of the boys or their relatives or friends who remember the strange experience. - dunstabletoday


The Little Blue Man

On January 28, 1967 a few young friends, aged between ten and eleven years, were playing near the Dell at Studham, Bedfordshire. The events that followed turned the day into anything but ordinary.

There's a footpath leading to the Dell, which is like a small overgrown valley, surrounded by bushes and trees beside Studham Common. It had been raining earlier but now the sky had cleared.

As the boys talked back and forth, suddenly a flash of lightning struck nearby. One of the boys, Alex Butler, who was a little bit ahead of the others, stopped in surprise when he reached the edge of the bank above the Dell. Standing near some bushes, at the foot of the opposite bank, about twenty yards away, was 'a little blue man'.

For a moment or two, Alex stared at this curious stranger in amazement, before shouting to his friends to come and look. They too stopped in bewilderment.

The little blue man was about three feet tall, with a tall hat or helmet, which added to his height, and he glowed blue all over. He had two round eyes, a strange flat triangle instead of a nose, and his arms, which were short, were held at his side and did not appear to move.

His blue beard was forked, the two parts running down each side of his chest. The strange little man wore a one-piece suit, again of a glowing blue with a black belt; in front of the buckle was a black box, about six inches square.

As the boys got near to where he was standing, a strange whirring cloud of yellow-blue mist moved towards them and, in an instant, the strange little man vanished! As their eyes searched the Dell, they spotted him again. This time they also heard strange babbling voices. Could there have been more strange little blue men hidden in the undergrowth?

Twice more, as the boys tried to approach him, the little blue man disappeared into a puff of yellow-blue mist! Then the boys heard the sound of the school bell and rushed off in great excitement to tell their teacher, Mrs. Newcomb, everything they had seen and heard. After listening to their story, their teacher made them write it all down and made sure there was no copying.

On March 3rd, 1967, the Dunstable Gazette ran a short article on the little blue man and that led to a reporter, from the Flying Saucer Review, interviewing the boys and gathering all the details together. It was a mystery that needed investigating. Who or what was the little blue man?

Some people felt the boys had imagined it all. However, the boys' teacher felt sure they had been telling the truth and that the unusual incident had really happened. UFO investigators suggested that the black box could have been a receiver and the forked beard some kind of breathing apparatus. However, no UFO sightings were reported in the area at that time.

So it seems, we can only guess at what was in the Dell that day and that it will remain a mystery. Unless, of course, the little blue man returns once more! - Myths and Legends


On March 3rd, 1967, the Dunstable Gazette apparently ran a short article on the little blue man, and that attracted ufologists Bryan Winder, Charles Bowen, Gordon Creighton and one Moulster. Research apparently revealed that there were UFO sightings in the area in the few months that followed the appearance of the blue man. Some sources tell that there were two "UFO landings" at the place where the boys had seen the figure but nothing precise and no dating seems available and the boys reported no UFO.

At least Bryan Winder heard the details of the sighting of the "blue man" from the children, having questioned them in the presence of their teacher.

Ufologists investigating the case later suggested that the black box at the figure's belt could have been some sort of a receiver and the forked beard some kind of breathing apparatus, while later still, proponents of the thesis that alien visitors are actually fairies proposed that the blue man must have been some sort of goblin like those of the British folklore and ghost hunting circles obviously propose that it was some sort of ghost.

From the briefs accounts of the ufology literature that were the easiest to find and that I read before starting this file, I could almost have created a mental image of this character as like some sort of dwarf from the Snowy White team or Alice in Wonderland kind, in traditional blue suit and bowler hat. Well, how surprising, it appears according to Winder that this pretty ready-made image is probably without much similarity with the reported character. In place of the chic blue suit, we have a luminescent gray-bluish silhouette making the perception of contours and details difficult. The bowler hat was only an image to indicate what could just as well have been a space helmet rather than really a bowler hat. Instead of a merry goblin hopping around with joyful gestures, the goblin has the arms permanently stuck at the sides and legs and feet said to have been indistinct.

Irony aside, it seems obviously unreasonable to me not to take part in this kind of Rorschach test game played to interpret this character according to the one or the other thesis, extremely risky interpretations if you agree to consider the big unsolved problem of the absence of the obviously primary documentation, that of the booklet containing the accounts that each kid is said to have written separately. Just the absence of this essential piece justifies the most extreme reservation, instead of forcing this blue man really not that blue and not that much of a man, it seems, in one or the other category.

It might not be to much an outrage to note, moreover, that there is no ufological investigation report available, no situation plan, no drawings of the character, no search on the sociopsychological aspects concerning the teacher and the pupils, obviously no physical evidence - not even alleged - no clear cut explanation of the exact participation of each kid in the various phase of the observation, not to mention rumors of UFOs or UFO landings in the area or at the exact spot of which nothing is said and so on. Can it really be sensible to see in all this an "example" to put forth one or the other UFO-theory, when it regrettably looks only like one more example of the too frequent lack of availability of precise data? - Patrick Gross


The setting is near-perfect for a fairy tale: the village, 60l ft. up in the Chillerns. is quite isolated by the boundary fence of Whipsnade Park Zoo Close to the N.W.. and a deepish valley lo the South; and by the escarpment of these chalk hills dropping steeply away on the far side of the Zoo. It all seems well removed from ions and ionization. but perhaps not quite so remote as your editor and G. W. Creighton anticipated when they suggested that I Should report on this case.

It all started with a single flash of lightning which struck on or near the common at about l.45 p.m on January 28, 1966. Probably an ordinary stroke, because rain was falling and the atmosphere was heavy, but it could have been initiated by artificial ionization of the air. l mention the possibility not because any flying object was seen. But isolated strokes are not all that frequent and this one was certainly followed by some extraordinary events.

Alex Butler. aged I0 years, and his friends-Tony Banks, Kerry Gahill, Andrew Hoar, David Inglis, Colin Lonsdale and John Mickleburgh were playing on the Common on their way to afternoon school. They were in the vicinity of the Dell, which is a shallow valley thickly strewn with hawthorn, gorse and bracken; and a few Old tin cans and motor tires. The undergrowth is riddled with passages connecting several dens under the bigger bushes, all no doubt the work of generations of Children and animals; and there is a small open space hidden in the middle. The whole is reminiscent of a surface version of a miniature Viet Cong hideout, providing good cover, even in Winter, coupled with surprising freedom of movement-for diminutive creatures. The school is about 200 yards away and the nearest houses maybe 150 yards, but small persons could remain concealed for a long time were it not for the children who obviously regard this as their territory and know virtually every blade of grass in it.

A few minutes after the lightning, and its associated thunder. Alex was casting a proprietary eye over the Dell from the top of its northern bank when he saw, quite clearly over the open center, "a little blue man with a tall hat and a beard" standing upright and still in front of the bushes at the opposite bank. He immediately shouted a description to his friends. who were initially skeptical but confirmed his view on joining him. Reacting as if to an intruder, they all began to run down the bank towards the stranger who was only about 20 yards away. The little man reacted, in turn, by “disappearing in a puff of smoke".

It is easy at this stage, to rationalize the happening into a fairy story based on optical and electrical effects emanating from the lightning, but this tale continues-without further discharges.

Finding nothing at the place where he was first seen, the boys ran on. Little to their right along the bottom of the dell and then up the far bank; still searching for their elusive quarry. They soon saw him again this time to their left farther along the top of the bank and on the opposite side of the bushes that had previously formed his background. Once again he was standing still and facing them at a range of 20 yards. They again approached him and he repeated his disappearing trick.

The third time they saw him he was back at the bottom of the Dell, not far from his original position. His pursuers had by now reached his second location. Looking at him through the little bushes, they became aware of “voices" which they describe in a manner suggesting a continuous incomprehensible, and "foreign-sounding" babble, coming from a point in the bushes closer to them and down the slope to the right of their line of sight. A feeling that the little fellow had associates who were communicating with him and to whom he was replying, although they could detect no movement on his part. induced a sense of caution which deterred them from rushing towards him as before. Instead. the boys continued to circle the Dell until they could look down it, whereupon they saw him for the fourth and last time still standing as motionless as ever in the same place. Uncertain what to do next. they milled around for a few more minutes before they told their teacher’s their experience.

They warned Miss Newcomb that she would not believe it, but, knowing them as well as she does and after assessing their excitement and listening to their story, she did believe them. She then very sensibly separated them and made each write it down in his own words. The essays were re-written two weeks later... not in order to alter their substance but simply to improve their spelling and tìdyness, and were pasted into a book entitled "The Little Blue Man on Studham Common”. It makes fascinating and convincing reading. I only wish there were space enough to reproduce it here. No doubt it will occupy an honored place in the archives of the Studham Village Primary School.

The case was brought to our attention by Mr. L. Moulsler, a long-standing reader of this review, who sent a cutting about it from the Borough Gazette, dated March 3. He kindly accompanied CB., G.W.C. and myself in a preliminary survey of the district and reminded us of local sightings investigated by him in previous years: an apparent landing at the rim of the hills not far from the Zoo and another, more controversial, case at the nearby Flying Club, of which he is a member. G.W.C. has also found another cutting from the aforementioned newspaper: dated October I5, 1965, it describes mystery lights in the sky over Whipsnade. Finally, it is hardly necessary to mention the Wildman Case (FLYING SAUCER Review, March/April 1962,) that look place near Aston Clinton about six miles away on February 9. i962.

Returning lo our present case: Miss Newcomb arranged for Mr. and Mrs. Creighton, Colin McCarthy, and myself to meet the principals at the school on Saturday afternoon, May 13. Without any prompting from their obviously respected and loved teacher, they gave a very competent account of the whole incident. They also took us to the places involved and then returned with us to the schoolroom to go into more detail. The following additional points emerged -

They estimate the little man as tall (by comparison with themselves), with an additional 2ft. accounted for by a hat or helmet best described as a tall brimless bowler, i.e. with a rounded top. The blue color turned out to be a dim grayish-blue glow lending to obscure outline and detail. They could, however, discern a line which was either a fringe of hair or the lower edge
of the hat. two round eyes, a small seemingly triangle in place of a nose, and a one-piece vestment extending down to a broad black belt carrying a black box at the front about six inches square. The arms appeared short and were held straight down close to the sides at all times. The legs and feet were indistinct. The "beard" is interesting: apparently it extended from the vicinity of the mouth downwards to divide and ran to both sides of the chest. Although agreeing that it could have been breathing apparatus. the boys could not see clearly enough to be certain and this thought had not occurred to them.

The disappearances caused me some difficulty at first, but became more understandable after further explanation of the "smoke" was apparently a whirling cloud of yellowish-blue mist shot towards the pursuers, possibly from the box on the belt. They agreed that he could have stepped into the bushes before this camouflage cleared, although it dissipated quite quickly. They heard no sound other than the voices and saw no movement at any time. Nor did they smell any smells or see anything strange in the vicinity, either on the ground or in the air.

The glow and the mist could have been the products of ionising radiation. Indeed, similar emanations, not necessarily from the same source could have triggered-off the lightning in an atmosphere already charged by natural processes. However. we must not carry speculation too far. All that we are certain of at this stage is that this is no ordinary fairy tale. Nobody who knows the boys disputes that it really happened.
- R.H.B. Winder - Flying Saucer Review (FSR), vol. 13, #4, page 3, July 1967

Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds

The Unidentified & Creatures of the Outer Edge

DIMENSIONS: A Casebook of Alien Contact

Charles Berlitz's World of Strange Phenomena


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Friday, September 14, 2012

The Massanutten Mountain Abduction

The following account was written by Bruce Cornet, M.S., Ph.D. who was one of the witnesses during this encounter. It took place near the Massanutten Mountain ski resort near Harrisonburg, Virginia in Rockingham County. I was not familiar with the incident and stumbled upon it by accident. Cornet is currently part of National Institute for Discovery Science, which was created by Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies. NIDS is supposedly involved with investigation of the infamous 'Skinwalker Ranch.' I'll get into that at a later date,'s the account as written:

November 26, 1993 - My family and I spent Thanksgiving with my wife's mother, Lynn Huff, in Massanutten, Virginia, a ski resort located in the Blue Ridge mountains near Harrisonburg. I discovered while there a past history of abductions in that community, one of which resulted in the death of my wife's brother Bobby in 1980 by doctors administering a tranquilizer following his Travis Walton-type abduction (He had a fatal allergic reaction to the drug). Ironically, Lynn lives on Hopkins Lane. I was preoccupied with going to skytop overlook at the top of the ridge overlooking the ski resort and valley to the east. I wanted to go there around 8:00 pm and look for unusual lights in the sky. My wife, Pat, wanted to come along. We drove our van up the switchback road to the parking lot near the top of the ridge, and parked at the opposite end of the parking lot from the entrance, looking out over the valley below. There was one vehicle parked there. I set up my camera and tripod in front of the van near the guard rail. A security patrol car (Chevy caprice) arrived shortly after we arrived and then returned back down to the valley. The vehicle that was there when wearrived soon left also. I took a two minute exposure of the lights in the valley. The time was 8:18 pm.

Shortly after that (at about 8:28 pm) a brilliant pair of lights entered the parking lot from the road that comes up the side of the mountain. At first the lights were diagonally behind the van. I recall hearing some sort of a humming sound, but no car engine sound. I thought, "Not another interruption." But this pair of lights illuminated the tree tops next to the guard rail to my left, then illuminated the tree trunks, then the tree bases and guard rail. I turned to look at the lights. I felt a sharp pain in my left eye, and quickly turned away because the lights were about ten times the brightness of high beams on a car. I felt heat radiating from the lights through the window of the van. I saw two lights about five feet in diameter with auras of yellow and amber in diffuse rings around white centers. I also saw a dark dome behind the lights. After turning away I had the thought in my head, "Don't look at the lights; look straight ahead." When I tried to turn again I had great difficulty as if I were paralyzed. I could only move my head slightly, although my eyes could move freely. My wife tried to turn to look at the light on the right side of the van, but also had difficulty in turning. It was bright enough that the light lit up the ground next to the van, catching her attention. She remembers the reflection of the light moving downwards towards the ground, i.e. getting brighter. She also remembers trying to look at her wrist watch. She recalls having difficulty in turning her wrist so that she could see her watch; when she finally could see the watch on her right wrist, it read 8:35 pm.

The next thing she remembered was being able to turn freely to the left to look out the left side window of the van. She saw a small vehicle moving out of the parking lot towards the road that goes back down the mountain. It was sleek and metallic colored, and had unusual curves to its silhouette, with a dome, the top of which was made of dark reflective material - like tinted glass, below which a tall skirt of metallic shiny grey metal completed the base of the dome. It had a low back that had a downwards-sagging shape to it, with a ring of small white lights that seemed to merge together, bordered above and below by dark metal ridges, and possibly two small red lights within the row of white lights, one at either side of the craft that may have flashed briefly as do brake lights. The row of lights separated the dome and the metal base that was angled inwards on both sides - like an old cast iron cooking skillet, and colored a darker metallic shiny grey than the dome. The front pair of bright lights appeared to be directed straight ahead and away from us, not downwards as the craft pulled out of the parking lot. The beams of light widened with distance in front of the craft, and it appeared to move horizontally, not downwards with the downward slope of the road, as if it were floating above the ground. There was at least a one foot gap between the base of the craft and crest of the road pavement before the road sloped downwards at the parking lot entrance; there were no apparent wheels visible underneath the craft. Pat thought it was a small car pulling out of the parking lot, but now thinks that this was a mental thought purposely given to confuse and distract her from recognizing that it was not. As the vehicle departed my watch beeped, indicating that it was 9:00 pm.

After the lights entered the parking lot and I turned and glanced at them, they descended and dimmed to a brown amber color, then went out as the vehicle moved towards the guard rail about 15-20 feet from the left side of the van and touched down. I saw the lights move forward in the side view mirror, but could not turn my head for a better look as I had just done before. There was no sound coming from the craft. Then I heard the distinctive sound of gravel being moved as if something hard were pushing the gravel. A gravel apron of about 10 feet in width occurs between the guard rail and pavement. Upon returning Sunday morning after the storm on Saturday I found ridges of gravel aligned parallel with the guard rail near the pavement. One prominent ridge was about 1/2 inch high and about three feet long. Other shorter and lower ridges occurred inside it as if whatever landed skipped and then dug in. The ridges were too sharp and high to be caused by tires, and the area in front of the ridges had been planed flat!

Soon after I heard the gravel move I heard the door open and then felt something hit the back of my neck hard, like a blow to the head. The next thing I knew I was waking up from what seemed like a shallow sleep - as if I had dozed off. Then I heard my watch beep. It is set to beep every hour on the hour. I thought it strange, because it seemed as though we had just taken the two minute time exposure at 8:18 pm. I commented to my wife that it was 9:00 pm and that we should be leaving. She responded, "Yes, I'm for that". When I looked at my watch it read 9:00:54 pm, and yet it seemed as though I had just heard the beep. Soon thereafter we both seemed alert, and commented to each other about how the past hour went so quickly. I asked my wife if she remembered the last half hour, and she said, "No." Then I began remembering what had transpired just before I blacked out. I had lost about 30 minutes, and could not recall anything that had happened during the period of missing time. My wife had lost about 25 minutes from the time she was able to glance at her watch.

The next morning my wife noticed a brown area (about 2 inches wide) on the left back of my neck where I had been hit, and commented that the intense light may have caused a tan on the left side of my face: It was redder. I looked at it in the mirror and saw a yellow rim around the brown area, and recognized it as a large bruise, similar to but larger than the one I had gotten before when shot with some sort of energy beam near Pine Bush in 1992. I checked my wife, but could find no similar mark on her. Later Pat noticed a small puncture mark on the inside bend of her arm near one of her veins, but not on it. The mark clearly did not intersect any visible vein, but seemed to go directly into the space next to a tendon. The mark was like that made by a needle, and a thin trail of dark blood was still visible within the needle path. She had gotten no shots recently that she can remember. The difficulty with her moving her arm to look at her watch may have been her resisting someone holding and turning her arm to give her a tranquilizer or to take a blood sample. Pat thinks that the thought of looking at her watch and seeing that it was 8:35 pm may have been put in her mind as a cover for what really happened to her arm.

I went back to the parking lot at the overlook and measured distances, calculating that the craft had to be narrower than 30 feet in order to enter the parking lot from the road and to be able to maneuver sideways within the parking lot, which was 45-50 feet at its widest point. I estimate that the craft was about 20 feet wide at its base and 10-15 feet tall (I cannot recall how high off the ground it was when I saw the egg-shaped dome behind the lights). It apparently did not have legs, otherwise it would not have made the slightly curved ridges of gravel. There were no pod marks in the gravel. I may have photographed similar types of craft in Pine Bush. Some of those craft, particularly the scout craft, have two headlights mounted on either side of a triangular-shaped body with a relatively flat bottom and dome-shaped area on top for the pilot. Estimates of the widths of the outer lights for three such craft (based on photographs of the lights near trees or in front of the Moon) have given similar values between 15 and 20 feet.

The light that Pat saw on the right side of the van appeared to be coming from above and from behind the van, not to the left side of the van where the craft we saw was positioned. It is difficult for us to understand how the light from that craft could have been so bright on the right side and lit up the ground, because the van should have blocked it. The one possibility, if we were abducted, is that another craft was hovering above us, and the smaller craft was used as a diversion and/or for two aliens to immobilize and sedate us. The small craft appeared too small to be the abduction craft, implying that there must have been a second larger ship very near and above us.

At first I doubted that either my wife or I had been abducted. The amount of missing time seemed too short. However, Pat found a needle tract with blood in it near the vein at her elbow, and discovered that evening when she got undressed that her panties were torn at the waist band. I was knocked out; Pat wasn't, but remembers little of what transpired after I lost consciousness. I suspected that they were investigating me because of an implant in me that triggered one of their security detectors. That would explain why they seem to know when I arrive in Pine Bush, are able to find me in other areas, and frequently come out to entertain me with maneuvers for my camera. I don't think that my desire to look for UFOs at skytop overlook was incidental or accidental.

On 29 May 1995 Pat and I were hypnotically regressed by Fred Max, a certified hypnotherapist who also regressed Betty Andreasson Luca of the Andreasson Affair (Puhalski, 1995). We discovered that Pat had been abducted by bird-like aliens, who were very short and had faces that resembled the face of an owl. She was taken (floated) to the small shuttle craft that had landed next to my side of the van, and then lifted in that shuttle up to the larger circular craft hovering above the van. The owl-like aliens did a standard gynecological examination on Pat and removed ova from her ovary. They also shined various colored lights into her eyes and recorded the emotional responses. I saw her being floated back down into her seat while I was being attended to in my seat by other owl-like aliens. My brain implants were accessed by a probe which entered my skull just below my ear canals. I was not taken aboard the craft. Several days later the red points of probe entry were still oozing blood serum.

On 11 December 1993 Pat, Niles, Robyne, and I went to the Winter Solstice party being held at Ralph Fucetolla's and Kathy Green's house in Morristown, NJ. Wm. "Pila" Chiles, a.k.a. Pila "Kilo-Kilo", and Mister Roarke of the Big Island in Hawaii were present as guests of David Hartman, a Wellness Counselor/Promotional Agent from Madison, NJ. Pila gave his story of being abducted at an early age and having an implant behind his right ear discovered and removed by his doctor. Later he got another implant, and had it surgically removed, but before they could photograph it, it self-destructed into a gas and stain with a bubbling reaction, he said. He was emotionally upset about being victimized without his permission, and said that had the extraterrestrials asked him and said it was for a higher purpose, he would have consented. When reading Communion he became sick when he got to the part about the implant Whitley Streiber described behind his ear.

Kathy wanted Pila and Nancy Weber to veiw our auras to see if there was anything unusual. The room was darkened somewhat, and Pat and I sat against a white wall. Viewed from across the room both Pila and Nancy noticed exceptional aural development in colors around both of us - blues and greens. Pila said he had never seen such a pronounced aura on anyone. They both noticed and described an elongated cone-shaped distortion to our auras in the same places - originating from just below our right ears and extending upwards and outwards as a disjunction or disturbance in our auras. They concluded that something physical within us was causing this interference, suggesting that it might be due to an implant. We could feel no implant outside our skulls, indicating that whatever it was it was within our skulls. There were no initial indications of recent or past scars at the places where this disturbance originated on either of us, but later a tiny blood scab appeared just to the left side of my ear canal, and continued to reappear after I removed the earlier ones. Pila remarked, and seconded by Nancy, that we had something special happening to us. I could see a slight aura around Pila, but not as colorful or pronounced as the one he described around Pat and me. He was very interested in learning about my UFO photographs and experiences. - Bruce Cornet, M.S., Ph.D.

Aliens in America: A UFO Hunter's Guide to Extraterrestrial Hotpspots Across the U.S.

Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah

There's Something in the Woods


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Just the Facts?: U.S. Government Recognizes 9/11 Toxin Cancers -- 'Red-Eyed Superhero?' -- Stem Cell Breakthrough

U.S. Government finally admits that 9/11 toxins caused cancers

The US government has decided to recognize around 50 different types of cancer that victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been diagnosed with after more than a decade-long wait that has left hundreds dead without proper care or diagnosis.

Civilians and first responders that survived the September 11, 2001 attacks but developed cases of varying cancers in the aftermath will now be covered by a government-administered health care program that will provide them with complimentary check-ups and screenings. The decision will apply to survivors of both crashes at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety made the announcement Monday, adding dozens of diseases — including cancers of the breast, bladder and lung, colorectal cancer, leukemias, melanoma and childhood cancers — to an already substantial list of diseases that are covered.
"The publication of this final rule marks an important step in the effort to provide needed treatment and care to 9/11 responders and survivors through the WTC Health Program," NIOSH director Dr. John Howard said in a statement this week.

In a separate address, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "We have urged from the very beginning that the decision whether or not to include cancer be based on science." For several years, however, many victims and physicians have made countless claims that the effects of the attacks in NYC and DC did in fact contribute to developing debilitating diseases.

Roughly 20,000 gallons of jet fuel, 100,000 tons of organic debris and 100,000 gallons of heating and diesel oil were ignited on 9/11 after two airlines being flown at speeds of hundreds of miles an hour collided into both towers at the World Trade Center, NBC News reports. The crashes there and the related ones that same morning at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania left an estimated 3,000 people dead and pushed America into battle in Afghanistan and eventually Iraq, the former of which is still operated today at what has become the United States’ longest-lasting war.

Twelve months ago, Dr David Prezant of the New York City Fire Department published findings culminated from his own research that revealed that firefighters that were exposed to the dust and smoke that came from the collapse of the Twin Towers have a 19 percent higher risk of getting various types of cancer than colleagues that were not assigned to Ground Zero.

Cancer-causing toxins — including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins — have all been found in tests conducted at Ground Zero. In his findings, Dr. Prezant explicitly writes. “This study clearly shows World Trade Center exposure in these firefighters led to an increase in cancer.”

Retired NYPD Officer Edwin Rivera reflected on his assignment at Ground Zero with the New York Post earlier this year and said, “I have cancer that I should never have gotten” as a result of his work there.

“We sat in the pile and ate, drank water, rested – there was nowhere to go that wasn't contaminated,” Rivera said.

Before this week, respiratory diseases, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and some musculoskeletal conditions were recognized by NIOS, although a number of cancers that victims have been diagnose with were never recognized until now. Although around 50 new diseases will be added to the list, the government-determined payment cap for health coverage — $1.55 billion for treatment and $2.78 billion for compensation — will not be raised.

The decision will impact around 70,000 civilians and first responders — including fire, police, and EMS personnel — that survived the attacks but developed diseases. NBC News reports that 9/11-related illnesses have killed around 1,000 victims so far. - RT

Operational Risk Management: A Case Study Approach to Effective Planning and Response

9/11 Ordinary People: Extraordinary Heroes: NYC - The First Battle in the War Against Terror!

102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers


Who's the 'Red-Eyed Superhero?'

A second alleged sighting of a red-eyed vigilante has sparked rumours that a ‘superhero’ is fighting crime in Runcorn. The Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News has now received two reports of a masked man dressed all in black with glowing red eyes coming to the rescue of victims of crime. The latest report claims the mystery man stopped a gang of hooded youths from stealing a motorbike on Friday night.

It follows a letter which alleged that a similar looking figure fought off two men who were hassling a woman near the Royal British Legion. The latest anonymous letter said: “I was walking my dogs in Town Park this Friday when I saw a group of about six lads coming out of the trees.

“They were clearly intoxicated and looking for somebody and at least three had weapons – one had a large stick and the other two had golf clubs. It was pitch black and I feared for my safety. Then what happened was the weirdest thing I have seen in 52 years of living in Runcorn. A man with glowing red eyes dressed in all black, with a black SAS-style mask dropped down from a tree about 50ft ahead of me.

“Half of the group started running away but the three with weapons charged towards him and started swinging the golf clubs. Whoever he was, he had obviously had some kind of combat training because he moved so fast and disarmed all three of them in just few seconds. No sooner had it happened, the man just disappeared out of sight. It was exactly how the other woman described it. He was just like a superhero.” - runcornandwidnesweeklynews

The Batman Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual

The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (Psychology of Popular Culture)


Woman found alive after 5 days in freezer may have climbed in due to bad weather

An Oklahoma woman who was found alive in a chest-type deep freezer may have climbed in due to bad weather. Theresa Christian, 59, was last seen over the weekend. Her son found her on Wednesday morning in a large freezer at her Tulsa apartment and called police.

"Apparently family members had reported her missing since Saturday and they finally got her son in who recognized immediately that there was no way she could have left the residence willingly without her purse and other belongings and left her TV on."

"So they started searching the house and neighbours said possibly she thought maybe there was tornado coming but their sure why or how she got there but her son heard a moan coming from the area of the freezer and opened up and discovered her sitting inside," said Cpl. Daisy Vallely with the Tulsa Police Department.

Family members say Christian is scared of storms and may have climbed into the freezer for safety. She was taken to the hospital in serious condition with frostbite. Police do not suspect foul play. - ksdk

NOTE: Yeah, you're thinking the same thing I am...where's Biscardi and the 'Freezer Boys' when you need them. Lon


Buzz Aldrin’s hushed-up communion on the moon

As Neil Armstrong’s memorial takes place, it’s a good moment to look at one eccentric Apollo story: the tale of Aldrin’s hushed-up communion on the moon.

Before Armstrong and Aldrin stepped out of the lunar module on July 20, 1969, Aldrin unstowed a small plastic container of wine and some bread. He had brought them to the moon from Webster Presbyterian church near Houston, where he was an elder. Aldrin had received permission from the Presbyterian church’s general assembly to administer it to himself. In his book Magnificent Desolation he shares the message he then radioed to Nasa: “I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He then ate and drank the elements. The surreal ceremony is described in an article by Aldrin in a 1970 copy of Guideposts magazine: “I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.”

He also read a section of the gospel of John. During it all, Armstrong, reportedly a deist, is said to have watched respectfully but without making any comment.

The story of the secret communion service only emerged after the mission. Aldrin had originally planned to share the event with the world over the radio. However, at the time Nasa was still reeling from a lawsuit filed by the firebrand atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, resulting in the ceremony never being broadcast. The founder of American Atheists and self-titled “most hated woman in America” had taken on Nasa, as well as many other public organisation. Most famously, she successfully fought mandatory school prayer and bible recitation in US public schools.

After the Apollo 8 crew had read out the Genesis creation account in orbit, O’Hair wanted a ban on Nasa astronauts practising religion on earth, in space or “around and about the moon” while on duty. She believed it violated the constitutional separation between church and state. In Magnificent Desolation, Aldrin explains how astronaut Deke Slayton, who ran the Apollo 11 flight crew operations, told him to tone down his lunar communiqué. “Go ahead and have communion, but keep your comments more general,” he advised. Looking back Aldrin writes that the communion was his way of thanking God for the success of the mission. Yet, later he hinted that he could have been more inclusive:

“Perhaps, if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion.Although it was a deeply meaningful experience for me, it was a Christian sacrament, and we had come to the moon in the name of all mankind – be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists.”

O’Hair’s case against Nasa eventually fizzled out, but it dramatically changed the tone of the Apollo 11 landing. Aldrin had originally intended a much more pioneering Christopher Columbus-style ceremony on the moon. That was never to be.

But at Webster Presbyterian church – the spiritual home of many astronauts – Aldrin’s communion service is still celebrated every July, known as Lunar Communion Sunday. Pastor Helen DeLeon told me how they replay the tape of Aldrin on the moon and recite Psalm eight, which he had quoted on his return trip to Earth (“… what is man that thou art mindful of him”). The church still holds the chalice that Aldrin brought back with him. Judy Allton, a geologist and historian of Webster Presbyterian church, produced a paper, presented at a Nasa conference, arguing that communion could be an essential part of future manned space travel. She claims that rituals such as Aldrin’s communion “reinforce the homelink”.

And as for O’Hair? History was unkind. She disappeared in 1995 along with her son Jon and granddaughter Robin Murray. After a long hunt, their dismembered and charred bodies were found in a field. Authorities believe that David Waters, a former employee of O’Hair, masterminded a plot to rob and murder O’Hair. Her born-again son, William Murray, who lost not only his mother but also his brother and daughter to Waters and his associates, has spoken very strongly about his upbringing under O’Hair. He mourns his family but believes his mother was pumped up by her own hype and was even evil. In a statement given in 1999 he said, “she honestly believed she had singlehandedly removed prayer from school. She honestly believed she had ‘liberated’ America sexually”. Whatever we make of Murray’s criticisms, it appears O’Hair was a woman on a mission in the 60s and 70s. Having taken on the world, O’Hair believed it was perfectly plausible to take on space.

But in a sense, she need not have worried. No human has visited the moon since 1972, let alone preached from it. Meanwhile, the last message broadcast from another planet was a song by American singer and rapper It was relayed by Nasa’s Curiosity rover currently exploring Mars. Hardly a violation of the first amendment. - rawstory

Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon

Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration


Stem Cell gel regenerates spinal cord nerves

A stem cell gel developed by scientists can regenerate broken spinal cord nerves, research has shown.

The gel is applied to the site of an injury. In rats with completely severed spinal cords, it produced an 'astonishing degree' of nerve growth, U.S. scientists said.

Treated animals which were previously paralysed experienced 'significant' functional improvement and were able to move all the joints of their affected legs.

The gel was made by embedding neural stem cells in a mixture of blood clotting protein and growth chemicals.

Lead researcher Professor Mark Tuszynski, from the University of California at San Diego, said: 'Using this method, after six weeks the number of axons (nerve fibres) emerging from the injury site exceeded by 200-fold what had ever been seen before.

'The axons also grew ten times the length of axons in any previous study, and, importantly, the regeneration of these axons resulted in significant functional improvement.'

Cells were tagged with a fluorescent protein so that their progress could be monitored.

Scientists watched them grow, become neurons, and sprout axons.

In June, it was announced that researchers had successfully grown living bones in a laboratory using stem cells.

That technique could in future be used to replace shattered limbs, treat osteoporosis and arthritis and fix defects such as cleft palate, it was claimed.

The researchers took around a month to transform stem cells originally taken from fat tissue into sections of fully-formed bone up to several centimetres long.

Standard bone grafts involve two procedures, to cut bone from elsewhere in the patient's body before transplanting it into the damaged area, which carry the risk of infection and complications.

Bone can also be obtained from donations, but this brings the chance of rejection.

The new method would allow bones to be custom made to shape outside the body, using the patients own stem cells, removing the need for a potentially traumatic operation and reducing the likelihood of rejection.

So far the research has been carried out only on animals but a patient trial is planned for later this year.

That Israeli technology, developed by biotech company Bonus BioGroup and researchers at the Technion Institute of Research, involves growing the bone to fit the exact shape and size of the damaged area. - dailymail

The Stem Cell Hope: How Stem Cell Medicine Can Change Our Lives

Cells That Heal Us From Cradle To Grave: A Quantum Leap in Medical Science


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Unknown Animal Encounter - Cibola National Forest, NM

I received the following email on Tuesday:

Hello - thanks for allowing me to write to you about my recent encounter. Last Thursday (9/6) my friend and I were were hiking in the Cibola National Forest in a canyon area. We decided to take a break and have a rest. It was about 11:30 am local time. We are very familiar with the area and had hiked here on many occasions. We are also familiar with the wildlife and there have been bear warnings published for the park recently. I actually had a brief encounter with a black bear several years ago. There are also mountain lion sightings reported.

As we sat I noticed something moving in the brush to my right. It was not large so I was sure it wasn't a bear, but I was concerned that it may be a mountain lion. All of a sudden this dark grey fur-covered 'thing' sprang out of the brush snarling and growling. It kind of reminded me of a wolverine but it was bigger - I'd say about 100+ lbs and higher in stature. It stood there with it's mouth open and displaying many long jagged teeth. I picked up a rock just in case this animal decided to charge. After a standoff of about 30 seconds it quickly pivoted and ran into the brush. I could hear it move away from us.

We decided to back track to our truck and leave ASAP. My neighbor works at the Albuquerque BioPark and hikes all over the southwest. I asked him about what we encountered - he said that I must have misidentified a small bear. I can't find anyone locally who can tell me what this was. I've written to a few other crypto people as well. Do you have any idea what this was? BG

NOTE: My research turned up a few sightings of large wolverines in New Mexico...but mostly north of this area Wolverine - Gulo gulo - NatureWorks and Wildlife Conservation Society. I searched around and found an unusual reference to an encounter in the same general area...posted below:

Las Cruces Sun-News - May 18, 2008 - A 5-year-old boy hiking with his family near Sandia Peak, New Mexico, has survived an attack from an unidentified species of large animal, a spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish said Sunday, May 18, 2008.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White said the family was hiking near the popular Balsam Glade area on the Sandia Mountains, when the boy ran ahead of his parents. It happened on the east side of the Sandia Mountains around 7 p.m. Saturday.

A sheriff’s department report identified the boy as Jose Salazar Jr. of Albuqureque, New Mexico.

The boy’s parents saw the animal emerge from the brush and start dragging away their child, White said. The father then chased the animal, which let go of his son.

White said the animal was a mountain lion, but Ross Morgan, a spokesman for Game and Fish, said dogs trained to track mountain lions picked up no scent in the area Saturday night or Sunday.

Officials said they don’t know what kind of animal attacked the boy. They’re looking at the tracks in the area to find out if it was a cougar, mountain lion, or bear.

“The animal had the kid and was dragging him down the side of the hill. When the father jumped over there, the animal ran off,” said Ross Morgan, who works for the Department of Game and Fish.

“The dad described it as a short, stocky, dark brown animal,” Morgan said.

Morgan said hikers in the area Sunday were told about the attack, but the news did not deter them from hiking.

The Department of Game and Fish is warning people to be careful if they’re in the mountains.

Some people visiting the mountains on Sunday said they are aware of the dangers and are prepared for what could come their way.

“We have to expect that we’re going to come across animals,” visitor Rich Weiner said. “We’re in their habitat.”

But others who spend time in the Sandia Mountains, like David Czaplewski, said news of the attack has them shaken up.

“It’s shocking and kind of scary,” Czaplewski said. “We’re making sure we’re keeping track of where everyone is and looking around.”

Officials said everyone who is visiting the mountains should be extra careful, so they don’t become the next victim.

The boy suffered puncture wounds (bite marks) to his head, neck and back. He was in serious condition at University of New Mexico Hospital on Saturday, White said.

A hospital spokeswoman said Sunday the family declined to make the boy’s condition public.

He’s currently in the Intensive Care Unit at University of New Mexico Hospital.


'Phantoms and Monsters' has provided free email delivery for 6+ years. If this blog / newsletter is useful to you, please consider donating a few dollars as a 'voluntary subscription' in return for 52 weeks of paranormal information and alternative news. Thanks for your support...Lon

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Just the Facts?: Baltic Sea Anomaly / Nazi Connection? -- Richard III Found? -- Katyn Massacre Cover-Up

Baltic Sea Anomaly: Is There A Nazi Connection?

When the strange object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea was first spotted, some thought it might be a UFO that crashed into the waters between Sweden and Finland, and at the very least, it bore a striking resemblance to the "Star Wars" Millennium Falcon.

Hardly any media outlets are still calling it a UFO -- and that's a relief, since there's never been any evidence of any kind that this thing was ever an unidentified flying object.

But there's a lingering wrinkle in the origin of this mushroom-shaped anomaly: Could it have been part of a Nazi secret anti-submarine device?

According to Pravda, the Russian newspaper, a retired Swedish submarine officer, Anders Autellus, previously speculated that the undersea object may have been the base of a structure used during World War II to block Russian and British submarine signals.

Autellus told the Swedish newspaper, Expressen, that huge concrete structures were built as traps by Germany to make it difficult for Soviet submarines to navigate in the Gulf of Finland during the war. These large steel wire mesh constructions were reportedly meant to cause signal and radar problems in submarines.

Even as recently as the June expedition to the bottom of the Baltic Sea, divers reported equipment malfunctions when they approached the anomaly, but a concrete reason for it hasn't been determined.

So, no one is saying definitively that the object was, in fact, Nazi-related or more simply, a glacial deposit just sitting on the sea floor.

This entire Baltic Sea drama started back in June 2011 when Peter Lindberg, captain of the Ocean Explorer, and his co-researcher Dennis Asberg, using side-scan sonar -- see image at right -- found something unusual 300 feet below the surface of the water.

At first, the reportedly 200-foot-wide circular object made headlines because it looked like the fictitious Millennium Falcon spacecraft from "Star Wars."

Lindberg and Asberg returned to the submerged site this past June to take a closer look at the object that had caused a viral stir, which speculated the anomaly could be anything from sonar glitches, a sunken Russian ship, stone outcroppings, or an alien spaceship.

Pictures and videos were taken of the object, with the eyewitnesses claiming it looked like a giant mushroom, and samples of it supposedly brought to the surface for analysis.

Some of the material was given to Volker Bruchert, an associate professor of geology at Stockholm University, reports Life's Little

"My hypothesis is that this object, this structure was formed during the Ice Age many thousands of years ago," Bruchert said.

And yet, Lindberg and Asberg have also claimed that the only samples they've given for analysis were not from the anomaly itself, but were items from the "vicinity" of the object," writes Open

Lending yet another mysterious aspect to this whole thing is a description of the Baltic Sea anomaly given by Lindberg during a recent radio interview, where he said, "It has these very strange stair formations, and if it's constructed, it must [have been] constructed tens of thousands of years ago before the Ice Age."

So, where does all of this leave the jumbled, confusing un-focused adventure of the Baltic Sea anomaly?

Nobody seems to want to fund any further investigations of Lindberg's discovery, says Life's Little Mysteries.

And Lindberg is soliciting people to help support his research by purchasing apparel from his Ocean X website. - THP

Hitler's Suppressed and Still-Secret Weapons, Science and Technology

Dark Star: The Hidden History of German Secret Bases, Flying Disks & U-Boats

Strange Secrets: Real Government Files on the Unknown


U.S. covered up Soviet massacre in Katyn Forest

It's often said during wartime that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Nowhere in the annals of history is this more true than the uneasy alliance that was hoisted upon the United States and the Soviet Union during World War II. Now, 72 years later, the U.S. National Archives has released 1,000 declassified documents showing the extremes that the U.S. went to to ensure that the alliance would not be compromised: As early as 1943, Washington knew that the 1940 Katyn Massacre, in which 22,000 Poles were killed, was the work of Josef Stalin and not the Nazis — and deliberately suppressed the evidence.

Since the massacre, Poles have alleged that the U.S. government was involved in a coverup. The newly released documents suggest that their suspicions were correct, a surprising and upsetting revelation that some historians are calling "potentially explosive." Here's how the wartime episode unravelled, and how the history books will have to be rewritten.

Uneasy alliance

The alliance between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. was a union of sheer necessity, one propped-up on weak foundations. Back in 1939, Hitler and Stalin had connived to sign a nonaggression treaty that essentially gave the Nazis free license to romp all over Europe. But shortly after Hitler invaded Poland in late 1939, the Soviet Union conducted their own invasion of the country and occupied its eastern regions.

In an effort to consolidate their occupation, Stalin ordered the massacre of over 22,000 Poles, including military officers, police, and the intellectual elite. Rumours that the Soviets were involved trickled out of Poland and into Washington — but there was no evidence to support such a claim, and many simply refused to believe it. Moreover, if true, it would be much more convenient to blame the Nazis.

Then, in June 1941, in complete violation of the Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact, Hitler launched a devastating surprise attack on Russia. The Soviet Union was forced to clamor back to Britain and its allies. In just a matter of a few months, the Russians were defending a front line that extended from Leningrad down to the Black Sea — a distance comparable to a line running across the continental United States.

President Roosevelt was desperate to see this Eastern Front hold, especially in consideration of Allied activities in North Africa — and their planned invasion of Western Europe. Maintaining friendly terms with the communist and despotic U.S.S.R. was seen as a necessary evil; America quickly forgot about the Red Scare and Stalin's pact with Hitler. Hollywood propaganda lauded the courageousness of the Russian people, while American factories spewed out tanks and other supplies destined for the Eastern Front.

Coded memos

By 1943, events had progressed in Europe, as had American involvement in the war. And it's at this stage that the recently declassified documents hold relevance. Vanessa Gera and Randy Herschaft of Associated Press were able to take an early look at the secret memos, and here's what they discovered:

It was May 1943 in the Katyn forest, a part of Russia the Germans had seized from the Soviets in 1941. A group of American and British POWs were taken against their will by their German captors to witness a horrifying scene at a clearing surrounded by pine trees: mass graves tightly packed with thousands of partly mummified corpses in well-tailored Polish officers uniforms.

The Americans - Capt. Donald B. Stewart and Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. - hated the Nazis and didn't want to believe the Germans. They had seen German cruelty up close, and the Soviets, after all, were their ally. The Germans were hoping to use the POWs for propaganda, and to drive a wedge between the Soviet Union and its Western Allies.

But returning to their POW camps, the Americans carried a conviction that they had just witnessed overwhelming proof of Soviet guilt. The corpses' advanced state of decay told them the killings took place much earlier in the war, when the Soviets still controlled the area. They also saw Polish letters, diaries, identification tags, news clippings and other objects - none dated later than spring of 1940 - pulled from the graves. The evidence that did the most to convince them was the good state of the men's boots and clothing: That told them the men had not lived long after being captured.

Soon after this experience, the POWs, with the help of MIS-X (a group that helped prisoners escape and transmit intelligence reports), were able to send coded messages back home — including a note by Clayton Bissell which clearly stated, "German claims regarding Katyn substantially correct in opinion of Van Vliet and myself."

Other newly released documents show that Roosevelt received a detailed report from Winston Churchill indicating what had happened in the Katyn Forest.


This newly released evidence strongly indicates that Roosevelt and other members of the top brass knew about the Katyn Massacre, but deliberately ignored it and kept the information hidden for the sake of maintaining an alliance with the Soviet Union. And by 1950, aware of the implications of hiding this information during the war, the U.S. government continued to issue a gag order on the entire affair. The directive was to "never to speak about a secret message on Katyn." During the 1951-52 Congressional hearings, for example, no material was presented to demonstrate that Washington knew about Katyn as early as it did.

From a geopolitical perspective, and as historian Allen Paul told the AP, the U.S. cover-up delayed a full understanding of the true nature of Stalinism — an understanding that came only later, after the Soviets acquired the atomic bomb and set up the Iron Curtain.

And historiographically speaking, the sudden presentation of previously classified information is a potential indication that there may still be more to come. Because many of the key players have now passed on, and because they no longer face any potential recrimination for misdeeds or wrongdoings, this information is finally being released to historians and the public. The history of World War II, it would seem, has yet to be completely written.

All of the newly-released documents and maps at the National Archives can be found here. - io9

Katyn: Stalin's Massacre and the Triumph of Truth

Class Cleansing: The Massacre at Katyn

Katyn 1940: The Documentary Evidence of the West's Betrayal


Do all species have the right to exist?

The idea that all species have an equal right to exist makes as much sense as believing we should bring back dinosaurs and dodos, a scientist has suggested.

A report on the 100 most critically endangered species in the world has been published by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), with its authors arguing they should all be saved.

But Dr Sarah Chan, deputy director of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at Manchester University, challenged the belief that all species should be preserved.

She said: “When we say that all species have an equal right to exist, do we mean just all of the species that currently exist? What about the species that have already gone extinct?

“I don’t see any good reason to limit ourselves only to this precise moment in time in terms of the species that we should be concerned about.

The list of threatened species includes the pygmy three-toed sloth, the Jamaican rock iguana and Tarzan’s chameleon.

The report on them, entitled Priceless or Worthless, identifies the threats they all face and how they can be addressed.

Professor Jonathan Baillie, co-author and director of conservation at ZSL, said allowing species to die out would lead to “a situation where we don’t have enough species to provide.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “They should be saved in their own right, it’s an ethical issue as well as a question of sustainability.

“But it’s also about the future generation, and we should be doing everything we can to show that we respect all forms of life. How we treat these 100 on the list is really representative of how we’ll treat the rest of life.”

All the species listed in his report face extinction “driven by humans”, he said, adding: “We have the ability to reverse these declines and it’s really our moral imperative to do so.” - telegraph

The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It

The Anthropology of Extinction: Essays on Culture and Species Death

On The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection: Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life


FAA: Mysterious Roof Holes Not Caused by Falling Frozen Waste

Two Long Island families with mysterious holes in their roofs think plummeting frozen waste from overhead airplanes might be the cause of their troubles.

Lois Farella awoke to a thunderous crash at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning (Sept. 9) and found that her roof had a hole the size of a basketball leading straight through the shingles, plywood and insulation, according to CBS New York. At the same time, the roof of Farella's next-door neighbor's house got a similar makeover. And when her roofer, Bryan Lanzello, investigated the damage, he reportedly found a brown, wet stain in the attic where the offending object would have landed.

“That’s a lot of blunt force that did that [and it] was coming from a distance. It blew through an inch and a half of shingles and those shingles are tough,” Lanzello said.

Convinced that the holes could only have been caused by something falling from an airplane, the two households called the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate whether they'd been the victims of a shower of "blue ice."

Blue ice is a euphemism for the industrial-deodorizer-hued chunks of frozen human waste that can occasionally fall from airplanes with faulty waste tanks.

Though waste should never be released from an airplane during flight, and in fact can't be released intentionally since the valve to open the tank is on the exterior of the plane, sometimes a leak will allow some waste to freeze to the outside of an airplane at high altitude.
As the plane makes its descent, the frozen mass will begin to warm and can decouple from the craft.

According to a fact sheet on the FAA’s website, any such blue ice “would melt long before it hit the ground, dissipating into miniscule droplets that are nearly invisible."

But Arlene Salac, a spokesperson for the FAA's eastern region office, told Life's Little Mysteries, "If it's a large enough chunk of it, it falls off down to the ground. It does definitely occur." She added that in the past, people have frozen specimens of blue ice that landed in their yards or homes to be back-matched to the namesake lavatory chemical and hopefully linked to the airline responsible.

Salac said blue ice did not cause the mysterious Long Island roof holes, however.

"Inspectors went out there today and it doesn't appear from the information we have at this point to be a case of blue ice," she said. "Whenever we have these cases we pull the radar tracks over the residents and there weren't any aircraft going over that house at that time. The closest one was 3 miles away, so it's not a case of blue ice, but we don't know what happened to the house."

Asked whether frozen waste might drift 3 miles on a collision course with a Long Island rooftop, Salac said no. - yahoo


Have the remains of King Richard III, last of the Plantagenet Dynasty, been found?

Archaeologists searching for the grave of Richard III have said "strong circumstantial evidence" points to a skeleton being the lost king.

The English king died at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

A dig under a council car park in Leicester has found remains with spinal abnormalities and a "cleaved-in skull" that suggest it could be Richard III.

The University of Leicester will now test the bones for DNA against descendants of Richard's family.

Professor Lin Foxhall, head of the university's School of Archaeology, said: "Archaeology almost never finds named individuals - this is absolutely extraordinary.

"Although we are far from certain yet, it is already astonishing."

A university spokesperson said the evidence included signs of a peri-mortem (near-death) trauma to the skull and a barbed iron arrow head in the area of the spine.

Richard is recorded by some sources as having been pulled from his horse and killed with a blow to the head.

The skeleton also showed severe scoliosis - a curvature of the spine.

Although not as pronounced as Shakespeare's portrayal of the king as a hunchback, the condition would have given the adult male the appearance of having one shoulder higher than the other.

Philippe Langley, from the Richard III Society, said: "It is such a tumult of emotions, I am shell-shocked.

"I just feel happy and sad and excited all at the same time. It is very odd."

As the defeated foe, Richard was given a low-key burial in the Franciscan friary of Greyfriars.

This was demolished in the 1530s, but documents describing the burial site have survived.

The excavation, which began on 25 August, has uncovered the remains of the cloisters and chapter house, as well as the church.

Work focused on the choir area, in the centre of the church, where it was indicated Richard was interred.

The bones were lifted by archaeologists wearing forensic body suits in an effort to limit contamination by modern materials.

DNA will be extracted from the bones and tested against descendants of Richard's family.

Dr Turi King, who is leading the DNA analysis, said: "It is extremely exciting and slightly nerve-wracking.

"We have extracted teeth from the skull, so we have that and a femur, and we are optimistic we will get a good sample from those."

The tests are expected to take about 12 weeks to complete.

If their identity is confirmed, Leicester Cathedral said it would work with the Royal Household, and with the Richard III Society, to ensure the remains were treated with dignity and respect and reburied with the appropriate rites and ceremonies of the church.

Work to record the finds are continuing and discussions about when to fill in the trenches are ongoing, officials said.

The Tragedy of King Richard III: The Oxford Shakespeare The Tragedy of King Richard III (Oxford World's Classics)

Richard III and the Murder in the Tower

The Last Days of Richard III

NOTE: Richard III fell in the Battle of Bosworth Field, making him the last English king to die in battle. Henry Tudor along with his contingent of French troops, Welsh foot soldiers and skilled archers, defeated Richard III thus ending the Plantagenet Dynasty. Hence forth the Middle Ages had essentially come to an end in England as the House of Tudor began it historic ascendancy that ended the subjugation Wales and its people had suffered for centuries under the English monarchy...Lon

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Voices Coming From The Closet

The following is an interesting story from Newfoundland:

In the late 1960s, a local man by the name of Reg lived in a house with some particularly chatty spirits. As he explained it to me, "I've had the goose bumps because I've not seen, but heard, ghosts talking in the house I grew up in on Blackmarsh Road."

"My grandmother, my grandfather, mother, and myself, have all had chance meetings with the supernatural beings on Blackmarsh Road, west of Purity Factories Ltd.," Reg said. His first encounter with the local ghosts took place in his family home when he was about nine years old, around the year 1968-69.

In the late 1960s, a local man by the name of Reg lived in a house with some particularly chatty spirits. As he explained it to me, "I've had the goose bumps because I've not seen, but heard, ghosts talking in the house I grew up in on Blackmarsh Road."

"My grandmother, my grandfather, mother, and myself, have all had chance meetings with the supernatural beings on Blackmarsh Road, west of Purity Factories Ltd.," Reg said. His first encounter with the local ghosts took place in his family home when he was about nine years old, around the year 1968-69.

"I grew up there with my three sisters," Reg said. "Sometimes, due to limited space, I slept on the sofa in the living room. In the living room was a small stove and coat closet. I remember the chimney ran next to the closet."

It was this closet that was the focus of Reg's encounters with a pack of noisy ghosts.

"I remember so vividly being woken up between 3-4 a.m. every morning to the sounds of a group of people conversing in the closet," Reg said. "To the best of my knowledge, there were six or seven people. I could not pick out what they were saying, though at the moment I could hear them very clearly.

"This went on until we moved," he said. "I told my mother about this at the time it was happening but, of course, it was dismissed as a child's imagination until many years later."

Long after Reg had grown up and moved out of the property, his grandparents had moved into the same apartment.

"I was away working in Toronto," he said. "I was talking to my mom and we happened to start talking about the closet. She told me my grandmother was asleep one night when she, too, was roused from sleep by the sound of people talking in the living room. She went to check it out and she also heard many voices in the closet."

The grandmother was not one to let noisy spirits invade her closet.

"Being the strong-willed person that she was, she said the Lord's Prayer aloud," Reg said. "When she was finished, she said the voices stopped, never to be heard again."

The use of the Lord's Prayer or even the name of God is a familiar and recurring motif in Newfoundland ghost stories, and it is certainly one I have come across before in family stories.

According to Stith Thompson's "Motif Index of Folk Literature," this is something that occurs in many local stories and legends. It is so recognized as a part of traditional stories that it has been given folk motif number E443.5 - "Ghost laid by adjuring it to leave in the name of God."

Another Newfoundland story that is typical of tales in this genre is from Trinity, and involves a man by the name of Uncle Eli. Much to Uncle Eli's chagrin, some type of ghost kept blowing out the kerosene lamp while he and his family were trying to play cards.

But Uncle Eli was having none of the phantom's antics. He spoke up loudly and challenged the force responsible for blowing out the light.

"If you belong to God, go back to God," directed Uncle Eli. "If you belong to the devil, go back to the devil!"

After he said these words, Uncle Eli then lit the lamp a third time. That time it did not go out, and the family was able to finish their game in peace, with no more ghostly interruptions.

Thanks to Dale for forwarding!

Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador

Paranormal Activity 3 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)

Journeys into the Unknown: Mysterious Canadian Encounters with the Paranormal


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