Saturday, July 20, 2013

Just the Facts?: Change Your Fortune With Palm Surgery -- The 2013 Kecksburg UFO Festival -- Highway to Hell


From left, before and after photos of a patient who underwent palm surgery to engrave an “emperor’s line,” heralding great success and good fortune. (Shonan Beauty Clinic)

Your Future Is in the Palm of Your (Surgeon’s) Hand

Want to be richer? To live longer? Easy. In Japan, the latest craze is to change your fortune with palm surgery that extends your lines. Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky report from the fortune-telling frontier.

In Japan, where palm reading remains one of the most popular means of fortune-telling, some people have figured out a way to change their fate. It’s a simple idea: change your palm, change the reading, and change your future. All you need is a competent plastic surgeon with an electric scalpel who has a basic knowledge of palmistry. Or you can draw the lines on your hand with a marker and let him work the magic you want.

Missing a marriage line? That can be fixed. Wedding bells may ring.

Need some good fortune? Add a money-luck line and you might win the lottery or be promoted to vice president in your firm. For the smart shopper—one willing to undergo palm plastic surgery—the future isn’t what it used to be.

“Doctor, I want you to change my fate. Please change my palm.”

Even in Japan, where odd surgery requests are not unknown—like the man who had his penis removed and served it as a special dinner—Takaaki Matsuoka, a plastic surgeon at the Shonan Beauty Clinic’s Shinjuku branch, was taken aback. It was January 2011, and a female patient wanted her palm reformatted to bring her better luck. Matsuoka wasn’t sure he could do it.

He scoured medical journals until he found examples of such surgery being done in Korea, studied the methods, then confirmed with the patient what she wanted done, and performed the surgery for ¥100,00 ($1,000). It went well.

The surgery had to be performed with an electric scalpel—which burns the flesh, creating the scent of burnt hot dogs, and leaves a semipermanent scar.

“If you try to create a palm line with a laser, it heals, and it won’t leave a clear mark. You have to use the electric scalpel and make a shaky incision on purpose, because palm lines are never completely straight. If you don’t burn the skin and just use a plain scalpel, the lines don’t form. It’s not a difficult surgery, but it has to be done right.”

From January 2011 to May 2013, 37 palm plastic surgeries have been performed at the Shonan Beauty Clinic alone, 20 of them by Matsuoka. Several other clinics in Japan offer the surgery, but almost none of them advertise it. Word-of-mouth is more than enough. Shonan Beauty Clinic did advertise the service briefly, but couldn’t keep up with the demand.

This year Dr. Matsuoka has already performed the surgery on five patients and the clinic was in consultation with three others last month. The surgery usually takes 10 to 15 minutes and includes anywhere between 5 and 10 lines on the palm. The patient is free to draw the lines they wish to have, but of course Matsuoka pays attention to make sure the ones they have in mind are the proper harbingers of good fortune. It takes about one month for the wounds to heal and form palm lines, during which time the new lines need to remain bandaged.

The majority of the patients are men and women who are in their 30s and have a predilection for fortune-telling.

Men want money, women want men: the favorite palm lines

Matsuoka didn’t know anything about palmistry—the art of reading fortunes from palms—when he began doing the surgery. Over time he realized that to do the job better, he needed to know the fundamentals of the ancient divining art.

Listening to Matsuoka enthusiastically explain the meanings of the palm lines like the highly desired tripartite emperor’s line (覇王線)makes you realize he could probably have a second career practicing palmistry.

“Well, if you’re a single guy trying to pick up a date, knowing palm reading is probably good. It’s a great excuse to hold a lovely woman’s hands,” he says, laughing.

“If you don’t have the marriage line, it means you will most likely not get married. So the job of the doctor is to create a marriage line.”
Men usually wish to change their business related success lines, such as the fate line(運命線), the money-luck line (金運線), and the financial line (財務線).

Matsuoka explains, “The money-luck line is for making profits. And the financial line is the one that allows you to save what you make. It’s good to have both. Because sometimes people make a lot of money, but they quickly lose it as well. A strong fate line helps ensure you make money and keep it. These three lines, when they come together just right, create the emperor’s line. Most men want this.”

He notes that the Japanese celebrity, comedian, and actor Takaaki Ishibashi (co-star of the Hollywood classic Major League II) has a strong emperor’s line.

Women often want to change their marriage line.

“If you don’t have the marriage line, it means you will most likely not get married. So the job of the doctor is to create a marriage line. Sometimes the marriage line is there, but it came too early and the woman missed her chance. So we add another one.”

One of his patients was 30 when she came for the surgery. Her wedding line was low on her hand, indicating she should have gotten married in her 20s, so at her request, the doctor added another marriage line to her palm. He put it high enough so that she’d be married within one to three years after the surgery—if all went well.

Not all women want marriage lines; some just want better romance lines. And that includes married women as well.

Does it work?

Matsuoka isn’t sure how effective the surgery really is and hasn’t done an analysis. He believes there may be a placebo effect.

“If people think they’ll be lucky, sometimes they become lucky. And it’s not like the palm lines are really written in stone—they’re basically wrinkles. They do change with time. Even the way you use your hands can change the lines. Some palmisters will even suggest that their clients draw the lines on their hands to change their luck. And this was before palm plastic surgery existed. However, anecdotally I’ve had some success.”

The woman with the early wedding line wrote to the doctor that she got married soon after he had performed the operation. Two male patients wrote to him that they had won the lottery after the surgery. His luckiest patient collected more than $30,000 (3 million yen).

“Of course, I can’t say there is a cause-and-effect relationship, but if there was, the guy who won the lottery made an excellent investment: a 2.9 million–yen ($29,000) profit. Maybe changing your palm won’t change your fate, but if you have that much determination to try to change it—and are willing to endure a little pain for that chance—maybe you can change your life.”

At the end of the interview, as if to prove his point, Matsuoka looked at my palm and added, “Yes, your palm says you have good luck. You can make money, but you’re terrible at saving it.” He was stunningly accurate ... or he’d seen my bank balance somewhere.

Looking at Ms. Stucky’s palm, he added, “You’re doing the perfect job for you. It’s one you’re suited for and like a lot.”

I would have asked him to read my palm even more, but I had a feeling that if he had, I’d have ended up becoming patient No. 38.

For right now, I’ll stick with the marker.

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Mutilations: Aliens?

At first, rancher Tom Miller thought the savagery wrought on his cattle was a cruel joke.

Mutilated cows and calfs. Field-dressed and missing ears, organs and eyes. Carcasses devoid of blood.

A second-generation rancher, it wasn’t until 1999 that Miller said he started looking at the animal deaths differently, not as the product of twisted mischief or the feeding scraps of predators.

“At first I thought it was a prank, but there were no tracks, no blood. It looks like the carcass is pealed off, and it happens overnight,” Miller said.

“There are just so many things that happen that doesn’t seem like it’s human. I know people think you’re crazy, but there are so many things people can’t explain.”

Since ‘99, six cows and calfs have been mutilated on Miller’s ranch northeast of here. Two calfs were mutilated in May and the day after meeting with a Chieftain reporter and photographer this week, he found another mutilated cow on his property.

Miller thinks the seventh death happened in the last week.

Chuck Zukowski has been investigating UFO sightings, paranormal cases and animal mutilations throughout the United States for 28 years.

A California native who lives in Colorado Springs where he makes his living designing microchips, Zukowski has investigated at least 24 mutilation cases in Trinidad and Southern Colorado.

In his cases, he’s found little evidence to suggest human intervention or natural predators.

“You don’t see any predator markings at all — bite marks, claw marks — and if you did it would be a clear giveaway,” Zukowski, a former volunteer sheriff’s deputy said.

“I don’t see blood stains on the hides, which is ridiculous. Completely devoid of blood. Why would an animal carve and cut a perfectly round circle on one side of a head? Why would a scavenger do that? The lack of blood, unusual cuts, and there’s no human evidence there — no foot prints, no tire marks.”

Not everyone subscribes to the thought of extraterrestrial life. For some ranchers in the San Luis Valley they believe the deaths to be the work of the blood-thirsty “Chupacabra,” a creature of Hispanic lore that preys on livestock.

Zukowski said some ranchers have seen black military helicopters hover over their cattle and later find a mutilated carcass.

Some may think Satanic cults are to blame, or such was the case in some of the earliest publicized mutilation cases in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Whatever the thought or theory, mutilations continue to happen and the culprit(s) remain at large. And Zukowski, who volunteers his time to investigate, has linked commonalities that he says points to aliens.

“I believe, without a doubt, that there is life outside of the planet,” he said, adding that the mutilators are “a highly intelligent predator.”

“In the cases I investigate, there’s no signs the animal struggled. In some cases, it looks like (the animal) was dropped there,” said Zukowski, whose investigations can be found on his website, UFOnut.com

He’s found animals inside a depressed ring and in one out-of-state case, found a mutilated animal inside a fresh crop circle.

Zukowski collects soil both inside and out of the rings and has the samples tested at Colorado State University-Fort Collins.

“I’m seeing some kind of nutrients being altered in the soil. The soil inside the depressions are less soluble than outside the ring.”

In one of the May cases at Miller’s ranch, Zukowski said he picked up high radiation readings around a carcass found beside a tree.

Above the carcass, Zukowski said, he found broken limbs in the tree, which leads him to think the animal was dropped from above.

“I had some unusual radiation readings in a field at Tom Miller’s place, and you could see where branches were broken where the carcass was found,” he said.

While some ranchers may be scared, Miller said he’s not, only more concerned for his herd. Years of drought have taken a toll and, looking down at the remains of a mutilated calf, he says: “That could’ve been $800.”

After staring at the carcass for a minute, Miller looked up: “There’s just so many questions no one can answer.” - Chieftain

Stalking the Herd: Unraveling the Cattle Mutilation Mystery

Enter the Valley: UFOs, Religious Miracles, Cattle Mutilations, and Other Unexplained Phenomena in the San Luis Valley

An Alien Harvest: Further Evidence Linking Animal Mutilations and Human Abductions to Alien Life Forms


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The 2013 Kecksburg UFO Festival


Video - Nearly 50 years later, Kecksburg UFO sighting remains mystery

An unidentified flying object was reported on Dec. 9, 1965. The fireball landed in the woods in the Kecksburg area of Mount Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County. It was only a meteor, according to the U.S. government.

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Kecksburg - The Untold Story

UFOs over Pennsylvania


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Highway to Hell

The Satanic Temple in the U.S. is launching a campaign to clean up New York's highways to "promote a message of Satanic civic pride and social responsibility."

The Satanists have set up an Indiegogo page to raise the $15,000 they need to adopt a stretch of New York highway for two years "by way of litter cleanup and landscaping."

If they succeed, the Department of Transportation will have to put up a sign acknowledging The Satanic Temple as the adopters.

"We call on all people to support the Satanic Temple in this effort to engage their community in a positive, productive manner," the church said.

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