Saturday, February 02, 2013

Archive: It Is Still One Of The Oddest Accounts I Have Ever Read!

In March 2010, I called a reader who had previously contacted me and wanted to discuss an incident his late father had written about. After a lengthy conversation and several emails, he agreed to forward the text. This is still, without a doubt, one of the oddest accounts I have ever read....though I was intrigued by the possible implications:

Lon - my name is Ken and I am a reader of your blog. I would like to share a disturbing encounter my father wrote about. He passed away last year and had kept a journal which I found in his safe. There was a separate sheet of paper, folded with an envelope and placed in the journal. I suspect it was a letter he had intended to send at some point. It was dated October 25, 2002, though there was no addressee. By that time, we had moved to Arizona. My mother said that my father claimed he had a terrifying personal encounter but never told her the details. My father was a very serious, private and devout man who didn't indulge in drink or other vices. Because of his sincerity, my mother and I believe this story to be true. The following text was in the letter.


Dear Sir

In the summer of 1996, I was living with my family in northern Orange County, California. My wife was visiting relatives so I decided to go out for a bite to eat. I had just finished a late dinner at a local restaurant and started walking through a vacant parking lot. As I walked I saw an square-shaped lighted object hovering overhead. The UFO came closer but I could not hear any sound. There was also a pulsating white light located on the bottom. After a few seconds, the object simply vanished. I was stunned and stood there for a few minutes wondering if the object would return.

I continued to walk through the lot, coming to the entrance on the backside that led into an alley. As I walked through the well-illuminated alley, I noticed ahead of me a strange creature looking through a row of hedges. I stopped walking and crouched down behind a car so the creature could not see me. I realize that the description will seem ridiculous, but this is what I witnessed. The creature was about 4-5 foot tall and a bit frail looking. He wore a one-piece light blue bodysuit that had an iridescent look to it. It wore high black boots that seemed to glow from the bottom. The face had a well pronounced chin, tiny round eyes, holes where the ears should had been and a large bald head. As I watched, the creature looked like it was having trouble walking.

I continued to watched as it looked around the hedges and in a garbage can, then disappearing behind a garage. After a few seconds, I heard strange popping sounds. I continued to crouch down by the car wondering if the creature would come back. After a few minutes my curiosity got the best of me, so I raised up and started to slowly walk in the direction of the garage. As I neared, a tall hairy ape-like creature emerged from behind the garage into the alley while looking directly at me. I was stunned as my legs gave way and I dropped to the ground in horror. It had no clothing, with large, long hairy arms and red glowing eyes. In a weird way, this 'thing' didn't look solid, almost like a ghost or hologram. It made a few grunting sounds, turned around and started to run down the alley towards the woods at the dead end.

When I arrived home, I realized that my walk and encounter on the way lasted over 2 hours, though the distance of the restaurant and my house was only a few blocks. I wondered if I should report the incident but thought it was too ridiculous and I would never be believed anyway. Later, I told my story to my pastor as well as a friend at church, but both refused to take it seriously. I went back to the alley several times to see if any evidence could be found, for example, the light blue body suit and boots since I was sure that this was a metamorphic event.

Through the years, I began to wonder if this creature was actually a Bigfoot or Sasquatch. I have never heard any conjecture of Bigfoot as an extraterrestrial but I suppose it is possible. Can you elaborate on my experience? Please forward copies to other experts if you feel it is appropriate. Sincerely (unsigned)

NOTE: I thanked Ken for coming forward though, he had several concerns about his father's account being published. Ken did ask that if anybody has information on this event or, specifically, if his father (Kenneth, Sr.) may have contacted anyone in reference to the event to forward it. When I originally published this narrative, I did receive a few inquiries. I also read the account during a segment appearence on 'Beyond The Edge Radio' and received thoughts from a few listeners. To this date it remains one of the weirdest witness submissions I have ever received...Lon

Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

Top Secret Sasquatch: Exposing the True Nature of Bigfoot and Its Controversial Connections to UFOs, the Fossil Record, and Human History (Forbidden Bigfoot, Part Two)

Faces of Bigfoot: Short Stories about the Unexpected Results When Human Meets Sasquatch

Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters

Friday, February 01, 2013

The Jarmo Nykanen UFO Encounter

Jarmo Nykanen was staying at a lakeside summer cottage in Suonenjoki, Finland when he awoke to a buzzing sound in the early morning hours. The cottage was being bathed in a strong blue light. Going outside, Jarmo saw a blue light "twice as big as a row boat" approach from over the lake. It stopped and hovered offshore. The light seemed to radiate from a kind of "jelly," glowing in an unusual manner. Jarmo thought he could see a strange being inside the light. The next thing he remembered he was lying on the porch of his cottage at about 6:00 a.m. He had lost track of four hours of time.

UFO Research of Finland has, after extensive research work, classified the case as a UFO case and declared Mr. Nykanen a reliable witness. Mr. Reijo Kolehmainen, aged 28, is the secondary witness. He has not personally seen the UFOs, but three of the four landing trace areas were found around his home. The following report is based on interviews and other documents accumulated by the research organization.


Mr. Jarmo Nykanen's first contact with UFOs took place in the summer of 1973. His diary contains detailed notes about the incident. This is what happened on June 30, 1973:

Jarmo woke up at about 10 a.m. and started planning a visit to his summer cottage. In the afternoon he had a sauna bath. Then he walked through the forest to his cottage which is located on a lakeshore. Soon after the arrival he lit a fire outdoors. He warmed up some coffee and ate a bit. In the evening he listened to the radio and went to sleep two hours after midnight.

A few moments later he woke up and heard a buzzing sound. First he thought he had forgotten to turn off the radio but soon noticed that this was not the case. Then he saw a strong blue light enter the cottage from the direction of the door. Jarmo went out and walked down to the row-boat jetty. Above the lake he saw a blue light. Suddenly the light started to approach him. It stopped above the shallow water.

Now Jarmo realized how huge the light was. It was twice as big as a row-boat. The light seemed to radiate from a jelly of some sort and it glowed in an unusual way. Jarmo thinks he saw a strange being inside the light. And the next thing he remembers is that he found himself lying on the porch of the cottage. The time was 6 a.m. Jarmo went back to bed and slept til noon. The encounter had made him extremely sleepy.

The unusual events started again in June, 1975. Jarmo Nykanen heard strange knocking sounds at night. It happened three times at two-month intervals. However, nothing was seen on those occasions.


Three landing trace areas were found around Mr. Reijo Kolehmainen's home in February, 1979.

At 6:50 a.m. on February 2, 1979 a 2.5 meter crater was found in the snow at a distance of 5 meters from the house. The snow had melted all the way to the ground in the center of the crater. Strange red liquid, pieces of metal,and later a metallic cup were found within the crater. The red liquid smelled of vinegar. At 8:00 a.m. the police came. They photographed the area and took some samples.

Late in the evening of February 5, 1979 the Kolehmainen family heard a shooting sound. One constable later revealed he had seen a strange light phenomenon at the same time. On the following morning a bigger crater was found in the snow at a distance of 10 meters from the house. Similar things were again found. Later the police came to have a new look at the area. The police suggested that perhaps somenone had thrown a home-made bomb in the Kolehmainen yard. However, the Kolehmainens stated that nobody has any reason to throw bombs at them.

On the morning of February 21, 1979 a third landing trace area was found. This time there were three holes in the yard. Red liquid and pieces of metal were once again found in the landing trace. However, no metallic cup was found this time. There was no snow on the electric wires above the holes, but there was lots of snow on similar wires elsewhere.

The Kolehmainens didn't want any publicity, but the news leaked to the press from acquaintances. About ten articles were published by the press about the events.


On March 8, 1979 Reijo Kolehmainen traveled to Helsinki and asked his friend Jarmo Nykanen to guard the house.

In the evening on March 10, 1979 Jarmo started to make rounds around the house. Suddenly he saw a flash of light in the forest and he thought someone was watching him. Soon after midnight a bell-shaped mini-UFO appeared near the house. The UFO had a diameter of half a meter. The upper part of the UFO radiated blue light and the lower part radiated red light. First he thought he was watching the lights of a car, but then he realized he had encountered a UFO. Jarmo had> a camera with him and he had a couple of shots at the phenomenon. However, the flash didn't work.

Jarmo walked closer to the UFO and flashed his torch toward the UFO. Now the UFO ascended to an altitude of three meters and made the whole snow-covered area look red. Then the UFO disappeared into the sky. Later he found out that the photos didn't come out.


A few days later Jarmo Nykanen made a map of the Kolehmainen house and its surroundings. He realized that the three landing trace areas formed a triangle. And he noticed that if you prolong one side of the triangle it leads you to the cottage.

On March 16, 1979 at around noon he walked to the cottage through the forest. He took binoculars, a camera, and some snacks with him. He arrived at the cottage after 80 minutes. Then he ate his snacks and walked around the cottage.

Suddenly Jarmo heard a humming sound obliquely from behind. He turned around. At an altitude of about two meters he saw a bell-shaped mini-UFO. It seemed to be similar to the one he had seen near the Kolehmainen house. Now he started taking photos of the UFO. It radiated blue light and moved forward descending and ascending. After having taken five photos he started walking toward the UFO. Then the UFO disappeared.

Jarmo continued to research the area. After about half an hour he was walking on the frozen lake. Now he heard a humming sound from the shore and saw the same UFO in the bushes. Again he walked closer to the UFO and kept taking more photos. Then he climbed up the cliff. He tried to sneak to the other side of the encounter area. However, on his way he stumbled and inadvertently took a shot of the trees with the camera. Now the UFO directed a red beam of light toward Jarmo's face. The light was so bright that it blinded him for a while.

Jarmo hid himself behind a fir tree. Now he took his last photo, the twelfth. After a while the UFO flew a bit further away from Jarmo. Suddenly there was a flash of light on top of it. Red smoke puffed out of the UFO and a cylinder-shaped object zoomed to the sky. Pieces of metal and some red liquid were left on the ground. Now Jarmo got extremely tired and sleepy. He only took a quick look at the red spot and left for home.

When he reached the road (this time he didn't take the short-cut through the forest) he met Reijo Kolehmainen. Reijo was on his way to the gas station. Reijo noticed that there was blood on top of Jarmo's nose as well as two tiny holes. However, the holes disappeared later. The weather was fairly good. The sun was shining behind a thin cloud cover and the temperature was a few degrees below freezing. Jarmo told his story to Reijo later.


The police have not been able to explain the strange events. It is highly unlikely that the young men would have made up the story. In fact, they seem to be just as anxious to learn more about the events as the research people are. The camera used by Jarmo Nykanen was a Yaschica Junior and the film was Sakura, in color. - APRO Bulletin, Vol. 28, No. 5, Nov. 1979 - Paul Deveraux - 'Earth Lights'

Video - Jarmo Nykanen UFO Encounter

History Is Wrong

SPECIAL REPORT 2011: Hitler's Secret UFO Weapons

It Didn't Start With Roswell: 50 Years of Amazing UFO Crashes, Close Encounters and Coverups

The Secret UFO Diary of CIA Operative Comm. Alvin E. Moore: Exposing the Existence of the Alien Skymen

Just the Facts?: Area 51 'Batplane' Observed -- Purple Spheres Found in the Desert -- Why We Took Cocaine Out of Soda

Area 51 'Batplane' Observed

A super secret airplane filmed over Area 51 in Nevada looks more like something out of a Batman movie than Jane's Defense Weekly. The image here was caught on video by a man who lives near Groom Lake, Nevada, and has a remote cabin situated near the landing strip for the Air Force's research and development complex.

The man lives in the cabin which is nestled between several mountainous peaks. That makes it difficult for civilians to capture images of secret aircraft for more than a few seconds at a time.

In this case, the video lasts about 45 seconds and reveals enough detail to see what the military is up to in aircraft design these days.

The jet looks like the swept, forward-facing wing type made famous in the Batman movies. It's bristling with missiles and clearly shows an advanced, rear engine design along with an oddly shaped nose and weird vents along the side hull.

No wonder so many people claim to see UFOs in the area.




Why We Took Cocaine Out of Soda

When cocaine and alcohol meet inside a person, they create a third unique drug called cocaethylene. Cocaethylene works like cocaine, but with more euphoria.

So in 1863, when Parisian chemist Angelo Mariani combined coca and wine and started selling it, a butterfly did flap its wings. His Vin Marian became extremely popular. Jules Verne, Alexander Dumas, and Arthur Conan Doyle were among literary figures said to have used it, and the chief rabbi of France said, "Praise be to Mariani's wine!"

Pope Leo XIII reportedly carried a flask of it regularly and gave Mariani a medal.

Seeing this commercial success, Dr. John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta -- himself a morphine addict following an injury in the Civil War -- set out to make his own version. He called it Pemberton's French Wine Coca and marketed it as a panacea. Among many fantastic claims, he called it "a most wonderful invigorator of sexual organs."

But as Pemberton's business started to take off, a prohibition was passed in his county in Georgia (a local one that predated the 18th Amendment by 34 years). Soon French Wine Coca was illegal -- because of the alcohol, not the cocaine.

Pemberton remained a step ahead, though. He replaced the wine in the formula with (healthier?) sugar syrup. His new product debuted in 1886: "Coca-Cola: The temperance drink."

After that, as Grace Elizabeth Hale recounted recently in the The New York Times, Coca-Cola "quickly caught on as an 'intellectual beverage' among well-off whites." But when the company started selling it in bottles in 1899, minorities who couldn't get into the segregated soda fountains suddenly had access to it.

Hale explains:

Anyone with a nickel, black or white, could now drink the cocaine-infused beverage. Middle-class whites worried that soft drinks were contributing to what they saw as exploding cocaine use among African-Americans. Southern newspapers reported that "negro cocaine fiends" were raping white women, the police powerless to stop them. By 1903, [then-manager of Coca-Cola Asa Griggs] Candler had bowed to white fears (and a wave of anti-narcotics legislation), removing the cocaine and adding more sugar and caffeine.

Hale's account of the role of racism and social injustice in Coca-Cola's removal of coca is corroborated by the attitudes that the shaped subsequent U.S. cocaine regulation movement. Cocaine wasn't even illegal until 1914 -- 11 years after Coca-Cola's change -- but a massive surge in cocaine use was at its peak at the turn of the century. Recreational use increased five-fold in a period of less than two decades. During that time, racially oriented arguments about rape and other violence, and social effects more so than physical health concerns, came to shape the discussion. The same hypersexuality that was touted as a selling point during the short-lived glory days of Vin Mariani was now a crux of cocaine's bigoted indictment. U.S. State Department official Dr. Hamilton Wright said in 1910, "The use of cocaine by the negroes of the South is one of the most elusive and troublesome questions which confront the enforcement of the law ... often the direct incentive to the crime of rape by the negroes." Dr. Edward Williams described in the Medical Standard in 1914, "The negro who has become a cocaine-doper is a constant menace to his community. His whole nature is changed for the worse ... timid negroes develop a degree of 'Dutch courage' which is sometimes almost incredible."

Yes, even the Dutch were not spared from the racism.

The Coca-Cola we know today still contains coca -- but the ecgonine alkaloid is removed from it. Perfecting that extraction took until 1929, so before that there were still trace amounts of coca's psychoactive elements in Coca-Cola. As Dominic Streatfield describes in Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography the extraction is now done at a New Jersey chemical processing facility by a company called Stepan. In 2003, Stepan imported 175,000 kilograms of coca for Coca-Cola. That's enough to make more than $200 million worth of cocaine. They refer to the coca leaf extract simply as "Merchandise No. 5."

The facility is guarded. - The Atlantic

NOTE: I must admit, I didn't know the real reason why cocaine was removed from soda. Lon


Mysterious, purple spheres found in the desert

It was a normal Sunday in Vail for Geradine Vargas. Normal, until she and her husband stumbled upon something kind of weird.

"We were taking photos around the area and we just.... I mean, how could you miss this?" Geradine said. "It was just like glittering in the sun."

Thousands of tiny, purple-hued spheres piled in the middle of nowhere.

"It's just one of those things that you've never seen before."

They were watery, some where translucent, and the pile was completely isolated. Gerardine was amazed, and she wanted answers.

"We did email a friend of ours who's a zoologist, but she didn't know. I mean, she didn't seem to recognize what it was."

So, she sent KGUN-9 pictures of the spheres, hoping we could find some answers.

We checked out the mysterious spheres for ourselves, and learned they were still there. They're like gooey marbles that ooze out a water substance when squished. They roll, they shine, and they're out of this world.

Geradine was dying to know what they were, and so were we.

We spoke to Darlene Buhrow, director of marketing at Tucson Botanical Gardens, who's husband is a botanist. He said if these are something naturally occurring, they could be a slime mold or jelly fungus.

We've received tons of calls into the newsroom tonight from viewers who think they are a product like Deco Beads, which are tiny, colored, water-filled spheres that keep plants hydrated.

But thousands of them? In the middle of the desert?

No one is positive what these spheres are, and for now, all we can say for certain is that they're definitely out of the ordinary. - KGUN 9



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Thursday, January 31, 2013

UFO / Alien Encounter - Fairview, PA

Hello...I'm writing you in an effort to confirm a unusual observation I had on October 16, 2012 at around 11:15 PM. I was driving home from work northbound on RT 20 West Ridge Rd. near Fairview, PA when I notice bright green lights descending into the woods behind a veterinary hospital. I immediately slowed and pulled into the lot behind the hospital. I could see several green lights in the woods and a few red and white lights. I got out of the car to get a better view. As I stood in front of my car, I started to hear a distinct 'chopping' sound coming from the woods as well as cracking noises. It actually sounded like several people were cutting down trees. The lights and the activity were about 50 yds. in front of me but I couldn't see any movement.

I stood there for about 10 minutes as the sounds continued. I was tired so I decided to leave for home. I figured that there were workers clearing land though this was near a residential location and working at night was a bit unusual.

As I made my way back into the car I noticed movement in an adjacent parking lot. The lot was lit enough to where I could see 2 figures moving away from me towards the woods. They looked like characters from a cartoon. The figures were about 5 foot tall and very thin. I couldn't see their faces but the heads had a peanut shape. They move swiftly but only their legs were moving. Every other parts of their bodies was rigid. There was also a white sash tied across the waist on both figures.

As I watched the figures go into the woods a whirling sound starting to come from the woods. Suddenly five huge green lights ascended from the woods, hovered for a second or two, then vanished. I think that the lights stretched out for about 150 ft. It was a very large craft.

The next day I walked through the woods where this incident occurred and noticed a few small trees in a particular area were cracked near the ground. There was nothing else out of the ordinary.

I decided not to mention what I witnessed and see if anyone had reported it to the local media. As of today, I have not seen any mention of this landing or the lights. I live in Fairview, PA and have not heard any mention from any resident. I rather not have my particulars disclosed at least until another similar report is made public. This is a small town and everybody is in everyone else's business, if you know what I mean.

Would you be kind enough to let me know of any reports in my area? Thank you...RS


After receiving the email, I found the following strange report in the MUFON CMS. It comes from the same general area and the descriptions are somewhat similar. I'm not sure these two incidents are related but I believe some investigation needs to be done:

Aliens running across the highway. UFOs landing on the side of the highway. being shot at by aliens. Multiple nights and being chased by UFO craft

Erie, PA - 10/17/2012 - 1:07am: My job requires me to drive at night.

In the past couple of months I myself my girlfriend, and my son. Have witnessed Aliens; the Grays; small ones running across Route 80 between 1 am and 3 am. They made my girlfriends vision foggy. They affected her mind. They looked like skinny Ethiopians running with backs perfectly straight perpendicular to the ground not leaning forward like a person running and there arms stayed at there side completely still no movement, not swinging like a normal person would run. Red lights landing in the trees brought us to the attention. I thought it was an explosion at first.

The red lights rose up again out of the trees and split into two and followed us down the highway for five miles. If I put on the breaks so would the UFO. If I gave it gas so did the UFO.

Now at 1 am in the past two nights 16th and 17th big bright green orbs have been coming straight down out of space aimed directly at my truck. They caused a tractor trailer to slam on his breaks last night in the middle of the highway and nearly crash. I feel they are shooting at me or something. It comes out of the sky and heads directly towards my truck.

My job requires me to travel this route. Im afraid but Im also starting to get mad. There is a small area where these things happen at least once a week. there is something going on in that area. A white light also landed on the side of the road a couple of feet by my truck. Just like the green lights coming out of the sky but this one was white. Route 80 and 322 intersecting 79 by Meadville.

If it happens again tonight Im taking my friend Friday with his gieger counter and if theres no radiation detected Im going into the woods after them. I want one of there ugly gray heads mounted above my fireplace. - MUFON CMS - full report

High Strangeness: Hyperdimensions & The Process Of Alien Abduction

The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters: The Definitive Illustrated A - Z Guide To All Things Alien

UFOs in Pennsylvania: Encounters with Extraterrestrials in the Keystone State

Really Mysterious Pennsylvania: UFOs, Bigfoot & Other Weird Encounters Casebook One

Just the Facts?: Abducted by the 'Vetrolment' -- Killer Kitty -- Fresh Air in a Can

Abducted by the 'Vetrolment'

Cedar Park, TX - 1/14/2013 - unedited: Normally around 7:00 P.m central time I head outside in my backyard to get some fresh air. I stepped outside for around thirty minutes and continued standing in the middle of the yard just looking around in the sky with my binoculars.
Around 7:43 P.m central time, something caught my attention. I happened to glance out of the left of me to see something that looked like a huge chunk of medal hovering in the air slowly.
I removed the binoculars and stared at the unknown object for around ten minutes.
The object stayed in one single place in the sky and never moved for about an hour. You could easily see this object by the naked eye. This object was completely dull in color, the shape of it was a disk and it rotated for around an hour. The size of it was [my guess], about the size of a football field and as long as two eight-teen wheelers. On the bottom of the craft was silver with a few which looked like, burnt marks. Either it was burnt marks or rust, I couldnt tell that good.
After around 8:01 P.m central time, the object hovered more close to my house and hovered right in the middle of my yard. The shadow of it completely covered the yard, I couldnt see much underneath the craft until it stopped rotating.
I could count about thirty-five windows around it, none of which were lit except for two.
Strangely enough the craft made this loud humming sound which led to make me unconscious.
I awoke several minutes later staring up at some kind of blinding ceiling, the room was wide with some controls and tables and some weird looking tools.
Out of the corner of my right eye I spotted a figure which looked to be about five feet tall. Behind it was another figure and another. I counted three total while they walked towards me and looked down at me.
One of the beings started mumbling something in a language I couldnt explain. The being placed its arm behind me as I stood up on the table while the being gave me this weird looking book.
The book on it didnt have words on the cover, but inside had different pictures of human species. Male and Female. The male was populated 4,000,000 percent and the female was populated as 5,320,000. I didnt have a clue what this meant but the being turned the page where it showed a group of researchers looking up at the sky staring at another disk shaped craft simular to the one these beings had me on.
The being spoke to me through mind telling me that he was a male and the other two were female. He told me in this correct sentence:
"Human and Species are over-populating. We have been given the right to abduct humans by order of the Government and your leaders. Such amount can be produced by humans, but our kind is being extinct.
Our species known as the "Vetrolment" [Vet-troll-meant] are dying without the help of our second species known as "The Greys"."
I was confused at time but I understood everything. I didnt know what to think of it but the male alien led me off the table and out the craft. I asked him if they did experiments on myself but he said "no".
The male alien told me that when they abducted me, he sent two others inside my house to search around for any kind of "Evidence" they needed. The only suppose "Evidence" I had was a few sketch books with drawings of Aliens and UFOs.
Since then, I havent see anything interesting but I do believe theyll come back.. and I do believe they are our next human race..}

UFOs & Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge

Exposed, Uncovered & Declassified: UFOs and Aliens - Is There Anybody Out There?

A.D. After Disclosure: When the Government Finally Reveals the Truth About Alien Contact


Fresh air in a China

A Chinese entrepreneur is selling fresh air in soft drinks cans, similar to bottled drinking water, as north China is once again choking in toxic smog.

The concentration of airborne PM 2.5 particulates — the smallest and most deadly — went off the chart in the early hours of this morning for the second time this month, according to pollution gauge at the American Embassy in Beijing.

The Air Quality Index, designed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, cannot cope with levels beyond 500, which is 20 times the World Health Organisation air quality standard.

Chen Guangbiao, whose wealth is valued at $740 million according to the Hurun Report, sells his cans of air for five yuan each.

Mr Chen told Fairfax Media he wanted to make a point that China's air was turning so bad that the idea of bottled fresh air is no longer fanciful.

"If we don't start caring for the environment then after 20 or 30 years our children and grandchildren might be wearing gas masks and carry oxygen tanks," said Mr Chen.

Earlier this month the concentration of airborne PM 2.5 particulates in Beijing and other cities reached the highest levels since measurements began, which comparable to those recorded during the infamous 'London Fog'.

The event dominated even state-controlled news outlets, hospitals reported a sharp rise in respiratory-related admissions and political leaders took emergency pollution-reduction measures and vowed to tackle the underlying problems.

Since then the Beijing skyline has remained mostly bleak, with readings consistently visibility dropping as low as 200 metres several times in the past few days.

NASA satellite photos show a thick grey haze has rendered the densely populated plains of North China invisible from outer space.

Mr Chen is known for his charitable and nationalistic publicity stunts, including showering earthquake victims with 100 yuan bills and taking out a full page add in the New York Times that equated Japan's territorial claim to the Senkaku Islands (known as Diaoyu in China) with Japan claiming Hawaii.

In the past fortnight he has videoed a car driving over him; demolished a Mercedes Benz and given away 5000 bicycles to push the message that people should ride their bikes not drive.

Mr Chen told Fairfax Media he wasn't fazed by the often-cynical reactions of China's netizens, who accuse him of using charity stunts to raise the profile of his business.

"People say I am high profile or love to stage a show, but I don't think those who seek 'stability' and a low profile can do much for social progress," said Mr Chen.

"I am confident about what I do and I dare to put it under sunlight," he said.

Mr Chen said many of China's entrepreneurs were "sacrificing their descendants" for the sake of short term profits.

Although the world did not end on December 21, the last day of the Mayan calendar, he said the evidence suggests Doomsday may not be far off.

"I've worked in environmental protection industry for a decade ... and I bear witness to the fact that pollution is getting worse and worse," said Mr Chen.

"More disasters are taking place every year," he said. "2012 did not bring the end of the world but if human beings keep consuming resources, keep polluting the environment, I think Doomsday will arrive."

As the smog worsens, Chinese customers have begun snapping up air masks at retail shops.

Chris Buckley, proprietor of Torana Clean Air Centre, said there had been a particularly dramatic increase in the flow of local Chinese customers through his stores, rather than just expatriates, reflecting more open coverage in China's tightly controlled media as well as the severity of the pollution.

"We used to be told in days gone by that 'it's mist and fog' but I think the game is up now," said Mr Buckley, who sells air purifying machines and pollution masks.

His customers have been placed on long waiting lists as manufacturers have been unable to keep pace with demand.

"We’ve sold sold thousands of masks in the last three weeks but we could have sold twice as many if we could get the stock," he said.

The Beijing Mayor vowed to take new tough measures to reduce coal consumption, scrap old cars, restrict construction dust and improve energy intensity, according to this morning's People's Daily. - SMH


Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think

For all the adorable images of cats that play the piano, flush the toilet, mew melodiously and find their way back home over hundreds of miles, scientists have identified a shocking new truth: cats are far deadlier than anyone realized.

In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat.

The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes.

Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and an author of the report, said the mortality figures that emerge from the new model “are shockingly high.”

“When we ran the model, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Dr. Marra, who performed the analysis with a colleague, Scott R. Loss, and Tom Will of the Fish and Wildlife Service. “We were absolutely stunned by the results.” The study appeared Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

The findings are the first serious estimate of just how much wildlife America’s vast population of free-roaming domestic cats manages to kill each year.

“We’ve been discussing this problem of cats and wildlife for years and years, and now we finally have some good science to start nailing down the numbers,” said George H. Fenwick, the president and chief executive of the American Bird Conservancy. “This is a great leap forward over the quality of research we had before.”

In devising their mathematical model, the researchers systematically sifted through the existing scientific literature on cat-wildlife interactions, eliminated studies in which the sample size was too small or the results too extreme, and then extracted and standardized the findings from the 21 most rigorous studies. The results admittedly come with wide ranges and uncertainties.

Nevertheless, the new report is likely to fuel the sometimes vitriolic debate between environmentalists who see free-roaming domestic cats as an invasive species — superpredators whose numbers are growing globally even as the songbirds and many other animals the cats prey on are in decline — and animal welfare advocates who are appalled by the millions of unwanted cats (and dogs) euthanized in animal shelters each year.

All concur that pet cats should not be allowed to prowl around the neighborhood at will, any more than should a pet dog, horse or potbellied pig, and that cat owners who insist their felines “deserve” a bit of freedom are being irresponsible and ultimately not very cat friendly. Through recent projects like Kitty Cams at the University of Georgia, in which cameras are attached to the collars of indoor-outdoor pet cats to track their activities, not only have cats been filmed preying on cardinals, frogs and field mice, they have also been shown lapping up antifreeze and sewer sludge, dodging under moving cars and sparring violently with much bigger dogs.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to educate people that they should not let their cats outside, that it’s bad for the cats and can shorten the cats’ lives,” said Danielle Bays, the manager of the community cat programs at the Washington Humane Society.

Yet the new study estimates that free-roaming pets account for only about 29 percent of the birds and 11 percent of the mammals killed by domestic cats each year, and the real problem arises over how to manage the 80 million or so stray or feral cats that commit the bulk of the wildlife slaughter.

The Washington Humane Society and many other animal welfare organizations support the use of increasingly popular trap-neuter-return programs, in which unowned cats are caught, vaccinated, spayed and, if no home can be found for them, returned to the outdoor colony from which they came. Proponents see this approach as a humane alternative to large-scale euthanasia, and they insist that a colony of neutered cats can’t reproduce and thus will eventually disappear.

Conservationists say that, far from diminishing the population of unowned cats, trap and release programs may be making it worse, by encouraging people to abandon their pets to outdoor colonies that volunteers often keep lovingly fed.

“The number of free roaming cats is definitively growing,” Dr. Fenwick of the bird conservancy said. “It’s estimated that there are now more than 500 T.N.R. colonies in Austin alone.”

They are colonies of subsidized predators, he said, able to survive in far greater concentrations than do wild carnivores by dint of their people-pleasing appeal. “They’re not like coyotes, having to make their way in the world,” he said.

Yet even fed cats are profoundly tuned to the hunt, and when they see something flutter, they can’t help but move in for the kill. Dr. Fenwick argues that far more effort should be put into animal adoption. “For the great majority of healthy cats,” he said, “homes can be found.” Any outdoor colonies that remain should be enclosed, he said. “Cats don’t need to wander hundred of miles to be happy,” he said. - NY Times

NOTE: if you have a cat, just take a few moments and examine it. These animals are built to kill. I have a true 'mouser' at home...and I am amazed at it's ability to track, attack and kill vermin. They are fascinating creatures...Lon


Chinese Hackers Attack NYTimes Journalists Following Blockbuster Story

The New York Times says Chinese hackers have repeatedly launched cyber attacks against its website and journalists since the paper angered Beijing by posting an article exposing the wealth of a senior politician.

In a detailed report published Thursday, the newspaper says hackers used tactics known to be employed by the Chinese military to break into its network and steal the email passwords of several senior reporters and other employees.

The paper says the attacks began about the same time it published a blockbuster October story detailing $2.7 billion allegedly accumulated by the family of outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

At the time, China reacted angrily to the story, which threatened the reputation of a leader known for his clean image. It immediately blocked the Times' English and Chinese websites and threatened unspecified "consequences" for the story.

On Thursday, foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei called the hacking charges "irresponsible" and "baseless."

"According to some investigative results, which showed no proof and had uncertain evidence and a baseless conclusion, China had participated in online attacks. That is a totally irresponsible conclusion. China is also a victim of online attacks. China's laws clearly ban online attacks."

The Times says the hacking attempt was discovered, in part, by Mandiant, a computer security company, which alerted the Times to the cyber attacks just one day after the Wen Jiabao article was published.

The paper does not know how the hackers broke into its network, but it suspects they used an email to employees containing malicious links or attachments. It says they were soon able to steal the corporate passwords for "every Times employee."

The hackers then used the passwords to access dozens of employees' personal computers, with the apparent aim of finding the sources of information for the article. It says the primary target was Shanghai bureau chief David Barboza, who wrote the article.

Jill Abramson, executive editor of the Times, says hackers were not able to access sensitive emails or files from the article on Mr. Wen, which relied on publicly available records such as corporate documents. The paper also says no customer data was stolen.

The paper says, when Mandiant security officials became aware of the attack, they allowed the hackers to "spin a digital web" for four months in an effort to discover their identity. The investigation showed that hackers tried to conceal their activities by routing their attacks through computers at universities in the United States. They also tried to hide their location by continually switching IP addresses, a code that identifies computers on a network.

Other details suggested that the source of the attacks was China. The paper says hacker teams regularly attacked the system, beginning at 8 am. Beijing time, continuing for a standard work day.

The security company says those methods are consistent with previous cyber attacks associated with the Chinese military, which observers say regularly outsources cyber attacks and uses other ways to conceal its activities.

The Times says it has expelled the attackers by blocking the compromised outside computers, changing every employee password and undertaking other security measures. But it says it expects more hacking attempts in the future.

Despite the Chinese refusal of the hacking charges, the latest story seems to have further upset Chinese leadership. In addition to the angry responses by the foreign ministry and defense officials, Chinese censors worked furiously to delete conversations about the controversy on domestic social media sites. - VOA News

NOTE: the early volleys of the Sino-American cyber war. This is going to get nastier as time goes on...Lon

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It

China's Cyberwarfare Capability (China in the 21st Century)

Tiger Trap: America's Secret Spy War with China

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Djinn and Fire

Over recent months there have been a series of small fires in Turkey households said to have been caused by Djinn. In Muslim tradition, a djinn is a spirit often capable of assuming human or animal form and exercising supernatural influence over people. It is similar to a poltergeist as far as the activity...though a poltergeist is generally developed from a 'thoughtform manifestion' that may or may not be associated with an existing earthbound entity. I have posted a few of the known incidents in Turkey as well as a major case in Malaysia in 2010. Please excuse the translation.

12/4/2012 - Siirt Province, Turkey: Mysterious fires that have broken out seemingly for no apparent reason in the house of the Toprak family in Siirt province over the last four months have aroused great curiosity in the region. The Toprak family is distraught over the mysterious fires, as between 300-400 fires incidents have occurred in the last four months. Almost all of the family's belongings and furniture have been reduced to ashes for no known cause. The Toprak family's household items apparently catch fire spontaneously, with some people believing that the fires have been caused by supernatural forces. The father of the family, Zeki Toprak, told the Anatolia news agency that between 300-400 fires have erupted in four months. Stating that they had to move house four times in as many months, Toprak said such mysterious events have continued to happen in each house they have moved to. Similar mysterious fires have also broken out in the classroom of fifth-grade-student M. Toprak.

The coat, notebooks, books and several other items belonging to M. Toprak have caught fire spontaneously in front of the students and teacher's eyes in the classroom. The teacher of M. Toprak told Anatolia that they searched M. Toprak for any material or substance which could have caused the fires, but did not find anything. The Siirt Governor's Office, the Siirt Provincial Mufti's Office and Siirt University have all taken an interest in the family. Siirt Governor Ahmet Aydın, who also spoke to the agency, defined the incidents as supernatural and said it was impossible to understand having seen the many items that apparently spontaneously combusted. Aydın also said the governor's office is giving food to the family three times a day as they could not cook any meals in their house. Siirt University Rector Murat Erman said the university is extremely interested in the incidents and has established a team to investigate the possible reasons for such mysterious fires. Siirt Province Mufti Faruk Arvas pointed out that the fires might be due to the djinn. In Islam, the djinn are spirit beings that can be good or evil. Arvas stated: "According to our faith, there are beings called djinn. The fires might have been started by such beings." (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN - The Poltergeist File


(NOTE: Please excuse the translation) 1/3/2013 - Ankara, Turkey: Anne Bu Knight, daughter of Nur İleyda unable to sense where the fire is unknown due to the recounting her daughter's' bad 'directed by jinn' claiming, said:"Yesterday afternoon, at least 10 since the fire broke out in our house. Bed, bathroom bulkhead, the work table , towels, clothes was a fire. Featured fires, We turned off on my daughter shouting Notification. daughter upstairs neighbor, while the fire was going to sink. went to a relatives house, there was a fire. I realized that my daughter has an uncanny situation. This situation, Siirt, mysterious fires, but we keep a school and home. demons believe that these fires çıkarttığına."Cevat Knight operates in the county of coffee did not fall sleep at all in the eyes of the house, they had to collect a large part of goods and ready-holding containers filled with water, he said. Knight,"District Governor and asked for help by going mufti, told us to take our daughter a doctor. Mufti, also suggested us to read the Quran. Beer and the environment met some of the professors. Quran imam read from it in our house, but 10 minutes after the fire broke out again. Himself talked to a few people dedicated to this work . daughter demons believe tarafndan routed. I can not find any other explanation for," he said.

Knight family s that never sleep, slept Bediha relatives Aktas, if söndürülmediği of the building in the event of a fire yanabileceğini describing Kemal Aktas the "Alternate wait, trying to stay awake. İleyda'yı not leave you alone. alone when fire breaks out strong. anxiety in waiting, fearing," he said.


(NOTE: Please excuse the translation) 1/4/2013 - Ankara, Turkey: After news of the mysterious fire that occurred recently in Siirt urban district of Ankara there was a similar case.

Ankara 's Knight persons aged Bahcelievler family house in the neighborhood of merchandise at various intervals burn 10 times a day has led to fear and anxiety. Indicating that they were helpless in the face of this situation the family with 4 children in their homes permanently fire due to the release noted that they were keeping guard day and night.

mother Ayşe Knight, daughter of Nur İleyda unable to sense where the mysterious fire, said:"The bed, bathroom bulkhead, work desk, towels, robes was a fire in many places, such as. Featured fires Notification shouting at my daughter do we put on. daughter went upstairs neigbhour the fire broke out in the sink. Again, we went to a relatives house, there was a fire. then we realized that my daughter has an uncanny situation. This situation came up last week in Siirt, a school and We keep the same mysterious fires in the home. demons believe çıkarttığına these fires,"he said. The father, Jawad Knight kahvecilik face of this situation in the district were keeping constant guard, his eyes did not fall sleep at all that they had to collect a large part of the house and belongings, he said. İleyda family's youngest daughter Nur, the"fire walls and doors at a time When the lights are striking. Is very short. Then he leaves traces. I'm so scared because of continuous,"he said.

Knight family, relatives, indicating no sleep slept Bediha Aktas,"as well as maybe the building will burn the house put out a fire broke out. would lead to greater dangers. This is a big problem, do not know how to be solved,"he said. Ventilation, fire brigade was called to the fire in the same way that space Kemal Aktas relatives, the"wait and turns, trying to stay awake. İleyda'yı not leave you alone. Alone when fire breaks out strong. Worried and scared look,"he said.


A Fire Djinn in Malaysia

Between May and December 2010 a series of strange incidents occurred in the home of a seventy-three-year-old widow, Zainab Sulaiman, in a village near Kota Bharu, Malaysia. Objects disappeared and reappeared, clothes were found cut to shreds, food scraps were strewn across beds and large quantities of salt and smelly fish sauce were dumped into cooking pots.

It was all decidedly annoying, but Zainab and her family – a widowed daughter-in-law and two granddaughters – didn’t find it particularly frightening. They were merely being pestered, they assumed, by a mildly mischievous spirit. Even when a pair of pants, missing for three days, reappeared inside the refrigerator, they remained calm, hoping the imp would tire of its tricks.

But in mid-December the weirdness escalated dangerously: over the next ten weeks dozens of small fires broke out on clothes, rugs, linoleum and mattresses throughout the residence. Sometimes several occurred within a few minutes; on one hectic day there were no fewer than 78.

Although all were quickly extinguished and surprisingly little damage was done, Zainab didn’t get a lot of sleep during those weird weeks. Her flimsy wooden dwelling, elevated on stumps and packed with clothes and bolts of cloth, was a veritable tinder box. She didn’t dare leave it unattended.

News of the activity spread quickly, and on January 4 a group of Muslim holy men arrived and declared the house was infested by invisible entities known as djinn. (Djinn is the plural; the masculine singular is djinni – or genie)

Djinn have featured prominently in Middle Eastern folklore since time immemorial and Mohammed, under the direction of the angel Gabriel, incorporated them into Muslim theology. Many of the tricks they reputedly play are highly reminiscent of those often attributed, in other cultures, to poltergeists.

Over several months, a plethora of holy men conducted exorcisms until the djinn weakened and left the location...actually scrawling a message on a banknote “Goodbye, everyone”.

Some aspects of the case strongly suggest the episode was genuinely paranormal:

* Zainab never sought to profit from the episode. It had, in fact, cost her dearly. Many of her possessions were destroyed, and she’d paid the Muslim priests 1000 Ringgits for their failed exorcism.

* She seemed completely honest, and it would have been virtually impossible for any of the family to start the fires without her noticing. No outsider could have hoaxed them.

* No family member had an obvious motive to hoax the affair.

* Independent witnesses saw objects move and disappear.

* The steady escalation of weirdness: beginning with objects moving and disappearing, progressing to the slashing of clothes, then to the weird message, and finally to the fires – conforms to patterns of polt behaviour noted elsewhere.

* The very fact that more than 200 fires occurred without at least one of them doing serious damage – or for that matter completely consuming the flimsy dwelling - does seem almost miraculous. Uncannily localised fires have been noted at other polt sites.

* The surges in weird activity that occurred when strangers arrived corresponds with known poltergeist behaviour.

* The presence of adolescent girls is sometimes seen as a veritable hallmark of a genuine poltergeist case.

* The djinn’s rather pointless message was reminiscent of others found at poltergeist sites.

* After the holy men failed to “cleanse” the house, the rate of fire-starting sharply increased. Similar sudden escalations of activity after attempted exorcisms have been noted at many other poltergeist sites.

On the other hand, a few things suggest the episode was bogus:

* Although none had occurred for ten days, two fires broke out on the very day I visited. Some might see that as a little too fortuitous.

* The family seemed strangely unexcited by the fires.

* At one stage so many of the girl’s uniforms were damaged that they had to stay home from school. Could that have been a motive for hoaxing?

* Most suspicious of all was the similarity of Wan’s handwriting to that on the 10-Ringgit note.

But regardless of whether or not they were genuinely supernatural, the djinn, or the hoaxer(s), have called it quits, and Zainab can sleep soundly once again. - Excerpts from

The Vengeful Djinn: Unveiling the Hidden Agenda of Genies

Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar

The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology

Just the Facts?: Cabela’s Strange, Rare and Unusual Sightings Seminar -- The Science of Ghosts...From Another Skeptic

Sasquatch at Cabela’s Strange, Rare and Unusual Sightings Seminar


Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Press contact:

Bud Forte 304-238-0120 - Ext 8046

Sasquatch at Cabela’s Strange, Rare and Unusual Sightings Seminar

People see things in the woods that do not have a clear explanation. Trail Cameras get photos of creatures and their behavior that defy conventional thought. There are thousands of reported sightings of animals, tracks and dens that have no explanation. Mainstream scientists have slowly taken on the research into this phenomenon and have generated new interest and new evidence and findings are surfacing every day.

There have been reported sightings of large bipedal ape like creatures all over the world for hundreds of years. A sixteen millimeter film shot in 1967 of a creature walking through the mountains of northern California is still being analyzed and there is consensus that it may be real.

Footprints, seventeen inches in length, are being discovered and studied by leading authorities. DNA samples have been studied and conclusions are forthcoming. Some people close to these investigations are reporting that the DNA samples from North America may resemble that of a Primate. No known Primates inhabit North America.

Is Sasquatch real or myth? That is the question that top scientific researchers will be exploring during the Strange, Rare and Unusual Sightings Seminar at Cabela’s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 15th, 16th and 17th. This Seminar is now in its third year at Cabela’s and has been enjoyed by hundreds of inquiring people of all ages in the last two presentations.

Dr. Jeff Meldrum will be the featured presenter. Meldrum is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State University and recognized as one of the leading scientific authorities on the possibility of the existence of Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Dr. Meldrum is recognized as an authority as well on bipedal locomotion or how two legged creatures walk.

Dr. Meldrum’s book, Sasquatch: Legend Meets Scienceis credited by top scientists as being a real scientific analysis of the evidence and is the top selling book on the subject.

In his book, Dr. Meldrum develops a baseline of science on which further research can be based and with critical examination he forces no conclusions.

Joining Dr. Jeff Meldrum will be researchers Eric Altman and David Dragosin of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, Independent Researcher Stan Gordon and Billy Willard, Founder of Sasquatch Watch of Virginia. These organizations have quietly and methodically investigated multiple reported sightings in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Eric Altman is a cryptozoologist, specializing in Bigfoot/Sasquatch research and is the Director of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society. He is the host and producer of the alternative talk show program, Beyond the Edge Radio. Eric and Dave Dragosin, assistant director of the Pennsylvania group have investigated multiple sighting reports in the Uniontown and Chestnut Ridge areas of Western Pennsylvania. Billy Willard has been called in on the investigations of multiple reported sightings of Bigfoot in West Virginia.

Stan Gordon was the principal investigator of the Kecksburg, Pennsylvania UFO incident in 1965 when an unidentified object landed in the small community south of Pittsburgh that was surrounded with controversy and accusations of a cover up. Gordon now continues his investigations into unexplained events in many areas of the United States.

The Strange, Rare and Unusual Sightings Seminar will include trail camera photos submitted by Cabela’s customers of unusual wildlife in our vicinity, including possible photos of a Cougar taken not far from Cabela’s store at the Highlands.

There will be a reception with Dr. Jeff Meldrum and the other scientists and researchers from 6 until 8PM on Friday evening, February 15th in Cabela’s Conference Center. The seminar will be presented both on Saturday, February 16th and Sunday, February 17th beginning at 10:00 AM. The program is expected to go until about 5PM.

Many of the participants have witnessed large footprints and have made plaster casts of the prints. These and other plaster casts will be on display for the event. The researchers will show photographs and video of what appears to be Sasquatch taken in multiple locations. There will be eyewitness reports presented at the seminar by people who have seen these creatures. Those attending may draw their own conclusions.

There is no charge for the event and reservations are not required plus those attending can register while there for several high quality trail cameras and other prizes to be given away both on Saturday and on Sunday.

Bud Forte

Retail Marketing Manager
Marketing & Brand Management
One Cabela Drive
Triadelphia, West Virginia 26059
Direct 41208046
304-238-0120 Ext. 8046
Fax: 304-547-9350
Please note ALL requests for donations, sponsorships, or advertising must now be made at least 60 Days prior to an event through Cabela’s online request center at Thank you.


The Wolffish

The ferocious-looking wolffish gets its name from the sharp, protruding teeth.

The wolffish are a family, Anarhichadidae, of perciform fish. They are native to cold waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, where they live on the continental shelf and slope, to depths of about 600 m (2,000 ft). They are bottom-feeders, eating hard-shelled invertebrates such as clams, echinoderms and crustaceans, which they crush with strong canine and molar teeth. The longest species, Anarrhichthys ocellatus, grows to more than 2 m (6.6 ft) in length.

There are four species in the Anarhichas family: the Northern wolffish, the Atlantic wolffish or sea wolf, the Spotted wolffish, and the Bering wolffish.


Australian teenager survives nine weeks in wild

An Australian teenager who went missing from his home in Sydney more than two months ago was discovered emaciated, exhausted and covered in leeches, but alive in bushland north of the city.

Matthew Allen's family feared the worst after the 18-year-old disappeared in late November from Westleigh, near Cherrybrook in northwest Sydney and his mobile phone and bank accounts went untouched.

Extensive searches of the area by police failed to find a trace of Allen, who suffers from an undisclosed medical condition.

But two hikers spotted the teen lying in bushland less than two kilometres (just over a mile) from his home on Saturday, covered in leeches and insect bites and having lost almost half his body weight.

He was partially blind, exhausted and suffering gangrene to his lower legs and feet after an ordeal police said they were amazed he had survived.

"He was completely exhausted, completely dehydrated, suffered significant weight loss, somewhere up to 50 per cent. He was suffering from partial blindness and he had leeches all over him," said acting police inspector Glyn Baker.

"He was not living under any shelter and was exposed to the full conditions since reported being missing," he added.

Allen was believed to have deliberately hidden himself from view in the area which is heavily frequented by hikers.

He told rescuers he had survived by drinking from a local creek, which was almost dry when he was found. Allen endured soaring temperatures in recent weeks including a record-breaking 46 degree Celsius (115 Fahrenheit) day in Sydney.

Allen was airlifted to safety and was undergoing treatment in hospital for his injuries, which were described as not life-threatening.

Police have yet to speak to him about his ordeal.

"His family are ecstatic that he's alive and that he's well," said Baker. - Telegraph


The Science of Ghosts...From Another Skeptic

An article by my friend and colleague Chris Halton of Haunted Earth's Ghost World:

Ghosts have been a popular subject for millennia, appearing in countless stories, from "Macbeth" to the Bible, and even spawning their own folklore genre: ghost stories. Ghosts are perhaps the most common paranormal belief in the world. Part of the reason is that belief in ghosts is part of a larger web of related paranormal beliefs, including near-death experience, life after death, and spirit communication.

The idea that the dead remain with us in spirit is an ancient one, and one that offers many people comfort; who doesn't want to believe that our beloved but deceased family members aren't looking out for us, or with us in our times of need? Most people believe in ghosts because of personal experience; they have seen or sensed some unexplained presence. Continue reading at Haunted Earth


Builders Find Gold Coin Stash In Irish Pub

Builders working in an old pub in the Irish Republic have unearthed one of the most significant finds of gold coins ever recorded in the country.

Eighty-one coins, mostly guineas and half guineas dating back to the 17th century, were dug up from clay underneath floorboards in the fire-damaged premises of Cooney's pub in the town of Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary.

Marie McMahon, the curator at South Tipperary Museum in Clonmel where the coins were first stored said: "We were told that they were gold and you never really believe it, normally you would find silver, but they were in fantastic condition.

"There are one or two coins buckled and one tarnished, but overall fantastic condition. They'd be incredibly valuable but legally we would not be allowed to discuss that."

Experts at the National Museum of Ireland, which is putting the coins on show for the first time on Wednesday, described the find as the most important in decades.

"No comparable 17th century hoard of gold coins has been found in Ireland since the discovery in Portarlington, County Laois, around 1947, of a hoard that contained little over 100 gold coins as well as some silver coins," a spokeswoman said.

The collection depicts the reigns of Charles II, James II and William and Mary, who are featured in a joint portrait.

The National Museum said that it appeared that the coins had been hidden "in a line together".

It is believed they may have originally been wrapped and held together by material which has disintegrated over time.

Ms McMahon said she suspects the coins may have belonged to a merchant as the town was a trading centre in the 17th century - old maps are to be checked, to try to find out what was previously on the site.

The coins are mainly guineas, with a small number of half guineas, the name given to a British gold coin made by the Royal Mint between 1663 and 1814.

They were called guineas because the gold used in making some of them came from West Africa.

More research is being carried out into the coins and their historical background. - Sky
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