Saturday, May 18, 2013

Witness: Flying Ray-Shaped Cryptid - Atascocita, Texas

I recently received the following information:

My husband & I were grilling out in our backyard one Sunday afternoon approx. 5pm a month ago, when a pacific blue (in color) stingray looking bird flew over our home. Must of been 1 1/2 - 2' in length and width.

We were actually sitting and conversating when it caught our attention. It looked down at us and continued flying. We live in Atascocita, TX. We were in shock as we've never seen anything like it before. We both looked at each other and a couple seconds later asked "what the heck was that?"

It disappeared into trees and have not seen it since.

NOTE: this location is near a large body of water (Lake Houston)...similar to the incident in Laredo (Lake Casa Blanca). Is it possible that these cryptids / beings are somehow able to live in water and fly over land? An amphibious bird? I appreciate any sighting reports or encounters related to this phenomena...Lon


This is the 2nd sighting of a flying ray-shaped cryptid in Texas in 2013...previously seen in Laredo, TX:

I was driving home to my house at 1:20PM when I came across this stingray grayish-white looking thing flying over my car - coming from the lake we have here in Laredo, Texas going into the golf course next to it. It was roughly 3 feet wide - maybe bigger and it had a glide to it - no wings, just looked like a stingray - literally. It passed about 30 ft. in front of me and I watched it for about 10 seconds. It looked as if it was swimming, but flying. What could this creature be? I'm kinda freaked out by this. I jumped on the internet as soon as I got home and thank gosh, I'm not the only one. AR

I contacted the witness for further information which I added to the initial report. This is the first flying ray-shaped cryptid report I have received from Texas. It seems the sighting was between the Casa Blanca Country Club and Lake Casa Blanca located in east Laredo, TX. The witness was driving north / northest on Rt. 20. I have been researching this phenomena for several years and mentioned in my book Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters as well. Below are links to the other sightings previously reported to me:

Winged Manta Ray Shaped Cryptid - Near Ashton, WV - 12/3/2004

Additional Ray-Shaped Cryptid Sightings in WV Ohio River Valley Revealed

Flying Translucent Ray-Shaped Cryptid - Hampton Bays, New York

New 'Flying White Sting Ray' Sighting - Hebron, Kentucky - 1/25/2012

New Flying Manta Ray Sighting - Lynchburg, VA

Reader Submission: New 'Flying Manta-Ray' Sighting - Jordan, Minnesota

NOTE: There were 2 reports of a large leather-winged 'V' shaped bird in Spring, Texas...but the reports differed from the others. I'd appreciate any followup the readers could provide:

Huge Leather-Winged 'V-Shaped' Bird - Spring, Texas

Reader Submissions: 2nd Sighting - Huge V-Shaped Flying Cryptid - Near Spring, Texas

Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters

Monsters of Texas

Monster Files: A Look Inside Government Secrets and Classified Documents on Bizarre Creatures and Extraordinary Animals

Friday, May 17, 2013

Turnpike Bigfoot

You can find the post at this link - Pennsylvania Turnpike Bigfoot

Just the Facts?: Stone Age Zombie Apocalypse -- World's Oldest Flowing Water -- Jefferson Parish Werewolf

Stone Age people may have battled against a zombie apocalypse

The zombie apocalypse may be much more than a plot device exploited by modern horror movies. In fact, fears about the walking dead may go back all the way to the Stone Age.

Archaeologists working in Europe and the Middle East have recently unearthed evidence of a mysterious Stone Age "skull-smashing" culture, according to New Scientist. Human skulls buried underneath an ancient settlement in Syria were found detached from their bodies with their faces smashed in. Eerily, it appears that the skulls were exhumed and detached from their bodies several years after originally being buried. It was then that they were smashed in and reburied separate from their bodies.

According to Juan José Ibañez of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona, the finding could suggest that these Stone Age "skull-smashers" believed the living were under some kind of threat from the dead. Perhaps they believed that the only way of protecting themselves was to smash in the corpses' faces, detach their heads and rebury them apart from their bodies.

But here's the creepy thing: many of the 10,000-year-old skulls appear to have been separated from their spines long after their bodies had already begun to decompose. Why would this skull-smashing ritual be performed so long after individuals had died? Did they only pose a threat to the living long after their original burial and death?

If it was a ritualistic exercise, it also raises questions about why only select corpses were chosen. All of the smashed skulls were from adult males between the ages of 18 and 30. Furthermore, there was no trace of delicate cutting. It appears that the skulls' faces were simply smashed in using brute force with a stone tool.

Of course, there's almost certain to be a rational explanation for all of this. Then again, it's also fun to consider the possibility that these findings represent evidence for a Stone Age zombie uprising.

Let's consider a few key facets of zombie mythology. Zombies, as we know, are hungry for the flesh of the living, and the only way to stop them is with a head shot. In many zombie movies, this involves shooting them in the cranium. One might surmise that the Stone Age equivalent of this would be to instead smash in their faces with a big rock. Perhaps the lopping off of their heads was then performed to ensure that the job was done.

Perhaps the reason the original dead bodies seemed to be exhumed before their heads were properly smashed in was because the dead had risen from their own graves, under their own power.

Maybe, just maybe, Stone Age Syrians battled against and saved the world from an imminent zombie apocalypse some 10,000 years ago. The theory may not make great fodder for a scientific thesis, but it sets up the plotline for a B-grade horror movie to perfection.

Ibañez, not biting, operates with a cooler head. Being ever the sound researcher, he has proposed more tempered theories to explain the findings. For instance, it's possible that Stone Age people simply believed that they could absorb the strength of the dead young men by performing the ritual. This would help explain why all the skulls were from young men. It would also help to explain why the heads were buried directly underneath a thriving settlement. He also suggested the head-smashing could have been an act of revenge or spite.

Liv Nilsson Stutz at Emory University in Atlanta suggested the act could also have been a way of dealing with grief: "Taking away facial identity could be a way of separating the dead from the living," she said. - MNN


World's Oldest Flowing Water Discovered

Water found in a deep, isolated reservoir in Timmins, Ont., has been trapped there for 1.5 billion to 2.64 billion years — since around the time the first multicellular life arose on the planet — Canadian and British scientists say.

The water pouring out of boreholes 2.4 kilometres below the surface in the northern Ontario copper and zinc mine is older than any other free-flowing water ever discovered. It is rich in dissolved gases such as hydrogen and methane that could theoretically provide support for microbial life, the researchers report in a paper published Wednesday online in the journal Nature.

"What we can be sure of is that we have identified a way in which planets can create and preserve an environment friendly to microbial life for billions of years," said a statement from Greg Holland, the Lancaster University geochemist who is the lead author of the study.

"This is regardless of how inhospitable the surface might be, opening up the possibility of similar environments in the subsurface of Mars."

His Canadian co-authors included Barbara Sherwood Lollar and Georges Lacrampe-Couloume at the University of Toronto; Greg Slater at McMaster University in Hamilton; and Long Li, who is currently an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, but worked on the project while at the University of Toronto.

Some Canadian members of the team are currently testing the water to see if it contains microbial life — if they exist, those microbes may have been isolated from the sun and the Earth's surface for billions of years and may reveal how microbes evolve in isolation.

Microbes that have been isolated for tens of millions of years have been found in water with similar chemistry at even slightly deeper depths below the surface in a South African gold mine, using hydrogen gas as an energy source, the researchers noted.

The researchers estimated how old the water was based on an analysis of the xenon gas dissolved in it. Like many other elements, xenon comes in forms with different masses, known as isotopes. The water in the Timmins mine contained an unusually high level of lighter isotopes of xenon that are thought to have come from the Earth's atmosphere at the time it became trapped.

The Earth's atmosphere used to contain a lot more of the lighter xenon, but it is thought to have been destroyed by the high levels of ultraviolet radiation and the bombardment of asteroids on the surface of the Earth during the planet's first few hundred million years. Geological evidence from air trapped in ancient rocks has helped map the relationship between the amount of lighter xenon in the atmosphere and the age of the Earth at the time.

The study was funded by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs program, the Natural Environment Research Council in the U.K., and the Deep Carbon Observatory.

Although the water found in the Timmins mine is older than any other known reservoir of flowing water, it is not the oldest water ever found. Water trapped inside tiny bubbles within rocks has been dated to be billions of years old. However, tiny droplets completely encased in rock can't support life. - CBC


Cooking with Cicadas

Soft-Shelled Cicadas

1 cup Worcestershire sauce
60 freshly emerged 17 year cicadas
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups flour
Salt and pepper to season flour
1 cup corn oil or slightly salted butter

Marinate cicadas, alive in a sealed container, in Worcestershire sauce for
several hours.*
Dip them, in beaten egg, roll them in the seasoned flour and then gently
saute them until they are golden brown.

4 main dish servings

*this step may be skipped and you may go directly to the egg step

Find more tasty Maryland cicada recipes at CICADA-LICIOUS: Cooking and Enjoying Periodical Cicadas


Print....Black Bear or Bigfoot?

Pennsylvania Bigfoot Shooting Dispatcher Call

The dispatcher's call has been placed on YouTube. There are other recordings which may be released later. Here's the summary from PBS that I posted Thursday night.

Audio - Pennsylvania Bigfoot Shooting 911 Call

The transcription from the recording is as follows:

Begin Transmission: “Dispatcher: Did you have a Mr. ###### at ## Spruce Street?” Police officer: “Negative.” Dispatcher: “He called the 911 call center advising he called the state game commission and no one has returned his calls and he is requesting an officer to his house as he has proof of Bigfoot.” Police Officer: “Bigfoot, Right?” Dispatcher: “Affirmative, he wants an officer to come to his residence.” “Apparently he has proof of Bigfoot.” Police Officer: reply was unintelligible.

End of Transmission.

Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

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


Jefferson Parish Werewolf

The following anecdote was forwarded by a reader:

I have been reading about your wolf man sightings from people. I think I wrote you about this but I am going to write it again in case it didn't get to you. It happen a few months ago. Me and my dog were walking a levee around this big tower, looking for wild pigs in lower Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. While almost to the tower where it opens up my dog stopped and growled. I heard a low growl back and when I shined my light, it lit up what I can only describe as a werewolf. Dark black hair looked exactly like the werewolves from the movie 'Howling.' It started moving toward me about 30 to 40 feet away then I drew my pistol and shot. By this time my dog was already running and I followed. I can hear it as I'm running back to my truck about 500 yards away from the sighting. I can hear it stalking us through the woods as I neared my truck. It came out again I shined my light on it. My light was a bright head lamp that runs to a battery. But anyways, as I shined the light on it this time I pulled my pistol and shot straight for it. I do believe I hit it because it stumbled, let out a growl/howl and disappeared back into the woods. I was close to my vehicle, got to it and got out of there. When I was a little kid my grandpaw told me a story about when he was young he heard something howl in the same area I was. It stalked him through the woods, but he never saw it. Have you ever gotten any stories similar to this in this area?

NOTE: there have been wolfman stories throughout the Louisiana bayou since the time native people were dominate...Loup Garou, Rougarou (Rugaru), the Cajun Wolfman, etc. Lon

Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America

Hunting the American Werewolf

Werewolves: Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena

Thursday, May 16, 2013

BREAKING: Summary Report on Alleged Pennsylvania Bigfoot Shooting Case - 5/16/2013

Click to submit a sighting report or encounter

Summary Report on Alleged Pennsylvania Bigfoot Shooting Case - 5-16-2013

Primary Investigators

Stan Gordon– Independent Bigfoot and UFO Researcher
Ron Gallucci– Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society Investigator
Eric Altman– Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society Director

Case summary:

On May 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm,

The PA Bigfoot Society received its first email in regards to the case. The email read:

"Today in Somerset county PA a turkey hunter shot and killed an animal he claimed is a Sasquatch. The state police were called and responded to the scene, according to chatter on the local police frequencies the officers confirmed there was an unidentified animal shot and killed. Details are a bit fuzzy at this time. Any investigative assistance would be appreciated."

May 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm.

The Pa Bigfoot Society received a second email. This one had a name and contact phone number attached. The email read:

“Hello, YES this is legit, a strange report came over the scanner here in Somerset, Pa. just a few miles from Flight 93memorial. The message went to the local Police department. The report stated that a hunter had shot a Sasquatch while hunting turkey this morning. This is the first day of Spring Turkey in Pennsylvania. Later a second confirmation message on the scanner stated that yes there was a body but was unable to identify who or what it was. This all started about 10:30 AM and continued through most of the day. The location was stated as Russell or Rustic Road (too fast to be sure) here in the local area of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Just wanted to let someone know.”

Both emails were then forwarded off to PBS investigator Ron Gallucci because he is a nearby resident and closest to the area. The emails were also forwarded off to long time UFO/Bigfoot researcher Stan Gordon.

Both Stan and Ron made contact with the author of the second email.

Stan reported he contacted the email author and amateur radio (ham) operator who had made contact with the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society concerning the police radio transmission. From him Stan learned that the radio chatter in question had actually been heard by his friend who is another ham operator. Soon after, Stan talked with that man directly and learned some additional details.

The person who heard the transmission has a public safety scanner radio, better known as a police scanner, which is programmed to receive the Somerset County Public Safety radio transmissions that would include police, fire, and EMS. The radio transmission was broadcast over the scanner, and not over ham radio equipment. The man stated that he had heard a radio transmission come across a county police frequency.

The man stated he heard the Somerset County Dispatch Center contacting an area police department, but he was unsure as to what municipality it was. What he said he heard was that a hunter had called and stated that he had shot a Bigfoot. He soon heard some radio chatter from police who were reportedly joking about the report. It was about 20 minutes later that he said he heard a police officer radio back and state, “there was a body.” He said the next radio transmission to the officer was, “call the center.”

The witness also mentioned to Stan that soon after he heard the sound of what appeared to be a large helicopter near his house. The sound was so loud it shook his house, so he went outside to take a look. It was then that he observed a formation of four Army Apache helicopters approaching from the north and moving in the direction of Somerset. The man frequently sees such helicopters flying around that general area, but he thought the timing was interesting since the choppers were moving toward the direction of the location where the report of a Bigfoot had allegedly been shot just a short time before.

The investigation:

Ron is a long time resident of the area and has made multiple contacts in law enforcement and other departments due to his former career.

Ron placed calls to a trooper he knows that worked in the State Police Barracks at Somerset, and a contact he knows in the Somerset 911 call center. His contact in the Somerset barracks he knows was not available. Ron called the Somerset 911 call center and it was confirmed there was a call to the center but it did not involve a Bigfoot being shot. It was in regard to a gentleman that discovered large human like tracks, and that he believed were Bigfoot prints.

Ron then was informed of the municipal police department that investigated. Being that Ron has contacts at the Paint Township Police Station, Ron called and spoke to the Police Chief about the incident. It was at that time, informed him of the situation and invited him to meet in the office on 5-16-2013, to discuss the case and findings. The Chief also told Ron they had photos of what they believed were bear prints. No discussion or mention of a Turkey Hunter shooting a Bigfoot was discussed at that time.

May 14, 2013:

Thanks to another PBS member, Eric was given the address to a website called Broadcastify. This website houses archived EMS, Fire, and Police transmissions. The website had the archive for Tuesday March 14, 2013. Eric listened to the files and found that there was a call dispatched out of the Somerset 911 call center to a local municipality police force to investigate. Eric has been able to download the file. This is available upon request.

The transcription from the recording is as follows:

Begin Transmission: “Dispatcher: Did you have a Mr. ###### at ## Spruce Street?” Police officer: “Negative.” Dispatcher: “He called the 911 call center advising he called the state game commission and no one has returned his calls and he is requesting an officer to his house as he has proof of Bigfoot.” Police Officer: “Bigfoot, Right?” Dispatcher: “Affirmative, he wants an officer to come to his residence.” “Apparently he has proof of Bigfoot.” Police Officer: reply was unintelligible.

End of Transmission.

May 15, 2013.

Contact was made with the Game commission, and it was Stan’s understanding that the Pennsylvania Game Commission in that area had no knowledge of the incident and was not involved in any investigation dealing with this matter on May 14, 2013

In the evening, newspaper accounts were posted on line that a Turkey Hunter shot another person on April 30, 2013 in Somerset Township, Wisconsin. Some are speculating that this is the source of the rumor. It does not account for the witness who claims he heard the scanner report of a Bigfoot shot and confirmed by police on Tuesday May 14, 2013 at approximately 10:30 am. We are unable to determine if this plays a role in the case or not.

May 16, 2013

Eric Altman called the Somerset State Police Barracks on Thursday morning. Eric spoke with the daylight dispatcher. When asked about any involvement of the Somerset State Police in regards to the claim, the daylight dispatcher stated she was not aware of any. She also stated she was working that day and did not talk to anyone filing any type of claim or statement about Bigfoot to the barracks.

The Dispatcher then told Eric she would check into it further and call him back. Twenty minutes later the dispatcher called and stated the Somerset State Police did not receive any calls or information about it, nor went to investigate any shooting. The dispatcher stated she did find out there was a call into the 911 Call Center on Tuesday May 14, 2013 and Paint Township Police were dispatched on an Animal Complaint issue of an individual claiming to find large Bigfoot tracks in the forest. Police responded, took photos and determined the prints to be Bear prints. Two sets of tracks were found. A large set and a smaller set. The tracks were identified as bear tracks.

May 16, 2013.

Ron Gallucci met with Chief of police and met with him today verifying this did indeed happen. He met with him, found out an elderly gentleman filed an animal complaint of "proof of Bigfoot." An officer responded and confirmed they were 2 sets of tracks. A large and small set of tracks which suggested a Mama bear and cub. Photos were taken and Ron has a copy of the photos, police report and I have a copy of the 911 transmission of the call requesting an officer that took place at 11:30 am on Tuesday May 14.

Ron also checked the claim about the low flying military helicopters. It was found out that there were no military helicopters sent to collect a body. However there are always low flying helicopters in formation and they do fly over that area multiple times a week due to the municipal airport being close by.

Stan also added he is aware that the Pennsylvania Army National Guard operates Apache helicopters out of the nearby John Murtha-Johnstown-Cambria County Airport and commonly conduct training missions around that area.

In Conclusion:

We cannot determine what was heard nor find evidence to confirm what the Ham Operator witness heard on his police scanner on May 14, 2013 at approximately 10:30 am. Stan, Ron and Eric were able rule out the claim of a Bigfoot being shot and killed by a turkey hunter and confirmed by police.

We have confirmation from the Somerset State Police, Somerset 911 call center, Paint Township Police department and the Pennsylvania Game Commission that to their knowledge, there has been no Bigfoot reportedly killed, no body confirmed nor recovered.

We have the 911 call center audio file of the dispatched track discovery call, a copy of the police report from the Paint Township police department and photographs of the bear prints.

Additional notes from researcher Stan Gordon:

With all of the police scanners in the area you would think that others would have heard the report of a Bigfoot being shot and there being a body. Surely this would have drawn much interest from local people making inquiries as well as the news media. That hasn’t happened, however the man who says he heard the broadcast seems certain as to what he believes he heard.

The 911 communication tapes confirm that there was radio traffic about possible Bigfoot evidence being found in the area, however nothing about a shooting or body of a Bigfoot has been located on the recordings.

I am very familiar with emergency radio communications and the chatter of such scanner radios. On occasion there can be some distortions in such radio transmissions making it difficult to understand what was being said. Also I have found myself at times only partially concentrating on what is coming over the scanner radio while being occupied with other matters. It is a possibility that fellow could have mistakenly heard certain details about the Bigfoot activity in the area that day.

Stan Gordon

Ron Gallucci
Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society Investigator

Eric Altman
Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society

A Werewolf in Florida

I received another anecdote from a reader who forwarded Skunk Ape Encounter earlier this week. This witness has stated through further correspondence that she and her friends / family have experienced a series of strange and unusual events throughout their lives. I have been asked not to divulge the name of the community and specific area...but I will say that the general area has had a very high number of unexplained incidents over the years. In fact, southwest Florida (and several specific counties in that region) has exhibited almost every paranormal and supernatural phenomena imaginable:


The other story I want to tell you was a series of incidents with my siblings and I. As I said before we had a house in southwest Florida, back in the early to mid 80's. For over a week our neighborhood had a series of what I believe were werewolf stalkings.

It was June I think and around 9 PM, I was out back on the patio. At that time no one had fences around their property, because all of us knew the others families around the area. The only exception was the family across the street from us - they had a 7'ft tall cinder block wall behind their house. They had a large wooded piece of property and kept equipment out there. The dad was in construction and the wall enclosed 3 sides of the property. It was hot out and a slight breeze, no clouds and starry.

As I sat there you could hear the dogs in the neighborhood begin to bark - then everything got quite. A lone howl started, so I howled back. I do this rather well - I'd watch Nat.Geo. and would mimic wolf cries. Anyway this went on for about five minutes, each time the howl from the other end got closer. Down the road are train tracks that run north to south. The sound seemed to come from that direction. I started to get spooked as the howling stopped. Our yard had bushes and a tree on the side where the sound came from. The hair on my arms and neck started to stand up so I felt like I should go in. As I stood I heard movement by the bushes, I glanced over and saw something move. I didn't wait to see what it was so I booked it into the house and I stood by the door which had glass panes in it. I watched as something very large and dark moved about the bushes. It moved away and I could no longer see it from my vantage point. I went to the front porch to look out the windows hoping to get a look at whatever was there but it never came out that way. So I went to bed and to read for awhile to calm down.

About less that an hour later my brother came home, he came to my room and as white as paper. He was shaking all over - his eyes the size of saucers. I asked him if he was okay? Now my brother is the sort that has an explanation for anything unusual, and he's a big guy, so for him to be in this state was not normal. He said I need you to come with me right now, I'll explain when we get in the truck. I was still dressed so I got up and went with him. When we got outside I asked what's going on. He told me there was something in the road by the tracks he needed to show me first. I was not happy about that as I just had my own experience with something from that way. As we got there it looked as if something had exploded all over the road. There was blood everywhere as if something was mowed down in that spot, but there was no body parts anywhere. My brother related then what he had seen coming down the road.

"I was coming home and as I got closer to the tracks, there was this huge thing lying in the road. I thought it must have been a Mastiff or Great Dane in the road, but as I pulled up to it it didn't look like a dog I'd ever seen. It was hairy, it's head and nose was twice the size of a dog - the body wasn't a dog, just dog-like, but much, much bigger. It was all over the place, there was an arm on the road! Not dog a human arm."

There was no trace of anything when we got there and it was only minutes that it took us to get there. I said to get the hell out of there now and we went back home. I told him what I experienced just before he got home. A couple of days later my sister came to me and said she has been seeing a large dog prowling around at night. It was huge and she had seen it across the street, as she sat on the porch. I told her what my brother and I saw and not to be outside alone until we could find out what it was. We got together and decided to stake out the yard over the next night, sure enough it was back in the neighbors yard. This thing was about the size of a Shetland pony, black in color. We had flashlights and turned them on it took off to the back wall behind the house. Their dog was going off like crazy, they had a small terrier. We watched this dog-thing scale the wall. The neighbor came out to see what was going on, and we shouted there was something in his yard. He went back in and grabbed his pistol and went around back, but by that time it was gone. M.

Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America

Hunting the American Werewolf

Werewolves: Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena

Just the Facts?: Human Stem Cells Cloned From Skin Cells -- Rural Tennessee Crop Circle -- Weird Foreign Laws

Scientists successfully clone human stem cells via skin cells

Scientists have successfully changed skin cells into embryonic stem cells, marking the first time human stem cells were cloned by transferring the nucleus of another cell.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) were able to create embryonic stem cells, which are valuable for research because they can be turned into any other cell type found in the body. Stem cells provide a way for scientists to look into replacing cells damaged through injury or illness or give them a way to treat different conditions through stem cell therapy.

The research was published online in Cell on May 15.

The researchers employed a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), where the nucleus of a skin cell -- the part of a cell that contains DNA -- is implanted into an egg cell that has had all of its genetic material scraped out. What's left is an unfertilized egg cell (with a skin cell nucleus), which then produces stem cells that can develop into many different types of cells found in the body.

Researchers were able to accomplish this because they found a way for the egg cell to stay in the "metaphase," a stage in the eukaryotic cell cycle where the chromosomes that carry genetic information are in the middle of the cell. This preparation step occurs right before the cell is split into two cells. By keeping the cells in metaphase, the researchers were able to scrape out the existing DNA and implant the skin cell's DNA much easier.

Dr. George Daley, a Harvard stem cell scientist who wasn't involved in the study, lauded the advance in science but pointed out to NPR that is likely to raise debate about the topic of cloning again.

However, because this method doesn't use fertilized egg cells, it is able to provide a middle ground for scientists without angering people who are opposed to using cells that can theoretically develop into fetuses.

Also, while this method can create cloned stem cells, known as therapeutic cloning, it probably will not be able to create full human clones, which is known as reproductive cloning. The researchers pointed out that we are far from that day, especially since related monkey studies have not produced a viable monkey clone. Also, human cells are very fragile, and may not be able to withstand the reproductive cloning process.

"Our research is directed toward generating stem cells for use in future treatments to combat disease," Mitalipov pointed out. "While nuclear transfer breakthroughs often lead to a public discussion about the ethics of human cloning, this is not our focus, nor do we believe our findings might be used by others to advance the possibility of human reproductive cloning."

Robin Lovell-Badge, head of developmental genetics at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, said to The Guardian that research like this legitimizes the work of therapeutic cloning as a scientific tool instead of something to be feared.

"It is an unsafe procedure in animals and it will similarly be an unsafe procedure in humans. For this reason alone it should not be attempted," said Lovell-Badge. "We are not just a product of our DNA, which is the only thing that is copied in cloning. Nurture and environment are at least as important in determining who we are, therefore cloning cannot be used to bring back a loved one."

Dieter Egli, an investigator at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, told TIME that he was impressed with the results. Egli was not involved in this study, but he was involved in cloning studies with human cells in 2011. He was able to produce human stem cells then, but they had twice the number of chromosomes.

"I think this is a really important advance," he said. "I have a very high confidence that versions of this technique will work very well; it's something that the field has been waiting for." - CBS News


Germany urges disclosure by pharmaceuticals firms

German Health Minister Daniel Bahr has called on the pharmaceuticals industry to disclose records it may still hold on secret medication trials once done in former East Germany and paid for by Western firms.

Bahr's call for disclosure follows claims by the German news magazine "Der Spiegel" that before the fall of communism in 1989 at least 50,000 patients were tested - many without their knowledge – during 600 drugs trials at 50 clinics.

The magazine said its findings were based on previously unpublished documents, including archives of the former East German Health Ministry. It said funding for an inquiry report would be provided by present-day Germany's interior ministry.

"I demand that the pharmacy industry support this process and contribute to transparency," Bahr said, adding that his own ministry did not have such data.

Heike Taubert, the health minister of Germany's eastern regional state of Thuringia, said aside from pharmaceuticals firms it was important to examine clinic archives to see if patients had been informed at the time that they were being subjected to tests with experimental drugs for ailments such as heart disease and depression.

Rainer Wagner, the chairman of an association representing victims of the former East German communist region, said the Spiegel report showed "how authorities in the unjust GDR state pursued Western money and had no moral scruples."

"Capitalist firms had exploited the situation for their own purposes," Wagner told the "Berliner Zeitung" newspaper. Victims should be compensated, he said.

German authorities have begun probes against former West German drug companies that allegedly used unknowing East German patients for testing. Lawmakers across the country's political spectrum are calling for justice. (13.05.2013)

On Tuesday, several pharmaceuticals firms, such as Novartis and Bayer, which in recent decades took over firms said by Spiegel to have been involved in the communist-era testing said at the time ethnical principles were adhered to.

On Monday, Berlin's renowned Charite hospital, which was the largest East German clinic before reunification, said it had launched its own historical probe into the claims.

"A proper scientific study is planned, but we are waiting for funding," said Charite spokeswoman Manuela Zingl. - DW

Murderous Medicine: Nazi Doctors, Human Experimentation, and Typhus

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall


Crop circle appears in rural Tennessee

BLT Research has reported a crop circle found in a hay-field in rural Tennessee. The circle was found on May 13, 2013 in a field near the town of Gray, which is in northeastern Tennessee near the border with Virginia. Nancy Talbott, the president of BLT, says, “The design is reported as consisting of two ‘half-moon’ shapes facing in opposite directions connected by a ‘bar’ of some kind, with two complete circles ‘inside’ each of the half-moons.”

The circle is in high grass that has been reportedly pushed down, and there are no footsteps or vehicle tracks leading up to the formation. - OpenMinds

Secrets in the Fields: The Science and Mysticism of Crop Circles

Crop Circles, Gods and Their Secrets: History of Mankind Written in the Grain

The Heck Hypothesis: Crop Circle Insight
- Excellent source...Lon


Weird foreign laws

Ignorance may be bliss, but it can cause innocents abroad to unknowingly run afoul of local laws.

And there are plenty of legal oddities to run afoul of. Witness this list of top 10 unusual foreign laws compiled by

No word on how often these ordinances are actually enforced, but consider yourself warned.

It is illegal to:

1. Feed pigeons in St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy. The practice was outlawed in 2008, much to the dismay of seed vendors there, because the historical buildings (and many sightseers) were bearing the brunt of the byproduct.

2. Run out of gas in Germany. More precisely, it's verboten to stop on the nation's fast-paced autobahns, where German motorists tend to get all Fahrvergnugen behind the wheel.

3. Drive while wearing flip-flops in Spain. It's also illegal to drive with groceries on the back seat of a convertible. Best to stay on your toes no matter what's on your feet.

4. Spit in public in Barcelona. Not a bad call, and one a few more cities might want to consider.

5. Wear high heels at Greek archaeological sites such as the Acropolis. Pointy heels pierce the delicate "skin" of these antiquities, officials determined in 2008 when they first sought the ban. Indeed, stilettos can transmit more pressure per square inch than an elephant, experts say.

6. Drive in Scandinavia during daylight without headlights switched on. The reasoning behind the law is sound: Daylight hours are limited during long northern winters.

7. Chew gum in Singapore. The government instituted the ban in 1992 in response to sticky wads gumming up the subway system and other public spots. It has resisted occasional calls to revoke the ban, though medically therapeutic gum is OK.

8. Eat during Ramadan in the United Arab Emirates. Muslims abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset during the month of Ramadan. And non-believers are expected to follow suit. Same goes for Saudi Arabia, where offending foreigners can get their visas canceled for the infraction.

9. Step on currency in Thailand. Thai baht bear the picture of the King of Thailand.
Defaming, insulting or threatening the royal family is illegal — and so is stepping on paper currency.

10. Pee in the ocean in Portugal. No word on whether anyone has ever actually gotten busted for this. - USA Today

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society Statement Regarding Bigfoot Shooting Claim

Click to submit a sighting report or encounter

This afternoon, there were unconfirmed reports that a Bigfoot was shot and killed at an undisclosed location in Pennsylvania. The incident is being investigated by the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society. In order to preserve the validity of the evidence and to demonstrate inquiry decorum, the PBS states that further information will be forthcoming only after it is corroborated.

Eric Altman, President of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, has stated the following to me:

At this point this incident is only a rumor and a claim. Once I have more information and more details, a statement will be made. I can confirm we are investigating this claim, but as of right now, that's all it is...a claim. We do not have any information or proof to support this claim. Until we do, no further speculation will be released. We do not want to jeopardize any possible legitimate information at this time.


Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

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

Just the Facts?: Sun Unleashes 2013′s Strongest Solar Flare -- UN 'eat more insects' -- Shooting Down Broom-Flying Witches

Sun Unleashes 2013′s Strongest Solar Flare

The Sun emitted its strongest solar flare so far this year today, causing a temporary radio blackout – and a bevvy of cameras have captured it.It’s gearing up to be a big solar max.

On May 12 the first in a series of flares lept from the sun, to be followed 24 hours later by the most powerful blast this year. On the flare scale, this one registers X2.8. X-class flares are the most powerful solar storms, with M-class in the middle and C-class the weakest.

The stream of charged particles and plasma was not directed at Earth, but did have noticeable side-effects. High-frequency radios were blacked out for more than an hour over the weekend, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center.

If the flare had been directed at the Earth, it could have posed a threat to satellites and communications infrastructure – as well as expose inhabitants of the International Space Station to a radiation storm. Continue reading at DavidRenke


Broomstick-flying witches to be brought down in Swaziland

MBABANE: Witches flying broomsticks in Swaziland above 150m will be subject to arrest and a hefty fine of R500 000, civil aviation authorities said yesterday.

Witches’ broomsticks are considered similar to any heavier-than-air transportation device that is airborne. The statute also forbids toy helicopters and children’s kites from ascending too high into the country’s airspace.

“A witch on a broomstick should not fly above the (150m) limit,” Civil Aviation Authority marketing and corporate affairs director Sabelo Dlamini said yesterday.

No penalties exist for witches flying below 150m.

How serious he was is hard to say. However, witchcraft isn’t a joking matter in Swaziland.

Dlamini was asked by the Swazi press to explain the country’s aviation laws following the arrest of a private detective, Hunter Shongwe, for operating a toy helicopter equipped with a video camera.

Shongwe boasted of using the device to gather surveillance information similar to the way a drone aircraft operates.

The detective was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and for failing to appear before his chief to be questioned by traditional authorities about his toy drone, the first of its kind in Swaziland.

Swazi brooms are short, tied bundles of sticks, without handles, and Swazi witches are known to use them to fling potions about homesteads – but not for transport. – Independent Foreign Service


UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger

The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution.

It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects.

However it admits that "consumer disgust" remains a large barrier in many Western countries.

Wasps, beetles and other insects are currently "underutilised" as food for people and livestock, the report says. Insect farming is "one of the many ways to address food and feed security".

"Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly, and they have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low environmental footprint," according to the report.

The authors point out that insects are nutritious, with high protein, fat and mineral content.

They are "particularly important as a food supplement for undernourished children".

Insects are also "extremely efficient" in converting feed into edible meat. Crickets, for example, need 12 times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein, according to the report.

Most insects are are likely to produce fewer environmentally harmful greenhouse gases than other livestock.

The ammonia emissions associated with insect-rearing are far lower than those linked to conventional livestock such as pigs, says the report.

Insects are regularly eaten by many of the world's population, but the thought may seem shocking to many Westerners.

The report suggests that the food industry could help in "raising the status of insects" by including them in new recipes and adding them to restaurant menus.

It goes on to note that in some places, certain insects are considered delicacies.

For example some caterpillars in southern Africa are seen as luxuries and command high prices.

Most edible insects are gathered in forests and serve niche markets, the report states.

It calls for improved regulation and production for using insects as feed.

"The use of insects on a large scale as a feed ingredient is technically feasible, and established companies in various parts of the world are already leading the way," it adds. - BBC

Creepy Crawly Cuisine: The Gourmet Guide to Edible Insects

Edible Bugs - Insects on Our Plates


Orion correlation theory...feasible or myth?

Humans naturally seem to resonate with the hermetic maxim “As above, so below.” We like the idea that the earth mirrors the stars. We even try to enhance this duality by constructing pyramids, temples, stone circles, henges, or sacred villages to reflect star patterns. Biblically speaking, God’s will shall be done “in earth as it is in heaven.”

But why did ancient astronomer-priests from diverse cultures around the world apparently focus on the constellation Orion as the supreme celestial template?

As some readers know, the primary “Orion Correlation Theory” (OCT) was developed in Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert in their international bestseller The Orion Mystery. The co-authors discovered an ancient “unified ground plan” in which the pyramids at Giza form the pattern of the belt of Orion. Continue reading at Redicecreations

The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids

Black Genesis: The Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt


Man Clinically Dead For 40 Minutes Brought Back To Life

An Australian man dead for 40 minutes after going into cardiac arrest was brought back to life thanks to a new breakthrough resuscitation method.

The miracle comeback happened at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne, which has been testing a method using both mechanical CPR machine that performs chest compressions and a portable heart-lung machine to keep oxygen and blood flowing within the body. This keeps the body from suffering permanent disabilities while doctors work to restore heart function.

The result was a man dead for 40 minutes coming back to life.

Colin Fiedler, 39, went into cardiac arrest last June, and, for 40 minutes, he was clinically dead before finally being revived.

“I’m so grateful, more than I could ever say,” he told the Herald Sun.

It was be chance that he happened to be in the right place. While in the ambulance, paramedics asked him which hospital he wanted to go to, and he picked the right one.

“For some reason, I said The Alfred, which is pretty lucky, because they are the only one that has it,” he said.

The life-saving method could soon spread. Physician Professor Stephen Bernard said two years of trials have proven how effective the method can be, and he now hopes it will spread beyond Melbourne.

The company that makes the chest compression machine has already offered to make more of them.

“We are looking to where to best implement these machines around Melbourne,” he said.

Fiedler said his life has changed since being brought back from the edge of death. He has quit smoking and said he no longer stresses over the unimportant things in life.

The man who was dead for 40 minutes hasn’t been the only lucky one. There have been a total of seven cardiac arrest patients revived at The Alfred using the two-step combination of chest compressions and oxygenation. Two others were also dead for between 40 and 60 minutes. - Inquisitr

The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven: A Remarkable Account of Miracles, Angels, and Life beyond This World

Iron Heart: The True Story of How I Came Back from the Dead

Monday, May 13, 2013

'Skunk Ape' Encounter

I received this interesting narrative today:

Hello - I live in Florida and although I've traveled a bit I always felt this is home. My family is originally from NYC but we've lived here for quite a number of years. I was young and was living with somebody in a trailer out in a horse pasture. There was a campground (Myakka near Sarasota) just on the other side of the pasture, and we had made friends with the people who ran it. It was late summer and a bunch of the campers got together because they would be leaving soon going back home, so a bonfire was being held that evening. There was a trail that led into the campground from where the trailer was, and everyone had gathered at our trailer for a farewell BBQ, then moving down to the campground after for the bonfire.

After I had cleaned up the BBQ mess it was getting dark, so I was pretty much the last one to arrive. The fire was started and we all stood around talking - it was about 9:30 pm. I was standing beside my friend on the outside edge of the fire, when I happened to look across at the treeline. There is a fence there with low lying palm scrub, it divides the other half of the pasture from the campground and back trails. As I looked in that direction I saw two big red eyes staring back at me. The outline of this thing was pretty big by the glow of the firelight. The palm scrub is about 4'ft tall, higher in some spots. Not taking my eyes off this thing I quietly whispered to my friend to look in that direction and don't scream. She did and she whispered to her husband. He said softly to the group not to make any sudden moves. We were talking softly and alerting everyone in the group about the red eyes, and everyone looked and saw what we were seeing.

There was eight of us all totaled, my girlfriend's husband returned with a flashlight and rifle in hand. He handed the flashlight to my friend and told her to shine it at whatever was in the scrub. When she did this thing stood up and made a growling sound. My friend's husband then shot at it and it screamed like nothing I'd ever heard before. It took off into the brush, everybody (except me) in the group ran to get flashlights and whatever to arm themselves with. My friend and I were told to stay by the fire. About that time we heard the horses screaming in the pasture and they hurried to the field. After a while they all returned, they could not find anything and would resume the search at daylight.

The next day blood was found at the fence area and a horse was dead, it's neck was broke and body badly ripped apart. Searches were continued for a couple of days and no one spoke about what happened. After having several things happen where I was staying we left. This was not the only time I have encountered a large red-eyed being, I believe this was in fact a skunk ape/bigfoot, that after being shot at purposely killed that horse. I have on another occasion encountered one again, at night which chased me threw the woods while walking home from my friend's house. I had not known at the time that a body was found mutilated in that area, and that the arms of that poor soul was torn from their body. I was lucky. M

NOTE: Is anybody familiar with a mutilated human believed to have been attacked/killed by a skunk ape? The witness claims to have at least another experience...Lon

The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster

Beginner's Guide to Bigfoot Research

Abominable Snowmen, Legend Comes To Life: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Oh-Mah, Grassman And Skunk Ape: The Story Of Sub-Humans On Five Continents From The Early Ice Age Until Today Illustrated

Just the Facts?: 'I was swallowed by a hippo' -- The Vanishers: A Tale of Two Ghosts -- David Rountree / Tracy Ray Podcast

Experience: I was swallowed by a hippo

The hippo who tried to kill me wasn't a stranger – he and I had met before a number of times. I was 27 and owned a business taking clients down the Zambezi river near Victoria Falls. I'd been working this stretch of river for years, and the grouchy old two-ton bull had carried out the occasional half-hearted attack. I'd learned to avoid him. Hippos are territorial and I knew where he was most likely to be at any given time.

That day I'd taken clients out with three apprentice guides – Mike, Ben and Evans – all in kayaks. We were near the end of the tour, the light was softening and we were taking in the tranquillity. The solid whack I felt behind me took me by surprise.

I turned just in time to see Evans, who had been flung out of his boat, flying through the air. His boat, with his two clients still in it, had been lifted half out of the water on the back of the huge bull hippo.

There was a cluster of rocks nearby and I yelled at the nearest apprentice to guide everyone there, to safety. Then I turned my boat and paddled furiously towards Evans.

I reached over to grab his outstretched hand but as our fingers were about to touch, I was engulfed in darkness. There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf.

I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest. My arms were trapped but I managed to free one hand and felt around – my palm passed through the wiry bristles of the hippo's snout. It was only then that I realised I was underwater, trapped up to my waist in his mouth.

I wriggled as hard as I could, and in the few seconds for which he opened his jaws, I managed to escape. I swam towards Evans, but the hippo struck again, dragging me back under the surface. I'd never heard of a hippo attacking repeatedly like this, but he clearly wanted me dead.

Hippos' mouths have huge tusks, slicing incisors and a bunch of smaller chewing teeth. It felt as if the bull was making full use of the whole lot as he mauled me – a doctor later counted almost 40 puncture wounds and bite marks on my body. The bull simply went berserk, throwing me into the air and catching me again, shaking me like a dog with a doll.

Then down we went again, right to the bottom, and everything went still. I remember looking up through 10 feet of water at the green and yellow light playing on the surface, and wondering which of us could hold his breath the longest. Blood rose from my body in clouds, and a sense of resignation overwhelmed me. I've no idea how long we stayed under – time passes very slowly when you're in a hippo's mouth.

The hippo lurched suddenly for the surface, spitting me out as it rose. Mike was still waiting for me in his kayak and managed to paddle me to safety. I was a mess. My left arm was crushed to a pulp, blood poured from the wounds in my chest and when he examined my back, Mike discovered a wound so savage that my lung was visible.

Luckily, he knew first aid and was able to seal the wounds in my chest with the wrapper from a tray of snacks, which almost certainly stopped my lungs from collapsing and saved my life.

By chance, a medical team was nearby, on an emergency drill, and with their help I stayed alive long enough to reach a hospital with a surgeon. He warned me he would probably have to take off both my arms and the bottom of my injured leg. In the end, I lost only my left arm – they managed to patch up the rest.

Evans' body was found down river two days later. Attempts were made to find and kill the rogue hippo, but he seemed to have gone into hiding. I'm convinced, though, that I met him one more time. Two years later I led an expedition down the Zambezi and as we drifted past the stretch where the attack had taken place, a huge hippo lurched out of the water next to my canoe. I screamed so loudly that those with me said they'd never heard anything like it. He dived back under and was never seen again. I'd bet my life savings it was the same hippo, determined to have the final word. - Guardian

When Man is the Prey: True Stories of Animals Attacking Humans

Don't Get Eaten: The Dangers of Animals That Charge and Attack

Animals Behaving Badly: Boozing Bees, Cheating Chimps, Dogs with Guns, and Other Beastly True Tales


A Tale of Two Ghosts

The Vanishers: New York Is Full Of Them, But What Are They?

Some true life experiences by: Posey Gilbert

It was the summer of 1960. It was already hot and humid that July morning.
Mother was making our breakfast when she suddenly paused and tilted her head as if she was listening to someone whispering in her right ear.
My chair was facing her Ralph's sat with his back to her so I was the only one that saw her do this.
She suddenly came out of it and said, " Butch, Ralph this will be your first time going to 55, so when you leave there I want you both to come straight home.
Don't go home with anybody, don't stop to talk to anybody, stay together and come straight home, you hear me?"
"There's a lot of sick people out there who like to grab up and hurt little boys like you, you hear me?"
"OK" we chorused.
I thought it was strange that she was repeating the "Don't go with nobody" lecture again she'd done that two years ago, we both knew these rules by now.
That afternoon as Ralph and I were on our way home from day camp at Benjamin Franklin J.H.S 55.
As we reached near the bottom of the steep hill that was 170th St. and Saint Pauls Place a man suddenly staggered out from between the parked cars down and to the right of us.
He was a young Latino deep brown skinned, black greasy curly hair, worn in the style of the fifties, slick on the sides curly on top coming to kind of a coma in front.
He was taller than us of course may be five three of a slender build and in his late teens early twenties but old to us.
He was limping badly and I thought he may have been hit by a car and had been lying stunned in between the parked cars.
As we were watching him stumble and hold on to the cars making his way up the hill toward us Ralph leaned over to me and whispered, "Should we help him?"
"No!" I scolded him," Remember Mother said not to go with any one cause they could take us and hurt us!"
We slowed down and moved toward the fence putting as much distance between the struggling man and us as the sidewalk would allow.
The man never once looked at us but just seemed to be concentrating on getting up to Saint Pauls Place and Washington Ave at the top of the hill.
He would walk a little and pause and hold on to the cars and gather his strength then try to walk a little more and end up stopping again to hold on to the parked cars for balance again.
I put myself between Ralph and the man so I had a clear view of him all the while we approached each other.
He never said anything but grimace every time he took a step on his left leg.
We passed him to his right he to our left we took one step a then I said,
"Ralph he really looks hurt, we should help him."
We turned around and the man was gone.
I thought maybe he had fallen between the cars again.
We turned and started back up the hill putting a distance between the cars and us just in case he wasn't hurt but hiding.
Ralph walked in the street and I walked on the sidewalk we each looking into the parked cars to see if he was in one.
He was nowhere to be seen even an athlete could not have made it up that steep hill in the second it took for us to turn around.
Ralph and I just looked at each other and said, "May be he was a ghost."
Because we were thinking about helping this man and going against the warnings of our mother we could not tell any of our family about it but we told our friends that we saw a ghost but because they booed and called us crazy we stopped talking about it.
In 1982 as Ralph and I sat talking about the weird things we had seen in our lives he suddenly asked me," Do you remember that old man?"
"Old man?" I asked, thinking about Aarron he didn't know about Aarron only mother knew about him.
"Yeah " he said "The old man in the gray suit."
"Me and you were walking down from 55 and he came out of the street carrying those heavy shopping bags and I asked you if we should help him and you said no because mother said not to go with people.
Then when he passed us you said we should help him and when we turned around he was gone."
"An old man is that what you saw?" I asked.
"Yeah why did you think I asked you if we should help him?" he answered.
I still wonder to this day what it was we had seen and why was it trying to get us to go with it, and what would have become of us had we done so?
But mostly I wonder what it was that told Mother to warn us again, that seconds hesitation had saved us.


The Next Pandemic: Not if, but When

Terrible new forms of infectious disease make headlines, but not at the start. Every pandemic begins small. Early indicators can be subtle and ambiguous. When the Next Big One arrives, spreading across oceans and continents like the sweep of nightfall, causing illness and fear, killing thousands or maybe millions of people, it will be signaled first by quiet, puzzling reports from faraway places — reports to which disease scientists and public health officials, but few of the rest of us, pay close attention. Such reports have been coming in recent months from two countries, China and Saudi Arabia.

You may have seen the news about H7N9, a new strain of avian flu claiming victims in Shanghai and other Chinese locales. Influenzas always draw notice, and always deserve it, because of their great potential to catch hold, spread fast, circle the world and kill lots of people. But even if you’ve been tracking that bird-flu story, you may not have noticed the little items about a “novel coronavirus” on the Arabian Peninsula.

This came into view last September, when the Saudi Ministry of Health announced that such a virus — new to science and medicine — had been detected in three patients, two of whom had already died. By the end of the year, a total of nine cases had been confirmed, with five fatalities. As of Thursday, there have been 18 deaths, 33 cases total, including one patient now hospitalized in France after a trip to the United Arab Emirates. Those numbers are tiny by the standards of global pandemics, but here’s one that’s huge: the case fatality rate is 55 percent. The thing seems to be almost as lethal as Ebola. Continue reading at NY Times

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age


Vortex to another dimension reported in Brighton

Council bosses have been left mystified after reports that a portal to another dimension has opened in a residential street in Brighton.

A member of the public reported to Brighton and Hove City Council that the “wormhole or vortex” had opened up in Montreal Road, Hanover, on May 2.

They made the report via the website Fix My Street which is more typically used to report potholes, dumped rubbish and broken lampposts.

The anonymous poster said: “I was recently walking my affenpinscher (a toy breed of dog) around the Hanover area of Brighton when I noticed that a wormhole or vortex has opened up on Montreal Road.

“On closer inspection it seems to be some kind of portal to other times, places and dimensions.

“I would have investigated further but I was concerned my little dog would be sucked into it.

“Is this meant to be there? At first I believed it might be part of the Brighton Festival but I believe it could be a hazard to the general public. I look forward to your response.”

They followed this up with a report on Thursday, explaining: “The other day I reported the presence of some kind of wormhole or vortex on Montreal Road.

“I am concerned this is a passage to another time or dimension, and if this snake is anything to go by, I'm worried what else may emerge from the wormhole. Can anyone suggest a course of action to take?”

Brighton and Hove City Council told The Argus they will not be investigating the report.

Commenting on Fix My Street previously, the council said: “We welcome reports through any means residents choose and as a council provide many ways through which residents can raise issues directly ranging from post, online or by telephone.” - The Argus


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