; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News - 7/11/2010

Taliban Deploy Killer Monkeys Against U.S. Troops

peopledaily - Afghanistan's Taliban warlords have developed a bizarre way to deal with foreign forces: they have trained monkeys who love to eat bananas and peanuts to be killers.

Taliban forces have taught monkeys how to use the Kalashnikov, Bren light machine gun and trench mortars. They also teach them how to identify and attack soldiers wearing U.S. military uniforms.

Ironically, the idea of training monkeys to fight was first invented by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA in the Vietnam War initiated a program that used the peanuts and bananas as prizes to train some "monkey soldiers" to kill Vietnamese in the jungle, according to a report by British media on June 27, 2010.

It is reported that these monkey soldiers are mainly composed of macaques and baboons hunted at an early age in the jungle and sold to the Taliban. These monkey babies who lost their mothers are sent to a secret Taliban training base one-by-one to become killer monkeys. Taliban militants use a series of rewards and punishments to gradually teach them how to use the lethal weapons.

Recently, a British journalist went to Pakistan and Afghanistan border of Waziristan’s tribal region where he witnessed a few of the monkey soldiers armed with an AK-47 rifle and Bren light machine gun. Taliban militants in the past have strictly kept the program secret.

However, Taliban leaders have recently taken the initiative show monkey soldiers to tourists of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area. Apparently, the Taliban look on monkeys as "propaganda tools."

"If a person who loves animals knows the monkeys may be injured in the war, they might pressure the government to force the withdrawal of western forces in Afghanistan," said one Taliban insider.

A senior U.S. military source confirmed the existence of the Taliban monkey soldiers, military experts call armed monkeys "monkey terrorists."


When Tire Meets (and becomes part of) the Road

Dozens of vehicles stuck to a road in heatwave-hit China after the tarmac melted in the hot sun. The road, in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, had just been resurfaced the previous day, reports the Zhengzhou Evening Post. It melted in 40C temperatures which saw the street surface temperature reach as high as 70C. Vehicles including cars, buses, taxi cabs and ambulances began sticking to a 200m stretch of the road. Plastic sheeting had to be laid as a temporary surface to get the traffic moving again. Motorist Lao Yang said his car seemed to get heavier and heavier as he drove along the street. “After getting out of the car to check what the problem was, I found both front wheels were covered in melted tarmac,’ he said.”


Amateur Treasure Hunter Unearths 52,000 Roman Coins Worth $1M

CNN - An amateur treasure hunter armed with a metal detector has found over 52,000 Roman coins worth $1 million buried in field, one of the largest ever such finds in the UK, said the British Museum.

Dave Crisp, a hospital chef, came across the buried treasure while searching for "metal objects" in a field near Frome, Somerset in southwestern England.

Initially, Crisp found 21 coins, but when he unearthed the pot, he knew he needed archaeological help to excavate them.

The hoard contains 766 coins bearing an image of the Roman general Marcus Aurelius Carausius, who ruled Britain independently from AD 286 to AD 293 and was the first Roman emperor to strike coins in Britain.

Somerset County Council archaeologists excavated the pot -- a type of container normally used for storing food -- it weighed 160kg (350 pounds) and contained 52,500 coins.

The hoard was transferred to the British Museum in London where the coins were cleaned and recorded.

The coins date from AD 253 to 293 and most of them are made of debased silver or bronze.

Roger Bland, Head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, told CNN: "Dave [Crisp] did the right thing, he didn't try to dig it all out. This is the largest ever find in a single pot and the second largest ever [in the UK].

"We think that whoever buried it didn't intend to come back to recover it. We can only guess why people buried treasure, some buried savings, others because they feared an invasion, perhaps this was an offering to the Gods."

Bland said the coins were probably worth about $1 million.

Dave Crisp, from Devizes in Wiltshire, told CNN: "At the time when I actually found the pot I didn't know what size it was but when the archaeologists came and started to uncover it, I was gobsmacked, I thought 'hell, this is massive.'"

Crisp, who describes himself as a "metal detectorist," unearthed the pot in April, although the discovery was officially announced on Thursday. Crisp told CNN he would have to split the value of the find with the farmer who owns the field in which he discovered the treasure.

Somerset Coroner Tony Williams is scheduled to hold an inquest on July 22 to formally determine whether the find is subject to the Treasure Act 1996. This would help towards determining a value of the hoard should any individual or organization want to buy it.


Idiot Eats a Ghost Chili

Click for video

NOTE: well, I guess he won't do that again. I have read where people have suffered heart attacks from eating a ghost chili...Lon

American Alligator Snapping Turtle Caught by Shell-Shocked Angler in UK

Yahoo - Steve Bellion, 23, was angling for carp when he hooked the 57lb (25kg) reptile at Earlswood Reservoir, near Birmingham.

He eventually hauled the 2ft-long creature on to the bank, and it was identified as an 80-year-old alligator snapping turtle, normally found in the eastern corner of the US.

The catch has solved a long mystery in local fishing circles - tales had abounded for a decade of a giant creature biting through lines and savaging ducks.

The ancient female was transferred by British Waterways to West Midland Safari Park, where it is being kept in quarantine for 30 days and checked by vets.

The turtle - which has yet to be named by its new keepers and can live to 160-years-old - will be housed in a vivarium with a male companion.

Bob Lawrence, director of wildlife at the safari park, said: "It's looking fine, but so it should be having had half of Britain's fish stocks at its mercy.

"If it grew any larger it would have been a danger to shipping."

He said it highlights the danger of introducing alien species into Britain's waterways, in the same way that American signal crayfish have caused such depletion to fish stocks and the UK's native crayfish.

And he said the problem is only likely to get worse with global warming.

"Thankfully alligator snapping turtles are a rarity in British waters - they can create havoc for native species," he told Sky News Online.

"It was probably dumped by its owner after it grew too big or became a nuisance.

"They have been known to attack small domestic pets or children, but I don't think this one would have drifted too far from the water.

"Because it has no natural predators, it could have lived to a ripe old age and grown to up to 80kg. I just hope there was only one and it didn't have any offspring."

Fortean / Oddball News - 7/11/2010