; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Pier Fortunato Zanfretta Alien Encounter / Abduction

A private security guard was destined to have one of the most bizarre, and outright terrifying, encounters with extraterrestrial beings ever recorded.

On the frigid, moonless night of December 6th, 1978, a 26 year-old night watchman, husband and father of two named Pier Zanfretta was on a routine patrol in the village of Torriglia, when he stumbled into a horrifying encounter with creatures from beyond our world that would forever change his life.

According to Zanfretta’s report, he was negotiating the dangerously icy roads in his patrol car, en route to the currently unoccupied country home of a client, Dr. Ettore Righi, when the engine, radio and lights of his vehicle all simultaneously, and inexplicably, died.

It was at that moment that Zanfretta claimed to have seen four lights moving around in the garden of the Righi house. Assuming that the strange beams were emanating from the flashlights of would-be thieves, Zanfretta quietly climbed out of his car with his revolver and flashlight at the ready.

The security guard, committed to protecting his client’s home, silently slipped through the open gate and crept along a rock wall in an effort to get the jump on what he still assumed were ordinary burglars...it was then that he got the shock of his life.

Just as he was preparing to leap out to confront these trespassers, Zanfretta felt something touch his shoulder from behind. He spun around, revolver in hand, but instead of finding an average human criminal illuminated by his flashlight’s harsh glare, he saw an entity that he described as being:

“An enormous green, ugly and frightful creature, with undulating skin… as though he were very fat or dressed in a loose, gray tunic… no less than 10-feet tall.”

In later interviews, Zanfretta would include more explicit descriptions of these ostensibly interstellar beasts including such features as hairy, greenish skin, points on the sides of their faces, rounded fingertips, monstrous, yellow triangular eyes and red veins across the forehead. Based on this depiction, these life-forms may be akin to what some believe are a particularly nasty breed of ET known as Reptoids or Reptilians.

Zanfretta also described a unique mechanical apparatus that fit over their mouths, which enabled them to breath in Earth’s oxygen rich atmosphere. Later, while under hypnosis, he recalled asking these creatures about the odd device:

“Why don’t you have a mouth? You get only those irons with a net, which give out light.”

Zanfretta was so stunned by the sight before him that he immediately dropped his flashlight, but he managed to hastily snatched it up and sprint away from this bizarre creature.

As he approached his car, Zanfretta would testify that a brilliant light began to loom up behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see a massive, triangular shape, which blinded him with its luminosity. Zanfretta shielded his eyes with his arm and stared in awe as this gigantic UFO, which he claimed eclipsed even the house in its immensity, ascended with a “hiss” from behind the Righi residence.

It was at this point that Zanfretta claimed to have been blasted with a searing wave of heat. Struggling, the guard finally made it back to his car where he proceeded to contact his security company’s center of operations in nearby Genoa.

It was at precisely 12:15 am. when Carlo Toccalino, the security company’s radio operator, testified that Zanfretta was speaking in an confused and agitated fashion. Toccalino claimed that what little he could discern of Zanfretta’s incoherent babbling consisted of descriptions of bizarre, inhuman beings.

When Toccalino asked his comrade to describe who was assaulting him, Zanfretta’s shocking response was: “No, they aren’t men, they aren’t men… my God, are they ugly!”

At that point, the communications were abruptly broken off and Toccalino called the chief of the security service, Lt. Giovanni Cassiba. Cassiba, concerned with both the welfare of his man and his client’s property, sent another patrol out to check on Zanfretta without delay.

Due to the treacherous conditions, the second patrol did not reach the site until approximately one hour later. It was at about 1:15 in the morning when the two night watchmen, Walter Lauria and Raimondo Mascia, discovered Zanfretta lying prone on the frozen ground in front of the Righi house.

When Zanfretta saw the approaching guards, he leapt to his feet, eyes bulging with fear, pistol and flashlight both aimed at his comrades. Lauria and Mascia both attested that the usually timid and lucid family man was irrational and did not appear to recognize them, nor did he seem comprehend their urgent requests for him to lower his weapon.

The guards, fearing for their own welfare, rushed Zanfretta and fortunately managed to disarm him before there were any unintentional casualties. The pair later testified that they were shocked to discover how warm his clothes were, despite the fact that he had apparently been laying on frozen ground for the last hour.

This event was so disturbing that the Italian military policem the Carabinieri, were immediately dispatched to the area in order to investigate. The very same night they found two distinct marks in the frost smothered grass behind the country home.

These immense imprints, which some have speculated may have been created by the triangular UFO’s landing gear, were measured to be 9-feet in diameter and were shaped like horseshoes.

The commandant of the Torriglia station, Antonio Nucchi, who had known Zanfretta for many years, stated unequivocally that he believed in the veracity of the guard’s frankly extraordinary testimony. When asked his opinion of the mental stability of this professional sentry, Nucchi answered:

“I can state with certainty that he is a clear thinking man with no strange fantasies in his head. When we went to investigate the scene the next day, he almost didn’t want to come, he was so scared. Only something exceptional could have frightened him so.”

During the investigation Nucchi revealed that no less than 52 Torriglia citizens had reported spying a bright, glaring illumination emanating from the direction of the Righi house at exactly the same time Zanfretta testified to watching the triangular UFO rise up into the atmosphere.

The story might well have ended there were it not for frenzy that soon descended on the village of Torriglia in the form of a scoop hungry press who had gotten wind of this extraordinary tale of UFOs, gargantuan alien visitors and a petrified security guard.

Not surprisingly, the reactions that most of the television and newspaper reporters had to this story ranged from polite skepticism to outright ridicule of Zanfretta and his mental state. Some even went so far as to flat out assert he was lying about the whole thing.

This incredulous attitude was shared by almost all of the journalists, with the sole exception of a reporter named Rino Di Stefano, who was working for the local Genoa daily paper “Il Corriere Mercantile.” Di Stefano was intrigued by the Zanfretta case and wrote several articles on the subject.

Unlike most of his peers, Di Stefano could not rationalize why a husband and father, who was engaged in a respected profession, would jeopardize both his career and his reputation in the community by making up a story as patently ludicrous as this. So he took it upon himself to contact Zanfretta in order to get to the bottom of this mystery.

What seemed to confirm Di Stefano’s belief in Zanfretta’s sincerity, above and beyond the additional 52 eyewitnesses who claimed to have also seen a bizarre light in the area, was what he attested to be the man’s disdain for the dubious fame and local recognition he was now being bombarded with: “Zanfretta didn’t want to be famous. He refused the notoriety, because he was worried about his job and his family.”

Zanfretta even admitted to Di Stefano that the crank calls he was steadily receiving were beginning to take their toll: “People call me on the phone at all hours just to play jokes on me. I don’t know what it was that I saw, but I saw it. I am not a liar… if I could have, I wouldn’t have reported my experiences, now that I see the consequences.”

Even Gianfranco Tutti, the director of the Institute of Vigilance, the security company that Zanfretta worked for, who was understandably concerned about the possible negative publicity these events might shed on his company and the reliability of its employees, publicly stated that he believed that the guard was an honest man.

On December 23rd, 1978, the harried Zanfretta, with the encouragement of Di Stefano, agreed to undergo hypnosis in order to shed light on what really happened on the fateful night of December 6th. The session was held in Genoa and presided over by Dr. Mauro Moretti, a psychotherapist and member of the Italian Association of Medical Hypnosis.

During the session, Zanfretta confirmed that not only had he actually seen beings from another world, but that these colossal fiends had actually abducted him. He further claimed, under hypnosis, that these terrifying apparitions had transported him into a hot, luminous location where they thoroughly examined and interrogated him.

According to Zanfretta, these the creatures did not speak Italian, but used a strange “luminous device” to translate what they were saying. During the same session, Zanfretta also indicated that the creatures came from the planet “Teetonia,” which was located in the “third galaxy” and that, perhaps most disturbingly, “they want to talk with us and that they will soon return in larger numbers.”

It should be noted that “soon” could be a relative concept from species hailing from another world. Sadly for Zanfretta, the horrific abductions did not stop here.

At 11:45 pm., on the foggy, rain soaked eve of December, 26th, just three nights after his first hypnosis session, Zanfretta claimed to have been snatched yet again. The guard stated that he was driving his patrol car through the Bargagli tunnel, near the Scoffera Pass, when he suddenly he lost control of the vehicle.

The panic stricken guard immediately radioed in and reported that his car was now driving of its own accord and had emerged from the tunnel. The horrified Zanfretta desperately tried to engage the brakes and the steering wheel to no avail as the Fiat continued to barrel through the drizzly fog bank up a steep incline.

After traveling in the presumably remote controlled automobile for approximately a mile, the Fiat finally come to a bone jarring halt. Zanfretta was thrust forward by the momentum and smashed his head against the steering wheel. It was then that his car was bathed in a white-hot light.

At this point the security company radio operator claimed that Zanfretta called in, speaking in what he described as a “very controlled voice,” stating that: “The car has stopped. I saw a bright light. Now I am getting out.”

Much like the first incident, Zanfretta and his vehicle were discovered at 1:10 am. by another pair of security guards. The first man to spot Zanfretta was Sergeant Emanuele Travenzoli. Travenzoli stated that he found Zanfretta in a field near the road and, despite the continuing downpour his clothes were warm and dry.

Travenzoli also claimed that Zanfretta was in a state of shock; quivering and weeping. This time the men on the scene were disturbed to hear their companion declare:

“They say I must leave with them. What about my children? I don’t want to… I don’t want to.”

Once again the Carabinieri were called in. After they arrived on the scene, the military officers found, much to their befuddlement, that even though the Fiat had been exposed to the cold downpour for an extended period of time, the roof of the car was as hot as one that had been baking in the scorching sun. Equally inexplicably, the officers revealed that the auto’s interior was as “hot as an oven.”

As if that weren’t bizarre enough, the military police also discovered that the Fiat was surrounded by inexplicably huge boot prints measuring 20-inches long, by 8-inches widee. These odd, almost BIGFOOT-like, prints had a distinctive bare spot between sole and heel. This remains one of the most intriguing traces of physical evidence ever to have been left at the scene of an alleged alien abduction.

The Carabinieri then came across Zanfretta’s revolver, a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, which had been fired five times. Amazingly, the still scared guard could not recall at whom or what he had fired the weapon.

Needless to say, due to the unexplained firing of bullets as well as the public furor surrounding these abductions, the military police’s probe into these unlikely events required a full report.

On January 3, 1979, all data in the case was collected by commandant Nucchi in a file labeled the “Report on the Sighting of Unidentified Flying Objects by Fortunato Zanfretta.”

This file was forwarded to the magistratès court in Genoa with an inquiry as to what action should be taken. Finally, after the buck had been passed numerous times, the report was delivered to Magistrate Russo who, a year later on January 11, 1980, certified that it could be filed away with the declaration of: “No crime committed.”

The Carabinieri also informed the Italian Department of Interior and other military commands of the incident by two telexes sent respectively on December 8th and 28th of 1978. The Carabinieri defined the degree of reliability that these bizarre events actually occurred as: “good.”

This concern on the part of the Carabinieri night not seem so far fetched when one considers the fact that in December of 1978, there were so many UFO sighting across Italy that Falco Accame, a former member of the Italian Parliament, asked both Italy’s Premier, Giulio Andreotti, and Minister of Defense, Attilio Ruffini, to inform the Italian Congress about their opinion concerning the nature of the recent UFO sightings and what threats they may pose to the citizens of Italy.

Following his second encounter with the unknown, Zanfretta became somewhat of a reluctant celebrity. His employers, concerned about all the publicity as well as the mental health of their armed employee, asked prominent neurologist, Dr. Giorgio Gianniotti, to examine Zanfretta. His diagnosis was:

“The man is in a state of shock, but he is perfectly sane.”

Dr. Gianniotti’s conclusions helped to improve the credibility of this once unknown working class man, but the naysayers were starting to make life a living hell for Zanfretta and his family. It was then that Zanfretta agreed to undergo hypnosis under the supervision of Dr. Moretti yet again, and this time he consented to allow it to be televised in an effort to prove he was not insane. You can watch the filmed session here.

During this interview, Zanfretta recalled being stripped and forced by the abductors to wear a strange helmet, which enabled him to understand their language, but caused him tremendous pain. He also remembered one of the aliens taking his gun and firing the bullets into a “panel,” in what one can only assume was an effort to see if human weapons had the capability of harming them.

Zanfretta then expressed fear over the fact that he may be required to leave his home and family behind: “I know that you need me, but I don’t want to. I like to be alone. I have two children. I feel good this way… and after all you are not human beings. You are horrible.”

Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched this extraordinary interview, but instead of clearing his name it only further exacerbated the skepticism of his critics and elevated his cult celebrity to a global level. Eventually, as is often the case in unexplained events, the furor died down...that was until Zanfretta was abducted a third time.

On the night of July 30th, 1979, Zanfretta was on a motorcycle patrol in the residential area of Quarto in Genoa, far from the lonely peaks of Torriglia, when he vanished once more. Again his fellow guards were the first on the scene.

They managed to find him following a two hour search on the summit of nearby Mount Fasce. It should be noted that local eyewitnesses claimed that they had not seen the young guard or his motorcycle travel up the single road that led to the top of the mountain.

This time a hypnotic regression was conducted at International Center of Medical and Psychological Hypnosis in Milan where, on his own request, Zanfretta was injected with sodium penathol by Prof. Marco Marchesan. While under the “truth serum’s” effects, Zanfretta claimed that he was lifted from the ground into to the alien spaceship by a mysterious green light.

Following the procedure, Professor Marchesan confirmed that: “No human being can knowingly lie while he is under Pentothal treatment, so I think it’s very probable Zanfretta had these encounters.”

Still, for poor Zanfretta, and an even more unfortunate co-worker, the worst was yet to come. At about 10:30 pm. on Sunday, December 2nd, 1979, Zanfretta disappeared for the fourth time while driving an Austin Mini in the suburbs of Genoa. This time, however, the 26 year-old would not be the only one to have a brush with the inexplicable.

While driving in the hills of Genoa searching for their missing cohort, four patrol guards claimed to have clearly seen a very strange, cloud-like object floating above them. Suddenly, two beams of light seemed emanate from within the large “cloud,” illuminating the patrol cars below.

The vehicles’ engines concurrently stopped dead and the frightened, yet curious, guards got out of their patrol cards to get a better look at this UFO. Apparently the Chief, Lt. Cassiba, became so frightened by the sight before them that fired his pistol at the unknown object. It was then that the ethereal lights were extinguished and the UFO slipped away.

Sadly, Lt. Cassiba’s frightened reaction would not be the most tragic result of this unusual eyewitness event. One of those guards, Germano Zanardi, was so traumatized by the implications of what they had seen that it was said he never fully recovered his mental stability. A few months following this encounter he ended his life with a self inflicted gunshot to the head.

Just when it seemed as if it were impossible, this case took an even weirder turn, when on Monday December 3rd of the same year, at approximately 9:30 pm., Zanfretta got out of his patrol car at a self-service gasoline station near downtown Genoa. Zanfretta claimed that he heard someone calling out to him from the shadows outside the station.

He described entity that was speaking to him as a tall, humanoid figure with a bald, “egg-shaped” head, who was dressed in a checkered suit that included a chest plate made of “steel” where the shirt should have been.

As bizarre as this description is, it must be noted that legendary paranormal investigator and “Mothman Prophecies” author, John Keel, was the first to chronicled these beings in his seminal tome on unexplained beasts: “The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings.”

Dubbed the Grinning Man by Keel, this lanky creature, or creatures as the case may be,  has often been described as wearing a checkered shirt and is frequently associated with paranormal and, in particular, ufological phenomenon such as 'Men in Black'.

The first reported encounter with the Grinning Man was said to have taken place on October 11, 1966, when this terrifying apparition was seen by two boys, James Yanchitis and Marvin Munoz, as they were walking home along a desolate stretch adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike. The lucky boys managed to run for safety.

Perhaps the most famous example of this phenomenon, however, comes to us in the form of on 'Indrid Cold', who was said to have terrified 'Mothman' eyewitnesses in Point Pleasant, Virginia during the same year.

Zanfretta swore that the sound of the outlandish individual’s voice physically compelled him to obey the request that would come next. Apparently the voice, which may or may not have been telepathic as is often the case in Grinning Man scenarios, ordered him to drive his vehicle into a small cloud that was hovering just above the ground.

Zanfretta did as he was instructed and claims that he and his patrol car were levitated within the cloud and deposited onto a huge spacecraft. Onboard the ship the guard was allowed to explore with the company of the oversized aliens.

Within the colossal craft, Zanfretta claimed to have seen large, transparent cylinders filled with a weird blue liquid. One of the cylinders was said to have contained a “frog-shaped” body, which the aliens explained was: “An enemy of ours from another planet.”

Perhaps this was one of the same technologically advanced, self-illuminated wand waving species that the 'Aquatic Enigmas' known as the 'Loveland Frogmen' belong to. In two other cylinders, Zanfretta observed a large bird-like creature and another humanoid figure that he described as looking like a “caveman.”

Around this time these mystifying beings attempted to give Zanfretta a transparent sphere with what appeared to be an electrically charged pyramid inside. The aliens claimed that utilizing the sphere would enable human beings to comprehend who they were and how they live. Zanfretta tried to refuse the gift, stating that : “had enough of all these strange encounters and wished only go back to his normal life.”

Nevertheless, the creatures insisted he accept it, informing him that he was to give the sphere to a man of whose name he had never heard before, noted American scientist and UFO researcher DR. J. ALLEN HYNEK. Zanfretta, for reason only clear to him, laims that instead of giving this prize to the now deceased Hynek, he hid the object somewhere in the hills near Genoa.

Zanfretta disappeared again on February14th 1980, after which he was found by his colleagues in a state of shock and suffering from mild hypothermia. A villager living nearby stated that mere minutes before the rescuers arrived, he spied a huge, radiant mass in the sky.

During the next hypnosis session, doctor Moretti found Zanfretta to be uncharacteristically uncooperative. While hypnotized, he claimed he was contacting the aliens and began to speak an odd, unknown language. His voice became guttural and he uttered cryptic phrases like:

“Question with negative answer, tixel...you can’t work out anything in a case like this. To believe or not to believe doesn’t mean anything: each thing in its own time.”

Against all odds, Zanfretta managed to vanish yet again on August 13, 1980. But this time, he was under close observation and was found before the aliens could contact him. This was the end of his ordeal...at least until recently, when the now long retired security guard claimed the extraterrestrials reinitiated contact. To what end remains to be seen.

In 1984, Rino di Stefano wrote a book about these enigmatic events entitled: The Zanfretta Case, which details the harrowing events that took place between 1978 and 1980. That same year, the Italian state national broadcasting network, Rai Tv, made a two part docu-drama based on the book. Portions of the unfortunately un-subtitled film can be seen above.

While there can be little doubt that the purported series of events that took place near Torriglia, Italy borders on the absurd, one cannot dismiss the fact that there were over 60 additional witnesses to this strange aerial phenomenon and at least one poor soul who lost his life because of it.

To this day the perplexing case of Pier Fortunato Zanfretta remains the most famous account of an alien abduction ever to hail from Italy. But as frightening as this case is, an excerpt from one of night watchmen’s hypnotic recollections, in the form of a warning he seemed to be giving to the aliens, might paint a more optimistic picture of the intentions of these visitors:

“I know you are trying to come more frequently...no, you can’t come to Earth, people get scared if they look at you. You can’t make friendship.”


Brooklyn's Red Bee Mystery

wivb - A bunch of Brooklyn bees have been coming home looking flushed.

New York City beekeeper Cerise Mayo was puzzled when her bees started showing up with mysterious red coloring. Their honey also turned as red as cough syrup.

She tells The New York Times a friend joked that the bees were imbibing on the runoff at Dell's Maraschino Cherries Company, in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Mayo — whose first name means "cherry" in French — raises bees in that neighborhood and across the water on Governor's Island.

Tests confirmed the bees were riddled with Red Dye No. 40 — the same food coloring found in the cherry juice. Bee expert Andrew Cote tells the newspaper that bees had been creating a big nuisance at the factory.

The solution? Put up screens or provide a closer source of sweet nectar.


There Are Red Bees in Red Hook

NYMag - For the life of Cerise Mayo, a beekeeper with hives in Red Hook and on Governor's Island, she could not figure out why her bees were returning home to their honeycombs colored red. Or why, when they began producing honey, the sweet stuff itself was also scarlet-tinted. Was it a bee disease? Some obscure hipster air pollution? Were they buzzing on Robitussin like all the cool kids back behind Steve's Authentic?

A brief investigation turned up the most likely suspect: Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company on Dikeman Street in Red Hook. Apparently, the bees were flying over there and engorging themselves on the sugary, red syrup that's used to make the neon cherries that adorn so many trendy Brooklyn beverages these days. Then they'd return home to rest and make honey. "When the sun is a bit down, they glow red in the evenings," said amateur beekeeper David Selig, who was definitely not stoned at the time. "They were slightly fluorescent. And it was beautiful."

Unfortunately, beautiful or not, the red honey they produced was loaded with Red Dye No. 40 and also tasted metallic and gross. Perhaps unsurprisingly, what works so well in a Manhattan does not work in nature.

Information from The New York Times

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inexplicata: Cryptids of Spain

The following anecdotes are from Spain as reported by Scott Corrales at Inexplicata - The Journal of Hispanic Ufology

Spain: An Extremaduran Mystery Beast (1974)

Source: www.zoopedia.blogspot.com and IIEE
Date: 11.29.2010

In Spain, Extremadura’s beastiary is both rich and extensive. Creatures of unknown nature, having grotesque or chilling shapes, have terrorized witnesses and entire towns, in some cases. Beings and humanoids form part of the Extremaduran folklore, and one of the first articles of this space deals with José Pancho Campo’s encounter with a strange entity, claiming to be the devil, and displaying hooved feet. This incident resulted in the witness’s untimely death under strange circumstances: similar events have occurred in other nearby locations in Las Hurdes, La Vera and other places in Extremadura, where diabolical apparitions have been reported. The entity or being of Saucedilla, as we have mentioned earlier, is a cassocked being standing some three meters tall, appearing to float in the air. There are direct eyewitness reports of “ojos rojos” (red eyes), a roadside apparition that cannot be explained, or of the Entiznau, a typical supernatural being from the folklore of Las Hurdes.

This region of Spain has not eluded news items on curios subjects, such as the reports published in Karma-7 Magazine #24 (Year 3), November 1974, mentioning that in late August of that year, in the town of Moraleja, a village in Caceres Province, not far from the Borbollón Reservoir, a large number of people witnessed a large animal crossing the lake’s waters. A sailboat regatta was taking place on the day that the “monster” made its appearance on the resevoir’s waters, making it visible to a considerable number of onlookers, some of them using binoculars.

The monster had a length of some four meters and a thickness of 20 centimeters. It traversed the lake at high speed, moving along the surface, and accompanied by another creature of similar characteristics, although smaller.

By the next day, the news had reached local residents and those from nearby. Hundreds visited the lake, without the strange animal ever being seen again. What did people actually see? Was it a prank?

The story is all that remains for curiosity seekers and residents of Extremadura interested in the legends of their region.

Spain: An Extremaduran Mystery Beast (1974)


Spain: Barcelona's Giant Winged Cryptid (1990)

Source: Criptozoología en España (blog)
Date: November 4, 2010

By Javier Resines

The twentieth anniversary of an unusual and highly original case within Spanish cryptozoology took place a few months ago. In June 1990, a giant bird decided to frighten—with its imposing presence and unpleasant crowing—a sizeable number of Barcelona’s residents.

What was extraordinary, aside from the apparition in itself, was the way it became known through a series of letters to the editor of a renowned Spanish newspaper. We must bear in mind that this phenomenon goes beyond the purely cryptozoological to go into the field of anthropology or social psychology.

On the morning of June 10, 1990, readers of Barcelona’s “La Vanguardia” had the chance to read a brief missive sent to the paper’s editor by Pere Carbó, a resident of the city. The anonymous citizen said: “I cannot help but to make known my surprise at this unusual event: on the evening 28 May, some residents of the Les Corts district were awakened by the unbearable crowing of a bird. It wasn’t just any bird. Our astonishment was immense when we stepped out to the balcony to see the black silhouette of a bird of tremendous size. It perhaps measured between 3 and 5 meters, and I am not exaggerating. Numerous residents saw it and numerous comments were made the next day. We assume that others must have seen it other neighborhoods. What was it? And what’s stranger still, why hasn’t it been mentioned in the press?”

This letter became the starter’s pistol that unleashed a veritable flood of letters from readers who claimed having seen the animal in various locations and under various circumstances.

Thus, during the following weeks, the creature was seen (day and night) in various parts of the Catalonian capital and in locations such as Gavá, Sant Joan Despí, Salou, Bellvei del Penedés and the region of Empordá. According to eyewitness accounts, the bird ranged as far away as 100 kilometers distant from Barcelona.

According to witnesses, the animal was dark (mainly black or grey) with a wingspan of between 3 and 15 meters, making loud crowing sounds in three different tones, and whose membranous wings were reminiscent of a prehistoric pterodactyl. In other cases, however, it was classified as a “mutant pigeon” or a black crow, naturally. As we can see, the descriptions were so wide-ranging as to preclude an identikit drawing of the bird.

A few days after the apparition, the Police acknowledged in a story published in El Periodico de Cataluña that it had received hundreds of calls reporting the presence of the gigantic being, while the citizen hotline crashed as a result of the event.

The most unusual hypotheses on the nature of the uncanny bird were put forward. Thus, Xavier Tutusaus (a reader who signed his letter as “botanist”) suggested that it was a specimen of Avis Cervus, a mythical species described in real in the 16th century (half deer, half bird) which – according to his theory – was passing through the city during its “customary” journey to Madagascar.

Moreover, Santiago Mayosa, officer in charge of the ornithology service of the Barcelona School of Biology, was unable to put forth a scientific explanation to the existence of an animal with these characteristics, theorizing that it could be an albatross, a species from the southern hemisphere whose wingspan can reach three meters, but completely unknown in the Catalonian littoral. The Department of the Environment of the Generalitat, on the other hand, offered a laconic solution: the bird in question was nothing more than a mere vulture.

In spite of this, the bird paraded through the Catalonian skies for three months, although several cases collected by local researcher Jordi Ardanuy lead us to believe that the bird (or birds, as the case may be) was not passing through the city, but rather had or has a local habitat. Let us see some of the cases compiled by Ardanuy: in the summer of 1991 or 1992, eyewitness J.A. Pérez was driving his car in the company of his wife near the El Prat airport when he saw a bird six times larger than his car. The animal, which looked prehistoric, made no noise whatsoever.

In early 1996, in Girona, a family was able to see a bird measuring some 5 or 6 meters. It was dark, silent, motionless wings and thick legs.

On April 14 of that year, Lluis Villamaría and a group of friends envisioned an immense black bird in broad daylight near Montseny. The bird flew by beating its wings barely three meters over the ground.

As we can see, we are faced by a curious phenomenon within domestic case histories. The apparently numerous witnesses made the fact known through editorial pages in a newspaper. This in turn caused the reaction of other readers who decided to share their experience, offer an explanation, give an opinion or, as was the case with some letters, add a humorous tone to the entire matter.

As a result of this initiative (let us call it a grass roots initiative), other dailies such as El Periodico de Cataluña, Avui and the Europa Press agency (as well as mystery magazines) decided to give a certain credibility to the story that became the talk of the streets of Barcelona for a long time, and collect reports to which they had access.

But what were the citizens of Barcelona facing back then? Several hypotheses have been put forth to explain the giant bird. The one that gathers the most supporters considers a voluntary or involuntary hoax that may have started with a malicious letter, followed by others who “thought” they had seen something or heard something. Errors of perception and a desire for celebrity, or to feel part of an extraordinary event, could lead a mystifying event to become real for many citizens.

The fact is that this animal (or whatever) became rara avis (pun intended) within cryptozoology at the international level.

So that all readers of our blog may have access to the full information on the case, the Criptozoología en España team has compiled the documents published by La Vanguardia. These are the letters, surveys, opinion pieces and editorials that the paper devoted to the bird.

Spain: Barcelona's Giant Winged Cryptid (1990)

Many thanks to Scott Corrales!

Fortean / Oddball News: Christopher Columbus Was Polish, UFO Pit Stop and Organ Regeneration

New Evidence: Christopher Columbus Possible Son of Vladislav III, Exiled King of Poland

dailymail - He is celebrated as the humble Italian weaver who ended up discovering the Americas.

But the conventional wisdom relating to Christopher Columbus is under threat after academics concluded the explorer was actually a Polish immigrant.

An international team of distinguished professors have completed 20 years of painstaking research into his beginnings.

The fresh evidence about Columbus’ background is revealed in a new book by Manuel Rosa, an academic at Duke University in the United States.

He says the voyager was not from a family of humble Italian craftsmen as previously thought - but the son of Vladislav III, an exiled King of Poland.

‘The sheer weight of the evidence presented makes the old tale of a Genoese wool-weaver so obviously unbelievable that only a fool would continue to insist on it,’ Rosa said.

The academic argues that the only way Columbus persuaded the King of Spain to fund his journey across the Atlantic Ocean was because he was royalty himself.

For some reason he hid the true identity of his Polish biological father from most people during his lifetime, and history books have been none the wiser.

‘Another nutty conspiracy theory! That’s what I first supposed as I started to read... I now believe that Columbus is guilty of huge fraud carried out over two decades against his patrons,’ said US historian Prof. James T. McDonough.

Other historians first doubted Columbus’ Polish roots, but Rosa’s findings have been steadily gaining followers as the evidence comes to light.

‘This book will forever change the way we view our history,’ said Portuguese historian Prof. Jose Carlos Calazans. National Geographic is reportedly interested in making a documentary.

Until now, it was believed that Columbus, who was born in the Italian city of Genoa in 1451, was the son of Domenico Columbo, who was a weaver and had a cheese stall in a market in the city.

At the age of 22 Columbus started working for Genoese merchants trading throughout the Mediterranean, and three years later took part in a special trading expedition to northern Europe, docking at Bristol before continuing to Ireland and Iceland.

Throughout the 1480s, when Columbus was in his 30s, he traded along the African coast.

Historians say it is a myth that navigators thought the world was flat before Columbus sailed west – they had been using the stars at night as a primitive navigation system that assumed the earth was a sphere.

What sailors including Columbus didn’t know is how big the earth was, and how long it would take to sail round it.

When he persuaded financiers to back his voyage west in 1492, he had completely miscalculated the distances and thought that Asia would be where America is: he arrived in the Bahamas, thinking he was somewhere off the coast of China.

Columbus undertook three more return journeys across the Atlantic Ocean, each time hoping that he had found another part of Asia.

He set up Spanish colonies and became governor of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, but was later put on trial in Spain for alleged abuse of power.

After Columbus’ death in 1506, European explorers continued to set up colonies and eventually empires in north and south America.


Scientists Reverse Ageing in Mice

guardian - Scientists claim to be a step closer to reversing the ageing process after rejuvenating worn out organs in elderly mice. The experimental treatment developed by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, turned weak and feeble old mice into healthy animals by regenerating their aged bodies.

The surprise recovery of the animals has raised hopes among scientists that it may be possible to achieve a similar feat in humans – or at least to slow down the ageing process.

An anti-ageing therapy could have a dramatic impact on public health by reducing the burden of age-related health problems, such as dementia, stroke and heart disease, and prolonging the quality of life for an increasingly aged population.

"What we saw in these animals was not a slowing down or stabilisation of the ageing process. We saw a dramatic reversal – and that was unexpected," said Ronald DePinho, who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

"This could lead to strategies that enhance the regenerative potential of organs as individuals age and so increase their quality of life. Whether it serves to increase longevity is a question we are not yet in a position to answer."

The ageing process is poorly understood, but scientists know it is caused by many factors. Highly reactive particles called free radicals are made naturally in the body and cause damage to cells, while smoking, ultraviolet light and other environmental factors contribute to ageing.

The Harvard group focused on a process called telomere shortening. Most cells in the body contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, which carry our DNA. At the ends of each chromosome is a protective cap called a telomere. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres are snipped shorter, until eventually they stop working and the cell dies or goes into a suspended state called "senescence". The process is behind much of the wear and tear associated with ageing.

At Harvard, they bred genetically manipulated mice that lacked an enzyme called telomerase that stops telomeres getting shorter. Without the enzyme, the mice aged prematurely and suffered ailments, including a poor sense of smell, smaller brain size, infertility and damaged intestines and spleens. But when DePinho gave the mice injections to reactivate the enzyme, it repaired the damaged tissues and reversed the signs of ageing.

"These were severely aged animals, but after a month of treatment they showed a substantial restoration, including the growth of new neurons in their brains," said DePinho.

Repeating the trick in humans will be more difficult. Mice make telomerase throughout their lives, but the enzyme is switched off in adult humans, an evolutionary compromise that stops cells growing out of control and turning into cancer. Raising levels of telomerase in people might slow the ageing process, but it makes the risk of cancer soar.

DePinho said the treatment might be safe in humans if it were given periodically and only to younger people who do not have tiny clumps of cancer cells already living, unnoticed, in their bodies.

David Kipling, who studies ageing at Cardiff University, said: "The goal for human tissue 'rejuvenation' would be to remove senescent cells, or else compensate for the deleterious effects they have on tissues and organs. Although this is a fascinating study, it must be remembered that mice are not little men, particularly with regard to their telomeres, and it remains unclear whether a similar telomerase reactivation in adult humans would lead to the removal of senescent cells."

Lynne Cox, a biochemist at Oxford University, said the study was "extremely important" and "provides proof of principle that short-term treatment to restore telomerase in adults already showing age-related tissue degeneration can rejuvenate aged tissues and restore physiological function."

DePinho said none of Harvard's mice developed cancer after the treatment. The team is now investigating whether it extends the lifespan of mice or enables them to live healthier lives into old age.

Tom Kirkwood, director of the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University, said: "The key question is what might this mean for human therapies against age-related diseases? While there is some evidence that telomere erosion contributes to age-associated human pathology, it is surely not the only, or even dominant, cause, as it appears to be in mice engineered to lack telomerase. Furthermore, there is the ever-present anxiety that telomerase reactivation is a hallmark of most human cancers."


Pit Stop for UFOs in Colorado

NYTimes - “I like humans, they’re fun,” Judy Messoline said as she showed a visitor through her vortex garden, which psychics have said contains not just one, but two separate portals to a parallel universe.

Many of the humans who come to Ms. Messoline’s U.F.O. Watchtower, hard by the dueling vortexes, may be fun, but they are also wounded. About 95 percent, by her estimate — and she makes a point of asking — have experienced something, a shudder in the fabric of the ordinary, the sighting of an unidentified flying object that to one degree or another has haunted them and drawn them to this otherwise empty spot in south-central Colorado. Having fun in thinking about extraterrestrials, she said, is usually bound up with something deeper right here on the home planet.

“The world needs a place where people can go to talk about their experiences and not be laughed at,” she said.

People do laugh here. One of Ms. Messoline’s principles in building the Watchtower a decade ago, in an attempt to raise cash as her cattle ranch collapsed in economic ruin, was that U.F.O.-spotting should be a hoot, and whenever possible, a party.

“The best sightings have been when people are just out enjoying the evening,” she said. Fifty-nine events — lights that move erratically or, during the day, objects that defy explanation in shape or movement — have been witnessed from the tower since 2000, Ms. Messoline said, sometimes by dozens of people at the same time.

No one knows the count before that, since no local institution existed for counting. Many residents, though, say the San Luis Valley, just north of the New Mexico state line, has been a hotspot for decades. U.F.O. reports reach all the way back to the early settlements of the 1600s, with a particularly noted wave in the late 1960s.

The turmoil of modern life is also in evidence near the tower, at the house once occupied by Ms. Messoline’s son and his family, now vacant and in foreclosure since the couple’s divorce.

“Broke my heart,” she said. Adding to the pain, she said, is that the house will probably never sell. “Who wants to live next to a U.F.O. Watchtower?” she said.

Truth be told, the Watchtower — really just a framed metal platform perhaps 10 feet off the ground — is not much of a moneymaker at $2 a head for admission. Ms. Messoline, 65, a former housecleaner from the Denver area who moved to Hooper in the mid-1990s, still needs the paycheck from Miss Deb’s, a convenience store down the road, identified by the giant chicken out in front, to make ends meet.

But that is the interconnection of a lot of things in Hooper, a dot of perhaps 100 souls in a vast and lonely place. Harsh realities in economics and climate — high poverty rates and brutal winters — are interlaced with vistas of breathtaking beauty and a local culture that has long prized and cultivated the offbeat.

Ms. Messoline furthered that spirit by encouraging visitors to leave something in her vortex garden. One recent offering: a two-foot-tall Superman doll with one hand extended, holding a bottle of hot sauce, perhaps in greeting or in supplication.

Another visitor left a primer for extraterrestrials who might find themselves confused about human tableware. A folding knife-and-spoon was marked with text and helpful arrows pointing in the direction of each object: “This is a knife and a spoon, alien,” it said.

Even the winds are strange. One corner of the San Luis Valley, banked on all sides by mountains, somehow became a collecting spot for blown sand over the past few thousand years, since the drying up of an ancient lake bed. The result: a little bit of the Sahara in Colorado at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, about 15 miles from here.

The sky, with barely a town to break the landscape, is black at night — a riot of stars not visible from the big city — and huge at all hours. And people here are used to being out and aware of their surroundings, which makes them perhaps more likely than city folk to see things in the great Out There.

“There’s not a lot of activity, so people have more opportunity to be watching what’s around them,” said JoDene Newmyer, 64, who works with Ms. Messoline at the convenience store.

Ms. Newmyer’s own U.F.O. story — and most people here seem to have one — occurred on the Friday morning of Memorial Day weekend, 1972. She was driving her daughter to the baby sitter at 7 a.m. when she stopped cold at the sight of a huge angular silver object just above the horizon.

“Flying saucer? I will not say that,” Ms. Newmyer said. “But unidentifiable it definitely was, because I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Ms. Messoline says the years of scanning the sky and of meeting people who are drawn to her and her tower have changed her.

She decided recently to put the patch of ground under the tower and the vortex garden in her will, donating it to a U.F.O. research group in Denver to continue the work, or the fun, after she’s gone, even though she knows that a tower in perpetuity will probably doom any chance of a sale of her son’s former home.


Shock in Ghana over gruesome death of 'witch'

BBC - There has been widespread shock in Ghana over the death of a 72-year-old woman accused of being a witch.

The woman, who lived in the port city of Tema, near Accra, was allegedly set on fire by a group of five adults, one of whom is believed to be a pastor.

The suspects say her death was an accident, and deny committing any crime.

The BBC's David Amanor in Accra says belief in witches is common among both educated and uneducated Ghanaians.

Three women and two men have been arrested, aged between 37 and 55.

Police say the suspects tortured the woman, Ama Hemmah, until she confessed to being a witch, before dousing her with kerosene and setting her on fire.

She died from her injuries the following day.

According to reports, the suspects say that they poured anointing oil on the woman which caught fire as they were trying to drive out an evil spirit.

Our correspondent says newspaper pictures showing the woman's injuries have caused revulsion in Ghana, and the incident has been condemned by human rights and women's activists.

Our correspondent says there have been other cases of violence against women accused of being witches, and a government-backed commission has urged religious and civil society groups to help tackle the problem.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Strange Encounter in Cheboygan County, Michigan - Is The 'Dogman' Back?

I received the following email from Mike on Saturday. He describes a recent encounter with an unknown creature in an undisclosed area near Cheboygan, Michigan (northern Michigan):

Artwork by Linda S. Godfrey, reprinted with permission

Hey, I'm Mike from the Cheboygan, MI area. This is true what I am about to describe. On November 24, 2010 me and two of my friends went out at night around 12 am. We were not hunting but had weapons. We were looking for a spot to set up our blinds for the muzzleloading season when we crossed from a field with tons of deer beddings. We came into another field with none whatsoever. We continued through this field and came across some kind of game trail. We decided to venture down this trail into the woods.

We got maybe 300 yards back in it and started hearing heavy breathing and snapping sounds in the thick brush to our right. We thought maybe coyotes but we got to a corner and were stopped in our track. In front of us, maybe 60 yards away, was something blacker than the woods standing on two feet and stood between 6'8" and 7'4". We slowly turned away and back tracked. Before we got to the field the same thing was in front of us again. We turned around for a second and then turned back...it was gone.

When we got into the field we noticed there were four or more of these creatures, one on each corner of the field just standing there. We saw one move halfway behind a tree. At this point we were freaking out. We made our way through the field and got to the edge and there was one standing directly in the middle of the trail entering the woods. We hauled butt back home and the whole way we felt like we were being watched and stalked.

We have been out every night since then. We have learned do not use lights because it comes closer than 60 yards. The closest it has been to me was maybe 25 yards and was moving closer. At that point I shot at it. There were five total that we saw the fist night and after I shot at one. We went out last night and there were only four and they seemed more aggressive. In the field, it seems they tried herding us into a corner.

You can believe this or not, but I am in the Michigan National Guard and I put what I saw on my warrior ethos and army values.


Back in July 2009, I received the following emails in reference to at least 2 sightings of a supposed 'Dogman' in Baraga County, Upper Peninsula, Michigan. I contacted the witness who seemed very truthful and credible:

Last fall, my son and I were driving on US-41/M-28 towards Three Lakes in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (where I live). The beast ran across the highway near Tioga Creek. I had not heard of this before reading Phantoms and Monsters, but this is exactly what we saw. We are familiar with all animals living here. Moose regularly cross in front of drivers, so we watch the sides of the roads carefully. We were very puzzled and thought it might be some mutant wolf and could not figure out what we witnessed. It ran fairly fast about 50 feet in front of our truck. It was so strange because the front of it was much higher up than the back, larger than a wolf. Very strange to see it on your website.

NOTE: I contacted the witness and asked for any further detail of the sighting. This is what I received

It did not look exactly like the video or drawings I saw, but VERY close. The side view shape of the animal was almost like an ape shape, with the front legs longer than the back legs which made it run funny. It ran like a bear runs, with the exception of the back legs being shorter if you can picture that. The front, from the angle I saw, looked like it must of had a wide chest. The head appeared wolf-like, but it definitely was NOT a wolf. The color was brown and black mixed. The hair seemed med-long, like a wolf, and I remember thinking it might of had mange, must of had patches of hair missing.

I was telling my son, who is 13, about what I had found on your site and asked him what he remembered. He gave the same description, how very strange and out of place it was. He said that this spring he saw the same type of thing on a logging road near our house (I do remember him telling me that at that time) and it was the same thing. He was riding his dirt bike (we live in an extremely remote area) and it ran across the trail. I know where he is talking about because I pick berries there and do get a weird feeling like something is watching me. A neighbor told me that area is "Bigfoot Central", which I did not know or believe. But after doing further research today, there are a lot of reports of strange creatures in this area that go back many, many years.

Who knows what it is, but as long as it's not hurting anything, I hope it is left alone. I am very familiar with the wildlife. I do hunt and know my tracks. I have not seen any strange tracks, but now will really keep my eyes open. Please keep me informed if you get any other reports from my area. Rhonda


In April 2009, I also read about an account in Wisconsin, but with a different twist:

My girlfriend and I went out to feed deer for the hunting opener on Nov. 22, 2008. We were in the Chequamegon National Forest in northern Wisconsin. It was November 21, 2008 and the time was 12:10 AM, it was totally dark out and light snow was falling with an accumulation of about 1 inch covering the roads. The Temperature was 11*F and the wind was blowing from the northwest with a wind chill of 0*F. We made a U-turn to the left onto an unfinished ATV trail in one of our 4X4 Pickups heading towards last years feed pile.

I got to the bottom of the hill and backed in and parked. I got out my pistol and loaded it, I then put it in my holster, I grabbed my headlight with 3 LED bulbs and secured it on my head, I handed her a shaker LED flashlight and proceeded to the back of my truck where I had a 5 gallon bucket with just under 2 gallons of corn and 3 apples in it strapped down with 2 of my ATV straps. I put the tailgate down, unstrapped the bucket and put the tailgate up. I walked around my side and then in front of the truck to her passenger side as she was putting mittens on. We both started to walk together, her just behind and to my right side when we both noticed a fresh set of tracks in the snow heading down wind of us in the same direction we where walking.

At first it was not the size that caught my attention, it was "WHAT IN GOD'S CREATION MADE THESE TRACKS" immediately my skinned crawled as I looked around with my head to see if what we just had come up on was in sight. I glanced back down in disbelief at the tracks. I was in a slight stage of shock as I looked at her she looked at me and we both looked down at 4 well-formed footprints of some kind of scary tracks that either of us had ever seen before. I sized my shoe beside one of the tracks and realized it was about 3 inches longer than my shoe which measures 12 inches heel to toe, and about 1 inch wider than my shoe which measures 4 inches at it's widest width. Whatever we witnessed the foot prints of has 2 pointed talons on the end of it's foot that are isometrically the same with a rectangle shaped heel. The talons joined on the outside and at the same length in between the talons on each foot. They are 15 inches long and 5 inches wide with 64-inch strides. I have a 36-inch stride at 5'10" tall to give an idea of the possible size of this creature, running or not we do not know.

I believe we just missed seeing what caused these tracks and what ever made the tracks was still in the area and possibly watching us. My girl told me to load my pistol and keep it out, I did not argue. At first she wanted to leave right away but the sheer adrenaline and interest of what caused the tracks I believe is what kept us there. I said "okay let's get out of here" but again, interest kept us there looking at the tracks. My fear slightly subsided enough to think about the upcoming deer opener and decided I have the pistol and we will be okay. I started to walk the same way the tracks went up a hill on the trail when I stopped and looked back at her while she was still staring down at the prints. I said "come on lets get this over with" she caught up to me as we walked together, she said to me, "if this thing gets a hold of me put a bullet in my head" I thought about that as we kept walking. We went deep into the woods down a steep hill where I new the feed pile was from last year. We got to where I wanted the pile to be, I took the lid off the bucket and dumped the corn and apples out and stepped on the apples, I snapped the lid back on the bucket and said "let's go" We started to climb the hill when I realized we where off track and had to walk left to reach the trail to get back to the truck. I started to think that this was the scariest thing I have ever encountered and felt panic over coming me. I new where I was and finally we got back on the trail and walked down to where we could see the tracks of the creature again. We both stared at them for about 5 minutes. When we got back to the truck just 20 yards from the prints, she got in and closed her door. I went behind the truck, opened the tailgate and re strapped the bucket down and closed the tailgate. I got to my side of the truck and took the clip out of my gun and got in. I threw my head light off my head as we drove away thinking and then I said, "I am not coming back here" and she agreed. We where both scared and could not believe what just happened.

It was a month earlier and 1.1 miles walking through the woods from where we witnessed the tracks that a different friend and I where camping. I went to bed early and fell into a deep sleep. I woke up to the sound of my friend walking behind the tent and my first reply was "what are you doing back there?" I woke up a little more and realized my friend was sleeping, breathing kind of loud next to me. I sat up against my gear and grabbed my pistol and flashlight and sat there cold and scared in the dark. I woke my friend up and told him what I could hear and he said, "Ah it was probably a deer or something" The temperature was around 26*F. I looked out the flaps of the tent and could see the fire had died down and it was dark out there. I stood up and told my friend that I was going to the truck to warm up and get some sleep. I asked him if he wanted me to leave the pistol and he said, "no I'll be alright". I left the tent and walked to my truck about 80 yards away and started it up to get warm. I turned my lights on a few different times to see if what had walked by the tent was in sight. I did not see anything; I turned my truck off and fell asleep.

Whatever walked by the tent was bipedal and made 2 steps into my sound range and out again. I did not hear any other noise from what ever walked by. I looked around the next morning for footprints but leaves covered the ground and I did not detect anything. A little more than 2 years earlier. It was summer and I was at this same location riding my ATV alone, I stopped and got off walking down to a near by lake and was looking at the water and how clear it is when I could hear up on the hill above the camp ground we had stayed at a huge tree snap and hit the ground with a big thump as branches snapped off it and other trees as it fell. I got back to my ATV quickly at the time thinking a bear or buck was up there and I was not sticking around to find out. 2 months later that summer I returned to this spot again riding my ATV, I shut off the wheeler and stood around close by thinking about the last time I was there I was scared off by something. I was there about 5 minutes when all of a sudden I could hear branches snapping off of trees as what ever was breaking branches was coming down the hill closer to where I was. I got on my wheeler never to return until my friend and I camped there a little over 2 years later in October. My first 2 experiences with this creature while I was alone made me think it was possibly a bear or a buck deer, trouble with this theory is that I have come up on bear a dozen or so times and every time, the bear is running as fast as it can in another direction and what ever was making the tree sounds was not running any where. A deer also runs away at the first presence of a human. Now that we witnessed these creatures’ footprints I put the puzzle pieces together and realize that this creature is living in this area and it has probably been there for a long, long, long time. I have learned it means us no harm (yet). It only makes a sound when I am alone (tree breaking). It is always down wind of me (us). It is out in the day and or night. It can see in the dark. It uses the wind to it's advantage every chance it gets. It can hear well. It can smell good. It waits until we are vulnerable to approach us when 2 of us are together. I could possibly have smelled it and did not know what I smelled. I (we) have put 4,000 miles in this forest on my Grizzly ATV through deep desolate, thick wooded, swamp, lake areas and have now proved to ourselves that this undocumented at this time creature is in fact out there.

I know where this creature is living and plan on an expedition to prove its existence. I want to document this creature because I feel everyone that enters the forest has a right to know it is there and for other various reasons. I am open to any and all that would like to comment or ask questions in discussing my encounters with this creature(s).

NOTE: Approximately a year ago, the 'Michigan Dogman' film was proven to be a hoax but there have been several sightings of this cryptid nonetheless. Is this a werewolf like species? A Bigfoot or Sasquatch? Something completely different perhaps? What are your thoughts? Lon

Fortean / Oddball News: Monster Croc Photo, Welsh Big Cats and Portal / UFO Over Ohio

Photo of Monster Crocodile Surfaces

couriermail - Could this be Normanton's own "Loch Ness Monster", an elusive 8m giant that has residents in the Gulf thinking twice before taking out the tinnie?

Rumours of a massive croc lurking near the township of Normanton have revived memories of the famed 8.6m monster shot in the Norman River in 1957, and claimed as a world record.

Local pastor Elton Thompson sparked a frenzy last week when he produced photographs of a croc slide about 1km from town, which indicate the presence of a huge animal with a girth of up to 2m.

Now fisherman Clint Spry has revealed photos he took of a huge croc in the Norman River with a tail "as long as my boat".

"It had locked jaws with an albino crocodile and was just throwing it around like a rag doll," Mr Spry told The Sunday Mail.

"The tail on it alone was as long as my whole boat . . . 3.8 metres."

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Related Coverage

* David Murray: Welcome to my nightmare
* Gallery special: Amazing crocodile pictures

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Pastor Thompson started a sensation when he put his photos of huge slide marks and claw prints on his Facebook page and relayed a story of a crocodile recently spotted at the same location that was "at least as big, if not bigger" than the legendary 8.6m Savannah King, that has a life-size replica in Normanton.

As national media outlets picked up the story, locals debated whether the croc really was that big or, well, just a crock.

One publican insists: "It's a wives' tale. There are no crocs that big near Normanton."

Others are adamant an oversize croc has been in the area for some time, growing bigger every year since Queensland banned commercial hunting in the '70s.

Long-time local Terry Cummings didn't hesitate when asked if he thought an 8m croc could be lurking in the area.

"I was here in the '50s and saw them that big," he said.

Herbie Harold, 52, who found the original slide marks and alerted his pastor, said he had seen a massive croc in the same spot once before.

The Sunday Mail enlisted Mr Harold's expertise last week in a bid to find the monster.


Farmers in West Wales Terrified of Big Cat Attacks

walesonline - Farmers in rural West Wales say they are terrified of a suspected big cat on the loose following a spate of attacks.

At least nine confirmed sightings of the beast, described as a huge jet-black cat, have been made in Pembrokeshire in the past few days.

Livestock has also been reported missing.

Members of the local community have been put on high alert after the savage killing of a pedigree sheep in Princes Gate which experts say could not have been caused by a large dog or similar predator.

The mysterious animal has even been spotted leaving a farmyard carrying a lamb in its mouth.

Others say that a cub has been spotted with the beast, suggesting there may be at least two adult predators prowling the Pembrokeshire countryside.

Farmer Malcolm MacPhee, of Great Redford Farm, said he was convinced the most recent attack, which took place on his land last Wednesday night, was the work of the panther-like creature.

The Suffolk sheep was found by its owner torn to shreds.

Mr MacPhee said: “What we didn’t realise at first is that the sheep’s neck was broken.

“Experts have now pointed out to us it was a clean kill, not something synonymous with a fox, dog badger or any other predator.

“The sheep had its shoulder ripped off, with the flesh stripped off to expose its ribcage, while claw marks could be seen along its carcass.”

He said his neighbours had spotted big cats at least six times in recent years in the area south of Narberth.

“There have been two seen on different occasions – the larger one is about four feet long with a long, thick tail curved at the end,” he said.

In recent weeks, the killings of two calves, a heifer and two sheep have taken place in Princes Gate.

Now farmers are adamant that the attacks are linked with the sightings of a big cat.

Farmer John Mathias, of Parcsaison, Princes Gate, said he had seen the beast twice.

“A couple of years ago, I saw it carrying a big lamb in its mouth across my yard. It left a paw print in the slurry, and it was the width across of my glasses,” he said.

“I’ve seen it a couple of times recently as well.

“About 100 yards away from me, I could see its green eyes, there was no mistaking it for another animal. It looked like pictures I’ve seen of panthers in the wild.

“There was one morning as well when the fields were covered in snow, and it ran across – it stood out a mile on the white backdrop.”

The latest incident has been reported to police, the Farmers’ Union of Wales and Pembrokeshire Council.

A senior animal health inspector from the council visited Mr MacPhee’s farm last week.

Council spokesman Len Mullins said: “He examined the carcass and took photographs which have been sent to a unit of the Welsh Assembly in Aberystwyth for further investigation.”

The last cluster of big cat sightings reported in Pembrokeshire was in 2006, with reports coming in from as far afield as Johnston, Clynderwen, Newgale, St Florence and Steynton.

Big cats are known to have a hunting range of 50 miles in one night.

Big cat consultant and expert tracker Danny Nineham said: “It’s impossible to say whether a black cat has taken these animals in Pembrokeshire without investigating the land, carcass, environment, looking for faeces, etc.

“But I can say that there are a lot of big cats in West Wales, I’ve seen them myself, and investigated a number of sightings in Pembrokeshire.

“We’ve got leopards, black leopards or panthers, pumas, American bobcats, you name it.”

Another Princes Gate farmer, Alan Williams, was adamant that Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire were rife with big cats.

“The last time I saw one was probably a fortnight ago,” he said. “I’ve seen big black panther-like cats and brown ones.

“We’ve lost seven ewes – we just find them with broken necks and sometimes all we find left of them is a skeleton and a rug-like carpet of skin.

“I know farmers who have found carcasses up trees where the animal has dragged it up to eat.

“We even had one in one of our sheds once, although we didn’t hang around to check.

“If you see one of those, you get out of there.”

Cats such as leopards and pumas were popular fashion accessories in the 1960s and 1970s and could be purchased legally in Harrods.

In 1976 the Dangerous Animals Act made keeping big cats illegal without an expensive licence, driving some exotic cat owners to dump their prized pets in the wild.

Due to a loophole in the law, it was not illegal until 1981 to release a big cat into the UK countryside.

According to Mr Nineham, it is a combination of those factors which has led to the recent sightings.

“These animals are not indigenous to this country, but the reason why they’re so elusive is because they are adaptable, they’re survivors,” he said.

“In the Victorian age, these animals became common pets with the rich and elite.

“Travelling circuses would use them and of course many would have escaped.

“But in my opinion, the Dangerous Animals Act, which was introduced in 1976, has been a huge factor.

“One thing is for sure about these cats, they are very good at finding each other.

“And although they don’t officially exist according to the police or wildlife records, I can tell you they are certainly around.”


Portal Over Austintown, Ohio?

MUFON CMS - Austintown, Ohio - November 23, 2010 - Unedited:

I was driving doing some shopping and saw this object in the sky. I thought it was strange so I filmed it from a shopping plaza in Austintown, Ohio. The video title is the same as the short description on here.It appeared to be an oval shaped fiery object hovering in the Southern skies. This happened at around 5:oopm EST. I looked at my cell phone time to confirm it. I really didn't know what to make of the object.

I tried to find a closer location to the object but it appeared (can't be positive) to be moving slowly away once I was at the 2nd location of filming. The second location was just a little further down the road at a bigger shopping plaza.

At this point I lost sight of the object in the trees. I again tried to find a 3rd location but the object was no where to be found and there were many trees obstructing the skyline.

I then went back to the original location to see if it was still there, it was not. I do not know what this was. I have gotten several emails already by folks swearing this is a portal to another dimension. Not sure what I believe.

Click for video


Russian Scientist Recreating Ice Age

Yahoo - Wild horses have returned to northern Siberia. So have musk oxen, hairy beasts that once shared this icy land with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats. Moose and reindeer are here, and may one day be joined by Canadian bison and deer.

Later, the predators will come — Siberian tigers, wolves and maybe leopards.

Russian scientist Sergey Zimov is reintroducing these animals to the land where they once roamed in millions to demonstrate his theory that filling the vast emptiness of Siberia with grass-eating animals can slow global warming.

"Some people have a small garden. I have an ice age park. It's my hobby," says Zimov, smiling through his graying beard. His true profession is quantum physics.

Climate change is felt most sharply in the Arctic, where temperatures are warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. Most climate scientists say human activity, especially industrial pollution and the byproducts of everyday living like home heating and driving cars, is triggering an unnatural warming of the Earth. On Monday, negotiators representing 194 countries open a two-week conference in Cancun, Mexico, on reducing greenhouse gases to slow the pace of climate change.

Zimov is trying to recreate an ecosystem that disappeared 10,000 years ago with the end of the ice age, which closed the 1.8 million-year Pleistocene era and ushered in the global climate roughly as we know it.

He believes herds of grazers will turn the tundra, which today supports only spindly larch trees and shrubs, into luxurious grasslands. Tall grasses with complex root systems will stabilize the frozen soil, which is now thawing at an ever-increasing rate, he says.

Herbivores keep wild grass short and healthy, sending up fresh shoots through the summer and autumn. Their manure gives crucial nourishment. In winter, the animals trample and flatten the snow that otherwise would insulate the ground from the cold air. That helps prevent the frozen ground, or permafrost, from thawing and releasing powerful greenhouse gases. Grass also reflects more sunlight than forests, a further damper to global warming.

It would take millions of animals to change the landscape of Siberia and effectively seal the permafrost. But left alone, Zimov argues, the likes of caribou, buffalo and musk oxen multiply quickly. Wherever they graze "new pastures will appear ... beautiful grassland."

The project is being watched not only by climate scientists but by paleontologists and environmentalists who have an interest in "rewilding."

"This is a very interesting experiment," said Adrian Lister, of the Natural History Museum in London. "I think it's valid from an ecological point of view to put back animals that did formerly live there," he told AP Television News. He disapproved of suggestions to rewild nonnative species — for example, relocating elephants and rhinos to the American plains.

Zimov began the project in 1989, fencing off 160 square kilometers (40,000 acres) of forest, meadows, shrub land and lakes. It is surrounded by another 600 square kilometers (150,000 acres) of wilderness.

It is an offshoot of the Northeast Science Station, which he founded and where he has lived for 30 years. Already icebound by October, the park is 40 kilometers (25 miles) inland from the station, accessible only by boat in summer and by snow vehicles after the rivers freeze.

A 32-meter (105-foot) tower inside the park gives constant readings of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor. The data feeds into a global monitoring system overseen by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Zimov's research on permafrost, greenhouse gas emissions and mammoth archaeology has attracted world scientists to his laboratories, a small cluster of cabins and a tiny chapel on a rocky bluff above a channel of the Kolyma River. A 20-bed barge is used for field trips in summer, and a $100,000 hovercraft is on order. Zimov sometimes uses an old Russian tank to bring supplies from the Chinese border, 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away.

Part of the station's attraction — and deterrence — is its remoteness. It is 6,600 kilometers (4,000 miles) and eight time zones east of Moscow. The nearby town of Chersky, with some 5,000 people, has few amenities, and the nearest city, Yakutsk, is a 4-1/2 flight. Many researchers, particularly Americans, prefer to work in Alaska or northern Canada, which are more accessible.

"Most of the Arctic is in Russia, and yet most of the Arctic research isn't," said Max Holmes, of Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, director of the Polaris Project, which has sent undergraduates to the station for the last three summers.

Zimov started the park with a herd of 40 Yakutian horses, a semi-wild breed with a handsomely long mane that is raised by Yakuts and other native people for their meat. Short, sturdy and broad-backed, they survive harsh Siberian winters with the help of a furry hide, thick layers of fat and the ability to paw through a meter (3 feet) of snow to forage.

Of his first herd, Zimov said 15 were killed by wolves and bears, 12 died from eating wild hemlock that grows in the park, and two slipped through the perimeter and made their way back some 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) to their original pastures.

But he bought more. Now the horses have learned to avoid poisonous plants and to resist predators. Over the last three years, more colts were born and survived than horses lost.

The challenge is to find the right balance between grazers and predators, and how to help his animals get through their first winters.

His workers still give occasional buckets of grain to the horses to supplement their diet with salt. About half the horses come regularly to the cabin where a caretaker stays year-round. The other half are rarely seen except for their tracks.

Zimov also has had problems with the moose that he brought inside his enclosure. Moose still live in small numbers in surrounding forests, and the males jump back and forth over the 6-foot-high fence.

In September he traveled to a nature reserve on Wrangel Island, about five hours by boat across the East Siberia Sea, and brought back six 4-month-old musk oxen. One died a few weeks later. The others are kept in a small enclosure and fed hay until they can fend for themselves.

His objective is to see whether a thriving population of grazing animals will regenerate grasslands that disappeared long ago, which would slow and even halt the accelerating pace of permafrost thaw. So far, he says, the results are encouraging.

Today he has 70 animals in the park. He wants thousands to restock Siberia. To bring 1,000 bison from North America would cost $1 million, Zimov says, a small price to pay.

"If permafrost melts, 100 gigatons of carbon will be released this century," he said. "What's $1 million? One regular grant."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Alien Gods: Krishna, The Divine Source

Arguments can be made that the evidence for ancient astronauts comes from supposed gaps in historical and archaeological records, and they also maintain that absent or incomplete explanations of historical or archaeological data point to the existence of ancient astronauts. The evidence is said to include archaeological artifacts that are beyond the presumed technical capabilities of the historical cultures with which they are associated. This also includes artwork and legends that are interpreted as depicting extraterrestrial contact or technologies.

Notwithstanding these contentions, let us say that there is an axiom to the ancient astronaut theory. Then we need to ask, who were these beings? What did they represent to the inhabitants of earth? Where these beings the ancient Gods of antiquity?

I would like to periodically chronicle my speculation of how the native people interpreted these unknown entities. This edition describes Krishna, The Divine Source.

Krishna is usually regarded as an avatar of Vishnu and in some traditions considered the Supreme Being. Lord Krishna is the embodiment of love and divine joy, that destroys all pain and sin. He is the protector of sacred utterances and cows. Krishna is an instigator of all forms of knowledge and born to establish the religion of love.

Tradition holds that Krishna saw Vishnu in a vision in which the former deity told Krishna to destroy Kamsa son of a demon, a tyrannical ruler of the world. Krishna's mother, Devaki, was Kamsa's half-sister. Kamsa already killed her first six sons because he had been told one of her sons would kill him. Krishna' elder brother, Devaki's seventh child, Balarama was miraculously saved by Vishnu.

Krishna was also saved when exchanged by his parents for the daughter of a herdsman Nanda and his wife Yasoda (the daughter was also a divine being, an incarnation of Maya). With his foster parents Krishna spent a happy life playing boyish pranks and seducing the gopis (cow girls) and other rustic maidens. They found his flute playing irresistible. Legend has it he may have had 16,000 wives. But his favorite was Radha, daughter of his foster father, and his childhood lover, although they did not marry.

According to legend Krishna was not only divine, but heroic as well. He is alleged to have defeated numerous dragons and monsters, and eventually as predicted, killed his half-uncle the tyrannical king Kamsa.

It was said that demi-gods or devas use to appear frequently to people and gave them technology and knowledge, they also interbred with the population. The Rishis were the keepers of the highest science and knowledge and they learned this from a "divine source".

Some examples of mortal and gods interaction:

Kunti got all her sons from the gods. She learnt how to summon these gods from a Rishi who gave her a mantra for each god. Also, Kunti's fathers grand father was actually a naga (shape shifting serpent)

Krishna's city of Dwarika and Ravans city of Lanka was built by Vishwakarma, who was the chief architect and engineer of the demi-gods. Vishwakarma was also to transport entire land masses. He also revealed the art of mechanical engineering and architecture to humans. And made the weapon "Agneyastra".

The demi-god Indra was where Arjuna (who was his son) obtained all his celestial futuristic weapons and his vimana (aeroplane).

Krishna, was "not of this Earth" and he knew all the demi-gods very well and they all revered him. In fact Krishna was implanted into the womb of mother of Krishna by a ray of light from the sky (virgin birth).

The story of Krishna also narrates the tale of how Shalva attacked the city of Dwarka with what appears to be a flying saucer.

On learning of Shishupala’s death, his friend, Salva, invoked Shiva and secured from him a flying saucer, a vimana that could travel anywhere in the world, in air, on the ground, under the sea. Using this vimana, Salva launched an attack on Dwaraka determined to avenge his friend’s death. Both Krishna and Balarama were in Indraprastha attending Yudhishtira’s coronation when this happened. So the defence of the city was left to the other Yadavas. Dwaraka was pounded by missiles from the skies. Krishna’s sons and grandsons put up a brave fight but were no match for Salva. When news of the aerial attack on Dwaraka reached Krishna, he hurried home and entered the battlefield immediately. First he shot an arrow with the Sharanga bow and brought Salva’s vimana down as if it was a bird. He then hurled the Kaumodaki mace and smashed the vimana to dust. Then raising the Nandaka sword, he beheaded Salva. The Yadavas were jubilant in victory.

Even the Ramayana talks about a flying chariot called pushpaka-vimana. To many the account of this chariot is not poetic imagination but historical evidence that airplanes existed in Vedic times. The chariot belonged to the yaksha-king Kubera. Ravana took it by force after driving Kubera out of Lanka. Ravana used the chariot to abduct Sita. After killing Ravana and rescuing Sita, Rama returned to the city of Ayodhya on this flying chariot.

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Dwarka is a city and a municipality of Jamnagar district in the Gujarat state in India. Dwarka is rated as one of the seven most ancient cities in the country. The legendary city of Dvaraka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dvaraka has submerged six times and modern day Dwarka is therefore the seventh such city to be built in the area.

Krishna was the charioteer during the War of Kurukshetra. While the war was on swing, Krishna was a witness to the death of Duryodhana (the eldest son of the blind king Dhritarashtra by Queen Gandhari and an avatar of the demon Kali). Immediately after, Krishna received the curse of Duryodhana`s mother, Gandhari for not rescuing his son. She was an ardent worshipper of Lord Vishnu and recognised Krishna as his incarnation. She equally believed and revered Krishna, but on seeing her son die she could not find any justification as to why Lord Krishna allowed such a thing to happen.

Gandhari cursed Lord Krishna that he would perish after thirty-six years, all alone and in a miserable state. All his followers, devotees, relatives and loved ones will also die simultaneously. When this time arrived in Krishna`s life; a madness seized the inhabitants of Dwaraka in such an extent that the people started to kill one another. All sons and grandsons of Krishna were also dead in the massacre. Only the women, Krishna and Balaram were alive in Dwaraka.

After a while Balaram isolated himself in a dense forest. Lord Krishna then went to his father, took blessings and left for the forest, where Balaram awaited him. He saw that his elder brother was sitting under a mighty tree on the fringes of the forest. Balaram was sitting in a posture of a Yogi, eventually a thousand headed snake, `Ananta naga` came out from his mouth and glided its way to the ocean. Soon, the ocean and other holy rivers came together to welcome Anant Naga into their realm.

Lord Krishna saw his brother depart from the real world and he started to wander in the forest. Finally he sat on the ground, started to think of Gandhari`s curse, and realized that the time for his departure has already arrived. He self-possessed his senses and concentrated on his Yoga. A hunter approached that spot of the forest and from a distant saw him and thought to be a deer. He loosed his shaft, took out the arrow, and mistakenly pierced Lord Krishna`s foot. He came hurried near to the Lord and saw him to be a man wrapped in yellow robes practicing yoga. The hunter immediately touched the feet of Lord Krishna and asked for apology.

Lord Krishna opened his eyes and comforted the hunter, then ascended towards the heaven, thus filling the whole sky with glory. After passing through Indra`s paradise, he reached his place at even higher strata. Krishna wives; including Rukmini became Sati and burned themselves on pyre. The rest of the women of Dwaraka became ascetics and nuns. After each and every living being of Dwaraka moved away to other places, the ocean came about and engulfed the city, thus leaving no trace of the land of Lord Krishna.