; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: The Human Pincushion, Chupacabras? Nope...Mangy Bear and Resurrecting Hollywood's Dead

The Mystery of the 'Human Pincushion'

Arnold Gerritt Henske was a Dutch artist and designer with a paranormal bent. In 1933, he changed his name to Mirin Dajo (Esperanto for “Amazing Dajo”) and took the stage. His performance? Having his assistant impale his hypnotized body with swords and rapiers. What at first glance looks like a striking version of an Andrew Mayne illusion, was actually something quite different.

It was real.

Doctors with x-ray machines confirmed: the weapons were penetrating his body, missing major organs somehow. He walked and even ran with swords sticking out of him, and all this took place with little or no bloodshed, even when the implement was removed.

How was this possible? Some say Dajo trained with Indian fakirs to learn the ancient art of body piercing, but as famed late magician Ali Bongo points out, no one in India was doing anything close to the feats Dajo was demonstrating.

When I first encountered this video, I showed it to author and former magician James “The Amazing” Randi for his take on it. He agreed that it was real, and that they were carefully avoiding major organs. He added that it probably hurt like hell. Dajo also swallowed razor blades and glass, which are feats that can be accomplished by experienced magicians and side show carnies.

Mirin Dajo used his “skill” to promote belief in the supernatural and demonstrate that, as swords could not hurt him, materialism was false. Humans could transcend the laws of physics if only they had enough faith in God. Sadly for Dajo, local governments would often refuse to give him a license to speak, though they would allow him to perform.

He claimed to hear voices from “guardian angels” that told him what to do. He also claimed that he’d been burned with red-hot pokers and shot in the head at close range, but these stunts were not filmed or otherwise documented. In some places, audiences became alarmed and organized prayer rallies asking God to intervene and stop this man from practicing sorcery.

Dr. Jennifer Saw, upon examining the video, suggests that he was creating a fistula, much like an earring hole. By gradually increasing puncture holes that carefully avoided his organs, scar tissue created a tube which would allow swords to pass through without harm.

He is said to have performed this feat over 500 times. In the video, you can see that is back is scarred from multiple punctures, though the bandages on his arms are unexplained. Also unexplained is how he dealt with the pain.

In May 1948, following the advice of his angels, Mirin Dajo swallowed a very large steel needle. He had it surgically removed two days later, and fell into a “trance.” Thee days later, the “trance” was discovered to be “death,” and the case of Mirin Dajo, age 36, was closed. Cause of death: a ruptured aorta, though many of his followers deny that.

The legacy of Arnold Gerritt Henske demonstrates that you can engage in extremely risky behaviors and impress people, but the odds will eventually catch up with you.

Click for video


Navy steps closer to producing ultimate laser weapon

smartplanet - A recent breakthrough may lead to a powerful laser that gives U.S. Navy ships the upper hand in combat.

As part of the U.S. Navy’s research into developing a unique technology called Free Electron Laser or FEL, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have announced that they’ve successfully built and tested a device called an injector that can produce the type of electrons needed to generate weapons-grade megawatt laser beams.

Originally invented in 1976 by John Madey, a physicist at Stanford University, the Free Electron Laser was of particular interest for personnel working under the Defense Department’s Strategic Defense Initiative, better known as Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” program.

And there’s a reason why.

Typically, lasers are generated by a machine that uses a combination of energy, mirrors and a lens to excite certain atoms to the point of emitting light particles called photons and then turning them into an intense and focused beam of light. Every laser operates on a specific wavelength, which is determined by the “lasing medium,” or in layman’s terms, the type of atoms used to produce the laser.

But FELs are generated with an entirely different technology that involve having an injector send a pulse of supercharged electrons through a particle accelerator, which allows for the beam to be fired at a wide range of wavelengths and for a long period of time. This means that FEL machines can be configured to shoot lasers at frequencies where the beam won’t weaken much as it travels through the air. Other lasers tend to get absorbed and scattered by moisture in the atmosphere.

Against an enemy, a weapons-grade caliber FEL would be an enormous advantage. Warships equipped with this technology can now shoot down incoming missiles regardless of environmental conditions. The laser can also be fired continuously without downtime between shots, making it capable of taking out multiple targets simultaneously. The achievement of a weapons-grade FEL would be such a boost to the Navy that science and fiction writer Doug Beason has called it the “Holy Grail of Lasers.”

For now, the current FEL power record is 14 kilowatts — a step closer, but still quite a distance from the 70 kilowatts necessary to make a 1 megawatt beam, laser engineer Olivia Koski graciously pointed out to us on Twitter. (She also noted that as little as 100 kilowatts is potent enough for a weapon.)

The U.S. Navy, which recently acquired Madey’s FEL, has committed to pouring 163 million dollars into research they hope would deliver a testable prototype by 2018. And as progress continues, FELs might bring us closer to what is becoming an increasingly sci-fi era of warfare.


Musicians killed in Mexico after refusing to play more songs for audience

Leaving the audience wanting more is the goal of every musician, unless you're a musician in violence-torn Mexico. Two members of local group La Excelencia were murdered in a Guadalajara bar early Monday morning after refusing to play more songs past closing time.

Jonathan Martinez, 22, and Gustavo Alejandro, 35, were pronounced dead outside the Vida Divina nightclub, gunned down by unidentified assailants with suspected ties to the country's notorious drug gangs. A third victim, identified as bar patron Leslie Soltero, 26, was taken to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to her ankle.

When La Excelencia's performance came to an end around 4 a.m. local time, four reportedly intoxicated and aggressive audience members demanded the musicians continue playing. Sensing trouble, the group extended its set by two songs, but was eventually forced to pull the plug by the bar's owner. Out of nowhere, one of the instigators threw a grenade at the stage. The explosion injured one person and had panicked customers running for the exits.

Martinez and Alejandro were among those who fled the bar, but they were met at the front door by a hail of bullets, presumably from the same four men who had harassed them earlier. By the time police arrived at the scene, the killers had already escaped by car. No witnesses were able to identify the getaway vehicle.


Man shoots mangy bear cub....thought it was Chupacabras

news10 - GEORGETOWN, CA - To handyman Frank Gallo, the creature that almost attacked him beside his rural trailer several days ago looked like the legendary Chupacabra.

"Scared the hell out of me," Gallo said. "It crouched and faced me and I shot two warning shots at it - 357-magnum, from 20-feet."

The shots seemed to have no effect and Gallo kept firing during the encounter.

"He looked down at where he'd been shot and let out a cry that sounded like, maybe a six year old girl. Ahhhhhh, really loud," Gallo said.

When Gallo saw the animal up close, it was even stranger.

"If you could feel this thing, if you could touch it, it's skin is like an elephant," Gallo said.

The animal had huge claws, canine-like teeth and almost no fur on its body. However, it was the animal's lack of fur that tipped off California Department of Fish and Game Warden Patrick Foy.

"(It's) probably a juvenile bear and has developed some type of an ailment that's caused it's skin to shed all of it's fur," Foy said.

To Gallo, it looked more like, the supposedly, mythical creature known in Mexico as a Chupacabra.

Gallo scoured the Internet, looking for images and information on the Chupacabra.

"Something like this (animal) will hit an animal, knock it down, grab it and suck the blood out of it. That's where the name Chupacabra comes from, it's Spanish for goat-sucker,"Gallo said.

"Could be a fairly new species, you know. Could be a mutation," Gallo said.

However the pictures told Foy it was more likely a bear. Late Tuesday evening, a game warden picked up the animal and confirmed Foy's suspicions that it was a young bear.

It may take several days to determine what caused the bear to lose it's fur.

"Somebody with an untrained eye would look at this and think that this was a pretty creepy-looking character," Foy acknowledged.

Gallo is not convinced.

"Doesn't move anything like a bear, didn't act like a bear. Doesn't make sounds like a bear," Gallo said. "There are skeptics and there are people that are open-minded."


Now, George Lucas plans to resurrect the dead

gizmodo - According to Mel Smith—friend of George Lucas and director of Radioland Murders—the creator of Star Wars is "buying up the film rights to dead actors." He says that Lucas plans to resurrect them in future movies using 3D technology:

George has been buying up the film rights to dead actors in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together, so you'd have Orson Welles and Barbara Stanwyck alongside today's stars.

Of course, this is the British tabloid The Sun but, knowing the amazing digital 3D actor work in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Tron Legacy, Mel Smith's revelations don't surprise me at all. In fact, the possibility of doing this has been rumored in Hollywood for a while, but, if true, this seems the first actual news of someone buying "film rights" to dead movie stars.

In the words of Luke Skywalker: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" This has so much evil potential for perpetrating crimes against common sense and good taste that it boggles my mind. Maybe we shouldn't forgive Lucas, after all.