; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: 'Bownessie' Hoopla, Peru Alien Video and Potomac River Lobsters

Windermere Hotelier Milking Every Bit of 'Bownessie' Hoopla

newsandstar - The hotelier had thought he and colleague Andrew Tighe were alone on the lake when, out of the blue, he suddenly realised something powerful was going past him.

Early morning conditions couldn’t have been calmer – with waters mirror-like – as the managing director of Windermere’s Langdale Chase Hotel continued his training for an English Channel swim, accompanied by Mr Tighe in a rowing boat.

“We were going across the deeps, the deepest part of the lake,” he recalls.

“It was really calm. Then, all of a sudden, I felt something go past the back of my legs. It felt like a cruiser had gone past.

“Suddenly, this wave then lifted me up. I stopped and asked ‘what the hell was that? Get me out of here’.”

Mr Tighe, the Langdale’s general manager, feared for his friend as the follow-up ‘bow wave’ rose.

He said: “Looking back at that morning it is all a bit surreal. I was most concerned about Thomas. I didn’t know what it was.”

The whole experience, between 6.45am and 7am on July 29, 2009, lasted about 30 seconds.

After the drama unfolded, the lake went back to being completely flat – with the men confused as to what had just happened.

At first, Mr Noblett, 48, thought a submarine had passed him – with the Ministry of Defence perhaps doing some kind of secret testing. He described the feeling as “awful”.

It was only after another colleague at the hotel overheard them talking afterwards, that the realisation that it could be something else struck.

“We didn’t know what it could be. We were chatting about it in the kitchen and our chef said there was a report of something being sighted in the lake,” said Mr Tighe, 35.

Their experience, along with other sightings, have left the pair convinced there is something in the waters.

“One hundred per cent. There is something in there,” Mr Tighe said.

His colleague added: “We were non-believers beforehand. We didn’t give it a thought before. I was more concerned that a pike would bite me.”

Speculation as to whether Cumbria could have its own Loch Ness monster-type creature in Windermere has grown in the past week after a photograph emerged of what looks to be a four-humped creature in the water.

It was spotted by Tom Pickles and Sarah Harrington, who were kayaking across the water. They captured the image on a camera phone.

Theirs is thought to be the eighth report of so-called Bownessie being seen in the past five years.

Mr Noblett, who has swam in Windermere hundreds of times, believes this latest sighting adds weight to what he and his colleague have been saying since 2009, adding: “We’re quite pleased about it. It shows we were not using this as self-publicity for the hotel, area or the lake.”

Sporadic sightings of the creature have been made since the 1950s.

Various descriptions have seen its size range from anywhere between 25ft and 70ft and of being snake-like in appearance.

Although there is the old Nessie theory of the creature being something prehistoric that has somehow survived in the lake, both Mr Noblett and Mr Tighe believe the creature is most likely to be a giant eel.

Other theories are that the “monster” could be a giant catfish or a large pike with the creature feeding off char

Since their experience, the hotel bosses have worked with north east-based psychic Dean “Midas” Maynard on trying to unearth evidence about what is lurking in the waters.

Today they will join him on a boat conducting a sonar search of the lake to see if they can spot Bownessie or any more clues about its existence, using 3D imaging equipment.

Another boat search with more passengers joining them will be carried out tomorrow.

But, with Windermere 10.5 miles long, one mile wide and plunging to 220ft at its deepest point, with various caves and shelves, Mr Noblett, who has been at the Langdale 20 years after working in Bermuda, Dubai and London, admits the search is the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Whatever they do or don’t discover, however, his view about whether there is a creature in the water will not change.

And the businessman has information that there are others who have has possible sightings, but haven’t wanted to speak out about them.

He added: “Some have said they are glad we have brought it up. One sailor has said it was like a side of meat turning over and going underneath. He didn’t want to tell anybody in case he was ridiculed.

“You’re always going to get two camps in whatever you do in life. The ones who don’t believe will boo-hoo everything. If they haven’t experienced it themselves, they will say it is an old wives’ tale.”

Many of those who are believers or have spotted something suspicious and believe there is something in the water are people who are completely serious about the lake.

“That has made our experience a little more concrete,” Mr Noblett said.

Dan Nield, 30, an operations supervisor with Windermere Lake Cruises, will be among those on the boat searching the lake tomorrow.

He admits the speculation about what may be in the lake is interesting, but is a sceptical of whether there is a “monster” in there.

“Everyone loves a mystery. It would be nice if there was something out there, but I’m a sceptic,” said Mr Nield, who spends his working day on the lake.

“Some have said there are big catfish in there. They can grow as big as a couple of metres in length. Others have said it could be a string of otters. It’s interesting. The picture that came out last week surprised me. Lots of people have been asking about it, but whether it brings more tourists to the area, I don’t know. I wouldn’t think it would do tourism any harm.”

There’s no doubting that the intrigue surrounding what may lurk beneath the waters of Windermere could be lucrative.

A whole industry has spawned from the mystery at Loch Ness, with a visitor centre, souvenir shops, television documentaries and even a Hollywood film staring Ted Danson.

Cumbria Tourism bosses, whose headquarters are on the shores of the lake, say they are as keen as anyone to establish “whether the Bownessie phenomenon is fact or fiction”.

A spokesman added: “The truth is Windermere and Bowness are incredibly popular destinations and don’t need gimmicks to get people to visit.

“Nonetheless, at the start of the tourism year, it doesn’t do the industry any harm to have this kind of profile around the world.”

Mr Noblett believes Bownessie could become a visitor attraction.

“It will attract a different type of visitor. You are going to get people who say we don’t need any more tourist attractions here. They are the non-believers,” he said.

“But it can only help the businesses and the infrastructure of Cumbria. This is a happy story versus the catastrophes of the last couple of years in west Cumbria.

“People think Cumbria is an island. When the bridge went down in Workington they thought they couldn’t get in. It’s just the British way of thinking.”

Mr Tighe, the Langdale’s general manager for the past four-and-a-half years, also believes interest in what may be in the lake his high and added: “Most of our guests are interested.”

Executives at Windermere Lake Cruises, whose boats ferry people to stops up and down the lake, are not convinced Bownessie exists, but believe passengers will enjoy trying to spot it. They are offering a golden ticket prize of a year’s free cruises for anyone who captures a picture of the beast from one of their boats.

NOTE: Previous post - Bownessie Rears It's Ugly Humps Again...Lon


Whaaa? Lobsters found in Potomac River

wtop - Frankenfish with claws? Lobsters. Yes, lobsters have been seen in the fresh waters of the Potomac River.

The lobsters have been seen at Leesylvania State Park.

"It's definitely something you don't see everyday," says Kendra McMurray who saw them over the weekend.

"The odd thing is they were in perfect formation, lined up on the sand along with blue crabs and huge clams. It was puzzling to say the least.

"There were some feisty crabs out there, and at least one of the lobsters were still living when we approached them. My main concern was that their claws were free," McMurray tells WTOP in an e-mail.

Virginia state biologists say somebody is obviously releasing the saltwater crustaceans into the water.

Park rangers tell InsideNova it's a Chinese custom to release crustaceans back into the water after the new year.

The lobsters, likely released live, died once they were put in the water.

State biologists say there's concern the lobsters could carry parasites that would survive and cause disease in the river.


Cheetah military robot can outrun human beings

tgdaily - Boston Dynamics is working on two new robots for DARPA - one agile humanoid and one designed to outpace the fastest human runners.

The Cheetah robot is modeled on its namesake, with four legs, a flexible spine and an articulated head and neck - it may or may not have a tail, says the company.

The company says that not only will it be faster than any human being, but that it will be faster than any existing legged robot too. It will be able to make tight turns and accelerate rapidly - 'starting and stopping on a dime', the company says.

Based on the same control software and mechanical and electric systems as the company's other robots, Boston says the robot will be able to use momentum to bridge gaps, for example throwing or swinging itself from one set of handholds or footholds to the next.

Meanwhile, the humanoid Atlas robot will get about mainly on two legs, although it will also be able to use its hands for support and balance.

"Unlike Honda's Asimo and most other humanoid robots you've seen, Atlas will walk just like a man, using a head-to-toe walking motion, long strides and dynamic transfer of weight on each step, says Rob Playter, Atlas principal investigator and vice president of engineering.

"We have already achieved some advanced behavior in Petman, an anthropomorphic robot we developed for the Army, so Atlas can get a leg up on the problem by leveraging the Petman results."

The company says that both robots will have applications beyond the military, such as in emergency response situations and advanced agriculture.


Gravedigger Stole Body Parts To Make Ashtray Pipe

hungzai - Police say a gravedigger stole body parts - including a skull and a thigh bone - from a broken casket at a church cemetery and took them home to make an ashtray.

“While he was digging a grave, a casket was broken open, so (investigators) believe he took the body parts to make an ashtray and a pipe,” Police Lt. Kevin O’Brien told the Sentinel Enterprise of Fitchburg, MA.

Police discovered the theft when they went to his apartment Wednesday after his wife complained that her husband, Keith Chartrand, killed her dog. She said she found the body parts among his belongings.

Police charged Chartrand, 30, with removing a body from a grave and cruelty to animals.

Fitchburg District Court Judge Arthur Haley III ordered Chartrand held on $50,000 bail at a court hearing on Wednesday where Chartrand told the judge the charges against him was “bogus.”

Chartrand’s lawyer, Martin Maynard, did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press on Thursday.

The Rev. Edward Chalmers of St. Bernard’s Cemetery said he believed the remains probably were taken from an older part of the cemetery where many graves did not have vaults.


Video: Peru Alien?

Don't know what to make of this one....

Click for video