Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Daily Earthquakes in Small Town, Demons Are Real and More Mass Fish Deaths


Small town gets a dozen earthquakes EVERY DAY after gas drilling goes awry

dailymail - A small American town has become one of the earthquake capitals of the world after suffering more than a dozen tremors every single day.

Residents of Guy in Arkansas have lived through thousands of minor quakes in just six months after gas drilling apparently destabilised the earth beneath them.

So frequent are the tremors - which go up to four on the Richter scale - that they have been given their own name: the Guy earthquake swarm.

Only a fraction have been felt and the only damage so far has been a cracked window of a snack bar.

Locals however have reported strange shifts in the ground, odd movements and bizarre noises as the Earth moves beneath them.

They claim that the tremors began when a gas company began drilling nearby in a geological formation called the Fayetteville shale.

The companies dig deep wells which are injected with water, sand and chemicals at high pressure to get access to to gas pockets.

Secondary wells have to be dug for disposal of the waste, putting further strain on the area.

Residents in Guy claim that when the wells appeared, including one opposite the school, the shaking started.

Following complaints a state moratorium was imposed on any more drilling while an investigation is carried out, although scientists say they have already pinpointed the cause.

Scott Ausbrooks, a geologist with the Arkansas Geological Survey, said: ‘All this activity happened after these wells had gone online.

'What you could be looking at is a case where the strain was already there. You’d be fast-forwarding the clock,’ he told the New York Times.

His team have also already said there is ‘strong temporal and spatial’ evidence for a link between the drilling and the quakes.

Such a phenomenon has happened in the area around Guy twice before, however.

The worst was in the 1980s when the Enola swarm caused 550 quakes in six months with thousands of smaller tremors. Guy, by comparison has, had 640 over a comparable period.

In both instances, however, thousands of smaller tremors were recorded.

The state moratorium covering a 600-square-mile area around Guy is being reviewed on a month-by-month basis, although several wells are still operating subject to regular reporting.

Charles Morgan, a lawyer representing Poseidon Energy Services, which drilled one of the gas wells in Guy, said there was ‘no casual connection’ between the drilling and the tremors.

‘The evidence is anecdotal at best,’ he said.

Despite Guy’s record, it still has some way to go before it is the earthquake capital of the world.

The most closely watched earthquake town on Earth is Parkfield in California which sits atop the San Andreas fault, closely followed by nearby Hollister and Coalinga.

Tremors happen on an hourly basis in Parkfield and every few years residents can expect one of at least six on the Richter scale to rattle their homes.

Among the biggest was the first to be recorded in 1857, a foreshock to the great Fort Tejon earthquake which ruptured the fault from Parkfield to the south-east for over 180 miles.

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Exorcist depicted in movie says demons are real

wnct - The real-life priest depicted by Anthony Hopkins in the movie "The Rite" says most of the people who come to him seeking exorcism suffer from psychological rather than demonic issues.

But the Rev. Gary Thomas says he has performed exorcisms -- in Rome where he was trained and in California's Diocese of San Jose.

Thomas says paganism, fortune telling, witchcraft, serious drug abuse, sexual abuse and pornography are all "doorways" to demonic possession.

In one case, he says he saw the face of a woman who had been involved in witchcraft become distorted and "very serpentine," and she began coiling like a snake in his parlor.

He says exorcism always involves casting out the demon "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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Police tell wannabe superhero to 'back off'

gammasquad - It seems like there’s been a rash of people pretending to be superheroes recently. They pop up, get a bit of news coverage, then fade off into obscurity. They usually don’t even do anything that would make the cops take any interest (and they’re usually pretty interested in masked mystery men). But the superhero that “patrols” Columbia, Tennessee, The Viper, has gotten the police’s attention…they’ve just told him to stop his silliness.

When cops recently stopped The Viper on his patrol and found him armed with a utility belt filled with a screwdriver, wrenches and a cell phone, which he said that he’d use to report any crimes he saw. But it turns out there are laws in Columbia against wearing a mask in public. So, it looks like The Viper will be hanging up is bootleg “Kick Ass” costume and going back to his college classes.

Now, normally I’d point out how the ABC news about The Viper uses the same slightly condescending tone that the news usually reserves for comic-book-related stories. But if this story doesn’t deserve to be mocked, nothing does.

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A sign of the times: "Can you empty that till for me, please?"

As the owner of a Shell gas station, John Henry has been robbed before. But he never expected a theft like this.

The thief kept apologizing while holding up the gas station in White Center, and all of it was captured by surveillance cameras.

Everything seemed normal enough when the mild-mannered thief walked into the store, forking over $1.30 for a cup of coffee.

But then came the twist.

Thief: "Now if you'd do me a favor."

Clerk: "Yes."

Thief: "Can you empty that till for me, please? Put it right here."

Clerk: "What do you mean?"

Thief: "Put the till right here. I'm robbing you."

Clerk: "You sure?"

Thief: "Yes, I'm sure."

Working behind the counter was Henry, the owner of the Shell station.

The man, Henry said, was as polite as possible but brandishing what looked to be a real handgun. He told Henry he had to do this for his children.

Thief: "I'm really sorry to have to do this, but I've got kids."

Clerk: "How about if I give you $40 and this is it?"

Thief: "Well, I can't do that, sir. I've got rent to pay. I've got bills, and the kids need to eat."

Henry handed over $300 in cash, genuinely believing the thief desperately needed money, but highly skeptical for what reason.

"He told that me he needed the money for his kids, and he looked like 65 years old," Henry said. "It's not true, because if you're 65 years old, you are not going to have kids."

The robbery took place around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

The man did nothing to conceal his identity, and his every move was captured by the 14 surveillance cameras installed inside and outside the gas station.

Before he calmly walked away, he made Henry a promise:

"Thank you very much, I really appreciate it. And I'm sorry. And if I ever get back on my feet again, sir, I'll bring it back."

Detectives arrested a suspect in the case on Monday after Henry made an identification in a photo lineup. The 65-year-old man was captured in the Top Hat area.


Click for video

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Thousands more dead fish wash up on U.S. beach in latest mass death mystery

dailymail - First it was birds falling out of the sky in Louisiana and Texas. Then scores of devil crabs were found dead on a beach in England.

Now, in the latest unexplained mass animal death to hit the headlines this year alone, thousands of fish have again washed up dead in Florida.

This follows similar incidents where large schools of fish were found lifeless on beaches in Arkansas, Maryland and New Zealand in January.

What caused the fish in this latest incident to die is not yet known, but biologists believe they may have been killed due to a lack of oxygen in the water.

Fishermen at Sebastian Inlet State Park first made the grim discovery on Friday.

'I saw the fish jumping out there and I thought it was going to be a really good day for fishing, and then I noticed over here in the surf that they're all dead,' fisherman Jeff Johnson told WPBF 25 News.

'It's a little shocking, yes. I don't know if there's chemicals in the water or the temperatures that caused this.'

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are in the midst of carrying out tests on water samples but they do not suspect that chemicals or cold temperatures are to blame.

Instead they are checking for signs algae in the water which can lead to a lack of oxygen.

FWC biologist, Kelli O'Donnell, said: 'Just because there's such a large school of them, they use up the oxygen really quickly, and because they are coming closer to shore, there's not as high of a water turnover rate sometimes when you're in an area with not as much tidal flow.'

The majority of the dead fish were Menhaden, which are widely used in the U.S. for oil, fish meal, and fertiliser. Biologists also recorded Spot fish, Spade, Snook and Spot Tail Pin fish among the bodies.

Only last month thousands of dead fish were found floating in a warm creek in Port Orange, Florida.

Two million fish were found dead on shores in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland and days before an estimated 100,000 drum fish were found dead along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.

This was blamed on disease while the deaths in Maryland were due to the stress caused by unusually cold water and over breeding among spot fish, according to the Maryland department of environment.

Preliminary tests of the water in Chesapeake Bay showed the quality was acceptable, officials said at the time.

Mass winter deaths among spot fish have occurred twice before in the Maryland area - in 1976 and 1980.

Biologists said the cause of the Port Orange deaths were due to the cold snap in January but hundreds of snapper fish were also found dead in New Zealand last month.

As well as fish, this year thousands of Turtle Doves rained down on roofs and cars in Italy while thousands of birds were found dead on a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

MASS DEATH LIST: EVENTS THIS YEAR

* Thousands of turtle doves fall out of the sky smashing onto roofs and cars in Faenza, Italy
* 450 red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings found littering a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
* 3,000 blackbirds on roofs and roads in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas
* Thousands of 'devil crabs' washed up along the Kent coast near Thanet
* Thousands of drum fish washed along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River
* Two million small fish in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
* Thousands of dead fish found floating in warm Florida creek
* Hundreds of snapper fish found dead in New Zealand
* Scores of American Coots found dead on Texas highway bridge

Three thousand blackbirds fell on roofs and roads in Beebe, Arkansas and scores of American Coots were found dead on Texas highway bridge.

The cold snap was also blamed for the deaths of 40,000 Velvet swimming crabs - known as 'devil crabs - found littering beaches in Kent, England.

Experts have speculated that New Year fireworks, thunderstorms, cold weather, parasites and even poisoning may be behind the deaths.

But conspiracy theorists have also speculated on the internet that secret government experiments could be behind them, with some even claiming it was a sign of a looming Armageddon at the end of the Mayan calendar next year.

Another theory is that the rapid movement of the Magnetic North Pole towards Russia may have affected the birds' innate navigation systems.

Inbuilt navigation systems in birds and fish is believed to be affected by magnetism. Scientists have said the Magnetic North Pole is shifting at an average of around 25 miles a year.

With birds and fish relying on it to travel to breeding grounds and warmed climes, there are fears that the shifting pole could be confusing the animals which means they do not migrate in time to avoid cold weather.