; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Serbian 'Magnet Boy', North Korea Uprisings and Death-Wish Cities

Serbian 'Magnet Boy'

dailymail - A seven-year-old boy in Serbia is attracting worldwide attention after his family claim he is magnetic.

To prove their claim, the family paraded the boy in front of an camera crew, with a variety of objects stuck to his chest.

The boy, called Bogdan, seemed unfazed by the attention - nor did he seem to mind having a variety of cutlery stuck to his body.

The footage ended up on MSNBC, where reporter Al Stirrett said Bodgan did indeed have a unique ability.

Mr Stirrett told MailOnline that the family did not offer their last name, possibly because of the age of the boy.

Nevertheless, they're happy to show off Bodgan's ability - which they claim he has had since birth.

The footage shows Bogdan first with a variety of cutlery attached to him, then a TV remote control is added to his body.

They say the objects stay there until Bogdan removes them by hand.

Bizarrely, it's not just metal that seems to be attracted to the youngster. China plates and bowls seem to adhere themselves to Bogdan's chest as well.

Any feelings that Bogdan might be nothing more than a sticky little boy are dispelled when a large and heavy frying pan is stuck to his body.

The family say Bogdan is not allowed to go near anything electrical, such as a television or a computer, because his alleged magnetism turns them off.

The good news, however4, is that he will never lose the TV remote control.


Grave Robbers in New Jersey

NJ - One was a little boy, dead by age 2, his body laid to rest on a gently sloping hill in Perth Amboy.

The other was a man who lived 70 years longer. Joseph Lamela died in 1977, his final resting place a granite mausoleum in Woodbridge.

Strangers in life, the two are entwined in death, their remains stolen from separate cemeteries in recent months for use in what authorities say could be the rituals of a religious cult.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office asked for the public’s help today in finding those responsible for the macabre thefts at Catholic cemeteries little more than two miles apart.

In a statement, a spokesman for Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said the unidentified grave-robbers may be involved in a "non-traditional religious practice." The spokesman, Jim O’Neill, declined to elaborate.

Some religious sects use human remains in ceremonies. Several practitioners of one such religion, Palo Mayombe, were convicted in 2004 of robbing graves in two Newark cemeteries. In that case, authorities recovered the remains of at least nine people.

The thefts under investigation now were discovered nearly three months apart at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Perth Amboy and Most Holy Rosary Cemetery in the Fords section of Woodbridge. Both are operated by the Diocese of Metuchen.

Joanne Ward, a spokeswoman for the diocese, joined police in asking anyone with information to come forward. In a statement, she said officials with the diocese and the individual parishes were "deeply saddened" by the acts of desecration.

The first theft was discovered Nov. 28, when a visitor at St. Mary’s noticed an open grave and contacted police, O’Neill said. Investigators soon learned the remains of the 2-year-old boy had been removed.

Then on Feb. 15, a passerby at Most Holy Rosary Cemetery noticed a granite mausoleum had been disturbed. Authorities found one of the crypt’s two occupants, a 72-year-old man, had been taken.

The names of the victims were not released. In Lamela’s case, a reporter in the cemetery discovered a damaged mausoleum and reached out to family members by phone. Kathleen Lamela, a resident of Somerset, confirmed Joseph Lamela’s remains had been stolen. She said the family would have no comment.

The remains of Bertha Lamela, Joseph Lamela’s wife, remained undisturbed in the crypt. Bertha Lamela died in 2000.

Chunks of granite, apparently dislodged during the break-in, remained on the ground beside the crypt. Several decorative pieces were chipped or broken.

Word of the grave-robbing drew Louis Panigrosso to the Woodbridge cemetery from his home in Brick. In the 1970s, he said, his parents’ mausoleum had been vandalized, a statue stolen from the interior.

"I heard about this and decided to take a ride up here to check," Panigrosso said. He was relieved to find the crypt untouched.

In the Perth Amboy cemetery, the graves rest along a gentle hill that backs to the city’s high school. One grave — that of a 2-year-old boy who died more than 40 years ago — had fresh dirt atop it. It could not be determined if the grave was the one desecrated.


Have a death-wish? Visit these cities.....

mediadump - If you are traveling alone or decide to backpack to a faraway place with your friends, there are some locations you should be weary of. These cities have been mentioned by top news and crime sites with some pretty shocking statistics.

10 - Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is the #1 producer of opium and heroin in the world. A major transit for those drugs is the capital Bangkok. Therefore making it unsafe. Last year they had, 20,000 assaults, 13,500 burglaries, and 5,000 murders. That ranks top in south East Asia. The violence and crime due to social unrest makes Bangkok top 10 for sure.

9 - Guatemala City, Guatemala

The government is very corrupt, they get paid off every day by the drug lords. Guatemala City is a hot spot in South America for drug smugglers, and foreign mobs. There is a high crime rate in this capital city, and many tourists are victims of armed robbery, rape and even murder. Do not walk the streets at night, and forget about your wallet and jewelry.

8 - Baghdad, Iraq

It doesn't matter who you are, you're not safe in Iraq. It is a ruined nation that is rattled with crime and violence. A lot of despair in Baghdad. Since the war started in 2003, the US has been in Iraq which has led to a civil war. More than 650,000 civilians have died. Hussein has destroyed this countries reputation. Al-Qaeda and Kurdish rebels and criminals are involved in violence that goes on every day. Explosives and mines are a constant threat, as are suicide bombers who have killed thousands. Kidnappings and random killings happen every day. Since the US got there in 2003, millions of Iraqis have fled to other countries and millions more in Iraq remains displaced. Nuclear devices to poison the people there and the inherent gunfire killing civilians everyday makes Baghdad truly hell on earth.

7 - Grozny, Chechnya, Russia

There is more Russian Mafia in this place than police. This city is not run by government officials, but by gangsters. A Russian is murdered here every 20 minutes. That's almost 85 murders a day. Sure there is 100's of millions of people in Russia, but that's an astonishing stat. Prostitution and drug trafficking run by the Russian crime syndicate or definitely real in this place. Kidnappings and rapes, just to name a handful of tests you will face when you visit here. Chechnya is absolutely a third world city. Foreigners should think twice before visiting here.

6 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you're planning on traveling to Brazil, think twice. It is not a matter of where your mugged it is when. When you get off the plane in Rio, they hand you a pamphlet that tells people they should have no jewelry any wallet policy when they walk around. Crime rates have soared over the past 2 yrs. A drug cartel, called the Piranhas, resides in Rio, and they are responsible for many murders and abductions. There were 8000 murders in Rio last year, that is close to 20 murders a day. Most of the murders happen in the poverty stricken areas, but the city as a whole is growing in severe poverty problems.

5 - Bogota, Colombia

Bogota is the main port for drugs and guns coming up from Colombia to Panama. People get murdered in plain daylight every day. Forget going out at night. You need to be packing heat. It beats most South American cities by far. I think that carrying a machete around on your back, is a very good way to avoid a mugging. It's also easily explained to immigration, as long as there's some jungle around. Speaking the local language and knowing a little about fighting is a good idea, just in case. I would avoid Bogota if traveling to South America.

4 - Cape Town, South Africa

Murder and robbery stats have been very high for many years in Cape Town. In one year they had 71,500 sexual offenses, 18,400 burglaries and 13,900 business robberies. There are approximately 50 murders a day in South Africa and more than 1/2 of those murders are in Cape Town. The city is in a huge recession making robberies very common. Cape Town is in a great state of poverty, making crime a part of the peoples everyday life. Going out at night is not advised.

3 - Mogadishu, Somalia

It is really hard to find statistical information on this city, but I know I've seen it on the top of many lists. Even with no data to report on this city, the governments warning to travel here is extremely high. Mogadishu has one of the highest terrorist populations in the world. There is an ongoing civil war going on in Somalia's capital, which poses a huge risk to anyone traveling there. Hundreds of people are wounded every day in Mogadishu's empty streets. No one knows how many people are actually killed there, but the numbers would be outrageous. Looting, prowling, kidnapping, gunfire, etc... makes Mogadishu one of the top 3 most dangerous cities.

2 - Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

This place has a serious problem with robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault and drug-related crimes. 120 killings per 100,000 residents. Ciudad Juarez is located just across the USA border. It has 1.5 million people and a really bad reputation. Recently drug Cartels have started a war against one another, making it very dangerous for travelers. This place is violent. They are the number two city in the world for murders, most of them drug-related. 50% of all murders in Mexico come from Ciudad Juarez.

1 - Caracas, Venezuela

Latin America is by far the most dangerous place in the world. If you searched dangerous places on the internet, you would find at least 20 South American countries on the list. With drug cartels, and poverty, Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, ranks the highest for murder and crime in the world. Per 100,000 people this city has the highest rate of murders, kidnappings, and rapes in 2009. 130 murders and 537 reported kidnappings. They have nicknamed the city the murder capital of the world. Not to mention Venezuela is the world leader in drug trafficking mainly cocaine. The country has increased its poverty level since the 1970's 300%. In the last 5 yrs. Caracas has topped the list for homicides by population. You better be a mobster if you plan on visiting Caracas.


Snakebites: a growing, global threat

A cryptic shape glides across the forest floor, searching, tasting the air, hunting for its next victim.

Over 2m-long, this predator packs a powerful punch; a venom capable of killing up to five people with a single bite.

This ability makes the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, like many species of venomous snake, among the most feared and maligned of all creatures.

New research suggests that the problem of snakes accidentally biting people could be worse than previously thought, with deadly consequences for both snakes and their human victims.

The latest estimates suggest that around 5.5 million people are bitten by snakes each year, resulting in around 400,000 amputations, and between 20-125,000 human deaths.

But these estimates are unlikely to represent the true scale of the problem, one that experts fear is causing a neglected, and potentially growing global health issue.

Efforts are now underway to try learn more about the issue, mitigate its impacts, and find ways that snakes and people can more peacefully coexist. Continue reading at Snakebites: a growing, global threat


Uprisings Have Spread to North Korea

chosun - The North Korean Army's Guard Command, a military unit tasked with protecting leader Kim Jong-il, is hiding scores of tanks in Pyongyang to quell any popular uprising, Radio Free Asia claimed Tuesday.

The U.S.-funded radio station quoted a defector from Pyongyang as saying, "There is a battalion of about 50 tanks from the Guard Command in the Taedong River area in eastern Pyongyang. They stage a field exercise about once a year."

He said the tanks used to move only at the night to escape public notice. "All are hidden underground. I heard from families of officers of the tank battalion that there are also tanks in an underground near Moranbong," a hill in downtown Pyongyang.

Kim Kwang-jin, another defector who works for the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, said there used to be a battalion of tanks in an underground area beneath the Kumsusan Assembly Hall while Kim Il-sung was alive, but he was unsure whether it is still there.

The tanks are ready to move in response to riots or demonstrations, the radio station speculated.

Jong Su-chol (45), a former North Korean Army officer, said, "Major weapons and elite troops of the Guard Command are deployed in Pyongyang. The command is also armed with missiles."

The guard is reportedly so well equipped and trained that it could immediately put down a military coup.

N.Korean Protesters Demand Food and Electricity

Small pockets of unrest are appearing in North Korea as the repressive regime staggers under international sanctions and the fallout from a botched currency reform, sources say. On Feb. 14, two days before leader Kim Jong-il's birthday, scores of people in Jongju, Yongchon and Sonchon in North Pyongan Province caused a commotion, shouting, "Give us fire [electricity] and rice! "

A North Korean source said people fashioned makeshift megaphones out of newspapers and shouted, "We can't live! Give us fire! Give us rice!" "At first, there were only one or two people, but as time went by more and more came out of their houses and joined in the shouting," the source added.

The State Security Department investigated this incident but failed to identify the people who started the commotion when they met with a wall of silence.

"When such an incident took place in the past, people used to report their neighbors to the security forces, but now they're covering for each other," the source said.