; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Exorcists Needed, Royal Wedding UFO and Psychic Buried Alive

Church Leaders Call For More Exorcist Training Against Evil

catholicnews - A call to arms -- to take up the weapons of the rosary and prayer -- rang out at a recent international conference on exorcism in Rome.

The church needs more training of both priests and laypeople in fighting the influence of the devil and bringing spiritual healing to those in need, attendees said.

"This is warfare. We've gotten way behind. We've lost the concept of spiritual warfare," said Msgr. Marvin Mottet, the official exorcist of the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa.

The 80-year-old retired priest said that about once a month he sees a serious case of possession and "tons" of cases of demonic influence in which people are being "bothered or attacked by evil spirits." Those kinds of cases, he said, are "a daily thing."

Msgr. Mottet was one of 60 people attending a course on exorcism and Satanism at the Legionaries of Christ's Regina Apostolorum University in Rome March 28-April 2. The annual event is co-sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Congregation for Clergy.

The course, which does not train people to become exorcists, attracted many people who were already familiar and experienced with exorcism; 10 were from the United States. The majority of participants were priests, but some were lay doctors, psychologists or parishioners active in prayer ministry.

The course looks at the theological and spiritual elements of exorcism as well as the psychological, sociological and criminal aspects of demonic cults, sects and Satanism.

During the breaks and question-and-answer periods, priests eagerly shared theories and "war stories" of strange or difficult cases of possession -- all of which could have made fine fodder for a Hollywood screenwriter's brainstorming session.

Msgr. Mottet and other exorcists said just as there are different levels of the devil's influence on a person, so there are different methods to counter it -- with exorcism being reserved to priests who have their bishop's permission and are certain the person is experiencing real demonic possession.

The more common problems of temptation and general demonic influence or activity, they said, can be resolved by receiving the sacraments, especially the sacrament of Reconciliation, or prayers for healing and deliverance, which trained lay Catholics can recite.

A parish priest should discern when a person needs medical, psychological or pastoral care and when a session of healing or deliverance prayers, rather than exorcism, is needed, they said.

"We shouldn't overwork the exorcists. The parish priest should be training laypeople to do deliverance," Msgr. Mottet said.

Father Gabriele Nanni, an exorcist for the Diocese of Teramo, Italy, and an expert on the history of the exorcism rite, was one of the speakers at the course.

He said fasting and reciting the prayers for the dead or invoking the Virgin Mary are extremely effective in freeing people from demonic influence.

But Father Nanni warned that priests and the faithful should never look at the prayers and rites of exorcism as being "a magic formula."

He said too much debate over which prayer or rite is better risks taking attention away from the fact that the real power at work in healing is the infinite mercy of God, not which kind of prayers are used to invoke that mercy.

People involved in healing have to really believe the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ "broke ties of the devil's power" over mankind, he said.

Father Nanni and Msgr. Mottet said it's not the priest or the person praying that is doing the work of liberation, it is God, Mary, Jesus or the saint being invoked. "The power is in the name of Jesus, not your voice; you don't have to yell," said the monsignor.

Some participants and speakers said they're convinced demonic influence has increased drastically, in part because of the growth of "La Santa Muerta" in Mexico and other cults, voodoo, witchcraft and Satanic practices, as well as increasing secularism and lack of connection with God and the sacraments.

"The devil 'needs' us," Father Nanni said. The devil "is like a sophisticated car or tool without fuel, without energy, and through the sin of man" he gathers strength "and uses us like a battery to recharge," he said.

The devil has more power today precisely because there is more sin, he said.

But when there is more holiness, when people begin to forgive others, choose the good and be merciful, that's less strength for the devil and all of humanity benefits, Father Nanni said.

People think that if they remove God from their lives, they will be freer, said Conventional Franciscan Father John Farao, a prison chaplain in the Diocese of Monterrey, Calif.

"But there is no neutral space. There is light and there is dark. If you leave the light, you open the door to darkness," he said.

Father Farao said, "People are afraid to believe there is a devil who can seriously affect their lives." Even Catholics "want to see the kind, gentle shepherd and not look at the demons," he said.

"Few people want to face the fact that we're in a spiritual battle. People don't want conflict," he added.

Pope Benedict XVI has often spoken about the existence of the devil and, at the start of Lent, urged Christians to make a commitment to "take Jesus' side against sin" and "engage in spiritual battle against the spirit of evil."

Going to church regularly, taking part in the sacraments and having "a strong spiritual life is the greatest protection against Satan's interaction in our lives," said Father Farao.


Flotsam From Japan's Tsunami To Hit US West Coast

kirotv - John Anderson has discovered just about everything during the 30 years he's combed Washington state's beaches - glass fishing floats, hockey gloves, bottled messages, even hundreds of mismatched pairs of Nike sneakers that washed up barnacled but otherwise unworn.

The biggest haul may come in one to three years when, scientists say, wind and ocean currents eventually will push some of the massive debris from Japan's tsunami and earthquake onto the shores of the U.S. West Coast.

"I'm fascinated to see what actually makes it over here, compared to what might sink or biodegrade out there," said Anderson, 57, a plumber and avid beachcomber who lives in the coastal town of Forks, Wash.

The floating debris will likely be carried by currents off of Japan toward Washington, Oregon and California before turning toward Hawaii and back again toward Asia, circulating in what is known as the North Pacific gyre, said Curt Ebbesmeyer, a Seattle oceanographer who has spent decades tracking flotsam.

Ebbesmeyer, who has traced Nike sneakers, plastic bath toys and hockey gloves accidentally spilled from Asia cargo ships, is now tracking the massive debris field moving across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. He relies heavily on a network of thousands of beachcombers such as Anderson to report the location and details of their finds.

"If you put a major city through a trash grinder and sprinkle it on the water, that's what you're dealing with," he said.

As to whether any of the debris might be radioactive from the devastation at Japanese nuclear power plants, James Hevezi, chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Medical Physics, said there could be.

"But it would be very low risk," Hevezi said. "The amount that would be on the stuff by the time it reached the West Coast would be minimal."

Only a small portion of that debris will wash ashore, and how fast it gets there and where it lands depends on buoyancy, material and other factors. Fishing vessels or items that poke out of the water and are more likely influenced by wind may show up in a year, while items like lumber pieces, survey stakes and household items may take two to three years, he said.

If the items aren't blown ashore by winds or get caught up in another oceanic gyre, they'll continue to drift in the North Pacific loop and complete the circle in about six years, Ebbesmeyer said.

"The material that is actually blown in will be a fraction" of the tsunami debris, said Curt Peterson, a coastal oceanographer and professor of in the geology department at Portland State University in Oregon. "Some will break up in transit. A lot of it will miss our coast. Some will split up and head up to Gulf of Alaska and (British Columbia)."

"All this debris will find a way to reach the West coast or stop in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch," a swirling mass of concentrated marine litter in the Pacific Ocean, said Luca Centurioni, a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

"The dispersion is pretty large, so it's not like a straight shot from Tokyo to San Francisco," said Centurioni, the principal investigator for the Global Drifter Program funded by NOAA. The program deploys about 900 satellite-tracked drifting buoys each year throughout the world to collect sea surface temperature and other data.

Much of the debris will be plastic, which doesn't completely break down. That raises concerns about marine pollution and the potential harm to marine life. But the amount of tsunami debris, while massive, still pales in comparison to the litter that is dumped into oceans on a regular basis, Ebbesmeyer said.

Ebbesmeyer and retired NOAA researcher Jim Ingraham are using a computer program to plot the path of debris from March 11 tsunami to add to growing knowledge about ocean currents. The modeling relies on weather data collected by U.S. Navy, and the researchers are waiting for the monthly release of that data to make their first projections.

Ingraham developed the program to figure out the effects of ocean currents on salmon migration, but the two also have been using it plot the path of a multitude of floating junk.

Ebbesmeyer first became interested in flotsam when he heard reports of beachcombers finding hundreds of water-soaked shoes in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. An Asia cargo ship bound for the U.S. in 1990 had spilled thousands of Nike shoes into the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. He was able to trace serial numbers on shoes to the cargo ship, giving him the points where they began drifting in the ocean and where they landed.

The oceanographer also has tracked plastic bath toys - frogs, turtle, ducks and beavers - that fell overboard a cargo ship in 1992 in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and were later found in Sitka, Alaska.

Anderson says he constantly scans the beaches watching for something that catches his eye. He's found about 20 bottled messages, mostly from schoolchildren, and the several hundred Nike sneakers, which he cleaned up by soaking in water and eventually gave away, sold or swapped.

"In two years, there's going to be stuff coming in (from Japan), and probably lots of it," he said. "Some of it is bound to come in."


TV psychic buried alive at Dudley Castle

birminghammail - A television medium is causing tremors across the psychic world – by being buried alive for seven days at Dudley Castle.

Ian Lawman was lowered underground in a bespoke coffin last night at the 11th century castle, with medics, bodyguards and his wife Julie watching on.

His efforts will raise funds for a charity set up by Stafford-born PC David Rathband, who was blinded after being shot by crazed gunman Raoul Moat last July.

The Blue Lamp Foundation supports emergency services staff who have been criminally injured at work.

Ian, from Scunthorpe, was buried under two tons of soil at the castle – which is reputed to be haunted – but can keep in touch with the world above ground via a glass panel at the head of the coffin.

A round-the-clock webcam inside the coffin allows viewers to keep up to date with his time underground.

Before entering the coffin, he said: “This link means I will be able to liaise with the outside world, and allows people to discover my thoughts and feelings, both emotionally and paranormally.

"It will be an immense challenge, and will mean pushing the boundaries of human endurance, but I am determined to see it through.”

The coffin also has two breathing pipes. Ian’s daily intake of food will consist of just four capsules offering 2,000 calories – a dietary technique pioneered for use in space travel and military campaigns.

Dudley Castle spokeswoman Jill Hitchman said: “Ian has a long-standing relationship with the site, which has a hugely rich history of paranormal activity – indeed his coffin will be buried along the ley lines that run throughout the courtyard.

“His quest has attracted worldwide interest and we will be watching his progress, as he explores even deeper phenomena from across the centuries, with great interest.”

NOTE: Unfortunately, they're going to dig him back up...Lon


Viewer sees possible UFO near Suffolk, VA - Video

A viewer sent a strange piece of video to WAVY.com of what he believes is a UFO.

On Wednesday around 6:34 a.m., 22-year-old Brandon Sears said he was driving on Carolina Road just outside of Suffolk and spotted a mysterious floating object hovering in the sky.

He said it was holding steady above a few houses for at least 10 seconds.

Sears said there were three extremely bright lights side by side on the object.

He said as he got closer, it moved over the road and flew past him.


Retired Air Force Major Predicts UFO Sightings at Royal Wedding

The upcoming royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is expected to be viewed by more than a billion people worldwide -- and possibly a few extraterrestrials, according to at least one former military officer.

George Filer, a retired Air Force major, runs the National UFO Center and says it's common to see UFOs around important events.

"The craft seem to have an interest in anything important," Filer told AOL News. "They've been sighted recently over Libya and near the Japanese tsunami."

Some UFO researchers hope that Prince William and Kate Middleton will use the occasion of their April 29 wedding to announce what the British government knows about UFOs.

Filer says his center averages more than 1,000 sightings a month, and he expects to get a few UFO reports from the area surrounding Westminster Abbey, the site of the April 29 wedding. Continue reading at Retired Air Force Major Predicts UFO Sightings at Royal Wedding