; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, April 08, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: FBI UFO Files, Elf Ears For Sci-Fi Fans and Mona Lisa Exhumed

FBI releases UFO files online

http://vault.fbi.gov/ - The Vault is our new electronic reading room, containing more than 2,000 documents that have been scanned from paper into digital copies so you can read them in the comfort of your home or office.

Included here are more than 25 new files that have been released to the public but never added to this website; dozens of records previously posted on our site but removed as requests diminished; and files from our previous electronic reading room.

The Vault includes several new tools and resources for your convenience:

* Searching for Topics: You can browse or search for specific topics or persons (like Al Capone or Marilyn Monroe) by viewing our alphabetical listing, by using the search tool in the upper right of this site, or by checking the different category lists that can be found in the menu on the right side of this page. In the search results, click on the folder to see all of the files for that particular topic.
* Searching for Key Words: Thanks to new technology we have developed, you can now search for key words or phrases within some individual files. You can search across all of our electronic files by using the search tool in the upper right of this site, or you can search for key words within a specific document by typing in terms in the search box in the upper right hand of the file after it has been opened and loaded. Note: since many of the files include handwritten notes or are not always in optimal condition due to age, this search feature does not always work perfectly.
* Viewing the Files: We are now using an open source web document viewer, so you no longer need your own file software to view our records. When you click on a file, it loads in a reader that enables you to view one or two pages at a time, search for key words, shrink or enlarge the size of the text, use different scroll features, and more. In many cases, the quality and clarity of the individual files has also been improved.
* Requesting a Status Update: Use our new Check the Status of Your FOI/PA Request tool to determine where your request stands in our process. Status information is updated weekly. Note: You need your FOI/PA request number to use this feature.



China: "No more time-travel drama", authority says it disrespects history

chinahush - Now there’s an interesting trend in China’s film and television industry: more and more time-travel themed dramas are made and aired. In these time-travel based TV plays, usually the protagonist is from the modern time and for some reasons and via some means, travels through time and all the way back to the ancient China where he/she will constantly experience the "culture shock" but gradually get used to it and eventually develop a romance in that era. Though obviously the Chinese audience is found of this genre of shows, the country’s authority -General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television, to be exact, is not happy about this trend and calls a halt to the making of this type of drama.

From the end of last year, the time-travel themed drama is becoming more and more popular. Most of these time-travel dramas are based on real historical stories but with many newly added, and usually exaggerated elements to make it funny and more attractive. Nothing is off limits in this television genre. While some find it hilarious, others think the exaggeration and even ridiculous elements added into the story is a real source of annoyance and is a disrespectful for history.

The authority’s decision was made on the Television Director Committee Meeting on April 1st. – but obviously it’s not a prank to fans of the drama genre. The authority has a good reason to go against the genre. "The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore."

Shen Hua (Myth) is the country’s first time-travel TV play and a successful one. The play depicts how a young adolescent travels through time to the China of 2000 years ago and becomes sworn brother with Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, (both are prominent military leaders and political figures during the late Qin Dynasty period of Chinese history) and eventually ends up being an army general leading troops of thousands of soldiers. On the same time, his twin brother and families in the modern days is fighting with a mystery man to find him.


Italian archaeologists to dig up remains of 'Mona Lisa model'

telegraph - A team of researchers announced on Tuesday that they will carry out excavations beneath a convent in Florence, believed to be the burial place of Lisa Gherardini.

She was the wife of a rich Florentine silk merchant and is believed by most scholars to have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s famously enigmatic portrait.

The archaeologists' ultimate aim is to find enough skull fragments to be able to reconstruct her face, enabling a direct comparison to be made with the Mona Lisa.

It could solve a mystery which has intrigued art historians for centuries – the identity of the subject of the world's best known painting, which hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

In addition to the suggestion that the Mona Lisa was based on Gherardini, it has also been proposed that the painting was inspired by Florentine noblewomen, courtesans, street prostitutes, the artist's gay lover and even da Vinci himself.

The team will be led by Silvano Vinceti, an art historian who last year announced that he had found the remains of the Renaissance genius Caravaggio, although his claim was disputed by other scholars.

Digging will take place beneath the former Convent of St Ursula in central Florence, where Gherardini is believed to have died in her sixties in 1542.

The team will use ground-penetration radar to search for forgotten tombs inside the building.

If they discover human remains, they will sift through the bones to identify any that are compatible with a woman of Gherardini's age.

They then plan to conduct carbon dating and extract DNA, which will be compared to that extracted from the bones of Gherardini's children, some of whom are buried in a basilica in Florence.

But there is doubt over the project before it has even started.

Giuseppe Pallanti, an authority on da Vinci, claimed last year that Gherardini's remains were most likely dug up 30 years ago, when work was carried out to convert the former convent into a police barracks, and dumped in a municipal rubbish site on the edge of Florence.

The work was carried out long before the discovery of Gherardini's death certificate, which suggested that she was buried in the convent.


Sci-fi fans undergo operations to get ears like fantasy film characters

dailymail - There are certainly some big Lord of the Rings fans out there, but most wouldn't go this far to look like their favourite characters.

Some fantasy film buffs in Arizona are taking their obsessions to new levels by actually having their ears cut open and sculpted to look like elves.

The elf ears craze has many health risks but that isn’t stopping sci-fi fans having the top of their cartilage sliced and sewed back together in a point.

Jordan Houtz, who went under the knife to get elf ears, said she thought about having the operation for around 18 months because she knew they would change forever.

'It was just something I thought would be fascinating,’ she told ABC’S Good Morning America show. ‘I wouldn't go as far as saying I’m a “trekkie”.

‘But definitely Lord of the Rings - all the sci-fi stuff. It just fit my personality. It's something that once you have it, it's there forever'.

The elf ears craze is believed to have been brought on by films such as Lord of the Rings and Avatar, as well as HBO’s comedy television series Bored to Death.

Body modification artist Steve Haworth, of Phoenix, Arizona, is world-renowned and has won the Guinness World Record for ‘most advanced body modification artist’.

He said: 'There are a lot of people out there who have an inner vision of themselves and want to express that to the world around them.

‘I'm very happy to be an artist that can provide that kind of work,’ he told ABC.
Operations: Guinness World Record winner Steve Haworth is a body modification artist and said elf ear clients often want to 'express an inner vision of themselves'

Operations: Guinness World Record winner Steve Haworth is a body modification artist and said elf ear clients often want to 'express an inner vision of themselves'

But Dr Arthur W. Perry, author of Straight Talk About Cosmetic Surgery, warned that sculpting cartilage is dangerous and applicants should be aware of the risks.

'The real risks are major deformity of the ear, which is very easy to have happen, and infection of the ear,’ he said. ‘If infection occurs it can destroy the ear within days.

'It's very difficult and often it's not possible to fully reconstruct a nice looking ear.'

Mr Haworth’s operation costs $600 for both ears and takes about 20 minutes, but he is not allowed to use any anaesthetic because he is not a doctor, reported ABC.


Strange Object Washed Up On Japan's Shore

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