; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Russians Are Believers, 'The Vampire Diaries' Set Haunted and Bolivia UFO Panic

For many Russians, UFO and Bigfoot equally realistic

pravda - A paradox was revealed during a recent poll of the Russians. In spite of the fact that approximately 70 percent of the country's population call themselves believers, only 26 percent believe that life after death is possible. The beliefs of the Russians are generally contradictory: Russians bring Easter cakes to church to "make them holy" but at the same time are afraid of black cats and broken mirrors.

"Public opinion" fund decided to poll the Russians on the possibility of resurrection after death. The fund found out that despite the fact that 59 percent of the citizens consider themselves Orthodox, and ten percent say that they belong to other denominations, only 26 percent believe in an afterlife.

For 54 percent resurrection is no more than a myth. The majority of those who do not believe in the afterlife are represented by rural residents, men, students and seniors.

Another interesting fact is those who do believe in the afterlife are people with an income of over 30,000 rubles a month, entrepreneurs and executives. Surprisingly, there were more of those who believed in eternal life among the businessmen than among those who call themselves Orthodox Christians: 43 percent versus 31.

According to the numerous surveys and studies, human faith is generally a collection of paradoxes and even absurdities. Russians who call themselves Orthodox Christians consider it their duty to wear a cross, but at the same time do not shy away from horoscopes and psychics' services. A growing number of advertisement promising "to return the beloved one" and "ward off a competitor" indicate a growing demand.

Generally in the recent years Russians have become much more skeptical. Horoscopes, prophetic dreams and professional astrologers are still popular among the population, but to a much lesser extent. Alien life for the majority of the Russians is as much a fairy tale as the life after death. Possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations is denied by 58 percent of Russians.

However, the skepticism of the Russian people does not apply to every day superstitions. Little green creatures and life after death seem to be a myth to many, while troubles promised by a meeting with a black cat, a broken mirror or spilt salt are quite real for the most. The Russians believe that spitting over the left shoulder and knocking on wood is much more effective than a prayer or a call to the spirits.

It is worth mentioning that the representatives of the Church are not surprised by such data. Priests say that identifying themselves as Orthodox, people are not talking about religion, but, rather, the national and family tradition and culture. This means that many Russians do not believe in God, but call themselves Orthodox.

In fact, for many Russians a visit to a church during holidays or baptizing children is the same thing as knocking on wood or avoiding "jinxing," i.e., and old tradition designed to ward off trouble.

However, Russians are not the only ones that have such a strange attitude to religion. For example, 43 percent of Americans attend religious ceremonies every week, but this does not prevent 38 percent of the U.S. adults from believing in the existence of aliens, 33 percent believing in Bigfoot, and 37 percent - in ghosts. Of these, 23 percent are convinced that ghosts are their dead relatives or friends, while 20 percent said they personally met with the spirits of the dead.

Experts, however, argue that there is no paradox here. "Traditional" (in moderation) religion does not interfere with the belief in the paranormal, but quite the contrary: being open to the faith into the unknown, people are not so steadfast in their religious beliefs that reject the mysterious events in principle.

In other words, people who admit the existence of things unexplained from the viewpoint of science can be (or call themselves) Christians (Muslims, Jews), and with the same sincerity believe that aliens have visited Earth a number of times. An individual open to the faith in a higher intelligence, in principle can believe in some seemingly conflicting things. Traditional religions are traditional because people transfer their commitment to a particular confession from generation to generation, observing certain rituals as a family. But it is often nothing more than a tribute to the national culture, rather than a sincere belief and commitment to a wholly-owned church dogma.


Is The Vampire Diaries Set Haunted?

The Vampire Diaries is a scary show—vampires, werewolves, witches and frighteningly sexy stars—but the set itself is also a pretty terrifying place to work.

What happened to cause star Nina Dobrev to believe in ghosts?

The actress, who plays doppelgängers Elena and Katherine on the CW thriller, says the crew had more than one close encounter with paranormal phenomena while filming at the Gaither Plantation in Covington, Ga.

Once, Dobrev told the AP, a phantom piano player interrupted a shoot.

"The ADs started screaming, 'Stop! Whoever that is, stop the music. We're rolling!'" she said, adding that when the crew barged into the room with the piano, it was empty.

Another time, when Dobrev was alone in a bathroom with no one nearby, she said "the lights were just spontaneously coming on and off."

The whole crew, said the actress, shared a "weird feeling" while filming at Gaither but "nobody could pinpoint" why.

Enter Syfy's Ghost Hunters crew, who investigated the plantation for an episode airing aired April 15, 2009.

"We have a lot of theories," Amy Bruni, one of the Ghost Hunters paranormal investigators, told us today about the hauntings. "The place is very historical—it's been around for a long time. There's a lot of history in that area. Sometimes we see that associated with paranormal activity, especially tragedies or things like that where something might not want to leave.

"I wouldn't blame them," Ami laughs. "It's a beautiful location."

Ami says The Vampire Diaries crew aren't the mysterious piano player's first audience. "I know piano playing has been reported there before," she told us, theorizing that "it could be what we consider a residual haunt. Something that doesn't necessarily interact with you but it kind of does things—goes through the motions."

The Ghost Hunters crew believe they found pretty conclusive evidence of paranormal activity during their investigation at the Gaither Plantation. "We basically put some flour down on the floor upstairs in the attic, left it and came back and there were footsteps in it." (Goosebumps!) "It's a very old-fashioned way of investigating. And then there was a cabinet door downstairs that we caught on camera that opened on its own [and] we heard footsteps throughout the location. It's been awhile but I do remember it pretty well as a really neat place."

A neat place to go on a dare, maybe, but would you want to work there?

"I don't think we've shot there since," Dobrev said. - eonline


Alfred Hitchcock 'The Birds' Barbie Doll

Made by Mattel. I have to get one of these. I had a crush on actress Tippi Hedren (mother of actress Melanie Griffith) when I was younger. As well, "The Birds" is one of my favorite films. It seems this product has been available for a few years....really don't know why I never noticed it.

Alfred Hitchcock 'The Birds' Barbie Doll


Politician: "Ban Abortion, Sterilize Poor Women and Pay the Wealthy to Procreate"

Louisiana State Rep John Labruzzo (R) has introduced "feticide" legislation to ban all abortion in his state and sentence women and doctors who violate the ban to 15 years hard labor. The law would make no exceptions for cases of danger to the health of the mother, incest or rape, and would essentially be an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade in the state of Louisiana.

In previous attempts to manipulate, penalize and reward women's reproductive choices, Labruzzo has also suggested Louisiana law should pay poor women to be sterilized and well-to-do women to crank out more financially secure kids into the American gene-pool.

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Worried that welfare costs are rising as the number of taxpayers declines, state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said Tuesday he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied...

It also could include tax incentives for college-educated, higher-income people to have more children, he said.

Julie Mickelberry, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast, denounced Labruzzo's actions as sham politics, intended not really to impact local law, but to give legal ammo to anti-choice groups in a federal setting:

"The bill is purely political. It's not at all about preventing abortion—he said it himself...his intention is to give anti-choice groups a bill they can take to court." - care2


Bolivia: Alleged UFO Causes Panic in Magdalena

Trinidad, Beni, 25 Apr (Erbol) – An alleged Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) caused fear and concern among residents of the municipality of Magdalena, Province of Iténez, in the Department of Beni.

According to the report on “Iténez” Radio, belonging to the Erbol Network, the object was seen around midnight on April 16 of this year as the “José, María y Juan” religious act came to a close at the municipality’s main square.

The local station reported that residents claimed seeing an unidentified flying object for more than 15 minutes.

“To the north of the municipality we could see an object flying around at low altitude over the town. It looked like an enormous piece of hot coal, seen by all of us present at the site,” said a witness.

Some of the townspeople managed to take photos of the phenomenon on their cell phones. - Scott Corrales - Inexplicata - The Journal of Hispanic Ufology