; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just the Facts? Alien by the Campfire, Amazon Underground River and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Still Strong

Alien by the campfire

I actually did not see this creature until later when I took the memory stick out of my camera & put on my computer. And even then I didnt notice it but an old school chum noticed it on the photo on my Facebook page. I never even was sure I really believed in aliens. It looks like a gargoyle to me almost. It is facing a fire we had built between our families 2 travel trailers & we did compare against the flames & its is NOT the flames. This things was right next to me but I did not see it. When we arrived at the Sand Lake Dunes in Tillamook there was an odd noise that started that everyone thought was a cat. It was the weirdest experience as all my family & friends have really been unsettled by this photo. I might still have it on the original memory stick if it needs to be analyzed. I have photos of the exact area taken in daylight with nothing there. There is also a blue orb in the photo but orbs are often in my photos. This evening my boyfriend did some photoshopping playing with the lights of the photo & it appears to be solid as the light reflects off of it. There also appears to be some sort of symbols/insignia on the metallic part of the garmet this "alien" is wearing. I am not into aliens at all. In fact, my boyfriend watches so many programs about aliens that Im fairly weary of anything having to do with aliens. This is not my field of interest at all. I kept thinking of it as a demon. But in the interests of science & because this does appear to be a genuine...otherworldly creature, I thought perhaps I should share it. This happened in October of 2010 when I was attending the jeep club races of my boyfriends family. - MUFON CMS


Cuban man 'Twenty-Four' is proud of his four extra fingers, toes

They call him "Twenty-Four." Yoandri Hernandez Garrido's nickname comes from the six perfectly formed fingers on each of his hands and the six impeccable toes on each foot.

Hernandez is proud of his extra digits and calls them a blessing, saying they set him apart and enable him to make a living by scrambling up palm trees to cut coconuts and posing for photographs in Baracoa, an eastern Cuban city popular with tourists. One traveler paid $10 for a picture with him, Hernandez said, a bonanza in a country with an average salary of just $20 a month.

"It's thanks to my 24 digits that I'm able to make a living, because I have no fixed job," Hernandez said.

Known as polydactyly, Hernandez's condition is relatively common, but it's rare for the extra digits to be so perfect. Anyone who glanced quickly at his hands would be hard-pressed to notice anything different unless they paused and started counting.

Hernandez said that as a boy he was visited by a prominent Cuban orthopedist who is also one of Fidel Castro's doctors, and he declared that in all his years of travel he had never seen such a case of well-formed polydactyly.

"He was very impressed when he saw my fingers," said Hernandez, who is the only one in his family to be born with extra digits.

In a part of the world where people's physical traits are often the basis for nicknames — even unflattering ones like "fatty" or "shorty" — "veinticuatro" ("twenty-four" in English) is not an insult but rather a term of endearment, and Hernandez, now 37, said his uniqueness has made him a popular guy. He has a 10-year-old son with a woman who now lives in Havana, and his current girlfriend is expecting his second child.

"Since I was young, I understood that it was a privilege to have 24 digits. Nobody has ever discriminated against me for that," he said. "On the contrary, people admire me and I am very proud. I have a million friends, I live well."

Nevertheless, it occasionally caused confusion growing up.

"One day when I was in primary school, a teacher asked me how much was five plus five?" Hernandez recalled. "I was very young, kind of shy, and I didn't say anything. She told me to count how many fingers I had, so I answered, "12!"

"The teacher was a little upset, but it was the truth," he said.

Hernandez said he hopes he can be an example to children with polydactyly that there's nothing wrong with them.

"I think it's what God commanded," he said. "They shouldn't feel bad about anything, because I think it's one of the greatest blessings and they'll be happy in life." - nola


Underground river 'Rio Hamza' discovered 4km beneath the Amazon

Covering more than 7 million square kilometres in South America, the Amazon basin is one of the biggest and most impressive river systems in the world. But it turns out we have only known half the story until now.

Brazilian scientists have found a new river in the Amazon basin – around 4km underneath the Amazon river. The Rio Hamza, named after the head of the team of researchers who found the groundwater flow, appears to be as long as the Amazon river but up to hundreds of times wider.

Both the Amazon and Hamza flow from west to east and are around the same length, at 6,000km. But whereas the Amazon ranges from 1km to 100km in width, the Hamza ranges from 200km to 400km.

The underground river starts in the Acre region under the Andes and flows through the Solimões, Amazonas and Marajó basins before opening out directly into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Amazon flows much faster than the Hamza, however, draining a greater volume of water. Around 133,000m3 of water flow through the Amazon per second at speeds of up to 5 metres per second. The underground river's flow rate has been estimated at around 3,900m3 per second and it barely inches along at less than a millimetre per hour.

The Hamza was located using data collected inside a series of 241 abandoned deep wells that were drilled in the Amazon region by the petrochemical company Petrobras in the 1970s and 1980s. Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel and Valiya Hamza of the Department of Geophysics at Brazil's National Observatory led the work and presented their results last week at the International Congress of the Society Brasiliera Geophysical in Rio de Janeiro.

The researchers used a mathematical model to predict the presence of the underground river, based on the measured changes in temperature down the wells. In the presentation, Piementel said that the flow of groundwater was almost vertical through the rocks to depths of around 2,000m. After this, the water flow changes direction and becomes almost horizontal.

According to the researchers, the presence of the Rio Hamza river might account for the relatively low salinity of the waters around the mouth of the Amazon.

Professor Hamza said Piementel's measurements represented preliminary work on the discovery of the new river, but Hamza said he expected to confirm the existence of the flow with additional measurements within the next few years. - guardian


A few Catholics still insist Galileo was wrong

Some people believe the world revolves around them — and their belief is born not of selfishness but of faith.

A few conservative Roman Catholics are pointing to a dozen Bible verses and the church's original teachings as proof that Earth is the center of the universe, the view that was at the heart of the church's clash with Galileo Galilei four centuries ago.

The relatively obscure movement has gained a following among those who find comfort in knowing there are still staunch defenders of early church doctrine.

"This subject is, as far as I can see, an embarrassment to the modern church because the world more or less looks upon geocentrism, or someone who believes it, in the same boat as the flat Earth," said James Phillips ofCicero, Ill.

Phillips attends Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Church in Oak Park, Ill., a parish run by the Society of St. Pius X, which rejects most of the modernizing reforms made by the Vatican II council from 1962 to 1965.

But by challenging modern science, proponents of a geocentric universe are challenging the very church they seek to serve and protect.

"I have no idea who these people are," said Brother Guy Consolmagno, curator of meteorites and spokesman for the Vatican Observatory. "Are they sincere, or is this a clever bit of theater?"

Those promoting geocentrism argue that heliocentrism, or the centuries-old consensus among scientists that Earth revolves around the sun, is a conspiracy to squelch the church's influence.

"Heliocentrism becomes dangerous if it is being propped up as the true system when, in fact, it is a false system," said Robert Sungenis, leader of a budding movement to get scientists to reconsider. "False information leads to false ideas, and false ideas lead to illicit and immoral actions — thus the state of the world today.… Prior to Galileo, the church was in full command of the world, and governments and academia were subservient to her."

Sungenis is no Don Quixote. Hundreds of curiosity seekers, skeptics and supporters attended a conference last fall titled "Galileo Was Wrong. The Church Was Right" near the University of Notre Dame campus inSouth Bend, Ind.

Astrophysicists at Notre Dame didn't appreciate the group hitching its wagon to America's flagship Catholic university and resurrecting a concept that's extinct for a reason.

"It's an idea whose time has come and gone," astrophysics professor Peter Garnavich said. "There are some people who want to move the world back to the 1950s when it seemed like a better time. These are people who want to move the world back to the 1250s."

Garnavich said the theory of geocentrism violates what he believes should be a strict separation of church and science. One answers why, the other answers how, and never the twain should meet, he said.

But supporters contend there is scientific evidence to support geocentrism, just as there is evidence to support the six-day story of creation in Genesis.

There is proof in Scripture that Earth is the center of the universe, Sungenis said. Among many verses, he cites Joshua 10:12-14 as definitive proof: "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, while the nation took vengeance on its foe.… The sun halted in the middle of the sky; not for a whole day did it resume its swift course."

But Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., said the Bible is silent on geocentrism.

"There's a big difference between looking at the origin of the planets, the solar system and the universe and looking at presently how they move and how they are interrelated," Ham said. "The Bible is neither geocentric or heliocentric. It does not give any specific information about the structure of the solar system."

Just as Ham challenges the foundation of natural history museums by disputing evolution, Sungenis challenges planetariums, most notably the Vatican Observatory.

But Consolmagno said the very premise of going after Galileo illustrates the theory's lack of scientific credibility.

"Of course, we understand the universe in a far more nuanced way than Galileo did 400 years ago," he said.

"And I would hope that the next 400 years would see just as much development." - latimes


One in seven believe U.S. government staged the 9/11 attacks in conspiracy

The belief is more common among younger people, with a quarter of 16 to 24-year-olds subscribing to the theory

One in seven people are convinced that the U.S. government was involved in a conspiracy to stage the September 11 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people.

A survey, which interviewed 1,000 people in the UK and the same number in the U.S., found that 14 per cent of Britons 15 per cent of Americans think the past administration was involved in the tragedy.

They were asked: 'It is generally accepted that these attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda. However some people have suggested there was a wider conspiracy that included the American government. Do you, yourself, believe that there was a wider conspiracy, or not?'

The belief that there was a conspiracy was more common among younger people, with a quarter (24 per cent) of 16 to 24-year-olds subscribing to the theory.

About two thirds of those polled - 68 per cent - said they didn't think there was a conspiracy.

The survey was carried out for a BBC documentary which examines why so many people believe there is a darker truth behind the attacks.

The survey was carried out by Gfk NOP as part of a BBC Two programme, The Conspiracy Files - Ten Years On.

Telephone polls in the UK and the US were carried out last month.

American radio host and actor Alex Jones is a vocal advocate about the conspiracy theories.

BBC Radio 2 quoted him as saying this morning: 'Private, corporate, world networks working in US, British, Israeli intelligence - all three groups - have been found to have fingerprints but the main driver was rogue networks at the top of the US Government.

'The Government admits they've staged events before. The official story doesn't add up.'

The view is taken despite a series of official inquiries which have found no evidence to support the claims.

Emergency workers look for debris in Shanksville, near Pittsburgh, where the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed, killing all 45 people on board


1. Why did the world's most powerful airforce fail to intercept any of the hijacked planes?

What the conspiracists say: The US Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the military to stand down and not intercept the planes.

Official reports say: The transponder, which provides the exact location of the plane, had been turned off or changed.

There was a lack of communication between the civilian air traffic control (FAA) and the military and the military's equipment was outdated, designed to look out over the ocean to deal with a Cold War threat.

2. Why did the Twin Towers collapse so quickly, imploding without damaging surrounding buildings, after short fires on a few floors?

What the conspiracists say: The Twin Towers were destroyed by controlled demolitions.

Official reports say: The planes severed and damaged support columns and dislodged fire-proofing. About 10,000 gallons of jet fuel drenched the towers, starting the fires. Temperatures of up to 1,000C caused the floors to sag and the perimeter columns to bend, causing the sounds of explosions.

Controlled demolition is carried out from the bottom floors whereas this collapse started at the top.

3. How could an amateur pilot fly a commercial plane in a complicated maneuver, crash it into the Pentagon, 78 minutes after the first report of a possible hijack and leave no trace?

What the conspiracists say: The aircraft was not under the control of al-Qaeda but the Pentagon itself.

Official reports say: There is a large amount of video and still photography showing the plane wreckage and evidence of its flight path, such as broken lamp posts.

4. Why was the United Airlines flight 93 crash site at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, so small and why was the aircraft debris not visible?

What the conspiracists say: The plane was shot down by a missile and disintegrated in mid air, scattering the wreckage over a large area.

Official reports say: There are clear photographs showing aircraft wreckage and the cockpit voice recorder proved passengers had revolted and the hijackers had deliberately crashed the plane.

Another theory was based on a quote from the local coroner, Wally Miller, who said he stopped being a coroner after about 20 minutes because there were no bodies. But he also said he quickly realised it was a plane crash and there would have to be a large funeral service for the many victims.

5. How could the World Trade Centre 7 building, which was not hit by a plane, collapse so quickly (2.25 seconds) and symmetrically, when no other steel-framed skyscraper has collapsed because of fire?

What the conspiracists say: The building was destroyed by a controlled demolition using both explosives and incendiaries.

Owner, Larry Silverstein, was heard saying 'pull it' in a TV interview but he was talking about pulling firefighters back.

Some scientists examined four dust samples from Ground Zero and claim to have found thermite, a material which reacts when heated up, and that had been explosives rigged inside.

Official reports say: The building collapsed because of uncontrolled fires, started by the collapse of the nearby North Tower, which burnt for seven hours.

The mains water feeding the emergency sprinkler system was severed.

The thermitic material is a type of primer paint. - dailymail