; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just the Facts? Amazing Randi's Partner Arrested, Banff Bigfoot 'Credible' and Eating Obama

James Randi's Partner Arrested for Identity Theft

Skeptic James 'The Amazing' Randi is renowned as a scourge of paranormal frauds and hoaxers, but it just may be that identity theft isn't one of his areas of expertise. Federal authorities have arrested his partner of more than two decades, 'Jose Luis Alvarez', saying that his identity was stolen from a man in New York some 24 years ago:

Alvarez, who purportedly is 43, was charged with stealing a New York man's date of birth and Social Security number in 1987 to obtain a U.S. passport. A grand jury indicted Alvarez on Wednesday on a charge of passport fraud, Jose Luis Alvareza crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and aggravated identity theft, which automatically tacks two years in prison onto any other sentence.

More immediately pressing for Randi, and Alvarez's attorneys, is securing Alvarez' release from the Broward Main Jail. Prosecutors have said they will seek to have him held without bond. A courtroom showdown is set for next Wednesday, when a judge will consider arguments for and against bail.

For Alvarez to be released, he may have to reveal his true identity, which would be tantamount to an admission of guilt.

"He's in an interesting box," said Jeffrey Neiman, a former federal prosecutor who is now a defense attorney based in Fort Lauderdale. "I can't imagine a magistrate judge giving a bond without knowing who it is they are giving the bond to."

Interestingly, when asked by a reporter if he knew about the alleged identity theft, Randi responded by saying his lawyers had told him "not to comment on our knowledge or lack of knowledge."

The irony in this arrest (beyond the alleged fraudster being the Amazing Randi's partner) is that Alvarez first came to public notice when he pretended to be a channeler of the spirit 'Carlos' in Randi's much-vaunted (not least, by Randi himself) 'sting' for Australian television in 1988.

So far there has been no official comment from the James Randi Educational Foundation about Alavarez's arrest. - sun-sentinel


Banff-area Bigfoot reports ‘credible’ says 'Finding Bigfoot'

Reports of hairy encounters with Bigfoot-like creatures in the Banff area are on the rise.

Earlier this month, crews from Discovery’s Animal Planet show, Finding Bigfoot, visited the mountainous region after seeing photos and video from the Sylvanic group claiming a colony of unidentified primates lives near the border between Banff and Kootenay National Park.

The show features a group of four seasoned members from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. Executive producer Keith Hoffman said many claims sent in are rejected but not those of Sylvanic, a group seeking definitive proof of the Bigfoot species.

“We haven’t ruled out their claims, if we didn’t think they were credible we wouldn’t have gone,” Hoffman said. “What we found was that numerous other people have had encounters ... they were called together in a town hall meeting.”

Sylvanic head Todd Standing said he expected the researchers would find people with sightings similar to his, noting he has come within about 65 metres of the creatures.

“Some of the sightings are four years old ... to go through them all would be a lifetime’s work,” he said.

Hoffman could not give a definitive answer on whether Bigfoots actually live near Banff, but encouraged people to follow along with the show and submit their own encounter claims. - metronews


Kecksburg, PA festival features historic event

If you are looking for an interesting event to attend this weekend, head over to the Kecksburg Old Fashion and UFO Festival that will be held on the grounds of the volunteer fire department. The event will feature lots of fun activities, food and entertainment and will also features displays and exhibits on Bigfoot and the famous Kecksburg UFO incident. The festival grounds will be open from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.


Bigfoot Trackin'

New tactic for the BigfootTrackers.com...sit at a picnic table in the woods with a camera on a tripod, a BigfootTracker.com poster and a life-sized cutout of a Bigfoot. Assuming a Bigfoot doesn't come within range, they'll be more than happy to tell anyone that comes by a story about how the government stole their 1st Bigfoot


Sentence for a plan to eat Obama: 5 years

A career criminal who threatened to kill and eat President Obama won't be going out to dine anytime soon.

Gregory Dale Brockman, 33, was serving a three-year sentence for burglary in Jan. 2010 when he wrote letters to the Secret Service detailing his culinary plans. According to court papers, in his missive postmarked Jan. 19, 2010, from a Chester prison, he also described how he would precede his meal with the sexual assault of first lady Michelle Obama and then "skin her alive."

He added that after killing the president, he planned to "cut his meat from his bones and put them in the oven," then "sit down at the table and start eating."

In an interview with Secret Service agents a few weeks later, Brockman admitted writing the letter to calm himself down. According to court papers, he told the agents he was upset about the war in Afghanistan, marijuana prohibition, and underfunding of public schools. Brockman also mentioned how he was fascinated by renowned cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed 17 people and consumed several of the victims.

When asked, the former Carbon County resident told the federal agents he still intended to hurt the president and would act on those thoughts if he were released from prison.

In his letters Brockman also threatened to sexually assault Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and kill former President George W. Bush, said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.

On Thursday, Brockman was sentenced to five years in prison. He'll serve that after finishing out his term in Chester and another five-year term for threatening George W. Bush in 2008. The sentences, Memeger said, will run consecutively. - philly