; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just the Facts? Yeti Proof Claimed, Real-Life Kraken and Chicago Mothman

Yeti proof? Not so fast....

Scientists could be putting a Bigfoot in their mouths by claiming that the Abominable Snowman is alive and well.

Experts at an international Yeti conference in Russia this week insisted they are only months away from proving the beast really exists.

Igor Burtsev, head of The International Center Of Hominology, said at the meeting in Tashtagol: "We are on the brink of finding the Yeti at long last."

The Sun was there to listen to the deadly serious Burtsev claiming at least 30 hulking creatures roam the Kemerovo region where the conference was being held.

He said the Yeti — also known as Bigfoot and Sasquatch — is the missing link between Neanderthal man and modern human beings.

"We have good evidence of Yeti in our region," said Burtsev. "And now we have convincing details from experts elsewhere in Russia and in the US and Canada.

"The description of the habits of the Abominable Snowman are similar from all over the world."

Russian authorities are so keen to find Bigfoot, they have offered one million roubles (£20,000) for information leading to its discovery.

Adding to the bank of "evidence" presented at the conference was 70-year-old Canadian Yeti-hunter John Bindernagel, who reckons he has seen the creature for himself.

He said: "We now know a lot of anatomical details from people's accounts. The neck is very short and very thick, the eyes deeply set, the chin is rounded, the ears are usually covered with hair, the arms are long. The foot looks human-like but is broader. Some people say they can distinguish the males from the more slender females."

Bindernagel claims his sighting took place in Ohio in 2007, when a 6ft-tall creature ventured close to a resident's home. Footage of this beast is to be released soon.

He said: "The people in the house have seen it quite often. They made some films that will be screened later this year."

The Discovery of the Sasquatch: Reconciling Culture, History, and Science in the Discovery Process

Yeti specialists from Russia, the US, Canada, Sweden and Estonia also gathered at the seminar to DNA-test a 7cm hair clump found last week in the region's Azasskaya cave during a four-day Yeti hunt.

But locals claim the sample is a hoax to encourage more tourists to the far-flung region.

Also revealed is a photo of a "footprint" but the markings are too vague to be conclusive.

Moscow architect Anatoly Fokin, 55, gave up his occupation nine years ago to hunt for the Yeti. Since then he has collected details of sightings in Russia's Kirov region. In one 2007 case, hunters killed a bear and left the scene to get a truck to take it away.

He said: "When they returned 40 minutes later, the bear had vanished. There were signs of dragging. They got their dogs to follow the scent but they came to a tree and stopped in their tracks, whimpering in fear.

"They all saw a giant hairy figure standing near the tree where the dead bear was lying, torn at the shoulder, blood flowing from a gaping wound where this creature had gouged a huge slice of raw meat."

Villagers also recounted how a "Leshiy" — or forest man in Russian — used brute strength to skin a dead elk it stole from hunters.

Liliya Zenkova, 47, a local government official, told how on a camping trip with her husband and friend in a remote area in Siberia she fell asleep on her car's back seat, with the windows open.

"At 5am I felt my right hand being caressed," she said. "I knew it couldn't be my husband — it was so gentle with such soft hair.

"I looked outside and saw this creature moving slowly away. Almost two metres tall, grey hair. His head looked like it was sunk into his shoulders. I knew he wasn't human, he had on no clothes.

"My husband told me not to tell anyone because they would think I was mad. But now stories have started to appear about the Yeti, I want to explain what happened."

It isn't all in Russia, either.

US expert Jeff Meldrum, associate professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, claims to have seen more than 200 Yeti footprints and heard their calls — "high-pitched tones that travel some distance".

"The most recent footprints were about a year ago in Wyoming," he told the conference.

"There were home owners with unusual foot marks — very large, 16in long — all around their house. The Yetis must have come in from the forest."

Leading the conference, Dr Burtsev says his "primary goal" is to establish contact with the Yeti — but this may lead to problems.

He said: "We need to think about how to integrate the Yeti into society. Should they be treated as normal citizens? Should they be treated like animals? No, because they are more intelligent. There's a lot to think about here."

Despite the claims, without the promised proof of a living, breathing Sasquatch, so far it's all just a lot of big talk. - thesun



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Sci-Fi In Real Life: FTL Neutrinos May Make Time Travel Possible

The ever-interesting “Ask a Physist” column over at i09 tackles an issue close to the hearts of many sci-fi fans: faster than light travel. Scientists involved in the OPERA experiment – connected to CERN – have measured subatomic particles traveling faster than the speed of light. If you want a deep explanation of the actual science involved, you should head over to the column at i09. If you want to really get down with the math, you should go to Dr Dave Goldberg’s equation-laden explanation over at his blog. What I can do is give you a quick and dirty rundown.

The OPERA experiment recorded that neutrinos – those electrically neutral subatomic particles you learned about in your high school physics class and then probably forgot existed – can travel about 2 parts in 100,000 faster than the speed of light. Fairly insignificant, but Goldberg says “it’s only a matter of fine tuning to get any superluminal speed we like” after the light barrier is broken. Pair this with their potential to travel interstellar distances (their weak interactions mean they don’t mess with other things on the way), and the scientific world is a-buzz. Goldberg is still skeptical as to whether OPERA’s current experiments will be replicated or hold up under heavier scrutiny but says that (if the results do hold) “the simple ability to send signals faster than light would allow us, in a very real way, to affect the past”. You could send a message to someone, have them receive it before you sent it, then get their response to that message before you sent your original one. Crazy, right?

Obviously, this isn’t full-on Doctor Who or Star Trek: The Voyage Home time travel, but it does still raise a host of interesting questions and potential paradoxes. Would you choose to essentially change history, if you could send or receive messages about events before they happened? What new information could we learn if we could communicate with the past or future? Does this have something to do with how Hope Plaza communicates with Terra Nova? - giantfreakinrobot


Lair Of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Possibly Discovered

Long before whales, the oceans of Earth were roamed by a very different kind of air-breathing leviathan. Snaggle-toothed ichthyosaurs larger than school buses swam at the top of the Triassic Period ocean food chain, or so it seemed before Mount Holyoke College paleontologist Mark McMenamin took a look at some of their remains in Nevada. Now he thinks there was an even larger and more cunning sea monster that preyed on ichthyosaurs: a kraken of such mythological proportions it would have sent Captain Nemo running for dry land. McMenamin will be presenting the results of his work on Monday, 10 October at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis.

The evidence is at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada, where McMenamin and his daughter spent a few days this summer. It's a site where the remains of nine 45-foot (14-meter) ichthyosaurs, of the species Shonisaurus popularis can be found. These were the Triassic's counterpart to today's predatory giant squid-eating sperm whales. But the fossils at the Nevada site have a long history of perplexing researchers, including the world's expert on the site: the late Charles Lewis Camp of U.C. Berkeley.

"Charles Camp puzzled over these fossils in the 1950s," said McMenamin. "In his papers he keeps referring to how peculiar this site is. We agree, it is peculiar."

Camp's interpretation was that the fossils probably represented death by an accidental stranding or from a toxic plankton bloom. But no one had ever been able to prove that the beasts died in shallow water. In fact more recent work on the rocks around the fossils suggest it was a deep water environment, which makes neatly arranged carcasses even more mysterious.

This question -- shallow or deep ocean death -- is what attracted McMenamin to the site.

"I was aware that anytime there is controversy about depth, there is probably something interesting going on," McMenamin said. And when they arrived at the remote state park and started looking at the fossils, McMenamin was struck by their strangeness.

"It became very clear that something very odd was going on there," said McMenamin. "It was a very odd configuration of bones."

First of all, the different degrees of etching on the bones suggested that the shonisaurs were not all killed and buried at the same time. It also looked like the bones had been purposefully rearranged. That it got him thinking about a particular modern predator that is known for just this sort of intelligent manipulation of bones.

"Modern octopus will do this," McMenamin said. What if there was an ancient, very large sort of octopus, like the kraken of mythology. "I think that these things were captured by the kraken and taken to the midden and the cephalopod would take them apart."

In the fossil bed, some of the shonisaur vertebral disks are arranged in curious linear patterns with almost geometric regularity, McMenamin explained.The proposed Triassic kraken, which could have been the most intelligent invertebrate ever, arranged the vertebral discs in double line patterns, with individual pieces nesting in a fitted fashion as if they were part of a puzzle.

Even more creepy: The arranged vertebrae resemble the pattern of sucker discs on a cephalopod tentacle, with each vertebra strongly resembling a coleoid sucker. In other words, the vertebral disc "pavement" seen at the state park may represent the earliest known self portrait.

But could an octopus really have taken out such huge swimming predatory reptiles? No one would have believed such a tale until the staff of the Seattle Aquarium set up a video camera at night a few years ago to find out what was killing the sharks in one of their large tanks. What they were shocked to discover was that a large octopus they had in the same tank was the culprit. The video of one of these attacks is available on the web to anyone who uses the search terms "shark vs octopus."

"We think that this cephalopod in the Triassic was doing the same thing," said McMenamin. Among the evidences of the kraken attacks are many more ribs broken in the shonisaur fossils than would seem accidental and the twisted necks of the ichthyosaurs. "It was either drowning them or breaking their necks."

Of course, it's the perfect Triassic crime because octopuses are mostly soft-bodied and don't fossilize well. Only their beaks, or mouth parts, are hard and the chances of those being preserved nearby are very low. That means the evidence for the murderous Kraken is circumstantial, which may leave some scientists rather skeptical. But McMenamin is not worried.

"We're ready for this," he said. "We have a very good case." - underwatertimes

Hypersea: Life on Land


Chicago Mothman?

*We received this sighting on Wednesday, our investigators have already spoke with several of the witnesses and a full investigation is currently underway and more information will be posted as it becomes available.*

These are the events as they happened on Friday, September 30, 2011 in the area around Miller Park in the University Park neighborhood in Chicago , Illinois . Approximately 1 block from the main campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Things began like any normal Friday night, I and a couple of friends were going to go out to have a few drinks at a local bar. As I got to my apartment, I jumped into the shower to start getting ready while my roommate went to her room to get ready. I finished and walked out of the bathroom to my room and started to get ready to head out for the night.

As I started to get dressed I heard my roommate scream loudly, I dropped what I was doing and ran to her room to see if she was alright. I walked in to see her cowering in the corner of her room, white as a ghost and shaking. She was babbling hysterically, saying that something was looking in at her from the window. I looked toward the window and didn’t see anything but the light coming from the other apartments across the court yard. I asked what she had seen and tried to tell her that she might have been mistaken, we live on the third floor of a five story apartment building and there is nothing outside the window but a 30 foot drop straight down to the courtyard below.

My roommate was hysterical and scared out of her wits; I took her to the living room and sat her on the couch. I then went to my room to put on a robe or a nightshirt on since I was only in my underwear. My roommate didn’t want to be left alone and actually followed me to my room and waited there as I put on a robe and joined her in the living room. After about 20 minutes of calming her down, she finally told me what she had seen in her window.

She stated that she was getting dressed and when she turned to face the mirror on her dresser, she saw a pair of orange eyes staring at her from the window. She turned around to see two brightly lit orange eyes staring out at her; these eyes were attached to a creature that was staring back at her through the window. My friend lost it and started screaming hysterically and backed herself into the corner. She said she was filled with this overwhelming feeling of complete and total terror, she felt like the creature was looking at her as though she was prey. She said she felt like a rabbit that was about to be pounced upon by an eagle.

I tried to rationalize with her what she had seen, telling her it could have been an optical illusion, or maybe it was the jitters from a week of hard studying. She dismissed everything, saying that she had seen what she had seen. As I sat there comforting her, my cell phone rang from my room. I got up and ran to my room and snatched it from my dresser top and answered it. It was my boyfriend and one of his buddies and they were talking a mile a minute, it sounded like they were out of breath, as I tried to get him to slow down, I walked past my roommates open door and to my absolute horror, I saw…a pair of glowing red eyes, looking through the window right at me!!

They stared at me for about 3-4 seconds before what ever it was abruptly left. Like my friend, I totally lost it and screamed at the top of my lungs and sprinted to the living room. My boyfriend was now screaming into the phone “What’s wrong, what’s wrong!”

Within 2 minutes, he and his best friend were pounding on the door to our apartment, followed shortly thereafter by one of our neighbors who had heard us screaming.Once we assured the neighbors that we were fine and that they did not have to call the CPD for us, we shut the door and I immediately lost it when my boyfriend held me.

We told him what my roommate had seen in the window and that what ever it was had come back again, that’s when I had seen it. He then began to tell us that he and his buddy were on their way to our apartment to pick us up when they had seen what they describe as a large bat with large glowing eyes. It was perched on top of a basketball hoop in the neighborhood park. They stated that it saw them and had alighted into the air with an audible whoosh.

He states that there were about 6 people in the park and all of them had seen it when it had taken off. He states that there was no way anyone could have missed it, it was about 6-7 feet tall, dark grey to black and those eyes glowed with the intensity of two glowing embers.

He says that they saw it easily when it took off and headed away from the park due to both the lights of the city as well as the nearly full moon that night. They lost sight of the creature after about 5 seconds, that’s when he picked up the phone and called me. He says that when they heard me start screaming, they sprinted the block and a half to the apartment.

Needless to say, none of us went out that night and my boyfriend and his buddy stayed with us through the weekend. My roommate refused to go back to her room till it was well after daylight, she closed and locked the window and drew the blinds shut. She says that it’s the only way that she felt secure to be in there after dark.

I’m still weary about coming home or going out after dark; even though I know I have to do it for both school and work. I hope that what ever it was, was sufficiently scared off by two insanely screaming college students and that I hope that I NEVER see it again. I don’t think that neither I nor my roommate will ever be the same again after this.

There is one interesting fact; my boyfriend told me when I saw him on Tuesday that a few students around the campus (UIC) had been talking about a large bat that some people had seen on Friday night. A lot of the people who spoke about it were spooked by it. I never figured that anything like this would or could be seen in a city as large as Chicago , or a campus as busy and bustling as UIC.

It totally makes me wonder what it truly was and if it meant us an harm. - ufoclearinghouse

The Mothman PropheciesUFOs Books)

Mothman and Other Curious EncountersUnexplained Mystery Books)

Mothman: The Facts Behind the LegendFolklore & Mythology Books)