; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Just the Facts?: Osama Bin Laden's Body Found? -- IKEA's East German / Cuba Connection -- MI6 Codebreaker Murdered

Treasure hunter claims he found Osama Bin Laden's body

That smiling guy is Bill Warren, the Californian treasure hunter who claimed he was searching for Osama Bin Laden's dead body back in June 2011. He didn't find him then, but now he claims he has located the cadaver.

Talking to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Warren says he has no doubt about where Osama is:

I've located where they threw him away. I'm the only one with this information. He's 200 miles to the west of the Indian city of Surat.

Warren—who claims he has discovered more than 200 shipwrecks during his career as a treasure-hunter—says that bin Laden's body is still at that same location, deep under water. His thought is that, since the Navy weighted down the bag, the body hasn't moved from where it was dropped. He is now trying to rent Russian deep diving equipment to locate his payload, and to conduct DNA tests once he finds him.

At least, that's what he believes. He says he pinpointed the drop point from photos recently released by the US Navy.

Warren is now in Azerbaijan, apparently working for their government in a contract to locate some old ships. But he is ready to start the diving for Osama's body bag: he says he's aiming at starting the mission on June 1, and that he may be able to find the body in "under a week." He also claims that the search would last a maximum of three months. He declares that his only fear is that the US Government would kill him or sink his boat.

Warren is now searching for $200,000 to finance the whole operation (Bill, I suggest Kickstarter). He wouldn't have needed that money had he located the Trinidad, the famous Spanish ship loaded with Aztec gold that sunk in the coast of California in 1540. Warren has repeatedly tried to locate that treasure, once in 1976 and then again in 1987. Back then he claimed he had located the Trinidad, but obviously he didn't.

Conspiracy theories

The same could probably be true with Bin Laden's body. It's highly unlikely that, even if he were right about the location—and again, there's very little chance he is—he would be able to find a body bag in the bottom of the deep sea.

Warren says he is doing this because he doesn't "believe the Obama administration" and he wants to have proof that it is really his body. But, if he doesn't believe President Obama and the United States Navy, why would the body be down there at all? If he thinks that they are lying, the most logical thing is to believe that they never buried the body at sea.

But who knows, maybe Bill will prove himself right this time. Or maybe the body will not be there because Osama bin Laden is alive and well, playing cards and drinking mai tais with Elvis and Marilyn, in that secret government paradise island in the middle of the Pacific. - gizmodo

SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden

Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--from 9/11 to Abbottabad

KBL: Kill Bin Laden: A Novel Based on True Events


IKEA faces allegations that it used Cuban political prisoners to make its products

Deal to make Ikea furniture in Cuban prisons was hatched using East German trading connections, according to reports

Ikea is facing allegations that it used Cuban prisoners to make its products in the 1980s.

The claims follow allegations this week that East German political prisoners were forced to make furniture for the Swedish retailer from the 1970s.

According to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a deal to make Ikea furniture in Cuban prisons was hatched using East German trading connections.

The agreement was signed in September 1987, according to files held in the Stasi archivesfiles, after a delegation of East German business representatives went to Havana for talks with the Cuban Interior Ministry.

Talks were held with several government officials, including Enrique Sanchez, the head of the state company Emiat which was responsible for furnishing the homes of the Cuban political elite. According to the files, the production sites discussed were "incorporated in the Interior Ministry's prison facilities".

The contract signed required Cuba to produce 35,000 dining tables, 10,000 children's tables, and 4,000 three-piece suites.

Ikea reacted to the reports, which emerged following an investigation by Swedish television, by saying it had begun its own inquiry and was keen to see the Stasi files to check for evidence and compare them with the company's own records.

A spokeswoman said Ikea "condemned the use of political prisoners" in its production "in the strongest possible terms". She added the company took the claims very seriously, though denied that Ikea knew it had been using prison labour.

The records show the collaboration with Cuba did not initially go very smoothly. In early 1988 the first delivery of three-piece suites was delayed due to poor quality. Changes to the production process led to shipments of the products resuming several months later. - guardian

The IKEA Edge: Building Global Growth and Social Good at the World's Most Iconic Home Store

The Truth about Ikea: The Secret Behind the World's Fifth Richest Man and the Success of the Flatpack Giant


Mark your calendars...another Doomsday prediction

It's going to be a busy year for end-of-the-world aficionados, now that Jose De Jesus Miranda has weighed in.

The U.S.-based religious leader is penciling in June 30 for the end of days, nudging out Mayan Doomsday enthusiasts who have have earmarked December 21, 2012 for humanity's last gasp.

"An earthquake is coming," Miranda proclaimed in an April 25 ministry broadcast.

"It is getting closer and we will see the catastrophes. What you have seen is nothing. What is coming is cities falling."

But Miranda is bringing his own unique twist to the Apocalypse-faithful. While promising the "complete destruction of the bad seed," the minister promises that he will emerge as a sort of superhero -- with the power to fly and even walk through walls.

Mr. Doomsday, if you will. Or, as his followers call him, 'Dad'.

What we do know of Miranda is that he was, in fact, born mortal -- in Puerto Rico in 1946. By his own account, Miranda was visited by Jesus in 1973 -- apparently the Messiah walked up to him and entered his body.

Hence, De Jesus.

From there, his pronouncements have only gotten more interesting.

In 1988, Miranda disclosed that he was actually the Apostle Paul. Not long after that, Miranda took it to the next level, calling himself both Jesus Christ and the Anti-Christ -- a one-stop shop for all your Reckoning needs.

And that Reckoning is at the world's doorstep.

Miranda marshals a plethora of 'scientific' evidence to back his claim, much of it revolving around the reversal of Earth's poles causing "tectonic plates to heat up."

"For 2012, we are expecting a change on the face of the earth and the destruction of the world will come."

There's also some economic oblivion thrown in for good measure -- essentially a toppling of world governments prompted by financial meltdowns.

It all makes perfect sense to the ministry's followers -- legions of a not entirely disclosed number in some 130 countries.

"He's in their heads, he's inside the heads of those people," U.S. religion expert Prof. Daniel Alvarez told CNN News in 2007. "De Jesus speaks with a kind of conviction that makes me consider him more like David Koresh or Jim Jones."

He's also in downtown Toronto these days. Sort of. Miranda offers a smiling salute from a billboard on Bloor Street West.

The Growing Grace ministry boasts 200 members in Toronto, Calgary, St. Catharines, Montreal and Vancouver.

Alex Poessy, the group’s bishop in Canada, told the National Post, “That day, the body of Jose de Luis de Jesus, who is a human like you and me, his flesh is going to be immortal…. He’s going to be living forever. And that will happen to him, but also his followers.”

Many of those followers get some unlikely ink to show their support for 'Dad' -- the number 666 prominently emblazoned on their skin.

Don't worry, Miranda explains, it's actually a positive symbol.

In fact, Miranda's followers crunch what might loosely be described as numbers in this statement to Miami New Times:

"Thousands worldwide are marked with the number of His name, 666. The Earth's rotation has accelerated to a speed of 66,666 mph. All prophecies are fulfilling, even scientific, astronomical and numerological formulae are aligning - all pointing to the year 2012, where the Puerto Rican-born Jose Luis De Jesus (Latitude 66.6°) curiously turns 66."

But not everyone is sold on this Doomsday prophet. Other religious groups seem more than a little chafed by Miranda's prognosticaions.

"To put it bluntly," writes Christian website GotQuestions.org. "Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is a heretic. He is a false messiah who claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ." - THP


MI6 Codebreaker Found Dead in Bag Was Likely Killed, Coroner Says

A top British codebreaker whose naked body was found in a sports bag in his bathtub in 2010 was likely killed by suffocation or poisoning in a “premeditated criminal act,” according to a coroner who delivered her verdict at the end of a seven-day inquest.

Coroner Fiona Wilcox said that Gareth Williams’ death will likely never be fully explained, but that murder by an intelligence agency or intelligence colleague could not be ruled out. She said that there was no evidence to support claims that Williams’ death was linked to his interest in bondage and speculated that such assertions might be an attempt by some to influence and manipulate the investigation.

Wilcox also criticized the police and MI6 for their handling of the death and investigation, noting that MI6 was late in submitting evidence to police and prevented them from speaking with Williams’ colleagues directly.

Testimony presented at the inquest showed that MI6, the spy agency with which Williams was contracted at the time of his death, failed to adequately check up on him despite his failure to show up for work for several days, and that by the time Williams was finally reported missing after seven days, his body had badly decomposed, thwarting efforts to determine a cause of death. Testimony also revealed that it was only this week that the spy agencies gave investigators nine thumb drives that had been found at Williams’ workplace.

Wilcox told the court that the testimony of Williams’ MI6 manager about why Williams’ absence from work raised little concern stretched the “bounds of credibility.” She also said that while it appeared unlikely that British spy agencies played a role in the coder’s death, it was still a “legitimate line of inquiry” for the investigation.

Family and friends testified that Williams was unhappy with his work environment at MI6 and felt he didn’t fit in with his colleagues. He was on contract with MI6 for three years, but had requested to be released from it after a year to return to Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

During the inquest, testimony revealed that the coder had conducted unauthorized searches on an MI6 database that could have put him at risk if he was discovered. Investigators said, however, that MI6, Britain’s top spy agency, was unaware that Williams had conducted the searches.

Williams, who was 31 at the time he died, was found inside a North Face nylon sports bag in the bathtub of his apartment in August 2010. His nude body was in the fetal position with his arms folded across his chest. The bag was closed with a padlock, and two keys to the padlock were found underneath Williams’ body inside the bag.

Investigating the possibility that Williams had placed himself in the bag, an expert witness testified that he attempted 300 times to lock himself inside a similar sports bag in a bathtub, and was unable to do so.

“I couldn’t say it’s impossible, but I think even Houdini would have struggled with this one,” expert Peter Faulding told the court.

It’s believed that Williams was alive, and likely unconscious, when he was placed in the bag or was placed in it shortly after death before rigor mortis had set in. His mobile phone and a number of SIM cards were laid out on a table near the body, according to news reports. The phone had been restored to its factory settings. There were no signs of forced entry to the apartment and no signs of a struggle.

The coroner said she was sure that a third party had moved the bag containing Williams’ body into the bathtub, noting that it was “significant” that no hand or footprints were found in the bathroom.

Williams was described by those who knew him as a “math genius” and worked for GCHQ in the United Kingdom, helping to break coded Taliban communications, among other things. He was just completing a year-long stint with MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service, and was looking forward to returning to GCHQ when his body was found.

Williams had worked with the NSA and British intelligence to intercept e-mail messages that helped convict would-be bombers in the U.K. He had made repeated visits to the U.S. to meet with the National Security Agency and worked closely with British and U.S. spy agencies to intercept and examine communications that passed between an al Qaeda official in Pakistan and three men who were convicted in 2009 of plotting to bomb transcontinental flights, according to British news reports.

Williams flew up to four times a year to the U.S. to the NSA’s headquarters at Fort Meade HQ. His uncle, Michael Hughes, told the British paper the Mirror that Williams would mysteriously disappear for three or four weeks.

“The trips were very hush-hush,” Hughes said. “They were so secret that I only recently found out about them – and we’re a very close family. It had become part of his job in the past few years. His last trip out there was a few weeks ago, but he was regularly back and forth.”

He is believed to have returned from a trip abroad on August 11, 2010. He was last seen alive on August 15, eight days before his body was found.

Investigators, however, said they have ruled out that Williams’ death was related to his work, although they have not revealed how they arrived at this conclusion.

There were rumors leaked to the press that the coder’s death had to do with sexual play. The browser history on Williams’ computer and one of his phones showed that he had visited bondage sites, and former landlords testified that they once found the coder tied to his bed wearing only boxing shorts. He told them he had just been “messing around” and had tied the bindings too tightly. Investigators also found more than $30,000 worth of women’s designer clothes and accessories in his apartment, as well as a woman’s brightly colored orange wig.

But the coroner said it was “highly unlikely” that sadomasochism or other sexual play had a role in Williams’ death, and investigators said there was no indication that he had anything more than a passing interest in bondage. Friends also said that the women’s clothes found in his apartment were likely gifts for a fashion designer friend and others, although they were in sizes that would have fit Williams. There was also indication that the wig and some of the clothes may have been for a costume party. - wired


Scientist: egg-shaped object is the final proof of life on Mars

Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe said the globule from the rock named Tissint is rich in carbon and oxygen and insisted they could only have been produced by living organisms.

He added that they could not have been caused by contamination when they fell to Earth.

Prof Wickramasinghe, 72 — famous for controversial ideas such as that the flu virus and even life itself was brought to our planet by comets — said: "It is impossible to understand how carbon-rich particles of such uniform sizes and shapes got inside a rocky matrix if they are not relics of some algal species.

"Tissint was collected weeks after it fell, and terrestrial contamination seems unlikely. In any case the structures we found were on newly fractured surfaces, from the interior of the meteorite."

The meteorite was named after the village where it came down in the Sahara desert in Morocco last July.

It was probably blasted from Mars when it was hit by an asteroid millions of years ago.

A piece of it was examined at the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology and Cardiff University.

PhD student Jamie Wallis, who was working with Dr Wickramasinghe, said: "All the indications are that structures such as we have found are evidence of life on Mars.

“The spheres are probably remnants of polysaccharide shells surrounding algal type cells."

In 2009, a NASA team claimed they had photographed Martian organisms inside another meteorite that is kept in London's Natural History Museum.

Their electron microscope showed a bumpy surface resembling a fossilised colony of microbacteria in a rock that fell from the sky in Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911.

The team from NASA's Johnson Space Centre examined the space rock to support their claims in 1996 that Martian bugs had been found in a meteorite, ALH84001, found in Antarctica where it had been lying for thousands of years.

That discovery, which NASA later officially backtracked from, was considered so important that President Clinton addressed the nation on TV.

Earlier this month, another group of scientists claimed that the first two Viking probes that NASA landed on Mars in 1976 discovered life but failed to recognise it. - thesun

Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier

Water and the Search for Life on Mars (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)


The next time someone tells you to kiss a monkey's butt....

Yesterday, Wuhan Zoo Monkey caretaker Zhang Bangsheng unbelievably used his tongue to lick a small monkey’s butt!

50-year-old Zhang Bangsheng used warm water to clean a small Francois’ Leaf Monkey’s buttocks, then began using his mouth to lick it, not stopping for over an hour, until the little monkey defecated a single peanut. Only after the peanut was defecated did Zhang Bangsheng laugh with satisfaction.

As it is understood, this small Francois’ langur is only 3 months old, and is the first Francois’ Leaf Monkey to be born in nearly 10 years at this animal park. The Francois’ langur is a rare primate from Guangxi and Guizhou and is amongst the nation’s most protected animals. Because it is so precious, the zoo gave it to model worker and high-level expert Zhang Bangsheng to care for and raise.

On the first day of the “May 1st” short holiday, Zhang Bangsheng let the small Francois langur enter the monkey exhibit for the first time to meet visitors so it can see more of the world. The next day, Old Zhang discovered that the little monkey had indigestion and difficulty defecating, and immediately became worried. Seeing peanut shells on the ground, Old Zhang immediately understood that visitors had definitely tossed peanuts to the small monkey, and the toothless monkey swallowed the peanut whole. If it does not quickly defecate it, it would endanger the little monkey’s life.

Because the monkey is too small, it wasn’t suitable to use medicine to let it defecate. The only way was to lick its butt, to prompt it to defecate the peanut, and so the scene at the start of this article occurred. - chinasmack