; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just the Facts?: 'Jersey Devil', Dragon, What? -- Record Burmese Python In Florida -- Was Socorro Incident A Hoax?

'Jersey Devil'...Gargoyle...Dragon...What?

I received this inquiry from a reader:

Lon - I thought you might be interested in seeing this ceramic item from the Gladding McBean factory in Lincoln, CA, which is a mere seven miles from my place. GMcB, as they sometimes marked their pieces, is one of the oldest continuously operating manufacturing operations in the West, having been established in Lincoln in the 1870s. Although a large part of their business has always been the production of large clay sewer pipes, they also produced a significant portion of the best decorative architectural terra cotta used on important older buildings all over the U.S. As you know, a lot of the terra cotta figures used on older buildings took the form of wild beasts, gargoyles, and other fantasy creatures. This tradition was carried over from the decorative traditions of northern European edifices, upon which one can still see marvelous representations of rampant beasts, green men, etc. This particular little "medallion" is but one of a wide variety of sample ceramic pieces, meant to serve as representations of the type of work still done by the Gladding McBean factory today.

I bought it several years ago at an estate sale in Lincoln because the figure represented in the medallion struck me immediately as a Jersey Devil. When I called the factory to ask about it, the person responding said their sample pieces include a variety of animal representations, but she apparently didn't know a gargoyle from a kangaroo. To your knowledge, are there other architectural representations of the Jersey Devil on any American buildings? Please feel free to edit and print this with the photo, if you are so inclined.

Monsters of New Jersey: Mysterious Creatures in the Garden State (Monsters (Stackpole))

Tales of the Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil


Was the Socorro incident an elaborate hoax?

For over four and a half decades many around the world have wondered about the true nature of the sighting of a landed unidentified flying object that was reported on the ground and then taking off by Officer Lonnie Zamora in Socorro, NM in 1964. In the fall of 2009 this author’s investigation disclosed that the Officer had been victim to a hoax that was perpetrated by students at the New Mexico Institute of Technology.

Now, three years later, a more complete account of the hoax has finally emerged including:

- The astonishing way the hoax was accomplished
- The number of people involved in the hoax
- Why they did not come forward
- Remarkable film that visually documents how the college students constructed and flew the craft, according to the college’s President
- The collective concern for Officer Zamora by the perpetrators and the college President in the wake of a youthful folly snowballed out of control

Continue reading at Was the Socorro incident an elaborate hoax?

UFO Mysteries: A Reporter Seeks the Truth

The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial


Jersey Murder Trial: Killer 'Hearing Voices'

A father who has admitted killing six people, including his wife and two children, is still "hearing voices inside his head", a court has heard.

Damian Rzeszowski, 31, a Polish immigrant who was living in Jersey, is on trial for the murders of his wife Izabella, 30, his daughter Kinga, five, and his son Kacper, two.

He is also accused of stabbing his father-in-law Marek Garstka, 56, as well as family friend Marta de la Haye, 34 and her little girl Julia, five.

The attacks took place at Rzeszowski's flat in St Helier.

A psychiatric consultant, Dr Dale Harrison, who treated Rzeszowski in the aftermath of the attacks, said the defendant continued to "hear voices inside his head".

Dr Harrison told the court that after first seeing Rzeszowski last August he prescribed him Risperidone, an anti-psychotic drug.

He also prescribed tranquilizers and anti-depressants, the court heard.

He revealed that Rzeszowski was known to the psychiatric services on the island and was suffering from "moderate depression" before the attacks.

The weapons used to kill all six victims were passed around the court as evidence.

The first knife was a similar size to a bread knife, but without a serrated edge and with a pointier tip. The second was even larger, and wider, probably used as a carving knife.

The court fell quiet when a painting was handed to the judge. It was the last thing the children did before Rzeszowski set upon them.

3D images were shown of each of the victims to show the extent of their injuries.

Forensic experts said in statements that all three children had suffered stab wounds and lacerations to their arms, consistent with trying to defend themselves.

Rzeszowski has remained motionless and emotionless throughout proceedings, speaking only to ask a security guard for a glass of water.

He was dressed simply in a blue t-shirt and looks considerably heavier than in photographs of him prior to his arrest.

He has admitted the killings, but denies murder, pleading guilty instead to the lesser charge of manslaughter by diminished responsibility. - sky


Al-Qaeda’s ‘suicide bombers wanted’ ad

Apparently low on bombers, al-Qaeda is running a (short-term) employment advertisement on its Shumukh al-Islam Internet forum. Under the heading “Area of activity: The planet Earth,” the ad seeks jihadists to carry out suicide attacks.

Applicants must be Muslim, mentally mature, dedicated, able to listen, and utterly committed to completing their mission, the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Tuesday.

Several email addresses are provided for applicants. While their real names are not required, candidates are asked to send details of their nickname or handle, their age, marital status, languages spoken and a list of passports in their possession.

The ad on the forum, which is accessible only to al-Qaeda members, specifies the targets of the terror attacks that applicants will be expected to carry out, including “People who fight Islam and Muslims” and enemy “financial, military and media targets.”

The ad indicates that the anticipated attacks will be solo operations: “Only one person will be in charge. He will gather all of the intelligence, he will prepare the operation — and he will complete the attack.” However, it continues, “a military panel” will oversee the bomber’s training and select the target.

The job description promises only a “very slight chance of being caught.”

The ad has elicited several positive responses, the Yedioth article claimed. One forum participant requested that Germany, Denmark and Sweden be specified as potential targets. The same participant warned the forum to be very careful about what it publishes, for fear that the enemy may see what the group is planning. - timesofisrael

Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam

The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda

The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to al Qæda


Giant Burmese python caught in Florida

The biggest Burmese python ever caught in Florida's wild has been captured in the Everglades, US scientists say.

The snake measuring 17ft 7in (5.18m) and weighing 164lb (74kg) was found in Everglades National Park, the University of Florida announced.

The python - now dead - was pregnant with 87 eggs, also believed to be a record.

Non-native Burmese pythons have been blamed for a staggering decline of mammals in Florida's Everglades.

Scientists say the latest discovery shows just how pervasive the snakes - native to South East Asia - have become in South Florida.

"It means these snakes are surviving a long time in the wild," said Kenneth Krysko, at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

"There's nothing stopping them, and the native wildlife are in trouble."

He said that the snake had feathers in its stomach that would help to identify the types of wildlife it was eating.

"A 17-and-a-half-foot snake could eat anything it wants," he added.

Pythons kill their prey by coiling around it and suffocating it.

They have been known to swallow animals as large as deer and alligators.

After scientific investigation, the snake will be exhibited at the museum on the University of Florida campus for five years before being returned to the Everglades National Park.

In 2009, another Burmese python named Delilah, measuring 18ft and weighing more than 400lb, was seized by Florida wildlife officials after it was found that its cage at a home near Lake Apopka was unsuitable. - BBC

Snake in the Grass: An Everglades Invasion

Everglades an Ecosystem Facing Choices and Challenges