; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just the Facts?: 'Only Kooks See UFOs' -- 'The Shining' Sequel -- Wyoming Double Rainbow Photo

Lord Martin Rees: Aliens Fascinate Everyone, But Only Kooks See UFOs

Astronomers -- the men and women who study the stars, galaxies and beyond -- have an almost universal agreement that there's nothing of scientific interest when it comes to the subject of UFOs.

In fact, many professionals who gaze into the heavens actually speak about UFO sightings with disdain -- even though countless military officials, heads of state, newsmakers and commercial pilots have said they've seen unidentified flying objects.

"No serious astronomer gives any credence to any of these stories," said Lord Martin Rees, the official U.K. astronomer royal.

Rees, author of the new book, From Here to Infinity: A Vision for the Future of Science told The Huffington Post that, while "everyone's fascinated by aliens," he's in favor of the ongoing SETI Institute program -- the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

"We should look by all possible techniques," Rees said. "We've no idea what's out there, and so we should look for anything that might seem to be some sort of artifact rather than something natural."

While Rees said he hopes real extraterrestrials will be detected within the next 40 years, he's completely and "utterly unconvinced" that any ETs have been visiting Earth.

"I think most astronomers would dismiss these," Rees said. "I dismiss them because if aliens had made the great effort to traverse interstellar distances to come here, they wouldn't just meet a few well-known cranks, make a few circles in corn fields and go away again."

Nevertheless, in a recent HuffPost blog, SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak wrote about the daily emails he receives from people describing "alien sightings, extraterrestrial plans for Earth, and agitated screeds about the reluctance of scientists to take the whole subject seriously."

Shostak said very few of those emails "are penned by hoaxers. The correspondents are sincere, and many simply wish to help us in our search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence."

While Shostak may at first appear sympathetic to folks claiming that aliens are already here, he said he sees no real evidence.

"It's hard to believe that the aliens have cleverly arranged things so that only governments can find convincing evidence of their presence. ... The fact is, if you're certain that our planet is hosting alien visitors, the way to gain acceptance for your point of view is to prove it." Continue reading at Lord Martin Rees: Aliens Fascinate Everyone, But Only Kooks See UFOs

UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities

Exposed, Uncovered & Declassified: UFOs and Aliens - Is There Anybody Out There?

Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and Classified Aerospace Technology


Stephen King to publish sequel to 'The Shining'

Fans of Steven King horror novels are counting the days until he publishes the sequel to one of his greatest spine chillers The Shining. The book is due to come out on September 24th, thirty five years after he published his first saga.

Although little is known about the plot, it’s clear that the long-awaited follow-up novel, Doctor Sleep, depicts Danny Torrance, the young boy who survived the bloody events of The Shining.

According to King's official website, the lead character encounters "a twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals."

The Shining has sold over a million copies since it was first published in 1977.

The prolific multi-award winning author is often referred to as a writing machine: he has released a novel every year since 2001.

His books are in demand by filmmakers who are ready to adapt King’s novels for the silver screen even before he finishes them. According to Hollywood Reporter, nine of his books are in development for TV or film adaptations, with more are being added nearly every month.

The biggest rumor, Hollywood Reporter claims, is that Warner Bros. is allegedly working on a prequel film to The Shining. Those who watched the movie starring Jack Nicholson and adapted for the big screen by Stanley Kubrick claimed it was the scariest film ever made. Whether King would be involved in revamping his bestselling story for the Hollywood project is unknown. - RT

Jack Nicholson (The Shining) Signed 8x10 Autograph Photo

The Shining

The Shining [Blu-ray]


China rounds up and puts its beggars in cages...so they couldn't spoil the fun at town fair

Beggars at a religious folk festival in southern China have been ordered to stay in purposely built cages, or be removed from the festivities. Organisers gave the beggars an ultimatum saying their presence ruins the experience for visitors at the temple fair in Nanchang, Jiangxi province and if they wished to beg they had to do so from inside small cages. The zoo-like cages are so small adults are unable to stand and although they are free to leave at will, they are immediately banished from the festival area and have to leave the city if they do so.

The annual fair celebrates a religious holy day with a funfair, market and entertainment as pilgrims come to the temple from all over China. Due to the thousands of visitors it has become a magnet for down-and-outs looking for charity from festival-goers. ‘This year we decided we would no longer accept beggars wandering everywhere, distressing our guests and spoiling it for everyone else,' explained one organiser before adding that no one is forcing them to beg and that they have voluntarily entered the cages. Over the last few years we have had increasing numbers of beggars turning up at the festival and it was becoming very intruding for our visitors. They were being harassed and made to feel uncomfortable.

‘We had no choice but to ban them from the grounds. We found the cages a good solution for everyone. People can still give them donations if they desire too but are not harassed and followed around the festival when they are having a day out with their families. The beggars are quite comfortable in their cages, people send them food and water as gifts. In a way it is better for them there than having to find a place on the busy streets. Our guests come here to enjoy themselves and that is our top priority. The beggars can leave whenever they like but they have to leave the city too, they can't go into the fair,’ they added.

The cages have infuriated human rights campaigners in China who have branded them a human zoo. ‘They are treating them like zoo animals. What will they have to do next - tricks for their food?‘ said one. ‘They are kept behind iron railings at the entrance to the fair, they are supplied with water and food by festival organisers but have to eat it stuck in these cages. This is nothing less than public humiliation. Do they want people to believe the region has no poor people and just put on a good show? These people need help. We should not be allowing them to be locked away in cages. These people are human beings too.’ - dailymail

Creating Wealth and Poverty in Postsocialist China (Studies in Social Inequality)

Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty


Wyoming Double Rainbow Photo Stuns Onlookers

Wyoming resident Jonmikel Pardo took this spectacular photograph of a double rainbow on Sep. 1. from his backyard in Lander, Wyo.

"It was just after a fast-moving thunderstorm passed through," he told OurAmazingPlanet. "There was a break in the clouds just as the sun was about to set behind the mountains. The break was large enough to allow the full sunlight through and the rainbow was incredibly bright, even more so with the dark storm surrounding us."

Pardo takes photographs mostly as a hobby, but has had his work included in several regional publications and Boys Life magazine.

To see a rainbow, you need two ingredients: sunlight and raindrops. When sunlight passes through a prism — in this case, drops of water — some of the light is refracted, or bent, more than other portions, based on the wavelength (or color) of the different parts of the light spectrum. Light leaving the prism then spreads out into a continuous band of colors called a spectrum.

As in this case, sometimes a secondary bow forms outside the primary, giving the look of a double rainbow. It's always fainter and usually disappears more quickly than the primary. - THP

The Field Guide to Natural Phenomena: The Secret World of Optical, Atmospheric and Celestial Wonders

Weird Weather: Tales of Astronomical and Atmospheric Anomalies (Astronomers' Universe)