; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just the Facts?: Bigfoot Gravesite For Sale -- Death By Totem Pole --Saudi Arabia Beheads Young Housemaid

Bigfoot gravesite for sale

Portland filmmaker Matt McCormick has discovered a real estate offer too good to exist: The owners of the defunct roadside attraction North Fork Survivors Gift Shop—which memorializes the 1980 explosion of Mount St. Helens and the subsequent death of Bigfoot—are selling their property.

The cost to own the gift shop, a 28-foot concrete Bigfoot statue, and a buried A-frame house swamped in flowing Mount St. Helens ash?

Just $270,000, and they'll throw in nine acres, a 1,120-square-foot house, restrooms, and a helicopter landing pad.

The tourist site, which honored the possible demise of Sasquatch by erecting the giant grinning statue, is located along Spirit Lake Highway in Toutle, Wash.—less than 60 miles from Portland.

Here's the real estate listing:

Big foot country! Commercial potential. Let us share how: approx 9.36 beautiful acres w/an 1120 sf home, building lot, North Folk Survivors gift shop, theater w/new roof, Big Foot, buried A frame, rest rooms & outbuildings w/many possibilities, RV park, helicopter landing, food stand, coffee shop, fishing/hunting camp. Across the street from North Folk Toutle River, mils post 19 on way to volcano viewing. Make your plans, make your offer. Cash or conventional financing.

McCormick, who has made several films on abandoned Pacific Northwest highway stops, says on Facebook that if somebody buys him the North Fork Survivors Gift Shop, "I promise I'll turn it in to an awesome art/film summer camp." - WWeek


Death by Totem Pole

A northern Minnesota artist admitted in court Wednesday that he fatally crushed his wife with a 17-foot-tall totem pole they were carving, a murder his accusers say was fueled by infidelity and deceit.

Carl Muggli, 51, pleaded guilty in Koochiching County District Court to killing 61-year-old Linda Muggli in November 2010 at the couple's home south of International Falls. The husband had tried to convince authorities that the 700-pound pole accidentally fell out of a cradle and onto his wife of 24 years.

But about a week after Linda Muggli's death, a tipster told the Sheriff's Office about Facebook entries between Muggli and a woman in Alabama that were "very intimate in nature." Investigators also reported that they were unable to recreate the alleged accident.

"This whole thing is a tragic occurrence," defense attorney Charles Hawkins said Wednesday. He explained that his client chose to plead guilty to second-degree unintentional murder because "he did not want to put the family, his family or himself through any more misery."

Muggli had been charged with first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder and his trial had been scheduled to begin Monday.

He remains in the county jail awaiting sentencing on Feb. 4.

Hawkins said Muggli faces a sentence of 12 1/2 to 15 years in prison, with the possibility of supervised release for the last third of that time.

On Nov. 26, 2010, a sheriff's deputy called to the couple's garage found Linda Muggli on the floor, bleeding from the mouth but still breathing.

She was taken to a hospital, where she died.

Later that day, Carl Muggli told a deputy that a totem pole the couple had been working on fell out of its cradle and onto his wife.

Agent found messages

A state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) agent reviewed Muggli's computer and uncovered Facebook messages between him and the woman that stretched from more than a month before Linda Muggli's death to a few days afterward.

"I love you with all my being. ... I want us together to live our lives as we seek. For I am with you. I am yours. We are one!" Muggli wrote to the woman he called "Eveningstar" the day before his wife's death.

He also began sending e-mails to real estate companies in Texas, looking for a new place to live. On Nov. 30, a few hours after his wife's memorial service, Muggli sent the woman an online link for property in Palestine, Texas. He later moved to Stockdale.

A month after Linda Muggli died, sheriff's deputies and an agent with the BCA went to the Muggli home in an effort to re-create the circumstances of the death as Carl Muggli had outlined. Each effort failed.

Linda and Carl Muggli were married in 1986. They lived quietly in a log home south of International Falls in the town of Ray.

Via the Internet, they made a name for themselves, carving and selling totem poles to Six Flags Theme Park, Warner Brothers Television and the Princess Diana Memorial Children's Park in London, according to their website.

Since Linda Muggli's death, the website, which remains active, has read, "She passed while doing what she loved. - Star Tribune


A touching moment between Jane Goodall and young chimpanzee Flint at Tanzania’s Gombe Stream Reserve, 1964


China's Area 52 - Improving Pilot Training

Recent Chinese TV coverage of Chinese Air Force training revealed that the code word for the main Chinese training base is “Area 52”. This is an interesting shout-out to the U.S. Air Force Tonopah Test Range (also known as Area 52) in Nevada. This has long been the site for testing new aircraft, and providing advanced training for fighter pilots. Nearby is Area 51, an even more secretive base used for experimental aircraft and, according to local lore, UFO activity.

What this shows is how much China understands that the only way to achieve victory in the air is to adopt Western pilot training methods. China is doing this in a big way. China is already getting rid of its thousands of old Cold War era warplanes. These were copies of Russian designs and Chinese air force experts noted that no one ever won a war with these aircraft. Since the 1990s China has been acquiring Western-style designs (MiG-29, Su-27/30) from Russia and developing similar aircraft. But these aircraft are only effective if operated by highly trained and experienced pilots. So China has provided the large quantities of fuel and spare parts needed to keep their several hundred modern fighters in the air a lot. This, however, was not enough. The pilots who started out on the old Cold War style aircraft did not become much better when moved to modern fighters, even after a lot of time in the air. Something was missing, and that turned out to be technical education and specialized training in the intricacies of modern air combat. That meant greater use of realistic flight simulators (so very dangerous maneuvers could be practiced). So the Chinese are taking care of all this, including establishing a “pilot university” that provides a four year academic and flight training program. All this closely follows methods and techniques pioneered by the United States.

The Chinese Air Force now has a training unit that will accurately (as possible) portray enemy (especially American and Indian) aircraft and combat tactics. Thus there are three Blue-Army Aggressor Squadrons (Blue is the bad guys in Chinese training, Red is the good guys) for this. One is equipped with Su-30s, to represent American F-15s or Indian or Vietnamese Su-30s. Another has the J-10A, which is similar to the F-16. The third squadron has J-7s (Chinese copies of the MiG-21), which represent low end threats, like the many MiG-21s India still uses.

Using your own aircraft for "aggressor (or dissimilar) training" began in 1969, when the U.S. Navy established the original "Top Gun" fighter pilot school. This was done in response to the poor performanceof its pilots against North Vietnamese pilots flying Russian fighters. What made the Top Gun operation different was that the training emphasized how the enemy aircraft and pilots operated. This was called "dissimilar training". In the past, American pilots practiced against American pilots, with everyone flying American aircraft and using American tactics. It worked in World War II because the enemy pilots were not getting a lot of practice and were using similar aircraft and tactics anyway. Most importantly, there was a lot of aerial combat going on, providing ample opportunity for on-the-job training. Not so in Vietnam, where the quite different Russian trained North Vietnamese were giving U.S. aviators an awful time. The four week Top Gun program solved the problem. The air force followed shortly with its Red Flag school. In the early 1980s, the Russians established a dissimilar air combat school (and began building Western style fighters), and the Chinese followed in 1987.

Over the last four decades the two American training programs have developed differently, and the entire concept of "dissimilar training" has changed. The navy kept Top Gun as a program to hone fighter pilot's combat skills. The air force made their Red Flag program more elaborate, bringing in the many different types of aircraft involved in combat missions (especially electronic warfare).

After the Cold War ended in 1991, it became increasingly obvious that none of our potential enemies was providing their fighter pilots with much training at all. In other words, the dissimilar training for U.S. fighter pilots was not as crucial as it had been during the Cold War. Actually, it had been noted that flying skills of Soviet pilots was declining in the 1980s, as economic problems in the USSR led to cuts in flying time. During that period American pilots were actually increasing their flying time. Moreover, U.S. flight simulators were getting better. American pilots were finding that even the game oriented combat flight simulators had some training value. But now, with China aggressively doing all they can to improve pilot quality, the U.S. has to pay more attention to staying ahead. - Strategy Page

China's Military Modernization: Building for Regional and Global Reach

Red Dragon Rising: Communist China's Military Threat to America


Saudi Arabia beheads young housemaid

Saudi Arabia has beheaded a young Sri Lankan housemaid despite years of appeals for clemency from her home country and widespread international condemnation. The woman was sentenced to death for the 2005 killing of an infant entrusted to her care.

Rizana Nafeek, 24, was executed on Wednesday morning in the town of Dawadmy, some 250 miles from the capital Riyadh, the Saudi Internior Ministry said in a statement.

Nafeek was sentenced to death in 2007 after her wealthy Saudi employer accused her of killing his 4-month-old daughter after the baby choked while being bottle fed. The Saudi Interior Ministry issued a statement claiming the infant was strangled after a dispute between Nafeek and the baby's mother.

Sri Lanka appealed against the death penalty, but it was upheld by the Saudi Supreme Court in 2010.

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa personally appealed to Saudi authorities on two separate occasions in an attempt to stop the execution from going forward.

"President Rajapaksa and the government of Sri Lanka deplore the execution of Miss Rizana Nafeek despite all efforts at the highest level of the government and the outcry of the people locally and internationally over the death sentence of a juvenile housemaid," Reuters cites the Sri Lankan foreign ministry as saying in a statement.

Nafeek was only 17-years-old when she flew to the Gulf Kingdom in May 2005 on a forged passport that said she was 6 years older than she actually was. She had no training and spoke no Arabic, and the incident is said to have occurred just days after her arrival in the country.

Rights groups claim her 2007 conviction was made under duress and have chastised Saudi authorities for carrying out the death penalty despite the fact that she was not legally an adult when the infant died.

Prior to her execution, Amnesty International said Nafeek had no access to lawyers either during her pre-trial interrogation or trial.

"Despite a chorus of pleas for Saudi Arabian authorities to step in and reconsider Rizana Nafeek’s death sentence, they went ahead and executed her anyway, proving once more how woefully out of step they are with their international obligations regarding the use of the death penalty,” Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program said on Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch also condemned the execution.

"Saudi Arabia is one of just three countries that executes people for crimes they committed as children," said Nisha Varia, senior women's rights researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that follows the strict Wahhabi school of Islam, has a legal system based on Islamic or Sharia law rather than legal codes and precedents.

Some 90 per cent of Saudi Arabia's private sector workforce is made up of foreign workers, and maids from Africa and South Asia have become indispensable in many households.

There are documented cases, however, of maids who suffered domestic abuse at the hands of their employers going on to attack the children entrusted to their care.

In January 2012 the United Nations human rights office expressed concern that executions in Saudi Arabia were on the rise.

Compared to 2010 when 26 people received capital punishment rulings for various crimes, in 2011 there were 76 executions in the kingdom.

The stiff penalties of Sharia can be mitigated however, especially for those who are financially well off.

In the case of murder, the “eye for an eye” principle of Islamic law allows capital punishment to be replaced with Diyya or “Blood money” – a ransom paid by the family of the killer if the bereaved family agrees.

For migrant workers who are unable to pay such high levels of compensation, however, the death penalty appears all but unavoidable. - RT

Islam: Evil in the Name of God

Saudi Arabia on the Edge: The Uncertain Future of an American Ally (Council on Foreign Relations Books (Potomac Books))

Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia