; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, February 04, 2013

Just the Facts?: King Richard III Skeleton Confirmed -- New 'Black Dahlia' Clues -- Odd Unexplained Experiences

King Richard III skeleton confirmed

A skeleton found last year under a council car park in Leicester has been shown “beyond reasonable doubt” to be that of King Richard III who died in the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, experts have concluded.

A detailed forensic examination of the skull and bones, including DNA tests, has solved the 528-year mystery of what happened to the body of the last Plantagenet King, claimed the University of Leicester, which funded the archaeological dig.

Radiocarbon dating has placed the age of skeleton within the time frame of Richard’s death, and the skull and bones bear the brutal hallmarks of being cut down on a medieval battlefield.

The man also suffered severe spinal curvature, which would have made his right shoulder higher than the left. This is consisted with the Shakesperian notion that Richard, the “hunchbacked king”, had a deformed stature - but there were no signs of the fabled withered arm.

Scientists said that the age of the man at death was between 30 and 33, which is consistent with the age of the 32-year-old king. He also had a slender, almost feminine physique, which matches historical descriptions of Richard.

Crucially, DNA extracted from the teeth and bone match the two living maternal relatives of Richard who genealogy has been confirmed, university scientists said. The chance of this being a random match are only “a few per cent”, they added.

“It is the academic conclusion of The University of Leicester that the individual exhumed at Greyfriars in August 2012 is indeed King Richard III the last Plantagenet King of England,” said Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the four-year project.

The genetic study used maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA extracted from two living relatives, a London-based carpenter called Michael Ibsen and an unidentified person who has also been traced through 16 generations of genealogical records to Richard’s elder sister, Anne of York.

“We were very excited to find that there is a DNA match between the maternal DNA from the family of Richard III and the skeletal remains we found at the Greyfriars dig,” said Turi King, who carried out the DNA analysis.

“The DNA evidence points to these being the remains of Richard III...The type of DNA we extracted is extremely rare, shared by only a few per cent of the population. Taken together with the other evidence, it is a very strong and compelling case,” Dr King said.

The announcement today at a packed press conference was the remarkable culmination of a quest that began more than four years ago when enthusiastic amateurs suggested that Richard may be buried under the car park of Leicester’s department of social services.

“Everyone thought I was mad. It’s not the easiest pitch in the world to look for a king under a council car park...I’d like to thank Leicester City Council for allowing us to dig up their car park,” said Philippa Langley, a screenwriter and member of the Richard III Society.

The skeleton was found in a grave dug under the choir of Grey Friars church, which stood on the site until the monstery was dissolved in the 16th Century. The man was buried with crossed wrists, suggesting he had been bound, and was slumped in a hole that was slightly too small for the 5ft 8in tall man, said Dr Buckley.

Radiocarbon dating showed that the man lived between about 1455 and 1540, which is consistent with the 1485 battle at Bosworth, he said.

Jo Appleby, an osteologist at Leicester, said there were 10 separate sites of damage to the skeleton - 8 to the skull and 2 to the body - that occurred around the time of death. A large part of the base of the skull had been sliced off by a sharp blade, possibly a sword, and another part of the head had suffered a severe puncture wound, possibly by a halberd. Either of these wounds would have been fatal.

There were other, non-fatal injuries to the cranium and the face that could have been caused by knives or daggers, Dr Appleby said. Other marks to the bones, especially the ribs and pelvis, suggest the body was further damaged once armour had been removed - which is consistent with Richard’s body being stripped and humiliated.

“Examples of such ‘humiliation injuries’ are well known from the historical and forensic literature, and historical sources have suggested that Richard’s body was mistreated after the battle,” Dr Appleby said.

The damage to the pelvis may have been caused by a blade being thrust into the right buttock of Richard’s body, possibly when it was slumped over the back of a pack horse when carried from Bosworth to Leicester, she said.

Richard III will now be buried in nearby Leicester Cathedral. - Independent

Richard III and the Murder in the Tower

King Richard III


Black Dahlia case: Cadaver dog discovers death scent at Hollywood home of suspect 66 years after the murder

A former LAPD detective who believes his father killed the Black Dahlia believes a cadaver dog's search of his old Hollywood home has turned up the scent of the woman who was killed 66 years ago.

The shocking murder of Elizabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia, is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles history.

On Jan. 15, 1947, Short's severely mutilated body was discovered in a vacant lot near the intersection of 39th Street and Norton Avenue in South Los Angeles.

The body of Elizabeth Short, 22, had been severed at the waist and completely drained of blood. Her face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears, creating an effect known as a Glasgow smile

Short also had multiple cuts on her thigh and breasts, where entire portions of flesh had been removed. The body had been washed and cleaned and had been ‘posed’ with her hands over her head, her elbows bent at right angles, and her legs spread.

The gruesome murder generated masses of media interest at the time. The newspapers of the day, which had a habit of nicknaming colorful crimes, started referring to Short as the Black Dahlia after the then popular film The Blue Dahlia.

To add to the case’s sense of mystery and intrigue, both LAPD officials and newspaper editors received taunting notes believed to be from Short's killer.

The Los Angeles District Attorney office drew up a list of 25 people it considered viable suspects, although as many as 60 people have confessed to the murder at one time or another.

In his 2003 book ‘Black Dahlia Avenger,’ Steve Hodel first made the claim that his father, a doctor, was responsible for the murder.

George Hodel had been a suspect in the original case and investigators had even planted a bug in the house to listen for incriminating admissions. But before authorities brought charges, Dr. Hodel abruptly abandoned his family and relocated to Asia. He died in 1991.

Steve Hodel believes his father killed the Black Dahlia at the family’s then home, the distinctive ‘Sowden House’ in Hollywood, which is largely unchanged and looks the same as it did at the time of the murder.

Hodel was also able to establish that he and his siblings had been away with their mother at that time.

When the opportunity arose for Hodel to return to his childhood home, he jumped at the chance after producers of the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters program arranged it with the current owners.

Last November Hodel, together with retired police Sgt. Paul Dostie of Mammoth Lakes and Buster, a Labrador retriever trained to detect the unique smell of human composition, visited the property.

Once let loose, Buster quickly established four locations in the basement where he could pick up a faint trace of human remains.

The basement had never been finished and since the floor was still dirt, soil samples were taken.

Hodel is awaiting the results of those samples, which might once and for all confirm who killed the Black Dahlia. - Daily Mail

Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia Murder

Black Dahlia Avenger II: Presenting the Follow-Up Investigation and Further Evidence Linking Dr. George Hill Hodel to Los Angeles's Black Dahlia and other 1940s- LONE WOMAN MURDERS


Odd unexplained experiences

The following anecdote was recieved recently:

I just discovered your website when someone posted a link to it on Reddit. Since I have nothing to lose, I thought I'd share my story with you just in case someone else has contacted you with a similar experience.

Throughout my life, I've had strange/paranormal encounters. For each encounter, I've come up with probable explanation, either based on science or the paranormal. All, that is, except for the following story which has had me totally perplexed.

Around five years ago, my husband and I experienced something for which we have no explanation. In the house we lived in back then, we went downstairs to the kitchen late at night to get something to drink, probably near 2:00am. We were talking and joking around like we usually do, then something caught our attention.

In our living room (which was part of a great room and clearly visible from the kitchen), hovering in the air about five feet off the ground, were these... sparkling things. They were very bright, looked the way twinkling stars do, were in a group of about seven, and they moved around but stayed in the same area and in a group. We both stood there and watched them for about fifteen seconds.

Suddenly, the entire group darted FAST to the left (our right) and we couldn't see them anymore. About five seconds later, I felt a strange sensation on my back. It felt like static electricity and it wasn't an unpleasant sensation, just really odd. I told my husband to look at my back to see if he saw anything. He looked and everything down my backside looked like it was being pulled away from my body. My hair, my shirt, my pants -- all looking like they were being pulled backwards.

After this went on for about twenty seconds, I was ready for it to stop. I told him to stand behind me and hold me close to him. He did and we both felt something slip out from between us and then it was gone.

About a month after that incident, I was sitting alone in a room, browsing the internet on my laptop, when something caught my attention. I looked to my left and a little behind me and I saw those same sparkles again. They weren't as bright because I was in a well-lit room. They floated around in a group about seven feet away from me for approximately ten seconds, then just disappeared.

We moved three years later into the house we currently live in. One night, about six months after we moved in, I heard a snap sound from the southeast corner of our room right after I'd gotten into bed. About three seconds later, I felt that same static electricity sensation on my back near the base of my spine. Startled, I quickly rolled onto my back (I had been laying on my right side facing my husband). The sensation stopped as soon as I did that and then I heard the snap sound again in the same corner.

A few months later, it happened again. The snap in the southwest corner of the room, then the sensation at the base of my spine. That time I decided to just be still and see what would happen. The sensation slowly worked its way all the way up my spine, pausing occasionally along the way. After it reached my head and paused again for a few seconds, it went away and I heard the departing snap again. This happened at least twice more after that, each incident about six months apart.

I've shared this story with quite a few people. A couple have said it might have been aliens implanting something and then returning to activate it. A few more said it might have been angels or light beings. The rest found it interesting but had no clue what it might have been. As for me, I'm totally clueless about what it could have been... and I'm wondering if it will be visiting me again in the future. Cat

Paranormal Portal to a Parallel Universe

Handbook For The Recently Haunted


Abduction - Salt Lake City

7/10/10 - unedited: There is one experience I am uncertain about. I would have called it a vivid dream--except for one detail I will shortly tell you. For five years, from 2008 to 2012, I lived in a one-story house on the northwest side of Salt Lake City. Outside my bedroom window was an apricot tree. In 2010, the tree had a large crop of apricots, and I had picked them up as high as I could get. But many beautiful apricots were left on the highest branches of the tree where I couldnt reach them, even with a stepladder.

I "dreamt" I was slowly descending down through the air toward the apricot tree and my bedroom window. I was in a fetal position, my arms wrapped around my knees. It was the bright light of morning, so I could clearly see the apricots on the high branches. They hung down below me. I descended amongst the branches and could feel them and the leaves touch me, touch my forehead. I thought: "If I can pick one apricot, I will know this really happened." I tried so hard to reach out and pick one apricot, but I could barely move my arms.

I woke in my bed, and thought I had dreamed it all: but my right hand was tightly closed around one leaf from the apricot tree. - MUFON CMS

The Utah UFO Display: A Scientist's Report

Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah