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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Just the Facts?: Chavez Cancer Conspiracy -- Crystal Skulls Deemed Fake -- Suspicious Burning Death Investigation

Chavez Cancer Conspiracy...really?

Venezuela is to formally investigate suspicions late President Hugo Chavez’s was afflicted with cancer after being poisoned by foreign enemies, the government said.

Acting President Nicolas Maduro vowed to set up an inquiry into the allegation, which was first leveled by Chavez after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011. Foreign scientists will also be invited to join a government commission to investigate the claim.

“We will seek the truth,” Reuters cites Maduro as telling regional TV network Telesur late on Monday. “We have the intuition that our commander, Chavez, was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way.”

Maduro said it was too early to determine the exact root of the cancer which was discovered in Chavez’s pelvic region in June 2011, but charged that the United States had laboratories which were experienced in manufacturing diseases.

"He had a cancer that broke all norms," the agency cites Maduro as saying. "Everything seems to indicate that they affected his health using the most advanced techniques ... He had that intuition from the beginning."

Chavez reportedly underwent four surgeries in Cuba, before dying of respiratory failure after the cancer metastasized in in his lungs.

Maduro compared the conspiracy surrounding Chavez’s death to allegations that Israeli agents poisoned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to death in 2004.

In December 2011, Chavez speculated that the United States could be infecting the regions leaders with cancer after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

"I don't want to make any reckless accusations," Chavez said before asking:

“Would it be strange if [the United States] had developed a technology to induce cancer, and for no one to know it?" Maduro repeated the accusation last week on the eve of Chavez’s death.

"Behind all of [the plots] are the enemies of the fatherland," he said on state television before announcing the expulsion of two US Air Force officials for spying on the military and plotting to destabilize the country.

Venezuela’s opposition has lambasted the claim as another Chavez-style conspiracy theory intended to distract people from real issues gripping the country in the run up to the snap presidential election called for April 14.

As Tuesday marked the last day of official mourning for Chavez, ceremonies are likely to continue, fueling claims by the opposition that the government is exploiting Chavez’s death to hold onto power.

While launching his candidacy on Monday, Maduro began his speech with a recording of Chavez singing the national anthem, sending many of his supporters into tears.

The pro-business state governor Henrique Capriles, who is running for the opposition’s Democratic Unity coalition, was quick to remind both his supporters and detractors that the charismatic socialist reformer Chavez was not his opponent.

“[Maduro] is not Chávez and you all know it,” The Christian Science Monitor quotes him as saying while announcing his candidacy on Sunday.

“President Chávez is no longer here.” Maduro, a former bus driver and Chavez's handpicked successor, has attempted to deflect criticism that he lacks the former president’s rhetorical flair by painting himself as a working class hero.

“I’m a man of the street. … I’m not Chávez,” he said Sunday.

“I’m interim president, commander of the armed forces and presidential candidate because this is what Chávez decided and I’m following his orders.” Polls taken before Chavez's death gave Maduro a 10 point lead over Capriles, who lost to Chavez in last October’s presidential poll. - RT

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Parascience expert investigates site of suspicious burning death

A researcher with ParaScience International flew to Oklahoma this week to get more information on a suspicious death in Sequoyah County. Autopsy results are pending, but experts say it could be a case of spontaneous human combustion.

“Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” said Larry Arnold, director of ParaScience International.

A mysterious death has local authorities stumped. “The nature of his burn injuries are something that has captivated our interest,” Arnold said.

Arnold flew from Pennsylvania to Sequoyah County to study the death of Danny Vanzandt, 65. Last month deputies say Vanzandt was found dead in his home on Bawcom Road.

Some believe it could be spontaneous human combustion.

“We cannot say that it is,” said Arnold. “We cannot say that it isn’t nor can any investigator because the only way that determination could be made at this point is if there was an eyewitness to the event. There is no eyewitness.”

Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart says they are still waiting on an autopsy report from the medical examiner’s office.

Investigators say the victim may have burned for 10 hours. The rest of the house did not suffer damage.

“Preternatural human combustibility is the situation where the body becomes consumed almost completely to powder in an environment otherwise devoid of significant heat, flame damage,” Arnold said.

Arnold hopes to get more information from Vanzandt’s family. “At this point we don’t have an answer,” he said. “All we have are theories and it’s an ongoing mystery.”

Arnold also plans to visit the medical examiner’s office if at all possible on the trip. - 5 News Online


Child bridegroom: Eight-year-old boy marries 61-year-old woman after 'dead ancestors told him to tie the knot'

An eight-year-old schoolboy has married a 61-year-old woman because the ghost of his dead ancestor told him to.

Sanele Masilela tied the knot with Helen Shabangu, who is already married and a mother-of-five.

The boy, from Tshwane, South Africa, said he had been told by his dead ancestors to wed and his family, fearing divine retribution, forked out for a wedding.

They paid £500 for the bride and a further £1,000 for the big day, which was organised in just two months.

Ceremony: The schoolboy kisses his 61-year-old bride, who is already married and a mother of five. He said he had been told to tie the knot by his ancestorsven puckered up for a kiss.

It's already shocked the community but the family has defended the ceremony, saying it was just a ritual and not legally binding.

Sanele's 46-year-old mum, Patience Masilela said: 'This is the first time this has happened in the family.

'Sanele is named after his grandfather, who was never had a white wedding before he died so asked Sanele to get married. He chose Helen because he loves her.

'By doing this we made the ancestors happy. If we hadn't done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family.

'I didn't have a problem with it because I know it's what the ancestors wanted and it would make them happy.'

The widow, who works at a recycling centre, added: 'I would say that this is not wrong.

'Sanele was fine and he was happy about the ceremony and it was what he wanted. He was happy to get married and very excited.'

Sanele and his bride did not sign a marriage certificate and do not have to live together. Both have gone back to their normal lives.

Sanele today said he hoped he would have a proper wedding to a woman his own age when he was older.

He added: 'I told my mother that I wanted to get married because I really did want to.

'I'm happy that I married Helen - but I will go to school and study hard.

'When I'm older I will marry a lady my own age.'

Despite being old enough to be his grandmother, bride Helen, whose children are aged between 37 and 27, was happy with the arrangement.

Helen, who also works at a recycling centre, said: 'I'm married and have five kids of my own, but I know that this is what the ancestors wanted - and now they are happy.

'It is a ritual. We are just playing now, but it is a sign that he will get married one day.'

Her husband of 30 years, Alfred, 65, said: 'My kids and I are happy.

'We don't have problems with it but some of the community members were shocked.' - Daily Mail


Crystal Skulls Deemed Fake

Humans seem to have a predilection for fake quartz-crystal Aztec skulls. Since the 1860s, dozens of skull sculptures have appeared on the art market purporting to be pre-Columbian artifacts from Mesoamerica, that is, created by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century. Three such skulls have graced the collections of major museums on both sides of the Atlantic: the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the British Museum in London, and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

As early as the 1930s, some experts began to have doubts about the authenticity of the skulls, says Margaret Sax, a conservation scientist at the British Museum. But for a long time researchers “didn’t have the scientific means to follow up” on their hunches, she adds. Over the past two decades researchers at all three museums have capitalized on analytical science innovations to show that these peculiar skulls are not unusual Aztec artifacts but post-Columbian fakes.

Nowadays the market for crystal skulls is limited to Indiana Jones fans, New Age devotees, and people in the goth and punk subcultures. But in the 1860s, when the skulls appeared on the market, many people in Europe sported little skeletons on rings, pendants, or other personal trinkets to remind them of their own mortality, says Jane Walsh, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. It was a French dealer named Eugène Boban who capitalized on this fascination with the macabre, as well as Europe’s growing interest in and ignorance of Mesoamerican artifacts, to slip some of the first sham skulls into museums. Continue reading at

NOTE: I never bought into the Mesoamerican 'crystal skull' legends. Too much opportunity to produce forgeries for profit with little actual history to support the stories. I've seen a few very nicely made fakes...full-sized replicas produced in the Far East from a variety of minerals. China has excellent clear and colored calcite deposits which are mined and used to make beautiful skull replicas. On the other hand, I am a crystal / mineral collector and I truly believe in the energy and vibrations that eminate from selected specimans...Lon

The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls: Unlocking the Secrets of the Past, Present, and Future

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Man rams police car while 'being chased by aliens'

A driver who rammed a police car because he thought he was being chased by aliens has been banned from driving and ordered to receive psychiatric treatment.

Brett Webber was in the grip of a psychotic episode when he drove for more than a mile through Exeter on the rims of his van's wheels after all four tyres had been punctured by a police stinger device.

He swerved onto the wrong side of the road during the low speed chase which reached just 25 mph and ended when police cars forced him off the road and into a wall at Rydon Lane.

Throughout the journey Webber was sounding his horn because he believed its noise would ward off the pursuing aliens, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Homeless carpet cleaner Webber, aged 48, whose last settled address was Venny Bridge, Exeter, admitted dangerous driving.

He was ordered to receive psychiatric help as a condition of an 18 month supervision order and banned from driving for at least four years.

He will have to pass an extended driving test and satisfy the DVLA his mental health has improved enough to allow him to drive again before he is allowed back onto the road.

Recorder Mr Andrew Oldland, QC, told him:"The greatest danger you pose to the public will be if you drive while you are in a psychotic state.

"In my judgment that would be a very grave risk and only when the authorities are satisfied that your illness has been addressed and managed will it be proper for you to drive again.

"You are also a danger to the police because when you are ill you view them with great distaste and suspicion and there have been a number of instances of tension between you and the police.

"Your record and offending justify custody but the public interest is not best served by sending you to prison so I am making an order which ensures you will receive treatment for your illness."

James Taghdissian, prosecuting, said police followed Webber's van, with the logo Carpet Magic on the side, after he almost knocked over a moped rider in the centre of Exeter.

They stopped him in Clifton Hill but he reversed and rammed the patrol car, leaving it dented, before driving off. Officers used a stinger to deflate all four tyres in Polsloe Road but he carried on driving.

Webber went down Barrack Road, turned left into Topsham Road, with police behind him but carried on, sometimes losing control because of his flat tyres and swerving towards oncoming traffic.

When he was stopped in Rydon Lane he was arrested while chanting 'doh, ray, me, soh' which he believed would protect him from aliens.

Mr Taghdissian said:"The defendant believed he was being pursued by aliens who were out to kill him. He sounded his horn continuously because he thought it would scare them away. This was a prolonged course of driving."

Kelly Scrivener, defending, said that since the offence 13 months ago Webber's illness had been identified as paranoid schizophrenia rather than drug induced psychosis.

She said he is keen to receive treatment but is currently having problems with his accommodation which has resulted in him sofa surfing with friends.

She said he is keen to be able to drive again because it is essential for his work. - This Is Exeter