; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Just the Facts?: Smoky Mountains Light Anomaly -- Hollis, NH Photo Update -- Severed Spinal Cords Regrown In Rats

Smoky Mountains light anomaly

While on a walk in the Smoky Mountains near Townsend, TN, I took this photograph, no editing has been done other than to compress it a bit for uploading. Subsequent photographs do not have this bright light source at the tree where it appeared. Opinions welcome. - reddit.com/r/Paranormal


The Battle of Gettysburg 150th Anniversary

If I can make a suggestion for those who plan to visit Gettysburg in the next week or so and who want to experience paranormal anomalies...try to find (at night) someplace quiet very near the battlefield park and just take in the activity. Areas near Culp's Hill, the Lutheran Seminary and along Herr's Ridge Road (where the CSA encampments were) offer some of the best night investigations from my experience. The well-known spots are going to be inundated with paranormal groups...ex. Sachs Covered Bridge, touring locations in the town, etc. You are allowed on the battlefield until 10 PM...but the curfew is strictly enforced. So if you plan an 'all-nighter' I suggest using the previously mentioned areas. As always...be respectful. Don't be surprised if you run into a rebel soldier or two trying to make their way back to safety. Lon


Update: What Is It? - Hollis, NH

Click image for larger version

UPDATE: The consensus is that it's a young black bear with a foreign object over it's head. Several people have mentioned that 'bear baiting' is common in this area (actually legal, with a permit, from my understanding...but not during this time of year). I contacted New Hampshire Fish & Game and forwarded the photo to them. They concur that it is a young bear with an object over it's head. They were going to dispatch someone to the area to investigate...hopefully find the bear to make sure it wasn't in distress. Lon


I received the following email with the photo attached. I zoomed in and cleaned up some of the blurriness:

I haven't found any ideas on what this animal is, so I'm still looking. Please email with your take on it.
Thanks! R.

This was in Hollis NH - at about 1pm -- (I was driving on my lunch hour). I was toying with the idea of going into this old, cool-looking graveyard but I thought maybe not - because I didn't want to chance picking up any 'attachments' :) So I turned down a dirt road near it instead -- I began to drive down the road to turn around - and the animal walked left to right across my path- I took the pics and then turned the car around to leave - it walked again left to right in front of my car - then it slipped behind some trees - there was a house off of the dirt road - I was thinking - Gee, I wonder if they know this kind of animal is hanging around during the day- :)

It was taken on a cell phone - It was the size of a large dog - ( I thought it might be a coyote hybrid) has that fox color - I thought if it had any 'weirdness' to it - it might be because I decided against going into that little old cemetery - (it looked totally physical). The face is totally white - no features == when I looked at it I got the butterflies because I couldn't see a face where one should be! :D And I sensed that it was looking at me - because it was turned my way waiting...You can see the white in the pic.

I had heard a description matching the animal on two different shows about Skinwalkers - eek... ;)

Weird New England: Your Travel Guide to New England's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Strange New Hampshire

The Wildlife of New England: A Viewer's Guide



A woman from Dunedin, New Zealand, was tightlipped when she rang 111, after mistakenly gluing her lips together. The call, at about midnight on Thursday, sparked fears that the 64-year-old was being held captive.

"Ambulance received a call, but due to the muffled speech ... they were unsure whether it was a medical event or whether someone had been gagged,'' Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken said. ''Basically, she could only grunt.''

Ambulance staff called the police, who went to the woman's home and found that she had mistakenly applied super-glue to her lips instead of her normal medication. ''She got up in the middle of the night, in the dark, and grabbed what she thought was the tube of medication,'' Aitken said.

''It was an extremely frightening event for her because her breathing was impeded. I've heard of a few other things super-glued, but never lips. You wouldn't have wanted to have had a blocked nose.'' The woman was taken to hospital and has since been released.


Scientists Regrow Severed Spinal Cords In Rats

Scientists have found a way to reconnect severed spinal cords in rats, allowing them to regain bladder control--a major accomplishment that could one day help humans with similar nervous system injuries recover lost abilities.

The spinal cord is the root of all bodily nerves, with an intimate, direct connection to the brain; together, they comprise the central nervous system. Severe injuries to the spinal cord are drastic and were long presumed to be irreparable. In many cases they result in a loss of bodily functions and permanent paralysis.

The intriguing thing is that the spinal cord actually attempts to repair itself. Yet due to several factors which are still not entirely understood, natural regeneration stops shortly after it begins. Over the last 30 years, scientists have worked to chemically encourage regrowth. Two chemicals, chondroitinase and FGF, show strong signs of doing exactly that--in rats, at least. Independently, over the past three decades, each chemical has shown some promise in restoring simple but crucial rat motor processes, like breathing, even with entirely severed spinal cords.

Two surgeons in the field figured that a combination of the chemicals might enhance the regrowth even more. The surgeons, from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, began by entirely severing the spinal cords of 15 rats to ensure no independent, natural regrowth. That shut off the rats' bladder control (a nervous system process that is especially important in rats, since they urinate often and to mark their territory). The researchers then injected the two growth-stimulating chemicals into both sides of the severance, and reinforced the gap in the cord with steel wiring and surgical thread.

After six months of growth, the rats demonstrated near-normal bladder control--it seems that the nerves had recuperated enough for brain-spinal cord-bladder communication to work once more. The rats did not regain the ability to walk, but that was not the experiment’s intention. “It's clear that some primitive functions may be able to come back. We've shown for the very first time that we can promote long-distance regeneration in the adult spinal cord, across a complete spinal cord lesion. It's a step in the right direction,” project director Jerry Silver explained.

The scientists intend to continue their research, next trying their method on older spinal cord injuries. After enough testing, they might be able to use the technique on humans. But, that is a long ways off, and the scientists seem humble enough to recognize that fact. - Popsci