; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Odds & Ends: 'Blue Cloud' Sightings Make National News -- Ricky D Punked -- 'Mona Lisa' Skeleton DNA Testing

'Blue Cloud' Sightings Make National News

Florida residents spied a possible unidentified flying object, prompting phone calls to the National UFO reporting center after seeing a strange bluish substance in the sky.

Meredith Hockaday, 32, said she was walking her dog in Lighthouse Point, Fla., August 7 when she saw a strange light in the sky. Initially, she thought a plane had exploded, and began taking pictures and video. And then she noticed a strange cloud. At that point, she said, she considered the possibility that it was a UFO, and called her husband “freaking out.” But he could not explain the site either.

“I would like to say it’s a UFO, but I can’t say for sure,” said Hockaday. ”I would like to think they exist, it makes for interesting talk. I believe there is other life out there.”

Peter Davenport, the director of the National UFO Reporting Center, said the center received 14 reports from Florida on August 7, both written and through the telephone.

But according to scientists, the object was a false alarm–it was merely exhaust fumes from a recent rocket launch that had formed crystallized clouds.

The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launched a Delta IV rocket carrying a satellite from their space launch complex on August 7.

“Did you see the bright clouds following tonight’s Delta IV rocket launch?,” The U.S. National Weather Service in Melbourne, Fla., wrote on its Facebook page. “We believe they are a form of “noctilucent clouds” that are sometimes present in the mesosphere at a height of 240,000 to 280,000 feet! Since the sun was still shining at that height, the ice crystals that formed in the rocket’s exhaust appeared quite bright.”

Davenport said one of the callers, who was very familiar with rocket launches, had seen something right after the launch with which she was unfamiliar and “had no explanation,” leaving open the possibility that something could have been in the sky in addition to the clouds formed by exhaust fumes. - ABCNews

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Ricky D Punked

To make a long story short...Ricky D's recent attempt at creating a hoax backfired on him. The Squatch Detective Steve Kulls made the trip to Los Angeles in order to call-out Ricky D and his claim that he had a live juvenile Bigfoot. Needless to say, Ricky D failed to show and posted a video stating that he hoaxed the Bigfoot Community once again. Well, it didn't quite work out that way...at least to those who monitored the situation live. It was just another attempt by Ricky D to satisfy his obsession for attention (Read Do You Recognize This Person? and tell me what you think). The end result was that Ricky D proved to everybody, including his 'supporters', that he is a fraud and a liar. A big 'thumbs up' to Steve Kulls for turning the tables on the louse.

UPDATE: Steve Kulls posted this - Calling the bluff…


Recently, comedienne Ricky D 'came clean' on the 'Hank the Bigfoot' story. Well...that's the best way that I can describe this scenario. Anyway, watch the video...it is absolutely priceless - Ricky D opens up about the San Antonio Bigfoot for the 1st Time! or cut/paste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maLFhvngiOY&feature=share&list=UU5IKbbFiho2jnnneClRUcnA

I have no idea how long he's going to keep this video up since he has a tendency to pull videos quickly after he's called out....which is frequent.

Ricky D. now claims that 'Hank' was a hermaphrodite and that there was a juvenile as well. He claims that he is in possession of a 'live' juvenile Bigfoot and has invited 'haters', including Steve Kulls, to witness this being. According to Steve Kulls (from his FB page) he has accepted the invitation.

Will this be the final chapter of the Ricky D saga? Lon


Mourning elephants seek revenge after herd member killed by train

A herd of around 15 elephants have stopped several trains on the Howrah-Delhi route near Matari railway station in Jharkhand, eastern India after an elephant was killed when it was hit by the Kolkata-New Delhi Duronto Express. They have also attacked villages and demolished parts of a school and several houses. Villagers have been keeping night-long vigils, but haven't been to drive away the herd.

A railway official said the train was at full throttle when the herd tried to cross the track between Matari and Gomo railway stations. One of the elephants fell into a gorge, the impact breaking its spine. The other members of the herd, hearing its cries, attacked the train and damaged its coaches. A passenger traveling on the train, Ashish Singh said: "I heard a sound similar to some explosion. All of us were extremely afraid as we thought that Maoists had detonated some sort of a bomb. Everyone in the compartment kept quiet for some time.

"We only realized what had happened after he heard the elephant wailing." A disaster management team arrived at the spot around an hour later to rescue the stranded train and passengers. They burst several fire crackers and drove the herd into nearby forests. The disaster management personnel managed to take the stranded Duronto train to Gomo station from where it moved for onward journey after engineers approval. Dhanbad DFO Satish Chandra Rai said a team of doctors led by R C Gupta conducted the post-mortem on the dead elephant and it was buried in the same area.

Wildlife activist D S Srivastava said elephants have a strong sense of family bonding and often resort to revenge attacks. He said: "Elephants often try to return to the site of such accidents as they believe that their mate has only been injured and could be rescued by them. Even when an elephant dies a natural death, their friends cover the body with bushes and small tree branches." Srivastava added that the herd will try to return to this site again and again. - Telegraph India


'Mona Lisa' skeleton and her kin's remains are due for DNA testing

Researchers say they're opening up a Florentine family tomb for the first time in centuries as part of their long-running effort to identify the bones of a woman who is thought to be the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa portrait.

DNA testing of bones inside the tomb, in the Martyrs' Crypt behind the main altar of Florence's Basilica della Santissima Annuziata, could confirm that researchers have found the remains of Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo, a merchant's wife who lived across the street from Leonardo.

The current consensus among art experts is that Lisa Gherardini inspired the artist's 16th-century painting of the woman with the enigmatic smile, which now hangs in the Louvre in Paris.

Last year, excavators unearthed several skeletons in the basement of a former Ursuline convent in Florence, where Lisa Gherardini is said to have been buried. But they aren't yet certain which one of the skeletons, if any, is associated with the presumed Mona Lisa model.

"Right now we are carrying out carbon-14 tests on three of the eight skeletons found in St. Ursula, which could be the age Lisa Gherardini was when she died," Silvano Vinceti, who heads Italy's national committee for cultural heritage, told the ANSA news agency. "The carbon-14 test will tell us which of the three dates back to the 1500s. Only then will we know which skeleton to do the final DNA test on."

That DNA analysis is only half of the job, however. Vinceti and his colleagues also need to confirm the family connection by checking DNA from the remains of Gherardini's two sons. That's why the team plans to take samples from the Gherardini family tomb in the basilica — where the sons and the father, Florentine cloth merchant Francesco Del Giocondo, are buried. ANSA reported that the tomb is to be opened on Friday for the first time in 300 years.

The working scenario for the genesis of the Mona Lisa is that Francesco commissioned the portrait to celebrate Lisa's pregnancy, or the birth of their second child in 1502, or the purchase of a house in 1503. After Francesco's death, Lisa became a nun. She died in 1542 at the age of 63, and was said to be buried near the convent's altar. Such burials were common in those days, which is why the researchers want to make sure they have the right bones.

If the research team verifies a family connection to one of the skeletons from the convent, Vinceti plans to commission a virtual reconstruction of Lisa Gherardini's face, based on the bone structure, and compare it to Leonardo's version.

Scientists have proposed a number of hypotheses for Mona Lisa's smile — ranging from bad teeth to congenital palsy. It’s conceivable that forensic tests on the remains could shed new light on the science behind the smile.

Kristina Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist at the University of West Florida, says Vinceti and his colleagues appear to be "undertaking the excavation professionally" — but she wonders how serious they are about the science, and whether the facial reconstruction will have any basis in reality.

"This will probably bring in some tourist dollars, but other than confirming that this is the Mona Lisa, I don't see any scholarly relevance to it," Killgrove told NBC News. "They could figure out her diet. They could figure out if she had any old injuries or pathological conditions. But I've never seen anything written up about that. And these bones, as far as I can tell from the pictures, are in fairly poor condition." - NBC News

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