; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Odds & Ends: Psychic Assassinations -- Cyprus Sea Monster -- Do Dogs See The Supernatural?

Psychic Assassins Possibly Involved in Engineers' Deaths

A report the Inspection Board of the Prime Ministry has recently completed on the mysterious deaths of some engineers working for a Turkish defense industry giant, ASELSAN, maintains that the young engineers may have been driven to commit suicide after being exposed to telepathic attacks aimed at destroying them psychologically.

Four engineers working for ASELSAN died in mysterious and consecutive deaths in the years 2006 and 2007. Following the initial probe conducted after the deaths of Hüseyin Başbilen, Halim Ünsem Ünal, Evrim Yançeken and Burhaneddin Volkan, the press reported that the unexpected deaths of the four engineers were believed to be suicides, but question marks about the deaths have lingered on, with the families of the victims usually skeptical about their suicides.

Last year, the Inspection Board of the Prime Ministry launched a probe into the engineers' deaths. After completing a one-year investigation into the incidents, the Inspection Board has drawn up a final report, which, after being presented to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this week, was also submitted to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office, which is in charge of the investigation.

Despite previous claims in the media that the four engineers had worked on some important defense projects, “They were not working on critical projects,” the report said. One of the most striking things in the report is the suggestion that the four engineers may have been led to commit suicide after being subjected to telepathic attacks aimed to induce depression. In the report, inspectors also urged the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office to investigate the deaths from this perspective.

The report doesn't provide a clear answer as to whether the deaths should be labeled as murder or suicide. After enumerating the findings about the deaths, the inspectors drawing up the report highlighted the fact that video images of the period immediately before the deaths, particularly in the cases of Başbilen and Yançeken, are needed, but as the deaths were seven years ago, it is no longer possible.

All four engineers were undergoing psychological treatment before their deaths. But inspectors find it suspicious that, after Başbilen's death, all three other engineers had, one after the other, started to undergo psychological treatment. The inspectors conceded in the report, however, that no connection between the four deaths has been found.

Hüseyin Başbilen (31), a cryptology expert, was found dead in his car, with his throat and wrist cut, in Ankara on August 2006. Authorities announced that Başbilen, who had been married for two months, had committed suicide. Six months after Başbilen's death, Halim Ünsem Ünal, 29, was found dead, shot in the head by a pistol belonging to his father, in his car. The death of Ünal, who was to be married in three days, was also recorded as suicide.

Only eight days after Ünal's death, another electrical engineer, Evrim Yançeken (26), lost his life, falling from the balcony of the apartment in which he was living with his parents in Ankara. About ten months later, Burhanettin Volkan, a software engineer, apparently committed suicide on October 9, 2007, with his own gun while on guard duty as part of military service. Volkan, who had started to receive psychological treatment before being enlisted, was married during his military service. He died only 40 days after being married.

Initially, all four cases were closed after being labeled as suicides. But Fikret Seçen, the prosecutor conducting the Ergenekon investigation, an illegal gang charged with plotting to overthrow the government, referred the files of Başbilen, Yançeken and Volkan to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office in 2010.

Başbilen's case is particularly suspicious. In the report drawn up by the Security Directorate, the theory of Başbilen's murder is given a higher probability by experts, while out of the eight members of the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK), five said the Başbilen case was suicide, with three opting for murder. The investigation is still ongoing regarding the deaths of the ASELSAN engineers. Vehbi Başbilen, father of Hüseyin, wrote a letter to Erdoğan in August last year, saying he didn't believe his son would have committed suicide. It was following this letter that Erdoğan instructed the Inspection Board to investigate the case.

The Inspection Board examined almost everything, from the projects the four engineers worked on to the victims' family life, psychological treatment they were receiving, trips abroad and files prepared by the prosecutor's office. Members of the Inspection Board also talked with the families, the psychologists of the victims and with experts in telepathy. - TodaysZaman

Mind-Sniper: Ultimate assassin

Project: Soul Catcher: Secrets of Cyber and Cybernetic Warfare Revealed

Soul Flight: Astral Projection and the Magical Universe


Scientists Discover Crucial Key to Aging and Possibly Other Diseases

Scientists at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have identified a key factor that regulates the autophagy process, a kind of cleansing mechanism for cells in which waste material and cellular debris is gobbled up to protect cells from damage, and in turn, modulates aging. The findings, published in Nature Communications today, could lead to the development of new therapies for age-related disorders that are characterized by a breakdown in this process.

Malene Hansen, Ph.D., associate professor in Sanford-Burnham’s Del E. Webb Center for Neuroscience, Aging and Stem Cell Research, and her team as well as collaborators found a transcription factor—an on/off switch for genes—that induces autophagy in animal models, including the nematode C. elegans, the primary model organism studied in the Hansen lab. This transcription factor, called HLH-30, coordinates the autophagy process by regulating genes with functions in different steps of the process. Two years ago, researchers discovered a similar transcription factor, or orthologue, called TFEB that regulates autophagy in mammalian cells.

“HLH-30 is critical to ensure longevity in all of the long-lived C. elegans strains we tested,” says Hansen. “These models require active HLH-30 to extend lifespan, possibly by inducing autophagy. We found this activation not only in worm longevity models, but also in dietary-restricted mice, and we propose the mechanism might be conserved in higher organisms as well.”

HLH-30 is the first transcription factor reported to function in all known autophagy-dependent longevity paradigms, strengthening the emerging concept that autophagy can contribute to long lifespan. In a previous study, Hansen and her colleagues discovered that increased autophagy has an anti-aging effect, possibly by promoting the activity of an autophagy-related, fat-digesting enzyme. With these findings, scientists now know a key component of the regulation of autophagy in aging.

Hansen’s team is now working to find therapeutic targets, particularly upstream kinases, molecules that change protein function, which might actually phosphorylate the transcription factor to alter its function. “We already have a clue about the protein TOR, a master regulator that influences metabolism and aging in many species, but there might be other kinases that regulate HLH-30 or TFEB activity as well,” says lead study author Louis René Lapierre, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Hansen’s laboratory, and a recent recipient of a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence career award from the National Institutes of Health.

Autophagy has become the subject of intense scientific scrutiny over the past few years, particularly since the process—or its malfunction—has been implicated in many human diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, as well as cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders. HLH-30 and TFEB may represent attractive targets for the development of new therapeutic agents against such diseases. - Newswise


Ayia Napa Sea Monster

The Ayia Napa sea monster is claimed to reside off a popular tourist resort in Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Sightings of the creature have been reported the most around Cape Greco. Local fishermen have named it “To Filiko Teras” (the friendly monster). Some newspapers have said it is the “Cyprus Loch Ness.”

The creature is known to be harmless to the local residents, but has been known to drag away fishing nets. Although there are numerous sightings, there has been no physical evidence that the creature exists.

The creature is linked to another sea monster from Greek mythology called the Scylla. The Scylla is described as having a giant torso, with a serpent’s body and six dog-heads.

There are very few photos or videos of the Ayia Napa sea monster, but the countless sightings have sparked the government to search for its existence. Even the SyFy channel’s ‘Destination Truth‘ has searched for proof of its existence — it was featured on Series 04 episode 13.

Tourists are taking boating trips in hopes of seeing this creature; as well many hotels have been built in close proximity of where sightings have occurred. - RedOrbit

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters


Do Dogs See The Supernatural?

Whether folklore or fact, many of us would like to believe that our dogs can detect unexplained or invisible presences, guided by a canine sixth sense. It’s exciting, and comforting, to think a favorite dog is sensitive to a departed relative or friend.

But hard evidence of dogs’ extrasensory perception is elusive and anecdotal. The 2009 book "Tails" of the Afterlife: True Stories of Ghost Pets by Peggy Schmidt, chronicles multiple instances of unexplainable actions by dogs who apparently interact with something, or someone, unseen. For instance, she writes about a woman named Del Johnsen who left seven dogs and six cats when she passed away. Numerous witnesses believe she still visits her pets daily, and report seeing the animals suddenly gather in one spot, cats arching their backs and purring, dogs flopping over for a belly rub, wriggling in enjoyment, all of them sitting at attention and staring into the air before resuming their own activities. And Schmidt says her own Jack Russell terrier Pixie has repeatedly reacted to ghosts present in local buildings rumored to be haunted.

But your pet’s so-called sixth sense may simply be the result of his keen hearing, exceptional nose, and a dog’s eye view on the world that allows him to sense small movements that escape our attention. A dog’s senses are keener, and different, than ours: His eyes detect more delicate movements; his sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times more sensitive than a human’s. He can hear much higher frequencies, and at four times the distance of a human with normal hearing.

Wild and domestic animals, including dogs, seemed to sense the impending Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, displaying their distress with behavior changes and vocal warnings, and either ran for cover or refused to go outside. Some experts believe they could sense vibrational changes on land from impending the earthquakes before humans could.

Dogs’ heightened sense of smell is credited with their ability to detect some cancers in humans. Service dogs who aid seizure-prone people are alert to subtle shifts in body smells and dilated pupils, signs that enable the dogs to warn their owners of a looming attack.

As for a sixth sense connecting to the supernatural or paranormal, pet psychologist Marti Miller believes that both dogs and their owners possess one. “But humans judge or deny what they are feeling,” says Miller, who is based in Austin, Texas. “Dogs don’t judge what is going on in the environment. While our own minds start to analyze what is happening, dogs don’t do that. They feel the barometric pressure change, and may react by shaking, panting, salivating and feeling anxious, or they may not react at all.”

Miller says dogs’ varying reactions to a shift in the atmosphere or unrecognized sound or movement can stem from early traumas, such as being caught in a rainstorm, hurricane or tornado, or from “a cellular memory that they have brought with them to this lifetime.” For dogs, “sensing the supernatural is natural because they don’t judge it. People could see auras or spirits, but they either don’t believe they exist, or think that if they do exist, we could not see them.” Animal Planet’s own series “The Haunted” includes episodes with instances of family dogs reacting to the apparent presence of spirits, reactions that have no easy explanation for the out-of-the-ordinary behavior.

Scientific studies on dogs’ senses offer debatable evidence of dogs’ psychic and sensory perceptions. In his 1999 book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: Fully Updated and Revised biologist and author Rupert Sheldrake presents a five-year exploration into canine behaviors. His work is based on the experiences of thousands of dogs and owners whose arrival home at unexpected times did not surprise their pets, who reacted with anticipation. Sheldrake concludes that “there is a strong connection between humans and animals that lies beyond present-day scientific understanding.”

When watching your own dog during activities in your household, or when you take him visiting, you may see him fasten his attention on something you can’t see or hear. You may shrug it off as anxiety or reaction to an unfamiliar smell. Or just maybe, you suspect your own pooch is communing with the unseen.

Because dogs can’t talk to offer their own explanations, there’s no way to know what exactly is going on. “The simple answer is, we don’t know that dogs see ghosts or spirits,” Miller said. But she adds, “If you observe a dog standing in the corner, barking at nothing visible, then there’s a pretty good chance that he’s barking at an entity, spirit, or energy that doesn’t belong there.”

A distant noise, an unseen spirit or fresh cut of meat? You decide. - Care2

"Tails" of the Afterlife: True Stories of Ghost Pets

Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: Fully Updated and Revised


Dead Shark Found on NYC Subway

A dead shark has been discovered on the subway in New York City, transport officials have confirmed.

The unlikely passenger, about 1.2m (4ft) long, was found under a row of seats on a Queens-bound train.

The conductor asked passengers to leave the carriage and the train continued to the end of the line, where a supervisor disposed of the shark.

Pigeons and even an opossum have made their way on to the trains before, but never a shark, transit officials said.

However, where it came from remains a mystery.

Isvett Verde, of Brooklyn, New York, who took a photo of the shark, said she noticed that the empty carriage of the N train "smelled extremely fishy" when she boarded at 8th Street.

"It's hard to be surprised as there are always crazy things happening in this city, but even that was a bit much," she told the BBC.

Other pictures of the exotic discovery have also gone viral, including one of the shark with a cigarette in its mouth next to a fare card and a can of energy drink. - BBC



The Werewolves of Bedburg

5 Bizarre Legendary Creatures from Japan - Richard Freeman's The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia

Conspiracies of the Dead

‘Bedlam’ graveyard unearthed beneath the City of London

Ghosts: Radiant Boys Omens of Death and Misfortune