; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Daily 2 Cents: 'The Dead Files' Unresolved Case -- 1st Major Solar Flare of 2014 -- NSA Almost Killed the Internet

Pennsylvania woman seeks relief from paranormal activity in home

Jodi Hill recently shared her story of being harassed, frightened and attacked by an unknown tormentor allegedly not of this world on Travel Channel's "The Dead Files." But, although the film crew left in July, the paranormal activity hasn't stopped.

Hill, who moved into her Memorial Avenue home in 2004, has experienced things she said at first she wasn't able to explain. But after discussing the happenings with those in the paranormal investigation business, she now has answers.

From hearing footsteps in other rooms to physical assaults, Hill has had "numerous" interactions with those in the spirit world.

Hill recently invited the Sun-Gazette to her home to discuss her experiences in the house and on the television show.

As she explained, before even moving in the house that she's lived in since 2004, Hill felt "weird vibes" coming from the home.

"I took one step in the front door and I felt like something was not right," she

said. "Right from the get-go I didn't want to live in this house."

Hill said she spent time in the home alone while her husband was at work, and often would feel uneasy. She would hear noises that she told herself were people walking by the house. She also made sure to not spend too much time in the basement, only going down there to do laundry.

But after returning from a meeting with a paranormal group lead by Sabrina Beackley, friend and psychic medium, Hill no longer was able to ignore the strange experiences.

As Hill detailed, after meeting with Beackley's group an unknown force pinned her down in the home one day and sexually assaulted her, an account that her husband, Patrick, was unaware of until "The Dead Files" began filming its episode with the Hills.

After what Hill said was an hour-and-a-half sexual assault, although she was fully clothed during the entire event, she called Beackley.

When Beackley arrived Hill was "as white as a sheet."

But this was not the last time that Hill experienced activity in her home. She often hears footsteps in other rooms and also saw an American Indian figure in her basement. Beackley said she has seen and felt forces in the house, as well.

Most troubling for Hill during the times of increased activity was the lack of support. She said that her husband and other family members did not believe her stories of paranormal activity.

"I feel like I'm in this big pool of water and I sunk to the bottom," she said of feeling alone during that time. "And I'm swimming and swimming and swimming to come up out of it and I'm getting nowhere."

When asked why she doesn't merely move from the residence to escape the spirits, Hill explained that she has been told that some of the entities since have attached themselves to her. She said she can feel spirits with her when she's at work and other places away from her home.

Those who enter her home, she said, risk the chance of having a spirit attach themselves to the visitor and leaving with them.

Having no other options for help, Hill said she took a shot in the dark and submitted her story to the Travel Channel.

The next day, representatives from the show contacted her and set up their visit.

"The Dead Files," which features psychic medium Amy Allan and retired New York homicide detective Steve DiShiavi, explained there were many spirits and entities inhabiting the property.

"Now I can't see them. I can only sense them. I hear them. My hearing isn't good enough that I can make out what they're saying other than I hear my name all the time and I hear, 'Help me,' " Hill said.

Allan also told her of a demon-like figure that is looking to torment her, Hill said. The activity of this figure becomes heightened when provoked by people questioning or agitating it.

"It told (Allan) it had killed. It has taken souls," Hill said. "That its focus is on me and at one point it told her that I am part of it and it is part of me."

The last phrase struck a chord with Hill as she had a dream of something telling her "I am part of you and you are part of me," which she said she never told anyone about.

Allan also saw the spirit of a farmer in front of the house that told her that the spirit of an American Indian woman was to blame for the frightening activity to Hill.

Hill does not believe that it is a female spirit tormenting her, but also noted that the demon-like entity can take many shapes and forms.

After Allan explained what the paranormal activity was, she told Hill to seek help from an American Indian shaman, a priest or medicine man and a demonologist.

Hill brought in a shaman following filming of "The Dead Files" episode, which aired Dec. 13, and said it didn't stop the activity, only "slowed down the energy."

But unable to find a church official and demonologist willing to come to the house, Hill again was without answers. Hill reported after the show aired, she since has been contacted by those willing to help.

Hill still feels a sense of betrayal from those in her family who will not support her. That, she said, is the reason she wants to share her story.

She hopes that others who may not have the support from friends and families know they are not alone. Perhaps, she said, her story will convince them to reach out to others to discuss their situation.

Since the filming of the episode, Hill said she has made changes in her life that seem to reduce the paranormal activity.

The entities feed off of negative energy, so by making positive changes Hill no longer is the victim for whom the spirits are looking, Beackley said.

But Hill noted she still hears and experiences activity, just not as much. She hopes to one day have her life back, she said.

"I don't have my own space anymore," she said. "It's like I'm sharing my life and my energy. It feels like my life is being sucked out of me by something that I can't see. I've sat in this house crying, praying, reading out loud from the Bible." - SunGazette

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Czech skeptics offer reward for proof of paranormal phenomena

The Czech skeptic club Sisyphus has offered a reward of 10,000 Kč to anyone who would prove the existence of paranormal phenomena in an experiment, and it would recommend the successful applicants, if some appeared, for a worldwide $1 million prize.

The global prize is sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation, and having the recommendation of a professional scientist or univerity faculty member such as the ones found in a national skeptical association is one of the criteria for consideration, although other options exist. James Randi is a stage magician who has long sought to debunk the idea that anyone including stage magicians have supernatural powers.

The applicants may undergo tests in areas such as clairvoyance, telepathy and rhabdomancy, also called dowsing.

"In accordance with the world skeptical thinking, the Czech skeptic club keeps its mind open to phenomena which we consider extremely improbable or impossible but many people are convinced that they exist and some believe they are capable of proving the existence of these phenomena and capabilities," Sisyphus writes on its website.

It says the applicants should propose an experiment based on which the given phenomenon or capability would be verified.

Sisyphus would adjust the experiment's course to bring it in harmony with scientific methods and prevent it from being influenced by either the applicants or the expert supervisors.

The experiments will be video recorded. The costs, such as special materials or the rental of a specific location, will be covered by the applicants. If someone is successful in proving paranormal phenomnena then the cost of the experiment will be reimbursed in addition to the prize money.

The criterion of a successful experiment is its result corresponding to the 1:1000 probability that the same result may occur by sheer chance.

Excluded are experiments that could endanger people or animals, that are at variance with ethics and good morals or violate laws, and also magicians' tricks and experimental healing of diseases, Sisyphus said.

Its call follows up the recent European skeptical prize organized by the Belgian SKEPP club in cooperation with European skeptical group ECSO last year.

A Czech participant in it was popular clairvoyant Stanley Bradley, or Stanislav Brázda, who used a divining rod to ascertain whether there are flowers or stones in closed boxes. Neither Bradley nor any other contestants in the European event succeeded in meeting the criteria set for a successful try. - PraguePost


Sun Unleashes 1st Major Solar Flare of 2014

Tuesday's massive solar flare has forced the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences to postpone the planned launch of a private cargo mission to the International Space Station today. Read the full story here: Huge Solar Flare Delays Private Rocket Launch to Space Station

A massive solar flare erupted from the sun on Tuesday (Jan. 7), rising up from what appears to be one of the largest sunspot groups seen on the star's surface in a decade, NASA officials say.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a video of the huge solar flare as it developed, showing it as an intense burst of radiation from a colossal sunspot region known as AR1944. The sunspot group — which is currently in the middle of the sun as viewed from Earth — is "one of the largest sunspots seen in the last 10 years," NASA officials wrote in a statement. It is as wide as seven Earths, they added. Read more with video at Space


Girls get tongue stuck on flagpole

In a scene straight out of “A Christmas Story,” a New Hampshire girl got her tongue stuck to a flagpole after licking it during a blizzard.

And it wasn’t even a triple-dog dare.

Maddie Gilmartin, 12, of East Kingston, said she was helping her dad clean up outside last week when an idea popped into her head to stick her tongue on a flagpole.

Gilmartin thought her tongue would come right off, but it didn’t, WMUR reports.

"I see her standing at the flagpole, her arms are waving," said Maddie's dad, Shawn Gilmartin. "I'm not sure what's going on until I got closer."

Gilmartin’s tongue was stuck to the flagpole for 15 minutes until her parents were able to free her using warm water. Her tongue bled while her parents were trying to remove it from the flag pole, and swelling in her mouth is expected to last around six weeks.

Gilmartin said she has learned her lesson.

"Just think before you do something,” she told WMUR. - FOXnews


How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and the other tech titans have had to fight for their lives against their own government. An exclusive look inside their year from hell—and why the Internet will never be the same.

On June 6, 2013, Washington Post reporters called the communications depart­ments of Apple, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet companies. The day before, a report in the British newspaper The Guardian had shocked Americans with evidence that the telecommunications giant Verizon had voluntarily handed a database of every call made on its network to the National Security Agency. The piece was by reporter Glenn Greenwald, and the information came from Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old IT consultant who had left the US with hundreds of thousands of documents detailing the NSA’s secret procedures.

Greenwald was the first but not the only journalist that Snowden reached out to. The Post’s Barton Gellman had also connected with him. Now, collaborating with documentary filmmaker and Snowden confidante Laura Poitras, he was going to extend the story to Silicon Valley. Gellman wanted to be the first to expose a top-secret NSA program called Prism. Snowden’s files indicated that some of the biggest companies on the web had granted the NSA and FBI direct access to their servers, giving the agencies the ability to grab a person’s audio, video, photos, emails, and documents. The government urged Gellman not to identify the firms involved, but Gellman thought it was important. “Naming those companies is what would make it real to Americans,” he says. Now a team of Post reporters was reaching out to those companies for comment.

It would be the start of a chain reaction that threatened the foundations of the industry. The subject would dominate headlines for months and become the prime topic of conversation in tech circles. For years, the tech companies’ key policy issue had been negotiating the delicate balance between maintaining customers’ privacy and providing them benefits based on their personal data. It was new and contro­versial territory, sometimes eclipsing the substance of current law, but over time the companies had achieved a rough equilibrium that allowed them to push forward. The instant those phone calls from reporters came in, that balance was destabilized, as the tech world found itself ensnared in a fight far bigger than the ones involving oversharing on Facebook or ads on Gmail. Over the coming months, they would find themselves at war with their own government, in a fight for the very future of the Internet. Continue reading at Wired



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