House of Horrors
Hundreds of snakes - many of them dead - have been removed from a "house of horrors" in California after neighbours complained of a strong stench of decay.
"The smell alone - I feel like I need to take a shower for a week," said officer Anthony Bertagna.
"They're pretty much in all the bedrooms - everywhere."
Police have said they expect to find as many as 500 snakes, alive and dead, by the time they complete the search of the five-bedroom home in Santa Ana.
The owner, school teacher William Buchman, claimed his intention was to breed the snakes but his collection grew out of hand.
He has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty.
"It's definitely a house of horrors in there," said an Animal Services spokesman. "Just in one room alone we had 56 dead snakes, and 12 alive, and that's only one room.
"I mean there's so many dead snakes ... ranging from dead for months to just dead.
"There's an infestation of rats and mice all over the house. There are rats and mice in plastic storage tubs that are actually cannibalising each other."
After clearing out two of the bedrooms, officers had recovered 66 dead pythons and about 50 live ones.
The largest live python recovered was about 6ft long.
None of the snakes were crawling around loose but the house also was infested with rats and mice, some of which were brought in as food for the snakes.
The exterior of the house was well maintained with a manicured lawn - with only the smell giving away what was inside.
An animal welfare agency will try to re-home the surviving snakes at nature centres, museums and schools. - SKY
Zombie Bees Found in Eastern US
"Zombie bees" have now invaded eastern U.S., according to media sources.
Anthony Cantrell - a beekeeper in Burlington, Vermont discovered "zombie bees" in his hive in October, according to the Associated Press. This is the first report of 'parasitized' honey bees being found in eastern U.S.
The zombie bees aren't half-dead bees and they certainly don't roam the earth forever. These bees suffer from a parasitic infection that disrupts their neurological functions, leading to strange, "zombie-like" movements. The honey bees die within a few days. "Right now, we don't know if it's an isolated thing," Stephen Parise, Vermont agricultural production specialist, said Tuesday at the state's annual farm show, Associated Press reported.
San Francisco State University researchers led by Professor of Biology John Hafernik were the first ones to discover this strange bee infection in 2008.
What are Zombie Bees?
A fly called Apocephalus borealis, lays its eggs in the bees' abdomen. The eggs take about a week to hatch during which they disrupt the neurological function of their hosts. The larvae then enter the world from their hosts' body through the head.
"When we observed the bees for some time-the ones that were alive-we found that they walked around in circles, often with no sense of direction," Andrew Core, an SF State graduate student from Hafernik's lab said in an earlier press release.
The fly was known to parasitize bumblebees. Until last October, the parasite was only seen in bee hives in California and South Dakota.
SF University researchers had warned in 2012 that the honey bee population is quite susceptible to the newly emerging parasitic fly- A borealis.
"[Furthermore] the domestic honey bee is potentially A. borealis' ticket to global invasion. Establishment of A. borealis on other continents, where its lineage does not occur, where host bees are particularly naïve, and where further host shifts could take place, could have negative implications for worldwide agriculture and for biodiversity of non-North American wasps and bees," John Hafernik and colleagues had written in a study article published in 2012 in PLOS One.
Honey bee population in the U.S have become homogenized as farmers usually shift them to different parts of the country. The fly could have hitched a ride with honey bees sent to Vermont.
"It's not surprising; it's certainly not good news," University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum told Associated Press. "There are so many pathogens and parasites that we're aware of that are afflicting bees." - NatureWorldNews
Remains of 55 bodies found near former Florida reform school
Excavations at a makeshift graveyard near a now-closed reform school in the Florida Panhandle have yielded remains of 55 bodies, almost twice the number official records say are there, the University of South Florida announced on Tuesday.
"This is precisely why excavation was necessary," said USF professor Erin Kimmerle, head of the research project. "The only way to truly establish the facts about the deaths and burials at the school is to follow scientific processes."
On a hillside in the rolling, tall-pine forests near the Alabama-Georgia border, a team of more than 50 searchers from nine agencies last year dug up the graves to check out local legends and family tales of boys, mostly black, who died or disappeared without explanation from the Dozier School for Boys early in the last century.
The school, infamous for accounts of brutality told by former inmates, was closed by the state in 2011.
The University of South Florida was commissioned to look into deaths at the school in the Panhandle city of Marianna, after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the presence of 31 official grave sites in 2010.
Excavation began last September with bones, teeth and several artifacts from grave sites sent to the University of North Texas Science Center for DNA testing.
Members of 11 families who lost boys at Dozier have been located by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for DNA sampling and researchers hope to find 42 more families for possible matching.
State investigators initially located 31 suspected graves in the woods across a busy highway from the shuttered reform school. Kimmerle's more detailed probes raised the number to 50 or 51 last year, and USF announced on Tuesday the searchers had found remains of 55 bodies.
"Locating 55 burials is a significant finding, which opens up a whole new set of questions for our team," said Kimmerle.
"All of the analyses needed to answer these important questions are yet to be done, but it is our intention to answer as many of these questions as possible."
Research will continue in areas adjacent to the graveyard, dubbed "boot hill" by school officials and inmates a century ago.
Greg Ridgeway, acting director of the National Institute of Justice, praised Kimmerle's work. He said the discoveries made by the USF team "will not only bring resolution to these cases but will add to our knowledge about investigations of missing and unidentified persons in jurisdictions throughout the country." - Yahoo
Queens, NY Abductions
I am a 58 yr. old professional woman of color who has had visitations since I was a child. I know what happened to me and only want to discuss my events for research purposes. The first case listed happened at night around 1986/7. It is still a vivid memory of waking up on an examination table with several aliens of different heights around me under a bright light. At first I didn't feel afraid even know I knew I was not at home and believed I was on a spaceship. I thought I had been there several times before. They spoke to each other and myself through thought. The next thing I remember, I was still on/near the table but I felt very sad and was crying. I don't know why. When I woke up in the morning and went to work, I felt uneasy and nervous which, is not my nature. I was casually discussing the incident with a co-worker to further calm myself down when another employee who had come in starting listening to what I was saying. Suddenly, she became very excited and said that she as there also and saw me on the exam table. It freaked us all out and we stopped talking about it. I was a deputy-director at this agency and I remember the name of the co-worker who also saw me.
2. Somehow, I believe this incident is connected to the first one described. I lived in Queens, NY and had several visitation memories from that location as an adult. The one I will discuss happened around 1993. I woke up in the morning and there was a stillness in the room that had me feel uneasy. I had two dogs at the time and neither one was in the room with me which was strange. I stepped off the bed and everything that had happened to me the night before came back in a rush and extremely detailed. I woke up to see very alien-like people entering my bedroom. I was not afraid at first because the first person who entered the room was my general Dr. I saw on regular basis. The second he appeared to come in, he stepped to the side and there were several aliens who also entered. I immediately became scared and the next thing I remember was being pushed up against the wall in my room and one of them was trying to exam/look for something through my private area. My Dr. seemed to be gone as I was calling out for him but the other aliens where one my left side and were talking calmly and telepathically to each other. They were about 4/5 of them in the room and by their voices, some were female. They all seemed to be some type of Dr/medical staff and wore white type clothes. The ones of to the side were about 6ft, very slender and almost angelic looking with minor interest in me.The one examing me was short, very rough examining me, wearing a hooded type clothing,about 4'5". I kept trying to see his face but he was trying to hid himself from me but he appeared the most non-human looking. There is more graphic detail to this but for the sake of space, in the end the alien found what he was looking for and removed it. I blacked out and then woke up as stated earlier. Thank you - MUFON CMS
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