EdgeScience 33


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The Anomalist

March 24

The Bigfoot Research Organization held a meeting last weekend in Jay, Oklahoma, with 30 hard core Sasquatch enthusiasts in attendance. Various local sightings were discussed, as well as the basics for picking out the perfect habitat to search for Bigfoot. The biggest takeaway was the admonishment to witnesses to never be too embarrassed to report a sighting. That's something a woman in California didn't need to be told, having sued the state for its lack of warning signs regarding Sasquatch in the surrounding woods. But the California woman’s ‘Bigfoot is real!’ lawsuit has been dismissed for now while she consults with a legal team and puts together an argument that won't be laughed out of the courts, never to be taken seriously ever. Probably a good call. (CM)

David Halperin accepts the still-controversial notion that an episode of the "Outer Limits" television series inspired Barney Hill's description of his alien captors in his and his wife Betty's 1961 abduction. Halperin therefore wonders whether a 1964-5 Australian series had a similar effect on claims by about 200 students and teachers at a Melbourne high school that a UFO landed nearby almost exactly two years to the day after the TV drama The Stranger aired its first installment. Halperin continues examining the TV series and his question in "The Stranger" and the Westall UFO--Does Life Imitate TV? (Part 2). Halperin himself seems uncertain that his comparisons of fiction and reported fact are persuasive, but he does a masterful job of recapping the series' first two episodes. We watched those, and after having waited two weeks between Halperin's posts, we're going to have to wait even longer for the remaining ten The Stranger episodes to be uploaded to YouTube! In The Stranger the alien feigns amnesia. With Men in Black: Self Aware or Not?Nick Redfern asks an even more basic question of another familiar character in UFO-related stories. It's interesting that Nick uses a paper on the MIB done by a filmmaker in this thought-provoking piece. (WM)

Let's get one point really clear. Dolls Are Terrifying. We learned that back in the days of the original Twilight Zone, the Chuckie movie franchise, and the Amelia trilogy. Is no one listening? Why are people spending their life moments watching the cinematic soul sucking terror of a vampire doll? Truth is, you either really get off on being creeped out, or you don't. The creator of this video hit on something that has his viewers wanting more, and for that we congratulate him. But we are never watching that video.  Speaking of which, Covered with dolls, this Mexican island is a really frightening place. Do we even need to ask this question? Who decides that the best way to placate the ghost of a little girl is to hang dismembered bits of dolls from the trees? Here's a better question: if the dolls were actually beautiful once, the stuff of little ghost girls' dreams, what pulled them apart? A tormented little ghost brother? Seriously, we're going to go watch some reruns of I Love Lucy to cleanse our paranormal palate and get back to the pleasantries of aliens, Sasquatch, Mothmen, and poltergeist. (CM)

An Ounce of Prevention? Herald Tribune
Billy Cox fastens upon an element we also noted in a New York Magazine Harry Reid interview, questioning Reid's apparent assertion about publicly available documentation from the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). But Cox adds more documentation to the mix, which supports the March 9th assertions by To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science's (TTSA) Chris Mellon's in The Military Keeps Encountering UFOs. Why Doesn't the Pentagon Care? Jack Brewer applies his perspective on governmental hijinks to the TTSA and AATIP mix in Deception and Fake Videos: It's Not Just for You Tubers. Of course, as noted in the Comments, almost everything ufological and beyond online is suspect and should be fact-checked--and we might add, the same goes for other media sources. (WM)

March 23

One of the most perplexing human remains cases has now been resolved, with the publication of a paper based upon five years of genomic analysis. The Atacama child skeleton, whose remarkable appearance led many to speculate it could be from another branch of the human family tree, or even from much further afield locationally, has now been shown to be fully Homo s. sapiens. Sadly, "Ata" was afflicted with multiple mutations, which explain such things as the small (6 inch) size of the body and impossibly contradictory earlier estimates of an age of 6-8 years. Though this a an individually sad story and will disappoint some "Ancient Alien" advocates as well, this finding, CNN producer/writer Ashley Strickland reports, should help future patients and their families. (WM)

The Cropster indulges his interest in rock throwing poltergeist and shares this story of a spook that was more mischievous than evil, more confounding than corrupt. Evidently it was so smitten with the family upon which it focused its antics that even upon moving households it could not be lost. Can poltergeist be charged rent? If they make items disappear and reappear it only makes sense they should have a fairly full piggy bank. Next, Red Pill Junkie leads the tour bus on The Fortean Chronicles of Ray Bradbury. Starting out with the shocking revelation that the great writer did not believe in UFOs--at least not for anyone other than himself--we are then treated to a delightful synopsis of Bradbury's Martian Chronicles. Be prepared to spend your night digging through boxes in the attic trying to find your old dog eared copy--you'll be in good company. (CM)

Eric Benson offers an "extended version" of a conversation with former Senate Majority Leader Reid about Reid's part in creating the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). There are several "nuggets" of new or relatively ill-known information, including Reid's apparent contention that 80% of the "good stuff"--information from AATIP--has been publicly available, but that the press has completely failed to follow up on it. This article is a focused successor to the collaborative Reasons to Believe. Benson and six other writers describe the events since last December 16th's revelations of the secret Pentagon UFO study program and two F/A-18 gun camera videos that ignited public and press excitement. The post shows what some reasonably interested journalists think most supports continued seriousness about UFOs, plus their popular explanation as predominantly nuts-and-bolts, most likely ET-driven, vehicles. (WM)

Earlier this month a couple of adventurous fellows in British Columbia, Canada, went about calling ET in a ritualistic manner. After a few hours of braving the cold and the critters (Let's not forget that's Sasquatch territory!), the intrepid contactees gave up and went home. Next morning though, an unexpected circular pattern had appeared on the icy surface of the nearby lake. While authorities are telling the public that snowmobiles could have made the pattern, this Ontario writer lives by the water and has seen a lot of weird things out on the ice--and none of them have looked like those icy spirals. We're not saying aliens left us a "sorry we missed you" note, but the prospect of these designs being the cold weather equivalent to crop circles bears more investigation. (CM)

March 22

Nessie's American cousin, perhaps? "Alty," short for "Altahama ... is said to roam the seas in the area." Found and filmed by Jeff Warren, the creature may resemble Nessie due to the way it is decomposing. Scientists try to identify mysterious dead ‘sea monster’ and basically conclude it's some kind of shark. And on England's east coast, Dr. Beach offers Grimsby Lady, who, far from decomposing, resembled a "blooming country girl" when, in 1809, she popped up from the briny and surprised the crew of a local boat. Genuine mermaid, or just a fishy tale? (LP)

Paul H. Smith applies his expertise in remote viewing and applies it to the question of whether the afterlife actually exists. Drawing from his own experiences of losing loved ones, as well as from the theories of the late Steven Hawking, Smith quite objectively represents both sides of the equation without leaving us adrift or hopeless. Where it might seem hopeless is in the concept of Hawking, Hollywood, and Alien Invasion. Between the great physicist's belief that an alien encounter would turn out about as well for us as it did for Native Americans upon meeting the explorers, and Hollywood's sensationalized view of extraterrestrial world conquest, it seems we might be in for a disappointment if we think ET is going to share his candy with us and then go home. But who can say what the future will bring? Stephen Hawking’s last paper may lead to proof of a multiverse. Published only 10 days before his death, Hawking's hypothesis that there may be multiple universes existing alongside cannot be proven for many years, at least not before our technology catches up with his genius. So our plans for a quick exit through the first hidey-hole in space will have to wait.(CM)

Tim Binnall offers a fascinating ufological history lesson behind the origins of "World Contact Day," complete with a link to a related and rather-haunting Carpenters video. In Cooking Alien Pancakes with Altered Carbon "Red Pill Junkie" Miguel Romero mixes science fiction, UFO history, and Joe Simonton's 1961 flapjacks with soaring speculation that might even "appeal to both the nuts-and-bolters crowd as well as the high-strangeness anti-materialists in the UFO community." Kevin Randle has a different historical perspective with his less-appetizingly titled Project Horse Fly and Operation Blue Fly. In spite of its title and lead illustration, the article still provides food for thought, as a potential support for even more Pentagon interest in UFOs than had been documented before last December 16th. Speaking of documentation, Paul Dean's UFOs-Documenting the Evidence site supports the gist of Kevin's article. Its UFO Dives at Military Police Officers, and a US Army "Serious Incident Report" uses primary documents to cover an ill-known 1973 Close Encounter, including seriousness about UFOs when the military's official post-Project Blue Book stance was "not interested." (WM)

What's interesting listening to these three interviews with John Alexander, author of the new book, Reality Denied: Firsthand Experiences with Things that Can’t Happen – But Did, is how each interviewer handles the challenging material Alexander presents. By far the friendliest interviewer is Tim Binnall on BOA Audio, and that attitude gets John to open up with some of the best stories. Tim called John "The most interesting man in the paranormal world," to which John replied: "Do I get my Heinekens nows?" Next is John's interview with the host of Skeptiko, Alex Tsakiris. Alex likes to push his interviewees with challenging questions, which is fine, but in this case he views everything John says through a filter that portrays John as a disinformation agent, which I don't think he is. (It's true he doesn't smile.) And like many people, Alex confuses two issues. Just because John doesn't believe there is a concerted government conspiracy to hide a knowledge of UFOs (which he maintains despite the December reveal of the AATIP), that doesn't mean he doesn't think UFOs are real. In fact the first line of the prologue of his 2011 UFO book is "UFOs are real!" The third interview, on the X-Zone Radio Show, was conducted by Rob McConnell, who doesn't seem to like John from the get go, and proceeds to make false statements, shows his disdain for indigenous peoples, and just dismisses some subjects like post-mortem consciousness outright, saying who cares? To top it off, he's downright nasty in his post-interview remarks. Stunning, for all the wrong reasons. (PH)

March 21

Today we're exploring the concept of Far Out, or perhaps it's more accurate to describe it as Far Within. In any case, those of you who have used DMT and experienced interaction with lifeforms other than yourselves will be pleased to know someone out there wants to hear about your encounters. A professor at John Hopkins, who specializes in the study of the effects of mind altering drugs, would be most pleased if you could fill out the Hopkins Entity Survey. No less intriguing but certainly darker in content, Michael Prescott presents Sally forth. Salvia Divinorum is a psychoactive plant whose side effects will likely include a permanent altering of your concept of reality, dissociation, and chaotic thoughts. All we can say is, choose your recreations wisely, dear readers. Our minds and bodies are meant to last this entire lifetime. (CM)

Brent Swancer invites us to play that classic game of seeing startling anomalies in aerial (and beyond) photography of strange places. While a lot of the imagery doesn't excite, some items cry out for further exploration. Antarctica is a favorite spot for such Google photographic "finds." Also at Mysterious Universe, "Red Pill Junkie." AKA Miguel Romero, has A Tale of (Possible) Alien Intruders in Antarctica. Here's one of those far-out sounding and impossible to verify secret-doings stories, this time by alien agency in a benign version of "The Thing." With St. Patrick's Day UFOs Linda Zimmerman offers playful speculation and good writing about sightings that over the years have left indelible images with many in the Hudson Valley area of New York. (WM)

Stan Friedman Retires A Different Perspective
Kevin Randle relays the melancholy news that Stan Friedman is retiring from the ufological fray, as reported most prominently by Paul Kimball at Stan Friedman Retires. Kevin recalls his particularly rich and sometimes abrasive contacts with Stan. Friedman is schooled in debate, and while not a PhD scientist--a point he often stressed--this nuclear physicist and major UFO researcher usually left his skeptical disputants in the dust. Within ufology, Friedman's was a dominant and generally moderating voice for decades, as Kevin notes, against "fringy" advocates. With Friedman withdrawing from the discussion, Kevin fears that check will be gone "In a field that seems to be descending into chaos." (WM)

Brent Swancer takes us on a historical tour of a town founded in snake oil. Founded by Curtis Howe Springer in 1944 in the Mohave Desert, the charlatan's claims of a healing spa spread by word of mouth faster than anything social media could boast about today. However, the Feds were faster and eventually nailed the little scammer for tax evasion. As puzzling as how Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa thrived for decades before being shut down is the Mysterious Ancient Medical Text Found ‘Hidden’ Inside 11th-Century Hymnal. Experts suspect the text is the work of Galen of Pergamum, one of the founders of modern medicine. Historians and scholars are currently pouring over the parchment, investing innumerable hours to determine what, if any, secrets the cryptic text will reveal. (CM)

March 20

Here is another of those cases where a photo showed something that hadn't been noticed prior to its being taken. Each of the two apparent "objects" in question seems to have something surrounding its outline, which will probably have some analysts proclaiming "fake" and others just as surely "energy field." Less ambitious seems the imagery presented in Argentina: A UFO over Rivadavia? But the reported cellphone interference during and earthquake following the video's creation are interesting, and near the end of the footage the object does perform "maneuvers." With Peru: Anomaly over Barranca Captured on Security Camera we've got a security camera video affected by changes of focus and other artifacts. The image gets very evocative several times, but a real expert study should resolve much of the online speculation. (WM)

OK, this clip is actually kind of fun to watch. Not sure we're buying into the notion that what has been captured on video here is a ghost train. It could be the result of poorly formatted CCTV media. Having said that, we dare you to watch the clip and not think about Platform 9 3/4. And since we're in a fun mood, how about that Bomb Squad Scare Highlights Missteps of Modern Ghost Hunting. It all seems a bit embarrassing really. Maybe we need to scale back on the flashy tech and aim for a more utilitarian ghost-busting toolbox.  Seems to us that in case of ghost hunting emergency, one should have to call an exorcist, or a grave digger--but not the bomb squad.  Pick up after yourselves everyone. (CM)

Nick Redfern gives us the sort of brief history lesson that would have had our sophomore selves paying a whole lot more attention in class. Sasquatch first became colloquially known as Bigfoot in the late 1950s. A decade later Patti made headlines. Then in 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted resulting in what some believe was a military evacuation of both injured and dead Sasquatch. And we bet no one even noticed in the wake of the overall devastation. Redfern then goes on to explore Monsters: The “Crossing the Road” Issue. He comes right out and says what we've all thought at one time or another: how Convenient. But is it merely convenient when high strangeness puts in an appearance where there are witnesses? Perhaps there's more at work here. To quote Nick, "These things want to be seen. They make sure they are seen." (CM)

It's good to see Billy Cox writing again, stimulated by the recent revelations of a secret Pentagon UFO program and "official" UFO videos, the latter through the good offices of the To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA). But Billy's frustrated at the lack of information flow from and apparent other bobbles by TTSA. Comments provide links to skeptic Robert Sheaffer's "To The Stars" Releases Another Video, And Things Get Curiouser & Curiouser, which lists additional issues with the Big Story, voiced notably by FOIA master John Greenewald. And in that Sheaffer article's Comments section a link points to a poorly-known December 19th Boston NPR radio interview A Secret Pentagon UFO Program Searches For The Unexplained, which generates further skeptical opinions. Brett Tingley is among the many whose Questions and Doubts Surface on Recent UFO Video Disclosures. And the Big Story is starting to smell like "deja vu all over again" to Mark O'Connell as noted in UFOlogy the Way it Used to be Done. (WM)

March 19

Rick Doty Interview The Paracast
In what Chris O'Brien forecasts surely will become one of the more popular episodes in the history of The Paracast, Gene Steinberg, J. Randall Murphy, and Chris have a most fascinating conversation with former Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent Richard Doty. Doty is, to put it mildly, a polarizing figure in UFO history, roundly considered to be a "disinformant," and in this rare interview he gets the chance to state his case on a variety of controversial issues rightly or wrongly connected with him. The mind-bending starts early on and continues throughout the podcast. For instance: a classified report Doty says he read categorically affirms that Project Blue Book concluded that 1900-odd of its cases involved extraterrestrial craft. Also, Doty offers things about Roswell, the Cash-Landrum case, the Paul Bennewitz affair, and even "Project Serpo" that may make one's head spin. He firmly identifies the mysterious "Falcon"--not himself, by the way--and has other revelations and opinions. Information, disinformation, whatever, this podcast will hold your attention throughout. (WM)

Call us elitist, but the thought of Sasquatch hanging around on garbage dumped on the side of the road makes us want to say "piffle." Having got that out of our systems though, it is admittedly strange that a footprint resembling something the Hairy Man might leave behind would be found on an old abandoned futon. Our spidey senses are tingling on this one but since we have no other evidence one way or the other we will have to keep our minds open. Truth be told, there is a long history of The Shaggiest Monsters Of All putting in appearances in any number inappropriate places, voyeuristic taboos be darned. If Nick Redfern is right, Bigfoot seems to enjoy watching us ugly hairless folk get it on. Maybe all those horror movies about young lovers attacked whilst otherwise engaged in the backseats of their parents' cars are based on more truth than we know. At the very least, it's a great story to pass down to our teenagers to try to keep them out of trouble. (CM)

This piece is a great balance of strangeness, analysis, and good storytelling. A recent sighting of what appeared to be a blue fireball left behind evidence to its existence but none to its identity. Too small to be a meteor, too earthly to be a spook, we're left wanting to go investigate ourselves. In keeping with the same color scheme, the Blue Flame Ghost, as told around the time of the American Civil War, also leaves us scratching our heads. Too many witnesses to deny it happened but nothing by way of evidence to help identify the anomaly. One interesting element in the this story is that the "ghost" did not respond to interference from nearby humans and continued moving along as if running, which makes us wonder about a pre-existing trail of flammable substance. It clearly scared the bejeebers out of the soldiers though. (CM)

Miguel "Red Pill Junkie" Romero examines how the US Air Force mostly-successfully controlled the production of an episode of what was "at the time the most expensive show on television." "RPJ" thinks that the US military currently needn't be so blatant, "now that journalists have been properly conditioned to respond to the subject with the appropriate snicker treatment." Romero thus looks somewhat askance at the current sensation about F/A-18 gun camera footage and a secret Pentagon UFO study program. Rich Reynolds asks UFO Newbie, Tom DeLonge, Steals Spotlight from UFO Notables. How?. Reynolds examines an aspect of this whole affair perhaps as puzzling as the three F/A-18 videos and that study program. Rich's perspective is somewhat different from RPJ's, and informed by his own long history of dealing with media types. He goes after the larger UFO phenomenon in UFOs and Fairy Tales. Rich argues that more materialist-minded UFO investigators may be missing other case information buried beneath "hard data" about shapes, sizes, directions, speculated speeds, and the like. (WM)

Hayden was very active in the UFO field in the 1970s and published an attractive UFOzine. He eventually turned over his membership roles to Jim Moseley of Saucer News to fulfill so that he could devote full time acting as an entertainment booking agent. Hewes was the first to investigate the UFO crash in Aurora, Texas, which became quite famous when it was learned that an "alien" was buried in the local cemetery. Remembers Tim Beckley: "Always liked the chap." (PH)

March 18

Where do ghosts come from? Well, it's a darned sight trickier than the awkward conversation of "When a wraith loves a wraith very much, they haunt a graveyard like mommies and daddies do...". The "civilized" west continues to flounder, but EsoterX heard how the Bantu have their fingers on the pulse of the paranormal. And it includes vampires. Not zombies, since they're beseiging Tim Binnall's home. He's been complaining about not buying that Zombie-Free Home For Sale On Canada. Also from Tim's keyboard is a Ghost Filmed Aboard Historic British Warship. Is it real or not? All we can say it has an important-looking timestamp in the lower right hand corner! (CS)

Astronomy is the last, and most, profound science available to everyone. But how long have clever apes with smartphones and digital watches been looking up? Not only was Daniel Brown astonished how far back, but the sheer cleverness of the techniques employed for a better view of the firmament. Stargazing wasn't always scientific, as our forebears reckoned the heavens guided the destinies of humanity. Yet Rebecca Nicholson is curious as to Why Millennials Are Turning To Astrology in this "enlightened" age. Rebecca's remarkably thoughtful on the topic, broadening the scope from focusing on the 21st century bogeyman of millennials to something everyone has in common: curiosity. Also there are more than a few cool links and apps included for your interest. On the other side of the aisle, Rafi Letzler's complaining about how The Guardian Is Reporting Astrologers' Ramblings About Quantum Physics For Some Reason. We get it, bubele. You're a cringey, euphoric grayface with a dogmatic view of how society should behave, but you lose serious street cred when your piece is full of tweets rather than your original insights. If you are capable of them. While puny humans seek messages from their star charts, Astronomers Say Our Galaxy May Be Filled With Alien 'Ghost' Signals. And they would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for Francis Drake and Brett Tingley's meddling with the Drake Equation. Perhaps it's time to crowdsource the construction of the world's largest Ouija board out in the Atacama Desert? (CS)

Gay Fairies: When And Why Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Fairy's been an epithet for gay dudes for the longest time, but Dr. Beachcombing wants to find out why. Four theories are floating around, and a friend of the blog provides a fifth which may shed light upon Beach's thesis. And if fairies were cowboys, they'd certainly ride unicorns which brings us to Brent Swancer's collection of Strange Encounters With Unicorns including a photo of a specimen in the wild. Sadly, no fairy cowboy astride the beast. While Samarth Bangari appears to be an ordinary toddler, Sakura Evans reckon this Adorable Two-Year-Old Is A 'Reincarnated God' Who Can Bizarrely Control Monkeys. Even if the kid ain't an avatar of Hanuman, his comraderie with the monkeys appears to transcend bribing them with treats. (CS)

Whatever happened to "Cressie"? It appears her first, and only sighting, happened in 1910 and Malcolm Smith's keen to share his discovery. One thing's for certain, Cressie's absence isn't due to trigger-happy hunters. Perhaps she waded ashore and waddled off to greener waters? Lake monsters aren't bound to their respective lakes and lochs as outlined by Roland Watson's "When Monsters Come Ashore". You might know him as Glasgow Boy from other Nessie posts. A copy fell into Nick Redfern's lap and he ate it up like so many fried Oreos, relishing the deep, high-strangeness transcending surgeon photos and meaningless videos of people shouting, "Look over there!" A little history can be dangerous, and exciting, like the latest episode of On The Track (of Unknown Animals). Jon Downes remains a leader in cryptozoology circles, not to mention producing these fine videos which are equal parts of slice-of-life, creativity, and out-of-place reptiles. Episode 89 is thoroughly grand and a cracking fine way to spend a fraction of your Sunday afternoon. (CS)

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