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Magazine: EdgeScience17

The Anomalist

April 17

Oh My God, Look At This! Bigfoot Evidence
Errr, uhhh, well...we don't have much to add after watching Phil's Para Breakdown of Todd Standing's oddly Muppet-like Bigfoot photo made famous by Les Stroud's Bigfoot show. Even the ever-dependable Phil is speechless. We will simply say that we trust Phil's judgement implicitly and always turn to him for rational explanations when a new paranormal video crosses our desk, so make of this what you will. Or rather, makeup...Meanwhile, in the world of Loch Ness Monster investigation where that is guaranteed not to happen, Dale Drinnon expands on the new sketches of Margaret Munro's infamous Nessie sighting of 1934, with added flippers from the 1972 "flipper" photos and then makes some additional Comparisons With Original Munro Sketch Of Loch Ness Monster . While some Loch Ness investigators say her sighting was nothing more than an otter, the addition of the 1972 flipper images along with other corroborating sightings around the same time makes it very un-otter like. ( Also, as noted by Drinnon, most of this information can also be found at Loch Ness Mystery).

Creepy Crawlies Of Japan Mysterious Universe
Everything's greener on the other side of the fence, or in this case it's bigger and on the other side of the world where monsters take the form of giant snakes, rats and centipedes. In Japan,things seem to always either go the route of hilarious or horrifying. Or both, depending on how many tentacles are added in. These reports and urban legends center around quite ordinary creatures that have simply grown overly large and angry...England also has had its fair share of historical creepy crawlies, but more of the pale, lurking human sort like these accounts of an 1868 poltergeist case in which a family was plagued not by a simple ghost or even a demon from beyond but rather by headless witch zombies! The activity centered around a young girl as poltergeist cases often do, and the family was said to be under the effects of "extraordinary delusions" believing that a witch had cursed their family.

Aerial Phenomenon Investigations seeks to toss out the woo and return the science back to UFO investigations under the guidance of a former US Counterintelligence Special Agent, Antonio Paris. Paris explains how he found most UFO groups bogged down with other paranormal subjects that dilute the process of trying to uncover evidence of UFOs, so he decided to create his own group which only investigates UFO sightings that meet the API's rigorous standards that includes requirements such as having occurred within the past year, have multiple witnesses, must be a daytime sighting, must have a photo or video and must not occur near any military installation. Clearly, that weeds out a lot of cases and leaves only the good stuff. Open Minds shares a recent sighting which seems to fit perfectly into API's framework of requirements-a witness photographs a spinning UFO in Wales in the daytime and has clear photos. Also, Nick Pope was suitably impressed. There are also multiple witnesses if you can include the nearby sheep that screamed in Silence of the Lambs style as the UFO hovered overhead but fell eerily silent when it disappeared. One small detail makes it all questionable, however--some suspect it's merely the reflection of a light inside the house.

April 16

ATSer Arken is both sharp-eyed and extremely patient as he has discovered yet another odd flash of light above the surface of Mars. This one looks remarkably similar to the first one that everyone was buzzing about last week. That one was explained away by NASA and other experts as being a "cosmic ray" being in the right place at the right moment to coincide with the camera snapping a photo, which is why it only appeared on one camera. Upon further reading in the thread, this second example of the mystery light source also only appears on the right camera and not the left, exactly as it does in the first photograph. Perhaps that indicates a technical issue with the right camera? Not unless it is also affecting the left camera too, as fellow ATSer Phage shows an example of a cosmic ray hit that happens to be on the left camera. Now we have three images that show three different cosmic ray hits on both cameras. So, what's more likely here, that cosmic rays have overcome astronomical odds to appear at the exact moment the cameras snap photos or that a Martian lifeform is shooting flares to get our attention? For now, we're going to go with a little from column A and a little from column B, with a big dose from column C: We have no idea.

Aside from all the reports of ghostly activity, Poveglia already has such a disturbing history that we can't imagine anyone wanting to live there. The 17-acre island is essentially a mass graveyard for medieval plague victims and as if that wasn't enough, it was later also the site of a mental institution where torture and other unsavory practices took place. Ghost Adventures famously visited and investigated the haunted island with truly incredible results amid the usual shouting and hysteria that is the Adventures' guys trademark. According to Atlas Obscura, Poveglia was the final stopping place for 160,000 plague victims and it is not surprising that the island has been completely closed to any visitors until now. It appears that profit wins out over the ghostly residents and rumor has it that Poveglia could become a luxury hotel, which means resting in peace is no longer an option to the tortured souls that may reside there.

April 15

Weird, yes, but this isn't the first time a "weird black ring" has appeared in the sky. In fact, we recalled seeing something very similar in UFO files that go way back to 1965, when highway worker Rex Heflin snapped a few photographs from his work truck pulled over on the side of the freeway near Santa Ana, California. The infamous Heflin UFO photos, are notable not only for being evidence that is largely accepted as the real deal, but also for showing a very uniquely hat shaped UFO. After the UFO disappeared, Heflin also snapped a photo of what he called "black particulate" left behind the UFO that formed into a smoky ring nearly identical to the one sighted above. These distinctive black rings are associated most commonly with lightning strikes and blown power transformers, so we wonder if there was any recent storm activity in both the recent case and also in the Heflin case, and whether or not there were any UFOs spotted in the England case. Could it all be interconnected?

A Conventry Telegraph caught something a bit odd in his photos of the Irish President's speech at the Medieval Guildhall in Conventry last week. Being a professional photographer, Joe Bailey would likely be able to tell immediately if he'd captured an apparition or simply a reflection or trick of light and shadow, but the truth is he doesn't know for sure and it sent a chill down his back when he spotted it, he says. Sharon Hill points out that the glowing green glitch or ghost actually casts a vivid reflection on the floor below it in a second photo, which makes it all the more baffling. A ghostly photo at the Medieval Coventry isn't entirely a surprise since a ghost made an astonishing appearance 30 years ago in the ancient hall during another event and that photo has since become iconic and remains unexplained. This article has the ghostly photo posted at the bottom. If you're having trouble, take a closer look at the upper left side. See that cloaked, shadowy figure? According to reports, there was no one wearing a hooded cloak or standing there at the time, but just to play devil's advocate here, it also appears that the hooded figure has his head bowed and hands clasped like everyone else so perhaps he was just part of the proceedings? That wasn't the case, said one Lord Mayor Walter Brandish who was in attendance at the 1985 event and stated that he did not see the Coventry Spectre at the time. The photo is so indistinct that it's hard to make out details, but we think that it's possible the ghostly monk is simply a combination of a woman standing in front of a suit of armor which creates the illusion of a monk wearing a cloak (the cloak being the woman's hair). Perhaps not, but it would account for no one seeing the hooded figure at the time but having it appear in a photo anyway.

Michael Williams looks back over 50 years of ghost hunting throughout North Cornwall and beyond. Meanwhile, Mrs. Daffodil digresses all the way back to 1912 and the curious case of Captain Smith of the RMS Titanic [being] seen after his death, strolling down the streets of Baltimore looking very much alive and well. The ghost sighter happened to be an old mariner friend of the Captain and had a nervous breakdown after he apparently had a conversation with the apparition. Further research shows the unfortunate ghost spotting mariner in the news again, this time claiming his nose and face cancer had been magically cured via prayer, making it altogether likely that the ghostly apparition of the Captain may have only taken place in his cancer-ridden mind.

April 14

Referencing MKULTRA has become an almost mainstream sort of thing to do and is mostly mentioned within the context of wild conspiracy theories involving brainwashed government officials and even celebrities who are said to respond to subtle cues taught to them during intense training. Some aspects of those conspiracy theories are not too far from the truth, which is a sobering thought. But do many people know the actual who, what, when and where of the near-mythical trope? MKULTRA was very real and was a series of highly illegal and unethical mind-control experiments run by the CIA. This rather short but informative article from The Epoch Times gives a little historical perspective on the origins of Project MKULTRA back in the early 1970s. For more indepth information, see this extensive paper from Princeton on Project MKULTRA and its procedures, which included several experiments that were not only secretive but also terribly invasive and conducted without participant's permission. Our human brains are frighteningly susceptible to things like brainwashing and the brain is also perfectly capable of shutting down completely in the event of traumatic event or even for no good reason at all, which may be the case with this Man found in Oslo with total memory loss. The man was found in a snowdrift and claims he was drugged, tied up and gagged at some point. The man calls himself "John Smith" but cannot remember anything about his life. Oddly enough, he is fluent in four languages and speaks mostly in english. if we add in a little more mystery into the mix, we could easily see this guy as a sort of Jason Bourne character, an ex-spy who has had his brain wiped clean...

Raining Frogs Live Science
Benjamin Radford attempts to explain the always bizarre "animal rains" that are sometimes reported by incredulous witnesses who have just been pelted by fish or frogs from the sky. Radford offers up a perfectly rational explanation-it's the work of a whirlwind or a tornado that's picked up a whole bunch of unfortunate small animals and carried them miles from their home to drop them as the storm settles. Sure, that works in some cases but what about the cases in which the animal rains manifest during good weather? Or when instead of cats and dogs, it's raining stones from nowhere?

Having viewed some of her evidence, all we can really say is that it's obvious that she believes she's capturing alien beings on camera...MUFON website features UFO picture from Omaha, Nebraska and we have to agree with Open Minds' suggestion to its identity here. There are obvious clues that give it away, mainly that a plane is flying directly in front of it....Syracuse New Times takes a look back at an iconic UFO sighting that sent several Christmas shoppers into a panic as a gigantic UFO the size of "two football fields" hovered over a GE plant, knocking out the lights for a few minutes: 1973 UFO- The Schendectady Flying Saucer.

So says Rex Gilroy, Bigfoot researcher. He says he's got the evidence to prove that the Yowie is Bigfoot's genetic first cousin, if not brother. The Yowie is having a great month in the media as this discovery was preceded by the supposed Yowie video taken by two hunters who claim they lured a Yowie into range of a trailcam by leaving food out for it. They captured what looks more like a blurry sloth than a large, hairy humanoid however...

April 13

Some imagine tropical climes, and dark jungles, when it comes to Puerto Rico's official cryptid, but Tony Morrill is poised to put cryptozoology on its ear. With a little help from some guy named Charles Fort, he presents old incidents from England and Ireland reminiscent of modern chupacabras reports. Lending gravitas to Tony's research, Nick Redfern comments the encounters eerily similar to a handful he posted a while back. But Is The Chupacabras Real? The legend's not going anywhere anytime soon, and Philip Ross has tapped Ben Radford for science's take on the creatures. Ben's answer is obvious, but it's interesting to note Texas wildlife officials didn't perform a necropsy since they don't believe in chupacabras. And what about Bigfoot? There's a Renewed Method in Bigfoot Research: Ultra Depth Hypnosis where Doug Meacham hypnotizes subjects to unearth memories of past encounters. We're more interested if he's going to perform past-life regression to see if a patient was a sasquatch in a prior incarnation.

NASA and pals have puzzled over these bizarre areological formations since 1972, and they still don't have an answer. Who better than Mika McKinnon to assemble the sum of the past four decades of research in one location, in the vain hope someone out on the great big internet is clever enough to suss out its origins. Whether the 'Inca City' is made of dunes, the aftermath of an impact, or reptilians, no one will know for certain 'til humans tread Mars's ruddy surface. And if Mars does maintain some areological activity, might astronauts marvel at exotriboluminesence? Now that's a clever segue for Rose Eveleth's study on how Sparkly Mints May Help Explain Puzzling "Earthquake Lights". Scientists at Rutgers are stumped by the anomalous voltages, and lights, appearing, like crunching on a wintergreen Lifesaver.

There's plenty of noise still echoing north of London. Sadly no lights, triboluminescent or otherwise, have been spotted 'round the Highgate Council. Supersonic jets, gas explosions, and electrical substation mishaps have been eliminated as suspects. Still on the roster are UFOs, and kids with 'bangers'. No mention if these scamps also had some 'mash'. Speaking of flying saucers, chanting UFO three times will summon Alejandro Rojas with more on how Residents Believe UFOs Are The Source Of Mysterious Explosions.

Ain't nothing sweeter than recalling the time Earth fought back in Dulce, New Mexico. Even though Tatiana wasn't there, her coverage is pitch-perfect with the inclusion of French skepticism regarding America's denial of extraterrestrial contact. Then again, eagle-eyed anomalists will see mention of the Weekly World News and groan, but Tara MacIsaac presents an Alleged Eye-Witness Report from the 1979 alien-human battle in New Mexico, laying out Phil Schneider's side of the story. If you don't believe him, come around Anomalist Towers and I'll show you the blaster burn an ornery Targzissian gave me that fateful day. If you're still with Tara, go further into this rabbit warren of twisty little passages all alike and she'll introduce you to Valiant Thor, the Space Alien Who Worked For The U.S. Government.

Demons, Djinn And UFOs Mysterious Universe
While the United States of America may have been forged by the hand of man, there are whispers its later successes were courtesy of Faustian bargains. With a handful of names like Mandor and Boeche, Nick Redfern uncovers alleged demonic contact, and arrangements with genies with a Twilight Zone twist. Joining the conspiracy, news of Masked Men Breaking Into School To Cut Down Cursed ‘Jinn Tree’. Ahmed Rilwan reveals the legacy of Fanditha magic on the atoll dating from a black magician's 1953 execution, the discovery of 'hexed tablets', and children plagued by unknown agencies on Thakandhoo school's grounds.

April 12

Three cheers for John Horgan, the Harold Camping of mainstream science! Sticking to his guns, believing the Nobel committee is taking longer and longer to find recipients, John concludes (again) from these statistics science is 'dying'. If John's right, not embracing specious speculation, he's ignoring how 'alternative' sciences, and (good lord, *choke*) 'woo', are gaining traction in the mainstream with compelling, reproducible evidence. On the other hand, Martin Rees argues there's a considerable backlog of noteworthy recipients, demanding greater deliberation. No matter how thin you slice it, the opinion's still baloney. A must read, if not for the choice comments, but to see what the loyal opposition believes these days.

Perhaps Horgan can find inspiration, much like David Mecalfe, in a recent interview of Charles Tart by our pal Greg Taylor. For example, the advice to "kill your darlings". Data always comes first, ideas, opinions, and theory are expendible. These motivate science, but aren't science. Don't forget to crawl Inside The Mind Of Charles T. Tart for a swift kick in the intellectual ass. How else could investigators toy with Visions Of The Impossible? Speculation motivates inquiry, but those hell-bent for leather to dismiss anomalous phenomenon as irreproducible coincidence, illustrate the denialist mindset. While anomalists rush in where denialists fear to tread, taking the first step into uncharted territory, per Jeffrey Kripal, opens dialogue between both sides, formenting the synthesis of ideas, heralding a greater understanding of deep concepts currently inexplicable in the materialist paradigm. A provocative example of these integrated worldviews comes from Terry Gross's interview with A Nonbeliever Trying To Make Sense Of The Visions She Had As A Teen. Barbara Ehrenreich's discovered it's not difficult to reconcile Platonic and Aristotelian mindsets without compromising one's fundamental assumptions. Far from being marginalized, she's found nothing but sincere support from her peers, since there's nothing wrong in asking "What's It All About?" Mike Prescott dares to address the question, drawing upon life reviews, creating an analogy with a game, by which a putative higher power can better know itself.

One puzzle briefly addressed by Jeff Kirpal is why psychics don't use their powers for personal gain. Turns out our buddy Malcolm Smith is just the man to tackle the topic. Mal explains weak signals, the ephemerality of lotto balls among other random agents, with examples of psychics pursuing personal gain where the only victim is the house. Harmonizing with Malcolm, David Metcalfe follows up on the premise of Gambling With Psi - Money Making Mind Tricks, respectfully disagreeing with the opinion Stanford was 'unsystematic' with citations. As a bonus, he proposes how people can develop a talent for tipping the odds in their favor.

People are still divided over the alleged poltergeist footage from New Hampshire, and Kelly Roncace looks at both arguments. Big-s skeptics say it's an elaborate ruse, while the shopworker insists there weren't any shenanigans. Believers appear to be open to dialogue, but their comrades across the aisle prefer the simple response of "FAKE!" Closer to Kelly's stomping grounds is the Hotel Somerset, home to Jersey's own Foot Fetish Phantoms and site of a recent ghost hunt. Rather than rehash the story, our very own Chris Savia presents the African concepts of sasha and zamani in an intriguing paranormal context. Twice as spooky is A Man Called Da-da's surreal, but true, story of automotive spookiness When Haunted Cars ATTACK! Remember, never speak ill of your car. Especially when they're named Christine, or Beatrice.

Remember Ascension when Chris Carter decided to nudge Scully towards being a believer? Ken Summers does, and using the episode as a springboard, Ken examines the evidence, recent discoveries on the mountainside, and wonders why a training mission would have live ordnance. Next on the docket, The Professor has a case of I See You: You See Me where an object gave a peculiar shout-out to the puny earthlings watching from below. Also in UFO history, Kevin Randle is finding more trouble with the Eisenhower Briefing Document, MJ-12, and the Washington Alert facing more scrutiny. For example, a civilian pilot being reclassified as a colonel, and a UFO crash that never was.

Copyright 1996-2014. The Anomalist, Box 6807, Charlottesville, Virginia  22906 USA.