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The Anomalist

December 21

Folks talk a lot about ancient aliens, laboring under the delusion our ancestors couldn't conceive of, let alone build, the marvels confounding historians and museums across the globe. The secrets behind Damascus steel, flexible glass, and heat rays are slowly coming to light, while others remain elusive to our advanced, modern minds. Tara MacIsaac provides just a taste of these wonders. No stranger to the strange, Dr. Beachcombing is puzzled by the discovery of Roman Coins In Iceland. Iceland wasn't settled 'til the 9th century A.D., and had a few visitors when it was dubbed "Ultima Thule". Reader Lehmansterms deepens the mystery, applying his numismatics genius, about how this would've been expensive hoax, leaving the door wide open for broadening the reach of ancient Rome. C'mon, who'd really care about faking Romans in Iceland anyway? (CS)

Earth Light In Norfolk Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Another gem from Beach's archives is this account of a man being stalked by an odd light. Guided by an unearthly intelligence, it's only when the protagonist of this 19th century account is confronted by the phenomenon, he realizes it wasn't a fellow Norfolkian with a lantern but something much more queer. One can only speculate if there is an agency behind these lights, otherworldly or divine, since there were no known smartphones at the time. Fortunately, Sherrie Abbott's 'Angel' Spotted In The Sky Is 'A Sign From Her Late Father'. Click on over and take a gander of the picture, it's pretty nifty. Riffing on this theme, somethingstraange at reddit shares how His Daughter Died On Her Sixth Birthday. A Man Just Handed Me Photos Of Her Seventh. Word of warning, you'll need a grain of salt the size of the west Antarctic ice sheet, but the tale is creepy enough to be worthy of the /r/nosleep subreddit. (CS)

December 20

Could the so-called, 'junk' DNA of Earth's life be cleverly coded with a message from extraterrestrial agencies? A team of researchers in Kazakhstan are exploring a hot hypothesis, teasing out relationships and 'coincidences' in DNA currently defying conventional genetics. David Warmflash covers everything in The Daily Grail's piece on Our Alien DNA last summer, but David feels the need to complain about how maverick science being submitted to respected journals, like Icarus, opens the door to alleged woo-meisters with intriguing ideas that might (Good lord, *choke*) refresh the halls of science. Once again, mainstreamers afraid of upsetting the status quo, and their tenure. If SETI for our cells is outlandish, Tony Reichhardt's been reading up on this German guy who scribbled out an equation about a hundred years ago. A time when fresh ideas that pushed boundaries weren't tossed in the circular file, but whether Einstein's Thoughts On SETI were entertained because he was Einstein, or open-mindedness, remains to be seen. Goodness knows what may be coming down the pike, with news from Mark Whittington about the Bulgarian Academy Of Sciences To Study UFOs And Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Here's hoping 2015 is poised to be another Annus Mirabilis, for different reasons. (CS)

Nephilim. Annunaki. Titans. Regardless of their name, giants loom large in human myth cycles. From biblical accounts and Mayan legends, to encounters among explorers and American indigenes, we can't avoid their long shadows. Are these tall tales, cases where the truth is slightly stretched, or is there a firm basis in fact for their existence? Paul Darin looks at early anecdotes of their existence, before tracking down hard evidence of bones and artifacts in Part Two of his series. There is cause for skepticism, as skeletons in situ can be inadvertantly arranged by burial to suggest the subject was much taller. Recently unearthed by Paul Seaburn, there's A Million Mummies And One Is A Giant. There's no question the giant in question is legit, but was he an extant specimen of our large cousins, or simply an aberration? (CS)

It's that time of the year again. No, not Christmas. The latest issue of EdgeScience is out, and first item to hit this editor's eye is William Sarill's exploration of the hallucinations and prophecies of Philip Kindred Dick. To be brief, PKD is the most culturally significant author of science fiction, questioning the nature of reality and humanity. William catalogs PKD's intuition and future memories, some cut from whole cloth according to his fifth wife Tessa, and episodes of eerie prescience; for example the wonder drug in one of his best novels, Ubik, has a real-world counterpart available at your grocery store. Best of all, it's not recommended by Dr. Oz! (CS)

In a town where most of the population are former USAF, Roger Marsh can be certain witnesses reporting to MUFON can tell a Chinese lantern from a UFO. This account from early December has more than one object, possibly eliminating the explanation of Google's Loon project. Next, Alejandro Rojas tees up some photos fitting 'classical' descriptions of flying saucers. We're relieved someone had remembered their camera while Multiple Witnesses Spotted A UFO Over Capua in Caserta, Italy. Meanwhile, in Mother Russia, reports of Witnesses Claim UFOs Caused Strange Contrails. Jason McClellan's seen this before, effectively ruling out alien visitation, but not spaceships. (CS)

Consciousness: Magic or Meh? The North Coast Journal
Upon seeing the name Michael Graziano, the answer is clear. Despite the resounding "meh", Barry Evans doesn't solely focus on the materialist paradigm, nor dismiss the non-physical/non-local hypothesis behind consciousness. It would've been helpful to have a clearer distinction between consciousness and awareness, since the terminology serves to muddy the waters. If consciousness isn't phenomenal, lacking physical properties, then it's a thing-in-itself. Laying the foundation for the scientific concept of noumenon and its broader implications is Martin J. Clemens's "Left Or Right? Either Way I'm Lost". In the noumenal, or abstract, world, everything is subjective, returning us to the hard question addressed by Graziano. Splitting off at an oblique angle, Anna Merlan addresses the anomalous topic of ghost children, part and parcel of The Strange, Misunderstood World Of Delusional Pregnancy. While the women may be diagnosed as delusional by mainstream medicine, everything else happening to their bodies suggests they truly believe a fetus is growing in their wombs. (CS)

December 19

With the United States opening up relations with Cuba again, some ornithologists are taking the opportunity to renew efforts in finding a bird that hasn't been photographed since George Lamb was able to capture one in 1956. Hopefully, the Cuban Ivory-billed Woodpecker can be confirmed to still exist. The softening of relations between Cuba and the U.S. spells good fortune for the Cuban people and the ornithologists seeking this rare bird. If you are more prone to looking down, you might be interested in Perusing The Pacarana, the so-called “Terrible Mouse” that is said to be as large as a Terrier! Actually, the species is not a bona fide mouse at all. A recent discovery has led to the naming of a new species. (BB)

Several researchers are now in the process of digitalizing important UFO files, the latest being Steven Kaeser, who has converted some microfilms to pdf, including some APRO files relating to sightings prior to 1957, some Canadian government UFO documents, and documents that show the exchange information between the USAF Public Relations Office and Project Blue Book. It’s interesting that this comes on the heels of an anniversary of sorts: U.S. Air Force Closes the Book on UFOs, 45 Years Ago. And it’s not likely they will re-open their investigation any time soon. There are essential issues to be dealt with in the phenomenon, including the realization that UFO reports exist at An Intersection of Realities. Says Rich Reynolds: “We can address a few of the real and fictional elements in UFO reports, but we’ll always be flummoxed by the totality of the observations, which have at their base a phenomenon that is intrinsically elusive…” (PH)

In giving this award, Loren Coleman explores the emergence of synchromysticism, which is the art of connecting the dots between mundane everyday experiences with experiences that are more spiritual or mystical in nature. We've all experienced a moment of synchronicity when our footsteps march to the beat of a song on the radio, when the washing machine seems to be repeating something in Morse code, or when a dream seems to come true. Synchromysticism seeks to explore the underlying mystical meanings behind these otherwise mundane events. In Nightmarish Invaders of our Dreams, Nick Redfern posits that “perhaps, in a weird, synchronistic fashion, something is subtly letting us know that dreams—and the things that inhabit them and intrude upon them—are not what they appear to be, namely mere fantasy.” In this followup to his review of Heidi Hollis' book The Hat Man: The True Story of Evil Encounters, Redfern examines how the theme of menacing characters wearing hats pops up again and again in others writings, such as those of Charles de Lint’s fictional Yarrow, and how those stories may relate to the case of “Slender Man.” You may recall the recent news story of Slender Man, where two teenage girls stabbed a classmate nearly to death to confirm the existence of the fictional character. In a case of fantasy becoming “reality,” one woman shows us how easy it is to become somebody else in a hat, in this case a turban, especially in places like New Orleans. Jami Attenberg’s I Lied About Being a Psychic. It Worked. takes readers on a journey through New Orleans on Mardi Gras to show just how easy it is to fool oneself into believing they are psychic. Go with Jami as she travels from Faulkner House Books to the house of “three gorgeous men” on her adventure to prove that you can be whatever you want to be and it may only take a simple hat, or in this case, a turban. (BB)

December 18

Turns out the DNA analysis of Yeti hair sample by Bryan Sykes’ team was in error. The “Yeti” DNA does not match that of a Pleistocene polar bear’s DNA after all. Instead it belongs to a modern polar bear. The Sykes team acknowledges that the DNA does in fact belong to a modern polar bear. That still leaves a mystery, however, as Loren Coleman points out: “What are, at least, two polar bears doing in the Himalayan biological arena in the space of 40 years? And being termed ‘Yeti’ by locals and outsiders?” In other matters cryptozoological, we have the issue of The Loch Leven Monster. Never heard of it? Glasgow Boy has dug up a clipping from the Scottish Sunday Mail dated September 9, 1934, that describes a large beast that was seen in Loch Leven, which is located near Loch Ness,. That raises the question of how connected the two Lochs may be. Could each Loch harbor it's own monster, or is the monster able to travel from Loch to Loch? Or, then again, are people misidentifying seals and schools of fish? (PH, BB)

Doctors and scientists in Kazakhstan are baffled by a mysterious illness that is causing people to fall asleep right in the middle of their daily activities. Nobody knows the cause of the illness but there are many theories, few of which make any sense. How could radiation from the nearby uranium mines be the cause? Insect bites? Unlikely. Aliens? Forget about it. Mass psychosis? Now you’re talking. You’ll find many similar examples in Outbreak!: The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior. Some mysteries manage to stand the test of time : These 7 Mysterious Photos Have Never Been Explained... And Probably Never Will Be. Some of these are classics: the Solway Firth Space Man (aka the Tempelton photograph), the Hook Island Sea Monster, the Hessdalen Lights, and the Babushka Lady. But others are new to us, The Disappearance of Elisa Lam and the Geophone Rock Anomaly among them. What’s your take on them? Let us know on Facebook. (BB)

Tara MacIsaac examines a 3rd century B.C. figurine of a bird found during an excavation in Egypt. Some believe the figurine is just a child's toy or an ornamental figure. However, some believe the figurine could be evidence that the ancient Egyptians mastered flight. One must admit upon seeing the object that it does indeed look like a model plane modern children make from balsa wood. Even something as ordinary as a odd spot can raise a mystery. In A Big Dark Spot in the History of Spots, we are told of an old pamphlet about the International Court of Justice and the League of Nations which opens with a drawing of a black geometric spot that appeared on the Moon's surface on December 5, 1925. The irregular quadrilateral shape occupies 5% of the surface of the half-Moon’s surface! If only we had more details… (BB, PH)

December 17

Farmers, residents, and livestock have been living in a state of constant fear of a massive panther-like cat they believed was mutilating and killing cattle. Paul Seaburn reports that the culprit was, according to the government, a '12-inch-tall house cat'. Now the question becomes, how does a common house cat mutilate and kill a cow? Well, one beast that certainly can't be explained away as a common house cat is Bigfoot. But according to Atlantic City Lab, the number of Sasquatch sightings have been falling in recent years. The Year in Bigfoot tells us that the Pacific Northwest still reigns supreme in the number of sightings, along with Pennsylvania. But Are These Sighting Numbers for 2014 Correct? How could other Bigfoot hotbed states such as California and Oregon report zero sightings? Alabama had one, but probably not this recent case: Four Witnesses Spot ‘Bigfoot’ in Alabama Road. Said to be all black and nearly nine feet tall, "Big Joe," as the locals have affectionately named it, has been spotted at least twice within a period of about four weeks, according to Bigfoot researcher Jim Smith, founder of the Alabama Bigfoot Society. (BB)

They're hereee...Here is the strangest abduction case in the files of renowned author Brad Steiger. The year was 1968. How can a totally immobile, bedridden man in traction who claims to be an abductee, simply up and disappear from his bed in the military section of a hospital? And after a thorough search only to reappear back in his bed within an hour without being seen. One clue, right before his disappearance a very bright light was seen by patients emanating from that side of the building. On more mundane UFO matters, Colombian UFO videos cause some to believe it is a hotspot, or at least the media seems to think so. But some UFO researchers seem to think it's all a lot of hot air, pointing towards "marketing balloons" as the more likely terrestrial culprits. Lots of hot air is probably all we are going to get from the Air Force from now on. Just when you thought the U.S. Government couldn't possibly get less transparent, news has come out that the Air Force has decided to make it harder for people filing FOIA's to access unfiltered radar data, which had previously been available upon request for quite some time. In Just a Matter of Time, Billy Cox reveals that the abrupt change in Air Force policy has less to do with perceived vulnerabilities and more to do with UFO researchers reconstructing case studies of anomalous events. What is the Air Force trying to hide? (SC, BB)

December 16

A New Zealand engineer looking at a Google Earth satellite photo spotted what looks like the wake of a creature that’s 39 feet long. Unofficially, Google responded that they thought it might be the wake of a boat, but there was no sign of the white foam that would have been churned up by a boat motor. The native Maori, says the engineer, would call this a Taniwha, a supernatural creature that is said to live in New Zealand rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Over in the northern hemisphere, a Nor'easter Washes Up Mysterious Creature On Jersey Shore. It’s not a character from that television show, but something equally scary. It seems beach-goers found what appears to be a half alligator and half fish. Not a Taniwha this one. Tom Davis reports it’s probably just the carcass of a dead and dried bottlenose dolphin.

Desmond Matanga writes about some strange events being reported by the Vice President of Zimbabwe's personal secretary. You might remember hearing a story about how the personal secretary was attacked by an unknown assailant a few days ago with some kind of unknown toxic substance. Well, since then she has been reporting strange events surrounding the incident such as rocks falling from out of nowhere and people's necks being twisted by unknown forces. No mention whether the assailant who threw the toxic substance on the V.P.'s secretary was a poltergeist or not. Speaking of throwing dangerous things around, broken glass has been reported to have been thrown at an employee of a former theater in North Wales. Asking the question Is this Wales' most haunted building? Liz Day explores the history, apparitions, and strange noises at the old Tivoli Venue and explains why employees are too afraid to be in the building at night. (BB)

Mysterious crop-circle-like formations discovered in sand is a new twist on the crop circle phenomenon. Linze Rice interviews residents of Edgewater, a suburb of Chicago where some unusual sand drawings were discovered causing many to connect the occurrences with crop circles and even aliens. The designs are reminiscent of Tibetan mandala art. Also probably of human origin are the lights reported by a woman over Ann Arbor, Michigan. We don’t understand why an Organization [is] investigating mysterious cluster of lights , meaning MUFON, since the woman herself thinks it might have been a drone. In UFOs, Alien Abductions & Contact: the Parapsychological Connection Bill Chalker states that this connection is “often overlooked or often rationalised away.” The only problem is that Chalker seems to equate “parapsychological” with “a folly of misinterpretation or misrepresentation.” That might leave longtime paranormal researcher George Hansen, who was interviewed on The Paracast, scratching his head. Hansen, the author of The Trickster and the Paranormal, attempts to make sense of all things tricksterish--everything from levitating monks to ESP, from spirits to cattle mutilations, UFOs and much more.

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