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The Anomalist



March 30

Sightings of the once-thought-extinct Tasmanian Tiger continue to be reported, encouraging researchers to move their hunt to Cape York Peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia, where the newest sightings have taken place. There will be the strictest of privacy enforced though, to both protect the animals and their habitat, as well as maintain the integrity of the expedition. No hunts scheduled for this next creature: The Mysterious Giant Worms of Japan have been reported throughout history, and we're not talking about the nightcrawlers your fisherman dad used to make you help catch the night before a fishing trip. These worms are moderately terrifying. Considering Japan's history with Godzilla and Rodan, we can't say these giant wigglers are much of a surprise. If you're serious about finding beasts that will turn your hair white, may we suggest Exploring American Monsters: West Virginia. Mothman, Sheepsquatch, two-headed giant turtles...And you thought West Virginia was only for golfers. (CM)

Here's an instance where a mainstream media outlet takes the matter of extraterrestrial and even UFOs somewhat seriously, though you might have read these stories about Elvis Presley, Stephen Hawking, Mark Zuckerberg, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan elsewhere. Britain's New Musical Express (NME) furnishes another example with The Kinks' Dave Davies Opens up about UFO Experiences. Reporter Damian Jones says Dave's UFO experiences have seeped into his "subconscious and super-conscious". And that brings us to Jeff Ritzmann--Active Participation in the UFO Enigma. Turns out that Ritzmann has a theory explaining how creative or otherwise "liminal" people may have multiple UFO and other paranormal experiences, and how the siren call of the UFO can destroy a person's normal routine and even lead to ruined personal relationships and penury. This Radio Misterioso interview hosted by Greg Bishop rather takes on the character of two old friends exploring a different way of looking at paranormal experiences, in which the witness not only affects the phenomenon--he may actually summon it. It took some time for ufologists to realize fully how witnesses' reports of paranormal phenomena were often colored by prior experiences, personality traits, and memories. Authors such as Eric Ouellet on his blog and in his book Illuminations: The UFO Experience as a Parapsychological Event have argued for an actual effect by the perceiver upon the phenomenon itself. Ritzmann takes this further in a dialogue that is clear and engaging throughout. Further on the subject of UFO obsession, Rich Reynolds claims that UFO Madness is One of a Kind. While it seems clear that different sorts of people report abduction experiences, and it's true that the reservoir of competent psychotherapists willing to work with such people does not meet the demand, it's always useful to review papers such as the one by Texas State University religious scholar Joseph Laycock which Commenter Tim Hebert mentions. (WM)

Nude Ghosts Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
White as a ghost? Beach reminds us that there are other ways of spending our pale skinned free time--masquerading as a ghost, for instance. Unless of course you weren't trying to impersonate a spook and just flat out frightened someone with your strangely white, even more strangely nude body. That's the definition of a bad day. Next, Esoterx tells the tale of The Bottle Smashing Ghost of Via Bava No. 6, where we learn two important facts. The first is that poltergeist are as annoying as humans in their inability to behave predictably. The second: adolescent angst could haunt a house. Or a winery. (CM)

In this post Rich Reynolds asks whether the 7-year detention of the Greek hero Odysseus by the nymph Calypso on the island of Ogygia supports the notion that the abduction theme is a pattern upon which UFO abductions are a modern variant. An interesting conjecture. Rich gets a rise from this audience by claiming that U.S. UFO Buffs are Dumb, UFO Buffs Elsewhere are Smart. Much of the Comments to this piece are off-point and seem rather to illustrate Rich's contention, although if you read towards the end you'll get a good recipe for cheese on toast. Unserious sites pandering to the lowest level of readership are numerous, and many of the more serious and talented ufologists eschew publishing on the Internet largely because it affords such an arena for vitriol and promotes cursory research. Using some articles from the November 1978 UFO Report, Rich's The More Things Change rather echoes a long-ago remark by Allan Hendry, Rich's phrasing being "We are still dealing with the same UFO crap in 2017 that UFO buffs were dealing with in 1978." (WM)

March 29

Apparently the realm of sleep paralysis is not limited to visitations of demons, specters, and extraterrestrials. We can now add Pokemon to the list of entities that experiencers of this sleep disturbance have reportedly encountered. Makes sense when you think about it; those little critters are fast, and some are as ugly as heck. Nightmare creatures are not the only paranormal rivals when it comes to terrifying a population. Seems The ‘Competing’ Poltergeist, Demonic, UFO And Ultra-Terrestrial Phenomena – It Could Turn Out They Are All One And The Same! Paranormal researcher Paul Eno believes these beings all come from the same place, crossing over from a dimension different from our own. What makes each encounter distinct is the makeup and environment of the individual experiencer. Eno describes his viewpoint as somewhat radical, and we have to agree although it is refreshing to look at the phenomenon through a fresh lens. (CM)

The PSI Encyclopedia continues to grow, with an ever increasing list of reputable and learned contributors. Topics covered are growing just as quickly, but there is a need for more experimental topics and modern researchers. Robert McLuhan, the mastermind behind the encyclopedia, is looking for writers, ideas, and suggestions, so if you're inspired and feel like you have something genuine to contribute, contact him at PSI Enclycopedia Contact. While you're feeling energetic, get on over to the Society for Psychical Research where they are holding a Paranormal Review Photography Competition. Judges will accept a wide variety of photography, as long as the subject contains a strong image and conveys the spirit of "the paranormal." Get snapping. (CM)

Rich Reynolds extends his recent treatment of Spanish journalist Jose Antonio Caravaca's "Distortion Theory" beyond UFOs, suggesting that its posited "'external agent' (or 'agents') could be the prod or catalyst for all the creative enterprises of mankind." It (or they) could also be the source of schizophrenia, thinks Rich. Maybe Caravaca's external agent is what causes the Visions of the Peasantry. Reynolds suggests it's mostly people from lower economic classes who report the famous visions of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and UFO reports, particularly ones with humanoid encounters. Rich throws out some thoughts as to why this could be so, and sees a potential tie-in with Jose Caravaca's theory. Caravaca himself responds to this line of thinking in a Comment. We wonder whether Rich's lower economic class (and education) theory holds in the case of the Report of UFO over Nuclear Plant in Nebraska Found in Recently Declassified Documents. Alejandro Rojas says that John Greenewald has just posted to his website The Black Vault 43 pages of Nuclear Regulatory Commission documents obtained by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The headline report is an interesting two-night affair with multiple witnesses on both occasions. (WM)

If you've ever found that packing up and moving house is daunting work, consider the task faced by this London couple who have to move their entire collection of fascinating 'junk' to new premises. Among the eclectic and esoteric treasures in their Aladdin's cave is a supposed mummified mermaid. Long may these rare establishments survive. Other weird wonders are on display as reported by Aidan Dunne in The art of the paranormal: telepathy, ectoplasm, poltergeist. Artist Susan MacWilliam has created a new show in Ireland called "Modern Experiments," which resembles "a vintage laboratory devoted to paranormal research." Meanwhile across The Pond, the city of Boston hosts a Nessie Artwork Exhibition by artist Bradford Johnson. Follow the links for further info. (LP)

March 28

Last week a woman driving the roads at night in Benewah County, Washington, was involved in a collision with a deer. Seems normal enough considering the time of year. What's caught the media's attention is her claim that the deer was being pursued by a Sasquatch, thereby causing it to run out into oncoming traffic. This is very much a case of having to take someone's word for it. We weren't there and it was nighttime so no witnesses could observe anything much anyways, and an automobile accident would likely eradicate any footprints or other Bigfooty evidence. The driver of the car had not been drinking, so that's a win regardless. Also in the same category of We'll Take Your Word For It, a Lost Tourist Says Monkeys Saved Him in the Amazon. Maykool Coroseo Acuña was part of a tour group learning about Amazonian shamanism and turned his nose up at participating in a sacred ceremony. He claims the next thing he knew he was running through the forest, disposing of his shoes and cellphone, and becoming thoroughly lost. While some believe the spirits of the Amazon punished his arrogance, it might be worth noting that there are an infinite number of medicinal or hallucinogenic plants in that part of the world...(CM)

Only Big UFOs today. gCaptain is a website devoted to advancing the interests of the commercial marine and offshore energy industries. We doubt that reporter Mike Schuler submits many such tales as appears in this piece. The witness reported an approximately 1000 foot craft that rose out of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico about 80 miles southeast of New Orleans on the evening of March 21st, and quickly disappeared. He thinks that more than 50 other people on nearby vessels may have seen this event. An interesting and straightforward treatment by a "mainstream" website. Elsewhere, Open Minds' Roger Marsh gives us a December 10, 2014, Lakehurst event in which a Disc UFO over New Jersey was "Football Field" Size, Claims Witness. This UFO was oval, and the object appeared to accelerate as it moved quickly away. One possibly germane nugget: the phenomenon was first sighted over the joint McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst military installation. Interestingly enough, the witness said he decided to make the report after driving by the base the other day and realizing "you can see stars everywhere in the sky, except for where those lights were above the base." (WM)

The CIA has declassified documents detailing 1980s research into astral projection--they mean remote viewing--to Mars, back in time about a million years ago. While we have no means by which to verify the findings, it's as fascinating as all get out. Test subjects reported on Mars' geography, surface structures, and very tall beings. No mention of irrigation channels though, which is the subject of A Mistranslated Word Led To Some Of The Best Fake News Of The 20th Century. When Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer, claimed in 1877 to see channels running over the surface of Mars, (later revealed to be an optical illusion), he used the Italian term "canali." Needless to say there were those in the scientific community who ran with that word, Anglicizing it over to "canals" and all the possibilities that might infer. Apparently 19th century scientists had never heard of translators, or Italian to English dictionaries. (CM)

Chris Woodyard recounts the tradition of the Victorian widow "swathed in her habiliments of woe." It comes as no surprise that during those times it was commonplace for criminals to disguise themselves as women in mourning in order to perpetrate all variety of crimes without discovery, including robbery of corpses on display for visitation or pick pocketing unwary good samaritans. The tragic amount of death in those times made the sight of the woman in black all too common, and the garb came to be associated with a high degree of strangeness over time. As ominous as the shadowy widows are the Black Eyed Kids: Are They Killers? A recent account sent in to Lon Strickler describes an incident where BEK's made a number of appearances in a neighborhood immediately prior to a fatal house fire. Police chose to remain uninterested--apathetic or frightened? Most police forces take an interest in young people loitering and trespassing, so the whole incident is either very mysterious, or very contrived. (CM)

With Chris O'Brien "on assignment," Gene Steinberg solo hosted Bob Davis, Board of Directors and Research Team member of the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE), and psychic healer Maree Batchelor. Davis contends that science needs to come to grips with the kind of data that FREE has been collecting, particularly on the matter of UFO experiences, and also look seriously into such abilities as Dr. Batchelor claims. Dr. Davis went farther than we'd read before in attributing significance to statistics based upon a sample that self-selects by responding to ads placed in various media and is further affected by lumping together individuals reporting various UFO-related experiences from mere sightings up to and including full-fledged abductions. (Dr. Davis abhors that term, but its Latin roots make it more descriptive of the "led or taken away" nature--physically, mentally, or psychically--of the reported experience than is the more generic "experiencer.") Davis freely acknowledged that he could offer only "feelings" and not objective "proof" that the ability of many people to deal with and integrate their anomalous experiences into their lives is more than the triumph of the human spirit, and, since "validation" is impossible scientifically, one should be skeptical of FREE's results. Gene's probing questions included how does Dr. Batchelor know that the entities she consults aren't lying to her, why the "shape shifting" some of her clients report of her during these Skype and in-person sessions has never been photographed, and what precisely is this "vibrational frequency effect" she believes occurs during what otherwise seem like fairly usual hypnotic inductions, but with "third eyes" and benevolent off-world beings occasionally inserted into the monologue. (WM)

March 27

Pity poor Sean Keoughan, as he's taking a trip to the blueberry farm after claiming he had a bomb/asteroid in his trunk. Ian Simpson has all the lurid details. Had Sean applied his wild talents to skin reading instead, he could be chatting up Robert McLuhan on the finer points of utilizing his Inner Light for good, rather than evil. Maybe Sean's potential 10 year, federally-funded vacation is a cover for his recruitment into one of the CIA/NSA/FBI/LOL's black projects. It's been done before with The CIA's Secret Plan To Crush Russia During the Cold War: Super Psychic Powers. For those of you playing along at home, these documents have been available for twenty years but now that they're accessible online mainstream media's going bonkers over one of the more curious chapters of national intelligence. For the uninitiated, Michael Peck goes above and beyond the call of duty to get you up to speed with your friendly neighborhood fortean. (CS)

Paracast co-host Chris O'Brien used the occasion of David Rockefeller's passing to insert an earlier piece about two 1997 conversations he had had with David's older brother Laurance. This is an excerpt from Chris' Secrets of Mysterious Valley, and is a fascinating look into some of the interests of a truly remarkable and accomplished individual (see Laurance Rockefeller for a quick bio of the man). By request of a highly-placed neighbor, and then by Mr. Rockefeller himself, O'Brien spent a good part of two days covering Laurance's many anomalistic interests, theories, and research. Leaving all that aside, this article provides a valuable insight into the mental acuity of the then-87-year-old billionaire. Complete with scary surprise but a basically happy ending. (If you see cut-off text, narrow your browser window.) (WM)

Brent Swancer ponders the unexplained deaths of the "Pylon Man," found suspended from one such structure a few years ago, and of David Lytton, who died not far away on the lonely moors from ingestion of rat poison. Brent also takes a look across The Pond at the strange death of Todd Sees, who was found hanging in a "thickly overgrown area." All three deaths remain unsolved. Meanwhile Nick Redfern takes a look at Witchcraft & Murder: a 1945 Killing and the still unsolved case from England's West Midlands in which a man was found dead with a pitchfork through his chest. Much less gruesome are Specters of the Emerald Isle: The Lively Ghosts of Ireland and the sometimes charming tales of their escapades. (LP)

David Halperin continues his review of the 1997 book by Benson Saler, Charles A. Ziegler, and Charles B. Moore. Halperin here focuses on the chapters written by the two main authors, who are anthropologists. Ziegler's "central motif of the Roswell myth" sounds more like a glamorized "take" on the UFO Disclosure movement than the traditional version of the early summer of 1947 events. Halperin remarks trenchantly that Saler "shows no sign of having actually read any of the Roswell literature." A characteristic weakness of non-ufologist scholars who venture into ufology is unfamiliarity with the better research in the field. However, ufology needs attention and thoughtful insights from other disciplines, and Halperin suggests a takeaway from Saler's contribution. (WM)

March 26

Most men in black accounts verge on the infernal, rather than the contemporary stereotype of sterile government agents. Perhaps some who glance at Chris Woodyard's account of a vapor-wrapped entity may find parallels tickling their fancies. Speaking of men in black, their favorite subject of scrutiny, Nick Redfern, takes another look at More High-Strangeness In Defiance, Ohio. Keen readers will remember yesterday's account of werewolves, and will be chilled by Rob Easley's recollection of being pursued by MIBs one strange summer. While you wait for Nick to tie these MIBs with Defiance's werewolf, he's joining the likes of Peter Rogerson and Mike Dash in hopes of solving The Mystery Of The U.K.'s "Phantom" Social Workers. Despite the thin evidence leading to blind alleyways, there may be one common thread linking them all together. (CS)

Our Grip On Reality... Conscious Entities
Are we living in a simulation? No, argues Peter Hankins, as he tackles the philosophical underpinnings of reality. In fact it all comes back to the challenge presented by consciousness, along with the necessity for consistency with an absence of evidence. Far less scholarly is Ryan Mandelbaum's screed, "Think We're Living In A Computer Simulation? Prove It". This guy doesn't know, doesn't want to consider it, and like stereotypical millennials he'd rather have other people do the work while he uses words like "badass" and "mind-blown" on le reddit for upvotes. Should we exist in a simulation, it's being run on a computer with a "hard drive" to use understandable terminology. With that in mind, Zura Kakushadze's paper "Does The Computer Have A Hard Drive?" where the programs are written in the laws of physics. Maybe, if this is a simulation, there could be a way out via a glitch in the matrix. For your approval Hugh Stephenson presents a meditation upon The Long Arm Of Coincidence, where the words of the prophets are written within crosswords. (CS)

Where does the soul reside? Is it the seat of consciousness, our brains, or somewhere else? Roger Penrose believes he's found the microtubules responsible for creating "you,"--or at the very least Matt Cook? But does this materialist theory hold water? Ardent anomalists may remember Greg Taylor's spin on atomic states giving rise to consciousness as we know it, from a few weeks ago. Might these maverick theories be clues to assist Physicists In Their Search For A Mysterious 'Ghost Particle'? In Mike McRae's case, he's talking about sterile neutrinos that have eluded even CERN over the years. Rather than using a trillion dollar particle accelerator to find ghosts, why not a pub crawl in hopes of stumbling into ghosts? Just the other day Matt Cook learned of the phantoms haunting Blidworth's Bird In Hand pub brimming with spooky tales from sober-minded visitors. (CS)

March 25

The Hex Cat Of Tumbling Run The Curious Fortean
The locals 'round Mount Carbon, Pennsylvania, know plenty of weirdness. Their fortean phenomena can be counted on both hands, but Andrew Gable's interest is with the left hand's lone finger representing the hex cat. Some hex cats are good, while others are bad, but which are borne of a hexahemeron? Nearly 500 miles away, as the thunderbird flies, Nick Redfern's caught wind of The Strange Tale Of The Defiance Werewolf. Let's just say there was a time where Wisconsin wasn't the dogman capital of the Americas. Also in the running is the eponymous county seat of Orange County, Texas. Ol' Solomon bent Nick's ear about his encounter with A Shape-Shifting Wolf In Texas. An interesting factoid to keep in your back pocket is silver's current price of $17.84 USD/ounce. Average 9mm bullet is .26 ounces. A competent gunsmith can make 4 silver bullets, if they include some of grandma's fancy tableware to make up for the difference. On the other hand a typical box of 50 rounds of 9mm costs around $10 USD. If you run into a dogman make sure every shot counts, or hope your buddy's slower than you. (CS)

Argentinian crop circles are a darned sight different than their anglophone analogues. If these were hoaxed, someone must've used a gallon of Roundup in the process. After examining the evidence, hop on over to Bulgaria for Georgi Bonchev's analysis of Aliens And Recent Censorship at 4chan of all places. Connecting the dots between a reputed reptilian photo, NASA's announcement regarding TRAPPIST-1, and reddit's censorship of Collective Evolution gives everyone some food for thought. (CS)

Mainstream science is enamored with Schrödinger's Cat, but only EsoterX remembers Benoit's Snail after one of his famous benders. Outlined here are the curious experiment's methodologies and outcomes of Sheldrakian proportions. Is modern science recapitulating 19th century occultism, or should contemporary STEM majors bone up on the galvano-terrestrial-magnetic-animal and Adamic forces? Joining the fray of Throwback Saturday is Greg Taylor waxing nostalgic on The Backmasking Panic Of The 1980s. You don't have to be an Eighties Kid to remember "Satan Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas", but Greg will get you up to speed with a few choice clips and insights regarding the music notorious for making Tipper Gore reach for the Ativan. Outdoing these whippersnappers, Chris Woodyard introduces everyone to the concept of fenestra mori with her Stiffs At The Cliff. (CS)

March 24

Are we alone in wondering if the afterlife has become really crowded as of late? How else to explain the proliferation of souls being returned as children who remember their previous lives? True, it could be something in the water--God knows, we're doing a fine job of poisoning the planet. But maybe, just maybe, these kids are more grounded in reality than we think. Our latest claimant is Christian Haupt, a young up-and-coming baseball player who insists he has memories of his previous life as Lou Gehrig. His mom has sought outside assistance to verify details, information Christian could not possibly have known, and so far it's coming back as accurate. Think of that what you will, but faced with the decision of how to arrive back in this world, we think he made a good choice. Not everyone is so lucky apparently, as Granddad Became a Seal. Dr. Beachcombing delves into the folklore of the Isles to find this twist on the belief in Purgatory. Not only is it the In-Between where sinners pay for their misdeeds, it's lived out in the body of an aquatic mammal. Somehow, we just don't know how to feel about that. (CM)

Attention all readers who would like to contribute to parapsychological research but who despair at their complete lack of paranormal abilities: Have we got a study for you! Get yourself over to the IONS website and take part in the Genetics of Psychic Ability study. Only those with absolutely zero Woo going on can participate. But take heart: just because you can't tell the future today doesn't mean you won't be able to forever: Woman Claims She Died And Woke Up With Psychic Abilities. Or she may have just woke up one day with the desire to manipulate weak minded young men. Not that we're judging--we weren't there 15 years ago when she died. And we suspect she wasn't there either. Hey Kaden, there's an IONS study you might want to take part in... (CM)

This splashy title announces The Final Revelation: The Sun Project, a 157-page book that covers many catchy current UFO-related enthusiasms. If there's anything to the article's headline, which apparently comes from work done by unnamed "former military and intelligence specialists" who studied old sheets of carbon paper found at a tag sale, this book would possess the true "smoking gun" about Roswell. It might therefore seem odd that since its June 2016 publication the tome hasn't made more of a splash in the UFO field. But the "loopy fringe that dotes on UFOs" and talk about "secret programs for achieving Global Dominance using the ET Advantage" are not the only reasons Why Science Ignores UFOs. Rich Reynolds opines that other passions with potentially more payback enthrall scientists, engineers, and other thinkers. Commenter Jean holds that it's "the circus atmosphere that surrounds the subject," but also invokes the potential payback card, or lack thereof, that inhibits expenditures for instrumented observation projects. Credible and relatively low-cost initiatives are underway, and were discussed at a special meeting during last August's MUFON International Symposium in Orlando, Florida. Maybe Rich isn't familiar with that Final Revelation book that led off this post, for he questions The Shameful 'Ethics' of Officials Who have Access to UFO Secrets. Rich rhetorically asks why "for 70 years no one has had the gumption to spill the beans about the activity of space visitors to Earth, some involved in crashes?" Rich also massively hints at the answer to his own question. (WM)

This piece by Micah Hanks reads like a how-to manual in sorting fact from fiction in a world beset by fake news. Considering current events and the seductive draw of conspiracy theories, it couldn't be more timely. Particularly when researching instances of high strangeness, we need to be able to separate the truth from the hoaxes, reality from the sensationalized. But here's the problem: Sometimes truth is far more strange than fiction: Experts Predict 7,000 More Siberian Holes Opening Soon. Paul Seaburn tells us that researchers in Northern Siberia have discovered around 7000 methane bubbles just below the surface of the ground that will explode in the not too distant future, creating huge craters that will provide Siberia convenient access to hell itself. Or not. Guess we'll have to wait and see. (CM)

The saga continues. Two "John Keel" installments ago we noted a long and sometimes almost lyrical letter John had written to the entities Apol and Agar on July 12, 1967. John says here that his contact Jaye Paro read him a message from the two "indicating that they had received and understood" his letter, but he gives no details. Nonetheless, John now follows up by composing a more matter-of-fact missive outlining a plan for Disclosure by a grand public appearance of the visitors' vehicles near the United Nations Building in New York City. Keel observes practically that "Flashing lights and merely luminous globes will not prove anything to anybody." [Well, maybe Keel was slightly wrong there.] He has other practical suggestions for the ufonauts to make their presence known safely and unequivocally. This letter could be construed as ratcheting up the pressure on the entities to "put up or shut up," and while Keel seems still intent on trying to help Apol and his associates, he demands a preliminary demonstration before selected witnesses as proof that the aliens understand him and are ready to carry out his UN appearance plan. Hopefully, he'll submit this letter to Jaye for transferal to Apol and Agar, and we'll learn more, soon. (WM)


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