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The Anomalist

November 1

Whoa! Put down the torches and pitchforks, and hear Jeremy Lott out! He's making some good points, like if we're wrong, all the tech developed to glimpse E.T. will help other fields of science. After a fashion, Jeremy's rephrasing Fort's celebrated aphorism, "One measures a circle, beginning anywhere" in a different context. Regardless, we still go on investigating. After all, curious reports from around the world are our siren song. Take this video from Alejandro Rojas, presenting Canadian Witnesses Terrified By UFO As They Catch It On Video. The object appears to be moving too fast for a quadricopter drone. Then again, Transport Canada cites a 500% increase in special permits issued for drone enthusiasts, so anything is possible. Half a world away, over Chennai, some lucky stiffs shot a Great Ball Of Fire Over India. It might be an alien craft, or a meteor, but Chris Savia proposes it could also be a vimana, returning to Earth after many kalpas traversing the cosmos.

In this age where everyone is enlightened by their own intelligence, eschewing the blessings of phonies, why do so many believe in the paranormal? If reductionists are to be believed, humans are hardwired to make sense out of chaos. David Robson explores the reasons, and benefits, of superstitious beliefs. Regardless of hardline materialist dogma, Paranormal Beliefs Are Widespread In America. Among their findings, the Chapman Survey on American Fears revealed belief in UFOs, Bigfoot, and other anomalies bridge political divides. Let the healing begin! Should any anomalist hope to have compelling proof of spooks, put this Night Vision Camera Touted As Paranormal Tracker on your holiday wish list. From Elizabeth Palermo's description, the gadget lacks special lenses and filters for spooks, but D-Link's camera has nifty, helpful features like email alerts, wi-fi, and smartphone connectivity among others.

The Great War couldn't keep Papa down. Death is only an inconvenience. Channeling his soul, Frank DeMarco shares his Afterlife Conversations With Hemingway. There is cause for suspicion. This Hemingway refrains from short, declarative sentences. Don't get put off. Ken Korczak shares many gems between the covers. Visions of the afterlife. Sage advice. Hemingway's passions.

A nify article from an unusual source, par for The Anomalist. Some boffins at the University of Glasgow, and the Imperial College of London, propose we'll be quantum leaping in a mere 85 years. With time travel, such a delay is irrelevant, raising the question, "Where are they?" Maybe they're all around us, wearing fashionable invisibility cloaks. Some of us don't want to meet our great-great-great grandchildren, instead we'd like to encounter our alternate selves. The theoretical basis behind Hugh Elliott's many worlds theory finds traction as Scientists Propose The Existence And Interaction Of Parallel Worlds. Bonus, Dr. Hall says we can test for these other universes, heralding a new science beyond Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics. Also in maverick science news, Galactic-Scale Electric Fields Could Solve The Dark Matter Mystery. Steve Reucroft isn't saying we'll find dark matter, but suggests an alternative to the non-baryonic stuff in electrical fields keeping galaxies from tearing themselves apart. We can only imagine Hannes Alfvén laughing to himself on the other side as mainstream science slowly catches up.

October 31

Oh, come on, Mirror writers! How did you miss the obvious "hair-raising" instead of "spine-tingling"? Ironically, the ghostly hairdresser of Larundel Asylum in Australia seems to be appearing in the form Meanwhile, An Indian Courthouse Is Investigating Some Unusual Suspects: Ghosts. India takes the matter of hauntings very seriously, and as a country that lives in "several centuries at once", authorities approach complaints of ghostly activity just as they would reports of human prowlers--they investigate. After deciding to install security cameras to pick up evidence, it appears that the Karkadooma District Court is indeed plagued by a ghostly intruders. The missing books and misbehaving computers may have been due to a very human element, but the employees of the courthouse and the local police calmly accept that they share the space with a resident spirit. In other spectral news, Livescience shares 10 Ghost Stories That Will Haunt You for Life, some of which are downright ancient in origin, which shows that we've been sharing our spaces with ghostly neighbors since history was first recorded.

Brandon Hodge collects some very unique pieces connected to an absolutely fascinating era in history when contacting the other side was a booming business. The late 19th century and early 20th saw the spread of Spiritualism all across the world which nicely coincided with the rise of modern photography, which was seamlessly incorporated into the business of making connections to lost loved ones. Hodge has a little bit of everything in his collection from across the entire scope of early spiritualism, from spirit photography to several different types of planchettes used with Ouija boards and a lot of "spirit trumpets". This article is possibly our favorite this week, so don't miss it! Ghost detection equipment has evolved in step with modern technology and PC magazine has a rundown of some of the most popular iterations of 7 surprising ghost gadgets.

Now here's a bizarre ghost encounter that just simply belongs in its own category. It seems that the guest of honor appeared at its own festival behind a burning effigy at the El Kookooee Festival in New Mexico. Two firefighters snapped photos of the fire, and the eerie figure appears in both sets of photos and video. Or so it's said...they offered up only one photo for evidence.

October 30

If you're tired of the never-ending onslaught of messily written two paragraph news "stories" about paranormal investigators that are usually thinly veiled excuses to advertise a ghost walk or a new book, then this article ought to satisify your need for something more substantial. It's the story of Sweetwater, a Brooklyn restaurant that's home to several different spirits of all varieties, from sweet little old ladies to creepy demonic figures. The haunting runs the entire gamut of experiences-footsteps, breaking glasses, and  lights switching on and off. On the other side of the coin, are stories like this one which ask, Was a ghost caught on video during a paranormal investigation? Sure, but probably not this one. This video report (that would be about 15 seconds long without all the dramatic special effects edited out) shows a Phillipine ghost hunting team that's captured yet another iteration of the ever popular "Grudge" ghost girl. 

It's a fascinating account and the skull is definitely odd looking, but it's all packaged up just a bit too neatly for us to believe it. Literally. Fortunately, for every movie prop-looking werewolf skull, there's a dozen genuine mysteries dug up. And in the case of the bog bodies found in the UK, some bodies are so well-preserved that they look as if they were buried just yesterday. Such is the case of Clonycavan Man: A 2,300-Year-Old Murder Mystery who was found in an Irish peat bog. The 2,300 year old Clonycavan Man is so well preserved that pores on his skin are still visible and the hair on his head is still carefully braided and arranged intricately with hair gel, which indicated great wealth. 

Don't get too excited, guys. It's the same demon haunted home that Bob Cranmer wrote a book about. If you take a look below at Wedsnesday's column, you'll find more details about the most fictional nonfiction book about demon posession ever written. And yes, that's taking into consideration the competition like "The Exorcist" and "Amityville Horror".  This time Cranmer is sharing spooky photos of evidence which seems to indicate that the house was haunted by hair, dust, cheap cruxifixes, and apparently the Kool-Aid man who was having a bad day and merely splashed the walls with red Koolaid instead of busting through them...on a much lighter and way more Canadian note comes this extremely random list of locations to explore in Spooky Canada, where ghosts roam the lonely, dark halls of abandoned asylums and phantom frozen horse heads appear in lake in winter. Eh?

October 29

As this Motherboard roundup of some still popular UK ghost cams points out, ghost cams have never gone out of style and are still pretty damned spooky to watch even after more than a decade of being active, like one of our personal favorites--Ordsall Hall, home of the White Lady and a whole host of ghostly residents who are definitely not camera-shy. Pay particular close attention to the stairs and balcony area and around the thrones at the back. Ordsall Hall has been going strong for many years and from the looks of it is still very popular with cam watchers and ghostly participants. Back on the other side of the Pond is another favorite that has been up and running for several years as well. Watch the Willard Library ghost cam long enough and you might be rewarded by a glimpse of the most dedicated librarian ever, the Grey Lady. But after taking a glance at cam screenshots, it looks like the Grey Lady has to share the spotlight with the specter of Photoshop...

Evil clowns are overrunning Paris and terrorizing residents. Now brave teenagers have armed themselves and are determined to rid their towns of this dangerous scourge of fake clowns. A French newspaper declares ominously, "These clowns aren't funny anymore." Except for one unfortunate incident in which a man was robbed by a gang of clowns, these costumed creeps seem to be doing nothing more sinister than lurking...menacingly. While this story isn't exactly Fortean, it certainly is weird enough. We'd like to know exactly how one determines if someone is a genuine clown or a fake? Is there a clown license to apply for?

Billy Cox tackles the subject of debunker James McGaha's claims that spiders had invaded that soccer game in a stadium of 10,000 witnesses in 1954 and turns up another example of his expert "debunking"--the infamous Stephenville UFO case. As Cox puts it, McGaha dismissed it as the work of "agenda-driven conspiracy freaks cherry-picking skin-paint pingback patterns", which gets some sort of an award for most creative sentence of the week. Meanwhile, A recent Poll Reveals That More Brits Believe In Aliens Than God. Interestingly, this Ripley's Believe it Or Not poll asked kids as well as adults. 26% of those 500 kids polled also believed that aliens are also here on earth disguised as people, which leads us to wonder if they know something we adults don't.

October 28

Steve Huff has compiled a 20-minute-long collection of his greatest hits from several different types of equipment, including a Joe's Box, Andy's Box, GB-1 App, video and photography. Huff's results are always jaw-droppingly astounding, most notably the Robin Williams evp, Huff's communications with a spirit named "Billy," and a communication with his own father. This is a must-watch. Meanwhile, over in Detroit Motor City Ghost Hunters employ the use of a ghost box in their investigation, and the reporter on the hunt with them is more than a little startled when a spirit voice calls him by name.

Bob Cranmer tells a tall tale about Grand Oaks Manor in his new book The Demon of Brownsville Road involving demon possession, physical injuries and attacks, an evil presence, ghostly activity, and of course an eeeviilll curse placed on the house, which prompted all the spooky goings-on. An interesting true story except for the fact that none of the previous owners of the home agree with Cranmer's version. In fact, Cranmer took such creative license with their experiences in the house that this book might as well be titled "Amityville Horror 2.0." And since we can't find anything quite suitable to pair with the above fake demon story, here's an interesting question for you to ponder, is this a boat on Mars? Presumably no demons were involved in this either.

German immigrant Hans Nagel was head zookeeper at the Houston zoo during the 1920s and 30s and was a larger-than-life character starring in news reels about the zoo, riding zebras, and saving visitors from tiger attacks. He even met his end in spectacular fashion during a shoot out with police. Not surprisingly, the strong-willed Nagel has been rumored to roam the park, watching over the animals and spooking an occasional employee or two. Here's another unexpected location for a haunting--a tattoo parlor in Sacramento, California. A modern day ghost hunt takes a twist as investigators pick up photographic and evp evidence at Solution Ink Tattoo, a tattoo shop located in a Victorian era house.

October 27

Retired Lockhead Martin scientist Boyd Bushman apparently whole-heartedly believed he had evidence proving the presence of UFOs at Area 51 along with actual alien bodies recovered from a crash site, and he has proclaimed the evidence for years in the form of videos, literally right up until his death. This particular video was recorded shortly before he died in August and is therefore getting a lot more attention as it's a sort of "deathbed confession". There's a lot of speculation as to the validity of this video and the integrity of the man presenting the astonishing amount of evidence, but there are a couple facts that can't be disputed, the most glaring and obvious being that Kmart sells a plastic alien doll that looks remarkably like the alien body shown in Bushman's photographs. That fact alone is enough to cast the entire thing into doubt at which point the argument shifts to whether or not Boyd Bushman was behind the hoax himself or genuinely believed the evidence when it was presented to him. This ATS discussion thread is an enlightening and fascinating read full of debate from each side of the argument.

Yowie Found In Douglas Cave Tourism Port Douglas
Deep in the dark recesses of Australia's Douglas Cave crouches a huge silent, still it they mythical Yowie or Nephilim as the "Nephilim Hunter" calls them, or is it simply a pile of rocks that looks a lot like a crouching figure when the firelight and shadows combine? Unfortunately, our vote is on the pile of rocks because of the fact that this video footage suffers from the common "don't show anything past the interesting shot" issue. There's no way these explorers wouldn't have explored every inch of that cave, including that shadowy alcove. Meanwhile, Loch Ness Mystery explores the digital archives of the Radio Times which reveals the long, strange and oftentimes amusing relationship between Loch Ness Monster and the BBC.

A recently uncovered painting on the wall of a 700-year-old Romanian monastery seems to show a smoking garlic-clove-shaped UFO hovering in the sky over the church, which is coincidentally in the same town--Sighisoara--where Vlad the Impaler grew up. No one knows exactly Why there are spaceships in medieval artwork, but the majority of them may be literal interpretations of God appearing or even depictions of heavenly events like fireballs or comets flying overhead, although sometimes no explanation really covers the sheer weirdness of some UFO sightings, like the above garlic- clove-shaped craft from 700 years ago, or this more recent mass sighting in which Spiders were to blame. As much as we agree that spiders can be blamed for many of life's creepiest moments, a 1954 UFO sighting over a packed Florence, Italy, stadium during a soccer match is not one of them. Thousands of witnesses reported seeing several cigar-shaped UFOs zooming over the stadium and stopping in mid-air, releasing tens of thousands strands of "angel hair" over the field and stands. One scientists explained away the phenomenon as baby spiders floating around on silky strands, but oddly enough not one witness reported seeing any spiders. Nevertheless, the skeptical scientist stated, "The UFO phenomenon is nothing but myth, magic and superstition..." But apparently magical disappearing spiders are perfectly normal then. Meanwhile, either UFOs are ramping up their attention on the activity on and around the ISS or there's suddenly a lot more space junk up there, depending on which side of the debate you are on, because three more UFOs [have been] spotted outside the space station. So far, these objects have maintained a safe distance and are just silently observing, and NASA doesn't seem all that concerned about them.

October 26

So says Dr. Ron Mallett of the University of Connecticut, using his learnings for weird, not grayfacery. Bear in mind, one isn't about to find the right parts at Home Depot, yet. Tara MacIsaac deftly illustrates the theory behind the techniques, that, someday, may facilitate communication with the past. If maverick science is your favorite flavor, take a peek at the Open Sciences Website. Topics covered there are more than theoretical physics and parapsychology, but biology, chemistry, and other fields where scientists dare to tread beyond the closely guarded boundaries of the mainstream. Thanks Annalisa Ventola for sharing the link with us!

Pop in for a pint with Cheryl Hague on a blustery autumn night, she has more than a few spooky tales up her sleeve. Take the tragedy at Tissington Hall, and the circumstances surrounding a young woman's absurd death, keeping her chained to the mortal world. Or worse, the horrible crime that still stains Ye Olde Dolphin Inn in the 21st century. Makes one wonder if these stories are meant to draw customers, or somehow there's wordplay between booze and spirits. If you can't afford the airfare, or the TSA won't let you board a plane, brave The Devil's Tower with Chris Chaos. Haunted by suicide, spooks, and the devil, remember to keep your hands inside the vehicle when circling the tower to summon Old Nick. Bringing up the rear is that scamp, Michael Prescott, with a bit of fun surrounding The Omelet's Ghost.

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