EdgeScience 26


Ancient Origins

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The Anomalist

August 28

Before you go off half-cocked, tipping your fedora, and announcing on reddit "Case closed, m'lady", there's still plenty left with UFOs deserving futher inquiry. James Carrion, by way of celebrated UFO historian Jack Brewer, has documents linking a campaign of government disinformation with the events of 1947. Does this explain every sighing and incident? And if everything orchestrated by the government is a hoax, why in sam hill would they destroy their 'evidence'? David Halperin's puzzled by these Stories Of Zond IV going up in smoke if eyewitnesses simply watched a Soviet spacecraft re-enter our atmosphere. Meanwhile in eastern Europe, Micah Hanks illustrates how memes can penetrate the Iron Curtain with tales of George Adamski's Flying Saucer Made An Appearance Over Poland. (CS)

Everyone has Proxima fever after the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of a planet 4.3 light years from us. Some pessimistic bloggers propose this rock is hostile and uninhabitable, while others make strong arguments Proxima b is pefectly viable, but Eric Mack takes the weird route with an account from 1957 concerning a channeled alien intelligence. According to a being calling itself "Hands", they call themselves Cenos, live for 120 years and so much more anomalistic goodness. (CS)

Nick Redfern doesn't know who would stab Charles Walton in the back with a pitchfork, nor does Scotland Yard. In hopes of thawing England's coldest case, Nick presents the details of the crime and the sordid rumors surrounding it. Even if Charles would reach out from the beyond, there's little hope his message would help solve the case. Over the years there have been many Bizarre Last Calls From People Who Vanished Or Died Mysteriously, and not even Columbo, Sherlock Holmes, nor Brent Swancer have the foggiest idea what became of those poor souls. On a slightly lighter note, James Barrie has a collection of some Strange Stories Of York's Ghost Cats who fell victim to superstitious locals and their inhumane rites. (CS)

August 27

Where's Wessie? Down East
There's somethin' strange, in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Loren Coleman! Jaed Coffin tagged along with the Godfather of Cryptozoology in search of Maine's newest cryptid, and learning how the study of hidden animals isn't all woo-woo. Wessie's a big deal in Maine, but an everyday headache for Florida men and women familiar with Everglades Pythons Consume Deer, Alligators, And Other Large Species. Count your lucky stars, as Brett Puryear notes we're not on the menu. Yet. We're wondering if Loren's planning a road trip to the Green Mountain State anytime soon, as the local Police 'Regret' Making A Facebook Post About Possible Monkey Sighting In Vermont on Tuesday. Whether Bigfoot, or an escaped exotic pet, it's best to steer clear of the area. What's harder to dismiss is the question, "What Was That Mysterious Massive Bird Seen Over Southern Alaska?" Skeptical Micah Hanks takes a flight of fancy, wondering if the unusual suspect might be a living fossil, a very large Stellar's Sea Eagle, or an entirely new species. (CS)

We sincerely doubt it, Stacey Grant. We're pretty familiar with the whole "light reflection in the window" game. Here's hoping Rowan's stunt gets her a role in the next hot paranormal property! Had she gone to the press with "Aliens Cost Me My Boyfriend And Kids, we might be a little more forgiving. Instead Rosalind Reynolds dishes all the details of her abduction and missing time to Jon Austin. A little less harrowing is Tim Carl's own UFO Encounter, but leaves us hanging as to what happened next. Tim, be a bro and spill more beans! His encounter might've been magnified by first-run episodes of In Search Of..., another Seventies staple.  According to Steve Hammons the 'Close Encounters' Wyoming Landing Zone May Hold Lessons For Us Today. Should we experience first contact, let's cross our fingers these visitors will be kinder to us than our pioneers were to Native Americans. (CS)

A good leader has confidence, integrity, and passion. The key to being a great leader is divine inspiration. Merely having a vision for change isn't enough, but coming down from your ivory tower and rubbing shoulders with the masses. Erika Summers-Effler and Hyunjim Deborah Kwak write that seeing people eye-to-eye carries a certain je ne sais quoi whether its witnessing one's conviction, knowing you eat, breathe, and shit just like them, or an otherworldly aura. (CS)

Vision Of Seven Moons Haunted Ohio Books
Here's an astronomical enigma that would've made William Corliss scratch his noggin. What would cause someone to see seven moons? Astronomy is a sober subject, so Chris Woodyard gives her benefit of doubt that Mr. Sandidge was straight as an arrow. Many amateurs see strange stuff, but do they ever see saucers? Alejandro Rojas says, "You bet your bippy" giving us the inside scoop on Astronomers And UFOs from the Renaissance to the Information Age. Whether they believe this Former NASA Scientist Who Claims To See Alien Ships In Saturn's Rings is another story for Paul Seaburn to tell. If you want to fact-check Bergrun, look south towards Scorpio through your telescope for a glimpse of Saturn and its rings. Maybe Riley Martin was right all along. (CS)

August 26

"A stitch in time" gets a new twist with the discovery of a 50,000-year-old sewing-needle found in the Denisovan Caves in Russia. The Denisovans were a species of human different from us homo sapiens, and this find pushes back their history and the sophistication of their lives even further than had been supposed. Meanwhile, on the fringes of Europe The Man Who Discovered the 'Bosnian Pyramid' Answers Critics. The controversy over the authenticity of the so-called "Bosnian Pyramid" shows no signs of slowing down. Dr. Semir Osmanagich, the man at the centre of the debate, puts his case in this hour-and-a-half video which the Daily Grail describes as an "entertaining presentation." (LP)

Earlier this summer two witnesses were stargazing about 40 miles outside Roswell. Seeing a light flash that neither could identify, they opted to have a little investigative fun and flashed the lights of the their truck in the direction of the flare. After receiving what could be interpreted as brief responses, the men called it a night and headed back, but not before experiencing EMF troubles with their vehicle after being passed by a dark pick-up truck that parked a quarter mile away. Were these witnesses on to something but interrupted before learning something they shouldn't? Also in the US, a Blimp-like UFO videotaped over Kansas. Unlike in Mew Mexico, there were no strange goings on other than what was in the sky. Kansas MUFON is investigating. Further afield, in Spain: CIA Document Discloses Possible UFO Sighting in Barcelona. Dating back to the 1950s, the interest of the CIA seemed to garner more attention than the actual object in the sky. To date no classified photo of the object has been released. Doesn't matter, we know The truth is out there! Top 9 UFO sightings in Lincolnshire. Seems like a busy place to us, and well worth a visit. Even the air force corroborates the sightings. (CM)

If Nessie is an elongated blue blob, then yes she was caught on film. In fairness though, the evidence for the much sought after monster is pretty sparse so we're not about to dismiss the photograph entirely. Maybe it just boils down to the fact we all want to believe. In any case, we're rooting for Team Nessie. In fact, once you read The Loch Ness Monster and Wikipedia Wars you'll be rooting not only for lake monsters, but for Cryptozoology as well. It would appear some skeptical spawn is attempting to compensate for having a teeny weeny library of zoology and is removing from Wikipedia anything that doesn't fit within his limp grasp. Just our opinion of course. (CM)

Traditionally, the younger generation looks to the older for wisdom and common-sense, but Bronwen Dickey found little support for that custom when she boarded a "Conspira-Sea Cruise" specifically aimed at those who want to air their views on all things conspiracy-related. The passengers were mainly of the age group who've long since been there and done it, so can now sit back and watch their own mistakes repeated by the youngsters. In this case however, what Bronwen expected to be a fun gathering of The Mild Bunch to celebrate "alternative science" turned into a scary week with The Wild Bunch which caused her to stay locked in her cabin for her own safety. A thought-provoking and eye-opening tale. Gentler expectations seem to have been met in this piece by Tanja M Laden: Can Anyone Be Clairvoyant? The Unariuns Think So She attended an art workshop in LA based on the idea that by engaging with "celestial beings as our creative muses" we can improve our artistic skills. Whether or not Tanya's artwork was guided by a spirit hand, the enjoyable day suggested that "creativity itself is alive and well." (LP)

August 25

Alex Tsakiris interviews Gordon White who interviews John Brandenburg, though not so much on UFO research per se. But they all agree about what the government does when it wants to research a subject that's too hot to handle: It "outsources the work," by indirectly encouraging others to do the work for them. But make sure they have an achilles heel in case the need for deniability arises. Which is all very interesting. But listen on to get the story from this government-employed physicist who realizes that the distribution of specific isotopes found on the planet Mars can be nothing other than evidence of a massive airborne nuclear explosion...which he suggests wiped out whatever civilization existed on Mars at the time. Is this all just disinformation? If not, why isn't this better known? What does this say about human knowledge? What if you were to look back on today from the vantage point of a distant future to ask: What if we're wrong about many of the thing we think we know today? That's the subject of Chuck Klosterman’s new book: But What If We’re Wrong? (PH)

Bill Nye On Ghosts Hayley Is A Ghost Geek
There's nothing we love more than watching a skeptic apply skepticism to another skeptic. Hayley Stevens takes issue with Bill Nye's outright dismissal of ghosts, the essential element of people, and the not-so-tacit promulgation of ignorance by insisting science is always right. Same goes with EsoterX's guide on How To Measure Useful Fictions, illustrating the point Michael Shermer completely missed with science, anomalistics, and "As If" philosophy. Applying science in a philosophical argument over the prospect of measuring supernatural and paranormal phenomena is a bit like bringing a knife to a gunfight. (CS)

Before you pick up the phone next time, check the caller ID. Dana Newkirk's learned the hard way how phone calls from 000-0000 are not of this world. Judge for yourself if reddit's heaveninherarms really heard from her pop-pop. Over the pond at the storied Leopard Inn, some ghost hunters encountered a Class 5 full-roaming vapor. Maryse Farag wonders if this is Mysterious Mist Caught On Film Really A Ghost, or is it just pareidolia? If you have the cojones, we triple dog-dare you to click over to Bradley Jolly's Eerie Little Girl Terrifies Mum At Museum In 'Clearest Ghost Picture Ever'. Little girls are creepy enough, but this apparition takes the cake. (CS)

Diving deeper into the pool of Nessie reports, Glasgow Boy discovers John Keel's reports of a sighting on Loch Ness were incorrect and based on an earlier more general report about sea monsters. Seems like an easy mistake to make if you ask us. Next we look at Medieval Marvels: Italian Dragonets . Dr. Beachcombing provides details about what medieval Tuscans believed were winged snakes capable of sickening an entire population on the ground below. We are left to ponder what creature it was that these peoples viewed as causing their epidemics. To cap off these posts about monsters large and small, David Weatherlyl brings you BEKs at the Door. This particular story leaves more unanswered questions about the Black Eyed Kids, such as why were they using the doorbell, why was there an additional BEB in the group, and why did the BEG do all the talking? The phenomenon continues to morph. (CM)

August 24

Anton Vaino, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s new chief of staff, talks about a device called a "nooscope," which can "tap into global consciousness and 'detect and register changes in the biosphere and in human activity’.” Hmmm. Sounds to us a lot like the "eggs," i.e. random number generators, used in Roger Nelson's Global Consciousness Project in which "the behavior of our network of random sources is correlated with interconnected human consciousness on a global scale." And speaking of being interconnected, Dr. Beach finds some curious parallels between the novel The Stand and the eponymous story in the Robert Schneck book The Bye Bye Man: Stephen King and the Source of Bye Bye Man? He's not suggesting that the three kids in the Bye Bye Man conceited the story, only that "their subconscious minds drew on their own private myths and experiences and readings." (PH)

Polish police are not trained for handling UFO reports, so when a pair of constables in the wee hours of the morning encountered a UAP that followed their squad car, they had less than no idea what to do. Certainly there were no UFO Miracles? with which to convince a doubting public. Finally we bring you Special Cases: The Long Island File (4). John Keel reviews an account of a woman who encounters two strange individuals who seem to have otherworldly connections. Was she telling the truth or looking for attention? (CM)

Satanic Scare in Nicaragua Two Crows Paranormal
While all the major powers in the world think they have problems with illegal immigration, Nicaragua has them beat hands down. It seems a Cuban girl made it across the border, and while that's not very big news, the strange etchings cut into her arm resembled what was thought to be satanic script. While the locals claim to have "stopped her," we can only hope that someone with a shard of good sense got the girl to a doctor prior to the exorcist because cutting is a serious issue. Perhaps the priest was successful by luring the beast to The Devil’s Vacation Home: Satan Summers in Finland. A well-written tongue-in-cheek travelogue; one has to wonder if EsoterX is in need of a holiday as well. (CM)

Pop Quiz: Which is stranger? 1. Taking a team of explorers and going splunking deep in the Yucatan Jungle, bemoaning your fate when you finally get lost, OR 2.  Encountering a thousand-year-old blind Mayan psychic who lives in the caves and leads you out of the caverns in only moments? Weird or not, the old man saved the lives of the research group, and who is to say whether his prior vision of these men needing his help was real or not? We know that Parapsychology and the Study of the Mind: Changing the Historical Record. In spite of past poo-poohing by psychologists and scientists alike, paraspsychology is now viewed as a complementary science, enhancing work with the subconscious mind. We think the researchers would be hard pressed to conclude otherwise, Considering Evidence for the 'Supernormal': The Case of 'Patience Worth'. An intriguing analysis of the online edition of The Case of Patience Worth: A Critical Study of Certain Unusual Phenomena, this blog post outlines how the channel moved away from using the Ouija Board to translating clear mental pictures and creating poetry. This turned psychological theory on its head as it became obvious that what was being channeled came from a higher consciousness. (CM)

August 23

Hope you're not feeling modest as you read today's post. There is an academy of fine arts in Pennsylvania that is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Philadephia artist Thomas Eakins' death with a nude model art exhibition in their studio.  Resultant paranormal activity will be measured by an EMF detecting robot. And if it's not spirits stalking the undressed, it's nineteenth century folk encountering spirits Walking in a Dead Man’s Bones. The good news is these undead were very thoroughly clothed. (CM)

James Carrion, a former MUFON director, speculates that after WW2 the Joint Security Control (JSC) concocted the UFO mythos to deceive an enemy nation, the Soviet Union. The evidence, he says, lies in a memo from one of the senior members of the JSC to the FBI, which looks like he was keeping track of his UFO deception. Carrion promises to reveal more about the depth of the US deception planners’ involvement in the UFO events of 1947 in a forthcoming book. (For more, see Jack Brewer's discussion of Carrion's article in Mirage Men Conclusively Linked to UFO Summer of '47.) We doubt the man who first broke the sound barrier in level flight was ever part of the deception. Check Yeager implies that Only Drunk Pilots See UFOs, in one of the answers the 93-year-old gave in an interview. As someone we know well said: "Poor Chuck. Never went into space. Must be tough..." If he had, he would have seen those UFOs like all those other astronauts. Not. (PH)

Greg and Dana, intrepid curators of the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & the Occult, are appealing to their readers to assist with the translation of what appears to be a summoning tablet. Left to them for safekeeping by the caretaker of the hotel in which it was found, the tablet has demonstrated violent phenomena and a strange ability to block off all other paranormal communication within its immediate area. Another violent incident, albeit quite a bit less paranormal, occurred in Alabama in 1954. Struck by Bad Luck: Meet the Woman Whose Life Was Ruined by a Cursed Meteorite. While we don't necessarily agree that her proceeding misfortune was brought about by a space rock, we'd have a hard time arguing how she could get much unluckier than being hit by one in her own living room during an afternoon nap. (CM)

The First Knocker Record From Wales Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Unlike children, mining spirits known as knockers are heard but never seen. By their famous knocking, hard-working men have made their fortunes by trusting these deep-dwelling fae. Just like it says on the tin, Dr. Beachcombing's found a snippet from the 17th century regarding these beings. Less-benign entities haunt the Ocean State, evinced by Brent Swancer's investigation into The Mystery Of The Phantom Black Flash Of Rhode Island. There have been many attempts to explain these manifestations, but would it be such a stretch that the Black Flash is an avatar of Lovecraft's Nyarlathotep? (CS)

August 22

Researchers in Australia have been studying stone circles in Scotland--which is about as far away as one can get from "down under." Using 2D and 3D imaging, Gail Higgenbottom of the University of Adelaide has found "proof that the ancient Britons connected the Earth to the sky" by positioning these circles in order to keep track of the heavens. Further south in Wiltshire, England, Charley Cameron tells us of a Giant Ancient Structure Found Buried 2 Miles from Stonehenge. Though much bigger than its famous cousin, this circular henge appears to have been made of wood but "something happened within just a few months or years that caused the entire thing to be pulled down and buried." And back with stony structures, we learn that the World's First Pyramid has been discovered and it's in Kazakhstan. Looking similar to the Egyptian step-pyramid of Djoser, the 3,000-year-old ruins of an "enormous" structure were found last year in Saryarke and are thought to have been the resting place for a bronze age ruler. "Work on opening the main burial chamber will begin within days," which sounds pretty tantalizing. Meanwhile The Guardian ponders ruins from way across the globe near St Louis, southern Illinois, inLost cities #8: mystery of Cahokia--why did North America's largest city vanish?. By about 1000 AD, the huge city of Cahokia had flourished and, for unknown reasons, had begun a gradual decline. Thought to have been "a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city", which was a place of pilgrimage, it was eventually abandoned, leaving behind grisly evidence of human sacrifice. (LP)

Kennewick, Washington, is the venue for the "first ever International Bigfoot Conference." Scheduled for early September, the event will "provide an opportunity for up and coming researchers to share the stage with some of the biggest names in the world of Bigfoot research." And the names don't get much bigger than Loren Coleman, Jeff Meldrum and the grand-daddy of them all, Bob Gimlin, all of whom will be there. Entry fee is $45 and with such a prestigious line-up, it's surely worth every buck. Meanwhile, Sasquatch Stars in Oregon Public Service Announcement and with the help of a flirtatious senior-citizen, shows us how to cross the road safely. No, really. (LP)

Disclosure may not happen, but that's not stopping Hollywood from preparing humanity for the event. Be like Louis Proud, appreciating the depth and complexity of the relationship between flying saucers and film in Robbie Graham's new book. Robbie covers everything from B-movies to patrician alien kino like Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and A Fire In The Sky to plebian fare like Men In Black. Speaking of which, the revelation of Area 51 Agents Gave Me To Aliens reveals one grunt escaped the MIB's neuralyzer. At least Chris Savia's not buying the crackpot theory those mass-abducted soldiers were conscripted to build an alien megastructure. Questions Remain For "Aliens" 'Round Tabby's Star based on a highly-rewarding talk by Jason Wright, who started the three-ring circus by raising the specter of aliens. What if the inhabitants around Tabby's Star aren't aliens, but part of a breakaway civilization from good old Earth? Humanity's desire to start over with a clean slate is front row and center in a debate twixt Walter Bosley With Alejandro Rojas. (CS)

Blavatsky was huge in the 19th century giving us luminaries such as Aleister Crowley, Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Edison, and W.B. Yeats, but is it still relevant in the 21st century? Mike Patterson's argument is based in the wholesale democratization of esoterica, while outlining the profound impact theosophy has made in western society and culture. (CS)

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