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The Anomalist

April 26

Never let it be said that the Canadian sense of humor is any less notable than their inherent politeness. Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary recently observed an aurora phenomenon that had never before been documented. Donovan named the gas stream "Steve," a running joke from the 2006 children's movie Over The Hedge where an unknown animal is given the same name by the neighborhood creatures. "Commenters in the original Facebook group joked about the name, with one person coming up with a scientific-sounding acronym for Steve: Sudden Thermal Emission from Velocity Enhancement". Since we're looking up at the night skies, The Seven Sisters, otherwise known as the Pleiades, have as their origin story several versions that seem to span across cultures and geography. This common thread is being pointed at as an indicator that either there was contact between cultures well ahead of what science currently believes, or humans existed as one culture on the African continent and from there spread out across the globe, taking their renditions of the story with them. (CM)

Chris O'Brien provides a typically fact-filled and intriguing look at more cases from the American Southwest, this time noting numerous similarities in the plot lines between a 1993/1994 San Luis Valley, Colorado, nexus of events whose height was reached on January 12 and a 1983 New Mexico case, remarkably transpiring on the same January date. As Chris notes, these cases have almost everything besides strange green fireballs, including apparent military misdirection and deception, unexplained explosions, numerous rumors, and even mysterious deaths. Chris rightfully thinks that these two ill-known cases deserve more attention. (WM)

The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #1: Blackness Quarry Ghost Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Beach has put together an anthology of hauntings from the 1880s taking place on the island of Dundee, Scotland. This first tale from Blackness Quarry details appearances of a tall and elusive black spectre who, while terrorizing the island, was most likely a human interloper as demonstrated by his flight at the first sign of fisticuffs. Next up,The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #2: the Hilltown Ghost, serves as a continuation wherein the n'ere do well masquerading as a phantom lays low for a few weeks then reappears in the district of Hilltown. Adding a little phosphorescence to his dark robes for a touch of drama, he proceeds to cause alarm and mischief, eventually becoming emboldened enough to attempt an assault on a young girl. Again, the threat of physical reprisal sends his cowardly black behind running into the mist. And finally, The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #3: Castoffs draws the tale to a conclusion with the arrest of the criminal spook, his reign of terror at an end even as island inhabitants recovered from the trauma of the past months. A happy ending at last. (CM)

April 25

Back in 2003, fossilized remains of a very small species of human were found on the Indonesian island of Flores. Receiving the unfortunate nickname of The Hobbit Species, Homo floresiensis' origins remained a mystery until a recent study conducted by Colin Groves from ANU. Co-authoring the study published in the Journal of Human Evolution, Groves has determined H. floresiensis was most closely related to Homo habilis, a much earlier human ancestor than anticipated. Additional evidence suggests H. floresiensis' time on earth overlapped with that of Homo Erectus, which raises questions regarding what or who were responsible for the Hobbit race's eventual extinction. Scientific American reports Ancestors of Flores “Hobbits” May Have Been Pioneers of First “Human” Migration Out of Africa. (CM)

It's heartening that a serious book on unidentified flying objects has received a good review by a venerable journalist in, for goodness' sake, The New York Times. Cheryl and Linda Miller Costa's 371-page statistical compilation of reports to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) has caught the notice of Ralph Blumenthal. Blumenthal provides an interesting account of the U.F.O Sightings Desk Reference, the work behind it, and some of the facts and questions that can be derived therefrom. On the other hand, we are troubled by the article entitled Peru: Impressive New Findings Concerning Alleged ET Remains in Nazca. In this post we sensed themes we had heard several times before, and we are extremely concerned that purported archaeological material seems to have been removed from its context with no discussion of its formal recording nor of any official archaeological organization being involved. We hope that the Asociacion Peruana de Ufologia will provide more information clarifying these issues. (WM)

Bruno Borges has been missing since March 27, 2017, from his family home in Brazil. Left behind were a dozen manuscripts written in a strange cipher, and evidence throughout his room of an obsession with aliens, alternate dimensions, and a variety of other psi woo. Recently a friend of Borges has come forward to shed some light on the young man's frame of mind at the time of his disappearance. It has become more evident that the missing Borges believed he had a special mission that required completion, but for now, with no evidence to indicate his whereabouts, police believe he could just as easily have been the victim of a kidnapping or wandering about in the midst of a psychotic break. It's still possible though that Bruno found safe passage elsewhere, as illustrated by The Bizarre World of Evidence for Alternate Universes. Having said that, this piece seems a tad fixated on the Mandela Effect (or maybe that's just how we remember it). We confess though, the concept of superposition of quantum particles, and the infinite possibilities drawn from the theory that nothing is solidified until it is observed, is one heck of an idea to wrap our heads around, and at least the Mandela Effect is simple enough to understand. We definitely need more posts like this one to get ourselves properly educated. (CM)

Martha Cliff reports on a new Reddit thread for people who "honestly believe they have been abducted by aliens" to tell about their experiences. Cliff's intertext comments are straightforward and useful, while comments to her article mostly don't do it justice. Rich Reynolds has a photo and pleasant reminiscence about The Young Betty and Barney Hill, separating his feelings for the couple from what he thinks about their story. In the continuing saga of John Keel's involvement with supposed aliens, Special Cases--The Long Island File (36): Apol Answers gives us a disappointing reply to John's detailed letter of July 16, 1967. Apol's response is mostly negative, pseudo-biblical in its phrasing, vague, and weird. However, Apol's letter seems to indicate that at least some MIBs are nice guys--even "saviors"--which is at least something. (WM)

April 24

How many CIA and FBI agents does it take to decrypt a 15th century manuscript? No one knows, because it's never happened. Fortunately a team of Russian mathematicians were up to the task of deciphering the Voynich manuscript, written in a code so complex some theorized it was written by aliens. Utilizing an unusual code breaking technique, researchers compared the end result to some common Indo-European languages as well as some made up ones. (How's your Klingon?) While there is still much to decipher, including the original scribes' reasons for being so secretive, initial analysis indicates the text is "60 percent English and German and 40 percent Romance language – Spanish, Italian and maybe a little Latin." Next up on the to do list will be breaking the language out into actual words, a task which now seems possible given all that has been accomplished thus far. Or so they say... (CM)

Kevin Randle disposes of a recently-appearing Roswell "eyewitness story" as a revived Frank Kaufmann variant. Randle's actually having "been there" and investigated the 1947 "crash site", plus his knowledge of military protocol, are key to his fast and sure debunking of this tale. David Halperin employs his different perspective regarding another Roswell witness-claimant in A Roswell Synopsis? The Case of Gerald Anderson. In this piece Halperin records the nub and then accretions to the story of a different crash site by a witness who has also been discredited. Halperin finds fascination in Anderson's bringing in elements from yet a third largely discredited Roswell storyteller, and "an extraordinary, powerful statement" in Anderson's tale that is "perhaps a key to what Anderson's memories--which surely didn't correspond to anything in physical reality--meant to him." This touches upon why Roswell has become such an attractive myth, obscuring whatever are the "real" facts about what happened in the New Mexico desert in July of 1947. No wonder why Rich Reynolds warns "Use Only the Essentials." in researching Roswell and other "classic" historical UFO cases. A Commenter to Randle's blog asks the pertinent question as to the "general motives" behind false or questionable witnesses adding their claims to such stories; Jeff Ritzmann's recent suggestion that some UFO image fabricators actually felt "compelled" to do so may be pertinent in this regard. And in the Reynolds blog, "Terry the Censor" suggests a periodically-appearing UFO journal for "grounding" important UFO cases against the confusion caused by such accretions. (WM)

Well, the images look somewhat like they've been rendered rectangular by insufficient resolution, but we have detailed witness backup for the shapes in these and other odd aerial sightings that Paul Seaburn discusses from the MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and NUFORC (National UFO Reporting Center) online reports databases. Additionally, Seaburn provides a link to a NUFORC "Report Index" based upon the "RECTANGLE" craft shape category. (WM)

Well, the title of this piece says it all. Archeologists working on the site refuse to state definitively how old the ruins actually are, as it's the first time they've encountered such structures. But they will say the site probably dates from the Islamic Middle Ages of 661 to 1508 AD. If that's a little too ancient for your tastes, may we direct you to The Woodbridge Clay Pits Figures which, while decidedly less archaic, have their own bizarre story that they are keeping mum about. Evidently housed in shack slated for demolition, about 100 clay figurines were discovered, all of them African, armless, nude, hollowed out and corked. Needless to say the urban legends spread even as the researchers came up with a lot of nothing concerning the figurines' origins. (CM)

April 23

Some time ago Darren Naish spotted two queer pelts, online and in Libya, finding himself stumped as to their provenance. Had he asked his mum, like Karl Shuker, the mystery behind their origin would've been sorted out in no time. Add a little zoological expertise, along with the wisdom of crowds from comments, a curiosity is a curiosity no more... or is it? Karl's sound hypothesis does raise questions on the potential existence of another cryptid familiar to most humans. (CS)

Self Help As Magic Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Self-help books are everywhere, but do they have a foundation in science or perhaps they draw upon western mystical traditions? Dr. Beachcombing deconstructs these feel-good grimoires, revealing the cleverly hidden underpinnings authors are keeping under wraps. If you're open-minded about all this, perhaps you should volunteer for a mixed precep experiment at your local university. A recent study proves Creative People Physically See And Process The World Differently. It's not surprising as creative types find more toys to play with, creating opportunities to reimagine them. Maybe it's how some people perceive the universe as associative, one full of portents, omens, and augurs, rather than the mainstream causative paradigm. Rounding out this footnote on the oeuvre of magick, we doff our hats as Lashtal shares some bad news. Donald Weiser, publisher of countless and influental esoteric tomes like Moonchild, Crowley's Book of Lies among others. (CS)

Disappointed? Temper your disappointment with the fact only four studies have been completed. Two were wildly successful while two were abject failures. And amidst the ruins, Greg Taylor finds a few reasons to be cheerful. Dr. Beachcombing's been doing a little research on the side by measuring The Supernatural On Ngram. Ngram is a tool to check the frequency of words over time, and his curious findings on fairies, ghosts, vampires, werewolves and witches are most curious and informative. (CS)

First, 83% of statistics are made up. Secondly I shall quote Han Solo, "Never tell me the odds." The biggest problem with Colin Carlson's mathematical survey, according to Alice Klein, is the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. QED it's time for biologists to get their hands dirty out in the field to challenge those figures! Also in the running for the World Hide-And-Seek championship is the Loch Ness Monster Declared 'Missing' After Official Recorder Reports Zero Sightings In Eight Months. Gary Campbell expressed his concerns to Joseph Curtis, noting there are more eyes seeking Nessie than ever, therefore someone should've seen her. We're not worried as this editor at The Anomalist reckons Nessie sightings and sunspot activity go hand-in-hand, and the daystar's sunspot count has recently been in decline. (CS)

April 22

If you thought Missing 411 was scary, you'll never want to visit Boston. There's a queer parallel between Paulides's investigations and Amanda Tullos's coverage of missing people and bodies of water. Might it be a serial killer, too much booze, or could they be the victim of something beyond our ken? The families of these unfortunate young men, at least, have closure. Same can't be said for the Philadelphia police who are still haunted by The Creepy Mystery Of The Boy In The Box. Psychics, Brent Swancer, and America's most brilliant criminal investigators have been called to the case, but perhaps an anomalist has a maverick theory with the potential of cracking this case wide open? (CS)

For years The Anomalist has been urging people to consider what we know as reality isn't particularly real. New data from Switzerland traces the cracks in our paradigm, but it's premature to hail a new era of weird science. Other high strangeness lurks at the bottom of reality. There's Still A Lot We Don't Know About The Proton, and Emily Conover enumerates the laundry list of what science doesn't know about this fundamental particle. Better yet, the experiments to learn more about protons indicate something weirder with the potential of rewriting what we know lurks at the subatomic level. Physicists aren't the only ones having fun, as biology's 'Shadow Biosphere' Theory Gains Scientific Support with Robin McKie's inquiry into the phenomenon of 'desert varnish'. Could it be the product of life, just not as we know it? Some eggheads in Pasadena, California coaxed bacteria into creating organo-silicon compounds contributing to the Possibility Of Silicon-Based Life. (CS)

Was Hannah Courtoy the first female Doctor? Many a story's been told about her tomb being a TARDIS, after a fashion, but not even Jake Rossen's been able to find the proof. Maybe if someone finds the key to this Egyptologist's wet dream of a structure, the world could have a peek at what lies within... even if it's just mouldering bones. Yet there are bigger mysteries out there, the kinds deserving of something more than a mere rabbit hole. Amidst the ayahuasca and Puma Punku's queer carvings, Paul Seaburn discovers South America's Mysterious Brazilian Tunnels Dug By Mysterious Giant Creatures known as giant sloths. Or were they dug by giant ants? Perhaps Loren Coleman and his synchromystic buddies featured on the roll of Top 25 Twilight Language Theorists of 2017 had a hand in those cyclopean warrens. (CS)

Ghosts are old hat in the UK, but American bars still have plenty of spirits that aren't of the Jack Daniels variety. Sarah Baker Hansen's interview with Ryan Puls went a little long, leading her to the acquaintance of Speakeasy's spookiest resident. Even cooler, Sarah fact-checks the legends and history appears to back 'em up. It's no surprise that Bodmin's The Jamacia Inn is among Britain's most haunted pubs, serving up booze since 1547. Matt Cook's stopped by for a pint, and rub shoulders with the dead. Not everyone's keen on the uninvited since the dead aren't inclined to pay their admission price. Paul Seaburn's caught wind of the Band Won’t Play in Studio Until Exorcist Removes Ghosts. Whatever happened to "The show must go on?" (CS)

April 21

Jeff Ritzmann examines an increasingly serious impediment to concerted progress in the ufological field. Ritzmann's experience provides good points about some of the stimulus behind hoaxing. Ritzmann's suggestion that (at least many) miscreants felt "compelled" to do such things may be dead-on. We think Commenter Chris O'Brien has a valid argument that visions of monetary gain drive many current internet frauds, and we'd argue that ufology is a field not alone in these regards. Other examples of human-created "noise" in ufology besides conscious hoaxing are ideologically-informed explanations for ambiguous data, as seen in Venezuela: Strange Object over Caracas, where an apparent object over the politically-torn Venezuelan capital is suggested as possibly "non-human intelligences" deriving nourishment from the human energy below. And could it simply be the unconscious "15-minutes of fame" urge affecting the judgment of an excited videographer in UFOs over Adelaide? Filmmaker Convinced Unusual Lights Streaking through the Early Morning Sky are Alien Craft? Others say that what was filmed were just meteors, according to Daily Mail's Josh Hanrahan. (WM)

If you're looking to unravel a stone wall mystery, no need to head to the British Isles. There's a discontinuous, miles-long stone wall near San Francisco that has left scholars scratching their heads as to its original builders and purpose. While popular theories include Lemuria and Mu as origins, there is a growing suspicion that the walls were simply built by migrants as a means of managing livestock. Oh, if these walls could talk...Now over in Kansas, archeologists have made a significant discovery. Its Location A Mystery For Centuries, Huge Indian City May Have Been Found In Kansas. Etzanoa looks to be the second biggest native American settlement found thus far in the United States, and it's rubble tells a story of attack by Spaniards in the 1600s. Safe to say researchers will be a very long time uncovering this buried city's secrets. (CM)

Statistician Nate Tellis and Astronomer Geoff Marcey recently mined 12 years of back data from the Keck Observatory in a creative effort to search for signals of extraterrestrial life. Their result: "It didn't find anything" says The Atlantic's Marina Koren. Tellis thinks such an outcome from a SETI effort should not discourage: "SETI has been in process for about 60 years, and it's been non-detection after non-detection after non-detection." But the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence goes on, as rightfully does ufology, which is saddled with even more impediments. (WM)

Sign us up for the next ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Recently a skeptical Kirin Johnson took part in a history and ghost tour only to come out the other side a believer (or at least, open to believing). That's our kind of fun. Decidedly less fun and just a whole lot more chilling is the story of Mrs Stone and the Headless Ghost, as brought to us by Chris Woodyard. Pieced together from a Wilshire newspaper published around 1900, Chris shares with us the experience of Mrs. Stone beset upon by a headless apparition in the dark of night. Readers with more in depth information regarding the true identity of Mrs. Stone, or more information about the headless ghost phenomenon so common a hundred years ago are invited to email chriswoodyard8 AT (CM)

April 20

When we first read Nick Redfern's piece on Neil Armstrong's FBI file, we were more struck by how short the file was than impressed by the one rather creepy incident in it. Perhaps Nick's stretched a bit this time, we thought. Then we reconsidered the matter in view of the similarities to some really odd MIB-connected cases and now, like Nick himself, we're not so sure. See what you think. Naturally this MIB subject brings up the name of John Keel, and Special Cases--The Long Island File (35): A Letter to the Lorenzens. This letter gives us a neat summary of Keel's then-current understanding of the imbroglio in which he has become enmeshed. Keel's beliefs and the sureness with which they're expressed are more than a little unsettling. (WM)

We've got three great events for you to attend. First is a Parapsychology Foundation Perspective lecture by the President of the Survival Research Institute of Canada. It takes place at the Eileen Garrett library at 308 Front Street, Greenport, New York on April 30th at 2pm. Where else can you see video clips of a table moving on its own under good lighting conditions? Next up is a short documentary on remove viewer and artist Ingo Swann entitled A Life Gone Wild at the Philip Dick Film Festival (scroll down about half way to "Block Four"). On the panel to discuss the film will be director Maryanne Bilham, Blynne Olivieri. Jacques Vallee, Thomas McNear, and Harold Puhoff! It takes place Saturday, May 27th, between 3-5 PM, at The Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street in Manhattan. The third event might be a bit out of the way for most folks: The "As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics" exhibition just opened at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. It's a comprehensive survey of spiritual art work that runs from 13 April - 27 August 2017. (PH)

Gene and Chris welcome Pennsylvania's Stan Gordon, who's been investigating UFOs, cryptids, and other just plain weird stuff for almost 60 years. Stan avers that the whole set of phenomena he's studied is far more complex and mysterious than many of us would care to imagine. Paranormal cases appear to be alive and well in the Keystone State, although Stan has yet to have his own sighting of a UFO or unrecognized hairy hominid. Stan's newest book and a presentation he's been developing sound like "must sees," and toward the end of the discussion he and the Paracasters get into some stories that are way off the map bizarre. Nick Redfern acknowledges that many thought his 2005 book Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story was even more outrageous than space aliens crashing into 1947 New Mexico. Well, Nick is unapologetic about that, as he reveals in Roswell, UFOs and Secret Experiments--New Book. His upcoming sequel The Roswell UFO Conspiracy: Exposing a Shocking and Sinister Secret, Nick promises, contains some "startling revelations." (WM)

Micah Hanks pulls double duty with this piece, enticing both superhero nerds and anomalists to learn more about the most heinous and downright creepy villain of DC comics. Victor Hugo's vision of the protagonist in his 1928 production of The Man Who Laughs was both gut wrenching and brilliant, not to mention worthy of haunting a house on a dark and stormy night. Then, From Thin Air we have the birth of internet mythology, tales come to life given the attention and energy from those who consume the tales. Not a tulpa per se, but certainly as powerful and destructive if dismissed as a mere children's story. (CM)

Rather welcome is the news that the Fundacion Argentina de Ovnilogia is placing plaques at noteworthy UFO sites throughout that country. But we wonder what criteria they are using to select these sites. Are these cases made famous by the media? The Orangeville (Ontario) Banner's Chris Halliday headlines MUFON Asked to Investigate Orangeville UFO Sighting. This is a refreshingly straightforward presentation by a local news media source stemming from a March 28 report of a "faint letter 8"-looking craft that "appeared to bend the light of the stars as it moved." And going back in time, as he often does, Rich Reynolds (and we) find interesting Those Old UFO Magazines!. This time it's the Spring and Winter 1978 issues of True's Flying Saucer and UFOs Quarterly. There are some nuggets there filling out some of the "stories and reports that have become iconic in the UFO canon." (WM)

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