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The Anomalist

October 1

Two researchers, Carlos and Raul de la Fuente Marcos in Madrid, seem to have proven what a lot of people have always suspected, that there are meteor strike "seasons" when meteor crashes are more prevalent depending on where you are in the world when the earth's orbit takes us through various meteor streams. This will help predict meteor strikes and perhaps alert us earlier when the hypothetical "big one" is on its way, which will just give us all extra time to pointlessly panic...And if an Extinction Level Event caused by a larger-than-usual chunk of space rock doesn't do us all in, the earth's impending magnetic flip just about 2,000 years if the magnetic field continues to weaken at 5% a decade, say geophysicists.

Haley Stevens casts a skeptical eye on the dubious black-eyed-kid sighting that emerged from Cannock's Chase recently. Only it wasn't actually all that recently; it was actually reported last year to paranormal researcher Lee Brickley who just happens to be promoting a book on the subject of the paranormal activity at Cannock's Chase. As usual, the media took the story and ran with it, and in the case of the Daily Star attempted to link the black-eyed-kid sightings to an actual tragic murder case from the 1960s. Stevens denounces this as "crossing a line" and very exploitative. The media is often blind to facts that simple, basic research would prove or disprove and instead employ the oft-used line "experts baffled," which roughly translates to "reporters lazy." In other much more pleasant Fortean book news, Peter Muise tells us that Marjorie Johnson's work Seeing Fairies is a worthy companion on every Fortean bookshelf next to Janet Boyd's classic Fairies: Real Encounters with Little People. (Be sure not to miss the link to the infamous case of the "Dover Demon"--aka one of the creepiest photos we've ever seen.)

Three years ago, a mysterious explosion destroyed a Monte Grande neighborhood in Argentina, and the victims who lost their homes insist that was just the beginning of a 3-year-long nightmare full of threats aimed at both the residents of the neighborhood and also UFO investigators involved in the case. The authorities don't want them to stray from the official story of "gas leak," but some of the residents claim there was no gas leak but that an object fell from the sky and exploded. At least one UFO researcher claims he is being followed and told to watch what he says via harassing phone calls. Meanwhile, MUFON shares details of an Arizona case that makes us wonder if there is a discount outlet store for UFO cloaking devices as witnesses claim that a disappearing house may have been a UFO. A single-wide trailer appeared in a fenced in field seemingly overnight but disappeared the next morning with no trace of having ever been there.

September 30

First reported 30 years ago, it looks like the black eyed kids are at it again, spooking locals by standing around looking, well...spooky. The BEK are usually spotted in groups roaming a quiet, dark neighborhood during the night but in Cannock Chase the phantom appears alone and covering her solid black eyes for maximum fear as she reveals them to her victim. The solitary young girl (and occasionally boy) standing still with her back to whoever discovers her has become a cultural horror icon in itself, from the stringy haired ghost girl to the just plain creepy child in general, with movies like The Grudge and The Ring strengthening this trope even further. BEK are a relatively new offshoot of the creepy kid phenomena first reported in 1998, but the black eyed child who has returned to Staffordshire was rumored to have first been spotted in 1982. However, we suspect that this iteration of the black eyed child is more than likely a perfectly human prankster gearing up for Halloween with the simple application of black contact lenses and the ability to look extraordinarily creepy.

Says Stacy Brown. Oh, dear. We see absolutely nothing in that photo that makes us think animal much less primate. It might not be visible in the second photo because it's actually a leaf hanging from the tree in the foreground? And in other Stacy Brown related Bigfoot news, he's reportedly sold that "alligator arm" for $500,000 to a wealthy Bigfoot enthusiast. But not only that, there's shocking news about the Bigfoot arm, says Robert Lindsay. Brown sold the arm, collected the money and submitted a second non-Bigfoot arm for testing which came back showing it was an alligator arm.

Scott Waring and other sharp-eyed observers have discovered UFOs circling and hovering near the ISS yet again. These ufos are the same glowing white disk shaped objects as in the two previous captures and it makes us wonder why NASA would continue to show a live feed if there are dozens of UFOs flitting around up there, which leads us to think that these might not be UFOs at all. Or is that what they want us to think? Meanwhile, a UFO appears during sunset time lapse video and the most interesting fact about this UFO is the very slow speed at which it must be traveling.

September 29

A mine explorer who goes by the long name of Exploring Abandoned Mines in Ca, NV and Az shares his experiences in the long-abandoned Horton Mine in an isolated area of Nevada where he discovered he was not alone inside the creepy, dark 600 foot long tunnel. In the first video, a very heavy chain hanging from the ceiling begins to sway behind him. A few people in both the Reddit thread and in Youtube comments explain that these chains are very heavy, possibly 40 pounds or more so they aren't going to budge much if someone or something brushes against them. It would take quite a bit of constant effort to cause that chain to sway as steadily as it does. After that unexplained event, the caver goes back a year later to try his luck again. This time, he makes his way to the very back of the cave where the tunnel ends at a shaft that leads upwards for several hundred feet. It's there that he suddenly hears something very strange, startling and goosebump-inducing--voices, the sound of people and machinery moving and a two-toned alarm. It sounds very much like a burst of radio transmission but from where? Was it an alarm system that he triggered by going too far back into the mine? If so, how long would the radio have been operational after the last year of active mining back in 1969 (according to the Western Mining History Database )? Isolating the voice alone only serves to make the sounds far more eerie as it sounds as though there are two or more voices speaking in unison (echoes?) Did this caver simply hear a radio transmission or recording from an old alarm system or someone's lost radio or is this possibly a case of Stone tape theory in action? Or perhaps it's just an unexplained paranormal occurance much like the transistor radio incident that Michael Shermer described happening on his wedding day as one of those Anomalous Events That Can Shake One’s Skepticism to the Core.

Cloaking seems to be the Fortean topic of the week from Bigfoot to UFOs like this one spotted in Elkins, West Virginia hovering over a highway, visible as a classic triangle shape with three lights on the points and then fading out and disappearing Predator-style. Open Minds also shares this report from an Arizona witness recalls saucer UFO low over drive-in movie that hovered silently overhead and was so highly visible that it was sighted by several witnesses. Unfortunately, this was in 1976 when the only video source readily available was the movie projector itself. Imagine a mass sighting like this in present day. The resulting phone photos and video clips would crash Facebook and Youtube.

Matt at the Paranormal Analyst needs your help sorting the 1000+ faked ghost images used by those add-a-ghost apps that are ever-increasing and making study of possible ghost photos a huge pain in the ectoplasm. Matt is hoping to create a full database to cross check images which we think is an absolutely fantastic idea. Meanwhile, Sharon Hill of Doubtful News and Kenneth Biddle also need help with their new project: Anomalies Research Society . The ARS is seeking experts in areas from historical research to forensic investigation to help with "evidence based investigation of paranormal claims and anomalies."

September 28

Short, sweet, and compelling. The circumstances surrounding this young woman's death should be familiar to any anomalist, or someone who thumbed through a copy of Fortean Times a couple of years ago. Less spontaneous, but just as human, is Tara MacIsaac who continues burning up the pages at the Epoch Times. Today she tackles the question, "Did Ancient People Really Have Lifespans Longer Than 200 Years?" One can argue someone living to 200 is ancient, but she's talking about biblical times, older times in Mesopotamia, and hoary Chinese Taoist masters. Included in this census are a sprinkling of the claims of contemporary codgers. Mysteries like these pit Anomalistics Vs. Science over which are the cooler kids in science. But after the dust settles, neither side has found meaning in phenomenology. Wethinks EsoterX may be onto something.

Ken Summers turns the adage "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone" on its ear! Journey with him back to the heady days of Salem witch trials, recounting the strange circumstances surrounding George and Alice Walton. Among the suspects are spooks, displaced indians, and witches. Let's just say, regarding the latter, George and Alice Walton were nothing like their TV namesakes. Reports of this poltergeist have waned in recent memory, but something far more terrifying still stalks the hills of Calhoun County, West Virginia. The Snowman is nothing like Frosty, being a vengeful spirit of Mingo, and Lon Strickler shares eyewitness Jesse's terrible account. Something spookier's going on here for such an encounter to be written off as a mere, misidentified bigfoot.

Quite possibly the most majestic, and patriotic, cryptid known in the United States. This side of the Star-Spangled Sea Serpent, that is. Linda Godfrey is fortunate many people think of her when it comes to strange animal sightings, 'cause someone with a doctorate in zoology needed to tell her about a possible sighting of this elusive red raptor. And it's not the first, with accounts dating back to Audubon painting a dead specimen for posterity. We can be sure that doctor of zoology isn't Karl Shuker, since he would've sorted things out straightaway. Speaking of which, he has a lovely time Exposing The Indonesian Giga-Gecko, a hoax of monstrous proportions! While this case may be closed, Karl opens the door to discovery on other extant examples. We have proof that cryptozoology is as simple as ABC, in the form of Paul Seaburn (cautiously) announcing The Black Beast Of Harborough May Be Back. We believe s/he never left, being a clever kitty. Still MIA is Nessie, but Glasgow Boy shares his Loch Ness Trip Report from last August, where he encounters stranger things than a mere lake monster.

Not every ghost town can be found in the Wild West. Kate Schneider takes us on a tour of Kuldhara, abandoned for more than 200 years and rife with typical paranormal activity. The Anomalist bears no responsibility for your well-being during your visit. Should you survive, hop into Paul Seaburn's rickety DC-3 to observe the New Geoglyphs Discovered in Kazakhstan. More than 50 abstract symbols have been discovered in Kazakhstan, but their purpose remains elusive.

September 27

Woo hoo! More UFO files will be released by the UK's Ministry of Defence! Waitaminnit... didn't they already release 'em all to the public? Our favorite analogue to Deep Throat, Alejandro Rojas, slipped us a hot tip there may be, among those files, evidence regarding what John Burroughs was exposed to in Bentwaters. Now if only the powers-that-be would cough up John's medical records from 30 years ago. Meanwhile, in San Bernardino, a California Witness Says A UFO 'Disappeared Into Doorway In The Sky'. If an interdimensional doorway in the sky isn't awesome enough, the crayon drawing that Roger Marsh shares is not to be missed. Chalk that account up for being one of the 3 or 4 percent deserving of further inquiry, so sayeth Steven Dick at last week's "Preparing For Disclosure" symposium. Clearly A Rhetorical Concession on his behalf, rightfully riling up Billy Cox. This flip attitude towards the Great Taboo relegates UFOlogy to the nuthouse of anomalistics. If no one looks at the evidence, both sides can only argue beliefs and semantics, generating a lot of hot air for lame chinese lantern videos on YouTube.

It's an excruciatingly simple proposition, but the Great Taboo extends to 'squatching as well. Look at the evidence! It's not going to bite, nor will it irrevocably stain one's reputation for considering it. Much less dogmatic, and more reasoned, is the Paranormal Analyst making a compelling argument for logical positivists to be scientific at long last. Could the same approach bear fruit in Brent Swancer's search for The Thunder Beasts Of Japan? Since time-immemorial, raijū encounters have been documented throughout the islands, in addition to a few thunder beast mummies being kept throughout Japan. Brent rattles off his raijū rap sheet, pointing the finger at some suspect species who might be blamed for such encounters.

First, Michael Zennie isn't saying Marco Polo copied Zheng He's maps before striking out across the Pacific. No, no, no, Mr. Polo went to see what was on the other side for himself, should one believe his tale. All of this raises more questions than one can find on the S.A.T.. Another mystery still baffles boffins, that persnickety 2,000 Year Old Battery. Whether Sumerians powering ancient radios, or electroplating jewelry without understanding the process, remains up in the air. Tara MacIsaac has the rest on this curious artifact.

Leaving one's body isn't just a treat for near-death experiencers, anomalists. There are plenty of people enjoying out-of-body experiences, without the threat of crossing over, and credible evidence. From spotting a doctor's quirky manner of communicating with his colleagues during surgery, to an unusual Peak-In-Darien encounter, Tara MacIsaac presents the evidence cynics studiously ignore. If OBEs weren't wild enough, sometimes bodies and souls disappear altogther! Join EsoterX in a rousing rendition of "Old McDonald Had A Trans-Dimensional Farm, E-I-E-I-Oh My God!", where he relates a green conspiracy putting the lives of farmers in jeopardy. And before scoffing "David Lang was fiction", appreciate that Bierce drew his inspiration from a real-life event.

September 26

Well, well, what have we here? Why it’s big “S” Skeptic Michael Shermer finally encountering something he can’t explain, and he’s admitting to it in Scientific American of all places. The event in question took place…on the day he got married. It has to do with his wife, her deceased grandfather, and his transistor radio, which Shermer unsuccessfully tried to fix three months previously…until it turned on by itself and played a romantic love song as they were getting married at their home. To top it off, the radio stopped working the next day and it has remained silent ever since. Shermer finds the usual explanations—that’s love for you, an electrical anomaly, the law of large numbers, extremely unlikely events, etc.—more than a little lacking. And he ends his account with these words: “…we should not shut the doors of perception when they may be opened to us to marvel in the mysterious.” Bravo for the commenters who praised Shermer for his openness; the rest of you are so boring.

It wasn’t the first time that police have reported hearing strange noises and seeing unexplained images in the lobby of the building of the police station, but this time a surveillance camera captured something moving in the secured area of the station without setting off an alarm. Was it a ghost? Or was it a spider crossing very close to the camera, as one commenter, a security officer, suggests? Then we have Chris Chaos’ deconstruction of the “Ghost Girl Photo”, Texas September 2012. Definitely not a spider this one, and not a demon either, regardless of what the photographer’s sister thinks. Unfortunately, it’s just another case of old fashioned trickery.

Strange how something that began like a horror story and ended in a tragedy is now the subject of a town festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, but then this seems to be a pretty typical human response to tragedy. Yes, this is the annual Mothman shindig and Nick Redfern, who was one of the speakers, tells all of us who could not make it just how lively an event it was. Unfortunately, there were no reports of the ghost of John Keel being seen, and no MIBs either…except for no-other-clothes-but-black Nick himself. Of course you would have come across a few wannabe Mothmen there, just as you can come Face to Face with Bigfoot at the International Cryptozoology Museum!.

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