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The Anomalist



August 7

Fifteen years after John Wheeler proposed a one-electron universe to Richard Feynman, Erwin Schrödinger reckoned there was only one mind. Follow MindMatters.ai down a rabbit hole dug by Erwin, passing through the strata of quantum mechanics, east Indian mysticism, and other non-materialist high strangeness that kinda makes sense. Yet if there's only one mind, where does its consciousness lay? How does it propagate through humanity and other sophonts? Rather than delve into such a deep topic, let's continue to assume there are many minds and consciousnesses. After all it makes Joseph Krisher's piece on Science Is One Step Closer To Understanding Where Consciousness Resides In The Brain. It's a curious start to pursuing consciousness and the research is provocative, but we wish the eggheads at the University of Tokyo broaden their search. (CS)

Them there are fightin' words, Cade Metz. Ever consider the problem of philosophical zombies? If I can assume you're conscious and sentient, then why not artificial intelligences? Well Cade does make a strong argument against our proposition and well-worth considering on your Sunday morning. Dogpiling on the the problem of A.I. is Brian Christian who lays out How A Google Employee Fell For The Eliza Effect illustrating how GPT-3, LaMDA, and other language models are spookily 'real'... or are they real? Still if you're chugging Blake Lemoine's special blend of Kool-Aid, then heed his warnings. An Engineer Who Was Fired By Google Says Its AI Chatbot Is 'Pretty Racist' And That AI Ethics At Google Are A 'Fig Leaf'. We're not too concerned, Urooba Jamal, but what exactly happens when AI partkes of the fruit of knowledge and life? Can't be good if Blake is right... As we continue to beat this dead horse, Will Knight announces "We Interviewed Meta's New AI Chatbot About... Itself. We're just concerned it's the baby of Meta a.k.a. Facebook which doesn't have the best track record for inclusiveness or politics, let alone basic innovation on the web. (CS)

While Tim Binnall was browsing Facebook he spied a crazy photo with a crazier suggestion that it shows Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Gigantopithecus blacki. Check out the photo and consider Donny Hicks's wild tale behind it, perhaps he may be onto something. Not keen on still images? Hie thee to the YouTubes and the Paranormal Videos channel for a Bigfoot Sighting Spotted By Fisherman In Texas. We just hope some enterprising YouTuber zooms in and stabilizes the footage because what we see here has piqued our interest. (CS)

August 6

What if we told you there's a way to make a curved surface behave like a flat surface? It might seem simple since we're all living on a curved surface which appears flat, sorry flat earthers, but according to Christopher Plain some boffins at Purdue University have broken a fundamental rule of physics with unforeseen consequences. In keeping with our theme of maverick science, there's a YouTuber Explaining How Time-Travel Is Actually Possible In Quantum Mechanics. The video is short and gets to the point quick, being about 5 minutes, and illustrates Loukia Papadopoulos's lede while The Action Lab proves how fundamentally weird quantum mechanics can be. While our next link could be a play on parallel universes, it isn't, but we think you should know There's A Bizarre Conspiracy Eminem Died In 2006 And Was Replaced By A Clone. Follow the LADBible down a particularly weird rabbit hole and find out how some fans of hip-hop reckon They are cloning rappers for nefarious means. (CS)

Two Indian fellows are toolin' along on their tuk-tuk one night when they encounter a figure crossing the road. A few meters later, they encounter the same figure again. But then who was phone? Hats off to Tim Binnall for finding this gem well worth a watch and to consider the circumstances of this spooky situation! Also among spooky headlines there's a 'Traumatized' Teesside Family Claiming Paranormal Activity Forced Them To Flee Home replete with bruises, spectral choking, and other high weirdness. But what about ghosts in the good ol' US of A? Lou Russo asks, "Do Bone-Chilling New Jersey Ghost Sightings Make Us The Most Haunted States?" Not by a long shot, fam, but the Garden State makes a respectable outing keeping our title of Weird New Jersey. Then again this guy might be biased since, like John Pizzarelli, I Like Jersey Best. (CS)

Something profoundly strange is happening in the galaxy cluster we puny humans call Abell 3266, but the reason for everyone's excitement over the observations is a bit... esoteric? Like Becky Ferreira, we visited Chris Riseley's Twitter feed in hopes he could dumb it down a shade but it appears the radio structures and haloes and artifacts are unprecedented and don't fit current models for the universe and physics! If you can translate it, why not pass it along to The Anomalist's Twitter account. Just don't make too much fun of us, plz. (CS)

August 5

A parade of UFO-related historical stories commences with something that never happened. Joe Blackstock's tale of a South Californian newspaper piece evokes both the 1896-7 "airship wave" and 1942 "Battle of Los Angeles." A real 1948 tragedy still resonant today is How a US Fighter Pilot was KILLED While Chasing a UFO & His Death Was 'Covered Up' as His Family Call for Answers. The manner of Captain Thomas Mantell's famous death is still challenged by his descendants. Henry Holloway has the iconic event and its context; thanks to Phyllis Budinger for alerting us to this important article. A strange twist makes another iconic story doubly mysterious as Rex Heflin Talks about His Famous 1965 UFO Photos and How They Got Confiscated. But how the three "originals" returned may be the biggest puzzle. And Keith Basterfield relates a synchronicity which brought to him a life-long narrative of close encounters from a (now) 66-year-old man featuring an Account of an 1986 Abduction in Adelaide, South Australia. (WM)

Roland Watson takes the numbers game of Loch Ness monster stats and demonstrates that no figure should ever be taken at face value. In fact, while the topic at hand is the illustrious Nessie, the lesson can be applied to any statistic thrown at us by the media or so called experts. Now About That New Nessie Story: Why I Still Say the Loch Ness Monsters are Paranormal. Nick Redfern gives some explanation of how Nessie may well be a spook, a Kelpie of Gaelic folklore, or other supernatural anomaly. Given the numerous misfortunes that have befallen investigators, there certainly seems to be something about the loch that doesn't want to be understood. (CM)

Scientific American reflects its subtitle's "shifting attitudes toward the formerly taboo subject of UFOs." Adam Mann discusses the seemingly-hasty June 9, 2022, NASA announcements and other developments pursuant to the June 25, 2021, "Preliminary Assessment" publication. Mann canvasses Avi Loeb and other non-ufologists for opinions, yet the overall tenor of the article is refreshing. Former military intelligence expert Dan Reedy says Here's What All Those UFO Sightings Might Be -- and What the Military May Know. Reedy's Task and Purpose piece suggests drones as the main culprits, perhaps unaware of arguments that g-forces computed for "Tic-Tac-like" maneuvers would rip apart such machines. Reedy also invokes drone swarms as something "poorly understood by the masses." But what about military folks, as in several instances sailors allegedly claim they can distinguish "drone swarm behavior" from the aerobatics they were seeing? Consult TweakTown's Jak Connor for what former F/A-18 flyer Ryan Graves says about the "GIMBAL" footage in Navy Pilot: Famous UFO Video Shows One When There Was an Entire Fleet. Well, maybe "between four and six" other objects isn't exactly a "fleet" or "swarm." The first 61 minutes of the Graves/Lex Fridman interview deals with the intricacies and demands of military flying. Armchair skeptics might perhaps rethink their evaluations of these heroes and heroines' capacities. The UFO portion of the interview includes a more detailed description of the GIMBAL video object's companion "fleet" than this reader had encountered. And in Robert Powell On UFO's With Thomas Wertman Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies' cofounder Powell discusses SCU's recent conference, current studies, and some of the organization's careful evaluations of iconic UFO/UAP cases. (WM)

August 4

Danny Silva links to a rather controversial journal paper by Hal Puthoff regarding research strategies for alternate theories regarding the UFO puzzle. Ultraterrestrial Models is that paper, which seems perhaps not fully as "old" as Danny seems to imply, containing references as recent as 2021. Puthoff proposes strategies to test a "non-nuts-and-bolts" UFO hypothesis, listing data appearing to support such. He references Mac Tonnies' fascinating The Cryptoterrestrials: A Meditation on Indigenous Humanoids and the Aliens Among Us, published by Anomalist Books. Jason Colavito's gone alliterative in his attack on the journal article: Hal Puthoff Publishes Pitiful Paper Proposing Plans to Probe Ultraterrestrials challenges the Puthoff piece on fundamental grounds, while claiming it shows "exactly why ufology has failed for 75 years." (WM)

This story proves that anyone has a chance of catching a little Bigfoot evidence if they are prepared. The person who caught these howls purchased an inexpensive recording device and simply kept it out and turned on when she was walking in the woods. And now she's buying  a better one. But Experts Say It Could Be Something Else. Next, it's Buyer Beware time: Bigfoot Hair For Sale - Again! The headline brings to mind mangy wigs from a movie set, but evidently about $4 can snag you a vial of hair and tissue that purportedly belongs to a hairy bipedal cryptid. So all you Bigfoot hunters can go home and find another hobby because obviously there's already loads of evidence available just waiting for someone to send it for DNA testing for less than the cost of a decent coffee and breakfast sandwich. (CM)

One of the strangest aerial apparitions we've seen not only has a mundane explanation, but Tim Binnall links to two other previous and "resolved" anomalies. More mystifying is the subject of Jason Koebler's Vice article Mysterious Metallic Orb Falls on Mexico, May Contain 'Valuable Information,' Meteorologist Says. The solid object is nowhere near as remarkable in appearance as the "Cloud Palace," but weatherman Isidro Cana Luna certainly does his best to magnify its "image." In the Staten Island Advance, Dr. Gracelyn Santos basically directs potential UFO-seekers away from home in Washington State is No. 1 in UFO Sightings in U.S.: Report. After all, New York State ranks only 45th in per capita sightings. And focusing on the individual, long-time blogger Regan Lee of The Orange Orb has some thoughts after she Just Saw a UFO. (WM)

August 3

Researchers have confirmed that for a very brief period of time following cardiac arrest, the brain continues to function, after which it is "overcome by death." They believe this may explain some instances where survivors can describe what was going on around them during resuscitation efforts. But they are quick to point out that it is in no way evidence of life after death. That raises the question: Is the Afterlife All in Our Heads? It has been speculated that our brains are more involved in survival than previously thought, producing what's described as "here, close, now" neural activity. In short, our brains are wired to help us want to keep living, so they generate feelings of a loved one being near. While it's possible that this neural activity is responsible for some experiences with recently dead loved ones, it seems to us to be a bit much to ask us to dismiss an entire spectrum of interactions with the deceased—some being anything but comforting. That's why we have mediums and ghostbusters.  (CM)

AARO and Current Sightings A Different Perspective
Kevin Randle lately's been combining his own Different Perspective on varied current news topics with interesting UFO reports. An unflattering but apt comment on "transparency" chances with the DoD's new UFO study is paired with two cases, one of which gets explained in the comments and in Kevin's follow-up article on Changes to the AARO Directive. One might add that the DoD "All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office" may have to vie with Congress' "Unidentified Aerospace-Undersea Phenomena Joint Program Office" for the final title of the new program, and there's language in Kevin's quoted House version indicating Congress is worried about DoD "transparency," too. A Texas "triangle" report here brings to mind David Marler's yeoman work on that geometric UFO variety, while with Understanding Roswell - Addendum 1 Kevin brings up—and then knocks down—a testimony supportive of "the sorry saga of Glenn Dennis and his ordering child-sized coffins." And Kevin has thoughts about SETI, Proxima Centauri, and Recent Sightings that challenge a key assumption behind Marjorie Fish's model work on Betty Hill's reported "Star Map." Kevin here invokes David Marler while referring to another recent triangle report. (WM)

John Keel siteminder Doug Skinner continues mining Keel's unfinished dictionary, with definitions familiar, unfamiliar, absent, and "KLASSIC." We'd not heard a few of these interesting entries! Not only does UFO Dictionary (16): Levitation -- Long Fingers have more "curious items"; Doug alerts us to a treasure-trove of Keel's Saga articles recently uploaded by Sweden's Archives for the Unexplained! In UFO Dictionary (17): MATERIALIZE -- Menzelform the final two entries here are not commonly known. UFO Dictionary (18): Meteor -- Mother Ship is a fairly spare batch; Doug's prefatory comments, though, are interesting. Also, Rest in Peace, John! marks the day Keel died. A reader commemorates: "I'm sure that everything has been revealed to you now, things that have to remain mysteries to us for a while." (WM)

August 2

Bill Chalker comments on Geoff Cruickshank's impressions of the recent Australian Defence Science and Technology Research (ADSTAR) conference. It featured Important people from Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., Canada, and the U.S., and largely avoided discussions of UFOs/UAPs, as the article makes plain. And Keith Basterfield's post of responses to Questions to the Australian Minister of Defence re UAP from Aussie researcher Grant Lavac underscores Australia's apparent continuing immobility on the UAP matter. Heading over to the two North American "Five Eyes" members, Chris Rutkowski remarks on recent U.S. moves in UUPs and Transmedium UFOs? (Canadian Edition). While our first two articles bemoaned the current lack of UFO/UAP government collection activities Down Under, Chris notes the Great White North's reporting mechanisms. He also defines "UUP"! While explaining the Establishment of the US Department of Defence All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office Keith Basterfield includes recent Twitter postings indicating cooperation between Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security Ronald S. Moultrie and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. And Christopher Sharp notices some very sharp Congressional language towards the DOD in Committee Criticises Pentagon As UFOs 'Exponentially' Increase, Whilst Making Clear That New Office Will Not Investigate 'Man-Made' Objects. (WM)

In this interview, Mike Mayes, author of the recent book, The Valley of the Apes (Anomalist Books), explains what qualifies as a cryptid and the role of habitat destruction in their spread, as well as Mayes' career as a high school teacher and his well-known blog, the Texas Cryptid Hunter. Next, Fisherman's 'Half-Man, Half-Dog' Sighting Has Bigfoot Expert Confused. We don't feel confused, given when we zoom in we can see the variation in color that indicates the "creature" being recorded is wearing a shirt and pants (although hunters have been known to emerge from the bush looking pretty scruffy). But you can decide for yourselves. (CM)

Rich Reynolds tries in various ways to get at the "nub" of the UFO phenomenon/a. Here it's dream-like delirium, an interesting idea, but does it really satisfy all of the reported close-encounter symptoms? Rich also plumbs Memory and Its Effect on UFO Events, Especially Supposed Abductions or Encounters. He first exposes to learned examination Jose Antonio Caravaca's novel Distortion Theory, and then employs Albert Rosales' magna opera on humanoid encounters to support another intriguing UFO Conjecture. Wait—is "Forty-five cents for a three-course meal" really a "latent memory of a pitiful kind"? Considering today's prices? Rich also wonders Why is There an Impenetrable Bubble over Every UFO Episode? Here Rich proposes a value for "Collecting old flying saucer stories," but elsewhere he's not so sure—as in The [UFO] Past is Not Prologue; It's Barely Pertinent. But he does worry that the Past can be Present, admitting I Hope My Pal John Greenewald Jr. [Black Vault] Isn't Being Hoodwinked (Getting the Run Around) from DoD and Now NASA. We fear Rich may be onto something regarding FOIA hijinks, and is "giving into" that "UAP" term! (WM)

August 1

Perspective on the business of identifying aerial goings-on comes from Emma Helfrich's dialogue with Colin Scoggins. The former FAA employee characterizes a military response to one UFO report as it "Makes you feel like they are just keeping things from you." Well, the FAA itself did give up some info, as we read Dozens of UFO Encounters by Pilots Officially Released -- Including 'Cigar-shaped' Object. Michael Moran comments on the FOIA response we covered last Friday, adding remarks from the requestor Kyle Warfel. A harrowing audio account of an aerial encounter from the pilot's viewpoint is Major Raymond Sabinski Talks Shooting at a Foo Fighter/UFO in the Sky over Holland, 1942. And Brian Dunning takes a skeptical look at The Day the UFO Deactivated the Nukes. 1967's Malmstrom AFB shutdown as remembered by Robert Salas is at issue. Dunning's points might be better taken were he more explicit about his prep work than "I spent a lot of time on the research for this episode, including reading as much of Salas' book as I could, and a lot of other stuff." (WM)

These two stories will leave you just a little unsettled with life in general and death specifically. First up is a video taken by a parent of her child chit chatting with her late grandma. While we usually find reports like this fairly easy to dismiss, the delight of this girl and her general reactions are too authentic for us to write off immediately. This segues nicely into Amazon's New Invention Could Let You "Speak" To The Dead — But Should It? What could possibly go wrong with an AI-generated replication of the deceased? Anyone who has watched Black Mirror, Twilight Zone or Outer Limits could give us a list of possible dire outcomes. Not that anyone would listen. Dystopian outcomes are magnetic to humans. (CM)

An as yet unidentified short video "has changed [its creator's] perspective on the phenomenon" of UFOs, as Tim Binnall reports. Possible lighted aerobatics? There seems little doubt in Space.com Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik's mind of this next as he asks us to See China's Huge Uncontrolled Rocket Debris Fall from Space in Fiery Skywatcher Videos. The videos are pretty spectacular, and China's failure to share trajectory information is being criticized by NASA's Bill Nelson and others. Folks in the American Midwest have been ogling things they can't explain, as Iowans Have Reported Seeing More than 1,100 UFOs. Following a Virginia example we recently profiled, Jason Clayworth has mined National UFO Reporting Center statistics and examples for his own state. And Liam Gaughan brings us "down to Earth"—sort of—while listing 10 Times Texans Claimed To See Evidence of Alien Landings. Gaughan observes that "Some Texans have claimed close encounters of the third kind, while some of us have barely seen our own neighbors in years." Actually the list is short on alien landings and CEIIIs, and some of Gaughan's claims seem, well, insufficiently researched, making the article perhaps unintentionally droller than was intended. (WM)


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