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The Anomalist

July 2

The internet can be a dangerous place. Any nefarious type can create a webpage and have an online presence. And don't even get us started on the pure evil of the Dark Web. But all that pales in comparison to--we can barely bring ourselves to say it--a knitting and crocheting website called Ravelry that reputedly sickens anyone who visits its URL. Psych professionals say it's a case of ongoing mass hysteria. We haven't visited the page ourselves, because just the thought of knitting in July makes us start sweating profusely. Of course, we can't blame the internet for all the ills of the world. We have to point our finger at television as well. For example, The Strange Story of a Cursed Japanese TV Commercial. Released in 1985, the television ad featured a woman, a troll, and a box of tissues, and came to be associated with all manner of viewer maladies and an assortment of participant calamities. Another case of mass hysteria, or just the unfortunate aftertaste of a truly weird bit of media? (CM)

The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group will folk over a nice hunk of change if you can definitely prove that you can read other people's minds, or move objects with your mind, "under mutually agreed upon testing conditions." The prize has been $100,000 for several years, but "no one has ever been able to claim the prize," so they thought that by sweetening the pot, some "superpowers folk" would be tempted by the challenge. But no matter how good you are, you don't stand a chance, as this is a program of the Center for Inquiry, which is the home of the Skeptical Inquirer, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the medical myth-busting website Quackwatch. This is the old CSICOP, for those not familiar with the name change. Read the story of one prize-seeking paranormal claimant, the Lightning Man, but you already know the outcome. And, yes, we've seen this before: beginning in 1964 magician James Randi offered a million dollars to anyone who could demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability under "agreed-upon scientific testing criteria." More than a thousand people applied, but none were successful, though many have pointed out that the challenge as constructed was impossible to win. Randi's challenge ended in 2015, and we will use our psychic powers to predict that no one will win the CFI prize either. (PH)

UFOs Over Washington Spokesman-Review
Some consider July 2 is "World UFO Day," but others celebrate the date of Kenneth Arnold's June 24th 1947 sighting as the true beginning of the modern UFO era. Charles Apple has the story and other classic cases, but his "take" on Arnold's describing the objects he saw as "saucer shaped" spawning the term "flying saucer" is questioned. On current UFO events, Patch's Adam Nichols has depressing news that UFOs Are Avoiding New York, Analysis Of Sightings Shows. But maybe that's all for the better; the inhabitants of The Empire State have been and are still going through enough already. On the other hand, Nichols supports Paul Seaburn's contention that Idaho is the New #1 State in Per Capita UFO Sightings. The upper High Plains states and a few New England entities tend to have higher per capita UFO reporting rates, but Paul also notes that raw sightings numbers are another matter entirely and complicate the picture of "UFO Leading" state. (WM)

The furor surrounding an "MJTWELVE" document supposedly identified by Hal Puthoff as genuine has moved into the high-stakes arena. Australian researcher Paul Dean makes the title offer based upon his research. (Note: $1000 Australian is at the moment only about $692.43 US; still a considerable chunk of change.) But it may not be worth taking Paul up on his bet, per John Greenewald's The Black Vault Originals' Dr. Hal Puthoff and the Leaked MJ-12 Crash Retrieval Document. John's technical arguments are potent, and what he says about Timothy Cooper's involvement is well-nigh compelling. Furthermore, Curt Collins has a guest expert speak to this matter and provide historical context in UFO Documents: Provenance and Credibility by Barry Greenwood. Barry emphasizes the critical question of provenance in evaluating documents in general and this one in particular. And Keith Basterfield rather sums up the anti-genuine argumentation with "A Special National Intelligence Estimate" - 1961 and "A Special National Intelligence Estimate" - 1961 - Part 2. While Keith's work answers one of Paul Dean's points, that in itself does not prove the document genuine, and Keith, Paul, and others invite consideration of the preponderance of the evidence in forming a judgement. (WM)

July 1

A Blizzard in Hell Herald Tribune
Billy Cox is still pinching himself over the news that the Senate Intelligence Committee is looking for "a legitimate audit of The Great Taboo [UFOs], at least as it relates to national security." Billy details just why he feels this is such an historic event, giving props to To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science personnel for their roles in this apparent game-changing development. Billy examines those national security aspects behind the whole affair, and invokes veteran UFO archival researcher and Project 1947 founder Jan Aldrich for additional perspective. Billy says Jan calls this "'a bolt from the blue,'" and notes it's "nothing he thought he'd see in his lifetime." (WM)

Crisis Apparitions Haunted Old and Beautiful
Brace yourselves, or at least grab some tissues. We've got a pair of ghostly reports that will give your heartstrings a good hard pull. This first report is relayed by a Hospice nurse whose patient shared details of her own late daughter's final crisis apparition. It seems even as an adult the young woman needed her mother as she lay critically injured in hospital, and her spirit made sure to pay one last visit. Next this Woman Thinks Camera Inside Her Room Captured ‘Ghost’ of Her Dead Cat, Netizens Have Thoughts. Pareidolia? Maybe, maybe not. Why would we want to mess with the profound comfort found by the late feline's owner? (CM)

Can you say "Billy Meier"? Paul Seaburn has proper suspicions of photographs sent by a person desiring anonymity up the research chain. Phillip Mantle is always on the lookout for contenders, and the original Mirror article by Andy Crick calls the Photos of UFO Hovering over Forest 'Best Flying Saucer Sleuth has seen in 40 Years'. The photos in Crick's article do look like a "structured object"; Gulf Breeze, anyone? News Flash! The hoax has been admitted; see Back to Paul Seaburn, who's at least added context to a case Inexplicata reported for which we'd wished follow-up. Turns out it's a UFO Photographed Near Where Mexican Air Force Had Mass Sighting back in March of 2004. Paul has details and links to the video released by Mexico's Defense Department. But he fears official investigation of both old and recent cases will never surface. (WM)

Is Cool-down…Cool? Remote Viewing/Remote perception
Former military remote viewer Paul Smith gets into the weeds of this psychic technique with a strict methodology. (For background about the intelligence and military community's use of remote viewing see STARGATE: A Timeline of the American Government’s Secret Psychic Program.) Here Smith describes the importance of the cool down ritual for calming the mind or entering an altered state before a remote viewing session, not after as in exercise. Next we have The Monster in the Closet: Analytical Overlay in Remote Viewing, a guest article by Paul Smith's long-time friend and colleague Tom McNear, whom the "father of remote viewing," Ingo Swann, considered the “best ever remote viewing student.” Here McNear discusses Analytical Overlay, which is the response of the viewer’s analytic mind to the information being received by the subconscious intuitive mind; it can be misleading or helpful, thus the importance of recognizing it when it happens. Finally Athena A. Drewes reviews a recently uncovered manuscript by the late Ingo Swann, Preserving the Psychic Child, about the inner experience of a child growing up psychic, but not much about Ingo's own life unfortunately. Basically, the book offers parental advice on how to raise a psychically gifted child. (PH)

June 30

With an opening nod to Thomas Aquinas, the Professor begins a set of "soft conclusion" musings upon What Faery Is and Means. From more than a thousand accounts the Professor has distilled fifty-ish "anchor cases" sufficient as a group to establish a legitimate faery anomaly, and suggests "perhaps a couple hundred more" are solid and consistent enough "to support some type of reality." But just what reality? Dr. Swords then lists "a nested set of three questions" that get at fundamental aspects of the faery problem, and a half-dozen more detailed "deeper realities" queries he'll be answering next time. We'll definitely be waiting! Dr. Beachcombing has his own spirited question: Was it a Ghost or Fairy on the Road from Wilden to Ravensden? A chilling short tale from "a road trip to Bedfordshire in the early 1870s," it's so well told that one can visualize, with horror, the events Mrs. Goodhall relates. (WM)

It's mange (and rabies!) season so naturally reports of Chupacabra encounters are on the upswing. A prominent business district in Atlanta is the most recent location of this cryptid being spotted, although those with an eye for nature and less tendency toward hysterics recognized the poor beast as a fox with a skin disorder. Perhaps we are spoiled here in Ontario, but long before anyone shrieks "Chupacabra!" someone else has calmly dialed the Ministry of Natural Resources to report a sick animal. Maybe the summer heat makes people jumpy. So we're moving over to a state that's slightly cooler and Taking a Look at Oregon’s Equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster. "Wally" makes its home in Wallowa Lake and, along with the traditional head and neck rising from the water's depths, the creature has been known to swim between fishing boats just to see what it can see, or quietly bask under water while leisure craft go back and forth over the the lake's surface. A chill monster is definitely what the world needs now. (CM)

These classic UFO cases might be called The Saucers That Weren't. Curt Collins narrates a probably-unintended hoax that consumed Air Force money and time, providing fodder for UFO debunking near the dawn of the modern UFO era. Kevin Randle needs more hopefully "original" sources to research a rather iffy story about silent objects each "so enormous it blotted out the stars" at A Secret Base in New Mexico - 1957. And Nick Redfern sees another amazing conspiracy theory supplying energy to his own in From Rendlesham Forest to Project Blue Beam: Holograms and Lies. Nick is of course selling his most recent book The Rendlesham Forest UFO Conspiracy: A Close Encounter Exposed as a Top Secret Government Experiment. But he does an interesting job supporting that title by reference to the "infamous" Blue Beam supposed world-domination plan invoking a machine washer-load of disparate agencies. (WM)

Anomalous archaeological results often rewrite traditional history and prehistory. Jocelyne LeBlanc tells how a surprising find pushes back the arrival of Vikings in Iceland several decades. Then there's The Mysterious Ancient Chamber of Golden Balls Found by a Robot in Mexico. Brent Swancer's account aptly illustrates his observation "we usually seem to dig up more questions than answers." While the two previous surprises came from formal archaeological investigations, journalist Ingrid Spilde begins the next case with "The whole story starts with a farmer" who drained a wetland to open up new cultivation. The result: Archaeologists Have Found Astonishingly Well-preserved Gear from a Fisherman Who Lived 5,000 Years Ago. What was going on there 50 centuries back the archaeological record almost never offers. Perhaps the greatest shock comes from Tessa Koumoundouros' story that New DNA Analysis Reveals Ancient Scythian Warrior Was a 13-Year-Old Girl. A new study not only reversed the sex of the formerly "male" owner, but may firmly establish that Herodotus' story about the Amazons wasn't fictional. The fifth century BCE Herodotus of Halicarnassus is known as "The Father of History," and probably was the most fun of all historians to boot, largely because of wild tales including the Amazons, fierce women who fought and then intermarried with the Scythians. After Herodotus the Amazons were regarded as just a myth, but finds beginning in the 1990s had challenged that assumption and this very young Amazon warrior's burial may end the debate. (WM)

June 29

Are there any anomalous events that have historically not been sullied by a visit from the MIB? We all knew UFO encounters were fair game. Now add cryptid sightings to the list. Although in fairness, these post-incident MIB experiences aren't precisely the same as the ones we're used to hearing about after UFO sightings. Same level of malevolence though. Here's More on the Mystery of M.I.B. and Monsters, involving a Man of the Cloth and Nessie, who the former thought was in need of an old fashioned exorcism. Apparently though it wasn't the Loch's resident beastie that needed purging, but the odd, ill-intentioned, black-garbed individual waiting on its shores for the reverend. One has to wonder if these dark entities are simply disgruntled gate keepers, which would explain how they know of encounters that have gone entirely unreported. It would explain their perpetually bad moods. (CM)

Jack Brewer suggests reserving judgement regarding the "Disclosure victory" of recent Congressional UFO seriousness. Such "wet blanketing the UFO blogosphere" much more often than not is justified, as he points out here and on the matter of UFO Research Integrity. The jury should indeed be "out" on fresh news developments and particularly regarding claims made without publicly published evidence. And cases involving close encounter witnesses, especially abductees, must demand special consideration. At the same time, personal invective against researchers should be replaced by specific and grounded remarks about their observations and claims. Some time ago this reviewer proposed a Standard for UFO etiquette be formulated that would distinguish serious UFO research from the traditional contest of egos rather than of ideas. An example of good practice featuring researcher cooperation is Keith Basterfield's The Benefits of Networking. (WM)

What's in a headline? It may depend upon the author's (or editor's) viewpoint. Other articles on this subject are Study Links Alaskan Volcano to Fall of Roman Republic, and Eruption of Alaska's Okmok Volcano Linked to Mysterious Period of Extreme Cold in Ancient Rome. All three headlines are correct. Haaretz reporter Ariel David's title rather emphasizes the origins of the Roman period that most negatively affected Jewish history. But David well explains the significance of the eruption, the determination of its date, the debate about its real significance in the "Fall" of the Roman Republic, and the totality of the political and economic events at the time. David does err in equating a 7-degree Celsius drop in temperature to a 44 degrees Fahrenheit plunge. Archaeology's title takes on perhaps the larger world-historical view in emphasizing the impact of the far-off cataclysm on the declining Republic, along with the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt. Both articles reference the role of Reno, Nevada's Desert Research Institute in the discovery. The DRI's posting follows its "Extreme Cold" title emphasis, going into considerable and fascinating detail on the climatic aspects of the matter and how Institute and other scholars made this remarkable determination. (WM)

June 28

Just too good not to share with you, anomalists. No place could be more bucolic than Ardingly Reservoir, yet there's something really weird, yet superfically ordinary, is happening along its shores. We'll just let the Evening Express pick up the story from there. For more high strageness, just mix equal amounts of Tim Binnall and John E.L. Tenney on Binnall of America's Summer of Strangeness. The guys wind up talking about Tenney's new book Theoretical Weirdo, the nature of ghosts, the truth behind those paranormal activity television programs on cable, and so much more. Lest you believe 21st century strageness is anything new, our pal Undine shares The Case Of The Litigated Poltergeist where a witch litigated over a problematic poltergeist, two little buggers, and a warlock-shepherd. (CS)

Is it a vial of ectoplasm? Could it be a relic with a preternatural glow? Maybe something even more mind-blowing awaits within Liz Farsaci's coverage of the spooky goings-on at Castle Ellen House in County Galway. Ardent anomalists may not be too surprised by the reveal. Want your own 'proof' of ghosts and become tabloid famous? Heed Jocelyne LeBlanc who enumerates These Hotel Rooms Which Are So Haunted That Guests Aren't Allowed To Stay In Them! Word to the wise, they're all within the confines of the United States of America which could also mean the concierge could have a price to humor one's curiosity for the night. Yet who needs a spooky hotel room when there's an entire town full of things going bump in the night? While a pandemic recession may be putting the squeeze on these United States, Goldfield, Nevada's Paranormal Past Might Be Key To Its Future. (CS)

UFOs That Vanish and Dissolve Hakan Blomqvist's Blog
Kevin Randle especially might take note of the first story in Hakan Blomqvist's catalogue of surprising UFO behavior. A 1987 letter writer mentions participating during 1975-1980 in a "Project Pluto" tasked with recovering and studying "E.T. material." The rest of Hakan's article details even stranger tales, plus a George Adamski connection. Hakan also tells us of the time When Santa Claus Came to AFU. And how! Hakan relates the history of donating materials to the Archives for the Unexplained. He observes: "Without archives and libraries serious and scientific research becomes very difficult and in some areas almost impossible." Without archives we would not have, for instance, A Letter from Ivan Sanderson, January 4, 1968. This missive from Sanderson to John Keel conveys a real flavor of the human personality controversies in the UFO field of the late '60s. (WM)

June 27

Our skies are becoming increasingly cluttered, just look at SpaceX's Starlink boondoggle, and Donald Kessler reckons it could've happened to you-know-who. So where is everyone, asks Greg Taylor? They're sheltering in place 'til the space junk in orbit clears up, just like humanity and COVID-19. That's not stopping NASA Delivering The First Grant In 30 Years To Support The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence, writes David Pescovitz. Hopefully one of the technosignatures will confirm new findings out of the University of Glasgow. Their Experiment Confirms A 50-Year-Old Theory Describing How An Alien Civilization Could Exploit A Black Hole for energy. Since Marion Cromb doesn't have access to a gravitational singularity, he and his team used acoustics to mimic the same effect on Earth in a really nifty fashion. (CS)

Seeing something doesn't necessarily mean a phenomenon happened in the way a spectator believed it occurred, since eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable. Carolyn Purnell knows the ante is being upped in an era of deepfakes and skillful photoshops reinforcing one's beliefs rather than encouraging skepticism, and she lays out the chilling effects of this dilemma. With that in mind, Are You A Prisoner Of Your Beliefs? Yes, you are. It's a safe and comfortable refuge from a crazy world, yet the indefatigable Michael Grosso illustrates a simple guide to push oneself and have more breathing room to live using the power of one's own mind. Very much a must-read, especially during lockdowns and quarantines where folks have the lŭury of working on themselves. (CS)

With everyone locked down, and their only outlet is the internet, of course more eyes mean more sightings. Thankfully Paul Seaburn's rounded up a handful of the best to cross his desk in the past couple of months. Not everything strange is happening 'neath the loch's waves, notes Nick Redfern, in his Catalog Of Creepiness At A Famous Lake with new and old tales guaranteed to delight. Where does Nick find all of these tit-bits? Welp the guy's more than hip-deep in high strangeness, and he draws upon the experiences of Fred Holiday's A Cautionary Story About Getting Too Deep Into Paranormal Phenomena. Connect the dots between his start as a mere fishing enthusiast, to dragon-worshipping cults, to a visit by a MIB for getting too close to the truth. (CS)

One of the more famous examples of "ghost lights" is featured in the Small Town Monsters production On the Trail of UFOs. Omi Salavea gives both background about the Brown Mountain Lights and how to access the film series. Johan Sheridan informs that Netflix Reboots 'Unsolved Mysteries,' Featuring Pittsfield Aliens in Premiere. The first episode focuses on the claimed UFO abduction of Thomas Reed, his brother, mother, and grandmother on September 1, 1969. Recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an "off-world incident" in 2015, the encounter and its commemoration generated considerable controversy in the town of Sheffield. Legal haggling over property and right-of-way lines led to the removal of a monument honoring the event and its special recognition. The administration of a New York town seems more favorable to UFOs, as a Permanent Pine Bush UFO Museum in the Works. The Town of Crawford is planning to turn the annual UFO Fair in its Pine Bush hamlet into a year-round fixture. The town has a very down-to-Earth reason for its enthusiasm, as Rachel Ettinger relates. (WM)

June 26

If air travel ever becomes viable again, we have to hope our pilots don't become completely unhinged from being stared down by six-foot-tall, red eyed, winged humanoids robed in blackness. In this case from the end of May, a pilot and co-pilot both saw "the creature" fly up into the sky for seconds as they were taxing to the terminal. Supposedly the pilots radioed the incident to Air Traffic Control; investigators should track down the ATC report. And it's not a case of just a few pilots reporting this terror as a Second Pilot Reports Encounter With Winged Humanoid at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. In this case, the pilot was taking the airport shuttle toward the terminal when he spotted what some call "Batman" perched upon a rail. The witness supposedly presented company and federal identification to prove his employment to the investigator, but we can't help being suspicious of these reports, given their past history. Supposedly there are social media groups where pilots privately discuss their experiences and concerns, and specifically those involving this creature seen repeatedly at O'Hare. (CM)

Recent stories and images from south of the border. An "extraordinary event" with a named videographer produced a sensation in Baja California. While it may be blurred by movement, the photograph is much easier to appreciate than the bouncy video. Another named photographer and story are behind the image in Mexico: Alleged UFO Photographed Over Champoton Bay. One would like follow-up in both cases. That has happened in another instance, with the resulting Brazil UFO: Investigation into 'Alien Crash' Reveals TRUTH behind Viral Mage UFO Footage. A team led by the noted Brazilian investigator A.J. Gevaerd, as well as other sources, have pronounced the whole thing a hoax. It gets credit for being "well-constructed" and "elaborate," but the "glowing orb" video in the article will only produce headaches. (WM)

Following up on that recent photo hoax by a CGI expert (not expert enough!), Glasgow Boy has matched up the scale pattern from a giant catfish photo with precisely same pattern on the falsified Nessie photo. What...the...heck? We're fairly certain Glasgow Boy has some kind of super power so to any tricksters out there: Just don't bother. Meanwhile, is the Loch Ness Monster found? 'Unidentified' DNA recorded in Scottish Highlands exposed. Evidently there could be more than enormous eels in the Loch, but researchers weren't keen on admitting they couldn't tell us what that "more" was. (CM)

Predictably, Tom DeLonge is claiming credit for his organization's fostering the Senate Intelligence Committee's requiring an evaluation of "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" in a draft "Intelligence Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2021." Predictably, Jason Colavito is unhappy about it. But Jason does grudgingly give credit where it's due to the To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science team for the development, and also notes the bill "asks for the creation of an 'individual' who would coordinate UFO analysis and reporting across the whole government--a UFO czar!" It's also a bit fun to see LiveScience's Rafi Letzter write a rather straightforward article that the Pentagon Should Release UFO Report, Senate Intelligence Committee Argues. Letzter also allows that Agence France-Press has analyzed the announcement, so others abroad are regarding this with interest. And Mystery Wire takes advantage of the news to headline Before the UAP Task Force there was BAASS - Hear from the Man behind the Once Secret Program. That would be Hal Puthoff, whose June 2018 speech (included in this article) was "his first-ever public appearance about the secret [AATIP/BAASS] study." (WM)

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