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The Anomalist

March 24

We look at two sides of the paranormal today. This first brief article puts forth an intriguing and powerful theory that by holding onto stories/legends of hauntings, an indigenous people can resist the effects of colonialization. These tales are seen as a means of thwarting the stronghold of a conquering culture, unsettling it and allowing First Peoples a chance to hold onto something distinctly theirs. (Plus it spooks the settlers.) Next, we take a peak Inside Uri Geller's Paranormal Palace Up For Sale for £8m. Complete with every common luxury and a myriad of supernatural add-ons, Geller, always the salesman, claims this house will increase the lifespan of the one who chooses to live there. Whether that's due to the home's extensive gym or its meditation pyramid is also up to the buyer. (CM)

In Your Face Life in Jonestown
Billy Cox scores moves to curtail/deny press freedom, which he says have eroded America's position relative to other nations and in the more important absolute sense of the term. He uses Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies' Robert Powell's frustrated FOIA efforts as one example, outstanding in itself and particularly for ufological purposes. John Greenewald presents one item that didn't require an FOIA in UFOs - An International Scientific Problem by Dr. James McDonald - Presented March 12, 1968. John got this from the Gerald Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, where this reviewer spent many hours reading documents from Ford's Congressional files in the 1960s. John highlights elements in McDonald's paper that are still valid 55 years later and makes us wonder how far we've come since. And speaking of history over time, try Miguel ("Red Pill Junkie) Romero's Closer to Dawn? Hints of Supersecret Aircraft Throughout the Years. It's a walk through media and military history that, if nothing else, makes one realize how much fun the X-Files truly was! (WM)

UFOs are Quarks? UFO Conjectures
Some conjectures from Rich Reynolds on the breadth of ufological discourse. Rich here conjures up an "amped up" Flatlands scenario behind UFO sightings and perhaps even meaning. Speaking of "meaning," Rich bemoans the "I'm not saying it's aliens, but..." as the primary of UFO Subtexts around which things like abductions, crop circles, and other explanations—well, circle. In The Medium IS the Message! Rich argues the packaging of UFO information has become more important for the thoughtless consumption of the present than what's actually contained. And what's contained within an anomalous encounter witness may be very important. Those Incomplete Investigations of UFO Incidents (Sightings, Encounters, Photos, Etc.), absent such data, may obscure an actual cause. And, written in the late throes of last month's "Balloongate," Rich remarks how government alphabet-UFO-interested-agencies are manipulating media and consumers like Mice in a Maze. And if they're watching YOU, say "Cheese"! (WM)

March 23

It's official—we're not going to see the actual shootdowns of the February objects. John Greenewald reports the denial of his FOIA request with a short video that notes he's pursuing the matter further. Politico's Erin Banco wonders What the Biden Administration Isn't Telling Congress about Spy Balloons. But she does list key questions, and surmises that "The administration is still trying to determine how bad the problem is." She quotes retired USN Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet: "What is our capability to observe what's in our airspace? There's holes in it." Enter Todd Farley and Steven Greenstreet with one answer: that 'Crazy' UFO-believing Pentagon Bosses Missed Spy Craft for Years. "The Post was right. The 'UFO' story is fake news," they say, and that "a small group of UFO activists spent years misleading a credulous media and an oblivious Congress." Their uncomfortable "grand scheme" angle on the story has conspiracy tendencies and will discomfit many readers, but it's worth reading. (WM)

It's not just in science fiction movies that life finds a way. A new species previously believed to be mythical has been proven to exist. Referred to as The Ghjattu Volpe, or Cat Fox, these uniquely colored wildcats are exclusive to the island of Corsica. Researchers have fitted tracking devices to a sample population in an attempt to learn more. Then in Mexico, Nessie-Like 'Monster' Photographed at Mexican Dam Prompts Police Response. No one is saying with any certainty what produced the peculiar circular wake in the water, or what the frightening silhouette below its surface may be. But police are ensuring members of the public keep their distance in order to avoid hysterical crowds or someone inadvertently becoming a snack for an aquatic beastie. (CM)

A groundbreaking academic paper contests the perception many have that the pandemic increased "UFO" sightings. It also challenges traditional skeptical claims that UFO reporting is driven by social excitements rather than actual numbers of odd things in the sky. reproduces the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE) announcement of this Journal of Scientific Exploration paper and offers the link to its abstract and free pdf on the SSE website, at Social Factors and UFO Reports: Was the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Associated with an Increase in UFO Reporting? PhDs Chase Cockrell of the University of Vermont, and Linda Murphy and Mark Rodeghier for the Center for UFO Studies frame the problem, describe their approaches to studying it, show their results graphically and in text, discuss their interpretations, and make suggestions for further applications and study. Scientific organizations and individuals are taking note, for instance in Yale University School of Medicine academic neurologist Dr. Steven Novella's NeuroLogica Blog piece UFOs and the Pandemic. Novella notes the hypothesis employed by the scholars was "agnostic toward the questions of what UFOs...actually are. It treats them as just unknown anomalies," and regards the study as consonant with his skeptical beliefs. Canadian CTV News' Alexandra Mae Jones highlights that Elon Musk's Satellites are Muddling UFO Sighting Statistics, Researchers Say, and elaborates upon the study procedures. The New York Post's Ronny Reyes adds two key charts with Elon Musk's Satellites Trigger Uptick in UFO Sightings, Study Finds. In New Study Investigates the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on UFO Reports Paul Seaburn affirms the research demonstrates "that the public does accurately report what they see in the sky, even if they do not understand what they are viewing." Full disclosure: one of the paper's co-authors, Dr. Linda Murphy, is my wife. (WM)

March 22

Different opinions on differing news items recent and more long-running, beginning with David Halperin who draws parallels between the confusing initial 1947 Army announcement of their "acquisition" and the recent "Balloongate" kerfuffle. A propos "Spy Balloons and UFOs," The Atlantic's Garrett M. Graff presents A History of Confusing Stuff in the Sky. It's an interesting piece, though readers might challenge a few statements. Let's get Hakan Blomqvist's thoughts on The Real Disclosure. Hakan scores the fruitlessness and sidetracking of following the UFO Disclosure chimaera. He presents his "radically different perspective on this issue," knowing the "pushback" he's likely to get from ufologists of most stripes. But Blomqvist's theorizing might find echoes in Michael Grosso's The Most Spectacular Paranormal Event. Michael asserts "certain features of the [Fatima miracle] story are not only parapsychological but also ufological." He expands upon this argument in Why Are We Being Monitored by UFOs? (WM)

This story is a twist on the typical NDE experience. Medical staff claim that a patient awoke in a state of utter terror after nearly dying of a gunshot wound. It seems his spirit briefly checked in at The Other Place, and it was a wildly unpleasant experience. It makes you wonder what folks were thinking when they constructed this Roman-Era Tomb Scattered With Magical 'Dead Nails' and Sealed Off to Shield the Living From the 'Restless Dead'. Did they know more about life after death than we do in modern times, and wanted to ensure nothing from any dark place seeped through into the here and now? Or was there an ancient Roman version of The Walking Dead that kept them wary of corpses? (CM)

This podcast has resided in our "To-Do" file far too long, but fortunately it's both timeless and turns out to be a blast. Host Alex Tsakiris welcomes the creators of "Brothers of the Serpent," billed as "Two brothers explore the mysteries of the ages, the ancients, and the modern day." The Allens have teamed up with ufologist Marty Garza to produce a series that ran nine episodes. The discussion about that is vigorous and wide-ranging if at times perhaps slightly discombobulated, but that rather adds to the enjoyment. Head on over to the Brothers website to catch their Episode 162: UFOs - Part 1. UFO Talker offers two dialogues with one of ufology's most energetic and prolific authors. The Interview with Preston Dennett about Unidentified Submerged Objects has Preston and host Michael Ryan covering strange tales and film examined in Dennett's 2018 Undersea UFO Base: An In-Depth Investigation of USOs in the Santa Catalina Channel. Many cases in Michael and Preston's concluding Part 2 were new to us and nearly "washed us away." Nice short bios of ufological greats and very useful book reviews round out Michael's excellent podcasts. (WM)

March 21

Engineering Flying Saucers The Saucers That Time Forgot
Curt Collins shows the "saucer-shape" was known even before Arnold's motion explanation for the objects he saw was transmogrified into aerial crockery. Next: an early "cow napping" and Linda Moulton Howe on the case as Eyewitnesses Talk about Observing a Landed UFO and Aliens in a field, 1983. Things get a lot more serious in Bob Lazar: Shadows. Turns out this is the third in a Signals Intelligence series exploring, through interviews, little-known facets of Lazar's life and claims—and perhaps bearing upon his credibility. It's rather stark reading, and at its end those who may wish more have links to the first two installments. Fred Andersson has a lighter but still interesting bit of history with He Was a Teenage UFO Photographer: The Most Convincing Photographic Evidence Ever? Andersson argues that Ake Lejon's story and snaps of two UFOs deserve more attention than they've been given, and mourns the apparent loss of the negatives. (WM)

The farmers of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico have long believed that little people, the Aluxes, live among them, protecting crops and livestock and punishing those who fail to treat them with the proper respect. The question that needs answering then is whether the Alux are a dwarf humanoid race, a branch of the fae, or aliens. And then there's TikTok and Its Strange Proliferation of Mysterious Accounts of Skinwalkers. Indigenous elders are unhappy with the trend, given that discussing the topic is considered taboo and dangerous. And that's a warning viewers would do well to heed before blowing off the subject as entertainment.  (CM)

Spanish UFO investigator Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos has spent decades studying world UFO phenomenon/a. He's contributed to UFOs and Government (Anomalist Books), and we regularly highlight his remarkably informative and scholarly UFO Fotocat Blog. Here are his ideas "about the UAP subject, and the main positions about it: the existence or not of real unidentified phenomena, and the extraterrestrial or terrestrial origin, or no origin, if the UAP are not a reality at all." His definitions may challenge; protest that he's generalizing to excess—whatever one's initial reactions might be. (Example: his characterizing Project Blue Book and the "Condon Report" recommending its termination as both "helpful studies.") But Vicente-Juan highlights general weaknesses underpinning much of "modern ufology," honors the true intractability of the phenomenon/a to "pat" explanations, and offers us all a chance to "step back" for a moment and reflect upon/re-examine our core approaches to the subject. Even though one might entertain eventual DoD, NASA, and AIAA study conclusions somewhere between his two starkly antithetical positions of "proven ET visitation," and "total witness perception failures." (WM)

March 20

Headlines that need some attention. We'd heard about around 100 cases of injuries related to UFOs, but "court cases" and specifically "Germany" were new to us. And apparently new to Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough, as well. Sarah Sicard didn't get the story wrong; she includes the Carlson video snippet in her article. Then there's Frying Saucers: US Air Force's Top-secret Probe into 'Humanoid Alien Who Served Witness Pancakes after Landing on His Drive' Revealed. The headline is a bit misleading as the story as related in this article has been "Revealed" for quite some time. But it is a fascinating tale, and Charles Lear's The Flying Saucer Investigators about the "Golden Age of Flying Saucers" sounds interesting. Stephanie Kemmerer has Things To Say about news issues in Planes, Trains, & Conspiracy Theories: From East Palestine to UAP. Note Kemmerer mentions someone in our first article. And Kevin Randle comments on fallout from the February balloons, conspiracy theories, and public educational woes in New AARO Information and UFO Sightings. (WM)

Science has no answer for—and apparently little interest about—a phenomenon Austronesian sailors may have used as long as 6,000 years ago. Ben Taub has the story, conjectures, and potential impacts for our understanding of physics, ocean animals, and human ingenuity. Speaking of ancients surpassing modern knowledge, Mysterious New Behavior Seen in Whales May Be Recorded in Ancient Manuscripts. Researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia believe "a previously unknown feeding strategy in whales around the world" may have been recorded over 2,000 years ago by the Norse. Not only that, but the historical records of "hafgufa" may harken back to earlier works, and many "sea serpent" stories perhaps came from real, observed whale behavior. Another surprise: Archery May Have Originated in Europe 40,000 Years Earlier Than We Thought, according to a team of scholars. They describe the problems in arriving at their discovery, their means of solving them, and the potential impact upon determining why "modern" humans outlasted the Neanderthals. And Steel Was Already Being Used in Europe 2,900 Years Ago, Shows Study. "[A]n international and interdisciplinary team" led by a University of Freiburg (Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany) archaeologist used its own innovative combination of theorizing and creative testing of the theory to date steel's appearance in Spain far before previously thought. (WM)

Four Go Mad in Sumatra Strange Reality
The Centre for Fortean Zoology's Richard Freeman writes about a month-long expedition that he and his team took into the Sumatran jungles to uncover evidence of the orang-pendek. The result is a fascinating story of corruption, danger, a great deal of disappointment, and moments of elation, requiring the kind of resilience that's true only of a dedicated cryptozoologist. Fortunately the adventure was filmed for a documentary, so the pain and pleasure can be shared with a viewing audience. Note: You may decide to scrub any travel plans to Sumatra. (CM)

March 19

YouTube and TikTok are awash with dodgy ghost videos, but every now and again some phantom footage eludes debunkers. Could they be the holy grail parapsychologists have been seeking for a century? Nah, most ghost videos are low effort and Steve Higgins has the lowdown on making them and how one can be vigilant with good hoaxes. In a similar vein Hayley Stevens underscores the point of paranormal media catering to believers rather than encouraging skepticism. She makes a persuasive argument on The False Balance Of Skeptics Vs. Believers because seeing is not believing. Take our pal Tim Binnall whose been leaving voicemails on The Anomalist's phone since Wednesday because he's jazzed about some Security Guard In Singapore Filming A Legendary Ghost Girl. What makes this video so provocative is there's an explanation as to why the security guard was filming in the first place! And if any of our readers happen to live in Bowling Green, Ohio let us know if you hear curious and disturbing sounds in your cornfields. The pseudonymous Undine found a lovely ghost story where a Ghost Is Thriving as part of her Newspaper Clipping Of The Day and the aftermath of murder most foul. (CS)

Cats love catnip, dolphins harass pufferfish to get a buzz, and wallabies love chasing the dragon. Great apes? They love spinning like Sufi Whirling Dervishes, and they seem to do it for similar reasons. Marc Bekoff looks at recent inquiries into this behavior and the queer parallels being drawn between human and ape behavior, along with the potential for similar, inner spiritual lives. On the other paw there are bears. What are bears but the gorillas of the dog world, and Mary Bates shares the revelation of Bears Being Adaptable, And Persistent Problem Solvers. While bears may not discover fire anytime soon, if they get the notion in their head they are tenacious and uncompromising when it comes to finding the solution to a problem. (CS)

The answer to Sofia Navarro's question is vague considering the chupacabras rose to prominence during the early nineties, while many people claim the beast was whispered about by their forebears. While a little light on data and anecdotes, Sofia does link to a nifty video of seven chupacabras caught on camera. Much weirder is The Land Sighting Of Alistair Dallas back in 1936. We find Glasgow Boy up to his ears with accounts of this unusual sighting, coupled with the curious sketch from the encounter, and analyzing both for consistently leading to a compelling argument for Mr. Dallas being on the up-and-up. Also notable is Red Pill Junkie's recent commission as one of the rewards for supporting his Kickstarter for his UFOlogy Tarot project. Dig this Cool Collection Of Cryptids For Coleman as RPJ geeks out on cryptids, his artistic process, along with some valuable input from the Capo di Tutti of Cryptozoology himself — Loren Coleman. Quite a treat! (CS)

March 18

Governmental secrecy isn't confined to saucers, true believers. When a space rock crashed 'round Papua, New Guinea in 2014 the hallowed halls of science were fascinated by the fact this rock was the first known interstellar object to reach Earth. Since the announcement — radio silence. But Tim Marchman is on the track and lays out his quixotic endeavor to get a straight answer via FOIA. (CS)

Quicker than you can say "Sarah Connor", Michael Franco has found compelling research proving a science fiction trope for tidally-locked planets. Y'know the ones where one side faces the parent star and the other has constant night, but the crepuscular band known as the terminator is human-habitable? Ana Lobo and pals turned Earth into one in a simulation, and quite possibly turned the search for exoplanets on its ear. Our solar system kinda-sorta has a tidally-locked planet — Venus. She has many secrets hidden beneath her nebulous veils, but geophysicist Robert Herrick has detected Proof Of Active Volacnos On Venus at long last! A remarkable revelation thirty years in the making and David Rothery has the 411 on this momentous development. (CS)

As Moheb Costandi says, "Perception is not a passive process of merely seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting or smelling". In fact it's much weirder taking Alice In Wonderland Syndrome as an example. It's like patients are hallucinating without assistance, and dismissed as harmless by physicians but Roberta Angheleanu reveals these perceptions can say a lot about consciousnesss and deserve further inquiry. In lighter news Ross Pomeroy looks back at This Chinese 'Illness' Causing Men To Think Their Penis Is Disappearing born not of a virus or bacteria, but the mind. Knowing that the radical cure for this malady makes a lot of sense and, unlike COVID, koro has been largely eradicated from red China. (CS)

Were cave artists made up entirely of middle school shop teachers, or is there a different explanation for the 'missing' fingers from prehistoric 'hand stencils'? Living through an ice age can be brutal, especially to the extremeties, but perhaps the missing fingers were intentional? Get into the gory details with armchair anthropologist Greg Taylor who shares some provocative hypotheses, the most intriguing being how these stencils might be communicating to us across the aeons. (CS)

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