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The Anomalist

March 20

Well, reports of flying people, including action figures and witches, are mostly if not totally fake, according to Anthony Bragalia. This may be a surprise and disappointment to some. Bragalia has videos and stills of the faux fliers, performing some rather amazing aerial hijinks in places such as New York City. "Cabal" may be too strong a word, given the public nature of sales promos for such high-rollers, but Bragalia is surely correct in noting the negative consequences possible from uninitiated folks ogling these things for the first time. This article may provoke discussion about the propriety of flying such android aeronauts in other than designated areas, and certainly within 100 meters of landing airplanes! (WM)

Researchers in England recently conducted a forensic study to determine the identity of Jack the Ripper. Analyzing blood stains and other genetic material found on the shawl of one of his victims, scientists were able to connect the evidence to a living descendent of one of the case's prime suspects, who happens to be a barber. We're betting he's awfully skilled at using a straight razor. In other forensic news, Remains Found at Possible Amelia Earhart Crash Site? It certainly sounds likely given that a government official for the island near the crash site has demanded hair and bone samples of remains found in the sunken wreckage. However we have to put our hopes on hold as the recovery effort has been delayed due to an issue with local vs outside labor and a question about who is benefiting from the funding dollars. (CM)

Nick Redfern gives us two studies of UFO high-strangeness of the shape-shifting kind. First up: black helicopters that can morph into one of three different forms. Along the way in this article, Nick sketches the "infamous" Dulce, New Mexico, underground base story as background to one of two very weird specific stories. From Owls to Aliens: Changing Forms considers more up-close shape-shifting, often associated with screen memories in abduction cases. And again, Nick takes us further into the bizarre, with "owlman" stories, including one not before made public. With The Solar Eclipse and the UFO JP Robinson takes us back to 1991 Mexico City and a solar eclipse that uncovered another, stranger vision. Robinson tries to tie said "incredible sighting" to Mayan prophecy and "only the beginning" of Something Big. For reference, The July 11, 1991 Mexico City UFOs: Basic Astronomy Ignored provides an alternative explanation, backed by the work of Texas MUFON's Ron Johnson. (WM)

March 19

Brent Swancer suggests we grab our tin foil hats when we settle in to read this post, and we'd like to add unplugging all electronic devices and covering the windows. This is a crazy story told by a witness who either experienced it For Real, or is profoundly mentally ill with an eidetic memory that prevents him from changing details. Think "Granite Flats" meets "Dr. Who," and then join us on the fence because we kinda sorta want this tale to be true. And here's another mystery that is unlikely to ever be solved: The American Dyatlov Incident: Bizarre Unsolved Deaths and Vanishings in the Wilderness. Five men, all living very functionally with mental disabilities, disappeared in 1978 on the way home from the movies. The bodies of 4 of the men were later found in the nearby mountains, frozen and starved, yet surrounded by food and heat sources and a viable shelter. The body of the 5th was never found. More than 40 years later and authorities are no closer to finding out what or who lead these men to their terrible slow deaths. (CM)

Kevin Randle "wraps up his bracingly well-informed commentary on the season finale of History's Project Blue Book," as Bryan Sentes calls it, with this and the following article referencing episodes 9 and 10. Of the penultimate program, Kevin comments "I suppose the only thing to say about this latest episode is that it was really annoying." Kevin briefly touches upon the actual tv episode, and then provides special information on the real case and its investigation--mostly outside Air Force auspices. With Project Blue Book - The Washington Nationals - Season Finale Kevin focuses upon a remarkable pair of July 1952 incidents involving multiple radars, civilian and military planes, and a very heavy dose of mystery. Media-conscious Kevin carefully distances himself from many critics of the show who feel it should bear more than a tangential relationship to historical fact, saying "I confess that I don't understand their hostility." Cue Bryan Sentes again, in What We Don't Talk about when We Talk about History's Project Blue Book. Bryan shows on multiple levels why "there are good grounds to be critical of how the series depicts the phenomenon." (WM)

Glasgow Boy has got his ire up, reviewing past incidents on the Loch which were so easily dismissed by skeptics as to make one wonder what they were afraid of finding. This isn't to say that he has taken all reported sightings as gospel, rather he is taking issue with skepticism so close minded as to not allow alternative non-monster possibilities. (We're not fans of  stupid people either, GG.) Seems like monster sightings are everywhere though, like The Mysterious Sea Monsters of San Francisco Bay. While not quite so "monstrous" as those reported in Scotland, the sightings nevertheless are of something unexpected in the Bay.  In this case it is neither skeptical nor lunacy to suggest a seal or something similar has made the Bay its home, but the lack of evidence keeps the mystery going. (CM)

UFO history continues to claim our attention. Jim Harold welcomes Ryan Sprague to an easy dialogue about Ryan's Roswell: Mysteries Decoded program on the CW Television Network. Ryan thinks his first effort has conclusively established that a "cover-up" of whatever actually did happen existed from almost the very start, and is hoping for a follow up program to probe other elements in the case. Jim Harold and Ryan make sensible observations on several other UFO topics. Shane Cochrane makes no bones about the fact that We're Not Roswell, We're Portglenone in Northern Ireland. Shane has another outstandingly weird story from the Emerald Isle. On a larger scale, Nigel Watson invokes Cowboys and Aliens when he reviews Circle of Deceit: A Terrifying Alien Agenda in Ireland and Beyond. It's a noteworthy evaluation of a book alerting us to the truly worldwide conundrum of animal mutilations. And Tim Binnall gives us new insights into the Hickson-Parker abductions as Three New Witnesses to the Infamous Pascagoula UFO Incident Emerge. This article contains a short interview with the couple that Calvin Parker mentioned as recently coming forward in his March 13th interview with Kevin Randle on Kevin's A Different Perspective. (WM)

March 18

Here's a wide-ranging sampling of historical UFO events and those who've come under the UFO spell. The Holland/Grand Haven, Michigan sightings of March 8, 1994, featured radar tracking of objects moving off from the state's southwest lower peninsula over Lake Michigan toward Chicago, Illinois, supported by numerous visual ground observations, including police and weather personnel. Will Haenni has a good article on this continuing mystery, weakened by the portion where current-day meteorologists seem to posit windmills as possible sources for the radar returns. In 1952, 'Flying Saucers' Over Washington Sent the Press Into a Frenzy is History's summary of one of the most iconic UFO cases. The story leaves out much, and has some bobbles, but is complemented by a number of news clippings from the time. Nick Redfern tells the bizarre tale of one of the most interesting characters infected with the UFO bug in The UFO Phenomenon: When People Get Sick and Tired. And in Albert Bender's case, that's exactly what happened until he walked away from the field. On the other hand, Stephen Erdmann has been active in UFOs--and conspiracy theories--since the 1960s. Stephen Erdmann takes Paracasters Gene Steinberg and J. Randall Murphy time-traveling through his long career. The affable Erdmann seems willing to entertain most any theory out there for UFOs, though he thinks the ETH is insufficient at best, and has no time for hard-boiled skeptics. (WM)

Back in the Seventies, while the energy crisis and Watergate fought for media attention, a physicist at the Stanford Research Institute was performing experiments in remote viewing that caught the CIA's attention and later turned into the Stargate Project. Dr. Russell Targ was that physicist, and he has endured a lifetime of being labelled a pseudoscientist. Even so, he proposes that an updated theory of spacetime embracing more than the standard 4D concepts could account for ESP. If tearing apart the ideas that bind the universe together causes you some existential angst, you're not alone. (CM)

Those of you who are fans of Seth Breedlove's Small Town Monsters productions--and that's pretty much all of us--will enjoy reading this article on Breedlove's background and how he came to be the documentary filmmaker he is today. Hard to believe any publisher would have turned down books pitched by the monster mastermind, but perhaps Breedlove was just before his time. Next, Nick Redfern takes his turn as horror narrator in Profiling the Skinwalker: A Sinister Shapeshifter. As usual, Redfern takes a concept that is moderately creepy and fills in the gaps with research and witness reports, ensuring a campfire story becomes flat out terrifying. And that's why we are very glad Nick has never turned his hand to writing bedtime stories...(CM)

March 17

Typical causes of foreign accent syndrome involve brain injury, but the Neuroskeptic's scratching his head over Laura McWhirter's findings showing 9% of those studied spontaneously developed the quirk. Funnier than shouting "Fiddle dee dee, potatoes!" in a crowded room full of the Irish, Neuroskeptic lives up to the latter half of his name by making an assumption regarding the patients to dismiss, out of hand, those tenacious 9 percent. Digging deeper into the mind, Luci Gutierrez had some advice as to why Bad Dreams Are Good. In short, dreams are practice for waking life! Seem familiar? It oughta since it "rhymes" with a Harvard Study on Mind Over Matter. Just don't forget to exercise, since Physical Exercise Makes Your Brain Work Better. More mind-over-matter revelations can be found in consciously Maintaining A Good Attitude. If dreams are good enough for us, then it's good enough for our "alien" brothers the cephalopod. Take Mindy Weisberger, who only has two legs, and her reasoning out This Octopus's Dreams (Maybe) Were Written All Over Its Body. That's an invitation, if anyone ever saw one, to commence A Journey Into The Animal Mind. Ross Andersen's been there and back, and illustrates the deep, rich, and complex lives of critters for all the well-meaning couch potatoes of late-stage capitalism. (CS)

Everyone and their neighbor are hot on magic mushrooms, so why not begin a marketing ploy where one argues another kind of fungus could cause hallucinations. And after all ghosts are hallucinations, right? Right? Welp, with her typical elan, Hayley Stevens calls bullshit on bullshit science and bullshit British tabloids trying to turn chasing spooks into a marketing scheme. Far from the splatter of bullshit Greg Taylor, and Graham Hancock, have found More Evidence Of A Comet Catastrophe 13,000 Years Ago and this time it's from South America! The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis is bigger than originally believed! In other news, Brent Swancer digs deeper into The Bizarre Case Of The Ohio River Octoman which remains largely forgotten outside of Cincinnati. Were buckeyes funnin' the rest of the nation with tall tales, or might Octoman be dreaming in his house in New Richmond for the stars to become right. Or the Bengals going to the Super Bowl. (CS)

Don't get too excited, considering Andrew Griffin uses quotes around the words reverse time. It's a simulation based upon a computer run backwards, rather than anything like a TARDIS. The tricky bit involves qbits, which don't always behave in the way people want them to behave. In keeping with the computational motif, Marcus du Sautoy gives his deŭ centimes on the thorny question, "Can An AI Become Conscious?" with a little help from the book everyone has on their shelves, but never read more than a few pages... The Bib... wait... no no no, that's not it! Gödel, Escher, and Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. One wonders if an AI would bother reading it too. Taking a sharp left at Albuquerque, Michael Prescott's ready to school us on topics which are Deeper Than Science while remaining steadfastly accessible. His theme? Greyfaces who say, "These are the rules of science" followed by middens of excuses as to why there are special circumstances when it comes to their unfalsifiable pet projects. A seriously good read! (CS)

March 16

While KIC 8462852 is 1,470 light years from Earth, EPIC 204376071 is right around the corner on cosmological scales. Brett Tingley's been braving the bitter, late winter evenings and took a moment to share his latest discovery with you puny earthlings. Perhaps if someone aims one of their radio ears at that star, they might catch one of those fast radio bursts making The Daily Galaxy wonder "What's Going On Out There?" Not even the greyfaces have been able to explain the deepening mystery of FRBs, but they're poised to open a couple new cans of worms. Closer to home by a long shot, Tim Binnall wasn't sparking a fatty when this Odd "Sheet Metal" Spotted On Mars landed on his desk. Figuratively, not literally. Look for yourself and decide if it's a mere simulacrum, or evidence of you-know-who. Rounding out our, well, round-up, Yasemin Saplakoglu noticed how Water Molecules Bounce Around On The Moon. How? Let's just say the obvious, dismissive explanation doesn't hold water. (CS)

Aww yeah, Tsakiris is still at it and welcomes postmodern occultist Gordon White to the podcast to chew the fat on the intersection of magick and advanced science, and its imminent impact upon the 21st century. Now that you've been initiated into the deep mysteries, Bernardo Kastrup beckons to you to apprehend The Dawn Of A Post-Materialist Academic Worldview, and its proponents out-Hegel'ing Hegel himself! Yet the occult isn't all musty-dusty grimoires and staid people in blood-stained robes, as there are those who pursue its dionysiac aspects with gusto. Case in point: White Witchcraft, replete with David Bowie, hard drugs, and the deconstruction of Western occult traditions into something new and markedly more powerful than Crowley could've imagined. (CS)

Son of the Sun by Orfeo Angelucci Mark Russell Bell's Blog
Early Contactee Orfeo Angelucci is best known for his book The Secret of the Saucers. Mark Russell Bell here extensively quotes from another Angelucci book which presents the story of yet another Contactee. The material is a bit hard to follow at times, with entities changing names and such, and a recurrent theme in the narrative recalls suggestions of hallucinogenic substance involvement. Hakan Blomqvist gives us another Contactee-based article with Dane Rudhyar and Esoteric Intervention. We learn that the "Planetary Guardians" of the older Esoteric Tradition apparently started cooperating with the "alien visitors" in the 1950s and after in their generally benevolent plans to lead humanity "upwards." It certainly seems the Contactee Universe is a crowded place. On a somewhat more mundane plane, "ultraterrestrial" ufologist John Keel's correspondence also illuminates the heyday of Contacteeism. A Letter to Charles Bowen, September 19, 1966 among other things touches upon NICAP's aversion towards "contact stories of any type." Keel notes the "remarkable and gratifying" change in public attitude he sees towards the UFO subject, and that there are still publishing limitations on how far a writer can go with "some of the wilder cases." Look also for what Keel says about "the tall, hairy creature." John is quite the detective, says Keel site manager Doug Skinner of A Letter to Charles Bowen, November 12, 1966. After reading this letter you'll likely agree. (WM)

March 15

This may be the year that To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science gets its several stated missions in gear. In May, TTSA and the History Channel will put out a six-part series highlighting the work of To The Stars. Tim Binnall's account and the press release for "Unidentified" highlight what may be new information to be presented in the show. TTSA History Channel Trailer includes an informative video stressing the risks Tom DeLonge and other key TTSA people have taken in forming that organization. Danny Silva highlights the claim that TTSA is "building the world's first artificial intelligence database of unexplained events." Silva's UFO Databases contains more information on some of the databases currently out there. This article includes four useful summary slides shown during Luis Elizondo's presentation at last year's MUFON International Symposium. And Brett Tingley offers us Tom Delonge's To the Stars Academy Wants to Warp Spacetime. Tingley provides his own analysis of TTSA history and summarizes recent research Keith Basterfield did into TTSA's 2019 focus on its Science Division, with a useful end note on another upcoming Tom DeLonge tv series. (WM)

The strange booms plaguing the US are now fully explained, and the responsible parties are being held accountable--said No One Ever. The biggest and baddest of the weird noises occurred last week in Florida where witnesses described an event that felt as if they were punched in the gut and the air sucked out of their lungs. Considered a seismic event, authorities have shockingly (kidding!) been unable to identify its source. So Mystery Booms Continue as Competing Explanations Surface, from actual explosions to sonic booms, earthquakes, and potential terrorist activity.  Occasionally a verifiable cause gets thrown in just to keep us all off balance, but as the number of incidents in the US multiply the situation has gone from mysterious to downright troubling. (CM)

Calvin Parker and Pascagoula Fame A Different Perspective
A participant in one of the most iconic, yet offbeat, abduction experiences has, after years of general silence, told his side of the incident in Pascagoula-The Closest Encounter: My Story. Kevin Randle covers some of this new ground with Calvin Parker, and especially noteworthy is the part about other witnesses to that night's events. Sequoyah Kennedy takes up this theme in New Witnesses Come Forward in 1973 Pascagoula Alien Abduction Case. Kennedy elaborates upon the information Parker discussed in his interview with Kevin Randle. And Nigel Watson reviews a book about one man's quest to investigate this case in Passing Through Pascagoula. A Greek Radio Officer on a cargo ship that docked at that port spent his shore time visiting the abduction site, and even interviewed the other human participant in the encounter, Charles Hickson. The book The Road to Pascagoula: A Research Trip-1981 sounds like a pleasant example of a personal response to the UFO mystery. (WM)

A family in Florida is ready to pull up stakes and sell their house if the resident spook doesn't get out first. Apparently the obnoxious entity is fairly hostile, and the family is well past making peace--either it goes, or they will. No word on whether "ill tempered ghost" is a real estate selling point. Now when it comes to tourism, the more frights the better: The Terrifying History Of Room 311 At The Haunted Read House Hotel. As is typical of such establishments, there is a history of tragedy and vice, with much of it focused on a room where hearts were broken and love--and lives--were lost. Alas, for the time being only guided tours are available and visitors hoping to stay in the ill-fated room will have to satisfy themselves with room service and scary movies. (CM)

March 14

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, soon to be the parents of another tax burden on the struggling populace, are due to move into their refurbed "cottage," courtesy of Granny Lillibet. Will the wailing in the night be the newborn demanding its silver spoon, or will it be the complaining spirits of former royal freeloaders, long-deprived of their butlers and hunting horns? Well, as the couple's new pad is big enough to accommodate more than 20 families, there'll be room for everyone and maybe even enough for Meghan's shoes and dresses. But back in the days of the first Queen Elizabeth, who also lived large at the public expense, there was The Strange Case of the Woman Who Gave Birth to a Demon Cat. Widely regarded as a hoax in its own time, it caused a stir nonetheless, stoked by fear and superstition. Which takes us neatly to The Darker Side of Irish Fairy Lore: When Encounters Turn Dangerous. If you prefer your fairies to be sweet, gossamer-winged folk bringing comfort and joy to mortals prepare to be dismayed at this round-up of what happens When Fairies Turn Bad. Kidnapping, madness, and gory revenge await those who cause offense to these little people. (LP)

Here are several recent photographic cases from South and Central America. The lead article concerns named witnesses, a clear though distant photograph, and information about a "UFOport" managed by "Antonio Zuleta, a student of matters extraterrestrial and a 'UFO hunter'." Moving north, we have Costa Rica: Unidentified Object at Sunrise. No details here, but some nice pictures and people will remark the volcano "connection" we often see. Still farther north, in Mexico: Alleged UFO Sightings at Cerro del Aguacate in Paracuaro claim our attention. Turns out this is a "repeater" site--but the videos do not inspire much confidence. Finally, Mexico: Residents of Hermosillo Startled by UFO has a landmark hill, Cerro de la Campana, which seems to have attracted its own UFO. There are apparently several videos of the object, and the article notes that no expert has suggested an identification. (WM)

Pleistoscene Park here we come! 28,000-year-old material from a frozen cell proved viability to scientists, giving hope for the return of the wooly mammoth! If their resurrection isn't motivation enough for humans to halt global warming, I don't know what is! Also from the hallowed halls of Maverick Science at Anomalist University, the John Keel building if you must know, visiting scholar Mindy Weisberger contemplates if An Octopus's Dreams (Maybe) Are Written All Over Its Body based upon some hypnotic footage floating through these here interwebs. (CS)

Three efforts attempting to tease out different aspects of the UFO phenomenon and those who study it. Robbie Graham argues that UFO movies (and tv shows) strongly impact our "perceptions of the phenomenon," and we should try to "separate the fact from the fantasy" if we care about UFOs. Project Blue Book, anyone? Stimulated by the example of East Asian art, Rich Reynolds suggests of UFO reports It's Not "the Absence of Evidence" Mantra that Matters; it's the "Absence" itself. Rich looks for the reality of UFOs in the "missing information" of UFO reports. Rich also thinks We (UFO Enthusiasts) are Going Far Afield in Trying to Explain UFOs. He feels that what Bryan Sentes calls the "UFO Effect" is being focused upon to the detriment of trying to prove the core reality and nature of UFOs themselves. Rich and Bryan debate this further in the Comments section. (WM)

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