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The Anomalist

February 26

Like last February, inflation's commanding military monitoring and mainstream media headlines. We're of course talking about another high-altitude balloon traversing US skies. CBS News has the particulars and last year's context. Live Now Fox follows with Balloon over US Was Likely Hobbyist, Officials[sic] Says. It has additional context including current interest from governmental officials representing states affected, plus a recycled video of last year's Chinese balloon deflation. A local Fox affiliate has footage of a Weird 'Alien' Object Spotted in Sky Over California City. Tim Binnall says the "skeptical" [logical?] notion for what looks like a male Siamese Fighting Fish is a "kite." To complete our quick look at odd-but-explicable aerial phenomena, Tim also gives us a Strange UFO Swarm Filmed Over Chinese City. Some say "bugs," but noting the Chinese mastery of such displays and apparent partial coordination of these objects we whimsically suggest its maybe a "drone swarm" in training. (WM)

In this day and age you might expect us to have answers for every anomaly, but that's just not so. For example, in 1988 this woman in Florida inexplicably began producing goldleaf directly on her skin. Testing by investigators showed no signs of trickery although the chemical makeup of the substance proved to be more similar to brass than gold. Next we look at A Strange Light Experience. In this incident, philosopher Michael Grosso felt as if bright light was emanating from his left eyebrow area, and it was in fact physically visible, not merely a perceptual manifestation. The experience was evidently profoundly peaceful and not all that unusual when considered together with other reported light phenomena. (CM)

What's catching the attention of our South American neighbors... The Institute of Hispanic Ufology conveys this near-lyrical description of two strange descents off of the picturesquely-described Chilean coast. Inexplicata also offers Carlos Bolaños' article from Ecuador: Full Video of Alleged UFO Sighting Over Quito Released. The vid, from last October, raises the question "What's Wrong With The Recording?" But it's apparently better than the viral version. Also in Ecuador: Ministry Has Proof of UFO Sightings. The Ecuadorian Commission for UFO Research operated between 2005 and 2007, recording a variety of then-current and past UFO observations, in spite of hindrance by and eventual closure "on account of the [whose?] CIA." And "hot off the presses," a photo of An Anomalous Object from Argentina is shared by Santiago Altamirano. (WM)

February 25

At most any fortean might know of Anna Fort is she enjoyed the cinema. Yet Anna was a human being with a mind and a soul strong enough to capture Fort's attention and heart, perhaps more strongly than his beloved newspaper archives. After all there was a strong connection between the two, Charles writing in squalor as Anna worked herself to the bone to support his endeavors. As Kirsten Bakis notes, it's not so much what has been written about Anna Fort that tantalizes but the absences between those missives hinting at her deeply held mysteries which also captivated her husband. A worthy Sunday read! (CS)

Lost and presumed extinct for twenty years, the Yellow-crested Helmetshrike is back! Braving the deepest corners of Africa, a team from the University of Texas at El Paso struck avian gold by proving hope springs eternal for those presumed extinct. Also known for their singing prowess, baleen whales fill the seas with their songs but left scientists wondering, "How do they sing without drowning?" According to Helen Briggs and (the aptly named) Victoria Gill this Whale Song Mystery Solved By Scientists. The process is environmentally friendly since it involves recycling with an elegant solution. Keep reading as drowning seems to be the least of a baleen whale's problems when it comes to their globe-spanning chorus. A little bit odder than Tim Binnall is the headline Scottish Woman Films Big Cat In Backyard last Thursday. Could it be a rare sighting of Felis silvestris silvestris? Perhaps an unusually large moggie? Or did Annie Mitchell bear witness to something truly outré? Watch the video and judge for yourself, true believers. (CS)

Thank you for this joyous update, Jon Christian and Eliezer Yudkowsky, since there's an early out regardless of which dotard is elected in November. They namecheck all the best techno-apocalypse scenarios from popular culture. Yet if one reads Tom Lamont's original piece at The Guardian, the reaction to such declarations is nuanced especially among self-styled luddites exercising a healthy amount of skepticism. Others still appear eager to welcome our new artificially intelligent overlords. (CS)

February 24

Way out at the rim of our sun's domain, existence is cold and presumably static. Frozen in time for aeons. Not so, writes Mark Kaufman, based on recent observations of Eris and Makemake. Despite the frigid frontier, those icy worlds are lively like our closer neighbors raising all sorts of possibilities. What astronomers haven't found yet, sorry Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, is "Planet 9". Take heart as Laurence Tognetti suggests There's One Last Place Planet Nine Could Be Hiding. Where is this final windmill to tilt at? To be blunt, they don't know, yet hope to find candidates with the Legacy Survey of Space and Time way down in Chile. Meanwhile, across the universe, Radio Signals From Orion Nebula Reveal New Data About Strange, Celestial Objects known as JuMBOS or Jupiter-mass binary objects. The radio signals are stronger than anticipated, and unlike brown dwarfs and regular stars nobody knows how JuMBOS are raising such a ruckus. Follow along with Robert Lea as he trips down the rabbit hole, enumerating all the strangeness surrounding these objects that really shouldn't exist in the first place. (CS)

Apprehending all the sensory input of the world requires vast amounts of energy. Anticipation, on the other hand, is efficient and and elegant. In that anticipation, the brain predicts what could happen next based upon experience. Such is Andy Clark's thesis, by way of Brian L. Keeley, for how our minds might function and the intersection with consciousness. If you're wondering "What Is Predictive Processing?" then look no further than Zamir Kadodia's explanation of the phenomenon with three visual illusions taking advantage of your brain's conceits concerning the empirical world. As for empirical evidence for the manifestation of consciousness, consider The Emergent Phenomenon Of Kundalini Awakening. Robert Davis, Ph.D. illustrates the triggers for this phenomenon leading to transformative experiences and the science underpinning the kundalini (CS)

February 23

Revenge of the Termites Life in Jonestown
In a highly significant article Billy Cox describes a shadowy group effort to control and distort UFO-related information. Billy sketches the history and purpose of "a network of cybervandals called Guerilla Skeptics of Wikipedia (GSoW)." Decades of debunking and character assassinations of open-minded UFO proponents have spawned this particular data-control effort. What's so convinced Billy and others about this recent initiative is Matt Ford's UFO Coverup: The Wikipedia Secret Cabal. This podcast features Ford and researcher Rob Heatherly painstakingly laying out the evidence for a wide-reaching conspiracy to "manage and mold" information surrounding paranormal, religious, medical, and other topics and personalities hard skeptics don't favor. Another challenge to UFO/UAP information is exemplified in The Black Vault's Appeal Rejected in Pursuit of UFO Whistleblower's Communications with ICIG. John chronicles his original FOIA request and its denial, and the same for his appeal. He argues that the setback "highlights a lack of transparency in government operations." And Dr. Eric Haseltine has another thoughtful article on barriers to public governmental UFO seriousness, as The Danger of UFOs Is Not What You Think. Instead, the "giggle factor" assigned UFOs stems from an abhorrence of "evidence of uncontrollable or unpredictable changes to our lives," which could "lead us ill-prepared for the next 9/11, pandemic, war, or capitol riot"—not just adversarial military technological leapfrogs, or ET realities. (WM)

The MacLennan Land Sighting Loch Ness Mystery
Roland Watson reviews a historical Nessie sighting from August 1934. The witness description of hoofed feet and a "neck" that may have been more proboscis or tentacle changes our perspective on Nessie considerably. One has to wonder if that is the reason the sighting didn't immediately make it to the local papers. Turning to current events, Group Seeks to Celebrate Legendary Canadian Lake Monster with Massive Sculpture. Municipal council in Peachland, British Columbia, has been approached with a creative proposal: a massive carving to commemorate famed lake monster Ogopogo. Project organizers will even fund the undertaking themselves, so all Council need do is grant them space if local officials approve. (CM)

John Greenewald provides "a valuable resource for understanding the initial stages of official UFO investigations." John explains why "The 'Air Intelligence Division Study: Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the United States' is a crucial document in the history of UFO research." Claire Lark of Lancashire, England's The Gazette offers 19 Extraordinary Retro Pictures of Lancashire UFO Sightings Including Preston, Blackpool and Burnley. While most of these snaps seem explicable, they're another example of local media outlets focusing upon perceived readers' interests in UFOs. Another English offering is The Paranormal Scholar's The Didsbury Incident and the Alien Abduction of Lynda Jones. Missing time led eventually to hypnotic regressions, whose "results were horrifying." And John Keel's August 16, 1968 Taxpayers Pick Up $500 Million Tax both boggles the mind and yet in a way seems rather current at the same time. (WM)

February 22

Host Michael Ryan chats with the author of a biography concerning one of the more enigmatic and intriguing characters in UFO history. Paul Schatzkin's The Man Who Mastered Gravity: A Twisted Tale of Space, Time and The Mysteries In Between covers Townsend Brown the man, his career, and his family in a 453-page tome. Host Michael Ryan has long studied Brown, yet as the interview proceeds his enthusiasm shows how much more he's learned from reading this book. And Joy Ryan's highly effective audio rendition from a chapter is almost lyrical. Some suggest we must rethink basic concepts of what we know and even can know about truly anomalous phenomena. Specifically, how to understand experiences "pointing to a connection with a different reality—a reality we nowadays interpret as 'the UFO phenomenon' but which seems to be more intricate and richer than our current modern stereotypes"? Thus, Miguel "Red Pill Junkie" Romero in The Owls Are Not What They Seem: A Conversation with Mike Clelland, Author of "The Unseen". Mike sees the "Owl-UFO connection" as one of five major associations between the birds and "highly-charged" human experiences. RPJ and Mike cover these and similar topics, discuss the process behind writing The Unseen, and a Kickstarter campaign to fund a professionally-read audio book of the novel. (WM)

A quick world UFO encounters tour... Stan Gordon's always a busy man, and his coverage of a barrage of sighting reports less than a week ago is ongoing. Stan does believe he may have answers soon and will provide an update when such happens. UAP Check cohosts Baptiste Friscourt and Guillaume Fournier Airaud interview Jann Halexander in UFOs in Africa, Encounters and Aftermath. Halexander's The UFO Issue in Central Africa: (Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo) was just published in an English version, and helps fill a serious western knowledge gap concerning a significant UFO history in particularly Central Africa. The conversation highlights cultural influences on UFO reporting and affords good perspective on how European and particularly U.S. approaches to the UFO problem are seen elsewhere. And now for some Remarkably Clear Photos of 'Flying Saucer' Snapped by Woman in Argentina. Tim Binnall has the story and the lively conversation between the television hosts and the energized woman and her husband. (WM)

Karl Shuker delves into the little known subject of the Isabella Quagga, a semi striped, tan-colored zebra hunted to extinction in the latter part of the 19th century. Then on a lighter note we look at the Mysterious 'Thundercow' Becomes Local Legend in Oklahoma. Evidently its circadian rhythm is entirely messed up because it only travels at night, when it grazes around local Thunderbird Lake. Thanks to social media the confused cow has been named Thunder Cow. Sounds like a new superhero genre. (CM)

February 21

Some rather eye-catching headlines and articles to ponder, including this imagery and story of an undersea puzzler. Seems some media folks could promote an exploration and documentary about it. That's been done in other cases and is again in process as described in A 1947 Ghost Rocket Retrieval Attempt Code Named Arctic Seals by Ole Jonny Braenne, MUFON National Director for Norway. This is the follow-on attempt to what Chris Lehto covered back in June, and Braenne says the latest effort starts on February 20th. "News will be posted on the Chris Lehto YouTube channel." And in Anna Paulina's Shocking Comments About UFOs Patrick Scott Armstrong analyzes the UFO/UAP-dogging Congressperson's recent remarks about possession of "UFO tech" and some of her key statements and questions at the historic July 26th House hearing. At podcast's end Armstrong makes an extended plea for discussion without rancor in this field, and promotes another dialogue he'll have with Metabunk's Mick West. (WM)

This podcast episode features an interview with afterlife researcher Mark Boccuzzi. Mark is one of the leaders of the Windbridge Research Center, which is focused on investigating the survival of our consciousness after death. He discusses their research into Instrumental Transcommunication, AI, and the healing power of mediumship. Next we examine The Phantom World Hypothesis of NDEs/OBEs. In the most general terms, the memories and "snapshots" of our life experiences are carried around with us at all times, thereby creating a "phantom world." When we die, as our minds reintegrate with the greater universal mind, this phantom world grows in a process of "inheriting" the perceptions of others. (CM)

Stanford prof and co-founder of The Sol Foundation Garry Nolan speaks at its November 17-18th inaugural event. Nolan offers a remarkable presentation on his work with alleged UAP materials, including some "hot off the press" at the time findings. He also discusses an initiative towards establishing standardized testing protocols for "The Stardust Repository." This is a public, scientific federation effort to analyze such certainly-industrially-processed yet strange materials and make the resultant data freely available. Jeffrey Kripal offers in "Shooting Down Souls... Good Luck with That": Some Paradoxical Thoughts on the UFO Phenomenon from a Historian of Religions. As Kripal introduces, he wrote this essay for The Sol Foundation's event. Kripal examines the UFO phenomenon/a in terms of the seven degrees of strangeness Jacques Vallee proposed in his own Sol Foundation lecture. Kripal argues that a collective of scientific and humanities-based efforts is necessary to make some progress in understanding UFOs, but that in the end we must rethink our basic concepts of what we know and whether we can know the super-reality that UFOs pose "with our present categories and order of knowledge." (WM)

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