EdgeScience 54


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The Anomalist

July 13

Without their fancypants sensors to see that which is invisible to the human eye, these queer formations in the atmosphere of Earth's southern hemisphere could have gone unnoticed. Thanks to the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), NASA boffins have spied two shapes resembling Latin characters but they can only say their cause isn't precipitated by solar or volcanic activity. I would like to note a correlation to consider—The South Atlantic Anomaly and it may have something to do with our planet's magnetic field in that region. First thing that Patrick and I thought of upon reading Jamie Carter's piece at LiveScience was noctilucent clouds. Remember those? Well, they're back as an Astronaut Snaps Strange Iridescent Clouds At The Edge Of Space. Elisha Sauers has a bunch of super-nifty photos along with the prevailing theory behind the phenomenon. Among other telluric mysteries, Gravitational Wave Researchers Cast New Light On Antikythera Mechanism Mystery. By no means are Graham Woan and Joseph Bayley suggesting ancient Greeks built a LIGO analogue before it twinkled in Caltech's eye. Rather the A-Mech, as the kids today like to call it, seems to have used the lunar calendar instead of a solar calendar. What's cooler is this discovery elucidates more about the device's construction back in the day. (CS)

Who's up for Moony McMoonface, fam? A handful of pebbles swarming around Earth orbit have gone unnamed since the Big Bang and now the IAU reckons it's time they had a name. You probably haven't seen or even heard of them, but here's your chance to dub one. Already a few have kooky names, thanks to the kids of astronomers, as Monisha Ravisetti writes in her piece along with clarifying everything about this moon-naming contest. In similar news, the accursed International Astronomical Union notorious for redefining what constitutes a planet back in 2006 wants to redefine their redefinition again. Or as Jacob Knutson puts it, Pluto's Not Coming Back, But Astronomers Want To Redefine Planets Again. 😮‍💨 This is an easy read being an ersatz listicle rather than a real article, presenting easy-to-digest bullet and talking points so one can appear smarter at parties. On the bright side, there's no mention of Mike Brown or Konstantin Batygin who are presumably too occupied tilting at non-existent windmills at the rim of our solar system. (CS)

Ever since we broke the news on May 18th, there's been a quite a bit of hubbub over potential Dyson spheres detected by astronomers. Matthew Rozsa caught the attention of a few astronomers to address the big green elephant in the room, and these eggheads explain why there's no need to invoke Giorgio Tsoukalos in these cases. Among other disheartening linkables Denyse O'Leary feels its her duty to present her hypothesis of Yes, E.T. Existed — But Mainly In The Past. There is hope since she believes in the wisdom of invoking Harvard's Avi "Where's My Hugo Award" Loeb along with another paper from two Harvard alums concerning the cryptoterrestrial hypothesis Yeah, okay, but good lord why are they studiously ignoring the fact their writings wouldn't be worth a plug nickel without the late and lamented Mac Tonnies? Gentle reader, we urge you to read Mac's seminal tome before deigning to humor these Harvard eggheads. We know your head is bloodied but still not bowed, so we know you're tough enough to endure Keith Cooper's consideration of The Great Silence — Just 4 In 10,000 Galaxies May Host Intelligent Aliens. How did Robert Stern and Taras Gerya come to this conclusion? The outdated Drake Equation. On the bright side the keyword here is 'intelligent' so there may be a lot of non-sapient life out there just waiting to be factory farmed into blue hamburgers and violet hot dogs. Yet their hypothesis for a hypothesis isn't so cut-and-dried like so much Europan jerky since there are other details to be considered when it comes to life arising then ascending into intelligence. (CS)

July 12

That magnesium-zinc-bismuth hunk of stuff that was purportedly recovered from a crashed extraterrestrial vehicle in 1947 and which has caused so much furor within the ufological world seems terrestrial. So says the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). This is after analysis at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (coincidentally where former AARO head Sean Kirkpatrick now works). What's more, the postulated functioning of the material as a "terahertz waveguide" is challenged. John Greenewald summarizes the findings and makes available the two studies behind these conclusions: Synopsis: Analysis of a Metallic Specimen and All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office Supplement. Experts may debate the results of the impressive array of tests, as well as certain methodological work and "transparency" claims. Matthew Gault certainly has no qualms. His Pentagon Publishes Report on Material From an Alleged Alien Aircraft notes the AARO speculation as to what the main specimen's purpose likely was, and provides additional context and background to the case. (WM)

Here's a pair of stories that will perplex our readers until they realize they are likely tech fails or hoaxes. In this first story a girl walking on the road in Mexico is captured by security camera. She then proceeds to slowly fade away into nothingness. Like a spook. Or a malfunctioning camera. Then in Ontario, Canada, there was a Mystifying Three-Legged Man Filmed at Canadian Railway Crossing. It's entirely likely that the person who submitted the video doctored it with the help of AI, but it's also possible it was a practical joke on the part of the participants. Or maybe there's something in the water there and he wasn't the only three-legged person in town. (CM)

The "TMZers" tackle two popular current UFO-related questions, as Catherine Stoddard reports. Our headliner has the crew providing "rapid-fire" answers, covering most of the possibilities for that reticence. We're reminded that former President Trump has recently answered talk-show-host queries on UFOs, with responses rather in character with prior holders of the office. The TMZ crew also considers whether the Vatican is hiding UFO secrets. Note: most ufologists think the Mussolini-1933 Magenta Italy crash story is a hoax, perhaps perpetrated by "Those Who Brought You 'MJ-12.'" They make several interesting points concerning medieval art. On another matter, Sumanti Sen of the Hindustan Times asks Do UFOs 'Target' High-speed Planes, Warheads and Nuclear Reactors? Experts Weigh In. The Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU) has published three papers analyzing this question, as Kevin Wright summarizes (with references) in SCU Publishes Pattern Study 1945-1975 Military And Public Activities. The most comprehensive book on the subject is Robert Hastings' UFOs & Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, second edition. Thanks to Chris Frantz for the useful discussion. (WM)

July 11

If you follow cryptid history, you'll find there are more encounters around bodies of water than inland areas. About 55 years ago a "furry, scaly Goat Man creature" terrorized the community of Fort Worth, Texas, around the area of Lake Worth. To date it's unclear whether it was a hoax or something more ominous. Now let's look at The Dark Side of This Famous Oregon Lake Nobody Talks About. Crater Lake National Park has been the site of a disproportionate number of disappearances and drownings, given it's only fully open for a few weeks each year. The official numbers don't look quite as menacing as they do for bigger parks, but officials still advise travelers to leave their itineraries with loved ones prior to entering. Meanwhile, Famed Monster Hunter Films Funnel Cloud Forming Over Loch Ness. It was evidently an awe-inspiring phenomenon to witness, particularly given the history of the Loch's dark waters and resident monster. (CM)

This article reflects the current major issue in UFO photography: hoaxing. Danny Gutmann's article seems to indicate the "frenzy" was the division between "believers" in the footage's "authenticity," and those using the "CGI" explanation. While one "TikToker" claims "there's galactic rules," they also remark the apparent lack of "public unrest," which seems to weigh against a factual reality. Another Mirror report says a Man Catches Mysterious 'Long Object' Moving across Moon in Sky above London. Paige Freshwater has the footage and some of the photographer's speculations. Perhaps much closer to home, Tim Binnall has the "continuing story" as the Roswell-Bound 'Flying Saucer' Stopped Again. Seems the Oklahoma Highway Patrol pulled the craft over a few days after the Crawford County Missouri Sheriff's deputy had done so, both prior to the July 5-7 Roswell UFO Festival. On the 3rd we reported the Missouri traffic stop and will apprise you should more updates come in on the vehicle's return trip to "Krypton" (actually Indiana)! (WM)

The hyperbolic headline aside, Eric Wargo, the author of three books on precognition, has a wide ranging conversation with Danny Jones about non-linear time, precognitive dreams, retrocausality, free will, and our 4-dimensional universe, among other mind-bending topics. Wargo's latest book, From Nowhere: Artists, Writers, and the Precognitive Imagination, published by Anomalist Books, is reviewed by Fred Andersson on the website of the Society for Physical Research. "...I do not think that Eric Wargo is crazy, not at all," writes Andersson. "There is something real here, a hypothesis of where imagination comes from, specifically in creative people, where dreams, visions, and insights function as time loops, transferring future experiences back in time to the artist’s younger self. An idea may seem to spring from nowhere, but, if Wargo is right, it is more like tomorrow's newspaper is produced by an old-school printing press, until it develops and lands in our imagination. One thing is very clear after reading From Nowhere; it starts internal processes, maybe hypothetically even relays future information through the inspirations that come from reading it!" (PH)

July 10

Noting that "the potential health security dimensions" of UAP are still underexplored, this Executive Summary of the Sol Foundation's latest paper considers important questions regarding "these low-probability, high-consequence scenarios." Recognizing its speculative nature, it makes solid if resource and leadership-intensive recommendations, and is a very welcome effort from this important, private scientific organization. (The current Vol. 1 No. 4 and the three previous papers may be downloaded at the bottom of this Summary.) Another quite noteworthy article is Mikhail Gershtein's A Short History of UFO Research in the Former Soviet Union. It's a fascinating story of official repression, rather heroic individual efforts, conflicts within organizations, lost archives, and a gradual "softening" of the public governmental stance towards UFO studies—worthy of comparison with other countries' experiences. Gershtein's important contribution benefits from reviews by Jeff Knox and Sveva Stallone. Completing this discussion of significant articles from differing UFO perspectives is Bernie O'Connor's discussion with Fin Handley on The Art and Science of Recreating UFO Sightings. Bernie found Fin's YouTube channel Fin365 and was moved "by the sudden empathy I felt for the witnesses" figuring in its animated videos. We have experienced rather similar impressions from Handley's awesome work. Fantastic and evocative art imitating some kind of "reality." (WM)

Recent remarkable discoveries are enriching our knowledge of ancient peoples—while at the same time engendering new mysteries. Michelle Starr has perhaps the most perplexing case, in which a Venezuelan site presents no easy connection to its makers. And the petroglyphs themselves are tantalizingly puzzling. Then we have Ruth Schuster who takes us far away in geography and most likely time in her post about the Earliest Narrative Cave Art Older Than Once Thought: Sulawesi Pigs Painted Over 51,000 Years Ago. In her inimitable often-humorous and very readable style, Schuster explains how a new dating method has pushed back the antiquity of a number of figurative paintings on the island, while not solving some of the enigmatic scenes' depictions. And while the Sulawesi artists were likely in part focused upon pigs as food, Schuster next conducts us to Tibet, as in a Dinner at the Denisovans: Blue Sheep were part of the fare. Ruth's story here is also an intriguing one of surprises, deductions/speculations, and special scientific techniques—in this case something called "ZooMS." (WM)

There's usually that one kid in a group who reminds everyone how to stay safe and basically stops the rest of the gang from doing anything stupid. Those kids grow up into the kind of responsible adults we're reading about today. The first is a teacher in a school in India who grew weary of his students' insistence that the building was haunted. So he spent the night there and as a result became awesome in their eyes. Next, that Mystery Monolith Removed by Colorado Farm, after the owners decided they'd had enough of their crops being trampled and their property being damaged by inconsiderate curiosity seekers. They kept the monolith though—maybe it will make a good coffee table. (CM)

July 9

Jesse Marcel, grandson of the Jesse Marcel who reignited the short-lived Roswell flame of July 1947 thirty years afterward, has just added more tinder to the fire that's burned bright and dull ever since. The 57-year-old Marcel says a "beam as light as a feather but as strong as steel" likely still exists in a location unknown to anyone but himself. Apparently he doesn't believe the direst suggestions of what could happen to the sole holder of such knowledge and material. Also starring in the article is Nick Pope. Tanner F. Boyle has another episode in his outstanding series titled Christopher Bledsoe and the UFO Cult of Intelligence, Pt. 5. The enigmatic Tim Taylor continues to play a major role in Chris Bledsoe's life and integration of his perceived experiences, and even Led Zeppelin "makes an appearance!" And completing this look at UFO History Past and Present, Curt Collins tells us about The Professor's Message from Space. The "Professor" in this case is George Adamski, the first UFO "Contactee," and Curt relates the story of the man and the movement he inspired. Curt's standard archival research animates this presentation, and he always seems to find many details about his subjects that even the decades-long UFO-interested will see as "new" to themselves. (WM)

The first in a pair of ghost posts deals with the Ahwahnee Hotel, a location so eerie that it inspired some of the sets in the horror movie The Shining. The spooks however seem to be former guests who simply enjoyed their stays. But if you want a slice of paranormal disturbance for yourself, the Most Haunted House in New Orleans Up for Sale. The original proprietor was a slave owner with a penchant for cruelty and abuse, so the spirits here are not resting in peace. If you check it out, go prepared to treat its ethereal occupants with a modicum of respect. (CM)

Well, UFOs have made People magazine again, but with what seems like a "filler" article whose text is sadly out-of-date and unbalanced. But Brian J. Allen has a book out, which Nigel Watson reviews in A Hole in the Theory?. Watson calls Brian J. Allan's tome "a heady brew of UFOs"—and just about every other paranormal topic as well. Allan's work is The Hole In The Sky, and skeptical Watson nonetheless praises the book's organization, while regarding its evidence and assumptions rather "flimsy." One of Watson's repeated "bad sources" gets treated in Coast to Coast's 'Skinwalker Ranch' Top 5 UFO Sightings. The "fascinating video" is a "Best of the First Four Years" collection, as described in the accompanying text. Some of the footage in this made-for-tv collection is indeed interesting; and it would be good were the actual data collected and conclusions reached defended in a scientific/technical/academic publication for independent review. (WM)

July 8

How's this for a headline to start the work-week? Jon Austin gives the gist of the anonymous witness' statement to Peter Davenport's National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC). Whatever one makes of this, "Roswell" continues to be the "gift that keeps on giving." Another example: Alex Ross of the Roswell Daily Record tells How One Man Became a Believer in UFOs. Speaking at the past weekend's 2024 UFO Festival there, retired psychology professor teacher Jerry Kroth related his "life-altering experience." And 'There Is Science Still To Be Done In Roswell:' UFO Expert Nick Pope says. Rich Johnson has the summary of Natasha Zouves' included interview with the retired British Ministry of Defence "UFO Desk" official. (WM)

The Vatican recently issued updated guidelines for dealing with claims of miracles and apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Those guidelines are getting their first workout with a woman who has a history of fraudulent activities. She claims to have witnessed a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mother weeping blood, as well as a miraculous multiplication of pizza and gnocchi dumplings to feed a crowd of people. Safe to say the Vatican is not being terribly quick to believe her claims. In the meantime, 'God's Influencer': Carlos Acutis Named First Millennial Saint Following 2006 Death.The young man passed away at the age of 15 from leukemia, after having lived a devoutly Christian life. He has already been credited with a number of miracles and his body appears to be remaining incorrupt. (CM)

Bernie O'Connor interviews the Reverend Ray Boeche about one of the most outstanding recent contributions to UFO and larger paranormal studies. Ray "is making an incredible collection of [John] Keel's work available for free." Ray spent hundreds of hours assembling and improving the legibility, and producing a PDF of Keel's Anomaly newsletter. Ray and Bernie discuss how Ray benefited from Keel's kind advice and participation in two Fortean Research Center conferences in Ray's home state of Nebraska. They also cover how Keel's groundbreaking work convinced Ray that the "paranormal spectrum" was broadly interrelated. Keel's Operation Trojan Horse: The Classic Breakthrough Study of UFOs, and The Eighth Tower: On Ultraterrestrials and the Superspectrum—both reprinted by Anomalist Books—are essential books for every Fortean library. Rev. Boeche mentions "a Christian perspective" to these works' value, as well. Ray has also collected the entire 23 issues of the Journal of the Fortean Research Center. Ray thanks Doug Skinner whose Keelian commemoration is at Rest in Peace, John! and preceded by Skinner's Much Ado About Maps. Doug thinks this exchange of letters alludes in part to John's Operation Trojan Horse book. (WM)

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