EdgeScience 46


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The Anomalist

September 16

A group of soldiers from a base in Hereford, England, have discovered that contacting the dead is an activity best left to the sober and not engaged in as a party trick. They're dealing with the consequences now, and we're questioning their decision-making abilities. If drunken guests want to liven things up, may we suggest The “Haunted” App That Leads to Creepy Things and Dead Bodies. Just remember to call a cab or you'll run the risk of becoming a spook yourself, taking who knows how many others with you. For anyone who's either really serious about ghosts, (or really bored), Haunted House Boasting Nine Ghosts Goes on the Market in Upstate New York. The $444,444 asking price seems low and is non-negotiable, so it might be worth bringing along a home inspector as well as a ghost hunter before signing on the dotted line. (CM)

Veteran Australian researcher Bill Chalker alerts us to a new podcast dedicated to displaying Australia's rich ufological history. In one episode Bill discusses several cases from his earlier years literally in the UFO field, and those he was allowed to review from the Royal Australian Air Force files. Bill's North West Cape, Mount Butler and the Oz Twilight Zone covers three of the more outstanding cases he studied. Bill also offers a book review in "Redemption of the Damned" - The Two Volume Collection, by Martin Shough and Wim van Utrecht (Anomalist Books). Calling them "among the best books that provide excellent standards of study of UFO and UAP related phenomena," Bill first profiles Vol 1: Aerial Phenomena, which examines "all 82 of the aerial mysteries described by [Charles] Fort in his" The Book of the Damned--those phenomena that science has excluded from consideration. The most recent Shough/van Utrecht collaboration organizes Vol. 2: Sea and Space Phenomena cases from that 1919 book into categories of "Worlds that Never Were," "Stigmata on the Sun & Moon," "Transient Lunar & Martian Phenomena," "Fire from the Deep," and "Plunging Fireballs." Both "Highly recommended" volumes focus serious modern research upon elucidating these mysterious anomalies. (WM)

The remarkable career of a complicated genius comes to a sad end in this last of a four-part series. W.C. "Lefty" Levengood's legacy may be debated--but unassailable is the "enduring contribution to future generations of curious naturalists" he and his late wife made. Previous Parts are linked at the beginning of this concluding article. The Observer also offers a substantial piece on Water UFOs!. It chronicles what researchers of various stripes and others have published about Unidentified Submersible Objects, echoing Ivan T. Sanderson's observation "that nobody really has a clue as to what is going on." An earlier article about Archaeology on Alien Planets also deserves notice. Here The Observer reviews Dr. James Benford's intriguing speculations about "Benford beacons" and "Lurkers," with opportunities to do "xenoarchaeology" by going to other locales in our solar system or just scanning unstudied millions of "detailed lunar photographs" by computer! (WM)

September 15

Some unusual cases with likely mundane causes open with Miguel "Red Pill Junkie" Romero's illustrated tale of a light show caused one way or another by a huge earthquake. "RPJ" describes how the lights anomaly has recently entered "the field of legitimate science," though "[S]keptics sometimes attempt to explain these atmospheric phenomena as a result of exploding electrical transformers or thunderstorms." Enter David Bressan, who seems not to have read the New Scientist article RPJ mentions. Bressan's 'Light Shows' Filmed During Mexico Quake Are Neither Earthquake Lights Nor UFOs does allow earthquake lights are possible. The piece concludes with the time-worn "The truth is out there" phrase one almost expects from professional doubters. Tim Binnall has both the sight and likely explanation, courtesy of Scott Brando, as an Eerie 'Pillar of Light' Appears in Sky Over Chinese City. Then an 'Alien Sighting' in Kentucky Sparks Gunfire, also from Tim's Coast to Coast blog. This one's just a plain very weird and scary situation. (WM)

In this first scary piece Nick Redfern focuses in on beasties that seem more sentient, more menacing, than the typical flesh-eating leviathan, i.e. the kind that take a chunk out of you just because they can. But When Lake Monsters Become Totally Deadly you're dealing with what may be mindless eating machines, snapping up people the way a humpback whale filters krill. There's no malice involved, just big appetites and an awareness of where humans really sit on the evolutionary food chain. (CM)

Current News shorts include the Navy floating some pretty weird-looking stuff these days. Tyler Rogoway describes and produces informed speculation about "USV Catbus," a "mystery drone boat" that from this article certainly seems to "get around"! Reflection on how things are changing segues into Luis Elizondo on "Yesterday;" "Today;" and "Tomorrow" - The Current State of UAP Research. Keith Basterfield produces three slides Elizondo recently used at the International UFO Congress, and focuses on the middle visual. John Greenewald publishes a Stack of Internal DoD "Briefing Cards" on UAPs, UAP Task Force, and Navy UFO Videos Released to him through FOIA. John promises more complete analyses of these. Keith Basterfield offers his own takeaways as the Black Vault Receives Copies of U.S. Department of Defense "Briefing Cards" on UAP Related Matters. We thought the June 25, 2021 "OSD(PA) BRIEFING CARD "UAP Report to Congress" had a Q&A seemingly already confirming then that the Deputy Secretary of Defense would replace the UAPTF. (WM)

September 14

The House Armed Services Committee has passed the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act, including its UAP office provision. Thus Tim McMillan reports, detailing how this supports previous action by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. While noting the Act is still far from Congressional approval and enactment, McMillan remarks the "near-universal bipartisan support" for a measure framed in terms of a potential threat to U.S. interests. McMillan also sheds some light upon the still-murky machinations behind Pentagon UAP/UFO study efforts. He highlights elements in the proposed legislation regarding "an update on any efforts underway on the ability to capture or exploit discovered unidentified aerial phenomena" and "an assessment of any health-related effects for individuals that have encountered unidentified aerial phenomena." Such serious language from lawmakers privy to information the rest of us (including debunkers) lack is eye-opening indeed--for those who care to look. And to read, for James Hibberd headlines the Former Pentagon UFO Official Luis Elizondo to Reveal "Shocking Details" in New Book. Since Lue's limited comment on several issues until they've been outed elsewhere, one wonders how the writing process will run. (WM)

When does archaeology begin? That's the subject of hot debate in the ancient origins field. In one corner we have a Kenyan site dated to around 3.3 million years old. In the other corner there's an Ethiopian location "only" 2.6 million. And in yet another corner there's another Ethiopian site pegged at 2.8 million years. Owen Jarus charts the differing claims made about each candidate, with their strengths and weaknesses. Also intriguing is the title They're Alive! Megalithic Sites Are More than Just Stone. But the stones, their composition, location, and positioning are key to Freddy Silva's claim. Owen Jarus asks Why Did the Maya Civilization Collapse?, and immediately amends his title to question the accuracy of its last word. The article helps rectify a simplistic Eurocentric view of the Mayan experience and underscores the plight of the current Maya descendant population. In New Evidence in a Giant Mound Shows Native Americans Were Sophisticated Engineers Paul Seaburn's expanded upon a topic we mentioned previously. Also noting Eurocentric bias in this more northerly case, Paul rightly concludes "We must never stop learning about--and learning from--the past." (WM)

We conclude the Koffmann-Almasty theme with these last three installments, starting with her discovery of some lesser known, yet spectacular, footprints that more firmly established her views in the scientific community. Next, we learn of the geography and indigenous wildlife of the mountainous region that the Almastay called home in She was Marie-Jeanne Koffmann 5. The final piece of this saga, She was Marie-Jeanne Koffmann 6, is a rare interview given by MJK regarding her work, finishing with the caveat to "always expect the unexpected!" (CM)

Another "Reynoldsfest" as Rich throws out Conjectures on different subjects. Here he considers whether UFOs could be what some call tulpas. Concerned about U.S. disasters? Rich next asks whether America is a Target of UFOs? If "America and some other places" are selected by UFOs for "siege" due to particular transgressions, the saucers' effects seem relatively problematic and of much less moment than the evils of pandemic, weather, violence, bigotry, and general irrationality. Rich next goes psychological again, saying of Global Transient Amnesia syndrome Missing Time and No, It's Not the Product of Alien [UFO] Abduction. His next question, Are We Food for ETS?, calls to one reader's mind a Twilight Zone episode, and uneasy consideration of Charles Fort's suggestion "The Earth is a farm. We are someone else's property." Having thrown these puzzlers at the UFO-interested, Rich next accords practical advice to Skeptics: Get with the Program! Lacking a truly active gravitational source of rational thinking within the field, there's a crying need for open-minded skepticism. (WM)

September 13

A rock-star with a questionable knowledge background in the subject has helped generate a massive shift in ufological history--in a relative Blink of an eye. What does that say about the field? What did Heinrich Schliemann's obsession with the Troy legend do for archaeology? Dave Homes' article about Tom DeLonge is a melange of apparent paranormal doggerel, replete with coarse dialogue, quirky yet somehow compelling videos, and the final Homes quotation "My friends, anything is possible." Whatever one thinks, Tom DeLonge's ideas and drive have impacted UFO history tremendously. Predictably, Jason Colavito attempts to bring DeLonge down to Earth with Tom DeLonge Uses UFO Claims to Promote New Album. Colavito hits on several points, and yet something seems Small in his short essay. More UFO-related entertainment news as Sam Donsky reports that Demi Lovato Goes Hunting for UFOs in New Show 'Unidentified'. This appreciation may be short, as the trailer for the new series did not inspire. On the other hand, Tony Harris on Exploring UFO Footage to Try to Prove 'The Proof Is Out There' at least sounds promising. (WM)

We've got a six part series on the Russian Snowman, aka the Almasty, and the remarkable doctor who made it her life's work to study this strange hominid. Part 1 gives the background on Koffman, from childhood to years spent in the Gulag--a time that seemed to make her stronger and more determined.  Part 2, She was Marie-Jeanne Koffmann 2 details how Koffman came to be part of the expeditions into the Caucasus Mountain Region and the initial experiences of the research team. Descriptions of first-hand observations can be found in Part 3 She was Marie-Jeanne Koffmann 3, where the Almasty shows no signs of fearing humans whatsoever. More to come in parts 4 through 6 tomorrow. (CM)

Three podcast events upon noteworthy UFO news. Gene Steinberg and guest cohost Curt Collins discuss UFO history with each other and then ufological icon Jacques Vallee. There's not as many hard questions about the Vallee/Paola Harris book Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret as one would wish, but what Vallee does say seems illuminating about his thinking. Kevin Randle has Mike Rogers Talking About the Walton Abduction. Kevin's summary of the two-installment dialogue is apt, especially his terse "the once solid wall for the Walton abduction is not as solid as it once was." And Cheryl Costa is pitching a successor to her first collaboration with Linda Miller Costa in the new UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America 2001-2020. It's an effective pitch, too, with some interesting findings coming out of the expanded and newly-compartmentalized dataset. Occasionally Cheryl gets a bit irked with co-host Randall Murphy, who has ended his Paracast collaboration purportedly over a disagreement over vaccine mandates. (WM)

September 12

Treacherous? Didn't Bruce Dorminey watch The Sopranos and realize Livia was more Machiavellian than her son? Tony was "just a crook". We better celebrate if they're treacherous as Tony because humanity would have a fighting chance. Sopranos fanboyism aside, Bruce makes a very cogent point about humanity's unmitigated optimism concerning First Contact, urging everyone to stay frosty instead of believing in alien altruism. Even more treacherous are the aliens we won't be able to easily see. Over at Futurism, their anonymous author heard tell of a Scientist Warning About Alien Viruses From Other Planets. If you thought COVID-19 was bad, get yourself a taste of what may lay in store. Maybe affairs won't be all bad as Kevin Randle took the opportunity to chew the fat with Harvard's Avi Loeb About The Galileo Project. While the pair get into the weeds with saucers, there's quite a lot to apprehend concerning Avi's vision for the Galileo Project and the possibilities awaiting us just next door. (CS)

Well if anyone remembers Thatcher, or are fully versed in Boris Johnson's Village Idiot Persona, no one would be surprised by the influence of "dark magicks" hinted by Frank Jacobs. This argument can be proven by visiting a few places of power within the United Kingdom, and best of all everything boils down to John Dee. Wonder if anyone has an Enochian translation of "Rule Brittania" or "God Save The Queen". (CS)

Back in the eighties, television commercials wondered "Is it live, or is it Memorex?" Nowadays folks are wondering if a passel of new scientific papers are the real deal, clever GPT-3+ AI scripts, or the product of Russian disinfo agents spreading Putin's manure. Clive Thompson illuminates the phenomenon and why it even has him worried. Which side are you on? If you don't choose a side, then you're going to find yourself in a liminal space. We live in a rapidly changing world, to the point that the cliché isn't a cliché anymore. Cue EsoterX, who's quite mad himself, and his meditation upon Permanent Limnality — The End Of Innocence. When faced with the unknown, like aliens or viruses, we use "monsters-of-the-gaps" to protect ourselves and our own. Worse, sometimes those monsters are ourselves but we only become those monsters when someone sees us in the role. More down-to-earth, and considerably less worrisome, was an event which shook up many volunteers just last Saturday. Weirder still, Tennessee Authorities Unable To Find Source Of 'unknown phenomena' That Shook Ground, and when you watch the footage from the event there's plenty of room for genuine concern. (CS)

September 11

Emphasis on the something in Michelle Starr's piece, in that we can see the signals but can't figure out what is sending them. Why? Because the radio signal is just plain weird, and without a frame of reference plenty of H. sapiens are scratching their heads. The greater mystery here is why astronomers aren't hiring creative types to name curious objects like ASKAP J173608.2-321635 to something human-readable. Ardent anomalists will recall Paul Glister's piece from last week Exoplanets Found To Be Plentiful In The Galactic Bulge which only serves to make the mystery a little more spicy. In less exciting news, Brian Koberlein is stumping for Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin's quixotic quest for "Planet Nine". If Planet 9 is out There, Here's Where to Look if you happen to have millions of dollars of equipment and university funding. Amateur astronomers? You're shit-out-of-luck. Read on about how folks are putting the cart before the horse by assuming it's a planet, rather than attempting to offer hypotheses for anomalies with actual science, to fuel someone's ego. (CS)

Don't get too excited, true believers, since Brad Bergan is citing a pre-print rather than a peer-reviewed paper. Still no harm in playing around with the heavy concepts illustrated by Massimiliano Proietti and his pals and it could be the start of something big. Just be cautious, since this could be weaponized by disinfo agents to argue nobody's right in the first place. For example, David Hughes wrote into The Guardian on the topic of Neuroscience And The Misperception Of Reality and the methods by which hallucinations arise. Mucking about in the wetness of cerebrospinal fluid, Benjamin Taub head tell of a Psychiatrist Claiming Psychedelic Experiences Come From A Source Outside The Brain. It's a brilliant idea and Ben does a bang-up job explaining Paul Grof's idea, but... Grof doesn't really elaborate on the source of hallucinations. Still the cited experiments are provocative. And before leaving the brain, Steve Taylor's headline is a bold one, It's Still Not Fully Understood How Placebos Work, But An Alternative Theory Of Consciousness Could Hold Some Clues on the phenomenon and it "rhymes", after a fashion, with the previous piece by proposing some mental health challenges may originate outside of the brain? I can't argue with that, have you even met my ex-wife? (CS)

Oh boy, I hope Jason Heal really has something strong and empirical to prove the existence of yowies, because the rabbit hole he leads poor Sarah Brookes down only serves to paint him as completely crackers. It's a heady draught of cryptozoology to start one's Saturday morning, but it'll definitely slake your imagination. Staying on the track, I'm surprised MysteryWire seems to have taken down its article on Video Footage Of Last-Known Thylacine Remastered In 4K, but The Guardian isn't so averse to "weaponizing" one's imagination. It's quite remarkable but watch it with the curtains drawn, lest your neighbors submit a cryptid report to the local authorities. And in a world of uncertainty, almost anything is possible. Especially should someone have the keen mind of Nick Redfern! He wants you to hear out his argument, "Is It Possible That The Wendigo And Bigfoot Are One In The Same? Wendigos are bad, full stop. Cannibalistic and malevolent spirits haunting wintry woods. Bigfoots? They're bumbling, yet well-meaning, apes who enjoy peanut butter and pumpkin bread. Or are they? (CS)

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