EdgeScience 54


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The Anomalist

April 19

The extraordinarily complicated yet important backstory to current UFO-related headlines takes yet another turn with John Greenewald's report on another successful Freedom of Information Act release. John provides a summary overview as well as the materials. In summary, Christopher Mellon comes off as an attempted honest broker, Sean Kirkpatrick as short and frustrated, and David Grusch's behavior as more mysterious. Perhaps Grusch or his lawyer will clarify in the days to come, and we'll watch for further analyses. More on the major moves comes from Joe Khalil, as Lawmakers Seek Answers in Classified AARO Briefing. Khalil explains the context behind this particular event and places low expectations on the details becoming public, but that there may soon be news of "a potential field hearing" by the House UAP Caucus. An organization calling itself "UAP/C" has just published a Congressional Briefing Packet: AARO Briefing on Historical Review and New Leadership. Note that the website "is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or representative of any official government entity, including the UAP Caucus within the House of Representatives." And the "briefing booklet" makes few bones about getting "full transparency," given necessary governmental secrecy obligations. But we'd sure like to get more information responsive to the twenty questions it proposes! (WM)

The first official Nessie sighting of 2024 has been reported, witnessed and photographed by a family from London on vacation. The photo shows something dark in the water and while that's terribly inconclusive, beggars can't be choosers and the official registry has declared it good enough. Meanwhile theBangor Cryptozoology Museum Opening Delayed. The historic building that will be the new home of the International Cryptozoology Museum needs about $500,000 in repairs. Owner/operator Lauren Coleman is looking into available grant monies and welcomes any donations from interested parties at GoFundMe. In the meantime, he's working on preparing the facility as funds allow. (CM)

Tanner F. Boyle reports upon an unfortunate first Mutual UFO Network conference experience. The cant of several presentations seems often strongly religious, political, and at one and the same time too conspiratorial and yet simplistic. Some of the details are frankly jaw-dropping. MUFON State and chapter events will vary in quality and their direction, and this reader, a former MUFON State Co-Director in the '90s, will note his pride in friendship and working with several such leading state organizations and some stellar officers to-date. But Tanner's chronicle of the parent organization's history and this example of its public "face" is devastating. We could name some choices for a second experience. (WM)

April 18

Host Michael Ryan and Commentator Christine Scott unearth a pair of (paired?) 1969 sightings—one on March 4th, the other on June 5th—with major Canadian governmental security implications. As Michael has mentioned, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police function rather as Canada's FBI, and the officers in question operate as the "Great White North's" "Secret Service" equivalent. Michael and Christine marvel at the apparent nonchalance with which both of these similar, complicated multi-and-independently-witnessed sightings were reported and treated. Michael doesn't think this case has ever been publicly known in Canada before and wonders what the reaction will be. (WM)

Did someone release the kraken? Recently a fairly bizarre sound was caught in the depths of the eastern equatorial region of the Pacific. How bizarre? It sounded like a woman's voice. So scientists named it Julia, which is more personal than The Bloop. Meanwhile, what was going on off the  African coastline? Aliens? Sea Monsters? Weather ‘Anomaly’ Was Actually Just a Software Error. Evidently the Ventusky weather app encountered a hiccup and conjured a monstrous storm front that had users speculating that a sea monster or alien invasion was nigh. Then it disappeared, so everything was right again in the world. Right? (CM)

More weird anomalous aerial apparitions in the news include Kay Smythe's reports on what appears to be giant astronauts twirling in the sky. Smythe's dry humor rises to the occasion, and one wonders whether some kind of inflation is connected to the figures, as the likely-sized candidates we found for purchase are quite highly-priced. Closer to Earth, Two Daylight, Low Level UFO/UAP Sightings Reported Above Populated Communities in Southwest Pennsylvania-April 2024 have Stan Gordon's attention. Sizes, altitudes, speeds, etc. are notoriously difficult to estimate, so speculation swells here, as well. An Odd Fast-Moving Orb Mystifies Witnesses in Melbourne, Australia, says Tim Binnall, and the reported data doesn't square with balloons. And an Explorer Finds Terrifying 'Baby Alien' Skeleton inside Cave & Now Keeps It in a Box as He's 'Terrified of Touching It'. This article seems nearly as weird as the story it tells, with images of the "whatever" that don't seem to match, commentary that seems wildly out-of-date, and hints that the "discoverer" really doesn't want to learn the identity of a possibly deceased sentient being—which would deserve better treatment. But the "Museum HR Giger Bar" in the Gruyères, Switzerland, video is worth the price of admission. (WM)

April 17

John Greenewald presents what's been released so far about the shadowy proposed "successor" to the AAWSAP and AATIP programs. John promises an analysis. The released proposals include a "Consciousness Center" expanding upon "remote viewing and remote communication to communicate, retrieve data, and transport across dimensional/space-time barrier," and an "Experimental Division" initially consisting "of a well-studied experimental location that has been researched for approximately 15 years" (obviously the "Skinwalker Ranch") and further sites. Also: collecting "retirees' oral histories on recovered technology and present location," and gaining access to "all existing caches of Advanced Aerospace Vehicle (AAV) materials." The proposal sounds quite grandiose, not only in its scope but in coining new labels like "integrative perception." The documents chart the rise and fall of this proposal. Estelle Moutet offers some "oral history" from When Pilots Meet UAP. At a March 20th European Union meeting advocating for a more concerted, common approach to the common UFO/UAP problem, pilot Christiaan Van Heijst presented his sightings and discussed the reporting stigma. Also of interest: disagreement over whether an effective pilot reporting system was already in place in the EU, and Van Heijst's distinction between the quality of data in reports from those sightings "during the line of work" versus those while folks are walking their dog, etc. The entire roundtable (it's in English) is attached to this article. (WM)

Two Bigfoot stories today, starting with a group of Bigfoot lovers committed to finding proof that Sasquatch exists. Whether it's scouring the woods or examining stories and listening to podcasts, these squatchers are passionate about their task. Next, Sasquatch Chosen as Official Mascot of New Florida Public School. While the decision certainly evoked some criticism from the public, the school maintained its decision. Students have now been instructed to emulate their school mascot and be legendary. (CM)

Quick news bits include Millie Turner's reporting the diagnosis for this blurred photograph of one lunar orbiting satellite by another. Tim Binnall has the story as a Famous Colombian Musician Films Triangle-Shaped UFO in New York City. But you'll apparently have to go to J. Balvin's J Balvin Publishes Video of Alleged UFO and Causes a Stir on Social Media to view the "hovering guitar pick" that Tim describes. Tim notes several possible explanations. And The Observer lists some Things We're Observing, April 2024. One of our fun online sources is touting its print publication's success, but it's also noting noteworthy tomes, including Anomalist News Editor Linda Powell's Against the Odds: Major Donald E. Keyhoe and His Battle to End UFO Secrecy. A serious-looking Asst. Editor Roy Illitch terms the book "a captivating read for any fan of UFOlogy's golden years." (WM)

April 16

A new online newspaper about Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena will most likely bear watching, as noted French ufologist Baptiste Friscourt is behind its helm. This article notes one example of US plans to study UFOs eliciting interest from other countries. And even staid The Economist has noted that UFOs Are Going Mainstream. As is its general habit for topics, the venerable (established in 1843) publication here considers the government and business aspects and practical considerations UFOs/UAP pose. They can even "photobomb" one of Nature's greatest displays, as Texas Eclipse Viewers Catch Sight of UFO. Has any such performance of an aircraft shadow during an eclipse been noted previously? Intrigued that such Wonders in the Sky "stir the imagination," Michael Grosso contemplates the multi-faceted UFO-parapsychological connection. And as others we follow have remarked, Michael feels UFOs just might help us progress as truly rational beings—absent us nuking ourselves to death or forcing a crippled environment to do the job for us. So stay the UFO course, no matter what governments and debunkers might want you to think or act. "The more we dig, the more we discover." (WM)

The last Tasmanian Tiger purportedly died in captivity in 1932, with the species being declared extinct in 1982. That hasn't stopped scientists who believe the Thylacine still exists, albeit in very small numbers. But like the search for any cryptid, evidence is lacking and the occasional sighting with photograph generally proves to be inconclusive. However should real evidence become available, efforts to revive the species via DNA will likely more forward—like Jurassic Park but smaller. (CM)

Assisted by Charles Fort's own quotations and a little help from AI, Andrew May seeks to give Fort full credit for far-foreshadowing concepts now commonplace in ufology and Science. May's point is well-taken regarding Fort the Poet rather than "the pseudo-scientist he's usually portrayed as." It's a very interesting perspective we at The Anomalist much appreciate! To more "pedestrian" but deadly-serious business: Marik von Rennenkampff relates The Shocking History of UFOs and Nuclear Weapons. Whatever they are, wherever from, and for what purpose, UFOs seem for decades to have shown a serious intent in our nuclear facilities—which heightens the compelling interest of those three implicit questions at the start of this sentence. And Strange Light Studios presents an even more speculative—not to say controversial—event in The Memo. This dramatizes the purported conversation between retired Admiral Thomas Wilson and PhD physicist Eric Davis that produced a document concerning the secret reverse engineering of an unearthly craft by a leading aerospace company without proper governmental oversight. Whatever the facticity of the alleged meeting, the resultant "memo" was entered into The Congressional Record and the video production is quite good. We thank Dr. Mark Rodeghier for this reference! (WM)

April 15

Former US intelligence official Chris Mellon offers a devastating critique of the recent Pentagon report that so many in mainstream media and the larger scientific/academic and skeptical communities seem uncritically to have accepted. Mellon's catalogue of hundreds of typos, information gaps, and even more serious failures in logic and evident fact and conclusion-checking with those in government and the military before publication are shocking. Anyone who has produced a graduate-level essay (which one would imagine were required by the Congressional mandate) would gasp at these issues. And what seems the evident purpose of this sophomoric (if even that term isn't too lofty) production is clearly identified—and it's not to inform the Congress and the American People. If this is a representative example of "government work," some alarm is justified. And The Fourth Estate's behavior in this case that Mellon derides is downright frightening. Mellon's source references may be checked—all too often the AARO Report demands they be taken "on faith." Perhaps even more concerning, Mellon's long essay just summarizes the surface of the decades-long US response to the UFO problem. A thorough reading of UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry, edited by Dr. Michael Swords and Robert Powell and published by Anomalist Books, would have helped the AARO Report tremendously in the factual arena—were its writers and backers so inclined. Where there's a dispute with any of Mellon's major or subsidiary points and conclusions, as a former governmental high and involved official his review requires an intelligent response. (WM)

Here's a pair of reports about potential ghostly goings on. The first story is one many of us can relate to, where a cellphone photo catches something in its flash and a ghostly orb is the result. Next, an Eerily Moving Wreath Causes Stir at Wake in Dominican Republic. The movement referred to is reminiscent of a motion sensitive halloween display, but that would indicate a hoax or practical joke, neither of which is appropriate in this setting. The situation is definitely weird. Make sure you watch the brief video accompanying the story. (CM)

David Grusch and His UFO Crashes A Different Perspective
Some past UFO-related cases that keep reappearing in the Present. With suitable reference to pioneer the late Len Stringfield, Kevin Randle shows why he's now the "the leading expert on UFO crashes," while heavily referencing his publications about various well-known crash candidates. The result: not a whole lot of support for David Grusch's sources, and some civil and useful discussion regarding Kevin's judgements. Kevin's also likely best-placed to comment on the Matthew Phelan article New Witness of 1973 Alien Abduction in Mississippi Featured in New Netflix Doc Claims She Saw the 5ft Creatures with 'Pincer-like' Claws That Performed 'Examinations' on Two Fishermen. Seems an interview with a recently-emerged witness to the Hickson-Parker event is featured on the first episode of the new eight-part television docuseries "Files of the Unexplained." And Popular Mechanics tells How an Alien Hoax Collided With a Grave-Robbing Heist in a Secret Cave. Darren Orf employs Jaime Maussan's "alien Peruvian mummies" entrepreneuring to cast aspersions upon the larger UFO community. (WM)

April 14

Ninety years ago this coming June was the first Nessie hunt, Sarah Ward notes, and folks are excited to continue the tradition. In the hopes of spying something and having confirmation, the Loch Ness Centre hopes NASA will help out, or at least give a boost to their signal, even if it is in the name of fun. As for you Buckeyes out there Burning Man isn't coming to Celina. Rather somebody, not Tim Binnall, is hard at work with an Enormous Bigfoot Sculpture Built In Ohio along with nifty footage of this roadside attraction. (An earlier version of this post contained a wooly mammoth story that turned out to be an April Fools joke.) (CS)

St. Ignatius Loyola said, "Give me a child 'til he is seven years old, and I will show you the man" and the same goes for forteans and anomalists. Start 'em young and you'll set their compass. What better way then presenting them, or yourself, with this comic book treasury of folklore by John Reppion and PJ Holden. Greg Taylor just can't shut up about it, and we don't blame him since this is a crackerjack reference piece for anyone's library! Maybe park their butts in front of the television, just like when we were knee-high to a junebug since a new Netflix series covers Files Of The Unexplained exploring the true stories of strange, puzzling, and possibly paranormal events. Carla Davis has a breakdown of the series, and it shapes up to be a doozy harkening back to the good ol' days of Leonard Nimoy's In Search Of.... If your rug rats are particularly nerdy and precocious, invite them to stay up late and listen to Dr. Simon Young With Tim Swartz and Gene Steinberg. You might known Simon as Dr. Beachcombing. His academic oeuvre covers early Christianity, Italian food, and other seemingly pedestrian topics, Dr. Young's first love is folklore and high strangeness and you're guaranteed an earful just by tuning in via your favorite podcatcher. (CS)

April 13

First contact, as coined by Murray Leinster and popularized by Gene Roddenberry, has been presented as something inspiring and hopeful but Cixin Liu examined the dark side of first contat in his novel Three-Body Problem. Now eggheads at SETI and METI are taking a nuanced approach to first contact and how it might go for both sides. Tony Milligan, on the other hand, deconstructs Cixin's thought experiment to illustrate how evolution, if you'll pardon the phrase turn, doesn't happen in a vacuum. Aligning at oblique angles, Nectar Gan has some juicy news concerning the Netflix adaptation of Three-Body Problem where A Billionaire Helped Bring 'Three-Body Problem' to Netflix. His Business Partner Ensured He Never Lived To See Its Premiere. Good to see that outside of America that billionaires are held accoutnable for their actions rather than slipping cash to Lady Justice to get off scot-free. Also the lengths gone to by those behind Lin Qi's death are redolent of Breaking Bad. (CS)

Speaking for myself, not for The Anomalist, I keep coming back to high strangeness not because I believe. Rather the stories told by witnesses, contactees, and others are fascinating and often illustrate the inner lives of people. Knowing someone saw a bigfoot, spoke with aliens, and met men in black humanizes these strangers. This collection of deathbed visions, courtesy of the Gray Lady's Phoeboe Zerwick, pull back the veil on the profound final moments of loved ones across the country. On the obverse there are the truly creepy stories and the really silly ones that are like heroin. Take, for example, Barbie Latza Nadeau's coverage of a French Woman Found Dead In Italian Church Was Searching for Ghosts In Possible Tik Tok Stunt. That's the silly part. The scary bit is the corpse was exsanguinated. We double-dog dare you to read what else happened. Not all news is spooky, some of it can be downright mundane but presented by people with scintillating personalities and burgeoning creativity like Tim Binnall. He has some Ghostly Activity Filmed At Haunted Pub that is familiar and creepy in the same measure. (CS)

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