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The Anomalist



September 24

A father in England recently spotted something terrifying on his baby's monitor and was so creeped out that it took him a moment muster his courage and go check on his daughter. Not the sort of protective quality we would hope for from a daddy. Don't expect any father of the year awards, dude. Sinking even lower, Ghost Hunter Charged with Breaking Into Flooded Submarine. It's one thing to be a treasure hunter but quite another to desecrate the location of a tragedy--and risk drowning. If the culprit was a ghost hunter, they were a special blend of stupid, greedy, and--did we say stupid? Speaking of which, Hayley Stevens gives a well deserved smack in the head to all the folks who don't value their ghost hunters enough to pay them: Ghost Researchers: For Life, Not Just For Halloween. Just because Hallowe'en's coming doesn't make it discount or freebie season for paranormal professionals. You wouldn't ask your lawyer for a free POA or your dentist for a discounted filling (or maybe you would), so afford all professionals with whom you are working the dignity of a living wage. (CM)

The janitor did it, or so they say. Those who are conspiracy inclined are not buying it, saying it makes no sense in the context of the rest of situation, that it's a planted story designed to get people off the trail of the real story. We've been holding on to this waiting for another shoe to drop, but so far that seems to be all we're going to get. Everyone seems disappointed that Aliens sadly not to blame for closure of New Mexico solar observatory. (PH)

At the Society for Psychical Research, Robert A. Charman reviews Time Loops, the new book by Eric Wargo recently published by Anomalist Books. Says Charman: "...this may well be the definitive presentation of the case for retrocausation as the agent uniting the experience-to-come with the precognition... What Wargo has done is to present a closely argued case for the reality of precognition as such, whatever explanation you may prefer, and I strongly recommend this well written and very interesting book to psi-sceptic and psi-believer alike as essential reading on this subject." Over at Shattered Reality, Fahrusha's 9/11 show also featured Eric Wargo, who in the course of a brief interview relates his own precognitive dream about 9/11. (PH)

September 23

Latest Nessie Photograph Loch Ness Mystery
Or perhaps not. Alas this adds to the vast number of dark, indistinct humps snapped over the decades. The photographer was too much "in shock" to get another pic or take a video, and Glasgow Boy bemoans the absence of a more effective visual record. Mind you, he might take comfort in the information that the Loch Ness Monster [is] worth nearly £41m a year to Scottish economy. Real or not, Nessie has apparently become a "top global brand." (LP)

Jason Colavito has been notably skeptical of the goings-on at Tom DeLong's To the Stars Academy. Here he comments on a new video posted on the site featuring former Pentagon UFO investigator Luis Elizondo who seem enthusiastic that people are starting to provide them with alleged UFO samples, "even if the material goes nowhere." Physicist Hal Puthoff is also interviewed, saying essentially that opinions and beliefs on this subject don't matter, let's just follow the data and see where it leads. But Jason does make a good point: what we hear the principles saying here suggests that the government program must not have found any convincing UFO materials, as it sounds like the Academy is basically starting from scratch on this front. Nonetheless, Blink 182 Co-Founder and Ex-Pentagon Official Are Determined to Prove We’re Not Alone. In UFO Hunting in the Photoshop Age, Bloomberg Technology’s Austin Weinstein and Pia Gadkari examine the recent boom in fake UFO videos made possible by advances in photo and video editing technology. It often takes trained eyes to tell the real from the fake. And notably, YouTube, where most of these fake UFO videos appear, doesn't have any rules about the posting of misinformation. There is so much of it out there, says one expert, that any attempt to call out these fakes by those who know better is like trying to ball out the ocean with a bucket. (PH)

Science says that the fat lady has sung when it comes to Anthropogenic Global Warming, but historian of science Henry Bauer says not so fast. The "dissenting experts point out that actual data on temperature and carbon-dioxide levels, over the life of the Earth but also over the last century, show that carbon dioxide does not cause high global temperature." Bauer cites the thoughtful work of an Australian academic named Peter Atkin in this regard. Such denialism can be career threatening: Australian university fires climate-change dissenter: dissent is not collegial… For offering evidence that contradicts the mainstream view, and speaking to a journalist about his views, tenured professor Peter Ridd, a marine scientist, was fired from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. So much for academic freedom without limits. (PH)

September 22

Folks scoff at the legends surrounding the Dogon people, but Brett Tingley notes they're in good company. Optimistic futurists, Gene Roddenberry and company, were Spoc... er spot-on... when it came to calling the location of the homeworld of television's most iconic characters. Did first contact already happen in secret? Is this a case of dumb luck? Perhaps by the universe's very nature, being amenable to human life, Sheldrakian morphic fields informed The Great Bird of the Galaxy. If this anthropic principle holds water beyond the tenuous confines of this ball of mud, there's a whole mess of scientific and philosophical trouble associated with Anthropic Arrogance. We'll let David Barash pick up the narrative from here. For all we know, this may be the octopus's universe and we just live here. Perhaps one of the best ways to rub all eight of their shoulders with both of our puny, knobby shoulders comes with tripping with a cephalopod. If you thought molly was awesome for eusocial, hairless chimpanzees with smartphones, Ed Yong reckons there's something profound in the similarities between the effects upon H. sapiens, and What Ecstasy Does to Octopuses. Please try this at home. (CS)

While "I miss the rains down in Africa" may have the same syllables as "I miss the rains up in Canada," Tim Binnall's talking about something completely different. Fish aren't the only fortean game in British Columbia after a curious incident. While octopodes are tripping the light fantastic, Nathaniel Scharping's attention has been fixed upon A Praying Mantis Caught Fishing For The First Time Ever. Here's hoping this plucky praying pescatarian wasn't masturbating, gazing upon her reflection while wondering how she'd taste after a few furtive moments of intimacy. Slightly less murderous, scientists and ailurophiles, like Karen Spicer, have been arguing for ages over What Cats See When They Look In The Mirror. Some say the mirror recognition test is the product of anthrocentrism, not good science, while others appreciate less scientific inquiries into feline consciousness using a crazy little thing called love. (CS)

Eat your heart out, Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell. Not every nightmare goes bump in the night, as some patiently wait out the aeons for curious humans to come to it. Straight from the pen of Tyler Rogoway to your gadget-of-choice, learn a little bit more about Yucca Mountain's smaller sibling. Since it's the weekend, we'll go easy on your brain with this delightful listicle from David Grove concerning Five Of The Most Spine-Chilling Military Superstitions. Speaking only as someone who hasn't served in the military, they're all new to me and probably new to you. As for veterans out there, why not ping us at @anomalistnews with some of your own superstitions, and your personal spooky incidents. We only bite if you ask. (CS)

Anyone with a strict American education will swallow the lie that nobody knew the world was round 'til 1492. It's time to start expanding your mind, as a round Earth has been old hat since time immemorial. To the best of our knowledge the ancient Egyptians didn't cross the Atlantic, despite Thor Heyerdahl's best intentions, and adventures upon the Mediterranean brought home treasures greater than Mark Oliver can imagine. Higher up on the timeline, the Discovery Of Galileo’s Long-Lost Letter Shows He Edited His Heretical Ideas To Fool The Inquisition. Thousands of years later, even Renaissance Italians couldn't reconcile dogma and hard evidence. Worse, nobody would've listened in the first place. Even in our enlightened age those who challenge the paradigm face hurdles making the Inquisition look like a day spa visit. May Albert Einstein count his lucky stars for daring, and succeeding, to challenge the status quo and herald a new age of cosmology. Jimena Canales touches upon Morality, Time, and the End of the Universe and the deep, esoterica woven into the fabric of spacetime. (CS)

September 21

A group of German physicists, part of The Society for the Scientific Investigation of Para-Sciences (GWUP), are conducting research to disprove the existence of super powers by way of a competition to demonstrate those same powers. The winner, should he or she not be locked away in a secret facility to be subjected to lab tests for the rest of their lives, will receive 10,000 Euros. Certainly enough to catch a plane to somewhere remote, go into hiding for the next 20 years, and make a plan for world domination. Hey, science dudes, don't say we didn't warn you. (CM)

US politics have taken a squatchy turn as the Hairy Guy wonders about a candidate who can never be found and only seen in blurry photographs. Poking fun at his own reputation, he not only scores some great political points, he makes us wish he was running for an electoral seat himself. In other revelations, Artist Revealed to be Creator of Georgia 'Creature Carcass'. "Zardulu" from New York City claims to be the creator of the carcass that washed ashore in Georgia earlier this year. She teases that her upcoming art show may reveal more potential hoaxes that no one would have guessed were hers. Talk about finding a unique niche. (CM)

The Patom Crater in Siberia--where all things strange come home to get stranger--has perhaps been explained in a way that doesn't require aliens, space rocks, government testing, or ancient curses. "Then what's the point?" you may ask, offending geologists everywhere. The point is, it's naturally occurring, just highly unusual, which isn't really any explanation at all. Try to solve this mystery instead: Mysterious Burning Hole Found in Arkansas. Shooting flames that reached 8 feet high and burned for 45 minutes, this anomaly has left investigators scratching their heads. Hopefully some evidence of the initial cause will be found, otherwise the Doomsday folks are going to have a field day and annoy the heck out of all of us again. (CM)

September 20

Brent Swancer reports on a legendary tablet purported to contain not only the instructions to turning lead into gold but for changing the very substance of the universe itself. A sort of Hogwarts meets Indiana Jones report, if you will. So far reaching was its reputation that its script allegedly impacted the research of Sir Isaac Newton. Jason Colavito delves deeper into the topic, asking Did Alexander the Great Find the Emerald Tablet in the Great Pyramid? Unfortunately, Colavito is strangely interested in critiquing Swancer's piece, utilizing it as backstory before fleshing out more detail. The end result, while informative and well researched, is oddly distracting and feels a bit too much like one-upmanship to be as enjoyable as it could have been. (CM)

Greg Bishop and Miguel Romero share the task of interviewing a gentleman with a lifelong fascination with the paranormal and a story to tell about strangely apported objects that have appeared along the road of his psychic quest. Interesting and weird, and Bishop leaves it to his listeners to decide for themselves what's real. Of course, any discussion of psychics and the possibility of hoaxery would be incomplete without Uri Geller and Parapsychology in the 1970s. Dr. Salvarado provides an abstract for the above thesis and argues that the backlash against paranormal research, and Geller in particular, was the result of the scientific world viewing "pseudo science" as a threat to its work. He goes on to explain that traditional researchers believed that if paranormal studies were given true credence, their own work would lessen in value. Psst, sounds like a conspiracy. (CM)

If this timetable proves valid, we may find ourselves fighting World War III in June 1968." So says John Keel about the ramifications of ten predictions made by some of his "Contactee" associates in late 1967. For four cases Keel lists 1967 events that he felt to some extent confirmed the frightening forecasts, including the famous and terrible December 15th collapse of the Point Pleasant Bridge. When John committed these to paper at the end of that year, adding some speculations including that dire war prediction, we must wonder at his state of mind. (WM)

September 19

Alex Lockie has a good post debunking a UFO video promoted by a semi-official Iranian news outlet. Given the lengths the Tasnim News Agency went to make political hay out of the "SECTION 51 2.0" YouTube channel video, one might think they knew they were showing bogus footage. Ufoofinterest.org labels the "SECTION 51 2.0" site "a CGI artist and a #hoax channel...[that]...often uses stock footages." And this does not seem to have been one of their better efforts. Next, KGO ABC7 News has an interesting post on Fall 'Hole Punch Clouds' Seen Across the Bay Area. Mike Nicco explains the genesis of this largely-natural phenomenon and reproduces some fairly awe-inspiring snapshots. With Argentina: Strange Luminous Object in Saldungaray Luis Burgos tells of "a remarkable sighting" from September 12th. It seems that no stellar object was likely to produce what two witnesses reported, although the event sounds rather pedestrian. We weren't impressed with the footage of Argentina: Anomalous Object Over Corrientes nor Costa Rica: Luminous Object Over San Jose, but the latter article links to some additional studies of the imagery and may be of interest to more tutored photo analysts. (WM)

This report comes from a credible source in Bunyip, Australia, and describes an encounter with a very tall, hairy hominid that seemed to interact peacefully with the witness's livestock. A subsequent sketch revealed a creature similar to a Yowie, but with sufficient variation to dismiss the notion of the sighting being faked or imagined. And here's some good news for the monster documentary fans out there. “The Bray Road Beast” — A New Film from Small Town Monsters is due for release on October 5 and features reports from Linda Godfrey--who knows her monsters--and John Frederickson, a retired animal control officer called in on many of the Bray Road incidents. Lyle Blackburn narrates. Prepare to get your chill on. (CM)

Here's some good news: Not all horror stories end with the forces of evil taking over the neighborhood. Recently a nightmare ended for a British woman who had been haunted by the sing-song of a child's nursery rhyme for about a year. Questioning her own sanity, the woman finally involved authorities. We won't spoil the story for you, but the itsy bitsy spider wasn't just climbing up the water spout. This next story is an entertaining bit of skepticism from the 1920s. Demented Tables and Psychic Jazz is an excerpt from a series published by the Sheffield Daily Telegraph. It is downright entertaining in its determination to expose what it perceived as elaborate hoaxery on the part of mediums. We're not saying the author was wrong, only that the image of a dog with a bone is hard to avoid. (CM)

September 18

Yesterday the solar observatory reopened for the first time in 10 days, after being closed down mysteriously by the FBI. Now we have an explanation of sorts: it was apparently due to an "on-going law enforcement investigation of criminal activity that occurred at Sacramento Peak...we became concerned that a suspect in the investigation potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents." Really, for 10 days, with the public visiting the site in the absence of a real explanation for what was going on? On the other hand, let's not get carried away: Greg Taylor answers the question: Were Space And Solar Observatories Shut Down At The Same Time Around The World This Week? The answer is no. In the other space related mystery, there's apparently More Evidence of Drilling Sabotage Found on Space Station. Writes Paul Seaburn, "inspections by the crew have found evidence of more mysterious drill dents and unexplained scratches … this time on the outside. Don’t shout 'Aliens!' … yet." The thought never crossed our minds. (PH)

Sequoyah Kennedy outlines the story from a YouTube presentation that involves something called the "Richat Structure" in the northwest African country of Mauritania as the real location of the fabled city. Typically, Jason Colavito is having none of it, as he explains in his YouTube Video Claims Atlantis Is Located in the Sahara Desert. And Jason's points carry weight; it turns out the best science thinks it's a natural feature, with no sign of archaeology, besides Jason's other complaints about the video. We're still holding out for the J.V. Luce explanation of Atlantis as the distorted memory of the Minoan civilization rocked by the explosion of the island of Thera (Santorini) in about 1490 BCE--if in fact Atlantis wasn't just a story told to the wide-eyed Athenian Solon by Egyptian priests in 590 BCE, or a complete fabrication by Plato himself. (WM)

Never doubt the power of hysteria or mob mentality, and when the two become combined it's best to get out of town. Case in point: a Columbian community has become convinced that a wraith-like witch is tormenting their community, hiding amongst the trees--an impressively creative conclusion, albeit not anchored in the current century.  Somebody send a meteorologist down there before someone gets hurt trying to bind up mist or smoke. And whoever is living in the woods needs to move. Now. On the other side of the world, Japan Tries to Change Reputation of Haunted Dam.  The Shimokubo Dam of Kanna Lake has been connected with murders, suicides, and hauntings, so of course it makes sense that playing superhero music when cars approach will change all that. Drivers will be too distracted to have dark thoughts, and ghosts will flee with their etheric hands clamped over their ears. You can't fault what works. (CM)

The Socorro, NM UFO--Explained? New Mexicans for Science and Reason
Here is some "new information" about an "old event." A story told by a mother and son has newly surfaced about the genesis of the April 24, 1964, Socorro UFO. It's a rather second-hand story but interesting nonetheless--and it provides a mundane if at the same time exotic identification for what Officer Lonnie Zamora saw. Kevin Randle expounds upon this New Socorro UFO Landing Information. He's also interested in but discounts an end of 2017 story on the New Mexican Skeptics site explaining the Socorro event as an idle college prank but no hoax. Commenters with various stakes in the Socorro event also weigh in. (WM)


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