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The Anomalist



March 30

Did the People's Republic of China engineer the coronavirus to wipe out the rest of the world? One study responds with a resounding "No" amidst these controversial allegations. But how did they come to that conclusion? Well, that's where Kate Holland comes in to outline the methodologies and evidence supporting the National Institutes of Health's inquiry. But what about the next plague, considering history's knack for repeating itself? Cheers to Red Pill Junkie for harboring hope in these seemingly bleak times by connecting the dots for a game of i-Scry — Predicting the Next Pandemic using A.I.. While Veratect's algorithm may not be catchy like "i-Scry", RPJ outlines the curious coincidences and actions taken before COVID-19 reached the North American continent. (CS)

Is this a breakthrough in understanding the mysterious mechanisms behind the Nimitz "Tic Tac?" Or over-and-mis-interpretation of an old and grainy Navy video? Engineer Michael Boyd has certainly gotten The Sociable editor Tim Hinchliffe's attention. Boyd's attempt to elucidate the physics behind the FLIR1 video is admittedly beyond our grasp, but his "unmet need for reassurance of future nonviolent interaction with UAPs" may seem presumptive on several levels and rankle Navy aviators. We'll be interested to see what the scientific community may have to say about this effort. (WM)

Finally a news item that's on the light side. A county supervisor in California recently made a proposal that anyone found intentionally killing a Sasquatch be punished. As great a suggestion as that was, it wasn't well received by the confused board members. Fortunately the entire discussion was captured on video. Perhaps this lack of belief in the hairy man is why Bigfoot Is Sad. While the producers of this commercial would have him believe we are all too caught up having fun to notice an enormous hairy hominid anymore, the truth is we've just started following his example of social distancing. We've never seen a sick Bigfoot so it must work. (CM)

Odd aerial imagery continues to make the internet rounds. This first is a daylight "didn't see it when we filmed it" snapshot. Reporter Inigo Monzon seems impressed that ET Data Base-minder Scott Waring thought the image "could be an alien vessel that was monitoring the activities of people within the region." Tim Binnall is correct that a Cluster of UFOs Spotted in Washington is "a curious video." Tim adduces other examples of this type of phenomenon and some possible causes. He also asks us whether this next video is a Flying Humanoid Filmed in Arizona? Tim offers cases similar to this one, and a "more down-to-earth take" than the leaps of faith other commentators attach to such ambiguous footage. And speaking of grounded, a Professional Footballer's Video Of Glowing Object Sparks UFO Claims, but the retired soccer player thinks he more likely filmed the International Space Station than something from an Interstellar postal code. Reporter Jocelyne LeBlanc includes the story of an Argentinian soccer star, who "was missing from home for three days" and claimed an alien abduction. But that athlete allows he had had "a few too many drinks." (WM)

March 29

Someone ring Aubrey de Grey because Nicholas Wade has some hot, and hopeful, news about human longevity. While this is not a true fountain of youth, it will ameliorate many age-related conditions with the magic of the once-controversial field of epigenetics. Why is it hopeful? Why the heck would scientists be putzing around in this field if there was no hope for our species, ĉu ne? (CS)

Susan Demeter-St. Clair has noticed the apparent proliferation of UFO and paranormal reports in these parlous times, and seeks confirmation from readers, especially for "whopper" anomalous events. Her example calls to mind Carl Jung's visionary work Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, which discussed UFO phenomena against the backdrop of post-WWII western fears about the Soviet Union and its nuclear weaponry. David Halperin pens his own reminiscences about a similar stressful time in These Do I Remember - COVID-19 and the Yom Kippur War (Part 1). And Halperin's uneasy and strangely prophetic look backwards and forwards in This Year 2019 - UFOs, Donald Trump, Greta Thunberg is worth a re-read. Other heightened crises of some duration may help sustain, if not originate, "UFO waves." Recently Jason Colavito noted that in her new book They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers Sarah Scoles Asks If UFOs Emerged Spontaneously from America's Zeitgeist. And yet, and on a happier note, UFOs do speak to something more fundamental and perhaps salutary about the human spirit. Despite its dismissive-sounding title, Erin Berger's Put on Your Tinfoil Hat and Read About Aliens is worth a read as to the more universal--and positive--aspects of many UFO experiences. And a little bit of positivity right now may be just what the doctor ordered. (WM)

There's a seemingly apocryphal tale going around where Henry Hudson encountered fairies, or dwarves, during his historic voyages but The Professor can't find any direct evidence of such in Hudson's diaries. Instead, The Professor stumbled upon something which may indirectly support such tales by way of a venerable American Indian woman who spilled a whole lotta beans at the turn of the century. Leading us further down the rabbit hole, The Professor wonders if Robert Kirk was a little too trusting, or if those who confided with him were truly Walker Between The Worlds of man and fae. After a brief outline of Kirk's character, The Professor encourages us to join him in the weeds of the provocative tall tales collected within The Secret Commonwealth. (CS)

If luck is pure, random chance then why do folks feel guilty after an incident which any regular person would chalk up to bad luck? Far from implying luck as a psionic ability bred into us, for example Teela Brown, it's all about taking, rather than avoiding, those chances. For further reading after Jake Wojtowicz's essay, Scott Barry Kaufman argues The Role Of Luck In Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realize further emphasizing the axiom "You gotta be in it to win it". (CS)

How ready are you for what's coming after this pandemic? While Michael Prescott's essay is a challenging read for avoidant citizens of the 21st century, Mike makes a point to ditch the personal delusions of immortality and embrace the fact one will die someday. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not in July. Maybe not on April 13th, 2029. But appreciating that fact has helped folks cope in the past and may well be relevant today. The shadow of death can have other, counterintuitively positive, effects on people according to Michael Grosso's meditation upon Coronavirus And Near Death Experiences. Sometimes people do their best work, especially for themselves, when their feet are being held to the fire with extraordinary results. (CS)

March 28

Sorry about the paywall but read everything about Israel V. Alaska, Department Of Corrections over at Justia US Law! FREE! Inmate Adam Israel insists he's genetically predisposed to seeing the electromagnetic radiation of poltergeists, and somehow this is a conspiracy which involves... comedian Steve Martin?!??!! Oh lord, you're in for a wild ride, anomalists. It's one thing to be a mentally ill and deluded, but Shayla Love muddies the waters after learning Researchers Got People To Hallucinate From Fake Psychedelics. The placebo effect is stronger than ever, and strengthens the sheer power of our will. Speaking of will, in the Crowleyan sense, Carlos S. Alvarado presents An Investigation Into Pagan Spellcasting in a scientific context. From Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E.C.'s data, it appears folks can still cause change to occur in conformity with will. (CS)

Last week, Thailand was overrun with starving and begging monkeys. Now Paul Seaburn collects a variety of tales from around the globe involving a variety of species who may not be dealing with the pandemic with grace. In happier news, @AnimalsWorld on Twitter reports A Critically Endangered Mammal Not Seen Until 1990 Resurfaces For The First Time In India During Lockdown. Hopefully some Australians will be keeping an eye out for thylacines sneaking out of the bush to stretch their legs during this crisis. Meanwhile, in Vegas, Zak Bagans' Haunted Museum Closes As COVID-19 Fight Escalates according to Greg Haas. Honestly we reckon Zak isn't going to feel the punch where it counts, unlike Loren Coleman who had to shut down his iconic International Cryptozoology Museum due to quarantines, curfews, etc. (CS)

Over the years many mavericks figured there's a way to explain the indirect evidence of dark matter, and from that hopefully directly detect dark matter. Their answer, axions. It's a hypothetical particle, and a new study reviewed by Brian Koberlein undercuts the existence of a Theory of Everything. We're just glad it's not a sequel to The Big Bang Theory. Astrobiologists are getting a little hot under the collar when presented with Chelsea Gohd's innocent question, "Did Mercury Once Have The Ingredients For Life?" The evidence may lay in the formation of its chaotic terrain yet its impact upon the potential for Hermian life is lively and controversial on both sides of the argument. From our "Giggle-Like-A-Twelve-Year-Old" department, Robin George Andrews announces Uranus Ejected a Giant Plasma Bubble During Voyager 2's Visit. It's okay. Laugh. We'll wait. What's interesting here is how Voyager 2's data was overlooked for thirty four years, and what it means for the future of the solar system's weirdest planet. (CS)

March 27

Seeing this headline we thought this was a Michael Masters interview based upon anthropological musings and "block time." Nope; Paul Seaburn's got a different PhD spouting "Novikov loop" and his own meetup with Tic-Tacs over a half-century ago. Paul links to some of the claims and more of the details. Jason Colavito has seized upon one of those links and the result is Jack Sarfatti Claims UFOs Are Time Machines Powered by Metamaterials. Colavito comments upon what he feels is a grafting of new buzzwords onto an old hypothesis. Coincidentally, Rich Reynolds has just ordered a book which makes him ask: UFOs from Time: Those Little Greys? The question was prompted by Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future. Well, current humans are looking into "Tic Tac" and "GIMBAL" and "GOFAST" and such encounters in the Present, and Keith Basterfield updates us in The US Navy - UAP FOIA Requests - A Summary. More of some of the best research in the field from Keith, who just maybe has hit some "paydirt." (WM)

Hairy Man's Warning Whistle Phantoms and Monsters
This report describes the regular encounters between a Cherokee family in North Carolina and the hairy folk that pass through the area. Recollected from the childhood of the witness, it describes an arrangement of mutual respect and appreciation--the formula all good neighbors should follow. This next post from Lon Strickler begs the question, was this a Bigfoot Encounter During the American Civil War? Given the tendency of hunters and military personnel to notice details and remain calm, these reports are more believable than most. (CM)

Dramatic archaeological claims come under scrutiny. Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities trumpets one of its greatest treasures as a creation of seasonal savvy as well as taking advantage of a ready-made opportunity. Thus reports Live Science Associate Editor Laura Geggel, and probably both she and the Ministry are right. We like Zahi Hawass, the Egyptologist-author and former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities. So we'll accept the claim by Hawass: Sun Setting on Sphinx's Shoulder Proves Superiority of Ancient Egyptians. Superiority to other contemporary technologies, most probably, but beyond that is questionable. Jason Colavito is affected that a New Journal Article Claims Younger Dryas Comet Destroyed Ancient Syrian Village. Jason's obviously a bit discomfited by this finding, but he's also right its impact is not strong evidence for Graham Hancock's Atlantis hypothesis. Concerning another alternative archaeologist, Colavito reports that Scott Wolter Gives New Interview, Suggests Second Kensington Runestone Exists. Jason is on much firmer ground in his criticisms here. (WM)

Brent Swancer leads off a set of older UFO events with an article spanning 400 years of recorded aerial hijinks. Those from the late 20th century are harder to dismiss than the potentially allegorical 16th and 17th-century accounts. The Mysterious Canary Islands Mass UFO Sighting is a bunch of 1976 UFO reports even more difficult to ignore, for their variety, duration, number of witnesses, and the outstanding weirdness of some of the accounts, especially the occupant one. Just the next year comes The Bizarre Case of the Colares Island UFO Invasion. As with the previous Canary Islands cases, this series of events involved many witnesses, a wide variety of separate reports, and was studied by military investigators, but lasted much longer and involved deleterious physical effects upon humans. Jenny Randles takes over from Brent to talk about "quite possibly the most important UFO book of the 21st century." In the Beginning is here not Biblical, but "seminal," in Randles' words, as that "beginning" is 1947. And Maurizio Verga's Flying Saucers in the Sky: 1947: When UFOs Came from Mars, with a review like this from an iconic. longtime researcher like Randles, sounds like a winner. (WM)

March 26

A gentleman in North Carolina is a recent witness to something dark and bipedal near the woods behind his home. Whether it was a Bigfoot, a bear, or a neighbor with a costume fetish, it clearly frightened the living bejeezus out of the fellow. Bigfoot does have that effect on many folks. Wood Knock Terror / Running Bigfoot Suddenly Vanishes are two more reports of vague-ish encounters accompanied by crystal clear fear. Confession Time: If we were a Sasquatch, we'd be picking out the easiest to frighten among the hairless ones and having a great time watching them run away. (CM)

An excerpt from Sarah Scoles just-published book They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers. This passage is a good sketch of the early "saucer years" through 1953. Scoles' overall cultural implications thread through the snippet; for the historical context and a more detailed treatment we continue to recommend UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry by Michael Swords and Robert Powell, eds.(Anomalist Books). As for folks seeing saucers, Paul Seaburn says that a SpaceX Rocket Looks Like a UFO and Attracts One Too. The title makes us remember long summer afternoons spin casting in lakes for, basically, nothing. Well, if that one looks like a rocket stage falling to earth, a really intriguing candidate popped up recently. But NASA Explains Why Weird, Wheel-like Blip in Space Images is not a UFO, according to CNET's Amanda Kooser, who knows her Star Trek spinoffs. Kooser also has a recommendation "For more fun with internal reflections." Well, how about a UFO so close to earth it looks like it's landing? Duncan Phenix has already debunked that, and the thing's not even been built! See US - Mexico Border May be Home to Huge UFO Sculpture. It wouldn't be out of this world, and not even--though almost--out of this country. (WM)

Has anyone else noticed that pre-quarantine activities seem surreal? Not sure if that's a result of cabin fever or adjustment to the New Normal. What we do know is planning a paranormal road trip makes the time pass more easily.  If you're in the US for Summer '21, check out LA and the hotspots Marilyn and Elvis still like to frequent. Want more? Here's a brief guide to Paranormal Tourism and the Top Haunted Cities in the U.S.. Remember to be considerate tourists when you do get out and practice Social Distancing--it's going to be with us for a long time. Stay healthy...and stay weird. (CM)

The last word in this apocalyptic headline was first seen as "Days" by this reader, in view of the current world extremity. Rob Schwarz reports on an interesting series of questions from this recent survey of Britons. Example: 58% of those queried think governments should keep mum were they to get wind of an Independence Day scenario. In other fresh news, the Skinwalker Ranch Owner Goes on Camera. In an occasionally-irritating example of "video audio art," new owner Brandon Fugal makes some very strong statements. Just coincidentally, the History TV series "The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch" premiers on March 31st. The commercial real-estate magnate is certainly setting up viewers for either what Fugal calls "perhaps the most important scientific effort of our time"--or another overhyped pseudo-realistic presentation of something that may have deserved better. Either way, we're still planning on watching. Greg Haas presents a 'War is Boring' Article Recycled to Remind that Even Navy Pilots Make UFO Mistakes. Robert Beckhusen's linked 2017 opinion piece is very worthwhile, and Tic Tac engager David Fravor's remarks in Haas' embedded video conversations defending Naval pilots against making UFO errors are cogent. Hayden Petersen turns in a mostly-irritating video with truly absolutely stunningly beautiful results from the First Ever UFO Drone Photoshoot! The model deserves a medal. (WM)

March 25

Grant Currin tells a fascinating story about the adventitious final discovery of Sak Tz'i', a whole--albeit relatively small--kingdom long known from references "in sculptures and inscriptions from across the ancient Maya world." Currin himself references the Brandeis University news statement Ancient Maya Kingdom Unearthed in a Backyard in Mexico, which translates the dynastic kingdom's name Sak Tz'i' as "White Dog," allowing the name's significance is unknown. The Brandeis post relates how a University of Pennsylvania student's vegetarianism almost nixed the critical discovery that led scholars to the archaeological site. Currin additionally links to the Journal of Field Archaeology article Centering the Classic Maya Kingdom of Sak Tz'i'. This more detailed academic opus is richly and helpfully illustrated, provides much context, and includes its own remarkable tale of a nearby inhabitant who seemed to know the site currently called Lacanja Tzeltal was the center of his ancestral kingdom's home, down to its still-current Classic period Sak Tz'i' name. The gut-wrenching depredations of looters and the less-condemnable but still regrettable effects of weather erosion are almost constantly present as the journal article progresses through the archaeological site. One cannot help but sense the combined anger and frustration that present-day scholars must feel towards these losses. Reading these three articles in order conveys the best understanding of the archaeological significance of the discovery, the panoply of techniques used to make sense out of it, and the importance of all this to the Mayan indigenous heritage. (WM)

Generally we like to believe the folks from This Side of the veil can coexist with folks from The Other Side of the veil. Sure there's a little creepiness from time to time, the occasional bit of skin crawling, but it's all in good fun. But messing with a Foo Fighters album release? That's going too far. But they aren't the only celebrities who've had experiences with the Woo. George Knapp's interview,  Pop star Robbie Williams a student of paranormal phenomena, is an intriguing initial foray into Williams' lifelong interest in the weird. Here's hoping there's more to come. (CM)

Killhill Volume 1 Fortean Ireland
Some lesser-known older stories are led by Shane Cochrane's resurrecting a 1934 "mystery light" in the Republic of Ireland's County Donegal. The Derry Journal source of the time transports the reader back to their investigator's experience. Moving only slightly forward towards our time (maybe), Brent Swancer examines The Mystery of the Cape Girardeau UFO Crash. An alleged 1941 event is fraught with difficulties, including its surfacing only long after the supposed occurrence. Brent covers both the interesting story and some of its weaknesses in his useful treatment. And Scott Corrales gives us More Forgotten Saucer Cases of the 1970s. This is a remarkable medley of varied and sometimes near-unique reports from all over Mexico, largely as recorded in the newspapers of the time. (WM)

March 24

In a follow-up to The Pentagon UFO Program's Secret Partner, Roger Glassel and Curt Collins raise serious questions about the background to the Big UFO Story that splashed all over the media in December 2017. Glassel and Collins question the propriety of the Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) working agreement with Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and define the particular nature of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). They suggest different reasons than commonly understood for the lack of transparency that has existed about AATIP. Curt Collins is also Kevin Randle's guest on A Different Perspective, to discuss the initial Glassel-Collins article. Kevin and Curt consider that perhaps only one MUFON officer knew who/what was behind Bigelow's BAASS funding, and that the collaboration may actually have bankrupted the UFO organization in the end. And Curt's not done yet, as Paracasters Gene Steinberg and Randall Murphy conduct a Sarah Scoles Interview with Curt Collins. Sarah Scoles authored the recently-released They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers. While she tells how the December 2017 events led to her study and in the process changed her preconceptions about the UFO "community," Scoles is refreshingly frank regarding her continuing skepticism about ET-UFOs. Typical questions about "Belief," "UFO" vs. "UAP," and UFO conferences get rather fresh examination, and Scoles receives raves for her writing style. (WM)

In a stunning move blamed upon Nevada government orders to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Robert Bigelow's aerospace company has now laid off all of its 88 employees. Since the federal government considers aerospace manufacturing "an essential industry" and other states therefore allow reduced and "stay at home" worker options, SpaceNews Senior Staff Writer Jeff Foust lists other factors possibly involved in a permanent closure, instead of the temporary action the move is claimed to be. Thanks to Jack Brewer for alerting us to this distressing news. (WM)

More accounts of our favorite harbinger of doom, Mothman and his sidekicks Gargoyles and Caped Specters? This first post has a Chicago security guard encountering what appears to be a winged humanoid at the airport. Next we have a report of a Huge 'Flying Gargoyle' Over Arthur L. Janura Forest Preserve, Illinois. The witness initially thought they were seeing a plane, to give some sense of perspective. Next, from his friends at the annual Mothman Festival, Nick Redfern brings us Amazing Tales from the Land of Mothman. There really is no limit to how weird things can get, and Redfern's pals have got it going on in spades. For those of you who need a reminder that conjuring doesn't typically turn out well, there's “Did anyone see a black winged thing?” We'll close off with a piece debunking much of the Mothman legend: NRA Releases Free Mothman Report. Maybe that's a relief. (CM)

Who here remembers Official UFO magazine, which was published in the '70s and '80s? We see a lot of hands out there. The magazine was edited by Bernard O'Connor, and now, decades later, Bernie is back with a new website Videos of the Damned, a documentary review site concentrating on all things Fortean "to help our fellow shut-ins pass the time" during the coronavirus crisis. This latest post is all about the controversial Disney UFO doc that aired in March of 1995 and was never shown again. Previous posts covered The Flatwoods Monster Case – Free Movie, The Bray Road Beast, and Guadalupe: The Miracle And The Message. Bernie rates each video with a number of "Charleys," for Charles Fort, of course. All we can say is "Welcome back, Bernie!" (PH)


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