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The Anomalist

August 14

Las Cruces, New Mexico, was the location of some shiver-worthy paranormal activity this week. A hidden camera was set up in a cemetery in the hopes of catching miscreants guilty of vandalizing graves. What it caught instead was the image of a wee girl visiting a grave. A deceased wee girl's anguished mother recognized the toddler as her daughter murdered in 2017. Even for 2020, this kind of incident is just too much. What the heck is going on? Looking for answers we turn to John Cleese's Next Act: 'I Think There Is Life After Death'. Not everyone is aware that the well known actor/comedian is obsessed with the subject of life after death, reading everything he can on the subject with a particular interest in NDEs. His ultimate performance would be a television program which, if given the opportunity, would seek to answer the question "Is there life after death?" We'd be willing to resubscribe to our cable provider for a chance to see that, even if there were no silly walks included. (CM)

Nick Redfern tells a jaw-dropping story about "sympathetic insiders who wanted the full, unexpurgated story out for everyone to see" who came forward before publication of his recent book The Rendlesham Forest UFO Conspiracy: A Close Encounter Exposed as a Top Secret Government Experiment. Nick gets into less-personal (to himself) but still remarkable waters in When the U.K. Government Spied on a UFO Group: Nukes and an "Occult Society". Some interesting details on why the Aetherius Society and its founder George King were of such interest to Scotland Yard. Bent Swancer is up next with UFOs and Strange Vanishings at Australia's Mysterious Bass Strait Triangle. The October 21, 1978, Frederick Valentich disappearance of course features here, but its amazing context of surface as well as aerial vanishings does indeed convince that "the Bass Strait holds its mysteries close." Brent's conundrum about The Mysterious UFO Moon Cave of Slovakia is a real puzzler. The very location of the center of this enigma is unknown, which makes researching the strange claims about it problematic, and leaves open for boundless speculation their possible import. (WM)

Curt Collins depicts a visionary military thinker whose artistic abilities melded with a 1957 Japanese sci-fi movie. Regarding films and the '50s, Jason Colavito notes some Uncanny Parallels: UFO Culture and the James Dean Death Cult. Though readers may take issues with some elements Jason takes as "givens," this essay's comparisons are uncomfortably illuminating. Mark Russell Bell's Here is UFOlogy's 'Bombshell Physical Proof' may not satisfy readers as to its title assertion, but looks back at the '50s claimed experiences of Truman Bethurum from the standpoint of a present-day sympathetic writer. And Caleb Strom tries to inject new life into what's almost universally believed a fiction with The Aurora Airship Incident: UFO Crash, Mars Fever or Hoax?. Channeling Nick Redfern without the conspiratorial element, Strom argues for a possibly earthly crash misread by the locals. (WM)

It's one of the most notorious sea serpent reports in cryptozoology. It happened in March of 1962 off Pensacola, Florida. Were four teenage boys killed by a sea serpent? That's the cover story of the upcoming September issue of Fortean Times. It's an excerpt from David Goudsward's new book Sun, Sand, and Sea Serpents, published by Anomalist Books. David recently spoke about reports of marine cryptids in the waters of Florida, the Southeastern coast, and the Caribbean in a Cryptid Report interview by Jim Harold. Don't miss it. (PH)

August 13

Anthropologist Jacqueline Roumeguère-Eberhard devoted much of her life to the study of Africa's Wild Man, uncovering multiple accounts from the the Massai of encounters with various relic hominids. One has to wonder if the question should in fact not be "Is Homo Erectus still alive?" but rather "Who else besides Homo Erectus resides still in the cradle of civilization?" Elsewhere, Nick Redefern asks: Bigfoot: Are They Creatures That Dwell in Caves? According to this report it seems likely that yes, they do. It follows then that we need to change our search tactics because while the Hairy Man may like hanging out it the woods, there's a good chance the creature calls a cave (or series of caves) home. And then there's the Yeti. Not Your Average Abominable Snowman delves into reports of what most likely were encounters with the "abominable snowman," although in each case there was something a little different about the witness descriptions. And so we may safely conclude that there is no end to unclassified creatures and hairy surprises in our world, and it shows no end of becoming dull anytime soon. (CM)

Danny Silva employs The New Republic article, which we reviewed yesterday, to highlight a sensitive subject: the biological effects and injuries experienced during UFO encounters. Seizing upon the magazine's conversation with Luis Elizondo, Silva adds further documentary source material and interviews to support the seriousness of the issue. On a related issue, Alejandro Rojas highlights that the Pentagon Can't Keep Their Story Straight on UFOs/UAP. Rojas summarizes the "fake news" that's been put out by Pentagon spokespeople recently. And the one embedded video that's free is a useful older Q&A with Elizondo himself. Its point about NDAs is particularly worth reviewing. (WM)

How would you react in the presence of a miracle? Philosopher Michael Grosso came face to face with one in 1994. And he wasn't alone. The story is told in this excerpt from Grosso's latest book, Smile Of The Universe: Miracles in an Age of Disbelief, published by Anomalist Books. Grosso is a prolific blogger. His latest post, entitled Genius and the Mentally Disabled, is about the stories he has been tracking of people with severe mental disabilities who display prodigious talents in music, in art, in mathematics, and in staggering feats of memory. How to explain these islands of genius bursting forth from individuals otherwise so functionally impaired? Miracles, indeed. "I have a hunch that the one who runs the mystery show of existence likes to play games with us," says Grosso. (PH)

David Halperin offers two recent dialogues with men whose UFO-related viewpoints are polar opposites. It's interesting that Michael Shermer stresses that Halperin is "a skeptic, like me," while Whitley Strieber is just as pleased that Halperin "is not in our camp." The Shermer interview seems more clinical and brings out most of the themes in Halperin's book Intimate Alien: The Hidden Story of the UFO. Strieber's shorter (that part that is free) dialogue supplies some of the other topics with Strieber trying to tie things in with his own personal experiences. A podcast showcasing an "outsider" whose work has done much to frame UFO/ET discourse is Alejandro Rojas' Steven Spielberg, Ufologist. Rojas explains that sobriquet in several films Spielberg produced, his connections with the November 27 1978 Grenada Prime Minister Eric Gairy United Nations initiative, and rumors about Spielberg being "given a unique insight into UFOs by President Ronald Reagan." (WM)

August 12

In uncertain times, it's good to know there is somewhere we can turn to for guidance other than the news networks and social media. Psychics in the Big Apple are reaping the benefits of current uncertainty, helping the lonely and fearful get through another day. Then there's the medium who's rolling with big wheel investors: Meet The Psychic That Big-Money Wall Street Traders Depend On. Whether it's warning investors that a bad decision will come back to bite them in their proverbial backsides, or advising  big spenders where their funds will most likely prosper, this tarot card reader has the full and well-earned trust of her wealthy clients. Good to know some folks are thriving in the current mess we call 2020. (CM)

A puzzling aspect of the UFO phenomenon is the role of To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science in the dissemination of UFO information and excitement. Aided by controversial blockbuster articles in the notoriously, historically staid New York Times, the cadre of scientists, engineers, ex-government intelligence officials--and a rock star--lobbied Congress to mandate yet another UFO studies program and has produced in Unidentified a creditable tv series arguing to take UFOs seriously. Matt Farwell ponders what this all means, providing context and failing to penetrate the conundrum. Jason Colavito unsurprisingly looks with jaundiced eyes both at Farwell's attempt and its subject in "The New Republic" Runs Lengthy Piece Puzzling Over "To the Stars". The article views the organization in the context of possibly misguided but serial efforts to achieve something regarding, or with the assistance of, UFOs. James Carrion employs a Tolkien/Monty Python moment for his UFO Gatekeepers: You Shall Not Pass. Carrion's "multi-decade" informed view: "what truly lies at the core of the UFO phenomenon cannot be equivocally ascertained until the role of those ["run-of-the-mill" government] agencies" that have studied and to an extent mediated the subject is understood. Others of us with "multi-decade experience" may confess humble uncertainty at just what's going on. (WM)

Names bear unusual importance in these three Mysterious Universe offerings. Brent Swancer describes the Tatunca Nara hoax of "a vast and sprawling underground city of wonders called Akakor" that ensnared a number of European adventurers, in some cases to their deaths. The aliens who created this civilization had left the Amazon to the locals by the time Gunther Hauck (aka Tatunca Nara) told his tales, but according to Nick Redfern Alien Entities and Their Even Stranger Names have been up close and personal with people, some of whom told their strange experiences to Nick himself. (Speaking of alien names, check out the definitive work on the subject: An Alien Who's Who, published by Anomalist Books.) In one case a "Space-Brother-like" dude even discussed Crop Circles with a woman. That might be useful now, as Paul Seaburn reports that the Raelians Hold International Online Forum to Discuss Diplomatic Protocols for Extraterrestrial Contact. The followers of French auto racing figure Claude Vorilhon (aka Rael) just held a meeting to advance plans towards a meetup with their ET "Creators" the "Elohim," who've been prepping humans for the event with "very complex crop circles all over the world," besides those F/A-18 encounters the press loves. (WM)

August 11

UK tabloids are abuzz with UFO reports. Colorado's been the scene for some strange aerial antics recently, but Oli Smith shows this one was credibly explained. So too for this UFO Sighting: Expert Unravels Mystery behind Boston UFO Footage - 'As Suspected'. Smith's Express colleague Sebastian Kettley has the story how this case has an even firmer solution. We often see the recycling of old "UFO" videos by such tabloids with new dates and locations, so it's good to see media outlets resolving many UFO cases so quickly--even if some internet sites want to play them up. There's even a recent instance where a "UFO Event" was predicted per Edinburgh Lights: Why There has been Mysterious Illuminations over the Capital this Week. EdinburghLive's Dayna McAlpine explains the "'ghostly' illuminations" whose appearance presaged an homage to a cancelled festival. And DevonLive's Colleen Smith relays the videographer's appeal for a solution as the Woman Films 'Silent UFOs' above River Exe. (WM)

A family trio reckon they've snapped a spook at a ruined mine and provide a mobile phone pic in which a man "can clearly be seen." Okay, and moving right along, Nick Redfern asks The U.K.’s “Alien Big Cats”: A Daimonic Phenomenon? His determination to believe in the "supernatural" origin of ABCs is bolstered in a book on the subject authored by Merrily Harpur, upon which Nick heaps praise. Finally, he cogitates upon When Strange Creatures Appear at Loch Ness, But They’re Not Nessies and believes it's not "just a coincidence" that ABCs have been up to no good around the Loch. (LP)

Here is a first-hand account from someone seeking answers at a spiritualist colony in Florida about what exists beyond this life. It's not just any spiritualist colony, mind you, but one where certification is requisite to reside there and where the gift of mediumship is taught and accepted as normal. It's not what you'd expect, so keep an open mind. Sometimes the subject of the afterlife is more disturbing, however, like these Eerie Cases of Answering Machine Messages from the Other Side. We aren't talking about loving goodbyes from the dearly departed, although those are part of this story. This report describes incidents that might be more apt to cause you to shout "Leave me alone!" Writer Brent Swancer even has a suggestion at the end to "enhance" your experience. (CM)

Esprit Parapsychology Foundation Blog
We hope you are all enjoying the news brought to you seven days a week at The Anomalist. Please show your support for what we do by purchasing some of the books we publish at Anomalist Books. Esprit is a glowing review by the Parapsychology Foundation's Lisette Coly of Men and Women of Parapsychology in Esprit, Volume 2 and Esprit, Men and Women of Parapsychology Personal Reflections Volume 1, both edited by Rosemarie Pilkington. Says Coly: "Taking the two volumes in their entirety you can see they literally present a Who’s Who of Parapsychology!  What a service to not only those presently engaged in study but for future generations to give support to their opportunity to carry parapsychology’s banner having such guidance and experience available to draw on." (PH)

August 10

An enduring mystery may have a remarkably commonplace explanation, if amateur archaeologist Ronald W.B. Morris is correct. And Morris' simple theory strengthens the notion that humans past and present are more alike than different. That goes for geography, too, as the Prehistoric "Woodhenge" Discovered in Portugal may demonstrate. Jocelyne LeBlanc reports that "a unique structure in the Prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula" bears similarities to Stonehenge, which may indicate "that those living across Europe were much more connected with each other during the Neolithic period than previously thought." And similarities may extend beyond modern humans, as Stephanie Pappas demonstrates that a Mystery Ancestor Mated with Ancient Humans. And its 'Nested' DNA was Just Found. New research pushes back the first intermixing of modern humans and Neanderthals by well over 100,000 years, and suggests a prior intermingling with an as yet unidentified hominin ancestor to maybe 1,000,000 years BP. (WM)

Our first reaction to this question is hardly scientific. Why wouldn't loads of people see pterodactyls? We see lake monsters, Sasquatch, chupacabras ,and skinwalkers. What if pterodactyls just want to join the paranormal party? Seriously though, this report demonstrates that no distinct pattern exists between sightings, making them random and altogether inexplicable. Just how are we supposed to respond When Strange and Monstrous Creatures Attack People? Running away as fast as our little human legs can carry us seems an appropriate answer. However, when the attack is from an enormous flying reptile over the water, running doesn't work so well. And if a group encounters 8-foot-tall apelike creatures wielding bats, chances are the hairy angry mob is going to run faster than any thinking group member. Point is, it's a dangerous world and we should all prepare for it with good running shoes and hard hats and acquaintances who run more slowly than we do. (CM)

Drone Morphs Into UFO Jazma Online Forum
"Drone delays" are now a major league (baseball) problem, but don't possess the import of these stories. "Demon Warrior" Paul Dale Roberts relates a story stranger than his moniker. It's almost a relief that three MIBs were involved, to ground us in some sort of reality. "EditorDavid" has latched onto that potentially scarier drone story we reported on August 3rd: Last Fall a Drone Swarm Surveilled America's Largest Nuclear Reactor -- Twice is worth repeating. But potentially dangerous drone doings are not a relatively recent development, per Nuclear-Powered Drones? The CIA May Have Had Them in the 1970s. Paul Seaburn tells a story that seems a bit beyond belief, were it not covered in a declassified CIA record. Documentary drone disinformation? (WM)

August 9

Tim Binnall notes the presence and possible explanation for the passage of an odd aerial object in a deadly serious and important tv segment. Luis Burgos provides another recent event in Argentina: Strange Object Crosses the Skies of La Pampa; Captured by Security Cams. It's interesting that the camera began "panning" to follow the course of the apparent object across the sky. Spain: A "UFO" over Solana de los Barros tells of a short 1975 "flap" whose witnesses "kept the events to themselves to preserve their respectability." But not for long; the newspaper picturing the late July story is dated August 5th. And Nick Redfern tells us about The Night a UFO Crashed - or Didn't. Crediting Andy Roberts, whose book on "The Welsh Roswell" Nick recommends, Redfern sketches the background and basic uncontested facts about the event. (WM)

This first set of stories comes from a young man growing up on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. One story involves a skinwalker running alongside a car; another is about a shapeshifting coyote. Skinwalker Appears Twice in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona describes what happens if we look these abominations in the eye and let them know we see them. Our final group of tales deals with Scary 'Skinwalker' Encounters in Arizona & Utah. The most frightening encounters are the ones where we see the least but learn the most. Suddenly, we're not so bummed about cancelled campouts and delayed road trips. (CM)

Many UFO-related encounters, especially of the distant kind, produce enthusiasm and interest in the beholder. But some generate absolute astonishment, confusion, and other less-positive emotions. What "is possibly the first abduction story to come out of contemporary China" will also likely rank as one of the strangest. Tristan Shaw brings this ill-known and uber-puzzling account to us. Brent Swancer offers The Truly Bizarre Tale of the Hunter and the Alien, which like the Chinese account has not avoided the suggestion of "hoax." And what to make of witness reports When Aliens and Strange Creatures Materialize and Dematerialize? Nick Redfern recounts cases familiar and otherwise, all pretty stupefying. (WM)

August 8

Billy Cox detects "a hunger for empiricism" in the current culture exemplified in the Ravi Kopparapu/Jacob Haqq-Misra Scientific American article's reasoned and reasonable case for studying UFOs/UAPs. Billy cites historical precedent for his position, believing the present attitude generally inclines towards taking these phenomena seriously. Yes and Maybe Somewhat No for UFO respectability, implies David Halperin. Weighing in upon The New York Times and the UFO - Leslie Kean, Ralph Blumenthal, Harry Reid, David critiques the current major media article exemplifying/helping create the changed situation. He suggests "UFO believers" Kean and Blumenthal to a certain extent have made "the nation's classic 'newspaper of record' part of that crusade." In the shadow of these events, Kevin Randle's interview spotlights Matt Tiller and the SCU. Tiller edits the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies' SCU Review, and discussion centers around the SCU's informational efforts, analysis of the "Ubatuba fragments," MUFON and To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science. About TTSA Tiller claims "They have a lot of great stuff ready to roll, and for one reason or another, they are told to stop." This might explain the way information has been emanating from that organization, but Tiller is not at liberty to specify the evidentiary basis for that quote. (WM)

It appeared last Monday in a field near the community of Devizes in the UK. The design consists of a large circle surrounded by a ring that features four smaller spheres...with a tree in the middle. It may be the fist of its kind. On a more mundane note, companies looking to promote their products have carved out Commercial Crop Circles Created in Kansas and New York. One consists of elaborate artwork that extols the virtues of a CBD brand, the other consists of the logo of a clothing brand embossed into a field. We've seen it before with Bigfoot and Nessie and UFOs--the amazing marketing power of the paranormal! (PH)

Nick Redfern critiques the 1971 Jan-Ove Sundberg CEIII from several angles. The 1932 Lieutenant McP Fordyce encounter reference makes the whole article fun. "Interplanetary Travel By Men From Venus" - Alleged Aliens and A Government Agency is interesting and a trifle mysterious. It underscores Nick's consistent contention that the FBI was interested in UFO contactees of the '50s and '60s for reasons other than supposed ET connections. Nick extends this theme to the present, admonishing UFO Researchers: If There's a "Secret File" on You, It's Because of Your Politics. Not Aliens. (WM)

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