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The Anomalist

April 27

In an article originally published by The Sun Jasper Hamill describes and links to a paper by Pennsylvania State University astronomer Jason T. Wright, who thinks there might be traces of extinct alien civilizations on Earth and in other corners of the solar system. This is not Wright's first foray into such ancient civilization speculations; for as Hamill notes, recently Wright suggested evidence for the first "Dyson Sphere" around KIC 8462852, or "Tabby's Star," to explain its anomalous behavior. Hamill's treatment is a good summary of the short academic paper. We hope that the Extraterrestrial Shot Dead in New Jersey was not the last of its kind. JP Robinson says an "incredible incident allegedly took place" in 1978 with this tragic result. Robinson admits "the apparent lack of physical evidence to legitimise this particular case," but adds that its secrecy, threats to witnesses, Wright-Patterson involvement, and such make it very like similar stories. Not to mention a couple of X-Files television programs, which aired well after Leonard Stringfield's report appeared in the 1985 MUFON UFO Symposium Proceedings. (WM)

Introducing a new leisure activity for readers with anger issues: Spirit House Bashing. Seriously though, in Thailand the practice of building a small structure in one's yard to house squatting spirits is considered good planning. Paul Seaburn brings us this story that drips with weird and a need for someone to go all Looney Toons with a sledge hammer. Doubtful it helped the situation much though. Another case still up for debate but leaning heavily to the side of Run For Your Life is The Amityville Horror Part Two: The Lutz Haunting. As much as critics want to declare the Lutz's as scammers, there have been too many eyewitness experiences to dismiss the claims outright. Perhaps everyone can agree to disagree and just admit that no one wants to ever set food in such a place again. Less frightening (maybe) but equally disturbing is When The Poltergeist Finds It’s Voice. We will say this, however: the descriptions of the witness encounters could well be illustrating cases of true hauntings, but they could just as likely be a product of a tortured mind in need of medical attention. The fact remains though, the whole situation was odd as odd could be, and we really have no clue as to the truth of the matter. Sweet dreams...(CM)

Sampling the Supernatural Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Beach has undertaken an anomalistic analysis of the ways and means in which supernatural reports have changed over time--and by time, we mean centuries. The obvious problem is getting his hands on information/materials that can be used to compile a crude database, and to do that the good Doctor is calling on his readers for assistance. Anyone with helpful suggestions concerning publication titles he should be researching are asked to send an email to drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com. We're on it, Doc. Providing a rather enormous contrast to historical research are Mysterious Last Text Messages from the Vanished. As we've said before, there's not much that's more chill inducing than having a loved one disappear without a trace. We may need to amend that statement though, because when the only traces left behind are puzzling/disturbing text messages and other bits that current technology has to offer us, the horror level starts to creep up even higher. Makes you want to get yourself microchipped, just in case...(CM)

A photography and amateur naturalist recently found what he believes is a Thylacine hair among a collection of old microscope slides and samples. The owner of the collection, Chris Rehberg, is especially interested in the Tasmanian Tiger and is currently fundraising in order to "collate accurate and high quality photographs online so that people who come across habitats in caves can compare the thylacine hairs with new specimens." In the meantime, the hunt for the Big Man continues: Macy researchers out to prove Bigfoot exists. What's really unique about this pair though is that they have chosen to approach Ci'tonga, (the Omaha Indian name for Bigfoot) with respect and awe, rather than guns. Most of the community has bought in to what the Webster brothers are doing, with the few dissenters choosing to distance themselves from the search rather than grab their guns. We can't wait to hear more from this community. (CM)

Plasmas just don't get no respect, but you might rank the so-called "fourth state of matter" #1, if you listen to MUFON's Robert Spearing long enough. Gene Steinberg and Goggs Mackay discuss orbs with Spearing, who not only notes plasma is the most prevalent state of things in the universe, but it's even possible that the majority of life is composed of plasma, and some of it, including in his opinion orbs, might be intelligent. Spearing has used an investigative and statistics background to turn some of the Mutual UFO Network's "warehoused" data into active research--MUFON's "Project Orange" breaking down cases into descriptive categories to look for patterns and other data nuggets. He notes that orb reports seem greatest around certain times of year--like the Fourth of July--that produce lots of excess phosphorus, and has settled on some 489 cases to-date from seven July 4th periods to study intensively. Spearing must be aware that picking a specific time period for such a reason may constrain generalizations from that sample. A difference he notes between orbs and ball lightning is that ball lightning will enter homes, while an orb never does; this will surprise and perhaps dismay many orb fans. Kevin Randle's interview with MUFON's Chase Kloetzke rather got taken over by discussion of just one of her many cases, a 2010 Tennessee event in which the investigator became a witness. But it's a fascinating case that perplexes Randle, whose website offers a lame-appearing mundane explanation for what she reports. There seems to be a difference in her account here and in a published story Randle links to regarding whether Chase was turning to run or was already in full flight before she saw the "something" that capped off a series of weird events and frightening sensations, but Kevin's one negative discussion link did not persuade. (WM)

April 26

Never let it be said that the Canadian sense of humor is any less notable than their inherent politeness. Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary recently observed an aurora phenomenon that had never before been documented. Donovan named the gas stream "Steve," a running joke from the 2006 children's movie Over The Hedge where an unknown animal is given the same name by the neighborhood creatures. "Commenters in the original Facebook group joked about the name, with one person coming up with a scientific-sounding acronym for Steve: Sudden Thermal Emission from Velocity Enhancement". Since we're looking up at the night skies, The Seven Sisters, otherwise known as the Pleiades, have as their origin story several versions that seem to span across cultures and geography. This common thread is being pointed at as an indicator that either there was contact between cultures well ahead of what science currently believes, or humans existed as one culture on the African continent and from there spread out across the globe, taking their renditions of the story with them. (CM)

Chris O'Brien provides a typically fact-filled and intriguing look at more cases from the American Southwest, this time noting numerous similarities in the plot lines between a 1993/1994 San Luis Valley, Colorado, nexus of events whose height was reached on January 12 and a 1983 New Mexico case, remarkably transpiring on the same January date. As Chris notes, these cases have almost everything besides strange green fireballs, including apparent military misdirection and deception, unexplained explosions, numerous rumors, and even mysterious deaths. Chris rightfully thinks that these two ill-known cases deserve more attention. (WM)

The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #1: Blackness Quarry Ghost Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Beach has put together an anthology of hauntings from the 1880s taking place on the island of Dundee, Scotland. This first tale from Blackness Quarry details appearances of a tall and elusive black spectre who, while terrorizing the island, was most likely a human interloper as demonstrated by his flight at the first sign of fisticuffs. Next up,The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #2: the Hilltown Ghost, serves as a continuation wherein the n'ere do well masquerading as a phantom lays low for a few weeks then reappears in the district of Hilltown. Adding a little phosphorescence to his dark robes for a touch of drama, he proceeds to cause alarm and mischief, eventually becoming emboldened enough to attempt an assault on a young girl. Again, the threat of physical reprisal sends his cowardly black behind running into the mist. And finally, The 1883 Dundee Ghost Flap #3: Castoffs draws the tale to a conclusion with the arrest of the criminal spook, his reign of terror at an end even as island inhabitants recovered from the trauma of the past months. A happy ending at last. (CM)

April 25

Back in 2003, fossilized remains of a very small species of human were found on the Indonesian island of Flores. Receiving the unfortunate nickname of The Hobbit Species, Homo floresiensis' origins remained a mystery until a recent study conducted by Colin Groves from ANU. Co-authoring the study published in the Journal of Human Evolution, Groves has determined H. floresiensis was most closely related to Homo habilis, a much earlier human ancestor than anticipated. Additional evidence suggests H. floresiensis' time on earth overlapped with that of Homo Erectus, which raises questions regarding what or who were responsible for the Hobbit race's eventual extinction. Scientific American reports Ancestors of Flores “Hobbits” May Have Been Pioneers of First “Human” Migration Out of Africa. (CM)

It's heartening that a serious book on unidentified flying objects has received a good review by a venerable journalist in, for goodness' sake, The New York Times. Cheryl and Linda Miller Costa's 371-page statistical compilation of reports to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) has caught the notice of Ralph Blumenthal. Blumenthal provides an interesting account of the U.F.O Sightings Desk Reference, the work behind it, and some of the facts and questions that can be derived therefrom. On the other hand, we are troubled by the article entitled Peru: Impressive New Findings Concerning Alleged ET Remains in Nazca. In this post we sensed themes we had heard several times before, and we are extremely concerned that purported archaeological material seems to have been removed from its context with no discussion of its formal recording nor of any official archaeological organization being involved. We hope that the Asociacion Peruana de Ufologia will provide more information clarifying these issues. (WM)

Bruno Borges has been missing since March 27, 2017, from his family home in Brazil. Left behind were a dozen manuscripts written in a strange cipher, and evidence throughout his room of an obsession with aliens, alternate dimensions, and a variety of other psi woo. Recently a friend of Borges has come forward to shed some light on the young man's frame of mind at the time of his disappearance. It has become more evident that the missing Borges believed he had a special mission that required completion, but for now, with no evidence to indicate his whereabouts, police believe he could just as easily have been the victim of a kidnapping or wandering about in the midst of a psychotic break. It's still possible though that Bruno found safe passage elsewhere, as illustrated by The Bizarre World of Evidence for Alternate Universes. Having said that, this piece seems a tad fixated on the Mandela Effect (or maybe that's just how we remember it). We confess though, the concept of superposition of quantum particles, and the infinite possibilities drawn from the theory that nothing is solidified until it is observed, is one heck of an idea to wrap our heads around, and at least the Mandela Effect is simple enough to understand. We definitely need more posts like this one to get ourselves properly educated. (CM)

Martha Cliff reports on a new Reddit thread for people who "honestly believe they have been abducted by aliens" to tell about their experiences. Cliff's intertext comments are straightforward and useful, while comments to her article mostly don't do it justice. Rich Reynolds has a photo and pleasant reminiscence about The Young Betty and Barney Hill, separating his feelings for the couple from what he thinks about their story. In the continuing saga of John Keel's involvement with supposed aliens, Special Cases--The Long Island File (36): Apol Answers gives us a disappointing reply to John's detailed letter of July 16, 1967. Apol's response is mostly negative, pseudo-biblical in its phrasing, vague, and weird. However, Apol's letter seems to indicate that at least some MIBs are nice guys--even "saviors"--which is at least something. (WM)

April 24

How many CIA and FBI agents does it take to decrypt a 15th century manuscript? No one knows, because it's never happened. Fortunately a team of Russian mathematicians were up to the task of deciphering the Voynich manuscript, written in a code so complex some theorized it was written by aliens. Utilizing an unusual code breaking technique, researchers compared the end result to some common Indo-European languages as well as some made up ones. (How's your Klingon?) While there is still much to decipher, including the original scribes' reasons for being so secretive, initial analysis indicates the text is "60 percent English and German and 40 percent Romance language – Spanish, Italian and maybe a little Latin." Next up on the to do list will be breaking the language out into actual words, a task which now seems possible given all that has been accomplished thus far. Or so they say... (CM)

Kevin Randle disposes of a recently-appearing Roswell "eyewitness story" as a revived Frank Kaufmann variant. Randle's actually having "been there" and investigated the 1947 "crash site", plus his knowledge of military protocol, are key to his fast and sure debunking of this tale. David Halperin employs his different perspective regarding another Roswell witness-claimant in A Roswell Synopsis? The Case of Gerald Anderson. In this piece Halperin records the nub and then accretions to the story of a different crash site by a witness who has also been discredited. Halperin finds fascination in Anderson's bringing in elements from yet a third largely discredited Roswell storyteller, and "an extraordinary, powerful statement" in Anderson's tale that is "perhaps a key to what Anderson's memories--which surely didn't correspond to anything in physical reality--meant to him." This touches upon why Roswell has become such an attractive myth, obscuring whatever are the "real" facts about what happened in the New Mexico desert in July of 1947. No wonder why Rich Reynolds warns "Use Only the Essentials." in researching Roswell and other "classic" historical UFO cases. A Commenter to Randle's blog asks the pertinent question as to the "general motives" behind false or questionable witnesses adding their claims to such stories; Jeff Ritzmann's recent suggestion that some UFO image fabricators actually felt "compelled" to do so may be pertinent in this regard. And in the Reynolds blog, "Terry the Censor" suggests a periodically-appearing UFO journal for "grounding" important UFO cases against the confusion caused by such accretions. (WM)

Well, the images look somewhat like they've been rendered rectangular by insufficient resolution, but we have detailed witness backup for the shapes in these and other odd aerial sightings that Paul Seaburn discusses from the MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and NUFORC (National UFO Reporting Center) online reports databases. Additionally, Seaburn provides a link to a NUFORC "Report Index" based upon the "RECTANGLE" craft shape category. (WM)

Well, the title of this piece says it all. Archeologists working on the site refuse to state definitively how old the ruins actually are, as it's the first time they've encountered such structures. But they will say the site probably dates from the Islamic Middle Ages of 661 to 1508 AD. If that's a little too ancient for your tastes, may we direct you to The Woodbridge Clay Pits Figures which, while decidedly less archaic, have their own bizarre story that they are keeping mum about. Evidently housed in shack slated for demolition, about 100 clay figurines were discovered, all of them African, armless, nude, hollowed out and corked. Needless to say the urban legends spread even as the researchers came up with a lot of nothing concerning the figurines' origins. (CM)

April 23

Some time ago Darren Naish spotted two queer pelts, online and in Libya, finding himself stumped as to their provenance. Had he asked his mum, like Karl Shuker, the mystery behind their origin would've been sorted out in no time. Add a little zoological expertise, along with the wisdom of crowds from comments, a curiosity is a curiosity no more... or is it? Karl's sound hypothesis does raise questions on the potential existence of another cryptid familiar to most humans. (CS)

Self Help As Magic Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Self-help books are everywhere, but do they have a foundation in science or perhaps they draw upon western mystical traditions? Dr. Beachcombing deconstructs these feel-good grimoires, revealing the cleverly hidden underpinnings authors are keeping under wraps. If you're open-minded about all this, perhaps you should volunteer for a mixed precep experiment at your local university. A recent study proves Creative People Physically See And Process The World Differently. It's not surprising as creative types find more toys to play with, creating opportunities to reimagine them. Maybe it's how some people perceive the universe as associative, one full of portents, omens, and augurs, rather than the mainstream causative paradigm. Rounding out this footnote on the oeuvre of magick, we doff our hats as Lashtal shares some bad news. Donald Weiser, publisher of countless and influental esoteric tomes like Moonchild, Crowley's Book of Lies among others. (CS)

Disappointed? Temper your disappointment with the fact only four studies have been completed. Two were wildly successful while two were abject failures. And amidst the ruins, Greg Taylor finds a few reasons to be cheerful. Dr. Beachcombing's been doing a little research on the side by measuring The Supernatural On Ngram. Ngram is a tool to check the frequency of words over time, and his curious findings on fairies, ghosts, vampires, werewolves and witches are most curious and informative. (CS)

First, 83% of statistics are made up. Secondly I shall quote Han Solo, "Never tell me the odds." The biggest problem with Colin Carlson's mathematical survey, according to Alice Klein, is the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. QED it's time for biologists to get their hands dirty out in the field to challenge those figures! Also in the running for the World Hide-And-Seek championship is the Loch Ness Monster Declared 'Missing' After Official Recorder Reports Zero Sightings In Eight Months. Gary Campbell expressed his concerns to Joseph Curtis, noting there are more eyes seeking Nessie than ever, therefore someone should've seen her. We're not worried as this editor at The Anomalist reckons Nessie sightings and sunspot activity go hand-in-hand, and the daystar's sunspot count has recently been in decline. (CS)

April 22

If you thought Missing 411 was scary, you'll never want to visit Boston. There's a queer parallel between Paulides's investigations and Amanda Tullos's coverage of missing people and bodies of water. Might it be a serial killer, too much booze, or could they be the victim of something beyond our ken? The families of these unfortunate young men, at least, have closure. Same can't be said for the Philadelphia police who are still haunted by The Creepy Mystery Of The Boy In The Box. Psychics, Brent Swancer, and America's most brilliant criminal investigators have been called to the case, but perhaps an anomalist has a maverick theory with the potential of cracking this case wide open? (CS)

For years The Anomalist has been urging people to consider what we know as reality isn't particularly real. New data from Switzerland traces the cracks in our paradigm, but it's premature to hail a new era of weird science. Other high strangeness lurks at the bottom of reality. There's Still A Lot We Don't Know About The Proton, and Emily Conover enumerates the laundry list of what science doesn't know about this fundamental particle. Better yet, the experiments to learn more about protons indicate something weirder with the potential of rewriting what we know lurks at the subatomic level. Physicists aren't the only ones having fun, as biology's 'Shadow Biosphere' Theory Gains Scientific Support with Robin McKie's inquiry into the phenomenon of 'desert varnish'. Could it be the product of life, just not as we know it? Some eggheads in Pasadena, California coaxed bacteria into creating organo-silicon compounds contributing to the Possibility Of Silicon-Based Life. (CS)

Was Hannah Courtoy the first female Doctor? Many a story's been told about her tomb being a TARDIS, after a fashion, but not even Jake Rossen's been able to find the proof. Maybe if someone finds the key to this Egyptologist's wet dream of a structure, the world could have a peek at what lies within... even if it's just mouldering bones. Yet there are bigger mysteries out there, the kinds deserving of something more than a mere rabbit hole. Amidst the ayahuasca and Puma Punku's queer carvings, Paul Seaburn discovers South America's Mysterious Brazilian Tunnels Dug By Mysterious Giant Creatures known as giant sloths. Or were they dug by giant ants? Perhaps Loren Coleman and his synchromystic buddies featured on the roll of Top 25 Twilight Language Theorists of 2017 had a hand in those cyclopean warrens. (CS)

Ghosts are old hat in the UK, but American bars still have plenty of spirits that aren't of the Jack Daniels variety. Sarah Baker Hansen's interview with Ryan Puls went a little long, leading her to the acquaintance of Speakeasy's spookiest resident. Even cooler, Sarah fact-checks the legends and history appears to back 'em up. It's no surprise that Bodmin's The Jamacia Inn is among Britain's most haunted pubs, serving up booze since 1547. Matt Cook's stopped by for a pint, and rub shoulders with the dead. Not everyone's keen on the uninvited since the dead aren't inclined to pay their admission price. Paul Seaburn's caught wind of the Band Won’t Play in Studio Until Exorcist Removes Ghosts. Whatever happened to "The show must go on?" (CS)

April 21

Jeff Ritzmann examines an increasingly serious impediment to concerted progress in the ufological field. Ritzmann's experience provides good points about some of the stimulus behind hoaxing. Ritzmann's suggestion that (at least many) miscreants felt "compelled" to do such things may be dead-on. We think Commenter Chris O'Brien has a valid argument that visions of monetary gain drive many current internet frauds, and we'd argue that ufology is a field not alone in these regards. Other examples of human-created "noise" in ufology besides conscious hoaxing are ideologically-informed explanations for ambiguous data, as seen in Venezuela: Strange Object over Caracas, where an apparent object over the politically-torn Venezuelan capital is suggested as possibly "non-human intelligences" deriving nourishment from the human energy below. And could it simply be the unconscious "15-minutes of fame" urge affecting the judgment of an excited videographer in UFOs over Adelaide? Filmmaker Convinced Unusual Lights Streaking through the Early Morning Sky are Alien Craft? Others say that what was filmed were just meteors, according to Daily Mail's Josh Hanrahan. (WM)

If you're looking to unravel a stone wall mystery, no need to head to the British Isles. There's a discontinuous, miles-long stone wall near San Francisco that has left scholars scratching their heads as to its original builders and purpose. While popular theories include Lemuria and Mu as origins, there is a growing suspicion that the walls were simply built by migrants as a means of managing livestock. Oh, if these walls could talk...Now over in Kansas, archeologists have made a significant discovery. Its Location A Mystery For Centuries, Huge Indian City May Have Been Found In Kansas. Etzanoa looks to be the second biggest native American settlement found thus far in the United States, and it's rubble tells a story of attack by Spaniards in the 1600s. Safe to say researchers will be a very long time uncovering this buried city's secrets. (CM)

Statistician Nate Tellis and Astronomer Geoff Marcey recently mined 12 years of back data from the Keck Observatory in a creative effort to search for signals of extraterrestrial life. Their result: "It didn't find anything" says The Atlantic's Marina Koren. Tellis thinks such an outcome from a SETI effort should not discourage: "SETI has been in process for about 60 years, and it's been non-detection after non-detection after non-detection." But the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence goes on, as rightfully does ufology, which is saddled with even more impediments. (WM)

Sign us up for the next ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Recently a skeptical Kirin Johnson took part in a history and ghost tour only to come out the other side a believer (or at least, open to believing). That's our kind of fun. Decidedly less fun and just a whole lot more chilling is the story of Mrs Stone and the Headless Ghost, as brought to us by Chris Woodyard. Pieced together from a Wilshire newspaper published around 1900, Chris shares with us the experience of Mrs. Stone beset upon by a headless apparition in the dark of night. Readers with more in depth information regarding the true identity of Mrs. Stone, or more information about the headless ghost phenomenon so common a hundred years ago are invited to email chriswoodyard8 AT (CM)

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