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The Anomalist



August 20

What happens "out there" on Monday may have an effect on us "down here" in more ways than one. A website has been stet up for anyone to report on their experiences and discoveries during the upcoming solar eclipse. Writes Beverly Rubik: "It presents a fantastic opportunity for those of us interested in subtle energies, dowsing, radionics, meditation, consciousness studies, and related areas of interest to note any unusual effects and record and share them. Well-documented anomalous observations that challenge conventional science potentially create a paradigm shift toward a more inclusive science." We like this optimism but like Chris at Haunted Ohio we are feeling "pretty damn jumpy" about the big event tomorrow. But it was ever thus, as she points out in Death by Eclipse and Other Coronal Curiosities. (PH)

We want to thank Esoterx because this may be the first time in months we've thought about Washington D.C and felt amusement that wasn't tinged with shock and disbelief. Filled with rats? Check. Vermin with an afterlife? Seems possible but unsavory. (Is it possible this entire piece is a metaphor?) Still focusing on the afterlife--but not government--Chris Woodyard ponders Buddha’s Butterfly. Examining eastern religion and inviting commentary from her readers, Chris discusses the purpose of the small drawers carved into many Buddhist statues, and whether or not they were truly used to entrap tiny living creatures in order to give the carvings life. (CM)

Gene Steinberg and guest co-host J. Randall Murphy present, and in some cases referee, a round-robin discussion with four "teen ufologists from 1964." These gentlemen, who have outlived and/or outlasted many others whose UFO interests started in the 1950s, still can have lively (and instructive) debates on several important aspects of the field. While their particular perspectives naturally differ, all have migrated from a strictly "nuts and bolts" approach towards the overall subject, to a recognition of the wider richness of the phenomena that so fascinate them. Unfortunately, this variety complicates the study immensely, and the conversants speculate upon that intractability and what the next generation of ufologists--if indeed there will be an identifiable next generation--will be like. These men are all still contributing seriously to ufology, have thought deeply about their particular mania, and are worth the time in this podcast and in further referencing their current and past work. (WM)

Nick Redfern provides an addendum to his research into end-of-world-dreams and Mothman, and it just makes the current world conflict situation more discomfiting. Why? Because now we can add Grinning Man sightings to the psychological terror that has become our nighttime experience. Does he think these nightmares are prophetic? Not necessarily, but Nick never lets a subject lie dormant, so stay tuned for more of his updates. At least with this type of nightmare we know what we should be fearing. Not so with Strange Disappearances on the Highway of Death.. Authorities have speculated that I-80 is a hunting ground for one or more serial killers, but surely even murderers would eventually leave behind evidence. If you're traveling across country and find yourself near Nevada, maybe consider a detour. (CM)

August 19

A recent Fox News video shows a blurry object crossing the camera's field of view in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. Naturally, this has spurred the usual UFO-centered excitement among some people, but it's almost certainly nothing otherworldly. Paul Seaburn seizes the opportunity to provide data on a real past UFO event, or more appropriately two events separated by a week's time. These happened on the nights of July 19 and 26, 1952, and involved multiple radars at different sites, and visual sightings by pilots and ground personnel. Seaburn does his usual fine job of covering the basics of the flap and its aftereffects, but fuller accounts of this "climactic event in UFO history" are available, such as the account in UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry, by Michael Swords, Robert Powell, et al., and are worth consulting. The authors are correct in their assessment of the importance of the D.C. flyovers, for the confusion and communications jams caused by these events so concerned the CIA that it eventually created the Robertson Panel, whose conclusions and recommendations forever altered the course of UFO studies in the U.S. and, by extension, worldwide. And as an aside, the still photograph(s) and even video(s) purporting to show part of this flyover have been debunked in, among other places, Photo Fakery: Washington, DC Flying Saucers 1952. Curt Collins shows how the original photo itself is real but convincingly explicable as lens flares, and further illustrates how certain organizations have used it and "improved" versions for their own ends. The fakery is a disappointment and severe detriment, for it creates "noise" obscuring the fact that this major, and pivotal, UFO case resists explanation a full 65 years after its occurrence. (WM)

Most of us have at one time or another in our lives experienced the living hell that is sleep paralysis. Typically accompanied by the perception our worst nightmares have become a reality, researchers have been able to ascertain that sufferers are neither crazy nor tortured. However, it is likely they have experienced traumatic events that trigger the episodes, so that's not the best of news. Continuing on this downhill slide, Nick Redfern reports on letters from his readers, Mothman And Nuclear Nightmares. End of the world you say? Winged harbingers of doom perchance? Well, if the quantity of nightmares reported has anything to do with outcomes we might want to start digging big holes and stockpiling canned goods. But wait! There's more...to worry about, that is. Riders on the storm point out the celestial omens that abound at this time of escalating hostilities between world powers. Solar eclipses don't have great track records in peace keeping. Just saying. (CM)

Crop circle investigators picked up an unsettling image on camera as they checked out a newly formed circle near Stonehenge. What looks an intergalactic snowman, or perhaps a stack of orbs, is clearly visible in the field beyond the circle, as if observing the researchers. As suddenly as it appears, it disappears. Maybe the aliens want to know what's making those designs in the wheat fields, too. But if so, they'd best open their wallets. Frustrated Farmer Charges for Viewing Crop Circle. We seldom spare a thought towards the farmers who lose literal tons of wheat to crop circles every year. It doesn't matter the origin, the end result is the same: large financial losses. So we think this farmer in Wiltshire is an innovator we can get behind. Now dig deep if you want to gawk. (CM)

Aaron Dabbah is at it again, mixing history and wisecracks in with an examination of one of the "Great Questions" that humans who pride themselves as reflective like to worry about--the Fermi Paradox. Basically, if ET civilizations exist, why haven't they contacted us? If you accept that some sort of contact hasn't happened, then you have to hypothesize the answer from a sample of One, and Dabbah does that, often rather hilariously. In the process we are reminded about many human foibles. We also could consider--and here's the history part--whether Emanuel Swedenborg's Jovian spirits are correct in their assessment of humans, or have themselves committed a sampling error. Over at Phantoms & Monsters, Lon Strickler posts the opinions of a self-described Reptilian abductee on Reptilian Speech: Commonalities in Alleged Recorded Evidence. Lon is fairly noncommittal about the author's particular narrative. (WM)

August 18

Paul Seaburn makes us want to get into the Anomalist van and head to Rhode Island ASAP. A strange metallic object looking like something someone important would not want you meddling with has been found off the shore at low tide at East Beach in Westerly. Since no one is coming forth and claiming ownership, the local tree service has been called to remove it and we really want to get over there ahead of the efforts either to check it out for ourselves or be on the lookout for black ops helicopters during the removal. It really seems like the east coast of North America wants to reveal something because up in Prince Edward Island a Mysterious Ringed Structure Appears on Canadian Beach. The tide has made it difficult to establish a positive identification so far, but researchers are leaning toward an ancient shipwreck. Dig for gold, anyone? (CM)

UFOs Flying Dark Open Minds
What if one day you came up against something so weird you could not identify it? How would you feel? What would you do? For many people, this is not a rhetorical question. Linda Zimmerman's article on "blacked out" UFOs intrigues not just for the descriptions of the objects seen at night, but for the witness reactions to these strange, unlit triangles, rectangles, and discs. Now let's take the matter a step further, into the "high strangeness" realm, for The Most Mind-Bogglingly Weird Alien Encounters. Brett Swancer brings it "up close and personal" with some of the wildest CE-IIIs imaginable. Of course, the Kelly-Hopkinsville, Kentucky "goblins" figure prominently among this motley crew of "jelly bags", ten-foot-tall "reptilians," and "floating brains.. Swancer's colleague at Mysterious Universe Paul Seaburn shows that even the most terrifying ordeal can be merchandized in The Little Green Men Days Festival and the Total Eclipse. The August 21 solar eclipse will occur 62 years to the day after the "Kelly-Hopkinsville" siege, and the good folks of Kelly, Kentucky, are making the most of the coincidence. Now, the Kelly-Hopkinsville "goblins" are connected to a UFO only by the testimony by one of the principal human participants that he had seen something odd land nearby prior to the night's horrific events. Similarly, Inexplicata offers us Costa Rica: Pilot Records UFO. A video taken by a commercial pilot has been pronounced as showing an "extraterrestrial spacecraft." The video is interesting, but the particular diagnosis seems premature and we'd like to hear from other photoanalysts before accepting such an out-of-this-world conclusion. (WM)

Dr. Shuker analyzes the data for the most lethal and enormous shark in the history of Earth, and while we might argue he enjoys this topic a little too much, truthfully his enthusiasm is contagious. Who needs Shark Week? Of course, sharks are not the only beasties lurking in the deep. Brent Swancer reports on Going Fishing for Lake Monsters across the globe. While these serpents of legend are unapologetically elusive, hope springs eternal in the hearts of those who hunt for proof of their existence. (CM)

Interview with Don Schmitt A Different Perspective
Kevin Randle and former Roswell co-investigator Don Schmitt began their conversation with the recent 2017 Roswell UFO Festival. They bemoaned the fact that the overall roster of topics focused less on the core issue of what fell to earth relatively nearby 70 years ago than on other UFO-related themes, in order to fill seats. Kevin and Don reminisced interestingly about their difficult relationship with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), and agreed that the organization has expanded its "umbrella" to welcome in some fringy people and topics to gain popularity. A good discussion was had on the several layers of bureaucracy in the Air Force, above the Project Blue Book level, that were decidedly interested in UFOs. And JP Robinson relates some of this history in Project Moon Dust: UFO Crash Retrievals. (WM)

August 17

You've heard of civil war re-enactors, haven't you? Show of hands! Okay, how about re-enacting the "The Epic of Gilgamesh" dressed as a Bigfoot? Don't feel badly if you didn't raise your hand--we didn't either. Okay, next question: Did you know a Living Gargoyle [Was] Reportedly Seen Flying in Spain? Paul Seaburn looks into this report, and comes to an interesting conclusion. Could the mothman/human-bat phenomenon currently taking place in Chicago actually be a living gargoyle? And just in case you think all this is a bit much to digest, don't think you can get away with a nice calm game of golf: ‘Chupacabra’ Spotted on South Carolina Golf Course. Granted, experts are claiming the creature in question is a known canine species with mange, but the images will still haunt you. (CM)

On Sunday Rich Reynolds posted some quite interesting accounts from Theo Paijmans via Albert S. Rosales' Humanoid Encounters: The Others Amongst Us 1900-1929. Are these merely different examples of journalistic "tall tales"? Are they precursors to similar stories also implicating German aeronauts and Zeppelins in the 1909 British "Scareship" flap? Bringing us a little more than halfway to the present is this post: Argentina: Remembering the 1968 UFO Fly-By, which sounds somewhat like another famous UFO-related case, the Lubbock Lights. Juan Jose Alarcon y Figueroa's report does recall the outstanding characteristics of the Texan events, and one wonders how late in the Argentine summer the overflight occurred. Migrating birds, just maybe? Another bit of ufological history is considered in Arthur Exon and the Investigative Teams. Kevin Randle has chanced upon a document that may point to the actual existence of a suspected group that investigated the really strong UFO cases that Project Blue Book consultant J. Allen Hynek suspected he never saw. (WM)

In a somewhat whimsical but nonetheless informative article, Alejandro Rojas covers some recent developments surrounding NASA's long-time position of "Planetary Protection Officer." There's a cute story in this piece that will make more than one reader recall her or his early interest in the U.S. space program. In an interview whose tenor will resonate on another plane, Enrique Garabeytan talks to a South American functionary in Argentina: The Argentinian X-Files--An Interview with Ruben Lianza. It's useful to know that another important country has some active study going on in the ufological field, but the main thrust of the dialogue seems to be that "everything is under control" and explicable, rather than the search for new knowledge that UFO reports can sometimes offer. Of course, the Comision de Estudio de Fenomenos Aeroespaciales is a military group, so its overriding task must be the protection of Argentina's population. But some of the interviewee's statements seem more than a bit simplistic and beside the point. (WM)

Dr. Shuker waxes whimsical in this foray into the search for feathered swine, reminding us that even in childhood the seeds of forteana are planted amongst the curious and insightful. Next, Brent Swancer brings us Beyond Strange: Incredibly Weird, Far-out, and Ridiculous Crytpids, effectively dashing all childhood whimsy and discouraging his readers from getting anywhere near the water. Or going out at night. Or into the woods. In fact, curling up inside a fort made of blankets and clothespins is starting to sound really good right about now. (CM)

August 16

Dr. Shuker indulges himself, sharing his research into this fascinating old tale of a French water dragon of the most literal sort. Seems this moody serpent didn't breathe fire but instead had a penchant for flooding out villages. In more recent times, we have the Nessie Tourist Season Drawing to a Close. While it may seem slightly bittersweet to Glasgow Boy, we are fairly certain Nessie herself will be glad for some peace and quiet. Perhaps in her "off" time she will read Dr.Beachcombing's Married Life with a Mermaid: Six Useful Rules. We are inclined to agree with Beach that there aren't many advantages to marrying a fishtailed lady. Besides, it's never a good idea to bring home anyone you found lolling about the craggy shore at any hour of the day. (CM)

Peter Robbins Interview A Different Perspective
Kevin Randle and Peter Robbins had an interesting conversation about Peter's early life and his work with Budd Hopkins, as well as the problems of using hypnotic regressions for people aware of anomalous experiences. The interview was 2/3rds over before the 800-pound gorilla named Rendlesham came into play. Kevin, freely admitting he'd been "had" as a 30-ish UFO researcher of the Roswell crash retrieval stories, went relatively easy on Peter for his mistakes regarding the veracity of Rendlesham witness-claimant Larry Warren. Peter does not want Left at East Gate, the book Robbins and Warren co-wrote about the strange December 1980 events outside two NATO air bases in England rejected outright for its falsehoods. However, the method Peter suggests for readers to do their own sorting of fact from fiction in that tome seems unrealistic. Hopefully Peter will follow up on a commitment to review all of the items that have been questioned and set the record straight. He's made a good start on this, with a long paper put online on June 12th which Kevin has also published at Peter Robbins Explains His Take on Left at East Gate (Part One) and Peter Robbins Explains His Take on Left at East Gate (Part Two). Massive questions remain, not the least of which are qualms about Larry Warren's direct participation in the Rendlesham events, and the conclusions drawn from soil samples of an area Warren claimed was affected by a UFO. (WM)

Paul Seaburn brings us this security footage from the Magnolia Hotel in San Antonio County, TX. The ghost expert who uploaded the clip makes some strong claims about black mists and spinning white vortexes. We can certainly see something on the recording that makes us curious but our imaginations might have to stretch a bit further to perceive mists and vortexes. A little more research perhaps? Dr. Beachcombing is never short on his research: The Ludgvan Ghost Riot occurred around 1830 and, although it was described as a bit of a spirit-free-for-all, nothing was formally reported in any newspaper. As always, Beach welcomes additional information on this or any other spectral riot with which his readers are familiar. (CM)

Continuing our saga into the weirdness surrounding the late John Keel, Doug Skinner posts a transcription of another message from John's alien/android main contact Apol. Skinner picks out some points from this rambling document that do seem especially interesting and must have been particularly meaningful to John himself. Things pick up again, in earnest, in Special Cases--The Long Island File (50): Gin Rummy, an Alien Baby, and Passwords. Missing time (in 1967!), an alien/android who likes to play Gin Rummy, and a very strange birth and even stranger "instant wellness" machine seemingly from the close of the 2013 movie Elysium are featured in this installment. And that's not all of the weirdness, either. (WM)

August 15

In case you were not aware of it, the annual cryptozoology conferences are back! And the next one is just two weeks away. The 2017 International Cryptozoology Conference will be held in Portland, Maine, on Sunday, September 3, 2017. Presented by the International Cryptozoology Society and International Cryptozoology Museum, this second annual conference features a remarkable line-up of speakers and events involving Joseph Zarzynski, Linda Godfrey, Robert Damon Schneck, Craig Woolheater, Steve Bissette, Joe Citro, Seth Breedlove, Paul LeBlond, Bruce Champagne, and host Loren Coleman. Ticketing, lodging, and full program details are available on the website. (PH)

A team of Chinese, Canadian, and US-based scientists has just added more support to the "Rare Earth" hypothesis that complex life is scarce in this universe. Syfy Wire contributor Elizabeth Rayne tells us that volcanic eruptions, or the lack thereof, may be the key to many worlds potentially evolving into biospheres--at least for life as we know it. Just being in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold "Goldilocks Zone" of distance from a star just isn't enough. Well, that's a bummer, but British Columbia resident Mike Allen not only thinks "they may be out there," but that some of them may even be here. UFOs Puzzle Camosun Neighbourhood Resident is Victoria News reporter Travis Paterson's account of how a skeptic was turned into, well, almost a believer by what he's seen and photographed. And Northern Star reporter Samantha Elley has a similar feeling about her Light in the Sky after Night out with Stars. The New South Wales, Australia, resident specifies "only 2.5 glasses of wine (earlier in the evening)," a video that "is probably the most anti-climactic vision of alien lights ever," and a raft of other possibilities she entertained while stopped by this aerial apparition after attending a cancer benefit--yet still remains puzzled, too, by what she saw. Read this article and then look up "Min Min" lights, and you'll likely have added a new phenomenon to your knowledge of naturally-occurring "balls of light." Aliens, probably not, in both cases--but we are constantly reminded that this Earth is a pretty interesting place. (WM)

Rich Reynolds has "Mini" Stroke A Different Perspective
Ufological gadfly Rich Reynolds has suffered a "mini" stroke and will be in hospital for a few days. Kevin Randle is posting this unnerving and unhappy news at Rich's request. I have followed Rich's UFO Conjectures blog for a relatively short time, but, in spite of often differing with him in many instances, have come to value his contributions towards making ufology a more rigorous and, shall we say sane, endeavor. Rich puts a considerable amount of thought into his generally short offerings, and attempts to get the reader actually to think about the subjects he covers--not merely swallow information uncritically and for a shallow mental "high". This seems to us to stem from the fact that Rich cares about the field and its proper execution, not just from a crusty attitude towards those who don't seem to be using their intelligence properly. We wish Rich a complete, speedy, and uncomplicated recovery, and look forward to his future contributions. (WM)

Life gets weird in the Mojave, especially as the specter of humidity rolls over those ancient sands. Ken Layne celebrates the high strangeness of the high desert on one of the best new podcasts to hit God's green internet. Today's episode features a call-in from Brendan Maze scheming his UFO experience destination and the unlikely target audience. Still not sold? Join us 'round the campfire to hear about Elvis, his mystic hairdresser, and how the heavens heralded the birth of the King of Rock 'n Roll. (CS)


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