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The Anomalist



October 18

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera is running for a U.S. Congressional seat from Florida. She's in the 27th District Republican primary against two much-better-known candidates, and her campaign chest is very low. But what's making you read this piece is that two videos have surfaced of Ms. Rodriguez Aguilera describing her experiences as an alien abductee. Reporter Joshua Rhett Miller has a relatively low-key treatment of the matter, sketching the background story and claims, and the connections and qualifications of the woman. In UFOs and Politics, Mark O'Connell has a sensible and sensitive commentary about this particular situation and its wider implications. (WM)

The tsunami that decimated Japan in 2011 continues to draw attention to itself, 6 years after causing a nuclear accident at the Fukushima reactor. Recently a small fibereglass boat completed its unmanned journey across the Pacific accompanied by a species of invasive algae capable of destroying any ocean ecosystem it decides to call home. This was definitely not the kind of ghost ship we at the Anomalist want to find. News from the other side of the world has Newlyweds Flying to the Bahamas Vanish in the Bermuda Triangle. Truth be known, it's been one heck of a storm season and the couple was flying a private plane, so anything could have taken them down. For now they are among statistics of those who planned their voyage through the notorious triangle, never to be seen again. (CM)

Three mainstream media treatments of "UFO" sightings from across the country. Julie Thompson recounts a March 17, 1981, law enforcement sighting of an unusual light associated with an even stranger noise that sounds taken directly from a '50s sci-fi movie. Reporter Julie Thompson updates the article with a light-hearted interview with the current Police Chief on response plans to a UFO landing. There's also an online poll showing that a surprisingly high percentage of the (self-selected) respondents think that aliens exist and have visited Earth. Fox News asks 'UFO' Spotted over Yellowstone Volcano? It shows a disappointing video, unless one likes counting geyser plumes. The piece meanders off into discussing a recent spate of earthquakes at Yellowstone, and states that "the risk of the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting is quite low, with a probability of one in 730,000." That claim as stated is missing something, which may also be true of the article. And ABC 13 Eyewitness News of Houston, Texas, has been getting some mileage lately from UFOs; its latest post being Strange Lights Appear over Grand Parkway in Katy. The lead embedded video is much less than exciting, but the other three are somewhat better.(WM)

After viewing this video you'll agree that whatever the school girls saw, it scared the living bejeebers out of them. True terror is hard to replicate. No idea what it was they were looking at, however as the creature/person/cryptid in the distance is far too small to identify. Dr. Beachcombing takes a shot at identifying The Monster of Ryde off the southern coast of England during World War II. Beach welcomes any information that would aid in identifying the strange creature that, while eventually hunted down and killed, was never positively identified. (CM)

October 17

In a hard-hitting and detailed article Kathleen Marden attacks positions and statements Dr. Carl Sagan and Dr. Benjamin Simon made about the experience her aunt Betty Hill and Betty's husband Barney had on September 19, 1961. Marden describes an evolution in Simon's thinking or public expressions and would ascribe his final expressions to self-interest and perhaps a real inability to accept the notion of space aliens interfering in human affairs. Sagan comes off as seeking to get "the entire UFO problem" off of the U.S. Government's back. Sagan's tactics chronicled by Marden in this case and by Mark O'Connell in his recent biography of Dr. J. Allen Hynek The Close Encounters Man may have sprung from additional considerations, as well. (WM)

Little Fairy on The Prairie Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
Fairies and fish occupy Dr. Beach this week. He looks back to the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder hoping for rhyming revelations about prairie fairies but digs up only doggerel. Undeterred, he presents Singing Florida Mermaids, a fishy story from 1870, which told of the "siren, or mermaid fish" which was heard by a fisherman and his guide. But, cautioned the latter, don't eat 'em, or you'll be overcome with piscine passion. (LP)

A long time ago, a grad school colleague remarked "I hate facts; they get in the way of my theories." That sounds to be a guiding principle in the new Travel Channel series Expedition Unknown: The Hunt for Extraterrestrials. Jason Colavito eviscerates the second episode and its after show. If anything, the "After the Hunt" show sounds even more depressing, because the knowledge and attitudes of the folks responsible for the series would surely express themselves in the rest of its episodes. The sad thing is that the core of the "Ancient Astronauts" theory--that exotic civilizations may have visited this planet in the past--is worth consideration. Perhaps in the same vein is Weekly Observer reporter Anastasios Manaras' article Do We Share Our Planet with New Kinds of People? Doctor Researcher Claims to Have Found Evidence. It's unclear what "doctor-researcher" level degree Mary Rodwell holds, but she does claim a ton of different competencies and experience. Is this background and is the "evidence" enough to support Rodwell's notion that "some of the Asperger and ADHD conditions diagnosed in ... ["Star"] children are in fact a sign of hidden abilities arising directly from genetic manipulation by a technologically advanced extraterrestrial breed"? Or are there other possibilities less unlikely and perhaps more productive of assisting such individuals? (WM)

Joshua Cutchin on BoA:Audio Binnall of America
Super-casual host Tim Binnall and the chatty author of A Trojan Feast and The Brimstone Deceit shoot the breeze for almost three hours, focusing mostly on Cutchin's recent trip to Ireland and his investigations into fairy forts and lore there, which will be the subject of his third book, out next year. There are a few tangents into politics and the gun culture in America as well. Elsewhere, Carlos S. Alvarado conducts a print interview with David Luke, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, on the subject of his latest book: Otherworlds: Psychedelics and Exceptional Human Experience.(PH)

October 16

Still Looks Like Rain Herald Tribune
Mainstream journalist Billy Cox comes back out of "UFO semi-retirement" to offer a solid three-pronged article. First up is an anecdotal story about a former colleague who, while in the service, "was there" during an October 1968 Minot Air Force Base UFO incident. The current news in the piece is Cox' discussion of the Tom DeLonge crowd-sourcing effort behind his To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science. Whatever the worth of DeLonge's ideas or purpose underlying the PR, Cox misdoubts the current Mainstream Media's interest in the initiative and consequently the project's ultimate success. The overall and more fundamental takeaway is Billy Cox' despair over "how deeply into denial and aggressive ignorance our culture has descended." Kevin Randle weighs in on Tom DeLonge and UFOs with a more than cautionary look at the DeLonge project. Kevin uses a Jason Colavito analysis of the "financial arrangements of the organization" DeLonge and his colleagues hope to launch to cast doubt upon the company's main purpose. And Randle provides his own analysis of the history and current claims DeLonge has proffered, underscoring that, so far, the actual deliverables haven't matched the hype. (WM)

A family in Malaysia has been under siege recently with a spate of unexplainable house fires. The family is blaming spirits, but exorcists have been unable to make an impact on the incendiary situation. Without knowing more about what the house is built on, or built from, it's very difficult to guess, but we'd recommend looking past the ethereal and examining more carefully the electrical.  We also have more on the Mysterious Explosions Are Being Heard Around the World. As a ginormous chunk of space rock came disturbingly close to Earth on Friday and the folks at NASA rubbed their hands together with glee at the thought of trying out their new defense system, a fellow in Australia has taken a walkabout and found the smoking gun. Or rather, the smoking hole. Do all these sky explosions mean our planet is being bombarded with meteors? (CM)

Professional ghost hunters Dana Matthews and Greg Newkirk recently took civilian Eliza Thompson on a job with them. While their guest may have had her life flash before her eyes several times, she didn't seem overly traumatized. Come to think of it, she didn't seem in a hurry to go on another hunt either. One thing you won't find the curators of the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult doing is damaging public property or the environment in the name of the chase. Not so over the pond, however: Ghost Hunters 'Haunt' UK Forest, Dering Woods specifically, an area with a rich paranormal history. Unfortunately, the media and intrepid investigators are ruining the area as they descend upon it with television crews, campsites, and littering. This is why angry nightmare idols were invented. Don't say they weren't warned. (CM)

The go-to source for Hispanic UFO reports has three short and intriguing older cases. Alfonso Salazar provides images relating to a purported July 29, 1977, UFO crash into a mountain range in Puebla State, in east-central Mexico. Salazar is writing a book about this case, which is said to feature a "UFO battle" and subsequent NASA recovery effort. We move to 1998 and South America for Chile: Inquest into Paihuano UFO Crash Requested 19 Years after the Event. This sounds rather like the Mexican story and an "X-Files" program with its crash, government retrieval, and conflicting explanations. Forward to a September 5, 2006, case with Mexico: A Mothership over Nuevo Leon?. No crash here, but an interesting video, a frame of which shows what looks to be some type of weird balloon that was said to disgorge "dozens of spheres" over about a quarter of an hour's time. Looking at the video, "dozens" seems to be an underestimate. (WM)

October 15

Are ghosts a liability or an asset? What kind of prospective homeowner is cool with a spooky roommate? Alejandro Rojas prove he knows more than just flying saucers by tackling the tricky topic of g-g-ghosts. After crunching those numbers, Michael Grosso shares A Supernatural Incident In The Vietnam War from a Clifton, NJ cop. Was the cop's life saved by an otherworldly being, or could it have been an admonitory hallucination? Wrapping up, Chris Woodyard has a horse of a different color in the form of some Cats Of Many Colors from the Isle of Islay. Brave readers who tackle the transcribed dialect will find their curiosity satisifed, bringing them back to Haunted Ohio Books on a regular basis. (CS)

Here's an odd bit of sync. On October 2nd, we tweeted out a list of creepy urban legends from every state mentioning the Westfield Watcher House as New Jersey's best. As of this week, the media's reporting how the house is back on the market. Coincidence? The asking price, cited by Justin Zaremba, has dropped but it's hardly a steal. Fortunately some trolls stick to the internet, rather than real life which is infinitely malleable when it comes to opinion. Case in point: Indiana Jones And The Cosmic Schmucks where people who think they're right argue with those who are right yet still get everything wrong. By the way, new design at The Daily Grail and now it's mobile-friendly! Will wonders never cease? Perhaps not as Red Pill Junkie Channels Fátima on the Miracle of the Sun's centennial, mixing faith and UFOs. Dan Brown wishes he could uncover a conspiracy of this magnitude with psychics, Venus, and war. (CS)

Can Truth Prevail? Skepticism About Science And Medicine
Can political correctness adversely affect science? Henry Bauer shares his opinion about how walking on eggshells may be a disservice to topics like HIV, global warming, among others. Another obstacle to practicing science is letting one's personal beliefs and prejudices get in the way of data, writes Chris Reeve, especially for those appreciating Science As A Personal Journey. Just remember to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out. Speaking of which, everyone's favorite stoner and MMA color commentator invites Russell Brand To Talk About Changing The Paradigm And Transforming Our Consciousness on Joe's popular podcast. We're grateful that Greg Taylor warns us to stop listening sometime in the second half where the banter becomes more focused on mixed-martial arts than raising humanity's 5D vibrations. (CS)

October 14

Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki expedition proved the feasability of South America's population spreading into Polynesia, but how does it jibe with reality? Humanity's favorite new toy, DNA analysis, raises serious questions for this maverick theory. From Nicholas St. Fleur to Brett Tingley, we have another revelation concerning ancient mariners. A Deciphered Ancient Tablet Sheds Light On Mysterious 'Sea People' notorious for causing nothing but grief for ancient Egyptians. Fred Woudhuizen and Eberhard Zangger have deciphered this curious text but mainstream archaeologists are skeptical, since the original tablet wound up destroyed for use as building material leaving only a rubbing for posterity. (CS)

While Greg doesn't want his last name published, he's keen on spreading the word about a potential extant Thylacinus specimen roaming his neighborhood. Fortunately Christian Tatman was nearby to spread the word to the faithful. Another romantic who doesn't want to disbelieve is Jane Goodall. She's still Open To The Idea Of Bigfoot-Like Creatures existing out in the bush and the mononymous Rich shares her elevator pitch. We're just concerned at the use of "bigfoot-like", as if it gives mainstream biologists an out to discredit cryptozoologists should there be hard evidence of a sasquatch. Forteans laid out decades of groundwork, but if a few details don't match up with reality then forteans are still cranks for not being 100% correct. Take Valdar's admonition, "The Common Western Depiction Of The Yeti Is Wrong" and how expectations often don't match reality. Whether we have the facts straight or not, Carl Zimmer Can't Rule Out Bigfoot for one reason: the null hypothesis. Rather than dismissing 'squatching out of hand, the null hypothesis encourages us to continue searching in hopes of disproving the big guy. (CS)

If there's one topic that raises mainstream science's hackles, it's consciousness. Since we don't understand consciousness, it leaves the door open to lots of crazy theories based on strong data. Like near-death experiences, and Stuart Preston welcomes Edward Kelly for an in-depth analysis of the survival of consciousness and its non-material nature. Another contentious issue is meditati^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H mindfulness. Everybody's doing it and reaping the benefits, according to Bret Stetka some eggheads wonder, "Where's the Proof That Mindfulness Meditation Works?" Maybe they're going about it the wrong way. Yet another mystery is being untangled, but its far from unravelling the knotty hard problem of consciousness. A little bird told Dave Roos how The Nocebo Effect Showing Pain Isn't All In Your Brain. (CS)

Oh about yay-tall, hairless, big black eyes, and gray skin. Oh! We're talking about "science". What makes Doug Bonderud's article particularly intriguing is Now is part of Northrop Grumman which may tickle your fancy. Maybe Northrop's already implemented a starship using the contentious EmDrive as a propulsion source, and Doug's hinting at their yet-to-be released data from their secret space program. Speaking of which, Robby Berman is curious if pilot wave theory Is The Big Secret Behind The Mysterious EmDrive. An interesting proposal, considering there's New Support For An Alternate Quantum View making the model more mainstream than fringey in quantum physics. To be brief, it's a new take on the mechanism behind the double-slit experiment with provocative implications. Meanwhile, up in New Hampshire, David Brooks insists "No, A Meteorite Didn't Start That Forest Fire In The North County." Why? Well, you'll have to see how John Gianforte weighs in on the topic. (CS)

October 13

A kind of lesser "Skinwalker Ranch," complete with a couple of dimensional "portals"--at least one of them working--is up for sale in Arizona, and for a cool $5 million, it can be yours. It's certainly an interesting and wild story, though the lead video has problems of accuracy and interpretation. In Documentary on Alien Implants Convinces Filmmaker Topic Not So Crazy Alejandro Rojas reports on Patient Seventeen, the newly released production by Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell. This covers the work of the late pediatric surgeon Dr. Roger Leir, who came to be interested in a particularly scary aspect of the alien abduction phenomenon: purported implants, and their removal. While the official trailer concentrates upon the huge implications latent in the story, at base this must be an account of the life of a normal human being who, if two short blurbs are any indication, has been negatively affected by his experiences and one would hope this film has not added to the psychological burden. Similarly, 9 Creepy Things People have Said after Allegedly being Abducted by Aliens illustrates, if nothing else, the difficulty apparently well-meaning outsiders such as writer Lucia Peters have in dealing with this extremely serious and complex subject. (WM)

That Loch Ness Fin Loch Ness Mystery
What was that object spotted above the waves of Loch Ness on October 2? No surprises here--it was driftwood, but the search for Nessie continues in earnest with a healthy shot of skepticism. And that is the only way we'll unravel all the mysteries of those dark waters, one proof (or disproof) at a time. In perfect opposition to this fortean search, we move on to Mermaid Mayhem (Maybe) in Minnesota. Ummmm...No.  Just, No. We can't even...Paul Seaburn does a knock up job of explaining why we can't, and you shouldn't either. (CM)

In an article originally published in the 6th issue of Open Minds Magazine, Michael Schratt unearths three early 1970s military aircraft programs that were never built. It's a very interesting article, though the "Silent Night" naval attack aircraft was equipped with air-to-surface, not surface-to-air Maverick missiles. Interesting, also, is the most recent installment of John Keel's tribulations, entitled Special Cases--The Long Island File (58): Funny Things . Given what John had been subjected to not long before this August 16, 1967 entry, the mayhem he endured seems to have toned down and the occurrences were just "funny", and neither particularly dire nor especially weird. Of course, Jaye Paro is still "away" on a family trip, and John expects the "storm" will pick up again when she returns. (WM)

Remember the X Files episode where a slug like creature was living in the sewers? This situation was a bit like that, only the husband and wife team who disposed of the unidentified reptile didn't end up as inter-species incubators. Might want to keep the plug in the tub from now on though. In the meantime, ‘Slender Man’ sighting leaves small-town residents on edge. It's possible the general cloud of fear that has settled over the world has made some of us take leave of our senses. It's called Hallowe'en folks. Time to calm down and break out the treats early.(CM)

October 12

October 11, 2017 is the date of the most important announcement in recent ufology--or utterly not. Your judgment may depend upon whom you believe regarding Tom DeLonge's Wednesday launch of a new Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to solving the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena enigma for the benefit of humankind. Alejandro Rojas' article is a good place to start for the general background to the announcement and a sketch of some of its main points. Then, Watch Tom DeLonge's To the Stars Academy UFO Press Conference Here. It is the "must see" primary source against which subsequent arguments pro and con should be evaluated. For detailed reference, the Transcript of To the Stars Academy Press Conference is an auto-transcribed effort and it's promised to "be adjusted and corrected over time." Initial reactions have been interesting. Arch-Skeptic Robert Sheaffer offers his perspective with At Longe Last--Tom DeLonge's Dramatic UFO Announcement!! Leslie Kean, whose Huffington Post article of the 10th we covered yesterday, defends her thesis that a watershed event has in fact occurred with Fmr. Manager of DOD Aerospace Threat Program: "UFOs are Real." Kean's Facebook page articulates this position more strongly: "This ["the head of a secret UFO program at the DOD...has stated for the world to hear, that UFOs are unquestionably real"] is as close to official 'disclosure' as we have come since the close of Project Blue Book." Disclosure advocate and Paradigm Research Group's Executive Director Stephen Bassett, whom one might have expected to feel "job insecurity" qualms, has been very supportive at Major Announcement from Tom DeLonge and The Insiders Make Their Move. The whole affair is multifarious and very nuanced, and a truly fair evaluation of just what did happen today may only come if time shows whether the initiative produced tangible results. (WM)

For those of you who wonder if the entire world has lost its mind, we've found your answer: Yes. Case in point, vampire hunts in Malawi (think Salem witch hunts) have resulted in several deaths and have left UN staff members scrambling for the first plane ticket anywhere but there. More proof: Indian State Forced to Ban Some Black Magic. Seems to us that if people need it spelled out that forcing someone to eat to excrement is a bad idea, there's just no hope left for mankind. Pass the bucket.(CM)

It seems odd trying to reconcile Edison the scientist with Edison the man who wanted to speak to ghosts. It becomes odder still when we realize that the type of communication Edison was proposing was based in physics, a "collective unconscious reservoir" that "might be able to carry signals—a flow of electrons—from that side to ours." Woo. And here's a little mystery to get you in the mood for Hallowe'en, Newspaper Clipping of the Day: Got Letters from his Dead Wife A corpse, a funeral, a steady stream of correspondence from--where? And a stranger that could be the doppelganger of the protagonist's dead wife. No answers, many questions = the perfect puzzle. (CM)

We really hope that Brett Tingley keeps us informed on this one. A silver, 25'X10' "tent-like" construction of wood, cardboard, and "some sort of pliable metal" popped up in a wooded area of a Weymouth, Massachusetts park. Local officials are flummoxed as to how the thing got there and who was responsible. A photograph appears show a crushed soda can lying on the ground inside the construction; perhaps DNA or, failing that, a trace of a shoe print could be collected from the can to help discover the "saucer's" creator? In a vein actually more serious than the title indicates, From Comics to the Cosmos is a favorable review of the book "Otto Binder: The Life and Work of a Comic Book and Science Fiction Visionary. This is a 2016 reissue of Bill Schelly's 2003 biography of the fascinating character, and Trevor Pyne suggests that serious comic fans will find this "exhaustive book" eminently worthwhile. Serious ufology students likely will, as well. (WM)


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