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January 20

Some of NASA's best and brightest discovered the interplanetary snips, snails, and puppydog tails responsible for clever chimps with smartphones. Better yet, Lorenzo Tanos lets slip the potential source of our alien sugar, spice, and everything nice. From organic compounds and water to biotic material, Alex Barasch glimpsed the memo Ordering NASA To Search For Life In Space. Rather than reaching out to betentacled crabs from Tau Ceti, Alex reckons we should start small with viruses. That's all well and good 'til our species comes down with a case of space-sniffles. Taking that left turn at Albuquerque, and staying true to the woo, a Downriver Pastor Predicted That Michigan Meteor. Just don't take Robert Allen's word for it as Pastor Satterfield recorded himself relating the vision to his flock in December! (CS)

Many returning from the other side find themselves gifted with wild talents, and 'nzumel' saw them manifest in her Lolo. Mingling skepticism with a very human story, it's enough to make anyone want to believe. There is a third option for those brushing shoulders with the Grim Reaper, after a fashion, leading Zaria Gorvett to investigate The Mystery Of Why Some People Become Sudden Geniuses after brain injuries. Those possessing these gifts might not realize what they're getting into. Nick Redfern shares a cautionary tale of The Deadly Game Of Remote Viewing. Then again, any time someone's involved with the CIA or KGB there's bound to be a few corpses cooling on a slab. Don't despair if you lack the knack for the miraculous, as the simple act of Holding Your Partner's Hand Can Ease Their Pain. For the grayfaces monitoring us, Pavel Goldstein has plenty of numbers to crunch, and studies to review, in support of this radical thesis. (CS)

Evolution Unleashed Aeon Magazine
It's one thing to critique evolution on religious grounds, but it's a horse of a different color when Darwin's baby's challenged from within. Troves of data, and brave souls with and without tenure, are undermining the long-standing model of random mutations and survival of the fittest. For ages another theory's been under assault by nutcases, yet it endures. Paul Ratner's keen to enumerate The Three Biggest Mistakes Made By Einstein. And for the last time, it's not how the equation should've been E=MC cubed. (CS)

Marriages tend to cool after a few decades, but matters are compounded by the presence of a tokoloshe. Kgalalelo Tlhoaele lent a sympathetic ear to Isaac Malope and the preternaturally weird circumstances between the sheets. Sometimes strange things happen before folks get married, evinced by this Creepy Kid Linked To An Urban Legend Appearing In The Background Of A Hen-Do Photo. Word of warning: When you see it.... On a more serious note, Micah Hanks bids you Welcome To Boogertown and why scores of rural communities are named after bogeymen. For what it's worth, you might've seen one of these entities dancing in the pale moon shine. Or after knocking back a mason jar of moonshine. (CS)

January 19

As sightings of the Mothman continue to accumulate, Josh Terry weighs in on what the experts in the field have to say. While these are just our thoughts on the matter, no amount of trying to poke holes in Lon Strickler's extensive research is going to make the phenomenon go away, regardless of how desperately authorities want to find a mundane answer to what Chicagoan's are seeing in the night skies. Micah Hanks wonders about all this as well in Return of the Windy City Owl: Is a Big Bird Still Flapping Around Chicago? In other creature news, Chester Moore asks if there could be A Mexican Wolf in TX? The species is considered extinct, so the appearance of what may be a coyote-Mexican wolf hybrid are intriguing. One has to wonder if the wolves wandered north into Texas prior to cross-breeding, and if so, are there still living members of the original species sample? (CM)

As readers have no doubt noticed, the 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident (RFI) just keeps on giving. Or maybe in this case, not giving, as Nick Redfern lists several suspicious cases of missing data about "Britain's Roswell." Nick throws in a couple more British cases and an Australian case of vanished files, and ends with a Whitley Strieber quote tying in such disappearances with the Roswell story. Would the recent case described in Mexico: Enigmatic Object Recorded Over Popocatepetl's Crater have made it into any files? The object in the video might be nearer to the videographer and just seemingly higher than the background volcano. Some of the more serious commenters to the video suggest that a kite is indeed involved, and one seems to have seen the thing clearly enough to make that identification. (WM)

In what has become a surreal yet almost regular occurrence, another meteorite tore through the planet's skies and startled the bejeebers out of the earthlings on the surface below. Even though it's reported that the space rock was about the size of a grapefruit, we're compelled to ask ourselves just how safe we really are. But don't just look to the skies for your upcoming apocalypse. Latest Unexplained Booms Blamed on Mysterious ‘Frost Quakes', at least in those places currently experiencing frigid winter conditions. We get them all the time here in Central Ontario. Living by a lake, when it's cold enough the ice sings endlessly. It's funny to think that even in modern times, we assign mystery to things easily explained; we are not so different from our ancient ancestors. That's no comfort to anyone living in warmer climates, though. And it's probably safe to say that frost quakes are A cause of booms, but not THE cause of all booms. (CM)

Well, the "dust has settled" on the January 16th Michigan meteor event, and Dr. Brian D. Parsons has a good post on some of the media "fallout." As to more tangible "fallout," Laura Colvin and Hasan Dudar of the Detroit Free Press relate that a Meteorite Hunter Finds 3 Rocks from Michigan Meteor in Hamburg Township. Both articles have interesting links on this and related matters. And Paul Seaburn has his usual informative and droll "take" on all this with Boom! Boom! Boom! Three Massive Meteor Explosions in 9 Days. (WM)

January 18

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences points to a very mundane cause behind day-to-day examples of precognition. No more can you tell yourself you knew the phone was going to ring. Nope, you just happened to notice the past and mixed up its order with the future. Sounds like debunkery to us. In any case, don't think too hard on that because it's more migraine-inducing than clairvoyance itself. Try this on for some lighter entertainment: Mr. Henderson Teleports, wherein Chris Woodyard celebrates National Skeptics Day and plays paranormal detective extraordinaire. It's an altogether enjoyable recount of some esoteric tomfoolery dating back to 1873 when the reputable papers of the time refused to have their names associated with the story. (CM)

The secret video footage seems to indicate that Col. Charles Halt seriously entertained the possibility of an alien abduction in the famous December 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident (RFI). The 2010 video clip was provided by British researcher Gary Heseltine. Reporter Emma Parry notes that Halt claims he "never said anyone was abducted," and former British MoD UFO operative Nick Pope has expressed proper uncertainty about the context of Halt's statements. We've likely not heard the end of this latest wrinkle in the long-running RFI brouhaha, but there may be a current English UFO flap, as Paul Seaburn tells us that Basingstoke May Be The New UK UFO Hotspot. Seems that southeast England town has been entertaining such phenomena since before the RFI. Paul's and the linked article by Jon Austin--Is Basingstoke the New Roswell? 'Alien UFO' Video Adds to Bizarre Sightings--support the "hotspot" idea, recounting a number of different sightings there over the years. The Austin article's video of the most recent report is canted 90 degrees counterclockwise and Seaburn's linked video is only the tail end of the total footage, when the featured lights seemed stationary. One of the videos submitted to MUFON appears to show the lights moving back and forth over a 4-minute period. We'd like to see a photograph, taken on a fogless day, to judge whether Nigel Watson's explanation and/or that of a crane have any weight. (WM)

Water has long captured the darkest imaginings of humans, its seemingly endless numbers of unidentified creatures and dark depths that go on forever. Xavier Ortega brings us two semi-magical/monstrous tales intended to ensure you keep to dry land. Next, Brent Swancer examines ghostly accounts of Mysterious Haunted Battleships of World War II. Spectral crewmen, savagely injured sailors, strange sounds and lights return time and again to remind us of the carnage that left scars not just upon soldiers but upon the seas themselves. And then moving inland, Esoterx shares reports from around the Mississippi River in the mid 19th century in Getting the Steamboat Willies: The Phantom of Raccourci Cutoff. Efforts to shorten the long and meandering river pass did not end well, neither initially nor when revisited over the years, and it's rumored that those unfortunate ships that became lost amidst the turns and bends of the great river can be heard chugging along to this day. (CM)

Rich Reynolds thinks that recent works by Kevin Randle, Kevin again, and Bruce Maccabee have pretty much exhausted both him and the available information on those iconic cases. He pleads that we lay them to rest, while noting that the cases really remain unexplained, probably answering his own rhetorical question. With UFO Secrets in Rubbermaid Bins--Part II Mark O'Connell ends the suspense about whom his recent book The Close Encounters Man identifies as the inspiration for the Lacombe character in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind; who Mark's mystery correspondent was; and what actually was bothering him. Speaking of movies, here's an expanded piece on filmmaker Guillermo del Toro on Seeing a UFO, Hearing Ghosts and Shaping Water. We hadn't noted the ghost story, and if you're a del Toro aficionado, you'll definitely find the rest of the included interview fascinating. (WM)

January 17

Billy Cox assures that the yeoman work Robert Powell (Scientific Coalition for Ufology, UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry) has been doing on the 2004 Nimitz case is not forgotten in all the furor from the recent revelations about the Pentagon's secret UFO program. Cox also wonders what "contortions" the December 16th New York Times and other mainstream news articles and the resultant media fallout may be causing within the defense bureaucracy. Alejandro Rojas interviews one of the writers of that article in Leslie Kean--UFOs and the New York Times--January 16, 2018. The Kean portion starts at about 25 minutes into Rojas' podcast. Covered are the general recent media reception of the December 16th revelations, the unfortunate snap equation of UFO=ET in both the minds of the press and of many ufologists, and insights into the hoops an article such as that by Kean, Helene Cooper, and Ralph Blumenthal has to go through before publication. Kean also takes umbrage at those who think she and her colleagues were unwitting agents in some governmental conspiratorial disinformation program, and frankly answers certain other interesting questions Alejandro poses. (WM)

Just taking a stab in the dark here, but is there any creature in the history of All Creation that flies with its body perpendicular to the ground? Or do we just not understand the laws of physics as well as we should?  And since when did "humanoid" mean anything with the general shape of an upright rectangle? We're going to have bruises from all the forehead slapping going on in this office. Thank goodness for this next piece where clearer heads and eyes are prevailing. 'River Monster' Spotted in Germany. Instead of shouting "Dinosaur!" folks are keeping it in check and saying, "Well that's just weird, what the heck is it?" This is heartening, because as any fortean knows, it's always a good idea not to make up one's mind ahead of the data. But it does look detritus of some kind. (CM)

Simon Young gives us a glimpse into the recent release of "The Fairy Census: 2014 - 2017" and we already know we can't get enough. If modern day encounters with the Fae are your cup of milk, you need to click on the link and get your free copy. As Young states, there seems to be a bleed-over between modern fairy experiences and those encountered in folklore, so Beachcombing's musings about What are Fairy Trees? seem particularly relevant. To the point, what would a fairy want with a tree? And what sort of misfortune would befall anyone who disturbed said tree? Beach posits that the fairy tree traditionally acted as tribal totem, endowing it with supernatural power that allowed it to serve as sentinel over its home territory.(CM)

Dash and doorbell cams have become the latest in astronomical tracking devices as a probable meteor stunned folks living around the lower Great Lakes shortly after 8 pm on Tuesday night. Additionally, astronomers at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan's Cranbrook Institute of Science heard "crackling" noises characteristic of the bolide variety--this, according to CBS' Peter Martinez in "Likely" Meteor Lights up Sky over Michigan, National Weather Service Says. The American Meteor Society's website was overtaxed by over 200 reports within 2 1/2 hours of the incident. As of this writing, no claims of anything coming to earth have been made, although some people reported hearing an explosion. (WM)

January 16

Paul Seaburn reports on a story that sounds a little too much like the Mothman of Point Pleasant to be ignored, but smacks a bit too much of governmental neglect to make us hop on a plane to investigate. Still, there's the issue of bones and feathers found in holes underneath the bridge, which cues Twilight Zone music every time we think about it. If that's not enough to make you park the car and stay home at night, Nick Redfern brings news of A Monster That Haunts The Roads in the vicinity of the English villages of Postbridge and Two Bridges. (Coincidence?) We can't even speculate at this point what the heck happens along that strip of road, but if something's getting into our heads and trying to crash our cars then we're just calling an Uber. (CM)

"Until we are proven able to 'get along' as a human race, non-human races will not make open contact with us." So says Anthony Bragalia, in an impassioned though speculative piece about ET psychology that is, however, firmly grounded in the general intolerance and divisions the human race has generally been practicing upon itself for centuries. On a lighter note, George Noory has an article entitled Watch: UFO Appears Behind Newscast in Oregon? The metaphor about "mainstream media's perspective on UFOs" here resonates with Bragalia's article, extended to the possibility that humans aren't advanced enough to grasp ET activity within our biosphere completely. Maybe there's a lot more going on than we can even suspect. But then take the case of John Keel, who thought he was in contact with aliens, and had sent to and received a questionnaire from them. Thus, see Special Cases--The Long Island File (70): Questions (QA #4). (WM)

Gene Steinberg and Alejandro Rojas discuss recent events with former AFOSI and FBI counterintelligence operative Walter Bosley. The voluble Bosley has a lot to offer, from his former employment perspective, on Luis Elizondo's central role in the recent revelations of a secret UFO study program. Secrecy is also the theme for discussion about just what the U.S. is currently doing in space, which is at a whole lot lower level, in Bosley's opinion, than what the "Loud Voices" that were so prominent at last year's MUFON International Symposium are saying. Nick Pope is discussed as another case of what a former government operative may or may not be able to say about past operations. (WM)

It seems as if researchers around the world are all coming up with unique theories regarding the purpose of the Great Pyramid, and in particular, what lies within it. Italian archaeoastronomer Giulio Magli is getting his two cents in, speculating that the pyramid's secret chamber contains a throne carved from a meteorite that fell to Earth. Unsurprisingly, most researchers are not on board with this theory, at least not yet. A more substantiated find dates back to the Iron Age: Strange Stone Structure Found in Scottish Highlands Suggests Violent Past. Researchers believe it to be a defensive structure, in part because the ruins indicate that whatever stood there was "destroyed, burned, and rebuilt several times." There are suggestions that the location served as a tribal seat of power--just not one carved from space rocks. (CM)

January 15

Fake News and La Madera A Different Perspective
Kevin Randle provides an old, and a much more recent, example of newspaper reporters reporting...well, more than actual, factual material. He also shows the necessary lengths he goes to in order to be able to back up his own statements. Kevin admonishes that UFO "investigators, researchers, writers, and proponents of a point of view must get this stuff right even when it is something...inconsequential." This is likely more true for people delving into borderlands science than merely researching and reporting on "mainstream" subjects. Mark O'Connell has a perspective on this in his UFO Secrets in Rubbermaid Bins. Seems he's catching some grief over his reporting that the Lacombe character in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind was not based upon Dr. Jacques Vallee, as most of us believed before reading O'Connell's The Close Encounters Man, about the life and career of Dr. J. Allen Hynek. Mark promises more to come on the matter. (WM)

Nick Redfern reflects on his years as a fork-lift driver to eventually arrive at a story of MI5 surveillance of UFO conspiracy theorists. Next, he enlightens us on Strange Tales From Secret Bases. Crop circles on restricted UK government land and bent bicycles dumped in Area 51 seem still to lack adequate explanation. (LP)

There's plenty of spooky stories linked with England's most south-westerly county, so it's no surprise that self-proclaimed ghost-hunters, the Fergusons, reckon they've filmed a phantom in the old jail at Bodmin. And then there's the Ghost of Stan Laurel in Photograph at Old Movie House, according to "paranormal investigator" Mickey Vermooch. Mind you, celeb's pop up everywhere these days, don't they? (LP)

This is partly a progress report on Rich Reynolds' reading of Bruce Maccabee's Thee Minutes in June. It's a good article on UFO history, whatever one thinks of the possible "hoax" theory, and worth following through on the link Rich gives to get to studies on the Arnold story by Martin Shough and Martin Kottmeyer in Kenneth Arnold and Pelicans. In The Compulsion for Secrecy (in Ufology and Everywhere Else) Rich highlights a human flaw common in ufologists as well as in "mainstream" folks. And with The Word, Writing, and Visuals: Which Predominate (in UFO Circles)? Rich offers a personal test worth every reader trying for her or himself. (WM)


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