EdgeScience 33


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The Anomalist

March 17

Astronomers are using AIs and neural networks to plow through mountains of data, so why not the Holy Roman Catholic Church? The Vatican's resident librarians don't know what they're sitting on since there's so much. We do find humor with the rumor over the Vatican possessing the world's largest collection of pornography, and now they're finally getting a computer to look at it. Computers are the reason pornography exists, and vice versa, right? Also from the frontiers of this godless and lawless internet, Coast2CoastAM's most wanted, Tim "Two Gun" Binnall learned the hard way about YouTube to Use Wikipedia To Thwart Conspiracy Theory Videos. Fair enough, but what happens when Guerilla Skeptics link to "paranormal" articles heavily skewed towards positivist dogma? Speaking of computers, we contacted Brent Swancer because The Anomalist's office laptop's been acting hinky, but our antivirus isn't worth a damn. Brent's response? Computer Problems? It Could Be Possessed By A Demon. Bad enough the DHS/TSA/FBI/CIA/NSA/LOL knows what's being read and watched off-the-clock, nobody don't need Satan getting in on the act. As always, Brent's exhaustive research turns up more than a few nuggets of fortean treasure! (CS)

Keeping with the theme, sometimes spirits, not viruses, make people ill. It's an ancient tradition appreciated by shamans, but not the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital. Someone forgot to call security the other day, and either a local witch doctor screwed up healing, or succeeded in cursing, a patient. There are anecdotal reports of spirituality's pallative effects. Some of theses cases are so provocative, K.C. Alexander's Approaching Witchcraft With Mental Illness in hopes of finding peace of mind. He's a little bloggy here, but those with similar complaints can sympathize, potentially finding solace or empowerment from his journey. (CS)

"Location, location, location" is the mantra of real estate agents. Same goes for exo-economists concerned with filthy lucre. How could a post-scarcity civilization exist without heavy elements like gold, latinum, and unobtanium? Avi Loeb considers the elemental windfalls of supernovae among other cosmic catastrophes. Moving further with the anthropomorphization of extraterrestrials, Astronomers Listen In On The Strongest Known Deep Space Radio Signal. Could it be the God-Emperor of Tau Ceti on their megastructure's Twitter analogue, or a natural phenomenon? You'll have to read Brett Tingley's piece to know the score. (CS)

Space is weird, but the effects of being in space are even weirder. Just ask Reed and Sue Richards, Johnny Storm, and the ever-lovin' Ben Grimm. Except Scott Kelly's changes aren't as visible, nor profound, yet Sequoyah Kennedy finds much to be of interest with the preliminary findings of NASA's twin study. Better still, she's level headed rather than going off the deep end like some folks. On the other hand, Elizabeth Howell is compelled to note Astronaut Scott Kelly And His Twin Brother Are Still Identical. Her issue lay with the science-y mainstream media doing its best imitation of Carl deGrasse Hawking, and falling flat on its face, unlike Mysterious Universe. We're proud that Mysterious Universe gets it right the first time, unlike CNN, USA Today, Time, Quartz, and Buzzfeed for starters. Do I need to go on? (CS)

If The Anomalist's love affair with Mysterious Universe is wrong, then we don't wanna be right. Friday night we cuddled up with Micah Hanks who whispered the latest and greatest hypotheses surrounding the Dyatlov Pass incident. From yetis to secret weapon programs, there's plenty breathing new life into this (literal) cold case. Which reminds us of the first time we met Brent Swancer. It was 1975. Waukegan, Wisconsin just after sunset. Jim Croce's Time In A Bottle wafted from his Chevy Vega's radio. Brent whispered some Very Strange Accounts Of Bizarre Time Anomalies in confidence, but now he's let the cat out of the bag. From what we recall, the worst thing that could happen to anyone is being abducted by plaid-wearing aliens in the London Underground on a Wednesday. (CS)

March 16

What has to be one of the longest headlines ever introduces four posts presenting facets of the collision of UFOs with celebrity and media. In what has become fashionable of entertainers lately, long-time British pop singer Kim Wilde tells an English panel show about a rather pedestrian 2009 sighting she says inspired her new album. Paul Seaburn features a possibly even stranger title with "Gucci Guru" Claims She's Part Alien and All Powerful. If Kim's claims seem a bit "Wilde," they pale next to New Age spiritualist Teal Swan's statements about her past, her powers, her beliefs, and her supposed Arcturian relatives. Robbie Graham's The Reality behind 'Earth vs. the Flying Saucers' considers possible real-world influences on the classic 1956 sci-fi movie. Graham's When Disney went to the Moon with Aliens is in much the same vein. Graham here focuses on the appearance and motivations of the aliens themselves, especially as demonstrated in the definitely not-classic 1962 Disney movie Moon Pilot. Perhaps the Disney production was more influential on some levels than its lack of fame would indicate--having seen this movie just once when it came out, this reader can still sing (poorly) its "kitsch ballad about Beta Lyrae"! (WM)

He'll soon send up a drone to see if he can get an aerial glimpse at the beastie, an idea which is well-received in the comments. And was there ever A Monster in Monaghan? Fairy recent folklore says there was, but if so, maybe the trigger-happy locals have scared it away. (LP)

Cake-Eating Fairy in 19c Staffordshire Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
A sweet tooth is the downfall of many a mortal, but it seems that even fairies have a weakness for confectionery, according to this old tale from Staffordshire. Which prompts the question Who are the Little People? Have a listen to the attached interview with "a professor of Folklore" down-under to see if there's an answer. (LP)

Paul Seaburn keeps us up to date on the apparently unravelling three-fingered mummy mystery, with Dr. Konstantin Korotkov still clinging to diminishing hopes that the project is going to turn up anything truly earth-shattering. The possibility of active hoax and archaeological malfeasance, of course, remains. So, too, does the likelihood of Russian use of the mummies "as political weapons to undermine the West," at least according to Jason Colavito in Russians Push "Alien" Peruvian Mummy Narrative; Plus: Forgery Scandal Calls Ancient Luwian Inscriptions into Question. That last part of Colavito's title indicates that a major scandal in mainstream archaeology threatens to undermine what we've thought for some time about the mysterious Luwian people--and possibly others, as well. With L.A. Marzulli's Skull Expert Speaks Out about Paracas "Sub-Species" Jason turns his focus on another fringe archaeological sensation, poking holes in the methodology and conclusions of the anthropologist who's supporting L.A. Marzulli's claims that another set of Peruvian remains are truly extraordinary. (WM)

March 15

A globetrotting selection of UFO-related cases begins with the December 1978 UFO event that stunned an Australian film crew in the moonlit night sky over New Zealand. The attached video clip is worthwhile, although the TV talent does not seem particularly well-informed or disposed towards the subject. They are, however, impressed by the number of Facebook and email respones to their request for local UFO stories. And in Evansville, Indiana, Courier & Press columnist Jon Webb has another piece of history in 1967 Evansville UFO Sighting was Blamed on a TV Show. Webb is more positive about the UFO subject, relaying local tales of sightings and ridiculous USAF explanations in the light of the three recently-released videos from F/A-18 Super Hornets. Back south of the Equator we go to Peru: Rooftop Sighting of Strange Object in Trujillo. Inexplicata shows stills and provides the link to a video of something indeterminate filmed last Spring over northern Peru. Crossing back to the Northern Hemisphere and to the Old World, we have Peter McCue's A UFO on the A70 and other Out-of-this-world Encounters. The author of Britain's Roads: Phantom Figures, UFOs and Missing Time relates some very spooky tales of roadside happenings from Scotland. (WM)

We enjoyed this piece, largely because we don't very often get first hand reports of poltergeist activity. Even revisiting the phenomenon two decades later, it's just plain weird and creepy. Cropster's comment that he didn't realize he was scared until returning home and jumping at every sound added some credibility to a story that already had us looking over our shoulders. Next, Watch: Eerie Anomaly Filmed by Dascham in Singapore. Dashcam footage is notoriously wobbly--much like time, as Dr. Who would no doubt concur--so determining what was actually going on is nearly impossible. Instead we pose this question to our readers: Which would be more frightening, a ghost standing on the median of a highway, or the possibility of a young woman stepping out into traffic? (CM)

Hieronyma and Her Incubus Bizarre and Grotesque
Even demons get the blues sometimes, it would seem. The down-and-out-lover of this story, an incubus, could not turn the head of his righteous amour who was so in love with her husband that she could love no other. The demonic creeper needed some serious work on his seduction techniques and his ability to take "no" for an answer, and the story didn't even take place in Hollywood. Other monstrosities with no respect for personal boundaries are Supernatural Invasions In The Dead Of Night. Nick Redfern shares the tale of a darker than dark shadow stealing the breath of his victim with a kiss. Redfern then draws parallels between this tale to the Catholic Church's stance in the 13th century that cats were the tools of the devil and could steal the breath from infants. (CM)

Nick Redfern offers an interview with the late Colin Bennett on the meaning and role of the UFO Contactee phenomenon. It's thoughtful and provocative. But it's also a little theoretical, and poor John Keel appears to be deep in the reality in Special Cases--The Long Island File (78): Dave, Princess Moon Owl, and More. A "mummy-like" Appell, a "Leader" sporting three "feathers" on his head, and hostile "Energy People": the late-60s "Contactee" business that enmeshed Keel seems rather different in tenor than Bennett's observations. Or does it? (WM)

March 14

Mike Mayes made it into the field recently, spending time with a family in Hunt County, Texas, who know their wildlife. Seems recently they'd had a run in with what may have been a black panther on their property, although thankfully the creature chose escape over aggression. If anyone can determine the identity of the cryptic creature, Mike can. This next case isn't quite so grounded in--shall we say--reality: Walker Photographs 'Ghost Dog' in Grounds of Yorkshire Castle. While the title tends to sum up the entire piece, we'd like to add that having a castle as a backdrop does not justify shouts of "cryptid!" or "ghost!" every time a passerby takes a terrible photograph with their cellphone. Maybe that could be added to the tourist pamphlet in the future. (CM)

"The bottom line is this is a potential threat--a grave one--to our country." So says Fox News' Tucker Carlson of the situation illustrated by the third of three videos recently released by the U.S. government showing unidentified objects. Carlson admirably admits he has been one of the many scoffers of the UFO subject--up to now--while running former Pentagon UFO study head Luis Elizondo through the usual series of questions. Of interest was Elizondo's mentioning "hypersonic" speeds for some of these UFOs, while each of the quartet of different estimates of object size and speed we have encountered project much slower velocities for the target in this newest "GO FAST" video. There's also speculation that the GO FAST and GIMBAL videos came from the same 2015 US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet sortie, as on Buckle up Boys--You're about to Get Learnt. A Little Insight into Our Recent UFO Sightings from 2004 and 2015. Should this "finding" hold up, it will just make the whole situation even more "curiouser and curiouser." (WM)

This report serves as proof that stupidity knows no borders, nor does poor judgement. All wannabee celebrities out there should take note that in places around the world--other than California--celebrity status is not a get-out-of-jail-free ticket. Also, if you're going to carry illegal pharmaceuticals about with you, don't assume the local police are so stupid they won't figure it out, ASAP. Hopefully the "psychic" in question will get some useful training while incarcerated so he can actually make a contribution to the world. Next, Malcolm Smith asks a question that has plagued theologians for centuries. How Can Anyone Live Without Eating?. Smith does his due diligence with the several examples described in this report, and we confess we're left on the same side of the fence as he is--we have no idea how certain mystics have reportedly survived for extended periods of time without eating. Typically, we're hard pressed to make it from dinnertime to bedtime without a snack or two in between. (CM)

Nick discusses his new book with Greg Bishop. Although everyone traces the history of the Slenderman to a 2009 internet contest to come up with the most frightening character imaginable, Nick found that things resembling the entity had actually been reported before it was even "created." That led to a discussion of the possibility and history of manifested thoughtforms and tulpas, and how the Slenderman legend may have literally come to life. Turns out not everyone is a Nick Redfern fan, however. Jason Colavito takes aim at Redfern's latest book in Review of "The Slenderman Mysteries" by Nick Redfern, which is not surprising as Jason an Nick often butt heads on various issues. While Colavito doesn't criticize Nick's style or writing quality, he does look askance at what he deems Redfern's careless treatment of something that impacted the real world in a very violent way. Redfern himself is a much kinder reviewer, as you can see in his review of Tim Beckley's Global Communications latest tome: Weird Winged Wonders: The Twilight World Of Cryptid Creatures, which focuses largely on Mothman. (PH)

Paul Seaburn notes the connection between that long-promised third video release and Christopher Mellon's Washington Post op-ed piece. With The Man behind the U.S. Government's Secret UFO Program Answers Questions Greg Taylor ponders former Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) director Luis Elizondo's interviews since that program's revelation last December. Taylor expresses caution while remaining engaged with the developing situation. Much the same comes from Micah Hanks in The Deepfake Phenomenon: Telling "Fact from Face" in a World of Digital Fakery. Just as still and motion picture film have been successfully manipulated to show things that aren't there, Hanks worries that advances in CGI fakery could demolish the probative value of any "UFO" footage. The provenance of the imagery is now crucial to evaluating the believability of the artifact. Hanks uses the 2004 Nimitz video as a case in point, although his concerns by themselves do not critically affect that video's authenticity. But, what if many "UFOs" aren't "nuts-and-bolts", material manifestations, but something metaphysical--and the government knows it? Joshua Cutchin explores this provocative possibility in "Render unto Caesar": Possible Alternative Motivations behind Government UFO (& Bigfoot!) Secrecy. (WM)

March 13

Brett Tingley alerts us to and gives a good synopsis of a "find" by Canadian UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski of 27 pages of documents pertaining to six 1967 UFO cases, including the May 20 Stefan Michalak CE-II, October 5 Shag Harbour "UFO splash", a stunning radar event, and the first North American crop circles. Be sure to follow Brett's link to the Rutkowski site on these. Speaking of radar and water cases, Lon Strickler's got a doozy in Coast Guard Cutter Encounters USO off Key West. With Mysterious "Discs" of the Second World War Nick Redfern corrects a wrong impression as to when the term "disc" was initially used in military descriptions of unidentified anomalous objects. Perhaps even more significantly, Nick proves that the origin of the term "unidentified flying objects" goes back to August 1947 at least, and was not original with Edward Ruppelt. But Nick's maybe topped this article with his Long-Haired Aliens Bite the Dust--Or Don't. Or maybe not, because Nick thinks the story he relates from Len Stringfield is a "tall tale". Lastly, Kevin Randle repeats verbatim a promo for Belgium in UFO Photographs: Volume 1 (1950-1988) By Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos and Wim van Utrecht. Note that this important work is available free online through the link provided by Kevin (and the press release). (WM)

Feeling a little bit like "found footage," this video at first glance depicts a cab driving down the road at night being attacked by a directed burst of fog. It all seems a bit too specific to the single car though. Most of us have experienced fog while driving home at night, and it generally doesn't swirl in and dissipate quite so specifically as in this video. (Unless you're watching either the 1980 or 2005 remake of The Fog.) We're leaning in the direction of hoax without more information. And since we're discussing frightening drives home at night. take a look at Bizarre Encounters with Road Trolls. While there's not enough information to come up with any definitive explanation for these encounters, the possibility of a tall, raggedy, hairy hobo with a peg leg and a curious, non-aggressive manner traveling cross country is pretty close to non-existent. But it did make us remember witness accounts of seeing owls during what would turn out to be alien encounters. Could this be the same type of anomaly? Lost time anyone? (CM)

High strangeness continues to keep Thailand in the news. Most recently, a Thai government office did some ghost busting to cleanse its offices of some bad mojo that no doubt was encouraging employees to call in sick, get sick or leave work early. Kind of like a noxious odor, or having the coffee machine break down. At any rate, the building itself did have some tragic history, so a little spirit-ridding couldn't have hurt anything, although toying with the paranormal isn't cheap. Chris Woodyard itemizes The Expenses of Necromancy, and it's an impressively comprehensive list. Taken from a review of The Occult Sciences by Arthur Edward Waite one comes away with the impression speaking to ghosts was only undertaken by the rich at one time. Ah the bad old days...(CM)

After about seven minutes of preliminaries, Greg Bishop and guest David Metcalfe seize full attention with their discussion of the Santa Muerte belief system(s), and keep that grip going across a wide range of subjects. The conversation flows naturally for the most part, conveying the sense that underlying mediumship, UFOs, and a night spent in jail with a bunch of drug dealers was some kind of common thread. The Tony Robbins discussion initially sagged a bit, but after several minutes had this listener resolving to see the documentary on the guy. Over at the Paracast, Gene Steinberg welcomed Robert Schroeder with J. Randall Murphy. Schroeder was substituting for Richard Doty, who's now scheduled for next time. Schroeder is passionately enthusiastic about the topic of his book Solving the UFO Enigma: How Modern Physics is Revealing the Technology of UFOs. Schroeder's strong "nuts-and-bolts ET" views made Gene a bit uncomfortable, and Paracast co-host Murphy at times seemed taken aback by what he apparently felt were theories outstripping their evidence. But a generally good time was had by all. (WM)

March 12

Mark O'Connell has been thinking like Billy Cox about Donald Trump as the potential "Disclosure President", and types out his own droll article with a serious point. Inexplicata has a confusing entry in Peru: Driver Records Video on Dashcam. The talk is about a Peruvian place setting, while the video address referenced at the bottom of the article is labelled as coming from Indonesia. Even that seems more straightforward than the image shown in Mexico: Unusual Phenomenon over Jalisco Dubbed "Giant UFO". Ivan Gomez' article is intriguing, and it would be useful to have access to more details and footage that might help evaluate this report. (WM)

This story sounds like a blend of urban legend and internet meme, which means it's scarier than heck. We're really really hoping the guys who wrote in to Lon were using some unauthorized pharmaceuticals because we're not feeling great about a world where That Thing exists. Next we have A Supernatural Snake in the Dead of Night. Redfern reports on a shared night terror/sleep paralysis incident which doesn't match up to the neat explanations modern psychology likes to offer. On a much lighter note, The Black Pig of Kiltrustan is a story that is suitable for all ages and tends to leave us a bit giddy with the hope that magic is real. (CM)

Clas Svahn pens a heartfelt remembrance of one of Magonia's early contributors and eventual senior book reviewer who died last week after a battle with cancer. Rogerson's hard hitting reviews fought against the forces of unreason that threatened the establishment. He certainly will leave a void in the fortean world of book reviews. And this just in: Magonia editor John Rimmer's Remembering Peter. Since we are on the subject of highly critical book reviewers, here are a couple by Jason Colavito, the first is a Review of "Egregores: The Occult Entities That Watch Over Human Destiny" by Mark Stavish, which gets one-and-a-half stars. Next is a Review of "Prometheus and Atlas" by Jason Reza Jorjani , which gets reprinted from the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. Key quote: Jorjani "never considers that the ‘spectral’ might be fictitious (or, for that matter, genuinely divine), and he seems to see in it a common enemy that can unite the planet behind his call, borrowed from Nietzsche, to remake the world under a ‘spiritual aristocracy of post- human supermen.’" (PH)

Kevin Randle's Case in Point: the 1995 "Alien Autopsy" film still has legitimacy advocates. Commenters cite the more recent "Roswell Slides" episode as a complete fabrication rather than a mixture of hoax and honest but stupid mistake(s). Kevin lets the reader/listener judge one aspect of that debate with Don Schmitt, Adam Dew and the Roswell Slides. We don't think Peter Robbins has any dislike for UFOlogy, recent events notwithstanding. As Tim Binnall's long-running podcast moves toward its close, he welcomes back the person he credits as the first person of note in the field who treated him seriously. Peter Robbins and Tim relive that first meeting, touch upon the current Big Story of the Pentagon UFO study program, and remember Budd Hopkins and Jim Marrs. But most of the conversation deals with Peter's general philosophy about life as well as UFOs and ufology. Peter is a remarkable storyteller and he particularly surprised Binnall and this listener with accounts of his younger gadabout travels in Asia. Peter promises a book someday on this. Almost no mention was made of the Rendlesham mess. (WM)

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