FortFest 2019


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The Anomalist

June 19

Paul Seaburn injects urgency into viewing the latest and surprisingly clear videos of the mysterious Nevada military base. One of Paul's sources is Tyler Rogoway's New Video Of Area 51 Provides The Most Recent Look Into The Secret Flight Test Base. Rogoway supplies a map, some images, discussion, and links to other of his fascinating and highly detailed articles on this fabled place, including one that may open eyes about legitimate, current Russian aerial surveillance. Not-so-licit Russian activity is subject of Nick Redfern's Flying Saucers From The Kremlin and Russian Meddling. Nick Redfern promos his newest book, backed by the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign and precursor Soviet actions utilizing UFOs for destabilizing purposes. Kind of makes the Robertson Panel and Condon Committees' UFO-debunking recommendations seem less weird? But wait, there's More On the Matter of UFOs and Russian Meddling. Here Nick zeroes in on more specific instances of what he'd more generally sketched in his prior post. And two were playing that eventually "strange and twisted game," says Nick: "The Russians were doing it to our people, and we were doing likewise to theirs." The past is present, so the saying goes. (WM)

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 was one of the most terrifying events in recent history. So perhaps it's not so surprising that a dark omen was seen by many of the reactor workers in the weeks leading up to the explosion. Those claiming to have seen the grim harbinger also reported having nightmares or receiving threatening phone calls. The parallels to Mothman are clear. It does seem that troubles spawned by humans come with their own customized demons. Strange Humanoid Monster Encounters in the Vietnam War. Soldiers caught in that unwinnable war reported seeing strange creatures in the nighttime jungle. Encounters with strangely glowing, hairless beings were recounted numerous times during the war. Was there a connection between these odd humanoids and the labyrinth of underground tunnels used by the Vietnamese to launch sneak attacks? In more recent times there have been Bizarre Modern Encounters with Real Gargoyles. Smallish and muscular, with leathery wings and a seeming dislike of humans (or how they smell), these creatures have been described as potentially interdimensional, less interested in attacking, and more interested in escaping from the prying eyes of the humans who encounter them. Sounds a bit like someone got confused between a fantasy novel and reality, but we leave honey water out for the fairies, so we're not in a position to judge. (CM)

UFO events old and new today. "Canada's most infamous UFO case" is brought to life through the auspices of the Canadian Archives. Stefan Michalak's son and two UFO researchers discuss Michalak's 1967 terrifying close encounter and its difficult aftermath. (For Part 1, see UFOs at LAC: The Falcon Lake Incident -- Part 1). A really weird present-day phenomenon, with accompanying video, appears in Paul Seaburn's Worm UFO Over California is Not the First of its Kind. A "startling daytime UFO photo" figures in Argentina: UFO Photographed from Cable Car in Salta. Hopefully Antonio Zuleta, who wrote this article, will get more details about this recent and interesting image. Lastly, the title Weird Suffolk: The Flying Saucer that Came to Bury St Edmunds for Christmas may startle at first. That is, until you realize that Bury St Edmunds is a town and St Edmunds was not going to be buried in 2008. Stacia Briggs and Siofra Connor tell a very interesting tale, and don't forget to check out the "Weird Suffolk" map! (WM)

June 18

There's nothing like the rush of finding and documenting your first monster--even if that "monster" happens to be a sunken log. Ever the clear headed observer, Glasgow Boy takes a look at A new Loch Ness Video .. Quickly Identified. Is there an inch of the Loch he doesn't have committed to memory? Over in Canada, we have a gentleman certain he has Ogopogo Caught on Film? We certainly appreciate his excitement (being in the wrong lake and all) but he won't be scoring any points soon for objectivity. (CM)

No matter the current fascination, Roswell just keeps on keepin' on. If you've never heard the USAF rationale for their "crash test dummy" Roswell explanation, Nick Redfern's got it in an easy read. Then things get weirder with some Strange Tales of Rats: Conspiracies, Roswell & Bacteriological Warfare. Nick remains in his "wheelhouse" with little-known information on What the U/S. Government Knows of the Men in Black (or Doesn't). Nick's concluding statement here is, especially for newcomers, a bit chilling. And Paul Seaburn wonders why Tall Humanoids Have Been Reported in Columbia for Seven Years, and not much has been done about it. No books, no conferences, no theme parks, nada. (WM)

Unidentified and Luis Elizondo A Different Perspective
Naval aerial encounters with still-unknown and outlandishly capable vehicles since 2004--and the existence of a serious government effort to understand UFOs--are being forgotten in controversies over who managed that study program for much of its time. So Says Kevin Randle, while summarizing the Luis Elizondo controversy. Rich Reynolds agrees and says I Don't Gove a Damn Whether Luis Elizondo Led the AATIP Program or Not. This is the most recent--and pointed--of several Rich Reynolds posts arguing ufologists should focus on those core points, which as far as we can see have not successfully been challenged by the skeptics. Billy Cox focuses on a related and very important governmental issue in At Least It's Friday. The Federal Aviation Administration should be reacting in some way to the "real news" that broke in December 2017 and has recently been amped by Naval reporting procedures changes. Billy asks the FAA about this. (WM)

June 17

Despite the dramatic title, this piece tells of the refreshingly sensible approach to crypto-stuff taken by Richard Freeman of Devon, England. He's head of the Fortean Centre of Zoology and is "providing support" for a US team who will visit the lakes of Connemara and use "state-of-the-art equipment" to learn more about "what causes such growth in eels." Meanwhile we learn of Giant Loch Ness Monster-like Sea Monster Fossils Found in Antarctica. "It is the largest elasmosaurid in the world," i.e. a long-gone critter which, even if it wasn't related to our dear Nessie, looks so darn much like most of us think it should. With a long neck, flippers, and sharp teeth, this cousin of the plesiosaur was found in 1989 and leaves Paul Seaburn wondering if any of its kind could have survived the mass extinction of 66 million years ago and ended up in Scotland. (LP)

TTSA co-founder Tom DeLonge drops this bombshell, as publicized by Danny Silva, following a rather vanilla third installment of his tv series Unidentified. The Ancient Aliens installment prior to Unidentified, per Rich Reynolds' Bob Lazar Almost Presents the History Channel's 3rd Unidentified Installment, attempted to latch onto the Unidentified's greater credibility. Rich wasn't wowed by Unidentified this time. It did, however, strongly challenge the public governmental public position on the whole UFO matter. Segue to ABC New's Elizabeth McLaughlin's Trump Says He Doesn't Particularly Believe in Unidentified Flying Objects. The piece gives some indication of the professed interest the highest office in the land attaches to the UFO problem. Kevin Randle expresses his Different Perspective in President Trump, UFOs and Disclosure. Pitching recent concerning events against expressed Presidential indifference, Kevin suggests Disclosure (with a capital "D") "seems to be getting closer." (WM)

A woman in the US has been recently "enjoying"(?) sharing her property with what may turn out to be a group of Sasquatch--a group of Sasquatch that are quickly becoming accustomed to human junk food. We doubt she'll be as pleased when the hairy folk want more and decide to help themselves. There are reasons why we say "Don't Feed The Bears"--or any other wild animals. Meanwhile, Ohio is becoming more exciting. Loren Coleman reports on the New 2019 Minerva Monster Sighting, along with location details for the intrepid hunters among us. A fellow involved in a recent driving mishap is blaming a large hairy biped for blocking the road, so happy searching, but please drive carefully. (CM)

June 16

Not just any air purifier, but a special one that's readily available on Amazon for a pretty penny! The surprising revelation is how this gadget's action parallels the maverick techniques utilized by Zeddemore, Stantz, Venkman, and Spengler. What a time to be alive! Thank you, Dale Roll! If crackpot ghostbusting methods aren't your cuppa, enjoy your Sunday with Lauren Wises's wackiest ghost stories which include A Naked Wizard And Floating Trees straight outta Cheshire. It's one smile that won't leave you today. (CS)

Science is a funny old thing. People claim to believe in science, often holding certain figures aloft as prophets, despite science being a tool rather than a philosophy. It's not tool for your hand, like a Phillips screwdriver, but one for your mind. Perched upon its shoulders are the ravens Epistemology and Ontology, which begat the wolves Rationalism and Empiricism. The quartet may appear dangerous to forteana but EsoterX finds these emperors to have no fangs, with a little help from Goethe and Kant but mostly Goethe and a vision of his future doppelgänger scaring the bejeebus outta him. How's that for a swerve? For a deeper exploration of our merry Metaphysics Of The Dunces, Andreas Sommer recommends picking up Jason Josephson-Storm's The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences. Its not-so-tacit thesis argues the birth of skepticism was not of profound disbelief but genuine belief, and fear of the supernatural and magic-with-a-k. (CS)

2020 is right around the corner, and every candidate wants their fifteen minutes of fame to boost their campaign. Kevin Seamon makes some big claims, along with more than a handful of outrageous titles bestowed upon him by The Powers That Be for airtime. But why is Tim Binnall of Coast2CoastAM , of all people and of all media outlets, so gosh darned skeptical? If anything, Seamon is using the power of visualization. You know... The Secret. The very same process which may be key to the placebo effect. Being far more rational, Michael Grosso argues Rigid Disbelief Is An Obstacle To Healing even while under the ministrations of vetted and papered physicians. If you hate yourself so much that you want to die, take heart that a New Study Reveals That Reincarnation Is Real — Kind Of. If you're Caenorhabditis elegans, according to Derek Beres. But consider how this may scale up to humans in light of reports concerning personality changes after organ transplants. (CS)

June 15

One of the greatest rites performed in Hinduism, the Agnicayana, requires an arduous and exacting process to set the stage. Curiouser still, the altar is shaped like a bird! The mantras performed are strange and alien, leading Nicholas Ben-Marcus to propose these chants are derived from bird song. If the science doesn't convince you, researchers have found the birds whose songs best match those mantras. How, and why, did humans pick up on plagiarizing birdsong? Bill Andrews reckons Humans's Ability To Hear Harmonic Sounds Might Set Us Apart from other criters. But what about primates, our closest relatives? That's where the evidence becomes compelling. (CS)

Psychedelics go way back, based on evidence dinosaurs might not have been strangers to tripping the light fantastic. It's only been over the last 150 years that clever primates with digital gadgets began isolating the active ingredients, for better or worse, and Greg Taylor finally got Mike Jay to spill a few of the beans on his latest findings collected in Mescaline: A Global History Of The First Psychedelic. Despite those compounds, the unmedicated brain is host to many enduring marvels eluding our best and brightest with questions like, Are Left-Handers More Artistic Than Right-Handers? Yes, we hear your exasperated sighs of (high pitched whiney voice) "There are no differences between the brain hemispheres" but humor Sebastian Ocklenburg for a couple of minutes as he follows the trail of breadcrumbs down a long-ignored rabbit hole. (CS)

Just imagine, a whole dimension full of people sporting goatees and wearing tight, sexy leather outfits. What exactly makes a strong argument for the world next door to greyface scientists? Firing a beam of neutrons against a magnetic field results in intriguing behavior suggesting these neutrons are slipping between worlds. A bit more immediate is news of NASA Renewing Its Search For Aliens, And Discoveries Are Expected In Our Lifetime. SETI, and NASA, are experiencing a scientific renaissance despite decades of austerity, and Oded Carmeli prepares humanity for the sucker punch of first contact. (CS)

June 14

Is the Big News in ufology beginning to unravel? Curtis Collins examines the evidence for Luis Elizondo's role in the AATIP and the contradictions therein. Whatever else, the work perhaps underscores what you got a decade ago for $22 million, spread out over five years. And George Knapp's successive revisions of a putative original document bother this historian. Jack Brewer's TTSA and Uncritical Reporters Wilting Under Scrutiny should also be read, shaping the excellent work Tyler Rogoway's been doing into a narrative Brewer prefers. One may overlook the occasional snide asides Brewer gratuitously makes in what is otherwise a logical slant that concludes "In the end, Big Lue [sic] may yet be shown to have run the AATIP, but it won't change the fact it has not yet been confirmed." After the unexceptional lead paragraph to "America Unearthed" Rises in the Ratings; Plus: The UFO "Leak of the Century"?, Jason Colavito manages a good summary of the "Wilson Leaks" hullabaloo and several apt points about the troubled genesis of the two supposed Eric Davis documents. Contra Jason, however, we aren't so sure the docs are turning out to be a positive for "the current To the Stars team," whose next tv episode will open against a background awash in confusion and controversy. (WM)

Siberia is holding fast to its position of weirdest place on the planet. Recent thawing has revealed another hominid species that existed around the same time as the land bridge between Europe and North America. So far these newly discovered peoples do not appear to be connected to our earliest North American aboriginal peoples, however. In Search of Our Ancestry: Missing Branches in the Human Family Tree suggests that the absence of certain fossilized remains is the result of warm, moist environments that were not conducive to fossil formation. So just because we haven't discovered fossil records of suspected hominid populations, or connections to those populations, does not mean they never existed. Go Team Bigfoot! (CM)

Maybe it's because we got up way too early during one of the cloudiest, wettest Canadian springs in recent memory, but this video snippet really annoyed us. Kid in a costume or camera tricks? We need way more coffee to care. Skeptic ghost hunter and blogger Hailey Stevens lends her two cents to the mix as A Skeptic Investigates That Viral Dobby Video. As she explains, most weird stuff is best understood by starting with the simplest explanation, and elf masks are not in short supply. Her verdict? Someone's kid got to play dress up. Next ghostly mystery, please. (CM)

Certain elements in ufology other than the Big Story continue to command attention. After a nod to a strong statement by To The Stars' Christopher Mellon -- one which Kevin Randle says repeats something he's said for years -- Kevin and his guest Dr. Bruce Maccabee talk about the event that for many began the "modern era" of UFOs. Kenneth Arnold's June 24, 1947, sighting was "the right person in the right place at the right time," says optical physicist Maccabee. The two discuss some of the better photographic cases, and Bruce's recent book Three Minutes in June: The UFO Sighting that Changed the World, about the Arnold experience. Next Kevin interviews Dan Wright about Dan's new book The CIA UFO Papers: 50 Years of Government Secrets and Cover-Ups. Wright studied a released CIA cache of electronic files bearing upon UFOs, detailing the results in his book. Host Jim Harold then explores UFO Secrets Inside Wright Patterson with Tom Carey, who has collaborated with Don Schmitt in yet another book surrounding the Roswell theme. Carey says he and Don have unearthed yet additional witnesses to what happened to the Roswell wreckage, and its supposed associated entities. (WM)

June 13

UFO researchers can be easily distracted from the Big Story. Case in point, the "'Core Secrets' transcripts" which have now been unleashed upon the UFO community. While also including some people associated with the To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA) and the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), these leaks lead away from the main story by playing to "every paranoid fantasy or suspicion one holds of big government," in Billy Cox's words. Cox sketches the background to these leaks, and sends us to a Richard Dolan expose on The Wilson UFO Leak. Dolan describes a convoluted story of clandestine meetings, lack of government supervision of contracts with private corporations, and, above all, possession and reverse engineering efforts on a vehicle not made by human hands. Keith Basterfield provides context in his Notes on a 2002 Meeting between Dr. Eric Davis and Admiral Thomas Wilson: The Source of the Grant Cameron Document Speaks Out. If at least some of the materials Dolan discusses are spurious, parts of the "hoax" go back years and its appearance just now, in the middle of the TTSA/History tv series, is almost stupefyingly perfect in its timing. Before pronouncing upon Dolan's assessment, we'll wait for more research done by ufologists not so heavily invested in the matter. (WM)

This is the saga of intellectual property lawyer Robert Rines, founder the Academy of Applied Science, who later sponsoried the investigative pursuits of Peter Byrne, director of the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition in Oregon. It's the stuff of adventure novels, where the protagonists are drawn into lifelong pursuits of mythical creatures, have run-ins with (potentially) corrupt authorities, and are compelled to make peace with unsatisfying results. The involvement of the FBI is similar to horror movies where the audience knows the characters shouldn't go down into a dark basement--nothing good is going to come of it. Case in point: A finger bone Byrne "borrowed" from Tibetan monks was handed over to the FBI for analysis. They concluded it was “of deer family origin." But a 2011 analysis by scientists concluded the bone was of human in origin. Loren Coleman, who is quoted in the article, notes that the reporter, Deanna Pan, "unfortunately" failed to mention why. Says Coleman: "It was contaminated by Peter Byrne’s DNA, according to retesting by Bryan Sykes in 2013-2014.” (CM)

The headlines of these four articles left us wondering if the texts could live up to the hype. Brent Swancer delivers a set of surpassingly strange stories in an article festered with frightful images. Kyle Swenson in of all places The Washington Post teases with It Looked Like A Simple Domestic Murder. Then Police Learned About The Alien Reptile Cult. Supposed monsters of the non-human kind figure only secondarily in the profoundly tragic and unsettling story that ensues. Next, Tim Binnall reports that an Indian News Channel Suggests Missing Military Plane Was Taken by Aliens. What follows in this article is equal parts mind boggling and tragic, too. It seems fitting to close with a Paranoia piece by Olav Phillips about Himmler's Occult Warrior Monks: The Ahnenerbe. This is a mixture of surprising facts about one of the darker sides of the Nazi regime and heady speculations that end up invoking a demonic element prominent in Brent Swancer's initial article. (WM)

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