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The Anomalist



January 21

We have a pair of strange observations from the US which will have conspiracy theorists salivating, and we have to admit they might be on to something. First up, radar anomalies have experts wondering if the military have been engaged in exercises involving the release of chaff, an aluminum-based radar countermeasure of sorts.  If it's not chaff that is baffling the radar, then it's been weather anomalies, which is far more worrisome. Then there's the Strange ‘Alien Sounds’ Heard Throughout U.S. East Coast. Lasting for several minutes at a time, these sounds have been described as jet engines roaring and space shuttles launching. Considering the radar weirdness also described around the east coast, those observations are likely very accurate. (CM)

Kevin Randle reports on what a very important, though small, segment of the public seems to feel about the portrayal Project Blue Book makes of the character and career of Dr. J. Allen Hynek--the Hynek family itself. Kevin frankly professes ambivalence towards, but also enjoyment from, the show. Rich Reynolds responds to Kevin's comments in History Channel's Project Blue Book: Entertainment or Outrage? Rich focuses on the "distortions of activity" that together with "half-ass 'researchers' and 'investigators' (along with the news media)" that "muddle" the phenomenon. Jack Brewer sees a similar cultural problem in Sometimes It's Just Con vs. Con. Critical thinking, research ethics, and professional conduct deficits are rife in the field of ufology--and outside of it as well. Nick Redfern focuses on the series' second installment, first summarizing the "traditional" account of the 1952 Flatwoods Monster case, then pointing out some of the fantasy in the PBB episode, boiling down to his "main gripe: the show-makers seem intent on making real people look bad." (WM)

This isn't so much a tale of shape shifting in modern times as it is of humans moving in on wildlife habitat and the means by which nature deems to survive. Raccoon Dogs in Japan seem to have adjusted their elimination patterns to a nocturnal schedule much like actual raccoons, thereby avoiding humans and giving them the opportunity to vandalize garbage with the other four-legged bandits. In other news, Linda Godfrey is the guest on this week's Paracast, discussing monsters and her own experiences of strange beasts. Godfrey is always interesting, so grab a coffee and start listening. (CM)

January 20

Here's a summary of some of the known, poorly-known, and questionable cases of U.S. forces-UFO interactions during the War in Vietnam. More recently, an odd event last December 11th has provoked an apparent armed response as Paul Seaburn reports Vladimir Putin Sends in Military after Siberians Blame UFO for Mountain Collapse. Although one witness is sure he saw a meteor fall on the night in question, a survey indicated a third of the locals thought "a UFO attack" was responsible for the damage. Paul provides a humorous article full of questions to ponder. Most recently, Argentina: Necochea Photographer Captures Strange Object Over Park presents another instance in which snapshots subsequently revealed something unnoticed by the photographer. If this is not a case of "photo blur," the thing certainly does look like a helicopter, but the witness would like photo analysis. (WM)

A tip of the hat to Rich Reynolds for bringing this article to light. Quebec scholar-poet Bryan Sentes dissects "ufology" and in the process makes useful distinctions worthy of reflection by those of us engaged in the various aspects he delineates. In that process he explains the "intellectual cover" that researchers in non-UFO (and non-STEM) fields--anthropology, cultural studies, history, psychology, for instance--can instance to justify studying the "UFO Effect." But are there case elements that cover both the reality of flying saucers and the cultural impact of UFO belief, such as the matter of The Socorro Symbol? Rich Reynolds poses an interesting question about that famous 1964 case. Then there's the Unbelievably Real UFO Sighting in the Desert Caught on Video, Uploaders Encourage Scrutiny. Adam Goldberg presents a video for which "the openness in which [it] was presented is a great sign to indicate that the footage is in fact real." As can be expected, sites like Metabunk.org have weighed in on the matter; see the discussions at Utah Drone Video and Thoughts on This Newly Released Video? (WM)

January 19

As we approach the centenary of Julian Jaynes, whose maverick theory of mind and consciousness continues to provoke discussion and inspire media, it appears his hypothesis gains traction every day. While Joseph Frankel isn't being directed to write at the behest of Marduk, he lays out the evidence illustrating we may not be so far removed from our Bronze Age forebears. If you find that compelling, here's Steve Taylor's argument for Open-Minded Science brimming with hard, statistical evidence which should embolden mainstream researchers to relax their obstinancy. Adding a little materialist sugar to the bitter pill of materialism not being the end-all, be-all of reality, Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel discuss The Power Of Expectations with nifty animations courtesy of Francesca Cattaneo. We leave it to you to infer how it relates to magick, psi, and perhaps reconciling materialism with the two. These types of phenomena aren't the sole domain of (so-called) higher orders of life if Dr. Fernando Alvarez has anything to say about it. What he's found is An Experimenter Psi Effect In Precognition Tests With Planarians, suggesting "reality" is a mix of materialism and psi rather than eschewing one for another on dogmatic grounds. (CS)

In a few years, this cow may become something far more fearsome in the mind of local Alaskans. How is it that something so mundane, like a cow sighting, become an urban legend? Rebecca Palsha has more than a few clues. Keeping in a snowy, yet cryptozoological, state of mind there's a bit of fun when Derek Brizendine heard a Warrensburg Family Built A Loch Ness Monster Out Of Snow. If you're shut-in this weekend due to the (hyped) snow, Glasgow boy has more than a few light diversions to share like a Loch Ness Monster Jigsaw Puzzle and others which are fun for the whole clan. (CS)

Here's an episode of Antiques Roadshow that's right up Loren Coleman's alley. Tucked away in a New Zealand drawer was a rare thylacine skin. Fortunately, and sadly, this pelt wasn't fresh but Tim Binnall notes the family's windfall will keep them from extinction for a couple decades. Remember Lonesome George, the last-of-his-kind Pinta Island tortoise who joined Benjamin the Thylacine in 2012? The Sehuencas water frog lucked out of their tragic fates, inshallah, as Romeo The Frog Finds His Juliet. And their courtship may save a species if biologists are really careful, and have enough frog Viagra on hand. (CS)

Pfft, aliens are nothing compared to Theresa May's bumbling attempts to prevent Great Britain from driving off the White Cliffs of Dover and exploding in a fireball. Only twentysomething years ago the Ministry of Defense reckoned saucers posed an existential threat to the Crown, and Emma Parry gets her hands dirty by sifting through reams of documents detailing the bickering behind closed doors. Of course It's Never Aliens, Until It Is. Cases in point: 'Oumuamua and those fast radio bursts which may be among the first crumbs of a trail leading to you-know-who. More on those tomorrow, true believers! Until then, should aliens reach out and touch us, some Scientists Have Named The Possible Scenarios Of Contact With Extraterrestrial Intelligences ranging from outright destruction to laboratory mice. (CS)

January 18

It seems the jury will always be out on the matter of psychics and the validity of the information they claim to receive. However that hasn't stopped law enforcement from turning to them when faced with cases that show no signs of being solved. Authorities have the right attitude--rather than demanding winning lottery numbers, they're seeking fresh leads and not being picky about the sources. And there is much anecdotal evidence online demonstrating the reality of psychic hunches. A Good Example of an Operational Remote Viewing Session is a first person account of a session viewing a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile and the results described are compelling. Frankly we'd rather read about the remote viewing of puppies playing but the folks running the Star Gate Program likely wouldn't have approved. (CM)

A family in New Mexico recently tried a home-based exorcism when a member fell ill and began speaking gibberish and experiencing hallucinations. Fortunately good sense snuck in there during the process and she was eventually taken to hospital and admitted, where it was discovered she had a bona fide medical condition--and not a demon--causing the bizarre behavior. In other news that demonstrates people are silly, Smiling Satan Statue Sparks Protests in Spain. Apparently the 6-foot-tall copper statue in Segovia has alarmed some members of the community who object to the depiction of Satan as a friendly fellow. The statue's fate is now in the hands of a judge who must ultimately determine if it is truly offensive or merely an artistic rendering. Definitely a First World kind of problem, we would say. (CM)

No, the title has nothing to do with a forgotten 1990s boy-band, but rather with the dark subject of infanticide from 19th century England. Brent Swancer takes a look back at stories of young victims whose spirits seem to have returned with rather unsettling results. And moving the gruesomeness to Japan, Brett Tingley examines The Curious Case of the Schoolhouse Skeletons and wonders if there's a sinister wartime explanation for these allegedly educational specimens. (LP)

January 17

"It's already hard enough for those trying to understand the truth about government involvement with U.F.O.s without mixing fact and fiction." Thus Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean--who along with Helene Cooper broke the December 2017 story about a secret Pentagon UFO program still active today--about the new History Channel tv series "Project Blue Book." So Blumenthal and Kean set about to correct that story. We get Nick Redfern's take in About "Project Blue Book": My Views. "This new show blurs the lines to a point where many may not realize what amounts to fact and what amounts to fiction," writes Redfern, who was "hugely unimpressed and the show did a disservice to the real George Gorman" of the pilot episode. Rich Reynolds' view of Project Blue Book - Number Two (Exactly), about the series's second installment, makes no bones about how the article's title should be interpreted. And Mark O'Connell's My Wild UFO Trip tells us how he, as the author of the excellent (and only) Hynek biography The Close Encounters Man, was asked to fact-check the New York Times article for Kean and Blumenthal. His post concludes with "And I know for a fact that Dr. Hynek is rolling over in his grave." (WM)

A mother in Atlanta was recently startled when her home security system alerted her to an intruder in the kitchen. Checking the video footage, she was shocked to find an apparition of who she believed was her late son. Whether you believe a young man's ghost visited his mother, or a security system is in need of maintenance, it doesn't matter. For once, technology provided solace to someone who needed it. Next is a less warm and fuzzy report for those who like their ghost stories dark and foreboding. The Dark History Of The Lalaurie Mansion in New Orleans is more terrible than most, filled with rumors of tortured slaves who would choose death over the punishments meted out by their owner. The property was eventually vacated and later used for a variety of ill-fated businesses, finally being purchased as a private residence, its dark paranormal reputation intact. But sadly, its current owner is no fan of ghost tours, so visitors must content themselves with standing on the sidewalk in front of the manse. (CM)

Here are five current and past cases from Mysterious Universe for your attention. Something recently fell out of the Tennessee sky into Patsy Wright's pond, made a huge splash, and now her pond is gone. She's not saying it's UFOs that did it, but Brett Tingley pond-ers what did it. Brett also ponders the fact that Multiple Witnesses Report Mysterious Green Light Above England. Brett asks: Is all this part of a trend or shift in atmospheric weirdness? We move from England to the former Belgian Congo and a tale of UFOs, Uranium and a Pilot's Encounter. Nick Redfern now has the podium, and the story and background he relates about a 1952 case is both truly "sensational" and unique. Some might see more than happenstance in the unidentified objects' choice of tourist sites. Nick now hands the mike over to Micah Hanks, who poses the question on Triangles Over the Southeast: Did Multiple Witnesses See a Large Mystery Aircraft in the 1980s? A huge, "low and slow" aircraft puzzled the folks over at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), in another fascinating historical story. Hanks then tells us that not much later the FAS pondered yet another huge mystery in the Hunt for the Blackstar: On the Trail of the Military's Secret "Mothership." Again, an interesting bit of history whose involvement with "private sector contractors" may have helped it stay "stealthy" to the notice of the American public, a practice probably continued for other aerial platforms, and study projects such as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. (WM)

January 16

"While 'the truth' is out there, it's not what you think"--so ends this expose article by controversial researcher Kal Korff. Though its first half is mostly Korff's summary version of his thoughts on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, Korff then gets into the so-called "Aviary" and what becomes a tangled web of his own scrapes with supposed members of this supposed group, and leads to his decrying Aviary member Dr. Ron Pandolfi for "decades long antics" in manipulating public opinion on UFOs and allegedly hoodwinking credulous investors of their money. Embedded in this is a pending legal case and Korff's own "series of formal complaints with the Inspector Generals and other oversight entities," which, again supposedly, may uncover the truth. Perhaps an article to read, relegate to the "grey basket," and see what next transpires. (WM)

Who says Weird and Cool have to equate to Paranormal? Not us--at least not anymore. Did you know individual ants within a colony can remember their experiences, but that when they they act together as a colony, they seem to possess the memories of the entire group? And those memories appear to be passed down within that colony even after individual members have died. Now get ready for a forehead slap: Amoebas Are Smarter Than They Appear. In tests designed to examine how slime molds deal with spatial relationships, it was discovered these single celled organisms have an ability to travel efficiently, always choosing the best route and never retracing their steps--that would put most city planners to shame. And finally, news that isn't news to those of us who love plants: New Research Suggests Plants Hear and Respond to Sounds and Broadcast Ultrasounds of Their Own. For example, some flowers have been observed in lab settings changing their nectar to make it sweeter when in the presence of buzzing pollinators. It's also been noted that plants emit ultrasounds--sounds above our human hearing range--which indicate the health and needs of the plant. If only humans could do that, it would put relationship counsellors out of business. (CM)

Nick Redfern begins a quintet on direct human-alien interactions with some medical ruminations concerning one of the earliest and certainly most iconic of cases. Brent Swancer pens A Bizarre Alien Abduction in Japan. This case seems to bridge the border between "abduction" and "contactee" with its outcome being the human claiming to be "the earthly representative of the 'Summon Call Space Union,'" possessing powers usually associated with comic action heroes. Nick Redfern then escorts us deep into Contactee land with Aliens: What's In A Name? "Celtic Woman" has long been synonymous with "heavenly" music; may there be a locational as well as artistic meaning to the adjective? The coincidences almost make one do a mental double-take at the Gaelic prophecy of Betty Andreasson's channeling friend Quaazga. And Nick follows with "A" Is For Adamski--A New Book Reviewed. Nick notes the book reminds us that claimed encounters are at least as much about the witness-claimants themselves as about their claims or supposed alien contacts. Nick also recommends that the book was as well-written as it was researched. And Hakan Blomqvist has a well-written and detailed cap to Adamski and the Contactee topic with The Edith Nicolaisen-George Adamski Correspondence. This fascinating article also makes a strong case for the archival preservation of UFO-related history. (WM)


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