EdgeScience 45


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The Anomalist

April 23

Former head of the Pentagon AATIP UFO study Luis Elizondo met with reporters recently and responds to questions about leaked images and much more. In the first of three parts Elizondo speculates upon the "Best case scenario" for the report requested of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force due sometime in June. He also repeats earlier remarks about lengthy UFO videos and objects that get within 50 feet of Naval assets, and how UAPs/UFOs often show interest in our nuclear assets and have "interfered with some of our nuclear capabilities." In the second installment Elizondo expands upon the "Five Observables" distinguishing these phenomena from known human technology, and what response to the UFO issue he hopes from the Biden administration. Elizondo again underscores the gravity of the technological disparity between our capabilities and those demonstrated in UFO encounters. The final segment argues that a "binary" view of these phenomena--they're either foreign adversaries or ET craft--may not be an appropriate approach, and all kinds of experts are probably needed to tackle the problem. Elizondo talks about some of the positives and negatives of dealing with the legislative and executive branches of government, and offers his familiar analogy about locking one's door at night and waking up in the morning to find "muddy bootprints in your living room carpet" as a reason to figure out just what's happening. Standard questions, perhaps, and many answers Luis Elizondo has given before. The difference now is that his audience is mainstream media and he is to all appearances being taken seriously. (WM)

The deforestation explanation for the abandonment of one of the U.S.'s most famous ancient sites must be set aside. David Nield builds upon the article we reviewed last year: We Might Have Been Wrong About The Mysterious 'Lost Civilisation' of Cahokia. That reports a study of human "poop" indicated the area's population had a resurgence in 1500 CE after a low point around 1450. Nield's article says sediment core studies show no evidence of floods that would force evacuation. Further South, Tom Clynes reports that Archaeologists Discover Mysterious Monument Hidden in Plain Sight. LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) imaging revealed a complex at Tikal that's distinctly the style found in Teotihuacan. And even more, there's a complementary discovery of "a 'Mayan barrio' at Teotihuacan that mirrors the Teotihuacan outpost at Tikal." The speculation from these finds is exciting and an embedded video of Tikal uncovered by lidar is stunning. And a relatively small-scale find has major repercussions for our understanding of North American prehistory as Venetian Blue Beads Uncovered in Alaska Might Have Been There Before Columbus. Stefan A tells how a mere "baker's dozen" blue glass beads found at three Alaskan sites has archaeologists in a tizzy. (WM)

Alex Tsakiris interviews Terje Simonsen, the author of the excellent work A Short History of (Nearly) Everything Paranormal: Our Secret Powers Telepathy, Clairvoyance & Precognition, on where parapsychology has been and where it’s headed. Tsakiris argues that parapsychology has made itself irrelevant because it’s tried to divorce itself from spirituality. Simonsen seems to agree, saying what he misses in parapsychology is the existential aspect of it. The discussion goes on from there. Maybe we get a peak into the future of parapsychology with an app like the one featured in Place Telepathic Bets With "Uber for Psychics". The app in question is called Remote Viewing Tournament, and it pits contestants against each other in a psychic battle for dollars. Real-world uses of remote viewing have mostly focused on military and intelligence operations, but the technique also has a long history as a tool for financial investment. With varying results. (PH)

April 22

American troops in Vietnam shared the forests with more than Viet Cong. The area was home to the Nguoi Rung, or “The people of the Forest.” Units were assailed by these big, hairy, stone-throwing cryptids, even as witnesses were mocked by fellow soldiers for being frightened by mere wood apes. These stories lend support to the hypothesis that soldiers may have smuggled the "Minnesota Iceman" from Vietnam into the US in a coffin, the frozen corpse eventually being exhibited at fairs in the Midwest in the 1960s; the complete story is told in Neanderthal: the Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman by Bernard Heuvelmans (Anomalist Books). On a much lighter note, Bigfoot Hunter Receives Apology from 'Real Housewives' Star. Evidently the episode featuring Oklahoma Sasquatch enthusiast Charles Benton also featured an alcohol aided tirade by one of the Dallas housewives who has now issued an on-camera, albeit half-hearted apology. No doubt the Bigfoot episode boosted ratings, so the network likely had a vested interest in making peace with their unique guest. (CM)

A whole series of strangeness and perhaps local folklore begins with a 1991 claimed abduction which deposited the witness nearly 350 miles from where he had vanished. This is followed by the tale of another man who disappeared in 1960 "and reappeared in 1980, and was still 18 years old." There's more, too, apparently going back to the 16th century and possibly earlier. We travel to a "UFO hotspot country" for Argentina: Los Invasores-"The Ugarte Case-Part 1". Ufologists Nelson Polanco and Luis Burgos reminisce about a kind of "Skinwalker Ranch" with a paranormal history dating back to colonial times. The "famous flying cow" was new to us. Swinging back north, we analyze Venezuela: A UFO over Miranda State. Could it be a moth in flight, accidentally caught with a slow shutter? And Costa Rica: A UFO over Turrialba has a "Glowing disc-shaped object" the photographer wanted to capture. (WM)

John Greenewald vs Tony Bragalia A Different Perspective
Kevin Randle conducts/referees a debate between Tony Bragalia, who thinks a data dump he got through FOIA proves the government was studying ET crash materials, and John Greenewald, Jr., who begs to differ. The lines of argumentation go rather at cross purposes, get heated at times, and Bragalia exits early--as Kevin explains in his summary. Kevin elaborates upon the terminal matter of contention in his Did Herbert Dick Lie about Being on the Plains of San Agustin? A much more affable dialogue is Kevin's conversation with Michigan MUFON State Director Bill Konkolesky. In his summary to this article Kevin covers the topics he discusses with Bill, who terms himself an "experiencer" and has written two books on his personal collision with the abduction experience. This conversation also features two differing approaches to a very misunderstood phenomenon, but the discourse is civil and both sides make their points. (WM)

April 21

The late Duke of Edinburgh was, by and large, a straight-forward, no-nonsense fellow, noted for bouts of foot-in-mouth disease. But when he wasn't making ghastly faux-pas in public, he was doing lots of things in private. Some are not talked about in polite society, but many do him credit and within the strict boundaries of his position, he had an enquiring and open mind, earning the approval of Glasgow Boy. The Duke "evidently had a love of mysteries ... but what did he think the monster was?" wonders GB. Alas, we can no longer ask him. But Glasgow Boy is still with us, as you can hear in his Audio Interview on the Loch Ness Monster, with Corbin Maxey. The speculation about Nessie being "a long-necked seal" grabs much attention in the comments section of GB's blog. (LP)

Crook County, Oregon, is home to a recent string of cattle mutilations and the authorities refuse to entertain any notions that are leaning even slightly towards the woo. As far as the Crook County detective assigned to the case is concerned, these are all typical predation cases and the normal dehydration of the cattle carcasses gives the illusion of surgically precise wounds. Since the detective must surely have time on his hands after solving the case so quickly and neatly, perhaps he could offer his expertise further north where Mysterious Seal Mutilations in Canada Baffle Investigators. It's not a new thing in Nova Scotia, but it is unusual and it's a cause for concern. Not only have seals periodically washed up on the beaches having been freed of their heads, but other sea life has also found its way to dry land in similar condition. Some groups are blaming water turbines in the area, while the Ministry of Natural Resources rules out toxins and viruses. The problem sounds manmade though because surely aliens wouldn't make such a mess of things. (CM)

Four brief but interesting offerings from Rich Reynolds. First, Oumuamua's sojourn continues, the extrasolar "whatsit" not having left any evidence of intelligent design--except, perhaps, that thing about its non-gravitational acceleration. Maybe its sensors, unbeknownst to us, revealed a lot about Earth and it just decided to "move along"? In The Airship Wave as Presented Here a Few Years Ago Rich shows a photo credited to Alfred Stieglitz of something like a fatter "Tic Tac," from more than a century past. Moving towards the present, Rich excavates again into one of those classic early '50s booklets of ufological ore for UFO Sightings That Could Use a Second Look and a Web-site That Sparkles. He unearths a lesser-known East German and two iconic American case accounts, straightforwardly presented. Lastly, Rich recalls and suggests of The 1967 Falcon Creek Incident: A UFO from Here (Earth)? Stefan Michalak seemed a rock-solid witness, and the experience remains mysterious. (WM)

April 20

In late 2019 and early 2020 Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska night skies were patrolled by a series of drone flights, sometimes in tandem executing patterns above the prairies and scaring the local residents. Then suddenly the drones disappeared, not long after a task force was formed to figure them out. Soon authorities scaled their activities back, having detected "no criminal activity." Amelia Tait covers the story, claims the drones never existed, and wonders "Is a new type of conspiracy theory being born? Are drones the new UFOs?" Coloradans were cautioned it was illegal to shoot the buzzers down; Paul Seaburn bets they'd have loved the subject of his New Weapon Blasts Microwaves to Knock Drones Out of the Sky. And what about the Naval destroyer crews who were pestered by "drones" in July of 2019? (WM)

Current biology has no shortage of unsolved fundamental problems, one in particular. In 1981, Rupert Sheldrake proposed the hypothesis of “formative causation” as a unifying organizing principle of life. But Sheldrake's ideas have remained largely untested. "Sheldrake’s case illustrates the conceptual resistance of the scientific enterprise to revise its own deepest theoretical commitments." But some research does seem to bear out the Sheldrake hypothesis: The Hill Effect as a Test for Morphic Resonance. Miroslav Hill, a cell biologist, made a very surprising discovery when he was Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Villejuif, France in the 1980s. He found that cell cultures derived from hamsters seemed to influence other similar cells at a distance. (PH)

It's good to know 2021 is showing absolutely no sign of becoming dull. Allow us to illustrate with this example of Animals Caught Being Weird, as captured on camera by a UK cyclist. A flock of sheep seemed to arrange themselves in a series of concentric circles, silencing their usual sheepish chatter--no doubt to concentrate on the task at hand. Of course, this has spurred arguments of whether the resultant arrangement is a crop circle or flock circle . Maybe they can split the difference and call it a crock circle. In spite of the controversies around formations in farmers' fields, we have to wonder, Crop Circles: Has There Been a Government Interest in the Controversy? The answer is yes, particularly during World War II when it was suspected the Nazis were using these massive formations as a means of navigation and communication. Queen Elizabeth went so far as to educate herself on the matter as well as question her prime minister at the time Margaret Thatcher. But evidently these goings on were only on the government radar because when the war ended the phenomenon returned to its usual status of Interesting Enigma. (CM)

April 19

Play Labs @ MIT founder Rizwan Virk ponders a long-time question, one he thinks especially apt considering the UFO subject's recent increased respectability. Virk lists potential personal and societal benefits beyond military preparedness for both balking groups to investigate UFOs. Micah Hanks regards that martial and intelligence aspect from the historical standpoint in Estimating the Situation: UFOs and Government, Then and Now. Coincidentally, for the title of his post he's used half the title of a related work published by Anomalist Books, UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry. And that volume happens to begin with Graeme Rendall's topic in The Foo Fighters: Today's Pilots Encounters With UAP Are Nothing New. Rendall reports findings for a book on the strange WWII phenomena. Given that bellicose background, one can understand why a Philosopher UFOlogist Says Humans Are Not Ready To Make Contact. Adrian Rudnyk's The Assessment: The Arrival of Extraterrestrials does not "appeal to any UFO related data," making his judgement "that an advanced species would have good reasons to avoid making direct contact" all the more interesting. And maybe unfortunate, for Tim Binnall says due to the upcoming UAPTF government UFO report a Bookmaker Slashes Odds on ET Disclosure! (WM)

We've all read witness accounts of what surely must be Bigfoot encounters, only for them to be dismissed by authorities as run ins with bears. This story is for all the experiencers out there who doubt themselves, because unless the Hairy Man has gone on a bender and developed a beer pooch, there is no way in heaven or hell to mix up bears and Bigfoot. Plus bears aren't known for throwing things. Strange Cases of Stone-Throwing Bigfoot run the gamut between handfuls of of pebbles raining down on hikers minding their own business to boulders landing close enough to unwelcome visitors to cause embarrassing puddles. Luckily for everyone involved, Bigfoot has terrific aim. If you want to dive straight down the rabbit hole and really start thinking about the origins of Sasquatch, Paul Wallis has released a short Sasquatch Documentary 2021 exploring the similarities between biblical characters Jacob and Essau, and Humans and Bigfoot. As always, Wallis is both respectful and scientific in his approach, even as he upends traditionally held beliefs and plants ideas in our minds that just won't go away. It's a fascinating new Bigfoot origin theory and well worth the 26 minutes it takes to bend our minds in a different direction. (CM)

Here's the first of a three-part address summing up Keel's thoughts on Life, The Universe, and Everything. John attacks "wishful thinking" behind flying saucers and religion in general. Yet Keel sees hope, as he did in a 1970 speech for the Humanist Society, from "constant manifestations of some unknown force now leading us into a great new adventure into the human mind itself." Keel confesses he's adopted Charles Fort's notions of a "universal mind," listing in this segment and in Speech for MENSA Convention, 10/29/72 (2) examples of its possible "insanity" from time immemorial. Again, parallels are drawn here with the saucer mythos and in Keel's concluding Speech for MENSA Convention, 10/29/72 (3). But here he suggests there just may be an overall pattern. As in his Humanist speech Keel predicts a "great global change." "The present psychic explosion is leading millions to consider cosmic questions they never even thought of before." Yet in this 1972 presentation he seems less confident of the timing or ultimate results from this comparative awakening. It's a stark, powerful speech, and reflective of the thinking in Keel's 1970 work Operation Trojan Horse, published by Anomalist Books. (WM)

April 18

"Push-back" on those Naval images of "unidentifieds" from March and July 2019. Tyler Rogoway argues what's behind all the excitement is nothing otherworldly. Rogoway offers that "America's prevailing cultural issues and the general stigma surrounding UFOs was successfully targeted and leveraged by our adversaries, which helped these [foreign drone and balloon] activities to persist far longer than they should have." And Rogoway's background warning is that the U.S. has allowed earthly potential adversaries to leverage these less-hi-tech means to seriously weaken our intelligence defenses. In Corbell Asserts but Fails to Report How Stories Vetted Jack Brewer attacks the unclear provenance and anonymous source verifications for the July 2019 imaging filmmaker Jeremy Corbell has been touting. Jack notes Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough's acknowledgement the stuff was "taken by Navy personnel" doesn't really clarify as much as Corbell promotes. And see John Greenewald's Why Are UFO Leaks Happening? A Flashback To A Theory On WHY Which Still Rings True Today. This and the video from which John's 10-minute piece is taken relate to points in both Rogoway and Brewer posts. Kevin Randle's The Latest NAVY UAP Video also considers the limitations in what was verified about specifically the "pyramid" video taken off of the USS Russell in July 2019. Kevin sets this in the context of previous governmental efforts to tamp down interest in UFOs, and highlights the Mick West "bokeh" analysis we reviewed on the 13th. And West now adds at a Tweet the identifications of two stars ("pyramids") in the USS Russell's video. (WM)

Language is the most important tool in the toolbox of science, and scientists are apt to coin new terms in order to present ideas in a clear and concise fashion. Oftentimes papers featuring such obscure terminology is all Greek to regular people and scientists in other fields. Katherine Kornei makes a strong argument that scientific papers often fail for being too specific, and links to a handy tool which can oversimplify the language in papers. (CS)

Oh boy. Who wouldn't love tripping on shrooms without the visuals? After all, non-alcoholic beer is the best thing since Jeremy Corbell UFO "documentaries". If you couldn't guess, this editor is being sarcastic. Yet the University of Maryland's School of Medicine is particularly earnest about their latest findings, explaining how they don't understand the mechanisms of psilocybin, but to truly appreciate them one should try it for themselves like shamans of old. In other news, Andrew Collins has his own big ideas about the origins of humanity and our cousins which are a far cry from Terrence McKenna's "stoned ape" hypothesis. Did Autism Make the Denisovans Savants of the Prehistoric Age? A recent survey of Denisovan DNA shows they bore the genetic precursors for autism which merits the question. And if they were autistic, it'd explain why they died out since they couldn't score chicks like modern autists. Snark aside, autism and similar conditions are far from being mistakes and may kickstart the next stage of humanity's evolution if science lets nature run its course. Doubtful? You won't feel that way after hearing out Zaria Gorvett's enumeration of The Genetic Mistakes That Could Shape Our Species thanks to the latest technologies. It'll make you wonder what exactly lay in store for humanity, and hopefully it's not this. (CS)

April 17

Oftentimes, clusters of anomalous illnesses are chalked up as a case of mere hysteria, but Suzanne O'Sullivan notes such dismissals often miss the cause behind these mysterious maladies. Often these curious symptoms are a symptom of a deeper sort of distress in the patient, and Suzanne proffers another method of treatment for these poor souls. What exactly goes on in the minds of those with "sleeping sickness"? Dreams probably, but most likely nightmares exacerbating their condition. Michelle Carr looks at the phenomenon of bad dreams, and illustrates Nightmares Becalmed, increasing the quality of life for dreamers through dream engineering. (CS)

New York state was just part of a nationwide burgeoning of UFO reports in 2020, say John Del Signore and Jake Dobkin. The two produce interactive visuals and the fact that "With the Covid thing, more people are looking up," per New York state MUFON Assistant Director Chris DePerno. Sarah Maslin Nir's New York Times piece They Are Not Alone: U.F.O. Reports Surged in the Pandemic complements the statistical displays with more focus on the human-interest background to the data. A short video of Starlink satellites cruising over The Netherlands underscores the fact that reports, while not necessarily "unidentified sightings," are what's rising again. People are seeing--or at least photographing--odd things elsewhere, as Paul Seaburn reports a Strange UFO Appears Over Venezuelan Military Base. But some of the articles we've seen appear to show one of Agustin Prado's "mundane" snapshots; for the one showing the weird image above the upper crane go through Paul's Hector Escalante blog link Ovnis en Venezuela: ¿Ave, dron?: Fotografían extraño cuerpo sobrevolando Fuerte Tiuna analysis page. And a rather poignant background story surrounding a dramatic anomalous "something" story concerns The Strange Object of La Bagliardi Beach (Berisso, Argentina). (WM)

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