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The Anomalist



February 16

Matter tends to be considered a handful of protons and neutrons corralled by electrons, but what about matter which is made up entirely of electrons? With some high-tech, high-priced, jiggery-pokery Jeremy Levy and Patrick Irvin discovered electrons can behave like a new state of matter. Even stranger, the groupings show curious mathematical patterns. Also from the halls, and particle accelerators, of science Julia Chan would like you to meet The Modern Alchemists Racing To Create A New Element. Eat your heart out Bob Lazar, this is Element 119! Your puny Element 115 from Zeta Reticuli won't be a hill of beans, or protons, once this merry maverick chase comes to fruition. (CS)

Electronium and Element 119 are mere shadows of time crystals when it comes to material science. You're still reading The Anomalist, not some pulp rag from the thirties, and these structures repeating in time as well as space are far more fascinating than Asimov's thiotimoline. It may sound kooky, but Norman Yao at UC Berkeley, eggheads from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Stanford's Vedika Khemani, and others are busy cracking this case. Yet there's one question nobody's asking, "Could These Crystals Help Us Travel Through Time?" Not only does Stav Dimitropoulos play with the "what-ifs", but she lends a markedly down-to-earth explanation of this exotic form of matter. Still pumped? Paul Ratner announces how some Scientists Are Discovering How To Use Time Crystals To Power Superconductors. How? Well combining time crystals with topological superconductors breaks physics in a very interesting fashion, paving the way towards quantum computers. Here's hoping those quantum computers also help block idiotic and distracting Brightcove video elements. (CS)

The key word in Jason's essay is "claim", since anyone can claim anything. Fortunately Mr. Colavito doesn't need to make counter-claims, much like U.S. politics, but presents facts to call shenanigans on Dr. Rangan Ramakrishnan's outrageous proposition. Plus there's a bit of a schadenfreude-y giggle to be had as Ramakrishnan finds himself on the ropes. Less contentious is The Strange Quest To Crack The Voynich Code. Once a year mainstream news crows about MS 408 being conclusively cracked, and yet nothing comes of it. Does the tome bear eldrich secrets beyond the nightmares of Lovecraft, or do eggheads merely wish "braggin' rights" to wave their dicks at cocktail parties? Well follow Jillian Foley and see where the story leads. Afterwards Meet The Artist Trying To Explain Kentucky's Meat Shower Of 1876. There are plenty of kooky theories, but somehow Kurt Gohde got Marina Wang to try one of his "meat-shower" flavored jellybeans. If only those candies were available in South Africa for they could've helped with the Tokoloshes Haunting A Father Of Two in Roodepoort. Rather than coarse and hairy dwarves with ill intent, these characters are far more dapper and appear to be Broadway-bound! (CS)

The First UFO Lawsuit? The Saucers That Time Forgot
Curt Collins covers several really obscure American UFO-related stories, all showing how newspapers usually treated them as jokes. Curt notes that Project Blue Book has nothing on any of these cases. Brent Swancer continues highlighting UFO Americana with The Strange Mystery of the Lubbock Lights. Brent instances numerous proposed explanations for the phenomenon. We'd advance another one--street lights shining through the eyespots in moth wings--as the quirkiest. Calling Jerry Lee Lewis! Brent next discusses the Bizarre Green Balls of Fire over the American Southwest. This is one of the most outstanding "flaps" in ufology, especially, as Brent notes, owing to the quality of the witnesses often involved and the seriousness with which the military treated the matter. Steve Hammons puzzles over a decades-long series of weird aerial events, asking is the 'Phoenix Lights' UFO Linked to Multiple Incidents around Four-State Colorado Plateau? Using sometimes-contested examples, Hammons suggests a connection between a series of disparate event stories over the years with the Colorado Plateau itself, while calling the "Phoenix Case Unique." (WM)

February 15

While this may not be the miracle of 6EQUJ5, the memorably-named FRB 180916.J0158+65 may be an intergalactic Old Faithful. What Rafi Letzer doesn't humor is the possibility of its source being... well, you know. Keeping that prospect in mind, Sarah Scoles outlines What Scientists Can Learn From Alien Hunters, the divide between SETI and MUFON-types, why they remain at odds despite a common cause, and the importance for a serious dialogue where investigators put aside their petty differences. Often it means humoring some maverick propositions. Such is the case with a Scientist's Claims Alien "Octopus-Like Creatures" May Be Living On Jupiter's Moon Europa. Do not dismiss Paul Seaburn's coverage as tabloid fodder, as Paul continues to lend depth and breadth to kooky ideas which may very well have (eight) legs. Also worth your time is a Russian Scientist's Claims That Earth Is A 'Reserve' Quarantined By Aliens. If that's the case, does that mean our smartphones are analogous to radio tracking collars for extraterrestrial naturalists? Paul Seaburn eagerly illustrates how Alexander Panov doesn't stop there with his maverick speculation. (CS)

There's quite a stir in Charleston when Erika Constantine posted something powerful queer to Facebook the other day, and Mark Price begins the coverage of this mystery. Could this merely be an unlucky possum? Fortunately Tim Binnall's Bizarre Mystery Creature Washes Ashore In South Carolina has a better look at the carcass through the magic of internet video! Then again Paul Seaburn keeps things weird by expounding upon the Monkey Island theory in Strange Creature On South Carolina Beach May Have Escaped From Mysterious Island. With all this in mind, and the availability of photographic and video evidence, where the heck is Loren Coleman to apply his biological expertise to snuff out, or fan the flames, of this mystery? (CS)

The staff of Piplsay report on surveys of 30,741 Americans and 4,161 folks in the United Kingdom on typical UFO-related questions. One item that popped out was the very close similarity between the two groups in whether the respondents had personally witnessed any UFO sighting. Mystery Wire's Greg Haas has reviewed the results, and notes Open the UFO Files, Most Americans Tell US Government in New Poll. An inset picture highlights that a surprising 39% of responses to one question said that Area 51 conducts "secret alien missions." (Only 27% of US respondents to a different question thought UFOs were real.) Well, some information has been made available to a select few: Haas has a somewhat related report that UFO Briefings for Trump, Senators Followed Navy's 2019 'Tic Tac' Statement. What makes this article outstanding is the embedded CNN video which shows a non-dismissive and very rational approach to the whole UFO subject. One of the things that may underpin the recent positive swing toward UFOs in the media is renewed acknowledgement that the military/government has been less than candid about its UFO interests. After all, Bits of Truth Reside in Documents on Project Blue Book, Other UFO Programs. In spite of some now-controversial "interviewees" and its age, the Mystery Wire embedded video is outstanding. And researchers like Kevin Randle have unearthed information regarding other military programs whose tasking indicates considerable and continued interest in the subject. (WM)

The Gurdon Light The Dead History
High strangeness always follows tragedy, and Jennifer Jones knows a stretch of train tracks in Gordon, Arkansas which attracts high strangeness like flies to honey. As for explanations, they range from the merely curious to the outrageous. No stranger to such topics, Brent Swancer wants to bring you up to date on Ghosts And The Weird World Of The Stone Tape Theory. Stone tape? Well kids, before the advent of compact discs and the MP3 and FLAC formats people used to store their music on magnetic tape. Turns out the process may very well exist in nature, with actual science rather than "SCIENCE!11", storing ancient happenings which are replayed at odd moments in the future. (CS)

February 14

Drones, Drones, Drones A Different Perspective
During this past December and January Colorado and neighboring states were gripped by a mysterious "drone swarm" flap. Kevin Randle does a masterful job covering the events and their wider relevance. In the process he also models how a podcast of this sort should be prepared and conducted. Kevin sketches the general timeline of the drone sensation, consistently emphasizing how the various threads of the whole thing compare and contrast to "true" UFO cases. He examines the media reactions, the still somewhat mystifying approach the "Feds" gave to the issue, and especially how the almost-near-hysteria affected people within the "drone zone." Kevin adds interesting details about the flap, while not losing track of the overarching story. His personal reminiscences--and, yes, a Roswell reference or two--add additional spice to the information, and his conclusions seem appropriate. We would still like to know who/what was at the bottom of the 2019/2020 Colorado Drone Flap. But barring any major revelations we might say in the manner of an infamous Roswell study "Drones--Case Closed." (WM)

Bigfoot in Ireland? We probably shouldn’t be surprised since the hairy man seems to be just about everywhere else, and he’s put in sufficient appearances that an International Bigfoot Research Organization was created a number of years ago. Over in the US, Men Witness Possible Bigfoot in Ohio Park and They Have Footage. They do--they have footage of something. Like a hunter who isn’t following safe outerwear practices. People get shot that way. For those of you who still have a growing interest in squatchy things, we have an interview with Ken Gerhard - Cryptozoologist - 'The Essential Guide to Bigfoot'. And that's not all, check out Big Fur: A Taxidermy Documentary That’s Stuffed with Surprises. The taxidermist thinks his fake stuffed Sasquatch will someday lead him to a real Bigfoot. Say what? (CM)

An individual in Russia had the good fortune/timing to be looking at the sky when a set of bizarre smoky looking rings appeared--and he was able to record the entire experience on his cellphone. While no one can definitively say what caused the anomaly, there is another Russian puzzle about rings, this time on the Earth's surface. The Mysterious Ice Rings of Siberia’s Lake Baikal — Solved? These rings inside the lake ice have a perfectly earthly explanation that doesn't diminish their appeal in the slightest. Science: 1. Alien Conspiracy: 0. (CM)

The troubling 1994 Ariel School mass CEIII encounter is Brent Swancer's subject in his continuing series on iconic UFO cases. Brent sketches out the particulars, though apparently unaware this Zimbabwe event is "the kicker for 'The Phenomenon,'" in Billy Cox' words in Revisiting Ruwa '94. Cox is describing the powerful impact the Ariel School event and its witnesses give to James Fox' upcoming UFO documentary. Matty Would Like to Discuss the 1994 Ariel School "Sighting" considers the vagaries of memory even soon after the event. Rich Reynolds also focuses properly upon the havoc adult deprecation may have had upon some of the school children's psyches. Earlier UFO incidents (literally headlined as such) include A 1947 UFO Incident With (Maybe) a Link to the 1980 Rendlesham Forest Affair. Nick Redfern covers a really early UFO appearance near none other than the RAF Bentwaters base, which would become a part of UFO history for its late December 1980 events. Nick mentions some earlier radar-based research in that very area of England; George Knapp coincidentally says an Arizona UFO Incident in 1953 Followed Nevada Explosions; Radar Blamed. This references the contested Kingman crash-retrieval story, one whose genesis is fraught with problems. Historian Harry Drew's researches have tripled the number of craft from light-years away that, he says, were supposedly felled by "high output high energy short bolts of microwave radiation" from 1950s experimental radar. (WM)

February 13

FOIA-released documents reveal an almost stunning story of US Army promotion of the movie Independence Day: Resurgence. Tom Stecker discusses what the documents say, and also links to them. It's an amazing and at times somewhat goofy tale, and Stecker makes no bones about his feelings on the whole thing. Speaking of media treatments, Rich Reynolds says of History Channel's Project Blue Book: Some Still Think It Smells Like Roses. Rich's comments resonate with some in the UFO community, including Kevin Randle. Kevin's "different perspective" dives into the particulars of the series' perceived "sins." Project Blue Book Goes Nuts makes Kevin's case why Season Two is so far even more a travesty than was the first season. Kevin knows something about science fiction and demonstrates why History's Project Blue Book is actually fantasy rather than sf. He also notes what is probably the best aspect of the tv series. (WM)

Well, whatever it is, it’s mighty impressive, though alas it’s been reported in the trashy and uninformative style typical of the tabloids. Only the one picture has been posted of the skeletal remains, but it still suggests how huge the living critter must have been. Though it’s geographically a long way from Loch Ness, it puts us in mind of The Monster Sightings of Winifred Cary. Glasgow Boy does a lengthy piece listing her accounts of what she saw in the Loch over several decades and provides a detailed analysis. Despite the eDNA results, perhaps she was right in her belief that "something strange and unknown is living in Loch Ness ... that is an unquestionable fact." (LP)

George Knapp's short format style gets a lot of mileage out of an interview, often aged somewhat to a lot. This first installment introduces a three-part split to a dialogue with historian and presenter Richard Dolan, recorded on June 22, 2019. The intro summarizes Dolan's major belief as to what's behind the apparent shift in Pentagon secrecy, and the "UFO leak of the century." Historian 'Shocked' at Media's New Attitude Toward UFOs is the actual first part of the three-segment interview. Richard makes several good points about the change from the status quo ante, George Knapp zeroes in on the impact of the Navy F/A-18 gun camera footage, and both emphasize the to some still surprising--and crucial--impact To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science has had in getting us to wherever we currently are in the evolving story. The true "second" installment UFO Briefings, 'Unidentified,' and Soft Disclosure: Historian Analyzes Information Flow gives Richard's "take" on the information-management characteristics of the To The Stars/History collaboration Unidentified. This generally commendable effort, Dolan thinks, had to be careful in its assertions. 'UFO Leak of the Century' Contained in 15-page Document, Historian Says gives a very tantalizing characterization of a possibly genuine set of notes. If the stuff told Eric Davis back in 2002 is not disinformation, it would radically change our perspective upon human knowledge of alien technology. Thankfully, the installment has a link to the "15 pages of notes" at EWD Notes. The whole offers the impression of an impromptu but literate dialogue that effectively communicates Dolan's perspectives on the Big Story that broke on December 16, 2017. (WM)

Monsters are real, and the most terrifying and destructive are the ones that live among us with their human faces and seemingly soulless hearts. Tina Resch’s life was destroyed by a series of those monsters, and no amount of psychokinesis could save her. So too was the life of the child whose journal was found in connection with  The Black Sunday Fire and a Demon Infested House. The house--which remains occupied, unbelievably--held dark secrets that one of its victims could only write about to a faceless audience. And just like Tina Resch, it was the human monsters that exacted a toll so great as to leave a mark on the foundation forever. (CM)

February 12

Three articles on disparate subjects, united in their weirdness and "contacteeism" references. First is a piece not concerning Uber-Contactee George Adamski and his claims. Zigmund Jan Adamski was a man who disappeared--and reappeared, very dead, five days later under mystifying circumstances. "So weird was Adamski's death that it has been linked to--wait for it!--aliens," relates blogger Undine. A fatality that Nick Redfern suggests just may be connected with the early Contactees is the subject of "'Flying Saucer' Writer Dies of Thirst in Desert" Or was it Murder? Florence Minna Thiel's demise is at the least a tragic story, but Nick asks "could we be looking at something far more sinister?" Nick provides the unsettling details supporting possibly reopening a very cold case. In When Close Encounters Get Really Weird Nick definitely gives us a contactee story, that of Orfeo Angelucci. Nick basically covers Angelucci's 1952 initiation into the contactee experience, noting his "becoming a regular at George Van Tassel's gigs out at Giant Rock, California," coincidentally the destination Florence Minna Thiel never reached in 1954. (WM)

Are there really such things as time crystals? Depends on who you ask, and precisely how large a research budget they have at their disposal. Think the LHC only way, way bigger. So no, it will be some time before we're flitting about causing temporal rifts the likes of which will end life as we know it. But in the meantime keep the faith because clearly the puzzle gets solved one day. The (Alleged) Time-Traveling Woman and Her Cell-Phone: 10 Years Later shows no further sign of her (his?) place or time of origin, but hope still rides high that this WIB was from the future. Unless her future was now and she already caused a temporal rift and is now (then?) stuck at a Charlie Chaplin premier and utterly unable to so much as order a pizza...(CM)

The Ohio State University professor Alexander Wendt updates and perhaps strengthens a case he made in 2008. (See Sovereignty and the UFO, a research article co-authored with Raymond Duvall of the University of Minnesota.) Buoyed by the release of three F/A-18 videoed encounters with UFOs--the GIMBAL and GO FAST "talkies" being a part of the TEDx presentation--Wendt makes a case for taking seriously what Billy Cox literally calls "the Great Taboo." In No Science, Please, We're TEDx Cox himself comments upon perhaps the most surprising part of the talk. This is the TEDx folks flagging the presentation since "Claims made in this talk only represent the speaker's personal understanding of UFOs which are not corroborated by scientific evidence." Cox notes Wendt's observation that this "rear-guard action by advocates of the taboo" was basically predicted by his 2008 collaborative paper. Miguel ("Red Pill Junkie") Romero weighs in on the action in Ideas Worth Slandering: TED Flags the UFO Topic. He contrasts the current "semi-censorship" with the treatment accorded author Ben Mezrich's 2016 talk about the very controversial 37th Parallel "UFO Highway." Romero also questions if Wendt might be supporting "a certain 'academy of arts and sciences' founded by a certain rockstar?" More likely Wendt could have in mind UFODATA--UFO Detection and Tracking. Wendt sits upon this initiative's Board, along with J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies scientific director and president Mark Rodeghier, Philippe Ailleris, Leslie Kean, and Christopher Mellon. (WM)

February 11

What at first seems like a thin though quirky article becomes something much more substantive and unsettling. The embedded video is the primary cause. Narrator/guide Eileen Aldis walks us through Wanli, describing how "a lot of weird things were happening" during the Taiwanese resort village's construction between 1978 and 1980. There was at least one suicide before, one day, people just left. There's no information why the town was evacuated; dark hints exist as to what originally caused the area to become, well, cursed; and it gets even stranger in that the current existence of the village has been denied. The occasional goofiness in the video is actually a welcome break from what is overall a profoundly unnerving experience. While other articles artfully tell intense, even macabre tales in words, here the cumulative weirdness gets experienced rather in person. (WM)

The Pacific Northwest has long been a veritable hotbed of Bigfoot sightings. If that's the sort of thing that whets your weird appetite yoi're going to savor every bit of this report. Next Nick Redfern shares My Five Favorite Freaky Forests. Not many of us can say we have favorite spooky wooded areas across half the planet, but Redfern isn't like many of us. Checking back on the Tibetan tourist industry, Nepal Nixes Controversial Yeti Campaign. Bummer. We personally liked that happy looking hairy man. Finishing up with a little food for thought, Jim Harold discusses Bigfoot – NDEs and You . As usual, Jim is brilliant and his guest fascinating. (CM)

Really human waste has contributed to an about-face regarding the greatest Native American metropolis north of Mexico. Carly Cassella tells how an unusual scientific tool challenges the notion that the Cahokia area "was a ghost town" when Europeans arrived. Something called a "fecal stanol population reconstruction" supplemented other evidence to produce the surprising results. Cassella sketches the process and links to the referenced study which goes into much greater detail at After Cahokia: Indigenous Repopulation and Depopulation of the Horseshoe Lake Watershed AD 1400-1900. Well, that finding ain't nothing compared to Jason Colavito's assertion that Scott Wolter Claims His Research Will Reshape American Culture, Plans Trips to "Templar" Treasure Sites in America. Jason summarizes the main points of an embedded video. He then tells us that an Author Claims Her Secret Knowledge of Sumerian Reveals Antediluvian Secrets. On principle, this reader has never trusted anyone who claims to read Sumerian well, so maybe we are giving Jason too much leeway from the start. But what he says sounds pretty rational, especially about author Madeleine Daine's claims about the name Gobekli Tepe, her searching for phonetic connections, and what she does with the SATOR square. (WM)


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