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The Anomalist



November 20

Really creepy videos come back again and again. We've seen it with aerial near-misses, and now we're seeing it with Strigiformes, which kind of sounds creepy itself. Trisha Sengupta tells the story and includes the video and an even creepier though more definitely avian-appearing "triptych" that might leave a mark in your eyes or brain. Jennifer Leman tells us that The Internet Thinks These Things Are Aliens. The Truth Is Much More Sinister. We didn't get the "sinister" part, but it's a good scientific article with a hint that owls may have created ghost stories. It's worth remembering that, according to some researchers, owls can feature as "screen memories" in abduction accounts. And Mike Clelland, the author of Hidden Experience: Ten years of blogging 2009-2019 — a personal journey of owls, synchronicity and UFO contact notes that owls were regarded as the familiar of Athena/Minerva in Greek and Roman mythology. Oddly enough, these articles have a few points of contact with Nick Redfern's Strange Creatures and Terrible Odors, but rather than a classical goddess of wisdom, we're talking Men In Black (MIBs) here. Minus deodorant. (WM)

Ghostly Assailant Of Epping Forest The Theory of Everything (Weird)
This report from the early 1900s reads like a good old fashioned ghost story on a dark and stormy night. Only the weather doesn't play into the mystery as an invisible assailant attacks anyone who dares go near that part of the forest it considers its own. If any of this makes you nostalgic for a traditional haunting, we have good news. You can now book a Haunted Accommodation on Booking.com. Be sure to leave an extra tip for your spectral roommates at checkout time as we are pretty sure they aren't being paid a living wage. (CM)

Greg Taylor describes an amazing but still ambiguous find in Peru. We note the contribution new analytical techniques have made and their further promise in this study. A disquieting note in the Yamagata University press release is that even in this arid coastal desert region, "the expansion of urban areas has brought damage to the lines." View the high-res images in the PDF presentation Greg links to at his article's conclusion. Elsewhere, "You definitely can't keep a good three-fingered mummy down," so says Paul Seaburn at the conclusion of his Nazca 3-Finger Mummies Update from Recent Peru Conference. Paul summarizes the four interviews in Giorgio Piacenza's 3-Finger Nazca-Palpa Mummies: A Presentation at the University. It would make sense to read both Paul's and then Giorgio's article and view the interviews at that latter time. As with so much else about these specimens, Piacenza's statement the mummies "coincided genetically with homo sapiens" by only about 15% to 25% awaits further elucidation. Something giving the term "skullcap" a macabre new meaning is the title 2 Infants Were Buried Wearing Helmets Made from Kids' Skulls. And Archaeologists Are Puzzled. Owen Jarus explains the find and the speculations it's created. Somehow the words "using juvenile crania as mortuary headgear" from the abstract of the article in Latin American Antiquity just don't make this 2100-year-old find seem more palatable. (WM)

Rain, Mud and Adrian Shine Loch Ness Mystery
Glasgow Boy recently dined with Nessie-skeptic Adrian Shine, but found the latter's views on witness reliability indigestible. Meanwhile, Karl Shuker considers The Six-Legged Sea Serpent of Stronsay - Still Basking in Cryptozoological Controversy? Back in 1808 a well-documented find of a very large decomposing critter on a beach is now thought unlikely to be something anomalous, despite good witness observations, but the debate is not yet entirely settled. And finally, Nick Redfern's piece Henry Lee: From Sea Serpents to Mermaids looks back at Lee's controversial ideas about the existence of mermaids and the eyewitness accounts he found credible. Lee was no slouch; he was a member of both the Zoological Society and the Geological Society in the 19th century. (LP)

November 19

Mark Price educates us on fallstreak or hole punch clouds, one of which bewildered a bunch of North Carolinians recently. An airplane, not a UFO, probably was responsible. Seen Them? Strange Lights Spotted in West Phoenix Area presents several videos which don't do justice to the puzzlement viewers said they'd experienced. The reports did have David Baker contacting Air Force bases for an answer, and he has a tentative theory as to cause. And in a possibly updated "Wizard of Oz," the twister is replaced as a Cigar-shaped UFO Appears as Plane Flies over Kansas in Bizarre Footage. Simon Green notes that "several similar objects" have been seen over the US. A "cigar-shaped mass" flummoxed folks in the Pacific Northwest, too, but not as recently as the previous phenomena, prompting Micah Hanks to ask What Was the "Mystery Airship" Seen Over Washington in 1908?. And Hanks is not satisfied he's got an answer. (WM)

What's the big deal you ask? We'll just quote Loren Coleman's Facebook post on this one: "If cryptozoology is about some new animal species hiding in plain sight, then cryptobotany's latest find is remarkable. A new species of plant has been discovered in Brazil. Coccoloba gigantifolia has the largest leaves of any plant!" In the world. And it's only now been officially recognized by science, in 2019. (PH)

Lately we've begun to wonder if Brent Swancer wants to write horror film screenplays because he has been digging at some seriously creepy topics. This report on mysterious body doubles is filled with examples that would leave an audience covered in goosebumps and a little afraid to look into mirrors, out windows, into closets, or anywhere else that required eyes open. What's imaginary and what's real is also the topic of The Mystery of Psychosomatic Symptoms . There is a great deal more to such an illness than the standard "It's all in your head," because a psychosomatic illness manifests with very real, very physical symptoms. These symptoms just happen to have individual psychology as their underlying cause. Not your double's. (CM)

What's New is Old Again? UFO Conjectures
Rich Reynolds laments the facts that there are no "meaty" new cases but, probably more important, new approaches to UFO studies. "Meme repetition" has set in, even accreting to the Big Story that broke in December of 2017. But Rich says there are Some Good [UFO] Stories...and I Mean "Stories", and presents detailed accounts of four "classics." Between these two posts, in How Can We Capture "A Dream within a Dream"? [Merlin] Rich ruminates upon just what's going on with these so-far inexplicable cases and others. He proposes a unifying theory that could in some way unravel the conundrum. (WM)

November 18

Danny Silva recaps in words and video prominent ufological figures who've pronounced upon the "metamaterials" matter. It's an interesting record with noteworthy interviews, including a recent Senator Harry Reid sitdown with George Knapp. Christopher Mellon and To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science recently released a piece called "Potential Sources of Information Regarding Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon," reports Steve Hammons. Leverage US Resources to Understand Unknown Objects Encountered by Navy, Defense Expert Says is Hammons' summary of this informative opinion piece. In Hammons' own opinion Mellon's essay has "a certain urgency." The aerial vehicle capable of "flying circles around a USN aircraft in broad daylight over the [Pensacola] base" in 1984 mentioned in Mellon's article is a potential threat, whatever or whoever made it. A recent discussion on Matt Hurley's Twitter account at When Researching UFOs... reflects concerns about competitive UFO study efforts likely resulting from similar cases and whether everybody is still in the dark on the subject. (WM)

Bigfoot Charges at Boy? Coast to Coast AM
Let's start this Bigfoot roundup with a truly fantastic video. Did Bigfoot finally pose for some great shots with a park ranger? No, but these kids accomplished something we rarely hear about anymore. They went outside, took a walk in the woods, and got into some good, clean mischief. Well done, Boys! And the coolness never ends, as demonstrated by this next piece: Bigfoot and the National Guard: A Cool Connection. The Hairy Man has been adopted, in a manner of speaking, by The Western Air Defense Sector, Washington Air National Guard. Why? Because they both stand watch over the land they call home. Speaking of home, Bigfoot spotted in Ravenna home listing photos. Evidently Squatchy has decided to play a more active role in choosing his neighbors. Plus the snacks at real estate open houses are usually pretty good. We finish up with some sad news: Florida Skunk Ape Investigator Tim Fasano Dies at the age of 63. RIP. (CM)

A new James Fox UFO documentary covering "70 years' worth of history behind proving the existence of UFOs" is set for a June release. Mia Galuppo has the production particulars on The Phenomenon and quotes from Fox and others. Billy Cox goes deeper with Revisiting Ruwa '94. Billy conducted a telephone interview with Chris O'Brien about the latter's cameras being included on the UAP eXpeditions Pacific Coast search. The conversation pivoted, however, to the upcoming James Fox film. We believe Chris O'Brien's claim he's not a gushing fanboy, which makes his huge enthusiasm for The Phenomenon all the more noteworthy. A major element in the film is the story of the 1994 Ruwa, Zimbabwe, Ariel School CEIII--and its aftermath in the lives of those who experienced it. Fox says of his film's subject: "There's a potential agenda, a message, a mission, an intelligence." O'Brien claims "there won't be a dry eye in the house when people see this." A noted rock star traces his interest in UFOs not from a certain childhood encounter, but he did have an unusual recurrent dream complementing his avid interest in flying saucers and sci-fi movies: John Fogerty's UFO Fascination Follows Him from Childhood Dream is part of George Knapp's interview with the 50-year recording star. (WM)

November 17

Life, as they say, finds a way. Turns out deoxyribonucleic acid isn't the only game in the universe when it comes to self-replicating life, according to Henderson James Cleaves II and pals. Other nucleic acids exist with the potential for encoding, and copying, life as we may or may not know it. As we survey the skies in hopes of eavesdropping upon extraterrestrials, on this pathetic Earth some puny Scientists Find A Spot Where No Life Can Survive. Yet Yasemin Saplakoglu finds the declaration to be a tad strong, and expounds upon how the conclusion's foundation is markedly flimsy by modern standards. And taking our left turn at Albuquerque, with Jocelyn LeBlanc at the wheel, One Scientist Believes Humans Are Actually Aliens Who Came From Distant Star System. Buckle your safety belt because Dr. Ellis Silver has some crazy ideas which are a heckuva lot of fun to read. (CS)

A survey of medieval Catholic policies and philosophies illustrates how two thousand years of Catholic doctrine has seriously twisted the West's mindset, according to Stephanie Pappas. At the heart of this argument is... monogamy? Yet there's a certain something about loyalty to one's spouse which encourages individualism to a toxic degree. As for other foibles of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, Paul Seaburn nails his thesis to the Vatican's front door declaring Bram Stoker's Dracula May Have Been Inspired By A Priest. The priest wasn't a vampire, unless one buys into the doctrine of "let us prey", but wrote a lot about what we today would call forteana. (CS)

For the longest time, every time I heard "Thule" I'd think about David Bowie's mystic songs, Nazis heil-ing in torchlit rooms, and twisted Vikings sowing seeds for Hitler's brief ascendancy, and it appears I'm not the only one. The yet-to-be visited Ultima Thule is no more, and New Horizon's next scheduled visit now has a different name without the baggage. Begging the question, how closely did NASA investigate "Arrokoth" to see if this term had any problematic elements? Probably nothing more than a five minute Google search, unlike Athena Aktipis's thesis on how a Real Zombie Apocalypse Is Coming Soon and it's not to theaters near you. And Paul Seaburn and adversarial parasites aren't the only cause for a potential apocalypse. (CS)

Our first thoughts upon seeing Eugenia Edwards are, "Why can't she be a cuddly kitty who snuggles up with the dying in a nursing home?" Gags about her frightening folks to death aside, Simone Morgan-Lindo paints a curious portrait of this talented woman and her self-declared talent. If only Brent Swancer had a couple of days, we're certain he could write a novel about Eugenia. Instead we'll settle for his collection of Mysterious Cases of Organ Transplants And The Paranormal. Are humans drawing upon their planarian-like ancestors, becoming who they consume or receive transplants from, or might there be something to the transmigration of the soul? (CS)

November 16

Here's a good summary of Tim McMillan's worthwhile Popular Mechanics article about five named (and a new anonymous) Nimitz carrier group surface witnesses. Yasemin Saplakoglu's article thankfully features the 2004 FLIR1 video rather than the decade-later unrelated GIMBAL footage. On the other hand, the LiveScience piece wrongly places Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight in Cmdr. David Fravor's lead FASTEAGLE 01 plane, rather than as the Weapon System Officer in Fravor's female wingman's other F/A-18 Super Hornet. That article leads into Micah Hanks' Who Were the Officials That Confiscated UFO Tapes During the USS Nimitz Incident?. Hanks gives the story behind McMillan's Popular Mechanics piece, adding context and McMillan's considered opinions about the mystery question. Pivoting to another aspect of the Big UFO Story, a UFO Researcher Explains Why She Sold 'Exotic' Metal to Tom DeLonge. MJ Banias covers the "why" behind Linda Moulton Howe's sale of the now-infamous Bismuth-Magnesium layered stuff and the given story of its origins. Dr. Chris Cogswell also weighs in on the likely genesis of the pieces. (WM)

Humanity's missing link... in Germany? Knowing how Atlantis and other forteana has been coöpted by white supremacists, the news is a bit troubling. Fortunately Madelaine Boehme and pals are cut from a different cloth, and Jocelyne LeBlanc outlines the oddities of our evolutionary origins. Perhaps y'all are more interested in the Secrets Of The Largest Ape That Ever Lived: Gigantopithecus blackii. Our people call 'em "sasquatch" and consider them to be extant. Turns out a lot of information's been teased out of a recently-discovered fossilized tooth, shedding light on Gigantopithecus and our conceits surrounding our distant forebears. Take, for example, Ed Whelan's argument how Lucy Wasn't As Smart As Today's Great Apes. You don't say? Of course not since Lucy and her peers didn't have smartphones! Jokes aside, it all boils down to a recent inquiry into Lucy's circulatory system and how it informs our understanding of brain development. (CS)

Myanmar is serious about ghosts. So much so, they moved their capital city from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw back in 2006 because of warnings about the ghosts of dead Japanese soldiers buried around the place. Worse, ghosts in Myanmar are something to behold with their tusks, long tongues, and... let Will Buckingham explain the rest. For a little more on the gravitas behind The Ghost Of Belief, we turn to Ashley Knibb for the skinny on 21st century ghost hunting. Folks have a lot of conceits about stalking specters, and Ash has a lot to say about the pursuit's portrayal on television along with the problems raised by both believers and skeptics. Let's not forget the pranksters and hoaxers who are rife in Tim Binnall's report about a "Ghost" And Friends Arrested In India. What's worse is these knuckleheads did it all for a YouTube channel?! (CS)

A lot has been said about the mystery of consciousness from Daniel Dennett's misguided greyfacery to David Chalmer's "hard problem", yet nobody really agrees as to what's behind the phenomenon. Such is the herculean task shouldered by Philip Goff, attempting to be objective about what's considered to be a highly subjective and elusive phenomenon. Now that we've primed your pump, brace yourself for David Metcalfe as he plays with quantum entanglement, non-locality, and the psi-question whilst engaged in Perceptual Gardening In The Fields Of Popular Science. Despite the formidable technobabble of David's headline, he makes Ed May's approach to consciousness simple while noting any hard problems which arise come from lazy journalism and a reliance upon marketing rather than actual science with a capital S. (CS)

November 15

Strange that skeptic Jason Colavito would mark this anniversary, since he has nothing nice to say either about Fort or anybody writing about him, but the title of his article is accurate and works to introduce this post about Fort's groundbreaking book. In Vindication for the Damned: Why Fort’s Strange Philosophy Has Endured, Micah Hanks sums up the fort philosophy as "there is more to the world around us than scientific dogma recognizes," and explains that it's this philosophy that has inspired so many others to pursue answers to the unexplained. In another post, Hanks looks back before the publication of The Book of the Damned (BotD), to some of Fort's earlier, unpublished writings, in Of X, Y, and Z: The Search for the Lost Works of Charles Fort. Unfortunately, Fort destroyed these apparently fictional works: “I’ve given up fiction,” said Fort mischievously, “or in a way I haven’t. I am convinced that everything is fiction..." And to celebrate the anniversary of the publication of Fort’s first collection of oddities and anomalies, Shane Cochrane digs up additional material on The Stone Of Cashel, an unusually shaped and strangely marked stone that had fallen out of the sky, which is mentioned by Fort in BotD. We would be remiss not to mention the new book by Martin Shough with Wim van Utrecht, Redemption Of The Damned: Vol. 1 Aerial Phenomena: A Centennial Re-evaluation of Charles Fort’s ‘Book of the Damned’, published by Anomalist Books. An except from the book is due to appear in the next issue of Fortean Times. (PH)

This doesn't happen very often. We have three chill-inducing reports, none of which we can easily dismiss as hoaxes, hallucinations, or hysteria. First up is a story from Zimbabwe, with a family the clear target of--what exactly? A goblin minion? Or perhaps a serial killer with a grudge? Then, because even our childhood fears aren't sacred, we have Bizarre Accounts of Real Demons in the Closet. Every single example in this report is terrifying. Are the entities described in these stories in any sense "real" or are they just tall tales? The third report describes a strange, Swift Gray Humanoid Observed on Remote Jungle Island in the Pacific. With rumors of a US military base making the high strangeness not all that surprising, inhabitants have nonetheless endured quite a fright from the exceedingly tall, slim, dark eyed Thing putting in unexpected appearances. Finally, dear readers, we are at the end of this reign of terror! (CM)

Whatever one thinks of Michael Turber's allegations (and John Greenewald's prior suggestions) of Air Force drones testing Naval Carrier Strike Groups, the tale Rich Reynolds relates from a Facebook post enshrines "loopiness." It even begins incomprehensibly with "It was somewhere in the last week of June that a ufo crashed on Coopers ranch on July 2, 1947." If not a spoof, it bespeaks "research" that involves gathering every sort of information on or just possibly related to a subject, source discrimination be darned, and stitching the whole into a congeries of sentences. Rather in the same editorial vein about people drawn into UFOs, Curt Collins and Claude Falkstrom team up to present UFO Canards Denied Place in Dustbin of History. Tim McMillan covers more on the sorrier side of ufology with Bob Lazar Says the FBI Raided Him to Seize Area 51's Alien Fuel. The Truth is Weirder. Whatever one thinks of "element 115," Lazar's and Jeremy Corbell's claims, and the law enforcement side, a human being's untimely and likely criminal death has gotten dragged into the Area 51 whistleblower's mess. The longtime KLAS-TV Las Vegas and UFO community fixture who first brought Lazar out of the shadows is himself making news, as a Local Television Behemoth Launches George Knapp-Themed UFO News Site. Predictably, this has gotten Jason Colavito up in arms, not because Knapp's Mystery Wire news service exists, but because it's backed by a media giant. Skip the comments section. (WM)

The Youthful Space People Hakan Blomqvist's Blog
Early contactees uniformly reported meetings with ETs looking in their physical prime--even if the space buddies were hundreds of years old. Hakan Blomqvist takes contacteeism more seriously than do most ufologists and argues such stories not be rejected out of hand. Unattractive is a good word to describe John Keel's life at the time of A Letter from Coral Lorenzen, May 24, 1966. The missive contains just about the most uniformly bad string of luck one could imagine happening to the Lorenzens, which Coral uses at least partly to get John to realize he himself isn't in such a bad state. A humorous side to John's current predicament is featured in A Letter to June Larson, May 26, 1966. This message reflects the chaotic surfeit of UFO sightings and tales of that year, an embarrassment of riches that threatens to send John to the Poor House. (WM)

November 14

John Greenewald Interview A Different Perspective
Since an early age FOIA-master John Greenewald, Jr. has been one of the more remarkable figures in the ufological field. Kevin Randle's conversation with John begins with Edward Snowden's non-revelations about government UFO knowledge, and Greenewald advances his own, admittedly "conspiratorial" theory about Snowden's role. Talk then shifts to the TTSA/History series Unidentified and its main figure Luis Elizondo. Though admitting the base matter of potential threat to US security posed by the "Tic Tacs" and their ilk is paramount, Randle and Greenewald discuss the confusion over Luis Elizondo's exact role in the AATIP. They make a decent case that that confusion is legitimate and that it matters. Greenewald advances an observation about how the media and others in ufology have misconstrued what the Navy has recently (and really) said about revising its reporting guidelines. And (Spoiler Alert!) at the close Greenewald advances his own theory (this at the end of October, over a week before Michael Turber's Hidden Truth interview) that during the 2004 Nimitz and 2014/2015 Theodore Roosevelt F/A-18 UFO encounters the Air Force may have been testing its own technology on the Navy. (WM)

We have three reports from Brent Swancer, who does his level best to scare his readers into staying home and taking up a safe hobby like knitting. We think he was pretty successful too. So gather round and learn about individuals who were there-- then weren't. If they were there at all, that is. Hunker in closer because this next report will make you start counting the heads of your loved ones, over and over: The Missing 411: Some Strange Cases of People Spontaneously Vanishing in the Woods. People can't just disappear, so either they travelled interdimensionally, were abducted by aliens, or captured by something big and hungry who thought a Hairless One would taste good for dinner. (The doors are locked, right?) You probably won't want to leave your house ever again once you learn about these Strange Wilderness Glitches in the Matrix. Maybe Swancer got mixed up between science fiction and the news. It could happen to anyone, couldn't it? Hello? Where did everyone go? (CM)

In a case that reads like another good reason for gun control because Some People Be Crazy, authorities in Ohio were recently called to a home to investigate gunshots fired. No worries though, because the gun owner was just preventing Bigfoot from abducting his dogs. On the opposite side of the excitable spectrum, we have more news on the Bigfoot Sighting Behind Paranormal Museum in North Carolina. Remember that lady who encountered a smallish Sasquatch on her way to the post office? Apparently folks find her story suspect because she carried on with her task of getting letters posted. But if she'd pulled a gun on the little Hairy Dude, no one would have questioned it. People definitely be crazy. (CM)

Three articles of aerial oddities today. Micah Hanks starts us off with a discussion of the World War II "foo fighter" phenomenon. We rather doubt the objects described as playing tag with Allied (and Axis) airplanes equate to the high-altitude phenomena sporting lifetimes from less than a millisecond to a couple of tenths of a second in Red Sprites, Blue Jets, and Elves What are These Mysterious, Elusive Phenomena?--an interesting article Micah points to. But we share his mystification at the detailed "outlier" report he then relates. Nick Redfern tells a story about himself--or, rather, about spooky stuff that happened to him--in Black Helicopters: My Own Experience in 2018. Being buzzed at low altitude by these strange objects can be a very scary proposition, but for Nick "It was yet another day in a weird life!" And Tim Binnall's got a video from late last month as a Driver in North Carolina Films UFO. Tim points out "One noteworthy detail about the video which may help to solve the case," and invites theories. (WM)


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