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The Anomalist



May 25

Paul Seaburn helpfully provides a link to the odd feature in Argentina seen on Google Maps, and following that link reveals that this mysterious island seems to have developed a "fissure" that to an extent is echoed in the surrounding swamp. Whether that's just from entrepreneurs thrashing about or from a more severe crevasse, it might put a crack in all the prior talk of an "alien base." Paul is unimpressed by the story and the languishing "kickstarter" campaign to fund an expedition to it. The Science Channel's article Argentinian Floating Island shows us that the guys wanting to visit this odd thing already have done so before, and the Google Earth Blog itself back in its September of 2016 offering 'The Eye', a Rotating Island in Argentina, provides the explanation for this rare, rather beautiful--but wholly natural--phenomenon. Author Timothy Whitehead adds other examples of floating islands and their more common siblings, rotating ice formations. In X-Files, Idaho Style Maureen Dolan of the Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls Press offers another of those instances where someone noticed an unusual image after it had been recorded. In this case, a "whoosh" was also perceived after filming. Much farther away than Idaho, The NZ Herald reports upon and asks of a Mystery Object Hovers over Hawke's Bay Skies-Is it a UFO? People at an aerodrome saw the oddly-shaped thing, and had time enough to send an airplane up for a snapshot. (WM)

For those Anomalists who are Canadian, the idea of moose sightings as urban legend is just surreal. We go paddling up a creek in one of our provincial parks and--"ooops, excuse me Mr. Moose, I'll wait right here until you decide to move." And yet such is the case in New Zealand's Fiordland, where 10 ill-fated moose were left on the shores to fend for themselves in 1910. To date, the purported and unproven remnant moose population remains elusive, seldom caught on game cameras and leaving zero concrete evidence of their existence. But we as humans have a hard time letting go of cool and cryptic notions, like Oz Frogs In Rocks. Cropster gives a most entertaining summary of these Australian reports where in spite of the best explanations science can offer, stories still circulate of amphibians emerging alive and well from solid rock formations. Again, a cool and cryptic idea that is not going away anytime soon. (CM)

Right on the heels of Netflix's newest zombie nightmare Cargo, Brent Swancer is scaring the heck out of us with plausible end of the world scenarios. Think the common cold travels fast? Imagine a world where the slightest genetic tweak could render rabies airborne. Ah, happy dreams....not. Brent Tingley cements our bad dreams with his report on Cover-Up Rumors Surround Florida Zombie Alert Amid Power Outage. We agree, it seems pretty likely that pranksters got hold of the emergency alert system and had some fun with it. The reference to Terminus backs up that assumption. But remember, it's all fun and games until it's not. We recommend stocking up on cast iron frying pans. They're both useful and very excellent weapons. (CM)

The Hand Remains Hidden Herald Tribune
Billy Cox isn't as excited by the recently-published Executive Summary of the 2004 Nimitz UFO encounters as was Tyler Rogoway in his Detailed Official Report On Harrowing Encounter Between F/A-18s and UFO Surfaces. Maybe Cox's frustration stems from how information in this whole affair is playing out, but at least he sees signs that some government officials have taken notice. Continuing on another UFO controversy, Kevin Randle tells us Why I Chase Footnotes - The Coyne Edition. Kevin forthrightly reports a further wrinkle to past discussion about the 1973 Mansfield, Ohio, helicopter-UFO event. It weakens--somewhat--Kevin's strong counters to a conjecture by someone affecting the sobriquet "Parabunk" that what the Army Reservists saw late that October 18th was actually a tanker trying to refuel their helicopter. This will of course set Rich Reynolds off, who thinks that whole Parabunk-Randle debate was Inundated by (UFO) Folly. (WM)

May 24

A research team from New Zealand's University of Otago is showing their smarts. This group will be looking for the DNA in Loch Ness left over from Nessie's excrement and comparing it to the DNA found in three nearby lochs. That sounds like a really cool job to us. By a process of elimination (get it?), the eDNA will be analyzed to find out if anything unidentified has been going potty in the Loch. Speaking of our favorite lake monster, here is the latest claim of a Nessie sighting at Loch Ness as schoolgirl captures mysterious footage. The video itself is unremarkable. Let's hope the pooh proves more convincing. (CM)

Brent Swancer is doing his part to ensure we keep questioning our grip on reality. His latest post on the “Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect” has us wanting to check our history books. It seems no historical figure is safe from this anomaly, neither activists nor saints nor world leaders. Go back and check what you know against what is recorded online. Better yet, check the hard copy reference section at your library. (That's the big brick building downtown filled with books.) Not convinced? Then test your memory against what Swancer has written about The Mandela Effect at the Movies. We bet you find yourself experiencing a first hand memory distortion at the mention of at least a few of these well-known films. Then ask yourself if you feel lucky...(CM)

Here are Jason Colavito's opinions on three related topics. First is a contrast and comparison of Berlitz and Hancock, to the disadvantage of both. However on target are Colavito's specific points as they relate to these two authors, the problems in detail and in general that he lists form an unfortunately good portrayal of the Ancient Astronaut/"pop archaeology" field. In Contact in the Desert Features Lots of "Ancient Aliens" Pundits, Plus Peter Levenda, Calavito informs us that "the typical Contact in the Desert speaker is an aging white male who opines about space aliens on cable television." Colavito has much to say about the lecture topics and lecturers that extends the remarks in his first post, and highlights Peter Levenda's lecture as a form of "damage control" for To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science. Finally, in a Review of Ancient Aliens S13E03 "The Alien Protocols" Colavito covers what governments might/would/are planning to do if extraterrestrials publicly made their presence(s) known. Colavito's admittedly not operating here from his wheelhouse, but he manages to portray this particular "Ancient Aliens" episode as a potpourri of unrelated activities, exaggerations, and repetitions from previous programs, as well as foolish personal appearances, inaccuracies, and outright hoaxes. The reference and connection to Colavito's text of a draft 1968 NSA report is quite useful. (WM)

Miguel ("Red Pill Junkie") Romero introduces a Youtube episode of Religion in Life which will make many outside of the UFO community--and some inside of it--very uncomfortable. This interview makes a strong case for not rejecting the ETH as a potential source for some UFOs. Here are two arguably anchored, mainstream scholars, one whose upcoming book American Cosmic will be published by the legendarily staid academic Oxford University Press talking matter-of-factly about, for goodness' sake, wealthy, shrewd business people and technologists reverse-engineering "anomalous artifacts." Not to be missed, however, is University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor Diana Walsh Pasulka's remarks on the implications and comparisons of "UFO-belief" and apparent fact with nascent religious movements. Staying with "RPJ" and The Daily Grail, Romero also offers UFOs, Guillermo Del Toro, Terence McKenna and the Co-creation Hypothesis. This interesting piece examines aspects of the UFO encounter experience that may be contributed by the human witness him- or herself. (WM)

May 23

Aviation writer Tyler Rogoway does his usual superb job of reporting in a riveting yet accurate manner on aerial encounters with unknowns. This time it's that 13-page Executive Summary on the 2004 Nimitz incident that Rogoway presents. Beware, however! The "Global News" video following the two with retired Navy pilot David Fravor is an under-identified combination of the 2015 "GIMBAL" video with its aviator chatter, and the actual FLIR1 video of an object made on November 14, 2004 by an F/A-18 flight subsequent to Fravor's encounter. Signs that such revelations are having an effect are discussed in Paul Seaburn's US Politicians Call for Congressional Hearing on UFOs. A mid-April panel discussion involving Congressmen from both sides of the aisle and an advisor to President Trump had these influential people seriously talking about funding and hearings on the subject. Seaburn notes that Politico Space, whose launch occasioned the discussion, should be expected to keep reminding these politicians about their statements. Alejandro Rojas' article Politicians Support Congressional Hearing on UFOs makes the additional observation that "Not since perhaps the 1950s have government officials felt comfortable discussing the topic in public." Maybe it's time to remind White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that she was "going to get back" to reporters on what President Trump thinks about all this. (WM)

Another installment from Esoterx that both intrigues and entertains. Featuring a retiring officer of the British Royal Navy in the first half of the 19th century with a reputation for courage and zero tolerance for foolishness. Upon hearing from locals that his estate was haunted, the captain was seriously affronted and sought to either reveal the identity of the prankster or, barring that, chase the offending spirit away himself. Like we said, he was a brave guy. But while exorcising a ghost with a gun doesn't tell us much about this life or the one beyond, here's What Insects Caught on CCTV Tell Us About Our Mortality. Hayley Stevens explains why we are so easily convinced that a bug on a camera lens is a spirit or otherworldly visitor, putting forth that our greatest fear is that our lives here on earth just don't matter and will simply be forgotten. "Ghosts and hauntings are an almost-noble way of remembering the people who have been here before us and have passed away." Well said, Hayley. (CM)

As Paul Seaburn puts it, "it was only a matter of time before [a UFO] was spotted over Kilauea on Hawaii's Big Island." Paul does a service by noting discrepancies to the story that more credulous sites may forget to do. UFOs have, however, made it onto professional golfing's PGA Tour--in a manner of speaking. Helen Ross relates how Billy Horschel's UFO Fascination Grew After a Close Encounter. It's refreshing to see a very mainstream site feature a straightforward article on this type of thing, and we applaud Horschel for his candor. Not all "UFO" encounters are as pleasant as Horschel's, however, as illustrated (literally) by photographs shared with Inexplicata by Alfonso Salazar in Mexico: Airliner Struck by UFO (2015). We perhaps cross a boundary in Rob Waugh's UFOs 'Have Killed Hundreds of People, Including Hollywood Stars', Book Claims. Waugh's article settles down some after the first few short paragraphs, and it would be hoped that Timothy Green Beckley and Sean Casteel's book does also. However, in view of its lurid cover, we'd not bet on that. UFOs: Are They Friend or Foe? is co-author Sean Casteel's promo for the book, replete with scary stories whose relationship to ET UFOs is not ironclad. Casteel's "Part Two", Burning Inferno at Falcon Lake, is a good summary of the 1967 Stefan Michalak ordeal. (WM)

It seems nothing is sacred anymore, and that includes Stonehenge. Self-published author and former university professor Brian John has proposed a theory that Neolithic peoples were not capable of transporting the massive rocks that comprise Stonehenge. He instead suggests the boulders were moved from Western Wales by glacial drift and dropped in the general vicinity of Salisbury Plain. That's one heck of a coincidence when all other factors are taken into consideration, but we'll let our readers make up their own minds. In other bubble-bursting news, An Odd and Intriguing New Theory on the Oregon Mystery Shrieks has been offered to Brent Swancer directly by a reader. His reader suggests the otherworldly sounds were produced by propane escaping from a tank, courtesy of cannabis cooks on the outskirts of town engaged in producing hash oil. Plausible, yes. Pleasing? Nope. We much prefer Bigfoot yowls over gas leaks.(CM)

May 22

A confidential document obtained earlier this year by KLAS-TV's "I-Team" is the subject of this George Knapp article. The Las Vegas station claims to have obtained other "unclassified documents related to" UFO encounters, so it is worth conjecturing whether they will dribble out further information. A "highly classified version" of the 2009 Nimitz "Tic Tac" encounter covered in this executive summary likely will never be made public. The released document was "prepared by and for the military," but specifically who did the preparing is not given, and we find rather odd the preparer's use of "wikipedia" entries, instead of military sources, for some information. But the 13-page report at Executive Summary makes for interesting reading. The "Key Assessments" section is particularly important, beginning with this one: "The Anomalous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) was no known aircraft or air vehicle currently in the inventory of the United States or any foreign nation." (WM)

Police in Alabama have had their hands full recently as reports come in of black panther sightings. Authorities are taking the calls seriously insofar as they believe residents have definitely seen something, but they're not buying the panther story. We wonder what black panther expert Michael Mayes would think of this sighting? (He was interviewed recently on Exploring the Bizarre by hosts Tim Swartz and Tim Beckley, along with Seth Breedlove on the Flatwoods monster in Big Cats and Giant Monsters.) In similar news, there's anUnidentified Large Cat Filmed Prowling English Town. Authorities are more concerned in this case, suspicious of an escaped zoo animal or the like. Increasing numbers of animal mutilations have residents thinking twice about nighttime sojourns. (CM)

Scotland isn't the only country with legendary lake monsters. This video shared by Brett Tingley allegedly shows something large in the waters of Kanas Lake in Xinjiang Province scaring the bejeebers out of the tourists recording its approach. Next, Nick Redfern is Musing on a Puerto Rican Monster. Reviewing the initial rise in 1995 of what came to be known as Chupacabra sightings, Redfern sorts the hysteria from the facts as he summarizes what must be one of his favorite mysteries. (CM)

Mormons, Aliens, and Hangar 18 Mysterious Universe
Robbie Graham describes what he terms "Hollywood's first UFO conspiracy movie," its connection with other UFO-related themes, and a possible relation to a Mormon "educational agenda." Graham must have been more impressed by the flick than we were, as he calls it "a fascinating and entertaining movie." Graham's article caught Jason Colavito's attention, and his response is Robbie Graham Suggests 1980 UFO Movie Might Be Mormon Propaganda. Colavito thinks there's a more basic "conspiracy" operative in Hanger 18. And Curt Collins begins his own consideration of the film's origins with Hangar 18 and The Saucers That Time Forgot with additional background appearing in UFO Promoter, Lawrence Brill: From Crime to Conferences. (WM)

May 21

Glasgow Boy was on the road again recently, utilizing the best technology has to offer in an effort to automate research into dear elusive Nessie. And he has an excellent point--eventually you have to admit that if you are trying to spy a underwater creature on the surface of the water, you need to be prepared to fail. Enter technology, and GB's field guide to its uses and pitfalls, and you're back on the monster hunting trail. We're really, really glad you haven't given up, GB. The Loch has a long history of successfully keeping its secrets, resulting in its highly mysterious reputation. Nick Redfern discusses this in More on Edward Kelly, Lake Monsters and Aleister Crowley. Both these occultists visited Loch Ness at varying times and are credited with spikes in Nessie sightings, allegedly a result of magical workings on their parts. Redfern draws a parallel between these practitioners and John Dee, who also seemed to use ritual for his own personal monster hunt. (CM)

Avrel Seale and Sasquatch Shattered Reality Podcast
Listen to this interview with Avrel Seale, a writer of electric nonfiction and a knowledgeable bigfooter, regarding his 100-mile journey on the Lone Star Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest in search of Bigfoot evidence. Most of us can't attest to such a challenge to celebrate our 50th, but Avrel did it, found some tantalizing hints of sasquatch activity, and produced a well-written book in the process: Monster Hike: A 100-Mile Inquiry Into the Sasquatch Mystery. Next, Nick Redfern passes along his very substantial knowledge by Taking A Look At The Yeti Phenomenon . Beginning with the first report of Yeti footprints in 1953, Redfern brings us up to date with both sightings of the mysterious beast and failed attempts by science to identify what it is that lives in the Himalayas. He also notes that reports of Yeti markedly decreased after 2000, making us wonder if witnesses have decided that discretion is a better route than reporting. (CM) 

Now there's a combo not often seen. Nick Redfern gives us a slightly convoluted story of how creepy Crowley believed himself to be the assistant to Elizabeth I's advisor (Dee) and how during the reign of Elizabeth II some soil floating on Loch Ness convinced one Ted Holiday that "it definitely meant something." And the weird hand of Crowley is felt in Touch Me Not, a surreal 18th century manual on how to raise The Devil and then send him Treasure Hunting, which is "a collection of the blackest of the black arts" originally published in 1795 and now sumptuously republished by Fulgur, a "talismanic" publisher. (LP)

The Dead Travel Fast Haunted Ohio
Chris Woodyard takes us to the dark and haunted backroads of Colorado in 1904, where it was reported that a ghostly horse-and-buggy gave quite a fright to a man who was the "strictest kind of Baptist" and not given to inventing crazy stories. And from Hungary, Removing the Impediment reminds us that it's rarely a good thing to chop down a tree, but it was especially unfortunate in this case. (LP)

May 20

There are many ways to perceive consciousness complicating the study of the phenomenon, giving credence to the subjectivity of the hard question of consciousness. Michael Grosso illustrates a curiosity where Friedrich Nietzsche's syphilletic writings gave rise to one of the oldest psychic societies in western civilization. Maybe forteans are contrarian, or Freddie was using reverse psychology to bolster his closeted faith but the story doesn't stop there. On the lighter side, Paul Seaburn's tickled by the tale of a Mysterious Woman Who Laughs Uncontrollably When Others Are Tickled. She isn't a crackpot FOAF-tale as she was poked, prodded, and forced to watch people being tickled at the University of California in the name of science. There is no nobler cause in life than science, right? Phil Watt disagrees as he Seeks A Spiritual Truth That Embraces Life, But Doesn't Ignore Conspiracy Culture. Record scratch. Freeze frame. Yeah that's me. Yeah, I'm listening to Alex Tsakiris on Skeptiko and it's everything you've come to expect and more. (CS)

Get Me To The Church On Time Michael Prescott's Blog
Speaking of the Society for Psychical Research, viz the previous selection, David Kennedy's voracious reading of the SPR's newsletters helped him better appreciate his own brushes with the paranormal. Detailed in A Venture In Immortality, Michael Prescott finds a lot to love with these tales of a deceased wife's gentle, but firm, nagging from beyond the grave. But wait, that's not all! In Kennedy's Final Ventures, where Anna continues to violate the "'til death do we part" clause of marriage by encouraging David to be kinder to himself. Not all encounters are positive according to this excerpt from Greg Taylor's Darklore featuring Michael Prescott. Hungry ghosts are part and parcel of The Dark Side Of The Paranormal. When the weird looks back, life becomes stranger but when it doesn't then the investigators become weirder, often devolving into credulous fools who have naught but their former reputations as a meager meal ticket. But can this phenomenon be tidly wrapped up as being purely psychological? (CS)

May 19

With the greening of America in the 21st century, is it unexpected to be in the midst of a psychedelic renaissance? The therapeutic effects of The CIA's favorite weapon are no longer hidden away by backwards-thinking, Nixon-era dogma. After being kept in the dark, no one's surprised by initiatives to decriminalize mushrooms. But what about the capo di tutti of them all, DMT? For those of you who still watch broadcast television, like Red Pill Junkie, Michael Pollan surprises Joe Sixpack with his experiences on the celebrated spirit molecule. If that's not mainstream enough for you hipster-tripsters, the New York Times Magazine gives Michael Pollan more than six minutes to share his Adventures With The Trip Doctors. It's a must-read brimming with sound advice, the contentious history of psychedelics in western culture, and what experts understand about the science and philosophy of changing one's mind for the better. (CS)

One begins measuring a circle starting anywhere, and Brent Swancer outlines a series of queer Swedish coincidences guaranteed to pique your fancy. Heck, Brent throws in a bank heist for good measure. Fortean Ireland ups the ante with an inquiry into animal magnitism at the intersection of the Ouija board phenomenon, cleverly entitled Hat's Amazing! What do these two tales have in common? Charles Fort. Who was Charles Hoy Fort? David Sutton outlines Fort's enduring legacy, equal parts of anti-authoritarianism and maverick skepticism tempered with good humor. (CS)

The stakes were high during the cold war, leading Washington's leading thinktanks to invent outlandish schemes to thwart the Russkies. Case in point: Greg Taylor's revelation on doing something only Superman was capable of performing. And let me throw in an earworm for good measure. Should America be graced by a bespandexed god, rather than hailing from Krypton this one could be from beyond the veil. Okay, more like "beyond the brane" as Pascal Elahi tells Andrew Griffin how We Could Be Living Inside A Multiverse That Is Full Of Alien Life. Why? Because it'd explain something about our universe that's been puzzling cosmologists since 1933. Should this putative superhero demand a theme song, and John Williams is unavailable, inspiration could be drawn from a Singing Molecular Cloud. It's music, just not as we expect it. (CS)


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