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The Anomalist

September 18

Yesterday the solar observatory reopened for the first time in 10 days, after being closed down mysteriously by the FBI. Now we have an explanation of sorts: it was apparently due to an "on-going law enforcement investigation of criminal activity that occurred at Sacramento Peak...we became concerned that a suspect in the investigation potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents." Really, for 10 days, with the public visiting the site in the absence of a real explanation for what was going on? On the other hand, let's not get carried away: Greg Taylor answers the question: Were Space And Solar Observatories Shut Down At The Same Time Around The World This Week? The answer is no. In the other space related mystery, there's apparently More Evidence of Drilling Sabotage Found on Space Station. Writes Paul Seaburn, "inspections by the crew have found evidence of more mysterious drill dents and unexplained scratches … this time on the outside. Don’t shout 'Aliens!' … yet." The thought never crossed our minds. (PH)

Sequoyah Kennedy outlines the story from a YouTube presentation that involves something called the "Richat Structure" in the northwest African country of Mauritania as the real location of the fabled city. Typically, Jason Colavito is having none of it, as he explains in his YouTube Video Claims Atlantis Is Located in the Sahara Desert. And Jason's points carry weight; it turns out the best science thinks it's a natural feature, with no sign of archaeology, besides Jason's other complaints about the video. We're still holding out for the J.V. Luce explanation of Atlantis as the distorted memory of the Minoan civilization rocked by the explosion of the island of Thera (Santorini) in about 1490 BCE--if in fact Atlantis wasn't just a story told to the wide-eyed Athenian Solon by Egyptian priests in 590 BCE, or a complete fabrication by Plato himself. (WM)

Never doubt the power of hysteria or mob mentality, and when the two become combined it's best to get out of town. Case in point: a Columbian community has become convinced that a wraith-like witch is tormenting their community, hiding amongst the trees--an impressively creative conclusion, albeit not anchored in the current century.  Somebody send a meteorologist down there before someone gets hurt trying to bind up mist or smoke. And whoever is living in the woods needs to move. Now. On the other side of the world, Japan Tries to Change Reputation of Haunted Dam.  The Shimokubo Dam of Kanna Lake has been connected with murders, suicides, and hauntings, so of course it makes sense that playing superhero music when cars approach will change all that. Drivers will be too distracted to have dark thoughts, and ghosts will flee with their etheric hands clamped over their ears. You can't fault what works. (CM)

The Socorro, NM UFO--Explained? New Mexicans for Science and Reason
Here is some "new information" about an "old event." A story told by a mother and son has newly surfaced about the genesis of the April 24, 1964, Socorro UFO. It's a rather second-hand story but interesting nonetheless--and it provides a mundane if at the same time exotic identification for what Officer Lonnie Zamora saw. Kevin Randle expounds upon this New Socorro UFO Landing Information. He's also interested in but discounts an end of 2017 story on the New Mexican Skeptics site explaining the Socorro event as an idle college prank but no hoax. Commenters with various stakes in the Socorro event also weigh in. (WM)

September 17

An autonomous community in Nigeria has been beset by strangeness recently, with a typical rainfall that became not so typical. Black water filled the streets and cisterns, leaving behind no clue to its origins. The Cropster is doing his own investigation which we hope turns up nothing that could have contaminated the community's water supply. It all sounds a little nefarious though. Continuing this theme of environmental sabotage, we have "This Could Be A Paranormal Case" in Argentina. Cattle mutiliations have become both frequent and consistent enough that the authorities are taking the situation seriously, suggesting the case is paranormal in origin. Keeping in mind that the term Paranormal refers to anything science cannot explain...These very precise mutiliations leave behind carcasses that even the carrion refuse to approach. Once again we are left hoping there are no

Prompted by an observation by co-author Linda Miller Costa, Cheryl Costa has done analysis beyond "The Truth is in the Shapes" section of their invaluable 2017 book UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America 2001-2015. The result, about UFO shapes that have high probability for not being man-made, is certainly thought-provoking. Cheryl left this next category out of her "scrubbed list" for analysis for good reason, but among Cases of Interest: Shapeshifting UFOs certainly rank high. Roger Marsh's new Cases of Interest Blog offers several morphing UFOs from his recently-released book, which cites "241 cases of interest from 2017 where further study is encouraged." One could suggest such additional research on how an object could be described as "20 feet or less from witness, lowest altitude at over 500 feet" in one of the accounts, but these are more substantive reports than we generally see. The Costas's UFO Sightings Desk Reference focuses on "Frequency, Distribution, and Shapes" in its analysis. Roger Marsh adds to his Cases of Interest: UFOs Creating 'Dead Silence'. One wonders whether the witness's dog in the first case heard something below the auditory capacity of the witness, which could have had a dampening effect upon the usual night noise creators. Then again this and two of the other three "Dead Silence" cases occurred in the dead of winter and pretty much the dead of night--between 11:19 p.m. and 2:17 a.m. Roger's cases include links to other UFO puzzlers. (WM)

The author of this piece describes the onset of both her own psychic abilities, and later, those of her son. Manifesting initially as visitations from men dressed in green who were missing limbs, her son experienced what seemed a terrifying anomaly until the connection was made with his psychic abilities and his passion for all things military. As with any ghostly experience, it behooves us to ask What Happens When You Die? Scientists Have Recreated A Near Death Experience To Find Out What It Feels Like. Studying the effects of DMT on a group of volunteers, researchers are documenting individual experiences and finding marked similarities with NDEs. What does this mean in the long run? We have no idea but the afterlife might have a lot more partying going on than initially suspected. (CM)

Spanish journalist-ufologist Jose Antonio Caravaca's attempt to graphically represent his novel "Distortion Theory" deserves thoughtful review. There is also dialogue between Caravaca and a noted Commenter on issues with the theory itself. Blog owner Rich Reynolds earlier granted Jose the opportunity to make A Plea for Information pertaining to the familiar "knock on the door but no one's there" phenomenon and the famous Father Gill case. Though Jose answers his own question, reading this gives a sense of its possible pertinence to his "Distortion Theory." With UFOs Are Not from Outer Space. They Just Aren't, Rich restates his "several possibilities except ET in person" belief, and importantly promises forthcoming exposition of some of those options besides the "drone" concept. And in Our Reality (and UFOs within It) Rich fleshes out one of those arguments with the notion that putative aliens, like we, inhabit their own "caves," and we, like them, would be better off recognizing our inability to "see/cope with the light." (WM)

September 16

Ardent followers of Alex Tsakiris know the drill, the brain is not a computer nor are humans biological robots. Many skeptics find Alex, and his arguments, easy to dismiss but Robert Epstein makes a similar argument in his latest essay. Similar because Epstein looks at the ephemera of memory and thought, which plays into the immaterial nature of consciousness keeping grayfaces up at night. Tangenting at an oblique angle, Greg Taylor toys with Steam Engine Time And Ideaspace perfectly illustrating maverick theories about the genesis of ideas, and how they emerge at the same time making a mad race to be the first to claim someone was the first. With those hooks, there's a natural progression to hear Gordon White talk Indigenous Wisdom, Psi, And Decolonisation With Dr. Amba J. Sepie. There's a whole lot more to the world than the mainstream, western paradigm and perhaps there's a reason why it suppresses the outlooks of other cultures. (CS)

The Black Ghost Haunted Ohio Books
Murder-Suicide. Is there a combination that goes better together than, say, chocolate and peanut butter? Nearly a century ago the eponymous spook, and its tragic origin, thrilled nationwide newspaper audiences. For millennials, newspapers were printed blogs, since computers were only available to the very rich. With the wide coverage, keen audiences noted curious differences twixt accounts which is the seed of Ms. Woodyard's inquiry. Now compare those accounts with Beverly Nichols's definitive account of The Black Ghost in Part Two. Circumstances become plenty curious as peculiar details mount, but some of the evidence just doesn't add up. (CS)

The Split-Brain Universe No Moods, Ads Or Cutesy Fucking Icons
Not everyone is keen with the potential reality of a non-materialist model of consciousness. Take Peter Watts, whose skepticism makes H.P. Lovecraft come across as Giorgio Tsoukalos, and his existential crisis stemming from the dissonance of Bernardo Kastrup being published in a respected, peer-reviewed journal. Peter, you're in good company, and we don't bite. There is some hope, as Philip Calcott asks Peter Hankins, "What's Wrong With Dualism?" The answer boils down to the unstoppable, and unthinking, juggernaut of western thought and its tendency to bend the data rather than with the data. Could philosophy deliver us from this evil? Science and philosophy used to be BFFs, but now they're more like frenemies because philosophy isn't science but Science wants philosophy to be more like it. Not everyone is a fan of the situation, like Abraham Loeb, considering the fate of free will when Philosophy Crosses Swords With Philosophy. (CS)

September 15

Hurricane Florence may be a Category 1 hurricane now, but the Carolinas are suffering from strong winds and lashing rains. It appears that Thundernoggin, great name btw, has already apprehended this apocalyptic aftermath. Don't let the bloggy format put you off, as Thundernoggin's prose and ideas are profoundly and intriguingly fortean. Plus, we can't help but feel giddy at Eric Wargo being mentioned in the same breath as John Keel. For those of you who forgot to remove your tin foil hats, or just lack the psychic capacity, Tim Binnall's got your back as Hurricane Florence Rekindles Talk Of The Legendary "Gray Man" Ghost along South Carolina's shores. (CS)

Twenty five years have gone by so fast. Based upon the revival of of every fortean's favorite series, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson don't seem to have aged and the philosophies underpinning their pursuit of the paranormal remain evergreen. Doing her best impression of a 90's kid, Kelly Connolly reflects on how a gimmicky police procedural influenced and entertained a generation of up-and-coming anomalists. (CS)

Early humans may not have had Twitter, (follow us at @anomalistnews) but they knew a thing or two about hashtags. Nearly 100,000 years ago some caveman was idly expressing herself, using #giantsloth, or leaving a paleolithic "Kilroy Was Here" much to the delight of Nicholas St. Fleur and archaeologists. Sadly Chased-By-Hyaena, to the best of our knowledge, could only slake her thirst from a day of creativity with water. Had this plucky troglodyte waited 90,000 years, she could've kicked back with a frosty brewski. I love it when segues come together, especially for this piece describing Evidence Of 13,000-Year-Old Beer Found In Israel. Should archaeologists poke around Göbekli Tepe a little more, they'll find cans for these ancient suds among the ruins. Here's a factoid to share when you're scoping the singles scene tonight, wrestler Andre the Giant could quaff 2 litres of vodka before he felt warm. With that in your back pocket, it staggers J.P. Robinson's mind to consider the bar tab of Martin Bates and Anna Swan's wedding. Could Some Myths Be Real knowing the facts about the Giants of Seville, and Andre the Giant? Hear out ol' J.P. and consider the possibilities. (CS)

Astronomers and SETI scientists are sitting upon a mountain of data, brimming decades worth of astronomical data. Tomasz Nowakowski figures the best way to tackle the herculean task of sifting through data requires neural networks and artificial intelligences. While the programmers could imbue AI with their own biases, one would presume a real AI would have its own inhuman prejudices. Anthropocentrism is the elephant in SETI's radio observatory as Lucas Joel figures The Search For ET May Be Missing Life On Low-Oxygen Worlds, begging the question, "Is SETI looking for life, or ourselves, among the stars?" Humanity's quest could be facilitated as More Mysterious Bursts Of Light From Deep Space Are Found, recapitulating Tomasz's review of methodology but focusing more tantalizing data concerning this phenomenon. (CS)

September 14

Four recently-surfaced aerial phenomena reports include a San Antonio school teacher's unusual photo, taken "a couple of years ago" but only shared now. Three early September Argentinian reports happen to come from a geographic band less than 3 degrees wide and centered on the 35th latitude south, but it's far too early to talk about a "Southern Hemisphere UFO Corridor." Argentina: Another Fireball--This Time in Constitucion does show a strange, even frightening event. From this Buenos Aires district in the east of the country we go to Argentina: Facebook User Claims Seeing UFO at El Sosneado. In this case we're in Mendoza Province, not far from the Chilean border. The images appear something other than smudges on a windshield--a popular internet suggestion--but little else can be said, although their appearance online produced "a sizeable portion" of responses indicating that the area is a UFO "hotspot." And then there's Argentina: Strange Light Visible in Skies Over La Pampa. La Pampa Province lies right between the sites of the other two posts. This last sensation might be some sort of unusual natural phenomenon, yet two witnesses claim it affected the performance of their Ford Fiesta. The interviewees were quite frightened by their experience. (WM)

We haven't added a page to the site in years, as we are now all about the news. But news editor Chris Savia has penned an absolutely delightful verse on the fortean subjects that we revel in daily. If you follow us on Twitter, you've seen these as tweets already. But I felt they deserve a permanent home, right here. Enjoy. (PH)

Researchers have been able to add to the database of what they know regarding the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger, thanks to a lucky find by an amateur naturalist and a helping hand by the Australian agency responsible for government research. No doubt cryptozoologists everywhere are glad this gentleman took his purchase seriously and didn't merely tuck it away as a unique piece of natural history. Canada has plenty of its own unique natural history, as recently demonstrated by this video: Ogopogo Caught on Film? While the phone-recorded video shows little detail, the witness reports and reactions show an earnest enthusiasm that leaves no room for doubt. They saw something really big and serpentine in Lake Okanagan and the rest of us are never again going closer to that water than the shoreline for a picnic. (CM)

An online post featuring Biblical scholar/ufologist David Halperin always catches our attention, and this Paracast appearance merits return listenings. Gene Steinberg lets co-host J. Randall Murphy dialogue with Halperin on the latter's predominately psychological approach to the UFO conundrum. Those who hold different perspectives than Halperin on the grand UFO questions will nonetheless appreciate his forthrightness, the respect he accords the UFO subject and many of its best practitioners, and his depth of thought. The Shaver Mystery, Ezekiel's chariot, and other specific topics also are discussed. How much physical reality resides in the next topic is uncertain, but there are in John Keel's Special File: Volume Three (10): "Men in Black": Behavioral Patterns. Site-manager Doug Skinner thinks this installment was composed for a UFO publication. Especially interesting are Keel's thoughts on whether MIBs are government agents, and his strong recommendation for humans encountering such unsavory characters to report them to local police and F.B.I. agencies. (WM)

September 13

Breaking News, as the news hounds like to shout at every opportunity. This is actually the least sensational of all the headlines for this story, but it is truly a "hot" one. The Sunspot Observatory was closed suddenly by the FBI on Friday due to a security issue at the facility, and no one has yet explained why. Apparently a Blackhawk helicopter was involved and a bunch of work crews were seen around the antennas and the towers. Many news outlets are having fun spinning this as an "aliens!" story (yes, the observatory is near Roswell), but our bet is that if it were "aliens!" the CIA and NASA would be involved rather than the FBI, which is reserved for in-country matters. Are they trying to prevent panic from a powerful geomagnetic solar storm, an imminent Carrington Event? But notice that the local post office was closed as well. A suspicious package search is our best bet at the moment.(PH)

Nick Redfern finds that U.S. counterintelligence in the 1970s and 1980s feared that documents such as the MJ-12 papers were Soviet ploys to enlist certain U.S. ufologists in quid pro quo deals. Nick promises more on Russian meddling, but Crashed UFOs: Have There Ever Been Any? isn't it. In fact, in this article Nick suggests that U.S. "military-intelligence personnel" may be at the bottom, or nearly so, of stories like Silas Newton's 1948 Aztec, New Mexico, crash. An NSA document labels "a plant" the 1952 tale of a flying saucer crashing on Spitsbergen island, and the 1953 Kingman, Arizona, account of a crash and recovery "of a small, humanoid body" may have a factual core in an Upshot-Knothole nuclear test gone wrong. Some intentional meddling occurred last Friday, as Tim Binnall reports that Vandals Trash UFO Museum in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia. The facts recall David Halperin's comment in a Paracast interview that "the human mind...has enough alienness to fill a universe." (WM)

Besides being really fun to pronounce, the Klerksdorp Spheres seem to polarize opinion into two theories. The first believes the spheres are proof of ancient advanced tech and quotes an unproven list of qualities they purportedly sport. The second holds the spheres are a natural phenomenon and recites their own list of geological reasons which make sense but again aren't proven. We have a similar, although somewhat more mundane situation in the community of Granby: Video: Weird 'Shoe Island' Mystery Grips Massachusetts Town. Citizens here are divided regarded what has become a local anomaly. Some find it an amusing trend, something to smile and chat about. Others think the shoe clad traffic island has become an eyesore. Personally, we hope the shoes are being donated to charity, or to little old women whose children are so numerous they've outgrown their current shoe house. (We recommend the hiking boots, ma'am.) (CM)

September 12

Coventry, Rhode Island, was recently the location for a ghostly--and dangerously distracting--incident along a stretch of road at night. A driver reported seeing a woman in full wedding regalia emerge from the woods on the side of the road. A later search found no evidence of such a woman, so either Coventry has itself a ghost or it's a good place to hide if you find yourself getting cold feet on your wedding day. In other strange news, a fellow in Cambodia had an odd reaction to after-work drinks: 'Possessed' Man Becomes Vampire. After a spell of violence and blood drinking, the man was subdued with holy water and a good old fashioned exorcism, which seems an odd way to handle someone tripping on meth--but that's just our opinion. (CM)

The Ecuadorian armed forces and government are aware of a huge "undersea hangar" 50 nautical miles off the country's coast. This from one of numerous UFO-related cases freed up by the long-term efforts of ufologist Jaime Rodriguez. In "Just Passing Through": UFOs And Water Scott Corrales gives a history of UFO propulsion speculation, tied in with some dramatic reports worldwide. Then Reynaldo Perez Monagas focuses on the Bolivarian Republic in Venezuela: UFOs Visitations in Venezuela. Perez Monagas lists eight "hot spot" Venezuelan states, noting they all have "two common elements: an abundance of vegetation and water." He also recounts a disturbing 2005 case, and gives the general UFO position of Planeta Azul, a magazine dedicated to studying the origin and evolution of the human race and source of many Inexplicata posts. Stalwart Inexplicata contributor Alfonso Salazar offers Mexico: A Traffic Reporter's UFO Experiences. It seems that the career of "Mexico's first air traffic reporter" Jorge Olea was not only long and distinguished, but spiced with quite a few odd aerial encounters as well as the unfortunate automotive ones he told his radio listeners to avoid. (WM)

Greg Bishop welcomes investigative journalist George Knapp and filmmaker Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell for a discussion of the old research, more recent studies, and present goings-on at Utah's famed "Skinwalker Ranch." Actually, relatively little is given out on those latter two investigations, and it helps to have read the 2005 book Hunt for the Skinwalker, by Knapp and Dr. Colm Kelleher, fully to understand this worthwhile interview. Its occasion is the availability of Corbell's latest work, which is the subject of MJ Banias's rather lukewarm 'Hunt for the Skinwalker' Film Review. Banias, too, notes that the book might be a better place for newcomers to begin. He also points out the lack of solid data in the documentary and complains "It seems to all hinge upon trust." Which is exactly what Jason Colavito is not willing to accord the film in his Review of "Hunt for the Skinwalker," a New Documentary about Skinwalker Ranch. Colavito calls the Corbell film "an important documentary" because it shows the lack of scientific evidence at the Ranch and the willingness of the investigators to believe in spite of that deficit. Some of Colavito's assertions may get overly personal, and he decries the relationship some of those involved in the past Ranch studies now have with To The Stars...Academy of Arts & Science. Whether the film justifies a subject upon which intelligent people have spent much time and lots of money--some of it their own, some not--will ultimately be left to the potential viewer. (WM)

If you're vacationing in Mexico you are probably enjoying the nightlife. And if you're living in Mexico anywhere near Skull Hill, you probably know the night is alive. And wriggling. Residents here are familiar with what might be an upright species of freakishly large worm. Check out the photo--that's just not right. In other cryptozoology news, Lucas Reilly brings us The Bizarre Story of Britain’s Last Great Auk. While the Auk was truly an oddity and is described with satisfying clarity in this piece, it's the sheer disrespect for the species and the greed of those who decimated its numbers that stands out. Sadly that's the truth in nearly all cases of extinction. (CM)

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