EdgeScience 46


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The Anomalist

June 18

Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation were terse after Wednesday morning's classified FBI/Navy UFO/UAP briefing. Juliegrace Brufke and Aaron Feis report the main concern was safety and security interests of US military personnel and the country itself. Full Committee Chair Democrat Adam Schiff said he learned some new things, and Chair of the Subcommittee Democrat Andre Carson predicted an eventual public hearing on the report’s content. Democrat Representative Mike Quigley played down the potential excitement angle but noted the major policy change towards UFOs and that some things remain unexplained. Whatever the UAPTF public report's outcome--and maybe in spite of it--the current UFO news has impacted the larger society. In UFOs, COVID, and the Radical Uncertainty of This Moment, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health Dr. Sandro Galea offers important lessons about what this should tell us about ourselves, and what to do about it. Republican Congressman Tim Burchett (not on the Intelligence Subcommittee) apparently thinks our options are limited, as the U.S. Congressman Says 'Something's Going on That We Can't Handle' When Asked about UFOs. (WM)

Bigfoot encounters and evidence of Bigfoot activity lend themselves to additional experiences of high strangeness--stranger than an enormous unclassified hairy biped crossing your path. Stan Gordon touches on some of the harder to explain anomalies that Bigfoot brings with him wherever he shows up. Then we go From Folklore to Footprints: Ivan Sanderson and Bigfoot at Bluff Creek. The Scottish zoologist proposed that in modern times there existed five types of hominids as yet undiscovered, which included Bigfoot and Yeti. His work though, while groundbreaking and well researched, showed signs of Sanderson choosing to ignore facts that might have undermined his hypotheses. But as Micah Hanks concludes, the man was only human and the inconsistencies don't diminish his contributions. (CM)

Nick Redfern lists the various U.K. departments with UFO-related interests and tells stories about some of the British citizens whose activities or experiences caused them to be investigated by these groups. Nick continues this theme in UFOs: When "The Man" Comes Knocking on Your Door, and related but telephonic botherings are covered in From UFOs to Weird Phone Calls: High-Strangeness. Nick elaborates on these harassments with On the Road: A Look at the Mysterious Black Cars the M.I.B. Drive. But here it's not so much the autos, but the behaviors of their occupants, that make the stories Nick relates so chilling. Bonus: a link to an extensive Gareth J. Medway M.I.B. document covering 1947-2003 cases, with discussion and references. Nick takes this topic to a perhaps surprising point with Thought-Forms Dressed in Black: The M.I.B. Aren't What Many Think They Are. He closes his ruminations on such strange actors with Close Encounters of the Hairless Kind: When Aliens Try to Look Like Us--what Nick says is "Quite possibly, that's the strangest title I've ever come up with for an article!" And the stories of entities trying to pass as "just people" do, as Nick says, get "even stranger." (WM)

Inside Star Gate with Paul Smith Jimmy Akin's Mysterious World
Remote viewing is a controversial subject. Some think it's government disinformation aimed at getting our adversaries to think we have super powers. But based on personal experience, we know it works. So does Paul Smith, who as a junior officer in the US Army in 1983, was asked to become a psychic spy. Here, with interviewer Jimmy Akin, he discusses some secret intelligence jobs he was involved in, the nature of Remote Viewing, and what happened with Project Star Gate. Over at Smith's own blog, he asks: Did Ingo Swann Add More Stages to Controlled Remote Viewing? Swann created the six steps of the method known as Controlled Remote Viewing with Hal Puthoff at SRI. But was there a stage 7? For those unfamiliar with the subject you might want to start with Nick Redfern post to learn about The Early Days of Remote Viewing: Mind-Experiments and Government Interest. (PH)

June 17

In an astounding display of poor judgement, a woman in Singapore went for a run at night through a park believed to be inhabited by vampires. She came upon another soul with equally lousy decision making skills, sitting alone on a bench and staring off into the distance. So she stopped and snapped a photo of what she now claims is a ghost. The only thing more astounding than this claim is how she escaped becoming a ghost herself. Fortunately most encounters with spooks don't require acts of stupidity as the price of admission. Ghostly Apparitions That Appear Every June in the UK include fairies and soldiers, murdered wives and their remorseful spouses. Doesn't sound particularly fun if you ask us. Meanwhile there's A New Ghost in the Tower of London, and he pays rent. Comedian Tom Houghton has been given permission to rent a room there, given his lineage, and his flesh and blood appearance through a window as startled more than one onlooker. Perhaps it's time the Tower of London got some curtains. (CM)

Virginia, 1965: Hoax or Horror? (1) Not an Authority on Anything
John Keel siteminder Doug Skinner offers the first half of a Keel story about a relatively-ill known UFO "flap." The strange experience of the anonymous witness here reminds us of the 1961 Joe Simonton Eagle River, Wisconsin, CEIII. For instance, compare Simonton's claim of the short ufonauts he met--their gaze “seemed to do something to you"--with the short creatures in this account which "seemed to look through you." Virginia, 1965: Hoax or Horror? (2) is full of, as Doug says, "UFO sightings, creature reports, hoaxes, questionable confessions, and general confusion." And interesting biographically, Keel sent A Letter to "Saucer News" regarding "all of the rumors circulating about" him. (WM)

While Nick Redfern gives a nod to the now famous US Navy videos, his topic is "gun-camera" footage from Great Britain's Royal Air Force. And though some say they've seen it, efforts to locate the stuff have come up empty. For perspective on the current sensation, Nick takes us back to 1947 and offers UFOs and the U.S. Government: The Origins and the Air Force. His article then conducts us through time and other pre-AATIP military UFO programs, some of whose conclusions seem challenged by those speaking out today in anticipation of the government's upcoming UFO report. Nick recounts three short stories about UFOs of The Small Kind: They're Not All Mother Ships; says he. Brent Swancer takes his turn with another type of small aerial phenomenon in The Mysterious Marfa Lights of Texas. It's interesting to compare these lights, their history, possible explanations, and the impact they've had upon the local economy with similar elements in Brent's The Strange Mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights of western North Carolina. (WM)

June 16

CNN reports that a Wednesday morning classified UFO briefing of House Intelligence Committee members is expected from the Navy and FBI. This article also gives more insight into the background behind the current, reluctant Pentagon responses to pressure on the subject. It features candid remarks from former Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, and predicts "UFO-ologists" won't love the resultant UAPTF report, now due in under 10 days. Luis Elizondo figures here and in Tom Rogan's Ex-government Chief for UFO Investigations: US Considering Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. Rogan defines the term "the most extraordinary UFOs" and relates former AATIP head Elizondo's claim that such--possibly "'extraterrestrial, extradimensional,' or the creation of an Earth-based intelligence entirely unknown to our human society"--constitute "a credible line of government inquiry." Perhaps more importantly, the opposing choices--Ours, Chinese, Russian, other known Earthly actors--are "nothing more than an infinitesimally small possibility," according to Elizondo. Rogan notes these claims seem to corroborate the notion "that some UFOs are believed to be unknown machines of a truly extraordinary nature." A 45-second interview snippet has Jason Colavito complaining Lue Elizondo's Non-Denial of MJ-12, Collins Elite Opens Door to Cover-Up Conspiracies. Colavito indicates knowledge of, though not having actually read/understood, Nick Redfern's Final Events and the Secret Government Group on Demonic UFOs and the Afterlife, published by Anomalist Books. A more conversant Colavito might not, in defiance of Elizondo and Harry Reid remarks, be so vocal that the "Collins Elite" does not in some form exist. (WM)

There's something about time travel--impossible to prove and endlessly strange--that draws us in and leaves us wanting more. Today we have three reports, starting with this report of a monk in London who believes he's experienced time travel on the London tube--and that some passengers may have become lost in time, perhaps forever. Sound crazy? Nick Redfern takes a hypothetical look at the constraints a time traveller might face, given the necessity of not blowing their own existence to H-E-Double Hockeysticks. Time Travel: Bizarre, Mind-Blowing and Undeniably Mysterious ponders whether a time traveller would even be want to interact with us here in the present time, given the dangers. We finish off this timely trio with Redfern's favorite movies, Time Travel and the World of Entertainment. He concludes that the best of this genre are indeed those where the timeline is altered--always for the best outcome--and the "feel good" tales where the best of life is revisited. (CM)

"The first humans to discover Antarctica weren't seafaring Westerners but rather Polynesians, who found the coldest continent 1,300 years ago, a new study suggests." Thus Laura Geggel summarizes the import of a New Zealand study that utilized Maori oral histories and helps further rectify a still-largely Western European narrative for south Pacific exploration. Clare Watson posts a memorable title for an important advance in understanding with Unique Gut Bug Study Untangles Early Human Migration From Siberia Into The Americas. Studying the genetic history of a bacterium infecting 50 percent of people can complement human DNA studies charting human movements into the "New World." Bipin Dimri discusses some Scientific Evidence for the Many Myths of the Great Flood. While Dimri focuses on circum-Mediterranean flood myths with a nod to Hindu mythology and Black Sea scientific data, the embedded video extends the discussion to China. The Aztecs also have a frightening flood myth. From large-scale geologic and human events in the distant past there's a more recent and individual tragic mystery as a 300-year-old Girl Buried with Finch in Her Mouth Puzzles Archaeologists. Owen Jarus reports how a fuller analysis of a 1960s find produced the dating and some conception of where the 10-to-12-year-old had come from and possibly why. Yet unanswered questions remain about the odd nature of her burial. And Martin J. Clemens covers "a burgeoning field of study relating to analysing the acoustic properties of ancient megalithic sites and Neolithic caves" in Archaeoacoustics: Adding another Dimension to History. (WM)

June 15

Take a few moments to marvel at the amazing imagery in this post. While the "UFOs" in the two videos may have mundane explanations, the wonder of the natural landscapes will make your day. Not sure what to make of the phenomenon or reporting in NBC2's (Fort Myers, FL) Cape Coral Man Claims to Have Spotted 'UFO'. The Strange Object Captured on Night Vision looks like it separates into a string of objects as it rises in the sky before disappearing. Without more details on the footage, one notes that "There was also a SpaceX launch that same day" and wonders if the procession could have lost the sunlight and thus "vanished." (WM)

In October 1987 a disastrous extratropical cyclone assaulted the British Isles, causing billions in damage and killing 18 people. Nick Redfern thinks there was more to The Great Storm than just a severe atmospheric depression. Dreams of wolves and various paranormal entities from that night were later reported, making him wonder if an ill-intentioned someone or something was behind the catastrophe. Redfern goes further into this subject with Strange Storms & Weird Weather: From the Paranormal to Government Experiments. He makes us question whether dangerous, crazy weather patterns are natural, the result of government manipulation, or phenomena that are at least somewhat paranormal in origin. All three possibilities are worth losing sleep over, depending on your own anxiety triggers. (CM)

Somewhere mid-Atlantic will be heard the resounding crack of forehead-slapping, emanating from both sides of the Big Pond, thanks to the following two reports. First, as the title announces, dinosaurs are still thought to be among us, presumably by those who also think the moon is made of green cheese. And second, a Florida Woman Still Believes She Saw A 'Small Dinosaur' Running Through Yard, despite the fairly obvious likeness of the critter to an iguana or a monitor lizard, so often seen in that state. The bigger mystery, which gets no attention, is why does it appear to have a square fastened around its neck? Was it taking part in a marathon? Unlikely, but somehow more plausible than the dinosaur theory ... (LP)

Drones and the Upcoming UAP Report A Different Perspective
A few more articles tamping down expectations about the upcoming government UFO report. Kevin Randle believes a recent The War Zone article by Adam Kehoe and Marc Cecotti--a href="" target="_blank">FAA Data Shows Strange Pattern Of Military Encounters With Unidentified Aircraft, may lean the report towards "a terrestrial explanation for the current crop of UFO/UAP sightings." The War Zone writer Brett Tingley says The Navy Concluded Transmedium Flying Submersibles Were Possible A Decade Ago, thus tarnishing the "specialness" of one of Lue Elizondo's "Five Observables" separating truly interesting UFO reports from the pedestrian. Anthony Bragalia tries to inject some enthusiasm by probing What President Biden Really Knows About UFOs, but most of the article is based upon inferring from long personal associations. Perhaps predictably given their professional positions, some non-U.S. scientists produce the standard answer variations to the question Do Aliens Exist? We Asked Five Experts. And Metabunker video debunker Mick West says I Study UFOs-and I Don't Believe the Alien Hype. Here's Why. (WM)

June 14

Physicist and science editor Mark Buchanan worries that this "end" is perhaps the biggest potential human impact from proof of ET presence in the universe. He is not only against METI--Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence--he also contends that SETI's increased funding and sophistication make the discovery of alien intelligence more likely--and even that worries him, for reasons he elucidates. Susan Demeter offers Discussing UFOs with Your Kids. Demeter mentions two books she found very useful when her children were young. There's also a new volume out by Scientific Coalition for Ufology Executive Board Member Robert Powell called The Truth About UFOs: A Scientific Perspective intended for ages 7-11. Interestingly, The Guardian's Linda Jacobson says The Truth about UFOs is out There, and US Students are Trying to Find It. In a move that would horrify the late Howard P. Robertson and Edward U. Condon, "Teachers across the US are taking advantage of the government's report on UFOs to engage students with science." And we close with Billy Cox' So Long, Mr. Reiss. A touching tribute to a dead man whose UFO interests were largely unknown to those near him. (WM)

What do clothes dryers and the earth have in common? Apparently they both have mysterious doorways into somewhere Other, where missing people and socks both vanish without a trace. This first case describes an online cult leader and his family, allegedly heading to Brazil, leaving behind all their worldly belongings to never be heard from again. (That's bad for cult recruitment, by the way.) Next we have A Weird Vanishing and Mysterious Death in Siberia. Volunteering for Greenpeace doesn't usually involve murder threats. Yet in this case a young man went missing from his group and was later found in the woods, covered in bruises and obviously moved to that location after death. (And where were his socks?) And lastly, The Mysterious Disappearance of Trevor Deely also pointed to foul play, but the police in Ireland could find no proof--and no Trevor--despite their best efforts. Just like missing socks, the absence of these vanished people vexes authorities to this day. (CM)

Chris Mellon is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the former Minority Staff Director for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Here he outlines "the most important lines of questioning that I recommend Members of Congress pursue in their efforts to get to the bottom of the UAP issue." By and large they are hard-hitting questions, designed to highlight any inadequacies in the anticipated UAPTF Report and in the circumstances that have led to the present situation. And features of this condition are the evident inability, after (much more than) twenty years of data collection, to determine the source(s) of the reported phenomena; the many known reports of same demonstrating significant leap-frogging of acknowledged U.S. military capabilities coupled with a long history of government denial that these performance characteristics constitute any threat to US interests; and the apparent failure of relevant intelligence agencies to work together upon a common problem set. Serious ufologists have remarked the rather jarring appearance of former USAF OSI operative Richard Doty in two of the 17 inquiries. However, many in the field regard Doty's past actions as both reprehensible and at least tacitly approved by his superiors. The Doty queries also bring what are otherwise high-level matters down to a very individual human level. Given Mellon's past positions and current leadership in undoing the UFO Gordian knot of information denial, these are questions worth bearing in mind when the report, at least in its public form, appears. Thanks to Barry Greenwood for the heads-up. (WM)

June 13

Consciousness, at its core (and to the best of our understanding), is rooted in subjectivity. What one senses is different from what another will appprehend. According to Ed Yong, two scientists at Columbia University observed a phenomenon which plays on that theme. In fact, it's as if the way a brain interprets sensory data changes upon sensing it and things get much weirder. Meanwhile at Mind Matters News, it seems there's a New Paper Providing Further Evidence For Free Will. Making this new revelation all the more curious is how it concerns "readiness potential", a little something pushed by Daryl Bem in his "Feeling the Future" paper, and could have a significant impact on psi. A little more mainstream, after a couple of twists and turns, is the revelation about how Many People Have A Vivid "Mind's Eye," While Others Have None At All. More puzzling still is how both sides of that coin still function well, and Carl Zimmer heard through the grapevine about how Dr. Adam Zeman may have found the clues to solving this puzzle. Even then, should there be a cure? (CS)

If the Patterson-Gimlin film thrilled you, then this (relatively) ancient snap of a bagged Bigfoot is going to light your fire. Despite the visual evidence, David Childress finds this may be part of a conspiracy older and deeper than Roswell. Don't be surprised to learn this photo came from the capo di tutti of cryptozoology, Loren Coleman, who doesn't figure into Ethan Andrews's collection of Mainers Who Stumbled Upon Bigfoot. He pulls a few choice anecdotes from Michelle Souliere's new Bigfoot In Maine which are almost as fantastical as a visit to the legendary International Cryptozoology Museum. For a little more which Ethan may have missed, Allen Adams has his own angle on "Bigfoot In Maine" Examining the Cryptid's History in the Pine Tree State. (CS)

A big boom echoed throughout southern Calfornia last week leaving authorities and citizens scratching their heads over its provenance, writes Zac Self, but the culprit may be prosaic, albeit rare nowadays. A Sonic Boom May Be Responsible For Mysterious Noise In San Diego County. The military is claiming responsibility, but was the boom part of pursuing those pesky tic-tacs? In other news Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee figure As Mystery Over "Havana Syndrome" Lingers, A New Concern Emerges since all these news reports are confirming whatever's being done actually works, emboldening potential suspects involved with the phenomeonon. (CS)

June 12

We here at The Anomalist have been concerned for the Grey Lady after they decided to go all Billy Cox on flyi^H^H^H^H tic-tacs, not to mention their ineffectual journalism during the previous political regime, but this takes the cake! This gem, by way of Jon Christian, isn't from the celebrated Weekly World News and illustrates some of the pecadillos of mainstream journalism. Meanwhile some hard-hitting scoops are rocking the internet's boat, and we begin with Tim Binnall and Mermaid Blamed For Car Crash In Jamaica. Not only does it tease us with a town called Bog Walk, but a haunted river, and a critter that's fishing for the mermaid. Excellent work, Tim but can this explain The Mysterious Tangayika Laughter Epidemic of 1962? One thing's for sure, according to Brent Swancer none of that "wacky tobaccy" popular in Jamaica was involved. What remains unexplained is why doctors and men of science appear to have been immune at the time. Perhaps they were comedy-distanced and wore masks? (CS)

Some scientists believe more strange stuff than most will believe before getting out of bed on a Saturday morning, but the thrust of Caroline Delbert's piece is panpsychism where the mysticism of consciousness gets diminished with the application of staid materialism. From our point of view it's like rejoindering to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter". Still, Caroline has a few sprinkles of inspiration to intrigue and irritate anomalists. Paul Ratner has a particularly strange question, "Is Human Consciousness Creating Reality?" Physicalists can argue yes, saying consciousness begets will, which begets thought, sends bodies into motion changing the physical world. Bzzt, sorry physicalists! Ratner's thesis is far more provocative being the blood on the proverbial bleeding edge where thought/consciousness directly affects reality. Pish posh, you scoff? Well there's a controversial study which supports such a hypothesis, and Paul happily outlines it for us! Meanwhile over at Mind Matters News is a stern rebuke to a piece published at The Conversation, one so stupid we didn't deign to link it here, concerning how Consciousness Does Not Really Exist. Funny how 883 words by two stuffy academics are shut down with a mere 44 words. (CS)

Riffing on Paul Ratner's "Is Consciousness Creating Reality" is John Parrington's hypothesis that "inner speech" helps consciousness conceptualize itself. Like all mavericks, John talks about how consciousness is continuing to change with the advent of the internet yet his proposition is a tad anthropocentric. Keeping in the theme of language for this section, Max Louwerse reckons A GPS For The Past Can Be Found In Language. With the help of artificial intelligence, Max discovers how citing locations in text can convey their proximity to each other, perhaps even their longitude and latitude and the technique has already been applied successfully in the real world. This is a mind-blowing development! (CS)

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