Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dog-Headed Pig Monster Sighted In Namibia

A "dog-headed pig monster" has been sighted by Namibian villagers.
Some say it's a witch doctor, a warlock, or a work of black magic. Others say it's a hybrid animal somewhere between a dog and a pig. But whatever it is, residents in Namibia are saying the strange creature they've seen wreaking havoc on their villages is nothing they've ever encountered before, according to the website Life's Little Mysteries. Read more

Monday, February 27, 2012

Has Spring-Heeled Jack Returned?

Spring-heeled Jack was thought to be a nineteenth century urban legend, but a recent sighting calls that into question.
Spring-heeled Jack, the legendary bogeyman familiar to students of British folklore, has been invoked by news of an extraordinary experience with a road ghost in Surrey.

Scott Martin and his family told the Surrey Comet they were confronted by a ‘dark figure with no features’ that vaulted over a dual carriageway and over a 15ft bank whilst on a taxi ride home late on Tuesday, 14 February.

The experience left Scott, his wife and four-year-old son Sonny shocked whilst the taxi-driver ‘admitted he didn’t want to drive back alone’ along the Ewell bypass near Epsom afterwards. Read more

Friday, February 24, 2012

Nicholas Cage Inspired by Alchemy and Shamanism

Although actor Nicholas Cage may not be a vampire, apparently he is interested in the occult.
Earth’s history is rich with alchemists—Albertus Magnus, Hermes Trismegistus, Nicolas Flamel, Isaac Newton, Aleister Crowley, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Paracelsus, John Dee, Terrence McKenna and even Carl Jung. Alchemy was a proto-science that paved the way for modern science (chemistry, modern medicine, physics) but also had a spiritual, shamanistic aspect.

This is not to say that alchemists and shamans were and are officially coterminous, only that they both aspire to a better understanding of existence through various means: mysticism, magic, study, and drugs (which we know shamans have done, though whether Alchemists ever did is uncertain). In fact, McKenna attempted to synthesize alchemy with shamanism in various lectures, and described alchemists as pursuing a “magical theory of nature” (like Shamans) in the film “The Alchemical Dream.”

What does any of this have to do with Nicolas Cage? Well, it seems that Cage dabbles in alchemical and shamanistic techniques. Read more

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Did Otherworldly Music Inspire Stonehenge?

Did otherworldly music inspire Stonehenge? Researcher Steven Waller proposes another theory about the stone circle's purpose.
Five thousand years ago, so the legend goes, two pipers played in a field while a circle of merry maidens danced around them. Then they all turned to stone, leaving Stonehenge to mystify us for millennia. Other theories about the stone circle's purpose include an alien observatory, a burial site and an acoustic stadium.

Here at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Vancouver, Canada, archaeoacoustician Steven Waller - an independent researcher based in La Mesa, California - threw yet another idea into the mix. The stone circle, he says, may have been inspired by an auditory illusion that occurs when two identical instruments, such as pipes, play the same note at the same time. A person walking in a circle around the pipers hears the note's volume decrease at certain points where the two sound waves collide and cancel one another out. At these spots, it sounds as though a giant pillar is blocking the sound. Read more

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nessie Sonar Sighting Wins £1000 Prize

A sonar sighting of a large mystery object wins the £1000 prize for the Best Nessie Sighting of the Year.
A sonar image of a large mystery object deep below the surface of Loch Ness has netted boat skipper Marcus Atkinson the Best Nessie Sighting of The Year Award — the first time in several years it has been presented by bookmaker William Hill.

The photograph, claimed by at least one seasoned Nessie spotter to the conclusive evidence of a creature, was a late contender in the contest which has been dormant following several lean years of close encounters with the loch’s most famous resident.

However, 2011 proved to be a bumper year with three “good” sightings reported to the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club which first launched the competition in conjunction with the bookmaker in the 1990s. Read more

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Myth of Million Dollar Challenge

Paranormal "skeptics" like to claim that the fact the nobody has passed the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge proves that paranormal abilities do not exist. However, Greg at The Daily Grail reveals how the Million Dollar Challenge is rigged against the challengers.
For ten years, the modern skeptical movement has wielded a cudgel against claims of the paranormal: the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge. In many debates over the possibility of psi abilities, the Challenge provides a final word for one side... [Randi's Million] "has so-and-so applied for the Challenge?" The financial reward offered by the James Randi Educational Foundation is seen by many skeptics as providing an irresistible motivation for anybody with paranormal ability - after all, if someone could genuinely exhibit such powers, surely they would step forward to take the million?

However, after ten years, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) says nobody has even got past their preliminary testing. Furthermore, none of the 'big fish' - medium John Edward, spoon-bender Uri Geller, psychic Sylvia Browne - have applied (although Sylvia Browne did accept James Randi's direct challenge on Larry King Live, without going any further). And now, perhaps as a result of that fact, James Randi has announced that the Challenge will come to an end in two years, on March 6th, 2010.

But does the challenge really make a statement about the existence of the paranormal and/or psi abilities? According to paranormal investigator Loyd Auerbach (who, like Randi, is a member of the magic fraternity): Read more

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Report Paranormal Activity

If you experience paranormal activity, here's a guide to reporting it to investigators.
Reporting paranormal activity is a touchy subject in an evolving society where some folks want the experiences to just go away and some seem to enjoy the intrusion and actually promote its continuation.

The paranormal is never black or white - but the two extremes might be a family who has encountered odd circumstances in a new residence and have actually become afraid of the events - to a more public venue like a restaurant or hotel which seems to draw patrons who choose to get up close to those seemingly otherworldly events. Read more

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Lies of Fatima

The apparition of the Virgin Mary at Fatima in origin had nothing to do with prophecies or, indeed, the Virgin Mary, says Philip Coppens. However, he says, through a series of manipulations, the Church created one of the most elaborate lies, which formed the backdrop of major political events.
In the last two centuries, the Church has made apparitions of the Virgin Mary an evermore important part of the Christian religious experience and doctrine. Some critics argue the popularity of the Catholic Faith is largely maintained by the popularity of the Virgin Mary. The so-called “Marian Era”, i.e. the period when the Virgin Mary began to appear and offer messages to those that saw her, began in the early 19th century, with a series of apparitions, of which Lourdes is no doubt the most famous. But the most intriguing apparition occurred in the early 20th century, in the Portuguese hamlet of Fatima.
The Virgin Mary is said to have appeared at Fatima six times, starting on May 13, 1917, with a final apparition on October 13, 1917, when she performed a great sun miracle, “which all shall see so that they may believe”. On the second or third apparition, the three young witnesses were allegedly given three secrets by the Virgin Mary. Two secrets were revealed in subsequent years, but the so-called “Third Secret of Fatima” was kept secret by the Vatican for almost a century. As a result, there was endless speculation about the nature and its importance. Rightfully so, as the Second Secret was linked with major political events of the 20th century. But what if all of these “secrets” were fabricated by the Vatican, for political and religious reasons?

The Secrets of the Virgin Read more

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

UFO Contact in Argentina: The Amelia Case

Guillermo D. Gimenez explores the Amelia Case, a UFO contact incident, which took place in Necochea, Argentina.
On February 4, 1988 a strange circle measuring over a meter and a half in diameter, covered in fungi, was found at a private residence located across from the Miguel Lillo Park of the city of Necochea. The grass within the circle was much darker and overgrown than usual.

Mr. Basilio Lichowski, 63, noticed the strange circle in his summer home. “The first thing that surprised me was to see toadstools at this time of the year. Nothing like it had ever happened before, and I tore one out to show my wife, who pointed out how strange it all was.”

The perfect outline of the circle should be stressed. According to Lichowski himself, “it’s as though someone had used a compass to draw it.”

The couple has spent summers in Necochea for over 20 years. They reported no strange sounds in the night, nor did anything unusual attract their attention. But things weren’t over yet. Read more

Monday, February 6, 2012

Are Parnormal Skeptics Conducting a Modern-Day Witch Hunt?

Brendan O'Neill says that the hounding of the medium "Psychic Sally" is becoming a modern-day witch-hunt. 
Once upon a time, the great and the good, usually men of the cloth, hunted and persecuted women who were believed to have mystical powers. Today, the great and the good, usually men of science, go after women who don’t have mystical powers but who claim to. Decent society once hounded witches; now it hounds pseudo-witches.

So it is with Sally Morgan, otherwise known as “Psychic Sally”, former adviser on supernatural matters to Princess Diana, self-styled communicator with the dead, and now hate-figure-in-chief to the rationalist, sceptical set. Judging from the slurry of ridicule dumped on Morgan by certain writers and activists over the past year, you could be forgiven for thinking she was single-handedly responsible for the spread of stupidity in modern Britain. She “preys” on her “vulnerable audiences”, we are told, talking “a load of crystal balls”, making the “gullible” and “lonely” believe in stuff that isn’t true. Some serious science writers even want to institute annual Sally-bashing get-togethers for clever, scientifically minded people, to which Morgan will be invited, so that she can perform her tricks, but obviously she won’t turn up and then she can be mocked even more! What larks! Read more

Friday, February 3, 2012

20 Top Predictions for Life 100 years from Now

Although predictions about the future are fun to read, their record for accuracy is generally pretty poor.
Last week we asked readers for their predictions of life in 100 years time. Inspired by ten 100-year predictions made by American civil engineer John Elfreth Watkins in 1900, many of you wrote in with your vision of the world in 2112.

Many of the "strange, almost impossible" predictions made by Watkins came true. Here is what futurologists Ian Pearson (IP) and Patrick Tucker (PT) think of your ideas.

1. Oceans will be extensively farmed and not just for fish (Jim 300)
IP: Likelihood 10/10. We will need to feed 10 billion people and nature can't keep up with demand, so we will need much more ocean farming for fish. But algae farming is also on the way for renewable energy, and maybe even for growth of feedstock (raw materials) or resource extraction via GM seaweed or algae.

PT: Good chance. According to Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at the Nasa Langley Research Center, saltwater algae that's been genetically modified to absorb more nitrogen from the air than conventional algae could free up to 68% of the fresh water that is now tied up in conventional agriculture. This water could go to thirsty populations. Read more