5/12/19  #1004
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What's the matter bucko, tired of those flying saucer people pestering you every day with their tales of woe and  Armageddon? Are you scared of the government and their corporate cronies looking for new ways to spy on you and  take away your personal rights and freedoms? Are you sick to death of those pesky Men-In-Black harassing you because of those unwanted contacts with those flying saucer folks and government agents?  Well cheer up, because once again, like a bolt of awareness and enlightenment from the sky, Conspiracy Journal is here to uncover all those dirty little secrets  that THEY are trying to hide! So sit back and relax and enjoy another thought-provoking issue of the number one e-mail  newsletter of conspiracies, UFOs the paranormal and more.


This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such eyebrow-raising stories as:

- The Strange Story of Brad Steiger’s Doppelgangers - 
- Military Really Doesn’t Want to Talk About UFOs Anymore -
-
After Accident, Teen’s Short Term Memory Resets Every Day -
AND: Ohio Town Bombarded By "Mystery Radio Signal"

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~

ALIEN BASES EXIST ALL AROUND US!


ALIEN STRONGHOLDS ON EARTH

ALIEN BASES EXIST ALL AROUND US

THEIR OCCUPANTS LURK IN THE DARKNESS OF THE SHADOW WORLD

THESE ARE THE STRONGHOLDS OF THE ULTRA-TERRESTRIALS, THE MYSTERIOUS ABODES FROM WHICH THEY TERRORIZE AND TORMENT THEIR HUMAN PREY -- AS WELL AS OFFERING FRIENDSHIP AND ADVICE FROM TIME TO TIME

There is evidence that human-looking ETs may be living right down the road from you, hidden in some secluded base of operations. They have been seen to emerge from a landed craft and then observed in the checkout line of the local supermarket the next day. Should they be "found out" and followed into the parking lot just a few feet away, they are seen to vanish right before the eyes of stunned witnesses.

Some UFO strongholds are believed to be located high in the mountains – such as Mount Shasta, Mount Olympus, at the highest points of the Andes and around the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Other ET bases are located way back in the jungles of Mexico and along the Amazon. Still others require diving and sonar equipment to pinpoint the aliens’ watery world. Additional bases are “hidden” in plain sight. They could be in what seem to be abandoned buildings. Or out-of-the-way castles or mansions that can house a sizable encampment of Ultra-terrestrials. They might be concealed along darkened trails that lead to the swamplands of America, or in the unpopulated areas of Australia’s Outback. One of the most hidden alien bases is believed to be within forty miles of the White House.

For decades we have collected a multitude of reports that have come our way, regulating some to the waste basket because they lack credibility. Others remain in our “grey basket,” because they have yet to be proven or disproven, while the remainder might lead us to some well-deserved discoveries if we manage to enter the star gate that is poised on the dark end of sundown.

It’s believed – and we are seeking concrete proof – that at least some of those researchers who have gone in search of alien “hangouts” have never returned to give accounts of what they came across. Such a case would be that of Raymond Bernard, who entered the jungles of Brazil in search of an alien cavern base. The intrepid explorer might have gotten snatched by the reptilians or Richard Shaver’s “Dero,” who want to keep well secluded from the prying eyes of the human race. Others, more lucky, have returned to share their positive experiences with friends and associates.

You are invited to join our quest for the emerging truth about such potentially catastrophic cosmic matters. Who knows? Perhaps the next alien stronghold to be discovered might be just a few blocks away or down the road, right in your very own neighborhood. So keep your eyes wide open, for it would be a world-changing revelation, one that would not only make the evening news but cause us to rewrite the history of humanity. The Ultra-terrestrials’ footholds on our earthly plane are numerous, and this book offers a unique look into some of these alien fortresses.


This fascinating book is now available to readers of Conspiracy Journal for the special price of $18.95 (Plus $5 Shipping).

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- MY EVIL TWIN DID IT DEPARTMENT -

The Strange Story of Brad Steiger’s Doppelgangers
By Nick Redfern

On the matter of doppelgangers, Britannica.com states:  “Doppelgänger, (German: ‘double goer’), in German folklore, a wraith or apparition of a living person, as distinguished from a ghost. The concept of the existence of a spirit double, an exact but usually invisible replica of every man, bird, or beast, is an ancient and widespread belief. To meet one’s double is a sign that one’s death is imminent.

The doppelgänger became a popular symbol of horror literature, and the theme took on considerable complexity.” Then, there’s the following from Mythology.net: ” Stories of doppelgangers date back to ancient myth and legend. The theme of an evil twin or haunting ghost replica have featured numerous times in literature and art, depicting an innate fascination with the concept, whether real or imaginary. The concept of a good and evil twin is noted as far back as the 5th century BC, in an ancient Iranian religion called Zoroastrianism. The two primal spirits were the sons of time and represented darkness and light.”

All of which brings me to the matter of, as per the title of this article, the strange story of Brad Steiger’s very own doppelgangers. It was a few years ago that Brad shared with me the extremely weird saga. He said: “After more than 50 years of research in the UFO and paranormal fields, I have come to the conclusion that many of the mysteries that bedevil us are products of a reflexive phenomenon.  This reflexive action does not usually occur in the more mundane pursuits of architecture, industry, mining, agriculture and the like, but once one begins actively to pursue Ufology or psychical research, one runs the risk of entering a surreal world in which the usual physical laws do not apply.”

Surreal, indeed, as the following words from Brad made abundantly clear: “In the following cases I suspect a human agency was involved in a strange campaign that was conducted regarding Steiger imposters who spoke at various conferences around the United States. On occasions the imposters allegedly conducted themselves very well, thus making the whole enterprise of ‘Counterfeit Steigers’ a seemingly futile project. On other occasions, the imposter’s assignment was quite obviously to taint my reputation.

“On a unfortunate number of occasions, I received letters complaining of my outrageous and insulting behavior while speaking at a conference. There were claims that I had openly berated my audience, calling them stupid for accepting the very premise of UFOs. A close friend happened to arrive on the scene after one pseudo-Steiger had departed and tried his best to assure the sponsors of the event that the rowdy, disrespectful speaker could not have been the real Brad.  In his letter, my friend warned me that he had visited a number of lecture halls where the imposter had damned his audiences. ‘Someone seems out to damage your reputation,’ he advised.

“In a most bizarre twist, dozens of men and women have approached me at various lectures and seminars, congratulating me about the manner in which I bested Dr. Carl Sagan in debate. The event allegedly occurred after a lecture when I happened to bump into the great scientist in a restaurant.  The eatery, according to the witnesses, was crowded with those who had attended the seminar, and they egged on a debate between myself and Dr. Sagan.  I mopped up the floor with him, countering his every argument against the reality of UFOs. The truth is that I never met Dr. Sagan, therefore, neither had I ever debated him. But from coast to coast, there are those who claim to have witnessed my triumphal bout.

“Even more individuals claim to have been in the audience when I delivered a rousing message from the Space Brothers in Seattle.  Regardless of how often I deny that I was not in Seattle at that time and have never channeled the Space Brothers, those who were at that event are puzzled why I would deny my eloquence.”

Truly, a bizarre and sinister story.

Source: Mysterious Universe
https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/04/the-strange-story-of-brad-steigers
-doppelgangers/

- NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG DEPARTMENT -

The US Military Really Doesn’t Want to Talk About UFOs Anymore
By Mike Wehner

The relationship between the U.S. government and UFO researchers has always been a strange one. Releases of information on UFO observations by the government have always been scarce, leading to accusations of conspiracy and cover-ups. It doesn’t appear that’s going to change any time soon.

In 2018 a report surfaced describing the study of alleged otherworldly materials by at least one company under contract with the U.S., along with video of a days-long confrontation between unidentified aircraft capable of physics-defying maneuvers and U.S. Navy pilots. Now, The Washington Post reports that the Navy is taking new measures to secure information related to such sightings and, put simply, will continue to prevent the general public from learning about them.

One day prior to the Navy’s new info lock-down, Washington Post relayed word from a military official who claimed that UFOs have been observed near military bases on a regular basis for years, sometimes as often as several times every month.

Politico, which reached out to the Navy following the previous reporting, received the following official statement:

    There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years. For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.

    As part of this effort the Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft.

The reports of unidentified aircraft include some seriously wild details, such as objects seemingly able to travel at incredible speeds and at angles that shouldn’t be possible by conventional aircraft.

Obviously the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they hear of UFOs is “aliens.” That may well be a plausible explanation for these sightings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much to military officials who would be just as concerned over the spread of data if the objects turned out to be products of a foreign government or other entity.

Whatever they are, and wherever they come from, the U.S. government seems comfortable keeping its findings to itself.

Source: BGR
https://bgr.com/2019/05/05/navy-ufo-report-updated-guidelines/

- E-MAIL FROM THE DEAD DEPARTMENT -

Spirits on the Information Highway

Do you believe that a spirit can haunt a person via the internet? If I were asked that question before January 2006, I would have probably smirked and answered "impossible". What happened to me may just bea case of a spirit conjured up by thought; not necessarily a haunting by computer. Either way, the medium at hand was the internet. I've always been a believer in the paranormal despite never having had an outstanding encounter.

I love to roam around the net browsing the plethora paranormal sites, relishing the many spine tingling stories of ghostly experiences. This chilly winter day was different than no other, except that I took a look at some sites devoted to ghost towns and abandoned mines. I came across the site for The Bureau of Land Management that gives statistics on abandoned mines as well as safety reminders for those who are out exploring. There is also a section devoted to the unfortunate souls who failed to heed the warnings posted at the entrances to dangerous mines.

There were a few stories that were particularly shocking, but the one that really bothered me was about a man who had fallen down a shaft that was about eight stories high. When his remains were found some time later, the medical examiner stated that the man more than likely survived the fall with nothing more than a broken leg. What killed him was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

This person was a well prepared explorer who packed plenty of survival gear including a gun. I began to imagine, very vividly, the man at the bottom of this mine shaft in complete darkness...in complete agony. His pain, both emotional and physical, must have been unbearable.

As the hours passed and his anxiety escalated, he began to accept that he was too far out in the terrain for someone to come by. The chance of rescue was nil. He began having thoughts about his family, his life. I could picture the man completely breaking down and sobbing, knowing that there was only one way to end his suffering. I felt so saddened, and wondered to myself what I would have done.

I immersed myself in these feelings of terror and hopelessness for some time, so much so that I began to feel a sickening feeling in my body. Although I was shocked and moved by this tragic story, I proceeded on to another site. That's when the lamp on the desk next to me began flickering, making a buzzing noise that sounded like an electrical surge.

I figured the bulb was loose, so I checked it and found that that wasn't the case. At that point, my stomach dropped to my knees when I began to feel the presence of someone or something around me. I sat back down and carried on, not wanting to tip off my "visitor" that I was aware of what was going on. The lamp flickered again. I ignored it. A short time later, I went into the bathroom when the light in the ceiling did the same strange flickering as the lamp. At this point, I became frightened and bolted.

Over the next few days more bizarre electrical occurrences happened. I was at the stove cooking when suddenly the oven timer went on, scaring the you know what out of me! That same day the bathroom light went on the fritz again and this time I was already, um, seated.

I became angry (and brave)yelling out "Do you mind?! I'm trying to use the bathroom here!!" With that, a tiny little flicker of the light, and then it ceased.

My pet cat was also acting strangely, his eyes seemingly following something or someone who was not there. At other times he would awaken out of a sound sleep with a jolt; focusing on one part of the room blinking in curiosity. I eventually smudged my house with a sage stick and the activity abruptly stopped. Could it have been that my strong feelings and thoughts about this man enticed his spirit to me? Or perhaps another random entity I picked up on the information highway that day? Who knows. I firmly believe that the human mind is even more powerful than we realize, and that those on the other side can tune into that power.

So I'll ask again: Do you believe that it's possible a spirit can haunt a person via the internet? I do.

Source: Unexplained Mysteries/Melyssa Glennie-Puckett
http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/column.php?id=91941



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- TRAPPED IN THE PAST DEPARTMENT -

After Accident, Teen’s Short Term Memory Resets Every Day

In 2017, Caitlin Little, a sophomore at Southeast Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, suffered a concussion during a cross-country practice which left her with a rare form of amnesia. All of her new memories are erased each night, so every morning she wakes up thinking it’s October 2017.

Caitlin’s case sounds a lot like the plot of hit romantic comedy 50 First Dates, in which Drew Barrymore’s character was involved in a serious car accident which left her unable to create new memories after that terrible event, causing her to wake up every morning thinking it was the day of of the accident. In 2004, when 50 First Dates Came Out, the amnesia Barrymore’s character was suffering from was nothing more than a fictional condition called ‘Goldberg’s Syndrome’, and one clinical neuropsychologist even wrote an article about it, claiming that it “bears no relation to any known neurological or psychiatric condition”.  However, several real-life cases of short-term memory resetting have been reported since then, and today that once fictional condition is a medically-recognized disorder known as anterograde amnesia.

It’s been seventeen months since Caitlin Little suffered a concussion during a high-school cross-country practice, but to the 16-year-old, it literally feels like yesterday. On October 12, 2017, Caitlin hit her head when one of her team mates accidentally stumbled into her. At the time, both the girl’s coaches and a neurologist thought it was a severe concussion the effects of which would pass in a matter of weeks. But time went by, and Caitlin did not display the usual progress. She still hasn’t, so every day, her parents have to wake her up gently, tell her what day it is and explain that she hit her head two years ago.

“I’m always afraid that she’s going to jump out of bed and tell me, ‘It’s wrong’ and, ‘It can’t be.’ And, why am I lying to her? So I’m always very hesitant every day when I do it, but it’s my job. I have to tell her,” Caitlin’s father told MyFox8.

Luckily, the most she’s ever done after hearing about her condition is act very surprised or question “How can that be?”. When she does that, her father asks her to read a journal by her bedside, which contains noted about what has happened since her accident, and if she has any questions to come see him after 15, 20 minutes.

Caitlin’s anterograde amnesia has made schooling very difficult, because her memory cannot retain all the information she learns every day. She can’t even remember her teacher’s name so she has to have it written on her binder. Her special education teacher, Tracy Helms, says that every morning Caitlin acts like they’re meeting for the first time.

“I come in and meet her and she doesn’t know who I am. Every day, she doesn’t know where her seat is in this class; she doesn’t know who her teacher is,” Helms told WTKR. “Every day is fresh and new to her, just like it’s never been seen before.”

Despite numerous visits to several doctors, no one has been able a solution to her condition, so Caitlin’s memory continues to reset every night, as she sleeps. Her current treatment reportedly costs $1,000 a day, and since neither of her parents are working right now, the bills are racking up fast. Luckily, the family have received financial support through crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, after Caitlin’s case became the subject of a documentary series on MyFox8 called ‘Caitlin Can’t Remember’.

Caitlin’s family is hopeful that one day a switch will flip back on in her brain and she’ll once again be able to retain new memories, but in the meantime the teen has learned to cope with her rare amnesia.

“[I have to be] very organized. So I have lots of Post-It notes that say, ‘Hey, let’s do this,’ or, ‘This is new,’ or things to help me out. So, it’s not as hard as I’d imagine it’d be without them,” Caitlin said.

Source: Oddity Central
https://www.odditycentral.com/news/rare-condition-causes-teens-short-term
-memory-to-reset-every-day.html



- SEARCHING FOR THE FLORIDA BIGFOOT DEPARTMENT -

Tracking Down the Skunk Ape
By Janine Zeitlin

The lima beans presented a problem after learning of the poison. Earlier I had Googled “when and why do people eat lima beans?” to find out that raw ones, when crunched, release cyanide. And yet we needed them—as bait. Lima beans, so the story goes, are the preferred snack of the skunk ape, the Bigfoot of Florida that’s been wandering this peninsula for decades. In less than a week, my husband and our daughters, 8 and 4, planned to scout for the skunk ape in the Everglades.

Hence the reason our 8-year-old, Violette, and I loiter one evening near the bean bins in Whole Foods. We head to the canned vegetable aisle.

“We should ask someone,” Violette suggests.

I am bashful about drawing attention to our legume needs. Violette is unfazed. She approaches a young salesclerk, who looks to me. “They’re for an experiment,” I say, lest this clerk judge me as some sort of fairy-tale villain who dishes out lima beans and belly button fuzz to my child. The clerk scans the rows of cannellinis, navy, pinto, black, kidneys and garbanzos and then asks around before returning with bad news.

“We can just use edamame,” Violette shrugs.

To be clear, clearly a spoilsport, I don’t believe in Bigfoot or that it has a stinky Sunshine State cousin. But I’d like to. I lap up unexplained mysteries and binge on them when they come in the format of podcasts. I love Old Florida curiosities and campfire tales with hazy parameters of truth. A family skunk ape hunt would make for a solid story for our girls’ Florida childhood portfolios. I imagined the gobsmacked looks of my daughters’ future college roommates when they tell them. Beat that, northeastern kids.

Much has been written and filmed about the skunk ape. Humor writer Dave Barry dedicated a chapter to it in his 2016 book, Best. State. Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland. In 2014, Smithsonian produced an in-depth piece. Articles and books often conclude there’s a lack of physical evidence. Frankly, I don’t care. The skunk ape is an icon of Florida quirk. Dave Shealy is its notable champion. Lucky for us, he’s local.

For decades, Shealy ran the Skunk Ape Headquarters at his Trail Lakes Campground in Ochopee, the speck on the map where he was raised in the Big Cypress swamp. He’s reported seeing it around his property three times. As such, Trail Lakes will be my family’s base for our mission. I’d met Shealy once, more than a decade ago as a newspaper reporter, and was charmed. He’s intense and locks into eye contact during interviews, which may be why so many writers mention the cool blue color of his eyes. Usually, he’s photographed in Gladesman fashion, sporting a black brimmed hat with teeth or claws around the band, and tall boots.

I hadn’t heard much about Shealy in the past few years. For a while there, earlier in the 2000s, he was everywhere. Naples Daily News. The Stan & Haney Show. The Miami Herald. The Daily Show. The Discovery Channel. Animal Planet. A few years back, a fellow reporter told me Shealy had retired to the Fort Myers area. His son Jack Shealy bought Trail Lakes in 2015. The skunk ape remains a totem in this incarnation of business that includes the campground, gift shop and reptile exhibition, and Everglades Adventure Tours. Jack, 35, has built up eco-tourism offerings steeped in the family’s Gladesmen heritage and added glamping options. “It’s been an evolution from roadside attraction to Old Florida,” Jack says. “I really wanted to continue our legacy.” They have to change to survive. “It’s like last man standing at this point.”

Though the idea of Dave Shealy in suburbia, out of skunk ape habitat, felt amiss. I wondered if he was tired of playing, tired of being asked to rehash the same stories. On repeat, even the best stories get old until that moment at a backyard party when you say, “Did we ever tell you about the night we met?” And your friend then says, “How you were set up on a bike ride, Marc lost his voice at your housewarming party, he started coughing, told you he was French, and then you told him you didn’t much like France?”

Well, more or less.

The week of our expedition, I call Dave Shealy for scouting advice. We had planned to camp at Trail Lakes, but tent spots were booked for its Everglades Roots Festival, an annual Glades culture and music weekend.

To my relief, Shealy calls back.

“I had heard you moved,” I say.

“I do live out there,” he says. He’s 55 now and has a small cabin on the campground property but also stays in Cape Coral with his girlfriend. It’s hard to find romance in a swamp. People still call him with sightings. Lately he’s hearing of activity in the Golden Gate area. He hadn’t been out to check. But these days, he’s warier of attention, especially from TV people. “They just want to do everything on the cheap. It’s not a sideshow. It’s the real thing. I get tired of having to talk to people like that. It sounds trivial but do it for 20 years and it’s not trivial.”

He hasn’t completely bowed out of his public skunk ape persona. Recently, he had spoken to some Boy Scouts about the skunk ape. If college students ask to interview him for class projects, he helps, but “if it’s somebody wanting to waste my time, and pick my brain, they can kiss my ass.”

My cheeks flush, though he can’t see them by phone, as this sounds like what I have been doing. Then, to my surprise, Shealy offers to let us camp in his yard. “Call me Thursday.”

I text my friend Liz. Like many journalists who have lived in Southwest Florida for a good long stretch, she has interviewed Dave Shealy. He gave her a 2005 skunk ape documentary. When she made a cross-country move, she took the DVD with her—and when she moved back. I ask if Shealy charmed her. “I would say that I found him compelling; that he has that quality that in its best form is charm and in its worst is cult leader,” she texts back.

We make a date to watch the documentary.

The girls huddle before the TV in our living room. Adeline, the 4-year-old, loses interest upon realizing there are no cartoons. “Not that kind of movie,” she howls.

The documentary includes footage shot by Shealy nearly two decades ago that skeptics have mused might be his brother in a suit.

“It looks like a running person,” Violette scoffs.

Later, she reconsiders. “Maybe it’s a gorilla?”

Often, in the DVD, Shealy is reclining as he speaks. Sometimes, he is without a shirt. Shealy sets clumps of lima beans in the swamp. That is the final straw for Violette. “Lima beans don’t even grow in the Everglades!”

It’s unclear how factually hewn the documentary is, as Ochopee is misspelled as “Ochoppee” throughout and the documentary ends “Audios!” Liz and I assume they mean, “A-d-i-o-s!” and not a multitude of sonic experiences.

A few mornings before the trip, Violette approaches as I’m brushing my teeth. “You know those things you can hook people up to and tell if people are telling lies?”

I spit. “Lie detectors? Polygraph tests?”

“You should do one for the people who saw the skunk ape.”

“Well you can’t really do one unless people are willing or unless maybe they’ve been arrested for a crime.”

This would have been the perfect opening for a primer on constitutional rights, but I hadn’t had coffee. Instead, we discuss buying souvenir shirts. “I’m going to tell kids I saw the skunk ape,” she says. “I’ll say, yeah, look at my shirt.” I laugh but then feel sad, as it makes me wonder how much longer she’ll believe in Santa.

The day before we’re set to head to Ochopee, Shealy calls with particulars. “You’ll be fine out there but make sure you keep the kids close. I’m a grandfather and we’ve got rattlesnakes, cougars and bears.”

His son Jack is raising two little boys in the campground.

“They leave you alone, though, right?” I ask.

“Well, they come close. I’m on a panther trail. Bring whatever you’ve got.

Flashlights.

Tiki torches.

Guns.”

Reflexively, I write “need guns” below “Doritos” on the shopping list.

Friday evening, on our way to Big Cypress, my husband, Marc, remembers the tent that he forgot to pack back at our house.

“Do we have the lima beans?” Violette asks.

We did have those, locating them at Publix. By the way, the cyanide cooks out and the United States protects lima bean eaters with cyanide-related restrictions, the internet says. At a nearby Walmart, Marc selects a tent that could fit the Mormon Tabernacle choir. During the 40-minute drive, I read aloud from the book Myths and Mysteries of Florida by E. Lynne Wright, one in a generous selection of books referencing the skunk ape in the library.

The legend may stretch to the Seminole and Miccosukee people, who had a word for “big hairy men,” the book says. Stories passed to settlers and floated up to state government when, in the late 1970s, a lawmaker from Fort Myers introduced a skunk ape protection bill. It did not pass. “People with flawless reputations, including professionals, officers of the law and even scientists, have described seeing the creatures,” I read.

In 1959, there were reports from “a group of upright, all-American Boy Scouts” in Ocala National Forest. Archeologists found 17-inch tracks in Big Cypress swamp in 1971. A “clearheaded and practical pastor” in Charlotte County reported seeing something, too. (Apparently, only Boy Scouts and people with respectable job titles make reports worthy of reprinting.) I pause for suspense.

“So, it’s not just Dave Shealy who has seen it.”

Shealy’s in the book, too, though the author ribs him about the lima beans. “How he learned the creature preferred lima beans has not been explained.”

At the Trail Lakes gate, dozens of cars and campers wait as a character in a skunk ape suit wags its arms, making kids scamper and squeal. Dave Shealy appears in a black hoodie that reads, “Monkey Business.” He hops on his ATV and leads my family through the park, past a gate with a “No Trespassing sign” and a gargoyle, and down a dark gravel road to the pine hammock where we will camp. Within seconds, Shealy conjures a campfire. Marc sets to assembling our new canvas townhome.

“I’m embarrassed to admit…” I say.

Shealy finishes, “That’s a new tent. Isn’t it?”

The girls and I settle before the fire. Shealy agrees to a few hunt-related questions with the disclaimer, “I haven’t been out a whole lot the last few years.”

“So have you given up?” I ask.

“Oh no.

“My brother and I saw it when we were young, I was 10 years old, right back here,” he points to the swamp in the blackness beside us. If something had rustled at that moment, the girls and I probably would have jumped. “That’s where I took my video. Right now, the Travel Channel is trying to get that video and I haven’t even talked to them.”

Suddenly, a silent Violette tumbles from her folding chair. Adeline is on my lap and uncharacteristically quiet. Shealy faces a now upright Violette. He softens his tone and bends a bit to address her.

“Skunk ape walks on two legs. It’s not black; it can be like cinnamon, like a brownish black dark. Usually they’ve got four toes and they like to climb trees. … They’ll build like a nest in a tree, like a bird, but it’s huge, it’s like an eagle’s nest. And when the water’s in the Everglades, that’s where they sleep at.”

“Ahh…” she says, softly and nods.

Once he departs, Violette whispers, “From him, I believe it more.”

Tall pine trees circle us like a coven and stretch to stars clear and bright. In the distance, every so often, the bluesy singer closing the Friday night shindig, complete with a bonfire stoked by a shirtless man named Rebel and frog legs and fry bread for sale, gives frequent shout-outs to the skunk ape. I hear, “God, bless the Everglades.”

Amen, I think. We should get out here more.

Early Saturday we stumble from the tent. Shealy materializes within minutes with his fire-starting magic. “I don’t want to steal your thunder, Dad,” he turns to Marc and then does. My husband will later lament Shealy stole his thunder twice.

Shealy ducks back into his cabin, “I’ll leave you lovebirds alone.”

After breakfast, the 4-year-old who had shown little interest in the skunk ape points to a patch of slightly bent grass, “I see a track!” The girls stomp around the hammock, searching for clues. They peer into a large rusted animal trap. “I found fur!” Violette beckons. “I love this place, it’s so fun to explore!”

They wander and discover a gravestone, a dead-eyed child mannequin dressed in a skunk ape shirt, a Skunk Ape Research Center Jeep with a fake skeleton on the hood, an aquarium, a sardine can. The girls fetch some lima beans and sprinkle them in a clearing. Overnight, Violette had become a convert and another Shealy fan. “He’s really cool and now I actually believe in the skunk ape.”

Later Shealy leads us into the swamp around his place. The ground squishes beneath our feet. Out there where it feels free, he’s reminded of how he hasn’t felt free, how the government has restricted his land and life. For decades, he says, park officials made it near impossible for his family to make a living, though his father started the campground before the Big Cypress National Preserve was established in 1974. “It was like a little war to get us to sell out and so I basically lived in poverty for like 20 years, just using everything I had just to pay the bills.”

Somewhere past a pile of deer bones, Shealy stops. He turns to face me. “It’s hard for me to talk to somebody like you, a reporter. One way or the other, it’s not what they came for. They want to know how many alligators there are or where the best airboat ride is and to be honest with you I’m just tired of it.

“There’s a lot more to the Everglades than that. It’s a lot deeper.”

His tone is not mean, but direct.

“Are you tired of being known as the skunk ape guy?” I ask later.

No, he says, the skunk ape puts food on his table and there’s a “certain amount of prestige that goes with it, but if people only knew me better, and understood the impact of how my struggles have changed the Big Cypress Preserve.”

Initially, the preserve was highly unregulated, he says, and hundreds of campers would pump wastewater into the swamp. In his tenure at the campground, he fought to stop that and other projects that would have hurt the land, the culture.

“The naysayers that don’t believe in the skunk ape and (think) that I’m possibly doing it just to survive, maybe they could at least find it in their hearts to respect me for the changes I’ve made in the preserve, on their behalf, for them.”

All these years, us media rubes had come for the silly story while neglecting the more serious one he cared about. He thanks us for coming, and excuses himself to start a batch of swamp cabbage for the festival. “You can always call me.”

We leave for Turner River Road, Shealy’s recommendation as a skunk hot spot. I tally the finds and encounters so far this weekend that were not a skunk ape: hundreds of tiny grasshoppers, bamboo that made for fine walking sticks, Gladesmen, hippies, pumpkin fry bread, hospitality in a strange beautiful place, a massive python and the best parrot feather ever at the gift shop, eight alligators, a great blue heron, an anhinga and three Skunk Ape Headquarters mugs. Along the way we also saw a vulture perched in a bald pine tree that Violette and I decided was magic.

“Vulture, do you know where the skunk ape is?” Violette called out. “Tell us which direction with your head.”

The vulture turned its head to the left. “That way,” I pointed with an excuse to venture deeper into the swamp.

Source: Gulf Shore Life
https://www.gulfshorelife.com/2019/05/01/tracking-down-the-skunk-ape/

- CALLING ALL INTERPLANETARY SPACESHIPS DEPARTMENT -

The Mysterious “Lead Masks Case”
by Javier Ortega

It’s 1966, Jorge da Costa Alves finds himself flying a kite one afternoon in the nearby Vintém Hill, in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As the 18 year old Jorge walks around Vintém Hill, he makes the macabre discovery of two bodies laying side by side in the tall weeds. The bodies were of two men, who appeared to be dressed identically. Both men were dressed in matching suits and wore impermeable coats. Which wasn’t out of the ordinary since the area had been drenched by recent showers. What was out of the ordinary were the protective lead masks over their faces. The type of masks used to protect against radiation poisoning. Here, laying dead in the rain-soaked vegetation of Vintém Hill are two mean in suits, a rain coat and lead masks over their faces.

As young Jorge realizes that he just stumbled onto two dead bodies, he makes his way to the nearest phone to call in the find. The local police and journalists tried to put the puzzle pieces together from what little evidence they had, only to come out scratching their heads. 45 years later the mystery known as the “lead masks case” is still riddled with theories such as suicide, murder and alien abduction.

Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana were electrical engineers who made a living repairing televisions. As the story goes, the men lived in Campos dos Goytacazes. An area north of Rio de Janeiro. The two were good friends and were often seen working together. On August 17th, 1966, the men had mentioned to their relatives that they needed to buy some supplies for work and would be gone for the afternoon. The men then hopped on a bus heading to Niterói. Three hours and one hundred and sixty miles away. Three days later, on August 20th, Jorge stumbles onto the bodies of the two television repairmen.

Police and journalists make their way to the bodies only to find them in a severe state of decomposition. Immediately the investigators make note of what was found near the bodies. An empty bottle of water, a package containing two towels and a notebook with what is described as a cryptic note.

“16:30Hs be at the determined place.  18:30 swallow capsule after effect protect metals wait for mask signal.”

I wonder what the detectives thought of when they read the cryptic note. Suicide? Maybe. But what about the lead masks? Murder then?

If Manoel Pereira and Miguel José were murdered, what was the purpose? Obviously money would be an objective, but I doubt both men had a lot of it. Could it be some form of cult-like suicide? No mention of any cult or religious activity has been pinned to the dead men by friends and relatives.

If we step out of our realm for a momentary alternate explanation, we can ask if the men were time travelers. Could these men have been ages ahead of 1960s technology and actually found a way to travel through time? This theory is a popular one when discussing the “lead masks case”. People speculate that since both Manoel and Miguel were fascinated with UFOs and electronics, maybe they had found a way to bend space and time in such manner that allowed them to glimpse or visit distant worlds. Which sounds like a far-out theory that reminds me of some other scientist, one who wore a permeable coat and radiation protection mask as well.

But come now! Let’s get serious for a moment. We all know what this mystery is about, don’t we? I’m talking about UFOs people!

Both Manoel Pereira and Miguel José were avid UFO enthusiasts who were aware that 160 miles away was a recent UFO hotspot. Vintém Hill was known as a local UFO hotspot after many residents claimed to have witnessed strange aerial lights. As one theory suggests, the men were in contact with extraterrestrials and had made the 160 mile final destination with the intent of committing suicide to join the mothership. I wonder if Manoel and Miguel wore these Nike shoes?

Yes, that’s the infamous “Heaven’s gate suicide” photo with the members shown wearing Nike shoes. Something of a pop culture phenomenon I suppose.

Of course I use it not to make light of the mass suicide that occurred in 1997, but to point out that the “Heaven’s Gate” cult believed that suicide would assist them in getting on board an extraterrestrial mothership which they believed was following the Comet Hale-Bopp.

Maybe this is how E.T. harvests humans, by communicating with us telepathically and telling us that in order for us to hitch a ride with them, we must kill ourselves first. If that’s the case, E.T. is one evil-trolling son of a bitch.

So then, what really happen on Vintém Hill ?

Did the men make contact with a UFO? Or were they the victims of a robbery gone wrong? If we opt to go with the robbery explanation, then what do you make of the cryptic note, the distance traveled by the men and the fact that no signs of foul play were found?

Now, if you were to go with the UFO explanation, then you will be surprised to learn that residents in Vintém Hill, had reported seeing strange UFO-like lights near the vicinity in which Jorge, the kite-flying teenager, had his world flipped upside down when he met the men in the lead masks.

Editors Note: Check out the book "UFO Hostilities" for more accounts of not so friendly close encounters with UFOs.

Source: Ghost Theory
http://www.ghosttheory.com/2011/09/18/the-mysterious-lead-masks-case

- DEPENDENT ON TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT -

Ohio Town Bombarded By "Mystery Radio Signal"
By Heather Murphy

It sounded like something from an episode of “The X-Files”: Starting a few weeks ago, in a suburban neighborhood a few miles from a NASA research center in Ohio, garage door openers and car key fobs mysteriously stopped working.

Garage door repair people, local ham radio enthusiasts and other volunteer investigators descended on the neighborhood with various meters. Everyone agreed that something powerful was interfering with the radio frequency that many fobs rely on, but no one could identify the source.

Officials of North Olmsted, a city just outside Cleveland, began receiving calls about the problems in late April, Donald Glauner, the safety and service director for North Olmsted, said on Saturday.

In the weeks that followed, more than a dozen residents reported intermittent issues getting their car fobs and garage door openers to work. Most lived within a few blocks of one another in North Olmsted, though some were from the nearby city of Fairview Park.

Not every car fob failed to work, said Chris Branchick, whose parents live in North Olmsted. He said that whenever he visited his parents in his GMC vehicle, the fob would not unlock the car door; if he went in his fiancée’s Nissan, things were fine.

“We thought maybe it was a foreign versus domestic thing,” he said.

Officials from the cable company and AT&T joined the search for answers, and on Thursday, the Illuminating Company, a local electric utility, dispatched inspectors to investigate.

“They began by shutting off the power in the places where they detected the strongest reading for interfering radio frequencies,” said Chris Eck, a company spokesman. But even after shutting off power on an entire block, the overpowering frequency persisted.

“It’s like trying to talk to someone at a nightclub,” said Adam Scott Wandt, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, in explaining how a strong frequency can derail a weak frequency.

Dan Dalessandro, a television repairman, was one of several ham radio aficionados who went to investigate. At first, he said, all he picked up were “little blips” on a signal detector, but on one block — and at one house in particular — the signal was extraordinarily powerful.

By Saturday afternoon, City Councilman Chris Glassburn announced that the mystery had been solved: The source of the problem was a homemade battery-operated device designed by a local resident to alert him if someone was upstairs when he was working in his basement. It did so by turning off a light.

“He has a fascination with electronics,” Mr. Glassburn said, adding that the resident has special needs and would not be identified to protect his privacy.

The inventor and other residents of his home had no idea that the device was wreaking havoc on the neighborhood, he said, until Mr. Glassburn and a volunteer with expertise in radio frequencies knocked on the door.

“The way he designed it, it was persistently putting out a 315 megahertz signal,” Mr. Glassburn said. That is the frequency many car fobs and garage door openers rely on.

“There was no malicious intent of the device,” he said in a statement.

The battery on the device was removed and the signal stopped. “It was a relief,” Mr. Glassburn said.

More broadly, the case is a reminder of the power of radio frequencies, Professor Wandt said.

“They are not inherently dangerous to a human being,” he said. “But they could cause mass chaos in our technologically advanced society in ways we cannot predict.”

Source: NY Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/04/us/key-fobs-north-olmsted-ohio.html

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