10/20/19  #1025
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Welcome one and all to the greatest show on Earth!  Inside the big top we have such mysteries as you've never seen before!  A three-ring extravaganza of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and much, much, MORE!  So sit back and relax and prepared to be amazed, because Conspiracy Journal is here once again for your viewing pleasure. 



This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such eccentric stories as:

- Army Exploring "Novel Materials" With To The Stars Academy - 
- Was Life Found on Mars in the 1970s? -
- Mysterious Fumes! -
AND: New Zealand Government Building Haunted By Ghost

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

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- THE SEARCH FOR ADVANCED TECH DEPARTMENT -

Army Exploring "Novel Materials" With To The Stars Academy
By Joseph Trevithick

The U.S. Army has confirmed that it has signed a cooperative research deal with former Blink 182 frontman Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, more commonly known as TTSA. Far better known for its activities investigating reports and sightings of UFOs, which are increasingly referred to as unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, this new agreement covers research into metamaterials and other high technology fields that border on the realm of science fiction.

On Oct. 17, 2019, TTSA announced the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC), which is now part of that service's Futures Command. The public affairs office at CCDC's Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC), situated at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, subsequently confirmed to The War Zone that this CRADA exists and that it will be responsible for executing it.

CRADAs are unlike typical contracts and "no money exchanging hands at all" between the Army and TTSA under this present agreement, a public affairs officer at the GVSC told The War Zone. There is also "no articulated deliverable" and if a product comes out of this process, it will most likely be a written study or another similar type of report.

The ostensible goal is for Army researchers to work directly with individuals from TTSA in exploring various high technology developments, sharing resources, and any results. "TTSA’s technology solutions, which leverage developments in material science, space-time metric engineering, quantum physics, beamed energy propulsion, and active camouflage, have the potential to enhance survivability and effectiveness of multiple Army systems," TTSA's own press release says.

TTSA bills itself as a "revolutionary collaboration between academia, industry and pop culture to advance society’s understanding of scientific phenomena and its technological implications." It also has an Entertainment Division that publishes works of fiction about UFOs and the paranormal, serves as the holder of intellectual property rights related to DeLonge's new band, Angels & Airwaves, and is responsible for merchandising associated with all of these enterprises. The actual origins of the organization are murky, to say the least.

"Our partnership with TTSA serves as an exciting, non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities," Dr. Joseph Cannon, the Deputy Product Manager for Science and Technology in the Vehicle Protection Systems division of GVSC, said in a statement. "At the Army's Ground Vehicle Systems Center, we look forward to this partnership and the potential technical innovations forthcoming."

This reference to "novel materials" strongly suggests that at least part of the CRADA is concerned with metamaterials. This term refers to engineered composites that have properties that do not appear in nature. It is the structure of these new materials, more than their composition that gives them these attributes, including the ability to have unique impacts on electromagnetic waves.

"This cooperative research agreement brings additional, critically important expertise that is necessary to advance the state-of-the-art in both our near and long-term technology areas of study," Steve Justice, TTSA's Chief Operating Officer and director of the organization's Aerospace Division, who previously held the same title at Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works advanced design bureau, added in his own statement. "While the Army has specific military performance interests in the research, much of the work is expected to have dual-use application in support of TTSA’s path to commercialization and public benefit mission."

Though the Army, as well as the U.S. military as a whole, are certainly interested in advanced and novel materials, including metamaterials, for a wide variety of applications, along with the other technologies mentioned, it is entirely unclear what TTSA has actually offered to share with the service through this CRADA. TTSA, which The War Zone has been following extremely closely, has not publicly said that it has actually developed any advanced technology for any purpose from what we can tell and it is unclear what institutional experience the organization may have with this kind of work.

However, we do know that in 2018, TTSA revealed that it had "entered into two statements of work with EarthTech International, Inc. ('ETI') to prepare plans, perform scientific analysis and advise the company on materials analysis ('SOW-MSSA') and beamed energy propulsion launch systems ('SOW-BELS')," in a semi-annual financial report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). TTSA planned to pay ETI no more than $35,000 and $25,000 for these projects, respectively. The organization notably touted its work in both of these areas in the press release about the Army CRADA.

"We are in the process of evaluating and planning projects in the Aerospace and Science Divisions, in particular regarding materials, an essential precursor to STME [Space Time Metric Engineering], and Beamed Energy Propulsion Launch Systems ('BELS')," the same SEC report claimed. When it comes to novel materials, ETI's job was to "prepare a plan and advise on the collection and scientific evaluation of materials samples the company obtained through reliable reports of advanced aerospace vehicles of unknown origin."

In July 2019, TTSA announced that it had acquired unspecified metamaterials as part of its Acquisition and Data Analysis of Materials program, or ADAM. The organization had already previously claimed to have obtained a number of unknown "samples" as part of that effort, which officially began last year. The new items in question, purportedly from "an advanced aerospace vehicle of unknown origin," have been floating around the UFO community for years after the late Art Bell, who had been the host of the paranormal radio program Coast to Coast AM, first claimed he had acquired them from an anonymous source. Bell died on April 13, 2018.

How they got from Bell to TTSA isn't entirely clear. TTSA initially implied it had acquired them from Linda Moulton Howe, who has written extensively about and reported on UFOs and other conspiracy theories, including the various purported activities at the notorious Skinwalker Ranch in Utah, for decades. A 2019 SEC report, however, said that Tom DeLonge, as an individual, had sold them to the organization for $35,000. It doesn't say if DeLonge had gotten them straight from Howe or through someone else.

It is unclear if this $35,000 was related to the funds previously set aside for ETI's work on metamaterials. The 2019 SEC filing had also described the items in question as "Bismuth/Magnesium-Zinc metal" and "Aluminum," raising questions about just what TTSA had actually purchased.

Earlier this month, Luis Elizondo, TTSA's Director of Global Security & Special Programs, went on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" and said that the organization was already conducting tests on these objects. Reports in the past have identified Elizondo as the head of the U.S. Military's still-murky Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) program, which explored various UAP sightings, but subsequent information has called his exact relationship to the program into question.

It is also worth noting that the 2018 SEC filing said that TTSA's Aerospace Division Director, Justice, who is now managing the organization's end of the CRADA with the Army, was also supposed to be monitoring ETI's performance on the materials analysis and beamed energy propulsion projects. ETI's founder and current company President is Harold "Hal" Puthoff, Ph.D, who is also TTSA's Vice President Science & Technology.

Puthoff is well known for conducting work into the paranormal under contract to the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, including on remote viewing, during the 1970s and 1980s. He also has connections to the now-defunct National Institute for Discovery Science, or NIDSci, which explored things such as UFO sightings, extraterrestrials, and other fringe topics, including Skinwalker Ranch. Nevada real estate mogul and hotelier Robert Bigelow, also renowned for his interest in UFOs and paranormal phenomena, was NIDSci's founder. Bigelow had also bought Skinwalker Ranch, using it for a time as a sort of paranormal research laboratory, but sold it, at least publicly, to a company called Adamantium Holdings in 2016.

Bigelow Aerospace notably conducted work under contract for AATIP's predecessor, the Defense Intelligence Agency's Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP). It has since emerged that AAWSAP, via Bigelow Aerospace, had overseen the production of numerous written study reports on advanced technology, including virtually all of the topics mentioned in the TTSA press release regarding the CRADA. ETI received contracts to write reports under the AAWSAP program, with Puthoff and Eric Davis, Ph.D., another company employee, authoring them, something The War Zone has covered in detail in the past. Some of the reports that have emerged publicly so far are little more than literature reviews and at least one was on a topic that a major scientific body advising the U.S. government had already deemed to be junk science.

So, is the Army going to be working with TTSA to investigate the properties of the metamaterials it claims to have acquired over the years, including from purported UFOs, and whether they may have any potential U.S. military applications? It's unfortunately hard to say for sure at this point, though there are certainly indications that this is the case.

It's true that the Army is getting this cooperation for free, but we still don't know the motivations behind it or what the service thinks TTSA actually has to offer. It does come at a time when the U.S. Navy has also been sponsoring seemingly fantastical patent applications for inventions such as compact fusion reactors and room temperature superconductors. DeLonge has his own curious and somewhat unexplained connections to the U.S. government and TTSA is made up of a curious group of decorated insiders from the military-industrial complex and the intelligence services.

In addition, it certainly helps raise the profile of Tom DeLonge's organization, which was also at the center of a major History Channel mini-series called "Unidentified: Inside America's UFO Investigation," earlier this year. For years now, the organization has been trying to raise millions of dollars in investments. In July they circulated an announcement about a new round of stock offers worth up to $30 million in total.

We have already reached out to the Army to hopefully get more information about this cooperative deal with TTSA and just what it is looking to actually get out of it.

Source: The Drive
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/30481/what-we-know-about-the-army-teaming
-up
-with-rockstar-tom-delonges-ufo-research-company

- EVIDENCE IGNORED DEPARTMENT -

I'm Convinced We Found Evidence of Life on Mars in the 1970s
By Gilbert V. Levin

We humans can now peer back into the virtual origin of our universe. We have learned much about the laws of nature that control its seemingly infinite celestial bodies, their evolution, motions and possible fate. Yet, equally remarkable, we have no generally accepted information as to whether other life exists beyond us, or whether we are, as was Samuel Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, “alone, alone, all, all alone, alone on a wide wide sea!” We have made only one exploration to solve that primal mystery. I was fortunate to have participated in that historic adventure as experimenter of the Labeled Release (LR) life detection experiment on NASA’s spectacular Viking mission to Mars in 1976.

On July 30, 1976, the LR returned its initial results from Mars. Amazingly, they were positive. As the experiment progressed, a total of four positive results, supported by five varied controls, streamed down from the twin Viking spacecraft landed some 4,000 miles apart. The data curves signaled the detection of microbial respiration on the Red Planet. The curves from Mars were similar to those produced by LR tests of soils on Earth. It seemed we had answered that ultimate question.

When the Viking Molecular Analysis Experiment failed to detect organic matter, the essence of life, however, NASA concluded that the LR had found a substance mimicking life, but not life. Inexplicably, over the 43 years since Viking, none of NASA’s subsequent Mars landers has carried a life detection instrument to follow up on these exciting results. Instead the agency launched a series of missions to Mars to determine whether there was ever a habitat suitable for life and, if so, eventually to bring samples to Earth for biological examination.

NASA maintains the search for alien life among its highest priorities. On February 13, 2019, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said we might find microbial life on Mars. Our nation has now committed to sending astronauts to Mars. Any life there might threaten them, and us upon their return. Thus, the issue of life on Mars is now front and center.

Life on Mars seemed a long shot. On the other hand, it would take a near miracle for Mars to be sterile. NASA scientist Chris McKay once said that Mars and Earth have been “swapping spit” for billions of years, meaning that, when either planet is hit by comets or large meteorites, some ejecta shoot into space. A tiny fraction of this material eventually lands on the other planet, perhaps infecting it with microbiological hitch-hikers. That some Earth microbial species could survive the Martian environment has been demonstrated in many laboratories. There are even reports of the survival of microorganisms exposed to naked space outside the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA’s reservation against a direct search for microorganisms ignores the simplicity of the task accomplished by Louis Pasteur in 1864. He allowed microbes to contaminate a hay-infusion broth, after which bubbles of their expired gas appeared. Prior to containing living microorganisms, no bubbles appeared. (Pasteur had earlier determinted that heating, or pasteurizing, such a substance would kill the microbes.) This elegantly simple test, updated to substitute modern microbial nutrients with the hay-infusion products in Pasteur’s, is in daily use by health authorities around the world to examine potable water. Billions of people are thus protected against microbial pathogens.

This standard test, in essence, was the LR test on Mars, modified by the addition of several nutrients thought to broaden the prospects for success with alien organisms, and the tagging of the nutrients with radioactive carbon. These enhancements made the LR sensitive to the very low microbial populations postulated for Mars, should any be there, and reduced the time for detection of terrestrial microorganisms to about one hour. But on Mars, each LR experiment continued for seven days. A heat control, similar to Pasteur’s, was added to determine whether any response obtained was biological or chemical.

The Viking LR sought to detect and monitor ongoing metabolism, a very simple and fail-proof indicator of living microorganisms. Several thousand runs were made, both before and after Viking, with terrestrial soils and microbial cultures, both in the laboratory and in extreme natural environments. No false positive or false negative result was ever obtained. This strongly supports the reliability of the LR Mars data, even though their interpretation is debated.

In her recent book To Mars with Love, my LR co-experimenter Patricia Ann Straat provides much of the scientific detail of the Viking LR at lay level. Scientific papers published about the LR are available on my Web site.

In addition to the direct evidence for life on Mars obtained by the Viking LR, evidence supportive of, or consistent with, extant microbial life on Mars has been obtained by Viking, subsequent missions to Mars, and discoveries on Earth:

    Surface water sufficient to sustain microorganisms was found on Mars by Viking, Pathfinder, Phoenix and Curiosity;
    Ultraviolet (UV) activation of the Martian surface material did not, as initially proposed, cause the LR reaction: a sample taken from under a UV-shielding rock was as LR-active as surface samples;
    Complex organics, have been reported on Mars by Curiosity’s scientists, possibly including kerogen, which could be of biological origin;
    Phoenix and Curiosity found evidence that the ancient Martian environment may have been habitable.
    The excess of carbon-13 over carbon-12 in the Martian atmosphere is indicative of biological activity, which prefers ingesting the latter;
    The Martian atmosphere is in disequilibrium: its CO2 should long ago have been converted to CO by the sun’s UV light; thus the CO2 is being regenerated, possibly by microorganisms as on Earth;
    Terrestrial microorganisms have survived in outer space outside the ISS;
    Ejecta containing viable microbes have likely been arriving on Mars from Earth;
    Methane has been measured in the Martian atmosphere; microbial methanogens could be the source;
    The rapid disappearance of methane from the Martian atmosphere requires a sink, possibly supplied by methanotrophs that could co-exist with methanogens on the Martian surface;
    Ghost-like moving lights, resembling will-O’-the-wisps on Earth that are formed by spontaneous ignition of methane, have been video-recorded on the Martian surface;
    Formaldehyde and ammonia, each possibly indicative of biology, are claimed to be in the Martian atmosphere;
    An independent complexity analysis of the positive LR signal identified it as biological;
    Six-channel spectral analyses by Viking’s imaging system found terrestrial lichen and green patches on Mars rocks to have the identical color, saturation, hue and intensity;
    A wormlike feature was in an image taken by Curiosity;
    Large structures resembling terrestrial stromatolites (formed by microorganisms) were found by Curiosity; a statistical analysis of their complex features showed less than a 0.04 percent probability that the similarity was caused by chance alone;
    No factor inimical to life has been found on Mars.

In summary, we have: positive results from a widely-used microbiological test; supportive responses from strong and varied controls; duplication of the LR results at each of the two Viking sites; replication of the experiment at the two sites; and the failure over 43 years of any experiment or theory to provide a definitive nonbiological explanation of the Viking LR results.

What is the evidence against the possibility of life on Mars? The astonishing fact is that there is none. Furthermore, laboratory studies have shown that some terrestrial microorganisms could survive and grow on Mars.

NASA has already announced that its 2020 Mars lander will not contain a life-detection test. In keeping with well-established scientific protocol, I believe an effort should be made to put life detection experiments on the next Mars mission possible. I and my co-experimenter have formally and informally proposed that the LR experiment, amended with an ability to detect chiral metabolism, be sent to Mars to confirm the existence of life: non-biological chemical reactions do not distinguish between “left-handed” and “right-handed” organic molecules, but all living things do.

Moreover, the Chiral LR (CLR) could confirm and extend the Viking LR findings. It could determine whether any life detected were similar to ours, or whether there was a separate genesis. This would be a fundamental scientific discovery in its own right. A small, lightweight CLR has already been designed and its principle verified by tests. It could readily be turned into a flight instrument.

Meanwhile a panel of expert scientists should review all pertinent data of the Viking LR together with other and more recent evidence concerning life on Mars. Such an objective jury might conclude, as I did, that the Viking LR did find life. In any event, the study would likely produce important guidance for NASA’s pursuit of its holy grail.

Source: Scientific American
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/im-convinced-we-found
-evidence-of-life-on-mars-in-the-1970s/

- OH HELL NO DEPARTMENT -

Video Shows Ventriloquist Puppet Moving On Its Own

A man is convinced his creepy antique ventriloquist doll called Mr Fritz is haunted after chilling CCTV footage showed it blinking and moving its mouth.

Michael Diamond, 48, decided to rig up a camera to find out why the 1940s puppet's glass display cabinet door kept opening at night — and what was filmed shocked him to the core.

Mr Fritz, who was made by an American prisoner of war, was given to Mr Diamond earlier this year.

But soon after, the collector noticed the door to the 1940s doll's glass display cabinet kept opening up at night so set up a GoPro camera to film over two evenings.

Reviewing the footage, to his horror he saw the door opening and the doll's mouth and eyes moving — despite nobody being around.

Mr Diamond, from Liverpool, was so unnerved, he has now secured the cabinet in his home with a chain, and covered it with a blanket.

The entertainer, who collects unusual artefacts, said: "When I first watched the video back I had a weird feeling in my stomach.

"You can see the eyes move before the door opens and again afterwards.

"The eyes flicker and his mouth moves up and down slightly."

But while his wife and daughter are terrified by Mr Fritz, he has decided to keep him for now.

He said: "I wouldn't say I'm scared of Mr Fritz but I am wary of it.

"I want to give it a permanent home. I get emotionally attached to my collections.

"What's the explanation is the one million dollar question isn't it?

"I have no idea myself. I don't even know where to start. There are no open windows in the room and no airflow.

"The door is on a latch so shouldn't just swing open.

"I have told Sally and Amber about it and they don't like it at all.

"To stop it from happening I've chained the box up and covered it in a blanket."

Mr Diamond travels the country performing stunts with his museum full of weird collectors items like taxidermy animals, spiritual props, skulls and ancient weaponry.

Mr Fritz is understood to have been made by an American prisoner at Stalag II-B, now in the town of Czarne in Poland.

A prisoner who worked as a ventriloquist before being conscripted and captured is believed to have made the doll.

After the war it was apparently taken to America, making its way to an antiques shop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina before coming to the UK.

Mr Fritz is now kept in what is called a "freak room" at the family home. The cabinet is chained shut.

Source: The Sun
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10169262/ventriloquist-doll-comes
-to-life-caught-camera/




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- IT'S A GAS DEPARTMENT -

Mysterious Fumes!
By Tim R. Swartz

"Office Workers Sickened by Mysterious Gas." "Fumes From Meteorite Crater Have Sickened 600." "Fumes From Corpse Cause Evacuation."  News reports from all over the world have shown a drastic increase in cases in which people are sickened and harmed by mysterious gases.  Many reports have come from seemingly common, normal buildings and schools.  Dubbed "sick buildings" by the press, explanations on the causes range from chemicals used during construction, to mass hysteria.

In Japan, recent suicides using household chemicals and terrorist attacks with sarin gas in the subways of Tokyo has focused worldwide attention to the frightening scenario of further poisonous gas attacks on large population centers.  However, little attention has been paid to the evidence that mysterious fumes have already been responsible for sickening hundreds, maybe thousands of innocent people.  Reports of unexplained gas attacks go back a number of years, some seem to indicate a disturbing connection with the frequency of attacks and an increase of UFO sightings.

One of the more familiar cases of reported gas attacks was the 1944 series of  incidents in Mattoon, Illinois.  The episode has been completely written off by many as a classic case of mass hysteria.  However, there were elements to the case, most notably in the form of physical evidence, that have been repeated constantly in the mysterious fumes reports going on today.

COLD WAR FEARS AND FLYING SAUCERS

Starting in July 1950, reports of UFOs associated with mysterious fumes began to trickle in.  The July 1 edition of The Cincinnati Post ran the front page headline, "Saucers whirl over city."
     
"Flying saucers were reported over Cincinnati at widely separated points. At least three reports were received around noon.  The first saucer was sighted around 11 a.m. by Mrs. Katherine Willis at 25 Murray Road, St. Bernard, and her daughter, Beverly Ann.  A few moments later, Jack Earls of 4713 Paxton Road, reported seeing saucers over Mt. Lookout and Lunken Airport. Control tower operators at the airport said they saw no saucers, and nothing unusual.

"Saucers also were reported at the same time by a Mt. Washington resident. 'Beverly saw it first and watched it for about two minutes,' said Mrs. Willis.  'It was white, way up in the sky, and I could tell that it was spinning,'  said Mrs. Willis.  'I couldn't tell how high it was. It looked like it was going as fast or faster than the airplanes.'  In the past two days, flying saucers have been reported by officials in Cairo, Ill., and Louisville, Ky."

The reports of UFOs coincided with reported low-flying aircraft leaving a noxious exhaust, causing an outbreak of mystery fumes throughout the Cincinnati area. The press at the time, did not make the obvious correlation. The Cincinnati Enquirer  reported on July 9th a similar incident in Illinois.

The Cincinnati Enquirer's headline reflected the Cold War fears that were on the minds of everyone during the decade.  "Only a horrible nightmare. Fears of Russian gas bombing arise when foul odor from passing truck spreads through seven towns near Moline, Ill."

The article goes on to report that a foul smell choked seven towns, sending some residents into hysterics and raising fears of a Russian gas bombing.  The noxious odor crept through Moline, East Moline, Silvis and Rock Island, Ill., and then spread across the border into Muscatine, Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa.  No injuries were reported aside from upset stomachs.

Some residents, in hysterics, called police.  One man insisted to Silvis police that "the Russians are flying over and gassing us."  The evil-smelling fumes routed citizens from the beds and from taverns, almost forced the closing of two farm machinery factories, jammed police switchboards and kept firemen on a near-emergency basis.

An official of the Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Co. said the odor probably resulted from a leak in a tank of Pentalarm being hauled through the area on a truck headed west. He said the truck was seen passing through Moline shortly before midnight.  Pentalarm is an odorant used to inject a smell into natural gas, normally odorless, to permit detection of leaks. The official said the odor is not injurious but can cause nausea.

Several taverns in Silvis and East Moline lost their patrons in a hurry when the smell entered their establishments. Some 20 persons jammed the East Moline police station.  Police at Muscatine, Iowa, said anxious citizens jammed the switchboard with calls. Some became hysterical and left town.

Others just closed all their doors and windows and tried to go back to sleep.

In Moline, a reporter said, "The police are being run ragged, calls are coming in from all over the town, and the squad cars are going all over the place. People are heading for the high ground away from the river."  The smell was strongest in the lowland areas along the Mississippi.

The utility company, flooded with calls, dispatched more than 30 repairmen to find what was first believed to be a leak in a gas main. The men hunted for three hours but found no leaks. Authorities at the Rock Island arsenal said, "Everything is in order here," in response to queries on whether the smell might have originated there.  The smell lingered in the Illinois area for three hours, then hit the Iowa cities.  It disappeared at daylight.

Subsequent attempts to locate the mysterious leaking truck failed.  Some residents said the gas was nothing like the smell of Pentalarm.  The gas they smelled was incapacitating, and felt like, "the air was being sucked out of the lungs."  On July 7th and 8th, newspaper and police switchboards were flooded with reports of UFOs flying overhead.  The Moline/Davenport area also had an unusually high amount of UFO reports during the week of the 8th.

SICK BUILDINGS

The relatively new phenomenon of "sick buildings" has some people worried that a new, though subtle form of terrorism is taking place. An alarming increase of UFO sightings in the same areas as reported sick buildings has lead some investigators to suggest that there could be a connection. More mundane explanations such as chemicals used during construction, to outgassing from new carpets have taken the brunt of the blame when mysterious fumes are reported. However, air checks usually can find no trace of any potentially hazardous chemical or gas to account for the strange symptoms reported by stricken individuals. Other, less credible attempts at an explanation generally leans towards cases of mass hysteria, or workers suffering from the "blue flu."

In Margate, Florida on April 7, 1997, a grocery store was forced to close because of a strange gas that made at least 30 ill. Officials say about 100 people were in the store when workers and customers began complaining of sore throats and watery eyes. Hazardous materials investigators say noxious fumes that caused the apparent respiratory problems among store customers had dissipated by they time they arrived, making it difficult to trace their origin.

Of the people who complained about symptoms, 11 were taken to area hospitals, but all were released following treatment for what were described as "minor'' problems. Some customers said the fumes smelled like chlorine, while others described them as smelling like pepper.

Tamarac, Fla., Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Dennis Peloso said the varied descriptions made it difficult to determine the source of the smell. "We've checked for chemicals, gas, Freon. We looked at the refrigeration system. Nothing,'' said Peloso, who called the negative tests "a little weird.''

Schools also seem to be a favorite target of "sick building syndrome." On January 14, 2008, St Helens, Oregon High School was evacuated after students and faculty fell ill after noticed a strong odor like "rotten eggs." Nearby, people at the local Safeway store, and at the bank, also became ill. Several people had to be treated for nausea, dizziness, burning of skin and eyes, and respiratory complaints.

After some initial speculation that it was a natural gas leak, it was finally determined that it was, instead, a mystery. There was no leak anywhere on the school grounds, and chemical sniffers detected no natural gas. Local officials promised to look into the matter, but no investigation was ever conducted.

Mysterious fumes circulating through a classroom in Jamaica triggered a school evacuation and sent five children to the hospital gasping for breath, on January 25, 1997. Traces of the fumes were detected inside Room 315 of PS 37. Children were complaining of headaches, chest pains, watery eyes and breathing difficulties, Fire Department spokesman Luis Basso said.

Taking emergency precautions, the Fire Department evacuated the building immediately. Basso said 25 people from Room 315 - 23 children and two adults were treated at the scene for inhaling the mysterious fumes. Five of those were taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment.

Superintendent Celestine Miller of Community School District 29 said she did not know the exact source of the children's discomfort. However, the investigation by environmental authorities and the city Health Department was unable to trace any hazardous materials released into the school environment.

So far no explanation has satisfactorily answered the questions concerning the causes of "sick building syndrome." If the culprit is a mélange of "common" chemicals, then air tests should have found the suspected contaminants. The same goes for deliberate gas attacks. Air tests should be able to determine what the fumes are. There is also no good reason for the fumes to suddenly appear, then disappear just as quickly. Chemicals in the carpet, or in the structure of the building would leak slowly and evenly into the atmosphere. Making it easy for modern air check systems to find and fix the cause of the problem. Easy answers however, are not forthcoming.



- SEX WITH GHOSTS DEPARTMENT -

An Expert Explains "Spectrophilia"
By Carina Hsieh

While 'Spectrophilia' is commonly used interchangeably to mean 'ghost sex' or 'sex with ghosts,' the true definition refers to the attraction between humans and ghosts. To get the low down, we spoke to expert Mike Huberty, who runs a haunted tour company called American Ghost Walks.

What does "spectrophilia" mean?

Spectrophilia has two definitions: One is the attraction between humans and ghosts, and the second is the attraction to objects seen in mirrors, explains Huberty. The two meanings might seem vastly different at first, but considering that the second definition refers to arousal brought on by something that isn't really there, it makes more sense.
Is spectrophilia real?

Since spectrophilia refers to just the attraction of humans to ghosts, yes. Who are we to deny the existence of a particular sexual attraction?

Actual sex with ghosts is harder to prove, though. Huberty says that he's interviewed several people who have definitely thought they've had sex with a ghost, but pls bear in mind that as the owner of a ghost tour company, that sample pool is likely already pretty self-selecting towards those who believe in the paranormal.
Are there any famous instances of spectrophilia?

While firsthand accounts of sex with ghosts are rare, spectrophilia is alive and well when it comes to movie representation. There's the film Ghost starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, with Swayze portraying a spectral being. The more recent horror flick It Follows also works around ghost sex. And of course, the kiss between Casper and Christina Ricci in 1995's Casper is also an example of a PG ghost hookup. Plus, there's a surprising number of celebs who have spoken about supernatural sexual encounters.

Kesha explained to Ryan Seacrest on air that her 2012 song 'Supernatural' was about a sexual encounter with a ghost. And in 1999, Lucy Liu spoke to Us Weekly about taking a nap and winding up climaxing from sex with a ghost.

Paranormal 2 actress Natasha Blasick made news for claiming to have had sex (two times, actually) with a ghost. Blasick said, “I could feel the weight of a body on top of me, and I couldn’t see anybody, but ... I could feel the energy, I could feel the warmth ... and at first I was very confused with all that, but then I just decided to relax and, um, it was really, really pleasurable.”

In 2010, an anonymous author on Your Ghost Stories told her story about being visited by multiple ghosts in the middle of the night, and while she was unsure about the initial visits, she became used to the overtly physical nature of the visits over time:

    "After several weeks of [waking up feeling aroused], one night I woke up in this condition. However, this time, I was somehow aware that what had happened to me was that a spirit presence was somehow involved with me sexually. I was very sexually aroused and orgasmed [sic]."

What kind of ghost, exactly, was visiting her? A pirate ghost? A bed sheet? The ghost of Patrick Swayze from To Wong Foo? Not even close:

    "I soon began seeing translucent images of him. He is not a man. He is some greenish lizard dinosaur type creature. He is not mean or scary. All he wants is to arouse me and play together sexually. It is as if he wants to transfer sexual energy to me."

In 2017, a woman named Sian Jameson told the Sun that she had a sexual encounter with a handsome ghost in a remote Welsh cottage, following a traumatic break-up with her boyfriend. At first he visited her in a series of erotic dreams, then materialized beside her.

“During the lovemaking, I sensed all kinds of things about him – his name was Robert and he lived over 100 years ago,” she recounted to the tabloid. “His body was soft and light. Even when he moved on top of me, pressing down, he felt almost weightless. It was very strange, but the sex was amazing!”

Then, there's Amethyst Realm, the British woman who went viral for claiming to have had sex with 20 ghosts and getting engaged to a spirit.

Does ghost sex have anything to do with the dating term 'ghosting'?

Nope, they're both totally unrelated! While ghost sex might at least leave you with a chance of feeling satisfied (if those celebrity accounts are anything to believe), "ghosting"—as in being ignored with zero warning—is likely to feel just plain bad. In conclusion, ghost sex = harmless if you're down, ghosting = rude.

Source: Cosmopolitan
https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a29416065/ghost-sex-what-is-spectrophilia

- WE NEED A GHOSTBUSTER DEPARTMENT -

New Zealand Government Building Haunted By Ghost

Ghosts have apparently infiltrated the Department of Internal Affairs, with an online staff forum discussing the "haunting", complete with photographic evidence.

Numerous staff members have described paranormal activity and spectres haunting the DIA government buildings in an internal work forum - the discussion of which has been obtained via an Official Information Act (OIA) request.

Some may be forgiven for thinking staff had been watching too much Wellington Paranormal - the popular TVNZ 2 comedy show's second season airs this week - as staff describe "strange unexplained occurrences", calling the Ghostbusters, and having the heebie jeebies.

Of particular concern during the July discussion was the "infamous" ghost in the basement of the Wellington Archives.

"As the lift starts to move the number on the floor counter inside the lift flickers and the doors open on lower level 1, no one is there, it is dark, and you either stand there unsure of what to do or mash the close door button before something gets in," a spooked staff member posted.

"The doors close and then you continue to your desired floor."

Another staff member pointed out this was "probably just a malfunctioning lift", but others were not so gullible.

 Evidence of a "spectre" on level 13 was also exposed.

"It stared at me just long enough for me to take a quick photo," another staff member posted.

"It is eerily clear, but not for the easily scared. PM me if you would like to see for yourself."

The staff member then posts the photograph to the forum - however, this image was withheld in the official information document.

The DIA confirmed the staff member who posted the alleged spectre photograph is no longer working for the department.

It is unclear whether the spectre had anything to do with this staff member's exit from the DIA, and whether they are alive and well.

"What I want to know is how these entities are getting into DIA buildings without identity cards? What are Security and Property doing about it?" another staff member bemoaned.

When asked what measures it had taken to "examine and/or alleviate a potential paranormal situation", DIA admitted it had done little to crack down on the ghouls.

"There is nothing in place to deal specifically with this issue," it said. "If it arose, we would work through this like any other issue and liaise with the appropriate groups."

Source: NZ Herald
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12275910

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