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SHHHH - Be Vewy, Vewy qwiet! We's hunting CONSPIRACIES! Yes that's right! Watch out secret government cabals! Look over your shoulders Men-In-Black! Check your altitude variance you silly flying saucer folks! Because once again Conspiracy Journal is here to rip off the veils of intrigue and secrecy from those dedicated to keeping  mankind in the dark.


This week we bring you such beard-pulling stories as:

-
When Bad Things Come From ‘Good’ Food -
- In the Sky! A Bird? A Plane? A ... UFO?
-
Ghosts in the Machine -
- Smelly Bigfoot: The Skunk Ape -
AND:  The Resonance Theory of Simultaneous Existence

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


NEW FROM CONSPIRACY JOURNAL FILMS

FIND OUT WHAT MYSTERIES AND CONSPIRACIES
THE VATICAN HAS BEEN HIDING FOR CENTURIES!



New on DVD - SECRETS OF THE VATICAN

SHOT WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE HOLY CITY WITH HIDDEN CAMERAS The Vatican has been shrouded in mystery and intrigue for centuries. Except for the highest Cardinals and Bishops, the public and even members of the priesthood are not privy to the inner workings of the Church. It is rumored that there are in the secret archives centuries-old artifacts that, if exposed, could embarrass the standard-bearers of the faith. Searching for truth has always been the Conspiracy Journal's main goal. With this in mind, we recently "invaded" the walls of the Vatican with our hidden cameras on a fact finding mission. On our return, we followed up our investigation by interviewing such astute researchers as: Jordan Maxwell - Brad Steiger - Patricia Ress - Penny Melis - and Diane Tessman.

SOME OF THE EXCITING CONTENTS IN THIS DVD VIDEO INCLUDE:
* Does the Vatican conceal knowledge that the crucifixion was a fraud?
* Is there a secret cabal of Satanists within the Vatican to further the evil conspiracy of the New World Order?
* Learn about the UFO sighting that occurred over the Vatican the morning of the funeral of Pope John Paul.
* Can exorcism be a futile effort that often results in the death of the possessed?
* What secrets is the Vatican keeping about the perilous future of our world?
* Is the Vatican link to the Hubble Telescope evidence that they are aware that Planet X is headed toward Earth?

SPECIAL BONUS OFFER - If you act right now, you will also get the FREE unedited audio interviews with Brad Steiger, Jordan Maxwell, Patricia Ress, and noted psychic Penny Melis. These interviews were conducted by Sean Casteel for use in the documentary. However, as with every documentary, only a small portion of each interview ever makes it to the screen. Now you can hear the complete, unedited interviews as each researcher reveals what they know concerning the secrets of the Vatican.

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- YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT DEPARTMENT -

When Bad Things Come From ‘Good’ Food
badfood
These days, shopping in the produce aisle feels like a gamble. If you don’t pick a winner, the costs could be high.

People in the United States have gotten used to the repulsive fact that raw chicken, meat and eggs are often contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Scrub the cutting board, we are warned, don’t nibble the cookie dough, don’t eat burgers rare. In other words, handle meat like a biohazard — and then eat it.

But until recently, getting sick from salad was something that most Americans didn’t even think about unless they were traveling to a poor country. At home, fruits and vegetables have been regarded as clean and safe for as long as most people can remember.

Lately, though, produce has caused a disturbing number of disease outbreaks; just since September, bacteria-tainted tomatoes, spinach and lettuce have made hundreds of people sick, and killed three. There have been 20 serious outbreaks in the past decade or so, and many have come from crops grown in California, not from imports. Fruit juices, alfalfa sprouts and almonds have also been involved — all of them supposedly health foods, like salad, the things we feel most virtuous about eating.

The known outbreaks are just the tip of the iceberg, health officials say; far more illness is never reported. Most people don’t call the health department about a few days of gut trouble. The government estimates that over all, food-borne microbes — not just the ones on produce — make 76 million people a year sick, put 325,000 in the hospital and kill 5,000.

In a modern country, a rise in disease caused by tainted food seems like a giant step backward in public health. But there hasn’t been much public outrage or even disgust at the notion of filth seeping into the food supply.

Among the nastiest bacteria is E. coli 0157:H7, which makes a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness and sometimes even kidney failure. This is the germ found on spinach a few months ago, and more recently on iceberg lettuce served at Taco Bell restaurants. It comes from cow feces and was first identified in 1982. Feeding the animals grain instead of hay seems to promote its growth.

The strain is harmless to cows, but in people it is so dangerous, according to the Food and Drug Administration, that swallowing as few as 10 organisms may be enough to cause an infection. About 73,000 people a year get sick from this type of bacteria, and 61 die, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

“It’s gotten more attention this fall, but we’ve seen these outbreaks due to lettuce and other leafy greens for a long time,” said Dr. Christopher Braden, chief of the outbreak response and surveillance team for enteric diseases at the disease centers. “We are seeing this on an ongoing basis. That’s not an acceptable outcome. We need to find ways to interrupt that contamination.”

Last August, the F.D.A. announced a “lettuce safety initiative” in response to recurring E. coli outbreaks. It began with last fall’s lettuce harvest and included visits by inspectors to farms and cooling and packing facilities. But the spinach and Taco Bell outbreaks happened anyway.

There are several ways that bacteria can contaminate lettuce. Water is an obvious route, whether from unsanitary irrigation or spraying, or from flooding. Animals can carry bacteria onto farmland, which is apparently how the spinach outbreak occurred — feral pigs wandered from cow pastures to spinach fields, taking E. coli with them. Sick workers who handle produce can also contaminate it, and so can dust blowing off pastures. One bad batch can spoil others when they are mixed for chopping and bagging.

Scientists think most contamination lies on the surface of crops, but studies have shown that it is possible for bacteria to be taken up through root systems and actually wind up inside the plants, where no amount of washing could get rid of it. In any case, E. coli 0157:H7 tends to be sticky and is difficult or impossible to wash off, even when it’s only on the surface of produce.

Over the past 30 years, diseases linked to produce have increased, Dr. Braden said. Increased ability to detect outbreaks may explain part of the increase, but not all of it, he added.

“We’re convinced it’s real in large part,” he said. “We’re seeing an increased number of outbreaks, an increased number of cases in outbreaks, and an increase in the number of types of produce involved.”

The reason is not known for sure. But, Dr. Braden said: “The way produce is farmed and processed has changed. It’s become more centralized, and you have these huge processors and distributors that produce tens of thousands of pounds of a particular produce in a particular day. If something goes wrong with that produce you’ve got a big problem, whereas with small farmers, if there is a problem it’s much more limited.”

In addition, he said, bagged and prewashed produce didn’t exist 25 years ago, and people today eat more raw vegetables than in the past.

“There’s probably more susceptible people eating those things,” Dr. Braden said. “We have an aging population, and more people with chronic medical conditions that might make them more susceptible.”

The F.D.A. is responsible for produce safety, while the Agriculture Department oversees meat, poultry and eggs. Some politicians have urged that a single new agency be formed to take charge of all food safety, but even if that is done, it still may not answer basic questions about how to clean up produce.

Dr. David W. K. Acheson, chief medical officer at the center for food safety and applied nutrition at the F.D.A., said the agency was trying to find ways to prevent outbreaks.

But, Dr. Acheson said, it has nowhere near the resources to inspect the hundreds of thousands of facilities that handle fresh produce in the United States. The Agriculture Department has far more inspectors and is required by law to have one in every major meat processing plant.

One question the drug agency is trying to figure out, he said, is how close is too close when it comes to cattle and produce.

“We know that 0157 is a natural contaminant of cow feces,” Dr. Acheson said. “Cow feces, if it gets on fresh produce, is not good. Should there be some limitation as to how close cattle should be to a leafy-greens field? Fifty feet, 5 miles, 50 miles? What’s the science?”

Fifty feet may be plenty if the cows are downhill and downstream of the farm, he said — but if it’s the other way around, five miles may not be enough.

“What’s really going to work?” Dr. Acheson asked. “At this point, there are a lot of unknowns.”

Another approach, instead of trying to prevent contamination, is to get rid of it after the fact. Nuts can be heat-treated and juices can be pasteurized. Some experts have recommended irradiating lettuce.

“People in the agency are looking at the impact of that,” Dr. Acheson said. “There are two pieces: does it work, and what dose do you need? Then, what’s the impact of that dose on the quality of the product? You could irradiate anything and sterilize it, but you may end up with mush. It’s not quite that easy.”

Dr. Braden said that so far, scientists had not found any way to prevent outbreaks.

“Not that people aren’t working on it hard,” he said, adding that the food industry itself is under pressure.

“There may be some self-regulation from the industry, the growers themselves,” he said. “They have to do something themselves, or else they’re going to lose their market.”

Source: NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/02/health/nutrition/02seco.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

- WE KNOW WHAT WE SAW DEPARTMENT -

In the Sky! A Bird? A Plane? A ... UFO?

It sounds like a tired joke--but a group of airline employees insist they are in earnest, and they are upset that neither their bosses nor the government will take them seriously.

A flying saucerlike object hovered low over O'Hare International Airport for several minutes before bolting through thick clouds with such intense energy that it left an eerie hole in overcast skies, said some United Airlines employees who observed the phenomenon.

Was it an alien spaceship? A weather balloon lost in the airspace over the world's second-busiest airport? A top-secret military craft? Or simply a reflection from lights that played a trick on the eyes?

Officials at United professed no knowledge of the Nov. 7 event--which was reported to the airline by as many as a dozen of its own workers--when the Tribune started asking questions recently. But the Federal Aviation Administration said its air traffic control tower at O'Hare did receive a call from a United supervisor asking if controllers had spotted a mysterious elliptical-shaped craft sitting motionless over Concourse C of the United terminal.

No controllers saw the object, and a preliminary check of radar found nothing out of the ordinary, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said.

The FAA is not conducting a further investigation, Cory said. The theory is the sighting was caused by a "weather phenomenon," she said.

The UFO report has sparked some chuckles among controllers in O'Hare tower.

"To fly 7 million light years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable," said O'Hare controller and union official Craig Burzych.

Some of the witnesses, interviewed by the Tribune, said they are upset that neither the government nor the airline is probing the incident.

Whatever the object was, it could have interfered with O'Hare's radar and other equipment, and even created a collision risk, they said.

The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (the term that extraterrestrial-watchers nowadays prefer over Unidentified Flying Object) was first seen by a United ramp worker who was directing back a United plane at Gate C17, according to an account the worker provided to the National UFO Reporting Center.

The sighting occurred during daylight, about 4:30 p.m., just before sunset.

All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well defined in the overcast skies. They said the craft, estimated by different accounts to be 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter, did not display any lights.

Some said it looked like a rotating Frisbee, while others said it did not appear to be spinning. All agreed the object made no noise and it was at a fixed position in the sky, just below the 1,900-foot cloud deck, until shooting off into the clouds.

Witnesses shaken by sighting

"I tend to be scientific by nature, and I don't understand why aliens would hover over a busy airport," said a United mechanic who was in the cockpit of a Boeing 777 that he was taxiing to a maintenance hangar when he observed the metallic-looking object above Gate C17.

"But I know that what I saw and what a lot of other people saw stood out very clearly, and it definitely was not an [Earth] aircraft," the mechanic said.

One United employee appeared emotionally shaken by the sighting and "experienced some religious issues" over it, one co-worker said.

A United manager said he ran outside his office in Concourse B after hearing the report about the sighting on an internal airline radio frequency.

"I stood outside in the gate area not knowing what to think, just trying to figure out what it was," he said. "I knew no one would make a false call like that. But if somebody was bouncing a weather balloon or something else over O'Hare, we had to stop it because it was in very close proximity to our flight operations."

 Some joke, others research

The databases of various UFO-watching groups are full of accounts filed by pilots about sightings of unknown aircraft and anomalies that affected navigational equipment onboard planes.

Whether any of the UFO incidents are real or merely the result of individual perceptions, some experts say the events pose a potential safety risk to pilots and their passengers.

"There have been documented cases where safety appears to have been implicated, and more and more we are coming to the point of view that we are dealing with an intelligent phenomenon," said Richard Haines, science director at the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, a private agency.

"We must be proactive before an aircraft goes down," said Haines, a former chief of the Space Human Factors Office at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Haines is investigating the O'Hare incident. He said he has determined that no weather balloons were launched in the vicinity of O'Hare on Nov. 7.

"It's absurd that the military would be conducting aerial test flights" near the airport, Haines said.

All the witnesses to the O'Hare event, who included at least several pilots, said they are certain based on the disc's appearance and flight characteristics that it was not an airplane, helicopter, weather balloon or any other craft known to man.

United denies UFO report

They're not sure what was hanging out for several minutes in the restricted airspace, but they are upset that no one in power has taken the matter seriously.

A United spokeswoman said there is no record of the UFO report. She said United officials do not recall discussion of any such incident.

"There's nothing in the duty manager log, which is used to report unusual incidents," said United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy. "I checked around. There's no record of anything."

The pilots of the United plane being directed back from Gate C17 also were notified by United personnel of the sighting, and one of the pilots reportedly opened a windscreen in the cockpit to get a better view of the object estimated to be hovering 1,500 feet above the ground.

The object was seen to suddenly accelerate straight up through the solid overcast skies, which the FAA reported had 1,900-foot cloud ceilings at the time.

"It was like somebody punched a hole in the sky," said one United employee.

Witnesses said they had a hard time visually tracking the object as it streaked through the dense clouds.

It left behind an open hole of clear air in the cloud layer, the witnesses said, adding that the hole disappeared within a few minutes.

The United employees interviewed by the Tribune spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some said they were interviewed by United officials and instructed to write reports and draw pictures of what they observed, and that they were advised by United officials to refrain from speaking about what they saw.

Federal agency backtracks

Like United, the FAA originally told the Tribune that it had no information on the alleged UFO sighting. But the federal agency quickly reversed its position after the newspaper filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

An internal FAA review of air-traffic communications tapes, a step toward complying with the Tribune request, turned up the call by the United supervisor to an FAA manager in the airport tower, Cory said.

Cory said the weather might have factored into what the witnesses thought they saw.

"Our theory on this is that it was a weather phenomenon," she said. "That night was a perfect atmospheric condition in terms of low [cloud] ceiling and a lot of airport lights. When the lights shine up into the clouds, sometimes you can see funny things. That's our take on it."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The National UFO Reporting Center has posted on their website (http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/053/S53541.html) an interview with one of the witnesses. As stated on their site: "This individual was interviewed, at length, by one of the investigators involved in the follow-up investigation. The investigators were highly impressed with the witness's credentials, and with the accurate description of the event. We deem this witness to be extremely highly credible.

We express our sincere gratitude to this witness for his having shared the information about his sighting with NUFORC, and with his fellow American Citizens. PD))"

"Ok I have been hesitant about talking about this, but after hearing the report on Coast to Coast AM with Mr. Norey I can not be silent. I work for a major airline at OHare, I am a taxi mechanic. I have the job responsibility of moving aircraft under there own power from gate to gate or the hangar complex for maintenance. We also accomplish the engine run-up testing needed. So I hope that does something for establishing a little of credibility for my report. I am still in absolute wonder and amazement at what I saw that afternoon.

"Around 1630 a pilot made a comment on the radio about a circle or disc shaped object hovering over gate C-17 at the C concourse in Chicago. At first we laughed to each other and then the same pilot said again on the radio that is was about 700feet agl (above ground level). The day was overcast with the ceiling being reported at 1600 feet if I remember correctly. I was taxing a Boeing 777 from the Intl Terminal to the Company Hanger on the North side of the Airport. As we passed the C Terminal on the Alpha taxiway we observed a dark gray hazy round object hovering over OHare Intl Airport. Is was definitely over the C Terminal. It was holding very steady and appeared to be trying to stay close to the cloud cover. The radio erupted with chatter about the object and the ATC controller that was handling ground traffic made a few smart comments about the alleged UFO siting above the C terminal.

"We had to continue moving the aircraft to the hangar. After parking I noticed the craft of no longer there but there was an almost perfect circle in the cloud layer were the craft had been. The hole disappeared a few minutes later.

"For the rest of the night there were jokes made on the radio about the sighting."


Special Thanks to Peter Davenport and  the National UFO Reporting Center for taking the time and effort to do follow up investigations and interviews concerning this fascinating UFO sighting. http://www.nuforc.org/

Source: Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0701010141jan01,1,3957154.
column?track=rss

- A WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOING ON DEPARTMENT -

Whispers from the Earth

I spent a significant portion of my reading time the past year researching the latest ideas about earthquake prediction. I’ve always been fascinated by reports of earthquake lights and animal behavior foreshadowing a quake. One of my favorite books is “When the Snakes Awake” by Helmut Tributsch. I recently reread it and it prompted me to look into the recent state of earthquake prediction.

My journey took me back to the oldest ideas about earthquake prediction. In the face of the failure to develop a reliable prediction strategy in the U.S., (with a corresponding emphasis on preparedness, instead) other countries have taken a different path – a path nearer to the fringes of science. Lately, those fundamental earthquake prediction ideas are back in the news out of China with a technological twist.

Reuters news article

Snake behavior is now being used as an indicator of a coming quake in southern China. Video cameras transmitting across a broadband Internet connection film captive snakes while experts watch for unusual behavior, such as frenzied attempts to escape.

The more I looked into these “primitive” forms of earthquake sensing, the more reasonable it seemed. Animals are not the only environmental channels we have available to tune in to oncoming quakes. Here are some of my findings over multiple posts.

Scientists have struggled to understand how earthquakes occur. Precisely where? Exactly when? How strong? We know that an earthquake is a movement of the earth’s surface caused by the dislocation of the plates that make up the crust or a release of energy from underground stresses. Today, seismologists know far more about earthquake processes than ever before but still they fail to predict earthquakes with certainty in workable time frames and thousand of people die.

In the 1970’s, scientists were optimistic that earthquake prediction was possible through the warnings from precursors. They thought that foreshocks occurred in a predictable way to be able to tell when the main shock was close. They observed some earthquakes occur when there was a gap in time or space along a fault. Measurements of how fast certain vibration waves passed through the ground seemed to suggest a predictable change occurs prior to an earthquake. When research showed that these techniques only worked sometimes, not nearly all the time, the attitude of seismologists soured on earthquake prediction especially in the U.S.

An article from the journal Science in 1996 was titled “Earthquakes Cannot Be Predicted”. This punctured the balloon of any who thought that earth movements were knowable. The expert consensus was that the faulted areas were so different, with individual stresses and physical conditions, and reacted so uniquely, it was not possible to be successful at wholesale prediction.

Perhaps that conclusion was correct for that moment in time. But, should they have given up? New and innovative ideas about earthquake prediction were developing in other countries like China, Japan and Russia. We can look back to ancient times for the root of these new ideas. Long ago, farmers, peasants and early naturalists noticed the clues the earth was revealing that meant the stress was building deep underground, about to give way.

Animals Gone Crazy

Of all the scientific anomalies that are related to earthquakes and earthquake prediction, none is more curious or mystifying than the heaps of reports on strange animal behavior prior to earthquakes.

From the time ancient people recorded their thoughts about the shaking earth, they have remarked upon the behavior of their animals. The best known story comes from Japan, where a huge catfish living under the ground was thought to cause the earth to heave whenever it wiggled. Catfish have been observed to jump and twist violently right before a quake. It is very likely that the observations helped craft the myth.

Along with fish, both domestic and wild, a wide variety of animals have been described in anecdotal reports as sensing a coming earthquake. Their actions greatly differ.

Some animals eat more.

Birds change their songs or sounds; they refuse to land or preen their feathers constantly.

Underground animals come to the surface.

Caged or penned animals become highly agitated, aggressive, fearful or try to escape.

Wild animals will leave an area.

Domestic animals, such as cats, will remove their young from buildings, clean themselves frequently or be especially attentive to their owner, crying or acting nervous.

Dogs notoriously howl or bark and become preoccupied with sniffing the ground.

Insects may suddenly disappear or appear in swarms.

Aquatic animals leave the water or head far out to sea.

Animals may act confused and appear in unlikely areas.

The strange behavior may be exhibited seconds before a quake or up to a month before.

Recently, minutes before Hawaii’s 6.7 magnitude quake this past October, a local television reporter noticed fish jumping out of a lagoon. Even for a small tremor, estimated at 2.4 magnitude in mid-December in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, locals reported that their dogs were subdued or nervous in the hours before the quake. Also in mid-December, the obituary for Max the pig, beloved pet of actor George Clooney, gives the animal credit for waking George minutes prior to the onset of a California quake years ago.

In China, changes in animal behavior is so accepted as a precursor to a quake that they printed informational booklets to give to the public. In 1974-5, in Haicheng, a strong earthquake was preceded by a long list of animal anomalies that were recorded by the population with the data fed back to scientists. Along with other precursors, the animal behaviors were credited with helping to predict the quake and save many lives.

With the huge variety of animals reacting to some signals from the earth, they can’t all be responding to the same signs. Different animals are sensitive to different things.

People are probably the least sensitive animals since we see, hear, smell and perceive far less of the natural environment than animals do. However, even people occasionally react to earth signs. Data collected before the Kobe, China quake in 1995 revealed that children in the fault area awoke before the quake and people reported unusual feelings of fatigue, dizziness or illness.

The American seismology community flatly denies any suggestion of animals as earthquake predictors. Their valid reasons include the range of behaviors as mentioned above, the inability to measure animal behavior, and the frequent lack of animal anomalies before quakes. What do animals react to? Can we ever measure what they feel?

To add more weirdness to this picture, we must include plants as potentially being responsive to earth signals. Some species grow vigorously, other bloom early, rebloom or wilt. Others close their leaves or tremble in still air. With roots reaching into the ground, do they detect signals that we miss?

Earth Sounds

Does the earth moan and groan before a rupture? How about howl and whistle?

Howling and whistling noises have been described associated with tremors. Explosive, echoing, or rumbling sounds (earthquake sounds or EQSs) were heard by local people in earthquake prone areas around the world minutes, hours or days before quakes. These sounds are rare but where they do occur, they are reported again in quakes that follow. Sounds like these have not been recorded by scientists who have no explanation for what causes them.

Paranormal effects

A ghostly new phenomena, not mentioned in the ancient reports, is the response of electronic devices to unseen signals before a quake.

Clocks stop or the hands rotate quickly. Appliances suddenly turn on. Cell phones ring without callers. TVs flicker and display distortion. Intercoms buzz. Florescent lamps dim.

In the days of telegraph wires, signals and static were transmitted out of nowhere.

Magnets holding nails suddenly lose the attraction and the nails drop.

Candle flames bend and distort without a breeze. Fires do not get hot enough to cook food.

There are also reports of corked wine turning cloudy or milk spoiling overnight.

Water

It is common to note water levels in wells and on the surface suddenly drop prior to a quake. Groundwater becomes cloudy or muddy and may change in taste or odor. The sea may become still as glass. Ponds may become murky. Incidentally, groundwater levels in Pennsylvania were affected subtly, but noticeably, by the Alaska earthquakes of 1964 and 2002 and Virginia water levels jumped then dropped in response to the 2005 giant Asian quake (that spawned the deadly tsunami) so we know that the mechanisms are widespread as a result of the quake.

What other clues can be found if we only pay attention? Not only are they on the ground but they are in the air.

Of all the natural disasters we experience regularly here on Earth, the most violent and destructive are earthquakes. Thousands are killed each year, especially in poorer countries where buildings are not designed to withstand the violent shaking and rolling of the ground.

I’ll continue my discussion of currently unexplainable or poorly explained phenomena that have been consistently, reliably reported (and now even recorded) prior to strong earthquakes.

Earthquake Weather

    “Something’s coming, sky is purple
    Dogs are howling to themselves
    Days are changing with the weather
    Like a rip tide could rip us away” - Beck Hansen, “Earthquake Weather” from the album Guero (2005)

If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you might know the stories about earthquake weather. Earthquake weather is said to be a dry, hot, oppressive calmness. It leaves one with the miserable feeling that something bad is about to occur. People feel weak, nauseous and uneasy. There are also reports of the atmosphere being thick with smoke, dust, fog or vapors. Thunderstorms were associated with earthquakes. The moon or sun were red, were surrounded by a halo or elongated in shape. The stars appeared closer. Short-arc vertical or horizontal rainbows have been seen. Early observers, like Aristotle, noted these unusual weather characteristics.

There are numerous instances of bizarre-shaped clouds (earthquake clouds or EQCs) appearing in the sky days before an earthquake. Prior to the 1995 quake in Kobe, Japan, several were captured in photographs. Proverbs tell of dragon or snake-like clouds foretelling the coming of the earthquake. A large cloud also appeared suddenly in a blue sky moments before a quake in Tokyo, Japan in 1923.

EQCs are stationary and do not drift away like normal clouds. Diffuse, low clouds settle into a fog. Earthquake fogs (EQFs) are commonly associated with a coming quake and were described in historic documents. Fogs and clouds were so connected with the strong tremors that it was once thought that they were the cause of the quakes that followed soon after. Aristotle called it “pneuma” meaning breath of the earth. There are historic and current reports of this “breath” having a sulfur odor or a smell of decay. Mainstream science does not correlate these atmospheric changes with seismic activity and does not consider these as precursors that can predict a coming quake.

Glows, balls and curtains of lights

Gaining more credibility as an earthquake precursor are luminous phenomena that occur before or during a strong quake. The high quality evidence for these events comes from historical writings especially from Japan where earthquakes are very common.

Earthquake lights (EQLs) come in a great variety of shapes and colors and can appear out of the ground or from the sky. They can be seen moments before a quake as a glowing dome or as flashes, curtains, sheets, funnels, arcs or balls that may even travel along the fault line in blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple or white. Link to USGS page.

EQLThe dozens of good EQL photographs helped bring EQLs out of folklore and into the realm of scientific investigation. However, there is still no good explanation available mainly because a way to objectively measure these lights does not exist.

There is an even stranger account of balls of lights that comes from fishermen in Turkey before a 1999 quake. They described fire balls (ball lightning?) in the sky and undersea explosions with bright balloons of light ascending through the water. Their fishing nets were burned. What does one make of this?

Modern science rejects reports such as this. As in the other prequake anomalous occurrences, without data - collected in an objective way - the idea of EQLs cannot be seriously evaluated.

What in the world is happening?

Unusual animal behavior, anomalous atmospherics, light displays, sounds, spooky happenings around the house. Is the earth sending signals to which we fail to listen? It all sounds bizarre. How can all these things seemingly occur before earthquakes and we can’t explain it?

The first question that must be asked is: “Are these things really happening as people have described?” Can this be a case of mistake observations, observations after the fact (where we attribute every little thing as associated with the quake), or hoaxes?

As noted above, precursors of earthquakes have been reported in ancient times. They described phenomenon that is generally the same as that experienced today. Now, there are instances where many, many reliable observers have documented these events, even by camera, videotape and sensors.

The reports have entered the field of mainstream science. Though few scientists are willing to study them, there has been some advancement towards understanding. For example, Ikeya has determined that there is sufficient correlation between time and location of phenomena that shows the events are definitively related to the subsequent quake.

But how does one study these events? We can’t predict earthquakes so how can we be prepared to study precursors? More importantly, how do governmental and university scientists obtain funding to study phenomena that many discount? Those scientists that do go against the grain have suffered some professional discredit, even when their experiments produced results. But, there results have promise.

Several theories have been mentioned with respect to the above ground phenomena that occur in conjunction with below ground activity. Newer theories are being formed that suggest the earth often tells us well in advance that she is about to heave.

A theory must account for an invisible source that causes these observations. There are scads of invisible sources that may account for these observations. Gases, charged particles (ions), electrical fields, magnetic fields, infra- or ultrasound, infrared or ultraviolet light – sources that people can rarely detect without assistance of equipment. An invisible source may be detectable to animals or everyday electronic devices or may interact with the environment in such a way as to become noticeable to people.

What happens prior to the quake? Rock is being strained, compressed, heated and bent, down to the very crystals, before it finally breaks en masse. Before the rock mass breaks and unzips, it cracks. Tiny cracks form in the rock structure. The stress and strain placed on rock in an active fault zone changes the properties of the rock. If it changed, can we measure it? If we can measure it, can we use it to predict when the quake will occur?

Coming up (when I manage to pull it together in a cohesive explanation that I can understand), cutting edge science and research on earth signals before a quake. They really are out there.

Source: Doubtful
http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/2007/01/02/whispers-from-the-earth/

- A MIND FOR GHOSTS DEPARTMENT -

Ghosts in the Machine

The human brain is, in surprising part, an appliance powered by electricity. It constantly generates about 12 watts of energy, enough to keep a flashlight glowing. It works by sending out electrical impulses — bursts of power running along the cellular wires of the nervous system — to stimulate muscles into motion or thought into being. We’re mostly aware of this when the machine falters, when it short-circuits into epilepsy or frays into the tremors of Parkinson’s disease.

So when scientists wrote in a recent issue of the journal Nature that they could induce phantom effects — the sensation of being haunted by a shadowy figure — by stimulating the brain with electricity, it made perfect neurological sense. One could even argue that the existence of such sensations explains away the so-called supernatural. In fact, as The Times reported, the researchers promptly concluded that ghosts are mere “bodily delusions,” electrical misfirings and nothing more.

The report does look like a kind of proof — albeit very small proof, as this was a study of two people — if one happens already to believe that ghosts are no more than biological quirks. But what’s fascinating is that it can also look like proof that ghosts are real entities, to those inclined to believe as much. And so the findings also present a case study in two very different perspectives.

The scientific study of the supernatural began in the late 19th century, in synchrony with the age of energy. It’s hardly coincidental that as traditional science began to reveal the hidden potential of nature’s powers — magnetic fields, radiation, radio waves, electrical currents — paranormal researchers began to suggest that the occult operated in similar ways.

A fair number of these occult explorers were scientists who studied nature’s highly charged circuits. Marie Curie, who did some of the first research into radioactive elements like uranium, attended séances to assess the powers of mediums. So did the British physicist J. J. Thomson, who demonstrated the existence of the electron in 1897. And so did Thomson’s colleague, John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh, who won the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work with atmospheric gases.

Rayleigh would later become president of the British Society for Psychical Research. And he would be joined in that organization by other physicists, including the wireless radio pioneer Sir Oliver Lodge, who proposed that both telepathy and ghostly appearances were achieved through energy transmissions connecting living minds to one another and perhaps even to the dead.

Lodge argued that the human brain could function as a kind of receiver, picking up signals at a subconscious level. These were powered by some undiscovered energy, traveling perhaps in waves, perhaps in currents. Such transmissions lay behind telepathic experiences, including shared thoughts. Along the same lines, he thought it possible that a spirit’s appearance was really just its specific energy signal stimulating a response from the receiver’s brain.

The theories developed by Lodge and his colleagues dovetail rather neatly with the electricity-produced hauntings that Olaf Blanke, a Swiss neuroscientist, reports in Nature. For example, he used an implanted electrode to send a current into a region of the brain called the angular gyrus. The test was focused on language processing. But as a side effect, one of the test subjects nervously reported sensing another person in bed with her, silent and shadowy. Her creepy companion came and went with the ebb and flow of current.

It would be compelling — and more convincing — if the same result could be exhibited in a few more subjects. But Dr. Blanke believes that even this one subject’s experience serves as an example of how we may mistake errant signals in the brain for something more. Humans tend, he points out, to seek explanation, to impose meaning on events that may have none. The pure rationalists among us suggest that our need to add meaning to a basic, biological existence easily accounts for the way we organize religions and find evidence of otherworldly powers in the stuff of everyday life.

The nonpurists suggest a different conclusion: willful scientific blindness. And there’s no reason Dr. Blanke’s study can’t support their theories of the paranormal. Perhaps his experimental electric current simply mimics the work of an equally powerful spirit. Much of the psychical research done today applies similar principles: brain-imaging machines highlight parts of the brain that respond to psychic phenomena, while other devices are used to search for infrared radiation or increased electrical activity in haunted houses.

The American psychologist and philosopher William James, also a leader in the Victorian paranormal research movement, remarked even then on the culture clash: “How often has ‘Science’ killed off all spook philosophy, and laid ghosts and raps and ‘telepathy’ underground as so much popular delusion?” he wrote in 1909. And how often, James wondered rhetorically, had such efforts stopped people from seeing ghosts and believing in supernatural powers? Because in the end, of course, the conclusion has nothing to do with science at all and everything to do with how one sees the world.

I suspect that we’ll dwell forever in the haunted landscape of our beliefs. To many people it’s a world more interesting — bigger, stranger, more mysterious — than the one offered by science. Why choose instead to be creatures of chemical impulse and electrical twitch? We would rather gamble on even a tiny, electrical spark of a chance that we are something more.

Deborah Blum, a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992, is the author of “Ghost Hunters: William James and the Scientific Search for Life After Death.”

Source: NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/30/opinion/30blum.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&oref=
slogin&oref=slogin

- SMELL YOU LATER DEPARTMENT -

Smelly Bigfoot: The Skunk Ape

In August, 2004, Jennifer Ward was driving on a rural road in Southern Florida. She had just been visiting a friend and, as the sun was setting, she was now on her way home with her two daughters asleep in the back seat.

Something on the side of the road caught her attention. She suspected it was an animal of some kind, but could not tell what. She slowed the car to a crawl to get a better look. It appeared to be crouched in a ditch on the roadside. It was something large. Something she had never seen before.

As she neared it, the creature noticed her and stood to its full height – on two legs. It was the last thing Jennifer expected to see. “When he saw me, he was as surprised as I was,” she told the Sun-Sentinal. “I didn't stop because I was scared. It was almost dark, but I could see it and get a good look.”

What Jennifer described was a mysterious creature that has been seen in virtually every state of the Union, but has never been scientifically classified.
It stood six to eight feet tall, she reported, and was covered in dark hair about two inches long. The area around its eyes was whitish and its full lips had the color and texture of the pad on a dog’s paw.

Jennifer Ward had a chance encounter with Florida’s version of Bigfoot – the Skunk Ape, a name it earned because of its powerfully foul odor, which is said to be a cross between a skunk, rotten eggs and cow manure. Her highly credible sighting is one of the latest in a long list of Skunk Ape sightings that date back more than 200 years. In the past 20 years, there have been about 75 reported sightings. Several photos and even videos alleged to be of the elusive creature have also been taken.

The Skunk Ape is thought to dwell in Florida’s swamps and Everglades. Researchers suspect that the individual Jennifer encountered may have been displaced by Hurricane Charley, which recently had ravaged the area.

Despite the number of sightings – the largest number of Bigfoot-type sightings outside the Pacific Northwest where Sasquatch resides – the rangers who regularly patrol the large nature preserves are skeptical about the existence of the Skunk Ape. So far, no rangers have officially reported any sightings.

David Shealy, a Skunk Ape researcher and lifetime resident of the Everglades thinks otherwise. He believes he has evidence in the form of a plaster cast of a large Skunk Ape footprint and a reddish hair sample that was found in a broken branch seven feet above the ground. Shealy also runs a small roadside “zoo” and a gift shop stocked with Skunk Ape memorabilia, so he may have a vested interest in keeping the creature alive in the minds of the public.

Skunk Ape Sightings

There was a wave of sightings in the 1970s, all consistently describing the animal as reaching about seven feet tall, weighing about 300 pounds or more, and to be foul-smelling. (Although Bigfoot or Sasquatch is also said to be bad-smelling, the Skunk Ape’s odor is particularly offensive.) Sightings became scarcer over the following 30 years and then escalated again in the 2000s, with most sightings coming out of the Ochopee area. A group of people taking a guided tour of a swamp area claimed to have seen a large, hairy ape-like creature walking along the banks of the swamp. Soon after, a local fire chief named Vince Doerr said he saw it crossing a road near his home, and before it disappeared into the swamp, he managed to snap a photo of it. Because the creature is some distance away in the photo, it is considered interesting but not conclusive evidence. In fact, Doerr himself later stated that he suspected it was just someone in a gorilla suit.

One highly doubtful bit of lore about the Skunk Ape is that one was captured alive by the U.S. Army and held captive (for unknown reasons) in a secret vault at Everglades National Park. According to the story, the powerful Skunk Ape smashed its way out of its concrete prison and escaped back into the wild. This time it’s the story that stinks; not even avid Skunk Ape advocates put much credence in this tale.

Best Evidence?

The best evidence for the existence of the Skunk Ape came in 2000 when several photographs were mailed by an anonymous source to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. Known as the "The Myakka Skunk Ape photographs," they clearly show a large ape-like creature. Noted cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, who has thoroughly analyzed the photos, points out the details of forehead lines, yellow canines, fingernails and hair – all clearly visible.

The photographer still has not been identified. So although the photos are compelling and Coleman does not think they are part of a hoax, they still are not proof positive.

Jennifer Ward’s account of her sighting is also highly compelling, and adds yet another piece in the hairy hominid puzzle.

The Bigfoot Enigma

And what a strange puzzle it is. There have been thousands of reported sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures over the decades, many by highly credible witnesses. Yet virtually every one of those sightings happened spontaneously – that is, unexpectedly – by campers, drivers, loggers, hunters, hikers, etc. Those who go out expressly to find the creature never see it. There are footprints, hair samples, and controversial photos, film and video. Yet park rangers and others who routinely patrol the areas where sightings are said to occur never encounter them.

What is the nature of this beast that it can appear (and smell) so distinctly to so many good eyewitnesses, yet completely evade capture, clear photography (with the possible exception of the Myakka photos) and high-tech detection equipment?

Is Bigfoot a figment of the imagination? Or is it an intelligent creature that has shown great skill (or luck), so far, in keeping its identity secret from those bothersome humans out there?

Source: paranormal.about.com/Stephen Wagner
http://paranormal.about.com/od/bigfootsasquatch/a/aa112204.htm

- BEING THERE, DOING THAT DEPARTMENT -

The Resonance Theory of Simultaneous Existence

Let me ask you to wrap your mind around the “idea” that TIME, as we perceive it, is not linear. It does not move from the past into the future like a highway. Nor does it begin on page one with something like “In the beginning…” and end three hundred pages later with something like, “and they lived happily ever after.”

Just for sake of discussion, imagine that all “time”, everyone’s time, everyone who you have ever been or will ever be and everything you have ever done or ever will do, is happening right now. And that it is only through the mechanism of your personal ego that you identify with this particular linear spoke date stamped, 2006.

Imagine, if you will, that somehow you are able to neutralize your date imprint and are able to traverse the entire “frequency” that is YOU. Now here is the interesting part. To a limited degree you can do this right now. And this is because you (Mr. or Ms. whoever) are a “Frequency” of Mind, a frequency of…intent,, if you will, and what happens to you in one experience resonates across the specific frequency which is the entirety of you and you, in your current experience. Feel the vibration!

Have you ever been sort of walking along, just being “you”, feeling perfectly “normal” and then, for no reason at all, you suddenly feel absolutely FANTASTIC! Nothing has changed in your current experience but your mood has suddenly been drastically altered. Likewise you might suddenly feel absolutely horrible, for no reason at all. Or you will have a very near fatal accident, in an automobile or perhaps a fall. These are all resonant effects of events which are happening to “you” along another specific radial within your frequency. You feel fantastic! Something incredibly wonderful has just happened to you along this other radial of consciousness and the feeling resonates out over your entire frequency. Of course as it moves the effect lessens over perceived time and distance. In one life experience you may have a fatal injury. You are dead! In another experience you simply have a very close call and in yet another experience you suddenly come down with a severe headache, or a bad case of the flu. These “feeling events” are also cued into time/date stamps. You die in one life at age 17. In this life at age 17 you break a leg. You are abandoned as a young child in one life. In this experience your parents get divorced when you are the exact same age as in the alternative life. And so it goes. Every thing that happens to you, every significant feeling you get is to a greater or lessor degree stimulated by “you” experiencing yourself in an alternate reality. And, you may ask, “Where does it start? And where does it end?”

This is called The Resonance Theory of Simultaneous Existence. We occupy our consciousness--all at once. What happens in one life experience resonates across all frequencies and influences all other life experiences. These feelings resonate across frequencies like small waves across the surface of the ocean. Our consciousness is the ocean. Our individuated feelings are like the waves upon the surface of that sea. Sometimes the waves move in unison, sometimes, as in a storm, they move in a very chaotic fashion across the surface. And sometimes, rarely, but it happens, there can be a Tsunami type wave which moves at astonishing speed across the surface altering everything it touches. In recent times these have been called World Wars!

This is similar to the Butterfly theory of weather. A butterfly flaps its wings in Tibet and a storm begins to form off the Florida Coast. Likewise, in one life experience, seemingly limited by a specific time and space, something happens. We think that it is done. Whatever the "traumatic" event is, an accident, a severe illness, the winning of a lottery, getting married, the birth of a child, whatever, we perceive it as over. The reality is that it is not a done deal. The vibrations from these events move across the frequencies like the waves of sound move through the air with the ringing of a very large bell or gong. Or like a ripple will move across the surface of a pond when a stone is dropped into the pool. The psychological model we have been working with, specifically the Freudian model, is extremely naïve and limited.

What we are doing, as a species, is nothing less than co-creating a tapestry of consciousness on a veritable cosmic loom. We are growing our soul. We are creating this across the vast reaches of what we naively refer to as time and space and we are not doing this alone, but with the direct intent and cooperation of every other conscious entity. Each generation offers up a composite design component. Some generations offer up a metaphorical element that stands out as a focus of interest for a hundred years or more, while other generations come and go with scarcely a ripple, as if their intention is merely to add to a general repetitive background pattern. But make no mistake, we are far more than a mere assemblage of random molecules…there is far reaching holographic intention here. We are doing more than discovering our world and our place within it. We are actually Imagineers involved in the act of creation and with this realization will come a subtle "click," as from the opening of a backdoor, as from the opening of a human mind, and with this, the rings of realization will began to radiate in all directions across the pond of time.

Source: San Jose Chronicle
http://www.sanjosechronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=16009

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