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Are you afraid of ghosts and monsters? How about aliens flying down in their space-craft to kidnap you from your bedroom at night?  Do you worry that the government is listening in on your private conversations? Or that the Men-In-Black are waiting for you just around the corner?

Well never fear - Conspiracy Journal is Here!  Yes that's right. Conspiracy Journal, your number one source of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and more, is here once again to protect you from THEM, by keeping you informed on all the news and information that you won't hear on your local 6 o'clock news or read in your hometown newspaper.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such amazing stories as:

- Efforts to Stop `Voter Fraud' May Have Curbed Legitimate Voting -
- UK Bigfoot, Werewolves or Subterranean Creatures? -
- The Surprising Truth Behind the Great Pyramids -
- Diamonds Tell Tale of Comet That Killed Off the Cavemen -
AND:  The Outer UFO Phenomena

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


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MYSTERIES MAGAZINE  #17

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- SUPPRESS THE VOTE DEPARTMENT -

Efforts to Stop `Voter Fraud' May Have Curbed Legitimate Voting


During four years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Hans von Spakovsky went so far in a crusade against voter fraud as to warn of its dangers under a pseudonym in a law journal article.

Writing as "Publius," von Spakovsky contended that every voter should be required to produce a photo-identification card and that there was "no evidence" that such restrictions burden minority voters disproportionately.

Now, amid a scandal over politicization of the Justice Department, Congress is beginning to examine allegations that von Spakovsky was a key player in a Republican campaign to hang onto power in Washington by suppressing the votes of minority voters.

"Mr. von Spakovsky was central to the administration's pursuit of strategies that had the effect of suppressing the minority vote," charged Joseph Rich, a former Justice Department voting rights chief who worked under him.

He and other former career department lawyers say that von Spakovsky steered the agency toward voting rights policies not seen before, pushing to curb minor instances of election fraud by imposing sweeping restrictions that would make it harder, not easier, for Democratic-leaning poor and minority voters to cast ballots.

In interviews, current and former federal officials and civil rights leaders told McClatchy Newspapers that von Spakovsky:

-Sped approval of tougher voter ID laws in Georgia and Arizona in 2005, joining decisions to override career lawyers who believed that Georgia's law would restrict voting by poor blacks and who felt that more analysis was needed on the Arizona law's impact on Native Americans and Latinos.

-Tried to influence the federal Election Assistance Commission's research into the dimensions of voter fraud nationally and the impact of restrictive voter ID laws - research that could undermine a vote-suppression agenda.

-Allegedly engineered the ouster of the commission's chairman, Paul DeGregorio, whom von Spakovsky considered insufficiently partisan.

Von Spakovsky, who declined to comment on these allegations, is among more than a dozen present and former Justice Department officials drawing congressional scrutiny over the administration's alleged use of the nation's chief law enforcement agency for partisan purposes.

Congressional committees investigating the firing last year of nine U.S. attorneys are looking into allegations that prosecutors nationwide were urged to pursue voter fraud to build a basis for tougher ID laws.

Von Spakovsky, who had been a longtime voting rights activist and elections official in Georgia before serving at Justice, accepted a presidential recess appointment to a Republican slot on the Federal Election Commission in December 2005. He is scheduled to appear at a June 13 confirmation hearing before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

The House Administration Committee is also inquiring into von Spakovsky's communications with the Election Assistance Commission, a tiny agency that implemented a 2002 election reform law and serves as a national election information clearinghouse.

The bipartisan, four-member commission stirred a political tempest last year when it delayed the release of voter fraud and voter ID law studies, saying that more research was needed. A House panel revealed last month that the fraud study's central finding - that there was little evidence of widespread voter fraud - had been toned down to say that "a great deal of debate" surrounded the subject.

Commissioners rejected as flawed the second study's finding that voter ID laws tend to suppress turnout, especially among Latinos, and ordered more research.

Rich said that von Spakovsky usurped his seat on a commission advisory panel in 2004, although the law creating the panel allocated that spot for the Voting Rights Section chief "or his designee." Rich said he was not consulted.

After the commission hired both liberal and conservative consultants to work on the studies in 2005, e-mails show that von Spakovsky tried to persuade panel members that the research was flawed.

In an Aug. 18, 2005, e-mail to Chairman DeGregorio, he objected strenuously to a contract award for the ID study to researchers at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, who were teaming with a group at Rutgers University.

Von Spakovsky wrote that Daniel Tokaji, the associate director of Moritz' election program, was "an outspoken opponent of voter identification requirements" and that those "pre-existing notions" should disqualify him from federal funding for impartial research.

The criticism was ironic coming from von Spakovsky, who a few months earlier had written the anonymous article for the Texas Review of Law and Politics, in which he called voter fraud a problem of importance equal to racial discrimination at the polls. Von Spakovsky acknowledged writing the article after joining the FEC.

Months after its publication, he participated in the department's review of Georgia's photo ID law, as required under the 1965 Voting Rights Act for election laws passed in 16 Southern states. After the department approved it, a federal judge struck it down as akin to a Jim Crow-era poll tax on minority voters.

Rich called von Spakovsky's failure to withdraw from the case "especially disturbing, given the clear ethical concerns" over his prior work as a Georgia elections official and the bias in his article.

Von Spakovsky's tone toward DeGregorio grew increasingly harsh in 2005 as the chairman refused to take partisan stands, said two people close to the commission who declined to be identified because of the matter's sensitivity.

Their differences seemed to come to a head last year over two issues raised by Arizona's Republican secretary of state, Janice Brewer, who was implementing the toughest state voter identification law in the nation. In April 2005, the Justice Department erroneously advised her that Arizona did not need to offer a provisional ballot to those lacking proof of citizenship.

E-mails suggest that von Spakovsky contacted an aide to Missouri Republican Sen. Kit Bond, who inquired of DeGregorio whether the commission was "seriously considering taking a position against" the department on the provisional ballot question.

DeGregorio sent a testy message asking von Spakovsky if the note from Capitol Hill was "an attempt by you to put pressure on me."

"If so, I do not appreciate it," he wrote.

The next day, von Spakovsky wrote DeGregorio that he thought they "had a deal" under which the department would reconsider its position on provisional ballots if the commission would allow Arizona to modify the federal voter registration form to require proof of citizenship.

"I do not agree to `deals,' especially when it comes to interpretation of the law," DeGregorio replied.

Last September, the White House replaced DeGregorio with Caroline Hunter, a former deputy counsel to the Republican National Committee. DeGregorio confided to associates that he was told that von Spakovsky influenced the White House's decision not to reappoint him, said the two people close to the panel.

Asked about his ouster, DeGregorio said only that he "was aware that Mr. von Spakovsky was not pleased with the bipartisan approaches that I took."

Source: McClatchy Washington Bureau
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/17256012.htm

- EAT IT, IT'S GOOD FOR YOU DEPARTMENT -

Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed

Several recent studies confirm fears that genetically modified (GM) foods damage human health. These studies were released as the World Trade Organization (WTO) moved toward upholding the ruling that the European Union has violated international trade rules by stopping importation of GM foods.

    * Research by the Russian Academy of Sciences released in December 2005 found that more than half of the offspring of rats fed GM soy died within the first three weeks of life, six times as many as those born to mothers fed on non-modified soy. Six times as many offspring fed GM soy were also severely underweight.
    * In November 2005, a private research institute in Australia, CSIRO Plant Industry, put a halt to further development of a GM pea cultivator when it was found to cause an immune response in laboratory mice.
    * In the summer of 2005, an Italian research team led by a cellular biologist at the University of Urbino published confirmation that absorption of GM soy by mice causes development of misshapen liver cells, as well as other cellular anomalies.
    * In May of 2005 the review of a highly confidential and controversial Monsanto report on test results of corn modified with Monsanto MON863 was published in The Independent/UK.

Dr. Arpad Pusztai (see Censored 2001, Story #7), one of the few genuinely independent scientists specializing in plant genetics and animal feeding studies, was asked by the German authorities in the autumn of 2004 to examine Monsanto’s 1,139-page report on the feeding of MON863 to laboratory rats over a ninety-day period.

The study found “statistically significant” differences in kidney weights and certain blood parameters in the rats fed the GM corn as compared with the control groups. A number of scientists across Europe who saw the study (and heavily-censored summaries of it) expressed concerns about the health and safety implications if MON863 should ever enter the food chain. There was particular concern in France, where Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen has been trying (without success) for almost eighteen months to obtain full disclosure of all documents relating to the MON863 study.

Dr. Pusztai was forced by the German authorities to sign a “declaration of secrecy” before he was allowed to see the Monsanto rat feeding study, on the grounds that the document is classified as “CBI” or “confidential business interest.” While Pusztai is still bound by the declaration of secrecy, Monsanto recently declared that it does not object to the widespread dissemination of the “Pusztai Report.”

Monsanto GM soy and corn are widely consumed by Americans at a time when the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has concluded, “In several cases, GMOs have been put on the market when safety issues are not clear.”

As GMO research is not encouraged by U.S. or European governments, the vast majority of toxicological studies are conducted by those companies producing and promoting consumption of GMOs. With motive and authenticity of results suspect in corporate testing, independent scientific research into the effects of GM foods is attracting increasing attention.

Comment: In May 2006 the WTO upheld a ruling that European countries broke international trade rules by stopping importation of GM foods. The WTO verdict found that the EU has had an effective ban on biotech foods since 1998 and sided with the U.S., Canada, and Argentina in a decision that the moratorium was illegal under WTO rules.

Source: Project Censored
http://www.projectcensored.org/censored_2007/index.htm

- STRANGE CREATURES FROM TIME AND SPACE DEPARTMENT -

UK Bigfoot, Werewolves or Subterranean Creatures?

Britain has a long history of lycanthropy - from the tale of the notorious Flixton Werewolf that terrorized the north of England more than a thousand years ago, to the strange sagas of the Hexham Heads, the Abbotsham werewolf, the wild Wolfman of Lynton, and countless others.

But quite possibly nothing compares with the incredible wave of wolfish-weirdness that has recently descended upon Britain's Cannock Chase - a large area of forest land in central England, and a location that has become a veritable hotbed for encounters with big cats, ghostly black dogs, Bigfoot-like entities, and now werewolves.

On April 26, 2007, the Stafford Post newspaper (which covers the area in question) stated the following: "A rash of sightings of a 'werewolf' type creature prowling around the outskirts of Stafford have prompted a respected Midlands paranormal group to investigate. West Midlands Ghost Club says they have been contacted by a number of shocked residents who saw what they claimed to be a `hairy wolf-type creature' walking on its hind legs around the German War Cemetery, just off Camp Road, in between Stafford and Cannock. Several of them claim the creature sprang up on its hind legs and ran into the nearby bushes when it was spotted."

The newspaper continued:

"Nick Duffy, of West Midlands Ghost Club, said the stories of werewolf sightings in Chase area were something that he had encountered before. He said: 'The first person to contact us was a postman, who told us he had seen what he thought was a werewolf on the German War Cemetery site. He said he was over there on a motorbike and saw what he believed was a large dog. When he got closer, the creature got on his hind legs and ran away.'"

The Post quoted Duffy as adding that: "I’ve spoke to many witnesses and I know when they are putting it on. But what struck me as strange about this was the way he told it. I'm in no doubt that he was telling the truth."

The creature was also apparently spotted by a scout leader walking over the forest land earlier in April. The man, who the Post stated did not want to be named, said he saw what he initially believed was a large dog prowling by the bushes. It was only when he got into his car to drive away that he realised something weird was afoot.

He said: "It just looked like a huge dog. But when I slammed the door of my car it reared up on its back legs and ran into the trees. It must have been about six to seven feet tall. I know it sounds absolutely mad, but I know what I saw.”
 
And last week, both the Chase Post newspaper (whose official website is home to countless weird animal reports from the area) and the Birmingham Post ran the following story:

A tribe of subterranean creatures who surface on Cannock Chase to hunt for food could be behind a rash of 'werewolf' and Big Foot sightings near Stafford.

And the mysterious beings could also be responsible for a string of pet disappearances, it has been claimed.

West Midlands Ghost Club, our area's top paranormal investigation group, say they have been contacted by a number of shocked eye-witnesses who claim they have come to face to face with a 'hairy, wolf-type creature' at the beauty spot.

A scout leader and a local post man are amongst the 'credible' witnesses to contact the club. Theories behind the sightings range from a crazed tramp to aliens.

But now another paranormal expert has put forward the theory the sub-human beast is not a werewolf at all - but a Stone Age throwback.

The investigator, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us: "Strange sightings in this area have been made over many years by civilians, military, police, ex-police and scout leaders on patrol.

"Some incidents have been reported and logged but others not - some people don't want to be classed as 'mad'.

"The strangest rumour has come from a senior local resident who believes the mysterious intruders to be subterranean," he told us.

"The creatures have made their way to the surface via old earthworks to hunt, for example, local deer."

And, on the surface, the far-fetched tale could be easily dismissed. However, our expert added: "It's a fact that there has been significant mining activity under Cannock Chase for centuries.

"And it's a fact there is a high rate of domestic pet disappearance in the area --especially dogs off the lead...just ask anyone who walks their dog near the German War Cemetery..."

Nick Duffy, a lead member of West Midlands Ghost Club, told us he was intrigued by this new theory: "It's as likely as any of the others - so it could well be," he said.

Source: Monsterusa/icstafford
http://monsterusa.blogspot.com/2007/05/do-werewolves-roam-woods-of-england.html

http://icstafford.icnetwork.co.uk/news/localnews/tm_headline=cannock-chase-cavemen-claims
%26method=full%26objectid=19117948%26siteid=87875-name_page.html#story_continue

- HISTORIES MYSTERIES DEPARTMENT -

The Surprising Truth Behind the Great Pyramids

"This is not my day job." So begins Michel Barsoum as he recounts his foray into the mysteries of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. As a well respected researcher in the field of ceramics, Barsoum never expected his career to take him down a path of history, archaeology, and "political" science, with materials research mixed in.

As a distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University, his daily routine consists mainly of teaching students about ceramics, or performing research on a new class of materials, the so-called MAX Phases, that he and his colleagues discovered in the 1990s. These modern ceramics are machinable, thermal-shock resistant, and are better conductors of heat and electricity than many metals-making them potential candidates for use in nuclear power plants, the automotive industry, jet engines, and a range of other high-demand systems.

Then Barsoum received an unexpected phone call from Michael Carrell, a friend of a retired colleague of Barsoum, who called to chat with the Egyptian-born Barsoum about how much he knew of the mysteries surrounding the building of the Great Pyramids of Giza, the only remaining of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The widely accepted theory-that the pyramids were crafted of carved-out giant limestone blocks that workers carried up ramps-had not only not been embraced by everyone, but as important had quite a number of holes.

According to the caller, the mysteries had actually been solved by Joseph Davidovits, Director of the Geopolymer Institute in St. Quentin, France, more than two decades ago. Davidovits claimed that the stones of the pyramids were actually made of a very early form of concrete created using a mixture of limestone, clay, lime, and water.

"It was at this point in the conversation that I burst out laughing," says Barsoum. If the pyramids were indeed cast, he says, someone should have proven it beyond a doubt by now, in this day and age, with just a few hours of electron microscopy.

It turned out that nobody had completely proven the theory...yet.

"What started as a two-hour project turned into a five-year odyssey that I undertook with one of my graduate students, Adrish Ganguly, and a colleague in France, Gilles Hug," Barsoum says.

A year and a half later, after extensive scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations and other testing, Barsoum and his research group finally began to draw some conclusions about the pyramids. They found that the tiniest structures within the inner and outer casing stones were indeed consistent with a reconstituted limestone. The cement binding the limestone aggregate was either silicon dioxide (the building block of quartz) or a calcium and magnesium-rich silicate mineral.

The stones also had a high water content-unusual for the normally dry, natural limestone found on the Giza plateau-and the cementing phases, in both the inner and outer casing stones, were amorphous, in other words, their atoms were not arranged in a regular and periodic array. Sedimentary rocks such as limestone are seldom, if ever, amorphous.

The sample chemistries the researchers found do not exist anywhere in nature. "Therefore," says Barsoum, "it's very improbable that the outer and inner casing stones that we examined were chiseled from a natural limestone block."

More startlingly, Barsoum and another of his graduate students, Aaron Sakulich, recently discovered the presence of silicon dioxide nanoscale spheres (with diameters only billionths of a meter across) in one of the samples. This discovery further confirms that these blocks are not natural limestone.

At the end of their most recent paper reporting these findings, the researchers reflect that it is "ironic, sublime and truly humbling" that this 4,500-year-old limestone is so true to the original that it has misled generations of Egyptologists and geologists and, "because the ancient Egyptians were the original-albeit unknowing-nanotechnologists."

As if the scientific evidence isn't enough, Barsoum has pointed out a number of common sense reasons why the pyramids were not likely constructed entirely of chiseled limestone blocks.

Egyptologists are consistently confronted by unanswered questions: How is it possible that some of the blocks are so perfectly matched that not even a human hair can be inserted between them? Why, despite the existence of millions of tons of stone, carved presumably with copper chisels, has not one copper chisel ever been found on the Giza Plateau?

Although Barsoum's research has not answered all of these questions, his work provides insight into some of the key questions. For example, it is now more likely than not that the tops of the pyramids are cast, as it would have been increasingly difficult to drag the stones to the summit.

Also, casting would explain why some of the stones fit so closely together. Still, as with all great mysteries, not every aspect of the pyramids can be explained. How the Egyptians hoisted 70-ton granite slabs halfway up the great pyramid remains as mysterious as ever.

Why do the results of Barsoum's research matter most today? Two words: earth cements.

"How energy intensive and/or complicated can a 4,500 year old technology really be? The answer to both questions is not very," Barsoum explains. "The basic raw materials used for this early form of concrete-limestone, lime, and diatomaceous earth-can be found virtually anywhere in the world," he adds. "Replicating this method of construction would be cost effective, long lasting, and much more environmentally friendly than the current building material of choice: Portland cement that alone pumps roughly 6 billion tons of CO2 annually into the atmosphere when it's manufactured."

"Ironically," says Barsoum, "this study of 4,500 year old rocks is not about the past, but about the future."

Source: LiveScience
http://www.livescience.com/history/070518_bts_barsoum_pyramids.html

- ANCIENT DEATH FROM ABOVE DEPARTMENT -

Diamonds Tell Tale of Comet That Killed Off the Cavemen

Fireballs set half the planet ablaze, wiping out the mammoth and America's Stone Age hunters.

Scientists will outline dramatic evidence this week that suggests a comet exploded over the Earth nearly 13,000 years ago, creating a hail of fireballs that set fire to most of the northern hemisphere.

Primitive Stone Age cultures were destroyed and populations of mammoths and other large land animals, such as the mastodon, were wiped out. The blast also caused a major bout of climatic cooling that lasted 1,000 years and seriously disrupted the development of the early human civilisations that were emerging in Europe and Asia.

"This comet set off a shock wave that changed Earth profoundly," said Arizona geophysicist Allen West. "It was about 2km-3km in diameter and broke up just before impact, setting off a series of explosions, each the equivalent of an atomic bomb blast. The result would have been hell on Earth. Most of the northern hemisphere would have been left on fire."

The theory is to be outlined at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Acapulco, Mexico. A group of U.S. scientists that include West will report that they have found a layer of microscopic diamonds at 26 different sites in Europe, Canada and America. These are the remains of a giant carbon-rich comet that crashed in pieces on our planet 12,900 years ago, they say. The huge pressures and heat triggered by the fragments crashing to Earth turned the comet's carbon into diamond dust.

"The shock waves and the heat would have been tremendous," said West. "It would have set fire to animals' fur and to the clothing worn by men and women. The searing heat would have also set fire to the grasslands of the northern hemisphere. Great grazing animals like the mammoth that had survived the original blast would later have died in their thousands from starvation. Only animals, including humans, that had a wide range of food would have survived the aftermath."

The scientists point out that archaeological evidence shows that early Stone Age cultures clearly suffered serious setbacks at this time. In particular, American Stone Age hunters, descendants of the hunter-gatherers who had migrated to the continent from Asia, vanished around this time.

These people were some of the fiercest hunters on Earth, men and women who made magnificent stone spearheads which they used to hunt animals including the mammoth. Their disappearance at this time has been a cause of intense debate, with climate change being put forward as a key explanation. Now there is a new idea: the first Americans were killed by a comet.

It was not just America that bore the brunt of the comet crash. At this time, the Earth was emerging from the last Ice Age. The climate was slowly warming, though extensive ice fields still covered higher latitudes. The disintegrating comet would have plunged into these ice sheets, causing widespread melting. These waters would have poured into the Atlantic, disrupting its currents, including the Gulf stream. The long-term effect was a 1,000-year cold spell that hit Europe and Asia.

The comet theory, backed by observational evidence collected by the team, has excited considerable attention from other researchers, following publication of an outline report of the work in Nature

"The magnitude of this discovery is so important," team member James Kennett, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, told the journal. "It explains three of the highest-debated controversies of recent decades."

These are the sudden disappearance of the first Stone Age people of America, the disappearance of mammoths throughout much of Europe and America and the sudden cooling of the planet, an event known as the Younger-Dryas period. Various theories have been put forward to explain these occurrences, but now scientists believe they have found a common cause in a comet crash. However, the idea is still controversial and the theory is bedevilled by problems in obtaining accurate dates for the different events.

"We still have a long way to go," admitted West. "But we have a great deal of evidence, from many sites, so this is quite a powerful case that we are making."

Source: The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,2083785,00.html

- SHADOWS OF THE UNKNOWN DEPARTMENT -

What is Consciousness?

Research would also subject claims of “out of body” experiences to strict test.

In sci­ence, plen­ty of prob­lems are hard. But per­haps just one is so grue­somely try­ing that sci­en­tists them­selves have termed it, well, “the hard prob­lem.” How does con­scious­ness arise—the liv­ing, aware ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing?

Some the­o­ries hold that it comes from, or is even iden­ti­cal to, elec­tri­cal and chem­i­cal pro­cesses known to un­fold in the brain. Oth­ers say it arises else­where: in some even sub­tler, yet-un­dis­cov­ered brain pro­cesses, or per­haps a mind-stuff quite dis­tinct from the brain—some call it a soul.

Ces­sa­tion of brain ac­tiv­i­ty is rec­og­nized when a device known as an elec­tro­en­ce­pha­lo­gram, set up to re­cord the brain's elec­tr­ical activity, de­tects no activity be­yond the in­her­ent in­ter­nal noise of the ma­chine it­self. The read­out from the de­vice then ap­pears as flat line.
Few on ei­ther side claim to have fi­nal an­swers. But they of­ten ar­gue pas­sion­ately over who’s at least in the right play­ing field.

Now a group of re­search­ers has be­gun a study that they say might set­tle the is­sue. “We can ac­tu­ally test this, and put and end to all these de­bates,” said Sam Par­nia, a crit­i­cal care doc­tor at Weill Cor­nell Med­i­cal Cen­ter in New York.

Par­nia has spent years stu­dying re­ports that some car­di­ac-ar­rest pa­tients keep hav­ing clear, dis­tinct thought pro­cesses af­ter they’re clin­ic­ally dead and de­tect­a­ble brain ac­ti­vity has ceased. Pa­tients com­monly re­count these men­tal ex­pe­ri­ences, which of­ten in­clude see­ing a light at the end of a tun­nel, af­ter be­ing re­vived.

Parnia and colleagues aim to put these re­ports to a test: spe­cif­ic sounds will be played to such pa­tients, and they’ll be asked to re­call the sounds af­ter re­viv­ing. If they do, it would con­firm the ac­counts of thoughts with­out brain ac­ti­vity—sup­port­ing the claims that “con­scious­ness is a sep­a­rate, yet un­disco­vered sci­en­tif­ic ent­ity” from the brain, Par­nia wrote in a pa­per in the the April 23 ad­vance on­line edi­tion of the re­search jour­nal Med­i­cal Hy­pothe­ses.

The study “looks like an in­ter­est­ing pro­pos­al,” wrote Da­vid Chal­mers, a phi­los­o­pher and di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for Con­scious­ness at the Aus­tral­ian Na­tional Un­ivers­ity in Can­ber­ra, Aus­tral­ia, in an e­mail. If the claims are con­firmed, it would “pose an in­ter­est­ing chal­lenge for sci­en­tists to ex­plain,” re­marked Chal­mers, au­thor of sev­er­al books on con­scious­ness.

But it probably would­n’t set­tle the most bas­ic, long­stand­ing dis­pute: wheth­er mind and brain are dif­fer­ent things, Chal­mers added. For in­stance, even if pa­tients’ claims are ver­i­fied, they “could be due to as­pects of brain func­tion­ing dur­ing car­di­ac ar­rest that are not cap­tured by the mea­sure­ments” Par­nia is us­ing, Chal­mers wrote. These mea­sure­ments are tak­en by elec­tro­en­ce­pha­lo­gram, a tech­nique in which sen­si­tive elec­trodes at­tached to the head rec­ord elec­tri­cal brain ac­ti­vity.

Par­nia said the tri­als be­gan on a pi­lot ba­sis in Jan­u­ary at two U.K. hos­pi­tals with 10 pa­tients; he aims to ex­pand the study to oth­er coun­tries and re­cruit over 1,000 pa­tients.

Per­haps the most strin­gent test in the study is al­so the one that ad­dresses the most ex­tra­or­di­nary no­tion. Crit­ic­ally ill pa­tients some­times re­port “out-of-body” ex­pe­ri­ences in which they feel they have floated out of their own bod­ies and are watch­ing them­selves from above.

Mark well: Par­nia is not test­ing wheth­er pa­tients gen­u­inely feel their minds have floated away. He wants to test wheth­er the minds ac­tu­ally do float away—a con­tro­ver­sial idea to say the least. His team plans to place pic­tures stra­te­gic­ally around pa­tients’ rooms where they’re vis­i­ble only from near the ceil­ing. Pa­tients would la­ter be asked about the im­ages. “Thus, the claims of con­scious awareness and out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ences will be tested in­de­pen­dent­ly,” he wrote in the pa­per.

He ad­mit­ted some would find the idea out­land­ish. A study pub­lished in 2002 found that just elec­tric­ally stim­u­lat­ing spe­cif­ic brain ar­eas could trig­ger an out-of-body-like ex­pe­ri­ence—ev­i­dence to some that the sensa­t­ions are il­lu­so­ry.

Dan­iel Den­nett, di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Cog­ni­tive Stud­ies at Tufts Un­ivers­ity in Med­ford, Mass., wrote in an e­mail that he’s nev­er seen ev­i­dence that the events are an­ything more than hal­lu­cina­t­ions. The ex­pe­ri­ments, “if con­ducted with scru­pu­lous care,” will surely con­firm this, added Den­nett, a phil­o­so­pher who is al­so au­thor of sev­er­al books on con­scious­ness.

Yet, said Par­nia—in de­fense of the op­po­site view—pa­tients have ac­cu­rately re­ported events in their hos­pi­tal rooms that oc­curred dur­ing out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ences, while they were clin­ic­ally dead. “If we get 200 peo­ple, and all claim to have an out-of-body ex­pe­ri­ence but none can iden­ti­fy the im­ages, that would very much sup­port the idea that this is a false mem­o­ry,” Par­nia said. “If on the oth­er hand, 200 peo­ple iden­ti­fy these im­ages… then we’d have to ac­cept that may­be hu­man con­scious­ness, as bi­zarre as it may sound, could be non-local to the brain.”

Source: World Science
http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/070520_consciousness.htm

- THE HIDDEN SIDE DEPARTMENT -

The Outer UFO Phenomena

This week we will look at the subject of UFOs through the eyes of Dana Redfield and also through my own experiences. This portion of her work will cover two articles: this one, which considers outer UFO phenomena, and the next one, which will consider hidden, or psychic, UFO phenomena.
   
In 1970, when I was 27, I went to work for a physicist and mechanical engineer, Donald Tully Elkins, who had been researching the field of the paranormal since the mid-1950s. He was also a pilot and often did charter work at Bowman Field, a private airport in Louisville, Ky.
   
Don was in the habit of taking his fees for such jobs as credit against his account there. When one of the several organizations collecting UFO information called him with a UFO encounter case in the Kentucky area, he would rent a small plane and do a field investigation to ascertain the facts. I went with him on some of these flights.
   
Perhaps the most interesting case we investigated was that of a truck driver who had lost time on his way home from his girlfriend's house. He left after the opening monologue of a late-night television show and arrived home after 2 a.m. It was a 20-minute drive. His memory of that drive home consisted of seeing a UFO in the sky ahead of his truck, his truck's engine dying and then finding himself still on the road, his car still stopped, but with the feeling that something had occurred which he could not remember.
   
When I met him, the experience was fresh and his eyes were still bright red from the radiation burns common to such "close encounters," as J. Allen Hynek called these direct experiences with UFOs. The young truck driver was eager to know what had occurred during those missing minutes, and Don hypnotized him and took him back to the point at which his engine died.
   
Under hypnosis, he recalled being on board the UFO. He underwent a kind of physical examination. The aliens were not humanoid or even creature-oid. They were shapes. One looked like a soft drink machine, a tall red box who was nervous. One was a large, white box who was calm. One was a smaller black box with a chip on its non-existent shoulder. These entities projected needles from their sides and removed various samples of DNA from him.
   
Do I believe UFOs are real? Do I believe UFOs are here? Yes, indeed. I know they are. My field research and the reading I did throughout the 1970s for Don offered conclusive proof to me that something is happening, something that leaves dents in the ground, measurable radiation at the scene and bloodshot eyes in the experiencers again and again.
   
Don asked the Ra group on Jan. 6, 1981, why the UFO visitors were here advertising their presence and why their appearances could never be proven. They replied:
   
"Consider, if you will, the path your life has taken. Consider the coincidences and odd circumstances by which one thing flowed to the next. Consider this well. Each entity will receive the opportunity that each needs. This information does not have uses in the life of each of those among your peoples who seek. Thus the advertisement is general and not designed to indicate the searching out of any particular material, but only to suggest the noumenal aspect of the illusion."
   
In other words, Ra suggested that UFO sightings, by entities such as they are, are designed to alert the experiencer to the mystery at the heart of their seemingly everyday world. They are wake-up calls.
   
Dana was a frequent experiencer of such visitations. She remained lighthearted about it as well as feeling burdened by them. The lighthearted side is shown well in her letter to me of April 2, 2000. "I hear these stories about people piloting spaceships myself. Maybe it's true, but it's way outta my league. I can barely navigate this dangblatted piece o' talkinwritin machine here. And it doesn't get off the ground." Trust Dana to find a way to reduce the incredible spate of experiences she had to manageable proportions!
   
On Page 173 of her book "Summoned," published by Hampton Roads in 1999, she got more serious about the subject. She wrote:
   
"Speaking from my heart, head and experience, I believe that the aliens are real, various and on the scene. I believe that some are of the angelic or demonic quality, and all coexist in our 'multiverse' (as venerable author Jacques Vallee names our multileveled reality). I believe that some are so highly advanced that they barely remember our issues with good and evil. Their purpose is to shepherd our evolution. Their devotion seems almost ruthless; their love pure and free of the sentimentality we mistake for passion."
   
My experience as a channel is of communications with this same advanced group, which offers a message of unconditional love and unity. This channeling was what first brought Dana and me together. When she read our Law of One material in 1983, she recognized in us kindred souls and a shared contact and wrote us at L/L Research. The contact deepened for over 20 years, enriching my life with Dana's special beauty and hilarious sense of humor.
   
Dana was well aware that there were other sides to the UFO phenomena. She wrote about the UFO conspiracies, the edges of a couple of which she bumped into. In one event, applying for a job near Area 51, she was interviewed by government personnel for five straight hours. She felt this interview was unrelated to any job but rather related to determining what she knew about UFOs.
   
She realized that some of the physical phenomena related to UFOs, like UFO abductees' having DNA taken from them and cattle mutilations in which blood and certain organs were taken, were clearly done by those who had no respect for the free will of those on Earth. And she felt that these two groups were basically two sides of the same coin: the protagonist "good guys" on the one hand, who cared deeply about us, and the antagonist "bad guys" on the other hand, who wished to use us. She felt there was, as it says in the Bible, a war going on in "heaven" of which these UFO entities were a part. On Page 173 of "Summoned," she wrote:
   
"I believe we are caught up in a battle of wills we call spiritual warfare. And what is the booty? Us. Our souls. Or the powers our souls can assert, once we awaken and call them with our wills.
   
"And though many are here to help, only we can act, because the ones who love us cannot engage directly in battle, for to do so would be a violation against the very thing we need to survive: our wills."
   
The sources channeled through L/L Research quite agree. Speaking on Feb. 22, 1976, a Confederation source called Hatonn said:
   
"Our purpose is to aid you in your intellectual growth, so that your intellect may be able to keep pace with the spiritual knowledge that you gain through meditation. It is our fervent belief that the intellectual information which we share with you is of great benefit along your path. Each person must choose the path that he would wish to follow. And each person, in choosing that path, must realize that the path he has chosen shall lead to the ultimate point of interception with all other paths, the point of oneness.
   
"Consider it, if you will, as a wheel, with an infinite number of spokes. Each spoke is an entirely different path, yet all are connected to the same center. All spokes protrude from the one center, as all paths have come from the Creator."
   
"Each person must choose his path," says the Confederation. "Their purpose is to shepherd our evolution," says Dana. These sources speak over and over of the virtue of information-packed silence, encouraging us to shut off the mass media and open up to the vast resources of our own deep minds and hearts.
   
UFOs are a subject vast and enigmatic. I did not speak here about Dana's implants, or her experiences nurturing "space babies," or any of a number of other outer experiences she had. As evidential as these phenomena are, the heart of contact is in the feelings, compulsions and leadings they bring up in us. And Dana noted that herself, on Page 29 of "Summoned":
   
"Aug. 22, 1986 is the day I awoke to find evidence of implants in both of my hands. Almost immediately following this event, I was compelled to study quantum physics, strange for someone of an artistic temperament. I was also drawn to study ancient history, genetics, mythology and related subjects."
   
Was her sudden attraction to these events caused by the implants? Dana came to believe so, as the roads traveled in these studies opened up into the intricate patterns of her later work on letters, symbols, numbers and sacred geometry. Dana felt that she had been summoned or chosen to be a messenger for the UFOs in this incarnation. Her one complaint was that she was not adequate to the task. On Page 25 of the same book, she wrote:
   
"What I know belongs to a knowing too large for any one heart to contain, as my head cannot process the consciousness of all the information given to me in a way that can be rendered intelligible to minds unprepared."
   
Yet, in her writing, she quite successfully offered compelling and evidential information which, when carefully read, renders the UFO mystery not only intelligible but of an elegant design, one in which humankind is being asked to wake up and choose.
   
Shall we choose unconditional love of the Creator, ourselves and all others as our path? Or shall we choose instead the path of service to self and learn the art of manipulation and control of others for our benefit? The point is to choose one of those two options, and then to refine upon that choice with persistence our whole life long.
   
I open my arms and embrace your spirit. May we choose the path of unconditional love and service to others this day. And may we do so with light and merry hearts, knowing, as Dana taught us, that the creation is as full of divine laughter as it is of sacred meaning.

Source: Religion and Spirituality
http://www.religionandspirituality.com/spirit_metaphysical/view.php?StoryID=
20070523-054013-7225r

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