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7/6/07  #424
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It has been going on for centuries.  The dark, secret places have been their meeting rooms.  Behind closed, locked doors they weave their plans.  Like the web from a hideous spider, their connections are complex and far-reaching.  Their nefarious activities seem disjointed and random -- effectively hiding their ultimate goal.  Those who dare oppose them are branded as "conspiracy nuts"  and  ignored.  It is all part of the grand plan.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such Karmic stories as:

- Roswell Officer's Amazing Deathbed Admission -
- Free Energy Technology Display Has Rocky Start -
- Should You Be Afraid of Ghosts? -
- 07/07/07: Is This Your Lucky Day? -
AND:  Domestic Cats May Have Ancient Roots

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


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- MORE FUEL FOR THE FIRE DEPARTMENT -

Roswell Officer's Amazing Deathbed Admission

Exactly 60 years ago, a light aircraft was flying over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, at a height of around 10,000ft.

Suddenly, a brilliant flash of light illuminated the aircraft. Visibility was good and as pilot Kenneth Arnold scanned the sky to find the source of the light, he saw a group of nine shiny metallic objects flying in formation.

He estimated their speed as being around 1,600 miles per hour - nearly three times faster than the top speed of any jet aircraft at the time. He described the craft as arrow-shaped and said they moved in a jerky motion - 'like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water'.

A reporter seized on this phrase and in his story described the objects as 'flying saucers'. The age of the Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) had begun.

Soon, similar reports began to come in from all over America. This wasn't just the world's first UFO sighting, this was the birth of a phenomenon, one that still exercises an extraordinary fascination.

Then, two weeks after Arnold's sighting, something happened that was to lead to the biggest UFO conspiracy theory of all time. On or around July 2, 1947, something crashed in the desert near a military base at Roswell, New Mexico.

Military authorities issued a press release, which began: "The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc."

The headlines screamed: "Flying Disc captured by Air Force." Yet, just 24 hours later, the military changed their story and claimed the object they'd first thought was a 'flying disc' was a weather balloon that had crashed on a nearby ranch.

Amazingly, the media and the public accepted the explanation without question, in a way that would not happen now. Roswell disappeared from the news until the late Seventies, when some of the military involved began to speak out.

The key witness was Major Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer who had gone to the ranch to recover the wreckage. He described the metal as being wafer thin but incredibly tough.

It was as light as balsa wood, but couldn't be cut or burned. Some witnesses described seeing strange inscriptions on the wreckage.

These and similar accounts of the incident have largely been dismissed by all except the most dedicated believers.

But last week came an astonishing new twist to the Roswell mystery - which casts new light on the incident and raises the possibility that we have, indeed, been visited by aliens.

Lieutenant Walter Haut was the public relations officer at the base in 1947, and was the man who issued the original and subsequent press releases after the crash on the orders of the base commander, Colonel William Blanchard.

Haut died last year, but left a sworn affidavit to be opened only after his death.

Last week, the text was released and asserts that the weather balloon claim was a cover story, and that the real object had been recovered by the military and stored in a hangar. He described seeing not just the craft, but alien bodies.

He wasn't the first Roswell witness to talk about bodies. Local undertaker Glenn Dennis had long claimed that he was contacted by authorities at Roswell shortly after the crash and asked to provide a number of child-sized coffins.

When he arrived at the base, he was apparently told by a nurse (who later disappeared) that a UFO had crashed and that small humanoid extraterrestrials had been recovered. But Haut is the only one of the original participants to claim to have seen alien bodies.

Haut's affidavit talks about a high-level meeting he attended with base commander Col William Blanchard and the Commander of the Eighth Army Air Force, Gen Roger Ramey. Haut states that at this meeting, pieces of wreckage were handed around for participants to touch, with nobody able to identify the material.

He says the press release was issued because locals were already aware of the crash site, but in fact there had been a second crash site, where more debris from the craft had fallen. The plan was that an announcement acknowledging the first site, which had been discovered by a rancher, would divert attention from the second and more important location.

Haut also spoke about a clean-up operation, where for months afterwards military personnel scoured both crash sites searching for all remaining pieces of debris, removing them and erasing all signs that anything unusual had occurred.

This ties in with claims made by locals that debris collected as souvenirs was seized by the military.

Haut then tells how Colonel Blanchard took him to 'Building 84' - one of the hangars at Roswell - and showed him the craft itself. He describes a metallic egg-shaped object around 12-15ft in length and around 6ft wide. He said he saw no windows, wings, tail, landing gear or any other feature.

He saw two bodies on the floor, partially covered by a tarpaulin. They are described in his statement as about 4ft tall, with disproportionately large heads. Towards the end of the affidavit, Haut concludes: "I am convinced that what I personally observed was some kind of craft and its crew from outer space."

What's particularly interesting about Walter Haut is that in the many interviews he gave before his death, he played down his role and made no such claims. Had he been seeking publicity, he would surely have spoken about the craft and the bodies.

Did he fear ridicule, or was the affidavit a sort of deathbed confession from someone who had been part of a cover-up, but who had stayed loyal to the end?

Another military witness who claimed to know that the Roswell incident involved the crash of an alien spacecraft is Colonel Philip J. Corso, a former Pentagon official who claimed his job was to pass technology from the craft recovered at Roswell to American companies.

He claims that discoveries such as Kevlar body armor, stealth technology, night vision goggles, lasers and the integrated circuit chip all have their roots in alien technology from the Roswell crash.

Corso died of a heart attack shortly after making these claims, prompting a fresh round of conspiracy theories.

As bizarre as Corso's story sounds, it has support from a number of unlikely sources, including former Canadian Minister of Defence Paul Hellyer, who spoke out recently to say that he'd checked the story with a senior figure in the U.S. military who confirmed it was true.

The U.S. government came under huge pressure on Roswell in the Nineties. In July 1994, in response to an inquiry from the General Accounting Office, the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force published a report, The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert.

The report concluded that the Roswell incident had been attributable to something called Project Mogul, a top secret project using high-altitude balloons to carry sensor equipment into the upper atmosphere, listening for evidence of Soviet nuclear tests.

The statements concerning a crashed weather balloon had been a cover story, they admitted, but not to hide the truth about extraterrestrials.

A second U.S. Air Force report, The Roswell Report: Case Closed, was published in 1997 and focused on allegations that alien bodies were recovered.

It concluded that any claims that weren't entirely fraudulent were generated by people having seen crash test dummies that were dropped from balloons from high altitude as part of Project High Dive - a study aimed at developing safe procedures for pilots or astronauts having to jump from extreme altitudes.

These tests ran from 1954 to 1959 in New Mexico, and the U.S. government suggested that sightings of these dummies might have been the root of stories about humanoid aliens, with people mistaking the dates after so many years, and erroneously linking what they'd seen with the 1947 story of a UFO crash.

Sceptics, of course, will dismiss the testimony left by Haut. After all, fascinating though it is, it's just a story. There's no proof. But if nothing else, this latest revelation shows that, 60 years on, this mystery endures.

UFO enthusiasts plan to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Roswell incident with a series of events. In Roswell itself there will be a conference partly sponsored by the city authorities. Thousands are predicted to attend. Roswell has become not just big news, but big business.

Ever since Kenneth Arnold's sighting and the Roswell incident, UFO sightings have continued to be made around the world.

In the UK, in 1950, the Ministry of Defence's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Henry Tizard, said UFO sightings shouldn't be dismissed without proper, scientific investigation.

The MoD set up arguably the most wonderfully named body in the history of the Civil Service, the Flying Saucer Working Party. Its conclusions were skeptical.

It believed UFO sightings were attributable to either misidentifications, hoaxes or delusions. Its final report, dated June 1951, said no further resources should be devoted to investigating UFOs.

But in 1952 a high-profile series of UFO sightings occurred, in which objects were tracked on radar and seen by RAF pilots. The MoD was forced to think again and has had been investigating ever since. To date, the MoD has received more than 10,000 reports.

The best-known UK incident occurred in December 1980 in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk. In the early hours of December 26, personnel at RAF Bentwaters (a base leased to the USAF) reported strange lights in the forest. Thinking an aircraft had crashed, they went to investigate.

What they found, witnesses say, was a UFO. They took photographs (which they were later told hadn't come out) of the brightly illuminated craft and one of the men got close enough to touch the object, which then took off and flew away. The stunned men briefed their bosses, including the deputy base commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt.

Halt ordered the men to make official witness statements, including sketches of the craft. The following night Halt was at a social function when a flustered airman burst in, saluted and said: "Sir, it's back."

Halt looked confused and said: "What's back?" "The UFO, Sir. The UFO is back," the airman replied.

Halt and a small team went to investigate. His intention, he later reported, was to 'debunk this nonsense'. As they went into the forest, their radios began to malfunction and powerful mobile searchlights cut out. Suddenly, Halt and his team saw the UFO and attempted to get closer. At one point it was directly overhead, shining a bright beam of light down on them.

After these events, Halt ordered an examination of the area where the UFO had been seen on the first night. Three indentations were found in the ground where the craft had landed. A Geiger counter was used and radiation readings were taken, which peaked in the three holes. Halt reported it to the MoD and an investigation began.

This was inconclusive, but Defence Intelligence Staff assessed the radiation readings taken at the landing site were 'significantly higher than the average background'. The MoD's case file on the incident has only recently been released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Another spectacular UFO incident occurred in March 1993. Over six hours, around 60 witnesses in different parts of the UK reported a series of sightings of spectacular UFOs. Many of the witnesses were police officers and the UFO also flew over two military bases in the Midlands, RAF Cosford and RAF Shawbury.

The Meteorological Officer at RAF Shawbury described the UFO as being a vast triangular-shaped craft that moved from a hover to a speed several times faster than an RAF jet in seconds.

He estimated that the UFO was midway in size between a Hercules transport aircraft and a Boeing 747 and said that at one point the craft had been as low as 400ft. He also said that it had been firing a narrow beam of light at the ground and emitting an unpleasant low-frequency hum.

The MoD investigation lasted several weeks and the case file - also recently released - runs to more than 100 pages.

The final briefing submitted to the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff stated: "In summary, there would seem to be some evidence on this occasion that an unidentified object (or objects) of unknown origin was operating over the UK." That is about the most frank admission on UFOs that the MoD has ever made.

Sixty years after Kenneth Arnold's 'flying saucer' sighting, pilots are still seeing UFOs. In April this year, Captain Ray Bowyer, a pilot based in Alderney, saw two bright yellow UFOs in the vicinity of the Channel Islands.

Some of his passengers saw the same thing, another pilot in the area made a similar report and some unusual readings were seen on air traffic control radar. The MoD and the Civil Aviation Authority investigated the incident and no explanation has been found.

Despite any number of hoaxes over the years, interest and belief in UFOs remains strong. Under the Freedom of Information Act, the MoD receives more requests relating to UFOs than on any other subject.

So what is it about UFOs that continues to excite our imaginations? To some people, the subject has become almost a religion and perhaps that gets to the heart of it. Those who study the subject are on a quest not just for the truth, but for meaning. It's a search for the answer to one of the most fundamental questions we can ask - are we alone?

Source: The Daily Mail (UK)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article
_id=465276&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770

- IRONING OUT THE BUGS DEPARTMENT -

Free Energy Technology Display Has Rocky Start

Technology developed by an Irish firm that allegedly defies basic laws of physics to produce free power goes on public display for the first time.

Steorn is challenging worldwide cynicism over its claims to have stumbled upon a revolutionary discovery that creates clean, constant energy and could end the global fuel crisis.

While 22 scientists continue their exhaustive tests on the Orbo technology the inventors are asking the public to come and see a demonstration for themselves at Kinetica Museum, Spitalfields Market, London.

A live working demonstration is being streamed on the internet. It can be viewed on the web from four different camera angles.

Sean McCarthy, chief executive of Steorn, said: "What we are showing basically is a very simplified version of the technology. It's virtually all-clear plastic and magnets so we are demonstrating obviously that there is no battery hidden and so on. What the system will be doing is literally lifting a weight, demonstrating work being done for free."

Mr McCarthy said the company decided against using the technology to illuminate a light-bulb because the use of wires would attract further suspicion from a scientific community that has denounced the invention as heretical.

The technology, based on the interaction of magnetic fields, and yet to be conclusively proven or declared a hoax, created a stir after Steorn placed an advertisement in the Economist magazine last year challenging the world's scientists to test its claims.

The company picked 22 of the world's leading scientists from Europe and the US for the review, which started in January and is not expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Mr McCarthy insisted Steorn are contractually obliged to publish whatever the scientists conclude in full, adding that the €8 million invested in the technology to date and the company's reputation were at stake.

"Obviously Steorn and Sean McCarthy would never recover if there is a negative result here. But we don't see that as even an outside possibility," he said.

A company press release dated July 4th announced that people from around the world would be able to view the exhibit via live web cams, and that they would be able to select different camera angles and thus be able to view the exhibit from various positions.

The demonstration was originally announced to begin at 6:00 pm Eastern Time, July 4 in the Kinetica Museum gallery of London, but "due to slight technical difficulties", the publication of their real-time streaming was postponed to July 5th.

A person, apparently in the know, reported to the Steorn forum:

    "...they ran into some technical issues, firstly a problem with the bearings, which was fixed once identified. The next issue appears to be an environmental issue. We think possibly the temperature from the lighting system in the immediate area, but this has to be further assessed in the morning."

As of 6:00 am Eastern, July 5th, 24 hours after it was supposed to air, the Kinetica Museum website was displaying this announcement: "KINETICA OPENING DELAYED: Due to some technical difficulties caused by the intense heat from camera lighting, Steorn's demonstration of its 'Orbo' free energy technology has been slightly delayed. As a consequence, Kinetica Museum will not be open to the public today (5th July). A technical assessment is currently underway and information will be posted on the websites of Steorn and Kinetica as soon as it becomes available. We apologise for this delay and appreciate your patience.

"Steorn's 'Orbo' technology is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and allows the production of clean, free and constant energy. 'Orbo' technology is fully scalable and can be applied to virtually all devices requiring energy, from cellular phones to cars.

"From 6th-13th July, visitors to Kinetica can witness for themselves 'Orbo' as it perpetually spins a clear polycarbonate wheel with absolutely no supply of external energy or power supply attached."

This botched start is a serious setback for Steorn, who had hoped to prove so many skeptics wrong, but who are now gloating with words to the effect, "who ever expected anything but this?"

When the demonstration gets up and running, you can view it via webcam at: http://steorn.com/orbo/demo

Source: Ireland.com
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2007/0704/breaking46.htm

- IN THE TIME BEFORE TIME DEPARTMENT -

What Happened Before the Big Bang?

New discoveries about another universe whose collapse appears to have given birth to the one we live in today has been announced in the early on-line edition of the journal Nature Physics.

"My paper introduces a new mathematical model that we can use to derive new details about the properties of a quantum state as it travels through the Big Bounce, which replaces the classical idea of a Big Bang as the beginning of our universe," said Martin Bojowald, assistant professor of physics at Penn State. Bojowald's research also suggests that, although it is possible to learn about many properties of the earlier universe, we always will be uncertain about some of these properties because his calculations reveal a "cosmic forgetfulness" that results from the extreme quantum forces during the Big Bounce.

The idea that the universe erupted with a Big Bang explosion has been a big barrier in scientific attempts to understand the origin of our expanding universe, although the Big Bang long has been considered by physicists to be the best model.

As described by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, the origin of the Big Bang is a mathematically nonsensical state -- a "singularity" of zero volume that nevertheless contained infinite density and infinitely large energy. Now, however, Bojowald and other physicists at Penn State are exploring territory unknown even to Einstein -- the time before the Big Bang -- using a mathematical time machine called Loop Quantum Gravity.

This theory, which combines Einstein's Theory of General Relativity with equations of quantum physics that did not exist in Einstein's day, is the first mathematical description to systematically establish the existence of the Big Bounce and to deduce properties of the earlier universe from which our own may have sprung. For scientists, the Big Bounce opens a crack in the barrier that was the Big Bang.

"Einstein's Theory of General Relativity does not include the quantum physics that you must have in order to describe the extremely high energies that dominated our universe during its very early evolution," Bojowald explained, "but we now have Loop Quantum Gravity, a theory that does include the necessary quantum physics." Loop Quantum Gravity was pioneered and is being developed in the Penn State Institute for Gravitational Physics and Geometry, and is now a leading approach to the goal of unifying general relativity with quantum physics. Scientists using this theory to trace our universe backward in time have found that its beginning point had a minimum volume that is not zero and a maximum energy that is not infinite. As a result of these limits, the theory's equations continue to produce valid mathematical results past the point of the classical Big Bang, giving scientists a window into the time before the Big Bounce.

Quantum-gravity theory indicates that the fabric of space-time has an "atomic" geometry that is woven with one-dimensional quantum threads. This fabric tears violently under the extreme conditions dominated by quantum physics near the Big Bounce, causing gravity to become strongly repulsive so that, instead of vanishing into infinity as predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, the universe rebounded in the Big Bounce that gave birth to our expanding universe. The theory reveals a contracting universe before the Big Bounce, with space-time geometry that otherwise was similar to that of our universe today.

Bojowald found he had to create a new mathematical model to use with the theory of Loop Quantum Gravity in order to explore the universe before the Big Bounce with more precision. "A more precise model was needed within Loop Quantum Gravity than the existing numerical methods, which require successive approximations of the solutions and yield results that are not as general and complete as one would like," Bojowald explained. He developed a mathematical model that produces precise analytical solutions by solving of a set of mathematical equations.

In addition to being more precise, Bojowald's new model also is much shorter. He reformulated the quantum-gravity models using a different mathematical description, which he says made it possible to solve the equations explicitly and also turned out to be a strong simplification. "The earlier numerical model looked much more complicated, but its solutions looked very clean, which was a clue that such a mathematical simplification might exist," he said. Bojowald reformulated quantum gravity's differential equations -- which require many calculations of numerous consecutive small changes in time -- into an integrable system -- in which a cumulative length of time can be specified for adding up all the small incremental changes.

The model's equations require parameters that describe the state of our current universe accurately so that scientists then can use the model to travel backward in time, mathematically "un-evolving" the universe to reveal its state at earlier times. The model's equations also contain some "free" parameters that are not yet known precisely but are nevertheless necessary to describe certain properties. Bojowald discovered that two of these free parameters are complementary: one is relevant almost exclusively after the Big Bounce and the other is relevant almost exclusively before the Big Bounce. Because one of these free parameters has essentially no influence on calculations of our current universe, Bojowald colludes that it cannot be used as a tool for back-calculating its value in the earlier universe before the Big Bounce.

The two free parameters, which Bojowald found were complementary, represent the quantum uncertainty in the total volume of the universe before and after the Big Bang. "These uncertainties are additional parameters that apply when you put a system into a quantum context such as a theory of quantum gravity," Bojowald said. "It is similar to the uncertainty relations in quantum physics, where there is complimentarity between the position of an object and its velocity -- if you measure one you cannot simultaneously measure the other." Similarly, Bojowald's study indicates that there is complementarity between the uncertainty factors for the volume of the universe before the Big Bounce and the universe after the Big Bounce. "For all practical purposes, the precise uncertainty factor for the volume of the previous universe never will be determined by a procedure of calculating backwards from conditions in our present universe, even with most accurate measurements we ever will be able to make," Bojowald explained. This discovery implies further limitations for discovering whether the matter in the universe before the Big Bang was dominated more strongly by quantum or classical properties.

"A problem with the earlier numerical model is you don't see so clearly what the free parameters really are and what their influence is," Bojowald said. "This mathematical model gives you an improved expression that contains all the free parameters and you can immediately see the influence of each one," he explained. "After the equations were solved, it was rather immediate to reach conclusions from the results."

Bojowald reached an additional conclusion after finding that at least one of the parameters of the previous universe did not survive its trip through the Big Bounce -- that successive universes likely will not be perfect replicas of each other. He said, "the eternal recurrence of absolutely identical universes would seem to be prevented by the apparent existence of an intrinsic cosmic forgetfulness."

Source: Physorg.com
http://www.physorg.com/news102516861.html

- A HAUNTING WE WILL GO DEPARTMENT -

Should You Be Afraid of Ghosts?

The ghost phenomenon has become so closely associated with the instinct of fear that it's almost a given that, if asked, most people would admit that of course they would be frightened if they encountered an apparition. Even many seasoned ghost investigators have been known to run like scared rabbits when they see or even hear something unexpected.

Why? Have ghosts really earned the reputation of being harmful to humans?

If you were walking unarmed in a dense tropical jungle that you know is inhabited by tigers and large snakes, you'd undoubtedly be petrified. The threat to your life and well-being is quite real and your fears justified. Tigers and snakes can and do kill.

Now place yourself alone at night in a house that has the reputation for being haunted. Most people would probably experience the same fear.

Yet, according to most authorities on the subject, the fear is not justified. Ghosts, by and large, are harmless. The true behavior of ghosts, as evidenced by many thousands of investigations and case studies conducted by paranormal experts, overwhelmingly contradicts the common idea that they are to be feared.

Veteran ghost investigator Hans Holzer, in his book Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond (Black Dog & Leventhal, 1997), emphasizes “...the need to forget a popular notion: that they are always dangerous, fearful, and hurt people. Nothing could be further from the truth.... Ghosts have never harmed anyone except through fear found within the witness, of his own doing and because of his own ignorance as to what ghosts represent.”

Loyd Auerbach, another respected ghost hunter of many years, agrees: “In many cultures and religions around the world, ghosts are thought to harbor ill will towards the living. This is unfortunate, since the evidence from thousands of cases...suggests that people don't change their personalities or motivation after death... nor do they turn evil.” (Ghost Hunting: How To Investigate the Paranormal, Ronin Publishing, 2004.)

So why do we fear them? There are probably two main reasons.

Fear of ghosts – also known as spectrophobia or phasmophobia – most obviously stems from our fear of the unknown. This is a deep-seated fear that is hard-wired into our genetic makeup. The primitive parts of our brain that respond to instinct – a holdover from our cave-dwelling ancestors – flushes our bodies with adrenaline when we encounter a threat, preparing us to fight or flee. And when that threat is something unknown that might leap out of the darkness, we'd just as soon flee.

There's another component to this fear when that something in the dark is perceived as a ghost. After all, a ghost is the manifestation of a person who is dead. So now we are confronted not only with what we think is a threat to our lives, but a representative of death itself. Not only is it an entity that we don't understand, it is also a resident of the place many of us fear the most – the mysterious land of the dead.

The second main reason we fear ghosts is that we have been further conditioned to do so by popular culture. Almost without exception, books, movies and television shows portray ghosts as evil, capable of mischief, injury, even death. If the media are to be believed, ghosts actually enjoy scaring us out of our wits.

“What Hollywood and television portray is very inaccurate and cannot be relied upon as truthful,” say Lewis and Sharon Gerew of the Philadelphia Ghost Hunters Alliance in their article, Co-Existence. “They show these spirits of the dead as being evil in nature, filled with malice and harmful intent. I assure you that this is not the case.”

Creepy, rotting, vengeful ghosts may make exciting movies, but they have very little basis in actual experience.

Ghost and haunting phenomena are harmless. As much as they may unnerve and mystify us, there is really nothing to fear. Haunting phenomena seem to be recordings of past events on a particular environment. This is why haunted houses can “play back” the recordings of footsteps on a stairway, for example, or even the voices of an argument that took place many years previous. Apparitions can sometimes be seen performing the same task over and over again.

True ghosts or spirit apparitions may be earthly manifestations of those who have passed on. They are sometimes able to interact with the living and relay messages.

In neither case does the phenomena pose any real threat. Voices captured through electronic voice phenomena (EVP) techniques can at times be rude or even downright abusive, but again there is no real threat of harm.

So then how do we explain those rare cases in which a person is apparently scratched, slapped or even bitten by some unseen entity? Such instances have been documented in the famous Bell Witch case, the Esther Cox case in Amherst, Nova Scotia, and the terrifying “The Entity” case on which the film was based.

These cases, and others in which people are “attacked” and objects are thrown around, are considered by most researchers today as poltergeist activity. Although poltergeist means “noisy spirit,” current parapsychology theory suggests that they are not spirits or ghosts at all. Poltergeist activity is psychokinetic activity caused by a living person. Usually that person is a teenager undergoing hormonal changes or someone under extreme emotional or psychological stress.

So what we generally consider the scariest aspects of ghosts – objects moving by themselves, TVs turning on, pounding on walls and very rarely a person being injured – are most likely caused by the unconscious working of a living human mind. We can't blame ghosts.

For those of us researching ghost and haunting phenomena, we must resist our fearful instincts in the face of the unknown. Fear can only inhibit our examination and understanding of one of the most intriguing aspects of the human experience.

Source: paranormal.about.com
http://paranormal.about.com/od/ghosthuntinggeninfo/a/aa102405.htm

- LET'S GET OUR LOTTERY TICKETS DEPARTMENT -

07/07/07: Is This Your Lucky Day?


Those superstitious types who freaked out last year when the calendar read 06/06/06 will have something to smile about on the 7th day of the 7th month, 2007.

Believing the triple appearance of the number 7 will bring luck, many people are planning important events for this first Saturday in July. Brides and grooms, especially, looking for a little extra dose of marital fortune, are flocking to the altar in droves on 07/07/07, according to wedding watchers.

If they only knew what the Chinese were thinking.

The number seven is considered lucky due to its frequent and favorable appearance in the Bible, say historians.

"As the number of the days of God's first week, of the levels of heaven...of the numbers of angels and trumpets, etc., the number came in the last few centuries BCE to represent divine perfection," said David Frankfurter, professor of religious studies and history at the University of New Hampshire. "Something organized seven-fold meant that it corresponded to God's own arrangement."

Numbers control our fate?

Just as some people wouldn't dare get married on a Friday the 13th or live in a house with the address 666, believing in the positive influence of the number seven is just another technique humans use to have some jurisdiction over the chaotic world around them, said Frankfurter.

“In our modern American society we have a tendency to look for magical ways to control the world or fate, so numerology is especially important for us,” Frankfurter said.

The obsession with numerology—and other para-sciences like astrology—tends to get stronger especially during significant life events like marriages, he added. "It represents Americans' rather weak (compared to Asian cultures') attempt to exert some numerical or calendrical control over important life-cycle, transition, or other crisis situations," Frankfurter told LiveScience.

Trying to find meaning in numbers is a practice that goes back to ancient times, say historians, and doesn't begin and end with 6, 7 and 13.

There are many other numbers in the Bible that were thought to have sacred meanings, said Frankfurter, including twelve (for the tribes of Israel and the zodiac), five (books of Moses) and four (archangels, gospels).

Lucky numbers also vary from culture to culture, proving, skeptics say, that coincidental connections between an event and the influence of a number can always be found if you're looking hard enough, no matter what the digit.

Chinese culture, for example, associates "degrees" of luck according to how a number is pronounced. Eight, whose Chinese name rhymes with the words for prosperity and wealth, is considered particularly auspicious. The Beijing Olympics, as a result, will open next year at 8 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2008.

Oh, and many Chinese consider 7 a very unlucky number associated with death. Don’t tell the brides.

Source: Livescience
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/070626_lucky_seven.html

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Domestic Cats May Have Ancient Roots

Garfield, Morris and the Aristocats get the fame, but look to the origins of today's furry felines and you find "lybica," a Middle Eastern wildcat. Domestic cats can be traced to wild progenitors that interbred well over 100,000 years ago, new research indicates.

"House cats — which includes fancy breeds and feral cats — those cats all form a genetic group that is virtually indistinguishable from ones in the Middle East," said Stephen J. O'Brien of the National Cancer Institute.

"So, domestication, for sure, took place in the Middle East where those cats live today," added O'Brien, co-author of a paper appearing in this week's online edition of the journal Science.

Carlos Driscoll, of Oxford University and NCI, and an international team of researchers studied the origins of those loving and aloof, graceful and finicky pets that entertain or supervise millions of homes.

It's serious research, because cats are a model for some human genetic diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease and retinal atrophy, Driscoll explained in a telephone interview. In addition, the work is expected to assist in conservation efforts for wild cats, he said.

Cats' ancestry was traced to five types of wild cats, but that doesn't mean they were domesticated five times, Driscoll said. Rather, these five types managed to interbreed at various times, with the result being Felis silvestris lybica, which appears to be the ancestor of modern house cats.

"This was an amazing experiment when animals came out of the wild," O'Brien said. "Cats are known for their ferocious, deadly nature," O'Brien said, so this is an extraordinary change for them.

Cats may have been domesticated once or many times, he said, adding that the most likely case is they were domesticated once and other wild cats bred with the domesticated ones.

"I wasn't there, but all the data supports that," he said.

The researchers found wild cats, with DNA identical to domestic cats, in Israel, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

By studying the mitochondrial DNA of 979 domestic and wild cats from Europe, Asia and Africa the researchers concluded that the origins of the species — what O'Brien calls a feline Adam and Eve — developed between 130,000 and 160,000 years ago. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to child.

Domestication of cats began as long as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, O'Brien said, as the earliest farmers domesticated grains and cereal. As that occurred, local wild cats adapted to hunting rodents in the grain and developed a relationship with humans.

The earliest archaeological evidence of cats and humans in association dates to 9,500 years ago in Cyprus.

Joan Miller, chair of outreach for The Cat Fanciers' Association, based in San Diego, Calif., said the most interesting aspect of the research "is the finding that some wild cats and domestic cats from the Near East were distinct from the other Felis silvestris subspecies long associated with domestic cat origins."

"Since the DNA samples were taken from cats in remote desert areas there would be less likelihood of hybridization occurring," she said. "I would like to know more about these cats."

"We have evidence of cat domestication by the Egyptians because of their prolific artwork. It would be interesting to try to investigate early artwork from Israel, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain or Saudi Arabia," added Miller, who was not part of the research group.

Other wild cats in the study included the European wildcat, Felis silvestris silvestris; Central Asian wildcat, F. s. ornata; sub-Saharan African wildcat, F. s. cafra; and the Chinese desert cat, F. s. bieti.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Source: Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070629/ap_on_sc/earliest_cats;
_ylt=AsPe.NtUPVj44HQEK_0rvERxieAA

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