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In a dark, smoke-filled room, somewhere deep in the bowels of an secret government agency, electronic spies quietly monitor all communications throughout the planet. When key words are detected, programs go into action to trace the source and destination of the targeted communication.  And now, red lights are flashing, tapes are spinning, secret intelligence operatives are scrambling, and the black helicopters are flying.  All because once again, cyberspace is filled with your number one source of information on conspiracies, UFO, the paranormal, and much more - Conspiracy Journal!

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such eye-popping stories as:

- UFOs and Censorship -Why Cato Institute Dumped Me -
- Texas Chupacabras Update: Mystery Grows With New Test Results -
- East Texans Shares "Family Secret" Of UFO Sighting -
- Fresh Tests on Shroud of Turin -
AND:  The Old Man Who Was Not There

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

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Science and Psychism:The Future of Artificial Intelligence

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News Blackouts and the Non-Reporting of UFOs

The Mysterious Disappearance of Agatha Christie

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- DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL DEPARTMENT -

Dom Armentano: UFOs and Censorship -Why Cato Institute Dumped Me

On Jan. 10, just one day after my article on UFO secrecy appeared in this newspaper and on this Web site (“Intelligent Extraterrestrial life: The Other Inconvenient truth?” Jan. 9), I was unceremoniously dropped as a Cato Institute adjunct scholar, a position I’d held for more than 20 years.

First some background. I’m a Ph.D. economist with a national reputation in the antitrust area. I’ve written books, journal articles, and many dozens of op-ed articles over the years on a variety of public-policy issues. My association with the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D. C. goes back many decades. Yet they cut me away in a heartbeat because I dared call for more government disclosure on the UFO phenomenon.

I really didn’t believe that calling for more disclosure was all that controversial. After all, John Podesta, former chief of staff under Bill Clinton, has called for more government disclosure on the UFO subject. Former astronaut Ed Mitchell has repeatedly called for more disclosure, as has Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M. Former Canadian Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer has stated that our government knows that UFOs are interplanetary machines and that the secrecy should end. Given these bold assertions by “insiders,” I thought that I was in safe company; apparently I was wrong.

Actually the most classic call for disclosure came 48 years ago from former CIA Director Vice Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkotter. As reported in The New York Times of Feb. 28, 1960, Hillenkotter (in a letter to Congress) argued that “it is time that the truth (about UFOs) be brought out in open Congressional Hearings.” He went on to say that “through official SECRECY and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense ...” and, further, that the Air Force “has silenced its personnel” in order “to hide the facts.”

If a former CIA director could say that, why couldn’t I?

The most recent attempt to “chill” serious media interest in UFO secrecy occurred in Stephenville, Texas. Stephenville currently is a hotbed of UFO activity, and much of the newspaper reporting has been done by the Empire Tribune’s Angelia Joiner. Ms. Joiner filed some of the first stories, talked to many witnesses of the phenomenon, and even appeared on a CNN Larry King special in January.

Yet despite a worldwide interest in the sightings, Ms. Joiner recently was fired by the Empire Tribune for, among other things, openly questioning the U.S. Air Force’s improbable explanation of the sightings.

So much for courage and truth.

None of this intimidation and media censorship is new. I first became interested in UFO secrecy when CBS aired an Armstrong Circle Theater episode on UFOs on Jan. 22, 1958. On that program, an Air Force spokesman recited the standard mantra that UFOs were all nonsense and that the government wasn’t hiding anything.

Also on the program was Donald E. Keyhoe, executive director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena and the leading critic of an Air Force cover-up. At one point during the live broadcast, Keyhoe broke away from his pre-approved remarks and said, “And now I’m going to reveal something that has never been disclosed before ...” but then his microphone suddenly went dead. The live TV audience saw his lips moving (me included) but his audio had been terminated by CBS and the U. S. Air Force under a prior agreement. Keyhoe intended to tell the American public that NICAP had proof that UFOs were real machines under intelligent control but he never got the chance. He’d been censored by those who claimed that they had nothing to hide.

In this presidential year of “hope,” let us all hope that someone, somewhere will finally be honest with the American people about unidentified flying objects. Censorship and intimidation have no place in a free and democratic society. We (they) continue this policy at our peril.

Armentano is professor emeritus in economics at the University of Hartford and has written op-ed articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other newspapers. He lives in Vero Beach.

Source: TCPalm
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/feb/25/dom-armentano-ufos-and-censorship
-why-cato-institu/

- STRANGE CREATURES FROM TIME AND SPACE DEPARTMENT -

Texas Chupacabras Update: Mystery Grows With New Test Results

Who isn't interested in their family tree? But for Phylis Canion, it's a search for the lineage of a beast living under the oak trees of her Cuero ranch.

"The interest in the chupacabra has been overwhelming," said the Cuero rancher.

At least, that's the name the strange creature has been given in the last year. Its DNA has been flown across the continent as Cuero residents search for a final answer about their mysterious, blood-sucking beast.

The much-anticipated results are back from experts at the University of California at Davis.

Last year, the KENS I-Team had scientists from Texas State University evaluate DNA from the animal Canion found. The animal was one of three peculiar, lavender-colored, dog-like animals Cuero residents found last July.

Results from Texas State University stated the animal is from the coyote family. But Canion wanted to know more, so she sent more DNA, tooth and tissue samples, off to California.

Results from the University of California at Davis show the animal is in fact a mutt: on the mother's side it is part coyote.

"On the paternal side, it had Mexican wolf in it," said Canion.

Scientists from the University of California at Davis say they can't tell when the Mexican wolf heritage made its way into the gene pool. It could be generations ago, but Canion believes the father's genes are important and can explain some of the odd characteristics of the creature.

"It was a hybrid, because it has this other breed in it," she said.

Canion is referring to the hairless, odd-colored skin originally thought to be caused by parasites or disease. Now, experts aren't so sure.

The Cuero rancher said she expects further testing to find out where all the hair has gone and why the animal, she says, seems to crave just blood from its victims.

"We still can't figure that one out," she said.

Meantime, an international media storm continues to descend on the small Texas town. Italy's popular Voyager TV show spent an hour on the story of Canion and her creature.

Japan is sending a television crew this month, too, as the legend continues to grow. E-mails and letters to Canion at her shop certainly haven't slacked, either.

"It may be quiet out here in rural Cuero, Texas, but the drama still continues. There are still sightings of the animal, and chickens? They keep disappearing, too. Some of it captured in footage by the Discovery Channel," she said.

They had cameras running, heat-seeking cameras, six cameras that ran for 31 days and took over a thousand shots, and in that it also picked this animal up. That's a lot of images to comb through and may give even more insight into the creature's habits.

Together with the new DNA results, the Cuero rancher is reassured the animal is not a fluke of nature. Canion firmly believes a family of the Cuero creatures are living — and hunting — her property.

T-shirt sales of the chupacabra are still going strong, with more than 16,000 sold already. There's even been legal action to keep some knock-offs from being sold on eBay where they were going for three times the price.

Source: KVUE
http://www.kvue.com/news/top/stories/020608kvuechupa-eh.970954f8.html

- IN SEARCH OF THE LOST ARK DEPARTMENT -

A Lead on the Ark of the Covenant

When last we saw the lost Ark of the Covenant in action, it had been dug up by Indiana Jones in Egypt and ark-napped by Nazis, whom the Ark proceeded to incinerate amidst a tempest of terrifying apparitions. But according to Tudor Parfitt, a real-life scholar-adventurer, Raiders of the Lost Ark had it wrong, and the Ark is actually nowhere near Egypt. In fact, Parfitt claims he has traced it (or a replacement container for the original Ark), to a dusty bottom shelf in a museum in Harare, Zimbabwe.

As Indiana Jones's creators understood, the Ark is one of the Bible's holiest objects, and also one of its most maddening McGuffins. A wooden box, roughly 4 ft. x 2 ft. x 2.5 ft., perhaps gold-plated and carried on poles inserted into rings, it appears in the Good Book variously as the container for the Ten Commandments (Exodus 25:16: "and thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee"); the very locus of God's earthly presence; and as a divine flamethrower that burns obstacles and also crisps some careless Israelites. It is too holy to be placed on the ground or touched by any but the elect. It circles Jericho behind the trumpets to bring the walls tumbling down. The Bible last places the Ark in Solomon's temple, which Babylonians destroyed in 586 BC. Scholars debate its current locale (if any): under the Sphinx? Beneath Jerusalem's Temple Mount (or, to Muslims, the Noble Sanctuary)? In France? Near London's Temple tube station?

Parfitt, 63, is a professor at the University of London's prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies. His new book, The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Solving the 2,500 Year Mystery of the Fabled Biblical Ark (HarperOne) along with a History Channel special scheduled for March 2 would appear to risk a fine academic reputation on what might be called a shaggy Ark story. But the professor has been right before, and his Ark fixation stems from his greatest coup. In the 1980s Parfitt lived with a Southern African clan called the Lemba, who claimed to be a lost tribe of Israel. Colleagues laughed at him for backing the claim; in 1999, a genetic marker specific to descendants of Judaism's Temple priests (cohens) was found to appear as frequently among the Lemba's priestly cast as in Jews named Cohen. The Lemba — and Parfitt — made global news.

Parfitt started wondering about another aspect of the Lemba's now-credible oral history: a drumlike object called the ngoma lungundu. The ngoma, according to the Lemba, was near-divine, used to store ritual objects, and borne on poles inserted into rings. It was too holy to touch the ground or to be touched by non-priests, and it emitted a "Fire of God" that killed enemies and, occasionally, Lemba. A Lemba elder told Parfitt, "[It] came from the temple in Jerusalem. We carried it down here through Africa."

That story, by Parfitt's estimation, is partly true, partly not. He is not at all sure, and has no way of really knowing, whether the Lemba's ancestors left Jerusalem simultaneously with the Ark (assuming, of course, that it left at all). However, he has a theory as to where they might eventually have converged. Lemba myth venerates a city called Senna. In modern-day Yemen, in an area with people genetically linked to the Lemba, Parfitt found a ghost town by that name. It's possible that the Lemba could have migrated there from Jerusalem by a spice route — and from Senna, via a nearby port, they could have launched the long sail down the African coast. As for the Ark? Before Islam, Arabia contained many Jewish-controlled oases, and in the 500s AD, the period's only Jewish kingdom. It abutted Senna. In any case, the area might have beckoned to exiled Jews bearing a special burden. Parfitt also found eighth-century accounts of the Ark in Arabia, by Jews-turned-Muslims. He posits that at some undefined point the Lemba became the caretakers of the Ark, or the ngoma.

Parfitt's final hunt for the ngoma, which dropped from sight in the 1940s, landed him in sometimes-hostile territory ("Bullets shattered the rear screen," of his car, he writes). Ark leads had guided him to Egypt, Ethiopia and even New Guinea, until one day last fall his clues led him to a storeroom of the Harare Museum of Human Science in Zimbabwe. There, amidst nesting mice, was an old drum with an uncharacteristic burnt-black bottom hole ("As if it had been used like a cannon," Parfitt notes), the remains of carrying rings on its corners; and a raised relief of crossed reeds that Parfitt thinks reflects an Old Testament detail. "I felt a shiver go down my spine," he writes.

Parfitt thinks that whatever the supernatural character of Ark, it was, like the ngoma, a combination of reliquary, drum and primitive weapon, fueled with a somewhat unpredictable proto-gunpowder. That would explain the unintentional conflagrations. The drum element is the biggest stretch, since scripture never straightforwardly describes the Ark that way. He bases his supposition on the Ark's frequent association with trumpets, and on aspects of a Bible passage where King David dances in its presence. Parfitt admits that such a multipurpose object would be "very bizarre" in either culture, but insists, "that's an argument for a connection between them."

So, had he found the Ark? Yes and no, he concluded. A splinter has carbon-dated the drum to 1350 AD — ancient for an African wood artifact, but 2,500 years after Moses. Undaunted, Parfitt asserts that "this is the Ark referred to in Lemba tradition" — Lemba legend has it that the original ngoma destroyed itself some 400 years ago and had to be rebuilt on its own "ruins" — "constructed by priests to replace the previous Ark. There can be little doubt that what I found is the last thing on earth in direct descent from the Ark of Moses."

Well, perhaps a little doubt. "It seems highly unlikely to me," says Shimon Gibson, a noted biblical archaeologist to whom Parfitt has described his project. "You have to make tremendous leaps." Those who hope to find the original biblical item, moreover, will likely reject Parfitt's claim that the best we can do is an understudy. Animating all searches for the Ark is the hope — and fear — that it will retain the unbridled divine power the Old Testament describes. What would such a wonder look like in our postmodern world? What might it do? Parfitt's passionately crafted new theory, like his first, could eventually be proven right. But if so, unlike the fiction in the movies, it would deny us an explosive resolution.

Source: Time
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1715337,00.html

- CRASH GO THE SAUCERS DEPARTMENT -

East Texans Shares "Family Secret" Of UFO Sighting

"I was not a big UFO person, didn't know much about it other than my own experience." Sitting in her Tyler, Texas home, Charlotte man tells us about her experience, which she calls the "family secret," many of the details discovered on her grandparents deathbeds.

It was April, 1941 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  Around 9:30 p.m., Charlotte's grandfather, Reverend William Huffman, got a call about a plane crash and was asked to help. "When they got out there, it wasn't a plane crash at all. It was a saucer, was how he described it," says Charlotte.

According to the story, 3 alien bodies lie on the ground next to the spaceship; two already dead. "However, granddad said the third one when he got to him, he was breathing very shallow and so he did pray with him. He did expire as he was on his knees praying for him. He then went to the other two and prayed over them."

Charlotte's grandfather then took a closer look at the spaceship. "What he was most impressed with was in the inside there were writings, but he did not recognize it. He said it looked similar to hieroglyphics. The Egyptian hieroglyphics," explains Charlotte.

Quickly, the scene was covered with military personnel and Reverend Huffman was sworn to secrecy. Charlotte says, "He was told, 'This did not happen. You did not see this. This is enormous national security. You're not to ever speak of it again.'"

But the enormity of what he had witnessed was too much for a man. The shock on his face told what his words, at first, did not. Then after gaining their promise, he shared with his family what had happened. "Granddad was a quiet man to begin with but grandmother said the look on his face was different," says Charlotte.

A few weeks after the UFO crash, Reverend Huffman was given a picture taken that night by a local photographer. "He felt like someone else besides himself should have a copy and granddad was the only one he trusted. So he gave him a copy of the picture. So I had seen that picture all growing up." Charlotte goes on to say, "You couldn't see those big eyes and not be affected. It wasn't anything I had ever seen."

That picture went missing years ago after her grandfather loaned it to a friend, who never returned it.  But seeing that picture and knowing the integrity of her grandfather, Charlotte believes the story is true. But, she never had any proof until a few years ago while doing research for a documentary on the crash.

"We got validation by going to the archives in Washington D.C.  And to see a top secret declassified document that stated that there was in fact a crash retrieval in 1941 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, for me, I have not forgotten holding that paper in my hand and realizing that my families story was real, was solid, and for me was just an answer to a long time question."

But Charlotte knows some people will still be skeptical. "That's OK with me. I don't have to convince anybody. I just have to know what's true for me. I think it's arrogant to think that a God that we have that is so awesome, created just us. I also don't think that we have to worry about a huge threat from them because if that were their intention, that would have happened a long time ago."

Charlotte's story is one of many involving UFO's and she's quick to point out, it won't be the last, saying the next extraterrestrial visit is not far away. "I don't think that's a thing of the future. I just think we're going to see more of it and Stephenville is just the beginning of it happening everywhere. I think there will always be things that we are not aware of but we should always keep an open mind for possibilities."

The UFO crash of 1941 in Missouri continues to be researched and investigated today. So far, the story has been included in two books and one documentary.

Source: KLTV-7
http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7924765

- GHOSTS UPON THE WATERS DEPARTMENT -

"Phantom Ship" Spotted By Visitor

TATAMAGOUCHE – When Mathieu Giguere looked across Tatamagouche Bay in mid-January and saw a brightly lit ship it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

The 17-year-old was used to viewing late night harbour cruises on the St. Lawrence River  near his home  in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec but soon he realized the bay was blocked by ice causing him to question what he was staring at.

“It was  bright white and gold and looked like a schooner with three masts, like the Bluenose,” he said.

“I was like, ‘that’s cool to see a ship here.’”

Giguere is participating in a Katimavik program in Tatamagouche and was taking advantage of an unscheduled night to work out at the Shapen-Up fitness centre in the Byer’s Building on Main Street when he stepped outside for fresh air around 10 p.m. noticing the glowing ship.

He called out to  another Katimavik participant to come see the ship in the harbour but  she continued with her workout, leaving Giguere to admire the sight on his own.

He watched the glowing ship for several minutes then returned inside to finish his workout and when he left the building around 11 p.m. it had disappeared, a feat he thought impossible because of its size and the ice in Tatamagouche Bay.

One of the province’s most famous ghost stories tells the tale of a Phantom Ship that has appeared periodically in the Northumberland Strait since the 1700s.

Some people who have witnessed the phenomenon say it resembles a  three-masted square rigger that is glowing with fire and a few believe they have seen people jumping from its decks to escape a tragic end.

Before arriving in the small rural village, the teenager said he had never heard of the legend and it wasn’t until he was billeting with local historian Dale Swan who shared a wealth of local history with the young man that he understood what he saw.

“I was like, ‘oh wait, that is actually what I saw’ and we talked more and more about it,” said Giguere.

“Sometimes people are afraid to tell things like that because people will react badly, people can think what they want, I know what I saw.”

Swan said the young man was genuinely surprised to hear the local folklore.

“All of a sudden it was the expression on his face as I talked,” said Swan.

“No mention was made by me of how many masts were on it.

“He was animated when he was telling me about seeing it.”

Swan is convinced Giguere knew nothing of the Phantom Ship legend before their conversation.

Tatamagouche artist Barb Gregory captured the Phantom Ship on canvass in 1991, an image she developed by researching documented sightings of the local legend. Around the same time she opened the Phantom Ship Art Gallery in Bay Head, dozens of people who witnessed the burning ship shared their first-hand accounts

“Basically they are all interconnected and one doesn’t contradict the other,” she said.

Gregory said the Phantom Ship has been seen at varying times throughout the year and in all seasons by people of all ages. The visiting teenager isn’t the only person who has sighted the ghostly vessel in recent months. Tatamagouche Mountain resident Melvin Langille is convinced he saw it one evening in October while star gazing out across the bay.

“I saw this ball of flame above the horizon.

“At first I thought it was a light on land then realized it was over the water,” said Langille.

“I believe in all that stuff and I don’t know what else it would be.”

Source: The Truo Daily News
http://www.trurodaily.com/index.cfm?sid=110922&sc=68

- THE FACE OF MYSTERY DEPARTMENT -

Fresh Tests on Shroud of Turin


The Oxford laboratory that declared the Turin Shroud to be a medieval fake 20 years ago is investigating claims that its findings were wrong. The head of the world-renowned laboratory has admitted that carbon dating tests it carried out on Christendom's most famous relic may be inaccurate.
    
Professor Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, said he was treating seriously a new theory suggesting that contamination had skewed the results.

Though he stressed that he would be surprised if the supposedly definitive 1988 tests were shown to be far out - especially "a thousand years wrong" - he insisted that he was keeping an open mind.

The development will re-ignite speculation about the four-metre linen sheet, which many believe bears the miraculous image of the crucified Christ.
The original carbon dating was carried out on a sample by researchers working separately in laboratories in Zurich and Arizona as well as Oxford.

To the dismay of Christians, the researchers concluded that the shroud was created between 1260 and 1390, and was therefore likely to be a forgery devised in the Middle Ages. Even Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, the then Cardinal of Turin, conceded that the relic was probably a hoax.

There have been numerous theories purporting to explain how the tests could have produced false results, but so far they have all been rejected by the scientific establishment. Many people remain convinced that the shroud is genuine.

Prof Ramsey, an expert in the use of carbon dating in archeological research, is conducting fresh experiments that could explain how a genuinely old linen could produce "younger" dates. The results, which are due next month, will form part of a documentary on the Turin Shroud that is being broadcast on BBC 2 on Easter Saturday.

David Rolfe, the director of the documentary, said it was hugely significant that Prof Ramsey had thought it necessary to carry out further tests that could challenge the original dating.

He said that previous hypotheses, put forward to explain how the cloth could be older than the 1988 results suggested, had been "rejected out of hand".

"The main reason is that the contamination levels on the cloth that would have been needed to distort the results would have to be equivalent to the actual sample itself," he said.

"But this new theory only requires two per cent contamination to skew the results by 1,500 years. Moreover, it springs from published data about the behaviour of carbon-14 in the atmosphere which was unknown when the original tests were carried out 20 years ago."

Mr Rolfe added that the documentary, presented by Rageh Omaar, the former BBC correspondent, would also contain new archeological and historical evidence supporting claims that the shroud was a genuine burial cloth.

The film will focus on two other recorded relics, the Shroud of Constantinople, which is said to have been stolen by Crusaders in 1204, and the Shroud of Jerusalem that wrapped Jesus's body and which, according to John's Gospel, had such a profound effect when it was discovered.

According to Mr Rolfe, the documentary will produce convincing evidence that these are one and the same as the Shroud of Turin, adding credence to the belief that it dates back to Christ's death.

Source: The Telegraph (UK)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/25/nshroud125.xml

- NOW YOU SEE HIM, NOW YOU DON'T DEPARTMENT -

The Old Man Who Was Not There

I am 58 now. When I was in my 20s I lived in San Francisco CA. My mom and I went regularly to the best occult book store I have ever come across. I had been going there for about three years when I and my mom had the most unusual experience there.

I do not know how the conversation started with the Old Man who was working there. I spent over two hours talking to him with my mom right next to me listening to him too. He was fascinating to listen to. My mom and I both asked him questions and he would explain in detail what we wanted to know.. He knew so much.

He explained a lot of paranormal theory to me, heavy duty stuff. He would go into the back room and bring out books for me to read. Incredible books! Huge books!

Every so often the owner would go behind the counter next to the old man to ring up a sale. She was elbow to elbow with him.

The old man took me and my mom around the book store showing us books that would help me in my studies.

I wrote a check for about $200 for the books I bought. My mom wrote a check for the books she bought. He rang them up on the till.

I was overjoyed with what I had learned. As soon as I was off work the next day my mom and I went back to the book store. I was very excited about talking to him again. Excited is putting it mildly. We looked all around for the old man. He was not there.

When my mom and I could not find him we went over to the owner and I asked her when the old man would be working again. She looked at me and asked ' what old man?'

My mom and I told her about the old man who had been working there the night before. We both showed her our checkbooks showing our purchases from the night before as proof of talking to him.

She said there had not been an old man working there the night before or any other night. She would not believe us at all. The owner of the store thought we were nuts after that.

We had the proof. My mom and I both saw and talked to him. The books were at home. The check cleared the bank.

An old man who was not there taught me for over two hours. If it had been just me and no check and no books I would not have believed it myself.

In a way it was a crash course in heavy duty occult theory. I have never come across again the books that he brought out of the back room.

Reality was adjusted somehow that night. We saw everyone in the store but we also saw someone who no one else could see. To us it was like every other night. We had no idea at all that he was not visible to anyone else until the next night when we went back to talk to him again. He was as real as anyone else, just not visible to them.

Reality as generally perceived does not exist. We only see part of reality most of the time. Ninety percent of the universe is invisible to us. It is out of phase with the visible part of the universe. With training a person can see into the invisible ninety percent of the universe. For some people it just comes naturally.

To say someone just imagined contact with aliens is not accurate. They are as real as we are. They can adjust the reality around a person but it is not an illusion. It is real.

Source: UFO Digest
http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0208/oldman.html

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