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3/7/08  #459
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Welcome one and all to the greatest show on Earth!  Inside the big top we have such mysteries as you've never seen before!  A three-ring extravaganza of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and much, much, MORE!  So sit back and relax and prepared to be amazed, because Conspiracy Journal is here once again for your viewing pleasure.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such knee-knocking tales as:

- French Expert Confirms Secret UN UFO Meeting -
- The Mystery of Mammoth Tusks With Iron Fillings -
Mysterious Deaths of Nine Skiers Still Unresolved -
- Body St. Padre Pio Exhumed and Found "Intact" -
AND:  Man Reflects on "Alien" Photo

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


INCREDIBLE MYSTERIES OF THE BIBLE

WHAT CAN WE REALLY BELIEVE ABOUT SCRIPTURE?
BIBLICAL STORIES - TRUTH? or FICTION?



The Great Flood and Other Myths and Legends of the Old Testament

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In This Incredible Issue:
Sleep Paralysis, Split Personalities,
and Spirit Possession

Michelle Belanger: Life as a Psychic Vampire

Science and Psychism:The Future of Artificial Intelligence

From Microbes to Monoliths:The Search for Life on Mars

PLUS: From Dwarfs to Giants: Sightings of Unusually Sized Humans

News Blackouts and the Non-Reporting of UFOs

The Mysterious Disappearance of Agatha Christie

College Campus Urban Legends:Tall Tales that Students Tell

Moonville, OH:A Haunted Railroad Town

Virginia’s Twitching Illness and Other Mass Maladies

The Children of God:Jesus Freaks and Flirty Fishing

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- WHAT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW DEPARTMENT -

French Expert Confirms Secret UN UFO Meeting

A French aviation expert has come forward to reveal his participation in a secret meeting held at the United Nations New York headquarters that discussed the UFO phenomenon from February 12-14.

Gilles Lorant is an attaché to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS- National Center for Scientific Research ) which is a government-funded research organization, under the administrative authority of France's Ministry of Research. He is also a member Institute of Advanced Studies for National Defense (IHEDN - the French Organization that produced the 1999 COMETA Report).

Both CNRS and IHEDN are prestigious scientific organizations in France, and Lorant was invited to attend the UN meetings in a professional capacity. A report released by a French UFO organization (Federation of European Airplane ), of which Lorant is an executive member, contained a summary of the UN meeting where he describes what happened at the meeting.

Lorant revealed that a series of UN meetings were held over a three day period. In the meetings there was discussion of a confidential report, prepared by the U.S. Air Force and a branch of the National Guard, concerning the societal impact of UFO sightings.

The initial meeting was held on February 12 and, according to Lorant’s report, led to a request by three U.S. Senators for further discussions. Additional meetings were held immediately after on February 13 and 14. The implication is that three U.S. Senators attended the secret UN meetings.

The meetings were very concerned about social upheaval from continued UFO sightings and the testimonies of individuals claiming to have first hand knowledge about UFO’s, extraterrestrial life, and future global events. It was reported that adverse public reactions to UFO sightings could have a dramatic economic impact that could lead to recessions in some countries.

The emphasis on possible societal upheaval due to growing UFO sightings was reminiscent of recommendations by the 1953 Robertson Panel, convened by the CIA, which identified adverse public reactions as a major security threat that could be exploited by foreign enemies. The UN discussions appeared to match concerns identified in both the 1953 Robertson Panel and the 1961 Brookings Report () to the U.S. Congress, over ramifications of UFO reports and the eventual discovery of extraterrestrial life.

2009 was raised as the year when an important change in official attitudes concerning the UFO phenomenon could be made. This suggested that the official debunking policy underway since the 1953 Robertson Panel would be abandoned and more serious study of the UFO phenomenon would occur. This indicated an important policy shift were the study of UFO’s would be officially encouraged. However, certain global conditions would have to be met for the official opening.

Most important appeared to be social stability in G-8 countries and the maintenance of liberal democratic systems in developing nations. Lorant also suggested that an official opening in attitudes would only occur if UFO sightings continued to occur at present levels.

Lorant’s testimony provides independent corroboration for an anonymous source who first came forward on February 12 to reveal to two New York researchers (Clay and Shawn Pickering) that the UN meeting had taken place. The source’s testimony was revealed in two articles published by this author on February 13 and 20 , and a follow up article by Robert Morningstar on Feb 25.

Lorant’s testimony gives more detailed information of what happened at the meeting, and is consistent with statements from the original source of the UN meeting concerning approximately 40 participants, multiple issues being discussed as well as the UFO phenomenon, and public reactions to increased UFO sightings. Most importantly, Lorant provides insight into reasons for a significant change in official public policy towards the UFO phenomenon.

The reported results of the UN meetings indicate agreement was reached for an international strategy to more seriously study the UFO phenomenon in a manner that maintains present levels of social stability. This raises the possibility that those presenting information on UFOs/extraterrestrial life deemed to threaten national stability or financial systems, would receive special attention by national security agencies.

The meetings results suggest that an official change in government policy from ‘debunking’ to ‘openness’ concerning UFO’s would lead to official approval to narrowly define study of the UFO phenomenon. However, those claiming to have first hand experience of extraterrestrial life would be targeted as charlatans.

The UN meeting thereby suggested continuation of policies aimed at exploiting divisions in the UFO community between researchers advocating a strictly scientific study of the UFO phenomenon, and those wishing to discuss testimonies/documentation concerning extraterrestrial life visiting Earth.

Lorant’s testimony finally suggests that governments are being driven to more open approach to the UFO phenomenon due to the recent increase sightings that are projected to continue well into 2009. What follows is a summary report of the UN meetings based on Lorant’s testimony that appears in a newsletter of the FEA and is available in the original French.

[Acknowledgements] I thank Didier de Plaige for his kind assistance in helping confirm background information about Gilles Lorant, and for first revealing on his blogsite details about Lorant who at the time requested anonymity through a mutual acquaintance of de Plaige. I also thank Jean-Luc Bozzoli and Victor Viggiani for their assistance in translating the original French document.

***

Newsletter No. 4 of the F.E.A, 25.02.2008
Posted by Jean-Jacques Yvars …

Dear Friends,

For strictly professional reasons and by coincidence, an active member of the FEA was invited to the UN in New York in the week starting February 11, 2008. This person took part in the development of discussions on the subject of UFOs, after the meeting of February 12. These discussions at the United Nations, brought forth further deliberations during three conferences held behind closed doors on 13 and 14 February, to which our member had the honor and pleasure to attend.

Here is a summary of the minutes that Mr. Gilles Lorant, invited to the meetings, kindly shared with us about what was said at the United Nations in New York:

On 12 February, the U.S. Air Force and the National Guard would actually presented a report on the subject of UFOs and the impact of sightings on many communities in the United States. Since this report was considered important for industrialized countries, representatives from several countries were invited to attend. Then, at the request of three United States Senators, a series of three meetings took place in the [two] following days, in the presence of forty representatives from twenty-eight member countries, including the Vatican (two countries did not send representatives). On both days, the subject of UFO’s was discussed, for no more than an hour and a half, as one of the causes of social upheaval of a country, due to the high probability of economic recession resulting from the speeches of ‘contactees’, charlatans, religious [figures], some scientists and prophecies. Sightings of UFOs increase sharply the risk of social unrest threatening the political systems of several emerging democracies.

According to Mr. Gilles Lorant, what was discussed was an opening in official attitudes when publicly considering, in future, how to treat the UFO phenomenon. An official opening to be held under two conditions:

1) Until the end of 2009, that social peace in the G8 countries is guaranteed around the liberal democratic model (US version)

2) By the end of 2009, that the UFO sightings disturbing "our neighbors" continues throughout the world.

 Furthermore, also discussed was what position to adopt in case a non-aligned country decided to make public their findings on the [UFO] topic. The atmosphere was rather serious, according to Mr. Lorant, the participants were, in fact, cognizant of the “presence of our neighbors" in our environment.

Conclusion:

The suggestion agreed upon at the United Nations by the representatives of the 28 nations, in the course of these exchanges, is of paramount importance for public recognition of the topic. The official treatment of information relating to UFOs could be a turning point at the international level, if the circumstances remain favorable. The coming years could show a surprising development of papers on the subject on the part of our governments.

Source: Opted News/Michael Salla
http://www.opednews.com/articles/life_a_michael__080229_french_expert_public.htm

- BUCKSHOT OF THE GODS DEPARTMENT -

The Mystery of Mammoth Tusks With Iron Fillings

A giant meteor may have exploded over Alaska thousands of years ago, shooting out metal fragments like buckshot, some of which embedded in the tusks of woolly mammoths and the horns of bison. Simultaneously, a large chunk of the meteor hit Alaska south of Allakaket, sending up a dust cloud that blacked out the sun over the entire state and surrounding areas, killing most of the life in the area.

Such is the scenario envisioned by Rick Firestone, a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Firestone and his colleagues have found mammoth tusks and a bison skull with nickel-rich iron particles in them on one side, suggesting the metal fragments all came from the same direction.

Firestone's theory emerged when his colleague, Alan West of Dewey, Arizona, saw at a Phoenix gem and mineral show a mammoth tusk peppered with tiny bits of metal. Intrigued, West and Firestone looked at tusks owned by the same dealer in Calgary. By passing a magnet over mammoth tusks in Calgary, Firestone and West found seven mammoth tusks collected somewhere near the Yukon River and a bison skull from Siberia that had tiny iron fragments burned into them. The fragments also contained nickel.

"One in 1,000 tusks had this material in it," Firestone said.

Firestone also thinks he may have found the divot left by the ancient meteorite, an impact crater that is now occupied by a round body of water named Sithylemenkat Lake in the upper Kanuti River drainage.

"The creeks coming out of the lake are very rich in nickel," Firestone said, referring to a metal associated with meteorites. "And the shape is consistent with a crater from a meteorite that may have been a half a kilometer in diameter‹a pretty large thing."

A meteorite that big would have torched anything within a 100-mile radius and could have buried the mammoths farther away from the crater, preserving the tusks struck by metal fragments. Firestone said the dust kicked up by the meteor would have eliminated any mammoths that survived the meteor's hit.

"There was probably 10,000 years with no mammoths," he said, adding that other mammoths eventually migrated back into Alaska.

Dale Guthrie, one of Alaska's few experts on mammoths, said he found Firestone's theory interesting, but Alaska scientists who know about impact craters think he is probably off on his guess that Sithylemenkat Lake is the place where a giant meteorite struck about 35,000 years ago (the approximate age of the mammoth tusks). Scientists have confirmed only one impact crater in Alaska‹called Avak, near Barrow‹and have discovered only about 140 impact craters on the entire planet.

Buck Sharpton, an expert on impact craters and the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said the lake would have to be much older than 35,000 years because it has no rim associated with more recent impact craters and doesn't look to him like an impact crater. He thinks the iron bits in the tusks could be cavities filled by "being immersed for millennia in porous sedimentary fill through which iron-rich water percolated."

As for Sithylemenkat Lake, Gordon Herreid didn't mention a possible meteorite impact when he wrote a 1969 geology report on the lake for the state (which ordered the investigation because of possible nickel deposits there). Jan Cannon wrote in the journal Science in 1977 that the lake looked to be the only visible impact crater in Alaska based on a study of Landsat satellite images. One year later, William Patton of the U.S. Geological Survey argued in Science that glaciers, rather than a meteorite, created the lake.

Source: Alaska Report
http://alaskareport.com/news28/ned71119_mammoth_tusks.htm

- HISTORIES MYSTERIES DEPARTMENT -

Mysterious Deaths of Nine Skiers Still Unresolved

Nine experienced cross-country skiers hurriedly left their tent on a Urals slope in the middle of the night, casting aside skis, food and their warm coats.

Clad in their sleepwear, the young people dashed headlong down a snowy slope toward a thick forest, where they stood no chance of surviving bitter temperatures of around minus 30 degrees Celsius.

Baffled investigators said the group died as a result of “a compelling unknown force” — and then abruptly closed the case and filed it as top secret.

The deaths, which occurred 49 years ago on Saturday, remain one of the deepest mysteries in the Urals. Records related to the incident were unsealed in the early 1990s, but friends of those who died are still searching for answers.

“If I had a chance to ask God just one question, it would be, ‘What really happened to my friends that night?’” said Yury Yudin, the only member of the skiing expedition who survived.

Yudin and nine other students from the Ural Polytechnic Institute embarked on the skiing expedition to Otorten Mountain in the northern Urals on Jan. 28, 1959. Yudin fell ill near Vizhai, the last settlement before the mountain, and was left behind.

What happened next has been reconstructed from the diaries of the rest of the group and the photographs they took. Copies of the diaries, photos and investigators’ records were reviewed for this article.

The skiers, led by Igor Dyatlov, 23, set up camp for the night of Feb. 2 on the slope of Kholat-Syakhl, a mountain next to Otorten. They pitched their tents at around 5:00 p.m., investigators said, citing photos that they developed from rolls of film found among the abandoned belongings.

Why the nine skiers picked the spot is unclear. The group could have detoured just 1.5 kilometers down the mountain to a forest, where they would have found shelter from the harsh elements.

“Dyatlov probably did not want to lose the distance they had covered, or he decided to practice camping on the mountain slope,” Yudin said by telephone from Solikamsk, a town near Yekaterinburg, where the institute, now named Ural State Technical University, is located.

When the group left the institute for the expedition, Dyatlov promised to send a telegram as soon as they returned to Vizhai from Otorten Mountain, which he said would be by Feb. 12.

But Yudin said Dyatlov told him when they parted ways that the group would probably return a few days later than planned.

As such, no one was worried when the group failed to reappear on Feb. 12.

Only on Feb. 20, after relatives raised the alarm, did the institute send out a search-and-rescue team of teachers and students. The police and army dispatched their airplanes and helicopters later.

The volunteer rescuers found the abandoned camp on Feb. 26.

“We discovered that the tent was half torn down and covered with snow. It was empty, and all the group’s belongings and shoes had been left behind,” Mikhail Sharavin, the student who found the tent, said by telephone from Yekaterinburg.

Investigators said the tent had been cut open from inside and counted traces of footprints from eight or nine people in meter-deep snow. The footprints had been left by people who were wearing socks, a single shoe or were barefoot.

Investigators matched the footprints to the members of the group, saying there was no evidence of a struggle or that other people had entered the camp.

The footsteps led down the slope toward the forest but disappeared after 500 meters.

Sharavin found the first two bodies at the edge of the forest, under a towering pine tree. The two — Georgy Krivonischenko, 24, and Yury Doroshenko, 21, were barefoot and dressed in their underclothes.

Charred remains of a fire lay nearby. The branches on the tree were broken up to five meters high, suggesting that a skier had climbed up to look for something, perhaps the camp, Sharavin said. Broken branches also were scattered on the snow.

The next three bodies — Dyatlov, Zina Kolmogorova, 22, and Rustem Slobodin, 23 — were found between the tree and the camp. The way the bodies were lying indicated that the three had been trying to return to the camp.

The authorities immediately opened a criminal investigation, but autopsies failed to find evidence of foul play. Doctors said the five had died of hypothermia. Slobodin’s skull was fractured, but the injury was not considered fatal.

It took two months to locate the remaining skiers. Their bodies were found buried under four meters of snow in a forest ravine, 75 meters away from the pine tree. The four — Nicolas Thibeaux-Brignollel, 24, Ludmila Dubinina, 21, Alexander Zolotaryov, 37, and Alexander Kolevatov, 25 — appeared to have suffered traumatic deaths. Thibeaux-Brignollel’s skull had been crushed, and Dubunina and Zolotarev had numerous broken ribs. Dubinina also had no tongue.

The bodies, however, showed no external wounds.

The four were better dressed than the rest, and those who had died first had apparently relinquished their clothes to the others. Zolotaryov was wearing Dubinina’s faux fur coat and hat, while Dubinina’s foot was wrapped in a piece of Krivonishenko’s wool pants.

Deepening the mystery, a test of the clothes found they contained high levels of radiation.

The investigation, however, was closed after a few months, and investigators said they could not find anyone to accuse of wrongdoing. Case files were sent to a secret archive. Skiers and other adventurers were barred from the area for three years.

“I was 12 at that time, but I do remember the deep resonance that the accident had with the public, despite the authorities’ efforts to keep relatives and investigators silent,” said Yury Kuntsevich, head of the Yekaterinburg-based Dyatlov Foundation, which is trying to unravel the mystery.

Investigators first explored the theory that the local Mansi people had killed the skiers in revenge for trespassing on their land. No evidence, however, was found to back up the theory; Neither Otorten nor Kholat-Syakhl were considered sacred or taboo places by the Mansi, case documents said.

Further debunking the theory, a doctor who examined the bodies in 1959 said he believed that no man could have inflicted the injuries because the force of the blows had been too strong and no soft tissue had been damaged,

“It was equal to the effect of a car crash,” said the doctor, Boris Vozrozhdenny, according to case documents.

In 1990, the chief investigator, Lev Ivanov, said in an interview that he had been ordered by senior regional officials to close the case and classify the findings as secret. He said the officials had been worried by reports from multiple eyewitnesses, including the weather service and the military, that “bright flying spheres” had been spotted in the area in February and March 1959.

“I suspected at the time and am almost sure now that these bright flying spheres had a direct connection to the group’s death,” Ivanov told Leninsky Put, a small Kazakh newspaper. He retired in Kazakhstan and has since died.

The declassified files contain testimony from the leader of a group of adventurers who camped about 50 kilometers south of the skiers on the same night. He said his group saw strange orange spheres floating in the night sky in the direction of Kholat-Syakhl.

Ivanov speculated that one skier might have left the tent during the night, seen a sphere and woken up the others with his cries. Ivanov said the sphere might have exploded as they ran toward the forest, killing the four who had serious injuries and cracking Slobodin’s skull.

Yudin said he also thought an explosion had killed his friends. He said the level of secrecy surrounding the incident suggests that the group might have inadvertently entered a secret military testing ground. He said the radiation on the clothes supported his theory.

Kuntsevich agreed, saying another clue to the deaths was the fact that the faces of the first five bodies had been inexplicably tan. “I attended the funerals of the first five victims and remember that their faces look liked they had a deep brown tan,” he said.

Yudin also said the released documents contained no information about the condition of the skiers’ internal organs. “I know for sure that there were special boxes with their organs sent for examination, “ he said.

No traces of an explosion, however, have been found near Kholat-Syakhl.

While a missile fired from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan could have reached the northern Urals, there are no records of any launches at the time, said Alexander Zeleznyakov, a historian on Soviet missiles and a senior official with the Korolyov Rocket and Space Corporation Energia. The Soviet Union’s other main launch pad, Plesetsk, only opened in late 1959. Zeleznyakov also said the surface-to-air missiles that could have been launched from the pads had not yet been built.

The Defense Ministry and the Yekaterinburg regional prosecutor’s office said they had no immediate information, citing the age of the case.

Kuntsevich said he had led a group to the area last year and found a “cemetery” of scrap metal that suggested the military had conducted experiments there at some time.

“We can’t say what kind of military technology was tested, but the catastrophe of 1959 was man-made,” he said.

Yudin said the military might have found the tent before the volunteer rescuers. He said he had been asked to identify the owner of every object found at the scene and had failed to find a match for a piece of cloth that looked like it had come from a soldier’s coat, a pair of glasses, a pair of skis and a piece of a ski.

Yudin also said he had seen documents that led him to believe that the criminal investigation had been opened on Feb. 6, 14 days before the search team found the tent.

Dyatlov’s friends have looked into whether the deaths might have been caused by an avalanche. Setting up the camp on the slope might have disturbed the snow above, causing it to tumble down a few hours later. This would explain the ripped tent, which the skiers would have had to cut open to exit.

Skeptics of this theory point out that the skiers left the camp by foot and traveled more than a kilometer in minus 30 C.

Thibeaux-Brignollel would have been unconscious due to his shattered skull, said Mikhail Kornev, a doctor with the S.M. Kirov Russian Medical Military Academy.

But his friends could have carried him. After all, investigators could not decide whether there were eight or nine pairs of footprints in the snow.

Also, Dubinina and Zolotarev could have walked with their broken ribs, Kornev said. “I can grant this possibility since the situation was extreme,” he said.

Six former rescuers and 31 independent experts gathered Friday in Yekaterinburg to look for answers about the incident. They concluded that the military had been carrying out tests in the area and had inadvertently caused the deaths.

But “we still lack documents and ask the Defense Ministry, the space agency and the FSB to provide us with them to obtain a full picture,” the participants said in a statement.

The conference was organized by Ural State Technical University, the Dyatlov Foundation and several nongovernmental organizations.

What really happened on the night of Feb. 2, 1959, may never be known. But Dyatlov is unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon.

The area where the group set up their last camp has been officially named Dyatlov’s Pass.

Source: The St. Petersburg Times
http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=25093

IS THE EARTH HOLLOW?

What is the Secret that Admiral Richard Byrd Took to His Grave
About the Hollow Earth?




THE CONCEPT OF A HOLLOW EARTH IS A THEORY THAT REFUSES TO DIE!

Explore the bizarre world under the Poles! Journey with renown researcher Tim Swartz as he attempts to unravel Admiral Richard E Byrd's mysterious journey to find a secret subterranean world! Here is evidence that the great adventurer actually ventured beyond the poles into a rich land inhabited by a race of superbeings as well as possibly refugee scientists and SS members of Hitler's dreaded Nazi regime.

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- MYSTERY OF THE UNCORRUPT DEPARTMENT -

Body St. Padre Pio Exhumed and Found "Intact"

The body of a controversial mystical monk who became a saint was today exhumed from his grave 40 years after his death and his corpse was said to be "intact".

Padre Pio claimed to suffer from stigmata or the wounds of Christ - holes in his hands and feet where the nails were used at the Crucifixion - and was made a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

He enjoyed a massive following with thousands visiting him and even today, years after his death he has millions of devotees around the world and he is especially popular with Italian celebrities such as Sophia Loren and Andrea Bocelli.

Early this morning his grave at the monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo near Foggia in southern Italy where he was buried was entered and his coffin lifted from the ground and opened.

The exhumation was authorised by the Vatican in January and was granted so that Padre Pio's body could be "prepared" when it is put on public display next month to commemorate the anniversary of his death 40 years ago.

Local Archbishop monsignor Domenico D'Ambrosio, who was present at the exhumation, said: "The upper part of the skull was skeletal while the forehead was in perfect condition.

"The rest of the body is also well preserved. You can clearly see the beard, knees, hands, the nails - if Padre Pio will forgive me it's as if he has just had a manicure.

"The signs of the stigmata are not visible. The robes are also still intact and his feet are visible because as is customary capuchin monks are buried shoeless."

Despite the early hour and the biting cold a small crowd who had gathered outside the church cheered and clapped when news that the coffin had been exhumed filtered through.

Besides local church dignitaries medical experts from the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints were also present to verify the state of the corpse.

The saint's body is planned to be displayed for several months, after which it will be returned to the tomb in Santa Maria delle Grazie church in San Giovanni Rotondo, which neighbours the friary where Saint Pio lived.

When news of the exhumation was announced in January monsignor D'Ambrosio had said:"I am convinced that we all have the duty to allow future generations the chance to venerate the mortal remains of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina and to conserve them as well as possible."

Initially there was opposition from Padre Pio's family but they later gave the go ahead although there was a last minute appeal from the Padre Pio association to block the exhumation.

The saint was shunned by church authorities and recognised only after massive popular devotion to him.

He is especially popular in Australia and Ireland.

Padre Pio's shrine draws close to one million pilgrims each year, and the hospital he founded in San Giovanni Rotondo is one of the biggest in southern Italy.

In October last year an Italian author published a book claiming that the stigmata were faked and there was evidence in the Vatican archives to prove this.

However officials in Rome dismissed the suggestion and insisted their own investigations had ruled that the wounds were not caused by "external forces."

Source: The Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article
_id=524671&in_page_id=1811

- IS SOMETHING UP THERE DEPARTMENT -

Unearthing the Truth of UFOs

The craft was at a very low altitude and moving very slowly in the chilly air above Woburn last November. One witness said she saw the object as she was turning her car onto an exit ramp, and described it as having a triangular shape, three large white lights on the side, and a red light in its center.
more stories like this

Mystified, the woman, whose name was not released for confidentiality reasons, went home and filed an online report with the Massachusetts Mutual UFO Network, a Framingham-based nonprofit organization that investigates sightings of unidentified flying objects across the state.

While such accounts are often explained away or even ridiculed by skeptics, sightings that appear to defy descriptions of conventional aircraft fascinate Greg Berghorn, director of the state chapter of the national Mutual UFO Network, known as MUFON.

The Massachusetts group was established in 1984 and now boasts about 100 volunteer field investigators, and logs approximately 50 UFO reports annually. The vast majority can be explained as hoaxes, misidentified satellites, or even the planet Venus, said Berghorn, but three or four sightings every year are not so easy to discredit.

Strange lights appearing to one person, whose observation skills may be impaired or distorted, is one thing, said Berghorn. But when multiple witnesses report similar unusual sightings independently and from different locations, things get more interesting.

As an example, Berghorn cited an incident in 1997, when a retired machinist in northern Massachusetts filed a report describing a large, low-flying, disc-like object that was moving so slowly it took almost a minute to pass over his house. Another report was filed by a woman a short distance north in New Hampshire, who independently described the same object passing by her house 20 minutes later, he said.

Berghorn drew a trajectory line based on the machinist's account, and the two stories matched up.

"It occurred so that I could actually draw a timeline between their two houses," said Berghorn, an engineer from Tewksbury. "This was a very bizarre object, and it was very unique."

As is the case with most field investigations, Berghorn said, his inquiry into the matter ended there and yielded no more evidence than the two eyewitness accounts.

"What is frustrating about this process is that it's not as cleanly cut as a TV show," he said. "The evidence is very murky. A lot of the information becomes unresolved. People won't talk to you."

The fear of ridicule prevents some would-be witnesses from coming forward, said Berghorn. For this reason, the organization does not disclose the names of witnesses who file reports, unless the witnesses are willing to go public, he said. The national organization estimates that only one in 10 UFO sightings are reported, a number that Berghorn thinks is a little high.

The reports coming into the local chapter vary in nature, he said, ranging from tiny objects streaking or zigzagging across the sky to people allegedly being taken up into UFOs. The abduction phenomenon is largely explained away by mainstream researchers, although a prominent Harvard University psychiatrist, John Mack, sparked controversy in the early '90s after becoming convinced that the abductions are real and not mere fantasies or delusions.
more stories like this

Mark Petty, assistant director for Mass. MUFON, described a reported near-abduction case in 2004 in Billerica that has fascinated UFO buffs worldwide.

He said a couple, who identified themselves publicly only as Robert and Anne, saw a large craft appear over their house one December evening as they were standing on their deck. They reported being engulfed in a bright white light. As they stared up into the light, a blue beam pierced down, settled on Anne and started pulling her off the deck. In terror, Robert grabbed his wife by the waist and "threw her into the kitchen" before following her quickly through the door.

When he looked back outside, the light had disappeared, according to their report. The man said he was so shaken that he couldn't even pick up the phone when it rang a minute later.

Petty and other field investigators from the chapter canvassed the neighborhood and even placed an ad in local newspapers in an attempt to corroborate the story, but the only supporting evidence came from a sister of Robert. She said she was driving in the area at the time, and saw a brilliant white light with a blue trail hovering near the ground in the vicinity of the couple's house.

While such accounts are compelling for some, Berghorn and Petty both said they are not "true believers" in the notion that extraterrestrials are visiting the planet.

Berghorn said his vantage point as an engineer and amateur astronomer restrains him from leaping to conclusions, though he did say that he views at least some of the reports as unexplained phenomena.

"Most of the really odd [sightings] are sufficiently credible enough that you can't just explain it away by saying the person's crazy," said Berghorn. "And that's what keeps us going."

Physical evidence in the field is scarce but does exist, said Berghorn. Corn stalks that had been flattened in a crop-circle formation in Western Massachusetts, for example, had been exposed to microwave radiation, which is hard to square with a hoax scenario, he said.

Often, witnesses of UFO events are distressed at what they have seen and have difficulty coming to terms with their experiences, added Berghorn. About the only thing investigators can offer such "experiencers," as they are called in UFO circles, is empathy and shared knowledge, he said.

"What I've learned is that oftentimes, people don't really want answers to their questions so much as they want to know that other people have experienced the same thing," said Berghorn. "They at least get some comfort out of that, because we can't offer them any answers."

The Massachusetts chapter maintains a 24-hour hotline for UFO sightings, 781-246-0523. Sightings can also be reported on their website, MassMUFON.com

Source: The Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/03/02/unearthing_the_truth_of_ufos/

- COSMIC MISSILES DEPARTMENT -

Meteorites Spark Mysteries

Five months after a meteorite made an international splash in Peru, experts are suggesting explanations for some of the space rock's effects - for example, the sickening odor villagers smelled at the crash site, and the bubbles that were seen emanating from the water-filled crater left behind. But a study due to be presented next month also raises fundamental questions about the event. In fact, an international research team declares that the impact "should not have happened" at all.

Yet another study sets forth a mystery surrounding two other meteorites found in Antarctica a couple of years ago. The rocks don't match any other class of meteorite - so where did they come from?

The two studies are among hundreds submitted for the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, scheduled March 10-14 in League City, Texas. The conference offers the cream of the crop in planetary science - focusing on topics ranging from the solar wind, to Mercury and Mars, to the icy dwarfs on the solar system's edge.

The Peruvian meteorite impact comes in for a fresh round of scientific scrutiny in a study submitted by researchers from Brown University and institutes in Peru and Uruguay. Just after the impact was reported, some scientists doubted whether a meteorite was actually responsible for the crater - but subsequent analysis proved that a stony space rock was involved (as opposed to a denser iron meteorite).

Scientists previously thought that stony meteorites on the scale of the one that hit Peru would break apart into little pieces before they hit the ground. The fact that this one survived to create a 40-foot-wide crater threw the researchers what they called a "hypervelocity curveball." They said the standard model used to estimate the effects of stony meteorites will need to be revised as a result.

The study does propose two possible explanations for the reports of "boiling water" seen within the crater: The bubbles could have come from the compressed air that surrounded the meteorite as it blasted into the wet earth - or it could have been caused by clumps of clay that dissolved and frothed as they fell into the crater.

"These two processes may have been responsible for local reports of water bubbling up from the floor soon after impact," the researchers wrote. "While there would have been heat generated at impact, it is unlikely that this could have sustained bubbling an hour later."

Meteorite hunter Michael Farmer, who visited the site last year soon after the impact, has said the sickening odor that villagers said emanated from the crater was most likely caused by sulfurous compounds such as triolite interacting with the ground water - and there's nothing in the latest study that contradicts that suggestion.

The Peruvian meteorite may be in for another shot at fame: Just last week, Living in Peru reported that Japanese investors are interested in building a space museum near the impact site, and that National Geographic is planning a documentary about the meteorite.

Now to the other space-rock study: Meteorite hunters from the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA's Johnson Space Center reported finding a pair of specimens in 2006 in Antarctica's Graves Nunataks area.

"These meteorites are not obviously like any other meteorites, so their origin is unclear," the Lunar and Planetary Institute said in its media advisory. "The mineralogy and chemical composition of these meteorites are so unusual that scientists have been struggling to find the right term to describe them. Numerous parent bodies have been proposed. Could they have come from the moon? From Venus? Scientists are currently debating these issues."

The researchers behind the study say they're not finished with their analysis of the rocks, and more findings may emerge at next month's conference. So stay tuned as the meteorite tales and other mysteries are fully brought to light.

Source: MSNBC
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/02/25/701427.aspx

- A PICTURE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS DEPARTMENT -

Man Reflects on "Alien" Photo


This is the moment that, in an unassuming residential road, a man believes he witnessed aliens landing in Enfield.

Engineer Paul Pleasance, 50, of Ladysmith Road, said the apparition, or half-alien, or perhaps strange pattern of light, lingered for half an hour outside his window.

He said: "Nobody else saw it. I think it was a real alien. It was weird because it was in the shadow, coming in between the houses.

"I showed my family. My niece, who is nine, enjoyed it and said she was happy there are aliens in my street."

Mr Pleasance, a costs engineer for Amec, an engineering and project management consultancy, said he was even more bemused to find that it looked a bit like his company logo.

He said: "I thought it was my boss keeping an eye on me."
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But expert Roy Lake, of Barking-based London UFO Studies, is not so sure that it is visitors from outer space.

A UFO and paranormal observer since 1953, he said: "I believe it is a complete hoax personally. I have got footage that will blow your mind - that is nothing at all.

"It looks like someone has done it on a camera or it's a reflection of a chimney or a window."

However Mr Pleasance vehemently denies the allegation, saying: "I didn't do anything to make an image appear."

According to a report on website ufoinfo.com, extra terrestrial activity has increased in the skies above Loughton, Essex recently, while according to information released by the Ministry of Defence under the Freedom of Information Act there were nine reports of sightings of UFOs in London in 2007, (a similar figure was quoted on the website).

But the website also says: "With the increase of sightings reports in and around the Loughton, Essex area, readers should be aware of companies such as (lantern company) UFO Balloons, as their products could account for some of the sighting reports"

But it seems for one morning in Enfield that aliens may really have landed.

Source: This is Local London
http://www.thisislocallondon.com/whereilive/localheadlines/display.var.2092308.0.the_
moment_when_aliens_decided_to_land_in_enfield.php

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