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6/6/08  #472
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The darkness, like living flesh corrupted, envelops us with its icy embrace. Thoughts that once burned fire-like in their complexities, now smolders in the stygian emptiness. Invisible terrors, once consigned to the back roads of consciousness, now eagerly seek prey to feed an eternal hunger.  Horrors of the night now reach out across the threshold into the once safe light.

But there is one light that pierces the darkness, one shining example of freedom of information. One weekly, e-mail newsletter that is not afraid to publish that which everyone else fears to even think. That's right! Conspiracy Journal is here once again to split the darkness of ignorance and fill your world with the pure, white light of truth.

This week Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such hand-wringing tales as:

- NASA'S Climate Findings Were Distorted -
- New Alien Video Shines (Photoshopped) Light on UFO Hoaxers -
- Vietnam Probes Mystery UFO Incident -
- Dark Mysteries: Energy and Matter -
AND: Carcass Adds to Chupacabra Lore in Texas

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


VISIT THE MOST MYSTERIOUS PLACE ON EARTH!


MYSTERIES OF MT. SHASTA
Home of the Underground Dwellers
And Ancient Gods

SACRED SITE? ENTRANCE TO THE INNER EARTH? DOORWAY TO ANOTHER DIMENSION? HIDDEN UFO BASE? TIME WARP? BLACK HOLE?


Come along with paranormal journalist Tim Beckley and other well known researchers and experiencers as they explore the most mysterious place in North America. Here are stories of Lemurians and survivors of other "Lost Civilizations" who roam the mountain freely and occasionally wander into town to trade gold for supplies. Plus, little men who seldom come out except at night to collect edibles and return to their secret cavern homes. Native Americans residing in the backwoods say they have not only heard the screams of Bigfoot, but have seen these hairy creatures close-up! Visit Telos, the capitol of the Inner Earth occupied by the Ascended Masters of Wisdom.

• Here are stories of Lemurians and survivors of other "lost civilizations" who roam the woods freely and occasionally wander into town to trade gold for supplies.

• Little men who seldom come out except at night to collect edibles and then return to their secret cavern homes deep within the mountain.

• Native Americans residing in the backwoods say they have not only heard the screams of Bigfoot, but have seen these hairy creatures close-up!

• Mt. Shasta is said to contain the capital of the subterranean world known as Telos, occupied by the Ascended Masters of Wisdom. This city is rumored to be connected to the Hollow Earth through a worldwide network of secret tunnels.

• Accounts of miraculous healings, including those whose eyesight has been regenerated after being struck by mysterious blue beams of light coming from inside the mountain.

The number of unexplained events associated with Mt. Shasta are now literally in the hundreds. This large size book of nearly 200 8x11 pages makes for exciting reading as well as information you won't find being printed even in the nearby daily and weekly newspapers!

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NOW ON SALE!
MYSTERIES MAGAZINE  #20

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

Get your issue TODAY at your favorite bookstore or magazine stand.

www.mysteriesmagazine.com

- THE POLITICS OF SCIENCE DEPARTMENT -

NASA'S Climate Findings Were Distorted

An investigation by the NASA inspector general found that political appointees in the space agency's public affairs office worked to control and distort public accounts of its researchers' findings about climate change for at least two years, the inspector general's office said yesterday.

The probe came at the request of 14 senators after The Washington Post and other news outlets reported in 2006 that Bush administration officials had monitored and impeded communications between NASA climate scientists and reporters.

James E. Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and has campaigned publicly for more stringent limits on greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, told The Post and the New York Times in September 2006 that he had been censored by NASA press officers, and several other agency climate scientists reported similar experiences. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are two of the government's lead agencies on climate change issues.

From the fall of 2004 through 2006, the report said, NASA's public affairs office "managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized, or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public." It noted elsewhere that "news releases in the areas of climate change suffered from inaccuracy, factual insufficiency, and scientific dilution."

Officials of the Office of Public Affairs told investigators that they regulated communication by NASA scientists for technical rather than political reasons, but the report found "by a preponderance of the evidence, that the claims of inappropriate political interference made by the climate change scientists and career public affairs officers were more persuasive than the arguments of the senior public affairs officials that their actions were due to the volume and poor quality of the draft news releases."

The political interference did not extend to the research itself or its dissemination through scientific journals and conferences, the investigators said. "We found no evidence indicating NASA blocked or interfered with the actual research activities of its climate scientists," the report said, but as a result of the actions of the political appointees, "trust was lost, at least temporarily, between the agency and some of its key employees and perhaps the public it serves."

Kristin Scuderi, a spokeswoman for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in an e-mail that director John H. Marburger III "would not comment until he's reviewed the report, and he has not yet done so yet. Therefore, OSTP has no comment at this time."

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), one of the senators who pressed for the investigation, said in a statement that the report showed that citizens had been denied access to critical scientific information that should inform public policy.

"Global warming is the most serious environmental threat we face -- but this report is more evidence that the Bush Administration's appointees have put political ideology ahead of science," Lautenberg said. "Our government's response to global warming must be based on science, and the Bush Administration's manipulation of that information violates the public trust."

Source: The Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/02/AR2008060202698.html

- VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY, DEPARTMENT -

New Alien Video Shines (Photoshopped) Light on UFO Hoaxers

If real life were anything like a sci-fi movie, Stan Romanek might just hold the future of mankind in his hands. Judging from his own (now very public) accounts, Romanek has had a staggering amount of contact with extraterrestrials. He has photographed a so-called flying orb emblazoned with what appears to be a face. He has met aliens in person, and drawn sketches of their vast eyes and swollen craniums. And late last week, Romanek stirred up a Web frenzy by showing a room full of reporters in Denver a brief clip of what he says is an alien peering into his window.

Clearly, this is no coincidence.

Many of the legions of UFO believers and spotters—whether driven by publicity, paranoia or hope—have taken a single suspicious photo. Some have reported an abduction or two. But for one man to have such a voluminous (and diverse) history of close encounters with nonhuman intelligence, you'd think Romanek had been chosen as Earth's unlikely ambassador to the stars. That, or he's coming out with a movie.

In what amounts to a bizarre new kind of viral marketing, the footage screened on Friday—to be included in an upcoming documentary about Romanek's experiences—is also part of a ballot initiative to create a commission that would formalize contact with aliens. The man heading that effort, 54-year-old Jeff Peckman, has a curious political track record running parallel to his extraterrestrial PR. In 2003, he campaigned for an initiative to reduce Denver's collective stress levels, using such measures as group meditation and the playing of sitar music in public buildings. But Peckman's efforts to promote Romanek's footage have been considerably more successful, garnering national headlines and an appearance on Larry King Live. And the hyperbole is frustrating the already combative cult of UFO followers, skeptics and believers alike.

"We saw this guy trying to pass off things that looked paranormal as something related to aliens," says Bryan Bonner, head of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society, which has been recreating Romanek's photos and videos for several years—to disprove him. That's because the same type of evidence once used by paranormal scientists to indicate the presence of ghosts is now being doctored by amateurs as proof of alien life.

Neither Romanek nor Peckman responded to requests for comment for this article, but their new footage—for now reduced to a single night-vision still image they've made public—and the ensuing fakes, headlines and hysteria have shed light on what researchers monitoring the field say is an increasing trend of hoax hype in a digital age.

Bonner and his team of investigators, who specialize in reports of haunted houses, actually saw the video months ago, when he says it was making the rounds in the UFO community as Peckman was garnering interest for a 4000-signature ballot initiative to start an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver. "It sparked our interest, but he seemed like another nut off the street," Bonner remembered. "Then he says he has evidence."

Bonner assumed that the Romanek footage was that so-called evidence, and with Peckman's press conference preview on Thursday confirming this, Bonner's team put together a mock video of its own that night. To counter claims that it would have taken thousands of dollars for Romanek to create a convincing, blinking prosthetic creature, the investigators from Rocky Mountain Paranormal rented a dummy alien from a costume shop, then spliced together quick-and-dirty special effects to make its giant eyes appear to blink.

In a strange twist, Bonner's mock video has been embedded on various blogs and linked on forums, mistaken for the actual Romanek footage. But that's an increasingly common mistake when so much can be made to look real with even an amateur's desktop software. "The problem with any data—I don't care if it's a video, a photo, electromagnetic readings—it can be faked," Bonner says. "And because of the digital age, it can be faked easily."

One film, released in 1995 to some notoriety in the geekosphere, purported to show a military autopsy performed on an alien. More than a decade later, the filmmaker changed his story, claiming that the video recreated footage he had seen, which had degraded before he was able to gather the necessary funds to buy it. And a few months ago, an anonymous source released footage of another alien autopsy, although the corpse in question is a rubbery, toylike thing, roughly the size of a baby chimpanzee. No explanation has been provided for where the video came from, why the alien is so small, or why there's such an obvious edit before the creature's entrails are removed (they also change color). "Any evidence is only as good as the reputation of the group that gave it to you," says Bonner.

By that measure, Stan Romanek is a problematic source. The evidence he has presented since his first reported contact in late 2000 is full of red flags. One photo posted on Romanek's Web site shows what he interprets to be a UFO covered in bubblelike pods. The next UFO he encountered had a classic flying-saucer profile. Another one appears as a sphere with barely visible facial features. According to Bonner, Romanek has also tried to talk with aliens using the classic paranormal "Frank's Box" gadget, which is generally a modified car radio that picks up random snippets of speech from AM stations—often for attempted communication with the dead. Even less consistent are Romanek's personal encounters, which include mysterious wounds that glowed under a black light, a chair that spun on its own, and an ominous black silhouette moving through his home.

At Friday's news conference, according to a video on the Denver Post's Web site, Peckman deflected those inconsistencies by citing public sentiment—a majority of Americans do believe extraterrestrials exist—and saying the new footage would help push awareness for his alien oversight board in the local November election. "There's already quite a bit of information out there—there's momentum, there's support, and I believe it will pass," Peckman said. "I don't think it would pass today, because there's been too much denial of information, too much misinformation."

In the sprawling community of hardcore extraterrestrial believers, footage like Romanek's is not only rare, but widely derided. Clark McClelland, a former Spacecraft Control Operator at NASA who claims to have seen extraterrestrials firsthand, called the Denver footage "a pathetic disclosure."

The central currency of this subculture is evidence of "orbs," unexplained glowing balls that appear only in photographs. James Randi, a professional magician and legendary skeptic, whose foundation is still offering $1 million for verifiable proof of the paranormal, receives a handful of orb photographs each week. "Most of the photos aren't fakes," he says. "These are just people who don't know how to operate a camera." The orbs themselves are not only easily explained, but even more easily replicated. "The majority are dust motes that are brightly lit. With an infrared camera they show up particularly well," Randi says. Even with a standard camera, spotters can create their own suspicious balls of light with a particulate that's close to the lens and properly illuminated by the flash.

Lens flare can also be easily misinterpreted for the presence of an orb, particularly when the apparent object winds up with something that could be described as a face. Laying aside the ridiculous engineering implications of a head-shaped spacecraft, there's nothing new—or mysterious—about seeing faces where they shouldn't be. "It's a condition we all have, called pareidolia," says Bonner. "It served an evolutionary purpose. When we were out in the bushes, trying to fend for ourselves, it meant we didn't get eaten by the big fuzzy thing trying to kill us before we killed it. We still have those instincts, but we don't know how to interpret it. So we look at clouds, or orbs, and we still see faces."

When they aren't deliberate hoaxes, the oddly shaped spacecraft that populate so many UFO shots are often just misinterpretations of digital artifacts. Tweaking an image in a program like Photoshop can only exacerbate things, as an object is either intentionally or accidentally crafted into a more intricate vessel—deeper shadows, a more metallic sheen, even a more distinct face. All of which can be—and has been—debunked or recreated by photographers and video experts.

But in both Bonner and Randi's experience, explanations and counter-evidence tend to fall on deaf ears. "They need what we call a ‘woo-woo solution,'" Randi says. "They resist all attempts to rationalize. They see the thing demonstrated for them, replicated for them, and they'll just shake their heads and smile—and walk away."

Source: Popular Mechanics
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/4266921.html

- UFO FOR NOW DEPARTMENT -

Vietnam Probes Mystery UFO Incident

It's a mystery puzzling islanders in southern Vietnam: they heard an explosion, saw something burning in the sky, and found shards of metal debris-but quite what it was, no one knows.

A plane? Possibly. An official in nearby Cambodia reported on Tuesday that a small plane had crashed in its southern Kampot province, only to retract his comments later. But Cambodia's civil aviation authority said that airlines denied missing any planes and there was no trace of any crash.

Still, the reports from Phu Quoc Island-situated within sight of Kampot-do point to something, according to military and provincial officials.

The state-run Vietnam News Agency, quoting the island district's military chief Colonel Nguyen Van Qui, reported yesterday that "an unidentified flying object exploded at about 10am on May 27 over the northern part of Phu Quoc Island."

When residents found metal debris, district authorities said they contacted airlines in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand but did not receive immediate news of any missing aircraft by late Tuesday, said VNA.

"We have informed the ministry of defence," Dinh Khoa Toan, deputy chairman of the island's people's committee said.

Lam Quang Chanh, the provincial People’s Committee’s spokesman, told Thanh Nien metal pieces had rained down in Ganh Dau and Cua Can communes on the island of Phu Quoc at about 10:20 a.m. on May 27.

The Military Command of Phu Quoc District said militias and residents had recovered 14 metal pieces allegedly deposited on the island from the explosion.

Rumors in Phu Quoc also suggest that some individuals have retrieved “dollars” or “very cold” metal pieces following the UFO’s explosion.

Nguyen Thanh Banh, Kien Giang police deputy chief, told Thanh Nien anyone found guilty of spreading rumors from the incident that would negatively affect security on the island would be dealt with according to law.

Banh also said the security on Phu Quoc Island has been stable thus far.

When residents found the metal debris on Tuesday, district authorities said they contacted airlines in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand but did not receive immediate news of any missing aircraft.

Source: Thanhnien News
http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=38964

- WE DARE NOT GO HUNTING FOR FEAR OF LITTLE MEN DEPARTMENT -

'Little People' E-mail Zips Through Rural Alaska

An intriguing e-mail hit Bush Alaska in May. In it, a hunter from Marshall recounted how he found a boy alleged to have been abducted by the ircenrraat.

Ircenrraat (singular: ircenrraq; say "irr-chin-hhak" with a harsh hh and you're getting close) are a recurring theme in traditional Yup'ik teachings and legends, "little people" who dwell in the tundra, usually underground. They disorient, discomfort and trap unwary humans.

City folk usually dismiss ircenrraat as superstition. Those who have lived in Yup'ik country for any period of time tend to be a little more inclined to listen. For one thing, the stories are persistent and often come from respectable observers. For another, when you're by yourself in the middle of nowhere, things happen that are hard to explain.

For instance, a few years back, on a very remote solo kayak trip in the lower Yukon region, I swear I heard rocks tossed in my direction by unseen hands or whatever. Big rocks. Whoosh. Plunk. Weird. A little scary -- and not particularly on target, assuming they were trying to hit me. A close inspection of the presumed point of origin showed no evidence of anything. There was nowhere for anything bigger than a squirrel to hide. I can't say it was an ircenrraaq, but neither can I absolutely refute those who suggest it was.

Yup'ik descriptions of the "little people" resemble those in widespread stories shared by many cultures around the world. A conference on such creatures is held every year in Twisp, Wash.

Though accounts of sightings or of inexplicable events attributed to ircenrraat are common in Western Alaska, they seldom receive wide circulation outside the area.

The Internet age changed that.

I called Nick Andrew Jr. in Marshall, whose e-mail started the latest excitement. He intended it as a private message to a family member, he said, and was a little disconcerted that it got forwarded far and wide.

He confirmed the details, however, and gave me permission to use his name, requesting that I keep other names out of print.

Andrew was on a snowmachine hunting birds the evening of May 7, some distance out of town -- three hours away if you had to walk it, he estimated. Preparing to return home, he decided to check a different location on a hunch.

"Stopping to look, I saw a small boy all alone in middle of the marsh," he said.

He recognized the child as a boy from the village. "I asked him where's his dad or hunting partners? I grilled him with questions of who he was with and if he was alone. He was scared and had been crying. All his answers were 'I don't know.' "

He described the boy as "disoriented, dazed, confused and scared" with "no concept of time. He did not appear tired, nor was he hungry or thirsty."

But the lad was lucky, it seems. He was found in a spot frequented by large tundra brown bears.

Andrew took the boy home, noting that there were no footprints in the spring snow to indicate anyone had walked into the area. He found that puzzling. He counted at least 10 other snowmachiners in the neighborhood, none of whom had spotted the boy.

After getting the boy back to the village, he left his VHS radio on overnight, in case some other hunter reported a missing child. No one did.

"It wasn't until the next day that the story started emerging that he'd had what you'd call an out-of-the-ordinary experience," he told me. "He'd had some missing time, just like people who report being abducted by UFOs."

The boy said he was "brought into" Pilcher Mountain, a site often associated with ircenrraat encounters. There, he was questioned and saw other "little beings."

"He said he made contact with a little girl abducted over 40 years ago," Andrew said. "She told him who she was and she wanted help."

After that the ircenrraat decided to release the boy. "And that's when he came to, I guess, a few minutes before I found him."

Andrew maintained calm perspective about the experience. "Is this kid telling the truth?" he said, leaving the answer open-ended.

Responses to the e-mail, by the time it was forwarded to me, treated the news with gravity. "Ladies, please share with your husband/partners," read one forwarder. "Please tell your children about Ircinraqs (sic) and their deceptiveness," said another. "Thank God (he) found this little boy alive."

If you have an experience with ircenrraat that you wouldn't mind sharing, e-mail mdunham@adn.com. Confidentiality will be observed and nothing will be used without permission.

Source: Anchorage Daily News
http://www.adn.com/life/story/422883.html

- WHERE THE DARK THINGS ARE DEPARTMENT -

Dark Mysteries: Energy and Matter

It is the Roaring Twenties and the great telescopes of the day open a new window to the universe revealing strange and unpredictable behavior across the vast space of our cosmos. Astronomers discover entire new galaxies as we come to realize our majestic Milky Way is no more unique than a tree in a forest. Stranger yet, these great "island universes," as galaxies were once called, millions of light years away, are speeding through space.

By the end of the decade, in 1929, the astronomer Edwin Hubble made an extraordinary discovery, bringing some order to flying galaxies as they rocket through space. He found that all of the distant galaxies are moving away from us, and equally intriguing, the farther the galaxy, the faster it moves. The only sensible interpretation of these bizarre revelations is to assume the universe itself is expanding.

Before this, for century after century, it was believed that the universe was a static, unbending framework. Although planets and other celestial objects may move, the cosmos, on the whole, is as rigid as granite. In the preceding decade Albert Einstein developed his famous General Theory of Relativity. He even went so far as to apply his equations to the entire cosmos, giving a mathematical structure for our universe as had never been done. But he failed! Unable to let go of the abiding model of a static universe, Einstein went so far as to alter his theory, adding a "cosmological constant," so that his theory could accommodate a frozen universe. But Hubble's observations destroyed this age-old notion, as we finally came to understand our universe is growing every day.

In the decades following Hubble's result, the evidence piled higher and higher, and Hubble's ideas were validated. The only debate that remained dealt with the rate of expansion. Since gravity is an attractive force, it was realized that all of the countless galaxies pull on each other, and so, the expansion was expected to be slowing down. Astronomers were so confident that the expansion was slowing down they coined the term deceleration parameter, which would describe the quantitative rate of deceleration. The biggest remaining debate was whether the universe, though slowing, would expand forever, or at some future time reach a maximum size and stop, and then begin its inevitable journey to final collapse - the big crunch.

Astronomers continued making careful measurements of the most distant galaxies in the universe, using every scrap of physics and ingenuity to calculate the speed of these distant worlds. Nothing shocked the community more than a paper published in 1998, describing the results of these meticulous measurements: the rate of expansion of the universe is increasing!

All of the mass and energy in the universe should act like cosmic brakes, slowing the expansion and pulling all of the galaxies together, but now we had to wonder if some new, mysterious force could be pushing everything apart. All of the mass and energy that we have ever observed tends to pull things together, and no one has ever observed the kind of energy that could push our far-flung galaxies apart at ever increasing rates. This was so shocking that even the deceleration parameter was misnamed, so now we find that this number is in fact negative, the mathematical way of saying we are suffering a positive acceleration.

This is not the first time we were caught off guard. When astronomers began measuring the speeds of galaxies in clusters, and later, when they measured the speed of individual stars in the outer regions of galaxies, they were hit with another bombshell - the outer stars were moving too fast. These scofflaws were not just a little out of line, like speeders ticketed on the freeway, they were zipping along at ten times the speed limit, ten times what the theory allowed. This precipitated an explosive program of experiment and theory, where the basic laws of gravity were put under the microscope of scrutiny, and our entire concept of what a galaxy is, and what matter is, were put on trial.

To reconcile these extraordinary observations with our theories, we have begun to believe that a galaxy is filled with another kind of matter, a new kind of matter that does not interact with light as ordinary matter does - dark matter. For decades we have been looking for this baffling new form of matter, whether it be theoretically predicted particles like axions, or remnants from string theory. For a while, some thought this to be biggest problem in all of physics and astronomy. But then came dark energy.

When we say dark matter, we are being literal: We do not see it, and perhaps we can never see it. Dark energy is a bit metaphoric, we cannot see what it is, but more, we cannot understand what it is. We understand, through the famous formula,, that energy is equivalent to mass, and from this we conclude that all forms of energy in the universe, like mass, tend to pull our myriad galaxies together.

But recent observations are telling us this is false. Something is causing the galaxies to push themselves apart like prisoners in a jailbreak. Flying apart at ever increasing rates, the galaxies reveal that the universe is expanding faster than ever before, but we cannot understand why. In desperation, we invent the concept of dark energy, an inscrutable substance that gives rise to a cosmological repulsion causing the cosmos to grow faster than ever before.

So, what can dark energy be? Many believe this is the most pressing issue in physics today, but gather up a horde of physicists in a room and ask, "What is dark matter?" and we will argue like politicians at a convention. One idea actually goes back to Einstein himself. His idea of the cosmological constant seemed superfluous when we consider an expanding universe, and Einstein even called it his biggest blunder. But, one decade's blunder can be another decades salvation.  This term can act like a cosmic repulsion, but we no longer think it is really constant, and we have no other evidence of its existence.

Another idea comes from vacuum itself. According to quantum theory, vacuum is not the empty ghost town, as we used to think of it, lifeless and devoid action. The vacuum is bustling with as much energy as a boom town: Particles are created and then destroyed, and even the real estate is changing, as space and time are whipped to a foam-like frenzy at the very small scale. The "vacuum energy" may be part of the solution, but there is a long way to go before we have sufficient evidence to know.

Or, perhaps our theories are wrong. Long ruling theories of physics have been dethroned before, when they are pushed to new realms where they have never been tested. It is possible that Einstein's theory must be modified again, or maybe a whole new theory is necessary. And perhaps it is nothing we can think of, and we will have to wait until future observations will give us the clues necessary to solve this riddle. Time will tell.

Source: By Dr. Richard Hammond, author of Unknown Universe: The Origin of the Universe,
Quantum Gravity, Wormholes, and Other Things Science Still Can't Explain.

- STRANGE CREATURES FROM TIME AND SPACE DEPARTMENT -

Carcass Adds to Chupacabra Lore in Texas


The dread of south-of-the-border goatherds -- chupacabra means "goat sucker" in Spanish -- became an Internet-fueled topic last summer when three hairless doglike creatures became road kill south of Cuero in DeWitt County.

Another met a similar fate May 8, this time north of Cuero. The man who claimed it turned it over to Phylis Canion, whose ranch south of Cuero is near where the original three were killed.

Canion, a nutritionist and owner of a retail sportswear shop, has become known around the world as the "Chupacabra Lady," after selling thousands of T-shirts to commemorate last summer's findings.

"The guy called me," she said, "and he said 'I got one, you want it?' So he brings it in, and I'm saying, 'Whoa, dude, this one looks like mine!'

"Now we're talking."

The South Texas version of the chupacabra mystery might have ended late last year when DNA tests requested by Canion stated that the creature was Canis latrans, or a common coyote. A few skeptics have added that sarcoptic mange probably caused the animals' hairlessness.

Perhaps, Canion said, there is no supernatural component to the legend of the fanged monster with fiery red eyes, big claws, and distinct ridge along its spine.

Maybe, she added, there's a scientific explanation for the mythical creature, which would make it a cryptid -- an animal whose existence has been reported but not confirmed.

"I never disputed that it did not have some sort of coyote in it," Canion said of the tests conducted at Texas State University at San Marcos. "What I disputed was the tests were not involved or detailed enough to tell me what else could have been in it.

"Or why it had no hair."

Another round of tests was ordered, this time at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California, Davis, which specializes in animal forensic science.

The UC Davis lab stated that the animal was a cross between coyote and Mexican wolf.

Wolves, Canion said, sometimes have blue eyes, as did her "chupe." Peepers like that, she asserted, can reflect red in the glare of goatherds' lantern or flashlight.

Canion, a nutritionist, said the animal's diet may provide an explanation for its proclivity to suck blood. She said she lost dozens of chickens that were sucked dry of their blood.

She suggested that the animals might crave blood because of a vitamin deficiency that is being passed to their offspring.

The DNA tests did not explain why the creature had no fur except for some wisps of hair along its back. Those strands, however, could explain the back ridge in the chupacabra legend, she said.

Perhaps, Canion added, the animal carries a baldness gene.

"Could this thing be genetically hairless and it got passed on?" she asked. A pathology expert at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, however, had another explanation.

"Sarcoptic mange -- that's exactly what it is," Dr. Danny B. Pence said, referring to an infestation of tiny burrowing mites in the skin.

Canion said she wants UC Davis to test the carcass she received May 8.

"I don't know," Canion said, "maybe now we've finally found the chupacabra."

Source: Star-Telegram
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/story/667301.html

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