- MESSAGES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE DEPARTMENT -
It's All Right on the Other Side
It's All Right on the Other Side
If there's one pervasive fear that grips humanity, it's the fear of death. It's a scary idea. One moment we're here enjoying a day at the beach or a large latte, and the next we're gone - perhaps for good. Alive one day, vanished from the planet the next. It's an awesome reality to contemplate. And it awaits us all.
Fortunately, most of us don't contemplate it with any regularity. It's only when death confronts us to we give it any serious thought: when we lose a loved one or when, perhaps, we have a close encounter with the Grim Reaper ourselves in the form of a bad accident or the diagnosis of a potentially fatal disease.
Why do most people fear death, especially when most people would also proclaim a belief in an afterlife? Is it because even though we say we believe, we're not absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure? Of course we're not. No one knows with absolute certainly what happens to us when we die. Do we simply cease to exist? Or does some part of us live on in some other realm, dimension or plane of existence? Don't say you know for sure because you don't.
Many people have become convinced - as convinced as we can ever be - that there is a life beyond this one through a variety of fascinating and mysterious experiences. Deathbed visions, near-death experiences, voices and apparitions of the recently departed are all ways in which the living have, they believe, received messages from someone on the "other side." Overwhelmingly, these messages are positive: I'm all right. I'm in a better place. Don't worry about me. There's no need to grieve. It's great here. I'm watching out for you.
Although the skeptical-minded would argue that these assorted visions are mere wishful thinking, flights of fantasy or chemical reactions in the brain, these anecdotes - and there are thousands upon thousands - are the only "evidence" we have of life after death.
Consider some of these:
B. was only four years old when his grandfather died, and he was very upset with his mother because she would not allow him to go to the funeral...
* He was my favorite grandparent. After that, I would have times where just thinking about him would set me off crying. One day, however, as I was going up the stairs, I suddenly heard his voice say, "Everything is going to be okay." After that, I didn't have any more crying spells.
Grandma's Favorite Tune
Diane D. was home alone. The rest of her family had gone to a ball game, but she had to stay home because she was grounded for some teenage transgression. But that's when she received her message - in the form of a tune...
* My grandmother, who had lived with us, had passed away about two years earlier. She was the only one in our family who could play the piano. I only ever heard her play two songs. One was the "Third Man Theme." The piano that belonged to my grandmother was in the basement. I had been watching TV, and all of a sudden I heard the "Third Man Theme" coming up from the basement. I got shivers and was scared to death. I think my grandmother was trying to get a hold of me by doing this.
Boyfriend is All Right
Elizabeth K. experienced vivid apparitions as confirmation of continued existence. One interesting aspect of this encounter is that it was somewhat prearranged...
* In January 1982, a man I was seeing committed suicide. He was living in a house with my elderly cousin, Homer. He shot himself with Homer's 38. As Homer was 80 years old and in poor health, I spoke frankly with him about dying, and asked if he would relay anything back to me about our deceased friend. He assured me he would if he could. The following June, Homer died of emphysema. A few weeks after he died, I was in my room with the man I had started dating in March. It was about three in the morning and we were just sitting up reading when I noticed two people standing in the corner of the room. I was riveted and said to my boyfriend, "Phillip, look at the corner and tell me what you see." "Why, that's Homer and I don't recognize the tall guy with him." When I asked him to describe the tall guy, my boyfriend described exactly what I was seeing - my former boyfriend. Though Phillip had known Homer, he had never met my previous boyfriend, nor had he seen any photos of him. The ghosts appeared translucent and they didn't speak a word. They just stood there looking at us for several minutes. I feel very grateful to Homer for coming back in such a way that I would not doubt my sanity at seeing him. And he answered a question about what happens to folks who commit suicide. Unless Homer was also visiting from Hell, my friend didn't go there.
One More Time
Mel was one of the star baritones in the choir that church organist and choir director Kyzer led. Sadly, Mel passed away, and his rich voice would be missed by the entire congregation... or so Kyzer thought...
* Attendance [in the choir] was down because it was summertime, and as I played the organ for the first hymn, I heard a beautiful, rich baritone voice singing out above the others in the congregation. After the hymn was over, I turned to try and locate the owner of this lovely voice so I could enlist him in the choir, but saw no new faces. After the service, the pastor asked me if I had heard that super baritone. I replied that I had, but couldn't figure out who it might have been. At the same moment, we were struck by the obvious answer: "Mel!" The mystery voice did sound like Mel's, but amplified and made even more beautiful. I like to think he stopped by to sing one last service with us.
Mother's Comforting Spirit
Pamela S.'s mother died two days before her tenth birthday, and she often wondered how her life over the past 30 years would have been different if her mother had lived. Perhaps we aren't meant to know, but Pamela's mother did appear when Pamela needed her the most...
* When I was 36 years old and pregnant with my daughter, I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. I was in a coma for three days, in intensive care for five days and spent a total of 15 days in the hospital. A blood vessel had burst in my brain and filled my brain with blood. I simply don't remember anything that happened after my husband left for work that morning. But I do remember lying in a hospital bed, and someone sitting on my left, stroking my hair. I turned my head to see who it was... it was my mother! She looked exactly the way I remembered her. She hadn't aged. I opened my mouth to talk to her, to ask her why she was there, but she put her finger on my lips to shush me. Then she smiled the sweetest smile and started to stroke my hair again. I turned my head away from her and fell asleep. When I woke up, she was gone. The only reason I can come up with is that I was pregnant with a girl, and my mom knew that I had already decided to give the baby my mother's name as her middle name.
Children seem to have a special affinity for experiencing these incredible events. Although this happened to Daniel S. when he was just three, he remembers it as if it happened yesterday...
* In 1978, my great-grandmother died of natural causes. After the funeral, which I don't remember, the family gathered at my great-grandfather's house, which I do remember. I remember my sister, who was five at the time, standing (or sitting) in the bedroom in which my great-grandmother used to sleep. She was crying. I was standing in the doorway of the bedroom and I saw my great-grandmother float down from the ceiling. She passed through her mattress, then stopped between the floor and the bottom of the bed. She wasn't on the floor, but a couple of inches above it, just floating in mid-air. She looked at my sister and said, "Don't worry, Amy. I'm with Jesus now." With that, she floated back up through the ceiling.
Saved by Grandmother's Spirit
In the most remarkable of these kinds of stories, the spirits of the dead return not just to relay a comforting message, but to physically save a life. Such stories have spawned the theory that our loved ones may become our guardian angels. You won't be able to convince Karen S. otherwise...
* I never knew my maternal grandmother. She died when my own mother was only nine years old. One night, I was walking home after meeting with friends. I stepped into the street, preparing to cross the street, when I felt a strong hand grip me by the shoulder. This hand not only pulled me back onto the sidewalk, but was strong enough to land me on my posterior on the sidewalk. When I glanced around me, I caught a glimpse of a light blue, sort of periwinkle-colored dress with tiny white flowers. Yet there was absolutely no one around me. At the exact same time, a car came whizzing around the corner at breakneck speed. If I had been standing where I was a moment earlier, I would certainly have been run over and either seriously injured or killed. I returned home, visibly shaken and disturbed. I told my mother what had happened. When I told her that I saw a periwinkle-colored dress with white flowers just after I was pulled out of harm's way, she blanched and became completely still. She told me that my grandmother had a dress exactly like the one I described, and that it was my mother's favorite dress. There was no earthly way I could have described this dress - my grandmother passed away 30 years before I was even born. To this day, I feel my grandmother's presence around me at times. I think she is looking out for me.
Source: paranormal.about.com/Stephen Wagner
- FOR FEAR OF LITTLE MEN DEPARTMENT -
Chile: Intraterrestrials in the Chilean Desert?
Chile: Intraterrestrials in the Chilean Desert?
In Chile, according to residents of the communities of Chusmiza, Poroma and several places within the nation’s 1st region, the existence of a race of diminutive bipeds has been known and discussed in hushed tones for generations. These entities measure some15 to 17 centimeters tall and are the inhabitants of an underground realm that exists beneath the sands of the Atacama Desert. They are known to local elders as “the gentiles”
According to the Aymara Culture, anything that comes from the sky is divine and anything that comes from below is evil. This belief has prompted people from the country’s interior to avoid contact with these diminutive beings, of which they have often been wary. It is said that throughout the ages, locals have run into these “gentiles” particularly on nights of full moon, as these underground residents cannot withstand sunlight, which causes their death. Their large almond-shaped eyes are only suited for night vision.
Based on comments made by local elders, these diminutive beings were in contact with the ancient Incas and informed them of places where gold seams could be found, and this was the secret that allowed that lost empire to manage such huge quantities of the precious metal. The elders also recall that when trouble arose among the peasants, the “gentiles” would punish planters by harming their crops from below, leaving them desiccated from one day to another. It is not unusual to come across very elderly people in regions bordering Bolivia who are still afraid of these “gentiles” – moreover, long-time residents of the locality of Poroma claimed knowledge of an old mudstone citadel somewhere in the hills, far from the town, which had been abandoned for a very long time but in a perfect state of conservation, attributed to the diminutive “gentiles”
With regard to the foregoing, the strange being found in La Noria, an abandoned salt mine in the Chilean desert, and which still remains in the possession of IIEE-España for analysis, falls within this classification, according to many persons consulted to date in these distant communities of northern Chile. Is it nothing more than an old romantic legend?
Source: Inexplicata/ Raul Núñez, IIEE
- STRANGE CREATURES FROM TIME AND SPACE DEPARTMENT -
Do Mammoths Still Roam?
Do Mammoths Still Roam?
The Mammoth: a mighty creature that roamed the lonely wilds of North America, the expanses of Western Europe, and the harsh lands of northern Russia during the Pleistocene era, and which is generally accepted as having become extinct somewhere around the end of the last Ice Age.
Today, all we have left of this huge, majestic creature are a few well-preserved carcasses found embedded in icy tombs, and the various bone and tusk fragments that still continue to surface from time to time.
Could there, however, still possibly be more – maybe, much more - just waiting to be uncovered?
For years, intriguing and sensational rumors have surfaced to the effect that in some of the more remote parts of our world the Mammoth just might still exist, blissfully unaware of what such a shocking and jaw-dropping revelation would mean to the world’s zoological community.
And while such a scenario is certainly controversial, and completely derided by mainstream science, perhaps it is not entirely out of the question.
For example, the related Dwarf Mammoth of Wrangel Island – located in the Arctic Ocean - is known to have lived until approximately 1700 to 1500 BC, which is itself startling and highly illuminating.
But far more controversial are those claims suggesting that the Mammoth still walks the frozen tundra and forests of the north to this very day.
“Absolute nonsense!” some might say. Others, however, just might be inclined to argue with that assertion.
In the late 19th Century, for example, researcher Bengt Sjorgen learned that tales were both wildly and widely circulating in remote parts of Alaska about giant, hairy tusked creatures that lived deep under cover of the huge, ancient forests. Such reports of the “hairy elephants” in question extended to equally wild parts of both Canada and Siberia.
Similarly, in February 1888, the New Zealand-based Argus newspaper reported on the apparent discovery in Alaska of strange tracks that had been found by the Stick Indians in the vicinity of the White River.
The newspaper stated: “One of the Indians said that while hunting, he came across an immense track sunk several inches in the moss and larger around than a barrel. The Indian followed up the curious trail, and at last came in full view of his game.
“These Indians as a class are the bravest of hunters, but the immense proportions of this new kind of game filled the hunter with fear, and he took to swift and immediate flight. He described it as being larger than the post trader’s store, with great shining, yellowish tusks, and a mouth large enough to swallow him at a single gulp.”
Then, during October 1899, the story of one Henry Tukeman surfaced – a man who claimed to have killed a Mammoth that was subsequently donated to the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
The tale was denounced as nothing more than a sensationalized hoax; however, some researchers still believe that it just might have a grain of truth to it, and that the hoax angle was possibly introduced to try and lay the controversy firmly to rest.
And also in the late 1800s, several reports of “large, shaggy beasts” were passed on to Russian authorities by Siberian tribesman, but no proof was ever forthcoming – some might say inevitably and conveniently.
The stories don’t end there, however.
French charge d’affaire, M. Gallon, was working in Vladivostok in 1946 and revealed that in 1920 he had met with a Russian fur-trapper who claimed to have seen living, “giant, furry elephants” deep in the taiga. Gallon added that the trapper appeared to have no previous knowledge of mammoths and seemingly had no reason to fake such a wild story.
A further sighting reportedly occurred during the Second World War when a Soviet Air Force pilot reported seeing a small herd of such creatures while he was flying over the frozen wastelands of Siberia.
So, does the legendary Mammoth of times past still exist? Or are all of the tales merely friend-of-a-friend accounts, myths, hoaxes, and misidentifications?
Personally, I have been fascinated – and perhaps, I’ll be the first to admit, slightly obsessed - by these stories for years. And, just like The X-Files said: I want to believe. I really do.
Of course, the skeptical part of my brain tells me that the Mammoth is an utterly dead creature; one whose existence came to a tragic and definitive end thousands of years ago – aside from in Sci-Fi Pictures’ Mammoth movie of 2006, and in this year’s production 10,000 BC, it could be argued.
But who can deny the appeal that stories like those I have cited above create in the minds of thrill-seekers everywhere? Certainly not me.
If there was one expedition I could go on, and if both funding and time were unlimited, it would be to the old stomping grounds of the Mammoth.
Okay, I know full well that the chances of actually finding a living, breathing Mammoth are beyond miniscule. But, as long as there is even the remotest of possibilities, I know I’ll never be truly satisfied until I go and seek out the creature for myself.
Until that day hopefully comes, like everyone else I can only continue to hope that, far from prying eyes, the Mammoth continues to walk the earth; utterly oblivious to the controversy it’s may be creating at Mania.com.
Source: Mania.com/Nick Redfern
- MEDDLING IN GOD'S DOMAIN DEPARTMENT -
Eight Real-Life Doctor Frankensteins
Eight Real-Life Doctor Frankensteins
Mary Shelley helped advance the science fiction genre with her tale of a scientist who brings a man built of corpses to life. But in real life, plenty of mad and not-so-mad scientists have played with human and animal bodies (and body parts) to gain a greater understanding of the limits on life. After the jump, right real-life scientists who have performed shocking experiments on the nature life and death.
Johann Dippel: An actual inhabitant of Castle Frankenstein, Dippel is believed by many to be an inspiration for Shelley’s story. His life’s work was to discover the Elixir of Life, which would make anyone immortal, and created "Dippel’s Oil," an elixir made from bones, blood, and other bodily fluids and widely used as a neurostimulant. He was also rumored to have been an ardent vivisectionalist, frequently stealing corpses from the local graveyard.
Andrew Ure: Ure was also looking for the secrets of life in human corpses. He obtained and experimented on the body of John Clydesdale, a criminal who had been executed by hanging. Ure caused a stir among the scientific community when he revealed the nature of his experiements. He claimed that men who had died of suffocation, drowning, or hanging could be restored to life through the stimulation of the phrenic nerve.
Giovanni Aldini: Luigi Aldini discovered that a frog’s legs would kick as electricity traveled through the muscles. His nephew Giovanni took the discovery a step further. He studied the effects of galvanizing human and animal bodies. He publicly electrified a recently severed dog’s head, giving it the appearance of life. He also performed experiments on recently deceased criminals, churning electricity through them to achieve momentary reanimation. His corpses convulsed, grimaced, and even raised their limbs, much to the shock of onlookers. Aldini was also the first to use electric shocks to the brain in the treatment of neurological disorders, a practice still in use today.
Gabriel Beaurieux: France’s use of the guillotine led to Beaurieux’s fascination with severed heads. He examined heads immediately after decapitation and noted that the heads would open their eyes, fix their pupils on the objects before them, and even respond to their own names for several seconds before appearing to completely lose consciousness.
Robert Cornish: Building on the work of George Washington Crile, who pioneered the blood transfusion, Cornish worked in resuscitating dead animals. After asphyxiating dogs in a lab, Cornish would place the bodies on a teeterboard while infusing them with saline, oxygen, and adrenalin. The fourth and fifth dogs in the experiment (named Lazarus, as were their less fortunate predecessors) were successfully revived, although they never fully recovered. Cornish went on to play himself in Life Returns a film about a doctor who works to revive the dead.
Sergei Bryukhonenko: We have mentioned Soviet scientist Sergei Bryukhonenko before. Another fan of canine experimentation, Bryukhonenko invented the autojektor, a heart and lung machine, and proved its efficacy by attaching it to a severed dog’s head, which stayed alive, eating and drinking.
Vladimir Demikhov: We can credit Demikhov with many modern advances in organ transplants, but he is perhaps best remembered for his work in two-headed dogs. Demikhov transplanted the head and front legs of one dog onto a second dog’s body. Both dogs were awake, aware, and hungry. He made 20 of these two-headed creatures, but, tragically, due to tissue rejection, none of them lived longer than a month.
Robert White: Following the revelation of the Soviet Union’s two-headed dog program, the United States began working on some mad transplant programs of its own. During the 1970s, surgeon Robert White successfully transplanted the head of one monkey onto the body of another. Because he was unable to repair the resulting nerve damage, the monkeys were paralyzed from the neck down, but the heads themselves could see, taste, think, and feel. It was believed the monkeys could survived this way indefinitely, although they were ultimately euthanized.