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10/17/08  #491
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Tired of aliens abducting you in the middle of the night, interrupting your sleep and disturbing the cat?  Sick of the Men-In-Black constantly knocking on your door and following you to the grocery store in their big black Cadillacs?  Annoyed at the NSA, the CIA and the FBI bugging your phones and reading your e-mails?  Well, for a limited time only you can now get your very own bottle of "CONSPIRACY BE-GONE!"  It comes in a handy spray bottle for easy spritzing of all those annoying conspiracy related problems. ONLY $19.95!!

Of course we don't really have any Conspiracy BE-GONE, but we have the next best thing! Your latest issue of Conspiracy Journal.  The weekly email newsletter that is sure to annoy all those extraterrestrials, government agents, and pundits of the New World Order who want to keep you in the dark about what is REALLY going on in the world today.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such cochlea-crushing stories as:

- Military Intelligence Spied on Americans -
- UK Mayor's UFO Sighting Verified By Others -
- The Grunch: America's Blood Sucker -
- On Parched Farms, Using Intuition to Find Water -
AND: "Yeti" Hairs Actually From Goat

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


THE "LOST" BOOK OF GEORGE ADAMSKI

Pioneers of Space: A Trip To Moon, Mars and Venus 


Were His Astounding Claims Fact Or Fiction?

Did He Really Ride In A Space Ship To The Moon And Beyond?

Or was It All Merely A Rewrite Of A Work of Science Fiction
Published Some Years Before, in the late 1940s?


Polish born George Adamski shocked the American public in the early 1950s claiming to have "hard evidence" that a number of planets in our solar system harbored life and that the occupants of these worlds were very human in appearance, and have been visiting us at least since Biblical times.

His claims, he said, were based upon a firsthand encounter with an extraterrestrial in the California desert circa 1953. Adamski's book about this encounter "Flying Saucers Have Landed" became an international best seller. Over the years, Adamski claims to have held meetings with notables such as the Pope and the Queen of the Netherlands, discussing with them his supposed flights into space long before the first Russian cosmonaut. He also provided a set of flying saucer photos taken at his home only a few scant miles away from the base of the world famous Mount Palomar Observatory.

The public seemed to be impressed. So much so that Adamski's legion of followers increased in size over the years. Of course there were those who thought the stories were fantasizes and the pictures crude hoaxes. These detractors went so far as to point out that his first book closely resembled a "science fiction novel" written by Adamski and published in the late 1940. Copies of this initial work -- PIONEERS OF SPACE: A TRIP TO THE MOON, MARS AND VENUS -- have been almost impossible to obtain so that researchers could check the similarities for themselves. A few copies recently turned up on the internet where they were being offered for over $700.00.

Our limited reprint of this volume is an exact reproduction of this rarity - truth or fiction. Included in this reproduction is some even earlier writings involving a metaphysical society Adamski called The Royal Order Of Tibet, and a 1951 article from Fate magazine detailing an event in which UFOs posed for his telescope in front of numerous witnesses THAT CANNOT BE DENIED!

This valuable book is available now for just
$29.95 + $5.00 S/H

ALSO...We are including FOR FREE a CD of Adamski speaking at a special

conference organized in the U.K.! 

OR -You can order with our secure order page:  
CLICK HERE TO ORDER

You can also phone in your credit card orders to Global Communications
24-hour hotline: 732-602-3407

And as always you can send a check or money order to:
Global Communications
P.O. Box 753
New Brunswick, NJ  08903

MYSTERIES MAGAZINE  #21

In This Incredible Issue:

FEATURES:

The Mysterious Subterranean Realms of California.

The Mysterious Blast at California’s Port Chicago.

California’s Lake Monsters.

PsiSpies: The History of Remote Viewing.
By Louis Proud

COLUMNS
strange customs   
Italian Community Secretly Builds Breathtaking Underground Temples

Commentary   
The Dangers of Hallucinogens

Urban Legends   
Amusement Parks:Fodder for Scary Stories

Haunted Heritage   
Ghostly Activities at California’s Cal-Neva Resort

Arcane Cults   
The John Frum Movement:A South Pacific CargoCult

From the Skies   
2008:The Year of the UFO?

Interview   
Mary Ann Winkowski:The Original Ghost Whisperer


Now at your favorite bookstore or magazine stand.

www.mysteriesmagazine.com

          - BIG BROTHER IS LISTENING DEPARTMENT -

Military Intelligence Spied on Americans

Spying on Americans isn't always about gathering information about terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda. Sometimes it's about other important matters of national security.

Like phone sex.

Two military linguists who listened to overseas phone calls for U.S. intelligence spoke out against their former profession this week, lamenting their eavesdropping on the personal conversations of Americans, the Associated Press reported.

"I was told, hey, check this out, there's some good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call it's really funny," one of the operatives said in an interview with ABC.

The interceptors admitted to spying on hundreds of American soldiers, journalists and aid workers stationed in the Middle East, Rachel Maddow reported for MSNBC.

"Basically, the Bush administration has used the Constitution to line its proverbial kitty-litter box," Maddow said.

A new book claims the accusations from the operatives-turned-whistleblowers are only a few of the many complaints that can be leveled against U.S. intelligence and how it conducts spy programs.

Investigative journalist James Bamford reported on the shady dealings of the National Security Agency's wiretapping program in his new book "The Shadow Factory," which includes the information from the two operatives who went to the press this week.

In an interview with Maddow, Bamford said one of the whistleblowers protested to her superiors and even complained to Sen. Patrick Leahy of the Congressional Committee, but no one took her complaints seriously.

"They were very angry that they were eavesdropping on average Americans instead of going after terrorists, which is what they went into the military to do in the first place," Bamford said.

Bamford also said the operatives were not allowed to eliminate the personal calls once they were received.

"Every time a person called their spouse, every time a journalist called his source or called the editor or called his wife or husband, they [the conversations] were collected and transcribed and also stored," he said.

It is difficult to know if the eavesdropping is even illegal with the amount of Senate modifications to FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), Bamford said.

He added that the NSA is building "an enormous facility in Texas" to store the conversations.

Before her interview with Bamford, Maddow showed clips of a two-year-old speech of President Bush reassuring Americans they would be safe from spy programs.

"We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of Americans," Bush said. "Our efforts are focussed on links to al-Qaeda and their known affiliates."

A Senate panel is investigating the claims against the NSA.

Source: The Raw Story
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Author_Military_intelligence_spied_on_
Americans_1011.html

- COME ONE COME ALL DEPARTMENT -

UFO Festival Comes to Jersey City

Does the terms UFO and alien abduction get your heart racing with excitement? Do you feel like you're the only one among your family and friends who thinks there are other beings besides humans in the universe?

Then the second Annual Culture of Contact UFO Festival happening next weekend (Oct. 16 -18) at the Landmark Loew's Theatre in Jersey City is the place to be. It is the first year that the festival is taking place at the Loew's. Last year, it was held in Manhattan.

The festival will feature experts discussing UFOs and alien abductions, as well as movies, music and art with an UFO theme. Among the festival highlights will be the appearance of William J. Birnes, star of the History Channel series UFO Hunters, and a screening of the 1953 film version of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds (also made into a movie in 2006 by Steven Spielberg) about an alien invasion of Earth.

In conjunction with the events at the Loew's, there was an art exhibition at the Monroe Center for the Arts in Hoboken this weekend (Oct. 10-11).

Culture of Contact formed last year out of a loosely-knit group of "experiencers" of alien contact who were living in New Jersey and New York. They came together to create an annual multimedia festival-like conference in New York City.

Jeremy Vaeni, one of the organizers of the festival, talked last week about the event.

"I think it is important because as people who believe in these sorts of things, we are out of place," Vaeni said. "I think one of the things is to show that people in positions of power are experiencing alien contact."

Also participating in the festival will be Jersey City artist Melissa Reed, who says many of her works were influenced by her experiences with alien life.

"Waking up to the infinite possibility that exists beyond everyday life is vitally important," Reed said.

Saw UFO in Vermont

Vaeni, a writer based in Queens, said this festival is an opportunity for people like him who have either witnessed aliens or UFOs.

A Massachusetts native, Vaeni recalls at the age of 14 a family trip to Vermont to visit his grandparents. He said he had a unique encounter.

"I look out among the fields and mountains and I see this object that's luminescent green and it's spinning in one direction at the top and in another direction on the bottom," Vaeni said. "When [my family] gets to our grandparents' house, we expect to be laughed at when we tell what happened. But instead they confirm they had similar sightings, and on their coffee table was the Time-Life book, "Mysteries of the Unknown."

Vaeni also said this year's festival theme is "Mythology Is Reality," where there will be discussions on how myths and folklore in ancient history may be more than just stories, but are actual accounts of extraterrestrial life forms visiting this planet.

"When archeologists look at the building of the pyramids in ancient Egypt, they come across accounts where it tells that the gods came down and gave us the knowledge to build the pyramids," Vaeni said. "But there is a belief that it may have been aliens, and we want to explore that further."

###

Culture of Contact schedule

The Culture of Contact Festival will be held at the Landmark Loew's Theater, 54 Journal Square, Jersey City. Details, directions and tickets can be found at www.cultureofcontact.com.
The schedule of events is as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 16:

6:30 p.m. - Jeremy Vaeni, Melissa Reed, and William J. Birnes
7 p.m. - "In Search of The Future" documentary screening. Intro w/Director Andrew Cameron Bailey & Producer Connie Baxter Marlow
9 p.m. - Q&A w/ Bailey & Marlow

Friday, Oct. 17:

Noon-5 p.m. - "Experiencer" and Native American chat circles. Pat Marcatillio's UFO Museum. Explore your own brain using Masahiro Kahata's brain tech inventions and your mind with Raymond Strano's perception-altering musical device. (Attractions run all day Saturday)
6 p.m. - Jeremy Vaeni introduces Washington lobbyist Stephen Bassett, who talks about possible government disclosure of alien presence.
7 p.m. - Native American band Ghosthorse performs.
8 p.m. - Tiokasin Ghosthorse gives keynote address for the festival.
9 p.m. - William J. Birnes introduces "War of The Worlds" screening.
9:15 p.m. - "War of The Worlds" screening.

Saturday, Oct. 18:

10:30 a.m. - Michael Mannion & Trish Corbett
11:30 a.m. - Richard Dolan
12:30 p.m. - Giorgio Tsoukalos
1:30 p.m. - Lunch break and/or screening of documentary on Combustive Motor Corp. w/director Chris Noble
2:30 p.m. - Peter Robbins
3:30 p.m. - David Biedny
4:30 p.m. - Farah Yurdozu
5:30 p.m. - Dinner break and/or sneak peek screening of "The Hidden Hand" documentary w/Director James Carman
6:30 p.m. - Keynote addresses by Dr. Gregory L. Matloff and C. Bangs from NASA
7:30 p.m. - Speaker roundtable with surprise guest
8:30 p.m. - William J. Birnes
9:30 p.m. - "The Silent But Deadly Truthvolution of Truth," a comedy film premiere w/director Jeremy Vaeni

Sunday, Oct. 19:

Noon-4 p.m. - Culture of Contact Festival after-party at the Monroe Arts Center in Hoboken.

Detailed schedule, tickets, directions:  http://www.cultureofcontact.com

Source: The Hudson Reporter
http://www.hudsonreporter.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1291&dept_id=523586
&newsid=20160447&PAG=461&rfi=9

- THE CONTINUING BRITISH UFO FLAP DEPARTMENT -

UK Mayor's UFO Sighting Verified By Others

A town mayor's sighting of a mysterious object in the sky has prompted other Flintshire residents to speak out about their own strange experiences.
Flint mayor Terry Renshaw claims he spotted a strange 'pipe-like' object travelling silently in the sky above his home, at about 1.30pm on Saturday, September 27.

He contacted the Evening Leader to ask if anyone else in North Wales had seen something similar.

As well as attracting interest from an American citizen, who reported seeing the same object near his house in Vermont, Cllr Renshaw's revelations match sightings from two other Flintshire residents.

Gwyneth Davies, of Buckley, said: "I saw the object Cllr Renshaw saw in the sky at lunchtime that day.

"I thought it was an odd shape to be a plane and it was so silent.

"It was tubular shaped, and I was going to mention it to my husband, then the phone rang and I came in from the garden.

"It was only after reading about his sighting that I remembered about it."

Another reader added: "Whilst travelling to work Corus on October 5, at about 6.15pm, I looked towards Bagillt and noticed a large, shiny, tube-like object in the clear blue sky, which did not seem to be moving.

"As I arrived at work, I mentioned this to other work mates, who looked towards Flint and the object was still visible."

More UFO sightings from the UK have also been reported to Conspiracy Journal. Two UFOs have been seen in the Grantham area in recent weeks after a lengthy period of no sightings. Ken Charlton spotted a mysterious glowing object in the Grantham area on Monday night.

The retired RAF aircraft technician saw an object about the size of a car between 1,000 and 2,000 feet up.

It was moving from east to west at around 250mph and was flame yellow with a translucent dome on top.

The object moved silently.

Ken said: "First impression was of a small aircraft on fire, but it kept the same altitude and speed until out of sight for some four to five minutes.

"I was an aircraft technician with the RAF for 24 years and have never seen anything like it."

Retired St Wulfram's Church verger Brian Buttery spotted another mysterious object at the end of September.

He spotted the object while walking in Belton Avenue at about 9pm on Saturday, September 27.

He said: "It was oval in shape, orange in colour and moving approximately N to S. I lost sight of it as I got nearer to my bungalow as the roof obstructed my sight. I went to the rear of the bungalow and it had disappeared.

"I went inside and to the back door and on looking out saw the the same light in the same place as I had first seen it. It was on the same course and as it passed it started to fade and I could only see bits of it as it went further to the south.

"I thought that this one was the same as the first and had circled round but when I looked again to the north another one came into view. In all there were five of them, all on he same course and a regular intervals.

"It was very difficult to judge the height of them but they gave the impression of having a light on them like a hot air balloon.

"There was no sound at all from any of the objects."

Triangle UFO witness fears alien abduction

A UFO witness from Brinkhill, Louth says he is worried about being abducted by aliens after repeatedly seeing triangle-shaped aircraft near his home.

Eric Goring, 61,  recounted his bizarre experiences after reading articles on the Louth 'orange lights' UFOs published last month.

He said: "I have been watching these space ships for six weeks now, and saw eight together on September 25 and more again last night. It was really spooky and I can say for sure that any explanation these are just Chinese lanterns is ridiculous."

Recounting his latest sighting, he said: "I was outside on my scooter at around 5am and watched them until about 6am. One came from the front and then others came in from different directions.

"They seemed to be lighting the clouds up as they went along and their lights were bright white. There was no noise and they moved slowly, hovering and then shooting off at speed."

Mr Goring described the objects as triangular in shape and lined with lights. He drew these diagrams to illustrate what he saw, explaining: "I estimate they were around 50 feet across in size and sometimes they shone a large searchlight from the bottom."

He added: "I am seeing these ships so regularly now and I think they are here to study the planet."

Eric revealed he had a close encounter with one of the objects last month: "I saw one come from the direction of the fields and over a tree. I almost walked right under it as it was just hovering in the air about 200 feet above me.

"It wasn't shining its search line down but I didn't want to go too near it as I was worried about radiation." He added: "And I am worried they might beam me up."

Describing the objects as appearing like balls of white light when viewed at a distance in the sky, Eric said: "They sometimes look red too and give off a bright flash – like a camera flash."

When asked where he thought the UFOs came from, Mr Goring was adamant they were not terrestrial aircraft: "They were definitely from space and of alien origin. There were no vapour trails and I could see the edges of the crafts and they were triangular."

Mr Goring said the only other time he had seen a UFO was in 1999 from Alford Road in Brinkhill: "It was a silver ball that appeared to glitter gold; and it moved silently at a speed of around 75mph. But it was nothing in comparison to what I have been seeing recently."

Eric now regularly scans the skies in the early hours of the morning to keep a watch out for the 'space craft': "I am worried about them and feel I have got to go out and keep looking for them now. Somebody has to keep a look out and report these things as we don't know what they are here for.

"They were the greatest thing I had ever seen, and if you ever saw them, you would never forget them."

Mr Goring concluded by saying he wasn't sure why aliens would choose to visit the Louth area: "I have seen them shining their searchlight down over the local fields so maybe they are fascinated with them in some way." He added: "Brinkhill is a red hot spot for these ships at the moment."

Source: The Evening Leader
http://www.eveningleader.co.uk/news/Flint-mayor-not-alone-in.4589652.jp

- THE UNDEAD EL CHUPACABRAS IN AMERICA DEPARTMENT-

The Grunch: America's Blood Sucker

The name EL CHUPACABRAS (Chupa Cabra) translates literally from Spanish as "The goat-sucker." It comes from the creature's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Grunch Sightings began in New Orleans in the late 1960's and Chupacabra, Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, and have since been reported as far north as the Carolinas, and as far south as Chile. The Chupacabra, as it is known now, was called 'El Vampiro de Moca' in Puerto Rico, some years ago.

The El Chupacabra in some areas of America's southern states is nothing new. In New Orleans the vampire like creature has been known as a Grunch since first sighted when German immigrants populated the area. A thriving population of Germans lived upriver from New Orleans, Louisiana. They were attracted to the area through pamphlets such as J. Hanno Deiler's "Louisiana: A Home for German Settlers" in the 1700's.

The creature was often describe as cattish or even goat -like and walked on two legs. It had large red glowing eyes and pointed ears. The smell was almost like that of a rotting corpse when near. And it killed chickens and small animals draining them of blood then leaving the corpses to rot away. In some accounts it is said to have resembled a hairless deformed dog with extra long back legs. When chased it would run off on all fours. But was often seen walking slowly on it's muscular hind legs or crouching before it leapt on it's prey.

Many in New Orleans today often ponder which came first the Chupacabra or the grunch? The average New Orleanian often will tell you the Grunch has been around much longer then the Chupacabra. Often infesting swamps, parks and and wooded areas only to be discovered where man encroached upon them.

The voodoo tradition of the city's legend is that a Grunch is a New Orleans specific version of the bastard Vampire or Chupacabra. Some say the horrific Devil Baby lives on Grunch Road and is the leader of the Grunch. And is the actual real Louisiana El Chupacabra. Not unlike the Grunch he goes out and steal babies and cats and dogs to eat. Many believe he is the true fore father to all the Grunch that live today.

An old La Nouvelle-Orléans Voodoo Hoodoo tale states: Marie Laveau castrated the Devil Baby when he was born, she wanted him to produce no more of his kind. The two bloody testicles fell to the floor as she used a very sharp blade. Immediately they transformed into a male and female grunch. The grunch set upon the frail old woman and almost killed her. Other lurid tales tell of the Devil Baby growing up into manhood and attacking women and impregnating them with his spawn which were called by many ... Grunch (chupacabra's). They were true demonic vampire blood suckers and lived off of the blood of their victims alone.

The most wicked and evil New Orleans or Louisiana Vampire are said to have been infected by a bite of a Grunch. This particular type of Vampire must also sleep in the daylight hours but cannot be killed in the traditional way as the European Vampire can. They do not burn up in sunlight nor can a stake in the heart destroy them.

The Grunch-Vampire spawn buries itself each morning at dawn in the mud of the swamps that surround the city. And then only to rise up each night at sunset. An old tale in New Orleans is that if you see a Vampire, the Devil Baby , Vampires or a Grunch in daylight hours, then a great storm or hurricane is on it's way. Actual Grunch and Devil Baby sightings and reports became very common place in the weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck the city August 29th, 2005.

In modern times, however, the vampire is generally held to be a fictitious entity, although belief in similar Vampiristic creatures such as the chupacabra still persists in some of the America's and their cultures. Early folkloric belief in vampires has been ascribed to the ignorance of the body's process of decomposition after death and how people in pre-industrial societies tried to rationalize this, creating the figure of the vampire to explain the mysteries of death. Porphyria was also linked with legends of vampirism in 1985 and received much media exposure, but has since been largely discredited.

The notion is that the Grunch or Chupacabra was created and not born. It is said to be not alive and certainly not 100% dead.

Chupacabra News Stories

In July 2004, a rancher near San Antonio, Texas, killed a hairless dog-like creature, which was attacking his livestock. This animal, initially given the name the Elmendorf Beast, was later determined by DNA assay conducted at University of California, Davis to be a coyote with demodectic or sarcoptic mange. In October 2004, two more carcasses were found in the same area. Biologists in Texas examined samples from the two carcasses and determined they were also coyotes suffering from very severe cases of mange. In Coleman, Texas, a farmer named Reggie Lagow caught an animal in a trap he set up after the deaths of a number of his chickens and turkeys. The animal was described as resembling a mix of hairless dog, rat, and kangaroo. Lagow provided the animal to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials for identification, but Lagow reported in a September 17, 2006 phone interview with John Adolfi, founder of the Lost World Museum, that the "critter was caught on a Tuesday and thrown out in Thursday's trash."

In April 2006, MosNews reported that the chupacabra was spotted in Russia for the first time. Reports from Central Russia beginning in March 2005 tell of a beast that kills by the animals and sucks out their blood. Thirty-two turkeys were killed and drained overnight. Reports later came from neighboring villages when 30 sheep were killed and had their blood drained. Finally, eyewitnesses were able to describe the chupacabra. In May 2006, experts were determined to track the animal down.

In mid-August 2006, Michelle O'Donnell of Turner, Maine, described an "evil looking" rodent-like animal with fangs that had been found dead alongside a road. The animal was apparently struck by a car, and was unidentifiable. Photographs were taken and witness reports seem to be in relative agreement that the creature was canine in appearance, but in widely published photos seemed unlike any dog or wolf in the area. Photos from other angles seem to show a chow- or akita-mixed breed dog. It was reported that "the carcass was picked clean by vultures before experts could examine it". For years, residents of Maine have reported a mysterious creature and a string of dog maulings.

In May 2007, a series of reports on national Colombia news reported more than 300 dead sheep in the region of Boyaca, and the capture of a possible specimen to be analyzed by zoologists at Universidad Nacional of Colombia.

In August 2007, Phylis Canion found three animals in Cuero, Texas. She and her neighbors purported to have discovered three strange animal carcasses outside Canion's property. She took photographs of the carcasses and preserved the head of one in her freezer before turning it over for DNA analysis. Canion reported that nearly 30 chickens on her farm had been exsanguinated over a period of years, a factor which led her to connect the carcasses with the chupacabra legend. State Mammologist John Young estimated that the animal in Canion's pictures was a Gray Fox suffering from an extreme case of mange. In November 2007, biology researchers at Texas State University–San Marcos determined from DNA samples that the suspicious animal was merely a coyote.

On January 11, 2008, a sighting was reported at the province of Capiz in the Philippines. Some of the residents from the barangay believed that it was the chupacabra that killed eight chickens. The owner of the chickens saw a dog-like animal attacking his chickens.

Video still of an alleged Chupacabra caught by a DeWitt County, Texas Sheriff's Deputy.On August 8, 2008, a DeWitt County deputy, Brandon Riedel, filmed an unidentifiable animal along back roads near Cuero, Texas on his dashboard camera. The animal was about the size of a coyote but was hairless with a long snout, short front legs and long back legs. However, Reiter's boss, Sherrif Jode Zavesky, believes it may be the same species of coyote identified by Texas State University–San Marcos researchers in November 2007.

So the next time your out alone in the dark in the southern part of the United States and you feel like your being watched, it might just be a grunch!

Source: Haunted America Tours/Gene R. Hampton
http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/crypto/ELCHUPACABRA.php

- ALL YOU NEED IS A WILLOW STICK DEPARTMENT -

On Parched Farms, Using Intuition to Find Water


Phil Stine is not crazy, or possessed, or even that special, he says. He has no idea how he does what he does. From most accounts, he does it very well.
Skip to next paragraph

“Phil finds the water,” said Frank Assali, an almond farmer and convert. “No doubt about it.”

Mr. Stine, you see, is a “water witch,” one of a small band of believers for whom the ancient art of dowsing is alive and well.

Emphasis, of course, on well. Using nothing more than a Y-shaped willow stick, Mr. Stine has as his primary function determining where farmers should drill to slake their crops’ thirst, adding an element of the mystical to a business where the day-to-day can often be painfully plain.

Asked how he does it, Mr. Stine has a standard retort.

“I just tell people,” Mr. Stine said, “it’s the amount of lead” in your haunches.

Scientists pooh-pooh dowsers like Mr. Stine, saying their abilities are roughly on par with a roll of the dice. But witches have been much in demand of late in rural California, the nation’s biggest agricultural engine, struggling through its second year of drought.

The dry period has resulted in farm layoffs, restrictions on residential and agricultural water use, and hard times for all manner of ancillary businesses, like tractor dealerships and roadside diners.

“There is a domino effect to the point that a little clothing store goes out of business in a town, because the people living there move on,” said Doug Mosebar, the president of the California Farm Bureau.

The state estimates nearly $260 million in crop damages through August. The drought has been particularly hard on areas like the Central Valley, the state’s 400-mile-long farming basin, and in Southern California, where some avocado farmers have taken to stumping their trees, cutting them back to the base rather than watering them. Statewide, farmers have left nearly 80,000 acres fallow rather than struggle — and pay handsomely — to keep them irrigated.

The dry times have meant good business for people like Blake Hennings, a well-driller in the Central Valley city of Turlock, who says he has a lengthy waiting list and a yard full of worn-down drill bits. At a recent job he dug five test holes, all of which had been identified by a water witch like Mr. Stine.

“We only had one bad one,” said Mr. Hennings, whose brother Curtis also dabbles with the dowser. “How they do it is beyond me.”

How many rural witches are still around is an open question. Water witches have no trade unions — or covens. Few advertise, or dowse full time.

Mr. Stine, for example, offers his services without charge, though he says he does accept thanks of another sort. “I got a bunch of gift certificates,” he said.

Dowsers have been part of lore for millenniums, and many on the farm today have no doubt they have special abilities. Richard Cotta, the chief executive of California Dairies, a Central Valley cooperative, said he vividly remembered the first time he saw a witch.

“I was 6 years old,” Mr. Cotta recalled. “A neighbor’s well had gone dry, and this old fellow came out and he witched it, quite a ways away from the other well. Doggone it, I’ll be darned if they didn’t get water. That made a believer out of me.”

So much of a believer, in fact, that Mr. Cotta recently walked away from a land deal because Mr. Stine said there was no water to be found. “He said he couldn’t find enough water to do what we wanted,” Mr. Cotta said.

Thomas Harter, a hydrologist at the University of California, Davis, who runs workshops with farmers looking to drill wells, said there was no scientific evidence that dowsers had special talent at finding water. They are, however, usually much cheaper than the various scientific tools, like electromagnetic imaging or seismic studies, that can help find aquifers.

“It’s worth a bottle of whiskey to have a guy come out,” Dr. Harter said.

But Dr. Harter also said men like Mr. Stine, who worked in the irrigation business for nearly half a century, could have an intuitive sense of where water was, simply by dint of knowing the territory.

In the Central Valley, which was once the bottom of a giant inland lake that water soaked into for eons, finding groundwater for domestic use is pretty easy, Dr. Harter said. But Mr. Stine’s efforts are reserved for agricultural wells, which need to produce much more water and sometimes can run 1,000 feet deep.

Mr. Stine is 77 and retired from a successful irrigation business here in Waterford, a town of about 7,000 on the banks of a slender section of the Tuolumne River, the same river from which he now cuts his willow branches.

What does he look for in a good dowsing rod?

“It’s got to have leaves on it, and it can’t really be bigger than your finger,” Mr. Stine said. “And you got to find one with a fork in it.”

He says he was taught his dark arts many years back by a fellow irrigator who used a metal coat hanger and a hard hat to dowse.

“He used a metal rod and wore a metal hat, and that thing would hit his head,” Mr. Stine said. “So he always wore that hat.”

The American Society of Dowsers, an organization based in Vermont, claims more than 3,000 members who use various tools — pendulums, L-shaped rods, bobbers — on all manner of mystery, finding minerals and lost objects, and even attaining “ancient wisdom,” according to the group’s Web site.

“Dowsing is a system that uses tools,” said George Weller, the society’s national president. “And the tools give you an answer.”

Mr. Stine, a plain-spoken Baptist, claims no connection with a higher power or otherworldly sensations when dowsing, merely a strong tugging in the hands. “You can feel it twist,” he said. “You can’t hang on to it. It will actually break in your hand.”

On an afternoon not long ago, Mr. Stine was summoned to a parched patch of earth outside Merced, Calif., owned by Mr. Assali and Mr. Cotta.

Mr. Stine’s process is simple: walk the eastern edge of the property with the willow held straight up. When it bends toward him, he marks the spot with a flag and keeps walking. If he gets two or three in quick succession, he is convinced there is a stream somewhere underfoot.

On Mr. Assali’s and Mr. Cotta’s land, Mr. Stine worked fast, practically speed-walking. And then, after about 150 feet, the willow bowed suddenly — inexplicably — toward Mr. Stine’s chest.

“There it goes,” he said, his hands straining against the stick.

And so it went, again and again as Mr. Stine moved along the property’s perimeter, planting perhaps 20 flags. Mr. Assali said he would start drilling on Mr. Stine’s recommendation as soon as he could.

Source: NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/09/us/09water.html?_r=2&sq=Parched%20
californians%20feel%20pull&st=nyt&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&scp=1&adxnnlx=
1223722904-TFj0Cv455G7n+juUGgIAww

- DON'T ASK DON'T TELL DEPARTMENT -

The Police And The Paranormal


Tapping the spirit world to bust crime leaves police and believers divided.

TEN years ago, Taoist medium Lou Ai Pang was approached by a frantic housewife who told him that her husband had disappeared after leaving Singapore to seek his fortune.

Mr Lou, 61, said his psychic powers revealed that the man was alive and in Thailand. But the news came with an ominous warning.

'I told her she had to find him quickly. If not, he would not be able to return home with her,' he recalled recently.

The woman eventually tracked down her husband, only to find him rail thin and begging on the streets. He had lost all his money in doomed business ventures and died soon after the couple were reunited.

The housewife was one in a small group of Singaporeans who turned to a psychic in their desperate search for answers about loved ones who had disappeared or been murdered.

The topic of paranormal help was raised last week at a conference organised by security firm Certis Cisco and the Malaysia-based International Centre for Security Management.

Malaysian criminologist Justin Loh recounted a case early this year when a missing businessman was found with the help of a bomoh. By then, he had already been murdered by a group of youths, who had robbed him and used his ATM and credit cards.

Although the police suspected that he had been abducted by foreigners, his family turned to many mediums to find him.

'Some said he was dead, some said he was alive. But among all of them, one accurately predicted where he was held, where his body would be found and the race and nationality of the ones responsible,' Mr Loh said.

Law-enforcement officials here and abroad have long been sceptical about purported connections to the spirit world, saying that paranormal tips are a waste of time and resources.

'These leads will never stand up in a court of law as evidence. It's just rubbish,' said private investigator Lionel de Souza, a retired detective with over 20 years' experience.

It is a view shared throughout the police and legal community. Retired senior detective Lim Beng Gee said psychics had never successfully helped the police solve a case in Singapore.

'But there certainly have been many instances when victims have parted with lots of money to these mediums with no results,' he said.

Crime Library founder Joseph Tan said he had seen some people cheated by shady psychics. He pointed to one case, where a teenage girl had disappeared from home. Her mother searched Pulau Ubin and Kusu Island on the advice of a temple medium.

A $3,000 bill later, the woman's daughter came home on her own. She had been staying with a friend all the while.

Mr Tan said: 'More often than not, they may end up being cheated. But when religious beliefs are involved, how do you argue with them, especially when they become defensive and think I am belittling their faith?'

While psychics have claimed to help police investigations everywhere from the United States to Malaysia, Singapore police are loath to turn to paranormal clues.

A senior police officer, who has been in the force for about 15 years, told The Straits Times: 'As far as I know, we do not get the help of mediums to look for missing persons or solve our cases - not now, not in the past, not ever.'

A retired detective with 30 years' experience said it was a matter of pride: 'Nothing beats solid policing work. After hard work has cracked a case, you can gloat about it with your colleagues. If you do it through the supernatural, there's no pride.'

However, Mr Eugene Toh, the president of the Society of the Paranormal Investigators here, said paranormal help should not be dismissed out of hand.

'There are still some things around us which cannot be explained. At the very least, paranormal help could provide the police with some leads if (the investigation) does not turn up anything,' he said.

The most prominent case here which highlighted how desperation can drive one to give the paranormal some credence was in 2004, when an eight-year-old girl, Huang Na, was murdered by a Malaysian vegetable packer.

Her desperate mother, Madam Huang Shuying, scoured Bukit Timah Hill and Mount Faber after a relative had a vision that she was being held on a hill.

In the end, the vision was on the money. The decomposed body of little Huang Na was found stuffed in a box in Telok Blangah Hill Park three weeks after she had gone missing.

Some legal experts say police should keep an open mind about the paranormal world.

'Officially, any policeman worth his salt will tell you that he does not employ such assistance,' said Mr Loh. 'Any psychic or medium would be most reluctant to come forward to help. They will easily become the prime suspects in, for example, a murder case, because the police will wonder why they know so much.

'While some instances of a psychic or a medium helping to solve a crime can be explained by coincidence or science, there are others which one cannot fully account for.'

Most mediums The Straits Times spoke to said it was rare to receive a request from a person looking for a loved one. Medium Chew Hon Thin, 62, said: 'Most people come to me to ask for help in getting rich or in improving relations among family members.'

Lawyer Amolat Singh said that evidence submitted by mediums would not be accepted in a court of law.

'Most of our literature and the training of experts is science-based. So the evidence of mediums is considered to be in the legal twilight zone,' he said.

'If such evidence is used and accepted, we're opening the floodgates to the realm of the unknown and the unprovable. Then, where do we go from there?'

It is not uncommon for psychics in the US and United Kingdom to claim that they have helped the police to crack cases where there are few leads, although these have rarely been acknowledged by the police forces. Last year, on a documentary televised on CNN, the New York police turned to prominent psychic Phil Jordan in the unsolved murder of a woman.

The psychic was able to describe her two assailants, pick their photos out of a stack of mug shots and described the house where they went for a party after the murder. However, police forces in countries such as the US, UK and New Zealand have officially said that they do not regard psychics as credible or useful in cases.

Last year, a New Zealand newspaper asked the police if they would act on a psychic tip that said a missing man had been murdered and buried near a waterfall. The answer from an officer?

'While we would love to go up there and start digging away, spiritual communications were not considered a credible foundation for investigation.'

Source: The Strait Times
http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_289166.html

- BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME DEPARTMENT -

"Yeti" Hairs Actually From Goat

Scientists in the US who have examined hairs claimed to belong to a yeti in India say that in fact they belong to a species of Himalayan goat.

They say that DNA tests on the hairs - obtained from the north-east Indian state of Meghalaya - show that they are from a goat known as a Himalayan Goral.

The rough-haired creature has a grey-brown coat and is between 95-130cm (37-51in) in length.

It was not previously thought to roam so far south of its known habitat.

Those who believe in the existence of the little known Indian version of the legendary yeti - or abominable snow man - say it is an ape-like creature called mande barung - or forest man.

The BBC was given the hairs by passionate yeti believer Dipu Marak, who retrieved them from a site in dense jungle after the mande barung was allegedly seen by a forester for three days in a row in 2003.

'Interesting result'

"We always knew that the link between the sightings of the Indian yeti and the finding of the hairs was purely circumstantial," said ape expert Ian Redmond who carried out a preliminary series of tests on the hairs earlier this year which proved inconclusive.

"Nevertheless, the DNA test is an interesting result because the reported location where this sample was collected is way south of the published distribution maps of the Goral species, which is said to live between 1,000 to 4,000 metres up in the Himalayas.

"Perhaps we have a more modest discovery - extending the known range of the goral rather than confirming the existence of the lowland yeti," he said.

Mr Marak said that the hairs could have provided compelling evidence of the existence of a black and grey ape-like animal which stands about 3m (nearly 10ft) tall.

"While these results are discouraging, it does not affect my firm conviction that there is a yeti-like creature out there," he said. "It has been seen too often for it to be dismissed as nothing more than a myth."

'Startling resemblance'

In recent years different witnesses in the West, South and East Garo hills of Meghalaya say that they have seen the creature, which Mr Marak estimates to weighs about 300kg (660lb) and is herbivorous, surviving on fruit, roots and tree bark.

Scientists said that initial microscopic tests on the hairs were "potentially very exciting" as they bore a "startling resemblance" to similar suspected yeti hairs collected by Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary.

After the microscope tests, the hairs were sent to a lab in the US for DNA analysis. By a "process of elimination" the hairs from India were compared with hairs from other animals known to live in the area around the Garo hills.

The first series of tests were carried out at Oxford Brookes University in central England with award-winning primatologist Anna Nekaris and microscopy expert Jon Wells from the university's anthropology department.

Using some of the most sophisticated microscopes in Britain, the hairs were magnified up to 200 times and then compared with a database of other hairs provided to Mr Redmond from Oxford's Natural History Museum and the primatology department at Oxford Brookes University.

After the tests were completed, Mr Redmond - who is also a senior consultant for the UN's Great Ape Survival Project - and Ms Nekaris were able to rule out the "obvious candidates" to whom the hairs might belong.

However the hairs were then sent to the US for further tests where the link with the goral goat was established.

Source: BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7666900.stm

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