2/12/10  #559
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The crystal ball glimmered with an iridescence of days of future past.  The nearby flickering candles threw shadows of  things yet to be upon the orbs crystalline matrix.  The prophet, withered and aged, breathed deeply of the smokey air and continued to gaze deeply into the heart of the crystal.   Deep within his brain, universal connections that bind us all in a web of  wholeness are stimulated by the hypnotic shapes that danced faintly in the ball.  Time and space are one and all information contained within reality are available to those who can master their intellect and allow the stream of information to be downloaded directly into the brain -- bypassing the rational mind that would block anything received through such unconventional methods.  The prophet sighs in contentment -- because once again his crystal ball has brought him his subscription to Conspiracy Journal, the free weekly e-mail newsletter of everything weird and strange from the past present and future.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such brain-bleeding stories as:

- Another Blizzard: What Happened to Global Warming? -
- UFOs: Awakening the Fire Within -
- Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal 'Synthetic Organisms' -
The Thing In City Park New Orleans -
AND: Ghostly Image Photographed in New Zealand

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


SPECIAL OFFER FROM CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

Contactees: A History of Alien-Human Interaction
AND
Up Rainbow Hill


In the early 1950's, some people began to publically claim that they had made contact with extraterrestrial beings who were visiting the Earth. Now for a limited time, Conspiracy Journal is offering two incredible books about the "contactees" and their alleged friends from beyond.

Nick Redfern's book, Contactees: A History of Alien-human Interaction, contains the fascinating stories of the select group of people chosen by visitors to Earth to spread their message.

Truman Bethurum was divorced by his wife because she believed he was having close encounters of a very personal kind with a beautiful extraterrestrial "space captain" named Aura Rhanes. Is he nuts? Prescient? An omen?

A band of eerily human-looking, blond-haired aliens--later known as the Space-Brothers--informed other contactees that they were concerned by our warlike ways and wished us to live in peace with one another. Acting on the advice of the Space-Brothers, contactees such as George Van Tassel and George Adamski went out and spread the extraterrestrial word to anyone and everyone who would listen. And many did, including U.S. government agencies.

More than half a century later, the contactees are still among us, still telling their tales of personal alien encounters, and still maintaining their cult-like status in the world of UFOlogy. Nick Redfern's Contactees relates their thought-provoking, illuminating, controversial, and sometimes bizarre stories in all their appropriately out-of-this-world glory.

As well, we also have the classic reprint Up Rainbow Hill by Dana Howard who experienced repeated contacts with radiant beings who told her that they were from the planet Venus!  This book has been out of print for years, so don't miss out on getting your copy today.

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- IT'S OUR GRANDCHILDREN'S PROBLEM, NOT OURS DEPARTMENT -

Another Blizzard: What Happened to Global Warming?

As the blizzard-bound residents of the mid-Atlantic region get ready to dig themselves out of the third major storm of the season, they may stop to wonder two things: Why haven't we bothered to invest in a snow blower, and what happened to climate change? After all, it stands to reason that if the world is getting warmer — and the past decade was the hottest on record — major snowstorms should become a thing of the past, like PalmPilots and majority rule in the Senate. Certainly that's what the Virginia state Republican Party thinks: the GOP aired an ad last weekend that attacked two Democratic members of Congress for supporting the 2009 carbon-cap-and-trade bill, using the recent storms to cast doubt on global warming.

Brace yourselves now — this may be a case of politicians twisting the facts. There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm. As the meteorologist Jeff Masters points out in his excellent blog at Weather Underground, the two major storms that hit Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this winter — in December and during the first weekend of February — are already among the 10 heaviest snowfalls those cities have ever recorded. The chance of that happening in the same winter is incredibly unlikely.

But there have been hints that it was coming. The 2009 U.S. Climate Impacts Report found that large-scale cold-weather storm systems have gradually tracked to the north in the U.S. over the past 50 years. While the frequency of storms in the middle latitudes has decreased as the climate has warmed, the intensity of those storms has increased. That's in part because of global warming — hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow. Colder air, by contrast, is drier; if we were in a truly vicious cold snap, like the one that occurred over much of the East Coast during parts of January, we would be unlikely to see heavy snowfall.

Climate models also suggest that while global warming may not make hurricanes more common, it could well intensify the storms that do occur and make them more destructive.

But as far as winter storms go, shouldn't climate change make it too warm for snow to fall? Eventually that is likely to happen — but probably not for a while. In the meantime, warmer air could be supercharged with moisture and, as long as the temperature remains below 32°F, it will result in blizzards rather than drenching winter rainstorms. And while the mid-Atlantic has borne the brunt of the snowfall so far this winter, areas near lakes may get hit even worse. As global temperatures have risen, the winter ice cover over the Great Lakes has shrunk, which has led to even more moisture in the atmosphere and more snow in the already hard-hit Great Lakes region, according to a 2003 study in the Journal of Climate.

Ultimately, however, it's a mistake to use any one storm — or even a season's worth of storms — to disprove climate change (or to prove it; some environmentalists have wrongly tied the lack of snow in Vancouver, the site of the Winter Olympic Games, which begin this week, to global warming). Weather is what will happen next weekend; climate is what will happen over the next decades and centuries. And while our ability to predict the former has become reasonably reliable, scientists are still a long way from being able to make accurate projections about the future of the global climate. Of course, that doesn't help you much when you're trying to locate your car under a foot of powder.

Source: Time Magazine
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1962294,00.html

- THE HIDDEN DIMENSIONS OF UFO SIGHTINGS DEPARTMENT -

UFOs: Awakening the Fire Within

UFOs confound us with a number of different mysteries.  First we have the mystery of UFOs themselves, unknown, seemingly solid objects that fly around our skies with impunity.  Next, there are the UFO occupants that seem to come in as many unusual shapes and sizes as the vehicles they allegedly pilot.  And last are the strange aftereffects that are suffered by some people who have had contact of one form or another with a UFO.

The reactions that some people have after a UFO encounter indicate a connection between the eyewitness and the phenomena that may go beyond the physical, and into the realms of the mind and even the spirit.  The question we have to ask is: why would visitors from other planets induce paranormal or mystic responses from human observers?  Perhaps we are making some broad assumptions about the true nature of UFOs.  Or maybe we are asking the wrong questions altogether.

BEYOND THE HUMAN MIND AND SPIRIT

Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman in their book The Unidentified, state as their "First Law of Paraufology" that the UFO mystery is primarily subjective and symbolic. While they admit that the phenomenon is not without objective aspects, they maintain that such manifestations are only "subsidiary" displays "whose cause can be traced to certain extrasensory functions of the brain."

Their "Second Law of Paraufology" says that the objective manifestations associated with UFOs are "psychokinetically-generated by-products of those unconscious processes which shape a culture's vision of the Otherworld. Existing only temporarily, they are at best only quasi-physical."

There are numerous theories regarding UFOs place of origin and their true identity. Every investigator has their own favorite location, whether physical or ethereal.  Generally, these arguments are distilled to the central issue of whether the UFO intelligences are essentially physical beings from some other physical planet, or nonphysical beings from an invisible realm in our own world.  Conceivably both theories may be correct.

RENDEZVOUS WITH THE UNKNOWN

Author Regan Lee says that the psychic aspect of UFOs seems to be too often ignored or dismissed by many researchers who perceive it as a "New Agey" element that is an embarrassment to "serious" UFO researchers. However, Lee suggests that there is a psychic thread within the UFO experience, and it is dishonest to ignore it since UFO lore is full of stories of people who have had psychic or telepathic experiences in context of their UFO encounter.

Gail Mangas of Toledo, Ohio had no interest in UFOs or the paranormal.  She was a divorced mother of two children and a waitress for a local restaurant, with little time to do anything else except care for her family - that is until she had a rendezvous with the unknown.

One night, as she drove home from work, Gail noticed a strange light in the sky that seemed to be following her car.  The light was reddish in color and about the size of a half-dollar held at arms length.

When Gail was about a mile from her home, along a particularly deserted stretch of road, the light suddenly zoomed out of the sky and positioned itself directly in front of the car.

"I was absolutely terrified," she remembered. "The object blocked the road so I had to stop or risk running into it.  Its light was so bright that I had to shield my eyes with my hand."

Before Gail had a chance to react, the weird light disappeared just as suddenly as it had appeared. Shaken, Gail drove the rest of the way home without further incident.  She might have forgotten about her unusual experience if it wasn't for what occurred to her afterwards.

"That was the point where my life changed completely," she said.  "I became interested in science and math and read everything I could get my hands on. This was so unlike me, I had barely graduated from high school and now I was reading books that were written for scientists. And the really weird thing was that I understood them."

Gail also noticed that along with her increased intelligence she had also developed the power to heal and to tell what others were thinking.

"It was as if the UFO awakened some part of me that had laid dormant all of my life," she said.  "I can't explain it, but I know deep inside that I have been chosen somehow." 

Gail also said that she has the feeling that some other intelligence is guiding her to develop both mentally and spiritually.  She feels that she has some mission to fulfill for mankind in the future.

"I don't know what my mission will be - I only know that I am not the only one to be contacted this way. There are thousands, maybe millions of others on this planet that are being prepared for something truly great in the future."

ENHANCED EVOLUTION

Gail Mangas's experience is not unique.  Throughout history there have been others who have touched the unknown and returned changed somehow.  Perhaps we are experiencing a sort of enhanced evolution, intended to carry humankind quickly beyond this point in our development when our passions often outweigh our intelligence.

Jacques Vallee, in his book Dimensions, writes that the UFO phenomenon is one of the ways through which an alien form of intelligence of incredible complexity is communicating with us symbolically, and that paranormal phenomena with UFOs are one of the manifestations of a "spiritual control system for human consciousness."

Perhaps somewhere there is an intelligence that can see our potential as an enlightened species and has made it their mission to see us through these difficult times by awakening our hidden, spiritual capabilities. We may have an important role to play on the universal stage. Maybe UFOs are here to show us the hidden meaning between the lines of our lives.

Source: Tim R. Swartz

- IN HIS IMAGE DEPARTMENT -

Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal 'Synthetic Organisms'

The Pentagon’s mad science arm may have come up with its most radical project yet. Darpa is looking to re-write the laws of evolution to the military’s advantage, creating “synthetic organisms” that can live forever — or can be killed with the flick of a molecular switch.

As part of its budget for the next year, Darpa is investing $6 million into a project called BioDesign, with the goal of eliminating “the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement.” The plan would assemble the latest bio-tech knowledge to come up with living, breathing creatures that are genetically engineered to “produce the intended biological effect.” Darpa wants the organisms to be fortified with molecules that bolster cell resistance to death, so that the lab-monsters can “ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.”

Of course, Darpa’s got to prevent the super-species from being swayed to do enemy work — so they’ll encode loyalty right into DNA, by developing genetically programmed locks to create “tamper proof” cells. Plus, the synthetic organism will be traceable, using some kind of DNA manipulation, “similar to a serial number on a handgun.” And if that doesn’t work, don’t worry. In case Darpa’s plan somehow goes horribly awry, they’re also tossing in a last-resort, genetically-coded kill switch:

    "Develop strategies to create a synthetic organism “self-destruct” option to be implemented upon nefarious removal of organism."

The project comes as Darpa also plans to throw $20 million into a new synthetic biology program, and $7.5 million into “increasing by several decades the speed with which we sequence, analyze and functionally edit cellular genomes.”

Of course, Darpa’s up against some vexing, fundamental laws of nature — not to mention bioethics — as they embark on the lab beast program. First, they might want to rethink the idea of evolution as a random series of events, says NYU biology professor David Fitch. “Evolution by selection is nota random process at all, and is actually a hugely efficient design algorithm used extensively in computation and engineering,” he e-mails Danger Room.

Even if Darpa manages to overcome the inherent intelligence of evolutionary processes, overcoming inevitable death can be tricky. Just ask all the other research teams who’ve made stabs at it, trying everything from cell starvation to hormone treatments. Gene therapy, where artificial genes are inserted into an organism to boost cell life, are the latest and greatest in life-extension science, but they’ve only been proven to extend lifespan by 20 percent in rats.

But suppose gene therapy makes major strides, and Darpa does manage to get the evolutionary science right. They’ll also have a major ethical hurdle to jump. Synthetic biology researchers are already facing the same questions, as a 2009 summary from the Synthetic Biology Project reports:

    "The concern that humans might be overreaching when we create organisms that never before existed can be a safety concern, but it also returns us to disagreements about what is our proper role in the natural world (a debate largely about non-physical harms or harms to well-being)."

Even expert molecular geneticists don’t know what to make of the project. Either that, or they’re scared Darpa might sic a bio-bot on them. “I would love to comment, but unfortunately Darpa has installed a kill switch in me,” one unnamed expert tells Danger Room.

Source: Wired
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/pentagon-looks-to-breed-immortal-synthetic-
organisms-molecular-kill-switch-included/

- THERE'S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT CLOWNS DEPARTMENT -

Strange Sightings of "Phantom Clowns"
By Loren Coleman

In Mysterious America, I detailed the national wave of shadowy 1981 sightings of clowns in vans, trying to kidnap children, from Boston to Kansas City.

The encounters began in May of 1981, in Boston, Brookline, and other Massachusetts communities. By the end of the month, the local newspapers in Kansas City were publishing warnings about "Killer Clowns" said to be after children at bus stops there.

During an era before emails and the Internet, I was able to discover, via my network of correspondents, that a rash of local news articles were appearing across the USA, describing similar abduction scenarios. Although the national newspapers and wire services were totally unaware of the widespread nature of such accounts, the stories were remarkably alike. I called them the "Phantom Clowns."

Repeats of almost identical Phantom Clown encounters have been recorded since 1981. The latest one is now developing in Illinois.

The reports coming from Chicago have even been tied to a Wicker Park, which has a symbolic name linked to New York City's Son of Sam killings of 1976-1977. In letters to the media, the serial killer signed himself as "The Wicked King Wicker" and allegedly shoot a Wicker Street German shepherd.

In the October 2008 incidents, a man wearing clown make-up and a wig is using balloons in an attempt to lure children into his vehicle on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. Police issued an alert about a week after a man with a similar description was spotted on the West Side.

The near abductions were reported in the 8300 block of South Mackinaw and the 10000 block of South Normal, according to a community alert by Calumet Area detectives.

The man, who wears clown make-up and a wig, approached children with balloons attempting to lure them into his vehicle, but the children ran and called 911, the alert said.

The man, who wears a clown mask or white face paint with teardrops on the cheek, has approached children walking to and from school, police said. Witnesses told police he was seen driving a white or brown van with the windows broken out.

The attempted kidnapping/child abduction occurred on October 7, 2008, at 5:55 p.m. and October 10, 2008, at 8:55 a.m.

Police on Sunday morning, October 12th, said the sightings have not been concentrated to one specific area and there have been multiple sightings of clowns across the city, according to a Harrison Area Special Victims Unit detective.

One suspect was seen on foot in the Garfield Park neighborhood and near Beidler Elementary School, 3151 W. Walnut St., and Polaris Charter Academy, 620 N. Sawyer Avenue.

Dressed in a multi-colored clown suit with a mask or white face paint, a red nose and a teardrop on his cheek, the man escaped in a van after the failed attempts.

Police elaborated that there have been multiple sightings of clowns across the city, including one sighting in Wicker Park, but there has been no hard evidence leading to a suspect. No arrests have been made.

(Thanks to Christopher Balzano and Richard D. Hendricks for their news tips on the developing Chicago story.)

To undermine any incorrect misunderstandings regarding the rumored origins of the Phantom Clown stories, they cannot be referenced as being "caused" by Stephen King, as is sometimes written.

Stephen King's It terrorized children (as a novel in 1986 and a TV movie in 1990), after I published my notes on the discovery of the "Phantom Clown" wave of 1981 (first in magazine articles and later in my 1983 first edition of Mysterious America).

Source: The Copycat Effect
http://copycateffect.blogspot.com/2008/10/phantom-clowns-are-back.html

- HISTORIES MYSTERIES DEPARTMENT -

What is Happening Under Giza?
Lost Cave System Becomes More Mysterious & More Controversial
By Dr. Greg Little

When Andrew Collins, his wife Sue Collins, and Nigel Skinner-Simpson entered the lost cave system under Giza in March 2008, they knew that what they had found was extremely important. The caves had been briefly described nearly 200 years earlier in an obscure personal journal, but the journal was hidden away in the British Museum. During those 200 years Giza was extensively explored and the many finds dutily cataloged, but no one rediscovered the caves. Myths of a labyrinth of caves under Giza, concealing a hidden repository of lost knowledge, persisted, but that's all they were—myths. According to the official catalogs of archaeological locations at Giza, no natural cave system exists. That is, it didn't exist until 2008 when the hidden entrance to unrecorded caves was found deep inside an obscure tomb, known as “NC2,” on the north face of the Giza plateau by Collins who was spurred on by the clues in the forgotten journal.

It's likely that the Collins' team thought that their discovery would be appreciated by Egyptian authorities, but one thing they probably never expected was an official denial that the dark, dangerous place that they bravely explored didn't even exist. The official denial of the caves' existence, by Dr. Zahi Hawass, has created an even more intriguing story.

Collins detailed the discovery of the caves in his book, Beneath The Pyramids, which was released in October 2009. However, prior to the book's release a flurry of activity on the internet happened revealing the discovery. Numerous articles and press releases—along with film and stories by MSNBC, Discovery, and other news sources came out that revealed the existence of the previously-unknown caves and their extent. Collins had actually handed Dr Hawass a private report in April 2009 fully informing him about the caves, but Hawass appears to have dismissed the report. Even more oddly, in October 2008, Hawass was shown photos of the cave system in his office in Cairo. In that meeting, Hawass related that the system was "unknown" to him.

Not long ago Hawass officially responded to the cave controversy by first relating that the NC2 tomb, which Collins called the "Tomb of the Birds," due to its ancient usage as a bird necropolis, was well-known and had been fully explored. Hawass speculated that Collins and his team had become "confused" and mistook the tomb as a cave system. But the description of the tomb given by Hawass clearly showed that it was Hawass who was confused. It was obvious at that time Hawass was completely unaware that a cave system extended for some considerable distance from the back of the actual tomb. Hawass then issued another statement revealing that he had an archaeological team now "clearing the catacombs" and that he would issue a formal report in the future. Oddly, on his internet site Hawass dismissed internet reports by stating, "I hope people who wish to learn more about the Giza tombs will consult academic sources, for example books published by scholars such as myself and not rely on unsupported Internet accounts." Indeed—use an internet release to belittle internet reports.

Hawass's recent description of pop-singer Beyonce as "stupid" shows that he can become deeply offended by what he sees as intrusions into Egyptology by outsiders and people who don't appreciate the depth of Egyptology. What also seems likely is that Hawass sees himself as the sole guardian of Giza and it creates a deep resentment when something new is found that comes as a surprise. (It is true in some ways that he is the guardian and that fact needs to be recognized.)

When Collins first approached him about the caves' existence, Hawass responded by consulting the known archaeological reports and quickly concluded that all Collins did was enter the actual tomb NC2. The reason is that the tomb itself is a little over 100-feet long with various rooms and compartments. Hawass concluded that the description of the caves extending for hundreds of yards was wrong and again that Collins was confused. That accounts for Hawass's initial statements that a cave system didn't exist. But as the furor over the caves increased with the publication of Collins' book, a team was dispatched to the tomb by Hawass. Much to their amazement, the unrecorded cave system did, in fact, exist. It had been missed by everyone. But while Hawass is capable of calling someone "stupid," he seems incapable of admitting that he was wrong. For a professional and academic, that looks pretty stupid.

One of the things that Andrew Collins was concerned about, and a concern that he directly related to Dr. Hawass several times, was that as long as the tomb was open and accessible, others would secretly enter and then the possible archaeological finds that might be made could be compromised. Hawass responded by keeping the tomb open, but oddly he dispatched a professional team, described by him in an email as a group of "archaeologists, geologists, engineers, and architects" to completely excavate the entire site. The clearing and excavation of the system quietly began in August 2009 after Hawass was told that the caves did, in fact, exist. The extent and discoveries made by this team is becoming increasingly clear, and what they may find might prove even more embarrassing to Hawass.

Obviously following the description and photos of the cave system entrance in Collins' book, another British citizen (Richard Gabriel) recently gained entrance into the caves and managed to take dozens of photos. Collins has written an article about the newly released photos which make it clear that Collins was correct and Hawass was wrong. From the photos it is apparent that Gabriel entered the system recently and at a time when workers were not present.

The photos show that the tomb that provides access to the caves has been now cleared of debris and dust. In addition, excavation tools and equipment are shown lying in several areas of the tomb. Two previously unrecorded descending stairways have been revealed inside the tomb’s anteroom and newly-cleared sub-floor chambers are also visible. Precisely how Hawass will describe the clearing of the caves he had earlier stated don't exist is unclear, but it's unlikely he'll ever admit that he was wrong.

One group that seems to understand the situation is the Egyptologist's Electronic Forum (EEF), a subscription-only group comprised of some of the world's top Egyptologists. But even members of that group have been sometimes confused by wrongly suggesting that the caves Collins discovered might have been something previously explored by Dr Mark Lehner, an Egyptologist, director of Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA), who for 25 years has explored and recorded the hundreds of monuments and tombs at Giza. On the EEF, as well as on other key Egyptological forums, there have been discussions of the controversy with the consensus being that the Giza caves do seem to be unrecorded, and are thus worthy of further investigation.

Oddly, a few of the newly-released photos give credence to a local folk legend telling how the caves are guarded by a giant snake. A natural rock face in a chamber deep inside the system has a protrusion that looks like a massive snake head. And a recently released satellite-based ground penetrating radar image examined by Collins indicates that the cave system he has found might well follow the course of localized geological faulting that extends all the way to the Second Pyramid. Collins points out that it is this pyramid, and not the more obvious Great Pyramid, that was said to be the location of the lost cave-tomb of Hermes, a legendary wisdom bringer and founder of Egyptian civilization. Collins most recent musings on the situation are here.

Overall this is an intriguing story that becomes more and more interesting as the caves appear to become a free-for-all that is being entered by more and more people. Hawass has only increased the intrigue and mystery by denying that the very thing he's investigating even exists! It is quite likely that whatever is eventually reported to be found in the caves by Hawass will be important to Giza and Egyptology, but it's also likely that Hawass will take credit for it by relating that he knew about it all along. Nevertheless, Egyptology should accord some respect and recognition to Collins as the individual who made it all come about. Sadly, that's unlikely.

Source: Mysterious-America
http://www.mysterious-america.net/egypt210.html

- STRANGE CREATURES FROM TIME AND SPACE DEPARTMENT -

The Thing In City Park New Orleans

In the early morning hours of Sunday, February 7, 2010, a tractor driver who had worked the Caesar parade route in Metairie was heading home to his apartment in the Lake Terrace section of New Orleans when he decided to take a detour through City Park.

While driving down Harrison Avenue, approximately half way between the renovated New Orleans Police Department Mounted Unit horse stables and Scout Island, in the vicinity of the infamous Mona Lisa Drive, the man was startled to see a dark form lurch out of the shadows and approach the road.

The witness slowed his vehicle for a better look.  The dark form ran along the treeline for several minutes, moving in and out of the misty and shadows under the oaks.  The driver now came to a complete stop and observed what he described as a “troll” or a “gill man” dart across the Harrison Avenue turnaround, making its way toward Scout Island and the overgrowth of the abandoned City Park East Golf Course.

According to the witness, the creature had dark or black skin covered in masses of “skin or fins” that looked like algae growing all over its body.  It seemed to have gills or matted hair that looked like gills on its face and head; two yellow eyes leered out from under a prominent forehead.  Apparently aware of the man’s presence, once it had crossed the road, it stopped and looked back at the man who said it then opened its mouth in a growl, revealing a set of massive fangs and a lolling tongue that looked, according to the man, “too big for its mouth.”  It lifted up a clawed hand as if to wave the man off, the driver clearly observed long claws at the fingertips in the ambient light, and then it turned, lurching off into the shadows of Scout Island.

The witness did not report his strange experience to the police because he assumed they would not believe him and since the “gill man,” “troll,” or whatever it was had not hurt him, he didn’t feel it was necessary to bring unwelcome scrutiny upon himself.  When he joined a group of fellow tractor drivers for parade routes early the next morning, he told a friend what had happened.  His friend put him in touch with Haunted America Tours.

Here at Haunted America Tours the staff has long been aware of legends regarding ghosts and creatures lurking in the placed environment of the New Orleans City Park.  The “urban legend” surrounding the Park’s Mona Lisa Drive is one example.

According to some reports there is an older legend, popular among the Allipoosa Indians who lived along nearby Bayou St. John in the colonial days of New Orleans, concerning a foul, ghoul-like creature inhabiting the woody tracts and marshy areas along the bayou shore.  Descriptions of the creature by the Allipoosa, and accounts from slaves who worked on the Allard Plantation, which comprised all the acres that later became City Park, match the account provided by the tractor driver this past weekend.

Haunted America Tours spoke to a Mid-City resident who lives in the City Park Avenue area and who claims to be a descendent of the Allipoosa tribe, and he confirmed that recently there have been numerous strange occurrences in City Park.

The resident, who asked not to be identified, suggested that the recent sightings might be connected to the numerous film projects that have used City Park and its surrounding areas as locations and backdrops for shooting.  Some of these projects, he said, have supernatural or paranormal storylines, and it is his opinion that this activity has “stirred up” the spirits of the land – from the ghosts of Allard plantation slaves and long-dead Indians, to more modern phantoms.  City Park, he said, has many, many guardians.

A member of the Haunted America Tours staff discussed an interesting footnote to this story: On a recent visit to the Popp’s Fountain area in City Park, she noticed that some of the heavy iron bars in the security fence now surrounding the fountain had been bent and broken, as if by tremendous force.  The interesting thing, other than the fact that the black, wrought iron would be impossible to break without the aid of machinery or welding equipment, is that the breaks appeared to have occurred from the inside out.

Source: Haunted America Tours
http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/crypto/THETHINGINCITYPARK.php

- LET ME HEAR YOU SAY "BOO" DEPARTMENT -

Ghostly Image Photographed in New Zealand

An Invercargill man has taken a photograph that could be proof of the afterlife, or it could be a cloud – who knows?

Andrew Watters travelled to St Bathans, near Alexandra, with his partner Kim Ward during the weekend in search of the spirits that reputedly haunt its buildings.

"I'd always been nagging my Kim to go and have a look at the Vulcan Hotel and its supposed ghost, hoping we would find something."

That search turned up short.

"I had a beer at the pub and got goosebumps but I think it was just the excitement."

The pair took plenty of photos and didn't think they had anything until a friend spotted a shape with an uncanny resemblance to a woman in the window at the post office, he said.

"It's freaked me out a bit. The shape is very close to a human figure."

The photograph did not make him any more or less sceptical about the existence of ghosts but it was bizarre, Mr Watters said.

Vulcan Hotel leasee Jude Cavanagh said it was the first she had heard of a ghost sighting at the post office.

"It's a very spirited town, so who knows?"

The post office, which was managed by the Department of Conservation since the 1950s, had been vacant for about a year, at least in the bodily sense, she said.

"It all adds to the legend of the place."

The department's Alexandra community relations programme manager Amanda Ware said she had no knowledge of any phantom presence at the post office.

The building, opened in 1909, was a category two historic place and had been vacant for about a year, she said.

The interior largely remained unchanged from its days as a working port office and the second floor, where the mysterious shape was seen, was the postmaster's living quarters, Ms Ware said.

"Maybe it was him coming back for a visit."

She would tread carefully the next time she stopped by, she said.

Source: Stuff
http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/3295546/Busting-out-the-ghost-theories

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Conspiracy Journal - Issue 559 2/12/10
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