5/7/10  #571
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It's time once again. It's time for the Men-In-Black to start hammering on your front door. It's time for secret government operatives to start tapping your phone and email accounts. It's time for those pesky little grey aliens to start abducting you from your bedroom at night. It's time for all of this because your number one weekly newsletter of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and everything strange and bizarre has once again arrived in your email box - and they want to read it to find out what is REALLY going on.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such cosmic top-secret stories as:

- North Pole Rainfall 'Bizarre': Climatologist -
- Bee Numbers Plummet Worldwide -
-  Unseen Neighbors: Intimations of Another Reality? -
-
Russian Governor Tells Tale of Alien Abduction -
AND: A Short History of Noah's Ark Discoveries

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


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SUBLIMINAL IMBEDS IN THE MOVIES




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- WILD AND WEIRD WEATHER DEPARTMENT -

North Pole Rainfall 'Bizarre': Climatologist

Spring showers are next to non-existent in the High Arctic, so Environment Canada's senior climatologist says he's baffled to hear that it rained near the North Pole over the weekend of April 24/25.

A group of British scientists working off Ellef Ringnes Island, near the North Pole, reported being hit with a three-minute rain shower. Rain in the High Arctic in April is nothing short of bizarre, said David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada.

"My business is weird, wild and wacky weather, and this is up there among fish falling from the sky or Niagara Falls running dry," Phillips told CBC News.

"I mean, it really is strange. You just don't expect it to rain in the High Arctic in April; maybe in July and August. And certainly for these scientists from Europe coming over, they must have been also mystified."

Phillips said 50 to 60 years of historical weather data show no signs of rainfall ever occurring in April in the High Arctic.

The earliest account of measurable rainfall at Canadian Forces Station Alert took place on May 21, 1988, he said.

At a weather station on Ellef Ringnes Island, where the scientists were conducting their experiments, Phillips said the earliest measured rainfall was on June 7, 1975.

"For the end of April, it is really bizarre," he said.

The scientific group was on Ellef Ringnes Island as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey, which is gathering data on the effects of climate change on the Arctic Ocean.

The researchers have been working on determining the amount of carbon dioxide that's trapped in the ocean.

"It's definitely a shocker … the general feeling within the polar community is that rainfall in the high Canadian Arctic in April is a freak event," Pen Hadow, the team's expedition director, told Reuters in an interview from London this week.

"Scientists would tell us that we can expect increasingly to experience these sorts of outcomes as the climate warms."

Tyler Fish, a polar guide at the base, said the rain fell after temperatures had been rising for a couple of days.

"I think we were disappointed. Rain isn't something you expect in the Arctic and a lot of us came up here to be away from that kind of weather," he told Reuters.

"We worry that if it's too warm maybe some of the scientific samples will start to thaw ... or the food will get too warm and spoil."

Phillips said it would be difficult to tell how much rain had fallen, as the scientists probably did not bring rain gauges with them.

Environment Canada meteorologists will examine weather patterns to try to understand the unusual rainfall, he said.

Source: CBC (Canada)
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/04/29/north-pole-rainfall.html

- SAVE OUR BEES DEPARTMENT -

Bee Numbers Plummet Worldwide

Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.

The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy.

Potential causes range from parasites, such as the bloodsucking varroa mite, to viral and bacterial infections, pesticides and poor nutrition stemming from intensive farming methods. The disappearance of so many colonies has also been dubbed "Mary Celeste syndrome" due to the absence of dead bees in many of the empty hives.

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. "We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies," said Jeffery Pettis, of the ARS's bee research laboratory.

A global review of honeybee deaths by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported last week that there was no one single cause, but pointed the finger at the "irresponsible use" of pesticides that may damage bee health and make them more susceptible to diseases. Bernard Vallat, the OIE's director-general, warned: "Bees contribute to global food security, and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster."

Dave Hackenberg of Hackenberg Apiaries, the Pennsylvania-based commercial beekeeper who first raised the alarm about CCD, said that last year had been the worst yet for bee losses, with 62% of his 2,600 hives dying between May 2009 and April 2010. "It's getting worse," he said. "The AIA survey doesn't give you the full picture because it is only measuring losses through the winter. In the summer the bees are exposed to lots of pesticides. Farmers mix them together and no one has any idea what the effects might be."

Pettis agreed that losses in some commercial operations are running at 50% or greater. "Continued losses of this magnitude are not economically sustainable for commercial beekeepers," he said, adding that a solution may be years away. "Look at Aids, they have billions in research dollars and a causative agent and still no cure. Research takes time and beehives are complex organisms."

In the UK it is still too early to judge how Britain's estimated 250,000 honeybee colonies have fared during the long winter. Tim Lovett, president of the British Beekeepers' Association, said: "Anecdotally, it is hugely variable. There are reports of some beekeepers losing almost a third of their hives and others losing none." Results from a survey of the association's 15,000 members are expected this month.

John Chapple, chairman of the London Beekeepers' Association, put losses among his 150 members at between a fifth and a quarter. Eight of his 36 hives across the capital did not survive. "There are still a lot of mysterious disappearances," he said. "We are no nearer to knowing what is causing them."

Bee farmers in Scotland have reported losses on the American scale for the past three years. Andrew Scarlett, a Perthshire-based bee farmer and honey packer, lost 80% of his 1,200 hives this winter. But he attributed the massive decline to a virulent bacterial infection that quickly spread because of a lack of bee inspectors, coupled with sustained poor weather that prevented honeybees from building up sufficient pollen and nectar stores.

The government's National Bee Unit has always denied the existence of CCD in Britain, despite honeybee losses of 20% during the winter of 2008-09 and close to a third the previous year. It attributes the demise to the varroa mite – which is found in almost every UK hive – and rainy summers that stop bees foraging for food.

In a hard-hitting report last year, the National Audit Office suggested that amateur beekeepers who failed to spot diseases in bees were a threat to honeybees' survival and called for the National Bee Unit to carry out more inspections and train more beekeepers. Last summer MPs on the influential cross-party public accounts committee called on the government to fund more research into what it called the "alarming" decline of honeybees.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has contributed £2.5m towards a £10m fund for research on pollinators. The public accounts committee has called for a significant proportion of this funding to be "ring-fenced" for honeybees. Decisions on which research projects to back are expected this month.

Flowering plants require insects for pollination. The most effective is the honeybee, which pollinates 90 commercial crops worldwide. As well as most fruits and vegetables – including apples, oranges, strawberries, onions and carrots – they pollinate nuts, sunflowers and oil-seed rape. Coffee, soya beans, clovers – like alfafa, which is used for cattle feed – and even cotton are all dependent on honeybee pollination to increase yields.

In the UK alone, honeybee pollination is valued at £200m. Mankind has been managing and transporting bees for centuries to pollinate food and produce honey, nature's natural sweetener and antiseptic. Their extinction would mean not only a colourless, meatless diet of cereals and rice, and cottonless clothes, but a landscape without orchards, allotments and meadows of wildflowers – and the collapse of the food chain that sustains wild birds and animals.

Source: The Guardian (UK)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/02/food-fear-mystery-beehives-collapse

- TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY MAN DEPARTMENT -

Nikola Tesla Predicted Text Messages in 1909

Texting may be a boon in today's world, but the concept was visualised more than a century ago.

And, it was a pioneering American physicist who had predicted about the portable messaging service, like the SMS, via a hand-held device in the 'Popular Mechanics' magazine in 1909, its Technology Editor Seth Porges has claimed.

Nikola Tesla, the physicist and a mechanical engineer, whose name lives on at the electric car maker Tesla Motors saw wireless energy as the only way to make electricity thrive, according to Porges.

Tesla wrote in the magazine that one day it'd be possible to transmit "wireless messages" all over the world and imagined that such a hand-held device would be simple to use and one day everyone in the world would communicate to friends using it, Porges said.

This would usher in a new era of technology, Telsa wrote in the publication.

"Nikola Tesla was able to predict technology which is still in its nascent forms a hundred years later. He talked a lot about his other great passion, which was wireless power.

"It has taken a little longer to get off the ground, but work on fascinating wireless conductive transmission is going on right now in research centres at MIT and Intel and other places," Porges said.

Porges disclosed Tesla's prediction at a presentation, '108 years of futurism' to industry figures in New York.

The magazine, which has nine international editions that is read by millions, has been trying to imagine how the world will look in future years since it was first published in January 1902.

Source: Yahoo News
http://in.news.yahoo.com/48/20100504/1243/ttc-tesla-predicted-sms-in1909.html

- MIMICS OF MAN DEPARTMENT -

Unseen Neighbors: Intimations of Another Reality?
By Scott Corrales

There is no doubt that television programs and cinematic features have gone a long way in shaping our understanding of the occult, and conversely, many shows have benefited from a thorough knowledge of speculative matters. A recent example is the series Fringe, which offers its viewers the possibility of a “parallel Earth” in which the Twin Towers still stand -- and in which the Hindenburg never exploded, or so it seems. Even more suggestive is the presence of entities that are unmistakably the “Men in Black” or MIBs of ufological lore, depicted here as disinterested observers of the events that move the shows plot. But the creators of Fringe leave their viewers with an unequivocal message: some of the people in our midst, who look like us and sound like us, share our bus and subway rides, may look human, but are not fully so.

Let us explore this notion further. Would agents of another reality, on a mission to our own, bring their own devices or have to make do with ours? Would their senses of vision, sight and hearing be equal to our own, or more or less acute? And if they brought devices from their own reality, would they risk losing them to the authorities of our law enforcement agencies, or would these simply not function once whatever hypothetical barrier had been crossed? Aside from having to develop a taste for our fast food, our hypothetical interdimensionals may have other issues on their hands. Communications between their numbers might be achieved by rustic, old-fashioned methods such as the ones suggested here.

In the fall of 1985, the Washington, D.C. City Paper featured a small ad in its "Personals" column which read: "O.T.O, A.A.: where are you, brothers and sisters?"

Readers of this section of the free paper state that the bulk of the messages in the personals are communications between members of the gay community, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, etc. dealers. The aforementioned ad, however, hailed the attention of anyone able to recognize the initials for the Ordo Templo Orientalis and Argentinium Astrum--occult lodges of the early 20th century, which might perhaps be experiencing a rebirth toward the latter decades of the same century. On the subject of these hidden messages in our cities' newspapers and journals, Jacques Bergier, the prolific French author and scientist, commented: "I've often wondered if certain strange classified ads in the newspapers are in fact messages between superintelligent beings." Bergier, coauthor of The Morning of the Magicians, dedicated a great deal of study to the problem of cryptology as a branch of paranormal research, and he also believed that even more detailed secret messages could be conveyed under the guise of specialized works, novels or even philosophical tracts.

Bergier wasn’t alone in this. As far back as 1958, according to French author Patrice Gaston, no less prestigious a source than the New York Herald Tribune published a study on a series of disconcerting messages found in the paper’s classified section. The messages were apparently subjected to the scrutiny of several cryptographers, and despite their best efforts, were ultimately unsuccessful. The concern was understandable, as these messages were appearing during the chilliest moments of the Cold War.

If the existence of enigmatic, ciphered messages were confined to the newspapers, it would be possible to dismiss them as merely the pranks of a particular group of people, drug runners, or those soliciting companionship. The riddle posed by occult messages goes far beyond foolscap and into stone carvings on European monasteries, carefully etched metal tablets given to the founders of religions and the cuneiform-like messages given to the contactees of our UFO age by the denizens of other dimensions or worlds.

Would non-humans – interdimensional agents, superintelligent beings or simply human secret societies – avail themselves of such concealed messages to contact each other? It has been suggested elsewhere that the ever-present crop circles are intelligent messages, not necessarily aimed to humankind as a whole but to specific, mysterious groups. Others have discussed strange television commercials or interruptions in TV broadcasts that show a specific image for fleeting seconds – long enough to make an impression on the viewers brain before returning to normal programming. Some of these images include cartoons, odd symbols or text, or nonsense words. Simple gaffes of the television industry, or calls to action to a specific group of individuals? Oddly enough, the “Fringe” series referenced earlier features some enigmatic and out-of-place images in its breaks that hint at this. Perhaps it is a nod to Philip K. Dick’s novel VALIS, in which the author states: “in 1974 a cipher was sent out as a signal that the Age of Iron was over; the cipher consisted of two words: KING FELIX, which refers to the Happy or (Rightful) King. The two-word cipher signal KING FELIX was not intended for human beings but for the descendants of Ikhnaton, the three-eyed race which, in secret, exists with us.”

Patrice Gaston, mentioned a few paragraphs ago, also delved into the nature of mysterious television signals and suspicious TV programs. He concluded his study on the matter thus: “Television is a strange means of communication. So strange that one might as well wonder if human activities are being received and studied by unseen entities in order to keep abreast of developments.”

There is a case involving parahumans (or cryptoterrestrials, to borrow the term coined by the late Mac Tonnies) that has always resonated with me over the years. It comes from the endless casebooks of Spanish paranormalist Salvador Freixedo and is deliberately vague when it comes to details. He simply refers to it as the “Lula” case and it is featured in his 1989 book La Granja Humana (the Human Farm). During his years in Venezuela, Freixedo made the acquaintance of a woman named Lula, a society hostess who had left her husband to marry a parahuman, if not outright supernatural, individual named Jorge. Upon the latter's untimely death; a medical exam revealed that the man had lived without lungs! Jorge's uncanny talents and his jokes of coming from "another world" were no longer a laughing matter. An autopsy was forbidden at the time, but the enigmatic personage was known to hundreds of witnesses. When Freixedo returned to Venezuela in later years to attend the exhumation of the body, he learned that Lula had disappeared off the face of the earth. The story is much more involved than this brief synopsis suggests, and goes into the physical feats that “Jorge” the parahuman was capable of: tremendous endurance as he ran the length of the beach at Barqiusimeto for hours and hours back and forth at high speed, to the astonishment of the crowd; his eerie sixth-sense, and what is perhaps the only physical proof of all these claims: a small crystal jar that he kept with him at all times, and seemed to aid his labored breathing. When Jorge died, the jar shattered of its own volition.

This case is clearly anecdotal. We neither have the x-rays that startled the Venezuelan technicians, nor Lula at hand to be questioned. Despite “Jorge’s” good natured remarks about his otherworldly provenance, there was no suggestion that he was extraterrestrial – he was perfectly at home in his reality, was a successful businessman, didn’t shy away from contact with others. Yet his entire existence suggests that he was among us, yet not one of us. On the other hand, he did not belong to the same order of beings as the Men In Black – the socially inept characters described by the late John A. Keel in The Mothman Prophecies. Freixedo’s “Jorge”, on the other hand, was adroit and very engaging. Did he belong to a parahuman/cryptoterrestrial/ultraterrestrial group that has moved among us for centuries, keeping in touch with one another through a variety of means?

Back to the enigmatic signs: The infamous Voynich Manuscript constitutes a perfect example of such encoded documents that are meant to be understood by exactly the right person or persons, to the chagrin of cryptologists and those bent on unlocking its secrets. Allegedly, it was originally the property of Roger Bacon, the medieval Franciscan friar, and found its way into the hands of many Renaissance occultists, such as the infamous Dr. John Dee. The Vatican eventually acquired the manuscript, and some of its best minds attempted to crack the illustrated manuscript's coded mysteries. Some eighty years ago, an American antiquarian, Wilfrid Voynich, purchased the bizarre text which now bears his name and circulated it among the most learned minds of the time: some believed that its illustrations depicted the flora of another world; others hinted at charts of the constellations as they appeared thousands--or millions--of years ago. After World War 2, a scholar claimed to have deciphered part of the manuscript and obtained the instructions for a viable contraceptive method. The Voynich Manuscript could well be the factual basis for H.P. Lovecraft's accursed grimoire, the Necronomicon.

Professor Juan Rocha de Azevedo, author of En Los Límites de lo Inexplicable, relates the tale of Eugéne Canseliet, who belonged to the circle of adepts surrounding the shadowy figure of the "alchemist" Fulcanelli in the 1920's. At the time, members of the inner circle boasted that their master was on the brink of cracking the Philosopher's Stone. But as decades passed, Canseliet stated that Fulcanelli had long since disappeared--although he claimed to have visited him in Seville, Spain, in the 1950's, and that Fulcanelli had undergone extensive physical changes as a result of having ingested the Elixir of Life. Azevedo states that the nature of these changes was an overall androgynous appearance.

What we know for sure about Fulcanelli is collected in his books Mysteries of the Great Cathedrals and The Philosophers' Dwellings. Apparently, he was conversant in the matter of the secret symbols employed among those "in the know": "In the Middle Ages, the masters whose treatises have survived until our times would decorate their homes with esoteric signs and images". The reader is advised that one such symbol is that of a lion rampant and a dragon biting its own tail.

There is no dearth of "secret societies" to blame for the many coded messages in existence. At one time or another, the culprits have ranged from the Illuminati to the Catholic Church. The accusation? Being a cabal of dark "superminds" ruling the fate of a plodding, unsuspecting mankind. Obviously, any group capable of sustained existence from the depths of antiquity to the present must surely be remarkable, if we consider the ups and downs of human history and the propensity of organizations to come unraveled--unless we make the prodigious leap of faith that would lead us to accept that there could be "immortal" humans, or paranormal beings in human guise that guide the hidden groups throughout the ages. A few characters fitting the bill come to mind:

Apollonius of Tyana, a sorcerer/scholar from the city of Tyana in what is now modern Turkey. If what tradition is to be credited, we are faced with a man who was capable of teleportation, was most certainly immortal or extremely long-lived, and who was a master of Pythagoric doctrine and geometry. Apollonius traveled to Tibet led by his guide, Damis, arriving at a land of Greek-speaking people with an "unreal", mutable landscape (another dimension?). The dwellers of this hidden kingdom had mastered levitation, robotics and the artificial illumination. The errant philosopher learned that this land existed "in the world, but beyond it".

Returning to the Mediterranean area, then controlled by Rome, Apollonius was accused of treason against Emperor Domitian. Brought before Caesar, Apollonius declared: "You may imprison my body, but never my soul, and I will add, not my body, either!" In a burst of light, witnessed by Roman courtiers and a stunned Domitian, the captive vanished into thin air.

In esoteric circles, it is believed to this day that Apollonius is the same entity known as the Count of Sainte Germain, who was active in the 1700's and was renown for his great wealth and insight. Sainte Germain and Apollonius had certain powers in common: bilocation (the ability to be in two places at the same time--probably the ability most coveted by 21st century man!), the power of healing the sick and the ability to decipher "the language of birds". Fulcanelli could be merely another guise of this everlasting being.

Even if we do not give credence to such an idea, it could perhaps answer the question as to who or whom is the source for the cryptic messages and codes hidden in works of art and architecture. Furthermore, the years in which St. Germain operated were also those in which a number of scientific developments--some which were never followed through--became apparent. He could have been the catalyst for the Enlightenment, as others have suggested.

Roger Boscovitch, in 1756, circulated a tract on time travel, anti-gravity and bilocation, matters which are still unattainable to modern science. James Price, who was reputedly able to change mercury into gold in less than 15 minutes, lived roughly around the same time. Before he vanished from the 18th century, St. Germain allegedly informed a guest at a dinner party that he had to leave, in order to bring about more inventions that would be useful to humanity in the future: the steam engine and electricity. It would be this "secret society" of inventors and experimenters, then, that
would leave behind symbols and references that could only be understood by a peer or equal.

Lionel Fanthorpe, author of The Secret of Rennes-le-Chateau hints that one of the items whose location could probably be hinted at by the coded symbols are the Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus, the Egyptian deity Thoth, patron of magic. Possession of said tablets could have aided the medieval alchemists in attaining their goals. History reminds us, however, that the alchemists were merely proto-scientists, and that their life-extending elixir and the Philosophers' Stone were merely the stuff of dreams. Yet, could some alchemists have stumbled upon the secrets, and made use of them? Fanthorpe suggests that these symbols are still in use today, and make sense, naturally, only to the target reader or viewer. He considers the highly elaborate drawing of the Gates of Moria in J.R.R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring to be one such device.

The reader might well feel cheated at this point--we are no closer to solving the mystery of cryptic messages than we were at the outset. Yet we are deluged by such messages, perhaps even more so in our television age, in which these mysterious communications could be broadcast subliminally to the intended receptors, or overtly –as we have seen-- through strange or unusual advertisements. Salvador Freixedo received a personal communication from the sources behind the controversial UMMO documents--a group of extraterrestrials allegedly on Earth, originating from the star Wolf 424, nowadays thought to be a mere disinformation exercise--and told to signal his interest in continuing communication with them by placing a classified ad in his local newspaper. Freixedo went ahead and placed the ad, which contained the "Ummite" word for "man" (OEMII). To avoid hassles from the paper's editor, Freixedo claimed that the unusual word was a brand of radionics machine! If we bear in mind that such messages do exist, perhaps we will find ourselves giving everything, from odd TV commercials to the graffiti on our streets, a second thought.

Source: Scott Corrales/The Journal of the Institute of Hispanic Ufology (IHU)
http://inexplicata.blogspot.com/2010/05/unseen-neighbors-intimations-of-another.html


- VISITING SOUTH GEORGIA DEPARTMENT -

Planet of the Skunk Apes

VALDOSTA — Several Internet Web sites list the Withlacoochee River between Valdosta and Quitman as the scene of many of the most recent sightings of the legendary Skunk Ape.

Figuring out how Brooks County became one of the most recent homes of the Skunk Ape may be as elusive as the creature described as being a smaller, smellier version of Bigfoot.

Ask Brooks County Sheriff Mike Dewey if his office has handled any calls regarding Skunk Ape sightings, he says not in the year and four months since he’s taken office. And he cannot recall any during his previous 19 years as a deputy sheriff either.

Brooks County receives the occasional call regarding a panther in the wild, but the sheriff says as far as “a Bigfoot, a Skunk Ape, or anything like that? No.”

One Skunk Ape aficionado recalls some sort of probe along the Georgia-Florida state line last year. But he has no details and isn’t certain of a more specific location.

Visit Skunk Ape Web sites and they list in great detail sightings of the creature. Sites detail a Clinch County sighting last fall, a 2008 Berrien County case, a Valdosta resident reporting a sighting from the 1950s. But nothing detailing sightings along the Withlacoochee in recent months or years.

Yet, several Web sites, from the Chicago Tribune to the Florida Sun Sentinel, include this same passage: “In recent months, several sightings have been reported near the Withlacoochee River in Brooks County, Ga., between Quitman and Valdosta.”

Who handled these reported sightings is as intriguing a question as what’s a Skunk Ape? The Skunk Ape has many names: Swamp Logger. Stink Ape. Swamp Monkey. Florida’s Bigfoot.

The Skunk Ape is a hominid, walking on two legs similar to a man, but it also reportedly lives among trees like a monkey.

Yet, it is its foul odor, often described as the reek of rotten eggs or hydrogen sulfide, that puts the “skunk” into the creature’s name. A Skunk Ape witness said in 1977: “It stunk awful, like a dog that hasn’t been bathed in a year and suddenly gets rained on.”

The Skunk Ape has been described as being about six-and-a-half to seven feet tall. A build that is shorter and weighing far less than the descriptions of the eight-foot, 1,000-pound Bigfoot. Like Bigfoot, a Skunk Ape has never been caught and sightings are often regarded with skepticism.

Yet, Skunk Ape sightings reach back hundreds of years. Florida’s Native Americans reportedly called the creature “Shaawanoki.”

Sightings range primarily in the South, and predominantly in the Florida Everglades.

Dave Shealy runs the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters & Trail Lakes Campground in Ochopee, Fla. Shealy has spent his life living in the region of Florida Everglades.

He fully believes in the Skunk Ape and says he’s seen them on several occasions. Shealy believes the capture of a Skunk Ape would be horrible for the creatures, but believes that if more people knew the truth of their existence, he could more successfully protect them.

“Putting an endangered species at risk is wrong,” Shealy says, “just because some people don’t believe they exist.”

Shealy told The Times that the Skunk Ape likes rural swamp areas with plenty of water and trees. They have been sighted throughout Florida, he says.

Though he specifically is unfamiliar with the Withlacoochee sightings in South Georgia, he does mention a study on the Georgia-Florida state lines that reportedly took place last year, when donuts were used in an effort to attract the Skunk Apes.

Given South Georgia’s woods and the nearness of a body of water, Shealy says the Brooks County sightings would be quite possible.

He believes the Okefenokee Swamp sustains a small, viable population of Skunk Ape. The creatures enjoy going on a walk-about in areas with plenty of trees, so the Brooks sightings may have been the Okefenokee tribe of Skunk Ape, he says.

— A Valdosta resident named Rebecca Leinberg reportedly shared a 1951 sighting in Boston, Ga., with Skunk Ape follower Ramona Clark Hibner, according to bigfootencounters.com.

In Boston, Leinberg went outside one night upon hearing her dogs barking fiercely. She found “a giant of a man on the front porch cornered by the dogs. It was an upright, hairy man. Her husband shot at it and it ran off.”

On another night, the woman’s stepfather shot at what he thought was a naked man. The next morning, they discovered 20-inch footprints and figured the creature from the previous night must stand about seven feet tall.

— At approximately midnight, July 2, 2008, along Cat Creek Road in Berrien County, a man was in his game room above a garage. He thought he heard something strike the garage door, according to skunkapefiles.com

Looking out the window, he saw “a large thing covered in hair ... The hair had a dreadlock appearance, long and matted. ... The animal had large arms, hands and feet ... moving very quickly” away from the garage toward the woods.

The sighting lasted only a second or two. The man discovered no physical evidence of the creature’s presence.

— Shortly before midnight, Oct. 7, 2009, on a road in Clinch County, outside of Homerville, a family traveled from North Carolina on their way home to Florida. Seated in the passenger seat, the wife smelled the odor first, between Homerville and Fargo, not far from the Okefenokee Swamp. Driving, the husband saw a strange figure on the side of the road, according to skunkapefiles.com. A sight that shook him up.

“He saw a very dark brown black colored tall humanoid figure standing on the left shoulder of the road, quarter facing toward the road and towards the direction they were traveling,” the Web site reports. “It was standing still, very vertically erect with both arms loosely down at its sides. Didn’t see any facial features or individual features of hands or feet. Thought it was about seven-feet tall weighing about 200 or 300 pounds. It was lanky rather than stocky and was not crouching forward, but was standing very vertical. ... The hair on head was long and stringy but the rest of the body hair seemed only two or three inches long. It laid down smooth not frizzy.”

The smell overpowered them more than the sight. “The smell coming into car vent was powerful and was a combination of sewer-like and strong musky animal odor,” according to skunkapefiles.com.

Like many legends, from Bigfoot to the Loch Ness monster to UFOs, there are numerous accounts of the Skunk Ape but not the definitive proof many folks require.

The closest thing to Skunk Ape proof are the Myakka photos.

In 2000, two photos of an alleged Skunk Ape were mailed to the sheriff’s department in Sarasota, Fla. These photos were reportedly taken by a woman who claimed to snap the shots of the creature she discovered in her back yard.

She claimed the creature stole apples from a basket on her back porch during a three-night period. She believed the creature an escaped orangutan. Each time, she called police to her house. Each time, the creature had fled by the time police arrived, according to the letter accompanying the photos.

The story behind these photos matches other tellings in that it involves an account of an escaped primate. Some Skunk Ape stories recount wrecks of circus trains with monkeys fleeing from the destruction into the woods.

South Georgia also has its own story of an escaped monkey.

Several years ago, a monkey named General escaped from Wild Adventures. General was never captured, though there were reported sightings of the monkey in the months following his escape.

Could the Brooks County Skunk Ape be the escaped General? Could it be a wandering band of creatures from the Okefenokee? Or could it be a bit of Internet spin that has caught South Georgia in the midst of a myth?

Perhaps, only time and a distinct smell will tell.

The Times received calls from readers who believe they have seen what may be a Skunk Ape in South Georgia. One reader account came from Brooks County, the other from Berrien County.

Both readers gave The Valdosta Daily Times their full names. One asked that we not publish his name. We use the first name of the other caller.

Did these folks see a Skunk Ape? We’ll share their stories and you decide.

• Between 10-10:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, Joy was driving along Highway 37 in Berrien County. She had a friend on her cell phone.

Outside of Ray City, she had her car’s bright lights on and she saw something hairy, walking away from the road, into the woods.

“I saw the back of something,” Joy says. “It was tall. ... I thought it was a bear but a bear don’t walk on its back legs. ... Honestly, it looked like an ape.”

Joy said her husband’s about six feet tall and she gauged what she saw to be about the same height as her husband. She didn’t smell anything driving by the creature.

She told her friend on the phone that she thought she saw something like a hairy man walking into the woods. Her friend laughed and asked if Joy had been drinking. “I told her I hadn’t been drinking and, sir, I don’t drink,” Joy told The Times.

Joy continued driving that night. She mentioned what she saw to a few people, but didn’t give it much more thought until her mother told her about the article in The Valdosta Daily Times.

During daylight, Thursday, April 29, the day after The Times story, Joy and her mother traveled to the same part of the road where she claimed to witness a creature. She said the area has numerous trees and is swampy.

Joy believes she saw a Skunk Ape or a creature like it.

— Last Friday, The Times received the phone message from the man in Brooks County who claimed “... I saw it.”

Calling him back, he said earlier this spring, before the leaves returned to the trees, he was smoking a cigar on the back porch of his Brooks County home, three miles outside of Quitman. It was  between 10-11 a.m., when he “saw something walk out of the woods.”

He first thought it a deer but saw that it had no hind quarters. He then thought it “an idiot in a ghillie suit,” a type of camouflage clothing covered in loose strips of cloth or twine designed to look like foliage.

But even then he thought something wasn’t right.

He went inside his house and got a pair of binoculars. He saw a hairy humanoid, with the hair being red, fading to brown and grey. The creature was lean and at least over six-feet tall. The creature was probably about 500 yards away, too far away to smell, he said.

He watched the creature for about eight minutes through the binoculars. During that time, the creature leaned on one arm against a tree, looking around. It scratched its left calf with its right foot. Then it ran away.

“It didn’t walk like a human,” he said. “It’s joints don’t quite move like a human.”

He said if you throw a sheet over a man or a woman, you can tell the gender by the way the person walks despite the sheet. This creature had a strange walk that did not match the movements of a human, he said.

The man thinks the creature is an omnivore, an eater of meats and plants, rather than a vegetarian. A vegetarian has a bigger belly, like a cow, he said.

He believes this creature stays lean from eating meat. What kind of meat? The man says he’s taking no chances.

“If I go out in the woods now,” he says, “I make sure to carry something with me that goes bang.”

He believes he probably isn’t the only person to see the creature.

“If I’m calling, there’s probably nine other people who’ve seen it who haven’t said a word to anyone,” he says, “because they don’t want people thinking they’re crazy.”

Source: Valdosta Daily Times
http://valdostadailytimes.com/local/x1612554511/Planet-of-the-Skunk-Apes

- TALES THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM DEPARTMENT -

Russian Governor Tells Tale of Alien Abduction

The aliens came for him on September 18, 1997.  Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was at home in his Moscow apartment when they came in and abducted him, taking him to their space ship where they communicated with him telepathically.

That’s the tale Ilyumzhinov told a popular Russian television host in a program that aired last week.  Rt_Kirsan_Ilyumzhinov_100505_main

But Ilyumzhinov isn’t simply one of the thousands who claim to have been abducted by aliens, he’s also the governor of the Russian republic of Kalmykia and a former president of the World Chess Federation.

Now a Russian parliamentarian wants Ilyumzhinov questioned, fearing he may have given the aliens “secret information,” according to the Echo of Moscow radio station.

And not just interrogated by anybody, but by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

State Duma deputy Andrei Lebedev made the request to the president by letter, news website GZT.ru reports.  Lebedev doesn’t believe Ilyumzhinov’s claim that he was simply shown around the ship and released, so he has asked the president to find out what else happened and report back to the Duma.

Lebedev is especially interested in what Ilyumzhinov may have told the aliens about his job and whether the abduction has affected the governor’s ability to perform the duties of office.

Ilyumzhinov said the aliens didn’t make themselves known to the rest of the world because they weren’t ready, adding that he communicated with them telepathically because there wasn’t enough oxygen.

“I believe I talked to them and saw them. I perhaps wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t for 3 witnesses – my driver, my minister and my assistant,” who were apparently in the apartment at the time, Ilyumzhinov said.

Source: ABC News
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2010/05/russian-governor-tells-
tale-of-alien-abduction-president-asked-to-investigate.html

- HERE AN ARK, THERE AN ARK DEPARTMENT -

A Short History of Noah's Ark Discoveries

Last week an organization called Noah's Ark Ministries called a press conference in Hong Kong to announce that they had made one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in history. Yeung Wing-Cheung claims he and his research team located the remains of Noah’s Ark on Turkey's Mount Ararat.

Yeung says that wood samples taken from the site were carbon-dated to about 5,000 years ago, and that he is "99 percent certain that it is Noah's Ark based on historical accounts, including the Bible and local beliefs of the people in the area, as well as carbon dating."

The story of Noah’s Ark is told in the Book of Genesis. Before God sends a great flood to destroy the world and cleanse it of its wickedness, he commands Noah to build a huge wooden ark. Noah’s family, along with a menagerie of animals collected from around the world, are then saved. After the flood killed nearly everything on earth, the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat in present-day Turkey (according to Genesis 8:4). The great explorer Marco Polo wrote around 1300 in his book The Travels of Marco Polo that “In the heart of Greater Armenia is a very high mountain shaped like a cube (or cup), on which Noah's ark is said to have rested, whence it is called the Mountain of Noah's Ark.”

Yeung is not the first person to claim to have found the ark; in fact Noah's Ark has been “discovered” at least a half-dozen times in the past 50 years. While many believe the story of Noah’s Ark is merely a fable, some are convinced that everything in the Bible is literally true, and finding the Ark is merely a matter of time.

Interest in the Ark spiked in the 1970s after a man named Georgie Hagopian said he located and climbed on the remains of the Ark at least twice—though he claimed it occurred some 60 years earlier (in the early 1900s) and could offer no evidence to back it up. One of the first people to claim to have found the Ark on Mt. Ararat was a woman named Violet Cummings, who in the early 1970s wrote a book titled Noah's Ark: Fable or Fact? Despite its intriguing title, the claim turned out to be fable, not fact. A few years later, in 1976, yet another man claimed to have discovered the Ark on Ararat, and offered ambiguous photos as proof but nothing more came of it.

Interest waned until the 1990s, when CBS television aired a primetime special titled The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark, which finally offered seemingly definitive proof in the form of an eyewitness who owned a piece of wood he claimed was from the ark. The whole thing turned out to be a huge hoax; CBS and its viewers had been duped.

In June 2006, a team of archaeologists from a Christian organization found a rock formation in Iran that they claimed was Noah’s Ark. They brought back pieces of stone they claim may be petrified wood beams, but once again the claims remained unproven and came to nothing.

So what do we make of the latest claims by Yeung and his group? Time will tell whether or not they produce real evidence, but history is not on their side.

Source: Discovery
http://news.discovery.com/history/a-short-history-of-noahs-ark-discoveries.html

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