12/24/10  #601
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In this Yule-Time Issue we bring you such stories as:

- Santa Claus: The Real Man Behind the Myth -
- 'Teleportation' Is Year's Biggest Science Breakthrough -
- DNA Confirms New Human Relative Roamed Throughout Asia -
French Village Plagued by Visitors Seeking Refuge from Armageddon -
AND: The Lost Tradition of Christmas Ghost Stories

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS ONE!

CURSE OF THE MEN-IN-BLACK
RETURN OF THE UFO TERRORISTS



INCLUDES THE CLASSIC: THE UFO WARNING

WHO ARE THE MEN-IN-BLACK?

As one distressed UFO researcher put it, Ever since organized flying saucer research began, a disturbing number of serious investigators have suffered personal harassment, unusual accidents and even mysterious deaths. In some cases, sinister voices have whispered threats over the telephone and warned certain researchers to terminate specific projects they were focused on.

Recently, an increasing number of civilian UFOlogists have been visited by ominous strangers who have made it physically clear that their orders to discontinue all investigations would be enforced. Official disclaimers have only served to intensify the mystery of the bizarre incidents currently seeding chaos within the rank of civilian UFO investigators and instilling fear among those who witness flying saucer activity.

THE CASES ARE MANY! THE TRUTH FRIGHTENING!

Featured on the History Channel's UFO Hunters and on Coast to Coast AM, eminent investigator Tim Beckley details dozens of additional bone chilling encounters with the MIB who have become a curse on the rank and file members of the UFO community.

++ Shadowy "Grim Reaper" like figures stalk the streets of a north Iowa town. What are they concealing in the bags they go about hiding in the woods?

++ Radio Talk Show host is ordered by metallic voice over phone (unlisted number!) to "meet them on the Mount". . .known as a haunted place and the site of a number of mysterious deaths and disappearances.

++ A large floating platform the size of 3 football fields hovers near a nuclear power plant. Witnesses observe several small bald headed aliens accompanied by 9 foot giants. Trying to leave the area, their car refuses to start. They are surrounded by military personnel and their vehicle is ransacked. They are told never to speak of the incident OR ELSE!

++ In the cemetery where Charles Fort is buried ominous black vehicles disappear down side roads never to be seen again. They pass by on the gravel pavement going over grates without the sound of tires. The cemetery is also haunted by a big black dog and a couple who fly over the tombstones at dusk in their pajamas!

Are these sinister sindividuals simply government agents gone amuck in their harassment of witnesses and investigators who have dedicated their lives delving into the unexplainable? Or are they something far more sinister as evidence in this volume indicates? Perhaps the MIB are representatives of an extraterrestrial "police force," whose job is to keep the gates to a parallel universe closed tightly behind them.

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- UP ON THE ROOFTOP DEPARTMENT -

Santa Claus: The Real Man Behind the Myth

Like America itself, the jolly figure we call Santa Claus is a melting pot of cultures, blending elements of folklore with the fantastical.

Santa Claus the man is actually loosely rooted in fact, though he hasn't always looked the way he does today, having evolved from a gift-giving Catholic saint who lived during the third century.

The Protestant Reformation and the emigration of European traditions to America morphed that pious figure into the red-suited character that is now one of the most famous images in the world, complete with his iconic army of elves and a magical transportation system.

St. Nicholas the Generous

Ol' St. Nick wasn't always the rotund, bearded fellow you see gracing Christmas cards. The historical St. Nicholas was the revered Bishop of Myra, a Roman town in what is now Turkey. Born around the year 270 A.D., historians believe, Nicholas became bishop as a young man.

Nicholas was dedicated to helping the poor throughout his life, famously (and anonymously) paying for the dowries of impoverished girls. His reputation as a secret gift-giver around town grew with time, and he became known especially for depositing coins or treats in the shoes of children who would place them out for that very purpose, sometimes in exchange for carrots or hay left for his horses. Nicholas is traditionally depicted wearing a red bishop's cloak, and was often helped by a small orphan boy, according to some legends.

Canonized after his death, St. Nicholas was named as the patron saint of children, sailors and all of Greece, among others. He remained a popular figure of worship through the Middle Ages, with elaborate feasts held each year on the date of his death – Dec. 6 – and small gifts given to children, usually in their shoes, in his honor.

Dutch revival

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when the veneration of Catholic saints was suppressed in many regions of Europe, saw a drop in the popularity of St. Nicholas.

Only in The Netherlands was the celebration of St. Nicholas kept alive in the form of Sinterklaas, a kindly figure who traveled from house to house on the evening of Dec. 5, leaving treats or presents in children's shoes in exchange for a snack for his horses, according to folklore.

In the Dutch tradition, Sinterklaas wore red bishop's robes, had elfin assistants, and rode his horses over rooftops before slipping down the chimney to deliver the gifts.

Coming to America

Sinterklaas came to America with the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, and it was in the new colonies that he really evolved.

The anglicizing of the name – from Sinterklaas to Santa Claus – happened by 1773, when the latter was referenced for the first time, in a New York City newspaper. Santa's waistline expanded in 1809 with the publication of author Washington Irving's book "A History of New York," in which the big man is described as portly and smoking a pipe instead of as a lanky bishop.

In an 1822 poem entitled "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" – more commonly called "Twas the Night Before Christmas" – by Clement Moore, Santa is further imagined with a magic sleigh powered by reindeer, a sack full of toys, and a round stomach, "like a bowl full of jelly."

By the late 1800s, most depictions of Santa Claus followed this imagery, but the final cog in the Claus legend was provided by Coca-Cola ad illustrator Haddon Sundblom, whose 1930s red-suited Santa, complete with white-fur trim and leather boots, became the iconic standard recognizable today.

Source: Live Science
http://www.livescience.com/culture/091222-santa-myths-facts.html

- HOW DID I MISS THIS DEPARTMENT -

'Teleportation' Is Year's Biggest Science Breakthrough

Thanks to physics, and the truly bizarre quirks of quarks, those Star Trek style teleporters may be more than fiction.

A strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe -- a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that teleportation or even time travel may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers.

Until this year, all human-made objects have moved according to the laws of classical mechanics, the rules governing ordinary objects. Toss a ball in the air and it falls back to Earth. Drop a coin from your roof and it falls into your yard. But back in March, a group of researchers designed a gadget that moves in ways that can only be described by quantum mechanics -- the set of rules that governs the behavior of tiny things like molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles.

And the implication -- that teleportation and even time travel may someday, somehow be a reality -- is so groundbreaking that Science magazine has labelled it the most significant scientific advance of 2010.

Physicists Andrew Cleland and John Martinis from the University of California at Santa Barbara and their colleagues designed the machine -- a tiny metal paddle just barely visible to the naked eye -- and coaxed it into dancing with a quantum groove: First, they cooled the paddle until it reached its "ground state," or the lowest energy state permitted by the laws of quantum mechanics (a goal long-sought by physicists). Then they raised the widget's energy by a single quantum to produce a purely quantum-mechanical state of motion.

They even managed to put the gadget in both states at once, so that it literally vibrated a little and a lot at the same time -- a bizarre phenomenon allowed by the weird rules of quantum mechanics.

"When you observe something in one state, one theory is it split the universe into two parts," Cleland told FoxNews.com at the time, trying to explain how there can be multiple universes and we can see only one of them.

Crazy? Maybe. Insanely great science? Absolutely.

Science magazine has just recognized this first quantum machine as the 2010 Breakthrough of the Year. The magazine's editors have also compiled nine other important scientific accomplishments from this past year into a top ten list, appearing in a special feature in the journal's current issue.

"On a conceptual level that's cool because it extends quantum mechanics into a whole new realm," said Adrian Cho, a news writer for Science. "On a practical level, it opens up a variety of possibilities ranging from new experiments that meld quantum control over light, electrical currents and motion to, perhaps someday, tests of the bounds of quantum mechanics and our sense of reality."

Science's list of the nine other groundbreaking achievements from 2010 follows.

Synthetic Biology: In a defining moment for biology and biotechnology, researchers built a synthetic genome and used it to transform the identity of a bacterium. The genome replaced the bacterium's DNA so that it produced a new set of proteins—an achievement that prompted a Congressional hearing on synthetic biology. In the future, researchers envision synthetic genomes that are custom-built to generate biofuels, pharmaceuticals or other useful chemicals.

Neandertal Genome: Researchers sequenced the Neandertal genome from the bones of three female Neandertals who lived in Croatia sometime between 38,000 and 44,000 years ago. New methods of sequencing degraded fragments of DNA allowed scientists to make the first direct comparisons between the modern human genome and that of our Neandertal ancestors.

HIV Prophylaxis: Two HIV prevention trials of different, novel strategies reported unequivocal success: A vaginal gel that contains the anti-HIV drug tenofovir reduced HIV infections in women by 39 percent and an oral pre-exposure prophylaxis led to 43.8 fewer HIV infections in a group of men and transgender women who have sex with men.

Exome Sequencing/Rare Disease Genes: By sequencing just the exons of a genome, or the tiny portion that actually codes for proteins, researchers who study rare inherited diseases caused by a single, flawed gene were able to identify specific mutations underlying at least a dozen diseases.

Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Simulating the gyrations that proteins make as they fold has been a combinatorial nightmare. Now, researchers have harnessed the power of one of the world's most powerful computers to track the motions of atoms in a small, folding protein for a length of time 100 times longer than any previous efforts.

Quantum Simulator: To describe what they see in the lab, physicists cook up theories based on equations. Those equations can be fiendishly hard to solve. This year, though, researchers found a short-cut by making quantum simulators—artificial crystals in which spots of laser light play the role of ions and atoms trapped in the light stand in for electrons. The devices provide quick answers to theoretical problems in condensed matter physics and they might eventually help solve mysteries such as superconductivity.

Next-Generation Genomics: Faster and cheaper sequencing technologies are enabling very large-scale studies of both ancient and modern DNA. The 1,000 Genomes Project, for example, has already identified much of the genome variation that makes us uniquely human—and other projects in the works are set to reveal much more of the genome's function.

RNA Reprogramming: Reprogramming cells—turning back their developmental clocks to make them behave like unspecialized "stem cells" in an embryo—has become a standard lab technique for studying diseases and development. This year, researchers found a way to do it using synthetic RNA. Compared with previous methods, the new technique is twice as fast, 100 times as efficient and potentially safer for therapeutic use.

The Return of the Rat: Mice rule the world of laboratory animals, but for many purposes researchers would rather use rats. Rats are easier to work with and anatomically more similar to human beings; their big drawback is that methods used to make "knockout mice"—animals tailored for research by having specific genes precisely disabled—don't work for rats. A flurry of research this year, however, promises to bring "knockout rats" to labs in a big way.

Source: Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/12/17/beam-teleportation-years-biggest-breakthrough/?intcmp=prn_baynote-js_Beam_Me_Up_Teleportation_Is_Years_Biggest_Breakthrough

- NEW KISSING COUSIN DEPARTMENT -

DNA Confirms New Human Relative Roamed Throughout Asia

Scientists have recovered the DNA code of a human relative recently discovered in Siberia, and it delivered a surprise: This relative roamed far from the cave that holds its only known remains.

By comparing the DNA to that of modern populations, scientists found evidence that these "Denisovans" from more than 30,000 years ago ranged all across Asia. They apparently interbred with the ancestors of people now living in Melanesia, a group of islands northeast of Australia.

There's no sign that Denisovans mingled with the ancestors of people now living in Eurasia, which made the connection between Siberia and distant Melanesia quite a shock.

It's the second report in recent months of using a new tool, genomes of ancient human relatives, to illuminate the evolutionary history of humankind. In May, some of the same scientists reported using the Neanderthal genome to show that Neanderthals interbred with ancestors of today's non-African populations. That might have happened in the Middle East after the ancestors left Africa but before they entered Eurasia, researchers said.

As for the Denisovans, the new work is probably just the start of what can be learned from their genome, said one expert familiar with the research. Eventually, it should provide clues to traits like eye and skin color, said Todd Disotell of New York University.

"We're going to be able to piece these people together in the next few years from this genome," he said.

The existence of a new human relative was first revealed just nine months ago from a sampling of DNA recovered from a finger bone discovered in the Denisova Cave in southern Siberia. Researchers proposed the informal name Denisovans for them in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, where they report the new results.

There's not enough evidence to determine whether Denisovans are a distinct species, the researchers said.

The genome, recovered from the finger bone, showed that Denisovans are more closely related to Neanderthals than to modern humans. That indicates that both they and Neanderthals sprang from a common ancestor on a different branch of the evolutionary family tree than the one leading to modern humans.

Scientists have no idea what Denisovans looked like, said David Reich, a Harvard University researcher and an author of the new paper.

Apart from the genome, the researchers reported finding a Denisovan upper molar in the cave. Its large size and features differ from teeth of Neanderthals or early modern humans, both of which lived in the same area at about the same time as the Denisovans.

Neither the finger bone nor the tooth can be dated directly, but tests of animal bones found nearby show the Denisovan remains are at least 30,000 years old, and maybe more than 50,000 years old, Reich said.

Scientists found evidence that in the genomes of people now living in Melanesia, about 5 percent of their DNA can be traced to Denisovans, a sign of ancient interbreeding that took researchers by surprise.

"We thought it was a mistake when we first saw it," Reich said. "But it's real."

And that suggests Denisovans once ranged widely across Asia, he said. Somehow, they or their ancestors had to encounter anatomically modern humans who started leaving Africa some 55,000 years ago and reached New Guinea by some 45,000 years ago.

It seems implausible that this journey took a detour through southern Siberia without leaving a genetic legacy in other Eurasian populations, Reich said. It makes more sense that this encounter happened much farther south, indicating Denisovans ranged throughout Asia, over thousands of miles and different climate zones, he said.

Yet, archaeologists have reported virtually no sign of the Denisovans, no tools or other indications of how they lived. Maybe that's because sites in Asia haven't been studied as systematically as Neanderthal sites in Europe, he said.

Disotell said he and colleagues were "blown away" by the unexpected Melanesia finding, with its implication for where Denisovans lived.

"Clearly they had to have been very widespread in Asia," and DNA sampling of isolated Asian populations might turn up more of their genetic legacy, he said.

Rick Potts, director of the human origins program at the Smithsonian Institution, said the new work greatly strengthens the case that Denisovans differed from Neanderthals and modern humans.

Still, they may not be a new species, because they might represent a creature already known from fossils but which didn't leave any DNA to compare, such as a late-surviving Homo heidelbergensis, he said.

Potts also said the Melanesia finding could mean that the Melanesians and the Denisovans didn't intermix, but simply happened to retain ancestral DNA sequences that had been lost in other populations sampled in the study. But he stressed he doesn't know if that's a better explanation than the one offered by the authors.

"I am excited about this paper (because) it just throws so much out there for contemplation that is testable," Potts said. "And that's good science."

Source: Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_sci_human_relative

- JUST GO AWAY DEPARTMENT -

French Village Plagued by Visitors Seeking Refuge from Armageddon

The mayor of a picturesque French village has threatened to call in the army to seal it off from a tide of New Age fanatics and UFO watchers, who are convinced it is the only place on Earth to be spared Armageddon in 2012.

Villagers in Bugarach, population 189, told The Daily Telegraph these visitors believe that the end of the world corresponds with the conclusion of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, and that the Pic de Bugarach, highest mountain in the Corbieres wine region, could provide some sort of sanctuary.

Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord told the Telegraph he's asked regional authorities to provide military assistance if the numbers of visitors become unsupportable.

Delord said people had been coming to the village for the past 10 years or so after a UFO report by a local man who has since died.

"He claimed he had seen aliens and heard the humming of their spacecraft under the mountain," he said.

Now, villagers told the newspaper, some visitors believe that extraterrestials are waiting in a massive cavity under the rock and might take a few lucky people with them when the world ends.

The Telegraph said there were tales of the late President François Mitterrand being heliported onto the peak, of mysterious digs by the Nazis and later Mossad, the Israeli secret service.

The peak was said have been inspiration for Jules Verne's book "A Journey to the Center of the Earth" and Steven Spielberg's film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

Now, locals complained to the paper, "ufologists" are driving up property prices and bringing other unwanted changes to the place.

"Many come and pray on the mountainside. I've even seen one man doing some ritual totally nude up there," Mayor Delord said.

"I'm worried because the population of our village is only 200 people and... we risk having a flood from all the corners of the earth," he told RTL radio, BBC News reported.

The farming village is in the region of the Cathar castles, situated on spectacular rocky outcrops. Regarded as heretics by the Catholic Church, Cathars sought refuge in these castles in the 13th century when Pope Innocent III launched a full scale crusade against them.

The village lies next to the Pic de Bugarach, a rocky peak which, at 1230 metres, is the highest point of the Corbières range of hills. The peak is dwarfed however by the nearby Pyrenees and offers splendid views of the range.

Made of limestone with galleries of caves beneath it, the peak is a geological oddity, since its top layers are millions of years older than its bottom ones, making it an "upside down mountain".

The peak of Bugarach has been shrouded in mystery, with various claims that it houses aliens in cavities beneath the rock.

Nostradamus, the French apothecary from Provence, is said to have stayed in the area and found the "vibrations" of Bugarach to be positive.

Others say Bugarach is where Jules Verne found the entrance and the inspiration for A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

Bugarach is in the Languedoc-Roussillon, the world's largest wine growing region.

Source: MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40773154/ns/world_news-weird_news/

- HAVE A SPOOKY CHRISTMAS DEPARTMENT -

The Lost Tradition of Christmas Ghost Stories

Ghost stories at Christmas, seems out of place or is it? We have enjoyed the classic, The Christmas Carol, and Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas? In Celtic times, there were spirits ghost, and mystical beings that were associated with the fire festival.

The Winter ?Solstice, Alban Arthuan, or better known as Yuletime Season is a time of death and rebirth of Nature and our souls. It is said the Old Sun dies at dusk of December 21st. and when the Sun of the New Year is born at the dawn of December 22. The New Sun is thought to rejuvenate the aura of the Earth. It is like a mystical cleansing to the spirits and the souls of the dead.

Samhain is considered the most haunted time of the year in the Celtic calendar; Yule is the second. Haunting starts on December 6th to December 20th. The spirits are more active as they wait for the rebirth of the Sun’s powers.

This haunting is not the same as during Samhain, where the veil is thinned so that the dead can walk among us. The spirits of Yule are connected with the mystical and the psychic logic of the Solstice Season. However, one can be visited from their ancestors, relatives, spirit guides or their soul friends (anamchara).

A Yuletide story called the Sluagh-Sídehe of Brug na Bóinne. It translates people of the mound or barrow where the dead have been buried. All sídehe in the Celtic mythology and traditions are haunted. It is said that they are the gateway for the souls and spirits of the dead. It is also a gateway for living mortals so that they can pass back and forth to each world.

On the other side the sídehe is the Otherworld or the Land of the Youth, the Isle of the Blessed. This is where the living soul continues the quest for wisdom. The people of the Sídhe are the Faeryfolk. They live forever beyond the sídhe in the ráths, which are submerged roundhouses or Faery fortresses, which are their magical castles in the Otherworld.

The custom of the Yule Log also seems to be a dying trend. It used to be a large log, cut from ones own land or a neighbor’s, which was supposed to burn all twelve days of Christmas. While relaxing before the burning log, it was customary for people to gather around and tell ghost stories. Further proof of the existence of the tradition can be found by listening to the popular Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. In it you can hear the phrase “there’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.”

Of course this being Conspiracy Journal, we have some true Christmas ghost stories to tell. The following weird tale took place in Liverpool, England in the early 1990s, and it has never been explained. It all started in one foggy December evening in 1991.

On the evening of Friday, December 20th, 1991, at 7 pm, the Edwards family of Dovecot decided to go and do a bit of late Christmas shopping in Liverpool city centre. Mr Edwards drove his wife and four kids to town in his old Volvo estate, and as usual, finding a place to park proved to be a real pain. Mr Edwards drove about, searching desperately for a parking space as his three sons and daughter gazed at the spectacular Christmas lights and decorations lining the streets. The youngest of the Edwards children was Abbey, who was only six years old. She loved Christmas, and for days she had been pestering her mum and dad to take her to see the big fir tree covered with coloured lights in Church Street.

As Abbey's dad was grumbling about finding a place to park the Volvo, her Mum suddenly pointed to a secluded side-street called Bold Place, which runs from Berry Street, past the back of St Luke's Church, up to Roscoe Street.

"You're a genius." Mr Edwards complimented his wife and he turned left and drove up the poorly-lit cobbled road, which was on a bit of an incline. As soon as the car was parked up, the kids eagerly jumped out the vehicle and all four of them started asking their parents what they were getting for Christmas. Meanwhile, an icy fog rolled down the street.

Mr Edwards checked the doors of the car were locked then had a quick discussion with his wife about where they were going to first. He wanted to go to a shop in Bold Street to buy his father a cardigan, but Mrs Edwards insisted upon going to Dixons first to buy a CD player for her sister. Then the children started arguing too; they wanted to go to various toy stores first. Mr Edwards shouted, "Awright, will you all just shut up!"

The family were about to walk off when Mr Edwards suddenly noticed something - and his heart skipped a beat. With a look of dread he glanced about Bold Place and muttered, "Where's Abbey?"

Everyone looked around. Mr Edwards anxiously looked through the windows of the car, but his little daughter wasn't there. "Where's she gone?" Mrs Edwards asked with a tremble in her voice. The three boys looked about, but the street was empty.

Then they all heard a faint voice scream out in the distance. "Daddy!" The voice sounded like Abbey, and it came from the top of Bold Place, towards Roscoe Street. The Edwards family rushed up the cobbled road with the father leading the way. "Abbey!" Mr Edwards shouted, "Where are you?"

The gates at the back of St Lukes were open, and Mr Edwards surmised that his daughter had wandered into the precincts of the old church. He hurried into the grounds followed closely by his wife and their sons, and once again they all heard Abbey cry out for her father. But the little girl was nowhere to be seen, and the fog was getting thicker by the minute.

Mr Edwards didn't want to alarm his wife and kids, but he wondered if some perverted lunatic had grabbed his daughter and taken her into the ruins of the old church. He handed his wife the car keys and told her to go and bring the torch from the vehicle. She did this and Mr Edwards climbed up onto the ledge of a church window and shone the flashlight into the deserted church ruins. The interior was deserted with nothing but rubble scattered about. Mr Edwards knew that the church of St Luke had been gutted by an incendiary bomb in World War Two during the Blitz. Only the shell of the building survived, and the church had been left that way as a reminder of the war. And yet it sounded as if Abbey's voice had come from inside the church.

As Mrs Edwards helped her husband down from the window, she said, "Listen!"

It was the faint eerie sounds of a church organ, and it seemed to be emanating from the church.

Mr Edwards said, "Sound can play funny tricks at night. Come on, let's go to the police."

Mrs Edwards started to cry, but her husband said, "It'll be all right. We'll find her love. She can't have gone far."

The family went to the police station in Hope Street and told the desk sergeant about their lost daughter. The sergeant alerted all the patrol cars in the area, and told officers on the city centre beat to be on the lookout for the girl. The Edwards family then rushed back to Bold Place to resume their search for the girl. They searched the grounds of St Lukes once again, and after twenty minutes, they were about to return to their car, when something happened which continues to puzzle the Edwards family to this day. A tall man wearing a top hat and a long black coat came out of the grounds of St Lukes and walking with him was little Abbey, holding his hand.

When Abbey saw her mum and dad she ran to them and started to cry as her father picked her up. The sinister man in black looked like something out of the Victorian age. He had long bushy sideburns, a pallid face, and staring ink-black eyes. He stood outside the gates of the church, and in a creepy low voice, the outdated-looking stranger said, "Please accept my sincere apology for any distress caused."

He then turned and walked silently back towards the rear of the church ruins.

Mrs Edwards grabbed Abbey from her husband and said, "Are you all right? Where have you been?"

Abbey just said, "I'm fine mummy."

Mr Edwards was furious, and he shouted after the man, "Oi! Who are you? What's your game eh?"

Then a police patrol car came tearing down the road, and Mr Edwards told the officers in the vehicle about the stranger who had returned his daughter. Three police officers bolted from the car and rushed into the grounds of the church wielding their batons.

But the police found no one. The grounds were empty. More police turned up and the grounds were searched again with powerful torches, but the place was deserted. However, several police officers also heard the faint strains of a church organ playing nearby somewhere, but they never determined just where the strange music was coming from.

One of the policemen asked little Abbey where she had been, and the child gave a strange account. She said an old woman in a shawl had grabbed her hand and dragged her into the church, where a mass was being held. In the church, there were many people dressed in old-fashioned clothes. The women wore big hats, and the men were all dressed in black. Abbey had screamed for her father, but the old woman had put her hand over the girl's mouth to silence her. Sometime later, a tall man came into the church and pulled Abbey from the old woman's clutches. He had been the man who had taken Abbey back to her parents.

The intrigued policeman continued to interrogate the child, and he asked her if the man had spoken to her about the strange incident. Abbey shook her head, then said, "The man said he had been a long time dead, that's all."

A cold shudder ran up everyone's spine when they heard the child's reply. Since that strange incident, the Edwards family refuse to go anywhere near St Luke's Church, especially during the Christmas period...

(This story reproduced with permission from Tom Slemen)

Another ghostly tale comes from Alle G: Around Christmas time, 2001, I had a few weird experiences involving a spirit that must still live in our house. One of the past owners, a lady, died in our house. Around Christmas time, I felt the presence more and a lot stronger than I usually did.

One night, I decided to draw whatever my hand felt like drawing. I drew a bottle with ribbons exploding out of it, then a yacht... then it felt like someone was moving my hand for me. My hand drew a circular shape that at first looked like a peach. My hand lifted and dropped and made a mark inside the circle. My hand lifted again and dropped and it made a weird curve. My hand drew another dot. I regained full control over my hand again and I looked at what I had a drawn: a weird smiley face.

I told my mum about it and she said to try it again the next night, and so I did. I was painting some landscapes in water colours when I felt the presence again. My mum had said that she thought her name was Faye, so that name was stuck in my mind.

I asked, "What is your name?" and I let my hand be controlled. I wrote what looked like the name Faye. I asked what the last name was. I wrote something that looked like "Edith." This was all confusing. I asked why it was here, and the reply looked like "I'm lost." I asked why it was here with me, and the reply looked kind of like "crussby," but was still very hard to read. I asked, "What?" and the answer cleared up a bit, but still not a real word. I asked again, and the final reply came what looked like "crusty." I am still puzzled, but the spirit may have meant the house was crusty since it is falling to bits in some areas.

Later on, my mum confirmed that the lady's name was Edith. This freaked me out big time, and I still felt the presence strongly for a while until a few days after Christmas.

Bonnie O. tells about a Christmas phone call from heaven when her mother passed away three years ago: We were very close and I miss her daily. Last Christmas evening, I went to bed and woke up to the phone ringing. I answered it and a voice that was very familiar to me said, "Hello there." It was my mother's voice. The line had a static noise and it sounded to cut in and out. I said, "This can't be you, mom. You're dead." She said, "Oh, come on now." She sounded a bit agitated, and then we were cut off. My 16-year-old daughter was sleeping in the next room and also heard the phone ring that night. I know it was my mother's voice: she has a Norwegian accent and it was her!

Merry Christmas from your friends at Conspiracy Journal!

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