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He stays up late into the night - fearful to sleep because of those who watch in the dark. They watch from the sky. The watch from the streets. They watch with the cold, glassy stare of hidden cameras. His communications are not safe. They read all that goes in, and all that goes out. His entertainment is monitored 24 hours a day. They know what TV shows he sees and which web sites on the Internet he visits. But despite all they see and do - nothing can prevent the arrival of his favorite weekly e-mail newsletter of the strange and weird. Yes that's RIGHT! Conspiracy Journal is here once again to reveal all the deep, dark secrets that THEY don't want YOU to know!
This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such eye-straining tales as:
- White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars -
- Physicists Create "Time Hole" -
- Of ETs and Octopus -
- Near Death Experiences of the Rich and Famous -
AND: English Village Experiences Electrical Signal Meltdown
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
LAST CHANCE TO SNAG THIS SPECIAL PRICE!
ARE THERE ALIENS AMONGST US?
THE GOLDEN AGE OF FLYING SAUCERS PROVIDED US WITH MANY PROPHETIC REVELATIONS OF FUTURE LIFE ON EARTH
Here is a real flying saucer classic - two volumes in one from the all important Golden Age of Flying Saucers in when many of the UFO contactees of the 1950s and 60s were claiming to have actually meet space beings (commonly called the Space Brothers) and in some cases to have actually gone for trips inside cigar and disc-shaped craft to other planets.
It's a part of UFO research the public seldom ever hears about -- that human-looking, "Nordic-like" aliens are living among us, having become part of our society with or without the knowledge of their neighbors.
It was in this atmosphere of cosmic awakening that a woman named Vivenus emerged with a message of hope and universal love. Vivenus claimed to be a resident of the planet (believe it or not!). She arrived, she said, on earth at 10 PM on September 24, 1960. A flying saucer (or "swoop" as they call them on her home planet) let her out in Central Park and she took control of her earthly double who was about to take her own life.
NOT ALL CREATURES FROM OTHER PLANETS ARE INTERESTED IN ABDUCTING US AND PROBING OUR BODIES!
In this book you will learn how people on Venus live for thousands of years; How everyone on Earth has a twin on Venus; How the Venusians have developed their mental powers to create a paradise on their planet; How Earth and its inhabitants have strayed from God's path, and how we can also make Earth a paradise.
PLUS SPECIAL BONUS MYSTIC MONOGRAPH BY MICHAEL X
His real name was Michael Barton, though he wrote over 25 confidential monographs under the moniker of Michael X. All we really know is that Michael was a simple businessman who had a friend whose life was saved from cancer after having a close encounter. A former skeptic, Barton began to question his sensibilities as he spoke with many of the UFO contactees he met at places like Giant Rock in the Mojave Desert, to exchange stories of meeting beautiful, benevolent, angelic-like beings from outer space.
In this rare reprinted section Michael X reveals the SECRET ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND. The author asks: "Did you ever wonder about how you came to be on this planet? Where did you...and the other billions of human inhabitants of this Earth come from in the first place? What are the real facts?"
"You're going to be astounded and amazed when you find out the whole story of man's secret origin! You'll probably say to yourself 'Why wasn't this information brought to my attention before?' and, 'Why wasn't I taught this kind of knowledge in school, so I could have been making good use of it all these years?' Why? Why? Why?"
This book will take you on an adventure like you have never been on before.
PLUS! If you order right now, you will receive a free CD of the 1966 album "From Worlds Afar" by British contactee Mollie Thompson. This amazing album from the early "UFO contactee" era is something you must have in your collection.
Vivenus Starchild is available now at the special price of $12 plus $5.00 shipping. So don't miss out on this fantastic deal, order now before it is too late!
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- TO INFINITY AND BEYOND DEPARTMENT -
White House Denies CIA Teleported Obama to Mars
Forget Kenya. Never mind the secret madrassas. The sinister, shocking truth about Barack Obama’s past lies not in east Africa, but in outer space. As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa.
That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them.
Perhaps this all sounds fantastical, absurd, and more than a little nuts. We couldn’t agree more. That’s one of the reasons we love conspiracy theories — the more awesomely insane, the better. Each week during 2012, when the Mayans tell us to expect the apocalypse, Danger Room will peel back a new layer of crazy to expose those oh-so-cleverly hidden machinations powering this doomed plane of existence. Welcome — back — to Tinfoil Tuesday.
According to Basiago and Stillings, Obama isn’t just lying about his identity. He’s lying about his military service record, too. While his political opponents in 2008 attacked him for never serving, in truth, he was concealing his participation in a hidden CIA intergalactic program hosted at a California community college in 1980.
Officially, the White House says Obama never went to Mars. “Only if you count watching Marvin the Martian,” Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council, tells Danger Room. But that’s exactly what a secret chrononaut wants you to believe.
Obama wasn’t the only one making the otherworldly voyage. As “Barry Soetero,” the 19-year-old Obama was one of 10 youths selected to secretly teleport to and from Mars, forming a band of interplanetary Teen Titans. Regina Dugan, the director of Darpa, was another member.
Between 1981 and 1983, Obama is supposed to have visited Mars twice, by way of a teleportation chamber called a “jump room.” Basiago, a fellow chrononaut, told the website Exopolitics that he saw Obama “walk back to the jump room from across the Martian terrain.” To acknowledge his comrade, Obama is said to have told Basiago, “We’re here” — apparently, “with some sense of fatalism.”
It is not known what exactly Obama did on Mars. (Socializing Martian health care, perhaps? Building a birth-certificate printing press?) His mission was a perilous one, according to Basiago and Stillings. The CIA wished to “establish a defense regime protecting the Earth from threats from space” as well as a legal claim to “territorial sovereignty,” making Obama something of a Martian conquistador. Presumably, Obama’s CIA handlers needed him to “acclimate Martian humanoids and animals to their presence” in order to secure the U.S.-Martian alliance. (We’ll bet you weren’t even aware of Martian animals.)
“Simply put, your task is to be seen and not eaten,” an elder chrononaut, retired Army Maj. Ed Dames, is alleged to have told a young Obama.
You can scoff at the idea of Obama on Mars. But it explains a lot. Obviously the birth-certificate controversy is a side effect of Obama forgetting to sufficiently establish his fake identity as he learned to manipulate time and space. (Dugan has a demonstrated record of supporting space travel; the “jump room” must be broken.) And who else but a man accustomed to keeping the country’s most explosive secret would be comfortable waging so many undeclared wars? Ignore Basiago and Stillings at your own peril. If Obama’s reelected, the U.S. is finally colonizing Mars.
- I'VE GOT A HOLE IN MY POCKET DEPARTMENT -
Physicists Create "Time Hole"
Pentagon-supported physicists say that they had devised a "time cloak" that briefly makes an event undetectable.
The laboratory device manipulates the flow of light in such a way that for the merest fraction of a second an event cannot be seen, according to a paper published in the science journal Nature.
It adds to experimental work in creating next-generation camouflage -- a so-called invisibility cloak in which specific colours cannot be perceived by the human eye.
"Our results represent a significant step towards obtaining a complete spatio-temporal cloaking device," says the study, headed by Moti Fridman of Cornell University in New York.
The breakthrough exploits the fact that frequencies of light move at fractionally different speeds.
The so-called temporal cloak starts with a beam of green light that is passed down a fibre-optic cable.
The beam goes through a two-way lens that splits it into two frequencies -- blueish light which travels relatively fast, and reddish light, which is slower.
The tiny difference in speed is then accentuated by placing a transparent obstacle in front of the two beams.
Eventually a time gap opens up between the red and blue beams as they travel through the optical fibre.
The gap is tiny -- just 50 picoseconds, or 50 millionths of a millionth of a second.
But it is just long enough to squeeze in a pulse of laser at a different frequency from the light passing through the system.
The red and blue light are then given the reverse treatment.
They go through another obstacle, which this time speeds up the red and slows down the blue, and come to a reverse lens that reconstitutes them as a single green light.
But the 40-picosecond burst of laser is not part of the flow of photons, and thus cannot be detected.
In a commentary, optical engineers Robert Boyd and Zhimin Shi of New York's University of Rochester, likened the experiment to a level crossing on a busy road.
When a train comes, the cars are stopped, and this causes a gap in the traffic.
When the train has passed, the stopped cars speed up until they catch up with the traffic in front of them. To the observer, the flow seems quite normal, and there is no evidence that a train has crossed the intersection.
After proving that the "cloak" is possible, the next step for the researchers is to expand the time gap by orders of magnitude, firstly to microseconds and then to milliseconds, said Boyd and Shi.
The time cloak has a potential use in boosting security in fibre-optic communications because it breaks up optical signals, lets them travel at different speeds and then reassembles them, which makes data hard to intercept.
In the words of Nature editors, the research marks “a significant step towards full spatio-temporal cloaking.” But it could be decades before military personnel will basically be able to zap history, as it happens: According to Cornell scientists, it’d take a machine 18,600 miles long to produce a time mask that lasts a single second.
Last year, scientists reported a step forward in so-called metamaterials which act as a cloaking of space, as opposed to time.
Metamaterials are novel compounds whose surface that interacts with light at specific frequencies thanks to a tiny, nano-level structure. As a result, light flows around the object -- rather like water that bends around a rock in a stream -- as opposed to being absorbed by it.
Fridman's work was part-supported by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, a Pentagon unit which develops futuristic technology that can have a military use. Its achievements include DARPANet, a predecessor of the Internet.
Source: Yahoo News
- CONSIDERING NON-HUMAN INTELLIGENCE DEPARTMENT -
Of ETs and Octopus
By Diane Tessman
What in the galaxy do the extraterrestrial and the octopus have in common? They have astounding intelligence of a sort which is mostly unknown to humans. However, we must admit this intelligence does exist; if we fail to perceive their intelligence, we demonstrate that we ourselves are not so intelligent. It is time (past time!) we open our human portals and learn all we can about unknown-intelligence itself, whether on Earth or in the universe.
Humans have been arrogant about their own intelligence for eons, assuming that we are the most-intelligent anywhere, ever. Aristotle, for instance, proclaimed the octopus a stupid creature, “for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water.” At least Aristotle perceived what dangerous predators humans are.
“Ghost” octopuses have been recently discovered to be among the astounding resident life-forms which/who dwell in hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic section of the Southern Ocean between Antarctica and South America and eastward. Researchers finally managed to lower cameras into two areas, 8,530 feet and 7,874 feet deep, catching first glimpses of those Antarctic hydrothermal vents. Among these vents are “black smokers,” chimney-like vents
emitting dark-hued, super-heated water.
The background temperature of the Southern Ocean is 32 degrees F., but the black smokers gush water was hot as 721 degrees F. And in these incredibly difficult conditions, life flourishes! There are hairy-chested yeti crabs which/who cultivate gardens of edible bacteria on their chests, there are barnacles, anemones and large spiral-shelled snails. And, the ghost-like albino octopuses head over to the light of the ROV camera. Here is an entire flourishing alien world!
Just as on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, until recently, we humans assumed there could be no life except maybe microbes, beneath a frozen or near-frozen ocean. We were wrong! Life prevails – anywhere. “Anywhere” is almost literal. Life finds a way.
Let’s consider just any old octopus now, not just the Antarctic ghosts: How smart are they? They are smart enough to leave their aquarium, squish across the floor, enter the aquarium of the crab they hope to eat, grab the crab, and squish back across the floor into their own container, at night, when they think human researchers aren’t watching. Well, that sounds rather human, how about more alien behavior?
One octopus does an uncanny impression of a flounder. Another mimics coral before darting away from a pushy camera. A third slips its arm around a jar and unscrews it, dining on the crab inside. Research papers have been published on octopus learning, personality, and memory. The Octopus is even now in the journal “Consciousness and Cognition,” along with its fellow cephalopods the squid and the cuttlefish. The title: “Cephalopod Consciousness: Behavioral Evidence.”
About 700 million years ago, humans and octopuses diverged. How many years ago would we guess humans and extraterrestrials diverged? Of course we don’t know for sure that we share any evolutionary paths with ETs, but it seems we humans are more like extraterrestrials (what little we can see of them), than we are like octopuses.
If we become researchers and observe ETs as we do Ms Octopus—we mostly have only ET behavior to observe as they “drive” their UFOs, because it is unusual to observe ET behavior in person. There are abductions, encounters, and there are relationships of symbiosis between human-friend and alien-friend which in some cases, last the human’s lifetime. These are a whole subject for another day, perhaps.
So, let’s consider the very common UFO sighting which is (unless a holograph), an example of ET “driving.” What ARE they thinking? In almost every sighting, there is something unexplained to us humans; why did the UFO “bother” to manifest, only to zoom off again a second later at incredible speed or simply wink out? Why did it depart when we began to really focus on it, perhaps establishing something similar to telepathic contact?
I watched two huge, transluscent UFOs over Tampa Bay in 1979; many other people saw these two. I documented this sighting more extensively in my Conspiracy Journal article, “The Paranormal, Bridge Collapse, Mothman and UFOs.” I was concentrating on one of the two huge white orbs, and I felt “contact.” I looked down for a second, and that particular orb was gone. Just GONE! The other orb stayed for hours over Tampa Bay. I have noticed in other UFO reports that just as the human focuses personally, so to speak, the UFO vanishes. What is that all about?
UFOs are known for their illogical but absolutely mind-boggling manuevers and behavior. Oh yes, there is intelligence there too! Unimaginable intelligence.
Of course it is different from ours. Of course it might be frightening at first but we really must get ourselves together and see if we can begin to understand ET intelligence! A good start is to begin to understand that life forms exist in the most inhospitable places on our own planet and comprehend that they have evolved a true intelligence as well.
And what of earth life-forms we are more familiar with?
Sharks, lions, elephants, parrots? The list is endless. However, the list grows shorter, because humans have decimated habitats, mercilessly hunted, selfishly just not-cared: “Oh, they are just dumb animals,” this is the mindset of many humans, solidified by the major religions which dictate that humans are the lords of Earth, the only species with “real” intelligence.
If we continue this ignorant, cruel, stupid behavior, perhaps we as a species do not deserve to continue. Maybe the ETs are researching this as they fly low overhead?
However, in a lifetime of exploring the intelligence which Tibus has allowed me to perceive in him, an alien, I have found enormous compassion and love for the human species. I feel we are being given every chance, and that ETs know we deserve continue our evolutionary path (but so do sharks!).
Incidentally, there is news that two shark species have begun to mate in an attempt to survive the current destruction of their species. A new shark has just emerged. Now that’s intelligence!
What ETs, octopuses and humans have in common is that each of our unique species intelligence evolved over billions of years as we each walked our unique evolutionary path. We are the result of vast experiences and we apparently have all survived enormous challenges. ETs and octopus are the result of their own experiences and have survived their own enormous challenges. Their unique intelligence reflects this – IS this.
To undertsand this is certainly a starting point for respecting each other, and then beginning to value each other and ultimately to treasure each other as part of the infinite diversity in infinite combinations in the unvierse. Intelligence abounds!
Intelligence/consciousness itself may be what the universe is composed of!
It is time (past time!) that we humans realize Intelligence belongs not just to us, but to the other life forms of Mother Earth and to an uncountable number of species throughout the galaxy and universe! Open your eyes, Human, then welcome to the galactic commnunity!
www.earthchangepredictions.com Free sample Exo-Trekking!
- GO INTO THE LIGHT DEPARTMENT -
Near Death Experiences of the Rich and Famous
By the late 1970s, Tony Bennett and his career were ailing. He had no record label, no manager, and he was performing almost exclusively in Vegas. Living in Los Angeles, he had a drug habit, a disintegrating marriage, and mounting debts. When the IRS started proceedings to take away his home, he nearly overdosed, and had a near-death experience.
"A golden light enveloped me in a warm glow," he wrote in his autobiography. "I had the sense that I was about to embark on a very compelling journey. But suddenly I was jolted out of the vision ... I knew I had to make major changes in my life."
After this experience, Tony Bennett did make the changes he needed to make and his life and career turned around. With the help of his manager/son Danny, he decided to attempt to appeal to younger audiences with his music. Beginning with scheduled concerts at colleges and small theaters, he eventually got re-signed to Columbia Records in the mid-1980s although he hadn't recorded an album in 11 years. Bennett also appeared on hip shows like The Simpsons and MTV's Unplugged. His Unplugged disk won Tony Bennett a Grammy.
William Petersen, the star of the TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, had a near-death experience which he described in an interview for Playboy magazine (March 2004, page 139).
"Years ago, doing a play in Chicago, I cut my finger in half onstage. We obviously had to stop because, well, I didn't have a finger. By the time they got me to the ER I had lost a lot of blood and passed out. I could hear the doctors working on me, saying that they had lost my vital signs. I was on the "All That Jazz" escalator with a long tunnel and a lot of white light. Then I specifically remember a dominant male voice saying, "It's not your time. Get off the escalator. You've got shit to do." I came to, and got sewed up. Something in me changed, a sort of knowledge that somewhere on the other side, its good. For weeks, the more I talked about it, the more freaked out people got. Some of them were like, "Okay, whatever: You took too many drugs.
Actress Sally Kirkland has impressive film credits which include Bruce Almighty, The Sting, JFK, and Anna for which she was nominated for an Oscar as best actress. In 1966, Sally was participating in legal psychedelic experiments with doctors whereby she would have experiences of cosmic consciousness. Unfortunately, these experiences were followed by her life spinning out of control. The pain of life had just become more than she could bear. This led to a nervous breakdown and several suicide attempts. Eventually, she overdosed on Nembutal and Seconal during a suicide attempt and was found with her heart and lungs stopped. Last rites were even administered. It was during this suicide attempt that Sally had a NDE. She states, "A miracle happened, I was given a second chance and this has been a way to stay on the straight and narrow for 30 years, with the exception of a period in 1975 where I went off the track prior to ordination. When people hear the hell I went through on drugs, they listen to how to get off them." Today, Sally is a yoga teacher and serves as an ordained minister in the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness for the last decade, where she helps others to become drug free. When she is on stage, she uses the emotional recall of her own near-death experience as a source for bringing light to the roles she plays. - www.near-death.com
Haunting Tales of Ghostly Pets
The scratch of paws in an empty room, the brush of fur against the legs days after the death of a pet cat, the thundering hooves of a horse seen galloping along a deserted road which vanished before the eyes of astounded motorists.
Such ghostly experiences are evidence – some believe – it is not only humans whose spirits roam the earth long after they have died.
Last week, paranormal investigators claimed Scampton, the airfield in Lincolnshire from where the Dambusters squadron attacked the Möhne and Eder dams in 1943, causing flooding of the Ruhr valley, is haunted by a chocolate-brown Labrador.
The dog is said to be the ghost of Nigger, who belonged to the leader of the Dambusters squadron, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, but was run over and killed just hours before the raid.
A dog has been heard growling in Gibson’s former office and a brown Labrador showed up in a photo taken of some schoolchildren at the memorial to the Dambusters in 1987, near Gibson’s office. No one could account for its presence.
Chris Bishop, a pet bereavement counsellor, says hundreds of people have reported seeing or feeling the presence of a much-mourned pet.
“I believe it is a spiritual presence but even if you just think it’s just a very vivid dream, it’s very comforting,” she says.
Not all ghostly creatures are so benevolent, however. Tales abound of malevolent creatures whose restless spirits often haunt the places where they were ill-treated in life or met an untimely death.
One such disturbing apparition is said to be that of a maimed and mutilated black cat who appeared to the unfortunate inhabitants of Manor Hall in Oxenby, near Bristol. This cat was thought to have belonged to a boy who lived there more than 500 years ago.
The boy’s parents died and he was taken into the care of a cruel guardian who tormented and abused him. Once the boy was made to watch as his pet cat was tortured, mutilated and finally boiled. The boy was eventually killed too and the wicked guardian was hanged for his murder.
Their spirits haunted the place for half a millennium, including the ghastly apparition of the maimed and bleeding cat.
A subsequent owner of the house erected a monument to the abused child, and carved the figure of a cat on the house. But it was not until the house was knocked down that the hauntings ceased.
Athelhampton Hall in Dorset is said to be home to one of the more exotic animal ghosts in Britain: that of a pet monkey.
Some centuries ago a family named Martyn lived there and their daughter fell in love with the son of an aristocrat, who brought her a pet monkey from a trip abroad.
But the love affair turned sour and, heartbroken, the girl shut herself away in a secret staircase behind the long gallery, unaware that the monkey had followed her.
When the door was finally opened, the bodies of the girl and the monkey were found. People have reported the sound of scrabbling from the staircase and several have claimed to have seen the ghost of “Martyn’s ape”.
Along with many human ghosts, the spectre of a bear is said to haunt the Tower of London, once home to a menagerie. In 1816, a sentry was horrified to find a bear coming out of the jewel room. He lunged at it with his bayonet but the weapon went straight through it and the bear vanished. The sentry collapsed in shock and died a few days later.
More common spectral creatures are horses. Many civil war battlegrounds are thought to be haunted by the ghosts of horses slain there. A white horse said to be the charger of the Royalist commander Prince Rupert has been seen at the site of the Battle of Edgehill in Warwickshire.
At Pendennis Castle in Cornwall the Royalists were besieged for five months by the Parliamentarian forces. They were forced to slaughter their horses for food. The castle’s custodian is regularly kept awake at night by the sounds of hooves but on investigation no horses are found.
One of the saddest stories is that of the hooves heard in the village of Westonzoyland in Somerset. The legend goes that a young man fighting for the rebel Duke of Monmouth was captured by government soldiers outside the village in 1685. The soldiers promised to spare the young man’s life if he could outrun a horse.
With his sweetheart watching, he ran for his life and won the race, but the soldiers shot him anyway.
The heartbroken girl drowned herself, and her ghost still returns to haunt the scene of the race, along with that of the runner, whose desperate panting can sometimes be heard, accompanied by the thundering of ghostly hooves.
Another tragic tale is that of George Nelson, a boy who was killed in 1885 on a road in Lincolnshire, when he was thrown from his horse. In recent decades, several motorists have seen a horse throw its rider on to the road, or braked as it has galloped into their path, but when they stop, neither horse nor rider is to be found.
Driving on dark nights on lonely roads, motorists seem to be particularly vulnerable to ghostly sightings, such as the phantom horses that gallop across a road in Berkshire near Steventon, startling motorists – only to disappear into the darkness.
Sometimes these lonely road sightings take the form of spectral hounds. Black dogs are said to haunt crossroads, where gibbets were commonly sited.
At Tring in Hertfordshire, a large black shaggy dog with flaming eyes has been seen at a crossroads where a chimney sweep was hanged in 1751 for the murder of a woman believed to be a witch.
And in 2001, a woman driving in Yorkshire saw a large black dog run in front of her car. She braked hard, but the hound passed through the bonnet. Her companion also saw it.
When the women reached Leeming Bar, they told a man they met about the dog. He later killed himself. Black dogs were once believed to presage death or disaster. Could the dog have signified his fate, or was it coincidence?
Certainly the spectre of a black hound has long had the power to terrify. On Dartmoor, a huge black dog with red eyes is believed to run beside a coach made of bones, pulled by spectral horses and driven by the ghost of Lady Mary Howard, a notorious woman who survived four husbands in the 17th century.
This and other black dogs may have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous ghost story, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Other animals, like human ghosts, are believed to be more benevolent spirits which simply wish to remain in the place where they lived. Sian Evans, who wrote Ghosts: Mysterious tales from the National Trust, visited Ham House in Richmond where the ghost of a spaniel is frequently seen.
“I was filming in one of the rooms in 2007,” she remembers, “when I saw a spaniel through the doorway of the next room, but when I went in there, there was no dog and it was a dead end.”
The dog was the favourite pet of a woman who lived in the house in the 18th century. He is featured in a portrait, gazing adoringly at his mistress. In the 1990s, workmen found the bones of a spaniel in a casket. The skeleton was reconstructed and placed in a case beneath the portrait.
“I think he had a very happy life there and that’s perhaps why he remains,” says Evans.
Source: Phantoms and Monsters
- CONGO'S UNKNOWN CRYPTID DEPARTMENT -
The Hunt for Mokele-mbembe
By Cordelia Hebblethwaite
The search for Scotland's Loch Ness Monster is world famous. Far less well-known is the hunt for a similar creature, Mokele-mbembe, which is reputed to live in the remote north of Congo-Brazzaville. But how strong is the evidence?
"I checked maps, and the data on the maps was white. It said, 'insufficient data to delineate terrain'. Well that got me!" says Dr Roy Mackal, a retired biologist from the University of Chicago.
"It's the end of the world. It gives you a feeling of a surviving prehistoric time."
In the 1980s, Dr Mackal led two expedition teams to the vast Likouala swamp and rainforest area of the Congo which is inhabited by pygmies, on the hunt for this mystery creature - Africa's version of Scotland's Loch Ness Monster.
The Mokele-mbembe is reputed to be a large reptile-like creature, with a long neck, and long tail.
Despite being a herbivore, it is said to roar aggressively if approached by humans. Some say it has a single horn, which it uses to kill elephants.
Many a Western explorer over the years has been gripped by the tantalising possibility that they could discover a creature - a formidable one at that - that has remained, as yet, unknown to science.
Rising 'out the water'
To date, there have been more than 50 expeditions to the region, but no scientific evidence, unless you include the large claw-shaped footprint recorded by a French missionary in 1776, and by a number of others since.
The only photographic images have been so fuzzy, they prove nothing.
But there is no shortage of eyewitness reports.
"I was in a boat on the river when I saw Mokele-mbembe. He began to chase us. Mokele-mbembe rose out of the water," one man told the BBC. "We ran, or he would have killed us."
Paul Ohlin, a community development worker who spent more than 10 years living with the Bayaka in Congo and the Central African Republic, just to the north, says the people who live in the area are in no doubt about the creature's existence.
"When people are sitting around the campfire talking, they talk about the Mokele-mbembe - it's something that's a reality in everyday life," he says.
At the same time he emphasises their "spiritual connection" and "mystical relationship" with it.
"The way they see the world is a little different to the way you and I see it," says Paul.
But their eyewitness reports still need to be taken seriously, in his view.
"Certainly mythology surrounds it," says Adam Davies, a British man who spends his spare time and money travelling the world in search of undocumented species, and has twice gone to Africa on the trail of the Mokele-mbembe.
"But when you put it to people, 'Is this a real creature?' they become quite affronted… and they consistently came out with physical descriptions."
"Never dismiss tribal accounts on the basis that they must be talking tosh because they are tribal - that's not right and it's actually disrespectful," he says.
The field of cryptozoology - the search for large, unproven species - extends well beyond the realms of mainstream science.
But those who believe Mokele-mbembe exists point out that some animals once dismissed by science have turned out to be real.
The most often cited example is the okapi - a cloven-hoofed mammal with zebra-like stripes on its legs, which lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, just to the east of Congo-Brazzaville.
In the 19th Century, there was talk among Westerners in Africa of the existence of an "African unicorn" and the explorer Henry Morton Stanley - who had earlier tracked down the missing missionary, Dr David Livingstone - reported seeing a mysterious donkey-like animal on a journey through the Congo in the late 1880s.
It was only in 1901 that the okapi was properly documented and identified as a relative of the giraffe.
"I'd put Mokele-mbembe in the same category as the Loch Ness Monster," says Bill Laurance, professor at James Cook University in Australia, a conservation biologist and an expert in tropical rainforests.
"My gut sense is that the likelihood of the creature actually existing today is small.
"However, one thing you learn early on in science is never say never. We are still discovering new species all the time."
The Likouala region in the north-east of Congo Brazzaville is the kind of place that it is easy to imagine containing hidden mysteries. Congolese government officials say 80% of its 66,000 sq km is uncharted. Much of it is dense, often flooded forest, forming part of the second largest rainforest in the world.
"The idea of a creature which is very rare, living in a very remote area with a vast size to it, is not remotely implausible," argues Adam Davies.
But some wonder about the motivations of the Congolese who promote the existence of the creature.
US writer Rory Nugent who went to Congo in search of the Mokele-mbembe and wrote a book about his experience, Drums Along the Congo, says he saw "an elegant French curve moving through the water".
He believes it might have been the head of the famed creature, but he is also deeply sceptical.
"The guides were screaming about a god beast. Whether it was part of the show, whether there was somebody swimming under the water with flippers pushing a cardboard piece across the lake, I couldn't tell you."
Taking foreigners on expeditions to try to find the Mokele-mbembe is a good "money making operation" for those involved, he adds.
Mr Nugent fears that one day a kind of "Disneyland Congo" could be created in the area - similar to the tourist trap around Loch Ness - with scientists and tourists from the world flying in and out.
Those who believe the Mokele-mbembe exists argue that with further dedication of time and resources, one will eventually be tracked down.
But might the discovery of the creature be an anti-climax? Perhaps the mystery is what we enjoy most.
"I think there is a basic need or drive to entertain possibilities just outside of our reach," says psychology professor Jacqueline Woolley of the University of Texas.
"There is the excitement in believing that what seems impossible or improbable could potentially exist."
She says that for belief in creatures like the Mokele-mbembe to take hold, they "can't be too wacky and far out - they must be similar to real entities," but vary in just one or two ways.
"I realise my bias," admits Dr Mackal, who is now in his 80s. "I'm interested in discovering unknown species of animals."
"But I think that Mokele-mbembe still exist, and there isn't just one - they are reproducing," he contends.
"At 86 years old, I would dearly love to be alive if and when the animals are discovered."
English Village Experiences Electrical Signal Meltdown
Villagers were left unable to use their showers, doorbells and even car key fobs for several days in the latest case of suspected wireless interference.
Families in Kingsclere on the Hampshire-Berkshire border, spent much of the festive season without heating after the failure of household systems which rely on digital technology.
One family, the Smiths, were baffled when their heating, shower, doorbell and even their car’s remote-control door locks refused to work.
They then discovered similar problems were being experienced by their neighbours.
Chris Smith, whose wife’s birthday on Christmas Eve was ruined by the systems failure, spent more than £250 trying to fix the heating and shower but neither worked until late on Dec 27.
A spokesman for Ofcom, which oversees radio communications, said: “Often these problems can be caused by a video sender that transmits a television signal to other sets in the house. They are not the source of all the problems but in a lot of cases interference is tracked down to those devices.”
Mr Smith, who had the heating system installed 18 months ago, said he did not know of anyone nearby with a video sender.
In October, people living in a street in Southampton reported that their remote car key fobs had stopped working. The problem was tracked down to a faulty video sender which was “leaking” a frequency which interfered with the fobs.
Residents in a street in Windermere, Cumbria, had similar problems in March 2010, which were eventually traced back to a wireless device used to take orders at a nearby restaurant.
Mr Smith has now concluded that the common link between the failed devices was that they all used radio-frequency identification (RFID).
But he said: “The question is: what caused the blocking of the RFID frequency in the village and how do you even begin to find out?
“Kingsclere is in the shadow of the Hannington television transmitter, so it could have been engineering work that went wrong and unnoticed over the holiday period.”
The Hannington transmitter serves the surrounding area. Arqiva, the company responsible for it, admitted that a strong signal could affect RFID devices, but said on this occasion it was not to blame.
The same situation is taking place in west Arvada, Colorado where dozens of families in a new housing development are having a mysterious problem with their garage doors.
"We've found it's about a half-mile radius and about 40 homeowners are having the same problem," said Jina, who did not want her last name used.
In December, Jina noticed her garage door opener stopped working. Other homeowners were unable to open or shut their garage doors with their remotes or keypads.
She found about 10 other neighbors in the Spring Mesa community, near 76th and Quaker, were having the same problems.
She said repair crews blamed the problem on interference from wireless devices such as phones, fridges, coffee makers and even Christmas lights. The garage door repair company then went to gauge radio frequency interference in the area.
"What they came up with was a strong frequency. They drove around the neighborhood, it was still a strong reading but they couldn't confirm the source. That's the closest we've had to identify it," Jina said.
"The frequency interferes with the garage door opener's ability to open and close the garage door attached to the house. Something in the airwaves is dampening the signal so it is not reaching the receptor inside of the garage to open or close," said Jason Whetzal, with Ankmar Garage Door Repair Service.
Whetzal said crews will first use testing equipment from the garage door manufacturer to see if they can find the source of the frequency and then perhaps change the frequency on the openers so it is not getting damped by the unidentified frequency.
Jina confirmed all the homes having the problem have the same system installed by the builder, DR Horton.
If they still can't find the source of the interference and changing the frequency doesn't help, the homeowners all need to buy new garage door openers or new frequency adapters, Jina said.
Source: The Telegraph
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