2/11/12  #658
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HURRY, HURRY! Come see the amazing sights inside the tent. See the mysteries of outer space visitors! See the strange creatures of time and space. See the weird people who want to control your lives. See the bizarre - The unusual - THE CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such awe-inspiring stories as:

- Secret Program Injected People with Plutonium -
-
'Mind Controlled' Weapons Coming Soon -
- The Dancing Plague of 1518 -
- The Mystery of 'Mel's Hole' -
AND: Curse of the 'Stone People'

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


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- LET'S SEE WHAT THIS WILL DO DEPARTMENT -

Secret Program Injected People with Plutonium

The horrors of the nuclear age, in terms of exploding reactors and nuclear bombs, are well known. Behind the well-publicized threat of mass death lies a secret history of nuclear projects being used to destroy individuals. In the late 1940s, United States citizens were injected with plutonium without their knowledge.

In early 1945, Ebb Cade, a worker at the Oak Ridge Nuclear Facility, got into a car wreck. He survived, but was bed bound with a broken arm and a broken leg. When doctors interviewed him, they ascertained that the fifty-three-year-old African American man was otherwise perfectly healthy, eating well, drinking well, and had no history of serious illness. And so, having obtained a healthy subject, on April 10th his doctors secretly injected him with 4.7 micrograms of plutonium. Who exactly ordered the injection, and who exactly administered it, has never been determined, with the most likely candidates all contradicting each other.

What is certain is that no one administered the dose for the man's health. Although radium was still being touted by unscrupulous companies to the masses as a health tonic, enough people had gotten cancer and radiation sickness that any scientists knew that radiation was bad news. Since the beginning of the Manhattan Project, tests had been done to see how plutonium isotopes affected living beings. Animals had been fed and injected with the element, and their subsequent health problems were noted. When a scientist working on separating isotopes of plutonium had gotten a face full of gas, his stomach was pumped, to get out any plutonium he had swallowed, and his face was thoroughly scrubbed.

Over the next five days after the injection, doctors collected any excretions from Cade to see how much plutonium he retained in his body. Other tests were more invasive. His bones weren't set until April 15th, and before they were set samples were cut out of them to see how much plutonium had moved into the bone tissue. Fifteen of his teeth were pulled and sampled for plutonium as well. Ebb Cade was never informed about the reasons for any of this, but he might have had an idea of what was happening to him. According to one account, one morning a nurse opened his door to find he'd fled during the night. He died in 1953, of heart failure. He was the first person to be injected with plutonium in the United States, but not the last.

The next three injectees were patients suffering from cancer who had come into Billings Hospital in Chicago for treatment. From April through December, a man in his sixties suffering from lung cancer, a woman in her fifties suffering from breast cancer, and a 'young man' suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma were all injected. Not much is known about the third patient. He was not mentioned in many official reports, nor is the date of his death known. What is known is he was injected with 95 micrograms of plutonium, roughly fifteen times what anyone before had been injected with.

The University of Rochester also became the next facility to start injections of plutonium, as well as other radioactive isotopes, including polonium and uranium. The director of the program there wrote that nearly all the patients had diagnoses that meant they were unlikely to live for more than five years. Although it's true that many patients did have serious illnesses, many had illnesses that allowed for more than ten years of life, three were still living when investigations into the plutonium injections began in 1974, and one was misdiagnosed entirely.

Researchers at the University of California also took part in these experiments. In May of 1945 Albert Stevens came in for treatment of his stomach cancer. He was injected with plutonium. After the injection, it was found that the cancer was actually an ulcer. When Stevens thought about moving away, he was offered a stipend to stay in the area, so the lab could continue to test him for radiation, but he was never told about the injection. In April of 1946, Simeon Shaw, a four-year-old boy suffering from bone cancer was the next test subject. His parents, who had brought him from Australia for treatment in the United States, were told that the injection, and a subsequent removal of some bone tissue, was part of his cancer treatment. When he got sicker, his parents brought him back to Australia, where he died. It wasn't until thirty years later that they found out what their son was actually injected with.

In December of 1946, the Manhattan Project ordered a halt to the injection of humans with radioactive materials, at which point the Atomic Energy Commission took over. In April of 1947, possibly in response to the Nuremburg trials concerning human experimentation, it was recommended that patients be told that they would be injected with a 'new substance' and that 'no one knew what it did,' but that it could inhibit cancer growth. The trials continued. A thirty-six-year-old man named Elmer Allen was injected and his left leg amputated shortly after.

Although the injections themselves were halted at the end of 1947, follow up studies, including the removal of bone tissue and excretion monitoring, were conducted into the early 1950s. Some of the eighteen known patients injected with plutonium died and were actually exhumed for more tests to be conducted. Their families were still told that they had received an unknown mixture of isotopes purely for medical treatment. It wasn't until the 1970s that a full investigation was conducted. Surviving patients were informed, families of the deceased were questioned and eventually informed. Only one surviving patient never knew what happened to her. Her current doctors judged her emotional state too fragile to be told about the injections.

The last survivor of the plutonium experiments was Elmer Allen, the man whose leg was amputated after his injection. When doctors looked back through his notes, they found that his prognosis, at the beginning, was very good, and that it was deemed likely that the then-thirty-six-year-old would live more than ten years. He died in 1991.

Source: io9
http://io9.com/5883962/a-us-government-program-secretly-injected-people-with-plutonium

- I THINK, THEREFORE I KILL DEPARTMENT -

'Mind Controlled' Weapons Coming Soon

Researchers found the Armed Forces could harness the rapid advance of neuroscience to improve the training of soldiers, pilots and other personnel.

A study, from the Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of science, showed the possible benefits of neuroscience to military and law enforcement.

It predicted new designer drugs that boost performance, make enemy troops fall asleep and ensure captives become more talkative.

But among the more remarkable scenarios suggested in the report involved the use of devices called brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to connect soldiers' brains directly to military technology such as drones and weapons.

The study, published recently, stated that the work built on previous research that has enabled people to control cursors and artificial limbs through BMIs that read their brain signals.

In their report, one of a series from the Royal Society looking at the field of neuroscience, the experts call on the UK Government to be as "transparent as possible" about research into military and law enforcement applications.

"Since the human brain can process images, such as targets, much faster than the subject is consciously aware of, a neurally interfaced weapons system could provide significant advantages over other system control methods in terms of speed and accuracy," the report states.

The report also showed how neuroscientists employed so-called “transcranial direct current stimulation” (tDCS) to improve soldiers' awareness while in hostile environments.

It showed how soldiers’ ability to spot roadside bombs, snipers and other hidden threats were improved in a virtual reality training program used by US troops bound for the Middle East

But the report’s authors argued that while hostile uses of neuroscience and related technologies were now more likely, scientists were oblivious to its potentials.

While the benefits to society were obvious, through improved treatments for brain disease and mental illness, there were serious security implications to consider.

"Neuroscience will have more of an impact in the future," said Prof Rod Flower, chair of the report's working group.

"People can see a lot of possibilities, but so far very few have made their way through to actual use. All leaps forward start out this way.”

Prof Flower, from the William Harvey Research Institute at Barts and the London Hospital added: “You have a groundswell of ideas and suddenly you get a step change."

"If you are controlling a drone and you shoot the wrong target or bomb a wedding party, who is responsible for that action? Is it you or the BMI.

“There's a blurring of the line between individual responsibility and the functioning of the machine. Where do you stop and the machine begin?"

Vince Clark, a cognitive neuroscientist and lead author on the study at the University of New Mexico, admitted he was uncomfortable in knowing neuroscience could be used by the military.

"As a scientist I dislike that someone might be hurt by my work,” he said. “I want to reduce suffering, to make the world a better place, but there are people in the world with different intentions, and I don't know how to deal with that.

"If I stop my work, the people who might be helped won't be helped. Almost any technology has a defence application."

Source: Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9065589/Troops-could-control-
guns-with-their-minds-scientists-suggest.html

- TAKE A LOOK THROUGH MY EYES DEPARTMENT -

Are We Viewing UFO Occupants Objectively?
By Diane Tessman

The question as to whether the visitors in our skies are good guys, bad guys, or just aliens who are passing by, is certainly at the center of every debate. If we just knew which they are, we humans would be mostly united, especially if disclosure and UFO landings are in our future. It is astounding that on what well may be the biggest issue humankind has ever faced, we have been left to figure it out and deal with it on our own. There is no education, no preparation, no careful explanation from the powers-that-be; in fact, quite the contrary.

I have had fascinating input from readers following my article, "UFO Occupants: More Than Just Cold Observers" http://www.ufodigest.com/article/ufo-occupants-more-just-cold-observers and some of the thoughts herein are based on questions readers have raised.

Question: Isn’t the fear reaction on the part of human beings natural and justified?

Yes, rightful fear of course is natural and justified.

If you meet a bear in the forest, you are frightened. This is rightful, instinctive fear. However, even then, you have a better chance of survival if your intelligent reasoning ability takes over quickly. Fear says to run but it seems you are better off with a bear if you stand perfectly still.

We would all have rightful fear if a saucer set down suddenly in our back yard and the portal opened. And we all feel very humble, if not fearful, that apparently there are beings overhead who are superior to us; we hope beyond hope that they believe our lives are of equal value to theirs.

However, then there is mindless fear which usually lingers for years, even for a lifetime. Out of this mindless fear arises stereotypes which induce hatred of others who are "different." Children learn racial bigotry because their parents display fear of another race. If we don’t deal intelligently with mindless fear, it metastasizes like a cancer.

In my article "UFO Occupants: More Than Just Cold Observers," I refer to the harm which mindless fear can do, from lynching black men to stoning Moslem women, to burning Pagan people, to murdering native peoples, to constantly dishing out and/or believing undocumented, unproved horror stories about aliens. Stereotypes abound, little is thought-through with reasoning and logic, asking, "Does this really make sense at all?"

Might we be hurting the human future to promote this mindless fear of life from outside Earth’s boundaries?

If we as a species are to be so frightened of new things and beings, we might be at the end of our evolutionary line. It was frightening to sail past the horizon when we perceived the world to be flat, but we sailed. It was frightening to meet naked Aztec wearing feathers and gold (and yes, that ended badly thanks to a lack of non-interference directive), but onward our species sailed.

We live in a world which tells us to wear a helmet to ride the bike down the block and to buy the latest diet fad lest we will be over the weight limit of acceptability. Corporations make huge money off us as we worry incessantly about ourselves, our feet, our toenails, our weight, our heartburn, our graying hair, and our flat chest. Is this the species we want to be, utterly self-involved and afraid to venture outward?

Sure, we should employ common sense to take care of our safety and health. However, we are brainwashed to buy, buy, and buy some more - so badly, we cannot even perceive that we are brain-washed, by corporations and conglomerates who own our governments. Our entire society tells us now, "Be afraid, be very afraid of everything, and thus we must buy the protection they offer. Our biggest fear should be our stagnation as a vibrant species.

Maybe the English language should come up with two different words for "fear;" one word would be for rightful fear and the other word would be for mindless fear.

Another response I received: The reasons you provide (that there is a non-interference directive) are, I am afraid, right out of "Star Trek."

Yes, "Star Trek," has the non-interference directive but the non-interference concept is not illegitimate just because it is on "Star Trek."

If Britain, Spain, and other conquer-the-natives, colonizing countries had subscribed to a non-interference directive, the world would be different today. These countries committed genocide on a long list of native peoples, murdering their culture and right to govern selves, as well as just plain wiping out huge numbers of human beings and plundering the resources of their lands. It could be said that colonizing countries made many of our political global crisis areas today.

If there is even one space-going species in all the cosmos, I can guarantee you it has run up against the question, "Do we aliens plant our flag on every planet and declare it belongs to us? After all, we are more powerful than the natives. Or do we respect the native species, leaving their world to them?"

"Do we interfere with bad, selfish leadership of the world we are exploring, or do we let it run its course from within the timeline, carefully not interfering?"

In other words, when the writers of "Star Trek" begin to outline the adventures of a starship exploring unknown worlds, they immediately ran into this "non-interference" question, it couldn’t be avoided! They did not invent the concept, they merely had to deal with it; it may well be the dominant question for a group of explorers, on Earth and far beyond, or at least it should be.

Just because it was on "Star Trek" does not invalidate the larger concept! If a fictional television series deals with famine, does it disprove that famine exists?

To say, "When you refer to good guy aliens, you are just brainwashed by ‘Star Trek’ and science fiction," is absurd. To be honest, it is time to lay this silly argument to rest. Science fiction explores concepts which are legitimate, real problems, situations, and philosophies. To insinuate that anyone who likes science fiction is a brainwashed vegetable or tool of the bad aliens, is ridiculous.

Another emailed question: "Why would the aliens possibly stick to a non-interference agreement?"

Well, because at least some of them are good guys, maybe?

To assume they are all bad guys, and thus "disprove" their apparent integrity, is the crux of this entire problem. You haven’t disproved or proved anything, you have given your opinion that they lack integrity. However, they have kept that non-interference promise as far as we know.

Look around, it is 2012 and there are no alien cities, the farmers in the heartland are still human, and you are not in a human enslavement camp, it seems they have stuck to their non-interference agreement. Any microbe in the universe would be disgusted at this point with

Earth’s leaders, so, if the aliens are frustrated with our governments and leaders, they are not alone! This might explain why they seem to be pushing the boundaries of non-interference at present. Disclosure is a necessity which is long overdue; the aliens think so too.

If the aliens are good guys, they have stuck to their non-interference agreement because they said they would. Why is this possibility ignored?

A question from me: Is there no perception of a middle ground where aliens are concerned?

In our debate on whether aliens are "new age ascended masters of sheer heavenly perfection" or "evil blood sucking, genetically tampering-aliens," we have lost perception of the middle ground.

I feel that most aliens are actually in this middle ground. They are not perfected heavenly masters and they are not some parasitical cold, dead-eyed race too horrific to contemplate.

As an example, perhaps some aliens are future humans (aliens in time). If future humankind manages to find the key to traveling back in time, some UFO occupants could well be our descendants. Manifesting at points on Earth’s timeline might be different than our perception of "time travel." There is the concept of "time reassignment" which our military is working on even now; it involves quantum engineering.

http://www.ufodigest.com/article/time-reassignment

So, let’s assume some UFO occupants are humans who are 200 years ahead us, or 500, or a mere 2,000 years ahead of us. We of 2012 are curious: Do we still eat meat in the future? Do we still make war? Do we still colonize other countries/planets? Are we still imperfect?

Probably, since the human evolutionary march is usually forward, future humans have improved. Perhaps they don’t eat meat or make war or interfere in the sovereign rights of

others, but I bet future humans are still imperfect. Therefore, they are beings in the middle ground of goodness.

Future humans might have linked up with other space-going explorers who also have a code of ethics and who are very intelligent, but who also are not perfect. These aliens, like future humans, are pilots of advanced craft but those craft must also have a janitor aboard, a nurse, and a cook.

Yes, there may be sheer energy beings flying around too who don’t require a janitor, a nurse or a cook. My point, we common people who are kept in the dark by our governments, should at least consider UFO occupants in the middle ground; I believe most of them are living, breathing, fairly good guys, but not perfect, not heavenly. If we can identify just a little with them, and they with us, we are safer. It is harder to conquer when real connections are made.

Advanced technology dawns on a planet, does the dominant species keep its soul?

I maintain that to go to space/time, an alien race has to have encountered a pivotal crisis caused by advanced technology as it begins to take them over, thus conflicting with positive spiritual and ethical behavior. Earth is just now undergoing this challenge which comes to every sentient race.

Obviously the aliens have survived this point in their history and gone off into space/time to explore. To have gotten where they are, aliens have looked into themselves as a species, and by virtue of having achieved the huge accomplishment of star-travel, we know they channeled their resources into going outward, not making war with each other. They have run into one ethical question after another as they visit different worlds, and they have had to confront these questions and challenges and deal with them.

Yet, many of us assign an identity to the aliens which says they are mindless, unscrupulous beings with no integrity or ethics. To me, the evidence shows they do have integrity because we are still here, aren’t we?

Having overcome their own world’s pivotal crisis time, most of the aliens have examined the ethics and ramifications of interfering in another world’s timeline. They have learned how detrimental war is; it wastes the valuable resources which are needed to break the barriers of space/time, so as to explore the stars. Long story short, if they are intelligent enough to overcome the very formidable problems of quantum travel, space travel (however they do it), they are intelligent enough to deal with (and have dealt with), questions of ethics and peaceful non-interference. They are obviously beings with a lot of learnin’ and evolution behind them.

Another email question: What positive good have the aliens done, they might be like the whalers of old who go to port to port, take resources, don’t care, and travel on?

This viewpoint chooses to invalidate the millions of people who have received positive input from aliens. As I said in my previous article, if you are Reverend Jack and hear from Jesus or angels, you are a wise man, but if you are Contactee John and hear from positive aliens, you are a faker or a nut job. Believe me, there is real prejudice here!

Perhaps you do not believe that millions of people receive legitimate communication from aliens; this shows a certain ignorance of quantum entanglement and morphic fields on your part. None of us knows much about these phenomena but I do know, at least, that they exist. When you see what a UFO can do, is it so far-fetched to think that these beings really know about quantum fields?

This "just passing by, don’t care" version of aliens also negates the fact that many of us have had an encounter/abduction and come out of it reasonably wise and enlightened. It can’t be denied, the aliens contributed to "this" within us. We can tell you, they are not uncaring passers-by. Our testimony should have equal value to the very frightened abductee testimony. An encounter is partially what you choose to make of it, just like other traumas in life.

"What good have the aliens done?" This is like saying, "Show me the car accident which did not happen."

"Show me what the aliens might have done that made a bad situation less bad." At this point, I could channel an example but this is an article, not a channeling; long story short, I have no proof.

The aliens do stay hidden but millions of people feel they have done something to help them. There are large possibilities too, like lessening the impact of a storm or quietly helping survivors out at sea, thus a "miracle" happens. Someday, we might be surprised and amazed at what the aliens have done to help us (just a thought).

Are the aliens uncaring, just passing by like whalers of old? Not if you think there is a shred of credibility in the ancient astronaut theory which says that aliens are actually a part of Earth’s history, and perhaps our own ancestors. They might have created our species. Maybe we have no right to resent them being in our skies because our skies are their skies too.

Many people feel, and there is some proof, that Homo sapiens is an alien/earth hybrid, that there are illustrations of UFOs in ancient texts and art work, and that the aliens have always been here, shaping Earth and her history.

If you don’t feel this is valid, and feel they are passing whalers, then at least they have been here since 1947, that’s 65 years in the same port. I don’t think they are cold observers. And to think of them as whalers or other primitive, violent groups, it biased in the first place. Perhaps "sailors passing by" is a better term.

The hard question: What about cattle (and other) mutilations?

There are various groups of aliens in our skies. The craft we see vary a lot, as do descriptions of the occasional alien, from human to humanoid to reptilian to grey.

Are you thinking, "Oh, that’s a convenient excuse! Blaming one bad apple group for the cattle mutilations and exonerating the other alien groups is a cop-out which excuses the horrors of cattle mutilation." However, I feel that there might be a "bad apple group or groups," it is a real possibility.

To explain: Would you rather be put in jail in Denmark or Iran? On Earth, we have a variety of groups but nearly all belong to the central United Nations "group." Would you prefer the human rights of Syria or the Netherlands? Groups do vary, even in our small space on Earth. Are the aliens who are probably from many distant worlds and dimensions, not allowed this diversity? Groups do vary.

Would humans a mere 200 years in the future, ever kill a cow? 200 years ago, we were hunters, and in 2012, we are still hunters; we kill animals and each other, every day. In 200 years, who knows?

Cattle would have to be euthanized or at least given anesthesia in order to cleanly, surgically take certain parts from them to perhaps test for contaminants or to do something genetically. Maybe aliens want to start a herd of Earth cows on Omicron Ceti 6, who knows? How many cattle have been mutilated? Hundreds, maybe thousands? This is wrong, no excuses.

How much beef did you eat last year? We have inhumane slaughter houses which "stun" and kill millions, perhaps billions, of cows every year which/who could not even turn around in their tiny stall when they were alive, existing only to be fattened up, killed, and eaten by humans. We shoot a mother doe as she stands in front of her fawn. We kill pigs and chickens by the truckloads (well, inhumane factory farms do). Are you better than a factory farm operation because you bought your dead pig in a sanitized supermarket? Yes, this is an extreme "PETA view."

To what standards are we holding the aliens regarding cattle mutilations? Are we hypocrites?

Obviously they are not perfect ascended god-beings if they euthanize a cow which/who was just standing in a pasture. Or perhaps some aliens have achieved near-perfection, but not the ones who mutilate cattle.

As for other mutilations, from cats to humans, I see no proof, no hint of proof, that the aliens had anything to do with these. I think many, especially the supposed human mutilations, are disinformation by those who do not want the common people to ever know aliens. Just because it is on YouTube does not make it fact. Mutilation is unfortunately an interesting subject for sick minds also, so of course it is on the Internet; this does not make it fact either.

Disinformation and misinformation are huge factors in our perceptions of the aliens; please at least consider this:

Misinformation: The vet says the dead cow was cut precisely, then the game of gossip takes over, especially on the Internet and soon enough it was a pure laser cut of the kind never seen before.

Disinformation: Where do we begin on this huge iceberg of a subject? Feed the people fear of the unknown to protect your power, whether religious, governmental, or corporational, selling stuff to the masses who passionately believe they need your latest product and therefore make for yourself trillions of dollars. Yes, just the tip of said iceberg. "Keep those consumers needy, wanting sheep!"

If the aliens are some manifestation of ourselves or our future, what a shame if we listened to all that disinformation!

If the aliens are mostly good guys from distant places (not gods nor evil parasites), what a shame we didn’t consider the middle ground in perceiving who they really are.

We are middle ground beings too, not good, not bad, but most of us try. I feel that there is plenty of evidence that the aliens do have ethics and I have offered some of this evidence herein.

What an opportunity to meet our great, great, great, great, great grandchildren or some amazing being from an exotic distant world! What knowledge they must have! It might be knowledge we need to survive as our world enters a crisis stage. Do they have free and abundant energy sources? Do we ever need those!

How sad if we hide in the muck of mindless fear of the unknown and don’t gain the knowledge that there are multiple parallel multiverses, and that perhaps even death itself isn’t real. Perhaps we simply transition to another aspect of reality – a parallel quantum world.

Right, maybe this isn’t true, and I am dreaming. But maybe it is true, and the human race has always, when all is said and done, taken the leap, embraced the chance. Thus we have pushed our evolution along, pushed our learning and development to new heights.

If we ignore the aliens as we cower in fear, will they just go away? Apparently not!

Don’t we have to deal with this phenomenon?

Do we deal with it intelligently, or do we let fear and its stereotypes rule us? Because we still have to deal with it. Caution, rightful fear, common sense? Yes, of course. However, on-going mindless fear, refusing to use our reason and intelligence? That could be fatal, if for no other reason than our vigor as a thriving species will lose its momentum.

Maybe that is why the aliens are concerned about us as they hover 50 feet off the ground in so many sighting reports. Maybe they are yelling out the portals, "Wake up, Grandma and Grandpa, before it is too late!"

If they are our descendants, we did wake up. We still exist. An odd thought which gives hope.

Diane's website: www.earthchangepredictions.com
Ask Diane to add your name to the ever-expanding Exo-Trekking newsletter, all free!

Source: UFO Digest
http://www.ufodigest.com/article/are-we-viewing-ufo-occupants-objectively

- GOTTA DANCE DEPARTMENT -

The Dancing Plague of 1518

The mysterious Tourette's-like affliction that has recently struck a number of teenagers in Le Roy, New York brings to mind other similar events in the past. One such event was the Dancing Plague (or Dance Epidemic) of 1518; a strange dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, France (then part of the Holy Roman Empire). Starting in July 1518, numerous people took to dancing for days without rest, and, over the period of about one month, some of the people died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.

It is believed to have started when a woman referred to as Frau Troffea stepped into a narrow street in Strasbourg, France and began a fervent dancing vigil that lasted between four and six days. By the end of the week, 34 others had joined her and, within a month, the crowd of dancing, hopping and leaping individuals had swelled to 400.

Authorities prescribed "more dancing" to cure the tormented movers but, by summer's end, dozens in the Alsatian city had died of heart attacks, strokes and sheer exhaustion due to nonstop dancing.

For centuries this bizarre event, known variously as the dancing plague or epidemic of 1518, has stumped scientists attempting to find a cause for the mindless, intense and ultimately deadly dance. Historian John Waller, author of the forthcoming book, "A Time to Dance, A Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518," studied the illness at length and has solved the mystery.

"That the event took place is undisputed," said Waller, a Michigan State University professor who has also authored a paper on the topic, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Endeavour.

Waller explained that historical records documenting the dancing deaths, such as physician notes, cathedral sermons, local and regional chronicles, and even notes issued by the Strasbourg city council during the height of the boogying rage, all "are unambiguous on the fact that (victims) danced."

"These people were not just trembling, shaking or convulsing; although they were entranced, their arms and legs were moving as if they were purposefully dancing," he said.

Possible Causes

Eugene Backman, author of the 1952 book "Religious Dances in the Christian Church and in Popular Medicine," sought a biological or chemical origin for the dancing mania. Backman and other experts at the time believed the most likely explanation was ergot, a mold that grows on the stalks of damp rye. When consumed unknowingly in bread, the mold can trigger violent convulsion and delusions but not, Waller says, "coordinated movements that last for days."

While at Australia's James Cook University, sociologist Robert Bartholomew proposed a theory that the dancers were performing an ecstatic ritual of a heretical sect, but Waller counters, "there is no evidence that the dancers wanted to dance."

"On the contrary," he added, "they expressed fear and desperation," according to the written accounts.

Unusual Events Preceded the Epidemic

A series of famines, resulting from bitter cold winters, scorching summers, sudden crop frosts and terrifying hailstorms, preceded the maniacal dancing, Waller said. Waves of deaths followed from malnutrition. People who survived were often forced to slaughter all of their farm animals, secure loans and finally, take to the streets begging.

Smallpox, syphilis, leprosy and even a new disease known as "the English sweat" swept through the area.

"Anxiety and false fears gripped the region," Waller said.

One of these fears, originating from a Christian church legend, was that if anyone provoked the wrath of Saint Vitus, a Sicilian martyred in 303 A.D., he would send down plagues of compulsive dancing.

Waller therefore believes a phenomenon known as "mass psychogenic illness," a form of mass hysteria usually preceded by intolerable levels of psychological distress, caused the dancing epidemic.

Mass Hysteria

Ivan Crozier, a lecturer in the Science Studies Unit at the University of Edinburgh, told Discovery News that he "agrees completely" with Waller's conclusion.

"His cultural explanation, combined with a contextualized view of the conditions in which people lived at the time on the Rhine and Mosel, is very convincing and is superior to the arguments about ergot, which is a compound like LSD," Crozier said.

"Ergot gave people visions, not energy to dance," he added.

Crozier is a world authority on yet another mass hysteria epidemic: koro.

Since at least 300 B.C., plagues of koro -- an irrational male fear that one's genitals have been stolen or are fatally shrinking into the body -- have swept through various parts of the world, particularly throughout Africa and Asia. Most recently, a 1967 outbreak, documented in the Singapore Medical Journal, caused over 1,000 men to use pegs and clamps in hopes of protecting themselves from the gripping fear.

"In both cases we see cultural issues impacting on collective behavior," Crozier said, explaining that preexisting superstitions, fears and beliefs surrounding both koro and the dancing epidemic led to group beliefs turning into "collective action."

Waller explained that victims often go into an involuntary trance state, fueled by psychological stress and the expectation of succumbing to an altered state.

"Thus, in groups subject to severe social and economic hardship, trance can be highly contagious," he said.

More Deadly Dancing, And Laughing

At least seven other outbreaks of the dancing epidemic occurred in medieval Europe, mostly in the areas surrounding Strasbourg. In more recent history, a major outbreak occurred in Madagascar in the 1840's, according to medical reports that described "people dancing wildly, in a state of trance, convinced that they were possessed by spirits."

Perhaps the most unusual documented case of mass psychogenic illness was the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic of 1962. A paper published the following year in the Central African Journal of Medicine described what happened.

Triggered by a joke among students at a Tanzania boarding school, young girls began to laugh uncontrollably. At first there were spurts of laughter, which extended to hours and then days.

The victims, virtually all female, suffered pain, fainting, respiratory problems, rashes and crying attacks, all related to the hysterical laughter. Proving the old adage that laughter can be contagious, the epidemic spread to the parents of the students as well as to other schools and surrounding villages.

Eighteen months passed before the laughter epidemic ended.

Curing the Mind

According to medical epidemiologist Timothy Jones, an assistant clinical professor of preventative medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who also reported an incident of hysteria in Belgium following soft-drink consumption, "Outbreaks of psychogenic illness are likely to be more common than is currently appreciated, and many go unrecognized."

Jones recommends that physicians treating such problems "attempt to separate persons with illness associated with the outbreak," conduct tests to rule out other causes, monitor and provide oxygen for hyperventilation, attempt to minimize the individual's anxiety, notify public health authorities and seek to assure patients that, while their symptoms "are real…rumors and reports of suspected causes are not equivalent to confirmed results."

Aside from their medical interest, Waller believes such epidemics, particularly those from past centuries, are "of immense historical value."

He said the dancing plague "tells us much about the extraordinary supernaturalism of late medieval people, but it also reveals the extremes to which fear and irrationality can lead us."

He added, "Few events in my view so clearly show the extraordinary potentials of the human mind."

Source: Unexplained Mysteries
http://theunexplainedmysteries.com/Dancing_Plague_of_1518.html

- A MAN AND HIS HOLE DEPARTMENT -

The Mystery of 'Mel's Hole'

Somewhere in the wilds of Washington State is a bizarre geographic anomaly that locals believe may well be a gateway into another dimension. While the legend of the Devil’s Hole allegedly goes back for decades…if not centuries…the public at large did not become aware of the phenomenon until 1997, when legendary radio host and paranormal enthusiast, Art Bell, invited a man named Mel Waters to be interviewed on his globally syndicated radio program Coast to Coast AM.

Ellensburg, located in eastern Washington, and its surrounding valleys and Manastash Ridge are beautiful in any season. Some believe what lies beneath is a deep, dark hole with supernatural powers.

For decades residents from the Manastash Ridge region have talked about one of the most unusual aspects of the sprawling landscape that haloed their hometown. Hidden nearby, on a densely forested parcel of private property, was a seemingly bottomless well that was surrounded by an aura of mystery and danger.

This unfathomably deep pit was said to be about 9-feet in diameter and was shored up with hand placed bricks to a depth of nearly 15-feet until it gave way to earthen walls. The hole had been known to locals for generations — and to Native Americans before them — and had been used as an unofficial dumping ground for everything from defunct refrigerators to old tires and television tubes to livestock and pet carcasses.

A man named Red Elk is one of the only people alive known to have ever seen the mysterious hole. A Native American Shaman, or medicine man, Red Elk said his dad first showed him the hole in 1961.

"He said 'This is an endless hole,'" Red Elk said.

Red Elk's been back many times and said strange things happen every time he goes near it.

"People get it confused with what I call the devil's hole," he said.

According to Red Elk, the hole was well known to the indigenous peoples, as well as local and federal authorities, and was believed to be an unbelievable 24 and 28-miles deep.

The medicine man also speculated that pit served as a tunnel which connected to Mt. Rainier and that it might be associated with both UFOs and vile, quasi-reptilian entities that allegedly dwell deep within the bowls of the Earth known as “reptoids.” A Washington native by the name of Jay Nickell also claimed to have stumbled across the Devil’s Hole while exploring the region as a teen.

Other folks who stumbled across the site notice an eerie sensation that would wash over them when they neared the pit. They also noted that birds and other crearures seemed to give the allegedly “evil” hole a wide berth and that the rim of the pit was lined with the bones of small animals.  Over the years visitors would come and go, but none of them would make a mark quite as deep as the next owner of the property…a man named Mel Waters.

Waters, who claims he and his wife bought the property sometime in 1993, discovered the hole soon afterwards and — much like all those who came before him — used it as a convenient (if environmentally unfriendly) rubbish bin.

It wouldn’t be long, however, before he became irresistably drawn to this strange hollow. In particular Waters became fascinated by the its’ inexplicable ability to “devour” all that was thrown within.

"I brought the dogs with me." Waters said on the show. "They wouldn't go anywhere near the damn thing."

Waters said the hole had a three-foot stone wall around it. It seemed bottomless to him, so he used an old shark fisherman's trick -- sending thousands of feet of fishing line down.

"What I did, was I sent down a roll of lifesavers," he said. "So when it hit water the lifesavers would dissolve."

But the lifesavers came back up whole -- no water -- so how deep was this hole? Waters said he believed it descended miles into the earth and he heard strange stories about its powers.

"One guy claims that he threw his departed canine down into the hole," he said. "He swears the dog actually came back to him."

In the winter of 1997, Waters sent a FAX to a man who was, at the time, the preeminent disseminator of paranormal information, radio presenter and Coast to Coast AM founder, Art Bell. Bell became intrigued by Waters and his “never ending hole” and on February 21st, 1997, Waters was invited to speak on Bell’s hugely popular late night program.

Bell and Waters discussed some of the more the scintillating secrets — though not the precise and clandestine location — of the Devil’s Hole and it soon became apparent that millions of listeners were enthralled by Waters and his unusual tale. Within a few short hours this weird cavity graduated from local legend to legitimate paranormal phenomenon. The story proved so popular that Waters again spoke to Bell just three nights later.

Within months of appearing on Coast to Coast, Waters and the Devil’s Hole — which would soon be re-dubbed “Mel’s Hole” by Bell’s enormous fan base — would gain a significant amount of notoriety. Waters claimed that he was beset by a series of odd events not long after he went public with his information regarding the hole.

The first strange incident occurred while Waters was on his own property en route to the Devil’s Hole. Waters planned to continue his research when he was suddenly stopped by a pair of men identifying themselves as “government agents.” These agents — one in plain clothes and two in military regalia — informed him that there had been a plane crash nearby and that the area had been cordoned off.

The plainclothes further stated that no one but military personnel would be allowed into the restricted area. Waters then noticed men wearing yellow hazard suits milling around behind the trio that were blocking his path. Waters, angered at being denied access to his own property, demanded that they let him pass and that’s when these so-called agents got down to brass tacks. According to Waters the agents proceed to inform him that if he did not follow their instructions he would be falsely accused and arrested for concealing a meth lab on his land. It is presumable that the evidence of this lab would have been manufactured if necessary.

Red Elk claims the government has a secret base there.

"An underground base, a very small, underground base," he said.

That's how Red Elk explains the white boxes covering the area on some satellite images.

He also said he's seen "alien activity" in the area.

"A huge space craft, one, will appear and hover over the hole," he said.

That's what he said happens during Summer Solstice, when space men load and unload things at the hole before flying away.

In the years that have followed Waters revelations concerning the first Devil’s Hole, there have been sporadic expeditions into the woods around Manastash Ridge, but no one has ever managed to find the mystical pit… and Waters himself seems just as enigmatic.

Some say that the government filled the hole in when they were finished using it for whatever arcane purposes they had, others suggest that a shed like structure has been erected over the site to hide it from prying eyes. There are also some who feel that aliens protect the space with a sort of “cloaking device” and still others who are, understandably, convinced that the darn thing never existed in the first place and that Waters, for reasons known only to him, made the whole thing up.

Believers in the existence of the Devil’s Hole have posted satellite images from Google Earth, which indicate that the area where the 9-foot pit in should be was “covered up” with white blocks.

Skeptics counter by saying that the satellite photos have been altered to protect the military’s training facilities. They also add that there is no official record of Waters ever living, voting or owning property in the region. In fact, there seems to be little evidence that a man named Mel Waters ever existed.

Of course, if Waters’ admittedly bizarre tales are true and there actually is a top secret geographic anomaly of apparent military significance located in the proximity of the Yakima Firing Range and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, then it goes without saying that military officials would go to great lengths to conceal what actually exists in the expanse, even to the point of doctoring photos and erasing identity, registration and tax records.

Ellensburg Public Library Historian Milton Wagy said the story became a sensation after Waters went on the radio.

He said the phone rang off the hook with all kinds of stories about the hole -- some explainable -- some not.

He's still trying to solve the mystery of what happened to the library's file on Mel's Hole.

"Well it just disappeared, which lends itself to the mysteriousness of Mel's Hole," Wagy said. "Did Mel take it? Did it just kind of rise out of the locked file cabinet."You never know there might be a hole out there."

Now the question who, is anyone can find Mel's Hole and prove its existence?

Source: KOMO News
http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Eastern-Washington-hole-shrouded-in-mystery-138913254.html?tab=video&c=y

- A FISHY TALE DEPARTMENT -

'Mermaids' Scare off Workers

Harare - A government minister in Zimbabwe says work has stopped on new reservoirs because workers have been scared off by mermaids, a report has said.

According to orangenews.com, Minister of Water Resources Samuel Sipepa Nkomo reportedly told a parliamentary committee that terrified workers were refusing to return to the sites, near the towns of Gokwe and Mutare.

He said the only way to solve the problem was to brew traditional beer and carry out rites to appease the spirits.

“All the officers I have sent have vowed not to go back there,” Zimbabwe’s state-approved Herald newspaper quoted him as saying.

The senior politician allegedly said mermaids were also present in other reservoirs around the country.

The building of the reservoirs is long overdue, but is considered essential if Zimbabwe is to provide adequate water for its population and boost agricultural production.

The belief in mermaids and other mythical creatures is widespread in the country, where many people combine a Christian faith with traditional beliefs.

Source: IOL News
http://www.iol.co.za/news/back-page/mermaids-scare-off-workers-1.1231749

- THAT'S NO ROCK, THAT'S MY AUNTIE DEPARTMENT -

Curse of the 'Stone People'

There are stones near Kampung Penan Muslim Batu 10 in Sarawak which resemble human beings. Villagers believe the stones, and the place where they stand, are cursed, writes Dennis Wong

MYSTERY continues to surround Kampung Penan Muslim Batu 10 along the Bintulu-Miri highway in Sarawak.

Not many from outside the state know of a local legend, whose origin has been swallowed by the mists of time. But villagers are not averse to telling anyone willing to listen about the story of Batu Rasak.

The villagers believe that they are the descendants of a cursed lineage. Their forefathers had apparently defied the gods centuries ago.

Although most of the villagers have since embraced Islam, they remain fearful of the curse and would speak of it only in hushed tones.

A long time ago, it was said that their ancestors had feasted on forbidden meat. As such, calamity befell the village; everything and everyone was cursed and turned into stone.

"According to the stories, our ancestors feasted on terrapin and squirrel meat. They even compared which meat was the best and ridiculed the animals. Then all of a sudden, the clear skies turned dark. There were strong winds, lightning and thunder, and heavy rain. Not long later, everything turned into stone. The stones are now collectively called Batu Rasak," said village chief Raini Piee, 43.

The story of Batu Rasak has been passed down from one generation to the next among the Penans in the village.

The stones are located not far from the village and residents believe that they are still guarded by the old gods.

No one in the village dares to set foot near the stones nor utter a single word there as they believe it is taboo and that bad things would happen to them if they do.

"There was once a teenager attending a youth-related programme in the village who was said to have been possessed by the spirits of the stones. Villagers had to put a cooked chicken into one of the holes of the stones. Mysteriously and thankfully, the teenager returned to his normal self after that ceremony," Raini added.

The stones now appear weather-beaten and are covered by shrubs and weeds. Going by the legend, it is not surprising that there is not a single trail leading to the stones from the village. Getting there is, therefore, quite an ordeal.

Those who want to go there have to walk for almost an hour through thick vegetation. But at the end of the trek, they will be able to see the stones which do remarkably resemble human beings.

"There are stones that look like a man standing, while some are seated. There is also a stone that looks like a woman cradling a child," said Raini.

Raini, who is the 15th village chief, admits that he is not the foremost authority on the Batu Rasak legend. What he knows is the tale that has been passed down from his forefathers.

Raini believes the story serves as a reminder to the people that they are not supposed to eat forbidden meat.

 "The ancients believed that all animals belong to the jungle, and that not all can be eaten.

"According to the story, only those who were out hunting for food that day and were thus not in the village at the time were spared the curse. They lived on and those in the village today are the descendants of those who did not take part in the forbidden feast," said Raini.

Source: New Strait Times
http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/curse-of-the-stone-people-1.42064

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