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Are you afraid of ghosts and monsters? How about aliens flying down in their space-craft to kidnap you from your bedroom at night? Do you worry that the government is listening in on your private conversations? Or that the Men-In-Black are waiting for you just around the corner? Well never fear - Conspiracy Journal is Here! Yes that's right. Conspiracy Journal, your number one source of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and more, is here once again to protect you from THEM, by keeping you informed on all the news and information that you won't hear on your local 6 o'clock news or read in your hometown newspaper.This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such knee-jerk stories as:
- Pentagon Mind Experiments -
- Parascience Expert To Study Mysterious Burning Death -
- The Many Worlds And Other Dimensions Of Oscar Magocsi -
- Shape-Shifting Jesus Described in Ancient Egyptian Text -
AND: Tsunami Survivors Haunted By Ghostly Spectres
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
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- THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON REMOTE CONTROL DEPARTMENT -
Pentagon Mind Experiments
It’s been 30 years since the first message was sent over initial nodes of the Arpanet, the Pentagon-sponsored precursor to the internet. But this month, researchers announced something that could be equally historic: the passing of messages between two rat brains, the first step toward what they call the “brain net”.
Connecting the brains of two rats through implanted electrodes, scientists at Duke University demonstrated that in response to a visual cue, the trained response of one rat, called an encoder, could be mimicked without a visual cue in a second rat, called the decoder. In other words, the brain of one rat had communicated to the other.
"These experiments demonstrated the ability to establish a sophisticated, direct communication linkage between rat brains, and that the decoder brain is working as a pattern-recognition device,” said Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University School of Medicine. “So basically, we are creating an organic computer that solves a puzzle."
Whether or not the Duke University experiments turn out to be historic (some skepticism has already been raised), the work reflects a growing Pentagon interest in neuroscience for applications that range from such far-off ideas as teleoperation of military devices (think mind-controlled drones), to more near-term and less controversial technology, like prosthetics controlled by the human brain. In fact, like the Arpanet, the experiment on the rat “brain net” was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).
The Pentagon’s expanding work in neuroscience in recent years has focused heavily on medical applications, like research to understand traumatic brain injury, but a good portion of the past decade’s work has also been on concepts that are intended to help the military fight wars more effectively, such as studying ways to keep soldiers’ brains alert even after days without sleep. Under the rubric of “Augmented Cognition,” Darpa has also pursued a number of military technologies, like goggles that would monitor a soldier’s brain signals to pick up potential threats before the conscious mind is aware of them.
Now, such work may get an even bigger boost: President Barack Obama is set to announce an initiative that could funnel billions of dollars to the field of neuroscience. That could mean more money for the Pentagon’s forays into brain science.
While some of the applications might be a generation away, or may never arrive, like mind-controlled drones, others, like the brain-monitoring goggles, are already in testing (though probably not ready for use in the field). That’s raising questions from ethicists, who are pushing for the government to begin now to think about “neuro ethics.”
In a 2012 article published last year in the journal Plos Biology, Jonathan Moreno, a professor of medical ethics, and Michael Tennison, a professor of neurology, argued that many neuroscientists don’t think about the contribution of their work to warfare, or consider the ethical implication of such work.
The question they raise is what choice future soldiers might have in such cognitively enhanced warfare. “If a warfighter is allowed no autonomous freedom to accept or decline an enhancement intervention, and the intervention in question is as invasive as remote brain control,” they write, “then the ethical implications are immense.”
Whether this era will come to pass, remains to be seen. But, for now, expect many more advances in the world of neuroscience to come from the Pentagon.
- THE BURNING FROM WITHIN DEPARTMENT -
Parascience Expert Visits Oklahoma To Study Mysterious Burning Death
SEQUOYAH COUNTY, Oklahoma - A researcher with ParaScience International flew to Oklahoma this week to get more information on a suspicious death in Sequoyah County. Autopsy results are pending, but experts say it could be a case of spontaneous human combustion.
"Just because it's rare doesn't mean it's impossible," said Larry Arnold, director of ParaScience International, in an interview with CBS-affiliate KFSM in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
A mysterious death has local authorities stumped. "The nature of his burn injuries are something that has captivated our interest," Arnold said.
Arnold flew from Pennsylvania to Sequoyah County to study the death of Danny Vanzandt, 65. Last month deputies say Vanzandt was found dead in his home on Bawcom Road.
Some believe it could be spontaneous human combustion.
"We cannot say that it is," said Arnold. "We cannot say that it isn't nor can any investigator because the only way that determination could be made at this point is if there was an eyewitness to the event. There is no eyewitness."
Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart says they are still waiting on an autopsy report from the medical examiner's office.
Investigators say the victim may have burned for 10 hours. The rest of the house did not suffer damage.
"Preternatural human combustibility is the situation where the body becomes consumed almost completely to powder in an environment otherwise devoid of significant heat, flame damage," Arnold said.
Arnold hopes to get more information from Vanzandt's family. "At this point we don't have an answer," he said. "All we have are theories and it's an ongoing mystery."
Arnold also plans to visit the medical examiner's office if at all possible on the trip.
Source: News On 6
- UFO CONTACTEE EXTRAORDINAIRE DEPARTMENT -
The Many Worlds And Other Dimensions Of Oscar Magocsi
By Sean Casteel
His is an old-fashioned UFO story in the same vein as George Adamski and Daniel Fry.
He was not abducted by grey aliens, but communicated face-to-face with blonde-haired, blue-eyed Nordic types.
It’s a pretty much “nuts-and-bolts” encounter with a couple of junkets to other planets and another dimension or two. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Ever heard the name Oscar Magocsi? No? Doesn’t ring a bell?
Well, enough with the “trick” comments and questions already. We would all have to agree that Oscar Magocsi is a little known and forgotten contactee whose experiences are recounted in Timothy Green Beckley’s “The Authentic Book of Ultra-Terrestrial Contacts.” Beckley heard Magocsi’s stories both by phone as well as later during an in-person meeting some years ago and considers it to be among the wilder encounter tales he has ever come across. But Beckley adds that Magocsi seemed sincere and did not strike him as the type of individual to be making all this up.
Magocsi told Beckley, “Before my encounter, I had never been a believer in UFOs whatsoever. And I believe now that my first encounter was more or less accidental, and from then on, I had become deeply interested in the UFO phenomenon.”
The first of Magocsi’s encounters took place in 1975 on vacation property he owned in Canada, north of Toronto and near a small town called Huntsville. It was nighttime, and Magocsi was sitting outside by his campfire. He was alone, and began to have the feeling that something was watching him.
“I looked up,” Magocsi said, “and about 400 yards away I saw this strange object hovering above the tree line. It was a UFO – a flying saucer. After hovering there for a while, it took off, making no sound at all. It was kind of disc-shaped; it was changing colors, from a yellow-green to orange, and then it started to fluctuate. As it was fluctuating, I felt as though someone or something was probing me, trying to read my thoughts. It was almost physical, the feeling. I knew somehow that it was probing into my brain.”
The experience left Magocsi more curious than frightened. During the next few days, he asked his neighbors, casually, if they had ever seen anything strange in the area. They all replied that they had not. He also made inquiries in the Toronto area and began to attend lectures about UFOs there, having developed an intense interest in the subject. After one particular UFO lecture, Magocsi was approached by a fellow who told him he knew that Magocsi had something to do with UFOs, that he could see an orange aura around Magocsi that was an unmistakable sign that he was linked or connected to the phenomenon.
“I just smiled,” Magocsi said, “because I wanted to hear about his experiences. He told me that something happened to him in the 1960s in California. There had been a major earthquake there, and he was driving to Los Angeles at the time and he saw a UFO in the sky.”
The stranger told Magocsi that as he looked up at the UFO, his car stalled just in front of a bridge spanning a valley. Within a few seconds of the car stalling, the bridge collapsed in the aftermath of the earthquake.
“He told me that the UFOnauts saved his life,” Magocsi said. “From that time on, he was deeply hooked. I didn’t really take him seriously. He talked of a blonde stranger, tall, somewhat unusual looking. He felt this individual was an alien. At the time, I didn’t have any comment to make.”
A few days later, Magocsi decided he wanted to see a movie. On the way to the theater, as he was proceeding down one of the main streets, he stopped to look at a poster on a wall advertising a psychic fair being held at the Sheraton Hotel. He considered the possibility of attending the psychic fair, but decided to stick to his plan for a trip to the movies.
“So I flagged down a cab,” he recalled, “and told the driver where I wanted to go. He didn’t take me to the movies. Instead, he took me down to the psychic fair, to the UFO section. I was surprised. I told him, ‘Didn’t I tell you I wanted to go to the movies?’ He turned around and grinned. I was suspicious of him. It was obvious to me that he was an ‘agent’ on a mission.”
Since he was already there, Magocsi decided to check out the psychic fair. A tall, blonde stranger seemed to pick him out of the crowd and approached Magocsi. They conversed about Magocsi’s sighting the previous summer and the UFO subject in general. Magocsi allowed as how he would like to have a more direct experience with the UFO occupants, something beyond just seeing one of their ships. The blonde stranger advised Magocsi to return to his vacation property the next summer when the time would be right for the kind of encounter Magocsi wanted.
“I didn’t take him seriously,” Magocsi said, “although I had positive feelings about him. He had lots of charisma. He was youngish, early 30s. He was a very good-looking fellow, like some kind of a super movie star, with a high forehead. I guess that’s how one would depict an intelligent alien. Good vibes, friendly, and he spoke good English.”
MORE CURIOUS THAN AFRAID
Whether he believed the stranger or not, Magocsi did return to his vacation property that next July. The first couple of nights, nothing happened, but on the third night, the UFO showed up, landing behind the nearby hill. Magocsi took his flashlight and took off on foot. He found the ship in a forest clearing, hovering about 60 feet off the ground. He stopped about 50 feet from the object, which then slowly came down and landed noiselessly. He approached the craft and saw three portholes with a yellow light emanating from them, but he couldn’t see inside because they were higher than his eye level.
“Then I heard a sound,” he said, “kind of like an air-braking sound like you hear on trucks or buses. This made me rush back into the trees. Then I saw a door opening slowly, like the iris of a camera. A ramp was lowered as I waited and watched. I figured aliens would be coming out, but nobody appeared. Finally I said to myself that since nobody was coming out, why don’t I go and take a look and see what’s going on? So I just walked in. I was scared, frightened, but I felt that if I walked away I’d never know, I’d never learn anything.”
Curiosity overpowered Magocsi’s fear and he went inside. There was no one there, “no human being or any other kind of individual. I saw these benches, vertical, semicircular in shape. There was also this tubing or shaft that was flickering with lights. My impression was that it was some kind of super brain. It was biological. It wasn’t just a mass of jelly or flesh, yet it wasn’t electrical either. Perhaps it was something in-between; sometimes I thought it was a great eye. Or a great brain. It’s almost impossible to describe, but it was flickering with all kinds of light patterns. I figured it must be the center of intelligence as it was the only light in the craft.”
As detailed in Beckley’s book on Ultra-Terrestrials, the room Magocsi found himself in was circular, about 25 feet in diameter with a ten-foot-high ceiling, providing him just enough headroom. As he stood inside the craft, the door closed behind him and he feared he was trapped. The door had sealed itself seamlessly, and there was a vertical, pencil-thin shaft of light visible. He tried putting the flashlight he was carrying through the light and the door opened. He walked out and then walked back in again, repeating the maneuver several times to reassure himself that he could open the door and leave at will. The vertical light then started to “energize,” almost like streams of water, like a multicolored energy discharge. The light began to glow more intensely and to grow thicker. At that point, Magocis panicked and fled the ship. Afterwards, the ship “closed up and went away. That was that for the night.”
The ship returned a couple of nights later, but Magocsi stayed home, still fearful of the sudden burst of light he had experienced. But the next night, his courage returned, and he felt his earlier fright and flight had been stupid. He promised himself that the next time he was inside the craft, he would stay. When the ship landed that night, he went onboard again.
“I began to study everything in greater detail,” he said. “I was inside for about an hour. I said to myself, ‘This time, if it starts to energize, I won’t run away because I’d like to go for a ride.’”
His wish was soon granted. The ship began to ascend to an altitude of about 1,000 feet and he could see through the portholes that the whole landscape beneath him was almost fully lit in spite of the fact that it was pitch black nighttime. The ship first took him to Toronto, 120 miles away, in about two to three minutes. Ten minutes later they were flying over New York City. Magocsi felt a mental urge to see the pyramids next, though he cannot say whether the thought was his own or implanted by the aliens. He dozed off, and when he awakened the ship was directly over the great pyramids in Egypt. There was a perfect alignment at that moment with the sun and the apex of the Great Pyramid, and some form of energy from the pyramids seemed to be sucked up as though through a vacuum cleaner into the ship. Magocsi next journeyed to another Middle Eastern country which he thought might be Syria or somewhere like it.
After waiting there for a while, Magocsi stepped outside the ship and saw what he thought was an approaching dust storm.
“It turned out it wasn’t a dust storm,” he said, “but a column of tanks. As they got closer, they started to shoot real heavy artillery. The shells were exploding while I was away a little distant from the saucer, but we were in some kind of force field that kept the shells out.”
Seeking to escape the furnace-like heat of the desert, Magocsi went back inside the ship and the ship lifted itself up and out of the fray. When they had reached an altitude of about 10,000 feet, three jetfighters appeared that Magocis believes were Arabian, but he can’t be sure because they flew by too quickly for him to read their insignia. The lead plane fired two missiles at the ship, which the saucer dodged by lifting up so suddenly that Magocsi felt his stomach was still back there in the desert. The saucer fired something like a “laser cannon” at the missiles and they exploded harmlessly a half mile away.
“I felt somehow this was all done purposely,” Magocsi said, “the saucer wanting to show its defense capabilities.”
Whether or not that is the case, the desert incident does sound similar to other encounters between a UFO and an earthly military agency, whether Arab or Russian or American. The scrambling of jets and the useless attempts to fire on the unidentified craft are familiar from many previous accounts that have entered the lore of UFOlogy and never been completely disproved. Even if the aliens were in fact “showing off” for Magocsi, the typical military engagement scenario has definitely repeated itself here.
Photo description: Oscar with his girlfriend Barbara at the UFO landing spot near the Muskoka river at Huntsville
The ship flew Magocsi on to the Himalayas of Tibet, where they landed high in the mountains, near the peaks. He and the ship sat there in idleness for a long while. Then he saw a line of people approaching, carrying torches.
“They looked like monks,” Magocsi said, “who live in the mountains.”
One of the monks approached the saucer and opened the door, which he somehow knew how to do. He threw a pair of “funny boots” at Magocsi and motioned for him to put them on. The monk and his fellows then escorted Magocsi from the saucer into the mountains through underground caves and into an underground monastery. The faces of the monks were not only Asian; there were also white, black and red Indian faces, and it seemed like every race in the world was represented.
Part 2 Next Week.
If you enjoyed this article, visit Sean Casteel’s “UFO Journalist” website at www.seancasteel.com
Source: UFO Digest
- BEAMS OF DESTRUCTION DEPARTMENT -
Death Rays: Fiction to Fact
By Nick Redfern
On the silver screen, and in the printed pages, it has felled death-dealing aliens and marauding robots, and has even destroyed worlds and entire galaxies. It is easily the most awesome weapon of mass destruction, and is one of the most recognizable motifs within the annals of sci-fi. It is the death-ray. One of the earliest examples of the usage of such a weapon, in the form of what was described as a “Heat-Ray” device, appeared in H.G. Wells’ novel of Martian invasion: The War of the Worlds. As a result of the overwhelming popularity and success of Wells’ novel, many early sci-fi authors picked up on his highly original premise, and the deadly ray technology was often graphically shown in pulp magazines of the 1940s and 1950s as one accompanied by giant electric arcs, lightning-style flashes, and thunder-like crashes and roars.
With the advent of the laser in 1960 and its accompanying famous pencil-thin red light, however, the death-ray was quickly modified within sci-fi (partly as a result of the usage of such a device in the 1960s movie version of Ian Fleming’s James Bond story Goldfinger) and gained a new and more popular relation: the ray gun, perhaps most universally recognized in the form of the Phaser from Star Trek. Indeed, the American Heritage Dictionary defines a ray gun as: “A gun that fires a ray of energy, especially as depicted as a destructive weapon in science fiction.”
There are countless examples of the utilization of such technology in sci-fi circles: In the movie Aliens, soldiers are armed with a shoulder-carried weapon called the Plasma Gun. In the popular television series Babylon 5, the similarly named Phased Plasma Gun appears regularly. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, a spin-off of the sci-fi meets horror computer game of the same name, features a device called the Paracelsus Sword, which is essentially a huge cannon that fires an all-destructive energy beam. And, of course, in Star Wars, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker possessed their trusty light-sabers.
According to some, however, the classic death-ray of sci-fi is not merely, or specifically, a tool of fantasy writers. Rather, it is a very real, and very deadly, technology that has attracted the attention of the highest echelons of government agencies, and the scientific community, that have attempted to harness such deadly devices for their own, Top Secret, reasons. In some cases, decades ago.
Indeed, evidence exists to show that research into so-called death ray-type devices was undertaken in both the pre-Second World War era and in its aftermath, too. A media press release of June 6, 1934 begins: “A death ray machine was conspicuously absent today from the exhibition room of the National Inventors Congress, presumably at the request of the Federal Government. Its death-dealing potentialities were described to the congress last night by President A.G. Burns of Oakland, California. The machine, an invention of Dr. Antonio Longoria of Cleveland, resembles a motion picture projector, Burns said.”
The story continues: “I witnessed a demonstration of the machine in Cleveland last October,” Burns said. “Several Government scientists were there. Dr. Longoria turned the ray on rabbits, dogs and cats. They fell over, instantly killed, their blood turned to water. The same thing happened to pigeons. They fluttered to the ground and were dead when picked up. Because of the ray’s death-dealing possibilities, Burns said that Dr. Longoria readily agreed with Government scientists that the machine will be suppressed.”
On the same day, the following article appeared in various newspapers in Cleveland, Ohio:
“An electric ray, whose death-dealing potentialities are said to be almost unlimited, will be suppressed until such time as it is needed for American defense, its inventor indicated today. Dr. Antonio Longoria, Cleveland physician and electrical engineer, informed that a report of his death ray had been made to the Congress at Omaha, said details of the machine would remain a secret until a foreign invader entered the United States. Dr. Longoria, who perfected an inexpensive violet-ray machine and the first electrical device to measure the speed of an airplane, declined to comment on reports that his ray had been suppressed by governmental request.”
Whether or not Dr. Longoria did indeed hand over the designs for his weapon to the US Government is debatable; however, according to Popular Science of February 1940, the doctor had decided that mankind would be far better off without the benefit of such a weapon: “Pigeons on the wing killed by death rays from a machine from four miles away – that is the feat reputedly accomplished by a deadly apparatus developed by Dr. Antonio Longoria, of Cleveland, Ohio, who recently announced that he had deliberately destroyed the lethal machine for the good of humanity.”
Possibly of some relevance to this kind of research is the following, February 15, 1957, extract from the FBI’s extensive file on Albert Einstein: “In May, 1948, [Einstein] and ’10 former Nazi research brain trusters’ held a secret meeting to observe a new beam of light secret weapon which could be operated from planes to destroy cities, according to the ‘Arlington Daily,’ Arlington, Virginia, May 21, 1948. The Intelligence Division of the Army subsequently advised the Bureau that this information could have no foundation in fact and that no machine could be devised which would be effective outside the range of a few feet.”
Was the story simply a rumor and nothing else? Or, was the military’s hasty dismissal of the Einstein issue evidence that certain secret research of a death ray variety had been compromised and, as a result, had to be swiftly denied as being of no consequence? Maybe one day we will know for sure. In a future post, I’ll focus my attentions on where present day research into death rays is at
As an addendum to this article, Tim R. Swartz, in his book "The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla" notes that in a September 22, 1940, article in “The New York Times,” Nikola Tesla announced the invention of a Death Ray, intended to shoot down airplanes.
“Nikola Tesla,” the article begins, “one of the truly great inventors, who celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday on July 10, tells the writer that he stands ready to divulge to the United States government the secret of his ‘teleforce,’ of which he said, ‘Airplane motors would be melted at a distance of 250 miles, so that an invisible “Chinese Wall of Defense” would be built around the country against any enemy attack by an enemy air force, no matter how large.’
“This ‘teleforce’ is based on an entirely new principle of physics that no one has ever dreamed about, different from the principles embodied in his inventions relating to the transmission of electrical power from a distance, for which he has received a number of basic patents.
“This new type of force, Mr. Tesla said, would operate through a beam one-hundred-millionth of a square centimeter in diameter and could be generated from a special plant that would cost no more than $2 million and would take only about three months to construct. A dozen such plants, located at strategic points along the coast, according to Mr. Tesla, would be enough to defend the country against all aerial attack.
“The beam would melt any engine, whether diesel or gasoline, and would also ignite the explosives aboard any bomber. No possible defense against it could be devised, he asserts, as the beam would be all-penetrating through wood and metal alike.”
The article goes on to provide a little technical information on how the Death Ray actually works. It involves a combination of four new inventions, two of which had already been tested at the time the article was written. One is a method/apparatus that eliminates the need for a “high vacuum.” Secondly, a process for producing a “very great electrical force,” and thirdly, a method of amplifying this force. The fourth innovation is a new method for producing “a tremendous repelling electrical force.” That last would act as the projector or the “gun” of the system. The voltage for propelling the beam to its objective would attain a potential of 80 million volts. That enormous voltage would cause microscopic electrical particles to be catapulted on their mission of defensive destruction. Tesla told the reporter he had been working on the invention for many years and had made a number of improvements on it over that time.
Tesla cautioned that if the government took him up on his offer to build the Death Ray that they would have to trust him to accomplish his task and that he would not suffer any interference from so-called government “experts” who don’t know what they’re doing. The writer says that, given the billions already being spent on national defense and with the possibility of war looming, the government should risk a paltry $2 million and take Tesla at his word, given that the inventor already had a long history of being ahead of his time with so many things.
Source: Mysterious Universe
- NOT OURS, OH, WAIT...YES THEY ARE DEPARTMENT -
Ocala Florida Residents Spot Strange Objects Overhead
OCALA, Fla. - Some Marion County residents have reported seeing unidentified flying objects in the skies over Ocala.
The UFO has been described as military-style aircraft, according to residents.
Eyewitnesses said the aircraft looked like a bunch of helicopters flying in formation with a large plane.
The mystery aircraft were most recently spotted Monday between 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., witnesses said.
A Navy spokesman said the military does not conduct operations at the bombing range in the Ocala National Forest at that time of the morning.
However, the public spokesman of the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force base in Tampa said Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters have been training over Ocala for the last week.
Officials said the aircraft, which have been flying with no or minimal lighting, are more than likely the UFO sightings.
The Air Force base in Tampa had initially said it was not performing drills in the area.
At this point, it is unclear which story being presented by the military is the correct one.
Source: Click Orlando
- JESUS, WITH A TWIST DEPARTMENT -
Shape-Shifting Jesus Described in Ancient Egyptian Text
By Owen Jarus
A newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before.
Written in the Coptic language, the ancient text tells of Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized Jesus' crucifixion, having dinner with Jesus before his crucifixion and offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus. It also explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus — because Jesus had the ability to change shape, according to the text — and it puts the day of the arrest of Jesus on Tuesday evening rather than Thursday evening, something that contravenes the Easter timeline.
The discovery of the text doesn't mean these events happened, but rather that some people living at the time appear to have believed in them, said Roelof van den Broek, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who published the translation in the book "Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem on the Life and the Passion of Christ"(Brill, 2013).
Copies of the text are found in two manuscripts, one in the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City and the other at the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Most of the translation comes from the New York text, because the relevant text in the Pennsylvania manuscript is mostly illegible.
Pontius Pilate has dinner with Jesus
While apocryphal stories about Pilate are known from ancient times, van den Broek wrote in an email to LiveScience that he has never seen this one before, with Pilate offering to sacrifice his own son in the place of Jesus.
"Without further ado, Pilate prepared a table and he ate with Jesus on the fifth day of the week. And Jesus blessed Pilate and his whole house," reads part of the text in translation. Pilate later tells Jesus, "well then, behold, the night has come, rise and withdraw, and when the morning comes and they accuse me because of you, I shall give them the only son I have so that they can kill him in your place." [Who Was Jesus, the Man?]
In the text, Jesus comforts him, saying, "Oh Pilate, you have been deemed worthy of a great grace because you have shown a good disposition to me." Jesus also showed Pilate that he can escape if he chose to. "Pilate, then, looked at Jesus and, behold, he became incorporeal: He did not see him for a long time ..." the text read.
Pilate and his wife both have visions that night that show an eagle (representing Jesus) being killed. In the Coptic and Ethiopian churches, Pilate is regarded as a saint, which explains the sympathetic portrayal in the text, van den Broek writes.
The reason for Judas using a kiss
In the canonical bible the apostle Judas betrays Jesus in exchange for money by using a kiss to identify him leading to Jesus' arrest. This apocryphal tale explains that the reason Judas used a kiss, specifically, is because Jesus had the ability to change shape.
"Then the Jews said to Judas: How shall we arrest him [Jesus], for he does not have a single shape but his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ruddy, sometimes he is white, sometimes he is red, sometimes he is wheat coloured, sometimes he is pallid like ascetics, sometimes he is a youth, sometimes an old man ..." This leads Judas to suggest using a kiss as a means to identify him. If Judas had given the arresters a description of Jesus he could have changed shape. By kissing Jesus Judas tells the people exactly who he is.
This understanding of Judas' kiss goes way back. "This explanation of Judas' kiss is first found in Origen [a theologian who lived A.D. 185-254]," van den Broek writes. In his work, Contra Celsum the ancient writerOrigen, stated that "to those who saw him [Jesus] he did not appear alike to all."
St. Cyril impersonation
The text is written in the name of St. Cyril of Jerusalem who lived during the fourth century. In the story Cyril tells the Easter story as part of a homily (a type of sermon). A number of texts in ancient times claim to be homilies by St. Cyril and they were probably not given by the saint in real life, van den Broek explained in his book.
Near the beginning of the text, Cyril, or the person writing in his name, claims that a book has been found in Jerusalem showing the writings of the apostles on the life and crucifixion of Jesus. "Listen to me, oh my honored children, and let me tell you something of what we found written in the house of Mary ..." reads part of the text.
Again, it's unlikely that such a book was found in real life. Van den Broek said that a claim like this would have been used by the writer "to enhance the credibility of the peculiar views and uncanonical facts he is about to present by ascribing them to an apostolic source," adding that examples of this plot device can be found "frequently" in Coptic literature.
Van den Broek says that he is surprised that the writer of the text moved the date of Jesus' Last Supper, with the apostles, and arrest to Tuesday. In fact, in this text, Jesus' actual Last Supper appears to be with Pontius Pilate. In between his arrest and supper with Pilate, he is brought before Caiaphas and Herod.
In the canonical texts, the last supper and arrest of Jesus happens on Thursday evening and present-day Christians mark this event with Maundy Thursday services. It "remains remarkable that Pseudo-Cyril relates the story of Jesus' arrest on Tuesday evening as if the canonical story about his arrest on Thursday evening (which was commemorated each year in the services of Holy Week) did not exist!" writes van den Broek in the email.
About 1,200 years ago the New York text was in the library of the Monastery of St. Michael in the Egyptian desert near present-day al-Hamuli in the western part of the Faiyum. The text says, in translation, that it was a gift from "archpriest Father Paul," who, "has provided for this book by his own labors."
The monastery appears to have ceased operations around the early 10th century, and the text was rediscovered in the spring of 1910. In December 1911, it was purchased, along with other texts, by American financier J.P. Morgan. His collections would later be given to the public and are part of the present-day Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. The manuscript is currently displayed as part of the museum's exhibition "Treasures from the Vault" running through May 5.
Who believed it?
Van den Broek writes in the email that "in Egypt, the Bible had already become canonized in the fourth/fifth century, but apocryphal stories and books remained popular among the Egyptian Christians, especially among monks."
Whereas the people of the monastery would have believed the newly translated text, "in particular the more simple monks," he's not convinced that the writer of the text believed everything he was writing down, van den Broek said.
"I find it difficult to believe that he really did, but some details, for instance the meal with Jesus, he may have believed to have really happened," van den Broek writes. "The people of that time, even if they were well-educated, did not have a critical historical attitude. Miracles were quite possible, and why should an old story not be true?"
- HAUNTS OF THE SURVIVING DEPARTMENT -
Tsunami Survivors Haunted By Ghostly Spectres
By Ruairidh Villar and Sophie Knight
HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Japan - The tsunami that engulfed northeastern Japan two years ago has left some survivors believing they are seeing ghosts.
In a society wary of admitting to mental problems, many are turning to exorcists for help.
Tales of spectral figures lined up at shops where now there is only rubble are what psychiatrists say is a reaction to fear after the March 11, 2011, disaster in which nearly 19,000 people were killed.
"The places where people say they see ghosts are largely those areas completely swept away by the tsunami," said Keizo Hara, a psychiatrist in the city of Ishinomaki, one of the areas worst-hit by the waves touched off by an offshore earthquake.
"We think phenomena like ghost sightings are perhaps a mental projection of the terror and worries associated with those places."
Hara said post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might only now be emerging in many people, and the country could be facing a wave of stress-related problems.
"It will take time for PTSD to emerge for many people in temporary housing for whom nothing has changed since the quake," he said.
Shinichi Yamada escaped the waves that destroyed his home and later salvaged two Buddhist statues from the wreckage. But when he brought them back to the temporary housing where he lived, he said strange things began to happen.
His two children suddenly got sick and an inexplicable chill seemed to follow the family through the house, he said.
"A couple of times when I was lying in bed, I felt something walking across me, stepping across my chest," Yamada told Reuters.
Many people in Japan hold on to ancient superstitions despite its ultra-modern image.
Yamada, like many other people in the area, turned to exorcist Kansho Aizawa for help.
Aizawa, 56, dressed in a black sweater and trousers and with dangling pearl earrings, said in an interview in her home that she had seen numerous ghosts.
"There are headless ghosts, and some missing hands or legs. Others are completely cut in half," she said. "People were killed in so many different ways during the disaster and they were left like that in limbo. So it takes a heavy toll on us, we see them as they were when they died."
In some places destroyed by the tsunami, people have reported seeing ghostly apparitions queuing outside supermarkets which are now only rubble. Taxi drivers said they avoided the worst-hit districts for fear of picking up phantom passengers.
"At first, people came here wanting to find the bodies of their family members. Then they wanted to find out exactly how that person died, and if their spirit was at peace," Aizawa said.
As time passed, people's requests changed.
"They've started wanting to transmit their own messages to the dead," Aizawa said.
Shinichi Yamada said life had improved since he put the two Buddhist statues in a shrine and prayed. He still believes the statues are haunted, but now thinks their spirits are at peace.
Source: Yahoo News
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