3/22/13  #714
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This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such throat-tightening stories as:
 
- Megavolcanoes Tied to Mass Extinction: Apparent Sudden Climate Shift -
-
The CIA's Secret Experiments to Turn Cats Into Spies -
- The Many Worlds And Other Dimensions Of Oscar Magocsi -Part 2 -
- Bigfoot Believer Shares Hairs: 'I Wouldn't Give it up For Anything' -
AND: Missing Pieces
 
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


GREAT NEW BOOK FROM CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!


The Astounding UFO Secrets of James W. Moseley


HAIL, HAIL, THE GANG’S ALL HERE! -- THIS IS NOT JUST ANOTHER BOOK ABOUT UFO SIGHTINGS OR THE CRASH AT ROSWELL! -- IT’S AN EXTRAORDINARY REMEMBRANCE OF THE COURT JESTER -- THE GRAND TROUBADOUR -- THE NUMERO UNO TRICKSTER -- OF ALL OF UFOLOGY. --

You either loved him or hated him – but it was hard to be neutral when speaking about James W. Moseley. Within these pages, Jim Moseley’s closest friends and associates gather one last time for a sendoff like no other . . Journey into the void of the strange and unknown and tag along closely in the footsteps of a man who followed the UFO mystery and the paranormal for well over half a century.

His wit, humor and frequent barbs and sarcasms were well known – and sometimes feared! -- by believers and skeptics alike as he took no prisoners in his quest to get to the bottom of a mystery that has baffled so many for so long.

As editor of “Saucer News” – the premier magazine in the UFO field for many years – to his later satirical newsletter “Saucer Smear,” Jim met and mingled with the best and the worst of the “in crowd.” He admits to a bit of “fun-loving” hoaxing of his own, plus a second career of grave robbing in South America, which partially financed his globe trotting paranormal hijinks – not any endowment from the CIA as some of his most hostile, cynical critics would long contend.

In addition to the musings and gossip of those that he remained closest to in life, Jim (with the help of endeared drinking buddy and ghost writer Gray Barker) fans out across the country to personally investigate some of the most perplexing UFO cases of all time – with periodic stopovers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, home of the controversial Project Blue Book (long since closed down).

Cases personally pondered over by Moseley in this book include: ** “I Met Two Men From ‘Venus’ -- And They Had No Fingerprints!” ** What Happened To The “Authentic” UFO Film That Vanished Without A Trace? ** Kidnapped By Aliens? – A Most Strange And Unusual Case. ** The Angels Of Oahspe. ** Adamski, Williamson And The Case For The UFO Contactees. ** Behind The Barbed Wire Fence At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. ** The OSI And The Lubbock Lights. ** ETs And Alien Wreckage - The Strange Story Of An Air Force Whistleblower. ** The Earth Theory And UFOs From The Antarctica.

JIM MOSELEY MAY NO LONGER BE WITH US -- BUT HE STILL TEASES US FOREVER MORE!

For subscribers of the Conspiracy Journal Newsletter this book is on sale for the special price of only $15.00 (plus $5.00 shipping).  This offer will not last long so ORDER TODAY! 


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- ANY TIME NOW DEPARTMENT -

Megavolcanoes Tied to Mass Extinction: Apparent Sudden Climate Shift

Scientists examining evidence across the world from New Jersey to North Africa say they have linked the abrupt disappearance of half of earth's species 200 million years ago to a precisely dated set of gigantic volcanic eruptions. The eruptions may have caused climate changes so sudden that many creatures were unable to adapt -- possibly on a pace similar to that of human-influenced climate warming today. The extinction opened the way for dinosaurs to evolve and dominate the planet for the next 135 million years, before they, too, were wiped out in a later planetary cataclysm.

In recent years, many scientists have suggested that the so-called End-Triassic Extinction and at least four other known past die-offs were caused at least in part by mega-volcanism and resulting climate change. However, they were unable to tie deposits left by eruptions to biological crashes closely in time. This study provides the tightest link yet, with a newly precise date for the ETE--201,564,000 years ago, exactly the same time as a massive outpouring of lava. "This may not quench all the questions about the exact mechanism of the extinction itself. However, the coincidence in time with the volcanism is pretty much ironclad," said coauthor Paul Olsen, a geologist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who has been investigating the boundary since the 1970s.

The new study unites several pre-existing lines of evidence by aligning them with new techniques for dating rocks. Lead author Terrence Blackburn (then at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; now at the Carnegie Institution) used the decay of uranium isotopes to pull exact dates from basalt, a rock left by eruptions. The basalts analyzed in the study all came from the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), a series of huge eruptions known to have started around 200 million years ago, when nearly all land was massed into one huge continent. The eruptions spewed some 2.5 million cubic miles of lava in four sudden spurts over a 600,000-year span, and initiated a rift that evolved into the Atlantic Ocean; remnants of CAMP lavas are found now in North and South America, and North Africa. The scientists analyzed samples from what are now Nova Scotia, Morocco and the New York City suburbs. (Olsen hammered one from a road cut in the Hudson River Palisades, about 1,900 feet from the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge.)

Previous studies have suggested a link between the CAMP eruptions and the extinction, but other researchers' dating of the basalts had a margin of error of 1 to 3 million years. The new margin of error is only a few thousand years -- in geology, an eye blink. Blackburn and his colleagues showed that the eruption in Morocco was the earliest, with ones in Nova Scotia and New Jersey coming about 3,000 and 13,000 years later, respectively. Sediments below that time contain pollen, spores and other fossils characteristic of the Triassic era; in those above, the fossils disappear. Among the creatures that vanished were eel-like fish called conodonts, early crocodilians, tree lizards and many broad-leaved plants. The dating is further strengthened by a layer of sediment just preceding the extinction containing mineral grains providing evidence of one of earth's many periodic reversals of magnetic polarity. This particular reversal, labeled E23r, is consistently located just below the boundary, making it a convenient marker, said coauthor Dennis Kent, a paleomagnetism expert who is also at Lamont-Doherty. With the same layers found everywhere the researchers have looked so far, the eruptions "had to be a hell of an event," said Kent.

The third piece of chronological evidence is the sedimentary layers themselves. Sedimentary rocks cannot be dated directly -- one reason why the timing of the extinction has been hard to nail. Olsen and some others have long contended that Earth's precession -- a cyclic change in the orientation of the axis toward the sun and resulting temperature changes -- consistently created layers reflecting the alternate filling and drying of large lake basins on a fairly steady 20,000-year schedule. This idea is well accepted for more recent time, but many scientists have had doubts about whether it could be applied much farther back. By correlating the precisely dated basalts with surrounding sedimentary layers, the new study shows that precession operated pretty much the same way then, allowing dates with a give or take of 20,000 years to be assigned to most sediments holding fossils, said Olsen.

Olsen has painstakingly cataloged the layers around the time of the End Triassic, and the initial phase of the extinction occurs in just one layer -- meaning the event took 20,000 years at most. But, he said, "it could have taken much less. This is the level of resolution we have now, but it's the 'less' part that is the more important, and that's what we are working on now."

Many scientists assume that giant eruptions would have sent sulfurous particles into the air that darkened the skies, creating a multi-year winter that would have frozen out many creatures. A previous study by Kent and Rutgers University geochemist Morgan Schaller has also shown that each pulse of volcanism doubled the air's concentration of carbon dioxide -- a major component of volcanic gases. Following the cold pulses, the warming effects of this greenhouse gas would have lasted for millennia, wiping out creatures that could not take too much heat. (It was already quite hot to begin with at that time; even pre-eruption CO2 levels were higher than those of today.) Fossils show that heat-sensitive plants especially suffered; there is also evidence that the increased CO2 caused chemical reactions that made the oceans more acidic, causing populations of shell-building creatures to collapse. As if this were not enough, there is also some evidence that a large meteorite hit Earth at the time of the extinction--but that factor seems far less certain. A much stronger case has been made for the extinction of the dinosaurs by a meteorite some 65 million years ago -- an event that opened the way for the evolution and dominance of mammals, including human beings. Volcanism may have been involved in that extinction as well, with the meteorite delivering the final blow.)

The End Triassic was the fourth known global die-off; the extinction of the dinosaurs was the fifth. Today, some scientists have proposed that we are on the cusp of a sixth, humanmade, extinction. Explosive human population growth, industrial activity and exploitation of natural resources are rapidly pushing many species off the map. Burning of fossil fuels in particular has had an effect, raising the air's CO2 level more than 40 percent in just 200 years -- a pace possibly as fast, or faster, than that of the End Triassic. Resulting temperatures increases now appear to be altering ecosystems; and CO2 entering seawater is causing what could be the fastest ongoing acidification of the oceans for at least the last 300 million years, according to a 2012 study. "In some ways, the End Triassic Extinction is analogous to today," said Blackburn. "It may have operated on a similar time scale. Much insight on the possible future impact of doubling atmospheric CO2 on global temperatures, ocean acidity and life on earth may be gained by studying the geologic record."

Paul Renne, a researcher at the Berkeley Geochronology Center in California, who studies the End Triassic but was not involved in the Science paper, said the study was "part of a growing pattern in which we see that the major ecosystem crises were triggered" by volcanism. He said the new data "make the case stronger than it was. … The pendulum continues to swing in favor of that idea." Of the actual mechanism that killed creatures, he said climate change was the most popular suspect. But, he added, "We still don't have any way yet of knowing exactly how much CO2 was put into the atmosphere at that time, and what it did. If we did, we would then be able to say to people, 'Look folks, this is what we're facing now, and here's what we have to do about it. But we don't know that yet."

Source: Science Daily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130321141450.htm

- I CAN HAS SECRET DOCUMENTS DEPARTMENT -

The CIA's Secret Experiments to Turn Cats Into Spies
By Annalee Newitz

Want to know what's going to happen to animals in the next century? Then you must read science journalist Emily Anthes' new book Frankenstein's Cat, about how the animals of tomorrow will be transformed by high tech implants and genetic engineering. We've got an amazing excerpt from the book -- about how the CIA tried to create cyborg cat spies.

"Robo Revolution," an excerpt from Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts, by Emily Anthes

In the 1960s, the Central Intelligence Agency recruited an unusual field agent: a cat. In an hour-long procedure, a veterinary surgeon transformed the furry feline into an elite spy, implanting a microphone in her ear canal and a small radio transmitter at the base of her skull, and weaving a thin wire antenna into her long gray-and-white fur. This was Operation Acoustic Kitty, a top-secret plan to turn a cat into a living, walking surveillance machine. The leaders of the project hoped that by training the feline to go sit near foreign officials, they could eavesdrop on private conversations.

The problem was that cats are not especially trainable—they don’t have the same deep-seated desire to please a human master that dogs do—and the agency’s robo-cat didn’t seem terribly interested in national security. For its first official test, CIA staffers drove

Acoustic Kitty to the park and tasked it with capturing the conversation of two men sitting on a bench. Instead, the cat wandered into the street, where it was promptly squashed by a taxi. The program was abandoned; as a heavily redacted CIA memo from the time delicately phrased it, “Our final examination of trained cats . . . convinced us that the program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs.” (Those specialized needs, one assumes, include a decidedly unflattened feline.)

Operation Acoustic Kitty, misadventure though it was, was a visionary idea just fifty years before its time. Today, once again, the U.S. government is looking to animal- machine hybrids to safeguard the country and its citizens. In 2006, for example, DARPA zeroed

in on insects, asking the nation’s scientists to submit “innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect-cyborgs.”

It was not your everyday government request, but it was an utterly serious one. For years, the U.S. military has been hoping to develop “micro air vehicles”—ultrasmall flying robots capable of performing surveillance in dangerous territory. Building these machines is not easy. The dynamics of flight change at very small sizes, and the vehicles need to be lightweight enough to fly, yet strong enough to carry cameras and other equipment. Most formidably, they need a source of power, and batteries light enough for microfliers just don’t have enough juice to keep the craft s aloft for very long. Consider two of the tiny, completely synthetic drones that engineers have managed to create: The Nano Hummingbird, a flying robot modeled after the bird, with a 6.5- inch wingspan, maxes out at an eleven-minute flight, while the DelFly Micro, which measures less than four inches from wingtip to wingtip, can stay airborne for just three minutes.

DARPA officials knew there had to be something better out there. “Proof-of-existence of small-scale flying machines . . . is abundant in nature in the form of insects,” Amit Lal, a DARPA program manager and Cornell engineer, wrote in a pamphlet the agency issued to the prospective researchers. So far, nature’s creations far outshine our own. Insects are aerodynamic, engineered for flight, and naturally skilled at maneuvering around obstacles. And they can power themselves; a common fly can cruise the skies for hours at a time. So perhaps, DARPA officials realized, the military didn’t need to start from scratch; if they began with live insects, they’d already be halfway to their dream flying machines. All they’d have to do was figure out how to hack into insects’ bodies and control their movements. If scientists could manage to do that, the DARPA pamphlet said, “it might be possible to transform [insects] into predictable devices that can be used for . . . missions requiring unobtrusive entry into areas inaccessible or hostile to humans.”

DARPA’s call essentially launched a grand science fair, one designed to encourage innovation and tap into the competitive spirit of scientists around the country. The agency invited researchers to submit proposals outlining how they’d create steerable insect cyborgs and promised to fund the most promising projects. What the agency wanted was a remote- controlled bug that could be steered to within five meters of a target. Ultimately, the insects would also need to carry surveillance equipment, such as microphones, cameras, or gas sensors, and to transmit whatever data they collected back to military officials. The pamphlet outlined one specific application for the robo-bugs—outfitted with chemical sensors, they could be used to detect traces of explosives in remote buildings or caves—and it’s easy to imagine other possible tasks for such cyborgs. Insect drones kitted out with video cameras could reveal whether a building is occupied and whether those inside are civilians or enemy combatants, while those with microphones could record sensitive conversations, becoming bugs that literally bugged you.

As far-fetched and improbable as DARPA’s dream of steerable robo-bugs sounds, a host of recent scientific breakthroughs means it’s likely to be far more successful than Acoustic Kitty was. The same advances that enabled the development of modern wildlife- tracking devices—the simultaneous decrease in size and increase in power of microprocessors, receivers, and batteries—are making it possible to create true animal cyborgs. By implanting these micromachines into animals’ bodies and brains, we can seize control of their movements and behaviors. Genetics provides new options, too, with scientists engineering animals whose nervous systems are easy to manipulate. Together, these and other developments mean that we can make tiny flying cyborgs—and a whole lot more. Engineers, geneticists, and neuroscientists are controlling animal minds in different ways and for different reasons, and their tools and techniques are becoming cheaper and easier for even us nonexperts to use. Before long, we may all be able to hijack animal bodies. The only question is whether we’ll want to.

DARPA’s call for insect cyborgs piqued the interest of Michel Maharbiz, an electrical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley. He was excited by the challenge of creating flying machines that merged living bodies and brains with electronic bits and bytes.

“What I wanted at the end of the day was a remote-controlled airplane,” Maharbiz recalls. “What was the closest thing to a remote-controlled airplane that I could get with these beetles?”

Maharbiz was an expert at making small electronic devices but an amateur when it came to entomology. So he started reading up. He figured that most scientists taking on DARPA’s challenge would work with flies or moths, longtime laboratory superstars, but Maharbiz came to believe that beetles were a better bet. Compared with flies and moths, beetles are sturdy animals, encased in hard shells, and many species are large enough to carry significant cargo. The downside: Scientists didn’t know much about the specific nerve pathways and brain circuits involved in beetle flight.

That meant that the first challenge was to unravel the insects’ biology. Maharbiz and his team began working with several different beetle species and eventually settled on Mecynorrhina torquata, or the flower beetle. It is a scary- looking bug—more than two inches long, with fearsome claws and a rhinoceros-like horn on the forehead. Through trial and error, the scientists homed in on a promising region of the beetle brain nestled at the base of the optic lobes. Previous research had shown that neural activity in this area helped keep the insect’s wings oscillating, and Maharbiz’s team discovered that when they stimulated this part of the brain in just the right way, they could start and stop beetle flight. When they sent a series of rapid electrical signals to the region, the beetle started flapping its wings and readied itself for takeoff. Sending a single long pulse to the same area prompted the insect to immediately still its wings. The effect was so dramatic that a beetle in mid-flight would simply fall out of the air.

After he discovered these tricks, Maharbiz was ready to try building the full flying machine. The flower beetle’s transformation began with a quick trip to the freezer. In the icy air, the beetle’s body temperature dropped, immobilizing and anesthetizing the insect. Then Maharbiz and his students removed the bug from the icebox and readied their instruments. They poked a needle through the beetle’s exoskeleton, making small holes directly over the brain and the base of the optic lobes, and threaded a thin steel wire into each hole.

They made another set of holes over the basalar muscles, which modulate wing thrust and are located on either side of the beetle’s body. The researchers pushed a wire into the right basalar muscle. Stimulating it would cause the beetle’s right wing to start beating with more power, making the insect veer left. They put another wire into the left basalar muscle; they would use it to steer the beetle to the right. The loose ends of all these wires snaked out of their respective holes and plugged into a package of electronics mounted with beeswax on the beetle’s back. This “backpack” included all the equipment Maharbiz needed to wirelessly send signals to the beetle’s brain: a miniature radio receiver, a custom- built circuit board, and a battery.

Then it was time for a test flight. One of Maharbiz’s students called up their custom- designed “Beetle Commander” software on a laptop. He issued the signal. The antennae jutting out of the beetle’s backpack received the message and passed it along to the circuit board, which sent electricity surging down the wire and into the beetle’s optic lobe. The insect’s wings began to flap. The empty white room the researchers used as an airfield filled wiTha buzzing sound, and the bug took flight. The beetle flew on its own— it didn’t need any further direction from human operators to stay airborne—but as it cruised across the room, the researchers overlaid their own commands. They pinged the basalar muscles, prompting the beetle to weave back and forth through the room, as if flying through an invisible maze. It wouldn’t have looked out of place going up against a stunt pilot at an air show. Another jolt of electricity to the optic lobe, and the beetle dropped out of the air and skittered across the tile floor.

As soon as Maharbiz presented his work, the news stories came fast and furious, with pronouncements such as “The creation of a cyborg insect army has just taken a step closer to reality,” “Spies may soon be bugging conversations using actual insects, thanks to research funded by the US military,” and more. A columnist speculated about the possibility of a swarm of locust drones being used as vehicles for launching deadly germs. There was chatter about beetles that had been “zombified,” and references to “the impending robots vs. humans war.”

When Maharbiz reflects upon this media frenzy, he admits that the immense public interest in his work doesn’t surprise him. The research, after all, is practically primed to light up the futuristic fantasy centers of our brains. Insects, even without modifications, seem like weird, alien organisms to many of us. As Maharbiz explains, “Insects have inherently some sort of strange, science fiction quality that a bunny doesn’t have.” Add in miniature electronics, flying devices, animal- machine hybrids, and covert military operations, and you have a recipe for dystopian daydreaming.

But Maharbiz bristles at the most sinister suggestions, at the media coverage that suggests his beetles are the product of, as he puts it, “some evil government conspiracy.” As for the possibility that the U.S. government is planning to use the bugs to build a killer insect army or to spy on its own citizens? “I think that’s nonsense,” he says. His beetles haven’t been sent out into the field yet—they still need some refinement before they’re ready for deployment—but if and when they are, Maharbiz says he expects his bugs to be used abroad, in routine military operations. (Of course, some people may find that “equally reprehensible,” he acknowledges.) There are civilian applications, too. Imagine, Maharbiz tells me, an army of beetle- bots, steered to the scene of an earthquake. The bugs could be outfitted with temperature sensors, guided through rubble, and programmed to send messages back to search teams if they detect any objects that are close to human body temperature; rescuers would then know exactly where to search for survivors.

Whatever the application, future insect commanders will have options that go beyond beetles. Maharbiz is working on a remote-controlled fly, which he anticipates being especially difficult to build. “The fly is so small and the muscles are so packed and everything’s so tiny,” he says, that even just implanting the electronics will be challenging. A Chinese research team has managed to start and stop flight in honeybees, and Amit Lal, the engineer who led the DARPA program, has created steerable cyborg moths.

One of Lal’s innovations has been figuring out how to take advantage of morphogenesis, the process by which many species of ate on a pupa than an adult insect. The procedure is so simple that it could enable the “mass production of these hybrid insect- machine systems,” the scientists wrote.

Still, the robo-bugs aren’t quite ready for their tour of duty. Our directional control is still pretty crude. Ultimately, we’ll want to do more than make an insect simply veer left . We’ll want to be able to command it to turn, say, precisely 35 degrees to the left or navigate a complicated three-dimensional space, such as a chimney or pipe. There’s also the matter of the surveillance equipment. So far, the main focus has been on building insects that we can steer, but for these cyborgs to be useful, we’ll need to outfit them with various sensors and make sure that they can successfully collect and transmit environmental information. And though the cyborg insects power their own flight—something that completely robotic fliers cannot do—the surveillance equipment will need to get its electricity from somewhere.

One intriguing possibility is to use the insect’s own wings as a source of power. In 2011, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan announced that they had accomplished just that by building miniature generators out of ceramic and brass. Each tiny generator was a flattened spiral—imagine the head of a thumbtack, if it were shaped from a tight coil of metal rather than a single flat sheet—measuring 0.2 inches across. When they were mounted on the beetle’s thorax, these generators transformed the insect’s wing vibrations into electrical energy. With some refinement, the researchers note, these energy- harvesting devices could be used to power the equipment toted around by cyborg bugs.

Insects could give us a cyborg-animal air force, zooming around the skies and searching for signs of danger. But for terrestrial missions, for our cyborg- animal army, we’d have to look elsewhere. We’d have to look to a lab at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate, where researchers have built a remote- controlled rat.

We’ve been rooting around in rat brains for ages; neuroscientists oft en send electrical signals directly into rodents’ skulls to elicit certain reactions and behaviors. Usually, however, this work requires hooking a rodent up to a system of cables, severely restricting its movement. When the SUNY team, led by the neuroscientist John Chapin, began their work more than a de cade ago, they wanted to create something different—a method for delivering these electrical pulses wirelessly. They hoped that such a system would free researchers (and rats) from a cumbersome experimental setup, and enable all sorts of new scientific feats. A wireless system would allow scientists to manipulate a rat’s movements and behaviors while it was roaming freely and give us a robo-rodent suitable for all sorts of special operations. Rats have an excellent sense of smell, so cyborg rats could be trained to detect the scent of explosives, for instance, and then steered to a field suspected to contain land mines. (The task would pose no danger to the animals, which are too light to set off mines.) Or they could be directed into collapsed buildings and tasked with sniffing out humans trapped beneath the rubble, performing a job similar to the one Maharbiz imagines for his cyborg insects. “They could fit through crawl spaces that a bloodhound never could,” says Linda Hermer-Vazquez, a neuroscientist who was part of the SUNY team at the time.

But before any of that could happen, the SUNY scientists had to figure out how to build this kind of robo-rat. They began by opening up a rat’s skull and implanting steel wires in its brain. The wires ran from the brain out through a large hole in the skull, and into a backpack harnessed to the rodent. (“Backpack” seems to be a favorite euphemism among the cyborg- animal crowd.) This rat pack, as it were, contained a suite of electronics, including a microprocessor and a receiver capable of picking up distant signals. Chapin or one of his colleagues could sit five hundred yards away from the rat and use a laptop to transmit a message to the receiver, which relayed the signal to the microprocessor, which sent an electric charge down the wires and into the rat’s brain.

To direct the animal’s movements, the scientists implanted electrodes in the somatosensory cortex, the brain region that processes touch sensations. Zapping one area of the cortex made the rat feel as though the left side of its face was being touched. Stimulating a different part of the cortex produced the same phantom feeling on the right side of the rat’s face. The goal was to teach the rodent to turn in the opposite direction of the sensation. (Though that seems counterintuitive, it actually works with the rat’s natural instincts. To a rodent, a sensation on the right side of the face indicates the presence of an obstacle and prompts the animal to scurry away from it.)

During the training process, the SUNY scientists used an unconventional system of reinforcement. When the rat turned in the correct direction, the researchers used a third wire to send an electrical pulse into what’s known as the medial forebrain bundle (MFB), a region of the brain involved in processing plea sure. Studies in humans and other animals have shown that direct activation of the MFB just plain feels good. (When the scientists gave the rats the chance to stimulate their own MFBs by pressing down on a lever, the animals did so furiously—hitting the lever as many as two hundred times in twenty minutes.) So sending a jolt of electricity zinging down to a rat’s MFB acted as a virtual reward for good behavior. Over the course of ten sessions, the robo-rats learned to respond to the cues and rewards being piped into their brains. Scientists managed to direct the rodents through a challenging obstacle course, coaxing them to climb a ladder, traverse a narrow plank, scramble down a flight of stairs, squirm through a hoop, and then navigate their way down a steep ramp.

As a final demonstration, the researchers simulated the kind of search- and- rescue task a robo-rat might be asked to perform in the real world. They rubbed tissues against their forearms and taught the rodents to identify this human odor. They constructed a small Plexiglas arena, filled it with a thick layer of sawdust, and buried human- scented tissues inside. When they released the robo-rats into the arena, the animals tracked down the tissues in less than a minute. The scientists also discovered that the rats that received MFB rewards found the target odors faster and dug for them more energetically than rodents that had been trained with conventional food rewards. As Hermer-Vazquez recalls: “The robo-rats were incredibly motivated and very accurate.”

Source: io9
http://io9.com/the-cias-secret-experiments-to-turn-cats-into-spies-453478752

- UFO CONTACTEE EXTRAORDINAIRE DEPARTMENT -

The Many Worlds And Other Dimensions Of Oscar Magocsi
- Part 2
By Sean Casteel

The monks began to chant and burn incense while they scrutinized Magocsi. He fell asleep, and when he awakened he saw the head monk, an old man, seated opposite him.

“And as I was looking at him,” Magocsi said, “he was rising up from his chair – levitating. Then the whole area just opened up so that I could see the whole valley and the saucer hovering nearby, with its orange glow.”

AROUND THE WORLD IN 23 HOURS

Magocsi next recalled that he was standing with the head monk again on a balcony or terrace in extreme cold. After this dreamlike moment, he was escorted back to the saucer, which lifted up and flew him this time to South America, where it seemed someone was shooting green lightning bolts at the ship. From there, the next destination was Northern California, specifically a place Magocsi thought must have been Mount Shasta. He could see three campfires below him, with men seated around the campfires, soon after which the ship discharged some form of energy into the mountain’s peak. Mount Shasta has for centuries been known as the scene of many a UFO sighting and numerous other paranormal events, so it is a fitting place for Magocsi to end his trip around the world onboard a flying saucer.

After leaving Mount Shasta, Magocsi was returned to the same spot where he was originally picked up.

“The entire experience lasted 23 hours,” he said. “Insofar as being tired from the trip is concerned, I was. And insofar as the food, I found a cubicle which I managed to open and found storage-cubes, condensed food. And I found water. That was my first trip. I was happy after that. So, a few days later, the saucer comes again to the same spot and lands, and I got into it and went on another trip.”

This time, the trip would not be a journey around the physical planet as know it. Magocsi called this second trip an “inter-dimensional” one, though he was still required to put on a silvery “spacesuit,” similar to a skin diver’s outfit, with a wide belt and something resembling a motorcycle helmet. The ship hovered for a short time over Lake Ontario then suddenly Magocsi was in deep space, which he also felt was in another parallel dimension. He still had not met anyone onboard the craft.

He recalled being told by someone he had met at the Psychic Fair the previous winter that, “They are from another dimension altogether. They accidentally stumbled onto ours, and there are quite a number of other dimensions that are interconnected.” The person at the fair claimed to be a “psychician” and a member of the Psychician Federation of Worlds.

After fading back into Earth’s dimension, the ship entered a vortex and came to a place where a mother ship sat waiting with seven smaller ships nearby, which Magocsi called “baby ships.” A door opened and he walked out into an idyllic scene similar to a rock garden or pleasant jungle area, a space intended for recreation. He surmised that there were other people there who had also been brought by one of the other smaller ships, and that they were supposed to “seek each other out.”

Magocsi found himself on a planet called Argona, a member of the Psychician Federation of Worlds. He came to a reception area where he met human-looking people, including the cab driver who had taken him to the Psychic Fair instead of to the movies, as Magocsi had intended. The cab driver became Magocsi’s host, taking him on a tour of the city and the surrounding countryside.      

 The city was built inside a domed area and had structures similar to earthly skyscrapers. The entire planet was a recreation center and was populated by thousands of people of varying skin colors and wearing different style clothes. Some of them facially resembled a cat or dog and spoke a language similar to a Chinese kind of singsong.

People from various dimensions were there on a common mission: to be trained in Earth mannerisms, languages and cultures so they could go to Earth and carry out some purpose that required them to pass for normal human beings.

“They had common names like George or Joe,” Magocsi said, “and were said to be from Japan or China. One woman said she was from New York City, but in reality she had never even been to Earth before. Before she was set to come to Earth, she knew already all the mannerisms, even played the piano.

“It’s not very likely that any of these people would ever be detected,” he continued, “except by psychic means. But they looked much nicer, more handsome than we are. They looked more intelligent. There were subtle things about them. Small things. It’s very likely that this girl I met there, who knew New York – she called herself Melody – she could be here right now. She was a gorgeous looking redhead. And she sings.”

THEIR REASON FOR BEING HERE

Magocsi said the influx of human-looking aliens is intended to help us overcome the psychic contamination of our atmosphere, a contamination that could lead to nuclear war and the complete destruction of life on Earth.

“It seems they are greatly concerned,” he said. “They wouldn’t stop us from wiping ourselves out. That’s a no-no. If we want to blow ourselves up, that’s fine. But should that happen, they are willing to rescue quite a few people from here. Selections will be done through aura. They have aura detectors. They’re interested in what kind of an attitude you have socially, spiritually, psychically.”

The lucky chosen ones would be taken on “space arks” to an artificial planet already prepared to house the survivors. Magocsi has no idea how many would be saved, but that an effort to educate some portion of the world to the situation has been underway for a long time. He feels he was chosen by the aliens because they were seeking an “Average Joe,” a typical human specimen, in order to test how he feels about things, how he reacts to various situations.

After undergoing intensive testing on Argona, Magocsi concluded that the aliens are advanced millions of years beyond Earthlings and that we will never catch up with their level of development. He was told that open contact would have to be made at some point in order to foil the evil designs of more negative beings from other parts of the universe that could dupe mankind and use us as a weapon against the friendlier races.

Magocsi believes these negative beings are manifested on Earth as the Men-In-Black, creatures he has encountered himself.

“Once I found a note,” he said. “It was a cutout from a newspaper about someone who published a book on UFOs and who disappeared. I found this cutout in my locked car – on the inside. I don’t know how the hell they got in to put it there, but I feel that was a hint. But I wouldn’t let myself worry about that.”

Meanwhile, the friendly creatures Magocsi met on his journey are governed by higher beings that aren’t flesh and blood but consist of energy and are spiritual in nature. When he asked about the existence of God, he was told that was a mystery that no one could answer because the cosmos is so vast. “Everyone has to find their own answer,” the aliens said. The experiences changed him, Magocsi said, making him more psychically aware and causing him to realize there is more to life than eating, sleeping and making merry.  

He related a conversation he had had with some spiritualists who maintained that their source of inspiration was the spirit of someone’s deceased grandmother. When Magocsi demonstrated his own psychic abilities, they asked where his information was coming from.

“I said, ‘I haven’t got any bloody proof. But it’s not important. I just pick these things up.’”

An amazing story? Indeed!

  But just because he published it in his work “The Authentic Book Of Ultra-Terrestrial Contact,” author Timothy Green Beckley says he doesn’t necessarily have to take Oscar’s account at face value. “It’s really one of the more elaborate contactee stories of recent vintage, but there is little we can do in lieu of a follow-up since Oscar passed away some time ago.”

Beckley says it sounds more like an out-of-body experience than an actual, physical trip onboard a flying saucer.

“I met the man face to face,” Beckley says, “and I can see no reason why he would have made up the whole thing as he never received any sort of financial gain or much in the way of notoriety either. He still has a following in some parts of the world, people who believe in him and want to keep his story alive.”

RECOMMENDED READING -- The Authentic Book Of Ultra-Terrestrial Contacts: From The Secret Alien Files of UFO Researcher Timothy Green Beckley    
                                     
http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Book-Ultra-Terrestrial-Contacts-Researcher/dp/1606111213/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363160681&sr=1-2&keywords=ultra-terrestrials+timothy+beckley

Pioneers Of Space: The Lost Books Of George Adamski – A Trip To The Moon Mars And Venus
                                    
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneers-Space-George-Adamski- Venus/dp/1606110357/ref=sr_1_33?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363161151&sr=1-33

If you enjoyed this article, visit Sean Casteel’s “UFO Journalist” website at www.seancasteel.com

- BAD VIBRATIONS DEPARTMENT -

Unexplained Tremors Shaking Up South Jersey

Residents of three counties in southern New Jersey are scratching their heads (and hanging their pictures back on the wall) after a strange set of tremors shook the state on Tuesday, rumbles that experts say weren’t earthquakes.

The shakes began around 3PM and continued sporadically over the course of several hours, being felt everywhere from one side of the state to the next.

“I just think it’s weird because some people didn’t feel it and it’s like in random spots, and it’s very spread out,” Egg Harbor Township resident, Oliana Collado told NBC40. “Yeah it was scary, but I’m just glad it wasn’t worse than what it was.”

Some locals believed the tremors could have been caused by a sonic boom, yet both military bases told the media that all of their aircraft were grounded at the time and even if craft were in the air, they wouldn’t have had the ability to cause such a widespread rumble to begin with. Could it have been an earthquake? The US Geological survey says no.

“I don’t think it would be an earthquake, but what could it be? It’s just really odd.”  Bob Mower, a Somers Point resident, told reporters. “There was a rattling of my windows and I felt the house shake just a little bit – it was unusual. It has to be something really big to be witnessed in such a widespread area of South Jersey.”

The mysterious rattling comes at a time when “Mystery Booms” are becoming an all-too-common occurrence across North America, making some wonder if all of these bizarre occurrences might be related, but to what? Some believe the rumbles are tied to a booming (no pun intended) natural gas drilling industry in the area. Others believe the sinister side of HAARP is to blame. One commenter, who claims to be ex-military, believes he has an answer that lies in secret government experiments:

    It’s not military air craft, it’s bigger, something the mainstream media will not expose because [of] fear of our government… I know change is happening, these booms are all over the globe.. sinkholes are everywhere.. strange noises out [of] the sky all over the globe. Sonic booms all over, sinkholes.. there is a hole in Antartica that is strictly a no-fly zone and is protected from even being explored.. There’s something about to happen, I spent 4 years in the US Air Force, trust me...

Mysterious Booms in the Midwest

Strange sounds were heard recently in the Midwest as hundreds of people in at least four counties — Franklin, Hamilton, Saline and Williamson in southern Illinois — flocked to social media to report hearing a windows-rattling, earth-shaking boom between 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

No damages or injuries were reported as a result of the boom.

The mystery of the “loud boom” heard in parts of southern Illinois may go unsolved as efforts to find the source of the boom proved a bust.

“I have no way of knowing exactly what occurred but it was not likely an earthquake,” geophysicist Don Blakeman of the National Earthquake Information Center said. “There is nothing on our lists, only the last one on the 11th (near Benton).”

Some earthquakes are heard as well as felt, he said, but if it was so widespread as to be heard in four counties, “We would be able to locate it as an earthquake,” he said. “Typically, when loud booms are heard it turns out to be a sonic boom, although I’m not saying that’s what it was in this instance.”

However, if the boom was sonic in nature, it wasn’t caused by military action. Neither Scott Air Force Base nor the North American Aerospace Defense Command reported activity taking place in the region Saturday.

“We were not in that area with any of our assets,” a NORAD spokesman said.

A Scott Air Force spokeswoman confirmed no Scott or military-related activities or exercises took place in Southern Illinois over the weekend.

The boom was not weather-related, according to meteorologist Robin Smith of the National Weather Service in Paducah said.

Nor was it related to any coal mining activity, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals said.

The swarm of social media postings caused Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Ryan Buckingham to make his own post on the agency’s Facebook page.

“Residents in Franklin County are reporting what was described as a ‘ground-shaking loud boom’ during the day on Saturday 3/16/2013. USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) has not reported any earthquake activity in our area during that time, leaving the cause of these reports as somewhat of a mystery,” Buckingham wrote.

The mystery was not cleared up by Monday, he said.

“We picked it up first on social media. A lot of people heard it but didn’t have a source for it,” Buckingham said. “I put a feeler out on Facebook because if there is a threat to public safety, that’s something we need to know about it, but no one had any idea what caused it.”

While the source of the boom has yet to be traced, Buckingham said it should serve as a reminder for residents to have a plan in place in case of emergency.

As well, on the evening of Sunday, March 18, five loud, mysterious booms thundered through the town of Clintonville, Wisconsin at approximately two-hour intervals starting at around 8 p.m. They occurred again the following night, and, much to the sleepless residents' relief, finally stopped Tuesday night. The town thought it was over, but then it started again Wednesday night.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the mysterious booms that shook the town were the result of a 1.5-magnitude earthquake. Although not a huge event, the earthquake caused a swarm of several small quakes in a short time. Paul Caruso, a geophysicist from the USGS said that most people wouldn't normally feel a 1.5-magnitude earthquake, but that the rock in Wisconsin is very old and well consolidated, allowing residents to feel otherwise sensitive rumblings.

Thanks to Greg Newkirk.

Source: Who Forted?
http://whofortedblog.com/2013/03/20/bad-vibrations-unexplained-tremors-shaking-south-jersey/

- YOU TOOK A PART OF ME DEPARTMENT -

Bigfoot Believer Shares Hairs: 'I Wouldn't Give it up For Anything'

SUTHERLIN, Ore. - Betty Klopp has been holding on to these strands of hair and bits of skin for nearly 45 years.

"Of course I've kept it," Klopp told KPIC News. "I wouldn't give it up for anything."

She believes the clumps came from a bigfoot.

No one has proven the existence of bigfoot - or sasquatch or yeti or skunk ape, as some call the creature.

Klopp is convinced the forest dweller is really out there.

"Oh definitely," she said. "I don't think people should go around shooting him if they find him."

Her sasquatch keepsake comes from her parents. Klopp said her parents were driving along in the 1960s, towing a small trailer, when they swerved off the road to avoid hitting what they believed was a man.

Klopp said her parents stopped at the Porter Creek Store to assess what had happened. They got out of the car and searched the area, but they found nothing.

The next day, her parents discovered pieces of skin and hair snagged on the trailer.

"This is something you don't run into every day, quite literally," Klopp said.

She said the material was sent to the University of Montana for testing about 3 years ago. The results showed the DNA was too deteriorated and the hair too degraded to make any identification.

Klopp still believes. She decided to share her story after hearing reports that someone in Texas had killed a bigfoot.

"There are reports that someone has one and has shot it and is storing it in his freezer," Klopp said. "I would like to know for sure."

Source: KATU
http://www.katu.com/news/local/199195241.html?tab=video&c=y

- FOR FEAR OF LITTLE MEN DEPARTMENT -

Encounters with Little People
By Stephen Wagner,

MANY CULTURES AROUND the world have their legends and folklore about "little people" - elves, fairies, gnomes, elementals, or simply the "wee folk". In Scandinavia they are the Tomte or Nisse; the Nimerigar, Yunwi Tsundi, and Mannegishi of various Native American tribes; the Menehune of Hawaii; and most famous, perhaps, are the Irish Leprechauns.

Some of these wee folk are friendly, even helpful creatures, but mostly they have a reputation for being mischievous, conniving, and always elusive tricksters - seeming to live just on the edge of our reality.

Do they really exist? Are they merely the inhabitants of legends, fables, and children's stories... or are they the products of fantasy and wishful thinking, stress-induced hallucinations, or the visions from a shot too much of whiskey? Like all phenomena of this kind, you'd have a hard time convincing the people who claim to have actually encountered these creatures that their experiences were anything but real. Here are some reports from readers:

ATTACKED BY A WOODARJEE

I live in Australia and wonder if anyone has heard of the woodarjee (spelling? pronounced wood-ah-gee). I learned of them a few years ago when relating a story to a Noongar friend of mine. Noongars are the main aboriginal tribe of Australia's southwest, and in their lore the woodarjee are mischievous, sometimes violent little people.

My encounter happened in Perth in the suburb of Coolongup in the 1980s when I was about 6 years old. My brother, cousins, and I were playing in blackboy bushland (grass tree or Xanthorrhoea) and I was hiding from them. I heard a rustling noise to my right and looked over to see a small aboriginal man about ten feet away from me. He was about 13 inches tall with a bushy beard and wearing nothing but a loincloth. I assume he was hunting as he had a spear notched to his woomera (a spear throwing tool) and I might have disturbed him. He looked at me with angry eyes and threw his spear, which sank into my foot before he, the spear, and the hole in my foot vanished. Only the Noongars believe me. - Karl

HAPPY LITTLE ELF MEN

When I was 6 years old, I'd just moved from England to Canada. One night I woke up and saw 6 or 7 little men. They seemed so friendly and asked me about all my toys on the floor and what they did. But what amused them the most was my Softoy bunny rabbit at the end of my bed. When I showed them that it had a zipper and that's where my pajamas were kept, well, they just cracked up. They stayed awhile, but my greatest memory of them is how happy they were. And I will always treasure that. - tlittlebabs

SCARY ENCOUNTERS

I do believe in fairies. My daughters and I rented a trailer in El Cajon, California in 2010. One morning we were all eating breakfast in the kitchen, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a fairy floating in the air. It was a female about three feet in height sprinkling gold dust all around her. At the same time, my oldest daughter said, "Mommy , mommy, there is a fairy sprinkling gold dust everywhere over by the window."

My daughters and I also experienced some other unexplained phenomena in that trailer. It was getting a little too scary for us. We only stayed living in that trailer for 10 days and moved out as quickly as we could. I think my daughters and I somehow attract the unexplained, paranormal, whatever you want to call it, because we have encountered several more experiences with the paranormal that were scary. Thankfully, it has been almost a year that we have not encountered anything. We have seen things that no one would believe. Prayer and faith have kept us safe. - Danica

PETIT PEOPLE

I grew up in the countryside of southwest France, and today I am 48 years old. As far as I can remember, I always saw these beings. We also heard their music. They are very numerous in the thickets, woods, and forests. Do not try to meet them, for they will come to you. I played with them as a kid. Many are small. They do not live on the same plane of existence, but in worlds in-between. Faërie is a reality for me. Moreover, it changed my life, but I do not care when I go into the forests. - Wisigothic78

THE ELF OF PYMATUNING PARK

Sometime during the month of August, 2004, I was at a place called Pymatuning Park in Pennsylvania, picnicking with my family. I was ten. I had wandered off alone into the nearby forest and was looking at all the trees. I was walking around when I heard the sound of music. I followed it until I reached a clearing. Like a scene from a movie, sitting on an old stump on the edge of the clearing was a little boy. He looked like he was about seven.

He had medium-length blonde hair and was playing a recorder made of wood. He must have heard me because he looked up at me. He had pointed ears and dark green eyes. He looked at me and smiled.

He asked me if I would play with him. His voice was really strange, almost like a bell. I told him I couldn't, and I had to get back to my family. He looked really sad for a minute, but then started smiling, and told me that it was okay, and he would wait until I could play with him. Then he stood up and walked off into the forest.

I've been back to that area several times. The clearing is still there, but the stump he was sitting on is long gone. The second or third time I went back, I left a slice of apple sitting near where the stump was. When I went back the next day, the apple slice was gone and in its place was a very smooth stone. - Emrys

THE LITTLE PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINS

My father was and still is an avid hunter. He has heard all kinds of tales through the years of what others have seen while hunting. He said he has never seen anything, but had only one weird experience when he was around 17 years old. He was hunting for elk with his father and brothers in Salmon, Idaho in 1965. They had all split up to chase down an elk herd they spooked by chance, and my dad was sent around the mountain by himself to cut them off.

It was a mildly warm day and he stopped to rest in the shade of some large boulders to strip off some of his gear and have a drink of water. When he sat down to rest, he felt a rock zip right by his head. Thinking it was one of his brothers playing a trick on him, he yelled at them to stop. That's when he noticed tiny footprints in the soft dust under his feet. And again another rock was thrown in his direction, closer this time.

Now my dad had always been told about the little people who lived in the rocks and crevices of mountains and hills, an ancient band of Native Americans who barely escaped from the white man. They made their home in the hills and if bothered would put a curse on you if you failed to heed their warnings.

Feeling a chill creep up his spine, he slowly rose, gathered his things and said in very slow Shoshone, "I am leaving. I'm sorry I disturbed you." As he was walking away downhill he heard small feet slapping the rocks behind him, but being a tad afraid he never looked back. He never told his father or brothers and could hardly tell me for fear of me thinking he was crazy. I believe him. - Alex N.

Source: paranormal.about.com
http://paranormal.about.com/od/fairieslittlepeople/a/Encounters-With-Little-People.htm

- PENIS PURLOINING DEPARTMENT -

Missing Pieces
By Louisa Lombard

Africa’s genital-stealing crime wave hits the countryside.

Elaborate greetings are the norm, I’ve found, when one enters a Central African village. So it was a surprise when I noticed that many people weren’t shaking hands the morning I arrived in Tiringoulou, a town of about 2,000 people in one of the remotest corners of the Central African Republic, in March 2010. I soon found out the reason: the day before, a traveler passing through town on a Sudanese merchant truck had, with a simple handshake, removed two men’s penises.

As best I could reconstruct from witness accounts, the stranger had stopped to purchase a cup of tea at the market. After handing over his money, he clasped the vendor’s hand. The tea seller felt an electric tingling course through his body and immediately sensed that his penis had shrunk to a size smaller than that of a baby’s. His yells quickly drew a crowd. Somehow in the fray a second man fell victim as well.

Hearing all this, I was less shocked than intrigued. As an anthropologist who studies the region, I was familiar with the problem of penis snatching. What surprised me was that the phenomenon—or, depending on your perspective, the rumor—had made it as far as Tiringoulou.

Reports of genital theft have spread like an epidemic across West and Central Africa over the past two decades, in tandem with what appears to be a general resurgence of witchcraft on the continent. Anthropologists have explained this rise as a response to an increasingly mystifying and capricious global economy. Which is to say that when the workings of capital are as genuinely obscure as they are in today’s Africa, proceeding behind a veil of complexity and corruption, rumors of “occult economies”—often involving a trade in human organs—offer a less mystifying explanation for the radical disparities in wealth on display.

That said, genital theft is neither new nor confined to Africa. Similar panics afflicted Central Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. (Malleus Maleficarum, a book-length jeremiad against the dangers of witchcraft from 1486, includes a discussion of sorceresses who “take away male members” and keep them in birds’ nests.) And in 1967, an outbreak of koro—the belief that the penis is retracting into the body—overwhelmed hospitals in Singapore.

In Africa today, scholars who study penis snatching understand it mainly as an urban phenomenon—an extreme expression of the anxieties that pervade a city when villagers become urbanites en masse, living among throngs of unfamiliar people. That’s because most cases have been reported in crowded spots like Lagos, in Nigeria, and Douala, in Cameroon. But here I was in Tiringoulou—a dusty, peanut-growing hamlet so small and poor it barely has a market. If penis snatching had previously been a city dweller’s fear, now it seemed that not even the remotest places would be spared.

But spared from what, exactly?

It’s fair to say there are victims on both sides of the penis-snatching equation.

Shortly after the disturbance in the Tiringoulou market, members of the armed rebel group that governs the town arrested the traveler and subjected him to a harsh interrogation—for his own protection, they told me later. Had they left him to the mob, the town’s women would have torn the stranger limb from limb, they reasoned. But the protection, such as it was, did not last long: the supposed thief was executed by gunshot later that day. (Aware that international law frowns on summary execution, the rebel commander who oversaw the execution relayed a different version of events: he said the thief had mysteriously vanished from his holding cell.)

As for the men whose penises were stolen, several eyewitnesses assured me that the appendages did indeed shrink dramatically. I can’t offer such an intimate eyewitness account myself, but I did visit one of the men at his home, and he clearly seemed to be suffering. He lay propped on one elbow, slack and listless in loose sweatpants, on a woven mat in the shade outside his house. A handful of friends kept him company. Over cups of sweet tea, I asked them about how they understood the recent events.

Penis snatching, they said, was a means of supplying an illicit and lucrative trade in organs. Cameroonians and Nigerians—people from places “where they have multistory buildings”—were seen as particularly well versed in the business. “You see how advanced Cameroon is?” someone said. “It’s because they are so strong in commerce of all kinds, including in genitals and scalps.” The stolen organs, my companions said, are sold to occult healers for use in ceremonies, or else they are quickly fenced back to victims of penis snatching for a price. But the real money was to be made in Europe. One man who had spent some time living in Cameroon said he had heard of a woman there who was nabbed by airport security while trying to smuggle several penises to the Continent inside a baguette.

I asked the town doctor what he thought. Could he help the victims? He shook his head slowly—as if trying to gauge how much I believed about the whole affair—and then responded, “Western medicine is no match for this magic. It is a mysterious thing.”

Mysterious indeed. But perhaps no more so than certain afflictions that are less strange to us in the West. If penis stealing seems beyond-the-pale weird, consider what people in Tiringoulou might think upon hearing of Americans who starve themselves near to death because their reflection in the mirror convinces them they are fat.

Source: Pacific Standard
http://www.psmag.com/magazines/march-april-2013/genital-theft-africa-central-african-republic-53341/#.UUop94aB_eY.twitter

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