6/8/14  #775
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This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such clavicle crunching stories as:

-
Younger Generation Willingly Surrender Their Privacy -
- The Mass Landing Myth and the Arrival of the Armies of God -
- The Scariest and Strangest Road in the U.S. -
- A Fictional Character Come to Life? -
AND:
'Remains' of Mythological Kappa to be Displayed in Japan

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE HOLLOW EARTH!



EXPLORE A STRANGE LAND KEPT HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC – HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME IS THE SECRET DIARY OF ONE OF THE GREATEST ADVENTURERS WHO HAS EVER LIVED. – PLUS PROOF THAT THERE IS A VAST, UNCHARTED, CIVILIZATION EXISTS INSIDE THE PLANET


IN the year 1947 Admiral Richard E. Byrd made a flight into the South Polar region of the world. Before he started on the venture, Byrd made a mysterious statement: "I'd like to see that land beyond the Pole. That area beyond the Pole in the center of the great unknown." In the cockpit of his plane was a powerful, two-way radio. When Byrd and his scientific companions took off from their base at the South Pole, they managed to fly 1700 miles beyond it. That's when the radio in Byrd's plane was put into use to report something utterly incredible.

There was a strange great valley below them. For some unknown reason, the valley Byrd saw was not ice-covered as it should have been in the frigid Antarctic. It was green and luxuriant. There were mountains with thick forest of trees on them, there was lush grass and underbrush. Most amazing, a huge animal was observed moving through the underbrush. In a land of ice, snow and almost perpetual "deep-freeze" …here was a stupendous MYSTERY. Byrd had discovered a strange great valley just beyond the South Pole, where the weather temperature, believe it or not, was evidently something like 75 degrees.

Suddenly the press and radio were "hushed up." After the first brief messages leaked through to newspapers, no further confirmation of the big discovery was given. Was it merely a hoax? Some newsman's joke? I think not. I believe that Byrd came upon the location of a great doorway or entrance leading deep into the unknown interior of the Earth! The "Great Door" at the South Pole region.

Having found that, it is believe he guessed no longer. He then KNEW beyond the shadow of a doubt that this secret "Door" must open into the Cavern world. He would go there and find out...see for himself the wonder and everlasting mystery of the unknown INNER Earth.

Here is the long rumored “missing” diary of Admiral Byrd which tells exactly what Bryd and his men discovered. Why have we not been permitted this information? Why is it that some have been warned not to talk about what has been discovered?

TWO BOOKS IN ONE! In addition to the text of Admiral Byrd’s diary is a rare, “long lost” manuscript by William Reed who puts forward his theory that we live on the outside of a hollow globe. Based upon the journals of various seafarers who have explored the regions around the poles, Reed puts forward the following questions: 1. Why is the earth flattened at the poles? 2. Why have the poles never been reached? 3. Why does the sun not appear for so long in winter near the supposed poles? 4. Assuming that the earth is hollow, the interior should be warmer. 5. We must now resort to the compass. Does it refuse to work when drawing near the supposed poles? 6. Meteors are constantly falling near the supposed poles. Why? 7. The next query is concerning the great quantities of dust constantly found in the Arctic Ocean. What causes this dust? 8. What produces the Aurora Borealis? 9. Icebergs are next in order. Where are they formed? And how?? 10. What causes tidal waves? 11. What causes colored snow in the Arctic region? 12. Why are the nights so long in the polar regions? 13. What causes the great ice-pressure in the Arctic Ocean during still tide and calm weather? 14. Why is the ice filled with rock, gravel, and sand?

This is a book that will intrigue and fascinate. It is like nothing you have ever encountered before!

If you act now, you can get "The Secret Lost Diary of Admiral Richard E. Byrd and The Phantom of the Poles" for the special price of only $20 (plus $5.00 shipping).  Included FREE with your order you will also receive a DVD of a privately shot lecture by Dennis Crenshaw on the "Hidden World Inside The Hollow Earth."  This offer will not last long so ORDER TODAY! 

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- READ 1984 DEPARTMENT -

Younger Generation Willingly Surrender Their Privacy

Young people too willingly surrender their privacy to Google and Facebook, a leading scientist warned yesterday.

Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at Sheffield University, said that older people were more cautious with their personal data.

Addressing the Cheltenham Science Festival, he said: ‘I’m 65, I don’t want to be targeted. I am very uncomfortable with it. It seems to me our privacy is gradually being violated and eroded without us noticing.

‘I am part of the generation which all read 1984 – I think we are less happy about giving up our privacy.

‘But the younger generation aren’t really thinking about it. The services that Google and Facebook give us are so good that people are willing to trade off their privacy for them.’

He said Google’s recording of all our online activities meant it knew far too much about us.

He added: ‘At the moment it doesn’t seem harmful. But because governments can get hold of this information, they can monitor you, things might change quite dramatically.’

Google has invested billions of pounds buying up cutting-edge technologies which will increase their access to people’s information.

The internet giant recently paid £1.9billion for Nest Labs, a firm which makes internet–connected heating systems, allowing people to control their thermostats from afar.

Supporters argue that having greater control over home applications – which may soon include fridges that automatically reorder when you run out of food and lighting systems that turn on when they sense your approach – can only benefit consumers.

But connecting more things to the internet enables large firms to collect more and more data.

Another recent Google purchase is Deep-Mind, a British artificial intelligence firm which specialises in quickly building up a profile of an individual based on their internet activity.

Source: The Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2651145/Young-people-wary-giving-privacy-online-read-1984.html

- YUGOSLAV AIR FORCE VS. UFOS DEPARTMENT -

A Splash Without Ripples
By Billy Cox

Imagine how liberating it must be to go panning for state secrets from a nation that no longer exists. No blowback, zero repercussions, no security oaths to fudge and to fear. That’s exactly the work environment Giuliano Marinkovich has been navigating for nearly two decades, not only in the capitol of his native Croatia, but also in the six other independent states Yugoslavia once comprised. And it looks like he might be onto some hellacious leads, one of which involves former Yugoslav President Josip Tito, a UFO over Belgrade, crashed MiGs, and dead pilots.

That teaser sounds almost too perfect, and lots of eyes will be on Marinkovich when he publishes his research in the West. For now, he's airing it out in the Balkans. Last month, Marinkovic took the “Pan Adria Incident” onto Croatian State Radio 2 with testimony from a retired civilian pilot, a flight engineer, and a former air traffic control chief. He also has a television followup, “Yugoslav Air Force vs. UFOs,” scheduled for September.

His motivation: During Croatia’s war for independence in 1991-95, Marinkovic was a shift commander for the Croatian army’s signals intelligence division. His duties included monitoring communications among the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), the international peacekeepers enforcing a buffer zone between warring parties. His unit tracked UNPROFOR reports on UFO activity over zones-of-separation airspace. “We simply collected the reports and sent them to headquarters in our daily reports,” Marinkovic states in an email. “Nobody did any follow ups.”

Nobody, maybe, except for Marinkovic, whose curiosity began steering him down trails he never knew existed. One of them led to an Aug. 16, 1977, incident involving a Pan Adria airliner. That evening, the crew of a Fokker-227 reported being paced by “an intensive red light” shortly before its approach to Belgrade. Detected on radar, the UFO parked above the airport and lingered for so long, the chief controller was rousted from slumber and summoned to duty. President Tito was scheduled to leave the airport for Moscow later that day.

The Fokker pilot decided to continue on to Titograd, and as soon as the plane got airborne, the UFO followed. A traffic controller instructed another Fokker to approach the UFO. The object promptly accelerated toward the second aircraft, which turned to avoid a collision. The object stopped, then headed back to Belgrade. At that point, according to Marinkovic, a military base nearby intervened and dispatched MiGs with orders to open fire.

“For now,” writes Marinkovic, “we have confirmation from multiple witnesses that MiGs crashed and that pilots died.”

No doubt, he adds, many eyewitnesses “are still reluctant to talk about it in the public arena” because UFOs “still could be a poison pill for credibility.” On the other hand, “it is much easier for people to share their knowledge after so many years. That means there could be no consequences for their statements today ... as [the] country where they served no longer exists.”

Marinkovic is persistent. The old gatekeepers are history. Could be a gold mine.

Source: DeVoid
http://devoid.blogs.heraldtribune.com/14587/a-splash-without-ripples/

- SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE SECOND COMING DEPARTMENT -

The Mass Landing Myth and the Arrival of the Armies of God
By Sean Casteel

[The following is an excerpt from the newly published book, “Signs and Symbols of the Second Coming, Expanded and Revised Edition,” by Sean Casteel, with additional material by Timothy Green Beckley.]

There exists a prevailing belief among a great many within the UFO community that there will someday come a “mass landing,” a revelation to the entire world of the flying saucer reality we have only seen the briefest hints of so far. We somehow believe we are “owed” a climactic revelation as to the true nature of the flying saucer phenomenon, that we will one day have paid our dues and will receive a payoff in the form of some kind of ultimate truth.

One of the most common ways this idea is expressed is with the phrase “a landing on the White House lawn,” which presumes the U.S. president would be the first person the alien presence would want to communicate with. This is sort of an extension of the old 1950s cliché in which the aliens land and say, “Take me to your leader.” Perhaps the White House landing myth implies that they have eliminated the middleman/informant and gone straight to what Americans in their national pride would like to assume is the leader of the free world.

Another myth this basic concept incorporates is that of a morally indifferent alien force that wants to talk politics at the White House and eventually be interviewed on CNN. Any number of similar scenarios can be imagined while the waiting for some kind of open disclosure of the alien presence by the UFO occupants themselves continues. We wait, without being able to define what we’re waiting for.

But what if we’re waiting for the wrong kind of mass landing? What if the UFO occupants are not morally indifferent at all? What if the ancient astronaut interpreters of the phenomenon are right and the aliens are the gods that created us and at least tried to teach mankind a set of moral codes, a system of ethics that reflected their own “alien” morals and ethics? Perhaps the Old Testament word would be “righteousness,” and the prophets crying out down through the ages for truth and justice were not merely raving in some kind of sacrosanct psychosis but were, as they claimed, pressed into service as a “mouthpiece” or advocate for God?

There has always been a thin line between madness and genuine religious experience. The story of Abraham and his near-sacrifice of his son Isaac is a frequently used example of this problem. Abraham claims to hear a “voice,” which he assumes to be God, telling him to “sacrifice” his son. If Abraham were to walk into a courtroom today and tell a judge his “voices” told him to murder his own child, one would hope he would receive immediate hospitalization. It is typical of the schizophrenic to use what psychiatry would call “religious delusions” to justify any number of violent or otherwise antisocial behaviors.

Yet from childhood we are taught that Abraham was not psychotic and was having a genuine conversation with the true God. We are also taught that God chose at the final instant to take mercy on both Abraham and Isaac, providing a sacrificial animal, seemingly out of nowhere, to substitute for a frightened and confused Isaac. God’s real point had been to test Abraham’s faith, in a manner appropriate to the historical context of the ancient world.

As UFO believers, we too would like some kind of assurance that we are on the right side of that same thin line. While the morals of this country and the world around us may be said to have deteriorated to a depressing, even dangerous degree, there still exists a kind of social contract, law and order, and an agreed upon effort to maintain a level of ethical behavior we can live with comfortably enough to survive.

We think we know what is right and who among us could somehow trust an invading alien army to tell us different? Would these faceless, unknowable flying saucer occupants necessarily have a moral agenda at all? And should they have such an agenda, would they automatically want to impose that on us or even deign to teach it to us?

What to fear and who to trust about that fear? These kind of unanswerable questions inevitably grow wearisome to even the hardiest of UFO speculators. But this book on UFOs and the Second Coming is an attempt to answer some of those questions by blending the prophecies of the Bible with what little is known of the UFO phenomenon. Admittedly, in the marketplace of truth as it exists today, we already have two strikes against us. We are taking up two sharp sticks of something society has seen numerous examples of in the context of insanity – Biblical prophecy and UFOs – and giving ourselves a painful poke in the eye. Many a maniac with an axe to grind has wrapped himself in one or both of these subjects, usually to nauseating effect.

But nevertheless, we persist in this line of inquiry, of careful painstaking research. I have interviewed a group of experts on the subjects of Biblical prophecy and UFOs. Some have made the leap of faith and believe they are two inseparable parts of an overall whole, while other interviewees quoted here tend to carefully avoid expressing a belief in some future violent apocalypse.  

For instance, what does the Second Coming mean to ordained minister Dr. Barry Downing? Downing’s impressive academic background in both science and religion, combined with a longtime study of the UFO phenomenon, makes his opinion as “expert” as they come.

Biblical prophecy scholar Gary Stearman discusses how the long awaited Rapture will be timed to events in Israel and explains how UFO waves in that embattled stretch of Earth have always been an expression of God’s unfolding plan in the modern world. One must learn to live with the idea that the Day of the Lord will arrive as a “thief in the night,” catching the entire world off-guard and entering our reality unannounced.

There are also chapters offering the aforementioned less apocalyptic view of the Second Coming. In interviews with religious and UFO scholar Dr. Brenda Denzler and prophecy researcher G.C. Schellhorn, Christ’s return is portrayed as a quieter transformation of humankind’s collective consciousness, a kind of moral rebirth taking place on levels too subtle to be readily apparent to the unenlightened observer. What if Christ and the other prophets can achieve their merciful ends without a “blood and guts” confrontation with the wickedness of the world?

The legendary husband and wife team of Brad and Sherry Steiger are interviewed for separate chapters about their beliefs on the Second Coming. Brad recalls his youthful days in Bible class and explains how his views are now less extreme, less black and white, regarding what we mean when we discuss things like the fearful aspects of the Book of Revelation.

Meanwhile, Sherry also feels her childhood religious beliefs and even time spent in a Lutheran seminary as a young woman did not prepare her for the truths she would later discover. What should be emphasized, she believes, is the commonality between all world faiths and the peaceful, good intentions of the prophets who introduced them to us. Yet she concedes she is troubled by portions of Book of Revelation and believes the Mark of the Beast could easily become a reality. Read her chapter in “Signs and Symbols of the Second Coming” to find out why.

Did the late Dr. Frank Stranges correctly identify the Antichrist? He is among the many who have tried to “name names” in that regard,  but in this exclusive interview he explains his reasoning for doing so in some detail, while at the same time decrying the “fear mongers” who use the Second Coming to terrify rather than to inspire. Will the UFOs eventually spread the wisdom and grace of Christianity to the entire universe after carrying out the Second Coming on Earth?

Finally, I touch on the possible use of holograms to stage a false Second Coming and offer a checklist of signs to watch for in the countdown to the Day of the Lord, as provided by Gray Stearman.

Returning to the subject that began this chapter, it is my belief that   we should not be waiting for a morally indifferent landing on the White House lawn. Should the mass landing come, it will more likely be from the skies over Armageddon, when the UFOs arrive en masse to combat the armies gathered by the Antichrist. Jesus Christ is often thought of as the teacher who cautioned us to turn the other cheek but he also said he came not to bring peace but the sword. In Revelation, Chapter 19, he is called the Word of God, he from whose mouth issues a sharp sword with which he smites the nations. He is accompanied by the “armies of heaven” who follow behind him on white horses.  Would you not agree that all that stands in marked contrast to “moral indifference”?  

See more of Sean Casteel's work at: www.seancasteel.com

- THE BONE-CHILLING STRETCH OF ASPHALT DEPARTMENT -

The Scariest and Strangest Road in the U.S.
By Nick Kurczewski

"It’s like a dark highway into people’s innermost fears.”

That’s how Mark Moran, publisher and co-creator of the Weird NJ magazine and website, sums up Clinton Road, a quiet and twisty stretch of road roughly 55 miles northwest of New York City.

Moran, along with Weird NJ co-creator Mark Sceurman, knows a thing or two about the strange, the mysterious and, well, many things that are just plain weird.

Clinton Road is all of those things and much, much more.

This eerie 10 mile stretch of road sits in a quiet corner of the Garden State. Clinton Road isn’t far from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, but it’s not exactly near much of anything.

Beginning at the fairly well-trafficked NJ Route 23, Clinton Road winds its way north, before terminating at Upper Greenwood Lake. Other than trees, picturesque Clinton Reservoir, a few bridges and the very occasional house set back from the road, there isn’t all that much to see.

Unless you happen to see a sofa in the road, or the pack of blood-thirsty cannibals lurking in the shadows, hoping you’ll stop your car to investigate.

Before meeting the two Marks from Weird NJ, I’d finally dared to travel down Clinton Road at nighttime. My traveling companion for this drive into the unknown was the stout-hearted Michael Schuy, the 13-year-old-son of a neighborhood friend.

My job was to keep an eye on the road, and remain vigilant for ghosts and, perhaps, even a visit from the Jersey Devil himself. Mike, meanwhile, kept careful watch on the woods, along with our survival gear which included, in order of importance: two bottles of soda, licorice, a pair of flashlights and, just in case, a rosary his mother had given him before setting out.

 “Let’s see, what did we get in trouble for last time,” joked Sceurman, as he steered his SUV right, off Route 23 and onto Clinton Road. There are several locations you can park along the road, but venturing deeper into the surrounding woods requires an official hiking permit.

After a mile, the houses become scarcer and the woods begin to loom over the roadway. The weather was brisk and the trees bare of leaves but, in the daytime, Clinton Road feels lonely rather than unsettling. A rickety abandoned house with warning signs to “Keep Out” at least added a hint of danger and mystery.

“People definitely play on the legend [of Clinton Road],” said Mark Moran. He mentions the menacing black truck that lurks on the road.  Appearing out of nowhere, the truck gets extremely close to your rear bumper, flashes its lights, and then suddenly disappears into the night.

Sure enough, during my earlier Clinton Road visit, I’d noticed a black truck traveling in the other direction each time I drove down the road. The truck’s blazing fog-lights and loud exhausr made it stand out, though I’m positive there was nothing ghostly about this grumbling pick-up.

“We don’t really expect anything paranormal,” explained Mark Moran. “We explore folklore, we’re not interested in proving if a story is true or not. We believe in ghost stories, they tell us a lot about the human psyche. We’ve never said any place was haunted, we’re just sharing people’s stories.”

Having visited and chronicled countless bizarre tales and legends, Moran says this unassuming stretch of road remains unique. “Clinton Road kind of wrote itself.”

Reports of strange occurrences continue to bring the Weird NJ team back to Clinton Road. “We hear about the strangest things…lights over the water, UFOs, snow in July. It keeps us coming back,” adds Sceurman.

The first bridge we cross, a sturdy stone affair with rushing rapids beneath it, is famous amongst Clinton Road fans for the tale of the mischievous ghost of a boy who drowned there. Legend has it, if you toss coins over the bridge and into the water below, the boy’s ghost will throw them back, or place them in the middle of the road.

We attempted to conjure the spirit world with several dimes and quarters but, in this instance, the ghost boy opted to keep the change.

The Clinton Ironworks is even stranger, and the structure is often mistaken for being some type of Druid creation, or a temple to the occult. Built in the early-1800s, this pyramid-shaped structure was part of a short-lived iron making community which faded away in the 1850s. Today, it’s surrounded by chain link fence, but is easily visible from the road.

 Next is a visit to the aptly-named Dead Man’s Curve. This bend in the road lives up to its name, if only because it's the sharpest corner on Clinton Road and could easily catch out the unwary. Ghosts, the occult and even KKK rituals have all been linked to this particularly menacing corner. The graffiti-covered barriers were put up fairly recently, according to Mark Sceurman.

Yet nothing comes close the wild stories linked to Cross Castle, a former mansion that was left to rot in the woods after being gutted by fire. For years, the decaying remains of this once grand estate served as the unofficial epicenter of Clinton Road folklore.

Some stories are more than tall tales, however. Before it was demolished in the 1980s, many people reported being physically affected by the site, or coming across unexplained rock formations and eerie writing on the building’s walls. One visitor snapped an image of perplexing graffiti at Cross Castle, and on a plank of wood placed nearby. These odd ramblings turned out to be from the official Lex Satanicus,’ the La Veyan Church of Satan's code of conduct.

Cross Castle is long gone, but the site remains accessible via hiking paths. I opted to stay closer to the relative safety of Clinton Road, thank you very much.

“What’s strange is that Paradiso Road, which runs about parallel to Clinton Road, is even lonelier,” says Mark Sceurman. “But it has nothing, no legends or stories connected to it.”  

Clinton Road remains one-of-a-kind as the strangest, most mysterious and, yes, the weirdest road you’ll ever encounter.

Source: NY Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/creepy-cursed-curvy-new-jersey-clinton-road-frightening-road-america-article-1.1803331

- THE SLENDERMAN WILL GET YOU DEPARTMENT -

A Fictional Character Come to Life?
By Jason Offutt

The Slenderman. This tall, faceless figure, its frame disturbingly thin in its black suit, stalks children, and abducts them for its demonic pleasures. The Slenderman is fiction, created in 2009 for the humor website “Something Awful,” but sometimes fiction can become reality, at least to those who believe.

Two twelve-year-old Waukesha, Wisconsin, girls stabbed their twelve-year-old friend nineteen times 31 May, so they could gain the favor of the Slenderman. The girls, Morgan E. Geyser and Anissa E. Weier, began reading about the Slenderman online and became obsessed. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Weier claims the Slenderman is the “leader of Creepypasta, and in the hierarchy of that world, one must kill to show dedication.” Weier and Geyser wanted to kill their friend to show they were “worthy” of this demonic entity. Both the girls were aware most people knew this creature was fictional, but wanted to prove them wrong. Creepypasta is a website dedicated to horror and the paranormal.

According to the criminal complaint, Weier told an investigator they began planning to kill their friend in December. Geyser told police they decided to kill their friend so they could become “proxies” of the Slenderman, who would let them live with him in his mansion in a national forest in northern Wisconsin. They had backpacks ready, and planned to hike to the forest after the killing.

During a Saturday morning game of hide-and-seek in a park, Geyser produced a knife and began stabbing the victim while Weier yelled, “go ballistic, go crazy,” according to the Journal Sentinel. Then they just walked off, leaving the girl bleeding in the park. The victim, who was not named, crawled to a road and bicyclists called authorities. The girl is in hospital in stable condition.

The “proxies” of the Slenderman, who had planned to run away from home to join this fictional being, are being charged as adults, and face first-degree attempted homicide.

Pastor Robin Swope, of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Erie, Pennsylvania, is author of the book “Slenderman: From fiction to fact.” The book explores real encounters people claimed to have with the Slenderman, and if these manifestations may be an ancient demonic force that have taken the appearance of the fictional entity. Although Swope has never heard of someone being a Slenderman proxie, he said it’s difficult to understand why someone would chose to kill their friend for any reason. “If it was Slenderman or a demonic entity then why didn’t they go for help?” Swope said. “It could be they were in such a hysteria from an actual demonic encounter that they were not thinking, but I think in reality it is either a mental health issue or they used Slenderman as a scapegoat.”

According to an Associated Press story, one of the girls (unnamed) claimed the Slenderman watched over her in her dreams, and communicated with her.

Although the reality of the Slenderman in the Wisconsin case is from the words of two twelve-year-olds, there are documented cases that claim to have brought fiction into the realm of reality. The most famous of which is The Philip Experiment.

A Canadian doctor, Dr. A.R.G. Owen, conducted the Philip Experiment in 1972 to test his hypothesis that ghosts are simply created by the minds of whoever sees them. Owen formed a group that would regularly meet to think about a fictional spirit named Philip Aylesford. Philip was given a complete biography to help the group form an image of the spirit. Months into this study, Philip began to communicate with the group with knocks; once for “yes,” twice for “no.” Many consider the Philip Experiment a hoax.

However, the question remains, can the human mind turn fiction into reality?

Source: Mysterious Universe
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/06/a-fictional-character-come-to-life/


- LOOK, UP IN THE SKY DEPARTMENT -

Cryptozoologist Mulls Theories on "Big Bird"

Hidden in the shadows outside of civilization, monsters are believed by some to exist.

According to folklore, a large primate stalks the Pacific Northwest and a giant reptile lurks in the depths of a Scottish lake.

And in South Texas, people carefully watch the skies for Big Bird, a flying creature that terrorized the area in 1976.

“This bird’s got a habit of going after people,” said Guadalupe Cantu III, an eye witness. “This is strictly a nighttime bird, though. ... From 11 o’clock on, everybody’s bait.”

While most scientists would write off a man-hunting bird as pure myth, a group of researchers takes such accounts seriously. The researchers are called cryptozoologists.

“It’s considered a pseudo science,” said Ken Gerhard, 38. “I like to call it a frontier science.”

A Houston-based cryptozoologist, Gerhard is researching a book that will focus on the Big Bird. He will speak about his research before the Brownsville Enlightenment Society at 7 p.m., Tuesday at Shoney’s Restaurant. The meeting is free to the public.

While other zoologists might consider the existence of such a large unknown species impossible, Gerhard and others keep an open mind.

“Cryptozoology is the search for animals that have not yet been verified by science,” Gerhard said. “Most people are familiar with the marquee animals – Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and Big Bird. ... The less glamorous side would include a new species of beetle.”

In 2005 several new birds, plants and other species were discovered in the Foja Mountains of Papua, New Guinea. Scientists announced 27 new species earlier this year, discovered in California national park caves. Large creatures have also been revealed recently, with the first photographs of a live giant squid taken in 2004.

“New species are discovered all the time, a lot of people don’t understand that,” Gerhard said. “Cryptozoologists feel that those ‘real scientists’ aren’t doing a good enough job.”

Don Farst, executive director of the Gladys Porter Zoo, remembers the excitement in January 1976 when people would ask about giant birds and livestock-attacking beasts. He said nothing was ever proved, but he can understand why some believe in unknown animals.

“Nothing is impossible,” he said. “But I usually believe that either I or somebody that I trust has seen, and preferably photographed next to something of a known size.”

There’s always more to learn, according to Lynn David Livsey, president of the Brownsville Enlightenment Society, a group that discusses new discoveries and unknown phenomena on a weekly basis.

“We pretend like we know but really we don’t,” he said. “I remain open-minded on the subject.”

The Big Bird has been compared to local owl-witch legends, but Gerhard said many real creatures began as myths.

“A lot of animals discovered in the last century were original folklore animals,” he said, adding this was true of the gorilla. “They were giant hairy wild men and back in the late 1800s were considered to be folklore. ... It made the transformation from folklore into reality.”

Gerhard said certain areas of wilderness remained unexplored by men, which obviously provided the potential to discover new species of animals.

“I can’t say these animals are there, but I can say the potential is there,” Gerhard said.

Aside from the Big Bird sightings in Brownsville in 1976, there were sightings in Robstown and Rio Grande City in 1975, Swinney Switch in the 1950s and San Benito in the 1940s. McAllen, Harlingen and Los Fresnos also claimed witnesses.

San Benito in particular seemed a hotbed for Big Bird reports. Many residents of the La Paloma Colonia have heard of the creature they call the demon bird.

“As a child I heard it one Christmas eve, really Christmas day at 1 o’clock in the morning,” said Cantu, now 50. “It made more and more noise so my grandfather went out and cussed it. ... It was a strange noise, like a couple of cats, like one voice mixed with another voice.”

As a child in San Benito, Cantu had heard of the bird, but he was surprised by its size and that it showed no fear of guns or dogs.

The bird Cantu saw seemed to stand about 8 feet tall and was solid black, although parts of its body seemed to reflect more light. It was stood vertically with stooped shoulders.

“With the face I thought I was looking at a skeleton, but it was the eyes and nose (of a skull),” he said. “It did not flap its wings, it just glided.”

Alex Resendez, 66, saw the creature three times in the 1970s. Twice he caught fleeting glimpses of the beast over Brownsville, and the third time, he saw it in broad daylight near his rural McCook area home.

“I never seen a bird that big,” he said. “He was brownish, like dirt. ... He does not have long legs and does not stand like other birds.”

What struck him most were the bird’s large eyes that shone like black glass, with red markings underneath. The beak was also peculiar.

“You have to look close because his beak is very transparent,” Resendez said. “If you see it real fast, you’re going to think he ain’t got no beak.”

In all, the brown bird seemed to stand over 4 feet tall. After being spooked by a charging bull, the bird spread its large wings and pushed off the ground with its feet.

“He was very swift, very nice, like a glider,” Resendez said. “This bird, he never flaps his wings.”

The wing underside was surprisingly colorful to Resendez, appearing with blue and white stripes.

“It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Descriptions of Big Bird often follow the same pattern: it is dark in color, featherless or smoothly feathered, has a long thin beak or no beak at all, short legs and long tail.

Farst took a pragmatic approach.

“At certain times of year we have wood storks here, which are large gangly birds, about 4½ feet tall,” he said. “They are more black and white than brownish and have a long curving bill.”

He offered alternative possibilities such as a sand hill crane or brown pelican, but said the distinctive features described by witnesses don’t always match with known animals.

As several cattle mutilations were reported in 1976, Resendez believes they might be related to the Big Bird sightings.

“I thought maybe this bird goes after these cows, drives his beak in there, takes samples, then goes upstairs where maybe there is a UFO,” he said. “It’s so well made, nobody could tell it was a robot, but I don’t know.”

Gerhard has heard theories ranging from a giant owl to a giant bat, but he has his own ideas.

“The other theory that I’m pursuing with my book is probably a little more out there,” the cryptozoologist said. “That’s the possibility of living pterosaurs.”

Winged reptiles and contemporaries of the dinosaurs, pterosaurs are believed to have met extinction more than 64 million years ago, but some cryptozoologists see the creatures as possible Big Bird explanations.

“It seems to jibe with most of the reports I’ve collected,” Gerhard said, adding that the Kongamato of Africa and Ropen of Papua, New Guinea, both supposedly mythical creatures, are said to have reptile-like features.

Farst doubts a large flying reptile could go undiscovered, but said there are some birds that behave similarly to the Big Bird.

“The best and biggest flying birds that we have would be like the Andean Condor from South America,” he said. “They can jump and launch themselves into the air to take off, but usually they do this off the side of a cliff.”

Gliding without a cliff, or preliminary flapping, would be highly unusual, he said.

“That would indicate that it would be something that we don’t have in this world at this time,” he said. “If I had to bet any of my hard earned money, I would be willing to bet odds of a 1,000-to-1 against there being a critter like this. .... I wish you’d prove me wrong. I’d love to see something like this.”

Livsey believes Big Bird to be an actual bird, albeit one not known to modern man. The extinct Teratorn is believed to have wingspans over a dozen feet.

“This does have to be a monster or a giant flying reptile,” he said. “I believe we’re talking something terrestrial here. I do believe in UFOs, and I was a witness to a UFO event, but I do not believe this was some kind of extra-terrestrial.”

Source: The Brownsville Herald
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/ts_more.php?id=70671_0_10_0_C

- LITTLE RIVER CHILD DEPARTMENT -

'Remains' of Mythological Kappa to be Displayed in Japan

Just as British children have been brought up with scary stories about the Loch Ness Monster, Japanese people know all about the Kappa - a slippery water demon from ancient folklore.

The pond and river-dwelling monsters are typically depicted as human-like but with the scaly green or blue skin of a reptile and webbed feet.

But unlike the Loch Ness Monster, believers claim to have found ‘proof’ of the creature’s existence - and bones purporting to be from the Kappa are going on show in Japan.

In Japanese folklore, the child-sized Kappa, or ‘river child’ occasionally jumps out of its watery lair to pull pranks, as well as attacking women.

Some tales even claim the Kappa pulls people into the water to drown them.

The colour, shape and features of the monster vary according to differing illustrations of the monster.

It is thought the creature is similar to the Scottish ‘Kelpie,’ Scandinavian Nakki and other such monsters, which have been used over the years to warn children about the dangers of playing near water.

Some people in Japan think the legend of the Kappa might be based upon the Japanese giant salamander, or ‘hanzaki’, which is an aggressive lizard that grabs its prey with its powerful jaws.

But others believe the Kappa is a specific creature, and there are signs near some lakes in Japan warning people of their presence.

Scientists have not managed to confirm the existence of the creature, despite the fact that numerous bones have been discovered that are said to belong to the Kappa.

One set of mummified remains, which seem to show a webbed hand is going on show for the first time at the Miyakonojo Shimazu Residence in Miyazaki prefecture on the island of Kyuushuu.

The remains were given to the Miyakonijo Shimazu family after a ‘Kappa’ was shot on a riverbank in 1818.

The foot measures around 3 inches (8cm) and the arm 5 inches (15cm), but no experts have claimed they are real, nor have any stated the bones are cobbled together to look monstrous.

There are no plans to have them examined either.

Source: The Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2644036/Are-bones-water-demon-Remains-mythological-Kappa-Japan.html

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