8/9/15  #831
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It's time once again. It's time for the Men-In-Black to start hammering on your front door. It's time for secret government operatives to start tapping your phone and email accounts. It's time for those pesky little grey aliens to start abducting you from your bedroom at night. It's time for all of this because your number one weekly newsletter of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and everything strange and bizarre has once again arrived in your email box - and they want to read it to find out what is REALLY going on.

This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such cuticle-cutting stories as:

- Strange "Crab-Like" Object Photographed on Mars -
-  Morgellons Disease: Man-Made Bio Weapon or Plague From Space? -
Monolith Found Off the Sicilian Coast Is At Least 9000 Years Old
AND: Man Shares Photo of 'Ghost' at Count Basie Theatre

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

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HOT OFF THE PRESSES!

The Final Nail...In YOUR Coffin!

IS GLOBAL GENOCIDE NEAR?

A MAJOR PORTION OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION COULD BE RAPIDLY EXTERMINATED BY AN INTERNATIONAL CABAL DETERMINED TO PUT A NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF HUMANKIND!

THE LETHAL “MORGELLONS DISEASE” OR A NUCLEAR ATTACK USING THE UNSTABLE SUBSTANCE “RED MERCURY” COULD PLACE YOU SIX FEET UNDER!

Everyday life was already fraught with danger and uncertainty, but there are several new threats to your survival that you probably know nothing about.

A disease called Morgellons exists that the medical community refuses to even acknowledge is real. If you experience the terrifying symptoms – the sensation of bugs crawling beneath your skin, painful wounds that open up for no apparent reason and start to expel strange,cotton-like fibers – don’t expect your family physician to help you!

Even the rich and famous get turned away with a diagnosis of mental, not physical illness. When folksinger, Joni Mitchell, was hospitalized for what was, at the time, an undisclosed reason, not even Joni was spared the stigma of having complained of Morgellons symptoms for which no cure was offered By medical professionals.

The former intelligence operative known only as Commander X has studied Morgellons keeping abreast of all the latest developments. Where did the disease originate?

Commander X covers every angle, including the possibility that it entered the Earth zone by piggy backing on a meteorite. He also considers the notion that it is a man made disease being spread by the New World Order or some unidentified international cabal that is aided by a conspiracy of silence among the medical community.

A MYSTERIOUS SUBSTANCE COULD WASTE HUMANITY IN A SINGLE BLOW!

The CIA says it doesn't exist. Terrorists and rogue nations have offered to pay millions of dollars to procure it. Scientists fear its lethal potential. Red Mercury when exploded creates tremendous heat and pressure sufficient to trigger a fusion device such a mini-neutron bomb. Red Mercury could be concealed in something as small as a lunch box yet have unimaginable lethal force when detonated.

The late physicist Sam Cohen, the father of the neutron bomb, publicly stated his belief that Red Mercury is a real-world substance and one we should logically fear. Now you can read the results of years of investigation into the Red Mercury mystery. The truth will chill you to the bone and cast a shadow over whatever vestiges of trust for the government might lurk in your conspiracy-wearied brain.

We offer you two books one one, as well as the possibility that being forewarned really will help you to be forearmed!

“Those interested in the latest conspiracies will find this a real treat. These are conspiracies that are verifiable and have credibility, ” states the Conspiracy Journal, a weekly on line newsletter.
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Also: Check Out W.M. Mott's latest blog at: http://mottimorphic.com/blog/2014/09/10/the-footprints-of-the-damned/

- SOMETIMES A CRAB IS JUST A CRAB DEPARTMENT -

Strange "Crab-Like" Object Photographed on Mars

A strange object seen in a recent NASA image of Mars has set imaginations running wild among fans of the red planet.

Social media users have been quick to declare that a slightly highlighted area of a rock face on Mars is actually an 'awesome Martian space crab'.

The photograph of the strange crab-shaped object hanging on a cliff has generated a lot of speculation since NASA posted it on its site. The arms or tentacles and oval body make it look like a crab, a spider or an octopus. Its position on the cliff or wall makes some believe it’s blocking or guarding an entrance to a dwelling, portal or cave.

The photo was taken by NASA sometime in July but reappeared in Facebook group Journey to the Surface of the Moon, whose slogan is 'They will not tell the truth about MARS'.

But scientists were quick to douse the excited speculation with hard fact.

Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the Center for SETI Research, said he put down the appearance of the 'space crab' to a phenomenon called pareidolia.

Like seeing animals in clouds, this is the brain's ability to see shapes in random objects.

He says he gets sent similar images showing formations like the crab about once a week.

"Those that send them to me are generally quite excited, as they claim that these frequently resemble something you wouldn't expect to find on the rusty, dusty surface of the Red Planet.

"It's usually some sort of animal, but occasionally even weirder objects such as automobile parts. Maybe they think there are cars on Mars."

He added: "Recognizing a crab in a landscape filled with wind-weathered rocks is no more surprising -- nor more significant -- than seeing a winking face in a semi-colon followed by a parenthesis. ;)

Out of all the photographs taken on Mars supposedly showing wrecked machinery, lizards, and buildings, the crab-like object is the strangest.  Knowing what we do about the types of rocks found on the Martian surface, it is hard to come up with a geological reason why this section of cliff would have a rock formation that that has cylindrical structures coming off of a circular main body. If there were other such examples nearby, or if this sort of rock formation had been spotted previously, then pareidolia would be a good explanation.  However, this photograph does show something extremely unsusual and it is unfortunate that a closer examination has not happened.

Another photograph taken by the Mars Curiosity rover shows what appears to be a female humanoid staring back at the camera. The female-like figure with flowing hair and wearing a dress appears to be standing on a rock embedded in the wall of a crater the rover is exploring. Magnification reveals what some see as breasts or at least cleavage. Behind the figure is a large shape that could be a structure. It may be where the figure keeps her own rover, as there seem to be tracks leading from the large structure to a large rock.

One estimate puts the height of the female figure at 10 cm (4 inches). That would make her a pretty small humanoid, alien or humanoid statue.

Source: Time
http://time.com/3982146/mars-crab-monster/

- MORE THAN A DELUSION DEPARTMENT -

Morgellons Disease: Man-Made Bio Weapon or Plague From Space?
By Sean Casteel

On March 31, 2015, the legendary folk singer Joni Mitchell was hospitalized after being found unconscious in her Los Angeles home. At the time, it was unclear what had caused her to pass out, but Mitchell, who was 71 at the time of her hospitalization, had long identified herself as sufferer of the strange and controversial condition called Morgellons Disease.

Mitchell told “The Los Angeles Times” in a 2010 interview that Morgellons Disease “seems like it’s from outer space.” In her 2014 autobiography, entitled “Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words,” she writes, “I couldn’t wear clothing. I couldn’t leave my house for several years. Sometimes it got so I’d have to crawl across the floor. My legs would cramp up, just like a polio spasm. It hit all of the places where I had polio.”

WHAT IS JONI MITCHELL’S BIZARRE MALADY?

The condition has been labeled Mitchell’s “Secret Torment” by one British newspaper, although she never made any effort to keep her condition hidden. Quite the opposite, in fact. But talking publicly about Morgellons is not an easy task, especially when the medical establishment refuses for the most part to believe the problem is even a physical “disease” at all.

Researcher, writer and radio host Tim R. Swartz has studied Morgellons closely for several years and has recently written a book on the subject called “The Final Nail In Your Coffin: A Pox To All Mankind.” (This latest offering from Inner Light/Global Communications is actually another of the company’s generous “two-books-in-one” packages and includes a book on the rumored substance “red mercury,” which is said to put nuclear capabilities in the hands of any terrorist with enough money to buy it.)

According to Swartz, “Those with Morgellons Disease describe feelings of insects scurrying below their skin and have mysterious sores that ooze out blue and white fibers, some as thick as spaghetti strands. Attempts to remove the fibers are said to produce shooting pains radiating from the site.” Sufferers also report fatigue and problems with short-term memory and concentration.

A MOTHER’S CRUSADE

Morgellons takes its name from the efforts of Mary Leitao, who in 2001 was a 43-year-old stay-at-home Mom and former lab technician in South Carolina. Her two-year-old son had begun to develop lesions on the inside of his lip that he said were caused by “bugs.” When Leitao’s son also developed sores and fibers of various colors growing out of his skin, she took him to several doctors, none of whom could find anything biologically wrong with him.
The debate rages on whether or not Morgellons is an actual disease.

The debate rages on whether or not Morgellons is an actual disease.

It was Leitao who coined her son’s ailment as “Morgellons,” after a condition described in 1674 by the British author Thomas Browne. Browne said the disorder caused children to “break out with harsh hairs on their backs.” But even the Morgellons Research Foundation says it is doubtful that the 17th century disease is related in any way to modern day Morgellons, Swartz writes.

After being turned away from a series of doctors, Leitao began a public campaign to raise public awareness of Morgellons, after which thousands of fellow sufferers made themselves known. But the medical community held fast to its diagnosis of “delusional parasitosis,” meaning the patient was mistaken in complaining about an infestation by insects under his or her skin but that this false belief could not be corrected by reasoning, persuasion or logical argument.

Meanwhile, all laboratory tests and pathogenic exams returned negative and offered no clinical confirmation of the patients’ complaints. Thus, physicians treat the condition as a mental illness and typically prescribe only antidepressants or other psychiatric medications.

In 2012, The Centers For Disease Control made public the their study of Morgellons, saying that “no common underlying medical condition or infectious source was identified,” and that the fibers were more likely picked up from clothing that got trapped in the sufferers’ sores. Like a Mayo Clinic study done in 2011, the CDC report reaffirmed the “delusional parasitosis” diagnosis.

Shortly after the CDC’s findings were published, Leitao dropped out of sight completely and hasn’t been heard from since. Not even the crusading mother’s contacts in the Morgellons community know where she has gone or have any idea how to contact her.

COULD MORGELLONS BE FROM MARS?

To give the medical community – somewhat begrudgingly – their due, maybe Morgellons is so hard to diagnose and analyze because it’s not an Earth-generated disease at all. Swartz puts forth his own provocative theory thusly: “What makes Morgellons so unique are the weird fibers that grow out of the victim’s skin. No other disease on Earth has this bizarre symptom. So could this mean that Morgellons originated somewhere other than Earth?”

Swartz points to a researcher named Mike Moore who discovered a meteor on a ranch in Texas in the early 1970s. Moore concluded that the unusual rock had formed under extremely dry conditions, was volcanic in origin, and most likely resulted when a large asteroid struck the surface of Mars. Upon first finding the meteorite, Moore concluded that – since it had just come through our atmosphere – it had most likely been “sterilized” by the high heat that melted its outer surface. Ten or fifteen years after first finding the space rock, Moore discovered that “fuzz” or “filaments” were coming out of the crevice that runs through one side of the meteorite.

Moore was left to wonder how a rock from Mars could be growing something that seemed to be alive. It was not until NASA announced in 1996 that they had found the possible remnants of life in a Martian meteorite that Moore began to consider that he was seeing some kind of Martian life growing on his own meteorite. When Moore put a sample from the space rock under a microscope, he found a piece of something that had obviously been some kind of plant or at least some kind of living thing. A later analysis of a section of Moore’s meteor conducted by a lab worker at the Roswell UFO Museum in New Mexico confirmed the presence of a fiber-like creature that moved on the slide as if trying to avoid being stuck there for examination.

THE REAL LIFE “ANDROMEDA STRAIN”?

Rocks blown off of Mars have been falling to Earth throughout history, potentially bringing with them the minute lifeforms that we now call Morgellons. The concept of a disease from outer space infecting unsuspecting Earthlings is not a new one, however.

The first novel by the late Michael Crichton, 1969’s “The Andromeda Strain,” is a techno-thriller documenting the efforts of a team of scientists investigating the outbreak of a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism in Arizona. The story begins when a military satellite returns to Earth. Aerial surveillance reveals that everyone in Piedmont, Arizona, the town closest to where the satellite landed, is apparently dead. The base commander suspects the satellite returned with an extraterrestrial organism and recommends activating Wildfire, a protocol for a government-sponsored team that counters extraterrestrial biological infestation.

After leading the reader through a suspenseful ordeal, the book concludes with the team of scientists heroically saving the day. The Andromeda Strain itself eventually mutates to a benign form and the whole effort is effectively covered up and given no media attention at all.

Crichton received many letters from readers asking if the story told in his bestselling book was somehow true. The novel was published just weeks before the first lunar landing and there was a general concern about whether the astronauts could bring back germs from the moon. The “germs from outer space” theme was treated lightly in some quarters, but, in the years after the novel’s release, any newly-discovered biological agent tended to be referred to as an “Andromeda Strain.” The term became synonymous with any potential pandemic: Marbug, Ebola, Bird Flu, and so on.

At this point, we can potentially add Morgellons Disease to that frightening list.

THERE’S A LAW AGAINST THAT, YOU KNOW

Unsurprisingly, 1969 was also the year that Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations went on the books making it illegal for U.S. citizens to have contact with extraterrestrials or their vehicles. Anyone found to have such contact can be jailed for one year and fined $5,000. The NASA administrator is empowered to determine with or without a hearing that a person or object has been “extraterrestrially exposed” and impose an indeterminate quarantine under armed guard, which could not be broken even by court order. There is no limit placed on the number of individuals who could thus be arbitrarily quarantined. The definition of “extraterrestrial exposure” is left entirely up to the NASA administrator.

The legislation was buried in a batch of regulations very few members of government probably bothered to read in its entirety and was slipped onto the books without public debate. In effect, the government of the U.S. has created a whole new criminal class: UFO contactees.

But NASA said the law is really directed at extraterrestrial viruses that could wipe out humankind completely. It may be a kind of whistling in the dark given that simply quarantining a few contactees does not automatically mean some kind of outer space contagion would have no other means of spreading. But it is nevertheless an interesting official acknowledgment that such things are taken seriously at some level of government and that the potential for diseases like Morgellons to have originated in some other world is at least considered a possibility as well.

WHO’S THAT YONDER DRESSED IN BLACK?

But an infestation from another world need not have happened only in the space age.

In a book called “The Gods of Eden,” first published in 1989, author William Bramley recounts the following chilling anecdote:

“In Brandenburg, Germany, there appeared fifteen men with ‘fearful faces and long scythes, with which they cut the oats, so that the swish could be heard from a great distance, but the oats remained standing.’ The visit of these men was followed immediately by a severe outbreak of plague in Brandenburg. Were the ‘scythes’ long instruments designed to spray poison or germ-laden gasses?

“Strange men in black, demons and other terrifying figures were observed in other European communities carrying ‘brooms’ or ‘scythes’ or ‘swords’ that were used to sweep or knock at people’s doors. The inhabitants of these houses fell ill with plague afterwards. It is from these reports that people created the popular image of death as a skeleton, a demon, a man in a black robe carrying a scythe.”

Notes writer Pat Bertram, in his online comments on Bramley’s account of the origins of the Grim Reaper as a familiar cultural symbol, “The Black Death began in Asia and spread to Europe between 1347 and 1350 where it killed over 25 million people, one-third of the population.” While the current thinking is that the plague was spread by rats in overcrowded cities, Bertram writes, not all outbreaks were preceded by rat infestation and the plague often struck isolated communities that had had no contact with infected areas.

Many people in stricken areas reported the disease was caused by “evil-smelling mists” that were frequently accompanied by bright lights and unusual activity in the skies. Sometimes the disease-bearing mist was seen to be coming from rocket-like airships. An epidemic in ancient times was also linked to similar mists, for which Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed large public bonfires that he believed would get rid of the bad air.

AN INVADING SPACE FLOWER?

In the 1978 version of “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” one of those rare remakes that is as well thought of by critics as the original version, some of the characters engage in a brief exchange about where the invading “pod army” originates.
Elisabeth Driscoll, the movie’s primary heroine, says, “I have seen these flowers all over. They are growing like parasites on other plants. All of a sudden. Where are they coming from?”To which her friend, Nancy Bellicec, replies, “Outer space?”

Nancy’s husband, Jack Bellicec, interjects: “What are you talking about? A space flower?”

Nancy answers him, “Well, why not a space flower? Why do we always expect metal ships?”

Jack then says, “I NEVER expected metal ships.”

Which is a suggestion we should heed, even those of us in the UFO community. Perhaps Morgellons Disease is just the visible portion of an alien invasion being conducted with “space flowers” that carry with them a disease that our medical community either cannot or will not acknowledge as genuine. Maybe Morgellons is the point of entry for an alien force that eschews metal ships in favor of an insidious disease that has inspired a conspiracy of silence among doctors similar to the cover-up of UFOs themselves in other parts of officialdom.

If you experience the terrifying symptoms of Morgellons – the sensation of bugs crawling beneath your skin, painful wounds that open up for no apparent reason and start to expel strange, cotton-like fibers – don’t expect your family physician to help you. Not even the rich and famous, like Joni Mitchell, have been spared the stigma and frustration that comes with complaining of Morgellons symptoms.

But you can at least arm yourself with the well-researched book on the subject by the aforementioned Tim R. Swartz. Reading “The Final Nail In Your Coffin: A Pox To All Of Mankind” will keep you abreast of the latest research on the disease as well as lead you on a fascinating journey through the myriad possibilities of where it comes from. Swartz does not shy away from including even the unthinkable: Could Morgellons be a new bioweapon designed in Earthly laboratories? A military experiment gone wrong that the civilian medical community cannot even analyze as a disease, let alone cure?

Be watchful for another article about “The Final Nail In Your Coffin,” which will cover one more frightening method for mankind’s extermination – the secret ingredient for a nuclear weapon the size of a softball and cheap enough for the terrorist on a tight budget.

Source: Spectral Vision
https://spectralvision.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/have-ufo-occupants-created-deadly
-plagues-throughout-history/

- LITTLE MAN OF THE JUNGLE DEPARTMENT -

Orang Pendek: A Cryptid Likely To Be Caught
By Nick Redfern

Just recently I took part in a debate on a UK-based morning radio-show. The subject was Britain’s so-called “Alien Big Cats,” or ABCs – large cats of the kind that have no business roaming the wilds of the nation. But which are seemingly doing exactly that. The debate then got into a wider issue. What happens if we find undeniable proof of the existence of one or more so-called cryptids? We’re talking about a Bigfoot, a Loch Ness Monster, or a Yeti (the list goes on and on, of course).

I said to the two hosts that we should always remain hopeful, but the reality of the situation is that we have utterly failed – so far – to make a 100 percent solid case that these things exist. My personal opinion is that the lack of any hard proof is due to the beasts being something more (or less) than mere flesh and blood, rather than being due to bad luck.

With that said, however, there is one legendary creature that I think has zero connections to the world of the paranormal and which will, one day soon, very likely be captured and identified. And I hope it will be quickly released back into the wild too, as we definitely don’t want a repeat of the Cecil the lion tragedy. The cryptid I’m referring to is Orang Pendek. All of which brings me to a friend of mine, Richard Freeman.

Richard – of the Center for Fortean Zoology, and formerly a head-keeper at England’s Twycross Zoo – has been on a number of expeditions to the island of Sumatra in search of the Orang Pendek. Having collected an absolute mass of very impressive reports, credible on-the-record testimony, and numerous stories, Richard published his findings in a 2011 book. Its title: Orang Pendek: Sumatra’s Forgotten Ape.

Richard says of his quest to find the answers behind the mystery: “We are impressed by big things; dinosaurs, whales, rhinos, super-tankers, skyscrapers. Mention mystery apes to the man in the street and he will imagine bipedal hairy giants, 10 feet tall. Indeed most reports of such things speak of massive animals; the Yeti, the Yeren, the Sasquatch, and the Yowie.”

He continues: “But for every Bigfoot there is a Littlefoot. Stories of little hairy men are widespread – but none are as famous as Sumatra’s Orang Pendek.” As for the specific nature of the Orang Pendek, here’s what Richard has to say: “Orang Pendek means ‘short man’ in Indonesian. The creature is said to be powerfully built and immensely strong but relatively short at around 4½ to 5ft in height. It walks upright like a man and rarely, if ever, moves on all fours.”

orang_pendek-sumatra-indonesia

As Richard has come to learn during the course of his various expeditions, the Orang Pendek is “…generally said to have dark brown or black fur but honey colored or reddish hair has been reported. Sometimes a long mane of hair that falls down to the shoulders is also mentioned. The Orang Pendek generally seems to be a solitary creature, though there are rare reports of groups of them being seen together.”

CFZ Press note of Richard’s book that it “…looks at the history of sightings of the Orang Pendek; similar creatures across the world; has in-depth accounts of the author’s four CFZ expeditions in search of the creature; and finally analyses the evidence to produce a cogent theory as to what the elusive short man of the forest might actually be.”

If all of that has caught your attention – and you’re interested in learning much more about a mysterious ape that isn’t Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman – then I most definitely recommend you get hold of a copy of the book at the earliest opportunity. It is written skillfully, and in an entertaining fashion, and by someone who knows his way around the island of Sumatra.

Finally, I believe Richard has made a solid case that Orang-Pendek will be found – and sooner rather than later. I may be wrong, but I have a strong suspicion that it won’t be long before this mysterious, little beast is a mystery no more.

Source: Mysterious Universe
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/08/orang-pendek-a-cryptid-likely-to-be-caught/

- IN SEARCH OF ANCIENT HISTORY DEPARTMENT -

Monolith Found Off the Sicilian Coast Is At Least 9000 Years Old

A new paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science has claimed the discovery of a man-made 12 metre long monolith on the bottom of the sea-floor between the island of Sicily and the Tunisian coastline.

Researchers believe the site was abandoned as it was inundated by the rising sea at the end of the last Ice Age, almost 10,000 years ago (although they seem careful not to suggest when the monolith may have been created...though one of their samples appears to date to around 40,000 B.P.?).

The discovery was made at 'Adventure Plateau' - the shallowest part of the entire Sicilian Channel, but a location that saw the most dramatic and intense consequences of changing sea levels at the time. During the Last Glacial Maximum, the area formed a southern peninsula of the Sicilian mainland.

The monolith, found at a water depth of 40 metres, is broken into two parts, and has what appear to be three regular-sized holes bored into it, one which passes right through, and two others part-way through midway along it.

The massive stone was first discovered in late 2012, when detailed sonar sea-floor surveys were conducted in the area. Follow-up scans encouraged researchers to send divers down in 2013 and 2014, who collected rock samples and took around 8 hours of video.

After analysis of various aspects of the discovery, the researchers concluded that the block was made by human hands:

    "From the data we have here presented and analysed, it can be inferred that the monolith discovered in the PVB is not a natural feature, but man-made. The elements that combine to formulate this interpretation can be listed as follows:

* The monolith has a rather regular shape;
* The monolith has three regular holes of similar diameter: one that crosses it completely on its top, and another two at two sides of the monolith; there are no reasonable known natural processes that may produce these elements;
* The monolith is made from stone other than those which constitute all the neighbouring outcrops, and is quite isolated with respect to them; and the lithology and age of the rock that makes up the monolith are similar to those that make up the blocks of the rectilinear ridge closing the embayment.

    "The presence of the monolith suggests extensive human activity in the PVB. It was cut and extracted as a single stone from the outer rectilinear ridge situated about 300 m to the south, and then transported and possibly erected. From the size of the monolith, we may presume that it weights about 15 tons."

The researchers noted that as a consequence of the discovery, "the belief that our ancestors lacked the knowledge, skill and technology to exploit marine resources or make sea crossings, must be progressively abandoned...recent findings of submerged archaeology have definitively removed the idea of “technological primitivism” often attributed to hunter-gatherers coastal settlers."

Readers of alternative historian Graham Hancock's 2003 book Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age might be interested in the conclusion reached by these researchers in 2015: that "the vast majority of marine geophysicist and archaeologists have now realized that to trace the origins of civilization in the Mediterranean region, it is necessary to focus research in the now submerged shelf areas."

Obviously, further investigation and debate will be required before this discovery is confirmed. Will this monolith be consigned to the 'mystery' category along with other underwater sites such as Yonaguni and Bimini Road, or will it completely rewrite the history books like Göbekli Tepe?

Source: The Daily Grail
http://www.dailygrail.com/Hidden-History/2015/8/Twelve-Metre-Long-Monolith
-Found-the-Sicilian-Coast-Is-Least-9000-Years-Old

- WATCH WHERE YOU SWIM DEPARTMENT -

Is Something Lurking in Lake Washington?

MEDINA -- Is it a croc or a crock?

Are razor-toothed reptiles patrolling the waters of Lake Washington? Or has a new suburban legend sprung to life?

Medina wants to know; so does Mercer Island. So do the men and women of law enforcement in both towns.

It was just Wednesday that two reports came in to Medina police that described a shape that looks like "the head of an alligator" near the docks in Lake Washington's Fairweather Bay.

No Bigfoot. No Loch Ness Monster. Not even a critter befitting the descriptions of ancient Indians, whose legends had spotted, horned serpents and other assorted monsters living in the lake.

Still the reports were real enough for police.

Medina police spokeswoman Shannon Gibson would not reveal identities, but said each report was taken seriously and checked out by police -- one by a Medina officer on foot, the other by the Mercer Island Marine Patrol.

"Both were essentially the same," Gibson said. "The people said they saw something that seemed to be a small alligator. The one report said 'head of an alligator.'

"Both were seen from the docks of their residences."

Gibson said there have been no other sightings reported since the two called in on Wednesday.

In a phone call to Sgt. Kim Chandler in the state Department of Fish and Wildlife's regional office in Mill Creek yesterday, there was a long pause before Chandler finally said, "Well, after that cougar was found in Discovery Park back in the 1980s, I've learned never to say never.

"But, in this case I'd have to say, even if it were a caiman (the crocodile's smaller cousin, a native of Central and South America common to the pet-store trade), it would be highly, highly unlikely to see it in that lake this time of year."

His reason, he said, has to do with the nature of caimans and the nature of Pacific Northwest weather.

Crocs and gators and caimans, he said, are coldblooded creatures whose survival depends on the heat of tropical climates.

"Know how cold that lake is right now?" he asked. "Probably something like 47 degrees, which means an animal like that would last for, oh, maybe 20 minutes."

Guides for the care of caimans suggest owners have an enclosure with temperatures that range from 80 to 97 degrees.

Chandler recalled the caimans finally captured sunning themselves at Seattle's Green Lake some years ago, and the caiman captured at the north end of Lake Washington a few years later.

In both cases, he said, it was summer, and in the Green Lake case the water temperature had been pushing past 70 degrees -- still cold by tropical standards.

The owner of a Bellevue pet store has a theory how such a critter might make it outdoors.

Pets & Things owner Elaine Mackin said she and her husband, Bob, don't offer crocodilians for sale at their pet store in Bellevue's Overlake shopping district.

The animals bought as fingerlings grow and grow.

Crocodilians grow fast enough in captivity to make a mess before you know it.

"They're a pain in the (posterior)," she said. "First thing you know, they're 3 feet long and looking to kill you."

So like the bunny set free in a local park, the caiman is released to fend for itself in the decidedly temperate Northwest

Should the Medina sightings turn out to be more than phantasmagorical, Chandler said, the creature spotted might well have been a turtle up for a little sun on an unseasonably warm February day.

"But even if it was what somebody thought it was," he said, "it won't be eating every Cub Scout in the neighborhood. Most of these caimans we've seen released are not much more than a foot long and wouldn't be a danger to anyone, especially not in these temperatures."

The Medina reports nevertheless have people looking twice at splashes in the lake these days.

Michael Peters, a Fairweather Bay neighbor, said yesterday that he is among them.

"I went out to my boat and saw this big swirl in the water," he said. "We have muskrats. We have some freshwater otters. We have ducks that dive. But usually you see them come up.

"This one didn't."

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/213970_lakemonster01.html?source=rss 

- MUSIC LOVER FROM BEYOND DEPARTMENT -

Man Shares Photo of 'Ghost' at Count Basie Theatre
By Shari Puterman

"I love country," McLaughlin says. "My cousin had a bluegrass band and we would go down near the river banks, drink beer and hang out. In the winter, they played down the Shore near Bum Rogers in Seaside Park. That's when I started following Merle."

The "Merle" to which he refers is no other than Grammy-winner and Country Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard.

"After all these years, I finally saw him in concert on June 2 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank," he says. "I read about it in the Asbury Park Press and got tickets. I don't really get out, being with my mother, but I was like, 'Wow, Merle's playing!' "

McLaughlin, who had no date to the show, decided to stop by his friend Mike "Brutus" McCarthy's place in Atlantic Highlands first. After catching up, he hit the road and went down to the theater.

"I love the Basie," he says. "It reminds me of the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, I saw the Dead there."

McLaughlin says he went inside, walked his way down and took in the crowd.

"There were people behind me all dressed up in suits — they looked like mob people," he recalls. "I said, 'Can you see over my cowboy hat?' She said, 'Sir, I can't even see over your shoulders.' "

McLaughlin was so close, he had his arms on the stage.

"I figured if I move to the right side, I can get a better shot of Merle."

That's when he started snapping his camera, "an old piece of garbage — I got it from my friend. An old Pentax with a zoom lens. I just kept snapping and snapping."

It was a night to remember — but things got interesting when he got his photos developed.

McLaughlin noticed someone strange in one of the photos. There is a man standing next to — almost overlapping — Merle's body.

"The guy was never onstage," McLaughlin claims. "Everyone who saw it was kind of puzzled. It sounds a little far-fetched ... the picture looks like the guy is wearing the same outfit as Merle."

The Count Basie Theatre, which has been around for almost 100 years, has long been rumored to house a friendly ghost or two.

Does that explain the mysterious "photo bomber?"

We reached out — and showed the photo — to Jon Vena, director of marketing and public relations for the Basie, to get his expert opinion.

"The Count Basie Theatre celebrates its 90th birthday in 2016," he says. "We've hosted millions of music fans and performing artists, so if ghosts are real… we wouldn't be surprised if they chose to enjoy concerts here in our theater. Our doors are open to everyone!"

McLaughlin, who calls himself a very spiritual person, is convinced that there was a supernatural presence on stage that night.

"It's obvious that somebody's there," he says. "It could be someone from the theater, Merle's uncle or cousin ... the whole thing is just weird."

Merle's publicist didn't have an explanation for the man in the photo, but passed the image along to members of his team. Someone in their camp told her that is was monitor engineer John Wilson, but McLaughlin isn't convinced.

"I don't believe that at all," he says. "I took 70 shots, and it's the only one where you can see this guy. He was never on the stage."

McLaughlin's been all over the radar during his 53 years, but has never seen anything like this.

"As Merle would say, I wear my own kind of hat," he says, referencing the song "My Own Kind of Hat." " I'm like that too, but I don't know why this guy appeared."

Source: App
http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/arts/2015/08/05/toms-river-man-photo-ghost-basie/
31072525/

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Black Boxes: The Science of Pure Magic By Tim R. Swartz
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Weird Hauntings - The Haunted
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