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Once again secret information has made its way over the hidden channels that clandestinely flow throughout the deepest, darkest recesses of the planet. Information, that at times, have brought down whole governments and sent men to their torturous deaths. Information that has finally found its way once again to your email box in the form of Conspiracy Journal! Your number one source of all the news fit to be kept hidden.
This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such Karma-cleansing tales as:
- Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Are Coming From Bots -
- UFO Over Magé, Brazil Sparks Social Media Panic -
- Weakening Magnetic Field Messing with Satellites -
AND: Mystery of the Black MadonnaAll these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
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- KNOW YOUR CONSPIRACIES DEPARTMENT -
Nearly Half of Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories
on Twitter Are Coming From Bots
By EJ Dickson
Some of the misinformation propagated on social media is promoted by people who genuinely believe it to be true. But much of it isn’t promoted by people at all, but by automated accounts, or bots. This is confirmed by a new study from Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Informed Democracy & Social Cybersecurity, which found that a whopping 45% to 60% of accounts on Twitter promoting misinformation related to coronavirus were bots.
As part of the study, researchers analyzed nearly 200 million tweets since January referring to the coronavirus. It looked for specific markers that typically identify bots, such as whether they tweet multiple times in a short period, or copy-paste text from other tweets. The team found more than 100 false narratives and conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 that were perpetuated by bots, such as the idea that 5G wireless towers are spreading the virus, or that the virus was created in a lab in Wuhan, China.
The team did not identify where, exactly, these bots were coming from, but they did find that they accounted for about 82% of the top 50 most influential retweeters. “We’re seeing up to two times as much bot activity as we’d predicted based on previous natural disasters, crises, and elections,” Carley told NPR.
In itself, it isn’t exactly surprising that bots are leading the charge in promoting disinformation related to COVID-19. It is not uncommon for bots created by organized disinformation campaigns to flood platforms during moments of great change or instability, such as U.S. or foreign elections or natural disasters, as we saw with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Back in March, Reuters also reported on a European Union document outlining “a significant disinformation campaign by Russian state media and pro-Kremlin outlets regarding COVID-19” to sow panic and instability in Western countries, an allegation the Kremlin denied.
What is surprising is the degree to which bots are flooding the platforms: As Carley told MIT Technology Review, typically bots comprise about 10% to 20% of the disinformation campaign activity. The COVID-19 pandemic appears to pose a unique opportunity for bad actors to spread false information. As Rolling Stone has previously reported, platforms have struggled to curb COVID-19 conspiracy theories, despite adopting policies that would ostensibly prohibit the spread of misleading or potentially dangerous medical information.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Twitter pointed to a company blog post disputing that all bots were created to sow misinformation and said that “the term is used to mischaracterize accounts” that do not fall in that category. “What’s more important to focus on in 2020 is the holistic behavior of an account, not just whether it’s automated or not. That’s why calls for bot labeling don’t capture the problem we’re trying to solve and the errors we could make to real people that need our service to make their voice heard,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that it has removed more than 2,600 tweets related to COVID-19 and challenged more than 4.3 million accounts “which were targeting discussions around COVID-19 with spammy or manipulative behaviors,” though it stated that “we will not take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19.”
Source: Rolling Stone
- STILL A UFO COVER-UP DEPARTMENT -
UFO Over Magé, Brazil Sparks Social Media Panic
By MJ Banias
Brazilians in the municipality of Magé, just north of Rio de Janeiro, reported seeing mysterious illuminated objects in the sky Wednesday. Several videos of the objects exploded on Reddit and Twitter, sparking incredible speculation about a crashed UFO that has been picked up widely in the Brazilian press.
Magé began to trend on Twitter Wednesday morning when several people began sharing videos of glowing lights in the sky. The videos show blue, red and yellow orbs moving around the sky, and one video shows the lights arranged in a triangular formation.
While the videos themselves are curious, though hardly evidence of anything otherworldly, UFO enthusiasts began to fall down the conspiratorial rabbit hole rather quickly when posts about the event began disappearing on Twitter.
As the event began to gather digital steam, the #MageUFO hashtag began to swell with posts, then, suddenly, vanished. Meanwhile, on the r/UFOs Reddit page, posts concerning the Brazilian UFOs also began to disappear. Crying foul, users began to accuse both Twitter and the moderators of the r/UFOs subreddit of censorship. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Threads and comments about the UFOs were deleted from the r/UFOs subreddit; in a post, a moderator said that “I see a lot of stupidity in this thread, so let me just make it absolutely clear: mods here do not censor. If a post is stupid or offensive it will be removed. If it is a hoax, we'll remove it.”
That moderator has been pilloried in the comments, with dozens of redditors suggesting that perhaps the subreddit for UFOs is where they should be allowed to talk about a UFO event that had thousands of eyewitnesses and dozens of videos posted. People wanting to discuss the event have moved on to r/aliens in the meantime.
To make matters worse, users began posting a Google Maps link showing a satellite image of part of Magé, suggesting a vast conspiracy and Google coverup. It looks like this, which is unfortunate for Google:
A white image glitch in the shape of, well, a flying saucer, seems to appear in a wooded area north of Rio de Janeiro. Google Maps satellite images are not updated instantly, of course, so this is an old image. A Google spokesperson explained to Motherboard what is going on here:
“In this case, what people are seeing in the imagery is a reflection that is temporarily overloading the satellite's sensor,” the spokesperson said. “Essentially, the sun reflected off the surface of that building at just the right angle to briefly blind the satellite. This is a pretty common phenomenon known as saturation or blooming.”
While the Brazilian press reports that no one reported these objects to local authorities, allegations of loud explosions and gunshots, the Brazilian military cordoning off the area, and army personnel arresting anyone trying to get close to the supposed crash site have taken over Twitter and the r/Aliens subreddit.
Typical internet lunacy aside, Brazil has been a long time hotspot for some pretty interesting UFO incidents. In 1957, journalist Ibrahim Sued received an envelope containing small bits of metal from an anonymous source claiming that they were debris from Ubatuba, a beach resort town, where an alleged UFO had crashed. Though not otherworldly in origin, the fragments were a highly pure magnesium. It is unclear where the metal came from and still remains a mystery.
The infamous Colares UFO flap of 1977 made headlines when locals on the island of Colares began reporting strange objects in the sky and bizarre injuries to their bodies. According to researcher and computer scientists Jacques Vallee, several individuals were allegedly killed by the objects witnessed on the island. Reports of radiation and thermal burns, as well as strange scars, fill the Brazilian government’s file on the incident. After a formal investigation, the government concluded that it found no evidence of unusual phenomena.
One of the most bizarre cases occurred in 1996 when several people claimed to witness a strange alien creature roaming the streets of Varginha City. Looking like “the devil,” the large headed brown skinned 5 foot tall being was first spotted by three women on a January afternoon. Several other sightings were reported, and even the Wall Street Journal picked up the story. Silly as it may sound, it still exists as one of Brazil’s most famous cases.
While this latest Brazlian UFO incident will most likely join the countless other UFO mysteries that haunt South America’s skies, skeptics have argued that the lights over Magé were simply skydivers equipped with pyrotechnics, chinese lanterns, or drones.
- HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT DEPARTMENT -
Navy Veteran Says Pentagon has Not Released Complete UFO Footage
By Nirmal Narayanan
It was in 2017 that To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences released multiple UFO videos that showed a mysterious flying craft screeching across the skies in breathtaking speed. The video was captured using infrared cameras onboard American military jets, and it made many believe that something sinister is going on in the skies.
As rumors surrounding UFOs heated up, Pentagon officially released these videos a few weeks back and claimed that 'unidentified aerial phenomenon' is a real deal.
Did Pentagon Release Complete UFO Footage?
Now, Kevin Day, a US Navy veteran who initially spotted the strange object has claimed that the footage released by Pentagon is actually short, and the original video could be much longer. Day made these remarks while talking to Brain Hanley on his YouTube channel.
"As soon as I give the flight the order to intercept the vector, they'll say words to the effect of 'flights on, tapes on. This means they turn on all the recording devices right from the very beginning. In other words, you don't wait for something fun to happen for you to turn your recorder on because you're going to miss it. So there has to be a longer video, there has to be," said Day.
Kevin Day is not the only Navy official who claimed Pentagon's alleged coverup in the tic-tac UFO incident. A few months back, Petty Officer Jason Turner had claimed to have seen a video that showed this flying object having bizarre legs. Some Navy officers believe that Pentagon has actually released a blurred video of the incident, and the clear clip is kept under the wraps.
The unexpected release of UFO videos by Pentagon has shocked many and several conspiracy theorists believe that this is the first step of alien disclosure. According to these conspiracy theorists, alien disclosure is not a sudden procedure, and it is basically a gradual process.
However, in their statement, Pentagon did not talk anything about aliens, and the defense department made it clear that these flying objects are actually 'unidentified'.
Source: IB Times
- THE SOUTH ATLANTIC ANOMALY DEPARTMENT -
Weakening Magnetic Field Messing with Satellites
Earth's magnetic field, which is vital to protecting life on our planet from solar radiation, is mysteriously weakening.
On average the planet's magnetic field has lost almost 10% of its strength over the last two centuries, but there is a large localised region of weakness stretching from Africa to South America.
Known as the South Atlantic Anomaly, the field strength in this area has rapidly shrunk over the past 50 years just as the area itself has grown and moved westward.
Over the past five years a second centre of minimum intensity has developed southwest of Africa, which researchers believe indicates the anomaly could split into two separate cells.
The anomaly is causing technical difficulties for satellites orbiting the Earth.
European Space Agency (ESA) scientists from the Swarm Data, Innovation and Science Cluster (DISC) are using data from ESA's Swarm satellite constellation to study the anomaly.
Swarm satellites are designed to identify and precisely measure the different magnetic signals that make up Earth's magnetic field.
Dr Jurgen Matzka, from the German Research Centre for Geosciences, said: "The new, eastern minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly has appeared over the last decade and in recent years is developing vigorously.
"We are very lucky to have the Swarm satellites in orbit to investigate the development of the South Atlantic Anomaly. The challenge now is to understand the processes in Earth's core driving these changes."
One speculation is that the weakening of the field is a sign that the Earth is heading for a pole reversal - in which the north and south magnetic poles flip.
This flip doesn't happen immediately, but instead would occur over the course of a couple of centuries during which there would be multiple north and south magnetic poles all around the globe.
"Such events have occurred many times throughout the planet's history," said ESA, noting "we are long overdue by the average rate at which these reversals take place (roughly every 250,000 years)".
That said, the space agency also noted that the dip occurring in the South Atlantic was "well within what is considered normal levels of fluctuations".
For people on the surface the anomaly is unlikely to cause any alarm, but satellites and other spacecraft flying through the area are experiencing technical malfunctions.
Because the magnetic field is weaker in the region, charged particles from the cosmos can penetrate through to the altitudes that low-Earth orbiting satellites fly at.
"The mystery of the origin of the South Atlantic Anomaly has yet to be solved," added ESA.
"However, one thing is certain: magnetic field observations from Swarm are providing exciting new insights into the scarcely understood processes of Earth's interior."
Source: Sky News
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- VOICES FROM BEYOND DEPARTMENT -
Spirit of the Radio: Broadcasts from the Unknown
By Scott Corrales
[Prologue: A few nights ago I heard Clyde Lewis of the Ground Zero radio program playing some fascinating clips of "paranormal radio broadcasts" received in the UK during the 70s and in Florida, possibly around the same time. YouTube has given us a number of purported alien radio transmissions as well. This brought to mind an article I wrote in 2003 bearing the title "Spirit of the Radio", which also approached this intriguing phenomenon. Given the electromagnetic nature of the medium, one can easily imagine ultraterrestrial creatures availing themselves of it to mystify human audiences. The technology with which such transmissions could be made in the 1970s was non-existent (or perhaps available only to the military) and we wonder to this day who or what may have been behind it all...]
Deejays Spinning Saucers
Throughout the Seventies and early Eighties, WBMJ-AM "Radio Rock" was the undisputed leader of popular music in San Juan, Puerto Rico, playing an eclectic mix of rock, disco, country and salsa tunes for both local listeners and members of the armed forces stationed in the San Juan region. The station's slogan, "broadcasting from the fabulous Cloud Room at the Vista Bahía Hotel" caused listeners to involuntarily cast their eyes toward the towering building from which both the music and the deejays' chatter emerged.
April 1975 had been a month of considerable UFO activity over the island, tied in with the depredations of the enigmatic creature known to the media as the "Moca Vampire" for its activities in that town of the island's western half; sightings had become commonplace over the San Juan metro area, which had nearly a million inhabitants at the time. With a view commanding San Juan Bay and most of the metropolitan area, disc jockey Willy López was able to see stunning sunrises and sunsets from the aptly-named Cloud Room, but nothing had prepared him for what he was about to see on April 6, 1975.
At ten forty-five in the evening, López was cueing up the next round of songs when he was startled by three loud, solid knocks on the large glass windowpane leading out to a narrow terrace which could only be accessed from within the Radio Rock offices. The deejay reportedly saw a "luminous figure" running along the terrace. Plucking up the courage to part a curtain and look outside, López saw a glowing yellow-white object suspended in the only a few feet over a nearby cooling tower. The object was saucer-shaped and he estimated its diameter at approximately forty feet; it appeared to balance itself gently over the cooling tower and its unearthly luminosity remained constant. Frightened, the deejay closed the curtain and did the first thing that came to mind: interrupt the music to tell his listeners exactly what was happening in the skies over the city's Miramar section--an important moment in radio history remembered only by a few.
A friend came into the station's broadcasting studio and joined López in venturing out to the terrace, which they found to be unnaturally hot. The bright object had since disappeared.
According to author Sebastián Robiou, the Willie López experience was never picked up by the newspapers, but it caused considerable interest among other broadcasters, who even urged the Civil Defense to take Geiger counter readings of Radio Rock's terrace area. Public officials apparently did this, but the results were never made known. Two days later, another event described as "strange" occurred at Radio Rock as considerable part of San Juan was plunged into a blackout.
Radio Rock went off the air in the early 1980s. The Vista Bahía Hotel and its Cloud Room are the only remaining witnesses to the strange phenomenon...and they aren't talking.
But the disappearance of a certain radio station did not mean that the UFO phenomenon's interest in the medium had evaporated. Two decades later, Sammy Acevedo, a popular radio disk jockey who goes by the moniker of "Happy" on his radio show on X-100 FM, claims to have seen the nocturnal maneuvers of an unidentified flying object on the 24th of July, 1993. Ironically, "Happy" has become well known for his radio parodies of the numerous UFO sightings which have taken place on the island over the past years. The disk jockey qualified his sighting as "a unique experience" in his life.
"I had never seen any of that, but on Saturday I realized that those things are real," he stated. Acevedo's sighting took place while he was inside a phone booth near the old El Comandante racetrack. The entire event lasted 8 to 10 seconds--all it took the metallic object emitting a pale yellow glow to move across his line of sight, soundlessly. "I don't think the object was round. Rather, it was wide in the middle and narrow at its sides." When asked about the possibility that it may have been a advertising helicopter, Acevedo stressed that it was completely silent.
Two years after Acevedo's CE-1, another radio personality, José Raúl Arriaga from the town of Barranquitas, would have his own story to tell.
In the fall of 1995, Arriaga had taken so many phone calls from eyewitnesses of UFO activity over the preceding twenty months that to say that such cases no longer moved him would be an understatement. However, his interest was about to be rekindled as the control boards at Radio Prócer went crazy during his turn at the mike. The cause: a UFO was hovering over the station's transmitter.
Arriaga stated that at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18th, he became aware that all the needles on the station's control boards had gone haywire. At the same time, he heard a clamor of voices outside the studio. Upon checking to see what the reason for the commotion could be, he noticed a glow in the night sky and what appeared to be an oval shaped vehicle in mid-air, orbiting Radio Prócer's antenna.
"Whatever that thing was," Arriaga told the press later on, "it was spinning around the station's transmitter. I think that's what caused the boards to distort. After a few more spins, the vehicle took off in the direction of Barrio Helechal. We were showered with phone calls soon after from people who, like me, had been witnesses to the situation."
From Ultracom to Friendship
If UFOs are indeed crewed vessels from another star system coming to our world on scientific missions or endeavors that we can only guess at, the question of how communications would be possible between the "squadrons" of UFOs reported on certain occasions and their larger carrier vessels. These putative space explorers must be under orders to maintain strict silence in their communications, since transmissions between them have not been detected by any means known to us. It is entirely possible, of course, that they have moved beyond the need to employ radio signals, much as our own society has transcended the need for carrier pigeons and smoke signals. Perhaps eyewitness accounts of UFOs firing beams of light at each other could in fact represent some form of ship-to-ship communication; it is also possible that thought transmission of some sort is employed.
Norman Briazak and Simon Mennick's The UFO Encyclopedia (Citadel, 1978) addresses this peculiarity of the phenomenon and leans toward the belief that a more advanced method of communication (perhaps akin to Star Trek's subspace transmissions or the "tight beams" of Asimov's Foundation stories) are being used. The UFO Encyclopedia makes reference to an alleged U.S. military system dubbed "Ultracom" which makes use of an ultraviolet beam for sending messages. While the authors caution that such as system could not be employed between a planetary atmosphere and deep space due to our atmosphere's absorption of ultraviolet wavelengths, it is nonetheless ideal for relaying messages between vehicles in Earth's atmosphere.
Yet a highly controversial Latin American case suggests that some UFOs may employ old fashioned radio to communicate, or at least are able to use it their dealings with earthlings. The case is simply known as "Friendship" after the elusive group of humans and non-humans allegedly operating out of an island in the archipelagoes of southern Chile.
In 1984, a ham radio operator of by the name of Octavio Ortiz, a married resident of Santiago de Chile and proud owner of a 27 megacycle CB base station with which he talks to DXers all over the world, became the protagonist of a drama that unfolds to this very day. That year, Ortiz received a distress call from a vessel that claimed to be ensnared by a mysterious light that was playing havoc with the ship's electronics. The light--an unknown craft--descended even lower over the vessel. Bewildered, Ortiz offered to retransmit messages to the authorities of the port of Iquique on behalf of the ship's master.
As a result of this, Ortiz struck up a friendship with the ship's master, a man named Alberto, who told him that he had been recruited by mysterious "gringos" to ferry equipment and supplies to one of the myriad islands in the Chonos Archipelago. These elusive northerners described themselves as a "congregation" and dubbed themselves and their island "Friendship".
Octavio Ortiz would eventually have the chance to speak directly over his ham radio with one "Ariel", one of the strange members of the Friendship. In an interview with Spanish journalist and broadcaster Josep Guijarro, Ortiz explained that whenever "Ariel" speaks to him over the ham radio, the needles on his equipment jump, indicating that a transmitter of enormous power is being employed. Nor is Ortiz the only one to speak with this entity: his wife Cristina boldly asked "Ariel" where he and his group came from. The voice replied that they were "not of this world, but belonged to Humankind."
In August 1985, little over a year since Ortiz relayed the message from the vessel besieged by the strange craft, a shining object appeared in the early afternoon over their home in Santiago. According to their testimony, a voice on the ham radio bade them to "Come out! come out!" After doing so and talking to "Ariel" on the ham radio, they realized that the UFO was an object remotely controlled by the mysterious Friendship.
According to Guijarro, renowned ufologist Jorge E. Anfruns made note of a highly important detail: "Some of the ham operators were phoning the newspapers to report interference with their sophisticated equipment." Proof that strange cabal actually controlled the saucer? The Ortiz family believes that the object was not remotely controlled, but that their friend "Ariel" was actually aboard it.
More could be said about this bizarre sect of humans who possess advanced technology or aliens who claim some sort of kinship with our species, but it goes far beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that the Chilean Navy appears to have been aware for many years of the radio interference and problems caused by the strange objects operating in the vicinity of the Chonos islands. Josep Guijarro received a letter from a man who served five years in at a naval radio station in Puerto Montt, stating: "We were sick of these devils, who often jammed our communications with immensely powerful high-tech distorting equipment, which on occasions even produced invisible barriers surrounding all of the Taitao Peninsula and left all boats, including the Navy, bereft of communications."
This chilling admission from a military man leaves us wondering if the Friendship really lives up to its name.
Space Brother Airtime
In 1977, UFO contactee and radio broadcaster Orlando Rimax played a fascinating recording on his show "Otros Mundos" (Other Worlds). The tape, recorded either in the Dominican Republic or in Puerto Rico, featured the haunting and distorted baritone of a being calling itself "Omicron". The purported space entity had been picked up by a ham radio operation and it seemed to be taking a great deal of time establishing its non-human bona fides. Intrusions such as this one appear to be frequent in contactee circles; they are often dismissed as hoaxes, but they are nonetheless intriguing. In the latest reissue of George Hunt Williamson's classic contactee work "Other Flesh, Other Voices", UFO author and publisher Timothy Green Beckley makes the interesting note that Williamson was a ham operator
"who claimed contact with extraterrestrial beings who were
continually broadcasting messages from spaceships
circling in the Earth's uppermost atmosphere."
Alleged TV and Radio Broadcasts from Space, an Internet document written by Jon Hurst, provides transatlantic equivalents to incidents similar to the "Omicron" transmission.
In January 1971, a call-in show on Greater London Radio received a call from "a cold, metallic voice" claiming an extraterrestrial origin. The voice, which did not give itself a name, said it was "speaking by thought transference guided by computer" and imparted the usual patter about the difficulties of life on Earth and humanity's unwillingness to forsake its primitive ways. When asked by the program's host if it was possible to humans to see the interstellar interlocutor, it replied that it was "possible to assume human appearance" for a specific number of minutes.
The ubiquitous Ashtar Command, a source of "space brother" wisdom for many decades, apparently transcended wireless to appear on the small screen. The Command hijacked a number of transmitters belonging to the Southern ITV network at 5:12 p.m. on November 26, 1977, broadcasting its message directly over a news broadcast. The network appears to have been unaware of the problem at the time, or completely unable to correct it. "Possibly," writes Hurst, "this was because the source of the overriding signal was not terrestrial in nature."
The message went on for a little over five minutes, and contained a familiar warning: "We come to warn you of the destiny of your race and your world so that you may communicate to your fellow beings the course you must take to avoid the disasters which threaten your world, and the beings on our worlds around you. This is in order that you may share in the great awakening, as the planet passes into the New Age of Aquarius. The New Age can be a time of great peace and evolution for your race, but only if your rulers are made aware of the evil forces that can overshadow their judgments."
The Perils of FM?
In the Winter 1997 issue of the defunct SAMIZDAT newsletter, Argentinean researcher Guillermo Aldunati voiced his concern that alleged UFO abductions appeared to be more prevalent in areas with "high levels of ELF radiation and FM radio waves", noting that the Argentinean city of Rosario boasted an inordinate number of FM stations. " Why do these cases occur where radio station antennae form a perfect triangle? Coincidence? Happenstance?" asks a bewildered Aldunati.
His article goes on to mention a young woman identified by the pseudonym of "Alicia", who at the time of the event was a passenger aboard a bus along Route 131. She was comfortably seated, Aldunati reports, and listening an FM station on her Walkman©. At around 9:30 p.m., "the station's musical programming changed suddenly: rather than soft instrumental music, a sort of choral music performed in a foreign language made itself heard. Alicia tried hanging stations, but found that she was unable to do so. Her fingers were paralyzed, as well as the rest of her body, given that at that time a light or white fog enveloped her body. Her surroundings --everything she had seen before on the bus--vanished altogether."
Despite this utter transmogrification of reality, Alicia could still feel herself seated on the bus seat even as the eerie music conveyed her to a glowing point in space which slowly turned into a spacecraft. "Within the vessel," continues Aldunati, "Alicia reportedly saw a large-headed, dwarfish creature who took her hands and began touching certain points of her body. The eyewitness' drawing shows a being which corresponds to the classic, large-headed Greys.The creature softly felt her abdomen. Alicia feels that this exam has a meaning she still cannot fathom. Shortly after, still enveloped in the strange fog and listening to the same music, feels herself transported back to the bus and can make out other shapes aboard, such as the driver and other passengers, as the fog dissipated. Looking out the window, Alicia realized the bus had gone two blocks beyond her own stop, forcing her to get off at the next stop and beat a retreat home."
The experience did not end there: we are told that Alicia was able to have one of her parents listen to the bizarre music pouring from the personal stereo and subsequently from the home stereo, when an effort was made to tune in the station. The music, according to the experiencer, was accompanied by an unpleasant noise. Normal programming was eventual restored, but Alicia appears to have suffered a series of nightmares involving the non-human beings from her experience.
The author ominously wonders if the young woman "tuned into an FM station which was broadcasting a kind of diabolic music capable of inducing the phenomenon being discussed, and if so, was it coincidental?"
Alicia's experience could simply be discarded as one of those "one off" events of high strangeness which are seldom if ever repeated, were it not for another strange case involving an anonymous young man who contacted the Más Allá del Limite radio show: once, while handling a piece of equipment to plug it into an organ, since the experiencer was a composer of Rock music, he felt a loud sound, similar to an explosion at the side of his room, while a powerful, spherical ball of light struck his forehead, causing great pain both in front and in back of his head. Meanwhile, a strange voice called his name twice from one of the loudspeakers. There is no need to say that this experience terrified the witness, who was alone at the time and was unable to find any experience whatsoever. The young man would have subsequent experiences in which brilliant blue lights would form part of the environment.
Radio has been associated with the possibility of extraterrestrial life since its inception. Not only did Guglielmo Marconi, the father of radio, believe that he had received signals from the planet Mars, but our current SETI efforts to turn our collective electronic ears skyward in the forlorn hope of getting a "Hello!" from a distant planet. The ET/radio connection was extrapolated in works of science fiction and popular culture--what could be more chilling than the "Please Stand By" episode from The Outer Limits, where a space entity comes to Earth travelling on radio waves transmitted by the radio announcer portrayed by actor Cliff Robertson?
Perhaps ET doesn't phone home--he just tunes in...
Mystery of the Black Madonna
The Black Madonna has been a figure of mystery for centuries. Some say she’s simply a statue of the Virgin Mary carved from black wood, or perhaps has soot on her skin from the smoke of thousands of candles. But speculation goes much deeper than that.
Throughout Europe, especially in France, about 500 Black Madonnas, painted or carved in wood or stone, stand in Catholic churches, with a few in museums. Most date from the 11th to the 15th centuries. These medieval images of the Virgin holding the Christ Child gaze benignly on their devotees, who come as pilgrims and associate them with miracles and healing.
Other researchers into the mystique of the Black Madonna state that the reasons that the Roman Catholic Church in general has not warmly embraced such depictions of the Holy Mother or Virgin Mary are because they fear that such representations are actually paying tribute to the ancient goddesses and Earth mothers and that these images perpetuate strains of pagan worship of the female principle. For example, church scholars point out that St. Germain de Pres, the oldest church in Paris (Par-isis, the Grove of Isis), was built in 542 on the site of a former temple dedicated to Isis. Isis had been the patron goddess of Paris until Christianity replaced her with St. Genevieve. Within the church of St. Germain de Pres, however, parishioners worshipped a black statue of Isis until it was destroyed in 1514.
Christianity warred against goddess worship from the days of the apostles when St. Paul (d. 62–68 C.E.) found to his great frustration that his message was being shouted down by the crowds at Ephesus who pledged their obeisance to Diana. Until they had been romanized and westernized, Diana/Artemis, together with the other two preeminent goddesses of the East, Isis and Cybele, were first represented as black madonnas. And before the people of the East bent their knees to Diana, Isis, and Cybele, they had worshipped the Great Mother as Inanna in Sumeria, as Ishtar in Babylonia, and as Astarte among the Hebrews. Most scholars agree that among the first images of the Black Madonna and her son were representations of Isis and Horus.
The Black Madonna may also refer to Mary Magdalene, who, in the traditions of many Christian sects, such as the Gnostics, was the wife of Jesus (c. 6 B.C.E.–c. 30 C.E.) In this interpretation of the events that occurred after Jesus' death at the hands of the Romans, Mary brought the cup used at the Last Supper—the Holy Grail—from Palestine to southern France, where it would eventually be guarded by the Knights Templar.
There is also a belief that Mary arrived in France carrying within her womb a child fathered by Jesus of Nazareth, who then became the progenitor for the royal family of France. For those who hold such beliefs, the Holy Grail is but a metaphor for Mary Magdalene's womb, which carried the true blood of Jesus in the person of his unborn son. Therefore, many of the depictions of the Black Madonna and child throughout the regions of southern France and Spain may be regarded as images of Mary Magdalene carrying the infant son of Jesus rather than the Virgin Mary carrying the infant Jesus.
Here’s where you’ll find a few of the better-known Black Madonnas, or Vierges Noires:
France: Chartres, Rocamadour, Puy-en-Velay
In the great cathedral in Chartres, 50 miles southwest of Paris, there are two Black Madonnas. Notre Dame de Pilar, a 16th-century copy of a figure from the 13th century, stands in her gown of gold in a side chapel of the cathedral. She perches regally atop a high pillar, surrounded by candles. Notre Dame de Sous-Terre (“Our Lady of the Underground”) is tucked away in a crypt near a holy well that dates from pre-Christian days. During the French Revolution, the sculpture in the crypt was destroyed, and in 1856 a replica was sculpted.
Rocamadour is a town 100 miles north of Toulouse, set against a high cliff with spectacular views of the countryside. A long staircase rises from town to the church (there is also an elevator). Pilgrims sometimes crawl up the 216 stairs on their knees to reach the Chapelle de Notre Dame, a separate chapel devoted to a lovely, carved Black Madonna. This shrine has been a sacred place of renown for centuries, credited with numerous miracles.
Le Puy-en-Velay, 274 miles south of Paris, is a charming town set on hills. Climbing one of those hills takes you to the Romanesque Cathédrale Notre Dame. The small Black Madonna is in the cathedral against a curtain backdrop, resplendent in her full golden robe, with only her face and the Christ Child’s showing. On August 15, the Assumption of Mary is celebrated by carrying the Black Madonna statue in a procession through town.
The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln is a Gothic wood carving that dates probably from the 15th century. Wearing a brocade robe and gold crown, she’s in a black marble chapel in the basilica of a Benedictine monastery. This Madonna has long been considered a shrine of healing; hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit every year. The elaborate, baroque abbey church is 20 miles southeast of Zurich. Every day, the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours are sung by the Benedictine monks in Gregorian chant. Near the abbey a nativity scene said to be the world’s largest holds some 500 wooden figures.
La Moreneta is a statue said to have been carved by St. Luke. It was brought to Spain, hidden, and discovered in the 9th century and now stands in a basilica next to a monastery. This small Black Madonna is seated with the child on her lap. If you get to the basilica at 1 pm you may hear one of Europe’s oldest and best-known boys’ choirs in their daily singing of the Montserrat hymn. A funicular and walking path lead up to the Holy Grotto, considered to be the site where La Moreneta was discovered.
The “Queen of Poland” is hugely influential to Poles and a steady stream of visiting pilgrims. This is another icon traced to St. Luke, who is said to have painted it on a cypress table top (No wonder Luke is the patron saint of artists.) It came to Poland in the 14th century. This Black Madonna, with a mournful face, wears a robe with a design of lilies; Jesus is in a gold-trimmed red robe. Both have crowns. The national shrine is in a chapel attached to a baroque basilica on a hilltop in south-central Poland. A large Pauline monastery is a part of the sanctuary, run by the Pauline fathers who celebrated their 700th anniversary in 2010.
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