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5/18/07  #417
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The crystal ball glimmered with an iridescence of days of future past.  The nearby flickering candles threw shadows of  things yet to be upon the orbs crystalline matrix.  The prophet, withered and aged, breathed deeply of the smokey air and continued to gaze deeply into the heart of the crystal.   Deep within his brain, universal connections that bind us all in a web of  wholeness are stimulated by the hypnotic shapes that danced faintly in the ball.  Time and space are one and all information contained within reality are available to those who can master their intellect and allow the stream of information to be downloaded directly into the brain -- bypassing the rational mind that would block anything received through such unconventional methods.  The prophet sighs in contentment -- because once again his crystal ball has brought him his subscription to Conspiracy Journal, the free weekly e-mail newsletter of everything weird and strange from the past present and future.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such teeth-clenching stories as:

- Scientists Cast Doubt on JFK Bullet Analysis -
- UFOs Over Hispaniola -
- The Secrets of Fatima -
- 007's Creator Was in Plot to Frame Witch -
AND:  We’ve Yet to Meet a Yeti

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~




SHOT WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE HOLY CITY WITH HIDDEN CAMERAS The Vatican has been shrouded in mystery and intrigue for centuries. Except for the highest Cardinals and Bishops, the public and even members of the priesthood are not privy to the inner workings of the Church. It is rumored that there are in the secret archives centuries-old artifacts that, if exposed, could embarrass the standard-bearers of the faith. Searching for truth has always been the Conspiracy Journal's main goal. With this in mind, we recently "invaded" the walls of the Vatican with our hidden cameras on a fact finding mission. On our return, we followed up our investigation by interviewing such astute researchers as: Jordan Maxwell - Brad Steiger - Patricia Ress - Penny Melis - and Diane Tessman.

* Does the Vatican conceal knowledge that the crucifixion was a fraud?
* Is there a secret cabal of Satanists within the Vatican to further the evil conspiracy of the New World Order?
* Learn about the UFO sighting that occurred over the Vatican the morning of the funeral of Pope John Paul.
* Can exorcism be a futile effort that often results in the death of the possessed?
* What secrets is the Vatican keeping about the perilous future of our world?
* Is the Vatican link to the Hubble Telescope evidence that they are aware that Planet X is headed toward Earth?

SPECIAL BONUS OFFER - If you act right now, you will also get the FREE unedited audio interviews with Brad Steiger, Jordan Maxwell, Patricia Ress, and noted psychic Penny Melis. These interviews were conducted by Sean Casteel for use in the documentary. However, as with every documentary, only a small portion of each interview ever makes it to the screen. Now you can hear the complete, unedited interviews as each researcher reveals what they know concerning the secrets of the Vatican.

This controversial documentary is now available
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Scientists Cast Doubt on JFK Bullet Analysis

Multiple shooters possible, study says.

In a collision of 21st-century science and decades-old conspiracy theories, a research team that includes a former top FBI scientist is challenging the bullet analysis used by the government to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James.

The researchers' re-analysis involved new statistical calculations and a modern chemical analysis of bullets from the same batch Oswald is purported to have used. They reached no conclusion about whether more than one gunman was involved, but urged that authorities conduct a new and complete forensic re-analysis of the five bullet fragments left from the assassination 44 years ago.

"Given the significance and impact of the JFK assassination, it is scientifically desirable for the evidentiary fragments to be re-analyzed," the researchers said.

Tobin was the FBI lab's chief metallurgy expert for more than two decades. He analyzed metal evidence in major cases that included the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island.

After retiring, he attracted national attention by questioning the FBI science used in prosecutions for decades to match bullets to crime suspects through their lead content. The questions he and others raised prompted a National Academy of Sciences review that in 2003 concluded that the FBI's bullet lead analysis was flawed. The FBI agreed and generally ended the use of that type of analysis.

Using new guidelines set forth by the National Academy of Sciences for proper bullet analysis, Tobin and his colleagues at Texas A&M re-analyzed the bullet evidence used by the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations, which concluded that only one shooter, Oswald, fired the shots that killed Kennedy in Dallas.

The committee's finding was based in part on the research of now-deceased University of California at Irvine chemist Vincent P. Guinn. He used bullet lead analysis to conclude that the five bullet fragments recovered from the Kennedy assassination scene came from just two bullets, which were traced to the same batch of bullets Oswald owned.

To do their research, Tobin, Spiegelman and James said they bought the same brand and lot of bullets used by Oswald and analyzed their lead using the new standards. The bullets from that batch are still on the market as collectors' items.

They found that the scientific and statistical assumptions Guinn used -- and the government accepted at the time -- to conclude that the fragments came from just two bullets fired from Oswald's gun were wrong.

"This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets," the researchers said.

"If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely, as the additional bullet would not be attributable to the main suspect, Mr. Oswald."

Source: The Washington Post


UFOs Over Hispaniola

On August 29, 2005, Carlos Peña, an engineer from the Dominican Republic, witnessed an object he described as a "black UFO" flying at an estimated altitude of a thousand to three thousand meters (calculated by the object's flight between two different cloud strata). "The object was traveling from West to East and its shape was hard to describe," said the engineer in his report. "I was unable to define its shape, but I believe it was something [...] like the alleged "flying humanoids" seen in Mexico over recent months. I cannot relate it to any other object, such as balloons, birds,
airplanes, etc. on account to its very strange shape."

The sighting lasted only forty seconds, but it is possibly the only sighting of a UFO in the Dominican Republic in recent years.   Just as it is true that some countries or parts of our planet appear to be "UFO prone", there are others that remain ufologically quiet for decades after having had significant case histories involving UFO sightings and encounters and brushes with the paranormal. One of these countries is the Dominican Republic, which experienced a series of "flaps" in the 1970s that attracted international attention, as we shall see from the cases below.

Lost in Antiquity

UFO activity in the Dominican Republic may go as far back as the caves: The island's early inhabitants have left us a legacy of petroglyphs to be found in the province of Sanamá, depicting unknown artifacts project rays of light and others with clearly detailed ladders coming out their hulls (anthropologists describe these depictions as ceremonial masks and representations of the "cemí" deities of the ancient Tainos, however). These images are hardly unique:  Aimé Michel, one of France's foremost UFO researchers, was prompted to believe that many of the petroglyphs found in French and Spanish caves actually depicted unknown flying objects and not "hunting traps, nets or fences", as anthropologists would have it.

The island has also enjoyed the distinction of being at the center of a controversy which has raged since the 16th century: whether it was discovered by Columbus during his second voyage to the "New World", or if it was indeed discovered in 1480 by Alfonso Sánchez, master of the hapless caravel Atlante, who left detailed records of his exploration of the island along with a map, which may have come into the Genoese mariner's possession. But not even this controversy has come close to the contemporary furor over the strange objects reported in the skies, seas and land of the Dominican Republic.
A Decade of Intense Activity

November 1972 marked the high point of UFO and paranormal activity over the Dominican Republic. One of the most memorable cases involved the remarkable healing of a woman afflicted with cancer of the stomach following the sudden apparition of an unidentified flying object. On November 6 that year, a prayer service was held at the home Mrs. Ramona de Baez, 45, in the town of Paya on the southern coast of Hispaniola. Some ten people stood in a circle around Mrs. Baez, who lay in bed. Suddenly, one of the guests - a woman named Julia Elvira - reportedly saw a light "like a large star" through the window, approaching the house from a considerable distance until it finally came to rest upon the house, flooding it with light. This event caused a panic among those within, except for Marino Baez, who was leading the prayers. Mr. Baez reportedly "saw an angel" taking him by the hand to lead him back to the ailing Ramona's bed. There, the luminous entity allegedly placed its hands over the patient's abdomen, causing her to fall asleep. Five minutes later, Ramona leaped out of bed saying that she no longer felt ill. At no point did the patient ever see the entity - only Mr. Baez's hands on her stomach and  "a cold sensation in her back".  The case became widely known throughout the region, prompting researchers to contact Ramona Baez's oncologist, Dr. Oscar Espaillat, who confirmed her condition and status, adding that the woman had never returned for further treatment.

Earlier that same year, the Dominican press had published reports on the remarkable healings carried out by Luciana Pelàez of the town of Barahona. Ms. Peláez was a fervent Catholic whose healings attracted national attention, even that of President Joaquin Balaguer, who said that Ms. Peláez was "deserving of respect and high esteem". It is not known if the chief executive ever resorted to the healer's cures, as has occurred with healers and other Latin American officials (Mexico's Plutarco Elías Calles with "Niño Fidencio" and Brazil's Jacinto Kubitschek with the world famous "Zé Arigo"). On March 29th, Ms. Pelaez held an open mass outside the city of Santo Domingo, asking those in attendance to offer prayers for the sick and cautioning that "something" might take place later that evening that should be perceived only as a "manifestation of God."

At six thirty, the healer fell into a trance and the crowd began to weep and shout, prompting the priest celebrating the mass to interrupt the service and look to the sky: right beside the moon, there was a second "moon" rising and sinking  among the clouds, emitting a yellowish glow that increased brightly before dimming once more. The religious service was only able to continue after the crowd's level of excitement over this strange phenomenon had subsided.

Surprising encounters with humanoids were soon to follow: In September 1972, a driver near the town of Palenque in the Dominican Republic was flagged down by a trio of aliens in gray, form-fitting uniforms and with lemon-hued skins. An egg-shaped UFO was in the background, and the driver became understandably concerned for his safety. One of the aliens approached him and engaged him in perfect Spanish, telling him that he had once been as human as he was, having been rescued by the aliens from nearly drowning in the high seas ten years previously. His human name had been Freddy Miller, and he had successfully adapted to living on the aliens' home world.

The inability to get a good night's sleep on a hot spring night managed to land Mario Garcia, a private pilot, in the pages of UFO history. At 2 o'clock in the morning on May 24, 1976, he got out of bed to breathe some fresh air on his apartment's balcony. The presence of some strange flashes of light to the south prompted him to go back inside for his telescope, and looking through the eyepiece he was able to see an oval object with a small row of windows along its midsection. Its surface was so highly polished, García would later tell researchers, that the slightest reflected light could blind any onlooker. Setting his aviation knowledge to the matter, García said that the unidentified object was rising between fifty to one hundred feet a minute, "as though carrying a very heavy cargo" until it reached an 3000-foot altitude. At that point, it retracted its prominent landing gear and its antenna circled a number of times "as if trying to lock on to a signal or tracking device." The unusual and science-fictionish craft vanished toward the west "at a speed incomprehensible to the human mind."

The Robot Man

An afternoon playing with cousins and the family dog developed into a full-blown encounter with the unknown for a ten year-old boy from the village of El Fundo. He had been playing outdoors around five o'clock on the family property when the dog - a Collie - began barking frantically at one of the sheds located on the premises. From behind the wood and zinc structure emerged "a man like a robot"  who ignored the canine vocalizations and began walking in a straight line, seemingly oblivious to the frightened children, who ran away and hit in the shrubbery. It was then that the ten year-old heard an unusual sound which he described as "a cavalry charge". Turning to see what the source of the noise was, he was startled to see an orb measuring approximately three feet in diameter, painted black and surmounted by an unidentified structure, rolling along the ground. The sphere rolled away and vanished into the woods. The "robot man" meanwhile continued his slow, inexorable forward motion away from the scene, harried by the barking dog.

According to researcher Manuel Fiallo, who interviewed the protagonists, the strange entity was wearing a form-fitting outfit of black slacks and a short-sleeved red pullover that revealed "scaly lemon-green arms". Its face appeared to lack eyes and nose, although the mouth was described as "normal-looking."

Aliens in the Cane fields

In March 1977,  Dominican GOFOS group (Grupo Observador de Fenómenos y Objetos Siderales) researched a case which had taken place in San Francisco Macorís, a farming community in the southern part of the country. In one particular instance, a couple was awakened at 3:30 a.m. by their baby's crying. When the mother went to check on her, she noticed that the entire house was bathed in a hot, greenish-blue light. The mother described it as "a buzzing lightning bolt that won't go away."

The woman's husband went outside to see the source of the mysterious light, perhaps fearing an electrical fire of some sort. He was stunned by what he saw: hovering above the palm trees at a height of some fifty feet was a disk with a large number of "grates" which emitted an array of colors, mainly red, white, blue and green. He ran back into his house as the buzzing sound increased. The heat became
unbearable as the vehicle zoomed out of sight, and the couple was left with irritated eyes and a dryness of the throat that persisted for a week. Not much was known about UFOs in the Dominican Republic at the time, and certainly not in the agricultural region of San Francisco Macorís. But that was about to change.

On the night of June 24, 1977 an anonymous witness reported seeing an enigmatic light descending slowly from the night sky to remain motionless over the sea. A tube like structure emerged from the vehicle's "hull" and absorbed seawater for a protracted period of time. The unidentified object then rose again to hover above the witness, who noticed two beings staring at him through a porthole. According to the witness, a larger vehicle absorbed this smaller craft and became lost among the stars.

The stage for the sightings moved from the Dominican Republic's eastern tip to its western border with Haiti, near the sugar-producing region on the Bay of Ocoa, in late 1977 and early 1978, with events taking a grislier turn: mutilations, accompanied by strange lights and bizarre creatures, tormented the cane-cutters of the town of Barahona, who reported that a "gigantic dog" was slaying and eating domestic animals in the dead of the night. This monstrous canine possessed above average intelligence, as it was able to open pens and cages, extracting the last drop of blood from its hapless victims, which consisted largely of cats, hens and rabbits. Local authorities dismissed any supernatural suggestions, stating that it was merely "a joke in the poorest of taste" executed by the inhabitants of this agricultural area. The fact that the locals could ill afford sacrificing their animals for the sake of a prank was deemed irrelevant.

The mutilations were closely followed by a number of "occupant" sightings as the flap reached its peak: Cone-shaped beings were seen in November 1978 by five women in Santo Domingo. Three creatures, twice the height of the tallest human, carrying lanterns on their abdomens, descended a steep hillside to surround an automobile that braked to a screeching halt. The automobile's headlights died as the witnesses heard sounds which they assumed were blows being inflicted upon the vehicle by the conical trio. Their terrified screams attracted the attention of neighbors, who came to their aid. No traces were found of the beings or of the car which they had surrounded.

In the 80's and early 90's, the Dominican Republic's UFO activity  became closely linked with the incidents being reported by commercial and recreational mariners along the Mona Passage, the turbulent channel separating Hispaniola from Puerto Rico. Many illegal immigrants, braving the Passage's fierce seas in order to land on Puerto Rico's western shore, have reported seeing bizarre lights performing spectacular aerial maneuvers before plunging noiselessly into the black waters. An anonymous ship captain in the illegal immigrant trade claimed that his fishing boat, along with its human cargo, was almost capsized by the sudden emergence of a glowing craft from beneath the waves.

The Caribbean, as a rule, has been a fertile ground for UFO investigations, and perhaps now more than ever before. This trend is almost certainly on the increase, and we can look forward to an even greater wealth of cases to challenge the best minds in ufology.

Source: Scott Corrales (c) 2006


Plasma Laser: UFO Maker?

Military researchers are today working on a way to defend soldiers with ultra-quick laser pulses and mid-air plasma bursts.  But similar technology may have been floating around the Defense Department for years -- and could even be the source of a few UFO scares.

Some years ago, Justin Mullins at New Scientist reported rumors of an 1980’s Air Force project which created plasma balls with lasers:

Researchers working with high-power laser weapons discovered that they could create a glowing ball of fire in the sky by crossing the beams of two powerful infrared lasers…By moving the laser beams around the sky, the researchers found they could shift the plasma ball back and forth at very high speed…. At night, they demonstrated their skills, flying their glowing creations in formation high above the cold desert.

The plasma balls do not seem to have had any direct military use.  But there was a suggestion that they might be adapted as a psychological warfare tool. The hissing sound produced by the plasma could be modulated to carry a blurred but understandable signal - a talking fireball. The a device was nicknamed "Voice Of God"; apparently a proposal to use it in the 1991 Gulf War was not accepted. ("It sounds like a project that didn't have the benefit of adult supervision," remarked John Pike of

The technology is mentioned in a 1997 Air Force paper on space-based lasers.  It notes the impossibility of projecting giant holographic images, but adds:

The ancillary concept of auditory project, however, is feasible and demonstrated, but probably would not be done from a space-based platform given the difficulty of controlling the region of air that is modulated.

Has anyone ever used such a device? There are plenty of accounts of mysterious fireballs racing around the sky, which can only be descibed as "unidentified flying objects."  And some of them even talk...

The weird and wonderful Fortean Times (“The Journal of Unexplained Phenomena”) reported a 1988 encounter between a man in Tetbury, England, and a football-shaped hovering light. The light spoke with an unnatural ‘tiny voice’ and delivered a string of cliches from sci-fi B-movies: “We are just observing your world” (drawing the reply “you’ve come to the wrong part to see anything!”), and “You are gaining knowledge so fast and getting to the very basis of the structure of matter and you could cause untold harm if you don't know what you are doing."

Probably just another ridiculous flying saucer story. But it would be interesting if it was a psyops trial to see how well the deception worked?  Given a different context, a talking ball of light might take on different roles. At a church or sacred site, it could be presented as an angelic or divine presence; at a tomb or graveyard it could imitate a ghost. Given some vegetation, it could even impersonate a talking burning bush.

On the other hand, maybe the laser guys should go back to trying to make something useful.

Source: Wired


The Secrets of Fatima

The visions of three shepherd children in 1917 still fascinate and intrigue us.

On May 13, tens of thousands of pilgrims celebrated the 90th anniversary of the famous visions seen at Fatima, Portugal. In response to the continuing interest in the "third secret" given to the three shepherd children, which is rumored to have predicted the end of the Catholic church and/or the world, the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -- the Pope's second-in-command -- has declared that it is "pure fantasy."

To counter "the most absurd theses" Bertone has published The Last Fatima Visionary: My Meetings With Sister Lucia, which so far is only available in Italian. He said, "Clearing up the question was a pastoral concern."

The visions of a radiant "lady" floating above an oak tree at Fatima, Portugal, on a monthly basis from May to October 1917, have fascinated people for decades. Originally the sightings by three children were interpreted as being of the Virgin Mary, which is understandable considering the social and religious context of the percipients and the period.

The apparition of the lady was also associated with sightings of lights, strange clouds, the falling of "angel hair" and ultimately the spinning of the sun viewed by at least 50,000 people on Oct. 13, 1917. Witnesses to this were located at the Cova da Iria and at locations 15, 20 and 30 kilometers away. Heat from this "'solar" phenomenon dried wet clothes and apparently healed people who were exposed to it.

What is intriguing is that no one except the three children, namely Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Jucinta Marto and Francisco Marto (aged 10, 7 and 9, respectively) saw the lady. However, none of the children saw the same thing. Lucia was able to see the apparition and to hear and speak with her, apparently, in Portuguese. Jacinta saw and heard her, but understood little of the conversation. As for Francisco, he saw the "lady" speak, without moving "her lips."

This is a problem often encountered when dealing with multiple UFO sighting or abduction cases. There is usually one prime percipient while the others tend to miss the main action, remain silent or in abduction terminology are "switched off" during the encounter. It is significant that in this instance the children were closely related and the eldest was the main ringleader, who continued to have visions in adulthood.

In the first of two books about the Fatima apparitions, Heavenly Lights (EcceNova Editions, 2005), Joaquim Fernandes and Fina D'Armada cover the reports of the sightings of the lady and associated phenomena.

This is viewed with approval by parapsychologists Lawrence Kennedy and Sandra Sitzmann, who state:

The authors explain what actually happened during "The Miracle of the Sun." The evidence indicates that it was not an astronomical event but rather an aerial one that resulted when an alien craft caused a partial eclipse of the Sun and performed other amazing displays that bedazzled the thousands of curious onlookers who came to Fatima.

What emerges is a true telling of the Fatima incident that will stand the test of time as the leading book that establishes the extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional origin of this important case. In the great tradition of fact informing fantasy, so that the conclusions drawn are far-reaching rather than far-fetched, Heavenly Lights is a tour de force.

In Celestial Secrets: The Hidden History of the Fatima Cover-Up (EcceNova Editions, 2006), Fernandes and D'Armada go on to study the subject in two parts.

In the first part they show that the Portuguese press predicted the appearance of the apparitions, look at the specific geology of the sighting location, reveal that Lucia saw "angels" before 1917, uncover a fourth witness and take a look at the contactee syndrome.

The predictions in the press amount to an announcement in the March 10, 1917, edition of Diario de Noticias, which contained the numerical headline: 135917. This is interpreted as representing the May 13, 1917, the day the Fatima visions began. Two days before that date several national newspapers quoted a psychic called Antonio to the effect that on the 13th, "there will occur an event, with respect to the war, that will strongly impress the world."

The authors seem to think these psychic messages were part of an Operation Fatima organized by the forces that created the apparitions. They suggest that the location, the witnesses and the appearance of the apparitions were carefully chosen to create a mythos that would carry their "secret" to those who might be able to read it in the future.

My own reading of this is that the public was primed to put significance on anything reported on that predicted date, and that the children's sighting fit the bill. Lucia was already predisposed to seeing "angels" and she could well have responded to the climate of anticipation generated by the newspaper "predictions."

The book is valuable because it brings to light the machinations of the Jesuits who shaped and controlled the story in a manner that suited their religious viewpoint. The authors' revelations are based on their unprecedented access to the original records of the incident, which were kept secretly by the Catholic Church at the Sanctuary of Fatima.

The second part of the book covers the so-called three secrets of Fatima. The first secret contained a vision of hell and the lady predicted that the Great World War would end very soon and that another one would follow it under Pope Pius XI.

The second secret warned that if Russia was not converted to Christianity, "the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated." The third secret was finally revealed by the Vatican on June 26, 2000. This seemed to refer to the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981, but otherwise seemed disappointing for a secret that had been kept so long under lock and key.

Fernandes and D'Armada show that the secrets recalled by Lucia went through a steady process of multiplication. At first they were a few words and did not become two secrets until 1927 and the third secret was not revealed by her until 1941. They note that Lucia "gathered ideas and became inspired by certain models." She lived in a convent and was surrounded by Biblical texts and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Her visions were "the best thing that could have happened to the Jesuits."

They acknowledge that her recall of events was often inaccurate but they contend that her memory of events where she was the only participant were infallible. Certainly, it is easy to be infallible when there is no one else to dispute you!

The strength of this book is that it shows the context and beliefs of the period that conditioned the interpretation of the Fatima visions and how they were maintained and promoted through the production of the Fatima "secrets."

The weakness of the book is that the authors do not consider that their own ufological context and re-examination of the case is as proscriptive as that of the Jesuits'.

Instead of considering the psychological factors that conditioned the children and Lucia in adulthood, they prefer to speculate that there was an Operation Fatima by intelligences using spacecraft and holographic projectors. They say, "Through illusions and projections, mostly hidden within the full amplitude of the electromagnetic spectrum -- they appear to be able to control us -- and through us, our systems of belief." This could have come straight from the pages of a 1970s vintage John Keel book, but the "new ufology" of that period has since moved on.

Source: Ohmynews


007's Creator Was in Plot to Frame Witch

Ian Fleming helped to gag medium in operation to safeguard D-Day secrets.

More than 60 years on, the case of Helen Duncan, the last woman in Britain to be jailed for witchcraft, refuses to die. As her supporters seek a posthumous pardon, evidence has emerged that she may have been the victim of a plot involving British intelligence agents, including Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

In the 1940s Duncan, a Dundee housewife and mother of six, travelled the country performing seances for a war-weary public often seeking reassurance about their loved ones. As a 'materialisation medium', which involved her going into a trance and producing 'ectoplasm' through which spirits would take on earthly features to communicate with the living, Duncan built a reputation as one of spiritualism's greatest heroines.

However, during a sitting in Portsmouth on 19 January, 1944, Duncan, 47, fell foul of the security services when a sailor from HMS Barham is alleged to have formed in ectoplasm and greeted his surprised mother sitting in the audience. His death had been kept a secret by the Admiralty, which had been trying to conceal news of the ship's sinking three months earlier.

Fears that Duncan had access to secret information alerted the security services, and an investigation led to her trial at the Old Bailey, accused of contravening the Witchcraft Act of 1735 by pretending to 'bring about the appearances of the spirits of deceased persons'. She was jailed for nine months.

At a time when the military authorities were anxious to keep plans of the Allied invasion of occupied France secret, Duncan and other psychics were seen as a potential threat to security. Drawing on new research and trial documents released to the National Archive, an academic and award-winning film-maker, Robert Hartley, has claimed that the evidence points to a state conspiracy to crack down on security leaks ahead of D-Day by making an example of Duncan.

'In the run-up to D-Day, the authorities were paranoid about potential security leaks and Duncan was in danger of disclosing military secrets during her seances,' said Hartley. 'Helen Duncan was giving out very accurate information. There were other mediums round the country giving out news on soldiers that had died and someone in authority took it seriously, whatever the source of the information. D-Day was coming up and it was absolutely essential to keep the Allied deception plans intact.'

After examining all the documents, Hartley believes there is evidence to suggest that Duncan's conviction by an Old Bailey jury in March 1944 was unsafe. In a new book, Helen Duncan: The Mystery Show Trial, he suggests that among those responsible for the conspiracy to convict Duncan was Fleming, a key figure in the naval intelligence services, and John Maude, the prosecuting counsel at the trial. 'I am convinced naval intelligence were working with MI5, and when I began looking at that connection Ian Fleming's name kept cropping up as being involved with people either involved in the case or on the sidelines,' said Hartley.

More than half a century later, Duncan's case remains a cause celebre, with more than 30,000 websites, translated into several languages, detailing her story. The 'official Helen Duncan website' claims to have received at least 42 million visitors in the last few years, leading to a worldwide campaign for justice and a petition to the government calling for the dowdy woman, who died in 1956 and is now regarded as a spiritualist martyr, to be pardoned.

Despite popular belief, Helen Duncan was not the last person to be prosecuted in Britain for witchcraft. In September 1944, after the D-Day invasion, Jane York, 72, from Forest Gate, east London, was charged with seven counts of pretending to conjure up spirits of the dead. She was bound over for the sum of £5 to be of good behaviour for three years. Duncan's comparatively heavy sentence just months earlier has been cited as further evidence that she was being made an example of. 'It seems clear to me that the security services conspired to imprison Helen Duncan as part of the tight security operation undertaken in the run-up to D-Day,' said Hartley. 'It was the Admiralty's view that she posed a security risk that needed to be dealt with.

'I appreciate that the conspiracy was undertaken with the intention to protect the lives of allied servicemen and women but now, over 60 years later, it is time to put right this wrong, otherwise it continues to undermine the very rights our nation was fighting for.'

Source: The Guardian,,2078620,00.html


We’ve Yet to Meet a Yeti

“AAARRGH! The yeti, “Abominable Snowman,” or mirgu, as it’s called in Bhutan, has been a legend throughout the Himalayas for centuries. They are even depicted in ancient Tibetan and Bhutanese manuscripts.

The Kingdom of Bhutan has set aside an area specifically for the yeti, the Sakten Wildlife Sanctuary—a sanctuary for a creature that local lore claims is invisible! While in Bhutan, I was told that not only is the yeti invisible, but his feet point backwards to avoid being tracked.

On their unsuccessful attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1923, a British expedition spotted a line of creatures moving along a cliff face. When they arrived at the location they found huge humanoid footprints in the snow. Twenty-six years later, Tenzing Norgay, who along with Sir Edmund Hillary, was the first to reach Everest’s summit, saw a Yeti playing in the snow.

The yeti has been described as a wildman, half-man half-beast, covered with reddish brown hair but with a hairless face. The descriptions are similar to North America’s “Big Foot.” Many theories have been advanced as to the identify of this “abominable snowman.” Some scientists believe that the yeti is a form of ancient man, a “missing link.” It has been theorized that it is a form of Homo Giganticus, an unproven subspecies of humans. So far expeditions which have set out to capture or photograph the yeti have returned without positive proof of the creature’s existence.

Reinhold Messner is a writer, film maker, and a member of the European Parliament. He is also considered to be one of the world’s greatest mountaineers, having climbed all of the world’s 8,000 meter peaks, and being the first man to climb Everest without oxygen and to climb it solo. In 1986, while leading an expedition in Nepal, he encountered a yeti.

“I thought it was a fairy tale (until) I saw a yeti for myself. I could only see a shadow because it was very late. When I approached the place where the yeti (had) stood, I found a footprint of a two-leg-going animal.”

This led Messner on a twelve year quest for the yeti. His conclusion, “The yeti is the sum of many tellings of a legend. The local people have a lot of fantasy creatures because they live without television and without Hollywood, so they have to create their own myths. Most of these figures, like the yeti, are built on real, existing beings out of nature. The local people tell each other the story. And from time to time somebody brings along a new part because they’ve been in touch, in the night, with one of these creatures. So the yeti is the sum of this fantasy figure and the zoological reality behind it—a Tibetan bear!”

The Tibetan bear, a rare species related to the grizzly, while traveling through snow, puts his back foot in the footprint of his forefoot, giving the appearance of a two-legged animal.

“The legends all describe the yeti as two and a half meters [eight feet] high. If it’s big, they say it is black. If it’s very small, they say it’s reddish, because the small Tibetan bears are reddish. Everything matches perfectly. It goes on two legs when it meets people, to show that he is big and strong.”

Messner came across the footprints of a yak, followed by the footprints of a yeti. He followed them to the carcass of the yak, killed by a single blow. It had been stored underground in the same manner a bear stores his kill.

He journeyed to a remote village in Pakistan, where legends tell of a woman who was kidnapped by a yeti and lived with it for two years. Traveling with a local guide, Messner came across a sleeping “yeti” and got to within 20 yards of it. It turned out to be a Tibetan bear, and very angry at being awakened. Messner jumped and yelled and the bear ran away.

Adolph Hitler sent an SS man, Professor Ernst Schaefer, to search for the yeti in the hope that it would turn out to be the progenitor of the Aryan race. Schaefer reached the conclusion that the yeti was the Tibetan bear, but kept this theory to himself, “If I had said this to the Nazis, they would have killed me.”

And what about our own Big Foot or Sasquatch? Messner believes it is probably a grizzly bear.

Source: The California Native


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