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7/18/08  #478
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They live deep underground in the stygian caverns carved from the virgin rock millions of years ago.  They are the Old Ones, the first to call Earth their home -- but their original home, somewhere in the vast curtain of stars in the heavens, has been lost in antiquity.  They now sit and watch their descendants on the surface who talk of love and forgiveness,  but scheme to kill each other for the love of profit and power.  They  wonder how people who talk of  peace and freedom are now considered evil and wrong, fit only to be taken to concentration camps for the ultimate walk down the fiery path. Blessed are the peace makers it was once written -- but now, such words are considered blasphemous and must be silenced.  The Old Ones are glad that they live deep underground, free from the madness that envelopes the surface.

This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such lights-in-the-sky stories as:

- Radar Tracked Stephenville UFOs -
- Tracking Bigfoot No Small Feat For Detective -
- Childrens Encounters With the Unknown -
- Glaciers on California's Mt. Shasta Keep Growing -
AND: Gray Barker Fueled America’s 1950s Fascination with UFOs

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Timothy Green Beckley's


Or so says noted paranormal researcher Timothy Green Beckley, who has also generated a reputation as a B-Movie horror host using the moniker of Mr Creepo. . . Calling upon noted experts in the field of cryptozoology, Beckley has compiled a virtually exhaustive history of Lycanthropy, as well as the phenomenon of shape-shifting, which has been reported in all cultures throughout history. A portion of the book written by noted author Brad Steiger is devoted to the "sexual hunger" of the Werewolf, as well as its importance in global cinema. . . Among relevant disclosures, readers will learn how to stop a werewolf in its tracks...and it's NOT just with silver bullets or wolfbane.

This is a large "coffee table" book weighing several pounds. Though it is a book meant for those interested in the reality of these hairy beasts, the book is also directed to the millions of fans of horror movies who have thrilled to the howling creatures of the full moon. . . . Joining Beckley in this massive undertaking are:. . . SEAN CASTEEL, who takes us on a contemporary werewolf hunt with assistance from NICK REDFERN and LINDA GODFREY who have confronted present day. A British born researcher, Redfern is a field cryptozologist who knows that these shape shifters are all to REAL, as Linda Godfrey can attest having written several books on the Beast of Brey Road (Wisconsin). . .BRAD STEIGER, who notes the lustful hunger of the werewolf. . . Emmy Award winner TIM SWARTZ, who has dug into his personal photo and poster collection to make this a must have book for all motion picture buffs...And finally the remaining bulk of the book is a huge historical reference by eclectic Scholar, SABINE BARING-GOULD, whose research is in a historical vein, dating the "legend"back centuries to its true origins.

SPECIAL OFFER: Order RIGHT NOW and you will receive for FREE an audio CD with Mr. UFO himself, Timothy Green Beckley on Joshua P. Warren's radio program "Speaking of Strange," where they discuss werewolves, shapehifting and coincidences that are simple NOT coincidences.

Order The Big Book of Werewolves for the Low, Low price of only $18.00, plus $5.00 shipping.

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In This Incredible Issue:


The Mysterious Subterranean Realms of California.

The Mysterious Blast at California’s Port Chicago.

California’s Lake Monsters.

PsiSpies: The History of Remote Viewing.
By Louis Proud

strange customs   
Italian Community Secretly Builds Breathtaking Underground Temples

The Dangers of Hallucinogens

Urban Legends   
Amusement Parks:Fodder for Scary Stories

Haunted Heritage   
Ghostly Activities at California’s Cal-Neva Resort

Arcane Cults   
The John Frum Movement:A South Pacific CargoCult

From the Skies   
2008:The Year of the UFO?

Mary Ann Winkowski:The Original Ghost Whisperer

COMING SOON to your favorite bookstore or magazine stand.


Radar Tracked Stephenville UFOs

Federal Aviation Administration radar appears to confirm the presence of unidentified aircraft on Jan. 8 over the Stephenville-Dublin area, with at least one appearing to head toward President Bush’s Crawford Ranch, the same night that dozens of people reported seeing UFOs, according to a report released Thursday by a national group that studies reports of unidentified flying objects.

According to the Mutual UFO Network report, the FAA radar indicated that several craft were moving in the same compass direction and time frame as those cited by Erath County residents. The craft were not military and did not have transponders that relay information about themselves to radar operators.

Radar tracked a Crawford-bound craft for more than an hour, according to the MUFON report. Witnesses said they saw two large glowing amber lights similar in size and color to the lights on the back of a school bus.

The object seemed to be stationary or moving at speeds of less than 60 mph most of the time, but at one point it accelerated to 532 mph in 30 seconds, according to the report. It did not seem to reach the property.

"The object was traveling to the southeast on a direct course towards the Crawford Ranch," the report states.

"The last time the object was seen on radar at 8 p.m., it was continuing on a direct path to Crawford Ranch and was only 10 miles away. During the entire episode of over an hour, there is no indication that any of the military jets reacted to this unknown craft."

Dozens of people around Dublin and Stephenville — about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth — have reported seeing something in the sky on or about Jan. 8 that did not move like conventional aircraft. Some witnesses said the objects were accompanied or followed by military aircraft.

Descriptions varied. Some told of objects up to a mile long and hundreds of yards high. Others reported seeing two to eight lights that flew in formation, changed color and shone with intensity greater than a welding flame.

The reports attracted international attention.

On Friday night, a producer from CNN’s Larry King Live program and a six-person production team from Dallas set up in the back yard of Ricky Sorrells, one of the UFO sighters who lives about eight miles west of Dublin.

They were there for a live interview with King, who was in his Los Angeles studio. Their segment of the show was titled "UFOs: Target Texas?"

Others interviewed were Erath County Constable Lee Roy Gaitan; Angelia Joiner, a former reporter for the Stephenville Empire-Tribune; and James Fox, a filmmaker from California.

Gaitan told a Star-Telegram reporter that he felt vindicated by the new report. "You probably think we’re just a bunch of hillbillies out here," Gaitan said. "There were people who did doubt me, but I know I saw something."

Gaitan and Joiner told King that they hadn’t given much thought to UFOs before Jan. 8. Now, it has taken over much of their lives. Joiner said she lost her reporting job because she was spending too much time on the UFO question.

She told King that all the witnesses’ stories are credible. "I used to go the other direction," she said, "But lately I think maybe we’re being visited from another place."

Gaitan said that for a while he was frustrated by all the attention. He said he has given at least 150 interviews.

"I was seeing that thing in my sleep," he said. "I was getting tired of it, but my wife reminded me that what I saw was pretty special and a lot of people would like to see it."

Two MUFON researchers said they got information for the report by filing 10 Freedom of Information requests to the FAA, National Weather Service, all nearby military bases, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the 21st and 30th Air Force Wing Commands. The researchers noted that the FAA and weather service were "very responsive," but most of the others responded that they had no information.

FAA spokesman Roland Herwig said he was not familiar with the radar data and could not comment Friday.

The report was released on the MUFON Web site late Thursday night.

It seems to back witnesses’ stories, including Gaitan’s, who said he saw an unknown object south of his home about four miles southwest of Dublin.

He described it as two amber lights that were initially stationary but changed into about 10 white lights that departed at a high rate of speed.

"Radar detects an object at 7:20 p.m. only 2.8 miles south-southwest of the constable’s home and traveling in a southeastern direction," the report states. "This matches very well with the time and direction of the constable’s sighting. At 7:36 p.m. radar shows the object suddenly veering to the north at 1,900 miles per hour and then returning a minute later to continue on its southeastern course."

Online: The report is available at

Source: The Star-Telegram


Tracking Bigfoot No Small Feat For Detective

A gumshoe is looking for a Bigfoot.

The creature also goes by the aliases Yeti, Sasquatch or Skunk Ape. Skeptics have added monikers such as "pure fiction" and "rubbish."

To longtime private investigator David Paulides, the legendary creature is yet another case to solve.

Four years ago, the 1974 graduate of Monta Vista High School and a 20-year Santa Clara Valley detective, got bored and wanted to combine his love of outdoors with a good mystery. So he decided to go in search of the elusive simian.

Paulides is the director of the North American Bigfoot Search. He claims it is the only group in the world researching and studying the subject full time.

"No one has ever given 100 percent of their time to this," said Paulides, citing the lack of serious and credible efforts put into tracking Bigfoot.

This first batch of research is detailed in Paulides' new book "The Hoopa Project: Bigfoot Encounters in California." The book describes Paulides' search along with eyewitness accounts and sketches of the creature. The book, due for release Aug. 1, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the creature receiving the name Bigfoot.

Paulides set out to find consistent patterns, so he and his organization did an exhaustive search of the Western United States to determine the optimum location. They studied accounts, times, dates, seasons and elevations coinciding with sightings. He analyzed 350 sightings since 1861 and plotted the data.

"It all came back to Hoopa," said Paulides of the Native American tribe that inhabits an area in northeastern Humboldt County. "The Hoopa have been dealing with Bigfoot since early times. They run into it regularly; they just don't talk about it."

Paulides then spent every other week for nearly three years in and around the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. He spoke with the elders and many in the tribe as he dug deeper for Bigfoot-related clues.

"After a year I had the complete trust of the tribe," he said.

Paulides and the organization wanted to add credibility to a search for what many believe is a creature that exists only in the imagination of popular culture.

"We wanted to hold witnesses accountable for their statements, something that is rarely done by (Bigfoot) authors and researchers," he said.

Paulides developed a system where the team investigated sightings only if the witness signed an affidavit. If no affidavit was signed, no investigation was pursued.

"The witnesses appreciated the professionalism," Paulides said.

To add to the professional and investigative nature, a forensic sketch artist who has worked with the FBI was brought in. Muscle structure, facial features and closeup accounts were sketched in detail. The full-color sketches are in the book.

Paulides was astounded to discover that 90 percent of the sketches looked similar to each other, but do not conform to what Paulides feels is a mainstream depiction of Bigfoot.

"If you're gonna fabricate an account, you're going to make it look like what everyone is familiar with," he said, citing the famous Patterson-Gimlin film footage.

"The consistency can not be argued," he said. "Most went against the grain of common knowledge."

Paulides has enjoyed his time researching and writing about a subject he is convinced is the real deal. He and the organization will continue to keep searching.

"The evidence is overwhelming," he said. "There is a lot more that needs to be understood. The puzzle will be solved."

Source: The Mercury News-Silicon Valley


Children's Encounters With the Unknown

Are children more attuned to the supernatural? Many researchers suspect that children, from the youngest ages and into early teens, are more likely to experience paranormal phenomena because they have not yet developed the prejudices that many adults have against such far-out, "unscientific" ideas. Perhaps they have not yet created their own filters for feelings and experiences that most of society consider irrational or abnormal. Or it could be that young brains or minds are, for whatever reason, physically more receptive to such phenomena as ghosts, near-death experiences, past-life recall and premonitions.

Whatever the reason, here are several true stories from readers that seem to confirm that children can be extraordinarily tuned in to the strange and the unexplained:

The Mystery Man
Years ago while in my teens, my mom took me with her to pick up one of her elderly friends to give her a ride to our church. We weren't going that night, but my mom was always helpful to the senior citizens at our church. When we got to my mom's friend's house, mom asked me to go to the door to tell her that we were outside waiting on her.

I rang the doorbell and the elderly lady opened the door, said "hello" and left me standing in the doorway for a few minutes while she finished getting ready. The couch in the elderly lady's living room was partially shielded by the door, but I could see a man sitting on her couch in front of her TV, which was turned on. He never moved or spoke to me as I stood there. I was very shy and didn't attempt to speak to him either. I distinctly remember he had on a white shirt, black pinstriped pants, black nylon socks and shiny black shoes. His hands rested on his knees. I remember that his hand was wrinkled and appeared to be that of an elderly, very dark, African-American man, but I was positioned in a way that I could not see his face.

After a few minutes, the elderly lady grabbed her coat and walked out the door locking it behind her. She left the man sitting on her couch watching television, but she hadn't said anything to him when she left. I thought that it was rather strange, but said nothing about it to her. After we dropped the elderly lady off at church, I said, "Mom, Mrs. McClain left a man in her house, but she didn't say bye to him when we left." I also told her that he was sitting on her couch in front of the TV. She asked me what he looked like because Mrs. McClain's landlord came to visit her from time to time. I described what I saw to my mom, but told her that I didn't see his face. My mom said that the description that I gave did not match that of her landlord, because he was a very pale-skinned man.

My mom was very concerned, so she called Mrs. McClain at church and, in order not to alarm her, asked, "Did you have some company? My daughter said that you left your TV on." Mrs. McClain told mom she didn't have any company that day and that she leaves her TV on whenever she goes out because she wants people to think that someone is home, so that no one will break in. Hearing this really frightened my mom, and I guess the elderly lady could hear the fright in my mom's voice and she started screaming out, asking my Mom, "What did your daughter see? Please tell me, what did your daughter see? You are scaring me. I can't go back there. What did she see?" I remember my mom having to talk to her for quite awhile to calm her down. My mom finally convinced her that we were just wondering why she had left the television on. When my mom finally got off of the phone, we were both very shaken. I was crying and extremely afraid that I would see this man again because at this point we knew it had to be a ghost. I kept repeating, "I am so glad that I didn't try to see his face." My mom comforted me by saying that it was probably Mrs. McClain's husband, who had passed away, watching out for her because she was all alone. I never saw the man again and we never told Mrs. McClain what I had really seen that evening in her house. - H. Holmes

What Did Baby Brother See?
When my little brother was a baby, maybe nine months old, we lived with my grandma. My grandpa had just died. My mom was sitting in the living room around midnight trying to get my brother to sleep, but he wouldn't stop crying. Suddenly, out of nowhere he stopped crying, sat straight up and said, "Hi, grandpa." There was no one else in the room at all. The weird thing is, he said those words so clearly, and he had never spoken before, not even to say "mom"! - Beth B.

Andy Pandy Comes to Play
Many of your UK readers between the ages of 45 and 55 will probably remember a TV show called "Watch with Mother". The show was on the BBC in the 1950s and featured a string puppet named "Andy Pandy", he had a sidekick named "Loopy Lou or Looby Lou". One day my brother and sister where playing upstairs in our front bedroom. This room was about 12 ft. x 12 ft. and had a cupboard in the corner, which was directly over the stairs. My sister and brother, both now in their late 40s, swear to this day that Andy Pandy came out of that cupboard in the corner and spent the next hour playing with them both. This Andy Pandy, however, was about four feet high and had no strings attached. I have questioned both of them over the years and still their story remains the same. - Mike C.

Shadow People Encounters
When I was seven years old, one weekend I planned to stay up late downstairs playing video games and then sleep on the pull-out bed. I was preparing to go to bed when, for some reason, I got the impression that something was watching me. I got scared enough to run back upstairs, and while I was running, I could see very short (no larger than two feet tall) and squat figures darting after me. They were very indistinct in features, and appeared as nothing more than inky-black silhouettes. Also, when my aunt was young, she was sleeping over at a friend's house at the end of the street when she said that a "shadow man" appeared at the foot of the bed and began to call out her friend's name. She screamed and said that it disappeared into the floor.

Accident Premonition
My mother's family (parents and siblings) lived in Binghamton, New York. My dad was in the Navy and my parents, my sister and I lived in Patuxent River, Maryland. I was six years old at the time. Even though we lived in Maryland, I knew most of my mother's family because we would visit them quite often in Binghamton, and during the summer they all came to visit us. At the time, my cousin, Marylou, who lived in Binghamton, was 11 years old. I got home from school one day and asked my mother why Marylou was crying. She didn't understand what I was talking about. I told her that I heard her crying. She was quite puzzled by my statement and had no explanation. Within a few hours, the phone rang. It was my grandmother calling to say that my cousin had been hit by a car walking home from school - about the same time I told my mother I could hear her crying. I have had a few other premonitions, but this is the one I remember most. - Nancy T.

Chanting Men in White
I was 13 and it was quite some time after my little brother had passed away. I had wanted to be with him, because I thought it would be better with him than at home. One night I was sleeping in my bed and I had felt this warm sensation. I saw this large hand come on my legs. It was so warm I had to wake up. To my surprise, there were some men standing around my bed, which was up against the wall. They were dressed in white and chanting in some language I never heard. One looked at me and then they all did and stopped chanting. Then, all in a single file, they walked out of the room. I crawled to the end of my bed and peeked out the door to the living room. There we had a dim light on. They were gone. I was a little scared and crawled under the covers and started to pray. Then my other brother asked me if I was awake. I said yes. He asked me to come to his room. I said, "No way. You come." But I did manage to get to his room, just to find out that my brother had gone through the exact same thing as I did. We were both scared. - Ruby

The Imaginary Friend
When my cousin was little, she would always say that she was visited by "a friend." My family thought this was an imaginary friend. One day while looking through a photo album, my cousin saw a picture of her grandfather who had died only a few years before she was born. She had never seen this picture before. She said that the man in the picture (her grandfather) was the friend who visited her regularly. This is interesting because my grandfather adored his grandchildren, and I could envision him wanting to meet the one who was born after he died. - Dennis and Heather S.

Shirley Saves Her Brother
My mom told me this story, and she still cries when she tells it. It has never been explained. My sister, Shirley (the firstborn), died of Downs Syndrome at the age of two in 1961. She had holes in her heart. Almost two years later, my mother had a baby boy, my brother, Steven. One day in 1962, my mom was up in the attic doing some work, and my dad was in the basement in his workshop. Steven was supposedly napping in a playpen (age one) in the den. My mom heard, clear as day, Shirley's voice saying, "Dadda! Dadda!" ...and it was as though she were right there next to her in the attic. Clear as day. My dad heard the SAME THING down in his workshop. "Dadda! Dadda!" They both say it was distinctly Shirley's voice - loud and clear. Dad ran up to tell mom; mom ran to tell dad. They both ran into the den, and there was baby Steven with plastic dry cleaner's sheeting that he had reached for on the couch - and he was suffocating. Mom and dad both told us later on that it could not have been Steven calling them; he called my dad, "daddy" not "dadda," and it was not his voice. They are convinced to this day that it was Shirley warning them that her brother was suffocating. - Donna B.



Glaciers on California's Mt. Shasta Keep Growing

Reaching more than 14,000 feet above sea level, Mt. Shasta dominates the landscape of high plains and conifer forests in far Northern California.

While it's not California's tallest mountain, the tongues of ice creeping down Shasta's volcanic flanks give the solitary mountain another distinction. Its seven glaciers, referred to by American Indians as the footsteps made by the creator when he descended to Earth, are the only historical glaciers in the continental U.S. known to be growing.

With global warming causing the retreat of glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere in the Cascades, Mt. Shasta is actually benefiting from changing weather patterns over the Pacific Ocean.

"When people look at glaciers around the world, the majority of them are shrinking," said Slawek Tulaczyk, an assistant professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "These glaciers seem to be benefiting from the warming ocean."

Warmer temperatures have cut the number of glaciers at Montana's Glacier National Park from 150 to 26 since 1850, and some scientists project there will be none left within 25 to 30 years. The timeline for the storied snows at Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro is even shorter, while the ice fields of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile also are retreating.

It's a different story at Mt. Shasta, at the southern end of the Cascade Range and about 270 miles north of San Francisco.

Scientists say a warming Pacific Ocean means more moist air sweeping over far Northern California. Because of Shasta's location and 14,162-foot elevation, the precipitation is falling as snow, adding to the mass of the mountain's glaciers.

"It's a bit of an anomaly that they are growing, but it's not to be unexpected," said Ed Josberger, a glaciologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Tacoma, Wash., who is currently studying retreating glaciers in Alaska and the northern Cascades of Washington.

Historical weather records show Mt. Shasta has received 17 percent more precipitation in the last 110 years. The glaciers have soaked up the snowfall and have been adding more snow than is lost through summer melting.

The additional snowfall has been enough to overcome a 1.8 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature in the last century, according to a 2003 analysis by Tulaczyk, who led a team studying Shasta's glaciers.

By comparison, the glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, which are about 560 miles south of Mt. Shasta, are exposed to warmer summer temperatures and are retreating.

The Sierra's 498 ice formations — glaciers and ice fields — have shrunk by about half their size over the past 100 years, with those exposed to direct sunlight shrinking fastest, said Andrew Fountain, a geology professor at Portland State University who has inventoried the glaciers in the continental U.S. as part of a federal initiative.

He said Shasta's seven glaciers are the only ones scientists have identified as getting larger, with the exception of a small glacier in the shaded crater of Washington state's Mount St. Helens. It formed after the 1980 eruption blasted away slightly more than half the mountain's ice, and scientists believe it will not grow in area once it stretches outside the shade of the crater.

Glaciologists say most glaciers in Alaska and Canada are retreating, but there are too many to study them all.

Four glaciers at Mt. Rainier in Washington state are staying about the same size. Those glaciers — shielded from the sun on the north and east sides of the mountain — have received just enough snow to keep them from shrinking, Fountain said.

But Shasta's glaciers have been advancing since the end of a drought in the early 20th century. The mountain's smallest glaciers — named Konwakiton, Watkins and Mud Creek — have more than doubled in length since 1950.

Shasta's largest glacier, the Hotlum, grew more than 600 yards between 1944 and 2003 and covers nearly 2 square miles of the mountain's northeastern face. The Whitney glacier grows up to 4 inches a day in winter and is about 2.4 miles long.

Hikers seeking to cross Shasta's glaciers — marked with crevasses as deep as 100 feet — say they are much larger than the boundaries drawn on geological maps.

"I noticed I was traveling down farther than the maps were showing it," said Eric White, the lead climbing ranger at the U.S. Forest Service who has climbed the mountain for 23 years.

Until recently, the same phenomenon that is now benefiting Shasta's glaciers was feeding glacier growth in southern Norway and Sweden, the New Zealand Alps and northern Pakistan, according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In each area, scientists say more snowfall temporarily offset warming temperatures in the 1990s and early 2000s. But rising temperatures since then have begun to shrink those ice fields.

Climate change is causing roughly 90 percent of the world's mountain glaciers to shrink, said Lonnie Thompson, a glacier expert at Ohio State University.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth's frozen ground has decreased by about 7 percent since 1900, according to figures released last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"Best that we keep our eye on the big picture," Thompson said in an e-mailed response about Shasta's unique position. "The picture points unfortunately (to) massive loss of ice on land, which has huge implications for future sea level rise."

Although Mt. Shasta's glaciers are growing, researchers say the 4.7 billion cubic feet of ice on its flanks could be gone by 2100. For the glaciers to remain their current size, Shasta would have to receive 20 percent more snowfall for every 1.8-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature, said Tulaczyk, of UC Santa Cruz.

Global forecasts show temperatures warming from 2 degrees to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century if no major efforts are undertaken to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. At that rate, California's snowpack and its remaining glaciers are among the most vulnerable of the state's natural resources to climate change.

"In a way, the Sierra glaciers may represent the future of the Mt. Shasta glacier system under a warming climate, showing that if one puts an increased amount of snow in a place that's warm enough, then glaciers will shrink anyway," Tulaczyk said.

Even without global warming, another threat to Shasta's glaciers could come more quickly: a volcanic eruption that could melt them, creating mud flows that could bury the surrounding communities.

Over the last 4,000 years, Shasta has erupted about every 250 to 300 years and did so most recently about 200 years ago, said William Hirt, a geology instructor at the College of the Siskiyous, near Mt. Shasta.

The communities around the mountain already have witnessed how quickly Shasta's complexion can change.

It was just 11 years ago that heavy spring rain melted the lower part of the Whitney Glacier, creating a mudflow that covered a state highway.

In 1924, a piece of the Konwakiton glacier broke to form a dam that stored melting ice. When the blockade broke, tons of debris flowed into the McCloud River and all the way to San Francisco Bay.

Source: SF Gate


Secret Chamber May Solve Mexican Pyramid Mystery

With its soaring stone pyramids and geometric temples, Teotihuacan was once the biggest city in the Americas and possibly the world.

However, experts have never been able to say with certainty who built it and why it was suddenly abandoned.

An international team of experts believes the answer may lie under the Pyramid of the Sun, the centre point of the vast ruined city 25 miles outside Mexico City.

At the end of this month, they are to investigate a man-made tunnel and cave system underneath the pyramid – the third biggest in the world – to test theories that it was used for rituals including human sacrifice.

"We think it had a ritual purpose. Offerings were placed at the very end of the tunnel as part of the pyramid's construction process," said Alejandro Sarabia, Teotihuacan's director of archaeology.

He will lead a team of Mexican, American and Japanese experts into a 295 ft long, 8 ft high tunnel some 20 ft below the pyramid.

"We want to find out why the Teotihuacan people sealed it and when," Mr Sarabia said. "Excavating the cave could give us some clues about what happened at Teotihuacan, about the fate of the city."

At its zenith between 150 AD and 450 AD, Teotihuacan was home to up to 200,000 people of various ethnic origins and thought to have been larger than any European city at the time, including Rome.

But, sometime in the 7th or 8th century, it was set ablaze – possibly as the result of an insurrection – and abandoned.

The Aztecs believed the city was divine and identified it with the place where the sun was created. They also gave it its name, which roughly translates as ''The place where men became gods.''

The tunnel entrance was discovered by accident in 1971 while workmen were installing a sound and light show for the 738 ft wide pyramid.

After initial tests, it was dismissed as a natural cave and sealed two years later. Much of the information about it was lost when the archaeologist who found it died.

Mr Sarabia said: "If we can find out what happened, when, and perhaps how, it will give us a better idea about the history of the Pyramid of the Sun and of the city in general."

He said it was unlikely that the cave would have been used for everyday events and would probably have been accessible to only a select few.

"It may well have been used for sacrificial rites, dancing or other rituals," Mr Sarabia said.

The sacrifices are likely to have been human ones, he added.

Evidence of human sacrifice has been found all around the city, including the remains of children buried at each corner of the Pyramid of the Sun.

It is believed these burials were part of a ritual dedication of the building while other victims, probably captured enemy warriors, were killed to bring the city good luck.

Mr Sarabia said the excavation work would be "tricky" because there was virtually no light and the entrance to the tunnel was in poor condition.

For many years, archaeologists believed the city was built by the Toltecs but it is now accepted that their civilisation came centuries later.

Teothiuacan, which has World Heritage Site status, is still visited by thousands each year to celebrate the spring equinox.

Source: The Telegraph

Gray Barker Fueled America’s 1950s Fascination with UFOs

CLARKSBURG — The late Gray Barker inspired the “Men in Black” movie.

The popular author from Clarksburg wrote extensively about the Flatwoods Monster, Mothman and other weird subjects.

In one magazine article after another, Barker helped to fuel America’s fascination with flying saucers in the 1950s.

But that’s not all.

“I found that there was more to this guy than UFOs,” said Bob Wilkinson, a notable West Virginia filmmaker who’s now producing a documentary on Barker. “He’s a complex character.”

As for the documentary, “It’s a West Virginia product, so I’m pretty proud of that,” Wilkinson said.

Barker was born in the tiny hamlet of Riffle in Braxton County in 1925. He went to nearby Glenville State College and got his degree in teaching.

He taught for a while in Maryland but then came home to West Virginia where he booked films and managed theaters in the Clarksburg area.

“He would find these films that Marilyn Monroe was in as an extra, and he would acquire them for the drive-ins and advertise them as Marilyn Monroe double features,” said David Houchin, special collections librarian at the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library, which has a room dedicated to the life and works of Barker. It is crammed with books, articles and manuscripts.

“Maybe he was the type of person who could fool you and you never resented it,” Houchin said.

And fooling is exactly what Barker specialized in.

In 1952, Barker went to Braxton County to investigate the infamous Flatwoods Monster.

Residents claimed to have seen a glowing object fly across the sky, and went to the woods where it landed.

They said they saw a creature with glowing red eyes that smelled like something they’ve never smelled before.

Barker’s report about the strange beast was published in “Fate” magazine.

Houchin said this represented Barker’s “entry into the field of paranormal.”

That’s when Barker began asking around in earnest and writing about extraterrestrials and UFOs.

Houchin said Barker was really fooling his audience. He said Barker himself didn’t believe in these conspiracies, but would simply write about it and pass it off as fact.

Houchin said Barker was “not profoundly committed to the limits of fact,” so he was essentially writing science fiction.

This is the type of writing Barker did until he died in 1984 at the age of 59 in a Charleston hospital.

Throughout his career he published his own UFO newsletter in Clarksburg and wrote multiple books. His most-recognized book was his first one, “They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers.”

In that book, a central element was friend and fellow writer Albert Bender.

Bender was the editor of “Space Review,” a UFO periodical for which Barker was a correspondent.

In the last issue of “Space Review,” the newsletter’s overall theme was that the mystery of UFOs was no longer a mystery.

It was reported that Bender was visited by three men in black suits who had threatened him.

This story gave Barker the opportunity to poke fun at the situation, writing that extraterrestrials were actually the “men in black,” which was the basis of his final book, “MIB: The Secret Terror Among Us.” This became the inspiration for the hit 1997 movie.

Barker was published in many different newsletters, including his own called “The Saucerian.” He also investigated the Mothman creature in Point Pleasant, which resulted in his book “The Silver Bridge.”

But besides his career as a writer, Barker was living another life that was quite controversial at the time.

Houchin said there was a reason Barker left teaching in Maryland. He said he was most likely blackballed for being a homosexual.

“Either he hated teaching, or he was forced out,” Houchin said.

Houchin said Barker was a “smart guy in a pretty uncomfortable situation.”

“He was leading the life of a clandestine gay man in Clarksburg, W.Va., in the ’50s and ’60s,” Houchin said. “Barker was reasonably accepted. Nothing serious happened.”

But despite a few run-ins with the law and his reputation around town, Barker was very well known locally for his writing.

“He was that guy that came to your school and talked to you about flying saucers,” Houchin said.

Houchin said too much alcohol consumption for too long probably contributed to his death, though many suspected he had AIDS.

“It’s hard to say,” Houchin said. “We don’t know.”

Houchin said Barker was never a serious UFO researcher, but was more a “folklorist” who would hear other people’s stories and publish them.

“Barker was frankly lying to people about UFOs,” Houchin said.

But he added, “Barker’s contribution to popular culture is significant.”

Source: The Times West Virginian

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