In Association With Mysteries Magazine!
8/1/08  #479
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Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. He is only secretly controlling everything. He is only in league with extraterrestrials from UFOs. He is only out to invade your privacy in the name of national security. He does these things because he, like everyone else, wants to read your latest edition of Conspiracy Journal!

Yes, that's right!  Once again we have confounded those who want the news of conspiracies, UFOs, and the paranormal kept secret from the rest of humanity.  But this is where Conspiracy Journal steps in!  Leaping buildings in a single bound – Fighting secrets and censorship to keep you informed on what is really going on in the world around us.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such heat-stroke stories as:

Stalking the Octopus -
-Bigfoot: New Evidence -
- Unidentified Flying Threats -
- Adventurer Steve Fossett's Widow Dismisses Faked Death Claims -
AND: Louisiana Man Says He’s A Paranormal Magnet

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~




 What do Satanism, human trafficking, mind control experiments and child sex abuse have to do with the U.S. government? According to the testimony of experts and survivors, the CIA utilized all of these elements and more for their Top Secret Project Monarch, part of the MK-ULTRA mind control program. For reasons of National Security, dozens if not hundreds of people, many of them children, were allegedly subjected to unimaginable rape, torture, and bloody satanic rituals, with the aim of fracturing the human mind through trauma. This created multiple personalities that could then be programmed to perform specific tasks . . . Many of the purported victims say they were used to satisfy the sexual urges of the rich and powerful, even U.S. presidents. . . For these purposes, the CIA is said to have sought help from intergenerational cults, as well as child pornography and snuff film networks. As thousands of people were bought and sold on the underground sex market, our government supposedly looked the other way, seing it not as an atrocity, but as an opportunity.

"I nearlly jumped out of my seat when I first read this book. I was never convinced of the stories surrounding the sex slave alligations that people like Cathy O'Brien have been making. But now we hear from Mark Phillips, Cathy O'Brien, Ted Gunderson, Noreen Gosch and Palela Freyd who tend to support these claims. Plus there is additional added material on the Mind Control programs like MK Ultra by Commander X and Nick Redfern to really make this volume a must read for ALL conspiracy buffs." --Tim Beckley , Publisher, Conspiracy Journal.

This ground-breaking book can be yours for the SPECIAL PRICE OF ONLY $20.00
(Plus $5.00 for shipping.) You can't find this book for this special price anywhere else, so order right now and find out how your government has been using innocent civilians as sex slaves for the elite ruling class. HURRY, before YOU are their next VICTIM!

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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.


Stalking the Octopus

For 20 years Kenn Thomas of Steamshovel Press has been tracking the oily tentacles of world conspiracy — and shaking readers out of their reality tunnels.

In 1991, when journalist Danny Casolaro was found floating in a blood-filled bathtub with a shoelace wrapped around his throat, the coroner ruled it a suicide. But people who knew Casolaro and knew why he was at the Sheraton Inn in Martinsburg, Va., where his body was found, never believed it was anything but murder.

Casolaro had traveled to Martinsburg to meet with one last source—the one, he said, who would help him cinch up the book he'd been working on for more than a year. He called it The Octopus, the same term he used to describe the cabal of spies, spooks, crooks and politicians he'd uncovered in his research—a group whose ties he had traced to, among other things, Iran-Contra, the Bay of Pigs, the October Surprise and even Area 51. But whomever it was that Casolaro was to meet in Martinsburg on August 9 never showed up. And on August 10, when two housekeepers found Casolaro's body in the tub, his fat accordion file of notes (which friends say he took with him everywhere) was conspicuously missing, along with his briefcase.

A few months after his brother's death, Tony Casolaro collected what was left of Danny's notes and clippings (the accordion file never resurfaced, and neither did the briefcase), turning them over to ABC News in hopes that the network would follow up on some of the leads his brother had uncovered. When ABC did nothing with the information, Tony took it to a friend at Investigative Reporters and Editors at the University of Missouri–Columbia's journalism school. The files were placed in IRE's archives. And that's where conspiracy researcher Kenn Thomas stumbled on them in 1993.

As it turns out, Danny Casolaro was correct when he guessed that The Octopus would rescue him from obscurity—he just didn't count on the subtitle of the book being Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. Penned by Thomas and his late writing partner Jim Keith in 1996, The Octopus is one of the most popular and accessible titles in the conspiracy genre; when the first edition went out of print, it became a collector's item and was priced for as much as $100 on Thomas and Keith used the thin remains of Casolaro's research as a starting point (the 2004 second edition even includes an appendix listing the contents of Casolaro's news clippings file) but also pulled on "affidavits filed by arms merchants and convicted felons; mainstream and non-mainstream political sources, including some that publish messages received from channeled aliens, others notorious for their far-right connections, lite-left leanings and radical chic pose; unattributed sources on the Internet; anonymous samizdat; participants in Casolaro's investigation; peripheral players; researchers who knew Casolaro; and researchers whose work expanded on the Octopus thesis." Rather than apologizing for this motley—and not always academic—tangle of sources, the pair simply directed their readers to the copious footnotes, encouraging them to "track these sources and make their own judgments concerning credibility."

Welcome to the world of conspiracy research, where Christian Libertarians who see the Illuminati's nefarious influence in everything from world politics to the design of gum wrappers fraternize with '60s hedonists who never abandoned their mission to fight The Man; add to the mix former military and intelligence personnel, professors, journalists, New Agers, geeks, hipsters, whistle-blowers, snake-oil salesmen, housewives, physicists and, of course, genuine paranoid wing nuts. In the conspiracy world, the red state–blue state rift never occurred. "We may all be nuts," Thomas told The New York Times in 1995, "but we're not all the same nuts." Thomas claims the left wing–right wing division is itself part of the conspiracy—as he told The Riverfront Times that same year, "the real division is the top and the bottom."

Thomas was born and raised in St. Louis and at first seems an unlikely conspiracy researcher. When he's not in a suit, he's at least in a dress shirt, with a neatly trimmed beard and a sort of ease that could not coexist with true raging paranoia. He reminds you of those cool sociology professors you had in college who looked buttoned up from the outside but taught units on the Yippies, included Jack Kerouac and H.L. Mencken on the reading list and screened 200 Motels in class. Thomas, who works as an archivist for the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection at the University of Missouri–St. Louis' Thomas Jefferson Library, has been a key figure in the conspiracy underground for years; his magazine, Steamshovel Press, has deeply influenced the underground conspiracy movement and also surfaced in mainstream popular culture, from The New Yorker to The X-Files to Baseball Prospectus, which opined that Major League Baseball boasted "enough fishy behavior to keep Kenn Thomas swarming for years." Thomas even wonders out loud if he and fellow conspiracy newsletter publishers Greg Bishop, editor of the now-defunct Excluded Middle, and Jim Martin of Flatland were perhaps the inspiration for The X-Files' Lone Gunmen; in fact, he saw smatterings of Steamshovel in Mel Gibson's Conspiracy Theory, too.

"Everything in there, everything this cab driver guy spots, is right out of Steamshovel Press," Thomas says. "There are two anthologies, basically back issues of Steamshovel. Brian Helgeland, the screenwriter, bought both of those books [Popular Alienation and Popular Paranoia] from Jim Martin at Flatland Press." Thomas says he's also seen material from the Steamshovel website show up on TV: "There was a show called Dark Skies on the SciFi channel that mixed in real historical figures with this whole alien story. I did some research one week on Dorothy Kilgallen; the next week, Dorothy Kilgallen was a character on the show. So I write a column about Carl Sagan—in the '60s Sagan presented a paper to all these rocket scientists on aliens—and the next week, Carl Sagan was a character on the show. So they're cribbing off the website." Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. "I've been told many times that I need to go to Hollywood and exploit this," Thomas laughs. "The thing about living in St. Louis is, for $200 you can go to any city in this country, and L.A.-centered stuff, New York–centered stuff—that's part of the conspiracy. It's part of the homogenizing of the world. I don't want to be part of that. I want a bigger picture. And you have to work harder to live in L.A. I think I've stumbled upon the perfect place."

That perfect place is somewhere up in North County, where Thomas bought a really lovely house—"the Everly Brothers' family owned it, it's this 100-year-old Victorian Folk house, and it's got a huge yard"—but doesn't want to go into more detail than that. Years ago, he took out a P.O. box and prefers to keep his address on the down-low. Though the first few issues of Steamshovel didn't attract a lot of attention (the inaugural issue was a stapled-and-photocopied affair, containing a Q&A with Ram Dass [formerly Richard Alpert, who had worked alongside Timothy Leary in Harvard's LSD experiments] that'd been orphaned after a local newspaper reneged on its agreement to publish it), Thomas says he continued to publish in order to get free review books from publishers, and when he switched to conspiracy topics, he immediately regretted printing his home address on the back cover. Weird people started showing up on his doorstep.

"One of them was an old guy who was just driving across the country and living out of his car," Thomas says, shaking his head. "The other guy's actually become a friend of mine and takes me out to the gun range, tries to teach me to shoot. He used to shoot with Burroughs—he went to school in Lawrence. That was another weird little coincidence. It was easy for him to track me down, but this other guy was from Texas …"

Ah, that's the other thing: co­incidences. And Burroughs. Thomas studied literature at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs (he spoke at the ceremony when Burroughs' star was added to the Loop's Walk of Fame). The second issue of Steamshovel was dedicated to the theories of Wilhelm Reich, the scientist who developed a kind of chi accumulator he called an orgone box. Thomas (who quips that Burroughs became his neighbor … after he died and was buried in Bellefontaine) says he's noticed that "the grass is lighter around Burroughs' grave, and I tried to make the case that this is because Burroughs sat in the orgone box every day of his life. He was a Reichian. He had more life energy." (It could be true; junkies don't often live to be octogenarians.) Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson, co-author of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, were also friends. So Thomas' approach to conspiracy is a decidedly literary one; the third issue of Steamshovel featured poet Amiri Baraka, though even then it seems that conspiracy sneaked in somehow: Baraka talked about being the only member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New York; Lee Harvey Oswald was the only member in New Orleans. (Relating this fact makes Thomas roar with laughter.) Much later, Baraka would be jettisoned from his post as poet laureate of New Jersey after delivering an angry, conspiracy-heavy poem about what happened on 9/11.

"But that third issue, Mae Brussell died," Thomas says. (Brussell was a Jewish housewife in California who put forth her own sort of Octopus theory based on a transcript of the Warren Commission hearings and thousands upon thousands of newspaper clippings.) "Also," Thomas continues, "there was another magazine called Critique, which was a conspiracy magazine—but that guy joined a cult and changed the magazine to Sacred Fire, and the magazine was dedicated to the homilies of his guru. It was like breakin' my heart, because I was putting out this free newsletter to hustle some books and I was into poetry, but it looked like the whole conspiracy world was falling apart—what the heck is going to happen? So I did a call for papers—'People who are interested in conspiracy, send me your stuff.' And then, that must have been '92, and to this day—I just came from the post office—to this day I get things like this …"

He pulls out a newsletter from The Worldwide Conspiracy of Einsteinian Relativity. The return address is San Quentin Prison. "I haven't totally read it yet," Thomas says. "He's even sent me a photo of himself. Still, the people in prison, I want to say, 'If you're so damn smart, what are you doing in prison?'"

It's actually been a light day at the post office. Lately, Thomas has been keeping a low profile; he has been planting lilies in his yard and swears that now that he has a house, "I just want to be landed gentry for a while." He has two kids, a daughter in college and a son who's just on the cusp of high school. It was during a trip to the airport to pick up his daughter that he realized that he didn't miss his life during the '90s and early noughts, especially after 9/11—where he regularly showed up on shows like Kevin Nealon's The Conspiracy Zone or stepped off airplanes only to be greeted by a constellation of flashing camera bulbs. "I remember one time flying into London, and I was received like I was one of the Beatles," he laughs. "There were flash cameras going off, guys with microphones saying, 'Can you talk about this, Mr. Thomas …?' I was blown away. But then there were other times when I used to do the Reich talk—it's very difficult to talk about, he was a very complicated guy who used his own language and created his own technology, so the talk can sound a little academic. I remember one time going to a conference, doing a little workshop on Reich, where like only six people signed up."

He doesn't, he says, miss the rock-star life. He'd rather be planting hostas. After his distributor, Fine Print, went belly-up around 2000, Steamshovel—like many small presses—had a tough time getting distributed, and Thomas didn't actually print Steamshovel Press No. 23; it's a PDF. Everything was, rather logically, rolling to a nice, clean stop.

But somehow, this spring Thomas once again found himself getting ready to embark on another rock-star tour: the first stop being RetroCon, a UFO conference held at the Integratron, a stylized, flying-saucer–shaped building constructed in the Mojave Desert in the '50s by a UFO contactee, George Van Tassell, who swore it channeled positive energy from the universe. Thomas delivered two lectures, one on a UFO sighting at Maury Island in Washington State and one on "Jack Kirby, Conspiracy Theorist." (Kirby was the co-creator of a number of Marvel Comics heroes, including the X-Men, Captain America, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four.) Then it was off to the Beyond Knowledge Conference in Liverpool, where he delivered another Maury Island lecture and one on Reich. And this doesn't even take into account a possible book tour in the fall, when Feral House, the publisher of The Octopus, releases Secret and Suppressed II, Thomas' follow-up to Jim Keith's 1993 book, which, among other things, introduced the term "men in black" to the mainstream—and contained the essay that eventually became The Octopus.

Now, before we proceed any further, it's important to know that the term "conspiracy theorist" is considered pejorative by guys like Thomas. The term "conspiracy researcher" is OK; "parapolitical researcher" is infinitely better: "Politics, of course, is going out and voting for people," Thomas says. "The 'para-' is everything that goes on behind the scenes in that process." And the popular perception of the conspiracy theorist "is a cartoon picture created by the media to keep people from taking these kinds of issues seriously," Thomas says, with a touch of crankiness in his voice, relating the term to a phenomenon he calls "the laughter curtain." Area 51 is the classic example: Disseminate enough dopey misinformation about little green men, and no one will pay attention to the trillions of dollars being funneled into the military-industrial complex via Area 51's black budget.

Of course, a cursory look through any of Thomas' dozen books, or an issue of Steamshovel, will clue you in to why the term irritates him so. As an archivist, his research is naturally both sweeping and impeccable. He's filed thousands of Freedom of Information Act requests. (Tip: File multiple times for the same material, and one day you'll get a clueless clerk—that's how Thomas ended up with all of Wilhelm Reich's prison correspondence.) He's made multiple trips to the National Archives for material related to the JFK assassination, which is more difficult than it sounds. You have to know what document to request before the archives will hand it over to you, so doing research there requires a lot of preresearch. He's a Jedi with LexisNexis and other research tools; he knows how to dig for information that other people don't know how to dig for, and then he publishes it. Nothing sexier than that. No tinfoil hats, no special Google-fu, no channeling. Just enormous stacks of documents.

"You have to create a triangulation of research, the bulletin-board model of research where you take the bits of data that come in and every one of them has a bias, you have to find out where the bias is, pin it up on a bulletin board," Thomas explains, sounding every bit the archivist. "When you find a certain kind of information clustered somewhere, you realize you're onto something. That's the whole metaphor of Steamshovel Press—your desk gets piled up with bits of information, and you need to create a metaphor for pushing it out of the way. It actually comes from a Dylan song: 'takes a steam shovel to clear out my head.'"

In an attempt to correct the semantics a little, Thomas created the motto "All conspiracy. No theory," which you'll see at the top of his site,, and above the magazine's logo. Though bypassing the theory part sometimes gets him in trouble (he's pissed off some people by documenting, for instance, that it was indeed a plane that hit the Pentagon, not a missile, as some 9/11 conspiracists allege), his only-publish-what-you-can-document approach has earned him the respect of those who normally dismiss conspiracists, and he's absolutely spooked out the true believers; Bob Girard of Arcturus Books said Steamshovel would "feed that dark feeling in the pit of your gut." But Thomas' good friend Greg Bishop says that's not the point.

"It's informed by history and creativity and radicalism and basic mistrust of people in power," he says. "Kenn's about eight or nine years older than me, but I also admire William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac and Leary and Ginsberg and all those people. I include a lot of UFO writers and paranormal writers and psychedelic researchers in my universe of what's going on. Kenn does not quite as much, but we still have that same spirit of being suspicious of people that don't have most of the population's interest in mind."

That lack of magnanimousness seems to especially extend to segments of the population that like to go poking around in the Octopus' business. Casolaro was warned several times, sometimes by his sources, that the information he was compiling could be dangerous to his health. And Thomas' friend and co-author Jim Keith, who wrote for Steamshovel, also died under mysterious circumstances; after suffering a knee injury at Burning Man in 1999, he was taken to Washoe Medical Center in Reno. Before being taken into surgery, Keith told his nephew, "I have the feeling that if they put me under, I am not coming back." He was correct. Though the hospital ruled that Keith's death resulted from a blood clot that moved from the site of the injury to his lung, Thomas theorizes that it possibly resulted from tissue contaminated with clostridium bacteria, incidentally one of the superbugs being bred in government laboratories for warfare purposes, which Keith had discussed in his last book, Biowarfare in America (anthrax is another popular germ in weapons labs). Two years later, Ron Bonds, publisher of IllumiNet Press, which had issued Biowarfare, died of clostridium poisoning after eating in a Mexican restaurant—right around the corner from the tissue bank that had been the source of clostridium-infected tendons that had resulted in the deaths of several people undergoing knee surgery. Of course, one is tempted to ask Thomas: Does he ever get nervous about these things?

"Well, you know, Jim Keith and I used to have this discussion: 'How come they don't come after us?' It's not a conversation I can have with Jim Keith anymore," Thomas says. Though he'll josh about black helicopters and aliens, this is not a subject he can approach with levity, not yet. "I have no proof, but Jim Keith, it's a horrible burden to try and communicate what kind of guy he was, because he was funnier and more charming than I will ever be. In Casolaro's case, he thought what would protect him would be to turn this into a fictional novel. It doesn't matter—if you start doing a real investigation and start talking to people, they don't care if you're going to write a novel or a story for The New York Times. They just know that you're poking around where you don't need to be. And that could've been what happened to Keith."

And who are "they"? Thomas laughs. "'They' are different people at different times. This whole question of why haven't they killed me—why did they let Abbie Hoffman go for so long? He's part of the Octopus story. He was delivering his write-up of the Iran-Contra affair when he was forced off the road by a truck. So why don't they just form an army and go out and shoot every dissident in the country?"—he's again laughing now—"But they don't. Sometimes they kill people, sometimes they have the laughter curtain. They make us look like crazy people. That's the thing about great journalists—they know what not to ask! In some cases, it's just to maintain access to power, sometimes just to stay alive." And besides: "My mentor into the world of the weird was Timothy Leary. And Timothy Leary would never accept negative energy. Never. He was in prison, I remember seeing footage of him in 1970 where he was talking about 'Whoa, how cool is this? I can slow down. I can just sit here and write and read and learn.' He did that, and then he escaped! He went over the wall. For a while, he was in a cell right next to Charles Manson. He taught me that there's nothing to be afraid of. There's no reason to let it get you down. Soak it up. Fight back. And do dharma combat with it."

Perhaps it's naive to say this, but it seems that things have changed a bit since the early 1990s, when Danny Casolaro was intrepidly chasing the Octopus like a cross between Columbo and Jacques Cousteau. Whether it's the transparency brought about by the Web or the brazenness of the current administration in consolidating power in the executive branch or even the conspiracy underground's success in mainstreaming concepts like black helicopters and MIBs (men in black), it seems to have a slightly less opaque ink cloud to hide behind. Oddly enough, Thomas is finding this phenomenon a little irritating, at least as far as finishing the manuscript for Secret and Suppressed II goes. "We came up with the idea, believe it or not, of trying to—and this must've been in January—of trying to expose what a wacky church Barack Obama belonged to. That was obscure at that point!" Thomas laughs. Though the book's being released to coincide with the 2008 elections, Adam Parfrey, Thomas' editor at Feral House (which published both editions of The Octopus), says that's why they're concentrating on the bigger-picture stuff, like the larger implications of Diebold's electronic voting machines—and the Freemasons. "We have definitely discussed investigating Freemasonic influence—there's a lot of interest in that with The Da Vinci Code," Parfrey says. "Though we're trying not to have these bizarre intimations about the Vatican, but address Freemasonry as really a large issue in the military as well as the government—with actual, supportable evidence."

And though the lilies behind Thomas' house are no doubt flourishing (the Everly Brothers would be happy to know), his spring tour has him wondering how to knacker Steamshovel's distribution problems; Nexus magazine, he notices, is still on the stands, so there must be some way to do it. "I consider myself a permanent fixture," he says. "What I may do is stop the magazine at that and create a smaller, comic-book–sized zine, hold onto the name and put that at the top, so it'd be Steamshovel Press presents, say, Popular Alienation or Popular Paranoia and make it smaller and less expensive enough that it can come out more frequently."

And why abandon the life of the landed gentry? Same reason he always has. "It's just like when I first started Steamshovel—it was basically out of paranoia that because Mae Brussell had died and the other magazine that did conspiracy stuff had disappeared, I had to make sure it was there for me to consume," he says. "But even more so, now that the country's changing again … we have to stimulate and encourage a variety of points of view, eccentricities, the creative life.

"I try to get that across to the people who take this stuff too seriously," he says. "It's hard to do, because they're locked into reality tunnels—that was Leary's concept. You're locked into these certain reality tunnels, and you can't see the bigger picture and can't sympathize enough with another tunnel to see that there's something else."

Visit Kenn Thomas on the web at; Secret and Supressed II will be released in October and will be available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, local bookstores, and

Source: St. Louis Magazine


Bigfoot: New Evidence

Hairs found in Indian jungle are of 'no known species' say scientists.

It is right up there with the Loch Ness monster: the subject of claimed sightings, passionately promoted by believers, dismissed by the scientific community. But now experts say they have found the best evidence to date that the yeti might – just conceivably – be real.

Tests at Oxford Brookes University on hairs which local people believe came from a yeti in an Indian jungle have failed to link them with any known species and are said to bear "a startling resemblance" to those brought back from the Himalayas by Sir Edmund Hillary half a century ago.

Ape expert Ian Redmond, who is co-ordinating the research, said: "The hairs are the most positive evidence yet that a yeti might possibly exist, because they are tangible. We are very excited about the preliminary results, although more tests need to be done."

The two short hairs – 33mm and 44mm long – were picked up in thick forest in the Garo hills in the mountains of north-east India five years ago after a forester reported seeing a yeti – locally known as mande barung, or "forest man" – for three days in a row breaking branches off trees and eating their sap.

The hills are one of several places in the world where similar creatures – Bigfoot in the US, the sasquatch in Canada, the sajarang gigi in Indonesia, and the yeti in Nepal – are part of local legend and from where occasional sightings are reported.

After being brought to Britain, the hairs were magnified up to 200 times, and one of them was cast in varnish to make a better two-dimensional image. They were then compared with hairs from animals known to live in the hills. "We fully expected them to come from a known animal," said Mr Redmond. "We failed to find that. So the mystery remains and we go on to the next stage of investigation."

The hairs will now be examined under an even more powerful microscope and sent to two different laboratories – in Oxford and Cardiff – for DNA testing. Follicles containing cells remain on the base of the hairs, said Mr Redmond, "so there is every chance that we will be able to get even closer to the truth".

If DNA analysis cannot identify the creature, it should be able to work out what it is related to, he explained. "It could easily be an unknown primate, even if it is not a yeti."

People in the Garo Hills believe that the yeti exists, and there have been repeated reported sightings of the creatures and their footprints, including by such famous mountaineers as Lord Hunt, who led the Everest expedition.

Source: The Independent


Unidentified Flying Threats

On the afternoon of Nov. 7, 2006, pilots and airport employees at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago saw a disc-like object hovering over the tarmac for several minutes. Because nothing was tracked on radar, the Federal Aviation Administration did not investigate. Yet radar is not a reliable detector of all aircraft. Stealth planes are designed to be invisible to radar, and many radar systems filter out signals not matching the normal characteristics of aircraft. Did it really make sense to entirely ignore the observations of several witnesses?

A healthy skepticism about extraterrestrial space travelers leads people to disregard U.F.O. sightings without a moment’s thought. But in the United States, this translates into overdependence on radar data and indifference to all kinds of unidentified aircraft — a weakness that could be exploited by terrorists or anyone seeking to engage in espionage against the United States.

The American government has not investigated U.F.O. sightings since 1969, when the Air Force ended Project Blue Book, an effort to scientifically analyze all sightings to see if any posed a threat to national security. Britain and France, in contrast, continue to investigate U.F.O. sightings, because of concerns that some sightings might be attributable to foreign military aircraft breaching their airspace, or to foreign space-based systems of interest to the intelligence community.

Most of the incidents investigated in Britain have been easily explained as misidentifications of stars and planets, aircraft lights, satellites and meteors, but some cases have raised national security or air safety issues.

On Dec. 26, 1980, for instance, several witnesses at two American Air Force bases in England reported seeing a U.F.O. land. An examination of the site turned up indentations in the ground and a level of radiation in the area that was significantly higher than ordinary. More witnesses at the same base reported the U.F.O. again on subsequent nights. The deputy base commander reported that the aircraft aimed light beams into the most highly sensitive area of the base — a clear security breach.

On March 30 and 31, 1993, there was a wave of U.F.O. sightings over Britain. One witness described a triangular-shaped craft that flew slowly over an air force base before accelerating away to the horizon in an instant, many times faster than a jet. The British military reported, “There would seem to be some evidence on this occasion that an unidentified object (or objects) of unknown origin was operating over the U.K.”

On April 23, 2007, a commercial airline pilot and some of his passengers reported a huge cigar-shaped U.F.O. — the pilot estimated it to be a mile wide — near the Channel Islands. At the time, air traffic controllers reported to the pilot that radar picked up something, but that it was “unknown traffic.”

In addition, there have been several incidents of near misses between U.F.O.s and known aircraft — enough to prompt the Ministry of Defense and the British Civil Aviation Authority to advise pilots, if they encounter anything, “not to maneuver, other than to place the object astern, if possible.”

The United States is no less vulnerable than Britain and France to threats to security and air safety. The United States Air Force or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should reopen investigations of U.F.O. phenomena. It would not imply that the country has suddenly started believing in little green men. It would simply recognize the possibility that radar alone cannot always tell us what’s out there.

Nick Pope, the author of “Open Skies, Closed Minds,” was in charge of U.F.O. investigations for the British Ministry of Defense from 1991 to 1994.

Source: NY Times


Adventurer Steve Fossett's Widow Dismisses Faked Death Claims

Michael LoVallo disputed suggestions from investigators and insurance assessors that the record-setting pilot and balloonist, a friend of Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, could still be alive after his mysterious disappearance in the Nevada desert 10 months ago.

Mrs Fossett petitioned a Chicago court to have her husband declared dead. Her request was granted in February and her husband's estate of more than $10 million was awarded to her.

"The remarks (that Fossett could still be alive) were in disregard of the fact, many facts," Mr LoVallo told The Daily Telegraph.

"The petition to the court is of public record, that includes comprehensively all the relevant facts and I suggest someone actually review the facts responsibly and review the petition.

Mrs Fossett had no comment on the claims, he added.

Fossett, 63, the first man to fly non-stop round the earth in a hot air balloon, went missing last September after taking off from a remote Nevada airstrip on a short trip to inspect a site for possible use in a land speed record attempt. He never returned.

His disappearance sparked the most intensive hunt for a missing aircraft in US history, involving Civil Air Patrol's Black Hawks, fitted with infra-red technology, as well as 30 private planes and a global internet effort led by and Google.

Mrs Fossett contributed over $1 million to the efforts, her lawyers have said.

Neither Fossett's body nor the plane's wreckage were ever located.

But Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Ryan, of the US Civil Air Patrol, who briefed the media during the search, has said the adventurer's body "should have been found", given the extensive search efforts, suggesting he could still be alive.

"It's not like we didn't have our eyes open. We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do."

Lt Col Ryan said she believed Fossett may have faked his own death due to personal problems or fears about his business dealings. Fossett made millions trading futures and options on Chicago exchanges.

Risk assessor Robert Davis, who conducted an eight-month investigation for insurers Lloyd's of London, said he had "discovered that there is absolutely no proof that Steve Fossett is actually dead".

"I'm not a conspiracy theorist," he said. "I'm a man who deals in facts, and I don't really care if he is alive or dead, it make no difference to me.

"What I am interested in is the truth - and a proper criminal investigation of this man's disappearance was never undertaken by law enforcement or officials in the state of Nevada."

Lloyd's is said to face a £25 million payout on Fossett's death. Mrs Fossett petitioned a judge in Chicago, where she lives, to have her husband declared dead in November.

Under state law, people usually have to be missing for seven years before being declared dead. But Jeffrey Malak, a Chicago probate judge, granted an exception after hearing evidence from Mrs Fossett and members of the search teams that scoured the remote Nevadan terrain.

According to Mrs Fossett's petition, "Fossett did not have any reason to disappear... (he) was happy and passionately involved in his pursuit of adventure."

It added that "no-one involved in the search holds out any hope that Fossett is still alive. He did not have a parachute, nor did he take a watch that had a transponder and could have sent out a distress signal. There was a transponder aboard but no signal was received".

In a statement at the time, Mrs Fossett said: "As anyone can imagine, this is a difficult day for our family. We will continue to grieve and heal, but after nearly three months we feel now that we must accept that Steve did not survive."

Sir Richard said he didn’t believe the reports: “I think its absolute crap. I wish it was true but it isn’t. I wish he was in South America with some beautiful girls but he isn’t.

“What did he have to gain? His poor wife has inherited all his money. And any insurance has gone to her. Its just not true.”

Source: The Telegraph


The Horses Of Death

I've often been intrigued by reports of phantom animals, especially horses when they are seen to be leading a carriage through some misty backroad of a night. What perplexes me most is the fact that if inanimate objects have no souls, then why should the coach appear alongside the horses? And, if the horses never died together or with the coach, then why should they appear coupled in the ethereal void? Have there ever been sightings of a stagecoacch drawn by nothing, or spectral horses drawing an invisible carriage? It seems not.

The huge gates of Black Horse Yard, at Windsor, are situated on the main Windsor to London road, which is flanked by houses built during the eighteenth century. It is here that one particular apparition is said to appear, ominously before the death of a monarch. A ghostly coach, and horses, is said to roar from the shadows where an old inn used to stand, and gallops towards the Windsor Park gates at great speed. Of course, no-one knows where the procession goes because it often fades into the gloom of night before its destination.

Rumour has it that the phantom carriage, pulled by two magnificent black horses, also consists of a third ghost, that being of a royal physician who was tending to King Charles II before his death. Although no relatively modern sightings of the spectral coach have been reported, its last appearance certainly suggests that, as a spirit, it is indeed an omen of death, because it was Edward VII who appeared gravely ill the last time the manifestation took to the streets.

However, this leaves the researcher with many unanswered questions. Does the spectral coach, the horses and the ghostly physician display some kind of intelligence beyond the comprehension of science and understanding? Or is the spooky scenario simply a continuous playback, embedded in the fabric of time to forever play back when a tragedy is about to strike?

These type of hauntings may suggest a mere recording of a past event, but if so, how on Earth does an historical gaggle of ghosts know when someone is going to die?

Whatever your belief, these historical enigmas continue to operate outside of their own timeline suggesting something, possibly in the human brain, triggers their existence.

Source: Londonist


Gremlins on the Attack

I turned on the news Saturday morning and I heard a story that brought back to memory an old story. It was a frightening story that happened long ago which was both chilling and intriguing. This mornings news story is by no means as intense as the one from by gone days, but nonetheless quite frightening.

As you may have heard a Qantas flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne made an emergency landing in the Philippines on Friday (07/25/2008) after a hole appeared in the fuselage and the cabin lost pressure suddenly. One passenger as quoted by CNN reported, "There was an almighty crack, We dropped a bit in the air." According to the Associated Press the plane was at 29,000 feet when the incident happened and then the plane quickly descended to 10,000 feet. As of yet there is no explanation as to what exactly caused the hole to suddenly rip open at 29,000 feet but one report said that there might have been rust on the fuselage in a previous inspection.

This brought to mind an old story that the late Charles Berlitz wrote about in his book “Charles Berlitz’s World of Strange Phenomena” on page 209 in the short article “A Massacre in Flight” Mr. Berlitz describes a story with an eerie similarity.

“Something terrifying happened in the air one day in the late summer of 1939-and to this day the incident is shrouded in secrecy.

All that is known is that a military transport plane left the Marine naval Air Force Base in San Diego at 3:30 one afternoon. It and its thirteen man crew were making a routine flight to Honolulu. Three hours later, as the plane was over the Pacific Ocean, a frantic distress signal was sounded. Then the radio signal died.

A little later the plane limped back to base and made an emergency landing. Ground crew members rushed to the craft and when they boarded, they were horrified to see twelve dead men. The only survivor was the copilot, who, though badly injured, had stayed alive long enough to bring the plane back. A few minutes he was dead, too.

All of the bodies had large, gaping wounds. Even weirder, the pilot and copilot had emptied their .45 Colt automatic pistols at something. The empty shells were found lying on the floor of the cockpit. A foul, sulfuric odor pervaded the interior of the craft.

The exterior of the airplane was badly damaged, looking as it had been struck by missiles…The incident was successfully hushed up and did not come to light for fifteen years, when investigator Robert Coe Gardner learned of it from someone who was there. They mystery of what the crew encountered in midair that afternoon in 1939 has never been solved.”

What is the connection?


No, not the fuzzy creatures you do not feed after midnight or throw water on.

Or the funky often maligned car from the 70’s.

Since World War 1 pilots have claimed to have seen strange creatures tinkering with their aircraft in mid flight. However the existence of such creatures never became widely known until British pilots in World War 2 began to make such experiences public record. The first published report of these creatures appeared in the April 18th 1942 edition 13 of The Royal Air Force Journal. You can read his account at this web site linked below

The knowledge of these creatures was popularized by author Robert Dahl in his children’s book “The Gremlins”. However Dahl’s creatures while annoying and destructive were cute little cartoon characters who were seeking revenge for the destruction of their home forest in order to build an airplane factory.

However, WW2 pilot’s descriptions of real encounters with Gremlins lack Dahl’s cute characterization. Many of them witnessed demonic creatures causing havoc with their airplane equipment. Many swore they saw these creatures maliciously tearing apart wiring or instruments before crashes during combat missions over Germany.

Famed folklorist John W. Hazen gave a personal experience with a Gremlin in the 1972 edition of Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend where he writes that upon inspecting a malfunctioning airplane, he witnessed “a parted cable which bore obvious tooth marks in spite of the fact that the break occurred in a most inaccessible part of the plane." Then he heard an unearthly inhuman voice that seemed to be rebuffing an associate which said , "How many times must you be told to obey orders and not tackle jobs you aren't qualified for? — This is how it should be done." Immdiately Mr. Hazen heard a sound that reminded him of a "musical twang" and before his very eyes another cable snapped apart with the teeth marks clearly visible.

But most of us know of Gremlins by the Twilight Zone story “Nightmare at 20000 feet” where a man sees a Gremlin tearing apart the commercial flight he is on and everyone thinks he is insane.

Ever since this episode hit the airwaves in 1963 there have been very few pilots who have come forth with eye witness activity of these creatures. Mostly for fear of ridicule, but many for fear that they will be grounded for a mental evaluation. But these demonic entities still have a fascination with dismantling aircraft in mid-air to this day.

I helped out in a Christian Bookstore owned by one of the members of my congregation for a few months a couple of years ago. His wife had passed away suddenly and he was overwhelmed. One night we began to talk about the paranormal. As an ex-naval officer during the first Gulf War he told me he had seen things he could not talk about. His quote was “I’ve seen things that come straight out of the X-Files.” while working on a certain Aircraft Carrier in the Gulf. I prodded and prodded but he refused to tell me any details about UFOs or what exactly he meant by the comment in connection with the Government conspiracy theme that ran through that Television program. But he did tell me that he and a few fellow servicemen onboard did have encounters with little creatures of amazing power who have a fascination with airplanes. He had never fully seen them himself, but one time he witnessed a little shadowy creature tear a hole in aircraft like it was made out of aluminum foil to get at inside components. The creature dashed over the nose of the plane and disappeared. A pilot friend of his swore that he saw a small impish creature trying to rip off a flap of a F/A 18 Hornet of his wingman on their way to a sortie over Iraq in the late light of the setting sun. One minute it was there and as he turned to double check what he had just seen the creature had vanished. Within a few minutes the co-pilot had to return to the carrier because his plane was becoming unresponsive.

He also told a me a few years ago that he had a few friends who had investigated the fatal crash of Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002 who noticed some very strange markings on the exterior of the craft. It was as if something with claws had torn open the plane in mid flight. Search as I might I can find nothing to back this claim up. But there are many on the web who see conspiracies of varying orders surrounding the Senator’s plane crash.

So what happened as this plane flew from London to Melbourne? Shotty workmanship and maintenance on Qantas’ part?

Or something else?

Oh for the good old days when the only thing we had to worry about when we flew was the poor quality of the food being served in-flight.

Until next time,

Pastor Swope

Source: The Paranormal Pastor


Louisiana Man Says He’s A Paranormal Magnet

LOCKPORT -- They come at all hours, ghastly apparitions that move furniture, unlock doors, douse beds with paranormal liquid and roam the halls in a continuous state of aggravation.

So said 61-year-old Rick Bolling, the owner of this green-colored home in an unassuming Lafourche Parish neighborhood near the banks of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Decades ago it was the home and death place for a woman rumored to have had an ornery reputation. But the blame, Bolling said, falls squarely on his own status as a magnet for the paranormal.

"Maybe I’m crazy, but she sees it, too," he said, referring to his live-in girlfriend, Pat Poche. "A lady I spent 12 years with, she’s seen it. A lady I spent six years with, she’s seen it. Everybody that I’m around experiences, no matter where I live."

From 1972 to 1983, Bolling spent his days with the recently deceased as a homicide investigator with Avoyelles and St. Charles parishes. It was about then that his alleged paranormal visits began. The ghost of a priest sharing his Indian ancestry, Bolling said, began to follow his every move.

Bolling said photographs taken over decades reveal the priestly apparition, its face bearing jutting features typical of his forebears.

Outside of a few annoyances that usually occur after he’s angered the spirit, like rearranging furniture or inducing him to vomit, Bolling said the priestly ghost is an acceptable companion.

"This thing has never hurt me at all. People get used it. Everybody gets used to it," he said.

Getting used to a ghost is easier said than done, contends Poche, Bolling’s girlfriend for more than a year.

Poche maintains that in 66 years of life she had only one experience with the supernatural, a vision of her late husband.

Then she moved in with Bolling, and the spiritual visits came at a rapid pace.

One night, a lampshade began spinning, she said, until Bolling scolded the presumed ghost and told it to leave.

The next morning, she said, the lamp was set atop a different nightstand, and its shade was stashed under the bed.

On any given day a clock will wander off a bookshelf or a deadbolt will randomly unlock.

One night, Poche said, they re-locked a deadbolt on the front door only to discover the backdoor lock broken.

Another night, she said, they were lying in bed when an invisible liquid suddenly engulfed them.

Bolling acknowledged the occurrences could be psychosomatic, but the physical mark left behind proves they’re grounded in reality, he added.

"A lot of it could be a lot of imagination, because I know that the bed was not wet and it was in my head -- I don’t know," Bolling said.

"But I felt it too, and your clothes were wet. I was soaking wet," Poche said. "The clothes he was in, he took them off, and the next morning they were still wet. You could wring water out of them."

It’s these unexplained encounters that Bolling pins on his ghost, which he said first revealed itself on film in 1985.

He was atop a Santa Fe, N.M. mountain in an adobe church.

The church houses a candle that locals say never burns out.

Bolling took several pictures of the room, one of which he said reveals the priestly image, whose shimmering face pokes through flowing robes.

Eight months ago, the priestly apparition showed up on film a second time, Bolling said, at Breaux’s Hide-Away in Lockport.

Breaux’s Hide-Away is a tavern next to an abandoned church where, locals recall, members prayed over the body of a dead baby tucked in an ice chest in an unsuccessful attempt to resurrect it.

Photos taken one night at Breaux’s Hide-Away show what Bolling said are the wispy apparitions of three faces above himself and Poche.

"Everybody who’s looked at it so far knows it’s not smoke. Smoke is not that white," he said.

Bolling admitted that some will doubt his experiences, but contended that they refuse to accept the supernatural.

And addressing the skeptics, he said "Look at it real good. Have an open mind."

Source: The Daily Comet/Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

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