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8/8/08  #481
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SHHHH - Be Vewy, Vewy qwiet! We's hunting CONSPIRACIES! Yes that's right! Watch out secret government cabals! Look over your shoulders Men-In-Black! Check your altitude variance you silly flying saucer folks! Because once again Conspiracy Journal is here to rip off the veils of intrigue and secrecy from those dedicated to keeping mankind in the dark.

This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such wabbit-hunting tales as:

- Claims By Astronaut Edgar Mitchell Sparks UFO Frenzy -
- Knights Templar Heirs in Legal Battle With the Pope -
- Scientists 'Had Close Encounter With Wildman' -
- How Little Are Ireland's Little People? -
AND: Can Fluffy Predict A Quake?

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, seeing it not as an atrocity, but as an opportunity.

"I nearly jumped out of my seat when I first read this book. I was never convinced of the stories surrounding the sex slave allegations 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.


Claims By Astronaut Edgar Mitchell Sparks UFO Frenzy

A recent spate of UFO sightings around the world has believers in a frenzy, but even the inside scoop from a former astronaut is not enough to sway the sceptics.

Yesterday, aliens popped up in the news again as NASA sought to distance itself from former Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell who claimed extra-terrestrials have been coming to visit for decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said governments have been covering it up for 60 years.

“I've been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes - we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it's been happening quite a bit,” he said.

Dr Mitchell's former bosses were quick to distance themselves from the renewed buzz: “NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe,” the agency said.

But the Australian Skeptics were not impressed by what Dr Mitchell - or anyone else - thought they saw.  Skeptic spokesman Barry Williams said today the truth is closer to home: it's all in your head, and you're wrong.

“We love mysteries and we love solving them, just look at how popular crime fiction and crime TV shows are,” Mr Williams said.  “The brain needs to find answers, it can’t stand not knowing, so it comes to an explanation and quite often it’s wrong.”

Mr Williams said the UFO explanation is “ready made” after decades of articles, books and movies about alien life.  “Two hundred years ago, when nothing of human construction had ever flown, people thought things in the sky were angels or demons.

British tabloid The Sun has been leading the UFO charge in the UK, with almost daily sightings being reported. One story includes a photograph of an object in the sky near a mini tornado, while on June 20, a police helicopter apparently chased a UFO in the sky above Cardiff.

The Daily Telegraph reports that a few weeks ago, a UFO spotter at Nowra on the New South Wales south coast reported seeing a military helicopter following a “rounded triangle shape, about the size of a helicopter without tail or rotor blades” across a golf course.

Around the same time, residents of a small town in the Northern Territory reported being terrified by four unidentified flying objects, while in early June an elderly couple on an NT highway said their car was “dive-bombed” by a UFO.

In March, police in Queensland received several reports of an object glowing orange that streaked across the sky. Whatever it was, it was never found and nor was there any evidence that it hit the ground.

Sydney Observatory astronomy educator Mel Hulbert said it was probably a type of meteor known as a bolide and that a rock falls to Earth every two hours, but volunteers at UFO Research Queensland reckon aliens like visiting the sunshine state because of its natural wonders, like the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Williams said the more likely explanation was that people were seeing our planetary neighbours, not inter-stellar visitors.

He said Venus is the most common object mistaken for alien aircraft, followed by Jupiter and Saturn which “can look very bright in the sky at different times.”

“Most of us live in cities or in towns and don’t look at the sky very often,” he said. “A flock of birds flying in formation and all turning at once can be mistaken for a UFO. In the right light and from the right angle it can look like a flash of metal.”

Mr Williams said the problem is that despite all the UFO sightings around the world, no one has produced any concrete evidence that aliens are visiting Earth.

“We live in a vast, vast universe, which the human mind not capable of comprehending. The thought that this one planet in the whole galaxy is the only one to produce life is a fairly daunting thought,” said Mr Williams.

“It’s fairly reasonable to speculate about life, but the huge chain of evidence between that and aliens coming to visit just isn’t there.”



Knights Templar Heirs in Legal Battle With the Pope

The heirs of the Knights Templar have launched a legal battle in Spain to force the Pope to restore the reputation of the disgraced order which was accused of heresy and dissolved seven centuries ago.

The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descended from the legendary crusaders, have filed a lawsuit against Benedict XVI calling for him to recognise the seizure of assets worth 100 billion euros (£79 billion).

They claim that when the order was dissolved by his predecessor Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties as well as countless pastures, mills and other commercial ventures belonging to the knights were appropriated by the church.

But their motive is not to reclaim damages only to restore the "good name" of the Knights Templar.

"We are not trying to cause the economic collapse of the Roman Catholic Church, but to illustrate to the court the magnitude of the plot against our Order," said a statement issued by the self-proclaimed modern day knights.

The Templars was a powerful secretive group of warrior monks founded by French knight Hugues de Payens after the First Crusade of 1099 to protect pilgrims en route to Jerusalem.

They amassed enormous wealth and helped to finance wars waged by European monarchs, but spectacularly fell from grace after the Muslims reconquered the Holy Land in 1244 and rumours surfaced of their heretic practices.

The Knights were accused of denying Jesus, worshipping icons of the devil in secret initiation ceremonies, and practising sodomy.

Many Templars confessed to their crimes under torture and some, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, were burned at the stake.

The legal move by the Spanish group comes follows the unprecedented step by the Vatican towards the rehabilitation of the group when last October it released copies of parchments recording the trials of the Knights between 1307 and 1312.

The papers lay hidden for more than three centuries having been "misfiled" within papal archives until they were discovered by an academic in 2001.

The Chinon parchment revealed that, contrary to historic belief, Clement V had declared the Templars were not heretics but disbanded the order anyway to maintain peace with their accuser, King Philip IV of France.

Over the centuries, various groups have claimed to be descended from the Templars and legend abounds over hidden treasures, secret rituals, and their rumoured guardianship of the Holy Grail.

Most recently the knights have fascinated the modern generation after being featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code.

Source: The Telegraph


Scientists 'Had Close Encounter With Wildman'

A North Devon team of scientists has returned from a three-week expedition to the Caucasus Mountains in Russia with what may be evidence of a creature closely related to man.

The five-man team from the Woolsery-based Centre for Fortean Zoology, teamed up with Russian and Ukrainian scientists to hunt the almasty, a huge, hairy wildman said to inhabit parts of Russia and the former USSR.

Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman said: "We found hair, dung and skull shards that may be from an almasty. These are going to be analysed by geneticists in order to establish if the DNA points to an unknown species."

Freeman, who claims he nearly died no fewer than four times on the mountain adventure, says he and his colleague, the explorer Adam Davis, may have come within 12 feet of an almasty while staking out an abandoned farm at 2.30 in the morning.

"We were in a room in the farmhouse with a door facing out on to the veranda," he said. "The 7ft high door was open a couple of inches and starlight was flooding through. We heard a deep, guttural vocalisation. A few seconds later something passed by the door blocking out the starlight to a height of at least 7ft. We grabbed our cameras and rushed out into the night, but whatever it was had vanished."

Richard and his team will be revealing their findings at the Centre for Fortean Zoology's annual conference, the Weird Weekend. Among the other firsts at the conference will be a new book launched by world renowned zoologist Dr Karl Shuker. Dr Shuker's Casebook examines a whole menagerie of bizarre and mysterious beasts from all over the planet.

Source: North Devon Gazette


Southern California "Hot Spot" Puzzles Experts

FILLMORE -- Things are really heating up in Ventura County and experts aren't sure why.

A patch of land near Fillmore shot up to more than 800 degrees on Friday. Geologists and firefighters are puzzled by the unusual "hot spot".

"It's a thermal anomaly," said Ron Oatman, spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.

The firefighters and geologists who surveyed the two-acre plot north of Fillmore are uncertain what's causing the heat, but they have some theories.

The area is considered an active landslide that in the last 60 years has moved and trapped hydrocarbons, found in petroleum products, natural gas and coal, some several hundred feet deep, Oatman said. After it dried out, the earth began to crack and oxygen crept in, causing "some sort of combustion," he said.

Firefighters noticed the hot spot Friday after smoke rose through five cracks in the ground. From a distance, it looked like "a small, smoldering camp fire," Oatman said.

The steep, rugged terrain owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and leased by an oil company is normally gated off from public access and does not have any equipment or buildings on it, he said.

This same land area has recorded high heat about five or six times since 1987 and has always been dubbed a "natural phenomenon," Oatman said.

Oatman said the ground is cooling and is not a threat to public safety. The fire department has established a control line around the area in case a brush fire starts and is monitoring the area daily, he said.

Source: KTLA-TV,0,5018676.story


Earth's Moon and Human Evolution

It has been established beyond all reasonable doubt that the Moon is not what it appears; that it is not just another satellite orbiting a planet, Earth, but an entity which has thrown the minds of some of the greatest thinkers and scientific brains into a quandary and bewilderment unprecedented in the history of astronomy. Why haven't you heard about this? Another government cover-up? How could Moon mysteries have anything to do with government secrecy, and moreover could it relate to the suppression of the space programme?

Let us outline some of the extraordinary anomalies and mysteries surrounding this puzzle. Clearly not all data will be equally reliable but the abundance of interrelated information nevertheless gives an overall picture which can be determined with some certainty. The first academic enigma must surely be that the Moon is apparently in its wrong orbit for its size. However, this would presumably be based on its assumed density. Technical reports claim a density of 3.3 for the Moon compared with 5.5 for Earth. Astronomy data indicates that the internal regions of the Moon are less dense than the outer, giving rise to the inevitable but outrageous speculation that it could be hollow. The eminent and late scientist Carl Sagan, a typical sceptic, had made the statement, "A natural satellite cannot be a hollow object." But meaning here that if it is hollow, it is not a natural satellite -- and therefore artificial.

Possibly the strongest evidence for it to be a 'hollow object' comes from the fact that when meteors strike the Moon, the latter rings like a bell. More specifically when the Apollo crew in November 20, 1969 released the lunar module, after returning to the orbiter, the module impact with the Moon caused their seismic equipment to register a continuous reverberation like a bell for more than an hour. The same effect occurred with Apollo 13's third stage which caused the Moon to ring for over three hours. So what's going on with the Moon?

Two Soviet scientists, Mikhail Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov, have spent much of their careers examining the facts compiled on lunar phenomena. Their conclusion is that the Moon is artificial, possibly a hollowed-out planet, and that it was steered from some distant region of the galaxy into a circular orbit around our planet (hence the extraordinary mystery of rock and Moon-dust age variations). They claim that intellectual life has existed in the Moon for eons.

In 1968 as Apollo 8 moved into orbit around the Moon, the astronauts spotted a colossal extraterrestrial object, which then had disappeared on the next orbit. Photographs were taken, of course, but not released to the public. On another occasion when the lunar excursion module was down to 4-5 miles from the Moon's surface astronauts witnessed a UFO suddenly rise from a crater and rapidly disappear. In 1969, "Buzz" Aldrin was checking the lunar surface from orbit, when two UFOs appeared, moved towards the Apollo rocket, hovered nearby, then to Aldrin's utter astonishment the UFOs joined to form one entity.

Furthermore, astronauts of Apollo 11 saw a spacefleet of UFOs lined up in a crater. Almost every Moon mission involved encounters with UFOs or UFO sightings, not to mention the discovery of many bases on the Moon's surface. Renowned astronomer Patrick Moore discovered over one hundred dome-like buildings. In fact, about one thousand such bases, dome-like structures of diameter around 700 feet, have been witnessed. Astronomy records extending back 200 years indicate no such artefacts until about the 1950s (remember the book entitledAlternative III?). Many of the UFO encounters by the astronauts were stated to be of a positive nature in which unintrusive assistance was given.

It has been found that asteroids and meteors not only create shallow craters on the Moon's surface but produce a convex floor to the crater instead of concave as expected, supporting the idea of a rigid shell. Countless other pieces of evidence from astronomers and NASA scientists began to reveal that some 2-3 miles down there appear to be dense layers of metal -- which would explain why the craters were convex. But the most astonishing conclusion is that the only theory which can completely explain all the anomalies is that the Moon is hollow with a shell about 20 miles thick --mostly metal. Note that mascons (higher concentrations of mass) found in the marias cause fluctuations in gravity and have never been satisfactorily explained.

Moreover, these structural anomalies were supported by two publications, one Time Magazine, which unwittingly revealed the gravity value of the Moon relative to Earth by publishing the distance from Earth to Moon of the null point between them, indicating a gravitational force some 60 -70 % of Earth. Furthermore, some people noticed the feeble plumage of the rocket exhaust as the module rose from the Moon's surface---explained away by NASA as due to the vacuum. But what about some of the telltale and suspicious features observed during the first Armstrong and Aldrin Moon landing.

The American flag was seen briefly to wave in... a breeze? But we are told there is no air on the Moon. The flag was then starched. Also we saw dust kicked up by the astronauts clearly drifting in... what? Dust particles do not drift in vacuum -- they cling together. And what about the feeble leaps of the astronauts off the Moon's surface -- were their spacesuits and backpacks really so heavy? The Moon is supposed to be about one-sixth the gravity of Earth.

Thus we now know that air is present, and the feeble rocket exhaust could not be due to a vacuum. Moreover, the exhaust was apparently too weak to account for the necessary power to escape from such a gravitational pull in relationship to the size of the module, which was not large enough to contain the necessary fuel to escape the Moon's high gravity. Was antigravity propulsion secretly being used as a booster?

The covert government have long since sent 'astronauts' into outer space in antigravity spacecrafts. They apparently had the so-called cosmospheres about 40 years ago, some larger than the old and massive dirigibles. They seized the antigravity research data from the Nazis, and have since then reverse-engineered captured spacecrafts and negotiated deals with aliens involving antigravity technologies.

The more thorough have been the investigations of the Moon the more bizarre the results have been. Probably one of the most startling was that moonquakes occurred like clockwork. Moreover, the fluctuations on each occasion were the same. This is impossible for natural conditions which always obey fractal distributions. Furthermore, a study of rock samples reveal an age of 5.3 billion years, and that not only is the Moon older than the Earth, estimated to be about 4.6 billion years, but that it is older than the solar system (and by theoretical standards as old as the universe).

What about the surface of the Moon? Several television viewers wrote explaining that they spotted one of the astronauts pick up what appeared to be a glass bottle and remark, "My God, I don't believe it, look at this ..." Then the television screen went blank. Other viewers observed the extreme difficulty astronauts had when drilling down a few inches into the Moon's marias and that when the drill bit was pulled out, metal shavings were visible. Rocks were found to contain brass, mica, titanium, and elements uranium 236 and Neptunium 237 not previously found in nature.

Astronomy literature reports the sighting of a 12-mile bridge-like structure over the Sea of Crisis in 1954 by John O'Neile, and in the 1950s astronomer Morris K. Jessup realised that UFOs had bases on the Moon (and so does the government of course). Other strange lunar phenomena are: the observation by Dr. Frank Harris of a black body on the surface, 250 miles long and 50 miles wide; clouds and lightning; strange moving shadows and objects, and spire-like structures thousands of feet high; a huge boulder with tracks (behind it) from inside a crater to the rim (uphill); the shrinking, over a period of time, of the crater Luna from six miles in diameter to one and a half miles; 'hill' effects in craters appearing and disappearing in a few hours; over 800 substantial observations made by scientists of blinking and flashing lights; the results of NASA photographs of the lunar surface, indicating several large pyramid structures, strange rifts in the surface with entrances, massive girders, machinery and some 1000 kilometre blocks of metal, alongside tears in the surface. This reveals massive subsurface interior 'plumbing', huge crosses a mile long, and enormous excavating equipment.

Professional astronomers have gradually been discouraged from investigating these observations, referred to as Transient Lunar Phenomena, and all such Fortean observations are now only of interest to the amateur.

Our satellite has long since been established as being extremely dry but this information has been contradicted by the appearance of clouds on the surface. On one occasion a cloud of water vapour appeared covering more than 100 square miles. And it has been reported that strange clouds appear at lightning speed. The capture theory that the Moon was pulled into its orbit by the Earth was once favoured but the circular orbit of the Moon invalidated it. As already mentioned the Moon is the wrong size and in the wrong orbit. It is too big and too far out. It does not rotate relative to Earth; the same side always faces the Earth. And what about the amazing 'coincidence' of the eclipse phenomenon. The position and size of the Moon is precisely that necessary to eclipse the Sun's disc.

Scientific experts, including NASA investigators believe that the Moon is hollow -- it is the only explanation. The velocity of sound has been found to increase with depth and at 40 miles it is too fast for the speed of propagation through rock substance.

'Spaceship Moon' is the brainchild of the two Soviet researchers but many others agree with the theory, including NASA scientists at JPL and an Oxford University physicist. The capture theory is now back in favour but with a significant adjustment that the Moon was steered into orbit.

It might be worth a comment on the recent 'conspiracy theory' that astronauts never actually went to the Moon. DVDs and television programmes have proffered that, in particular, photographs allegedly taken on the Moon were faked. In fact one can see clearly in the photographs that the shadows of objects on the Moon were not parallel as they would be if the shadows were cast by the Sun, rather than by studio lighting. Further evidence has been given. But we may know from earlier suspicions that NASA has a propensity for faking scenes -- for example, the view of the interior of the shuttle faking an outer-space mission when actually on the ground. Thus the conclusion, and personal opinion of the author, is that both scenarios are correct: astronauts did land on the Moon, and NASA has produced faked photographs.

Was the space programme cut because further encounters with UFOs might blow the government cover-up? Even more important than this, allowing the public to increase their confront and interest in the subject of Extraterrestrials would eventually lead to a worldwide awakening of the human race's true heritage, the causes of our downfall, the falsification of our history, and ultimately the disclosure and eradication of the control mechanism.

We see that the Moon mysteries are intimately bound up with extraterrestrial sightings and involvement, in particular, the conclusion of the two Russian scientists that the Moon is artificial and hollow. Is this a favourable omen for the human race or a harbinger of something more ominous. Why was the Moon directed to retain continuously a dark side? A side of the Moon we never see. Also police records referring to increased crime during the full Moon are commonplace. A study of ET material of which literature today abounds, strongly indicates that the nature of the Moon has a sinister purpose and plays a role in manipulating man's evolution.

Editor's Note:

Adapted and originally published in December 2005 as "Our Enigmatic Moon".

Source: The Canadian National Newspaper


How Little Are Ireland's Little People?
Not as little as some of their illustrators would have us believe. To understand the appearance of fairies you must recall their first arrival in Ireland and choose between two versions of the story.

When the Tuatha De Danann, Gods from Greece and descendants from the goddess Dana, arrived in Ireland they were surrounded by a magic mist and, through this magic and their personal bravery, soon conquered the country. Not long afterwards the Milesians, a mortal race and the ancestors of the present-day Irish, attacked the Tuatha De Danann and, despite the powerful magic of the Gods, defeated them. By the terms of an agreement drawn up after the battle, the mortal conquerors took over the surface of land and the De Dananns agreed to inhabit the world under the ground. They are still there to-day with their godly powers intact, generally invisible to mortals but with control of the elements and thereby exercising a great influence over our lives. In the other version, Irish tradition tells the apocryphal story of the rebellion of the angels when Lucifer and his followers were cast out of Heaven. Following the intercession of Archangel Michael, God allowed all the angels to remain where they were at the moment of rebellion. Those who had not yet been sent from Heaven stayed there, those who were falling to earth became the spirits of the air while those who had fallen to earth became the inhabitants of the fairy forts and mounds.

So whether you believe the fairies to be gods with magic powers, or ex-angels with heavenly powers, you are not dealing with 'wee folk' or gauzy-winged elves, but with awesome beings whose friendship and assistance are essential if life is not to be a series of disasters.

As man grew more self-confident and self-centred, his belief and interest in the fairy world diminished and, as a consequence, the appearance of those sidhe (pronounced shee) or fairies with whom he came in contact, diminished also. For it is said that the stature of the fairies is in direct proportion to the belief in them by the onlooker. Indeed, few mortals are selfless enough to endure the sight of fairies in their full majesty. As belief in them decreased, the fairies displayed, more and more, the malevolent side of their nature.

These Daoine Sidhe, or fairy people of Ireland, belong to one or other of the two classifications of Irish Sidhe, the trooping sort and the solitaries. The trooping fairies are cheerful, sometimes mischievous, spending most of their time in activities closely resemblng those of the mortal world: feasting, singing, dancing, love-making but above all making music. Occasionally they band together as the Slua Sidhe or fairy host and and in the guise of a wind carry out raids or abductions on the human world. But for the most part they are content to live in their own kingdom and bother us seldom.

But the solitary fairies are another matter. Serious and self-sufficient by nature they scorn the careless, pleasure-filled life of the trooping fairies and are disliked by them in turn. The sober mortal world attracts the personality of the solitary fairy and he is the one with whom most contact is made and whose activities and appearance have been recorded in tales and ballads for generations.

The growing interest in other worlds and other levels of existence is producing a strong revival of interest in this fairy world of Ireland. Collections of folktales are being published and re-published at an unprecedented rate and illustrators (for fairy and folktales have always been considered suitable subjects for illustration) are in demand.

But just how well do these artists serve their subjects? Let us reflect on the best-known of the Irish fairies -the shoe-making leprechaun and his alter-ego or close cousin the cluricaun. (No one is quite sure whether the well-dressed, wine-soaked cluricaun is actually the hardworking leprechaun on a night out or whether he is a close relative. The physical resemblance is striking). The leprechaun is one of our solitary fairies and reliable descriptions of him abound. He is not good-looking, his face is as wrinkled as an old apple and his height is about that of a ten year old boy. But he is stocky and incredibly swift— take your eye off him and he's away like a greased pig. He is industrious, tricky, fond of a jar and user of foul language. He dresses sombrely — grey coat, sturdy leather apron and sometimes a cocked hat. And despite his bad habits he has captured the imagination and respect of Irish people down the centuries. (The cluricaun is given to bright colours and lace and can usually be found draining a cask in a gentleman's cellar).

Now from all this, it is obvious that a leprechaun could not sit on or under a toadstool, he could not be held in one hand and, unless you had spent some time with a cluricaun, you would find it difficult to trip over him on a country lane. There is no mention of pointed ears — they belong to a different nationality of fairy — and it is said that should he not be wearing his cocked hat, you could pass a leprechaun on the street and not know it. This is the quality that has eluded many of the illustrators of Irish fairy lore. This quality of intimacy between the fairy and the mortal worlds. The real fear of fairies in Ireland comes, not from their remoteness or their strangeness, but from their ability to insinuate themselves into our world and then reveal their fairy qualities. Take the pooka for example. He is essentially an animal spirit whose most common manifestations are as a goat (he is the ancestor of Puck) and as a large black horse. In the guise of a horse he displays burning yellow eyes, smells of sulphur and speaks with a human voice. So the real terror is that any black horse could be the pooka and if you must come close to one you watch for his eye, sniff and above all pray that he won't speak to you. To depict the pooka as an outer-space creature might initially be more horrifying but to instil a fear of black horses is surely more subtle and more in keeping with the devious side of the fairy mind.

Arthur Rackham by the power of his draughtmanship and his influence on other illustrators, 'invented' a fairy world which is being perpetuated with varying degrees of success. The quaint, the grotesque, the beautiful inhabitants of the fairy world were depicted with great skill and even greater imagination. But the interpretations hardly varied. The worlds of Grimm, Stephens and Lewis Carroll were peopled by the same creatures — an international fairy world had been created. A similar fate has befallen many of the legendary Irish heroes who inhabit Tir na nOg (the land of eternal youth) with the fairy hosts. They have been depicted as Roman legionaries, Saxon kings and, more recently as comicbook strongmen. For a true interpretation look at the illustrations by Louis le Brocquy for the epic story of the Tain. Here no attempt has been made to identify or characterise the heroes but strong, suggestive shapes leave the eye free to fill in the detail from our own imagination and the harmony between text and picture is complete. It is a matter of regret that, during his long working life, Jack B. Yeats was seldom commissioned to illustrate fairy or folk tales. When he did, as in 'The turf-cutters donkey', he managed to suggest an almost matter-of-fact relationship between the mortals and the fairies. His leprechaun is reluctantly led down a mountain, his talking eagle is ignored by passers-by and in the forest the marching heroes blend with the trees and become part of the forest. This is the essence of illustration, not to record the events of the story but to complement and intensify them.

This complementing requires an illustrator whose pictures emerge from a deep appreciation of the story and are not merely interjected in a style which developed from a different tradition or as a solution to some other problem. Happily a few young illustrators are emerging who have the ability and the insight to re-interpret the great wealth of Irish fairy lore and the true face of the Daoine Sidhe may once again be seen.

Source: FarShores


Mike Conley's Tales of the Weird: Can Fluffy Predict A Quake?

Can animals predict earthquakes and other impending disasters? Many people, including scientists, believe they can and are pointing to Tuesday's earthquake in southern California as further evidence of this weird phenomenon.

The quake on Tuesday measured 5.4 on the Richter scale and rattled millions of people from Los Angeles to San Diego. It was even felt as far away as Las Vegas. It wasn't the "Big One" that scientists have long feared but it was enough to get people all shook up. The tremblor's epicenter was located just outside Chino Hills, 29 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles in San Bernardino County. Dozens of aftershocks followed, the largest a magnitude-3.8, according to the Associated Press.

And in Chino Hills, a 10-year-old girl was spending Tuesday at a horse camp not far from her home. Just before the quake hit, she noticed the horses and dogs stir nervously. A man also reported that his cats started acting strangely and running through the house right before the earth started to shake, read The Los Angeles Times' Web site.

Such tales are not unusual. For centuries, people have suspected that their animal friends have an uncanny ability to predict an earthquake. In 373 B.C., historians recorded that animals (including rats, snakes and weasels) fled the Greek city of Helice just days before an earthquake devastated the city. Japan has suffered greatly from earthquakes and researchers there have long studied animals in attempt to discover how they can predict when one will occur.

Here in the United States, seismologists are more skeptical but they have not completely discounted the idea that animals can sense when an earthquake is about to hit. The Web site for the U.S. Geological Survey states "Anecdotal evidence abounds of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects exhibiting strange behavior anywhere from weeks to seconds before an earthquake. However, consistent and reliable behavior prior to seismic events, and a mechanism explaining how it could work, still eludes us. Most, but not all, scientists pursuing this mystery are in China or Japan."

Almost a year ago, a small earthquake rattled McDowell County and other places in western North Carolina. Most folks don't realize that a fault line runs through McDowell, including the inside of Linville Caverns and running all the way down through Marion. The brief quake of magnitude-2.8 rumbled through western North Carolina at 6:04 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007.

I remember that quake making our small dog bark loudly and waking everyone up that morning. But I can't remember if she was barking before it hit since I wasn't quite awake at the time.

It is believed that animals have this ability because they sense the Earth's vibrations better than humans can. Another theory holds that they can detect subtle changes in the air or gases released from underground.

In any event, if your dog, cat, goldfish, parakeet or other animal starts acting weird, it might be a good idea to brace yourself for an earthquake.

Source: The Mcdowell News

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