- SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS DEPARTMENT -
Sun Makes History: First Spotless Month in a Century
Sun Makes History: First Spotless Month in a Century
Drop in solar activity has potential effect for climate on earth.
The sun has reached a milestone not seen for nearly 100 years: an entire month has passed without a single visible sunspot being noted.
The event is significant as many climatologists now believe solar magnetic activity – which determines the number of sunspots -- is an influencing factor for climate on earth.
According to data from Mount Wilson Observatory, UCLA, more than an entire month has passed without a spot. The last time such an event occurred was June of 1913. Sunspot data has been collected since 1749.
When the sun is active, it's not uncommon to see sunspot numbers of 100 or more in a single month. Every 11 years, activity slows, and numbers briefly drop to near-zero. Normally sunspots return very quickly, as a new cycle begins.
But this year -- which corresponds to the start of Solar Cycle 24 -- has been extraordinarily long and quiet, with the first seven months averaging a sunspot number of only 3. August followed with none at all. The astonishing rapid drop of the past year has defied predictions, and caught nearly all astronomers by surprise.
In 2005, a pair of astronomers from the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson attempted to publish a paper in the journal Science. The pair looked at minute spectroscopic and magnetic changes in the sun. By extrapolating forward, they reached the startling result that, within 10 years, sunspots would vanish entirely. At the time, the sun was very active. Most of their peers laughed at what they considered an unsubstantiated conclusion.
The journal ultimately rejected the paper as being too controversial.
The paper's lead author, William Livingston, tells DailyTech that, while the refusal may have been justified at the time, recent data fits his theory well. He says he will be "secretly pleased" if his predictions come to pass.
But will the rest of us? In the past 1000 years, three previous such events -- the Dalton, Maunder, and Spörer Minimums, have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called a "mini ice age". For a society dependent on agriculture, cold is more damaging than heat. The growing season shortens, yields drop, and the occurrence of crop-destroying frosts increases.
Meteorologist Anthony Watts, who runs a climate data auditing site, tells DailyTech the sunspot numbers are another indication the "sun's dynamo" is idling. According to Watts, the effect of sunspots on TSI (total solar irradiance) is negligible, but the reduction in the solar magnetosphere affects cloud formation here on Earth, which in turn modulates climate.
This theory was originally proposed by physicist Henrik Svensmark, who has published a number of scientific papers on the subject. Last year Svensmark's "SKY" experiment claimed to have proven that galactic cosmic rays -- which the sun's magnetic field partially shields the Earth from -- increase the formation of molecular clusters that promote cloud growth. Svensmark, who recently published a book on the theory, says the relationship is a larger factor in climate change than greenhouse gases.
Solar physicist Ilya Usoskin of the University of Oulu, Finland, tells DailyTech the correlation between cosmic rays and terrestrial cloud cover is more complex than "more rays equals more clouds". Usoskin, who notes the sun has been more active since 1940 than at any point in the past 11 centuries, says the effects are most important at certain latitudes and altitudes which control climate. He says the relationship needs more study before we can understand it fully.
Other researchers have proposed solar effects on other terrestrial processes besides cloud formation. The sunspot cycle has strong effects on irradiance in certain wavelengths such as the far ultraviolet, which affects ozone production. Natural production of isotopes such as C-14 is also tied to solar activity. The overall effects on climate are still poorly understood.
What is incontrovertible, though, is that ice ages have occurred before. And no scientist, even the most skeptical, is prepared to say it won't happen again.
Article Update, Sep 1 2008. After this story was published, the NOAA reversed their previous decision on a tiny speck seen Aug 21, which gives their version of the August data a half-point. Other observation centers such as Mount Wilson Observatory are still reporting a spotless month. So depending on which center you believe, August was a record for either a full century, or only 50 years.
Source: Daily Tech
- SECRET BLACK PROJECTS DEPARTMENT -
Black Ops Psychic Warriors Among Us
Is there an elite group of Black Ops agents able to wage clandestine war with the specially trained psychic power of their minds? Being able to strike and hit people, set them on fire, and blow up buildings with just the power of one's mind has long since been the staple of many a horror and science-fiction movie, but the reported power behind such abilities is apparently real. We do know as a fact of historical record, (from now declassified agency documents), that the U.S. government experimented with MK-Ultra mind control as well as Remote Viewing technologies. A portion of these experiements involved people using the power of their minds to move objects, as specialized systems of controlled mental projection and its ability to physically alter the material world were developed.
This power of the mind is called Telekinesis (TK) or Psychokinesis (PK). Psychokinesis is the ability to move? and affect people, places and things with just the mind, through a kind of preternatural remote-control. The term itself is from two Greek words, psycho ( mind), and kinesis? (motion). But regardless of what it's called, this frightening uncanny ability of the mind to affect and move matter, time, space, and energy without physical touch has long since been one of the more controversial subjects in the paranormal world. According to various laboratory tests, two kinds of PK have been definied: Micro-PK and Macro-PK. Micro-PK, by definition of its term, involves PK power that can effect the tiniest particles of air, earth, and water, down to the molecular subatomic levels. Tests have shown that PK power when properly focused can speed up chemical combustion processes, even changing solids into liquids. This kind of PK action is known as pyrokinesis. Its opposite is the ability to zap people, places and things in the deep freeze, cryokinesis. The ability to control the particles in the the air itself is known as aerokinesis. The ability of PK powered people to do this has actually been measured by various scientific instruments. Macro PK then, is PK power that can destroy bridges, move mountains, and yes, physically assault people.
Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis, or RSPK, is believed by many investigative researchers to be the power behind the poltergeist phenomenon. Parapyschologist William Roll to define the abrupt movement of objects using mind power in front of other people without the deliberate wish of the PK gifted person to do so. Some researchers believe this is the unconscious movement or activity of the subconscious mind, and might be the real reason behind poltergeist phenomenona.
A PK Agent is the term for someone who effects this spontaneous poltergiest-like activity with his or her mind. Such activity has been known to include violent attacks, knives flying off kitchen shelves and being thrown at priests, parapsychologists, even family members of the affected PK agent. Strangely enough, the findings of many paranormal investigators concerning poltergeists usually concur on a single point: Poltergeists are almost always associated with a human teenager living at the affected place. This teen is usually undergoing various hormonal/biological changes related to puberty. It has been conjectured that this biophysical process also has a PK side-effect which can manifest these poltergeists.
Another well-known type of PK power, "Object Deformation", is the ability to bend metal objects by using just the mind. Celebrated psychic Uri Geller made a career of bending untensils by using just his focused mind power. Before Geller, the Russians experimented with this technique as well in their psy ops programs. Nina Kulagina, a Russian skilled at this ability, has even been filmed performing demonstrations of PK feats.?? Another PK person Felicia Parise, an American PK sensitive, had her feats of PK prowess make newspaper headlines in the 1970s. Parise was reported to be able to move the needle of a compass with her mind, as well as sheets of aluminum foil that have been placed inside a bell jar. However, Parise reportedly stopped the practice because of the strain on the physical body this energy created. Swami Rama was another PK sensitive. He reportedly demonstrated his PK abilities at the Menninger Foundation in 1970. In this demonstration, he allegedly made a knitting needle move with his mind from five feet away. What's more, he reportedly wore a face mask while he performed this feat.
A PK-induced thoughtform can be the physical manifestation of either individual or group thought, and can, of course, be either good or evil. Some paranormal researchers believe that certain manifestations of Bigfoot or Sasquatch are tulpa-related. In the Orient, especially Tibet, the tulpa is well-known as a creation made through especially focused, highly concentrated willpower and visualization. Tulpas, often fashioned in the image of the mystic who crated them, can be seen in the marketplace or other public areas, sometimes appearing to be an exact replica or doppelganger of the mystic. One of the most well-known controversial tulpas was reportedly created by Alexandra Neel in the 1800s, who deliberately focused on creating a rotund monk. However, it was reported that this "monk" started acting independently and began to run amok, in effect, Neel having had created a real-life Frankenstein. Reports are that this creature had to be forcibly "dematerialized" or destroyed.
The unusual practice of Thoughtography is another important PK manifestation, and is perhaps one of the most graphic examples of using such mind power. Even so, it is still very controversial among many investigative researchers, many of whom still deny that such a process can be scientifically validated. Simply put, Thoughtography is the process of creating or transmitting images from the mind onto photographic film. It is sometimes called "Nengraphy", or "Projected Thermography". The most well-known example of this PK power was alleged to have occurred almost 100 years ago in Japan. According to the report, Tokyo University Professor Tomokichi Fukurai experimented with a test subject named Ikuko Nagao. Through a process which he called "Nensha", he was able to get Ikuko to produce images from her mind directly onto a film. However, it was reported that shortly after these experiments, Ikuko died from a cerebral fever. Undaunted, the professor continued on with his research, eventually producing the work "Clairvoyance and Thoughtgraphy".
For obvious reasons, Black Ops government agents who have been trained in PK power to manipulate other people's minds as well as ignite fires, or otherwise create physical havoc in the material world are not going on television or radio talk shows to brag about their black abilities. Although there was at least one person who broke free of these programs and briefly described elements of these alleged PK programs.This survivor, who, for security purposes, we must only refer to as "Capt. Dean", revealed fantastic allegations of having once been recruited as a ten year old child into a select group of child psychics by a specialized CIA Black Ops program specifically created to develop, harnass and then refine the psychic powers of these children into lethal weaponry.
According to Capt. Dean, these children were rigorously trained to actually use the powers of their minds to physically attack as well as change the physical environment. And they were apparently succesful in most of their missions. He even claims to have been sent into Viet Nam with a small group of similarly trained psychic child warriors on training missions. Dean's experiences with this group began more than35 years ago. We can only shudder in horror at what the current group of Black Ops warriors are up to. But whatever missions they are currently engaged in at the present, one thing is certain, the public will never know.
Source: Nolan Chart/Timothy K. Perry
- SMILE FOR THE CAMERA DEPARTMENT -
Sweden's Lake Monster Possibly Caught On Camera
Sweden's Lake Monster Possibly Caught On Camera
Sweden's own version of the Loch Ness monster, the Storsjoe or Great Lake monster, has been caught on film by surveillance videos, an association that installed the cameras said Friday.
The legend of the Swedish beast has swirled for nearly four centuries, with some 200 sightings reported in the lake in central Sweden.
"On Thursday at 12:21 pm, we filmed the movements of a live being. And it was not a pike, nor a perch, we're sure of that," Gunnar Nilsson, the head of a shopkeepers' association in Svenstavik, told AFP.
The association, together with the Jaemtland province and local municipality of Berg, installed six surveillance cameras in the lake in June, including two underwater devices.
The project, which has so far cost some 400,000 kronor (43,000 euros, 62,500 dollars), is aimed at resolving the mystery of the Swedish Nessie.
The first sighting dates back to 1635 and the most recent to July 2007, with most speaking of a long, serpent-like beast with humps, a small cat or dog-like head, and ears or fins pressed against the neck.
The association employs one person full-time to review the recorded video footage each day.
In the images filmed Thursday and posted on a website dedicated to the Storsjoe monster (www.storsjoodjuret.nu), a long serpent-like being is seen swimming in the murky waters.
"A highly-advanced system on one of the cameras detected heat produced by the cells," indicating that it was a live being, Nilsson said.
"It's very exciting and quite spectacular," he said.
He readily admitted however that the project was also "aimed at improving business around the lake."
"The monster has helped us," he added.
Some 20 more cameras are due to be installed soon, including one at a depth of 30 metres (100 feet) to catch any movements under the winter ice.
- PURR OF THE DEEP DEPARTMENT -
Loch Ness Mystery Noise 'Unsolved'!
Loch Ness Mystery Noise 'Unsolved'!
Residents on the shores of Loch Ness are having their sleep disturbed by a mystery humming noise similar to that which sparked a spate of calls to a council in Suffolk.
Mikko Takala, who lives in a cottage overlooking the loch near Drumnadrochit where he runs a webcam site tracking the elusive Loch Ness Monster, has been having sleepless nights for weeks.
His mother, who lives with him, and a near neighbour have also been woken in the wee sma' hours by the same strange humming noise, which one blue blooded Suffolk resident, Lord Philips of Sudbury, said could be mistaken for a spacecraft landing.
Inquiries by Babergh District Council have so far failed to pin down a source of the noise, while Highland Council environmental health staff are about to begin their own inquiries into the lochside disturbance.
"I thought at first the noise could be coming from some old bearings in the Foyers Hydro Station across the loch," said Mikko.
"But when I went out of the house I couldn't hear anything at all."
A Scottish and Southern Energy spokeswoman confirmed they have been having no problems with the machinery at the hydro station and the noise would not be from their plant.
Mikko said he would be contacting other utility companies as a process of elimination to try to get to the bottom of the mystery.
"I have to confess it's bizarre. It get's into your head and is like a buzzing sound, vibrating like an empty football. I think its a resonance frequency. Putting your fingers in ears doesn't help. I've heard it start at 2am and it would carry on until 8am. My mother has heard it too."
Mikko said he had gone outside to listen and focus on where it was coming from but couldn't hear anything.
"It's a complete mystery because you only seem to hear it from indoors and its exactly the same as what is being experienced in Suffolk."
Babergh District Council received 50 complaints from residents and council staff there are still trying to identify the source.
Locals have failed to pin it down and Lord Philips of Sudbury commented: "If someone had said to me a spacecraft had landed on the meadows I would have said, 'well I heard it'."
Other locals in Sudbury have described the noise as a high hum and a high pitched drone.
Highland Council's environmental health staff confirmed they had received a report about the noise and they would be investigating.
"We have had reports of a low humming noise which is loud enough to wake local residents.
"We will investigate this but it will be very much a process of elimination to try and identify a noise source.
"That can involve switching off all power sources to the property to ensure there is not a problem with a motor in the house."
Source: Highland News
- ANCIENT AMERICA DEPARTMENT -
Native Burial Grounds May Include Viking Ship
Native Burial Grounds May Include Viking Ship
A 200-acre wooded site west of Tisch Mills, Wisconsin guards its secrets well. Maybe that's what its original inhabitants intended.
But for historian Bruce Vandervest and several other investigators, the site, confirmed to be a sacred Native American burial ground, continues to draw them back in their determination to find out more: a Viking ship also may be part of the find.
What investigators have unearthed is "more questions than answers," says Vandervest of Luxemburg.
The grounds were used for burials as late as the 1930s, but their history could be prehistoric going back 1,000 to 3,000 years or more, according to researchers who have studied it. One dating estimate goes back 10,000 years.
Currently deeded to five landowners, a 40-acre portion owned by Tommy Prucha is of particular interest to Vandervest, who first laid eyes on it 20 years ago.
Meticulously placed boulders and mounds of earth are dispersed throughout the woods. A limestone- boulder wall — 100 feet long by 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall — is positioned in the middle of the woods and not likely the work of early farmers, Vandervest says.
Similar stone structures and mounds in Michigan's Upper Peninsula have been photographed in a book by Betty Sodders of Sault Ste. Marie, so Vandervest called her. Sodders put him in touch with Colfax-based Wayne May, editor of Ancient American magazine. May visited the site with Merlin Redcloud, a Ho-Chunk shaman and historian. Several archaeologists, as well as surveyor Jim Scherz of the Ancient Earth Society, Dale Reimer of Two Rivers and historians from a half dozen tribes, also have studied it.
May "knew right away it was important," says Vandervest,
adding that Redcloud recognized it as a burial site. Of special interest is the wall's pipestone, a soft red rock found in Minnesota.
But something else also intrigues May. About 100 feet from the wall are limestone boulders in the shape and size (25 feet wide by 100 feet long) of an ancient Viking ship, which he believes could be buried beneath the rock. A similar Viking ship was found in England, but was buried in dirt, not stone, Vandervest says.
The structure is not far from a once-navigable branch of the East Twin River. It's rumored, Vandervest says, that Vikings regularly came to North America 800 to 1,000 years ago and made it to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A Ho-Chunk legend tells of Native Americans meeting tall red-haired men, Vandervest says.
"(Historians) suspect it had to do with the copper trade, that thousands and thousands of tons of copper were removed. It's possible there was a village in this area where they would process it into manageable-sized ingots they called oxides," Vandervest says.
He hopes that if wood is found beneath the stone, it could be carbon-dated to determine age. If it turns out to be a Viking ship, a Smithsonian-type dig could result.
A 3-foot-wide trench already dug has revealed a smoky smell and still more large rocks under the "ship."
"We're kind of at a standstill," says Vandervest, whose studies so far have resulted in the article, "Alive With Spirits," published in Ancient American.
Ground-penetrating radar was used a year ago to prove there are grave sites. Near the graves are stones said to have mystical significance, including a sacred rock having healing powers, a ceremonial pit and an eternal fireplace for the keepers of the fire to furnish a ready flame. Also present is a medicine wheel used in sacred Native American rites.
Potawatomi, Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) and Menominee are believed to have lived near the site and buried their dead there, including Pota-watomi chief War Thunder, who fought in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
There are several effigy mounds at the site, including life-size dirt mounds of buffalo, snakes, martens and bears, even life-size mounds of prehistoric animals such as mastodons, a short-faced bear and a whale.
Vandervest thinks it's likely caves are present in the limestone beneath the site.
Native Americans, he says, have been particularly interested in a stone igloo and marker trees.
And, there's evidence the site has a guardian who checks on it regularly. Vandervest has found artifacts and set them aside in a conspicuous place. When he has returned, they're gone.
Vandervest would like the guardian to come forward to talk with him. He says he and others have been careful not to unnecessarily disturb the site.
Although he's determined to find out what the site is all about, he has respect for the dead and the sacredness of the area.
"The spirits are watching," he says.
Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette