In Association With Mysteries Magazine!
12/5/08  #498
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Who can it be knocking at my door? Make no sound...tip-toe across the floor. If he hears, I'll be stuck all day.  I'll be trapped, and here I'll have to stay.   That's OK, because you'll have this weeks exciting issue of strange conspiracies, UFOs and the paranormal - Conspiracy Journal! So tell those pesky intelligence operatives that you don't have time for another mind-control session, because Conspiracy Journal is here at last and demanding to be read.

This week Conspiracy Journal has such tendon-snapping stories as:

- Study Shows Cell Phone Radiation Damages Memory -
- Phone Calls From The Dead -
- Reincarnation: Real or Delusion? -
- Most Planets May Be Seeded With Life -
AND: UFO Believers Urge Obama to "End Six-Decade Truth Embargo"

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Pioneers of Space: A Trip To Moon, Mars and Venus 

Were His Astounding Claims Fact Or Fiction?

Did He Really Ride In A Space Ship To The Moon And Beyond?

Or was It All Merely A Rewrite Of A Work of Science Fiction
Published Some Years Before, in the late 1940s?

Polish born George Adamski shocked the American public in the early 1950s claiming to have "hard evidence" that a number of planets in our solar system harbored life and that the occupants of these worlds were very human in appearance, and have been visiting us at least since Biblical times.

His claims, he said, were based upon a firsthand encounter with an extraterrestrial in the California desert circa 1953. Adamski's book about this encounter "Flying Saucers Have Landed" became an international best seller. Over the years, Adamski claims to have held meetings with notables such as the Pope and the Queen of the Netherlands, discussing with them his supposed flights into space long before the first Russian cosmonaut. He also provided a set of flying saucer photos taken at his home only a few scant miles away from the base of the world famous Mount Palomar Observatory.

The public seemed to be impressed. So much so that Adamski's legion of followers increased in size over the years. Of course there were those who thought the stories were fantasizes and the pictures crude hoaxes. These detractors went so far as to point out that his first book closely resembled a "science fiction novel" written by Adamski and published in the late 1940. Copies of this initial work -- PIONEERS OF SPACE: A TRIP TO THE MOON, MARS AND VENUS -- have been almost impossible to obtain so that researchers could check the similarities for themselves. A few copies recently turned up on the internet where they were being offered for over $700.00.

Our limited reprint of this volume is an exact reproduction of this rarity - truth or fiction. Included in this reproduction is some even earlier writings involving a metaphysical society Adamski called The Royal Order Of Tibet, and a 1951 article from Fate magazine detailing an event in which UFOs posed for his telescope in front of numerous witnesses THAT CANNOT BE DENIED!

This valuable book is available now for just
$29.95 + $5.00 S/H

ALSO...We are including FOR FREE a CD of Adamski speaking at a special

conference organized in the U.K.! 

OR -You can order with our secure order page:  

You can also phone in your credit card orders to Global Communications
24-hour hotline: 732-602-3407

And as always you can send a check or money order to:
Global Communications
P.O. Box 753
New Brunswick, NJ  08903


In This Incredible Issue:


America’s Oldest Mystery: Rhode island’s Newport Tower - Newport, RI, has long been famous as the summer playground for the fabulously wealthy. But nestled amongst the luxurious mansions and the private yachts is a mysterious stone tower whose history has baffled historians for centuries. It is believed to be the oldest stone structure in America, though no  one can say precisely when it was built.
Was there a Golden Age? Historical Proof for the Garden of Eden -
Almost all of the ancient cultures of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have myths which speak of an earlier time when life was easier and humans lived in harmony with nature and each other.  Most historians believe that these myths are little more than fairy tales, perhaps the result of our need to idealize the past. However, there is now evidence that suggests that these myths may contain a kernel of historical truth, a kind of distant folk memory of an actual historical era.
The Higgs Boson and the Large Hadron Collider: Seeking the God Particle - Tucked away in a sleepy Swiss  village lies the Center for Nuclear Experimentation and Research, the site of the recently completed Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle collider and perhaps the most complex machine ever built. The principle goal of the LHC is to reveal the so-called god particle: the Higgs Boson, which is about 120 times more massive than a proton, and gives mass to all other particles as they emerge from the primordial quantum field.

The Parapsychology Revolution: An Interview with Dr. Robert Schoch -
A geologist and paleontologist by profession, Dr. Schoch has studied some of the greatest ancient monuments around the world including the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx,and the underwater structures near Yonaguni Island, Japan. He has also written several bestselling books, including his most recent, The Parapsychology Revolution.

Coming soon to your favorite bookstore or magazine stand.


Study Shows Cell Phone Radiation Damages Memory

Exposure to cell phone radiation worsens the short-term memory of rats, according to a new Swedish study.

A doctoral dissertation carried out at Lund University also found that groups of genes involved with behaviour and memory undergo changes due to repeated doses of radiation from cell phones, the Sydsvenskan newspaper reports.

Doctoral candidate Henrietta Nittby and her adviser, Leif G Salford, are in agreement that studies involving cell phones must continue.

Nearly a decade ago, Salford was involved in a separate study which revealed that the electromagnetic radiation from cell phones created openings in the blood-brain barrier.

The openings allowed the blood-borne protein to leak into the brain, which caused a small percentage of brain cells to die.

In Nittby’s study, rats were exposed to electromagnetic radiation twice a week for 55 weeks. While the rats’ behaviour remained unchanged, their short term memory worsened when compared to a control group which had not been subjected to the radiation.

In addition Nittby discovered that, while individual genes didn’t change, groups of genes in brain cells involved with behaviour and memory did display a number of small changes.

Currently, no one knows for certain whether radiation from cell phones is harmful to human beings.

Several countries have nevertheless issued warnings cautioning children from talking too much on mobile phones and to use hands free devices.

Source: The Local: Sweden's News in English


Dead Ringers

September 12th 2008 4:23pm. A Metrolink commuter train with 225 aboard slams into Union Pacific freight train on winding route in Chatsworth. It left 24 people dead and almost 150 injured.

On of those who died in that horrible accident was Charles Peck.

Medical examination of his body showed that he had died quickly after the collision, almost instantaneously.

But for hours after his death, his family received a total of 35 calls from his cell phone.

At 9:08PM nearly five hours after the crash, Peck’s fiancé Andrea Katz received one of those calls. But when she answered, all she heard was static. Despite hearing nothing from the other side she told him to hang on and that help was on the way.

Whenever they tried to call him back all the calls were routed to the voicemail.

When the rescue efforts stopped at the scene and the rescue workers turned to the grim task of recovery another call came from his phone and the search crews decided to trace it. They found it had come from the first train, so they went back to scour the rubble in hopes of finding him alive. The last phone call came from Charles Peck’s phone at 3:28AM, almost an hour before they found his lifeless body.

This story made national news when it happened and has now become very well known. A few weeks earlier I myself had a close shave with death and had been in the hospital for a week with Cardiology issues. While I was there a case management services person had visited me and offered help with getting my affairs in order in case the unexpected might happen. I don’t remember how we came to the topic of the paranormal but she eventually stayed a while and told me some amazing stories. She used to be a caregiver at a hospice and had experienced amazing things. There are extraordinary paranormal happenings that occur at the end of life of terminal patients.

Although the stress that had put me in the hospital to begin with was not pleasant, I knew God had brought me there for a reason.

This I am sure was one of them.

In the last few months of research that I have made in the area of the supernatural and the end of life I have been astonished, amazed and comforted. I am gathering these astonishing stories together in a book which I am tentatively calling, “Ushered through the Veil”. One of the most frequent phenomena that occurs at the end of life with terminal patients is the same occurrence that happened to the family and fiancé of Charles Peck.

Phone calls from the dead.

Sometimes like in the case of Peck, the family receives a phone call from the phone of the deceased. It could come from a cell or a landline in the deceased’s uninhabited home. Other times just before the terminally ill patient dies they receive a phone call from a long departed loved one. In many instances the numbers had even been disconnected. But they still appeared on caller id.

Every time the living picks up the phone all they hear on the other end is static. There have been instances of those who receive the calls recording them only to find voices in the recording that were not perceptible to the human ear at the time.

Here are two of the tales that I have received, one of each type.

Mark Prebost had lived a good long life and had outlives most of his family and friends. Tragically he had outlived many of his children as well in reaching the ripe old age of 93.

When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer he took it with a grain of salt. He would often say he lived longer than he would ever have thought, but still he would miss his family. He especially loved the parties.

The disease ravaged the elderly man and the pain was severe and constant. His elderly daughter and her children took care of him in his home, rotating the times they stayed with him until the cancer that had spread through his body finally took his life one cold October day. The daughter was relieved since her elderly father had gone through so much pain in the last few months, and even though she did not believe in an afterlife she comforted herself with the fact he was no longer suffering.

His funeral was sparse since he had few friends and relatives left alive. And after the funeral those who did attend went to the daughter’s house for a memorial service and dinner. As the night wore on they kept getting phone calls with dead air. Finally the daughter noticed the caller ID. The calls were coming from her father’s house. There was no one there, she had the keys. They received a few more calls during the evening and she let the answering machine pick them up.

The next day out of curiosity she reviewed the final two phone calls that the machine had recorded. She heard on the tape the faint voice of her father saying, “It’s ok Margie, I’m ok” and “Your Momma is with me, all is good”

Like so many EVPs the speech is faint and hard to hear. But Marge was sure of what she heard. Her father was saying goodbye and letting her know that he still existed in some form. A form that was safe, happy and with the wife that he had loved and lost so many years ago.

It did not look good for Lisa. The teenager had gone through years of treatment but the anguish of the chemotherapy seemed to be all for naught. The leukemia had finally overwhelmed her body and she was in the last days of her short young life.

Her father sat in vigil beside her, holding her hand and wiping her brow as she sweat while the final battle raged within her fragile body.

Her mother had passed a few years earlier in a horrific car crash. In those last days her father sat by powerless as Lisa cried out for her mother. He tried to comfort her but it seemed that his presence, even though ever caring, was not enough.

As the father sat with her on her last night with a nurse by her side the phone rang. He left Lisa a lone with the nurse for a few moments to answer it, but on the other side there was a large amount of static. He thought for a second that through the static he had heard a woman’s voice say something but it was indiscernible. After he turned the phone off he checked the caller ID to see who it was that had called.

The answer stopped him in his tracks.

The phone number was that of his house five years ago. The number had long been disconnected, right after the death of his wife. He tried to call back but got the familiar robotic woman’s voice advising him that the number was indeed no longer in service.

Immediately he was called back into the room by the nurse. His daughter was passing. She died within a few minutes of the mysterious phone call.

A phone call that he still believes was made by his long deceased wife. And upon reflection he is sure the faint words he had heard through the static had said, “She will be safe with me”.

Source: The Paranormal Pastor


Immortal Sasquatch Still Immune to Cynics

Ridiculous is a meaningless word until you’ve seen Thomas Steenburg, Bigfoot field researcher, taking giant strides across Harrison Lake’s beach wearing replica creature tracks moulded to a pair of Chuck Taylors. He is conducting an experiment, see, to find out whether or not convincing Bigfoot tracks can be easily faked. They can’t. Even in the softest sand, Steenburg’s tracks—replicas of the 1958 Bluff Creek, California, prints that catapulted the term Bigfoot into public consciousness—mark only an eighth of an inch of the surface. The tracks he claims to have discovered at Ruby Creek the week before, in late September this year, were three times that deep, indicating a foot structure designed to carry a very heavy animal. He says.

Here’s the story: a man from Chilliwack went hunting in the forests around Ruby Creek, about 50 kilometres up the Fraser River from Agassiz. He was in very difficult terrain, a bog so moist and so deep that Steenburg later sank waist-deep while exploring the area. The hunter told Steenburg that something threw a rock at him. When he turned to look, he saw a manlike creature covered in hair walk into a thicket of trees. He believed it was a Bigfoot (also widely known in this part of the world as Sasquatch, which means “hairy man” in Halkomelem, a Salish language).

So the hunter was spooked, of course, and called Steenburg. After 30 years in the field, Steenburg has become B.C.’s go-to guy for this sort of thing. Fellow trackers Bill Miller and Christine Marie went with Steenburg to investigate and they found a few tracks in the forest where the hunter saw the creature wander. They cast one of the prints in plaster and unveiled it, placed upon a trash bin, at the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club/West Coast Sasquatch conference on the shore of Harrison Lake on October 4—the event at which Steenburg was taking giant strides across the sand. Harrison Hot Springs is a hotbed of Sasquatch activity, and the creature is ever present in the locals’ psyches: there are Sasquatch murals and statues and a restaurant and a provincial park named after the elusive (many say mythical) animal.

The cryptozoologists were crowding around the nine-inch cast. It was a mediocre print, at best, covered in bog gunk, and hardly proof that Sasquatch is alive and kicking. Then again, there’s more to it than just this print.

“There are two facts,” says veteran B.C. Sasquatch tracker John Green, sitting in the living room of his Harrison Hot Springs house. “There is something out there making those prints.

“Second, thousands of people, including university professors, have said they have seen a large, bipedal animal covered in hair. If we get a team together, we’ll discover that humans have been faking it throughout history—an interesting human activity—or there’s really something out there.”

Green is a pioneer in Sasquatch field research and was one of the first to investigate the location of the famous and controversial 1967 so-called Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film shot at Bluff Creek. There have been more than 3,000 sightings in B.C. since 1920, by his count. (In July this year, two people separately claimed they saw a Bigfoot on Mt. Archibald near Chilliwack within three hours of each other.)

Green has written three books during his half-century search. He says he has seen many footprints but has never seen the animal, something he chalks up to “bad luck” but something that cynics use as proof that he’s running a fool’s errand.

“People don’t believe because they have not actually delved into the subject themselves,” says John Kirk, chair and cofounder of the BCSCC and author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters. “They have never done any research; they have never done any comprehensive analysis of the evidence there. They’ve never really looked into it.”

Kirk says that when he began investigating British Columbia’s unclassified species, or cryptids, in the 1980s, he faced “incredulity from the public at large”. He got used to it a long time ago. He finds value in his work, even if most think he’s nuts—new species are discovered all the time, after all. The Congolese mountain gorilla inhabited the same mythical realm for westerners as Bigfoot until it was officially discovered in 1902, Kirk says. Cryptozoologists have a long list of such creatures, and Earth is a big place. Just because we don’t know it’s out there doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

The scientific community has refused, Kirk says, and still refuses to tackle a “fringe” subject that could compromise careers. There are superstars in Bigfoot’s corner, however: such highly regarded wildlife experts as Jane Goodall and George Schaller have acknowledged publicly that Sasquatch may exist and that science should invest more resources in looking for it.

But they’re a very small minority. Most scientists find the hunt pointless: why not devote our research to helping animals that are known to exist instead of dedicating time and resources to an animal that, if it exists, hasn’t affected humanity in any way?

“Well, humans want to understand our environment and we want to understand nature as best as we can. It’s like any other animal that hasn’t been discovered yet,” Kirk says.

“I’m not out to prove that it exists,” says Gerry Matthews at his home in Chilliwack. Matthews is the founder of West Coast Sasquatch, an on-line forum where Bigfoot enthusiasts share information. “I wouldn’t be terribly heartbroken if it was proven not to exist.

“But the mystery is still out there. There’s enough going on to say, ‘Ya know, there’s something happening here; there’s something on the go.’ It would be nice to get to the bottom of this, once and for all.”

The more one looks into it, the deeper the mystery gets. The Sasquatch conundrum defies logic. The creature’s potential existence is about as baffling as the lengths that presumed hoaxers will go to so they can fool what is, essentially, a very small cult following. One thing is clear, however: anyone who does a little research soon learns there’s a lot more going on than media reports of hoaxes.

“A lot of Sasquatch tracks are found where nobody goes; it’s simple as that,” Kirk says. “I always get very doubtful when they’re found close to human habitation, and I quadruple-check those to ensure that the footprint shows flexibility, otherwise I’m out of there in two minutes flat. It’s a waste of time. If every print is exactly the same, thanks but no thanks.”

There have been plenty of hoaxes over the years, the latest by three men from Georgia who claimed to have a Bigfoot carcass stored in an icebox. It turned out to be a gorilla suit stuffed with possum guts. But that doesn’t mean all sightings and tracks are fabricated.

The reason Bigfoot field research continues is that convincing tracks are found every year around the world—tracks that change with each step, indicating that something organic, not rigid, is making the impressions. The Willow Creek Museum in California has a $100,000 reward for anyone who can demonstrate how to replicate footprints in dense terrain that reflect the gait and girth of a heavy, bipedal animal. So far, no one has come forward to demonstrate how convincing, organic-looking prints can be fabricated.

“Whenever I hear that [footprints are impossible to fake], my bells go off,” says B.C. Society for Skeptical Enquiry chair Lee Moller. “Impossible to fake? People are very, very smart. If they want to see a toe that seems to splay, all it takes is a spring, a little bit of intelligence, and they can do it. Don’t underestimate people’s ability for fakery.”

Moller, a software designer by trade, wonders why, in an age when “just about everybody and their dog” has a digital camera or a camera phone, not a single convincing photograph has been taken.

“It’s virtually impossible to believe that an 800-pound primate…could have not [only] gone unnoticed, but could have left no evidence behind. We have fossils from our predecessors that are three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half million years old,” Moller said. “This leads me to believe that it’s a figment of our collective imagination.”

Stanley Coren, a UBC psychology professor, says, “If you believe there’s a Sasquatch, then you’re going to find more material out there that would suggest to you that you really did see the Sasquatch than if you don’t believe it.” Coren explains that in the 1950s, UFO sightings were a hot topic. Not surprisingly, reports of UFO sightings skyrocketed during that time but have since tapered off as public interest in the phenomenon wavers. “If you didn’t have the idea of a Sasquatch in your memory then you wouldn’t have the Sasquatch to interpret something you weren’t expecting.”

Science, of course, requires a dead body or, better, a live one. Even bones or hair will do. Moller says that anything would be better than “cheesy footprints” or a video of what he describes as a man in a furry suit that could easily have been faked. He says that the likelihood of finding any previously unknown bipedal land-going mammal weighing more than 100 pounds is “slim to none, and slim just left town”.

Vancouverites tend to have this skeptical attitude, but the farther one gets from the city, the more one finds people inclined to believe in Bigfoot. For them, the creature appeals to that childlike belief that fantastic possibilities do exist on our planet. Bigfoot is the cryptid mascot. And if it really does exist, Earth is a very different world than we know.

But as with any other puzzle, we’ll never know the answer unless society keeps an open mind about it.

“There’s no place in the universe for cynicism,” Kirk says. “Skepticism, yes. As we say in the Bigfoot world, when you’re out in the field, keep your ‘skepticals’ on.”

Bill Miller swears he’s seen one. He took a picture of it, too, in broad daylight, back in 2003, about 4,200 feet up a mountain near Harrison Lake. The picture shows something hairy standing upright, half obstructed by the surrounding trees, about a half-mile away, across a valley. The figure’s arm is extended behind it, indicating it’s in mid-step. Miller points out the sunshine gleaming off the arm. The picture is blurry, of course—Bigfoot photos always are—but it’s sharp enough to show that it’s not a bear. He’s spent the past five years investigating what that furry blur was.

“I want to get close,” he says. “Not so close that I can feel its breath in my face—I don’t want to be that close. That’s a nervous thing to even think about.”

He’s steering his Polaris Ranger six-wheel-drive up Mt. Archibald—the site of the double sightings back in July—scanning the trail for tracks or anything out of the ordinary. There’s no special skill set for what he does: just be in as many places as possible as often as possible and hope for the best. The truck bed is loaded with rope, some tarp, his camera. There’s bear repellent in the cup holders.

He pulls over and stops where one man claimed he saw a Sasquatch cross the forest service road in front of his truck, coming from terrain so steep and so dense that any man roaming around in there wearing a monkey suit is about as plausible as a Sasquatch actually crossing the road.

Miller has been hunting Bigfoot for more than 10 years, but he says not to call him a hunter. That would imply that he has caught something. It’s tireless, thankless work, and the minute Miller catches a good picture or a video, he says, he’s retiring for good. He’ll let the scientists handle it from there.

“I have other things I would love to do,” he says. “I would love to get it over with tomorrow. When I get a film, I’m done. I am done.”

Source: Vancouver BC


Reincarnation: Real or Delusion?

Though Many Believe in the Existence of a Past Life, Experts Urge Caution.

I landed in a past life with sore feet. The first sensation was a pair of tight boots on my feet. Then I felt the tight breeches that made me sweat as I walked briskly through the streets of a grim English town.

Judging by my frock coat, luxurious mustache and splendid hat, this was the mid-1800s. I really felt myself sweat, I really felt uneasy as I imagined myself in a bedroom with a woman who was clearly not my wife. I really felt irritated as I was jostled in a dingy pub, trying to get a beer after a long day's work as an accountant.

I felt all of this while lying in a La-Z-Boy surrounded by scented candles and soothed by the mellifluous voice of David Wells, a medium who specializes in past life regression.

I am a full-time cynic. I am not spiritual. I am not religious. I am not "new age." Still, I felt myself giving in as David asked me to "imagine there is a rose bud on the top of your head."

I obeyed when he told me to "let it open up, opening up that energy center." I was not hypnotized, but I was very relaxed in what I can only describe as a trance. As it turns out, I was an uptight accountant named John Wigglesworth with a downtrodden wife named Mazie.

My final memory of John was feeling a door slam into my head. The blow killed me. And pushing that door murderously was my wife Mazie and her lover. When David brought me back to reality, I felt embarrassed, bewildered and curious. John's life looked to me like a pastiche of an L.S. Lowry painting, a Jane Austen novel and a PBS costume drama. Throw in some sex and murder from the true crime books I love, and there you have it -- my past life.

"What seemed to be happening is crypto-amnesia, hidden memory," said Chris French, a professor who studies the psychology of paranormal belief.

"You take in an awful lot of information," French explained after I told him about my trance-induced recollections. "Sometimes you forget the source of the information, and when it comes bubbling back up in these sort of contexts, you might genuinely think this is a past life memory."

French does not believe in reincarnation, but 25 percent of adult Americans do. Entire religions believe in it. And Jenny Cockell certainly believes in it.

Cockell is an English woman who believes she has lived as a Neolithic hunter, a servant in 16th century France, the daughter of a Samurai in Japan and as a housewife called Mary in early 20th century Ireland.

"I could remember the children," she told me as we chatted at her kitchen table in her quaint cottage. "I knew what sort of ages the children were, and I knew that I had died and left the children behind."

Cockell decided she had to find the children. She drew a plan of the village she remembered living in and a sketch of the local church.

Then, on a map of Ireland, she felt inexplicably drawn to a village called Malahide. The plan and the sketch matched. She found the woman she once was, Mary Sutton, and after some dogged research, she found Mary's children.

Cockell and the children met in 1994 and visited the house where they lived.

"I had to be absolutely certain I had found the right people," Cockell said. Her visceral memories convinced her. The feeling she got when she met the children convinced her.

"And what's more," she said, "they are absolutely certain that I remembered their mother's life."

French was not convinced.

"In Jenny Cockell's case, one of the biggest worries there is that she pretty much did all of her own research," he said.

The professor doesn't believe Cockell is lying, just that she may be deluded into the belief that snippets of information floating through her mind are from a past life. What compounds a delusion, French said, is the desire to believe.

"There's a phenomenon called confirmation bias," he told me. "We find it much easier to believe in things -- we don't need the evidence to be that great -- if we really, really want to believe in them in the first place."

And why would anyone want to believe?

"Like any other form of belief in life after death, it actually helps us to cope with the idea of dying," French offered as a possible explanation.

Dying isn't so scary if we know we're going to come back, if we know we're going to see our loved ones again in another life.

I don't want to believe in reincarnation. Or am I just scared of marrying the murderous Mazie once again?

Source: ABC News


Queen's Electric Teapot "Bugged"

An electric teapot given to the Queen as a present by Russia has reportedly been removed from Balmoral as a possible security threat. The samovar was identified as a potential bugging device following a recent sweep by the security services.

The ornate red and yellow urn was presented to the Queen by a Russian aerobatics team about 20 years ago, at the tail end of the Soviet era.

It reportedly became a favourite of the Queen Mother, who put it in a corner of a room in the Aberdeenshire estate and apparently showed it off to visitors.

Security services apparently suspected that the complicated eastern European wiring could have concealed a listening device.

If true, the teapot could have listened in to the Queen's conversations with prime ministers, world leaders and members of her family.

One retainer told the Daily Express: "The samovar was always a bit of an enigma. No one could work out what the Russians thought we were going to do with it.

"The wiring looked as if it came from a Second World War tank and it was not exactly pretty.

"No one ever considered it a security risk until a recent sweep by these spooks with their electronic devices. They swept everywhere imaginable, public and private rooms, and the first thing to go was the samovar."

During the Cold War, Western countries and their Eastern Bloc enemies went to great lengths to bug each other and to uncover each other's listening devices.

In his controversial 1987 book Spycatcher, former MI5 assistant director Peter Wright described his part in bugging the embassies of Britain's foes - such as the Soviet Union and Egypt - and allies, including France.

One plan devised by MI5 apparently involved offering the Soviet ambassador to London the gift of a paperweight - which would secretly act as a radio transmitter.

The paperweight would have been a small model of the Kremlin as spooks thought the ambassador would be more likely to put it on his desk if it was considered ideologically sound and also reminded him of home.

Meanwhile, a former US Navy intelligence officer has claimed that America snooped on the private life of former prime minister Tony Blair.

David Murfee Faulk told an ABC News investigation that Mr Blair - President George Bush's chief ally in the so-called War on Terror - was given the codename Anchory and that his private telephone calls were monitored and recorded and that a file on him was compiled by the US National Security Agency.

There is an unwritten rule that the UK and US do not collect information on each other. A spokesman for Mr Blair declined to comment.

Source: Sky News


Most Planets May Be Seeded With Life

Astronomers have detected a building block of RNA floating within the hot, compact core of a massive star-forming region in the Milky Way. The molecule appears to have formed with all of the other stuff that makes up planets, suggesting that many other worlds are seeded with some of life's ingredients right from birth.

Two of the greatest questions of existence--Are we alone? and How did we get here?--remain unanswered. Clues keep coming, and they are tantalizing. Over the past decade, astronomers have detected organic molecules inside meteorites and even in space (ScienceNOW, 28 March). But these latter substances have not been found in the clouds of dust and gas around new stars that can form planets, making their link to life tenuous.

The new find, described this week in the journal Astro-ph, is stronger. Using the IRAM radio dish array in France, a team of European astronomers has detected glycolaldehyde--a simple sugar that makes up ribose, one of the constituents of RNA--within the core of what appears to be a coalescing disk of dust and gas in a star-forming region called G31.41+0.31, about 26,000 light-years away. The sugar molecule can apparently form in a simple reaction between carbon monoxide molecules and dust grains.

The discovery is significant for two reasons. First, G31.41+0.31 lies far away from the radiation-filled center of the Milky Way, so if any biological processes start up there, they will have a chance to establish themselves. Second, the abundance of glycolaldehyde in the G31.41+0.31 cloud suggests that the molecule is "common throughout star-forming regions," says astrophysicist and co-author Serena Viti of University College London. The implication is that wherever there is starmaking and planet formation going on, organic building blocks could be assembling as well.

Maybe so, but radio astronomer Karl Menten of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, says we're still a long way from observing life taking hold. In our own planet's case, for example, he says, "It is not clear to what extent complex interstellar molecules survived the violent forces accompanying Earth's initial formation."

Astrobiologist Michael Mumma of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, says it's possible that life's building blocks arrive on planets after this violent period has passed. Glycolaldehyde, for example, seems to be located in an area of the star-forming region where it could become part of comets. If so, Mumma says, some of those comets could eventually deliver the sugar to young planets.

Source: ScienceNow


UFO Believers Urge Obama to "End Six-Decade Truth Embargo"

UFO aficionados are urging Barack Obama to release classified documents about sightings of alien spacecraft, spurred on by support from within his own White House team.

They have written to the president-elect, pressing him to reveal the contents of America's X Files.

In a letter, the Extraterrestrial Phenomenon Political Action Committee asks Mr Obama to 'end the six-decade truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race'.

The Extraterrestrial Phenomenon Political Action Committee is calling for an end to the 'six-decade truth embargo' about alien spacecraft

They hope to have garnered 40,000 signatures in support of their campaign by the time Mr Obama is inaugurated in January.

The enthusiasts are encouraged by public statements from John Podesta, who is running the president-elect's transition team, and Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico, who is expected to land a cabinet post.

When he was the White House chief of staff under President Clinton, Mr Podesta was in charge of a project to declassify 800 million pages of intelligence documents.

He said in a press conference: 'It is time for the government to declassify records that are more than 25 years old and to provide scientists with data that will assist in determining the real nature of this phenomenon.'

Gov. Richardson is a fellow UFO enthusiast. He has written a forward to a book on the 'Roswell Incident' in New Mexico, where an alien spacecraft crash is said to have landed in 1947.

Campaigners believe the corpses of humanoid aliens have been locked away by the government.

Gov Richardson has urged the Pentagon to disclose what really happened, and last year insisted there had been a 'cover-up'.

The committee wants the U.S. to follow Britain's example in making public reported contact with UFOs.

Stephen Bassett, Executive Director of the Extraterrestrial Phenomenon Political Action Committee, told the Sunday Telegraph: 'The release of documents in Britain and France has put huge pressure on the US. It makes the government here look pretty stupid.

'I think we are seeing the Democrats moving towards disclosure.'

The group wants military services and intelligence agencies to brief the incoming president about what they know.

They also urge Mr Obama to open congressional hearings 'to take testimony from scores of government witnesses who have already come forward with extraordinary evidence and are prepared to testify under oath.'

Source: The Daily Mail

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