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12/19/08  #500
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Welcome once again to the greatest show on earth!  If you didn't noticed at the top, this is issue number 500, and it is all thanks to you, our beloved readers!  Many of you have been with Conspiracy Journal from the very beginning when we started out with just a hand-full of subscribers - now we have thousands of loyal readers from all over the planet, and we expect to keep on growing as more people discover just how weird, wild, and wonderful this world really is.  So thanks to everyone for 500 great issues and we know that there will be many, many more. Now, more than ever, people are tired of being lied to, they are looking for the truth that they may not find in their local newspaper or watch on the 6:00 o'clock news. That is why we bring you Conspiracy Journal each and every week -- packed full of all of the news and info that THEY don't want you to know. 

This week Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such shocking tales as:

- Should We Beware the Apeman's Coming? -
- Nebraska Deputy Photographs UFO -
Meet the Man Eager to Get to the Bottom of the Ghost Mysteries -
- Has the Chupacabra returned to Puerto Rico? -
AND: Arkansas Fouke Monster Stuff of Legends

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:


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.


Half Man, Half Chimp - Should We Beware the Apeman's Coming?

A leading scientist has warned a new species of "humanzee," created from breeding apes with humans, could become a reality unless the government acts to stop scientists experimenting.

Dr Calum MacKellar, director of research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, warned the controversial draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill did not prevent human sperm being inseminated into animals.

He said if a female chimpanzee was inseminated with human sperm the two species would be closely enough related that a hybrid could be born. He said scientists could possibly try to develop the new species to fill the demand for organ donors.

Leading scientists say there is no reason why the two species could not breed, although they question why anyone would want to try such a technique. Other hybrid species already created include crossed tigers and lions and sheep and goats.

Dr MacKellar said he feared the consequences if scientists made a concerted effort to cross humans with chimpanzees. He said: "Nobody knows what they would get if they tried hard enough. The insemination of animals with human sperm should be prohibited.

"The Human Fertilisation and Embryo Bill prohibits the placement of animal sperm into a woman The reverse is not prohibited. It's not even mentioned. This should not be the case."

He said if the process was not banned, scientists would be "very likely" to try it, and it would be likely humans and chimps could successfully reproduce.

"If you put human sperm into a frog it would probably create an embryo, but it probably wouldn't go very far," he said.

"But if you do it with a non-human primate it's not beyond the realms of possibility that it could be born alive."

Dr MacKellar said the resulting creature could raise ethical dilemmas, such as whether it would be treated as human or animal, and what rights it would have.

"If it was never able to be self-aware or self-conscious it would probably be considered an animal," he said. "However, if there was a possibility of humanzees developing a conscience, you have a far more difficult dilemma on your hands."

He said fascination would be enough of a motive for scientists to try crossing the two species.

But he also said there was a small chance of scientists using the method to "humanise" organs for transplant into humans. "There's a desperate need for organs. One of the solutions that has been looked at is using animal organs, but because there's a very serious risk of rejection using animal organs in humans they are already trying to humanise these organs.

"If they could create these humanzees who are substantially human but are not considered as humans in law , we could have a large provision of organs."

He wrote to the Department of Health to ask that the gap in the draft legislation be addressed. The department confirmed that the bill "does not cover the artificial insemination of an animal with human sperm".

It said: "Owing to the significant differences between human and animal genomes, they are incompatible and the development of a foetus or progeny is impossible.

"Therefore such activity would have no rational scientific justification, as there would be no measurable outcome."

Dr MacKellar disagrees. He said: "The chromosomal difference between a goat and a sheep is greater than between humans and chimpanzees."

Professor Bob Millar, director of the Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, based in Edinburgh, agreed viable offspring would be possible. He said: "Donkeys can mate with horses and create infertile offspring; maybe that could happen with chimpanzees."

But he said he would oppose any such attempt. "It's unnecessary and ridiculous and no serious scientist would consider such a thing. Ethically, it's not appropriate.

"It's also completely impractical. Chimps would never be a source of organs for humans because of the viruses they carry and the low numbers."

Professor Hugh McLachlan, professor of applied philosophy at Glasgow Caledonian University's School of Law and Applied Sciences, said although the idea was "troublesome", he could see no ethical objections to the creation of humanzees.

"Any species came to be what it is now because of all sorts of interaction in the past," he said.

"If it turns out in the future there was fertilisation between a human animal and a non-human animal, it's an idea that is troublesome, but in terms of what particular ethical principle is breached it's not clear to me.

"I share their squeamishness and unease, but I'm not sure that unease can be expressed in terms of an ethical principle."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "It's just not a problem. If you inseminate an animal with human sperm, scientifically nothing happens. The species barriers are too great."

Even though hybrids of humans and animals have never been created, many other creatures have been crossed successfully. Lions and tigers have been bred to create ligers, the world's largest cats.

And there are also zorses (zebra and horse), wholphins (whale and dolphin), tigons (tiger and lion), lepjags (leopard and jaguar) and zonkeys (zebra and donkey). As well as these hybrid mammals, there are also hybrid birds, fish, insects and plants.

Many hybrids, such as mules, are sterile, which prevents the movement of genes from one species to another, keeping both species distinct. However, some can reproduce and there are scientists who believe that grey wolves and coyotes mated thousands of years ago to create a new species, the red wolf.

More commonly, hybrids mate with one of their parent species, which can influence the genetic mix of what gets passed along to subsequent generations.

Hybrids can have desirable traits, often being fitter or larger than either parent. Most hybrid animals have been bred in captivity, but there are examples of the process occurring in the wild.

This is far more common in plants than animals but in April 2006 a hunter in Canada's North-west Territories shot a polar bear whose fur had an orange tint.

Research showed that it had a grizzly bear father, and it became known as a pizzly. In 2003, DNA analysis confirmed that five odd-looking felines found in Maine and Minnesota were bobcat-lynx hybrids, dubbed blynxes.

Source: The Scotsman


Nebraska Deputy Photographs UFO

Two deputies investigated the sighting of unidentified flying objects in the sky south of Brady Nov. 21, according to Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer.

Although both deputies and the man who called to report the lights dancing in the sky observed them for more than 15 minutes, they could offer no explanation about what they were.

“One deputy, who has an extensive amount of military experience and has witnessed a lot of military maneuvers first hand, said he’d never seen anything like them,” Kramer said. “They could not explain what they were.”

A man who lives near Jeffrey Lake reported the lights in the sky to the 911 Center about 7:30 Nov. 21, according to an LCSO report. A dispatcher reported the call to on-duty deputies, who responded to the call.

Kramer said both deputies observed the lights first hand.

“The report says they first observed a blue light with a red tail fall out of the sky toward a field,” Kramer said. “It stayed stationary for a short time then disappeared.”

Kramer said the deputies observed lights that appeared to hover then take off in one direction or another. He said the deputies reported that they never saw more than three lights together at one time and that there was no sound coming from them.

Kramer said the deputies reported that the lights were “too fast to be helicopters and too agile to be jet aircraft.”

The lights were reported to be blue and white, according to Kramer.

The deputies also reported that one of the lights would occasionally drop directly down toward the earth and then suddenly rise up again into the sky.

The deputies observed the lights in the southern sky for about 15 minutes before they suddenly darted off and disappeared.

Kramer said one deputy managed to get a picture of the lights shot with a digital camera through his night vision goggles but that the pictures didn’t offer much evidence as they were too grainy and the lights appeared so small.

The man who reported the lights said he often watched military helicopters on maneuvers in the canyons during the summer but said it was nothing like the lights Nov. 21.

Others at Lake Maloney also reported seeing the unidentified lights in the eastern sky.

Dispatchers checked with Denver International Airport, which covers radar for this area, but they said the radar only monitored activity at 14,000 feet and above.

The deputies reported the lights were much lower than that in the sky.

Mike Sharkey, manager of the North Platte Regional Airport, said the dispatchers called him at home to see if he could shed any light on the mysterious lights but he said that Lee Bird Field has no radar and could offer no further information.

A spokesman for the National Weather Service office in North Platte said their radar rarely picks up any aircraft or UFOs. He said no one noticed anything unusual on their radar Nov. 21.

Kramer said he too could offer no explanation for the mysterious lights.

UFOs sighted over area for more than 53 years

Only one in 450 UFO sightings are ever reported, according to the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle Wash.

On any particular evening in the United States there are around 1,000 sightings of UFOs around the USA, including 100 close encounters with objects, 80 encounters with humanoids, and 15 reported abductions.

In the U.S. there are now living around one million people who believe they have seen saucer occupants, and over 150,000 who believe they have been abducted.

There have been 252 UFO sightings reported in Nebraska, according to NUFORC.

NUFORC was founded in 1974 by noted UFO investigator Robert J. Gribble. The Center's primary function over the past two decades has been to receive, record, and to the greatest degree possible, corroborate and document reports from individuals who have been witness to unusual, possibly UFO-related events.

The center operates a telephone hotline that has operated almost continuously since 1974 and has processed more than 10,000 calls. Reports can also be filed on the center’s website.

The U.S. government took an interest in UFOs from 1947 to 1967 and the U.S. Air Force used its substantial base network to take reports and write them up in standardized formats. During this period there were also substantial report libraries accumulated by the private NICAP and AFPRO organizations in the United States, the researcher Jacques Vallee, and other private organizations in Canada, Europe and Australia.

The official Condon Study of 1969 ended the U.S. government program of taking reports. Researchers at the private CUFOS group managed to acquire the final government-sponsored report database on mainframe data tapes.

It is from this data and other reports that we can report West Central Nebraska area UFO sightings:

• McPherson County - In April 1916 and again in August 1917, a flying disk was observed and reported by residents.

• North Platte, Aug. 23, 1955 – A woman reported that she had a close encounter with an unidentified craft and its occupants.

• Rural West Central Nebraska, Jan. 1, 1953 – A woman told her child, who was only 4-years old the night the incident happened, that they were traveling by car when a light came from the sky and lit up the area so bright that she could see every blade of grass if it were daylight. She told her daughter that the car stopped and they just sat there. She said she didn’t know how long but that the light left and she started the car again and drove them home. She remembered the incident and all the details at age 82.

• North Platte, April 25, 1964 – A meteor-like object was reported by numerous people. It was later determined to be an actual meteor.

• North Platte, June 17, 1978 – Numerous witnesses reported an object hovering in the sky for more than one hour at approximately 11 p.m. The witnesses made numerous police reports about the encounter.

• North Platte, Aug. 25, 1979 – Two friends were star gazing at 10:30 p.m. when one suddenly saw an object flying through the northern Milky Way. He reported it was nearly 60,000 feet in altitude and traveling due south. He said the object was dark with jagged edges and appeared to be the size of three football fields. Two other similarly shaped objects were traveling in a split formation behind the lead craft and four more followed those, the report said. All were traveling extremely fast. They bolted from the far northern view of the Milky to the south under 10 seconds. The friend pointed them out to his buddy who then saw them too. The report said they could distinguish them as separate because they could see the stars between objects.

• North Platte, July 17, 1980 – Two people who were attending a party at the skating rink were walking home a little after 10 p.m. and looked up about 30 degrees at the corner of Custer Avenue and West 13th Street. They reported spotting several rock-shaped objects with jagged edges flying across the sky. The objects went north to south and passed overhead silently, the report said. The pair watched the objects for about eight seconds until they vanished into a puffy white cloud. The report said one of the boys went home and told his parents what he saw but they were not the least but interested because they were watching Ronald Reagan giving his acceptance speech for nomination of the Republican Party for President that Thursday evening, which also happened to be the boy’s fathers birth date. He said he highly doubted anyone believed his story because he was only fourteen years old when it happened.

• North Platte, Oct. 19, 1981 – Objects were tracked by radar and sighted visually. Three multi-colored discs were observed by five witnesses.

• Sutherland, Nov. 15, 1983 – A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy was on patrol in the Sutherland area when he found some kids drinking beer. As the kids were dumping the beer at the deputy’s direction, one of them yelled, “Hey, what is that?” The deputy reported he looked toward the northwest and observed a craft floating above the ground. He reported the dark metallic craft was about 2,000 feet above the ground and about 1,200 feet away from him. He said the craft was moving slowly toward the south. The deputy reported the craft had rows of square objects that looked like windows but were dark. The deputy watched the craft move to the south and over the Village of Sutherland. He reported he called another deputy in the Wallace area and asked him to start heading north and see if he could catch it. Just then, the deputy said, three circles at the rear of the craft flashed a bright white and the craft sped up in the direction of the Gerald Gentleman Power Plant then veered to the southeast. The second deputy then reported he could see the craft and estimated it was going about 400 miles per hour towards Dickens. The craft was reported to be as long as a C5 Galaxy aircraft and twice as wide. He observed it for an estimated 15 minutes. He said he and the teens all felt the hair on their arms and legs stand up when they saw it.

• Maxwell, Nov. 15, 1984 – The man who reported this UFO said he was driving east down Hwy. 30 toward Maxwell taking a friend home at 6 p.m. on a cold, misty, rainy day. He said he did not like driving on that road as the trains on the track perpendicular to the road often had their front lights on bright. The man said he saw a light that he first thought was a train but quickly realized it was twice as high as it should have been. He said he and his friend went silent as they got closer and observed the light was coming from a football shaped craft floating above the railroad tracks. The light was on the front of the craft was pointing straight ahead and there was another he said he could not see at first pointing directly down onto the tracks. It also had several small colored lights at different areas on it. They stopped the car and got out, walking towards the craft as it approached. The passenger got back in the car and yelled for the driver to get in and drive off. But the driver stayed outside and observed the craft as it passed. He said there was no sound coming from the craft and it just glided over the tracks. They watched as it passed by and disappeared from sight into the mist. The man reported that he and his friend never could make sense of what they saw. He said the sighting took about five minutes but after dropping his friend off and driving back home, he learned he had been gone six hours. They reported the sighting to the Nebraska State Patrol.

• Gothenburg, July 15, 1996 – A man reported that he saw a red round flashing light similar to a taillight on an old car cross the night sky from the west horizon to the east horizon five to 10 times faster than any jet he had ever seen. He said it went from horizon to horizon in about 30 to 45 seconds and made absolutely no sound. The object was observed at 11:30 p.m. The same object was reportedly reported to a Denver radio station.

• Cozad, Sept. 18, 1998 – A licensed practical nurse reported a triangular shaped object, whose margins were unspecific, at 1:45 a.m. The night was clear and the star field exceptionally sharp. The trajectory was from north to south and there were no visible lights. “I am a trained observer by profession,” the nurse wrote in the report.

• Ogallala, July 22, 2000 – Three friends reported an enormous craft with multi-illuminated panels giving off shapes and colors “unlike anything they had ever seen.” They reported it rose on the western horizon and traveled to the eastern horizon. They observed it for about 25 minutes.

• Mullen, Nov. 19, 2002 – A couple reported that they observed brilliant lights moving at incredible speeds and doing strange maneuvers for four nights in a row. They reported that they got scared and observed the lights appearing to follow them until they reached town then shoot straight up into the sky about 11 p.m. They observed them for several hours one night and even videotaped the event.

• North Platte, Oct. 17, 2003 – A woman reported that he observed an aircraft apparently chasing a formation of yellowish and orange lights quite a bit bigger than the aircraft. The eastbound formation of lights accelerated and left the aircraft far behind, according to the woman. She observed the chase for about three minutes, she reported.

• Sutherland, July 26, 2004 – A man was cutting cross-country from Tryon and was on his way to Sutherland at 11:40 p.m. when he observed a needle nosed, triangular-shaped object in the sky. It appeared to be hovering halfway between Sutherland and Hershey. It soon began moving to the south very slowly. “I would say the object was about 300 yards long and 100 wide at the triangular front end. I continued to the south until I came onto the two-mile road north of Sutherland and turned to the east. I stopped and got out to get a better look. I heard a low-pitched hum, which seemed to be coming from the object which was heading south towards I-80 and Hwy. 30. It seemed to be moving about 3-5 miles per hour at about 1,000-foot altitude or so. It seemed to me it was about a mile or two away to the east. I watched this object for several minutes until it disappeared to the south and the lights of the rest area on I-80 interfered. I came on home and reported what I saw.” He reported that he observed the craft for 25 minutes.

• Hershey, Dec. 3, 2004 – A man was driving on Hwy. 30 when he noticed lights in the sky just south of the highway and east of Hershey. It appeared to be a rectangle that spun slowly counter clockwise and took about 10 seconds to make a complete revolution. It was drifting west. Suddenly, the rotation stopped and the craft began moving directly to the north. “At this point I had pulled off to the side of the road and got out of my truck. The lights were shaped in a Trapezoid formation with a spot light in the center that would come on intermittently. What ever this craft was it did not make the sounds that a helicopter makes. The only thing I heard was a low continued whooshing sound heavy on the osh part. I stood there for about four minutes watching this object light up the country side with a bright white circle until it was about a mile or so north then the craft shot straight up and out of site. The whole time I watched this craft it was about 700 feet above the ground and I also saw the normal passenger jet aircraft in the sky but they were traveling at their normal altitudes – 20,000 feet or so.”

• North Platte, June 29, 2007 – A man reported that as he walked toward his pickup truck, he looked up in the sky and saw three very bright lights moving in a triangular shape at 11:30 p.m. He reported the triangle moved to the north slowly. He said he then observed a fast moving plane fly under the lighted triangle. The UFO then shot straight up and disappeared, the man reported.

• Hershey, Nov. 2, 2007 – A man reported that he was walking to his truck when he looked into the sky and noticed an airplane flying from west to east. He said then he noticed a very bright light in the sky further “toward Zenith” from the plane. He said he quickly checked the Constellations to orient himself. He reported the light four times the size of Venus. He observed it for about 20 seconds when its intensity began dissipating. He said he could see a round ball in the center of the light. He said he went back into his house, saw it was 10:34 p.m. and filed his report.

Source: The North Platte Bulletin


The Living Dead

You are dying. Twenty seconds ago your heart and breathing stopped and your pupils became fixed and dilated. Your brain cells are in a state of panic, trying every trick they know to get hold of oxygen and glucose. An electroencephalogram (EEG) would show no electrical activity in your cortex, the thin outer layer of your brain. You have flatlined.

As usual, a young, inexperienced doctor is first on the scene. They’re fitter and faster. There’s only time to confirm you’re not breathing before starting 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths into your mouth. A cart arrives with a defibrillator, the electric-shock machine, as do a few older, less fit doctors. The machine is not, sadly, one of the sexy, telegenic ones with paddles and George Clooney shouting “Clear!” With this machine the electrodes are stuck to your chest. The paddle variety caused too many shocks to the staff, so they’ve been dropped by the NHS. You are shocked. Nothing. A blood sample is taken and rushed for instant analysis. You’re given repeated injections of adrenaline and, depending on your exact condition, atropine, amiodarine and magnesium. Still nothing. The doctors and nurses work furiously for, say, 10 minutes if you’re an old lady with pneumonia or half an hour or more if you’re a young man who’s fallen into a cold pond. Nothing. Finally, a watching consultant officially announces that you no longer exist. It’s over. The confusing babble known as “your life” has ended. Or has it?

You see, the weird thing is that you may have flatlined, be “clinically dead”, but you’ve been watching the whole thing from the ceiling. As soon as your heart stopped, you just drifted out of your body and found you could float anywhere. You feel incredibly well, bathed in bright light, suffused with a deep sense of peace and knowing that, at last, it all makes sense. Some of your dead relatives are here and, behind you, there is a tunnel from which the light floods down. Perhaps you can see Jesus at the far end of it, or Muhammad or Krishna. The chaos at your bedside is interesting, amusing even, but trivial. Death, you now know with absolutely certainty, is an illusion.

You’re having a near-death experience (NDE). They happen all the time. They may happen to everybody, however they die. Remarkably similar experiences have been reported throughout history in all cultures. Obviously, most are lost to us, because being near death is usually the immediate prelude to being dead. But precisely because high-tech hospital resuscitations are so effective — around 15% of cardiac-arrest victims are revived — we can now regularly hear news apparently from beyond the grave. And it sounds like very good news indeed. You don’t really die and you feel great. What could be nicer?

NDEs are so common, so vivid and so life-transforming — survivors frequently become more compassionate, religious and serene as a result of what they experience — that scientists, philosophers, priests, psychologists and cultists all want a piece of the action. Their problem is that the human mind is unreachable. We can’t see what’s going on in there. Even if we could rush cardiac-arrest patients into an MRI scanner, we’d only see lights in the brain. We wouldn’t know what they meant. But now NDEs are to be scientifically investigated in a US and UK study involving 25 hospitals. This is co-ordinated by Dr Sam Parnia at Southampton University and is designed to find 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrests — “clinical death” — who tell such stories.

“I see no reason why a priest should tell us about death when we have all this technology available,” says Dr Parnia. “Death is a biological process and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t study it through medicine.”

Getting a scientific handle on this phenomenon is fiendishly difficult. Dead people don’t report back, and it is very hard to assess the status of survivor accounts — are they merely hallucinations occurring before the crisis or just after? Perhaps they are no more than the brain’s way of soothing your path to extinction.

Cardiac arrests are a good place to start because they provide a clear-cut moment when the dying process begins and when, clinically speaking, you may be said to be dead. “It might in fact be better,” says Dr Parnia, “to say that experiences after cardiac arrests are actual death experiences rather than near-death experiences.”

Arrests also happen a lot in hospitals, so the experimental conditions are reasonably controllable. But details like bright lights, tunnels and feelings of peace cannot be pinned down experimentally. One aspect of near-death experiences, however, can be: the out-of-body experience (OBE), seeing yourself and your surroundings from outside. When you are looking down from the ceiling, what, exactly, do you see? Many survivors report with remarkable accuracy what went on when they should, in theory, be utterly unconscious. This seems to be hard, testable evidence.

There are thousands of reports of OBEs but the two most famous cases are Pam Reynolds and Maria’s Tennis Shoe. Reynolds, an American singer, watched and later reported on with remarkable accuracy the top of her own skull being removed by surgeons before she moved into a bright glowing realm. But it was Reynolds’s account of the surgical implements used and the words spoken in the theatre that make the case so intriguing.

Maria, meanwhile, underwent cardiac arrest in 1977. She floated out of her body, drifted round the hospital and noticed a tennis shoe on a window sill. It was later found to be exactly where she said it was. The shoe was said to be invisible from the ground and not in any location where Maria could have seen it. Such stories suggest that OBEs should be scientifically verifiable.

Parnia’s study is aimed solely at OBEs in cases of cardiac arrest. It uses a technique known as “hidden target”. In the participating hospitals he is placing pictures on high shelves so that they will be invisible both to patients and staff. But anybody floating near the ceiling would see them. A substantial number of accurate reports of the pictures would seem to establish the reality of OBEs. There are numerous problems with this. Parnia’s study does not have enough money to put laptops on the shelves generating random pictures to ensure that cheating is impossible. Furthermore, previous hidden-target experiments by, among others, Parnia himself and Dr Penny Sartori at Morriston Hospital in Swansea have failed to produce a single positive result. In fairness, this may be because the last thing that a floating dying person, with Jesus behind him and his body being pounded in front of him, will notice is some odd picture left on a shelf. This leaves believers in OBEs with an evidential mountain to climb.

There are plenty of sceptics who will pounce on negative results or even positive ones with any signs of ambiguity. Dr Peter Fenwick, a neuro-psychiatrist who has overseen Parnia and Sartori’s work, admits that, whatever the outcome, there will still be “wriggle room” for sceptics.

“People can say they could have cheated, but if we have 50 or 60 of these cases where people leave their bodies and some see the pictures and some do not, then it looks like from the phenomenology that this does occur,” he says.

Hidden targets are the best key science has for unlocking the true nature of NDEs. If Parnia comes up with positive results, then even the most hardened sceptics will have to pay attention. They will force a serious rethinking of all current ideas about the brain and the mind.

“This is definitely a legitimate scientific inquiry,” says Chris French, professor of psychology at Goldsmiths College, London, and co-editor of The Skeptic magazine. “Refereed proposals of this kind have my full support. There’s no doubt that people have these experiences, and there is something of great psychological interest to be explained here.”

French’s position is important. He specialises in paranormal beliefs and experiences. In some cases his position is that of outright scepticism. For example, people started reporting alien-abduction scenarios — flying saucers, anal probes — in large numbers only after a single case, that of Betty and Barney Hill, was publicised in Look magazine in 1966. This was clearly a kind of mental virus, made more virulent by the fact that most of the accounts were retrieved under hypnosis. But NDEs were widely reported even before they became known to a mass audience through Raymond Moody’s 1975 book Life after Life. And hypnosis has not been involved in retrieving the accounts. The consistency and clarity of these reports across cultures and time zones convince French that, even if NDEs may not prove the afterlife, they do cast light on the human mind.

“There is a core experience that is essentially the same across cultures. Christians don’t see Hindu gods and Hindus don’t see Jesus, so there is some kind of cultural overlay, but we are dealing with people attempting to put an ineffable experience into words. There’s a common core that has as its basis the fact that we all have very similar brains, so when things go awry we are likely to have similar experiences.”

And, as in all things, it is the human mind that is at the heart of the matter. If we can float out of our bodies, then the mind is separable from, and, perhaps not dependent on, the brain. Twelve years after Tom Wolfe famously announced in Forbes magazine that, as a result of developments in neuroscience, “Your soul just died,” it may be time to say: “No, it didn’t.”

But is such a thing as a separable mind poss-ible or even conceivable? The answer is yes. In explaining why, it will be necessary to plunge into philosophy and quantum mechanics. Bear with me: it will be as painless as a cardiac arrest and much more interesting. And at the end of it, you might just believe you are immortal.

The world, on the face of it, is made of two ingredients: thoughts and things. A brick, for example, is, on the one hand, a fact in the world and, on the other, a combination of all my feelings about bricks in general and this brick in particular. This is generally regarded as a very odd state of affairs. My thoughts and feelings are as real to me as the brick, but they don’t seem to be made of the same stuff. Indeed, they don’t seem to be made of any stuff. The belief that they aren’t, that the world is made of two different substances — bricks and thoughts of bricks — is called dualism. Dualism is the default human conviction, embraced by religions, philosophies and, in fact, by everybody in their lives — if we didn’t embrace some degree of it, we’d be constantly worried about crashing our cars into other people’s thoughts. Dualism means that the mind and the brain are not made of the same things and therefore in theory, they can be separated, as in NDEs.

Much of modern science can be seen as an attempt to disprove dualism. In the strictly scientific world view there is only one stuff out of which bricks and brains are constructed. My thoughts and feelings are just what the brain does. The brain gives us thoughts to provide the illusion of control. It’s largely an illusion that the mind has any effect on the world. We’re all imprisoned in the chains of cause and effect that started with the big bang. But in spite of numerous claims, this remains a statement of faith. Neuroscientists may be able to show what happens in the brain when we think or when we exercise “free will”, but this cannot be shown to be proof that dualism is wrong. “Look,” they say, “we’ve proved it. It’s just neurons firing sparks at each other.” Well, no. Those electrical patterns are not thought itself; they may be no more than symptoms of thought. For all our technology, nobody has yet seen a thought, nobody has shown how matter becomes mind. How it does remains one of the most profound questions any human ever asks himself.

Enter quantum mechanics. This started as the study of very small things — subatomic particles. It is the most effective scientific idea ever — it powers your computer, TV, anything dependent on electronics. So we know it’s true enough to work, but it’s also weird enough to defy belief. Everything about the discoveries in this area turned out to be in defiance of reason. Crucially, two things were discovered. First, particles can continue to be connected to each other even though separated by long distances — billions of light years, even: a phenomenon known as non-locality. This is, in our big world, impossible. Second, quantum theory showed that the mind can affect the world. If, for example, you say that light is made of particles, then, obligingly, light will be particles. If you say it is waves, then it will be waves. The questions we ask of nature determine the answers it gives. Anybody who claims to understand why these things should be is lying.

Henry Stapp must come close. He is a distinguished physicist at the University of California at Berkeley. He is convinced that quantum mechanics applies to large as well as small things. The world as a whole is just as weird as the inner workings of the atom. The truth of the world and ourselves is that the whole thing is a chaotic swirl of energy and particles. But we don’t see it, because we make our own reality, our own truth, by only asking certain questions. The brick is a product of our mind; to all-seeing, non-human eyes, it is just a swirl of almost nothing.

“The observer,” Stapp tells me, “is brought into quantum dynamics in an essential way not only as a passive observer but as an active part of the dynamics. He makes certain choices not specified by the physical dynamics which seem to come from the psychologically described realm rather than the physically described realm.

“So what happens when a person dies? Does this psychological part just fade away? That’s what most would think. On the other hand, there are these experiments done by physicians in connection with NDEs which seem to be evidence that brain death or total brain inactivity does not totally put out the psychological aspect. The relationship between the brain and the psychic experience is not as simple as one might have expected.”

On top of that, quantum non-locality could mean the mind is capable of being non-local to the brain, of floating to the ceiling of the room. It can become, as Stapp puts it, “unglued”. His words “certain choices not specified by the physical dynamics” are world-changing. This idea would, if widely accepted, end the reign of scientific materialism, replacing it with a new dualism. It would mean the universe is not a “causally closed” system, locked down since the big bang, as mainstream science has always insisted it is, but open to freedom of choice by the autonomous, floating, matter-altering mind. We would have regained our souls.

Positive results from Parnia’s survey might foreshadow the soul’s return. The effects would be seismic. First, you’d have to accustom yourself to the idea that your mind is not just the little man inside your skull — he really is out there in the world. Second, you’d have to accept that a lot of the things that now seem like products of charlatans and grifters — telepathy, spiritualism, even psychokinesis — will suddenly seem much more credible. Thirdly, you need not anticipate instant oblivion on death but a series of very weird and very illuminating experiences.

This would be a revolution, but it would also be a return to the past. Until the rise of secular mater-ialism over the past 200 years, humans always lived with the conviction that the world was made of far more than brick-stuff, and they also lived with a lively sense of the presence of the dead.

But a bucket of iced water is necessary at this point. Few scientists think any of this is going to happen. Believers in a new dualism — or, indeed, believers that there is anything more to NDEs than a psychologically interesting hallucination — are still in a small minority. The problem is that all the evidence remains anecdotal, and even the most impressive stories, like Reynolds’s, tend to look less convincing on closer examination. “There are many claims of this kind,” writes the prominent psychologist Susan Blackmore, “but in my long decades of research into NDEs I never met any convincing evidence that they are true.”

Sceptics like Blackmore and Chris French may welcome the Parnia study, but others are less tolerant. Attacks have been launched by hard sceptics against all of the most ambitious claims for NDEs. In The Skeptic magazine, Jason Braithwaite of Birmingham University wrote a withering deconstruction of one of the most headline-

generating scientific publications claiming survival of the mind after death, a Dutch paper in 2001 calling for a new science of consciousness as a result of findings from NDEs. “Van Lommel et al provided no evidence at all that the mind or consciousness is separate from brain processes,” Braithwaite concludes. “Their findings are entirely consistent with contemporary neuroscience and are in line with the general dying-brain account of NDE. It appears that the position of the sur-vivalist is still one based on faith.”

That, in a nutshell, is the mainstream position. What Braithwaite means by the “dying-brain account” is simply that NDEs are just what happen when the brain starts shutting down; they may, indeed, be an evolved mechanism to console the psyche by distracting it from the unimaginable and intolerable prospect of its own extinction. They may not even happen when the patient is flatlining but when he is slipping into or out of that state. As with dreams, it is often hard to say when they actually happen. Or, even if NDEs do happen during flatlining, this may be due to deep brain activity undetected by an EEG, which only measures activity on the surface of the brain. Recent evidence from a Cambridge team who used MRI scans to watch the brains of patients in a deep coma, or “persistent vegetative state”, suggests deep brain activity may, indeed, make patients remarkably aware of their surroundings. In other words, the clinically dead may not be quite as dead as we think.

Furthermore, NDE-type experiences may not be such unusual events. Fighter pilots sometimes experience G-Loc — G-force-induced loss of consciousness. This produces high alertness and clarity of thought, pleasurable “dreamlets”, OBE-type floating sensations and sights of family and friends, all very NDE. And, at University College London, the neuroscientist Henrik Ehrsson recently induced OBEs in people by a clever arrangement of head-mounted video displays. In fact, Susan Blackmore argues that we have OBEs all the time. Think about your last holiday. Picture a scene from that holiday. Many will see that scene as if from outside themselves — they will be a character in the picture, as they are in OBEs reported in NDE narratives. It’s just what our brains do, say the sceptics: they secrete mind in all its fabulous variations and with all its incorrigible delusions. There’s nothing there to get all weird about. The soul is not a soul, the brick is a brick and the brain is just a 1.3kg bag of water, fat and carbohydrates, subtly organised to provide us with the illusions of freedom and thought.

But there are, as Peter Fenwick puts it, enough “straws in the wind” to make one wonder. However fierce the sceptical onslaught, fascination at the NDE phenomenon is not likely to be diminished. Survivors are often fundamentally transformed by it, convinced they have been in contact with another world. This has led to NDEs being seized upon as evidence of the truth of religion. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a psychiatrist and counsellor of the dying, popularised this idea, and her conviction that the bright lights of the NDE were precisely what they seemed to be: a revelation of a divine plan. “In this light,” she wrote, “you will experience for the first time what man could have been. In this presence, which many people compare with Christ or God, with love or light, you will come to know that all your life on Earth was nothing but a school that you had to go through in order to learn special lessons.”

NDEs have fired the imaginations of the religious. But they also fire the imaginations of the investigators. Everybody with an interest in this area has been inspired by a personal experience of a confrontation with death and by the startling vividness and transformative powers of the NDE. Whatever it is, it means something.

The hard sceptics will say that this is all nonsense, that whatever happens in your head when Clooney shouts “Clear!” is just another delusion generated by the material workings of that 1.3kg bag. However, in the present state of our knowledge, this is crude and premature. We should not only wait for the results of Parnia’s experiment, we should also consider the deep weirdness of the world revealed by Stapp and quantum theory. Hard materialism is just one more philosophical position, and the authentic sceptical reaction is not a derisive snort but a humble acceptance that there are more things in heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in any of our philosophies.

Source: The Times (UK)


Meet the Man Eager to Get to the Bottom of the Ghost Mysteries

While visiting a friend in hospital, a woman suddenly finds herself transported to a beautiful garden where she is surrounded by friendly people and the sound of happy laughter, in an apparent near-death experience.

A poltergeist takes up residence in a suburban home terrifying the family who move in there, while a man foresees the mortal danger facing his young son just in time to avert a terrible accident.

It all sounds like the stuff of Hollywood psychological horror films – the kind of thing most of us would probably scoff at if we were told it was happening next door.

But these stories do not come from the imagination of a fiction writer, they are real cases which are being investigated at Edinburgh University.

Each of these stories has been told, perfectly sincerely, to one researcher based at the famous Koestler Parapsychology Institute in recent months, by people who you would otherwise regard as absolutely "normal", sane and healthy.

There, French clinical psychologist Thomas Rabeyron, 27, is undertaking a year's research attempting to trace the roots of paranormal experiences.

During the last six months he's interviewed more than 160 people from across Edinburgh and the Lothians, hearing their tales of everything from telepathy and psychic healing, to ghosts and alien abductions.

"One of the most striking things to note," he begins, "is that most of these people are not crazy.

"They genuinely believe that these things have happened to them, are often very traumatised by these experiences and are struggling to understand them.

"As a clinical psychologist it's very important to me to understand these phenomena, as the ultimate aim of this research is to provide a counselling service for people coping with unexplained experiences."

Thomas – a sceptic when it comes to belief in an afterlife, although more open minded about unexplained phenomena such as ESP (extra-sensory perception) – is fascinated by how these apparent experiences can defy all regular logic.

Some people who say they have been abducted by aliens display symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, he points out, and there are many examples of people once seen as incredibly rational who come to believe they are communing with the dead.

"One of the first cases I encountered was a woman with a very firm scientific background," he explains. "She was an engineer who had never given any consideration to the paranormal until she experienced something like a near-death experience while visiting a friend in hospital. She wasn't actually near death, but she said she was spontaneously transported to a beautiful garden with a lot of people and laughter all around.

"When the doctors snapped her out of it, she became very angry with them because she was so at peace.

"She didn't give it much more thought until a couple of years later when a child close to her died. After that, she began reading up on the afterlife and began interpreting her experience as a near-death experience and soon she started to perceive that she was communing with the child from the afterlife."

Thomas came to attribute the roots of the initial incident to a traumatic hospital experience from the engineer's childhood, but could find no way to explain how this once rational woman had suddenly started believing she was communing with the dead.

"I was told another story from an engineer here in Edinburgh who said he was walking through a building with his son and they became separated," he continues. "Suddenly, the man had a very clear vision of his son falling from a great height, so he turned and ran in a very definite direction to find him perched on the edge of a steep drop, exactly where he'd stood in the vision."

Precognition is one of the most common experiences described to Thomas, alongside spiritual healing, communing with the dead and apparitions.

In addition, around ten per cent of his interviewees claim to have had an out-of-body experience, while a handful say they've been abducted by aliens, experienced memories of a past life and even met God during a mystical journey.

He is currently interviewing scores of people who claim to have had paranormal experiences, in an attempt to analyse any character traits which may differentiate them from those who don't.

His initial findings are leading him to the perhaps unsurprising initial conclusion that most people who believe they have had paranormal experiences have artistic inclinations, rather than making a living in a profession where hard facts and analysis are demanded as a matter of course, like accountants and policemen.

"Many sceptics say that it's important to separate people from what they would term delusions," says Thomas, who first took an interest in paranormal experiences while studying for his clinical psychology masters in Lyon. "I have a lot of respect for scientists like Richard Dawkins, whose approach is very logical, but many people who harbour these beliefs actually cope perfectly well in society – and are often happier than some sceptics. It's not enough to say to them that they're putting their faith in nonsense as this can often be more traumatic."

Not all paranormal experiences are comforting, as Thomas discovered during a visit to a very ordinary modern suburban house.

"It was very similar to the Spielberg movie Poltergeist, where this family moved into a new house and started hearing ghostly noises and experiencing things moving around.

"I went to visit them and discovered the woman was going through a very stressful time, wasn't happy about the move and hated the new house, so I began to attribute the experiences to her own resentment of the move. As she started talking about the poltergeist experiences, though, I heard seven very loud, definite bangs coming from the second floor, as though someone was banging on the ceiling.

"I have to admit I was scared but I couldn't let it show, so I went to investigate and couldn't find any rational explanation.

"My theory is that this woman was somehow projecting her resentment and it was manifesting itself in these phenomena."

Thomas tries to deal in hard scientific fact, but it can be a bit of an elusive commodity in the world he now inhabits.

Intriguingly, the institute has just secured a £27,000 grant to attempt to replicate a German experiment where poltergeist activity stopped as soon as cameras were placed in every room in an allegedly poltergeist-infested house.

The problem ghost-hunters have repeatedly stumbled across is that poltergeist activity has a nasty habit of disappearing whenever it's studied objectively.

Thomas and his colleagues are now hoping to find out why, once they have identified a suitably poltergeist-plagued home.

"All we know is that in similar experiments, whenever the cameras were around, the occupants were more comfortable and the phenomena came to an end.

"The only explanations for this would be that the occupants were faking it and didn't want to be caught out, that there was some kind of psychological explanation that was cancelled out by the presence of the cameras, or that the phenomenon was caused by a real poltergeist that didn't want to be caught on film."

Thomas is going to continue his interviews and investigations until the middle of next year, and is soon to begin the process of compiling all of his information to put his theories to the test.

He refuses, though, to be drawn on how many of the stories he actually believes.

"Believing in the paranormal is like believing in an object at the other side of a closed door that you cannot see," he insists. "No matter how many times someone tells you it's there, you'll never believe until you have more information."

If you want to be interviewed as part of Thomas Rabeyron's paranormal investigations, e-mail your details to

Source: Edinburgh Evening News


Has the Chupacabra Returned to Puerto Rico?

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Reports of slaughtered farm animals and shadowy figures in darkened yards have Puerto Rican authorities hunting for what they believe is an exotic jungle cat now prowling the wooded fringes of the island's densely populated capital.

Wildlife officials patrolled streets and undeveloped lots in a sort of suburban safari on Sunday, searching for a nocturnal predator that has mauled a sheep, ripped apart chickens, and dominated newspaper headlines in this tropical U.S. territory since last week.

The beast, described by witnesses as a black panther, has dodged marksmen, motion-sensitive cameras, and cage-like traps -- including one baited with a live goat, according to Natural Resources Secretary Javier Velez Arocho.

Ten sightings were reported of a 4-foot-long cat stalking a stretch of Rio Piedras, a San Juan suburb that is home to a 21,000-student university campus, Velez said. The elusive animal could weigh as much as 150 pounds, he added.

Search parties scoured the area without result, and Velez urged residents to keep an eye on their children and look to defend themselves if they encountered a big cat.

"We would use guns to kill this animal only as a last resort," Velez said.

A loose panther could be the escaped pet of drug traffickers, who are known for crowding their compounds on the island with rare, caged jungle cats and pedigree dogs, Velez said. It is illegal to own nonnative predators such as jungle cats in Puerto Rico.

Farm animals have died in inexplicable episodes on the island for decades.

In the mid-1990s, widespread news coverage chronicled the exploits of a mysterious beast known as "Chupacabras," the "Goatsucker" in Spanish, which was rumored to dine on the blood of livestock and household pets.

Source: The Miami Herald


Arkansas Fouke Monster Stuff of Legends

Down in the southern reaches of Arkansas, there is a celebrity more well known than Bill Clinton, Billy Bob Thornton, and Collin Ray put together.  But unlike those other guys, this Natural State native has never left his home county.  Maybe that's because he can't drive a car.

I'm taking, of course, about the Arkansas Fouke Monster.

Most folks know about the Fouke Monster from the drive-in (and MST3K) favorite The Legend of Boggy Creek, and its multiple sequels of varying quality.  And while they make for good entertainment (particularly the MST3K treatment) the truth is an interesting story in itself.

Millers County, the setting for our tale, is an area of pine forests and swampland.  The kind of area into which you could imagine a creature would easily be able to hide from the rural farmers who inhabit the county.

There, in 1946, the first sighting of the monster was reported.  At the time, the beast was known as the Jonesville monster, because most sightings took place around the Jonesville area.  Early descriptions of the creature use words such as “apelike.”

After that, rumors of a large hairy hominid wandering around the swampy areas of Miller county cropped up occasionally, fueled by the occasional sighting.

 Then, in 1971, Jim Powell, a reporter for the Texarkana Gazette and the Texarkana Daily News, and Dave Hall, a director of a local Texarkana radio station KTFS, were dispatched to a rural home to cover a series of strange events.

When Powell and Hall arrived, they found Bobby Ford, his wife Elizabeth, and his brother Don packing their things as quickly as they could to move out of a house that they had lived in barely a week.

The hair-raising story that they told, that of being stalked by a large, bear-like beast, would capture the nation's imagination.

According to the couple, they first heard the creature moving around outside their house several days before.

But since they were new to the house, they dismissed the sound.  A few days later, the creature tried to reach a hairy, clawed hand through a screened window to get at Elizabeth while she slept on her living room couch.  She was rescued when Bobby and Don chased the creature away. But it returned later, grabbing Bobby across the shoulders and throwing him to the ground.

The Ford Family went to the hospital, where Bobby was treated for minor shock and scratches across his back.

During both encounters the Fords say that they shot at the creature.  They assumed that they hit it because it fell once.  Authorities searched the area, but they found no blood.  A few scratches on the Ford's door, some damaged siding and a strange set of three toed footprints were the only evidence that something had been there.

Several more sightings, along with more three-toed tracks followed.  Within a month, a local archeologist asserted that the description of the monster, the three-toed-tracks, and the creature's behavior were all abnormal for a primate, and therefore the sightings had to have been a hoax.

In an article, written for the thirtieth anniversary of the attack, Powell reflected back on the incident.  “You could see they were scared.  They were going to leave a house they had just moved into.”

Powell's story was picked up by the Associated Press and ran nationwide.  The attention sparked the imagination of local ad salesman Charles B. Pierce, who made the story the subject of his first movie: The Legend of Boggy Creek.  The movie has been a mild success.  Pierce went on to a lucrative career in the entertainment industry where he was nominated for an Emmy for his work as a set dresser.

Since then, the creature has been seen off and on throughout central and southern Arkansas, sometimes at distances up to a four-hour drive away from Fouke.   If you go looking for the creature in Fouke, it's a sure bet that you'll find him.  Usually on a tourist's t-shirt. 

Source: Firefox News

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