9/3/10  #588
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Welcome one and all to the greatest show on Earth!  Inside the big top we have such mysteries as you've never seen before!  A three-ring extravaganza of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and much, much, MORE!  So sit back and relax and prepared to be amazed, because Conspiracy Journal is here once again for your viewing pleasure.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such Cosmo-shaking stories as:

- Scientists Say India's Red Rain May Contains Alien life -
- Is Earth Overdue for Rapid Pole-Reversal? -
-  Remembrances of Lives Past -
Enfield Poltergeist Case Offers New Proof of Paranormal -
AND: Ghost Train Hunter Killed by Real Train

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Revealing The Bizarre Powers Of Harry Houdini

Psychic? Medium? Prophet? Clairvoyant? Was Houdini's Fanatical Debunking of Psychics and Mediums A Subterfuge to Conceal His Own Remarkable Paranormal Abilities?

At his burial some curious and suggestive words were used by the presiding rabbi: "HOUDINI POSSESSED A WONDROUS POWER THAT HE NEVER UNDERSTOOD AND WHICH HE NEVER REVEALED TO ANYONE IN LIFE!

The creator of Sherlock Holes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Harry Houdini were strange bedfellows. Doyle was a contemporary of the world's greatest magician and escape artist, who continually battled his friend over the legitimacy of life after death, and the reality of spiritualism. Doyle was a "true believer," while Houdini made it his "mission" to denounce just about all things preternatural.

Doyle was convinced - from what he personally witnessed and what others confided to him - that Houdini could read minds, dematerialize, possessed supernatural strength, and was guided by angelic forces which shielded him from harm even during the most dangerous of escape performances which likely would have caused death to others.

Doyle stated that Houdini had once remarked, "There are some of my feats which my own wife does not know the secret of." And a famous Chinese conjurer who had seen Houdini perform added, "This is not a trick, it is a gift." Sadly, many of Houdini's feats died with him, even though they would have been an invaluable asset. "What can cover all these facts," states Doyle, "save that there was some element in his power which was peculiar to himself, that could only point to a psychic element -- in a word, that he was a medium."

Here is both sides of the story -- in the actual words of the famed Sherlock Holmes originator and Houdini himself, who went out of his way to create the impression that fakes and phonies were afoot everywhere in the "shady world" of table tapping, levitating trumpets, spirit photography, slate writing, as well as the materialization of ectoplasmic forms in the darkening shadows of the seance room.


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Scientists Say India's Red Rain May Contains Alien life

Panspermia is an idea in scientific circles that all life on Earth was seeded from comets, asteroids or meteors which struck the planet and contained the building blocks necessary to kickstart the evolutionary process.

Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe were important proponents of the hypothesis who further contended that lifeforms continue to enter the Earth's atmosphere, and may be responsible for epidemic outbreaks, new diseases, and the genetic novelty necessary for macroevolution.

Panspermia does not necessarily suggest that life originated only once and subsequently spread through the entire Universe, but instead that once started, it may be able to spread to other environments suitable for replication.

Panspermia can be said to be either interstellar (between star systems) or interplanetary (between planets in the same star system), and its transport mechanisms may include radiation pressure and lithopanspermia (microorganisms in rocks).

Even though the idea sounds good, there has been no verifiable evidence that any kind of life exists outside of planet Earth, especially life that could survive the harsh conditions of interstellar space.

On July 25, 2001, blood-red rain fell over the Kerala district of western India. And these rain bursts continued for the next two months. All along the coast it rained crimson, turning local people's clothes pink, burning leaves on trees and falling as scarlet sheets at some points.

Investigations suggested the rain was red because winds had swept up dust from Arabia and dumped it on Kerala. But Godfrey Louis, a physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, after gathering samples left over from the rains, concluded this was nonsense.

"If you look at these particles under a microscope, you can see they are not dust, they have a clear biological appearance."

Five years later, he published a theory suggesting the bacteria-like material that turned the rain red in India may have come from a comet that exploded above the Earth and seeded clouds.

After a further four years of studying the cells, joined by a leading panspermia theorist from the UK, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Professor Louis has published claims that they are unlike anything found on Earth.

The paper, titled: "Growth and replication of red rain cells at 121°C and their red fluorescence", notes that examination of biological material found in the red rain gave a surprising result: the cells not only survived, but grew, at a temperature of 121°C. As the researchers note, most forms of life on Earth "are adapted to growth within the temperature range, 10-45°C, with only 'extremophiles' - such as bacteria found near hydrothermal vents - being able to survive temperatures above 100°C.

"We have shown that the red cells found in the Red Rain (which fell on Kerala, India, in 2001) survive and grow after incubation for periods of up to two hours at 121°C . Under these conditions daughter cells appear within the original mother cells and the number of cells in the samples increases with length of exposure to 121°C. No such increase in cells occurs at room temperature, suggesting that the increase in daughter cells is brought about by exposure of the Red Rain cells to high temperatures. This is an independent confirmation of results reported earlier by two of the present authors, claiming that the cells can replicate under high pressure at temperatures up to 300°C."

While many spores on Earth can survive that kind of extreme heat, none have yet been discovered that can reproduce in those conditions, much less require it to begin reproducing.

The team also found an unusual pattern in the way the cells changed colour under UV light, known as "fluorescence behaviour", which could suggest an extraterrestrial origin:

"The fluorescence behaviour of the red cells is shown to be in remarkable correspondence with the extended red emission observed in the Red Rectangle planetary nebula and other galactic and extragalactic dust clouds, suggesting, though not proving an extraterrestrial origin."

While the panspermia angle is already being rejected by the scientific community at large, there's plenty of interest in the final finding of Prof Louis's team - the cells contain no DNA.

"As a biologist, let me assure you that a cell-sized and shaped organism that reproduces, lives off LB and doesn't appear to have any nucleic acid template (DNA or RNA) is a revolutionary discovery in and of itself," one commenter wrote at TechnologyReview.

The only lifeforms that occur on Earth without DNA, according to another commenter, are proteins known as "prions", best known on Earth as the cause of Mad Cow Disease.

The team's findings are yet to be verified.

Source: News.com.au


Is Earth Overdue for Rapid Pole-Reversal?

Some 16 million years ago, north became south in a matter of years. Such fast flips are impossible, according to models of the Earth's core, but this is now the second time that evidence has been found.

The magnetic poles swap every 300,000 years, a process that normally takes up to 5000 years. In 1995 an ancient lava flow with an unusual magnetic pattern was discovered in Oregon. It suggested that the field at the time was moving by 6 degrees a day - at least 10,000 times faster than usual. "Not many people believed it," says Scott Bogue of Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Now Bogue and his colleague Jonathan Glen of the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, say they have found a second example in Nevada. The lava rock suggests that in one year, Earth's magnetic field shifted by 53 degrees (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2010GL044286). At that rate, a full flip would take less than four years, but there could be another interpretation. "It may have been a burst of rapid acceleration that punctuated the steady movement of the field," says Bogue.

Peter Olson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, remains sceptical and points out that the effects could have been local rather than global.

The question remains: is the Earth overdue for a rapid pole reversal? If this does happen sooner rather than later, some scientists predict that rapid shifts would cause widespread chaos - for navigation and migratory birds for instance.

Proof of fast pole reversals came recently when the voyages of Captain Cook yielded a new discovery: the gradual weakening of Earth's magnetic field is a relatively recent phenomenon. The discovery has led experts to question whether the Earth is on track towards a polarity reversal.

By sifting through ships' logs recorded by Cook and other mariners dating back to 1590, researchers have greatly extended the period over which the behaviour of the magnetic field can be studied. The data show that the current decline in Earth's magnetism was virtually negligible before 1860, but has accelerated since then.

Until now, scientists had only been able to trace the magnetic field's behaviour back to 1837, when Carl Friedrich Gauss invented the first device for measuring the field directly.

The field's strength is now declining at a rate that suggests it could virtually disappear in about 2000 years. Researchers have speculated that this ongoing change may be the prelude to a magnetic reversal, during which the north and south magnetic pole swap places.

But the weakening trend could also be explained by a growing magnetic anomaly in the southern Atlantic Ocean, and may not be the sign of a large scale polarity reversal, the researchers suggest.

David Gubbins, an expert in geomagnetism at the University of Leeds, UK, led the study which began scouring old ships' logs in the 1980s, gathering log entries recording the direction of Earth's magnetic field.

It was common practice for captains in the 17th and 18th centuries to calibrate their ship's compasses relative to true north and, less often, to measure the steepness at which magnetic field lines entered the Earth's surface.

Even as far back as 1590, these measurements were typically very accurate - to within half a degree. "Their lives depended on it," Gubbins explains.

Such ship-log records may not be adequate for reconstructing the planet's past magnetic fields in fine detail, but the data can estimate large-scale features quite well. "In that regard, I think it's a very solid result," says Catherine Constable, an expert in palaeomagnetism at the University of California, San Diego, US, who was not involved in the study.

Using the locations of the ships at the time of measurement, these records allowed Gubbins to construct a map of the relative strength of Earth's magnetic field between 1590 and 1840, which was published in 2003.

The data was combined with 315 estimates of the field's overall strength during that period, based on indirect clues, such as mineral evidence in bricks from old human settlements or volcanic rock.

Gubbins showed that the overall strength of the planet's magnetic field was virtually unchanged between 1590 and 1840. Since then, the field has declined at a rate of roughly 5% per 100 years.

Every 300,000 years on average, the north and south poles of the Earth's magnetic field swap places. The field must weaken and go to zero before it can reverse itself. The last such reversal occurred roughly 780,000 years ago, so we are long overdue for another magnetic flip. Once it begins, the process of reversing takes less than 5000 years, experts believe.

A large-scale reversal might indeed be underway, Gubbins says, but the acceleration of the magnetic decline since the mid-1800s is probably due to a local aberration of the magnetic field called the South Atlantic Anomaly. "It looks like that's responsible for most of the fall we're seeing," he says.

This patch of reversed magnetic field lines covering much of South America first appeared in about 1800, according to the ship-log data. It slowly grew in strength, and by about 1860 it was large enough to affect the overall strength of the planet's magnetic field, Gubbins says.

If the field does flip 2000 years from now, the Northern Lights will be visible all over the planet during the transition, and solar radiation at ground level will be much more intense, with no field to deflect it.

Physical Pole Shift

A pole shift is sometimes confused with a pole reversal. A physical pole shift is when the entire planet flips over so that the arctic and antarctica have exchanged places.

As far back as 1842 by French mathematician Joseph Adhémar, who believed that erosion of the polar ice cap could cause the ice to suddenly collapse into the ocean, shifting the Earth's center of gravity and causing a massive tsunami that would wreak widespread carnage. In the 1870s, scientists developed the theory that periodic pole shifts due to the rise of new continents were the cause of ice ages.

In 1948, an electrical engineer named Hugh Auchincloss Brown garnered a New York Times  headline by claiming that the Antarctic ice cap was increasing dangerously in size, and it threatened to tip over the planet "just as you might roll a pumpkin over so that a frosted side could thaw out in the sun." Brown claimed that the New York area might find itself immersed thirteen miles beneath the ocean surface. He advocated blasting away much of the ice cap with atomic weapons to save civilization, and spent years bombarding the press, members of Congress, and scientists with written proof of his theory, to no avail.

In the 1950s, others offered variations of Brown's nightmarish scenario. A Freudian analyst named Immanuel Velikovsky, who published a series of books arguing that ancient civilizations had been destroyed by comets and wandering planets, believed that the impact of such celestial objects had tilted the Earth's axis and moved the polar ice caps.

At Springfield College in Massachusetts, a history professor named Charles Hapgood, prompted by a student's question, discovered Brown's work and expanded upon it, theorizing that rapid movements of the Earth's crust due to pole shift were a major influence upon evolution, determining the location of various species and creating conditions of isolation and competition — and, at times, causing extinctions.

In 1952, Hapgood wrote a letter to Einstein, who apparently was so intrigued that he not only replied in writing, but actually met with Hapgood in 1955 and even offered a qualified endorsement of his theory: "His [Hapgood's] idea is original, of great simplicity, and — if it continues to prove itself — of great importance to everything that is related to the history of the earth's surface."

Recently, scientists have begun to ponder the pole shift concept anew. In 1997, California Institute of Technology geobiologist Joseph Kirschvink and geologist David Evans proposed that true polar wander had triggered the Cambrian explosion of animal species 530 million years ago, by causing the continents to slide across one-quarter of the planet's surface over a 15 million-year period, which rearranged ocean currents, altered sea levels, and caused climate changes that forced ecosystems to adapt.

"It's admittedly a nutty idea, but wonderfully elegant," Kirschvink told New Scientist magazine in 2001. "It explains not just one or two things, but a half-dozen peculiar things about one of the most important events in the history of the biosphere."

Princeton researcher Maloof's work has added even more impetus to the pole shift theory. They spent six years studying the magnetic orientation of magnetite grains in ancient sedimentary rock, which pointed to the location of Earth's magnetic north pole at the time they were deposited on the ocean floor.

Maloof found differences that suggest that a pole shift occurred around 800 million years ago. Since then, he has studied similarly ancient rocks from Australia, and found additional confirmation for the event.

Source: New Scientist


Remembrances of Lives Past

In one of his past lives, Dr. Paul DeBell believes, he was a caveman. The gray-haired Cornell-trained psychiatrist has a gentle, serious manner, and his appearance, together with the generic shrink décor of his office — leather couch, granite-topped coffee table — makes this pronouncement seem particularly jarring.

In that earlier incarnation, “I was going along, going along, going along, and I got eaten,” said Dr. DeBell, who has a private practice on the Upper East Side where he specializes in hypnotizing those hoping to retrieve memories of past lives. Dr. DeBell likes to reflect on how previous lives can alter one’s sense of self. He, for example, is more than a psychiatrist in 21st-century Manhattan; he believes he is an eternal soul who also inhabited the body of a Tibetan monk and a conscientious German who refused to betray his Jewish neighbors in the Holocaust.

Belief in reincarnation, he said, “allows you to experience history as yours. It gives you a different sense of what it means to be human.”

Peter Bostock, a retired language teacher from Winnipeg, Manitoba, says that in the early 1880s he managed a large estate — possibly Chatsworth — in Derbyshire, England.

In a twist that would make Jane Austen blush, he thinks he was in love with the soul of his current wife, Jo-Anne, then embodied as a cook in the estate’s kitchen. Married to someone else, Mr. Bostock could not act on his feelings.

He says he and his wife share the kind “of attraction and recognition that a soul makes when it encounters the familiar.” In that spirit, the couple traveled last month to Rhinebeck, N.Y., where they and more than 200 others paid $355 each to attend a weekend seminar run by one of America’s pre-eminent proselytizers on the subject of reincarnation, Dr. Brian Weiss.

On this second, sweltering day of the seminar, Dr. Weiss, a 65-year-old Florida resident with a hawk-like visage and placid blue eyes, was wearing a polo shirt the color of robins’ eggs. He took a break from teaching and, over a healthy lunch, reflected on the rise of interest in the West in reincarnation. Like Dr. DeBell, he is a psychiatrist with an Ivy League pedigree (Columbia University and Yale Medical School).

Dr. Weiss was censured by the medical establishment in 1988 after he published “Many Lives, Many Masters.” In it he details his work with a patient he calls Catherine, who, under hypnosis, the book says, remembered multiple past lives, relieving her of paralyzing phobias. It has sold more than a million copies.

Now, Dr. Weiss said: “Doctors are e-mailing me. They’re not so concerned with their reputations and careers. We can talk about this openly. And it’s not just psychiatrists, but surgeons and architects.”

According to data released last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of Americans now believe in reincarnation. (Women are more likely to believe than men; Democrats more likely than Republicans.) Julia Roberts recently told Elle magazine that though she was raised Christian, she had become “very Hindu.” Ms. Roberts believes that in her past life she was a “peasant revolutionary,” and said that when her daughter sits in a certain way she knows “there’s someone there I didn’t get the benefit of knowing ... It’s an honor for me to continue to shepherd that.”

At Cannes in May, a Thai film about reincarnation, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” won the highest prize. In it, an old man on his deathbed sees the dead as vividly as the living, and his past life as an ox is as clear as his present one.

In religious terms, the human narrative — birth, life, death and rebirth — has for millennia been relatively straightforward in the West. You were born. You lived. You died. After a judgment you went to heaven (or hell) forever and ever. Eternity was the end: no appeals allowed.

But nearly a billion Hindus and a half-billion Buddhists — not to mention the ancient Greeks, certain Jews and a few Christians — have for thousands of years believed something entirely different. Theirs is, as the theologians say, a cyclical view. You are born. You live. You die. And because nobody’s perfect, your soul is born again — not in another location or sphere, and not in any metaphorical sense, but right here on earth.

Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, Columbia University’s first Hindu chaplain, called it “a re-do,” like a test you get to take over. After an unspecified number of tries, the eternal soul finally achieves perfection. Only then, in what Hindus call moksha (or release), does the soul go to live with God.

SPIRITUALLY minded Americans have had a love affair with Eastern religion at least since the Beatles traveled to India in 1968, but for more than a generation, reincarnation remained a fringe or even shameful belief.

“I can remember, 30 years ago, if a person wanted to learn about reincarnation, they would go into a bookstore and go into a very back corner, to a section called ‘Occult,’ ” said Janet Cunningham, president of the International Board for Regression Therapy, a professional standards group for past-life therapists and researchers. “It felt sneaky.” Now the East is in our backyards, accessible on the Internet and in every yoga studio.

At the same time, Western religion is failing to satisfy growing numbers of people — especially young adults. College students Mr. Dasa encounters, most of them raised as Christians or Jews, “haven’t given up on the idea of spirituality or religion,” he said. “They’re tired of the dogma they grew up with.” According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 15 percent of Americans express no affiliation with any religious tradition, nearly double the number in 1990.

Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University and author of “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World,” has made a study of Western interest in Eastern religious practice and suggests that our fascination with reincarnation is related to Americans’ relative prosperity. Modern Americans, in their optimism and material success, see reincarnation as a chance to postpone eternity for another day, he explained by e-mail. “Reincarnation means never having to say you’re dead,” he wrote.

The popular purveyors of reincarnation belief these days are not monks or theologians, but therapists — intermediaries between science and religion who authenticate irrational belief.

Dr. Weiss stresses that he is a medical doctor who was not expecting to encounter past lives in a conventional therapeutic setting. (His favorite title, he says, is not “guru” but “professor.”) Under hypnosis, Catherine, the patient in his book, had memories of times and places, and in such extraordinary and historically accurate detail, he said, that she could never have invented them. (In one life she is an Egyptian servant in charge of embalming corpses. “I see eyes,” she told Dr. Weiss under hypnosis. “I see a woman, a goddess, with some type of a headpiece on ... Osiris ... Sirus ... something like that.”)

Critics of hypnotic regression dismiss such visions as scientifically dubious. “The mind fills in the blanks, basically,” said Dr. Jim Tucker, a child psychiatrist at the University of Virginia who studies accounts of past lives. “How are these visions different from dream material: that’s quite the question.” Nonetheless, Dr. Weiss’s elite credentials, and his initial skepticism, open the door to belief for people who might otherwise stay away.

“I’m not a big New Age person,” said a 47-year-old woman from Harlem who saw Dr. DeBell to cope with grief after her mother’s death. “I was really, really angry at the way my mother died. It’s almost as if I took it personally. How could this horrible thing have happened to my family? I’ve been such a good person.” (She declined to have her name published.) After two sessions of conventional talk therapy, Dr. DeBell hypnotized her and, she believes, led her to discover images of past lives. In one, she was an Italian merchant, a man, who sold textiles along the Amalfi Coast; in another, she was an African herbalist; in a third, she was a freed slave in New Orleans who healed the sick and ministered to those in need. This deep dive “was a tremendous help,” she said. It gave her a broader perspective on her life — and on the death of her mother: “I felt more at peace. My mother came, she did great things for me and she moved on.”

In a post-Freudian world, past-lives therapy has its advantages. For one thing, it’s quick. A regression session usually takes several hours — and costs more than $100 an hour. Under hypnosis, the patient follows a guided visualization. In his workshop in Rhinebeck, Dr. Weiss talked more than 200 people into a meditative state and then encouraged them to imagine walking through one of five doors. One had on it the year 1850, another 1700, another 1500 and so on. (All this reporter could visualize were Vermeer paintings; peasants in homey kitchens and the bourgeoisie at play.) “Any good therapist can use these techniques and you can learn them in a week,” Dr. Weiss said.

Whereas in classic psychoanalysis, patients used to have to see their doctors multiple times a week to talk about parents, childhood traumas and dreams, past-life therapists promise they can access the memories from which troubles stem in just one session. Catharsis and healing are nearly instantaneous results, Dr. Weiss said. “You don’t need six months of trust,” he explained. “This is the fast form.”

Among past-lives therapists, a debate rages about whether it’s possible to solve emotional problems by “changing” a past-life memory. To learn to swim instead of drowning, for example; or to strike a killing blow at a killer. Dr. Weiss said he opposes such memory manipulation. “I want the memory to come out unedited, unchanged,” he said. Further, therapists have begun to broaden their definition of “memory,” leaving aside the question of whether a scene uncovered during hypnosis is “real” or not.

“I have done several thousand individual past-life regressions,” said Ms. Cunningham, of the International Board for Regression Therapy. “And I will also say that I don’t know where these memories come from. So when we say ‘reincarnation,’ it may be our singular soul that reincarnates again and again and again. It may be an aspect of soul energy. It may be a collective unconscious. I think some people might go into fantasy. It may be an allegory or metaphor from the mind.” No matter what these visions are, Ms. Cunningham said, uncovering them can be therapeutic.

ON the fringes of legitimate science, some researchers persist in studying consciousness and its durability beyond the body. Though Dr. Tucker, who directs the Child and Family Psychiatry Clinic at the University of Virginia, has few kind words for regression therapy or its practitioners, he continues to be committed to the scientific study of what can only be called reincarnation.

He is carrying on the pioneering research of his mentor, Dr. Ian Stevenson, who beginning in the 1960s collected more than 2,000 accounts of children between the ages of 2 and 7 who seemed to remember previous lives vividly without the help of hypnosis.

Dr. Stevenson did most of his casework in Asia, where belief in reincarnation is common. There he found a child born with a deformed hand who remembered having his fingers chopped off in a previous life (Dr. Stevenson went to the village the child recalled and verified that such an incident had taken place), and Burmese children who said they had previously been Japanese soldiers killed in World War II and preferred sushi over their native cuisine.

Dr. Tucker studies American children and in one case found a young boy who started to say, around the age of 18 months, that he was his own (deceased) grandfather. “He eventually told details of his grandfather’s life that his parents felt certain he could not have learned through normal means,” Dr. Tucker wrote in Explore, which calls itself a journal of science and healing, “such as the fact that his grandfather’s sister had been murdered and that his grandmother had used a food processor to make milkshakes for his grandfather every day at the end of his life.”

Dr. Tucker won’t say such cases add up to proof of reincarnation, but he likes to keep an open mind.

“There can be something that survives after the death of the brain and the death of the body that is somehow connected to a new child,” he said. “I have become convinced that there is more to the world than the physical universe. There’s the mind piece, which is its own entity.”

Source: NY Times


Enfield Poltergeist Case Offers New Proof of Paranormal

New scientific research which uses evidence from the world famous Enfield Poltergeist case has come a step closer to proving conclusively the existence of paranormal activity.

Research published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research has concluded that audio recordings made during poltergeist activity at a house on Green Street in the London Borough of Enfield were unlikely to have been caused by normal human activity.

The recordings, made between 1977 and 1978, captured a variety of unexplained occurrences that plagued a mother and her children - including banging on walls and moving furniture.

During the year of disturbances, incidents of levitation and appearances of apparitions were also reported.

The events were witnessed by the family, along with local police officers, neighbours and journalists, receiving global media attention.

The recordings have for the first time been analysed in detail and the sounds of knocking on walls and furniture compared to the same sounds recreated under scientific conditions. The results showed the unexplained noises in Enfield did not produce normal sound wave patterns.

Guy Lyon Playfair - who spent two years investigating the case at the time, and went on to chronicle the events in a book, welcomed the research. He said: “This is absolutely the biggest step forward in the last 30 years, and it's easily reproducible as all scientific evidence should be.”

The author and investigator added: "In doing this research, scientific order has been brought into a very crazy area - poltergeist activity. I don't think it's been done before."

The research has been conducted by Dr Barrie Colvin who concludes that the noises recorded as unexplained incidents of “paranormal activity” can be clearly differentiated because of their abnormal acoustic properties – which are evident when they are analysed.

Dr Colvin said: “There are indications that the acoustic properties of the two classes of sounds are different and that this technique can be used to differentiate between normal and paranormal rapping sounds."

Asked whether he believed such activity could ever return to the Enfield house, Mr Playfair said: “It would be extremely unlikely. When the family went away on holiday I stayed in the house on my own, very much hoping something would happen - but not a squeak. I tried knocking and shouting at the thing, but nothing.”

The last activity at the house was reported in September 1978. But in the 32 years that have followed interest in the case has continued to be intense – especially as extensive audio recordings exist of the activity, including recorded speech. The case has been the subject of numerous television documentaries.

Mr Playfair added: “It’s been accepted as one of the classic cases, there were so many people involved and I think it was the first or second case when the investigators were there right at the start and stayed right until the end.”

Source: This is Local London


Death Message Cell Phone Calls Spread Panic

Kenyan officials have moved to quell growing hysteria sparked by  rumour that a ghostly red number was appearing on mobile phones and killing people. The rumours swept like wildfire among the residents in the capital, Nairobi and other major towns on Tuesday night, with many forwarding the stories to their friends, families and colleagues via text messages, warning them not to receive calls which will appear in a red colour.

According to the report the calls was in high radiation or high frequency that causes brain haemorrhage, leading to death instantly.

“Please don’t attend to any calls from 7888308001, 9316048121, 9876266211, 9888854137 and 9876715587, these numbers come in red colour...you may get brain haemorrhage due to high frequency,” the texts read.

Officials have denied any red number existence calling for calm on the hysteria that quickly spread across the East African nation thanks to cheap calling rates and text messages that all telephone operators have introduced recently in recent past.

The Communication Commission of Kenya said its investigation had established the warnings were false, and had been generated by unscrupulous people bent on causing fear and despondency among members of the public.

“The attention of the Commission has been drawn to SMS and email messages that are doing the rounds in the country warning mobile users against receiving calls from unknown or certain listed numbers. The messages further allege that receipts of calls from either the unknown or listed numbers would cause brain haemorrhage due to high frequency.”

The CCK stated: “Upon analysis of the messages, the Commission has established the warnings are a hoax generated by unscrupulous people bent on causing fear and despondency among members of the public. The listed numbers are non-existent as mobile, fixed or international calls,” the regulator said in a statement sent to newsrooms.

Recently, a Bulgarian mobile phone service company banned a number from its systems after everyone to whom it assigned the number ended up dead.

The CEO of Mobitel, Vladimir Grashnov, took the number 0888-888-888 from his company to use for his mobile phone. He died in 2001 as the result of complications from cancer at the age of 48.

Nothing too weird about that. The man had cancer after all. so, Mobitel then just happened to give the number to Konstantin Dimitrov. It turns out he was a mob boss, and ended up shot dead.

So the number was passed on to Konstantin Dishliev. Now things are getting weird - two Konstantins in a row? Well, it just so happens that Dishliev was also involved in illegal activities - specifically, selling drugs. He was also gunned down.

So, they're not exactly unexpected deaths, but those 3 deaths all happened in a 4-year time span, and not until each individual received the number. As a result, Mobitel has decided to block off the number from all customers.

In April 2007, rumors of a "supernatural" killer call on mobiles phones, that supposedly kills the person receiving the call by damaging their central nervous system and splattering the brain, swept like wildfire through Pakistan.

According to these rumors, which are believed to have originated in Sialkot, the victim receives a call on his or her mobile phone in which a red-colored apparition of a woman appears on the display screen. There have been claims in the Punjab that many deaths have taken place by unsuspecting cell phone owners.

In Karachi, these rumors have taken on a whole new twist, as many now believe that besides death, this mysterious call can also result in impotency in men who receive the call, while the women end up becoming pregnant.

According to the rumors, the cause of this supernatural call is that some mobile phone company set up a tower at a graveyard, which enraged the spirits, causing them to wreak havoc among mobile phone users.

No matter how irrational these rumors may sound, they have sent a wave of fear among cell phone users in Karachi and many people have stopped receiving calls or SMS messages from numbers they are not familiar with.

“I got very scared after hearing these rumors and stopped using my mobile phone,” said Bashir, a driver by occupation. “I do not want to end up dead just because I am using my mobile phone.”

For others, the scare was reminiscent of urban legends. “It is a very scary thought indeed. It reminded me of a horror movie that I once saw,” said an employee of a software house.

The significance of the impact of the rumours can be gauged by the fact that mobile phone companies have started issuing clarifications to ease the prevailing panic among their customers.

Random SMS messages have been making the rounds. “These messages are probably the handiwork of bored young people, who are doing it for the kicks,” said a graphics designer.

Similar phone calls and messages began to spread to India, the Middle East, and Africa. Experts say cell phones are incapable of emitting sound frequencies that can cause immediate physical injury or death.

Source: Newstime Africa


Ghost Train Hunter Killed by Real Train

The facts: On August 27, 1891, a passenger train jumped the tracks on a tall bridge near Statesville, North Carolina, sending seven rail cars below and about 30 people to their deaths.

The legend: On the wreck's anniversary, the sounds of screeching wheels, screaming passengers and a horrific crash might still be heard. You might also see a uniformed man with a gold watch.

Shortly before 3 a.m. Friday, on the 119th anniversary of the Bostian Bridge train tragedy and at about the same time, between 10 and 12 ghost hunters were on that approximately 300-foot long span.

They were hoping to hear the sounds of the crash, and perhaps see something.

Instead, a real Norfolk-Southern train -- three engines and one car -- turned the corner as it headed east to Statesville, about 35 miles north of Charlotte, authorities said.

The terrified "amateur ghost watchers" ran away, back toward Statesville, trying to cover the nearly 150 feet to safety, said Iredell County Sheriff's Office Capt. Darren Campbell.

All but two made it.

Christopher Kaiser, 29, of Charlotte, was struck and killed, said Campbell.

A woman who witnesses say Kaiser pushed to safety fell about 30 to 40 feet from the trestle and was injured. Her name and condition were not known Friday night. She was bring treated at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

"There was no way out, said Campbell. "They almost made it."

The engineer of the train, which was traveling at its customary 35 to 40 mph, hit the horn and "stopped as fast as he could," Campbell said.

Campbell, 38, is from the area and has heard all the stories, although he said he knows of no one who has ever seen or heard the "ghost train."

On the 50th anniversary of the Bostian Bridge incident, a woman said she witnessed it all again. In 1991, hawkers sold T-shirts and other memorabilia, and there were an estimated 150 people waiting for the train, according to the Charlotte Observer.

There are occasional reports of railroad crossing arms dropping without cause, Campbell said.

The ghost trip on the anniversary has become an annual tradition of sorts.

A woman who did not want to be identified, but who was part of the group of onlookers, told CNN affiliate WCNC, "We were there looking for what people say happened. You hear the train wreck or hear people screaming. We were just watching."

Kaiser's mother said the family was too distraught to talk about the incident, WCNC said.

Campbell said most of the ghost hunters, who were from out of town, have been interviewed. Many fled because they were trespassing on railroad property, he said. Campbell said there were no patrols near the bridge early Friday.

Although the investigation is continuing, Campbell said the incident appears to be an accident.

At least two blogs that cover the phenomena, N.C. Ghost Guide and CreepyNC.com, detail the 1891 wreck's legend. While accounts vary somewhat, the man with the gold watch reportedly was first seen on the first anniversary.

According to CreepyNC.com, Hugh K. Linster was a baggage master for the Asheville-bound train that crashed into Third Creek that August of 1891.

"Hugh Linster never made it to retirement," the blog reads. "His body was found in the wreck having been killed immediately upon impact with a broken neck."

One year later, a group of people at the bridge said they saw a man in a railroad uniform, holding a watch.

He vanished before their eyes, legend has it.

Source: CNN

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