4/1/11  #615
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The crystal ball glimmered with an iridescence of days of future past.  The nearby flickering candles threw shadows of  things yet to be upon the orbs crystalline matrix.  The prophet, withered and aged, breathed deeply of the smokey air and continued to gaze deeply into the heart of the crystal.   Deep within his brain, universal connections that bind us all in a web of  wholeness are stimulated by the hypnotic shapes that danced faintly in the ball.  Time and space are one and all information contained within reality are available to those who can master their intellect and allow the stream of information to be downloaded directly into the brain -- bypassing the rational mind that would block anything received through such unconventional methods.  The prophet sighs in contentment -- because once again his crystal ball has brought him his subscription to Conspiracy Journal, the free weekly e-mail newsletter of everything weird and strange from the past present and future.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such brain-bleeding stories as:

- We Are the Martians -
The 7 Most Outrageous Military Experiments -
- Sammy Hagar and Alien Abduction -
- Numerous UFO Sightings Near F.E. Warren AFB's Nuclear Missile
Sites Have Recently Been Reported
AND: April Fools' Day Mystery: How Did It Originate?

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Round Trip To Hell In A Flying Saucer:
UFO Parasites - Alien Soul Suckers -
Invaders From Demonic Realms






It's the dirty little secret of UFOlogy -- something that only a few insiders dare discuss amongst themselves. For example, Lord Hill-Norton, the late five-star Admiral and the former head of the British Ministry of Defence, believed strongly in the existence of UFOs. But he did not see them in a positive light, professing instead in his privately printed UFO Concern Report: "UFOs are essentially a religious matter rather than a military threat and furthermore there is certainly a degree of psychic involvement in almost every case. Quite often, however, such experiences are definitely antithetical to orthodox Christian beliefs."

Journalist and author of "The Mothman Prophecies" (made into a film starring Richard Gere) John A. Keel was adamant when he stated: ". . ..The UFOs do not seem to exist as tangible manufactured objects. They do not conform to the accepted natural laws of our environment. . .The UFO manifestations seem to be, by and large, merely minor variations of the age-old demonological phenomenon."

Other researchers of supernatural phenomena have noted that. . .The casting of magical spells, the performance of occult rituals and a ceremony to conjure up spirits are sometimes attempted by witnesses prior to a UFO appearing in their proximity.


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We Are the Martians

Our search for life beyond Earth could take us down the road to a shocking look into the mirror -- a climax straight out of a Twilight Zone plot.

A team of researchers at MIT is proposing to apply forensic science testing on the Martian surface. Specifically, the task would be to do DNA and RNA sequencing on Martian microbes (if they exist) to see if they share a common genetic origin with us.

This addresses the novel question of panspermia -- that we are descended from Mars life that migrated to Earth. Such testing could also offer key insights into how serious a risk Martian microbes would present to human colonists.

The MIT team led by Christopher Carr and Maria Zuber (head of MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences) and Gary Ruvkun, a molecular biologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, are proposing to build an instrument to send to Mars and test for extraterrestrial genomes.

Despite the numerous landers and rovers we've sent already, the only surface biology experiments were carried out in a bold but premature effort in 1976 aboard the trailblazing NASA Viking landers. The confusing results from these tests remain controversial and ambiguous today.

Invaders From Space

Such a mini-forensics lab would test the hypothesis that life on Earth may have come from Mars. The Martians didn't arrive in spaceships, but microbes hitchhiking aboard meteorites blasted off Mars by ancient impacts. After millions of years in space, the meteorites would fall onto Earth and the microbes adapt to a new home.

Experiments done at Harvard University show that bacterial spores can survive riding alone on a simulated meteorite impact on Earth -- even without airbags. There is also data that microbes could also hibernate for the thousands of years in the vacuum of space before falling to Earth.

An estimated one billion tons of rock have already traveled from Mars to Earth. The controversy continues today as to whether we already have alien biological evidence for Martians aboard the Allan Hills Martian meteorite, ALH 84001.

But panspermia is not a two-way street because it is much harder to get enough asteroid impact energy to launch microbe-laden Earth rocks toward Mars (because Earth has a deeper gravitational well for the rocks to blast out of). What’s more, Mars probably became more suitable to the origin of life before the slower cooling, and more heavily bombarded, Earth did. There is compelling evidence for the existence of a great Martian ocean that once existed 3-4 billion years ago. As on Earth, life would be expected to have originated in such an ocean.

Digging Up Life

The Mars genome experiment would need to be aboard a lander or rover capable of drilling into the Martian soil and retrieving a sample from beneath the surface. Life could hang out just below the surface where there could be water and protection from solar UV radiation. This is suspected to be the case at the Phoenix Polar Lander site in the Martian arctic.

The miniature lab would isolate any living microbes that might be present, or even microbial remnants. The device would autonomously separate out the genetic material and then amplify the DNA or RNA in microbes by using the same techniques used for forensic DNA testing on Earth. It would then use biochemical markers to search for genetic sequences.

The shocker would be that the genetic sequences matched those found in Earth microbes. The conclusion: "we are Martians!"

But wait, how could we be sure they weren’t really Earth microbes that hitched a ride to Mars aboard a U.S. or Soviet spacecraft, and then colonized the Red Planet?

"There may indeed be some confusion," says astrobiologist Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. "If we find organisms on Mars that are particularly cold adapted we might conclude that they did not come from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California (where Mars landers were built) or the Kennedy Space Center in Florida."

This type testing is critical say the researchers because an alien microbe that is similar to Earth organisms is much more likely to be infectious to terrestrial life forms, than would a form of life that independently evolved.

This could give us pause about sending humans to a germ-laden alien world. It would be an ironic twist on the H.G. Wells classic 1898 novel "The War of the Worlds," where invading Martians succumb to the common cold from Earth microbes.

See, Wells' Martian warriors should have done genome testing first.

Source: Discovery News


The 7 Most Outrageous Military Experiments

A super soldier program produces Marvel superhero Wolverine in the movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," along with rivals Sabretooth and Weapon XI. Now LiveScience looks back on real experiments that the U.S. government ran on soldiers and citizens to advance the science of war.

The military didn't replicate Wolverine's indestructible skeleton and retractable claws. Rather, they shot accident victims up with plutonium, tested nerve gas on sailors, and tried out ESP. While some of the tests seem outlandish in hindsight, the military continues to push the envelope in seeking new warfare techniques based on cutting-edge science and technology.

"My measure of success is that the International Olympic Committee bans everything we do," said Michael Goldblatt, former head of DARPA's Defense Sciences Office, while talking with reporters. And that's not a Hollywood script.
7. Nerve gas spray

Threats of chemical and biological warfare led the U.S. Department of Defense to start "Project 112" from 1963 to the early 1970s. Part of the effort involved spraying different ships and hundreds of Navy sailors with nerve agents such as sarin and VX, in order to test the effectiveness of decontamination procedures and safety measures at the time. The Pentagon revealed the details of the Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) project in 2002, and the Veterans Administration began studying possible health effects among sailors who participated in SHAD. This was just one of many chemical warfare experiments conducted by the U.S. military, starting with volunteer tests involving mustard gas in World War II.
6. Hallucinogenic Warfare

Psychoactive drugs such as marijuana, LSD and PCP don't just have street value: Researchers once hoped the drugs could become chemical weapons that disabled enemy soldiers. U.S. Army volunteers took pot, acid and angel dust at a facility in Edgewood, Md. From 1955 to 1972, although those drugs proved too mellow for weapons use. The Army did eventually develop hallucinogenic artillery rounds that could disperse powdered quinuclidinyl benzilate, which left many test subjects in a sleep-like condition for days. The National Academy of Sciences conducted a study in 1981 that found no ill effects from the testing, and Dr. James Ketchum published the first insider account of the research in his 2007 book "Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten."
5. Falling near the speed of sound

When the U.S. Air Force wanted to find out how well pilots could survive high-altitude jumps, they turned to Captain Joseph Kittinger, Jr. The test pilot made several jumps as head of "Project Excelsior" during the 1950s. Each time involved riding high-altitude Excelsior balloons up tens of thousands of feet, before jumping, free falling and parachuting to the desert floor in New Mexico. Kittinger's third record-breaking flight on August 16, 1960 took him up to 102,800 feet, or almost 20 miles. He then leaped and freefell at speeds of up to 614 mph, not far from the speed of sound's 761 mph, and endured temperatures as low as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Pacifist guinea pigs

Most soldiers don't sign up to fight deadly viruses and bacteria, but that's what more than 2,300 young Seventh-Day Adventists did when drafted by the U.S. Army. As conscientious objectors during the Cold War who interpreted the Bible's commandment "Thou shalt not kill" very literally, many volunteered instead to serve as guinea pigs for testing vaccines against biological weapons. Volunteers recalled being miserable for several days with fever, chills and bone-deep aches from diseases such as Q fever. None died during the secretive "Operation Whitecoat," which took place at Fort Detrick, Maryland from 1954 to 1973.
3. Rocket rider

Before man could launch into orbit and to the moon, he rode rocket sleds on the ground first. NASA scientists developed decompression sleds that could race at speeds of more than 400 mph before screeching to an abrupt halt, and early testing often had fatal results for chimpanzee subjects that suffered brain damage. Starting in 1954, Colonel John Stapp of the U.S. Air Force endured grueling tests that subjected his body to forces 35 times that of gravity, including one record-setting run of 632 miles per hour. As a flight surgeon, he voluntarily took on the risks of 29 sled runs, during which he suffered concussions, cracked ribs, a twice-fractured wrist, lost dental fillings, and burst blood vessels in both eyes.
2. Get your plutonium shot

As the United States raced to build its first atomic bombs near the end of World War II, scientists wanted to know more about the hazards of plutonium. Testing began on April 10, 1945 with the injection of plutonium into the victim of a car accident in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to see how quickly the human body rid itself of the radioactive substance. That was just the first of over 400 human radiation experiments. Common studies included seeing the biological effects of radiation with various doses, and testing experimental treatments for cancer. Records of this research became public in 1995, after the U.S. Department of Energy published them.

1. Seeing infrared

The U.S. Navy wanted to boost sailors' night vision so they could spot infrared signal lights during World War II. However, infrared wavelengths are normally beyond the sensitivity of human eyes. Scientists knew vitamin A contained part of a specialized light-sensitive molecule in the eye's receptors, and wondered if an alternate form of vitamin A could promote different light sensitivity in the eye. They fed volunteers supplements made from the livers of walleyed pikes, and the volunteers' vision began changing over several months to extend into the infrared region. Such early success went down the drain after other researchers developed an electronic snooperscope to see infrared, and the human study was abandoned. Other nations also played with vitamin A during World War II – Japan fed its pilots a preparation that boosted vitamin A absorption, and saw their night vision improve by 100 percent in some cases.

Source: LiveScience


Sammy Hagar and Alien Abduction
By Sean Casteel

Classic rocker Sammy Hagar recently added his name to the list of celebrities who have spoken publicly about UFO and alien abduction encounters. While it is easy to anticipate the ridicule that will ensue regarding how the rock and roll lifestyle can easily lead to hallucinations and half-remembered dreams, the debunkers are not necessarily going to be right in this case.

Hagar made his remarks about alien abduction in an interview posted on MTV's Hive website and the story was quickly picked up by other news outlets. Hagar was doing the interview as part of a publicity campaign to promote his new autobiography, "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock," some of which was excerpted in the March 17, 2011 edition of "Rolling Stone." The autobiography is the typical "tell all" account of excessive substance abuse and wildly out of control egos clashing with one another.

Hagar had previously been a member of the 70s band Montrose and had a fairly successful solo career before he was asked to replace David Lee Roth as the lead singer for Van Halen in 1985. Hagar's description of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen as a monument to drug abuse and alcoholism would be almost poignant if it weren't so frighteningly unpleasant to imagine. The guitarist's descent into total ineptitude on stage as he battled his demons during a 2004 reunion tour was also not easy to read about and was extremely painful for Hagar to witness. The two haven't spoken for many years now.

But getting back to Hagar's interview with MTV's Hive and his comments about the aliens: After the obligatory discussion of groupies and some gossipy talk about the unfriendly attitude evinced by David Lee Roth toward Hagar, the interviewer asks:

"Before reading 'Red,' I didn't realize you had an interest in mysticism. You've apparently consulted with psychics and studied numerology and had crazy dreams about UFOs. Why haven't we seen more mystical themes in your music?"

To which Hagar replies, "I didn't write about it much in Van Halen, but I have done a few songs that have sci-fi themes. There's 'Space Station #5' on the first Montrose album, and then on the second album there's 'Space Age Sacrifice.' My first solo album, there's 'Silver Lights' and 'Hot Rocks,' which are about UFOs coming and taking people away."

It seems Hagar's sci-fi mysticism was "hidden in plain sight" and was a theme of his writing from very early on. His next solo album included "Little Star" and "Someone Out There," which are about how humankind is not alone in the universe. Sample lyrics go like this: "I feel so scared and lonely to think we're the only ones, when I know there's someone out there and someday they'll come."

"People say there's no other life in the universe," Hagar said by way of explanation. "But you know how big the universe is? It's freaking huge! If we're really the only ones out there, that's scarier to me than thinking there are aliens. So my whole career I've been writing about these kinda things. But they've never been the hits. They've only been underground songs. If anything in the book has been played down, it's my mystical side, because I don't want to sound like I'm crazy."

The fear of seeming crazy Hagar complains of is one of the most frequent emotions felt when one first begins to assimilate the fact that one has experienced contact with aliens. When an abductee finally makes the brave decision to speak about his encounters, he must do so in spite of the possibility of being rejected by family and friends as a new and strange reality begins to take hold.

But it is a reality that Hagar seems to inhabit a little more comfortably at times.

"My opinions about the UFO stuff," he enthused, "well, I could write a whole book just devoted to that. I love it, man. I'm into it deep."

The MTV interviewer finally asks, point blank, "Okay, let's just cut to the chase. I'm just going to come out and ask it. Have you ever been abducted by aliens?"

"I think I have," Hagar said.

"What? Really? I was kidding. You seriously believe that?"

Hagar laughed and said, "Now you're making me sound like a crazy person."

"How is that crazy? I wasn't there. I don't know what happened to you."

"Remember the story in the book," Hagar said, "where I have a dream about being contacted by aliens in the foothills above Fontana?"

The MTV interviewer answers, "Yeah, yeah, I've got the page right here."

The interviewer then reads aloud, "I saw a ship and two creatures inside of this ship. And they were connected to me, tapped into my mind through some kind of mysterious wireless connection."

He then asks, "You're telling me that wasn't a dream?"

"That's right," Hagar responds. "It was real. Aliens were plugged into me. It was a download situation. This was long before computers or any kind of wireless. There weren't even wireless telephones. Looking back now, it was like, 'F***, they downloaded something into me!' Or they uploaded something from my brain, like an experiment. 'See what this guy knows.'"

Hagar's decision to call the experience a dream when he wrote about it in his book is typical of abductees in many ways. The abduction experience, when it is recalled consciously and without resorting to hypnotic regression, is often thought of as being a "dreamlike" experience in spite of the fact that it is happening in physical terms. Another familiar aspect of what Hagar is talking about is the need for the UFO contactee to continue to keep the experience filed away as an "unknown," to preserve a sense of "unreality" in his memories of the event. Crossing over to total belief is a dangerous thing for the mind to attempt, and it is fraught with more complications than the mind can easily deal with. The abductee must be content to let the memories waver in some netherworld of "real/unreal" that he can never totally resolve.

The fact that the aliens "downloaded" information into his brain and also "uploaded" information out of it is often seen in abduction accounts. There is nearly always an exchange of information and data between the abductors and the abductee, though this exchange takes several different forms, occurring frequently as telepathic conversation.      

After again affirming the truth of the story he told, Hagar moves on to recount another experience, this time from his childhood.

"Another thing happened when I was about four," Hagar said, "that I didn't put in the book. One time I saw what I considered to be, well, at the time I thought it was a car with no wheels. We lived out in the country and I saw this thing floating across a field, creating this big dust storm. I threw rocks at it and s***. And I don't know what happened after that."

"You blacked out?" the interviewer asked.

"I guess," Hagar answered. "I just have no memory of it. And that wasn't a dream. It was during daylight."

At that point, the interviewer sympathetically says that he understand Hagar's reluctance to talk about his experiences, acknowledging that alien abduction is a "tough sell."

"Especially back a few decades ago," Hagar said, "when this stuff happened to me. I couldn't talk about it because I didn't know how to explain it. I didn't understand the technology. But now I'm pretty sure it was a wireless situation. Either a download or an upload. They were tapped into my brain and the knowledge was transferred back and forth. I could see them and everything while it was happening. There was a visual involved, almost like . . . I don't know. (Laughs.) Don't get me going!"

Which seems to imply that Hagar has a lot more to talk about, to the right audience and at the right time. If an interviewer more steeped in the literature and everyday manifestations of UFOs and the alien presence were given the opportunity to interview Hagar in more detail, one can only wonder what other revelations would be brought forth. We might even learn why the occasional celebrity becomes a "Chosen One" along with the mere mortals we more often hear about.

One can even ask if rock and roll is an alien invention altogether, the electrified siren's song from the great unknown leading us to new levels of evolutionary development. Stranger things have happened, right? Or maybe not.   
[If you enjoyed this article by Sean Casteel, visit his website at www.seancasteel.com  The website features an article by Casteel about Bob Dylan as a possible abductee, as well as several interviews and articles about UFOs and abduction. Many of Casteel's books are available for purchase there, including "UFOs, Prophecy and the End of Time" and "The Excluded Books of the Bible." You can also purchase his books at Amazon.com. He has recently worked with Tim Beckley of Global Communications on two newer books, "Disclosure" and "A Round Trip To Hell In A Flying Saucer."]

Source: Sean Casteel


Numerous UFO Sightings Near F.E. Warren AFB's Nuclear Missile

Sites Have Recently Been Reported

By Robert Hastings

On October 23, 2010, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, temporarily lost communications with 50 of its Minuteman III missiles. The five Missile Alert Facilities responsible for launching them—Alpha through Echo, comprising the 319th Strategic Missile Squadron—would have been unable to do so during the period of the disruption, although a back-up airborne launch platform could have accomplished the task, according to an Air Force spokesman.

This startling announcement occurred less than a month after my UFO-Nukes Connection press conference in Washington D.C., during which seven Air Force veterans discussed their knowledge of UFO-related activity at nuclear weapons sites located near various Strategic Air Command bases decades ago. Most of those still-classified events involved the appearance of technologically-advanced, intelligently-controlled aerial craft which seemingly monitored ICBM sites and sometimes disrupted the missiles’ guidance and control systems, according to the witnesses. Another incident involved a UFO hovering near a nuclear bomb depot and directing laser-like beams of light down onto it. The veterans felt compelled to speak out about the reality of these events and urged the U.S. government to finally divulge its knowledge of them to the American people. CNN streamed the event live and a full-length video with subtitles is at:


 Upon hearing the intriguing news from F.E. Warren last October—which immediately received worldwide media attention after it was leaked to a reporter working for The Atlantic magazine—some of those who participated in the press conference and I wondered whether our mysterious “visitors” had been responsible for the incident, or if it had indeed been caused by a computer glitch as the Air Force claimed at the time. (The USAF’s Global Strike Command, which controls the missiles, recently amended that initial explanation to say that a hardware component had been improperly replaced by a technician, thereby triggering the communications issue.)

However, the validity of this official explanation is now in serious doubt, at least in my view. In early December, I received a tip from a county sheriff in western Nebraska, where some of F.E. Warren's missile sites are located, and was told of a UFO sighting on November 28th. The witness reportedly observed a triangular-shaped craft being pursued by a military fighter, northwest of the town of Bushnell, and subsequently told local law enforcement personnel about it. The area where this occurred is littered with missile launch facilities, otherwise known as “silos”.

After being informed of the sighting, I traveled to the region in mid-December and spent four days interviewing ranchers and other civilians living near various missile facilities in the Nebraska Panhandle. Although I initially received no further reports, except of UFO sightings in years past, local news stories about my investigation soon resulted in my being contacted by half-a-dozen persons who had also seen one or more UFOs near Warren's missile sites during the Fall of 2010.

Over the past three months, even more reports have come in and I now know of other sightings by civilians and law enforcement personnel in the larger, tri-state area of Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado, where F.E. Warren’s 9,600 square-mile missile field is located. Cigar, cylinder, spherical and triangular-shaped aerial objects—many of them silently maneuvering or hovering at very low altitude—have been reported in the region as early as mid-September 2010 and as recently as March 18, 2011. In short, the UFO-Nukes Connection is not ancient history, so to speak, but ongoing and current.

But the most important development, at least potentially, is this: I’ve learned that active duty Air Force personnel working at different locations in the missile field repeatedly sighted a “huge blimp” on October 23/24, 2010—the exact time-frame of the ICBM communications-disruption incident—which, according to my sources, lasted much longer than the 59-minute period the Air Force has acknowledged. These persons all emphatically say that the object was not a commercial dirigible, but much longer and narrower in shape, similar to a WWI German Zeppelin. However, it had no gondola for passengers and did not display any visible writing on its side as would an advertising blimp.

Whether or not this unknown object was involved in the 50-missile snafu has yet to be determined, but its intermittent presence and anomalous appearance has been attested to by reliable eyewitnesses. I also have received credible reports that missile squadron commanders at F.E. Warren have sternly warned their personnel not to talk to journalists or UFO investigators about “the things they may or may not have seen” in the sky near the missile sites. Severe legal penalties were threatened for anyone who violated the mandated secrecy.

I am asking anyone not currently in the Air Force who can provide additional information about the ongoing situation at the base to contact me at one of the email addresses below. All communications will be kept strictly confidential unless I am granted permission to publish them, with or without the sender's name—once I have thoroughly vetted the information. I request that persons who email me also provide their telephone number(s) and make themselves available for a confidential telephone interview.

In a few weeks, sometime in May 2011, I will publish a far more-detailed article about all of this at www.ufochronicles.com.

—Robert Hastings


Could this be the Biggest Find Since the Dead Sea Scrolls?

A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol.

A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, and what he found inside might constitute extremely rare relics of early Christianity.

That is certainly the view of the Jordanian government, which claims they were smuggled into Israel by another Bedouin.

The Israeli Bedouin who currently holds the books has denied smuggling them out of Jordan, and claims they have been in his family for 100 years.

Jordan says it will "exert all efforts at every level" to get the relics repatriated.
Incredible claims

The director of the Jordan's Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, says the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion.

"They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls," says Mr Saad.

"Maybe it will lead to further interpretation and authenticity checks of the material, but the initial information is very encouraging, and it seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery, maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology."

They seem almost incredible claims - so what is the evidence?

The books, or "codices", were apparently cast in lead, before being bound by lead rings.

Their leaves - which are mostly about the size of a credit card - contain text in Ancient Hebrew, most of which is in code.

If the relics are of early Christian origin rather than Jewish, then they are of huge significance.

One of the few people to see the collection is David Elkington, a scholar of ancient religious archaeology who is heading a British team trying to get the lead books safely into a Jordanian museum.

He says they could be "the major discovery of Christian history", adding: "It's a breathtaking thought that we have held these objects that might have been held by the early saints of the Church."

He believes the most telling evidence for an early Christian origin lies in the images decorating the covers of the books and some of the pages of those which have so far been opened.

Mr Elkington says the relics feature signs that early Christians would have interpreted as indicating Jesus, shown side-by-side with others they would have regarded as representing the presence of God.

"It's talking about the coming of the messiah," he says.

"In the upper square [of one of the book covers] we have the seven-branch menorah, which Jews were utterly forbidden to represent because it resided in the holiest place in the Temple in the presence of God.

"So we have the coming of the messiah to approach the holy of holies, in other words to get legitimacy from God."

Location clues

Philip Davies, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies at Sheffield University, says the most powerful evidence for a Christian origin lies in plates cast into a picture map of the holy city of Jerusalem.

"As soon as I saw that, I was dumbstruck. That struck me as so obviously a Christian image," he says.

"There is a cross in the foreground, and behind it is what has to be the tomb [of Jesus], a small building with an opening, and behind that the walls of the city. There are walls depicted on other pages of these books too and they almost certainly refer to Jerusalem."

It is the cross that is the most telling feature, in the shape of a capital T, as the crosses used by Romans for crucifixion were.

"It is a Christian crucifixion taking place outside the city walls," says Mr Davies.

Margaret Barker, an authority on New Testament history, points to the location of the reported discovery as evidence of Christian, rather than purely Jewish, origin.

"We do know that on two occasions groups of refugees from the troubles in Jerusalem fled east, they crossed the Jordan near Jericho and then they fled east to very approximately where these books were said to have been found," she says.

"[Another] one of the things that is most likely pointing towards a Christian provenance, is that these are not scrolls but books. The Christians were particularly associated with writing in a book form rather than scroll form, and sealed books in particular as part of the secret tradition of early Christianity."

The Book of Revelation refers to such sealed texts.

Another potential link with the Bible is contained in one of the few fragments of text from the collection to have been translated.

It appears with the image of the menorah and reads "I shall walk uprightly", a sentence that also appears in the Book of Revelation.

While it could be simply a sentiment common in Judaism, it could here be designed to refer to the resurrection.

It is by no means certain that all of the artefacts in the collection are from the same period.

But tests by metallurgists on the badly corroded lead suggest that the books were not made recently.

The archaeology of early Christianity is particularly sparse.

Little is known of the movement after Jesus' crucifixion until the letters of Paul several decades later, and they illuminate the westward spread of Christianity outside the Jewish world.

Never has there been a discovery of relics on this scale from the early Christian movement, in its homeland and so early in its history.

Source: BBC News


Impossible Science
By Stephen Wagner

From human invisibility to amazing demonstrations of levitation, these strange devices, weird experiments and impossible observations - if true - challenge conventional scientific knowledge

Electrodes flash and spark, illuminating the dimly lit laboratory. Vials of eerie glowing liquid bubble and spit. The scientist, with a mad glare in his eyes, closely watches the progress of his secret experiment. Something weird is happening in this dark, cold basement - something the scientist hopes will finally prove what the rest of the scientific world said was impossible.

We've all enjoyed the image of the mad scientist in the movies as he toiled away in his creepy lab, working on the very edge of scientific knowledge. There really have been such independent scientists, of course. And although they might not quite be mad, their pursuits have been unconventional. Perhaps impossible.

Here are a few intriguing tales of "mad scientists" and their wild inventions. They may be true, exaggerated, hearsay, legends or outright hoaxes - we may never know for certain. But the possibility that they are real is irresistible.


Human invisibility is a fun idea, one that has been the subject of several sci-fi books and movies, including H.G. Wells' classic The Invisible Man and the more recent Hollow Man. Has some obscure scientific genius actually achieved it? Consider this story found on Keelynet:

The scene is a public hall in London England. The year is 1934. A young scientist, claiming he has discovered the secret to electromagnetically induced invisibility, steps into an open-front cabinet on a brightly lit stage before a curious audience. On his head he wears a device he calls an Electro-Helmet along with some other paraphernalia. He reaches up and touches two contacts above his head with both hands, then gives the signal for the switch to be thrown. The switch allegedly sends a current of electricity to his strange devices... and his body gradually vanishes from his feet to his head!

According to the story, spectators could touch and feel his body within the cabinet, but they could not see him. "All one could see," the story goes, "was the development of a cone of light such as might be projected between the two poles of a powerful transmitter." Naturally, the inventor refused to reveal how his contraption worked, stating only that it was the result of many years of experimentation.

Was he a brilliant scientist? Or a clever magician? The demonstration sounds very much like illusions performed by top magicians today. The part of the story that makes it most intriguing, if it is accurate, is that his body vanished from toe to head "gradually."

The U.S. military in recent history is said to have experimented with creating invisibility by bending light through electromagnetic means, and may have been one of the goals of the legendary "Philadelphia Experiment." Was this "young scientist" decades ahead of them?


Dr. S.P. Faile doesn't believe he can make himself invisible, but he does think things around his laboratory sometimes inexplicably become partially transparent. In a curious article titled "Observations of Anomalous Transparency: The Faile Effect," author Nicholas Reiter writes about the weird observations Dr. Faile began making around his home in 1997 and 1998.

Faile, a semi-retired materials research engineer and scientist noticed the strange effects after he had been conducting experiments in "new energy." According to the article, "the effect seemed to mainly consist of occasional circumstances where common, normally opaque objects ranging from one's forearm, to sheet metal, to furniture, would seem to turn partially transparent. More distant objects seemed to be visible through these structures, even to the extent of such details as printed characters."

Was it just an optical illusion? Failing eyesight? Or had Dr. Faile stumbled upon a new phenomenon?

At first, Faile too wondered if the effect was just an illusion, but dismissed that possibility after numerous experiments and corroborating observations by colleagues. In numerous tests, he was able to observe this transparency both indoors and out, in various kinds of lighting. The effect is not the common observation anyone can make if they hold their hand or an object close to one eye and allow the other eye to see past it, resulting in an illusion of transparency.

So what is it? "At present it seems to be a phenomenon in search of a definition or methodology," the article states. "One model would place the effect into the realm of anomalous human talent, such as clairvoyance or remote viewing. However, other individuals, with only a minimum of technique refinement, have been able to confirm the effect. Additionally, because a number of 'real world' factors such as lighting, location and certain material structures can greatly affect its magnitude, it seems to more properly belong in the realm of optics, and probably quantum mechanics."


John Worrell Keely (1827-1898) was a rogue inventor who tirelessly experimented with free energy, something called a "compound disintegrator" and numerous other devices on the fringe of mainstream science. He still has a devoted following today of like-minded experimenters who are convinced that free energy is out there somewhere, just waiting to be tapped.

One of the most fascinating stories about Keely concerns his encounter with John Jacob Astor, heir to the Astor fur-trading fortune (and who later perished on the Titanic), at the World's Fair in the late 1880s. Keely was demonstrating a device he called "The Musical Globe." This sphere (the story does not mention its size) was painted black on one side and white on the other and was said to contain some secret arrangement of vibrating components. When properly tuned, the sphere would react to the playing of a harmonica and begin to spin of its own accord.

Astor was so impressed by the demonstration that he sought Keely out. Allegedly, Keely told Astor that The Musical Sphere was only part of a much more fantastic discovery - the the "good stuff," he said, was in his laboratory, if Astor would like to see it. Of course, he did.

In Keely's lab was a very curious device that consisted of a large metal sphere centered on a large ring. An outer, larger ring was supported by the first and in it were nested smaller spheres of various sizes. The appearance was of a mini solar system - planets surrounding a central sun. When Keely turned on his machine and fiddled with some dials to make the necessary fine tuning, the large sphere began to rotate on its axis. Soon the small spheres began to rotate too, and also to orbit the large sphere.

So far this demonstration could be explained by any number of mechanical means, but what happened next enters the realm of the impossible. In just a few minutes, the large sphere, still spinning, rose off of the ring, as did all of the smaller spheres in their orbits. When reaching a certain height, the smaller spheres spread out to their optimum orbits. So what Astor stood looking agape at was a completely free-floating, moving representation of our solar system.

Supposedly, Astor reached up and grabbed one of the smaller spheres - and was carried around the room by it. His touching it had no affect on its height or speed of rotation.

Had Keely truly discovered some fantastic unknown force? Or was it a trick? Or is this just a tall tale passed around by Keely's fans? If it's true, how and why would news of such a miraculous device have been kept secret?

There will always be such independent, free-thinking "mad scientists" in our midst. And perhaps one day one of them will incontrovertibly demonstrate a device from his basement workshop that will change the world, and make the impossible possible.

Source: paranormal.about.com


April Fools' Day Mystery: How Did It Originate?

For the eager prankster, nothing beats the centuries-old tradition of April Fools' Day.

"A lot of people think [April Fools' Day] is just obnoxious, and just wish it would stop," said Alex Boese, curator of the Museum of Hoaxes in San Diego, California. (Read an April Fools' Day Q&A with the Museum of Hoaxes curator.)

"But people who love pranks really love the day and refuse to give up the tradition. They're the ones who keep it alive."

Boese notes, however, that the number of pranks in the home and at the office has decreased in recent years in the United States, and has been replaced by large institutionalized media hoaxes, he said.

The origins of April Fools' Day are shrouded in mystery, experts say.

The most popular theory is that France changed its calendar in the 1500s so that the New Year would begin in January to match the Roman calendar instead of beginning at the start of spring, in late March or early April.

However word of the change traveled slowly, and many people in rural areas continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring. These country dwellers became known as "April fools," the story goes.

Boese, who has studied the holiday's origin, disagrees with that interpretation.

"[The French] theory is completely wrong, because the day that the French celebrated the beginning of the year legally was Easter day, so it never really was associated with April first," he said.

"Traditionally it was only a legal start to the year—people in France did actually celebrate [the New Year] on January first for as long as anybody could remember."

Boese believes instead that April Fools' Day simply grew out of age-old European spring festivals of renewal, in which pranks and camouflaging one's identity are common.

Joseph Boskin, professor emeritus of American humor at Boston University, has offered his own interpretation of the holiday's roots—as a prank.

In 1983, Boskin told an Associated Press reporter that the idea came from Roman jesters during the time of Constantine I in the third and fourth centuries A.D.

As the story goes, jesters successfully petitioned the ruler to allow one of their elected members to be king for a day.

So, on April first, Constantine handed over the reins of the Roman Empire for one day to King Kugel, his jester. Kugel decreed that the day forever would be a day of absurdity.

Kugel, incidentally, is an Eastern European dish that one of Boskin's friends had been craving.

The news agency was less than thrilled about the gambit, Boskin said. "I thought I should have been complimented for a quacky, quirky story that was fitted to the occasion."

Humor and pranksters can offer society some much-needed perspective, he added.

"Good humorists are basically secular shamans—they both heckle society on one hand and heal it on the other."

Boese of the Museum of Hoaxes also points out the day is an outlet for social inequalities to be openly confronted. For example, street urchins used to play April Fools' Day tricks on London gentlemen in the 1800s.

However, fictional humor is slowly giving way to factual absurdities in popular culture, experts say.

One needs to look no further than the Ig Nobel prizes awarded every year for scientific research.

The 2007 Ig Nobel prize for medicine went to researchers who published an article on sword swallowing and its side effects—in the eminent British Medical Journal, no less.

"We keep inventing fewer things simply because we keep finding it is impossible to compete with reality," said Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research.

In March 2008 the journal described Philip M. Parker, who has invented a book-writing machine that scours a database of information to churn out a book in 20 minutes. The device has helped him author more than 300,000 titles—85,000 of which are for sale on Amazon.com, including the 2007-2012 Outlook for Lemon-Flavored Water in Japan and Webster's English to Zarma Crossword Puzzles: Level 1.

"The real stuff is funnier simply because it is real," Abrahams said.

"In that sense, the things that are real and funny are a superior form of [an] April Fools' joke, because you can tell them and people will think you are making it up."

Source: National Geographic

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