5/6/11  #620
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Conspiracies come in all shapes and sizes. From someone plotting to toilet paper your yard, to the New World Order plotting to toilet paper your rights and freedoms. Well don't be caught with your pants down when the conspirators come a knocking! Keep up to date and  informed with your subscription to the number one free, weekly  e-mail newsletter of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and a whole lot more. Yes that's right! Conspiracy Journal is here once again to fill your minds with all the news and info that THEY don't want you to know.

This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such neck-snapping stories as:

- Midnight At the Oasis: Confronting The Unknown In The Desert Wastes
Top Secret Stealth Helicopters Used in Bin Laden Raid -
- Creatures of the Crop -
- Deadly Weather in U.S. Could Become the Norm -
AND: Strange Encounters with Winged Creatures

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Secrets of Death Valley - Mysteries and Haunts
of the Mojave Desert

Join Tim Beckley (Mr. UFO) and his crew for the ULTIMATE road trip and help solve the riddles of California's Mojave and Death Valley.

Here are chilling Tales Of Abandoned Mines, Mysterious Creatures, Deranged Killers, Hauntings,  Eerie Spook Lights, Space Ships From Far Away Worlds, Phantom Stagecoaches As Well As All Manner of Urban Legends To Make You Twisted And Grow Pale In The Moonlight

* Witness The Landing Of A UFO At Edwards Air Force Base Verified By An American Astronaut.

* Be Petrified Of The 12 Foot Levitating Clown And Find Some Gold Thanks to The Teleporting Leprechaun.

* Attend Mae West’s First Séance.

* Journey With The Creepy Charles Manson And His Crew Down A Mysterious Hole To Find The Hollow Earth.

* Hunt For Ghosts In The Death Valley Opera House.

* Keep Your Distance From The Albino Bigfoot Running Loose.

* Unravel The Puzzle Of The Lost Viking Ships Of The Desert.

SECRETS OF DEATH VALLEY – MYSTERIES AND HAUNTS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT is a delightful, easy to read journey for the armchair paranormal sightseer or those looking to get out on the road.

This book also includes the full text of George Van Tassel's rare book:
"I Rode In A Flying Saucer"

If you order right now you will also receive the FREE DVD "Diane Tessman's Mystic of the Desert."

(Plus $5.00 for shipping.) You can't find this special price anywhere else.

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Midnight At the Oasis: Confronting The Unknown In The Desert Wastes
By Sean Casteel

New Book, Secrets of Death Valley - Mysteries And Haunts Of The Mojave Desert  offers the roadway adventurer a whole new world to explore.

The Mojave Desert region of California is a magnet for the strange. In such an inhospitable location, at least for humankind, there nevertheless flourishes a great many UFOs, ghosts and other paranormal manifestations of the unknown that make their presence felt there in no uncertain terms.
Why is there so much interest on the part of otherworldly denizens of the proverbial Twilight Zone? Tim Beckley of Global Communications has recently assembled and released a book called "Secrets of Death Valley - Mysteries and Haunts of the Mojave Desert" that tries to answer that question.
The highly skilled contributors include New Age Channeler Diane Tessman, UFO researcher Regan Lee, fringe topic author Adam Gorightly, as well as Paul Dale Roberts, Joe Parzanese, and a character called Cactus Jim. The lineup is, all in all, an excellent cross-section of experiencers and investigators who work to make the mysteries of the desert a little more accessible.
Regan Lee, for example, writes about the desert as a staging ground for numerous phenomena. "The desert has been the stage," she writes, "for otherworldly encounters with Jinns, Space Visitors, Mary, religious deities and entities." Lee goes on to say that contactee Dana Howard, who met the alien entity Diane there in the Yucca Valley, was no exception to that idea. Diane unequivocally states, "From the desert sands, cauldrons of magic will spring."   
It is in that same section of desert that the famous Giant Rock is located, as well as the domed device called the Integratron, a creation of early contactee George Van Tassel. Van Tassel is a major story himself, being one of the first to write about his encounters with alien beings in the early 1950s. Along with the perhaps better known George Adamski, he helped to create much of what we take for granted nowadays about Ufology and other New Age articles of faith.
Beckley has done another of his rescue jobs on the early contactee literature, this time resurrecting a history of Giant Rock written by Van Tassel that has the makings of a great movie. It started with a chance meeting with a traveler named Frank Critzer, who brought his car in for repairs to the auto shop run by Van Tassel's uncle in 1930s Santa Monica, California. Van Tassel and his uncle quickly made friends with Critzer, even allowing him to sleep in their garage and repairing his car for free. When Critzer, an experienced prospector, moved on, he promised to write from wherever he settled down. He left with a $30 gift from Van Tassel and his uncle, a lot of money in those dark days of the Great Depression.
It wasn't until a year later that Critzer was heard from. He sent a map showing how to get to Giant Rock, and the following weekend Van Tassel and his uncle made the trip to see him there. Critzer had made a home for himself by digging out a space under Giant Rock that was surprisingly livable and at least rent free.

One needs to realize that Giant Rock covers 5800 square feet and is seven stories high. It is believed to be the largest boulder in the world, and no one can explain how it got to its location so far from any likely point of origin. Critzer's living area was about 400 square feet, a small fraction of the bottom side of Giant Rock.

All was not well for Critzer however. In 1942, when the U.S. was at war with Germany, Critzer was falsely accused of stealing dynamite and failing to register for the draft. He also drew the suspicions of his neighbors, who felt his German name gave away the fact that he was a Nazi spy. Critzer had indeed served in the German Navy many years before, but he had also served in America's Merchant Marines and was a naturalized citizen of the U.S.

Still, deputies from Riverside County came to interrogate him, which is odd, because Giant Rock is actually in San Bernardino County so the Riverside boys had no jurisdiction there, which Critzer pointed out. Critzer agreed to go with them anyway, and said he wanted to get his coat first. He went into his living quarters to retrieve it, but the deputies mistakenly thought he was defying them. They lobbed a tear gas grenade through the north side window, which set off some dynamite that Critzer kept for his prospecting work. Critzer died in the explosion and the deputies were injured.

Van Tassel came to visit Giant Rock in the aftermath of Critzer's death, and he and his family grew to love the place. After the war ended, Van Tassel bought the land from the Bureau of Land Management and built a small airport there. In 1953, Van Tassel began to hold weekly meetings under Giant Rock, which eventually led to his long series of UFO contacts there and to his creation of the Integratron, a device he built on instructions from the aliens that was believed to have regenerative health benefits for humans as well as to make travel in time possible.

Van Tassel's history of Giant Rock is followed by the Global Communications reprint of Van Tassel's contactee classic, "I Rode A Flying Saucer." After explaining a little about his own realization that his story was admittedly hard to believe, he next goes on to wax mystical and poetic about the nature of God as creator of the universe, a creator whose work extends far beyond merely earthly mankind.

From the sublimely innocent contactees, such as George Van Tassel and Dana Howard, the picture darkens to a shadow of hell with the appearance of Charles Manson and his demonically-inspired madness. Writer Adam Gorightly contributes a chapter that traces the history of Manson's time in the Death Valley region. One of Manson's followers told him about an abandoned mining claim called Myers Ranch, which was one of several desert outposts Manson would lead his followers to in his efforts to conceal himself and his "family" from the imagined horrors of "Helter Skelter," his Beatles-inspired term for the apocalypse.

Manson spent hundreds of dollars on topographic maps of the area to plan an escape route for himself and his cult. The flames of his paranoia were further fanned by his twisted interpretation of the Book of Revelation with the Beatles' White Album thrown into the mix. He believed the Fab Four were in reality angels sent to destroy a third part of mankind and that a total upheaval of the social order was just around the corner.

Manson also believed there was a magic hole located in the desert, spoken of in   Hopi legend, which would shelter his group during the apocalypse and permit them to return to the surface once the strife was over. A pit of water called "Devil's Hole," found near the northwest corner of Death Valley, was one possible location of the supernatural escape route. Manson would meditate in front of the hole for days at a time, until it dawned on him that the water in the hole was a door, or a blocking mechanism, that prevented entrance into the underworld. All he needed to do was to somehow suck the water out and the secret passageway would be revealed.

But sorry, Charlie. On the night of October 12, 1969, a contingent of Inyo County sheriff's officers, National Park Rangers and California Highway Patrolmen raided the Manson Family headquarters and took the entire group into custody for the Tate-LaBianca murders.

"Mysteries and Haunts of the Mojave Desert - Secrets of Death Valley" moves on to relate a series of ghost stories and legends that have been handed down through the years, such as the tale of the Serpent-Necked "Canoa," which is Native-American speak for "Canoe." The storyteller, a Santa Rosa Indian, described a boat with a long neck and the head of a beast that turns out to be a Viking ship, with serpent heads at both the bow and the stern, as pictured in the book. The Indian says that seeing the ship was a bad sign, and that to save himself he had needed to leave the area immediately.

Ed Stevens, the writer relaying the Indian's tale, argues for the plausibility of a ship venturing into the area in late spring, when the Colorado River would be flooded and other water-related factors would come into play. But given that the Indian saw a Viking ship, from centuries before, he was most likely experiencing a form of "retro-cognition," which can loosely be defined as crossing over into the past in an almost physical sense, seeing some scene from antiquity, and then returning to the present. The phenomenon has been reported on numerous occasions and is not as rare as some might think.

There are other chapters of a similar nature, with intriguing titles like "Butcher-Knife Ike and the Lost Ship" and "The Lost Spanish Galleon." Beckley also reprints newspaper articles dating back to the 19th century that report on odd occurrences there in the desert, such as one about a group of explorers who discovered yet another ship said to have been lost there many years before.

Another chapter, taken from a 1947 article in the San Diego Union, claims that the skeletal remains of several human beings eight to nine feet in height were discovered in the desert near the Arizona-Nevada-California borderline. The giant skeletons were found clothed in garments consisting of a medium-length jacket and trousers that extended to slightly below the knees. The material was similar to gray dyed sheepskin, but "obviously it was taken from an animal unknown today." The section also includes reporting on the same find from other newspapers at the time, providing a thorough cross section of media coverage of an extremely bizarre and grisly discovery.

Not to be outdone, Tim Beckley himself authors a series of chapters on some high strangeness in the forbidding desert region. For instance, there is his report on a Bigfoot-type creature often sighted near such desert towns as Twenty Nine Palms and Joshua Tree. Even more remarkable is the fact that Bigfoot has been seen frequently in the area around Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert just north of Lancaster. The presence of Bigfoot became a running joke among the military personnel stationed there, which some at the base connected to the frequent visits made by UFOs to the installation. The Bigfoot/UFO connection has been reported for decades in many other parts of the world as well, and one can only wonder about the relationship the two phenomena apparently have with one another.  

Beckley also talks about some ghostly manifestations in a Death Valley hotel and opera house located in a small town called Amargosa, noting that it was not the sort of situation he expected to encounter on his trips to the area. Amargosa was once the location of a borax mine, and was essentially built to be a company town.

"The Amargosa Hotel and Opera House," Beckley explained, "was originally put up for the borax miners and their families, who hadn't much to do in the 1920s. It laid abandoned for years until a woman named Marta Becket arrived from New York and cleaned up the place."
Becket was an accomplished actress, dancer, choreographer and painter. After restoring the Opera House in the 1960s, she began to give one-woman performances there, often without an audience.  A lot of paranormal activity has been reported there in the intervening years.
"We drew upon the research," Beckley said, "of Layla Halfhill of the Los Angeles Paranormal Association. Her group scoped out the place really well and noted some abnormalities of a parapsychological nature."

The book contains a haunting photo of an orb taken by the Los Angeles Paranormal Association, who maintain that the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House holds deep mysteries that need further investigation.

Add to that a chapter by Beckley on celebrities who had supernatural encounters in the desert, to include Sammy Davis, Jr., jazz drummer Buddy Rich, and actors William Shatner and Michael Boatman. Beckley also includes a number of other desert anomalies that have become part of the urban legends of the Mojave, such as a twelve-foot-tall levitating clown who is seen to wander down the middle of the road around midnight; a teleporting leprechaun that might direct a worthy party to gold; the repeated apparition of a stagecoach from over a century ago; and a singer who had an "in-your-nose" confrontation with a small orb-like UFO.  

In addition, the book is filled with numerous photos, some old and some new, of desert locales and the people whose lives were mysteriously touched there. As mentioned before, there are also numerous newspaper clippings provided that offer further evidence of paranormal events in the area stretching back many years.  

Beckley offers a wonderful smorgasbord of several writers making their individual contributions to a book that runs the gamut from the halcyon early days of Giant Rock and the contactee movement to the dark side manifested in the desert rat called Charlie Manson to the many ghostly appearances of the unknown in the barren wastes called Death Valley and the Mojave. By reading "Secrets of Death Valley - Mysteries and Haunts of the Mojave Desert," one can become a kind of tourist of the region without even breaking a sweat and shudder in fear in the privacy of one's own home. But it might be better yet to actually travel there and see for yourself.

[If you enjoyed this article, please visit Sean Casteel's website at www.seancasteel.com and read some of his previous work.]

Here is a sample chapter from "Secrets of Death Valley: Mysteries and Haunts of the Mojave Desert."


By Diane Tessman
It was a clear, cold night in California's Mojave Desert, and I had never been closer to the stars. Nowhere else on Planet Earth do the stars shine and twinkle so brightly. The sky stretched overhead like a mystical black blanket with shining crystals everywhere.
Two friends and I had driven into the Joshua Tree National Monument to go UFO hunting. The Monument is a national treasure in the magnificent high desert. Incredible rock formations and bizarrely-shaped Joshua trees dot the desert landscape. It is all very alien and yet so richly of Earth.
The three of us sat huddled under a blanket for about an hour and then decided to go home because of the cold. As we headed for the car, a large, brilliant, white light raced across the sky. Just as we struggled to tell each other it must have been a meteorite, it raced back in the opposite direction, stopping overhead for a second. It hovered just long enough for us to see smaller red, yellow, and blue lights in a circular pattern while its brilliant light, which illuminated the whole object, remained incandescent white.
Suddenly, it zoomed away, over the horizon from whence it came. We felt we had just witnessed something utterly incredible and otherworldly. We were speechless for a few moments, and then we couldn't stop talking about what we had just seen. I will never forget that UFO sighting which the Mojave Desert offered us that cold, starry night.
It is fact: The Mojave Desert never fails to provide us with chilling phantoms, mysterious ghosts, and unexplained hauntings. It also offers us unidentified star ships overhead and alien encounters under the watchful eyes of monster rock formations. It tells us stories of Coyote Man and the dreaded Chupacabra, and it even sings of "Hotel California," where you can check out anytime you want but you can never leave.
When I lived near the town of Joshua Tree, California, I felt I was undergoing an intense two-year education in all things mysterious and alien. I could feel the ghosts at Giant Rock, that gigantic, enigmatic boulder a few miles from Landers, a village which suffered a devastating earthquake in the early 1990s.
The ghostly phantoms at Giant Rock were mostly Native American in "feel" and once I heard their flutes playing in the desert wind. Also, there was the spirit of George van Tassel.
In the 1950s and 1960s, tens of thousands of people streamed into Landers, blocking the highways for miles around. On they went to the flying saucer Mecca of Giant Rock, gathering with George van Tassel.  At several of those gatherings, it is said that van Tassel, at will, summoned his extraterrestrial friends, who appeared overhead. Many people felt the alien contact and followed van Tassel's enlightened, brilliant teachings.
In 1951, his friends from Venus astrally transported van Tassel aboard their giant star ship and introduced him to "The Council of Seven Lights." The Council told him to build a structure in that energized area of California's high desert; they promised that this building would extend human life and help humans become enlightened.
Built according to the precise directions and requirements of van Tassel's alien friends, The Integratron still offers mind-blowing acoustics and experiences of an almost psychedelic nature.
I recently reread George van Tassel's book, "The Council of Seven Lights" and was amazed at the cosmic knowledge in its pages. It is a book which reflects not only metaphysical wisdom but which also delves into quantum physics within a spiritual format. Van Tassel was a genuine contactee of great experience and wisdom.  
In 1995 and1996, my daughter and I traveled almost daily to Giant Rock from our home in the town of Joshua Tree. We wandered around it; we meditated beside it. In the harsh sunlight of the desert day, the white quartz which composes Giant Rock gleamed and glistened. We tried to figure out how that huge boulder came to stand alone in the desert. There were no other boulders like it anywhere around. On distant desert hillsides, there were a few boulders which were much smaller than Giant Rock. Did Giant Rock roll across the desert from one of those hillsides miles away during an earthquake? Or did it come from the sky?
Giant Rock sometimes made us sad; there was ugly graffiti scrawled all over it. Hundreds of dirt bikes and motorcycles had wrecked the environment around it. There was also the infamous crack at the bottom caused by bonfires. The crack seemed to lead to a cave beneath the boulder. Rumor had it that a Nazi fugitive had hidden in this cave.
And so it was not surprising when, several years later, enigmatic Giant Rock suddenly split in half. When it did so, I had already moved to Iowa, but I remembered how sad the giant boulder itself seemed to be. No one respected it or seemed to remember the universal light work which had gone on around its domain. Giant Rock was a phenomenon of Mother Nature and perhaps a gift from outer space, and all humans could do now was to scrawl ugly words on it, scraping away the environment with their noisy bikes. One theory says that the vibrations from motorcycles helped split the mighty rock.
The tragedy of Giant Rock leads me to an insight on the mystical energy of California's Mojave Desert: This unique quantum energy can be used for enlightenment and goodness, or it can be used negatively.
The Manson Family's Spahn Ranch was in the Mojave.
It has long been joked that bodies murdered in Los Angeles end up in a hole in the Mojave.      

The ghost of a rock musician who is said to have overdosed in the 1970s haunts the only motel in the town of Joshua Tree.
Yes, I do remember a feeling of panic sometimes in that hot desert sun, a feeling that the spirits there were restless. Coming home one noon, I saw a small child sitting under the Joshua tree across the road. The child was crying softly. I rushed over, only to have the child dematerialize.
My daughter witnessed a tribe of "restless spirits" one dark desert night as they seemed to be picking leaves off of one of the trees in our yard. She said they seemed confused and unhappy.
I researched various paranormal happenings for a video I did about Giant Rock and the Mojave. I traveled into Joshua Tree Monument to find the precise rock formation into which a teenage couple is said to have disappeared. I had just enjoyed the film "Picnic at Hanging Rock," which is the account of young girls on a picnic in Australia who disappeared without a trace into a mysterious rock formation.
The particular formation in Joshua Tree National Monument is actually two formations, standing right next to each other. Between them is a narrow "doorway" through which one can squeeze. Apparently the teenage couple went through the doorway and were never seen again. Their friends hurried through the same doorway minutes later, searching for them. Was there a dimensional portal which opened precisely as they went through, and which then closed again?
Mother Earth has given the Mojave Desert very unique and dynamic energies which give rise to endless paranormal events as well as beckoning visitors from other worlds and dimensions. There have been more UFO sightings in the Mojave than any other area on Earth.
It is past time that a book be devoted to telling a few of The Mojave's mysterious secrets. Enjoy.

[Diane Tessman's email address is dianetessman@hotmail.com  Visit her website at: earthchangepredictions.com to view a wealth of spiritual information and to learn how Diane can help you personally to contact your higher self. A subscription to Diane's publication "The Change Times Quarterly" is available there as well.

Diane also recommends her book "Earth Changes Bible," which is available for purchase directly from her. Her regular mailing address is: Diane Tessman, P.O. Box 352, St. Ansgar, Iowa, 50472. Below are links to purchase some of Diane's books from Amazon.com]     

"God Cloud - Earth Changes Revelations"

"Passport To Heaven"
Diane is also a contributor to "It's Raining Cats and Dogs," a book about encounters with paranormal animals.



Top Secret Stealth Helicopters Used in Bin Laden Raid

The May 2 raid on Osama bin Laden’s luxury compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, had it all: painstaking intelligence-gathering, a heroic Navy SEAL assault team, satellite and drone surveillance, and biometric forensics.

And now this: a possible super-secret, stealthy helicopter, unknown to the wider world before one crashed during the assault.

Aviation specialists are picking apart pixel-by-pixel the dozen-or-so photos of the copter that have appeared online. They’re assembling digital mock-ups of the aircraft and comparing them to lost stealth designs of the 1980s and ’90s. Speculation abounds, and so far no one from the government is commenting. But depending on what the copter turns out to be, it could shed new light on everything from the abilities of U.S. commandos to the relationship between the United States and Pakistan.

Opinions about the copter seem to fall into three basic camps. The most-cautious observers believe the wreckage is from a conventional chopper that got so badly mangled during the crash that it became unrecognizable. In the center, there are those who think the helicopter is an Army MH-60 Blackhawk tweaked to make it quieter and more stealthy. On the fringes, the true believers are talking about a brand-new, radar-evading helicopter design.

Considering the proliferation of bewildering photos from the crash site, the conservative viewpoint seems unlikely. Equally, the notion of a brand-new “black” helicopter seems far-fetched, especially considering the Army’s long history of heavily modifying existing rotorcraft for secret missions.

That leaves an upgraded, stealth-optimized MH-60 as the most likely candidate — a conclusion that jibes with CIA director Leon Panetta’s assertion Tuesday that the 25-man strike team was “carried in two Blackhawk helicopters that went in.”

A story by ace reporter Sean Naylor in Army Times, published just minutes after the initial version of this post, supports this conclusion. Naylor quotes a retired Special Forces aviator saying the special Blackhawk, modified by Lockheed Martin, has “hard edges, sort of like an … F-117? stealth fighter from the same company.

According to a source who spoke to our own Spencer Ackerman, the modifications might have taken place with the help of a mysterious Army organization called the “Technology Applications Program Office,” located at Fort Eustis, Virginia. The rumored nickname? Airwolf. That’s right, like the cheesy ‘80 TV show.

Aside from one IT consultant who unwittingly live-tweeted the bin Laden raid, reports from Pakistani sources of a crashed helicopter were the first evidence that something was going down in Abbottabad. “According to eyewitnesses, a low-flying helicopter crashed in a populated area, and as a result two houses were engulfed in flames,” a Pakistani news service reported.

One local news agency claimed the downed bird was Pakistani. It wasn’t until several hours later that U.S. government sources clarified the initial stories. “We lost one helicopter due to mechanical failure,” a senior U.S. official said. “The aircraft was destroyed by the crew, and the assault force and crew members boarded the remaining aircraft to exit the compound.”

The official’s insistence — echoed later by Panetta — that there were just two choppers involved in the 25-man raid raised some eyebrows.

According to Capt. Crispin Burke, a U.S. Army Blackhawk pilot and Danger Room pal, two of the copters together can just barely squeeze in 25 people plus their weapons and other gear. But it’s inconceivable that a single surviving Blackhawk could have transported all 25 members of the assault team. Anyone who’s ridden in a Blackhawk knows that.

More than two choppers were present over bin Laden’s compound, despite what the administration was saying. That was the first indication that, as far as helicopters were concerned, something unusual was afoot.

Then came the photos. When the sun rose in Abbottabad, enterprising photographers with the European Press Agency and the Associated Press snapped pics showing the remains of the destroyed U.S. helicopter. The snapshots apparently depicted features not found on standard Blackhawks. Late on May 3, the first headlines appeared announcing the existence of a previously unknown “stealth helicopter.”

The Invisible Rotorcraft

So what was it that betrayed the downed choppers’ secret roots? Nearly rivetless skin, odd control surfaces, a shrouded tail rotor and special infrared-absorbing paint, for starters.

“Note how the UH-60 has a large stabilator [horizontal fin] with plenty of rivets,” Burke commented. “The one in the crash is much smaller, very smooth and swept back. Strange.”

A “round shield-like affair over the tail-rotor hub is an airflow diverter, designed to eliminate the turbulence around the rotor hub, making it more efficient,” wrote “Bill” from the milblog Arrgggh!. The diverter “probably has a secondary effect of reducing the noise of the tail rotor by making it directional.”

A very clear photo of that “shield” was given to Reuters, and appear at the top of this story.)

“The aircraft skin is interesting,” Bill continued. “It’s perfectly smooth, and I have a nagging hunch it’s something I’ve seen before, back in the late ’80s” — on an experimental OH-6 “Loach” scout chopper.

To him, the paint on the wrecked chopper appeared to be a “variation on the Invisible Loach — a light-emitting appliqué film which, coupled to directional cameras, will exactly reproduce the light and color patterns on the opposite side of the aircraft. Think of the aircraft as being made of glass.”

The stealthy copter also has a “special coating” on its windshield to scatter radar waves, Naylor asserts in his Army Times story.

Combined, the details imply a helicopter design that is more stealthy than standard choppers in every sense of the term. “Such a helicopter would not be invisible or silent, but would be harder to detect and track using an X-band or Ku-band radar, and quieter than a conventional helicopter,” said Carlo Kopp, joint head of the Air Power Australia think tank.

Based on the evidence, and the assumption that these improvements were applied to a basic Blackhawk airframe, aviation artist Ugo Crisponi produced a quick rendering of what the secret chopper might look like. The components depicted in the new Guardian photos — plus Naylor’s detailed description — match Crisponi’s concept pretty closely.

Historians and analysts were quick to point out precedents for the elusive bird. The obvious example is the Army’s überexpensive RAH-66 Comanche, killed off in 2004. That bird, Copp said, featured “shrouded rotor heads and unspecified absorbent materials” just like the mystery craft from Abbottabad.

John Pike, from Virginia-based Globalsecurity.org, highlighted the “MH-X,” a low-signature transport chopper project from the 1980s that was reportedly tested alongside the F-117 stealth fighter and B-2 stealth bomber.

Based on Naylor’s reporting, it appears that a handful of special Blackhawks — probably no more than four — indeed originated from the MH-X program, but plans for a large, permanent unit to fly these birds was cancelled “within the last two years.” Instead, Army Special Forces aviators took turns training on the stealth copters in Nevada, possibly at the secretive base known by some as “Area 51.”

Stealth Copter, Clear Politics

Though the evidence is mounting that the newly revealed black chopper is more angular Blackhawk derived from the MH-X program, it could be a while before we know for sure. The Pentagon is slow to reveal its most-advanced aircraft.

Nearly two years have passed since the Air Force admitted it possessed a stealthy spy drone, the RQ-170 — and we still don’t have an official photo of that bird. Moreover, statements from Washington seem intended to obscure the issue of the mystery chopper.

In any event, the implications are potentially enormous. For one, the existence of a stealthy helicopter means we must revise upward our assessment of U.S. Special Operations Forces’ ability to strike fast and unseen, all over the world.

Second, we should take with a grain of salt all the recent hand-wringing over the supposed decay in the American military rotorcraft industry. If we really have already fielded the world’s first radar-evading helicopter, there’s less reason to worry that the United States might have lost its chopper-making skills.

Third, the fact that the Pentagon was willing to risk its most secret whirlybird “shows the importance of the mission in the eyes of U.S. commanders,” according to Aviation Week’s Bill Sweetman, who was, as usual, among the first to report on the new chopper.

Finally, the black helicopter sheds new light on the military’s suspicion of possible Pakistani interference in the bin Laden raid. In his speech announcing bin Laden’s death, President Barack Obama heaped praise on Pakistan. “Our counter-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden.”

But Panetta later admitted that the United States had deliberately not told Pakistan of the impending raid. That “could jeopardize the mission,” because Pakistan “might alert the targets.”

Moreover, Joint Special Operations Command wasn’t comfortable simply arriving on the scene in its decidedly radar-visible Army Chinooks or Air Force MV-22 tilt-rotors. That would’ve meant essentially barging into Pakistani airspace, and hoping that Islamabad would refrain from targeting the attackers with surface-to-air-missiles.

No, JSOC felt it was necessary to stay off Pakistani radar displays for as long as possible. The unavoidable inference is that the commandos feared Pakistan might actually shoot at unannounced American choppers. That revelation, more so than the mere existence of a stealthy helicopter, could be the most compelling news of all.

Source: Wired


Creatures of the Crop

Without doubt, one of the strangest aspects of cryptozoology, is it’s tie-in with the Crop Circle mystery. Although it’s a little-known aspect of both phenomena, more than a few accounts exist of strange creatures seen in and around Crop Circles. From Matthew Williams – the only British man ever arrested, charged and convicted for making a Crop Circle - come several such accounts.
It transpires that, unsurprisingly for someone who has spent years deeply immersed within the Crop Circle controversy, Matthew is a veritable fountain of knowledge with respect to tales of weird creatures either having been seen in, or at least in the direct vicinity of, complex Crop Circle formations. One such case is truly strange.
Matthew advised me that the story in question concerned a man who had felt curiously compelled to drive late at night to a certain field in Wiltshire many years ago. On doing so, he parked his car and duly, and carefully, began his walk into the depths of the crop. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a large, black, human-like figure appeared in the air over the field.
“It reminded me a little bit of the Mothman sightings when I heard this story,” said Matthew, not without a high degree of justification. Matthew continued that the source of the story could only stand and stare in awe, while suddenly gaining the distinct impression that the hovering entity was the source of at least some of the Crop Circle formations that were appearing in Wiltshire.
At that precise moment, a simple Crop Circle suddenly appeared on the ground immediately below the black figure – after which it vanished from the skies and the man was left utterly alone in the field, and with no real option other than to make his shocked way back to his vehicle and drive home, baffled and bewildered by both the weird, aerial entity and what it was that had directed him to the field.
And still Matthew’s accounts were not over: “There was one time, I’d rather not say when or where exactly, as I could get into trouble for admitting I trespassed on the farmer’s land and made the crop circle formation. Plus, I had a friend named Paul helping me with this one. We were making this circle when we noticed these three bright lights – small balls of lights coming towards the field. We watched them; we were fascinated. But they split up and each of them went to a corner of the field – and which only left one corner for us to leave by without getting too close to these things.
“That was a bit unsettling. We didn’t know what these balls were; so we raced out of the open corner of the field. We looked back as we ran and could see the balls heading towards us: gliding very gracefully just above the top of the crop. It was like they were on a railway track, just moving very smoothly, but it left us sort of disturbed too: like they were almost ghostly and alive.”
The story was far from over, as Matthew notes: “Well, I went to get the car, and told Paul to wait in the bushes at the edge of the road so he wouldn’t be seen. The last thing I wanted was for him to get arrested if the police happened to drive past. But by the time I had got the car and got back to Paul, he was walking up the middle of the road with all his Crop Circle equipment in full view. I pulled up, wound the window down and shouted at him: ‘What the hell are you doing? If people see you carrying your [crop circle-making] equipment, we’ll get arrested.’
“Paul looked scared stiff and said: ‘If they had arrested me, I’d have gone with them, just to get me out of there.’ I asked him what he meant, and Paul said that while I was getting the car he had heard these strange, animal-like screaming noises coming from inside the field and he had just charged out of there and onto the road. We never found out what it was though.”
And Matthew Williams is not alone in commenting on such matters: in the summer of 2007, I spoke with Marcus Matthews, a researcher of mysterious big-cats in Britain, who told me that he was then currently investigating a case involving a person who had seen a “huge black cat” sitting inside the confines of a Wiltshire Crop Circle.
So, how do we define and explain such rogue reports as these? The answer, admittedly, right now is that we can’t. All I can say is this: if you ever find yourself deep in the heart of a huge Crop Circle, then keep a careful watch. There may be something monstrous keeping its eyes on you, getting ready to pounce…
Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including the newly-published Space Girl on Spaghetti Junction.

Source: Mania/Nick Redfern


Deadly Weather in U.S. Could Become the Norm

It's been a severe start to the spring season in the United States. Tornadoes have ravaged the southeastern US, flooding threatens much of the Midwest, and wildfires are scorching Texas. But according to researchers, a confluence of seasonal oscillations in weather patterns, rather than climate change, is to blame. And growing populations mean that grim casualty figures from such events may become the norm.

"I don't think there's any way of proving climate change is responsible for the weather patterns this week and week before," says meteorologist Howard Bluestein, of the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Tornadoes, floods and fires occur every year in America, and the outbreak of each this year is readily explained by short-term factors.

Texas has suffered drought since late 2010, producing the driest March on record. Ground temperatures in March and April were higher than usual, shrivelling the already rain-starved vegetation. The low humidity, heat, and high winds built a perfect tinder box for wildfires, which have so far burned more than 1.4 million acres in around 800 separate blazes across Texas .

Floods are largely explained by a combination of heavy rains and melting snow. Coupled with recent severe rainstorms, the snowmelt from a very white winter of 2010-2011 has pushed waters at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to record levels, threatening communities in Missouri and Illinois. Elsewhere, the waters have already overrun their levees and inundated nearby towns.

The conditions that create tornadoes are more complex and less well understood. They need the hot, humid air that fuels a thunderstorm and a strong jet stream, although scientists are not sure why this combination only sometimes produces twisters.

Around two weeks ago, a huge mass of humid air blew up from the Gulf of Mexico and draped itself upon the Southeastern United States. When the colder jet stream – narrow, swift moving and cold – began to churn the sultry air, a huge system of thunderstorms arose, along with hundreds of twisters. Between between April 14 and 16, 155 confirmed tornadoes struck, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates another 362 twisters touched down between April 25 and 28, leaving a swath of destruction across the southern US. In all, more than 377 people have died and some are still missing.

Climate change cannot be directly blamed for such outbreaks. And even as scientists' climate models have improved, the question of whether increasing global temperatures will change the frequency and severity of dangerous weather in the future remains open.

Rising temperatures mean more of the warm soupy air from which thunderstorms are formed. At the same time, however, global warming could weaken the temperature difference between the equator and the poles, a gradient that generates the jet stream in the first place.

One possible outcome of these opposing forces is that a warmer world will produce more run of the mill thunderstorms, but fewer tornadoes. In a 2007 study, however, NASA climate scientist Anthony Del Genio NASA modeled a hypothetical future climate with twice the then-current carbon dioxide levels and surface temperatures 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 degrees Celsius) warmer than typical. He concluded that despite a weakened jet stream, violent twister-generating thunderstorms will actually occur more frequently in a warmer world because of collisions between strong updrafts and speedy horizontal winds.

For now, there simply isn't enough data to say whether climate change makes severe thunderstorms and tornadoes more or less likely. But 2011 could prove to be the beginning of a trend.

"We can't say much about one particular outbreak, but if this if this is still happening ten years in a row, we will definitely be wondering what is going on," says Joshua Wurman, president of the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Either way, the breathtaking loss of life witnessed in the last month may become harder and harder to avoid. The April 2011 tornado outbreaks have killed far more people than anything in the past few decades, despite the fact that warning systems are better than ever.

One explanation is population density: "There are simply more people in harm's way than there used to be," says Bluestein. "Inevitably some people just aren't going to get out of the way. It's a sad horrible thing that over 300 people lost their lives in the last outbreak, but if we didn't have the kind of warning systems we have now, thousands of people would have been killed."
Numbers game

NOAA currently estimates over 600 tornadoes touched down in the US in April. If the number stands, it would be a record for a month that is usually quieter than May, the most active month of the year for twisters. But comparing today's statistics to the historical record can be tricky - the number of people reporting tornadoes has increased dramatically over time, so older records may have missed many twisters.

"Today people report even the smallest tornadoes," says Bluestein. "With our cell phones and wireless internet it's as if no tree falling in the forest gets left unseen."

"2011 is certainly getting off to a roaring start for severe weather," says Del Genio. It's very interesting that we have had huge outbreak of tornadoes this April, but remember that the rest of year could turn out to be very calm – we just don't know yet."

Source: New Scientist


Claim of Alien Cells in Rain May Fit Historical Accounts

A con­tro­ver­sial the­o­ry, that strange red rains in In­dia might have con­tained mi­crobes from out­er space, has­n’t died.

In fact, things might be get­ting even weirder.

A new study sug­gests the claimed con­nec­tion be­tween scar­let rain and ti­ny ce­les­tial vis­i­tors may be con­sist­ent with his­tor­i­cal ac­counts link­ing col­ored rain to me­te­or pass­ings. These would seem to ech­o the In­dia case, in which or­gan­isms are pro­posed to have fall­en out of a break­ing me­te­or.

“Some of these [past] ac­counts may have been ex­ag­ger­at­ed,” cau­tioned the new stu­dy’s au­thor in re­port­ing his find­ings, adding that con­si­der­able prob­lems also dog the alien-cell pro­po­sal.

Yet the his­tor­i­cal anal­y­sis, he con­clud­ed, shows the ques­tion is “much more com­plex than one might have ex­pect­ed” and “should be in­ves­t­i­gated with eve­ry sci­en­tif­ic re­source” avail­a­ble.

The stu­dy, by doc­tor­al stu­dent Pat­rick Mc­Caf­ferty of Queen’s Un­ivers­ity Bel­fast, is pub­lished in the ad­vance on­line edi­tion of the In­terna­t­ional Jour­nal of As­tro­bi­ol­o­gy.

Mc­Caf­ferty an­a­lyzed, as he wrote, “80 ac­counts of red rain, an­oth­er 20 ref­er­ences to lakes and riv­ers turn­ing blood-red, and 68 ex­am­ples of oth­er phe­nom­e­na such as col­oured rain, black rain, milk, bricks, or hon­ey fall­ing from the sky.”

Six­ty of these events, or 36 per­cent, “were linked to me­te­oritic or com­et­ary ac­ti­vity,” he went on. But not al­ways strongly. Some­times, “the fall of red rain seems to have oc­curred af­ter an air­burst,” as from a me­te­or ex­plod­ing in air; oth­er times the odd rain­fall “is merely recorded in the same year as a stone-fall or the ap­pear­ance of a comet.”

The phe­nom­e­na were recorded in times and places as var­ied as Clas­si­cal Rome, me­di­e­val Ire­land, Nor­man Brit­ain and 19th cen­tu­ry Cal­i­for­nia, not­ed Mc­Caf­ferty, who has a mas­ter’s de­gree in ar­chae­o­lo­gy and stud­ies Irish myth and as­tron­o­my. Mc­Caf­ferty added that ta­les sug­ges­tive of red rain-me­te­or links al­so crop up in myth.

With wit­nesses to past events all long dead, Mc­Caf­ferty wrote that probably no his­tor­i­cal anal­y­sis will ev­er set­tle the de­bate over the 2001 rain­falls in In­dia.

Re­search claim­ing to con­nect these rains to ex­tra­ter­res­tri­al life pro­voked dis­be­lief when they were first re­ported wide­ly, in World Sci­ence. “I real­ly, really don’t think they are from a me­te­or!” wrote Har­vard Un­ivers­ity bi­ol­o­gist Jack Szos­tak, re­fer­ring to cell-like par­t­i­cles that had been re­ported to per­me­ate the col­lect­ed rain­wa­ter.

The cu­ri­ous events be­gan on July 25, 2001, when res­i­dents of Ker­a­la, a re­gion in south­west­ern In­dia, started see­ing scar­let rain in some ar­eas. It per­sisted on-and-off for some weeks, even two months. Sci­en­tists could­n’t iden­ti­fy the cell-like specks that gave the wa­ter its scar­let hue. Specula­t­ion of pos­si­ble ex­tra­ter­res­tri­al ori­gins be­gan.

Two In­di­an sci­en­tists lat­er pub­lished a chem­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal anal­y­sis sug­gest­ing, they said, that the specks might in­deed be lit­tle aliens. They “have much si­m­i­lar­ity with bi­o­log­i­cal cells” but with­out DNA, wrote the re­search­ers, God­frey Lou­is and A. San­thosh Ku­mar of In­di­a’s Ma­hat­ma Gan­dhi Un­ivers­ity. “Are these cell-like par­t­i­cles a kind of al­ter­nate life from space?”

They cit­ed news­pa­per re­ports that a me­te­or broke up in the at­mos­phere hours be­fore the red rain. Lou­is and Ku­mar’s re­search pa­per ap­peared in the April 4, 2006 on­line edi­tion of the re­search jour­nal As­t­ro­phys­ics and Space Sci­ence. In pre­vi­ous, un­pub­lished pa­pers, the pa­ir al­so claimed the par­t­i­cles could re­pro­duce in ex­treme heat.

Some re­search­ers, in­clud­ing Chan­dra Wick­ra­mas­inghe, di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for As­tro­bi­ol­o­gy at Car­diff Un­ivers­ity, U.K., have said that Lou­is and Ku­mar’s idea may well be cor­rect. He and oth­er sup­port­ers point­ed to the con­sist­en­cy of the alien-cell hy­poth­e­sis with the pop­u­lar “pansper­mia” the­o­ry, which holds that me­te­ors and comets might have seeded life through­out many plan­ets.

But oth­er sci­en­tists have cit­ed prob­lems with the the­o­ry, in­clud­ing a lack of clear ev­i­dence for any me­te­or, and the knot­ty ques­tion of how mi­cro-aliens might have stayed aloft for months af­ter burst­ing out of a me­te­or.

“With­out con­clu­sive ev­i­dence such as me­te­oritic dust mixed with red rain, it is dif­fi­cult to say an­ything spe­cif­ic about Ker­a­la’s red rain,” Mc­Caf­ferty wrote. But in his­to­ry, he added, “there ap­pears to be a strong link be­tween some re­ported events [like it] and me­te­oritic ac­ti­vity. The re­ported airburst just be­fore the fall of red rain in Ker­a­la fits a fa­mil­iar pat­tern, and can­not be dis­missed so easily as an un­re­lat­ed co­in­ci­dence.”

Source: World Science


Strange Encounters with Winged Creatures

Rumors about the “flying beings” have been circulating around the globe from time immemorial. Almost every nation’s fairy tales have a description of a winged creature that looks like a human being. It was not until a few years ago that researchers in different parts of the world began trying harder to crack the mystery of the flying creatures.

American researchers became the first ones to show interest in the “flying humanoids.” The U.S. Air Force archives keep a report on an UFO filed by one William S. Lamb from Nebraska. Mr. Lamb was on a hunting trip near Hewbell at 5 a.m. on February 22, 1922. Suddenly he heard a strange high-pitched sound coming from above. Mr. Lamb looked up and saw a big dark object flying in the sky. Then it landed just like an airplane and started walking across the snow. The stranger was at least eight foot high. Mr. Lamb tried to follow the footprints but exhausted himself trudging through the deep snow.

The archives also keep similar records about several amazing encounters that took place near the small town of Point Pleasant.

On November 15, 1966, two young family couples, the residents of Point Pleasant, went astray while riding on a car to the country to see their friends. Dusk was falling as they were driving past an old mill. All of a sudden one of the women began staring open-mouthed at two red circles that shone brightly in the dark. The circles were about two inches in diameter and seemed to be hanging in the air. Then they started moving towards the car. The driver and passengers finally saw the eyes of a huge living being.

Its frame resembled that of a human but it looked a lot taller, up to six and a half to seven foot. And it had a pair of wings folded behind the back.

The big red eyes seemed to be hypnotizing the riders, everybody was sitting still for a minute or two unable to look away. Then somebody cried out: “Let’s get out of here!” and the driver stepped on it. The car was crossing the top of a hill as the passengers saw another winged creature hovering above the trees. It spread the wings and flew straight up the sky as the car was rolling at a hundred miles per hour.

Thomas Uri, a young salesman from Point Pleasant, was driving his car on early morning of November 25, 1966. Thomas then saw a tall humanlike form standing in the field nearby. Suddenly, the creature unfolded the wings and rose vertically into the sky like a helicopter. It was flying above the car for a while, never falling behind though the car was running at 75 miles per hour.

It is quite noteworthy that an indescribable fear filled all the residents of Point Pleasant who saw the flying monster.  A similar flying creature was seen about the same time in the vicinity of the town of New Haven in West Virginia.

Connie, a 18-year-old resident of the above town, was driving back home after a Sunday church service. She was driving past a derelict golf course when a big grey figure, at least seven foot high, emerged at the roadside. However, it was not the height of the creature that caught Connie’s eye. The girl was virtually mesmerized by the two big eyes, they were red and shone brightly. All of a sudden the creature spread its wings and it lifted up slowly, without making a sound. The flying thing did not flap the wings during the flight.

Four lads were walking back home from a dance near Standling Park in Kent, the United Kingdom, on November 16, 1963. They suddenly heard a crackling of the branches and along came a black behemoth. It had a pair of bat-like wings.

A similar creature was seen in the village of Nagorye, in central Russia, in the September of 1979. It was dusk when a student took a girl on a date in the field. The sun was sinking fast. The student was called Igor Kuleshov. He was in the middle of the date when he saw some dark object flying slowly above the ground at about 30 meters. Igor went speechless as the object moved closer and took shape of a human wearing some kind of a shining armor like a knight of the Middle Ages. There was a pale halo around the flying man. He flew right above the astounded couple and vanished in the direction of a forest. They could also hear something resembling a rustle of the leaves on the wind.

U.S. researchers put forth two theories as to the origins of the “flying beings.” According to the first theory, the military conducted a series of experiments involving residents of the areas near secret military installations. The experiments had to do with a mind-control research program, which allegedly involved the use of electronic signals to produce same-kind hallucinations. The second theory maintains that the winged creatures do exist. Their origins remain pretty murky and unearthly, though. The creatures turn up in our dimension once in a while only to disappear without a trace in another dimension.

Source: Pravda

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