7/1/11  #628
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Are you afraid of ghosts and monsters? How about aliens flying down in their space-craft to kidnap you from your bedroom at night?  Do you worry that the government is listening in on your private conversations? Or that the Men-In-Black are waiting for you just  around the corner?  Well never fear - Conspiracy Journal is Here!  Yes that's right.  Conspiracy Journal, your number one source of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and more, is here once again to protect you from THEM, by keeping you informed on all the news and information that you won't  hear on your local 6 o'clock news.

This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such insulin-robbing tales as:

- Russian Scientist: "We will meet Aliens by 2031" -
Strange "Bubble-Like" Burst of Light Caught By Cameras -
- Mad Gassers of America -
- Family Terrorized by Freak Fires -
AND: High School Principal Investigated for Hypnotizing Students

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Two Golden Age Of Flying Saucer Classics:
Diane - She Came From Venus & Why We Are Here


Here are two complete works in one large size volume, featuring the remarkable stories of two dedicated women who shaped what has become known as, The Golden Age Of Flying Saucers, a period that ran for almost two decades starting in the early 1950s, and mainly centered around those claiming to have established communications with extraterrestrials. Dubbed Contactees, most of these encounters are said to have taken place in the deserts of California and Arizona, and helped fired up the public s fascination with life on other planets, acting as a springboard for our own space program.

Book One: Diane - She Came From Venus:

On the other hand, Dana Howard's contacts seemed to be highly evolved. In fact, the author of the exceedingly hard to find first edition of Diane She Came From Venus speaks of her alien friends with high reverence as if they might be God s angels: All over the world an auspicious new day is dawning. A triumphant spiritual victory is soon to be won. Many earthlings will live to see it emblazoned across the morning skies commingled with the dazzling radiance of the sunrise. With trumpets and fanfare the New Age will be ushered in. When that wonderful day arrives those from ON HIGH will descend earthward. They will help to release all the human family to a new octave in living. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of the trumpet, and they shall gather together. His elect from the four winds. . . (Matt. 24: 31.)

Book Two: Why We Are Here:

Gloria Lee learned to fly before she could drive a car. Married to an aeronautical engineer, she became entranced with the subject of UFOs and became actively engaged in psychic research and the study of esoterica penning a book that was done solely through mental telepathy directed to her from extraterrestrials. Gloria Lee, was specifically trained and developed over a period of four years. Lee admits this may seem incredible to some minds, but it must be remember that some of the Space People are over one million years in advance of our evolution have developed faculties many of us are not even aware exist. Unable to attract the attention of government officials to her contacts, Gloria Lee succumbed after a 66 days hunger strike.

If you order right now you will also receive a free audio CD of the very rare
"Music From Another Planet," a wonderful 1957 recording as performed by an
alien from Saturn for the celebrated contactee Howard Menger, another
contactee from the Golden Age Of Flying Saucers

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

Click Here to Order With PayPal

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The NEW Conspiracy Journal/Bizarre Bazaar Catalog is now ONLINE!

Promoting Free Speech and Individuality - Opposing Orthodoxy, The Establishment, Death and Taxes!

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Strange, Amazing, Rare, and Exotic Items from Worldwide Sources.

This PDF file is available FREE to read online or to download. Take this link to check out the weirdest catalog in the galaxy!

Bleu Ocean Passes

A wonderful man just passed away whose love was felt by everyone whose heart he touched.
Bleu Ocean was a well respected drummer, a singer, song writer, and rock and roll promoter. I first met Bleu at the infamous Max's Kansas City a watering hole on the mean streets of Manhattan where such rock stars as Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, David Bowie hung out along with members of the glam bands Teen Age Lust, The Magic Tramps and the Harlots of 42nd Street whom were all our friends.
Bleu toured the world even played a gig at the Grand Canyon in a show organized by the Beatles. He put together an elaborate drum sequence for The Wall that is part of the Pink Floyd album. And he even played drums behind the "magic curtain" for the Monkeys before that band  learned how to hold an instrument properly.
Bleu loved UFOs and Bigfoot whom as an Native American he grew up near on Mount Shasta in California. He said he could hear their chatter in the distance. Bleu toured with me with our UFO/New Age/Conspiracy Show went on the road. He became friends with just about all of the speakers such as Dr. Frank Stranges, Brad Steiger, and Jordan Maxwell.  As our tech support who knew how to set up and plug in equipment I didn't
even know how to turn on.
Lets face it and Bleu knew how to party as only a true rocker can. But he also had a calm and serious side to him which really balanced him out.
We all adored Bleu and he will be missed greatly by one and all. But we know there is a celebrating waiting for him just beyond the next door to what may hopefully be a long life in the next dimension.

Timothy Green Beckley

(Photo: The jam is on. . .Tim Beckley and the late Bleu Ocean get down with the UFO Band in Phoenix. Only photo known to exist of Bleu with a beard. )


Russian Scientist: "We will meet Aliens by 2031"

Human civilization may come into contact with the extraterrestrial civilizations within the next two decades, according to a top Russian astronomer.

Russian astronomers expect to find out and meet aliens by the year 2031, Andrei Finkelstein, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Applied Astronomy Institute, said while speaking at an international forum dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life.

“"The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms. Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years," he told Interfax news agency, adding that aliens would most likely resemble humans.

"They may have two arms, two legs and a head. They may have different color skin, but even we have that," he said.

According to Finkelstein, 10 percent of the known planets circling suns in the galaxy resemble Earth, which increases the possibility that life exists elsewhere.

“If water can be found there, then so can life,” he said.

Contact with extraterrestrial civilizations has been one of the most sought after efforts taken by scientists and astronomers.

However, the renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who has always said that alien life certainly existed, has warned over contact with them as it might be devastating for humanity.

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans," he told The Sunday Times in April last year.

He also advocated in an interview with BBC in May 2010 that, “rather than try to establish contact, man should try to avoid contact with alien life forms.”

Finkelstein asserted that Russian Academy of Sciences' Applied Astronomy Institute has “mainly been waiting for messages from space and not the other way."

Of course any success for discovering extraterrestrial life probably will not be coming from the United States anytime soon.  The SETI Institute took its Alien Telescope Array (ATA) offline in April due to lack of funding, but a core group of alien seekers is trying to raise money to help re-launch the quest for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

The ATA comprises 42 telescopes located in Northern California that scan outer space for deliberate, non-naturally occurring radio signals that if discovered would indicate the presence of other intelligence life in the universe.

The institute recently launched SETIstars.org in an effort to get enough private donations to bring the array back online, one volunteer in the fundraising effort told Boing Boing on Monday.

The ATA went offline "at the exact worst possible moment," according to Boing Boing's source, "just as we're discovering dozens of planets in the habitable zones around their respective stars by the month.

"For the first time in its existence, SETI knows exactly where to point its telescopes if—it had the money."

SETIstars.org is seeking $200,000 in funding by July 29 and as of Tuesday morning had raised $3,476 from 59 "Stars."

The SETI Institute was founded in November 1984 and began operations on February 1, 1985. The institute still employs more than 150 scientists, educators, and support staff, but funding cuts have made it impossible to continue to operate the ATA, one of the most critical components in its search for extraterrestrial life.

The institute further explains its fundraising goals on SETIstars.org:

"At the SETI Institute, we've made a name for ourselves exploring space. But it's our community here on Earth—passionate, science-minded and creative—that truly defines us. That's why we're launching SETIstars, an initiative to connect us more closely than ever with the constellation of visionaries and supporters that make our work possible.

"Priority one is getting the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) back online as soon as possible and once again fixing our gaze on the stars. The ATA is a powerful field of linked radio telescopes that enable countless avenues of astronomical study, chief among them the search for evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations and insight into the nature of our cosmic origins. In the wake of a recent funding shortfall, however, this invaluable tool lies dormant and our vision of the universe around us has gone dark. With your help, we can change that.

"But like any worthwhile endeavor, the first challenge is unlikely to be the last. This is a journey that will last our lifetimes, as we continually strive to get closer to answering the kinds of questions that may one day change everything about our world. It won't happen overnight, but with your support, it will happen.

"We here at SETI are making an appeal to the power of human collaboration, and now is the time to get involved. Join us!"

Source: International Business Times


Strange "Bubble-Like" Burst of Light Caught By Cameras

A bubble-like burst of light captured on two Hawaii telescopes recently has left scientists puzzled.

The mysterious phenomenon took place in the wee hours of the morning on June 22. At about 3:37 a.m. local time, a white sphere blossomed in the night sky, expanding like a soap bubble and then disappearing. A webcam on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in Hawaii, captured the image, as did a camera on the Subaru telescope, also on Mauna Kea.

Sky watchers have been flooding internet forums with speculation about the burst. Captured in time-lapse footage, the glowing sphere takes several minutes to expand until it virtually fills the frame - then it vanishes as mysteriously as it appeared.

Theories as the cause of the mysterious luminous sphere have ranged from the opening of an inter-dimensional portal to the future to a battle between two alien starships.

But the most likely explanation is that is shows a U.S. Minuteman III inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), ejecting fuel as it enters the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere.

The time-lapse footage shows the night horizon filled with stars, when suddenly an ethereal arc pops into view.

It rapidly expands, forming a circular shell which grows as it travels across the horizon, then fades as it fills the view.

According to Discover Magazine's Bad Astronomy blog, the soap bubble-like characteristics of the light burst indicate that it has been caused by a 'sudden impulse of energy and rapid expansion of material'.

Citing online astronomy forums, Bad Astronomy reveals that a Minuteman III ICBM had been scheduled to launch from Vandenburg Air Force Base, California, three minutes before the burst was observed, at about 3:35am Hawaii time.

The stars of the Cassiopeia constellation are visible in the horizon behind the burst, indicating that the webcam was pointed north-east - towards the base and the missile's probable flight path.

Again citing internet forums, the blog speculates the burst could have caused by a charges in the missile's third stage detonating to kill its thrust as it arcs across the Earth.

At a pre-determined moment, ports in the side of this section of the missile are blown open by explosive charges, allowing remaining fuel to be dumped fast.

This rapid fuel dump cuts the missile's thrust at precisely the right time allowing the warhead to be targeted with devastating accuracy at the right spot back on the surface of the Earth.

As the missile is above most of the Earth's atmosphere at this point, when the fuel gas is suddenly ejected it blows away from the missile in a perfect sphere - which could explain the bubble-like characteristics of the light.

For this explanation, the timing seems to be right. However, it is only a theory and there has not yet been any official confirmation of the claims.

Source: Daily Mail


Mad Gassers of America

In the same way that the enigma of Jack the Ripper haunts Great Briton to this day it can be argued that one of the most intriguing unsolved mysteries in the history of the United States is the identity of a shadowy character who stalked the residents of the rural town of Mattoon, Illinois, Infecting their homes with a putrid vapor before disappearing with nary a trace. This nefarious figure came to be dubbed the “Mad Gasser of Mattoon,” but while this villain is far and away the most famous, “he” was not the only — or, for that matter, first — so-called Mad Gasser to invade American homes!

The oft told tale of the Mad Gasser of Mattoon — also known as the “Mad Anesthetic” — began (aptly enough) in the small town of Mattoon, Illinois in 1944. Between the dates of August 31st and September 13th, a thin, black clad assailant would spread a reign of terror with a series of unprovoked and invasive “gas attacks.” Although police and FBI agents attempted to dismiss the whole thing as a classic case of mass hysteria, the evidence supports the reality that during those weeks in 1944, an unidentified person (or persons) managed to infiltrate the homes of local citizenry with an unknown gaseous substance, which rendered — through means as yet unidentified — the occupants incapacitated or violently ill.

Since 1944 debates have raged as to the true identity of this mysterious marauder. Some have speculated that the Mad Gasser was a crazed scientist, while others suggest it was a government agent testing a new aerosol based weapon.

Still others have theorized that he might be a deranged WWI veteran, scarred by the horrifically vicious gas attacks that claimed so many in the trenches. A few believe it was the work of crafty juvenile delinquents with a chemistry set and too much time on their hands and fewer still insist that he was nothing less than an extraterrestrial performing some sort of strange experiment on its human subjects.

Whatever the origin of this enigmatic entity might be, the facts surrounding the bizarre and terrifying series of events in Mattoon have been chronicled ad infinitum, but as infamous as this incident has become, less well known is the fact that two additional — equally insidious — gassers were seen lurking around Florida and Virginia over 10 years before the harrowing events that sent Mattoon into a tizzy.


December 22, 1933 – Haymakertown:

The first sequence of events began in a rural area of Botetourt County, Virginia. A man by the name of Cal Huffman along with his wife, six children and a family friend claimed to have been besieged by a strange attacker the likes of which had never been encountered, at least not in the United States.

According to the testimony of the Huffmans’, at approximately 10 pm. an unidentified vapor filled their home, rendering Mrs. Huffman ill. She retired, along with the children, hoping that sleep might keep the nausea at bay. Meanwhile her husband remained awake to see if the skulking figure they had spied earlier might return. He was not disappointed.

Just half an hour later, Cal noticed that his house was once again filled with the noxious fumes. While he apparently did not encounter the “Phantom Anesthetist,” Cal wasted no time in hightailing it over to his landlord’s house — one K.W. Henderson — whereupon he used the telephone to call the local police.

Cal and Henderson’s son, Ashby, returned to the Huffman home where they met Officer Lemon who had been sent to the scene. Lemon, Ashby and Cal maintained a vigilant watch until about midnight, when Officer Lemon was called away. As if on cue the gasser returned, this time filling both levels of the home with his putrescent spray.

Cal’s 19 year-old daughter, Alice Huffman, was rendered unconscious after breathing in the evidently toxic haze and required artificial respiration to restore her breathing. The teenager allegedly suffered a series of severe convulsions for weeks following the incident.

The other members of the Huffman family — as well as Ashby Henderson — suffered nausea, headaches and a constriction of the throat muscles following this third gas attack. Following the assault, both Cal and Ashby swore they saw a “shadowy” masculine figure scurrying away into the night, but were unable (or, possibly, unwilling) to take pursuit.

Dr. W.N. Breckinridge was brought in by the police to help discover what kind of gas had been used to incapacitate the Huffman family. During the course of his investigation, Dr. Breckinridge managed to rule out both tear gas and chloroform, but could not identify the true origin of the vapor. In fact, the only clue as to the culprit was a woman’s shoe print that was discovered by Officer Lemon below the window where the gas purportedly emanated. It’s worth noting that similar footprints were found at some of the scenes of the Mattoon attacks of 1944.

December24, 1933 – Cloverdale:

The nearby town of Cloverdale — which is also located Botetourt County — was the site of the next attack. The episode began at approximately 9 pm. on Christmas Eve as Clarence Hall, his wife and two children returned home following a church service. Moments after they entered their home, the Hall family noticed an odd odor lingering in the air.

Clarence dutifully inspected the house, returning minutes later in a stupor. Mrs. Hall, who, by this point, was also beginning to feel the effects of the fog, wasted no time in pulling her nearly unconscious husband (and, presumably, their children) from the infected house. The side effects of the gas were apparently not long lasting and Clarence quickly regained his bearings, but Mrs. Hall complained of a severe eye irritation for days following.

The police and Dr. Breckinridge again descended on the scene of this bizarre — and seemingly unmotivated — “gas attack,” but this time they arrived before the mist had a chance to completely dissipate. Dr. Breckinridge stated that the gas “tasted sweet” and seemed to have an aftertaste of formaldehyde. Again, the illustrious doctor was unable to definitively identify the substance. While no feminine footprints were discovered at the scene, one of the officers noted that a nail had been pulled from the window, presumably to allow a small tube to enter through the wooden orifice in order to release the vaporous toxin.

Hall quickly sent his family to stay with some friends and recruited a gang of neighborhood men who spent the remainder of the night searching the wooded area near his property for the offending anesthetist. This search ultimately proved to be little more than a waste of time.

While most of the local men were tromping through the woods, Hall’s neighbor, Emmett Lee, was convinced that he heard strange voices outside his window. Lee retrieved his shotgun and blasted it skyward to frighten off the would-be trespassers. Nevertheless he and his wife Lura wrangled all ten of their children and kept them upstairs for the rest of the night, lest the gassers should assail their home.

December 27th, 1933 – Troutville:

Just three days later, the Mad Gasser apparently struck again when he sprayed his poisonous mist at A.L. Kelly and his mother in their Troutville home. This time, however, the eyewitnesses were able to report what may have been the first tangible proof of the gasser… or gassers, as the evidence seemed to indicate.

Kelly later told police officers that he had noticed a brand new 1933 Chevrolet cruising suspiciously in front of the isolated house that he shared with his mother. He further reported that the vehicle appeared to be occupied by both a man and a woman. One of the Kelly’s neighbors managed to jot down a partial license plate number, but the police were unable to identify the vehicle or its owners.

Following these events panic spread through the community like wildfire and the local media went into a frenzy; publishing all manner of wild speculations regarding the origins and nefarious purpose of the fiend they dubbed the “Anesthetic Prowler.” Fathers kept night long vigils on their front porches with their rifles close at hand, while mothers stuffed keyholes and every crack they could find with rags.

The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors even took the extreme measure of offering $500 reward — a substantial sum considering that the Great Depression was still in effect — for the capture of this inscrutable monster. The reward has yet to be claimed.

January 10th, 1934 – Fincastle:

The Mad Gasser laid low for almost two weeks before he reared his head again. Homer Hylton was asleep with his wife in an upstairs bedroom, while his daughter, Mrs. Moore — whose husband was away on business — slept on a downstairs couch near her infant child. Moore claimed that she had awoken to tend to the baby at about 10 pm. when she heard the sounds of “mumbling voices” as someone attempted to open a nearby window, which had a tiny chip in it.

Before she could react, the room suddenly began filling with rancid smog. Moore swiftly snagged her baby and exited the room, feeling what she described as a “marked feeling of numbness.” While Moore and her child managed to escape unharmed, authorities later speculated that the chip in the window was the conduit through which the fiendish gasser had infiltrated the home.

The Hylton’s neighbor, G.E. Poage, confirmed that he had also heard voices outside at approximately the same time. Later that same evening, a Troutville resident named G.D. Kinzie was allegedly the victim of yet another respiratory mauling by the Phantom Anesthetist.

January 16, 1934 – Bonsack:

Less than a week later the gasser harassed one F.B. Duval in his home near Bonsack. Duval wasted no time in exiting his home in order to wrangle up some officers of the law.

Duval claimed that on his way to the police station he saw a man sprint for a car parked at an intersection and speed away from the scene.

Duval and, the now seasoned Mad Gasser pursuer, Officer Lemon, cruised the area for hours searching for the vehicle to no avail.

Lemon did, however, find the prints of a woman’s shoe uncannily similar to those he discovered outside of the Huffman home near where the mysterious car had been parked.

January 19, 1934 – Cloverdale:

Just three days later, the gasser allegedly sprung into action again near Cloverdale. This time he was accused of spraying into the window of a former judge’s wife named Mrs. Campbell. Campbell claimed that she was sitting near an open window when her shade inexplicably moved. Seconds later she succumbed to an intense feeling on nausea.The attacks began to increase in frequency at this point; with no less than five reported encounters taking place over three nights.

January 21, 1934 – Troutville-Cloverdale:

The first transpired on January 21st, when Howard Crawford and his wife entered their home, which was located between Troutville and Cloverdale. Mr. Crawford entered first, but before he could turn on the light he stumbled backwards, beleaguered by the cloud of gas that filled their home.

The police were quick to arrive at the scene, but — much like in the other attacks — there were few clues of note. Perhaps the most befuddling, if ultimately futile, piece of evidence found at the locale was a hand crank from an old automobile. The officers and the Crawford’s were perplexed by this discovery, but were unable to glean any additional information from the instrument.

By this point the police and press had logged more than a dozen reports of gas attacks and it was then that the illustrious New York Times finally got wind of this terrifying nocturnal raider. In a story they published under the headline: “Virginians Are Terrorized by Gas Thrower, Who Flees in Night After Making Victims Ill,” the Times took what was once a local anomaly and transformed it into an international curiosity.

The day after the story broke, the Virginia General Assembly approved a bill offered by Roanoke Delegates Blair Fishburn and W.H. Scott, as well As M.R. Morgan of Botetourt, which made “gassing” a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. This odd law is still on the books in Virginia.

January 22, 1934 – Carvin’s Cove:

Apparently the new law did little to deter the enthusiasm of the spectral gasser as this evening would prove to be the most prolific night for the vicious chemist. During the course of just one hour no less than three sets of victims claimed to have been assaulted by appalling fumes in Carvin’s Cove, which is located just a few miles northeast of Cloverdale.

The first casualty of the gasser’s infamous one hour onslaught was Ed Reedy, who claimed to suffer symptoms that included nausea and numbness. This was followed by Raymond Etter, whose son claimed to have pursued and fired shots at a “man” hastily making his escape from the Etter home. Unfortunately the speedy quarry managed to elude his tracker.

The final victim of the evening was George C. Riley. Following his airborne assault, Riley managed to get a hold of his brother who was an officer with the Roanoke Police Department. In no time the police had roadblocks stationed all around the area, in an unprecedented effort to finally capture this crazed corrupter of the atmosphere. Despite the officers’ best efforts, the gasser (not surprisingly) managed to once again evade the authorities.

January 23rd, 1934 – Pleasantdale Church:

The next encounter began Mrs. R.H. Hartsell and her family returned to their Pleasantdale Church home at 4:30 in the morning after spending the night with neighbors. The Hartsell’s were dismayed to discover that the doors of their house had been blocked with mounds of wood and debris. When they cleared the obstacles away they were even more distressed to determine that the house was filled with a foul mist.

This was the final straw for the good citizens of Botetourt County. Families who were isolated from their neighbors began to band together in single homes and armed posses of vigilantes took it upon themselves to patrol the roads after dusk.

The police grew concerned that an innocent stroller might become the victim of these armed locals and delved into the case with even more intensity and the Roanoke Times beseeched the amateur night-patrolmen to refrain from firing upon their fellow citizens.

The authorities –who had initially dismissed the gas attacks as mere mischief stirred up by juvenile delinquents — were now forced to concede that the Mad Gasser was a force to be reckoned with. Speculation grew that the perpetrator might well be a deranged WWI veteran who may have had all too close encounters with lethal gasses during the Great War.

January 28, 1934 – Cloverdale:

A farmer from Cloverdale named Ed Stanley, his wife, a hired hand and two others were all inside the Stanley’s home when it began to fill with an inexplicable haze. The hired hand, a fellow by the name of Frank Guy, sprinted outside and swore that he saw four men running toward the densely forested area at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Knowing full well that he likely just bore witness to the notorious Mad Gasser and his gang of miscreants, Guy darted back into the Stanley’s house, retrieved his rifle and dashed back outside. The men we no longer visible, but Guy claimed that he could hear them rustling in the nearby forest. He fired a spray of bullets toward the noises, but was never sure if any of them found their mark.

January 29, 1934 – Cloverdale:

The following eve the gasser, for the first time, returned to the same residence on a consecutive night. Stanley claimed that he heard a noise outside the window before the room filled with gas. Inexplicably, his account ends abruptly with that fact.

February 3, 1934 – Nace:

A.P. Skagges along with his wife and five other friends were all intensely sickened by the gas, which they believed had come in two separate doses. In response to those who doubted the veracity of the Skagges’ story, one Sheriff Williamson stated: “No amount of imagination in the world would make people as ill as the Skagges are.”

Officer Lemon was again dispatched to the scene. This time, he noted, the mist did more than cause nausea and convulsions. In fact, the symptoms displayed by some of the Skagges family seem more akin to what one would endure when exposed to an extraordinarily large dose of hallucinogenic drugs. One of Skagges’ nephews was recorded as hysterically shrieking that he was “trapped” inside the house.

The family’s pet dog also seemed to be suffering the deleterious effects of gas exposure as Lemon noticed when he returned the following day. The Skagges children were all weeping as their dog frantically rolled and convulsed in the snow, as if attempting to dislodge the malodorous spray of a skunk. The dog apparently remained ill for days, but eventually recovered.

During the week that followed there were a score of gasser reports with a 30 mile radius of Botetourt County. Most accounts smacked of hysteria or outright hoaxes, including teens throwing a bottle on insecticide through a woman’s window. Although that incident clearly lacked the subtlety employed by the Mad Gasser, it was enough for local police to dismiss the whole thing — in much the same way the authorities of Mattoon would a decade later — as nothing more than hysteria fueled by the occasional hoax.

February 9, 1934– Lithia:

The final attack by the Mad Gasser of Botetourt County took place that very same week. J.G. Shafer claimed that the gasser had infiltrated his home, but managed to escape through the snowdrifts into his barn. Shafer managed to secure a sample of snow outside his window that seemed to have the residue of the mist embedded in it. The sweet-smelling material was analyzed and was determined to contain arsenic and sulfur, two ingredients often found in insecticides of the era.

The police officers followed the culprit’s tracks back to the barn behind Shafer’s home, but were disturbed to discover that there was no one in the barn… and, even more disturbingly, no tracks leading away from it. This has led some to speculate that the Mad Gasser might be a paranormal (or even inter-dimensional) being after all. It should also be noted that a set of tracks clearly showing a pair of “woman’s shoes” were found emerging from the property into the street.

In a futile effort to calm the panic-struck public, police and other local authorities released a statement saying that the Mad Gassers were nothing more than a flight of fancy spread by out of control rumors and defective chimney flues, which had adversely affected the victims’ respiratory systems. It goes without saying that those closest to the investigation — like the dozens of victims or Officer Lemon — did not support the official explanation of this puzzling case.

It’s also worth noting that these attacks seemed to stop in tandem with these, frankly ludicrous, official denials of the gasser’s existence. Does this indicate that the government agency that may have been responsible for these experiments informed the local authorities that they were to dismiss the whole series of events to prevent further panic, or is it merely a coincidence?


November 8th, 1935 – Lake County:

The next pre-Mattoon account of a Mad Gasser in America hails from Florida’s Lake County Citizen. Respected cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman, dug up the story of this lunatic anesthetist who was apparently doing a lot more than merely nauseating his victims. This story was so important it made the coveted page one on the newspaper. Here’s the article:

This offender seems to have a distinctly more materialistic modus operandi than the Mad Gassers of Botetourt County or even that of Mattoon. This has led many to believe that the villainous character with the “knock-out” gun was more likely than not an simple thief with a not so simple mind. He (or she) might have been a doctor, a nurse, a chemist, a veterinary assistant or involved in any number of careers that gave him access to chemicals that could render human beings unconscious.

Whatever their occupation (or species, for that matter,) we nestled comfortably here in the 21st Century would be remiss to discount the genuine terror that gripped Botetourt County in 1933 and 1934. Robert Bartholomew, who has written on the subject had this to say: “If you want to know what it was like to live in Roanoke and Botetourt back then, it was just like after September, 11th.”


So what should we make of the Mad Gassers of Botetourt and Lake Counties? The culprits were never apprehended, that much is clear, but what became of them? Did they, as many believe, lay low for the better part of a decade before returning to their wicked ways in Mattoon, Illinois, in 1944?

Were they actually war crazed veterans or insidious government agents looking to test the deleterious effects of a new vaporized weapon by experimenting on unsuspecting American citizens? Most intriguingly, does the fact that no one ever discovered the tracks leading away from the Shafer barn confirm that these were actually extraterrestrial — or possibly supernatural — entities that may have been whisked away aboard a UFO or some other mystical transport?

As far as the discovery of multiple feminine footprints at the scenes of the crimes, does this mean that the gasser was a female or, perhaps, part of a couple? Possibly a peculiar, pharmacologically knowledgeable “Bonnie and Clyde,” who for reasons beyond our grasp took it upon themselves to fill the homes of strangers with noxious fumes. Hell, there have even been unconfirmed reports of “ape men” in the area of the gassings, which throws an entirely different light onto the proceedings.

In the end, it’s the “why” the remains so baffling for most researchers. There is simply no clear cut motive for these sinister home invasions, but the commonality of the attacks in Virginia and Illinois — and, to a lesser degree, Florida — seem to indicate a distinct pattern of seemingly random assaults on victims of little or no wealth or political influence by a person or persons whose agenda remains as perplexing today as it was almost 80 years ago.

Perhaps the best description of the Mad Gasser that can be proffered was written by Donald M. Johnson in the 1954 issue of the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. In his article “The Phantom Anesthetist’ of Mattoon: a field study of mass hysteria,” Johnson called the gasser a “shadowy manifestation of some unimaginable unknown.”

That seems to nail it pretty well.

Source: Mysterious Universe


Humans May Have Magnetic Sixth Sense

Humans may have a sixth sense after all, suggests a new study finding that a protein in the human retina, when placed into fruit flies, has the ability to detect magnetic fields.

The researchers caution that the results suggest this human protein has the capability to work as a magnetosensor; however, whether or not humans use it in that way is not known.

"It poses the question, 'maybe we should rethink about this sixth sense,'" Steven Reppert, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, told LiveScience. "It is thought to be very important for how animals migrate. Perhaps this protein is also fulfilling an important function for sensing magnetic fields in humans."

Past research has suggested that in addition to helping animals such as sea turtles and migratory birds navigate, the ability to detect magnetic fields could help with visual spatial perception. Reppert said to picture a magnetic-field coordinate system overlaid on objects we view. [7 Amazing Superhuman Abilities]

"It may aid how animals perceive how objects are in time and space in a way we haven't thought about before," said Reppert, who is a neurobiologist.

Animals' magnetic sense is thought to rely on special proteins called cryptochromes, which are also found in the human retina. While past behavioral research has suggested humans can't sense magnetic fields, with studies showing such a capability remaining controversial, there is evidence that geomagnetism affects the light system in our eyes.

To see if humans perhaps possessed this other sense, Reppert and his colleagues tested wild fruit flies, with their cryptochromes intact, and those that had their own cryptochromes replaced with the human version of the protein.

They placed the fruit flies into a T-shaped maze, with each arm equipped with a coil wrapped in such a way that when a current was sent through it, the coil became magnetized. The team varied which side was magnetized and its strength, which went up to eight times that of Earth's magnetic field.

The flies with the human cryptochromes showed sensitivity to the magnetic fields — either avoiding them as they might naturally do if not acclimated to the magnetism, or showing a preference for the magnetized arm of the maze when trained with sugar rewards to go toward the magnetic field.

The human protein only worked in the blue range of light, the researchers found.

The research is detailed in the June 21 issue of the journal Nature Communications.

Source: LiveScience


Family Terrorized by Freak Fires

Mysterious fires that apparently ignite spontaneously have over the past two weeks destroyed the homes and belongings of a family in Hopewell near Thornville.

The freakish fires have burned through the Mthembu family’s main house, two low-cost houses in the yard and another low-cost house belonging to the children, across the street from the main family home.

The charred remains of some of their possessions - beds, sound system speakers, plastic and steel wash basins, food and clothes - lay in the yard on Sunday.

The steel basins had melted.

The remaining furniture that the family managed to pull out of the fire was strewn across the lawn as they kept watch over it.

Neighhbours, fire-fighters and managers from the Richmond municipality and uMgungundlovu district disaster management teams agreed that this was the first fire of its kind they have witnessed.

They said they had seen the fire start spontaneously and burn through things that had been pulled from the house.

Mashoba Mthembu, the owner of the house, said at least 13 family members are squatting together in one room because they have nowhere else to sleep and that the children are fearful of sleeping in the main house.

She said that the fires started almost two weeks ago on her bed.

“It first burned through my bed and it burnt it halfway.

In that bed there was about R3?000 that had been paid a few weeks earlier for my daughter’s ilobola, and it also burnt,” Mthembu added.

She said that after her bed was burnt, the fire raged through each of the bedrooms, consuming mattresses first and then the whole rooms.

So far it has burned about four bedrooms in the main house.

"At first we thought that it was children who were just playing with fire and accidentally caused it, but the matter came to a head on yesterday (Sunday) when the fire became uncontrollable.

"It burned through everything. If you put it out here, it will start somewhere else.”

She said the fire had also burnt her daughter's house, which is across the street.

Ward councillor Bonginkosi Shange said that even the fire-fighters who had been called to the scene, were puzzled.

“One female fire-fighter just about wet herself when the fire started right in front of her eyes and said she had never seen anything like this.  Just this morning we have put out at least three different fires,” he said.

Joe Nzimande, a community leader said, “The problem is that no other community members want to accommodate the family because they think this fire will follow them there.”

Musa Ndlovu, of the Richmond municipality disaster management team, said the team has organised counselling for the family.

He added, “This family has been heavily traumatised.

"This kind of fire is not a normal fire. It is something that we have never seen before.”

Source: News 24-South Africa


The Legend of Bessie

Tales surface of monster living in Lake Erie.

PUT-IN-BAY -- When Bob Bartolotta sailed on Lake Erie, he often saw what appeared to be a long, thin creature swimming through the water.

Bartolotta, a student in the 1970s at Ohio State University Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island near Put-in-Bay, watched the object hopefully, waiting to see if the snakelike head of a sea monster would emerge.
"I never saw anything like that," said Bartolotta, Cleveland Museum of Natural History outdoor education coordinator. "It always turned out to be a dead tree."
Many who have seen similar phenomena on the lake, however, believe the undulating masses could be South Bass Bessie, also known as Lake Erie Bessie and Lake Erie Larry.

She is a Lake Erie legend, a possible cousin to the Loch Ness Monster. Some think she is a plesiosaurus, a Jurassic marine reptile that has survived thousands of years, said Len Tieman, owner of Prehistoric Forest dinosaur park in Danbury Township and creator a life-sized plesiosaurus featured at his park.

But Joe Hannibal, Cleveland Museum of Natural History paleontologist, said plesiosauruses never lived in this area. They were extinct 65 million years before Ice Age glaciers created Lake Erie, he said.

"If one were found, it would be a spectacular scientific find," Hannibal said.

Plesiosaurus fossils have been found in Kansas and other parts of western North America that were once covered in water, he said. The animals had long necks, a rounded body with flippers and sharply pointed teeth for eating fish.

But lack of scientific evidence hasn't hurt the story or dampened sightings throughout the decades. Sea monsters have been folklore around the world, he said.

"The early newspapers in the 1800s would have reports of sea serpents, even in Lake Erie," he said. "My theory is people need to think there is something wonderful and mysterious out there. It would be fun if there were one."

Sea monsters were the predecessor to UFOs, he said.

"The sightings went down when flying saucers started being sighted (in the 1950s, '60s and '70s)," he said. "They became a craze."

In the late '80s and early '90s, people again began reporting spotting Bessie. Bartolotta attributes the spike to an increase in the number recreational boaters on the lake as Port Clinton became known as the Walleye Capital of the World.

The Put-in-Bay Gazette, South Bass Island's monthly newspaper, helped fuel the story when editor Kendra Koehler took a photo of a log and presented it in the paper as a sea monster.

"It was hilarious," Koehler said. "It was kind of a little hoax. Newspapers and TV crews went on with it for about six months."

Since then, sightings have dwindled. Koehler, Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce Director Maggie Beckford and Ottawa County Visitors Bureau Director Larry Fletcher said they often hear people talk about the monster, but no one has reported seeing her recently.

"People do love the monster story," Koehler said.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Marblehead Station, has not received any Bessie reports since Commander J. Franklin took over 14 months ago, Franklin said. The station does not keep records of sea monster sightings, so he did not know when the last report occurred.

"I'm sure a few people have claimed to see Lake Erie Larry," Beckford said. "I just don't know if they were sober at the time."

Source: Central Ohio


High School Principal Investigated for Hypnotizing Students

A Florida high school principal lied about having hypnotized a student who committed suicide and another who died in a car crash, a school district investigation has revealed.

George Kenney, 51, former principal of North Port High School in Sarasota, admitted to hypnotizing as many as 75 people -- students, parents and staff -- at the school and to defying orders to only use hypnosis in psychology class and with parental permission.

His use of the practice, widely known at the school, came under scrutiny after Kenney acknowledged he had hypnotized Wesley McKinley , 16, the day before the teenager killed himself in April.

But he had denied using the technique on Brittany Palumbo, 16, who killed herself May 4, or Marcus Freeman, 16, a star quarterback on the high school team, who died in a car crash March 15.

"Dr. Kenney admitted that he lied … and he admitted that he did have sessions with both of the other deceased students," according to the report by Steele Investigations Agency, released this week.

In his interview with the investigators, Kenney, a popular principal at the school since 2001, said he felt terrible about "putting his school and his students through something that they didn't need or deserve to have to endure on top of all the tragedy they already have experienced" and started to cry, the report says.

Kenney is on leave and is assigned to an administrative job while a police investigation proceeds. Scott Ferguson, a spokesman for Sarasota schools, said the district would not be commenting on the internal investigation while the police probe is ongoing.

Mark Zimmerman, who is Kenney's lawyer, said no one has alleged that there is a link between the hypnosis of the three students and their deaths. "Dr. Kenney had no indications that these were students who would take their own lives," he said in reference to Wesley McKinley and Brittany Palumbo.

He had used hypnosis to help the two students with text anxiety, Zimmerman said, and had an individual session with Brittany, with a parent present. "It is a coincidence that of the many students he was working with, two had other things going on in their lives."

Kenney helped Freeman with stress and anxiety about sports performance, Zimmerman said.

Kenney, who learned hypnosis at the Omni Hypnosis Training Center in DeLand, Fla., had made podcasts on reducing test anxiety and improving sports performance through hypnosis. He told investigators that his passion for helping students overcame his good judgment.

"He was only trying to help students be more successful and overcome some of the barriers," the report states. In his view, "he may have pushed the envelope, 'but I don't think I've stepped over the line.'"

Kenney faces possible criminal charges under a rarely used Florida law that bars "therapeutic hypnosis" unless it is monitored by a medical professional.

But attorney Zimmerman said the law was "vague" and added, "Hypnosis isn't illegal. What it is is controversial."

Source: ABC News

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