3/24/12  #663
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Despite the best efforts of our elected officials who strive to take away all of our personal freedoms - even though the Men-In-Black have been harassing us on a daily basis - and not even abductions from the reptilian greys in their UFOs will stop another issue of Conspiracy Journal from reaching your email box! So sit back and relax because Conspiracy Journal is here once again to make it all better.

        This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such eye-crossing stories as:

- The Secret Space Program: Who is Responsible? -
Wisconsin Town Experiences Unexplained Sounds and Shaking -
- The Realms Below: Where Fact Meets Fiction -
- Construction Worker Quits After Seeing Ghost -
AND: Experts Examine Mystery Object That 'Fell From the Sky'

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~








The Secret Space Program is among the most clandestine efforts ever undertaken and the questions are many as to who is responsible for its adaptation. Did the aliens establish colonies on the Lunar and Martian surfaces that we have seen and photographed despite attempts by NASA to eradicate them from photographic prints?

Yes, the answers are of utmost importance despite the fact that the American public is being kept in the dark about a subject so intriguing, so controversial, that its mere utterance creates a frustrating clash among skeptics and those in opposition who claim they have access to undeniable proof.

Indeed, are scientists and others traveling back and forth between colonies already established in space? Have their memories been erased so they have only dream-like recollections of such adventures? Even Jules Verne and other early science fiction pioneers might have hinted that secret societies had developed advanced technologies that enabled them to venture beyond our atmosphere.

This mind-blowing book is now available for Conspiracy Journal subscribers at the special price of only $19.95 (plus $5.00 shipping). As well, we will throw in a FREE, bonus audio CD of Commander X's secret lecture about Nazi Flying Discs, stolen Tesla technology, and much, much more!  So don't be left in the dark, order your copy of Secret Space Program: Who is Responsible, TODAY!

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Is A “Breakaway Civilization” Behind The Secret Space Program?

By Sean Casteel

It has long been theorized that there exists a secret space program, an enormously complex program to conquer the nearby solar system with manmade spaceships that have been hidden from public view perhaps since the late 19th century. Timothy Beckley, the editor of “The Conspiracy Journal” and the Global Communications publisher, has recently released a new book called “The Secret Space Program: Who Is Responsible?” that covers this arcane subject most thoroughly. The book is coauthored by Beckley, Tim R. Swartz, Commander X, and myself, and includes the full text of a book I coauthored with Swartz ten years ago called “Nikola Tesla, Journey To Mars.”

            But let’s look first at the newer material. “The Secret Space Program” begins with an interview with Richard Dolan, the author of “UFOs And The National Security State,” Volumes I and II. Dolan’s conservatism of approach is well known in the UFO community, and has kept his research credible after many years of close scrutiny. He is not a wild-eyed contactee or fringe believer, but is instead a scholarly historian of the UFO cover-up with many contacts within the intelligence and military communities.

            Dolan told us why he believes the rumored secret space program really does exist, saying, “I think that there are a number of anomalous events we know have occurred in Earth orbit and beyond Earth orbit. We’ve got 40 years of events recorded by US and Soviet astronauts of objects in orbit that appear to be not our own that seemed to move intelligently. We have the evidence of what’s known as DSP satellites – that’s Defense Support Program satellites. These are a series of geosynchronous satellites in Earth orbit that have a long record of tracking ‘fast-walkers’ in space. That is, objects that are like a space UFO.”

According to Dolan, there have been nearly 300 such anomalous events recorded by the DSP satellites in the years 1973 to 1991.

            “It would seem to me very logical,” Dolan continued, “that just as there would be a covert monitoring of the UFO phenomenon within Earth’s atmosphere and on the ground and so forth, if there are anomalous activities going on in space, then clearly you would want an agency to monitor that as well, to deal with it. And that would necessitate the creation of a very clandestine component to the US space program.”

            The normally staid Dolan also allows for the possibility of there being an alien and/or human presence on the dark side of the moon that is concealed from public view. The information comes from leaks within the military world that, while not “airtight,” are nonetheless credible.

            “You get the claim quite a few times,” Dolan said, “of NASA airbrushing and doctoring moon photographs. Again, these are claims, but I look at a number of these claims and they strike me as sincere individuals, and, frankly, I have no reason to doubt what they’re saying. So that makes me think there’s more funny business going on. They’re hiding something important about space.”

            Even Mars is a possible location for artificial structures of some kind, according to Dolan, though he does not lend credence to reports from people who claim to have actually been there. Recovered UFO technology also fits into the mix.

            “It makes perfect sense to me,” he explained, “when you look at the history of apparent UFO crashes and recoveries, and there are a number I think there are good cases for, you have to assume that the national security apparatus isn’t going to be just sitting on their hands looking at this technology forever. Of course they’re going to try to study it and obviously to replicate it. How could they not?”

            So that allows 40 to 50 years, Dolan continued, with a lot of black budget money and secrecy, in which a classified reverse-engineering group could work.

            “And if you’ve had any success with it,” Dolan said, “it’s not something you can share with the world. Yet it would be something that would come in very handy for covert missions beyond Earth’s orbit, i.e., a secret space program.”

            Dolan also described something he calls a “breakaway civilization,” or a secret group with technological knowledge light years beyond the everyday world.

            “I think this is something that is real,” Dolan said.  “Now, my theory of it is that it originated in really in post-World War II society, but there’s nothing preventing such a thing from having happened earlier. The basic idea of the ‘breakaway civilization’ is simply that you have a secret group, a classified group of people, with access to radically advanced technology, radically advanced science, and they just don’t share it with the rest of the world. One scientific breakthrough leads to another, and that leads to another and so on. So the next thing you know, you’ve got a separate group of humanity that is vastly far beyond the rest of the world.”

Which is the basic crux of our book, that a secret society consisting of scientists of various disciplines have banded together to create the means of our traveling to both the moon and Mars and constructing artificial buildings, even literal life-supporting bases of operation, for whatever purpose.

According to a source named Steven Omar, who writes about a secret alien presence on Mars and a hidden program of diplomatic outreach, a United Nations diplomat named Farida Iskiovet claimed that, in 1972, she investigated UFOs and occupant contacts for the President of the General Assembly. Iskiovet also claimed that she had been contacted by a landed spacecraft from the planet Mars. The alleged contact was reported in the newspapers “The Arizona Republic” and “The San Clemente Sun-Post,” the latter coming from reporter Fred Swegles, whose beat was then-President Richard Nixon and his staff at the Western White House.

Frada Iskiovet told Omar that the alien offered to admit an ambassador to their Interplanetary Confederation in this solar system in exchange for an alien ambassador to the General Assembly of the United Nations. However, the terms of this peace arrangement were not acceptable to the Security Council and the exchange was rejected in a secret meeting.

Omar also talks about a Martian flying disc spacecraft landing in the wilderness outside of Moscow, where a secret meeting with Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev was arranged in 1959. The conference regarded improving relations with Earth, exchanging knowledge, and securing world and interplanetary peace, yet the Soviet government rejected the terms. The report originated from a former Army Intelligence sergeant who investigated UFOs while in the army in the 1950s.

The astronomer and NASA watchdog Richard Hoagland says he has photographic evidence that proves the alien presence on Mars is very real. The much discussed “Face On Mars” photograph is an image taken from a part of a city built on the Cydonia Planitia consisting of very large pyramids and mounds arranged in a precise geometric pattern, which Hoagland sees as evidence that an advanced civilization might once have existed on Mars. He believes NASA is covering up the evidence in the belief that publicly acknowledging the artificial construction there would destabilize society.

Hoagland also believes that there are large, semi-transparent structures of glass on the moon’s surface, which he says are visible in some Apollo photos when the images are digitally manipulated. He further claims that NASA is suppressing knowledge of an ancient civilization that once occupied the moon, and that the civilization left behind some of its technology, still visible on the moon’s surface.

An especially dark corner of the rumors of the secret space program is the belief that the Nazis created viable flying saucer technology toward the end of World War II that was later discovered and suppressed by the victorious Allies. A new movie called “Iron Sky” will be released in April that uses the rumored Nazi space technology as the starting point for what is called a “science fiction comedy,” but to some believers in the field it’s no laughing matter.

Our book goes into more detail of course, touching at one point on Adolph Hitler’s occult beliefs regarding a subterranean race that possessed supernatural technology and was intent on one day claiming the surface world for its own. Hitler was fanatical over the prospect of an imminent underground invasion of the surface world in the future, and wanted to make alliances with these underground races so that once they emerged he could rule the Earth in joint capacity.

There is also a moment in the experience of early abductee Barney Hill when he says, under regressive hypnosis, “Another [alien] figure has an evil face. He looks like a German Nazi. His eyes! His eyes! I’ve never seen eyes like that before.”

So the Nazis may have left their fingerprints behind on many things, to include flying saucer technology, the various underground races said to inhabit our inner earth, and even the abduction phenomenon itself. One shudders to think that such an evil human enterprise may continue in our time, equipped with some kind of hidden technology that enables them to exert a powerful force over our future lives.

What kind of examination of the secret space program would be complete without a look at Jack Parsons, the inventor of the rocket fuel that took us to the moon? Parsons was a genius in technological terms, but his strange interests away from work still inspire amazement when his life story is examined.

Parsons began his research into rocketry at Caltech in the 1930s, where he and his coworkers were nicknamed the “Suicide Squad” because of the frightening explosions they were causing on campus. When World War II began, the US military asked for their help in developing a way to propel planes into the air in places without adequate runways. His eccentric working group eventually morphed into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Meanwhile, Parsons became enraptured with the writings of Aleister Crowley, and joined the Los Angeles-based Agape Lodge of Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis. Parsons was seen to be a potential savior of their movement, and he began donating nearly all his salary to the upkeep of his lodge brethren.

The FBI and the Air Force investigated Parsons after he was stripped of his security clearance for slipping classified documents to the newly established government of Israel. According to author Nick Redfern, they discovered that the man still so revered and honored by senior figures within the US space program was an admitted occultist who would attempt to invoke the Greek god Pan before every rocket test. In the Air Force report, Parsons was said to belong to a religious cult “believed to advocate sexual perversion” and that “broadly hinted at free love” and that Parsons’ Pasadena home had been described by an unnamed source as “a gathering place of perverts.”

That Parsons had been cavalier with confidential files was one thing, but that Parsons as an occultist and possible sexual deviant had been granted a Top Secret clearance to begin with was seen as being utterly beyond the pale, Redfern writes. When one factors in the Nazi origins of Werner Von Braun along with Parsons’ deep-seated occult connections, it creates a witch’s brew of mystery as to the true beginnings of the American space program. Do we owe it all to a demonic voice whispering in the ears of carefully chosen scientists of dubious political and moral background?

In “The Secret Space Program,” we also deal with the case of Gary McKinnon, the Scottish-born computer hacker who in the thirteen months between February 2001 to March 2002 hacked into 97 US military and NASA computers, using the name “Solo.” The US authorities claim that McKinnon deleted critical files operating systems, which shut down part of the US military’s network of computers for 24 hours. He was also said to have deleted files belonging to the US Navy, rendering their computers inoperable after the September 11 terrorist attacks. There is a complicated ongoing legal case in which McKinnon is fighting extradition to the US to stand trial for his “attacks.”

But what did McKinnon actually find out about the secret space program?

“I found a list of officers’ names,” he told a UK reporter, “under the heading ‘Non-Terrestrial Officers.’ It doesn’t mean they’re little green men. What I think it means is not Earth-based. I found a list of ‘fleet-to-fleet’ transfers and a list of ship names. I looked them up. They weren’t US Navy ships. What I saw made me believe they have some kind of spaceship, off-planet.”

“The Americans have a secret spaceship?” the reporter asked.

“That’s what this trickle of evidence has led me to believe.”

In a later interview with the BBC, McKinnon also claimed that “there are some very credible, reliable people all saying that yes, there is UFO technology, there’s antigravity, there’s free energy, and it is extraterrestrial in origin. They’ve captured a spacecraft and reverse-engineered it.”

If McKinnon’s claims about NASA and the US Navy are true, they may serve as concrete proof of some of the mythology that has grown up around the belief in a secret space program. Since McKinnon admits he was usually high on marijuana as he did his hacking work, one UK reporter jokes that the US authorities are probably not too worried about McKinnon’s claims regarding what he found. At least for now.

And if you’re willing to entertain theories on the secret space program that are even stranger, you will doubtless want to read the reprint (included in this same volume along with “Secret Space Program”) of “Nikola Tesla Journey To Mars,” which tells the story of secret technology dating back to the 1800s that may have already taken us to the Red Planet, thanks to the suppressed methods of space travel developed by Nikola Tesla. For that book, I interviewed Tim Swartz, our resident expert on all things Tesla, as well as a young scientist named Frank Znidarsic, who is hard at work trying to develop free energy in our present time. It’s the kind of thing that appeals to the imagination as it lays bare the world of covert machinations used by what Dolan calls the “breakaway civilization” to conquer space for fun and profit.    

And so it goes. One source confirms another, while still another casts its complex shadows of doubt. “The Secret Space Program: Who Is Responsible?” takes on the daunting task of trying to assemble the big picture from a mass of smaller pictures, and only the reader can decide if we have succeeded.

 [If you enjoyed this article, visit Sean Casteel’s “UFO Journalist” website at www.seancasteel.com]

Get your copy of Secret Space Program: Who is Responsible? TODAY!

Source: UFO Digest


Wisconsin Town Experiences Unexplained Sounds and Shaking

The mystery behind four days of unexplained shaking and odd sounds rattling Clintonville, Wisconsin, has been solved.

The cause? A "swarm" of minor earthquakes amplified by the unique bedrock beneath the state of Wisconsin.

The strange sounds -- variously described as rattling pipes, clanging metal, thunder or firecrackers -- have continued on and off since early Sunday night in just one part of the small town of 4,600, located about 180 miles northeast of Madison. They were loud enough Monday morning that a CNN journalist could hear them during a cell phone conversation with city administrator Lisa Kuss.

Speaking to Clintonville residents Thursday night, Kuss said the U.S. Geological Survey has determined that "our community did in fact experience an earthquake that registered 1.5 on the earthquake magnitude scale." That minor quake was measured on Tuesday night by several mobile earthquake monitoring stations that were dispatched to the region, she said.

Based on all the data, the USGS believes the shaking and strange sounds are the result of "a swarm of several small earthquakes in a very short amount of time," Kuss said.

While these small earthquakes normally don't cause such commotion, Kuss said the location of the shallow temblors helped amplify the shaking.

"In other places in the United States, a 1.5 earthquake would not be felt," she said. "But the type of rock that Wisconsin has transmits seismic energy very well."

When the shaking began last Sunday, hundreds of residents began calling 911. Kerry Danley said she hear noises around midnight that sounded like a paintball gun.

"It was just pop-pop-pop," she said. "So I woke up -- just jumped out of bed actually -- ran downstairs, looked outside, nothing.

Since Sunday, the shaking has happened nearly every night, quieting down during the day. Absent of any explanations, residents were left to their own devices to come up with explanations.

"My bet is on gremlins," one Facebook user jokingly posted to WLUK's Facebook page. Alien machinery buried for millennia, countered another.

No, said one one tongue-in-cheek Twitter user. It's clearly mole men launching their attack on the surface dwellers.

Others suggested huge earthworms or sewer cats. Some Clintonville residents were even holding "shake" parties at night, waiting for the rumbling.

As city officials ruled out electrical explosions, gas leaks and sewer collapses, they started consulting geological experts around the country. Based on the data from eight seismic monitoring stations, Kuss said the USGS finally determined on Thursday that earthquakes were to blame.

While the cause of the shaking has been solved, it's still not clear if the rattling in Clintonville is over, Kuss said.

"There is no way to say for certain whether our area will ever again experience an earthquake," she said. "But it still very likely, although not guaranteed, that any future earthquakes that we experience would again be on the low end of the earthquake magnitude scale."

Tuesday's 1.5 tremor is only the second recorded earthquake in Wisconsin since 1947, according to USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso. The last quake happened south of Milwaukee, and was too minor to record a definitive magnitude.

Caruso explained that the rock underneath Wisconsin and in much of the country east of the Rocky Mountains is "very consolidated" and without fault lines. And that means small quakes are actually felt by residents, unlike in California where the energy is absorbed.

For example, the August earthquake in Virginia that rattled Washington, was felt as far away as New York and Florida.

"All throughout the eastern United States, even small earthquakes are felt great distances," Caruso explained. "It's because the rocks are just really old. They transmit the energy really well."

He said earthquake swarms are actually quite common in the region east of the Rockies.

Caruso said there was no hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" going on in Wisconsin, a drilling process that some believe may have caused a series of quakes in Ohio earlier this year.

When asked why Clintonville residents heard such strange noises during the apparent quakes, Caruso said all seismic shifts generate noise but these sounds cannot be heard during major quakes.

"When seismic waves travel through the ground, they're moving ... faster than the speed of sound and when they hit the surface," Caruso explained.

"(It) rattles the ground like a speaker ... so it's common for people to hear what they describe as sonic boom sounds accompanying earthquakes. But usually when there's a big earthquake, people either don't hear the sounds because the frequency is lower than the threshold of what humans can hear. Or other sounds going on (like) things falling down.

Source: CNN


The Kennedy Assassination: Did Castro Know in Advance?

A new book by former CIA analyst Brian Latell details evidence that Cuban intelligence knew beforehand of JFK’s assassination.

The orders surprised the Cuban intelligence officer. Most days in his tiny communications hut, just outside Fidel Castro’s isolated family compound on the west side of Havana, were spent huddled over his radio gear, trolling the island’s airwaves for the rapid-fire bursts of signals that were the trademark of CIA spies and saboteurs, pinpointing their location for security forces.

But now his assignment had abruptly been changed, at least for the day. “The leadership wants you to stop your CIA work, all your CIA work,” his boss said. Instead, the officer was told he had a new target: Texas, “any little detail small detail from Texas.” And about three hours later, shortly after mid-day on Nov. 22, 1963, the shocked intelligence officer had something to report that was much more than a small detail: the assassination in Dallas of President John F. Kennedy.

“Castro knew,” the intelligence officer would tell a CIA debriefer years later, after defecting to the United States. “They knew Kennedy would be killed.”

The defector’s tale is reported in a book to be published next month by retired CIA analyst Brian Latell, the agency’s former national intelligence officer for Latin America and now a senior research associate at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

The book, Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine, is the first substantial study of Fidel Castro’s intelligence operations. Based on interviews with Cuban spies who defected as well as declassified documents from the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon and other national security organs, it contains a good deal of material likely to stir controversy, including accounts of how Castro’s spies have carried out political murders, penetrated the U.S. government and generally outwitted their American counterparts.

But nothing is more potentially explosive than Latell’s claim that Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, warned Cuban intelligence officers in advance of his plans to kill the president. Latell writes that Oswald, a belligerent Castro supporter, grew frustrated when officials at the Cuban embassy in Mexico City refused to give him a visa to travel to the island, and promised to shoot Kennedy to prove his revolutionary credentials.

“Fidel knew of Oswald’s intentions — and did nothing to deter the act,” the book declares.

Even so, Latell maintains his work is sober and even reserved. “Everything I write is backed up by documents and on-the-record sources,” he told The Miami Herald. “There’s virtually no speculation. I don’t say Fidel Castro ordered the assassination, I don’t say Oswald was under his control. He might have been, but I don’t argue that, because I was unable to find any evidence for that.

“But did Fidel want Kennedy dead? Yes. He feared Kennedy. And he knew Kennedy was gunning for him. In Fidel’s mind, he was probably acting in self-defense.”

If Latell’s prose is sober, the events it describes are anything but. Castro’s Secrets, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan, explores a confusing and deadly chapter of the 1960s when the Cold War nearly turned hot. The United States, fearful that Castro’s revolution would provide the Soviet Union a toehold in the Western Hemisphere, backed a bloody invasion of anti-communist Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs. The Soviets put nuclear missiles in Cuba, which left the entire world teetering on the brink of war for two weeks.

And even when everyone took a step back, U.S.-supported raids and sabotage continued in Cuba. The CIA hatched several plots to kill Castro, using everything from poisoned cigars to exploding sea shells, and Castro offered chilling hints that he might be planning to respond in kind. “U.S. leaders should think that if they are aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe,” he told an American reporter in September 1963.

Against that backdrop, suspicions of a Cuban connection to the Kennedy assassination were only natural. And they were heightened by the erratic activities of Oswald, a lifelong Marxist who left the Marine Corps in 1959 to defect to the Soviet Union, where he attempted to renounce his U.S. citizenship and married a Russian woman whose uncle was a colonel in military intelligence.

By 1963, Oswald had returned to the United States. But just a few months before Kennedy’s death, at a time when tensions between Havana and Washington simmered only slightly below war temperature, Oswald’s outspoken public support for Cuba — he had staged several one-man demonstrations and even scuffled with members of an anti-Castro group — had come to the attention of the news media in New Orleans, where he was living at the time.

And he had also attracted the attention of the CIA, which had the Mexico City embassies of Cuba and the Soviet Union under tight surveillance. The agency spotted Oswald at both embassies on multiple visits between Sept. 27 and Oct. 2, 1963, as he sought visas to travel to either country.

Those visits — particularly to the Cuban embassy, where Oswald took a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and other documents to demonstrate his support for Castro’s revolution in hopes of winning a visa — were among evidence considered by three major federal investigations of the Kennedy assassination in the 1960s and ’70s. All ultimately rejected (though sometimes only after fierce internal debate) the idea of any causal link between Castro and the crime.

But Latell’s book makes some new revelations and adds detail to older ones in making the argument that Castro played at least an indirect role in the assassination. Among them:

• The disclosure by Florentino Aspillaga, the most valuable defector ever to flee Cuba’s DGI intelligence service, that the DGI had asked him to drop radio surveillance of the CIA hours before the assassination to focus on signals from Texas. Aspillaga told his CIA debriefers about the change in surveillance when he defected in 1987, but that information remained secret until he repeated the story to Latell in interviews for the book.

• The report of a deeply embedded FBI spy who worked as top-level international courier for the Communist Party USA that Castro, during a meeting five months after the assassination, admitted that Oswald had threatened Kennedy’s life during his visit to the Cuban embassy in Mexico.

The spy, Jack Childs, who was awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom for his quarter-century of spying against Moscow and Havana, reported to the FBI that Castro told him Oswald “stormed into the embassy, demanded the visa, and when it was refused to him headed out saying, “I’m going to kill Kennedy for this!”

• The CIA’s now-declassified report of its 1964 debriefing of another DGI defector, Vladimir Rodriguez Ladera. At the time, Castro was claiming that Oswald’s visit to the Cuban embassy in Mexico had been a minor matter that didn’t come to the attention of senior officials in Havana. “We never in our life heard of him,” Castro said in a speech strongly denying that the Cuban government knew anything about Oswald beyond what was in the newspapers.

But Rodriguez Ladera, the defector, told the CIA that Castro was surely lying, because the news of Oswald’s arrest set DGI headquarters instantly abuzz. “It caused much comment concerning the fact that Oswald had been in the Cuban embassy,” he said. And because the embassy in Mexico City was a major staging ground for Cuban espionage against the United States as well as the rest of Latin America, Rodriguez Ladera added, even the most routine matters there were regularly reported directly to Castro.

• CIA wiretaps and microphones honeycombing the Cuban embassy in Mexico City captured conversations between DGI officers that showed a surprisingly detailed knowledge of Oswald’s background in the first hours after the assassination, when relatively little of it had been reported in the press.

At the center of the chatter was Luisa Calderon, a pretty, English-speaking DGI officer in her early 20s who had lived in Miami with her parents throughout the 1950s. Barely four hours after the assassination, she got a phone call from a man, also apparently a DGI spy. He asked if she knew what had happened in Dallas. “Yes, of course,” she answered. “I knew of it almost before Kennedy did.” Her caller continued to chatter away, noting correctly that Oswald spoke Russian and had written to Castro offering to join his fighting forces in 1959. Latell believes the speed and depth of those comments show that the DGI maintained a file on Oswald and was well acquainted with him.

The wiretaps also demonstrate something about the way Cuban intelligence officers regarded Kennedy. “Wonderful! What good news!” Calderon said to another caller who mentioned the assassination, before breaking into laughter at the news — untrue, as it would turn out — that Kennedy’s wife and brother had also been wounded. “He was a family man, yes, but also a degenerate aggressor,” Calderon added, to which her caller exclaimed, “Three shots in the face!” Replied Calderon: “Perfect!”

• In what may be the most intriguing element of his book, Latell concludes that Rolando Cubela, a high-ranking Cuban official recruited by the CIA to assassinate Castro — an act the agency hoped would trigger a military rebellion — was actually a double agent, feeding every detail of U.S. plans back to Havana. Castro’s knowledge that his own murder was being plotted by the highest level of the American government, Latell writes, is what led to his “conspiracy of silence” about Oswald’s assassination plan.

“Fidel Castro was running the most important double agent operation in the history of intelligence,” Latell said. “He wanted definitive proof that Kennedy was trying to kill him. And he got it.” In a brutal irony, the CIA was delivering to Cubela a poison-tipped ballpoint pen with which to kill Castro at the very moment that Oswald was shooting Kennedy.

Two major pieces of evidence implicate Cubela as a double agent, Latell writes. One was a recently declassified lie-detector test administered to Cubela’s best friend and frequent co-conspirator in CIA adventures, the late Coral Gables jeweler Carlos Tepedino. Tepedino, during a confrontational interrogation by CIA handlers in 1965, confessed that Cubela was still “cooperating’’ with Cuban intelligence and had never tried to organize a military revolt against Castro.

Tepedino’s story was more than confirmed, Latell writes, by conversations with another DGI defector: Miguel Mir, a high official in Castro’s personal security office from 1986 to 1992. Mir said he had read files identifying Cubela as a double agent under DGI control.

Mercurial and enigmatic, Cubela was one of the military heroes of the Cuban revolution, the man who actually captured the presidential palace in Havana. But soon afterward he began talking loosely about his dissatisfaction with Castro’s political direction. By 1961 he was meeting clandestinely with the CIA; by 1962 he was a trusted recruit, regarded by the CIA as its best agent inside Castro’s government.

But, Latell writes, Cubela’s recruitment by the CIA practically dripped with question marks right from the beginning. He seemed to have unlimited time and money to travel, meeting with CIA officers on four different continents. He refused to take a lie-detector test — a standard procedure for new recruits — or report any significant information about what was going on inside Castro’s government. Instead, he constantly proposed “violent action,” as one of his CIA handlers noted in a report, including the assassination of Castro.

That did not exactly clash with the CIA’s own plans. By early 1963, the agency was under serious pressure from the Kennedy administration to “come up with some ideas to kill Castro,” as one CIA official would later testify in a congressional hearing. In October, the agency began circulating a document to the top national security officials in Washington stamped TOP SECRET-SENSITIVE with the title A Contingency Plan for a Coup in Cuba. It said Cubela and his military co-conspirators would “neutralize” Castro and “the top echelon of the Cuban leadership,” then proclaim a new pro-American government that would — if necessary — ask for U.S. military assistance to put down any resistance. “Nothing in the plan allowed for Fidel’s capture alive,” Latell writes.

When Cubela heard of the plan and his role in it, he was enthusiastic. But he insisted on a meeting with Robert Kennedy, the president’s brother and point-man on Cuba, for assurances that the plan had presidential blessing. Desmond FitzGerald, a top CIA official and close friend of Robert Kennedy, flew to Paris to meet Cubela and reassure him. The CIA also got President Kennedy to insert a chunk of extraordinarily militant rhetoric — a virtual endorsement of a military coup — into a speech on Cuba delivered in Miami Beach just four days before the president’s death.

The CIA called off its plan for the Cuban coup after Kennedy’s assassination, and new President Lyndon Johnson rapidly de-escalated the covert U.S. war against Castro — though Cubela, for another two years, continued pressing both the CIA and militant Cuban exile groups in Miami for help in killing Castro. Most of the CIA officials who oversaw Cubela’s involvement with their agency insisted until they died that he had genuinely turned against Castro.

Cubela was arrested in Havana in 1966 and tried for plotting to murder Castro. But during his trial, prosecutors never mentioned the CIA or the poison-tipped pen, accusing him instead of collaborating with Miami exiles. He was convicted and sentenced to death — but the sentence was commuted to a prison term at Castro’s request. He served 12 years as the prison’s doctor, living in comfortable quarters, and was often seen outside, driving the streets. Nearly 80, Cubela reportedly divides his time between Spain and South Florida. Attempts by the Miami Herald to reach him through family members were unsuccessful.

Source: The Miami Herald


When It Rains Animals and Other Stuff

Animals falling from the sky like oversized organic raindrops may seem like the stuff of urban legends and Paul Thomas Anderson movies, but it's an absolutely real phenomenon...probably. Here's a rundown of nature's most bizarre and seemingly impossible weather.

When It Actually Rains Cats and Dogs

Accounts of animals mysteriously falling from the sky are found throughout the history of many cultures - the first century Roman writer Pliny the Elder mentions rainstorms of frogs and fish. It's a rare occurrence, to be sure, but there are engravings of raining animals dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Even just looking at the last decade turns up a bunch of examples of this strange phenomenon. There are tons of eyewitness accounts throughout history that support their existence - even if some, perhaps even most of them are false or mistaken in some way, there's still a lot of evidence to support the idea that animals really do sometimes rain from the sky.

The most common types of animal rain appear to be those involving fish and amphibians. The last five years alone have turned up reports of raining fish in Australia, the Philippines, and two different regions of India, while frogs have fallen as far afield as Japan and Hungary. Take this report of tadpoles falling from the sky in Japan's Ishikawa Prefecture in June 2009:

    Clouds of dead tadpoles appear to have fallen from the sky in a series of episodes in a number of cities in the region since the start of the month. In one incident, a 55-year-old man who was caught in a tadpole downpour described hearing a strange sound in the parking lot of a civic centre in the city of Nanao. Upon further exploration, he found more than 100 dead tadpoles covering the windshields of cars in an area measuring 10 square meters. Dead tadpole downpours were also reported by local officials 48 hours later in the city of Hakusan in the same prefecture.

Then there's the fish which rained down on the tiny town of Lajamau in Australia's Northern Territory on February 24 and 25, 2010. The town had previously seen such fishfall in 1974 and 2004. The tiny white fish, which were most likely spangled perch, fell by the hundreds on the remote Australian town, as local Christine Balmer colorfully - and disbelievingly - recounted in a news report:

    "It rained fish in Lajamanu on Thursday and Friday night. They fell from the sky everywhere. Locals were picking them up off the footy oval and on the ground everywhere. These fish were alive when they hit the ground. I haven't lost my marbles. Thank God it didn't rain crocodiles."

Even that's nothing compared to this account of fish falling over Marksville, Louisiana way back on October 23, 1947. Louisiana Department of Wildlife biologist A.D. Bajkov offered this account:

    "There were spots on Main Street, in the vicinity of the bank (a half block from the restaurant) averaging one fish per square yard. Automobiles and trucks were running over them. Fish also fell on the roofs of houses…I personally collected from Main Street and several yards on Monroe Street, a large jar of perfect specimens and preserved them in Formalin, in order to distribute them among various museums."

Explaining the Rain

What could possibly be causing all these animals to fall from the sky? I should probably start by eliminating a good percentage of them by saying some of many stories are almost certainly embellished. Sometimes, animals will cluster and even die en masse in a seemingly unusual location - for a particularly dramatic example, remember all those dead birds falling from the sky a year ago? - and it wasn't rain that brought them there. The Library of Congress explains:

    Because of the popularity and mystery surrounding stories about raining animals, some people falsely report an animal rainfall after seeing large numbers of worms, frogs, or birds on the ground after a storm. However, these animals did not fall from the sky. Instead, storms fill in worm burrows, knock birds from trees and roofs, wash fish onto the shores of rivers and ponds, and drive frogs and other small animals from their habitats. People who live in suburban or urban environments tend to underestimate the number of organisms living around their homes. Therefore, they may suspect that animals came from the sky rather than their natural habitat.

Still, even once you throw out those misreported incidents, and you dismiss most accounts before, say, fifty years ago because of inadequate documentation, there's still plenty of legitimate incidents left over. The possible explanations for these range from the absurd - evidence of the apocalypse or other supernatural happenings - to the sublime, such as when forest officials in India speculated that raining fish were the result of pelicans dropping their food during their migration.

In a cool bit of historical trivia, the first scientist to really seriously attempt to figure out what was going with these stories of raining animals was the French physicist André-Marie Ampère, whose last name might well tip you off that he made his name in a different field altogether. Still, when Ampère wasn't discovering electromagnetism and lending his name to the unit of electric current, he offered the first known coherent hypothesis for why frogs could suddenly fall from the sky. As he suggested at a meeting of the Society of Natural Sciences, sudden gusts of violent wind could lift large groups of frogs high into the air, and then when the burst of wind dissipated they would rain back to the ground.

Up the Waterspout

For what was likely little more than a bit of idle speculation, Ampère was more or less correct. The currently favored explanation for animal precipitation involves waterspouts, a special type of tornado that forms over bodies of water. These are capable of sucking up animals in their path and transporting them high up in the air. Because these waterspouts and other types of tornadoes are on the move, when they do eventually break open and release their unwilling passengers, the animals will be far away from their original habitat, hence the appearance of animals raining from nowhere.

That's the probable cause of the majority of these animal rainstorms, and the aquatic nature of these waterspouts helps explain why most of these storms seem to involve either fish or frogs. As for other, even rarer animal storms like those involving worms or spiders, it's easy enough to invoke other types of whirlwinds or just a particularly violent updraft to get the animals high enough to rain back down.

There are only two real problems with this explanation. The first is more just a random little mystery than anything else, but it is weird that accounts of raining animals always seem to involve just one species. It's always either raining fish or raining frogs, but it never seems to rain fish and frogs. (Or cats and dogs, for that matter, and no, there's no evidence that that expression is related to actual accounts of raining animals.) Waterspouts and tornadoes shouldn't discriminate like that. It's possible that only tightly concentrated clusters of animals are dense enough to cause these rainstorms, which would make it more likely that only one species is involved. Still, it's a bit of an enigma, and one worth looking into further.

The other minor problem with the waterspout hypothesis? Just the tiny little detail that nobody has ever actually seen it happen. Lots of people have seen the supposed result of raining animals - a lot of animals dead on the ground where they're not supposed to be - and a decent subset of those have actually seen the creatures fall from the sky. But nobody has ever managed to see a waterspout pick up a pond's worth of life and carry them thousands of feet into the air. Admittedly, it isn't wise to stand that near a waterspout when it's doing its thing. But under the circumstances, I think we can only really call this a provisional explanation.

Lluvia de Peces

While some places seem to attract raining animals more than others - remember Lajamau, Australia and its forty years of occasional fish rain - there's probably nowhere in the world more familiar with this bizarre phenomenon than the Department of Yoro in the Central American country of Honduras. The department's capital city of Yoro is said to be home to an almost yearly rain of fish that supposedly dates back over a century. I say "probably" and "supposedly" because, well, firsthand documentation of this phenomenon is scarce. A member of Seattle University's International Development Internship Program offers one of the few available English language accounts of this phenomenon from his travels in Honduras back in 2006, though he is only able to describe what others told him:

    A massive storm hits the surrounding countryside of the village with swirling winds and thick, pouring rain. Out of no where appear dozens of live fish right there on the fields, flapping in the rain water. The locals believe this to be a miracle from God, finding no explanation other than fish falling down from heaven. In the 1970's, National Geographic sent a few professionals to report on this world wonder. They discovered that all the fish were approximately the same size, around 6 inches, and completely blind. They identified the species but found no record of it in any surrounding bodies of water. Their theory was that these fish are from underground rivers, never exposed to light and thus blind. How they come to appear every August with a storm is still a mystery.

Of course, if those fish are coming from underground rivers, then it's possible the intense August storms simply force these fish up onto the streets rather than having them actually rain down from the sky. The other, rather more unlikely idea is that the non-local fish are somehow being brought in from the Atlantic Ocean a hundred miles away, but it really seems to defy belief that a yearly cycle could carry fish from the ocean to this one small town and nowhere else.

While this particular example is probably on shakier ground than the others - indeed, as the most extraordinary claim of the bunch, it requires the most extraordinary evidence, and there's not all that much of that - the existence of raining animals as a general phenomenon seems reasonably certain. As legends go, it's one of the more insane ones, and yet this is one of the exceedingly rare examples where there's probably something to it...although it still pays to be skeptical when evaluating specific cases.

The Orange Snow of Siberia

While animals are the most dramatic example of things that rain that are not, in fact, rain, there are a few other quite recent examples of weather anomalies that are nearly as bizarre. One such case is is the orange snow that fell over parts of Siberia back in January 2007. The Guardian describes the surreal, and I've got to imagine kinda terrifying scene:

    When locals in the small village of Pudinskoye woke up on Wednesday they immediately noticed something rather strange: the snow falling from the sky was orange. In fact, three regions of southern Siberia - a vast area of industrial towns, pine trees and the odd bear - today reported the same mysterious phenomenon. Not only was the snow not white, it also smelt bad. Most of the snow was orange. But some of it was red and yellow as well, officials confirmed, after scrambling to the affected areas to dig up samples. And it was also oily, they discovered.

The affected area was primarily in the Omsk region, which is located about 1,500 miles from Moscow right on the southern border between Russia and Kazakhstan. The initial explanations for the orange snow centered on pollution, and it isn't hard to see why. The region is home to massive oil field, a chemicals factory, and a nuclear power plant, not to mention its proximity to parts of Kazakhstan used in old Soviet nuclear tests. Any of those could theoretically have caused the pollution that led to the orange snow.

And yet the most probable explanation - and the reason why this story appears in this post as opposed to a piece on "The Most Bizarre Industrial Pollutants" - was likely natural and, despite the admittedly gross appearance of the snow, relatively benign. An unusually heavy sandstorm had just blown through Kazakhstan, and the thinking is that the sand combined with the snow to create this unpleasant orange hybrid. This idea is backed up by the unusually high quantities of clay and dust recovered from the orange snow samples.

Rain of Blood

There are examples of blood rain - or, more technically, examples of rain that is the color of blood. Reports of this rain are even more ancient and widespread than those of raining animals, with a reference to the phenomenon found all the way back in Homer's Iliad...although, of course, that one may not have been intended as an accurate depiction of actual meteorological events.

While blood rain mostly shows up as a literary device, at least some of the references made in the 2,800 years since the Iliad are probably meant to describe real historic occurrences, at least as far as the chroniclers were concerned. The best attested instance of blood rain was that which fell over the southern Indian state of Kerala from July 25 to September 23, 2001. On and off throughout this period, heavy rainstorms turned mostly red, although yellow, green, and black rain was also said to fall. The Center for Earth Science Studies investigated the matter and, in their final report, offered a useful overview of all the known ways that rain can turn bloody:

    A search for possible earlier occurrences of red rain the world over revealed only a handful of reports mostly from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Where scientifically studied, the reason for the colour was found to be suspended dust particles, dissolved salts or pollutants. The sources for these contaminants were variously attributed to Saharan dust, micro- organisms of African and South American origin and meteoric dust. In an article on red rain, W.M. McAtee suggested that the color could be due to the presence of rapidly multiplying reddish algae and rotifers living in rainwater. The cause of red colour in rainwater during a rainfall in 1880 was determined to be the presence of the alga Protococcus fluvialis. Chemical analysis of the composition of red rain that fell in Sicily in 1872 showed the presence of several organic and inorganic compounds, and was accompanied by meteoric dust.

In this particular instance, the CESS investigators concluded that the red rain was "due to the presence in rainwater of significant quantities of coloured lichen-forming algal spores of local origin", and that they could find no evidence of any dust of either "meteoric, volcanic or desert origin." That would have probably been the end of the matter if not for a claim put forward by researchers Godfrey Louis and Santhosh Kumar of the Mahatma Gandhi University, who argued that the particles found in the rain weren't algal spores at all but were instead alien microbes brought by a disintegrating comet. As you might imagine, that particular hypothesis has not yet established a firm foothold in the scientific mainstream.

Meat Falls Over Kentucky

I'm going to close with a story that I feel even less sure of than Honduras's Lluvia de Peces. For one thing, the incident goes back to 1876, which makes really strong direct documentation an impossibility. The whole thing is so bizarre that, if it hadn't been reported on in a contemporary issue of Scientific American, I probably would dismiss it out of hand as an obvious legend. Still, there's no better way to end our exploration of impossible precipitation than with a look at the Kentucky Meat Shower. As Scientific American reported in their 1876 issue:

    On Friday, March 3, 1876, flakes of meat fell over an area 100 yards long and 50 yards wide near the Kentucky home of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Crouch, not far from the Olympian Springs in the southern Bath County. The sky at the time was cloudless. The flakes were from one to three or four inches square and looked like fresh beef. However, according to the opinion of "two gentlemen" who tasted it, the substance was either mutton or venison.

A bunch of tests and samples were then undertaken, which seemed to turn up two lung tissue samples, another three muscular tissue samples, and two more of cartilage. Wherever this meat had come from, it had apparently taken most of the original animal with it. What animal this actually was is a matter of some dispute, with one scientist rather ominously determining that the lung tissue could come from only one of two places: a horse or a human infant.

Thankfully, the idea that a bunch of humans - including some babies, apparently - had been swept up into the sky and turned into globs of meat never really caught on as a serious proposal, leaving horse as the prime suspect. Still, exactly how the meat got up there in the first place remains a mystery, though the Scientific American article did rather skeptically pass along one possible explanation:

    As a postscript to the story, Dr. Edwards relayed a theory of the event passed on to him by Mr. Parker: according to the local people of Kentucky, the meat was probably disgorged by buzzards, "who, as is their custom, seeing one of their companions disgorge himself, immediately followed suit." As to how many buzzards would be required to cover 5000 square yards with disgorged meat, or at what height they must have been flying to be invisible, was not suggested.

You know, I can think of no finer way to end this discussion than on the mental image of vomiting buzzards. Really, I wish all my writings could end that way.

Source: io9


The Realms Below: Where Fact Meets Fiction
By Scott Corrales

The ancients were fascinated by the nature of things taking place in the world beneath their feet. The forges of Vulcan lay beneath Mt. Etna, salt was manufactured by Poseidon under the sea bottom, and the underworlds of countless cultures lay somewhere beneath the deepest caves or mine shafts: the earth could part at anytime for Hades and his three-headed hound to emerge from his domain, as occurred during the abduction of the hapless Persephone.

This subterranean world, whether as a place of torment, dwelling of not-men or simply an inner kingdom hidden from the prying eyes of mortals, continues to exert a powerful influence over contemporary humans, taking on new guises in the modern folklore of underground alien bases in the desert, reactivated German submarine pens below the deepest Norwegian fjords, or the persistent belief in a hollow earth accessible at the planet's poles. Psychologists have identified these beliefs as external representations of the human unconscious; others think "the underworld" offers an unreachable abode in which these beliefs can exist safely unchallenged.

Are all stories of underground realms untrue? Not at all. The Catacombs of Rome are an example of how a community could gather in a place to bury its dead and hold worship without ever attracting the attention of a repressive government. Beneath the palaces of the Caesars were vast caves, tunnels and shafts, and fires of peat, lignite and igneous earth, lit by no man, burned in these air accessible depths, contributing to Christian concept of a fiery Hell. Old dead cities lay beneath the Eternal one.

Medieval hermits in Asia Minor hollowed out entire cave systems in the mountains of Cappadocia, some of which are still in use today. Recent archaeological discoveries have located a network of nearly three dozen subterranean cities in the Anatolian valley of Goreme, which apparently housed over 20,000 people at a depth of twenty stories, linked to each other by tunnels nine miles long. It has been conjectured that these Stygian communities housed the remnants of the Hittite culture, perhaps following the destruction of Carchemish, protetcting them from invading cultures. Successive conquerors occupied the subterranean cities, such as Derinkuyu (discovered in 1963) until finally deserted during the Ottoman period.

Who built these vast networks of subsurface habitations remains unknown.Yet existence of subterranean societies is not exclusive to antiquity. Much has been written of the elaborate Chinese civil defense bomb shelters constructed in the 1970's beneath Beijing, capable of housing a sizeable share of the city's population in the event of a nuclear bombing, and Fidel Castro's elaborate bunkers on the island of Cuba, from which a guerrilla war could be fought against invaders for years. During the Vietnam War, U.S. patrols in Laos were stunned to discover "underground hospitals of mammoth size...tunnels big enough for trucks to go through underground" along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which had eluded the best visual reconnaisance from the air, in spite of the fact that visible traces of human habitation--roads leading to caves on mountain tops, large tree houses--were on the surface.

While these locations may be out of the way, they are there to challenge the skeptics. If it is possible for these vast underground installations to exist, what is to keep entire societies unknown to us from doing the same, as has been argued elsewhere? Without lapsing into Hollow Earth arguments or Shaver's "deros", a strong case can be made for the existence of civilizations--perhaps even non-human ones--existing or having once existed in the ground beneath our feet.

The belief in secret subterranean "kingdoms" can be found in almost every culture on the globe. South American anthropologists have searched for decades for sthe underground cities of Ysidris and Erks in Argentina; Central Asia is rife with tales of subterranean Agartha, the hidden realm presided over by the King of the World, whose reach can be felt as far away as the Americas thanks to a network of tunnels that link to his domain; Caves in the Pyrenees and in the sierras of northern Spain have been traditionally considered as the entrance to malefic non-human abodes.

Jacques Bergier was of the opinion that the theory of said subterranean realms was not absurd a priori , but there was no evidence to substantiate such claims, and that "surprises may be in store in this area." The archaeologist's shovel and fortuitous discoveries by laymen have added to the knowledge accumulated over the decades in this field.

When the Spanish chronicler De Cieza described the wealth and might of the Inca Empire, he suggested that much of the royal treasure--and population--had been taken to an underground fastness in the Andes. Treasure hunters have sought the entrances to this purported Inca stronghold over the centuries, occasionally giving rise to stories of "passages lined with gold leaf" and forgotten castles in the Peruvian Amazon. Erich Von Daniken wrote about such passages in The Gold of the Gods, but subsequently disclaimed having seen them in person. In March 1972, Serge Debru, posthumously decorated with France's prestigious Order of Merit, set out to find these subterranean Inca dwellings, never to return. He stated on a taped message: "I know where I'm going and I also know that no one has gone there yet. I shall reveal the secrets of my journey upon my return." After a seventeen day search, rescue parties were unable to find any trace of Debru's expedition.

American explorer John Perkins may have found the entrance to the underground realm that Debru sought: he followed the course of a river that plunged below the surface into colossal caverns lit by greenish light issuing from strange, unclassified vegetation.

The truth of the matter is that South America, and indeed, most continents, appear to be riddled with tunnels leading far and deep toward somewhere. Most investigators have turned back when they have encountered either unsurmountable obstructions or tunnels filled with seawater. There is no doubt about the artificial nature of this phenomena, or that their creation in the hardest bedrock would have involved either explosives, lasers or chemical means of eroding stone unknown to 20th century science.

The Americas do not have the monopoly on such structures: archaeologists have discovered a maze of subterranean galleries--their origin and purpose unknown--beneath the French town of Provins. Vast, high-ceilinged rooms with columns form part of the mysterious underground layout. Evidence exists that some of these rooms were utilized as storerooms during medieval times, but some of the galleries were not discovered until the 20th century.

The Provins complex also includes a series of ample caves that do not seem to connect with one another. The cave walls are covered with the same Neolithic symbols--labyrinth-signs and concentric circles--which can be found in the Canary Islands, Sardinia, Malta and even as far away as Brazil. Mexican author Rodolfo Benavides pointed out the (unconfirmed) existence of a network of underground passages and even a temple beneath the Egyptian Sphynx in his book Dramáticas Profecías de la Gran Pirámide. Whether these tunnels link up to other similar passages remains to be discovered, although a number of recent finds in the Gizeh complex--the possibility of an undiscovered chamber in the Cheops pyramid and the unearthing of a funeral barge--do not rule out the possibility.

The "moonshafts" of Eastern Europe must also be added to the category of subsurface galleries. Dr. Antonin Horvak and a few fellow partisans sought refuge in one such "moonshaft" near the Slovak villages of Plavince and Lubocna while fighting against Nazi occupation forces in World War II. Dr. Horvak noted in his journal that the structure had walls six feet thick amd that its shape "served no purpose he could imagine." Dr. Horvak also stated that he felt "in the grip of an exceedingly strange and grim power" during his sojourn within the smooth, black structure.

What are the origins of these clearly prehistoric subterranean features? Speculation has ranged from the sober (places of worship for the followers of "mystery cults" throughout the ages) to the fanciful (dwelling places, active or abandoned, of nonhuman entities). A synthesis of these two concepts is embodied by the Spanish cave of Ojo Guareña--well over twenty miles of chambers, passageways, underground lakes and unusual entrances--a place where initiates into ancient mystery religions came into contact with the subterranean "deities" that dwelt out of sight of man. Spanish author Juan G. Atienza has pointed out that the cave still exerts a powerful grip on the neighboring farming communities, and that some of its many entrances are shunned as being outright evil.

Some of the cave system's unusual features include a crude diagram representing the helicoidal structure of DNA--a fact utterly unknown before the 20th century. In a cavern room known as Caite 2, archaeologists discovered human representations on the walls, one of them of a figure wearing what could be interpreted as a space helmet. Footprints leading into the cave system point to individuals who entered and never came out, and very strange individuals, at that. The author speculates that they were either 8 to 10 year old children or adults with a foot size of 4 or 5, if they were human at all. Another curious feature of the vast underground structure is the existence of an old man, a self-described warlock, who explored the caves as a child in spite of his grandfather's warnings that he would one day "encounter the divinities" that lived underground. The old warlock made a display of his uncanny psychic abilities before José Luis Uríbarri, the archaeologist whose life's work has been the exploration of Ojo Guareña.

The archaeologist stated that the warlock wished to transmit "his hidden knowledge" of Ojo Guareña to someone before dying. Whether his revelations lead to even more disturbing discoveries remains to be seen.

Have these elusive subterranean "divinities" ever been sighted? During the religious apparitions in the vicinity of Garabandal (1961-70), some children had seen dwarves "that filled them with terror" within a cave on a mountainside. The town's foremost shepherd disappeared under mysterious circumstances close to the cave as well. We are reminded of the ancient footprints of people or beings entering Ojo Guareña on what was ostensibly a one-way trip.

Many explorers, even seasoned speleologists, have lost their lives in caves, but complete and utter disappearances can lead one to believe that other forces may be at work. In April 1956, PFC Gerrard Dunnington of the US Army disappeared while exploring the underground galleries at Tavannes, a 17th century underground fortification built by French military engineers. When Dunnington had not returned by nightfall from the maze of undeground passages, the French police and the US Army were notified, setting off a five hundred-man rescue effort. Obstructed ventilation shafts were cleared, centuries-old rubble was removed from passageways, and all the galleries were explored, but Dunnington was never found.

In 1928, work stopped for an entire week in Northumberland's Bedlington Colliery while miners tried to make sense of a perplexing disappearance. A miner on his way to relieve a fellow worker disappeared at some point after having reached the bottom of the shaft and began walking the half mile of road that separated him from the work group. The road was boarded by heavy wooden palisades and locked doors, separating the current mine from ancient galleries, abandoned mine workings, and water-filled pits.

There were no signs that the missing miner had attempted a climb of the palisades to reach these abandoned works, which were thoroughly combed by rescue crews for good measure. The miner remains a missing person. Believers in Robert Shaver's underground "deros" would quickly lay the blame upon these degenerate remnants of a forgotten elder race.

The folklore of a number of cultures has given us the names and habits of a number of nonhuman subsurface-dwelling beings, such as the German kobolds, an apellation from which the mineral "cobalt" was derived. Some of them were either friendly or neutral toward humans, but others, like the kobolds, were outright hostile. The djogaos of Native American tradition also belonged to this order of elusive subsurface dwellers. Margaret Mead suggested that contact with these beings persisted well into modern times and that witchcraft was their ancient religion.

In 1914, Col. P.H. Fawcett, the indefatigable explorer of the Brazilian interior whose disappearance would catapult him into legendary status, wrote in his diary of the existence of a number of diminutive semi-human "ape-people" who lived in holes in the ground, were covered with black hair and who received the Portuguese apellation of morcegos ("bats") and tatus ("armadilloes"). Ivan T. Sanderson suggested, in the case of these small beings, that they could well be descended from Australopithecines or Pithecantropines--very early hominids.

In any case, none of these "little people" appear to be the architects of the underground passageways, having taken up residence in them much as medieval peasants settled among the colossal ruins of Diocletian' abandoned palace at Split, on the Dalmatian coast.

Accounts that point toward the "identity" of the engineers of the "underworld" do not come from a distant location, but from the American West itself. In 1904, J.C. Brown, a gold prospector, claimed to have discovered a tunnel in the Cascade Mountains of California which led him to a subterranean room filled with human skeletons, gold shields, and hieroglyphs that the prospector was unable to identify. Thirty years later, Brown outfitted an expedition to recover the lost treasure, but disappeared mysteriously before the expedition set out.

Another story which has been retold many times is the discovery of a massive city beneath the Amargosa Mountains of Death Valley by the grandfather of an Indian guide named Tom Wilson. The account states that the elder Wilson wandered underground for many miles before encountering "a strange underground country where the inhabitants...spoke a queer language, ate queer food, and wore clothes made of leather." A contemporary anecdote chronicles the experiences of a prospector named White, who fell through a crevasse in a Death Valley mine floor only to find himself in a tunnel leading to a chamber filled with leather-clad mummies. Gold and precious jewels were there for the taking. White and a friend, Fred Thomason, made several visits to the underground city, which featured treasure vaults, a royal palace, and council chambers. The two prospectors were unable to find their way into the tunnels when the time came to lead a team of researchers to the hidden city, causing some to deride their claims as hoaxes.

If any credence can be lent to these testimonies, a race that could well be that of the builders of the underground tunnels that honeycomb the world might have still existed as to the beginning of the 20th century. Whether they still exist is the purest speculation. The extensive subterranean nuclear tests undertaken by the U.S. military in neighboring Frenchman Flat must surely have caused havoc to any underground population.

Nowhere can the suggestion of an underground civilization be felt more strongly than in Asia, cradle of the legends of Agartha and Shamballah. Ferdinand Ossendowski, author of Beasts, Gods and Men, observed that Mongolian dignataries believed in certain amazing things, such as the broad powers of these subterranean elders, who could dry up oceans, transform continents into seas and cause mountains to sprout amid the desert. His fellow Russian, the mystic Nicholas Roerich, traveled extensively throughout Central Asia, where his porters identified what we would term UFOs as "the sign of Shamballah". Roerich's illustrations of stark mountains and the odd structures upon them were a source of inspiration to H.P. Lovecraft, who mentioned them repeatedly in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and At the Mountains of Madness.

German playwright Theodore Illion, author of the fascinating Darkness Over Tibet, visited a secret underground city and was informed that the "King of the World", who ruled Agartha, had agents throughout the surface world, constantly apprising him of the state of affairs among surface dwellers. Could a pair of these agents have turned up in Miami, Florida?

In 1967 or 68, two men turned up at a Miami hotel, where they befriended a chambermaid, telling her that they were from "the north of the contintent", taking great care in specifying that they did not mean the lands north of the United States, i.e. Canada. In a letter written to investigator Salvador Freixedo, the chambermaid and her husband detailed their experiences: one of the men was tall, blond and amazingly knowledgeable, with a command of many languages and a mind-reader, to boot. His companion was short, Asian-looking and wearing an orange uniform; his general demeanor was that of a bodyguard to the tall blond. According to the chambermaid, the blond produced what appeared to be a ball and stuck it to the wall in defiance of gravity. He then asked the woman to address it, which she did, noticing swirling waves of light within the device, which would follow her in the air every time she made a move. The chambermaid and her husband were able to see the tall blond and his companion on the beach during stormy weather, pointing what appeared to be cameras and other devices at the rough seas. While cleaning their rooms (the pair refused to leave their rooms while she cleaned), the chambermaid was able to see a suitcase filled with "billiard balls" pulsating with light, as if filled with electricity. The two strangers disappeared as suddenly as they had come. Freixedo points out a similar case in the city of Puebla, Mexico, where exactly the same circumstances were repeated but with a destructive outcome: a house was almost entirely demolished as if by a battle so fierce that even the power conduits were torn out of the walls.

What did the strangers mean by "the north of the continent"? Due to the curvature of the Earth, is it reasonable to assume that they might have meant the lands to the north of the Americas--the polar icepack and Asia? Freixedo supports the view that references to the "Hollow Earth" and subterranean kingdoms to mean other-dimensional planes of existence accessible through certain underground mat-demat points.

Subterranean cities built by "Atlanteans", "Lemurians" and other "lost" races belong squarely in the realm of the metaphysical, as their existence has been suggested by esoterics. This view is espoused by Argentine occultist and author Guillermo Terrera, who recounts the hidden lore surrounding the city of Erks, beneath the Andes, in his book El Valle de los Espiritus. We are given the entire history of this magical metropolis which boasts ownership of "the three sacred mirrors", through which the high priests and ascended masters of Erks can contact other subterranean cities and saucer-riding aliens from space. Terrera even provides us the names of the leaders of the High Council of Erks and those of the masters of the "Primordial School." Despite the Blavatskyesque implications, many scholars believe in Erks and have placed its location somewhere at the root of Mt. Uritorco in Argentina's Mendoza province.

Terrera goes on to say that the mechanical noises that can be heard at night in the vicinity of Mts. Uritorco and Pajarito, and which appear to emanate from under ground, are the sounds being picked up by the "sacred mirrors", which act as radiotelescope dishes. These sounds have allegedly been captured on audio tape: one is similar to an air hammer, another closely resembles that of a large set of gears being moved, and still another has been compared to the droning of a piece of factory equipment. Erks obtains light and free energy from "nuclear explosions produced by the liquid mass or magma at the earth's core." All knowledge concerning Erks has allegedly been gleaned through clairvoyants, psychometrists and parasensitives.

While metaphysical subterranean kingdoms can be dismissed as products of a strong urge to believe in exotic locales accessible only to the "chosen", or to those who believe themselves to be made from a loftier mold than their fellow humans, the tunnels, galleries and cities found in all continents are real archaeological mysteries.

These could have been the dwelling places of the "Heliolithic" civilization that erected the megaliths of Carnac and Galicia, the massive stoneworks of Chile's El Enladrillado, and a large number of locales. It has also been suggested that they could have been built on account of the Ice Age, when living underground presented a viable alternative to the brutal conditions above.

The existence of verifiable and inexplicable underground structures has certainly provided the kindling for the occult beliefs, providing a tangible springboard for humanity's restless imagination.

(This article originally appeared in STRANGE MAGAZINE, Issue 14)

Source: Inexplicata

Construction Worker Quits After Seeing Ghost

A recent article at ARL Now reports: “After a number of delays, the long awaited construction on the Overlee Community Association pool and clubhouse has begun.”

Delays in obtaining permits for the North Arlington, New Jersey project were a problem. But that article doesn’t bring up another, more frightening issue that delayed the building project. A run-in with a ghost had brought work to a complete stand-still earlier this year, and frightened one worker so badly that he walked off the job.

Two months ago, an old Victorian house sat on the site, but as crews began demolishing the property to build a new club house, one of the workers spotted a young girl inside of the building, reports WJLA.

The girl is thought to be Margaret Febrey, who was laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery almost 100 years ago.

“He said he saw this little girl in the window … and he went in and couldn’t find her, and on his way out he saw her on the steps and turned around and didn’t see her,” said Jeff Schreiner, construction supervisor.

The encounter was too much for the construction worker. He immediately packed his stuff and walked off the job permanently.

Fourteen-year-old Febrey had lived in the Victorian house being demolished before her death in 1913.

The sighting spooked workers so much, they stopped construction on the 99th anniversary of her death in January.

Over the years, the old house even turned skeptics into believers.

“It’s certainly possible. The house has been there a long time,” said North Arlington resident Liza Marshall.

The news isn’t entirely surprising to those who know the history of Overlee. The Victorian clubhouse, which was recently torn down, had been built in the 1890s and came to be known as the Febrey-Kincheloe House. Ernest Febrey built the house and later it was inhabited by the Kincheloe family. After her husband’s death, Mrs. Kincheloe turned the house into Crestwood Sanitarium, a home for elderly Washington dignitaries.

But the ghost isn’t believed to be one of the sanitarium inhabitants, reports ARL Now. Mike Maleski, who is on the Overlee Board of Directors, said that for decades people have reported seeing a girl in Victorian clothing. Researchers think the girl is Margaret Febrey who died in January 1913, and was said to be 14 years old. A family member reported that the Febrey family stopped using the house after Margaret’s death.

Over the years, some managers for the property had lived in the upper levels of the house and encountered the ghost. Managers and contractors have reported seeing a girl in odd clothing near the stairs of the basement. In January, some crew members demolishing the house admitted to talking to a girl who fit the description, and they believe it was the Febrey ghost.

The Febrey ghost isn’t the only unusual activity that’s been reported on the property.

“There were other ghost stories as well,” Maleski said. “Music and strange noises and things. I don’t know if that’s been idenfitied as one person. Most people believe it’s from the time when it was a sanitarium.”

The Febrey ghost appears to be friendly and has chatted with numerous people on the property throughout the years, we’re told. She also has been known to enjoy playing with children at the Overlee pool.

ARL Now reports that there hadn’t been any other ghostly encounters since the demolition of the old Febrey-Kincheloe House.

Source: Dateline Zero


Experts Examine Mystery Object That 'Fell From the Sky'

Space experts are trying to solve the mystery of ‘a UFO fragment’ which crashed close to a village in Siberia.

Locals insist the metallic object – which resembles a large rubbish bin – fell from the skies but initial checks by experts have concluded it is neither from a rocket nor a missile.

It is now under police guard as interest in the ‘visitor’ intensifies.

Weighing 200 kilograms and around two metres in height, locals fixed it onto a trailer and took across the snow to the village where local inspectors checked it.

‘The object found is not related to space technology. A final conclusion can be made after a detailed study of the object by experts,' said the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Locals insist the metallic object - resembling a large shiny rubbish bin - fell from the skies. The object is six feet long and is at least partially made of titanium steel.

It's now under police guard as interest in the 'visitor' intensifies.

It was found near a village called Otradnensky some two thousand miles and three time zones east of Moscow.

The Russian media immediately claimed ‘fragments of a UFO’ were discovered in the remote forest.

Locals had heard strange sounds in the thick woodland in December, it was claimed.

But it was only on Sunday that the find was reported to local police who then alerted Moscow.

Yuri Bornyakov, head of rescue service department of Kuibyshevski district of Novosibirsk region, said: ‘We measured the radiation level near and inside the object. We found no radiation here.’

Initial theories that it was part of a space rocket or a satellite form a failed launch in Kazakhstan have been denied.

Head of Department for Civil Defence and Emergency Situations of the Kuibyshevski, Valery Vasiliev, said part of the fragment was made of ultra strong titanium.

Finder Sergey Bobrov undertook in an official statement that he would keep the UFO safe, but locals reported that  ‘police came during the night and secretly removed it’.

A local police spokesman confirmed the object was now under guard by the force on orders from unspecified authorities.

‘You can see inside it, all is open, it's empty, no danger here. We were asked to take and store it. We brought it here. And now we are going to wait until they come to take it if they need it’ said Sergei Sulein.

Source: Daily Mail

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