8/11/12  #683
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"There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter."
                                                                                                                      MAX PLANCK

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such quantum-craziness tales as:

- July, 2012 Hottest in Recorded History -
- Secret Australian UFO Files Released -
- Nick Redfern on Demon Dogs to Sherlock Holmes -
University Professor to Study Life After Death -
AND: Lake Serpent Captured on Film in Norway

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Hounds Of The Baskervilles:

From Demon Dogs To Sherlock Holmes: The True Story Of The Beast!


One nearly scared to death eyewitness proclaimed after the beast loomed in front of him: “It was the biggest bloody ‘dog’ I have ever seen in my life!”

Legends of black dogs and phantom hounds are widespread throughout the United Kingdom as well as in the United States. Though presented in novelized form, Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his most popular detective thriller on true accounts of a mysterious black beast with blazing red eyes who is said to have attacked those crossing the moors. Some were lucky to have gotten away with their lives. Perhaps there are others who disappeared and their bodies were not accounted for.

Who can say for certain? In addition to presenting the number one classic detective thriller of all time in its unabridged, fully illustrated, form, this work goes way beyond the boundaries of fiction into the realm of the supernatural. Today’s top paranormal researcher’s delve into stories of the bloody beast who comes in various sizes and apparently even has the ability to shape shift into a more hideous creature when cornered.

As England’s leading cryptozoologist, Nick Redfern, points out, “There is one important factor to remember: Conan Doyle did not invent Britain’s phantom, fiery-eyed hounds. He merely brought them to the attention of the public in spectacularly entertaining style. In reality, the creature had been prowling around the British countryside for centuries; and particularly so Dartmoor – the fictional home of the world’s most famous hound of horror in all its awful glory.”

Here are dozens of accounts of devilish, gruesome, repugnant “monsters” – some of whom stand eight feet tall – who are said to be Satan’s watch dogs protecting the portals to another dimension or realm where no mortal should be made to tread!

This fantastic book is now available at the special price of only
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This Weeks Guest: Adam Gorightly



July, 2012 Hottest in Recorded History

This probably comes as no surprise: Federal scientists say July was the hottest month ever recorded in the Lower 48 states, breaking a record set during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

And even less a surprise: The U.S. this year keeps setting records for weather extremes, based on the precise calculations that include drought, heavy rainfall, unusual temperatures, and storms.

The average temperature last month was 77.6 degrees. That breaks the old record from July 1936 by 0.2 degree, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Records go back to 1895.

“It’s a pretty significant increase over the last record,’’ said climate scientist Jake Crouch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. In the past, skeptics of global warming have pointed to the Dust Bowl to argue that recent heat isn’t unprecedented. But Crouch said this shows that the current year “is out and beyond those Dust Bowl years. We’re rivaling and beating them consistently from month to month.’’

Three of the nation’s five hottest months on record have been recent Julys: This year, 2011 and 2006. Julys in 1936 and 1934 round out the top five.

Last month also was 3.3 degrees warmer than the 20th century average for July.

Thirty-two states had months that were among their 10 warmest Julys, but only one, Virginia, had the hottest July on record. Crouch said that’s a bit unusual, but that it shows the breadth of the heat and associated drought.

For example in 2011, the heat seemed to be centered mostly in Oklahoma and Texas. But this summer “the epicenters of the heat kind of migrated around. It kind of got everybody in the action this month,’’ Crouch said.

The first seven months of 2012 were the warmest on record for the nation. And August 2011 through July this year was the warmest 12-month period on record, just beating out the July 2011-June 2012 time period.

But it’s not just the heat that’s noteworthy. NOAA has a measurement called the U.S. Climate Extreme Index which dates to 1900 and follows several indicators of unusually high and low temperatures, severe drought, downpours, and tropical storms and hurricanes. NOAA calculates the index as a percentage, which mostly reflects how much of the nation experience extremes. In July, the index was 37 percent, a record that beat the old mark for July last year. The average is 20 percent.

For the first seven months of the year, the extreme index was 46 percent, beating the old record from 1934. This year’s extreme index was heavily driven by high temperatures both day and night, which is unusual, Crouch said.

“This would not have happened in the absence of human-caused climate change,’’ said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann.

Crouch and Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said what’s happening is a double whammy of weather and climate change. They point to long-term higher night temperatures from global warming and the short-term effect of localized heat and drought that spike daytime temperatures.

Drought is a major player because in the summer “if it is wet, it tends to be cool, while if it is dry, it tends to be hot,’’ Trenberth said.

So the record in July isn’t such a big deal, Trenberth said. “But the fact that the first seven months of the year are the hottest on record is much more impressive from a climate standpoint, and highlights the fact that there is more than just natural variability playing a role: Global warming from human activities has reared its head in a way that can only be a major warning for the future.’’

Here are some more numbers unlikely to provide cold comfort. The coolest July on record was in 1915. The coldest month in U.S. history was January 1979 with an average temperature of 22.6 degrees.

Source: The Chippewa Herald


Secret Australian UFO Files Released

It is probably the closest Australia has come to scrambling fighter jets to intercept a UFO.

Documents that have just become available under the 30-year rule at the National Archives of Australia reveal how two RAAF Mirage jets were placed on the second highest level of alert to determine the cause of unidentified radar contacts seen on screens at Mascot.

The ''X Files'' viewed in Canberra also give details of other unexplained sightings, some of which are supported by witness statements to police.

In the Sydney alert, the papers stamped ''restricted'' tell how operation ''Close Encounter'' was launched by No.3 Control and Reporting Unit at RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle on June 30, 1983, after the phenomenon was first noticed earlier in the month.

Senior air controllers at Mascot said the contacts were mostly located between 70 and 150 nautical miles north of Sydney at ''alleged speeds of 1100-6500 km/h that suggested high altitude''.

The papers state that no scramble was to occur in the round-the-clock operation unless confirmation of any reported tracks was made on the radar screens at RAAF Williamtown or any radar other than Sydney.

At the same time, three senior air defence controllers were dispatched to Sydney to investigate and plot every contact and ''control interceptors against these contacts if a reasonable chance of interception presented itself''. But then one of the defence controllers, a squadron leader, asked whether a comparison had been made of the contacts on the screens of Mascot's Area Approach Radar Centre and those in a ''workshop across the corridor''. Soon after, tests showed that the ''unidentified objects reported by Sydney were generated entirely by radar interference known colloquially as 'running rabbits' ''.

Squadron leader K. Keenan, in his six-page report, said operation Close Encounter cost 66½ days of overtime, 1000 kilometres was travelled by a staff car and a C130 Hercules transport aircraft ''may have been diverted to Sydney airport'' to deliver one of the defence controllers.

He wrote: ''The lines of communication, extending as they did across the width of an entire corridor, seem to have been insufficient for the purpose.''

He added rather dryly: ''Fortunately there was no temptation to launch aircraft and add to the fuel bill occasioned by use of the RAAF Datsun.'' A cautiously worded statement was released as a result ''in a manner that would not embarrass departmental personnel'' which blamed ''random atmospheric conditions''. Other reports in the X Files give details of an ''unidentified physical feature'' of circles on Milo Station at Adavale, Queensland, in 1982. The file refers to photographs that apparently were taken, but they were not among the papers.

Constable Geoffrey Russell, from the local police station, visited the site and wrote a report for RAAF Base Amberley near Ipswich. The officer saw depressions in the ground and thought they were caused by a motorcyclist doing donuts but then dismissed the idea.

He wrote: ''I strongly feel this [is] no hoax even though I do not know the cause of this 'feature'.''

He described a large circle of 2330mm in diameter with one inner circle of 2010mm which were 160mm in width and about 15-20 mm deep. The soil around the outer circle appeared to have been ''blown away'', he said.

Elsewhere in Queensland, dairy farmer Robin Priebe phoned Imbil police at 5.30am in July 1983 to report seeing a strange object in the sky to the north of the town. The papers state that a Sergeant Waterson then went to his back verandah and saw ''a large white light with several flashing lights around it'' which did not appear to be a normal aircraft.

A similar sighting was made by Constable R. Keys from a separate position. He was also of the opinion that it wasn't a normal aircraft.

Mr Priebe said both he and his wife saw a bright red glow gradually change to a white light which then started to move slowly east. Through binoculars, ''the light was disc shaped with a very bright light around the perimeter of the disc with two flashing lights in the front and one to the side'', he said.

The only photographs in the X Files were of unusual lights over Bendigo, witnessed by hundreds in May 1983. An interim report by the RAAF stated that Mike Evans, a 17-year-old disc jockey with the Bendigo radio station 3BO, received calls from listeners, then saw the lights himself and took photos.

One anonymous caller to the RAAF said the lights were caused by a rock group experimenting with laser lighting. The report said they were probably caused by train headlights or lasers or from planets or stars. There had been unusual weather atmospherics on the night.

Zoe¨ D'Arcy, director of digital and online access at the National Archives, said: ''Where you and I might think UFO - a spaceship - the RAAF and other agencies were probably wondering if there was a security threat.

''Most of the files you read and you think that most probably was a meteorite, but there are ones that you read and you think - well, what could that have been?

''I can't explain that from my knowledge.

''So what was it that these people have experienced? It has that open-ended question to it that I find really intriguing.''

Source The Sidney Morning Herald


Nick Redfern on Demon Dogs to Sherlock Holmes
By Jeffery Pritchett

A great pleasure indeed to get into the world of Sherlock Holmes with Nick Redfern concerning the new book "Hounds of the Baskervilles. From Demon Dogs to Sherlock Holmes. The True Story of the Beast!" Featuring authors Timothy Beckley, Nick Redfern, Andrew Gable, Claudia Cunningham, and William Kern. Also the book contains the original story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As well as actual case accounts of run ins from eye witnesses who have seen these actual black demon dogs. I have always been interested in the paranormal genre and explored it openly on my radio show at the Church of Mabus. With Nick Redfern and Timothy Beckley and Claudia Cunningham appearing as guests in the past. It it was great pleasure to present this interview.

1. What was the inspiration behind Hounds of the Baskervilles From Demon Dogs to Sherlock Holmes? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fetish?

Nick Redfern : Basically, the idea of the book is to demonstrate to people the little-known fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took his inspiration for The Hound of the Baskervilles from existing folklore, legends, myths, tales and real-life encounters with huge, blazing-eyed, black hounds of a definitive paranormal nature in the UK. The British Isles has a very rich history extending back centuries and right up to the modern era of encounters with spectral, phantom black dogs. So, it's essentially the case that the book is the "truth behind the fiction" of the Doyle novel.

2. I have seen some Arthur Conan Doyle documentaries lately revolving around Sherlock Holmes. He tried to escape the character but Sherlock's fame always came back to haunt him and kept him on the storyteller's path with the detective mysteries. What are some of your thoughts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's life and writing?

Nick Redfern: First and foremost I would say that Doyle possessed the two most important attributes when it comes to writing good, solid, adventurous and atmospheric fiction: (A) the ability to weave a story that captivates and enthralls the reader; and (B) the talent to create life-like, believable characters to who the reader can relate, and who have image, style and a sense that they really exist. Doyle had a fine writing ability, a keen eye for what the public wanted, and also a deep belief in the existence of a very real world of the paranormal and supernatural - all of which helped create some great, classic stories.

3. Very cool that the original story of the Hounds of the Baskervilles is included with the book. I recently got a hold of some of the older films and plan to watch them particularly the Hammer film. What intrigues you about the original story?

Nick Redfern: Everything about The Hound of the Baskervilles is perfect: the spooky, sinister setting of the foggy moors of old England; the creepy and atmospheric Baskerville Hall; strange and mysterious characters roaming the moors by night; the legend of the devilish beast; the chief characters - Holmes, Watson, Sir Henry Baskerville, Stapleton, etc - and the sheer brilliance of how Doyle took the old legends, played around with them and brought them into the mind of the reader in a great new fashion. I would say that the best two filmed versions of The Hound of the Baskervilles are the Hammer version and the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce version. Both are great, and I'd say I watch both of them at least once or twice a year.

4. You mention that Doyle didn't invent the fiery red eyed hounds but instead brought them to the public's eyes. What do you mean by that?

Nick Redfern: Well, all across Britain you can find centuries-old stories of huge, hulking black dogs that were - and still are! - seen roaming around old cemeteries, ancient bridges, old crossroads and countless other places that have long and traditionally been associated with paranormal activity. Their names include The Black Dog of Bungay; Black Shuck; the Girt Dog; and Skriker. Doyle heard these stories from friends and colleagues who were knowledgeable of, and steeped in, British mythology and folklore. And, on hearing these old and - in my view - very real cases, he found a way to bring the old tales to life in a fantastic novel that is as good today as when it was written.

5. What exactly do you think these demon dogs are paranormally speaking per say?

Nick Redfern: I can only speculate, but there can be no denying that many researchers and witnesses to the Phantom Black Dogs note how they seem to appear around the time of death and misfortune. And, of course, they are often seen in the vicinity of cemeteries. That's to say they have a Grim Reaper quality to them. Even today, it's perceived as being quite ominous and unsettling to see one of these things. It doesn't take long for the old legends, myths and fears to take hold again, even in the 21st Century.

6. The Wisht Hounds are said to travel with the headless devil who rides a horse doing his satanic bidding. Druid pagan rituals in the deep woods. Sounds like a party! When it comes to dogs in belief systems and ancient cultures. What do we know about them exactly as far as their purpose and symbolism?

Nick Redfern: Interestingly, to expand on my answer above, in many old cultures around the world these hounds were seen as the guardians of the gateway to the next realm of existence after this one. Or they were perceived as being responsible for taking people to the next realm. Or, they manifested as a way of telling someone that death was imminent - for them or a close family member or friend. Or, a combination of all these scenarios. Occasionally, however, and somewhat paradoxically, Phantom Black Dogs are helpful and will help a lost traveler on a lonely road, etc, late at night.

7. Could you share some real life cases of people really seeing these black dogs through out history and in modern times?

Nick Redfern: Yeah, sure. Dartmoor, England - where The Hound of the Baskervilles is set - has been a hotbed of sightings of black dogs for hundreds of years. The English county of Suffolk is rich in such tales, many of which are still revered today in the little villages where the events occurred. The central England county of Staffordshire has reports dating up to 1985 of great hounds that would materialize and dematerialize in front of petrified witnesses.

8. The book says it shares articles from various researchers about the phantom black dogs. What can you share about?

Nick Redfern: My contribution to the book is a lengthy paper on the history of the Phantom Black Dog in the UK. It discusses cases old and new, from all across the UK. It also dissects the theories that these hounds are associated with the land of the dead. Or that they are a kind of Grim Reaper. I also dispel the myth that the beasts are chiefly a phenomenon of times long gone. I include in my paper many encounters from the 20th and 21st centuries.

9. What is your perspective on Sherlock Holmes and how do you think this literary famous character has influenced yourself and the world?

Nick Redfern: There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the finest fictional detective of all time. People are going to love and appreciate the Holmes novels forever - or, at least, until the looming New World Order subtly tries to ban books and turn us all into brain-dead, controlled mush. We have to stop that from happening and encourage people to read. I'm not so sure Holmes - as a fictional character - has influenced me. But I realize - as he does in the stories - the importance of gathering facts, evidence and analysis when doing investigations. I can't say I share his taste in music though. Violins? No thanks!

10. And what would Mr. Redfern be up to next when it comes to books and events? Anything you can share? Thanks Nick!

Nick Redfern: I have a new book out with New Page Books in September called The World's Weirdest Places. I'll be speaking at the Oklahoma-based Cryptid Fest on September 8; at the Austin, Texas-based Austin Center for Spiritual Living on September 29; and at the Paradigm Symposium in Minneapolis on the weekend of October 19-21. So, if anyone reading this is coming along, say hello and hang out!

Book Description

PICKS UP WHERE SHERLOCK HOLMES’ LEFT OFF. . . DEVIL HOUNDS. DEMON DOGS. PHANTOM CANINES FROM HELL. THEY DO EXIST! One nearly scared to death eyewitness proclaimed after the beast loomed in front of him: “It was the biggest bloody ‘dog’ I have ever seen in my life!” Legends of black dogs and phantom hounds are widespread throughout the United Kingdom as well as in the United States. Though presented in novelized form, Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his most popular detective thriller on true accounts of a mysterious black beast with blazing red eyes who is said to have attacked those crossing the moors. Some were lucky to have gotten away with their lives. Perhaps there are others who disappeared and their bodies were not accounted for. Who can say for certain? In addition to presenting the number one classic detective thriller of all time in its unabridged, fully illustrated, form, this work goes way beyond the boundaries of fiction into the realm of the supernatural. Today’s top paranormal researcher’s delve into stories of the bloody beast who comes in various sizes and apparently even has the ability to shape shift into a more hideous creature when cornered.

As England’s leading cryptozoologist, Nick Redfern, points out, “There is one important factor to remember: Conan Doyle did not invent Britain’s phantom, fiery-eyed hounds. He merely brought them to the attention of the public in spectacularly entertaining style. In reality, the creature had been prowling around the British countryside for centuries; and particularly so Dartmoor – the fictional home of the world’s most famous hound of horror in all its awful glory.” According to Redfern the same area the imaginary Sherlock Holmes conducted his investigation around, is also, in reality, rife with ancient tales and legends of a group of diabolical and unholy creatures known as the Wisht Hounds – fearsome devil-dogs with glowing eyes and large fangs. “They are said to have a taste for both human flesh and human souls, and ride with the Devil himself, as he crosses the windswept wilds of Dartmoor late at night - and atop a headless, black horse, no less.” According to legend, the Wisht Hounds inhabit the nearby Wistman’s Woods – a sacred grove where, in centuries past, ancient druids held pagan rituals in honor of a veritable multitude of old Earth gods and goddesses. Here are dozens of accounts of devilish, gruesome, repugnant “monsters” – some of whom stand eight feet tall – who are said to be Satan’s watch dogs protecting the portals to another dimension or realm where no mortal should be made to tread!

Source: The Examiner


Livestock Mutilations Shake Up Colorado Ranching Community

GUNNISON — Recent livestock mutilations have Gunnison area ranchers shaken and on the alert for more strange attacks on cattle and horses.

In recent weeks, a horse was shot and had its head skinned at the LeValley Ranch property, which is part of the Esty Ranch holdings about eight miles east of Gunnison. The horse also had its tongue and anus removed.

Less than two months ago, a prize heifer in the same heavily traveled area just off of Colorado 50 and Colorado 114 had its tongues, lips and anus removed.

"To me it looks like a ritualistic issue. Either that, or they are high on drugs. There is just no logical explanation for it," said Esty Ranch owner Mike Clarke.

Two other incidents took place on other ranches in that vicinity in May and July.

The four mutilations have prompted the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association to offer a $500 reward for any information that will lead to a conviction. The Colorado State Patrol has also been alerted to watch for strange activities in that area. The Gunnison County Sheriff's Office, the agency investigating the mutilations, did not return phone calls asking for comment.

Clarke's ranch foreman, Allen Roper, told the Gunnison Country Times that the mutilated animals appeared to be shot, but no bullets were found and that the mutilations were done with knives and were not a result of predators.

Cattle mutilations have plagued ranchers in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and other parts of the Southwest for decades. Many explanations have been put forth, including extraterrestrial aliens, religious cults and chupacabras.

So far the favored theory in this case is that the killings are the product of a sacrificial ritual. Why else would someone shoot and mutilate a horse?

Animal sacrifice has historically been a part of many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. In America today the practice is mostly limited to Afro-Caribbean religious groups, such as Santeria. Though extremely unlikely, followers of Santeria might have happened to be driving through rural Colorado when they decided to make a pit stop to sacrifice a horse.

Of course, it’s possible that one or more of the deaths were intentional. Sadly, cases of random strangers and sick pranksters shooting, torturing and sometimes even mutilating pets and livestock are not unheard of.

The recent mutilations have similarities to mutilations that occurred in the 1960s in neighboring Saguache County. The most famous incident was reported in 1967 when a horse that became known as Snippy" had its head and neck skinned. Like in the most recent cases, there was no blood at the scene or tracks. The mutilations were never solved.

In 2009, a San Luis Valley rancher found four calves with their tongues sliced out, udders removed, eyes cored and faces skinned. Those cases were never solved and there also was no blood nor tracks around those animals.

Clarke said if there is another incident he expects "the ranching community will really be up in arms."

"What concerns us is what they are going to do next?" Clarke said.

Source: The Denver Post


There Were 2 UFO Crashes at Roswell, Says Ex-Air Force Official
By Lee Speigel

The 1947 UFO controversy of Roswell, N.M. is like a bad penny: It keeps turning up.

The legend, rehashed by conspiracy theorists in countless documentaries, revolves around allegations that an unusual object fell from the sky -- an object so bizarre that the U.S. Air Force issued a press release that a flying saucer had crashed.

That story was quickly recanted, creating what would become one of the greatest urban legends in American history.

Until now, most debunkers doubted that there was even one crash. Now, in an exclusive interview, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard French told The Huffington Post that there were actually two crashes.

This revelation is especially remarkable considering that French was known in the past to debunk UFO stories.

"There were actually two crashes at Roswell, which most people don't know," French told HuffPost. "The first one was shot down by an experimental U.S. airplane that was flying out of White Sands, N.M., and it shot what was effectively an electronic pulse-type weapon that disabled and took away all the controls of the UFO, and that's why it crashed."

French -- an Air Force pilot who was in Alamagordo, N.M., in 1947, being tested in an altitude chamber, an annual requirement for rated officers -- was very specific in how the military allegedly brought down what he believes was a spacecraft from another world.

"When they hit it with that electromagnetic pulse -- bingo! -- there goes all their electronics and, consequently, the UFO was uncontrollable," said French, who flew hundreds of combat missions in Korea and Southeast Asia, and who held several positions working for Military Intelligence.

Another retired officer doubts French's story.

"No chance! Zero chance!" said Army Col. John Alexander, whose own top-secret clearance gave him access in the 1980s to official documents and UFO accounts. He created a top-level group of government officials and scientists who determined that, while UFOs are real, they couldn't find evidence of an official cover-up.

"In the 1980s, I was the guy developing all of the pulse-power weapons systems. We couldn't have done it then. In the 60s, they had a laser system, but your range was extremely limited, and we didn't have operational laser weapons in that time frame," said Alexander, who is working to get amnesty for military personnel who wish to talk about their UFO experiences.

Except for the initial newspaper headline declaring the military had captured a flying saucer outside of Roswell, the Air Force closed the books on Roswell, claiming that the true identity of the object was a high-altitude surveillance balloon, code-named "Mogul."

But after eyewitnesses -- including numerous military personnel -- began to tell stories of their participation in an alleged cover-up of the Roswell incident, some researchers insisted that it was, in fact, an alien ship that crashed at Roswell.

French says he was told about the UFO "shootdown" by another military officer -- a confidential source -- from White Sands Proving Grounds, an area of the New Mexico desert where the U.S. military tested many weapons systems.

His source told French there was a second UFO crash near Roswell a few days after the first one.

"It was within a few miles of where the original crash was," French said. "We think that the reason they were in there at that time was to try and recover parts and any survivors of the first crash. I'm [referring to] the people from outer space -- the guys whose UFO it was."

While French offered no further details on what he says was a second UFO crash, he teased something else.

"I had seen photographs of parts of the UFO that had inscriptions on it that looked like it was in an Arabic language -- it was like a part number on each one of them. They were photographs in a folder that I just thumbed through."

That's an interesting parallel to the recent story of ex-CIA agent Chase Brandon, who claimed he found a box at CIA headquarters in the 1990s -- a box labeled "Roswell."

Brandon told HuffPost he looked in the box and went through written materials and photographs confirming his suspicions that the object which crashed at Roswell, "was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet."

That story set off a fury of controversy between those who believed and didn't believe Brandon's story.

And now we have French, who served more than 27 years in the military, including as an investigator and debunker for the Air Force's famous study of UFOs, known as Project Blue Book, which began in 1947.

"I'm one of the authors of Project Blue Book, and started with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, stationed in Spokane, Wash. One of the duties I had in 1952 was to debunk UFO stories," French said.

"In other words, if someone had a UFO sighting, I and another agent would try to come up with some logical explanation for this strange aerial appearance. Most of the reports were from civilians than military. We gave our analysis and tried to debunk it by saying it was swamp fog or that the thing they saw was actually hanging on wires. It went up through channels all the way to the presidential level."

But why was French ordered to debunk UFO reports in the first place?

"They never give you an explanation, but I'll tell you what my analysis of it is: If they accepted the fact that there are creatures coming to Earth from other universes or from wherever, it basically would destroy religions, and the fact that our military's helpless against them would destroy the reputation of the military," French said. "You're talking about military, national defense and religious reasons."

As it often turns out with eye-opening UFO stories, it comes down to who you believe.

Antonio Huneeus is a 30-year veteran UFO investigative reporter who recently spent time with French and is trying to uncover more facts about the information the former Military Intelligence officer would have us believe.

"We did a search and found his name on an official Air Force page that confirmed he was a combat pilot, but that page had nothing to do with UFOs," Huneeus, editor of Open Minds Magazine, told HuffPost.

"My reservations are about some of the claims that he makes, and because of his age, his memory isn't as good as it used to be," Huneeus said. "It's clear to me that he's fairly well read on the subject of UFOs, or he might have heard stories or talked to people. So, I'm trying to separate exactly what he lived and saw directly from what he heard and read."

Sixty years after French began investigating UFOs for Project Blue Book, he still thinks there's a cover-up.

"It's going on today. There's no question about it. I've listened to their denials many times and, at that time, I was in direct opposition to their position. In my mind, there wasn't any question that UFOs were real."

Source: Huffington Post


University Professor to Study Life After Death

A University of California, Riverside philosophy professor, John Martin Fischer, has been awarded a three-year, $5 million grant by the John Templeton Foundation to study just this topic—and yes, students can take his class.

"Both I and my post-doc, Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin, will teach related classes over the next three years. I have frequently taught classes on death, immortality, and the meaning of life both at Yale University and UC Riverside," Fischer said.

So what's the meaning of life? More on that in a moment.

Fischer noted, "We'll be open both to studying religious and non-religious views about immortality. One thing that we'll study is whether human beings would want to live forever: would it be boring? Would it lose its meaning and beauty and urgency? Does death give meaning to life?"

According to the university's website announcing the grant award, many anecdotal reports of the afterlife abound, but there has been "no comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study of global reports about near-death and other experiences, or of how belief in immortality influences human behavior." The research will look at a range of phenomena, including heaven, hell, purgatory, and karma.  The grant is the largest ever awarded to a humanities professor at UC Riverside, and one of the largest given to an individual at the university.

Fischer said in a statement, "We will be very careful in documenting near-death experiences and other phenomena, trying to figure out if these offer plausible glimpses of an afterlife or are biologically induced illusions," Fischer said. "Our approach will be uncompromisingly scientifically rigorous. We're not going to spend money to study alien-abduction reports."

The grant will also fund two conferences to discuss the findings. Said UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White, Fischer's research "takes a universal concern and subjects it to rigorous examination to sift fact from fiction."

The Immortality Project, as it is called, will solicit research proposals from eminent scientists, philosophers and theologians whose work "will be reviewed by respected leaders in their fields and published in academic and popular journals."

The research will also delve into cultural aspects of the afterlife. For example, there are reports of millions of Americans seeing a tunnel with a bright light at the end. In Japan, reports often find the individual tending a garden.

The professor added that the academic research could include a range of issues, like "heaven and hell: If we are material beings, how can we exist in heaven, where we would not have physical bodies (or not of the sort we have here)?

"There is a lot of interest in near-death experiences. We can carefully catalog them and look into whether there are patterns. There has already been a lot of work on this. Perhaps some cross-cultural studies would be helpful.

"We'll also be open to studying the relationship between beliefs in afterlife and behavior--moral behavior and crime rates."

Sounds like the kind of research topics that many college students have already spent hours pondering. As for the meaning of life? The professor says check back in three years.

Source: Yahoo News


Lake Serpent Captured on Film in Norway

Three men claim to have photographed a mysterious creature in lake Hornindalsvatnet, Norway.

On Wednesday, August 1, Andreas Solvik, Arvid Otterdal and Finn Nyhammer were enjoying some time on the lake when they saw something making large "ripples on the water," reported the newspaper Fjordingen.

"It was almost silent on the water as the ripples began. We sat in a small motor boat 70 meters away, but did not know what we saw, but I got a picture of it," Solvik said.

The three men are convinced that they saw a lake monster in Lake Hornindalsvatnet, the deepest lake in Europe, with spots eportedly up to 514 meters deep. The men estimate that "the beast" was between two and three feet long, dark in color with a gray head.

Senior Engineer Rupert Wienerroither of Marine Research in Bergen, who specializes in fish identification, has no explanation on what the three men photographed.

"I doubt that there is something alive. There are no animals that swim like the that, eels and snakes swim back and forth, not up and down."

He has never seen anything quite like the photo before, and will not completely rule out the existence of sea serpents.

"They could be real, but there is no scientific evidence that they exist...the probability is very small," he said.

Zoologist Petter Boeckman at the Natural History Museum in Oslo said that the sea serpent is "a good old glory crowned cryptid."

A cryptid is an animal that has been observed, but never officially identified. The Loch Ness monster, the Yeti of the Himalayas, the North American Bigfoot, these are examples of cryptid animals.

Boeckman says the image from Lake Hornindalsvatnet is exciting. "It would be cool if a kjempeorm (lake serpent) lived there, but unfortunately there are things that speak against this," he says.  

Boeckman is pretty certain that the photo does not show a living animal. He believes that the explanation may be "cables, drainage or odd roots."

"For such large animals to be able to live in a lake, they need a substantial amount of food. Also, they need a minimum population to ensure generational survival. If this photo shows a living creature, it would have to be a whale or otter, since only these creatures swim with an up and down motion. I don't think there are any giant otters or whales in Lake Hornindalsvatnet."

However skeptical, Zoologists believe that "the myth of sea serpent" is not going away anytime soon.

"There is a deep human trait to want things that are more exciting than in real life."

Source: Dagbladet

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