12/30/12  #703
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2012 is drawing to a close. We here at Conspiracy Journal wish you all a happy and prosperous 2013.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such Auld Lang Syne tales as:

- Senate Approves Warrantless Electronic Spy Powers-
Psi and Psychosis: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid -
- Strange Triangles in the Southern Skies?-
- Unearthing the Earth Hound - A Corpse-Devouring Cryptid -
AND: Nyaminyami, Zimbabwe's "Loch Ness Monster"
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~



IN the year 1947 Admiral Richard E. Byrd made a flight into the South Polar region of the world. Before he started on the venture, Byrd made a mysterious statement: "I'd like to see that land beyond the Pole. That area beyond the Pole in the center of the great unknown." In the cockpit of his plane was a powerful, two-way radio. When Byrd and his scientific companions took off from their base at the South Pole, they managed to fly 1700 miles beyond it. That's when the radio in Byrd's plane was put into use to report something utterly incredible.

There was a strange great valley below them. For some unknown reason, the valley Byrd saw was not ice-covered as it should have been in the frigid Antarctic. It was green and luxuriant. There were mountains with thick forest of trees on them, there was lush grass and underbrush. Most amazing, a huge animal was observed moving through the underbrush. In a land of ice, snow and almost perpetual "deep-freeze" …here was a stupendous MYSTERY. Byrd had discovered a strange great valley just beyond the South Pole, where the weather temperature, believe it or not, was evidently something like 75 degrees.

Suddenly the press and radio were "hushed up." After the first brief messages leaked through to newspapers, no further confirmation of the big discovery was given. Was it merely a hoax? Some newsman's joke? I think not. I believe that Byrd came upon the location of a great doorway or entrance leading deep into the unknown interior of the Earth! The "Great Door" at the South Pole region.

Having found that, it is believe he guessed no longer. He then KNEW beyond the shadow of a doubt that this secret "Door" must open into the Cavern world. He would go there and find out...see for himself the wonder and everlasting mystery of the unknown INNER Earth.

Here is the long rumored “missing” diary of Admiral Byrd which tells exactly what Bryd and his men discovered. Why have we not been permitted this information? Why is it that some have been warned not to talk about what has been discovered?

TWO BOOKS IN ONE! In addition to the text of Admiral Byrd’s diary is a rare, “long lost” manuscript by William Reed who puts forward his theory that we live on the outside of a hollow globe. Based upon the journals of various seafarers who have explored the regions around the poles, Reed puts forward the following questions: 1. Why is the earth flattened at the poles? 2. Why have the poles never been reached? 3. Why does the sun not appear for so long in winter near the supposed poles? 4. Assuming that the earth is hollow, the interior should be warmer. 5. We must now resort to the compass. Does it refuse to work when drawing near the supposed poles? 6. Meteors are constantly falling near the supposed poles. Why? 7. The next query is concerning the great quantities of dust constantly found in the Arctic Ocean. What causes this dust? 8. What produces the Aurora Borealis? 9. Icebergs are next in order. Where are they formed? And how?? 10. What causes tidal waves? 11. What causes colored snow in the Arctic region? 12. Why are the nights so long in the polar regions? 13. What causes the great ice-pressure in the Arctic Ocean during still tide and calm weather? 14. Why is the ice filled with rock, gravel, and sand?

This is a book that will intrigue and fascinate. It is like nothing you have ever encountered before!

If you act now, you can get "The Secret Lost Diary of Admiral Richard E. Byrd and The Phantom of the Poles" for the special price of only $20 (plus $5.00 shipping).  Included FREE with your order you will also receive a DVD of a privately shot lecture by Dennis Crenshaw on the "Hidden World Inside The Hollow Earth."  This offer will not last long so ORDER TODAY! 

Click Here to Order With PayPal

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Be sure to tune in to Unraveling The Secrets Saturdays at 11:59PM EST
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Senate Approves Warrantless Electronic Spy Powers
By David Kravets

The Senate on Friday reauthorized for five years broad electronic eavesdropping powers that legalized and expanded the President George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

The FISA Amendments Act, which was expiring Monday at midnight, allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is believed outside the United States. The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”

The House approved the measure in September. President Barack Obama, who said the spy powers were a national security priority, is expected to quickly sign the package before the law Congress codified in 2008 expires in the coming days. Over the past two days, the Senate debated and voted down a handful of amendments in what was seen as largely political theater to get Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to lift a procedural hold on the FISA Amendments Act legislation that barred lawmakers from voting on the package.

In the end, the identical package the House passed 301-118 swept through the Senate on a 73-23 vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union immediately blasted the vote.

“The Bush administration’s program of warrantless wiretapping, once considered a radical threat to the Fourth Amendment, has become institutionalized for another five years,” said Michelle Richardson, the ACLU’s legislative counsel.

Amendments senators refused to enact included extending the measure for just three years, another one requiring the government to account for how many times Americans’ communications have been intercepted, and one by Wyden prohibiting U.S. spy agencies from reviewing the communications of Americans ensnared in the program.

“The amendment I fought to include would have helped bring the constitutional principles of security and liberty back into balance and intend to work with my colleagues to see that the liberties of individual Americans are maintained,” Wyden said immediately after the vote.

The legislation does not require the government to identify the target or facility to be monitored. It can begin surveillance a week before making the request, and the surveillance can continue during the appeals process if, in a rare case, the secret FISA court rejects the surveillance application. The court’s rulings are not public.

The government has also interpreted the law to mean that as long as the real target is al-Qaeda, the government can wiretap purely domestic e-mails and phone calls without getting a warrant from a judge. That’s according to David Kris, a former top anti-terrorism attorney at the Justice Department.

In short, Kris said the FISA Amendments Act gives the government nearly carte blanche spying powers.

Kris, who headed the Justice Department’s National Security Division between 2009 and 20011, writes in the revised 2012 edition of National Security Investigations and Prosecutions:

    For example, an authorization targeting ‘al Qaeda’ — which is a non-U.S. person located abroad—could allow the government to wiretap any telephone that it believes will yield information from or about al Qaeda, either because the telephone is registered to a person whom the government believes is affiliated with al Qaeda, or because the government believes that the person communicates with others who are affiliated with al Qaeda, regardless of the location of the telephone.

The National Security Agency told lawmakers that it would be a violation of Americans’ privacy to disclose how the measure is being used in practice.

After Obama signs the legislation Friday, the spy powers won’t expire until December 31, 2017.

The law is the subject of a Supreme Court challenge. The Obama administration argues that the American Civil Liberties Union and a host of other groups suing don’t have the legal standing to even bring a challenge.

A federal judge agreed, ruling the ACLU, Amnesty International, Global Fund for Women, Global Rights, Human Rights Watch, International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association, The Nation magazine, PEN American Center, Service Employees International Union and other plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case because they could not demonstrate that they were subject to the warrantless eavesdropping.

The groups appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that they often work with overseas dissidents who might be targets of the National Security Agency program. Instead of speaking with those people on the phone or through e-mails, the groups asserted that they have had to make expensive overseas trips in a bid to maintain attorney-client confidentiality. The plaintiffs, some of them journalists, also claim the 2008 legislation chills their speech, and violates their Fourth Amendment privacy rights.

Without ruling on the merits of the case, the appeals court agreed with the plaintiffs last year that they have ample reason to fear the surveillance program, and thus have legal standing to pursue their claim.

The case, argued last month, is pending an opinion from the Supreme Court.

Source: Wired


Psi and Psychosis: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
By Dr. Barry Taff


There is one thing I feel absolutely secure in saying after spending the last forty-four years of my life conducting parapsychological research; that the paranormal attracts more emotionally disturbed people than any other area of human interest or endeavor.  The chronic encounters with such psychotic people never seems to end.  The question is why?

Men or women, tall or short, thin or fat, rich or poor, educated or ignorant, beautiful or ugly, they appear to be everywhere,  and growing in numbers.  Perhaps many such troubled individuals enter this field with the hope of resolving their own emotional demons?  Perhaps others are seeking the greater truth that underlies our presence and reality?  And yet perhaps others, enter it because it requires absolutely no formal education whatsoever to explore, unlike any other discipline of science?

Where to begin?  Let’s start with the most current and then travel backwards in time to see if there’s any obvious pattern to this blatant madness that all-too-frequently accompanies an obsession with the paranormal or ufology.

Several weeks ago I was introduced to a middle-aged woman related to my research work.  This introduction was a professional one, not a social one, at least that’s what I assumed.

Ellen, was quite striking physically, and easily looked twenty years younger than her chronological age.  In our initial conversations, she seemed to be quite pleasant, but there was a disturbing undercurrent associated with speaking to her.   But as this was supposed to be a business contact, I decided to ignore it.  As you’re about to discover, that was a serious error in judgment on my part.

According to Ellen, much of her young life was tortured by alleged entity attachments, where she was unable to sleep well, if at all, for many years.   As she grew older, her delusional sense of reality was reinforced by friends she made who played into her troubled psyche.  She had major problems keeping boyfriends or friends at all, but was unable to understand why.  I am unaware if these delusional episodes of entity attachment were the result of substance abuse, traumatic brain injury, or growing up in a totally dysfunctional home with its concomitant abuse and neglect.

From there, she developed a sense that aliens were watching and pursuing her.  What a surprise?  When I asked Ellen why aliens would want to harass her, her reply was that as she was one of the few people on earth who knew what true love was, and that aliens wanted to learn such from her.  Huh?  What?

Then she supposedly learned how to remote view, but every time someone she knew began thinking about her (even though they weren’t even with her at the time), such an act would cause her to get a severe headache.   In fact, not long after we first spoke on the phone, she asked if I was remote viewing her, as she was getting a terrible headache.

As I didn’t even know her, why would I even want to do such a thing, let alone to her?   But she was sure, that someone, somewhere, must be remote viewing her causing her great mental anguish.  Yeah, right?  By this point, she was starting to give me a headache just by her ridiculous statements.  She also kept asking me if I could sense any entity attachment to her.  I almost said yes, and that it was from her own brain, but that would have been far too cruel for such a demented individual.

She claims to have repeatedly moved over the years, running from both entity attachment and alien capture.  I think what she was really running from here was her own chemically imbalanced brain and her inability to cope with life’s various emotionally difficult moments.

Then she tells me that she’s gone out into certain wilderness areas and actually met Bigfoot, where she had mental conversations with him, via what she calls “mind-speak”.  I almost asked her if Bigfoot told her to see a psychiatrist, but I refrained.  When I asked her what forest she was out in when such occurred, she refused to tell me as it was a secret place.   Yes, I know, the forest is really in that vacuous space between her ears.

This then evolves into her asking me if I’m actually a hybrid and she could tell her friends that she now knew one.  My response to her was that I didn’t drive a hybrid.  No, she meant an alien hybrid.  She then tells me that one of her best friends is an alien hybrid and asks whether I could tell her where he’s actually from.  She showed me his photo, wherein he appeared to look like someone who’s a couple fries short of a happy meal.  I almost told her that he’s probably from Uranus, or is that your anus, or is it her anus?  Please, just leave me alone.

But wait, it gets much worst.

She then asks if I can take her boyfriend back in time to undo/change all the negative, emotional imprinting, conditioning and depression he’s experienced that prevents him from committing to and marrying her.   Sure, it’s called ECT or psychotherapy with medication.  When I told this space cadet that what she asks is impossible, she got very angry with me.  She starts screaming that she knows people who can really do such things and I should come with her to witness such.  Sure they can, and I can fly without a plane.  Now where did I leave my cape and boots?  I then said that I’ve got Clark Kent, Barry Allen, Bruce Wayne and Hal Jordon (Superman, The Flash, Batman and The Green Lantern) at my door, she started really freaking out on me.  When I told her to stop bothering me about such nonsense, her anger grew even worst.

Then she wanted to know if I desire to accompanying her to a cave in Greece to meet some aliens.  My response was that why go all the way around the world when all you have to do is drive through certain areas of Los Angeles to find lots of aliens.  She really flipped out on that one.

Perhaps the most telling evidence of her troubled psyche was that she wrote a book on how to win the lottery on a regular basis.  She wanted me to read it, write a review of it, and then endorse it.

My immediate question to her was as to how much money she’s actually won by utilizing her methods, assuming it’d be many millions by now.   Ellen admitted that she hadn’t won a dime, as her method takes lots of practice.  As she does not have a job and has all the time in the world to practice what she preaches or writes, I assume that there’s something terribly wrong with her reasoning, judgment and this picture as a whole.  Why would anyone with even half a brain even make such absurd, unsupportable claims, when they themselves have never succeeded at such?   That’s simple, they’re insane.  What she wanted from me was consensual validation and an endorsement, which would never occur, as I do not work with psychotic people.

Without a doubt, Ellen is totally delusional and dissociative, in that she’s living totally within her own demented mind.  The dissociation is so severe, that reality rarely, if ever, intervenes.

Say goodbye Ellen.

Think that Ellen was a little over the edge, here’s someone who almost makes her appear normal.

Earlier this year I met another interesting, middle-age woman through my work, named Brenda.   Brenda claims to be an ascending, celestial goddess who was, and still is, an MK-Ultra and Montauk mind control, super-victim.  She incessantly writes and speaks of this, where she belches forth her hyper-kinetic, vergiberating world salads loaded with psycho-babble neologisms.  Her obsessive-compulsiveness on this matter is truly frightening.  She claims to be a medium, a clairvoyant, a professionally trained remote viewer, a witch, and an alien channel (she might want to change that channel?).  However, Brenda neglected the most important self-description of all; that of a blatant, paranoid schizophrenic who used to live in a bus as she was far too disturbed to live among normal human beings in fear that they would soon discover her secret (that her brain had been abducted long ago).

Brenda claims that all of the major rock groups of the 1960?s and 1970?s were actually assets of  the CIA who were systematically controlling and destroying all of our minds with their psychotronically mediated music.  She even goes so far as to claim that when certain musical groups perform or their music is played on radio, it sends out electronic energy to psychotronically harass her both physically and mentally.

If the group was The Doors, did this compel Brenda to run around opening and closing doors?  If it were the Rolling Stones, did she suddenly have the desire to pick up rocks and push them down the road.  If it were the Grass Roots, did she start madly pulling up blades of grass?  Or what if it was Three Dog Night, did she immediately go out and pick up three stray dogs?  If it were the Beatles, I hope she didn’t chase after and capture live beetles?

Brenda openly speaks about how she’s frequently taken out into deep, interstellar space to witness the ongoing battles between the beings of light and the darker, demonic extraterrestrials who want to destroy her, for she knows the truth.

It’s clearly evident that Brenda is a very disturbed woman who is in desperate need of in-patient psychiatric institutionalization with anti-psychotic medication and therapy.  But given the lack of money and facilities dedicated to such emotional disorders these days, she’s totally ignored by the mental health system as she roams around screaming her version of reality to everyone that listens.  She even shows up on various radio and podcasts that are more than happy to disseminate her delusional insanity to an ignorant world.   This is Brenda’s way of getting attention from everyone.

Say goodbye Brenda.

During the summer of 2011, I met this strikingly beautiful girl on an online dating website.  Robin was about ten years younger than myself and was stunning beyond words, but her exterior is where the beauty apparently ceased.

While having dinner with her, she talked about the fact that she’s not really looking for a relationship as she’ll be leaving soon.  Assuming that she was moving to another city or state, I asked where she was moving to.  Then came the shocker.  She wasn’t moving in that sense of the word, she was moving out of life and into death, literally.   WHAT?

I asked her what she’s talking about and she said that she’s going to commit suicide very soon as she hates being alive, but she’s waiting for her daughter to turn eighteen before destroying herself.   Then I asked her why she wanted to meet me.  That response was even more disturbing.  Robin thought that I might be able to help her more more efficiently and effectively transition to the other side due to my life’s work.  Oh my god!

I was rendered speechless for one of the few times in my life.  I then asked her if she was at all concerned over the traumatizing effect her suicide would have on her daughter.  Robin’s reply was, “Oh, I’m sure she’ll be fine with it.”  Talk about selfishness?

Before I got up to leave the restaurant, I asked her if she’d been seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist for her depression.  She just looked at me with a blank stare as she said “Why do I need to see a shrink?”.  After that, I asked her if she’d care to give me her new $250,000 AMG Mercedes, as dead people do not need mechanical transportation.  Robin just looked at me with a blank face.  I paid the check and immediately left.  Very nice, not to know you Robin.

Goodbye, good luck, good riddance.  Can it get any sicker that this?  You’ll see.

Lest you think these problems only occur with women, let’s take a look at Kurt from early winter of 2000.

I met this man, a full generation my junior, during the shoot for a cable TV paranormal reality show episode.  Kurt claimed to be a psychic medium and a paranormal investigator, whom I never heard of.  He seemed a little odd right from the start, as he kept asking me the same questions over and over again, like; “Why do you call yourself a parapsychologist”, and if a friend of mine was really psychic.

I gave him the same answers over and over again, but that didn’t seem to work for him.  He finally gave up and left me alone for the remainder of the shoot.

Some years later, I discovered that he was telling anyone who would listen that he worked in the old UCLA parapsychology lab where we were studying him as a psychic, then as a medium.  That Dr. Thelma Moss had taken him under her wing as her special subject.   Kurt apparently had/has some serious reality issues, or is just a bald faced liar, figuring that no one would ever challenge him on this matter.   Wrong.

Kurt’s tall tale then evolved into his saying that he was part of a secret, government program that was training him as a psychic medium to work for the military and intelligence community.  What the hell is he talking about?

He seems to have overlooked the fact that when the lab was up and running (1967-1978), he wasn’t even twelve years old, and therefore would not have been allowed to work with us for any reason whatsoever.   The Human Use Committee regulations governing research work at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute and the entire medical center, strictly forbid us from dealing with children under the age of eighteen, even if the parents consented.

Making his assertion even more outlandish is the fact that we never trained anyone to be a medium for any reason whatsoever.  While we did have a psi training group (see my other blog on this site entitled “Learned Psi: Training To Be Psychic”) that ran from 1970 through 1987, he was not a participant in such as we never met him.  I ran this research program and would have certainly remembered meeting someone as  young as him and would have stopped any effort on his part to participate in our work.  Apparently, that wasn’t sufficient to stop Kurt from continuing this diatribe.

After about eleven years of this nonsense, I finally directly confronted Kurt on this matter and warned him that if he persisted with his misinformative effort to falsely establish a background that never existed as related to the lab and myself, there would be severe legal repercussions and consequences for it.

His reason for doing this is quite clear.  By making such a claim, it automatically gives him a level of official credibility that he otherwise did not have.  Being formally associated with our old lab would be a form of consensual validation, objectively verifying his claims of unique paranormal talents.  Kurt is just another of the many opportunists out there trying to take advantage of what the past offered that was beyond his grasp.  Fortunately, Kurt finally ceased his efforts in this regard.  At least I believe he did.

However, the real question about Kurt is as to whether he really believes what he is saying?  If he actually believes it, then he’s psychotic and has lost the ability to differentiate between reality and fantasy?  If he knows that this all a fabrication he’s invented to make himself appear more important than he really is, then he’s no more than a somewhat clever opportunist in a field that is not, at all, monitored or controlled.

A subtle distraction here for a brief moment.  The day that Michael Jackson died several years ago I was talking with one of my colleagues about how long it will take some nut job to pop up claiming they’re communicating with his spirit.

Two days later, I received a call from a woman I barely knew, telling me that she’s already speaking with Jackson’s spirit.  I had but a single response to her comment; “What took you so long?”   I believe that my reply says it all, although she did start receiving death threats for so quickly attempting to financially profit from Jackson’s untimely death.

In 2005, I began investigating a local haunting case.  This case demonstrated some extraordinary geophysical and paranormal events, and offered the possibility of helping to us to clarify many of the poorly understood variables associated with such occurrences.  This case offered such informational potential, that I visited this location a total of sixteen times over the course of one year.

The owner and resident of the property, a middle-aged man named Alan, seemed relatively normal at first glance.  The case produced rather significant instrumental data coupled with personal witness accounts that were truly extraordinary.  However, it also produced a permanent change in Alan’s personality.

It wasn’t long before Alan began talking like he was having a literal conversation with spirits in the room.  There were points where he began screaming at us as he kept saying “They’re telling me to…….” whatever.  I thought Alan was actually talking with real, live people on the other end of the phone, when in reality he was supposedly having direct conversations with several ghosts that were inhabiting his home.

Not long thereafter, Alan, myself and several others were having dinner at a local restaurant, when Alan’s eyes suddenly rolled back in his head and he again began speaking as if he he was having a direct dialog with someone not visible in the booth with us living humans.

It was not surprising to learn that Alan started having seizures not long after he moved into his new haunted house.  However, as Alan was very cryptic about his health when asked specific questions, we had no way of really knowing if these seizures were ever experienced prior to living in his current home.

After this, I decided to walk away from this potentially rewarding case.  If the residents judgment and reasoning suddenly disappear to be replaced by conversations of the dead in any location, I’d say it’s time to walk away.  And that’s exactly what we did.

There are numerous other disturbing incidents involving men, but they are so vile and disgusting in many respects that I’ve chosen not to discuss them publicly.  The absolute psychopathology related to these cases make me sick just thinking about them, as most are linked to violent or even criminal matters that are best left to proper legal and law enforcement professionals.  The purpose of this commentary is to educate and inform, not to sicken or nauseate.

During the summer of 1987, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Los Angeles set up several support groups dealing with the fallout from Whitley Streiber’s new book Communion.  Apparently, Communion touched some nerves in some people, all of whom were seeking help and answers trying to emotionally cope with their alleged UFO abduction experiences.

While there were those individual who might have had actual abduction experiences, a high percentage of them were either delusional or experiencing some form of psychotic break where they could no longer distinguish between reality and fantasy. This is where this particular story begins.

While attending one of these MUFON support groups, I met with a young lady by the name of Val.  She began relating her account of being repeatedly abducted  over the years,  I listened intently, but the feeling I was left with was that this woman was psychotic and required professional psychiatric assistance as opposed to input from any of us with MUFON.  I told her that her experience was interesting, but it fell outside the purview of our groups work due to its extreme nature.  Fortunately, I never heard of her again, or at least that’s what I thought.

In the late 1990?s, I was online and found a blog she posted regarding our meeting at the MUFON group.  She stated that she instantly knew upon meeting me that I was sneaky and underhanded and could not be trusted.  That I instantly hypnotized her and gained control of her mind.  According to her I went home and used psychotronic weapons hidden in my basement to direct demonic entities to attack and rape her as she walked around during the course of her daily life.   But wait, there’s much, much more.

She continues on to say that I used her case as the basis for The Entity novel and movie,  What?  There’s something really wrong with this woman’s thinking at many different levels.

Let’s see just how utterly insane this woman really was/is.  The real Entity case occurred in 1974-5.  The novel was published in 1978, and the movie was released by Fox in 1983.   That’s odd, I didn’t have the displeasure of meeting Val until the summer of 1987!  See a little problem here with temporal discontinuity?  Apparently, this inverted temporal reality must have really resonated with Val, as she was never phased by the absurdity and impossibility of what she was saying?

Where is Val now?   I don’t know and I really don’t care or want to know, as long as she stays far away from me.

Let’s now jump ahead eleven years to 1998.  I was giving a lecture for a group in Anaheim.  To my surprise, an old girlfriend named Linda, from the mid-1970?s showed up.  She looked great, no fat, lines or wrinkles, at least on the surface.  But what lay beneath was anything by great as I was about to discover.

Linda comes up to me after my talk and I introduced her to one of my colleagues who was attending the event with me.  Out of the blue, Linda starts talking about how she needs my help to assist her and Jesus Christ to defend themselves against demonic aliens who have joined forces with the CIA and FBI to destroy the world, but first they must destroy her because she knows too much about what’s really going on.  Haven’t I heard this one before somewhere?

We just stood there not knowing what to say or how to respond.  My colleague and I looked at each other with confused looks on our faces.  When I originally knew Linda, she never made such insane comments, nor was their any hint of religious zealotry from her.  What happened to her in the last twenty years to induce such a state of paranoid delusions from supernatural persecutors?

On the way back home I told my colleague that if she had behaved like this when I first met her I never would have even asked her out.  She was always a little different, but that kind of goes with the territory when one meets people through their efforts in parapsychological research.

Several weeks later Linda showed up at my door and continued her ranting on the same subject.  I would not let her in, but I talked to her outside.  She sounded very unstable and suicidal.  I sternly suggested that she seek out psychiatric counseling as it appeared that she was unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy, one of the earmarks of psychosis.  She finally left.

Several weeks went by and she called to inform me that something compelled to walk into the path of any oncoming car.  Fortunately, she was only mildly injured, but she was sure what caused her to do what she did was the demonic aliens and the CIA.  Of course they did?  She was kept in a psychiatric facility for several days and then they released her, thinking she was of sound mind and body. They were wrong.

Several weeks after this event Linda once again attempted suicide by again stepping out in front of another oncoming car,  Once again, fate was on her side and she was spared any real physical injury, although her brain was certainly fried by her psychosis at this point.  She was again on a 72-hour hold and then released.

Linda kept calling me every couple of months asking for my help, and I simply told her that she was delusional and needed help I could not give her. Then I did not hear from her for quite a while and I mistakenly thought that perhaps things had calmed down.  I was wrong.

In February of 2008 she again called asking for my help.  However, this time she claimed that the earth was about to explode, of course due to the work of those pesky demonic aliens.  I couldn’t pass up the  opportunity here to throw a zinger at her.   I immediately commented, “Excuse me Lara, I’ve got to send baby Kal-El off to his new world before Krypton explodes!” and I then hung up.  I’m confident that Linda did not understand what I was referring to here.  Do you?

Fortunately, Linda has not called back since this particular event in 2008, and that’s fine with me.

Back in 1986 I was set up on a blind date with a girl named Karen.  She was an absolutely beautiful brunette, my perfect cosmetic stereotype, at least physically.  However, during dinner, it became somewhat clear there we were not attracted to each other.   However,  Karen did not appearing to be operating on all cylinders.

After dinner we went back to her apartment in West Hollywood near the former Bodhi Tree Bookstore just to talk.  Karen kept telling me that her bed was haunted and it would shake and move around on it’s own.  As there was not even a hint of sexual chemistry between us, I assumed that there was some other ulterior motive she had for asking me to sit on her bed to see what I felt.

After lying down on her bed, I felt a sharp sticking pain in my back and instantly jumped off the bed.  When I pulled the mattress up off its box spring mattress below it, I discovered the source of my pain as well as hers.  There were several huge amethyst crystals placed beneath her mattress with their points facing upwards.   I immediately got the point, but I do not believe that she did.

I asked Karen what these crystals were doing under her mattress and she said that it was to heal her, keep her young and enhance her psychic abilities.  All I could say to her was that she take the crystals out and she might then enjoy a restful sleep.  Karen’s reply was, but then I’ll get old and sick.  My comeback was “You’ll get old just like the rest of us do, and for being sick, you already are but don’t know it”.  That was the first, and thankfully the last time I saw Karen.  Although, her aunt called me asking why I wasn’t interested in seeing Karen anymore.  I told Karen’s aunt that her niece was a little over the edge in terms of her sanity as far as I was concerned.

Why are there so many more women discussed here than men you might ask?  Because women are far more open about their feelings, thoughts and emotions, while many men are stoic, far too insecure to divulge such disturbing truths about themselves publicly.  Women tend to be more in touch with their inner selves and are therefore more comfortable talking about such obscure matters.  While men may have such inner beliefs and attitudes, they are not generally voiced in a society where they are better known for their acts and deeds as opposed to verbalizing their deepest thoughts.  These incidents are but the tip of a very large iceberg when it comes to dealing with the overwhelming paranormal psychosis that exists out there.

My best guess as to why there seems to be such an obvious linkage between the paranormal and psychopathology is in some ways quite simple, yet in other ways, somewhat convoluted.

As the paranormal, or should I say, parapsychology, is perhaps the only science on earth without any super-hard facts, reliably reproducible events or demonstrable theories, it generally invites any and all to feel very comfortable in claiming anything they please about it, as the world isn’t going to disagree with and jump down their throats with arguments based on hard facts.  And as there aren’t many objective scientists on the earth who have dedicated most of their time to scientifically study it, all the better, few left to challenge them.  In that this field involves body, brain,  mind and consciousness (spirit, perhaps?) it once again invites those who are struggling with their own identity crisis, emotional insecurities and problems to seek help from what they believe to a pure science with absolutely no boundaries associated with it.  These people refuse to deal with the fact that their problems are related to chemical imbalance as opposed to paranormal predators.


These incidents are but the tip of a very large iceberg when it comes to dealing with the extraordinary level of paranormal psychosis that exists out there.  My book is filled with many more accounts of such incredible encounters with the outer limits of emotional sanity.  And yet we wonder why mainstream science tends to ignore and dismiss this entire field of research?


What you’ve just read is a very serious mental health problem that’s being dramatically amplified by the glut of fraudulent paranormal reality shows.  While I repeatedly poked fun at these very disturbed individuals to get your attention, drive home a point, and prevent you from becoming somewhat depressed yourself over these matters, this is no joke.  The ever increasing problem of mental illness associated with the paranormal must be addressed and soon, or we will all pay the price for it in years to come.  

Many of these people cannot differentiate between reality and fantasy, as they’re paying more attention to what’s going on in their heads as opposed to what’s really transpiring in the real, physical world around them.  Such individuals are dissociative in the extreme.

If we ignore and neglect this problem, we will have a significant portion of our population who believes the nonsense depicted on paranormal reality shows and they will start blaming the problems they encounter in life on the paranormal as opposed to taking the proper course of action to deal with the situation.  We will have many individuals who will seek the help of totally unqualified people to assist them in their time of need.

A good analogy here is one comes home and finds that their home has been broken into and robbed of all its furniture, electronics, clothes, jewelry and money.  Do you call the police or actors who play the police on television? You obviously call the police, right?  If you’re at home and get really ill, do you call actors who play doctors on television or do you call a real physician?  Hopefully, you call a real doctor.

Well, when it comes to who do you call in the paranormal, more and more people are calling the participants who perform on the various paranormal reality shows.  None of these performers are qualified to do anything other than following the scripted direction of their shows.  The content on these shows is not real, it’s all staged for the benefit of their audience.

People who have serious emotional problems in terms of coping with life in general and/or the paranormal need to seek professional help from qualified, credentialed individuals whose profession it is to do assist others in this regard, not uneducated and untrained paranormal reality show stars.  It’s very common for people who have real serious problems in their life to blame them on supernatural or paranormal causes, as opposed to taking even a small measure of responsibility for themselves.

 And in the end, what we’re left with is an ever increasing portion of our culture that either are mentally ill or are in the process of developing a serious personality disorders who do not know what to do about it other than blame an evil, paranormal presence.   This must change and change very soon.

Will it ever end?  It’s up to us and no one else.  The faces and places may change, but the psychosis is always lurking in the darkness to once again raise up it’s ugly head.

Thank you very much for reading this rather lengthy commentary.

Source: barrytaff.net


Strange Triangles in the Southern Skies?
By Micah Hanks

In recent weeks, a number of reports have been filed by groups like the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), pertaining to sightings of large, silent “triangles” and other strange, unidentified craft. Roger Marsh of the UFO Examiner recently provided commentary on this phenomenon in an article at his site, “Skeptic Expresses Fear After Low UFO Encounter over North Carolina“.

Located in the Western part of the same state, I was not surprised in the least to hear about this very credible encounter, in which the witness managed to provide photographs of two strange objects moving through the night sky. In fact, I recently received an unusual text message from a friend of mine, Susan Davidson, which dealt with the apparent presence of two unidentified triangle or delta-shaped objects seen over Greer, South Carolina, on the evening of December 13, 2012, at approximately 11:00 PM.

Incidentally, my brother and I had been nearby on the same evening, wrapping up a performance as the house band that evening in the nearby city of Greenville, when I received a text from Susan that read as follows:

    “Two huge unidentified quiet delta-shaped things just moved slowly over us!!” Susan’s message read. “NEVER seen anything like these… (my husband) can’t identify the aircraft and he knows them all!”

The story was compelling, of course, not merely because of the purported objects, but also because of the witnesses themselves. Susan, a close friend of mine, has worked closely with me over the last two years, both as a booking agent for the musical pursuits of my brother and I, as well as an assistant to a variety of projects related to my research and writing as a UFO investigator. Hence, she has a good bit of knowledge as to what kinds of objects seen in the night sky would truly constitute being “unknown”… and fortunately, she wasn’t alone…

Triangles through an Engineer’s Eyes?

Susan’s Husband, on the other hand, while less interested in ufology, is nonetheless an interesting witness to so-called “UFO” craft. An engineer by trade, her husband is also an amateur flight enthusiast, who co-organizes one of the largest remote-controlled model plane events held in the Southeast every year. It was Susan’s description of her husband’s reaction to the occurrence that really got me thinking.

“I called to him, and asked him to come outside and see these things,” Susan told me. “When he got out there, they were still visible, and were directly over us, moving very slowly, making only a low whooshing or a sort of rumbling sound. He stared up at these things, and spoke aloud as he tried to rationalize what he was seeing, but neither of us had ever seen anything quite like this.”

According to Susan, the strange triangles seemed to consist of a larger craft in front, which she described as being slightly more delta-shaped, fitted with red and white lights. Directly behind it, and at close range, was a smaller, triangular craft which Susan referred to as an “escort” to the larger craft. The two maintained this close formation for the duration of the sighting, and after they left Susan’s line of sight, she sketched what she had seen, supplying me with the image above.

I spoke with Susan the following day, and during the course of our conversation (which lasted close to two hours), I found that she had taken measures to follow up on what she had observed independently of describing the craft to me. She had called the local Greenville Spartanburg Airport, which had initially suggested Susan had seen a helicopter. However, once she described he direction, shape, and speed the objects had been moving, the official she had spoken with advised that this did not match any records for craft in the area at that time.

So what were the strange “triangles” (similar to others reported at this website, see image below) that Susan witnessed over South Carolina earlier this month? Are they the same sorts of objects that so many others claim to be seeing around various parts of the Southeast?

Source: The Gralien Report


When Shadow People Attack
By Jason Offutt

The first thought that crossed Steven Paynter’s five-year-old mind was that someone had broken into the house in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. “Around 1986, my mother took me around the local estate to her friend’s house,” Paynter said. “I believed that she had been burgled because her kitchen – her entire kitchen – was covered, and I do mean covered, in big black handprints. Almost animal like.”

He didn’t say anything about the obvious black handprints, not until years later. “I mentioned the incident to my mother, what I saw. She looked at me and said, ‘nothing on the wall Steven.’” He didn’t know how that could be. The prints were there, and his mother’s friend said she saw shadows and the image of dark faces on the walls. His mother was immune. “There was nothing on the wall from her point of view.”

From that point, dark images have followed Paynter. The animal-like prints he saw when he was five have turned into entities. “I’ve seen a big black mass with red eyes always at my door,” he said. “The Hat Man always in the background, and typical shadow people just like our shadows on a sunny day.”

These “typical” shadow people have become so commonplace to Paynter; he’s given them a nickname, “Joeys.” He sees these “Joeys” mostly in his dreams, and his dreams are violent.

“Every time after this that I’ve encountered these beings I’ve always been in a sluggish state and able to see my body in bed,” he said. “Always I’ve been chased. They have blocked my doorways and tried to scratch or make physical contact with me.”

Doctors have told Paynter these dreams are caused by a sleep disorder, but he knows they’re not. When these entities appear to Paynter, the room seems to buzz with electricity, and he knows something is there.

“The situations are like an out of body experience,” he said. “I can see myself in bed.” At sixteen, he dreamt he was outside being chased through his garden, into the house, and onto his bed that started to envelope him. “I awoke but I couldn’t move. I felt like I’d just run the London Marathon. I had a cramp in my left leg.”

More recently, he’s discovered physical marks. “I have awoke usually feeling like I’ve been active all night. Muscles tense, aching, even fingers hurt,” he said. “On two occasions I’ve had small scratches on my side, my right side, always after an encounter.” During these encounters, his “Joeys” are the ones to approach him; the Hat Man simply stands in the background, watching.

None of these encounters, however, equal what Paynter calls “the attack.”

“It was around three years ago, I went to bed as normal and got my usual pre-attack buzzing, and I fell asleep,” he said. The next thing he knew he stood at the side of his bed looking at his body lying next to his then-girlfriend, his eyes frozen open. “I know instantly what’s going on and try and wake up. I panicked because I never have seen myself like that and thought I was dying.”

Paynter’s dream self turned and saw three shadow entities in his room, two “Joeys” and the Hat Man. “I’m now confused and scared more then usual.” One of the shadow entities lunged at Paynter, the other reached out to scratch him. As usual during this dream state, Paynter’s movements were slow, like he was moving under water, but Paynter, a jujitsu instructor, fought these entities nonetheless.

“I’ve never done it before or since but I went for them and they put up no resistance,” he said. Paynter wrestled with the shadow people, landing enough punches they retreated behind the Hat Man. “I then turned around and for the first time I saw a line, a silvery line like a tail almost from my back, then I awoke wet through, and heart going very fast.” He could still feel the shadow beings’ presence in the room, but he could no longer see them.

Paynter’s fingers were sore from the attack. When he checked his face in the mirror, the left side bore a slap mark.

Since the attack, the encounters, that occur every two weeks, have changed. “After the fight, all they do now is circle me,” he said. “That’s like you or I would to an object we never seen before.”

Paynter can’t accept the fact that these encounters aren’t real. “I’m told it’s my brain,” he said. “Science tells me it’s a fault with me, but my heart tells me it’s not and I don’t know how or what the hell is going on. I’m 31 now and I know I’m stuck with it, but I’d like an answer.”

He recently received one. When talking with an ex-girlfriend he’s still close to, she told him these encounters aren’t all in his head. “A few years ago I was in hospital with a bacteria infection and was very ill,” he said. “She told me something that she never mentioned before, so this is first time I ever heard of it.”

The night before she took Paynter to the hospital, he lay in bed sweating with a fever. Paynter began breathing heavily and she leaned over to wake him, but when she did, she saw something she didn’t expect. “She caught in the corner of her eye a large man, a shadow that was lit by the streetlight.” She blinked, but the shadow man was still there. She blinked again and it was gone.

Paynter awoke and said, “Did he scare you? Can’t even stop while I’m ill.” Due to the high fever, Paynter doesn’t remember that night, but that incident convinced his girlfriend his stories of shadow man attacks were real. “After that I never believed what the doctor said to you,” she told him. And she always kept the light on.

Source: Mysterious Universe

Unearthing the Earth Hound - A Corpse-Devouring Cryptid
From Scotland

By Dr Karl Shuker

Cryptozoologically-speaking, Scotland is world-famous for the Loch Ness monster, and also for its plethora of pantheresque and cougar-like mystery cats that allegedly roam its lonely moors and shadowy glens. However, these are not the only cryptids on record from this northernmost country of the United Kingdom. As highlighted above in Richard Freeman's review of my book Mysteries of Planet Earth, I always strive to uncover and document intriguing but hitherto little-publicised, obscure mystery beasts, and one excellent example - far less familiar but no less fascinating than Nessie and Scotland's alien big cats - is the extraordinary, and distinctly macabre, earth hound of Banffshire (a former northeastern Scottish county now split up into two other counties).


They do say that art imitates life, and sometimes it does so even without anyone initially realising it! So it was with the earth hound. Back in 1994, Canadian actor Stephen McHattie starred in an intriguing horror movie entitled ‘The Dark’, in which a mystifying – and quite monstrous – rat-like creature inhabiting graveyards was pursued by a cryptozoological biker. It is well known that two of my own abiding passions are cryptozoology and riding motorbikes, but at the time of this film’s release I had no idea that just a few years later I would be investigating a hitherto-obscure graveyard-inhabiting mystery beast allegedly resembling a grotesque rat, and apparently living in my very own British homeland!

 I first learnt of the earth hound’s existence when I happened to read a short account of it written by British folklorist Paul Screeton and published in his own magazine, Folklore Frontiers. This summarised an earlier article, from the 1992-1993 volume of the journal Scottish Studies, written by Alexander Fenton and cryptozoological chronicler David Heppell, which reviewed what little information appears to have been documented on this cryptid.

What would seem to be the earliest currently-revealed reference to the earth hound – also known variously as the yard pig or yard swine – appeared in the Reverend Walter Gregor’s book Notes on the Folk-Lore of North East Scotland (1881), in which he wrote of:

"...a mysterious dreaded sort of animal, called the “yird swine”…believed to live in graveyards, burrowing among the dead bodies and devouring them."


During their researches, Fenton and Heppell discovered a detailed letter on the subject of the earth hound within the archives of the Department of Natural History of the Natural Museums of Scotland. Written in 1917 by A. Smith of Wartle in Aberdeenshire to James Ritchie in Edinburgh, it recorded that a local gardener named Archibald recalled how his father was ploughing some fields in Deveron around 50 years earlier (i.e. around 1867) when he uncovered an earth hound in its nest. When he attempted to kill it with his foot, the earth hound bit his boot so hard that its teeth cut into the leather, so his father killed it with the plough’s swingle-tree, and took its carcase back home with him. (A swingle-tree is a wooden or metal horizontal bar used to balance the pull of a draught horse pulling a plough or carriage, known as a singletree in America.)

In his letter, Smith described the earth hound as being somewhat like a rat in basic form and brown in colour, but its head was long like a hound’s, and its tail was bushier than a rat’s. He also claimed that the nests of earth hounds were sometimes exposed by ploughs but the creatures themselves were only very rarely spied, and inhabited churchyards.

 Worth noting here is that the field being ploughed when this particular earth hound had been uncovered was very close to a churchyard – indeed, this churchyard was later abandoned due to the firmly-held belief that it was infested with these creatures. It was also believed that earth hounds always lived close to water, and constructed their nests in haughs (stretches of river-deposited land forming part of river valleys).

When his father arrived home with the earth hound’s carcase, Archibald saw it himself, as did all of their neighbours, who viewed it with great interest. In his letter, Smith stated that Archibald:

"...describes it as being something between a rat and a weasel, and about the size of a ferret, head very like that of a dog, and I think he said the tail was not very long. At a casual glance it would be mistaken for a rat, but was quite unlike on close examination."


Interestingly, further details from Smith were present in a note bearing the same date as his previous letter but posted the following day, and referring to a meeting in Mastrick with someone who may have been Archibald himself, although this is not made clear in the note. Yet whoever this person was, he had evidently seen the earth hound carcase and knew of the incident itself, because Smith had questioned him directly about it. According to this person’s testimony, the earth hound had run some distance along the plough before it had been killed, and additional morphological information contained in this note revealed that it had been:

"...about the size of a rat. Asked about colour, he thought it was like a dark rat. It had feet like a mole, and a tail about half as long as a rat’s. Head was long and nostrils very prominent, suggesting a pig’s. Head somewhat like that of a guinea-pig. It had noticeable white “tusks”, whatever that might mean – (probably incisors)…Mastrick is about 10 minutes’ walk from here, and curiously enough is close to the churchyard."

 A paragraph about earth hounds that appeared in the People’s Journal in June 1950 referred to them as ‘yird pigs’ or ‘earth huns’, claiming that they were “really rats...only found in graveyards”. More recently, in April 1990, when Alexander Fenton visited a Banffshire town called Reith, he discovered that the earth hound was still spoken of there. A Reith friend stated that they are between a rat and a rabbit, and live in graveyards, digging down and breaking into the coffins. He even took Fenton to a churchyard where such creatures are still said to dwell – Walla kirkyard at the edge of the River Deveron (thus in the vicinity of the earth hound incident featuring Archibald’s father over a century before) - but, sadly, no sign of any was found there.


So what exactly is the earth hound – a still-undiscovered mini-beast awaiting detection if it hasn’t died out by now, or just a macabre Scottish legend, or even nothing more than a monstrous misidentification of some already known species? In the film ‘The Dark’, the movie equivalent of this mystery beast turned out to be an archaic species of rat previously thought by scientists to be long extinct. In contrast, I think it highly unlikely that Scotland’s earth hound will ever be shown to be a prehistoric survivor, but its tantalisingly scant documentation yet lingering recollection among the local Banff people is sufficiently noteworthy to warrant some consideration as to what it may – or may not – be.

 Consequently, I included a concise account of the earth hound in my book Mysteries of Planet Earth (1999), the first cryptozoologically-related book ever to document this mystery beast, and which also contained a specially-commissioned full-colour reconstruction of its likely appearance by acclaimed wildlife artist William Rebsamen from Fort Worth, Arkansas. This superb illustration is now included here too, along with a second picture by William, depicting the boot-biting earth hound encounter described above.

As a result, I have since received some suggestions and ideas regarding what this mystifying mammal could be. Two of the most intriguing ones, for different reasons, are as follows.


One of these is the suggestion that because ‘earth hound’ and ‘earth pig’ have been used as local names in Britain for the European badger Meles meles, and because badgers have been known to dig through graves, the Scottish earth hound may be one and the same creature as the badger. If only it were that simple! The fundamental, irreconcilable problem with this proposed identity is that the description of the earth hound as documented in all of the sources presented here is radically different in shape, size, and colour from that of the European badger, which in any case is one of the most distinctive, readily-identifiable, and familiar mammals throughout the British Isles. Consequently, it is inconceivable that any country-living person would not recognise a badger (even a very young, small badger) if they should encounter one. Also, badgers do not make nests in ploughable haughs or fields. Instead, they construct extensive setts in woodlands.

 In short, whatever the earth hound is, or was, it certainly has no affinity with a badger, other than the sharing with it of a country name - something that occurs with many other animal species, often featuring zoologically unrelated species linked only by some common behavioural or very superficial morphological trait. In the case of the Scottish earth hound and the badger, the only similarities of any kind are their powerful digging feet (something that all burrowing animals necessarily possess anyway) and their underground (but very different) abodes – a simple nest in the case of the former animal, a complex and sizeable sett in the latter.


The other intriguing identity is that the earth hound stories refer to young specimens of the wolverine Gulo gulo (adult wolverines are the largest members of the weasel or mustelid family). Unfortunately, however, as with the badger suggestion, the morphology and lifestyle of the earth hound do not correspond at all with that of wolverines, of any age, which are not fossorial at all. In addition, whereas the badger is at least native to Britain, the wolverine is not, though it does occur in parts of northern mainland Europe.

 Having said that, and as also documented in Mysteries of Planet Earth, a few specimens have allegedly been sighted in recent years in various parts of Great Britain. If genuine, these may be escapees from fur farms (wolverines have not been maintained in British zoos for several years). Even so, the wolverine is simply too dissimilar in every way from descriptions of the earth hound for this to be a viable identity.


So what is left? Just a Scottish myth, or something more? Reading through the earth hound accounts, three very different zoological identities come to my mind. One is that the rat-like earth hound is indeed a rodent of some kind. However, although it is comparable to rats in size, colour, and superficial form, and makes nests like the black rat (but not like the much more common brown rat, which isn’t a nest-builder), it still doesn’t closely match either of these two known species of British rat (or any other known British rodent) on account of its furry tail, digging feet, hound-like head, and large tusks.

Conversely, moles definitely possess large digging feet, but not a hound-like head or tusks. They do build nests, but only inside their deep burrows, not in fields, and they certainly do not burrow into graves and devour human corpses present there.

Equally, if we assume that the earth hound may be a small mustelid related to the weasel and to North America’s black-footed ferret Mustela nigripes (which until its near-extinction in the wild lived in abandoned prairie dog burrows), it is difficult to reconcile the possibility that until at least a century ago a very distinct species of mammal (rodent or mustelid) undocumented by science had been alive and well and living in Scotland.

 After all, if this were indeed the case, surely there would have been a few preserved specimens or skins, or at least some illustrations of this creature, possibly even a blurry photo or two – especially as Great Britain is one of the most extensively-studied places in the world in relation to wildlife. Yet there does not seem to be any physical evidence of its existence on record anywhere. If only Archibald had preserved the carcase of the specimen killed by his father. That, to me, is the single biggest reason for casting a very sceptical eye over the earth hound file – at least for now. If, of course, someone should uncover additional information, and, ideally, some tangible evidence for this fascinating mystery beast’s reality, I would be only too delighted to reconsider!

Source: ShukerNature


The Little-Known Legend of Jesus in Japan
By Franz Lidz

On the flat top of a steep hill in a distant corner of northern Japan lies the tomb of an itinerant shepherd who, two millennia ago, settled down there to grow garlic. He fell in love with a farmer’s daughter named Miyuko, fathered three kids and died at the ripe old age of 106. In the mountain hamlet of Shingo, he’s remembered by the name Daitenku Taro Jurai. The rest of the world knows him as Jesus Christ.

It turns out that Jesus of Nazareth—the Messiah, worker of miracles and spiritual figurehead for one of the world’s foremost religions—did not die on the cross at Calvary, as widely reported. According to amusing local folklore, that was his kid brother, Isukiri, whose severed ear was interred in an adjacent burial mound in Japan.

A bucolic backwater with only one Christian resident (Toshiko Sato, who was 77 when I visited last spring) and no church within 30 miles, Shingo nevertheless bills itself as Kirisuto no Sato (Christ’s Hometown). Every year 20,000 or so pilgrims and pagans visit the site, which is maintained by a nearby yogurt factory. Some visitors shell out the 100-yen entrance fee at the Legend of Christ Museum, a trove of religious relics that sells everything from Jesus coasters to coffee mugs. Some participate in the springtime Christ Festival, a mashup of multidenominational rites in which kimono-clad women dance around the twin graves and chant a three-line litany in an unknown language. The ceremony, designed to console the spirit of Jesus, has been staged by the local tourism bureau since 1964.

The Japanese are mostly Buddhist or Shintoist, and, in a nation of 127.8 million, about 1 percent identify themselves as Christian. The country harbors a large floating population of folk religionists enchanted by the mysterious, the uncanny and the counterintuitive. “They find spiritual fulfillment in being eclectic,” says Richard Fox Young, a professor of religious history at the Princeton Theological Seminary. “That is, you can have it all: A feeling of closeness—to Jesus and Buddha and many, many other divine figures—without any of the obligations that come from a more singular religious orientation.”

In Shingo, the Greatest Story Ever Told is retold like this: Jesus first came to Japan at the age of 21 to study theology. This was during his so-called “lost years,” a 12-year gap unaccounted for in the New Testament. He landed at the west coast port of Amanohashidate, a spit of land that juts across Miyazu Bay, and became a disciple of a great master near Mount Fuji, learning the Japanese language and Eastern culture. At 33, he returned to Judea—by way of Morocco!—to talk up what a museum brochure calls the “sacred land” he had just visited.

Having run afoul of the Roman authorities, Jesus was arrested and condemned to crucifixion for heresy. But he cheated the executioners by trading places with the unsung, if not unremembered, Isukiri. To escape persecution, Jesus fled back to the promised land of Japan with two keepsakes: one of his sibling’s ears and a lock of the Virgin Mary’s hair. He trekked across the frozen wilderness of Siberia to Alaska, a journey of four years, 6,000 miles and innumerable privations. This alternative Second Coming ended after he sailed to Hachinohe, an ox-cart ride from Shingo.

Upon reaching the village, Jesus retired to a life in exile, adopted a new identity and raised a family. He is said to have lived out his natural life ministering to the needy. He sported a balding gray pate, a coat of many folds and a distinctive nose, which, the museum brochure observes, earned him a reputation as a “long-nosed goblin.”

When Jesus died, his body was left exposed on a hilltop for four years. In keeping with the customs of the time, his bones were then bundled and buried in a grave—the same mound of earth that is now topped by a timber cross and surrounded by a picket fence. Though the Japanese Jesus performed no miracles, one could be forgiven for wondering whether he ever turned water into sake.


This all sounds more Life of Brian than Life of Jesus. Still, the case for the Shingo Savior is argued vigorously in the museum and enlivened by folklore. In ancient times, it’s believed, villagers maintained traditions alien to the rest of Japan. Men wore clothes that resembled the toga-like robes of biblical Palestine, women wore veils, and babies were toted around in woven baskets like those in the Holy Land. Not only were newborns swaddled in clothes embroidered with a design that resembled a Star of David, but, as a talisman, their foreheads were marked with charcoal crosses.

The museum contends that the local dialect contains words like aba or gaga (mother) and aya or dada (father) that are closer to Hebrew than Japanese, and that the old village name, Heraimura, can be traced to an early Middle Eastern diaspora. Religious scholar Arimasa Kubo, a retired Tokyo pastor, thinks Shingo may have been settled by “descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel.”

As if to fuel this unlikely explanation, in 2004, Israeli ambassador Eli Cohen visited the tombs and dedicated a plaque, in Hebrew, to honor the ties between Shingo and the city of Jerusalem. Embassy spokesman Gil Haskel explained that while Hebrew tribes could have migrated to Japan, the marker was merely “a symbol of friendship rather than an endorsement of the Jesus claims.”

Another theory raises the possibility that the tombs hold the bodies of 16th- century missionaries. Christian evangelists first came to Japan in 1549, but bitter infighting for influence and Japanese converts led to a nationwide ban on the religion in 1614.

Believers went underground, and these Hidden Christians, as they are called, encountered ferocious persecution. To root them out, officials administered loyalty tests in which priests and other practitioners were required to trample a cross or an image of the Madonna and the baby Jesus. Those who refused to denounce their beliefs were crucified, beheaded, burned at the stake, tortured to death or hanged upside-down over cesspools to intensify their suffering. For more than 200 years, until an isolated Japan opened its doors to the West in 1868, Christianity survived in scattered communities, which perhaps explains why Shingo’s so-called Christian traditions are not practiced in the rest of the region.

The key to Shingo’s Christ cult lies in a scroll purported to be Christ’s last will and testament, dictated as he was dying in the village. A team of what a museum pamphlet calls “archeologists from an international society for the research of ancient literature” discovered the scripture in 1936. That manuscript, along with others allegedly unearthed by a Shinto priest around the same time, flesh out Christ’s further adventures between Judea and Japan, and pinpoint Shingo as his final resting place. (As luck would have it, the graves of Adam and Eve were just 15 miles west of town.)

Curiously, these documents were destroyed during World War II, the museum says, allowing it to house only modern transcriptions—signed “Jesus Christ, father of Christmas”—inside a glass case. Even more curiously, Jesus lived during Japan’s Yayoi period, a time of rudimentary civilization with no written language.


The original scrolls were brought to Shingo by an Eastern magi that included the Shinto priest, a historian and a charismatic Christian missionary who preached that the Japanese emperor was the Jewish Messiah. They were joined by Shingo Mayor Denjiro Sasaki, a publicity hound eager to make the town a tourist destination. Sasaki led them through a valley of rice fields and up a slope to a bamboo thicket that concealed the burial mounds. For generations, the land had been owned by the garlic-farming Sawaguchis.

One of the clan, a youth named Sanjiro, was renowned for his blue eyes, something seldom seen in Japan and, as nationalist historian Banzan Toya insisted, proof that the Sawaguchis were progeny of Jesus and Miyuko, who, to complicate matters even more, is variously known as Yumiko, Miyo and Mariko. Among the magi’s other extravagant finds were seven ancient pyramids, all of which were said to predate the ones built by the Egyptians and the Mayans by tens of thousands of years. The heap of rocks generously dubbed the Big Stone God Pyramid is just down the road from the Christ tomb. Miraculously, the historian and the priest stumbled upon the rubble a day after they stumbled upon the graves. A sign beside this Shinto sanctuary explains that the pyramid collapsed during a 19th-century earthquake.

Shinto is a religion of nature, and during the imperialist fervor that gripped Japan before World War II, its message of Japanese uniqueness was exploited to bolster national unity. “Religious organizations could only operate freely if they had government recognition,” says Richard Fox Young.

Out of this constraint came “State Shinto”—the use of the faith, with its shrines and deities, for propaganda, emperor worship and the celebration of patriotism. Considerable resources were funneled into attempts to prove the country’s superiority over other races and cultures. Which sheds celestial light on the discovery of Moses’ tomb at Mount Houdatsu in Ishikawa Prefecture. Press accounts of the period detailed how the prophet had received the Hebrew language, the Ten Commandments and the first Star of David directly from Japan’s divine emperor.

Such divine condescension implies that Shingo’s Christ cult has very little to do with Christianity. “On the contrary,” says Young. “It’s more about Japanese folk religion and its sponginess—its capacity for soaking up any and all influences, usually without coherence, even internally.”

That sponginess is never more evident than during Yuletide, a season that, stripped of Christian significance, has taken on a meaning all its own. It’s said that a Japanese department store once innocently displayed Santa Claus nailed to a crucifix. Apocryphal or not, the story has cultural resonance.

Shingo is modestly festive with frosted pine trees and sparkling lights, glittering streamers and green-and-red wreaths, candles and crèches. In Japan, Christmas Eve is a kind of date night in which many young people ignore the chaste example of Mary—and instead lose their virginity. “It’s the most romantic holiday in Japan, surpassing Valentine’s Day,” says Chris Carlsen, an Oregon native who teaches English in town. “On Christmas Day, everyone goes back to work and all the ornaments are taken down.”

Junichiro Sawaguchi, the eldest member of the Shingo family regarded as Christ’s direct descendants, celebrates the holiday much like the average Japanese citizen, in a secular way involving decorations and Kentucky Fried Chicken. A City Hall bureaucrat, he has never been to a church nor read the Bible. “I’m Buddhist,” he says.

Asked if he believes the Jesus-in-Japan yarn, Sawaguchi shakes his head and says, coyly, “I don’t know.” Then again, notes Carlsen, the Japanese tend to be quite tactful when airing their opinions, particularly on contentious topics. “The Christ tomb has given Shingo a sense of identity,” he says. “If a central figure like Mr. Sawaguchi were to dismiss the story, he might feel disloyal to the town.”

But does Sawaguchi think it’s possible that Jesus was his kinsfolk? Momentarily silent, he shrugs and spreads his palms outward, as if to say, Don’t take everything you hear as gospel.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine


Nyaminyami, Zimbabwe's "Loch Ness Monster"

A MYTHICAL serpent-like creature who lives in the murky depths of a lake and is the subject of countless childrens’ stories. Sound familiar? Meet Nyaminyami, Zimbabwe’s very own Loch Ness monster.

He has the head of a fish and a snake’s body. He lives in Lake Kariba, a magnificent man-made dam in the northwest of the country, studded with hippos and the eerie skeletal tops of long-dead trees. And for the first time in more than a decade, Zimbabweans living on the shores of Kariba are reporting a mysterious sighting on the River God.

State media is reporting that fishermen and residents of Mahombekombe, a suburb of Kariba town, saw Nyaminyami earlier this month.

“We were anchoring our boat near the District Development Fund harbour when we saw a large group of people rushing to the harbour. We quickly roped in our boat and rushed to where the group had gathered.

“I saw, with my own eyes, a monster snake that was almost two hundred metres long,” said fisherman Tapera Siyungungura. “Ask anyone who lives around this area and you will get confirmations of the story.”

“The truth of the matter is that Nyaminyami revealed itself to the people recently,” a second fisherman, Masenzi Dube Zimbabwe newspaper the Sunday Mail.

After the claims, the Mail sent a news crew on the long five-hour drive to Kariba to investigate the claims. The paper reported the beast took 45 minutes to ‘snake’ across the harbour in broad daylight – giving ample time to villagers to watch him and marvel. Eyewitnesses claimed Nyaminyami was so big that a truck would not have killed him if it had run him over.

Nyaminyami’s name is a corruption of a phrase in the local Tonga language that means “pieces of meat”. It’s a reference to Nyaminyami’s selfless character: apparently during times of drought Nyaminyami would let villagers cut pieces of his body to eat. And though you could take a bite out of him, no matter how many bites you took you’d never finish eating the creature up, say locals.

Nyaminyami was separated from his ‘wife’ during the construction of the Kariba dam wall by the colonial authorities during the 1950s, so the story goes. There is a belief that the beast is forever trying to get over the wall to be reunited with her – and those frenzied attempts are what cause the frequent earth tremors in the area.

But not everyone is buying the story that Nyaminyami caused a few houses to fall down in Kariba when he made his surprise appearance this month.

“I can confirm that [he] did not destroy any buildings...It is true that Nyaminyami was sighted here but some residents are just spicing up the story,” fisherman Lovemore Sibanda told the Sunday Mail.

The paper reported on Nyaminyami’s “reappearance” as if it were entirely credible. Some Zimbabweans believe in goblins and mermaids -- and the press regularly reports on their appearances too. Earlier this year Water Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo claimed that mermaids in two dams in eastern Zimbabwe were preventing the installation of water pumps there. Special rites had to be conducted to appease the mermaids.

Some have tried to offer evidence for Nyaminyami’s existence. One theory is that he may bea giant African catfish. Others are more sceptical.

“This is just a python,” says one local journalist, who has reported on the story for more than 15 years.

Source: Scotsman

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