4/26/13  #719
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They live deep underground in the stygian caverns carved from the virgin rock millions of years ago.  They are the Old Ones, the first to call Earth their home -- but their original home, somewhere in the vast curtain of stars in the heavens, has been lost in antiquity.  They now sit and watch their descendants on the surface who talk of love and forgiveness,  but scheme to kill each other for the love of profit and power.  They wonder how people who talk of peace and freedom are now considered evil and wrong,  fit only to be taken to concentration camps for the ultimate walk down the fiery path.  Blessed are the peace makers it was once written -- but now, such words are considered blasphemous and must be silenced. The Old Ones are glad that they live underground, free from the madness that envelopes the surface.

Don't forget to check out the new Conspiracy Journal/Bizarre Bazaar Catalog...full of our newest books, DVDs, and other interesting products that THEY don't want you to have!

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such soul-searching stories as:

 - Nikola Tesla’s Amazing Predictions for the 21st Century -
Family 'Hit By Flying Chairs' in Haunted House -
- When Paranormal Entities Change Their Own Rules -
AND: Anna Kingsford, Psychic Assassin?
All these stories and MORE in this issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~

From MR. UFO - Timothy Green Beckley

The Case For UFO Crashes: From Urban Legend to Reality



Access has been denied for over 50 years to even the likes of the late Senator Barry Goldwater, who has said: “I have never gained access to the so-called Blue Room at Wright-Patterson, so I have no idea what is in it. I have no idea who controls the flow of need-to-know information because, frankly, I was told in such an emphatic way that it was none of my business that I’ve never tried to make it my business since.”


Learn the significance of the MAJESTIC 12 and Presidential Briefing Papers and view previously classified CIA, FBI and State Department documents pertaining to this explosive subject – a subject that calls for high-level Congressional hearings. A possible connection has been uncovered in newly declassified documents sent to researchers by “unknown sources” within the Shadow Government. Is there proof that an organization known as the Interplanetary Phenomena Unit is involved in the recovery of extraterrestrial spacecraft and their occupants?


Here are dozens of unpublished Crashed Saucer stories uncovered by the author during the course of his research, including:

* The night a UFO came crashing down over an Ohio shopping mall. . . * A bizarre tale of an “alien artifact” uncovered by a jogger and displayed in the lobby of a Florida movie theater before it was mysteriously removed and vanished completely. . . * An unbelievable eye witness account of a UFO that fell inside New York City’s bustling Central Park after being shot at by the military. . . * The astounding tale of a UFO pilot who was taken alive from a downed spaceship which rested at the end of an Air Force Base runway in New Jersey. The being later died, . . * Controversial “alien body” photos of an entity known as “Tomato Man,” photos which have never been satisfactorily explained. . . * A seemingly documented account of a UFO that came tumbling out of the sky inside the former USSR, an event that was observed by so many that it could not be satisfactorily hushed up even by the Communist regime. . . * A mysterious professor who seemed to have the “inside track” on a real alien autopsy long before a British movie studio faked a similar event. . .



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Nikola Tesla’s Amazing Predictions for the 21st Century

By Matt Novak

In the 1930s journalists from publications like the New York Times and Time magazine would regularly visit Nikola Tesla at his home on the 20th floor of the Hotel Governor Clinton in Manhattan. There the elderly Tesla would regale them with stories of his early days as an inventor and often opined about what was in store for the future.

Last year we looked at Tesla’s prediction that eugenics and the forced sterilization of criminals and other supposed undesirables would somehow purify the human race by the year 2100. Today we have more from that particular article which appeared in the February 9, 1935, issue of Liberty magazine. The article is unique because it wasn’t conducted as a simple interview like so many of Tesla’s other media appearances from this time, but rather is credited as “by Nikola Tesla, as told to George Sylvester Viereck.”

It’s not clear where this particular article was written, but Tesla’s friendly relationship with Viereck leads me to believe it may not have been at his Manhattan hotel home. Interviews with Tesla at this time would usually occur at the Hotel, but Tesla would sometimes dine with Viereck and his family at Viereck’s home on Riverside Drive, meaning that it’s possible they could have written it there.

Viereck attached himself to many important people of his time, conducting interviews with such notable figures as Albert Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt and even Adolf Hitler. As a German-American living in New York, Viereck was a rather notorious propagandist for the Nazi regime and was tried and imprisoned in 1942 for failing to register with the U.S. government as such. He was released from prison in 1947, a few years after Tesla’s death in 1943. It’s not clear if they had remained friends after the government started to become concerned about Viereck’s activities in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Tesla had interesting theories on religion, science and the nature of humanity which we’ll look at in a future post, but for the time being I’ve pulled some of the more interesting (and often accurate) predictions Tesla had for the future of the world.

Creation of the EPA

The creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was still 35 years away, but Tesla predicted a similar agency’s creation within a hundred years.

    Hygiene, physical culture will be recognized branches of education and government. The Secretary of Hygiene or Physical Culture will be far more important in the cabinet of the President of the United States who holds office in the year 2035 than the Secretary of War. The pollution of our beaches such as exists today around New York City will seem as unthinkable to our children and grandchildren as life without plumbing seems to us. Our water supply will be far more carefully supervised, and only a lunatic will drink unsterilized water.

Education, War and the Newspapers of Tomorrow

Tesla imagined a world where new scientific discoveries, rather than war, would become a priority for humanity.

    Today the most civilized countries of the world spend a maximum of their income on war and a minimum on education. The twenty-first century will reverse this order. It will be more glorious to fight against ignorance than to die on the field of battle. The discovery of a new scientific truth will be more important than the squabbles of diplomats. Even the newspapers of our own day are beginning to treat scientific discoveries and the creation of fresh philosophical concepts as news. The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere ” stick ” in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis.

Health and Diet

Toward the end of Tesla’s life he had developed strange theories about the optimal human diet. He dined on little more than milk and honey in his final days, believing that this was the purest form of food. Tesla lost an enormous amount of weight and was looking quite ghastly by the early 1940s. This meager diet and his gaunt appearance contributed to the common misconception that he was penniless at the end of his life.

    More people die or grow sick from polluted water than from coffee, tea, tobacco, and other stimulants. I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat. I am convinced that within a century coffee, tea, and tobacco will be no longer in vogue. Alcohol, however, will still be used. It is not a stimulant but a veritable elixir of life. The abolition of stimulants will not come about forcibly. It will simply be no longer fashionable to poison the system with harmful ingredients. Bernarr Macfadden has shown how it is possible to provide palatable food based upon natural products such as milk, honey, and wheat. I believe that the food which is served today in his penny restaurants will be the basis of epicurean meals in the smartest banquet halls of the twenty-first century.

    There will be enough wheat and wheat products to feed the entire world, including the teeming millions of China and India, now chronically on the verge of starvation. The earth is bountiful, and where her bounty fails, nitrogen drawn from the air will refertilize her womb. I developed a process for this purpose in 1900. It was perfected fourteen years later under the stress of war by German chemists.


Tesla’s work in robotics began in the late 1890s when he patented his remote-controlled boat, an invention that absolutely stunned onlookers at the 1898 Electrical Exhibition at Madison Square Garden.

    At present we suffer from the derangement of our civilization because we have not yet completely adjusted ourselves to the machine age. The solution of our problems does not lie in destroying but in mastering the machine.

    Innumerable activities still performed by human hands today will be performed by automatons. At this very moment scientists working in the laboratories of American universities are attempting to create what has been described as a ”thinking machine.” I anticipated this development.

    I actually constructed ” robots.” Today the robot is an accepted fact, but the principle has not been pushed far enough. In the twenty-first century the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization. There is no reason at all why most of this should not come to pass in less than a century, freeing mankind to pursue its higher aspirations.

Cheap Energy and the Management of Natural Resources

    Long before the next century dawns, systematic reforestation and the scientific management of natural resources will have made an end of all devastating droughts, forest fires, and floods. The universal utilization of water power and its long-distance transmission will supply every household with cheap power and will dispense with the necessity of burning fuel. The struggle for existence being lessened, there should be development along ideal rather than material lines.

Tesla was a visionary whose many contributions to the world are being celebrated today more than ever. And while his idea of the perfect diet may have been a bit strange, he clearly understood many of the things that 21st century Americans would value (like clean air, clean food, and our “thinking machines”) as we stumble into the future.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine


Family 'Hit By Flying Chairs' in Haunted House
By Ben McPartland

A spooked family from a village in northern France were reportedly hospitalized after being hit by ‘flying chairs’ at their home, which they claim is haunted. Housing authorities in the area have agreed to move them elsewhere.

When it comes to paranormal activities, a freaked out French family living in a supposed haunted house in the French village of Mentque-Nortbécourt, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, claim to have seen it all.

They’ve witnessed oranges floating across the room, violent attacks by soap trays and earlier this month members of the spooked family were hospitalized after being hit by flying chairs, the regional Voix du Nord newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the local newspaper the family have reported that the strange happenings have been going on since last July. To prove they were not going mad they have brought in others from the village, including the mayor, to witness the events.

“It’s becoming dangerous,” the mother told France 3 television. “My friend had to go to hospital this week after getting hit in the head by stones. It’s serious.”

Paramedics were called earlier this month after one member of the family said he was hit by a flying chair in his face and a soap tray on the back.

The local diocese has sent in an exorcist to try to banish any troublemaking evil spirits that may reside in the home, local television reported.

The ghostly goings-on have become so bad that the family have pleaded with authorities to move them to a new home.

According to the Voix du Nord, the family were first given temporary lodging in a campsite, but now have no fixed accommodation. The local council in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region have told the father they are taking care of their case.

The strange happenings in Mentque-Nortbécourt have grabbed the attention of the media in France, with TF1 television asking whether it’s a case of “paranormal phenomenon or a just a village joke”.

Although numerous people have lived at the home in recent years, it seems none of them reported any flying chairs.

Source: The Local: France's News in English


When Paranormal Entities Change Their Own Rules
By Jason Offutt

Writing about the paranormal for about a decade, I’ve seen certain topics grab the public’s attention and quickly fade (orbs, rods), but others, for good reason, stick around year, after year, after year (ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, shadow people). A fairly recent entry into the paranormal landscape that has stalked its way into our deepest nightmares, the weirdest bogyman to show its greasy-haired head in a long time, is the Black-Eyed Kids. I’ve written quite a bit about BEKs, and frankly many of the cases are too similar. Someone alone is approached by children or teens that try to talk their way into a house/car/secluded spot. The children seem strange, then the person notices their all black eyes. The person slams the door and the story is over.

Creepy, but we’ve heard it before.

Every once in a while I find someone whose encounter with these entities is a bit different, and that gives me the willies. Here are two.

A Horror on the Farm

Tonya’s family moved from an apartment in town to a small ranch house in rural Indiana when she was five. “My Mom was pregnant with my sis,” Tonya said. “I remember having a swing set and Mom and Dad let me have a rabbit outside in a cage.”

One night while her mother and father were inside preparing supper, Tonya played on the swing set and discovered she wasn’t alone. “Another girl appeared behind me,” Tonya said. “I remember thinking I would have someone to play with now.”

The girl looked dirty, poor, her hair in tangles. “She didn’t speak to me but she scared me,” Tonya said. “I will never forget that. Her eyes were dark and her teeth were wrong; sharp, a lot of them, and dirty also.”

Although the girl with the mouthful of needle-like teeth stood still and made no move toward her, Tonya jumped off the swing and ran inside. “Mom gave me a bath after supper and put me to bed,” she said. “The next day … I was too afraid to get out of bed cause I thought she would get me.”

That day, Tonya’s parents found her pet rabbit dead. Something had opened the lock on the hutch and shredded the rabbit. “I tried to tell my mom about the girl, but she was upset over my rabbit. We both were,” Tonya said. “To this day I remember her face, eyes, and teeth. She killed my rabbit. I knew it then, and know it now.”

My Brother’s Terror

Shay’s brother Korey was young when he became afraid of the dark. “He was just seven years of age and now at the age of 23 he still sticks firmly to his story,” Shay said.

Shay and Korey’s family moved from Arkansas to Olive Branch, Mississippi, in April 1996, and quickly adjusted to the new town, new home, and new school, but after three weeks, some things in the house were still missing. “We had no blinds on our windows,” Shay said. And that brought on Korey’s fear.

One night while Shay helped his mother cook dinner, his father watching television in the living room, Korey sat in his room doing homework. “He had only been in his room around 20 minutes when he came barreling down the hallway with the most horrifying scream I had ever heard with tears rolling down his face,” Shay said. “He nearly climbed my mother like a tree trunk all while trying to bury his face as to hide from something.”

The something was horrifying. “He said as he sat doing his homework he felt an eerie feeling like he was being watched and like something was calling to him,” Shay said. “He then said he glanced up at his window and saw a white-faced boy that looked like a ghost peering into the bottom of his window.”

Korey said, “Momma, he looked my age and I thought it was me at first, but when I got close to the window he blinked and moved closer, and he had all black eyes there wasn’t no white there.” Korey knew what he saw wasn’t his reflection; it was something wicked.

“I’m sure now if my brother would have stuck around without running away in fear the child may have asked him to let him in,” Shay said. “For nearly three weeks after the incident my brother being scared to sleep in his own room made camp underneath my daybed with my cocker spaniel Danny.” After that, Shay and Korey swapped rooms, but by then blinds hung from the windows – and Shay never opened them.

Sixteen years later, Shay knows the memory still terrifies Korey. “As I was leaving work at night somewhat frightened and feeling horrified to walk to my car alone, I called my brother,” Shay said. “I asked, ‘Korey, do you still remember that little boy you saw looking in your window all those years ago?’”

Korey’s voice was shaky in response. “The one with the black eyes?” he asked. “Shay, why did you have to bring that up?” Shay had read an Internet story about Black-Eyed Kids. “I wish you wouldn’t have told me that,” Korey said. “I’ve tried forgetting and it still terrifies me, especially now that I know it wasn’t just my eyes playing tricks on me.”

Source: Mysterious Universe


Edinburgh’s Mysterious Miniature Coffins

It may have been Charles Fort, in one of his more memorable passages, who described the strange discovery best:

    London Times, July 20, 1836:

    That, early in July, 1836, some boys were searching for rabbits’ burrows in the rocky formation, near Edinburgh, known as Arthur’s Seat. In the side of a cliff, they came upon some thin sheets of slate, which they pulled out.

    Little cave.

    Seventeen tiny coffins.

    Three or four inches long.

    In the coffins were miniature wooden figures. They were dressed differently in both style and material. There were two tiers of eight coffins each, and a third one begun, with one coffin.

    The extraordinary datum, which has especially made mystery here:

    That the coffins had been deposited singly, in the little cave, and at intervals of many years. In the first tier, the coffins were quite decayed, and the wrappings had moldered away. In the second tier,  the effects of age had not advanced so far. And the top coffin was quite recent looking.

Fort’s short account is accurate, so far as it goes—and for more than a century not much more was known about the origin or purpose of the strange miniature coffins. Fewer than half of them survived; the Scotsman, in the first known published account, explained that “a number were destroyed by the boys pelting them at each other as unmeaning and contemptible trifles.” Those that were brought down from the hillside eventually found their way into the collection of Robert Frazier, a South Andrews Street jeweler, who put them on display in his private museum. When, after Frazier’s retirement in 1845, the collection was auctioned off, this lot, described in the sale catalogue as “the celebrated Lilliputian coffins found on Arthur’s Seat, 1836,” sold for just over £4. The coffins thus passed into unknown private hands, and remained there until 1901, when a set of eight, together with their contents, were donated to the National Museum of Scotland by their then-owner, Christina Couper of Dumfriesshire.

Circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that these coffins were the same group as the one Frazier obtained in 1836, but few more details are available. The first newspaper reports appeared some three weeks after the initial discovery, and none named any of the boys. One much later account, which is unreferenced and which appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News as late as 1956—but which is so detailed that it may have been based on some otherwise unknown contemporary source—adds that the find was made on June 25, 1836, and notes that the niche, which was “about a foot in height and about 18 inches wide,” was opened up with trowels: tools it seems reasonable to suppose a group of boys out rabbiting might have had about their persons.

Another intriguing detail in the same account states that the surviving coffins were retrieved the “next day” by the boys’ schoolmaster, one Mr. Ferguson, who was a member of a local archaeological society. The coffins were still unopened at this point, the reporter Robert Chapman added, but “Mr. Ferguson took them home in a bag and that evening he settled down in his kitchen and began to prise the lids up with a knife…. Mr. Ferguson took them to the next meeting of his society and his colleagues were equally amazed.” Where Chapman got this information remains unknown, but a search of the contemporary street directories shows that two schoolmasters named Ferguson were working in Edinburgh in 1836–George Ferguson as a classics master at Edinburgh Academy, and Findlay Ferguson as a teacher of English and math at Easter Duddingston.

The Chapman account at least explains how the surviving coffins found their way from the boy discoverers into the hands of the city’s learned gentlemen. In these murky circumstances, it is unsurprising that the precise spot where the find was made is only vaguely known. The Scotsman reported that the boys who unearthed the coffins had been “searching for rabbit burrows on the north-east range of Arthur’s seat” when one spotted “a small opening in the rocks, the peculiar appearance of which attracted their attention.” Another account, which appears to have circulated orally in Edinburgh at this time, and which was put in writing by a correspondent to Notes & Queries under the headline, “A Fairy’s Burial Place,” puts it a good deal more dramatically:

    While I was a resident at Edinburgh, either in the year 1836 or 1837, I forget which, a curious discovery took place, which formed the subject of a nine days’ wonder, and a few newspaper paragraphs. Some children were at play at the foot of Salisbury Craigs, when one of them, more venturesome than the others, attempted to ascend the escarpment of the cliff. His foot slipped, and to save himself from a dangerous fall, he caught at a projecting piece of rock, which appeared to be attached to the other portions of the cliff. It gave way, however, beneath the pressure of his hand, and although it broke his fall, both he and it came to the bottom of the craig. Nothing daunted, the hardy boy got up, shook himself, and began the attempt a second time. When he reached the point from whence the treacherous rock had projected, he found that it had merely masked the entrance to a large hole, which had been dug into the face of the cliff.

The Scotsman‘s account is, I think, to be preferred here—Notes & Queries adds various other details which are known to be untrue, such as the statement that the coffins had “little handles, and all the other embellishments which the undertakers consider necessary to respectability” —but it is actually broadly in line with N&Q‘s with regard to location. Conversely, another Edinburgh paper, the Caledonian Mercury, describes the spot as lying “at the back of Arthur’s Seat”–that is, on the south side of the hill. Given the relative accessibility of the northern face, and the length of time that appears to have separated the burials from their discovery, it is perhaps marginally more likely that the exact site of the find was neither Salisbury Crags nor the north range of Arthur’s Seat, but a spot to the south, in a relatively remote location on the far side of the Seat from Edinburgh itself. This ties in rather intriguingly with the notion that Findlay Ferguson of Easter Duddingston may have been the schoolmaster associated with the find, since Duddingston lies directly beneath the southern face of Arthur’s Seat. Whatever the facts, it seems clear from the contemporary sources that the coffins were found not in a substantial “cave” on the hillside, as is sometimes supposed, but in a small gap in the rocks. The Scotsman, again, has the clearest description:

    The mouth of this little cave was closed by three thin pieces of slate-stone, rudely cut at the upper ends into a conical form, and so placed as to protect the interior from the effects of the weather.

According to one later account, in a record in the so-called “Continuation Catalogue” of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, at least one of these slates was “rudely shaped like the headstone of a grave.” As for what the boys found when the slates had been removed, it was “an aperture about twelve inches square in which were lodged seventeen Lilliputian coffins, forming two tiers of eight each, and one on a third, just begun!” Each of the coffins, the Scotsman added,

    contained a miniature figure of the human form cut out in wood, the faces in particular being pretty well executed. They were dressed from head to foot in cotton clothes, and decently laid out with a mimic representation of all the funereal trappings which usually form the last habiliments of the dead. The coffins are about three or four inches in length, regularly shaped, and cut out from a single piece of wood, with the exception of the lids, which are nailed down with wire sprigs or common brass pins. The lid and sides of each are profusely studded with ornaments, formed with small pieces of tin, and inserted in the wood with great care and regularity.

So much for the circumstances of the discovery. The greater mystery, as the Scotsman was swift to point out, was what exactly the coffins were, who had placed them in their hiding place, and when. Several potential explanations were advanced, the most popular being that the burials were part of some spellwork, or that they represented mimic burials, perhaps for sailors lost at sea. Most of these solutions, however, assumed that the newspapers of the day were correct to state that the burials had been made over a considerable period of time. According to the Edinburgh Evening Post, for instance,

    in the under row the shrouds were considerably decayed and the wood rotten, while the last bore evident marks of being a very recent deposit.

This assumption is, however, hard to prove. The discovery was made not by some trained archaeologist, who made a painstaking examination before moving a single piece of wood, but by a group of boys who appear to have thoroughly mixed up the coffins by hurling them at each other, and who never gave any first-person account of their find. The best that can be said is that several of the surviving coffins display considerably more decay than the others—the most obvious sign being the rotten state (or complete absence) of the figurines’ grave clothes—but whether the decay was the product of time or simply weathering is not now possible to say. It may be that the decayed coffins were simply those that occupied the lower tier in the burial nook, and so were most exposed to water damage. If that’s the case, there is no need to assume that the burials stretched over many years.

This matters, because the only comprehensive study yet made of the “fairy coffins” strongly indicates that all postdate 1800, and that the odds favor a deposit or deposits made after about 1830—within about five years, in other words, of the discovery of the cache. The work in question was carried out by Allen Simpson, a former president of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts and currently a member of the faculty of History and Classics at Edinburgh University, and Samuel Menefee, senior associate of the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia, and it was published, regrettably obscurely, in the journal of the city’s local history society: The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club.

Simpson and Menefee began their work by describing the eight surviving artifacts (which can still be seen today, on display in the National Museum of Scotland). Two, they note, were originally painted pink or red; the interior of one is lined with paper, made with rag fiber and datable to the period after 1780. As for the details of the construction:

    Each coffin contains an ‘occupant’ and has been hollowed from a solid piece of wood. Each also has a lid which has been held in place by pins of various sizes, driven down through the sides and ends of the coffin base. In many instances the pin shafts are still in place, though some are bent over; when the lids were prised off the coffins most of the hand-wound pin heads became detached…. Although the type of wood has not previously been commented on, it has now been identified as Scots pine. Coffin dimensions vary…those now accessible for study are 3.7 to 4.1 inches long, 0.7 to 1.2 inches wide, and 0.8 to 1.0 inches deep with their lids in place….

    Judging by the longitudinal scoring on the base of the recess, a sharp knife—probably a hooked knife—has been used. The fact that the surfaces at the ends of the recess are so cleanly cut indicates that the knife has been very sharp; but the user has apparently not been a woodworker by trade because he has not had access to an edged tool such as a chisel to cut out the base of the recess, and has had difficulty in controlling the depth of the cuts (which have even penetrated the base of coffin No.5).

    There are two types of external shape. Five of the coffins (Nos 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8) have been carved with square-cut corners and edges, although most have slightly bowed sides so that the coffin has a taper at each end. However, the remaining three (Nos 3, 5 and 7) have a pronounced rounding of the edges and ends of the coffin; this suggests a different manual approach…and may indicate that the coffins could have been carved by two different individuals.

As to who did the carving, Simpson and Menefee point out that “the most striking visual feature of the coffins is the use of applied pieces of tinned iron as decoration.” Analysis of this metal suggests that it is very similar to the sort of tin used in contemporary shoe buckles, and this in turn opens the possibility that the coffins were the work of shoemakers or leatherworkers, who would have had the manual skills to make the coffins but would have lacked the specialist carpentry tools needed to make a neater job of it.

The figurines found within the coffins were also studied. Each of the eight is neatly carved from close-grained white wood, and they share almost identical proportions, varying in height by no more than 5 millimeters—about a fifth of an inch. Some have arms, but several dolls have had them removed, apparently to allow the figure to fit neatly into its coffin. This suggests that the figures were not carved specifically for the purpose of burial, but have been adapted from an existing set; Simpson and Menefee—noting their “rigidly erect bearing,” indications that they originally wore hats, and their carefully carved lower bodies “formed to indicate tight knee breeches and hose, below which the feet are blackened to indicate ankle boots”—believe they are the remnants of a group of toy soldiers, and note that each is made to stand upright with the addition of a slight weight on its front, which might have been supplied by the addition of a model musket. (There would have been no need to ensure carvings intended simply as corpses would stand upright.) The features are very similar, and “it seems unlikely that the figures were ever intended to represent particular individuals.” Moreover, “the open eyes of the figures suggest that they were not carved to represent corpses.”

Based on their appearance, the authors tentatively date the group to the 1790s; no dendrochronological analysis or carbon dating, however, has been done on the collection. Several of the surviving figurines are still clad in well-preserved “grave clothes.” As Simpson and Menefee point out, “single-piece suits, made from fragments of cloth, have been moulded round the figures and sewn in place. With some figures there is evidence of adhesive under the cloth. The style of dress does not relate to period grave clothes, and if it is intended to be representational at all then it is more in keeping with everyday wear…. The fact that the arms of figure No.8 were already missing when the figure was clothed suggests that the fabric was merely intended to cover the figures decently and not to represent garments.” All the fabrics are cheap, made of plain woven cotton, though one of the figures is clad in checks and three “seem to have commercially inked patterns applied to the cloth.”

The evidence of the figurines makes dating the burials much easier. According to Naomi Tarrant, curator of European textiles at the National Museum of Scotland, the good condition of the surviving vestments suggests they were buried in the 1830s. More revealingly, one of the figures has been sewn into its grave clothes with a three-ply thread. Cotton thread replaced linen in Scotland from about 1800; “almost certainly,” Simpson and Menefee assert, “such thread would have been manufactured in the thread mills of Paisley, where tradition has it that cotton thread was not made before 1812.” Three-ply thread, according to Philip Sykas of Manchester Art Galleries–the leading expert on that topic – came into use in about 1830. Sykas believes that the mixture of one-, two- and three-ply threads found on the Arthur’s Seat figures “indicates a date in the 1830s.”

Now, none of this proves all the burials took place at so late a date as 1830; it is possible that the decayed surviving figurines represent interments that took place earlier than this, and also that the figurines sewn with one- or two-ply thread predate 1830. Nonetheless, it does seem possible to suggest that all the burials took place, at the outside, between about 1800 and 1830, and it is entirely likely that Simpson and Menefee are correct to state that all took place during the 1830s. This in turn suggests it is possible that all 17 figurines were interred at the same time, and the fact that the coffins seem to have been carved by at most two people and that the figurines apparently originally formed part of a single set implies that the burial(s) were carried out by the same person, or small group of people “over a comparatively short period.”

If this is true, write Simpson and Menefee, “the significant feature of the burial is that there were seventeen coffins,” and “it is arguable…”

    that the problem with the various theories is their concentration on motivation, rather than on the event or events that caused the interments. The former will always be open to argument, but if the burials were event-driven—by, say the loss of a ship with seventeen fatalities during the period in question—the speculation would at least be built on demonstrable fact. Stated another way, what we seek is an Edinburgh-related event or events, involving seventeen deaths, which occurred close to 1830 and certainly before 1836. One obvious answer springs to mind—the West Port Murders by William Burke and William Hare in 1827 and 1828.

Simpson’s and Menefee’s solution to the mystery is certainly dramatic— so much so it seems that nobody has actually asked whether the pair searched for news of any Scottish shipwreck from the early 1830s, as they suggest it might be wise to do. (It would appear that they did not.) The West Port murders, after all, were and remain notorious: They were committed in Edinburgh by two Irish laborers, Burke and Hare, to profit by supplying corpses to Edinburgh’s medical school, where they were in great demand for dissection. The pair’s victims, mostly indigents who, they supposed, would not be missed, numbered 17, of whom one expired of natural causes while the rest were murdered. The killers’ trial, in which Hare turned King’s evidence and Burke was convicted and later hanged, was one of the sensations of the age. Crucially, in the authors’ view, the fact that all of the 17 victims were dissected, and consequently had no decent burial, may have inspired a “mimic burial” on Arthur’s Seat:

    Considering beliefs such as the alleged mimic burial given to Scottish sailors lost at sea, it would not be unreasonable for some person or person, in the absence of the seventeen dissected bodies, to wish to propitiate these dead, the majority of whom were murdered in atrocious circumstances, by a form of burial to set their spirits at rest. While it is always possible that other disasters could have resulted in an identical casualty list, the West Port murders would appear to be a logical motivating force.

Since Simpson and Menefee first reported their findings in 1994, their thesis has been elaborated. The Edinburgh Evening News reported in 2005 that George Dalgliesh, principal curator of Scottish history at the National Museum of Scotland, believes “the most credible theory is that [the coffins] were made by someone who knew Burke and Hare,” and so had a strong motive to make amends for their crimes. Attempts to suggest that Burke himself may have manufactured and buried the pieces in an agony of contrition seem to fail on the problem that the murderers were arrested almost immediately after committing their 17th killing, leaving little or no time for any burial to be made; a DNA sample for Burke has been obtained from the murderer’s skeleton, which is preserved at Edinburgh University, but no traces of DNA could be recovered from the buried figurines.

There is, moreover, one potentially fatal objection to the theory that the Arthur’s Seat coffins are connected to the West Port murders: no fewer than 12 of Burke and Hare’s victims were female, yet the clothed bodies found in the coffins were uniformly dressed in male attire.

Without knowing more about burial customs in early 19th-century Scotland it is hard to know how worrying this objection is, but certainly it would appear no more difficult to clothe a figurine in a miniature dress than it would be to stitch on trousers. In the absence of firm evidence of any connection to the activities of Burke and Hare, I would suggest the first step in any future investigation should be to examine Scottish newspapers published between, say, 1820 and 1836, for evidence of any other disasters involving the deaths of 17 people—ideally, none of them women. Two titles, the Scotsman and the Caledonian Mercury, have now been digitized, and could be searched by a determined researcher. We await further developments.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine


Orbs and Black Triangles 
By Lee Brickley

For well over 2000 years, the beautiful and tranquil Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire, England, has been home to the most intense concentration of unusual phenomena ever to manifest in the British Isles. From heavily documented UFO sightings and ghostly apparitions, to disturbing tales of animal/human hybrids and top secret military activity, the Chase (as it is known locally) exhibits all the standard traits, often attributed to a paranormal portal, which, to me, makes the area endlessly fascinating.

Over the last 12 months, I have been collating evidence, stories and witness reports from residents and visitors to Cannock Chase, and have nearly finished writing a book detailing my findings. When the publication is complete I will post a link on my website, but until then, I think a little taster is in order...

In January 2013, I received an email from a 38 year old lady who resides in the town of Rugeley, which boarders Cannock Chase. She claimed that, whilst driving home from work on 22nd December 2012 at around 6pm, she witnessed 3 strange orb-like lights in the night sky, travelling at an increasingly rapid speed towards the Pye Green Tower. (for anyone unaware of this structure, the Pye Green Tower is a huge communications beacon that was built during the cold war as a back-up communication source in response to the Soviet advances in EMP technology.) The lights apparently merged into one big orb as they reached the tower, hovered in the sky for a few seconds and then disappeared...this sounded quite interesting.

After a few emails back and forth, I arranged a phone interview and dialed her number at the prearranged time. Expecting details to be rather limited, I was pleasantly surprised that our conversation lasted for well over half an hour. As it turned out, this was not the first time she had experienced odd and unexplained activity.

Two months previously (exact date unknown), at around 9pm on a Wednesday night, the land-line telephone in her family home began to ring, except, every time someone stood up and moved towards it, it stopped. Thinking that someone was outside watching them, and perhaps playing a prank, the lady and her husband crept into their garden to see if they could locate the culprit. Almost as soon as they had stepped out onto the patio, an unusual buzzing noise could be heard, slowly but surly getting louder. Looking up, the couple saw a black, unlit, triangular shaped craft, around 30 feet in length, seemingly floating over their home.

Strangely, she reports that “the craft didn't fly away, or glide away – it just seemed to dissolve slowly into nothingness”.

Also notable is the fact that, the sporadic telephone issues ceased immediately after the craft dematerialised, so we would be forgiven for assuming the two are connected.

This is just one peculiar report of many. Although certainly not the most extraordinary case I'm dealing with, for now, it serves as an illuminating example of why this 26 mile square area of outstanding natural beauty, is regarded by myself, and by other researchers, as England’s strangest location.

In my next article I'll let you in on some genuinely mysterious, yet truly horrifying, werewolf sightings that are sure to make even the most resistant neck hairs stand to attention.

So until our paths cross again I bid you farewell and wish you good health, but I must insist you always remember to scan the night sky - the time has come for us to watch the watchers...

Source: Paranormal Cannock Chase


Anna Kingsford, Psychic Assassin?
By Undine

If her own account can be trusted, pretty, delicate, brilliant, charming, warm-hearted Anna Kingsford was one of the most dangerous people who ever lived.

Kingsford paired high ideals and deep esoteric wisdom with indomitable will and an unshakable belief that “ends justify means.” For all her knowledge, she deliberately flouted the truism that everything we do in our lives inevitably boomerangs on us. In the end, this may have literally been the death of her.

Anna “Annie” Bonus was born in Stratford, England on September 16, 1846. Her father was a wealthy merchant who was able to give his frail, beautiful daughter the pampered, cultured upbringing of the classic Victorian belle. Most unusually, though, she was given full rein to follow intellectual pursuits as well. Her original pursuits were along fairly traditional, if precocious, literary and academic lines, but as she reached adulthood the focus of her attentions turned to the occult. From childhood, she believed she had psychic abilities—a friend once described her as a “born seer…seeing apparitions and divining the characters and fortunes of people.”

In order to escape unwanted suitors, when she was twenty-one she married an Anglican clergyman named Algernon Kingsford, on the condition that she would continue to lead a fully autonomous life. (Years after her marriage, after she reread some of her early letters to him, she wrote bemusedly, “What a disagreeable person I must have been to have written to Algernon in this way! They are full of declarations that my chief reason for marrying was to be independent and free. I can only wonder that he took me.") Although on their honeymoon the couple conceived a daughter, Eadith, Anna’s chronic poor health ensured that their relationship became celibate—which may well have suited them both. In their own unconventional way, the Kingsfords remained devoted to each other. The new Mrs. Kingsford continued her life of the mind. She adopted vegetarianism, spiritualism, theosophy. Mrs. Kingsford had visions, and was convinced she communicated with “genii.” Anna was a talented writer who published a number of well-regarded theological essays, poems, short stories, and novels, and she eventually bought the journal “The Lady’s Own Paper,” installing herself as editor. (The magazine failed two years later, as Kingsford refused to accept advertising that violated her beliefs.) She was also a talented lecturer, with a magnetic stage presence.

In 1873 she met Edward Maitland, who became her collaborator, biographer and platonic soul-mate. With her husband’s full approval, Maitland accompanied her to Paris when she decided to take up the study of medicine. Her aim in pursuing this new career was partly to promote her vegetarian, anti-vivisection beliefs, and partly to prove that women were as capable of intense study and rational thought as men. It was while she was a medical student that she was confronted first-hand with vivisection. The nightmarish sights and sounds of live, un-anaesthetized animals being dissected for medical experiments so horrified her that it became her chief mission in life to campaign against something she saw as nothing but cold-blooded, ghoulish murder. (She often volunteered herself for dissection if the doctors would only leave the animals alone, and I’m convinced that if anyone had taken her up on this offer she would have kept her end of the bargain.) However, as it was commonly believed vivisection was necessary for scientific research, her efforts proved futile.

Her failure to stop this animal torture left her distraught. While a student, she wrote: “I have found my Hell here in the Faculté de Médecine of Paris, a Hell more real and awful than any I have yet met with elsewhere, and one that fulfills all the dreams of the mediaeval monks. The idea that it was so came strongly upon me one day when I was sitting in the Musée of the school, with my head in my hands, trying vainly to shut out of my ears the piteous shrieks and cries which floated incessantly towards me up the private staircase…Every now and then, as a scream more heart-rending than the rest reached me, the moisture burst out on my forehead and on the palms of my hands, and I prayed, ‘Oh God, take me out of this Hell; do not suffer me to remain in this awful place…’”

December of 1877 was a crucial moment in her life. While listening to one of her instructors, Dr. Claude Bernard, lecturing on how he had slowly baked live animals to death in order to study body heat, Kingsford suddenly boiled over in fury. She leaped from her seat and shouted, “Murderer!” After a brief, angry exchange with her teacher, she marched out of the classroom.

The man was a tormentor of defenseless animals, creatures she believed had souls as precious as our own. She wanted to see him punished. She would see him punished. She suddenly felt herself become “a spiritual thunderbolt.” With all her might, she willed the doctor dead. And then she fainted.

Very soon after this episode, Dr. Bernard suddenly fell very ill, of a disease no one could identify. Six weeks later, he died.

Kingsford was elated. She wrote Maitland, “Woe be to the torturers…I will make it dangerous, nay, deadly, to be a vivisector. It is the only argument that will affect them. Meanwhile, thank God the head of the gang is dead.”

Anna Kingsford received her degree (graduating second in her class) in 1880. She was at that time the only student to graduate without experimenting on animals. In 1886, her vengeful attentions turned to Dr. Paul Bert, whom she called “the most notorious of the vivisecting fraternity.” (Dr. Bert was certainly notorious to anyone who had the misfortune to live near his laboratory. He often left overnight semi-dissected, but still living, animals. Their agonized cries kept the entire neighborhood awake.)

Dr. Kingsford got out her thunderbolt. And Dr. Bert began to slowly waste away. He died in November 1886.

Kingsford exulted in her new-found weapon. She wrote, “I have killed Paul Bert, as I killed Claude Bernard; as I will kill Louis Pasteur, and after him the whole tribe of vivisectors.…it is a magnificent power to have, and one that transcends all vulgar methods of dealing out justice to tyrants.” (Maitland later defended Kingsford efforts at psychic assassination with the argument she was “under direct divine impulsion,” imparted to her by “the Gods.” He added, “Humanity is enriched by the loss of those who brutalize and debase humanity.”)

She next turned her lethal attentions to Pasteur. Unfortunately for Kingsford, the use of negative forces, no matter how noble the ultimate goal, is an ultimately self-destructive weapon. (Maitland wrote that she admitted that her “projections” against the doctors “took from me my nervous force,” but she saw the sacrifice as well worth the results.) In November of 1886, while on her way to investigate Pasteur’s Paris laboratory, she was caught in a bad rainstorm that left her chilled and completely soaked. It was too much for her chronically fragile physical state. She developed pneumonia, which eventually became pulmonary tuberculosis. It killed her on February 22, 1888. Her friend Sir Richard Burton wrote that she spent her final months “suffering in mind and soul…at the sights and sounds connected with Parisian vivisection.”

Luckily for Dr. Pasteur, Kingsford’s illness also drained the force of her thunderbolts. He nearly died of a sudden, inexplicable illness in February 1887, but soon recovered completely, living and working until 1895.

Source: Strange Company

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