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Trust is not easy to come by nowadays. It used to be that you could trust in your neighbor; trust in your job; trust in your church, trust in your elected officials. Now, trust is hard to find. Trust can even be dangerous. You can't trust in your neighbors, because they could be spying on you on behalf of Homeland Security. You can't trust in your job; that is what jobs are actually left that pay a living salary. You can't trust in your church as many are now playing politics in order to speed up the apocalypse. And don't get us started about our elected officials – we used to think a sex-scandal was the epitome of bad politics. Oh for the days of a simple sex-scandal. But there is one thing that you can trust in . . . Conspiracy Journal! Yes that's right. You can always trust that Conspiracy Journal will be there for you each and every week, revealing those deep, dark, dirty secrets that you won't find in your local newspaper, or hear on your nightly news.Don't forget to check out the latest Conspiracy Journal/Bizarre Bazaar Catalog...Number 40, full of our newest books, DVDs, and other interesting products that THEY don't want you to have!
- Researchers Find Biological Evidence of Gulf War Illnesses -
- Never Mind the NSA: Uri Geller is the Real Spy Story -
- Pennsylvania Investigators on Hunt for Bigfoot-
AND: India: Living with ghosts in the Himalayas
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
THE SHOCKING REALITY ABOUT TIME TRAVEL!
Time Slips, Real Time Machines, And How-To Experiments To Go Forwards Or Backwards Through Time
EINSTEIN ONLY HAD PART OF THE EQUATION DOWN PAT! ORDINARY PEOPLE HAVE TRAVELED BACKED AND FORTH THROUGH THE CORRIDOR OF TIME AND SPACE – AND THIS COULD BE YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO AS WELL.
Up until recently it was thought that Einstein had revealed all there ever was to know about time and space and how we could never travel forward or backward in time without reaching the speed of light. Today those that have adopted the “string theory” of Physics have come to believe that everything in the universe exists at one time simultaneously.
Retired Intelligence Operative Commander X and Emmy Award winning Tim R. Swartz have declared in this valuable book – written in easy to read terms – that we are not prisoners of Time and Space, but rather are prisoners of our physical bodies and the learned behaviors of existing in the material world.
The Universe and its many mysteries await those who are not afraid to throw off the shackles of unawareness and begin the quest of exploration and learning.
In TIME TRAVEL – FACT NOT FICTION!, a vastness of relevant topics are reviewed and discussed logically, including: Spontaneous Cases of Time Travel -- People Caught In The Eddies Of Time -- An Encounter With Spirits -- Or A Brief Visit To The Past? -- The Mystery of Time Slips -- Doorways in Time -- People, Buildings and Towns From Beyond Time -- The Restaurant At The Edge Of Time -- Flight Into The Future -- Is Death a Jump in Time? -- Are UFOs Time Machines? -- The Philadelphia Experiment and the Montauk Project – Working Time Machines -- Nikola Tesla's Time Travel Experiments -- Human Time Machines -- Techniques for mental time travel -- UFOs and Time Distortion.
Here also are actual cases of people who have traveled through time and space and returned to the "present" to relate their experience. We are on the cusp of a great new discovery of benefit to all of humankind if "powerful forces" do not prevent this vital information from being distributed to everyone.
For subscribers of the Conspiracy Journal Newsletter this book is on sale for the special price of only $18 (plus $5.00 shipping). This offer will not last long so ORDER TODAY!
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Be sure to tune in to Unraveling The Secrets Saturdays at 11:59PM EST
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- IT IS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD DEPARTMENT -
Researchers Find Biological Evidence of Gulf War Illnesses
By Rebecca D'Angelo
In the two decades since the 1991 Persian Gulf war, medical researchers have struggled to explain a mysterious amalgam of problems in thousands of gulf war veterans, including joint pain, physical malaise and gastrointestinal disorders. In some medical circles, the symptoms were thought to be psychological, the result of combat stress.
But recent research is bolstering the view that the symptoms, known collectively as gulf war illness, are fundamentally biological in nature. In the latest example, researchers at Georgetown University say they have found neurological damage in gulf war veterans reporting symptoms of the disease.
Using magnetic resonance imaging to study the brains of gulf war veterans before and after exercise, the researchers discovered evidence of damage in parts of their brains associated with heart rate and pain. Such damage was not evident in the control group, which included nonveterans and healthy veterans.
Such neurological damage, the researchers theorize, caused the veterans to be more sensitive to pain, to feel easily fatigued and to experience loss of short-term “working memory,” all symptoms associated with gulf war illness.
Their study, published by the online medical journal PLoS One on Friday, does not try to explain the causes of the damage. It also found different patterns of damage in two groups of veterans, indicating that the disease — if it is indeed a single ailment — takes different paths in different people.
But the authors said the findings, along with other recent research, may offer clues in developing treatments and diagnostic tests for the illness, which currently is diagnosed through self-reported symptoms and has no definitive treatment.
Two other studies released by Georgetown this year have also pointed to neurological damage in the brains of veterans reporting symptoms of gulf war illness, including one that showed abnormalities in the nerve cells linking parts of the brain involved in processing feelings of pain and fatigue.
The research makes clear that “gulf war illness is real,” said Rakib U. Rayhan, the principal author of the new study. “There is objective evidence that something is wrong in the brains of these veterans.”
Other experts offered more tempered views, noting that most of the subjects in the Georgetown study were self-selected and that their number was relatively small: 28 veterans with symptoms and 10 participants without symptoms.
Dr. Drew A. Helmer, director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center in New Jersey, called the Georgetown studies “very preliminary” but also “a very important step forward.”
But Dr. John Bailar, an emeritus professor at the University of Chicago who led a group that studied gulf war illness in 1996, said the new study did not provide enough data to determine whether the veterans’ symptoms were linked to their deployments to Kuwait, or something entirely different.
“I am not questioning whether a substantial proportion of veterans of Desert Storm have symptoms related to their service,” Dr. Bailar said in an e-mail. “I am questioning whether those symptoms have any cause other than the stress of war itself.”
Studies by the Department of Veterans Affairs have estimated that as many as 250,000 of the nearly 700,000 service members who served in the Middle East in 1990 and 1991 have reported symptoms of gulf war illness, which is also known as chronic multisymptom illness.
Gulf war illness has been the source of much frustration and dispute practically since veterans first reported symptoms in the 1990s. Many veterans say that their complaints were initially dismissed as psychological. Many also believe that their problems are the result of exposure to nerve agents, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals, but that the government has been slow, or unwilling, to pinpoint causes.
Even some government researchers have made that case. At a Congressional hearing in March, Dr. Steven S. Coughlin, an epidemiologist who once worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs, asserted that the department had systematically played down the neurological basis of gulf war illness. At the same hearing, a member of an advisory panel to the department said the agency still seemed guided by the view that symptoms of gulf war illness were stress-induced.
“This is a throwback to early speculation from the 1990s that there was no problem, or that veterans just had random, disconnected symptoms,” testified Dr. Lea Steele, a Baylor University epidemiologist who was a member of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses.
USA Today reported on Friday that Eric K. Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, had taken steps to replace members of the advisory committee and reduce its independence. Advocates for gulf war veterans say the changes are meant to rein in a committee that has consistently been more aggressive than the department in saying that gulf war illness is a physical condition related to exposure to toxins.
In a statement, the department defended its research into gulf war illness. “V.A. is clear in its commitment to treating these health issues and does not endorse the notion some have put forward that these physical health symptoms experienced by gulf war veterans arise as a result of PTSD or other mental health issues from military service,” the statement said, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Still, many veterans, like Ronald Brown, who was part of the Georgetown study, say their problems after returning from Kuwait in 1991 were not taken seriously.
An infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division, he was at a base in southern Iraq when engineers destroyed the nearby Kamisiya ammunition depot containing nerve gas. The Pentagon has said that as many as 100,000 American troops could have been exposed to the toxic gas in that demolition.
Mr. Brown, 45, says that before the invasion, he was in top physical condition, regularly scoring high on Army physical fitness tests. But after Kamisiya was destroyed, he began experiencing headaches, nausea and shortness of breath. When he returned to the United States, he says he failed a fitness test badly. “I plain and simple couldn’t get enough air,” he said.
After leaving the Army in 1992, he said his health continued to deteriorate, to the point where he could not hold jobs. Doctors gave him diagnoses of migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. They gave him medications that did not seem to help and offered treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.
“I was told I had these problems because I was depressed. And yes, I was depressed,” Mr. Brown said. “But that’s part of having so many things wrong. That’s not what caused it.”
Source: NY Times
- URI GELLER KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE THINKING DEPARTMENT -
Never Mind the NSA: Uri Geller is the Real Spy Story
By Vikram Jayant
Research for film about the spoon-bender's 40-year career as a secret psychic operative turned up some unlikely facts.
With the news of America's National Security Agency's massive electronic surveillance operations dominating the headlines right now, the documentary film I've just made for the BBC about spoon-bender Uri Geller's long and secret career as a psychic operative is timely in ways I never expected.
My journey, as I searched for corroboration of the rumours (and the heavy hints dropped by Geller himself) about his services to the intelligence communities of three continents, took me into a strange alternative reality, populated with men (always men) from the CIA, the FBI, Nasa, Britain's Ministry of Defence, and yes, the NSA that everyone's talking about this week. (I'll say nothing of Mossad, though Israel's legendary intelligence agency kept cropping up.)
As I crossed the US with my crew, from New York to California via Florida and Texas, an interview at every stop, I learned first hand about how these guys – ranging from cold warriors to the covert operatives engaged with the post-911 war on terror – will leave no stone unturned in their urgent hunger for information, any information, even the rawest and most oblique data, from whatever sources they can find. Whatever might work, and by whatever means.
As those who saw the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats (starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey and Ewan McGregor) or read Jon Ronson's book of the same name (which inspired the movie) know, the US military ran a secret programme for more than 20 years training dozens of psychic operatives in "remote viewing" at Fort Meade just outside Washington DC. Fort Meade is better known as the headquarters of the NSA.
Remote viewers were expected to be able to see things thousands of miles away, for instance looking inside a Soviet military installation and drawing what they saw, for CIA and others to analyse. The people running the programme believed this was a skill that could be taught, and that anyone could do it. The programme ended, officially, in 1995 and in 1997 Bill Clinton declassified much of its associated paperwork. (Thank heavens for the Freedom of Information Act.)
Well, it turns out that the inspiration for this multimillion-dollar experiment was research conducted at the beginning of the 70s at California's Stanford Research Institute, frequently a front for CIA-funded experimental programmes. And at the heart of their research was a young Israeli soldier, called Uri Geller. The hunt was on, to militarise the paranormal.
We use footage from the CIA-funded film record of the Uri Geller experiments, and we then track stories about Uri's involvement in events ranging from the Israeli commando raid on Entebbe through to his participation in the search for Osama bin Laden, with a mysterious sidebar as a federal agent for the Mexican government. Forty years of psychic operations.
In the film, someone well positioned to know suggests that rather than being shut down in 1995, the use of psychic operatives by the US government and military has merely gone "deeper black". If that's the case, then perhaps Geller is still at work in the shadows.
Vikram Jayanti is a film-maker with credits including The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector, the Oscar-winning When We Were Kings, and The Secret Life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy? BBC2 will broadcast a one-hour version of the film later this year.
Source: The Guardian
Underground Networks and Cities in Myths and Legends
By April Holloway
Underground structures even whole cities have always been part of most of the world’s myths and religions. A few have been discovered but most of them have not. Side by side with the stories about underground structures, we have underground networks and tunnels connecting different places and sometimes extending for many kilometres and even between different countries.
In this article we will explore the myths and legends from all over the world that refer to underground cities and tunnels as well as what archaeologists and researchers have found and how these findings may be connected to such stories.
According to mythological traditions, underground sites were mostly referred to as entrances to the underworld and we find such references all around the world. Although most of us think of the ‘underworld’ as a representation of ‘hell’ and therefore an imaginary or spiritual place for ‘bad’ people, in reality in ancient religions that wasn’t the case. The underworld was a place where the dead would go, but it was a place with physical entrances, guards, buildings and cities, and a place that a few mortals could visit and even communicate with the dead souls, gods, kings or the armies of the underworld. In a few cases though, according to the legends, they could even resurrect a dead person.
One of the most famous underground cities is the city of Agartha, a legendary city that is supposed to be in the centre of the Earth, the Earth’s Core. Central Asia is the origin of those legends and the race inhabiting this underground realm was called the Agharti. Theosophists refer to Agartha as a vast complex of caves and an underground network that was inhabited by the Asuras (evil demons) and enemies of the Gods. This underground network was supposedly made by man.
In Hindu mythology there are legends of a race called the Nagas, serpent like intelligent creatures with human faces that live in underground caverns. Those creatures are described as ‘children of Gods’ – immortal and able to fly - who got married with human kings and queens and supposedly spiritually advanced. Similarly, in Chinese legends dragons are not the ugly flying beasts that we believe today, but wise creature that would be mentors of kings and creators of kingdoms. Many Tibetans are mentioned to have entered those caves of the Nagas that expand miles and miles inside the mountains of Asia.
What is interesting is that a strange light emanates in those underground realms which has also been mentioned as the hollow earth inner sun. So the underground cities are not in dark as we would believe. Some of those realms now are inside Earth while in the past they used to be on the surface but were forced to move inside Earth due to circumstances like attacks or maybe even climate change.
Shambhala (a Sanskrit word meaning ‘place of peace’) is another famous holy place that for some is supposed to be a spiritual ‘paradise’, but for others it is suggested to be a real underground city with references of people that have actually visited it. Legends mention that the King of Shambhala travelled to Indi to meet Buddha and listen to his teachings. One major difference with Shambhala is that it is supposed to be a holy place in comparison to Agartha, which is a place of demons. According to Helena Blavatsky, Shambhala is located in the Gobi Desert.
On the other side of Earth, in America we have the legend of Akakor, a legend that the latest adventure of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls was based on. Tatunca Nara, an Amazon jungle guide, claims to have seen the city and described not only the city but also the chronicles of the underground kingdom. According to that legend ‘Gods’ came from a solar system known as ‘Schwerta’ and built an underground tunnel system in South America. This civilization left 13 underground cities in South America in the jungles of Amazon, yet to be found.
In the Mayan mythology we have the mythical underground city of Xibalba, ‘the land that the sun goes down into’ which was inhabited by superheroes and Gods, a civilization that supposedly vanished around the Middle Ages. The entrance to this world was thought to be located in Guatemala and description of the structures and locations within Xibalba are described in Popol Vuh.
In Greece, we have the myths of Hades and the Underworld, a realm where gods and heroes lived. God Pluto was the God of the Underworld which had many different sections including the Elysium and Tartarus.
In Irish legends we hear about the people named Tuatha De Danaan (People of the Goddess Danu), a race who moved underground when another race arrived on the island. According to the legends they came to Ireland in ‘dark clouds’ and landed on the mountains of Ireland. Those people in today’s myths are referred to as fairies.
In one of the Irish poems it is said about these people:
It is God who suffered them, though He restrained them
they landed with horror, with lofty deed,
in their cloud of mighty combat of spectres,
upon a mountain of Conmaicne of Connacht.
Without distinction to descerning Ireland,
Without ships, a ruthless course
the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars,
whether they were of heaven or of earth.
In Norwegian legends we have the Dwarves, beings of the underground associated with craftsmanship. Different races of Dwarves that were the ones that supplied the Gods with weapons.
In Egypt, we have references of the historians Herodotus and Strabo of a colossal underground temple that contained 3,000 rooms full of paintings and hieroglyphs, a lost labyrinth yet to be found.
There are many accounts of people that have accessed this underground realm which includes not only mythological accounts but accounts from recent history. It is also written in documents that Hitler and the Nazis discovered an entrance to the interior of Earth in Antarctica. The Nazi’s believed that a civilization lives inside Earth, the ‘super humans’. Some believe that the Nazi’s were in contact with them and in fact they were directing them and even sharing technology with them. While there is no proof of that kind of contact, we definitely know that the Nazi’s had the most advanced technology than any other country of the world during World War II.
The concept of the Hollow Earth is a popular concept and has also been the topic of many books like ‘At the Earth’s Core’ by Edgar Rice Borroughs, ‘A Journey to the Center of the Earth’ by Jules Verne or ‘Message found in a Bottle’ by Edgar Allen Poe.
Stories of vast underground realms, cities and networks inhabited by god-like beings more advanced and more intelligent than the current humanity are intriguing.
Archaeologists uncovered thousands of Stone Age underground tunnels, stretching across Europe from Scotland to Turkey, perplexing researchers as to their original purpose.
German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch, in his book ‘Secrets of the Underground Door to an Ancient World’ revealed that tunnels were dug under literally hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe and the fact that so many tunnels have survived 12,000 years indicates that the original network must have been huge.
'In Bavaria in Germany alone we have found 700metres of these underground tunnel networks. In Styria in Austria we have found 350metres,' he said. 'Across Europe there were thousands of them - from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean.
The tunnels are quite small, measuring only 70cm in width, which is just enough for a person to crawl through. In some places there are small rooms, storage chambers and seating areas.
The Stone Age was the first of the three-age system of archaeology, which divides human technological prehistory into three periods: The Stone Age, The Bronze Age, The Iron Age. The transition out of the Stone Age occurred between 6000 BC and 2500 BC for much of humanity living in North Africa and Eurasia. While many believe Stone Age humans were primitive, incredible discoveries such as the 12,000 year-old temple called Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, the pyramids of Egypt and other structures such as Stonehenge, which demonstrate extremely advanced astronomical knowledge indicates that they were not as primitive as many believe.
The discovery of a vast network of tunnels indicates that Stone Age humans were not just spending their days hunting and gathering. However, the real purpose of the tunnels is still a matter of speculation. Some experts believe they were a way of protecting man from predators while others believe they were a way for people to travel safely, sheltered from harsh weather conditions or even wars and violence. However, at this stage scientists are only able to guess, as the tunnels have not yet revealed all their secrets of the past.
Source: Ancient Origins
- FROM THE SKY DEPARTMENT -
Tiny Rock Fragments Show Meteor Caused Tunguska Event
By Rachel Nuwer
On June 30, 1908, an enormous explosion in a remote stretch of Siberia flattened and burned nearly 1,000 square miles of forest, totaling around 80 million trees. Called the Tunguska event (named after a nearby river), it’s the largest impact event in Earth’s recorded history. A local testified about his experience during the event to an expedition that came through the area in 1930:- SOMETHING HAIRY THIS WAY COMES DEPARTMENT -
I suddenly saw that directly to the north, over Onkoul’s Tunguska Road, the sky split in two and fire appeared high and wide over the forest [as Semenov showed, about 50 degrees up—expedition note]. The split in the sky grew larger, and the entire northern side was covered with fire. At that moment I became so hot that I couldn’t bear it, as if my shirt was on fire; from the northern side, where the fire was, came strong heat….When the sky opened up, hot wind raced between the houses, like from cannons, which left traces in the ground like pathways, and it damaged some crops.
The Tunguska blast inspired more than 1,000 scientific publications, many of them seeking to identify the explosion’s cause. For years, researchers speculated that a meteor caused the destruction, Nature reports, and now new evidence making that link has been discovered.
Researchers led by Victor Kvasnytsya at the Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Ore Formation of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine in Kiev say that they have found a smoking gun. In what Kvasnytsya describes as the most detailed analysis yet of any candidate sample from the Tunguska event, the researchers conclude that their fragments of rock — each less than 1 millimetre wide — came from the iron-rich meteor that caused the blast.
The researchers reexamined rocks collected back in the 1970s from the blast site. Using transmission electron microscopy, a chemistry technique, they found that the rocks—originally labeled as coming from Earth—featured tell-tale meteorite mineral concentrations, such as troilite and schreibersite. The team thinks this evidence shows that the Tunguska blast was caused by an asteroid-turned-meteorite.
This is one of those puzzles, though, that inspires fiercely held pet theories. Other explanations for the blast include a comet, a natural H-bomb, a black hole, antimatter and a sudden release of natural gas from the Earth’s core. Most in the scientific community reject these conjectures, but not everyone’s convinced that the evidence Kvasnytsya’s team turned up will end this debate forever. Nature reports:
“We get a lot of meteorite material raining down on us all the time,” adds [Curth University meteorite expert Phil] Bland. Without samples of adjacent peat layers for comparison, “it’s hard to be 100% sure that you’re not looking at that background”.
Pennsylvania Investigators on Hunt for Bigfoot
By Justin Dennis
Somerset County man finds tracks he believes belong to elusive creative
SOMERSET, Pa. — There are many names given to this cross-cultural phenomenon: In Asian countries, it’s Gin-Sung; Wendigo in Algonquian; Canadians call it Sasquatch; for years, Bigfoot has creeped into bedtime lore from around the world — even in Somerset County.
On May 14, Paint Township police were called to investigate a set of tracks that the caller, John Winesickle, claimed to have been made by the giant yet elusive creature. As with all these types of discoveries, the truth was anticlimactic — they were simply black bear tracks.
But Bigfoot investigators said it takes a good amount of hairy legwork to deem a case closed.
“A lot of things need to be looked at before you say something’s unidentifiable,” said Stan Gordon, a paranormal investigator who’s been researching sightings throughout the state for nearly 54 years.
People like Gordon are typically brought in by police — Ghostbusters style — to employ expertise that the cops just don’t have. They take the claimants seriously and police can return their focus to crimes. According to Eric Altman, president of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s official stance is that Bigfoot does not exist. With little official recourse or support, it’s all up to organizations like Altman’s to bring Bigfoot out into the open.
He said the investigations all start with a face-to-face interview with witnesses, who are usually “shaken” and firm in what they saw or heard.
They gather details about the sighting such as the date and time as well as environmental and weather conditions. Gordon said footprints can be skewed by heavy rain. Altman estimated about 90 percent of the cases they respond to end up being a common creature that was simply misidentified. Gordon said the most common mistake is Winesickle’s — large bear tracks mistaken for something more mysterious.
“Over the years, we’ve talked to some very credible people but, of course, over the years, there’s been many hoaxes,” said Gordon. “That’s the thing about all these cases. You gotta’ get up there to determine what is legitimate and what is not.”
Although Altman said the generalized Bigfoot description could be tainted by the popularity its legend has received via pop culture, most describe it as being an impossibly tall, bipedal, man-like creature with head-to-toe hair that’s usually a varying shade of brown. This centuries-old depiction factors heavily into the group’s field investigations.
“We don’t go out there looking to debunk. We want to prove that what they saw was a Bigfoot. The only way to do that is to eliminate all the (other) possibilities,” said Altman.
“Some of the things we look for are, of course, footprints, broken branches high up — 6 or 7 feet in the air. That’s a sign something large went through the area.”
Hair and excrement droppings, while extremely rare, are the bits of physical evidence they hope to find when scouring the forests.
“I’m told these things sound as loud as an elephant roar,” Altman said. “It’s very deep and guttural. People claim they feel it when they hear it.”
Altman said the society works with sound engineers, taking the recorded human-like calls and warbles and matching them against online databases of animal noises.
And according to Altman, popular scientific theory is that Bigfoot is just that — an animal — a surviving descendant of gigantoepithecus, a 10- to 12-foot, hairy, bipedal beast of the ape genus. They’re believed to have been the largest apes to walk the Earth and originated from Asia.
Despite its size, neither Altman nor Gordon has ever had a face-to-face encounter with the beast they’ve been hunting for decades. However, thousands of others claim to have met its gaze.
“But they’re extremely reluctant to publicly talk about it,” said Gordon. “Because of the ridicule.”
“What I try to tell people is don’t be so quick to judge that this thing is real or not real,” Altman said.
Source: Johnstown Tribune-Democrat
- LAIR OF THE BEASTS DEPARTMENT -
Born to be Wild
By Nick Redfern
Within the US and the UK, there are longstanding traditions of sightings of so-called “wild men.” No, we’re not talking about Bigfoot or the Yeti, but something more along the lines of primitive humans. And many of the cases seem to have distinct paranormal overtones to them, too.
The respected authority on prehistory, R.C.C. Clay, had just such an encounter while driving at Bottlebush Down, Dorset, England - an area strewn with old earthworks - during the winter of 1924.
The story, however, did not surface until 1956, when Clay shared the details with an authority on all things ghostly and spectral, James Wentworth Day, who penned such titles as Here are Ghosts and Witches, A Ghost Hunter’s Game Book, In Search of Ghosts and They Walk the Wild Places.
The location of the extraordinary event that Clay related to a captivated and enthralled Day was the A3081 road, between the Dorset villages of Cranborne and Sixpenny Handley, on farmland known locally as Bottlebush Down.
It was while Clay was driving home, after spending a day excavating in the area, and as the daylight was giving way to the magical, twilight hours, that he encountered something extraordinary. Maybe even beyond extraordinary.
At a point where the new road crossed with an old Roman road, a horseman, riding wildly and at high speed on the back of a huge and muscular stallion, seemingly appeared out of nowhere. But there was something wrong about this man, something terribly wrong.
In Clay’s very own words to a captivated Wentworth Day: “I could see that he was no ordinary horseman, for he had bare legs, and wore a long loose cloak. His horse had a long mane and tail, but I could see neither bridle nor stirrup. His face was turned towards me, but I could not see his features. He seemed to be threatening me with some implement, which he waved in his right hand above his head.”
It is deeply fortunate that the witness in this case was Clay – a man with an expert and profound knowledge of English history, folklore, and times and people long gone. There was no doubt in Clay’s mind that, having kept the rider in careful sight for around three hundred feet, his clothing and weapon firmly identified him as nothing less than a denizen of the Bronze Age
Incredibly, this would have placed his origins at some point between 2100 and 750 B.C. Not surprisingly, with darkness falling fast, Clay floored the accelerator and headed for home, somewhat shakily but decidedly excited, too.
His interest most certainly piqued, Clay began to make careful and somewhat wary inquiries – of a somewhat understandably tentative and tactful nature - in the area, to determine if anyone else had ever seen the ancient hunter of the Downs. As it so transpired, they actually had.
An old shepherd, who had worked in the fields his whole life, and answering Clay’s questions, said: “Do you mean the man on the horse who comes out of the opening in the pinewood?”
When an amazed and excited Clay replied “Yes!” and asked further questions, it became clear to him that he was not the only person to have seen the enigmatic old rider of the land.
And, a couple of years later, while still investigating the strange affair, he learned of yet another encounter with the ghostly man and horse. In this case, the witnesses were two girls, cycling from Sixpenny Handley to a Friday night dance at Cranborne, who were plunged into a state of fear by the presence of what sounded like the very same character encountered by Clay back in 1924.
As Clay told Wentworth Day in 1956, he knew of no more recent encounters with the horseman. Clay theorized, however, that what he had been fortunate enough to see was undoubtedly the spirit form of a Bronze Age hunter and his horse, both of who had probably died under violent circumstances on the Downs, and who – for a while, at least - roamed the very same old hunting grounds that they had called home during their clearly turbulent, physical lives.
- FEAR OF THE SHADOWS THAT LURK DEPARTMENT -
India: Living with ghosts in the Himalayas
By Jane Dyson
In a rural corner of of India, belief in spirits or ghosts is widespread - and modern anxieties may make people more likely to report being possessed.
I am crouching in the doorway of a tiny but crowded shop 9,000ft up in the Indian Himalayas. I am in the village of Bemni with my husband and two children, where I am doing anthropological research on social change.
Out of nowhere, the shopkeeper's dog bounds up and begins barking ferociously at my four-year-old son Finn. It is a huge Tibetan mastiff, whose night-time job is to protect the village goats from leopards. Finn, who is barely taller than the dog, is terrified, and begins to scream.
While I try to console Finn, the shopkeeper disappears inside and returns with a very old woman. She heads straight for Finn, cradling some ash in her hands. Finn's eyes widen further as she begins to circle the ash over his head.
She chants in a low voice, and blows into his hair. It suddenly dawns on me what she is doing - she thinks he was screaming because he is possessed. So now she is exorcising the evil spirit from my son's body. Finn is transfixed, and his crying gently subsides.
Eventually, the shopkeeper looks at me and silently tilts his head - all he needs to say that it is finished, now all is well. There is a murmur of approval from the assembled crowd and we continue with our day.
Spirit possession is a big issue in Bemni.
There are times when villagers expect to be possessed, at weddings, or specially organised pujas, religious ceremonies. Then the spirit of an ancestor may enter the body of a person, usually in moments of extreme emotion - say when a daughter is being prepared to be given away in a marriage ceremony.
The possessed person might cry, shake uncontrollably, fling their arms around, beat their chest. This is part of village culture and it never arouses anxiety. The possessed person quickly recovers to carry on with the rest of the ritual.
Possession is also blamed if a child is playing up or a teenager is unusually moody. The parent might call on an elder or a Hindu priest to remove the bad spirit from the body. This possession can be quite low-level and continue for some time.
Some young people seem to use possession as an excuse: "I used to be a hard worker at school, but then... I was possessed." But what worries villagers more is to be possessed by a evil spirit, by the ghosts that dwell in the forest.
These spirits can make them ill, or even kill them.
One winter evening four years ago Mohan Singh met one such ghost. He was fetching wood in the forest when a strange man approached him and asked: "Why are you cutting that tree?"
Mohan said the sky suddenly went black as if he had been struck partially blind. The man grabbed at his shirt. The palm of the ghost's hand was on one side of Mohan's body but his fingertips reached right across to the other side.
The ghost's hair fell to his waist and was as thick as a child's arm.
During the tussle the ghost changed in size, one minute 9ft tall, the next the size of a chicken. Mohan felt like he was fighting for his life but eventually he broke free of the ghost, who instantly vanished.
But he returned home with a high fever. "I was possessed by that spirit," he says. The fever only passed after he had slaughtered a goat in a special ceremony arranged by a Hindu priest.
Such meetings are not uncommon. Our neighbour in the village once encountered a fox with a human head. Others tell of talking snakes guarding pots of gold.
While the village itself is protected from ghosts by its many temples, the surrounding forests are full of danger. If someone returns late from working in the forest, people quickly start to worry that they have met a ghost.
Villagers say ghosts only possess those who are already anxious and vulnerable and that is why they are particularly worried for their youth.
People in Bemni are concerned about their future. Climate change and the village's isolation make it near impossible to make money from the land.
Unemployment is a huge problem and people talk about feeling "tension" like never before. It seems a rise in modern anxiety in the village may be making more people susceptible to possession.
Some educated young people only cautiously admit they believe in ghosts. One young woman told me: "I don't believe I will ever see one, but I have seen what they can do to you."
Whatever the truth, the fear of ghosts is real enough. Given this experience, when my children cry it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: "What has got in to you?"
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