4/13/14  #768
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High overhead, the black helicopter hovered soundlessly. Inside, secret high-tech monitoring equipment recorded anything that looked suspicious -- and to them, everything is suspicious! The simplest phone calls, the most innocent of e-mails, the junkiest of junk mails, all raise flags of warning to those who listen. To them, freedom means subversion. Privacy means treason. Innocence means guilt.  They watch and wait, for soon will come the time when once again, e-mail boxes all across the planet are filled with your number one source of information on conspiracies, UFO, the paranormal, and much more - Conspiracy Journal!

This week Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such awe-inspiring stories as:

- The Mysterious Honeycomb Structures on Mars -
- Demons, Djinn and UFOs -
- NSA Used "Heartbleed Bug" to Gather Intelligence -
AND: Why Psychics Don't Win Lotteries
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~

From the Days of UFOs Past - This Fantastic Book!


George Hunt Williamson – known as “Brother Philip” throughout the highlands of Peru, the jungles of South and Central America, and the arid plains of the Southwest – traveled the longest highway in the world, leading him to discover a vast road into the sky that can be linked to the arrival of visitors from elsewhere in the universe throughout the ages.

Within these pages are the stories of the Hopi Sun Clan, including the legends of the “Giant Star.” The secret of the Stone Tablets of Peru. The Time Spanners. The Beacon of the Gods. The Martian Miniatures. Fossils, Footprints and Fantasy. Evidence for the existence of the “Silent World,” and the reality of the Unholy Six.

Also this is the book that gives:
Williamson’s behind-the-scenes battle with the FBI and the Silence Group.
His investigation into the mysterious disappearances of Hunrath and Wilkinson, who might have been murdered or abducted by UFOs.

* The accusations of smuggling and his “association” with a sexy flying saucer pilot whom the FBI identified as a “ravishing woman commandant!”

Williamson, sometime in his life, must have come to realize that, in America, if you try to buck the status quo or change the system you can easily be slandered and identified as a dangerous dissident, whether you are called a communist, a fascist, or a neo-Nazi.

Many of the contactees of the early UFO/New Age communities were unduly slandered, as was the man aka “Brother Philip.” It was also suggested that Williamson was a “Mind-Controlled Soldier” of the Soviet Union, a label he found difficult to shake off during his years of battling with the “system.” How he persevered in spite of all this undeserved conflict makes for a story of true UFO heroism.

For subscribers of the Conspiracy Journal Newsletter this book is on sale for the special price of only $18.95 (plus $5.00 shipping).  This offer will not last long so ORDER TODAY! 

You can also phone in your credit card orders to Global Communications
24-hour hotline: 732-602-3407

And as always you can send a check or money order to:
Timothy Green Beckley
P.O. Box 753
New Brunswick, NJ  08903
Join Us on The Outer Edge - Every Sunday Night!

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Also: Check Out W.M. Mott's Blog at: http://mottimorphic.com/blog/


The Mysterious Honeycomb Structures on Mars
by Mika McKinnon

On Mars exists a patchwork of rectangular ridges, a mysterious feature unique to the red planet. While better and better photographs narrow down the plausible theories, we still don't know exactly what created these puzzling structures.

The first time we saw these geometrical features was with Mariner 9 in 1972. The intersecting, rectilinear ridges almost immediately spawned conspiracy theories about Martian cities, and immediately earned the nickname Inca City. Scientists postulated about dunes formed by annual winds from minimally two distinct directions, either modern or ancient dunes that were buried, hardened, and exposed. Or perhaps the ridges were formed from injections of magma forming dykes, or soft sediment pushed into subsurface cracks, hardened, then exposed by wind erosion.

In 2002, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) took a wide-angle photograph during the spring melt. The larger context shot revealed that the Inca City ridges are part of a larger circular feature 86 kilometers across.

Circles are always exciting in planetary science, and are frequently indicators of impact craters. If this is an ancient, buried crater that has been partially exposed, the ridges could be fractures in the bedrock from the initial impact, or filled-in cracks from the shattered crater floor. Or maybe this isn't a crater, and the ridges were formed by some other process entirely.

Every year, the entire region is covered in a few meters of carbon dioxide ice. During the spring defrost, dark patches are exposed in the rectangular pits. A pair of photographs were taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter during the ice-free months to build a high-resolution digital terrain model (DTM) of the location. The DTM is scaled to a meter per pixel, with variation in vertical relief mapped to tens of centimeters.

Now we have a beautiful, detailed map of exactly what these features look like, maybe one day soon we'll have a single, solid theory for how they formed.

Source: io9


Demons, Djinn and UFOs
by Nick Redfern

In a new article here at Mysterious Universe – titled Did the CIA Possess Djinn Infested Jewelry? - Jesse Woldman notes: “One site I came across advertised a second-hand ring, for around $500. What I found particularly interesting was its description. It was claimed that the ring had been worn by ‘a very successful CIA Agent’ who had used the Djinn contained inside to be promoted quickly within her department and enjoy many positive experiences in both her personal and professional life.”

For those who are not familiar with the Djinn, they are ancient, supernatural creatures who, according to the Qur’an, are made of “smokeless fire,” and are typically hostile, manipulative, and even deadly.

Woldman also notes of this CIA/second-hand ring story: “…this wacky item reminded me of rumors I’d heard previously about how the US Government did indeed have a relationship with Djinn and other entities, in an effort to try to harness these little-understood powers for Military gain.”

This is intriguing, since it dovetails very closely with my own research into how such potentially highly dangerous entities have been the subject of official, top secret interest.

Back in 2009, I met with a certain, elderly Dr. Mandor, who had invited me to his rundown home. Infinitely paranoid and deeply disturbing, Mandor had apparently been at the forefront of a quasi-official project tasked, in the early 1980s, with determining the truth behind the “alien abduction” phenomenon. To say that Mandor was obsessed with the world and lore of the Djinn is not an understatement.

Mandor, who believed the so-called “Greys” of UFO lore were literal Djinn, was also obsessed with trying to call forth and command Djinn - surely a goal of definitively crackpot proportions. I told the story of the creepy doctor in my 2010 book, Final Events. But Mandor was apparently not the only member of this project that had a pressing desire to summon up supernatural entities hell-bent on tormenting the Human Race.

The project was run by a group nicknamed the Collins Elite (its real title still eludes me). I was introduced to its uncanny and dark world by an Anglican priest (who is also a former state-director for MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network), named Ray Boeche.

Back in January 2007, I interviewed Boeche on this very issue of elements of officialdom trying to summon up, and even attempting to control, dangerous and malevolent entities for military benefit. As Ray revealed to me, in late 1991 he met with two members of the group – both physicists with the U.S. Department of Defense - who told him a fascinating yet dangerous tale.

In Ray’s own words…

“I found it interesting because they had contacted me at work; and I have no idea how they tracked me down there. But, they wanted to know if we could get together and have lunch to discuss something important. I met them for a brief period of time on that first meeting, and then they said: ‘We’d like to get together and have a longer conversation.’ I arranged a time and it was quite a lengthy discussion, probably three and a half hours. And that’s how it all came about.

“After both meetings, when I was able to verify that the men held the degrees they claimed to hold, and were apparently who they claimed to be, I was intrigued and excited at the possibility of having stumbled on a more or less untouched area which could be researched. But I was also cautious in terms of ‘why me?’”

And thus it was that Boeche was plunged headlong into a strange and surreal world of classified Department of Defense projects, secret meetings and follow-up dialogues with Deep Throat-style sources, and stories of very disturbing encounters with what were described to him as NHEs, or Non-Human Entities, which many within the UFO research community believe are aliens, but that certain elements of the DoD believe are nothing less than the deceptive minions of Satan: demons.

“I had no way of knowing before our face-to-face meeting if there was any legitimacy to this at all,” Ray explained to me. “I wasn’t given any information at all before our meeting; just the indication that they were involved in areas of research I would find interesting, and that they had some concerns they wished to discuss with me.”

And that’s where everything turned decidedly dark and sinister, as Ray told me…

“They came to believe that the NHEs were not extraterrestrial at all; they believed they were some sort of demonic entities. And that regardless of how benevolent or beneficial any of the contact they had with these entities seemed to be, it always ended up being tainted, for lack of a better term, with something that ultimately turned out to be bad. There was ultimately nothing positive from the interaction with the NHE entities.”

Ray continued: “They felt it really fell more under the category of some vast spiritual deception instead of UFOs and aliens. In the course of the whole discussion, it was clear that they really viewed this as having a demonic origin that was there to simply try and confuse the issue in terms of who they were, what they wanted, and what the source of the ultimate truth is.”

As Ray also noted: “If you extrapolate from their take that these are demons in the biblical sense of the word, then what they would be doing here is trying to create a spiritual deception to fool as many people as possible.”

And as to how elements of the DoD were engaging the NHEs in some form of contact, Boeche was given a truly strange and alarming story:

“From what they told me, it seemed like someone had invoked something and it opened a doorway to let these things in. That’s certainly the impression they gave me. I was never able to get an exact point of origin of these sorts of experiments, or of their involvement, and when they got started. But I did get the impression that because of what they knew and the information that they presented, they had been involved for at least several years, even if the project had gone on for much longer.”

Ray also told me that those involved in the project sensed a dark cloud looming overhead. They were not wrong: there were deaths associated with the program, the NHEs proved to be highly deceptive and manipulative, and nothing good came from such dicey dabbling.

And very much can be said about the Djinn: opening a doorway and allowing such a creature into one’s life is pretty much akin to outright begging for trouble.

Jesse Woldman’s account of the CIA/second-hand ring story, the Dr. Mandor saga, and the incredible account of Ray Boeche – concerning the Pentagon and Non-Human Entities known as NHEs – collectively suggest one thing: that officialdom has indeed secretly done its absolute utmost to engage, in near Faustian fashion, creatures from some poorly-discernible ream (or realms) of existence.

Some may call them demons; others may refer to them as Djinn. But, regardless of the name, they seem eerily similar, if not almost identical. That such entities clearly have an overwhelming hatred of us, however, suggests any kind of ”us and them” interaction should be avoided at all costs.

Let’s hope - for all our sakes – officialdom has learned its lesson. But, somehow, I doubt it.

As Djinn authority Rosemary Ellen Guiley notes: “If you fear one thing in your life, fear the Djinn.”

Source: Mysterious Universe


NSA Used "Heartbleed Bug" to Gather Intelligence

The U.S. National Security Agency has been using the Heartbleed bug for at least two years to gather intelligence, it has been claimed.

The agency is believed to have used the bug, which affects web servers and allows hacker to obtain supposedly secure information, to gather 'critical intelligence'.

However, the agency has denied the claims, saying it would have been 'in the national interest to responsibly disclose the vulnerability'.

Bloomberg quotes 'two people familiar with the matter' in its damning report.

It says the agency found the Heartbleed glitch shortly after its introduction, according to one of the people familiar with the matter, and it became a basic part of the agency’s toolkit for stealing account passwords and other common tasks.

However, the Agency has denied the report.

'If the Federal government, including the intelligence community, had discovered this vulnerability prior to last week, it would have been disclosed to the community responsible for OpenSSL.' it said in a statement.

'When Federal agencies discover a new vulnerability in commercial and open source software – a so-called 'Zero day' vulnerability because the developers of the vulnerable software have had zero days to fix it – it is in the national interest to responsibly disclose the vulnerability rather than to hold it for an investigative or intelligence purpose.'

John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation tweeted 'National Security!? The NSA knew about and exploited #Heartbleed for two years, thereby leaving America's finances open to plunder.'

Vanee Vines, an NSA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the agency’s knowledge or use of the bug.

If criminals found the flaw before a fix was published this week, they could have used it to obtain of passwords for online bank accounts, e-commerce sites, and e-mail accounts across the world.

Initially it was even claimed the Heartbleed flaw was deliberately created by government agencies to spy on us - until a developer has now come forward and confessed to causing the problem.

German programmer Dr Robin Seggelmann told the Sydney Morning Herald he wrote the code, which was then reviewed by other members and eventually added to the OpenSSL software.

He admitted the mistake itself was 'trivial', but added that its effect is 'clearly severe'.

The code was added on New Year's Eve in 2011 and no-one spotted the mistake until earlier this month.

'It was a simple programming error in a new feature, which unfortunately occurred in a security relevant area,' Dr Seggelmann said.

'It was not intended at all, especially since I have previously fixed OpenSSL bugs myself, and was trying to contribute to the project.'

Dr Seggelmann said the flaw was missed by him and a reviewer, who appears to have been
Dr Stephen Henson, according to the logs.

OpenSSL is an open-source program which anyone can contribute to and improve.

Changes are submitted and reviewed before being added to the final release.

Websites are then sent this release to update their systems.

This meant the error moved from development team to the released version and eventually the websites without being identified.

The Heartbleed bug lets hackers eavesdrop on supposedly secure communications.

It was uncovered by a team of researchers from Google Security and Codenomicon in the OpenSSL cryptographic software.

Affected sites, including Google and Facebook, have fixed the problem, but its users have been complaining they're being left in the dark as to what it means for their personal data.

Meanwhile, there are still thousands of websites who are yet to fix the problem, or officially announce the fix - leaving their users in limbo.

Affected sites include a number of Google services, including Gmail and YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Yahoo and Dropbox.

All of these sites have been patched and security experts are advising people to change their passwords on these accounts, even if the sites themselves aren't issuing the advice.

Yahoo is the only major site that has explicitly said its users should change their password.

Graham Cluely from security software company Sophos told MailOnline that while it is difficult for websites to contact individual members directly - and they are not duty bound to do so - given the scale of the flaw, they could be doing more.

For example, Cluely suggests Google could post a link on its homepage for anyone who is concerned about the bug.

'This could link to helpful details and Google's official statement about its services. It would also be helpful for the whole internet community because the site is so-widely used,' he said.

In response to this, Google told MailOnline: 'The security of our users' information is a top priority. We fixed this bug early and Google users do not need to change their passwords.'

It did not comment on whether it would be issuing a statement directly to users, however.

Dropbox tweeted saying it has patched all of its user-facing services and will continue to work to 'make sure your stuff is always safe', but would not comment further.

There is also confusion between what the companies are suggesting in terms of changing passwords, and what the security experts are advising.

People have been urged to change their details in response to the internet-wide bug, but it has emerged that changing login details may not boost security at all.

Some experts are advising users to change all their passwords across every site they have an account for, while others are being a little more selective.

But it has been revealed that the efficacy of changing your password depends on the sites you have accounts for - and in some instances changing your login details may be do more harm than good.

Cluely continued: 'It is confusing and I understand why people are befuddled, but a [password] reset for everything is both unnecessary, and potentially exposing.

'Changing your password on a vulnerable site makes little difference because the site is still open to attack.

'This means your old password would have been at risk, but you're also giving hackers access to your new password - a double whammy.

'If a site hasn't fixed the security flaw, or hasn't told its users it has, then people should assume that site is vulnerable.

'It's good to assume that all sites are vulnerable and be cautious, until the sites state otherwise.

'My advice is only change the passwords on services that tell you they've fixed the problem.'

The flaw was introduced in OpenSSL in December 2011, and was 'in the wild' until Monday, when a new version fixing the flaw was released.  

The worst case scenario is that someone found the flaw three years ago and has spent all that time scraping sites for personal details.

This does mean that if users have bought anything online from affected, supposedly secure, sites, signed up to accounts, or sent personal emails during that time, this data is potentially at risk.

Unfortunately, changing your address and credit card details aren't as simple as changing a password.

The problem with highlighting the flaw - despite the fact it has now been patched - is that people from around the world are running code to find affected sites.

Some of these people are curious security researchers and IT teams, but it could also suddenly be on the radar of would-be hackers and cybercriminals.

This makes the time between the flaw being found, and when the sites patch the problem as key - and the details may be more vulnerable now than they were before.

'We don’t know if someone has been exploiting the flaw beforehand so I don't think we should leap to any conclusions,' continued Cluely.

'However, in security its always best to assume the worst and restart from scratch where possible. It would be irresponsible to give blanket advice like changing all your passwords.'

This is because the fault is with the code used to build encryption software used by the sites as a whole, not just the user's account.

As a result, the onus is on the sites to fix the problem, but as the flaw is thought to affect so many websites, this may take some time.

David Emm from security firm Kaspersky told MailOnline: 'Sites must apply the fix to the Open SSL library straight away, and also, importantly, if any encryption keys have been compromised, they need to be replaced too.'

When asked exactly what details are at risk, Emm continued it 'could be all kinds' from anything involved in a transaction - so that's usernames, password, encryption keys - to sensitive private credit card or address information, and virtual private network (VPN) data.

The latter is key for employers, for example. Employees who access systems outside of the office using a VPN could be exposing confidential and corporate information, as well as their own private details.

This has the potential to affect government, military and other high-profile and public sites as well as businesses - it doesn't just affect everyday users.

It all depends on whether the site uses Open SSL without any other encryption.

The Heartbleed bug lets hackers eavesdrop on supposedly secure communications.

It was uncovered by a team of researchers from Google Security and Codenomicon in the OpenSSL cryptographic software.

The software offers encryption services, such as when people log into internet banking, or into a webmail service like Yahoo.

The fault lets a hacker craft an attack which, under the right conditions, will return small chunks of information from the remote system or service.

For example, it has been demonstrated that hackers can steal other users’ usernames and passwords from Yahoo - although this flaw has now been fixed.

'The big sites fixed the problem very quickly because they have the resources to do so. In some cases the affected sites outsource IT teams, and there will be small and medium businesses to whom this may sound like gobbledegook. This is going to be a problem that remains for a while,' said Cluely.

When asked what users can do, Emm said: 'If people are concerned they can do a quick check using the Heartbleed Test.'

LastPass’ Heartbleed Checker similarly looks to see when a site’s secure encryption certificate was last valid and warns if the server may be at risk.

This flaw has highlighted why its never a good idea to use one password across all accounts - it only takes one account to be compromised to put all your accounts at risk,' continued Emm.

'It’s really important moving forward to be vigilant. Keep an eye on your bank statements and accounts and look for any unusual behaviour. Sanity check everything.'

Cluely added: 'If you do want to refresh a password and you're not sure if the site is vulnerable or not, opt for two-factor authentication.

Twitter and Facebook, for example, already offer this tool and then even if a password is stolen, they can't get into the account without the confirmation text message or email code.'

As its name suggests, two-step authentication involves giving users two security steps to go through before being allowed access to their account.

This can include a text message sent to a phone, or a device that generates a unique number every 15 minutes.

Both researchers stressed that its your information and if you don't feel like the provider is offering enough information, or being quick in their response to the problem, call and email them.

Cluely said you should keep contacting them until they make a statement that reassures you.

Elsewhere, security firm Lookout has created an app that tells users if they're running a vulnerable version of Android on their phone.

While much of the conversation has been about how Heartbleed impacts servers and internet infrastructure, Lookout said it also affects mobile devices.

The app determines what version of OpenSSL the device is using and then checks to see if the specific vulnerable feature is enabled.

Source: The Daily Mail


Guests say Ghosts are Annoying Them at Historic Hotel

SOMERVILLE, N.J. — Someone, or some thing, is tickling people, rearranging shoes and otherwise wreaking havoc at the historic Hotel Somerset, a Main Street boarding house and home of the popular McCormick's Pub.

It might sound funny, but residents and the hotel owner said suspected ghosts that have been reported over the past five years is no laughing matter.

Three residents have complained of their feet being tickled while sleeping, most recently during the past three weeks by Curtis Jones, a resident of the hotel for seven years. Jones said his neck also gets tickled in the middle of the night, and something messes up the order of his shoes underneath his bed.

"I just want it to go away!" said Jones, a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

So does third-generation operator Tom McCormick. That's why he called East Brunswick-based Paranormal Diagnostics Group to investigate.

McCormick said he believes the ghost story because two other residents complained of tickled feet four and five years ago in a different room from Jones, but the same one where a tenant had died many years before.

On two separate evenings during the past week, McCormick said, his new night-vision surveillance system picked up what he said appeared to be three orbs darting in and out of a storage room. He also said that he, his wife, Shannon, and their 5-year-old son have experienced several run-ins with ghosts.

"I was getting soda down in the basement, when I heard a woman or a girl whisper to me, 'Help me,'" Shannon said about an incident that occurred last year.

Two hours later, their son said he saw the ghost of a girl in the basement.

"We get to the bottom of the basement stairs, and he takes four steps and plants," McCormick said. "I said, 'Is she here?' He pointed to the same exact same spot as my wife. I just grabbed his hand, and we ran up the stairs."

McCormick said he called Paranormal Diagnostics Group because they have a medical background and use scientific equipment and evidence to confirm and more often debunk ghostly activity.

Respiratory therapists in a Somerset County sleep center by day, ghost hunters Robert McCaffrey, 48, of East Brunswick, and Dave Orloff, 42, of Howell, have investigated Hotel Somerset three times in as many weeks. They said they have collected more evidence of paranormal activity than typically presented in one episode of "Ghost Hunters," the Syfy Channel cable show that inspired their growing hobby.

"We have several sound recordings and video of flashes and shadows," McCaffrey said. "We're going to continue to investigate."

The ghost hunters said they have had an interest in paranormal activity since their teens. They said their first investigation was five years ago, when Orloff's neighbor invited them to Pennhurst Asylum, an infamous property near Valley Forge, Pa., that his family now owns and markets as a haunted attraction.

Originally, the "asylum" was the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, then the Pennhurst State School and Hospital. According to the 1968 news report "Suffer the Little Children," many patients were abused and tortured, which continued until a 1977 lawsuit led to its closure 10 years later. According to a medium who conducted a séance with McCaffrey, Orloff and others at Pennhurst, the spirits of several of the abused, as well as their torturers, haunt the asylum.

"We've learned a lot since then," McCaffrey said, "and have a lot better equipment."

The ghost hunters use UV meters to measure fields of energy, laser lights and smoke machines to distinguish shadows, orbs and other images, and thermal imaging and night vision video cameras to capture them. After five years, McCaffrey said, they have yet to see a full-bodied apparition but have seen and recorded several other anomalies.

Paranormal Diagnostics also has investigated the Burrowes Mansion, a Revolutionary War site in Matawan, and a Middlesex County home said to be possessed by a demon, whom they apparently recorded asking them less-than-politely to leave. The team also is interested in investigating the Bound Brook Hotel, another Revolutionary War site said to be haunted.

"Central Jersey is loaded with Revolutionary War sites," McCaffrey said. "We would like to investigate each one of them, and see what kind of stories we can find."

The history

The team's interest in the Revolutionary War led them to Hotel Somerset, McCaffrey said.

Established in 1748, the Somerset is the oldest continuous hotel in the country, McCormick said. During the American Revolution, Gen. George Washington ate there and his men slept there while Washington stayed at the nearby Dutch Wallace House, McCaffrey added.

The hotel also played a part in the 1926 Halls-Mills murder trial in which a widow and her brothers were acquitted of the murder of her pastor husband and his mistress. During the trial at the historic Somerset County Courthouse, the jury was sequestered across Grove Street at the hotel.

McCaffrey and Orloff said they haven't been able to determine whether the hotel's suspected ghosts are related to the American Revolution, the trial or any other aspect of a rich history. But a medium told them that she could sense the presence of three deceased children, confirming the suspicion of McCormick's son. Without ever having seen it, the medium drew a diagram of Jones' room and said his closet is a vortex of paranormal activity.

"Something definitely is going on at the foot of his bed," McCaffrey said in reaction to extensive energy readings usually indicative of electrical wiring or appliances.

"We were able to debunk the readings at Curtis' (Jones) front door because there is electrical wiring there, but there's nothing electrical at the foot of his bed," he continued. "So where are those readings coming from?"

McCormick said he recently found out from his parents that throughout their 40-year ownership, five tenants died in the hotel. Another killed himself by jumping out of a window in the same room in which McCormick and his young family had stayed. During the first paranormal investigation of the hotel three weeks ago, McCormick and McCaffrey said they saw and took photos of blue orbs in that room.

In the attic, the team also recorded audio of what seemed to be the name Evelyn. McCormick said he asked his father, Ken, about a connection to that name.

On Friday, McCormick told the team that an Evelyn Epright lived behind the hotel in a home that was torn down in the mid-1960s. As they sat at a booth around a laptop computer, Orloff played back the recording, and McCormick's jaw dropped when he heard the voice say, "Evelyn Epright." He burst out of his seat and yelled, "You've got to be kidding me!"

The team then played the recording several more times at various speeds. The voice clearly said "Evelyn," then pronounced the same syllables and rhythm as Epright. Yet, other than once living next to the hotel, Evelyn Epright had no connection to it, the McCormicks said. But a Dorothy Epright was a waitress there in 1954, according to a city directory.

Paranormal Diagnostics also recorded video in the hotel's attic, from where footsteps often have been heard despite a lack of floor boards on which to walk. As a machine pumped smoke through a maze of laser lights, the team called out to an Evelyn Epright, as well as to the suspected children, asking them if they wanted to play and if they liked ice cream.

In the basement Saturday night, Shannon reluctantly agreed to participate in the third and latest investigation because "the spirits seem drawn to her," her husband said. She said she saw someone suddenly poke their head out from behind McCaffrey, as he and her husband stood next to each other videotaping, the ghost hunter with a thermal imaging camera.

"Honey, did you just poke your head out behind Rob?" she asked.

"Uh, no," her husband replied.

Shannon then bolted up the basement stairs in fright.

"I think it's safe to say this place definitely is haunted, but by who or what, we don't know," McCaffrey said. "We're going to compile all our evidence over the next couple of weeks and see what we can find out."

Source: USA Today


Mysteries of the Deep at Lake Tahoe

If you own a small deep-water submarine -- or know some eccentric big-bucks diver who does -- drop me a line. I'd like to borrow the thing.

Once and for all, I'd like to prove or bust the legends or myths that hide in the depths of Lake Tahoe.

The way this idea came about is that I was told another crazy, unverified story this past week about Tahoe's darkest legend of all. As the story goes, a fisherman snagged something for a moment in the deep water just offshore of the South Shore casinos, but it easily broke free. When he reeled up his line, to his shock, on his hook was the top of a human ear.

This might sound crazy, but in the past 25 years, I've heard different versions of this story at least a dozen times. In one account, a fisherman snags up, gets it loose, and reels up a partial hand where two of the fingers had been lopped off Mafia-style. It is a tale passed around called "The Legend of Three-Fingered Tony."

Many have told me that, if you were to take a submarine down 900 feet just off South Shore, you would see hundreds of bodies suspended in the water, preserved perfectly like an underwater wax museum, most wearing clothes from the 1920s, '30s and '40s.

The legend is that this is where the Mafia killers dumped bodies after executions. Some fishermen even call the spot The Grave. At Tahoe, many locals talk as if everybody knows about this, that there are lots of gangsters down there, wearing pinstriped suits, with sneers on their faces and bullet holes in their foreheads.

This makes sense. It has long been verified that Tahoe is a lake that does not give up its dead. That is because the lake is so deep, with an average depth of 989 feet, and so cold, with the temperature hovering just above freezing. So that prevents the creation of gases that would otherwise bloat and float corpses to the surface as in other waters.

This reality brings bizarre possibilities.

Lake Tahoe, as first theorized by the famed geologist Josiah Whitney, was created by a colossal earthquake where a center block of land collapsed between two faults. It might be possible that another massive earthquake here would disrupt the underwater currents and suddenly float all the suspended corpses to the surface at once.

Another possibility is that the bodies will remain submerged for eons of time, just as the woolly mammoths were preserved in glaciers from the last ice age 14,000 years ago.

Even famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau is said to have had a brush with something horrific in a deepwater dive in the mid-1970s. "The world isn't ready for what was down there," is the quote most commonly credited. Cousteau never released any photographs or data from the dive, adding to the mystery and legend.

Some believe Cousteau was talking about a Loch Ness monster-like creature that locals call "Tahoe Tessie." Unlikely. But if I could get a loaner sub, maybe I could find out.

Apart from Tahoe's maximum depth of 1,645 feet, another legend is that there is a hole somewhere on the bottom of the lake that is linked to an underground river system that feeds into Pyramid Lake north of Reno. This would explain how drowning victims at Tahoe have floated up at Pyramid. Or would it? Others say it just means that bodies floated over the spillway at north Tahoe could be carried via the Truckee River to Nevada and Pyramid Lake.

So this past week, I went submarine shopping. I found a personal submarine called the Gemini, "the family submarine," available for $845,000, but it would only go 150 feet deep. Plus, my boss said the paper probably wouldn't spring for it. So I went to EBay to see if a better deal was available. Nope.

A little more searching led to the Phoenix, "a 213-foot personal luxury submarine," but it was priced at $78 million. That's a little on the high side.

A Bay Area engineer, Graham Hawkes of San Anselmo, has invented a glider- like submarine that he says is certified to 1,600 feet deep. This could be ideal for Tahoe, but the price is well over $1 million. So I contacted his agency on Friday and suggested Hawkes take me on a demo dive at Tahoe. Together we could solve the legend of Tahoe.

Or perhaps you own your own submarine as a great little hobby and would like to take part in this expedition. So, like I said, drop me a line -- just not a line off Tahoe's South Shore with a hook on it.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


A Village of Killer Wives in Hungary

BUDAPEST - The sleepy Hungarian village of Nagyrev does not at first glance seem to be the kind of place where wives could have poisoned husbands. Old women in ‘otthonkas’ — the flowery all-in-one uniform of elderly women across Hungary — water their plants, farmers tend their crops and time passes in a languorous, pastoral haze.

But these elderly villagers nurse dark memories of the time when the women of the village embarked on a killing spree that saw scores of abusive husbands poisoned to death under the supervision of the local midwife.

The secret is now out, however, as the saga has been immortalised in a documentary by rookie Dutch filmmaker Astrid Bussink.

“I first came across the story in an encyclopaedia of serial killers as I was researching a movie about female killers,” Bussink, aged 30, said. “The story haunted me, and when I found out nobody had ever filmed the tale I decided to take up the challenge.”

The resulting documentary, The Angel Makers, will premier at the November 24 to December 4 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival, where it has been nominated in the Best Debut Film category.

Bussink, who is finishing a Masters in Film and TV at the Edinburgh College of Art, spent four months in Hungary earlier this year slowly overcoming the villagers’ reticence to speak about the murky chapter in their history.

“It’s a village of 800 people and they were not keen to talk to us at first; we convinced them we wouldn’t be sensationalist,” she says. The problem is the story is so bizarre that it is hard not to sensationalise.

Conflicting accounts about the exact number of deaths abound, but what is clear is that the men of the village began to die in mysterious circumstances after they returned from World War I.

Police discovered arsenic in exhumed bodies, and finally realised that the local midwife, Zsuzsanna Fazekas, had been creating a lethal concoction by diluting fly paper in water and passing it out to local women to bump off their men.

Bussink interviewed 83-year-old Maria Gunya — whose father was the coroner in the village and a key witness in the trials that followed — and found her memories still vivid.

 “Gunya said that a man came to her father with extreme vomiting,” Bussink said.  “Her father thought he was drunk, but the man said that he felt ill after eating the breakfast his wife cooked him. He died the next day.”
Death by arsenic poisoning is not a pleasant experience. If taken in sufficient doses, symptoms can manifest 30 minutes after ingestion. Vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and excessive sweating follow before the sufferer undergoes seizures and goes into shock.

If death doesn’t occur at this point, the kidneys will fail after a few days. Despite knowing well the gruesome fate that awaited her, Fazekas killed herself with her own poison when she realised police were on to her.

Up to 140 men were believed to have been murdered in Nagyrev, and 26 women from the village stood trial in 1929.

Death sentences were handed down to eight of them and the rest went to prison, but none of the women ever revealed why they did what they did.

Source: DNA India


Why Psychics Don't Win Lotteries
by Malcolm Smith
Readers of this blog will be aware that I consider there to be adequate evidence for extra-sensory perception (ESP), or clairvoyance. So this raises the question - the $64,000 question - which skeptics always introduce: how come these "psychics" never seem to win the lottery? Is there some special dispensation to the rest of us that they are unable to use it for their own advantage?

Well, apart from the possibility that some of them might just be doing so, the short answer is: the skeptics are mostly right. 90% - perhaps 99% - of professional psychics are either outright charlatans or self-deluded. But what about the small residue of genuine cases? To answer that, just look at the claims.

The most plausible psychic anecdotes - the ones most likely to be true - fall into two categories. The first involves sudden flashes of insight, usually involving danger or disaster. The second involves vague impressions induced by the presence of a person or an object - sufficient to predict being decorated by the King some time in the indefinite future, but not good enough to determine whether you will gain the latest promotion, let alone next week's winning lottery numbers. To put it bluntly, nobody's psychic powers are that strong. If you don't believe me, just ask the U.S. intelligence services
Hearing rumours of Soviet psychic discoveries, and fearing they might be left behind, in 1972 the U.S. started looking at the possibility of ESP, and from 1977 employed a team of "remote viewers", as they were called, until the program petered out in the early 1990s. You may have heard about them being employed by the CIA, but this is only partly true. The CIA looms high in everybody's consciousness, but the U.S. has an alphabet soup of spy agencies, and the remote viewers found themselves shunted from one to another as interest and funds fluctuated. Only a minimum screening for psychic abilities was performed - mostly questions about their experiences and beliefs. By and large, they were just ordinary (G.I.) Joes cultivating a potential probably inherent in all of us. An analogy is musical skill; some of us are woeful, a few are naturally gifted, but most people can at least hold a tune. Also, despite what experimental psychic research would lead you to believe, their powers did not wane with time. And, no, the U.S. spymasters were not so stupid as to rely on ESP as such. They treated it as merely another source of data for the big jigsaw puzzle, to confirm or be confirmed by other information, and to suggest leads.
They did have some remarkable successes, and in the process, made a lot of observations - unsystematic, to be true, and therefore not strictly speaking scientific - on the scope and limitations of the phenomenon. Although they did not say so, I would suggest the observations provide an illuminating glimpse at what an advanced technology may be capable of doing, and what, I strongly suspect, otherwordly technologies are already using.
"Once you discover that space doesn't matter [one of them told a reporter], or that time can be travelled through at will so that time doesn't matter, and that matter can be moved by consciousness so that matter doesn't matter . . . well, you can't go home again."

The first constraint was the weakness of the "signal" or, more likely, the weakness of our senses to detect it. It was like attempting to piece together a picture from sudden pin-prick glimpses. The signal appeared to be largely subliminal, that is, it came in below the level of the conscious mind to detect. They learned to get around this by seeking to defer interpretation until the latter parts of the observation. Initially, they would concentrate on raw data, such as incoherent drawings of the image accessed, along with general impressions such as "dry", "steep", or "sharp". Only towards the end, when several members of the team had pooled their impressions, would analysis begin.
Equally, some targets were easier to see than others. Anything with religious, supernatural, or paranormal significance tended to stand out to the inner eye. So were visually dramatic objects which were fixed and of long standing. But, of course, what particularly interested the spymasters were new objects, and people moving around.
More to the point, alpahnumeric details, such as the numbers of a lottery ticket or a name on a dossier, were especially difficult to observe. Only one member of the team was in any way proficient at it. The rest couldn't even count the items they were viewing. One of them, Joseph McMoneagle, was asked to "go into" a huge Soviet building. In a trance, he saw an absolutely gigantic submarine with a very large number of missile tubes. But he was completely unable to count them. Instead, he chose to draw the sub, and came up with a double line of nine or ten tubes: eighteen or twenty missiles in all. His  superiors were skeptical, but four months later, more conventional information confirmed that a massive submarine had been launched, and it had twenty missile tubes.
At one point, they performed some tests by using a computer to vary the probability of selecting targets. It might be arranged for a 66% probability of target one being selected, and 34% target two. Or it could be 99% target one, and 1% target two. It turned out that, not only were the remote viewers best able to see objects which were spatially fixed and of long standing, they were more likely to see the most probable of the outcome. No doubt this can tell us something about reality, if we could only work it out. In any case, it explains why extremely improbable events, such as next week's winning lottery numbers, are almost impossible to predict.
It doesn't mean that gambling is impossible using ESP. Binary categories, such as red and black, or up and down, are easier to predict. Hal Putoff, the head of the unit, and his wife used to use it at Las Vegas. However, it is clear that they treated gambling the way it should be treated: it was a game, and money was only how they kept score. If they won more than they lost, well and good, but basically, it was  entertainment, for which they were prepared to pay a price. The idea was to bet on a sequence of reds and blacks on a roulette wheel after the wheel landed to one of the green '00' markers. But first, up in their room, they would do their remote viewing, and only go down after they had converged on a specific sequence. They didn't always win, but on many occasions they won back the cost of the trip, plus some.
After leaving the unit, two of the members, Targ and Harary formed a company called Delphi Associates to play the silver futures market. On a Sunday, Targ would pick two targets in the San Francisco area, and decide that, if the market went up on Monday, he would take his associate to (say) the Transamerica skyscraper. If it went down, he would take him to (say) Fisherman's Wharf. Harary would not be told of these choices; he would just be asked to visualise where he would be on Monday. If, for example, he sensed salt air and seagulls, Targ would conclude it was Fisherman's Wharf, and advise the client to bet on the market going down. Some clients made real money this way, but pulled out after a couple of false predictions. Just the same, Putoff and his wife tried the same scheme when they needed $25,000 to set up a private school. They trained a number of board members in remote viewing (see, anyone can do it!) and made the $25,000 in a month.
Would you be able to use this method to pick race horses? Who knows? Perhaps it would be best to at first hone down your investigations to the horses must likely to win. And there's the rub. There are much better ways to predict race results. In fact, some people are so expert at it, they are able to make a living by it. They are called bookmakers.
Take my advice: if you want to get rich gambling, then learn how to read the form guides. Or learn how to count cards at blackjack. But if you consult a psychic about next week's lottery, you will be wasting your time and money.
At least, that's my prediction.

Reference: Jim Schabel (1997), Remote Viewers. The secret history of America's psychic spies. Bantam

Source: Malcolm's Musings

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