5/25/14  #773
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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.

This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such trustworthy stories as:

- Aliens? Yes Please. UFOs? No Thanks -
- Air Force Prepares to Dismantle HAARP -
- Was This The Black Shuck? Bones of Giant Dog Discovered -
- Psychic Researchers Say our Consciousness has Unexplained Powers -
Making Their Way in the World of Gnomes

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aliens? Yes Please. UFOs? No Thanks
By Irene Klotz

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, may becoming more mainstream, as evidenced by this week’s House Science and Technology Committee hearing, which included testimony by two well-known SETI hunters, Seth Shostack and Dan Werthimer.

But the hearing took an odd turn when U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican, had the floor.

“I think I might ask the question everyone in this room wants to ask,” Collins said. “Have you watched ‘Ancient Aliens’ and what’s your comment about that series?”

The television show, broadcast on The History Channel, explores purported extraterrestrials’ visits to Earth over millions of years.

Shostack, senior scientist at the California-based SETI Institute, started off diplomatically.

“The public is fascinated with the idea that we may be being visited now, or may have been visited in the past, the so-called UFO phenomenon,” he said.

Then he got down to business:

“I personally don’t share the conviction that we are being visited. I don’t think that that would be something that all the governments of the world had managed to obfuscate — to keep secret. I don’t believe that.

“The idea that maybe we were visited during the time of the ancient Egyptians and so forth, keep in mind that in the 4.5-billion year history of the Earth, the time of the ancient Egyptians was yesterday. So again, why were they there then? What was it that brought them to Earth? I have no idea and I don’t find very good evidence,” Shostak said.

“I think the pyramids, for example, were probably built by Egyptians. I know that that’s a radical idea for some people, but they were very clever and they could certainly do that,” he added.

Werthimer, director of  SETI research at the University of California Berkeley, was more blunt.

“UFOS have nothing to do with extraterrestrials,” he said.

“I think some of these sightings are real phenomena. We get a lot of calls when the space station goes over, although some people embellish and they say it has windows and things.

“Some of it is people’s imagination and we know that because it ties very closely to popular culture. When Jules Verne wrote about flying saucers, everybody started seeing flying saucers. Before that people saw angels. When people watch movies then we get a lot of reports that are tied to what’s in the movies. Some of it is actually deliberate hoaxes for people making money,” Werthimer said.

A bit later, Florida Republican Bill Posey asked about Project Blue Book, a series of studies on UFOs undertaken by the U.S. Air Force between 1952 and 1969.

“I am personally quite skeptical,” Shostak reiterated,  adding that since the 1960s polls show that about one-third of Americans — and people in other countries — believe that Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials.

“I don’t think that that evidence is very good. I think that if we were being visited, it would not be controversial. It’s been 60-some years since Roswell, for example,” Shostak said, referring a purported UFO crash in New Mexico in 1947.

“If you had asked the residents of Massachusetts 60 years after Columbus, ‘Do you think you’re being visited by Spaniards?’ that would not be controversial. I think if they were really here, everyone would know that,” he said.

Source: Discovery


Air Force Prepares to Dismantle HAARP Ahead of Summer Shutdown
By Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- The U.S. Air Force gave official notice to Congress Wednesday that it intends to dismantle the $300 million High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Gakona this summer.

The shutdown of HAARP, a project created by the late Sen. Ted Stevens when he wielded great control over the U.S. defense budget, will start after a final research experiment takes place in mid-June, the Air Force said in a letter to Congress.

The University of Alaska has expressed interest in taking over the research site, which is off the Tok Cutoff in an area where black spruce was cleared a quarter-century ago for the Air Force backscatter radar project that was never completed. But the school has not volunteered to pay $5 million a year to run HAARP.

Responding to questions from Sen. Lisa Murkowski during a Senate hearing Wednesday, David Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering, said this is "not an area that we have any need for in the future" and it would not be a good use of Air Force research funds to keep HAARP going. "We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do," he said. "To inject energy into the ionosphere to be able to actually control it. But that work has been completed."

Comments of that sort have given rise to endless conspiracy theories, portraying HAARP as a superweapon capable of mind control or weather control, with enough juice to trigger hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Scientists say all of that is nonsense, and that the degree of ionosphere control possible through HAARP is akin to controlling the Pacific Ocean by tossing a rock into it.

Built at a cost of more than $290 million, the site has 180 antennas on 30 acres that are used to direct energy into the ionosphere, which is 55 miles to 370 miles above the Earth, and monitor changes in the flow of charged particles. Stevens was the godfather of HAARP, which he helped start two decades ago with annual earmarks slipped into the defense budget.

At the hearing on defense research and innovation, featuring six representatives of the Pentagon, no one said HAARP has a future in the defense budget.

Walker said the Air Force has maintained the site for several years and the last project is one by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Once completed, the site will close.

DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar said, "The 'P' in DARPA is projects. We're not in the business of doing the same thing forever, so very naturally as we conclude that work, we're going to move on. It's not an ongoing need for DARPA despite the fact that we had actually gotten some good value out of that infrastructure in the past."

Walker said the Air Force would like to remove critical equipment this summer to avoid the expense of winterization.

Alan Shaffer, assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, said HAARP is a "world-class facility," but the department does not need it anymore.

"With all the other issues and problems and challenges facing the department at this time, we just don't see that that investment, over a long-term period, is where we would prioritize our investment," said Shaffer.

"No one else wants to step up to the bill, ma'am," Shaffer said to Murkowski.

On another topic, Murkowski asked Shaffer about small modular nuclear reactors for remote areas. She said, for example, Eielson Air Force Base could benefit from "reliable energy security that nuclear power can provide."

Shaffer said the "sticker shock" of an initial $1 billion investment for a small nuclear reactor is a huge obstacle.

Source: Anchorage Daily News


Was This The Black Shuck? Bones of Giant Dog Discovered

It roamed the countryside spreading death and terror – a giant, ferocious hell-hound with flaming eyes and savage claws.

For centuries, the beast that came to be known as Black Shuck struck fear into the hearts of all who crossed its path.

Just a single glimpse was enough to impart a fatal curse; the briefest encounter sufficient to suck the life from any hapless victim.

One thing, however, has always been absent from the many tales of the dog-like entity and its sinister appearances in the East of England flatlands: A single fact.

Now that may be about to change with an answer to the question: Did it exist only in folklore ... or was it flesh and blood?
Recently, 500 years after Black Shuck first went on the prowl, archaeologists were examining the skeleton of a 7ft long dog unearthed in the remains of an ancient abbey.

It was discovered a few miles from two churches where Black Shuck is said to have killed worshippers during an almighty thunderstorm in August 1577.

What’s more, it appears to have been buried in a shallow grave at precisely the same time as Shuck is said to have been on the loose, primarily around Suffolk and the East Anglia region.

Experts will subject the bones and surrounding material to 21st century dating techniques.

But first, the legend. The beast’s most celebrated attack began at Holy Trinity church, Blythburgh. A clap of thunder burst open the church doors and a hairy black ‘devil dog’ came snarling in.

It ran through the congregation, killing a man and boy and causing the church steeple to fall through the roof. Scorch marks still visible on the church doors are purported to have come from Shuck’s claws as it fled.

Local verse records the event thus: ‘All down the church in the midst of fire, the hellish monster flew, and, passing onward to the quire, he many people slew.’

Next stop was 12 miles away in Bungay, where two worshippers were killed at St Mary’s church. One was left shrivelled ‘like a drawn purse’ as he prayed.

In his 1577 pamphlet A Straunge And Terrible Wunder, the Rev Abraham Fleming told how the Satan-like beast came ‘running all along down the body of the church with great swiftnesse and incredible haste, among the  people, in a visible fourm and shape’, wringing the necks of two parishioners as they knelt.

Spookily, a later work reveals: ‘Although his howling makes the hearer’s blood run cold, his footfalls make no sound.’

Subsequent appearances of Shuck – a name believed to derive either from an old English word for demon, or from local dialect meaning ‘shaggy’ – have immortalised it.

An image of Black Shuck is incorporated in Bungay’s coat of arms, and the nickname for equally legendary Bungay Town FC is the Black Dogs.

The bones uncovered in the ruins of Leiston Abbey, Suffolk, were first found by archaeological group Dig Ventures in a project last year.

Painstaking work revealed the skeleton of an extremely large dog.  Estimates suggest it would have weighed more than 14 stone and stood 7ft tall on its hind legs.

The grave was less than 20 inches deep and unmarked. Pottery fragments found at the same level date from the height of Shuck’s alleged reign.

Radio carbon dating tests will now give an exact age for the bones, results that will serve either to enhance the shaggy dog stories – or perhaps to support the far less entertaining theory that here lies a 16th century abbot’s beloved old hunting dog.


According to folklore, Black Shuck appeared during a storm on August 4, 1577, at Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh, about seven miles from Leiston in Suffolk.

Villagers were reportedly sheltering inside the church when a huge clap of thunder caused the doors to burst open and the snarling dog crashed in.

It ran through the congregation, killing a man and a boy, before the steeple crashed through the roof.

The dog then fled, leaving scorch marks from its claws on the church door which are still visible today.

Later the same day, Black Shuck is said to have struck again 12 miles away, killing two worshippers during a service at St Mary’s Church, Bungay, while the storm was still raging.

Clergyman, the Rev Abraham Fleming, is believed to have described the appearance of the legendary hell hound in a pamphlet written in 1577, entitled ‘A Straunge and Terrible Wunder’.

He wrote: 'This black dog, or the divel in such a linenesse (God hee knoweth al who worketh all,) running all along down the body of the church with great swiftnesse, and incredible haste, among the people, in a visible fourm and shape, passed between two persons, as they were kneeling uppon their knees, and occupied in prayer as it seemed, wrung the necks of them bothe at one instant clene backward, in somuch that even at a moment where they kneeled, they strangely dyed.'

Historian W. A. Dutt also wrote about Black Shuck in his 1901 book, Highways and Byways, set in East Anglia.

'He takes the form of a huge black dog, and prowls along dark lanes and lonesome field footpaths, where, although his howling makes the hearer’s blood run cold, his footfalls make no sound,' he wrote.

The legend of Black Shuck is now so popular that images of the dog have been put up in buildings across the town - and the animal is even being incorporated into Bungay’s coat of arms.

There is also a Black Dog Running Club and a Black Dog antiques shop, while the nickname for the town's football club is 'The Black Dogs'.

And the legend has even infiltrated popular culture - with British rock band The Darkness featuring a track inspired by the devil dog on their debut album, Permission To Land.

The track, named 'Black Shuck', includes the lyrics: 'In a town in the east, the parishioners were visited upon by a curious beast.

'And his eyes numbered but one and shone like the sun, and a glance beckoned the immediate loss of a cherished one.'

Source: The Daily Mail


Subliminal Images Impact on Brain

The brain does register subliminal images even if a person is unaware they have seen them, UK researchers report.

The research, in Current Biology, suggests subliminal advertising is probably effective.

The practice, which was first used in the 1950s, has been banned in the UK, but is still permitted in the US.

Using brain scans, a team from University College, London, showed people only registered the images if the brain had "spare capacity".

Subliminal images may be contained in other information, which people are aware of receiving.

The researchers cite the example of the film Fight Club, where a character who works as a cinema projectionist inserts a single frame of pornography into the 24 frames of a film shown each second.

In the movie, those watching were unaware of the split-second shot, but felt depressed or aggressive afterwards.

Although it has long been thought that subliminal images can be detected without people being aware of them, and have been used in techniques such as subliminal advertising, this is the first time researchers have provided physiological evidence of the impact.

The seven participants in the study wore red-blue filter glasses that projected faint images of everyday objects, such as an iron, on to one eye and a strong flashing image on the other.

The strong flashing image meant the participants were not consciously aware of the faint images projected on to the other eye.

At the same time, they were asked to carry out an easy task, such as picking out the letter T from a stream of letters, or a harder task of picking out a white N or a blue Z.

Using functional MRI brain scanning, the researchers found that during the easy task the brain registered the 'invisible' object although the participants were unaware they had seen it.

This was highlighted by activity in a part of the brain called the primary visual cortex.

But during the harder task, which required more concentration, the fMRI scan did not pick up any relevant brain activity suggesting the participants had not registered the subliminal image.

Dr Bahador Bahrami, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, said: "What's interesting here is that your brain does log things that you aren't even aware of and can't ever become aware of.

"The brain is open to what's around it. So if there is 'spare capacity', in terms of attention, the brain will allocate that resource to subliminal activity.

"These findings point to the sort of impact that subliminal advertising may have on the brain.

"What this study doesn't address is whether this would then influence you to go out and buy a product."

Dr Bahrami is set to carry out more research to evaluate the further impact of subliminal words and images.

Source: BBC


Myths and Legends Guarded by Peru’s Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon, apart from housing the most amazing biodiversity, is also home to a myriad of magical myths and mysterious occurrences. I was fortunate enough to have lived in the southern part of the Peruvian Amazon in the Madre de Dios region for 5 months, and I was always captivated by the many mysterious stories and anecdotes locals told me.

I would like to narrate some of these tales which will hopefully have the same enchanting effect on you as they had on me, perhaps even to the extent that you may begin sensing the rainforest’s hot and humid air; hear the buzz, chirp and growl of the animals; and you want to pull out your machete and cut down that ripe bunch of bananas.

El Tunchi

This is one of the spirits that protects the rainforest, and more specifically it is said to be the spirit of people that took their last breath inside the rainforest. The technique of El Tunchi is to whistle a certain tune, always the same short melody, and if you chime in by whistling the exact same tune, the spirit will appear, its wrath will fall upon you and terrorize you.

If you are well-behaved and respect nature by not harming flora and fauna, El Tunchi will just scare you a little and move on. However, if you mow down trees like there’s no tomorrow, pollute the air or displace animals from their habitat, then watch out and take heed! The best advice that even the locals follow religiously, is not to answer its whistle, thus not giving it a chance to “play” with you.

La lupuna

The lupuna is a tree found in various parts of the Amazon. It is one of those beautiful giants of the Amazon, grand, imposing, and well rooted in the jungle’s soil. Its trunk can be as wide as 10 meters (33 ft) when given the time to grow. The lupuna distinguishes itself from other tropical trees because of its “belly”, a part of the trunk that is wider than the rest and bears some resemblance to a human abdomen.

And it has another characteristic: its spirit is also widely known to be a protector of the rainforest. Unfortunately, it is not entirely safe from deforestation but local loggers and lumberjacks are very careful about which lupuna to cut down, because if they choose the wrong species, the tree will take revenge…

You must also show your respect for the lupuna in other ways, which is reflected by the following story:

A local woman was hiking through the jungle and felt a basic human urge. She squatted down near a big tree and relieved her bladder. She returned to town, unaware of what was about to unfold. At nighttime her stomach began to hurt and swelled up to painful proportions. The discomfort kept her from sleeping that night and throughout the next day the pain got worse and the swelling increased.

She called for the help of a shaman, who asked her what she had been doing before the pain started. Had she, by any chance, urinated near a lupuna? The poor woman confirmed and the shaman explained that the lupuna was punishing her for showing such disrespect. “The only solution”, he said, “is to ask the lupuna for forgiveness. If you don’t your stomach will burst and you will die”.

And with these words he went on his way looking for the moody lupuna. The woman waited in agony, hoping that the shaman would succeed in his mission. He found the tree according to her description and spent the night at the lupuna’s feet carrying out his rituals, asking the powerful tree for forgiveness. He took a knife and carefully cut the lupuna’s “belly” and took some of the juice that trickled from the wound. In the morning he returned with this potion and told the punished woman to drink it. Almost immediately the swelling and agonizing pain subsided. By the evening she was up on her feet again, good as new, and with a very important lesson learned!


Many rivers feed the Amazon, serving as water highways to transport people and goods. They are intricate eco-systems and home to many fish species. They are also the natural habitat of the infamous, dreaded anaconda. These rivers have their own myths and legends, including the enigmatic sirens.

Traditionally, men are working in the forest for weeks on end, whether to collect Brazil nuts, taking out rubber or trees, or mining gold. During all this time there is not a single woman in sight. Surrounded by nothing but dense forest and male colleagues for weeks, one can imagine their longing for little female contact. Many have reported that they saw beautiful women singing to them from the opposite shore, trying to lure them to the other side of the river. Some couldn’t resist and drowned in the river’s swift currents. The one’s who withstood the attraction told us this tale.

During the rubber boom at the beginning of the 20th century, legends also tell of lonely and desperate men who trapped pink dolphins living in these rivers and lakes, and made love to them. This would then transform the men into male sirens who went to live with the dolphins in the depths of the river. This is said to be the reason why numerous rubber extractors simply disappeared and their bodies were never found.

El Chullanchaqui

This little creature known as Chullanchaqui is also there to protect the rainforest. He is a farmer, and if you come across a clearing in the forest, you might be standing on one of Chullanchaqui’s farms known as “chacras”. If you return to the same place months later, you will find that it is still a clear area, as if someone had been weeding it and took care of it. Chullanchaqui is said to have a very unique appearance: a tiny midget-like man that leaves a peculiar trace. Those who have seen his tracks say he has a tiny left foot and his right side leaves a round hole behind, apparently the mark of a wooden leg. When he appears out of nowhere, it is often to confuse you, he could be calling you, you will barely get a glimpse of him every now and then, so you keep following him. And when you realize that you’ve lost his trail, you are utterly and completely lost in the dense forest.

A farmer told me this story about an encounter he had with Chullanchaqui one night:

“I was on my way back from a hunting trip. It was about 9 o’clock at night, it was dark, and this is a dangerous time to be in the jungle since it also marks the time when animals like snakes and tigers begin their own hunt for prey. I was moving as fast as I could. It was then when I heard someone call my name. It startled me and I held my lantern in the direction from where I had heard the voice. There it was: a small, sturdy little person walking away from me. Because of the darkness and the distance I couldn’t see him very well.

At first I thought it was my neighbor playing a joke on me, so I called out his name and started following him. He moved very fast ans brisk for a little fella that he was and I had a hart time keeping up with him. I told him to slow down, still thinking it could be my neighbor, and I kept running after him as fast as I could. This went on for some time when suddenly I stumbled over something and brought me to my knees. I looked down for a moment trying to find out what it was. When I raised my head again, the creature was gone. Not a sound, not a trace, gone. It seems as if he had fallen off the face of the earth. Then it dawned on me: I just had an encounter with Chullanchaqui.”

What are these creatures really telling us?

All creatures in these myths have one thing in common: They are there to protect flora and fauna of the rainforest from mankind’s harm and exploitation. Whether you believe in these myths or not, they teach us to respect and care for the mighty jungle, and if we do so, it will continue sharing its benevolent powers with us. Don’t forget that the rainforest filters the world’s polluted air, and it is one of the most important parts of the world’s ecosystem. Thus it is our responsibility to listen to the message of these creatures and protect the “lungs of the planet”.

Source: Journal Peru


Psychic Researchers Say our Consciousness has Unexplained Powers

As we travel through life we are all seekers after something larger than ourselves, a truth known to seers, healers and book publishers through the ages. For Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, a prominent clinical psychologist at Berkeley, her quest began in 1991 with the theft of a rare and valuable harp belonging to her daughter. On the advice of a friend, she sought help from a professional psychic named Harold McCoy, who, with only a street map and a photograph of the harp—he never left his home in Arkansas—told her exactly the address in Oakland where it could be found. For the rest of her life Mayer was obsessed with this feat, as who wouldn't be? So last month, 15 years after the harp was returned, I sent McCoy a picture of a lock—a cast-iron padlock my grandfather had used to lock up his pushcart at night—and a set of New York City street maps. Find the lock, I told him.

Mayer's quest took her into a world where the ordinary rules of time and space don't apply—of dowsers like McCoy, who ordinarily searches for water underground but asserts he can find almost anything by tuning in to the "vibrations" that pervade the universe; of clairvoyants who claim to read minds over the telephone or to be able to see what someone else is looking at, hundreds of miles away; of laboratories where people stare at a pendulum, trying to slow it down with their minds. She compiled her research into a just-published book, "Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind," that she finished just before her death in 2005, at the age of 57.

Her work took her to Princeton, where for more than 25 years engineering professor Robert G. Jahn has been testing the ability of people to influence physical objects by their thoughts. (His lab closed last month.) In thousands of experiments, he has found that they can, but only by tiny amounts—a few hundredths of a percent, a level that achieves statistical significance only because of the very large number of trials involved. Mostly he used electronic devices, such as random-number generators, but he also used a machine of the sort you see in science museums, in which balls tumble down an array of pegs and pile up in slots at the bottom, illustrating how random processes create a bell-shaped distribution.

Volunteers, staring at the display, would try to nudge the falling balls to favor the left or the right side—and it worked! In fact, it worked if the volunteer was in another room, or even in Australia. Another machine, a small robot programmed to travel in a random zigzag pattern, appeared to move in response to the mental activity of a flock of chickens. These facts will either strike you as even more amazing, or else prompt you to call the whole business into question. Even assuming there is a force, unknown to science, that emanates from the brain and can affect a falling Ping-Pong ball, what directs it to a precise location on the other side of the globe? How does the volunteer avoid screwing up a science fair down the street instead?

Mayer consulted with psychics, one of whom, a woman named Ellen Tadd, gave her some startling psychological insights about her own daughter, and later about five strangers she was interviewing for a job. I called Tadd myself, and in the course of a 20-minute phone call she gave me a quick psychic reading of my personality. The crux of it was this:

I see you being very sensitive and in some ways getting overwhelmed by the harshness and negativity and insensitivity in the world. When that reaction happened, there became this decision deep inside your soul to be strong and not be overwhelmed by this sensitivity.

I leave it to those who know me better to judge the accuracy of that assessment, but it struck me as a fairly generic description of a journalist, or a human being.

It seemed to me, reading Mayer's obviously sincere and earnest account of her investigations, that the distinguished physicist Freeman Dyson, who has long harbored an interest in the paranormal, had it exactly right in his foreword to her book: "As a scientist, I don't believe the story," he wrote about McCoy's dowsing for the harp, "but as a human being I want to believe it." It is part of the human condition to seek wonder in the world, to seek communion with a higher power that links us all together with our machines and our chickens. If there is anything stronger than belief itself, it is the desire to believe.

As for McCoy, after several hours of poring over the street maps I gave him, he called to say that the lock was in the Bronx.

It was in Queens.

Source: MSNBC


Making Their Way in the World of Gnomes

Grandmas everywhere own a coffee-table book called "Gnomes," perhaps our culture's most revered account of the mystical forest creatures. The book, first published 30 years ago and aimed at the toddler set, illuminates the child-rearing, dietary and fashion habits of the pointy-hatted people.

But it glosses over at least one important detail, a bit of information that could help endear the little guys to an older, more mature audience: Gnomes love chicken wings and beer.

At least according to a couple of guys who recently took their gnomes to The Cheesecake Factory for supper.

Christian von Lahr and Christopher Valentine work in a different realm than you and I -- that is, they communicate with dead people, as well as gnomes, leprechauns and fairies. Last weekend, they brought their extended "nature people" family to Raleigh for the new age Body Mind Spirit Expo at the State Fairgrounds.

Aside from private readings, in which the men worked to communicate with the dead on behalf of customers, they held a lecture and peddled their books, which include one called "Seeing and Sensing Gnomes."

The men say that in writing the book, they simply channeled what the gnomes wanted them to get across. Their lecture's promotion included the promise of tips on seeing the gnomes in your own life, and with that, about 30 people gathered in the back of the Kerr Scott Building to hear it.

Von Lahr began the presentation by asking how many in the audience sensed gnomes, leprechauns and fairies, all of which fall under the broad category of "nature people." Maybe six or seven raised their hands. Nature people, he said, are of our physical plane. One needn't have any special powers to see them.

"We can all see them if we want to," he said. "They are absolutely real."

And they want to be involved with your life. Have you ever misplaced car keys, only to find them later in the exact place where you thought they should be, a place where you had already looked? That was leprechauns, teasing you a little.

"Nature people are not goldfish," he said in advocating communication with them. "You don't put them in a bowl and just look at them."

Later, von Lahr had Valentine stand against a wall. He inhaled and exhaled a bit, and then von Lahr pointed to a spot against the wall, a few inches above Valentine's shoulder.

Do you see that? It's an elf.

A couple of audience members nodded when asked if they saw a blue blur near his shoulder. I saw only the wall. Soon, Valentine was waving his hand above his head, helping people to try and see the unicorn that had appeared there.

Again, I got only the wall.

But Deb Dougherty of Clayton saw something unusual, namely, the horn of a unicorn above Valentine's head. Why do some see unicorns where others see a wall?

"If you open your heart," she said, "you can see all of it."

After the lecture, von Lahr and Valentine stepped outside for a chat. The men, who are partners in business as well as life, live in Piney Creek, about 45 miles northeast of Boone. They relocated not long ago from south Florida because their nature family, well, enjoys nature.

Von Lahr, 57, said that everyone is accompanied by at least two gnomes at all times. Because he and Valentine are more attuned than most to the nature people around them, the men have thousands of gnomes and leprechauns in their lives.

Most people don't see them, von Lahr said, "because of peer pressure growing up. You're told not to believe the things you see."

For example, kids are discouraged from having imaginary friends.

Valentine, 37, said they took the whole family to the Cheesecake Factory at Crabtree Valley Mall, where the wings are a favorite of the gnomes. But don't be confused. The foot-tall gnomes don't usually leave tiny teeth marks in the chicken. Rather, they feed on the "etheric" energy surrounding the wings.

The men encourage those who want a connection with nature people to set out food for them, but more often than not, one shouldn't expect any to be missing, even after a gnome feast.

"When they put out milk for them," Valentine said, "they shouldn't be upset when they still see it out the next day, because the nature people have enjoyed it thoroughly."

Kind of like my conversation with the gnome-knowers.

Source: The News Observer

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