8/10/14  #783
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They live deep underground in the stygian caverns carved from the virgin rock millions of years ago.  They are the Old Ones, the first to call Earth their home -- but their original home, somewhere in the vast curtain of stars in the heavens, has been lost    in antiquity.  They now sit and watch their descendants on the surface who talk of love and forgiveness,  but scheme to kill each other for the love of profit and power.  They wonder how people who talk of peace and freedom are now considered evil and wrong,  fit only to be taken to concentration camps for the ultimate walk down the fiery path.  Blessed are the peace makers it was once written -- but now,  such words are considered blasphemous and must be silenced. The Old Ones are glad  that they live underground, free from the madness that envelopes the surface.

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

Wind Uncovers Previously Unseen Nazca Lines -
Large Mystery Cat Seen In Los Angeles Area -
Exploring the Poltergeist Phenomenon -
- Take It with a Grain of Salt, Unless You’re an Alien, a Fairy or Alux! -
Woman Says Ghost is Stealing Her Underwear

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

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Here is a direct link to Issue # 42

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The Ark Of The Covenant And Other Secret Weapons Of The Ancients





Here is proof the ancients possessed “secret technology” that made them exceptional worriers. They might even have had the capability to annihilate their formidable foes utilizing nuclear-like devices.

The question is how did they come about such an innovative science? Did they develop such devices on their own? Did God give the “chosen” unheralded power over their enemies? Or were ancient astronauts somehow involved?

David Medina, along with Sean Casteel, Tim Beckley, Olav Phillips, Brad Steiger and Tim R. Swartz tackle an intriguing subject that gives evidence to the fact that the ancients had supernatural powers that were often lethal. For the first time, here is a detailed analysis of the mysterious Ark of the Covenant. Learn how the Ark was built and housed, and how the priests that tended it were required to wear protection clothing to shield them from what we call today nuclear energy. Moses even used the Ark to create a “controlled earthquake” to punish a rebellion by some of the Israelites. The desert ground opened up and swallowed the rebels, and of course it is said to have been responsible for the collapse of the walls of Jericho.

Discover also astounding air battles, and a very advanced type of “Thunderbolt Energy” that caused catastrophic disasters. There are also the issues of Magical Swords and superior aircraft mentioned in various ancient texts. This work contains fascinating insight into high-tech, death-dealing devices that predate our own by millennia. Did humankind develop such an “advanced technology” on its own? Or did beings for other worlds we have come to identify as Ancient Astronauts responsible for such a wondrous but catastrophic advance in the military sciences and weaponry?

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Wind Uncovers Previously Unseen Nazca Lines

The mysteries of the Nazca Lines carved into the Peruvian desert have intensified after gales and sandstorms revealed previously unseen ancient designs.

A pilot discovered a geoglyph of what appears to be a 196ft-long (60 metre) snake, as well as a type of camelid - such as a llama - above an unidentified bird.

These new lines join existing geoglyphs of a dog, hummingbird, condor and a monkey, thought to have been drawn by the ancient Nazca people between the first and sixth centuries.

The discovery was made by pilot Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre as he flew over the hills of El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana, as reported by El Comercio.

Archaeologists are now working to confirm the authenticity of the lines.

The geoglyphs, more commonly known as the Nazca Lines, were first spotted from the air in 1939 when a pilot flew over the Nazca region of the Peruvian coastal highlands.

They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, and the area stretches more than 50 miles (80km) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa, 248 miles (400km) south of Lima.

The mystery about why they were created has been debated for decades.

One theory is that the geoglyphs are connected in some way to water.

For example, a triangular geoglyph at the bottom of the Cerro Blanco mountain runs along the water veins inside the mountain, while the condor geoglyph is linked to local legend, which states that when the condor flies over the mountain, ‘great rains follow’.

Similarly, the ‘hummingbird’ geoglyph only appears in the summer following heavy rainfall.

All of the drawings were said to have been drawn using a single line, that never crosses itself, and were believed to be an appeal to the gods to bring rain.


The geoglyphs, more commonly known as the Nazca Lines, were first spotted in 1939 when a pilot flew over the Nasca planes of the Peruvian coastal highlands.

They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and the area stretches more than 50 miles (80km) between the towns of Nazca and Palpa, about 400 km south of Lima.

Some 700 geoglyphs are thought to have been drawn by the ancient Nazca people between the first and sixth centuries.

The Nazca Lines are drawn into lighter coloured strata which contrasts with darker gravels on the plain.

In general terms, the geoglyphs fall into two categories: the first group, of which about 70 have been identified, are said to represent natural objects, such as animals, birds and insects.

Many of the images also appeared on pottery and textiles of the region. Other drawings represent flowers, plants, and trees.

A second is made from lines and more basic shapes such as spirals, triangle and rectangles.

Archaeological surveys have found wooden stakes in the ground at the end of some lines, which support theory the ancient people used simple tools and surveying equipment to construct the lines.

Most of the lines are formed by a shallow trench with a depth of between four inches (10cm) and six inches (15cm), made by removing the reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles that cover the surface of the Nazca desert and exposing the light-coloured earth beneath.

This sublayer contains high amounts of lime which has down the years hardened to form a protective layer that shields the lines from winds and prevents erosion.

Contrary to the popular belief that the figures can only be seen from the air, they are actually visible from the surrounding foothills.

Paul Kosok, from Long Island University, is credited as the first scholar to seriously study the Nazca Lines.

He discovered that the lines converged at the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Along with Maria Reiche, a German mathematician and archaeologist, Kosok proposed the figures were markers on the horizon to show where the sun and other celestial bodies rose.

Experts believe the Nazca used to dance along the lines of the geoglyphs when they prayed for rain - and many of the same images appear on Nazca pottery.

In December 2012, Professor Clive Ruggles, of the University of Leicester, said one of the shapes - a spiral motif traced in the Peruvian desert - is likely to have been a labyrinth, created as a ‘spiritual path’.

The huge images, which include hundreds of animals and complex mazes in the Nazca desert, can only clearly be seen for the air giving rise to a number of explanations as to who they were intended for.

The Nazca Lines are drawn into lighter coloured strata which contrasts with darker gravels on the plain.

‘They are one of the most impenetrable enigmas of archaeology by virtue of their quantity, nature and size, as well as their continuity,’ said UNESCO.

‘The concentration and juxtaposition of the lines, as well as their cultural continuity, demonstrate that this was an important and long-lasting activity.’

In general terms, the geoglyphs fall into two categories: the first group, of which about 70 have been identified, are said to represent natural objects, such as animals, birds and insects.

Many of the images also appeared on pottery and textiles of the region. Other drawings represent flowers, plants, and trees.

A second is made from lines and more basic shapes such as spirals, triangle and rectangles.

Source: The Daily Mail


Large Mystery Cat Seen In Los Angeles Area
By Michael Martinez

The urban jungle of greater Los Angeles is wrangling with a mystery caught on video: Just what kind of beast is lurking in the pre-dawn darkness?

So far, authorities have ruled out a mountain lion.

But could it be an African lion, just 25 miles outside downtown Los Angeles, in the suburb of Norwalk?

Or, as some wiseacres assert on Norwalk's Facebook page, could it be the mythic chupacabra, the dreaded "goat sucker" fabled in Latin America?

Norwalk city officials are taking the matter seriously -- that a mysterious animal has been on the loose since it was last seen on July 29 just before 4 a.m., according to a time stamp on the video.

Officials are calling it "a large wild cat," the city's website says.

A residential surveillance video shows what appears to be an aged lion with a long, curving tail. It saunters behind a parked vehicle and then appears in an illuminated area, clearly showing an overall image of the animal. A resident mistakenly reported it as a "mountain lion," city officials said.

"Animal was not aggressive -- moves slowly as if aged," city officials said on their Facebook page.

The California "Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed that the large cat-like animal captured on surveillance video is NOT a mountain lion," city officials added. "Department officials still cannot definitively identify the type of animal. They will continue to investigate."

Beneath that notice was one comment that described an uneasy city: "Don't know what's scarier, that it was a mountain lion, or that 'Department officials still cannot definitively identify the type of animal.' "

Police and sheriff's deputies have stepped up their patrols in Norwalk, located among a knot of smaller cities southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities are providing information to residents on what to do if they see the animal.

The neighborhood where the big animal was sighted is at least 20 miles from typical foothill habitat for mountain lions and is near the junction of Interstate Highways 5 and 605, CNN affiliate KTLA said.

One lion expert told The Los Angeles Times that the animal appeared to be an African lion, but another expert told the newspaper that he thought it was a leopard. The video appears to distort the size of the animal, which could be no more than 2 feet high, the height of a sign that it passes, state game warden Don Nelson told the newspaper.

"It appears, in my opinion, to look like a dog, maybe an older pit bull mix," Nelson said in an interview with KTLA.

But he said "anything is possible."

In the meantime, area residents continue to speculate.

"Proportions aren't correct for an African lion or cheetah, but it's definitely a big cat," one woman posted on Norwalk's Facebook page. "By the large size of the head and thickness of the body, I'd say this animal is a young adult jaguar. They've been trying to re-establish themselves in the Southwest for some time."

Source: CNN


Exploring the Poltergeist Phenomenon
By David Metcalfe

Christopher Laursen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia whose dissertation focuses on poltergeist phenomena. I first met him at the Parapsychological Association’s 2012 conference, and have been glad that his web magazine, the Extraordinarium, has allowed me to continue following developments in his research over the past few years. His PhD dissertation, titled Mischievous Forces, looks at the shifting perspectives on poltergeist phenomena in the 20th century, focusing on changing research paradigms in the United States and UK during this period. It’s with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to interview him via email regarding his work and recent developments in his studies, including an online survey of people who have experienced purported poltergeist phenomena (Click Here to take the survey).

DM: What is a poltergeist? How accurate is what we see in the popular media?

CL: Poltergeist refers to a strange phenomenon in which there are unusual noises, such as knocking or scratching sounds, and movements of objects, as if they were displaced or thrown by an invisible being. There can be spontaneous fires and appearances of liquids or objects among other things. These manifestations happen repeatedly, but they tend to be time-limited. They start happening out of the blue, and then just as mysteriously, they tend to disappear a month or two later. Sometimes the anomalous phenomenon lasts just a few days, and I’ve also seen reports in which manifestations stretch across years. It is something that has been recorded as early as the fourth century, and it is likely to have been experienced even earlier in history. Furthermore, the phenomenon has occurred all around the world, albeit under different names and interpretations that are culturally specific.

The historical reports I have read certainly have had their share of strange moments, but most of them are a catalogue of relatively mundane anomalous events. The tea cup slides three inches across the countertop. A bar of soap bends around a corner to fly from the kitchen shelf into the living room. A woman enters her bedroom to find the curtains aflame. Three knocks are heard from the ceiling at 11:40 p.m., but no one is upstairs. There isn’t anywhere near the level of paranormal fury that has been depicted in most TV shows and movies.

This isn’t to say that anomalous events do not bring tension to those who experience them; emotions and anxieties are heightened in many cases since no one really knows what’s going on or what’s going to happen next. In other cases, people are simply fascinated by these events.

The German word poltergeist combines poltern (to make a loud noise or uproar) and geist (a ghost). The word has been in circulation since the sixteenth century, first referenced by the Christian reformist Martin Luther, who the ecclesiastical historian David V.N. Bagchi has written on at some length. Dr. Bagchi shows that Luther was creating a taxonomy of different supernatural beings, including the troublesome poltergeists, which, intriguingly, were also called Rottengeister by revolting Sacramentarian peasants who resisted both Roman Catholic and Lutheran authority, people Luther would have considered rather disruptive themselves. Maybe there’s a parallel or a relationship there, between living resistors and demonic or restless spirits.1

After Catherine Crowe’s 1848 book The Night Side of Nature introduced the word poltergeist to English-speaking readers, psychical researchers adopted the term to discuss the phenomenon. From what I can tell, it was ghost hunter Harry Price who popularized the word through the British press who he invited to investigate poltergeist cases such as the Romanian girl Eleonore Zugun (1926) and the Battersea poltergeist (1928). From then on, it has become a common way of describing this ghostly, physical phenomenon.2

I suppose I haven’t really answered your question directly. What is a poltergeist? I have to level with you, David. I’ve been studying the poltergeist as a doctoral student of history for years now, and I don’t know what the phenomenon actually is. Mind you, I’m not trying to explain the poltergeist. As a historian, that’s not my goal. I take a methodologically agnostic approach to this topic. It is not its reality or non-reality that concerns me, but rather how people have experienced these anomalous events, how others intervene, and how ideas emerge from that. From historical records, it is obvious that people have experienced this strange physical phenomenon. How they deal with something so elusive is what fascinates me most.

Even the best poltergeist researchers have only been able to offer hypotheses as to what might cause it. I know people experience this phenomenon, yet in historical documentation, it is rare to read about their point of view. So a significant part of my research project is to speak with and correspond with people who experienced the phenomenon for themselves, to get their point of view.

DM: How common are poltergeist experiences from what you've seen with your research?

CL: A colleague of mine, the Australian poltergeist researcher Paul Cropper, has been investigating the phenomenon outside of the Euro-American sphere, in places such as Malaysia, Turkey, South Africa, and Jamaica, and each of these cultures has their own set of explanations for the phenomenon. He finds several reports of this type of phenomenon from all corners of the world every month, sometimes a few per week. With the help of online search tools that scan the world’s newspapers, one can seek out the cases on a global scale these days.

When I look at the historically documented records I have collected mainly between Britain and the United States from the 1930s to the 1990s, it varies. In 1966, I see I have 15 cases noted. In 1979, I have eight. In 1982, 15. In 1988, six. What I have been analyzing so far are about 300 British and American cases documented in the archives from between 1930 and 1990, and there are more that were published in peer-reviewed journals, the media, and in books as well. Poltergeist researchers always suspect that most poltergeists go unreported. I think they’re right about that. There are far more occurring than we will ever know about, and most are probably very weak or minor in scope, lasting a very brief period, or resulting in very minor manifestations that remain as part of family lore, and nothing more.

DM: Tell us about your current survey of “Moving Objects.”

CL: As mentioned, it is rare to actually gain the perspective of those people who have experienced these types of manifestations. I am seeking people who have experienced it first hand for my historical research project. The question is simply “Did you experience a poltergeist?”

I define a poltergeist as any combination of the following things:

    Strange, unexplainable sounds
    Objects that apparently moved on their own, for example sliding across surfaces or flying through the air
    Spontaneous fires or appearances of liquid

I clarify, “Other types of events may have been experienced as well. Note: These things must have happened REPEATEDLY and over a LIMITED PERIOD OF TIME (for example, a few weeks or months, occasionally longer).”

I have a contact form online that people can fill out, and then I reply, and correspond with these individuals confidentially. If they wish, they may remain anonymous in any research I publish based on their experiences.

A few years back, I did a preliminary collection of these experiences, and so far two people have completed the questionnaire. I am hoping that more will contribute over the summer. This will really help bring forth how people have experienced the phenomenon and how it impacted their lives – whether it brought difficulties, or if they just carried on as usual, or even if somehow what happened empowered them, or broadened their perspective of the world in which they live. I want to try and understand what circumstances inspired the variety of responses and impacts in ways that haven’t really been talked about in historical studies.

DM:How did you get into this line of research? Have your interests changed over the years as you've explored deeper?

CL: I have had an ongoing variety of extraordinary experiences in my life, and since I was quite young, I shared those with members of my family who also had extraordinary things happen to them. So I’ve always been interested in how metaphysical issues intersect spontaneously with one’s everyday life. I am most interested in how the average person is going about their day and then suddenly something very unusual happens that takes them aback, makes them reconsider what the world is about. As a graduate student, I have always chosen these spontaneous, extraordinary incidents that occur to people without warning. The poltergeist extends from that.

Even before I was a teenager, I was fascinated by Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner, and the Czech writer Franz Kafka. They were all stories about the extraordinary unfolding in ways that shocked and taught people profound lessons, moments and circumstances that surreally disrupted their worldviews and involuntarily lead them to unreal possibilities. It was around this time that I delved into my rural school library’s (and later my town library’s) decent collection of books about ghosts, unidentified flying objects, and extra-sensory perception. Luckily for me, the 1970s and 1980s produced a boon of quality books on supernatural topics that rode on the popularity of parapsychology, transformative psychical experiences, and poltergeists. Some of the books provided insightful overviews of the studies of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), a British organization that sought to evaluate telepathy, survival after death, and other metaphysical possibilities. Larry Kettlekamp’s Mischievous Ghosts, which inspired the title of my dissertation, covered poltergeists and their psychokinetic potential in language that kids could understand.

There is quite a bit of continuity in that sense, but graduate school has certainly changed how I see the world.

DM: How does engaged research in these areas change your own worldview?

CL: In graduate school, I’ve been exposed to so many fascinating thinkers, and from that my worldview expanded and also been refined. Michel Foucault and Bruno Latour, for example, questioning the machinations of power around the making of knowledge has drawn me to think more on how our ideas come to be what they are, and how knowledge shifts and reforms over time. Reflexivity has become a central tool in this study, although not everyone likes to question where their ideas came from. I was doing a presentation on ghost photographs in Dingle, Ireland, back in 2010, and one image was of the Wem “ghost,” proven to be a clever manipulation using a historic postcard.3 One of the people in audience asked why I was questioning such things. Why can’t we just accept the photograph as a ghost? For me, this reflexive process does not close any doors on wondrous things, but it does enable an important critical approach to how people present evidence, such as photographs, audio-video recordings, or technical measurements. I make an effort to balance open-minded, empathetic, agnostic, and skeptical approaches. The middle ground enables me to bring together a wider range of possibilities, I think – whatever has been experienced or what people’s ideas are.

DM: What is your take on the tenor of the study of the extraordinary at the moment? What has historians buzzing?

CL: For me, the buzz is around the annual conference series Exploring the Extraordinary. It was started seven years ago by Hannah Gilbert, Madeleine Castro, and Nicola Holt who were all postgraduate students of the Anomalous Experiences Research Unit at the University of York in England at the time. I have attended two of these conferences, most recently in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – the first conference held in the U.S., with more American conferences planned for the coming years. I met George Hansen there, and his 2001 book The Trickster and the Paranormal, I think, presaged the current interdisciplinary mood that has since emerged in these studies. Even Jeffrey Kripal referenced it at length in his new textbook Comparing Religions. Hansen’s book is required reading as he brings together significant threads between supernatural experiences and ideas, and broader philosophical, scientific, and parapsychological studies. The historians of religion Jeffrey Kripal and Ann Taves have been leaders in interdisciplinary thinking on extraordinary experiences, and people like Jack Hunter (Paranthropology), B.D. Mitchell (Beyond Borderlands), Andreas Sommer (Forbidden Histories), Erika Pratte (Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology), and yourself David are among this new wave of scholars/thinkers/writers who are putting interdisciplinarity into practice in various ways. Exploring the Extraordinary is perhaps the perfect gathering interdisciplinary place, because there is no judgement, and the conference podium is shared between scholars, skeptics, and experients alike.

DM: Do you think that these areas are becoming more integrated into the culture?

CL: Maybe so! The digital age is revolutionizing access to these topics like never before, but there needs to be more outreach to the public. I’m not sure about paranormal culture right now. Most people still seem to be clinging onto belief/disbelief dichotomies in social media and on websites, and there are a lot of egos attached to these debates. Television and news media too often perpetuates that dichotomy. It’s like a dog chasing its tail, and it’s not all that productive. I’d like to think that there are educational projects that are taking the high road and that over time, people will discover them and that it will make a difference in how the public thinks about extraordinary experiences and studies into them. I guess we’ll see how it unfolds.

Everyone who is interested in the paranormal should read the magazine Fortean Times. I think that is such a central and entertaining place to bridge sharing and thinking on a variety of anomalous experiences. Heck, anyone can get that magazine nowadays, even sample issues for free on an iPad or e-reader. It’s such an excellent starting point in thinking about the paranormal in greater ways on a monthly basis. I think it strikes a chord with paranormal enthusiasts and critical thinkers alike.

DM: How does historical work integrate with field and lab research?

CL: From what I’ve gathered, there are ongoing tensions between historical analyses and the studies of psi phenomena (and science in general). I hear occasional complaints that historians get it wrong, but these are usually issued over contested factual details. I’m concerned that there is a rift between historical analysis and its value to today’s researchers. Researchers can benefit from historical thinking on how the making of scientific knowledge is a dynamic process that involves a lot of people with different points of view, methodologies, and interpretations. And historians can benefit from seeking ways to reach out more to active research communities. I like Jeffrey Kripal’s approach that historians should be working with psychical researchers and scientists to write better histories and do better field and lab research. I would add experients to the mix – the very people who experience the anomalies. It’s all a work in progress. We all have something to learn from one another. I prefer a hands-on approach to make this happen, which may not work for all historians or researchers, but it certainly has been working well for me and many of those I’ve been interacting with.

DM: How has running the Extraordinarium website helped in your research?

CL: I started ">Extraordinarium as a way to write about the extraordinary in broader ways – both experiences and studies of the extraordinary. It’s a collection of occasional papers and interviews that I conduct that don’t otherwise fit into my writing projects that end up published elsewhere. It remains a rather niche website, but I get a lot of compliments on it. The articles and interviews are usually lengthy, so it provides a deeper alternative to explore a variety of ideas than are usually found online. I think it’s starting to form into something that brings together broader concepts of how the extraordinary and wonder are an integral part of human life.

Writing articles and conducting interviews has really expanded my own approach in my research. It has put me in touch with people who experience extraordinary things, and researchers who I hadn’t heard of before write to me. I feel like Extraordinarium has enabled me to be part of a wider dialogue, and that has only encouraged me to keep pushing boundaries with my research. While my academic work has been very insightful, the greatest inspiration really happens through personal dialogues with experients and thinkers through Extraordinarium, Exploring the Extraordinary, the SPR, Paranormal Studies & Investigations Canada, and so forth.

DM: Extraordinarium Digital Press also published dark fiction - how does fiction and reality interact in the realm of anomaly studies?

CL: Yes, I have just launched Extraordinarium Digital Press. Since I’m so busy with my PhD work right now, I am starting small, distributing an excellent anthology of dark fiction edited by Maria Grazia Cavicchioli and Jason Rolfe, Fear of the Dark, that received a limited print run a few years back. I collaborated with the publisher, Horror Bound, to transform the book into an ebook and make it widely available. I hope it catches on. It certainly is a competitive market out there with so many ebooks. It’s a great collection of fiction.

Fiction and other imaginative forms are crucial to anomaly studies. Those thinkers who really have pushed the boundaries the most did so by exercising their imagination in their processes, and their ideas have, in many ways, been the most transformative. It’s kind of like how Gene Roddenberry and his Star Trek collaborators dreamt up communicators, tricorders, warp speed, and transporters, and inventive people have been bringing those things into reality in a variety of ways. Similarly, Charles Fort used his imagination and tremendous sense of humour to point out all of the anomalies he could find in newspapers and journals as a way to point out the limitations of positivist scientific methodologies and the possibilities (often dangerous ones) signified by strange human talents, experiences, and events. Nandor Fodor used psychoanalysis, very much a creative interpretive process, to reassess the poltergeist as being centered around psychological tensions. Reading Jeffrey Kripal’s books Authors of the Impossible and Mutants and Mystics is a tremendous way to see the links in how fiction and reality interact in anomaly studies. These very creative people he writes about, from Frederic Myers to Stan Lee to Jacques Vallee, have been making the impossible possible through incredibly imaginative approaches to fantastic things.

The authors who wrote short stories in Fear of the Dark are part of a great tradition of speculative fiction. In this case, the fiction evaluates the origins and enactments of our fears, and provides insights into why we get scared and why we (well, some of us) get a thrill out of being scared. In many ways, it is a nod to the darker side of The Twilight Zone that inspired me so much as a kid. It speaks to the twists and turns of the extraordinary.

Source: The Daily Grail


Take It with a Grain of Salt, Unless You’re an Alien, a Fairy or Alux!
By Red Pill Junkie

In the world of Forteana there’s the fringe, and then there’s the WTF! fringe. Those are the kind of cases most ‘serious’ researchers don’t even want to touch with a ten-foot pole, for fear of losing what large of little credibility they may have among their peers (or at least, what THEY think they have). But every so often, there come a few bold investigators who take a look into these highly strange cases, for they know there might just be a hidden clue inside of them; a sign that could reveal some sort of pattern emerging from these “damnedest of the damned” reports, when viewed from a larger scope.

A method in the madness, if you will.

One of those bold souls is iconoclast UFOlogist Jacques Vallee. Ever since he dared to take his scientific hat off when he wrote Passport to Magonia, he decided to pay attention to many similarities between ancient folklore and the close encounters of the 3rd kind. A decision that proved fruitful, and forced him to rethink his previous ideas about the UFO phenomenon —turning him into something of a heretic to many of his colleagues, especially the ones who were seeking a way to “kick the tires” of one of those elusive flying saucers.

In chapter two of his book "Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact," Vallee relates the peculiar story of Joe Simonton, an elderly chicken farmer who lived alone in a small house in the vicinity of Eagle River, Wisconsin. On the morning of April 18, 1961, while Mr. Simonton was busy with his daily chores, he was suddenly alerted by a scratching noise he later described to the investigators as “knobby tires on a wet pavement.” When he went out to see what was going on, he was faced with a sight out of the covers of Amazing Stories: a silvery disk shaped like 2 inverted bowls of around 30 feet in diameter, hovering close to the ground without actually touching it.

Suddenly a hatch opened, and Simonton was able to observe 3 occupants inside the craft, which he described as “resembling Italians” due to their dark hair and olive skin. The UFOnauts wore black, close-fitting outfits with turtleneck tops and knit helmets (!).

One of the men held up a jug which seemed to be made of the same chrome-like metal than the saucer, and without saying a word he gestured Simonton to indicate they wanted some water. Simonton took the jug and went inside the house to fill it in his sink, and when he returned he took a better look at the interior of the craft, with all the de-rigueur retro-futuristic instrument panels often described in the close encounter reports of that era; it was then that Simonton noticed one of these questionably-fashioned Italians (knit helmets, seriously?) was “frying food on a flameless grill of some sort”. When he made a motion to make the men know he was interested in their food –notice an absence of the telepathic communication which is almost universal in the more modern close encounters, particularly in abduction experiences– the one who might have been the leader –his pants had a narrow red trim around the trousers– handed him three of the thin cookies, which were about three inches long and perforated with small holes.

After this bizarre trade was concluded, one of the UFOnauts proceeded to close the hatch, which fitted so perfectly in the saucer’s hull Simonton could barely see its outline. The object then rose about 20 feet before taking off straight south, with such an enormous speed it bent some nearby pine trees in its trail.

Simonton then proceeded to do a very un-American thing: he ventured to taste one of these examples of truly foreign cuisine. His conclusion –now more according to the behavior of his countrymen– was that the alien pancake “tasted like cardboard.” Defying the laws of gravity and inertia is one thing, but clearly those “Italians” could learn a thing or two from their counterparts in OUR dimension.

Simonton kept one of the two remaining cookies, and gave the last one to the Air Force investigators, who interviewed him on behalf of project Blue Book after being alerted by the local sheriff, who vouched for the honesty of this lonely chicken farmer and stated that, in his opinion, the witness obviously believed this incredible event had actually happened.

The Air Force sent the pancake to the Food and Drug Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, where it was thoroughly analyzed. The conclusion:

    The cake was composed of hydrogenated fat, starch, buckwheat hulls, soya bean hulls, wheat bran. Bacteria and radiation readings were normal for this material.

In other words, there was nothing particularly extraordinary about this seemingly ordinary piece of evidence. No exotic spice from Alpha Centauri, or any other element which couldn’t have originated here on Earth. As for Simonton’s account, the Blue Book psychologists attributed it to some mental aberration which triggered the lonely farmer to insert a dream he had into his waking consciousness, therein producing a daylight hallucination of some sort.
Hector Quintanilla, last chief officer of Blue Book, examining material evidence gathered by the Air Force project. Notice Simonton's pancake in the front

Joe Simonton’s story could have ended up only as a colorful footnote in the improbable annals of some supermarket tabloid  –“Man Eats a Pancake from Pluto!”– were it not for the diligence of Jacques Vallee, whose research in Western folklore allowed him to notice some tantalizing coincidences between Simonton’s alien cookies, and the food of the fay folk as described in Walter Evans-Wentz book The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, first published in 1909.

    It is interesting that the analysis performed for the Air Force did not mention the presence of salt in the pancakes given to Simonton. Indeed, Evans-Wentz was told by an Irishman who was quite familiar with the Gentry [Irish folk term for the fairies] that “they never taste anything salt, but eat fresh meat and drink pure water.” Pure water is what the saucer men took from Simonton. ~Excerpt from J. Vallee’s Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact

So here is what appears to be a link, as bizarre and nonsensical as it may initially seem, between a modern UFO close encounter and the European folklore. But what about other cultural traditions? Could we find other examples in which salt is a key component between the interactions of humans and supernatural beings? The answer seems to be a resounding YES.

In my constant meanderings through the world wide web, while doing some research on the enigmatic Aluxob –the sprite-like entities which are part of the Mayan mythology, and are still venerated to this day by their descendants in the Yucatán peninsula– I stumbled upon a very curious folk tale attributed to a man named José Norberto Uc Colí, telling the story of a farmer who once found himself in a most peculiar and frightful circumstance: A duel to the death with one of these Mayan pixies!

The story goes like this (and bear with me, since I’m translating the text from Spanish as best as I can, while at the same time adding my own spin): Once upon a time, there was a farmer who every morning before dawn went out to attend to his field, located high in the mountain. For years the land had been generous with its fruits and the farmer was prosperous, and the forest animals and the birds would regularly feed off the plants inside the field before he came to work, but he wouldn’t mind since the crops were plentiful enough.

One day the farmer found his field destroyed and his crops completely ruined. Blaming the animals and the birds, he went on a furious killing rampage against the culprits of his misfortune; he hunted down the deer, the boar, the badger and the squirrel; he also killed the birds, both the small and the large ones, and when they tried to flee the birds would squawk very loudly to alert the other creatures from the farmer’s rage.

The next Friday morning when he was climbing up to the field, before he crossed the gate the farmer found himself surrounded by an eerie silence; suddenly he heard a loud voice coming out of nowhere, and the voice said this:

    –”From this day on you shall not put another foot on this ground, for you are an ungrateful man and evil has taken hold of you; because you no longer love your family who for many years accompanied you in your toil of this land, which has given them sustenance for so long; you have forsaken the sacrifices you used to perform with all your heart and as payment you always reaped a good yield, even though your neighbors didn’t enjoy the same luck.”

The farmer understood that the voice was that of an Alux, a spirit guardian of Nature, who was recriminating him for discontinuing the ritual offerings he used to perform with diligence, as rightful payment for the plentiful crops he obtained from the land.

But the farmer refused to listen, for he was still convinced it was the animals and the birds the ones who destroyed his crops; he hadn’t yet understood the damage had been done by the tricksterish Alux, who –in accordance to the conduct of most Twilight creatures– had viciously turned on him when it felt cheated.

So the farmer told the Alux it has no right to prevent him from entering his own property. This infuriated the supernatural being –like most of its kind across all cultures, the Mayan duende is portrayed by the legend as very temperamental–  resulting in the Alux challenging the man to a duel to the death, to be held next Tuesday before dawn. The farmer valiantly accepts and insults the Alux, calling him short and ugly; at that same moment a wasp stings him in the eyebrow, which caused him to close his eyes in pain, and when he opened them again he saw a great number of venomous snakes coiled around the posts of the field’s gate, prompting him to quickly back away from the entrance and flee.

When the farmer returned to his home, his wife is puzzled by her husband’s arriving so unusually early, and she asked him if something was wrong. He angrily told him about his encounter with the Alux and the duel he agreed to have with it, and his wife then related how her grandfather once told her that anyone who is ever threatened by the sprite and try to escape from it, never live to tell the tale. The wife is also worried that all who were killed by the Alux don’t even get to rest in peace in the afterlife; they are doomed to be reincarnated into animals instead.

It was then that it dawned on the reckless farmer just how totally screwed he really was, because he remembered that no firearm made by man had any effect on these creatures, whereas the Alux carried a little shotgun that was lethal –Nice time to remember that little detail, dude!

His wife recommended to her husband to seek the help of the village elders, for maybe one among them knew some ancient secret that might be useful. The farmer did as he was told, but none of the seniors in his community knew anything that could help him in his hour of need. The hopeless farmer returned to his home, so worried that he lost all appetite, and did nothing but wait for the hour when he would have to meet the deadly Alux… and his death.

But then a very tired old man arrived to the village, and when he encountered the troubled farmer, the old man asked what was wrong with him. The farmer evaded the question, for he had lost all hope by then, but the old man replied that he knew what was tormenting the poor farmer, but first this enigmatic stranger requested a glass of water and a cigar, before giving him the solution to his dilemma.

The farmer’s eyes grew bright with joy when he heard the words of the old man, and he rapidly brought the water and cigar, inviting the stranger to sit down and make himself comfortable. The the old man did as told, and without never asking the farmer to relate his encounter with the Alux, this is what he told him:

    –”Today go and buy 5 metres of raw blanket, and without ever dipping it in water cut the cloth to make you a shirt with it that will cover you from head to toes, and make sure not to leave any holes in it, for you could be killed through them. Only leave a single orifice that you may use to see the Alux, and when the time comes don’t get upset first, let the alux speak and insult you all it wants, and when it tells you to shoot first don’t do so; remind it of its threat to kill you and taunt the Alux to open fire, recite the magic words “Xma-ichquil tzoroz” and the creature will not be able to resist itself, and when it shoots stay still and don’t move; from your spot you will shoot it with bullets made of salt and smoked with burned dry chili peppers [emphasis mine].

The farmer thanked the old man profusely and prepared to follow the instructions of who undoubtedly was some sort of wise shaman in disguise –that or someone with even a worse fashion sense than Joe Simonton’s Italians…

Thus the farmer prepared himself for the duel with the Alux by following the advice of the shaman fashionista. Once again, before he crossed the entrance of the field, he heard the voice of his supernatural foe, commending the farmer for his courage, but mocking the strange attire he was wearing (the blanket shirt). The Alux told the farmer to make haste and shoot first, for the hour was growing late and the Nature spirit needed to attend to his Aluxing business elsewhere, but the farmer refused and taunted the being to make the first shot, since the Alux was the one who had threatened him not to set foot on his land. The farmer recited the strange incantation given to him by the old man, and with this the Alux couldn’t contain itself and made fire, yet all the bullets in its tiny rifle were spread all over the ground, not one ever even touching the raw canvas shielding the farmer –I’m giving myself some poetic license in assuming the Alux’s rifle was tiny, since the legend doesn’t really describe it; it doesn’t even describe the appearance of the Mayan pixie! Perhaps the author just assumed anyone would know what these beings look like, just as no one would bother to describe the appearance of a cat to a modern audience.

But getting back to the climax of our story, when the farmer saw his chance he fired his own gun at the Alux, and presently a great and terrible scream was heard, and the goblin duelist fell; but before its body touched the ground, the Alux transformed itself into a fox (!), and in this shape crawled wounded out of the farmer’s field.

The man wasn’t able to enjoy his victory, for a complete silence fell all around him; unnerved he fled back to his home.

The defeat of the Alux carried a heavy price for the farmer, though. He did manage to live to tell the tale, yes; but his field turned barren and dry from that day on, never to produce any more crops for the wicked man, who thought he could cheat the forces of Nature without any punishment.

Here the story ends, so what should we make of it? To the attentive reader, there are a number of interesting similarities with other folk tales hailing from different cultural traditions; like for example the Alux’s ability to shape-shift into a fox –and before you ask, YES there are foxes living in Mexico and the regions inhabited by the Maya–  not to mention a number of elements which are also present in Fortean cases presumed to be real-life events (the “cone of silence” often reported by witnesses).

But the main reason why I chose to share the story with you, was the salt. Here is not just a matter of a complete absence of salt in the composition of the pancakes offered to Simonton by the saucer occupants, or the Fay folk’s distaste of it as recorded by the Celtic traditions; in this instance salt is shown as lethal to an otherwise invincible creature.

But why?

Unless one suspects all these Fortean beings share an evolutionary link with the common slug, there has to be some other reason why salt –one of the most abundant minerals on Earth, and one that is essential for life, since our bodies can’t produce it– doesn’t agree with them.

The mentioning of firearms in the Alux story, clearly shows the tale is not older than the arrival of the Conquistadors to the New World, so an skeptic could say that the salt reference is linked with the Christian superstition of throwing salt over your left shoulder whenever you spill some over the table, as it’s meant to blind the devil waiting there; yet why should Satan be vulnerable against a little pinch of good ole sodium chloride? Why is salt used in magical rituals to create protection circles meant to guard the practitioner against evil spirits? Why why WHY???
Screenshot from the TV series Supernatural: Casting a protection circle with salt

Even though I find myself unable to answer these questions, perhaps someone else will: Last April, Micah Hanks had Joshua Cutchin as a guest in the Gralien Report radio program. Joshua, who was indirectly responsible for the writing of this essay, is currently investigating the uncanny relationships between Fortean phenomena and food, in preparation for a book he’s working on; maybe he will be able to provide another missing clue in this culinary quest.

But in the meantime, here’s a little suggestion to Fortean investigators: Don’t be afraid of pursuing pieces of evidence that are seemingly-nonsensical, because these mysteries are NOT supposed to follow any logic –by any normal standards anyway.

And to any alien abductee reading this: Forget about surveillance equipment and sensor lights! Instead draw a salt circle around your bed, keep a big salt shaker near your night lamp, and consider eating a large pizza with LOTS of anchovies every night.

Source: Mysterious Universe

All We Zombies

When the French chemist Michel-Eugene Chevreul, who discovered the margarine, received a pendulum as a gift in 1812, he was really surprised. As he was told, the pendulum worked as a detector of occult forces: it only oscillated when held in the air over water, metals or living things. When a different material was put between the pendulum and the metal, however, the oscillation ceased. He could verify it himself, holding the pendulum. It was not a fraud. It worked as magic.

But Chevreul was a scientist, and he knew that it is not enough to eliminate the possibility that other people may deceive him. We also deceive ourselves.

Chevreul then conducted a series of experiments, among them the simplest of all, but that nobody had done until then. He simply blindfolded himself and asked another person to place and remove objects under the pendulum without his knowledge. All of a sudden, the pendulum stopped working as a magic detector of materials.

Chevreul discovered the simple basic fact that he was indeed the one moving the pendulum and it only reflected his own knowledge. No magical forces included.

On the other hand, Chevreul knew that he was not consciouly making those movements, which were nevertheless intelligent and coherent. His expectations were being transmitted to the pendulum unconsciously. This unusual effect would be called the ideomotor effect, and further study of it would prove even complex movements may be accomplished unconsciously.

In a previous post we saw how our own conscience and free will are not what they seem to be. That intelligent unconscious movements can emerge should not be surprising: it is the same that happens with our own conscience. The only difference is that such movements are not felt as being ours, they are not tagged by our conscience.

Which brings us to the zombies.


Libet’s famous experiment on the free will evidenced that almost half a second before we feel we made a decision, our brain has already been taking steps in such direction, exhibiting the so-called “readiness potential”. Our free will, at least as the freedom of making decisions the moment we feel we made them, is an illusion.

But if the readiness potential already indicates that we will make a decision, couldn’t we create a machine to foresee our decisions before we feel we made them?

Surprise: this has been already done, even before Libet’s famous experiment.

In 1963, William Grey Walter asked some subjects to control a slideshow with a button. What they didn’t know was that the button was not connected. What was connected were the sensors on their heads, measuring the readiness potential in their brains. As soon as the potential to press the button was detected, the slideshow went forward.

The result was reportedly bizarre. The subjects said that the slideshow seemed to predict their decisions. Amazingly, Walter created a precognitive machine more than forty years ago.

Though it may seem the easiest explanation, the experiments by Libet and Walter are not evidence of time travel: they are evidence of the illusion of our free will. Chevreul’s pendulum and all the other applications of the ideomotor effect are also evidence of the illusion of our consciouness: our unconscious may behave as a sentient being, fooling even ourselves. But it’s all on our own mind. The alien hand syndrome is one extreme demonstration of it.

Walter was also a pioneer of robotics, and his most famous robots were the “electronic tortoises” Elsie and Elmer. They were the first autonomous robots in history, half a century before the Roomba. Elsie and Elmer moved freely, without programmed paths, in search of light sources that indicated where they could recharge their batteries.

Given his studies of free will, it’s very relevant to note he described the electronic tortoises’ movements as showing signs of… free will.

Which brings us finally to the point. If something acts exactly as if it has free will and consciousness, does it actually have free will and consciousness?

It is a philosophical question, and to some, the answer is no. Even if a robotic descendant of Walter’s electronic tortoises behaves exactly as a human being would, showing all of the responses suggesting conscience and free will, that would not mean that it actually has any of it. It would still lack something, maybe a soul, a spirit. Without them, it would be a philosophical zombie.

But the experiments and cases that we saw demonstrate that consciousness and free will are much more complex and hard to define than they look.

We don’t have to wait for a Terminator T-1000 model capable of befriending John Connor and saying “Hasta la vista, baby”, to finally question the popular (and even religious) ideas about consciousness, free will or even soul.

We already live every day with clear demonstrations that unconscious phenomena can have all the appearance of consciousness.

The thing that moved Chevreul’s pendulum was a philosophical zombie. And it lived inside his mind. What’s the difference between it and Chevreul? Play with the pendulum, and ask if you’re not a “zombie” yourself.

Source: Forgetomori

Do Inanimate Objects Have Thoughts and Feelings?
By Tara MacIsaac

Scientists and philosophers have long debated what level of consciousness, if any, animals and plants have. Some philosophers have even questioned the existence of all but their own minds, being unable to say with absolute certainty that other human beings have consciousness. These questions all relate to beings we label as “living” or “organic.”

But what about inanimate objects? Could they be sentient? It may sound like a crazy idea at first, but some modern scientists (not to mention prominent thinkers throughout history, such as Plato), say it’s possible.

“The idea that the thermostat that regulates the temperature in your house is even vaguely aware of what it is doing certainly goes against ‘common sense,’” wrote Henry P. Stapp, a theoretical physicist at the University of California–Berkeley who worked with some of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, in a paper about the interaction of mind and matter. Nonetheless, he said, the idea of panpsychism—that all matter has consciousness—is worth discussing in relation to quantum mechanics.

In quantum mechanics, the link between mind and matter is so central that it is “rather unnatural and seemingly retrograde even to consider the possible existence of events that are not psycho-physical in character,” he said. The act of observation, an act of human consciousness, has been shown to influence the physical reality of experiment results.

Stapp does, however, leave room in his theories for events that are purely physical, events that have nothing to do with consciousness. Cognitive scientist and philosopher David Chalmers takes it a step further.

He says it is possible that consciousness is a fundamental building block of physics, and thus it exists in all things—from human beings down to photons.

Chalmers is a philosophy professor and head of consciousness studies at the Australian National University and at New York University. In a TED Talk earlier this year, he said science is at a sort of impasse in its study of consciousness, and “radical ideas may be needed,” to move forward. “I think that we may need one or two ideas that may initially seem crazy.”

One such idea is panpsychism.

Admitting it may seem a “kooky” idea, he noted: “Although the idea seems counterintuitive to us, it’s much less counterintuitive to people from different cultures where the human mind is seen as much more continuous with nature.”

In the past, physics had to incorporate newly discovered fundamental building blocks, such as electromagnetism, that were unexplained by more basic principles. He wonders whether consciousness is another such building block.

“Physics is curiously abstract,” he said. “It describes the structure of reality using a bunch of equations, but it doesn’t tell us about the reality that underlies it.” He quoted a question posed by Stephen Hawking: “What puts the fire into the equations?”

Maybe consciousness puts the fire into the equations, Chalmers said. The equations stay as they are, but we see them as means for describing the flux of consciousness.

“Consciousness doesn’t dangle outside the physical world as some kind of extra, it’s there right at its heart,” he said.

Chalmers doesn’t claim photons have the same kind of consciousness as human beings, but they could have a sort of primal awareness.
Similar thoughts on the different levels of awareness were explored in Ancient Indian scriptures and by 17th-century German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. They suggested inorganic beings are in a sleep-like state; animals are aware but perhaps in a dream-like state; humans are aware that they are aware—they are more awake than animals.

In some Native American traditions, rocks are viewed as having consciousness and a rock may even be referred to as “grandfather rock.” The rocks are aware, for example, of having been moved from their resting places. In Eastern spiritual thought, it is sometimes said a soul can reincarnate not only as a human being, but also as a plant, animal, or even as a rock.

Famed philosophers who have espoused some form of panpsychism include Plato, Baruch Spinoza, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Bertrand Russell.

Russell wrote in “An Outline of Philosophy” (1927): “My own feeling is that there is not a sharp line, but a difference of degree [between mind and matter]; an oyster is less mental than a man, but not wholly un-mental.” He said memory is a key aspect of consciousness and inanimate objects have a sort of memory: “We cannot, on this ground [of memory], erect an absolute barrier between mind and matter. … [I]nanimate matter, to some slight extent, shows analogous behavior.”

Stapp also expressed the opinion that “The boundary between life and non-life is probably not completely sharp.”

The late Cleve Backster, whose experiments in the 1960s supported the idea that plants may have consciousness, also showed that eggs and yogurt could react to threats. Backster was a specialist in polygraph testing. Some of his results are explained by Lynne McTaggart in her book, “The Intention Experiment”: “The live bacteria in yogurt displayed a reaction to the death of other types of bacteria, and yogurt even evidenced a desire to be ‘fed’ with more of its own beneficial bacteria. Eggs registered a cry of alarm and then resignation when one of their number was dropped in boiling water.”

She explained that, “Backster even demonstrated that bodily fluids … registered reactions mirroring the emotional state of their hosts.”

Chalmers calls for a study of human consciousness that goes beyond testing the correlation between parts of the brain and conscious experiences. “This is still a science of correlations, it’s not a science of explanations. … We know that these brain areas go along with certain kinds of conscious experience, but we don’t know why they do,” he said. Studies that look beyond the brain may find consciousness in surprising places.

Source: The Epoch Times

Woman Says Ghost is Stealing Her Underwear

A woman called in ghostbusters - after claiming a pervy poltergeist was stealing her KNICKERS.

Terrified Pauline Hickson has moved house seven times in two years - but claims the saucy spirit has followed her around the country, hiding her knickers and bras.

But now, Pauline, from Hull, East Yorks, has called in a professional ghost-buster - who says he has banished the ghost for good.

Pauline, 58, said: "I thought I was going crazy. I didn't know why it was happening to me, it was like living through hell and I had no one to turn to.

"I'd come home from work and all my things would have been rifled through.

"My underwear was going missing and someone had been in my shower - all the windows would be steamed up and the shower all wet.

"I thought my family were doing it to me. I didn't believe anyone and I started to lose people from my life. I would spend all day just wandering around the streets, trying to stay out of the house."

The spooky happenings started two years ago, after she moved into a bungalow in north Hull.  Within a few weeks of living there, Pauline said she felt a presence she could not explain and strange things would happen while she was out of the house.

Pictures started slipping off the walls, the shower room was being used and there were scratches left up and down the doors, Pauline claimed.

She says she would come in from a day out and be greeted by the mess left behind by the ghosts, who she says would also rifle through her belongings, send the temperature either soaring or plummeting in her home and even leave her a cup and spoon out ready for a hot drink.

And despite leaving her flat and moving in with friends and family, wherever she went, the spooky happenings continued.

Pauline said: "One day when I was staying with my nephew me and my sister came back from the shops and the kitchen looked like someone had wiped it down with dirt and then freeze-dried it. There were scratches up the walls too.

"I was too frightened to go home - I'd spend most nights in a hotel."

It was the final straw for Pauline, who packed up her belongings and moved to Cambridge - but she was followed and the same spooky pranks started happening again.

Within a few months she returned to Hull, this time to live with her niece, but it was not long before her clothes, including her bras, went missing again.

But now, after a hypno-exorcism, she says she is finally free of the mischievous spirits.  Ghostbuster Steve Kneeshaw put Pauline under hypnosis, which he combined with an exorcism, with instant results.

Steve reported feeling a blast of cold air before seeing a large man and a 14-year-old boy fly past him. Since then, Pauline has not experienced a hint of paranormal activity in her home.

She suspects the 'ghosts' are associated with an old dressing table she bought before she moved into the bungalow, in which she found a ruby wedding anniversary card and other personal items.

Source: The Mirror

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