3/1/15  #811
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What's the matter bub?  Life got you down?  Did your boss yell at you?  Did your kid get kicked out of school for running with scissors?  Did your wife run away with your marriage therapist?  Did your dog bite you and also leave with your marriage therapist?  Worst of all...did they cancel your favorite TV program because it was up against American Idol?  Well buck up mister!  Your luck is about the change for the better. That's because joy has once again returned in another heart-warming issue of your favorite newsletter of the weird and strange...Conspiracy Journal!  

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such lucky charm tales as:

Officials Evacuating "Sleeping Sickness" Region -
The Curiosity Robot Confirms Methane in Mars' Atmosphere -
Schoolgirls Photographed Ghost at Hampton Court Palace
AND: Mysterious Rain of Money Falls From the Sky in Kuwait City

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

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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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Officials Evacuating "Sleeping Sickness" Region

We have reported on this case before on Conspiracy Journal, but now that authorieties in Kalachi have started evacuating the population we would be remiss if we didn't bring you this update.

Over the past few months, the town of Kalachi, Kazakhstan, has suffered yet another round of the mystery illness that causes its villagers to fall asleep at random for no apparent reason. The problem was first reported in 2010, and government officials—perhaps spurred on by a recent burst of international attention as well as the scale of the latest flare-up—have finally upped their efforts to get to the root of the bizarre plague. At least two other towns nearby have reported similar symptoms from their residents.

Lead doctors now claim that they may have discovered the source of the epidemic. But their findings seem weak by toxicology standards and are far from the conclusive closure locals need. So with a lack of any real cure, local authorities have just started evacuating Kalachi en masse, hoping that getting people out of the town will just eliminate the illness wholesale.

As of the last outbreak from August to September 2014, about 60 people (10 percent of Kalachi's population) had fallen asleep for days on end. A sudden wave in late December 2014 added over 30 more victims (including one non-local, a visiting Russian retiree) to the count. By the end of January, the overall number of victims had reached 126—not including one cat supposedly affected as well—doubling the affliction's toll to 20 percent of the local population. Among these latest victims was the village's administrator, Asel Sadvakasova. The scale of this outbreak led Kazakhstani Deputy Prime Minister Berdibek Saparbaev to officially call upon foreign medical institutions to help local doctors find the source of the illness and figure out exactly what the hell is going on.

By early February, Professor Leonid Rikhvanov of Tomsk Polytechnic University in Siberia, who'd been following the Kalachi story for some time, answered this call, claiming in international media outlets like the Daily Mail that he could explain the entire affair. The culprit, he said, was the unusually high level of radon gas emitting naturally from nearby uranium mines.

Yet this hypothesis had already been rejected (very early on in the disease's history). And about a week after Rikhvanov made his claim, Sergei Lukashenko, the director of Kazakhstan's National Nuclear Center's Radiation Safety and Ecology Institute, dismissed the radon idea, saying the conditions on the ground didn't match. He also noted that Rikhvanov had never even visited Kalachi, so he had very little evidence upon which to base his claims.

Lukashenko believes the illness has something to do with carbon monoxide leaks, which his agency noted in mid-January they had measured in concentrations up to ten times above nationally acceptable levels in recent regional tests. Kazakhstan's Health Ministry seems to be on board with Lukashenko's theory, declaring around the same time that they had preliminarily connected the condition's symptoms to vapor accumulations in poorly ventilated homes.

"Carbon monoxide is definitely a factor," the Siberian Times quoted Lukashenko as saying. "But I can't tell you whether this is the main and vital factor. The question is why it does not go away. We have some suspicions as the village has a peculiar location and weather patterns frequently force chimney smoke to go down instead of up."

Carbon monoxide has been a favorite culprit for amateurs following the story, so for many Lukashenko's claims will come as a moment of intense validation. Yet this conclusion still feels incomplete as it doesn't describe the conditions of the illness in Kalachi all that well. Many fall asleep suddenly, with no prior symptoms, outside of the homes where leaks occur. And when a batch of four patients were taken to the national capital of Astana for the first time for examination at some of the nation's premiere medical facilities, tests found no traces of external factors that could have influenced their health and caused their current condition.

"Carbon monoxide poisoning doesn't just make you fall down and go to sleep," Professor Andrew Stolbach, the head of Johns Hopkins Hospital's toxicology training curriculum, told VICE, explaining how the Kalachi case as he understands it doesn't fit the proposed explanation. "There's a progress of symptoms: nausea, headache, [and] eventually you can have confusion and unconsciousness. But you move slowly through that progression."

"You can have a big enough concentration at one spot [to knock someone out immediately]," Stolbach admits. "But if it's big enough to knock you out [that quickly], you'd be in a coma."

"It should be very straightforward to determine if it were carbon monoxide poisoning," concluded Stolbach. "You could measure carboxyhemoglobin in the blood. Carbon monoxide would be just the easiest thing to diagnose and exclude."

Despite statements from the Health Ministry about locating the cause of the sleeping sickness in vapors, local officials seem to at least implicitly recognize that carbon monoxide probably isn't the culprit (or at least that they're really getting no closer to a solution) as they recently started evacuating Kalachi.

As far back as late November, Kadyrkhan Otarov, the First Deputy Mayor of Akmola Oblast, the administrative district where Kalachi is located, floated the idea of allocating millions of dollars for locals' resettlement into new homes and jobs in nearby cities like Esil. Around the same time, the majority of Kalachi's residents voted in favor of relocation in a local poll. Then after the latest outbreak further pledges emerged promising to begin relocations by the end of January.

By January 14, 2015, at least one family had a new apartment and plans were to have at least 40 others evacuated by the end of the month. The political head of the Akmola Oblast then promised that every citizen would be relocated by May at the latest. As of mid-February, several families have now dispersed to Atbasar, Bulandy, Ereymentau, and Esil, although their exodus is hampered by the fact that fearful taxi drivers often refuse to come to Kalachi to pick people up lest they be struck with the sleeping sickness themselves.

Yet around the same time that relocation came on the docket in November, residents in the small oilfield town of Beryozovka started to claim they were suffering sudden fainting spells. And the next month the town of Krasnogorsky, a bit closer to the uranium mines than Kalachi, started reporting their own cases of the infamous sleeping sickness and requesting relocation themselves.

To date the government has refused requests for new jobs and accommodation in Beryozovka, although they did offer new homes to the 130 people in Krasnogorsky. But those new homes were, for some unfathomable reason, in Kalachi.

If these other villages are legitimately dealing with the same disease and not just faking symptoms to get a free move out of their hometown, then this combined with the continuing lack of any reasonable explanation for Kalachi's affliction makes the idea of explaining this as a case of Mass Psychological Illness seem a bit more likely. I was previously skeptical of this theory because, even if the community were suffering from the collective stresses of poverty and grim uncertainty, outsiders had also suffered from sleeping sickness without being a part of the cultural milieu. Yet Professor Regina Santella, a toxicologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, doesn't think that this rules out a psychological phenomenon.

"I would vote for mass hysteria," Santella wrote to VICE, cautioning that this is not her specialty and that she doesn't know everything about the case. But, she explained, collective psychological conditions can have a profound effect, even sporadically and on outsiders exposed to them.

Stolbach, for his part, isn't ready to back a mass hysteria diagnosis, mainly because it's not just hard to diagnose, but it's also the last thing he'd feel the need to worry about or try to prove.

"We have to exclude other things first," he says. "We'd always consider something like mass hysteria at the end because it's not going to kill you [like an environmental factor might]."

The frustrating thing for anyone in search of a definite diagnosis in this case being, if Kalachi's residents recover when they move, it could be taken as proof of either an undetected environmental factor or of a mass psychological illness. Right now all we have is the timing of the disease's spread and our absolute befuddlement to go on, which is just a weak case for hysteria. If the residents stay ill after they move, we'll have more reason to swing back toward an environmental or biological explanation—but no one's pulling for that. On the other hand, if all goes well for them, the rest of us out here scratching our heads will be left with one more infuriating mystery in the world. If that's the case, at least we might be able to make a decent movie out of all of this.

Source: Vice


The Curiosity Robot Confirms Methane in Mars' Atmosphere

The tunable laser spectrometer in the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) instrument of the Curiosity robot has unequivocally detected an episodic increase in the concentration of methane in Mars' atmosphere after an exhaustive analysis of data obtained during 605 soles or Martian days.

This has been revealed in an article authored by scientists from the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) mission, recently published in Science. One of the authors of this article is Francisco Javier Martín-Torres, a researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences (CSIC-UGR).

This puts an end to the long controversy on the presence of methane in Mars, which started over a decade ago when this gas was first detected with telescopes from Earth. The controversy increased afterwards with the measurements obtained by orbiting satellites, some of which were occasionally contradictory. These new and incontrovertible data open paths for new research that can identify the sources that produce this gas—which could include some type of biological activity—and the mechanisms by means of which the gas is eliminated with such inexplicable speed.

Ever since the Telescope in the Mauna Kea Canada-France-Hawaii Observatory first announced the detection of methane in the Martian atmosphere, several other measurements of the gas have been conducted by means of a diversity of instruments, both remotely from earth, and also by means of satellites like the Mars Express and the Mars Global Surveyor.

Since methane can be the product of biological activity—practically all the existing methane in Earth's atmosphere originates in this way—this has created great expectations that Martian methane could also be of a similar origin.

These observations appeared to be contradictory. Some of them suggested a distribution pattern that was limited in space (with its source in the Northern hemisphere) and time (with a peak of concentration during summer in the Northern hemisphere and its subsequent vanishing in just a matter of months). Both facts are inexplicable by available photochemical and general circulation models, which are currently used to define our understanding of Martian atmosphere.

According to these models, if there really existed methane in Mars, it would remain there for an average 300 years, and during this period it would be homogeneously distributed across the atmosphere. Since we lack a model that can account for its generation, localization and swift disappearance, detections were all called in doubt, and the results were attributed to the instruments employed in their detection, which were working on the very limit of their capacity, and also to the fact that the concentration values of the gas that they yielded were of the ppbv order (parts per billion by volume).

"Within this context, and when we were all almost fully persuaded that the data we had so far collected were at the very least rough it not fully invalid, the expectations to decide on this were bestowed upon the capacity of the SAM instrument to come up with more precise measurements", says this researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences.

By means of its TLS unit, SAM has been detecting basal levels of methane concentration of around 0,7 ppbv, and has confirmed an event of episodic increase of up to ten times this value during a period of sixty soles (Martian days), i.e., of about 7 ppvb.

The new data are based on observations during almost one Martian year (almost two Earth years), included in the initial prediction for the duration of the mission (nominal mission), during which Curiosity has surveyed about 8 kms in the basin of the Gale crater.

During this period, which comprehends all the full cycle of Martian seasons, the reference to the environmental data collected by the meteorological REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) station has allowed for the establishment of possible correlations with the environmental parameters that this instrument records: relative humidity, temperature and atmospheric opacity. Data on atmospheric opacity was obtained both by the UV sensor in REMS and also by MastCam (Mast Camera), the camera at Curiosity, which is employed for support in atmospheric surveys.

REMS is an instrument that has been developed and it is being scientifically exploited by Spanish researchers, some of whom have been members of the team that has conducted this important research. The hypothetical existence of seasonal variations in methane concentration in correlation with certain environmental variables, in any case, will be only confirmed through sustained measurements in the future, specifically oriented to establish which factors can determine the sporadic emission and subsequent degradation of this gas in Mars. As far as the spatial disposition of the methane plumes, they have concluded that they are generated in very brief and weak events and in very specific places.

TLS is a two-channel tunable laser spectrometer which analyses in the infrared region—more specifically in a 2,7 µm wavelength through the first channel, and 3,27 µm through the second. The latter channel is specifically prepared for the detection of methane. It has a resolution of 0,0002 cm-1, which allows for the detection of methane through its spectrographic footprint of three very clearly defined lines, and the procedure which is applied (laser light absorption through a sample contained in a closed cell) "is simple, non-invasive and sensitive" as the article itself claims.

The containing cell can be full of Martian environment or as a vacuum to make contrasting measurements, which include some conducted through artificially increased concentrations, "which has resulted in a very reduced margin for error and guarantees the accuracy of results, which can now be deemed definitively conclusive", says Martín-Torres.

According to him, the new questions posed by these results far outnumber the answers it does provide. "It is a finding that puts paid to the question of the presence of methane in the Martian atmosphere, but it does pose some other more complex and far-reaching questions, such as the nature of its sources—which must lie, we believe, in one or two additional sources that were not originally contemplated in the models used so far. Among these sources, we must not rule out biological methanogenesis. Another new question is related to the bizarre evolution of methane in the Martian atmosphere after its emission. Both questions should be addressed in the future with specifically designed new research."

The newly arrived MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) from NASA will immediately provide continuity for the study of this subject, and in the near future the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), jointly developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (Ruscosmos), which is also part of the ExoMars mission, will measure the concentration of methane at larger scale, and it will allow for the establishment of a framework to contextualize the results obtained, and deepen our knowledge of methane dynamics in Mars.

Source: Phys.org


New Craters Discovered in Northern Russia
By Anna Liesowska

Respected Moscow scientist Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky has called for 'urgent' investigation of the new phenomenon amid safety fears.

Until now, only three large craters were known about in northern Russia with several scientific sources speculating last year that heating from above the surface due to unusually warm climatic conditions, and from below, due to geological fault lines, led to a huge release of gas hydrates, so causing the formation of these craters in Arctic regions.

Two of the newly-discovered large craters - also known as funnels to scientists - have turned into lakes, revealed Professor Bogoyavlensky, deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Examination using satellite images has helped Russian experts understand that the craters are more widespread than was first realised, with one large hole surrounded by as many as 20 mini-craters, The Siberian Times can reveal.

'We know now of seven craters in the Arctic area,' he said. 'Five are directly on the Yamal peninsula, one in Yamal Autonomous district, and one is on the north of the Krasnoyarsk region, near the Taimyr peninsula.

'We have exact locations for only four of them. The other three were spotted by reindeer herders. But I am sure that there are more craters on Yamal, we just need to search for them.

'I would compare this with mushrooms: when you find one mushroom, be sure there are few more around. I suppose there could be 20 to 30 craters more.'

He is anxious to investigate the craters further because of serious concerns for safety in these regions.

The study of satellite images showed that near the famous hole, located in 30 kilometres from Bovanenkovo are two potentially dangerous objects, where the gas emission can occur at any moment.

He warned: 'These objects need to be studied, but it is rather dangerous for the researchers. We know that there can occur a series of gas emissions over an extended period of time, but we do not know exactly when they might happen.

'For example, you all remember the magnificent shots of the Yamal crater in winter, made during the latest expedition in Novomber 2014. But do you know that Vladimir Pushkarev, director of the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, was the first man in the world who went down the crater of gas emission?

'More than this, it was very risky, because no one could guarantee there would not be new emissions.'

Professor Bogoyavlensky told The Siberian Times: 'One of the most interesting objects here is the crater that we mark as B2, located 10 kilometres to the south of Bovanenkovo. On the satellite image you can see that it is one big lake surrounded by more than 20 small craters filled with water.

'Studying the satellite images we found out that initially there were no craters nor a lake. Some craters appeared, then more. Then, I suppose that the craters filled with water and turned to several lakes, then merged into one large lake, 50 by 100 metres in diameter.

'This big lake is surrounded by the network of  more than 20 'baby' craters now filled with water and I suppose that new ones could appear last summer or even now. We now counting them and making a catalogue. Some of them are very small, no more than 2 metres in diameter.'

'We have not been at the spot yet,' he said. 'Probably some local reindeer herders were there, but so far no scientists.'

He explained: 'After studying this object I am pretty sure that there was a series of gas emissions over an extended period of time. Sadly, we do not know, when exactly these emissions occur, i.e. mostly in summer, or in winter too. We see only the results of this emissions.'

The object B2 is now attracting special attention from the researchers as they seek to understand and explain the phenomenon. This is only 10km from Bovanenkovo, a major gas field, developed by Gazprom, in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Yet older satellite images do not show the existence of a lake, nor any craters, in this location.

Not only the new craters constantly forming on Yamal show that the process of gas emission is ongoing actively.

Professor Bogoyavlensky shows the picture of one of the Yamal lakes, taken by him from the helicopter and points on the whitish haze on its surface.

He commented: 'This haze that you see on the surface shows that gas seeps that go from the bottom of the lake to the surface. We call this process 'degassing'.

'We do not know, if there was a crater previously and then turned to lake, or the lake formed during some other process. More important is that the gases from within are actively seeping through this lake.

'Degassing was revealed on the territory of Yamal Autonomous District about 45 years ago, but now we think that it can give us some clues about the formation of the craters and gas emissions. Anyway, we must research this phenomenon urgently, to prevent possible disasters.'

Professor Bogoyavlensky stressed: 'For now, we can speak only about the results of our work in the laboratory, using the images from space.

'No one knows what is happening in these craters at the moment. We plan a new expedition. Also we want to put not less than four seismic stations in Yamal district, so they can fix small earthquakes, that occur when the crater appears.

'In two cases locals told us that they felt earth tremors. The nearest seismic station was yet too far to register these tremors.

'I think that at the moment we know enough about the crater B1. There were several expeditions, we took probes and made measurements. I believe that we need to visit the other craters, namely B2, B3 and B4, and then visit the rest three craters, when we will know their exact location. It will give us more information and will bring us closer to understanding the phenomenon.'

He urged: 'It is important not to scare people, but to understand that it is a very serious problem and we must research this.'

In an article for Drilling and Oil magazine, Professor Bogoyavlensky said the parapet of these craters suggests an underground explosion.

'The absence of charred rock and traces of  significant erosion due to possible water leaks speaks in favour of mighty eruption (pneumatic exhaust) of gas from a shallow underground reservoir, which left no traces on soil which contained a high percentage of ice,' he wrote.

'In other words, it was a gas-explosive mechanism that worked there. A concentration of 5-to-16% of methane is explosive. The most explosive concentration is 9.5%.'

Gas probably concentrated underground in a cavity 'which formed due to the gradual melting of buried ice'. Then 'gas was replacing ice and water'.

'Years of experience has shown that gas emissions can cause serious damage to drilling rigs, oil and gas fields and offshore pipelines,' he said. 'Yamal craters are inherently similar to pockmarks.

'We cannot rule out new gas emissions in the Arctic and in some cases they can ignite.'

This was possible in the case of the crater found at Antipayuta, on the Yamal peninsula.

'The Antipayuta residents told how they saw some flash. Probably the gas ignited when appeared the crater B4, near Taimyr peninsula. This shows us, that such explosion could be rather dangerous and destructive.

'We need to answer now the basic questions: what areas and under what conditions are the most dangerous? These questions are important for safe operation of the northern cities and infrastructure of oil and gas complexes.'

Pingos are mounds with an ice core found in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.

They can reach up to 70 metres (230 ft) in height and up to 600 m (2,000 ft) in diameter. They usually appear when groundwaters penetrate between permafrost and the top layer, which melts in summer season. They usually form in drained lakes or river channels.

However, gas is not a factor in their creation.

Source: Siberian Times


What the Devil?

Whether he exists or not, Satan is very much with us - and the fight against him can turn people into the most evil monsters.

The Devil gave the apple to Eve and offered Jesus the world. He's Lucifer or Satan - or Shaitan to Muslims, created out of smokeless fire. He made a pact with Faust, struck a heroic pose in Paradise Lost and went down to the crossroads to give Robert Johnson the blues. He rode a tank and held a general's rank while the Blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank, if you believe the Rolling Stones. But what he absolutely does not do is make money from Pampers.

That is official now, after a court in America ordered four men to pay Ł10m in damages for spreading the notion that Procter & Gamble - which makes the nappies, among many other household products - gave its profits to Satan. The ruling was made in Salt Lake City last week after a 12-year legal battle that saw the company trying to save its reputation in the face of mass boycotts by Christians.

"We incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales over the years because of this rumour," Terry Loftus of P&G said, denying accusations that the lawsuit was a vindictive overreaction. "It was absolutely necessary for us to take aggressive action."

If you're thinking "only in America", then consider this: some of the Christians who stopped buying Pampers and Pringles over the years were British. There are 1.2 million evangelicals in this country, most of whom believe the Devil is a real creature intent on destroying humanity, and a few thought he might be trying to do it through the contents of their cupboards. And the Church of Satan, which was said to be getting the money, has members here, including a sailor in the Royal Navy and a friendly 39-year-old locksmith from Uttoxeter called Mark Bickley, who says: " It's amazing how many people believe in the Devil."

Rumours about P&G started in the Sixties, when American Christians began to take exception to a company logo showing a bearded and horned man surrounded by 13 stars. This was said to be a perversion of the passage in the Book of Revelations that describes "a woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of 12 stars." The stars in the company logo supposedly spelled out 666, the number of the beast.

Despite denying it all, P&G dropped the logo in 1985. But a second false story then emerged in 1994 - that the P&G president had told a live TV show the company gave money to Satanists.

Randy Hauger, agent for a rival firm, recorded a message on his business voicemail repeating this rumour and it was forwarded by three colleagues. P& G started legal action, but it took until last week for a court to order the men to pay up.

The number of people who registered as Satanists at the last UK census was 1,500, but belief in the Devil is far more widespread than that. Surveys repeatedly show that one in three of us thinks he exists in some form. The Great Deceiver has even enlisted Jeffrey Archer to his cause: the fallen Tory angel is publishing a book in defence of the disciple whom Jesus called "a devil" for betraying him: The Gospel According to Judas.

It was Satan who made Eunice Spry beat her foster children and force them to drink their own vomit, she said. As the P&G case was finishing in the States, Bristol Crown Court found the 62-year-old Jehovah's Witness guilty of actual bodily harm, child cruelty and unlawful wounding. One boy, now grown up, said he was starved or force-fed his own excrement. His hand was held on an electric hob until it looked like "a gooey mess". Spry told the children she was doing it because they were possessed by the Devil.

"Beating the Devil out of the child" is a phrase police heard many times while investigating the 47 cases of child abuse detailed in a government report last year. The most high-profile was that of Victoria Climbié. The victims were mostly in London, in families newly arrived from other countries, and Christian, although Muslims were involved too.

Typically the child had something different about them: epilepsy, autism, deafness or a stammer; even sleepwalking or bed-wetting. In three cases the victims were just exceptionally bright. For whatever reason, the boy or girl was said to be under the control of an evil spirit, and responses ranged from prayer to violence, burning or even rubbing chilli peppers on the genitals. So the fear of an evil force that might have been imaginary led to behaviour that was brutal and real, and could be called evil. In that sense the Devil works like a terrorist: he doesn't have to do much or even be there at all for the fear of attack to cause havoc and oppression.

But does he exist? The Church of England is not quite sure. Most members see him as a myth or symbol of evil, but a policy document says "others believe in Satan as a personal devil and, although accepting Christ's victory on the cross, think that Satan has not yet been finally banished and that the church therefore has a duty to confront his activity". There are still official exorcists in the CofE, but they won't talk about it.

There is no such coyness at the Vatican, where the Pope's chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, is said to have cast out 30,000 demons. "Of course the Devil exists, and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations," such as the Nazis, he said last year. "You can tell by their behaviour and their actions ... and the atrocities committed on their orders. That's why we need to defend society from demons."

Most evangelicals would agree, said Dr Justin Thacker, head of theology for the Evangelical Alliance. "The traditional understanding is that he is a fallen angel who decided to go against the will of God. There is a legion of demons in the world who seek to influence human behaviour, to get us to do what is wrong."

You might expect Peter H Gilmore to believe in the Devil. He is, after all, High Priest of the Church of Satan. But in an email from its HQ in Hell's Kitchen (Satanists have a flair for the theatrical), New York, he writes: " Satanists are atheists and believe in neither God nor the Devil. Nor do we believe in heaven or hell. Satan serves as a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism."

The idea, apparently, is to emulate rather than worship him while tapping the "reservoir of power" that is the Dark Force inside us all. Members of the church founded by the so-called Black Pope, Anton LaVey, are said to have included the singer Marilyn Manson and, in the early days, the Hollywood bombshell Jayne Mansfield. Another is Leading Hand Chris Cranmer, who registered his beliefs while on board HMS Cumberland two years ago. He told his captain he adhered to the church's creed, which says Satan represents indulgence, vengeance and "all the so-called sins, as they lead to physical, mental or emotional gratification".

The Devil really is in the detail then: The Satanic Bible on a sailor's bunk; the scars on the face of a young girl that Eunice Spry rubbed with sandpaper; the crimson card in the wallet of a locksmith from Staffordshire. Mark Bickley looks a bit of an old-school punk-goth, but the UK spokesman for the Church of Satan lives "a normal life, in a normal house, with a car and a girlfriend". Being polite to your neighbours is a way of getting what you want, according to a church text, which must help if you're trying to live a quietly prosperous Satanic life in Uttoxeter (although other writings suggest members lie to confuse people as much as possible, and destroy any neighbour who gets in their way).

It seems ironic to hear a Satanist dismiss the 20m Britons who believe in Lucifer as deluded, but Mr Bickley rejects their "superstition". And having been brought up in a Pentecostal home, he thinks he knows exactly who is to blame. "The church has done the damage. As Nietzsche said: 'In its quest to find the world evil, Christianity has rendered the world evil.'"

Source: The Independent


Schoolgirls Claim to Have Photographed Ghost at Hampton Court Palace

For nearly 200 years she is rumoured to have haunted the corridors of Hampton Court.

But now the ghost of the famous Grey Lady may finally have been captured on camera - by a schoolgirl and her iPhone.

Holly Hampsheir, 12, thought she was taking a fairly routine photo of her cousin Brook McGee, also 12, during a day out at the 16th century stately home.

But she appears unwittingly to have captured the spectral figure of Dame Sybil Penn who looms over the schoolgirl as her back is turned.

With flowing dark hair and a full length black gown the woman seems real enough in the picture.

But seconds later Brook turns around and the next image in the series shows no sign of the visitor at all.

The girls didn’t realise what they had encountered at the time and only made the terrifying discovery when looking through their photos of the outing a day later.

Miss McGee, from Hornchurch, Havering, told the Sun: ‘I was totally freaked out.

‘I didn’t see anything.

‘People say the room goes cold when ghosts appear but we had no idea.

‘We haven’t slept properly since.’

Dame Sybil died from after contracting smallpox in 1562.

A servant at Hampton Court to four Tudor monarchs she was the nurse of Prince Edward and also nursed Elizabeth I through the disease before succumbing to it herself.

Sightings of her ghost began to be reported in 1829 when the church at the palace was rebuilt and her tomb moved.

Soon after strange noises of a person working a spinning wheel were apparently heard through a wall at Hampton Court.

They led to the discovery of a previously unknown chamber containing an antique spinning wheel.

Hampton Court, home to Henry the VIII has a long been famed for its ghosts.

Amongst them the most famous is Henry’s fifth wife Catherine Howard who was dragged screaming through the palace after being accused of adultery.

It is said that after being beheaded, her spirit returned to haunt the home she had shared with her husband.

Hampton Court Palace, home to British monarchs for more than 500 years, is said to house the ghost of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, who was executed on her husband's order in 1541.

Source: The Daily Mail


Mysterious Rain of Money Falls From the Sky in Kuwait City
By Paul Seaburn

Metaphorically speaking, money has been falling from nowhere in Kuwait ever since oil was discovered in the Middle East. However, a large amount of paper money fell from the sky over Kuwait City for real recently and so far, no one has come forth with an explanation or to claim it.

The rain of cash occurred on the afternoon of February 11. Before the shower of buying power was over, an estimated 2 to 3 million AED (United Arab Emirates dirham) worth between $544,000 and $817,000 (US dollars) fell, mostly in 500 AED notes worth about $136 each. Witnesses say the rain of cash fell for a few minutes, stopping traffic as people ran to pick up the bills.

A woman sitting in a car on her mobile phone captured several people rushing to pick up the notes off the street. She filmed others running into the middle of the road to catch the money being blown around in the wind.

Initial reports had the money raining down in Dubai but the video shows the Burj Jassem shopping mall in Kuwait City. The confusion may have been caused by the currency, since the AED is the currency in Dubai while the Kuwaiti dinar (KWD) is used in Kuwait. Whatever the floating currency was, no explanation has been given for the money shower or how it was counted and no person, bank or rich prince has claimed it.

While most money showers can be explained by open bank windows on windy days, unattended rich babies or generous philanthropists in planes, Forteans know that mysterious and unexplained rains of cash have occurred before.

In 1968, bursts of pennies fell over a 15 minute period in Newington Road, Ramsgate, Kent – pennies that were mysteriously bent before they fell.

In 1957, thousands of 1000 franc notes fell onto Bourges, France, and in 1975 hundreds of one dollar bills totaling $588 rained on Chicago, Illinois.

Over $7000 once fell on McClellan Highway in East Boston, Massachusetts and in July 2007 a highway in Worms, Germany was covered with what was described by the police as a “substantial amount of money.”

What caused the cash to fall in Kuwait City? And why didn’t it fall where you live instead? The mystery continues.

Source: Mysterious Universe

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