3/8/15  #812
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Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain – he may be trying to control your mind with microwave beams.  Or he could be hiding the truth about aliens and UFOs.  Or he could be selling drugs to finance some government priority that the public need not know about.  Or he could be reading the latest issue of the number one, weekly conspiracy newsletter of strange stuff and high weirdness - Conspiracy Journal!

his week Conspiracy Journal brings you such tryptophan-overdosing stories as:

What Happened to Flight MH370? -
USO Encounters Found in Declassified Russian Navy Records -
In Search of Australia’s Monster Reptiles
AND: All We Zombies

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

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Here is a direct link to Issue # 43

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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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What Happened to Flight MH370?

A year on from the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, an extraordinary amount of key data remains unknown - fuelling conspiracy theories and heated online debate about one of aviation’s biggest mysteries.

An information vacuum has nourished a cottage industry of experts and amateurs in cyberspace who continue to exhaustively pick the case apart in a bid to find out just what happened to the plane and its 239 passengers and crew.

The resulting theories range from the wild - alien abduction, MH370 and its doomed fleetmate MH17 were the same plane - to sober, science-based arguments that the plane is in the southern Indian Ocean, but not necessarily in the current search area.

What they all agree on is that some key pieces of the puzzle are missing.

”It’s amazing how much information we don’t have after looking at this case for all this time,” said Jeff Wise, an aviation expert whose recently published Kindle book ‘The Plane That Wasn’t There’ reached No.1 on Amazon’s bestseller lists.

The Boeing 777 lost contact with air traffic control shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, early on March 8, 2014, as it flew across the Gulf of Thailand close to a navigational waypoint called Igari.

Just about everything that happened thereafter is hotly debated.

Malaysia’s air force said its radar tracked the plane as it turned back, re-crossed the Malay Peninsula and flew out of range off the northwest coast.

Official investigators used analysis from British firm Inmarsat of “pings” to its satellite from MH370 to plot two vast arcs - one to the north and one to the south - across which it may have flown. Combining those faint pings with data from the plane, they concluded it had turned south and flown for hours before crashing into the southern Indian Ocean.

That conclusion has been challenged by aviation bloggers and freelance investigators, who have questioned key radar plots and assumptions about the speed and fuel burn of the jet.

Lending credence to some of the skeptics, Tim Clark, head of Emirates Airlines, said last November he believed information was being withheld and questioned the Malaysian military’s assertion that it took no action because it identified MH370 as “friendly” when it suddenly reversed course.

The Malaysian government, which is due to release an interim report on the investigation before the March 8 anniversary, has always denied withholding information and said its position was unchanged.


New York-based Wise, like many others, confessed to becoming somewhat obsessed, even buying additional satellite data in an attempt to confirm his theory the plane flew north along national borders to avoid radar before landing in Kazakhstan.

Another independent investigator, retired telecoms engineer John Fiorentino, whose early challenges to reports of sightings of wreckage in the Indian Ocean were taken up by families’ group Voice370, has pressed on despite ill-health.

That level of devotion has led to bad blood between supporters of rival theories.

The Independent Group (IG), comprised of around a dozen satellite, data, maths and aviation experts, expelled Wise this week following articles linked to his book.

”It’s a bunch of garbage,” said New Zealand-based IG member Duncan Steel.

Wise, a former pilot, has himself banned anybody who uses the word “lightning” from his website. Fiorentino has been blocked from several blogs for, he says, questioning theories.

And those theories run the gamut.

Alongside Wise’s Russian theory is the suggestion by the boss of former French regional airline Proteus, Marc Dugain, that the plane flew toward the U.S. Navy base at Diego Garcia and was shot down.


IG, perhaps the most credible of the groups, has maintained that the plane is in the southern Indian Ocean, near the so-called “7th arc” currently being searched by an Australian-led international team, with whom it has been in regular contact.

But the group stresses that missing data would more clearly pinpoint the resting place and that it may well be outside the current search area.

Many of the bloggers cite the right for relatives and loved ones of the missing to know what happened as a driving factor.

Sarah Bajc, the partner of passenger Phillip Wood, is thankful for the persistence of those who continue to pursue their own investigations into what happened.

”I’m exceedingly grateful for the efforts put forth by the IG … they are invaluable to point out the inaccuracies of the fabricated story we have been told,” Bajc said by email.

Bajc, however, does not subscribe to IG’s theory, believing that the plane is not in the southern Indian Ocean at all.

”I want an independent investigation … perhaps led by the U.N.,” she said. “Despite extensive efforts we still have no idea why MH370 went silent at Igari, or where the plane is now.”

Source: Newsweek


USO Encounters Found in Declassified Russian Navy Records

The recently declassified documents contain Soviet era reports detailing many cases of possible USO encounters. Former naval officer and Russian UFO researcher Vladimir Azhazha believes these documents are of great value

Unidentified submerged objects (USOs) are not as famous as UFOs although they are often encountered, according to declassified Russian Navy records. The common trait of all USO phenomena is that they involve unexplained and technologically advanced objects, far superior to anything we’ve ever built.

One of the most interesting cases he examined involved a nuclear submarine on a combat mission in the Southern Pacific. During the routine operation, the submarine detected six unknown objects travelling in formation at speeds in excess of 230 knots (265+ mph). In comparison, the fastest submarine was the Soviet K-222, which reached about 44 knots (51 mph).

The submarine’s sonar determined the objects were heading straight for it so the captain gave the order to surface. The USOs followed them to the surface then flew away. Similar instances have been reported in the region of the Bermuda Triangle, as retired submarine commander Yuri Beketov recalls. On-board instruments often malfunctioned, indicating the presence of strong interference. Many believe this is a clear sign of USO/UFO presence.

    "On several occasions the instruments gave reading of material objects moving at incredible speed. Calculations showed speeds of about 230 knots, or 265 mph. Speeding so fast is a challenge even on the surface. But water resistance is much higher. It was like the objects defied the laws of physics. There’s only one explanation: the creatures who built them far surpass us in development," said Beketov.

Both UFOs and USOs seem to concentrate wherever military operations occur, indicating their interest in humanity’s military arsenal.

Another USO hotspot is Lake Baikal in Russia. The world’s deepest freshwater lake has always had a certain mysterious nature and fishermen tell tales of lights being spotted in its deep waters. Multiple folk tales describe swimmers being dragged down by creatures lurking beneath Baikal’s calm waves.

Another of the Russian documents described the encounter between a group of military divers and several humanoid beings in silver suits. The divers were training in Lake Baikal at a depth of 150 feet (50 meters) when they came upon a group of unknown creatures. The divers went deeper in the pursuit of the humanoids. Three men were killed, while the other four were severely injured.

Vladimir Azhazha believes the issue should be thoroughly investigated.

    “I think about underwater bases and say: why not? Nothing should be discarded,” says Azhazha. “Skepticism is the easiest way: believe nothing, do nothing. People rarely visit great depths. So it’s very important to analyze what they encounter there.”

Source: Educating Humanity


Pterosaurs of the Ghostly Kind
By Nick Redfern

Imagine crossing the moors and hills of England and encountering what looks like nothing less than a living, breathing pterodactyl! Think it couldn’t happen? It already has. From 1982 to 1983, a wave of sightings of such a creature – presumed extinct for tens of millions of years – occurred in an area called the Pennines, better known as the “backbone of England.”

So far as can be determined, thanks to the research of Jenny Randles, the first sighting occurred in September 1982. That was when a man named William Green encountered at Shipley Glen a large, gray colored creature, which possessed a pair of leathery-looking wings. The latter point is notable, since it effectively rules out a significantly sized feathery bird, and does indeed place matters into a pterodactyl category.

Perhaps inevitably, the local media soon heard of the sightings, as Randles notes in her book, Supernatural Pennines. While the theory that a large bird of prey had escaped from a menagerie or zoo may have satisfied the skeptics, it did not go down well with the witnesses, who were sure that what they had encountered was something straight out of the Jurassic era.

Rather notably, the media attention brought forth additional witnesses, including Richard Pollock, who said he encountered a monster that looked like a cross between a crocodile and a bat. Needless to say, the matter was never satisfactorily resolved. But, it’s hardly a case that stands alone.

Joshua P. Warren is a highly respected ghost-hunter from Asheville, North Carolina. Amongst his many investigations of the spooky kind, one in particular stands out. In the mid-2000s, Warren documented a huge amount of supernatural activity at the Jackson Farm, Lancaster, South Carolina. Ghostly apparitions were commonplace on the property, and particularly so late at night. One of them, amazingly, was described in Warren’s 2006 book, Pet Ghosts, as being a spectral, winged animal that “had a wide wingspan and a long neck with some kind of huge bird head.” It gave all the indications of being a pterosaur.

And, in our 2010 book, Monsters of Texas, Ken Gerhard and I detailed a number of such cases. Specifically from Ken’s files came the report of a woman named Debbie Fisher, who had an encounter with such a creature – one with a ten-foot-wingspan – in San Antonio, Texas, in the 1980s. In Ken’s own words: “The silhouetted outline of its wings appeared to be ‘more bat-like than bird-like’ to her, and it made her feel both ‘creepy and uncomfortable,’ as if she was in some kind of vampire movie. Overall, Debbie felt that the thing resembled a pterodactyl more than anything else she could think of.”

A similar case, from 2004, and also from San Antonio, reached Ken. The witness, Mary, told him: “I really believe that this was not a bird. It looked more bat like, especially the wings and tail. I know for a fact that what I saw was not a bird…prehistoric.”

It seems absurd to believe that pterosaurs might still be amongst us, but never, ever get captured or killed. Could it be that, as Joshua Warren’s research suggests, we’re dealing with the ghosts of long dead pterodactyls? It sounds bizarre, but if people live on after physical death, then why not animals, too? There are, after all, numerous cases on record of animals returning from the mysterious beyond.

This brings us to something else which is supportive of this theory. While digging into the world of U.S. Government research into remote-viewing and psychic-spying, author Jim Marrs learned that elements of the official world had attempted to focus their skill upon solving the riddle of what it is that lurks within Loch Ness, Scotland.

It was no easy task, however, as Marrs noted. Several remote-viewing sessions that targeted the creatures, said Marrs, actually revealed physical traces of the beasts – such as wakes in the water, or the distinct movement of large bodies beneath the surface of the loch. Significantly, those involved in the remote-viewing of Loch Ness even made drawings of long-necked, humped animals that eerily resembled the presumed extinct plesiosaurs of times past.

As Marrs noted, however, when the government’s remote-viewers attempted to dig further into the puzzle, they hit upon a startling discovery: the creatures – if that is what they really were – seemed to have the strange ability to appear and vanish into thin-air, just like classic, chain-rattling spirits, one might very well suggest.

Marrs, in his book, Psi-Spies, commented thus on this curious development in the affair of Nessie: “Considering that reports of human ghosts date back throughout man’s history, the Psi Spies seriously considered the possibility that the Loch Ness Monster is nothing less than a dinosaur’s ghost.”

The ghost of a creature long extinct? Don’t bet against it. It just might be a viable explanation for why people can have incredible encounters with pterosaurs in both England and the United States, in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Source: Mysterious Univese


In Search of Australia’s Monster Reptiles
By Andrew Nicholson

Australia certainly has its share of large and deadly reptiles. The saltwater crocodile grows as large as 7 metres, or 23 feet, and is definitely a seriously deadly predator with a diet that includes the occasional luckless human. The ‘salty’ as they are affectionately known in the Top End are in fact, the world’s largest species of crocodile.

CrocThen there is the perentie, Australia’s largest monitor lizard. It grows, according to current scientific wisdom, to a maximum of 2.5 metres, or around 8 feet, in length. A little smaller than the world’s largest monitor lizard, the Komodo Dragon, which grows to a length of around 3 metres, or 10 feet.

There may, however, be other monster reptiles surviving undetected in the Australian bush. Monster reptiles like the 18-foot-long Prenty, the deadly and “unnatural” Gonderanup, the gigantic serpent of the Mallee scrub and perhaps even a reptilian hold out from the era of the mega fauna – the megalania.

Seeking an 18 foot lizard

“There is no room for doubt about the existence of the prenty, a gigantic lizard of Central Australia,” reported the Cairns Post on 14 August 1931.

“An early caller at The Telegraph office was Mr. B. W. G. Phillips, a great friend of the late T. C. Wollaston, who discusses the Prenty in his book, “Opal – We of the Never Never.” The Prenty, according to Wollaston, “has leisure and space to grow properly. It is powerful in limbs, beautiful in skin, its reach exceptional, eight feet in length when its tongue is fully extended.

“Its color is gamboge yellow, with blackish-grey markings; and perfectly round spots- as large as a shilling – adorn the sides and neck like a pedigree Ayrshire. The prenty has a long head and brilliant eye, and when it stands up with stiffened legs and arched body, its head bent forward, it looks a formidable beast.”

But Wollaston’s 8-foot-long Prenty, while formidable, would have been no match for the 18-foot-long monster lizard reported in Darwin’s Northern Standard just 5 months later in January 1940.

In Seeking an 18ft. Lizard, it was reported that Fred Blakeley, leader of the first expedition to find the legendary Lasseter’s Reef and known as “The Bicycle Bushman” would soon set off in search of another outback legend – the giant Prenty lizard of Central Australia.

“He hopes to bring back one alive. He claims to be one of the few white men who have seen a giant Prenty. He describes it as a mammoth lizard about 18 feet from snout to tail-tip. Its claw tracks are about 6 feet apart.

“The claws are sharp and poisonous and inflict a wound which festers quickly and rarely heals.

“The giant Prenty, he says, attacks chiefly with its tail. It can fell an ox with a sweeping blow. It is faster than a crocodile and its gait resembles a gallop. The Aborigines call the Prenty a debil debil,” Blakeley told the Northern Standard.

For the local Aborigines, this giant lizard instilled great fear. Even the glare of the giant Prenty was enough to cause certain death.

Blakeley recounted the story of one Aborigine who apparently died at Alice Springs a week after being glared at by one such monster reptile. According to Blakeley, a subsequent medical examination found no cause of death.
Bark of a dog, growl of a lionprenty

This wasn’t the first time that Blakeley had regaled the public with stories of giant lizards roaming the Australian outback. Nine years earlier, Blakeley’s giant Prenty was discussed in Hobart’s Mercury.

On 15 August 1931 the paper published an article titled: Central Australian Dragon A Fearsome Creature.

“Scientific circles are keenly interested in reports by Central Australian prospectors, now in Sydney of a fierce and gigantic lizard, known as the ‘Prenty,’ which is said to occur in wide spaces of the interior.

“Mr. Fred. Blakeley, leader of the Centralian Gold Exploration Expedition (and a brother of the Federal Minister) declared that this remarkable creature, which grows up to 15 feet in length, has been seen by white men.”

In the article, Blakeley recounted the alarming experience of “Big Jim,” an old prospector, who stood 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 18 stone.

“Big Jim said he was walking along scanning the ground, as is the habit of the opal fossicker, when he heard a peculiar sound, and, looking up, saw an enormous reptile challenging him.

“The man snatched up some rocks, whereupon the ‘Prenty’ lashed its tail, undulated its back, and came springing towards him. As it did so it uttered a roar that mingled the bark of a dog and the growl of a lion. Big Jim promptly ran for his life.”

Blakeley said that he had found the tracks of the creature the next day, and that they measured the distance from one outside claw to another as 6 feet 3 inches and estimated its length as 15 feet.

And in a letter to the Townsville Daily Bulletin on 15 January 1937, Albert Morrow of Mapperley Station, Alice Springs offered further insight into the Central Australian Prenty.

“… What we do get here (Central Australia) and parts of the Northern Territory, which I do not think are anywhere else in Australia, is the giant goanna or perentie, better known as ‘The Prenty’. About four months ago in Alice Springs, I was shown the skin of one ten feet in length. It was killed at Weinikie Gold Field, and was killed for food. Strange as it may sound, it is very good ‘tucker’ and the flesh is white.”

The deadly Gonderanups

In A Tale of Central Australia, Favenc wrote of an expedition party’s terrifying encounter with deadly monster lizards the Aborigines referred to as Gonderanup.

“It was a brilliant moonlight night … and the party were smoking after their meal, when they were startled by an agonised cry from one of the horses. There is no sound more startling and painful to hear than the semi-human cry of a horse in mortal pain and terror, and the men, starting to their feet, picked up their firearms, and hastened in the direction of the sound….

“One horse, a grey, was plunging frantically in its hobbles, rearing and uttering the terrified scream of pain that had startled them. As they approached they saw, clinging to the horse’s throat, with claws buried in the shoulders, and its jaws having a firm grip on the poor creature’s throat, what appeared to be a monstrous lizard. The horse, as they approached, stood still, trembling all over, but the horrible thing fastened on it never moved.

“Putting his carbine close to its head at an angle that would not hurt the horse, Murray fired. The claws of the thing relaxed, but the jaws never opened, and the frightened horse began turning round and round with the dead creature hanging on to its throat. Then it staggered, fell, and, with a shuddering gasp, died. The creature that had attacked it was, in fact, an enormous sort of lizard, with a huge disproportionate head. The iron jaws, armed with cruel teeth, still retained their death grip on the dead horse’s throat from which the blood was now pouring.

“While engaged in looking at it Dandy was seized in the side by another of the horrible creatures. Rafter, the other man, killed it, but not before it inflicted a terrible wound. Murray called to them to catch the horses and get away as soon as they could, for others of the brutes were coming ….

“Dandy could do nothing but stagger to camp; while Murray and Rafter ran after the horses to drive them up. Dandy heard shouting and shots, but the others did not come back.

“He heard another of the creatures crawling towards him, and, overcome with blind terror, he fled.”

Dandy and Rafter would soon die out there in the hot desert from the wounds inflicted by the Gonderanup. And of the horses that had been attacked, only their skeletons remained, the ferocious reptiles having picked the flesh clean.

“When they approached the camp all was silent. Martin shouted for Dandy, but got no answer. Poor Dandy was dead. The bite of the Gonderanup seemed to be fatal.

“Murray never would tell the whole details of his fight with the lizards on the bank of the salt lake… The subject seemed repulsive to him, and he swore that you could hack the bodies off the creatures, and their jaws would still remain fixed.

“They were not natural, he said, and old blackfellows of that part who remember them say so too.”

Great serpent of the Mallee scrub

It is not only deadly monster lizards that are said to inhabit the Australian outback. Further south, in the semi-arid Mallee districts of Victoria and South Australia, there are stories of another monster reptile, a gigantic serpent-like creature the local Aboriginals call the Mindai.

“The name of this creature is the “Mindai”. He is described as a serpent of immense size and length, with a black mane… His girth is that of a good-sized gum-tree, and his length that of a spar fit for the main-topmast of a seventy-four [sailing ship]; while others… declare him to be like a river or a road – a method of expressing their ideas of a thing without a beginning or end.”

Like the Mallee’s original inhabitants, settlers to the region have also encountered the great serpent of the Mallee scrub.

“A squatter on the lower Murray, in riding through the Mallee, a few miles from where the two men saw the enormous monster … met a snake which reared itself up to the same height as his horse’s head, and from the strike of which he states that he had a very narrow escape. Other white men have, at various times, seen extraordinarily large reptiles in the same quarter, and there can be no doubt that an unusually sized snake does exist, whose habitat is the Mallee scrub; but like the famous bunyip, it manages to keep itself very much out of sight.”

There is no doubt that an enormous monster reptile once stalked the Australian bush. Megalania, is believed to have died out around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. It’s likely, however, that the giant reptile shared the Australian landscape with the continent’s first human inhabitants for thousands of years.

When it comes to the size of megalania, there is a great deal of conjecture. Estimates of the creature’s length range from 4.5 metres (15 feet) to 7.9 metres (26 feet). Its weight has been estimated at anywhere between 331 kg (730 pounds) and several tons.

Whatever the true size of megalania, it must have once projected a formidable presence in the Australia bush.

In the Cessnock district of the Hunter Valley in NSW, a local farmer reported seeing a giant reptile in a paddock on his property in 1978. The monster reptile was apparently ripping into the flesh of a cow with its massive jaws and teeth. Using the spacing of fence posts just beyond the carnivorous lizard, the farmer estimated its length at an astounding 35 feet, and around 9 feet tall on all fours. After arranging a search party of local farmers, the incredible beast could not be found. The bloody remains of the poor cow and some large indistinct tracks in the grass were all that remained.

Australian cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy has also collected a number of modern megalania sightings including an apparent 30 foot reptile which killed livestock in the Euroa district of Victoria during 1890 and a group of Scouts, including the Scoutmaster, who reported sighting a 22-foot-long lizard.

Source: Weird Australia


Radio Signals May Be From Earth-Like Planet

Astronomers believe mysterious signals - previously dismissed as stellar bursts - are coming from an Earth-like planet.

The Gliese 581d planet has conditions that could support life, and is likely to be a rocky world, twice the size of Earth.

Signals from the planet were initially discovered in 2010, but last year dismissed as noise from distant stars.

Now, a further study claims that the 2014 research was based on 'inadequate analyses of the data' and that Gliese 581d does exist.

Last year, Pennsylvania State University researchers said Gliese 581d - and its companion Gliese 581g - were simply a trick of the light caused by magnetic bursts from a local star 22 light-years away.

The new British research, however, argues the method used by the Pennsylvania team was only suitable for large planets, and that it could miss small ones like GJ 581d.

The study, by Queen Mary University, London and the University of Hertfordshire, claims to use a more accurate model on the existing data.

'The existence (or not) of GJ 581d is significant because it was the first Earth-like planet discovered in the 'Goldilocks'-zone around another star and it is a benchmark case for the Doppler technique,' said lead author, Dr Guillem Anglada-Escudé.

'There are always discussions among scientists about the ways we interpret data but I'm confident that GJ 581d has been in orbit around Gliese 581 all along.

'In any case, the strength of their statement was way too strong.

'If their way to treat the data had been right, then some planet search projects at several ground-based observatories would need to be significantly revised as they are all aiming to detect even smaller planets.

'One needs to be more careful with these kind of claims'

GJ 581d is believed to be the first planet outside our solar system in the Goldilocks zone around its star – an area not too hot and not too cold for life.

To find Gliese 581d, University of California, Santa Cruz astronomers originally looked for subtle changes in light caused by the gravity of an orbiting planet tugging back and forth on the star.

The strength of the tugging, they believed, showed them a planet was about three times as massive as Earth.

At the time, the discovery of Earth-like planets around Gliese 581 caught the public imagination.

Documentary-maker RDF and social-networking site Bebo used a radio telescope in Ukraine to send a powerful focused beam of information - 500 messages from the public in the form of radio waves - to Gliese 581.

And the Australian science minister at the time organised 20,000 users of Twitter to send messages towards the distant solar system in the wake of the discoveries.

Other exoplanets have previously been doubted, most notably Alpha Centauri Bb, the closest Earth-sized world to us, which some scientists claim could just be noise in the data.


The planet was initially discovered in 2010. It was the first Earth-like planet found in the 'Goldilocks'-zone around another star.

But soon after the discovery, a group of scientists said the signals thought to be from a planet were in fact simply magnetic bursts from stars.

The latest study claims that the stellar bursts research was based on 'inadequate analyses of the data'.

They said the method is suitable for large planets, but the technique is unable to find small planets like GJ 581d.

Source: The Daily Mail


China Monster Round-Up

Two giant ape-like creatures were spotted in the afternoon of November 18, 2007, in Shennongjia, an area famous for the legendary "bigfoot" wild man located in central China's Hubei Province. Four independently traveling tourists claimed that they were almost face to face with two wild men while touring around the Licha River, at the northern foot of Laojun Mountain. If their words prove to be true, the tourists will be the first eyewitnesses of "bigfoot" in southeast Shennongjia Nature Reserve in recent years.

According to a Changjiang Times report on November 20, Zhang Jinxing, a scientist conducting investigations in the Shennongjia Nature Reserve, reported the thrilling event to relevant local authorities in the afternoon of November 19. When Zhang had finished his investigation that morning, he came across four independently traveling tourists, two men and two women, in a land-rover. These tourists told him that they had seen two wild men around the Licha River in the morning of November 18. They were near a sharp curve on the mountain road when three of the four, two men and one woman, spotted two giant, dark figures standing behind a tangled mass of shrubbery some 50 meters away from their car. It seemed that the two creatures didn't see the car at first, but they soon fled into the dense forest. Later that day, the tourists reported the event to the Lichahe Forest Maintenance Station and came back to the spot with two forest rangers. At this time, they only found a few footprints, branches they believed were broken by the wild men and wild fruits scattered on the ground.

Since the Lichahe Forest Maintenance Station is situated in a remote area in the Shennongjia Nature Reserve, local authorities didn't receive the report in a timely fashion. Currently, the proper authorities are busy contacting the four eyewitnesses and an investigation team has been sent out along the Licha River to conduct a thorough investigation. Local authorities have promised to announce investigation results as soon as possible.

Explanation of Mysterious Tianchi Monster

A senior researcher from the National Academy of Science of The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said the "Tianchi monster" a Chinese photographer caught on film last month is probably the mutated offspring of trout stocked by the North Korea 40 years ago.

77-year-old Kim Li-tae said during an interview with the Choson Shinbo, a newspaper published by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, that he was one of the North Korean researchers who released nine trout into Tianchi Lake, located on Changbai Mountain, on July 30, 1960. At a later date they released other species of fish such as carp and mosquito fish into the lake.

Generally fish cannot survive in a lake created by volcanic activity, but the Korean researchers have proven through experiments that fish can be transplanted live into the lake. Fish stocked by the researchers could survive by eating insects and other creatures blown to the lake by strong winds. The fish mutate during growth and form new varieties, so the trout they stocked might now be called "Tianchi trout," Kim said.

In 2000, the Korean researchers did experimental tests on "Tianchi trout" found in shoal waters that measured 85 centimeters in length and weighed 7.7 kilos, but they've never been able to test trout from the deeper waters of Tianchi Lake. The "Tianchi monster" that Chinese photographer Zhuo Yongsheng, who works for a local TV station run by the administration office of the nature reserve at Mount Changbaishan, Jilin Province captured on film last month, might be a "Tianchi trout" from the deep of the lake, Kim said.

Tianchi Lake is China's biggest and deepest volcanic lake, with an area of 9.8 square kilometers, and water surface 2,198 meters above sea level. The average water depth of the lake is 204 meters and the deepest spot is 373 meters.

Earliest record of "monsters" date back over 150 years, but in the past decade the "monster" only appears in the summer.

Source: China.org.cn


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
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