4/17/16  #857
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Who can it be knocking at my door? Make no sound...tip-toe across the floor. If he hears, I'll be stuck all day.  I'll be trapped, and here I'll have to stay.   That's OK, because you'll have this weeks exciting issue of strange conspiracies, UFOs and the paranormal - Conspiracy Journal!  So tell those pesky intelligence operatives that you don't have time for another mind-control session, because Conspiracy Journal is here and demanding to be read.

This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such eyebrow furrowing stories as:

Albert Bender Dies – MIB and UFOs
-  What If It’s Not ‘Just a Coincidence’? -
- Mysterious Foam fills Streets of Japanese City -
AND: Magical Fairy Find Helps Man Through Recovery

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

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


Here is a direct link to Issue # 45

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 Timothy Beckley, Publisher
PS: You're invited to join Tim Swartz and Mike Mott every Sunday at Midnight for fabulousguests. Just go to theouteredgeradio.com on almost any internet device.  Tim Beckley co-hosts the Sunday of every month. Paranormal radio like you've never heard it before.

Incredible Update of A Top Secret Project Gone Berserk!

The Philadelphia Experiment Revelations!

In This New, Updated Edition, Based on The Philadelphia Experiment Chronicles, The Story of a Highly Classified - ABOVE TOP SECRET - Project Conducted By The U.S. Navy, Can Now Be Told!

According to survivor accounts, the Philadelphia Experiment involved the teleportation of the U.S.S. Eldridge a mega-ton Destroyer Escort from its dry dock in the Philadelphia Naval Yard to Norfolk, Virginia - a distance of around 400 miles.

During at least part of the time, the Eldridge was "missing" from the City of Brotherly Love, the destroyer was said to have been transported into another dimension. Upon its return, most of the vessel's hand-picked test crew - all of whom had been left totally unprepared and unprotected - either "caught on fire," became literally frozen into the hull of the ship, went stark, raving mad, or vanished, never to be seen again.

Much has been written on the subject, but this is the only account as told by the retired intelligence operative Commander X who reveals the story of Dr. M.K. Jessup who discovered the incredible truth about the Philadelphia Experiment. Commander X also reveals the story of Alfred Bielek, who claimed to be one of only two survivors of the unholy experiments that breached the very fabric of time and space.

The late Alfred Bielek revealed the further destruction of innocent lives with the Phoenix Project that developed methods of teleportation, as well as mind manipulation and altering the very flow of time itself!

This Newly Released Book is Now Available for the
Bargain Price of Only

So don't delay, order your copy of The Philadelphia Experiment Revelations!
today for only $13.00 plus $5.00 for shipping -  A GREAT PRICE!

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The Lost Journals of TESLA – Our guest this month is Tim R. Swartz an Emmy-Award winning television producer and videographer. He is also the author of numerous popular books including “The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla”.


Albert Bender Dies – MIB and UFOs
By Nick Redfern

Over at Wikipedia you can find a new page for Albert Bender, the man who pretty much kick-started into existence the mystery and controversy surrounding the Men in Black. As you’ll note, it reveals that Bender died just recently, specifically on March 29, 2016, at the good old age of 94. Given that there have been claims Bender died in the early 2000s, a few people have already asked me if the Wiki page is accurate. Yes, it is. Bender had a full life and outlived just about everyone else who got involved in Ufology in the late 1940s and early 1950s. And, he was the creator of the International Flying Saucer Bureau, a body that provoked a lot of interest – both within the United States and overseas.

If you know your UFO history, you’ll know that it was Bender’s encounters with a creepy trio of MIB at Bridgeport, Connecticut in the early 50s which prompted author Gray Barker to pen a book on the matter. Its title: They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers. Bender’s MIB were nothing like the Tommy Lee Jones/Will Smith kind, however. Rather, they were ghoulish characters with shining eyes, and who were far more Bram Stoker-meets-H.P. Lovecraft than The X-Files-meets-Dark Skies. It’s highly appropriate, then, that Bender’s encounters with the MIB occurred in his attic, which he had transformed into his so-called “Chamber of Horrors.” It was a room filled with all manner of paintings of demons, black cats, skeletons, vampires, bats, and skulls. Even an “altar” of sorts. Indeed, Bender had a deep interest in the worlds of the paranormal, UFOs, and the occult, in both fact and fiction.

For years, there has been a great deal of debate concerning who, or what, Albert Bender’s MIB really were. Theories include government agents (very unlikely!), the product of Bender’s own mind, Tulpas, aliens, demonic entities, Tricksters, and more. Although many have simply written Bender off as a fantasist or a liar, I don’t. At all. Now, I don’t think he had an encounter with extraterrestrials or agents of the Intelligence Community. Having a deep knowledge of the supernatural, Bender – I believe – opened a door to something malignant that should have remained behind that door.

Certainly, one only has to take a look at Bender’s own book, Flying Saucers and the Three Men, to see that his experiences were steeped in supernatural lore. And like a lot of people who dig into such areas, Bender found himself on the receiving end of what one might term a paranormal backlash. His health began to suffer, paranoia set in, and things became very dark and bleak. No wonder that despite having published a popular journal (Space Review), having written his own book, and having been a leading figure in Gray Barker’s They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers, Bender chose to get out of the subject. He didn’t look back and lived a long and happy life with his wife, and focused on his passion for the music of composer Max Steiner.

For further information on Bender’s interest in Steiner’s work, see this link, which states in part: “A major figure in the perpetuation of the memory of Max Steiner is Albert K. Bender, founder of the Max Steiner Music Society. Under Bender’s leadership, the MSMS boasted a worldwide following, the publication of a journal and a newsletter, and even a library of audio tapes produced and maintained by James Reising. Even though the society officially ceased operation when the Steiner Collection came to BYU in 1981, Bender has been of invaluable assistance in locating additional materials and in sharing information about his many encounters with Steiner.”

Over the years I have written quite extensively on the life and experiences of Albert Bender (my forthcoming book, Women in Black: The Creepy Companions of the Mysterious M.I.B., delves into his experiences even more). And both Flying Saucers and the Three Men and They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers were books I read as a kid. As many people know, the mystery of the MIB is one of my particular interests. It’s likely that interest would not have developed as it has without the words and experiences of Albert Bender. RIP, Mr. B.

Source: Mysterious Universe


What If It’s Not ‘Just a Coincidence’?
By Tara MacIsaac

For some people, coincidences are “just coincidences”; everything is random, and unlikely events are bound to happen occasionally. One experiences a moment of surprise, then forgets it.

For other people, nothing is “just coincidence”; everything is preordained. One may even make an important life decision based on a coincidence, taking it as a “sign.”

The nature of coincidences is no longer a matter of philosophy alone. It is the focus of an emerging, multidisciplinary science.

Statistics gives us an unbiased answer to the question “What are the chances?!” Psychology helps us understand the meanings we may attribute to them. And various studies explore their impacts.

For example, Jim E.H. Bright at the University of New South Wales found 74 percent of his study participants had benefited from coincidences in their career development.

Oprah Winfrey is a famous example of the career-boosting potential of coincidences.

In the early 1980s, Oprah was hosting a local morning television show in Chicago. At the time, she had a passion for the book “The Color Purple.” She particularly identified with the character Sophia and prayed to play Sophia in a movie adaptation of the book planned by producer Quincy Jones and director Steven Spielberg.

Jones was in Chicago on business and saw Oprah on the TV in his hotel room. Without knowing she had the desire to do so, he decided she should play Sophia.

Jones and Oprah connected, she got the role, and it accelerated the growth of her popularity.

“I do not believe in coincidences, but I do believe in divine timing,” Oprah once said, as quoted by Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona in his book “Synchronicity and the One Mind.”

Epoch Times has previewed this book, though it has not yet been released to the public. It is part of a growing body of literature about the phenomenon of coincidences.

Bernard Beitman, M.D., published his book “Connecting With Coincidence” earlier this year. Beitman, a Yale- and Stanford-educated psychiatrist, taught the first-ever course in Coincidence Studies last year as a visiting professor at the University of Virginia.

He has unified the various studies and treatises on the topic under the umbrella of Coincidence Studies.

Many people have fixed beliefs about how the world works, and they approach coincidences with the intention of confirming those beliefs, Beitman said. As he establishes Coincidence Studies, he looks to all possible explanations for how coincidences occur. And he thinks there are multiple explanations; no single explanation can cover all coincidences.

Stanford statistics professor and professional magician Persi Diaconis proposed the Law of Truly Large Numbers in 1989 to explain coincidences. In very large populations, very low probability events must happen, he said.

Let’s define a “rare” event as “one in a million.” With 7 billion people on Earth, we may expect some 7,000 rare events daily across the globe.

Your coincidence may be one of the 7,000 rare events, but it feels special because it happened to you.

Yet Beitman and David Aldous—a Cambridge-educated statistician teaching at the University of California–Berkeley—warn that stats fall short in analyzing the complex circumstances of individual, real-life coincidences.

There’s a tendency to look at a type of coincidence (someone winning the lottery twice, for example) that’s easier to study mathematically and say, “Since we can show this one type of coincidence is not that improbable, all instances of people winning the lottery twice, or even all coincidences could equally be attributed to chance.”

Probability “is not an explanation, but instead is a description of what happens,” Beitman said.

It can also be deceptive.

For example, in 1939, psychologist B.F. Skinner analyzed William Shakespeare’s sonnets and found that his use of similar sounds, his alliteration, could have occurred coincidentally, by chance. Skinner stated, “So far as this aspect of poetry is concerned, Shakespeare might as well have drawn his words out of a hat.”

Even though it could have happened randomly, it had meaning, and intelligent design was at work.

Beitman commented: “Can these statisticians prove that there is no meaning in randomness? I ask that they try.”

To discuss meaning is to enter the domain of psychology.

A Psychologist’s Approach: What Does It Mean to You?

The applications in psychology are too many to explore here in detail. But an exemplary instance is the coincidence reported by a participant in one of Beitman’s studies.

This participant, a widow, told him: “When I began dating again, I was concerned with what my late husband would think. One day while visiting his grave, I accidentally cut my ring finger with some grass clippers. I had to go to the Emergency Department where they removed my wedding ring. My boyfriend and I took it as a sort of sign that it was OK to proceed in our relationship.”

Beitman said: “She had cut her own finger! Yet she felt the necessary removal of the ring at the hospital was a sign from her husband. Many other romance stories suggest to us that the people involved are directly creating their own coincidences while not being aware of doing so, just like this woman. But the means by which they subconsciously create the needed coincidences are often more difficult to untangle than in this woman’s method.”

Coincidences can alert us to our own wishes. They can aid in self-reflection and have been used in psychotherapy since the days of Carl Jung, who worked with a type of coincidence he called synchronicity.

With synchronicity, something in the mind is reflected in the outside world. You think of your fourth-grade teacher for the first time in 20 years and run into her at the supermarket.

Synchronicity is one of several categories of coincidences delimited by Beitman. Creating a taxonomy is part of establishing Coincidence Studies as a formal field of research, he said.

Another category is seriality: “It is a series of events in the objective world that the mind takes note of and remembers. Unlike synchronicity, there is no special subjective element. The series could theoretically be verified by anyone.”

For example, you meet up with a friend and find out he just booked a trip to Alaska. You also just booked a trip to Alaska. Then you talk to your boss at work and find out she just booked a trip to Alaska.

Several researchers have conducted studies to psychologically profile people who experience (or notice) coincidences with greater frequency. Some characteristics that have emerged include self-referentiality, intuitiveness, a tendency to seek meaning in life, a tendency to be emotional, and religiousness.

But it is human nature to see patterns—and to see meaning in patterns—and we all do it to some extent.

Why Study Coincidences?

Even if you’re not the type of person to see coincidences in your life as “signs,” you may still make decisions based on them without realizing it.

For example, in 1996, three F-14 fighter aircraft crashed within a 25-day period. The U.S. Navy reacted by suspending flights of that type of plane.

The Navy assumed that it may not have been “just coincidence,” and that a real connection could exist (a flaw in the F-14’s design, perhaps). But it was just a coincidence. Three crashes within the same month is probable when analyzed statistically; think of all the flights in the history of the U.S. military and recall the Law of Truly Large Numbers.

In 1978, the number 196,833 was independently found to be highly important in two very different branches of math—group theory and number theory.

At first, it was assumed this was “just a coincidence,” but upon further investigation mathematicians found a deep connection between these two diverse branches.

“Meaning can sometimes be found in apparent randomness if you allow yourself to look for it,” Beitman wrote in an article for Psychology Today.

Many scientific discoveries, like that of insulin, have been made through a series of coincidences. Beitman fits coincidences in which “you find just what you need when you need it” under the category “serendipity.”

Imagine if we could harness the power of coincidences to create serendipity.

Coincidences touch many disciplines and many facets of our lives. They even extend to film studies. Coincidences are often used as integral plot devices. “Casablanca” was based on a coincidence: “Of all the gin joints in all the world, she walks into mine.”

Mystery Remains

While making coincidences the topic of scientific inquiry may seem to undo some of their magic, plenty of mystery remains.

A participant in one of Beitman’s studies told him the story of when she almost committed suicide.

“There was a very dark period in my late teens, a confused time to say the least,” she said. “I took my dad’s gun, got in my car, and drove to an isolated place on the lake. The intention was to end my own life. I sat there, with gun in hand. … But, as tears slowly came down my cheeks, I heard the sound of another car pulling up beside [me] … and my brother stepped out of the car, asking me to hand him the gun.”

“I was breathless; I was totally shocked. All I could do is to ask him how on Earth he knew I was feeling this way; how did he know I even had this gun, and, most important, how did he find me? He said he had no answers. He didn’t have any idea why he got into his car; he didn’t know where he was driving, nor why he was going there; or what he was supposed to do when he arrived.”

Beitman said: “I don’t know how the statisticians are going to say ‘probability [is the explanation]’ on this one.”

Running Into a Job Opportunity

A student was looking for a cultural anthropology research assistant position. The student found the search a tough one. He was running a marathon, and his mother was on the sidelines watching. She struck up a conversation with another bystander and, as it turns out, this bystander was looking for a cultural anthropology research assistant and ended up hiring her son.

Twins Separated at Birth Live Parallel Lives

A set of twins were separated at birth and adopted by different families. Both families independently decided to name the boys James. Both boys entered law enforcement—one as a security guard, the other as a deputy sheriff. Both married women named Linda. Both got divorced and remarried. Both remarried women named Betty. One named his son James Alan. The other named his son James Allan. When they eventually met, they discovered the eerie similarities in their separate lives.

A Prayer Answered by a Song?

Actress Sissy Spacek was considering whether to accept the role of Loretta in “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” She prayed for a sign. Afterward, she went for a drive and heard the song “Coal Miner’s Daughter” on the radio. She took the role as a result and won an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Source: Epoch Times


Mysterious Foam fills Streets of Japanese City

A mystery layer of foam covered the streets of a city in Japan in the aftermath of an earthquake which hit the country this week.

The foamy substance appeared in the centre of the southern city of Fukuoka in the early hours of Saturday, following a 7-magnitude quake which shook the Kumamoto region.

A magnitude-6.5 earthquake had struck the same area on Thursday night, but residents of Fukuoka reported little damage in the aftermath of either.

People posted images and a video of the unexplained foam on Twitter, leading many to speculate on its cause, with one theory that a tremor may have caused a underground water pipe to burst.

The mystery comes as Japan woke up to scenes of devastation earlier today after a second huge earthquake struck the nation, bringing the total death count to 41 and rising.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake destroyed buildings and roads, causing massive mudslides that washed away entire bridges and dumped hundreds of tonnes of soil on buildings and roads.

More than 1,500 people were injured and 31 killed by yesterday's quake in southern Kyushu island, and authorities say they expect the death toll to rise.

It struck just a day after another 6.4 magnitude shock, killing ten, and the country's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said it is now a 'race against time' to find survivors.

Mr Abe said: 'Nothing is more important than human life and it's a race against time. Daytime today is the big test. I want rescue activities to continue with the utmost effort.'

The disaster left 410,000 homes without water and 200,000 with no power, forcing crowds of people to queue for food and water at emergency aid centres set up in the wake of the aftershocks.

Officials are warning that heavy rainfall expected tonight could trigger more landslides, which have already destroyed the road network, which is hampering rescue efforts.

The area has been rocked by aftershocks - including the strongest with a magnitude of 5.4 on Saturday morning - which have left the people on edge.

Kumamoto prefectural official Riho Tajima said 184 people were injured seriously, and more than 91,000 people were evacuated from their homes.

More than 200 homes and other buildings were either destroyed or damaged, she said.

Police received reports of 97 cases of people trapped or buried under collapsed buildings, while 10 people were caught in landslides in three municipalities in the prefecture.

Source: Daily Mail


The Risks and Dangers of Paranormal Investigation
By The North East Paranormal Society

Many paranormal investigators believe there are real dangers of a spiritual nature that ghost hunting groups should be aware of. The following editorial from The North East Paranormal Society does not necessarily reflect my particular views, but I know that many paranormal investigation groups share this warning.

It seems that ghost hunting has become quite a popular endeavor over the last several years. Whether it be a historic location, public venue or a private residence, what could be more exciting than going to a supposed haunted location to seek out the paranormal? Some people say cemeteries are very notorious for sightings of spirits, and many people hoping to get a thrill by going to such places to catch a glimpse these spirits, ghosts or entities.


The metaphysical dangers of an investigation are real and should be taken seriously. If it were only the physical and emotional things to worry about, then this field of study could be done by almost anyone...

 but that's not the case. Sometimes things we are looking for are there, and more often than not these things can and do follow us home at the end of the night. This is where the dangers come in.

Yes, ghosts, spirits, demons and any other entity can attach themselves to you and follow you home. You need to keep in mind and be open to the fact that if there are good spirits, then there are bad ones as well. Most times the evil entity starts out claiming to be the spirit of a deceased person or someone that died tragically. This way the evil spirit can sucker the unsuspecting ghost hunters into believing that they are helping a spirit by communicating with it. This gives the demonic or negative being more energy to manifest into something that the unsuspecting did not count on. The act in itself is to trick you into thinking it is friendly, and this can go on for some time, or at least until the negative entity or demonic force feels that it has your full trust.


Mental breakdowns can occur from paranormal investigations. We took on a case a few years back of a person who started watching all the ghost hunting TV shows and decided he was going to go out to a few claimed haunted locations to try and capture a few EVP (electronic voice phenomena). To his dismay, when he listened to the recordings he discovered that he had actually captured a few interesting voices. Well, one thing led to another and he became so obsessed with capturing EVP that he started doing it in his own home and, again to his dismay, he was capturing voices on his recorder.

After awhile of this he actually started hearing voices with his ear and not on his recorder. This is when we were called in. We did our best to help the individual and we came to the conclusion that it wasn't his house that was haunted -- it was him. We told him to stop recording the EVP and to have a cleansing done on the home, but he refused to listen and continued with his obsession.

It eventually got so bad that he cut off communications with his friends, family and us as well. To this day we have been unable to contact him, but his family has told us on occasion that he is not the same person he once was and that he spends most of his time alone talking to whatever followed him home. Could this be a pre-existing mental illness, an obsessive personality, or an evil entity that found a new victim?


We believe it is our duty as skilled and experienced investigators to educate the public in the dangers that exist when investigating the paranormal. Yes, anyone can grab a recorder, ask a question and get a response. And yes, if you do not know how to protect yourself, anyone can have their lives turned upside down by unseen forces. We cannot express enough how important it is, if you want to become an investigator or you want to get involved in the paranormal, that you go with a team that has years of experience and is fully aware of the dangers out there and how to conduct themselves professionally and, most of all, safely.

The North East Paranormal Society offers free information and conducts free investigations. See their website for more information. They also provide public paranormal 101 classes through the Holistic Study Institute. Classes are scheduled at random so you will have to inquire or check the schedule for availability.

Source: paranormal.about.com


‘Michigan Triangle’ May be to Blame for Weird Occurrences

Almost 18 percent of the earth’s supply of surface fresh water is contained in the Great Lakes.

Water is essential to life, but great expanses of water can also be a hostile environment. Searching for a lost object just a few hundred feet under water can be a daunting task, requiring special equipment and training. The cold dark depths of any great body are also mysterious, and in some ways frightening, because they conceal the unknown.

Many stories have been written of weird and unexplained happenings in an area off Florida known as the Bermuda Triangle.

It is said that in this area, boats and planes have disappeared in good weather with no evidence ever found as to why they vanished. UFO sightings are supposedly frequent in the area. Many boats have also reported compass failures and unexplained trouble inside the triangle.

But did you know that almost at our very doorstep, another “mysterious triangle” exists? The triangle I am speaking of is known as the Michigan Triangle. The boundaries are said to be from Ludington, Mich., to Benton Harbor, Mich., and then across the lake to Manitowoc and back to Ludington.

Numerous stories have been told of unexplained disappearances, weird happenings, periods when time seems to slow down or speed up and the appearance of strange creatures.              

A well-documented case is the disappearance of Capt. George R. Donner of the lake freighter O.M. McFarland from his cabin while the ship was under way on April 28, 1937. The McFarland had picked up 9,800 tons of coal in Erie, Penn., and then headed west through the lakes bound for Port Washington.

Because it was early in the season, the lakes and the locks in the upper part of the Great Lakes were still choked with ice, which slowed the McFarland’s progress.

Capt. Donner had remained on the bridge many hours guiding his ship through the treacherous ice floes. When at last the ship turned into Lake Michigan, the exhausted captain retired to his cabin, with the instructions that he be called when the ship neared Port Washington.

Some three hours later as the McFarland neared her destination, the second mate went to the captain’s cabin to awaken him as instructed, but the captain was not there. Thinking that Donner had gone to the galley for a late-night snack, the second mate checked the galley and learned that the captain had not been there.

The mate and other sailors began an exhaustive search of the vessel, but to no avail — the captain had disappeared. No clue as to what happened to Donner was ever found.

When Captain Donner vanished from his cabin on the McFarland, it was said that his cabin door was locked from the inside.

Ironically, the day Donner disappeared was his 58th birthday. The captain’s disappearance is as much a mystery today as it ever was.

Believers in the Lake Michigan Triangle point out that the O.M. McFarland was in the triangle when Donner vanished.

A more recent event took place on June 23, 1950, when Northwestern Airlines flight 2501 took off from New York with a crew of 3 and 55 passengers bound for Minneapolis.

Later that night at 11:37 p.m., the large, four-engine DC-4 reported that it was at 3,500 feet over Battle Creek, Mich. Due to bad weather near Chicago, the plane changed its course to a northwesterly direction over Lake Michigan, with an estimated time of arrival over Milwaukee of 11:51 p.m.

From there, the plane simply vanished — nothing of the plane or its 58 occupants was ever seen again.

A massive Coast Guard search turned up only a blanket bearing the airline’s logo. Triangle believers again point out that the tragic loss of flight 2501occurred near the center of the Lake Michigan Triangle.

For hundreds of years, sightings of a strange creature have been reported in Loch Ness in Scotland.

In our Pacific Northwest a land animal that has become known as “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch” has been sighted by many reputable people. In the Himalayan mountains this same animal is known as “Yeti” or the “abominable snowman” after the terrible odor he is said to emit. In 1987 a lighthearted movie called “Harry and the Hendersons” was made about an “abominable snowman.”

But were you aware that just 30 miles north of Sheboygan just such a sighting occurred?

Back in the late 1930s it was reported that about dusk one warm summer evening, two young boys were walking along a railroad right-of-way when they stated they heard a fearsome roar or scream quite unlike anything they had ever heard before. Just a short time later they saw what they described as a large hair-covered man-like creature in the brush nearby.

The boys said the “thing” was light colored but very dirty and walked upright. Not wishing to get to know the frightful oddity any better, the boys rapidly departed the scene.

As for large sea monster type animals, there have been reports of strange creatures seen in Lake Michigan as far back as the early 1800s. The Indians also had many stories in their folk lore of what they referred to as sprit creatures, which they claimed to have sighted in many small lakes around Wisconsin.

One of these strange sighting occurred right here in Sheboygan County; in fact, it was said to have happened at Elkhart Lake in the early 1900s.

As the story goes, a local fisherman put out a set line, which is a long fish line with many hooks which is anchored to the bottom and fastened to a post or tree on shore. In this case the fisherman had fastened his set line to a post that was part of a small pier jutting out into the lake.

After setting his fish line, the fisherman returned home with the intention of returning the next day to pull up the line and retrieve any fish he may have caught.

Early the next morning, the fisherman returned to his set line and as he tried to pull it in, he apparently had caught a very large fish, as he found it very difficult to pull in the line. After great effort was expended he finally was about to pull whatever was on the line close to the dock.

Suddenly the unknown creature gave tremendous pull in the opposite direction. Catching the fisherman off-balance, it flung him head over heels into the lake.

Spitting and sputtering, the astonished angler managed to get his head above water only to be looking straight at a large head rising above the water. The frightened man said the animal had large jaws, which were wide open, and flashing eyes. Somehow the panic-stricken man was able to gain shore and run for his life.

When recounting the story the fisherman often claimed that he barely escaped with his life. As the story got around, it was noted that for that particular summer there was a definite lack of swimmers in the water. It might be further noted that the “sea monster,” or what ever it was, was never seen again.

In the late 1890s several commercial fisherman were setting their nets in Lake Michigan just off Jones Island in the Milwaukee area. Suddenly they stated they saw the head of a large ferocious-looking beast rise above the water.

The fishermen said they were not far away and got a good look at the creature before it submerged. Not long after, several young boys sailing in Milwaukee harbor saw what they at first thought was a large cluster of debris floating in the water. But as they drew closer, they saw what they later described as a large serpent-like animal floating on top of the water. The boys then fled the area, having no desire to investigate the creature at closer quarters.      

There have been many reports of monster like fish or serpents in Lake Michigan over the years; the creatures have been given several names, among them, Michie and Mickey.

Do they really exist? Those who have claimed to have seen them swear that they do.

Next time you take a walk along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, keep your eyes on the water.

Today’s Tidbit: A young college student sunning herself on a pier on Lake Monona, some 20 or more years ago, felt something tickling her foot. When she looked down, she saw what she described as a sea serpent licking her foot. YIKES!

Source: The Sheboygan Press


Cloud Herders of the Himalayas
By David Hambling

There can be few more exotic jobs than cloud herding in the Tibetan Himalayas. Shamans in the Amdo region keep watch from the mountain peaks and warn villagers when storms are coming.

Their predictions are based on a combination of weather experience and trusted formulae such as “when the clouds over Ami Kodtse are like sheep’s hair, it will hail in the village”.

Nor do the shamans just passively observe conditions; a “weather worker” or “cloud herder” claims to be able to ward off bad weather.

According to their beliefs, the weather is caused by the interaction between humans, spirits and nature. The shaman intercedes with the spirits, who in turn influence the weather.

As well as prayers and chants, a slingshot, like those used to herd sheep and yaks in Tibet, may be used to herd the clouds, or they may be driven off by firing arrows.

In his book Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet, anthropologist and film maker Dan Smyer Yu describes a dawn excursion with a weather worker in 2010. The mountains were invisible under a murky white blanket and there seemed to be no chance of filming, but the shaman assured Yu that he could break the fog.

The shaman chanted praises to the mountain spirits for a full 15 minutes, at which point the fog lifted and the Himalayan peaks emerged like islands from a sea of cloud. Perhaps the result was coincidence, but the shamans do seem better at winning the confidence of their audience than most meteorologists.

Source: The Guardian


Magical Fairy Find Helps Man Through Recovery

TAKING photographs whilst out on a country walk ended up as a life-changing experience for John Hyatt.

While rambling in the Rossendale Valley he had snapped what he believed to be a cloud of insects.

But on closer inspection he wondered if they could be something more.

After the photographs went on display at The Whitaker Rossendale Museum & Art Gallery, they were picked up by the national papers and the so-called Rossendale Fairies went viral around the world.

Takings at the Whitaker increased by 600 per cent during their showing and the venue went on to win the Lancashire Cultural and Tourism Award the following year.

Since then John, 57, an international artist and professor of Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, is regularly contacted by people all over the world wanting his advice on how to find and contact the ethereal beings.

People have traditionally been fascinated by fairies best illustrated by the Cottingley Fairies where young girls Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths produced a series of photographs in 1917 claiming to show fairies but later exposed as a hoax.

The professor, also former lead singer of the post-punk/indie rock band The Three Johns, went on to produce a series of fairy-inspired art work and has just finished working on a community film with children and young homeless people from East Lancashire.

He said: "It went viral around the world so people have been sending me photographs.

"Some lads in Israel asked me for my advice on how to go and find fairies.

"I gave them my advice and some tips on how to use a camera and they sent me some in Israel."

Since the intriguing images were taken in 2014 the professor has been careful not to reveal the exact location where they were taken.

He said: "They were just taken in the Rossendale Valley.

"I won't be more specific because I don't want people going and trashing it.

"You'd be surprised how many people have told me they want to go there.

"I was out with my camera deliberately trying to photograph fast moving things.

"I didn't actually see them with the naked eye because they were moving fast. I went back home and looked at them on the computer and then I realised what I'd photographed."

The professor himself who has lived in Rossendale for more than 30 years, is ambiguous about whether the creatures he snapped on his Nikon D40X were fairies.

"A lot of people think they are. I did a talk at Oxford Natural History Museum and they did an investigation of the photos. It's their livelihood so they came down on the side that they are insects but they still asked me to go down and give a talk.

"But I have always stayed on the fence deliberately. Because the interesting thing about them going worldwide was to see the world's reaction to them.

"I don't know what they were. I know they were interesting photographs. I went out for the next few days and took more photographs but every photograph that I took looked like insects."

After his strange experience in the Rossendale professor Hyatt began to research all he could about fairies.

Contrary to modern belief fairies were not always pictured as good and friendly beings.

He said: "I did quite a lot of research from reading folk tales, Irish, Japanese and South American. Everywhere has them. It is not like it is a locational phenomena."

Fairies were even mentioned in the works of the Irish poet WB Yeats in his attempts to define Irishness.

And hundreds of years ago parents sometimes believed their child had been replaced by a fairy changeling, he added.

"The original fairies in Britain were black fairies and they weren't tiny they were human-sized. It goes back to when the forest was predominant.

"Rossendale was all forest and it was the predominant feature of the landscape."

Professor Hyatt believes that the tradition of the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup blacking their faces may also originate from fairy folklore.

"I don't think they realise they go back to this idea of the fairies coming out of the forest and their black faces come from folktales," he said.

He discovered that traditionally they were seen as harbingers of misfortune. Ironically whilst the media storm over the fairies was going on he was diagnosed with throat cancer but has since made a full recovery.

"I think that's why fairies symbolise death as they are creatures from the other side. Certainly in a lot of fairytales they are dangerous. I wasn't going through anything when I saw them. The day the photos went viral I was diagnosed with throat cancer so it was quite interesting in a sense that for the first month of the fairies going viral I didn't have any time to worry about having throat cancer because I was talking to people all around the world."

The professor who is a vegan, believes he may have seen the creatures because he has an open mind.

"If they want to show themselves to you then they will. I've got a completely open mind. I think a completely open mind is a prerequisite for meeting them.

"The interesting thing is that the people that didn't believe were very abusive and felt that their world was threatened - if they didn't have a very rigid attitude to reality everything would crumble."

The fairy photographs have also led to new inspiration in his art work, he adds.

"When I was ill I painted every day to keep myself positive. It's automatic painting as if the picture forms of its own accord. I'm quite open-minded. I think the world is a lot more interesting than we generally give it credit for and quite often normal everyday things are interesting if you pay attention."

Source: Lancashire Telegraph

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