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They live deep underground in the stygian caverns carved from the virgin rock millions of years ago. They are the Old Ones, the first to call Earth their home -- but their original home, somewhere in the vast curtain of stars in the heavens, has been lost in antiquity. They now sit and watch their descendants on the surface who talk of love and forgiveness, but scheme to kill each other for the love of profit and power. They wonder how people who talk of peace and freedom are now considered evil and wrong, fit only to be taken to concentration camps for the ultimate walk down the fiery path. Blessed are the peace makers it was once written -- but now, such words are considered blasphemous and must be silenced. The Old Ones are glad that they live deep underground, free from the madness that envelopes the surface.
This week, Conspiracy Journal brings you such table-tapping stories as:
- Evidence That Bodies were Mutilated to Prevent Reanimation -
- Can DNA Solve Nessie Mystery? -
- Edison's Ghost Machine -
AND: On the Surface of it, UFOs Could Lurk
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
The Secret Exploits of Adm. Richard Byrd
GOES WELL BEYOND HIS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED “PERSONAL DIARY” . . . WHAT WAS ADMIRAL RICHARD E. BYRD’S ULTIMATE INVOLVEMENT WITH THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY?
IS IT POSSIBLY CONNECTED WITH HIS AMAZING DISCOVERY OF A VAST ICE FREE “PARADISE” AT THE SOUTH POLE?
Several years ago a mysterious manuscript said to be Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Private Log or Diary emerged. In it Byrd wrote about a vast ice-free “paradise” beyond the Poles: “We are crossing over the small mountain range and still proceeding northward as best as can be ascertained. Beyond the mountain range is what appears to be a valley with a small river or stream running through the center portion. There should be no green valley below! Something is definitely wrong and abnormal here! We should be over ice and snow! To the portside are great forests growing on the mountain slopes. Our navigation instruments are still spinning, the gyroscope is oscillating back and forth!”
During his career as an explorer, up until his death in March 1957, Byrd was considered a national hero. Besides exploring both Poles, it is alleged that the veteran Navy commander had come upon an entrance way that led into a Hollow Earth inhabited by a race of giants.
Rumor also has it that Byrd, during his 1947 expedition, was confronted by a “lost” battalion of Nazis whose settlement was being guarded by a fleet of back-engineered “Flying Saucers.” And while Byrd’s scientific team was supposed to stay for six months in this frozen region, his expedition was called off shortly after his arrival.
What is generally not known is that on one of Byrd’s sojourns to Antarctica, he sought to stave off mutiny from among his crew by enlisting some of the younger members into a very secretive “Loyal Legion,” which enabled him to clamp down on any leaks about his missions and discoveries.
And while the content of Byrd’s “secret diary” is open to debate, researcher and author Tim Cridland searches deeply into the many shadowy unknowns surrounding Byrd and the Nazis as well as a previously undisclosed wrinkle: a closely guarded connection between JFK’s assassination and the iron grip of those determined to keep the secrets surrounding UFOs and the arrival of ultra-terrestrials locked away from public scrutiny forever. This conspiracy involved members of a sinister, secret group of wealthy and “well-connected” individuals that included Lyndon Johnson, John Connelly and at least one member of Byrd’s family among its ranks.
This book takes a wholly original approach to a great many areas of interest revolving around the concept that our Earth is “hollow” and that a vast cavern system, constructed eons ago, exists connecting various subterranean cities with their hidden gateways back up to the surface world. Some researchers believe that the Inner Earth houses a potential “Garden of Eden-like” utopia, while others espouse the idea that much of the planet’s caverns and hollows are overrun by monstrous inhabitants wreaking havoc on the surface while serving to entice evil machinations from above ground conspirators who are loyal only to their self-serving dream of world conquest and domination.
The “Secret Exploits Of Admiral Richard E. Byrd” is a valuable inquiry made by a variety of independent researchers into a subject that has long been one of “instant ridicule” without being given its day in court. Here the reader will get to visit the various ancient cities of the subterranean world as well as learn about the “denizens of the deep” and their future design on unsuspecting surface dwellers who know little – or absolutely nothing – of their existence.
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- NO ZOMBIES HERE DEPARTMENT -
Evidence That Bodies were Mutilated to Prevent Reanimation
by Sarah Laskow
Hundreds of years ago, in North Yorkshire, England, there was a small village called Wharram Percy. There were two rows of houses, one shorter than the other, and church, with a churchyard, but they’ve long since disappeared. By the 16th century, the village was abandoned.
In the 1960s, when archaeologists worked to excavate the village, they found a strange group of human bones. These bones were buried outside the churchyard, near the end of one row of buildings. There were 137 bones in the excavated pit, belonging to at least 10 people, ranging in age from 2 or 3 to 50.
For many years, no one knew exactly what to make of these bones, but now a team of archaeologists from Historic England and the University of Southampton have published a new theory about them: these bodies were burned and mutilated after death to keep them from becoming reanimated corpses.
In a new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, the archaeologists examine the burn and cut marks left on the bones. Most often, the bones with burn marks were cranial bones; the bones with cut marks usually came from the upper body. Most of those cut marks were fine lines—cuts made by knives, rather than chop marks of swords or axes. Some of the corpses may have been decapitated.
The people buried in the pit died over the course of many years from the 12th to 14th century—over a range of more than 100 years overall. Previously, archaeologists thought the bones may have belonged to strangers to the village, but the new report includes analysis of teeth suggesting that these people came from the same area. Sometimes cut marks indicate that people died in battle, but these marks weren’t consistent with that kind of death. So what was going on here?
The archaeologists zeroed in on two possible theories. Perhaps the cut marks and burns on the bones were evidence of cannibalism; perhaps they were mutilations intended to keep the bodies in their graves. In the paper, they argue that the marks they studied are not consistent with cannibalism; most likely, they argue, the marks were made by people trying to keep “revenants”—walking corpses—from their nightly rounds.
“Belief in revenants was widespread in Mediaeval northern and western Europe. Revenants were usually malevolent, spreading disease and physically assaulting the living,” they write. “Reanimation arose as a result of a lingering life-force in individuals who committed malign, evil deeds and projected strong ill-will in life, or who experienced a sudden death leaving energy still unexpended.”
There’s textual evidence and folklore showing that people at this time in England believed in the walking dead and would resort to mutilation and burning to stop them. The belief was that corpses could only reanimate for a short time after death, so these practices were a way of hastening the destruction of the corpse.
But previously there hasn’t been strong archaeological evidence for this practice. In folklore, revenants were most often men, so the presence of the bones of women and children in the pit weighs against this explanation. Right now, though, it’s the strongest one. “If we are right, this the first good archaeological evidence we have for this practice,” Historic England’s Simon Mays said.
Source: Atlas Obscura
- WHAT'S IN THE WATER DEPARTMENT -
Can DNA Solve Nessie Mystery?
IT is a mystery that has persisted for more than a thousand years.
But now a scientist is hoping to use cutting-edge dino-DNA technology to determine once and for all whether the Loch Ness Monster exists or not.
Professor Neil Gemmell wants to solve the mystery by looking for traces of unusual DNA in the water of the loch.
The study would involve gathering water samples from various locations at different depths of Loch Ness, before analysing them using the same techniques police forensic teams use at crime scenes.
Prof Gemmell, from The University of Otago in New Zealand, believes his scientific study could solve the enduring, world famous monster mystery.
He said: “Our group uses so- called environmental DNA to monitor marine biodiversity. From a few litres of water, we can detect thousands of species ranging from whales, sharks to plankton.
“Essentially all large organism lose cells from their skin, or digestive system, or whatever, as they move through their environment.
“New genomic technology is sensitive enough to pick this up even when rare, and we can use comparisons to large sequence databases that span the majority of known living things. If there was anything unusual in the Loch, these DNA tools would likely pick up that evidence.”
News of the potential DNA study has sent shockwaves through the Nessie-monitoring world.
Researcher and enthusiast Roland Watson, 54, welcomed the study.
He said: “I’m all for scientific inquiry and trying to find this thing by any means we have.
“I’m not aware of anyone having done a DNA test before.
“I’d want to know if the test would be sensitive enough to detect animals that are visitors to the loch, such as seals and Atlantic salmon. The monster could be visiting. There are some monster supporters that would not care about the result because they believe it is something paranormal and so wouldn’t expect to see any DNA.”
Naturalist Adrian Shine is the leader of the Loch Ness Project and has carried out field work on the loch for a host of universities and researchers since 1973. He said he and his team could potentially help gather samples for the study.
He said: “I would be very interested in the results.
“We would certainly be able to help getting samples.”
Steve Feltham has spent 26 years trying to solve the mystery from his base on the shores of the loch. He said: “If anyone thinks they can identify it – bring them on.
“Anything that gives us more knowledge is to be welcomed.”
Steve also said that he wouldn’t give up his hunt even if the study suggested there was nothing there.
He said: “I can guarantee you someone would see something the next day.”
Dores Community Council chairwoman Ella Macrae said she would be interested in the study but said the results won’t change the popularity of the myth.
She said: “The mystery will still be spoken about in decades to come when this study is done.
“I don’t think they will ever get to the bottom of it.”
Source: The Sunday Post
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- SEANCE THROUGH SCIENCE DEPARTMENT -
Edison's Ghost Machine
Thomas Alva Edison is a man who requires little or no introduction. In his 84 years of life Edison came up with many, many innovations including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the stock ticker, the power station, and of course, the light bulb. In fact, Edison is still the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 patents in the USA alone. He also routinely electrocuted numerous animals including an elephant, but that’s another story. All this, as I say, you probably already know. You may even have heard, or read, that Edison's last breath is preserved at the Henry Ford Museum (AKA the Edison Institute) in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford having convinced Edison’s son Charles to seal a glass vacuum tube of air from the inventor's room shortly after his death in October 1931. Granted, that seems a bit odd, but memento mori were not so uncommon then, and Ford was a great friend of Edison’s after all. Even so, some might wonder whether it’s something Edison senior would have consented to himself. It does seem rather morbid – superstitious even – and surely at odds with the hard scientific logic of a man who was quoted by the New York Times in 1910 as saying he had come to the conclusion that “there is no ‘supernatural,’ or ‘supernormal,’ that all there is can be explained along material lines”. But then again, perhaps not.
The October 1920 issue of American Magazine contained an article with the rather attention grabbing title of “Edison Working on How to Communicate with the Next World” written by one Bertie Charles Forbes (founder of Forbes Magazine). In an interview conducted by Forbes and published in Scientific American soon after, Edison expressed some rather interesting – some might say surprising – opinions concerning no less a subject than life after death:
"If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical and scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, and other faculties and knowledge that we acquire on Earth […] I am inclined to believe that our personality hereafter will be able to affect matter. If this reasoning be correct, then, if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected, moved, or manipulated [...] by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something."
Indeed, it would seem that these were not just idle musings, because in a private journal entry, again dating from 1920, Edison wrote:
"I have been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us […] I am engaged in the construction of one such apparatus now, and I hope to be able to finish it before very many months pass."
A second Scientific American piece ran in 1921 in which Edison was quoted as saying:
"I don't claim anything, because I don't know anything [...] for that matter, no human being knows […] but I do claim that it is possible to construct an apparatus which will be so delicate that if there are personalities in another existence who wish to get in touch with us [...] this apparatus will at least give them a better opportunity."
By this time it seems it must have been pretty widely known that Thomas Alva Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, was working on a machine which might prove the existence of spirits or ghosts. The editor of Scientific American reportedly received more than 600 letters from readers enquiring about the device. This was big. So, what happened next? The answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing. The machine was never mentioned again during Edison’s lifetime and the whole matter seems to have been all but forgotten. Forgotten that is, until old Edison had been in his grave for two years.
Page 34 of the 1933 October edition of Modern Mechanix (motto: “Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today”) bore the intriguing headline “Edison’s Own Secret Spirit Experiments”. “For thirteen years results of Edison’s astounding attempt to penetrate that wall that lies beyond mortality have been withheld from the world, but now the amazing story can be told.” The prodigiously illustrated three page piece tells a tale of the “black, howling wintry night in 1920 – just such a night when superstitious people would bar their doors and windows against marauding ghosts—”when Edison and a group of scientists and spiritualists “assembled like members of a mystic clan” to test his theories concerning life after death. Edison was, we are told, armed with a powerful lamp whose light was concentrated into a beam and directed at photo-electric cell which in turn transformed that light into an electric current. Any object passing through that beam of light, no matter how miniscule or insubstantial, would disrupt the electrical current and that fluctuation would be displayed on the dial of a meter connected to the photo-electric cell. This rather disappointingly simple set up was, we are informed, the machine with which Edison sought to prove or disprove the existence of ghosts or spirits once and for all. “When the experiment was ready to begin the spiritualists in the group of witnesses were called upon to summon from eternity the ethereal form of one or two of its inhabitants, and command the spirit to walk across the beam”. And the result of this groundbreaking experiment? Well, in the long hours that followed, during which the “wind howled around the corners of the laboratory”, the needle, we are told, never so much as wavered. “It was because of these negative results that the news of the amazing experiments was never given out to the world. Edison would not reveal his belief-shattering discoveries to a believing world”.
The Modern Mechanix piece is written (as you can no doubt tell from the portions quoted above) rather more like a story than a factual article and no author credit is given in the magazine’s table of contents. This, coupled with the fact that no members of Edison’s “mystic clan” are named, and no sources or references are given, has led some researchers to conclude that the article is, in fact, a piece of fiction (albeit one with a rather anticlimactic ending) woven out of the fragments of information given in interviews and articles published during Edison’s lifetime. There is, however, another reason why some who are interested in Edison’s paranormal experiments might instantly take the Modern Mechanix piece for a fiction: the apparatus described is all wrong.
In a 1921 New York Times article Edison was said to be developing a machine that would measure “one hundred trillion life units” in the human body that “may scatter after death.” The Modern Mechanix article reused much of the material from that earlier piece in explaining what it referred to as Edison’s hypothesis of “immortal units”. Edison is said to have taken a print from one of his fingers and then to deliberately burn that fingertip so as to remove or alter its print. Later, when the finger had healed, he took a second print which proved to be identical to the original. “From this experiment, Edison got confirmation of his hypothesis that it is these aforementioned “immortal units” which supervised the re-growth of his finger skin, following out the original design. Man, he believed, is a mosaic of such life units, and it is these entities which determine what we shall be.” These “immortal units” then are supposedly what Edison was expecting to break his beam of light (though exactly why Spiritualists would be required to summon them is anyone’s guess).
I first began researching Edison’s alleged supernatural experiments several years ago. At the time I did quite a bit of Googling round and bookmarked about twenty or so webpages containing relevant information. It was always a subject I meant to come back to but, for one reason or another, I just didn’t find the time. A couple of weeks ago I spotted the folder marked EDISON is my bookmarks and clicked to Open All in Tabs. More than half the links were dead. Of those that remained, most focussed on the idea that Edison could have been working on an apparatus or experiment very much like the one described in the Modern Mechanix article – a way of seeing or measuring the hypothesised “life units” or “immortal units”. Such an experiment would, naturally, have been doomed to fail. Many of those websites since deleted, and a handful of the links remaining however, focussed on Edison’s own journal entry of 1920 “I have been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us”. Communication with – rather than mere detection of – ghosts or spirits is still believed by some to have been Edison’s true goal. Edison’s Spirit Telegraph, or Spirit Telephone are wonderfully evocative terms which still turn up a few interesting search results. “Thomas Edison was trying to build a machine to talk to the dead,” writes one blogger, “I can recall first coming across those very words in an old, dusty book back in the 1970s”. “After his death, the plans for the apparatus could not be located. Many have searched extensively for the components, the prototype or even the plans to the machine but have never found them,” concludes another.
Some, however, have expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the 1920 diary entry, much of which seems like a mere reproduction of portions of the original Scientific American interview with the “I have been at work for some time building an apparatus […]” paragraph tacked on at the end.xiv Furthermore, there is one very important piece of evidence which many seem to have overlooked, whether accidentally or wilfully. In an interview published in the New York Times in 1926 Edison was asked about the comments he’d made six years earlier concerning the prospect of investigating the survival of spirits after death, to which he replied “I really had nothing to tell him [Forbes], but I hated to disappoint him so I thought up this story about communicating with spirits, but it was all a joke.” And so, like the Modern Mechanix piece before it, our own tale of Edison’s Secret Experiments ends with something of anticlimax – the whole thing was merely a hoax. But then again, perhaps not.
In 1941, a séance was supposedly conducted in New York in which a spirit claiming to be that of Thomas Alva Edison made itself known. This spirit, it is alleged, named certain associates (members of the “mystic clan”, if you will) who apparently still had in their possession the missing plans for, and elements of, his machine. These people were located. A prototype was built. It did not work. This prototype somehow passed into the possession of one J. Gilbert Wright - a General Electric researcher whose claim to fame was the discovery/ invention of a special kind of silicone putty. Wright, it is said, spent the rest of his life trying to perfect the machine. In some versions of the tale, Wright frequently consults Edison’s ghost, via regular séances to get his advice on how the machine might be improved. When Wright finally passed on in 1959 all trace of the machine is said to have vanished. A more fittingly farfetched end to a tall tale? Perhaps. Even so, surely I’m not the only one left wondering; what if there was just one component needed to complete the machine that Wright could never lay his hands on? Something another member of Edison’s “mystic clan” wasn’t willing to part with. Something, perhaps, as small and innocuous seeming as one very specific glass vacuum tube.
This article is taken from John Reppion's collection STEAMPUNK SALMAGUNDI and was originally published in SteamPunk Magazine #9, 2013.
Source: Daily Grail/John Reppion
- ALL IN YOUR DREAMS DEPARTMENT -
68 Percent of the Universe May Not Actually Exist
A mysterious force is thought to be driving the expansion of the universe, accounting for roughly 68 percent of its contents.
But, new simulations now suggest this ‘dark energy’ may not exist at all.
By taking the changing structure of the universe into account, the researchers argue that accelerated expansion can be explained without the need for dark energy – and, in a way that’s consistent with present observations and general relativity.
In the new study, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the researchers argue that the conventional models of the universe fail to address its changing structure.
Instead, they say these models rely on approximations and assume that matter has a uniform density.
‘Einstein’s equations of general relativity that describe the expansion of the universe are so complex mathematically, that for a hundred years no solutions accounting for the effect of cosmic structures have been found,’ said co-author Dr László Dobos of Eötvös Loránd University.
‘We know from very precise supernova observations that the universe is accelerating, but at the same time we rely on coarse approximations to Einstein’s equations which may introduce serious side-effects, such as the need for dark energy, in the models designed to fit the observational data.’
The researchers designed computer simulations to model the effect of gravity on the millions of particles of dark matter distributed throughout the universe.
This elusive type of matter is thought to make up 27 percent of the universe, while ‘regular’ matter accounts for just 5 percent.
In the new ‘Avera model,’ the researchers constructed the evolution of the universe, taking into account the early clumping of matter and the formation of large scale structure.
And, unlike standard simulations which show a smoothly expanding universe, the inclusion of the structure resulted in a model where different regions expand at a different rate.
The average expansion rate, however, remained consistent with present observations, which suggest overall acceleration.
According to the researchers, the model shows that dark energy is not necessary to explain the accelerated expansion of the universe.
‘The theory of general relativity is fundamental in understanding the way the universe evolves,’ said Dr Dobos.
‘We do not question its validity; we question the validity of the approximate solutions.
‘Our findings rely on a mathematical conjecture which permits the differential expansion of space, consistent with general relativity, and they show how the formation of complex structures of matter affects the expansion.
‘These issues were previously swept under the rug but taking them into account can explain the acceleration without the need for dark energy.’
Source: The Daily Mail
- THE COLD WIND GUSTS THE VOICE OF MADNESS DEPARTMENT -
Seeking the Supernatural in Western Alaska
By Laurel Andrews
Unexplained lights in the night sky. Killer whales that transform into human beings. Bigfoot sightings. These are just a few of the supernatural phenomena described by the inhabitants of Alaska's Bering Strait region.
Those stories are being collected in a project documenting indigenous knowledge, beliefs and experience with the supernatural among members of 17 tribes in the region. It's the first large-scale effort of its kind, says Kawerak Inc., a Native nonprofit corporation in Northwest Alaska that is running the project.
The project aims to connect past traditions with contemporary life, according to Julie Raymond-Yakoubian, social science program director with Kawerak.
It will unveil unique cultural understandings of the environment – understandings that have historically been documented through a Western lens, Raymond-Yakoubian wrote in an email.
"A big motivation for this project was to be able to state Bering Strait understandings of the environment, on the terms of our tribes," she wrote.
Alaska has a long history of described supernatural occurrences.
There's the Iliamna Lake monster, a creature akin to Scotland's Loch Ness monster, thought to be lurking in the depths of the Southwest Alaska lake.
[Scientist wonders if Nessie-like monster in Alaska lake is a sleeper shark]
Bigfoot sightings are well-documented on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, where the cryptid is known as Hairy Man. In 2013, Bethel newspaper The Delta Discovery recounted some of these witness accounts.
For the Kawerak project, "supernatural" is a catch-all term used to describe a broad array of phenomena and religious and spiritual experiences, Raymond-Yakoubian wrote.
They're documenting stories of shape-shifting animals, like killer whales that morph into humans. People have also described unidentified sea creatures, some of which look like worms, or have long legs and necks, somewhat similar to the Loch Ness monster, Raymond-Yakoubian said.
Raymond-Yakoubian has been surprised by the breadth of the accounts. Every trip to a community, she learns something new, she said.
Before setting out to gather contemporary stories she spent more than a year searching through archival materials. She has yet to hear oral accounts of some of the phenomena recounted in archives.
But other phenomena are discussed throughout the region.
"Little people" are one of the most common — they're small, human-like beings that possess special powers, like extraordinary strength.
"Every single one of the tribes has stories from their community about little people," Raymond-Yakoubian said.
Inukin, as they're called, are often described as wearing traditional clothing and using traditional tools in the Bering Strait region. Stories of similar beings are found around the world, like Iceland's "Hidden People," according to Raymond-Yakoubian.
In 1993, the Arctic Sounder ran accounts, republished in the Anchorage Daily News, from people who had seen or heard stories of Inukin. Flora Penn described seeing a little man sitting on the root of a driftwood tree smoking a pipe while she was out berry picking with a friend on a trip up the Noatak River in Northwest Alaska.
"He had a pointed head, a big nose and pointed ears. We tried to hide and watch him for about an hour. He just smoked and looked around. Suddenly he jumped up and began to run toward the high mountains," Penn told the Arctic Sounder.
For the current study, unusual, unexplained lights in the sky are another common story that has popped up in every community. Green, white, or red, moving or still, seen repeatedly or just once — there's no common pattern to what Raymond-Yakoubian has heard.
Then there are stories of places that have special powers, like certain burial sites that are known to draw travelers in even as the visitors attempt to avoid them.
"People know where a medicine person is buried along the coast, for example," Raymond-Yakoubian said.
The burial spot is often avoided out of both respect and caution. But sometimes, if it's dark or the weather conditions are poor, travelers have found themselves there anyway, despite making an effort to stay away.
Sometimes, people report trying to leave the place, just to wind up back in the same spot, Raymond-Yakoubian said.
"You'll have an unusual experience and you can't really get out when you want to," she said.
- UNDERWATER RESIDENTS DEPARTMENT -
On the Surface of it, UFOs Could Lurk
For nearly 60 years, rumors have circulated of strange flying objects emerging from the ocean off our coast and disappearing in a fantastic flash of speed and light.
Sailors, fishermen, dockworkers, police officers, coastal residents and others have reported eerie otherworldly ships emerging from and submerging into local waters.
UFOs, it seems, have established an underwater base somewhere in the deep, dark recesses between the Channel Islands and the coastline between Long Beach and Santa Barbara.
Despite a tendency to scoff at such conspiracies, I decided to do a little investigating. You know, just to be sure.
To learn more, I contacted UFO researcher Preston Bennett of Los Angeles, who appeared on the recent History Channel special "Deep Sea UFOs."
Bennett reports more than 40 documented sightings off SoCal's coast since 1947, including several in and around Long Beach-San Pedro.
"In these types of cases, UFOs are seen moving into and out of the water, floating on the surface and also traveling beneath the surface," Bennett said via e-mail. "Many of these cases are well-verified, with witnesses including police officers, lifeguards, military personnel and other professionals."
Intrigued, I contacted Lt. Chuck Engbring of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Engbring wasn't familiar with any recent UFO sightings at his agency, but recalled an incident not long ago where passengers on a commercial flight departing LAX reported seeing an unfamiliar object ascend from the sea to the sky off Point Vicente in Rancho Palos Verdes.
That incident sounded strangely similar to a sighting in early November at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. I called LAX.
Although no one could recall the Pointe Vicente incident, I was referred to a July 22, 2002, sighting of a flying triangle off the coast.
My next inquiry was to the LBPD.
They had nothing recent to report, but there's always the famous images captured by LBPD helicopter pilots on Dec. 25, 2004.
At around 11:30 p.m. that night, the chopper's videocamera recorded a strange glowing object floating through the Long Beach sky. They forwarded the tape to local military officials, who couldn't - or wouldn't - identify it.
A copy of the tape was even given to KABC and broadcast around the world, but nobody could figure out what it was.
Maybe there was something to this UFO stuff after all?
My next inquiry was at Long Beach Airport.
Airport Spokeswoman Sharon Diggs-Jackson said that in December, a resident reported seeing unusual lights moving erratically across the night sky.
Airport officials couldn't explain it.
As I learned during my research, such sightings date back to World War II, when reports of UFOs and USOs (unidentified submarine objects) began surfacing around the area.
The mother of all sightings probably occurred on the night of Feb. 24-25, 1942, in what became known as the "Battle of Los Angeles."
Jittery from the recent attack on Pearl Harbor, military personnel manning anti-aircraft weapons along the coast were ready for action when reports spread of "unidentified aircraft" approaching from sea.
When a bright object was spotted above Santa Monica Bay, shooting began, and "the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano," according to press reports at the time.
No enemy plane was ever found.
Many more incidents followed in the succeeding decades, though thankfully none involved heavy weapons.
On Aug. 8, 1954, a Japanese steam ship, Aliki, was floating off the coast of Long Beach when several crew members observed an underwater UFO, Bennett reported in a February 2006 article titled "Is There an Underwater UFO Base Off the Southern California Coast?"
As the intercepted radio message from the ship reads, "Saw fireball move in and out of sea without being doused. Left wake of white smoke; course erratic; vanished from sight."
This was all getting a bit too weird.
The Press-Telegram's new offices high above downtown Long Beach provide a perfect view of the port, harbor and beyond to Catalina Island.
Despite my deep skepticism during research into this column, I found myself staring out the window across the bay, hoping to catch a glimpse of something strange emerging from beneath.
I'll let you know if anything pops into view.
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Conspiracy Journal - Issue 900 4/3/17
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