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This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a auld lang syne look at such Tales as:
- A New Photograph of Nessie? -
- Awakening Our Higher Mental Powers -
- Slovenian Man Unveils Homemade 'Time Machine' -
AND: Man Burns House Because of Vampires
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
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- CREATURES OF THE DEEP DEPARTMENT -
A New Photograph of Nessie?
Recently, the Sun newspaper published what is undoubtedly at face value a fascinating photograph allegedly of the Loch Ness Monster taken by a Ricky Phillips on the 13th December. The account runs as follows:
IT'S one of the UK's greatest unexplained mysteries, with tales of the mythical beast spanning centuries. And now another reported sighting of the Loch Ness monster has been officially recorded after a creature with a "4ft neck" was spotted in the murky waters.
Ricky Phillips, who works as a guide, says he was waiting for his group of tourists to finish their cruise when he noticed the strange sight last Thursday. The 39-year-old says he was sitting at the River Oich as it flows into Loch Ness at Fort Augustus eating some chips when he heard a weird noise. Mr Phillips, who writes history books, said: "It was a grey creature - almost bird like - in a grey stretch of water."
"It's neck was three to four feet long, a head the size of a rugby ball and a ridge across its eyes. I was baffled. The previous Wednesday I had heard a strange noise as I was stood by a cafe at the edge of the loch in Fort Augustus. The noise sounded almost metallic, but like something was blowing air - like Darth Vader. I have swum and sailed with whales and dolphins, seen hundreds of seals, and it sounded like nothing I have ever heard. I spun around and saw something grey, just a side of a body and a flipper.
"Then last Thursday after my tour party went on their cruise I decided to take a walk along the river Oich, mainly to see the old bridge, and was taking a few pictures of the loch and the scenery when I again heard that curious noise. I looked up from my phone and saw a long, straight neck, all completely grey, and a narrow face, which was only about 20ft away and then it turned and disappeared all in a few seconds. I looked down and realised that it was in my picture, so zoomed in and there it was. It actually looks like a giant bird or a peacock in the face, with high ridges above its eyes and what almost looks like a beak.
"I know dinosaurs came from birds and that many had hard lips, almost like a beak - but this is simply what I saw. It seems to have almost a frill on its neck. It is very odd. All I will say is that, if I was going to fake a Nessie, I would certainly have made it look less like a bird and more like... well, more like what we think Nessie looks like!"
The image was today accepted by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register. The previous sightin was recorded by an American tourist who saw a dark green object protruding 4.5 feet above the water on November 22. According to Google there are 200,000 searches each month for the Loch Ness Monster, which is estimated to be worth £41million to the region.
This is indeed a curious tale where the witness speaks of two sightings less than a week apart accompanied by a strange metallic sound. I must admit I have not heard of such a noise but the picture is consistent enough with the eyewitness database. Sceptics will of course question his good fortune in seeing something twice so quickly and may well tell us that there is no proof from the picture that it was taken at Loch Ness. I am hopeful that Ricky will allow any uncropped picture to be published and clear that up as well as provide reference points to make further estimates.
It may also be said that it is simply a bird like a cormorant, but I do not think those birds have such a thick neck. I am also wondering what the dark patch is to the right? Perhaps just debris, which again will be suggested as the explanation for the object - a tree branch. Anyway, it is best to get the sceptical interpretations out there in the open for discussion and dismissal of all, save perhaps one.
However, the fibre like projections from the "head" are strange as one could interpret them as small branches. I am not committing to such an explanation yet. Meantime, I await that uncropped picture for further deliberation.
UPDATE: I got in contact with Ricky via Facebook and asked him a few questions. The first point is that the Sun article got a few things wrong. Ricky said "It looks like a bloody Peacock doing the breast stroke!" and he never said it sounded like Darth Vader breathing but jokingly said "it made a noise which sounded like a blowing of air, but metallic, kind of like Darth Vader sneezing!". I am trying to imagine what that sounds like myself.
Ricky asserted that the object was not a bird or a branch but unlike the Sun claiming that he had said he had proof, he is downplaying it more and saying this is what I snapped. As to the larger uncropped image I requested, Ricky said: "My phone is on its last legs and jam-packed with thousands of photos, mostly all Falklands War related, so nothing new seems to be storing. When I zoomed in and saw that as big as I could, I posted it straight to Instagram from the picture itself, so I could keep it.".
This will be a gift to the sceptics as they search for any reason to debunk this picture, but it goes with the territory and it was no surprise when Ricky said "I almost didn't say anything, because in my line of work, you need sincerity and integrity", confirming again that the presence of sceptics is actually a powerful demotivator against going public. I also believe that pictures can be taken with a mobile phone camera even if the memory is full but can be shared onto socila media websites.
Source: Loch Ness Mystery
- RELEASING THE LATENT SUPER-HUMANITY DEPARTMENT -
Awakening Our Higher Mental Powers
By Michael Grosso
I’ve been tracking what I call human singularities—people who embody rare and extraordinary talents—like Joseph of Copertino, or Arigo, or Lurancy Vennum, etc... I’m trying to paint a composite picture of what I believe is our latent super-humanity. All the strange manifestations must have some purpose, some meaning.
There is reason to doubt that we--as a species--have reached the climax of our full evolutionary potential. Far from it! Look around at the world—the greed, the violence, and the stupidity spreading havoc and mayhem everywhere. The growing dangers of social instability, risk of nuclear war and oncoming eco-catastrophe cry out for sweeping change.
Politics alone—without a deep collective change of consciousness—will never save us. The change we need is inner, psychic, intellectual, and spiritual. The good news is that there’s evidence for mutations of mental capacity of a very high order.
The question is, How to awaken these much needed, often ignored and despised potentials? It is worth noting that American popular culture is awash in images of supermen and wonderwomen. In some way, perhaps, is the collective imagination priming us for some great transformation to come?
There is one key psychological mechanism. All the evidence points in one direction—the phenomena emerge when we’re in a state of ecstasy—beside our normal, everyday selves. The psychological term for this is dissociation. Suppose you’re listening to music so intently that for a few seconds you cease being aware of your self. That is the beginning of ecstasy. Going out of yourself—literally, “standing outside yourself.” It’s a matter of degree. When a mystic like Joseph of Copertino got lost in music, you could set his robe on fire and he wouldn’t react! Probably the most reliable path to ecstasy is to be madly in love—but that is another discussion.
There are many ways to dissociate from all the distractions, ways to break into our deeper selves. One is through mesmerism or, as we say today, hypnotism. In 1784, the Marquis de Puysegur, an artillery officer who had trained himself in the methods of Anton Mesmer “took his freshly acquired skills to the provinces and began a series of animal-magnetic experiments that would change the course and the history of psychiatry and psychology.”[i]
The crucial discovery occurred when Puysegur “magnetized” (hypnotized) a twenty-three-year-old peasant, Victor Race, who was suffering from an infected lung, and putting him in a state of consciousness with unique characteristics. Puysegur called this state “magnetic sleep.” But magnetism had nothing to do with this newly identified state of mind. So-called “magnetic sleep” is a state that seems to fuse the waking and subliminal mind; in other words, it’s a technique for breaking the spell of our everyday mental habits.
During this strange sleep-walking kind of consciousness, the subject may find himself in telepathic rapport with the magnetizer, and in a highly suggestible state. Upon returning to his waking self, Victor forgot everything that occurred while ‘magnetized’; it appeared as if he had become two persons.
But here is the big point. The most striking change that Puysegur noticed about Victor was the change in his personality. He wrote that in a “magnetized state, Victor is no longer a naïve peasant who can barely speak a sentence. He is someone whom I do not know how to name” (ibid.p.39).
In this new state of consciousness, Victor displayed extended cognitive powers, telepathic and clairvoyant. Puysegur’s work bore much fruit: a range of interesting effects were repeatedly observed. For example, ‘magnetized’ somnambulists became proficient at clairvoyant diagnosis of bodily ills, their own and that of others, providing useful therapeutic recipes. During this altered state the sick one becomes the healer, and here we have the seeds of a new health-care paradigm.
This is the important idea. Seemingly ordinary human beings may well possess extraordinary abilities, and by learning to enter into the right state of mind, each of us may tease out the hidden genius within. Accidents happen all the time that force open these latent abilities in surprising ways: through near-death experiences, certain forms of autism, even, oddly enough, through head injuries or crises of loss of loved ones.
But must we rely on these unpredictable miracles of personal growth? Why not reorganize society in ways that fully acknowledge our hidden human potentials? Why not design systems of education that promise to emancipate them? Failing to do any of these things, there remains the possibility that such powers may emerge through something like a global near-death experience. For discussion of that last somewhat grim possibility, see my book, The Final Choice: Death or Transcendence (2017).
Source: Consciousness Unbound
- AI IS GETTING MORE HUMAN DEPARTMENT -
Amazon's Alexa is Talking About Murder and Sex
Millions of users of Amazon's Echo speakers have grown accustomed to the soothing strains of Alexa, the human-sounding virtual assistant that can tell them the weather, order takeout, and handle other basic tasks in response to a voice command.
So a customer was shocked last year when Alexa blurted out "Kill your foster parents."
Alexa has also chatted with users about sex acts. She gave a discourse on dog defecation. And this summer a hack Amazon traced back to China may have exposed some customers' data, according to five people familiar with the events.
Alexa is not having a breakdown.
The episodes, previously unreported, arise from Amazon's strategy to make Alexa a better communicator. New research is helping Alexa mimic human banter and talk about almost anything she finds on the internet. However, ensuring she does not offend users has been a challenge for the world's largest online retailer.
At stake is a fast-growing market for gadgets with virtual assistants. An estimated two-thirds of U.S. smart-speaker customers, about 43 million people, use Amazon's Echo devices, according to research firm eMarketer. It is a lead the company wants to maintain over the Google Home from Alphabet and the HomePod from Apple.
Over time, Amazon wants to get better at handling complex customer needs through Alexa, be they home security, shopping or companionship.
"Many of our AI dreams are inspired by science fiction," said Rohit Prasad, Amazon's vice president and head scientist of Alexa artificial intelligence, or AI, during a talk last month in Las Vegas.
To make that happen, the company in 2016 launched the annual Alexa Prize, enlisting computer-science students to improve the assistant's conversation skills. Teams vie for the $500,000 first prize by creating talking computer systems known as chatbots that allow Alexa to attempt more sophisticated discussions with people.
Amazon customers can participate by saying "let's chat" to their devices. Alexa then tells users that one of the bots will take over, unshackling the voice aide's normal constraints. From August to November alone, three bots that made it to this year's finals had 1.7 million conversations, Amazon said.
The project has been important to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who signed off on using the company's customers as guinea pigs, one of the people said. Amazon has been willing to accept the risk of public blunders to stress-test the technology in real life and move Alexa faster up the learning curve, the person said.
The experiment is already bearing fruit. The university teams are helping Alexa have a wider variety of conversations. Amazon customers have also given the bots better ratings this year than last, the company said.
But Alexa's gaffes are alienating others, and Bezos on occasion has ordered staff to shut down a bot, three people familiar with the matter said. The user who was told to whack his foster parents wrote a harsh review on Amazon's website, calling the situation "a whole new level of creepy." A probe into the incident found the bot had quoted a post without context from Reddit, the social news-aggregation site, according to the people.
The privacy implications may be even messier. Consumers might not realize that some of their most sensitive conversations are being recorded by Amazon's devices, information that could be highly prized by criminals, law enforcement, marketers and others. On Thursday, Amazon said a "human error" let an Alexa customer in Germany access another user's voice recordings accidentally.
"The potential uses for the Amazon datasets are off the charts," said Marc Groman, an expert on privacy and technology policy who teaches at Georgetown Law. "How are they going to ensure that, as they share their data, it is being used responsibly" and will not lead to a "data-driven catastrophe" like the recent woes at Facebook?
In July, Amazon discovered one of the student-designed bots had been hit by a hacker in China, people familiar with the incident said. This compromised a digital key that could have unlocked transcripts of the bot's conversations, stripped of users' names.
Amazon quickly disabled the bot and made the students rebuild it for extra security. It was unclear what entity in China was responsible, according to the people.
The company acknowledged the event in a statement. "At no time were any internal Amazon systems or customer identifiable data impacted," it said.
Amazon declined to discuss specific Alexa blunders reported by Reuters, but stressed its ongoing work to protect customers from offensive content.
"These instances are quite rare especially given the fact that millions of customers have interacted with the socialbots," Amazon said.
Like Google's search engine, Alexa has the potential to become a dominant gateway to the internet, so the company is pressing ahead.
"By controlling that gateway, you can build a super profitable business," said Kartik Hosanagar, a Wharton professor studying the digital economy.
Source: Business Insider
- A HAUNTING WE WILL GO DEPARTMENT -
Why the ‘White Lady’ is the Scariest Ghost Story in Filipino Culture
By Carl Samson
Ask any Filipino to tell you a story of the White Lady — it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong. The ghost of a lady in a long, white dress has been reported all over the world.
In the U.S., the most famous “lives” in a “castle” in Rochester, New York, and in Japan, Sadako from “The Ring” was inspired by true events in the life of a 14th century servant named Okiku.
However, the White Lady’s depiction in Filipino culture — which happens to be teeming with ghosts — is pretty special.
To begin with, she’s extremely popular, making countless appearances in local movies, and killing characters until she’s left with protagonists to make some bargain. These usually end with her liberation from seeking revenge, which is often motivated by an untimely death.
But it’s not exactly her popularity that makes her the creepiest for Filipinos. The reason lies in the assumption that she shows up anywhere, unlike other entities in local folklore.
For one comparison, the kapre, a hairy, red-eyed giant, is limited to rural areas, because he only stays on the branches of huge trees while smoking tobaccos. There aren’t many huge trees in areas like Metro Manila, and when present, there are simply too many people around to start freaking out.
The same goes for the manananggal, a sort of vampire whose upper body detaches and flies when hunting its prey. Somehow, this creature is heard in the cities, but more likely to prevent people from roaming around the streets late at night.
Stories about such beasts are more common in far-flung rural areas, such as barangays or sitios with difficult transportation systems, which is probably why they fly.
Then there’s the tiyanak, a tiny monster that hides in the facade of an innocent baby, which is perhaps the most deceitful of them all. Because really, who can ignore the cries of a sweet-looking baby?
Sadly, people from the countryside also get more of this horror, although a belief that they originate from unnamed or aborted babies can scare everyone.
Another is the duwende, sometimes referred to as the nuno sa punso. We’re really talking about a dwarf here, but this sort is so unforgiving that one step on its home — the punso or an ant hill — can expect a myriad of misfortunes ranging from common colds to deaths of loved ones.
Thankfully, the fact that cities rarely have ant hills saves residents from this creature’s horror, while rural dwellers have been accustomed to saying “tabi tabi po” (“excuse me/us”) when passing near ant hills.
For a final match, there’s a monster called the tik-tik, which, in essence, is slightly similar to the manananggal. However, this creature assumes the form of a big, black bird and has a particular taste — it feeds on unborn babies from the roofs of houses by using its long, elastic tongue. Because big birds are rare in the cities, stories are also more popular in rural areas.
There are way more ghosts and monsters in Philippine folklore, but as far as it’s obvious, the White Lady gets one distinct advantage that others don’t — scale.
Jo, a 36-year-old mother from the province of Cavite, shared her story:
“We were driving to Manila when we crossed the first bridge from our hometown. My daughter just got back from school. It was just around 5:00 PM but it was already dark. So we turned the headlights on.
“But just as we crossed the bridge, the lights went off, and to my horror, I saw a White Lady sitting next to my daughter at the backseat.
“She had no face, but the fact that she sat next to my precious daughter was enough to make me want to move somewhere else. I don’t think I can ever cross that f***ing bridge again.”
Interestingly, the most infamous Filipino White Lady resides in a suburban area surrounded by trees. This is the ghost haunting Balete Drive, a street in New Manila, Quezon City.
The street acquires its name from the abundant Balete trees around it. This is already scary for many Filipinos because these trees have long been associated with paranormal phenomena.
But the White Lady along Balete Drive couldn’t care less, making apparitions to haunt anyone crossing.
For the longest time, witnesses have been urging drivers to avoid the street if they’re alone, especially at night. When possible, the back seat should be fully occupied and that no one should ever look back or stare in any of the car’s mirrors. You know what happens next.
The legend became so scary that many who crossed the street reported sightings, or at least feelings of uneasiness, which is completely understandable. I haven’t been there, but I was told to horn from the intersection where it starts. That should communicate that I’m asking for the White Lady’s “permission” to let me through.
Alice, a 21-year-old university student from Quezon City, agrees that the White Lady is the scariest ghost in the bunch:
“I haven’t really seen the White Lady on multiple occasions I passed by Balete Drive. Still, I felt something was always off about the street. I’m not sure if it’s just my head, the many stories I heard or there’s really something eerie going on.
“But yes, I’m scared of the White Lady the most. Stories are just everywhere. It’s probably the reason why the one at Balete Drive never showed up to me… She knows god knows what I’d do if I see her.”
Source: Next Shark
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- JUST ANOTHER TIME TRAVELER DEPARTMENT -
Slovenian Man Unveils Homemade 'Time Machine'
A 'time traveller' claims to have created a time machine which can move the user forward through time using electricity and water.
'David', from Slovenia, says he left his family for eight years to find out more about time travelling.
On his long travels he met a man called 'Jack Lion Cousteau' who built a time machine and had pictures to prove it - although he didn't allow David to bring them back to 2018.
David, who says he studied physics from childhood and likes Nikola Tesla, used this knowledge to create his own machine.
He says 'nobody will believe' his amazing story.
Speaking to ApexTV he says: "I dreamed about making it (the time machine).
"Eight years I left everything, even my family, to make the machine, it was my dream.
"During that investigation I have passed through (the) whole world.
"I tried to find an example of the time machine or find the person who could know even a little behind it.
"I met person who had a wound on the head from a laser weapon. Another person show me a photo from the 35th century.
"In France I even met a person who had made a time machine, which worked by the help of electricity and water.
"His name is Jack Lion Cousteau, this happened in '28.
"One could travel in the future or in the past.
"Jack had been even in 5th century.
I found out that travelling can hurt very much because the machine work by the help of the electric energy.
"It passed through the wall barrier and could leave serious damage."
David says he has been the 45th century and buildings there have more than 500 floors and 'flying machines'.
He has 'travelled' 20 times using his own machine but can only travel to the future.
This, of course, raises the question, how did he get back to 2018 if the machine can only transport him forward in time?
- THE FAIRY CENSUS DEPARTMENT -
Fairies Continue to be Seen in the Modern Day
By Greg Taylor
Fairies are a well-known staple of folklore and modern children’s literature: supernatural beings who were thought by people of previous ages to inhabit the pastoral landscapes of Europe. But while belief in such creatures might be assumed to have no place in our modern, rational world, it seems fairies don’t really care, as new research has found that some people still regularly have encounters with them.
In fact, more than ‘some’: in the newly released, 400-page-long Fairy Census, 2014-2017 (free PDF download), some five hundred fairy experiences from the modern day are detailed. They were collected over the last few years via an ongoing internet questionnaire about who sees fairies, when and why.
The Fairy Census questionaire was designed not only to just let the respondent relay their experience; it also sought to understand the phenomenon better by looking for common elements. As such, questions included the location of the experience, whether other people were present (and if they too experienced it), the time of day, the duration of the experience, the mood of the fairy, how often the experiencer has had other supernatural experiences, any special state of consciousness before the experience, and any special phenomena connected to the experience such as loss of sense of time or strange sensations.
In the PDF, the experiences, recorded between 18 Nov 2014 and 20 Nov 2017, are divided into five sections based on geography: Britain and Ireland; North America; Europe; Australasia; and the ‘Rest of the World’. Editor Simon Young, a British historian who has written extensively on the topic of folklore, says that the Census is being released in PDF format free of charge in the hope that it will allow and encourage others to undertake their own research into the topic of fairies.
Here’s just one of the many experiences, which readers of my essay “Her Sweet Murmur” (on the sounds heard during paranormal experiences) will likely find quite interesting (the first paragraph is a summary of the aforementioned elements of the experience related to location, time etc.):
"358) US (Oregon).Female; 2000s; 21-30; inside a private house; on my own; 9 am-12 pm; less than a minute; friendly, mischievous, ‘not sure, they seemed to want to be near me’; occasional supernatural experiences; no special state reported; a sense that the experience was a display put on specially for you, unusually vivid memories of the experience.
"It was around 10 or 11 am in the early summer of 2002, and I was in the bathroom, just starting my bath. It was so warm and bright that I had the small window open, and the breeze was coming right in from the backyard. (There was never a screen on that window because it was a little high up, and too small for a person). I shrugged off my robe, and sat down on the tub edge, waiting for the tub to fill. Quite suddenly, a flickering cloud of little lights came right in through the window and, as though attracted to me, flew close, almost touching, around my head and shoulders.
"I was so shocked that my brain just froze! There was a tickle in my nose, and something in my understanding just clicked. I said out loud, and I mean, LOUD, (though as a twenty-nine-year-old woman such a thing had never occurred to me as being within the realms of possibility or even reality) ‘Hey! Faeries! Go away!’ And I tossed my head and flicked my wrist. The cloud of little lights zoomed off a little bit away from me, then gathered close together, for just a second, and I almost heard a sound, but it wasn’t quite a sound, really, more of an impression that there was communication between them that I could very nearly hear, like a buzz or a high frequency whine or bells shimmering like when they bless the Host in Mass – and then they flew as one, right out the window again!
"I was so surprised that I jumped up, naked as a jaybird, shut the window, and yelled out to my husband to come to the bathroom. My knees were too wobbly to support me just then. Whew! Never thought I’d get a chance to tell that to someone who didn’t think I was NUTS!!!"
For the skeptical readers, editor Simon Young notes that while previous well-known ‘fairyists’ such as Evans Wentz and Marjorie Johnson set out trying to prove that fairies exist, he does not have this ambition – he is just trying to understand the phenomenon better. Nevertheless, he is “convinced of the sincerity of the vast, vast majority of respondents”. While in four or five cases he suspected that the respondent “made up the account for fun, or found themselves bored late at night on the internet with a whisky”, Young says that after reading hundreds of accounts “you get a feel for patterns within impossible experiences”. He nevertheless included the suspect accounts, “because I can hardly edit out experiences that smell rotten, to my subjective and possibly flawed judgment”.
To dig a bit deeper into fairylore beyond the accounts in the Census, be sure to get the companion book featuring essays from Simon Young and other folklorists and historians, Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies, 500 AD to the Present, available now from Amazon US and Amazon UK. And you can head over to the Facebook page for the Fairy Investigation Society to find out more about research into fairy sightings, both ancient and modern.
Source: The Daily Grail
- THAT'LL SHOW THEM BLOODSUCKERS DEPARTMENT -
Man Burns House Because of Vampires
By Tim Swift
A Daytona Beach man was arrested this week after police said he burned down his own house after screaming about vampires.
Melvin Weaver, 64, faces charges of aggravated battery and arson.
Daytona Beach police said Weaver's wife sought to have him committed for mental health reasons on Sunday. But when police arrived around 2 p.m., Weaver was acting rationally and police determined that he could not be involuntarily committed under the state's Baker Act.
But by 7 p.m., Weaver grew angry and began hitting his wife and breaking windows with his cane, police said. "The vampires are going to defend themselves," he shouted, according to the arrest report.
Weaver then set fire to the home by throwing ceiling insulation onto the stove, the report said. His wife was in the house at the time of the fire, but she managed to escape unharmed.
Weaver grabbed a kitchen knife and began knocking on neighbors' doors, saying his house was on fire and that his wife was inside, the report said. He was arrested at the scene.
Weaver's wife said he takes pain medication for cancer, but she did not know whether he had taken any other drugs that day, the report said.
The home was completely destroyed in the fire.
Source: Local 10
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