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The Anomalist

May 25

Happy Memorial Day from Patrick, Crystal, Bill, Linda, and Chris. Be good to yourselves. 🇺🇸

May 24

A lonely cosmic ray experiment in Antarctica presented some scientists with curious data, and by their analysis there’s something mysterious happening over those frozen wastes. In short, some neutrinos turned into different kinds of neutrinos and the only logical hypothesis they could come to is, “parallel universe”. We just don’t know who’s being a bigger asshole, Jackson Ryan or his editor who typing out the headline No, NASA Didn’t Find A Paralle Universe Where Time Runs Backwards. Sigh. In short the source for the article comes from New Scientist, notorious for draconian paywalls, and every other journalist is basing their pieces upon the scant, publicly-available paragraphs. We encourage anomalists to read the papers regardless of the esoteric math and big words to decide for yourself, or attempt a meaningful conversation with an academic who’s serious about sharing information rather than outright dismissal of any inquiry. Kudos for Paul Seaburn doing his best with the material and keeping Mysterious Universe a valued, fortean resource. (CS)

The Drake Equation is famous for its endeavor to determine the number of intelligent, communicating, perhaps space-faring, civilizations. But what about just life? Microbial mats. Little green people wielding clubs and wearing bug carapaces like so many animal skins. David Kipping’s latest submission to the Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences tackles that question by asking the question, “What if we re-ran the clock on Earth? Would life arise again?” An interesting, science-fictional thought experiment with some provocative conclusions. In less uplifting news, The Sun Has Gone Into Lockdown And That May Be Bad News For Earth according to Paul “Mack Daddy” Seaburn. Might we be in for a new ice age, or will the sun merely mitigate the damage humans have done against the atmosphere? (CS)

Mo’ fairies, mo’ problems according to The Professor. This Sunday’s collection is more substantial than the debris of tuning in, turning off, and dropping out if one’s inclined to believe. Quite possibly the best case is when a musician found one of the sidhe to be a potent muse for her. Yet with the advent of disco and other cultural abominations, we’re just as perplexed as The Professor to learn of Faery In The Seventies, and he’s not talkin’ Truman Capote and Studio 54. Heck, many of these accounts would be marvelous grist for a Gen-X childhood-nostalgia paranormal show focused upon the denizens of Arcadia. (CS)

Jack Brewer discerns a difference in how people (perhaps even on skeptical as well as “believer” sides) are reacting vis-a-vis the Big UFO Story that broke into headlines in December of 2017. Some points he references, such as Seth Shostak’s interpreting a meaningful pattern out of a total of three videos, are not as strong as the rest of Jack’s solid article. A former encounter participant and US Navy Veteran Says Pentagon Has Not Released the Complete UFO Footage of the 2004 Nimitz “Tic Tac” incident. Nirmal Narayanan’s post features a current interview with Kevin Day, who first noted these strange objects cavorting about in the Pacific off the California coast. Towards interview’s end Day gives more on what UAP Expeditions is taking on its planned late 2020 visit to the area. Keith Basterfield continues unearthing details of Robert Bigelow’s interest in UFOs and the general paranormal. Keith’s The Bigelow Foundation – UAP, Abductions and More presents items from a report by Angela Thompson Smith, who worked at The Bigelow Foundation in the early 1990s. Jason Colavito’s In New Interview, Leslie Kean Talks UFOs, Other Dimensions, and the Paranormal is rather disappointing. Jason’s article sounds as if Leslie Kean were the only writer of the New York Times articles she co-wrote, every piece she contributes to must have a series of disclaimers attached, and he is the authority upon the editorial workings of the Times. (WM)

May 23

Wow. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea issued a sensible statement against the wilder myths behind their eternal president. Radio Free Asia‘s crack team of Yong Jae Mok, Leejin Jun, and Eugene Whong take a dive into chukjibop and the other high strangeness associated with the Kim dynasty amidst official denouncements of those tall tales. Despite lockdowns, quarantines, and shelter-in-places, weirdness still suffuses Earth evinced by this Herd Of Fuzzy Green ‘Glacier Mice’ Baffling Scientists, and Nell Greenfieldboyce makes a point the phenomenon is far more mysterious than photosynthetic lemmings. Finally from the appropriately-named SkyNews
Satellites And Spacecraft Malfunction As Earth’s Magnetic Field Mysteriously Weakens
. Is this the long-overdue pole-shift? Why are there new areas of weakness popping up over Africa? Why is the South Atlantic Anomaly shrinking? All these questions, and more, shall be made clear. (CS)

We don’t blame Kashmira Gander for this Daily Mail-esque headline which completely spoils the article, and her editor really did Kashmira a disservice because the rest of her analysis is quite provocative, especially with the numbers from the study. In the same vein, Rich Haridy notes the Largest Ever DMT Survey Travels To The Fringes Of Psychedelic Science with the fundamental changes upon staunch atheists, the reality of otherworldly entities from the experience, and the esoteric chemistry permitting our puny minds to pierce the veil. Even if you can’t turn on, tune in, and drop out in these crazy times then live vicariously through Dr. David Luke who talks Synesthesia, Shared Hallucinations, And Telepathy With DMT on the Third Wave podcast. Just be a bit forgiving when he starts on why parapsychology is still considered fringe by lamestream science. (CS)

The economy’s tanking after more than three years of a Trump bubble, thanks to COVID-19, and many jobs won’t be coming back much like Firefly. Still crisis is another word for opportunity in Chinese and Rose Mittal has a pointer for at least making beer money while staying weird. If you ever wanted to explore an exciting career in pursuing the paranormal without joining the FBI, this is the article for you. Heck, you could receive free money to study spooks and things which go bump in the night. Lisette Coly wants you to know about Frances P. Bolton And A Grant Opportunity for research into life after death and associated phenomena. On the other hand, NASA Wants To Pay You To Isolate On Fake Mars For 8 Months in Russia. Sadly NASA’s requirements for the opportunity, according to Elizabeth Yuko, are a bit steep. Still one can dream despite the fact NASA wants space to be WEIRD, i.e. western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic rather than inclusive. The International Space Station and its descendents will still need janitors, plumbers, and other workers who are taken for granted by the crumbling running-dog capitalist regime. (CS)

There’s a certain je ne sais quois with water. Humans are 70% water. We emerged from watery environs millions and millions of years ago. Our planet is 70% covered by water. Blood is, purportedly, as salty as the Permian oceans which served as life’s womb in the first billion years. Not to mention the fourth state of water and the controversy surrounding water memory. David Paulides illustates how many missing person cases occur during wet weather, so why not crazy paranormal activity that’s the bread and butter of Saint Nick of Redfern late of holy Texas? Mr. Redfern has a corker of a piece for your entertainment and enlightenment, and maybe something else to talk about with that person you’re being held hostage with during this here pandemic. Anomalist-approved! Nick’s heir-apparent, Rob Swartz, makes life a whole lot creepier as Hundreds Apologize To Cursed Doll After Viewing Photos Online. Robert the Cursed Doll has a deep, rich, and nougaty tapestry of folklore surrounding him which Mr. Swartz ably elaborates upon, in addition to the kooky beliefs making the high strangness real like bringing Tinkerbell back from the brink by clapping ones hands. I’m sorry, Robert. (CS)

May 22

But not necessarily Down Here. The New York Times coverage of Naval encounters with unidentifieds has attracted the attention of Sarah Jones, who offers a lighthearted (and frankly “light”) treatment of the situation. Several readers think she could have done better. NPR features the unfortunately-titled Little Green People? Unlikely. But The Navy Says UFOs Are Real. Sasha-Ann Simons interviews listeners; Sarah Scoles, the author of the somewhat off-target (for this conversation) They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers; and SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak. The format and conversation are superficial and lack balance. To grasp the scope of selected viewpoints, the DoD apparently elected not to participate. Altogether it’s a predominantly ghastly, sadly predictable, 34.5 minutes. (WM)

Most of our readers are no doubt familiar with the concept of NDEs and the perception by the experiencer of moving towards a bright light. Fewer have read reports of the light that emanates from the body at the moment of death. Descriptions vary but include a general ambient light, flames, and a glowing fog. It seems to be a life-altering phenomenon witnessed by all left behind in the immediate vicinity. To do the subject justice we may need a background in both philosophy and poetry. But for those who prefer a more scientific explanation, allow us to recommend Synesthesia and Parapsychology. To quote directly from the paper cited, a journal article by Christine Simmonds-Moore, “synesthetic processes enable both the detection and conscious perception of information from a range of sources that are usually unseen or inaccessible, including abstract, unlanguaged, preconscious, and potentially other nonlocal sources.” in other words, synethesia, something that is currently described as a “condition” in medical texts, may turn out to be a tool that facilitates paranormal experiences. More significantly, this tool may be something that we all possess, not by mistake but by design. (CM)

Leave it to Nick Redfern to come up with a title like this and make it seem believable. Nick first sketches out a horrifying version of the Roswell story and then suggests, plausibly, how it may have been immortalized in fiction. Having already suitably softened us up, Nick then hits us with UFOs: When Fact and Fiction Become One. Nick launches into other cases of real-life seeping into novels, concluding with, unsurprisingly, Nick’s most recent, breathtaking, and highly controversial real-world subject, the Rendlesham Forest Incident. It’s almost a relief when Nick pivots to Police Involvement in Famous High Strangeness Cases. But just nearly a relief, because after briefly mentioning Roswell again, Nick throws three extremely unsettling but classic entity cases at us. Brent Swancer’s offering about The Time Police Chased a UFO for 86 Miles concerns another iconic UFO event without monstrous entities, but what happened to Portage County Ohio Sheriff’s Deputy Dale Spaur in its aftermath was both unnecessary and appalling. (WM)

Here’s a trio of Bigfoot reports that are similar only in how dissimilar they are to typical Sasquatch tales. This first takes place 35 years ago in Indiana where a hunter encountered a 12-foot female Bigfoot descending from a nearby tree. Have you ever felt as if the woods have eyes? Next time, look up. On second thought, don’t. You’ll never outrun the thing that’s looking back at you. Our reports get weirder: Bigfoot, Mysterious Apes and Wild Men: When They Use Weapons. Sasquatch clearly have cognition and manual dexterity, so it’s reasonable to expect they can make tools. We have to wonder why they’d bother, though. Did thumping a potential meal with their tree-like arms become too messy? And now for the strangest story of all: Oklahoma Bigfoot Encounter Results in Memory Loss / Strange Activity. A retired Special Forces sniper and his dog were the unfortunate recipients of high strangeness fallout after what seemed an uneventful Bigfoot encounter late one night in 2011. The witness later experienced memory loss (no word on whether that also included time loss) while his unfortunate dog developed loss of appetite and seizures and required euthanization. Is it merely coincidence this incident bears resemblance to some UFO encounters? (CM)

Occasionally, the Past tries to communicate directly with us. Joe Stafford tells yet another story of a discovery made in a museum when an object was examined differently than when originally acquired. An underlying thread is the reprehensible trade in Dead Sea Scroll fakery. Paul Seaburn tells a positively attractive story about the Mysterious Inscribed Cubes Found By Magnet Fisherman in England. Follow Paul’s link to Mystery as 60 peculiar Cubes with Inscriptions Pulled from Coventry River for pictures of the cubes which, in spite of Will Read’s name, he couldn’t decipher. And there are some very negative potential results to this type of fishing. And we now step into the fantastic with Hundreds of Thousands of Years Old Artifacts Discovered in Indonesia Baffled Scientific Community. We are regaled with the famous “imprint of a sandal half a billion years old and the hammer in London which is several million years old.” And the Indonesian artifact recalled in the article’s title is suggested to be magnetic (heard that before) and maybe a map of the solar system (well…), but the most unbelievable claim is that it “fits almost perfectly with the model sent by the Soviet satellite into space.” The picture and accompanying video clearly refer to Pioneer 10, launched in 1972 from, last we looked, Cape Canaveral, Florida. (WM)

Michael Swords has lately been blogging almost exclusively on his fascination with the Faery subject (accessible from his site are his eminently worthwhile 2009-2015 blogs coursing throughout the paranormal, with particular UFO emphasis). Here “The Professor” offers numerous fascinating cases that tread the line between UFOs and the Faery Folk. From these mostly pleasant encounters Nick Redfern turns us to Sulfur: Sickening Smells and Paranormal Creatures. Nick’s examples have a UFO-ish odor, but he specially recommends Joshua Cutchin’s The Brimstone Deceit, from Anomalist Books. This looks at all sorts of “spirits, UFOs, Sasquatch, and other phenomena that are not supposed to exist”–and the malodorous aromas associated with them. And in the scent connection, note is also made of John Keel’s The Eighth Tower: On Ultraterrestrials and the Superspectrum, reprinted by Anomalist Books. (WM)

May 20

We begin a series of questions and answers related to ufology with John Horgan’s Q&A with journalist Leslie Kean, who has written major works on both subjects and co-written articles in The New York Times which may have changed forever the dialogue on UFOs. Skeptic Horgan allows Kean to lay out her views and investigative process on both UFOs and ghosts clearly. It’s fair to say that Department of Defense communications pertinent to the UFO subject have raised about as many questions as they’ve answered. Roger Glassel recently posed queries to both spokespersons Susan Gough for the Pentagon and Joseph Gradisher of the Navy. The result: Pentagon Answers on Navy UAP Investigations. Other than clearing the proper application of acronyms, it’s hard to feel much more enlightened, a point Danny Silva makes in asking himself Did the Pentagon Just Confirm the Existence of a Current UFO Program? Silva’s answer is informed by comparisons of the government statements to those of Luis Elizondo. Well, in the absence of concrete, direct-to-the-point answers to questions, what have we left? Distrust, as Tobias Wayland says Suspicion Surrounds U.S. Navy Patent for Creation of Laser Induced Plasma ‘UFOs’. Wayland is clearly affected by “the Pentagon’s attempts to confuse and obfuscate the UFO narrative,” and takes a closer look at the recent Navy patent as something the military wants to hide. (WM)

A 21-second clip of the last known living Thylacine has been digitized and released for public consumption by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. This is more than a typical video. For those readers for whom the Tasmanian Tiger is just a term and a collection of old photographic stills, this clip may well ignite if not your hope that this strange, beautiful creature still exists somewhere, then your despair that we may have wiped this being from the face of the planet. In other cryptozoology news, Nick Redfern asks, Oklahoma, 1971: Was it a Dogman or a Bigfoot? Maybe a Hoax? Witness reports varied too widely to be certain. Some put the beast in human clothes that were much too small. Others talked about long hair all over its body. The authorities did their utmost to dispel the concern, suggesting it was all a prank pulled by a young man with a rubber mask and too much time on his hands. The lack of consistency in these reports resulted in the case remaining unexplained, even now almost 50 years later. (CM)

Greg Bishop opens this threesome of podcasts challenging The Norm with Louisiana State University Director of African & African American Studies prof Stephen Finley, who’s kind of a rebel against the traditional approach to understanding the Nation of Islam. And Finley makes a good case that the Nation of Islam cannot be understood without understanding the roles that UFOs play–whatever they are conceived to be–in its development and its beliefs. Finley clearly explains his intriguing findings, including how famous UFO events have been incorporated into the teachings of Nation of Islam leaders. Nick Redfern has a verdict on The Rendlesham Forest UFO Conspiracy: A Close Encounter Exposed as a Top Secret Government Experiment which puts him squarely in a separatist camp. But after listening to Nick’s notions, you may find yourself questioning not only Rendlesham (and maybe Roswell, per Nick’s earlier revisionist works), but several other “hallmark” UFO cases, too. And an early March podcast needs noting: the David Marler interview by Martin Willis. Marler is easily one of the best UFO researchers working today. He’s taken fresh looks at old cases like The Battle of Los Angeles; produced the best work on Triangular UFOs; and here offers the first serious and comprehensive treatment of a staggering UFO burn victim case from 1964. The story itself veers from the traditional in several ways. (WM)

Rich Reynolds launches some far-ranging UFO Conjectures by recommending the author of Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious, published by Anomalist Books. But Rich also highlights Eric Wargo’s website, whose postings are “erudite, longish, detailed, and sourced.” Rich also credits Isaac Koi with an intriguing post about an Air Force “Bagged” Flying Saucer. Rich finds that term “bagged” potentially meaningful, both for the supposed saucer’s point of origin and thus for the possibility of it being “reverse-engineered.” While Rich allows “It’s just a science-fictional conjecture,” in A Note about Roswell…Really? Rich “runs with” the date of the “bagging” article and “A Facebook posting adjacent to the one by Isaac Koi” to suggest a possibility that frankly scares him. Whether the “little grey beings” of Roswell lore would qualify, Rich elsewhere ponders whether Creatures with Instinct, Only, May be Rummaging the Galaxy, doing their “hive-entity jobs” almost by rote. (WM)

May 19

The short answer to that question is yes. Perhaps the more relevant question is “Why?” This article poses two possibilities we aren’t likely to think of on our own. The first is a need to repatriate the haunted items back to their countries of origin where they may have been obtained by less than honorable means. The second suggests that some items do not fit in at what is currently their museum home–a paranormal case of one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other. But while the security guards at the British Museum have developed a pragmatic approach to their spectral associates, others faced with a similar situation aren’t coping as well. Quarantining With A Ghost? It’s Scary. The question that remains unanswered in these cases is also “Why?” Has the intense focus on a negative event like a pandemic brought out the poltergeists that were once dormant in our lives? Is our hypervigilance during lockdown making us notice too many earthly anomalies about where we live? Or have we always lived in haunted houses but were too busy going to work to be witness to spooky goings on? Whatever the answer, keep in mind that Ghosts are Stupid : Don’t Listen to Their Nonsense. Unfinished business? That’s the spook’s own leftover attachment to the physical world. And don’t try sending them to the light because that’s part of their personal spiritual evolution. In other words, don’t be ghostly enablers unless you want your ethereal visitors to be the houseguests that never leave. (CM)

A set of Hispanic sightings begins with an apparent multiply-witnessed aerial display that profoundly affected the viewers. (Note vis-a-vis the “Santa Compana” explanation: when in Galicia, it might be a good idea to be able to draw a “Solomon’s Circle” in chalk on the ground.) More recently, and in Mexico: UFO Sightings in Coahuila have social media users buzzing. It was difficult to see any points of reference for this supposedly moving display. Again in Mexico: Alleged UFOs Over Monterrey have elicited commentary both pro and con. While interesting, they’re not on the level of The Mystery of the Chihuahua UFO Crash. Bent Swancer credits Ruben Uriarte and Noe Torres for the “most complete source and record of the case,” and is likewise probably accurate in pronouncing it “a fantastic story relegated to the realm of speculation and debate.” But it’s a humdinger of a tale with just about everything one could imagine. (WM)

Sailors have reported seeing a creature in Lake Ontario for centuries. Some describe it as long as a yacht with a “large red and venomous looking tongue,” while others report a 10-foot, snake-like creature. Officials for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation say they are not aware of any such reports but venture these accounts are most likely due to large lake sturgeon. Far more convincing are some of the accounts from the lower eastern seaboard, Florida, and the Caribbean related in an interview on Sea Serpent Territory with Dave Goudsward. You can skip the radio BS and go directly to the heart of the interview at about 73 minutes in. Dave, a New Englander now transplanted in Florida, is the author of the delightful new work entitled Sun, Sand, and Sea Serpents, published by Anomalist Books. Since Amazon can’t seem to offer the book except through third party sellers, we recommend you buy a copy of the book from the International Cryptozoology Museum, where Dave’s book is autographed by both Dave and Loren Coleman, who wrote the foreword. Your purchase supports the museum at the same time. (PH)

Australian researcher Bill Chalker honors the late Trace-Case Investigator Extraordinaire. Bill lists “high strangeness” physical trace cases Ted Phillips assembled, especially the one that began Ted’s relationship with Dr. J. Allen Hynek. Bill then relates an early such report that caused himself to focus on these types of encounters, and others offering the opportunity for some kind of instrumented measurement data. Graham Hancock allows Author of the Month Whitley Strieber to excerpt from Strieber’s book A New World. The piece centers around Strieber’s visit to the Lakota Sioux Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and Strieber’s understanding of what occurred to him while there. Strieber fans will likely eat this up. But Jason Colavito of course doesn’t, as he makes plain in his Whitley Strieber Claims Visit to Parallel World, Begs “The Energy” to Let Him Return. Jason attacks Strieber’s offering from a number of different angles. (WM)

May 18

Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean lend context to the eight Naval pilot reports gained by The War Zone‘s Tyler Rogoway and Joseph Trevithick through the FOIA (see Here Are The Navy Pilot Reports From Encounters With Mysterious Aircraft Off The East Coast). The Times mentions pilot avoidance of speculation both in those reports and in interviews about the origins of the unknowns. Nonetheless, Keith Kloor seems so overwhelmed by the occasional stories from The Gray Lady that he asks Will the New York Times Ever Stop Reporting on UFOs? Kloor continues to attack Luis Elizondo, whom subsequent information seems to support, and then blames Kean and Blumenthal for failing to mention Elizondo in their article (Neither did Rogoway and Trevithick). Kloor states without indicating how to check him that “Over the last few years, the paper has published more than a dozen UFO-related stories.” (Out of how many hundreds of stories?) Kloor also seems “hard-pressed to find any mention of wily UFOs” in “the credentialed industry press”–demoting The War Zone’s Tyler Rogoway to “a military blogger” and failing to mention the Task and Purpose piece we reviewed on May 17th. A National Review Plus Member is moved by the general occasion to ask whether Aliens Exist? This putative review of Sarah Scoles’ new book They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers tells us rather more about the reviewer’s mindset than it does Scoles’ tome. But it praises Scoles for her “crash course” for recent happenings in ufology and the origins of the UFO subculture. (WM)

Some people are so committed to their careers that even long after their passing they can’t stop doing what they do best. W.T. Stead was a noted investigative journalist at the turn of the 19th century, with the misfortune of purchasing a ticket to board the Titanic on her maiden voyage. Failing to survive the ill fated trip like so many others, spiritualists were only to happy to pass on his description of the tragedy, as well as the shocked and angry souls who were not ready to let go of living. Had any of them made it back alive, they might have one day been interested to find out that a Near-Death Experience Researcher Seeks Respondents for Online Survey as Part of New NDE Study and Book. Participants are invited to submit both survey and/or Near Death Experience. Is what lies beyond this life more than a series of firings of synapses produced by a dying brain? (CM)

John Keel site-minder Doug Skinner offers more insights into the life and times–and mind–of the controversial author. In this first offering, John tells Library of Congress UFO bibliographer Lynn Catoe to “Keep your cool…The worst is yet to come.” We also learn what “mongering” is, and find it still has application. A Letter from Lynn Catoe, December 22, 1967 gives us hints about Ms. Catoe’s thinking regarding “second sight” and ESP. John returns this missive with A Letter to Lynn Catoe, December 26, 1967. This piece seems to show an Ivan Sanderson in crumbling mental health and a rather ugly side to John. (WM)

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