The Number Stations

Numbers stations are mysterious shortwave radio channels of indiscernible origin that exist in countries all across the world and have been reported since World War 1. They are identifiable by the unusual contents of their broadcasts: seemingly random sequences of numbers, words, letters, tunes, and Morse code, usually spoken by artificially generated voices of women and children.

The most common theory regarding the purpose of these bizarre stations is that they’re used by governments the world over to secretly transmit encrypted commands and messages to spies. That said, even though numbers stations have been discovered all over the globe and in any number of different languages, no government has ever officially acknowledged their existence. While the espionage theory is a logical one, with no official confirmation of their purpose the jury is still out.

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One particularly odd station, UVB-76, has existed since the late 1970s and has broadcast a simple, repetitive buzzing tone 24 hours a day ever since. On very rare occasions, however, listeners have reported a Russian voice interrupting the buzz to read out sequences of numbers and words, always in a consistent format — this happened once in 1997, once in 2002, once in 2006, 56 times in 2010, and 14 in 2011. As with all numbers stations, its true purpose is and will probably remain unknown, but the increase in frequency of whatever it’s doing is certainly odd.

You can listen to well over 100 recordings of numbers stations for free on archive.org but be forewarned that they’re all kind of, well, eerie. They feel like something you shouldn’t be listening to, which stands to reason since apparently you’re not supposed to know they exist.

Via: NowYourAfraidoftheDark

The Self-Immolation of Thích Quảng Đức

On June 11th 1963, Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, sat down in the middle of a busy intersection in Saigon, covered himself in gasoline, ignited a match, and set himself on fire. Đức burned to death in a matter of minutes. He was immortalized in a photograph taken by a reporter who was in Vietnam to cover the war. All those who saw this spectacle were taken by the fact that Duc did not make a sound while burning to death. Đức was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm’s administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion.

Via: ThatWasNotInOurHistoryBooks

Hanger 18

For many years after the alleged Roswell event in July 1947, when a flying saucer was said to have crashed on a ranch located about 60 miles north of Roswell, New Mexico. Rumors of alien corpses found nearby were largely dismissed by all but the more stubborn believers in extraterrestrial invaders. Every so often, though, stories would surface about Hangar 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which was said to hold the remains of the crashed Roswell flying saucer and the refrigerated corpses of the alien bodies that had been found beside the downed craft.

Dayton, Ohio is not a town that most people would find remarkable. Except for the presence of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This military base started life merely as Wright Field (so named for the Ohio-born brothers who invented modern aviation). But, not long after the UFO crash at Roswell, that changed. Materials from the New Mexico crash site were believed to have been transported to Dayton, after which, Wright Field became formally known as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Many UFOlogists believe, since 1947, Wright-Patterson has been used to store wreckage from the downed alien craft and the bodies of the aliens themselves. It wasn’t long before rumors began to circulate about the mysterious “Blue Room,” or, Hangar 18. Stories about this top secret location in the Air Force Base were so persistent that in the 1960s, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona dropped by the base and asked permission of General Curtis LeMay to view Hangar 18. His request met with quite a stir and was flatly denied by LeMay.

As UFO research enters the twenty-first century, controversy still rages over the truth of whether Major Jesse Marcel and his men collected pieces of debris from a flying saucer along with the bodies of two to five extraterrestrial crew members. Most civilian and military personnel accounts who claim to have been eyewitnesses to the events at Roswell speak of five alien bodies found at the impact site north of Roswell and state that four corpses were transported to Hangar 18 at Wright Field, with the fifth going to the USAF mortuary service at Lowry Field. Two years before his death in the late 1990s, pilot Oliver “Pappy” Henderson swore at a reunion of his World War II bomber crew that he had flown the remains of four alien bodies out of Roswell Army Field in a C-54 cargo plane in July 1947.

Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle, in their book UFO Crash at Roswell (1991), include an interview with Brig. Gen. Arthur Exon in which he states that, in addition to debris from the wreckage, four tiny alien cadavers were flown to Wright Field: “They [the alien bodies] were all found, apparently, outside the craft itself.…The metal and material from the spaceship was unknown to anyone I talked to. [The event at] Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space.”

In his subsequent research, Randle’s investigations confirm the claims made previously by other researchers that four corpses were transported to Wright Field and the fifth to Lowry Field. There are, however, numerous secondary accounts that maintain that one of the aliens survived the crash and was still alive when Major Marcel and his retrieval unit arrived on the scene. Some UFO researchers believe that as late as 1986 the alien entity was still alive and well treated as a guest of the air force at Wright-Patterson.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

Operation Majestic-12

According to UFO researcher and documentary filmmaker Jamie Shandera, in December 1984, he received an anonymous packet in the mail containing two rolls of undeveloped 35mm film. The film, once developed, revealed what appeared to be a briefing report to President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower, which had been prepared by a group of 12 prestigious and top-secret investigators who worked under the code name of “Operation Majestic-12” (MJ-12). The document, which appeared to be authentic, described details of the recovery, analysis, and official cover-up of the 1947, UFO crash outside of Roswell, New Mexico. The report also described the recovery of the bodies of four humanlike beings that had been found near the wreckage of the downed extraterrestrial spacecraft.

According to these documents, all four of the entities were dead, and their corpses had been mutilated by desert scavengers and were badly decomposed due to exposure to the elements. Although the creatures were human-like in appearance, the secret report stated that the biological and evolutionary processes responsible for their development had apparently been quite different from those of humankind.

On June 14, 1987, at the 24th Annual National UFO Conference in Burbank, California, Shandera, together with Stanton Friedman and William Moore—the two prominent UFO researchers Shandera had enlisted to help him test the truth of the MJ-12 documents—made public their investigations into what purported to be documentary proof of a government cover-up of UFOs that began in 1947.

According to the documents leaked to Shandera, the members of Majestic-12 consisted of the following individuals:

Lloyd V. Berkner, known for scientific achievements in the fields of physics and electronics, special assistant to the secretary of state in charge of the Military Assistance Program, executive secretary of what is now known as the Research and Development Board of the National Military Establishment.

Detlev W. Bronk, a physiologist and biophysicist of international repute, chairman of the National Research Council, and a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Vannevar Bush, a brilliant scientist who was, from 1947, to 1948, chairman of Research and Development for the National Military Establishment.

Gordon Gray, three times elected to the North Carolina Senate, succeeded Kenneth Royall as secretary of the Army in June 1949.

Dr. Jerome C. Hunsaker, an innovative aeronautical scientist and design engineer, who served as chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

Robert M. Montague, Sandia base commander, Albuquerque, New Mexico, from July 1947, to February 1951.

General Nathan F. Twining, commander of the B-29 superfortresses that dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In December 1945, he was named commanding general of the Air Material Command headquartered at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. In October 1947, he was appointed commander in chief of the Alaskan Command, remaining in that position until May 1950, when he became acting deputy chief of staff for personnel at U.S. Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Donald H. Menzel, director of the Harvard Observatory at Cambridge, Massachusetts, a leading authority on the solar chromosphere, formulated (with Dr. Winfield W. Salisbury) the initial calculations that led to the first radio contact with the Moon in 1946.

James V. Forrestal served first as undersecretary, then secretary of the U.S. Navy for seven years. In September 1947, he became secretary of defense, responsible for coordinating the activities of all U.S. Armed Forces.

Sidney W. Souers, a rear admiral, who became deputy chief of Naval Intelligence before organizing the Central Intelligence Office in January 1946.

Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a much-decorated U.S. Air Force officer, rose to the rank of commanding general of the Ninth U.S. Air Force in France before he was named assistant chief of staff of G-2 (Intelligence) in 1946. In June 1946, he was appointed the director of Central Intelligence.

Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter was summoned from the post of naval attache at the American Embassy in Paris to become the first director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving from May 1947, to September 1950.

Many UFO researchers agreed upon seeing the list of MJ-12s alleged personnel that if a UFO had crashed and been recovered in Roswell in 1947, this would have been the kind of panel that could have accomplished a thorough investigation of the craft. Each of these individuals had been at the top in their respective areas of expertise during the late 1940s, and had the added benefit of government experience behind them.

The more skeptical investigators agreed that “Document A,” which purported to be a letter dated September 24, 1947, from President Harry S Truman to Secretary of Defense Forrestal, appeared to be genuine; but even though Truman did refer to “Operation Majestic Twelve” in the letter, there was nothing clearly stated that linked the group to UFO investigations.

Others questioned why Hillenkoetter, head of the CIA, listed as the briefing officer on the MJ-12 document, would remain quiet about the crashed flying saucer and the alien bodies when he became active in civilian UFO research in 1957.

The biggest shocker to longtime UFO researchers was the discovery of the name of Donald Menzel, the Harvard astronomer, on the MJ-12 list. Menzel was well known as a passionate debunker of flying saucers and the author of three anti-UFO books.

In spite of its defenders in the UFO research field, the authenticity of the MJ-12 documents remains highly controversial. Skeptical researchers have labeled the documents as clearly false and fraudulent, pointing out that a thorough search of the records of the Truman administration reveals no executive order for such a UFO investigative group as MJ-12. Researchers who have served in the military have stated that the clearest indication of a hoax lies in the many incorrect military terms and language used in these alleged “official” documents, suggesting that the creators of the hoax have never served in the military.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

 

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz, also referred to as “The Rock,” is rich in American history, more so than most people realize. It is the home of the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast, a Civil War fortress that served as the San Francisco Arsenal, the infamous federal prison, the beginning of the American Indian Red Power movement, and also a bird sanctuary.

In 1775, Spaniard Juan Manuel de Ayala named the island “La Isla de los Alcatraces” which translates into “The Island of the Pelicans.” Since then, the earliest recorded owner of the island is Julian Workman, who was assigned by Mexican governor Pio Pico to build a lighthouse on it in June 1846. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore claimed Alcatraz Island for military use only after America gained California in the Mexican-American War. As the American Civil War broke out in the early 1860s, Alcatraz was loaded up with cannons and served as storage and protection of firearms for the San Francisco Arsenal. During the war it was also used to imprison Confederate sympathizers. In 1868, after the building of a brick jailhouse, it was officially designated a long-term facility for military prisoners.

The main cellblock was constructed between 1909, and 1912, and an excavated pit was created as a dry moat to increase defensive efforts. The fortress was deactivated as a military prison in 1933, and opened as a federal prison in August of 1934. Through 1963, the prison held many notable criminals like Al Capone, Bumpy Johnson, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz). However, in all of the 29 years it was in operation, no prisoners ever successfully escaped, or at least none that they have found alive.

Fourteen escape attempts were made by thirty six different Alcatraz inmates over the years and though almost all were captured or killed in the process, in two escapes in 1937, and June 1962, the inmates disappeared without a trace. The prison assumes they all drowned, (quite likely correct in the 1937, case) but over the years there have been sightings of the escapees, leading to much speculation has been made about their possible successful escape. The 1962, escape from Alcatraz inspired a book and movie of the same name which brought the prison to national fame.

The penitentiary was closed in 1963, due to the high costs of operation in comparison with other prisons as well as the severe eroding of the building due to the salt water. In 1976, Alcatraz Island became part of the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1986, it became a National Historic Landmark.

Via: AtlasBbscura.com

Unit 731

During the second Sino-Japanese War and World War II the Japanese military formed an infamous secret squadron whose goal was to research and develop biological and chemical warfare. This unit showed no remorse and carried out some of the most heinous experiments in human history on men, women, children, and infants. Thousands of civilian and military personnel were subjected to human experimentation.

Ping Fang was the headquarters of the Japanese Biological Warfare Unit 731. Often refered to as the “Asian Auschwitz” the facility had an airport, railway, dungeons medical facilities and an incinerator where the bodies of the victims were disposed of. The Japanese burnt most of Ping Fang to destroy the evidence of their crimes but the incinerator remains and is still used by a local factory that has taken over the complex.

In 1942, Shiro Ishii, began field tests of the germ warfare agents developed by Unit 731, He also began testing various methods of dispersion (i.e. via firearms, bombs, gas, clothing, etc.) on both Chinese prisoners of war as well as, operationally on battlefields and against civilians in Chinese cities. Some historians estimate that as many as, 200,000+ died as a result of the bio-weapons that were deployed. His unit also conducted physiological experiments on human subjects, including vivisections, forced abortions, simulated strokes, heart attacks, frostbite and hypothermia.

Arrested by the American authorities at the end of World War II, Ishii and Unit 731 leaders received immunity in 1946 from war-crimes prosecution before the Tokyo tribunal in exchange for germ warfare data based on human experimentation. Many of the scientists involved in Unit 731 went on to prominent careers in post-war politics, academia, business, and medicine. Ishii never spent any time in jail for his crimes and died at the age of 67 of throat cancer.

Initially set up under the Empire of Japan’s Kempeitai military police to develop weapons of mass destruction for potential use against Chinese, and Soviet forces. Unit 731, was officially disbanded in August of 1945, when the Russian’s invaded Manchukuo and discovered another of the highly secret Japanese programs. Unit 200 was researching bio warfare.

Unit 731 was divided into eight divisions:
Division 1: Research on bubonic plague, cholera, anthrax, typhoid and tuberculosis using live human subjects. For this purpose, a prison was constructed to contain around three to four hundred people.
Division 2: Research for biological weapons used in the field, in particular the production of devices to spread germs and parasites.
Division 3: Production of shells containing biological agents. Stationed in Harbin.
Division 4: Production of other miscellaneous agents.
Division 5: Training of personnel.
Divisions 6–8: Equipment, medical and administrative units.

Some of the experiments conducted by Unit 731 and its subsidiary units included:

Vivisection, victims were subjected to live autopsy without anesthesia whereupon they were purposefully infected with diseases (including pregnant women who were impregnated by doctors). The reasons for this was to study the effect on human organs and avoid decomposition from affecting results, amputate limbs to study blood loss and the effects of rotting and gangrene (some limbs were later attached to the other side of the body), parts of the stomach, liver, brains and lungs were often removed to observe the effects.

Weapons testing, grenades, mortars and other explosive devices were detonated near living targets to determine the effects with regards to different distances and angles. So they could determine how long victims could survive with their sustained injuries while others were tied to stakes and were subject to the use of biological bombs, chemical weapons, and other explosive material.

Germ warfare, male and female prisoners were injected with venereal diseases in the disguise of inoculations (or sometimes infected via rape) to determine the viability of germ warfare, victims were infested with fleas in order to communicate the disease to an organism which could be later dropped onto a populace. Fleas themselves were also tainted with cholera, anthrax, and the bubonic plague, as well as, other plagues. These were later dropped in the guise of clothing and supplies which resulted in the estimated death of another 400,000 Chinese civilians. This was the origin of the “flea bomb” which infected large geographic areas and polluted land and water.

In other experiments victims were hung upside down to observe how long it took for one to die due to choking and the length of time until the onset of embolism occurred after inserting air into ones blood stream.

Many think these atrocities were overlooked because The United States feared that the Soviet Union might acquire Ishii’s expertise and records through a secret deal. Allied POWs had a lot of stories to tell about biological experimentation on humans. Prosecutors at the Tokyo War Crimes trials were warned not to investigate the specific crimes and by 1948, all Unit 731 members were offered immunity in exchange for data and co-operation.

The discovery of the bodies beneath Tokyo, broke a cover-up which lasted for more than four decades. Suddenly, allied servicemen started telling about their ordeals. Joseph Gozzo, a former aviation engineer, had glass rods inserted in his rectum during his internment. He said “Damn right I remember; I can’t believe our government let them get away with it”.

Ex-POW, Frank James, shared his memories with a US House of Representatives sub-committee in 1986: “We were just pawns. We Always knew there was a cover-up”. The House of Representatives hearing lasted just half a day and only one of 200 US survivors was permitted to testify in front of the chief archivist for the US Army. The official report said that files provided by Ishii were returned to Japan in the 1950s and copies had not been made.

Initially, the US and Japanese governments denied that atrocities had occurred but when official information was made public from General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters that stated that the investigation of Unit 731 was “under the direct supervision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The utmost secrecy was essential in order to protect the interests of the United States and to guard against embarrassment.” Finally, in 1993, US Defence Secretary William Perry declassified records of WWII biological experiments.

For more information on Unit 731 there is also a documentary titled “Unit 731: Nightmare in Manchuria” and a graphic movie titled “Man Behind the Sun“.

Via in Part by: AboveTopSecret and DawnOfDarkness

The Conch Republic “We Seceded Where Others Failed”

The Conch Republic is a micronation who declared their independence and the secession of the city of Key West from the United States on April 23, 1982. It’s since been maintained as a tourism booster for the city. From then on, the term “Conch Republic” has been expanded to refer to “all of the Florida Keys, or, that geographic apportionment of land that falls within the legally defined boundaries of Monroe County Florida, northward to ‘Skeeter’s Last Chance Saloon’ in Florida City, Dade County Florida, with Key West as the nation’s capital and all territories north of Key West being referred to as ‘The Northern Territories’.”

While the protest that sparked the creation of the Conch Republic (and others which have occurred since then) have been described by some as “tongue-in-cheek”, they were motivated by frustrations over genuine concerns.

The Conch Republic celebrates it’s Independence Day every April 23rd as part of a week-long festival of activities involving numerous businesses in Key West. The organization – a “Sovereign State of Mind,” seeking only to bring more “Humor, Warmth, and Respect” to a world in sore need of all three according to its Secretary General, Peter Anderson.

In 1982, the United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock and inspection point on US 1 just north of the merger of Monroe County Road 905A/Miami-Dade County Road 905A onto US 1 (they are the only two roads connecting the Florida Keys with the mainland), in front of the Last Chance Saloon just south of Florida City. Vehicles were stopped and searched for narcotics and illegal immigrants. The Key West City Council complained repeatedly about the inconvenience for travelers to and from Key West, claiming that it hurt the Keys’ important tourism industry. Eastern Air Lines, which had a hub at Miami International Airport, saw a window of opportunity when the roadblocks were established; Eastern became the only airline to establish jet service to Key West International Airport, counting on travelers from Key West to Miami preferring to fly rather than to wait for police to search their vehicles.

When the City Council’s complaints went unanswered by the federal government and attempts to get an injunction against the roadblock failed in court, as a form of protest Mayor Dennis Wardlow and the Council declared Key West’s independence on April 23, 1982. In the eyes of the Council, since the federal government had set up the equivalent of a border station as if they were a foreign nation, they might as well become one. As many of the local citizens were referred to as Conchs, the nation took the name of the Conch Republic.

As part of the protest, Mayor Wardlow was proclaimed Prime Minister of the Republic, which immediately declared war against the U.S. (symbolically breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a naval uniform), they quickly surrendered after one minute (to the man in the uniform), and applied for one billion dollars in foreign aid.

Conch Republic officials were invited to the Summit of the Americas in Miami in 1994, and Conch representatives were officially invited to 1995’s Florida Jubilee.

The mock secession and the events surrounding it generated great publicity for the Keys’ plight — the roadblock and inspection station were removed soon afterward. It also resulted in the creation of a new avenue of tourism for the Keys.

Invasions of 1995
On September 20, 1995, it was reported that the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion of the United States Army Reserve was to conduct a training exercise simulating an invasion of a foreign island. They were to land on Key West and conduct affairs as if the islanders were foreign. However, no one from the 478th notified Conch officials of the exercise.

Seeing another chance at publicity, Wardlow and the forces behind the 1982 Conch Republic secession mobilized the island for a full-scale war (in the Conch Republic, this involves firing water cannons from fireboats and hitting people with stale Cuban bread), and protested to the Department of Defense for arranging this exercise without consulting the City of Key West. The leaders of the 478th issued an apology the next day, saying they “in no way meant to challenge or impugn the sovereignty of the Conch Republic”, and submitted to a surrender ceremony on September 22.

During the federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996, as a protest, the Republic sent a flotilla of Conch Navy, civilian and fire department boats to Fort Jefferson, located in the Dry Tortugas National Park, in order to reopen it. The action was dubbed a “full scale invasion” by the Conch Republic. Inspired by efforts of the Smithsonian Institution to keep its museums open by private donations, local residents had raised private money to keep the park running (a closed park would damage the tourist-dependent local economy), but could find no one to accept the money and reopen the park.

When officials attempted to enter the monument, they were cited. When the citation was contested in court the following year, the resultant case, The United States of America v. Peter Anderson, was quickly dropped.

The annexation of Seven Mile Bridge
In yet another protest on January 13, 2006, Peter Anderson (the defendant in the Dry Tortugas case from 1995–1996) purported to annex the abandoned span of Seven Mile Bridge, which had been replaced by a parallel span in 1982. The move was in response to a recent event regarding Cuban refugees. On the previous January 4, fifteen Cuban refugees had reached the bridge, but had been returned to Cuba by the Border Patrol because of a federal decision under the “wet feet/dry feet” policy of the US government that declared the bridge to be a “wet feet” location. The rationale was that, since two sections of the span had been removed and it was no longer connected to land, it was not part of U.S. territory subject to the “dry feet” rule, and thus the refugees were not permitted to stay. Anderson, seizing upon the apparent disavowal of the abandoned span by the U.S., claimed it for the Republic. He expressed his hope to use the bridge to build affordable, ecologically friendly housing. In response, Russel Schweiss, spokesman for Florida Governor Jeb Bush, declared “With all due respect to the Conch Republic, the bridge belongs to all the people of Florida, and we’re not currently in negotiations to sell it.”The refugee decision was later overturned, but only after the refugees had been returned to Cuba.

In another protest beginning in 2008, the northern keys including Key Largo formed a separation of the Conch Republic known as the Independent Northernmost Territories of the Conch Republic. This separation is claimed to be a result of disagreements over the definition and usage of the term ‘Conch Republic’

Souvenir passports and vehicle registration
Through their website, the Republic issues souvenir passports. These are not valid travel documents. Although these are issued as souvenirs, some people have evidently acquired them in the mistaken belief that they can be used as legitimate travel and identity documents. Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, FBI investigators thought that hijacker Mohamed Atta had possibly purchased a Conch Republic passport  from the website. International Country Code stickers can also be purchased from vendors in Key West, bearing the initials KW and “CR” – the latter being the official initials for Costa Rica.

Military
The Conch Republic actively maintains an Army, Navy, and Air Force whose primary duties are to help re-enact the Great Sea Battle of 1982, and the retaking of Ft. Jefferson. The Navy comprises no fewer than 10 civilian boats and the schooner Wolf under the command of RAdm. Finbar Gittleman. The Army consists of the 1st Conch Artillery, garrisoned at Ft. Taylor.

Via: Wikipedia

The Black Knight Satellite

“Our home is Epsilon Boötis, which is a double star. We live on the sixth planet of seven—check that, the sixth of seven—counting outwards from the sun, which is the larger of the two stars. Our sixth planet has one moon. Our fourth planet has three. Our first and third planet each have one. Our probe is in the orbit of your moon.”–signal translation originating from ‘The Black Knight’ Satellite, Time Magazine April 9, 1973

In 1953, four years before the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik I, an object of unknown origin was sighted by Dr Lincoln La Paz of the University of New Mexico orbiting the earth. As more reports of sightings trickled in from around the world, the U.S. Department of Defense appointed distinguished astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh(best known for his discovery of the dwarf ‘planet’ of Pluto in 1930) to run a search for the mystery object. The blip became known as “Black Knight”.The Pentagon never formally released the results of Dr Tombaugh’s study. No more was heard about the object until December, 1957, when Dr Luis Corralos of the Communications Ministry in Venezuela photographed it. The first modern satellites, Sputnik I & 2, had been launched just a few months earlier. Dr Corralos was taking pictures of the second of these modern marvels as it passed over Caracas, and his photos caught the unknown object shadowing the Russian craft.
“Black Knight” was observed once again in 1960, this time by one of the stations that formed the Northern American Air Defense System. The object was in a polar orbit, something that neither the Americans or Soviets were capable of at the time. Several times larger and heavier than anything capable of being launched with 1960, rockets, it shouldn’t have been there, but it was. The observance sent panic through the U.S. military. Not only did the intelligence agencies have no idea that the USSR had launched a new satellite, nothing in their reports on Soviet space activity suggested they had the capacity to place an object into a polar orbit, or to launch something that was estimated to be in excess of 15 tons. The military scientists were horrified, since they were at least four years away from achieving polar orbits and getting payloads that large into space.

Similar waves of shock and anxiety were spreading through the Soviet ranks. They had not launched the satellite and knew they were years away from being able to accomplish such a feat, they also knew that the Americans could not do it either. No one knew where it came from, but it was definitely there.

Three years later Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper was launched into space on his 22 orbit mission in the Faith 7 capsule. On his final orbit, he reported seeing a glowing green shape ahead of his capsule, and heading in his direction. The Muchea tracking station, in Australia, which Cooper reported this to was also able to pick it up on radar traveling in an east-to-west orbit. This event was reported by NBC, but reporters were forbidden to ask Cooper about the event on his landing. The official explanation is that an electrical malfunction in the capsule had caused high levels of carbon dioxide, which induced hallucinations.

If this weren’t enough, Ham radio operators worldwide had been receiving messages from Black Knight. Perhaps the strangest phenomenon associated with the Black Knight was the Long Delay Echo (LDE). The effect observed was that radio or television signals sent into space bounce back seconds (or even days) later, as if recorded and retransmitted by a satellite. First indentified over 30 years earlier by Norwegian geophysicist Carl Stormer and a Dutch collaborator Balthasar van der Pol, the duo discovered that short wave radio messages were followed by mysterious echoes that were picked up at indiscriminate intervals after the original transmissions. Indeed, the delays were so long that they could not be readily attributed to atmospheric quirks, magnetic storms or other natural phenomena. To this day, scientists have been unable to solve the mystery of the echoes.

Scottish Astronomer and science writer Duncan Lunan, in a paper presented to the British Interplanetary Society in 1973, noticed a correspondence between the LDE effect and the periodic appearances of Black Knight. To go further, he claimed that these “echoes” carried messages and star map which he had decoded and the transmission corresponded to a star chart which would have been plotted from Earth 13,000 years ago, and focused on the star system of Epsilon Boötes. Lunan theorized the messages may have been relayed to earth by a robot spacecraft from a highly advanced civilization far beyond the solar system. More astonishing, Lunan added, the automatic vehicle may have been circling the moon for thousands of years, waiting patiently for earthlings to acquire the necessary know-how to contact it.

In 1960 Radio Astronomer Ronald Bracewell of Stanford University speculated on life elsewhere in the galaxy. An article published in Nature offered the theory that an advanced civilization might not necessarily use long-range radio signals to communicate with other intelligent beings. Such signals would be considerably weakened over interstellar distances. Instead, Bracewell said, those far-off beings might employ robot space probes as their message bearers. Sent to a promising nearby star, such a vehicle could swing into an orbit around it at approximately the right distance to encounter a planet with life-supporting temperatures. If it picked up telltale radio signals, the probe might then bounce them back to advertise its presence, thereby producing an effect like the echoes of the 1920s. Finally, as its first message, the robot might transmit a picture of the area of the heavens from which it came.

Black Knight made its presence known again in 1974. This time it wasn’t picked up by way of radar or radio frequency, rather it formed a direct link to one man. That man was science fiction author Philip K. Dick, best known for writing the stories on which the movies Blade Runner (1982) and Total Recall (1990) were based.

Beginning in February of 1974, and continuing for the next eight years, Dick had a series of “mystic” experiences and communications with the Black Knight Satellite that left behind was what he called the Exegesis, an 8000- page, one-million-word continuing dialogue with himself written at night. More about the accounts of Philip Dick can be found here.

Just as mysteriously as it arrives the Black Knight seems to also disappear—leaving us to wonder and speculate as to it’s existence, it’s origin and it’s true purpose.

The Curse of Tippecanoe

The so-called “Zero-Year Curse”, also known as the Curse of Tecumseh or the Curse of Tippecanoe, was first widely popularized by a “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” cartoon from 1931. The cartoon noted that since 1840, every U.S. President elected in a year ending with a zero had died in office.

The first victim of the curse, William Henry Harrison, was a general who had received fame for defeating the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh in the battle of the Tippecanoe River in the Indiana Territory in 1811. Because of this victory, Harrison was nicknamed “Old Tippecanoe”. (His election slogan was “Tippecanoe and Tyler too!”)

Tecumseh’s brother, Tenskwatawa, another leader of the Shawnee tribes, was a holy man often called “The Prophet”. It has been speculated that Tenskwatawa might have placed the curse on the man who killed his brother and upon anyone else ascending to the presidency in a like-numbered year.

  • 1840 William Henry Harrison (aka “Old Tippecanoe”) — died April 4, 1841 of pneumonia — one month after being inaugurated
  • 1860 Abraham Lincoln — died April 15, 1865 — assassinated
  • 1880 James A. Garfield — died September 19, 1881 — assassinated
  • 1900 William McKinley — died September 14, 1901 — assassinated
  • 1920 Warren G. Harding — died August 2 1923 — believed to have died of a heart attack or stroke; but some believe he was poisoned.
  • 1940 Franklin D. Roosevelt — died April 12, 1945 — died of cerebral hemorrhage.
  • 1960 John F. Kennedy — died November 22, 1963 — assassinated
  • 1980 Ronald Reagan — attempted assassination on March 30, 1981, but survived to serve two terms

The only president to die in office who wasn’t elected in a Zero Year was Zachary Taylor, who died of gastroenteritis on July 9, 1850. Reagan seems to have broken the curse, because he served both his terms and did not die until 2004, nearly two decades after leaving office. George W. Bush, elected in 2000, also survived his presidency without incident.

What Happened to the USS Cyclops?

The 1918 Loss of the Navy Ship with 306 Aboard Still a Mystery

The U.S.S. Cyclops disappearance is the single largest loss of life on a ship not involved in combat. There were theories, but no answers. Her wreckage has never been found. The Cyclops was a Proteus class collier ship built for the US Navy before World War I. Before the war, she supported U.S. warships in European and Caribbean waters off the Atlantic seaboard as a member of the Naval Auxiliary Force. The Cyclops was commissioned into service in 1917, and continued carrying supplies to facilitate the U.S. Navy’s wartime operations. But this ship is best remembered for her disappearance.

The Cyclops’ Final Voyage
The ship left Rio de Janeiro on February 16, 1918, and arrived in Bahia on February 20. Before leaving port, Captain Worley had submitted a report that the starboard engine had a cracked cylinder and was inoperative. It was recommended that repairs be delayed until the ship returned to the United States.

Two days later, the ship departed for Baltimore, with no scheduled stops; however she made an unscheduled landing in Barbados on March 3, 1918. Captain Worley visited United States consul Brockholst Livingston and took on additional cargo. Officials in Barbados reported the water was over the Plimsoll line, indicating an overload.

The Cyclops left for Baltimore on March 4. The molasses tanker Amalco sighted her on March 9th near Virginia. The ship was never seen or heard from again. Reports indicate that on March 10, a violent storm swept through the Virginia Cape region, suggesting that the combination of the overloaded condition, engine trouble and bad weather may have ultimately caused the loss of this ship.

The Cyclops and Espionage Theory
About the time the search for the Cyclops was called off, a distressing telegram was received by the State Department from Livingston. It stated that Captain Worley was referred to as the “damned Dutchman” and apparently was disliked by other officers. There were rumors about men being confined and one was even said to have been executed. Livingston wrote that there were numerous Germanic names.

The Office of Naval Intelligence investigations revealed that Captain Worley was born Johan Frederick Wichmann in Germany in 1862, and he had arrived in America by jumping ship in San Francisco in 1878. By 1898, he had changed his name to Worley. During this time, he qualified for the position of ship’s master and had commanded several civilian merchant ships.

The investigators discovered Worley berated and swore at officers and men for minor offenses, sometimes becoming violent. There were allegations that he was pro-German and might have conspired with the enemy. His closest friends and associates were either German or Americans of German descent. One of the passengers on the final voyage was Alfred Louis Moreau Gottschalk, the consul-general in Rio de Janeiro, who was pro-German. This led to the theory that Worley handed the ship over to the Germans. After the war ended, German records were searched and this theory was debunked.


Cyclops
and the Bermuda Triangle
The disappearance of the Cyclops is often credited to the Bermuda Triangle, which is an imaginary line from Miami, Florida to Bermuda to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s considered one of the earliest documented incidents involving the disappearance of a US ship. Many people cite the fact that the vessel disappeared without sending a distress signal as evidence it was lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Ship-board communication was in its infancy in 1918 and it wasn’t unusual for a fast-sinking vessel to have little or no time to make a distress call.

It’s alleged that, in 1968, a Navy diver reported the discovery of the wreckage of an old ship off of the Norfolk, Virginia coast in about three hundred feet of water. He said it looked like the bridge was on stilts. When he saw a picture of the Cyclops, he was convinced this was the ship wreckage he had seen on the sea bottom. The location would have been in the area where the violent storm of 1918, occurred. Further expeditions to the site failed to find the wreckage. The disappearance of the Cyclops remains an enigma of the ocean.

Via: Suite101

Foo Fighters

The term Foo Fighter was used by Allied aircraft pilots in World War II to describe various UFOs or mysterious aerial phenomena seen in the skies over Europe and the Pacific theater. Contemporary witnesses often assumed that the foo fighters were secret weapons employed by the enemy. Despite these fears, foo fighters were never reported to have harmed or even tried to harm anyone. Usually thought of as blobs of light or fire, several different types of reported phenomena were classed as “foo fighters”.

There were  other terms used to describe these objects, such as “Kraut fireballs”, but “foo fighter” seems to have been the most popular. The term is generally thought to have been borrowed from the often surrealist comic strip Smokey Stover. Smokey, a firefighter, was fond of saying “Where there’s foo there’s fire.” (this “foo” may have come from “feu”, the French word for “fire”, or from Smokey’s pronunciation of the word “fuel”.) A Big Little Book titled Smokey Stover the Foo Fighter was published in 1938.

In the same vein, “Foo” could be derived from the French “Fou,” or “mad.” “Foo fighter” was supposedly used as a semi-derogatory reference to Japanese fighter pilots who were known for their erratic flying and extreme maneuvering, it became a catch-all term for fast moving, erratically flying objects (such as UFOs).

Some thought that the term refers to Kung fighting, because of the reported wild, erratic movements of these aerial objects. The term Kung fu was, however, little known in the English language until the late 1960s when it became popular because of the Hong Kong films and the later television series: before that it was referred to primarily as “Chinese Boxing”.

Foo fighters were reported on many occasions from around the world. A nighttime sighting from September, 1941, in the Indian Ocean was similar to some later Foo Fighter reports. From the deck of the S.S. Pulaski, (a Polish merchant vessel transporting British troops), two sailors reported a “strange globe glowing with greenish light, about half the size of the full moon.” They alerted a British officer, who watched the object’s movements with them for over an hour.

On February 28, 1942, just prior to its participation in the Battle of the Java Sea, the USS Houston reportedly saw a large number of strange, unexplained yellow flares and lights which illuminated the sea for miles around.

A report was made from the Solomon Islands in 1942, by United States Marine Corp Stephen J. Brickner. Following an air raid alarm, Brickner and others witnessed about 150 objects grouped in lines of 10 or 12 objects each. Seeming to “wobble” as they moved, Brickner reported that the objects looked to be polished silver and seemed to move a little faster than common Japanese aircraft.

Foo fighter reports were mentioned in the mass media. A 1945, Time story stated “If it was not a hoax or an optical illusion, it was certainly the most puzzling secret weapon that Allied fighters have yet encountered. Last week U.S. night fighter pilots based in France told a strange story of balls of fire which for more than a month have been following their planes at night over Germany.

No one seemed to know what, if anything, the fireballs were supposed to accomplish. Pilots, guessing it was a new psychological weapon, named it the ‘foo-fighter’ … Their descriptions of the apparition varied, but they agree that the mysterious flares stuck close to their planes and appeared to follow them at high speed for miles. One pilot said that a foo-fighter, appearing as red balls off his wing tips, stuck with him until he dove at 360 miles an hour; then the balls zoomed up into the sky.”

The Robertson Panel cited foo fighter reports, noting that their behavior did not appear to be threatening. Interestingly, the Robertson Panel’s report noted that many Foo Fighters were described as metallic and disc shaped, and suggested that “If the term “flying saucers” had been popular in 1943-1945, these objects would have been so labeled.”

Via CrystalLinks