Vertice de Trino, Mexico’s Zone of Silence

Deep in an arid desert region of Mexico lies a little known area that seemingly defies the physics of sound. Known as the Zone of Silence.

Locally as the Vertice de Trino, it is a place where radio waves barely permeate the air. Located between the states of Chihuaua, Coahuila and Durango and only 400 miles from the U.S. Border, something in the area makes it almost impossible to receive radio, television, cell phones or any other sound related transmissions. While the exact cause of this phenomenon has not been fully explained to date, there are many theories abounding that the area has been heavily influenced by past extra-terrestrial and other paranormal activities. Regardless of the cause, the Zone of Silence continues to be a fascinating study into the unknown.

The unique qualities of the region were first discovered when Mexican aviator Francisco Sarabia reported radio trouble while flying over the area in the 1930s. This phenomenon was then later confirmed in 1966 when an organic chemist could not contact fellow team workers on his hand-held radio while conducting a field study. However, full awareness of the unique sound anomalies within the zone did not arise until July 11, 1970. On that date, a faulty U.S. Air Force rocket launched from the White Sands Missile Base in New Mexico went suddenly off course and crashed into the remote desert region. Because the rocket was carrying two containers of radioactive elements, an Air Force recovery team was immediately dispatched to the area where it was once again confirmed that all types of radio signals failed to travel through the air. As a result, research headed by the Mexican government was established to study the unique plant, animal and mineral components of the area in an effort to determine the cause of the drop in signals.

The Zone of Silence is often compared to the Bermuda Triangle, the Egyptian Pyramids, the holy cities of Tibet, Cape Canaveral, all being located between parallels 26 and 28 (Hunt 1984). Soon came the story that just on the other side of the world, somewhere in Tibet or Nepal, there was an area with the same characteristics, so the area is regarded as a center where energy focused ground.

The most commonly held position among scientists for the sudden disappearance of radio waves is the high amounts of mineral deposits in the region. Very high levels of both magnetite and uranium are present, which could create enough electromagnetic pulses to interfere with radio signals. In addition, the region has also received an unusually high level of meteorite activity over thousands of years. This has given rise to speculations that there may be some unusual magnetic properties in the soil arising from the breakdown of meteorite fragments.

The high level of meteorite activity has generated many theories that the region is a vortex where an extraordinary amount of earth energy is concentrated, leading it to be a hot spot for paranormal activities. Numerous reports by local residents of UFO sightings and contact with extra-terrestrial beings have been documented on a regular basis since 1910. Some people have claimed to being witness to “large disks” landing on area hills, while many others describe a regular occurrence of mysterious lights and fireballs in the night skies. Backing the theory of spaceships landing in the area are reports of contacts with alien beings. In all cases, these beings have been described as strange looking blond people wearing long raincoats and ball caps. When asked by a rancher where they came from, their response was “from above”.

How the Zone of Silence disrupts radio signals and seems to attract extra-terrestrial activity has yet to be fully explained. But there is little question that the area contains many phenomenons that continue to defy logical explanations.

Via: Unsolved-Mystery

The Mysterious Marfa Lights

The Marfa lights are visible every clear night between the Marfa and Paisano Pass in Texas. At times they appear colored as they twinkle in the distance. They move about, split apart, melt together, disappear, and reappear. Residents have watched the lights for over a hundred years. The first historical record of them occurred in 1883 when a young cowhand saw flickering lights while he was driving cattle through Paisano Pass. He was told by other settlers that they often saw the lights, but when they investigated they found no ashes or other evidence of a campsite.

World War I observers feared that the lights were intended to guide an invasion. During World War II pilots training at a nearby airfield looked for the source of the elusive lights from the air, again with no success.

Over the years many explanations for the lights have been offered, ranging from an electrostatic discharge, swamp gas, or moonlight shining on veins of mica, to ghosts of conquistadors looking for gold.

The most plausible explanation is that the lights are an unusual phenomenon similar to a mirage, caused by an atmospheric condition produced by the interaction of cold and warm layers of air that bend light so that it is seen from a distance but not up close. In recent years the lights have become a tourist attraction.

The Texas State Highway Department has constructed a roadside parking area nine miles east of Marfa on U.S. Highway 90 for motorists to view the curious phenomenon.  The lights have made the little town of Marfa famous. To draw more tourists for the mysterious lights, the city has begun an annual festival to celebrate them.

Via: ACuriousHistory

Live Animals Entombed in Wood and Stone

It is one of the strangest phenomena reported. Something that can’t happen, but stories saying it does turn up again and again anyway. Stories of animals found alive locked deep within stone or wood, with no observable way they could have entered. This is the mystery of entombed animals:

Reports of entombed animals found inside stones (reputedly sometimes still alive) date back to the 15th century and have occurred as recently as the 1980s. For example, in a letter to Julian Huxley, an Eric G. Mackley claimed to have freed twenty three frogs from concrete in Devonshire and in 1876 sixty-three small toads were reportedly found in the middle of a five meter wide tree trunk in South Africa.

Scientists have paid little serious attention to the phenomenon since the nineteenth century and most specimens were destroyed after the Victorian era, the world’s only remaining entombed toad resides at the Booth Museum of Natural History in Brighton, was found by two workmen in Lewes in 1898 and donated by Charles Dawson in 1901. It consists of an oval, hollow flint nodule millions of years old containing a mummified toad. The toad apparently was quite famous in it’s hey-day, featured on cigarette cards and in paranormal magazines`and it still tours the globe. Dawson’s explanation is that the toad crawled through a small hole in the rock when it was very small, managed to find enough food to grow but then became too large to escape it’s little prison and eventually died of either old age or starvation. He speculated that if the workmen had split the stone before the animal had died, it would have joined the ranks of the living toads-in-the-hole and suggested that this theory could be provide a tentative answer to the hundreds of findings.

However, Dawson cannot be viewed as an entirely reliable source being blamed now for various ‘imaginative frauds’, most infamously for his involvement in the Piltdown scandal, where a faked anthropoid skull was claimed to be Darwin’s ‘missing link’ between human and ape. Sadly, taking this into consideration along with the fact that the toad has visibly shrunk since it’s original discovery (indicating it was not very old to begin with) it is likely that it could be another faked natural spectacle.

Being at my seat near the village of Meudon, and overlooking a quarryman whom I had set to break some very large and hard stones, in the middle of one we found a huge toad, full of life and without any visible aperture by which it could get there…The laborer told me it was not the first time he had met with a toad and the like creatures within huge blocks of stone…

This account, which appeared in the 1761 edition of Annual Register, was attributed to Ambroise Pare, the chief surgeon of Henry III of France in the 16th century. It is an early example of phenomenon. Logically this report is impossible. The stone had to be thousands, if not millions of years old. The toad shouldn’t have a lifetime of more than a few years. If it was really sealed in the stone, how did it get there? Or if it was entombed when the stone was made, how did it survive?

Perhaps one such story over a period of hundreds of years can just be dismissed as a folktale or a hoax, but there are others. Workers doing an excavation in Hartlepool, England, on April 7, 1865, split open a block of magnesium limestone to discover a living toad. The Hartlepool Free Press reported, “The cavity was no larger than its body, and presented the appearance of being cast for it. The toad’s eyes shone with unusual brilliancy, and it was full of vivacity on its liberation.” The animal was very pale when first discovered with a color similar to that of the rock that had encased it, but later the toad turned to an olive-brown. “It appeared,” the Free Press continued, “when first discovered, desirous to perform the process of respiration, but evidently experienced some difficulty, and the only sign of success consisted of a ‘barking’ noise, which it continues to make invariably at present on being touched. The toad is in the possession of Mr. S. Horner, the president of the Natural Historical Society, and continues in as lively a state as when found. On a minute examination of its mouth it is found to be completely closed, and the barking noise it makes proceeds from its nostrils. The claws of its fore feet are turned inwards, and its hind ones are of extraordinary length and unlike the present English toad.”

We can also see an example of a wood entombment by looking at a story from South Africa. In 1876 the Uitenhage Times printed an article reporting that a timberman who was cutting a tree into planks came across a cache of 69 tiny toads, each the size of a grape. The toads were confined to a hole in the tree. “They were of a light brown, almost yellow color, and perfectly happy, hopping about and away as if nothing had happened. All about them was solid yellow wood, with nothing to indicate how they could have got there, how long they had been there, or how they could have lived without food, drink or air.”

According to the Michigan Argus of December 1st, 1871, one man was so curious about these stories he tried his own experiment to see if such things were possible.. M. Herissan, a French savant enclosed three live toads in separate cases of plaster in February of 1771. In April of 1784 Herissan opened the cases, which were still whole, and found two of the toads still alive, though the third was “a martyr to science.” The article continued saying that the animals were handed over to the Academy of Science and a careful examination showed that “the animals had no communication with the external air, and must have existed without the least nourishment.”

Toads aren’t the only subject of these stories. An 1821 edition of Tilloch’s Philosophical Magazine reported a stone mason named David Virture discovered a “lizard imbedded in the stone. It was about an inch and a quarter long, of a brownish-yellow color, and had a round head, with bright sparkling projecting eyes. It was apparently dead, but after being about five minutes exposed to the air it showed signs of life.” The rock the lizard had been found within had been some 22 feet underground. “It was coiled up in a round cavity of its own form, being an exact impression of the animal,” the article continues, “This stone is naturally a little damp; and about half an inch around the lizard was soft sand, the same color as the animal…The stone had no fissure, was quite hard, and one of the best to be got from the quarry of Cullaloe…”

Turtles have also gotten this treatment. In August 1975 construction workers in Fort Worth, Texas, were breaking up concrete that had been laid down more than a year before when they came across a living green turtle. The animal must have been caught in the concrete as it had been poured because the body-shaped hole in which it had stayed during that time was clearly visible.

Sometimes two different types of animals have been found together as the account from a World War II British soldier reported in Jerome Clark’s book Unexplained shows:

In Algeria in the early part of 1943, I was working with a team whose job it was to quarry stone that was then used for making roads and filling bomb craters…One morning, we had set off the charges as usual and I started to prise away the rock from the quarry face when I saw in a pocket in the rock a large toad, and beside it a lizard at least nine inches long. Both these animals were alive, and the amazing thing was that the cavity they were in was at least 20 feet from the top of the quarry face. Try as we might, we couldn’t find how it was possible for the two creatures to be where they were – there were no inlets, cracks or fissures leading to the cavity…

Parts of the scientific establishment have taken both an interest in the phenomena, while other members scoff at it. In an article in an 1890 Scientific American a writer declared “Many well authenticated stories of the finding of live toads and frogs in solid rock are on record.” While a few years later the editor for the magazine Nature argued, “It matters little to tell the reporters of such occurrences that the thing is absolutely impossible, and that our believing it would involve the conclusion that the whole science of geology (not to speak of biology also) is a mass of nonsense.”

Most explanations for these events depend on the reporters being hoaxers or bad observers. “The true interpretation of these alleged occurrences appears to be simply this – a frog or toad is hopping about while a stone is being broken, and the nonscientific observer immediately rushes to the conclusion that he has seen the creature dropping out of the stone itself,” says a writer in Nature. This explanation runs in the face of many of the reports where the animal was found in a cavity shaped like the animal itself.

Cases of entombed animals remain a mystery. Clearly the Scientific American writer is correct in saying that there seems to be no answer to this puzzle unless we are willing to rewrite the science of geology or biology. Still, it seems the phenomena exists. Undoubtedly some of the reports are hoaxes, others are errors, but many remain a true mystery for a future scientist to resolve.

Via: UnMuseum and TheOddmentEmporium

The Sea of the Devil

The Bermuda Triangle’s infamous association with disappearing boats and aircraft is known across the globe. Less well known is an area off the west coast of Japan which has an equally deadly history. It is an area where Japanese sailors fear to voyage; they call it ‘Ma-no Uni’ – the ‘Sea of the Devil’ or the Dragon’s Triangle.

Legend has it that huge restless dragons surface from their deep shelters to seize any unfortunate passing mariners. Japanese sailors have often recorded freakish occurrences in the area and talk of hearing terrible noises and seeing awful red lights.

They believe one particularly potent creature lives in an immense palace beneath the waves. They call this monster ‘Li-Lung’, the ‘Dragon King of the Western Sea’, and say his lair is decorated with the ships he has captured.

This mysterious zone stretches from western Japan to Yap Island in the south and Taiwan to the west. Like the Bermuda Triangle, it is seen as having an above average number of navigation and communication failures. In truth, this area of ocean bears a remarkable resemblance to its Western cousin. Both areas are known for extreme changes in weather conditions, unexpected fogs, tidal waves, seaquakes and hurricanes, and both have examples of agonic lines, lines upon which a compass needle will point true north and south. Their most unwelcome similarities are the truly horrifying levels of unexplained sinkings and disappearances.

By the late 1940s, the amount of ships being lost without trace in the region lead to the Japanese government declaring the area a danger zone. In the early 1950s they decided to dispatch a research vessel to study the area. Despite enjoying good visibility and calm seas, the Kaiyo Maru No 5 disappeared without trace on 24th September 1952. The lives of all twenty-two crew and nine scientists were lost. The vessel has never been found. It has only been in relatively recent years that these incidents of strange disappearances have been reported in the West.

To the Japanese, they are regular occurrences which stretch back for centuries and continue to this day. Whether it is dragons or not, the real evidence behind this ocean’s terrible secret remains on the seabed.

Cattle Mutilations

On October 9, 1967, the Associated Press carried an item that told of the possible role of UFOs in the killing of Snippy, a three-year-old gelding. The carcass was discovered about a quarter of a mile from the ranch house of Harry King in the desolate mountain country near Alamosa, Colorado. King notified the horse’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Burl Lewis, who were disturbed by the condition of the carcass, which suggested that something out of the ordinary had been responsible for their horse’s demise.

A pathologist admitted bewilderment when he found the horse’s abdominal, brain, and spinal cavities to be empty. All flesh had been stripped from the horse’s head and neck, but the rest of the animal was untouched except for the openings left by the mysterious surgery. Although the carcass had lain exposed for several days, it was not unduly decomposed, nor had it begun to smell. Even more unusual is the fact that no predators, vultures, or buzzards had approached the carcass.

UFO investigators stated that they had noted a high radiation count around Snippy’s remains and reported finding areas where the Chico Brush had been squashed to within 10 inches of the ground. Fifteen circular exhaust marks were found 100 yards from the carcass of the horse. Six identical holes, each two inches wide and four inches deep, were found in a nearby area. In addition, the investigators said that they found the imprint of a circle 75 feet in diameter, and a number of smaller areas where the Chico Brush had been flattened in circles 15 feet in diameter.

Reports of Snippy’s supposed death at the hands of alien specimen collectors received elaborate play and bold headlines across the nation. The official word was that Snippy had been killed by lightning, but UFO investigators quickly denounced such an analysis and the enigma of animal mutilations has continued into the twenty-first century.

Cattle are the most frequent victims of these mysterious mutilations, and according to forensic pathologists who have examined many of these animals, traditional surgical instruments were not used—but the incisions appear to be the result of an advanced laser technology. Most investigators have eliminated the possibility that predators or scavengers could so neatly incise and remove select organs from their victims. And the obvious problem with blaming predators and scavengers is the fact that all the rest of the animal remains intact. A number of veterinarians and forensic scientists who have investigated the mysterious mutilations have described the blood as appearing to have been drained with no resultant vascular collapse. The known technology that could process such an accomplishment does not exist, and if it did, it would seem to have to be big and heavy to manipulate some animals weighing well over 1,500 pounds.

According to most accounts, tracks or markings of a conventional nature, such as tire imprints or human or animal tracks, have never been found near a mutilated carcass, but many farmers and ranchers have reported the indentations of a tripod nearby. And there have been numerous reports of UFOs seen in the area and in the immediate vicinity of a cattle mutilation.

Many investigators are openly skeptical about blaming cattle mutilations on aliens. In the opinion of many veterinarians, livestock association officials, forensic pathologists, chemists, and a host of county, state, and federal officers and agents, such alleged mutilations are simply the result of Mother Nature fulfilling one of her primary responsibilities of keeping the countryside clean. The true perpetrators of the mystery of animal mutilations, according to these investigators, are predators and scavengers. All the tales of bloodless carcasses, organs removed with surgical precision, and so forth, are the work of sensationalist journalists, excitable ranchers, and paranoid UFO conspiracy theorists.

Regardless of a great deal of official skepticism toward the subject of cattle mutilations, it does appear to comprise a genuine mystery. And every time that a mutilated cow is found with its tongue, eyes, ears, anus, udder, and genitalia removed without apparently shedding a drop of blood and without the culprits leaving any tracks whatsoever, aliens, satanic cultists, and crews of unmarked black helicopters are named as the suspects. One of the favorite theories of the alien/government conspiracy buffs is that a branch of the secret government made a deal with the aliens that would enable them to sustain themselves on Earth by ingesting a particular enzyme, or hormonal secretion, most readily obtained from the tongues and throats of cattle. Further, it seems that this same type of animal mutilation occurs worldwide with the same kinds of animals every time.

Reports from Argentina in July 2002, stated that beginning with the first detected mutilation in April, more than 200 cattle had been found with their blood drained, their tongues, organs, flesh, and skin removed by angular, nearly curved, cuts. Although the official explanation centered on a carnivorous mouse, no one, from ranchers and veterinarians to biologists specializing in rodents have ever seen mice feed upon cow carcasses. Crews from UFOs were most often named by ranchers as the most likely mutilators of their cattle herds.

The most prominent researcher in the bizarre field of animal mutilations is Linda Moulton Howe, author of Glimpses of Other Realities (1998). Howe has documented hundreds of abnormal, inexplicable deaths of animals, mostly cattle and horses on the open range—all of which died because of bloodless excisions and the removal of eyes, organs, and genitals.

When she began her intensive research in the fall of 1979, Howe suspected that there was some sort of contamination in the environment, and that some government agency was secretly harvesting tissue and fluids for examination. But she could not fathom why any government agency working in secrecy would be so careless as to leave the carcasses of the cattle lying in the fields or ranges, thereby creating alarm and anger among the owners of the animals. Howe’s early interviews were with ranchers and law enforcement officers, who reluctantly informed her of the sightings of glowing disks in the vicinity of the cattle mutilations. Some witnesses even told her of having seen nonhuman entities at the scene. Her continuing research has convinced her that something very strange is going on, which may, indeed, involve alien experimentation with Earth’s animals.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

The Altered State of Hypnosis

The process of hypnosis generally requires a hypnotist who asks a subject, one who has agreed to be hypnotized, to relax and to focus his or her attention on the sound of the hypnotist’s voice. As the subject relaxes and concentrates on the hypnotist’s voice, the hypnotist leads the person deeper and deeper into a trancelike altered state of consciousness. When the subject has reached a deep level of hypnotic trance, the hypnotist will have access to the individual’s unconscious.

Many clinical psychologists believe that hypnotherapy permits them to help their clients uncover hidden or repressed memories of fears or abuse that will facilitate their cure. In certain cases, police authorities have encouraged the witnesses of crimes to undergo hypnosis to assist them in recovering details that may result in a speedier resolution of a criminal act. Increasing numbers of clinical or lay hypnotists employ hypnosis to explore cases suggestive of past lives or accounts of alien abductions aboard UFOs. There are also show business hypnotists who induce the trance state in their subjects for the general amusement of their audiences.

Skeptical scientists doubt that hypnosis is a true altered state of consciousness and contend that the people who are classified as good subjects by professional or lay hypnotists are really men and women who are highly suggestible, fantasy-prone individuals. While it may be true that some psychologists and hypnotherapists make rather extravagant claims regarding the powers inherent in the hypnotic state, what actually occurs during hypnosis with certain subjects remains difficult either to define or to debunk.

Throughout the ages, tribal shamans, witch doctors, and religious leaders have used hypnosis to heal the sick and to foretell the future. Egyptian papyri more than 3,000 years old describe the use of hypnotic procedures by Egyptian soothsayers and medical practitioners.

In the early 1500s, Swiss physician/alchemist Paracelsus (1493–1541) released his theory of what he called magnetic healing. Paracelsus used magnets to treat disease, believing that magnets, as well as the magnetic influence of heavenly bodies, had therapeutic effects. Magnetic treatment theories went through several stages of evolution and many successive scientists. It was during the latter part of the eighteenth century that Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815), acting upon the hypotheses of these predecessors, developed his own theory of “animal magnetism” and hypnosis.

According to Mesmer, hypnosis entailed the specific action of one organism upon another. This action is produced by a magnetic force that radiates from bodily organs and has therapeutic uses. Hypnotism makes use of this force, or the vibrations, issuing from the hypnotist’s eyes and fingers.

When Mesmer reintroduced hypnotism to the modern world, paranormal activities and occult beliefs were associated with his works. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, the British Society for Psychical Research appointed a commission for the study of pain transference from hypnotist to hypnotized subject. At the same time, psychologist Edmund Gurney and his assistant Frank Podmore experimented with the same area of research. In the Gurney-Podmore experiments the hypnotist stood behind the blindfolded subject. The hypnotist was then pinched, and the subject told that he would be able to feel the pain in the corresponding area of his own body. Gurney and Podmore reported substantial success, although none of their experiments were carried out with the hypnotist and researcher at any great distance from the subject.

Research continued into the extrasensory aspects of hypnosis, despite hostility from the established sciences. Hypnosis arrived on the threshold of the twentieth century under much the same cloud that had covered it since Mesmer’s day; and, in spite of decades of research and experimentation, the great majority of scientific researchers maintain a solid skepticism toward hypnosis at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Among the results of the studies of Weitzenhoffer and Hilgard were demonstrations that a person’s ability to be hypnotized is unrelated to his or her personality traits. Although people who had the ability to become absorbed in such activities as reading, enjoying music, or daydreaming did appear to be the more hypnotizable subjects.

Another objection by the skeptics that the process of hypnosis was simply a matter of the subject having a vivid imagination also proved to be a false assumption. Many highly imaginative people tested by the experimenters proved to be bad hypnotic subjects, and there appears to be no relation between the ability to imagine and the ability to become a good hypnotic subject.

The Stanford experiments also learned that hypnotized subjects were not passive automatons who would obey a hypnotist’s commands to violate their moral or cultural ideals. Instead, the subjects remained active problem solvers while responding to the suggestions of the hypnotist.

By using hypnosis, the scientists at Stanford were able to create transient hallucinations, false memories, and delusions in some subjects. By using positron emission tomography, which directly measures metabolism, the researchers were able to determine that different regions of a subject’s brain would be activated when he or she was asked simply to imagine a sound or sight than when the subject was hallucinating under hypnotic suggestion.

The mechanisms by which the process of hypnosis can somehow convince certain subjects not to yield to pain remain a mystery. Many researchers theorize some hypnotic subjects and experienced meditators can allow the altered state of consciousness to bring about an analgesic effect in brain centers higher than those that register the sensations of pain. A 1996, National Institutes of Health panel assessed hypnosis to be an effective method of alleviating pain from cancer and other chronic conditions. Numerous clinical studies demonstrated that hypnosis could also reduce acute pain faced by pregnant women undergoing labor or the pain experienced by burn victims. In some instances, it was judged that hypnosis accomplished greater relief than such chemical pain killers as morphine.

While such experiments certainly indicate that something is going on within a subject’s mind during the process of hypnosis, many psychologists, such as Dr. Nicholas Spanos, argue that hypnotic procedures merely influence behavior by altering a subject’s motivations, expectations, and interpretations. Such influences have nothing to do with placing a person into a trance or exercising any kind of control over that person’s unconscious mind. Hypnosis, in Spanos’s view, is an act of social conformity, rather than a unique state of consciousness. The subject, he maintains, is only acting in accordance with the hypnotist’s suggestions and responds according to the expectations of how a hypnotized person is supposed to behave.

Critics of hypnotic procedures during police investigations are concerned that too many law enforcement officers consider hypnosis as a kind of magical way to arrive at the truth of a case. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis has certified about 900 psychologists, only five of whom specialize in forensic hypnosis and assist in police work. Federal courts and about a third of the state courts allow testimony of hypnotized individuals on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. William C. Wester, a nationally recognized psychologist, has used hypnotism to assist victims and witnesses of crimes to remember the details of more than 150 cases. Wester agrees that hypnosis is not magic, but maintains that it is an effective tool in police work. “Hypnosis doesn’t always lead to an arrest,” Wester told Janice Morse of The Cincinnati Enquirer in 2002. “But it almost always generates some additional investigative leads for the police to follow.”

Since 1991, Wester and John W. Kilnapp, a special agent and forensic artist with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, have teamed up to work on more than 50 robberies, rapes, kidnappings, and murders nationwide. After Wester has hypnotized a witness or victim of a crime and assisted that person to describe minute details of the events, Kilnapp works on a composite sketch of the perpetrator of the crime. While the team of artist and psychologist admitted that it was the police who solved the crimes, they estimated that in 95 percent of their cases, they helped expand a brief description of a suspect to fill several pages for investigators to use.

The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis has stated that hypnosis should not stand alone as the sole medical or psychological treatment for any kind of disorder, but the society suggests that there is strong evidence that hypnosis may be an effective component in the broader treatment of many physical problems and in some conditions may increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy. While the clinical use of hypnosis has not become an accepted means of treatment among medical personnel and psychologists, it has gained many scientific supporters and evolved greatly from its occult and superstitious roots.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

Spontaneous Human Combustion

Is spontaneous human combustion (SHC) the gruesome result of a mysterious fire within the body, or the misinterpretation of a rare, deadly external burn? Experts examine the mystery of people who burst into flames for no scientifically apparent reason.

The enigma of SHC is considered the most bizarre and frightening of all the phenomena in the world of the unexplained and the unknown. Some believe that stories of SHC are only urban legends, eerie tales of people bursting into flames that never really happened to real people. But this is not the case. Urban legends happen to a friend of a friend, but are really untraceable back to any true original narrator of the event. In the case of spontaneous human combustion, one is left with the charred remains and ashes of individuals who were once fully living, breathing, feeling human beings.

Spontaneous human combustion is often included with ghosts and hauntings because for centuries scientists and psychical researchers have suggested that the phenomena may be due to some kind of internalized psychokinetic facet of the human mind. Poltergeists have been known to cause spontaneous outbreaks of fires, and mysterious fires and lights have been part of the repertoire of a haunted house since humans first began to keep records of such phenomena. Then, too, there are those theorists who place the blame for SHC directly on vengeful spirits or malicious entities from other dimensions of reality. Whatever the true cause of SHC, such accounts have haunted men and women for centuries.

In December 2001, a 73-year-old woman in Garden Grove, California, died from the third-degree burns that she had suffered over 90 percent of her body. Firefighters and the coroner’s office were left with the puzzle of how this could be possible when the fire took only four minutes to extinguish and was confined to a couch, a table, and the chair in which the victim was sitting. Was this another case of spontaneous human combustion? In many ways it is similar to so many other unexplained instances of SHC.

On March 24, 1997, 76-year-old John O’Connor was found dead in his living room at Gortaleen in northern Ireland. An intense and localized heat had left only his head, upper torso, and feet unburned, as well as the chair in which he was sitting. There was very little smoke damage done to the room or the furniture.

In December 1956, Virginia Caget of Honolulu, Hawaii, walked into the room of Young Sik Kim, a 78-year-old disabled person, to find him enveloped in blue flames. By the time firemen arrived on the scene, Kim and his easy chair were ashes. Strangely enough, nearby curtains and clothing were untouched by fire, in spite of the fierce heat that would have been necessary to consume a human being.

On August 19, 1966, Doris Lee Jacobs of Occano, California, burned to death in her trailer home at 1342 23rd Street. Although Jacobs suffered burns on over 95 percent of her body, the inside of the trailer was only partially scorched. Officials could offer no explanation for the fire, because it was the woman, not the trailer, who had burst into flames.

How can human flesh be heir to such dangers as spontaneous combustion? Spontaneous combustion, it is assumed, is confined to oily rags and newspapers piled up in poorly ventilated corners of basements and garages.

On September 20, 1938, in Chelmsford, England, a woman burst into blue flames in the midst of a crowded dance floor. No one was able to extinguish the blaze that seemed to be fed by her own flesh, and in minutes she was but a heap of ashes.

On July 30, 1937, a woman who had been paddling about in a small boat with her husband and children at England’s Norfolk Broads was engulfed by terrible blue flames and was nothing but a mound of ash in a matter of a few horrifying moments. Neither any member of her family nor the wooden boat was harmed.

Dr. D. J. Gee, a lecturer in forensic medicine at the University of Leeds, England, wrote of a case of SHC for the journal Medicine, Science and the Law (5:37–8, January 1965). According to Gee, the victim was a slim, 85-year-old woman who lived with her son and daughter-in-law in a ground-floor apartment. Her family had left the apartment by 9:30 A.M. on the day she died. Neighbors had discovered smoke issuing from a kitchen window and found the smoldering remains of a human body on the hearth.

When Gee visited the apartment two hours later, he noticed that the room was exceedingly warm and the ceiling felt hot. The paint was blistered and the walls and furnishings covered by soot. Only a part of the wooden edge of the hearth was burned, and a small section, approximately one foot in diameter, of the floor was damaged. The rug had not been burned, but it was greasy with tiny fragments of fat. A tea towel lying near where the body had been found was barely singed, and a large pile of dry firewood remained unaffected.

Gee concluded from his examination that the woman must have suffered a heart attack and fallen into the fire. The body was ignited at the head by the fire and had been sufficiently inflammable to burn to such an extensive degree without any other source of heat, like a candle. The draft from the chimney had prevented the spread of flames to other parts of the room.

In a 1961 study Dr. Gavin Thurston studied the literature of SHC and came to a number of conclusions, among them:

  1. That under certain conditions a body will burn in its own fat with little or no damage to surrounding objects.
  2. The combustion is not spontaneous, but started by an external source of heat.
  3. This has occurred where the body has been in the path of a draft up a chimney from a lighted fire. Oxygenation of the flue prevents outward spread of the fire.

In order to test Thurston’s theories, Gee conducted some experiments of his own. He learned that human fat, when melted in a crucible, would only burn at a temperature somewhere near 250 degrees centigrade. However, a cloth wick prepared in liquid fat will burn even when the temperature of the fat has dropped as low as 24 degrees centigrade.

Gee also enveloped a layer of human fat in several layers of thin cloth in order to produce a roll about eight inches long. Combustion of the roll proceeded slowly along its length, burning with a smoky yellow flame and producing a great deal of soot. In both of these experiments, a fan was arranged so that combustion would proceed in a direction opposite the flow of air.

Gee admitted that these experiments were by no means conclusive, but argued that they supported the theory put forward by Thurston, which he believed to be the most reasonable explanation for the occurrence of spontaneous human combustion.

On April 7, 1969, Grace Walker of Long Beach, California, was found on the floor of her living room with burns covering 90 percent of her body. Although she was still alive when discovered, she was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Investigating police officers said that the only signs of fire in the house were the ashes left from Walker’s clothes, which had been burned from her body by the flames from her flesh. There were no burners lighted on the stove and not a single match was to be found in Walker’s house. Friends and relatives said that the woman did not smoke and never carried matches on her person.

The strange phenomenon of ball lightning has been used by many scientists in an attempt to explain the even stranger mystery of spontaneous human combustion, but it is as difficult to isolate in laboratories for study as SHC. In 1960, Louise Matthews of South Philadelphia survived an eerie experience that might substantiate the theory of ball lightning as a factor in at least some of the mysterious cremations that have taken place throughout the world and throughout all recorded time. Matthews claimed that she was lying on her living room sofa when she glanced up to see a large red ball of fire come through both the closed window and the venetian blinds without harming either. At first Matthews thought that an atomic bomb had fallen, and she buried her face in the sofa. But the ball of fire passed through the living room, into the dining room, and drifted out through a closed dining room window. Matthews said that it made a sizzling noise as it floated through her house. And she was able to exhibit visible proof of her experience: As the ball of fire had passed over her, she had felt a tingling sensation in the back of her head. Her scalp was left as smooth and clean as her face.

In his experiments regarding the effects of fire on flesh and bone, Dr. Wilton Krogman, professor of physical anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, tested bones still encased in human flesh, bones devoid of flesh but not yet allowed to dry out, and bones that have dried. He burned cadavers in a wide variety of fires fed by such combustibles as hickory and oak, gasoline, oil, coal, and acetylene. Krogman learned that it takes a terrific amount of heat to completely consume a human body, both flesh and skeleton. Cadavers that were burned in a crematorium burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for more than eight hours, burning under the best possible conditions of both heat and combustion, with everything controlled, are still not reduced to ash or powder. Only at temperatures in excess of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit did he observe bone fuse so that it ran and became volatile.

How, then, can a human being burn beyond recognition—in a number of cases in less than an hour—yet not cause the fire to spread beyond the chair in which the victim was sitting or the small area of the floor on which he or she might have sprawled? According to Krogman, the temperatures required to bring about such immolation should ignite and consume anything capable of burning within a considerable radius of the blaze.

In what has become one of the classic cases of SHC, Mary H. Reeser of St. Petersburg, Florida, was last seen relaxing comfortably in an armchair in her apartment at 9:00 P.M. on Sunday evening, July 2, 1951. When a telegram was delivered to her 11 hours later, nothing remained of the 170-pound woman but a skull that had shrunk to the size of a baseball, one vertebra, and a left foot wearing the charred remains of a black slipper.

St. Petersburg Fire Chief Nesbit said that he had never seen anything like it in all his years of investigating fires. Police Chief J. R. Reichart received an FBI report stating that there was no evidence that any kind of inflammable fluids, volatile liquids, chemicals, or other accelerants had been used to set the widow’s body ablaze. A spokesman for a St. Petersburg mattress company pointed out that there is not enough material in any overstuffed chair to cremate a human body. Cotton, he said, comprises the basic stuffing of such a chair, and this material is often combined with felt and hair or foam-rubber cushions. None of these materials is capable of bursting suddenly into violent flames, although they do possess properties that enable them to smolder for long periods of time.

At first Krogman theorized that a “super lightning bolt” might have struck Reeser, her body serving as a conductor to ground the current through a wall-type heater behind the chair. He discarded this theory as soon as he learned that local weather bureau records showed no lightning in St. Petersburg on the night Reeser met her bizarre death.

Krogman remarked that he had never seen a skull so shrunken or a body so completely consumed by heat. Such evidence was contrary to normal experience, and he regarded it as the most amazing thing he had ever seen. If he were living in the Middle Ages, he mused, he would suspect black magic.

Spontaneous human combustion seems to strike without warning and without leaving a clue. It seems to occur primarily among the elderly and among women, but there is no standard rule for these grim cases of preternatural combustibility. Nearly every theory, such as that those who imbibe heavily might be more susceptible to the burning death, has been disproved and rejected. At this time, no investigator has determined the critical set of circumstances that might bring body cells to the stage at which they might spontaneously burst into the flames that feed on the body’s own fatty tissue, and SHC remains a baffling mystery in the annals of the unexplained and the unknown.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

Automatic Writing

Automatic writing is an old form of divination in which messages seem to come out of nowhere through your hand and onto paper. Some who have attempted communicating in this manner, have written lengthy messages, songs — even complete novels.

In most cases the person writes something without conscious thought of what they are writing. The process has often been associated with psychics and the ‘spirit world’. In books and movies it has been depicted as a ‘channel’ for someone, usually deceased, to communicate with the living. The person doing it is considered merely a ‘scribe’ transmitting the message. Automatic writing is essentially done in an altered state of consciousness that is attributed to spirits of the dead. It is believed that the spirits literally manipulate the writing utensil in the hands of the medium to communicate, as the writer is often unaware of what is written and often scrawls text in handwriting that is remarkably different than their own.

Others believe that spirits may also communicate by forming messages in the mind of the medium, which reproduce on the page. Most likely, the medium is writing unconsciously and messages are formed from material in the subconscious mind or from a secondary personality that is gifted with extrasensory perception.

When it comes to the medium’s involvement in the process, some writers slip into a trancelike state, while others are fully awake and simple let the words flow, usually not aware of what’s being written because the messages generally come in very quickly, as though the spirit has only so much energy to funnel the message to the medium. Pens were common tools but many mediums now use blackboards, typewriters or other technology to keep up with the large amount of material produced at such a rapid pace.

Some mediums have also claimed to produce messages from famous historical people, deceased authors and even classical music composers. One of the most famous examples of spirit dictation was the strange case of Pearl Curran, a St. Louis housewife who supposedly channeled a spirit named Patience Worth. On the evening of July 8, 1913, Patience Worth, who claimed to be the spirit of a seventeenth-century Englishwoman, became a spirit control for Pearl Leonore Curran, a young woman in St. Louis, Missouri. Curran was not a practicing medium, nor did she have any interest in Spiritualism, yet during a period of three years, Patience Worth dictated through the process of automatic writing a stream of proverbs, lyric poetry, plays, and a number of intricately constructed novels.

Curran’s formal education had ended in the eighth grade. She seldom read, never traveled, and was completely unfamiliar with any literary people or people with scholarly backgrounds. At no time in her life had she ever given any indication of creative or literary talent. Yet, of one of the spirit-dictated novels, a reviewer for the New York Times wrote that the plot was fashioned with such skill, deftness, and ingenuity that such talent would be envied by many a novelist. In an anthology of the “best” poetry for the year 1917, Patience Worth had five poems selected, to accompany three of Amy Lowell‘s, three of Vachel Lindsay’s, and one by Edgar Lee Masters—all highly respected American poets, critics, and novelists. Was Patience Worth a spirit or a secondary personality of Curran’s? Whoever she was, the large body of literary works that bears her name was transmitted through the process of automatic writing.

The vast majority of people who practice automatic writing on a regular basis do so because they believe that they receive spiritual and material guidance from intelligences in the spirit world or from a higher aspect of their own mind. Most of these individuals cherish this information as highly personal and seldom to be shared with others Individuals who are successful at automatic writing say it usually takes three or four sittings before the first intelligent results are achieved.

Via in part: UnexplainedStuff

The Art of Radioesthesia

Dowsing, scientifically known as radioesthesia, is the interaction of the mind of the dowser and the energy of the object of interest. Most dowsing is used to find water and minerals. It has been used to find lost objects, even people. The ability to find people, artifacts, or substances by use of maps, pictures, or physically being in a place are currently the most popular applications of dowsing.

Dowsing, sometimes called divining, doodlebugging (in the US), or (when searching specifically for water) water finding or water witching, is a practice that attempts to locate hidden water wells, buried metals or ores, gemstones, or other objects as well as currents of earth radiation without the use of scientific apparatus. A Y- or L-shaped twig or rod is sometimes used during dowsing, although some dowsers use other equipment or no equipment at all. Dowsing has been in use since ancient times and is still widely practiced although the scientific evidence for its efficacy is disputed.

The method of dowsers seldom varies. They grasp the ends of a forked twig (peach, apple, maple traditionally work best, though some modernists say a bent metal coat hanger works just as well) with palms upward. As they begin their search for water, they carry the butt of the stick pointed upward. When they near water, they can feel the pull as the butt end begins to dip downward. When the dowsers are over the water, the twig has been bent straight down, having turned through an arc of 180 degrees. A stick of brittle wood will break under the grip of a dowser as the butt moves downward. Pliable twigs will twist themselves downward despite an effort to hold them straight.

Few manifestations of so-called psychic ability have been more hotly debated than that of dowsing. On the one hand is the pronouncement of the scientific community which declares that locating water by means of a forked stick is utter nonsense, and on the other side of the argument are those men and women who go ahead and locate water with their forked maple twigs, completely impervious to the ridicule visited upon them by the skeptics. They could not care less whether or not a laboratory technician believes that water cannot be found in such a manner. All they know is that it works and that they have been finding water in just that way for years.

Novelist Kenneth Roberts stated in his book, Henry Gross and His Dowsing Rod (1951): “Not all the derision of all the geologists in the world can in any way alter the unfailing accuracy of the dowsing rod in Henry Gross’s hands. Not all the cries of ‘hokum,’ ‘fanciful delusion,’ ‘hoax,’ ‘pseudoscience’ can destroy or even lessen the value of Henry’s dowsing.…”

In 1953, UNESCO sponsored a committee of prominent European scientists in their study of radioesthiesa. Their carefully considered consensus was that “there can be no doubt that it is a fact.” The Academie des Sciences of Paris has commented that “it is impossible to deny the existence of the power, although its nature cannot be determined.” Five Nobel Prize winners have endorsed dowsing, and so has the Institute of Technical Physics of the Dutch National Research Council.

In Germany in 1987 and 1988, more than 500 dowsers participated in more than 10,000 double-blind tests conducted by physicists in a barn near Munich. The researchers who held the so-called “Barn” experiments claimed that they had empirically proved that dowsing was a real phenomenon. However, subsequent analysis of the data by other scientists raise the argument that the results could reasonably be attributed to chance, rather than any kind of unknown psychic ability to find water or hidden objects.

Via: UnexplainedStuff

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.

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.

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