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Are alien abductions real, or are they a product of a dream, sleep paralysis, or just an overactive imagination? Those who claim to have been abducted or "abductees," as they are called today, say that they are being awakened from sleep, and transported to an alien spacecraft. Hard core scientists believe that these abductees never left their bed.

Once the abductees are aboard the alien craft they are subjected to medical tests by strange looking creatures not of this world. These tests vary greatly from one account to another, but generally consist of a general overview of the human body, and sometimes sexual probing. Men may be milked of their sperm; women may have their eggs taken. Tormented afterwards by nightmares or fragmented memories, they often seek professional help.

What the Disbelievers Say...
Disbelievers in the phenomena of alien abduction offer the theory that the alleged abductee is reliving memories of an alien scenario that they either read about, or saw in a movie. Mental and psychological problems produce these beliefs as a way to relieve tension or deal with other personal issues. Memories drawn from regressive hypnosis are false, created by the mind, or evoked by the hypnotist.

Today, alien abductions are rarely reported for several reasons. The intimate, oft times embarrassing procedures performed on the abductees are generally details they would only reveal in private. Public disclosure of an abduction can expose the abductee to public ridicule, loss of friends, and loss of livelihood. Just like reporters of UFO sightings, they are also labeled as a "nut." Many times an abductee will seek professional help in the form of "regressive hypnosis," a procedure to unlock lost memories. Some abductees have a type of tracking device implanted in their body.

New Technology...
Modern science has gotten into the act in the last ten years or so. New technology for analyzing sleep patterns, dreams, and sleep paralysis has shed a negative light on many abduction experiences. Scientists claim that a person's memory can trigger bizarre recreations of scenarios the abductee has seen on television or at the movies. Other psychological or mental problems lend to the person's susceptibility to have these dreams. Many disbelievers claim that regressive hypnosis creates memories, instead of releasing them.

Alien Abduction & UFOs...
The modern abduction era began on a September night in 1961. Barney Hill and his wife Betty were driving home to New Hampshire from a short vacation. They began to see a bright light which seemed to follow them on their way. Soon the object moved close enough that multi-colored lights were observed. They stopped the car, and Barney, with the aid of binoculars, could see occupants in the strange, other-worldly craft.

The next thing the Hills remembered was being in their car again, continuing their journey home. They never saw the strange craft again. They did, however, hear a strange beeping sound. After sleeping until the next afternoon, the only thing the Hills recalled was the sighting of the craft, nothing else. They began to have nightmarish dreams.

Two writers learned of the Hill story, and after taking a meticulous accounting of the journey, it was found that two hours of time was lost to the Hills. Seeking professional help with Dr. Benjamin Simon, their alien abduction story was revealed through regressive hypnosis.

The Disbelievers Stand...
There is scientific proof to substantiate abduction claims in the form of many objects removed from abductees. In theory, these objects were implanted for the aliens to be able to track them. These artifacts are available for research. The bizarre nature of the abduction process, and the stigma placed on the abductees by a skeptical world precludes the reporting of more abduction accounts. Science needs to lend an open ear and mind to this phenomena, and research alien abduction on a case by case basis.

Those who disbelieve accounts of alien abduction list several reasons for their stand. To believe in the possibility of alien abduction would necessitate the belief in extraterrestrial intelligence, and that they are visiting our planet. There is no proof whatsoever that any intelligent beings exist beyond our own world, and even if they did, where is the proof that they have visited our planet?

Even if there were other beings in the vastness of space, the great distances to traverse make it an impossible journey. Even with our present technology, the nearest star that might be inhabitable would take many light years to reach. And the wear and tear on the body, both physically and mentally, make the trek an impossibility.

Even if we subscribe to the multidimensionality theory of existence, and there are other forms of life that we are not aware of, why would these beings be interested in our society, being so much less intelligent than they?

Those who claim to have been abducted may believe in their own stories, but that is all it is, a story. These individuals are in need of psychological help, and their claims of abduction are only a form of delusion, or self healing.

For those who make such claims, we ask, "Where is the proof?" So-called artifacts are nothing more than foreign objects that entered the body without the person knowing it, like a small, embedded pieced of metal stepped on, and forgotten about. Alien abduction belongs in science fiction, not real science.

Case by Case Basis...
Alien abduction claims must be examined on a case by case basis. No blanket theory or solution can apply to all cases. There are a number of abduction accounts made by sane, well respected members of society. Many of these are accomplished while the individual is not in bed, but wide awake, and sometimes in broad daylight. Many abductions occurred after seeing an unknown flying object. What will the debunkers do with these? Write them off as coming from unbalanced people? Are all who report an abduction mentally unstable?

A number of abductees do not require regressive hypnosis to recall their experience. Shortly after an abduction, the individual may be confused by fragmented memories, or tormented by nightmares, but in time they will gain total recall of their abduction. Realizing what has happened to them, they often seek counseling to answer haunting questions of why they were selected for this bizarre extraterrestrial visit.
(© B J Booth)

Also see... Alien Abduction Case Files

SOURCE: UFO Casebook: 12-19-05

Ellie Crystal's Metaphysical and Science Website

As a researcher and hypnotherapist I have worked with people who claimed to have been abducted by extraterrestrials. I have interviewed UFO researchers, scientists, authors, and people who claim to have secret information.

Physical evidence seems to support many case histories, though some experiences may actually be caused by dreams, mental problems, media indoctrination, or misinterpretation of what the person has seen. All leave an imprint on the psyche of the person, or persons (multiple abductions involved).

Most countries have reports of alien abductions. They occur in large cities as well as the rural areas.

Abductions occur at any time of the day or night.

Many abductions are not reported, because there is no one to tell, or the abductee fears ridicule from others, especially if they feel they have been sexually violated.

People who have been abducted many times keep journals to determine patterns or timetables. They sometimes write books about their experiences.

Abductees have tried many interesting techniques to protect themselves, but to date, I know of no one specific approach that prevents these experiences.

Abductees have reported attempts to video or photograph the events. Some abductees have experimented with infrared film. Most footage is useless.

My opinion of this experience: We are all part of an experiment/ experience/ program of some kind. The Grays have always been part of the program. If you can remote view and you get close to their eyes - you will see that the Greys are machines - computers - the watchers - who take people in and out of the program to some do sort of reprogramming - like the movie Matrix - The Holodeck in Star Trek. It is all
an illusion but this is a nasty part.

Often abductees are told that the experience is for some 'greater good'. Always remember that anyone who does anything to you without your permission - or makes your soul feel uncomfortable - does not have your best interests at heart. Be careful what you believe.

Consult the link below for:

  • Possible Signs That You Have Been Abducted

  • Karla Turner's 10 Facts in Respect to Alien Abductions

  • Description of a Classic Abduction Experience

Famous Abduction Cases:

  • Betty and Barney Hill

  • Travis Walton

  • The Brooklyn Bridge Abduction

SOURCE: http://www.crystalinks.com/abduction.html


"UFO abductions are not a rare phenomenon and have been estimated to have occurred to three-million Americans. There is a remarkably precise correspondence to the reports. Abductees exhibit relatively little psychopathology. The author uses a combination of hypnosis and a breathing technique as treatment in helping the abductees confront and move through the terrifying memories of the experiences. Abduction events and descriptions of aliens are relatively uniform. There is both subtle
and highly robust physical evidence that accompanies some of the abductions. The aftermaths of these events are usually highly traumatic. But in processing these terrors, abductees are often able to find these events a source of transformation, in connecting them beyond themselves." From The UFO Abduction Phenomenon: What Does it Mean for the Transformation of Human Consciousness? -- John E. Mack, M.D.

Budd Hopkins
Budd Hopkins is a world-renowned artist, author, and pioneer UFO abduction researcher. Having investigated well over 700 cases, he now heads the Intruders Foundation, a nonprofit, scientific research and support organization. Taken together, his three books, Missing Time, 1981, Intruders, 1987, and Witnessed, 1996, are widely regarded by researchers and skeptics alike as comprising the most influential series of books yet published on the abduction phenomenon. These works, Hopkins' lectures, and his other presentations have been responsible for bringing a number of other noted researchers-David Jacobs, John Carpenter, Yvonne Smith, and John Mack, among others-into this extraordinary area of specialization.

David Jacobs, Ph.D.
David M. Jacobs, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of History at Temple University specializing in twentieth century American history and culture. Dr. Jacobs began researching the controversy over unidentified flying objects in America in the mid 1960's, and has amassed over 35 years of primary research data and analytical hypotheses on the subject. Since 1973 Dr. Jacobs has continued to devote most of his professional and personal energies to researching the UFO phenomenon in general, and the abduction phenomenon in particular. Having conducted over 750 hypnotic regressions with over 125 abductees, Dr. Jacobs is one of the foremost UFO abduction researchers worldwide. As a result of his extensive primary research, he has developed the first scientific typology of the abduction experience.

John Mack, M.D.
John E. Mack, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Center for Psychology & Social Change, explores how extraordinary experiences can affect personal, societal and global transformation. He is the author of many books detailing how one's perceptions shape relationships with one another and with the world, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of T.E. Lawrence, A Prince of Our Disorder, Abduction, and Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters.

UFO Evidence is one of the Internet's largest sources of quality research and information on the UFO phenomenon.

SOURCE: http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/Abduction.htm


PROJECT 1947 is a world-wide effort to document the origins of the modern UFO phenomenon. Research for the project has yielded many early-era UFO reports via the FOIA, newspaper articles and contemporary accounts. Some of the material gathered by PROJECT 1947 is on display here.

Military, Airline and Private Pilot UFO sightings
from 1942 to 1996 Compiled and © 1997 by Dominique Weinstein

By Jan Aldrich

Site Update December 10, 2005
Julian J. A. Hennessey - The U.K. Government and UFOs
For many years Julian Hennessey worked as NICAP's representative in Great Britain where he investigated a large number of cases in the U.K. and Europe. He was chairman of European Investigative Subcommittee #1 of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), and through persistent and meticulous efforts was able to create an impressive network of official and semi-official interest in
UFO reports.

Some of this official interest was less than supportive, and many times Hennessey became a thorn in the side of British government officials who continued to insist that there was no real interest in UFO reports other than those with "possible defense implications".

Jan Aldrich presents an overview of Julian's work in this introduction to the previously unpublished essay, The U.K. Government and UFOs, in which Julian outlines some significant historical British UFO events and his own involvement with UFO research in the 60s and 70s.
See: http://www.project1947.com/new.htm

SOURCE: http://www.project1947.com/

By Mark Kinver, Science reporter, BBC News website

[IMAGE: Researchers are confident the tools are 700,000 years old Flint tool found at the Pakefield site (Harry Taylor/NHM) http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41122000/jpg/_41122046

New research shows early humans were living in Britain around 700,000 years ago, substantially earlier than had previously been thought. Using new dating techniques, scientists found that flint tools unearthed in Pakefield, Suffolk, were 200,000 years older than the previous oldest finds.

Humans were known to have lived in southern Europe 780,000 years ago but it was unclear when they moved north. The findings have been published in the scientific journal Nature.

A team of researchers from the UK, Italy and Canada found a total of 32 flint tools in a fossil-rich seam at Pakefield. They say it represents the earliest unequivocal evidence of human activity in northern Europe.

Human hallmarks
One of the team, Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum's Department of Paleontology, said the discovery of evidence of early human activity in Britain was startling.

"Until recently I certainly would not have believed that there would have been humans this far back," he said. Professor Stringer told reporters at a media briefing in central London that the tools displayed all the hallmarks of human workmanship, and were not the result of natural erosion.

[IMAGE: The tools were used for scraping, cutting and sawing. Flint tools found at the Pakefield site (Harry Taylor/NHM) http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41122000/jpg/_41122052

"One of the worries is that perhaps things like this can be produced by rocks bashing together in a river bed. These are not in this context, so we are confident that these are stone tools."

The scientists said they were happy that the artifacts were 700,000 years old because there was a range of evidence that all converged on the same age. One factor was the discovery, at the same location, of teeth from a species of water vole that existed in this period. Professor Anthony Stuart, from University College London, told reporters this played a key role in dating the site.

"A modern water vole has molar teeth that grow all the time and have no roots. Its ancestor, called Mimomys savini, had rooted teeth which did not grow. Nobody in northern Europe has before found any evidence of humans in association with this older water vole."

[Click here to see how northern Europe looked 700,000 years ago

Until this find, it was thought that humans arrived in northern Europe 500,000 years ago, after archaeologists unearthed a shin bone and two incisor teeth along with a number of flint tools at Boxgrove in southern England.

The earliest evidence of human existence in southern Europe dates back 800,000 years at sites in Spain and Italy. It was thought that humans did not move to the colder north because they were unable to adapt to factors such as longer winters and shorter growing seasons.

[IMAGE: SUFFOLK 700,000 YEARS AGO Artist's impression of Suffolk 700,000 years ago (NHM). It was significantly warmer so people could move north without adaptation. Professor Chris Stringer

However, Professor Stringer said soil samples from the Pakefield site revealed that the climate 700,000 years ago was similar to the present day Mediterranean region.

"We have learned from Pakefield and its fantastic biological evidence that it was significantly warmer so people could move north without adaptation. They also had the same sort of plants and animals to exploit."

The megafauna that would have roamed Europe during this period included rhinoceroses, elephants, sabre-tooth cats and hippopotamuses.

The geography was also very different from the present day. Britain was connected to the continent by a land bridge, which would have allowed early humans to move in and out easily. The land was low with no steep hills. Very large rivers dominated the landscape and could have been used as tracks by migrating humans.

'Stone Age gold'
The Pakefield site was on the floodplains of the River Bytham, which was Britain's largest river before it was destroyed by glaciers some 450,000 years ago.

Commenting in Nature, Wil Roebroeks of the Netherlands' Leiden University, said the team's data was "Stone Age gold" but it did not provide evidence of colonization.

"The Pakefield artifacts probably do not testify to a colonization of the colder temperate environments of northern Europe, but more to a short-lived human expansion of range, in rhythm with climatic oscillations."

Professor Stringer said the discovery opened up a whole new area of research.

"The fact that we know that there were people in Britain at this early date means we can start to look for further evidence of them and perhaps one day be lucky enough to find fossil remains of these people."

[IMAGE: BBC graphic of north-west Europe 700,000 years ago (Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project) http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41125000/gif/_41125362_europe_fossils

SOURCE: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4526264.stm


The new science of geomythology is being harnessed by researchers who believe folklore can save lives.

On the banks of Siletz Bay in Lincoln City, Oregon, officials dedicated a memorial last week to one of America's worst calamities: a huge earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of Native Americans 300 years ago.

But the memorial's main job is not to commemorate the disaster, which has only just come to light, but to warn local people that similar devastation could strike at any time.

The area sits over massive fault lines whose dangers have been highlighted by a startling new scientific discipline that combines Earth science studies and analysis of ancient legends. This is geomythology, and it is transforming our knowledge of earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, says the journal Science.

According to the discipline's proponents, violent geological upheavals may be more frequent than was previously suspected.

Apart from the 'lost' Seattle earthquake, geomythology has recently revealed that a volcano in Fiji, thought to be dormant, is active, a discovery that followed geologists' decision to follow up legends of a mountain appearing overnight.

Geologists have found that Middle Eastern flooding myths, including the story of Noah, could be traced to the sudden inundation of the Black Sea 7,600 years ago. The Oracle at Delphi has been found to lie over a geological fault through which seeped hallucinogenic gases. These could account for the trances and utterances of the oracle's mystics.

'Myths can tell us a great deal about what happened in the past and were important in establishing what happened here 300 years ago,' said Brian Atwater, of the US Geological Survey in Seattle.

Along the Oregon and Washington coast, there are Native American stories about boulders, called a'yahos, which can shake to death anyone who stares at them. In addition, Ruth Ludwin, a seismologist in Seattle, discovered tales of villages being washed away and of whales and thunderbirds locked in fights.

These stories were a key influence on Atwater, who started to study the 680-mile long Cascadia subduction zone fault along the coast. What he found provided a shock. Long stretches had suffered sudden inundation relatively recently.

The study of trees stumps in this drowned landscape indicated there had been a huge earthquake and a tsunami between 1680 and 1720. 'We didn't know whether it was one massive quake or a couple of slightly smaller ones. Nor did we know exactly when the disaster occurred,' added Atwater. Later research on tree rings put the date at between 1699 and 1700.

Then local legends helped again. Japanese colleagues studied their records and traced an orphan tsunami - a giant wave not linked to a local earthquake - that destroyed several villages on 27 January, 1700.

'That told us two things: that our earthquake must have been vast, Richter scale 9, to devastate part of Japan thousands of miles away. It also gave us a precise date for our disaster.'

Scientists now believe huge earthquakes and tsunamis devastate the Seattle area every 200 to 1,000 years. 'We may be due one soon,' added Atwater. However, until this year, the lesson of that tsunami was remembered only as a dim legend. Other such stories have been put to better use, however.

Last year's tsunami was also triggered by a strong earthquake, and around 300,000 people died. The Moken - or sea gypsies - of Thailand, however, have a tradition which warns that when tides recede far and fast, now known as a precursor of a tsunami, then a man-eating wave will soon head their way: so they should run far and fast. Last 26 December, they did - and survived.

Another example of the power of geomythology is from Patrick Nunn, of Fiji in the South Pacific. His studies of volcanoes on the Fijian island of Kadavu indicated they had not been active for tens of thousands of years.

'Then I heard legends of recent eruptions,' he told The Observer. 'I thought them unlikely. When a road was cut there in 2002, I found there had been a volcanic eruption long after it had been occupied by humans. It made me look at myths in a new light.'

Now, Nunn is working for the French government to compile tales that might pinpoint Pacific islands where scientists should look for warnings of earthquakes, volcanoes and catastrophic landslides. These include stories of deities who fish up islands from the water and others in which they are thrown back into the sea.

'If you had asked me 10 years ago if there was value in local myths I would have said "not a lot",' added Nunn. 'Since then I have had a Pauline conversion.'

Source: The Observer
Conspiracy Journal 12/9/05


The tiny hobbit-like humans of Indonesia may have lived in Australia before they became extinct about 11,000 years ago. The startling claim comes from archaeologist Mike Morwood, leader of the team that uncovered remains of the 1m-tall hominid at Liang Bua cave on Indonesia's Flores island in 2003.

They believe the pint-size person - known officially as Homo floresiensis and unofficially as the "Hobbit" - was wiped out by a volcanic eruption that spared their Homo sapiens neighbors.

Speaking at a public lecture in Perth, Professor Morwood from the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, raised the prospect that Hobbits colonized Australia before Aboriginal settlers arrived about 60,000 years go. He suggested that the Hobbits may have been pushed out by the bigger people, in part because their population was too small to compete.

"This is seriously being discussed now by the archaeological community in Australia as a result of our work in Indonesia," Professor Morwood said. He suggested that further field work at sites in Indonesia and northern Australia could provide answers.

But one of Professor Morwood's colleagues on the discovery team was surprised by the notion of Hobbits in Australia. "It's the first I've heard about it," said Bert Roberts, a dating expert with the University of Wollongong. "Call me a wet blanket, but I'm not sure where Mike thinks he's going to excavate."

Professor Roberts said conditions during the north Australian wet season meant that small, ancient remains were unlikely to have survived. He noted that no early human remains have been unearthed in northern Australia and said that even the remains of the giant prehistoric animals, the mega-fauna, were scarce.

"Realistically, there's one cave on the planet with the remains of this species. How about looking some place close to Liang Bua cave," Professor Roberts said. "Australia is a wild conjecture."

There is also the troubling question of how the Hobbits would have traveled south from their Indonesian homeland. To date, there's no hard evidence they could sail or raft. Professor Morwood's surprising suggestion follows a recent report in the journal Nature that the team has been denied exploration permits to excavate at Liang Bua cave, although other sites are approved.

"We're waiting for the dust to settle," said Professor Roberts, referring to a long-running dispute with Indonesia's senior paleoanthropologist, Teuku Jacob of Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta.

Professor Jacob, who temporarily snatched the Hobbit remains, claimed the creature was a deformed human and wished to work at the cave to prove his point.

SOURCE: The Nation http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,17495510-421,00.html
Conspiracy Journal 12/9/05 http://uforeview.tripod.com/conspiracyjournal343.html

From Brad Steiger 12-2-5

In July 2005, a small primate skull was discovered in the desert of Tafilalet near Erfound, Morocco. It was in the sand of a marble quarry where Devonian fossils were already found. Subsequently, the skull could be around 360 million years old. Characteristic features in the only 6.1 cm high and 3.9 cm broad fossil indicate the genus Homo: a globular forehead and hind skull and an inferior position of the occipital hole under the cranium, which is typical for upright body posture. The fossil was called Homo alaouite, in homage to the Alaouite Dynasty.

SOURCE AND IMAGES: http://rense.com/general69/homo.htm

By Paul Rincon
BBC News science reporter
People left traces of their presence in the sediments of a shoreline

Human settlers made it to the Americas 30,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new evidence. A team of scientists came to this controversial conclusion by dating human footprints preserved by volcanic ash in an abandoned quarry in Mexico. They say the first Americans may have arrived by sea, rather than by foot.

The traditional view is that the continent's early settlers arrived around 11,000 years ago, by crossing a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska.

Details of the latest findings were unveiled at the UK Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition.

Dr Silvia Gonzalez of Liverpool's John Moores University and her colleagues found the footprints in the quarry, some 130km (80 miles) south-east of Mexico City, in 2003. But they have only finished dating them this year.

The footprints were preserved as trace fossils in volcanic ash along what was the shoreline of an ancient volcanic lake. They were soon covered in more ash and lake sediments and, when water levels rose, became as solid as concrete.

Dr Gonzalez was under no illusions that the finding would be controversial: "It's going to be an archaeological bomb," she told the BBC News website, "and we're up for a fight."

The team used several methods to date a variety of material from the site near Puebla, Mexico, in order to be sure they were right about the age.

"We have materials that have been dated below the footprint layer, the footprint layer itself and on top of the footprint layer. Everything is making sense," said Dr Gonzalez.

The researchers used radiocarbon dating on shells and animal bones in the sequences and dated mammoth teeth by a technique called electron spin resonance. The sediments themselves were dated by optically stimulated luminescence.

"Some lake sediments were incorporated into the ash and were baked. They look like small fragments of brick and these were the ones we dated in the footprint layer. They gave us a result of 38,000 years," Dr Gonzalez.

Land crossing
Under the traditional view, humans trekked from Siberia to Alaska across a land bridge that linked these land masses at the end of the last ice age (between about 10,000 and 12,500 years ago).

Central to the theory, called the Clovis First model, are Clovis points - the tools these settlers used to hunt large beasts, or megafauna, such as mammoths and mastodons.

"The existence of 40,000-year-old human footprints in Mexico means that the Clovis First model of human occupation can no longer be accepted as the first evidence of human presence in the Americas," said co-investigator David Huddart, of Liverpool John Moores.

Dr Michael Faught, an expert in early American archaeology, was reserving judgment until evidence was published: "It would be significant if it were demonstrated, but usually those (early) sites don't hold up well," he told the BBC News website. But, he added: "There's more and more evidence that Alaska was not the only place people came into the continent."

Dr Gonzalez is a proponent of the Coastal Migration Theory. This proposes that people arrived on the west coast in boats, hugging the coastline from North to South. But where these settlers came from is still a mystery, she says. Some have proposed that the earliest humans to reach the continent could have come from south-east Asia or even Australia.

Genetic studies of present-day Native American populations support a recent arrival from north-east Asia, which agrees well with an entry through the Beringian land bridge at the end of the last Ice Age.

Dr Gonzalez suggests that the earliest settlers may have become extinct, leaving no genetic legacy today. She thinks these hunters may have been highly mobile, living in small groups, perhaps explaining why they left scant trace of their presence.

Dr Gonzalez and ancient DNA expert Alan Cooper, of the University of Adelaide in Australia, have managed to extract genetic material from three molars belonging to Peñon Woman III, a 13,000-year-old partial skeleton from Mexico. The analysis is still underway.

SOURCE: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4650307.stm


By Catherine McAloon
Associated Press 05 July 2005

LONDON (AP) _ British scientists claimed on Tuesday to have unearthed 40,000 year-old human footprints in central Mexico, challenging previous studies that put the arrival of the first humans in the Americas at about 13,500 years ago.

Scientists Silvia Gonzalez, from Liverpool John Moores University, and Matthew Bennett, of Bournemouth University, found the footprints in an abandoned quarry close to the Cerro Toluquilla volcano in the Valsequillo Basin, near Puebla, south of Mexico City in 2003.

Gonzalez said the footprints were preserved as trace fossils in volcanic ash along what was the shoreline of an ancient volcanic lake.

"Climate variations and the eruption of the Cerro Toluquilla volcano caused lake levels to rise and fall, exposing the Xalnene volcanic ash layer,'' Gonzalez said.

She said the footprints, which were preserved when water levels rose, were now hard as concrete and had been uncovered without excavation as quarry workers had already removed two to three meters (6.5 to 9.8 feet) of lake sediment that had been deposited on top of the volcanic ash layer.

The footprints were analyzed and dated by a team of international scientists using laser technology. The findings challenge previously held ideas about the settlement of the Americas.

Scientists have long believed that the first humans came to North America after the last Ice Age ended about 13,500 years ago. According to that theory, they crossed a land bridge from Asia into what is now Alaska and spread quickly across the continent.

The theory is supported by the stone tools they left behind _ all less than 13,500 years old. Their tool technology was named "Clovis'' for the New Mexico town where it was first described.

"The existence of 40,000 year-old human footprints in Mexico means that the "Clovis First'' model of human occupation can no longer be accepted as the first evidence of human presence in the Americas,'' said David Huddart, a professor at Liverpool John Moores University, and a collaborator on the discovery.

Gonzalez said the findings supported a theory that the first colonies may have arrived by water, using the Pacific coast migration route, rather than by foot.

"We think there were several migration waves into the Americas at different times by different human groups,'' she said.

The findings are being exhibited as part of a summer exhibition at London's prestigious scientific academy, the Royal Society.

SOURCE: http://www.livescience.com/history/ap_050705_human_footprints.html


Yet another asteroid is heading our way and could hit us in 31 years—will this one spell our doom, like an earlier one did for the dinosaurs? This one is called Apophis, after the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil and destruction.

Alok Jha writes in The Guardian that the asteroid is now aiming for Earth. It’s being watched by astronomers all over the world, and if it looks like it will hit a body of land, they may try to figure out how to deflect it or break it up in space. Most asteroids that hit the Earth land in the ocean, since oceans cover most of the Earth’s area. NASA says that an impact from Apophis, which could come in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy of the nuclear bomb that was detonated over Hiroshima in World War II. No matter where it does hit, we would all be affected by the nuclear winter that effect from millions of dust particles being released into the atmosphere. This is probably what killed off the dinosaurs.

Astronomers have tracked Apophis ever since it was discovered in June but it has only started worrying them now, because they say the odds of it hitting Earth in 2029 are alarming. We don't have much time to lose. It will take many years to design, test and build the technology we need to deflect the asteroid. Meteor expert Monica Grady says an impact by Apophis could cause "mass extinction…We are overdue for a big one."

SOURCE: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=5065


Alok Jha The Guardian
December 7, 2005

Scientists call for plans to change asteroid's path
Developing technology could take decades

In Egyptian myth, Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness.

A fitting name, astronomers reasoned, for a menace now hurtling towards Earth from outer space. Scientists are monitoring the progress of a 390-metre wide asteroid discovered last year that is potentially on a collision course with the planet, and are imploring governments to decide on a strategy for dealing with it.

NASA has estimated that an impact from Apophis, which has an outside chance of hitting the Earth in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy released in the nuclear blast over Hiroshima. Thousands of square kilometers would be directly affected by the blast but the whole of the Earth would see the effects of the dust released into the atmosphere.

And, scientists insist, there is actually very little time left to decide. At a recent meeting of experts in near-Earth objects (NEOs) in London, scientists said it could take decades to design, test and build the required technology to deflect the asteroid. Monica Grady, an expert in meteorites at the Open University, said: "It's a question of when, not if, a near Earth object collides with Earth. Many of the smaller objects break up when they reach the Earth's atmosphere and have no impact.

However, a NEO larger than 1km [wide] will collide with Earth every few hundred thousand years and a NEO larger than 6km, which could cause mass extinction, will collide with Earth every hundred million years. We are overdue for a big one."

Apophis had been intermittently tracked since its discovery in June last year but, in December, it started causing serious concern. Projecting the orbit of the asteroid into the future, astronomers had calculated that the odds of it hitting the Earth in 2029 were alarming. As more observations came in, the odds got higher.

Having more than 20 years warning of potential impact might seem plenty of time. But, at last week's meeting, Andrea Carusi, president of the Spaceguard Foundation, said that the time for governments to make decisions on what to do was now, to give scientists time to prepare mitigation missions. At the peak of concern, Apophis asteroid was placed at four out of 10 on the Torino scale - a measure of the threat posed by an NEO where 10 is a certain collision which could cause a global catastrophe. This was the highest of any asteroid in recorded history and it had a 1 in 37 chance of hitting the Earth. The threat of a collision in 2029 was eventually ruled out at the end of last year.

Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer from Queen's University Belfast, said: "When it does pass close to us on April 13 2029, the Earth will deflect it and change its orbit. There's a small possibility that if it passes through a particular point in space, the so-called keyhole, ... the Earth's gravity will change things so that when it comes back around again in 2036, it will collide with us." The chance of Apophis passing through the keyhole, a 600-metre patch of space, is 1 in 5,500 based on current information.

There are no shortage of ideas on how to deflect asteroids. The Advanced Concepts Team at the European Space Agency have led the effort in designing a range of satellites and rockets to nudge asteroids on a collision course for Earth into a different orbit.

No technology has been left unconsidered, even potentially dangerous ideas such as nuclear powered spacecraft. "The advantage of nuclear propulsion is a lot of power," said Prof Fitzsimmons. "The negative thing is that ... we haven't done it yet. Whereas with solar electric propulsion, there are several spacecraft now that do use this technology so we're fairly confident it would work."

The favored method is also potentially the easiest - throwing a spacecraft at an asteroid to change its direction. ESA plans to test this idea with its Don Quixote mission, where two satellites will be sent to an asteroid. One of them, Hidalgo, will collide with the asteroid at high speed while the other, Sancho, will measure the change in the object's orbit. Decisions on the actual design of these probes will be made in the coming months, with launch expected some time in the next decade. One idea that seems to have no support from astronomers is the use of explosives.

Prof Fitzsimmons. "If you explode too close to impact, perhaps you'll get hit by several fragments rather than one, so you spread out the area of damage."

In September, scientists at Strathclyde and Glasgow universities began computer simulations to work out the feasibility of changing the directions of asteroids on a collision course for Earth. In spring next year, there will be another opportunity for radar observations of Apophis that will help astronomers work out possible future orbits of the asteroid more accurately.

If, at that stage, they cannot rule out an impact with Earth in 2036, the next chance to make better observations will not be until 2013. NASA has argued that a final decision on what to do about Apophis will have to be made at that stage.

"It may be a decision in 2013 whether or not to go ahead with a full-blown mitigation mission, but we need to start planning it before 2013," said Prof Fitzsimmons. In 2029, astronomers will know for sure if Apophis will pose a threat in 2036. If the worst-case scenarios turn out to be true and the Earth is not prepared, it will be too late. "If we wait until 2029, it would seem unlikely that you'd be able to do anything about 2036," said Mr. Yates.

SOURCE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/article/0,14493,1660485,00.html

Leonard David, Space.com
3 November 2005, Article Posted: December 30, 2005

BOULDER, Colorado – The potential for a newly discovered asteroid smacking into the Earth in 2036 cannot be discounted. NASA has sketched out a response strategy in the outside possibility that the space rock becomes a true threat. NASA’s action plan was the result of prodding by a group of astronauts, scientists and other technical specialists uneasy about the current lack of action to protect the Earth from the impact of near Earth objects (NEOs).

The object was found last year through the efforts of NASA’s Spaceguard Survey. In 1998 NASA formally initiated the Spaceguard Survey by adopting the objective of finding 90 percent of the near Earth asteroids larger than 3,280 feet (one kilometer) diameter within the next decade - before the end of 2008.

Asteroid 99942 Apophis – first labeled as 2004 MN4 -- is estimated to be roughly 1,000 feet (320 meters) in diameter. Were it to strike Earth, it would not set off global havoc but would generate significant local or regional damage, experts say.

Worrisome to asteroid watchers is the exceptionally close flyby of Earth by Apophis on April 13, 2029. So close in fact, the space rock will be naked-eye visible as it darts by. And what can’t be ruled out at this time is that Apophis may pass through a gravitational “keyhole” – a spot that alters the asteroid’s trajectory as it zips by our planet and might put it on the bee-line lane for banging into Earth seven years later.

Concern over asteroid Apophis and the ability to precisely chart its trajectory -- and take steps if needed to deflect the object -- were fervently voiced by the B612 Foundation, chaired by Russell Schweickart, a former Apollo astronaut.

The group requested that NASA carry out an analysis that included the possibility of placing an active radio transponder on the object. Doing so at a fairly early date would yield the requisite orbital accuracy of the asteroid as it sped through space.

In a June 6 letter to NASA Administrator, Michael Griffin, Schweickart on behalf of the B612 Foundation called for support in “resolving an issue of critical importance” - namely whether a scientific mission should be launched to asteroid Apophis in the near term.

Such a probe, if dispatched, Schweickart stated, would provide knowledge of the asteroid’s orbit in time to initiate a deflection mission in the unlikely event one should be required. The position of the B612 Foundation was that the mission should be staged, pointing out that NASA’s NEO program personnel apparently did not concur with that view. A spacecraft mission to Apophis would augment tracking of the object from the ground, the letter to Griffin explained, and also carry out a number of scientific duties too.

NASA provided a formal response to the B612 Foundation’s June communiqué via an October 12 letter from Mary Cleave, Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate. That NASA reply came with an appended detailed analysis by Steven Chesley of NASA’S NEO Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The study by Chesley dug into Apophis’ orbit, under varying conditions, and contained other items pertaining to the space agency’s findings about the Apophis matter.

“The key conclusion to be taken from this analysis,” Cleave explained in the letter, “is that aggressive (i.e., more expensive) action can reasonably be delayed until after the 2013 observing opportunity. For Apophis, the 16 years available after 2013 are sufficient to recognize and respond to any hazard that still exists after that time.”

Cleave noted in the letter that while Apophis “is an object whose motion we will continue to monitor closely in the coming years, we conclude a space mission to this object based solely on any perceived collision hazard is not warranted at this time.”

Not ruled out by Cleave, however, is the prospect of Discovery-class, low-cost missions sent to Apophis, “based on purely scientific arguments,” she said. “Indeed, the asteroid’s orbit is particularly attractive for spacecraft rendezvous, and the extraordinary close encounter in April 2029 provides a unique opportunity to investigate a number of scientific NEO issues,” Cleave explained in the letter.

While Schweickart said that the NASA response to the B612 Foundation’s concern is a step forward, there are other issues still to be resolved. One matter involves radar tracking of Apophis.

On one hand, radar plays a crucial role in being able to rationally determine the future likelihood of a NEO impact and potentially in planning for a deflection mission when required. Yet the availability of NEO radar tracking, and the budgets to support this work in the future is highly uncertain, even precarious, Schweickart and the B612 Foundation emphasize. Radar hits of Apophis at each opportunity through 2021 are important to keep watch of the object’s whereabouts.

“Tracking these asteroids once you know they exist and pinning down their orbits is really not science,” Schweickart told SPACE.com. “This is public safety. It’s disaster preparedness.”

When Apophis swings by Earth, Schweickart said the asteroid will likely change its orbit. Also, its spin characteristics may be altered. Due to Earth’s gravity tugging on the object, “asteroid quakes” could reshape Apophis, he said.

Moreover, still far from resolution is a “whose in charge” proclamation about troublemaking NEOs, Schweickart said.

“It would be great if we had NASA doing this as a regular process. Unfortunately, the mindset that’s essentially required by their budget is to think about discovery, not to think about the potential need for deflection,” Schweickart added. “Until your mindset is oriented that way, you’re going to miss things.”

Until an agency is identified that is responsible for all of this, Schweickart cautioned, everybody is “begging time and bumming bucks” from some other program. “This whole thing is sort of in a precarious position until somebody gets around to assigning agency responsibility,” he said.

Regarding the skill required to deposit a transponder on Apophis, Schweickart saluted Japan’s Hayabusa asteroid sample-return mission, now in progress. That craft is scheduled to make two landings on its target asteroid – Itokawa -- later this month. The mission is geared to haul back samples of the object to Earth.

Scientists at Japan’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) are working day-by-day issues in readying the probe for contact with the asteroid, including release of a mini-robot onto Itokawa that will move about and survey its rocky surroundings. ISAS is a research arm of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

“It’s an impressive mission,” Schweickart said, sure to yield operational experience and lessons learned on how best to execute duties on asteroid Apophis.

The ruin stemming from asteroid Apophis colliding with Earth would potentially be very great. Indeed, the consequences, Schweickart suggested, would dwarf those seen as a result of the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September of this year, and the Pakistan earthquake last month.

In regards to global preparedness in handling these unusually devastating events of late, “it’s basically out of sight…out of mind,” Schweickart said. “That’s the real challenge for society. The things that you don’t know about are one thing. But the things that you do know about, and don’t do something about…those are the ones that are really tough.”

Fully concurring with NASA’s response is Alan Harris, a senior research scientist and asteroid expert for the Space Science Institute headquartered here. Harris noted, as has been underscored by the B612 Foundation, that if Apophis is indeed on an impact trajectory, then ground-based radar observations will not be able to refine the impact probability to greater than 20 percent. “That is, we would still not know better than one-chance-in-five whether the impact would really occur or not,” he told SPACE.com.

“We really would need a transponder to improve tracking enough to firmly establish that an impact would occur,” Harris said.

What has been overlooked, or at best under-emphasized, Harris added, is a point raised in the NASA response. Ground-only tracking has a 99.8 percent chance of eliminating any chance at all of an impact. Thus, there is only one-chance-in-500 that ground-based tracking will fail to resolve the issue in favor of no impact. “For this reason I think the NASA conclusion is entirely sensible,” he said.

Harris said that there are Apophis observing opportunities every 6-8 years, with each one having about a 90 percent chance of eliminating any possible impact. At each of these “shoulder” times, he said, one can re-evaluate the “wait and see” strategy if the impact possibility does not go away.

“Certainly it seems appropriate to play the ‘wait and see’ game until after the 2013 observing opportunity,” Harris stated. None of this diminishes the opening that Apophis presents for purely scientific investigations, which could incidentally contribute to the NEO hazard issue, he said.

Harris said that he would not recommend a “deep impact” type of scientific mission, “lest we have the misfortune to deflect it into a keyhole, but other than that, Apophis is a very attractive mission target.”

Asteroid Apophis, and the discussions it has sparked are welcomed, observed David Morrison, a space scientist and asteroid specialist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, situated in Silicon Valley, California.

“I am pleased that this dialog is taking place,” Morrison said. “This is the first time that serious possibilities for dealing with a real but low-probability future impact have been discussed in a technically professional way, rather than receiving the ‘Hollywood treatment’ ”. Morrison said that he considers it remarkable that the Spaceguard Survey has reached the level of maturity where such an asteroid could not only be found, but its orbit understood well enough to deal with “keyholes” and other subtleties. “Apophis represents for me a symbol of the coming of age of Spaceguard and of asteroid impact studies in general,” he said.

The possibility of Apophis hitting Earth on April 13, 2036 is real, Morrison said, even if the probabilities now seem to be very small. “These probabilities represent uncertainties in our knowledge of the orbit, not a failure of the science.” But whether the asteroid will strike Earth or not, Morrison concluded, the challenge is to resolve which case is correct. “With more observations over a longer time span, we will be able to tie this down.”

SOURCE: http://impact.arc.nasa.gov/news_detail.cfm?ID=166

Friday, 2 December 2005

PPARC -- Telescope facilities across the world are watching the skies for rocky remnants from outer space on a collision course with planet Earth. Currently one or two of these so called 'Near Earth Objects' [NEOs] are being recorded each day but fortunately for humankind the vast majority are the size of a human fist and pose no threat.

Nevertheless, the presence of large impact craters on Earth provides dramatic evidence of past collisions, some of which have been catastrophic for the planet's species, as was the case with the dinosaurs. This week, experts from across Europe and the US met in London to consider current and future efforts to monitor NEOs in order to better predict those with Earth impacting trajectories, since it is inevitable that a catastrophic collision will happen again in the future.

Professor Monica Grady, a leading expert on meteorites from the Open University explains, "It's simply a question of when, not if, a NEO collides with the Earth. Many of the smaller objects break up when they reach Earth's atmosphere and have no impact. However, a NEO larger than 1 km will collide with Earth every few hundred thousand years and an NEO larger than 6 km, which could cause a mass extinction, will collide with Earth every hundred million years. And we are overdue for a big one!"

NEOs, remnants from the formation of the inner planets, range in size from 10 meter objects to those in excess of 1 km. It is estimated that 100 fist sized meteorites, fragments of NEOs, fall to Earth on a daily basis but larger objects impact with Earth on a much less regular basis.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from Queens University Belfast is a UK astronomer (supported by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council) involved in the study of NEOs, using telescope facilities such as the European Southern Observatory's Very Large telescope in Chile, the Isaac Newton Telescope in La Palma and the Faulkes Telescope in Hawaii. He said, "By the end of the decade as new dedicated facilities, such as the Pan-STARR project in Hawaii, come on line there will be a quantum leap in the discovery of NEOs - with rates anticipated to increase to hundreds per day. This will provide us with a greater ability to determine which ones are on a potential Earth colliding trajectory."

Studies of one such asteroid (Apophis), which was discovered in June 2004, have shown that there is a low probability that this object will impact the Earth in 2036. This has raised a whole series of issues about the prospect of deflecting the asteroid before a very close approach in 2029. Government's across the world are looking at the issue and in particular at the technologies and methods required to carry out an asteroid deflection maneuver in space.

The European Space Agency's NEO Mission Advisory Panel (NEOMAP), of which Professor Fitzsimmons is a member, has selected "Don Quixote" as their preferred option for an asteroid deflecting test mission. Don Quixote would comprise two spacecraft - one of them (Hildalgo) would impact the asteroid at a very high relative speed while the second spacecraft (Sancho) would arrive earlier to monitor the effect of the impact to measure the variation of the asteroid's orbital parameters. This attempt to deflect an incoming NEO would act as a precursor mission with the primary objective of modifying the trajectory of a "non-threatening" asteroid.

Richard Tremayne-Smith, from the British National Space Centre, heads up the coordination of UK NEO activity and helps provide an international lead on NEO efforts on the issue. He said, "NEO collisions are the only known natural disaster that can be avoided by applying appropriate technology - and so it is the interest of Governments across the World to take interest in this global issue. Here in the UK we take the matter very seriously and progress is being made in taking forward the recommendations of the UK NEO Task Force Report in an international arena."

The current method of studying NEOs is achieved through a combination of 3 different methods:- the study of meteorites to understand their structure and composition; earth based astronomical observations of asteroids; and space based observations and encounters with asteroids.

Much can be understood about the nature of asteroids from the study of meteorites which are fragments of asteroids that have broken up and fallen to Earth. Professor Grady explains how the ground based study of meteorites is crucial to future plans for dealing with asteroids.

"In order to define successful strategies for deflecting asteroids that might collide with Earth, it is essential to understand the material properties such as the composition, strength and porosity of asteroids. By putting together such information with data from both ground based and space based studies we can begin to build an accurate picture of these diverse phenomena."

UK scientists are involved in a number of other missions which will also be investigating the properties of asteroids and comets. This includes NASA's Stardust mission which collected samples from Comet Wild 2 in January 2004. These samples are set to return to Earth in January 2006 and scientists from the Open University will be involved in their analysis. The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission which is currently on route to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko will pass by two asteroids, Steins and Lutetia, before reaching its target in 2014, gathering data about their properties as it flies past.

SOURCE: http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/319408/near_earth_objects__what_lies_ahead/


Everybody knows about Crop Circles. But nobody agrees on just who or what is making them, and why they exist for brief times in grain fields all over the world. Often showing intricate geometrical and sometimes occult patterns that are so complex and perfectly patterned, the designs are best seen from the air and suggest hours of labor sometimes accomplished within brief time periods while no one is looking.

That they usually occur under cover of darkness makes the mystery even more astounding. If accomplished by human hand, as many would argue, the abilities of such pranksters to create such profound art without the help of lamps and measuring devices, including a surveyor’s sextant, leaves the observers confounded.

There appears to be two primary theories as to the origin of these spectacular artworks that come and go with each growing season. Some say they are an emerging art form; a contemporary graffiti that one writer in National Geographic suggests “will be written about in future art history books as the most remarkable artistic innovation to emerge from the Twentieth Century.”

The second theory is that they are mysterious messages from extraterrestrials, created by unknown technology from alien craft passing overhead in the night sky. One thought is that because of their brief existence, the circles might be markers for time travelers, giving exact dates in which to land.

Whether they existed prior to the first stories about them in southern England in the mid-1970s is not known. The first media records of designs in grain fields showed relatively simple formations appearing overnight in the area already known as home for some of the strangest Neolithic sites in the world including Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill. In every case the crops are flattened and the stalks bent, but not broken.

The phenomenon seemed to gain momentum after the initial stories were told. Now the formations are showing up in fields in Australia, South Africa, The United States, Russia, and China. They are just about anywhere that farmers grow crops and that the field can be altered so that an image is clearly visible from the air.

And each year, the centerpiece of the circle art appears to continue to be in the fields of southern England, where more than 100 formations appear each season.

While simplistic at first, the designs have been growing in complexity until they are getting downright sensational in their appearance. Sometimes it seems sad to realize that their existence can only last but a few days until nature returns to normal or until the crop is harvested.

The UFO theories were set back in 1991 when Doug Bower and Dave Chorley claimed responsibility for the crop circles in England. Bower was found to have a group of people known as the Circlemakers, who designed their mischief before stealing off in the night to create yet a new and more intricate design.

Supporters of the human manufacturing theory suggest that many groups like that of Bower and Chorley must exist all over the world, all doing their covert work in the dead of night.

On the other side of the coin, the study of the circles by dedicated UFO-believers, has become a science in itself. The students have evolved into a thriving cottage industry of sightings, measurements, speculations and publications. The serious enthusiasts call themselves cereologists, taking the name of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture.

The first deformations appeared as simple, nearly perfect circles of grain flattened in a spiral pattern. But as the years have passed, the patterns now consist of circles in groups, circles inside rings or circles with spurs and other appendages. Retired astronomer Gerald S. Hawkins has noted something interesting about the designs that could only be appreciated by dedicated mathematicians. He notes that a number of ingenious and previously unknown geometric theorems are showing up in what he calls “artwork in the crops.”

Using data from published ground surveys and aerial photographs, Hawkins measured the dimensions and calculated the ratios of the diameters and other key features in 18 different patterns that included more than one circle or ring. In 11 of the patterns, Hawkins found ratios of small whole numbers that precisely matched the ratios defining the diatonic scale. These ratios produce the eight notes of an octave in the musical scale corresponding to the white keys on a piano.

The discovery prompted Hawkins to look for and find geometric relationships among the circles, rings and lines of other distinctive patterns.

His first theorem was found in a triplet of crop circles found in 1988. He noticed he could draw three straight lines, or tangents, that touched all three circles. By drawing in the equilateral triangle formed by the circles’ centers and adding a large circle centered on this triangle, he proved the theorem that reads: “The radio of the diameter of the triangle’s circumscribed circle to the diameter of the circles at each corner is 4:3.”

Since that discovery, Hawkins claims three more geometric theorems, all involving diatonic ratios arising from the radios of areas of circles among crop-circle patterns.

Amazingly, Hawkins could find none of the theorems in the works of Euclid, the famed Greek geometer who established the basic techniques and rules for Euclidean geometry. He also failed to find the crop-circle theorems in any of the mathematics textbooks and references that he consulted.

Thus Hawkins appears to have proved that either the artists are amazingly skilled in creative geometry or that the circles he examined were the creations of beings from out of this world. In conclusion, all that this writer can say about crop circles it that they remain a true enigma of our time.

Visit the author's web site at: http://perdurabo10.tripod.com 
or e-mail him at: jdona999@vcmails.com 
© James Donahue

SOURCE: FarShores.org; The James Donahue Column; Posted Nov 30.05
UFO CASEBOOK http://www.ufocasebook.com/121205.html

December 19, 2005

While only five known crop circle reports were received by CCCRN this past summer / fall, another "ice circle" was found on December 9, near Sudbury, Ontario, in snow-covered creek ice. Approximately 12-18 meters (40-60 feet) diameter, with a 2.5-5 centimeter (1-2 inch) deep 'V'-shaped groove in the ice defining the circle's perimeter. There is another possible groove a few inches inside of the outer groove.

Larger photos here:

The circle is in a bend of the creek, so it is possible this is a type of ice ring that has formed from a swirling eddy, as is believed to be the cause of most such formations (with more diffuse edges), yet the sharp, incised edge is more difficult to explain, and is similar to the ice circle at Delta, Ontario in 2000 in this regard.

A strong, unpleasant smell had also been reported a few weeks previously in the area.

Thanks to David Chevrier, Brian Vike, Nancy Talbott, Jeff Wilson and Andreas Muller for their assistance and input. The location is fairly remote and as of yet, CCCRN Ontario hasn't been able to go to the site yet, but other efforts are still being made.

SOURCE: Canadian Crop Circle Research Network http://www.cccrn.ca

Lifting the Lid on Operation Blackbird

A West crop circle expert has lifted the lid on a previously long-forgotten chapter in the bizarre history of the West's 1990 crop circle mystery. Colin Andrews revealed to a coast-to-coast audience in America the goings-on under the cover of a summer night 15 years ago.

Mr. Andrews, who left his West home for the U.S. a decade ago, said that far from being an embarrassing flop, the three-week vigil on the hilltops of Wiltshire was an astounding and secret success.

Listeners on US radio heard claims yesterday that the British Army watched and filmed a UFO making a ground-breaking crop circle near Silbury Hill while the world's media was camped 20 miles away. Back in 1990, it was the high point of the crop circle hysteria gripping the world.

Dozens of volunteers, a host of foreign TV cameras, the world's foremost crop circle experts and the British Army launched a round-the-clock vigil from the famous white horse above Bratton, near Westbury, in a bid to spot a crop circle being made.

And within days it appeared Operation Blackbird had been successful - night vision cameras spotted something in a field below, and, sure enough, a new crop circle could be seen as dawn broke. For a few hours, the world reported the crop circle mystery as solved - but operation leader Colin Andrews soon realized he had been hoaxed and the figures on night-vision cameras were not aliens but local mischief-makers.

According to Mr. Andrews, however, across Wiltshire a more mysterious and sinister event was happening, which has remained top secret ever since.

He said: "The public knew but half of what was going on at the time. While the media present at Operation Blackbird were looking at the right hand, they did not see what happened with the left.

"The British Army were looking at a secret site and a very important place nearby."

Strange things did happen at the Operation Blackbird HQ in Bratton - a strange hum, odd bass noises in the dead of night, and people seeing flashes of energy in the night sky.

"While, above Bratton, there was a formation appearing in front of the cameras which was supposed to convince the world of a hoax, the Army filmed a UFO at the secret site, and crop circles appeared next to the hill.

"The crop circle story will not be complete until Operation Blackbird is fully understood and why, and who, is behind the larger plan" added Mr. Andrews.

Why he has chosen now to reveal more information now might have something to do with him winding down his research into the crop circle phenomenon. He recently put his entire collection of photos, videos, books, sketches and reports up for sale on eBay.

SOURCE: Conspiracy Journal #346
Western Daily Press

Also see earlier reference,
Did the infamous ‘Operation Blackbird’ surveillance exercise at Bratton Castle in 1990, supposedly duped by hoaxers, actually video the creation of a real crop formation? Rumor has long said so – now GEOFF STRAY has discovered a claimed eye-witness to the events of that night and reveals new information which suggests that the whole story has not been told...

SOURCE: Swirled News http://www.swirlednews.com/article.asp?artID=60

Wed Dec 21, 1:15 AM ET

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - More than 100 pilot whales stranded on a beach at the top of New Zealand's South Island were refloated by volunteers on Wednesday and conservation officials in boats herded the mammals out to sea.

Hundreds of volunteers, including tourists, refloated the beached whales just before high tide at around 2 p.m. (2000 EST), about 24 hours after they were stranded. A handful of the whales tried to swim back and ground themselves again about three hours later, but rescuers formed a human chain to force them back into open water.

"This was certainly a lot easier than this morning's (rescue) because they hadn't completely grounded, although some of them had to be lifted across the mud," rescuer Craig Potton told Radio New Zealand. "You grab it by the nose, just like elephants in Nepal, you manhandle them and push them. You just push like hell to make it go out, in the final analysis -- you don't muck around," he said.

In previous strandings, whales have broken away from a rescued group and led the others back to the beach.

About 15 of the estimated 115 long-finned pilot whales died on Puponga Beach, about 93 miles northwest of the city of Nelson, before volunteers were able to refloat them.

The whales initially beached themselves over a wide area on Tuesday but grouped together overnight as the sea came in. They were washed with water to keep them cool and prevent their skin from drying out before they were refloated.

New Zealand, which has 41 whale species in its waters, has a high rate of strandings because of its long coastline and sometimes shallow waters, said Anton van Helden, collections manager of marine mammals at the New Zealand museum Te Papa.

In January 2003, 159 pilot whales were stranded on New Zealand's southern Stewart Island. The largest stranding on record was of 1,000 pilot whales in 1918 on the Chatham Islands, 500 miles east of the mainland.

Conservation ranger Simon Walls said it was not known how the latest pod had become stranded, but it had happened in the area before.

"The shallow shelving beach, the spit and the configuration of headlands seems to cause navigation problems for them. These conditions seem to trigger strandings," Walls told the Nelson Mail newspaper.

SOURCE: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051221/sc_nm/environment_newzealand


Dozens of eyewitness accounts and a few intriguing photographs suggest that this flying monster, thought to have died with the dinosaurs, might still exist.

They were the largest creatures to ever attain flight. With wingspans reaching nearly 40 feet, pterosaurs ruled the prehistoric skies for over 100 million years, until they died out with the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

Or did they?
There have been many modern-day sightings of creatures that by eyewitness description sound like pterosaurs. There are also intriguing rock carvings and even photographs that suggest that this species of amazing flying monsters could have survived extinction, could have soared through the skies of the southwestern United States until very recently, and might still exist in small numbers in remote parts of the world.

Pterosaurs were not dinosaurs, but a family of large flying reptiles ("pterosaur" means "winged lizard") that includes the pterodactyl and pteranodon. The pterosaur stood on two rather spindly legs and had wings composed of a leathery membrane that stretched from the animal's extremely long fourth finger to its body. Despite their appearance, they were not related to birds (as dinosaurs are theorized to be), and were highly successful flyers that might have dined on fish and insects.

Modern Sightings
Although there seems to be no hard evidence that pterosaurs did not die out millions of years ago - no pterosaurs have ever been captured and no bodies have ever been found - sightings have persisted. Stories of flying reptiles have been recorded for many hundreds of years. Some think that tales of the "mythical" dragons in the lore of many cultures around the would could be attributed to the sighting of pterosaurs. Here are some more modern accounts:

May, 1961, New York State - A businessman flying his private plane over the Hudson River Valley claimed that he was "buzzed" by a large flying creature that he said "looked more like a pterodactyl out of the prehistoric ages."

Early 1960s, California - A couple driving through Trinity National Forest reported seeing the silhouette of a giant "bird" that they estimated to have a wingspan of 14 feet. They later described it as resembling a pterodactyl.

January, 1976, Harlingen, Texas - Jackie Davis (14) and Tracey Lawson (11) reported seeing a "bird" on the ground that stood five feet tall, was dark in color with a bald head and a face like a gorilla's with a sharp, six-inch-long beak. A subsequent investigation by their parents uncovered tracks that had three toes and were eight inches across.

February, 1976, San Antonio, Texas - Three elementary school teachers saw what they described as a pterodactyl swooping low over their cars as they drove. They said its wingspan was between 15 and 20 feet. One of the teachers commented that it glided through the air on huge, bony wings - like a bat's.

September, 1982, Los Fresnos, Texas - An ambulance driver named James Thompson was stopped while driving on Highway 100 by his sighting of a "large birdlike object" flying low over the area. He described it as black or grayish with a rough texture, but no feathers. It had a five to six-foot wingspan, a hump on the back of its head, and almost no neck at all. After consulting some books to identify the creature, he decided it most looked like a pterosaur.

Africa's Kongamato
While other reports of pterosaur-like creatures have come out of Arizona, Mexico and Crete, it is out of central Africa that some of the most interesting anecdotes have come. While traveling though Zambia in 1923, Frank H. Melland collected reports from natives of an aggressive flying reptile they called kongamoto, which means "overwhelmer of boats." The natives, who were occasionally tormented by these creatures, described them as being featherless with smooth skin, having a beak full of teeth and a wingspan of between four and seven feet. When shown illustrations of pterosaurs, Melland reported, "every native present immediately and unhesitatingly picked out and identified it as a kongamato."

In 1925, a native man was allegedly attacked by a creature that he identified as a pterosaur. This occurred near a swamp in Rhodesia (now Zambia) where the man suffered a large wound in his chest that he said was caused by the monster's long beak.

In the late 1980s, noted cryptozoologist Roy Mackal led an expedition into Namibia from which he had heard reports of a prehistoric-looking creature with a wingspan of up to 30 feet.

Out of Stone
If pterosaurs really died out with the dinosaurs and their fossil remains were not first discovered until 1784 (in Germany), then a depiction of one could not possibly exist in an ancient rock carving. Yet a pictograph found high on a cliff face near Thompson, Utah seems to show just that. While many experts believe the drawing is of a bird, the beak, head prominence, wings and legs also look very much like those of a pterosaur.

Another fascinating tale of a pterosaur literally coming out of stone dates back to 1856 in France. Workmen were digging through Jurassic-era limestone for a railway tunnel between the St.-Dizier and Nancy lines. When a large bolder of limestone was split open, the workers were astonished to see a large winged creature come stumbling out. They said it fluttered its wings, let out a croaking noise and then dropped dead at their feet. The creature had thick black, leathery skin, a beak full of sharp teeth, long talons for feet, and membrane-like wings that spanned 10 feet, 7 inches, by their measure.

The body of the creature was taken to the nearby town of Gray, according to the story, where it was identified as a pterodactyl by a student of paleontology. As reported in the Illustrated London News of February 9, 1856, the rock in which the creature had apparently been entombed for millions of years, contained a precise mold of its body.

The April 25, 1890 edition of the Tombstone Epitaph ran a story of two Arizona ranchers who claimed to have chased on horseback a flying monster "resembling a huge alligator with an extremely elongated tail and an immense pair of wings." True to the spirit of the West, they shot the creature. Taking measurements, they reported that the monster was 92 feet long with a 160-foot wingspan and a mouth full of sharp teeth. The story is not taken seriously by many researchers today, but it corresponds loosely with a story about a thunderbird that was allegedly shot in the same area in 1886 and dragged into town to be photographed. Several paranormal researchers claim to recall seeing that photo, but don't know where, and the photo has not been seen since. Then in the late 1990s, the photo at top left surfaced on the Internet, any many wondered if it was related to the long-lost photo in any way. As it turns out, however, the photo is a hoax, created by Haxan Productions for their "Freaky Links" television show.

The photo at center left might also be a hoax. It was sent to Art Bell, the late night radio talk show host, by someone named Ernest Todd. Details about the origin or context of the photo were not provided. The photo appears to be taken from a newspaper, but digital manipulations would make such a forgery quite easy.

Finally, the bottom left photo was e-mailed to me by a person calling himself George. It resembles the top photo somewhat and has the added effect of torn edges to give the photo an old, used look. It, too, may very well be a hoax, perhaps also from Hexan. George did not provide any details about the photo, where he found it, or where or when it might have been taken, despite repeated attempts by me to get the information.

Again, it's relatively simple in today's digital world to create quite convincing fake photographs, and such images should be considered with a high degree of skepticism.

But what of all the eyewitness accounts of pterosaurs? Are they merely misidentified birds and bats? Or is it just possible that this ancient species survived into the 20th century, and perhaps still exists? An even more bizarre theory is that these sightings are artifacts of a slip in time - either a look into the distant past, or that some of these flying monsters have passed through some time portal to present day.

Whatever the answer, these pterosaur sightings present a fascinating glimpse into the unexplained.

SOURCE: Paranormal.about.com
Conspiracy Journal #342

Mysterious and enigmatic human skeletons, skulls, mummies and other remains
From 9-ft. giants to tiny mummies, these human remains are puzzling

In 2004, scientists were stunned by the discovery of skeletons of what are thought to be an ancient race of people that stood about 3½ feet tall – about the height of a modern three-year-old. Found on the remote island of Indonesia, these pygmies were named Homo floresiensis and nicknamed “hobbits” because of their small size (their heads were no bigger than a grapefruit). The scientists believe this diminutive race died out about 13,000 years ago, although modern natives reported knowledge of a tiny race of people currently or recently living in isolated areas of the jungle.

These are not the first or only strange skeletons unearthed around the world – including the U.S. Whether you believe humans are the descendents of Adam and Eve, the result of millions of years of evolution or the genetic creations of the Annunaki, there are many puzzling specimens of skeletons, skulls and other human (or human-like) remains that can truly make one wonder about mankind's past.

Here's a bare-bones look at some of the more intriguing cases:

Horny Devils
Within an ancient burial mound near the town of Sayre in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, skeletons measuring approximately 7 feet in length were discovered in the 1800s. But the most remarkable feature of these tall skeletons was not their height, but the strange horn-like protrusions above the brow region on their skulls. It was estimated that they were buried around 1200 AD. According to some sources, the skeletons were sent to the American Investigating Museum in Philadelphia, and vanished.

More below:

All the Better to Eat You With, My Dear
In 1888, seven skeletons, which had been placed in a sitting position, were uncovered from a burial mound near Clearwater, Minnesota. The highly unusual skulls of these beings had double rows of teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. It was also noted that the foreheads were low and sloping, compared to "normal" human skulls, and had distinctly prominent brows.

Copper Man
The December 17, 1891 issue of the respected journal Nature reported the discovery of a giant man buried 14 feet within the center of one of Ohio’s mysterious burial mounds. The enormous man’s arms, jaw, arms, chest and stomach were all clad in copper. Wooden antlers, also covered with copper, rested on either side of his head. His mouth was filled with large pearls, and a pearl-studded necklace of bear teeth hung around his neck. Who this man was, or to which race of people he belonged, is unknown.

The Mica Giant
In 1879, a burial mound in Brewersville, Indiana yielded another giant skeleton, according to the November, 1975 edition of The Indianapolis News. This one reached 9 feet 8 inches tall! It wore a necklace of mica stone, and a crude human effigy of clay was found standing at his feet. The giant skeleton was examined by scientists from Indiana and New York, and it remained in the possession of Mr. Robinson, who owned the land on which the mound stood. Unfortunately, the curious bones were washed away in a flood in 1937.

Researcher Robert Connolly photographed this strange elongated skull in 1995. It was found in South America and is estimated to be tens of thousands of years old. Apart from its obvious abnormalities, it also exhibits characteristics of both Neanderthal and human skulls – impossible in itself, according to anthropology texts, since Neanderthals did not exist in South America. Some believe that the unusual shape of the skulls might be the result of a primitive practice known as "skull binding" in which a person's head is tightly bound with cloth or leather straps throughout his lifetime, causing the skull to grow in this dramatic way. The skull-binding theory is contested, however, for this and other cone-shaped skulls, and you can read about them in more detail at Anomalous Skulls.

Small Wonders
Near Coshocton, Ohio in 1837, several fully developed adult skeletons were found buried in tiny wooden coffins. Why tiny coffins? Because these adult skeletons were only 3 to 4½ feet tall. No artifacts were found with the remains that might give clues as to who these small people were, but there were so many of them that researchers believed they could have been the residents of a small city.

Pedro Mountain Mummy
“Pedro,” as he has been nicknamed, is one of the most famous enigmatic human remains ever found. He was discovered by gold prospectors in 1932 when they were dynamiting through the canyons of the Pedro Mountains, which rise about 60 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming. There he was, sitting cross-legged on a ledge with his hands resting serenely in his lap. He was completely mummified. What’s astonishing, however, is that this middle-aged-looking man appeared to be only 14 inches tall! But it might not have been an adult at all. Although the mummy has been lost, X-rays survive and one modern analysis concluded that Pedro was actually an infant, or even a fetus, that might have been afflicted with the disease anencephaly.

Red Giants
In 1911, miners were digging out layers of guano from a cave located about 22 miles southwest of Lovelock, Nevada when they happened upon the mummified remains of an individual who must have stood 6½ feet tall when alive. A tall Native American, perhaps? Probably not, since the mummy was still crowned with "distinctly red" hair. Amazingly, the ancient legends of the local Paiute Indians described a race of red-haired giants – called Si-te-cahs – who were the enemies of many Indian tribes of the region.

The Starchild Skull
Lloyd Pye, author of Everything You Know Is Wrong, has taken it upon himself to discover the identity of an unusual skull he has dubbed "The Starchild Skull." The skull, which was found in a mine shaft near Chihuahua, Mexico around 1930, is unusually wide at the back and exhibits larger than normal eye sockets. Although he says the origin of the skull is uncertain, Pye speculates on whether or not it could be of alien origin - or at least belonging to a human-alien hybrid. While some contend that the skull was merely that of a deformed human child, Pye wanted definitive proof and so, in late 1999, subjected the skull to DNA testing. The results of the test indicated that the skull was from a human being, but Pye points out that the lab could not extract sufficient strands of DNA to make a definitive conclusion, and therefore the question still remains open.

Robert Connolly has photographed a similar, more complete skulls. (See photos.) In most respects it appears to be that of a human, except that it has an extraordinarily large cranium and eye sockets. The eye sockets are about 15 percent larger than a modern human's. The age and date of the skull are unknown. Similar skulls appear in photos by Karen Scheidt of remains found in a Mexican cave. Could they all be genetic mutations, some unknown species of creature or something not of this world?

SOURCE: http://paranormal.about.com/od/mysteriousremains/


Could this just be another cover-up by our archeological societies?
Compiled and written by Mary Sutherland 2004
Burlington UFO and Paranormal Center

Elohim, comes from Ellu, meaning “the Shining Ones.” “Shining Ones” is an ambivalent term used for both the Nephilim and their first born. The “Shining Ones” are often depicted with horns on their heads. This was a symbol of wisdom, but also of rulership. This is why shamans, priests, and kings adopted the convention of wearing horns also, especially in the form of the crown. This was to primarily indicate that they were descendants of either the Atlanteans or the Lemurians and were endowed with power. Michelangelo sculpted Moses with horns on his head to indicate his blood-bond to the antediluvian kings.

Horns, in Moses' time, were a symbol of authority and power. Many gods, including YHVH have been depicted as having them. Kings and holy men were shown sometimes with exaggerated crowns. Another point of interest: Moses came down from the mountain with horns at the beginning of the astrological age of the Ram stating, "I am the ram of God!" coincidence?


Human skulls with horns were discovered in a burial mound at Sayre, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in the 1880's. Horny projections extended two inches above the eye-brows, and the skeletons were seven feet tall, but other than that were anatomically normal. It was estimated that the bodies had been buried around A.D. 1200. The find was made by a reputable group of antiquarians, including the Pennsylvania state historian and dignitary of the Presbyterian Church (Dr. G.P. Donehoo) and two professors, A.B. Skinner, of the American Investigating Museum, and W.K.Morehead, of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. The bones were sent to the American Investigating Museum in Philadelphia, where they were later claimed to have been stolen and have never been seen again Pursuit, 6:69-70, July 1973 Mysteries of the Unexplained, p. 39 1992

New York
Giant, horned human skeletons unearthed just south of Elmira and Wellsville, NY [IRAAP note: no reference given]

A 30 + year old male skeleton was unearthed in a mining area of the El Paso area. Skull had two small horns protruding from the forehead area. Witness of this was Texas Ranger investigating another murder case. [IRAAP note: no reference given]

Michaelangelo Buonarotti's Moses at the tomb of Julius II. Circa 1513. Note the horns on Moses' head. http://www.burlingtonnews.net/humanskullhornedmoses.jpg

At one time the horns were purported to be signs of kingship. Alexander the Great was also depicted with horns on some of his coins. Here we find a possible gene throw back. Picture of 80 year old woman that had horn surgically removed.

If it is a gene throwback to alien descent, the only alien I could find that carries the horn is the Varginha EBE. In 1996 a UFO was believed to have crashed in Varginha, Brazil. There were many witnesses, including 3 young girls walking home from work. They seen the entities, describing them as between 4 to 5 feet in height, making strange buzzing sound, similar to the sound of bees. They had 3 rounded protuberances on top of their heads, like that of horns. Oily brownish skin, big red eyes and a strong smell like that of ammonia. I think that is more aliens out there that do carry the horns and it could be that this particular EBE also inherited the gene from another alien race. I will continue researching the possibilities.

- - - - - -
Shimla, Dec 22, 2003

(IANS): A villager in Himachal Pradesh is attracting a lot of curiosity for the "horn" growing at the back of his head.

"The horn-like growth is about three and a half inches long and started growing at the back of my head some six months ago," says Lekh Ram, 65, of Nalagarh village, some 100 km from here.

A newspaper even carried a picture of the man with the grey colored "horn" jutting out from his head. Medical records say it is a very rare phenomenon. The news has started attracting curious villagers from neighboring villages. Uncomfortable at the attention, Ram ties a turban to hide the growth.

"Initially it was soft but it is now beginning to get harder," Balkrishan Sharma, a local reporter, told IANS. It isn't clear whether Ram has shown himself to a doctor, but he appears to be healthy otherwise. A bachelor and a celibate, Ram has served in temples all his life. He claims to have had several mystical experiences.
SOURCE: http://www.newkerala.com/news-daily/news/features.php?action=fullnews&id=3071

More Skulls & Evidence of A Super Race Cover Up

Race of Giants and a Super Race Cover Up

SOURCE: http://www.burlingtonnews.net/hornedrace.html

By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer Dec. 8, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO - Two of Greenland's largest glaciers are retreating at an alarming pace, most likely because of climate warming, scientists said Wednesday. One of the glaciers, Kangerdlugssuaq, is currently moving about 9 miles a year compared to 3 miles a year in 2001, said Gordon Hamilton of the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute. The other glacier, Helheim, is retreating at about 7 miles a year - up from 4 miles a year during the same period.

"It's quite a staggering rate of increase," Hamilton said at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting.

Glaciers play a major role in discharging water into oceans. Sea levels have swelled globally an estimated 4 inches to 8 inches during the past century due to melting glaciers and polar ice - enough to cause some places to be awash at high tide or during severe storms. Melting of Greenland ice and calving of icebergs from glaciers is responsible for about 7 percent of the annual rise in global sea level. Global warming is frequently blamed for retreating glaciers around the world. The rapid retreat of Greenland glaciers suggest that climate change is a factor, Hamilton said.

Meanwhile, one of the fastest melting glaciers in North America has reached the halfway point of disintegration and will continue retreat for another two decades. Alaska's Columbia Glacier - about the size of Los Angeles - has shrunk 9 miles since the 1980s. It is expected to lose an additional 9 miles in the next 15 to 20 years before the bed of the glacier rises above sea level. The glacier, which moves about 80 feet a day, currently releases about 2 cubic miles of ice every year into the Prince William Sound on the south coast of Alaska.

Understanding what happens during Alaskan glacier retreat could help explain the phenomenon in Greenland, said Tad Pfeffer, associate director of the University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine.

Pfeffer said climate change warming trends do not directly explain the shrinking Columbia Glacier and other tidewater glaciers. Instead, scientists think the retreat is triggered by a slow warming trend that began five centuries ago.

Significant thinning of the Columbia Glacier is thought to be caused by huge chunks of iceberg that break off into the sound as a result of seawater pressure rather than climate change, Pfeffer said. The glacier, which is up to 3,000 feet thick, has thinned up to 1,300 feet in some places in the last two decades.

SOURCE: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1208-01.htm

By Marty Graham
Thu Dec 22, 6:52 PM ET

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Some of the biggest surf since the El Nino winter of 1997 pounded the Southern California coast this week, damaging piers, forcing beach closures and overwhelming even the most experienced surfers.

Driven by a Pacific storm near Hawaii, sets of waves up to 20 feet tall on Wednesday swept San Diego-area beaches, where lifeguards on jet skis pulled more than 100 struggling surfers out of danger on the first day of winter.

"There's a lot of machismo in play, young guys saying I'll be the one to conquer this surf," said Ed Vodrazka, a lifeguard with the California State Parks authority. "We've had 12 guys go out and picked up three broken boards afterwards."

Altogether, about a dozen piers in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties were closed as a precaution. From Point Mugu at the northern border of Los Angeles County south to Mexico, authorities warned all but the most skilled surfers to stay on shore.

At Blacks Beach, a world-famous surf break north of San Diego, lifeguard Erik Jones stood in front of garbage cans filled with dozens of broken surf boards.

"We've had more than a dozen rescues already," he said at mid-afternoon. "If you get caught inside the impact zone with no fins and no board, we're probably going to have to get you out."

The heavy surf was expected to last until midday Friday, but such swells are fickle and rare. Lifeguard Eric Meech, manning the binoculars at Blacks, said he plans to use his Thursday off to get into the surf. "It's beautiful, the speed and power and force," Meech said.

This week's surf was some of the heaviest to lash Southern California since the winter of 1997, when El Nino ocean currents unleashed heavy rains and monster waves that caused extensive damage to some coastal areas.

SOURCE: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051222/us_nm/life_california_surf_dc_1


December 23 2005 at 03:39PM

Carlsbad, California - A surfer was found dead in waters off California, where storms in the Pacific have generated large swells, authorities said. Fellow surfers found him found unconscious Thursday about 137m off Carlsbad State Beach, said Richard Dennison of California State Parks.

Lifeguards tried to resuscitate the surfer but he was pronounced dead on the beach. He was not immediately identified but was described as being in his mid-30s.

Surf was about 2m to 2,5m at the time, although the surfer was found beyond the waves. Investigators were considering the possibility he had an underlying medical condition.

Thursday's waves were substantially smaller than the 3m to 4m swells that battered the coast a day earlier. Those destroyed a concrete building on the Venice Beach pier and prompted the closure of several other piers.

Mild temperatures on Thursday made it difficult to persuade people to stay out of the water, said Chief Garth Canning of the Los Angeles County Fire Department's lifeguard division. - Sapa-AP

SOURCE: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=3&art_id=qw1135336503968B226&set_id=


[IRAAP Note: This article was released in September of this year. To date, the cloudsat web page is still being developed. For those interested in revelations about Chemtrails ... don't expect too much ...]

Two NASA satellites will give us a unique view of Earth's atmosphere. CloudSat and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (Calipso) are undergoing final preparations for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Image right: Artist's concept of CloudSat and Calipso orbiting Earth. Image credit: NASA
     + Mission multimedia
     + Browse version of image
     + Launch press kit (1 MB - PDF)

CloudSat and Calipso will provide a new, 3-D perspective on Earth's clouds and airborne particles called aerosols. The satellites will answer questions about how clouds and aerosols form, evolve and affect water supply, climate, weather and air quality.

CloudSat and Calipso employ revolutionary tools that will probe Earth's atmosphere. Each spacecraft carries an "active" instrument that transmits pulses of energy and measures the portion of the pulses scattered back to the instrument.

CloudSat's cloud-profiling radar is more than 1,000 times more sensitive than typical weather radar. It can detect clouds and distinguish between cloud particles and precipitation. "The new information from CloudSat will answer basic questions about how rain and snow are produced by clouds, how rain and snow are distributed worldwide and how clouds affect the Earth's climate," said Dr. Graeme Stephens, CloudSat principal investigator at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.

Calipso's polarization lidar instrument can detect aerosol particles and can distinguish between aerosol and cloud particles. "With the high resolution observation that Calipso will provide, we will get a better understanding of aerosol transport and how our climate system works," said Dr. David Winker, Calipso principal investigator at NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

The satellites will be launched into a 705-kilometer (438-mile) circular, sun-synchronous polar orbit, where they will fly in formation just 15 seconds apart as members of NASA's "A-Train" constellation with three other Earth Observing System satellites. The A-Train includes NASA's Aqua and Aura satellites and France's Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with observations from a Lidar satellite.

The usefulness of data from CloudSat, Calipso and the other A-Train satellites will be much greater when combined. The combined set of measurements will provide new insight into the global distribution and evolution of clouds that will lead to improvements in weather forecasting and climate prediction.

CloudSat is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The radar instrument was developed at JPL, with hardware contributions from the Canadian Space Agency. Colorado State University provides scientific leadership and science data processing and distribution.

Other contributions include resources from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Department of Energy. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. designed and built the spacecraft. A host of U.S. and international universities and research centers provides support to the science team. Some of these activities are contributed as partnerships with the project.

Calipso was developed through collaboration between NASA and the French Space Agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales. NASA's Langley Research Center leads the Calipso mission and provides science team leadership, systems engineering, payload mission operations, and validation, processing and archiving of data. Langley also developed the lidar instrument in collaboration with the Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., which developed the onboard visible camera.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., provides project management, system engineering support and overall program management. Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales provides a Proteus spacecraft developed by Alcatel, the imaging infrared radiometer, payload-to-spacecraft integration and spacecraft mission operations. The Institut Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris provides the imaging infrared radiometer science oversight, data validation and archival. Hampton University provides scientific contributions and manages the outreach program.

For more information on CloudSat and Calipso on the Internet, please visit http://www.nasa.gov/cloudsat and http://www.nasa.gov/calipso.

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Alan Buis (818) 354-0474 (CloudSat) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Erica Hupp/Dolores Beasley (202) 358-1237/1753 NASA Headquarters, Washington
Chris Rink (757) 864-6786 (Calipso) Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

SOURCE: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cloudsat/news/cloudsat-091505.html


Global disaster will follow if the ice cap on Greenland melts. Now scientists say it is vanishing far faster than even they expected.

Greenland’s glaciers have begun to race towards the ocean, leading scientists to predict that the vast island’s ice cap is approaching irreversible meltdown.

Research to be published in a few days’ time shows how glaciers that have been stable for centuries have started to shrink dramatically as temperatures in the Arctic have soared with global warming. On top of this, record amounts of the ice cap’s surface turned to water this summer. The two developments – the most alarming manifestations of climate change to date – suggest that the ice cap is melting far more rapidly than scientists had thought, with immense consequences for civilization and the planet. Its complete disappearance would raise the levels of the world’s seas by 20 feet, spelling inundation for London and other coastal cities around the globe, along with much of low-lying countries such as Bangladesh.

More immediately, the vast amount of fresh water discharged into the ocean as the ice melts threatens to shut down the Gulf Stream, which protects Britain and the rest of northern Europe from a freezing climate like that of Labrador.

The revelations, which follow the announcement that the melting of sea ice in the Arctic also reached record levels this summer, come as the world’s governments are about to embark on new negotiations about how to combat global warming.

This week they will meet in Montreal for the first formal talks on whether there should be a new international treaty on cutting the pollution that causes climate change after the Kyoto protocol expires in seven years’ time. Writing in The Independent yesterday, Tony Blair called the meeting “crucial”, adding that it “must start to shape an inclusive global solution”. But little progress is expected, largely because of continued obstruction from President George Bush.

The new evidence from Greenland, to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, shows a sudden decline in the giant Helheim glacier, a river of ice that grinds down from the inland ice cap to the sea through a narrow rift in the mountain range on the island’s east coast.

Professor Slawek Tulaczyk, of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told the IoS that the glacier had dropped 100 feet this summer.

Over the past four years, the research adds, the front of the glacier – which has remained in the same place since records began – has retreated four and a half miles. As it has retreated and thinned, the effects have spread inland “very fast indeed”, says Professor Tulaczyk. As the centre of the Greenland ice cap is only 150 miles away, the researchers fear that it, too, will soon be affected.

The research echoes disturbing studies on the opposite side of Greenland: the giant Jakobshavn glacier – at four miles wide and 1,000 feet thick the biggest on the landmass – is now moving towards the sea at a rate of 113 feet a year; the normal annual speed of a glacier is just one foot.

The studies have found that water from melted ice on the surface is percolating down through holes on the glacier until it forms a layer between it and the rock below, slightly lifting it and moving it toward the sea as if on a conveyor belt. This one glacier alone is reckoned now to be responsible for 3 per cent of the annual rise of sea levels worldwide.

“We may be very close to the threshold where the Greenland ice cap will melt irreversibly,” says Tavi Murray, professor of glaciology at the University of Wales. Professor Tulaczyk adds: “The observations that we are seeing now point in that direction.”

Until now, scientists believed the ice cap would take 1,000 years to melt entirely, but Ian Howat, who is working with Professor Tulaczyk, says the new developments could “easily” cut this time “in half”.

There is also a more immediate danger as the melting ice threatens to disrupt the Gulf Stream, responsible for Britain’s mild climate. The current, which brings us as much heat in winter as we get from the sun, is driven by very salty water sinking off Greenland. This drives a deep current of cold ocean southwards, in turn forcing the warm water north.

Research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts has shown, that even before the glaciers started accelerating, the water in the North Atlantic was getting fresher in what it describes as “the largest and most dramatic oceanic change ever measured in the era of modern instruments”.

Even before these discoveries, scientists had shortened to evens the odds on the Gulf Stream failing this century. When it failed before, 12,700 years ago, Britain was covered in permafrost for 1,300 years.

SOURCE: The Independent http://gnn.tv/headlines/6125/The_Big_Thaw
Conspiracy Journal #342  http://uforeview.tripod.com/conspiracyjournal342.html


Earth's north magnetic pole is drifting from North America at such a clip that it could end up in Siberia in the next 50 years, scientists said Thursday.

Despite accelerated movement over the past century, the possibility that Earth's fading magnetic field will collapse or that the magnetic poles will flip is remote. But the shift could mean that Alaska may no longer be able to see the high-altitude shimmering displays of colorful lights known as auroras. Scientists have long known that magnetic poles migrate and in rare cases, swap places. But exactly why this happens is a mystery.

"This may be part of a normal oscillation and it will eventually migrate back toward Canada," said Joseph Stoner, a paleomagnetist at Oregon State University.

Results were presented Thursday at an American Geophysical Union meeting. Previous studies have shown that the strength of the Earth's protective magnetic shield has decreased 10 percent over the past 150 years. During the same period, the north magnetic pole wandered about 685 miles out into the Arctic, according to a new analysis by Stoner.

The rate of the magnetic pole's movement has increased in the last century compared to fairly steady movement in the previous four centuries, the Oregon researchers said.
At the present rate, the north magnetic pole could swing out of northern Canada into Siberia. If that happens, Alaska could lose its Northern Lights, which occur when charged particles streaming away from the sun interact with different gases in Earth's atmosphere.

Earth's magnetic poles are different from its geographic poles, which indicate the rotation axis around which it spins. The invisible magnetic field is formed by liquid, molten iron spinning in the Earth's core. The north magnetic pole was first discovered in 1831 and when it was revisited in 1904, explorers found that the pole had moved 31 miles since it was first found.

Pole reversals are uncommon, happening at intervals of several hundred thousands years. The last time the poles flip-flopped was about 780,000 years ago. In the study, Stoner examined the sediment record from several Arctic lakes.

Since the sediments record the Earth's magnetic field at the time, scientists used carbon dating to track changes in the magnetic field. They found that the north magnetic field shifted significantly in the last thousand years. It generally migrated between northern Canada and Siberia, but it sometimes moved in other directions, too.




Are we in the midst of a pole shift? Scientists are divided about this, but earth's magnetic field has begun shifting much more rapidly than expected. Earth's magnetic pole flips approximately every 500,000 years, and it has not shifted for 780,000 years, meaning that it's overdue. Unknowncountry.com has previously reported the opinion of some scientists that a new pole shift is now underway.

The American Geophysical Union has announced that Earth's north magnetic pole is rapidly drifting away from North America towards Siberia. This may cause Alaska to lose its Northern Lights. During a pole flip, the magnetic field around the Earth, which shields us from dangerous solar radiation, weakens and may even cease to exist, which would cause major disruptions to communications, and should there be solar flares during this time, possible serious consequences in the form of massive power blackouts, unknown weather phenomena and lethal radiation reaching earth's surface.

Pole shifts are not associated with mass extinctions, however, so this is not a likely consequence of such an event. The human world, however, with all its electrical and electronic devices, would be vulnerable to solar activity in ways that ancient life was not.

The magnetic poles are generated by liquid iron in Earth's core and are different from the geographic poles. From studies of rock, geologists know that the magnetic poles have often migrated and even flipped in the past, but why this happens is still unknown.

SOURCE: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=5066

The Enid News and Eagle December 13, 2005
By Cass Rains, Staff Writer

KINGFISHER -- Mysterious unrefined natural gas leaks erupting in rural Kingfisher County in recent days continue to have officials puzzled as to their cause.

"We originally thought a pipeline had exploded," said Matt Skinner, Oklahoma Corporation Commission public information manager. "We had the pressure to zero pressure, and the leaks seemed to get bigger. So that's not it."

Skinner had said at a press conference Monday geologists and hydrologists are beginning to study underground maps of the area to find an explanation.

"We've ruled out the probables, and now we're into the unprobables," he said. "We've never seen one like this before, one that covers such a large area. It's another animal."

Skinner said the leak was unusual because of its size and that it was "moving with no explanation." Officials said the U.S. Geologic Survey reported no seismic activity had been reported in the area. "They said the area had been dead for some time," Skinner said.

Skinner said the leaks and geysers were occurring closest to Winter Camp Creek, formerly Dead Indian Creek. Sunday evening, one eruption was reported in Kingfisher Creek, "up to within a mile" west of the city of Kingfisher, Skinner said, but that leak had ceased. Winter Camp Creek flows into Kingfisher Creek, which could explain why an eruption would occur near the city, he said.

Kingfisher Fire Chief Jack Crawford said the leaks, which cover a stretch of 12 to 13 miles between Kingfisher and Okarche "had not progressed toward Kingfisher" since Sunday afternoon. "The bulk of the action is in the creek -- in terms of the visual," Skinner said. "It's one long continuous leak."

Skinner said the leaks have been in areas close to the creek between the cities. "They seem to be staying near the creek," he said. "It runs over the length."

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol used a plane to survey the area where the geysers were occurring, Crawford said, but discovered nothing unusual. "They saw nothing," he said. "There was nothing out of the ordinary."

Skinner said reports of the geysers were first received Friday by hunters who reported the gushing holes of gas, water and mud to the local game warden, who then contacted the Corporation Commission.

Voluntary evacuation has been established by Kingfisher Emergency Management, and the Red Cross has opened a comfort station at First Baptist Church on 13th Street.

"If people don't feel safe at their homes, we have a place for them to go," said Kingfisher Emergency Management Director Steve Loftis. As of Monday afternoon, no one had used the provided comfort station.

By Monday, smaller geysers had appeared about eight and a half miles west and a mile north of Okarche on a county road. For about 50 yards, small geysers pocked the north side of the dirt road, bubbling and spitting gas and mud. Sounding like a pot of boiling water, other geysers on the south side of the road, for a stretch of about 20 yards, did the same.

Some of the geysers shot only inches into the air, but others shot water into the air as much as two feet. The areas where the geysers have occurred have been cordoned off, and Crawford advised people to stay away.

"You don't know if it's coming up from 10 feet or 140 feet below ground," he said. "It's very dangerous."

Officials have said the threat of the gas igniting is unlikely. Loftis said ignition would only be possible if there was direct contact with an open flame, as in a grassfire or use of a propane torch.

"It would be flammable if only you were right at the source," Loftis said.

The area about seven miles southwest of Kingfisher where the leak was first found still spews cold water mixed with mud. The size of the hole has remained the same since Saturday afternoon, but signs of water from the geyser reaching further out are evident. A radius of about 8 feet from the geyser shows signs of wetness, and a smaller geyser only feet from the big one, gurgles with as much force as before. About a mile east of a geyser that took a portion of a county road, a water spout reaching heights of about 10 feet keeps a constant spray, this time in a wheat field.

"Welcome to Yellowstone," joked a passerby Monday. Many people had been driving to the areas where the geysers are to see what people were talking about.

The U.S. Army National Guard Civil Support Team from Norman had been sent to Kingfisher, but was sent back when the need for evacuation was eliminated. However, officials said the group was on stand-by if the need arose.

No one in Kingfisher County has left their homes because of the geysers, Loftis said. Authorities have asked those who smell the gas near their homes to voluntarily evacuate.

Although county officials are telling residents to check well sites for gas, which smells like modeling glue or rubber cement, Kingfisher's water supply is safe.

"The city gets its water from Cimarron Terrace," Loftis said at a press conference near one of the geysers. "There is little chance it could affect our drinking water."

SOURCE AND IMAGES: http://www.enidnews.com/localnews/local_story_347005144?

Ted Twietmeyer tedtw@frontiernet.net

PART 1: http://www.rense.com/general68/nasaisnt.htm

"The book with the same title is a brand new look at what Mars really must be like, and reveals numerous important ancient Mars artifacts that NASA knows about and has been hiding all along. We've all listened for years since we were children, to the endless stories about what the environment on Mars is and how no life could have ever lived on the planet. So let's get right to the point. It's past time to look at the overall picture of what we have been told, using the sanitizing light of common sense. We will use NASA data to start connecting the dots. Let's look at some of these common statements made about the planet..."

PART 2: http://www.rense.com/general69/tt.htm

"The e-Book "What NASA Isn't Telling You About Mars" covers unusual discoveries on Mars, from Martian day 1 through 625. A Mars day is 39 minutes longer than one earth day. NASA has given Martian days the prefix 'SOL.' Since two months have passed since Martian day 625, I felt it was time to re-examine the Spirit rover's images for new discoveries. In this photo essay, I'll present new objects which have been recently found and evidence of image tampering."

See http://www.data4science.net/book  for book excerpts, pictures, and how to purchase the book.
Contact the author: Ted Twietmeyer, tedtw@frontiernet.net


[IMAGE: http://www.nationalufocenter.com/artman/uploads/ff50m0304405_image
_004e_resized_pyramid_structure.gif ]

PALENQUE – Deep in the Mexican jungle is a 61 meter tall Mayan Pyramid in ruins in that is very similar to ruins found on Mars by Norman Bryden. It was painted a deep red perhaps to symbolize the Red Planet. At the top of the pyramid is the Temple of Inscriptions that takes its name from hieroglyphic plaques decorating the inside showing king like figures wearing headdresses standing on monster masks.

[IMAGE: http://www.nationalufocenter.com/artman/uploads/ff50palenquepyramid.jpg 
Mars Photo thanks to NASA/JPL]

It was built during the second half of the 7th century A.D. during the last decades of Pakal the Great's reign. The upper temple is a wide structure with a stairway which led 65 feet down to a triangular slab. Here is a spacious crypt or tomb of the great King Pacal, who ruled Palenque from 615 to 683. He reigned for 67 years.

Pacal's remains lay beneath the 20 foot high roof of a vaulted secret chamber. His corpse was wearing a jade face mask and numerous bracelets that he was buried with 1300 years ago. The pyramid is worthy of comparison with those erected in both Egypt and perhaps on Mars.

The crypt was covered by a monolithic slab engraved with a depiction of what appears to be a rocket or perhaps a telescope. Archeologists claim the sarcophagus lid shows Pakal at the moment of his death descending into the Underworld.

Above him we see the World Tree, the middle of the Universe, upon which rests the Celestial Bird, representing the heavens. His son Chan-Bahlamis is depicted with six toes next to the Temple of the Sun and near Temple of the Moon. The Mayans had an amazing knowledge of the skies and the lid appears to show the King's interest in astronomy.

[IMAGE: http://www.nationalufocenter.com/artman/uploads/ff50palenquepacalrocket.gif]

If the ruins on Mars are similar to Mayan ruins, we have another reason to believe their was an apparent interaction between the two planets. It also should be noted that Mayan Kings and Pharaohs of Egypt wore crowns similar to those found on Mars.

SOURCE: Filer's Files #50 - December 7, 2005



There are artificial pyramids on Mars similar but generally much larger and older than those on Earth. Even if you assume a much older age for the estimated 4500 year old Great Pyramid at Cheops, Egypt based on astronomical alignment with Orion, it could be an estimated 10,000 years old. There appears to be a connection between the pyramids on Earth and on Mars. These similarities could be coincidences but it is more likely visitors from Mars came to Earth and taught the art of pyramid building.

The pyramids on both Mars and Earth have unifying mathematical themes. They contain values of pi, phi, e, and t values. For example, pi value is incorporated into the base-to- height ratio of the Great Pyramid (1,760 to 280 cubits = 2 pi). Its slope angle of 51 degrees 51 minutes 40 second. The cosine of the angle is 0.6179, or equals the golden phi ratio of 1:1.618.

It is more than a coincidence that the pyramids are viewed by both ancient Egyptians and Mexicans as gateways to the stars. In both places the ancient peoples had an extraordinary interest in the planet Mars. Both the Great Pyramid and the Mexican pyramid at Palenque were painted in part red and aligned with the rising of Mars.

Some claim that the pyramids on Mars are just mountains, with the pyramidal shape created by wind erosion. Prevailing winds are not likely to have shifted periodically with perfect symmetry. NASA also unsuccessfully attempted to produce the pyramid shape in a wind tunnel. They found an airflow can cut a flat surface, but the reversed airflow and associated surface-level turbulence would prevent formation of a perfect pyramid proving that the pyramids on Mars are not natural formations. In addition, most of the pyramids are perfectly aligned with the cardinal directions.


Norman Bryden writes, "Take a look at this image of this step pyramid like object on Mars that looks like it was intelligently constructed." You need to enlarge the original best quality image from the links below 4-500% and then break it into sections to get the best resolution. The full image has many structures and areas of interest. I looked at the specification page and the full image is about 3 kilometers across from side to side. That would make the first section below somewhere around three quarters of a mile across.

This NASA/JPL image is enlarged and colored.

The light markings are three dimensional objects that look like tubes and travel ways. They go up and over and down and under each other. There are bridges and tunnels as well. Some structures straddle the road-like tubes. I have been enlarging sections and there are what look like mounds with tunnels and ramps that look like aesthetically pleasing landscaping. The markings are not random and you can follow the tubes across the full image. I have adjusted the brightness and contrast a bit to help see the structures. In this enlarged section below I have outlined the steps of the pyramid structure in the center of the image. There is a fantastic network of travel ways and structures that can be seen better when the full image is enlarged.

Link to NASA Image:

Link to Specification Page: 1.72°W 71.70°S image centers, Scaled pixel width: 2.91 meters www.msss.com/moc_gallery/r03_r09/images/R08/R0801749.html

Below is the Step Pyramid built by Djoser 46 centuries ago that appears similar to one on Mars. http://www.nationalufocenter.com/artman/uploads/ff51steppyramiddjoser.jpg

Editor's Note: The National Geographic book Ancient Egypt makes some interesting statements on Pyramids: Building for Eternity by I.E.S. Edwards. "The ancient Greeks numbered them among the Seven-wonders of the World. Early Christians tradition identified them as Joseph's granaries, built according to the book of Genesis, in preparation for the seven years of famine. Arab historians linked them with the Biblical flood suggesting that the written wisdom of mankind, found refuge in the imperishable pyramids of Egypt."

"Some say that such colossal structures could not have been built with the simple tools of ancient Egypt; the builders must have levitated the huge stones into place by magic, or watched in awe as visitors from outer space lent skills that our scientists have yet to discover. But to Egyptologists there are not mysteries about these great structures, only questions we can not answer" Page 73.


King Amunemhet (12th Dynasty Ruler of Egypt) "He sees the Lord of the Horizon sailing in his boat over the sky."

The Eye of God for its capstone, a 13 course pyramid defies the ages on the Great Seal of the United States—whose citizens may not notice the pyramid in their pockets on every dollar bill. The Hieroglyphic inscription on the right below the protecting wing tips of Hours on the pyramid capstone King Amunemhet says "May he be given eternal life"

Thanks to National Geographic and Norman Bryden.

SOURCE: Filer's Files #51 - December 14, 2005

Announced 2005 December 13

A team of astronomers working in Canada, France and the United States have discovered an unusual small body orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune, in the region astronomers call the Kuiper belt. This new object is twice as far from the Sun as Neptune and is roughly half the size of Pluto. The body's highly unusual orbit is difficult to explain using previous theories of the formation of the outer Solar System.

Currently 58 astronomical units from the Sun (1 astronomical unit, or AU, is the distance between the Earth and the Sun), the new object never approaches closer than 50 AU, because its orbit is close to circular. Almost all Kuiper belt objects discovered beyond Neptune are between 30 AU and 50 AU away. Beyond 50 AU, the main Kuiper belt appears to end, and what few objects have been discovered beyond this distance have all been on very high eccentricity (non-circular) orbits. Most of these high-eccentricity orbits are the result of Neptune "flinging" the object outward by a gravitational slingshot. However, because this new object does not approach closer than 50 AU, a different theory is needed to explain its orbit. Complicating the problem, the object's orbit also has an extreme tilt, being inclined (tilted) at 47 degrees to the rest of the Solar System.

[IMAGES: The new object's orbit compared to the orbits of several representative Kuiper belt objects. Buffy's orbit is shown in red, with a green square marking its current position. The blue triangles mark the positions of the other Kuiper belt objects whose orbits are shown.
--A view of Buffy's and other Kuiper belt object orbits, each in the plane of their own orbit, to show the separation between Buffy and other Kuiper belt objects. At the center of the plot, the small circle at center shows Earth's orbit for scale. http://www.cfeps.astrosci.ca/4b7/4b7orb.gif
--An edge-on-view of the solar system to show the tilt of Buffy's orbit. http://www.cfeps.astrosci.ca/4b7/4b7inc.gif ]

You can also see a 3D simulation http://www.cfeps.astrosci.ca/4b7/Buffy-simulation.mpg [11MB MPEG] of Buffy's orbit, copyright  http://dunnbypaul.net/.

The Discovery and Follow-up
The object, which received the official designation 2004 XR 190 in the International Astronomical Union's official announcement, was discovered during routine operation of the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS) running as part of the Legacy Survey on the Canada France Hawaii Telescope. For now, the discoverers are using the temporary nickname "Buffy" to identify the new object, although they have proposed a different official name in keeping with normal procedures for naming such objects.

Buffy was extracted from the mountain of Legacy Survey data (about 50 gigabytes per hour of operation) by powerful computers combing through the telescopic images and producing hundreds of candidates. Astronomers then sift through the candidates to identify the distant comets.

Astronomer Lynne Allen of the University of British Columbia was the first to lay eyes on the new object, as she completed the initial identification in the course of processing CFEPS data from December 2004. "It was quite bright compared to the usual Kuiper belt objects we find", said Dr. Allen, "but what was more interesting was how far away it was."

The object's brightness implies it is likely between 500 and 1000 kilometers (300 to 600 miles) in diameter. Buffy is thus a very large Kuiper belt object, but about half a dozen are larger.

"We immediately realized that the object was about twice as far as Neptune from the Sun and that its orbit was potentially nearly circular," said UBC professor Brett Gladman, who noticed the unusual nature of the object when determining its orbit, "but further observations were required."

One to two years of observations of a Kuiper belt object are required before their orbits can be precisely measured. The first additional observations of Buffy came in October 2005 when Gladman and Phil Nicholson of Cornell University used the Hale 5-meter telescope to re-observe the object.

Measurement of Buffy's new position proved that the orbit was not only extremely tilted, inclined (tilted) at 47 degrees to the plane of the planetary system (essentially tying the record for a Kuiper belt object) but confirmed that Buffy was unlike any other previously-known object because it was on a nearly circular orbit while at a very large distance.

More measurements of Buffy's position on images from telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatories in Arizona by team members Joel Parker (Southwest Research Institute), as well as JJ Kavelaars (National Research Council of Canada, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics) and Wes Fraser (University of Victoria), through November 2005 refined the estimate for Buffy's closest approach to the Sun. Additional observations, to further confirm the orbit, where then provided by the CFHT Legacy Survey project. Astronomers will need to wait until February 2006 to measure the fine details of the Buffy's orbit.

The team have reported their find to the Minor Planet Center, the clearinghouse for astronomical measurements of new minor planets. "To find the first known object with a nearly circular orbit beyond 50 AU is indeed intriguing," reacted Brian Marsden, director of the MPC.

Challenging Theories
Although it is neither the smallest, largest, nor most distant object discovered in this region, the new Kuiper belt object has a highly unusual orbit which challenges theories of the evolution of the Solar System.

Why is Buffy's orbit considered so unusual? Only one other detected object, Sedna, remains further than 50 astronomical units (AUs) from the Sun throughout its entire orbit. However, Sedna is on a very elliptical orbit, swooping in to 76 AU before traveling back out beyond 900 AU. In contrast, Buffy spends all of its time in the narrow range between 52 and 62 AU from the Sun. Combined with the tilt in its orbit, this new object challenges current theories about the history of the early Solar System.

Astronomers have detected other Kuiper belt objects that spend most of their time beyond 50 AU. These are on very elliptical orbits, and almost all approach within 38 AU of the Sun. That close approach places those objects within the reach of the gravitational influence of Neptune. These objects are generally thought to have been scattered out to their present orbits by a gravitational slingshot with Neptune. This group of objects was thus called the "Scattered Disk".

Prior to the discovery of Buffy, a few other Kuiper belt objects were discovered which spend much of their time beyond 50 AU like those in the "Scattered Disk", yet did not approach within the gravitational reach of Neptune. This group has been named the "Extended Scattered Disk". Two of its members are 1995 TL8 and 2000 YW134, which approach to 40 AU of the Sun but have fairly elliptical orbits that take them back out beyond 60 AU. Two more extreme examples of the "Extended Scattered Disk" are 2000 CR105, which approaches to 44 AU, and Sedna, which never comes closer to the Sun than 76 AU.

Due to their large eccentricities, these objects are likely to have been strongly perturbed by something, although it could not have been Neptune because they do not come close enough to be scattered by that planet's gravitational force. As both Sedna and 2000 CR105 also travel beyond 500 AU from the sun, one theory is that after being scattered by Neptune, a passing star could have pulled their closest approaches away from the Sun.

Buffy is clearly a member of the "Extended Scattered Disk". However, Buffy's almost circular orbit makes it stand out from the other members. In addition, Buffy's large orbital tilt is not so easily explained by the passing star idea. If a star could have affected Buffy so strongly, it should also have disrupted much of the main Kuiper belt as well. Since astronomers do not detect that strong disruption, a more complex theory is needed to explain Buffy's orbit.

The elusive explanation may lie in side-effects from rearrangements of the Solar System early in its history. One possibility is that as Neptune's orbit slowly expanded in the young Solar System, complex gravitational interactions could have caused some Kuiper belt orbits to circularize and tilt. While Buffy's orbit could have been created this way, this theory would not seem to explain 2000 CR105 and Sedna. This new discovery is exciting because it causes us to rethink our understanding of how the Kuiper belt formed.

The Future
Over the last half decade, theories about the formation of our outer Solar System have been pushed to their limits: unusual Kuiper belt objects, like Buffy, which never come close to Neptune yet have high inclination must be explained.

Although theories that explain individual objects exist, reproducing the entire ensemble of known objects with one process poses a difficult challenge to current solar system models. Because the unusual objects, like Buffy, are very rare, astronomers are still scratching the surface of the dark corners of the Kuiper belt. Future large-scale surveys that systematically explore the Kuiper belt are the only way unlock the mysteries of what happened early in the history of our Solar System.

SOURCE: http://www.cfeps.astrosci.ca/4b7/index.html
also http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8455

Thu Dec 22, 7:49 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Astronomers aided by the Hubble Space Telescope have spied two more rings encircling Uranus, the first additions to the planet's ring system in nearly two decades.

The faint, dusty rings orbit outside of Uranus' previously known rings, but within the orbits of its large moons, said Mark Showalter, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who made the discovery.

Details will appear online Friday in the journal Science. The discovery, announced Thursday, means scientists now believe the seventh planet from the sun possesses 13 rings.

In 1986, Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to zip past Uranus and beam back thousands of images of its dazzling rings and numerous moons. It found two new rings in addition to the nine previously discovered from Earth.

Scientists peering through the Hubble Space Telescope made the latest ring discoveries in 2004. Then they went back to process hundreds of images taken by Voyager and found the rings in the pictures. Scientists speculate that the rings may not have been discovered during the spacecraft flyby because of their faintness.

The newly discovered rings are made up of short-lived, faint bands of dust grains that are constantly being replenished by erosion of larger space bodies. Scientist think the dust in the outermost ring is being supplied by the moon Mab, discovered in 2003.

Scientists also measured changes in the orbits of Uranus' inner moons since 1994. The new measurements suggest the moons are in a "random and chaotic" fashion, said Jack Lissauer of the NASA Ames Research Center.

Because of the moons' instability, scientists think the satellites will collide with one another in the next few million years.

Uranus, four times the diameter of Earth, is one of the solar system's giant, gaseous planets that also include Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

SOURCE: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051223/ap_on_sc/uranus_rings
More information and images at http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10574903/

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Add another creation to the strange scientific menagerie where animal species are being mixed together in ever more exotic combinations.

Scientists announced Monday that they had created mice with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Led by Fred Gage of the Salk Institute in San Diego, the researchers created the mice by injecting about 100,000 human embryonic stem cells per mouse into the brains of 14-day-old rodent fetuses. Those mice were each born with about 0.1 percent of human cells in each of their heads, a trace amount that doesn't remotely come close to "humanizing" the rodents.

"This illustrate that injecting human stem cells into mouse brains doesn't restructure the brain," Gage said.

Still, the work adds to the growing ethical concerns of mixing human and animal cells when it comes to stem cell and cloning research. After all, mice are 97.5 percent genetically identical to humans. "The worry is if you humanize them too much you cross certain boundaries," said David Magnus, director of the Stanford Medical Center for Biomedical Ethics. "But I don't think this research comes even close to that."

Researchers are nevertheless beginning to bump up against what bioethicists call the "yuck factor." Three top cloning researchers, for instance, have applied for a patent that contemplates fusing a complete set of human DNA into animal eggs in order to manufacturer human embryonic stem cells. One of the patent applicants, Jose Cibelli, first attempted such an experiment in 1998 when he fused cells from his cheek into cow eggs.

"The idea is to hijack the machinery of the egg," said Cibelli, whose current work at Michigan State University does not involve human material because that would violate state law. Researchers argue that co-mingling human and animal tissue is vital to ensuring that experimental drugs and new tissue replacement therapies are safe for people. Others have performed similar experiments with rabbit and chicken eggs while University of California-Irvine researchers have reported making paralyzed rodents walk after injecting them with human nerve cells.

Doctors have transplanted pig valves into human hearts for years, and scientists have injected human cells into lab animals for even longer. But the brain poses an additional level of concern because some envision nightmare scenarios in which a human mind might be trapped in an animal head.

"Human diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, might be amenable to stem cell therapy, and it is conceivable, although unlikely, that an animal's cognitive abilities could also be affected by such therapy," a report issued in April by the influential National Academies of Science that sought to draw some ethical research boundaries.

So the report recommended that such work be allowed, but with strict ethical guidelines established. "Protocols should be reviewed to ensure that they take into account those sorts of possibilities and that they include ethically sensitive plans to manage them if they arise," the report concluded. At the same time, the report did endorse research that co-mingles human and animal tissue as vital to ensuring that experimental drugs and new tissue replacement therapies are safe for people. Gage said the work published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is another step in overcoming one of the biggest technical hurdles confronting stem cell researchers: when exactly to inject the cells into patients.

The results suggest that human embryonic stem cells, once injected into people, will mature into the cells that surround them. No known human has ever received an injection of embryonic stem cells because so little is known about how those cells will mature once inside the body. For now, Gage said his work is more geared toward understanding disease than to finding a cure.

"It's a way for us to begin to tease out the way these diseases develop," Gage said.

Human embryonic stem cells are created in the first days after conception and give rise to all the organs and tissues in the human body. Scientists hope they can someday use stem cells to replace diseased tissue. But many social conservatives, including President Bush, oppose the work because embryos are destroyed during research.

Stem cell researchers argue that mixing human and animal cells is the only way to advance the field because it's far too risky to experiment on people; so little is known about stem cells.

"The experiments have to be done, which does mean human cells into non-human cells," said Dr. Evan Snyder, a stem cell researcher at the Burnham Institute in San Diego. "You don't work out the issues on your child or your grandmother. You want to work this out in an animal first."

Snyder is injecting human embryonic stem cells into monkeys and is convinced that there's little danger.

"It's true that there is a huge amount of similarity, but the difference are huge," Snyder said. "You will never ever have a little human trapped inside a mouse or monkey's body."

SOURCE: Mercury News http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/

By Tracy Staedter, Discovery News

Dec. 21, 2005— A new robot can recognize the difference between a mirror image of itself and another robot that looks just like it.

This so-called mirror image cognition is based on artificial nerve cell groups built into the robot's computer brain that give it the ability to recognize itself and acknowledge others. The ground-breaking technology could eventually lead to robots able to express emotions.

Under development by Junichi Takeno and a team of researchers at Meiji University in Japan, the robot represents a big step toward developing self-aware robots and in understanding and modeling human self-consciousness.

"In humans, consciousness is basically a state in which the behavior of the self and another is understood," said Takeno. Humans learn behavior during cognition and conversely learn to think while behaving, said Takeno.

To mimic this dynamic, a robot needs a common area in its neural network that is able to process information on both cognition and behavior. Takeno and his colleagues built the robot with blue, red or green LEDs connected to artificial neurons in the region that light up when different information is being processed, based on the robot's behavior.

"The innovative part is the independent nodes in the hierarchical levels that can be linked and activated," said Thomas Bock of the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

For example, two red diodes illuminate when the robot is performing behavior it considers its own, two green bulbs light up when the robot acknowledges behavior being performed by the other.

One blue LED flashes when the robot is both recognizing behavior in another robot and imitating it.

Imitation, said Takeno, is an act that requires both seeing a behavior in another and instantly transferring it to oneself and is the best evidence of consciousness.

In one experiment, a robot representing the "self" was paired with an identical robot representing the "other."

When the self robot moved forward, stopped or backed up, the other robot did the same. The pattern of neurons firing and the subsequent flashes of blue light indicated that the self robot understood that the other robot was imitating its behavior.

In another experiment, the researchers placed the self robot in front of a mirror. In this case, the self robot and the reflection (something it could interpret as another robot) moved forward and back at the same time. Although the blue lights fired, they did so less frequently than in other experiments.

In fact, 70 percent of the time, the robot understood that the mirror image was itself. Takeno's goal is to reach 100 percent in the coming year.

SOURCE: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20051219/awarerobot_tec.html


At approximately 2-00a.m. on the 27th December 1980, an unidentified flying object was picked up on Radar at RAF Watton in Norfolk (UK). The object went off screen in the area of Rendlesham Forest (Norfolk) in the direct vicinity of RAF Bentwaters... So began a series of incidents that became one of the most investigated and notorious cases in the history of Ufology.

See: The Rendlesham Forest/RAF Bentwaters Incident http://www.thewhyfiles.net/rendlesham.htm
(This site contains many audio/video files)

SOURCE: Geoff Richardson http://www.thewhyfiles.net


The Interrupted Christmas Party
1980-Great Britain; RAF Bentwaters

Colonel Charles Halt, RAF Bentwaters Base Commander was enjoying the Christmas season with other senior officers at a base party when he was abruptly called out and told about some amazing things that were happening over the woods around the base. Strange lights were moving around in the night in Rendlesham Forest to the point that security officers were prompted to investigate.

The second night of these historic sightings they had had enough. It was time to call in Halt. Halt was one of a group of senior officers to chase the eerie glowing objects into the forest. He would become a key figure in the Rendlesham investigation, and Ufology. He would make a cassette recording of the details of his trek into the woods which would become a most valuable piece of UFO material. Rendlesham is observing its 25th anniversary this Christmas season, and has become one of the most celebrated UFO cases of all.

Read the complete account of The Rendlesham Forest UFO Landings

SOURCE: UFO Casebook: 12-19-05


Clark (C. McClelland), former ScO, Space Shuttle Fleet, KSC, Florida 1958 to 1992, writes, I have a VERY important disclosure of a Atlas ICBM being shot down by a UFO! http://www.stargate-chronicles.com.

When Dr Jacobs from Bradley University was on active duty in 1964 as a Lt. was observing, with a telescope , the launch of an Atlas Missile that had been fired from Vandenburg Air Force Base, California over the Pacific Ocean.

It was traveling between 11, 000 to 14,000 mph, when a saucer shaped craft entered the frame, it flew into the frame like this, and shot a beam of light at the warhead. Now, remember all this is flying at several thousand miles an hour. This thing shoots another beam of light at the warhead then flies away as it came in. The warhead tumbles out of space. When the lights came on Major Mansmann turned around and says to me , "Were you guys screwing around up there?" I said, "No Sir." He said, "What was that? Dr Jacobs says, "It looked to me like we got a UFO."

Below is the confirmation letter from Major Mansmann.

SOURCE: Filer's Files #50 - December 7, 2005


Russian intelligence agencies have repeatedly stated that no UFOs have ever been spotted over Russian territory. However, witnesses from the general public continue to contradict these reports with stories of their personal encounters with the paranormal.

Moscow newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda has put together the most reliable of these reports and come up with a list of UFO sightings in Russia and other post-Soviet countries for 2005.

Crop Circles
This year 18 cases of crop circles have been reported in Russia’s regions — this is six cases more than last year and almost twice the number for 2003.

Mysterious signs were seen in all parts of the country — as far afield as the Komi Republic and the Far East, and as close to Moscow as the Voronezh and Novgorod regions. But just like last year, the southern Krasnodar region has had more crop circles than any other region.

Meanwhile, local people are not too thrilled by the unexplainable phenomena. In fact they are more troubled by ufologists who put up their tents in the fields, hoping to catch the unknown artists red-handed.

UFO Caught on Film at the Yenisei River
“This May I took visiting relatives out to see an ice drift on the Yenisei,” nurse Raisa Kireyeva from the town of Igarka says. “We stopped at the bank, I was speaking and gesturing and my son was taking pictures. We neither heard nor saw anything suspicious or unusual, so we were totally shocked to see some object hanging in the air over my head when we had the photographs printed.”

The woman took the picture and the negative to the Eternal Frost Museum. At first the experts were skeptical about the photograph... “We’ve had so many of them.” But after an examination they had to admit the strange object in the picture was neither a fake nor faulty film.

“We checked all the negatives,” the director of the Eternal Frost Museum’s department in Igarka, Alexander Toshchev, said. “But even when we magnified the image many times, the ’saucer’ remained very distinct.”

Astronomers Prove Continuous Reports of UFOs Over the Crimea
For many years people have reported the UFOs they have spotted in the sky above the Crimea in Ukraine, in the seaside city of Yalta. Astronomers at Crimea’s Physical Astronomy Observatory decided to finally prove or disprove these reports.

The researchers indeed located a reddish ball that floated in the sky for about ten minutes, slowly changing its color from red to light yellow, and leaving a path of smoke in its wake.

The astronomers estimated the UFO was about 400 km away. So, in theory, the object could actually have been a secret flying device that the Turks were testing across the sea.

Extra Terrestrials Trim Russian Watermelons
This September bright luminous orange-colored objects, round in shape, became a familiar sight in the village of Yevseyevka in the Primorye region of Russia’s Far East. Enormous lights moved across the sky in the evenings, disappearing from view and then returning again.

The balls demonstrated strange ’behavior’: they froze for some time, started moving again, changed their path of motion, sent out rays of light towards one another and what’s more, each ball beamed bright lights towards the ground.

A local farmer conducted an experiment on Sept. 7. When the balls appeared in the dark sky, Yuri Galayev took his torch and signaled to one of the balls, turning the torch on and off. The ball responded immediately with identical signals.

The next morning when the Galayevs went to their watermelons field they noticed a weird pattern on one of the watermelons. They remembered the day before the pattern had not been there, and came to the conclusion it was a note from their night visitors. The watermelon was taken to a well-known Primorye biologist and ufologist Valery Dvuzhilny.

“I studied the fruit, both the healthy and the impacted tissue,” Dvuzhilny said. “This could not be done by insects, bacteria nor by some fungi — none of these could produce such a symmetrical pattern.”

The patterned watermelon is not an isolated case in the region. In September 2002 two watermelons with complicated pictograms on them were found in the field of farmer Nikolai Schislyayev.

“Well, let them draw, I don’t care as long as they don’t steal from the field,” the farmer said.

Source: Mosnews http://www.mosnews.com/column/2005/12/15/ufoslist.shtml
Conspiracy Journal #345 http://uforeview.tripod.com/conspiracyjournal345.html


Walter Haut, the Air Force press officer who originally released a statement from the Roswell Army Air Field stating that the army had captured a flying disk, has died. Haut was 83. In 1989, he met with Whitley Strieber in Roswell, took Mr. Strieber to the old base and to the site of the original crash, and stated that the object that had crashed there had, without question, been something from another world. In a surprise phone call, Haut verified Whitley’s story of the Roswell crash when Strieber was on the Larry King Live TV show to promote his 1989 novel Majestic, which is about Roswell.

Haut's daughter Julie Shuster says that her father never doubted that the crash really happened and that extraterrestrials had visited the area. In 1991, he helped found the International UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico, where the UFO crash occurred in July of 1947.

At that time, Haut was the press officer at the US Army Air Force Base in Roswell. On July 8, 1947, Haut, on instructions from base commander William Blanchard, put out a press release about the discovery of the remains of a crashed UFO on the Brazel ranch near the base. The Army immediately issued a press release contradicting this story, saying that the remains were from a crashed weather balloon. The Roswell base was home to the 509th bomb wing, which was the only atomic bomb group in existence at the time.

SOURCE: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=5073



ROSWELL NM, United States (UPI) -- Walter Haut, who as a young Army officer issued the press release about a flying saucer in Roswell, N.M., has died. He was 83. Haut believed for the rest of his life the area had been visited by something 'not of this earth,' his daughter Julie Shuster told the Roswell Record. He went on to become one of the founders of the International UFO Museum.

A native of Chicago, Haut decided to settle in Roswell in 1946 after two tours of duty there.

On July 8, 1947, Haut, on instructions from the base commander, put out a press release about the finding of a flying saucer on a ranch near the base. Later the same day, the Army retracted the story, saying that what had been found was part of a weather balloon. Later news stories have said that the find was part of a balloon involved in a project to spy on the Soviet Union.

Haut, an insurance agent, became a leading citizen of his adopted home and member of many local organizations. His daughter said he did not talk much about UFOs until interest in them revived in the 1980s. He helped found the museum in 1991 and served as its first president.

Source: Monsters and Critics.com - Glasgow, UK

By Thomas Bell in Bara District, Nepal

Thousands of pilgrims are pouring into the dense jungle of southern Nepal to worship a 15-year-old boy who has been hailed as a new Buddha.

Devotees claim that Ram Bomjon, who is silently meditating beneath a tree, has not eaten or drunk anything since he sat down at his chosen spot six months ago.

[IMAGE: Ram Bomjon maintains his vigil in the shade of his pipal tree

Witnesses say they have seen light emanating from the teenager's forehead.

"It looks a bit like when you shine a torch through your hand," said Tek Bahadur Lama, a member of the committee responsible for dealing with the growing number of visitors from India and elsewhere in Nepal.

Photographs of Ram Bomjon, available for five rupees (4p) from his makeshift shrine, have become ubiquitous across the region. "Far and wide, it's the only topic of conversation," said Upendra Lamichami, a local journalist.

He said no allegation had yet emerged of Ram breaking his fast or moving, even to relieve himself.

Santa Raj Subedi, the chief government official in Bara district, appealed to the capital, Kathmandu, for assistance in dealing with the influx of visitors, and for a team of scientists to examine the case.

Local doctors failed to reach a final conclusion, although they were allowed no closer than five yards from the boy mystic, declaring that they could confirm no more than that he was alive.

The popularity of the phenomenon is partly because it resembles an episode in the life of the historical Buddha, who was born 160 miles away around 543 BC. The Buddha achieved enlightenment when he meditated beneath a sacred pipal tree for 49 days.

Ram Bomjon is also sitting beneath a pipal tree, in the same posture as the Buddha is depicted, but his vigil has already taken longer.

Ram's mother, who is called Maya Devi, like the Buddha's mother, admits to anxiety, particularly at meal times. But she tells herself: "God took him to the forest and I have faith that God will feed him."

She said: "He's definitely got thinner. Early in the morning he looks sunken, like there's no blood in him, but as the sun rises he seems to get brighter and brighter."

The fervor increased last week when a snake is said to have bitten Ram, and a curtain was drawn around him.

After five days it was opened and he spoke. "Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don't have the Buddha's energy. I am at the level of rinpoche [lesser divinity].

"A snake bit me but I do not need treatment. I need six years of deep meditation."

Despite his protestations, "Buddha boy" is famous. A thriving market has grown in the once pristine forest, supplying pilgrims with everything from chewing tobacco and bicycle repairs to incense and sacred amulets. The ground is covered in litter.

A fence was built around Ram's tree to prevent pilgrims prodding him, then a second, and now a third is planned, as well as a bus park, leaving Ram at the centre of an ever growing circle of rubbish.

Prakash Lamsal, a businessman said: "Some people are selling 2,500 rupees [£20] worth of tea a day.

"These lamas [monks] are going to build mansions out of this. If I wasn't a bit embarrassed I'd take a van down there and set up a stall."

SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/

Another year of strange events and unknown entities
by Stephen Wagner

ANYONE WHO doubts the existence of the paranormal, or at least the idea that there’s more to life on this planet than meets the eye, isn’t paying attention. Every year, fringe and mainstream news sources alike report on the many strange things that take place in this world with surprising regularity. There are so many events that go unexplained and cause us to wonder. 2005 was another banner year for the unknown. Here are 10 of the top paranormal events.

1. Animals’ Sixth Sense
After the devastating tsunami struck the coastlines of the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, reports began to filter in that although many human bodies were recovered, virtually no animal carcasses were found. Why? Did the animals sense the impending disaster? A full hour before the waves struck, it was reported, elephants became agitated and began to wail.

As the disaster neared, many broke their chains and headed for higher ground. Flamingos left their breeding grounds and flew to the safety of the forests. Leopards, tigers, wild boar, deer, water buffalo, monkeys and smaller mammals and reptiles all escaped unharmed. All this suggested that animals might possess a “sixth sense” or “sense of doom” – a heightened instinct – that saved their lives. French zoologists, seeking a scientific explanation, suggested that it was a more advanced acoustic system that allowed the animals to hear the approaching giant surges of water. As further evidence that dogs, at least, have remarkably keen senses, CBS News reported on certain canines that have the uncanny ability to sniff out cancer in people.

2. Paranormal TV
The abundance of television shows with paranormal themes in the 2005-06 season was itself news. The public, it seems, is craving entertainment with overtones of the unknown. Series such as Supernatural, Ghost Whisperer, Invasion and Night Stalker all made their debut, with Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted returning for loyal viewers. The breakaway hit, however, was the well-written and acted Medium, based on the real-life psychic medium Allison Dubois. The show’s popularity helped turn the media spotlight on other mediums and psychics, such as Janna Excell and Jo'Ann Ruhl , Nancy Myer and Mary Ann Winkowski, who is said to have inspired Ghost Whisperer.

Kelsey Grammer, former star of Frasier and current producer of Medium, claims to have his own contact with the dead, including a 2,000-year-old ghost he knows as Alex. And he’s not the only one in Hollywood to admit that ability in 2005. Pop singer Olivia Newton-John says she received signs from her deceased mother, and in February Keanu Reeves told reporters he has seen ghosts on at least two occasions.

3. Technology and the Paranormal
Believing in ghosts, the afterlife and other things unseen is one thing, proving their existence is quite another. While ghost investigators around the world continued to experiment with electronic voice phenomena (EVP) – alleged voices of the dead – inventors were busy creating gadgets that they claimed could detect or even contact the dearly departed. In January, a German inventor unveiled his Phone Angel, a cell phone device he said would allow the mourning to contact the recently deceased. Meanwhile, Japanese manufacturer SolidAlliance presented GhostRadar, which they said blinked its lights and beeped its tones in the presence of the unseen. And in December, mechanical engineer Steve Watson announced his spirit sensor that similarly flashes and chimes when ghosts are near, he says.

But the top story, in a more serious vein perhaps, was that mainstream scientists continued to experiment with how the mind alone can affect machines – essentially proving that psi exists. In July, a new article reported on the 26-year-old project at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program, which has measured the effects of human consciousness on random number generators. And a black box in the basement of Edinburgh University in Scotland, as well as other locations around the world, are part of the Global Consciousness Project, a network of machines that has shown how human consciousness has reacted to such events as the Sept. 11 attack. (Also see “The Consciousness of the World”.) Other scientists were proving that blind people can “see” with a sixth sense, that people can subconsciously sense trouble, and that certain stimuli to the brain can trigger (or mimic) what some people have reported as supernatural religious experiences and out-of-body experiences.

. Chupacabra Sightings
The fearsome “goat sucker,” so-named because it drains its victims of blood, made the news several times in 2005. In February, KOBTV reported the discovery of a strange corpse on Albuquerque’s West Mesa. Although the creature did not really resemble the eyewitness reports of chupacabra, reporters hung the label on it anyway. In June, residents in South Texas wondered if they caught a chupacabra sighting on videotape. Most researchers believe, however, it was merely another case of a coyote with mange, as in the Elmendorf case of 2004. In August, a Texas farmer actually caught and killed one.

The top story was in December, when the real thing might have struck in Uruguay. Researcher Scott Corrales reported strange deaths of deer in a hunting preserve; they were mutilated and their genitalia and reproductive organs were removed.

5. Exorcisms on the Rise
With the screening of the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose, based on the true experiences of 19-year-old Anneliese Michel, came a new wave of interest in demonic possession and exorcism. The Vatican, it was revealed, now provides a course for priests on conducting exorcisms and casting out demonic spirits. Bob Larson, a controversial American preacher, took his “deliverances” to Australia, where he said Melbourne's demons are “the most vicious in the world” because its society is in a religious vacuum. And people continued to be possessed, including a 43-year-old mother in Arizona, who claimed to have been possessed by as many as 10 demons over the last 23 years. The popularizing of such rituals became so offensive that in February a British television station came under public attack for planning to broadcast a live exorcism.

The top story in this category is quite different, however. Understandably, the scientific and medical community spoke out against exorcism practices, saying that they can do more harm than good, as in the case of Anneliese Michel. Whatever afflicts these people should be treated by psychiatrists. Misguided exorcisms can go horribly wrong, as in the case reported in June when a Romanian Orthodox priest faced murder charges after crucifying a young nun that he believed was possessed by the devil. There are other similar cases.

6. Bigfoot Sightings
Despite the claims of recent years that many Bigfoot sightings and footprint evidence were hoaxed, the large, smelly biped made several appearances in 2005, and new expeditions were launched to find good proof. William Dranginis investigated Virginia sightings, Jason Valenti and John Andrews searched Washington State, the beast was sighted in LeFlore County, Oklahoma, and Floridians hunted for Bigfoot’s cousin, the Skunk Ape.

Some tantalizing new evidence came to light. Ferry operator Bobby Clarke thought he might have videotaped a Bigfoot in Northern Manitoba, Canada back in April. Unfortunately, the creature was too far away and the image too blurry for any definitive conclusion. Then in July, a hair sample was recovered in the Yukon after a claimed Bigfoot sighting. DNA analysis, however, proved that the hair was from a bison. More controversial video footage came out of New York State, where those who taped it say it could show a baby Bigfoot clambering up a tree.

The top Bigfoot story consists of two new photos. In November, a backpacker snapped photos of a hulking creature on a ridge on Silver Star Mountain in Washington, where other sightings of Bigfoot have been claimed in the past. And in early December in West Virginia, a motion-triggered camera captured the image of an unidentified bipedal creature dubbed the Braxton Beast.

7. Ghosts
Ghost were hunted and sighted in 2005, of course, and sometimes even photographed. A family in Kingston, New Hampshire was tormented by levitating objects, disembodied voices and apparitions, seemingly brought about by digging on the property. The staff and customers of a lighting shop in Lincolnshire, England reported mysterious footsteps, slamming doors and shades thrown about. Soldiers in guard towers in Afghanistan reported the haunting of a little girl.

The Andrew Bayne Memorial Library in Bellevue, Pennsylvania is haunted by a presence that turns lights and fans off and on, fools with the computers and makes shadows in the hallways; an apparition in Victorian dress has also been seen. A former lunatic asylum in Chester, England is home to a mysterious “woman in black.” In Des Moines, Iowa, a security guard was fired because he reported seeing a ghost. And ghosts were exorcised from Hamlet’s castle in Denmark. Good evidence was collected also. A closed-circuit security camera in a store in Gloucester, England recorded video of what may be an apparition knocking over a stack of boxes. The shop was built on the grounds or an old theatre that had a reputation for being haunted.

The top story took place in March when steeplejacks were commissioned to investigate the nesting of some lovebirds in the spire of Halifax’s Square Church in Halifax, England. Using a long zoom lens, they attempted to photograph the nest, but what they captured was most unexpected: the ghostly image of a woman in a maroon cloak.

8. Sea and Lake Monsters
Loch Ness seemed to be quiet in 2005, but water monsters appeared elsewhere around the world. Jan-Ove Sundberg, who had been hunting the monster in Norway's Lake Seljord for years, reported in August that he had seen “two large objects on sonar; they were four to five meters (13-16.5 feet) long, and this was no fish.” At Lake Massawippi in Quebec, an innkeeper snapped a photo of what he believes in that
lake’s legendary monster, Whippy. And in some extraordinary photos, Japanese scientists captured the very first images of a living giant squid.

Champ, the monster of Lake Champlain, was the top story here, when it may have been videographed in August. Dick Affolter, Pete Bodette and Affolter's stepson were fishing for salmon on the New York side of the lake when they noticed something unusual and large on the surface of the water, moving in a serpentine manner. Bodette got video of the creature, and as they got closer to it, it slowly submerged.

9. Atlantis Found – Yet Again
Every year brings new theories and “evidence” for the true location of Atlantis, and 2005 was no exception. First of all, 2004’s tsunami gave scientists plausibility for the sinking of a large land mass – possibly even an entire island. In fact, a sunken island lies 60 meters beneath the surface in the Gulf of Cadiz, right "in front of the Pillars of Hercules," (the Straits of Gibraltar), as stated by Plato. Researchers say a large earthquake and tsunami hit the island about 12,000 years ago, roughly the time indicated in the Greek philosopher's writings for the destruction of the city. But another researcher proposes that South America could be the lost continent. Jim Allen says the continent, with its magnificent pyramids and other structures, could be evidence of the advanced Atlantean civilization.

Cyprus has long been suggested as the site of the great Atlantis, and is again the top story here. In May, Robert Sarmast, head of the Cyprus/Atlantis Expedition, presented new evidence in the form of new sonar scans that show manmade structures one mile below the water’s surface off the southeast coast of Cyprus.

10. Popes and Prophecy
The death of Pope John Paul II caused many to mourn and others to wonder about the prophecies regarding the papacy… and possibly the end times. In 1139, St. Malachy O’Morgair, Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland had a vision in which he gave specific clues about the identities of every Pope from his time to the end of time. John Paul II, for example, he named De labore Solis, or “from the labor of the sun.” John Paul II was born during a partial solar eclipse (May 18, 1920), and there was also a rare "hybrid" eclipse on the day of his funeral.

There are only two Popes named by St. Malachy after John Paul II. The first he names Gloria olivae or "The Glory of the Olive." It was long thought that this prophecy meant that this Pope would come from the Benedictine order of priests because the order is also known as the Olivetans. Although Cardinal Ratzinger is not a Benedictine, he chose the name Benedict XVI.

The second will be named Peter, and he may be the last Pope. Then what? Does it signify the end of life as we know it?

SOURCE: http://paranormal.about.com/od/paranormalgeneralinfo/a/aa010206.htm

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