Collections of miscellaneous strange writings from around the web

World War II Crop Circles Discovered?

1945 Crop Circle?

Interest in the crop circle phenomenon has been on the wane since the much-publicised 1991 confession of 'Doug and Dave', two British men who said they had kick-started a hoaxing industry by creating circles in fields armed only with wooden planks. But now a researcher is claiming to have proof that the phenomenon pre-dates Doug and Dave's pranking by at least 33 years.

[H]istorian Greg Jefferys, who has a degree in archaeology, says he has new evidence that not all crop circles have a human origin.

After spending more than 300 hours examining aerial photographs from Google Earth’s new 1945 overlay, Jefferys concludes that a number of crop circles has been appearing consistently each summer for at least 33 years before Chorley and Bower began their work.

The overlay, according to the Huffington Post, is a series of images taken toward the end of World War II and covers about 35 percent of England, excluding the Wiltshire area, a crop-circle hotspot that has attracted numerous tourists.

See the gallery of alleged glyphs at the Huffington Post.

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Seeking: Dragon Hunter

Dragon Hunter Classified

Been unemployed for a while? Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Looking to get back into the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent? Keep your eye on the classifieds in the newspaper, because you never know when your dream job might come up...

I am quite sure most of you have seen the rather large green dragon that has been flying over northeast OKC for the better part of a week. I am looking for someone to:

  • Lure said dragon away from OKC to a more rural area.
  • Force said dragon to land in rural area.
  • Slay said dragon in whatever way you see fit.

No pay, dragon slaying is its own reward. Please note that I am not talking about the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

I think it's the last line that wins it for me.

(via @AnomalistNews)

Visit Weird Australia - For Free!

Weird Australia Book Cover

Andrew Nicholson, curator of the Weird Australia website and author of the book of the same name, has made his fascinating book available as a free Kindle eBook download for the next 24 hours (sorry folks, time is up - back to regular price now). With Kindle apps freely available for tablet and desktop computers, there's no reason not to grab this while it's on offer - and just as much reason to actually buy the thing if you miss out on the free period:

Through real reports from the earliest days of European settlement to more recent times, we delve into all things mysterious and unexplained - from eyewitness accounts of the hairy man, sea serpents and big cats to strange objects flying through the skies and encounters with poltergeists, ghosts and other curious visitors from another time and space.

Whether you are a true believer in the paranormal, an interested sceptic or someone who just loves to be entertained with great stories, Weird Australia: Real Reports of Uncanny Creatures, Strange Sightings & Extraordinary Encounters makes great reading.

And keep your eye on the Weird Australia website for ongoing additions to the stranger side of Australia. Well, stranger than what passes for normal around here anyhow...

Mystery of the Miniature Coffins of Arthur's Seat

Mysterious Miniature Coffins of Arthur's Seat

In 1836, five boys were hunting rabbits on the north-eastern slopes of Arthur’s Seat, the main peak in the group of hills in the center of Edinburgh. In a small cave in the crags of the hill they stumbled across seventeen miniature coffins carved in pine and decorated with tinned iron. Carefully arranged in a three-tiered stack, each coffin contained a small wooden figure with painted black boots and individually crafted clothing.

What are these objects? Who made them and who buried them? And why? To this day, no one has any real idea.

Continue reading the article at The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things for some theories…

Spacing the Paradigm Out

For those of you who were unable to attend to last week's Paradigm Symposium in Minneapolis, Maureen Elsberry and Jason McClellan of Open Minds have included a really nice review of the event in the latest edition of Spacing Out (the segment starts at 12:28)

Maureen & Jason also got to interview Scotty Roberts & Micah Hanks, along with our favorite Ramones fan --the incomparable Nick Redfern.

PS: Let's see if you can spot me for a very brief instant in the background --no, I'm not wearing the mask ;)

Fish Mandala - Intricate Underwater Sand Circle Mystery Solved

Intricate Underwater Sand Circle

Not content to flatten farmers' fields, those dastardly mystery crop circle makers seem to have gone aquatic, judging by the image above. Photographer Yoji Ookata discovered the mysterious, beautiful underwater mandalas off the southern coast of Japan, some 80 feet below ocean surface.

But upon further investigation, Ookatat discovered the humble artists who created the "mystery circle":

Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing.

More details and photos at Colossal.

(via @GrailSeeker)

From John Keel's Mothman Diary: "Scared - Damn it."

Page from John Keel's notebook

Over at JohnKeel.com - a tribute site to the legendary Fortean investigator who died in 2009 - John's friend Doug Skinner has posted scans of John Keel's notebook from his investigation into the infamous 'Mothman' sightings near Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Above is just one page, giving a wonderful insight both into the investigation, and the man caught in the middle of some very high strangeness.

April 3, 1967

1:35 A.M. Observed descent of red and green object into ravine a few yards north of position. Object was clearly defined saucer shape glowing red with greenish upper surface. Unable to determine size but it appeared small. At first thought it descended over hill in background but inspection of terrain with searchlight indicates it landed directly behind trees only a short distance away. Awaiting developments (1:45). Scared - damn it.

2:00 A.M. Drove to turn-around point, turned and returned to original parking position - unable to see anything in ravine - no lights or sign of activity. Still scared - not anxious to get out of car. Feel object is in ravine.

2:25 A.M. Observed orange UFO manuever (sic) and descend in northwest in distance. Suddenly disappeared. No sight of Moon which was supposed to rise at 1:59 A.M.

2:35 - Aware of what seemed to be a flash of pale pink light behind me. Similar flash seemed to occur a few minutes ago but I decided it was my imagination. No sounds or movements outside. Still trying to muster courage to leave car and look around. I feel "They" are very nearby.

See the full post for the complete set of scans - and other fascinating insights into the life of John Keel - at JohnKeel.com.

John Keel Was Once Interviewed by David Letterman

Well this I did not know. Fortean raconteur John Keel - author of the seminal book The Mothman Prophecies - was once interviewed by David Letterman himself. Letterman talks to Keel about the history of Fortean research, anomalous rains of various objects, skyquakes, UFOs, cattle mutilations and cryptozoology. The video quality isn't great, and Letterman voices his skepticism on a number of occasions, but it's fascinating to see the notoriously misanthropic and grouchy Keel affably (and somewhat enthusiastically) discussing these topics with the future king of late night TV.

For those interested in Keel's work, make sure you check out The Mothman Prophecies and Operation Trojan Horse, both hugely influential books in the Fortean and paranormal fields - although keep your skepticism on hand as it sometimes gets wild an wooly. Also, interesting content from Keel's life is still regularly being posted by his friends at the tribute site set up in his honour, JohnKeel.com.

(via DisInfo.com)

Spooky Wedding Picture Is a Piece of Art

Spooky Wedding Picture

"Oh my, that's a lovely aerial picture of your wedding dear. And did you...wait, who are all those creepy hooded people standing on the balcony of the building directly behind the ceremony?!"

Spooky Wedding Picture Zoom

Yes, it's a little known fact that every wedding is secretly blessed by the Brotherhood of the Shadowy Cloak, who attend in person. Finally, an overhead shot has revealed this secret to the general public.

Actually, the explanation is a little more prosaic. It's part of an art installation:

The Goddess Fortuna and Her Subjects in an Effort to Make Sense of it All is Dawn’s over-the-top multi-media installation inspired by author John Kennedy Toole, who never lived to see his extraordinary novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, published and then win the Pulitzer Prize in 1981

...this installation, hosted by The Historic New Orleans Collection, contains 66 life-size robed figures, each with a dunce hat upon its head. There’s a “symbolic” recreation of Ignatius’s bedroom over the fountain in the courtyard; an audio piece of Ignatius’s favorite medieval philosopher Boethius’s text in Latin wafting from the staircase; and a special-effects video that appears as a mirage of the Goddess Fortuna herself.

(via imgur.com)

Paradigm Symposium: Special Deal (1 Day Only!)

If you're fans of Mysterious Universe, or the Gralien Report podcast, then you're probably aware by now of the conference that my friend Micah Hanks and Intrepid magazine's Scotty Roberts are preparing in Minneapolis this coming October.

The Paradigm Symposium will feature special guests such as Erich Von Däniken, Giorgio Tsoukalos —of "I don't know, therefore aliens" fame— and many others, including TDG's friends Nick Redfern and Philip Coppens. And if you were thinking of attending, but were holding back due to a lack of funds, then I've got good news for you:

Today Wednesday 22nd, The Paradigm Symposium will be offering a special 2x1 deal for their Big tickets (US $249), which grant you access to all the lectures, including the opening and closing ceremonies. This offering will be available for 24 hours beginning at 12 o'clock PM (CST), so you'd better not waste anytime and reserve your tickets now.

I'll be looking forward to greeting all the attending Grailers at Minneapolis —you won't miss me: I'll be the big guy wearing a red luchador mask ;)