A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Nick Redfern interviews Richard Freeman, of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, about the recent Guyana expedition.
- Nick also discusses Nigel Kerner's The Song of the Greys on UFO Mystic.
- This week on Binnall of America Audio, Tim interviews respected ufologist Nick Pope (available as mp3/podcast download, or streaming via Flash).
- Loren Coleman schools a blogger on dealing with the topic of 'Nessie'.
- Erik Davis shares a personal, mystical moment at Reality Sandwich. Also at RS: "The Current Global Crisis and the Future of Humanity: A Transpersonal Perspective, by Stanislav Grof.
- Michael Tymn discusses "More Messages from a Dead Soldier".
- Regan Lee continues the 'Signal to Noise' discussion with Daniel Brenton, in "The Contactees: My Response" (replying to Daniel's original post).
- Both Regan and Frank Warren have also blogged about the 'state' of ufology.
- Fortean Times offers "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream", by Jen Ogilvie (free registration may be required).
- 'Bad Astronomer' Phil Plait goes after Richard Hoagland's Moon conspiracy in a recent blog posting.
- Anthony North investigates some "Ghostly Goings On" at Beyond the Blog.
- UFO Casebook #286 is now online.
- Also: Filer's Files #50 has a weekly ufological roundup.
Dr Rick Strassman's book DMT: The Spirit Molecule (Amazon US and UK) was a surprise hit a few years back. In the book, Rick Strassman looked back on his (completely legal) research into the potent entheogen dimethyltryptamine (DMT), one of the main components of the Amazonian shamans' brew ayahuasca, recounting how many of his volunteer research subjects underwent 'contact' with strange entities.
Well, now a documentary of the same name is being produced on the topic:
THE SPIRIT MOLECULE weaves an account of Dr. Rick Strassman's groundbreaking DMT research through a multifaceted approach to this intriguing hallucinogen found in the human brain and hundreds of plants. Utilizing interviews with a variety of experts to explain their thoughts and experiences with DMT within their respective fields, and discussions with Strassman’s research volunteers brings to life the awesome effects of this compound, and far-reaching theories regarding its role in human consciousness and evolution.
Participants include Rick Strassman (of course...he's also co-producer on the film), Graham Hancock, Alex Grey, Jeremy Narby, Erik Davis, Daniel Pinchbeck and Whitley Streiber. The website is very nicely put together, although some sections are still to be completed (notably, the 'Media' section). Certainly something to look forward to.
Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.
Coast to Coast AM: On Monday P.M.H. Atwater will discuss her explanation of NDEs as wells as the variety of ways individuals access other dimensions. Tuesday is TBA at time of posting (check the link for updates). On Wednesday Barbara Hand Clow will discuss her work on time acceleration and the awakening of the 'world mind,' as well as outline the years leading up to 2012. Thursday's guest is historian and speaker Neil Howe will discuss his work on generations and how they shape history, as well as the twenty year cycle of crisis facing the U.S.
A nifty little meeting of ancient and modern: this year's Winter Solstice at Newgrange will be webcast live, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the re-discovery of the Winter Solstice Phenomenon at Newgrange by Professor O’Kelly in 1967:
Newgrange (co. Meath, Ireland) is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage at Newgrange there is a opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year, around December 21, the winter solstice. At dawn, from December 19th to 23rd, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber, gradually extending to the rear of the passage. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. This event lasts for 17 minutes, beginning around 9am.
For the first time ever, the 2007 Winter Solstice illumination of the passage and chamber at Newgrange will be streamed live on the internet...The Winter Solstice event from inside the chamber at Newgrange will be broadcast on the mornings of Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd December 2007. If conditions are good the rising sun will illuminate the passage and chamber between 8:58am and 9:15am GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
The webcast will be available on the Heritage Ireland website. Let's hope they're on good terms with Huey...
Have you noticed that 'unavoidable interruptions' multiply in direct proportion to the perceived importance of any project you're working on?
- Giant dinosaur fossil extracted from ice on top of Antarctic mountain.
- Archaeologists find a bag of tools left near the wall of a residence more than 14,000 years ago.
- Halo of stars surrounding the Milky Way is made up of two parts that spin in opposite directions.
- Missing comet baffles scientists.
- Physicists do the math on warp drive science.
- Shiver me shattered timbers: Remains of Captain Kidd's ship has been found, lying in just 10 feet of water, in Caribbean.
- Recent research suggests Captain Kidd was wrongly convicted of piracy.
- Scientists have discovered waves that flow deep in the Pacific Ocean.
- The British media is awash with speculation that Adolf Hitler's love child may have been born in the UK in 1940, and he could still be living there.
- Bali talks end with surprise agreement -- or seem to, for about five minutes, before...
- US pours cold water on Bali optimism.
- Monbiot karate-kicks Gore's halo: America will keep on wrecking climate talks as long as those with vested interests in oil and gas fund its political system.
- The Hogs and the Bees: Mother Nature and humanity are apparently in sharp disagreement as to what constitutes sustainable agriculture.
- Very 'Damn Interesting': The Ethyl-Poisoned Earth.
- Undark and the Radium Girls.
- Arctic ice is melting faster than ever, causing surface waters to warm as much as 5 degrees celsius above average.
- A magma hotspot could be a contributing factor to Greenland's record ice melt.
- Australian PM Kevin Rudd goes ahead with plans for the Australian Navy to keep an eye on Japanese whalers. Predictably, Japan refuses to cancel its planned slaughter of 1000 whales, including Humpbacks, for 'scientific research'.
- U.S. Navy ordered to lessen the harm its high-power sonar inflicts on whales and marine life. Did the Judge tell them to turn it down as if the Navy are just playing music too loudly?
- Despite assurances that HAARP is benign, some still think that the U.S. Military is keeping its real uses secret.
- London bosses spend a record £120 million in two days for Christmas office parties.
- Having dropped out of school at age 11, a real-life Willy Wonka has opened his own chocolate factory at age 16, after achieving a qualification in chocolate making from the prestigious Callebaut Academy.
- Christmas comes early as reindeer flies through the sky.
- Strength in numbers: Group of female vigilantes become the scourge of violent husbands, inefficient policemen and corrupt officials.
Quote of the Day:
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble -- it's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
Astraea Magazine is featuring a new and exclusive radio/podcast interview with Dr. Nabil Swelim, a professional and well-credentialed Egyptologist who says the 'Bosnian Pyramids' are man-made:
The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun is the largest pyramid ever witnessed; it is an amazing structure of a great importance for the entire world. This is an amazing discovery and it is going to take us a lot of time to figure all this out, meaning how these fascinating structures were built.
This certainly gives supporters of the excavation something to crow about - Swelim has worked in Egypt on pyramid sites for some time, and certainly brings some authority to the claims of the Bosnian Pyramid Foundation.
However, on the flipside, the former chief geologist from the Bosnian Pyramid Foundation has made damaging allegations against Sam Osmanagic and the quality of science being done at the site. In an interview published at the end of November in the Bosnian magazine BHDani, Nadija Nukic claimed selective publishing of reports, announcements of ancient writing that was in fact newly carved, and use of an excavator, all cast doubts on the claims of the Foundation.
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- Fortean Times present an article from FT #218, "How the Nazis Stole Christmas", by David Sutton (free registration may be required). Gotta love those swastika baubles, sure to impress friends and family. Also at FT: "Doppelgänger Effect", by Nigel Watson.
- At Cabinet of Wonders, Emps digs into the new Fortean Times issue on Crowley in his latest entry "On the Lam".
- Has Daz from Cosmic Spoon found "The Report that Started the American Psychic Spying Program"?
- Loren Coleman marks the 40th anniversary of the Silver Bridge collapse in Point Pleasant (of 'Mothman' fame) on his Cryptomundo blog.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson interviews paeontologist and author Peter Ward about our unfriendly Mother Earth, for Astrobiology Magazine.
- Regan Lee talks about "Pinning Down" Bigfoot.
- Michael Prescott examines the near-death journey of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
- Curious Expeditions takes you on a guided tour of the history of "Throwing Down the Gauntlet".
- Richard Hoagland is currently author-of-the-month at Graham Hancock's website, and GHHQ has an essay from Richard available about his book Dark Mission.
- Filip Coppens investigates the case of the "Russian Twin Pyramids".
- Speaking of Filip, he's slipped into skeptic Randi's latest newsletter, without anybody being the wiser...
- Adrian Lodge Ph.D. investigates "The Curious Case of Mr Rigby's Pentagon" at Andrew Gough's Arcadia, as a sequel to a previous article on Rennes-le-Chateau related geometry.
- Whitley Strieber sees a 'Drone' in his latest journal entry at Unknown Country.
- Cabinet of Wonders (#2) has an off-beat Xmas list worth perusing.
- Anthony North goes in search of King Arthur on Beyond the Blog.
- Daniel Brenton has "A Modest (UFO) Proposal".
- "The Life & Times of Aleister Crowley" by Phil Baker.
- "Crowley Lives!", by Dr Dave Evans, which analyses his impact on modern culture.
- "Crowley & The Spooks", by Richard McNeff.
- "The Tregerthen Horror" by Paul Newman.
- "Who let the greys in?" by Alan Chapman (on supposed parallels between LAM and 'grey' aliens).
- "The Wickedest Man in the World" by Gary Lachman.
- "Magick Potions" by Ian Simmons.
- "The Last Ritual" by Tim Weinberg, which looks at Crowley's death and funeral.
Lots more besides - further details at the Fortean Times website (and some interesting discussion of the contents of the new issue at Cabinet of Wonders too).
Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos has announced that his online book retailing company has won the auction for J.K. Rowling's ultra-limited edition The Tales of Beedle the Bard, paying an unbelievable £1,950,000 (for 1 - yes 'one' - book...give me the standard Amazon commission on that one). They have kindly displayed some images from the book, for those interested - and it looks gorgeous:
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is extensively illustrated and handwritten by the bard herself - all 157 pages of it. It's bound in brown Moroccan leather and embellished with five hand-chased hallmarked sterling silver ornaments and mounted moonstones.
Enjoy these first images of the book. We'll be adding reviews of each of the fairytales and more photos of this beautiful object as we can get them up in the coming hours.
Rowling has donated the proceeds of the sale to The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe. Speaking after the sale, the bestselling author said "I am stunned and ecstatic. This will mean so much to children in desperate need of help. Christmas has come early for me."
Auction house Sotheby's had originally predicted the book to sell for around £50,000. It is one of only seven handmade copies, with the other six being given to Rowling's closest friends. It's worth noting that the sale does not give Amazon the right to publish the book, as Rowling retains the copyright.
This should be enough news to keep you kids out of trouble for a while:
- New World Order is a brilliant new comic about a group of truthseekers called the Third Army, exploring such themes as secret societies, occult, UFOs and government/religious conspiracies. I hope to interview NWO's creators soon.
- The disturbing Holosonic billboard advertises Paranormal State, a reality-tv show about the Paranormal Research Society.
- An interview with Ryan Buell, star of Paranormal State.
- But is Paranormal State any good? It's awful, according to this review.
- Turn off the tv, and read Shadow World by Brad Steiger (Amazon US or UK), Daimonic Reality by Patrick Harpur (Amazon US or UK), The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel (Amazon US), Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Nick Redfern (Amazon US or UK), or TDG's very own Darklore. That should cover your Christmas shopping.
- Tajikstan is cracking down on witch-craft and fortune-telling.
- 150 surgical instruments have been found in an ancient Roman doctor's surgery.
- Two massive Viking halls were discovered beneath the Borre mounds in Norway.
- Viking farms in Iceland tell a cautionary tale on climate change.
- Archaeologists uncovered a 2000-year-old mansion believed to have been the home of Queen Helene of Adiabene.
- Philip Coppens discusses Russia's twin 'pyramids' near Vladivostok: a sacred Shamanic site that could shed light on Japan's Shinto and Ainu?
- An excellent article exploring the Ainu and the Jomon of Japan.
- Physicists use muons generated by cosmic rays to probe the interior of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán. Hrmm, that'd make a good scifi plot...
- Another stone sphere, 1.1 meters in diameter, has been found in Costa Rica.
- I bet Lloyd Pye will want to wear a fedora when he sees the alien-like skull in the Indiana Jones 4 movie poster. Indiana von Daniken?
- According to this oddly-fonted website, the Nahual is the most feared creature of Mexican folklore. Nahual are actually protective spirits, animal alter-egos, each human having their own personal Nahual. Red Pill Junkie might know more.
- Erowid goes non-profit (no, that does not mean they are giving out drugs for free).
- What strange things float above our heads? Not haloes, nor pigeons I hope.
- Spend a day at Iceland's Elf School, a country where 54% of the population believe in otherworldly beings.
- The owners of a house in Ohio report strange shadow people on the stairs.
- Bruce Duensing explores alien abductions and possession.
- The box at the end of the world: homespun efforts to contact the spirit world.
- America's top scientists are pushing for presidential candidates to detail how their administrations would treat science. Coming soon to FOX: America's Next Top Scientist! Or Scientific Idol?
- A NASA spaceprobe has taken stunning images of Earth's highest and most mysterious clouds.
- The Grail mission isn't Greg boldly going where he hasn't gone before, but is NASA's plans to study the Moon's lumpy interior.
- Is it an optical illusion, or does this video (with Art Bell commentary) show an object belching smoke on the moon?
- A prehistoric fungus found in ancient amber lassoed its prey. Dubya's ancestor?
- South Korean scientists have genetically modified three kittens so they appear fluorescent under UV light. That'd be handy with my black calico cat.
- In Japan, they've genetically modified a mouse so it isn't afraid of cats. Now they need to make the cat not want to eat the mouse. Science is a can of worms.
- Cat survives being bitten by a copperhead snake wrapped around her neck.
- Firemen refuse to rescue a cat stuck up a tree for 10 days, saying it's a myth they do that sort of thing.
- How did a window-washer survive a 47-storey fall? The Mythbusters got it wrong.
Quote of the Day:
Today, nothing is more important to the future and credibility of science than liberation from the gravity-driven universe of prior theory. A mistaken supposition has not only prevented intelligent and sincere investigators from seeing what would otherwise be obvious, it has bred indifference to possibilities that could have inspired the sciences for decades.
David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill, from 'Thunderbolts of the Gods'(Amazon US).