The latest issue of Fortean Times has been released, with the cover story being Ivan Mackerle's investigation of Siberia's mysterious 'Valley of Death'. Also in this issue: Mark Oxbrow hunts for the Holy Grail; Ripley's Vice President of Exhibits and Archives Edward Meyer talks about his career, Robert Ripley and shrunken heads; and an exclusive interview with Christopher Miles, director of the 1977 TV hoax 'Alternative 3', which had many believing that scientists were planning to evacuate our doomed planet and colonise Mars. Full details of the new release are available at the FT website.
Who are you people?
- Happy 30th Birthday to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Our good friend Blair Blake makes some interesting comments about CE-III and Spielberg in his Darklore article "Incredible As It May Seem" (all roads seem to lead to Darklore lately).
- Stopping cars with microwaves. A reality, 30 years after Francois Truffaut...err, I mean Jacques Vallee...discussed this aspect of UFO encounters.
- Ten reasons why you shouldn't believe in UFOs. Ignoring the usual mistaken definition in the article title (of 'UFO' = 'Aliens'), it's worth pointing out that the recent panel weren't urging belief, they were urging more serious investigation...
- Incredible Comet Holmes is now bigger than the Sun. Alan Boyle has more.
- Astronomers defend asteroid warning system snafu, with the Rosetta probe mistaken for an incoming space rock (the Rosetta stone?).
- Line between quantum and classical worlds is at the scale of hydrogen molecule.
- Surfer dude stuns physicists with an 8-dimensional "theory of everything". Also: the 4 most compelling theories of everything.
- The brain can replay memories much faster than 'real time' allows.
- French 'mathlete' sets new calculating record.
- Brain implants may 'read the mind' of paralysis victims, allowing them to talk again.
- The mysteries of memory.
- Can praying for rain make the heavens open?
- The BBC's Climate Correspondent Richard Black goes on the attack against Global Warming controversies this week - "Sun and Global Warming: A Cosmic Connection", "Climate Science: Skeptical About Bias", and "Unravelling the Skeptics".
- Dew-harvesting web conjures water out of thin air.
- A Bigfoot article in Scientific American? Say it ain't so...
- Cat expects to be picked up by car in the morning by owner, more than a mile away from home.
- U.S. man arrested for possession of drugs...and by drugs, I mean the frog he was carrying. Does that mean you can be arrested for meditating?
- Is Pakistan's heritage at risk?
- Women warriors may have battled in ancient Cambodia.
- World War II fighter plane emerges from the surf and sand of a beach in Wales.
- The Baltic Sea trumps Wales though, yielding a 'perfect' 17th century shipwreck.
- Meet the invincible man who thinks aging is a disease that needs to be cured.
Quote of the Day:
Who are you people?
Roy Neary ('Close Encounters of the Third Kind')
A huge show this week on the Sunday edition of Coast to Coast AM, with George Knapp interviewing Robert Bigelow about the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS), Bigelow Aerospace, and everything in between:
Founder of Bigelow Aerospace, Bob Bigelow will discuss his involvement with the formation of NIDS, its mission and rumors of involvement by the shadow government, current projects of Bigelow Aerospace and how they grew out of his interest in UFOs, as well as the death of the American space prgram and events at Skinwalker ranch.
This is a huge coup for C2C, with Bob Bigelow rarely speaking to the press (George Knapp being one of the few to have access to the man). He has in recent times made some press appearances, although nearly always discussing Bigelow Aerospace - this interview may provide some insights into NIDS and its research into paranormal topics. Definitely worth checking out (remember, you can listen online live or via the archives at CJOB.com).
Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:
Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week William Henry talks to David Sereda, director of “From Here to Andromeda," about Roswell and the UFO phenomenon. Later, Linda Howe asks, 'Does NASA have a secret high tech space program we know nothing about?'
Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines. Early show Saturday "Art Bell- Somewhere in Time" returns to 12/04/01 for a discussion on ghost hunting and North Carolina's Brown Mountain Lights with Joshua P. Warren. Afterwards Jeffrey Meldrum will report on the work of a team of experts from a wide variety of fields who were assembled to examine the evidence for a large, yet undiscovered, North American primate, aka Bigfoot. Sunday is a huge night, with George Knapp chatting to Bob Bigelow about his involvement with the formation of NIDS, its mission and rumors of involvement by the shadow govt., current projects of Bigelow Aerospace and how they grew out of his interest in UFOs, as well as the death of the American space prgram and events at Skinwalker ranch.
More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. You can listen to C2C live, or to recent archived shows, at CJOB.com. Dreamland is freely available at their website, and also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.
- Nicoli Natrass writes on "AIDS Denialism vs. Science".
- Joe Nickell investigates the healings of 'John of God'.
- Benjamin Radford debunks "The (Non)Mysterious Orbs".
- Radford also provides his solution to the Santa Fe 'Courthouse Ghost'.
- Chris Volkay writes an article on conspiracies that might just be part of the conspiracy.
- Robert Sheaffer reviews a new book debunking the Gulf Breeze UFO sighting.
Remember that articles from previous issues of Skeptical Inquirer are also available online, providing a more than valuable resource for curious readers.
Thursday again. I think there's a wormhole through my calendar...
- More on the new Peruvian temple discovery that I mentioned yesterday.
- Was Stone Age feminism to blame for the demise of the Neanderthals?
- The return of the Green Goddess. Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder?
- Harry Potter-like clock tracks the whereabouts of family members.
- Free energy? It just doesn't measure up.
- Is a warp drive possible?
- U.S. Navy told to reduce sonar effects on marine life. Cluster bombs are fine though.
- Sensitive Guantanamo Bay Manual leaks onto the Internet.
- NASA breaks ground on its new White Sands launch pad for Orion spacecraft.
- Watching the Earth rise from the Moon (video). You can trust Phil Plait to point out that it rarely ever actually happens. Does this mean it's all being done in a Hollywood basement?
- Maybe we'll get a close-up on those square craters on the Moon while they're there. Someone sedate Richard Hoagland, please...
- Speaking of Mr Bad Astronomy (Plait, not Hoagland...though confusion is understandable), is he going to the darkside? Exhibit one is this headline: "NASA Builds a UFO"...
- Meanwhile, the UK launches Skynet. Surely, someone over there must have watched the Terminator movies?
- Uncovering the group mind arising from the instinct to swarm.
- What's in a name? Perhaps a good portion of your future.
- Cryptid apes in Florida?
- Wormholes on Earth?
- Algae could generate hydrogen for fuel cells.
- Change in Arctic Ocean circulation casts doubt on Global Warming as a cause.
- Australians names as worst emitters (nothing to do with flatulence by the way) per capita. That's because there's only 163 of us.
- Finding a cure for the Indonesian man who looks like he's turning into a tree.
- Seems that CGI creations of UFO sightings are passe now...it's unicorns or nothing.
Quote of the Day:
Citizenship? We have none! In place of it we teach patriotism which Samuel Johnson said a hundred and forty or a hundred and fifty years ago was the last refuge of the scoundrel -- and I believe that he was right. I remember when I was a boy and I heard repeated time and time again the phrase, 'My country, right or wrong, my country!' How absolutely absurd is such an idea. How absolutely absurd to teach this idea to the youth of the country.
In terms of publicity, this week's 'UFO Panel' organised by film-maker James Fox at the National Press Club was a coup for ufology, with major coverage from the media (Fox News, Anderson Cooper 360, The Independent, AFP, Sydney Morning Herald, Wired, etc.) - although veteran researcher Richard Hall probably hit the nail on the head when he described it as "a mile wide and a foot deep."
However, Hall - who has four decades of experience in studying the UFO phenomenon - was full of praise for the event. "This press conference was one of the most impressive experiences I have ever had," he said. "The affair was beautifully planned and well-conducted. To me, it struck just exactly the right note." The success was probably due to the fact that the panel was made up of 'reputable' witnesses to mostly high-class sightings, and that they concentrated on down-to-earth reasoning on why UFOs should be studied seriously:
An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials called on the U.S. government on Monday to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation as a matter of safety and security given continuing reports about flying discs, glowing spheres and other strange sightings.
So many TDG updates lately. Whatever Greg's drinking, I want some.
- Archaeologists say Central Americans were drinking beverages made from the cacao plant, the key ingredient in chocolate, 3000-years-ago. Erich Von Daniken's still searching for a Sumerian espresso machine.
- We are entering a third age of space exploration, unless we miss the turnoff at the third star on the left.
- A mechanism similar to Earth's northern lights might be brightening the polar caps of Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede.
- The most accurate experiment yet into the relativity of time has proven Einstein right.
- Watch clips of Michio Kaku's BBC documentary series, Visions of the Future. Hopefully coming to YouTube soon.
- An experiment proves simple organisms can survive a trip through space. A case for panspermia?
- A Sunderland woman captured footage of a UFO on her mobile phone.
- A UFO enthusiast has used the Freedom Of Information Act to force the Clinton Library to release its files.
- The testimony of pilots and a former Arizona governor show the mainstream media UFOs aren't a joke.
- Robert Morningstar was at the National Press Club conference on UFOs and gives us his account of what went on.
- Not shy of the spotlight, Dr Steven Greer continues to push for Government disclosure on extraterrestrial contact.
- Video of a ghostly blue cloud at an Ohio gas station will amaze you. Smurfs have an afterlife?
- Quantum physicists talk like mystics to explain the universe at the sub-atomic level.
- American tv can't get enough of the paranormal, but the Indian government wants to ban paranormal programmes.
- Drive down the musical road in Japan. Unfortunately you can't run over the Spice Girls.
- An expatriate professor reminisces about Japan's yokai folklore, and its place in pop culture.
- The Japanese whaling industry won't rule out killing Migaloo the albino humpback. Why doesn't Randi attack the scientific research of Japanese whalers?
- Chinese archaeologists are following bulldozers at construction sites for ancient relics.
- New Scientist has an excellent feature on China in the 21st Century, without mentioning the Chinese submarine that embarrassed the US Navy.
- A top ten list of reasons to be skeptical of Global Warming, with counter arguments for man-made climate change.
- The deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza has been confirmed as the source of a bird flu outbreak in the UK. Mad cow, bird flu -- go vegan, Anthony.
- At the UN's Internet Governance Forum, hundreds of experts will be calling for an end to U.S. control of a global network.
- At a Veteran's Day parade, members of an anti-Iraq-war veterans group were arrested by police despite their peaceful protest.
Thanks Kat and Cernig.
Quote of the Day:
To hunt a species to extinction is not logical.
Spock (Star Trek IV)
The latest video here on TDG is a British documentary on 'Brain Man', Daniel Tammet:
This is the breathtaking story of Daniel Tammet. A twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities, Daniel is one of the world’s few savants. He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week. This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world’s most famous savant (Kim Peek), the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar winning film ‘Rain Man’.
We've mentioned Daniel a number of times here on the Grail, and also how some research is looking into unlocking the question as to whether we all have these skills. Fascinating topic.
National Geographic is reporting that Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva may have discovered the oldest temple and mural in the Americas:
At a Peruvian government conference this weekend, Alva announced that carbon dating conducted in the United States shows that the mural and temple are 4,000 years old. (See photos of the find.)
Ventarrón is located 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Sipán, the religious and political heart of the ancient Moche people, who flourished near Peru's northern coastlands from around A.D. 1 to A.D. 700.
Will be interesting to see if any evidence of psychedelic use/shamanism is found at the site - see Mike Jay's Darklore article "Enter the Jaguar" for more on this topic, which is available as one of our free PDF downloads from the Darklore website.