The ongoing saga surrounding the extradition of British 'UFO Hacker' Gary McKinnon has taken another twist, with McKinnon being granted permission to take his case to the House of Lords:
Gary McKinnon was arrested in 2002 after US prosecutors charged him with illegally accessing government computers – including Pentagon, US army, navy and NASA systems – causing $700,000 worth of damage.
A district court ruled in May 2006 that he should be extradited, a decision upheld at London's High Court in April this year. But on Monday, three of Britain's top judges gave McKinnon permission to take his case to the House of Lords.
McKinnon's lawyers argue that sending him to the US would breach his human rights, be an abuse of the English court process and should be barred as his extradition was sought "for the purpose of prosecuting him on account of his nationality or political opinions".
McKinnon was definitely in the wrong, and an idiot if he thought this wasn't going to come back and bite him. But I really don't see his case as one that would warrant extradition...and I'd imagine he's already lost ten years of his life through the pure stress of what has been happening. Perhaps it's time for it all to go away?
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Michael Tymn offers more wisdom from the afterlife on his blog.
- The latest Psychedelic Salon podcast features Terence McKenna discussing "Psychedelic Ideas".
- One of our TDG regulars, Paul Collins, has released his latest book on the 'net for a small price - Mystery of Everyman's Way.
- Paul Kimball reviews Nick Redfern's recent book, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter (Amazon US and UK).
- UFO Paradigm Probe has another instalment of "Alien Abduction is Induction".
- Witchvox has "You Call It Hallowe'en... We Call It Samhain", by Peg Aloi.
- Anthony North investigates the basics of witchcraft in "Concoctions, Familiars, Broomsticks" at Beyond the Blog.
- Greg Bishop looks at the "Platform for UFO Disclosure" as a though experiment on UFO Mystic.
- Forgetomori juxtaposes "The Pyramids, the Nile, and the Extraterrestrials".
- The latest Occult of Personality podcast features T. Allen Greenfield discussing Men in Black, extraterrestrials, ancient civilisations, and the occult.
- UFO Casebook #278 is now online.
- British ufologist Nick Pope writes about "The Cosford Incident" for the San Francisco Sentinel.
- Gary S. Bekkum writes about CIA Interest in Uri Geller, for American Chronicle.
The Independent is reporting that the 3000-year-old mystery concerning the mode of death of 'King Tut' may have finally been solved. However, attention should be given to the 'may' within the story, as opposed to their headline. A further caveat is that the claim has come forth from the combination of a new television documentary, and based on the words of "one of Egypt's leading experts on Tutankhamun" - that shy, retiring wallflower we like to know as Dr Zahi Hawass:
Speculation surrounding Tutankhamun's death has been rife since his tomb was broken into in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter. X-rays of the mummy taken in 1968 indicated a swelling at the base of the skull, suggesting "King Tut" was killed by a blow to the head.
More recent studies using a CT medical scanner, however, revealed he suffered a badly broken leg, just above his knee just before he died. That in turn probably led to lethal blood poisoning. Now further evidence has come to light suggesting that he suffered the fracture while hunting game from a chariot...
..."He was not murdered as many people thought. He had an accident when he was hunting in the desert. Falling from a chariot made this fracture in his left leg and this really is in my opinion how he died," said Zahi Hawass, general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Keeping in mind the above caveats, it's still a fascinating case and it is nice to see some of the thinking behind the claim (flowers -> season of death -> time of hunting). Certainly does seem to be a Tut publicity blitz going on lately. I guess there's still plenty of life in the boy-king yet... (thanks Marcus for the heads-up.)
Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.
Coast to Coast AM: Tuesday is TBA at time of posting (check the link for updates). On Wednesday Ross Hemsworth will discuss his latest explorations of orbs and EVPs, as well as how parallel dimensions could be the answer to the mystery of many paranormal activities. First hour Thursday, Linda Moulton Howe reports on Sasquatch images and India's red rain. Afterwards, Nick Redfern will talk about many cryptozoological creatures including Bigfoot, sea serpents, lake monsters, Mothman, chupacabras, and werewolves.
This fun little video might just as well be titled 'Wake up, Kat' -- except that in my case, a mere minute and a half of this alarming treatment would be a welcome change.
- In 1933, an astonishingly accurate vision of the future was printed on the back of cigarette packets.
- Cavemen may have used language.
- Mars volcanoes may re-erupt.
- How El Niño slows the Earth's spin.
- Europe floats future space ideas.
- Baikonur, Kazakhstan: Russia's space city is expected to remain the world's primary space gate for decades to come.
- The fish that spends several months of every year living inside trees.
- Immune cells fighting chronic infections become progressively exhausted, ineffective.
- Nasal spray helps phobias vanish.
- Acrophobics on a high after mass hypnosis.
- Written in your toenails - the secrets of what you eat and where you live.
- Torture has a long history ...of not working.
- Comcast actively interferes with peer-to-peer traffic of its high-speed internet subscribers, by impersonating users' machines and sending fake disconnect signals.
- Comcast's BitTorrent blocking is the canary in the coal mine for Net Neutrality.
- Evidence suggests the actual toxin in the contaminated pet food which has killed an estimated quarter of a million pets is acetaminophen.
- Just like their owners, dogs and cats suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- The Power of Birth Order.
- Milk of Amnesia: The Ethics of Erasing a Bad Memory.
- Creatures of the Deep: Photographs taken in the ocean depths reveals a world abounding in unimagined life. Claire Nouvian's The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss is available at Amazon US & UK.
- Oceans are soaking up less CO2.
- Rising seas threaten 21 mega-cities.
- 240-million pixel image using 13 different light spectrums reveals secrets of Mona Lisa.
- Late Addition: If you're interested in gnosticism, you'll enjoy this audio interview with Timothy Freke, co-author, with Peter Gandy, of The Gospel of the Second Coming (Amazon US & UK).
Quote of the Day:
Conspiracy theorists are not kooks, they are a front line in the latest eruption of populism. In some ways, they invoke the carnivalesque, a festival which turns the political order upside-down. Unfortunately, the sobering seriousness of their research ('When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.') can lead to irascibility, over-suspicion, and isolation. A remedy for such ailments is a sense of humor. One must not only resist the encroachments of the conspiracy, 'but learn to laugh and play, to find a point of ironic and critical distance from which a more efficacious resistance can proceed.' Laughter will give you perspective, from which you will be able to more effectively resist. Paranoia can be fun.
Brian Redman, here.
...this way comes! The proofs for Darklore arrived today, and they look just great - here's an image of the hardcover version to feast your eyes on. And inside, here's the beautiful spread for Michael Grosso's essay on death-bed visions, "The Beatific Vision". Should be available to buy very soon - of course I'll let you know when. The paperback will be $US13.95 or £8.99 - good value I think for 18 essays (304 pages) from some of the best in the business. For the collectors out there, the hardcover print run is limited to just 66 - yes, two digits, 66. Price for this collector's edition will be $US39.95 or £19.99 - now there's an investment for the future. Exciting times...
An icon of cryptozoology (and anomalies research in general) turns 40 today - the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film. Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman has posted a bit of a tribute to the famous piece of footage:
The history of cryptozoology and hominology has never been the same since then. Advances in technology give us a better view of the footage today, but the film is set in stone; indeed, it is a milestone.
As opposed to folks nowadays trying to fit the square peg into the round hole to explain every aspect of why the Bigfoot looks the way it does on that film, step back for a moment. Step back in time. Step back forty years.
The Bigfoot in the October 20th footage looks the way it does because that’s the way they appear.
Loren has also posted a follow-up on 'Patty' today. Note that our favourite cryptozoologist also has contributed a fascinating piece to Darklore Volume 1 (coming in the next week or so) on this very topic, and how skeptics have been too quick to announce it as a hoax. Considering we've also got Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett discussing new Templar revelations (hot on the heels of the 700th anniversary, and recent Vatican-Templar news), and John Higgs on Tim Leary and Aleister Crowley (with Crowleymas just passed), our anthology certainly seems to be topical!
Sorry to keep posting on the big 'D' topic (that nobody generally likes to talk about), but there's been plenty of interesting articles which I felt worthy of linking to. The latest is over at New Scientist which has a detailed Death Special, covering everything from the rather macabre question of how it feels to die, through to the shifting definition of death itself, and whether we can do something about it.
One of the topics covered which would be of interest to most TDG readers is the afterlife question. In answer to this question, New Scientist have author Mary Roach discussing some of the experiments done to test whether there is something beyond death. However, it's a rather disappointing essay, with Roach aiming to entertain more than enlighten. She finds a few cases worth chuckling about, and yet doesn't mention more evidential material such as the 'return' of Fred Myers, the mediumship of Leonora Piper and Gladys Leonard, and the evidence of the 'book tests' (for a good run down of evidential material, see Michael Prescott's blog entry on this very subject). The special also has an article on neurophysiologist Kevin Nelson's theory that near-death experiences (NDEs) are actually the result of dream-like "REM Intrusions". On the other side of the coin, the special also regurgitates an article from 2001 on Pim van Lommel's oft-quoted research into the NDE which gave some credence to the mystery.
Lastly, Grailers might also be interested in another part of the Death Special, which looks at transhumanist efforts aiming at eternal life. The article isn't overly supportive - quoting AI pioneer Marvin Minsky to ill effect - but there are some excellent video interviews with Anders Sandberg, Aubrey de Grey and Nick Bostrom about the topic which are well worth viewing. Certainly, this will be one of the 'big' topics over the next decade I'm sure. And if you think these topics on their own raise enough questions, what about mixing them - and asking if the transhumanist effort for eternal life may actually end up stopping people from experiencing the afterlife...
The latest issue (#229) of Fortean Times has been released, so you should see it turning up on news-stands in the very near future (or in your mailbox if you're a subscriber). The latest issue heads back to psychic research of yesteryear, with a look back at the controversial career of investigator Harry Price, and a survey of the mysterious substance known as 'ectoplasm' (or not-so-mysterious 'cheesecloth' if you're of the skeptical bent). Also of note in the latest issue is Guy Lyon Playfair's look back on the famous Enfield Poltergeist case, 30 years since he first investigated. Check the page for full details.
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- At Reality Sandwich, John Topp writes about instrumental transcommunication (ITC) with 'the other side' (with audio samples to boot) in his essay "The Ghosts in our Machines".
- Tim Binnall reviews last weekend's "Mass UFO Show"/"Mass Monster Mash" conference double.
- Andy Gough's Arcadia website has another new guest essay from Corjan de Raaf.
- Reason reviews Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things (Amazon US and UK).
- Daniel Brenton discusses "The Darkest Secret of the Moon Race".
- This week's Skeptico podcast features Dr Elisabet Sahtouris explaining why scientists should be skeptical of the idea of a non-living Universe.
- Greg Bishop notes all the "Insectoid Aliens" reported in abductions and DMT experiences.
- Michael Prescott is skeptical of the channeled Seth material.
- The Biblical Archaeology Society has "The James Ossuary and Its Implications", by Joseph A. Fitzmyer.
- At Non-Prophet you'll find part three of Peter Gorman's guest blog "25 Years of Shamanism" (also: parts one and two).
- At Cabinet of Wonders (#1), Graylien wonders why the alien abductors are so camera shy.
- The Book of Thoth profiles "Nina Kulagina and Psychokinesis in Russia".
- Stuart Miller asks "Have Aliens Ever Visited the Earth?" at his new blog for Alien Worlds Magazine.
- Anthony North summarises "What Happens in the Old Testament" at Beyond the Blog (in case you missed Sunday School).
- Filer's Files #42 has the latest ufological news.