Ghost Photo Contest

Have you ever captured what may be a unearthly spirit on a photo? The Debris Field, Scifi Channel and Ghost Hunters have teamed up to host the "Ghost Photo contest". To enter you must have a photo of a ghost (or what could be a ghost) and reside in the US (damn, I guess that rules out that photo I took of the ghost of a jolly swagman out near a billabong). Send your entries to this address - the contest runs until May 28th, 2006. The winner will be decided by public votes in the week after the contest entries have closed. Photos will be posted at The Debris Field and Ghost Photo Contest.

Jesus BoneBox Re(re)dux

The Biblical Archaeology Society, which has been a long-time 'supporter' of further investigation into the James Ossuary (also confusingly called the 'Jesus Bonebox'), has posted the results of a new investigation which argues against the current 'hoax' conclusion (you can find a summary of the debate on Wikipedia):

As this is being written, Israeli antiquities collector Oded Golan is being tried in criminal court for forging the now-famous James ossuary inscription ("James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus"). A new report by a leading German scientist, however, may blow the case out of the water.

According to Professor Wolfgang E. Krumbein, of Oldenburg University, Germany, a well-known expert in geology, geochemistry and microbiology, "We can state with certainty that a period of 50-100 years, at least, was necessary for the formation of the specific composition of patina whose traces were identified inside the ossuary inscription."

The report is also available as separate text and image PDFs.

Weekend Roundup 19-05-2006

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...


Radio 19-05-2006

Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:

Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This is part two of William Henry in Egypt, who is currently working on a feature with National Geographic Channel on possible links between Egypt and the Atlantis story.

Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines, the rest is TBA at the time of posting. Check the link for updates.

More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, it can be listened to through KOGO, while Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.

News Briefs 18-05-2006

Jameske encountered unforeseen circumstances, and my Internet connection suddenly fell back into the Stone Age. I think TDG may need an exorcism...

  • King Tut comparisons for discovery of mummy of tattooed woman in Peruvian pyramid. More here.
  • Also, more on the ancient Peruvian observatory.
  • Egypt demands return of stolen artifact.
  • Was Jack the Ripper really Jill the Ripper?
  • First reviews of The Da Vinci Code from Cannes are not good. Would it be sensible to trust the opinion of snobbish movie critics attending Cannes on a junket though?
  • U.S releases 9/11 Pentagon video to "debunk" all those conspiracy theories. The videos are available on the Judicial Watch website. Little hard to see anything at all really...OMG it's a conspiracy to cover up the conspiracy!
  • Even the New York Times agrees: TOOL's 10,000 Days "is the goods."
  • SETI's Seth Shostak says it might be worth checking on the Moon for alien artifacts. Perhaps we should look for an Italian restaurant while we're there...
  • Aliens from outer space confirmed as cooling gel. They'll have to work on their shape-shifting abilities a bit harder...
  • Nick Pope gives his take on the Ministry of Defence UFO report...he should know, as he used to work for them.
  • British pop star Robbie Williams plans his own alien cult.
  • Astronomers find distant solar system with three Neptune-like planets - one of which could have water on its surface.
  • Shadows must have been throwing sparklers about the other night, because everyone in Brisbane has been reporting lights over the city.
  • The dark side of future technology.
  • The final chapter is written in humanity's "Book of Life."
  • Humans and chimps may have mated. Research scientists do get lonely at times...
  • Neanderthal gives up his DNA.
  • Telecoms deny they handed over call records to spy agency.
  • The rules of migration seem to be the same for many different species of animals.
  • Baby under constant surveillance for two years, in study aimed at finding how infants develop. You'd have to call the baby Truman wouldn't you?
  • Man torches porn store for religious reasons. So much melted plastic...
  • Exorcism: Ancient art or just hocus pocus?
  • New twist on origin of human species.
  • Uri Geller buys Elvis Presley’s old house on eBay. "Love me, me spoon."
  • Piano found near the summit of Britain’s highest mountain. Sisyphian artefact, or just Pianolas of the Gods?

Quote of the Day:

The question of contact with extraterrestrials is a kind of red herring premised upon a number of assumptions that a moment's reflection will show are completely false. To search expectantly for a radio signal from an extraterrestrial source is probably as culture bound a presumption as to search the galaxy for a good Italian restaurant. And yet, this has been chosen as the avenue by which it is assumed contact is likely to occur. Meanwhile, there are people all over the world - psychics, shamans, mystics, schizophrenics - whose heads are filled with information, but it has been ruled a priori irrelevant, incoherent, or mad. Only that which is validated through consensus via certain sanctioned instrumentalities will be accepted as a signal. The problem is that we are so inundated by these signals - these other dimensions - that there is a great deal of noise in the circuit.

Terence McKenna

Da Vinci Movie Easter Egg

For those who'll be heading on out to see the movie version of The Da Vinci Code, here's something to keep an eye out for (besides Rosslyn Chapel etc). Apparently Clive Prince and Lynn Picknett, authors of The Templar Revelation, make a cameo appearance during one of the London scenes - though Clive tells me it's a "blink and you'll miss it" appearance:

The place to look out for is when you see Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou on the top deck of a London bus - we're the passengers immediately behind them. If the plot's the same as the book it'll be towards the end of the movie, getting from Temple Church to the climax at Westminster Abbey. They filmed some close-ups and reaction shots but who knows whether they'll use them - you might end up just seeing our elbows.

The question that begs to be asked, is why Ron Howard and Dan Brown thought Clive and Lynn being in a scene would be a good "in-joke" to have in the film? Perusing the recent London copyright case judgement (PDF) to see the big influences on Brown's research for TDVC probably provides the answer. Clive and Lynn's new book The Sion Revelation is out now (Amazon US and UK), and continues their research on the Priory of Sion and the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery - we'll be featuring some of this in the next issue of Sub Rosa.

UK UFOs - The Condign Report

After much hype over the past week in the mainstream media, the UK Ministry of Defence report into UFOs (or more correctly UAP) has been released on the Internet via a Freedom of Information request. You can download the whole report (Executive Summary + 3 Volumes) from the MoD FOI Publication website:

During a policy review in 1996 into the handling of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena sighting reports received by the Ministry of Defence, a study was undertaken to determine the potential value, if any, of such reports to Defence Intelligence. Consistent with Ministry of Defence policy, the available data was studied principally to ascertain whether there is any evidence of a threat to the UK, and secondly, should the opportunity arise, to identify any potential military technologies of interest. The Ministry of Defence has released this report in response to a Freedom of Information request and we are pleased to now make it available to a wider audience via the MOD Freedom of Information Publication Scheme.

If you want to download the entire thing, you're looking at around 185 megabytes worth. It's split into multiple sections though, in case you want to sample it. No doubt frenzied commentary will soon follow from various websites...

Tuesday Roundup 16-05-2006

A strange assortment to get you through the week...


Alex Grey and TOOL

The Associated Press has a great in-depth story on visionary artist Alex Grey, and his collaboration with TOOL on their latest album 10,000 Days (via his painting "Net of Being"). The story has plenty of interesting details about all of those topics and more (as well as the hint that the music video for "Vicarious" will be out in July). Also available from the link is video of Alex at CoSM, and also audio of Adam Jones talking about the package artwork for TOOL's latest album. Remember too that we featured an interview with Alex in Issue 3 of Sub Rosa (the second time I've mentioned Issue 3 today for some reason...).

News Briefs 16-05-2006

Between DVC fever and MoD UFO/UAP FOI releases, I’m all acronymed out. It’s a news onslaught...

  • Tom Hanks gives his thoughts on the controversy surrounding The Da Vinci Code.
  • Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond goes touring in search of the Grail (hopefully in an Aston Martin DB9, which to me would be the Holy Grail anyhow).
  • Images of the unexpected: the secrets of Rosslyn Chapel.
  • There’s no secret Catholic conspiracy. Overt ones, sure...but no secret conspiracies.
  • British Ministry of Defense says "UFOs Exist: It’s Official!" as the teaser to their newly released and highly publicised debunking effort. Hmmm, so it shows the MoD’s "commitment to openness" that they released the report after receiving an FOI request?
  • More on the report here. And here. And here. And here. Should I go on?
  • Oh, the actual report? It's here.
  • What are these UAPs that the report refers to, and whatever happened to the old-fashioned terms of UFO and flying saucers?
  • This year’s Roswell UFO festival will launch on June 30. Why would UFOs hang out in the UK anyhow, when the skies are much clearer in New Mexico.
  • Aliens from space, or just cooling gel sticks? Imagine the intergalactic diplomatic crisis which could erupt if you put an alien on your forehead.
  • Is Bigfoot in Georgia? Perhaps he’s looking for a game at Augusta?
  • The spirits in this Scottish pub aren’t just of the whisky variety.
  • Coventry University offers a two-year parapsychology course.
  • Rebel researcher relays the story of his search for a new theory of smell, in his book The Secret of Scent (Amazon UK only, released later this year in the US).
  • NASA keeps on tracking the potentially cataclysmic asteroid Apophis.
  • Astronomers publish a vast new map of the Universe. Imagine unfolding that in your car as you drive...
  • Researchers put light into reverse and make it go backwards. An easy trick when you’re the grown up Harry Potter (I’m just guessing, based on the photo accompanying the doubt Hermione is somewhere out of shot too).
  • Speaking of the wizard king: Harry Potter prevails again after Board of Education rules against mother’s request to remove those heathen books from the local school library shelf.
  • NBC pulls the plug on its sci-fi series Surface.
  • As volcano threatens to erupt, villagers stay behind to placate the mighty beast with mystical rituals and incense.
  • Tsunami risk of asteroid strike revealed.
  • DARPA looks at human cannonball machine to fire rescuers onto roof-tops.
  • Trapped Australian gold-miner talked to his wife via telepathy.
  • Researchers use DNA to track down the origins of Columbus.
  • Archaeological theory would upend history. And give it a heck of a black eye as well.
  • What happens when a rock star takes LSD and investigates the archaeology of Britain? Would be a nice pitch for a television series at the very least...
  • I must have missed this one from last month: the prestigious medical journal Lancet calls for more medical research into the possible benefits of pyschedelic drugs.
  • Forest fires damage ancient building in Chichen Itza.
  • Could the ancient Jewish stronghold of Masada fall again?
  • What to do if you’re the victim of a terrorist bombing? Why not seize some Persian artifacts from the local museum? I kid you not.

Quote of the Day:

A primary objection to the reality of UAP events among scientists is that witnesses consistently report objects whose seemingly absurd behavior "cannot possibly" be related to actual phenomena, even under extreme conditions. In that respect the similarity is striking between contemporary events reported as UFO close encounters and the more traditional observations of entities described as "angels," elves and fairies, or deities. Skeptics insist that superior beings, celestial ambassadors or intelligent extraterrestrial (ETI) visitors simply would not perpetrate such antics as are reported in the literature. This argument can be criticized as an anthropocentric, self-selected observation resulting from our own limited viewpoint as 21st century Homo sapiens trying to draw conclusions about the nature of the universe.

Jacques Vallee and Eric Davis - "Incommensurability, Orthodoxy and the Physics of High Strangeness: A 6-layer Model for Anomalous Phenomena"