Bits and bytes from the edge

Multiple ‘Water Bodies’ Found Under Surface Of Mars The IndependentIt’s not life, just liquid water. Liquid water can mean anything in the same measure as phosphines in Venus’s upper atmosphere could mean anything! So check out Andrew Griffin’s scoop and contemplate the available data. As for our other neighbor, many greyfaces are scrambling to raise the doubt signal like the dynamic duo of John Stonestreet and Shane Morris who have something to say about Life On Venus And Why ‘Settled Science’ Is Often Hot Air. Who said anything about the phosphines in Venus’s atmosphere being settled science anyway? Even us woo-peddlers at The Anomalist appreciate more observations are necessary to eliminate the possibility of noise and false positives. On the positive side, they do make a case for some scientific announcements being blown out of proportion. Speaking of hot air and blowing, did you catch wind of the The Case Of The Disappearing Planet? If there was any life on there, it had better develop space travel if it wants to survive its catastrophic circumstances. Not every ball of mud in the cosmos is Edenic, and Rick Robinson has a few words to say in his elegy. (CS)
Why Does Science Embrace The “Talking Animals” Myth? Mind MattersDo critters communicate with each other? What about with humans? A recent paper suggests it’s a strong possibility, but Denyse O’Leary has some strong questions about the study and its conclusions, while entertaining the possibilities with regard to true animal intelligence. Of course it’s a bit of fun having science catch up with what animal lovers have known all along. Keeping with the theme, George Dvorsky reckons Magic Tricks Can Help Us Better Understand Animal Intelligence. Searching the YouTubes, there’s a plethora of videos showing humans wowing apes and dogs, but do these simple interactions illustrate something greater about their capacity to perceive and interact with the world? If so, this could help explain The Evolutionary Origins Of Consciousness. Ralph Lewis urges you to join him in the Wayback Machine to apprehend the ancient beginnings of subjective experience before mammals were even on the drawing board. (CS)
A Letter from Lynn Catoe, April 9, 1968 Not an Authority on Anything”Riots, racism, and viruses, all from 1968″ are contained in the last letter John Keel site manager Doug Skinner will post from the Keel/Catoe correspondence. A first-person account of the background difficult times through which they, and some of us, lived–and perspective perhaps for coping with our present experience. Regarding that last, Al Mercy (1) begins two chapters from an unfinished Keelian spy novel for “some diversion in these troubled times.” In this first installment we accompany “dashing hero” and WWII secret agent Al Mercy as he parachutes onto a tiny island containing a nudist colony and a General Whom He Must Kill. In Al Mercy (2) Mercy meets up with whom we’re pretty certain is his female contact in this endeavor. “It’s pretty silly,” says Doug, but it does give a sense of Keel’s other literary work–and maybe a needed smile or two. (WM)
October 2
Utah Man Steals Truck for Alien Encounter, but Felt Bad and Returned It KMYUPeople react to UFOs in different ways, and this first case is one of the strangest. The man claims he needed “to get on a flight with alien diplomats.” Now he’s in the Utah County jail. In a second instance, a man tried to avoid an alien encounter, as reported in Chile: 100 Kilometer Car Chase Involved UFO. Though “the driver felt very tense” during this long pursuit, the anonymous individual apparently took “several photographs” of the supposedly pursuing object. This next person couldn’t do anything more than take a photograph of a ‘UFO’ with Flames Spotted over Worcestershire, UK. Steven Collins has the image and particulars from the astronomer who snapped the photo. (WM)

Top Paranormal News Links

This Norwegian Island Claims to be the Fabled Land of Thule Smithsonian MagazineF. Salazar’s article takes us on a journey of historical discovery and controversy with modern economic implications. The sometimes-lyrical piece chronicles the claims for Pytheas’ farthest northern spot where “the earth and sea and all things together are suspended,” and how the inhabitants of the island of Smola are themselves suspended between their rather insulated present status and the possibilities of ramped-up tourism. Among former visitors to Smola are a group about whom comes the astonishing news that the World’s Largest DNA Sequencing of Viking Skeletons Reveals They Weren’t All Scandinavian. “The history books will need to be updated,” concludes one contributor to a huge six-year international study of Viking remains. The findings upend traditional concepts of who the Vikings were and show how interconnected they were with other Eurasians. More light is being shed on a smaller pre-Viking conundrum as Archaeologists Unearth 3,000-Year-Old Hillfort Built By The Mysterious Votadini Tribe. Jocelyne LeBlanc covers the discovery of a remarkable construction atop the picturesque extinct Scottish volcano called “Arthur’s Seat.” (WM)


Before the Crop Circle There Was the “UFO Nest” Mysterious UniverseHappily not the sort that might contain alien eggs, but “saucer nests” found in Tully, Australia, in 1966. Nick Redfern takes a look back at this and other cases from down-under and then reminds us that Long Before Crop Circles There Were…Crop Circles! Looking back through some older accounts, he reads that in 1674 even the devil himself was scything circles in the English countryside. (LP)
UFO Exploitation: Targeting Children The Saucers That Time ForgotFlying Saucers were commercialized soon after they started hitting the headlines in 1947. Curt Collins has a lavishly-illustrated cavalcade of early buyables and media aimed at the younger set. Of particular interest is some 1950-style “fake news” in My Weekly Reader, for goodness’ sake, exemplary of the mind-set of the times. Nick Redfern makes more points supporting his controversial thesis that UFO, Mind-Altering Drugs, and a Secret Experiment were at the heart of the December 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident. “Controversial” can’t begin to describe the weirdness in Flying Saucers and Giant Aliens Described in a Possible Declassified FBI File. Paul Seaburn has the entertaining story about “Memorandum 6751,” almost certainly a hoax, and Paul lays bare some of its problems. (WM)

The Day Bigfoot Stalked Workers in a Cornwall Forest Cornwall LiveThe jobs we’ve had in our younger years often have a special place in our hearts. The freedom, the simplicity, the run-ins with 7-foot-tall man-beasts…This British  encounter from about 20 years ago ended harmlessly enough but we have to wonder how many Bigfoot were actually involved given the wood knocks described. It might have concluded differently if the witness’s ride had arrived a quarter hour later.  Yet even as we add this to an enormous anecdotal collection of Sasquatch encounters, we still can’t prove the Hairy Guy is real. Nick Redfern explores this issue more in  Bigfoot: Why Can’t We Get the Proof? He reaches a conclusion that is both incredible and yet entirely believable: We can’t find evidence of an enormous flesh and blood creature because Bigfoot is something else. He is Other, and until we adjust our expectations and methods to this possibility, we will never uncover usable proof. (CM)
NUFORC Data Shows Increase in Reported UFO Sightings Began Well Before Pandemic Shutdowns Singular ForteanTobias Wayland takes a closer look at information from Peter Davenport’s National UFO Reporting Center than did a Wall Street Journal article. Te-Ping Chen’s WSJ piece UFO Spotting Has Replaced Bird Watching as Pandemic Obsession does however emphasize the individual human element behind the numbers. Other studies note a large monthly spike in reports at the beginning of the Pandemic, followed by a fairly precipitous plunge, with some moderate recovery in those numbers since. Recent sightings include ‘Was it an Alien?’: Mysterious Lights in South Carolina Sky Spark UFO Debate, whose video “result is not doing justice to what they saw”; a Scottish example in UFO Mystery as ‘Craft’ Captured above Town by Largs Schoolgirl; and in Mexico: Amateur Observer Records UFO Over Mazatlan. Expert analysis might prove helpful in all three cases. (WM)

Retired Pilot From Nimitz Tic-Tac UFO Incident Talks About Mysterious UniversePaul Seaburn seizes upon a Cmdr. David Fravor remark about what he engaged in 2004 to “amp up” two points: that the “bogey” he faced likely didn’t come from an Earthly assembly line, and that the thing–or another “Tic Tac” like it–committed an “act of war.” The extensive Fravor dialogue with podcaster Dr. Lex Fridman at David Fravor #122 Lex Fridman is likely the most comprehensive source for Fravor’s life and personal views on a matter of related topics as well as his “take” on the Nimitz incident. Nick Redfern researches the history behind the “LGM” meme in Taking a Look at the “Little Green Men” Phenomenon. Regarding another favorite Refernian topic Nick asks about Roswell: Why Can’t We Get the Proof? He examines why each of the three military explanations won’t hold water, then considers why no “alien crash” documentation exists while there is some support for his thesis about a U.S. experiment gone awry. (WM)


The Pros and Cons of Filming Paranormal Encounters Haley Is A GhostHere are a pair of enlightening pieces illustrating some of the challenges faced by paranormal researchers. Hayley Stevens describes the pitfalls of capturing photographic evidence, providing a narrative of a personal comedy of errors and demonstrating the limitations of our ever-present cellphone cameras. Next, Nick Redfern describes how easily dots can be connected when an investigation’s outcome is decided ahead of the facts. In The Peril of the Paranormal: Putting Threads Together That Have No Real Connections he is quick to point out that this is a favorite tactic of conspiracy theorists. Keep this in mind the next time your neighbor warns you about microchips in vaccines. (CM)
Surprise Find! Thermal-Drones Spot Ancient Earthwork in Kansas Ancient OriginsThe second-largest pre-European settlement in North America is yielding more of its secrets thanks to drone-based imaging, says Ashley Cowie. Despite some issues, a video presentation about Etzanoa gives more details. Elizabeth Dohms-Harter offers an eye-opening article behind her assertion that Wisconsin’s Effigy Mounds Connected People to Spirits. The amazingly rich prehistory of “a sculpted land” and the loss of so much of those religious and artistic creations stand out here. Modern techniques are also helping Scientists Recreate Prehistoric Acoustics of Stonehenge, per David Keys. 3D printing a 2.5m diameter Stonehenge and studying the result in a sound laboratory produced several conclusions about the auditory properties of Stonehenge in its heyday, before 50% of its larger monoliths were lost. And another case of modern technology combatting the depredations of time and humanity is April Green’s Destroyed Ancient Temple Now Open for Virtual Exploration. The heartbreaking destruction of Palmyra’s Temple of Bel during the Syrian civil war has been somewhat mitigated by an interactive point-cloud digital tool created by UC San Diego. (WM)