A Hathaway, Louisiana man claims a bunch of vines on a utility pole have assumed the form of Jesus on the cross. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the shape of the pole mimicking the shape of arms on a cross. No, nothing at all.
The folks at the Tuscon Citizen have a blog about weirdness in Tuscon. Their latest post concerns El Chupacabra and seems to be saying something about an AOL News report about goat beheadings in Mexico being blamed on the creepy cryptid. Then they natter for a little bit about goatsucker jokes often being at Arizona’s expense. Really? Because usually when I see reports about Chupacabras, especially lately, they’ve been from Texas. Maybe Arizona has an inferiority complex, or they’re trying to deflect attention away from their political troubles.
Anyway . . . people are blaming the many, many goats with slit throats on El Chupacabra because there hasn’t been much blood at the scenes. It’s more likely that it simply absorbed into the dry, hot ground, folks, or maybe was collected for nasty silly “satanic” rituals. But neither of those explanations is as likely to draw media attention as the blaming of the elusive goatsucker.
No, my favorite cryptids haven’t sliced and diced me and prevented me from posting lately. Instead it’s just the humdrum being totally overwhelmed lately. So, posts are going to be pretty short for a while – mostly links to articles I found interesting and a few quick comments. I hope to be able to resume longer posts soon. Thanks for your patience!
Brenda Allison of North London, England, has magnetism. No, it’s not that she has a personality that draws people to her (thought she might), it’s that she has a biochemical makeup that makes metal objects stick to her.
Ms. Allison not only can stick change, safety pins, and spoons to her body, but also can blow out lightbulbs, make television screens flicker, set off battery-operated toys, shut down cash registers, and trigger car alarms through her mere proximity.
Scientists seem to think that Ms. Allison’s personal electromagnetic field (we all have them) is just a lot stronger than normal and that the cause may be stress. Through the use of a journal, Ms. Allison has found that her powers are strongest around the time of her menstrual cycle. She also noted that sometimes she emits a positive charge, and sometimes a negative one, meaning sometimes she attracts and sometimes she repels objects.
Sometimes Ms. Allison’s condition embarrasses her, like when she went to a grocery store and the registers went out and the clerk shouted at her and accused her of putting a voodoo curse on the machine.
Other alleged human magnets include Romanian hospital worker Aurel Raileanu, Malaysian farmer Tan Kok Thai (who claims to also attract rocks, plastic, rubber, wood, and bananas . . .), the Tenakaev family of Russia (three generations of human magnets!), and Malaysian Liew Thow Lin, among others.
There even has been a human magnet competition in Vietnam this year as part of a celebration of Vietnam’s department for the research and study of energy. In 1990, 300 people alleging special powers of attraction showed up at the Superfields conference in Bulgaria.
So what causes these mysterious powers? Why do some people only seem to have magnetic power, while others also have powers that attract other kinds of items? Are they all hoaxes, or do some people really have a chemical makeup that gives them these abilities?
I don’t know, but for a few years in the early 1990s, I seemed to have the power to affect printers strangely. In various locations, documents I would send to print would come out with characters transposed or strange parts of the page missing, and sometimes my mere proximity seemed to make printers spontaneously reboot or print things that were sent to the queue a long time ago. I have no idea what this was all about, and affecting only printers seemed so random. I often wished I could harness whatever it was that was causing it and put it to use for practical purposes, but I never did figure it out, and it seems to be gone now. I guess I have lost my youthful magnetism.
Last year’s trip was a bit of a bust but did generate enough unexplained data to make the club think additional investigation is warranted. Well, that and really, how many cryptozoological investigations can a club do in British Columbia? You can only look for Bigfoot so many times before it just gets tedious and people start making jokes about those “Messin’ With Sasquatch” Slim Jim commercials, right? Anyway, last year the BCSCC’s investigation found two large unexplained blips using a fish finder before foul weather took it’s toll on the trip.
They also discovered trough their own research and through eyewitness accounts that the creature, if there is one, tends to shy away from powered boats, so this year they plan to drift on the lake in an attempt to encounter the monster.
In a refreshing dose of healthy skepticism for a group devoted to cryptozoology that suggests there’s a good reason they added the term “scientific” to their name, one of the co-founders of the club, John Kirk, isn’t so sure there is a giant creature in the lake. Kirk thinks the lake is too small to support that kind of creature and that the giant radar blips could be a dumped sturgeon or other large non-native fish.
It will be interesting to see what they find.
Praying for the healing of others, especially if they are right next to you, might just produce a real healing effect. A scientific study, led by Professor Candy Gunther Brown of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, of the effects of praying for the healing of a person nearby will be published in the September 2010 issue of the Southern Medical Journal.
The study focused on healing groups in Brazil and Mozambique because of their reputation for being quite effective. These groups pray in particular for improvements in vision and hearing, and they produce measurable results, which is better for a scientific assessment than simply noting that someone says they feel better. The study noted that the improvements measured were significantly more substantial than those found in studies of suggestion or hypnosis.
Unfortunately, the study only focused on the results, not the process. So, we are still left to wonder HOW praying for someone in front of you, or laying hands upon an afflicted person while praying for them, effects a change. Is it divine intervention, some bioelectric process, a freakishly strong placebo effect, or something else entirely?
Some might say it doesn’t matter how it works, as long as it does, but I disagree. If there is any scientific process to it that could be refined and replicated, that could produce a profound benefit for many. If it’s really a matter of faith and divine healing, fine, but wouldn’t that be fascinating to know? Can it occur with all faiths? What about athiests?
What do you think of the power of prayer for healing?
Yay! Another potential sea monster has been spotted! This one was seen off the coast of Devon, England, by Gill Pearce, on July 27. Pearce managed to take a picture of the alleged beast, but like all pictures of potential cryptids, it is a blurry mess that could be anything: a wave, a log, an otter, a seal, etc. As usual, we have to rely on witness testimony rather than visual aids.
Ms. Pearce said the creature appeared to be trying to catch fish, and that some fish beached themselves as the beast got near (which lends credence to the possibility that these were just some weird waves, which could cause fish to end up on the beach rather than in the water where they belong). Ms. Pearce contacted the Marine Conservation Society to report the sighting, and the MCS hasn’t been able to determine what she saw and has asked beachgoers to keep their cameras at the ready in case it reappears. Maybe one of these days someone will get a clear photo of one of these things. Or maybe the clear photos that have been taken show that the beast in question was actually something already known and totally non-sensational.
Ms. Pearce originally thought the creature was a sea turtle, but then she saw a long neck that ruled that out. Unless it’s a mutant sea turtle. Oh, like that’s any less plausible than there being plesiosaur-like creatures in oceans and lakes that are able to elude all attempts to find them despite their enormous size. I think if you’re willing to believe that various cryptozoological creatures exist, you should also be willing to believe that some of them might just be mutated or otherwise deformed creatures we are all already aware of. Well, those of us not too busy fretting about what’s in People magazine to pay attention in science class, anyway.
Just this week scientists disclosed the discovery that triceratops is just a juvenile version of a torosaurus. So these two things we thought were independent creatures are one creature at different stages of life. To my relief, they are going to stick with the triceratops name. I don’t know why that matters to me, it just does.
Childhood nomenclature issues aside, this goes to show that we should keep our minds open about what things might be. Sure, they could be undiscovered creatures. We find “new” species in the depths of the oceans and in remote jungles when we find a way to look there, and the world is a big place with plenty of room for creatures to exist without us knowing about it at all. But we also know about evolution and mutation and deformity, so we should think about those factors, too, when we think we have seen a sea monster or bigfoot or chupacabra. Maybe that could help us calm down just enough to take some in-focus pictures.
Which is more scary: the questions or the widespread abuse of the English language on the message boards from which they came?
Scary Question Number 13:
July 16th, 2010
I love to watch shows such as Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State. My family insists that you are inviting that kinda stuff into your home just from watching. What do you think?
Oh I wish this was how it worked, because I often watch the MegaMillions drawing, and that would really come in handy for paying off the student loans. And all those episodes of Top Chef would either turn me into a decent cook or there would just be delicious gourmet food waiting for me when I open the oven. I could watch the fitTV channel and never worry about my figure or cardiovascular health again.
Scary Question Number 14:
Am I possessed after watching Paranormal Activity?
After watching the film “Paranormal Activity” I have had quite a few intense nightmares. I never used to have nightmares until after watching th film for a second time. The first nightmare I was in this room where the walls were made of human skin and I was talking to two men who had bowl hair cuts and were extremely pale with black eyes. They told me that if I said “suicide” within 10 minutes I would have to stay there forever. I managed not to say it and when I woke up I couldnt move my body for a shorrt while and my legs just started to rise from the bed. I found this terrifing and quite disturbing. The second dream I woke from my bed in the dream and my mother was calling me. I went into her and she was lying on the ground face down with her head twisted to the side and she kept saying help me. When I touched her her eyes changed to cat like yellow eyes and her appearnce changed also to a more menacing face and she bit me. I have had more dreams like this one involving other family members and friends and their faces change to the same form to that which my mothers changed and they always bite me.
Does anyone else suffer from dreams like this? What could it be?
I dont listen to rock music or devil worship. Im not a depressed type person and i find this very weird. Can anyone help me please?
I often joke that I think television is magic, because although I technically know the processes by which images are transmitted to appear on a screen in my home, I am somehow still totally amazed that this works and that anyone ever figured it out. As my high school Physics teacher said, “I don’t think Physics is Julie’s best subject, but she tries really hard.” That said, I do understand that television transmission is NOT MAGIC and therefore the programs I watch cannot make things happen in my house or to me. Well, sometimes the commercials seem to make me order a pizza, and sometimes I stay up too late watching a movie and then suffer the next day from lack of sleep, but these things are my voluntary reactions to watching the programs, not the programs actually DOING anything to me against my will.
Nor have I ever interpreted having some scary dreams, especially after watching a scary movie, as me being possessed. Which isn’t to say that the occasional creepy as hell dream hasn’t made me need to go watch cartoons for an hour or so until the trauma of the dream has passed, but a bad dream is just a bad dream. Has this guy seriously never had a nightmare before? Did his parents never comfort him when he had a bad dream as a child? What did they do, tell him it was the work of satan’s minions? Dude, the world isn’t only made up of unicorns and lollipops, so you had better learn not to freak out when your brain copes with some of the nastier stuff by providing you with a nightmare. And stick to the G-rated stuff from now on.
Scary Question Number 15:
can witch turn herself in vampire by some balck magic spells or ritual?
If you are planning to write some sort of new insufferable paranormal series aimed at teens based on some sort of witch-vampire hybrid situation, please don’t, especially if you are so uninformed of general folklore about vampires and witches that you will ask this kind of question.
Have you seen a scary question? Let us know!
Sometimes people come to my door and ask me if I have found Jesus. Like it’s hard to do. He’s all over the place! Why, Mitchell Grainger, from Rowley Regis, England, didn’t have to look any further than his own chicken!
Grainger took a picture of his chicken, Gloria, and saw the face of Jesus in the feathers in the picture – see the green circle. Gloria the chicken, who was the sole survivor of a 19-chicken massacre by foxes, was NOT named Gloria as an expression of thanks for perhaps divine intervention, but rather was named after Gloria Gaynor, the disco queen who sang “I Will Survive.” Perhaps this was enough to irritate the heavens into sending an image of Jesus to appear on the bird’s feathers. Now, why a chicken should be a vessel for the message of Christian salvation, I can’t explain. This makes no more sense to me than if he appeared on a flag at a water park or on someone’s x-ray.
Of course, someone sees a face in a pattern and POOF! It must be Jesus! Well, I see another face in those feathers. I see a cat face! (See pink circle.) So what’s THAT supposed to mean? Maybe it’s not a cat and is the face of the fox that didn’t manage to make this bird its chicken dinner. Maybe Jesus likes to travel with a pet.
So the next time you are looking to find Jesus, it seems there are three simple steps:
1. Take a picture of something.
2. Squint hard to find some pattern in the picture that looks like a face.
3. Call the pattern an image of Jesus. Done!
Don’t ask me what you’re supposed to do with Jesus when you find him. Alerting the media seems to be the popular thing to do, though I would think consulting a priest might be a little more appropriate, though way less entertaining.
P.S. Do check out the Halesowen News link below. The reporter clearly had a good time writing the story.
I had been warned that visiting Stonehenge could be a bit of a letdown. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get close to the stones unless I was on a special tour, and I heard it didn’t look as massive in person as it does in pictures. These things were all true, but it was the nearness of several roads that really surprised me. It’s as if it’s being surrounded like a drive-through pharmacy that needs access on all sides.
Maybe Stonehenge is a little miffed about being penned in like a McDonald’s and has decided to reveal some extra goodies in an attempt to expand.
Just under 1,000 yards away from the familiar stones, archaeologists recently found another circular structure, though this one is entirely below ground at this time. The scientists found a circle of large pits, now filled with earth, that they think once held a wooden poles forming a circle. Don’t call it Woodhenge, though. That name has already been claimed by an other nearby ring.
This discovery is the most significant at the site in 50 years, and it adds to an ever increasing network of circles, roads, earthworks, and tombs in the Wiltshire area. The BBC has a nifty video and article about the find. Check out the whole area on Google Maps, too, and use Google Earth if you can. It is really something to see how many other ancient structures there are so close to the famous Stonehenge.
I hope this new discovery helps to highlight both the extent to which this is an important historical site and the extent of what we have yet to discover about the site and its surroundings. Maybe the most disappointing thing about visiting Stonehenge was how so much attention had been paid to providing a gift shop (which was very well stocked, and yes, I bought things) while there was hardly any educational information available. Even English Heritage seems to think the way Stonehenge is presently encroached upon by roads and even its own parking lot and gift shop does a terrible disservice to the monument itself and its visitors and is seeking funding to have the area redeveloped so that the environmental impact of modern times is greatly lessened. Unfortunately, due to harsh economic times, the government had to withdraw its financial support from the project in June 2010. I hope that the continued discovery of additional apparently interconnected sites will help fund the plan.
Please follow the English Heritage and Stonehenge Visitor Center site links below for information on the redevelopment plans.