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- Man Arrested For Sending Flashing Tweet to Epileptic Writer -
- The King Kong-Whitehall Connection -- The ‘Competing’ Poltergeist -
- Engineer Says He Saw Large UFO Hovering Near Rig -
AND: Burning Questions Surround Fiery Deaths
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
The Secret Exploits of Adm. Richard Byrd
IS IT POSSIBLY CONNECTED WITH HIS AMAZING DISCOVERY OF A VAST ICE FREE “PARADISE” AT THE SOUTH POLE?
Several years ago a mysterious manuscript said to be Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Private Log or Diary emerged. In it Byrd wrote about a vast ice-free “paradise” beyond the Poles: “We are crossing over the small mountain range and still proceeding northward as best as can be ascertained. Beyond the mountain range is what appears to be a valley with a small river or stream running through the center portion. There should be no green valley below! Something is definitely wrong and abnormal here! We should be over ice and snow! To the portside are great forests growing on the mountain slopes. Our navigation instruments are still spinning, the gyroscope is oscillating back and forth!”
During his career as an explorer, up until his death in March 1957, Byrd was considered a national hero. Besides exploring both Poles, it is alleged that the veteran Navy commander had come upon an entrance way that led into a Hollow Earth inhabited by a race of giants.
Rumor also has it that Byrd, during his 1947 expedition, was confronted by a “lost” battalion of Nazis whose settlement was being guarded by a fleet of back-engineered “Flying Saucers.” And while Byrd’s scientific team was supposed to stay for six months in this frozen region, his expedition was called off shortly after his arrival.
What is generally not known is that on one of Byrd’s sojourns to Antarctica, he sought to stave off mutiny from among his crew by enlisting some of the younger members into a very secretive “Loyal Legion,” which enabled him to clamp down on any leaks about his missions and discoveries.
And while the content of Byrd’s “secret diary” is open to debate, researcher and author Tim Cridland searches deeply into the many shadowy unknowns surrounding Byrd and the Nazis as well as a previously undisclosed wrinkle: a closely guarded connection between JFK’s assassination and the iron grip of those determined to keep the secrets surrounding UFOs and the arrival of ultra-terrestrials locked away from public scrutiny forever. This conspiracy involved members of a sinister, secret group of wealthy and “well-connected” individuals that included Lyndon Johnson, John Connelly and at least one member of Byrd’s family among its ranks.
This book takes a wholly original approach to a great many areas of interest revolving around the concept that our Earth is “hollow” and that a vast cavern system, constructed eons ago, exists connecting various subterranean cities with their hidden gateways back up to the surface world. Some researchers believe that the Inner Earth houses a potential “Garden of Eden-like” utopia, while others espouse the idea that much of the planet’s caverns and hollows are overrun by monstrous inhabitants wreaking havoc on the surface while serving to entice evil machinations from above ground conspirators who are loyal only to their self-serving dream of world conquest and domination.
The “Secret Exploits Of Admiral Richard E. Byrd” is a valuable inquiry made by a variety of independent researchers into a subject that has long been one of “instant ridicule” without being given its day in court. Here the reader will get to visit the various ancient cities of the subterranean world as well as learn about the “denizens of the deep” and their future design on unsuspecting surface dwellers who know little – or absolutely nothing – of their existence.
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Man Arrested For Sending Flashing Tweet to Epileptic Writer
By Travis M. Andrews
A man was charged in Texas on Monday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after sending a Twitter message containing an animated strobe image to journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who suffers from epilepsy and was sent into a seizure. The charge includes a hate crime enhancement, based on alleged anti-Semitic bias associated with the crime.
John Rayne Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Md., was booked into Dallas County Jail on Monday and released early Tuesday after posting a $100,000 bail. He was arrested in Maryland Friday on a cyberstalking charge in connection with the tweet.
Rivello couldn’t be located for comment. The Dallas Morning News reported that his lawyers, whom they didn’t name, issued a statement Tuesday saying that “their client, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, immediately apologized for the incident” and is “seeking help from the VA.”
In December, Eichenwald, a senior writer for Newsweek, received a tweet in Dallas of a flashing animated image known as a GIF. It included the message, “YOU DESERVE A SEIZURE FOR YOUR POSTS.”
Immediately after viewing the GIF, Eichenwald had an epileptic seizure that lasted for “approximately eight minutes,” during which he experienced “a complete loss of his bodily functions and mental faculty,” court documents state. Those impairments lasted, in some form, for several months.
“It was a very serious seizure,” Eichenwald’s lawyer, Steven Lieberman, told The Post. He said Eichenwald was “almost fully incapacitated for several days” and also had difficulty speaking for a period of time after the episode.
According to the criminal complaint, Rivello posed as Ari Goldstein and tweeted under the account @jew_goldstein, which has been suspended.
The indictment stated Rivello “knowingly” caused “bodily injury to … a disabled person … by inducing a seizure with an animated strobe image.” Rivello “did use and exhibit a deadly weapon, to-wit: a tweet and a Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and an Electronic Device and Hands, during the commission of the assault.”
The charge is considered a hate crime because Rivello allegedly showed “bias or prejudice” against “persons of Jewish faith or descent,” the indictment said. Eichenwald’s father is Jewish.
It is, perhaps, the first time an animated image sent via Twitter has been legally defined as a “deadly weapon,” according to New York defense attorney Tor Ekeland, who represents clients accused of federal cyber crimes.
“I’m unaware of anybody being criminally prosecuted for this,” Ekeland told NBC News. “If it’s not the first time, it’s one of the first times this has happened.”
Though speech, including online speech, is generally protected under the First Amendment, experts said that protection likely doesn’t apply here.
“This doesn’t even get in the door of the First Amendment,” Danielle Citron, a legal scholar at the University of Maryland, told The Washington Post. “It doesn’t have expressive value. … It doesn’t express someone’s autonomy of views and opinions. It’s not contributing to the marketplace of ideas.”
“It was very much like sending anthrax in an envelope to someone, or sending them a bomb in the mail,” Lieberman said. “It wasn’t that it was going to convince Kurt that he was wrong about something, or hurt his feelings.”
The offending tweet was sent the same night Eichenwald appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. The two argued heatedly, mostly about a Twitter message Eichenwald previously sent claiming President Trump was once institutionalized in a mental hospital. There is no evidence Trump was ever in a mental institution, nor did Eichenwald offer any, as The Post reported.
After the show, Eichenwald sent two tweets to Carlson stating, “[People] who gather and analyze intel at great sacrifice deserve to be honored,” specifically citing the CIA.
The seizure-inducing tweet was in reply to these.
Authorities said Rivello sent the image “as revenge for what he saw as the reporter’s critical coverage of President Trump,” as The Post previously reported.
Quickly after the episode, Eichenwald’s handle tweeted this:
@jew_goldstein This is his wife, you caused a seizure. I have your information and have called the police to report the assault.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 16, 2016
This tweet was followed by a string of hateful tweets from various accounts, many bearing Pepe the Frog avatars, popular among the alt-right, as well as a GIF with a strobe effect. Another showed a doctored photo of Eichenwald without pants.
Eichenwald had long been public about having epilepsy, dating at least back to an 1987 column he wrote in the New York Times about being diagnosed with the condition.
Two months before his Dec. 15 seizure, Eichenwald wrote in Newsweek about a similar attack in which he received a tweet mentioning his vulnerability to seizures. Included was a video with strobe effects that contained images of Pepe the Frog. He was browsing Twitter on an iPad and was able to drop the device before suffering a seizure.
He tweeted that since the Dec. 15 attack, he has received more than 40 GIFs with strobe effects.
More than 40 ppl sent strobes once they found out they could trigger seizures. Details of their cases are with the FBI. Stop sending them.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 17, 2017
The FBI also found several direct messages sent from the @jew_goldstein account that mention Eichenwald. One stated, “I know he has epilepsy.” Another, linked to an image, read, “I hope this sends into a seizure.” A third read, “Spammed this at let’s see if he dies.”
Still another read, “[Eichenwald] deserves to have his liver pecked out by a pack of emus.”
Lieberman said his firm, Rothwell Figg, is handing the case pro bono, “because we believe that it’s important to protect journalists who form a critical component of a democratic system.”
[Seizure-inducing tweet leads to a new kind of prosecution]
The online reaction to Rivello’s indictment was swift.
“Jew Goldstein is a political prisoner, arrested on behalf of the elites and their propagandists,” one Twitter message said. “I don’t agree with Jew Goldstein but I will defend to the death his right to try to murder Kurt Eichenwald in cold blood,” said another Twitter post.
Richard Spencer, the “face of the alt-right,” tweeted, “There’s now a legal fund for Jew Goldstein. It debunks claims.”
The fund appears on WeSearchr, which The Post’s Abby Ohlheiser described as “a bounty-hunting as journalism site run by perennial troll Chuck Johnson.” The page for the fund, which has raised more than $11,500 as of early Tuesday night, included a video of the Carlson-Eichenwald interview.
The page stated, “If this goes to trial, it will redefine ‘trolling’ and what it means to troll online.”
Max Ehrenfreund and Antonio Olivo contributed to this report.
Source: Washington Post
The King Kong-Whitehall Connection By Paul B. Bartholomew
While the present incarnation of the King Kong franchise wreaks havoc at the box office, there is a connection to Cryptozoology and the tiny town of Whitehall, New York which is often overlooked.
Since the original "King Kong" debut on March 2, 1933, Kong has starred in many movies-- the biggest of those being the 1976 and 2005 remakes. Stars like Fay Wray, Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lang, Naomi Watts and Jack Black have taken center stage over the years.
In the 1976 remake, Kong was set in modern time and scaled the World Trade Center. In Peter Jackson's 2005 version, audiences were transported back to the original time period and once again saw Kong on top of New York's Empire State Building. This version is generally regarded as a modern four-star classic.
The movie also aided Cryptozoology by having the History Channel piggyback the release with a documentary called "GIGANTO: THE REAL KING KONG." Doug Hajicek who had previously done "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science" (History) and the "Mysterious Encounters" series (Outdoor Life Network), was chosen as the director.
"Giganto" referred to Gigantopithecus-- an ancient ape which many believe may account for modern Bigfoot or Sasquatch sightings today. The documentary was expertly narrated by actor Edward Hermann and took the viewer around the globe as it connected this ancient ape to present-day sightings.
In search of credible witnesses, Hajicek returned to Whitehall, New York and interviewed former Police officer Dan Gordon. Dan and another officer had a sighting of a mysterious seven-foot-tall creature as it crossed the road in front of their police cruiser back in February 1982. The dark haired bi-pedal being was able to cross the road in just three steps.
For the first time, Gordon related his account in detail-- and actually attached both his name and face (and reputation) to the sighting. I stood with Dan as he overlooked the recreation that was shot just a few hundred feet from his actual sighting. It was the first time in over twenty-two years that Dan had publicly come forward. I was fortunate enough to be credited as a "researcher" for the show.
The Kong remake had created an opportunity for a documentary which would showcase Dan Gordon and a very credible police-Bigfoot sighting in Whitehall.
The documentary was very well received and it served as a pilot for Hajicek to continue in Cryptozoology with his long running series "Monster Quest." So the success of "Giganto: The Real King Kong" actually sparked years of cryptid episodes to follow. In fact, Hajicek would return to Whitehall and further expand the sightings there. In a follow-up episode, Dan Gordon was given a polygraph examination, which he, and others, passed.
Those visits, as well as other documentary crews from other networks, have helped to cement Whitehall as a cryptozoological hotspot.
So as "Kong On Skull Island" rips through theaters today, I am reminded of the Kong-Whitehall connection and am thankful for the big ape's impact on the study of strange creatures today.
- Paul B. Bartholomew, along with his brother Dr Robert Bartholomew, is the author of the book "Bigfoot Encounters in New York."
No one can dispute the fact that King Kong is the king of all cryptids. But the mighty beast has been MIA for a number of years. Recently, our team of trusty monster hunters went in search of the might primate in order to see what he has been up to.
We came across him a few days ago hanging out on Skull Island and while he seemed in an awful hurry he lifted both artist and designer Carol Ann Rodriguez and myself up in his mighty paw so we could speak to him briefly.
QUESTION: So Kong you know you have a pretty strong fan base on social media (he squeezes us just a bit tighter) but you haven't logged into Face Book in quite some time. Can you tell us where you've been and what you've been doing?
KONG: I have been hanging out in the Hollow Earth (he more or less grunts, his breath being anything but "honorable.").
I discovered there is a vast cavern system under the island here and its a bit cooler and less humid. But those damn lizzards
are a damn pain in my butt (which is certainly the largest your likely to encounter). They want to eat me alive. You better
watch out for them. They can swallow you whole.
(Now we grasp and moan)
QUESTION: So you say the earth is hollow. . .no one going to believe you, you know.
KONG: (Beats his chest) -- Don't care -- tell them to read a book by this guy Beckley about some Admiral.
QUESTION: Are you coming to New York soon? You're welcome to stop by. They are putting up several new skyscrapers on my block. You can hang on their roof and tell them to try to keep the noise down or you'll stomp on them.
Kong mutters something as he heads back to his home underground -- that is after he fights off some ferocious adversaries, including U.S. combatants who come to the island to capture Kong complete with weapons of mass destruction.
But have you fear you can visit with Kong at a safe distance in your local cinema. He is a terrific actor and I am pretty positive they won't hand him the wrong envelope at the next awards show!
The ‘Competing’ Poltergeist
By Sean Casteel
The very name of the small Long Island, New York, community instantly conjures visions of horror, of a death-dealing psychopath laying waste his parents, two sisters and two brothers with a Marlin rifle. The egregious murders were chronicled in both a bestselling book and a major Hollywood studio movie and have become, pardon the pun, a “household name”: The Amityville Horror.
The convicted killer was Ronald DeFeo, Jr., whom one judge called “the devil incarnate.” DeFeo told varying versions of what happened the night of November 13, 1974, including the claim that he was possessed by an evil spirit and had committed the crime through no free will of his own.
While it is of course impossible to decide the existence or nonexistence of the devil and his demons in a court of law, the evil-spirit-possession argument was entered along with an insanity plea. Ultimately, Defeo received a 25 years to life sentence for each of his victims and remains in prison today.
But is it so easy to simply scoff at Defeo’s claim to have been an unwitting agent for the devil? Could it possibly be that Defeo was telling the truth of what happened?
This is one of many issues dealt with in the book recently issued by Timothy Green Beckley’s Inner Light – Global Communications publishing house. Entitled “Amityville and Beyond: The Lore of the Poltergeist and Other Petrifying Paranormal Phenomena,” the book breaks relatively new ground in making some overdue correlations between spirit possession, ghosts and even the UFO/alien presence.
This overarching “theory of everything” hypothesis can perhaps be credited originally to the late John A. Keel and was later expounded upon by the very prolific Brad Steiger. But Beckley and his hard working crew of contributors aim to take this theory and definitively tie up the loose ends and connect the many different forms of paranormal activity at play in the world today.
Paul Eno is among the topnotch researchers Beckley has assembled for the writing of “Amityville and Beyond.” Currently Eno hosts, along with his son Ben, a radio show called “Behind the Paranormal” based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
“American history is full of poltergeists and nasty and vengeful spirits,” Eno writes. “Much has been written about the Bell Witch that frightened a U.S. president so badly that he fled in the early morning hours from a Tennessee homestead. Furthermore, this book contains the full story of the dreadful Amherst poltergeist, which is just as scary as any similar saga of evil you are likely to hear about from an historical perspective.
“My attitude about such cases,” Eno continues, “is a bit more ‘radical’ than the views of other researchers, who tend to treat such poltergeist outbreaks as either restless spirits gone awry or put them in the general category of a purely psychological manifestation attributable to the witnesses’ psychological state. I see such outbreaks more akin to a crossing of parallel dimensions by a variety of beings often mistaken for the undead – though they seem to have, in many instances, the same attributes as so-called ‘aliens.’ Even cryptids from the darkest realms of our minds have recently been brought into the poltergeist equation.”
Here Eno has very succinctly expressed the overall theme of “Amityville and Beyond,” that aliens and cryptid creatures like Dogmen are cut from the same cloth as “noisy ghosts” and possessive demons. Eno at one time was an assistant to the famed Ed and Lorraine Warren, the husband/wife paranormal researchers whose work has been the subject of the movies “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2.”
Eventually, Eno broke away from the Warrens because he found their ecclesiastical approach to poltergeists and their subsequent use of exorcism to rid a person of the “demon in charge” to be too steeped in religious folklore and superstition. Eno says he found that reading jokes from a book did more to dispel the presence of the “devil” than the sprinkling of holy water by a priest.
In November 1974, Eno found himself on Lindley Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut, along with Ed, Lorraine and Father William Charbonneau, and an indeterminate number of police and reporters. And a very frightened family.
“The latter consisted of Gerard Goodin and his adopted daughter and only child, Marcia (pronounced Mar-SEE-a),” Eno writes. “Shortly Mom (Laura Goodin) returned from the St. Vincent’s Hospital Emergency Room with her right big toe bandaged. It had been broken by a flying television set. The house itself was a mess. ‘The Thing,’ as Laura called it, had been tearing pictures, especially religious objects, off the wall all morning. A priest had come to bless the house, apparently to no avail.”
Calling it the best-witnessed poltergeist event in history, Eno says that violent phenomena were witnessed by almost 100 people in the Bridgeport outbreak. Eno was on the scene himself when some of the bizarre incidents transpired.
“I stood in the kitchen,” Eno writes, “with three firefighters on one side of me and three police officers on the other and watched the refrigerator float off the floor, turn right, turn back, then settle gently back to the floor. Late in the evening of that first day, I was sitting at the kitchen table with Lorraine. Also in the kitchen was a huge police officer, Ed Warren and a reporter from WNAB Radio. Lorraine suddenly let out a yelp. I watched as a second-degree burn, with its trademark white blister, appeared on Lorraine’s left hand, between thumb and forefinger. This was all caught on the radio reporter’s tape, which still exists. You can hear a youthful me stating, ‘There’s a blister forming!’”
At another point during Eno’s visits to the Bridgeport home, he was alone in the house with the Goodins, playing monopoly with Marcia to pass the time and to help her relax.
“Suddenly an acrid smell, like ozone mixed with sulfur, came from the kitchen,” Eno recounts. “Instantly Gerard Goodin was up, dashed into the kitchen and started chanting in Latin! My skin tingled with an electrical charge that I now associate with the electromagnetic ‘branes,’ as physicists call them, presumably the boundaries between parallel worlds.
“A whitish, gauzy cloud began to form in the kitchen,” Eno continues, “and Goodin was back in the living room at once. I was convinced that four entities were ‘arriving’ in the kitchen from Marcia’s adjacent bedroom. They weren’t entirely invisible, and there were four distinct shapes coming from the kitchen in a line. They were each about four and a half feet high and had rounded tops, with no discernible head or shoulders.”
Goodin saw the figures also, and he followed one as it moved from the kitchen. As the mystery entities entered the living room one by one, Laura Goodin started to cry while Marcia clung to Eno for comfort. Then one of the almost-invisible things approached Eno and stopped.
“That’s when I made my mistake,” Eno confesses. “I began to feel angry toward this thing, which at the time I thought was a demon in the classic, theological sense. I was angry because it was obviously trying to get to this child. The whatever-it-was simply fed on the negative energy I was releasing and grew stronger.
“What happened next was the biggest shock I’d experienced in paranormal work up to that time. As the entity moved to get around me and at the girl, I instinctively pushed toward it. It resisted as though it was entirely material. In fact, I felt flesh and bone structure as if this were a solid being. These ‘demons’ were supposed to be spirits!”
Eno says it took him many years to come to grips with the experience, let alone explain it in terms of parallel worlds. He never even reported it to the Warrens, and it was decades before he could write or speak about it.
“While I stood there dazed,” he continues, “the entity got around me and threw Marcia across the living room. She ran back to me, crying. Finally, as the gauzy cloud inundated the whole interior of the house, and as I tired from, I would say today, being drained by this powerful parasite, I ordered everyone outside.”
Although the police had cleared away the crowds and cordoned off both ends of Lindley Street, there were still thousands of onlookers gawking from each end of the block.
“I could hear a voice in the crowd,” Eno writes, “preaching something about all this being a ‘sign of the end.’ These being the days long before cell phones, I had to use a neighbor’s phone to call the Warrens. It took them an hour to get back into the city because of all the traffic caused by this paranormal circus. When they finally arrived at about 9:15 P.M., we all reentered the house. Things were quiet.”
When Eno writes about the creature he pushed against as being almost invisible yet possessing a flesh and bone structure, what manner of being is this? It sounds not unlike the physical-yet-not-physical “bodies” of the familiar gray aliens whose stock in trade is the abduction of chosen subjects for whatever dark reasons are left for us to discover. As Eno so clearly explains, the aliens and demons who cross between dimensions may be one and the same entity but are given different names in scripture and folklore that vary according to who encounters the strange interlopers.
While the saying is popularly true that “we all have our personal demons,” in some cases the demons can achieve total control of a hapless individual. In a chapter of “Amityville and Beyond,” the celebrated Brad Steiger makes a case for genuine demonic possession being at the root of many a murder. He also talks about the demon/alien connection.
“There are many among us,” Steiger writes, “who have every reason to accept the Ultra-Terrestrials as demonic, akin to the poltergeists that plague our darkest nightmares and create havoc all around those they decide to target. If humankind is indeed interacting with an extraterrestrial species then those UFOnauts, the ‘Grays,’ as they are currently nicknamed, may be representatives of technologically superior reptilian or amphibian humanoids.
“These serpent people have been interacting with Earth for millions of years,” Steiger continues, “either appearing in cycles of programmed visitations or steadily monitoring our species’ technological and societal development from underground or undersea bases. At some point in their many centuries long interaction, some Ultra-Terrestrial entities began to exploit humankind in foul, lascivious and wicked ways. Whether they be extraterrestrial or multidimensional in origin, they have become known to those unfortunate humans with whom they have interacted as evil, cruel and demonic beings.”
Steiger says the reader can easily see that Ronald DeFeo, Jr., was not alone. Steiger provides a frightening list of killers who claimed they were driven by evil “voices” to commit their crimes.
For example: In January 1990, authorities searching an Ohio farm commune found the slain bodies of a family of five – all victims of human sacrifice. Jeffrey Lunden, a self-declared prophet of a new religion, had decreed the sacrifices necessary to persuade the “forces” to present Lunden’s cult with a magic golden sword.
Another case: Daniel Rakowitz, suffering under religious delusions programmed by “voices” who called him the messiah and told him to form a new satanic religion, sacrificed his girlfriend in September 1989 to insure his messiah-ship.
One particularly gruesome case happened in 2000. Prosecutors charged a man in Great Falls, Montana, with killing a ten-year-old boy, butchering him, eating his flesh in specially prepared dishes, then feeding the remains to his unsuspecting neighbors. A psychiatric evaluation indicated demonic fantasies about cannibalism and the taste of human flesh. Encrypted writings found in the suspect’s home revealed a list of recipes involving the bodies of small children.
“The terrible power which drives and compels those obsessed with sacrificial murders,” Steiger writes, “is something so much more insidiously evil and complex than can be created by the distortion of creeds, ecclesiasticisms or belief structures. The monstrous voices that command men and women to kill others are not those of mortals. Those who have fallen under the deadly spell of the possessing Ultra-terrestrial-multidimensional entities claim to have been controlled by something outside of themselves – usually personified as Satan or one of his demons.”
Evil speaking voices are also dealt with in a chapter by Tim R. Swartz called “When the Poltergeist Finds Its Voice.”
“It can be terrifying enough,” Swartz writes, “when a poltergeist makes its appearance in a household. Rocks thrown about, strange bangs on the walls, moving furniture, items disappearing and then reappearing – this is enough to set anyone on edge. However, when a poltergeist finds its voice and starts to talk, you know that events have decidedly taken a turn for the worse.
“Poltergeist activity has been recorded throughout history,” Swartz goes on, “and is probably the most prolific of all supernatural events. A poltergeist is extremely aware of its surroundings and will often quickly respond to suggestions by observers and other external stimuli. This shows that there is some kind of ‘intelligence’ behind its pranks and not just some random psychokinesis (PK). This intelligence, along with an ability to communicate, will manifest in a myriad of ways. Pieces of paper with strange messages appear; writing on the walls; children’s toys will be arranged to make words; and, perhaps the most shocking, they will sometimes start to speak out loud.”
According to Swartz, when a poltergeist achieves speech, it generally starts as animal-like growls and whispers that slowly evolve into discernible words. Most poltergeists never reach this stage in their development, but, once they do, a clear “personality” emerges from what were previously just random events.
Swartz recounts some case histories in the annals of poltergeist hauntings in which the intruding spirit spoke to its victims.
The 1817 case of the “Bell Witch,” the name for the poltergeist who took up residence among a Tennessee farming family headed by John Bell, Sr., is an interesting example. “The Witch” was extremely talkative and could imitate the voices of people from the area.
“The poltergeist was said to speak at a nerve-wracking pitch when displeased,” Swartz reports, “while at other times it sang and talked in low musical tones. In one instance, it was alleged to have repeated, verbatim, sermons administered by two preachers, occurring at separate locations, that took place simultaneously. The sermons recited by the witch were verified by people attending the churches as being identical in voice, tone, inflection and content. The poltergeist was even known to attend church and sing along with the congregation, using the most beautiful voice anyone had ever heard.”
Stories of a talking mongoose named Gef, who bedeviled an Irish family in the 1930s, as well as the tale of a Spanish family who heard maniacal laughter and voices emanating from their kitchen stove, help to round out Swartz’s examination of real-life incidents of “talking” spirits.
He also touches on the Middle Eastern folklore and Islamic theology dealing with the “djinn,” or genies, who can take possession of buildings or locations and torment any person who goes to live there. The djinn can levitate and cause objects to disappear as well as take any physical form they want – humans, animals and anything else. They can mimic the voices of deceased humans, claiming to be spirits or Satan. They enjoy playing tricks and frightening people. In fact, they can feel strong emotions such as fear or grief and gain energy from those powerful feelings.
“Like humans,” Swartz writes, “the djinn have distinct personalities. There are those who are of low intelligence, quick to anger and fond of playing tricks. Others have a superior intellect and act more along the lines of guardian angels rather than tricksters.”
Timothy Beckley has been marching to the sound of a “different drummer” for more than half a century. He rightly admits that when it comes to most UFO cases he has “been there, seen it and investigated it.” He started out publishing a ten-page mimeographed newsletter when he was but 15, and over the decades has edited/published such widely circulated zines as “UFO Review” and “UFO Universe,” both sold on newsstands worldwide. And while he now claims to be “semi-retired,” Beckley’s prestigious para-physical publishing house still grinds out a couple of new titles every month.
“More and more, it became clear that there is only a thin line that separates what is known as poltergeist phenomena and events of a UFO nature,” Beckley remarked. “I always say what happens in a séance room or a haunted house is very similar to what you can expect to find at a UFO landing site or in the home of a UFO percipient.”
Beckley says that for a period of several months during the summer of 1982, members of a family he knew quite well were at the center of some unexplainable events which were triggered by the appearance of a circular device – a UFO – that was seen hovering across the street from their premises. Shortly thereafter an eerie presence could be felt as if some “adopted entity” had joined the family.
Voices were heard in the basement and at the bottom of a well. Children saw a silver suited being on the perimeter of their property and a shadowy figure was seen to walk behind the refrigerator and disappear into the wall.
The lady of the house goes on to describe in detail some of the bizarre incidents which took place and which tended to drive everyone “crazy.”
“From time to time,” the woman told Beckley, “it would feel like someone would come into the bedroom at night and would push against the bottom of my mattress. Sometimes I would be overcome by the feeling that I wasn’t alone, although nobody was physically in the room with me. One time, I was lying on my left side facing the wall and I felt a poke like someone’s finger jabbing into my shoulder.
“The business with the mattress happened almost every night. In addition, a photograph of my youngest son, aged two, kept falling from the wall This happened so frequently that finally I decided to leave it down where it couldn’t break.
“One night, I got bumped on the mattress and I thought that someone was trying to speak to me. I sat up in bed and said, ‘What did you say?’ I was able to hear the sound of someone talking but was unable to distinguish any words.
“Later, when my daughter arrived home, I told her about the voices and she said she’d heard them a few times as well. Actually, she seemed truly petrified. It seems that they had been bothering her for a while, but she was afraid to mention it to anyone for fear we would all think she was crazy. She said the voices would call her by name, but even though I was in her company when this happened, I could never hear anything.
“Things really got out of hand the day before Labor Day. Everybody had gone out to see the fireworks display put on by our neighborhood carnival and I was sitting around the kitchen getting the food ready for the next day when I heard a sound coming from the basement. It was the sound of someone walking across a board that had been placed at the bottom of the stairs to cover an open sewer pipe. When you step on it, it makes a little plunking sound, and someone was going back and forth across it repeatedly and it was driving me crazy.
“Not wanting to get hysterical and trying to brush the matter aside, I kind of laughed and thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got company.’ It was like a feeling of not being alone. Now and then, I got a little upset because it plunked a little too loud. I would stand out on the porch for a little while just to clear my head and then go back into the house.
“When the family got back from the fireworks display, I told them what had happened and that I had this strange feeling that I wasn’t alone. When I explained what had happened to the boards, my daughter replied they had been hearing that all day long but didn’t want to say anything about it. Her husband and my oldest son also heard it. My daughter’s husband even got up a couple of times to see if it was the kids fooling around and there was nobody there. He said, ‘It would sound just like someone was walking around down there and then when you went to look, you couldn’t find anything.’
“Our ‘friend’ seems to like my air conditioner. One night the dogs were barking out back and there was nothing outside. I shut off the air conditioner in order to go and check on the dogs. When we were below my bedroom window, my husband said, ‘The air conditioner isn’t on.’
“I said, ‘No, I shut it off so I could hear the dogs better.’
“So, we were out back of the house trying to figure out what was wrong with Max. He had plenty of water and food. It wasn’t that. He wasn’t nervous, like he was that other time. He wasn’t shaking. The dog was upset about something in the air.
“All of a sudden, my husband turned and said, ‘What was that?’
“I asked him, ‘What’s what?’
“He said, ‘The air conditioner just went on. Then it went off again. But just as we went by the window, it went on again.’ There is no way to shut it off and turn it on without pushing the buttons. When I had shut it off, it was on ‘Off.’ When we went back indoors it was ‘On.’
“I said, ‘Well, thank you, whoever you are. It is hot in there.’
“My husband said, ‘I know that thing was off. I know that thing went on and off a couple of times.’
“I said, ‘I know, it’s George.’
“He said, ‘Well, tell your friend to leave. I don’t want him hanging around here.’
“I said, ‘You tell him to leave.’ We went to bed and there wasn’t any more trouble that night.”
There is much more to be found in “Amityville and Beyond,” including chapters from a multitude of contributors as well as dozens of spooky illustrations. One can read about the night author and radio show host Joshua Warren spent in “America’s Most Haunted Bedroom;” paranormal investigator Michele Lowe bears heart-pounding witness to the spirits left behind in the aftermath of a murder-suicide; the rise of interest in poltergeist and paranormal lore that was part of the counterculture of the 1960s; the notion of cryptid creatures like the Dogmen, as studied by Pennsylvania researcher Butch Witkowski, as being physical embodiment’s of demonic extraterrestrials – the list goes on.
At the very least, “Amityville and Beyond: The Lore of the Poltergeist and Other Petrifying Paranormal Phenomena” delivers on the promise of its title and provides a great many scary, scary stories. Whether this nonstop horror show could all be a matter of real-world events is up to the reader, but you will in any case get a generous serving of fascinating tales of what happens when evil takes control and some among us mere mortals can only be its unhappy prey.
Source: Spectral Vision
The Mystery of the U.K.’s “Phantom” Social Workers
By Nick Redfern
The U.K.’s police were quickly on the trail of the PSW – despite their overwhelming elusiveness. The reason why the authorities urged such vigilance was because the wave of PSW reports followed in the wake of a 1987 “satanic abuse” scare that exploded across certain parts of England, including Rochdale, Nottingham, and Manchester. There were outlandish tales of babies being sacrificed, and even eaten, in abominable rituals to Satan and his demonic minions. Tales of aborted fetuses used in similar infernal rites, in darkened woods, and at the witching-hour, abounded too. Major inquiries were launched, but nothing ever surfaced to suggest the hysterical rumors were anything other than that: hysterical rumors. It’s hardly surprising, though, that the public and government agencies – and particularly so the police – were on edge.
Patrick Harpur is the author of an excellent book, Daimonic Reality. In its pages, he commented on a wave of PSW activity that broke out in the U.K. in 1990. Of these emotionless characters, who Harpur described as “vaguely menacing strangers who turn up in the vicinity of nefarious goings-on, but who are unfailingly ineffective,” he said: “Reports poured in to the police, describing ‘health workers’ or ‘social workers’ who called to examine or take away children, but who hurriedly left when the householder became suspicious. The visitors were mostly one or two women, but sometimes a woman and a man. The women were typically in their late twenties or early thirties, heavily made up, smartly dressed and of medium height. They carried clipboards and, often, identification cards.”
Mike Dash, who has made a noteworthy contribution to the Phantom Social Worker controversy, has investigated yet another report from 1990; this one involving a woman named Elizabeth Coupland, of Sheffield, England. It was a winter’s day when two women knocked on Coupland’s door. Dressed in a fashion that suggested authority, the pair identified themselves as coming from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). Such was their manipulative skill, Coupland allowed the pair in, and even let them examine her children – one aged two and the other not even yet six months old.
According to Mike Dash: “The visitors soon left, and Coupland assumed that she would hear nothing more of the matter.” Coupland was wrong. Dash notes that a couple of days later, one of the women returned. But this time with a man. Coupland was shell-shocked to learn that her children were to be taken away from her and to be placed into care. The terrified mother, now very suspicious, loudly said that she was going to call the police, at which point, says Dash, “…the social workers beat a diplomatic retreat.” It’s hardly surprising – but disturbing – that the real NSPCC knew nothing of this highly worrying state of affairs.
Paul Meehan, who has researched the British PSW phenomenon, too, says: “A typical case occurred on the morning of October 10, 1995, when Mark Dunn was alone in his home in Manchester, his wife and children out of the house, and a visitor came to the door. It was a well-groomed, official looking woman of about 35, who claimed to be a social worker with the Manchester City Council investigating alleged mistreatment of his younger child. When Mr. Dunn demanded to see her identification, the woman told him she had to retrieve it from her car. Dunn observed her retreat to a parked car in which two men were waiting. The woman then got in and the car raced off.”
Moving on…in 2001, and in an article titled “Bogus Social Workers Hunt,” the Scottish Daily Record newspaper reported the following: “Police were yesterday hunting two distinctively dressed bogus social workers who made a suspicious call at a house. The man and woman rushed off when challenged for identification at the property in Southside Road, Inverness, on Friday. Social work bosses said they had no staff in the area at the time. The man was described as 40 to 45, 5ft 10in tall, stockily [sic] built, with short ginger hair, goatee beard, wearing a green tweed sports jacket, check shirt, bright red tie, bottle green trousers and dark rectangular-framed glasses. The woman was 30 to 40, 5ft 6in, with shoulder-length brown hair, wearing a green coat and brown shoes and carrying a briefcase.”
Thirteen years down the line, in 2014, the U.K’s Daily Mail was carefully following the apparently never-ending PSW affair. On April 25, the newspaper’s Damien Gayle noted that: “Parents have been told to be vigilant after a bogus social worker called at a house and examined a baby. The woman, who claimed to be from Gloucestershire social services, tricked her way into the home in Quedgeley with fake ID and listened to the child’s heartbeat with a stethoscope. She told the mother there were concerns for the welfare of her four-month-old son.”
Detective Inspector Andy Dangerfield, of Gloucestershire Police, assured the press that the woman had at no time come into physical contact with the baby, but added: “We don’t know what the motivation for this was but clearly it is very concerning. Our inquiries are ongoing. We have visited houses in the area to warn local people and would urge everyone to be vigilant. Remember, do not accept people into your house unless you are 100% sure you know who they are. You can always tell them to stay outside until you have made your own inquiries and if you are suspicious in any way, then call police. We have liaised with our partners at Gloucestershire social care services and they have alerted their staff to this incident.”
Such cases continue to occasionally surface. Definitive answers, however, are in very short supply. Theories put forward by the police – from the 1980s and right up until 2014 – included potential burglars scoping out the properties; gangs of pedophiles; private detectives (possibly involved in marital disputes and child-custody cases); self-appointed child abuse vigilantes; psychologically damaged women whose children had died and who, while spiraling into the depths of mental illness, were trying to create new families; real social workers who overstepped the mark in terms of their approach; and even – bizarrely – gangs of visiting Mormons. Of course, and as Peter Rogerson noted, there are certain, distinct parallels between the PSW and the Men in Black. The PSW also resemble the strange, so-called “census takers” that John Keel investigated in the 1960s. The mystery remains a mystery.
Source: Mysterious Universe
- MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN - 18TH CENTURY DEPARTMENT -
The Illuminati Panic of the 1790s
By Paul Rosenberg
The French Revolution had set much of Europe into a panic, and the writings of two authors, John Robison (“Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe“) and Abbé Barruel, promoted a continent-wide hysteria over the notion that the revolution had been fostered by a short-lived, extinct organization, the Bavarian Illuminati (1776-1785), allegedly through a French Masonic lodge. In 1798, President John Adams proclaimed May 9 a national “day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in response to this nebulous threat. Jedidiah Morse, a leading conservative Congregationalist minister, preached a scathing jeremiad against the Bavarian Illuminati in response. In doing so, Morse broke with the traditional jeremiad formula with his finger-pointing toward an outside source of evil.
Two months later, Timothy Dwight, president of Yale College, echoed Morse’s sentiments in his July 4 address, framing the purported issues in Pat Robertson-style end-times terms. Other prominent New England clergymen joined in as well. Morse gave a second major sermon renewing his accusation on Thanksgiving Day, and finally presented purported evidence in his third sermon on the subject, on April 25, 1799. But the complete lack of any evidence soon caught up with him. Robison had already been widely discredited in Europe, and Morse’s so-called evidence of Illuminati activity in Virginia and beyond proved lacking in any real substance. Caught up in a fierce partisan battle with no ammunition, Morse wisely withdrew, and the episode virtually vanished by the time of the 1800 election.
The whole thing came and went so quickly that it’s long been overlooked. Yet in the classic 1918 study of the episode, “New England and the Bavarian Illuminati,” Vernon Stauffer made a cogent argument:
"The episode has considerably larger and more important bearings. No man could possibly have awakened such wide-spread concern as the minister of Charlestown succeeded in awakening if it had not been true that significant concurrent and related circumstances gave both setting and force to the alarm which with such stout conviction he sounded."
More than that, however, the Illuminati panic of the 1790s fits into a much larger American pattern. In a chapter on this episode in the 2002 collection “Revolutionary Histories: Transatlantic Cultural Nationalism, 1775-1815,” historian Michael Lienesch presents it this way:
"By the late 1790s, conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic had become certain that this unprecedented plan — this mother of all conspiracies — was well at work, and that at its center, controlling and manipulating events around the world, was the insidious secret society of international intellectuals known as the Order of the Illuminati."
This mode of conservatism was not dominant for long, but arguably it has not gone away either. Aside from the elite origins of conspiracy theory 220 years ago, it’s striking how many similarities there are between the political dynamics of that time and our own today — far too many to simply be a matter of coincidence.
First: A conspiracy of elite puppet-masters is portrayed as the primary obstacle to restoring America’s greatness. Donald Trump’s views in this respect are well known, if not always fully appreciated. Why, for example, was Trump surprised at how complex health care was? Simple: He had always assumed the only real problem with American government was “bad dudes” in high places, which he would get rid of. Today we may think of the 1790s, when George Washington was president, as the epitome of an idealized and uncorrupted America. But that’s not at all how Americans saw themselves at the time, especially as Washington was followed by Adams and the two party factions solidified, leading many to fear for the survival of the republic.
Adams’ 1798 fast day proclamation was a conventional expression of New England political culture. But Morse’s sermon in response departed significantly from what had normally gone before. As Stauffer explains, there was a long history of New England obsession with moral decay and (so to speak) making New England great again. He cites one early example, “The Result of the 1679 General Synod,” from more than a century earlier. As Andrew Murphy explains in “Prodigal Nation: Moral Decline and Divine Punishment From New England to 9/11,” there was a set formula involved:
"The jeremiad proceeds by identifying symptoms of decline, contrasting the degenerate present with a virtuous past, and calling for reform and repentance; all within a scheme in which America plays a key role in God’s plans for human history and the progress of the gospel."
In this view, outward evils were to be resisted, of course, but they were not the primary focus. They were only outward signs and reflections of the inward failings of the community and the people who composed it. This is the sort of response Adams was probably expecting in his fast day call — which gives no hint of looking outward, rather than inward — but it was what Morse delivered. Still, the professed intention was the same: To redeem New England —and by extension, America — from moral downfall.
Second: The conspiracist case is presented in wild incendiary language, but cannot be backed up with facts. Trump is justifiably notorious for this, from his 2011 forays into birtherism to his announcement speech attacks on Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers “sent” by the Mexican government to his false claim that thousands of New Jersey residents cheered the fall of the Twin Towers. The list goes on and on, while the facts to support his claims never turn up. The same fate befell Morse, but he was not so able to dance away from the consequences, which is why the whole episode ended so quickly.
Once the argument left the confines of the church, and entered the realm of the partisan newspaper wars of the day, the tide turned against Morse, gradually at first, but then overwhelmingly. When Morse finally did provide his supposed evidence, over a year after first launching his charges, it actually hastened the end. The evidence he presented only proved the existence of the Freemason Lodge Wisdom in Portsmouth, Virginia — a well-known fact — not that it had any connection at all with the Illuminati, or that it harbored any subversive intent. (George Washington was America’s leading Freemason at the time.) Indeed, Wisdom Lodge was “entirely harmless as far as fomenting hostility to the institutions of the country was concerned,” as Virginia congressman Josiah Parker informed Morse in a letter.
Third: The alleged conspirators do not actually exist. While other conspiracy-theory episodes have had at least some foothold in reality — exaggerating threats posed by people who actually existed — the Illuminati scare stands out for the fact that there literally was no such thing. The organization no longer existed in Europe: The Illuminati had been disbanded before the French Revolution, under penalty of death for recruiters — and banishment and confiscation of property for anyone attending a meeting. It certainly didn’t exist in America, where no known meetings had ever been held. As noted above, America did have Freemasons. It never had organized Illuminati.
Trump’s conspiracy theories, to be fair, are eclectic. Some of them have some real-world foothold — undocumented immigrants sometimes commit crimes, after all, although at a lower rate than native-born citizens. But that is never enough for Trump, so he added the absurd claim that the Mexican government is intentionally sending criminals to America.
Trump’s birtherism was similarly overdone: The original conspiracy theory about Barack Obama’s birthplace was not wild enough, so Trump insisted or implied that Obama hadn’t actually gone to school where he said he had, and that all his academic achievements were the result of conspiracy and fraud as well. Trump never even bothered to name the actors in his imaginary conspiracy, as true internet obsessives do. He never named the supposed investigators he sent to Hawaii to check out Obama’s birth certificate either, no doubt because they did not exist.
Fourth: Profound, long-term historical causes for social distress — in which elite failure plays a significant role — are blamed instead on a nonexistent conspiracy. The French Revolution was clearly a product of elite misrule, and the idea of blaming it on a shadowy conspiracy of foreigners was much like Republicans today trying to blame the popular anti-Trump resistance on George Soros. American elites at the time of the Illuminati panic may not have been similarly culpable, but they were frightened by the whirlwind that the French elite had sown. American society suffered nothing similar to the mass immiseration that led to the French Revolution, but there had been erosions of traditional values, which brings us to our next point of similarity.
Fifth: Organic social changes resulting from increased individual freedom, beyond elite control, are portrayed as unnatural and malevolent. This is a long historical process, as described both by Stauffer and Murphy. It had been greatly accelerated by 30 years of war — first the French and Indian War, then the Revolutionary War. Stauffer’s description of that era, written in 1918, could almost describe post-World War II America, culminating in the tumultuous 1960s:
"The secularizing spirit of the post-Revolutionary period … left marks upon the human spirit over which stern and rigorous adherents to the old order wept copiously and long. For one thing, the lives of the men and women of New England were never again to be as barren of diversified interests as they had been in the past. The successful issue of the struggle for political independence had so enlarged the mind of the common man that he of necessity entertained considerations of private desire and of public policy which he formerly would have rejected entirely. The avenue of retreat to the ancient simplicity and seclusion was forever closed."
If counter-subversive conservatives of those days were trying to return to an unreachable past, Trump does them one better: He cannot even clearly identify when America was “great” or what that entailed, still less how he plans to get us back there. In both cases, fantasy takes over from reality: There is no realistic way backward, nor anywhere to get to, so an imaginary past — devoid of all its inherent contradictions — is posited. What stands in the way of returning there? Imaginary enemies and evil but unseen demons, as is fitting for a fairy tale.
Sixth: Social disintegration and loss of cultural identity are blamed in part on the corrupting force of entertainment, which must be tightly controlled. This parallel is less about the specifics of the conspiracist dynamic than about the context in which it takes hold, and the forces it seeks to beat back. Blaming Hollywood for the moral decay of America is not quite a new phenomenon, as Stauffer explains:
"As early as the year 1750 the General Court of Massachusetts had found it necessary to enact legislation to prevent stage-plays and other theatrical entertainments. That Puritan standards dominated the situation at the time is evidenced both by the reasons advanced by the framers of the law for its enactment and by the stringent penalties attached to it. The justification of the measure was found in the economic waste, the discouraging effect upon industry and frugality, and the deleterious effect upon morality and religion which stage-plays were believed to exercise."
By the 1790s, public sentiment had shifted radically, and the law was repealed in 1793. But the fears remained, expressed in a different way:
"Some who sought to shape the thought and determination of the times recommended the establishment of the theatre as the only possible way of drawing the desires and interests of the people away from grosser and more injurious excitements toward which, it was believed, an alarming growth of frivolity and lack of moral concern was rapidly sweeping the people of New England."
Seventh: Sharply differing views of foreign powers by each party, driven by deep fear and suspicion, blur the lines between foreign and domestic affairs. Today Democrats and Republicans — or Trump Republicans, at least — have sharply different views about the threats posed by different foreign powers, and how best to respond to them: Russia, China, Mexico, Iran, ISIS, etc. What’s more, both see foreign affairs as much more intimately intertwined with domestic politics than was true in the past.
In the 1790s, things were simpler, but equally threatening to a fragile new nation. The deep divisions over foreign policy were one of the driving forces that led to the formation of the two political parties in the first place. New England and the Federalist Party looked to England as a natural partner, based on shared culture, values and institutions. Democratic-Republicans, stronger elsewhere, were more favorable to France, whose support had been crucial to our success in the Revolutionary War and whose revolution seemed to echo our own. Under Adams, the U.S. had an undeclared “Quasi-War with France” from 1798 to 1800, and the regional/partisan divide continued long afterward: New England states seriously discussed secession during the War of 1812.
Eighth: Conspiracy narratives serve as key elements in conservative identity formation. This is perhaps the key point of Lienesch’s chapter, quoted above: Conspiratorial interpretations of events shaped conservative self-understanding on both sides of the Atlantic in the wake of the French Revolution, and conservatives came to understand themselves as being at war with that hidden conspiracy. The period did not last long, Lienesch notes.
"Writing in his “Reflections on the Revolution in France,” Edmund Burke allowed the Society of the Illuminati only a footnote. Yet counterconspiratorial conservatism did not die. Especially in the United States, where repeated waves of immigration and periodic episodes of international intervention in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries made the boundaries between America and the rest of the world particularly problematic, fears of secret societies reappeared repeatedly, in the anti-Masonic, anti-Catholic, and anti-Mormon agitation of the 1820s and 1830s, in Populist anti-Semitism and Henry Ford’s preoccupation with the “International Jew,” and in Joseph McCarthy’s charges of communist conspiracy."
Donald Trump — whose mentor Roy Cohn was Joe McCarthy’s chief investigator — is merely the latest in this long lineage. The Bavarian Illuminati are still with us, it seems. Not as an actual entity, but as an all-purpose boogeyman that conservatives cannot possibly seem to do without.
Donald Trump is not a “true conservative,” a shrinking chorus of voices tells us. But history suggests otherwise. Trump represents the true conservative response to this time of crisis, just as Morse and the other counter-Illuminati conspiracists on both sides of the Atlantic represented the conservative response to their time, however rapidly that may have collapsed. Who knows what sort of conservatism comes next?
Leprechauns As Proto-Pygmy Hominids
By T. Peter Park
I’d like to salute this year’s St. Patrick’s day (we're a little late with this article - Editor) with a cryptozoological reflection on a favorite theme of Irish folklore–the Leprechaun. Could Leprechauns be inspired by some sort of diminutive relict hominids? That was a suggestion I brought up eleven years ago, at the March 2006 St. Patrick’s Day luncheon of a local Long Island women’s club of which a friend of mine was “Queen” and had invited me as a guest speaker.
Leprechauns, as I told my audience, may not be just be a matter of legend and folklore. They may be something more than merely a charming, whimsical tradition repeated around Hibernian firesides from olden times. Rather, I noted, they are in fact as much a matter of occasional modern first-hand “close encounters” as any of the mystery hominids (Bigfoot, Yeti, *almas*, *kaptar*, *orang pendek*, *ebu gogo*, *nittaewo*, etc.) discussed by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe in The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (Anomalist Books, 2006).
The Irish believed in Leprechauns because they sometimes actually saw them, just as people have actually seen the Bigfoot, Yeti, *almas*, *kaptar*, and *orang pendek*. The Irish even claimed to have seen them in the 19th and 20th centuries! Thus, I observed, Irish newspapers reported well-publicized “close encounters” with Leprechauns in 1938 and again in 1959. I summarized those reports in my Red Hat Society talk, basing myself on the accounts given in Jerome Clark & Loren Coleman’s *The Unidentified* (New York: Warner, 1975), pp. 57-58, and in Jerome Clark’s *Unexplained!* (Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press, 1999), p. 424. Clark in *Unexplained!*, p. 425, cited John Barry, “Fairies in Eire,” *The Living Age* 355 (November 1938), pp. 265-266, as his source for the 1938 County Limerick encounters.
In 1938, Dublin’s *Irish Press* reported, “Watching for fairies has leaped into sudden popularity in West Limerick.” By “fairies,” the *Irish Press* probably meant Leprechauns. Its reporter interviewed a number of men and boys who had seen and even chased groups of very short little men, who, however, “jumped the ditches as fast as a greyhound.” While they “passed through hedges, ditches, and marshes,” they “appeared neat and clean all the time.” They were 2 feet tall, with “hard, hairy faces like men, and no ears.” They were dressed in red, wearing knee breeches and short socks instead of shoes. This shows that the traditional red costumes occasionally persisted into the 20th century (Leprechauns usually wore red in traditional Irish folklore, green becoming more popular in the 20th century stereotype under the influence of the patriotic “wearing of the green”.) One of them also wore a white cape.
The sightings began when a schoolboy, John Keeley, met a short little man walking along the road at a crossroads between Ballingarry and Kilfinney, 6 miles from Rathkeale, in County Limerick. His story, however, met disbelief and amusement. His friends told him to go back and talk to the “fairy,” and he did so. He asked the little man where he came from, and was told, “I’m from the mountains, and it’s equal to you what my business is.” The next day, John Keely met two little men at the crossroads, while a group of villagers watched secretly behind some bushes. The little men were skipping rope, and “could leap the height of a man.” John approached them, and held the hand of one of them. The three of them–John and the two “fairies”–began to walk down the road, but the little men noticed the hidden watchers, and ran away. The next few days, more of the little men were seen and chased–but never caught.
A County Carlow farmer moving a large bush with a bulldozer in 1959 was startled to see a 3-foot-tall red man run out from underneath the machine, according to the November 9, 1959 *Belfast Telegraph*. The little man ran “about 100 yards across the field, over a fence into the field adjoining.” Three other men also saw the fleeing figure. Was the little red man, too, a Leprechaun, wearing the ancient bright red costume in defiance of the modern Irish patriotic “wearing of the green”? Or, since the question of clothing was not quite clear or explicit in Jerome Clark’s 1999 *Unexplained!* summary, was the County Carlow little red man really a red-haired grogoch, the Emerald Isle’s answer to Indonesia’s *orang pendek* and *ebu gogo*?
As I noted, cryptozoologist Coleman and Fortean discussed various subtypes of mystery primates in The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (New York: Anomalist Books, 2006, They described nine basic main types or categories of unknown hominids and other mystery primates: Neo-Giants (including most of the standard, “classic” Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti), True Giants, Marked Hominids, Neandertaloids, Erectus Hominids, Proto-Pygmies (including Sumatra’s *orang pendek* and the Flores *ebu gogo*), Unknown Pongids, Giant Monkeys, and Merbeings (including “mermaids” and *chupacabras*). In their Preface, Coleman and Huyghe summarized new primate and hominid discoveries since their earlier edition of 1999–including, of course, the discoveries, from late 2004 onward, of the 3-foot-tall *Homo floresiensis* “Hobbits” living on Indonesia’s Flores Island as recently as 13,000 years ago–who perhaps lived on into modern times as the small, hairy *ebu gogo* dwarfs of Flores Island aboriginal folklore. They noted that while the Flores “Hobbits” have often been connected in the media with Sumatra’s *orang pendek*, a more relevant connection might be with the more fully manlike types, such as Sri Lanka’s *nittaewo*.
Coleman and Huyghe do not specifically discuss Celtic fairies or Ireland’s “little people.” Describing their classification and terminology in their Introduction, they contented themselves with noting that “the term ‘Little People’ is too closely related to one type of folklore entity,” whose ethnic associations they do not otherwise specify (p. 13). In their geographical section on European mystery hominids, they discussed reported European True Giants, Neandertaloids, Erectus Hominids, and Merbeings, but no Proto-Pygmies. Harry Trumbore’s range map for the geographical distribution of Proto-Pygmies on p. 30, it is true, did show most of Europe, including part of their “Ancient Range”–but left Europe out of their Present Range, which includes Africa south of the Sahara, India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Oceania, northern Australia, and parts of North, Central, and South America–and Coleman & Huyghe’s accompanying text (pp. 29-31) did not mention a former European distribution.
However, I believe that European “fairy,” “gnome,” and “dwarf” legends, from Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs and the German *kobolds* to Scottish “brownies” and Irish “leprechauns,” do at least suggest a Proto-Pygmy population in parts of Europe well into historic times. Researching the background for my 2006 Red Hat Society St. Patrick’s Day luncheon talk, I came across quite a lot of material reminiscent of Coleman and Huyghe’s *The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates*! Irish “Little People” traditions, I found, describe several types of what Coleman and Huyghe might call Proto-Pygmies. Besides the Leprechauns themselves, Irish folklore also describes the *fear dearg* or “Red Man,” the hard-drinking Cluricaun, and the hairy reddish *grogoch*, the last being almost an Irish *ebu gogo* or *orang pendek*!
The Leprechaun, as we all know, is typically represented as a little old man 2 or 3 feet tall, dressed either in all bright red or all bright green clothing, who makes shoes for the other fairies and guards a pot of gold. Whether red or green, his clothing is generally an old-fashioned version of European dress, recalling mediaeval or Victorian costume. Red was apparently the most common original traditional Leprechaun costume color, but green became more fashionable in the 20th century with the modern Irish patriotic “wearing of the green,” and is now universal in American St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun imagery.
The *fear dearg* or Man in Red is a Leprechaun-like dwarf dressed all in bright red who loves to play nasty practical jokes, but also helps humans trapped in Fairyland to escape. The Cluricaun is a red-nosed Leprechaun-like dwarf who sneaks into people’s houses at night to drink all their wine and eat all their food while also racing and harnessing their dogs, cats, pigs, or goats at night–some folklorists think he’s just a Leprechaun on a spree! The *grogoch*, finally, is a hairy naked red dwarf 3 feet tall, unclothed but covered with reddish hair, who lives in caves or hollow trees, but can be persuaded to come indoors and perform Irish farmers’ household chores. The description of the *grogoch* reminds me quite a lot of the Flores Island *ebu gogo*, and sometimes makes me wonder if *Homo floresiensis* made it all the way from Indonesia to Ireland in prehistoric times!
Engineer Says He Saw Large UFO Hovering Near Rig
by Mike Schuler
A crew member of an offshore supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico claims he saw a UFO ‘fives times’ the size of his vessel and UFO trackers are now looking for more witnesses to come forward with any information possibly related to the sighting.
The UFO sighting reportedly occurred on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 80 miles southeast of New Orleans.
The sighting was submitted to the National UFO Reporting Center, which apparently tracks UFO sightings and data, by the chief engineer of an OSV working the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday afternoon. According to the eyewitness report:
“Close to 7:00 pm on March 21st, just before dusk, myself and 4 of the crew members aboard our vessel saw a craft that appeared to be five times our 240 ft vessel in length. My line of sight was about 1/4 mile from our vessel. There was a rig behind the craft about a 1/2 mile. i used this to help gauge size of craft. Sighting was approximately 80 miles SE of New Orleans, Louisiana.
"The scene lasted about 40 seconds. The craft rose up out of the water (Gulf of Mexico) about 40 feet, no water was dripping from the craft. Within a split second the craft disappeared at a 30 degree angle into the sky. Speed appeared to faster than speed of a light turning on in a room. Within seconds it had disappeared completely.
"I can say for sure that the craft was dark colored, oval in shape and made no sound whatsoever.
"With as many rigs (2), there has to be more witnesses than just the four on our vessel."
The NUFORC has even highlighted the sighting as being of particular interest among the 246 reports of UFOs received in March alone. And after speaking with the witness by phone, the NUFORC said the report seems legit and has urged more witnesses to come forward.
“We spoke via telephone with this witness, and he seemed to us to be unusually sober-minded,” NUFORC wrote in a note added to the original report. “We suspect that he is a very capable, and very reliable, witness. He estimates that upwards of perhaps 50 people, who were aboard nearby vessels, may have witnessed the event, as well. We would urge those other witnesses to submit reports of what they had witnessed.”
So, did you see a UFO in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week?
Burning Questions Surround Fiery Deaths
When Charles Dickens wrote his novel Bleak House in 1852 it caused a sensation. Never before had the idea of spontaneous human combustion (SHC) entered the mainstream. George Henry Lewes, a philosopher and critic, harangued Dickens for perpetuating a ridiculous superstition. Dickens fought back arguing that he had researched the subject and knew of about 30 such deaths.
Scotland's first SHC case was in 1829 when an Edinburgh man burst into flames whilst talking to his brother. Despite repeated dowsing with water the flames were only extinguished when both brothers were totally submerged.
The second case allegedly happened in Falkirk when a Gladys Cochrane was found burnt to a cinder in her armchair. The cushion and chair were untouched although all that was left of poor Gladys was ash.
SHC - where a person is burnt to ashes with no obvious trigger - has been, and still is, a contentious phenomenon. In the past 300 years only 200 cases have been documented and whilst science strives to "prove" a rational explanation, there are many who remain convinced that there is more to it than meets the eye.
When Sir David Brewster listed it in his 1832 book Letters on Natural Magic addressed to Sir Walter Scott, he described the death of Grace Pett, the pipe-smoking wife of an Ipswich fisherman who spontaneously combusted in 1744.
Brewster wrote that Pett retired to bed having "drunk plentiful gin". When her daughter opened the kitchen door the next morning, she walked in to a hellish scene:
"The trunk of the unfortunate woman was almost burned to ashes and appeared like a heap of charcoal," wrote Brewster. "There was no fire in the grate and a paper screen on the other side were untouched."
Pett's death epitomises the circumstances of SHC. It often involves drink and no obvious source for the fire, with nearby combustible items left untouched. Furthermore, like all SHC cases, the body had been incinerated and body fat was present around the room.
From earliest times science has reported on these cases. But whilst today it tries to explain, older reports sometimes hint at unease.
On 19 February 1888, a Dr Booth was called out to a hay loft in Aberdeenshire to examine the remains of a 65-year-old man, someone, he notes, "of notoriously intemperate habits." He subsequently wrote up the case in the British Medical Journal.
"I found the charred remains of the man reclining against the stone wall of a hay loft. The body was almost a cinder. " Booth noted that loose hay surrounding the body was untouched and when the body was lifted, it disintegrated. He offered no explanation.
Recently, science has "explained" SHC with the so-called wick effect. Experiments suggest that if a body is set alight and wrapped up, then body fat, burning slowly, can achieve the same effects as SHC. Not everyone is convinced.
Gordon Rutter writes for the Fortean Times and is open-minded about the subject.
"With SHC it's very much 'you pays your money and you takes your choice'," says Rutter. "I have read reports from firemen who have said it's not like a normal fire. By all accounts it is rare, so it is difficult to study."
So just what could causes spontaneous human combustion? Well, as Rutter says, you can take your choice from a number of diverse possibilities:
• Alcohol and cigarettes – blaming the demon drink was very popular in Victorian times when they were never quick to miss an opportunity to moralise. However, whilst a number of cases have involved heavy drinkers, it is not always the case.
• The wick effect – by recreating the circumstances with a pig wrapped in a blanket, scientists reckon they have found the solution. Detractors point out that even after a number of hours in an oven at 600° Fahrenheit, bodies in crematoriums are still not burnt to ashes.
• Faulty digestive system – a bad diet could cost you more than low energy levels and raised cholesterol. It has been posited that a build up of gases in the digestive tract could lead to unstable chemicals spontaneously combusting. This has been offered to explain cases where the individual has been seen to burn from the inside out.
• Ball lightening – weird electrical fields, ball lightening et al have been pulled out, dusted down and put forward as theories. Not many takers though…
• An act of God – or aliens, or any other weird thing that you'd like to imagine.
Because let's face it, if you've decided SHC is more than a tragic accident, then you're probably going to want to seek the explanation from as strange a source as possible.
Source: The Scotsman
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